Drumbeat: April 25, 2010

INTERVIEW - Oil over $100 damaging, OPEC would act - Kuwait

KUWAIT (Reuters) - OPEC would pump more oil to prevent a rally in oil prices above $100 from hurting the global economic recovery, Kuwait's oil minister said on Sunday.

Oil is well below the $100 a barrel mark, settling at just over $85 a barrel on Friday. For a month, oil has traded over the $70 to $80 level that many in OPEC have pegged as fair. But there was room for more upside before the producer group would respond, Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah told Reuters in an interview at a media event.

"If it's sustained above $100 that would damage the economic recovery," he said. When asked if OPEC would boost supply to prevent that, he replied "I would say so."

Current oil prices were acceptable to both producers and consumers, he said.

China lines up 100,000 bbl/day using hard-earned U.S. Dollars

Venezuela will ship 100,000 bbl/day of crude oil to China for 10 years to pay off a $20 billion loan. The per barrel price was not specified but their average basket price is around $75/bbl. President Hugo Chavez announced the oil-for-credit agreement on Saturday night. Venezuela has been working for some time to foster relations with China. The loan will be used for highways, infrastructure as well as investments in the oil industry. Venezuela currently ships 460,000 bbl/day to China.

Mexico Energy Min: Committed to Challenging Chicontepec Field

MEXICO CITY (MNI) - Mexico Energy Minister Georgina Kessel said Friday the government remains committed to developing Chicontepec, a challenging field that had been billed as a replacement to fading supergiant Cantarell field.

"We remain committed to developing the area," Kessel told reporters after a speech to a technology conference at the ITAM university in Mexico City.

State oil company "Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) and the National Hydrocarbon Commission have been doing analysis on the topic. There is a need to apply new technology schemes," she said.

Chicontepec and Cantarell are vital for the government which obtains around 40% of its tax revenue from Pemex each year. Cantarell produced just under 600,000 barrels a day of oil in February down from a peak of around 2.1 million bpd just over five years ago.

Kingdom maintains growth despite global crisis

JEDDAH: The world's oil consumption is to grow by 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd), reaching 85.2 million bpd in 2010. This should in turn profit the private sector, according to the World Information Administration, which has forecast the oil consumption growth rate.

One of the countries maintaining progress in its economic growth despite the unprecedented global financial and economic turmoil, is Saudi Arabia. However, one long-term risk Saudi Arabia's economic growth faces is its overdependence on oil, especially as its real GDP is dependent on fluctuation of oil prices. Oil revenues account for 80 percent of the Kingdom's economy, according to a statement by Khalid Al-Falih, CEO and president of Saudi Aramco at the 11th annual MIT meeting on Friday. Therefore, diversification and private investment are essential to avoid any negative spillovers into other sectors.

Aramco unlikely to scale down Yanbu refinery plan

DAMMAM: Experts have expressed surprise at ConocoPhillips' decision to pull out from Saudi Aramco's Yanbu export refinery project but said the project will go ahead despite the challenges.

"Yes, it is surprising to find out that ConocoPhillips decided that the economics of the refinery were tight just before the awarding of construction contracts were due," said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at the Riyadh-based Banque Saudi Fransi.

Safe pair of hands

Thirty-five years ago Yanbu was earmarked as one of the KSA's industrial cities away from a simple port town - and it is not only the panorama of the Red Sea that gives it a broad horizon.

The three large oil refineries, a hub for petrochemicals, electricity distribution, telecommunications and a large desalination plant have reinforced its crucial role to KSA's construction renaissance.

It also represents the country's attempt to diversify away from oil revenues in the last few years and tap into the petrochemical market and other sectors.

Putin hits out at 'futile' Nabucco

Austria has signed up to build a section of Russia's South Stream gas pipeline, announcing the move as visiting Prime Minister Vladimir Putin dubbed the European Union's rival Nabucco project "futile".

Russia and Ukraine sign historic deals, resetting relations

Based in Ukraine’s port city of Sevastopol, the navy fleet that Russia will be allowed to keep was once a symbol of Soviet maritime strength. However, as the Soviet Union collapsed, the city, mainly populated by ethnic Russians, found itself under the control of Kiev.

“Imagine if a couple divorces – are they to divide their baby?” a resident of Sevastopol asked. “One gets the head or legs and the other gets the body and hands. Sorry to say such things, but that's what the officers, the residents, felt when the fleet was divided.”

Belarus leader raps Russia, may snub security summit

(Reuters) - Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday berated ally Russia for not paying for its military bases deployed in his country and warned that he could snub the summit of a Moscow-dominated security pact next month.

Lukashenko, who has sought to improve ties with the West, bitterly hit out at Russia's gas-for-base deal with Ukraine.

"I want to congratulate my Ukrainian colleagues on this victory -- they have saved a few billion dollars by signing this deal," Lukashenko told reporters.

ExxonMobil Waits for Government OK on $3.5Bln Project

ExxonMobil has held talks of record length with the government over the global oil industry champion's plans to spend $3.5 billion on an offshore project near Sakhalin Island this year, but it has won no approval as yet.

There are no deadlines in sight as the company is answering inquiries from the Energy Ministry-led supervisory board, Exxon spokeswoman Dilyara Sydykova said Friday. Nevertheless, the company is hoping to reach an agreement in the near future, she said.

The government is accusing Exxon of inflating costs. Higher costs mean less revenue for the federal budget because development is governed by a production-sharing agreement.

Pakistan: Traders’ defiance

Traders across the country are in a defiant mood and the situation could turn ugly if it isn’t handled with utmost care.

The government order that shops and marketplaces must be shut by 8pm to save electricity had little or no effect throughout Pakistan on Friday, not because of any initial confusion but a calculated decision to flout the law. Almost every traders’ organisation is insisting that it has no intention of complying with the new directive while there is talk from the government side of ‘police action plans’ aimed at implementation.

Construction of new dams demanded

LAHORE - Deputy Chief Jama’at-e-Islami Sirajul Haq has said the rulers must begin construction of new dams besides checking the misuse of electric power in their palaces to tide over the energy crisis.

"All resources to be used for power generation"

ISLAMABAD: The President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari advised the government on Saturday to use all possible power generation resources to overcome the current energy crisis in the country.

Speaking to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani at the Presidency, Zardari said that the government must eliminate public suffering.

Iran Guards fire five missiles

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards fired five missiles on Sunday as part of an ongoing military drill in the strategic Strait of Hormuz oil route, state television reported.

The shore-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles struck at a single target simultaneously, the report said without offering further details.

The Guards have been conducting a military drill since Thursday in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, the narrow strategically located waterway through which 40 percent of world’s seaborne oil supplies pass.

Syria Responds to 'Stone Age' Warning with 'Prehistoric' Threat

Syria has threatened it will “send Israel back to prehistoric times” if the Jewish state attacks it with unconventional weapons. Kuwaiti paper Al-Rai quoted on Saturday a source described as being close to the decision-making hub in Syria's leadership as saying that in case of an unconventional Israeli attack, “we will respond in kind.”

According to the Kuwaiti report, which was quoted by Ynetnews, the anonymous source said that Syria's strategy is based, among other things, upon the possibility of opening a wide front against Israel, from Rosh HaNikra in the west to the southern Golan Heights. This threat seems to imply that a ground offensive could be launched simultaneously from the Lebanese and Syrian borders with Israel.

The good and bad of life on an offshore oil rig

PORT FOURCHON, La. (AP) -- Life on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico has come a long way since the black gold was discovered underwater here 60 years ago.

Living for weeks on a platform the size of two football fields some 50 miles from the mainland can be comfortable and cushy, with good pay, catered cafeterias serving steak and spicy Cajun, lounges with pool tables and even mini movie theaters. At other times, it's a water world of hot metal, cramped sleeping quarters and skin-burning sun.

The hardest part is simply being away from family.

India Palm Oil Imports to Ebb on China, Argentina Row

(Bloomberg) -- Palm oil imports by India, the largest buyer, may drop this year as buyers switch to soybean oil to profit from China’s ban on shipments of the commodity from Argentina, the biggest global supplier.

SNP biomass plant plans under attack

Plans to build a network of biomass power plants in Scotland as part of Alex Salmond’s green revolution could damage the environment and cost thousands of jobs, according to a new report.

A shortage of domestic wood means that millions of tonnes of timber will have to be imported to fuel the plants, which are a key element of the SNP’s renewable energy strategy.

DOE Selects 20 Universities For Solar Decathlon--Parsons is Picked

The Department of Energy just selected 20 Universities to compete in building a solar-powered house and Parsons School of Design made the cut for the 2011 competition.

Parsons is teaming up with the Stevens Institute of Technology to provide solar-powered Habitat for Humanity housing for residents of the low-income Deanwood neighborhood of Ward 7 in Washington, D.C.

Changing our ideas (and spelling) of Earth

For more than 20 years Bill McKibben has been sounding the alarm about our environment, starting with The End of Nature, the first full-scale treatise on the subject skewed for the general reader. Since then there have been another dozen titles, covering topics as diverse as Marshall McLuhan's global village (The Age of Missing Information) to the ``durable future'' (Deep Economy). Each book is about living in a world that's changing right before our eyes.

Robert Bryce: Five myths about green energy

Americans are being inundated with claims about renewable and alternative energy. Advocates for these technologies say that if we jettison fossil fuels, we'll breathe easier, stop global warming and revolutionize our economy. Yes, "green" energy has great emotional and political appeal. But before we wrap all our hopes -- and subsidies -- in it, let's take a hard look at some common misconceptions about what "green" means.

BP Says 1,000 Barrels of Oil Leak From Gulf of Mexico Well After Explosion

BP Plc and the U.S. Coast Guard said about 1,000 barrels of oil is leaking daily in the Gulf of Mexico, after a Transocean Ltd. drilling rig caught fire and sank last week.

“It’s 1,000 barrels emanating from 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface,” Coast Guard Rear Admiral Mary Landry, who is overseeing the rescue and cleanup efforts, said at a press conference yesterday. “Absolutely, this is a very serious oil spill.”

Tesoro Reports Seventh Worker Has Died After April 2 Explosion at Refinery

Tesoro Corp. said a seventh refinery worker has died as a result of an April 2 chemical explosion at its Anacortes, Washington, refinery.

Gas OPEC Needs Members From Pacific to Boost Prices, PFC Says

(Bloomberg) -- The Gas Exporting Countries Forum, an 11-member producer group, may miss a goal of achieving oil- price parity unless Pacific nations that will be the biggest new sources of the fuel become members, PFC Energy said.

The group, which controls two-thirds of the world’s proven natural-gas reserves, will see its share of liquefied natural gas supplies declining to about 45 percent after 2015 from 55 percent last year, analysts including Nikos Tsafos at the Washington-based consulting company wrote in a research report.

Protestors Critical of Gov. Rendell's Stand on Natural Gas

Governor Ed Rendell was honored on Saturday night, for his environmental record. But a group of protestors outside the event said his position on natural gas drilling is dangerous to the environment.

Inside, former president Bill Clinton delivered congratulations via videotape but, outside, Iris Bloom of the group "Protecting Our Waters," challenged Rendell's selection as the "Green Governor" because of his support for hydraulic fracturing-- or "fracking"-- to retrieve natural gas:

“We are not safe. Animals are dying, people are getting sick and Governor Rendell needs to understand fracking is not green.”

Gazprom, EDF to Complete Talks on South Stream Pipeline Within Two Months

OAO Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexei Miller said talks with EDF SA on the French power producer joining the South Stream pipeline link will be completed in the next month and a half or two months.

How Far Are We Willing to Go for Oil?

Let's face it, the easy-to-get oil is nearly gone.

When you really think about it, the end of cheap oil can be frightening. As oil prices remain in a $80-$90 trading range, I think a lot of people forget (whether intentionally or not) how far companies are willing to go to extract the precious crude.

Sympathy For The Oil Industry: Diminishing Returns Start To Hit Home

Despite constant growth in oil prices and projected record demand, many companies working in the industry are experiencing a tough start to the year and face “uncertainty over project costs and expected returns.”

A report created by UBS analysts looking at Oil services companies – which serve exploration and production industry but that do not typically produce petroleum of their own accord – in a sector with no apparent slack:

Oil prices have gradually risen back to more than $80 US a barrel after plunging to around $30 a barrel at the end of 2008 when the economic crisis reduced demand for energy products. But oil majors are still wary of awarding new contracts

A bike-riding oil chief is not an encouraging sign

The themes in Burn Up are fresh and compelling, but the tone throughout tends to be somewhat hectoring.

Even if you agree with it, and believe peak oil was, like, last week, you might still feel as if you're being bludgeoned about the head with a very big message.

If they'd turned the volume down on it I think the whole thing would've ended up being more effective.

Massey Has Mines With More Citations Than Blast Site

Massey Energy Co. has three mines with more citations classified as “significant and substantial” than its Upper Big Branch operation, where 29 people were killed in an explosion this month.

Three Massey mines are among the top 20 in the U.S. ranked by the number of “significant and substantial” violations accrued since January 2009, according to the U.S. Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration. Consol Energy Corp., based in Pittsburgh, had three of the four mines with the most S&S violations and seven of the top 20.

Could Cleaner Air Actually Intensify Global Warming?

As much of the world marked Earth Day this past week, the Environmental Protection Agency reported that air pollution has declined dramatically over the last 20 years. It sounds like good news, but science writer Eli Kintisch argues that there's a surprising downside: Cleaner air might actually intensify global warming.

"If we continue to cut back on smoke pouring forth from industrial smokestacks, the increase in global warming could be profound," Kintisch writes in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times.

Climate bill placed on hold over Senate dispute

WASHINGTON – Long-awaited climate change legislation was put on hold by its authors Saturday when a dispute over immigration politics and Senate priorities threatened to unravel a bipartisan effort that took months of work.

Voicing regrets, Sen. John Kerry said Saturday he is postponing the much anticipated unveiling of comprehensive energy and climate change legislation scheduled for Monday. The Massachusetts Democrat made his announcement after a key partner in drafting the bill, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, threatened to withhold support if Senate Democratic leaders push ahead first with an immigration bill.

Are Global Warming, Volcanoes and Earthquakes Linked?

A thaw of ice caps caused by global warming may trigger more volcanic eruptions in coming decades by removing a vast weight and freeing magma from deep below ground, research suggests. Eventually there will be either somewhat larger eruptions or more frequent eruptions in coming decades. The end of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago coincided with a surge in volcanic activity in Iceland, apparently because huge ice caps thinned and the land rose. Climate chaos could also trigger volcanic eruptions or earthquakes in places such as Mount Erebus in Antarctica, the Aleutian islands of Alaska or Patagonia in South America.

Re: Climate bill placed on hold over Senate dispute

Probably a good thing, as Cap-and-Trade may not be the best way to attack the problem. I like the idea of direct rationing, which I think would keep the price of fossil fuels as low as possible for most people.

E. Swanson

It's not like we can actually help the climate when they are adamant to continue increasing the population through out of control legal and illegal immigration. Any token decrease in emissions would be lost due to an increase in population.

Hmmm....people like to pick on immigration but the U.S. is still bringing >4 million new kids in the world each year via live births.


"In 2006, births and fertility rates increased for most states, age groups, and race and Hispanic origin groups." In other words, everyone is having more babies. I was at a friend's birthday party yesterday and I think only a handful of the couples who came didn't have more than one child. (Note: I love kids.)

This is entirely consistent with a species gorging on an (up till now) nearly unlimited energy source.

It will naturally reverse as the energy gets scarce, though I would have preferred if we had chosen that path rather than nature forcing it on us.

U.S. population would have peaked had it not been for Post-1965 immigration. Immigration is entirely to blame, just look at any census "Projection." Those immigrants like to have a higher TFR than their home country as well. Essentially all "Hispanics" are post-1965 stock, that CDC document shows them with a TFR of 3.0 in 2006. Mexico's TFR is roughly 2.1, Mexicans in the U.S. have a 3.1 TFR. I also see that the percentage of births to unmarried women has more than doubled between 1980 and 2006. 38.5% of all births were to unmarried women. Let's see... Peak Oil + Huge percentage of children with no fathers = massive civil unrest.

I found this little gem as well.
"Among the largest racial and Hispanic origin groups, substantial variation in educational attainment is seen. For the 19 revised states in 2006, 87.5 percent of non-Hispanic white compared with 74.5 percent of non-Hispanic black, and 48.5 percent of Hispanic mothers had a high school diploma or higher. Levels of advanced educational attainment also differed, with 32.9 percent of non-Hispanic white, 11.1 of non-Hispanic black, and 7.7 of Hispanic mothers reporting a bachelor’s degree or higher (data not shown)."

Oh well, I guess we don't really need an educated work force as there won't be any jobs for them anyways thanks to the effects of PO.

In my view, it's easy to pick at one data point or other and miss the bigger picture: we are acting no differently than any other species that fills its ecological niche. Every time I want to zero in what I might view as a "problem" I remind myself that it's just nature doing her thing.

Floridian I think you'll enjoy this.


"Robert Erickson" Speech to MN Tea Party Against Amnesty

Lest we forget, the vast majority of Americans came via immigration and subsequently reproduced. We're pushing 8.8 on the hypocrisy scale here...

Living in the U.S. I found the specious arguments against "illegals" repulsive and still do. I guess I was an "illegal" also. Oh, but not that kind! You know, poor, hard working, smelly food and using up ALL the social services.

My great-grandfather was an original immigrant to the U.S. and what did he ever do? I don't know, does Marconi and wireless communication mean anything. Same goes for another immigrant via Canada called Bell. Face it for what it is, all the "illegals" furor is veiled racism. I see that is alive and well.

Floridian, get your head out of your arse. The woes of the nation cannot be blamed on the immigrants (once again). Run away military spending will proceed quite nicely thank you with or without pesky Mexicans crossing Arizona deserts in the middle of night. The U.S. is a nation, a republic, and not a country club.

One can't compare 19th century immigration waves to the never ending post-1965 flood. There was no easy life here back in the 1880s, there was absolutely nothing here. The U.S. has been sinking for decades, it is not a republic but some sort of quasi-corporate entity. Those birth statistics from the CDC tell the whole tale, this is not Canada or Australia with border controls and a point system. The United States imported the lowest common denominator from the third world while at the same time shipping away real industry.

Lest we forget, the vast majority of Americans came via immigration and subsequently reproduced. We're pushing 8.8 on the hypocrisy scale here...

Every human on earth outside of Africa has immigrants for ancestors. You must stop somewhere. Calling folks who favor restricted immigration hypocrites is absurd. Perhaps you would favor removing all restrictions to immigration. Just ignore borders, pretend they don't exist. Do you think that would work? What would be the logical result of such a policy?

Ron P.

Every human on earth outside of Africa has immigrants for ancestors. You must stop somewhere. Calling folks who favor restricted immigration hypocrites is absurd.

I'm first and foremost in favor of global restriction on human births. Unless that happens there is no immigration policy anywhere on this planet that will stop the flow of economic refugees immigrants.

Anyone who is not advocating birth control, family planning, condom distribution, and is not actively fighting the "Pro Life" idiocy movement in this country and elsewhere shouldn't be talking about immigration policy at all.

When the Pope and the other leaders of the major religions start saying that god is asking the flock to start having fewer or no kids, then I might be interested in hearing about how we are going to deal with immigration.

Sorry; I'm betting on the four horsemen for population control.

So am I!

I suspect you're right.

I've been doing alot of reading on stuff like the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, the Civil War, the totalitarianism of the early 20th century, etc., trying to get a feel for what may lie ahead. But I think I'm beginning to realize this is all pointless - the regular activity of human beings on this planet is slaughter and tribalism. And even then, it's never been enough to result in total collapse of human society or structures. Not even the Black Death or widespread famines completely eliminated peoples. Always, human beings march on and organize themselves into new tribes.

Think about it - we are swimming in oil, coal, and natural gas, we can split the atom, and we still don't have world peace or a stable world population - which would have been real signals that we've wised up. What makes anybody here think it's going to be different with solar panels and electric bikes?

No, I foresee a die off sometime within the next 50-100 years, then maybe 500 million to 1 billion humans will remain, they will organize themselves, as always, into new groups, they will reproduce, there will be ongoing wars, famines, plagues, maybe we will depopulate more, maybe we will grow. None of this matters.

It's the same as it's always been.

Oilman Sachs says,

"None of this matters.

It's the same as it's always been."

Ah, a reborn school of "Cynicism" as an American philosophical school! The Americans are not good at this...but we are getting older, both individually and as a nation...maybe now is the time to accept our mortality...as individuals, and yes, even as a nation or culture...

Wikipedia in its article on Cynicism says, see other...
Human nature

Not one word about ACCEPTANCE. The modernists (of whom I count myself as one) are prone to accept nothing, to try to change everything. But there are limits to what can be changed. And as you point out, the hardest limit is human behavior, human conflict, violence, envy and fear. All humans at the end of the day are in some form or another a member of a predatory species. I take the positive view that it is astounding we have come as far as we have given that we attempt to wipe it all out and burn each other out of existance every few years...how the hell did we even get this far up the road? A reason for optimism right there!

An old Roman proverb: "The wolf of man is man". We like to believe we can provide everything for ourselves, no outside help, so we even provide our own predator. More modernized versions, Pogo: "I have met the enemy, and he is us", or the old Soviet joke, "Beware, 4 of every 3 people is an enemy!"

The question remains...without tribalism, without some outside percieved "threat", would we really make the advances neeeded? Right now you can sell the idea of energy efficiency better on national security fears than on any other basis. Is it true as Oliver Stone had a character say in "JFK" that "the great organizing principle of civilization is war"?

We'll save that discussion for another day.


Wikipedia in its article on Cynicism says, see other...
Human nature

Roger, I do not accept that for one minute. I am not a cynic! But I am all the things Wikipedia lists under "see other" except I am not a misanthrope. I truly love mankind. And for the life of me I cannot understand why "human nature" is included in the list for who today would deny human nature?

But a cynic always irritates me. I believe a person can be rather fatalistic without being a cynic. Afrer all, death is a certanity. That is being fatalistic, but who can be a cynic about death?

I am a doomer but I believe there are a lot of things one can do to increase one's chances of being among the survivors. I am not cynical about trying to survive. But if "doomer" were actually a word I am sure Wiki would have included that on their list also.

Ron P


I included the Wikipedia examples as indication that cynicism is always viewed in the negative aspect in our culture. I think that is defining the concept too narrowly. I like much better an "acceptance" school of philosophy...somewhat much better described here under headings of cynicism and stoicism:

There is much food for thought there, including the acceptance of nature, the acceptance of the will of the people (Socrates was being the ultimate cynic/stoic when he drank the hemlock) and the acceptance of powers greater than US. I am something of a mystical cynic or an aesthetic stoic, but that probably shows in what I write

I am in love with the concept of aesthetic stoicism, my own hybrid term to my knowledge, the enjoyment of humankinds efforts, whether they be futile or not, from a strictly artistic viewpoint...the art of the sailing ship, the car, the train....to me all art forms all the way back to the markings on ceremonial masks or the cave drawings of France...humans are such "triers"...we have to TRY, that is what we are! The artist WILL survive, in watever medium..., that is my optimistic viewpoint...(the "ART" of concentrating mirror solar plants and giant windmills, the art of hybrid cars... that is ART! Now the stoic side, will it make any difference? Who knows, and in the deepest sense, who cares...like the French cave painter, we TRIED, we did something interesting, we made the human effort...what else really matters?

You said,
"I am a doomer but I believe there are a lot of things one can do to increase one's chances of being among the survivors."

Oh boy, that gets complicated...I am not a doomer, but seemingly the opposite of what you would expect, I DON'T think I can make a very large difference in being among the survivors. I think humans are not humble enough in realizing what they can do, if they are acting alone, to make any difference. Acting in concert with others I do think much can be done...but like Socrates, I would have to count on the others to understand what I was trying to do.

My position: if you think it will help, do it. If you think it is meaningful, do it. If it brings artistic satisfaction without hurting others, do it. If a person feels they must build a house out of popsicle sticks, that that is meaningful TO THEM, then by all means, DO IT. That is the way I am trying to live the rest of my life. For medical reasons, for reasons of not being greatly armed or violent, for reasons of lack of survival skills, I do not believe I can do much to change my odds of survival if everyting hits the fan (TSHTF) but guess what? I think that has always been true...in a real collapse, where you are when you are will be the biggest factor, and who can know when that moment will come and where I will be?

"Whatever it is you seek to do, either do it or don't do it. You will regret either way." Soren Kierkegaard


I too, have medical issues that will most likely put me in the first wave of casualties. The minute antibiotics become unavailable to the common man, the next respiratory infection will do for me.

And I am a doomer, I'm just uncertain about when, and how abrupt. I think it may be possible I will finish out my life without seeing much, aside from outrageous fuel and food prices and cuts to social security. But since the military is now starting to make noises about "problems by 2015", well, once those guys admit it...maybe it will start getting pretty critical just five years from now!

I DO have the skills, the equipment, the knowledge, and when necessary the temperment to improve my chances. I will keep on trying, because I still have a young one at home. It is for her I do these things, to try to improve her chances

Crap the baby parakeet just got out gotta go

(1/2 hour later)
Okay. Anyway, I am hoping to position my family for a better outcome, with me or without me. I think most people do, that most folk care more about what happens to their family than to themselves.


I have no children. My parents are gone. I do have sisters, but they are not far from my age. I do concern myself with my remaining nephews and nieces (3 total) of course, but have no power over their destiny anyway...

I think more in terms of my culture, and this is not the "culture" of the U.S. per se, but the culture of modern rationalism (such as it is), and of not losing all the work done by the great minds of our past...Newton, Copernicus, Einstein, Pascal, on and on, the volume of effort that has gone into literary effort and artistic effort, and think of a world where the work of Beethoven or Gabriel Fauré was lost for good (and I note with great sadness that our young no longer listen to them, or have seen a painting by Monet or Picasso)...I have always thought our culture will end this way, more with a whimper than a bang as folks just lose interest in it...and I seem to be right on that one...recently I mentioned the Taj Mahal to a young woman who was doing college classes...she was totally unfamiliar with the name. I showed her pictures on the internet and she was beside herself...that is SO BEAUTIFUL she swooned...what can one say in reply? We worry about the death of a culture by collapse that is dying anyway by way of neglect...

VictorianTech, blessings to you and your family (and your parakeet!), and if you can, at least show the kids some of what humans have already done...we may be seen by some as pretty pathetic creatures but at our best, we can do some pretty interesting things...:-)


I agree- it pains me to think of all that is lost, if just one of the components is lost. Mass literacy, or public libraries, or the worst one- unretrievable forms of music storage. When the last mp3 player or cd player breaks...

The only music that gets played routinely here is classical (the keets love it). My daughter loves Beethoven. We have a Wauwerman (sp?) on the wall, if you love horses and the great art of centuries past, check him out.

I deplore the loss of music in our schools. If I were the king of the world, learning an instrument would be a mandatory core subject, like math and writing are.

the regular activity of human beings on this planet is slaughter and tribalism. And even then, it's never been enough to result in total collapse of human society or structures

Ahh, but now we have FAR more interesting ways to kill each other. Making atoms smaller or larger as a weapon system. Various pathogens, both plant and animal. (In fact, in the interest of profit, the bio-tinkerers tried to kill off the soil-based plants) And advancements in the gatling gun (a weapon so effective that it was to make war unthinkable) are a modern fav.

So don't think history repeats....it may just rhyme and the rhyme this time could be the end of mankind.


If only people had this kind of sense. Two children per woman across the board is the extremely simple math of having a stable population (not growing, not declining). OK, maybe more like a mean of 2.1 to account for mortality prior to child-bearing age.

I won't hold my breath waiting for most people to do the right thing...not judging by the number of SUVs, extended cab Pickemup trucks, and Minivans I see with the little 'family doll' stickers depicting 3, 4, or more children. Oh, and these are NOT the illegal immigrants either. I was acquainted with was a man and wife with ten children, expecting their 11th, with no endpoint in sight. Then I was acquainted with a married couple who had four children, and then the wife gave birth to triplets (the husband and the wife were both in their forties).

Were these folks I knew illegal immigrants? No. Were they poor, welfare-sucking low-life trash like some talk show hosts (and others) like to go on and on about? No. ... See, these folks I know are in the U.S. military...eating from the tax-payer/debt-funded money trough...part of our 'big government'.

Welfare for folks who are Not part of our 'enshrined hero categories'...no flippin way! Welfare for members of the M.I.C., banksters, etc... no problema!

I agree with those of you here at TOD who advocate cutting the M.I.C. budget by half...but then of course we need to be prepared to deal with the huge drop in (unproductive B.S.) GDP if we do that...ultimately we as a nation would be much better off, but the short-term turmoil from the newly disenfranchised folks who feel they 'deserve' their non-negotiable lifestyles would be incredible. Remember the movie 'Falling Down'...picture that times about a million. Seems like we can't pull any cards out without the whole house of cards falling down...we seem to be stuck accelerating towards our future, whatever that may be...

So interesting...I know of many, many whites who have not reproduced at all. I would have had to had 9 children just to replace the people I know of who didn't. Only had two, though. All the childless ones I know were financially well off, and chose not to have kids because they didn't want any crimping of their globe-trotting partying lifestyle. Perhaps financial wealth makes one less fit in the purely gene-transmitting sense of the word.

I second your comment...different sub-populations indeed behave differently..very interesting.

I know folks from a certain up-and-coming religious order who think that a four-child family is the perfect nod towards personal restraint vice their teachings to have even more children that that...problem is, four children is two too many over the long run and across the breadth of the child-bearing population.

If the U.S. population growth rate is 0.9%, then that is not a reason to celebrate...all things being equal, that very roughly would result in a doubling of the U.S. population in approximately 80 years....some 616 million people in the U.S circa 2090, vice some 308 million people today. Somehow I don't think 'all things will be equal' in the big equation.

Here is one of many on-line calculators:


Here is another:


There are many more such tools out there to play with.

Exponential growth is poorly understood by many people...what's more, most people do not want to understand it. I have lost count of the times I have heard folks at work (working strategic planning issues with decades-long time domains) say "It doesn't matter, I'll be dead by (insert date here). Talking about managing human population is taboo. Party like it's 1999!

As always, Ron P. opened several cans of worms in only a few sentences, and all of them interesting. The point is well taken, in a way we are all immigrants. :-) Even the native Americans came here from Asia ( a fascinating untold story, I have always tried to picture that...coming over the land bridge into Alaska, not knowing where your next water is coming from, bumping into new species of animals...these guys and gals were up at the top of the guts scale!)

Ron P. asks, "Just ignore borders, pretend they don't exist. Do you think that would work? What would be the logical result of such a policy?

I have always been pretty much an open borders man. Yes, we should have some "symbolic" border control to try to keep out the terrorists and known criminals and talk a good game, but for the most part borders are not enforcable, and never have been. Population is in many ways fungible, i.e., it will go where it is needed and or wants to go. If it doesn't, then the border unrest in neighboring nations becomes so great that it would have been just as easy to allow for some porosity in the border.

In truth, most of the immigrants to the U.S. and many in Europe were intentionally brought here...Africans for slave labor, Chinese to build the rail, Irish for cheap labor and to strenthen the population of the New England states, and now Hispanic groups for labor...in the county I was born in the Hispanics there were brought in for farm labor intentionally by farm owners...

The last birthday party I went to was for a 1 year old Hispanic child...her parents had bought a home with a yard, and wanted to do the whole "Leave It To Beaver" lifestyle...it was so touching in many ways, the echo of what the baby boom must have looked like in the 1950's...but the mom is adament that she wants 2 children at the maximum, and of course there are now technical/medical ways to assure that. THAT is the big difference from 1955.


Roger, want to know why borders matter? They matter because it is in our genes. Homo sapiens have always been a territorial species. You may believe in no borders but that is only a temporary emotion... because your belly if full and you do not anticipate being hungry because of someone else taking your food. It is all explained here very well.

The Territorial Imperative: A Personal Inquiry into the Animal Origins of Property and Nations

One of the most exciting books about the nature of man that has ever been presented.... Newsday

I read it many years ago and still have a dog-eared copy in my library. But the whole e-book is here... free.

Ron P.

Thanks Ron, I want to read it...I am not even familiar with the title so that is one I let get under my radar!

As for borders, let us go with the opposite of "belly full" to the other extreme...I am belly empty, the prospects where I am are NONE, I cannot survive much longer where I am at...I am a refugee. Then of course I am going to be all the more an open borders man, because I simply have to get the hell out of here! :-)

My problem with borders at the fundamental level is a simple matter of practicality: They simply cannot be policed if enough people want to get across them bad enough. Look at the East/West German border collapse...the ones trying to sneak across could be shot and killed one or two at a time....but when the masses decided to move, they found out soon enough all you had to do to collapse the border was cross it IN MASS. Borders are like romance, more symbolic than real on a day to day basis. As I said, I don't think they should be done away with, they are like a "privacy fence" on a suburban yard...but really providing security...has never happened, ain't gonna happen...the Russians never invaded the U.S. yet there are millions of them here! :-)


Ahhhh Roger, now you are talking about an entirely different book, you are talking about THE CAMP OF THE SAINTS By Jean Raspail

It is a work of fiction but it is about situations such as you describe. In this scene 5 million Chinese are massed on the Russian border and this Russian General is in charge of keeping them on their side of the border. A Chinaman is on a megaphone urging his followers not to take any crap off the Russians and to move on across the border. The General is talking to his Colonel:

"Come, Zackaroff, let's drink! And close up that peephole. I don't want to have to hear that loudmouth! He sounds like a priest, and he's getting on my nerves. Now that every last padre has his pen or his mike, you can't even hear yourself drink anymore. Yes, it's padre time, Zackaroff, that's what it is. All over the world. They're oozing out of every country. Thousands of everyday priests, ready and willing to poison the minds of millions of idiots. Bleeding hearts puking out gospels galore."
Jean Raspail, "The Camp of The Saints".

Fortunately this book is also available free as an e-book.

Ron P.

Every human on earth outside of Africa has immigrants for ancestors. You must stop somewhere.

It is a curious fact (almost an iron law of history) that all those who rant and rail against immigration nearly always believe it was an excellent, enlightened and righteous opportunity for their own parents / grandparents / great-grandparents, but now it must be stopped, or the country will be rooned.

Especially if you let in all those short brown people, them what breed like rabbits, have the morals of a cat on heat, and are as dumb as pig-dribble, school-wise, into the country in hordes. You need strong, brave, smart, white people to make America the country it is today! Ha!

I think it's a reasonable concern in the light of peak oil. It has nothing to do with whether people are short and brown or whiter than rice. Immigration is what made America what it is today...but is that all that great? In any case, times have changed. We are no longer an empty country, giving away land to anyone willing to farm it. It's reasonable for the rules to change when the situation has.

Well said. The problem isn't about "race" but about too many people. Limiting immigration, like limiting oil consumption or limiting CO2 emissions is all part of the same problem, which is, humanity in total has grown beyond the ecosystems within which we live. As a result, we are changing those ecosystems in ways which will have large negative impacts on every BODY. We are all at fault and singling out one group to blame based on some mythical concept of "race" as defined by skin color won't fix things.

E. Swanson

Of course I agree that increasing human population is a major problem in many ways (some of which connect to peak oil). But I still reject the fairly offensive rationale for cutting immigration that Floridian outlined above, but more generally, I am deeply suspicious about peak oil / peak resource debates that cite population growth as a (the) key issue. A far bigger issue is that Western white people consume massively per capita, compared to all the rest.

Therefore it is a slippery slope indeed from there to basically arguing that the whole world cannot have the energy-consuming lifestyle of the US, Canada, Australia, etc, because there aren't enough resources, and AGW would get much worse much more quickly. President Obama basically said that in a speech about China the other day. I would take it a little more seriously if there were a couple of indications in any of the rich countries that they are moving to reduce their energy use, and to cut their standard of living. As if.

It is not just an issue about the "carrying capacity" of the US or any other rich developed country - it is about the wealthy protecting their share, and even more aggressively protecting their slice if and when the pie starts to shrink.

It is not just an issue about the "carrying capacity" of the US or any other rich developed country - it is about the wealthy protecting their share, and even more aggressively protecting their slice if and when the pie starts to shrink.

It is one of those things that if I were king/president I'd want to change, or at least try to change. Having the US and or all other wealthy nations realize that getting lower on the food chain is a good thing.

I see it in my own life, things I could do without, and I see it all around me in the way we all seem to be living, and out expectations for the future.

The me generation has spawned the "we are better than everyone else" generation, or something to that effect.

Just another thought that has to be talked about along with everything else. Reducing our expectations for the future, yet enabling others a better future than living in shantytowns in smog filled cities.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed future for all.

I agree, all illegals out of California-- A direct relative (no older than a grandparent) that did not live in the State of California in the 1800's.
I want my State Back.

That should put is way under one million, from 35 now.

I agree, all illegals out of California-- A direct relative (no older than a grandparent) that did not live in the State of California in the 1800's.
I want my State Back.

"Ceded by Mexico by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, concluded Feb. 2, 1848, and proclaimed July 4, 1848. From then until statehood, California had a military government until Dec. 20, 1849, and then a local civil government. It never had a territorial form of government."

California did not become a state until 1850. The vast majority of people in the state prior to the gold rush of 1848-49 were Hispanic.

My grandparents were born between 1900 and 1910. So a grandparent who was in California prior to 1900, you're looking at only people who are over 60 now. So California belongs only to Hispanics and white people over 60 years of age??!

Many Hispanics claim the United States stole California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas from Mexico. If you read the history, there is some truth to this...

As was mentioned elsewhere in this thread, there are no people native to North or South America; we did not evolve here

Manifest Destiny...

This debate brought to the forefront one of the contradictions of Manifest Destiny: on the one hand, while racist ideas inherent in Manifest Destiny suggested that Mexicans, as non-whites, were a lesser race and thus not qualified to become Americans, the "mission" component of Manifest Destiny suggested that Mexicans would be improved (or "regenerated," as it was then described) by bringing them into American democracy...

The controversy was eventually ended by the Mexican Cession, which added the territories of Alta California and Nuevo México to the United States, both more sparsely populated than the rest of Mexico.


Note the picture of the painting 'American Progress' in the upper-right-hand corner of the first page of the Wikipedia article...the wild animals and native Americans are fleeing before Columbia's relentless march Westward...

Vicy -- I assume you mean they stole it from Mexico the same way Mexicans stole that country from Spain. And I forget...who did Spain steal it from?

Just a little tease.

And Spain stole it from the Amerindian tribes...who warred endlessly between them, and amongst themselves as well...

Yep...one more sad episode VT. I've worked some in Mexico and most folks in the states don't even know about them or wouldn't think they were from Mexico if they saw them. Folks have a vision of how tough life is for the poor "Mexicans". But they have no idea what it's like for the Indians.

So California belongs only to Hispanics and white people over 60 years of age??

Why not? You have to make the cut somewhere--
Maybe you could be at the top of the list for a Green Card?

I am not certain where I would end up under your system. I live in Seattle now, but was born in California. But not until the 60's, and my parents moved there in the 50's, that's where they met. But my dad- and his family going back several generations- was from Connecticut. And my mom- and her family going back three generations- was from upstate New York. My mom's family came from Germany in the 1820's. My dad's from England in 1670.

So, where would I end up a citizen of?

To me debates like this perfectly illustrate why we have reached the end of the modern age. First of all, the United States is not a “nation”, it is a business model/corporate-fascist plutocracy. A lasting nation has an indestructible underlying identity based on tribe/culture/religion, which makes it much more stable when times get tough. The modern multicultural USA, which really came into existence post-1965, no longer has such a sense of identity and is therefore in a *very* weak position to weather the coming storm. Another Great Depression won’t be like the 1930’s at all, and when things fall apart along ethnic lines as they always do, there will be a lot of fingers (and other less friendly implements) pointed at the utopian liberals who forced Immigration Reform and the multicultural model upon us despite all the historical evidence suggesting it’s a very bad idea. The Post-peak USA will be Yugoslavia times 100.

It’s very difficult to try to explain all this to “liberals” like BC, since their brains are apparently wired differently than the rest of us and they will just dismiss us as racists. By his definition, virtually every nation on earth is racist and should be abolished (good luck with that!). So add this to the long list of paradoxes of modernity that have no solutions within the context of this civilization. In situations like this, Collapse, Dark Age and rebirth are the only solutions.

The Post-peak USA will be Yugoslavia times 100.

Interesting statement. Who will be our Serbs, Croats, Bosnians? Who will be Milosevic? Who is going to try to extirpate whom?

Methinks the top contenders for these honors, such as they are, were here prior to 1965.

In the face of painfully scarce resources, people will always find some excuse to extirpate each other. If not by color of skin, then by religion (think Ireland), or by economic class (think Russia). Or even just by clothes.

Even just the shoes...

So where will you folks be putting me? I rarly wear shoes around the house, I even garden barefooted, and walk about the nieghborhood barefoot.

I have hiking boots, but all my other footwear are sandels.

I must be a third worlder.

Oh and I have long hair too, that must mean I am a hippie. Oh and another label to add, Christian.

Guess I'll just have to go back to old Country, whereever that is.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed future, where people are fed not labeled.

It seems like the next post you make without mentioning you are a Christian will be your first.
Maybe everyone should declare their religious allegiance in all their posts.
Then I guess, I wouldn't notice you doing it so much.

I don't do it in many of my campfire posts. Though I am not shy in saying that I am one, it seemed to fit into the post I did make.

We were/are in a thread labeling people, mostly folks who have recently come to the USA, I got here about 46 years ago, by birth. I didn't state my race, just my creed.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed future.

To simplify only slightly, the difference between a Serb and a Croat is that the Serb writes Serbo-Croatian using Cyrillic letters, while the Croat writes it using Roman letters. Resources weren't all that terribly scarce - sometimes it just doesn't take much to set off an explosion.

I may be showing blatant ignorance here, but I thought that one was a Muslim-Christian divide (in addition to an alphabetic one)

That was the Bosnians you're thinking of... Serbs and Croats were both "Christian"

Road Warrior:
You are spot on. I've realized based upon my decidedly amateurish studies of history that indeed many, if not most, modern nation states contain a people who have been settled in that region for centures if not millenia, with a common cultural history, ethnicity, language, religion etc. Things are different in say Australia or the Americas, but even then you look at nations other than the U.S. and they are decidedly more united culturally not to mention being smaller / less complex. Sure there are minorities in every place but they are exactly that: minorities. Their numbers are never enough to replace a large settled population, nor do I suspect they would ever want to.

Politics, culture, race, religion, etc. will intersect with peak oil in ways that I think people have only begun to imagine. In that sense, it matters not to look at the U.S. strictly from an energy or hegemonic power point of view, in which case it comes out rather favorably. If you add in all the complexities of what you have mentioned, the picture looks worse and perhaps even bleaker than most other countries. Not to mention the fact that the U.S. really does have the farthest to fall. In most places of the world, including Europe, people are very used to living a cramped/simple lifestyle, so peak oil may not mess with their minds as much as it will here in the states.

I recently got into a mini argument with somebody concerning the tea partiers. He thought it was all about having a black president, whereas I thought it was more about peak oil (high pump prices)/financial collapse/immigration. Of course all of the above is likely the answer but it goes to show you just how strange things have become.

To me debates like this perfectly illustrate why we have reached the end of the modern age.

Translation: WASPs (plus some white Jews and Catholics thrown in) all around the Western World are mighty peeved that their dominance and control of all the wealth of the planet - and all the real estate - is coming to an end. And us white guys have made such a good job of running the place, it just isn't fair. (Sob).

The reality is, the dullest countries in the world are monocultures, and the ones with the most life, energy and a future are the multicultural ones. Yugoslavia fell part for lots of reasons, but it included defence of monocultural and historical positions ... not very interesting at all.

Monocultures are not boring, they are stable and long-lasting. "Multicultural empires" ultimately break up in times of trouble, The Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Ottoman Empire, and the U.S.S.R. are other examples. If you gloss over this you are intentionally ignoring history for political reasons. Look at how long Japan has existed as an entity.

Monocultures ARE boring ! Which is a separate issue from stability.

The Anglo cultures appear to not be very stable.


I fully endorse gaining and maintaining as complete control as possible over all our borders and strictly enforcing a very limited immigration flow into the U.S. Not because I dislike any people from any other parts of the World, but because the U.S. has enough, no, too many, humans (of any and all pedigrees) right now to enjoy any hope of longer-term sustainability. One of the things that defines sovereignty is the ability to control immigration. I am not interested in the tit-for tat arguments of how much taxes illegal immigrants pay or don't pay, or that they do jobs that supposedly won't get done if they aren't here. This is a matter of having, respecting, and enforcing laws. We cannot attempt to be the pressure relief valve or overflow sponge for the World's excess population. We have our own issues to deal with with our citizenry.

All that being said, I think the new Arizona immigration enforcement law is the most wrong-headed way to deal with the problem. The U.S. would be wise to NOT devolve into some kind of old-school Eastern European dictatorship or some banana republic where the Federalis, State Bulls, or juiced-up skin-headed swaggering sun glass wearing Barney Fifes armed with T-sticks, Tasers, and Glocks get too full of themselves and start stopping citizens at will and demanding 'papers'...many citizens likely will not be enamored with carrying Birth Certificates or Passports, and will not take lightly to being thrown in the pokey for 'failure to identify'.

Granted, you have to carry a Driver's License, registration, and insurance card if you drive...that should be more than enough to satisfy any identification requirements. But if folks are riding a bicycle or walking, there is no Constitutional requirement to show ID to anyone...quite the opposite.

I am continually fascinated about how many so-called conservatives who claim to want smaller, less intrusive government yet seem to merrily embrace this 'show me your papers or go to jail' approach. Many of the same crowd go gaga over any real or mostly imagined threat for them to carry as many arms of any kind that they want (for the record, I support the Second Amendment, as I support all the text of the Constitution...I just don't carry on a public love affair with weapons).

I wonder what happens if the newly-empowered law enforcement folks start to intimidate and harass the same on-again/off-again anti-government types who gave them these new sweeping powers...what happens when very-well-armed and in some cases somewhat unhinged, largely white anti-government types start getting the same treatment the non-whites initially got?

One thing that will happen is that I will stay well out the way, working from home and not going out much at all and getting in anyone's way.

Well said. I strongly suspect that our tolerance of mass illegal immigration as well as the invention of toxic financial instruments and the endless blowing of asset bubbles are strong signals of a nation that has lost the rule of law.

All of the Anglosphere countries - Canada, the U.K., Australia - suffer from this to some degree, though I suspect they retain the ability to make changes more than the U.S., in which immigration and "growth" contain a strong emotional element, somewhat rooted in our history, that just won't go away.

We do maintain the largest and costliest military as a source of national assimilation and pride, though I suspect this is fraying and will continue to do so.

Population growth in the USA is about +0.9%/year.

Conserving just 1%/year is trivial, our goals should be higher than 5%/year for a number of years.

So your point is almost, but not quite, meaningless.


For how many number of years is a 1%/yr reduction trivial? Your post is genuinely meaningless.

Our conservation goals should be several multiples of our population growth. Enough to make population growth almost trivial.

And a long continuing recession depresses birth rates (see Great Depression) which controls population just as well as reduced immigration.

We could control population with our current immigration and 1.1 child/woman for example.


Birth rates are depressed up until the point entitlement programs collapse, making children financially beneficial to their parents. Since Social Security probably won't be buying anything more than some groceries if it exists at all, people will obviously realize they'll need help from children. You can conserve nothing with a growing population.

If you raise your children to be conservatives, they are likely to be a poor investment of resources (from personal observation).

Children can, or will not, be a support in your old age. VERY risky !


You know, the middle of the United States is empty.

I've flow over it many times, and there's nobody there. I've even driven through it (which I can't recommend), and there's nothing there but miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles.

So, if you are concerned about overpopulation, move to Wyoming, 50th most populated state. Get yourself a few thousand acres of land and a few hundred head of buffalo. Ride around on a horse and shoot as many of your buffalo as you can eat. Nobody will stop you.

The vast majority of Americans live within 100 miles of one of the oceans, or the Great Lakes, or the Mexican border. If you can stand to live more than 100 miles from an ocean, or the Great Lakes, or the Mexican border, there are lots of empty places for you to live.

Of course, white people don't want to live there, anyway. It is going back to the Indians, and the buffalo, and the wolves. I don't know why the white people bothered to take it away from the Indians, and shoot all the buffalo and wolves if they were just going to leave and move to the coast.

Okay, the message is over. We now return you to your original programming, "There are too many people in the US and we're all going to starve."

I seriously considered Wyoming, or the Dakotas. The harshness of the winters is what stopped me. USDA gardening zone 3 or 4, eek.

USDA gardening zone 3 or 4, eek.

Oh, heck, that's positively balmy. I'm high in the Canadian Rockies, in gardening zone 2. There's not much that will grow here. If you get much higher up the mountain, not even trees will grow.

I can't plant vegetables anyway because they would attract grizzly bears. I planted a couple of junipers last year but the elk ate them.

I can assure you TPTB are not concerned about the climate at all. TPTB are only interested in money and power. All government policies have been designed to maximize money and power for those that have the money and power. Drill Baby Drill. Burn Baby Burn. There are no significant policies in place that are restraining consumption or production. The CAFE standards were a scam. Cap and trade is a scam. The CO2 reductions under the plan wouldn't make a dent in global warming. Assuming of course global warming from CO2 is a real threat. I believe it's not a real concern. It's very likely CO2 emissions will drop with oil production anyway. We are completely unprepared. We are collapsing already. Our leaders are working full time to protect the wealth and power of those who control them. The new fraud sustaining the economy is government debt. Government bonds are the new liar's loans with no income to back them up. 20% unemployed and oil is already back at $85. The future is bright.

Illegal immigration was allowed as a source of labour at slave wages.

We are all wage slaves. A higher wage just means a wage slave with a fancier house and a newer car. "Slavery- forced drudgery or toil; abject submission to a dominating influence"

It was either this bill or nothing. Not a good thing even if cap and trade is not the best approach. At least it is an approach, a start, better than what we have now, which is nothing. I like direct rationing too, but then I really, really care about the problem which is more than can be said about most members of the Senate, especially the Republicans.

as Cap-and-Trade may not be the best way to attack the problem.

70% is "overhead" 30% goes to 'bankers' like Goldman Sachs.

So for every unit of funding spent on actual remedation - a unit of money goes to the 'bankers'.

Re: Deepwater Horizon Disaster

Just watching CNN Domestic's State of the Union with Candy Crowley (might as well be Aleister Crowley with all the media black magic), not only has the "administration's number one priority" not been even mentioned, it must be the only story in the world not to be running in the UPDATE banner at the bottom of the screen. "This is CNN, the Worldwide Leader in News."

Edit: Hey, CNN you reading this? As it just went up for the first time (I've watched the loop several times) and now it appears immediately after the "Leader in News" statement. Still no mention by the presenter.

Well that's the full run through of all other stories just done by Crowley and they didn't cover this story (other than adding it to the news-ticker). Maybe they've got to rush Anderson Cooper and the crew out before it becomes real news.

Rockman or anyone else, do you think that the second rotated pic below is more likely to to be closer to the true angle of the pipe (appears horizontal in the published pic).

In either case the other end of that pipe should be vertical, so I wonder what distance we are at from the wellhead, how the pipe gets to that angle, how it relates to the other reported "leak" and just how stable it is like that?

The following just up at the Houston Chronicle

Oil may spew for months after rig blast

A second, smaller leak was found in a section of drill pipe near the wellhead.

That 21-inch-diameter riser had become detached from the rig when it sank. In the process, it was folded over at a 90-degree angle just above the wellhead, which had the effect of kinking it like a garden hose and constraining the flow of oil from the well. It now sits in a long, meandering mess on the ocean bottom.

So they are saying the end of that pipe is horizontal (well meandering...) I know there's forward motion in the oil obviously as it comes out but I'm really not sure the flow is right if the published pic is correct. But then I'm not used to looking at oil flowing out of pipes 1 mile down.

Wonder when we will see a pic of the reportedly "smaller leak"?

Edit: More from the USCG


Further Update: Now being reported at gcaptain that the nearby Ocean Endeavor has just evacuated.

At 0900 the Ocean Endeavor made a radio call on Channel 16 that they were evacuating the rig. At 0915 again on channel 16 they stated the evacuation as complete. Are they in the general area of the Mississippi Canyon oil slick and would this cause them to evacuate?

Replies in thread say it is because of the slick. Anyone know more?

USCG: UPDATE 8: Unified command continues to respond to Deepwater Horizon

ROBERT, La. - The unified command is implementing intervention efforts in an attempt to contain the source of oil emanating from the wellhead at the Deepwater Horizon incident site Sunday.

The unified command has approved a plan that utilizes submersible remote operated vehicles in an effort to activate the blowout preventer on the sea floor and to stop the flow of oil that has been estimated at leaking up to 1,000 barrels/42,000 gallons a day.

Also, BP is mobilizing the DD3, a drilling rig that is expected to arrive Monday to prepare for relief well-drilling operations.

Additionally, the oil recovery and clean-up operations are expected to resume once adverse weather has passed. These efforts are part of the federally approved oil spill contingency plan that is in place to respond to environmental incidents.

Many regulatory and technical experts are responding to the incident, which began Tuesday night after watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard District Eight command center received a report at of an explosion and fire aboard the MODU Deepwater Horizon, a semi-submersible drilling rig owned by Transocean and contracted by BP to drill for oil at the Mississippi Block 252 site, approximately 52 miles southeast of Venice, La.

To date, approximately 1,143 barrels/48,000 gallons of oily-water mixture has been collected.

A collaborative investigation conducted by the Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service to determine the cause of the incident is in progress.

As the responsible party, BP is required to fund response and recovery costs. The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund is also available to fund costs if required.

Can we have a key post for this incident please?

Do you really think this incident is going to have an effect on peak oil?

It is not going to encourage off shore drilling off any "environmentally sensitive coast" such as California.

My gut is that this will be a BIG mess before it is over. Some reasonable fraction of Exxon Valdez.


Alan -- You have far more faith in our fellow man than I. The folks in CA won't change their attitude about offshore drilling until they see a choice between giving up much of life as they know it or drilling offshore like there's no tomorrow. The "Drill, baby, drill" bumper stickers will replace the save the whales stickers out there IMHO. Of course it won't change the game but the politcians will offer it up as the only choice short of war. And guess what I think will be Phase Two of the "Final Solution". My best hope is that the US and China will so dominate all other nations they'll have no choice but capitulate peacefully.

Feel free to call me the ultimate pessimist in this matter. But once you've seen the darkest side of human nature first hand it's rather difficult to place faith in man's humanity.

You're not a pessimist, not even a cynic. Maybe a discouraged optimist?

That US/Sino bipolar world you mention kinda scares the hell out of me.

I agree aardy. A US/Sino pack could play out any number of ways. But if collapse is relatively slow the weaker nations will be frozen out first while the rest sit idle and hope it doesn't extend to them in time. Much like the world ignored Hitler as he started his chain of dominos.

Do you really think this incident is going to have an effect on peak oil?

As that was almost certainly years ago, clearly no. Will this question be applied routinely before any future top level posts are made? Obviously it hasn't been a requirement before.

Will this question be applied routinely before any future top level posts are made? Obviously it hasn't been a requirement before.

I'm not the one who decides what gets a key post and what doesn't. I'm just honestly curious about why you see this as so important.

Basically, the top level posts are what the staff is interested in. They're working for free, so they get to choose what they want to write about.

If there is a news event we feel should be covered, we do it. The hurricanes, for example. Those had a serious effect on production and prices. I don't think this is going to. Nor will it bankrupt the oil companies, or cause the kind of impact the Exxon Valdez did.

Basically, the top level posts are what the staff is interested in. They're working for free, so they get to choose what they want to write about.

The Mining Disaster in West Virginia

Posted by Heading Out on April 7, 2010 - 7:41pm

The news of the death of at least 25 coal miners at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia is a reminder of the human costs that are incurred in the provision of fossil fuels.

Like I said...the staff writes about what interests them. Heading Out's specialty is coal mining. That was a post he wrote for his personal blog, that we re-used here.

Sadly, we get "reminders" of the human costs of fossil fuels every day.

From a comment post on Yahoo.


This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend
The end of our elaborate plans
The end of ev'rything that stands
The end

No safety or surprise
The end
I'll never look into your eyes again

Can you picture what will be
So limitless and free
Desperately in need of
some strangers hand
In a desperate land

The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die

This is the end

I seriously doubt many Americans are in that camp. The average Palin supporter wants to drill, baby, drill. And doesn't really care that much about the fragile coastline.

Basically, whoever wrote that is taking any excuse to take potshots at Obama. If it weren't this, it would be something else. I would bet he's posted similar comments on a whole slew of news stories. Everything from the Orioles being the worst team in baseball to Lindsay Lohan's alcohol problems - it's all Obama's fault.

Or was trying sarcasm.

it's all Obama's fault.

Imagine the change that could be done if he wished. As chief executive he could bring the troops home. He could revoke every executive order OR create a bunch more. Plenty of things he COULD change.

Having sent in items to the editors of TOD and as to some of them receiving their response to me (not posting, BTW) about the item(s), I can affirm that this is true. And, IMO, as it should be. If an item is of interest to TOD, you can always send it along to any of the editors; they will screen it. If it is off point, the will often reply to you.

All of this make sense, and is part of what keeps TOD in touch with the overall situation concerning energy, energy sources, and possible impacts on energy sources of other events. Such as, e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes and major weather/political events. Obviously, AGW, coming as it does from overzealous burning of fossil fuels, is an important related item, even though some seem to think it is overdone. One comment today suggests that AGW is in some way causal as to earthquakes and volcanoes, for instance, and these events have a direct impact on FF use.

To those who want a particular item posted, just send it to Leanan... be sure to include a word about why it is important. The staff will take care of it, and if you really want a response should the material not be posted, these are good people. If you ask them I am sure they will reply.


Great details tow…thanks. Been on a drill site for over a week with no TV.

That was a rather quick evac if the timing is correct. How it works: 1) abandon ship alarm sound. 2) hands muster at the preassigned escape capsule locations. 3) Hands take their ID tags from muster box. This allows the boat captain to make a quick visual check to see who hasn’t made it there yet. 4) And then comes the moment all boat captains fear: not all tags are removed thus someone hasn’t made it yet. 5) takes about 3 minutes to button a capsule up and do an emergency launch. 6) captain makes decision to launch w/o all hands on board (which is often a death sentence for those hands) or risks the lives of the rest of the hands present. 7) boat captain likely attends memorial service for lost hands and looks into the eyes of the widows and children of the men he left behind.

As we say in the oil patch, those decisions go with the paycheck.

Great details tow…thanks. Been on a drill site for over a week with no TV.

I don't think you would know anything is happening from tv coverage. CNN International just re-ran the story from yesterday about bad weather hindering clean-up but did not mention the recent developments. If this event was happening in say Chinese waters it would be getting more coverage by the US networks.

Still I see that there's a change to programming later tonight. My EPG is showing a "News Special" scheduled for 3am (10pm EDT). Wonder if they will cover it in that. There's a "Unified Command" Press Conference coming up soon. Perhaps some TOD staff could listen in. Unless I can find an internet feed I don't fancy paying a fortune to call in from the UK (about 35 cents a minute to that number from my home phone - I just checked).


Unified command to conduct Deepwater Horizon Explosion Response joint press conference

Who: U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry, Mineral Management Service Gulf of Mexico Regional Director Lars Herbest and representatives from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, BP, Transocean and the State of Louisiana.

What: Press briefing to discuss the intervention efforts being implemented to stop the flow of oil emanating from the wellhead at the Deepwater Horizon incident site.

Where: Shell Robert Training and Conference Center, 23260 Shell Lane in Robert, La., 70455-1928. A joint information center representative will be at the gate at 2:40 p.m., to escort media.

When: 3 p.m. CST. The call-in number for press unable to attend: (312) 470-7364. International callers use (877) 918-5750 Password – RESPONSE (73776673).

RSVP: Media interested in physically attending are asked to contact the joint information center at (985) 902-5231 or (985) 902-5240 no later than 2:00 p.m., to confirm.

Just MHO tow but I think if you paid $2 to watch the special you'll feel cheated. Seen many such PR shows and it's always possitioning with little or no pertinent facts. especially at the early phase.

The CNN International "Special" was actually "I love Georgia", or something like that. Well I suppose CNN is in Atlanta so I guess Mikheil Saakashvili is president.

Hello Rockman,

This is...(no words).

Have you experienced an evac?

Do they do "drills"?

Have you seen a circumstance where hands not at muster? What are some likely causes?

Just curious. Hope everything is OK where you are.

Aniya -- Fortunately no real offshore evacs...just drills. And yes, evac drill every Sunday. Usually teamed up with a fire drill. In addition to drills most offshore workers take certification for offshore survival. I also carry a HUET certification: Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. That was kinda fun. They strap you into a helicopter cabin, put a blackout helmet on you so you can't see, and then flip it upside down and drop it into a pool. You have to release your harness and open the door to evac. Really was fun. In fact, the majority of offshore deaths don't involve the drilling rig directly. Most are lost chopper crashes.

Only two onshore incidents. Once woke up to a poison gas alarm and smashed my face into a door jam while moving too fast in the dark. But it was just a false alarm and made for a funny story later. The second incident was truly horrible (very early in my career) but didn't involve me. A young floor hand was crushed to death by a piece of falling drill pipe. I wasn't on the floor but I had to help the company man carry his body off the rig in a tarp. I can still remember that terrible feeling of his body hanging from my hands. They made the crew stand in the field and not watch so they wouldn't be so upset WHEN THE WENT BACK TO DRILLING AFTER THE WASHED THE BLOOD OF THE DRILL FLOOR. But they did let his twin brother off work. Big of them, eh? In the bad old days there was virtually no training and safety issues were generally ignored. But not today. Now they would have shut the whole rig down, called in an accident investigation team and send all the hands in for therapy. They often have safety officers on board offshore rigs monitoring activity. Get written up for a bad violation not only might you get fired but might not be hired by anyone else again. I once saw a safety officer at the base of a flight of stairs leading from the chopper pad: any worker that came down those stairs without at least on hand on the rail was pulled to the side and had to watch 3 hours of safety films.

But just like any heavy industry, like construction, you can’t avoid all accidents. Unfortunately it’s almost always the result of human error and commonly involved a violation of safety protocol.

I'm very safe these days, thank you very much. I only work onshore now and never spend time on the drill floor. Usually in a nice safe metal container away from the action. In fact as I type I'm sitting in a nice air conditioned trailer on night tower killing time on the Internet (after watching my new dvd of Avatar). And for this I get paid? I gave up offshore gigs a couple of years ago. My 8 yo daughter knew what I did offshore but never perceived it as dangerous. But then the father of her best friend was killed in a an accident. As I mentioned in another post there is a better chance of my getting killed by a drunk driver on a Saturday night then on an offshore rig. Really. But you can't get that stat across to a child with tears in her eyes so I didn't try. And at 57 yo I was getting a little too old for that schedule. And my worn out knees were starting to remind me of that from time to time. I'm hobbling around the drill site today on crutches after double knee surgery in fact.

Helicopter Underwater Escape Training. That was kinda fun. They strap you into a helicopter cabin, put a blackout helmet on you so you can't see, and then flip it upside down and drop it into a pool. You have to release your harness and open the door to evac. Really was fun. In fact, the majority of offshore deaths don't involve the drilling rig directly. Most are lost chopper crashes.

Back when I was diving on oil rigs we lost two of our best divers in a chopper crash, they never had a chance. They took off from the pad and pointed nose down and flew into the ocean at full throttle. The chopper impact with the water probably knocked everyone out and it went down real fast in deep water. Playing evacuation in a swimming pool might help a bit but my guess is not much... the "real" world might not be as much "fun".

So sad to lose mates FM. Yep…HUET would only help in soft landing…maybe. A little dark oil field humor folks: Old joke -- Why do the experienced hands insist on sitting next to the chopper door? No better chance of survival but the possibility of the kin having a body to bury. Some times all you can do is laugh and pretend not to be worried.

Also, any deep diver is insane in my humble but respectful opinion. I gather that you don’t do this anymore so you must have received treatment. Working topside really isn’t that big a deal. Diving deep makes me shaky just thinking about it.

Also, any deep diver is insane in my humble but respectful opinion. I gather that you don’t do this anymore so you must have received treatment.

No, I'm still certifiably insane but full time saturation diving is not something my body would likely survive for long at 57 ;-)

Working topside really isn’t that big a deal.

I guess being vaporized in a blowout isn't something really worth worrying about too much...

Yep...as you probably know it's the near fatal accidents that hurt the most.

If the effort to actuate the BOP fails, there is another option. If there were a large crane available, such as that used to hoist the Korean gunboat, it would be possible to "cap" the well. Drop a large tank (or???) with an open bottom over the wellhead and let the oil collect in it by displacing the sea water. With a pipe (or hose) from the top of the cap to the surface, the oil could be periodically pumped into a tanker, using just the difference in bouncy to push the oil up the pipe. Such a device might be useful as an emergency backup if problems appear with other drilling or production situations in future. Capturing that 1,000 bbls per day would provide $80,000 per day to pay for the work, in addition to the avoided cleanup cost...

E. Swanson

Interesting and sounds feasible --- I was wondering how they would cap a mile down.

One can think of many ways to approach the situation. I'm not a marine engineer, so I'm not aware of the basic problems one might expect to encounter. With that in mind, surely a group of folks working on a "Plan B" could throw something together on short notice which could be implemented if the BOP shutoff fails. Right now, it would appear that there is no "Plan B" except to let the oil flow until an intercept well can be drilled. I suppose we will learn more later...

E. Swanson

That is the crux: the plan "B" that we ignore to our risk continually. I'm also not a marine engineer but at the first level, with my limited knowledge, I can't find a problem with your elegant solution for collecting a piddly continuous 42 bbls per hour :-)

Dog -- I know your idea might look good on paper but the application cn be almost impossible. Imagine standing at the top of a 60 story builing trying to to drop a plumb bob on the end of a piece of rope into a 6" bucket in even a very light wind. I once watched a semi try to latch onto a subsea BOP stack at a times when the Loop Deep Gulf current was especially strong. Took 4 months to do it. And it was in shallower water. At over $400,000 per day rig cost you can imagine they were trying really hard.

Given that level of expense, I would think they might have tried to hire someone else with different ideas. For instance, in your example, why would you expect success by steering the bucket from the top end of the rope? Not that my back of the envelope solution would be the one chosen, but you never know until you try. I would be happy with income from a week's worth of that wasted oil, since BAU thinking has left me without a job.

E. Swanson

Dog -- I suppose the shortest answer is that you would only hire someone with different ideas if those folks thought they had a way to do it. Given they spect around $60 million in the process it might be a good guess that such folks/ideas didn't exist.

FWIW, I have just regained employment after 15 months out. I'm sure my period of unemployment has to do with BAU (and I'm far from sure my new employment will last).
I'm also now reasonably convinced that the denizens of TOD are not advancing any worthwhile solutions in the face of the on-going destruction caused by BAU. You all are either playing the endgame of oil for all it's worth, or advocating some very low power future. The great majority of you refuse to consider what I believe is the necessity to move to nuclear power as the mainstay of future energy and future civilization.
The suffering will continue (and deepen) while such blindness continues.

The great majority of you refuse to consider what I believe is the necessity to move to nuclear power as the mainstay of future energy and future civilization.

We are already on fusion power - how do you think we are all here?

The majority of us are all here because of the fossil fuels derived from accumulated energy from that fusion power. Without that there would not have been the energy for human numbers to expand. Without fission nuclear power being deployed on earth very soon, those numbers will be unsupportable. You can hope that the fusion research into such things as the Polywell, FRC, Focus Fusion, the laser confinement device at LLPL or ITER will pan out, but that's being very hopeful, whereas no such hope is required for fission nuclear. It can be deployed now and it's going to be needed very soon.

Without fission nuclear power being deployed on earth very soon, those numbers will be unsupportable.

Oh, THAT is what you 'ment.

Tell ya what. Explain why sleeping security guards are allowed and why various fission plants in the US of A can't seem to operate without fines for rules violations.

The guards are supposed to restrict access (hard to do while asleep) and the rules exist to keep the operation safe - yet Man can't seem to follow its own rules. Exactly how, in your 'desperate future', there will be less cost cutting? Exactly how, in your future, is places like Iran allowed to buy reactors in the 1970's and yet now have some of the same people who claim they should not.

The United States can build a maximum of eight new nuclear reactors in a decade. That is our current status.

TVA is finishing Watts Bar 2 and Georgia Power will build two (because the rate payers are paying in advance).

Decent numbers of new nukes can be built in 25 years, and will be useful as a "mopping up" operation after we have had a "Wind Rush" with HV DC and pumped storage and some solar.

Best Hopes,



Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Please remain seated and fasten your seat belts, we are about to experience severe turbulence.

Not to argue from ignorance but isn't your example simply a too light plumb bob?

Tonu -- If you ever seen a dock crushed when an aircraft carrier was pushed by a 3 knot current into it then you would appreciate that there really isn't anything "heavy enough". It's difficult to give a sense as to how much force a very slow moving body of water has against any object at the end of a flexible line.

Drop a large tank (or???) with an open bottom over the wellhead and let the oil collect in it by displacing the sea water. With a pipe (or hose) from the top of the cap to the surface,

Maybe BP are reading your posts.


Officials at BP, which is responsible for the environmental cleanup efforts, said they were in the process of engineering a system to lower a dome-like structure over the well to capture the oil and funnel it to a collection tank on the surface.

Just hope that's their engineers working on this and not their PR people.

Darned. Looks like I've "invented the wheel again". Here I was just sitting on my hands waiting for the e-mail asking for more details about my brainstorm.

As that process moves forward, BP is looking at a procure that was successfully used to capture oil leaks in the Gulf for platforms and rigs damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Suttles cautioned that the system had only been tried in shallow waters and may not be possible at 5,000 feet.

“We have the world's experts working with us right now,” Suttles said.

I'm surprised that Rockman hasn't offered his insight on this angle. Has a description of this effort been published in some journal?

E. Swanson

Dog -- search "Campeche" and you might find some details. They used your cone idea back then on the PEMEX blowout. Don't remember the details but it was rather shallow as I recall. I might easily be wrong but I suspect the BP announcement was done more for PR then a serious engineering analysis. I was hoping some resident civil engineer would join the chat and quantify such an effort. I can't cook those numbers but have a sense of the magnitude of such an effort.

Hey, maybe we have a new way to tap into the DW oil? Just drill deep, and when the flow starts you rip off the casing, drop in a big bowl over the top with a pipe stuck on the top of that, and, viola!


Tow -- Not sure we can speculate about the true angle of the DP. Probably not important either. Also consider that there’s a current down there so the oil plume might not be rising vertically anyway. Consider that where ever the end of this piece of DP is, it isn’t in the BOP stack because you don’t see the stack. Safe assumption that the other end of the DP is stuck in the BOP because that’s where the oil is coming up. They might be able to stick a plug into the open end of the DP but at that depth and with a current it might not be easy. And if there’s too much back pressure (but I don’t get that sense that it’s too great) it might leak out somewhere else.

Stability? Trust me, no matter what optimistic appraisals TPTB put out, there is absolutely nothing stable about this situation regardless of appearances. This is the time when methods fail, equipment is damaged/destroyed and hands hurt/killed.

If memory serves, BP had to replace their ocean bottom manifold assembly in the Thunder Horse Field because of some type of unanticipated metallurgical failure at depth. I wonder if that might be a factor here.

Thunder Horse article:

BP Says Equipment Repairs will Delay Thunder Horse Until 2008
Type: Development Activity

Sep. 2006 - Following a series of tests carried out over the past four months that revealed metallurgical failure in components of the subsea system, BP plans to retrieve and rebuild all the sea-bed production equipment from its Thunder Horse field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. BP said the problem became evident when it conducted pre-commissioning tests by pumping water through the system to establish system integrity.

In any case, it would appear that our technological reach is exceeding our technological grasp in these mile plus water depths.

China opens missile plant in Iran

China inaugurated a missile plant in Iran last month, even as the United States and its allies were pressing Beijing to support a new round of tough economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program, Jane's Defense Weekly reports.

It's a military relationship that goes back two decades and, in light of Russia's reluctance to provide the Iranians with advanced air-defense missile system to counter possible U.S. or Israeli airstrikes, is set to expand.

Robert Hewson, editor of Jane's Air-Launched Weapons, reported that the factory for assembling and producing Iran's Nasr-1 -- Victory 1 -- anti-ship missile was opened March 7.

Good lord. This ties in with another article published in the last few days about how vulnerable US carriers are to anti-ship missiles like this, especially in the constrained area of the Persian Gulf.

Wondering why we are not hearing more about this.

Ahmadinejad has been a busy man:

Iran strikes secret nuclear mining deal with Zimbabwe's Mugabe regime

Washington Think Tank Predicts New Mideast War

reports that Syria has supplied the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terrorist organization with advanced Russian-made 9K38 Igla-S anti-aircraft missiles...

...an unprecedented trilateral summit / dinner meeting on February 26 in Damascus between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Syrian President Bashar Assad and Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

Ahmadinejad also paid a visit to Afghanistan this year to create closer ties between the two countries. This created panic in Washington and prompted Obama to go to Afghanistan shortly afterwards. In fact it seems the US is under pressure on all fronts and losing its grip in Asia as its slowly out maneuvered by Russia, China and even Iran.

Oh yes, Burgundy, that's more than true: "...the US is under pressure on all fronts and losing its grip in Asia as its slowly out maneuvered by Russia, China and even Iran."

In that context I would recommend the following website: http://imperialeconomics.blogspot.com/

And there is more:

- backlash of the "couloured revolutions" in Ukraine and recently Kirgistan.
- The "Nabucco" pipeline project seems to be dead, "South Stream" and "North Stream" pipelines are ready to take off.
- a new nat gas pipeline from Iran to India and to China has been inaugurated.

Nabucco isn't dead but it needs Iranian gas to have any future. Turkmenistan is over-committed to China and ex-FSU countries. Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan do not have the resources to fill the pipeline. The claim is that Nabucco will be carrying 30 billion cubic meters of gas soon after it starts up and this is supposed to be from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. The Caspian basin did not turn out to be a new Middle East as was hoped.

Now that is what I call interesting news for the global situation. I reckon Pentagon is having a meeting right now.

Well as the Iranians put out a press release - Iran Starts Mass-Production of Nasr 1 Cruise Missiles well over a month ago, I would imagine the Pentagon hasn't just noticed it today.

The info has also been on Wikipedia since the 7th March.

Another Press Release today

Iran to Mass-Produce New UAVs

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Sunday that his forces plan to mass-produce a new home-made Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) tested during the current wargames in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the last stage of IRGC naval exercises, codenamed as Payambar-e Azam (The Great Messenger) 5 in Iran's southern waters today, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that the new UAV (Pahpad) will be mass-produced in the near future.

"In addition to reconnaissance flight over the operation (battle) field, this kind of drone brings ease to battle command by transferring real-time data," Hajizadeh added

...Tens of ground, air and naval units of the IRGC participated in the exercises which are aimed at preserving security in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.

The Strait of Hormuz, the entrance to the strategic Persian Gulf waterway, is a major oil shipping route. An estimated 40 percent of the world's oil supply passes through the waterway.

Wow! The game is really changing fast:

A cruise missile in a shipping box on sale to rogue bidders

Russia has already prompted concern in Washington by selling Iran the sophisticated S-300 anti-aircraft missile system that would make targeting of Iranian nuclear facilities very difficult.

"This Club-K is game changing with the ability to wipe out an aircraft carrier 200 miles away. The threat is immense in that no one can tell how far deployed your missiles could be," said Robert Hewson, editor of Jane's Air-Launched Weapons, who first reported on the Club-K developments.

"What alerted me to this was that the Russians were advertising it at specific international defence event and they have marketed it very squarely at anyone under threat of action from the US."

I wonder how many readers of the OilDrum could pass this quiz about Iran. I have a pretty good idea that very few congresspeople or members of the executive branch could get a passing score.

The comparison with the propaganda build-up prior to Iraq is very apt. Such a war, however, would be suicide for the current manifestation of the global economy; something a few sane minds seem to grasp.

A Possible Future article follows, based on the article linked uptop. Note that oil prices are currently about three times the upper limit of $28 that Saudi Arabia pledged to defend in early 2004. So, if we multiply by three again. . .

INTERVIEW - Oil over $300 damaging, OPEC would act - Kuwait (April, 2016?)

KUWAIT (Reuters) - OPEC would pump more oil to prevent a rally in oil prices above $300 from hurting the global economic recovery, Kuwait's oil minister said on Sunday.

Oil is well below the $300 a barrel mark, settling at just over $255 a barrel on Friday. For a month, oil has traded over the $210 to $240 levell that many in OPEC have pegged as fair. But there was room for more upside before the producer group would respond, Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah told Reuters in an interview at a media event.

"If it's sustained above $300 that would damage the economic recovery," he said. When asked if OPEC would boost supply to prevent that, he replied "I would say so."

Current oil prices were acceptable to both producers and consumers, he said.

A trip down memory lane, before collapsing demand forced oil prices up to $100 in 2008, forcing Saudi Arabia to curtail their net oil exports from 2006 to 2008, because of a lack of demand:

Opec studying plan to boost oil price band by a third (April, 2004)

Mr Al-Naimi said: "Saudi Arabia continues to be committed to OPEC's $22-28 price band. There are signs that worldwide inventories have begun to build but no one really knows for sure. I do not believe there is a fissure [within Opec]. There is dialogue. Opec in general is committed to the band," he said.

Well this is the second or third time an OPEC member has talked about $100 oil. As WT implies, basically I see it this an admission that more supply is not going to magically show up to meet demand. The Oil Movements report I post most weeks has not indicated any change in OPEC exports in almost three months now (ignoring what is probably statistical week to week noise).

Recently Goldman Sachs has estimated that China's oil demand in 2010 may be 1.2 mbpd over last year. OK, you probably don't like GS but they may be correct. If so, there will be a serious supply/demand imbalance soon - maybe a 1 mbpd shortage in mid-2010 - due to two demand factors: 1) the US summer driving season and 2) the Saudi Arabia air conditioning season.

Concering another subject, the Counter Currents article on diminishing returns didn't include a discussion of Chicontepec (see news post above), but I view this as the best example of diminsihing returns (as if we need another example of falling returns and failed efforts in the Gulf of Mexico). Returns by Mexico there have been dismal, although they otherwise deserve some credit for keeping up production at other fields using advanced methods. Although I am not an engineer, I suspect they are maintaining output in older fields now at the expense of future output.

It is amazing how the accepted price point keeps bumping higher. For several months OPEC was singing the 70-80 perfect price tune, but now;

Oil is well below the $100 a barrel mark, settling at just over $85 a barrel on Friday. For a month, oil has traded over the $70 to $80 level that many in OPEC have pegged as fair. But there was room for more upside before the producer group would respond, Sheikh Ahmad al-Abdullah al-Sabah told Reuters in an interview at a media event.

Notice how that paragraph begins - Oil is well below the $100 a barrel mark?! Ah ha, so suddenly the price is no longer in the perfect 70-80 range or even high enough at 85, it's well below the 100 buck level. Wow, price point perspectives change so quickly. It's either a case of they cannot produce enough to bring the price down, or they simply want more money if the world is ready, willing and able to pay for it.

And eventually we will probably see prices as depicted in WT's futuristic scenario. Everything is relative, especially when it comes to greed or lack of ability to produce more.

In fact, isn't it advantageous for OPEC to continue to claim they have plenty of spare capacity if 'really' needed, so countries are complacent about oil supply concerns, particularly if OPEC indeed cannot produce much more, because then the world will just keep using copious amounts of black gold?

Another way to look at it is to say, what advantage would OPEC gain to come out and say, We are producing close to flat out and there is a danger to the world economy if consumption increases, because the price of oil may rise to a point whereby the economy tanks. The answer is no advantage, because they want to sell as much product as possible at as high a price as possible, and the only way to accomplish that for most of what they have left, is to con us into BAU.

The price goes up until it doesn't any more.

The ongoing deleveraging makes it hard to have the productivity to pay for $100 - much less $300 - oil. We're not using oil to make money but wasting it for entertainment purposes, only.

Would you pay $100 to see a movie?

Just because developing nations are willing to spend more for crude does not mean they are more net productive than developed countries. The developed countries are the customers of the goods produced by the developing country- high bidders. The very low wage levels of developing countries are subsidizing crude purchases in these places - a form of subsidy that is unsustainable.

At the same time, the higher prices paid by the developing countries for crude represent export profits from the OECD paid to the developing countries. OECD 'consumption' is energy waste that is monetized. If the waste becomes too expensive, the waste amplifiers produced by developing countries will not be sold, wages in developed countries will fall to zero in aggregate and demand will be destroyed there as well.

There is no place in this world that is immune to the forces that have been destroying the US economy for the past ten years.

If a Chinese - or Viet, Taiwanese, Indian, Mexican or Brazilian - is unemployed he cannot afford any fuel. If Americans - or Greeks - cannot buy his employer's goods, he is unemployed.

Higher prices for crude have a limit, where the economies cannot afford it. What is that level? $35 a barrel, probably ... so the world's economies will never actually get untracked at prices far above that level. There will be more of the steady erosion of commerce. This in contrast to decades of bodaceous industrial and commercial growth that made the early post- war American economic experience the model for the rest of the world with crude @ <$20 a barrel.

America was the model for high wages, high productivity and a uniformly high- performance infrastructure that supported increased prosperity and accompanying political liberalization. Now?

Is China, with its mercantilist neolithic command economy based on real estate and capital spending bubbles a model or is it a copy of the doomed finance/real estate bubble experiment in the US over the past ten years?

Is Thunderhorse a model for Brasilian deep water oil production? Would another TH propel Brasil to the level of worker productivity enjoyed by unionized US workers in the 1960's and 70's? Hard to figure out how except to public relations firms.

As far as general inflation, there is no wage component or public participation in any wage- price spiral outeide of China and other export- led economies. There is literally a cash shortage in America at the real, Main Street level of the economy. It is also true at the Treasury level:

Is the US Facing a Cash Crunch?

Gordon T. Long APR 23, 2010 11:30 AM The US cash-management challenge is significant, and any surprises or further delays in economic rebound will likely trigger serious market reactions.

The US government is caught in a cash vise and is being squeezed between too slow a rebound in tax revenues and the limitations on how quickly it can realistically take its funding requirements to the US Treasury auction. The US Treasury was saved in March by what the government reports as “proprietary receipts.” Those receipts require an explanation that isn’t well publicized since it begs the question of what happens next month without the $117 billion journal entry.

The March cash management numbers from the US Treasury’s Financial Management Service are alarming and in my estimation have become perilous. The economy is simply taking much too long to recover, which is affecting urgently required tax receipts.

Since the Treasury can borrow at near zero cost from the Federal Reserve, its cash crunch is worrisome and reflects a wider cash squeeze in the wider world. No wonder the US wants China's dollar reserves back!

The only sector in the US with funds is finance. Remember the last time finance was the lever for fuel prices? (Hint, it was 2008.)

I am surprised the current price is holding. I suspect it is China spending dollars for fuel to maintain 'growth' at all costs, like Russia spending foreign exchange dollars to bail out Putin's friends who had overextended themselves prior to the 2008 meltdown. Is China melting down? Bidding up the primary inputs that support its best customer and by extension its own industries and threatening systemic insolvency isn't rational so anything is possible.

I really enjoy your Orwellian nature Mr Brown:

A trip down memory lane, before collapsing demand forced oil prices up to $100 in 2008, forcing Saudi Arabia to curtail their net oil exports from 2006 to 2008, because of a lack of demand

Make conservation programs fair, effective

HOW MUCH does it cost to screw in an energy-saving light bulb in Nova Scotia?

Too much.

Under the energy conservation program being managed by Nova Scotia Power, it is costing up to $29 in additional expenses to provide a $4 light bulb.

These extra costs include marketing, delivery, consulting, handling mail-in rebates and administration.

They start at $3 for a $3 light bulb in the residential program, where homeowners screw them in themselves but soar by up to ten times that amount in some business programs, where commercial grade bulbs are installed by delivery agents.

See: http://thechronicleherald.ca/Business/1179103.html

It's disheartening to read such utter nonsense. My firm is one of the delivery agents for these programmes and I can assure you we do NOT charge $30.00 to screw in a CFL. You can take that number and divide by TEN and still have change left over. As I've said before, you're criticized if you focus only on the measures that generate the highest return because it's deemed unfair/discriminatory, and when you try to address this by offering a broader range of measures targeting ratepayers who would be otherwise excluded, you're criticized for inefficient spending. Taken as a whole, our average cost per kWh saved amortized over ten years is 1.5-cents -- and this includes all administrative overheads -- and we could reduce that number further if we eliminated some of the more marginal residential initiatives. This is the lowest-cost source of electricity, by far, and the actual service life of most of these investments is thirty years or more. In addition, I look for other opportunities to help clients reduce demand and save energy that do not get credited to NSP because they fall outside our mandate, and if these additional items were properly accounted for, our demand reduction per dollar spent would effectively double.

In other news:

Change in the wind
Province wants 40% of N.S. power to be green by 2020

Over the next decade, Nova Scotia will quadruple the amount of renewable energy produced from wind, tides, biomass and imported sources, creating about $1.5 billion in investments, Premier Darrell Dexter said Friday.

Dexter unveiled plans to increase the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources to 40 per cent by 2020 at a news conference on top of Dalhousie Mountain, about 25 kilometres west of New Glasgow. It’s the site of the province’s largest wind farm, which started producing power from its 30 turbines last year.

The new blueprint for electricity generation moves Nova Scotia away from power generated from coal and expensive imported oil toward greener sources.

See: http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/1178898.html

Additional reporting:

At the core of Nova Scotia's Renewable Electricity Plan is a desire to shed the province's dependence on fossil fuels

We can't continue to be hostage to international fossil fuel prices and markets that are driven by speculation, natural disasters and other things beyond our control," said Premier Darrell Dexter on Friday.

So, the plan aims to move the province away from electricity generated from imported coal, and instead encourage wind and tidal power projects.

Overall, the plan calls for 40 per cent of the province's electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020.

In the shorter-term, 25 per cent of electricity will be drawn from renewable sources by 2015.

"Together these standards make Nova Scotia one of the most progressive energy jurisdictions in the world," Dexter said, noting the plan will increase electricity bills in the province by one to two per cent annually.

See: http://nbbusinessjournal.canadaeast.com/front/article/1028052



I share your pain - having been through the same thing with my water conservation projects.
I agree that the measure of success must be overall savings for overall cost, which is almost always less than any equivalent costs for new capacity.
People will always cherry pick things, out of context, to criticise.
And what is their alternative?

Keep the faith!

Thanks, Paul. I'd welcome a frank and open discussion of the relative merits of these options and the ways we can improve upon the delivery of these services, but I suspect that's not what this author had in mind. It's a shame she didn't take the time to properly investigate the matter before committing her words to paper.

On a more promising note:

Ottawa tells energy firms to start powering down coal-fired plants

Environment Minister Jim Prentice has told Canada’s major electricity producers that they’ll have to gradually retire their coal-fired plants and replace them with cleaner sources of power – a plan that would be a boon to natural gas producers.

As the U.S. Senate struggles to deal with climate legislation, Mr. Prentice met with power company chief executives in Ottawa last week and made it clear the government intends to highlight Canada’s relative advantage in clean electricity compared to U.S. reliance on coal.

Under Ottawa’s proposal, power companies would have to close their coal-fired facilities as they reach the end of their commercial life, largely over the next 10 to 15 years. The companies would not be allowed to refurbish the plants to extend their usefulness or replace them with new coal units, unless they include technology to capture the carbon dioxide and sequester it underground.

See: http://www.ctv.ca/generic/generated/static/business/article1546314.html

Best hopes for reducing our dependence on coal.


re: Ottawa tells energy firms to start powering down coal-fired plants

I find this a little bizarre. The Canadian Constitution specifically assigns authority over electric power to the provinces. The provinces may not be completely onside with this agenda, in which case you may see a headline reading:

Provincial governments tell Ottawa to drop dead; coal-fired plants will continue producing power

I don't know what their motivations are, but if its in the area of provincial jurisdiction, they should have checked it out with the provincial governments first, and I haven't heard of that happening.

For international readers: It's not unusual for Canadian provinces to directly oppose federal policies, and they're often not nice about it.


I expect the feds have been working closely with the provinces in the drafting of this policy. Ontario has already made a commitment to shut down its coal-fired power plants and Nova Scotia has been moving in this direction as well. Can't speak for Alberta or Saskatchewan, but it's unlikely the federal Conservatives would do anything to alienate their traditional power base.


They might have a problem with Saskatchewan, which generates 55% of its power from coal.

“There are no plans to decommission any of our coal fired plants before 2020,” said SaskPower spokesman James Parker.

SaskPower is owned by the Saskatchewan government.

The article also says:

Canada has 21 operating coal plants – with Ontario planning to close its four by 2014; while the U.S. has some 650 coal-burning plants

So you can see how Canadian electrical production rates in the global CO2 emission picture. China is opening two new coal-burning power plants per week, so if Canada closed all of its coal-fired stations, it would offset about 10 weeks of Chinese emissions growth.

This debate (fed/prov) opens up an interesting question - if the Provinces have responsibility for electricity, who has responsibility for the air?

BC has had a "no coal electricity without sequestration" policy for several years now. Of course, this doesn't stop BC exporting huge amounts of metallurgical coal to Asia.

I wonder what would happen if an Alberta oil sand operation started to burn coal for steam for cogen and oilsands processing - are the CO2 emissions assigned to the oil, or electricity - who gets to decide that?
If the feds try to bring in such a law, I can see some creative gaming of the system in Alberta/Saskatchewan.

Hi Paul,

There's definitely overlap with respect to environmental regulations and whilst I'm no expert on constitutional law, I expect the federal government will work with the provinces to iron out the finer details (and when the feds haul bags of money to the table, be assured, there will be no glum faces in the room).


It would be a matter of legal interpretation, but the provinces probably have responsibility for air as well as electricity. If push came to shove, the provincial governments could probably push back pretty hard.

I think the federal government makes these kinds of announcements because they want to appear to be doing something. They can't really do anything without provincial cooperation, but they like to look good. Ultimately it doesn't matter because it's all about looking good, not doing things.

Alberta oil sands would more likely put in nuclear reactors than burn coal. The Canadian government bureaucrats would like that because they do have jurisdiction over nuclear reactors.

I would agree that a nuke is a better long term option, I was thinking of the coal thing more as a Peter Lougheed style challenge to the Feds on making such a ruling, about something that is a provincial jurisdiction.

Taking this thought exercise a step further, if the feds are able to enforce such a rule, you could do an end run around it by building a coal fired power plant across the US Border, send the coal there and bring the electricity back. Not the most efficient plan, to be sure, but would be interesting to see what the reaction to that would be. Alberta and SK need some interconnection to the US grid anyway...

Hi Paul,

Manitoba has been rather keen on selling hydro-electricity to Ontario. Could they not send some westward to Saskatchewan?


Well, they could, but it looks like they'd need to build some lines to do that;

from Wikipedia;

Manitoba Hydro has transmission lines connecting with Saskatchewan, Ontario, North Dakota and Minnesota. Ties to the Canadian provinces are of low capacity but a substantial portion of Manitoba Hydro's annual generation can be exported over the tie to Minnesota. In 2003, a new line was completed to the United States (the Harvey-Glenboro 230kV line), allowing a firm import capacity of 700 megawatts. In 2005 Manitoba Hydro announced increased interchange up to 500 MW with Ontario, after construction of additional transmission facilities. Manitoba Hydro's largest interconnection is the Dorsey-Forbes-Chisago 500,000 volt (AC) line that begins at the Dorsey substation located in Rosser near Winnipeg and travels south into the United States and takes a southeasterly direction to the Forbes Substation northwest of Duluth, Minnesota and from there goes south to the Chisago substation located just north of St. Paul, Minnesota.

I suspect that Sk doesn;t like the idea of being dependent on Manitoba for electricity, anymore than NB or Ontario (or even Nfld) want to depend on Quebec hydro for anything.

Interesting to note that Man hydro does have a 3500MW HVDC line - I wonder if there are any plans to extend that south into the US?

The 500MW link to Ontario seems miniscule, in the scheme of things, they will need to do much more than that if they are serious about exporting.
Can you give me a link to your program in NS?



Thanks, Paul. With regards to the 500 kV interconnect with Ontario, I've been out of the loop for some twenty-five years now and no doubt much has changed since then, but Ontario Hydro's grid is divided into east and west regions with Wawa serving as the dividing line. As you know, the major load centres are all located in the south and east with relatively little load in the western half. I don't honestly know how much energy can be routed across that 1,500 km divide, but I'm guessing it's a modest amount.

With regards to NSP's DSM initiatives, you can view the Province's main tender document at: http://www.gov.ns.ca/tenders/pt_files/tenders/60139702.pdf?XX=10-04-2711...

You might also take a look at evidence presented to the Utility Review Board, which can be found at: http://www.nspower.ca/site-nsp/media/nspower/20100226%20NSPI%28UARB%29%2...

Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to assist.


Thx Paul - How can I contact you directly?

Hi Paul,

You're welcome to contact me at paul.eldridge@xx.sympatico.ca [simply substitute the provincial abbreviation for my home province in lieu of the "xx"].


A more likely solution is Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). The current plan is to inject the flue gas into deep formations. There are already over 1 million tonnes a year of CO2 being injected into a reservoir at Weyburn, Saskatchewan from a coal gassification plant in Beulah, North Dakota.

However, the word "subsidy" is being bandied around, so the taxpayer can expect to help pay for it.


No question, Saskatchewan will have a tough go of it, but bear in mind Nova Scotia Power generates 80 per cent of its electricity through the burning of coal, so we're even more dependent on this fuel than our western counterpart. Also, in the above quoted statement, Sask Power said that they have no plans to decommission before 2020; that's not a rejection of this policy, but simply an acknowledgement of the time frame.

The amount of coal consumed in the United States and China should be a concern to us all, but first and foremost, the Government of Canada has made a pledge to reduce our GHG emissions as did a number of other countries and this is an important step in that direction. Let's at least get our own house in order before we go poking fingers in someone else's eye.


Let's at least get our own house in order before we go poking fingers in someone else's eye.

I think of it in terms of the parable of the seven blind men and the elephant. Here we are completely obsessed with our tiny part of the elephant, the left eyelid, putting false eyelashes and eye shadow on to make it look really pretty, and completely ignoring the back half of the elephant, which is pooping all over our garden.

By "back half of the elephant", I am referring to developing nations which account for most of the increase in GG emissions. China is now the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and India is coming up fast, with numerous other fast growing countries in hot contention.

The European part of the elephant does look much better than our left eye, though. The lipstick the French put on their part looks really good, but the German earrings are a bit tacky.


China's 2006 per capita GHG emissions were 4.62 tonnes, whereas the United States and Canada came in at 18.99 and 16.72 tonnes respectively. And for Germany and France, it's 9.74 and 6.24 respectively. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions) I don't think we can speak with piety.


The key phrase there is "per capita". China has 40 times as many people as Canada. Sure, an elephant doesn't weigh any more "per millilitre" than a mouse, but that doesn't help if one steps on you.

It's all a question of population numbers. Canada doesn't contribute much to the problem because it just doesn't have very many people. And China's per capita GHG emissions are rising much faster than Canada's. Canada's have actually been falling lately.


The population of the United States is also ten times that of Canada, but no one expects the United States to match Canada's total GHG emissions, so why treat China any differently?

With respect to birth rate, China adopted a "one-child" policy in 1978 and the number of births in 2009 was 14.00 per 1,000 (it has been steadily falling year over year). For the United States, it's 13.83 per 1,000 and for Canada it's 10.28. In terms of population growth, China ranks 148th in the world at 0.66 per cent. That's less than both the United States (130th at 0.98 per cent) and Canada (140th at 0.82 per cent).

Source: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html...


I didn't mention the US in my parable, but that would be another big part of the elephant. The chest and front legs, perhaps. The US used to be the largest emitter of GHG in the world, now it's #2 behind China. Between the two of them, they account for nearly half of global GHG emissions.

The thing is, the Chinese emissions are growing very fast, and in fact the developing countries of the world are going to account for nearly all of the emissions growth over the next 20 years. It doesn't really matter what we do if the annual increase in Chinese emissions exceeds our total emissions. If we stop emitting completely, it only makes a year's difference to the world.

So, I'm planning on total failure of the GHG efforts. Planting more heat-tolerant trees, etc, in front of the house so it gets lots of shade.


There has been tremendous growth in China's coal demand over the past several years, but I suspect that will begin to taper-off. China's Three Gorges Dam will ultimately supply 22,500 MW of hydro-electricity when it's fully operational next year and, last year, it added 13,000 MW of wind capacity, effectively doubling its installed base. It's also working to improve energy efficiency (see: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-12/28/content_404062.htm); for an assessment of its accomplishments to date in this regard, see: http://greenleapforward.com/2010/01/18/assessing-chinas-five-year-plan-e....


The "five myths about green energy" article from the Washington Post was fascinating, as personally I believe the Post totally failed at "mythbusting'.

The myths according to the Post:
#1 Solar and wind power are the greenest of them all
#2 Going green will reduce our dependence on imports from unsavory regimes
#3 A green American economy will create green American jobs
#4 Electric cars will substanially reduce demand for oil
#5 The United States lags behind other rich countries in going green

The post claims that #1 is false due to the area required for green energy installations and the intermittent nature of wind energy. I believe that the "space" arguement is a great example of a straw man argument. First off, solar power can be installed on rooftops and other unused spaces, solar cohabitates well with other uses of property. Wind turbines can be installed on farmland and also allow for multiple use of the affected land. Contrast this with a coal or nuke plant, you can't exactly stick one of those on your roof.

Also, as has been pointed out by other astute OilDrummers, the so-called space footprints of fossil fuel generating plants never account for the space footprint of the resource gathering operation itself. Maybe the coal plant itself doesn't take up that much space, but the mountaintop removal operation sure did. Oil and gas drilling rigs, pipelines, port facilities, supertankers, refineries, storage facilities, tanker trucks, gas stations and other distribution facitilties, etc. etc. We don't just pluck Uranium out of the air either, and we have to store the waste products and provide for a heck of a lot of security as well, so theres no free lunch there either. As for the intermittancy issue, wind and solar can alternatively be offset by hydropower(dams) or pumped storage(with some energy loss). Offshore wind is a lot less intermittent as well, and as a side benefit, doesn't explode or leak oil at the rate of 1000 barrels per day.

#2 is another straw man. Comparing the need to important a "rare earth" element for the ONE TIME use/construction of a current electric component as versus the CONTINOUS need to import oil to keep the machinery going is ludicrous. This argument also assumes that we will always need that same "rare earth" element in our production, which is definately not the case. I found the following "Lanthanides" chart on wikipedia almost comical.

Most lanthanides are widely used in lasers. These elements deflect ultraviolet and infrared radiation and are commonly used in the production of sunglass lenses. Other applications are summarized in the following table:[12]

Application Percentage
Catalytic converters 45
Petroleum refining catalysts 25
Permanent magnets 12
Glass polishing and ceramics 7
Metallurgical 7
Phosphors 3
Other 1

The Post refers to their use in permanent magnets, but fails to account for use as "Petroleum refining catalysts" and in catalytic converters.

#3 Easily countered with the argument that even if ALL production of green power equiptment was overseas, the equipment still has to be installed and maintained in the US, and those are jobs that can not be outsourced.

#4 I'm going to agree with the post on this one. Electric cars will (unfortunately) not substantially reduce the demand for oil. I believe that the post is only telling half the story here however. What WILL substanially reduce the demand for oil is shortage, and as a result, a huge run up in price for oil/gasoline. In other words, Electric cars won't decrease the demand for oil, but rather, the increase in oil prices will increase the demand for electric cars.

#5 Any attempt to pretend that the US is not an energy pig is "greenwashing". Lets face it, the US uses more energy per capita than anyone else. If we are making improvements towards efficiecy, thats wonderful, but we are still the biggest consumer of them all. Arguing otherwise is kind of like going down to McDonalds, ordering the Big Mac Meal with the large fries and Coke, eating everything except the last fry, and then patting ourselves on the back for all the calories that we didn't consume with that last fry.

Robert Bryce... appears to be an idiot.

Rune and Surf, I do not understand your complaints at all. Rooftop solar will be but a tiny portion of all solar if we ever get really serious about solar energy. And:

Even an aging natural gas well producing 60,000 cubic feet per day generates more than 20 times the watts per square meter of a wind turbine. A nuclear power plant cranks out about 56 watts per square meter, eight times as much as is derived from solar photovoltaic installations.

If this is true, and I have no reason to doubt that it is, then the debate is settled, wind and solar are not the greenest of all.

#2 is another straw man. Comparing the need to important a "rare earth" element for the ONE TIME use/construction

One time! Sure, you would only have to import any rare earth element one time, then you have it, no need to import again. And you talk about a straw man. Brice appears to be a piker in that department.

#3. Answer his argument, don't make up your own argument and answer it. That is the very definition of a straw man.


Over the past three decades, the United States has improved its energy efficiency as much as or more than other developed countries. According to data from the Energy Information Administration, average per capita energy consumption in the United States fell by 2.5 percent from 1980 through 2006. That reduction was greater than in any other developed country except Switzerland and Denmark,

Those are absolute cold hard facts. Sure we started off the biggest hogs of them all but we have greatly improved, improved more than any other developed country. Should we not try to improve our energy efficiency because we started out the biggest consumers of all? And is it wrong to state the facts, that we have greatly improved our energy efficiency? Most important of all, does it make a man an idiot because he states that fact?

The man is only stating some very obvious facts, some myths about so-called green energy. And some members of this list wish to call him an idiot for doing so. Well, I beg to differ.

Ron P.

Never Argue With Ron!

Having said that...

Bryce states, when explaining why electric cars aren't viable, that "40% of Americans do not have access to an outlet near their vehicle at home". So that's it I guess, for want of an extension cord we're going to just stick with our ICE's even when there's no gas available.

Also: "The united states in the last three decades has improved its energy efficiency more than any other developed countries". How to misinform with statistics... same with "among the best at reducing carbon dioxide emitted per $1 of GDP". Ron - do you believe he's doing a good job of informing people of reality, supplying good facts, by stating things this way? I think he's an idiot for thinking I would read these the way he wants me to and not as intentionally misleading. It's the same thing as "home sales up 26%" from the other day's news...

"windmills and solar disrupt natural habitats" The natural habitat of my roof? The grass and the cows can't handle windmill's disrupting the natural habitat 100 feet above their heads? Whose natural habitat is 300 feet in the air 10 miles off shore? Yes, I do know what a bird is...

"China controls 95-100% of the market in rare earth minerals" So the new mining starting up in Nevada, Alaska, Australia and Canada and elsewhere won't change that and we should just give up?

Lastly, his attempt to debunk that a green economy will create green American jobs by way of using government created ethanol jobs and quoting $446,000/job is neither representative or 'green'. I have a fabulous green job, thank you very much

I saw the link, scanned the article, and concluded that Mr Bryce appears to be an idiot for believing that I will swallow the B.S. he has written.

Never Argue With Ron!

That remark was uncalled for. Such remarks have no other purpose other than to purvey an attitude of sneering cynicism.

I stated in my post that I begged to differ with those who would call the man an idiot. You chose a different dialogue. Thanks but no thanks.

Ron P.


Kindly get off your high horse.

You are constantly calling people idiots or worse, calling their arguments "nonsensical" and "absurd", and so on - have been regularly for years.

Why not just say "I disagree with your analysis, and this is why". No, instead you regularly come out with dismissive and derogatory terms as above. Maybe you are honestly not aware of how you come across.

You are one of the most sneeringly cynical people on this forum, bar none. You have no right to whine about being called on it.

"Never argue with Ron" was right on target. You are borderline abusive in your responses sometime, and your moralizing in this instance is really, really lame.

Ron, I diagree with Sgage. I find your posts most informative and factual. I get concerned with agenda driven posts that ignore facts that might contradict them.

Keep your peak oil posts coming.

Joe B.

I was not referring at all to the informational dimension of his posts. The fact is, I share most of his outlooks on most matters that have come up on this forum.

I was referring to him acting like an injured party, when if you look through the record (and we both have been here for years) you will find that he is quite dismissive and rude to anyone who disagrees with him.

For him to come out claiming some sort of moral highground in posting etiquette was somewhat hilarious, and I couldn't let it pass.

You seem to have missed the point entirely.

"I get concerned with agenda driven posts that ignore facts that might contradict them."

I think you meant "I get concerned with posts that contradict my agenda".

"I think you meant, I get concerned with posts that contradict my agenda".

It seems to me that you are responding in the same manner, that you accuse Ron of doing.

OK Joe.

You still don't seem to be getting the point of my response to Ron.

It has nothing whatsoever to do with agendas.

You are constantly calling people idiots or worse, calling their arguments "nonsensical" and "absurd", and so on - have been regularly for years.

Sgage, I have never called anyone I was debating on this list an idiot. To put it in kind words, you simply misspoke on that one. People who blog about peak oil, perhaps yes but if I were talking to them directly on this list then I would be kinder.

I had no argument with him calling the writer of the article an idiot. I simply stated that I begged to differ. But calling their arguments nonsensual? Yes, absolutely. I always attack the argument and never the person I am debating. That is the civilized way to behave. One should never attach the man, or the character of the person they are debating but one should attack the argument and only their argument.

Ron P.

Hello Ron,

In my opinion, your record here is not consistent with the high ideals you have stated above. But we will agree to disagree, and admittedly, all sorts of things get said in the heat of an argument.

I do generally agree with your take on things, but man o man Ron, you can get awfully prickly sometimes. If you can't understand why "don't argue with Ron" was a funny and apt observation, you need to reflect a bit. For you to take umbrage at it and get all moralistic was, well, quite funny.

I still would suggest the formulation "I disagree with your analysis, and here is why". Not "your analysis is absurd and nonsensical" and just blow it off. Would you rather be right or effective?

I suppose in the end it's a matter of style. Yours can be rather abrasive, and you oughtn't be surprised when there's some reaction.

Not "your analysis is absurd and nonsensical" and just blow it off. Would you rather be right or effective?

I have on occasion replied to a post with "Nonsense... Then gave a detailed reason why I thought the argument was nonsense. I don't ever recall just blowing someone off with no explanation. I may have just given up on someone after many posts but never have I just blown them off.

Perhaps you could post a link to such a response of mine.

I suppose in the end it's a matter of style. Yours can be rather abrasive, and you oughtn't be surprised when there's some reaction.

Sgage, you still don't seem to get it. I have no problem with people being abrasive. I have no problem with people calling my arguments by any name they choose. What really pisses me off is when people attack me or make snide remarks about my person instead of attacking my arguments.

I thought I made that clear but apparently not. I do hope I have succeeded now.

Ron P.

Sgage, I have never called anyone I was debating on this list an idiot.

Highly selective memory, let alone a breathtakingly selective self-assessment ... I can think of a few lively debates where you did NOT call someone who differed from you an idiot (either literally, or implicitly). But really Darwinian, you turn up the heat if someone disagrees with you - faster than anyone else on this forum.

Why just the other day you went ballistic (including idiot-calling wise) over people who thought (shock horror!) that the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq was primarily about oil (horror shock!). In reality, I don't care how abrasive and inflexible you are - it's only a forum so who cares - but at least be adult enough to admit that you are, ffs.

I remember the debate but I don't remember calling anyone on this list an idiot. In fact I will flat out state that I did not. However your an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary evidence. Could you post the link where I called someone on this list an idiot. If not then please apologize.

Three or so years ago I was called an idiot, on this list, by a very promenant poster. I had stated that how much oil a country produces is directly related to how much oil they have to produce. He stated, something to the effect, that I must belong to "Idiots are us" for believing such a thing. Several days later, after I reminded him of his remark, he apologized for the remark. I accepted his apology.

I will also accept yours. Or you shall have mine if you can produce a link to a post where I called someone on this list an idiot.

But I am going to bed right now. Any further discussion on this subject will have to wait until tomorrow.

Ron P.

Edit: Tis morning now and I still haven't received the link. Not that I expected to but I am a little shocked that you would post such a blatant untruth. I could use another word but I won't.

Bryce states, when explaining why electric cars aren't viable, that "40% of Americans do not have access to an outlet near their vehicle at home". So that's it I guess, for want of an extension cord we're going to just stick with our ICE's even when there's no gas available.

I had a very long conversation over the weekend at "The Miami Going Green" earth day event, with the president of the Florida EV Association and the gentleman who is making these electric recharging stations and installing them (some solar powered) around the state of Florida, often at his own expense. To be clear these stations cost about $3000 each not including installation costs.He actually donates them if necessary. Building solar powered ones obviously costs much much more.

I think it would be safe to say these guys consider people like Bryce to be useless idiots.


That's my brother sitting in a Tesla Roadster.


Getting back to the topic here, as Ron's disagreement with my analysis does not offend me and I have enjoyed his contributions...

#1 And the uranium just falls out of the sky into the nuclear power plant? No space-using or energy consuming mining required at all! And after all the energy of the uranium is used up, there is absolutely no waste product which requires storage space at all! Miraculous! That must be why they cancelled the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository then. (Full Disclosure... that would be the fallacy of "Attempt to Ridicule", but sometimes you just can't resist)

And as for the gas, apparently it never needs to be stored or transported either. The natural gas well produces electricity too! No transportation, pipleines, storage or even power plant required!

Sorry Ron, my point still stands here, which is that "space" used for rooftop solar or industrial wind turbines can be used for multiple purposes at the same time. You can't only count part of the space used for nuclear/gas and also discount the fact that you can still farm the land under the wind turbine, or live in the house that the solar panel sits on top of. Rooftop solar might never be a major player in the energy market, I will certainly grant you that, but from a "space" perspective, its basically free (ie near-zero effective footprint).

#2 I'm not sure what your beef is with the rare earth elements. Since they aren't used up, they do only need to be imported one time for each use/product. You could probably recycle them after the end of the lifecycle of whatever product you made too, but since its far from my specialty, I won't do more than speculate. I don't think you can compare importing the component to make a long lasting product, to importing the fuel which is continuously needed to keep that product running as an accurate comparison, but apparently you do. Even if you do choose to make this comparision, since point #3 argues that we won't be making the tech in the US anyway (no green jobs in the US right?), it really doesn't matter where the rare earths are located... we are just going to be importing the green tech products from China, remember? Also, as Got2Surf mentioned, just because China currently is the supplier for most rare earth materials, doesn't mean that they are the only source for them. A previously closed mine in California is set to reopen in 2012. Other sources are out there, they have just been less economical producers in the past.

#3 His argument only counts production jobs as "green jobs". I argue that you should count installation and maintance jobs related to green techs as green jobs. How is that a straw man? You might call it a "fallacy of relevance" (aka red herring) if you choose, but I would disagree. The so-called myth was "A green American economy will create green American jobs". Maintaining or installing a wind turbine in the US is a green American job. Do you disagree? If not, case closed.

#5 Improving efficiency is great, I have no qualms with it. Holding the US up as a world model because we "improved energy efficiency" more than other countries in the world is spurious however, considering that we are still the highest consumers of all, even after all of our improvements. We have the longest road to go down of any country... its a little premature at this point to pat ourselves on the back after a few tenative steps.

A nuclear power plant cranks out about 56 watts per square meter, eight times as much as is derived from solar photovoltaic installations.

I am very sure that Ron's posit that nuclear power plants require 1/8th the surface area of PV is wrong. The ratio is far less than that.
Nuclear power has 1 million times the density of fossil fuels, and they are far more energy dense than PV.
The waste from nuclear requires very little space.
"This photo is of the containers which hold all the once-used fuel from 30 years of production of a nuclear power plant (185 MW, 44 TWh)."
The supply of uranium is all but unlimited:
and at an economical cost:
"Uranium Resources 2003: Resources, Production and Demand" (PDF). OECD World Nuclear Agency and International Atomic Energy Agency. 2008-03. p. 22. http://www.neutron.kth.se/courses/reactor_physics/NEA-redbook2003.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
That is just what the IFR would run on; the LFTR could run on Thorium, 4 times more abundant, just as cheap to obtain, and quite possibly cheaper to implement.

I am very sure that Ron's posit that nuclear power plants require 1/8th the surface area of PV is wrong. The ratio is far less than that.

Passenger, that was not my claim, I was just quoting from the article. However I do agree with you, the ratio is far less than that.

Ron P.

And when a PV array is mis-managed, poorly built, on a earthquake fault line, or not within operating parameters - who gets hurt?

And when a fission plant is mis-managed, poorly built, on a earthquake fault line, or not within operating parameters - who gets hurt?

What happens when the sun tosses a mass ejection on the planet - how well are the fission reactors going to behave?

(the effect of a CME on a fission plant is something I'd like to see a chat about BTW)

Roofers have one of the most dangerous occupations. I suspect residential PV installers and repairers have dangerous jobs for similar reasons.

Much, as I have great great respect for Ron here, I have to agree with Rune here. This pretty much follows the rightwing fossil fuel party line. You need to be very careful taking such arguments at face value, these people lie all the time -for a living.

Again they try to make arguments that are largely spurious. A natural gas to electric plant takes up less area than a solar plant with comparable output. But is the area devoted to the plant, or plant plus well, or plant plus well plus pipeline really the salient cost to society or to the ecosystem? I think not. The FF plant is using up our oneoff inheretance, so conserving it for maximum value uses should be key. These folks have no desire for something like like, taking the long term. Anything that doesn't evaluate as maximum present value -computed with a high discount rate doesn't cut it with such folks. But, we all know out children and grandchildren will be dealing with the consequences, which have been exponentially discounted away by that mode of thinking. But, they've learned the art of propaganda. Repeating half truths works....

So is the area of wind/solar plants really going to be a big issue? Certainly for solar, man's current energy use is something like one part in ten thousand of the planets solar input. So with ten percent efficiency, that means we gotta cover .1% of the planet with collectors! That will simply kill the planet! And then how badly have we disrupted the ecosystems on this small area? I've spent most of my adult life in arid or semiarid climates. Hanging some solar collectors at a height above the ground, so that say 20% of the incoming sun doesn't reach the ground, would be an environmental upgrade, as these environments get too much sun per unit of precipitation. Obviously not a natural ecosystem. But in the grand scheme of things, not a major challenge to the continuation of the biosphere.

And sure, many of the early prototype solutions have been designed around materials whose supply won't scale. That doesn't mean we won't come up with new demands, that are scalable. Just that it makes sense for a prototype product, to make something that for its limited market lifetime has the best performance to price ratio.

Enemy, I think you miss the point entirely. I did not see the article as promoting fossil fuel. I saw it only as destroying the myth that we have nothing to worry about, the myth that green energy will save us. On that point I agree with the article entirely... it won't.

I agree that we should try to get off fossil fuel today. But we won't. We will only get off fossil fuel when there is no more fossil fuel left. And even if we could convert to green fuel like solar and wind, it would take decades to convert. Even if we started, I mean really started not just a few experiments here and there, there would not be nearly enough time.

But we won't. Green energy, as a replacement for fossil energy, is a myth.

Ron P.

Thats the whole problem with the article. It fails to make the point that green energy as a replacement for fossil energy is extremely problematic. That's probably the point that the article should have made, but it didn't even try. Instead the article used a bunch of spurious reasoning to "debunk" so called myths about green energy, almost all of which were irrelevant arguments. If it had stuck with the fact that there is a heck of a lot of energy in each unit of fossil energy, and it would take a great deal more resources than we are currently investing in order to replace even a fraction of the energy from fossil fuels, then I never would have pointed this article out as "fascinating" and that it failed to make its case, which is why I consider it to be such a poorly written article.

Green energy has plenty of problems associated with it. There is a tremendous amount of energy locked up in fossil fuels, and it will basically be impossible to replace it all using "green energy". No argument from me on that fact. We also have no where near enough green energy being produced. We could double the worldwide green energy production, and then double it again, and we still wouldn't even be close to producing enough to replace fossil fuel energy. That being said however, its the best hope that we have for the future, so any additional green energy capacity that we do build is only going to help us.

Here is some last food for thought from wikipedia:

When a new plant is being added to a power system or grid, the effects are quite complex - for example, when wind energy is added to a grid, it has no marginal cost associated with production, and therefore will always offer the cheapest power - this will tend to force the marginally most expensive plant off the system. A mid range fossil plant, if added, will only force off those plants that are marginally more expensive.

The more wind (or solar) energy that we build, the longer we could make our supply of limited supply of fossil fuel energy last. It won't last forever, no matter what we do, but if we can slow the rate of consumption a bit, it will buy us more time to invest and replace more fossil fuels. Like you, I doubt we have enough time, but what other options do we have?

Unlike my mother, I tend to agree with what Ron has to say and his outlook on things,


NEVER argue with my mother, or, as I stated above, Ron.

There's just no good outcome possible.

Green energy, as a replacement for fossil energy, is a myth.

One can opt to belive Ron or one can look at their own lying eyes at passive solar construction or even things like solar hot water then look at the consumption of oil or gas for heating the building/heating the water.

The US is north of 25 barrel per capita per year. Canada is probably a little more per capita. Europe is around 13, Japan 8, Taiwan 4, China 2+, India under 2, and Brazil around 4. I don't know the oil exporter countries. Maybe someone could add to the list.

Bank closures are 12.5% improved this week! Much better than analysist's expectations. Last week eight failed while this week only seven failed.

Wheatland Bank Naperville IL
Peotone Bank and Trust Company Peotone IL Lincoln Park Savings Bank Chicago IL
New Century Bank Chicago IL
Citizens Bank and Trust Company of Chicago Chicago IL
Broadway Bank Chicago IL
Amcore Bank, National Association Rockford IL

A very narrow view of banks of IL only this week. They should vocus on Nevada next.

May I ask, what do you feel the bank failures are an indicator of?

Future oil demand. Or lack thereof.

Stephen Hawking warns we should not try to make contact with aliens from outer space since they are likely to be on missions to retrieve resources.

Perhaps they had to leave their home planet to due to Peak Oil. They may be desperate after a journey of many light years which involved surviving countless generations on a spaceship in horrible living conditions.

The aliens are out there and Earth had better watch out, at least according to Stephen Hawking. He has suggested that extraterrestrials are almost certain to exist — but that instead of seeking them out, humanity should be doing all it that can to avoid any contact.

...Alien life, he will suggest, is almost certain to exist in many other parts of the universe: not just in planets, but perhaps in the centre of stars or even floating in interplanetary space.

Hawking’s logic on aliens is, for him, unusually simple. The universe, he points out, has 100 billion galaxies, each containing hundreds of millions of stars. In such a big place, Earth is unlikely to be the only planet where life has evolved.


From history we see that - when resources run out, (intelligent) life dies out.

I blame Avatar for giving Stephen Hawking ideas.

Kind of disappointing to see Stephen Hawking spout this nonsense.

There is no evidence whatsoever that there is symbol-using "life" apart from our little blue planet. Moreover, there is no evidence that, even if there were, we would be able to make contact with them, physical or otherwise.

Moreover, there is every reason to believe that the decline of fossil fuels will put a quick end to our brief sojourn above the atmosphere.

Perhaps once things sort them out and a new equilibrium is met and kept in the distant future, space travel will indeed be possible. But yes, it is entirely possible that some form of intelligent life is in space and they simply cannot understand the medium of transmission.

Carl Sagan was really good at showing the very real possibility that life exists elsewhere in the universe. The question he always brought up was: if that life evolved into sophisticated animals capable of manipulating energy, would that life avoid the many pitfalls experienced by humans and not exterminate itself. The much larger question: Is it possible to go faster than the speed of light, to bend the space-time continuum and thus avoid the multiple generations it would require to travel the massive distances in the Universe?

Given that over half of the radio emissions from Sol (and planets) comes from human activity, it will awfully hard to "keep quiet".

It would certainly hurt profits at Fox, NBC, ABC and CBS !

Best Hopes for Proper Priorities !


What some seem to forget when speaking of the high probability of intelligent life in the galaxies is the dimension of time. At any particular time, the probability of proximate venues for intelligent life is low. We have only been capable of communication of any kind beyond our planet for the last 80 years. The probability of intelligent life within 80 light years of Earth over the last five billion years is much higher than the probability of the existence of intelligent life in our local neighborhood within the reach of radio communications we have sent. If our evolution is any indication, my best guess is that intelligent life capable of developing advanced technologies for communication does not survive for long periods. Our best technologies for space travel consume vast amounts of energy (include labor, construction, engineering, etc). It may be somewhat inevitable that intelligence sufficient to create technology is unlikely to be able to do so in a sustainable way. If our period of interstellar communication is a few hundred years at best, I doubt that we need worry about our interstellar neighbors.

I was thinking thoughts along those lines when I read the posts above. We only see the light through the window of time, as any of the other races of the universe would also see us.

One wonders when the first races of the universe set up the first radio beacon? Likely we'd only be able to see or hear from only within our own galaxy. The heart of which is a very harsh place, likely life could not live there with all the hard radiation.

Just getting out of the safety of earth's shadow is harmful to humans, someone else would have to be more advanced than us to travel from wherever just to get at our resources. Why bother, their home system would be so filled with minerals, and the next system over from theirs as well. So anyone beyond our recent exo-planet sightings would still have all those solar systems to plunder between them and us, why just pass all them up to head here?

If they could get here, the only reason they would have of visiting would be to know they were not alone in the galaxy. I'd be willing to bet they are as egotisical as we are though.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed future, who knows someday we might have to feed some guests far from home.

If (and it's a big if) aliens had at some stage developed a interstellar flight technology (and a civilisation that did not self-destruct), they would be everywhere in the galaxy within a few million years, simply by stepping their way through colonizable planets. If they're on the way, they're most likely have got here already.

What some seem to forget when speaking of the high probability of intelligent life in the galaxies is the dimension of time.

Ok, imagine say a highly developed Tardigrade like organism that develops consciousness but evolves to live on a multi milenar timescale and they can survive in space for centuries...however their reality is so alien to ours they simply do not perceive us as communicating intelligently. They may perceive our communication to be interesting in the way that we observe say cuttlefish flashing colors to each other but not quite able to grasp our human level of understanding of science and art.

BTW for those not familiar with Tardigrades:

Tardigrades are polyextremophiles and are able to survive in extreme environments that would kill almost any other animal. Some can survive temperatures of -273°C, close to absolute zero,[5] temperatures as high as 151 °C (303 °F), 1,000 times more radiation than other animals such as humans,[6] and almost a decade without water.[7] In September 2007, tardigrades were taken into low Earth orbit on the FOTON-M3 mission and for 10 days were exposed to the vacuum of space. After they were returned to Earth, it was discovered that many of them survived and laid eggs that hatched normally, making these the only animals shown to be able to survive the vacuum of space.[8]

Source Wikipedia


...Alien life, he will suggest, is almost certain to exist in many other parts of the universe: not just in planets, but perhaps in the centre of stars or even floating in interplanetary space.

Stephen Hawking IQ Score 160......... Holly Moses, my Iq is higher than 160. That I must say was new to me.

Speaking about IQ and such : The boy aged two with Einstein's IQ

I quite believe many of us here are two standard deviations above the mean :-)

My first wife's daughter was speaking a lot more than 50 words by age 2. She knew several big words that most adults had trouble with, fish names, gymnastic moves and ice skating terms as well as being very outgoing. She was both strong and flexible which are a good combination for someone going into gymnastics.

I don't think we ever had her tested, but I'd say she was smarter than most 2 year olds. Though my brother was really good at reading long before going to kindergarten, and was able to sing and keep tune better than most people older.

Maybe it is just that he has good Jeans, maybe calvin's or Levi's (snarky humor), Lots of things can happen that are all in the genes.

How my red four o'clocks finally produced yellow and white flowers and they produced seeds and I have red and white and yellow four o'clocks in my yard now. Genes know things we won't until they express themselves.

I have the IQ of the common house fly 2, and I am only 3 years old, and I know 4 people, and 5 days are in my week, and 6 years from now I'll be somewhere else, and 7 months from now I'll still be the same age as I am now, and 8 seconds from now I'll say goodbye.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed future.

How many ways can the MSM indirectly admit to Peak Oil without stating it outright. This article says volumes about how the energy game is shaping up. Companies will follow where the highest profit can be found. This means moving investments away from easily found light, sweet crude and into a more surefire thing....natural gas.

I have bolded some passages below for extra emphasis.


Shell, Total Step Up Reliance on Gas as Access to Oil Declines

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA are among energy producers shifting the balance of their production toward natural gas as oil-rich countries clamp down on access and deposits become easier to tap.

BP Plc is also moving more resources to gas even after purchasing $7 billion of mainly oil assets from Devon Energy Corp. last month. Exxon Mobil Corp. blazed the trail into gas with its $30 billion acquisition of XTO Energy Inc. in December.

Although oil prices have risen 69 percent in the last year compared with a 21 percent gain for gas, companies are betting that the need for gas will grow. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is limiting oil supplies, the global economic recovery is stoking energy demand and governments are debating how to curb carbon dioxide emissions, increasing the appeal of the cleaner-burning fuel.

“Increased resource nationalism in recent years has made access to oil projects, particularly in OPEC countries, more difficult,” said Neill Morton, an analyst at MF Global U.K. Ltd. in London. “That has coincided with technological advances in gas shale and significant gas discoveries.”


“Producing crude oil is much more profitable than natural gas now,” Gianna Bern, a former BP crude-oil trader who runs Brookshire Advisory & Research Inc., said in an interview. Although “natural gas reserves are more accessible than crude oil, you don’t want to be overly weighted in natural gas.”

With news like the above, I really think summer at $100 is a no-brainer.

In a blow to globalization and as a possible result of Peak Oil, Wham-O moves back to the USA:


The Wham-O spoof on Daily, the funniest bit of satire I have seen in awhile! LOL, which I don't often use, applies here!

In another reversal, the days of the "peace and love" alien from another world of the 1970's as depicted in "Close Encounters of The Third Kind" and "ET" has now been overturned by Hawking...remember, "4 out of every 3 persons is an enemy", even if you haven't met them yet! :-) Ah, I feel at home, nothing like the smell of cold war paranoia in the morning!



By the way, I just noticed you had commented on the Hawking story upstring and I missed it on the first read through...oops...


[active links at the site]

Solar Decathlon Teams

The 20 university-led teams that design, build, and operate the competition's solar-powered houses are the heart of the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. Learn more about each of these teams competing in Solar Decathlon 2011:

* Appalachian State University
* Florida International University
* Middlebury College
* New Zealand: Victoria University of Wellington
* The Ohio State University
* Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology
* Purdue University
* The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology
* Team Belgium: Ghent University
* Team Canada: University of Calgary
* Team China: Tongji University
* Team Florida: The University of South Florida, Florida State University, The University of Central Florida, and The University of Florida
* Team Massachusetts: Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the University of Massachusetts at Lowell
* Team New Jersey: Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey and New Jersey Institute of Technology
* Team New York: The City College of New York
* Tidewater Virginia: Old Dominion University and Hampton University
* University of Hawaii
* University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
* University of Maryland
* The University of Tennessee.

Is your school interested in competing in the next Solar Decathlon? Learn how to apply.

Hey, maybe things are starting to change, we have two entries from the Sunshine state.


April 26, 2010, 12:13AM

Crews fail to cap well in oil spillage after rig blast
BP looking at dome tactic that stopped spills after Katrina

As the Deepwater Horizon's well continued to gush 42,000 gallons of oil a day into the Gulf of Mexico, response teams that were unable on Sunday to seal off the wellhead about a mile underwater turned their attention to containing the spill at its source.

Unable to seal off wellhead. 42k gallons of oil a day? Is this turning into a bigger disaster than originally thought?

Just one more ironic note Tow. Another geologist (and one of my best friends) I started out with at Mobil 35 years ago followed a similar career path as mine: much more well site duties then average. He had his share of “excitement” including well kicks and hitches in Nigeria. He was an operations geologist at Devon working Deep Water Brazil. I had actually done some work for him on a project. Mike and his wife had always wanted a posting overseas and they got their wish. Had been in Rio for a year when they decided to take a break and flip over to Paris for holiday. On that Air France flight that went down in the Atlantic last summer Mike and his wife were the two Americans on board. The memorial you posted reminded me of that sad day. I didn’t go to Mike’s memorial. Just not that good at compartmentalizing such events. Fortunately I had said all I needed to say to him while he was alive. All I can try to imagine is that unconsciousness instantly as they fell from 35,000’.

Wow, sorry to hear that! I'm not that great with memorial services myself. I went to one for a friend of mine recently and during the whole ceremony I kept thinking we, (my deceased friend) and I would be going out for drinks afterwards to bad mouth the rabbi giving his eulogy...BTW on the way there I kept wanting to give him a call to make sure he wouldn't be late!

I know what you mean FM. I had been swapping emails with Mike just that weekend before the crash. At first I didn't want to erase them for a few days. After that I couldn't bear to see them so they were dumped.

At an intellectual level we all know that countless numbers of folks die every day. But when it's someone close's it a whole different matter. That doesn't necessarially mean that unknown life is worth less; you just don't have a reference frame. If you know what it means that the loss of a FNG isn't as bad as one of your buddies then you understand all too well.