Drumbeat: June 1, 2010

BP Effort Turns to Capturing Oil, No Plugging Before August

BP Plc has given up trying to plug its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico any sooner than August, laying out a series of steps to pipe the oil to the surface and ship it ashore for refining, said Thad Allen, the U.S. government’s national commander for the incident.

Undersea robots began sawing away damaged pipe today, preparing for the first of those attempts, Allen said today at a press conference in New Orleans. The new strategy, which is subject to disruption by tropical storms and hurricanes, will continue until relief wells being drilled can plug the damaged well from the bottom, he said. . .

“We’re talking about containing the well,” Allen said. “We don’t want to restrict the pressure or flow down that well bore because I don’t think we know the condition of it after the top kill.”

Relief Wells

The drilling of a second relief well resumed May 30, Allen said. It had been suspended for several days as BP and government officials, including Energy Secretary Steven Chu, weighed whether to use the rig that was drilling it to install a second blowout preventer atop the damaged one. BP decided not to, Allen said.

BP shares plunge as plots new plan to contain spill

BP fell by as much as 17 percent during London on Tuesday, wiping $23 billion off its market value, and were trading down 13 percent just before the market closed. The shares were hit by weekend news that its latest attempt to plug its blown-out seabed well had not worked, sparking fears oil could leak into the Gulf until August.

The shares have lost more than a third of their value, or about 46 billion pounds ($67 billion), since the leak started six weeks ago. The cost of dealing with the crisis now totals $990 million, and is rising.

How difficult are relief wells? Some comparisons with Montara

A more recent incident, last year’s Montara oil leak in the Timor Sea, was eventually stopped by a relief well operation after more than 10 weeks. It provides plenty of examples of just how difficult relief well operations can be even today.

US Interior Dept. Offers Deepwater Drilling Moratorium Details

The U.S. Interior Department said on Sunday that the moratorium requires oil and gas companies "to cease drilling new deepwater wells, including sidetrack and bypass activities." Sidetrack and bypass wells are typically drilled after exploratory wells have already been bored into the sea floor, and are frequently initiated when drilling companies are trying to work through issues that have occurred after the drilling, or "spudding" of an initial well.

The Interior Department also said that deepwater wells include any wells located 500 feet or more below sea level. Deepwater drilling is typically defined as drilling that occurs in depths of 1,000 feet or more.

Total OPEC May Output Up 0.19% From April - Dow Jones Survey

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries saw overall crude oil output edge up in May, driven by higher production in Iraq, but the group's 11 quota-bound members pumped below the previous month's level, a survey by Dow Jones Newswires showed Tuesday.

The survey, which is based on input from oil traders, analysts and industry sources, estimates output by all 12 group members rose 0.19%, or 55,000 barrels a day, last month to 29.34 million barrels a day amid a sharp increase in production from Iraq.

FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Mexico

Raging drug violence, a tepid economic recovery, flagging momentum on economic reforms and declining oil output are all risks to watch for this year in Mexico, which needs to keep up investor confidence to maintain its debt ratings and emerge from recession.

Sewage ... a solution for 'peak phosphorous'

Phosphorous is a fertilizing nutrient that is vital to large-scale agriculture, and currently it can only be mined, but supplies are growing shorter and shorter.

Fortunately, there may be a solution. Ostara, a Canadian-based company backed in part by environmental legend Robbert Kennedy Jr., has patented a technique to extract valuable chemicals out of the waste stream (i.e.: sewage).

The result is called "Crystal Green" a slow-release chemical fertilizer that contains high levels of phosphorous and is extracted from an abundant, ever-flowing resource ... sewage.

Passing the Point of "Peak Water" Means Paying More for H2O

We have passed the point of "peak water"--or the end of cheap, easy-to-access water--in several places around the globe, experts say.

Those places include the Great Plains in the southern and central U.S., California's Central Valley, northern China, the Nile River Basin in northern Africa, the Jordan River Basin in the Middle East, India, and more.

195 Californias or 74 Texases to Replace Offshore Oil

The Real Challenges of Energy Transition

Then there are some not-so-simple facts.

You can’t simply substitute electricity for the heat value of displaced oil. You must also build an entirely new infrastructure of wires and electric engines and storage devices.

Building that new infrastructure will take decades of concerted effort and cost trillions of dollars…and require lots of petroleum, natural gas, and coal. We simply don’t know how to build solar panels and wind turbines and wires and generators without them.

Obama administration moves to distance itself from BP on oil spill response

Struggling to convey command of the worsening Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the Obama administration is taking steps to distance itself from BP and is dispatching Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to the Gulf Coast to meet with federal and state prosecutors. The Holder trip could signal that the environmental calamity might become the subject of a criminal investigation.

Holder has said Justice Department lawyers are examining whether there was any "malfeasance" related to the leaking oil well, and investigators, who have already been on the coast for a month, have sent letters to BP instructing the company to preserve internal records related to the spill. But federal officials indicated that Holder's trip, which will include a news conference in New Orleans on Tuesday afternoon, will focus on enforcement of environmental laws and holding BP accountable.

BP oil spill: death and devastation – and it's just the start

The White House says the BP oil spill is probably the greatest environmental disaster the US has faced, but the true impact on surrounding ecosystems could take months or even years to emerge. Experts say the unprecedented depth of the spill, combined with the use of chemicals that broke the oil down before it reached the surface, pose an unknown threat.

We cannot deal with oil spill, admits U.S. military

The U.S. armed forces do not have the technology or know-how to deal with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, its highest ranking military officer admitted Monday.

Adml Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said they had no more tactics left in their arsenal after BP's latest failure to plug the leak.

Scientists to Back Dispersant Use, Despite Concerns

A federally convened group of scientists is set to recommend that BP PLC and the government continue spraying chemicals into the Gulf of Mexico to help prevent leaking oil from washing ashore, even though the scientists have serious concerns about the potential long-term damage to sea life.

The group's report, due this week, comes after BP's latest efforts to plug the leaking Deepwater Horizon oil well failed. If further interim measures to cap the well don't work, large additional amounts of the chemicals, known as "dispersants," could be sprayed into the Gulf until relief wells can be completed and the gusher capped, which could take until late late summer.

BP Set to Try Risky Move to Contain Flow

William Abel, a veteran well control expert, said one of the dangers is that the robots will not succeed in making a clean cut, and the cap won't seal properly. Also, once the pipe is sliced, oil could surge out, obscuring the view for engineers who rely on live images streamed from video cameras attached to the robots. There are also doubts among outside experts about how effective the cap will be.

"The big unknown is how much oil it will capture," said Greg McCormack, director of the Petroleum Extension Service of the University of Texas at Austin. One of BP's earlier containment efforts, which involved inserting a tube into the leak connected to a mile-long pipe to the surface, only managed to collect about 2,000 barrels a day on average—a small fraction of the total flow.

Another potential hazard: Hurricane season is about to start, and in rough storms the ship that is collecting oil from the leak—the Discoverer Enterprise—may have to temporarily disconnect from the cap system and move to safety. BP says it is building hurricane-related precautions into its plans for the containment system, which will be "continually refined."

White House Aims to Crack the Whip

Signs of a growing rift between the White House and BP were evident over the long holiday weekend. Obama environmental adviser Carol Browner on Sunday accused BP of having a "financial interest" in downplaying the scope of the spill, which she said is "without doubt the worst environmental disaster in our history."

At a congressional hearing on May 27, BP America chairman Lamar McKay said "I don't know" when asked by Rep. Edward Markey (D., Mass.) whether BP has a financial interest in underestimating the leak's size. Mr. McKay added "our position is to do everything we possibly can to stop this, provide as much data as we can as fast as we can, clean is up and deal all the economic claims."

BP didn't immediately respond to requests for comment on Monday.

The White House said that Energy Secretary Steven Chu on Saturday had directed BP to stop the top-kill procedure which it began on Wednesday, fearing it could weaken the well. The government also said it ordered BP to drill two relief wells, instead of one, as BP originally planned.

Concern for Crew Cleaning Up Oil Spill

Top Obama administration health officials are heading to the Gulf of Mexico amid increasing concern that the oil spill may be sickening some of the workers who are cleaning it up.

The administration has sent a mobile facility to provide medical care for workers here, a town on the Gulf coast that is serving as a staging area for cleanup operations for the spill, though it is still unclear if their symptoms are directly related to pollutants from the oil.

Permit Snafus on BP Well

Just a week before the Deepwater Horizon exploded, BP PLC asked regulators to approve three successive changes to its oil well over 24 hours, according to federal records reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

The unusual rapid-fire requests to modify permits reveal that BP was tweaking a crucial aspect of the well's design up until its final days.

One of the design decisions outlined in the revised permits, drilling experts say, may have left the well more vulnerable to the blowout that occurred April 20, killing 11 workers and leaving crude oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

The Minerals Management Service approved all the changes quickly, in one instance within five minutes of submission.

BP Was Concerned About Well Control Six Weeks Before Incident

E-mails released by the House Energy and Commerce Committee show BP told regulators they were having trouble maintaining control of the well six weeks before it exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, Bloomberg reported.

"We are in the midst of a well control situation on MC 252 #001 and have stuck pipe," BP executive Scherie Douglas wrote in an e-mail to Frank Patton, the U.S. Minerals Management Service's drilling engineer for the New Orleans district on March 10. "We are bringing out equipment to begin operations to sever the drillpipe, plugback the well and bypass."

Gulf oil leak sets off 'unbelievable array' of legal issues

Fishermen and property owners along the Gulf Coast have filed hundreds of lawsuits since April against oil company BP and its contractors amid a legal landscape that has changed dramatically since the Exxon Valdez tanker spill sullied Alaska's Prince William Sound 21 years ago.

The Valdez spill prompted Congress to pass the 1990 Oil Pollution Act — intended to give fishermen and others harmed by such spills a quicker route for settling their claims — and nearly two decades of litigation over that spill also has redefined centuries-old maritime law on the issue.

Obama Needs To Put BP Under Temporary Receivership

It’s time for the federal government to put BP under temporary receivership, which gives the government authority to take over BP’s operations in the Gulf of Mexico until the gusher is stopped. This is the only way the public know what’s going on, be confident enough resources are being put to stopping the gusher, ensure BP’s strategy is correct, know the government has enough clout to force BP to use a different one if necessary, and be sure the President is ultimately in charge.

If the government can take over giant global insurer AIG and the auto giant General Motors and replace their CEOs, in order to keep them financially solvent, it should be able to put BP’s north American operations into temporary receivership in order to stop one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.

Scientists warn of unseen deepwater oil disaster

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Independent scientists and government officials say there's a disaster we can't see in the Gulf of Mexico's mysterious depths, the ruin of a world inhabited by enormous sperm whales and tiny, invisible plankton.

Researchers have said they have found at least two massive underwater plumes of what appears to be oil, each hundreds of feet deep and stretching for miles. Yet the chief executive of BP PLC - which has for weeks downplayed everything from the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf to the environmental impact - said there is "no evidence" that huge amounts of oil are suspended undersea.

BP CEO Tony Hayward said the oil naturally gravitates to the surface - and any oil below was just making its way up. However, researchers say the disaster in waters where light doesn't shine through could ripple across the food chain.

Gulf oil spill threat widens

Louisiana (Reuters) - Oil from BP's out-of-control Gulf of Mexico oil spill could threaten the Mississippi and Alabama coasts this week, U.S. forecasters said on Monday, as public anger surged over the country's worst environmental disaster.

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama will hold his first meeting with co-chairs of an oil spill commission he tapped to probe the worst oil spill in U.S. history and make policy recommendations about U.S. offshore oil drilling.

The commission will be similar to those that looked into the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986 and the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in 1979.

Oil Spill gutting confidence – and staining reputations

In the US, which assumes no engineering challenge is beyond conquer - nor does it lack the private capital to achieve it - the brackish rouge beneath the waves that is slowly strangling the Louisiana shore not only stains the sea and the sands.

That creeping black is also gutting confidence, upturning myths and ruining reputations.

When Americans learned at the weekend that British Petroleum (BP) - which drilled the hole in the seabed nearly two kilometres under the sea - had attempted to seal it 16 times since Thursday by forcing shredded rope, plastics, old tyres and even golf balls into the failed, four-storey high blow-out preventer, the crudity of the assault seemed strangely out of step with our times.

Oil: Investors move to safer havens in spite of strong demand

But higher prices have weakened resolve among its 11 quota-bound members, notably Iran and Venezuela, says David Kirsch, director of market intelligence at PFC Energy, a consultant. Opec is now pumping 1.4m more barrels a day than a year ago, in spite of no official change to output policy.

The cartel’s desire to keep prices steady – and relatively high, by historic standards – is also challenged by a spurt of new oil from non-members. Russia, for example, has defied expectations with increased output.

Opec’s next scheduled meeting is October. “The prospect of prices going below $70 and remaining there for several months will really change the dynamics within Opec,” says Mr Kirsch. Oil’s recent volatility could also disturb the tacit truce between producing and consuming countries, who acknowledge prices between $70 and $80 are enough to stimulate drilling without derailing fragile economies.

Caltech studies fish schools to improve wind farmsMay 31, 2010

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology are testing new wind farm configurations based on observations of schools of fish. By using vertical wind turbines and placing them better in relation to each other, wind farms may be able to produce 10 times the amount of energy per acre than is currently generated.

Pacific volcano erupts near Marianas islands

SAIPAN, Northern Marianas (AP) -- A volcanic eruption near the Pacific's Northern Mariana Islands shot clouds of ash and vapor nearly eight miles into the sky, federal scientists said.

The eruption occurred early Saturday and appeared to come from an underwater volcano off Sarigan, a sparsely inhabited island about 100 miles north of the U.S. commonwealth's main island of Saipan.

The Northern Marianas are about 3,800 miles southwest of Hawaii.

China’s shift away from cheap labor hard on all

SHANGHAI (AP) -- Global manufacturers struggling with life-or-death pressures to control costs are finding that the legions of low-wage Chinese workers they rely on have limits.

"The 80s and 90s generation workers need more care and respect and need to be motivated to work with enthusiasm," said Guangdong party chief Wang Yang, who has backed efforts to shift Guangdong up the industrial ladder away from reliance on exports of low tech, cheap products.

That transition is taking hold across China. Manufacturers, under pressure to deliver low prices in home markets, are struggling to attract and keep young workers who, brought up in an era of relative affluence, are proving less willing than earlier generations to "eat bitterness" by putting up with miserable working environments and poor wages. The strike at Honda also reflects broader trends of growing dissatisfaction among China's long-suffering workers with lagging wages and generally harsh working conditions.

Country-by-country look at Europe’s debt crisis

LONDON (AP) -- Europe's governments are struggling to deal with a mountain of debt made worse by the past three years of global financial and economic turmoil.

Here are thumbnail sketches of how some of the countries involved are faring - and what they're doing to escape the crisis.

Turkmenistan starts new $2 billion gas pipeline

SHATLYK, Turkmenistan (AP) -- Turkmenistan on Monday started work on a $2 billion gas pipeline that aims to boost its export capacity and increase the reclusive nation's economic and political clout in the global gas market.

President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov hailed the new 620-mile (1,000-kilometer) pipeline - dubbed East-West - stressing that Turkmen firms would build it on their own.

Turkmenistan's gas wealth has long been the focus of intense rivalry between Russia, China and the West. Russia had a lock on most of the country's gas exports until last December, when a major China-bound pipeline went into operation.

By building the new pipeline on its own, Turkmenistan will essentially get the final say about the ultimate destination of the natural gas: Russia, or the West.

Algerian president fires CEO of state oil firm

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) -- Amid a growing corruption scandal, Algeria's president has fired the CEO and all top managers at the state-owned oil firm that dominates the North African country's economy, local media reported Monday.

CEO Mohammed Mezian and the four vice presidents of oil company Sonatrach were officially removed by presidential decree Sunday, the official APS news agency and other media reported, quoting the official government register.

They had already been jailed or placed under house arrest because of an investigation into the suspected embezzlement of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Hurricane Fears Push Oil Prices Higher

Oil prices continued the gains made last week, reaching $74.51 cents a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Despite Monday being a holiday in the US and the UK, predictions that this could be the worst hurricane season in five years, has investors nervous that supply lines could be disrupted in the same manner that Hurricane Katrina affected operations in the Gulf Coast in 2005.

New pipeline won’t sate Asian oil demand—Enbridge

Alberta, May 31 (Reuters) - The planned C$5.5 billion ($5.3 billion) Northern Gateway pipeline will not be big enough to satisfy demand for Canadian oil sands crude from Pacific Rim nations, Enbridge Inc (ENB.TO), the line's backer, said in regulatory filings.

The company, which filed for regulatory approvals for the 525,000 barrel per day oil line last week, said in the filing that the potential market for Canadian crude in China, Japan, and South Korea could be as high as 1.75 million barrels a day, more than three times the capacity of the proposed line.

The estimate excludes the possibility of further demand from refiners on the U.S. West Coast, which will need to replace declining production from Alaska's North Slope, Enbridge said.

Crescent Point’s ‘game-changer’ buoys Bakken prospects

“Crescent Point has a dominant position in two of the largest and most economic unconventional resource plays in Western Canada, the Lower Shaunavon and Bakken,” said Saxberg.

“These mainly untapped resource pools provide Crescent Point with over 5,000 drilling locations and the potential to add over 500 million barrels of reserves, which could potentially double our current net asset value.”

IEA sees 2010 boost in energy spend

Investments in the upstream oil and gas sector worldwide will rise between 9% and 10% in 2010 versus the previous year, a senior energy economist for the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today.

Money spent on exploration and development projects would however still be about 10% below its investment peak seen in 2008, Reuters cited Trevor Morgan as saying at an industry event.

"We don't actually see much of an increase in capacity on a net basis in the next 5 years," said Morgan.

Euro, stocks down on fears of coming slowdown

After the most volatile month of trading since the wake of Lehman Brothers' failure in the fall of 2008, investors now focused on pricing in to what extent reduced demand from the more fiscally austere euro zone would hit production in economies like China and South Korea.

Dealers brushed aside stronger-than-expected May export growth figures from Korea, which precede the rest of Asia, and solid Australian retail sales, taking more interest in forward-looking manufacturing indexes from China and India.

China's factories scaled back production last month and eased back hiring in response to a critical drop in new orders, an official survey showed on Tuesday.

Global rebound anemic: Roubini

(Reuters) - Advanced economies face years of anemic growth and the risk of a double-dip recession as their citizens cope with sluggish employment and highly indebted governments, economist Nouriel Roubini said on Monday.

"Labor market conditions will remain very weak in some advanced economies," said Roubini, known as Dr. Doom and most famous for having predicted the U.S. housing crisis.

"Savings will have to rise faster than consumption for the coming years. That is why growth will remain anemic," Roubini, who heads U.S.-based economic consultants RGE Monitor, told attendants at a seminar in Sao Paulo.

Key confident cycleway will add more jobs

The national cycleway project, which the Prime Minister lauded as a huge job-creator at last year's national jobs summit, has created 70 in a year.

"I'm confident we'll have 500 jobs on these schemes and I am confident 2000km will be completed by the end of 2011," he said yesterday, after the Herald reported that construction had yet to begin on three out of seven "quick-start" cycle trails he announced last winter.

Women’s Role in a Warming World

Women are likely to be hit harder by climate change than men due their social roles and the simple fact that a majority—as much as 70 percent—of the world’s poor are women. As a result, they are much more devastated by natural disasters than men. One researcher concludes that women are 14 times more likely than men to die in a natural disaster such as a tsunami. Experts predict climate change will only exacerbate such inequities.

Melbourne Bike Share. On a bicycle built for…more than two (Video)

WEIGHING 18 kilograms, they aren't light. But perhaps that will be what saves these sturdy bicycles from damage and vandalism.

The electric-blue bicycles proved surprisingly easy to use.

Forest City opens bicycle park

FOREST CITY — Colleen Hovinga and her two sons, Joey and Danny, put their bicycles in a bike rack in the new bicycle park in downtown Forest City just minutes after the it was officially declared open last month.

Artists Andy Sinnwell of Forest City and Steve Johnson of Clear Lake used bicycles to create sculptures in the park.

Virus Ravages Cassava Plants in Africa

The threat could become global. After rice and wheat, cassava is the world’s third-largest source of calories. Under many names, including manioc, tapioca and yuca, it is eaten by 800 million people in Africa, South America and Asia.

The danger has been likened to that of Phytophthora infestans, the blight that struck European potatoes in the 1840s, setting off a famine that killed perhaps a million people in Ireland and forced even more to emigrate.

That event changed the history of all English-speaking countries.

Iran well blaze 'may take 6 months to douse'

A fire at an Iranian oil rig near the Iraq border has killed three people and left at least 10 injured, with officials saying it could take up to six months to extinguish the blaze.

What Will it Take to End Our Oil Addiction?

Energy savings throughout the economy, such as through better building codes, will be needed to free up natural gas and electricity resources. This can then allow oil users to switch to these other fuels without overly straining supplies and prices.

"Researcher suggests Arctic oil spill would have dire consequences", http://www.yukon-news.com/news/18126/

The call for an Arctic moratorium on deep sea drilling is coming from Dr. William Adams, a PhD in physical chemistry, past chair of the Canadian Defence Science Advisory Board, and a leading researcher on the Beaufort Project.

They studied wildlife, marine life, oceanography, meteorology, sea ice and oil spill countermeasures.

They also looked at consequences of a possible oil spill and methods of oil spill cleanup in ice-choked waters.

They found that the oil caused adverse effects on the entire biological food chain.

It also led to a massive growth in algae that destroyed the ecosystem and heated up the water and ice.

It turns out burning oil isn’t the only way to contribute to global warming. An oil spill similar to the one in the Gulf of Mexico would have huge impacts on the climate.

“It would not only be a catastrophe for Canada and the Inuit that live up there, but it would be potentially a massive global climatic catastrophe,” said Adams.

“We can’t even begin to model at this stage what the consequences would be.”

The good news is that Canada is still four years away from opening its Arctic Ocean waters to drilling. I suspect that events in the GoM will serve as a wake-up call to put a brake on further development.

A fire at an Iranian oil rig near the Iraq border has killed three people and left at least 10 injured, with officials saying it could take up to six months to extinguish the blaze.

Why don't they just nuke it?

Why don't they just nuke it?

Ahmadinejad should ask the Israelis ... they would do the job for free:-)

Leak to the Israelis that there are Palastinians hiding under the smoke... or that Iran is hiding its nuclear development under the smoke. That should do the trick.


... and that it's a supply depot for Gaza...

success guaranteed!

Ahmadinejad should ask the Israelis ... they would do the job for free:-)

But gee, they would make a 'small error' and drop the nuke on the highest population city, GPS error most likely excuse :/


Military news, National News, Real Time News »
GPS glitch disables 10,000 military receivers
By Associated Press
June 01, 2010, 10:24AM

Cory RodriguezView full sizeU.S. Army photo via APThe Army's uses GPS-to target artillery rounds in its guided Excalibur system. A software glitch that temporarily left as many as 10,000 military GPS receivers unable to lock onto satellite signals showed how dependent the U.S. military has become on the Global Positioning System. Dan Elliott, Associated Press writer

a near perfect example of Tainter's arguments about increasing complexity and marginal returns on investment - not a very robust system we have going there is it? One bad solar-magnetic storm could take out every single one of those satellites, and there isn't a damn thing they can do to predict or stop it.

Actually SoHo which is a space weather spaceship is stationed in closer to the sun than Earth's orbit, and there are several others out there scanning for Solar changes.


Gives you the real time Space Weather updates, We knew about the dangers that the Sun posed and we put in place the system to predict and early warn us. We can only early warn, but some of the objects in orbit can be moved to more secure locations, and some can be agumented with ground based systems. Not prefect cover our behinds, but better than a blind hit.

My brother works for NASA and has all kind of cool things to talk about at family gatherings. But I have been a sky watcher for a long time.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future, Hugs from Arkansas.

never laughed so hard on an oil drum post....

thanks, it made my day ;)

Jeez after skimming through all the "good" news this morning I really couldn't think of any words that were adequate to express how I feel so I did the next best thing...

Slammer for BP

I like the BP logo I saw in New Orleans (hand made) with black diamonds radiating in a swirl from a center.


Diamonds reminded me of rattlesnakes. BP however is much more poisonous...

BP Snake

Funny looking hooded rattlers in your neck of the woods.

Actually, that would be the rare Hungarian Hooded Rattler! They are native only to Hungary, Florida and Brazil, and seldom seen in daylight without their trusted handlers. Danger to all interlopers, energy hogs and oil spilling corporate denizens. These beasties are M E A N !



Craig, while the creature you describe does indeed exist, the one depicted above, is really just a subspecies of the common but deadly oil sea snake...


Mark Fiore plays devil's advocate (tongue in cheek):




Simply label your picture 'Top Kill'...

Euro Bailout Plan is all about Rescuing Banks and Rich Greeks

Not to worry. Something will dribble...err, trickle down to the plebes.

ECB warns of ‘hazardous contagion’

The eurozone’s financial sector and economy are facing “hazardous contagion” effects from the region’s debt crisis, according to the European Central Bank, which has also forecast another €195bn in bank writedowns this year and next.

Soaring government deficits risked driving up general borrowing costs, hitting economic growth prospects, the ECB said in its latest report on the eurozone’s financial stability.

I personally think it's time to stop the sententious pontification and finger pointing. Life is all about "kicking the can down the road" -- maximizing one's use of resources at every step. From cyanobacteria to humans (notice the unconscious anthropocentric bias!) we reproduce without having the slightest idea what will happen to our own children, let alone "future generations." We make do with what is available, and if it isn't enough, the bolder among us go out and steal some more. The meeker hide behind the bolder -- we "abhor" slavery, but we have internationalized it by allowing Wal-Mart to be our slavemaster. I certainly am the beneficiary of a lot of cheap food and other stuff that I could not in any reasonable way pretend I earned!

Of course the Greek "bailout" is about protecting German and French bankers! What would anyone expect? They have a lot of power, and they aren't ashamed to use it. On the other hand, they won't necessarily succeed in their own version of kick-the-can -- there are a lot of other powerful players, and the mirage of "the people united/can never be defeated" might even happen someday.

The opera is far from over -- events in GOM and Gaza are providing entirely new verses to the fat lady's song.

With all the focus on the Gulf oil spill, there are still other issues to consider. Climate change continues to make waves, as experienced in India lately. It's important to remember that a dew point temperature above 95F (35C) will kill those without the means to cool off. Today is the first day of climatological Summer (as well as the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season)...

E. Swanson

We're getting a welcome rain today in Ottawa. Yesterday, we were choking on forest fire smoke, and the usual lies from Benny Netanyahoo who happened to be here meeting our Krischun Zionist Prime Minister on the day of the notorious high seas piracy and murder.

This after the first or second warmest winter on record. And some blazing temperatures this spring. The forest in Quebec and Ontario is very dry. Lots of rain needed.

And closer to home;

Heat wave in Indiana hospitalizes 100


The max temp in Indianapolis yesterday was 86F, 10F short of the record of 96F


Arctic ice extent is now running below the 2007 record low, coming off of a near average winter. More room for exploration, right?


At about 11 am or so I was noticing the temp gauge in the room which is right by this computer, hitting 81 degress, then a few minutes later 82, and I thought my mom had set the thermostat a bit to high, looked over and nope, right where we keep it, which is around 80 (old analog kind). I got up, felt the vent and felt warmish air, and Went to tell my dad we might have a problem.

Went to look at the AC unit and could tell the compressor was not on, though the fan motor was. My dad said" Guess I'll go get Ellis. Mr. Ellis's family moved into a vacant house on our street, it had been vacant for a few years. He runs his own HACV company and though we know him and his family sorta okay, not really well. But my dad has known his adult daughter, who lives there with her son, from his days at being a building Maintaince engineer. She is a clerk in a Bolt Company, so he has had a lot of chats with her. Funny how people meet again in life.

Well it is about 4 pm here, and the New Unit is cooling the place off , we are down to 87 degrees in here, from a top of 92. We have the last unit that was available in this area using this freon type, the new standard is R-410( I think I got my R value right) and would have cost us at least double the amount, and we'd have to pull the inside coils and replace the piping and all that, and that would have been at least another day if not longer.

Handy to have friends that can help you out, and Nice to know that we have the last brand new model in the old line available, the old unit was replaced 30 years ago in the summer of 1980 when the temps here in town were running in the 100's for over 20 days straight. It got over 120 degrees in this house back then I was going to be a Senior in Highschool in the fall. So if this unit lasts 20 years, I'll be aged and might not be living here then.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future, Warm hugs.

Tropical Storm Agatha is now entirely in the Caribbean. It has moved over Central America in a west to east direction, opposite the normal direction of the wind currents. However there is only a 10 percent chance, according to NOAA, that it will develop into a tropical hurricane within the next 48 hours.

NOAA says this storm will move very little in the next day or so. However I would point out that it is now sitting over some very warm water. If I had to guess then I would guess that it would intensify.

Ron P.

My reaction, exactly, Ron. For an interesting note about A-B-C storms, read:



All we need is a hurricane to deal with along with everything else in the gulf.

Actually, chapter 34 section C4 of BP's emergency oil spill preparedness manual deals with hurricane contingency issues. The text is 16 pages of 7 pt Times Roman font and it says:

"Don't Worry be Happy! Don't Worry be Happy! Don't Worry be Happy! Don't Worry be Happy!"

For the entire 16 pages...

Despite economist Nouriel Roubini statement above that advanced economies face years of anemic growth and the risk of a double-dip recession, statistics released yesterday showed the Canadian economy growing 6.1% in the first quarter of 2010.


Facing robust growth, the governor of the Bank of Canada, Mark Carney, announced today a half point increase in interest rates, the first of the G7 countries to do so.


Tighter money means Canadians will feel a slight squeeze on their borrowing rates, but with the economy humming along, it shouldn't be too dire for folks.

Long term trends will depend on what happens elsewhere.

So, now it appears that the US Military has no technology and no plan on how to stop an oil leak. Obviously, BP didn't, and since we have not heard from the other oil companies, let us assume that none of them do either.

My question: Why in the Hell do we allow unlimited drilling offshore, anywhere, when there is no way to contain a spill in any reasonable time frame? How stupid are we, anyway?

Projection: BP skims enought oil off the spill to finance the cleanup at the level they plan to do. Or that is their plan, at any rate. It remains to be seen whether they are able to actually attach the top hat, and given their demonstrated level of competence, I am not sanguine about that.

Mr. Murphy, in the person of the first named tropical storm, is in the Caribean... the waters are 4 Deg F warmer than they should be (global warming is a hoax, ya know), and I am with Fred!

Hope ya'll had a really nice Memeorial Day. Welcome to the end game.


How stupid are we, anyway?

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe.”

Albert Einstein

Plan appears to be to sacrifice the GOM and all those folks in LA and FL and TX and AL, not to mention Mexico and Cuba, and treat it like the Niger Delta.

Lots of news now, but compassion fatigue sets in quickly, attention wanders, interest wanes, and there is always a war somewhere else to focus on. TV coverage goes away, no one sees it any more. Who among the TOD audience know how the fishermen (let alone the wildlife) are doing in Valdez?? Not well.

And we do need the oil, of course.

It's not clear whether it might be possible to develop technology to deal reasonably quickly and effectively with the inevitable accidents in off-shore drilling. What annoys me is that there doesn't appear to have been any governmental or oil company move to develop and test those techniques before they're needed. On the other hand, it's not unusual: I get some very strange looks when in software planning meetings and my first question is "How do we design debugging info into the program so when this doesn't work we can figure out why"; planning for unexpected outcomes is apparently "not the right attiutde" to have these days.

"I get some very strange looks when in software planning meetings and my first question is "How do we design debugging info into the program so when this doesn't work we can figure out why"; planning for unexpected outcomes is apparently "not the right attiutde" to have these days."

As the old saying goes, "In software development, quality is job 1.1"

Hi Embryonic.

planning for unexpected outcomes is apparently "not the right attiutde" to have these days.

If the potential outcomes (not making a picky semantic argument here; I think this is a very important distinction) had been considered and budgeted for (insurance, etc.), the wells would not have been drilled. The probability distribution for this kind of failure was incorrect.

I do not think the current protocols are anywhere near adequate, even if followed to the maximum humanly possible (and how likely is that?) According to the pros here, wells kick all the time. It has also been implied that sometimes good people have bad days, not just the f*@#%rs at BP. I doubt that every blowout is the result of pure incompetence or greed (though I do think that greed and incompetence lead the list.) There are lapses in attention, unexpected circumstances, and just bad luck. The chances of this happening again before the end of the oil age look pretty good to me, especially in the end game, with money tight and life cheap. The comparison NeverLNG makes to Nigeria is apt.

We cannot go forward without a tested plan that would catch a wild well like this in the first few days.

If we cannot do this, we should not drill.

This disaster has a list of consequences that we are just scratching the surface of. As well as the issue of global warming, I wonder about it's effect on the biological carrying capacity of the planet (at least as far as a human-friendly eco-system goes.)

Deep water drilling is at the very edge of human technological competency. The margins seem to be razor thin already, and we're still learning about new risks and problems.

In our attempts to extend BAU, are we in fact shortening the time BAU is possible? Are we making overshoot mitigation even more difficult?


Yes indeed. New motto--We're all Nigerians now!

You simply must brush up on these things... Over the decades, "structured programming", "strong type checking", "object oriented programming", "Shlaer-Mellor method", "egoless programming", "MISRA guidelines", "fourth generation languages", and other such things have time and time again eliminated the possibility that things could ever go wrong with computer programs. Knowing this, managerial types who run planning meetings realize that it's wasteful to allow for an "unexpected outcome". Flat-out impossible, simply can't happen, guaranteed by the very nature of the coding tools. Surely there must be a Dilbert cartoon explaining this, or at least its equivalent in some other major industry...

Seriously, it's a bit like JIT (meaning Just In Time, until it means Just Isn't There), or underbuilt big-city road or subway systems that work effectively only as long as everything's in perfect apple-pie order (zero construction blockages, zero mechanical failures, etc.), or anything else that's been bean-counted down to the brittle bone. It's a tad cheaper that way, and after all, lots of jobs go to the lowest bidder even if that's only by a dollar.

and I am with Fred!

"What did I do now?!" he wonders, as he furtively pulls in his neck and warily squints over his shoulder... ;^)

Look back to 9:21 am!

And, who said it was you? Might have been Flintstone! ;>)


Projection: BP skims enought oil off the spill to finance the cleanup at the level they plan to do. Or that is their plan, at any rate.

Let's see... assume 20,000 bbl/day, 100 days total before the relief well succeeds, 50% recovery rate, and $75/bbl for the oil. That gives $75 million, and they've already spent more than ten times that. And the 50% recovery rate seems optimistic, given the effects of evaporation, dispersants, and surface burns, unless the LMRP works perfectly and they get essentially 100% recovery from now until the relief well is done.

Okay, so they don't break even on the spill. At least $75M will pay the bonuses for a few execs.


How ironic that in blockbuster, partly financed by the pentagon, the US army always have a secret spaceship, a new technology or a bunch of genious scientists in an underground laboratory and are able to send people in space or in earth center, to divert a meteorit, to stop alien invasion or destroy beast from other dimensions...etc

And here it is a miserable hole in the see floor spilling oil and they admit that they don't have any clue on how to plug it.

CNBC had Hoffmeister (formerly of Shell oil) on this morning - essentially trying to lay the blame for the BP disaster squarely at the feet of the environmentalists and those who prohibit drilling in shallow off shore areas and other "protected" areas (i.e. national parks ?) for political "gain". Since we can't drill in these locations we are forced into deepwater attempts where problems are much more likely and consequences potentially much more dire.

He was also saying that turning away from domestic drilling at this point would push gas to $5.00 per gallon by 2012 - which would devestate the US economy (OH THE HUMANITY !). So, god forbid - let's not have any knee jerk reactions to flooding half the Gulf of Mexico with oil by August.

Apparently he's now working as a consultant to BP on way of mitigating the impact of the blow out. Yet another parasite - probably making 6 or 7 figures for his "consulting"...


The ecology is damaged, if not destroyed, in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. No one has any idea how to stop it, except through the relief well (which is why BP discontinued drilling the second well... unless they restarted and I haven't heard yet). People are preparing to drill, or already drilling, in the open Atlantic, in 7,000 ft + water, and Hoffmeister is giving the basic corporatist response: Deregulate, Baby, Deregulate. It's all the environmentalists fault! Free the Oil Companies.

Stupidity prevails, passed on by the MSM. The age of oil is coming to an end, and we are in denial.

But, not to worry; in the meantime there is a buck to be made!



The spin doctors are out in force it seems. I had seen this guy in another article a few days ago, likely listed from someone on here. But anyone to sell their mother to the slavers, just to make sure they have a nice nest egg in their pocket.

On another note, but related in a way to this. I just got off the phone with a sales rep, from a company called Wise, that sells emergancy food storage products. They have them in packaged in 5 gallon square buckets, with a 25 year shelf life. They are sending me a free sample. They are kinda pricey for my budget, but the bucket and envolope idea is better than can's that once opened can get damaged. I'll let the Drumbeat know how they are on the day I try them.


If the end of the world as we know it is close at hand, and with all the spinning people are doing with things these days, I don't trust them to tell me it is not. Knowing where your next meal is, might be helpful. I'll get mine out of my garden, but others, might not have the ability yet to grow things.

Anyway sorry to hi-jack the rant about BP and their spin doctors. Which if I read correctly the White House is doing it's own spinning too.

So Why isn't Bill Clinton down here helping out, I guess they didn't want to Ask Bush to show up like they did for Haiti, that'd be a little too much.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future, less spin, more hugs.

I guess they didn't want to Ask Bush to show up like they did for Haiti, that'd be a little too much.

Oh my, to say the least! Bush showing his mug in the Gulf right now would not be a good idea. I'll always remember when he went down to see the damage from Katrina and said, "Well, you can be absolutely certain we'll make sure Trent Lott's house (mansion) gets rebuilt!" And, when his Mother saw how the people of New Orleans were living in a shelter, she said, "Oh these people are doing just fine. They're being given everything they need. Look, they're perfectly happy!"

I think the people of the Gulf are going through enough without being made sick by the completely out of touch.

Here's a video loop. The loop changes over time, so later today, it might not show anything. WARNING: Large files, high speed connection recommended!


E. Swanson

95 Californias or 74 Texases to replace offshore oil
by Chris Nelder

Chris or Bart... I think, from the article, that should say "195 Californias".


On the other hand, four people carpooling where they all used to drive separately results in an instant 75% energy savings, without spending any more money at all (in fact, the carpoolers save money because of reduced wear and tear on all four cars, assuming that they rotate). When people decide to vacation at home rather than drive a couple of days each way, those miles just go away completely. It doesn't require a big investment to raise the thermostat in the summer and lower it in the winter (although a programmable thermostat will help assure that it actually gets done), yet the energy savings are pretty substantial.

If you want to talk about getting real, then here it is: the energy supplies are going to decline, we are going to have to make do with less energy, and while there may be some efficiency gains to be had for those who can make the necessary investments, most ordinary people will have to cope by simply USING LESS energy, uncomfortable and inconvenient as it may be. IMHO, the most unreal people out there are those who assume that can't happen, that people won't make those sort of lifestyle adjustments to use less energy. I can assure you, when it becomes unaffordable enough, that is exactly what they will do.

I can assure you, when it becomes unaffordable enough, that is exactly what they will do.

Bingo! We finally get down to Econ 101. When the perceived benefits of doing so outweigh the perceived costs, then people will drive less. Until then, potential carpoolers may value their time, or simply the chance to see their children, over the risibly small marginal cost of driving a typical commute solo rather than in a carpool.

On the cost side, much of the cost of driving a car is fixed, so the marginal cost will be substantially less than half of the AAA's 55 cents or so - unless one feels enabled to get rid of a car, which is not what was posited here. And you only get to save it 3/4 of the time even in a (possibly monumentally time-wasting) four-way pool. So it nets to maybe 10 or 15 cents/mile, not worth much fuss. In northern climes cars often rust out before they wear out, so one often need not care much about marginal wear and tear. Insurance is usually fixed, or so close to fixed as to make no difference, so it doesn't count unless regularly carrying non-family passengers raises it.

On the time-cost side, I still know of one neighborhood where you might find four compatible people who all work in lockstep, at the same place on the same shift, but by and large that arrangement is getting to be very 20th century. These days people tend to live and work in scattered places, and to work at scattered hours. In addition, in any even slightly professional job, they may now and then suddenly have to stay an extra hour or two to complete something; this will require either a large sacrifice of hours by the other three in the pool, or else an astronomical cab fare (that devours a couple of weeks of "savings" at 10-15 cents/mile) as the penalty for having to stay late.

On the benefit side, note that by the time the day's pool car makes the Grand Tour to pick up the other three people, and possibly another Grand Tour to deliver them, the savings may fall well short of 75%. This is no surprise; we engineers know that real-world applications hardly ever live up to simple-minded back-of-the-envelope speculation.

Oh, and let's not forget the ever more fearful Stranger Danger worldview many are now raised on. Don't expect people to assess risks rationally when they've been raised to believe that fear/zero-risk trumps all else at all times in this life. (Google Lenore Skenazy. Also, analogous issue with the potential hazards of biking.)

Anyway, no sense losing sleep over the fact that if something's seen as too costly, people won't do it (or will do less of it.) For the moment, for most people, it's blindingly obvious that cost assessment favors the status quo; so be it.

Good headline. Caused me to waste 5 minutes. Nelder doesn't understand science or economics, as shown by his comments regarding carbon emissions and carbon taxes.

What price does oil have to be to fill enough currently regularly empty car seats to lower oil consumption by an amount equivalent to the, very temporary, amount coming from below the deep water? This would be a much more interesting calculation than the facile comparison with California's current wind energy installations.

What is the economic value of less congestion? Of the alternative use of the capital currently in the claws of the hydrocarbon industry?

Gail, thanks for your efforts to make all of this a teachable moment. Is TOD at risk of becoming "Technology Over Deepwater?" Too many engineers pleased to focus on the smallest details, completely losing sight of the big picture. And where are all of the biologists, which is the big issue here? Weeping in their whiskey, maybe, like Rube.

Engineering problems like this are more focused, as you implied, with the end goal more apparent. Solutions are black & white; they either work or they don't.

Toss in any aspects of probability, as in long-term impacts based on what has spilled so far, and most engineers won't have the insight or experience to deal with the problem. It also isn't a binary analysis.

Or they look at climate scientists,who have gotten beaten-up for looking at similar probability-based problems, especially those involving disorder and the physics of uncertainty and large state spaces.

Yet these are the big issues that we have yet to solve satisfactorily.

Rude speaks for rube. http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/

I am not sure where all of the biologists are.

I tried early on to get someone knowledgeable to write something about dispersants, without success. I noticed what I thought was an interesting opinion piece by a conservation biologist in the Atlanta Journal Constitution this morning:

Dispersants do more harm than good

There were a lot of lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1989. One form of dispersant Corexit was used there too. Nineteen months after that spill, the dispersant was not only evident in the marine ecosystem but mussels were still poisoned. And the effects of spreading the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons ranged far and wide as they caused developing hearts of Pacific herring and salmon to fail.

People exposed to Corexit suffered a number of long-term respiratory and other serious ailments.

Research from Israel in 2007 clearly showed that dispersant kills coral reefs and significantly retards regrowth.

Maybe he would be willing to do a post.

yup, that's all interesting but, But if you want to get a broader view of what is going on listen to this lecture by a biologist. From several days before this tragedy. about an hour. http://www.ecoshock.net/eshock10/ES_100528_Show_LoFi.mp3

yup, the biologist are crying in their beer. bet you no one will listen to the audio I just posted. This biologist in not a cretin. This stuff is reality. but no, we are focused on how to cut pipe underwater. Damn i wish we could reframe once in a while. Want to know what the biologist are doing. Just like me they are crying. Listen to the fu.... audio if you really want to know!

I am an ecologist, and I am in shock. There is nothing I can do except bear witness to this horrific shitstorm. It is heartbreaking. That it was bound to happen makes it no less heartbreaking.

Listen to the fu.... audio if you really want to know!

I listened and unfortunately I'm sad to admit that none of it was in any way news to me.

I also recomend (this is only 20 or so minutes long) Talk by E.O. Wilson.

Also read this to understand why we are really F**ked!


When science clashes with beliefs? Make science impotent
By John Timmer | Last updated 5 days ago

It's hardly a secret that large segments of the population choose not to accept scientific data because it conflicts with their predefined beliefs: economic, political, religious, or otherwise. But many studies have indicated that these same people aren't happy with viewing themselves as anti-science, which can create a state of cognitive dissonance. That has left psychologists pondering the methods that these people use to rationalize the conflict.


Thanks for sharing those materials. Wilson was the feature speaker at a Darwin lecture series i attended last year. The man is a national treasure.

bet you no one will listen to the audio

It was an eye-opener to appreciate that the Enviro movement is 50 years old and nothing has changed.

We're on a non-stop passenger train heading towards the unbridged ravine.

The notions that we humans are herd animals and that our behaviors are determined by the random forces of (d)evolution on our triune brains are nothing new.

Why did it take biologists so long to figure out that humans are just another animal population hell bent on its own depletion-based extinction?

Grazing conditions on our St. Mathews Planet are simply fabulous.


I first studied the Tree hugger movement as an early teen. (I call it the tree hugger movement, because of my mother's fondness to hug trees, (cutting a tree down is hard if she is around) and because that is what I called myself for a while). That puts it over 35 years ago, and when I was doing reading then I knew it had been around awhile.

I can't download the audio to listen to it, on this computer, some conflict that I don't have time to route out. Is there a script source?

One thing that I have noticed is that no matter how many people tell you that there is need for change, if you do not want to change or realize in your inner most brain that you need to change, you can't.

Goes back to your linked page. (DUH!, is something that I used to say long before it got so popular, and I stopped because of that fact.)( my latest is, me in a high voice squeaking out, IT go Poofy!, in a long child like extention of first and last words ), several of my friends now use the term to mean something just going away and getting lost.)

We don't like to change, and we don't like to loose routines that make our life seem ordered.

For a long while, I was playing a game of changing my habits, never being on an even keel. If in a conversation with someone I would change tack, and just act totally crazy, I thrived on being abnormal to everything and everyone, and making sure that patterns in my own life did not get set down. I am still not sure why I started doing it, but I know that now, I can handle almost anything that is thrown at me by others, or events and stay calm, if I don't forget what I taught myself.

I have seen that you have to expect change, it happens all over the place, most events outside of your little world, you can not control. Think of the world as a bunch of bubbles, in each is a person. They touch in odd ways, but they only touch partly.

As events happen in one bubble far away, you might not ever see the ripples come your way, but they are in the system now, each action changes the whole, but not all actions influence you. I know other people have created the models of this idea. But I have been curious for a long time about how the whole world works, creating new long term reactionary worlds in my works of fiction, looking at how the complex could be made simple enough to understand it, if I could get a good mental picture of it.

Some people thrive on change, there is a few brain chemicals that are very addictive, and change triggers them. Stage actors/ preformers know this as well. Mountain climbers, thrill seekers, the whole vast lot of people who push the edges of their bubbles till they almost break. I have oft times used the theme, "I am just pushing my limits wondering when they might break!"

I used to drive fast, live hard and not worry about the outcome. But change can happen to you faster than you can react to it.

We are in a time of vast changes and there are more people helping those changes take place than ever before, and for a while they will still be gaining ground in numbers. Each new person increases the amount of change possible in the whole system.

So for 50 years, people in this one subset of interconnected bubbles knew about the environment and how we were damaging it. But during that same time period, we were still expanding as a population base, and the bubbles got pulled further apart, and more changes happened, and more people resisted them. The cycle is still in flux and you might not be able to get anyone to listen till the crashing of the bubbles popping is heard around them.

The bubble mass covering the earth, will be a balancing act of failures and changes and learning for all. I don't think that everyone will figure it out till it is too late for them to change enough to stop the damage.

The whole movement was working pushing something uphill and now that we think we have reached the top. Someone in the back slipped, and we are all going to fall back down the up slope soon.

Enjoy the ride. And I mean that in a serious way, which might get me flamed, but enjoy the ride, but also be mindful that you are going to have to have your hands out ready to save some people. You are going to have to keep your head about you and not loss track of things, or else you will fall too, and not be able to help anyone else. If you learn to enjoy the ride, that will give you an edge that you might not otherwise have, if you are hating the ride. The chemicals that are released through joy and happiness are more powerful for you than those of fear and doubt.

The old line from the original Dune keeps running in my head. "Fear is the mind killer." It if very true, be aware of your fear, but be as happy as you can be, happy wins out in a fight. Trust me. I have had loads of self testing of that.

I never did drugs that someone was willing to hand to me, besides alcohol, nicotine, or caffine. But I have found that you can produce all the best results in learning to use the chemicals you own brain produces. Not for the faint of heart and you should understand there will be dangers and side effects, but I can party hardy in my own head by myself, thanks all the same. As I would say to several people on the subject.

On the topic of our own extinction, I don't think we have learned yet that we can't just lord it over everything else. Someone somewhere in the past told someone that you can have it all and that has stuck with the general population ever since. (( The Devil made me do it, is an oft time heard phrase, it might be true in one sense, but normally it is, just us wanting to do it and blaiming it on the devil ))(( adam and eve and a devilish snake is the story most refer too in the west)).

Think about it this way. What if the devil and the eden story was true, just think for a second as if it were. God told Adam and Eve, everything that you see is yours, and it was, but you can't eat those two tree's fruit. Devil says, but you can have it all, everything, no limits, growth till you can't stand it, but those two trees are limiting you from having it all. Bang, got the friut, dad is sad and a bit miffed, and out you go into the wilderness where you have to hard scarp to grow anything worthwhile.

Though that is the story most westerners have in their past. The idea is that We think We can Grow and have it all. We have almost always thought that, I don't even know if we could figure out when we did start thinking that, if we didn't think that in the past.

So Here you have, "I can have everything." and "I hate to change" all wired into our brains. It almost does not matter which one is first, you will not change even if your life depends on it.

I have seen it as recently as yesterday. Someone I know, who claimed to be out of food. So I got them some food, we all are stretched thin here, because of the AC going out, but we have a cushion of funds. Well when I got to the house and was looking around, they had food, lots of it really. I asked what about that stuff? I don't like that, never really did, It makes my tummy hurt, etc etc.

When I got back to the Van I asked my folks, if they would say they were out of food and not eat for three days, just because they did not like the food they did have. Both of them said, we'd eat it even if we did not like it, when it was all gone we'd say we had no food.

I will not Change, but I want it all my way. Gades, the horror that that is so common in the world. Do you understand now how it will play out?

I have met more homeless people and non-homeless people with these attitudes than I care to think about.

Change or die. That is our options. And those that do not change and die will be out of the way for those that can change and don't want to die. Call it the new extinction resistance group.

The outcome is on the wall, in fine print, you have to get up close to read it, and when you do get up close to read it. The hordes will be running past you for the exits. After they are gone you finally make out what the words are.

Don't Panic! Stay Close to the walls. And hold on, the rush is coming. The closet to your right is well stocked with gear and supplies that will last forever.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future. Hugs to all, get to a safe place and let the hordes out the door.

One has to wonder why BP and the Fed were both eager to pour hundreds of thousands of gallons of Corexit on the problem, thus making things worse. It was clear from the beginning that this problem was going to be so big that nature was going to have to try to take care of it. But Instead of allowing the oil to surface and be exposed to the sun and break down or be caught by booms or burned off, we've sequestered it in huge pools of varying concentrations subsurface to spread far and wide. Is the rumor that the UK forbade use of Corexit in the North Sea, and the company was sitting on large volumes of unusable toxic liquids, and that there were tight corporate linkages between BP and Nalco? And the toxic combination of massive quantities of oil combined with this chemical, poured into an already stressed and anoxic Gulf is a recipe for disaster.

Here's the MSDS on one of the versions of Corexit; there appear to be a number of different ones, mostly based on propylene glycol. It is an "immediate acute health hazard" on which no toxicology testing has been done.


METHODS FOR CLEANING UP : SMALL SPILLS: Soak up spill with absorbent material. Place residues in a suitable, covered, properly labeled container. Wash affected area. LARGE SPILLS: Contain liquid using absorbent material, by digging trenches or by diking. Reclaim into recovery or salvage drums or tank truck for proper disposal. Clean contaminated surfaces with water or aqueous cleaning agents. Contact an approved waste hauler for disposal of contaminated recovered material. Dispose of material in compliance with regulations indicated in Section 13 (Disposal Considerations).

If this product becomes a waste, it could meet the criteria of a hazardous waste as defined by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) 40 CFR 261. Before disposal, it should be determined if the waste meets the criteria of a hazardous waste.

and since we know so little about this concoction, here instead is the MSDS for propylene glycol, which has been around and in use longer:


Special Remarks on other Toxic Effects on Humans:
Routes of Entry: Absorbed through skin. Eye contact.
Toxicity to Animals:
Acute oral toxicity (LD50): 18500 mg/kg [Rabbit]. Acute dermal toxicity (LD50): 20800 mg/kg [Rabbit].
Chronic Effects on Humans: May cause damage to the following organs: central nervous system (CNS).

Other Toxic Effects on Humans:
Hazardous in case of ingestion. Slightly hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant, permeator), of inhalation.
Special Remarks on Toxicity to Animals: Not available. Special Remarks on Chronic Effects on Humans:p. 4
May affect genetic material (mutagenic). May cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects (teratogenic) based on animal test data.

Acute Potential Health Effects: Skin: May cause mild skin irritation. It may be absorbed through the skin and cause systemic effects similar to those of ingestion. Eyes: May cause mild eye irritation with some immediate, transitory stinging, lacrimation, blepharospasm, and mild transient conjunctival hyperemia. There is no residual discomfort or injury once it is washed away. Inhalation: May cause respiratory tract irritation. Ingestion: It may cause gastrointestinal tract irritation. It may affect behavior/central nervous system(CNS depression, general anesthetic, convulsions, seizures, somnolence, stupor, muscle contraction or spasticity, coma), brain (changes in surface EEG), metabolism, blood (intravascular hemolysis, white blood cells - decreased neutrophil function), respiration (respiratory stimulation, chronic pulmonary edema, cyanosis), cardiovascular system(hypotension, bradycardia, arrhythmias, cardiac arrest), endocrine system (hypoglycemia), urinary system (kidneys), and liver. Chronic Potential Health Effects: Skin: Prolonged or repeated skin contact may cause allergic contact dermatitis. Ingestion: Prolonged or repeated ingestion may cause hyperglycemia and may affect behavior/CNS (symptoms similar to that of acute ingestion). Inhalation: Prolonged or repeated inhalation may affect behavior/CNS (with symptoms similar to ingestion), and spleen.

Section 12: Ecological Information
Ecotoxicity in water (LC50): >5000 mg/l 24 hours [Goldfish]. >10000 mg/l 48 hours [guppy]. >10000 mg/l 48 hours [water flea].

Rube, I spent 5 years in coastal Mississippi. We used to sail our Prindle out to Horn Island (even once to the Chandeleurs), throw for some mullet, and grill them up, and fall asleep listening to the waves on the beach and the squawks of various seabirds. This is sad, very sad. But we are all BP now; anyone who drives a car is BP. A collapsed economy is how peak oil presents, and this disaster is what decreasing returns on net energy looks like. One by one, local or regional resource bases get overrun by too many people and go kablooie.

Propylene glycol is used:

As a solvent in many pharmaceuticals, including oral, injectable and topical formulations. Notably, diazepam, which is insoluble in water, uses propylene glycol as its solvent in its clinical, injectable form.[5]

As a humectant food additive, labeled as E number E1520

As an emulsification agent in Angostura and orange bitters

As a moisturizer in medicines, cosmetics, food, toothpaste, mouth wash, and tobacco products

As a carrier in fragrance oils

As an ingredient in massage oils

In hand sanitizers, antibacterial lotions, and saline solutions

In smoke machines to make artificial smoke for use in firefighters' training and theatrical productions

In electronic cigarettes, as a vaporizable base for diluting the nicotine liquid

As a solvent for food colors and flavorings

more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propylene_glycol

We're all full of this stuff.

I am grossly unqualified to make definitive comments about dispersants, but I do have some small amount of training in the field of toxicology, being a farmer with a peasticide operator's liscense, a tradesman who works with toxic chemicals, and a student of biology, having finished enough classes to get more than halfway to a degree.

It is generally accepted by professionals in the field that the dose makes the poison;and so far as I know, there is no evidence proving that ANY concentration,NO MATTER how LOW it might be,of any poison or pollutant is harmful.

So theoritically,it is possible that the oil and the dispersant could actually become so diluted as to be basically harmless, given the volume of the open ocean.Of course this cannot happen instantly but would have to occur over a very long period,and during that period the oil and dispersant are obviously doing great harm while still at higher concentrations.

There can be no doubt in respect to several facts:

Oil on the shores , in the bayous, and so forth is incredibly harmful, and we have had enough experience with this to have a pretty good idea of the possible extent of the damages.

Oil in deeper , open water is also very harmful, but we do not so far as I know have much actual experience in measuring the harm;unfortunately, we will get it shortly.

A given amount of heat energy absorbed over the whole body by sun bathing for an hour might actually be very pleasant, or at least not harmful;the same amount absorbed by carelessly grabbing a hot frying pan bare handed results in a severe burn.

So at the one level, the large scale and extended use of dispersants is a gut based gamble. It seems to me that it is one that the majority of professional environmental types is willing to take;I base this personal opinion on nothing more than following the news and commentary on a couple of blogs.

Now as to the actual measurement of harm:

I don't believe there is any reasonably obective way to quantify which would be or will be worse;we all have read the various scores assigned to the livability of some city, or the desirability of some particular college.People with brains tend to take such rankings with a LUMP of salt.

Later on it might be possible to say that it would definitely have been better to not have used the dispersants,if it is evident that doing so caused obvious widespread harm;but we WON'T KNOW how much worse the harm would have been in a smaller area much more heavily polluted.

My personal guess is that using the dispersants will result in saving some hundreds of miles of critical shoreline habitat from heavy contamination,so that this shoreline may hopefully recover fairly soon; otherwise these hundreds of miles might take several decades to recover, if they ever do.

We need to keep in mind that the open water Gulf and ocean are heavily dependent on the estauries, rivers,bayous, swamps, etc, along the coast.The loss of this general area for a decade or more might be far worse for the environmental health of the gulf than an open water fish kill, even if the fish kill extends for hundreds of miles.

Furthermore it seems perfectly reasonable to believe that the political game will play our in such a way that whatever money is available for remediation will be spent mostly on shore; a highly concentrated and powerfully motivated south coastal block of voters and congress critters will see to this.

Hence it might be best as a practical matter to concentrate on protecting the shore at the price of neglecting the open waters;that way maybe there will actually be some money left over and available later for deep water remediation.

Incidentally there are some rumors floating around concerning BP'S insurance, and a possible lack thereof.Uncle Sam may own their insurance company-in the event they have one.

I hope somebody who follows the insurance industry can throw some light on this for us soon.

mac. i love you, but would you believe i really don't give a shit what insurance folks think. Sorry. Caught me late in the day.

sorry mac. But this whole thing reminds me of my early days on the farm. Once in a while lots of other folks would join us for some sort of activity. Sometimes we would all be going through a gate to get to the project. The folks in the first means of transport would have to stop and open a gate. When they did the others would rush through and the gate opener would be expected to close the gate. As they passed we would shout, ' Ya'll go ahead now and we will close the gate." A real metaphor for what is going on. Listened to that audio yet?

Hi, Rube,

I don't give a bloody crap about the insurance companies myself! ;)

But if a lot of BP's insurance has been laid of through reissues to companies already on life support courtesy of Uncle Sam, this probably means that although the insurance company will pay off the policies, we as taxpayers will be on the hook for the money.

Also there is such a thing as self insuring;in my state if you can post a satisfactory bond you can self insure your cars and trucks.No insurance bill, but your bonding company is going to be pretty conservative about checking out your assets before writing the bond,because this kind of bond is pretty cheap to buy.If you go broke they pay of course-if necessary.

I may be completely wrong about this but it seems that BP may be at least partially self insured;if BP goes broke....well, all this is relevant to the precise way and extent you and I will get screwed financially before this thing is over.

and so far as I know, there is no evidence proving that ANY concentration,NO MATTER how LOW it might be,of any poison or pollutant is harmful.

That sentence says nothing. You should read the book 'Our stolen future'. It is about hormone disrupting chemicals for example. Extremely low concentrations of several chemicals (natural and synthetical) with harmful effects.


I should probably have phrased that differently.

Every textbook I have(some are copyright this year, I'm picking up a new backup profession-Registered Nurse) states clearly that some minimum dose (or exposure level) is necessary for a substance to be a poison.Exposure to levels lower than this is believed to be harmless.

Of course we do not KNOW what that level is, in many,many cases.A study run for a year with a hundred rats might indicate that (for instance) there are no observable effects from ingesting a certain amount daily of a certain substance;but running the study longer with more rats might turn up evidence of toxicity.

Many substances that are being continually released into the environment have never been tested, and very few tests have ever been run on combinations of possible toxins, which might display synergistic effects.

I haven't read the book you mention, but I am aware of hormone mimics and actually do think they pose a very serious environmental and health risk.But there is some level at which the risk ceases to matter;this is an obvious truism, otherwise we would all be dead, because there are literally thousands of known toxins in our air, water, and food.

The minimum dosage/exposure theory is critical to rational thinking and decision making and I mentioned it for that reason.

It is utterly impossible to prevent ANY or SOME release of thousands of various chemical compounds into the environment;the best we can hope for is to keep the levels down low enough that we can live with the consequences.

Of course we have been able to outlaw the production and use of a few of the worst ones.Hopefully a few more will be banned every few years as the evidence piles up.

" EPA makes a new list of chemicals, mixtures, compounds, and other products that will be banned from use by the US in 2011.

1. Water
2. Chicken
3. Rice
4. Soy Beans
5. Watermelons
6. Bubble Gum
7. Oxygen

We have to get rid of these things as soon as possible says the Government agency. In the report they also mentioned that if this is not done the world will end in a very bad way."

Fictional news flash...

I had to post something with a bit of humor in it, it has been a long rough day around here. The Last R-22 freon 2 Ton unit in Arkansas is now in our backyard. They have all gone over to using Puron.

He also says that replacement is a better option because of a new Environmental Protection Agency mandate that took effect on Jan. 1.

The new rule stopped the manufacturing of air-conditioning systems that use the refrigerant R-22 - more commonly known as Freon.


It got about 92 in here today, and being 97 outside in the sun, it was a sweaty day.

"EPA bites the bullet and bans itself, in other news."

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future, cooler hugs for all.

A toxin doesn't have to kill you immediately to cause harm.

Levels of mercury that cause various kinds of disruption to nervous systems are very, very low.

You don't need many atoms of plutonium, if well/badly placed, to cause cancer.

The solution to pollution is dilution until there is no where left to dilute to.

states clearly that some minimum dose (or exposure level) is necessary for a substance to be a poison.

Right OFM. For 'hormone disrupting chemicals' that is sometimes in the parts per billion region. Speaking of course of chronic toxicity.

Many substances that are being continually released into the environment have never been tested, and very few tests have ever been run on combinations of possible toxins, which might display synergistic effects.

Indeed, and in the book you can read some amazing examples of substances that are many years on the market and can be harmful, like they found out with ftalats (weakmakers) present in many plastics. Many things are unknown because the lack of money to finance the necessary studies. The risk for cancer is considered much more important than other risks, although hormone disruption can also lead to some forms of cancer after long exposure.

But there is some level at which the risk ceases to matter

But as written above that is sometimes below the ppb region.

this is an obvious truism, otherwise we would all be dead, because there are literally thousands of known toxins in our air, water, and food.

Death is an extreme form of toxicity. In case of chronic toxicity it is often a matter of increased risk. IIRC for example the ftalats can increase the risk to develop diabetes.

I was just wondering if you [or anyone else] would know where to find #'s of large and/or mid sized American farms/farmers and their amount of debt and loan types? % rates? I'm trying to put together a paper on the subject...

There can be no doubt in respect to several facts:

Oil on the shores , in the bayous, and so forth is incredibly harmful, and we have had enough experience with this to have a pretty good idea of the possible extent of the damages.

To add a physics (or perhaps I should say a topologists) perspective. Spreading out something on the surface is 2 dimensional dilution, i.e. you have the area to spread into. Spreading something out in the volume, the dilution factor is 3 dimensional. And the difference is overwhelming, not small. So if the disperants allow 3D versus 2D dilution, that means that concentrations could be hundreds of times lower than for surface only dillution. So these dispersants could be making a huge difference. Note that using disperants for a surface spill, versus for a deep underwater spell are completly different kettles of fish topologically speaking. Conclusions drawn from the lower dimensional (surface spill) case may not carry over into the higher dimensional case.

It is generally accepted by professionals in the field that the dose makes the poison;

Back in the 1970's the mantra in waste water treatment was 'the solution to pollution is dilution'.

Such is no longer the case as (some) pollution has been found to bio-accumulate up the food chain - the diluted becomes un-diluted.

if it is evident that doing so caused obvious widespread harm;but we WON'T KNOW how much worse the harm would have been in a smaller area much more heavily polluted.

Alas, the volume of area effected means that can't happen. "we" humans (land based) lack information on what happens in the ocean VS what we "know" about land. For humans to know the damage under the sea, we'd have to know what things looked like before the leak/leak treatment.

Good point about pollutants accumulating up food chains,I should have mentioned it.

My general point is that we just don't know whether the heavy use of dispersants is a good strategy in this particular case.

In some cases they may be the best available solution, in others possibly the worst.

But we shouldn't get all religious about pollution-when that happens in any problem situation, reason and good science are all too often among the first things thrown overboard to lighten the boat in the event of a storm

A nitrate ion from fertilizer runoff cannot be distinguished from one from coyote pee-the BASIC issue is how much we can live with in the water, not the origin.

HUMANS ARE PART OF THE ECOLOGY ust as surely as coyotes.

I made the same point myself about not knowing much about deep water/open water spills;but while our knowledge of the deep gulf is skimpy, it is not trivial, and we will soon have a good rough idea of how much damage the spill has or will cause-probably within a year or two for the most part.

Given the ability of the high energy storms to move sea-things unto the land - having oil moved onto crop land will make this an interesting year.

I am not sure where all of the biologists are.

I tried early on to get someone knowledgeable to write something about dispersants, without success.

Speaking for most biologists, it's because we study life, not chemical dispersants ;) I mean, it is my sense that they are a negative, but none of my specialist knowledge is particularly relevant, y'know?

Two aspects to dispersion

1. Dispersants - which breaks down the material
2. Dispersion - which dilutes the material by varying rates of drift/convection and diffusion.

The first is chemistry, the second involves more general physics

I wrote this treatise over the weekend focusing on dispersion.

If an editor wants to repost it on TOD, fine with me.

Well, it's up to about a million gallons of dispersant as of this weekend, from this well researched article in EOE by Cutler Cleveland. And he confirms the ban on the dispersant use in the UK.


Corexit 9500 is known in prior scientific studies to pose a high level of toxicity to primary producer biota in the water column; in addition, it has been shown to accelerate the uptake of certain likely carcinogenic minority components present in petroleum such as napthalene. The dispersants used are approximately 10,000 times more lethal to biota than crude oil itself. Corexit 9500 and Corexit EC9527A, manufactured by an Illinois company, both contain 2-butoxyethanol, a chemical known to cause respiratory and skin irritation effects in humans. These dispersants have been banned for use by the United Kingdom, due to known biological effects on people and natural systems.

Oil spill dispersants do not actually reduce the total amount of oil entering the environment.1 Rather, they change the inherent chemical and physical properties of oil, thereby changing the oil’s transport, fate and potential effects. Small amounts of spilled oil naturally disperse into the water column, through the action of waves and other environmental processes. The objective of dispersant use is to enhance the amount of oil that physically mixes into the water column, reducing the potential that a surface slick will contaminate shoreline habitats or come into contact with birds, marine mammals, or other organisms that exist on the water surface or shoreline. Conversely, by promoting dispersion of oil into the water column, dispersants increase the potential exposure of oil to fish and bottom dwelling biota such as clams or oysters. Dispersant application thus represents a conscious decision to increase the risk to one component of the ecosystem (e.g.,the water column) while reducing the load on another (e.g., coastal wetland). Decisions to use dispersants, therefore, involve trade-offs between decreasing the risk to water surface and shoreline habitats while increasing the potential risk to organisms in the water column and on the seafloor.

A 2005 study by the National Research Council (NRC) on the ecological effects of dispersants concluded that there is insufficient scientific data to assess the net effect of chemical dispersants on marine and coastal ecosystems. The NRC stated: "In many instances where a dispersed plume may come into contact with sensitive water-columns or benthic organisms or populations, the current understanding of key processes and mechanisms is inadequate to confidently support a decision to apply dispersants." EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson acknowledged this point in a testimony before the U.S. Senate Committe on Environment and Public Works on May 18, 2010, when she stated "...the long term effects of dispersants on aquatic life are unknown..." . . .


The location of the spill site is in the ocean zone known as the Bathypelagic, a depth which has pressure as great as 160 atmospheres and temperatures of merely a few degrees Celsius. This depth is almost devoid of sunlight and hence offers virtually no primary production, but there are a variety of bioluminescent and soft muscled creatures, many of which we know little about. Due to pelagic mixing, the crude oil will migrate vertically and affect all depths of the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, including the shallower waters, where substantially more biodiversity and biological productivity is present.

Scientists at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi recently completed a comprehensive survey of the Gulf's biodiversity. They found that that the NNE octant of the Gulf (that area containing the Deepwater Horizon site) contains 8,332 species of plants and animals. Including only the major taxa of animals at all depths in the region of the spill, there are 1,461 mollusks, 604 polychaetes, 1503 crustaceans, 1,270 fishes, 4 sea turtles, 218 birds and 29 marine mammal species.

Much more at the link.

Corexit is only banned for use on the coast of the UK, it is still approved for offshore use. The reason it is not allowed for use on the coast is its toxicity to limpets and resulting runaway algae growth. EPA limits dispersant use in the US to outside three nautical miles offshore.

I'm not sure where the author of the article pulled the "10,000 times more lethal to biota than crude oil itself" from. There is no source reference. Such a strong statement should have some context or research behind it.

The author does get many facts right such as the EPA has determined undersea use is expected to be less damaging because 10,000 to 15,000 gallons used undersea is the equivalent of using 50,000 gallons on the surface. The author does seem to miss the interaction of bacteria eating the oil and a primary benefit of dispersants is in breaking the oil down into small pieces to make it more suitable for bacteria.

And he also notes: "On May 27, scientists that participated in a two day conference on dispersants concluded that, to date, the effects of dispersing oil into the water column has generally been less environmentally harmful than allowing the oil to migrate on the surface into the sensitive wetlands and near shore coastal habitats. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Coastal Response Research Center at the University of New Hampshire, NOAA, EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard."

Anyone interested in dispersant use should read the entire section on dispersants in the linked article above. For the most part it is accurate.

The use of dispersants is a hot button issue for many people. If we don't use them subsurface, the amount of oil reaching the marshes goes up substantially and the amount of oil floating on the surface does also. If you say no to dispersants, you are killing more of the marsh, shore, and surface ecosystems. If you say yes to dispersants you are killing more of the subsurface ecosystems. Tough call. Something has to die. Question is, how much and where?

Question: What does the dispersant do to oil eating bacteria? Sorry if this has been covered, but if the dispersants kill the bacteria or make the oil less "palatable" to the bacteria this could make things worse, long term.

We now have a situation similar to climate change, much of the damage is already baked into the cake.

Oil coming ashore on Dauphin Island, AL. Little evidence of oil on the surface there.

The United Nations as well as the governments of France, Russia and China are today calling for an end of the Israeli imposed blockade of Gaza and for the commissioning of an independent international inquiry.

NATO is calling for a probe into the raid.

Meanwhile, five Palestinian fighters were killed by Israeli fire in Gaza.

BAU in the Middle East.

The cassava story is troubling to say the least. But there are a few crops that they could grow in the dry conditions, one of them is Amaranth, and with just a little water Jerusalem Artichokes. Though you have to harvest the Amaranth, you could neglect the Jerusalem Artichokes for years as they will self seed.

But They are using this plant as a stop gap and if it fails, they won't have any backup crop to eat.

More reasons to have a better system in place to feed the people we do have, even if we don't want to increase the population any more than it is already.

Maybe this story helps us understand the world's closeness to the cliff.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future. and hugs to any one that wants one

The problem is the solution.

Sometimes, shooting the messenger is the solution.

Any decent permaculturist could make that land green.


Hi Charles -

I'm growing amaranth for the first time - in New York - it's really loving the dry, hot spring so far...

I hear it's a lot of work to get the grain from during harvesting - but it's a pretty neat looking plant (it's only about 6 inches tall at this point).


Mine are about a foot tall, but they seem leggy, I am not sure They are doing as well as they could be. But I'll keep trying to get them to work.

On the same note, I am trying to grow Jicama, which is a root vegie grown in Mexico, that has spread into south Asia. I finally found a store tha sells it cheaply, and with firm roots ( some stores let them set so long they get spongy, which means they have gone off, but what do you expect when they charge up to 2.99 a pound for something weighting up to 3 pounds, and few people who normally eat them, get them cheaper elsewhere.)

The tomatoes are loaded though, Hope nothing happens to them, otherwise I'll have to make a lot of green tomato relish.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future. Hugs.

Quebec-based carshare service will add 50 Nissan LEAF in 2011

Communauto, one of the world's largest and North America’s first carsharing service, announced today a commitment to add 50 Nissan LEAFs to its fleet when the vehicle is available to the Canadian market before the end of 2011.

"When it comes to transportation, electricity is the way of the future."

Thierry Vandal, Hydro-Québec’s President and CEO

A business marriage in heaven for Monsieur Vandal.

Claude, never thought I would ever hear such good news about the LEAFs in Montreal;-) It sounds like there is a real push these days to go electric.

For those who may not be in the loop, here's a little information on carsharing. May well be a sensible approach to get people accustomed to electric mobility.


I still think hybrids are the way to go short term, but for the typical carsharing use, current electric vehicles will do great. I might even ditch my old Tercel and enroll in Communauto, since they have a lot conveniently located 2 blocks from where I live in Quebec City.

As for Thierry Vandal and Hydro-Québec, they've got a stake in the electrification of transport. IREQ, Hydro-Québec's research institute owns a large chunk of intellectual property in the field of advanced battery materials (including a fast-charging iron-phosphate material), a functional wheel-motor technology and the more conventional TM4 electric engine.

Hydro Québec has quite a list of Convincing Facts and Figures:

50 Currently, 50% of public transit users in the Montréal region use the subway or the Montréal-Deux-Montagnes commuter train line, both of which are powered by electricity.

3,300 The annual output of a small hydroelectric generating station like Rapides-des-Coeurs would be enough to power 3,300 trolleybuses.

3.4 million Replacing 1 million gasoline-powered vehicles in Québec (25% of the current fleet) with electric vehicles would reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 3.4 million tonnes.

1 million The electricity consumed by 1 million electric vehicles would correspond to:
* the output from a mid-sized hydroelectric generating station like Eastmain-1, or
* 3 terawatthours, or
* less than 2% of electricity sales in Québec in 2008

Makes sense for Québec to pursue an energy policy based on homegrown renewable power sources. If a breakthrough can be made in battery technology the prospects are real for a revolution in transportation away from petroleum. Clearly in Hydro-Québec's vested interest is to be a key stakeholder in advanced battery technology.

The confidence of the people of coastal Louisiana and the Hurricane Coast in general, both in engineering and the government not to mention the organized crime syndicates called Property and Casualty Insurance, was shattered beyond repair five years ago.

" Hi My name is Billy Bob PoliTickion, I have decided to run for President of the United States. Now I will take your Questions."

"Mr. PoliTickion, what is your platform?"

"I can lie to you for 30 minutes or I can tell you the truth in 14 seconds, Which do you want?"

"Gasp!!!, Ah ,,, Someone tell me if this guy is for real or not!"

"I am for real, I just want to be honest in my dialogue to you and the American people. That is all I have to say, goodbye."


Honest politickions are a rare breed, in fact they might have gone the way of the Dodo.

A skit me and my just thought up.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future, without many tickions, hugs to you all.

Today Obama mentioned a transition to clean energy. He said nothing about a possible transition to no energy.

Spillonomics: Underestimating Risk

In retrospect, the pattern seems clear. Years before the Deepwater Horizon rig blew, BP was developing a reputation as an oil company that took safety risks to save money. . . Much of this indifference stemmed from an obsession with profits, come what may. But there also appears to have been another factor, one more universally human, at work. The people running BP did a dreadful job of estimating the true chances of events that seemed unlikely — and may even have been unlikely — but that would bring enormous costs. . .

“These are precisely the kinds of events that are hard for us as humans to get our hands around and react to rationally,” Robert N. Stavins, an environmental economist at Harvard, says. We make two basic — and opposite — types of mistakes. When an event is difficult to imagine, we tend to underestimate its likelihood. This is the proverbial black swan. Most of the people running Deepwater Horizon probably never had a rig explode on them. So they assumed it would not happen, at least not to them. . .

On the other hand, when an unlikely event is all too easy to imagine, we often go in the opposite direction and overestimate the odds. After the 9/11 attacks, Americans canceled plane trips and took to the road. There were no terrorist attacks in this country in 2002, yet the additional driving apparently led to an increase in traffic fatalities.


'CitiFinancial to Close 376 Branches, Cut 720 Jobs'


'HP to Lay Off 9,000 in Enterprise Services Revamp'


'Failed Bank List'


'Euro: Losing Value Fast'


'Beijing in a sweat as China's economy overheats'


'China Real Estate Bubble Bursts in Bond Market: Credit Markets'


Chinese stock market loses 3t yuan in 4 months


'U.S. stock market needs to figure if bulls or bears in charge
Clinton talks up American exports in China; Geithner plans European detour'

Is this really the economic recovery MSM & CNBC have been touting for so many months now? Could the price of oil, which was hovering around 80 for so long, have taken a toll on the world economy?

this may have got scratched yesterday in the acknowledged comments quick shuffle..so we will try again.
To plug a pipe such they are now cutting off for a clean end.
Using an electro magnet inserted into the pipe and when reaching an appropriate insertion depth activate the magnet. And THEN add the quick acting cement on top.
We are not offering depths or dimensions but an electro magnet with a friction surface is very difficult to dislodge.

The other option which we suggest is using a faceted crystals cluster insert which would use the oil field pressure to lock into the walls of the pipe. The more pressure the more surface adhering friction.

i got a letter from the electric company to terminate my connection. i owe them $117.82 for april. but my may bill is only....get this...$30!

i paid online late in may. so it's off to the bank to check my account.

if service is terminated i have to pay 21 bucks to restore and two months security.

i got this 3KW solar pv on the roof. i'm getting between 12KW to 15KW per day depending on cloud cover. so actually i did good except for the mix up in billing.

15 cents a kilowatt hour. for them not for me.

now the AC is running. i like to come home to a cool house after sweating bullets at the factory. no AC there. i had two fans blowing on me from 4 feet away. i am already living in a world made by hand.
one step up from blacksmithing. it aint purty. JHK aint gonna make it inna world made by hand.

i retired my solar renewable energy credits created from the goobermint of nj as a protest. i figger there will always be one SREC short and mebbe one of the evil big electric companies will get a piddling fine and even worse...gold man $ucks cant make a few pennies on the transaction.

now the innerestin part. my system is grid tied. so the electric company company pulls the plug i cant get any energy from my panels.

check out the solar power contractors. "battery systems are too expensive".

worse investment i ever made.

now it is time for rebuttal from pundits, shills and trolls.
knock yer socks off.

check out the solar power contractors. "battery systems are too expensive".

Yeh, when I got my PV system on a house I used to have,
I had to fight with the installers to get battery backup, and they were more amenable to them than some others I talked to.

But let me tell you, having an (almost) whole house UPS was so neat after the first big storm of the season.

It wasn't that much more when done up front.

The issue with trying to upgrade from merely grid-tied is you've paid for grid-tied only inverters, which have to be replaced with stand-alone capable inverters.

Yeh, when I got my PV system on a house I used to have,
I had to fight with the installers to get battery backup, and they were more amenable to them than some others I talked to.

Sad but true!

Disclaimer, I sell residential and commercial PV installations.

Re Inverters, I almost only work with Inverters that are both grid tie and battery backup capable.

BTW I always suggest that my customer get battery backup, not a very hard sell in hurricane country... I usually tell them that having $25,000 of panels sitting on their roof and not being able to take advantage of the power they are producing when the grid is down after a hurricane is something they will find rather annoying...

FM, have you had any customers that have peak/off peak rates that allow them to store elec at night and re-sell the next day?
It seems to me that once the differential gets to more than 15c/kWh, which it must be in some areas, this is worth doing.
If you have can store and re sell 1 kWh per day at 15c differential, that is $55/yr, or $36/yr at 10c difference.
If you already have solar, inverter and batteries there, probably enough storage for 7kWh, then you are at $1/day, and this seems like a good little earner, as long as you keep the depth of discharge of the batteries low enough.

Paul, I have talked to a number of members in The Florida EV association who told me that they take advantage of those price differentials to charge their vehicle battery banks at night.

I have anecdotal evidence that some customers are indeed able to take advantage in this way.
However I don't have any hard data to back that up. It would not be very difficult to monitor usage since almost all Inverters have USB or ethernet ports and there is plenty of off the shelf software for collecting and analyzing this data but very few people go to the trouble of doing so.

The other issue is the general lack of knowledge and interest from the public with regards the availability of price differentials and how to take advantage of them...


Challenge: Like many utilities that began offering a time-of-use (TOU) rate to residential customers in the 1980s, Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) has seen enrollment decline significantly, and the company is no longer actively promoting the rate. However, interest in TOU rates is resurfacing as FPL seeks to defer new generating capacity and provide opportunities for customers to lower electric bills in the face of rising fuel costs. The challenge in designing a new rate was to provide sufficient price incentive for customers to shift load away from the peak period while also allowing active customers to reduce their bills.

Thanks FM,

Charging the battery banks at night is a no brainer, but selling back in the middle of the day is a bit harder, and it sounds like no one is doing this purely as an arbitrage opportunity.

The answer to FPL's dilemma is simply to make the differential great enough.

In California, PG&E offers an EV rate that has an off peak rate of 5c, and afternoon peak of 29c. I would certainly be discharging my batteries in daytime at that rate! In fact, you could build your own EV, just to get that rate, and just charge/discharge each day to make money. With a Tesla capacity battery pack, of 50kWh, but with cheap lead acid ($100/kWh), you would make 50*0.24 =$12/day or $4k/year!

The utilities just have to keep making the TOU differences bigger until people start reacting. And as for the public knowledge, you just get the TV stations to do it for you, for free. they just need to announce a "rate hike" 100% (daytime peak) and every tv stn and newspaper will jump on it. Getting them to tell the rest of the story may be harder, but they will get people's attention!

I know this because I have done it, for both electric and water rates, as a utility manager. Got tarred and feathered, but sure got people's attention, and got changes made.

As with most change, it needs some shock treatment - very few people are progressive enough to act on forward thinking.

i'm getting between 12KW to 15KW

1) i? What, are you e.e. cummings and can't say I?
2) I use less than 3kwH's a day. You got your place lit up like a Polish church?

goobermint, mebbe, $ucks, innerestin,

Got actual words?

worse investment i ever made.

Seems that is your personal problem and personal choices in life. I can live within a 3kwh a day budget. And I'd bet others here would find a 12-15kwH budget to be very livable.

"Reporter's Notebook: Obesity on the Rise in China" by Ray Suarez (PBS)

"If one picture from China can tell a story of how this country has changed in the 21st century, it's one of a line of youths boarding a bus in front of a hospital for a field trip.

It's a fat reduction hospital. The trip is to a nearby gym. And all the young people are obese."


Looks like the West has been exporting more than just jobs....

BP stock plunges again because DOJ Holder (obama's clown car brigade) is gonna "crack the whip" on BP?...Sorry not a criminal issue....I feel sorry for the families of floor hands, choke hands ect that lost their lives...but they couldn't see a "kick" coming up the well with a 100+/- Bbl pit gain?....this incident was only gross ignorance! Every rig I've been on.... the Koomy panel was right out in front of "GOD and everybody"...hell..even the "corner worm" (lowest on the totem pole)has access to BOP ....but u better....not ever....close the shear rams....GROSS IGNORANCE....NO SUPERVISION.....GUMHEAD BP CO MAN needs his HEAD CUT OFF....SUPERVISION NEEDS TO BE ON THE FLOOR!!!!

Sorry not a criminal issue

Based on what? What is your basis for this claim.