Drumbeat: June 13, 2010

Florida Skips Offshore Oil Binge but Still Pays

KEY LARGO, Fla. — When rigs first started drilling for oil off Louisiana’s coast in the 1940s, Floridians scanned their shoreline, with its resorts and talcum-white beaches, and said, No thanks. Go ahead and drill, they told other Gulf Coast states; we’ll stick with tourism.

Now that invisible wall separating Florida from its neighbors has been breached. The spreading BP oil spill has already reached the Panhandle, and if it rides currents to the renowned reefs and fishing holes on both Florida coasts, the Sunshine State could become a vacation destination with the rules of a museum: Look, but don’t touch.

All because other states decided to rely on oil and gas, angry Floridians say; all because, in the water, there are no borders — only currents that can carry catastrophes hundreds of miles.

U.S. Gives BP Capacity Deadline as Cameron Expresses ‘Sadness’

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Coast Guard said BP Plc has until tomorrow to find more capacity to contain its leaking oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron expressed “sadness” yesterday about the spill to President Barack Obama.

Scientists and researchers doubled their estimates of the spill’s size on June 10, and BP’s efforts don’t “provide the needed collection capacity consistent with the revised flow estimates,” said Rear Admiral James A. Watson, the federal on- scene coordinator, in a letter dated June 11. It was sent to Doug Suttles, BP’s chief operating officer for exploration and production, and was released yesterday.

BP ‘Ready’ to Suspend Dividend to Pay for Clean Up, FT Says

(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc is “ready” to suspend its dividend to ensure it can meet the costs of cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill when its directors meet U.S. President Barack Obama next week, the Financial Times reported, without saying where it got the information.

The Day the Shucking Stopped

The P&J Oyster Company, the oldest oyster processor and distributor in New Orleans, has stopped shucking oysters because of the oil spill.

Protest planned at Richmond Road BP station

WILLIAMSBURG -- A local man is organizing a protest Thursday at a Richmond Road BP station to highlight the company's role in the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf spill creates distrust of industry: TransCanada

Sandy Barnick's land near Glendive, Mont., is a long way from the vast and growing oil slick now staining the Gulf of Mexico. But these days, she feels as if it's just over the horizon.

The Gulf blowout happened despite repeated safety assurances from the industry. What's to prevent a similar disaster happening here, she asks, where a Canadian company hoping to build a pipeline for Canadian oilsands bitumen is using the same words?

Total Reviews Deepwater Offshore Projects After Gulf Spill

(Bloomberg) -- Total SA, Europe’s third-biggest oil company, has put all its deepwater exploration and production projects under review following BP Plc’s oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We are looking at all our procedures for drilling, safety, engineering and production equipment,” Yves-Louis Darricarrere, Total’s head of exploration and production, said today in an interview at an energy conference in Paris. “Clearly the whole industry is asking questions to find out what happened and take measures if necessary.”

Chevron Pipeline Spews Oil Into Salt Lake City Creek, AP Says

(Bloomberg) -- A damaged Chevron Corp. pipeline leaked as much as 500 barrels of oil into a Salt Lake City creek on June 11 before being contained, the Associated Press reported.

Canadian oil sands pipeline extension condemned

An extension of a Canadian oil sands pipeline cutting through six states, including nine Oklahoma counties, is being condemned by the National Wildlife Federation for creating an unsafe environment.

Abu Dhabi Said to Seek Shah Gas Field Sulfur Granulation Bids

(Bloomberg) -- Abu Dhabi’s state-controlled oil producer is seeking engineering and construction bids to build a sulfur granulation plant at the Shah natural gas development as the United Arab Emirates capital looks to boost its fuel supply.

Observer Ethical Awards: Gordon Roddick, Lifetime Achievement Award

He is convinced that the developed world needs to live in a radically different way and says it is a "good thing" that we may have already reached peak oil – because "things are going to get incredibly expensive. In the current system, if we don't keep buying refrigerators and cars, banks panic, people's assets are devalued, everything goes into meltdown. I'd rather settle for a three-day week with much less purchasing, and cut out waste."

Last rights

Natural-burial exponent Lynda Hannah says the funeral services she assists with are usually in homes or gardens. Most cost less than $2000. She says it's not money that is driving people to look to alternatives, but increased environmental awareness.

"In food, climate change, peak oil... people are finding it more and more difficult to justify not doing the right thing.

"When I first started doing this, people treated me like I was completely weird. Now it's become much more mainstream. People say somebody needed to be doing this."

USDA, DOE announce funding for biomass research

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy jointly announced up to $33 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy and high-value biobased products, subject to annual appropriations. These projects will support the Barack Obama administration's comprehensive energy strategy of increasing the nation's energy, economic and national security by reducing our reliance on foreign oil and reducing greenhouse gases.

Climate scientists say attacks against them have increased stolen e-mail flap

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — A few years ago, Ben Santer, a climate scientist with Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Washington, answered a 10 p.m. doorbell ring at his home. After opening the door, he found a dead rat on the doorstep and a man in a yellow Hummer speeding away and shouting curses.

Santer shared this story recently before a congressional committee examining the increasing harassment of climate scientists, and the state of climate science.

After the online posting in November of 1,073 stolen e-mails from climate scientists, including some from Santer, the threats took a more ominous turn, Santer told members of the Select Committee for Energy Independence and Global Warming, led by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass. Skeptics of climate change have dubbed the e-mail incident "Climategate."

"The nature of these e-mail threats has been of more concern," Santer said. "I've worried about the security and safety of my family."

Oil Spill May Spur Action on Energy, Probably Not on Climate

WASHINGTON — Images of gushing oil and dying pelicans in the Gulf of Mexico have stirred anger and agony in Washington. But are they enough to prod the Senate to act on long-delayed clean energy and climate change legislation?

Energy, maybe. Climate, probably not. There is growing sentiment for a measure that penalizes BP, imposes higher costs and tougher regulations on offshore drillers and takes some steps toward reducing overall energy and petroleum consumption.

But despite the outrage over the spill, there appears to be limited appetite in the Senate for a broad-based effort to cap greenhouse gas emissions across the board.

More Bay, less Area: Sea level rise will threaten residents but Bay Area has no comprehensive protection strategy

From Antioch to North Richmond to Redwood City, a slow rising sea level could endanger the properties of as many as 270,000 Bay Area residents and cause some $56.5 billion in damage by the end of the century unless measures are taken to protect them, experts say.

But is anyone doing anything about it?

Vital River Is Withering, and Iraq Has No Answer

SIBA, Iraq — The Shatt al Arab, the river that flows from the biblical site of the Garden of Eden to the Persian Gulf, has turned into an environmental and economic disaster that Iraq’s newly democratic government is almost powerless to fix.

Withered by decades of dictatorial mismanagement and then neglect, by drought and the thirst of Iraq’s neighbors, the river formed by the convergence of the Tigris and the Euphrates no longer has the strength the keep the sea at bay.

Industry and industrialists reap the profits along with the elected officials they have corrupted. The government by force of law extracts the fruits of the peoples labor and distributes the majority of it to the financial industry that has captured it. The government borrows money backed by the future tax revenue of our children and leaves only spillage for the people to sustain themselves as the money bag is passed to bankers.

Trillions to the corporate masters as congress argues over a thousandth of that amount when it comes to protecting the peoples well being.

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power”

Benito Mussolini

And Gunga, if a genie were to pop out of a bottle and give you the power to change things, exactly what changes would you make? Just what would you do to fix everything?

Ron P.

#1 ----Invest 92.. area of disturbed weather has the potential for tropical development.

18 GMT 06/12/10 6.3N 31.0W 20 1012 Invest

Solgundy, please, please, please learn how to post without hitting the "reply" button. You should go to the bottom of the page and hit the "Post a comment" link. It really screws up the thread when you reply to a post with a subject not remotely related to that post. People reply to both and everything is a mess.

Ron P.

Interesting that you mention genies and bottles, because I was just thinking about that as a metaphor for our predicament--We have called forth the enormously powerful genie of industrial corporations which have fulfilled many of our wishes for consumption. But now we cannot put the genie (nor our consumptive desires) back in the bottle.


I would start by amending the Constitution to force the government to disclose and publish, at least in electronic format on the Web, most documents provided by government to corporations, businesses, firms, and people, and documents provided by private entities to the government.

This would not fix everything, or even most things, and it would rile people on grounds of losing 'privacy' (which most common people have none of anyway, but at least we would know what our 'we the people' government was doing for (and to) us.

"Too many secrets, Marty!"

...force the government to disclose and publish,... documents provided by government to corporations, businesses, firms, and people, and documents provided by private entities to the government.

Heisenberg, I haven't a clue as to what you are talking about. You are saying that "the government" is supplying corporations, businesses, firms and ordinary people with some kind of documents that is beneficial to them, but kept secret from the general public?

Just which branch of the government is doing this, and why? How does this benefit those who receive these documents? What kind of information is contained in these documents?

Are you sure you are not just being a bit paranoid?

Ron P.

I am not sure of much anymore.

Fix everything? Utopia=No Place Land.

Assuming they were right, which they were, in my estimation. Humanity will have to modify itself fundamentally to get out of this one.

I like the graph, except that pollution levels, especially concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere, are not going to revert to 1900 levels for thousands if not millions of years.

I am not sure of much anymore.

I suppose thats why you have choosen the handle "Heisenberg", best known for the quantum uncertainty principle.

I don't know about releasing "everything" but I do think that publicly traded companies should have to disclose their complete tax returns. That way, it would be easier to find shady companies that say one thing for accounting purposes and another for tax purposes. While I do appreciate that there are legitimate tax-book accounting issues, it would make it easier to discover a World Com type fraud where they were booking as assets phone lines owned by someone else that they expensed on the tax return. I'm sure there were significant out of the ordinary book-tax differences during the financial meltdown that could have been detected had the tax return been made public.

That's easy.

1. End fractional reserve lending in all its forms.
2. Return the power to issue currency to the Treasury.
3. End bank credit currency in a one for one swap of Treasury money for bank credit.
4. Forbid the government to borrow.

These four reforms would force the control of money out of private hands and into the government's hands where it belongs. The economy is too important to be trusted to private business interests. It would also put an end to the infinite growth paradigm that is pure insanity on a finite planet.

All commodities trade for money. Money is the choke point, so to speak. Control the money and you control all else. That's why banks, the Fed, the IMF are so powerful. They are parasites on the body politic.

With the control of money in the public interest, the interests of the public stand a better chance of being realized. Not perfect, nothing is. But much better and perhaps good enough. With the bankers in charge no one, not even Congress stands a chance. Look around you. What you see is the result of the private control of money. No other single reform has the power and reach of restoring the control of the currency to the government. After that, it will actually matter who gets elected to public office.

1. End fractional reserve lending in all its forms.

Then the money supply would dry up. There would be no lending. Since most businesses operate on a line of credit a large majority would go out of business. We would be plunged into a depression far worse than the Great Depression.

2. Return the power to issue currency to the Treasury.

They are the only one who has ever had such power. All currency is issued by the Treasury and always has been. I think you are thinking of the creation of money which is done by fractional reserve lending.

4. Forbid the government to borrow.

Which means we would have to default on all debts. Have you any idea the chaos this would create? The dollar would be worth virtually nothing. All international trade with the US would cease. Regardless of what you may think this would accomplish in the long run, in the short run many millions would be thrown out work and millions would die of starvation.

Yeah, it's easy... until you think about it for about 20 seconds or so.

Ron P.

On 1, all the fractional reserve lending comes with an interest burden. That's the control mechanism. The system works to put us as far in debt as we dare go.
On 2, the treasury does NOT issue currency, it sells bonds. Big difference here. Bonds come with and interest burden, a claim on future labor and energy. Debt free currency circulates and benefits only those who use the currency.
On 4, our money would be free to permanently circulate without interest. It's value would be tied to our productivity, not bond and currency markets. It would be the strongest currency in the world. Of course if such a thing were to come to pass, all the other bank controlled economies might just declare war on us.

And who cares about bond markets after we liberate ourselves from debt? Let those other fools live with a monkey on their backs. Our productivity and strong currency will be the envy of all other nations. Look up what Abraham Lincoln had to say about the control of the power to issue. It's just as true now as it was then.

There will be new problems to solve. Like how to distibute goods and services in a way that no longer transfers wealth upward for having done nothing more than issue the currency to make transfers possible. Under the current system it is impossible to have a steady state economy. Without growth, collapse is inevitable.

It's difficult to get your head around this, I admit. Why do we pay "rent" on our common currency? Why does its value continue to diminish? How is it that over the last 30 years we earn more and yet have less buying power? Ask yourself how much longer would you would like to be a slave to the bankers? A happy slave is still a slave.

For years I've thought this was the solution
therefor, it ain't gonna hapen
maybe out of the ashes
Long live Aaron Burr

On 2, the treasury does NOT issue currency, it sells bonds.

Dear God, what do we have here? Obviously someone who wishes to argue economics who has not a single clue about our monetary system. I could try to explain to you that the selling of bonds is totally unrelated from the printing and issuance of currency but I would not know where to start.

And your other ideas are just as absurd. The nation, indeed the whole world, runs on borrowed money. Money is created by borrowing. Even ALL Muslim nations, who have laws against usury have figured out a way around it. Without borrowing all economies of the world would come to a halt.

But how does one go about explaining that to a person who confuses the issuance of currency with the selling of bonds.

No, I will not try. I give up.

Okay, I lied, I will give you one clue. Physical paper money such as Greenbacks, Euros, Pounds, Francs, Pesos, these things are currency. Coins are also currency. Only governments can print or strike and issue currency. Bonds are not currency, they are debt instruments. Why don't you find a used economics 101 textbook and do a little reading.

Ron P.

Okay, slow down here ace.

Lincoln's greenbacks were not bonds or any other debt instrument. They were fiat currency. Did they work? Yes. Well, until 1994 when they were retired.

Bonds have "value", are tradable, and as such are a form of money, but not necessarily protected by tender law. They can be refused as payment just as your personal check may be refused.

Printed money and struck coin is only a small fraction of the stock of money. The vast majority of money exists only as money of account, entries in a ledger, or magnetic domains on a hard drive. By the way, ever wonder why the Fed will no longer publish the M3? What are they hiding?

Next time you have a dollar in your hand read what's printed on it. Does it say Federal Reserve Note? Is the Fed an agency of the US Government? No, it is not. Yes, the mint prints Fed notes, but they are redeemable only for other Fed notes or Fed money of account. The tender laws and courts have seen to that.

Did the president of the US not say, "We will not be second guessing the Federal Reserve?" Servile, much? Obama is as much a creature of the banking interests as any president since 1913 and arguably before.

Yes, bonds are debt instruments. They are the reserve in the Federal Reserve. It holds about $5 trillion worth, by some estimates. Our currency is bank notes issued against those reserves and through the magic of fractional reserve lending, other Fed notes, or money of account.

Yes, the world runs on bank credit and it is a slave to banks.

I'm not talking about economics, but monetary theory; what is money? Money controlled by private interests is a scam. Always was, always will be. It's used to externalize disorder (colloquially known as entropy) and lay claim to other people's labor. Arguing that it's okay because everyone else does it even more absurd. One could use that argument for slavery or pyramid schemes. Well, actually, you do.

Catharine Austin Fitts said, "Until you change the way money works, you change nothing." My corollary, "Until you understand how money works, you understand nothing." Okay, now throw it back in my face because by your estimation, I know nothing.

Our current global monetary system has allowed us to overshoot the Earth's carrying capacity by at least a factor of 3 or 4. Some would argue more. By pricing everything in terms of tokens, it effectively allows all other costs (energy, entropy, suffering, etc.) to be externalized. The market is blind to them.

The fundamental problem with our monetary system is that it demands exponential growth on a finite planet. It is a hold over from medieval notions of humanity apart from nature rather than a part of nature. It is not a reality based system. It has taken an industrial revolution and runaway population growth to finally reach the limit of an archaic system of valuation. Here we are on the brink of the downside of Hubbert's Curve. We have arrived at a banquet of consequences.

Yes, I did manage to link it back to oil.

Return the power to issue currency to the Treasury.

Yes technically only the Treasury can issue currency, and it has not issued currency for some time except in some limited circumstances. However since "Federal Reserve Notes" are basically a promise to pay "a dollar" (or other amount) of currency, it is easy to confuse the two. Perhaps better said, the Fed intentionally wants us to confuse us about money. Otherwise the public may insist we go back to the older system where it could be demanded that gold and silver be given in exchange for currency.

I am not against an audit of the Fed, but even without an audit, it can already be determined that a Federal Reserve dollar is backed by some impaired or depreciated assets (even assuming Treasury debt is valued at par value) - not to mention possible missing assets (Fort Knox gold). So the question of what is a dollar (and/or FR note) and what it (they) is (are) worth is a difficult one to answer.

Given the monetary history of the US in the last 100 years, I doubt much if anything will change about the way the Federal Reserve works anytime soon.

Yes technically only the Treasury can issue currency, and it has not issued currency for some time except in some limited circumstances. However since "Federal Reserve Notes" are basically a promise to pay "a dollar" (or other amount) of currency, it is easy to confuse the two.

Let us not get too technical here Charles. There is nothing confusing about currency. Dictionary.com

cur·ren·cy noun
1. Money in any form when in actual use as a medium of exchange, especially circulating paper money.

Currency is just plain old paper money and coins. Nothing more, nothing less. The paper money in your wallet is currency, no matter if it is backed by gold or nothing more than horse manure. If you can exchange a paper dollar for goods or services then it is currency. If it is a generally accepted medium of exchange then it is currency regardless of the backing it may or may not have.

And the government issues currency every day! Well, every working day anyway.

US Treasury FAQs: Currency Production & Circulation

Question How much paper currency does the Treasury Department print every day? Where is it printed?

Answer During fiscal year 2007, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) produced approximately 38 million notes a day with a face value of approximately $750 million.

Edit: It is important to remember that the government does not just print currency out of thin air, (like money is created by fractional banking). Currency is only printed on order from the central banks to replace worn out and destroyed currency, or for other reasons where the banks make deposits into the US treasure to pay for the currency ordered.

Ron P.

There is nothing confusing about currency. Dictionary.com

What the dictonary says something is may not be the same as what statute says it is.

What does statue say currency is?

What does statue say money is?

What does statue define US Dollar as?

My guess is he meant what you are essentially saying.

Take away from the Federal Reserve the ability to create money via buying Treasuries - directly or indirectly through the megabanks.

It would be interesting to see an audit of the Fed. Like you say, we all already know their balance sheet is "imparied" with worthless or near-worthless assets.

Still, it would be interesting to see the real "mark-to-market" value of the Fed's "assets."

(hmmm, maybe the Fed acquired some giant bean seeds and have plans on raiding the giants gold stash!)

End fractional reserve lending in all its forms.
Then the money supply would dry up.

As both of you want to appear as having a handle on the 'economic model':

Define what economic model the US of A is operating under.

Yeah, it's easy... until you think about it for about 20 seconds or so.

Lets see your non snarky response to:

“The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system.”
- Mr. Bernanke

Elimination of minimum reserve would be the end of fractional reserve lending.

A number of things come to mind:
1. Repeal the judicial doctrine of corporate personhood, by legislation;
2. Repeal the business judgment rule, by legislation;
3. Remove the power to charter corporations from the states, and give it to the Federal Government;
4. Make the power to "pierce the corporate veil" available to those seeking recourse against publicly-held corporations, not just closely-held (i.e. family) corporations;
5. Reform the rules on stockholders derivative lawsuits in order to remove the unreasonable barriers to maintain such lawsuits;
6. Set all corporate charters to have a finite lifetime of no more than 21 and 3/4 years;
7. Allow corporate charters to be revoked on showing that the corporation, through its directors or executives, has been used by those respective persons to commit felonies, repeated actions which threaten public health or safety, or actions which violate the corporate charter.

I think the American standard of living will continue to decline until Americans are willing to put in the work necessary to maintain a democratic republic that serves "We the People." We have to understand what our elected representatives are voting on and hold our elected representatives accountable for their votes. We can't just vote for a R or D every four years and expect the system to work for us.
I also believe that the only thing that protects us as a people from tyranny is the US Constitution. Unfortunately the only thing that the US Constitution has to protect it is a diligent American citizenry.
So to answer your question,, I think I would just have a majority of the voting public spend 1 hour a week checking up on their elected representatives. I honestly think that would work..but I'm not confident the American people can do it.
I'm afraid our attention span is too short, we are unwilling to research and learn for ourselves, we are too brainwashed, too unable to reason past first derivative effects etc.

"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."
- Samuel Adams (speech at the Philadelphia State House, August 1, 1776)

Everything above Mussolini's quote could be cut and pasted to apply to many of the great revolutions and collapses in the past. And it sums up nicely the behavior of our government and corporate leaders over the past three decades.

You recognize a problem and state it plainly. You are not required to pretend to have a remedy (which genie, which bottle.... ????).

Yup, this is "normal"

NY State Shell Game - Municipalities Borrow from Pension Fund to make Required Pension Fund Contributions

"...But Mr. Paterson and other state officials hope the stock market will have rebounded to such a degree by that time that the state’s overall pension contribution burden will have been reduced.

Another oddity of the plan is that the pension fund, which assumes its assets will earn 8 percent a year, would accept interest payments from the state that would probably be 4.5 percent to 5.5 percent.

This week, Mr. Paterson called borrowing “a last resort,” but added, “I have never said I wouldn’t borrow.”

Our governments and pension funds are betting our future in the stock market - expecting bubble-like returns to bail them out.

No financially-literate individual would ever do this. Let's wait until the next election and see if we can get some sanity in government.

Maybe Obama will run again and promise change and hope and rope-a-dope.

Our governments and pension funds are betting our future in the stock market - expecting bubble-like returns to bail them out.

And this has been the norm. I have trouble imagining how else it could be done. Pensions are promises of future goods and services, there is no way they can be covered by hard assets. Unless you think we should simply accumulate a huge pile of physical commodities which just sits there until you retire.

Maybe those pensions should not have made those "promises" ?

If they go belly-up, those pension obligations are simply not going to be met.

Let the pension funds invest where they want, just do not cry later when they can't meet their obligations because they took on outragous risks to try to meet their exaggerated expected 8% returns.

This is not "the norm." It is a freakish twist of what used to be normal and now is apparently accepted without the blink of an eye, even by the victims.

(edit - accepting irresponsible behavior by the governemnt as it desperately tries to keep up appearances of being solvent... Priceless. My how we are willing to bargain on the way down this very slippery slope)

Next time you're in Washington, DC ask a tour guide where to go to see the famous Social Security lock box. Surprise! All that's in it are IOUs that can be redeemed only by printing money or by raising taxes on everybody.

GOM exploration companies have more to worry about than the recent ban on deep water drilling. Insurance costs for operations continue to escalate. Estimates are that the cost of insurance per drills operating in the Gulf of Mexico has increased from 15 to 50 percent, depending on the nature of the operation. In addition, insurance companies are reducing the amount they will cover per event.

With these kinds of escalating costs, we no longer hear much about the "Jack #2" discovery and other major GOM discoveries.
[For those who are interested, a very good summary of 'Giant discoveries across the Gulf' can be found here:
http://www.offshore-mag.com/index/article-display/7102345141/articles/of... ]

Meanwhile personal flood/hurricane insurance for coastal GOM residents is also subject to rate increases, although the federal government it attempting to mitigate some of those costs - plus FEMA has volunteered to pay for some property damage caused by oil tossed ashore in the event of a Gulf Coast hurricane.

FEMA: Flood Insurance Program Would Pay Hurricane-Caused Claims From Gulf Oil
Jun, 10, 2010 04:29 PM

"The mixing of oil and other pollutants in flood water is not unusual during a storm," FEMA Press Secretary Rachel Racusen said in a e-mail. "Damage caused by these pollutants in flood waters is covered under the National Flood Insurance Program, subject to the provisions in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy."


Commenting on Solgundy's post above, and putting it in a new thread where he should have put it:

NOAA National Hurricane Center


Looks like we are in for a very active hurricane season this year. I would not be surprised if the BP relief well projects are delayed another month or so. Bad news all around.

Ron P.

What a year ago might have been considered an inconvenient "black sparrow" could now become a big, fat Black Swan.

Collapse 101: "Don't Sweat the Small Sh*t unless and until there is a lot of small sh*t hitting the fan... all at once."

Total Credits: 5

Prereq. for Collapse 201.

Jeff Masters points out that:

Climatology argues against development of 92L, since only one named storm has ever formed between Africa and the Lesser Antilles Islands in the month of June--Tropical Storm Ana of 1979 (Figure 2). However, sea surface temperatures (SSTs) underneath 92L are an extremely high 28 - 30°C, which is warmer than the temperatures reached during the peak of hurricane season last year, in August - September. In fact, with summer not even here, and three more months of heating remaining until we reach peak SSTs in the Atlantic, ocean temperatures across the entire Caribbean and waters between Africa and the Lesser Antilles are about the same as they were during the peak week for water temperatures in 2009 (mid-September.) While 92L will cross over a 1°C cooler patch of water on Monday, the storm will encounter very warm SSTs of 28-29°C again by Tuesday.

Re: "Florida Skips Offshore Oil Binge but Still Pays "

All because other states decided to rely on oil and gas, angry Floridians say; all because, in the water, there are no borders — only currents that can carry catastrophes hundreds of miles.

How do these Floridians think the tourist get to Florida? What powers Florida?

"All because (we Floridians) decided to rely on oil and gas..." hoping others would take the risk and we would not end up with oil on our hands..."

The coastal villagers in Nigeria and other third-world areas also suffer the consequences, but unlike Floridians they do not reap the economic benefits.

How do these Floridians think the tourist get to Florida? What powers Florida?

The generic versions of this question are very important. For various reasons, I'm more interested in electricity than petroleum, so: 80% of Florida's electricity is derived from imported natural gas and coal (some coal from as far away as Utah). There are, in fact, only a small number of states whose electricity is generated from local fuel sources. With the exception of Texas, these are generally states with small populations. How the politically-powerful but energy-poor states deal with the states that provide the resources for electricity will be, I think, a critical issue over the next 20 years.

Don't forget to mention that goodly petcoke, almost free, high quality energy from LA to generate electricity.

I know your comment was directly about energy but water, food, and minerals should definitely be the other three that will be critical.

Coal and Gas for most of the electrical, and then how much oil for transportation at all levels? Moving tourists and goods to and fro.

It looks like the oil pumped for consumption knows no borders and the oil spilled doesn't either.

Lightning strike causes massive gas fire in North Carolina.


Fossil fuel disaster of the day.


"Oil spill in Red Butte Creek threatens waters, wildlife"


"SALT LAKE CITY — Containment of a crude oil spill estimated at around 20,000 gallons into Red Butte Creek is expected to last well into the night and continue through Sunday as multiple agencies work to mitigate impacts to the stream and wildlife.

The fracture of the Chevron pipeline sent oil gushing into the riparian corridor, leaving the thick, tacky substance clinging to rocks, soil and any fish and birds in its path."

Simmons Upgrades Firm To Buy, Seeing It As Both Bankrupt And With $52 Stock Price At Same Time

Ever wonder who may have been buying up every share of BP stock earlier this week, especially when it plunged to 14 year lows on June 9 amid media frenzy based on a Fortune story in which Simmons & Co.'s CEO Matt Simmons was quoted as saying that BP "has about a month before they declare Chapter 11."

Why, Simmons & Co. itself, of course.

Noted in the comments:

"FYI -- Matt Simmons holds the title of "Chairman Emeritus" of Simmons & Company.

He is no longer associated with his eponymous energy investment bank in any official capacity and the company has publicly stated that his opinions are not reflective of the bank's opinions."

I am giving Matt the benefit of the doubt and this comment on zerohedge.com can clear things up a bit:

by Demosthenes20XX
FYI -- Matt Simmons holds the title of "Chairman Emeritus" of Simmons & Company.
He is no longer associated with his eponymous energy investment bank in any official capacity and the company has publicly stated that his opinions are not reflective of the bank's opinions.
TD - don't use wikipedia as a fact checker for folks' biographies and current employment status. The wiki entry for Simmons (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Simmons) was recently edited from 'chair and CEO' to 'chairman emertirus' about a hour or so ago.
Simmons & Company's current CEO is named Colin Welsh, as shown here:

I tend to agree. But perceptions will vary no matter what the truth.

And the truth will be clouded by the Goldmans and the Buffetts and the Obamas until we all repeat after Heisenberg above, "I am not sure of much anymore."

All the late night bargains have been struck
Between the satin beaus and their belles

And prehistoric garbage trucks
Have the city to themselves

Echoes, roars dinosaurs
They're all doing the monster mash

And most of the taxis and the whores
Are only taking calls for cash

Dire Straits, "Your Latest Trick"

Is it not about time that the citizens of the U.S. are given all the information concerning the deliberations between government and industry during the National Energy Policy Development Group activities which led to the published report?



Over the next twenty years, the United States will need 1,300 to 1,900 new power plants, which is the equivalent of 60 to 90 new power plants a year (Figure 1-2).

So, did the U.S. end up building 60-90 new electricity-generating power plants per year between 2002 and the present? Did we build 30 new power plants per year? Where do we find this information?

Review and provide recommendations on establishing Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards with due consideration of the National Academy of Sciences study to be released in July 2001. Responsibly crafted CAFE standards should increase efficiency without negatively impacting the U.S. automotive industry. The determination of future fuel economy standards must therefore be addressed analytically and based on sound science.

So, what did the administration do wrt CAFE standards? This report was published in 2001. Were the interests of the U.S. auto companies protected?

Concerns over the potential impacts of oil spills have been a major factor behind imposition of the OCS moratoria. For areas that are available for possible development, it is projected that with advanced technology, we could recover 59 billion barrels of oil and 300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. This type of exploration and production from the OCS has an impressive environmental record. For example, since 1985, OCS operators have produced over 6.3 billion barrels of oil, and have spilled only 0.001 percent of production. Naturally occurring oil seeps add about 150 times as much oil to the oceans.

Recommendation: ★ The NEPD Group recommends that the President direct the Secretaries of Commerce and Interior to re-examine the current federal legal and policy regime (statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders) to determine if changes are needed regarding energy-related activities and the siting of energy facilities in the coastal zone and on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

What changes were made?


The advice given to the task force by corporations and individuals needs to be a matter of public record. These were not private-to-private entity transactions...our government should be open and transparent.

The current administration should, in cooperation with Congress, issue a new report which analyzes the status o for all the recommendations given in the 2001 report, and issue new recommendations, this time with full disclosure of the deliberations which led to the report.

The Presidents from here on out should brief the public with an 'Energy State of the Union' address annually to track our progress hold ourselves accountable to our stated goals.

Thank you Heisenberg. We chose to go to war to ensure the flow of oil and did not do anything to prepare at home. "No one saw this coming" is and was a lie.

As for transparency, let's get the Federal Reserve to open their books to the public too. See how quickly the financial world evaporates when the truth is told.

Obama brought in Geithner and backed Bernanke. Obama is more like a Trojan Horse than an agent of change.

There is no stopping this crazy train.

It may be possible to extract some of the information from here:

(disclaimer: I haven't tried)

Oil Spill and an Evangelical Crisis of Conscience

Russell D. Moore, dean of the School of Theology at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, compared the oil spill to the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

"After Roe, what seemed to be a 'Catholic issue' now pierced through the consciences of evangelical Protestants who realized they'd not only been naive, they'd also missed a key aspect of Christian thought and mission," Moore writes.

The BP disaster, he says, is doing the same thing for evangelicals on the environment.

"For too long, we evangelical Christians have maintained an uneasy ecological conscience. I include myself in this indictment," says Moore, whose denunciation was prompted by an emotional return to his hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi, on the Gulf Coast.
We've had an inadequate view of human sin. Because we believe in free markets, we've acted as though this means we should trust corporations to protect the natural resources and habitats. But a laissez-faire view of government regulation of corporations is akin to the youth minister who lets the teenage girl and boy sleep in the same sleeping bag at church camp because he "believes in young people."

Moore's indictment continues in powerful fashion, adopting an almost prophetic tone as he channels the Psalms and St. Paul and warns his fellow believers of what is at stake: "Pollution kills people. Pollution dislocates families. Pollution defiles the icon of God's Trinitarian joy, the creation of his theater."

Watching this disaster unfold in the GOM (helplessly) from my living room has led me to question my personal beliefs; are my nihilist views of an uncaring universe appropriate while witnessing the wanton destruction of the natural world? If I believe that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value then why do I feel so angry and confused?


"a laissez-faire view of government regulation of corporations is akin to the youth minister who lets the teenage girl and boy sleep in the same sleeping bag at church camp because he "believes in young people.""

That quote is a keeper.

I'd like to believe that these guys are going to wake up, but somehow I kinda doubt it.

On your later point, I don't think monotheism or trinitarianism has much to do with care for the planet. In general, the least Christianized countries and societies tend to be the least willing to desecrate living communities.

Biologists are the specialists least likely to be theists, but most likely to care about life on the planet.

Christian leaders, those who see creation as their God's first works which He declared 'good,' should have been at the forefront of the ecological movement from the beginning. But mostly most of them have been pretty quiet on this from until recently, and even then, it is not exactly a universal and resoundingly overwhelming chorus.

Camper of the future. I'd probably have to fill it with carbs and water just to get out of the city.


Floridians deserve blackened shoreline as much as anyone else does.

Of course the outward-pointing shotgun blasts of blame will continue and intensify. But is anybody actually modifying their habit of extravagant and frivolous oil consumption? Doesn't seem like it's even part of the discussion.


Floridians deserve blackened shoreline as much as anyone else does.

NO one deserves a blackened shoreline. And the people are not to blame for their lifestyle. They were born into it and are living life the only way they know how.

Ron P.

- As for pointing to our mental failures with scorn or dismay, we might as well profess disappointment with the mechanics of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, the degree of disillusionment we feel in response to any particular human behavior is the precise measure of our ignorance of its evolutionary and genetic origins.
- Reg Morrison, The Spirit in the Gene

Hi Ron - I think the point that Bob is pointing out is that our current "lifestyle" has consequences. I also agree with you that "NO one deserves a blackened shoreline." So what do we do about it?


NO one deserves a blackened shoreline. And the people are not to blame for their lifestyle. They were born into it and are living life the only way they know how.

Actually, I'd say we all deserve blackened shorelines, because as a nation we are all responsible for the habit which created this mess. Just because we are "born into it", really isn't relevent, its just an excuse to justify our refusal to change our habits. I hate to break it to you, but the people are to blame for the choice to continue living our current lifestyle. We are sentient beings capable of independant thought, not mindless bacteria.

Just look at the response from Louisiana if you need evidence. "Stop the oil at all costs!...but whatever you do, don't put a temporary moratorium on deep-water drilling, we need the jobs!" Its completely schizophrenic. I'm almost surprised they aren't praising BP for creating a bunch of jobs cleaning up the oil.

You can't expect people to perform tasks with perfect precision. Mistakes and carelessness happen in every industry, no matter how careful we tend to be... thats just reality. Wind turbine towers collapse and hurt people on occasion, people can get electricuted dealing with solar generated power, etc. The main difference with oil (and nuclear, and coal mining, etc.) is the scale of the problem when bad things inevitably occur. However, if you support the industry with your purchases, you really can't spout out your righteous anger at BP & pollution without being a hypocrite.

I'm Runeshade... I drive an ICE car, and the GOM oil spill is partly my fault.

A good, straight forward and reality-based summary- simple as that. Thx..

Among journalists, Reg Morrison is an interesting fellow. Here is one of my favourite quotes from his scribblings:

Having evolved as a cooperative species it seems that Homo sapiens retained almost all of those mammalian characteristics we most admire—selfless
devotion, compassion, courage, generosity and wit—to the point where one of
the truly remarkable things about human beings is not how ‘bad’ we can be,
but how ‘good’ most of us are, most of the time

Unlike evolution, which is directionless, the evolutionary sciences are progressing. Here is a fascinating lecture for those wanting to learn more of exciting discoveries in the field of neuroplasticity (the plastic brain):


You, in essence, make a basic behaviorialist based argument that we are not responsible for our actions. We are like caged pigeons, who have been programmed with the appropriate rewards of feed to behave in a certain way. Maybe it is genetic or maybe it is environmental, but the results are the same. This belief leads to the view that we are not responsible for any of our actions.

Maybe people are not to blame in the sense that they do not really have any control over their attitudes, whether they be due to genetics, evolution, environment, or societal programming. Whatever. But just because they are not to blame, they are still responsible. And it might be helpful to have a clear eyed view of who is responsible. Government has some responsibility as well but people sat idly by and elected leaders like George Bush who stacked the MMS with good old boys and girls from industry who would do nothing to make oil drilling safer. BP has direct responsibility but it is no wonder they behave as they do; they will cut every corner unless the government and people intervene to force them to do otherwise.

Maybe, based upon your view of human attitudes and behavior, people are not to blame. But they are responsible, regardless of what factors drive them to behave and act as they do.

I was born into the same lifestyle as everyone else and I practiced that lifestyle the best I could as a youth. But something changed as I became an adult. Maybe it was just the unintended result of an experience with nature here and a few books over there as part of my education. People can be influenced and they can change. Some people even respond to blame if they can be shown that they are responsible for a result.

But can we influence people sufficiently to make the changes that are necessary. Well, that is another issue and you are probably right that there is nothing we can do at this point to make the changes that are necessary.

Floridians do not deserve a blackened shoreline, but they do deserve to be pulled up short when they direct their anger at others.

I don't think the gravity analogy is valid. Nothing will change gravity. But events can and do change people, even if we cannot expect that change to be dramatic enough or fast enough.

I wish I could successfully use your argument with my wife.

... I don't think the gravity analogy is valid. Nothing will change gravity. But events can and do change people ...

Exactly. I have seen Darwinian post that quote on other occasions. Your explanation spells out quite clearly where the analogy falls down. It is fallacious.

I would actually go further and treat responsibility and blame as synonyms. America (including Florida) is not only responsible and blame-worthy for the ruination of the Gulf of Mexico but also responsible (through outsourcing and free trade) for millions of tons of pollution pumped into the atmosphere in countries like China.

For more than twenty years I have lamented that almost everything in the stores is made in China. The American hypocrisy of supposedly hating all things communist EXCEPT cheap plastic crap is beyond belief.

The Big Unwind (tm) is at hand, brace yourself.

Millions of Chinese live in Special economic zones which have freer markets than those of the U.S.

And the people are not to blame for their lifestyle. They were born into it and are living life the only way they know how.

Very difficult to agree with this ... sounds like a free pass; people (even Americans) are not robots, programmed to head for WalMart at 8:57 every morning. For at least 40 years, there has been a lot of information about the environmental havoc that gross levels of consumption are causing. People have had the opportunities to make realistic alternative choices, for at least a generation.

Not saying people DO deserve oily beaches of course ... just that the levels of consumption people feel an entitlement for, can and do have dramatic consequences every day - people are not blameless, they are party to the party.

Not sure if anyone is still reading this….even so, the blame here clearly falls on BP, even they admit this.

The beaches were free of oil until BP screwed the pooch. This is clearly the fault of BP--not society who thirst for oil.

Oil companies are able to safely deliver their product to the consumer.

The beaches were free of oil until BP screwed the pooch. This is clearly the fault of BP--not society who thirst for oil.

If society didn't thirst for oil, BP wouldn't have been drilling in the Gulf. If BP wasn't drilling in the Gulf to satisfy that "thirst", there wouldn't have been a spill. BP is the direct cause of the spill, but the constant need for oil, including your own personal use, is the cause of BP being in the positiion to create the spill.


It's like a giant straw - BP at one end, we the consumers at the other. If we quit sucking, BP will stop spilling.

I love the alibi: "the oil industry can deliver oil safely..." Our Demand pushes the suppliers into more and more dangerous positions and we just chant "the oil industry can deliver oil safely..."

Sounds like a junky's prayer to ward off hepatitis.

If you applied this argument to medical malpractice, you would be saying, “It is not the surgeon’s fault that his patient is dead because the main atery was accidentally cut. Had the patient not eaten so many hamburgers he would not have needed open heart surgery.”

Even so, it is true that the patient is having open heart surgery because of unhealthy choices, justice should see that that blame belongs to the surgeon for drinking too much caffeine and having his hand slip during the operation.

Point being, getting oil out of the ground is daily occurrence and when done with proper safety measures, risk to society is minimal.

BP could have pre-drilled relief wells, installed better BOPs, etc… therefore the proper place of blame is BP.

Darwinian : And the people are not to blame for their lifestyle. They were born into it and are living life the only way they know how.

Male bovine excrement!

I might be in a very small minority, but I know there are other people like me that choose to forgo the convenience of a car, minimize general consumption and in my case take additional steps that cannot be enumerated here.

Organizations like Green Peace would definitely disagree with you.

The quote you posted is fallacious. Your position is one of complete and utter capitulation.

But is anybody actually modifying their habit of extravagant and frivolous oil consumption?

Doesn't seem like it's even part of the discussion.

Nope, no modifications of petroleum consumption habits have been reported ( other than those of tourists and fishermen and that sort of thing).

And no, change in habits or lifestyles is not up for discussion ( other than those of tourists and fishermen and that sort of thing).

Change is not comfortable, we can tolerate the spill and the rest of the symptoms.

We were born into this culture - with "stupid" genes yet - and it is not our fault, it's the only thing we know.

We were born into this culture - with "stupid" genes yet - and it is not our fault.

That looks a lot like the thin reed often leaned on by murderers, rapists and Determinists.

Determinists believe the universe is fully governed by causal laws resulting in only one possible state at any point in time.

Rather than genes there are a set of deeply entrenched myths at work here that makes it difficult to imagine anything different than the way things are.


Hi Joe, I was being sarcastic about the idea "we can't help ourselves, it's in our genes."

I think we are responsible - at least the adults in the population are a responsible.

Robert, you have been here long enough to know that there are plenty of people modifying their oil consumption and that there has been plenty of discussions on TOD about it.

Just because the oil on a beach is a headline grabber, does not mean that you should wish it on anyone.

By yelling (all Caps is mostly considered yelling online) you won't get any converts to your point of view, in fact you might scare people off.

Calm down a bit and play nice, it'll will win you more friends than yelling and wishing others doom.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed future.
Hugs from Arkansas, Me thinks you might need more today.

Your comment struck a personal chord with me. Some members of my family live in FL and they are always talking about the beautiful birds, the ocean, the fish, the dolphins, etc. These people also drive an SUV.

They are pretty ticked off with me---I am talking about PO, doing some research in the area of PO---not a topic they want to hear about, I don't want to visit the US because I don't like cars. I also don't have a car and neither does my husband----so basically my family members have become exasperated with me over the past four or five years or so since I have been saying "cars are bad".

Now this oil spill occurs and I am sure that a lot of the water around them will be oil filled and their wildlife will disappear.

People should express their love of wildlife by ceasing to drive. That is the best way. Yammering on and on about the gorgeous pelicans the lovely frigate birds the beautiful fishes JUST IS NOT GOING TO CUT IT. Put your money where your mouth is, I say to everyone, and ditch your car!!!

Having lived in Northern California and Spain for most of my life, I find myself in Florida for the past 10 weeks. I'll be here for 2 more weeks.

Things are different here. I can't help also feel these people "deserve" the black beaches and I even said so out loud the other day. Of course I hate saying something like that, it is not really true, but these people here really don't get it.

I have no car so am cycling everywhere, in 90+ degree heat. Drivers are incredibly hostile to pedestrians and cyclists. Pedestrian crossing signals oftentimes are not working. Pedestrians don't have the right of way here even in crosswalks. Oftentimes I will SHIVER for a moment when I walk by the open door of a business that has the AC turned on full blast. I've seen notes tapes to AC units in businesses instructing employees to please NOT set the thermostat below 68F. I am not kidding.

I've been told that we have to have the AC on in the house regularly or else the humidity will cause thousands of dollars in damage to the house. Is that even possible??? How could they use building materials like that in a humid place like this?? I want to leave the AC on at 82 but when I return home it is always back at 76. There's a lot to like here if it weren't for all these people around. :-)

Designs too good to waste: Looking at Cooper-Hewitt's 'Why Design Now?' and more

Here is a hard truth about 21st-century Americans: "You have no culture. All you guys do is buy things."

At least that was the constant complaint that Sarah Waxman, a design student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, heard during her junior year abroad. Contemplating those charges put her in a quandary: Her new field was all about promoting a culture of buying.


Mohammed Bah Abba's "Pot-in-Pot Cooler" simply puts one locally made clay pot inside another, with wet sand in between to provide evaporative cooling. In Nigeria, he claims, that can stretch the life of a farmer's tomato from two to 20 days. Just as importantly, it sends the visible message that improvisation -- low-tech, low-carbon and local -- can count as more "beautiful," and certainly as more important, than any design from ICFF.

See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/11/AR201006...

Best hopes for more sensible and socially responsible design.


That article really makes me think a whole host of those people rather miss the big point. It's all very well to come up with your completely new "visible join" chairs or sell two pots designed to nest suitably, but the biggest difference to consumption would be to actually build stuff that's designed to work with replaceable components. Unfortunately that means that designers have to give up the idea of having single aesthetic control of the object, because the designer can't know which bits will come from existing components the user already has. Ironically the beige box PC is, obviously conditional upon there being a good environmental case for having a computer in the first place, one of the most enivronmentally well-designed (albeit designed that way for economic rather than environmental reasons) products because when bits break or become unsuitable you can often replace just the relevant component. But it's derided as being a very boring uninspired design, whilst things like the all-in-one-including-monitor iMacs of a few years ago are lauded as design icons, even though they're pretty useless for modern software just a few years later because you can't upgrade or replace individual components. It's annoying the way that the "creatives" get to spread the "functional is dull" and "not haing pseudo-unique products means you're a dull person" in so many of their adverts and then claim that they're interested in environmentalism.

Obviously the success "reported" here may be taken from a misleading press release, but the fact this product is available at all makes me dispair over human values:


Having had several years worth of designing earthshelter houses, and tiny homes, and other types of abodes. It is always kind of odd to remember that the schools of Design out there, were getting on my nerves those long years ago, when I went to them, I had almost forgotten they were still turning out people that had little clue about how the real world works.

There are several Firms that have been pushing using Third world countries as places to go and design better homes and doing so cheaply or on shoe string budgets. But publications like AD, still have glossy covers and everything still seems to drip money like it is honey on a hot day. A long time ago I saw a chair made out of cardboard selling for hundreds of dollars, and in any color you liked. It is also one reason why me and the regular Landscape Design people don't get along, I am always saving the weeds and trying to dig up the neat lawns and put down plants to eat and look at, in a disordered way.

Don't get me wrong, I still have plants in my yard that don't feed me, but just look good in the landscape, or retain soil holding root systems, or grow in shaded areas that most other plants don't do well. But I try to have as many edible or useful plants in the yard as possible, and it is always a work in progress.

Nice to know that bathtubs can find a second home as raised bed gardens. In a Lutheran Newsletter they talked about a guy who was planting gardens in kiddie pools, helping people think outside the box in how to grow food without a lot of expensive planning.

Thanks for the heads up.

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

Big Oil can't get beyond petroleum (WaPo)

An interesting commentary from some people who have worked on transport fuel problems. No mention of the Climate Change problem though. The authors will be available for comments on Monday, 14 June, so get your questions in early...

E. Swanson

Great Article from persons who aren't being paid to carry the party line. Some memorable points:

"The history of the industry has always been to . . . extend access to new resources . . . and increase the recoveries from existing production assets," Don Paul, then the chief technology officer at Chevron, remarked several years ago. "Most in the industry do not believe we are anywhere near the end of this process."

Professor Peter Odell of Erasmus University, winner of the 2006 OPEC Award from the International Association for Energy Economics, suggests that the oil industry of 2100 will be larger than that of 2000, but up to 90 percent dependent on unconventional oil. And, its advertising to the contrary, the industry isn't shy about making such estimates itself: ExxonMobil forecasts that fossil fuels will account for the same 80 percent share of world energy used in 2030 as they do today.

It appears to be a lame argument that big oil is the enemy. They're simply responding to demand. We have met the enemy and we know who that is...


HAH-HAH! i laff! i sail into the oil conundrum less and less. same old same old.
people vent their disgust for corrupt goobermint and corporations while apologists, shills, trolls
and pundits make excuses and arguments for TPTB and BAU.

well, boys and girls, hold onto yer hats....

the goobermint is run by crooks for crooks.

the man enslaved to wealth can never be honest.

there is no limit to human greed and folly.

money is the measure of all things.

dont you guys read these news postings on the drum beat?
caint you all see the above is true?

what to do about it? post a comment on the oil conundrum. that will make everything better.

i bought six pack of 5% hard iced tea on friday and got drunk. then i visited my GF on saturday and we went to gooberner's island in NY harbor. we took the train, then the subway, then the ferry. things i never read JHK doing on his blog although he tells everyone else to do it. there was a figment festival. some sort alternative art displays. i was able to forget for a few hours the toil of the blacksmith shop. i commingled with other citizens in a total waste of non productivity in a not for profit mode. in short an afternoon spent most enjoyable.

remember this lads and lasses, no one, NO ONE, gets out of here alive.

NO ONE, gets out of here alive.

Thank you grasshopper for that nougat of truth. Getting out of here is easy my friend. Escaping with a clean conscience is the conundrum.

I wore my Macondo incident memorial shirt and some young hippie dude asked me if I could sell him some pot. When I designed my T-shirt I purposely included a 4/20 reference as a double entendre to increase appeal and thus awareness, but I had no idea it would make me look like an unlicensed pharmaceutical representative. I am 43 years old and have short hair. To be honest, I look more like a narc than a dealer. The youth of today. I pointed out to the young man the significance of the shirt and he thanked me for raising his awareness. '4/20' just has more appeal than 'Gulf Oil Spill' and it gives deference to the deceased. I model the use of 4/20 after how 9/11 is now used. I also like 'Remember the Macondo 11'. Check out my shirt. In black of course.


For the odd person that was not awake at 03:00 I'd like to provide a link to dougr's thread on his analysis of why they may never stop the BP Gusher.

Thanks for the link. Very detailed and sobering info. John

So, maybe the start of a mass migration out of the southern coastal economy?

What happens if huge patches of the GOM become economically unsustainable, or worse uninhabitable? Sort of like a giant Katrina-like "astrodome" event played out over a longer period of time?

Obama said today he wanted $50 billion emergency aid for states where teachers are being cut and unemployment funds are running low or out.

Add this to the economic burden...

Obama said today he wanted $50 billion emergency aid for states...

Sounds pretty desperate. On the one hand there is an acknowledgement by the white house of the need to reduce deficits, but on the other hand a need to put up more free money to keep the most important employees working. Yet at the same time the Big O has instructed staff members to find ways to cut spending by 10% by eliminating unnecessary programs, which invariably will eliminate jobs. Whose kidding who? A buck can only be spun so many ways.

On top of everything else, the GOM. Oh my. Sure wouldn't trade my anonymity for the Presidency. Not worth it.

Now we find out the Afghanistan war is not about oil security, but lithium security. Lithium is critical for moving to electric powered vehicles.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and Blackberries.

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.


As Commander in Chief Obama was obviously briefed on this long ago.

It explains his inexplicable continuation of the Afghan war. He sees Afghanistan as the long term source of raw materials to electrify the vehicle fleet as we are forced into it by Peak Oil.

Alexander wanted to conquer. Genghis Khan wanted gold. The British wanted a buffer from Russia. The Soviets wanted to be one country closer to a warm sea port. Now we want lithium. Do you think we will do any better this time?

Pipelines? Maybe. Lithium? Nope.
Recycled phrases? Of course.

The Saudi Arabia of Lithium


Chile is the Saudi Arabia of lithium. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, this single ancient lake bed contains 27% of the world's reserve base of the metal

Many people have claimed lithium is common - perhaps this press is an expression of the common nature of Lithium?

Half the world's previously-known lithium is in Bolivia, and that source has never been exploited. Rare earth metals for use in high-efficiency electric motors/generators are a more critical resource for electric cars.

Nonsense. Bolivia has most Li reserves - and is untouched. Infact there are untouched reserves in US - it is cheaper to get it from Chile.

"Go ahead and drill, they told other Gulf Coast states; we’ll stick with tourism."

But without the oil from the other states, there would be no tourists.

Tourism is a luxury; the poor don't take tours. A point lots of environmentalists keep missing.

The researchers noted that homeowners would feel poorer with real household wealth declining on a per household basis to $486,600 from $503,500 over the past 10 years, in "the lost decade." Foreclosures have reduced some mortgage debt but the level of debt relative to equity still started 2010 at a record 163 percent, the report said.

That paragraph is from an article, 'Jobs key to housing recovery'


Doesn't that bit about household wealth dropping from 503.5K to 486.6K seem like a lot of hogwash? Sure, many houses in parts of the country are worth millions, but averaged out with all the smaller homes across America shouldn't that number be smaller?

Anyway, the statistic following that seems more accurate and scary: A debt to equity ratio of 163%! Again they do not specify if this is the average for all US households, but whatever region that represents is an astounding degree of underwaterness. Overcoming that will take many years.

Doesn't that bit of household weath dropping from 503.5K to 486.6K seem like a lot of hogwash? Sure, many houses in parts of the country are worth millions, but averaged out with all the smaller homes across America shouldn't that number be smaller.

Household wealth is more than your house; it is your net worth (assets minus liabilities). But anyway, that's the trouble with averages: when wealth is skewed very unequally, a relatively few superrich bring the average way up.

A better measure of wealth is the median (half higher, half lower). This value would be less than 25% of the quoted figure. For example, in 2004, average US household wealth was $448,200, but median household wealth was only $93,100.

Ah, yes, median wealth of 93,100. That number sounds about right. Thanks for the reply.

Wow, that top 1% sure must have a lot of wealth!

Bill Gates' wealth, if distributed equally to each American, would be about $172 each.