Drumbeat: June 28, 2010

Analysis: U.S. Shale Gas Could Play Large Role in Future Production

U.S. onshore shale natural gas could potentially become a large portion of future U.S. gas production with an assumed 347 Tcf of technically recoverable shale gas, provided that significant growth occurs in future U.S. gas demand, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) Annual Energy Outlook for 2010.

A few years ago, most analysts anticipated a growing U.S. reliance on imported sources of gas, and significant investments were being made in regasification facilities for imports of liquefied natural gas, EIA said. That outlook has changed as a wave of exploration and production companies over the past five years have sought to explore for and produce U.S. shale gas, which has been touted as a clean-burning, secure energy source that can meet future U.S. energy demand.

Thirty years later, Exxon’s ‘White Paper’ is a vision ‘in search of reality’

“The task is great. So is the need. And there is no time to lose.” — Exxon’s 1980 “White Paper.”

Those stirring words concluded a 10-page document released 30 years ago this month outlining Exxon’s grand plan to help solve the energy crisis of the 1970s. Eye-popping forecasts staggered western Colorado, which was already ground zero for government-sponsored efforts to develop synthetic fuels, including oil shale, to counter oil embargoes and long lines at gasoline pumps.

Exxon’s “White Paper,” formally entitled “The Role of Synthetic Fuels in the United States Energy Future,” predicted synfuels would provide 12 percent of total U.S. energy demand by the year 2000, becoming a 15 million barrel-per-day industry in the 21st century. Eight million barrels would come from oil shale, primarily in the Piceance and Uintah basins of northwest Colorado and northeastern Utah. The remaining 7 million barrels per day would be derived from coal, mostly from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana as well as the Dakotas and Southern Rockies.

SA coal lures Chinese as drop in freight rates fuel price cuts

The recent plunge in freight rates had re-opened the price arbitrage for Colombian and South African coal to move into Asia, sparking renewed interest from Chinese buyers, trade sources said on Friday.

However, industry sources cautioned that China' demand for coal imports had weakened considerably over the past two months, and that it was unlikely that there would be the sort of mad rush for Colombian or South African coal seen earlier this year.

Saudi King’s Visit to Obama: Price of Peace and Price of Oil

U.S. President Barack Obama faces a tough diplomatic test Tuesday when he hosts Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who wants to see more action and fewer words for a new Arab state in place of Israel’s post-1967 borders. Iran and the price of oil also are on the agenda.

Reliance, Pemex may build refinery in Mexico-report

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Indian energy major Reliance Industries and Mexican state-run oil giant Pemex may soon join hands to develop a greenfield refinery in Mexico, the Economic Times reported on Monday.

The refinery, which will have a capacity of 300,000 barrels a day, will largely meet the energy requirements of Mexico, the newspaper said, without citing any sources.

Truck rentals soar 12% after diesel hike

CHENNAI: Brace yourself to pay more for essential supplies. Following the hike in diesel prices, transporter associations across the country have increased truck rentals by a steep 10 to 12% since Saturday morning under the pretext of a rise in input costs. The quantum of hike in freight cost is clearly disproportionate to the fuel price rise though.

Nigeria hopes for improved security

Nigeria is expected to begin rehabilitating hundreds of former militants in the Niger Delta this week, raising hopes for improved security in the oil-producing region, organisers said today.

Enbridge plans $400-million oil sands expansion

Enbridge Inc. said Monday it plans a $400-million expansion of its Waupisoo oil sands pipeline system and is joining a carbon-capture project backed by power producers TransAlta Inc. and Capital Power Corp.

Shell shuting some Gulf of Mexico oil production

(Reuters) - Shell Oil Co said on Monday it was shutting production from its western and central Gulf of Mexico assets ahead of Tropical Storm Alex.

BP exec: Storm delaying additional oil-capture capacity

(Reuters) - High waves from Tropical Storm Alex will delay BP Plc's plan to add more oil-siphoning capacity at the gushing leak in the Gulf of Mexico until next week, a company executive said on Monday.

BP Said To Prep Insurance Claim As Costs Rise

A newspaper report in the U.K. Mail on Sunday said BP is going to file claims with Transocean's insurance company. Transocean owned the Deepwater Horizon rig that was drilling for oil at the time of the explosion that led to the spill, and leased it to BP.

Shorting BP Was Very Smart And Could Still Be

Pope looks like he was right on two counts. Yes, BP has no handle on the costs of the clean-up. Look no further for evidence of that than its announcement that it has spent 1.76 billion pounds or nearly $2.7 billion so far on the Gulf of Mexico spill. The big tab comes after BP's clean-up costs have risen $100 million a day for the last three days amid growing concerns that the start of the hurricane season could hamper BP's efforts to contain the spill.

Fitch: Oil spills into bad FL mortgages

Fitch Ratings is warning that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may intensify problems for troubled Florida mortgage borrowers.

Struggling homeowners in the state will have limited ability to face any additional economic challenges brought on by the Gulf oil spill, Fitch said in a release.

FACTBOX - Gulf projects hit by drilling moratorium

(Reuters) - Oil and gas producers with operations in the Gulf of Mexico have re-examined drilling plans for 2010 and beyond to determine what is affected by the U.S. government's six-month moratorium on drilling.

Naomi Klein - Gulf oil spill: A hole in the world

How long will it take for an ecosystem this ravaged to be "restored and made whole" as Obama's interior secretary has pledged to do? It's not at all clear that such a thing is remotely possible, at least not in a time frame we can easily wrap our heads around.

Long View: Cheap energy is our birthright

The first time I drove out West with my parents on a family vacation, I remember seeing gas stations in Texas and the Midwest advertising gas for 19 cents a gallon-we were paying closer to 30 cents back East. Wow! We could traverse the endless open spaces of the West in our Desoto station wagon with its big fins and vertical taillights at six miles to the gallon and experience the American Dream like the wagon train homesteaders of yore, but without the pain and hardship. It was like our birthright. Who would not respond to a price signal like that?

A fourth lesson concerns thinking about where our energy will come from. All of us who bought gasoline recently at the relatively comfortable price of $2.83 a gallon benefit from having our energy come out of someone else's backyard, like Louisiana's. No one wants any energy source located in their backyards-better that they be in someone else's backyard-anyone else's, really. Part of the debate over the future of alternative energy in Maine is whether it makes sense to wait for the day when new technology will enable us to generate all the energy we need offshore-out of sight, out of mind-although admittedly in the backyards of an indeterminate number of fishermen.

Country needs an oil change

Living in their outsized, climate-controlled homes, driving their outsized, climate-controlled cars, Americans of every stripe are decrying the ecological calamity in the Gulf. Al Gore said of the disaster, "Unless we change our present course soon, the future of human civilization will be in dire jeopardy."

This is the same Al Gore who just purchased his fourth home, a 6,500-square-foot behemoth in Montecito, Calif. Instead of listening to all these shrill voices, we should focus on what we know deep in our hearts — we have met the enemy, and the enemy is the face we gaze at in the mirror.

The link between BP, geoengineering and GM

Sometimes you have to notice the silences. Where has Dr. Steve Koonin, Under Secretary for Science at the US Department of Energy, been since the Gulf disaster happened?

Energy Strategist: Get Rich from the World's Most Important Commodities

The world is closer to peak [oil] production than many assume. I expect oil prices to top USD100 per barrel this year and reaching record highs at some point in 2011.

Vietnam power shortages fuel calls to break up monopoly

Rolling blackouts in Vietnam this summer have infuriated businesses, farmers and families but they have also built up pressure for a major reform: the break-up of Electricity Vietnam (EVN).

China Datang Starts Construction of Rooftop Solar Power Plant in Jiangsu

(Bloomberg New Energy Finance) -- China Datang Corp., the nation’s second-largest power producer, has started construction of a 5.8 megawatt rooftop solar plant in Jiangsu province, the Xinhua state news agency reported.

The 160 million-yuan ($24 million) project in Wood Industrial Park in Dafeng port is scheduled to be commissioned by November. It is the first phase of a 10-megawatt, 350 million-yuan plant, according to Xinhua.

Cold war breaks out at work

One reason the air conditioning proves too chilling for lawyers and other staff: the cooling system is set based on the assumption that the building is full. It’s a false assumption. “It’s seldom the case,” noted Hedge. “Research indicates only 40 to 50 percent of [employees] are usually there.”

We need new policies, not spin, on population

At about 2 per cent a year, Australia's population growth is twice the world average and around eight times the Western average. That's extreme growth in anyone's language.

If we continue at this rate, as recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for the past three quarters, we will actually exceed 50 million by 2050.

Aramco steps up offshore development

DAMMAM, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Aramco proved new reserves close to at least three of its offshore fields last year, according to the company’s 2009 annual report.

Positive results came from the offshore Lawhah-46 well, which flowed 30 MMcf/d of gas from the Khuff B reservoir; the Arabiyah-101 offshore delineation well that flowed 11.7 MMcf/d and 20 b/d of condensate from the Jilh reservoir; and the Hasbah-17 offshore delineation well (47.5 MMcf/d from the Khuff B reservoir).

On the offshore development front, the company has been working on several major offshore greenfield and life extension projects. Its newest large-scale program is Karan, Aramco’s first-ever non-associated gas increment, due to be completed in 2013.

Saudi faces gas cost dilemma

The government of Saudi Arabia will lose millions of dollars a day tapping into much-needed new gasfields because of rigidly low domestic prices, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Rapidly increasing electricity consumption and industrial development has led Saudi Aramco, the state oil company, to scramble to develop new natural gas reserves – with many significant successes.

But the cost of developing those fields overshadows the revenue the company will receive from selling the gas to power producers and petrochemical outfits at fixed prices, according to new estimates by the IEA, a Paris-based organisation representing a group of energy importing countries.

Saudi firm focuses on power needs

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia's rapid march toward industrialization is propelling the demand for power systems and generators. With the right standby power system in place, the question often asked by manufacturers and industrialists is whether the system will work when they need them the most.

Saudi Aramco invites bids for Wasit gas plant

ALKHOBAR: State oil giant Saudi Aramco has invited companies to bid for the construction of the biggest gas plant in the kingdom, industry sources said on Sunday.

After completing a crude oil capacity expansion plan last year, the world's top oil exporter has focused on developing gas production to meet rapidly rising domestic demand.

Gulf source says oil market in good shape

Dubai (Platts)- The current oil market is "in good shape" and no significant price movements are expected in a stable market if there are no unexpected developments such as a hurricane in the US Gulf or other events that could impact oil prices, a Gulf source said Sunday. "Prices are not expected to go up sharply or down, unless you have an unexpected event such as a hurricane," the source said, adding that given the state of the market, there was no need for a change in OPEC's output targets despite an expected weakening in demand during the third quarter.

Total, Saudi Aramco find cash for Jubail

COURBEVOIE, France, June 28 (UPI) -- Saudi Aramco and French petroleum company Total announced they secured $8.5 billion in financing for the Jubail refinery in Saudi Arabia.

Total, in a statement, said the refinery will be one of the most advanced in the world, processing heavy Arabian crude products to meet demands for environmentally friendly fuel supplies.

Mexico oil output flat in May vs April

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican oil output was unchanged in May from April and down only fractionally from May 2009, underscoring state oil company Pemex's recent success in slowing its output slump.

Pemex said crude output last month was 2.593 million barrels per day, down from 2.609 million bpd a year earlier. Total liquids production, which includes condensate and natural gas liquids, was 2.977 million bpd, up from 2.976 million bpd in April.

Mexican oil production fell by nearly a quarter from its 2004 peak as output at the aging Cantarell field tumbled, but Pemex has succeeded in slowing the rate of decline in recent months with new drilling and production techniques.

Consumer spending rose slightly in May

Incomes rose for the sixth time in seven months, boosting household finances and potentially providing fuel for greater future spending.

But money spent on goods declined. The increase came from spending on services — much of that likely the result of Americans using more electricity as the weather warmed up.

Kazakhstan eyes 2010 oil tax

Kazakhstan plans to reintroduce an export duty on oil this year but will wait until 2011 before applying a tax on exports of metal, Prime Minister Karim Masimov said today.

FACTBOX: Gulf of Mexico oil operators prepare for Alex

(Reuters) - Oil and gas companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico have taken the following actions in preparation for Tropical Storm Alex.

Alex Expected to Reach Hurricane Strength in Gulf

(Bloomberg) -- Tropical Storm Alex may become a major hurricane as it churns toward the Texas-Mexico border forcing the evacuation of some rigs and sending swells at the oil slick created by the U.S.’s worst spill.

The storm may grow into at least a Category 3 system, with minimum winds of 111 mph (178 kph), before making landfall early July 1, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Chevron sets force majeure on shallow water rig

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Chevron Corp declared force majeure on a Hercules Offshore jack-up rig because of new rules in the Gulf of Mexico, the second notice in less than a week that producers were seeking to curtail oil and gas drilling in shallow water.

The U.S. government has effectively halted drilling for oil and gas in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico because of the continuing leak from the BP Plc (BP.L) well.

70 days later, seeking answers to Gulf oil crisis

Washington (CNN) -- It is Day 70 of the Gulf oil crisis. Millions of words and thousands of hours of video have been devoted to the explosion at BP's Deepwater Horizon rig and the gushing of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

And yet the organizers of a conference in Washington on Monday think that there's actually a shortage of information about the disaster. The two technology entrepreneurs behind the conference, TEDx OilSpill, said they are hoping the event will start to fix that problem.

A floating city springs up to contain gulf oil spill

Dead ahead through the helicopter windshield, it appears like a mirage at the hazy horizon: a city in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.

A city on fire.

Boycott BP? That's easier said than done

Consumers who want to show their outrage over the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will find that the company is deeply rooted in the U.S. economy.

Nuke deal with China in tandem with IAEA rules: Pak

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has reiterated that its civil nuclear deal with China is in accordance with the norms set out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Foreign Office spokesperson Abdul Basit said that Islamabad and Beijing have a history of nuclear cooperation, and demands of a clarification in this regard were unjustified.

Solar power done cheap

Under the company's model, customers agree to a monthly lease and sign the rights to claim subsidies over to SolarCity.

In return, homeowners get a solar array installed on their roof, maintained for the life of the lease. They're hooked up to the electric grid, so when they need more power than the panels provide, there's no disruption. And SolarCity guarantees the panels will produce a set amount of power, which the company says should offset the electric bill and more than compensate for the monthly fee.

Maine firm eyes N.B. tidal power options

Irving Oil Ltd.'s sudden decision to abandon its tidal power initial has sparked interest by a Maine company that is conducting its own research in the area.

Irving Oil had exclusive access to test tidal power possibilities on 11 Crown land sites in the Bay of Fundy, which it walked away from recently. Energy Minister Jack Keir said last week he didn't know why the company halted its efforts but said tidal power technology is not yet commercial viable.

Tesla hopes investors are charged about IPO

NEW YORK — Tesla Motors Inc. begins selling stock to the public on Tuesday. The sale's success depends on how much investors are willing to bet on a car company that has never made a profit, sells a single vehicle and expects to lose money until at least 2012.

As for the car, it's electric — a kind of vehicle Americans have shown almost no appetite for — and it's very pricey.

But the Palo Alto, Calif., startup believes Americans' taste in cars is changing. Most analysts agree with Tesla that the internal combustion engine will soon make room for greener forms of powering cars, such as electricity, as gas prices rise and environmental worries mount.

Former F1 engineer unveils new city car

London, England (CNN) -- His most famous car has a top speed of 240 miles per hour.

With a top speed of 80 mph, Gordon Murray's latest design isn't likely to trouble too many speed cameras, but it shouldn't worry environmentalists either.

The former Formula One engineer who created the iconic McLaren F1 supercar has officially unveiled the T.25 -- his idea for a new class of city car.

Car Sharing and the ZipCar IPO

Like many companies going public these days, ZipCar has posted losses every year since it started.

And those losses are expected to continue this year and into 2011.

That being said, ZipCar's got a nice little operation going – with limited competition right now.

States look for new ways to promote Route 66 attractions

Conkle and the alliance's other co-director Rick Freeland at the summit also highlighted another marketing effort for the historic road, as an environmentally friendly highway.

Freeland said Route 66 enthusiasts are encouraging people to travel the highway in alternative-fuel vehicles, including those powered by electricity, hydrogen and natural gas.

"Alternative-fuel vehicles is the future," Conkle said. "Forget fossil fuel. We're going to marry Route 66 with this new technology."

Brave new local world

Rapid advancement in technology during the twentieth century led to a drastic reduction in cost of transportation, fundamentally changing the way businesses plan their production lines. Today a transnational company’s decision to choose location for its manufacturing facility is likely to be influenced by the availability of cheap labour rather than proximity of market. The reason is simple: transport cost is no longer a crucial factor in corporate marketing strategy. Economists call it globalisation, that is, unhindered flow of humans and goods across borders. What propels and sustains globalisation is availability of cheaper oil that makes transportation affordable. But oil might not remain cheap for long given the alarming pace of depletion in world’s oil reserves. If that happens, our lifestyles might see a drastic scaling back. This is what Jeff Rubin stresses in Why Your World is about to Get a Whole Lot Smaller.

Swings in Oil Prices May Worsen as Spare Capacity Shrinks

Swings in oil prices may widen over the next five years as OPEC’s shrinking spare production capacity increases traders’ concern about supply shortages.

Oil’s 50-day historical volatility, a measure of how much crude fluctuates around its average price, was at 34 percent on June 25. The measure rose to a record 108 percent in January 2009 after OPEC’s spare production capacity fell to its lowest in almost four years. The group’s idled capacity may drop to 3.9 percent of world demand by 2015 from 6.8 percent this year, according to International Energy Agency estimates.

Oil Falls From Seven-Week High as Storm Skirts North Gulf Production Area

Crude oil fell from a seven-week high on speculation that crude-oil production in the Gulf of Mexico will be unaffected by a tropical storm in region.

Prices also declined before reports this week that are expected to show U.S. consumer confidence waned and manufacturing growth slowed this month. Futures are heading for a quarterly decline of 6.1 percent. Oil rose earlier today on forecasts that Tropical Storm Alex in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico will become a hurricane in the next 48 hours.

Price of gas up nearly 5 cents in last two weeks

CAMARILLO, Calif. — The average price of regular gasoline in the United States has climbed nearly five cents over a two-week period to $2.76.

G20 urges phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies

TORONTO (Reuters) – Leaders of the world's biggest economies will pledge on Sunday to phase out subsidies for "inefficient" fossil fuels, in a statement toughened at the last minute at the urging of the United States, Group of 20 sources said.

The G20 communique in Toronto calls for the "phase out over the medium term of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption, taking into account vulnerable groups and their development needs," said the sources, who provided the language to Reuters.

India's Scrapping of Fuel Price Regulation to Boost Inflation, Refiners

India’s scrapping of price controls on gasoline and diesel after more than seven years, a move aimed at cutting a 6.9 percent budget deficit, will boost inflation and increase profits at refiners including Indian Oil Corp. and Reliance Industries Ltd. Their shares rose for the second day.

India - Q+A: What would be the impact of fuel price hikes?

The government has moved to ease price controls on gasoline and raise other fuel rates. Here are some questions and answers about the implications.

Shell, Reliance May Revive Plans for Fuel Outlets as India Cuts Subsidies

Reliance Industries Ltd., Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Essar Energy Plc may revive plans to add retail fuel outlets in India after Asia’s third-biggest energy consumer scrapped subsidizing gasoline and diesel.

India May refinery output up 7.7 pct y/y - govt

(Reuters) - Indian refiners, excluding Reliance Industries' export-focused plant, processed 3.252 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in May, up 7.7 percent from a year ago, government data showed on Monday.

Russian Diesel Exports From Primorsk Port Will Increase by 24% Next Month

Russian exports of low-sulfur diesel from the port of Primorsk on the Baltic Sea will rise 24 percent in July, the highest in at least four months.

Exports will increase by 121,000 metric tons to 635,000 tons in July from 514,000 tons this month and 520,000 tons in May, according to two people with knowledge of the loading schedules.

Should the US lean more on natural gas in its energy mix?

The US could get a running start at curbing its greenhouse-gas emissions by shifting its energy mix more rapidly toward natural gas in the next few years, allowing renewable energy sources like wind and solar time to gain ground, a study released Friday found.

Oil and gas are the bridge to clean energy

The U.S. uses 25 percent of the world's oil, yet it only produces 3 percent of the global total. Whether the world has reached peak oil production is an open question and subject to debate by geologists and petroleum engineers. But even if we opened every square inch of the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling, we would still need to rely on imports to fulfill our oil needs.

Regardless of whether more oil will be discovered in the world, there is no debate that we have entered an era where all new oil is difficult and expensive to discover and produce. Shell has already invested more than $3 billion in exploration off Alaska's shores, and that's without a single well ever being built. The days of cheap energy from oil very well may be over. Oil is simply too scarce for it to be "cheap" energy ever again.

OPEC hopes US reconsiders offshore drilling ban

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The head of OPEC is saying he hopes the United States will reconsider a temporary ban on new deep-water oil rigs.

Abdalla Salem El Badri, secretary-general of the 14-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, says offshore drilling is an important source of oil and "we should not really ban it."

Shell cuts some output, BP evacuates some due to Alex

HOUSTON (Reuters) – Shell Oil shut subsea production at two platforms and BP evacuated some personnel from three Gulf of Mexico platforms due to the threat of tropical depression Alex, the companies said on Sunday.

Subsea production at Shell's Auger and Brutus platforms was shut, a website posting said. Personnel not essential to operations were evacuated from BP's Atlantis, Mad Dog and Holstein platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, a recorded telephone message said.

Thick oil soils Mississippi shore as storm looms

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss./TORONTO (Reuters) – Gluey gobs of thick oil from BP Plc's Gulf of Mexico spill washed ashore in Mississippi for the first time on Sunday as Russia called for a special levy on oil companies to finance a fund to help clean up environmental disasters like this one.

How BP wants to start over in bid to contain Gulf oil spill

Tropical storm Alex comes just as the Coast Guard and BP are preparing to make the oil-collection system at the leaking well on the sea floor more hurricane-ready.

For now, it appears as if Alex will pass far west of the Gulf oil spill. But even before Alex developed, the end of June and the beginning of July was shaping up to be a crucial moment in BP’s bid to collect all the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

A region's new fear: An oily hurricane

The threat of Tropical Storm Alex— the first significant storm of the hurricane season — has inflamed anxiety on the Gulf of Mexico's barrier islands and coastal towns. The 1,680-mile shoreline from Texas to Florida faces a volatile hurricane season with the unprecedented complication of a massive oil spill off the coast. Although the National Hurricane Center now projects Alex will hit Mexico's Gulf coast and steer south and west of the oil spill, it is predicting an unusually heavy hurricane season, with as many as 23 serious storms.

BP's First Relief Well in Gulf May Be Completed Within 18 Days, Times Says

BP Plc may complete within two and a half weeks the first of two relief wells aimed at ending the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the London-based Times reported.

The relief well is within 200 horizontal feet of the ruptured one and is being guided toward it by means of electromagnetic and sonar ranging devices, the newspaper said.

BP station owners say that they’re victims also

Tension is mounting between BP and the neighborhood retailers that sell its gasoline.

As more Americans shun BP gasoline as a form of protest over the Gulf oil spill, station owners are insisting BP do more to help them convince motorists that such boycotts mostly hurt independently owned businesses, not the British oil giant.

To win back customers, they'd like the company's help in reducing the price at the pump.

Oil spill costs hit $2.65-billion: BP

BP PLC says the cost of the company's response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has reached about $2.65-billion.

The company announced the updated total in a news release Monday. The costs include spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to Gulf states, claims paid, and federal costs.

BP Loses $22 Billion in Legacy of Share Buybacks

Add $22 billion and counting to the loss for BP Plc from the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

The sum represents the hole after the 52 percent plunge in BP shares since the Deepwater Horizon exploded and sank, resulting in the worst oil spill in U.S. history. BP bought back more than $37 billion of its stock in a bid to return money to investors between 2005 and 2008. Those shares are now worth $15 billion, excluding dividends.

BP's Tony Hayward to Meet Putin Deputy in Moscow as Gulf Leak Costs Mount

BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward will meet with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin to discuss the British company’s operations in the country as it struggles to contain the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Russia's Sechin says Hayward to resign as BP's CEO

(Reuters) - Russia's top energy official Igor Sechin said on Monday he expects BP's chief executive Tony Hayward will soon resign.

"We know that Tony Hayward is leaving his position and he will introduce his successor," Sechin told reporters ahead of a meeting with Hayward on Monday.

BP denies Russian report that Hayward leaving

MOSCOW, Russia -- Russia's state RIA Novosti news agency is quoting a senior Russian Cabinet official as saying that BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward is expected to resign, a report BP denied.

Ex-FEMA director could help BP out of its disaster

WASHINGTON -- James Lee Witt, America's go-to guy for disaster response, knows how to take an unpopular organization and turn it around. If BP hires the former Federal Emergency Management Agency director to help with community relations, it could further a makeover of the oil giant's Gulf Coast image.

For Gulf victims, claims calamity may be improving

More than two months after the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, many area residents say the claims process is getting somewhat better, but bureaucracy still reigns supreme.

Reporter Answers Questions About the Spill

The Macondo reservoir holds at least 50 million barrels of oil, or about 2.1 billion gallons, according to recent congressional testimony by BP’s chief executive, Tony Hayward. This would be enough to allow the well to continue to gush at a rate of 60,000 barrels per day – the government’s upper range of the well’s current flow – for another two years.

Yet how precise Mr. Hayward’s estimate might be is another question entirely. This month Tony Odone, a top BP spokesman, told The Guardian newspaper that the company had not made an assessment of the reserves before the well blew out.

Russia ready to enact law against sea oil pollution: Medvedev

Russia is all set to enact a law against sea oil pollution which will lay a new legal basis for preventing aftermaths of man-made catastrophes such as the recent oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

"In this respect, Russia is ready to pass to the State Duma a bill on sea protection against oil pollution," Medvedev noted.

The Oil Spill Catastrophe: Biggest Ever? Not Close.

But while we demand that BP pay to clean up the oil spill, are we demanding that the agricultural industry pay for the dead zones their fertilizer use creates? Are we demanding that food companies put billions in escrow accounts to pay for the damage that unsustainable fishing practices cause? Are we demanding that fossil fuel burning be taxed to pay for the environmental damage it does? Are we demanding the government do more about any of these things? A little, maybe, but not nearly like we're jumping all over BP and the government for the Deepwater Horizon mess. We call them externalities, not catastrophes, and these far greater harms persist, in large measure because they just don't upset us as much as catastrophes do.

Turkey plans bypass and spill fund

Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said he planned on meeting major international oil companies on 1 July to discuss measures to bypass the busy Istanbul Strait and a fund to be created in the case of an oil spill.

France's Total halts Iran gasoline sales: report

French energy group Total SA (TOT, FP.FR) has halted gasoline sales to Iran, the Financial Times reported on its website Sunday.

According to the report, Total made the move just days before U.S. President Barack Obama signs into law new sanctions against Iran.

Repsol pulls out of Iran deal

Spanish giant Repsol has pulled out of a contract it won with Shell to develop part of the South Pars gas field in Iran, according to reports.

German, Russian energy giants decline answer on sale of Gazprom stakes

Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom and Germany's energy group E.On Ruhrgas declined on Monday to comment on Russian media reports about a possible sale of E.On's 3.5% stake in the Russian energy giant.

"We would not like to comment on that. We do not comment on market rumors," a E.On official told RIA Novosti.

Regal Petroleum Falls Most in Four Years on Ukraine Operations Suspension

Regal Petroleum Plc, a British energy company focusing on natural-gas projects in Ukraine, fell the most in four years after the nation ordered it to suspend operations at its fields.

Va utility, state settle pipeline safety claims

NORFOLK, VA. — Virginia Natural Gas has agreed to change practices and pay up to $1.8 million in penalties to settle more than 40 violations alleged by state regulators.

The Norfolk-based company also agreed to spend $15 million on pipeline replacement projects.

Toyota starts production of hybrid car in UK

LONDON (AFP) – Japanese carmaker Toyota began producing Europe's first full hybrid vehicle on Monday at the company's car factory in Burnaston, in a boost to Britain's battered auto industry.

The first European-made hybrid version of Toyota's Auris hatchback rolled off the production line under the watchful eye of the government's business minister Vince Cable.

Musk Bets on $178 Million Tesla IPO to Fund Battery-Car Gambit

Tesla Motors Inc., the electric sports-car company that’s attempting the first initial public offering by a U.S. automaker in a half-century, increased the number of shares that it will sell in its IPO by 20 percent.

GovEnergy to Feature Over 100 Training Sessions on Federal Energy Management

GovEnergy, the nation's premier energy training workshop and trade show for federal energy professionals, will take place August 15-18, 2010, at the Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas. Promoting the theme, Blazin' Trails to Energy Solutions, the 2010 event will feature over 100 training sessions, within 15 tracks. This year, GovEnergy offers two new tracks, Greenhouse Gases and Human Behavior. GovEnergy provides federal energy professionals with access to the tools, techniques and best practices needed for meeting both day-to-day and long-term energy management goals.

Joe Bageant: Live from Planet Norte Totalitarian democracy and the politics of plunder

On Planet Norte nothing is finite. Not even money, which, under the flag of the consumer society, you can keep borrowing forever. Equally limitless is oil, infinite quantities of which are being hidden from us by a consortium of energy companies. Several people here in the States have told me that the size of the Gulf oil spill is proof that there is plenty of oil in still in the ground, and that this "peak oil stuff" is a scare tactic, an excuse to keep the price up. They were dead serious.

Considering the inexhaustibility of Planet Norte, it's no surprise its inhabitants have never doubted the "American Dream," the promise that every generation of Americans can be fatter, richer and burn up more resources than the previous one, ad infinitum.

Our economic future is not what it used to be

It's not just a matter of bank failures, spiraling foreclosures, high unemployment and the rest of this mess. Many of us sense that we're on the cusp of a fundamental shift in our economy and culture. Though most may be in denial, the evidence strongly suggests that the American economy has been propelled and sustained by criminally inflated credit and rampant speculation, and we are on the precipice of a change that will result in a dramatically altered American landscape.

UK: Meal made with produce from within 30-mile radius

Several people were eager to start growing their own vegetables and were interested in having lessons from gardeners, while more experienced growers wanted ways of sharing surplus produce or to organise pickling parties to store it. There was also a proposal for “guerilla gardening” where fruit trees or food is planted on spare, unmaintained corners. Another suggestion was to have “garden angels,” volunteers who look after other people’s gardens when the owners fall ill.

New Zealand: Dunedin to be consulted about future

The first meeting for the new programme, called Your City, Our Future, will be a "futures forum" of about 200 people, to be held on July 20, with those invited ranging from the Salvation Army to the Otago Rugby Football Union.

The forum will include a presentation on issues the city is facing, such as the state of the economy, climate change and peak oil, with questions to be discussed including where the city is now, and what sort of city is wanted in 30 years' time.

Panera to open more pay-what-you-wish restaurants

CLAYTON, Mo. — As the first crowd of customers filed into Panera's nonprofit restaurant here, only the honor system kept them from taking all the food they wanted for free.

Ronald Shaich, Panera's chairman, admitted as he watched them line up that he had no idea if his experiment would work. The idea for Panera's first nonprofit restaurant was to open an eatery where people paid what they could. The richer could pay full price — or extra. The poorer could get a cheap or even free meal.

A month later, the verdict is in: It turns out people are basically good.

Green My Ballard: Sailing the seas for local food

The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico makes an even more compelling argument for reducing our food miles and using alternative propulsion for transporting our food.

The new Salish Sea Trading Cooperative (SSTC) moves garden-fresh, farmer-grown, nonpetrol-powered food to Ballard’s Shilshole Bay from the peninsula by way of sail transport.

Glacier melt in NZ may have ended southern ice age

Scientists are beginning to suspect that a change in global wind patterns helped end the last major ice age, and that the effects showed up first on New Zealand glaciers.

Ice shelf was kept intact by underwater ridge

The discovery of an underwater mountain ridge could help solve the mystery of why Antarctica's Pine Island glacier is vanishing so rapidly.

A robot submarine sent beneath the glacier's floating ice sheet has shown that there is a ridge rising 400 metres from the sea floor. Until recently, the glacier would have rested on this ridge, preventing warm seawater from reaching the ice and melting it from underneath. But the submarine has shown that the glacier no longer rests on the ridge - it has thinned and now floats above it.

Sea Ice in the Arctic Not Recovering: Another Critical Minimum Forecast

ScienceDaily — A critical minimum for Arctic sea ice can again be expected for late summer 2010, according to researchers.

Although the scientific consensus at present is that we are unlikely to see a new polar sea ice minimum this year, I cannot remember a year when the extent of the ice breakup was so extensive, so soon in the season, over most of the ocean region.

This monochrome image probably shows it most clearly. There could well be open water at the geographic north pole today.


The rate of ice melt this year is truly spectacular. In the last 2 months the ice has contracted by 2 million square kilometres faster than the seasonal average.


So what does it all mean Ralph? Do we have any control over shrinking ice in the arctic or climate change in general for that matter? The 350.org movement is an empty can:

Through local climate action projects, we'll make our leaders wake up and lead on the climate crisis. It's a plan that may well break the logjam and get us moving.

Where are those leaders leading to? Ostensibly riding bikes to sponsored weekend events (while commuting during the week in our BMW or jetting off to Cabo for a Rave), tattooing flesh and snacking on Granola Bars. It's a mockery of a travesty of a sham.


You and I both know that industrial society IS fossil fuels. 90% of our energy is non-sustainable.

Everything else is window dressing. Given the 30 year lag from CO2 emission to its full impact on global climate, it is clearly far too late for the summer arctic sea ice. A dramatic sudden collapse is the only hope that the bulk of ordinary people in the developed world will see through the hatchet job that has been on climate science these last few decades.

Even if they did, probably the only chance of avoiding dramatic rises in CO2 levels as we burn more coal to offset falling oil supplies, is a fast collapse of industrial society, dragging demand down dramatically. I give that scenario about a 50% probability.

If this model of sea ice volume is correct, we could well see a dramatic collapse this year


Hey ralph. Ignore jm's drivel.

Glad to see someone else is noticing the enormous meltdown going on currently in the Arctic.

The thirty day sequence at Cryosphere Today is particularly stunning--outside of some melting on the periphery and a few temporary spots from wind and currents, Most of the central Arctic Ocean is purple (nearly 100% ice covered) up to a few days ago.

Then BAM!

The whole ocean explodes with shades of magenta, yellow and green (about 50% ice cover).

As the "tale of the tape" shows, this is far outside the norm for this time of year.

Of course, much could change with weather patterns.

But we may be watching the beginning of the end here.

Like watching a slow-motion crash (not so slow, actually), I find it hard to tear my eyes away.

While extent is important, the important metric is volume, and that seems to have been steadily decreasing even as extent increased the last three years.

I have stopped paying so much attention to extent, because I expect that volume will continue to decrease, and then one year extent will fall off a cliff as the thickness gets really low.

Also, as I've said before, September extent is not really relevant to albedo feedback, as there is pretty much no sun in the arctic in September (it's more of a symptom than a cause). June extent is what is critical for albedo reasons, and like I said before, I expect this to be somewhat stable for a while, and then decline rapidly once thickness (and thus total volume) declines significantly.

Should be interesting.

Consumer, it's time to start paying closer attention.

Both extent and volume are dropping like lead balloons.

And, as you point out, extent during this time of year DOES matter, since this is when the albedo feedback can really play a major roll.

Daily fluctuations are, of course, hard to predict or to base any prediction on. But it sure looks as if we are at he beginning of a major albedo-feedback-driven meltdown.

Last time we were this warm was the Eemian interglacial caused by orbital shifts.

The warmest peak of the Eemian was around 125,000 years ago, when forests reached as far north as North Cape (which is now tundra) in northern Norway well above the Arctic Circle at 71°10′21″N 25°47′40″E / 71.1725°N 25.79444°E / 71.1725; 25.79444. Hardwood trees like hazel and oak grew as far north as Oulu, Finland. Sea levels at that time were 4-6 meters (13 to 20 feet) higher than they are now, indicating greater deglaciation than today (mostly from partial melting of the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica). One study published in July 2007 found evidence that Dye 3 was glaciated during the Eemian,[1] which implies that Greenland could have contributed at most 2 m (6.6 ft) to sea level rise.[2][3] Scandinavia was an island due to the inundation of vast areas of northern Europe and the West Siberian Plain.

At the peak of the Eemian, the northern hemisphere winters were generally warmer and wetter than now, though some areas were actually slightly cooler than today. The Hippopotamus was distributed as far north as the rivers Rhine and Thames.[4] Trees grew as far north as southern Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago instead of only as far north as Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec, and the prairie-forest boundary in the Great Plains of the United States lay further west — near Lubbock, Texas, instead of near Dallas, Texas, where the boundary now exists. The era closed as temperatures steadily fell to conditions cooler and drier than the present, with 468-year long aridity pulse in central Europe,[5] and by 114,000 years ago, a glacial era had returned.


Thanks for the note, maj.

Part of what kept it warm enough year round to sustain those species so far north was the water vapor feedback that held in more warmth not only through the night hours, but also through the winter.

A climate change denier to the end, dohboi?

The cause of the Eemian was orbital, not 'water vapor

If you were properly schooled you'd know that water vapor is an almost negligible positive feedback, though clouds are a stronger negative feedback, so on balance water vapor and clouds has tends to reduce global warming.

Great chart. However it doesn't cover changes in tropospheric water vapor that result from warmer temeperatures. Water vapor is an important greehouse gas. It the form of clouds it is even more effective at trapping infrared energy then in the vapor form. Generally low clouds cool, and high clouds warm (i.e. trap more outgoing IR than solar reflected). So on balance clouds are close to breakeven. It is thought that water vapor is an important short term positive feedback, roughly doubling the effect of the other forcings.

Now, that doesn't imply water vapor feedback caused the Eemian warmth. It did hoever amplify the other forcings that were in effect at the time. Denialist like to claim that since water vapor is the most important greenhouse gas, the others don't matter. But the effect of water vapor is to amplify the other forcings, so it makes them more, not less important.

Yes, water vapor is a greenhouse gas. The reason it's not included in the graphic is that it is not a forcing, which is to say, the amount in the air is a function of temperature and thus an internal variable within the climate system.

Of course, the denialist dance around this distinction, giving the impression that water vapor is ignored by the scientists. It doesn't do any good to tell them that water vapor is also included in the atmospheric models and it's warming effects are thus included as well. The denialist aren't interested in the findings of science, only in spreading disinformation and propaganda and their efforts to feed FUD to the general public border on criminal negligence, IMHO.

E. Swanson

Thanks for this "schooling," enemy, ccpo and black.

It is one more indication of the damage denialists have done to scientific conversation--they DO often jump up and down about the roll of water vapor, and that can lead some to conclude that anyone who brings it up must be a denialist.

(For the record, I am far from being a denialist.)

With three quarters of the earth covered with water, and water coming out of every plant and animal and most soils, the atmosphere always has enough water available to turn as much into water vapor as conditions allow. So, as black said, it is not a forcing.

Carbon dioxide, methane and other GHGs are not as readily available to the atmosphere, so they play an outsize roll in forcing. It is kind of like a chemical version of Liebig's law of minimum.

Water vapor is not negligible. It rises linearly with temps.

Gee dohboi thanks for the newsflash! Have you formulated an action plan? I suspect not.

I have no disagreement with what Ralph posted. My point is this is a spectator sport. All you can do is watch.

Time to start powering down. Who will lead ??


A group of citizens in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee has organized an event called Power Down Week, which begins today (errr already ended). The idea is to support and encourage people who are interested in reducing the amount of energy they use. People are participating in a variety of ways, from simply watching less TV to completely ditching the car, electricity, and hot water.

And under 'tales told is not data' but the comment may lead your down a rabbithole.


The hulls of their boats, whether its from the oil or from the Corexit, are being eaten through. And they are saying that ‘I volunteered this ship to help with this effort, there is no way BP is gonna pay me back for that.’

(I'm wondering what the hulls are made of)


Around 14000" a dark hazy level across the state (Florida) as far as I could see. Have never seen this before. There were T-storms north of Orlando that didn't seem to make any difference. Also, just north of Atlanta, for a short time at 33000' I smelt oil in the air. I am an airline pilot and am always in the air.

Also, just north of Atlanta, for a short time at 33000' I smelt oil in the air. I am an airline pilot and am always in the air.

I guess he rolled the window down and turn off the A/C.


A group of citizens in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee has organized an event called Power Down Week, which begins today (errr already ended). The idea is to support and encourage people who are interested in reducing the amount of energy they use. People are participating in a variety of ways, from simply watching less TV to completely ditching the car, electricity, and hot water.

And under 'tales told is not data' but the comment may lead your down a rabbithole.


The hulls of their boats, whether its from the oil or from the Corexit, are being eaten through. And they are saying that ‘I volunteered this ship to help with this effort, there is no way BP is gonna pay me back for that.’

(I'm wondering what the hulls are made of)


Around 14000" a dark hazy level across the state (Florida) as far as I could see. Have never seen this before. There were T-storms north of Orlando that didn't seem to make any difference. Also, just north of Atlanta, for a short time at 33000' I smelt oil in the air. I am an airline pilot and am always in the air.

I personally prefer to stop kicking grandma in the teeth, even though she is deep into her death rattle.

But that's just me, I guess.

Pointing out who is and who isn't eating granola bars is a totally off topic distraction.

Mocking the few people who actually have some inkling of what is afoot and who at least tried to do something to raise awareness about it is itself a travesty, mockery and sham.

Hi dohboi,

I agree with you TOTALLY in principle and am entirely sympathetic to your arguments today.

UNFORTUNATELY, I am as a practical matter entirely in agreement with Joemicheals today as to his estimate of the situation on the ground, politically.

The chance that the world will "get it", collectively, must be close to zero;even the most idealistic young folks I know are convinced that THEY will still live confortable lives while simply paying a little more of thier ample disposable future income for clean fuel, clean air, clean water,and a big house.

When they finally figure out that THEY will or might have to give up thier soft lives, they will turn into tea party types overnight.

An irrestible force is trying to occupy the space of an immovable object, and the result will be a tragic but spectacular collapse.

I have never had much confidence in climate models as being good for making definitive time time framed predictions , as I am cynical enough to believe that there is a self reinforcing "go along to get along, you will be closely and carefully vetted before you are allowed to join this priesthood" factor involved.

It's not as if the people running models have a whole bunch of real world accumulated data of past changes to use as a base for finetuning them for making short term predictions.

Broad outlines, yes;fine grained talk about next decade , next five decades, not so good.

But I am quite comfortable with the general idea, and more than willing to believe that the process of climate change is constant, and that the earth is incontrovertibly getting hotter.

The models might even be way the hell off in failing to predict LARGE, FAST ENOUGH increases in average temperatures and the associated changes that will come with them.

Recently I have begun to suffer from a gnawing leaden feeling that catastrophic change is not only baked in but that it is going to arrive even faster than any respectable scientist has been willing to predict-in public.

The irrestible force of change versus the immovable object of our collective stupidity;step right up and get your tickets, folks, this thing is going to make WWII look like a bar fight before it's over.

To lighten the mood, I've gotta share this old nugget your post couldn't help but remind me of:


Really, my main beef with jm was his sneering tone. Essentially no on is both as fully aware as they should be, as light in their foot print as they could be, or as engaged in fighting the destructive systems that have driven us and are still driving us to this calamity as they ought to be.

But the 350 folks are at least light year ahead of most of the politicians and corporations in understanding how radically we have to change--that there is not some limit we have to stay within, but that we have already blown through limits we should never have approached.

Why pick this particular group to ridicule.

Probably, though we are ultimately in agreement. There is no group organized or otherwise that can do much of anything effective to prevent very, very bad things from happening on a global scale.

Viewing the collapse of Arctic Sea ice going on as we speak, I share your "gnawing leaden feeling."

The 350 folks are at least light year ahead of most of the politicians and corporations in understanding how radically we have to change...

I was in San Francisco last year for the 350.org rally last November. I was with a film crew documenting it and for the most part the folks involved with it were as delusional and personally greedy as everyone else. The part that angers a lot of people is that "we know better", paternalistic, condescending attitude. The day I see these folks lining up to volunteer for sterilization I will assume they actually "get it".


The part that angers a lot of people is that "we know better", paternalistic, condescending attitude.

If you know that (and I think it's true), why are you intentionally displaying an attitude here that's guaranteed to anger people?

Well put. Joe, of course, has no earthly idea how many of these folks actually have been sterilized or have otherwise taken personal steps to limit their impact. This is, of course, the very nature of prejudice--you decide ahead of time what you think of a group, then everything you see (and even what you don't) serves to reinforce those prejudices--you see what you want to see.

Don't get me wrong--it's a huge movement, and it is a very rare American indeed who is living anywhere close to a minimal-impact lifestyle. But again, where else do you see any even marginally organized group expressing anything close to the direction we need to be going?

So, Joeyboy, you ready to judge others. What is YOUR impact? What activism do YOU engage in?

Are you anywhere close to one planet, for example, on www.myfootprint.org?

Are you throwing stones in a house of glass?

I am at 2.28 earths. It is hard in our culture to do some things - I live rurally so I don't have public transport until getting about 30 miles away for instance. There are no stores close enough to walk to - nearest is 15 miles prox. But still I readily admit to living higher than is possible if all the world were to live at the same level.

Once did a back of the envelope calculation - To even out the world's earnings in dollars would put us all at about 8 dollars a day. I live on about $20 a day so there still is a ways to go on the down side.

I regularly get under two. I have had to give up all air travel and most car travel to do it, not to mention meat and most dairy. I would like to think that having one child, having her late in life, and raising her vegetarian might help move me closer to one (they don't include how many children you have had or how late in life you had them in the calculator).

Some have pointed out that it is nearly impossible for Americans to get down to one earth using that calculator. I think that reflects that we have a vast amount of infrastructure that is already there that we have to count toward our foot print even if we try not to use it. In America, we are locked in a sort of moral hell when it comes to resource use and contributions to GW. We can crawl up to the upper circles with some effort, but decisions made long ago damn us all to participating in the destruction of the world to some considerable extent, no matter what we do.

I have never had much confidence in climate models as being good for making definitive time time framed predictions, as I am cynical enough to believe that there is a self reinforcing "go along to get along, you will be closely and carefully vetted before you are allowed to join this priesthood" factor involved.

Your problem here is you fail to understand the function of models. They are not predictive. They generate scenarios based on a wide range of possible initial inputs and on-going changes. In short, you are disparaging them for not doing something they... don't do. It has nothing to do with any priesthood bull shoot, either.

You say yourself, "The models might even be way the hell off in failing to predict LARGE, FAST ENOUGH increases in average temperatures and the associated changes that will come with them."

They already are well off on many things, but, as you note, by *under*estimating the changes. If it were a cult of climate change the opposite would be the case; we'd see lots of projections of massive changes in order to get the biggest headlines and be first to foresee the disaster. Instead, we see almost nobody getting it right on some things, particularly the ice.

Recently I have begun to suffer from a gnawing leaden feeling that catastrophic change is not only baked in but that it is going to arrive even faster than any respectable scientist has been willing to predict-in public.

Ah... you must have been listening these last few years as I repeated that ad nauseum.


But there are solutions. It's why I do what I do.


Incorrect. We can prevent the worst of the changes simply by creating forests and rebuilding soils... along with reduced usage, of course.


Copping out just makes you part of the problem.


Although the scientific consensus at present is that we are unlikely to see a new polar sea ice minimum this year, I cannot remember a year when the extent of the ice breakup was so extensive, so soon in the season, over most of the ocean region.

If you go to this website: http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

and scroll down, you'll see 2006 in magenta. I think their presumption is it will follow a similar line to 06 and end up with a higher minimum than 07. However, that seems premature. Afterall each year has its own anomolies. At 2010's current melt rate it could quite possibly exceed 07. Only time will tell, but it presents an interesting daily visit to that website to watch its progress.

Besides, look at how consistent 2010's melt rate is. Once it started its descent it started dropping like a stone! The denialists better hope that sucker turns upward, or they'll have a lot of explaining to do, or at least conjure up some really dazzling, illogical interpretations.

"Afterall each year has its own anomolies."

Yep, and if winds blow in just the right direction...the melt could suddenly slow this year.

But the difference between now and 06 is that then there was still a lot of multi-year ice, but now, almost none of the ice is older than a year or two--and even much of that is what researchers are calling "rotten ice."

My non-specialist guess would be that once the albedo feedback gets going, we will set a new record low by significant margins.

Yes, that's why many researchers are not predicting catastrophic melt this year. They think the wind patterns will protect the ice somewhat.

I hope they're right, but since they made the predictions the melt has been moving along pretty rapidly, both in terms of ice extent and in terms of total ice volume.

In reality, the ice has declined each of the last four, or more, years: mass has continued to fall due largely to bottom melt. Given we had bad news on ocean heat recently, you can bet your sweet patootie this year is a new minimum in volume. Guaranteed. Reinforcing that conviction are the following:

* Direct observations last spring and this spring of the ice being "rotten."

* The winter "recovery" came very late in the season, indicating the ice had far less time to thicken and happened almost all in the areas not much affecting overall ice melt, i.e., around Alaska/Russia.

* Methane seeps and rising atmospheric methane.

* La Nina: keeps the Arctic relatively cloud-free.

* Ocean heat content, accounting for 2/3 of melt, is rising.

* The methane/melt positive feedback is in full swing, and the effects of warming extend 1000 mi inland.

Hold on to your hats, cause the ride is just going to get wilder from here.


Chris Vernon has published two very interesting posts earlier on A New World Model Including Energy and Climate Change Data and New World Model – EROEI issues but comments can no longer be added to those stories.

The research paper World3 in Modelica: Creating System Dynamics Models in the Modelica Framework discusses another interesting possibility to include energy limits into the world model:

What future additions are in the works? In today’s world of dwindling fossil fuel reserves, it becomes important to track how much energy we are actually using. Whereas classical System Dynamics is designed to track material flows, it does not track energy flows. This is a major drawback of the methodology.

For this reason, a second version of the System Dynamics library has also been released as a sublibrary of BondLib, our bond graph library. In that version, all material flows are represented internally by bond graphs. A bond graph naturally tracks energy flows. Each energy flow, in that version of the library, is represented as the product of a specific enthalpy and a mass flow. Hence we can track material flows and energy flows simultaneously.

Has anyone done bond graph based world modeling on TOD?

Modelica is used to solve differential equations. I think they set these up as a set of deterministic equations and don't treat any of the randomness and disorder in the system. That missing piece essentially makes the model useless.

Oh, I don't know about that, Web. I thought LTG was a pretty good simulation?

Indeed LtG World3 model has proven to be very useful and quite accurate. The purpose of The Limits to Growth was not to make specific predictions, but to explore how exponential growth interacts with finite resources.

Different parts of the world grow at different rates and have different limits so the predictions are useless. You might as well punch in numbers by hand.

I have found an interesting paper: Reaction Graphs: Kinetic Cousins of Pseudo Bond Graphs with Applications in Ecology, Epidemiology and Socio-Economy by Jacques LeFévre.

Our hope is that reaction graphs will supersede FSD systems in many applications where pluri-molecular reaction-like mechanisms play an important role. They should therefore be well adapted for a new attack to global earth modeling starting from the old "Club de Rome" model, reviewing its assumptions in the light of new evidence and introducing reactions and catalysis where appropriate. However, to tackle such a large scale application, many more fundamental extensions are needed to our modeling methodology.

Indeed when the trivial criticisms are eliminated (piling up of dubious assumptions, too rigid structure), most of the real limitations of the Club de Rome earth model of Meadows and Forrester were due to the lack of self-organising, evolving and complexlfylng properties critical in a system like the whole earth. To even remotely introduce them, we would need to build a reaction graph with capability of creating new nodes,
selecting new assumptions and introducing new scenarios.

US Supreme Court extends gun rights


The US's highest court ruled by 5-4 that a ban on handgun ownership in Chicago was unconstitutional.

Justices said the US Constitution protected the right to keep and bear arms for the purpose of self-defence.

How nice... (And yes, that comment is a sarcastic one.)

People kill people. Handguns are the great equalizer: "God made man and woman; Samuel Colt made them equal." In the absence of guns and knives, bigger men kill smaller men with their bare hands, and women stay in line because most men can beat up most women. Guns raise casualty rates in the short run, but an armed society is a polite one. See BEYOND THIS HORIZON by Robert Heinlein.

Personally, I find Canada more polite....

What a totally idiotic post.

One question: How many people per capita are killed in the US versus just about any country that has stronger control of handguns?

My uncles, who have lived in Korea all their lives, and are, on other issues, some of the most conservative people I know, admit that the low homicide rate there compared to the US is mostly because everyone isn't walking around packing.

Within an hour of getting off of the plane there, I saw a fist fight break out in a park. These are not "peaceful little Asians." My uncles shudder to think what mayhem would ensue if most Koreans had guns.

Yes, indeed. I've noticed that Somalia and Iraq are among the most polite places on the planet. You should move there!

The Supreme Court on the Chicago handgun ban:


Chicago Police Department statistics, we are told, reveal that the City's handgun murder rate has actually increased since the ban was enacted and that Chicago residents now face one of the highest murder rates in the country and rates of other violent crimes that exceed the average in comparable cities.

One of the more interesting Texas gun stories I am aware of was an incident in Fort Worth 20 years ago. A man observed a murder take place in a mall parking lot, when a man shot a woman who was walking out of the mall. The shooter them proceeded to his car. The witness then went to his car, retrieved a 44 Magnum pistol and walked up behind the shooter, who was in his car, preparing to drive away, and the witness executed the shooter, with one shot to the head (from behind). This being Texas, the grand jury no-billed the witness. No charges were ever filed.

Of course a more recent incident was a year or so ago in Houston, where a man basically executed two burglars who were carting stuff away from his neighbor's house. The guy was on the phone telling the 911 operator that if the police didn't get there in time, he was going to shoot the burglars. The police didn't get there in time. Again the grand jury no-billed him.

But perhaps the most interesting story was years ago in North Texas. A father became enraged after his daughter's boyfriend beat her up. Father grabbed his handgun and went hunting for said boyfriend. Found him--shot and killed him. One problem; he shot the wrong guy. This one of course went to trial, but somewhat unbelievably--even for Texas-- the father was acquitted. The jury forman explained that "A father has a right to protect his daughter." This story was very useful to me when my daughter was in high school. A couple of boys came by to pick up my daughter and her friend, for the prom. While we were waiting for the girls, I told the boys the North Texas shooting story, while playing the excerpt from the movie "Clueless," where the father tells the young man about to take his daughter out that if anything happens to his daughter, "I have a 38 and a shovel; you will never be missed." Said boys were white as a sheet when they walked out the door.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.

Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

Ben franklin

Death at show fuels US gun debate


New questions have been raised about US gun laws after a boy aged eight shot himself in the head with a submachine gun at a Massachusetts weapons fair.

Christopher Bizilj died after losing control of a recoiling Uzi submachine gun as he fired it at a pumpkin.

Both the boy's father and an instructor were present when the accident happened on Sunday at the gun show in Westfield.

My next store neighbor's infant daughter fall into the pool 25 years ago and drowned. They should have drained all of the pools in the country right?

Most communities have laws mandating fences around pools.

So you don't have a problem with guns you just want them to be safer, right?

Strange comment.... quite a stretch! Don't imagine you can compare pools and guns!

Sorry, TheraP, but I have to agree with Joe on this one. A gun is a tool. The only crime should be the misuse of it.

I would be happy if anyone discharging a firearm inside the city limits be required to demonstrate publicly that they hadn't misused it. For example, have the same sort of hearing that most police departments hold when an officer fires their weapon. Was the use of deadly force appropriate? Were there any innocent bystanders in the line of fire? Rights come with responsibilities.

I agree.

I look on this like the laws we have about cars. Sure, it can be used as a deadly weapon, and there is a book two inches thick describing all the laws that you can break misusing a car. But everybody has one.

How 'bout a book two inches thick to regulate the misuse of firearms?

have the same sort of hearing that most police departments hold when an officer fires their weapon.

And yet - while I got to see the local 'protectors' take a 9 mil out and pump 4 rounds into a possum that was wandering an alleyway - I do not recall the hearing into that matter.

And yet, if I - not of the 'protect and serve' class - were to do the same within city limits for the same purpose .... I'd be locked up.

Which again shows that smart people will do smart things, and dumb people will do dumb things.

Guns are not pillows. People who have been around guns should know this, and know that there is a right way and a wrong way to use them. That "instructor" who let an eight year old fire a fully automatic 9mm weapon should face negligent homicide charges. My dad took me shooting at age eight. With a manual pump air rifle, not a f**king Uzi.

Just as you wouldn't let your eight year old drive your car down the highway, you shouldn't let him fire a fully automatic weapon. The 9mm may not feel like much to a fully grown man (actually I did think it kicked quite a bit when I tried it as a 200lb man) but to expect an eight year old to control it is crazy.

Eight year old with an Uzi.

Pretty much the picture of modern industrial civilization.

The argument I've always made against guns is if you trust people to have guns, then why not allow them to have grenades? They could be for sale at the check out stand. "Oh, why not. Put a couple of grenades on my tab?"

But that would cause materialistic damage, wouldn't it? Well, we don't want to damage our highly valued stuff, so let's just let people have guns instead. Sure, since most of them are so 'mature' and well balanced, that makes a lot of sense. Besides, we wouldn't want to damage anything other than soft tissue or hard bone with the twitch of a flinching finger. Therefore it would be wrong to pull a pin on a grenade - that requires two hands! God forbid such human exertion or waiting a few seconds when someone needs the most convenient and fastest manner possible to kill another person.

Sure, let's also make them readily available for the projects in Chicago. There, that's settled by the highest court.

Death at show fuels US gun debate

Old News, 28 October 2008, It was regarded as a fluke and forgotten.

Good catch. I nearly always check the date. It was an inadvertent oversight. But still ....

Thanks for correcting me.

But then instead of favoring physical strength, you have a system favoring the craziest people. Whoever is willing to get into a gunfight to get their way gets a wide berth ( and their way ).

The second amendment is so that armed citizens can deter would be invaders from trying it. It might also help deter almost unanimously unpopular military coups, sudden seizures of power etc.

People are polite because they have the option to retreat. Put people where they can't leave (school/prison), and they are forced to fight. They will be awful to each other. Give a prison full of inmates guns and you'll solve any inmate overpopulation problem - they won't suddenly be polite to each other.

It's the option to retreat that makes us polite, not fear of retribution. With vast opportunities, available people have so far treated each other politely enough to be entrusted with guns. The best revenge is living well, but when that's impossible, you're forced to take the competition down a peg.

But then instead of favoring physical strength, you have a system favoring the craziest people.

Reminds me of my favorite Far Side cartoon. Top panel shows a pufferfish, all puffed up with its' spines sticking out. Bottom panel shows a man in hunting clothes, standing on a street corner, holding a rifle, with a goofy looking children's inflatable floatie animal around his waist.

The caption reads: "Mother Nature's way of saying 'Do Not Disturb'"

Talk to police officers. I did. I found that those from rural areas are generally ambivalent about gun control. They recognize they can't respond quickly, and understand a need for self defense. Then talk to cops from a urban area - they will practically get down on their knees and beg you to do something about the sheer volume of guns.

There should be a limit to how many guns a person can buy - maybe one per month. After all, you only have two hands to shoot with, how many guns does it takes to fill those two hands? Anybody buying five guns at once is in a high probability of being up to no good.

After all, you only have two hands to shoot with, how many guns does it takes to fill those two hands? Anybody buying five guns at once is in a high probability of being up to no good.

Yea - all that no good Doctor Octopus is always up to.

ThereaP - Peal Oil is an existential threat; as that horizon comes into view why would being unarmed be a good thing? As things unwind you might reconsider your opposition to the 2nd amendment.


And I'm not the only one!

There are better ways to solve problems.

Life's a bit different when you can't dial 911. This ruling mainly applied to handguns, where we're going I would not be surprised to be walking around with a rifle strapped to my back a few decades from now.

Sometimes the problem is that either you will be killed or your attacker will be killed. I vote to kill the other guy rather than be a victim of murder.

Discussion is pointless when the other guy is firing a gun at you.

Guns really are a terrible, brutal invention. The are so terrible precisely because they equalize...for most of human evolution we had our wits, our hands, and a few stones or spears or knives or swords. So the strong, intelligent, and nimble survived. The weak perished.

Guns, particularly automatics, when applied in warfare scenarios divorced from codes of honor such as theoretically existed in the Old West, tend to be neutral or even dysgenic; the idiots pick them up and can mow down young soldiers or innocents with better genes arbitrarily. Think of the carnage of WWI and WWII in Europe and you can see just how problematic they are.

There of course has to be some selection for aim, fearlessness, ability to withstand pressure/noise, etc., but I wonder just how strong it is. And perhaps guns better eliminate foolhardiness, as those with that trait run into the line of fire.

Ultimately, arms control (like using fiat currency rather than gold) is always a sign of a corrupt, despotic government.

No easy answers here. I wonder if guns will be around 200 years from now in the new dark age.

No easy answers here. I wonder if guns will be around 200 years from now in the new dark age.

Unless urine + leaf piles + bacteria
----------------------------- = saltpeter

is revoked and iron is no longer able to be melted and machined - the gun is here to stay.

In the days before guns, the number of opponents that could be killed by any individual was strictly limited, as swinging a sword or firing arrows required a significant expenditure of energy. Mastery of a few opponents was a major task. Nowadays with automatic weapons it is possible for one person to kill dozens, hundreds or perhaps even thousands of enemies with little expenditure of effort.

In this transitional time where we have an overpopulated planet with lifestyle expectations that vastly exceed the possibilities for most inhabitants, we must anticipate a future when ordinarily mild, non-aggressive persons will suddenly become far more violent in protecting their lifestyle.

Guns will not go away, and even those countries with highly restrictive gun ownership laws will find that their prohibitions are largely meaningless as the inevitable breakdown of current society progresses. In nations such as USA where guns of all kind are readily available, death by gunfire will be common. In nations such as Britain where gun ownership is highly restricted, knives, clubs, rocks etc. will be used to achieve the same result. During the immanent long decline, most people will have only an occasional need to kill other people, and the presence or absence of guns will have little effect. Killing will occur when necessary, using whatever means are at hand at the time.

I live in New Zealand, a country with a population of about 4.2 Million people. We can easily support this population, but the UK with about the same land area (and a worse climate) has a totally unsustainable population of over 60 million. Whilst we in NZ should be able to weather the coming storm with a relatively modest level of suffering, the UK cannot possibly survive the coming collapse due to peak oil/climate chaos/ financial meltdown/racial violence without massive violence and slaughter. The UK gun laws will have little effect on the coming chaos.

The argument on gun ownership will never be resolved, because of entrenched attitudes on both sides, but I personally do not believe that it will make much difference in the oncoming problems. People with or without guns are going to have to fight for access to the remaining inadequate resources that are available to the grossly excess numbers of humans.

We have exceeded the global carrying capacity of homo sapiens , and must now face the consequences.

The problem with owning a gun for "self defense" is that you have to be willing to kill someone with it.

I used to "carry" in South Africa (ran a store at night). You have to be willing to make the split second decision necessary to kill. No such thing as firing warning shots, shooting in the leg, and all that. By the time the criminal is close enough to you to for you to know he's going after you, he's disarmed you, and ready to shoot you with your own weapon.

When I was taught to shoot (at a police school) they said you never draw a handgun unless you are prepared to kill. No ifs, ands or buts.

More people were killed with their own guns than ever shot an intruder. Plenty of people had guns stolen from their homes in robberies, which were later used to commit other crimes.

The whole thing is nuts.

{{{ Super comment! }}}

Book: On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society


Excellent book by a military psychologist. Explains how even in wars, till they found psychological ways to undo the taboo against killing, soldiers avoided actually pulling the trigger when faced with the enemy. Also explains how the most traumatic thing that soldiers deal with is having killed another person. Highly worth the read!

If it pertains even to soldiers, then certainly to civilians.

I remember living in Chicago and hearing the sound of guns being fired. Once I was in a park and someone started shooting nearby and I ran as fast as I could.
You couldn't go out at night because it was too dangerous so we needed a car to go anywhere if it was dark even though there was public transportation.
I hope the US gets gun control one day, maybe when a lot of things become scarce and expensive or hard to buy so will ammunition and weapons of all kinds. That will be better for everyone. I think guns and cars are very similar. You don't really want one but you're afraid the other guy has one and is getting an advantage. So you get one, then he gets a bigger one, and so on and so on. Fear and worry of being the underdog contribute to a competitive consumer spiral.

So as the economy gets worse probably this spiraling effect gets mitigated and people develop more trust because they have to....they can't afford to play one-up anymore.

I'm in Chicago - we have gang issues that seems to spike at certain times of the year (recruiting season). We had shots fired in the neighborhood the other night, around 3am.

One gets woken up with a start, heart pounding, hands shaking. I think about having a gun in the house. Reality is, by the time one gets to the safe, unlocks it, pulls out the gun, clicks off the safety, etc etc, the trouble is long past.

If there is an intruder in one's house at 3am, I can't imagine waking up, heart pounding, hands shaking, and having a clear enough state of mind to fetch the gun, creep slowly down a dark staircase, and shoot someone straight in the heart.

I listened to the NRA representative on one of the news channels last night pushing all the emotional buttons about how "the elderly women" need protection. I challenge him to explain how anyone would really handle an intruder in the night without the training of the military, and the nervelessness of the Terminator.

Oh fer cryin' out loud.
Now this is just getting too ridiculous.

First of all, all you have to do is read the accounts from all the regional newspapers that are published every day about citizens who successfully defend themselves with firearms. There is a compilation of these reports every month in the NRA's magazines in a dedicated article titled, "Armed Citizen". These reports are copied verbatim from the newspapers. There are many, many little old ladies and little old men (and many others) in these reports who have successfully not only stopped violent crimes from being perpetrated upon their persons but who also made police arrests possible by slowing down the bad guys (yes, with a BULLET) so the cops could catch up to them and arrest them.

Secondly, if one is going to keep a firearm ready for use "in the middle of the night" then it sure as Hell better not be locked up in a safe. Mine is within arm's reach in my bedroom dresser drawer.

"Mine is within arm's reach in my bedroom dresser drawer."

Right. Which is how small children end up shooting themselves.
Oh yeah - and easy pickings for a burglar, when you aren't at home.

The best plan is the one I follow: Keep a .45 Automatic Colt pistol empty in plain sight and easy reach. Then it is a matter of two seconds to reach into my pocked for a loaded magazine, slide it inside, and then rack the barrel back to chamber a round. The noise of doing this is sufficient to send most intruders running. I am lucky: I have never been the victim of a home invasion or a mugging.

"I have never been the victim of a home invasion or a mugging."

Well, then, how do you know how you'd react under such circumstances?

Obviously he would shoot like crazy at any spooky sound he heard in the middle of the night, which more than likely will be one of his kids, his wife, a friend or a neighbor needing help...

This happens constantly.

One question--do humans all way behave in a totally rational way? Are we always in complete control of our emotions?

What happens when we have moments when we lose rationality and momentary passions take over?

In those moments, is it a good idea to have a deadly weapon readily at hand?

Having a gun in your house increases significantly the likelihood that you will shoot a loved one in a moment of passion.

Or that they will shoot you.

How could it be otherwise?

I prefer to take precautions so that I never have to find out. With luck.

First of all, all you have to do is read the accounts from all the regional newspapers that are published every day about citizens who successfully defend themselves with firearms.

Really? So that's all we have to do... This is what those newspaper stories are not telling you.

But research has shown that a gun kept in the home is 43 times more likely to kill a member of the household, or friend, than an intruder.(Arthur Kellermann and Donald Reay. "Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm Related Deaths in the Home." The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 314, no. 24, June 1986, pp. 1557-60.) The use of a firearm to resist a violent assault actually increases the victim's risk of injury and death(FE Zimring, Firearms, violence, and public policy, Scientific American, vol. 265, 1991, p. 48).

Then we also have the issue of suicides...

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000.[4] The majority of gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides,[5] with firearms used in 16,907 suicides in the United States during 2004.[6]

But research has shown that a gun kept in the home is 43 times more likely to kill a member of the household, or friend, than an intruder.(Arthur Kellermann and Donald Reay. "Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm Related Deaths in the Home." The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 314, no. 24, June 1986, pp. 1557-60.) The use of a firearm to resist a violent assault actually increases the victim's risk of injury and death(FE Zimring, Firearms, violence, and public policy, Scientific American, vol. 265, 1991, p. 48).

This raises more questions: Were the household members trained in the use and safety of firearms? What effect would such training have on the accident rate? Were the firearms stored properly? Too many firearms are bought and then forgotten until something bad happens. Training should be a requirement of gun ownership. One cop friend of mine once joked that gang members should learn to use their guns so more innocent bystanders wouldn't get hit. Not even Doc Holiday would pull out a gun when the bad guy got the drop on you. Do what he says. Don’t be a hero. But universal gun ownership makes it much more risky for the criminal. Is my mark armed? What if someone walks by that is armed while I’m committing a crime? Is this home protected? If I do a drive by on this street will I make to the intersection without return fire? It really changes the equation. When Israeli citizens became armed terrorists had to change tactics ( I know, suicide bombing is much worse, but it is not an effective crime strategy). The likelihood of return fire makes a choice of targets more difficult. No one wants to get shot, even criminals. They go for the easy prey. Does a lion attack the strongest in the herd? Again, I hate the fact that someone has to be armed in today’s modern American society, but without complete confiscation of firearms combined very strict penalties for unlawful possession gun regulation is wishful thinking.

Suicide? It’s a personal choice.

The Kellerman study is thoroughly bogus and has been completely debunked.
It simply isn't true.
The study included firearms kept in the homes of repeat felons such as gang members and drug dealers.

Even common sense would have to lead any sensible person to realize that that study just isn't so.
Heck, between myself and my friends, we must own hundreds of firearms. To listen to the hysteria whipped up by the anti-RKBA crowd my friends and I should all be surrounded by thousands of maimed, injured and dead. Neither I nor anyone I know has ever had an injurious accident to ourselves nor anyone around us as the result of firearms handling. And this includes hundreds of hours on the firing line shooting thousands of rounds of ammunition from all kinds of weaponry.

The idea that firearms are somehow insidiously and unavoidably dangerous is just plain nonsense.

Firearms are dangerous in the hands of criminals. And that pretty much sums it up.

Cars kill and injure far more Americans than do firearms. We should ban cars--or at least cut the national speed limit back to the 35 m.p.h. it was during the Second World War.

I'm in Chicago - we have gang issues that seems to spike at certain times of the year (recruiting season). We had shots fired in the neighborhood the other night, around 3am.

One gets woken up with a start, heart pounding, hands shaking. I think about having a gun in the house. Reality is, by the time one gets to the safe, unlocks it, pulls out the gun, clicks off the safety, etc etc, the trouble is long past.

Yup, in my former south side neighborhood heard it all the time. I didn't bother me too much, but then I used to run around the wrong crowds when I was younger and I developed a thick hide to violence. Was shot at once way back then. Unbelievable fear I’ll tell you when you cannot shoot back. I keep my gun within reach, like a bedstand, and unloaded, with ammo in a separate hidden location and quickly accessible. Popping a clip in, or loading a cylinder with a speed loader is efficient with practice

If there is an intruder in one's house at 3am, I can't imagine waking up, heart pounding, hands shaking, and having a clear enough state of mind to fetch the gun, creep slowly down a dark staircase, and shoot someone straight in the heart.

The best home defense weapon is a shotgun. Point, shoot, hose down the mess. The sound of a pump shotgun cambering will send all but the most brave or stupid running. I remember years ago staying a friends house when we noticed the front doorknob moving as someone was apparently trying to get in. My buddy chambered a shell in his Winchester pump and the motion stopped. We opened the door later and no one was there, but a puddle of piss was. As someone who lives alone the choice is easier for me to make. Under any circumstance a person should be intimately familiar with her weapon. Shoot regularly, learn the safety rules, and learn to maintain your weapon. I wish weapons weren’t necessary, but that horse is out of the barn. My real worry is if this country, the USA, ever goes into a full fledged civil war with neighbor against neighbor. It will make all others look like a garden party.

I challenge him to explain how anyone would really handle an intruder in the night without the training of the military, and the nervelessness of the Terminator.

You answered your own question, training. As to fear, what is more fearful, sitting there like a sheep to slaughter, or having a means to hit back? Do you trust the men in blue to come in your timely aid? I wish it wasn't so but that is the reality. Where I now live, someone would have to be nuts to break into an occupied home. Everyone is armed. Hunting season down here sounds like a war near sunup and sundown.

"You answered your own question, training. As to fear, what is more fearful, sitting there like a sheep to slaughter, or having a means to hit back?"

Frankly, I rather think my time is better spent growing a food garden than training for a (real or imagined) occupation. Training is necessarily ongoing, otherwise the skills rapidly get lost.

What I am talking about is the rush of adrenaline that you get when woken suddenly. Hormones flood the body. The higher brain is disconnected. One may choose to flee or fight. Either way, nothing rational is taking place, just an automatic response. You have no idea how you will respond until you are (hopefully never) tested.

Me, I'd rather have my brain in charge.

I can't imagine why you'd want to live in a place where "Hunting season down here sounds like a war near sunup and sundown".

I can't imagine why you'd want to live in a place where "Hunting season down here sounds like a war near sunup and sundown".

An exaggeration and only a couple weeks out of the year. Better than the shooting gallery that is yearlong on the streets of Chicago. Of course if you live in condoland on the north side of Chicago or in the burbs you can pretend it doesn't exist. I agree that no one knows how they will react until the shit hits the fan, but chance favors those who prepare for the worst. How is your brain in charge by accepting the possibility of being a victim? By the way my garden resides on ten acres, with an orchard of fruit and nut trees, fruit bushes, a vineyard, a small woodlot, and some pasture for stock animals or hay. I’m dropping off some blackberries in a couple of weeks to the local IGA in a barter agreement for some groceries But I’m real nostalgic to losing the bulk of my vegetable crops to the rats and neighbors, or pulling bullets from my front porch, or finding the front fence in my yard knocked down by a car driven by someone celebrating “Cinca Del Drunko” when I lived in Chicago.

End of rant..

Did I mention shooting is fuuunnnn! I drill a can dead center at 150 yards off my back deck with my 22 magnum rifle.

Back when I was living at 5711 Kimbark Avenue on the South side of Chicago a big and tall man was knifed to death in broad daylight right in my front yard. I was not armed at the time; the assailant got away and was never caught; he lived to knife more people in large part because I didn't have the .45 cal. 1911 Colt handy.

A cartel of oil producing nations who's sole mission is to limit the amount of oil produced in order to keep prices propped up is telling us to DRILL, BABY, DRILL!

That should make people worry.

Why would they do that?

My theory: they really do not have any space capacity of significance. If Western offshore oil slows, then prices will rise sharply thus throwing the world economy back into a deep recession thus killing OPEC's market. Or high prices will force people to accelerate the move away from oil thus reducing their market.

OPEC telling others to drill, baby, drill. OPEC may end up going the way of the Texas Railroad commission.

or maybe they derive perverse pleasure from watching capitalists flog themselves.

Paris looks for power from turbines beneath the Seine


French energy company EDF has already declared the idea "interesting".

The companies interested in the project have until the autumn to submit proposals. The winner will be chosen next January and the first turbines or propellers installed by next spring.

They want to put turbines in the Mississippi River up here in Wisconsin. Somehow mount them to the bottom (which isn't very deep...the channel is only around 12ft or so). I would assume they'd have to put them off to the side because of barge traffic.

Our path towards eventual extinction is right on course:

The world's largest collection of fruits and berries may be bulldozed this year to make way for a Russian housing development, it emerged yesterday.

The Pavlovsk experimental station outside St Petersburg holds more than 4,000 varieties of fruits and berries, including more than 100 examples each of gooseberries, raspberries, and cherries, and almost 1,000 types of strawberries from 40 countries, from which most modern commercially-grown varieties are derived.


Are you kidding? Russia is 1/2 a century behind the west's wanton destruction of the primary economy (the living earth) for short term profit. They have a lot of catching up to do.


Well, except for Central Asia and the area around the Aral Sea. They've pretty much buggered that up in ways that we in the West haven't even thought of. And not for short-term profit, since the USSR wasn't a capitalist economy with profit and loss statements. No, any monetary gain went straight into the pockets of the fat cats who were in power.

Wait a minute ... why does that sound so familiar? :-)

Denninger has an interesting graph of debt vs. GDP. He notes that it was the '70s when suddenly, we started using credit for consumer goods rather than investment. As he put it, buying a hamburger today, instead of a grill to make hamburgers to sell.

I can't help noting that that change in the use of credit is roughly coincident with peak oil USA.

Denninger's rant would seem to make sense, at least, on the surface. However, for a guy that chooses to ignore basic problems like Peak Oil and Climate Change while speaking about thermodynamics seems to be missing some of the fundamentals of science. The most likely reason that all that debit will sink the US is that there aren't enough resources to power the economy long enough to pay it all back. Of course, lots of that debit is in real estate, which once built, will still be available for use. But the productive investments in plant and equipment has been moved to China or other low wage areas of the globe and it may turn out that the Chinese own the paper in the end. If the paper has no value, the Chinese might simply make a claim on the ownership of the real estate upon which the debit is based.

E. Swanson

Yes, he definitely has a huge blind spot. He seems to think Americans just suddenly forgot all they knew about money, and decided to rack up debt to buy "a hamburger today." He doesn't give any thought to what might have caused this shift.

Paul Krugman Throws In Towel, Says We're Headed For Another Depression


Hopefully Krugman throws in the towel competely and leaves the NYT. Thank god the Europeans would not go along with the US. There has to be some adults in the world.

Ah, another devotee of the "government is like a household" fallacy.

Or maybe you just enjoy the idea of 30 million people unnecessarily suffering the stress of unemployment?

What might have caused the shift?

How about the introduction of the consumer non-specific unsecured line of credit, a.k.a "credit card"?

Yes, Diner's Club and American Express were around before then, but they were "charge cards". You had to pay the balance off in full each month.

People didn't "suddenly forget" what they knew about money. People didn't know much about money in the early 70s, and they don't know much about money now. With the introduction of credit cards, people had the opportunity to demonstrate their ignorance, rather than letting it remain latent.

Not everything can be blamed on oil peaks.

The first credit cards were mailed out in the 1950s, and my parents, who were lower-income at the time, had them in the '60s.

Not everything can be blamed on oil peaks, but I think a lot of what we've seen in the economy since the '70s can be.

I applied for and got my first credit card (a BankAmericard, precursor of Visa) back in 1961, when I had my first job (other than teaching assistant).

Americans buy liabilities (doodads) with credit instead of buying assets (investments). Assets are income producing items. The home you live in is not an asset, and cars are not assets unless driven for business purposes. In the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", this fact is reviewed many times. Most Americans are "debt poor", and have no real assets. China owns the assets.

I suspect he's run across that bit by Elizabeth Warren that, if memory serves, you were the first to post here some time ago.



The site editors/webmaster might want to take a look at the link to Matthew Simmons (transcripts of his speeches on the Simmons & Co. website) on the left column.

The link is now dead, and from what I can tell, other than the "Simmons" part of the company name, and the press release announcing his "retirement," all references to Matt Simmons and his work have been purged from their website.

Lots of errors in that fear mongering piece. And, no source given for who is doing the interview and who is talking. Just for starters, if there really were pressures of 100,000 down there, what geological material would hold back that pressure? Rock isn't nearly as strong as steel. Why hasn't the casing blown out somewhere right below the BOP? Sounds like typical FauxNews crap to me.

E. Swanson

this is the creator I believe ...


From another YouTube version:

Lindsey Williams reports the latest developments concerning the situation in Gulf of Mexico. (on the Alex Jones show??)

and, here's more:

Lindsey Williams, who has been an ordained Baptist minister for 28 years, went to Alaska in 1971 as a missionary. The Transalaska oil pipeline began its construction phase in 1974, and because of Mr. Williams' love for his country and concern for the spiritual welfare of the "pipeliners," he volunteered to serve as Chaplain on the pipeline, with the subsequent full support of the Alyeska Pipeline Company. Because of the executive status accorded to him as Chaplain, he was given access to information documented in his eye opening book, The Energy Non-Crisis.

E. Swanson

As I remember bringing up the 100,000 number for the pressure back when this happened and the oil patch workers pointed out how that number was not possible. Did a fine job. Those who care can go a digging.

The casing may still go - if the variation on 'how bad is it - the abrasion of rock/dirt will destroy the hole' is true.

The people who could actually act to change this are not gonna be posting here. I'd hope they are too busy to spend time reading here.

(Hoagland claims the moon landings are bogus - his most credible thing for me was the claims about time/motion of the number of pictures but someone who was more knowledgable about the cameras of the day pointed out auto shutter+film advance VS spaceman + big bulky glove. Linsey claims 'insider knowledge' - but I've never bothered to check if his position he claimed to have was true.)

In the last six weeks, all-time records have been set in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Chad, Niger, Pakistan, and Myanmar, and in the Asian part of Russia. Yesterday, in Jordan, HRH Prince Hamzah (pictured above) released a new report outlining the trouble that lies ahead. As the Jordan Times put it, "the Fertile Crescent, lands stretching from Iraq and Syria to Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, will lose all traits of fertility by the end of the century due to deteriorating water supplies from major rivers and soil erosion."


Kunstlers comment today proves once again he is the one "not getting it".

President Obama made a very interesting remark when the financial regulation package passed in the senate the other day. He said the bill would make sure that "Main Street is never again held responsible for Wall Street's mistakes."
That was the sound of something going over America's head. Something about the size of Rodan the Flying Reptile. And frankly I don't think the president even meant to be coy or deceptive. It just means he doesn't get it either. Never again....

Why does he keep apologizing for this guy?
I won't take Kunstler seriously again until he apologizes for this fawning approbation he purports.
Who is being delusional now Jim?

Why does he keep apologizing for this guy?

Because saying "hey he sucks too" would upset part of his book buying/lecture circuit payers?

After last winter's calamity (which, amazingly, got coverage on the BBC and various western newspapers), the weather in Mongolia is showing no signs of normalisation:

The intensity of ongoing heat over Mongolia may prevail over the course of next week with small chance of rain, Hydrology Institute said, but no colored-alert was issued.
According to meteorologists, the country is observing hottest ever summer this year as temperatures have soared above 38 degrees in Celsius in Ulaanbaatar that stands more than 1,300 meters above sea level.

Normally this time of year, highs are about 22°C to 23°C, weather experts said. It would be even hotter during Naadam festival days in mid-July.


Yesterday I chatted with a Mongolian friend, and when I asked her if she's been spending a lot of time in the countryside (which most Mongols do in the summer if they can afford it) she said it was actually too hot for that, so that people were choosing to stay in the city where A/C and running water are available.

I don't imagine being a nomad in Mongolia has ever been easy, but now it seems that, slowly but surely, it is becoming well nigh impossible.

"China is very worrying. Investors are wondering why the economy has been so strong but the stock market is so weak," said Jackson Wong, an investment manager at Tanrich Securities. He said investors are worried the weakness in China's equity market could foreshadow problems in the economy and that one of investors' biggest fears is the possible emergence of massive bad loans over the next few months.


How their economy can be so strong, yet their stock market so weak, is because of false numbers being reported by the government regarding economic activity, or all the loans for over-priced property are what is skewing the numbers for the economy, but like it says above, there is a fear of bad loans over the next few months.

Could this be a sign that China's real estate bubble is about to burst with a mortgage meltdown? Sounds like it could be imminent.

UPDATE: Gold On Brink of Parabolic Move?


parabolic incline.

I was discussing the oil shale in Colo., Utah, etc. and it was suggested that laser drilling would make it more economically viable. Any insights into whether or not this technology can be used here? what problems might this type of drilling have? What problems won't it solve? Thanks for any help.

TO: Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Companies

For Immediate Release:

Buffco Production, Inc. of Kilgore/Longview TX, is pleased to announce that it has acquired 43,000 acres of leases in the liquids-rich, oil-bearing area of the Eagle Ford shale in South Texas. These leases are concentrated in La Salle and McMullen counties. Buffco is currently seeking a partner to assist in the monetization of this asset. Interested parties should contact Mr. Frank Bufkin at (903) 988-8199, xt 213. Our contact email address is: EagleFord@buffcoproduction.com