Drumbeat: May 3, 2010

Why 'Peak Oil' Will Never Lead To $500/bbl Crude Oil

My primary contention is that the peak cheap oil problem is actually far worse than even most experts have come to realize. The realization of peak cheap oil will not simply involve a classical economic reaction to a changing supply-demand balance. Rather, I anticipate a fundamental game changing event that will involve re-writing the rules of the game in ways that are likely to undermine the investment prognostications and strategies that have been outlined in the preceding section. This is what George Soros calls reflexivity. The key is not to simply apply the existing rules of the game to anticipated outcomes, but rather to contemplate how expected outcomes will ultimately change the rules of the game.

Spill to cost insurers up to $1.5bn

BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which is expected to cause the most environmental damage and to be the most expensive to clean up since Exxon Valdez in 1989, is projected to cost insurers up to $1.5bn.

That is before taking into account the liabilities from environmental damage.

Fishing closed in Gulf waters affected by oil spill

(Reuters) - U.S. officials closed commercial and recreational fishing in a large swathe of waters hit by the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Sunday.

Gulf Spill Smacks Down Oil Stocks

BP and Transocean have been reeling since the rig blow-up, but the impact is being felt throughout the industry.

BP Told to Stop Distributing Oil Spill Settlement Agreements

Alabama Attorney General Troy King said Sunday night that he has told BP they should stop circulating settlement agreements among coastal Alabamians, the Mobile Press-Register reports. King reportedly said the agreements stipulate that residents will give up their right to sue the company in exchange for a payment of up to $5,000.

Auto sales: Up from 09, down from March

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Major automakers posted solid gains in U.S. sales in April compared to the battered sales of a year ago, although most failed to top March's totals.

National Physical Activity Plan aims to get Americans moving

One day, most kids may jump on their bikes and ride to school.

While they're there, they'll be playing active games in high-caliber physical education classes and doing lots of fun recreational activities before and after school.

Adults should be able to walk, bike or jog to work, the grocery store or a local park or community recreation center, where they will be able play golf or tennis or take exercise classes.

Science group: Climate science 'witch hunt' underway in Virginia

A Virginia official's reported investigation of a prominent climate scientist, Penn State's Michael Mann, has sparked complaints of a "witch hunt" from a science organization.

5 minutes in the green can boost mood

LONDON - Just five minutes of exercise a day in the great outdoors can improve mental health, according to a study released on Saturday, and policymakers should encourage more people to spend time in parks and gardens.

Researchers from the University of Essex found that as little as five minutes of a "green activity" such as walking, gardening, cycling or farming can boost mood and self esteem.

Officials Aren’t Sure of Slick’s Size

The official estimate of how much oil is spilling out of BP’s damaged well continues to be 5,000 barrels a day. But in fact, BP and government officials admit they have no idea of the real size of the slick.

They are preparing for the worst-case scenario, which Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said could be a potential 100,000 barrels of crude leaking daily into the Gulf of Mexico, if the broken well infrastructure deteriorates further.

One Gulf Oil Spill Went For Nearly A Year

If it winds up taking months, the better part of a year or longer for experts to finally stop the flow of oil into the Gulf of Mexico from the uncontrolled well head left by the destroyed Deepwater Horizon, there's precedence for that.

It was an oil platform called IXTOC 1 which was in the Gulf of Mexico about 600 miles south of Texas in the Bay of Campeche. The accident occurred June 3, 1979 when a two-mile exploratory well blew out. What happened next sounds similar to what happened on the Deepwater Horizon.

BP admits shutdown mechanism 'failed' on Gulf of Mexico oil rig

NEW ORLEANS: Using remote-controlled submarines to shut off the leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico is like doing "open heart surgery at 5000 feet in the dark", says the head of BP's American operations.

BP America chairman and president Lamar McKay acknowledged the oil gushing from the fractured well nearly 1500m below the ocean surface was due to a defective equipment designed to shut down the well in a blowout.

BP Attacks Oil Spill from Multiple Angles

On Sunday BP said that a third rig, the GSF Development Driller II, is going to be deployed at Mississippi Canyon 252 to drill a second relief well and that both relief wells will be drilled simultaneously. The GSF Development Driller III spudded the first relief well yesterday. The Discoverer Enterprise, which is also on location, will be used as part of the containment operations. Currently, plans call for this rig to install a cofferdam measuring 14' x 24' x 40' on the seabed over the BOPs to capture the oil and funnel it to the surface. It is estimated to take approximately a week to install the cofferdam.

Relief Well Was Used to Halt Australian Spill

The Australian accident, known as the Montara spill, began Aug. 21 with a blowout of high-pressure oil similar to the one in the gulf. With the well spewing 17,000 to 85,000 gallons per day, precious weeks passed before the relief wells were started. When efforts got under way, the first four attempts — drilled on Oct. 6, 13, 17 and 24 — missed the original well.

A fifth attempt finally intersected the original on Nov. 1, and about 3,400 barrels of heavy mud were pumped through the relief well into the base of the original well. The spewing oil finally stopped Nov. 3 — more than 10 weeks after the original explosion.

Oil blowout device maker has $500M for liability

HOUSTON (AP) -- The manufacturer of a fail-safe device on the oil well that is spewing crude into the Gulf of Mexico has $500 million in liability insurance for legal claims.

Cameron International Corp. says in a statement that authorities are still investigating and it has already been named in several lawsuits. It said it cannot predict if it has liability for the accident that is threatening the U.S. coast from Louisiana to Florida.

'The Oil Catastrophe Will Be BP's Katrina, Not Obama's'

It could turn out to be America's worst ecological disaster yet. Oil continues to gush into the Gulf of Mexico following last month's explosion of a BP oil rig. German commentators on Monday take a look at the political implications for the Obama administration.

Fair Game

Enormous coal trains pass daily through Glenwood Springs, but the energy we use is practically invisible. Strip mines are in Wyoming. Coal-burning power plants are in Nebraska. If energy production were localized, with a coal-burning plant in every community, we might not so carelessly leave the lights on.

Cost of offshore oil drilling could just be too steep

The ocean has no boundaries, as the Gulf disaster is proving. Safe? New Jersey depends on its clean beaches for tourism, and it would take only one oil spill to severely hurt the state's $38-billion-a-year tourist industry and its nearly 500,000 jobs. Who would want to visit oil-soaked beaches? And what about all the endangered species -- both land and sea -- that depend on South Jersey's wetlands and marshlands for survival?

LUKOIL Extracts First Caspian Oil

First oil was extracted at the Yu. Korchagin field in the Russian offshore of the Caspian Sea.

Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, participated in the ceremony dedicated to the commissioning of this field.

Heating Oil Reaches 18-Month High on Speculation Demand to Grow

(Bloomberg) -- Heating oil futures surged to an 18- month high after a report that showed U.S. manufacturing in April expanded at the fastest pace since 2004, indicating demand for diesel as a transportation fuel may increase.

Chesapeake to report 1st-qtr results amid growing production forecasts as demand stays weak

Chesapeake and other producers have become so prolific that production forecasts have been increasing even as some operations have been reduced due to low gas prices or Chesapeake taking on partners for some projects.

Oman Aims for 850,000 Oil Barrels a Day for 10 Years

(Bloomberg) -- Oman, the biggest oil producer in the Persian Gulf that isn’t a member of OPEC, aims to produce about 850,000 barrels of oil a day for the next decade, the country’s oil minister said.

Kurt Cobb: Oil spills, crime waves and the increasing militarization of American life

Three recent developments are just the latest examples of the increasing militarization of American life: 1) The National Guard will now assist in the cleanup of the oil spill created in the aftermath of the explosion and subsequent sinking of a deepwater drilling platform off the Louisiana coast. 2) Several members of Congress are asking for a deployment of the National Guard along the U.S.-Mexican border. 3) Two Chicago area state legislators are now calling for the Illinois National Guard to assist Chicago police to quell a supposed wave of violent crime.

Bill McKibben: The Oil Slick You Can't See

If you think that slick of oil spreading across the Gulf of Mexico is a nasty sight ... well, it is. And so we'll probably do something about it. Within hours of the crude reaching the coast, an aide to President Barack Obama said new offshore drilling would be put on hold.

But here's the problem: An even bigger slick -- this one of acid -- is spreading across the entire ocean. It's doing damage far more profound than even the oil. But since you can't see it, nothing's happened.

12 Experts to Review U.N. Climate Panel’s Work

Harold T. Shapiro, a former president of Princeton University and the University of Michigan, will lead a 12-member panel that will review the practices of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has been criticized for errors.

Foiling Solar Bandits

As I reported last month, the solar power industry racked up another year of steady expansion in 2009. But a less sunny side of the industry also continues to boom: solar panel theft.

In just the last two weeks, thieves have struck two schools in the San Francisco area removing about $50,000 worth of panels and related equipment.

Since we last reported on this problem in 2008, the theft of solar panels from homes and commercial buildings has increased at about the same pace as installed megawatts.

Petrobras, Galp to Invest $530 Million in Biodiesel

(Bloomberg) -- Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Portugal’s Galp Energia SGPS plan to invest $530 million to produce biodiesel for the European market.

The companies will produce 300,000 metric tons of palm oil in Brazil and 250,000 tons of biodiesel in Portugal, starting in 2015, Petrobras said in a Brazilian regulatory filing today. The palm oil will be used as feedstock for the Portuguese unit, Petrobras said.

A $10 app saves hours of commuting

Because of the technology, Galloway says C&C Landscaping has reduced mistakes in the field by 75%, slashed his driving time in half, cut overhead by about 6% and kept the company's $4 million in annual sales steady despite the economic downturn.

The Spill vs. a Need to Drill

Beyond railing at BP, the company that owns the well now spewing oil, some environmental groups have demanded an end to offshore exploration and urged President Obama to restore a moratorium on drilling. The White House has already said no new drilling permits will be approved until the causes of the accident are known. Additional government oversight seems inevitable.

But whatever the magnitude of the spill at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, 50 miles off the coast of Louisiana, it is unlikely to seriously impede offshore drilling in the Gulf. The country needs the oil — and the jobs.

Oil leaks and energy security

The Gulf of Mexico oil disaster has drawn a great deal of attention to the often-overlooked subject of where our energy comes from, and how difficult it is to obtain.

The long-term fallout from the incident could be significant for the rest of the US offshore drilling industry. And from Sarah Palin to The New York Times to peak oil bloggers, the point has been made that the US shouldn’t rush to cut back its drilling in the Gulf, because of its importance as a growing source of US oil production. But the fact that oil is heavily traded makes its provenance less important than is often assumed.

BP Spill Threatens Gulf of Mexico Oil, Gas Operations

(Bloomberg) -- The growing oil slick fed by an underwater leak in a BP Plc well in the Gulf of Mexico may threaten production, shipping and refining of oil and natural gas in Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana.

La. unlikely to change drilling stance

VENICE, Louisiana - A massive oil spill off the Louisiana coast may boost opposition to offshore drilling and spur calls for tighter federal regulation, but it is unlikely to loosen the southern state's embrace of big oil companies.

Urgency increases as oil spill grows

GULFPORT, Miss. — As dead sea turtles washed ashore, oil sloshed over inflatable barriers and the government ordered fishermen to stay home indefinitely, communities along the Gulf Coast and beyond braced Sunday for an environmental and economic tragedy that is growing worse by the day.

BP Describes Race to Fix Well as Obama Warns of Oil Damage

NEW ORLEANS — BP prepared Monday to install a shutoff valve on one of three leaks gushing from an oil spill off the coast of New Orleans, in bid to stem what President Obama called a "potentially unprecedented environmental disaster."

The effort comes as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said the oil slick appears to be drifting toward the Alabama and Florida coasts, including the Chandeleur Islands off Louisiana’s southern tip.

BP to Try ‘Anything, Everything’ to Stop Gushing Gulf Oil Well

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, owner of the Gulf of Mexico Macondo well that has been spewing oil 5,000 feet below the water’s surface since April 20, outlined a battery of techniques it will use to attempt to stem the leak.

Plans include chemical injections, containment domes and new pressure equipment, Bob Fryar, senior vice president of BP’s operations in Angola, said yesterday in Houston. U.S. President Barack Obama visited Louisiana yesterday and said the government would protect the natural resources of the region and rebuild the area. He said the U.S. had coordinated a “relentless response” to a “potentially unprecedented” disaster.

Oil spill crisis a setback for BP and its chief executive

On the day he got news that the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig caught fire in the Gulf of Mexico, BP chief executive Tony Hayward received a series of crisis updates in his London offices. The rig belonged to Transocean, but BP had leased it to drill an exploration well and BP bore legal responsibility for any consequences.

The grim updates were interspersed with long silences. One person there said that on several occasions, Hayward asked, "What did we do to deserve this?"

BP May Manage Damage to Company From Spill, CEO Says

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc, owner of the ruptured well spewing thousands of barrels a day of crude into the Gulf of Mexico, may be able to manage the damage to the company and the industry, Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward said.

“It all depends on how successful we are with our response,” Hayward said in an interview in Houma, Louisiana, yesterday, when asked how bad the fallout will be. “If we deal with the situation in a way that minimizes the environmental impact, it will cause some debate. If the environmental impact is serious, as a consequence there won’t be much if any extension of offshore drilling.”

St. Bernard Parish Fishermen Join Fight to Keep Oil From Coast

“This place is going to be a ghost town if that oil gets in here,” said McShan as he stood on the porch of Breton Sound Marina overlooking Bayou la Loutre. “I don’t want people to feel sorry for me. I just want to do something.”

Iran offers help in fighting Gulf of Mexico oil leak

TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian state company offered on Monday to help in preventing a vast oil slick that is moving towards the coast of the United States, the Islamic Republic's old foe, from causing an "ecological disaster".

AGs for 5 states talk legal strategy for oil spill

MOBILE, Ala. – The attorneys general from Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas want BP PLC to sign an agreement spelling out exactly what "legitimate expenses" they'll cover from the spill.

Oil spill raises Arctic offshore drilling concerns

"These same oil companies want an exemption from having to drill relief wells for their operations in the Beaufort Sea," Bevington, a New Democrat, said during question period Friday.

"With this clear evidence that the most stringent environmental protections must be applied to offshore drilling, will this government stand up to the oil companies, enforce drilling relief wells and come up with a real plan to deal with disasters in our Arctic waters?"

Crude Oil Rises in New York Before U.S. Manufacturing Report

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil rose before a report today that may show U.S. manufacturing increased, prompting speculation that global demand will increase as the world economy recovers.

A U.S. report today may show manufacturing in the world’s biggest energy user expanded the most in five years last month, according to a survey of economists. Europe’s manufacturing industry expanded at the fastest pace in almost four years in April as companies increased production to meet export orders, London-based Markit Economics said today.

Natural Gas Slump Sends LNG Cargoes to Europe

(Bloomberg) -- Natural gas prices in the U.K. are the most expensive relative to New York in almost six months, attracting cargoes of liquefied natural gas across the Atlantic.

The difference between the December futures contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the U.K. Intercontinental Exchange is near its widest since Nov. 18 as excess supplies depress U.S. prices. December gas in New York was at $5.164 per million British thermal units on April 30 compared with $7.16 for the ICE U.K. contract.

Petrobras CEO Sees ’No Problem’ in Demand Amid Brazil IPO Flops

(Bloomberg) -- Jose Sergio Gabrielli, chief executive officer of state-controlled oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, said he expects to tap global demand for a $25 billion share sale and that the offering will be open to new shareholders.

Investors are “looking for Petrobras right now,” Gabrielli, 60, said in an April 30 interview in Sao Paulo. The sale will now be “public, it’s going to be open to everybody. We think there is no problem in demand.”

Darwin Awaits

First an illustrative fact: When BP filed its environmental impact study produced, of course, by themselves they stated categorically that "a catastrophic blowout resulting in an uncontrolled spill" at this very rig, was "virtually impossible."

And so it came to pass that BP got what it wanted; the okay to drill. And Louisiana got what it wanted; more business for its oil and gas industries. And Americans got what we wanted; more gasoline for our cars, motorcycles, speed boats, jet skies, dune buggies etc.

The only difference in our attitudes about all this from, say the 1950s to today, is that today many of us actually feel a tinge of guilt as we pump gallons of gas into our tanks. Otherwise, nothing much has changed. We've learned how to tamp down, rationalize or just live with our energy guilt.

Still Sticking With Oil

Oil has been moving upwards on a fairly steady basis over the last year or so. All sorts of reasons have been put forth: From a somewhat uneven recovery of the global economy to speculation by bankers, hedge funds, and other various financial entities, including pension and endowment funds, which have “discovered” commodities as an asset class. Providing a backdrop is the seemingly endless dialog about “peak oil”, or, as it might be more correctly named, “peak cheap oil”.

Glencore Said to Be Considering Merger With Xstrata

A deal would help Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore to fund its activities and ease liquidity constraints, while providing some of the closely held group’s partners with the ability to exit their stakes in the company. Glencore, led by Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg, had its credit rating cut by Standard & Poor’s to the lowest investment grade in December 2008 after commodity prices tumbled.

“There is growing pressure on Glencore partners, both from within the company and outside, to lay out the plan for the restructure and how they propose to provide the greater liquidity which is needed,” said John Meyer, head of natural resources at investment bank Fairfax I.S. Plc in London, who has a “buy” recommendation on Xstrata shares. “Backing into Xstrata is one very clear way of providing that liquidity and also providing an exit for some of those partners.”

Tax Change May Hurt Australian Coal-Seam Gas Projects

(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s plan to impose a 40 percent tax on the profits of resource companies may hurt returns from Queensland’s liquefied natural gas projects and hamper talks with potential customers, analysts said.

Peabody Studies Impact of Tax Change on Macarthur Bid

(Bloomberg) -- Peabody Energy Corp., the biggest U.S. coal producer, said it is assessing the effect Australia’s proposed mining tax gain will have on its A$4.1 billion ($3.8 billion) bid for Macarthur Coal Ltd.

FBI Probe of Massey Coal Is Said to Focus on Possible Bribery

(Bloomberg) -- Massey Energy Co., dealing with the death of 29 miners at one of its West Virginia coal mines, is being investigated by the FBI for possible bribery of state and federal inspectors, a person familiar with the probe said.

Iran runs South Pars numbers

Gas production at Iran's giant offshore natural gas field South Pars will rise to 175 million cubic metres per day within the next two years, an energy official was quoted as saying in a local media report.

Oil exploration making use of shale gas technology

The past decade has been all about gas, gas, gas, but new technologies developed for that commodity are turning out to be just as effective in a burgeoning rejuvenation of a more storied fuel: oil.

Increasingly, more companies are switching drilling rigs from gas plays to plays with oil-rich reserves, such as the Eagle Ford Shale play in southwest Texas and the Bakken Shale in North Dakota – both of which have seen keen interest from local operators.

“Oil has taken such a bad rap over the years – it’s a has-been and all that – but people in the industry knew there’s lots of oil left in the ground, more than we’ve even produced so far,” said Alex Mills, president of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers. “So there’s lots of optimism out there about the future of oil.”

The peak of oil production is passed

Dr Michael Lardelli from the University of Adelaide looks at how the bulk of the world's oil production comes from a relatively small number of very large fields discovered decades ago. The rate of world oil production has been maintained at current levels only by finding and bringing on line an increasing number of smaller fields, but the financial cost and the energy required to find and develop these new fields is constantly increasing. According to Dr Lardelli the so-called peak of oil production was actually in 2008.

Keeping the Profit In Oil and Persistent War

The US military has invested heavily in creating a panic atmosphere, concerning the so-called “peak oil” issue. Because the American military seems to be worried about tomorrow’s fuel, “peak oil” concerns are given legitimacy and a personal sense of urgency that would not otherwise be possible. Military leaders seem more concerned with ensuring that war remains profitable than in filling an actual need. When the time for the big military push comes, many people will accept it as a necessary evil, even though common sense would otherwise tell them to resist war aggression.

Fair aims to inspire green living in York

YORK, Maine — After playing a major role in the town's adoption of several energy efficiency policies in recent years, the York Energy Efficiency Committee is now focusing on educating the public through events like the Energy and Climate Fair, held Saturday at York Middle School.

The fair brought together nearly 50 vendors and nonprofit exhibitors, and offered local student presentations, public speakers and children's activities, all in an effort to share information on sustainable and efficient living.

The second annual event was organized by York citizens concerned about peak oil, global warming and other environmental issues caused by America's consumption of oil and waste disposal practices.

Mexico, Germany urges action on climate change

KOENIGSWINTER, Germany – With the fight against global warming in serious trouble, Germany and Mexico are calling on world leaders to get international negotiations back on track and reach concrete results by the end of the year.

"We need to show the world how serious the threat is," Mexican President Felipe Calderon said as he opened an international climate change conference in Germany on Sunday.

U.N.: No comprehensive climate deal this year

KOENIGSWINTER, Germany (AP) — The United Nations chief negotiator on climate change says there will not be a comprehensive deal to fight global warming this year.

Yvo de Boer told reporters in Germany on Monday the next U.N. climate change conference in Cancun, Mexico, in December will provide a "first answer" on greenhouse gases "but it will not provide an answer that is good enough."

Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe

Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.

I found this statement at another site and wondered if its true. Is their considerable amount of oil that will never reach to the surface??

This whole damn article is damage control and the attempt to not expose the truth and panic the public. The truth is that the Gulf of Mexico is seriously screwed for the next 20-30 years and there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
Why? Because of the depth at which the oil is being pumped means a large portion of it is NOT rising to the surface due to pressure and current. In fact it may actually be sinking and creating a sort of "pool" or "resevoir" around the leak which helps to draw more in to the resevoir and less to the surface. This oil "pool" will slowly spread until it hits major underwater "rivers" or currents which will then circulate the oil at a faster rate and cover a much more widespread area. Not only that but these currents and the ocean floor are major habitations for the ecosystem whcih will be smothered by this oil


IMVHO, the lighter fractions will dissolve into solution and most of the heavier fractions will either be washed ashore or go out into the Atlantic. Many will settle on bottom of GoM.

I predict cheap beach rentals in Palm Beach, FL in 2011 & 2012 due to tar balls.


Some speculation locally that west of Mississippi River will be spared due to currents. Loop current will carry the oil up the East Coast instead.

From satellite photos that I have seen the water from the Mississippi flows to ward the west in a circle. that is why the beaches from western La to Freeport Tx suck and the beaches east of the Miss are so clear.

There is certainly that current. Mainly a surface current (fresh water has lower density than sea water).

However, this spill is located (AFAIK/understand) where the deep water currents will carry it upwards to an eddy current that feeds into the Loop Current, which will carry the oil to the Atlantic Coast (the Loop Current is fast and large as currents go).

A priori computer modeling of this would have been difficult.

Winds affect only the top feet of the spill, the currents are affected by seasonal temperature changes and varying volumes of water flow from rivers (mainly Mississippi), but these affect surface currents most.

Perhaps grasping at straws, but some knowledgeable people have some glimmer of hope for part of our fisheries. Perhaps a one year shut down and not a decade.


So now even Salazar is talking in terms of 100,000 bbl/day rate of spill.


"Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said could be a potential 100,000 barrels of crude leaking daily into the Gulf of Mexico"

By my calculation, that rate would theoretically take about two years to cover the entire surface of all the worlds oceans with a thin film of oil.

And rockman seems deeply dubious that anyone will be able to successfully cap this thing.

But "Let's not get hysterical."

Have we finally truly opened the ultimate pandora's box of eco-cidal demons?

Given that the dominate flow in the area is the Loop Current, which exits thru the Florida Straits, eventually becoming the Gulf Stream, I'd say it's more likely that the oil will flow into the North Atlantic. Since the oil floats on top of the water, it would not sink along with the THC in the Nordic Seas but would instead re-circulate in the gyres and stay there until dispersed. Then too, the THC appears to be weakening lately. Given the increase in surface reflection due to the oil, the spill might have an impact on climate if the area becomes large enough.

E. Swanson

Have we finally truly opened the ultimate pandora's box of eco-cidal demons?

If we have, what organisms would be poised to survive in the oceans? What organisms DO survive oilspills?

The most adaptable and ubiquitous, of course: bacteria.

But only for a very few species. I can't imagine any kind of oil on the surface is good for phyto-plankton, the stuff that provides those little benefits to us like supplying about half the oxygen we breath, and that is the base of much of the marine food pyramid, oh, and they help regulate climate, too.

But nothing to worry about--those nice BP officials on TV seem very nice, and I'm sure they have all of our interests at as very very first concern.

Have we finally truly opened the ultimate pandora's box of eco-cidal demons?

No! The short answer is that this oil spill will have a limited local effect. Bill McKibben(spelling?) was stating this. To the global ocean this spill isn't a big deal. The big deal is the acidification by our CO2 emissions. But the later doesn't generate pictures of oil soaked birds and turtles, so you won't see it on the nightly news.

By my calculation, that rate would theoretically take about two years to cover the entire surface of all the worlds oceans with a thin film of oil.

But of course that won't happen. Highly dispersed oil will decompose long before two years are up. Now, that doesn't mean 100K bpd isn't a humongous mess. Probably compares to IX??? in 1979. And a lot smaller than the Gulf War spill. The global ocean rather easily survived those bigger assaults.

What inside knowledge do you have that assures you beyond any doubt that both the flow rate and the total oil that may eventually leak out is within the particular bounds you propose. This is looking like a pretty total calamity for much of the Gulf Coast for certain. I just don't think we can say for sure how much more widespread the damage might end up being. Certainly, the possibility of it spreading up the East Coast seems quite real.

And, yes, ocean acidification is much less visible and is happening globally for certain right now--at accelerating rates as far as I've seen. That doesn't mean we won't pile on yet more poison into the system. As rock says, as bad as many people feel about this, the moment the price of gasoline approaches four bucks, millions will be back chanting "Drill, baby, drill."

Scale problems, Dohboi, even if the reservoir pops completely the volatiles would largely evaporate before any reached the Pacific at all, and it probably would not spread to uniformly cover even the GoM due to winds and currents. It isn't like the oil spreads out at the speed of light to provide a uniform cover of any body of water it touches, it needs to spread at the speed of natural processes.

The one picture I saw showed one of the leaks sort of issuing outward rather than shooting to the surface so it could be possible.

This article discusses some of the emulsification issues.



500 Clean-up Laborers being hired in New Orleans

$10 to $12/hour for outdoor work in miserable conditions. Hopefully lots of OT.



Could the Navy be considering the use of a nuclear device to close this well?
Please see: http://thecomingdepression.blogspot.com/2010/05/nuclear-bomb-can-only-fi...

I'm sure they are doing the analysis, they have to.

My gut says the analysis will say "don't go there".

I don't know a whole lot about atom bombs, only what an interested layman can cull from the library and the net.

But I will stick my chin out any way so the hysterical anti nuke types can have an easy swing at it.

While the devestation of a nuclear explosion can be hard to imagine,the actual extent of it has been exaggerated out of all reality by a focus on worst case scenarios-big bombs, air blast at the most effective altitude to MAXIMIZE THE DESTRUCTION, earlier bom designs that were dirtier, multiple hits over a wide area, on population centers, and so forth.

People continued to live right at the edges of the blast area where the bombs used in Japan, and continue to live there today.

Sometimes drastic measures are the only way out;as a currently half trained nurse in a backwoods no help situation, I certainly would kill a woman trying to do a c section unassisted, but if she is going to die any way, it is likely that I could save her baby at least.

If nothing else works, and the assembled experts who have had access to the data accumulated from underground bomb tests think it has a good chance of working, I would be all in favor of trying an atom bomb as a last resort.

The probable ecological damages resulting from popping off a single nuke sized and selected for the job in deep water are almost certianly miniscule compared to the inevitable and widespread damages that will rewsult if this spill goes uncontrolled for any extended period , a period measured in months.

Of course I know that the spill might be made even worse;the engineers and geologists will have to wiegh that question as best they can.

If they can get a nuke properly placed a lot faster than a relief well can be dug, the question of using one cannotreasonably be dismissed.

My gut feeling is that it would work, from reading about the results of other underground test shots; there are some good data on this very site, published a while back during the discussion of shale oil extraction

The real question then becomes one of whether to risk it, first, and second , how long it would take to bore the bole to position it.

My guess is that such a hole could be bored almost flat out , totally disregarding ordinary oil and gas well bore safety oriented procedures, as it would be nowhere near as deep as the pay zone, and intended for a single use , destroying itself as well as the path to the surface the blow out oil is following.

How much time such a sirens wailing Mommas on the way to save her baby approach to drilling the hole approach might actually save I have no idea.

But it could possibly be a lot.

Hopefully we will have people making the decision who are not afraid to put thier careers on the line;officers in the military have to make such decisions frequently in time of war, risking thier tropps, thier own survival, and even the survival of thier country.

I am not in favor of actually turning the policy making making process over to the guys in uniform under any circumstance I have thought of before today .

This might be such an occasion; politicians are generally craven cowards focused on the next election to the excliusion of almost everything else.

ps please excuse tying as usual, no time to correct it with one finger today.

Would BP get an invoice for supply and detonation of one nuclear bomb?

Motto of the Industrial Revolution -

"If brute force didn't solve the problem, let's use more."

This is not an under ground test, this would be an underwater test. Think of the Underwater earthquakes and what they reap tsunamis would result I am sure we don't need that happening.

While it might look good on paper, it won't look good after the fact, even if it stops the well from leaking, the overall distruction of a tidal wave action would be horrible, even more so than oil soaked marches.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future.

This is not an under ground test, this would be an underwater test. Think of the Underwater earthquakes and what they reap tsunamis would result I am sure we don't need that happening.

A tactical Nuke is like roughly a mag 4 earthquake, far too small to generate even a local tsunami. You worry about local tsunamis at about mag 7 and ocean basin wide tsunamis at mag 8-9. All the bombs in all the nuclear arsenals wouldn't come close to matching the Boxing day tsunami. In reality, looked at the scale of the planet, all of human's Nukes contain only a tiny amount of energy.

Now, I don't buy the Nuke it proposal. By the time we quit arguing about it, the leaking reservoir will have long since depleted itself.

I'm guessing of course, but if one is used , i would expect it to be placed at least four or five thousand feet beneath the seas floor, in the middle of the rock between the water and the oil.

Atom Bombs fired deep underground on land do not open craters, and the risk of a giant wave is probably slight;and even a big wave might be a FAR LESSER evil than a long soaking of all the coastline in crude.

I am not advocating actually USING a nuke, but a sober evaluation of the risks and benefits of doing so is definitely in order..

The folks who are posting end of the earth comments are exaggerating, but we could be looking at the end of the Gulf and a major impact a long way up the east coast.

This is the first of the Black Swans, or as I refer to them Pearl Harbor events, which I have speculated just might just concievably bring us to our senses. Of course it is only a Black swan to those who believed it could not happen;to most of the regulars here, it is merely the early arrival of the disaster which sooner or later was inevitable.

A crisis can be legitimately described as a terrible thing to waste.

Maybe we will actually learn something collectively from this one, although it is hard to imagine at the moment that the course will be worth the tuition.

But just maybe the spill will continue long enough to force the politicians to actually do something useful on the energy front, but at a low enough rate to prevent it's doing irreversible damage to the Gulf.If so , we might be better off collectively in the end.

"First they have to get the oil rig off the hole to get at it in order to try to cap it"
It's not on the hole.

This "engineer of considerable experience" is talking out of his butt, to be polite. Unfortunately this uninformed nonsense has spread quickly. It's not even worth taking seriously.

My limited understanding is that the basic military advantage for nuclear weapons comes from the low weight allowing missile delivery in hostile airspaces (or in suitcase bombs). Given that this won't apply in the GOM, I do wonder if those talking about how it "has to be a nuclear bomb" have actually done any calculations that indicate it has to be a nuclear bomb for some reason (lack of space for explosive material within a borehole, etc) rather than "something giving a large energy explosion".

I'm actually much more worried about this possibly needlessly setting a precedent for there being good reasons for having nuclear explosives (that Iran, North Korea, etc, will latch onto) than about any effects on an actual nuclear bomb being very carefully used in the GOM.

Could the Navy be considering the use of a nuclear device to close this well?

I seriously doubt it. For one, there is no conclusive way to know exactly what would happen, since its never been tried before. So, it could seal the leak or bust it wide open. Secondly, politically it would risk political suicide for Obama, so forget it. They would never even consider it. Let's see how the bell idea works, which is several days away.

Actually I think the Russians sealed a couple of blow-outs with nuclear bombs. They also had a few failures trying it too...seems unreliable.

Wouldn't a nuke detonated deep underwater cause a sizable tsunami? Seal the well and possibly inundate Gulf coast cities.??

Unlikely, tsunamis are usually generated by earthquakes and landslides that provide much more energy than a small nuke with a time factor more compatible with transferring that energy to large waves.

The "tsunami" from a charge (of any type) suitable to sealing a well head might be all of 6" high by the time it reached the nearest coast, if that.

This seems like a good time to thank Rockman, Heading-out, Westexas, and the other oil-industry professionals here who have been so patiently answering our dumb questions and keeping us informed during a disaster that I know has had a deep emotional impact on them.

Thank you!

Regarding offshore topics, the ratio of useful Rockman to Westexas contributions is about 100 to one (sometimes developmental types get it right). In any case, I think that the most interesting thing I have read in the past 24 hours is the MMS study that Russell Gold, with the WSJ, wrote about. An MMS study in 2004 pointed out that the shear rams on many rigs were probably not capable of handling the higher strength drill pipe being used in deepwater areas:


And as "Toolpush" pointed out, Brazil requires that companies demonstrate that the shear rams can actually cut through a length of drill pipe, before they can commence drilling. Makes one wonder why deepwater GOM doesn't have a similar rule, especially in light of the 2004 MMS study.

Where do the rams get the hydraulic power from on something that deep?

The Drum is doing Pulitzer Prize coverage of this. Thanks to all of you.

Speaking of prizes. Keeping in line with Obama and the Peace prize;

"BP Finalist for Pollution Prevention Award"


Amen, brother r4ndom.

Yes to one and all - Rockman, Heading-out, Westexas, and other oil-industry professionals - thank you very much. Your expertise has brought clarity that is sorely missing elsewhere.

And many thanks to Alan for his near-the-scene updates and his conscientious and informed perspective. Between hurricanes and oil spills, I don't know where we TODers would be without you. No doubt, you would rather not be reporting on these things, but I for one am glad you take the time to keep us posted.

Keep up the good work.



For example, crude oil accounted for nearly 30 percent of energy produced in Michigan in the 1980s but is now only 4 percent. And production of crude oil in Michigan dropped by 85 percent between 1980 and 2007, the most recent year for which data are available.

I've seen it reported several times since this current incident that major accidents in the oil industry are rare. For some perspective, a list of accidents, 1980-2001:


A chronology of some of the major oil industry accidents in the last 20 years:

In the US:


A chronological list of major oil spills:


The biggest, by far, was during the first Gulf War (1991) and could be classified as intentional.

And beleive or not Ghung life on a rig today is so much safer then it use to be. I know that's difficult to believe as we watch this story unfold. About 30 years ago almost no saftey training for most of the hands. Now extensive traing for everyone as well as designated safety officers watching over ops. But that also shows how much more complicated ops are today. And you'll never eliminate the most dangerous component of any op: human beings. Right now I sitting on a little 4,000' deep hole on some pasture land in Texas. I've had to run off 4 hands since starting over safety issues. Granted such hands would never see an offshore op but it still points our weakest link IMHO.

Absolutely, Rock. That's why I can't agree with comments like this, from last night:

"Regulations are ONLY needed when there is bad design. The oil industry is inviting tighter regulation. They will pay 100x more than if they had designed a functional BOP."

$#it Happens.

Yes, a while back Robert Rapier gave an interesting account of the training he went through to be able to stay on a North Sea rig. Sounded pretty scary to an old fart like me.

James Howard Kuntsler is sedate this morning, or, perhaps it is that the future looks so dark, even he appears to be tame. True to form, Kuntsler is scanning the horizon and seeing ever lengthening shadows:

By August, it's possible that the entire country except for the editorial board of the New York Times will be members in good standing of the Tea party, and it will have split into a dozen warring factions. By then, too many other destabilizing events will be in motion. The hangover of the British election will reveal the fatal insolvency of the UK, torpedoing the pound -- a huge event that would certainly trigger a cascading fiasco of credit default swap obligations. I don't see how the global financial system emerges from that in any form recognizable to someone watching the scene in the first week of May, 2010. In the background of all this, something wicked this way comes in the matter of oil prices and availability. The eco-disaster underway from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is looking every hour more like an event horizon that will rock the whole industry and, with it, the developed world. At the moment, oil is over $86 a barrel (and gasoline over $3 for regular at the pumps).

Aptly enough his essay this Monday is called Worse than 1789?

Regarding oil prices, it would appear that global demand is pulling WTI higher. I don't what Brent index this is (spot?), but this chart shows one Brent index knocking on $92 (at least around noon Eastern time):


I'd argue its more that WTI price is depressed at the moment. If/when it flips back to historic norms your talking 90+ with the way the market is moving. Also not a fairly decent contango has set up vs the front month for WTI.

My wag is a bullish break out to 95 then a consolidation period. So I'm guessing if prices are really being depressed then you will git a bit of a overshoot then consolidation.

Now from there on out things get really murky as you get over 90 a barrel your approaching competitive bidding for oil by people with plenty of money.

Also note I have a conjecture that if US stocks half then the price of oil doubles. Given we are close to reported peak storage again and well above the five your range the US could readily see two halvings in oil stocks.

Or 3X the current price is feasible given the current numbers now I don't see published US stock numbers changing all that much from their current levels even if oil hits 100. This puts the possible high side estimate at 300 if oil goes to 100 with the current stock levels. Now this would put the US near the bottom of its five your range.

A further halving from there is not really possible as it drops you below MOL but obviously the pressure on prices would be intense if it happened. Whats important is is such and event occurred it would probably suggest yet one more doubling of prices or up to 600 a barrel. This is the doomsday price.

I'm not saying this is going to happen :)

However I'd like to point out the current price is at a level such that if the US started to face falling storage levels as the price of crude increased and extreme bidding war is theoretically already priced in.

In my opinion.

The EIA has recently announced that in addition to changing some methodology for the natural gas inventory report, it is undergoing an examination of the weekly petroleum and product inventory report. It will probably also feature some type of new format in June. As regular readers here probably know, the weekly report is flawed and subject to large revisions. However it does a pretty good job of deter-mining current demand (as measured by products supplied).

Looking at that current demand, we have gasoline demand rising at a 2 to 3% rate this last three months. To explain that, I’ll leave it up to memmel’s prior explana-tions that a recessionary economy doesn’t necessarily equate to a fall in demand. Those people looking for work, taking second jobs, or travelling further to secure a new job probably contributed at least in part to the increase in demand.

The fact that US demand for oil will suddenly fall off at $80 or $85 is also an idea that I don’t share with others here. Of course there is an economic impact, but more importantly it is the rate of price change that has a greater impact on the economy. Let’s not forget just how fast prices rose in 2008, which by the way, occurred after – repeat after – the recession was already in progress for about six months.

So I don’t think there is any specific price that will throw the economy back into recession until we get at least above $100. The growing realization, brought home by the GOM oil spill, is that going forward finding new oil is going to be extremely costly.

Yes I concur.

However I think global prices have a lot to do with who blinks first if you will. In general all the major oil consumers are awash with cash and in general plenty of credit albeit in some cases at a price. There is no shortage of money for staying alive at the moment at least on a global scale. However there could well be a shortage of crude.

And this gets into the crux of the problem with crude. If the US backs off on its purchases and lets its inventories fall the current price in my opinion clearly shows globally there are plenty of buyers for all the worlds crude.
The first buyer that blinks if you will and allows his inventories to start falling is going to eventually have to bid up the market price to stem the decline. This of course leads to someone else blinking if you will and eventually having to bid up market prices themselves.

Next OPEC has shifted its line in the sand if you will out to 100 a barrel I argue this can be seen in the long term futures price which so far at least has moved in general within OPEC's claimed price range.

My opinion is this is the last time OPEC can have a significant market impact claiming to support some price point without actually showing the production. 70-80 worked for a while I suspect 100 will be breached much faster good chance within the next three months.

As far as the EIA data goes I'd argue that the market has steadily discounted it overtime. Thats not to mean its not playing a huge role in prices but believe in the absolute values presented has steadily eroded.

The problem is of course if the data is flawed then its now very difficult if not impossible to correct without trigging the bidding war situation at these price points. I'd suspect if the EIA corrected the data and claimed even higher storage levels the market would reject it. If it corrected the data down somewhat the correction may well not be believed and the market could well punish if you will the system for lying.

Even worse if its determined that real levels are less than currently reported and and attempt is made to even drift storage levels down over time with a number of smaller corrections the market will still respond vigorously.

The only thing that can solve this dilemma would be for OPEC to actually have significant production capacity and in my opinion go ahead and preempt the market by opening up the taps regardless of claimed US storage levels.
If they are incorrect and OPEC can induce prices to fall then the US can safely correct problems in its data without impacting price except perhaps to keep it a bit higher than it should be.

This could briefly send oil back to 60 a barrel however with a bit of constraint this would be short lived and OPEC could easily dial it back a bit to get oil into its 70-80 comfort band.

Whatever the current situation is my main point is OPEC could readily if it wished bring prices back into its 70-80 band with a fairly small window where they might overshoot a bit. These lower prices would go a long way to bolstering the economic recovery and renewing real demand.

Next of course recent development i.e the oil spill open up the dangers of deep sea drilling back in the past the development of the North Sea played a big role in OPEC losing control of oil prices. Surging production and showing the world that OPEC is a source of reasonably cheap safe crude and appealing to the NIMBY crowd would is a fantastic market opportunity for OPEC even if it results and a short term and highly beneficial decline in crude prices it could easily derail deep water development for a decade or more. This of course would lead to declining non-opec production and allow OPEC to reap mult-year long term profits later when oil prices finally surged past 100 no way could deepwater move fast enough then to offset OPEC's market share. And of course a nice return to 60 dollar oil would crush electric car and other alternative energy approaches.

The fact they seem to be saying nothing and willing to play chicken with 100+ oil now suggests that their real capabilities don't match their claims.

This sort of analysis sets on top of the increasingly obvious fact that there is a real level of fairly inelastic demand that more than supports the price targets OPEC has claimed to target up until recently.

Perhaps the steady rise in imports to the US is OPEC actually recognizing its opportunity if so then one would expect the US market to get increasingly well supplied over the next several weeks with imports steadily mounting.
If so and if EIA data is flawed then they only need allow storage levels to remain fairly flat even as imports rise until the reported numbers match with reality. Eventually of course this would result in the US truly being well supplied and slow real buying and prices would fall or remain weak even if inventories fell.

All kinds of factors suggest that this is a really good time for OPEC to preemptively take the wind out of short term prices in exchange for significant future returns. I find zero compelling reasons for them to play roulette with 100 dollar oil.

Given all this if we actually do see OPEC pass on the opportunity and oil prices approach 100 then the truth is already evident thats not to say OPEC won't do and emergency surge that may steady prices for a short term but it would be and emergency move as they would have bypassed a perfect strategic move that would probably result in the world being able to stably support 100+ crude for years with a very slow transition to alternatives.

Interesting explantion. The US has a strange way of accumulating excess world inventories, and also in reverse, inventories just don't show up in the US when the rest of the world needs them.

Too bad these trends may take two months or more to make themselves clear.

Yes I also agree that just given just a small amount of time that supply/demand trends will make themselves known, and we may see by summer in US (late June) prices over $100. If a volcano and excess jet fuel piling up around the world didn't cool down the price of oil, I am not sure what will - other than possibly an even more dangerous volcanic explosion.

Not that $100 oil is an especially important place for oil to stop climbing, but maybe a way point. Granted if the economy suddenly went into free fall for some reason, prices wouldn't stay up here very long. But I am not expecting that yet - if nature cooperates that is. Peak worldwide summer demand looks to me like it will exceed available supply by about 1 million bpd. In the fall, supply and demand may go back to being more or less balanced.

Based upon recent statements from OPEC members, oil field and refinery development plans are becoming very expensive. Although KSA appears to have balanced its overall governmental budget at about $75 oil last year, Exportland 2.0 is now in effect. Or in other words, export volumes are falling. Therefore a combination of additional infrastructure costs and less volumes available may push up the needed price 15 to 20 % this year and 20% or more next year. Therefore KSA needs an exponentially increasing price, if economic trends unfolded smoothly.

However it looks like the chances of events unfolding smoothly are not that high when you have volcanoes, Iran, pirates, terrorists, and national credit defaults. It remains to be seen if OPEC thinks it needs to charge a risk premium for these risks, or if it sees high prices as being counter-productive.

Finally Urals has gone above $85, so now all sources are above $85.

oil prices

I heard on the news this AM that BP is assuming full financial responsibility. I know nothing about the company. How much expense would it take to bankrupt them? How much debt are they carrying? Could a failure set off a chain reaction?

Their market value ATM is $150.2 billion, down $30 billion or so since the leak started.

They could sell their reserves to the Chinese and likely get a premium price.


Kye -- Doesn't really matter if BP says they'll assume full liability. As operator of the well they will have full liability whether they assume it or not. That's the Fed law. The only financial relief they might get is through a successful lawsuit if they can show responsibility of a third party. Probably won't bankrupt them but could change company ops for many years.

Yes, but their liability is capped at 75 million $. Once they have spent that much, they are off the hook.

Federal law may limit BP liability in oil spill

A federal law may limit how much BP has to pay for damages such as lost wages and economic suffering in the Gulf Coast oil spill, despite President Barack Obama's assurances that taxpayers will not be on the hook.

A law passed in response to the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska makes BP responsible for cleanup costs. But the law sets a $75 million limit on other kinds of damages.

Economic losses to the Gulf Coast are likely to exceed that. In response, several Democratic senators introduced legislation Monday to raise the liability limit to $10 billion, though it was not clear that it could be made to apply retroactively.

ericy -- read your message a little more closely. The $75 million limit is for other kinds of damages. It says BP is liable for the clean up costs.

And the law says nothing about civil lawsuits.

In the new paradigm we're in, brought on by collapse, anything of systemic value isn't allowed to fail. If BP is important to maintaining BAU then it will be bailed-out if it gets into difficulty.

Well if the UK government ask me, a British tax payer, to bail out BP because of its problems half a world way I will not be happy. There is no appetite for any more state bail outs in the UK, but that is a moot point because there is absolutely no money to do it with. We are totally broke.

there is absolutely no money to do it with

Money is an infinite resource. There is no way to run out. Just add onto the debt. Easy as that.

Money is an infinite resource. There is no way to run out. Just add onto the debt. Easy as that.

Exactly. Unfortunately, the purchasing power of that fiat money to buy actual resources is much more restricted, and the supply of said resources rather inelastic, if not in outright decline. In the future, thanks to government profligacy and limitless debt expansion, we may all end up millionaires. Unfortunately, a loaf of bread might also cost $100,000.

Well, they didn't ask your permission to bail-out the banks or to attack Iraq or anything else. Why would they start asking now? And if they do bother to ask, it will only be after an extensive program of national brainwashing :)

Greece is broke too, but, after a bit of brinkmanship they've got everyone to chip in (including UK and US taxpayers) so they can continue their spending binge. The global system is out of control and economies are being forced to keep BAU going or face imminent collapse.

But, as we know, declining energy availability will cause all economies to revert to core economic activities and divest non-essential businesses in the end (like all the service industries everyone is currently employed in). Fiat currencies will probably have been rendered near valueless by then and taxpayers bankrupt, debts defaulted on and bail-outs long forgotten about and written off.

It would appear that Tony Haywood (CEO of BP) has the potential to become the most hated man along the gulf (and east) coast.


The above article cites a quote that that BP is not responsible for the accident, and the chemical dispersant that is being fed into the underwater oil stream coming out of the pipe is working. Personally, I think the man should be tarred and feathered, preferably with the oil fouled feathers of all the dead birds soon to be washing up on shore, then put on an oil barge and set adrift...

Pete Deer

He's already there Sub. I mentioned it a few days ago when he pointed the finger at the drilling company. In time we might find out the accident was 100% the fault of someone on the drilling crew. But there is one rule in the oil patch you never ever break when there’s a fatality: you don’t start pointing fingers until the dead are buried or the memorial services held. The first responsibility is to the survivors. If he bumps into a Transworld hand any time soon he might just lose a tooth or two.

The fix is in, Rockman! Blame the drilling company. They are an LLC, and any assets they have are mortgaged to the hilt by the hedge funds, who have first mortgage rights and will end up with all of the hard assets. What is left is the liability, strickly limited.

Fortunately, US law requires the lessee the pay for damages, and that is BP. However, look for a new fix in the future.

Also, their statement that they will pay was strictly hedged as well, in such a way that I guarantee they will fight over every nickle, and delay, delay, delay.

The new mantra: Drill Baby Drill; Delay Baby Delay;

When all is said and done, the US and UK and Canada will have done the heavy hauling in remediation, which IMO will not be very successful. We end up with another trillion in debt and a desert in the South East United States, along the coast. No coastal wetlands to impeed ingress of hurricanes = heavy damage to inland cities. Look out, Alexandria and Hattiesburg, and Tallahassee's dead.

The lawsuit from this will be going until 2020 or after! Interesting... lawsuits over oil will last longer than the oil.


The fix is in, Rockman! Blame the drilling company.

The drilling company is a contractor. If I contract with someone to do some work and they screw up, doesn't the liability first go to the contractor. They'd have to prove that the contractee did something wrong. Now if it turns out BP directed TransOcean to cut corners to save costs -that would be BPs fault. But, if BP made a good faith effort to verify that TransOcean was a responsible contractor (and didn't withold information that TO needed to do its job safely -such as information about the drilling formation), then the primary responsibility belongs with TO. I think the BP CEO is being perfectly sensible is portraying the primary responsibilty as TO's.

I'm probably wrong but superdeep drilling seems to my untutored eye to be pushing past some kind of technological limit which wasn't been thought thru by BP.
A 20000 foot super deep test well in Kuwait
in 2000 was extensively tested, showing pressures of 16,000 psi and temperatures of 350 degrees.
Also I wonder what other conditions could have caused a rupture. Floating platforms seem rather suspect. Imagine a floating platform bobbing up and down like a cork hammering on a 3000 foot long 18" pipe on top of the hydrostatic pressure, the cold and the pressure of the oil coming up.
Seems like a whole different oil extraction technology would be needed at that depth.

Or is this just another case of BP's oil cowboys 'winging' it?

While drilling, thrusters keep the drill bit stable in 20' seas. Amazing technology.

Shell is working with Petronas on some undersea production platforms off Malaysia. Apparently not unique.


I have only read reviews of this new book but apparently it skewers some green energy proponents.

. http://www.amazon.com/Power-Hungry-Myths-Energy-Future/product-reviews/1...

Floating platforms seem rather suspect. Imagine a floating platform bobbing up and down like a cork hammering on a 3000 foot long 18" pipe on top of the hydrostatic pressure, the cold and the pressure of the oil coming up.

As` someone who used to work on offshore oil rigs and do BOP inspections on well heads 500 ft underwater, granted, not 5000 ft. Still, I can pretty much assure you, that what you imagine isn't even close to reality...

Offshore Production Platforms

When oil fields were first developed in offshore locations, drilling semi-submersibles were converted for use as combined drilling and production platforms. These vessels offered very stable and cost effective platforms. The first semi-submersible floating production platform was the Argyll FPF converted from the Transworld 58 drilling semi-submersible in 1975 for the Hamilton Brothers North Sea Argyll oilfield.

As the oil industry has progressed into deeper water and harsh environments, purpose-built production semi-submersible platforms were designed. The first purpose-built semi-submersible production platform was for the Balmoral field, UK North sea in 1986 [7].

Source Wikipedia, emphasis mine

Re: The Spill vs. a Need to Drill

The conservative movement seems to be spinning off-shore drilling as just another normal risk we accept every day. As in coal has risks, gas has risks and oil has risks -- so what? Well, I say where's the risk in wind mills and solar panels? Until every sunny-climate home has a solar panel and every wind corridor has wind mills, why risk damaging the environment with fossil fuels?

Of course, in politics everything is deception. Our reliance on fossil fuels is entirely due to industry lobbying.

Presumably, you personally are smart enough to not be controlled by industry lobbying. And presumably, there are others who are mentally and emotionally strong enough to make choices that are not a product of industry lobbying and advertising. I am assuming that you are concerned anough that you have significantly reduced your carbon footprint. Presumably, you could do more. Frankly, I could do more and my excuse is certainly not industry lobbying.

I know people here who literally claim to be part of the "environmental community", whatever that is. And yet they drive vehicles like Lexuses long distance almost every week,not by necessity, and take numerous trips overseas, including places like London so they can visit the theater. Yes, it is a wealthy community. But what is their excuse? Industry lobbying?

Please. Let us all take some responsibility for at least some of our own actions.

And, to be honest, I still don't really understand how people's professed values and their individual actions can be so disconnected. Is it because they think it is the government's responsibility to make it all better?

I believe we need solar electricity and wind power to help us transition to a less fossil fuel intensive existence. But there is so much we could do in the mean time to make a lot of oil use unnecessary.

Dr. to patient: Where does it Hurt?
Patient: In the wallet.
Dr: That's good. If you lose 30 pounds that should save you a fortune not to mention your health!

When gas cost $10 a gallon you won't need the government telling people what to drive or when to take an airline trip. Let's face it our collective guilt about using fossil fuels doesn't mean jack, we're going to continue using fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. A substantial tax on fossil fuel inputs is tough love but it is the only solution that has a chance of success. If my neighbor who has a Ford F-350 and two jet-skis wants to spend all of his money on gas that's his business.

I also don't buy that our economy would collapse with gas prices that high.


I don't believe the economy will collapse either at least not from high oil prices. However thats not the problem the problem is you will get serious price inflation across a wide range of goods primarily food and gasoline of course but its persuasive. Companies will have no choice but to pass on the costs of more expensive oil. Next individuals will have no choice but to alter their spending habits to deal with higher priced oil. Certainly some will drive less but more will do less of something else instead. No matter how you slice it the net amount people have to spend falls. Next of course because of the high unemployment you simply can get wage pressure indeed we could well see wages fall even as prices increase for a wide range of goods. Expansion of the money supply via government programs simply artificially inflates demand generally in all the wrong places.

Ok well it just means life will get hard right ? Well not really because thats not the real problem the real problem is that falling free cash flow means the amount of money people have to spend on mortgages falls. Regardless of what people want to do they cannot spend more than they make esp to service a large fixed debt forever.

And now we get to the root of the problem its not really oil or energy people can and will adjust to a high priced oil environment and so will business. However such and economy simply cannot pay what we do today and most importantly it cannot pay anything close to what it does now for housing. Regardless of what else happens people are certain to seek out cheaper housing to offset rising costs and stagnant wages. There is nothing anyone can do to prevent this its natural.

And we cannot survive as we do now with steadily falling housing prices the current loan structure with little down will simply blow up. If you increase down payment requirements the same thing happens housing blows up.

Baby Boomer's looking to retire will quickly realize that this contraction from rising commodity prices sits right on top of a major demographic shift and a massive bubble build out.

The nominal increase in the price of oil is small fraction of the potential losses from falling housing prices. This is of course because housing is insanely leveraged.

Your talking about trillions lost in equity and billions in taxes. And this does not even go into pension funds that cannot be paid and government workers that cannot be paid.

Can we survive sure but we have no choice but to default on our debt obligations. Printing money won't work as all it will do is boost oil demand first and foremost. Many who have bought a house with little down the last few years using the government incentives will find themselves in default and deeply underwater.

All of this holds for commercial real estate also its not just single family housing. Eventually of course the tax base erodes to the point that the Governments solvency is called into question and at some point it will face rising interest rates attempt to increase taxes simply inflame matters.

In the end its not peak oil that kills us thats survivable its the massive amounts of debt and loss of phantom equity gains from decades of mild inflation that does us in.

The question then becomes can this feasible more austere way of living survive as our massive debt bubble implodes ?

I don't think in general it can. Its almost certain that or current currencies will fail as nations begin to default. Any sort of basic economy needed for survival will have to move to something else besides fiat currencies to function. And it will.

Basically if high oil prices are the future and globalization stops wage inflation then there is simply no way to print your way out and keep the entire game working. Something has to give somewhere somehow the system has to write effectively all the existing debt and unearned equity gains made over the last 30 years off.

After that is over your talking about a 1980's economy with 300 million people instead of about 200 million or a real 30% decline in wealth vs what we had then. Vs now perhaps 50-75% ? Its really hard to figure given the nature of the current economy and its makeup its not a simple rollback. Its pretty easy to guess your talking about persistent and chronic unemployment or serious underemployment for 30% of the work force. Now where is that pressure on wages coming from ?

This sort of scenario obviously puts tremendous pressure on the governments of the world and the stability of all including the US is highly questionable. Military misadventures of course simply suck even more resources out of the system.

What I have yet to see is any sort of credible proposal that allows us to deal with rising energy costs and also induce the inflation needed to advert default on the debt. Sure perhaps we can borrow huge sums of money and rapidly convert to EV's and NG and even trains but then what ? At the end of the day can such a society service a debt that probably impossible to pay even with cheap oil plus the various costs of conversion of the transportation system ?

Most people that don't even consider rising oil prices or at best oil prices much higher than now question our solvency right now much less where we will be 1-2 years from now or even the ten or more needed to even begin to deal with our energy issues.

Not to mention a few billion Chinese and Indians hell bent on living the good life.

There simply is no way out of the mess we have got ourselves into expect perhaps a break through energy source and even if this happens we have plenty of other resource issues to contend with from water to fisheries to global warming so even that might perhaps buy us a decade before something else puts pressure on our society.

What you can do of course is recognize the futility of trying to keep things going as they are and accept the situation and go ahead and reallocate our dwindling resources to sustainable living this of course includes premeditated and deliberate default on our housing stock via say a rapid return to 40% down or more to force prices quickly to a sustainable level.

Great points memmel but you forget this is a specific tax on FF's not merely an increase on prices based or higher commodity prices, which hurts the US directly since we are the big importer. If you want to see the Saudi's panic tax the gas. This is a responsible economic policy because we have to get this outrageous deficit under control. The FF tax can offset other taxes and can also fund retooling our energy grid, retrofitting our homes with efficiencies and our cities with efficient mass transit. That could create the spark that can really ignite this country to move into the 21st century.

The idea that artificially raising the price of gas will lead a worse financial mess as we slide inexorably down this peak oil slope is wrong IMHO. But since Americans are determined to maintain the unsustainable (drill baby drill!) it will be practically impossible in the current political environment. The repubs would simply find another Reagan to bring back the good old days and roll back the taxes. So I guess in the end we're probably doomed.


Believe it or not I disagree the gas/oil problem will take care of itself as prices rise no taxes needed.
And the political backlash is large and in my opinion misdirected.
We don't have enough oil end of story.

The intrinsic problem is that as oil declined our ability to go "long" or borrow from the future declines
as future wealth is probably less than what we have today. For now at least we still have a lot of infrastructure built with cheap oil but this will degrade without replacement.

Basically its financial we need to zero our account balances as soon as possible stop building oil based infrastructure subdivisions and shopping malls and allow the market economy to evolve naturally as oil gets more expensive.

If anything we need to invest in bonds to build railroads etc not taxes as they are inefficient.
Pay as you go and really pay for it.

You have to force the financial system to match the new reality of a constrained economy.
This simply means you have to invest stored wealth from past work for the future.

Taxes don't really do much good and indeed its important for people to take a very direct interest in what they want to invest in especially as a community.

Plain old simple stuff really. But each step of the way you know what you have achieved and have not.

If the financial framework matches the reality of the economic capacity and resources then you don't have a problem.

You might not have a lot of stuff but thats rather the point once things settle out we really don't have all that much.

The reason why I'm predicting that the prices of assets such as houses etc will crash is because the price is bouyed by expectations of future growth once you have to pay with stored wealth the price is not really crashing simply returning to its value in a society that cannot grow.

Most of our oil dependent infrastructure probably has little value. Even the stuff that does like walkable areas of cities etc is only worth what people can pay.

Built finished infrastructure can have surprisingly little value.

Nearly 35 years after taxpayers spent $55.7 million building the Pontiac Silverdome and a year after a $20 million sale fell through, city officials have sold the arena once called the most desirable property in Oakland County.

The price: $583,000.

Things simply need to resolve to their real value in a post peak society. Oil will be expensive no taxes needed what has to happen is we have to stop trying to prop up asset values and in the process by necessity prop up oil demand leading to a death spiral.

Let the system relax to its real level without future borrowing and everything will settle to its "natural" level.

Then we can see where we really are.

Probably pretty damned poor but so what its the truth and we can deal with it. The original rail system was build with far less than we have today. Once we know what we have and can do I'm not worried but we have to get back to a realistic baseline or its just more of the same malinvestment.

Is Los Angeles really going to be a mega city in say twenty years ?
Do we really want to build out rail to our current network of cities ?
Far more likely lowly Ohio will boom again but who really knows ?

There is a lot we don't know about where to do stuff and even what to do to realize a sustainable society.
Trying to layer it on top of our existing system using even more borrowing is almost certainly the wrong approach.

The only way for this to happen is for peak oil to be accepted by everyone and incorporated into their economic decision making. Is this a realistic expectation? If not, then what?

Taxes don't really do much good and indeed its important for people to take a very direct interest in what they want to invest in especially as a community.

That is not true. Taxes paid for my education (as well as countless others). Social Security Taxes allowed my grandparents to spend the final years of their life with a little dignity. Taxes paid for the infrastructure that was at one time the envy of the world. Sure, a lot of it was based on cheap oil and gas which is why we now have what JH Kunstler calls the largest mis-alocation of resources in history: the drive in suburban paradigm.

Basically its financial we need to zero our account balances as soon as possible stop building oil based infrastructure subdivisions and shopping malls and allow the market economy to evolve naturally as oil gets more expensive.

Memmel, I think most thinking people are aware of "market forces" however in todays economy the government is the biggest market driver there is. The only way to make the market (the american people) stop building oil based subdivisions is to get the cost of gas high enough that "we the people" make the change. I remember there was a time when the U.S. government set a 55 MPH limit on the freeways. People changed their driving habits almost overnight. How did we do that? I guess they were just short-sighted politicians.

The tea party movement is based on the foggy conviction that "government is bad". Yeah the government we have today is an object of derision but believe it or not it is the only hope we have to avoid a Mad Max collapse into anarchy. I agree that convincing the rest of America how serious Peak Oil is will be a stretch but there are a lot of brave folks who go out and try and do that every day. I can appreciate every politician and celebrity makes the mandatory mea culpa to "our boys" fighting the good wars but if you ask about taxing gas so that we might actually do something about what those young men are fighting for we're told it's off the table.

A simple $1.00 tax on gas would raise $145 billion per year. $.50 cents of that should be used to pay down the deficit. The other $.50 cents could be used to cushion the blow for those most hurt by the tax and to fund the changes in our infrastructure necessary to get through this coming bottleneck. At $4 to $5 a gallon at the pump it would put real fear into the oil oligarchs. Imagine America reducing it's daily consumption of oil to 15 mbpd in less than 10 years.

An example of a good tax. Cigarette taxes have become the no-brainer tax because everyone acknowledges how bad they are for us. That was a huge fight with years of legal battles and fighting large corporate interests but for the most part the bad guys lost. Our dependence on oil )not just foreign oil) is killing the planet, the commons, Gaia, mother Earth, the lifeboat...however you like to term it. We need to tax coal, oil nad gas out of existence before we go extinct.

The people on this site have the jump on everyone else. We know what's coming. But the idea of sitting there watching this coming crash without raising a hand to stop it is irresponsible.


Tax is the price one pays to be a member of a civilized society.

How many times do we have to see this play before we admit that it always ends the same way?

Which play? The one where gasoline prices go up, pressure rises for more fuel-efficient cars, then gasoline prices fall and the pressure for low-mileage vehicles vanishes, consumers stop buying those cars, the oil producers celebrate, we remain addicted to oil and prices gradually go up again, petro-dictators get rich, we lose. I’ve already seen this play three times in my life. Trust me: It always ends the same way — badly.

So I could only cringe when reading this article from CNNMoney.com on Dec. 22: “After nearly a year of flagging sales, low gas prices and fat incentives are reigniting America’s taste for big vehicles. Trucks and S.U.V.’s will outsell cars in December ... something that hasn’t happened since February. Meanwhile, the forecast finds that sales of hybrid vehicles are expected to be way down.”

Have a nice day. It’s morning again — in Saudi Arabia.

Thomas L. Friedman

"A simple $1.00 tax on gas would raise $145 billion per year. $.50 cents of that should be used to pay down the deficit. The other $.50 cents could be used to cushion the blow for those most hurt by the tax and to fund the changes in our infrastructure necessary to get through this coming bottleneck."

There's one fundamental flaw with this approach. Without tough fiscal constraints(such as a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution), giving politicians money is like giving an alcoholic the keys to a liquor store. Do you honestly believe that politicians(of either major political party) would take the 72.5 billion in your example and pay down the deficit with it?

Do you honestly believe that politicians(of either major political party) would take the 72.5 billion in your example and pay down the deficit with it?

asph5 No, they'd probably find some other use for it but that's not the point. I would rather pay taxes than fund petro-states and continue driving off of this cliff called peak oil with no preparation. If I pay taxes at least the money stays here and that's what I call patriotic.


Joe - How likely would it be that this "other use" would drive up demand for oil and fund petro-states?

Also, if you want to pay more taxes, please don't let me stop you:


Attn Dept G
Bureau of the Public Debt
P. O. Box 2188
Parkersburg, WV 26106-2188

if you want to pay more taxes, please don't let me stop you.

That is a ridiculous challenge. I don't have any more love for taxes than you do. If you want to argue find another whipping post!



Started a firestorm. To be clear I don't believe in general taxes they are simply very inefficient. We need to go back towards paying for stuff one item at a time. You pay for all your own expenses via detailed accounting via individual transactions. Taxes is just a way to divert money from where it should be spent.

Want to build a school then offer a bond and have the citizens pay for the bond want to do the same for teachers salaries then do so. The public budget is directly paid for by the citizens that benefit. Its not collected into some pool then mismanaged. If you don't want to pay then don't you also don't get access to schools etc etc.

Forget about taxes they never have worked well and historically are abused. Probably the only reason more detailed traditional accounting like you do for everything else in your life has not taken hold is because the government benefits from skimming the pooled money.

Don't create the pools and you don't have a problem or at least its much smaller. Finally of course once your doing a detailed balance of social responsibility vs private wealth this can and should be public and people need not meet their social needs with dollars. The poor can pay with labor the farmer with crops and the wealthy with donations to the public good. Churches and other organizations run quite well without fixed tax liabilities because the members care.

And last but not least obviously such a detailed approach requires a fairly small group to operate perhaps a few thousand at most but thats the point a few thousand people can manage the details of their group needs and excess cash is minimal making graft difficult or marginally profitable. These much smaller groups can as a group work with other groups that need to work together for bigger projects on up the chain. These larger groupings can be fluid depending on the problem at hand.

Government if you will is reduced to what is effectively a clan/village and then collections of clans/villages.

It may not always be peaceful but conflict is limited when it occurs to inter clan rivalries and issues.
In many cases inter clan issues can be settled at multi-clan meetings.

Probably massively inefficient as far as getting things done with lost of meetings stalling etc etc.
However highly efficient when resources are actually committed and a project embraced by its members.

There is no shortage of hot air so what does it matter if decisions are hard to make they should be hard.
Consensus building for any activity should be a pain in the ass and take dedication. And things should move
at a crawl.

However slowly year in and year out these communities will accumulate real wealth in the form of public works.
The fast majority will be created using direct labor and contributions and people volunteering. Below the public works level is a community skilled in all the trades ready and able to commit time and labor to the common good.

Utopia ?

No not really plenty of personal and group issues and drama but in the end the clan was and is the correct size for
human interaction ripping out and destroying the clan was the key feature in formation of empires along of course with splintering groups along clan rivalries old fashioned divide and conquer.

If such a society is coupled with population control indeed a steady rate of decline down to some level every year more and more natural resources are available per capita and lands are abandoned serving as a reserve.

Thus if we can couple clans with reduction of population until natural resources are abundant and in excess we can dramatically reduce the causes of conflict don't to basically personal crime and the tragedy of life. However every child will become more and more precious to the community as a whole so in general the value of human life will increase. And last but not least if you reduce the population steadily then infrastructure built for the preceding generation will be in excess of what the next really needs down to some stable level. Same of course for all sorts of structures and houses etc. Once the low water limit is reached then very little need be done in any given year to support the community.

Obviously this leads to building structures that last hundreds if not thousands of years. The final cost to the community becomes infinitesimal. In general anything that can be built to last or can be easily recycled will be.

Commerce reduces to daily life and living increasingly becomes a matter of chasing your own dreams. If this results in the need for community input then your dream better include a lot of time in front of councils.

Getting anything done that requires a consensus may take a good bit of your life to accomplish so consider chasing another dream.

What you see with this sort of vision is a physical world that very static and with large swaths of natural areas humanity is forced to explore its creative side in the mental realm not via creation of physical goods and traditional power. Forcing us to grow in our minds and blocking the routes of greed for physical wealth.

In the end its simply humans recognizing their own failings and setting up a society that allows us to mature in a way that saves us from ourselves. One has to imagine that over thousands of years such a society will eventually result in humans themselves evolving slowly to fit this constrained society perhaps even genetically at some point.
I'd imagine that after a few generations the concept of going out and cutting down all the trees and raping the land will be viewed with the horror it deserves.

Clinton left a $200 billion surplus and there were projections about paying off the national debt in a dozen years (the Treasury stopped issuing 30 year notes because of that "risk").

GWB and the Republicans turned that into a $1.3 trillion deficit AND the greatest fiscal crisis for a new President EVER (FDR was close in 1933).

So yes, "Tax and Spend" Democrats can balance a budget, but "Borrow and Waste" Republicans cannot.


The ONE risk that GWB did well and truly eliminate (with the help of his Republican allies) in his 8 years was the risk of paying off the national debt.

First of all, as a libertarian, I am in total agreement with you that most Republicans are all talk when it comes to issues like being fiscally responsible. The few exceptions are people like Ron Paul, Peter Schiff, Rand Paul, etc.

It is also true that using WAAP(Washington Accepted Accounting Principals) that there was a budget surplus under Clinton. I would argue though that this was due to three factors. First, if it wasn't for the social security surpluses, he would never have run any surplus. Doing what Al Gore proposed during the 2000 election(the "lock box") would have immediately removed this accounting gimmick the government has been using for decades and moved the government closer to GAAP(Generally Accepted Accounting Principals).

Second, the president can only sign spending bills into law. Where are those spending bills created and passed? Which party held the majority where these spending bills were passed? Do you think that the two parties who didn't want to agree with each other may have had something to do with this?

Finally, the tax revenue that was generated due to the dot com bubble certainly helped to create the surplus.

Since no politician has done much of anything to fix the long term problems of the baby boomer retirement, the claims of paying off the deficit in a dozen years(and if I recall correctly, it was 25 years not 12) were never going to happen. They(both major parties) have assumed a BAU approach and never even thought about issues related to peak oil when they do the budget forecasts.

You are politically naive if you think the President does not STRONGLY influence/direct taxes and spending.

Not a single Democrat voted for the Bush tax cuts.

Rs had control of the House & Senate for 6 of GWB's 8 years. In the last two, they had 49.5 votes in the Senate and 46.4% of the House. With the WH veto, they had control even then.

Paying off the publicly held national debt (leaving the SS, Highway, Aviation, etc. trust fund bonds outstanding) could have happened in a dozen years if the Supreme Court had picked the candidate that got the most votes. THAT would have been a significant accomplishment !

And be a good fiscal preparation for a post-Peak Oil world. Not absolutely perfect, I admit, but better than what the republicans left us.


There are a lot of us, TS, who fall into this trap. Many more have simply given up and decided to enjoy the few years of relative luxury available to us, trapped into fatalism.

I don't know where I fall. I have family to support, limited assets to provide for them, and am trying to work a plan at sustainable living. Everything I want to do will cost money, and like most of us I have to triage. What is important, food and clothing for 4 grandchildren I support, or 4 new solar panels for my workshop? Do I give up a trip to the zoo, or postpone improvement to the garden? I have two vehicles, one that is driven the most gets lower mpg, but hauls 7 people and a lot of cargo. The other gets great mileage, and holds 4 with a few bags of groceries.

At some point, the solar panels may be impossible, and the graden improvements as well. This will make my life after children less luxurious, and I am willing to accept that. Right now I am trying to have as much influence on the kids as possible, to educate them as to what is coming, and how to survive. Gradually we switch from zoo trips to garden adventures. Yesterday we cut down a few trees, and added the small parts to compost. Larger limbs and trunks we will burn in the winter. They are learning. In a year or two, we will be cutting back to the small car... with a discussion and decision making lesson.

Near here, middle class shops are still closing up. Up-scale strip malls are showing the impact of the recession; others are making choices as well. I am hopeful most of us can get through the really hard times foreseeably ahead; we do what we must.


The bee catastrophe report that Leanan links above is certainly disturbing:

Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe

Disturbing evidence that honeybees are in terminal decline has emerged from the United States where, for the fourth year in a row, more than a third of colonies have failed to survive the winter.

It seems like there has been no real advocate for the honey bee, over the years. They just get squeezed in every direction by all kinds of activities--beekeepers who think they can increase profits by leaving the bees with a substitute instead of honey, forcing the bees to eat a diet that is increasingly monocrops; increased insecticide spraying; GM seeds of unknown impacts; impacts of climate change; moving bees around from crop to crop for pollination; disease, possibly aggravated by all of the above--these are just a few of the things I remember reading about as possible problems impacting the bees.

Even if environmentalist took this up increasing wild bee population as their primary cause, it would be hard to target all of the "guilty" parties. I don't think our environmental laws are written to address this issue.

Another factor is inbreeding. Commercial hives are bred for large body size and other desirable traits, just like our other domesticated animals. The genetic diversity among commercially bred bees is much lower than in the wild.

It might help the bees if diesel fuel prices go to $5-6 per gallon by preventing many of the bees from being trucked all over the country and spreading diseases in bees weakened by the transportation?

It might help the bees if diesel fuel prices go to $5-6 per gallon

Jon - that is my mantra. Tax the gas!


Increasing taxes means people try and earn more money which ultimately means more demand is placed on the environment which helps destroy it faster (eg. I have to cut more trees down to pay the increased taxes). The increased tax revenues then go to the dumb asses in government which use it to promote unbelievably dumb policies which further harm the environment (eg. building biomass power stations which requires chopping down and burning the local forests or biofuels).

You really shouldn't promote increasing taxes, its a really really dumb idea! And the one thing it probably wouldn't do is decrease fuel use, it may actually increase it as people boost economic activity in an attempt to earn more money to pay for the frigging increases.

BTW, as collapse accelerates, the environment is going to be totally ravaged for the same reasons.

Well, some people find taxes to be the ultimate devil in all circumstances. What if you increase taxes on things we don't want, such as consumption of fossil fuels and non-local consumption and lawyers, and decrease them on other things that we do want, like work, insulation, efficiency...

I've heard some pretty ridiculous arguments in my time on the oil drum, but this one has to top them all.

It's not an argument, it is exactly what I'll do to meet any increase in taxes. I'll cut more trees down to sell as firewood during the winter and cut more trees down to bring land into agricultural production for the summer. It will also increase my fuel usage.

It's simple economics. Reduce the need for money to reduce the need for resources and give the environment a break.

I love honey, and honey bees, but they are not native to North America. Honey bee decline is likely caused by many different reasons, but I suspect the primary reason is that their lives are rather grim: moved from one place to another, spending much of their lives bumping along on the highway cramped together in trucks, stressed all the time (sound familiar?)...And of course all the chemicals in the monoculture feeds they visit.

For the home gardener, it's a much safer bet to create a complex polyculture that includes varieties of native flowers that flower all season long. This will encourage many of our native bees to move in and pollinate your fruits and veggies. Some of my favorite nectary plants: native columbine, the coneflowers, coreopsis. Nonnatives work just as well: comfrey, daisies, poppies, etc.

Stephen Hren

I'm sure that honeybees are critical to the pollination of some crops, but...

I remember when this CCD first started coming on - I have lots of white clover in my "lawn", usually teeming with bees, and then one year they never came. I was really worried about my apples and peaches perhaps not getting pollinated. It seems that between the bumblebees and other native bees and pollinators, the job gets done. The yield on my fruit trees has been unchanged, which is to say, enormous.

I see very few honeybees on them this year (though a few, which is more than the last couple of years). Mostly some bumblebees, and other bees (mason bees? carpenter bees?) and some kind of fly. I live basically in a 2-3 acre opening in the woods, but my "neighbors" (quarter of a mile in each direction) keep bees. We use absolutely no pesticides around here, and the habitat is full of woods, meadows, wetlands, etc., so I guess I get ample native pollinators coming by.

Best Hopes for freshly-cranked vanilla ice-cream with peaches later this Summer!

Mine is apparently a minority opinion, but I have decided not to try to re-queen my colonies, and instead to leave it to each hive to raise up their own new queens. I figure that they know what they really need better than I do. I may risk a swarm, but so what? That will happen now and then anyway. Leaving my bees to re-queen themselves also means that my new queens will mate with drones from a variety of local colonies, thus providing some good genetic diversity. I suspect that over time, this laissez faire approach will result in colonies that are better adapted to their local environment, which is what a backyard beekeeper really wants to have anyway.

Eventually, the africanized genes, much diluted, will spread into my area, which is actually a good thing. The African strains are much more mite-resistant. I'm willing to trade off a little more aggressiveness (forget the horror stories of the early 80s', as they've mixed in the gene pool that has been toned down quite a bit) in exchange for a lot more mite resistence. You'll only get that if you follow the free-breeding approach that I'm taking, though.

Sam Comfort said something similar in this article, though he takes a more active approach:

In response to the sharp decline in commercial bee populations, scientists and beekeepers like Comfort are working to wind back the clock. “It’s all about diversity,” he says. After years in industrial beekeeping, he had an epiphany in 2007 while sitting on an elk path in Montana thinking about the situation: dead bees, missing bees, mites thriving on chemical strips meant to kill them. He decided to pack it in and head back East. He drove to Dutchess County in the truck he now lives in, with an empty honey­comb dangling from the mirror and a Montana license plate that read BEESWAX.

Today Comfort shuttles around in his truck, fetching hives out of local squirrel houses, conducting a one-man breeding project. His goal is not to furnish the large-scale migratory beekeepers with more robust stock but rather to create an infrastructure of small-scale beekeepers. After he collects a new colony, he monitors it for a while, watching to see if it survives the winter, resists pathogens, and produces a good amount of honey. The ones faring well are the keepers. He uses the progeny from those hives to establish new queens, then sells those queens to local beekeepers, mostly hobbyists who “just want to let the bees do their thing.”

I see this as part of the larger issue of general insect decline -- insects and wildflowers are in simultaneous decline, as humans destroy habitat and fill the environment with pesticides.

I have undeveloped property in the Hudson Valley that I camp at often. Last fall the meadows were thick with honey bees. I haven't seen one not a single one this spring. It's really creepy. Last spring when the pussy willows bloomed the trees hummed with life this year they were practically sterile except for the odd bumble bee. This can't be good.

We too, had lots of bees last year, then suddenly this year...none. I go in the yard with my daughter and talk about how I see no bees. She caught on to my concern. One day I was inside, and she was out in the yard, and spotted one, lone, bee. She came running in, "A bee! A honeybee!" as much excitement as if it had been a moose or bear or something.

Winter seems to be the final straw for many of these bees, with all the other stressors they must endure. Has anyone ever tried overwintering them indoors, with real honey for food?

The most important thing is to make sure they have enough food, meaning that they have been left with enough honey in the hive. Some beekeepers are too greedy in what they harvest from the hive, and don't leave enough for the bees. You can also supplemental feed with sugar syrup, which I do even if they do seem to have enough honey, "just in case". Most colonies that don't make it through the winter starve to death.

Mites are a problem, too. If a colony isn't healthy, then the stress of winter can do it in. While I do try to practice chemical-free beekeeping, I don't have a problem with using natural essential herbal oils, and thymol is a good fall treatment to at least cut down on varroa mites a bit.

People way up north where it gets really cold will wrap their hives to provide them with extra insulation, but for most of the US that isn't really necessary.

The wild colonies have mostly died out due to the varroa mites. That's probably why you are not seeing them when you go camping. For most people, they'll only see honeybees around if there is a beekeeper with at least one or two hives somewhere within a half mile away or so.

I checked my two hives this weekend and they are both doing fine, building up nicely in anticipation of the tulip poplar flow.

The problem isn't with backyard beekeepers like myself, it is with the big migratory commerical operations. Feeding the bees on a succession of monocultures is not good for them, they thrive when they have a diverse local ecolology to feed upon. Also, it is now suspected that even if orchardists are careful about what they spray before and during the bees, the neighboring fields are not, and so the bees are still bringing a lot of toxic chemicals back to the hives. This just isn't a good model for doing things. I know it has produced a lot - for a while - but it truly isn't sustainable, any way you care to define that word.

I recommend that as many people that possibly can do it to get into beekeeping. You can keep it small scale - as I said, I've only got two hives, and three will be my max. What we are going to need in the long term is a landscape that is dotted with backyard beehives, along with a wide diversity of fruit trees and other vegetation.

Yes, agree.

I'm in the city, and it's more people-keeping than bee-keeping, in the sense that people need to be educated about bees.

Most people can't tell the difference between honeybees, bumblebees and wasps, to my despair. They don't want too many bees in their yards, but they insist on putting in ponds and bee-attractant flowers such as stonecrop sedum. More than once, I've had a neighbor ask if I could plant more nice flowers in my yard "so the bees can stay close to home". Sigh...

I sell a small amount of honey in the neighborhood, and I love having kids come by to see the bees. The first question I always get asked is have I been stung ? I always tell the truth, and say yes I have, but it was always my own fault for not paying attention, and if one pays attention to the bees, they are perfectly "safe".

My one hive swarmed last week, and landed in my neighbor's tree. While they were swarming I was just praying none of my neighbors came home. They would have been terrified.

I had a local nature center help me get them out of the tree - my neighbor's only comment - "make sure nobody falls and hurts themselves".

It's coming along, one incident at a time...

I was wondering what the effects of a hurricane in the gulf this season would do to this oil column in the water. I would be surprised if the leak was not controlled by the time a hurricane forms in the gulf but there should still be a lot of oil in the lower columns of water in the gulf. Would a hurricane be beneficial or make matters worse?

A very broad, general answer could be "better" or "it depends".


"Fears for crops as shock figures from America show scale of bee catastrophe"

I'm always amazed when H. sapiens spends millions of dollars looking for a handful of dead or missing people, yet don't seem to step up to understand why millions upon millions of bees are disappearing.

The cost of a coastguard helicopter, for example, is around $4400 per hour.

Yet, only about $75 million has been promised for bee research, when the disappearance of pollinators could spell the end of life as we know it.

"Specifically, the ARS...(Agriculture Research Service) the research arm of USDA has been appropriated...

•$3 million for each of fiscal years 2008-2012 for personnel, facilities, and additional research at the bee labs.
•$2.5 million for each of fiscal years 2008-2009 for other USDA labs in NY, FL, CA, UT and TX.
•$1.75 million for each of fiscal years 2008-2010 to identify the causes of CCD.
•$10 million for each of fiscal years 2008-2012 to CREES – Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service – for grants to investigate:
◦honey bee biology honey bee bioinformatics (what do you suppose that is?)
◦native bee crop pollination and habitat conservation
◦native bee taxonomy and ecology
◦pollination biology
◦sub-lethal effects of pesticides
◦effects of genetically modified crops
◦parasites and pathogens and their effects on pollinators
•$2.25 million for APHIS – The Animal, Plant Health and Inspection Service (the Regulators) – for each of fiscal years 2008-2012 to conduct a honey bee pest and pathogen surveillance program, and produce annual reports for the Secretary of Ag (remember him? ... the well-intentioned political appointee who has a bee guy tinkering in the lab somewhere?)."

Read more: http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/blogs/bees/colony-collap...

I should point out that this article is from 2008. Nevertheless, I suspect that nothing will get done until the annual almond harvest fails. Or something like that.

Don't worry so much. The unfettered free market system we have is a perfectly designed to allocate resources in socially beneficial manner, internalize environmental externalities via precisely tuned feedback loops, and bring human activity into balance with nature. Sometimes it may *seem* like human beings are fouling their nest in irrepairably damaging ways and willfully ignoring neon-red warning signals in the pursuit of short-term and selfish goals, but this is just an illusion. Just relax, have a beer, watch a little NASCAR, and place trust your trust in our Great Leaders. They have a plan for us and the fix will be in any day now.

" The unfettered free market system we have is a perfectly designed,,,"

A truism , if one considers dieoff to be normal part of an unfettered free market as it is in nature generally.

Funds for honey bee research were included in the stimulus bill in 2009 - at least one congressperson (the minority whip, IIRC) considered it "pork".

Although some would like to make out Fiscal Conservatives, The Tea Party, Republicans, etc. as being in favor of an unfettered maret system that is pure hyperbole. Almost none (effectively none) in any of these groups would favor such a system. Adam Smith one of the founders of free market thinking even spoke of "social goods", those that could be used up by society and the Government needs to intervene to protect them.

Of course we need some regulations and of course peak oil in particular needs Government intervention. That said, we have few Great leaders on either side of the aisle who can find common sense balanced solutions.

(as for the article about why oil won't go that high, the writer doesn't seem to fully understand the U.S. is not the entire world market)

"Of course we need some regulations and of course peak oil in particular needs Government intervention"

Try shouting this in just about any crowd anywhere (not just picking on Tea Party-ers, here) and you will get at best blind stares, at worse..well, we don't want to go there.

"common sense balanced solutions"

Maybe if they all just listened to the "fair and balanced" news reported by Faux News we'd all be happy and sing Kumbaya together? ;-)

The free market capitalists, worshiping at the altar of Saint Ronnie the Wrong, believe that after PO, all they need to do is raise the price of oil, and it will magically appear. Anyone who has the money can use all they want.

They have never encountered the situation impending; there will not be enough oil for all the uses needed. The means that there won't be enough to power all of the container ships, and some will not be able to leave port. Not enough to power all the 18-wheelers, and some of them will remain parked. And, not enough for all the soccer moms, commuters and repairmen's trucks.

They will have some new reason to justify BAU, even as the economy tanks. I don't even want to imagine what they will be. What we can know is that Faux News will report it, as well CNN, CNBC and, yes, MSNBC.

Oil prices will go high... then the economy will tank. Government will try to prop it up, printing money by the ton. $500 oil will be nothing. How about $500/gal. gas? Not a pretty sight... does anyone know how to avert it? I am open to ideas... desparate in fact!


All our apple trees are in blossom, but no sign of any honey bees. Pollination is being done by a scattering of wild bees and other assorted insects. I believe the local bee keeper lost a lot of hives this winter.

On another note, we've not had any rain for 4 weeks. We had a draught late summer/early autumn last year and a fairly cold dry winter. Things may get a little difficult for farmers if the trend continues here in Europe.

Whatever is responsible for the bee decline ?

The answer seems to be all of the above as mentioned by everuy previous commenter.

Also, none of the above reasons given can be the sole explaination, as not all honey bees are fed sugar water; not allhoney bees are shipped around; not all honey bees are trying to forage on monocrops; not all honey bees are exposed to insecticides,or to the same insecticides;not all bees are genetically identical, etc.

But bees are still dieing off at a high rate in many places where the usual suspect conditions do not apply.

We just this spring lost two hives out of six on our place, all very vigorous last summer,all located within twenty feet of each other, all handled managed exactly the same way, none moved, plenty of honey left for the bees;the bee keeper is and old man and he loves his bees and is not concerned with the money from selling honey.

I tracked down an amatuer beekeeper friend who lives in the Va piedmont this weekend; lots of bees are being lost lost all around him, in a commercial farming area.He is a minimalist by philosophy and in his methods, as does next to nothing for his bees, except keep skunks away from them, and remove a VERY LITTLE honey for his personal use and that of his friends;his honey harvest is only about ten to twenty percent of what most beekeepers get.Incidentally all his bees are descended from wild swarms, and there may be a lot less genetic uniformity in his bees than usual.

His eleven hives have done just fine for the last two years.

The answer when it is found, will be a new and virulent disease in my opinion, it's effects made much worse by inbreeding and commercial management practices.

I don't believe in unfettered capitalism, but I am of the opinion that the value of honey bees to large scale orchardists is high enough that beekeepers will figure out a way to cash in on it by changing thier management methods;they may not be able to control the disease very well anytime soon, but methods will almost certainly be developed to keep the fields and orchards pollinated-albeit at a considerably higher cost, probably.

Simply cutting the amount of honey harvested and moving the bees less would probably go a long way.Greater diversity in the queens used would probably go a long way, etc.

I am not a bee specialist, and am not spending much time keeping up with this issue.

The wild bees are able to get the job done in my nieghborhood.

"The answer when it is found, will be a new and virulent disease in my opinion, it's effects made much worse by inbreeding and commercial management practices."

Sorry, I don't agree on the disease part. I have been following the issue very closely. I have only 2 beehives, lost them both to Varroa in 2008, but had both thrive last year.

If a pathogen were responsible, it is likely, with modern microscopy, to have been identified by now. In fact, one new virus was found, IAPV, but can't be attributed as the cause of CCD. Bees from CCD hives have been found to be carrying a multitude of pathogens.

Usually, when bees die from disease, their bodies are found in, or near the hive. In fact, it is considered "hygeinic practice" for worker bees to carry dead ones out of the hive. You can always see them do that.

A characteristic of CCD hives is that *no* dead bees are found around the hive. The workers are leaving the hive, and just not coming back.

The thing to realize about bees is that they can forage for more than a mile around. Some have been known to forage nearly two miles away. Even if a beekeeper practices organic methods (which I do), they could be picking up pesticides from a neighbor's field or yard.

If someone is crop-spraying within a 2-3 mile radius of the hive, bees can pick it up. And if wind carries the spray for any distance, spraying even further away could have an impact.

Neonicotinoid pesticides have been banned in France as causing disorientation in bees. Of course, they are still freely used in the US.

While I agree that problems are exacerbated by inbreeding and commercialization, my belief is that bees are suffering from "overload". Poor nutrition, pesticides, diseases, even climate changes are all taking their toll, and bees are just failing. They are immunocompromised. Bee "AIDS", if you will.

It's a remarkably energy efficient system bees have developed - the "dance" which tells othr bees where sources of food are. One bee finds it, then tells everyone else where to look.

Of course, if it is a poisoned source, all the other foragers go there too.

I don't think it's one disease, either. Just the accumulation of a lot of small stressors. Inbreeding, the mites, monocropping/industrialization of bees, maybe stuff like cell phones and pesticides.

Around here, the hobbyist apiarists have not had problems. They often get their bees by removing them from places where they are freaking out homeowners. There's a pretty big orchard industry here, with the commercial hives shipped in. I don't know how they're doing. But the hobbyists (some of whom do rent their hives to farmers for pollinating purposes) are doing fine.

BP says it has slowed the oil leak

MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Oil spill update: BP official Jeff Childs says the company has been able to deploy a ram that clamps around the drill pipe at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. Childs says that maneuver has slowed the flow of oil in and around the pipe. ...

Huff Post has an update up to the effect that prior reports were in error. No change in flow rate.


Also, bear in mind that BP at the moment is haemorraging billions in market cap, and suffering a PR disaster - any shred of good news will be jumped upon and disseminated through the friendly media channels (Fox, for instance) immediately

If there were a real breakthrough here in terms of flow reduction, this would be a much bigger story - my take is that it's almost certainly "spin".

Regards Chris

If there were a real breakthrough here in terms of flow reduction,

The only claim I heard was that the dispersant they were injecting at the leaking pipe was "working". Perhaps it is breaking up some of the oil, so less makes it to the surface? Onviously some dispersant can't stop the flow, but it might alter where it goes, and in what form it shows up.


MAY 3, 2010, 1:07 P.M. ET OIL FUTURES: Oil Hits New 18-Month High On Strong Economic Growth

Crude oil futures traded surged above $87 per barrel Monday, reaching a new 18-month high, as signs of rising economic recovery around the world suggested even higher oil prices to come.

Oh, my. The economy barely has legs and the price per barrel topped 87 today. I shudder to think what the price will reach at the pumps by July 4th, of this year. When will the price per barrel hit 90, 100? What will be the next economic step down tipping point price break?

from the top article:

The future is likely to bring price controls, government intervention in the petroleum supply chain, and nationalization of oil resources.

Which raises the question, aren't a lot of oil resources already nationalized?

My (admittedly uninformed) understanding is that Mexico, Venezuela, many Persian Gulf and nearby countries, and maybe Russia already have nationalized their oil.

Has Nigeria?

Wonder where the author thinks all this nationalization is going to happen.

Re: Why 'Peak Oil' Will Never Lead To $500/bbl Crude Oil (uptop)

I think that an entirely likely scenario would involve a government-dictated fixed price for crude oil imports.

And as far as I can tell, he didn't even touch on ELM issues. And regarding the above quote, recent data suggest that we are already being outbid by developing countries for declining net oil exports. I wonder what happens when the US puts a ceiling price on what we will pay for imported oil?

Of course, on a retail level the pump, many Europeans have paid the equivalent of around $350 per barrel for refined product.

In any case, IMO we are certainly on the road to becoming free of our reliance on foreign sources of oil--just not in the way that many people expected.

I wonder what happens when the US puts a ceiling price on what we will pay for imported oil?

Why, out of the goodness of their hearts, the Saudis, Venezuelans, or someone on Titan will sell us all the oil we want at the prescribed price. Hasn't that always been the theory behind price controls???

From the linked article

If and when rising energy prices due to peak cheap oil begin to impose a markedly lowered standard of living in the United States, I fear that this will become the justification for further American imperialism. I can easily envision Dick Cheney returning to politics, campaigning on a “take the gloves off” platform, and proposing to simply tell the middle east that their choices are to either sell the United States all the oil it wants for (say) $85 per barrel, or be annexed by military force.

The only problem with that attitude is that history suggests quite strongly that military operations in energy producing countries significantly reduce exportable oil and gas from those countries. That doesn't mean people like Cheney won't suggest that route or get others to follow their lead; just that it is doomed to failure.

My favorite evidence for this is Iraqi oil production. From the Energy Export Databrowser:

Try locating the following on the chart and then explain their impact on Iraqi oil exports:

  1. Iran - Iraq war (1980-1981)
  2. Gulf War (1990)
  3. sanctions (1991-2003)
  4. Iraq War (2003-20??)

I would love to hear from anyone who can come up with a post-1970 counter example that demonstrates one nation forcefully appropriating the oil or gas facilities of another and having a positive outcome. I don't think there are any.

- Jon

Also, it could be mentioned that the Gulf War resulted in the mother of all oil spills:

January 23, 1991: 780,000–1,500,000 tonnes

Not gallons or barrels.......tonnes



1. Why/how did we get oil off the contract system and into the commodities market?

2. Why/how did the speculator fraction of the hedge aspect of the oil commodity market go from being so small to being so BIG?

(Financial stuff confuses me.)

I think that Ron is fairly well versed on the oil markets. He can probably provide a better answer than me.

I'm with Ignorant -- financial stuff confuses me.

My question is a bit of a challenge for those with a crystal ball: with all the uncertainty, is it likely we'll see $100/barrel oil sooner than later, let's say in the merry month of May? If so, when? In a few days? Next week? Or is it far too early to discern any trends?

Hmm still at this moment there is no real telling where prices will go.

Depends on what you believe at the end of the day.

1.) Fundamentals don't support the current price and its all speculation the real price should be 60,50,40,30,20 etc pick your story.

2.) OPEC has ample spare capacity and is fully in control of prices generally with a mix of one thrown in with some evil speculators storing millions of barrels offshore. You can't see it of course but its out there.

3.) Regardless the US is swimming in oil and the prices rises are because we are special people and our friends send us oil while other people don't get it so demand in China etc is increasing the price despite the blessed and special Americans running out of places to stuff it. Indeed we need to store it at sea.

4.) People like me that don't believe a word of it but because of all the propaganda its difficult to discern the truth.

One thing is fairly certain if the price of oil does indeed rise towards and even past 100 a barrel then myths legends and plain old lies will fail and whatever the truth is it will be known.

If what I consider propaganda and myth is even close to being true then oil won't see 100 for a year or more probably for years. Given that the economy did not really recover from the recession and we stand a good chance of it doing a double dip or probably more correct a stair step like pattern then oil demand should remain fairly flat. If we really do have ample spare capacity or large amounts of oil stored at sea or any of the other claims made today then oil probably will trade between 60-80 for the next two years with far more bias to the low side.

Now the reason I'm so dismissive of current propaganda/facts is my own research into the collapse of complex systems has suggested that when they are on the brink of collapse the lies become absolute whoppers ( Iraq reaching 12mbd for example). Not only do they diverge from the truth the real situation is almost 180 degrees opposite. You can review the Iraqi Information Minister for confirmation. Or subprime is contained Ben.

Either its the truth or we are on the verge of some pretty dire stuff. I've not found any indication of any sort of medium position happen where you have "small" exaggerations its fairly black and white.

Thus we are almost certainly at a sort of crossroads in history. Either the price spike in 2008 was the result of a number of short term events with speculation playing a huge role 30-50% or more of the price for oil or not.

The probability of any sort of intermediate solution is in my opinion effectively zero.

Perhaps I'm simply to skeptical but its tough not to be and more important if I'm right about the system really being at either and extreme thats completely at odds with the official party line or the official line is the truth then oil prices should be rapidly approaching their peak for years and probably headed substantially lower or we are at the brink. What I claim is impossible is for 80-100 dollar oil to remain the trading range. OPEC will eventually cheat and the natural price will eventually occur at some lower price range exactly what no one knows but lower. Rising Iraqi production will ensure a hard upper limit. Obviously the threat of a sharp drop in demand at some price point around 100 ensures its "impossible" to breach.

Or not ...

No matter what the closer it comes to 100 and even higher the higher and higher probability that what I consider works of fiction will either turn out to be true or false. Thus no matter what happens we can be pretty confident that the real situation will be forced to become clear as real and credible action is required.

OPEC becoming comfortable with defending a 100-150 dollar price band ain't gonna cut it.

Thanks memmel,

Either the party line is true or the party's over. And if the party's over, we're can expect $100/bbl oil soon. That part I understand.


What about price elasticity? A supply squeeze of 5% in the early 1970s led to almost instant doubling, tripling, and quadrupling of prices. And a slight slump in world demand in 2008 led to a rapid collapse of price (if I'm reading the tea leaves and history right).

Is there a possibility this blow-out could affect either the on-stream supply of oil from the Gulf of Mexico? or, in similar vein, could events interfere with shipments to the refineries on the Gulf Coast? In either case could there be sufficient shock to the system to send prices spiraling everywhere?

I really am crummy at this financial stuff... and I am curious as to what possibilities to expect.



Of course, on a retail level the pump, many Europeans have paid the equivalent of around $350 per barrel for refined product.

One big difference is the tax stays in house and does useful things while a market cost goes to the exporter.

Geologists: 'We May Be Slowly Running Out Of Rocks' | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

May 1, 2010 | ISSUE 46•17

RALEIGH, NC—A coalition of geologists are challenging the way we look at global stone reserves, claiming that, unless smarter methods of preservation are developed, mankind will eventually run out of rocks.

"If we do not stop using them up at our current rate, rocks as we know them will be a thing of the past," renowned geologist Henry Kaiser said at a press conference Tuesday. "Igneous, metamorphic, even sedimentary: all of them could be gone in as little as 500,000 years."

"Think about it," Kaiser added. "When was the last time you even saw a boulder?"

The scientists warned that, although people have long considered the world's rock supply to be inexhaustible, it has not created a significant number of new rocks since the planet cooled some 3.5 billion years ago. Moreover, the earth's rocks have been very slowly depleting in the last century due to growing demand for fireplace mantels, rock gardens, gravel, and paperweights.

I wish that was made up. We are already pushing Peak Gravel in many locales. Ripping up old streams beds for the good stuff for concrete if getting harder and running into conflicting good uses: farmland, fish habitat, etc.

can't one just make gravel by smashing up bigger rocks?

why does gravel need to come from river beds?

Why not make gasoline by taking carbon from the atmosphere and hydrogen from water? ;-)

Actually, they do make crushed stone and such from appropriate rocks, but it takes... energy! I used to live a mile down the road from a place where they had a big machine for this, and it was an awful noise.

Smashing up bigger rocks is quite feasible, and is often done. Of course, it takes a lot more energy than digging up gravel from a river bed.

Peak everything?

"Well, on this old rock pile
With a ball and chain,
They call me by a number
Not a name. ...

You can hear my hammer,
You can hear my song,
Gonna swing it like John Henry
All day long, Lord Lord.

Gotta do my time, gotta do my time
WIth an achin' heart, and a worried mind."

- from Doin' My Time, written by Jimmy Skinner, in 1941,

Recorded by Flatt & Scruggs, Johnny Cash, The Seldom Scene, and others

The energy to make little rocks out of big rocks sometimes came from convicts in the prison yard. No reason in the near future that the convicts in prisons near quarries or naturally occurring boulder fields couldn't walk to those places in a chain gang, and start swinging sledge hammers. Seems like ERoEI would be pretty good too.


I agree with your comment but I would make a distinction between above ground issues like 'competing good uses', environmental concerns, etc. and true geological constraints that are associated with 'Peak' oil or gas. The Maury Island gravel mine is a case in point. The gravel is there. We just don't value it enough for it to trump other priorities.

It may also surprise some to find out that we actually have some reasonably good numbers on US national production and demand for things like "crushed stone". The USGS dataset DS 140 has a century's worth of production and consumption statistics for 86 different minerals and materials including clay, cement, sand & gravel, crushed stone, etc.

Looking at total US production for various construction related materials doesn't show much in the way of a geologically driven 'Peak'. As one example, here's "crushed stone" from the US Minerals Databrowser:

Being from the 'Show Me' state of Missouri, I always want folks to show me the data that back up their claims.

Best Hopes for data driven decision making.

- Jon


Well, that really showed me, eh? Except that abundant gravel two counties or states over is different from a local pit.

Gravel is heavy and bulky. It doesn't take much of a supply line to make the cost of transporting gravel more of an issue than the availability of gravel in some other location. We aren't running out of gravel, granted. Just the gravel we can afford. And of course the ELM gravel model means that some areas are plush and others are scraping the last rocks.

More and more like Peak Gravel.

I don't need to speculate, I'm seeing it in action.


Sorry if I came across as combative. I certainly don't take issue with the idea that gravel will become locally more expensive whenever the local pit gets closed. To my mind that's probably OK, though, as I think we've already overbuilt by a factor of two.

But I'm surprised that Whatcom County is having gravel issues. Isn't much of your soil, like ours here in Seattle composed of glacial till? Have there actually been reports of gravel pits closing and concern about replacing them? Have gravel prices increased recently? I haven't been following this at all but it would make for an interesting story if we could muster the evidence.


- Jon


OK, OK, you win, I'll lay off the Peak Gravel jokes. The earlier comment about competing best uses and actual resource depletion being different is well put.

There is an ongoing tussle over access to gravel as against agriculture and salmon habitat. The latest flare up is between the company that wants to open a new pit and three tiny organic farms across the road. The company, quite reasonably, points out that the existing sites are depleting and environmental rules make it near impossible to just tear into streams. The farms quite reasonably point out that the quarry will stir up enough dust to put them out of business.

If you are interested in researching the details, contact Nick at Sunseed Farm.

The irony is we actually did run our of rock near the end of the stone age.


Catal Hüyük's chipped stone industry was among the most elegant in the Near East. Mellaart distinguished some fifty different types of tools and weapons, mostly made from local obsidian or imported flint. Bifacial, pressure-flaked flat retouch is typical; some items were polished on one side. They include arrowheads, with or without tangs and barbs, double-pointed spearheads and daggers with lengths up to 8 inches (20 cm), scrapers, knives, and a plethora of other implements for daily or ceremonial use, while some were clearly prestige objects.

This is just the tip of the flint nodule :)

If you read your history esp for England which has a well researched neolithic period probably because of the henges. You will find trade in high quality tool making rock was extensive near the end of the stone age. Indeed quarrying for these rocks which almost certainly used the fire method.


Along of course with the rise of pottery goes a long way to explaining the eventual development of bronze tools.

Also of course the rise in use of polished axes to clear land for agriculture naturally increased the availability of excess wood that could be used for pottery and mining. And of course depleted the easily accessible local supplies in the process driving both trade and the need to quarry.

In my opinion its a bit of a myth that the stone age did not end because we ran out of stone indeed if you read near the end of the stone age we had a bit of a classic case of pressure on a depleting resource.

Microlithic methods can be viewed as classic conservation if you think about it.


Of course from what I can tell facts seem to have no impact on the pundits I suspect because they seldom bother to even read history much less ancient history.

Needless to say if you do bother to read you will find that Man has actually repeatedly faced the "finale" resource constraint situation. Sometimes innovation happened at the right time to offer a fairly smooth transition as with the start of the bronze age. Sometimes there is a very chilling result thats seldom talked about.


Around this time, the Hittite civilization suffered serious disruption and cities from Troy to Gaza were destroyed. Following the collapse, fewer and smaller settlements suggest famine and depopulation.

Indeed I'd argue if you look across the broad span of human history the transition from the end of the neolithic to the bronze age was the most benign transition perhaps because it offered the largest real increase in productivity and wealth. Every single other transition seems to be increasingly violent with the eventual outcome resulting in less of a gain. Perhaps the current one marks the apex and we will see ever more violent transitions with ever larger declines.

Finally even the end of the Neolithic was not a rosy transition by any means.


Its all there if you care to read but most important is the fact we really did run out of stone this fact is in my opinion incredibly important and completely misunderstood.

Thanks for this, memmel! I get really annoyed by the economist types with their glib sayings that are intended to squash proper debate.

Rock ain't just rock, steel ain't just steel, oil ain't just oil, coal ain't just coal -- you know that, and I know that, but it's surprising how many people don't.

So, we were forced to transition from stone to bronze..? A study of the first major forced technology transition could indeed provide a lot of insight into our current situation. I'll be reading up those links!

Pay very close attention to the fact that natural copper and even bronze artifacts where around well before the official bronze age.



The place and time of the invention of bronze are debated. It is possible that bronze was invented independently in the Maykop culture of the North Caucasus as early as the mid 4th millennium BC, which would make them the makers of the oldest known bronze. Others date the same Maykop artifacts to the mid 3rd millennium BC. However, the Maykop culture only had arsenical bronze, which is a naturally occurring alloy. Tin bronze, developed later, requires more sophisticated production techniques.

Lots of stuff had to come together to launch the bronze age but the knowledge of copper and bronze and probably meteor iron/nickel and of course gold etc or metals was around well before agriculture and the subsequent depletion of local stone resource and rise of the trading networks for flint and obsidian etc and lots of wood from chopping down trees and development of pottery finally resulted in it making sense to exploit copper and bronze. Eventually resulting in tin bronzes. Not every culture made such a deep transition either. In the america's metals never exploded in use.


I bring this up because obsidian seems to have been plentiful and the refined weapons developed around it esp
the atal spear thrower probably insured primitive copper/bronze approaches to weapons where not competitive.

Of course as you get to this point one has to wonder what role the horse played into all this.

One has to wonder if using a bronze sword from horseback might have been a significant advantage.

More probable bronze was critical to the manufacture of chariots.


Or perhaps something really mundane like a horse bit made of bronze.

Regardless there is obvious overlap between use of horses and the bronze age I wonder about if they are connected.


Perhaps the use of horse to haul bronze trade goods ?

I would not want to walk 100 miles with 50 pounds of bronze but its readily feasible with a horse.
No horses no one willing to haul heavy ass metal around no bronze age ?

No bronze age and high culture becomes tied to volcanic obsidian sources ?

Moving to Inca's again its not as if they did not know about bronze.


In the end you realize that they where not stupid and in general it was the social economic natural situation which determined the evolution of the culture. Certainly in all cases a lack of understanding of basic chemistry was a real issue but


Mendeleev died in 1907 I was born in 1968 only 61 years between the inventor of the periodic table and me.

The great leaps we have grown accustomed to and resulting belief that discovery and rapid exploitation and expansion are the norm is really the exception. And this has lead many to believe similar leaps will easily get us out of our current problems. The long span of history indicates however that this is the exception not the rule and far more likely we like our ancestors will find ourselves locked into a society that can no longer change easily probably because the need to change simply is not evident. The leaps in technology only briefly moved us out of the long rut thats the real norm.

Finally whats really interesting is this suggest that perhaps the technology which will eventually become critical post peak is both readily available now and overlooked. My own thoughts are that external combustion aka steam engines with their amazing fuel flexibility and simplicity are probably going to be the real solution post peak.
PV's and fancy windmills simply won't be a large contributor but probably steam, water wheels and simpler locally made windmills will with PV being rare and primarily used for low energy telecomunications even here I suspect we will eventually move increasingly to photonics eventually perhaps utilizing very little electricity.

Whats really interesting is this conclusion is at odds with most assumptions which seem to always assume a renewable electric based civilization. Where a society that basically goes back to steam/sail and uses electricity sparingly and generally only for communication seems far more robust and sensible since it will avoid travel.
I suspect that full adaptation to remote communication which we have avoided coupled with the above will be the real solution.

Not that people won't still travel surely they will but it will be because they are trading goods or for pleasure.
My point is people make the assumption that we will be scurrying around to the office post peak as we do today.
More likely you will live in a village and do local work for local people and or use the network for remote work.

Sorry for the long post again however its hard to get this point across without looking back and forward in one post.

Link up top: Oman Aims for 850,000 Oil Barrels a Day for 10 Years

According to the EIA Oman produced 849,000 barrels per day in January, almost exactly what Oman says they wish to produce for the next 10 years. However according to the article Oman says they are producing 800,000 barrels per day. The EIA says they produced an average of 813 bp/d in 2009.

Anyway, in effect, what Oman is saying is that they have peaked but expect to hold production flat at that 850,000 barrels per day for 10 years.

In my opinion it is a little absurd to assume that once you peak then you can hold at that peak level for 10 years.

To be clear this is a secondary peak. Oman originally peaked at 970,000 barrels per day in 2000 then declined to 710,000 barrels per day in 2007.

Ron P.

Not sure if anyone has seen this yet, a lot to cover on different threads, by the time you finish reviewing one, there is already a ton of updates...

Whistleblower: BP Risks More Massive Catastrophes in Gulf

Last May, Mike Sawyer, a Texas-based engineer who works for Apex Safety Consultants, voluntarily agreed to evaluate BP's Atlantis subsea document database and the whistleblower's allegations regarding BP's engineering document shortfall related to Atlantis. Sawyer concluded that of the 2,108 P&IDs BP maintained that dealt specifically with the subsea components of its Atlantis production project, 85 percent did not receive engineer approval.

Not familiar with this website, but the theme of the article as cited by an anonymous Whistle blower does not sound good for BP.

To me, this whole incident (Deepwater Horizon) is another nail in the coffin, our coffin. Rather than retrenching and preparing for the inevitable scaling back of industrialism, we forge ahead risking, nay, not risking, guaranteeing, further destruction of the biosphere that is our ONLY ultimate resource.

Because we have taken the easy stuff, now we embark on ever escalating gambles in extracting the remainder, whether it be tar sands, shale gas, deep water, etc.

That's the deepest cause of this crisis, not the failure of technology or management at BP. The biosphere has to be taken off the market, not for sale at any price.

The oil spill is horrible and is perceived to be horrible because it is so visible. You can see, smell, and taste it and you can see things die almost immediately. But as McKibben says, it is nothing compared to the insidious release of co2 that we do daily and will continue to do until the fossil fuels run out.

Nothing. No Thing will wake us up. It ain't gonna happen. We are in a permanent coma.

Remember Eyjafjallajökull?

Icelandic Met Office

The eruption is mixed, with the lava-producing phase being larger than the explosive phase. During the last 2-3 days, the plume has been darker and wider than in the preceding week. Tephra fall-out in the vicinity of Eyjafjallajökull has increased. Dark grey ash clouds are observed over the eruptive site. White steam plumes are rising from Gígjökull, north of the eruption site. The elevation is 4-5.4 km (13-18,000 ft). Clouds of ash at lower elevations were observed drifting south-east of the eruption site. Moderate ash-fall was reported in the village of Vík at noon, Sunday, located 40 km south-east of Eyjafjallajökull.

From the location of the steam plume over Gígjökull, lava has advanced over 3 km north of the eruption. Steam plumes over the glacier edge from 19:40 GMT suggest that lava may have advanced even further. A rough order-of-magnitude estimate of lava volume can be obtained from the dimensions of the ice canyon. This estimate gives a lava production rate of-the-order 20 m3 s-1 (i.e. 50 tonnes s-1). The explosive phase may be 10-20 tonnes s-1.

Largest eruption plumes were observed at 5-5,5 km height (17-18,000 ft) estimated from the Icelandic Coast Guard (ICG) flight at 14:30. The plume rises higher after large explosions. It is heading east-south-east to south-east from the eruption site.

Looks like disasters come in threes. Volcanoes, oil slicks and Greece.

London VAAC will get some new charts uploaded any minute now. Ireland is being hit and the NW UK.

Katla could go any time. It might take about two years, or it could blow tonight, but it almost certainly will go, and it will be a much bigger deal than Eyja....oh, you know what I mean.


Well just so long as the planes are still flying on election day to ensure that as many people as possible make it back to the polls in order to boot Gordon Brown out.

There might not be an outright winner come Friday morning but so long as the most incompetent, imbecilic, two-faced git ever to be PM is shown the door I'll be happy.

Then we can sit back and watch the dogs fight over who will run the country. Should provide a few weeks of entertainment until the footie world cup starts.

HAcland, David Cameron may rue the day he becomes PM once the U.K. fiscal boondoggle hits.

What's the sense on the street? Hung parliament? In Canada we've been stuck with minority governments since 2003. Rest assured hung parliaments are messy but they can and often do work even in a first-past-the-post and winner-take-all system.

A college history professor pointed out to me one day: you know everybody gets the government they deserve for even tyrannies need the complicit consent of the governed.

My hope for Britain is that, whatever the outcome, you will get better government than you deserve. B/c the art of the possible will be needed like never before as crisis meets crisis.

Adieu and Godspeed with the ballots tomorrow. And from the beaver to the lion, God save the Queen!


I reckon (as do recent polls) that the Tories will win the most seats, but not a majority. Cameron will be Prime Minister but will not do a deal with the Liberals but will be forced to lead a minority government. Labour will go into a six-month long leadership battle (Brown will be hung out to dry as soon as the polls close at 10pm Thursday evening). The Labour party have some pretty odd and drawn out process to elect a new leader so that will take them through to their autumn conference. Meanwhile Osborne will have had six months to really sniff out the true state of the national insolvency at the Treasury and he will report back the Cameron that they really, really should have let Brown win because it is a lost cause. The Liberals will play whipper-snapper and try and bugger up everything Cameron does, nothing will get done in Parliament and Cameron will ask - nay, beg! - the Queen to dissolve Parliament in the autumn to try to get an overall majority. The electorate will be pissed off with being asked twice in one year to trudge down to the local primary school to vote and will either give him a clear majority or vote in the Monster Raving Loony party instead (http://www.omrlp.com/). However, if things really get out of hand, the capital markets tell HM Treasury to sod off, the economy craters again, public sector workers are sacked en-mass and unemployment takes off and Wayne Rooney misses a sitter in the semi finals in South Africa against Germany then I can see the riots and all hell breaking loose. Then it is anyone's guess!

Wayne Rooney misses a sitter in the semi finals in South Africa against Germany then I can see the riots and all hell breaking loose.

That, sir, would be the crisis of all crisis. And yes, I could see how that would likely provoke rioting ;-) (along with a combination of other things!)

If memory serves me right, pundits and polls right up to the 1992 election forecast a loss or hung parliament for John Major. He instead landed himself a majority. What are the chances the British public will hold their noses and repeat the same for the Tories? Or do divisions between Thatcherites and non-Thatcherites hobble the likelihood of that happening? Does the country have an appetite for a mixed decision, whether Conservative/Liberal or Labour/Liberal? Historically, Britons have liked strong mandates for their governments.

HAcland, I think you are bang on the money should Cameron not win outright and seek dissolution in the fall. The experience of minority governments here is that the electorate gets edgy and mean (as you rightly say pissed) whenever they are teased by election writs being dropped too often. And an edgy electorate is the last thing any politician of any stripe wants to meet.

Likely scenario, however, is that if Labour is in leadership woes and the Liberals don't have an outright prospect of winning, there will be just too many vested interests to allow the government to fall in the House. Worse case scenario, I figure, Cameron will have at least two years.

Once again, I wish the British people all the best tomorrow.


That, sir, would be the crisis of all crisis. And yes, I could see how that would likely provoke rioting ;-) (along with a combination of other things!)

Damn right it would be! Although I want the Conservatives to win on Thursday (and they get my vote) I would trade the result for England lifting the World Cup in Johannesburg this summer. Football is much more important than same-old, same-old politics.

Football is much more important than same-old, same-old politics.

It goes without saying, SPORTS RULE.

Mind you, we Canadians are far too polite to put too much emotional energy into something as trivial as, let's say, hockey

Btw, had that game gone the other way, I suspect there would have been some serious rioting in the Great White North.

May the best rise to the challenge in Jo-burg!

You're not serious, are you HAcland?

While it is almost impossible to conceive of an Enger-land victory in the WC in South Africa, I can't believe you are actually hoping for a Tory victory in the General Election ... I find that staggering. While Gordon Brown and Old New Labour might be a little stale, in a peak oil environment, surely you need to at least vote for the social democratic party that might deal with it a little better - even the LibDems. I find a Tory option truly - what - amazing! Be careful what you wish for comrade ...

The present incumbents (a social democratic party as you would describe) have done virtually nothing since they were elected in 1997 to deal with peak-oil. They have comprehensibly avoided dealing with it on any level. Their energy policy has been a complete disaster - the UK has been within days of instituting natural gas rationing (and hence electricity rationing) several times in the past few winters. They have dragged their feet about even looking at options such as nuclear. They have had THIRTEEN YEARS to do something constructive; meanwhile N.Sea supplies have been running down (and never forget Brown changed the tax regime in the N.Sea a few years ago as a short term tax stop-gap which has curtailed exploration even further).

Pray tell how could ANY administration (including a Tory one) be worse than that? You are amazingly naive to believe that 'social democrats' have any more answers than anyone else.

I had to laugh at your desription of G.Brown and the Labour party as 'a little stale'. Next time I hear of a bankrupted country, I'll have to remind myself that they got into that situation because their political leadership were 'a little stale'.

Regarding "a little stale", those interested in UK politics may wish to check out Geoerge Monbiot's commentary in today's Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/may/03/parasite-new-labour-...

Monbiot is probably familiar to a lot of TOD readers for his environmental activism and writings, but this is full-on political mode. Best thing he's ever written, IMHO.

Regards Chris

He may indeed rue the day - from the Guardian a couple of days ago:

Mervyn King is warning that the victor in next week's election will be forced into austerity measures that will keep the party out of power for a generation, according to the US economist David Hale...

"I saw the governor of the Bank of England [Mervyn King] last week when I was in London and he told me whoever wins this election will be out of power for a whole generation because of how tough the fiscal austerity will have to be," Hale said in an interview on Australian TV reported by Reuters.


Cameron's victory may very well prove Pyrrhic ... sending the Tories to oblivion for a generation as King & Hale suggest. Finances look grim. But King and Hale are first and foremost economists.

Politics is the art of the possible and what is possible today may not be tomorrow and vice versa. That's why a week is a long time in politics -- a year is forever -- and a generation is utterly meaningless.

Maggie Thatcher was the most unpopular British PM on record in late 1981 with 3 million unemployed and riots burning the inner cities. Then the Argentines took over Port Stanley in the Falkland Islands and, with a pinch of pixie dust, the Iron Lady rode the tide of patriotism to win yet again.

My point is not to extol the virtues of Lady Thatcher, heaven forbid, but to draw attention to the chance and fluke element of politics.

Whoever forms the next government has a formidable, perhaps impossible task ahead. For the sake of all, may he govern well.

Best wishes for the British people.


Yes, a hung parliament would likely be the best result for the UK. A government that is hopelessly tied up in its own internal affairs and unable to function would be a god-send for the long suffering British. After all, the government is just a puppet/proxy for big business and finance, so blunting the tool by which they control the economy for their own ends will partly lift the burden of corporatism off the people.

Hopefully, the people will have the sense to create a pro-default party to start the process of retaking control of the Country and its economy from the current self-serving oligarchs. Otherwise we will have to wait for Greek style democracy (aka street revolution) to come to the UK and start the process.

Local News of oil spill

TV crews went around the Wild Well "coffer dams" (boxes) that are to be lowered over the leaks. My immediate thought was that the tubing at the top was not large enough to handle the volumes. My guess, these will, at best, pick up a minority of the oil.

Spill expect to get into the Loop Current on Tuesday. Onto Key West and the East Coast from there.

20 dead turtles (very high #) washed ashore in Mississippi. No obvious signs of oil contamination.

Contradictory #s on boats hired (@ $1,500/day) - perhaps 60 in Plaquemines Parish, 300 overall. Small % of those trained and ready.

Obama has endorsed local governments doing what they think best (implied, send BP the bill).

Plaquemines Parish ("toe" of Louisiana) has rented jack-up barge as HQ and forward supply base. They want to base groups of boats with 15 minute response when oil first approaches (as it has). Lay booms then.

Theory is not enough booms to boom everything (some critical areas yes) and booms do not stay stable over time. Use them when and where needed.

Reports of crimped pipe by BP are "no effect on flow".

Fisherman Quote of the Day "This oil is going to put a world of hurt on our marshes".


The Loop Current by Tuesday... oh, no, will this get the manatees? Those poor poor animals- like they don't get hurt enough by boat propellers. :(

Anyone in Nashville? Sounds bad.. Chrikee this is all you guys need..


We got those storms ahead of Nashville, I live in Central Arkansas. The rainwater got going so hard that the gutters our front were making foot high waves. On the NWS maps we got nearly 4 to 8 inches in places locally, but toward Tenn, they were getting in the 12+ inches of rain.

All the water catchment buckets/containers I had under the eaves were full before we got the second and third storms of the day. Most of the yard had standing water on it Sunday still.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future.

About "obama's katrina" meme that republicans are pushing ...

I think this is likely Sarah Palin's Katrina. Her whole Drill baby Drill mantra is now completely fizzled out.

Unless, Mericans get back to normal Tiger/Balloon Boy stories, after a few weeks of this.

About "obama's katrina" meme that republicans are pushing ...

It's called tit for tat. Think about it - everything Bush Jr. was accused of Republicans have been trying to paste onto Obama. The election of Bush jr. in 2000 & 04 were disputed, so the right wing dispute Obama's right to be President by way of accusations of being born in Kenya instead of Hawaii, via the 'Birthers'. Even the disasterous policies that led to the 08 mortgage meldown, the right wing has attempted to paste the economic consequences of onto Obama. Bush jr. was accused of running a regime, so the right has accused Obama of the same. Bush jr. was accused by the left of running a fascist, Hitler type Gestapo, so the right show pictures of Obama with a Hitler mustache. Now there is a disaster in the same region as Katrina, so it is labeled "Obama's Katrina". Again, as you might have imagined, simpleton tit for tat.

If the recent NY attempted SUV bomber had suceeded, it would have been labelled Obama's 9/11. They are so desperate to dispell and distance themselves from Bush jr's incompetence, they are determined to paint Obama with the same colors, as if to say, "Ok, now we are even and Bush jr's incompetence has been cancelled out, and we can start anew with a completely different incompetent right wing President, because we know that even if there was a different left wing President, he would be just as incompetent."

See how that works?! It's the result of the most inane, childish, silly, sophomoric prankish, shinanigan type thinking, but it's all they could come up with. So, please, give them a round of applause: Clap, clap, clap, cough, cough, ha, ha, clap, clap...

The loss of marshes will have a huge impact on climate change. Some studies suggest a larger impact than deforistation. The salt water marshes and mangorves are already under a lot of stress.

Here is one source. There are many more. The potential impact of this oil spill has been underestimated.

Ten years from now we might be arguing about what killed the salt marshes and forever changed the planet.


"A new Rapid Response Report released today estimates that carbon emissions--equal to half the annual emissions of the global transport sector--are being captured and stored by marine ecosystems such as mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses."