Drumbeat: July 16, 2010

Oilmen dig deep in Iceberg Alley

To fix most of the problems with the earliest offshore wells, you would probably have needed nothing more sophisticated than a snorkel – even the first platform to be established out of sight of land, off the coast of Louisiana in 1847, stood in just 16ft of water.

But the easy stuff has now been found, and the industry is being forced to explore ever-further frontiers. In 2002, less than one barrel of oil in 30 came from more than 1,000ft down; by 2012, it will be one in 10. Already, such deep-sea sources account for nearly three quarters of the Gulf of Mexico's oil.

BP's ill-fated well was far from the deepest in the Gulf: others reach down twice as far, to more than 10,000ft. Giant oil reservoirs have been found off Brazil under two and a half miles of shifting salt and sand and one and a half miles of water; more lie in deep water off west Africa. And a fifth of the remaining oil in British waters is as far down as in the Gulf, but under more treacherous seas.

U.S. natgas rig count hits 17-mth high-Baker Hughes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States jumped 15 this week to a 17-month high of 979, according to a report on Friday by oil services firm Baker Hughes in Houston.

The gas-directed rig count is at its highest level since Feb. 20, 2009, when there were 1,018 gas rigs operating.

Cold wave in Argentina forces shutdowns in gas powered industries

The cold wave in Argentina has killed at least five people, forced the closure of highways and left most of industry short of gas given the soaring residential consumption.

Climate Bill Would Reduce U.S. GDP by $452 Billion, Energy Department Says

Proposed Senate legislation to limit greenhouse gases from power plants, refineries and factories would cut U.S. gross domestic product by $452 billion, or 0.2 percent, between 2013 and 2035, the Energy Information Administration said today.

Russian players eye Bosnian fields

Russian state-run Zarubezhneft and Serbian oil monopoly NIS, majority owned by Russia's Gazprom Neft, agreed today to jointly explore oilfields in northern Bosnia.

BP Gulf oil leak puts pressure on UK to ban North Sea drilling

The government was tonight trying to fight off pressure from the European commission to ban drilling in the North Sea in the aftermath of BP's disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

ANALYSIS - BP investors face tough road in court fights

Del. (Reuters) - Shareholders angry about BP Plc's battered stock price are heading to the courthouse in hopes of reclaiming some of their losses, but they face an uphill battle.

Since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April, several BP shareholders have filed lawsuits accusing the company of breaking securities laws and hiding the risks of its drilling operations. The stakes are potentially huge, with the BP's market value down as much as $100 billion since the disaster.

BP cautious as markets weather uncertainties

The markets have come to that conclusion, but of course there are still uncertainties about the cost of all of this. One thing seems certain, though: if BP does survive, its corporate culture will never be the same again. Before the disaster, analysts say BP rewarded and promoted aggressive go-getters within the company -- risk-takers. Chris Skrbowski of Peak Oil Consulting says that will have to change.

Florida: BP's next big mess

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Oil just stopped gushing out of the leak on the ocean floor Thursday, but its impact in Florida has only just begun to surface.

Widespread oyster deaths found on La. reefs

NEW ORLEANS — Surveys of coastal oyster grounds have discovered extensive deaths of the shellfish, further threatening an industry already in free-fall because of BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deaths are blamed on the opening of release valves on the Mississippi River in an attempt to use fresh water to flush oil out to sea. Giant diversion structures at Caernarvon and Davis Pond have been running full-tilt since May 8 on the orders of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Alaska town slowly heals after 1989 Exxon Valdez spill

Before the BP accident in the Gulf of Mexico, America's worst offshore oil leak was the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. Twenty-one years later, the BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani went to a nearby fishing village to see how its people had recovered - and found not all of them had.

Iran Guard firm pulls out of gas development deals

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran's Oil Ministry says the powerful Revolutionary Guard's engineering arm, recently hit by U.N. sanctions, has partially withdrawn from developing the giant South Pars natural gas field.

The report on the ministry website Friday says Khatam al-Anbia and another Guard-linked firm, Sepanir, pulled out of implementing two phases of the South Pars project, which has 30 phases.

Tesla to build electric Toyota Rav4

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Tesla Motors will produce electric Rav4 crossover SUVs for Toyota Motor Co. beginning in 2012, the two companies announced Friday.

Is the U.S. battery business for real?

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- President Obama is once again stumping for stimulus at one of his favorite spots: a plant that makes batteries for electric cars.

Uranium revival sparks New Mexico land battle

The mining industry and those residents of the area who are eager for an influx of jobs see the plateau around Mount Taylor near the town of Grants in the northwest corner of New Mexico as an irresistible opportunity for economic gain.

"It's what we need, it's what's going to fuel the future," said Star Gonzales, director of the Grants chamber of commerce. "They will be good paying jobs."

But to local Native Americans whose ancestors lived in the area centuries before European settlement, Mount Taylor is a central part of their culture and religion.

Changing old habits again

Back in 2005, as a series of hurricanes had roared through the Gulf of Mexico, gasoline prices started to spike. The reason, at least in popular rumor, was damage to deepwater oil drilling rigs.

At one point that summer, as rumors flew, there was even a short period when the story was that there would be an actual fuel shortage, something we haven't seen in the United States since the 1970's.

Population explosion scrutinised as scientists urge politicians to act

Britain's premier scientific organisation has launched a two-year study into global population levels. A growing body of scientists believe the time has come for politicians to confront the problems posed by the future increase in human numbers.

The Royal Society has established a working group of leading experts to draw up a comprehensive set of recommendations on human population that could set the agenda for tackling the environmental stress caused by billions of extra people on the planet.

Should “End Times” Belief Disqualify You With Voters?

When a belief in the soon coming end of the world is one that drives your thinking on foreign policy and large scale ecological issues, then you have to step aside. It is not that your belief is wrong (though I certainly think it is) but rather that the nation as a whole does not hold your view points. The casual recklessness of someone who believes the world will end in the our lifetimes is too dangerous. To entrust such a person with the decision making power for a nation is to magnify this danger exponentially.

Does Peak Phosphorus Loom?

Today it seems too easy to name environmental hazards with potentially global implications. Climate change, finite fossil-fuel reserves and the risk of water scarcity quickly come to mind.

Now some scientists want concern for the world’s dwindling phosphorus (P) supply tacked onto that short list.

Through 2007 Energy Spending Rose 79%, but Use Increased Just 2.6%

Americans drove more and used more energy in 2007, and increased spending to pay for it.

Energy expenditures nearly doubled between 2000 and 2007 to $4,093 per capita, up from $2,449, the U.S. Census Bureau said last week. Total energy consumption increased 2.6% over the same period, while total energy expenditures jumped 79% to more than $1.2 trillion.

Average per-person energy expenditures in 2007 ranged from $3,179 in Arizona to $9,191 in Alaska. Overall energy consumption increased the most in Hawaii and Nevada — increasing 24.4% and 23%, respectively, between 2000 and 2007. Maine saw the greatest decrease — 12.3% — over the same period.

Clean Energy Builds Slowly, Despite Federal Cash

The Recovery Act has provided billions of dollars in matching grants for clean energy programs. Despite this massive infusion of federal money, it is unlikely that these technologies will make a dent in Americans' fossil fuel consumption anytime soon.

Winds of change

Wind energy has sparked debate in Indiana over who should pay for what when it comes to renewable energy infrastructure. Wind farmers say they cannot afford to pay even 20 percent of the multibillion-dollar bill for new transmission lines, but Indiana residents don't way to pay a disproportionate fee, especially since the energy generated could be going to consumers in other states.

Going Green at the White House: Where Have Jimmy Carter's Solar Panels Gone?

As part of his push for clean energy jobs, President Obama last week went solar, announcing almost $2 billion in funding for construction of some of the world's largest solar energy plants.

Book Review: John Hofmeister's Why We Hate the Oil Companies

Nearly three months after oil from BP's Macondo well began to spill into the Gulf of Mexico, Americans' chronic animosity toward the oil industry is back with a vengeance. Hofmeister -- the retired president of Shell Oil Company, Royal Dutch Shell's U.S. subsidiary -- couldn't have foreseen this particular environmental catastrophe, of course. But the reaction of American citizens and public officials to the spill, particularly their crucifixion of BP CEO Tony Hayward, illustrates his central message: Americans have a deep-seated hatred and mistrust of the oil industry, and the industry itself has done little to improve its image. Nevertheless, the long-term energy challenges facing the United States, as Hofmeister ably and cogently explains, will require bridging this trust gap and radically altering the way that long-term energy policy and strategies are pursued in Washington.

At the Asia Society, an apocalypse-themed debate 'between human beings and physics and chemistry'

Last night, the Asia Society celebrated the opening of a new photographic exhibition by David Breashears—“Rivers of Ice: Vanishing Glaciers in the Greater Himalaya”—by sticking five avuncular men on the middle of an oriental rug in the middle of a stage and having them amiably discuss the coming apocalypse.

“Most frozen things on earth are melting,” warned Bill McKibben, the environmental activist and writer. He may have been most optimistic of the panelists. Also the angriest, and the least resigned to the idea of our imminent demise.

When the rivers of ice run dry

WHATEVER one believes about global warming, there is no denying the fact that the earth's polar regions are undergoing dramatic change as a result of climate change. That has led some to suggest that the poles are the canary in the coal mine as far as climate is concerned.

Now, a breathtaking new exhibit at the Asia Society in New York suggests that the earth's Third Pole is sounding a similar alarm. David Breashears, a legendary mountaineer and cinematographer, and his team have travelled the high Himalayas on a peculiar quest the past few years. Armed with antique photographs of the world's highest peaks, shot by the first modern men to scale them—including such luminaries as Hillary himself—he has tried to duplicate those shots exactly.

Ocean Energy Institute Open for Business

The Ocean Energy Institute (OEI) is poised to launch into a corporate endeavor to replace oil and gas with renewable energy from the sea. OEI will host a public open house at its office in the Rockland Breakwater Marketplace building from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20.

OEI was founded in 2007 by Matt Simmons, the international oil and energy development expert who became convinced that we had already tapped the majority of the world oil supply by 2005.

Crude Oil Erases Losses in New York as European Equity Markets Open Higher

Crude oil is heading for a second weekly gain as advancing equity markets reinforced expectations that fuel demand will increase and the dollar weakened against the euro, making oil cheaper for European investors.

Reports from the International Energy Agency and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries forecast that this year’s demand recovery will continue into 2011. Crude fell earlier today as manufacturing in New York and Pennsylvania dropped, part of a nationwide decline in factory production of 0.4 percent in June.

Oil May Decline on Signs of Slowing Economic Growth in U.S., Survey Shows

Crude oil may fall next week after government reports signaled that the U.S. economic recovery will slow, reducing fuel demand, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Thirteen of 33 analysts, or 39 percent, forecast crude oil will decline through July 23. Twelve respondents, or 36 percent, predicted that futures will be little changed and eight saw an increase. Last week 53 percent of analysts forecast a rise.

ADNOC refinery costs behind diesel price rise

The price of diesel in Abu Dhabi will tomorrow increase for the second time in three months.

...ADNOC said prices were being increased to offset losses from the high cost of producing the fuel.

Prices Excluding Food, Energy in U.S. Rise More Than Forecast

The cost of living in the U.S., excluding food and energy prices, climbed in June more than forecast, easing concern that a slowdown in growth will spur deflation.

The so-called core rate of the consumer-price index increased 0.2 percent, the most since October and exceeding the 0.1 percent gain projected by the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, figures from the Labor Department showed today in Washington. Prices overall fell 0.1 percent, a third straight decrease and matching the median forecast.

Kazakhstan Plans to Start Taxing Crude Oil Exports at $20 a Ton in 30 Days

Kazakhstan will start taxing oil exports at $20 a metric ton ($2.73 a barrel) in 30 days as it seeks to boost its share of the country’s oil wealth.

The largest oil producer in Central Asia won’t tax companies that operate under production-sharing agreements and have an exemption clause, according to a resolution published in the government’s official Kazakhstanskaya Pravda today. Others that are exempt from custom duties and don’t pay royalties are also excluded.

Majority Leader Harry Reid offers a realistic energy bill

SENATE MAJORITY Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) intends to bring an energy bill to the Senate floor the week of July 26. It will feature four key elements -- a response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, promotion of energy efficiency, a boost for clean-energy production and a cap on carbon emissions from power plants. This is not ideal, but it would be a useful start.

Pickens Plan might be boon to US

The so-called Pickens Plan, a subsidy scheme that could cut total American oil imports by almost 10 per cent by targeting lorry fleets, will reach Congress for a vote this month, according to US Senate leaders.

Total Fined $5.5 Million Over 2005 Explosion at Buncefield U.K. Oil Depot

Total SA, Europe’s third-largest oil company, must pay 6.2 million pounds ($9.5 million) in fines and legal costs for its part in a 2005 explosion at an oil storage depot outside of London.

Five companies must pay a total of 9.43 million pounds in fines and costs, Judge David Calvert-Smith said in the criminal case at St. Albans Crown Court, near London, today.

BP halts Gulf oil flow for first time since April

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) – BP halted the Gulf of Mexico leak for the first time in three months, raising hopes in the White House and among devastated coastal communities Friday of an end to the worst oil disaster in US history.

While President Barack Obama and BP warned against celebrating before tests are completed, news that all three valves on a giant cap had been shut was a ray of light for residents of the seaboard whose livelihoods have been ravaged.

Some have trouble believing BP stopped oil leak

NEW ORLEANS – Many Gulf Coast residents don't believe it. Some accuse BP of making it up. And even those convinced that the oil leak has finally been stopped are tempered in their relief, aware that their environmental nightmare is far from over.

Gulf geyser stops gushing, but will it hold?

For now, engineers and scientists are monitoring the cap for pressure changes around the clock. High pressure is good because it shows there's only a single leak. Low pressure, below 6,000 pounds per square inch or so, could mean more leaks farther down in the well.

BP Says Gulf Well Pressure Is Still Rising With No Evidence of New Leaks

BP Plc said the pressure in its Gulf of Mexico well is at 6,700 pounds per square inch and rising, with no sign of an oil leak.

BP 'accelerating' asset sales after Gulf oil spill

LONDON (AFP) – BP is speeding up the sale of up to 20 billion dollars of assets in a bid to boost funds after the Gulf oil spill, the Financial Times reported Friday.

The company is finalising details of the sales, including the disposal of American assets to Apache Corporation worth up to 12 billion dollars, said the paper, citing people close to the situation.

BP May Saddle Asset Buyers With Suits as Claims Rise

BP Plc may saddle potential buyers of its assets with lawsuits as it tries to raise money to pay claims that could reach $100 billion from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, lawyers and analysts said.

From a Gulf Oyster, a Domino Effect

The disaster’s economic fallout has had a sneaky domino effect, touching the lives of everyone from the French Quarter shuckers who turn oyster-opening into theater to the Minnesota businessman who grinds the shells for chicken-feed supplement. Some victims were unaware that they were even tiles in the game, so removed were they from the damaged waters.

Senate panel sets hearing on BP-Lockerbie case

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a July 29 hearing into last year's release of a Libyan convicted for the 1988 bombing of an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, and related actions by BP.

The committee said on Thursday it will ask officials of BP Plc to testify after the UK-based oil giant acknowledged that it had lobbied the British government in 2007 to agree to transfer Libyan intelligence officer Abdel Basset al-Megrahi to Tripoli. The company said it was concerned that his continued imprisonment in Scotland could negatively affect an offshore oil drilling deal with Libya.

U.K. Denounces ‘Harmful Inaccuracies’ in U.S. Over BP, Libya

(Bloomberg) -- British Ambassador to the U.S. Nigel Sheinwald rejected suggestions that the release last year of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset Al-Megrahi and BP Plc’s commercial interests were linked.

Death toll for Iran mosque bombing rises to 27

TEHRAN, Iran – A Sunni insurgent group said it carried out a double suicide bombing against a Shiite mosque in southeast Iran to avenge the execution of its leader, as Iranian authorities Friday said the death toll rose to 27 people, including members of the elite Revolutionary Guard.

Porter Stansberry: "We Can't Live without Gulf Oil"

Porter sees no risk of bankruptcy or default with BP, the Macondo emerging as an enormously beneficial well, and more drilling there in the future because 1) there are no good replacements for oil and 2) "we can't live without oil from the Gulf."

Forecasts for the Economy and Financial Markets 2010-2012

One of my first essays with forecasts was in the Spring of 2004. In that piece, I had seven specific forecasts. What were they and how have those forecasts fared? Here they are along with my commentary (keep in mind that they were made March 2004).

Simmons' Take on the Oil Spill in the Gulf

BP intentionally misled the public and the U.S. government about the extent of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to save their company and avoid criminal liability, said Matthew Simmons, an oil industry insider who has analyzed the industry for the past 40 years. They continue to do so, he said, risking not just the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem and economy, but threatening the health of those who will be exposed to the highly toxic oil in the coming months.

BMW drives down new electric avenues

Let’s start at the beginning. About four years ago, BMW’s board of management sent some of the company’s leading pointy-heads off into a room with a clean sheet of paper. “Go and think about the future,” said the board and this rapidly assembled think tank called Project I went off and had profound thoughts every day.

They pondered population trends, global warming, peak oil – the works. Eventually they came back with the Megacity Vehicle, which is utterly and completely unlike anything BMW – or anyone else – is building today.

Firm Seeks ‘Blue Gold’ in Alaska

Freshwater supplies are strained in countries all over the world. But in a few places like Alaska, Greenland and Canada, there’s more than enough to go around. So why not ship water from where it’s plentiful to where it’s scarce?

Glacier National Park faces a massive meltdown

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. — Standing under a cloudless midsummer sky at the Many Glacier Hotel, ranger Bob Schuster gestures toward the saw-toothed southern horizon and holds up evidence of a changing climate in a place indigenous Blackfeet Indians dubbed the "backbone of the world." His repeat photographs show the rapid retreat of the 100-year-old park's iconic geological features, which have declined from about 150 at the end of the Little Ice Age in the mid-19th century to about two dozen today.

The Green Apple: How Can Cities Adapt to Climate Change?

NEW YORK CITY—Here is how climate change could shut down a city: On the morning of August 8, 2007, a thunderstorm paralyzed the largest rail transit system in the U.S.—New York City's subway—during morning rush hour. Flash floods deposited more than 7,000 kilograms of dirt and debris on tracks that stretch more than 1,350 kilometers and carry 1.5 billion passengers annually. A December 1992 storm had a similar impact, including flooding portions of Lower Manhattan and the East River Drive.

World sizzles to record for the year

The world is hotter than ever.

March, April, May and June set records, making 2010 the warmest year worldwide since record-keeping began in 1880, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says.

"It's part of an overall trend," says Jay Lawrimore, climate analysis chief at NOAA's National Climatic Data Center. "Global temperatures ... have been rising for the last 100-plus years. Much of the increase is due to increases in greenhouse gases."

See also: June 2010 Global State of the Climate – Supplemental Figures and Information

It's 7:30 mountain time and no comments. What's up?

Thread only went up 15 minutes ago. And it's a Friday in July. Fridays are always slow, especially in the summer.

I was busy digging out a new bed for J. artichokes so I couldn't post some technofix links.

But just for you:


And because its on the InterNet (and therefore has to be true) I give you this output graphic

Huh.  the graphic is at cryptogon.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/terawatt_graphs.gif and sometimes it displays - sometimes it does not.

From this link
(the link has what appears to be a picture of the device that made the graph BTW)

The drumbeats have generally been much lower volume during the period the GOM threads have been around for those with time for general discussion.

In the UK, the drumbeat generally appears about 2pm -- I'm always amazed, and very grateful, for Leanan manging to do so much work before breakfast in her time zone.

The tribe here on TOD will relate to this presentation...........especially the contributors.


His new book Drive is also a great read. I finished reading it recently. Pink's work along with Kahneman and Ariely really call into question why we need to pay our executives such high bonuses. In fact their work says that we should expect worse results because of the high bonuses. Basically the executives focus so much on the bonus that the don't think straight and their performance suffers.

Ok, here's one just for fun -

Gulf Disaster may be Doomsday

It won't satisfy from an academic / rational / scientific perspective. But, what they hey. It's Friday and a little light reading doesn't hurt.

I wonder if Matt Simmons has modified his view, now that BP has the cap on and it appears there are no other leaks.

Don't be daft Leanan!

He is too busy flogging his Wind-to-Electric-to-Ammonia-Oceans-R-Us! solution to peak oil


I'm very please the flow is contained. Let's hope the cap can handle the (building) pressure

Let's hope the cap can handle the (building) pressure

Isn't this test courting trouble? If I'd finally capped it, I wouldn't budge an inch for fear of causing another leak.

No he hasn't. He says there is still an open hole that is spewing 120,000 barrels a day miles away from the riser they have capped that has covered the bottom of the Gulf with an oil lake. Also says scientists are concerned that the buildup of methane is going to kill millions of humans.


Thus Simmons is either:

a) bonkers (then we have to figure out when it started).

b) being fed hogwash from a source he trusts knowing he'll blurt it far and wide and discredit himself. i.e. He's being assassinated as a pundit. It should be noted that Simmons is connected to the Republican elite who may tire of him.

c) correct. jesus have mercy upon our miserable souls.

Other options?

d) holding short positions on BP stock (as he has announced) and would rather not see upticks like the one that happened yesterday when the flow from the well was finally cut off.

seriously, either he's lost it, or he's protecting his own financial bets - notice what happened to BP stock during the weeks Simmons was appearing on all the news shows touting his theories of another giant leak, a "lake of oil on the bottom of the gulf", never containing or needing a nuke to stop it - BP stock was tanking - exactly what the owner of BP short positions would like to see

I've admired Simmons in the past, but I'm pretty fed up at this point - unless he hires his own independent ROV and gets some images of this 6 mile away "real" leak, I'm betting on a) or d)

The idea that a multi-millionaire like Simmons would deliberately spread disinformation of a serious nature just to feather his own nest is pretty far fetched don't you think?

I agree SolarDude. Also Simmons may have a point. The pressure in the drill pipe is not rising like it should be doing indicating there may be a leak deep in the hole. I hope not, God I hope not. I am holding my breath but there just may be a problem.

Ron P.


I am withholding judgement in respect to Simmons but my guess is that the most likely explaination is that he is losing it with advancing age;his behavior and statements are not inconsistent with the early stages of some forms of age related dementias.

I simply can't buy the explaination that he would demean himself to the extent that he would destroy his reputation for the sake of a relativerly small -to a wealthy man-sum of money.Of course there is a possibility he is broke, and therefore going for broke trying to get back into the black.

Nor is somebody who made it to the top in finance dumb enough to be had by a political handler intending to drop him off in a convenient trash dumpster when his usefulness is used up.

I have no expertise in the oil business of course, but that oil and gas mix was coming up the pipe at a rate of thousands of barrels per day and the cubic volume of the pipe in the well is not that large.

I have a very strong gut feeling that unless there is a breach in the pipe somewhere below the sea bed the pressure should have reached the expected equilibruim point in a matter of minutes or hours at the most.

I can visualize the oil and gas mixture having been partially depleted in the area of the bottom of the well, and some time being necessary for the pressure to build back up as the oil flows thru the reservoir;of course the flow would get slower as the pressure close to the bottom of the well approaches the reservoir pressure, but equalize it must, allowing of course for the differences existing vertically due to static head effect.

Maybe the flow characteristics of the reservoir are such that two or three days are actually needed for the pressures to stabilize,or maybe the reservoir has for some reason lost pressure much faster than expected-maybe the original readings were good but the nature and size of the reservoir were misunderstood.

I haven't had time to follow Heading Out's posts; what are the hands on pros saying about the pressure now?

If the pressure does not approach very close to the predicted values, and soon, I cannot escape concluding that there is a leak concealed somewhere , either at the well itself, or nearby, meaning somewhere within the boundaries of the field.

It does not seem possible that such a leak could go undetected into the water, and I can barely bring myself to consider the possibility that the Obama administration would be dumb enough to try to conceal it if such were the case;the truth would be sure to come out pretty soon, absolutely ruining his administration.

So the oil may be leaking -if there is a leak -into a geological formation capable of holding it-temporarily at least.Such a formation would probably at one time in the past have held a lot of oil in its own right-which would likely have leaked out slowly thru one of the natural seeps over a few thousand or may be even millions of years.

If this is the case, the oil leaking into such a formation can be expected to leak out of it sooner or later-perhaps rather quickly.

I join you in holding my own breath.

It's hard to make a man understand something if his livelihood depends on him not understanding it.

I agree that the statement above is pretty far fetched as written. But I'm also inclined to think that people grasp on to stories or facts that fit their pre-conceived notions, and that those notions can be influenced by their livelihood. I don't think being a multi-millionaire is an issue. For all of us, losing what we've gained is painful, from minimum wage on up. And most of us think we need about 10% more than we've got.

Grandstanding to get press coverage, lots of interviews, so his name is well known when he writes his next book. It's a pretty good way to selfpromote, lie through your teeth, invent all sorts of garbage, build a bit on the truth, and feed people what they want to hear. He's a pistol, LOL.

Thus Simmons is either:

b) ... or
c) correct. ===Jesus have mercy upon our miserable souls.

The latest news reports are indicating that the pressure under the capped casing is puzzlingly "low".

That may indicate that the casing is breached and that crazy old man Simmons was right all along.

God. Let's hope not.

I find that usually Simmons pronouncements are based on some kind of underlying reality once you track them down. It's just his conclusions about those bits of reality that are sometimes...shall we say speculative.

For example, I have heard a number of accounts of a large pool of oil on the floor of the Gulf. But my understanding was that it is unrelated to the current disaster, either left over from another disaster, or the result of a long term natural leak.

It is certainly far too early to know if this cap is going to work or to make things better.

My guess is that Simmons has noticed that if you predict that everything is just going to get worse and worse over time, you usually get it much closer to the truth than the usual talking heads who constantly chime that the sun will come out tomorrow...

I have heard a number of accounts of a large pool of oil on the floor of the Gulf. But my understanding was that it is unrelated to the current disaster, either left over from another disaster, or the result of a long term natural leak.

If you analyze the oil, which they have started to do, you will find a lot of it is unrelated to the BP well. There are at least 200 natural oil seeps in the GOM which have been identified. However, my understanding is that they are discovering that a lot of the tar balls they are finding on the beaches are actually composed of fuel oil that has leaked from ships in the GOM.

It's a busy, highly industrialized area. You have to expect to find a little pollution. At least it's not as bad as New York Harbor, although it could become that way.

There are at least 200 natural oil seeps in the GOM which have been identified

Point - remember that the Cantrell field was named by the fisherman who ID'ed a natural seep location.

Another point--all the natural seeps together are tiny compared to what has been gushing out of the BP geyser. And of course each one is much much smaller and they are dispersed. Let's not buy into the BP line that its all natural anyway.

D was covered so E)

To paraphrase oldfarmermac
In short he's been round long enough to have been lied to by people with agendas of thier own and they are used to being the intended victims of various schemes pushed by big business, big govt, big religion, and so forth,

Mr. Simmons knows of various bodies, the stories surrounding the burial of the bodies, where the shallow graves are, et la.

One can decide the original BP statements of 5000 barrels a day for the leak or there is just no way to know the volume is the truth as company knew and reflected via the spokesman or one can decide BP was lying. (aka is there a conspiracy to hide the reality or is BP just not a competent operation

The 'common wisdom' 'round these parts is "if the Saudi's lips move when discussing the reserves - they are lying". Same can be said for many "economic" arguments. So its not like "we" don't "know" there are plenty of lies surrounding energy issues.

While a bit of A and B may be mixed in - Mr. Simmons knowledge of past lies and what he feels may be the worst case situation has him going with worse case guesses knowing that none of us can check them.

(now all "we" need is magical capacitors combined with the claimed UL graph from the over-unity motor thinggy-ma-jiggy posted yesterday and "we" can get off of oil as an energy resource. "we" will still "need" oil for the happy meal toys however.)

"The Green Apple: How Can Cities Adapt to Climate Change?"

I'm always interested to see Chicago's Green Roof initiative as the headliner whenever adaptations to climate change are discussed. While it is a tremendous initiative, there are a lot of other things going on which get less press time :-

1. Continued planting of street trees adaptable to both urban and more stressful conditions
2. Plantings of indigenous flowers on street medians
3. "Green Alleys" which use permeable pavers to allow rain water to percolate into the ground instead of running off into the sewer system


4. Extensive rehabilitation of the sewer system to accommodate larger volumes of rainwater - there is a combined rain water and sewage system here - part of the problem with Asian Carp is that the sewer system vents rainwater into the canals, and closing off the canals to the lake would impact this system



5. Implementing a "bus only" lane on certain arterial roads
6. Bike lanes on major roads as well as new bike paths off-road, including adding bike-storage at train stations, and more bike racks outside stores
7. "Rain Garden" initiative for public parkways
8. "Rain Barrel" initiative for private gardens and rerouting of downspouts from the sewers


9. Compost bins
10. Blue recycle carts

To name just a few.

Postscript : I've probably posted this link before, but here is Chicago's Climate Action Plan :-


It covers 5 basic areas :-

•Energy Efficient Buildings
•Clean & Renewable Energy Sources
•Improved Transportation Options
•Reduced Waste & Industrial Pollution

Which, as I've probably also said before, is really not far away from a Peak Oil action plan.

Really cool initiatives, from my perspective as a stormwater planner. I find green roofs to be horrendously expensive retrofits compared to their benefits. I'm getting more and more interested in urban forests and street trees, though. They have the hydrologic benefits of interception and evapotranspiration, and added to that are aesthetics and moderating the temperature inside your house. Seems to me they're a pretty good sell.

Rain barrels are a bust hydrologically -- they don't store enough water. On a recent listserv, though, one commenter called them the "Gateway Treatment System". People who get one start to pay more attention to other things they're doing; change their lawn care, landscaping, etc., and really start to green up their property.

On rain barrels, I would agree they are a "Gateway" - edit - if capacity is the only consideration.

If one can get people to think about water usage differently, it's a huge benefit.

Essentially, Chicago has a single-source water supply - it all comes from the same treatment facility, and good-quality drinking-water is used for drinking as well as all other uses, like washing cars or clothing.

There is a benefit to having people use rain water, or untreated water, for garden watering, and other non-potable uses, so that treatment can be managed more effectively.

Rain barrels are a good way to have water on-hand for the garden during dry spells. I have several connected to drip hoses. They can also be connected in a chain, to capture more water.

We've also recently switched over to water metering, which makes my water/sewer bill a whole lot cheaper - as in going from $300 every 6 months, on a lot-width basis, to $7 every 2 months metered. I'm a pretty careful water user. - edit - must be my South African heritage.

Postscript : The most annoying thing I ever saw (well, one of the most annoying ;)) was a bunch of kids running around the restroom at the Shedd Aquarium setting off all the automatic faucets, so all the water was running at the same time. They got a piece of my mind !

Agree with all your comments. Clarification on "a bust - hydrologically": Rain barrels get proposed as a method of treating stormwater runoff for pollutants. There are a lot of design criteria, but treating the first 1/2 inch of runoff is typical. A single 55 gal rain barrel on a single downspout will catch about 1/10 inch, which means it's about 1/5 the size it needs to be. That's where the "bust" statement comes from.

I've got redneck rain barrels catching the runoff sheeting off my garage roof (no gutters and downspouts): four 5-gal spackle buckets in a row. All full at the moment, but going to get emptied on to the vegetable garden this weekend.

Rain barrels are banned here. They get neglected and breed mosquitoes.

Rain barrels are banned here. They get neglected and breed mosquitoes.

Sounds like lousy design to me!

I installed this rain barrel at my girlfriend's house. The downspout empties into a screened swimming pool skimmer bucket and there is also a mosquito screen in the overflow spout. This was originally a 50 gallon food grade pvc barrel used to transport orange juice to be repackaged and branded by my local supermarket chain. The barrel is otherwise completely sealed. There is no possibility for mosquitoes to get inside.

For Leanan, Photographed by Fred Magyar. Image cropped and saved as a 241 Kb PNG file and uploaded to my Photobucket account. It is intended to be bandwidth friendly.

Rain Barrel

Here, they city provides barrels for a subsidised cost, that are also former 55-gallon food-grade containers. One I have was formerly used to ship olives. Of course, we can't always guarantee what color we'll get - mine are royal blue. Some are black, grey or terracotta red.

Heavy-duty netting is used under the lid to prevent mosquitoes. It can be replaced if it deteriorates over time. Simple fix.

Yeah, the mosquito story always bugs me >;^)

For Leanan, Photographed by Fred Magyar. Image cropped and saved as a 241 Kb PNG file and uploaded to my Photobucket account. It is intended to be bandwidth friendly.

It is NOT bandwidth friendly. Fred, 241 kb is ten times as large as it should be. It's ridiculously huge, given the size of the image.

I replaced your image with a 21 kb JPG. Can you see the difference?

PNGs are meant for images that have large areas of flat color, such as a chart or graph. Do not use them for photos.

Question for Darwinian:

How did the oil get down to such depths below the ocean floor?
18,000 feet down? Did 18,000 feet of dirt get deposited on top of it?
Did it seep down that deep? Did heat and volcanic activity have any impact? Meteor strikes?

Cool one,

Oil is being continually made in the center of the Earth. It migrates upwards, not downwards.

It is called 'Abiotic Oil'.


I know your tongue is firmly in your cheek but there are new readers all the time here.

From an earlier comment of mine:

As for abiotic oil, it does exist. It can be created under laboratory conditions of intense heat and pressure (in a diamond anvil press) and very small amounts have been found in the earth's mantle. Trace amounts of abiotic natural gas exist in commercially available natural gas in amounts around 200 ppm.

However, no commercially interesting quantities of abiotic oil or natural gas have been discovered anywhere in the world. They should be found along major faults in continental shield areas where sedimentary rocks are not present but the list of empty boreholes is now getting long-ish.

The author's assertion that there could be large amounts of "young oil" is not born out by any published research. All commercial oil shows evidence of biological origin. At one point it was possible to say that the abiotic oil theory still needed to be tested but that point is now probably passed and the verdict is in: we are still having trouble finding a single barrel of abiotic oil never mind millions of barrels of the stuff. I'm afraid Mr. Landau's offer to check the age of the oil would be a waste of time and money.

I occasionally edit papers for the Uppsala Global Energy System Group. My information comes from a forthcoming survey paper to be published in Marine and Petroleum Geology that I edited called "Development of oil formation theories and their importance for peak oil." It traces the origins and development of both the biotic and abiotic oil formation theories and includes the very latest research.

The paper has been accepted and the link is below:

Plate tectonics.

One plate of the earth's crust is sliding and dipping under another. As it dips down it gets heated, slowly cooking organic remains into first oil, and later natural gas. Eventually the plate gets so deep that its leading edge melts into the magma. As a side effect, relatively light and volatile rocks melt and rise to the surface, where many emerge as volcanoes.

In the GOM - I think it is also due to the massive influx of sediment from the Miss. delta combined with subsidence of the sediments with time due to the tremendous weight of the overlying sediments.

I think that tectonic forces created the original structures that formed the trap rock - i.e. anticlines / domes etc. which were subsequently buried by the more recent unconsolidated sediments. Not sure at the drill site how much sediment was over rock to result in the full 18,000 ft section though.

Or something like that :)

I'm sort of guessing here, but I think that at the GOM the Pacific plate is plunging below the Atlantic plate. The leading edge of the Atlantic plate is forced up and crumpled, forming salt domes and anticlines in the GOM, and central America on land.

The volcanoes at the leading edge of the sinking plate form the West Indies.

Since the GOM has oil at depths that normally produce primarily produce NG, I'm guessing the process is relatively fast in geologic terms, and the deposits haven't been deep enough long enough to fully cook.

it is also due to the massive influx of sediment from the Miss. delta combined with subsidence of the sediments...

yeah, the ancient rocky mountains were burried in miocene aged sediments. the miocene was eroded and carried to the gom. the rocky mountains have also grown since the miocene. today there is little of the miocene sediments left. the ogallala aquifer on the eastern slope of the rockies is a miocene remnant.

Generally, most oil originated from tiny life forms, which sank to the bottom of shallow seas over long, long periods of time. After that indeed an incredible amount of accumulated dirt get deposited on top of it, yes.

We're talking time scales hardly imaginable to the human mind.

Like the length of time it would take your fingernails to grow from San Francisco to New York.

Question for Darwinian:

How did the oil get down to such depths below the ocean floor?

Why is this a question for me. You should have asked Rockman, or WT, they are both geologists and are better qualified to answer that question than I. Or if you just knew a little about the geology of the earth you would know and would not have to ask such a fundamental question.

But I can answer your question because I do know a little about geology, just a little, but a little knowledge of geology is all that is required.

First there was huge plankton blooms in what was then a shallow sea. The plankton died and sank to the bottom. Then during many millions of years the dead plankton was buried, along with other sediment that also sank into the sea. Then during the many millions of years since, the plankton and other sediment was buried deeper and deeper as more and more sediment was deposited on top of that plankton and sediment.

Eventually the plankton was cooked into oil and the other sediment became the source rock for the oil. Then the oil migrated upward until it hit rock that it could not penetrate, or cap rock.

18,000 feet down? Did 18,000 feet of dirt get deposited on top of it?


Did it seep down that deep? Did heat and volcanic activity have any impact? Meteor strikes?

No, yes heat but a volcano had absolutely nothing to do with it, and no. Kerogen, or dead plankton is cooked into oil at depths between 7,500 and 15,000 feet. But deep ocean deposits are often much deeper.

One more point. Plate tectonics had little to do with it. Plate tectonics is responsible for the rise and fall of of the continental shelf, or more accurately they are responsible for the dynamic activity of the continents. But oil deposits are found hundreds, even thousands of miles from tectonic activity.

Ron P.

I thought that plate tectonics had a lot to do with it. As South America and the small plate carrying the Yucatan moved away from the North American plate, the continental crust south of Texas and Louisiana became depressed and was a shallow inland sea. Later, after the biological deposits on the sea floor had been made, the further motions closed off the sea and it dried up, leaving a layer of salt. The salt is plastic and tends to flow, creating domes and other structures within later layers of rock that form traps for the oil deposits.

So although the plate boundaries in the region are quiet now (except in Haiti, Jamaica, etc.), the plate tectonics of 250 to 150 million years ago were essential to the formation of GOM oil.

Enough is understood about the sequence of events required, as well as the movement of plates over the last few hundred million years, that the areas holding large fields can be predicted well. The accessible ones are pretty much explored.

There are other mechanisms that produce and trap small amounts of oil, some of it of more recent origin in, for example, ancient river deltas.

General Facts about the Gulf of Mexico

Yes, of course plate tectonics, as I stated, are responsible for the rise and fall of the continental shelf and again, as I stated, the dynamics of the contents. But I felt the question was "does plate tectonics directly cause the oil to be buried and heated". Indirectly yes, directly no. That is plate tectonics does not cause the global warming, the plankton blooms or the burying of the source rock by sedimentary deposits.

Ron P.

Plate tectonics is incidental and not causal.

Oil formation is entirely an artifact of deposition. But deposition under very specific circumstances.
Firstly, there must be a depositional basin such as a shallow sea. The Gulf of Mexico is a good example of a modern depositional basin. Sediment runs off of the continental drainage down the Mississippi River and accumulates to great depths in the Gulf. As this sediment accumulates its enormous weight deforms the sea bottom and it sinks lower as it accumulates.
Secondly, life forms living in the sea go through their life cycles in the waters above the depositional basin. They die and sink to the bottom. Plankton and zooplankton may accumulate through die-off in enormous quantity. All this organic matter accumulates with the rest of the sediments.
Thirdly, the depositional basin must be anoxic. This means "oxygen starved". There cannot be high concentrations of oxygen or all of the organic matter will simply decay before it is buried. Low oxygen levels in the sea water can arise from a variety of causes and usually more than one factor contributes to this condition. High concentrations of green house gases in the atmosphere may result in oxygen starved seas. Also, there needs to be near stagnant conditions; that is low water circulation due to current patterns. Sometimes, sea bottoms are somewhat "isolated" relative to surface currents and water change-over is retarded.
At any rate, over millions of years, deposition of this organic and inorganic "goo" results in deep sedimentary beds which are gradually crushed under their own weight. As they are driven deeper they are heated (heat increases with depth, ask any deep shaft miner). The organic material is gradually "cooked" into petroleum, which being lighter than the surrounding sediments (now changed into sedimentary rock), begins to migrate up through this sub-strait of accumulated sedimentary rock. If there have been additional sediments deposited over the original "source rock", the petroleum becomes trapped. These "traps" are what oil geologists are looking for when they prospect for oil. If there are no trap rocks above the petroleum source rocks, then the petroleum will eventually migrate all the way to the surface a la the La Brea Tar Pits in LA.

But this is basic oil formation 101 in a nutshell. As you can see, the formation of petroleum is specific, even somewhat unique. This is why one doesn't find oil just by drilling wherever one pleases. And it's why we are not going to find oil everywhere we stick a pipe in the ground.

"This is why one doesn't find oil just by drilling wherever one pleases. And it's why we are not going to find oil everywhere we stick a pipe in the ground."

Try explaining that relatively simple concept to the drill baby drill crowd - it just opens the door to every conspiracy theory available. I'm a geologist that doesn't even work in petroleum but when I try to explain that we're not going to drill our way out of this problem by opening up every national, state, and municipal park to drilling - because oil isn't everywhere - well I pretty much immediately get lumped into being an apologist for oil companies that are purposely withholding oil from the market. Or I become informed of the fact that geologist are essentially communists because scientists are communists and liberal elite treehuggers -the last part of which I do confirm :)

So I no longer really talk to people about geology - they are going to get a crash course in geology soon enough (pun intended)...


another good one is the occasional tourist who reports they have driven through wyoming or texas or wherever and the oil companies must be witholding oil from the market because they see idle oil wells everywhere!

hadn't heard that one before - that's even more depressing...

I suppose that if you didn't know anything about how this stuff works (which I do courtesy of TOD for the most part) then that's probably what you would assume.

still depressing though...

I don't see why people object to drilling off the Atlantic Coast of the US. If they actually could find enough oil out there to cause a spill, it would be a good thing.

However, there are no commercially exploitable fields on-shore, so what makes anyone think that there is significant oil off the coast?

Try explaining that relatively simple concept to the drill baby drill crowd - it just opens the door to every conspiracy theory available.

It's amazing to me that Science seems so foreign to people with a low level of education, that they consider basic geologic information to enter into the realm of 'belief'. Same thing with their views of climatolgists in regards to global warming. They think this stuff is being made up based on belief rather than comparative data.

On the one hand they will take an electrician's word on what a circuit will handle, but not the word of Scientists regarding the limits of a finite resource (oil) or the limits of our weather system to handle CO2 before it permanently shifts into another mode. What they need to understand is Science is not rooted in belief, but rather a comprehensive set of knowledge applied to a collection of comparative data, painstakingly retrieved in the field.

It's like they need the President or someone they see as a leader come out and tell them, "Ok, you people lack an education and as such you are technically stupid. So, if a group of well educated scientists tell you something, shut up, listen and agree with everything they say. Or, get a degree and find your own data in the field, come back and make a graph and explain it to the other scientists. In any case, get out of the way you idiots!"

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Arthur C. Clarke

It's amazing to me that Science seems so foreign to people with a low level of education, that they consider basic geologic information to enter into the realm of 'belief'.

People with a low level of education I might be able to excuse. It's when I come across people who have had access to higher education, even post graduate degrees, yet they are completely unable to think critically and have somehow managed not to acquire even the most basic understanding of science and mathematics, that I really become quite despondent.

Dead on FMaygar !

People with no education are not stupid, and they are not failing to think;they simply base thier thinking on the information available to them.

Such people are used to hearing all sorts of bullshxt on a more or less continious basis, and they soon learn to ignore most of what they hear for the very good ( to them ) reasons that they (one) hear equally plausible( to them) contradictory claims and (two) nothing happens within the time spans nature geared our "little bands of apes" brains to operate on.

In short thery are used to being lied to by people with agendas of thier own and they are used to being the intended victims of various schemes pushed by big business, big govt, big religion, and so forth, and they develop a sort of immunity to the messages coming in.

So these people have been hearing about peak oil and the end of the world and environmental doom and gloom of every sort ever since they can remember.The world is still here and the ape brain's built in hueristics say that if you have been watching a clump of grass where a leopard may be hiding for an hour, and the leopard hasn't shown itself, it simply isn't there.

Of course the occasional very well educated -this is to say EXPERIENCED in the ape's case-might watch all day, and watch again tomorrow too.But he has his ape's life to get on with, and he can't spend it worrying about long shots because he has lots of immediate problems to deal with that are sure thing right this minute problems-such as an empty stomach perhaps.

You simply cannot convince a young scientifically ignorant man that drinking a lot of alcohol will put him in an early grave, because his EXPERIENCE tells him otherwise.He has seen lots of heavy drinking and has not seen anybody die from it, excluding an occasional accident victim.Maybe when he is fifty he will realize the truth because by then his experience will be telling him something different,as he will have watched older drunks die while still relatively young.

It is far more reasonable for such an uneducated person to conclude that pronouncements about peak oil, global warming, and so forth are bullshit than otherwise;he is operating on the basis of what to him is simple common sense and wariness in relation to being taken for a sucker.

His fall back position is that he watches what his social and intellectual superiors actually do, rather than listening to what they say;and needless to say, he notices that all the people preaching doom and gloom at him are living the bau lifestyle, in the event he is interested enough to check.

Al Gore with his hotel sized home will never have the slightest speck of moral authority or credibility with such a person;why should he? ESPECIALLY if the man making the judgement has also heard about Gore's supposed fortune already in the bank as a result of pushing various climate oriented business schemes?

He notices that his lawyer is not putting up solar panels and his doctor is not putting in a survival garden and that niether is driving a subcompact car, or riding a bicycle.He notices that the principal of the local high school drives a nice car , vacations a long way from home, and doesn't seem to be alarmed about running out of gasoline, food, or electricity, or not finding any snow in the Rockies on his next ski trip, or finding his beach rental under water when he arrives.

His peers would rationally assume that he is off his rocker if he started taking such things seriously.

There are days when I am utterly convinced that the educated elite knows about about human nature could be written on a postage stamp with a paint brush-in other words, nothing at all.

In short "they" [the average people] are used to being lied to by people with agendas of their own and
they are used to being the intended victims of various schemes
pushed by big business,
big govt,
big religion, and so forth,
and they develop a sort of immunity to the messages coming in.


Most people don't roll out of bed every morning and say to themselves:

"Today, I'm going to be a really bad person.

I'm going to LIE to sweet grandmothers and to kids with lollipops stuck between their braces, all because I have an "agenda",

All because my loyalties are tied to:
BB= Big Business,
BP= Big Petroleum,
BS= Big Socialist government
BR= Big Religiousity,
or so forth."


Actually, many of them sincerely believe they are being good citizens and doing what they are told to do because somebody much smarter than them surely must be up there in higher management, running the show, and knowing what they are doing.

As for filtering out most of the messagings,
that is simply an outcome of evolution of our ape brains.
We never were very good at
at remembering all the info glut that comes streaming into our sensory systems every single day. We keep track of only the little we are told to keep our eyes on. (i.e., Watch the bouncing Dow Jones Industrial ball.)

Did I say "at at"? How weird.

Good points all.

My added cent or two is that we live in an age and a country of hucksterism.

Just about everything most people interact with in our culture is some kind of sales gimmick by somebody. Basically, nearly everything people experience outside of their own family and friends (and often within) is like "The Music Man"--someone pretending to be someone they are not, warning about a threat that isn't, to get you to buy something of little to no worth.

Most of us have consciously or unconsciously accepted that this is the nature of our culture.

We either allow ourselves to be taken in, or we are hyper-suspicious of all claims (mostly justifiably so).

So when someone comes along warning about PO or GW, many assume that this is just another of the umpteen-millionth scam they've seen in their lives, and assume that those accepting it are just dupes, even if well educated dupes.

On another front, I notice that many of the smartest people I know use that cleverness to create more and more elaborate rationalizations for not seeing the reality that is staring them in the face. "Smartness" is no guarantee for seeing important truths.

And ofm is spot on about people looking to see if their socio-economic "betters" are doing anything significant to reduce their impact. Of course, many such things could be happening invisibly. But mostly, even almost all of the environmentally "enlightened" have not stopped or significantly scaled back their flying, for example.

And it is to bad that Gore's movie could double as an airlines commercial. But really, for most of the Gore bashers, whatever he did he would be savagely pilloried. If he really lived a very low impact lifestyle, they would dismiss him as a holier-than-though (this mostly from Fundamentalists, of course) eco-cuckoo hippie.

If he wasn't making gobs of money, they would call him a loser, ask why he wasn't investing in all these technologies he thought were so great, and drop the old "If you're so smart, why aren't you a millionaire" line.

Really, if there is one good reason left to fly on planes, it is to investigate the gravity of our situation and to go around telling people about it, which is what he's doing.

If you have any insight into the real situation, have any scruples about it, and if you ever are so foolish as to share any of those insights or scruples with anyone (however reluctantly), you are either going to be accused of being a hypocrite if you have not changed your life in some way that someone thinks you should, or you will be accused of being holier-than-thou (or worse, and again, usually by Christians who think you are going to hell for eternity and they are going to paradise because they pronounce the name of their deity in a particular way). And often both at the same time. I speak from experience, here.

If you have any insight into the real situation [re PO, GW, etc.], ... and if you ever are so foolish as to share any of those insights with anyone (however reluctantly), you are going to be accused of being a hypocrite ... or you will be accused of being holier-than-thou ... [or of being a Doomer Gloomer kook] ... I speak from experience, here.

My search began with a simple question:

Why do their eyes glaze over (like D'oh nuts) when you tell them?

The answers I found along my journey of research were not what I had been hoping for.

We are not the rational, wise and clever animals we delude ourselves into thinking of when we look in the mirror.

The clock is ticking and

all that means to us is: Less time to keep munching down donuts.

So we go faster.

We go faster.

Time is running out.

But are we smart enough to figure it out?

Most people don't roll out of bed every morning and say to themselves:
"Today, I'm going to be a really bad person.
I'm going to LIE to sweet grandmothers and to kids with lollipops stuck between their braces, all because I have an "agenda",

1) Most people are not in the position to have their actions effect many others. And you "know" that - higher management, running the show
2) The "agenda" is getting a pile of money because money can get you many things.

Happy to provide clarity.

2) The "agenda" is getting a pile of money because money can get you [mo' money]


or should that be ...

+ $5,000,000,..... ?

I'll take the +$5,000,000,....

Another mo' money man

(can't blame ya :-)

Science seems so foreign to people with a low level of education

Actually, "Science" in its whole is foreign to 99.98% of all people irrespective of level of education.

As it happens, in my "real world" day job I get to travel back and forth between the separate worlds of people with very "high" levels of education: accountants, doctors, lawyers, chemists, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, computer software engineers, optics specialists, ...

All I can tell you is that 99.98% of them are barely competent in their own field of "expertise" and they are dumb as the dirt under a geologist's feet in areas outside their chosen niche of Peter Principle competency.

I shouldn't say "dumb" because most of them are incredibly smart. The correct phrase is "blatantly ignorant".

And it's not their fault.
It is an inherent outcome of the system we all live in.
I'm talking about the Adam Smith system of specialization.

On one hand, the Adam Smith system of specialization is a superbly masterful concept. (See "Why I Dig Adam Smith")

None of us can be an expert at everything: geology, chemistry, metallurgy, physics, electronics, HTML webpage guru, ... , tailor, shoe maker, candle stick molder, etc.

With the Adam Smith system of specialization we each become a self proclaimed "expert" in a tiny field of concentrated study.

One fellow becomes a super duper artisan in the use of C++ software.

Another gal learns how to sell high end real estate.

One brain boy goes to the Wharton School of Super Finance and becomes a Wall Street guru.

Another goes to the MIT institute of high end physics and learns how to build cyclotrons (whatever)

But almost none of them can snap together all the puzzle pieces, ranging from Anthromorphic Agnosia to Zebroid Zoology so as to see the bigger picture.

(BTW, I am NOT claiming with my moniker, Step Back, that I can somehow see the big picture any better than anybody else. Hell, I'm just another one of us sheep people. You Bah better Bah believe it. I do.)

It is a rare few even here on TOD who can comfortably walk through vastly disparate fields of study like Geophysics, Chemistry of Crude, Human Nature, Politics and start seeing how Peak Oil fits in along with everything else.

So knocking down some of our fellow human beings ("people with a low level of education") is wrong headed.

We are all ignorant when it comes to the vast reaches of modern science.

It is to all of us a foreign and undiscovered continent.

All I can tell you is that 99.98% of them are barely competent in their own field of "expertise" and they are dumb as the dirt under a geologist's feet in areas outside their chosen niche of Peter Principle competency.

I shouldn't say "dumb" because most of them are incredibly smart. The correct phrase is "blatantly ignorant".

Interesting point, I once had the immense privilege of working in a technical support position for a high end scientific graphics software application. The users were mostly scientists, engineers, architects, doctors etc... Many of these users had PhDs in their respective fields.

I'll just give one example here, you would expect most of these people to have a good understanding of the concept of scale. Let's just say that I spent an inordinate amount of time explaining how to set up scale based on a known real world size of an object and using that knowledge to set a specific scale in their graphic... I went through a very accelerated aging process in a very short time teaching all these brilliant people to do some seemingly very simple things.

My conclusion is that people often keep their knowledge highly compartmentalized and have a very difficult time applying it to new and unfamiliar circumstance, they have a hard time making the necessary mental leap.

I'd like to ask you to show some restraint when it comes to images. Some of the images you link to are huge. Using HTML to force them to display smaller does not decrease the file size, which is half a Gb in some cases. Some people are still on dial-up.

Hi Leanan, Let me first of all apologize because you have asked me that before. I try, but I'm a graphics junkie and I do fall off the wagon all the time. Maybe I need to go to Graphics Anonymous Meetings or something. I NEED HELP!!

In my own defense I'd like to say this. I'm a visual thinker and while one might certainly debate the merits of the points I try to get across, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

Most of the graphics I link to are my own and I upload them to Photobucket, since I create them myself I can assure you that they are PNG files in the 300 to 500 Kb range. I admit that occasionally I have linked to online files and some of these may indeed have been large files. Though I'm very skeptical about ever having linked to any half Gb file let alone on a regular basis.

Anyways I understand where you are coming from and I'm not deliberately trying to go against your wishes...

Do you know how you shut up an Italian? You tie his hands behind his back... because he can't talk if he can't wave them while he talks. Well if you don't let me occasionally slip in a little graphic now and then it's like tying an Italian's hand behind his back I can't express myself >;^)

Leanan: I'd like to ask you to show some restraint when it comes to images.

Some guidance would be helpful.

What size is OK and what is too much?

Like FM, I'm a visual thinker and my first reaction was:

Dude! Where are all my pictures?

Then it came back to me:

the editors took them away

Some guidance would be helpful.

What size is OK and what is too much?

I don't want to give hard limit for file size, because it depends. If it's a chart or graph that is really relevant, it's worth a lot of bandwidth.

I'd like to discourage the use of "illustrative" graphics altogether. The kind that just say "look at my post," and don't contain useful and relevant information. The problem being that if everyone does it, the thread slows to a crawl, even for those who have fast connections.

The more different servers are called by the page, the slower it loads. Even if it's a small file - a smiley, say - that slows the thread down if it's hosted on a different server from the other page content.


Thanks for the guidance !

I guess another option is post an "illustrated" version of our comment on our own blog

and to provide only a hyperlink to that off-TOD site in case some people want to see pictures as opposed to just words.

Yes, that's a possibility. A lot of blogs do not allow images in the comments at all, especially in open threads, because it causes a lot of problems, even beyond bandwidth. We do, at least so far, because we want people to be able to post charts and graphs.

Most of the graphics I link to are my own and I upload them to Photobucket, since I create them myself I can assure you that they are PNG files in the 300 to 500 Kb range.

Those are ten times the size they should be. As I said upthread, the PNG format is not really meant for photos. Use a compressed format like JPG instead, and your photos will be a tenth the file size, and most people won't be able to see the difference.

I figured a graphic that claimed it was from the UL labs and was showing more energy out than in was worth a graphic.

Thought I'd post this article regarding the global economy - mostly because I like the phrase the analyst uses: the world is at risk of "folding in on itself" - Oh boy that can't be good...

Of course CNBC has to set up an implicit judgement of the analyst for its readers by giving him a goofy name (Deputy Doom) which immediately attempts to cement the mindset that he is more "fringe" or "wacky" and less "serious" in his judgements than the rest of the esteemed panelist shills.


Here's my favorite, most recent read, Cat.


thanks - I think ;)

can't say I disagree with his view on things...

Third, the bolt load must resist any overturning moment.

Design of wellhead and Christmas tree equipment is covered under API 6A “Specification for Wellhead and Christmas Tree Equipment.”

A 21 ¼ inch nominal 5000 psi rated flange under this specification has 24-2 inch bolts. The recommended torque for these bolts is 3083 ft-lb.

Flange design is covered under ASME Section VIII mandatory appendix 2. A properly functioning pair of flanges must meet three design conditions. First, the bolt load-24 2 inch bolts-must be enough to seat the gasket. At first blush this would appear not to be very large. However, the force to seat a gasket-spiral wound or ring type-can be enormous. The oil field is accustomed to using RTJ flanges because of the high pressures. This means the flanges must seat a metallic ring. The ring is always softer than the flange seat so that galling does not occur.

Second, the seal must not leak under internal pressure. The internal pressure will try to part the flanges so the bolt load must be able to seat the gasket and resist the internal pressure.

Third, the bolt load must resist any overturning moment. This moment is almost always caused by external loads from the piping. For a 5000 foot riser the loads due to vortex shedding, weight, and the movement from the ships can be enormous.

Sometimes the bolts just can not develop enough total tension to resist all these loads and the flange will part causing leakage.

Dow is down over 200 points on bad corporate earnings and a consumer prices report that showed no inflation.

Low inflation is not prompting people to invest, or even to save their money, said Bob Tull, chief operating officer of Old Mutual Global Index Trackers. Instead, their money goes to paying off debt, he said, which does not drive the economy.

"It makes no sense really to save, because there's no yield," he said. "You see people paying off their debt, because at the end of the day, [paying off] their debt is the best yield they can get."

Oh, the horror. People paying off debt!

Well if total wages are not increasing then the only the economy can grow is that people go deeper in debt. So unless people are willing to go up to their eyeballs in debt then the recession will continue. But if they are then... uhhh... haven't figured that one out yet.

Ron P.

People paying off debt is a good thing--but of course it will lower near-term economic growth. Official forecasts are for growth in real U.S. GDP at about 3.5% for the rest of the year. I think that number is double the actual likely number, which I expect to come in around one to two percent for the second half of 2010. I'm also expecting the price of oil to decline to sixty dollars per barrel (and perhaps lower) during the second half of the year, because I think Chinese demand for oil imports is about to crash and may have crashed already during the past few weeks.

I still do not see a double dip recession in the cards and must continue to respectfully disagree with the folks at theautomaticearth.blogspot.com in this regard.

Really I was just being sarcastic about debt up to their eyeballs but that is the point. Growth comes from new spending on the economy, spending over and above the deep recession spending. And the amount of growth comes from the amount of spending.

If Chinese oil imports crash this means something inside China has also crashed. What was that?

As for a double dip recession I don't see that either because that implies that there has been a recovery. Sure the GDP is up slightly but people are not going back to work. Corporations are making more money but the people are not. In fact people are still losing their jobs.

So as far as Wall Street is concerned there is a recovery in progress. As far as the working people are concerned we are still in a deep recession. There can be no second dip without an upswing. There has not been one yet.


Ron P.

By "recovery" I mean positive growth in real GDP. We have had three consequitive quarters of growth in real GDP in the U.S.; this fact is beyond dispute. (Even Shadowstats has us in recovery mode; at least it did the last time I looked.) Of course this has been a jobless recovery, but it is typical for the first year of a recovery (typical of the last thirty years, anyway) for unemployment to persist at high levels. To get unemployment down we need sustained real growth in GDP of more than 3.5%. I don't think we are going to get up to that rate any time soon, and hence I expect unemployment rates and employment levels to persist about where they are now for at least another six months, and possibly longer.

For the next quarter, my guestimate for real GDP growth in the U.S. is 1% to 2%, and what happens after that will depend largely on the movement of oil prices. Because of China's real-estate collapse I expect that their imports of oil will drop (probably have dropped during the past month, but no way to know yet) substantially, and largely for this reason I think oil prices are going to go down to the $60/barrel level and perhaps lower over the next six months.

If oil prices do go down to or below $60 and stay there for at least six months, then this will cause a substantial stimulus to the U.S. economy--very much like a cut in income taxes would. Thus by the end of the year real GDP may be rising at a 2% level and may be touching 3% at years end--no way to know for sure.

If by chance oil prices rise much above $75, then it would be like increasing income taxes in the U.S., and such a rise will tend to choke off growth. So what is the economy going to do? DamnifIknow--but if I see oil prices go up my forecast of real economic growth goes down, and vice versa.

What you seem to mean is "real" GDP ............

Is the "real" GDP the honest figure you get after removing government expenditure to spend their way out of debt? Or is it after removing pulled forward expenditure like cash for clunkers or home buyer subsidies? Or maybe its after you remove the inbuilt growth factors like needing 1% growth just to stay still after allowing for population growth? Personally I don't think there has been "real" growth for years but I'm certain we are about to feel a real world of pain that statistics won't be able to hide.

If you do not like the official figures, go to shadowstats.com Turns out that for analysis of what is happening in regard to a recovery (or not) it does not matter much whether you use the official numbers or the shadowstats numbers. Both sets of numbers are robust.

Consumer Metrics Institute has a mechanism for forecasting GDP growth about 18 weeks ahead of time: http://www.consumerindexes.com/

Interestingly, they forecast 2nd quarter GDP (last quarter) to be slightly negative and third quarter a bit more so. We'll see how accurate they are in two weeks when the second quarter figures come out.

The figure that comes out in a couple of weeks for real GDP in the second quarter are merely preliminary estimates; GDP numbers are revised at least twice after that. These revisions are typically fairly large, say one percentage point, and sometimes more than that. If it turns out that real GDP actually fell in the second quarter, I will be surprised. For one thing, if you look at the raw data--how much diesel is being consumed, how many new cars are being sold, how much the government is spending, how much government transfer payments are increasing, freight car loadings, truck production, etc., I think you will find that the raw numbers suggest a slow positive rate of growth in the second quarter. But the big point is that we won't have any valid data on this issue until at least the first revision to the preliminary estimates comes out--not in a couple of weeks but in a couple of months.

Economists are keenly aware of the exasperating truth about economic data: By the time you get the number right the data are obsolete. Thus there is a tradeoff between time and reliability; usually the first revision to the preliminary estimate is pretty good; sometimes, however, it is still quite a ways off from what the second revision shows. Getting the GDP numbers right is frightfully hard to do, and the economists who do this task don't get much respect. Also, their ranks have been thinned by budget cutting; the numbers are not as reliable as they used to be.

"I still do not see a double dip recession..."

I agree 100%

Because ALL the fundamental measures of the economy never went up, therefore there can't be a 2nd down.

Don Sailorman = Clueless, by the book economist, which as we all know has failed the World on every point.

Do your self a favor Don... go off and write your memoirs. Stop leading people on.

Eeyores, that comment was uncalled for. It is okay to disagree with someone but there is absolutely no need to get personal. That is nothing but flaming and we do not need that kind of comment here.

Ron P.

I'm with Ron...can we please keep the conversation respectful?

I'm with Ron but also with eyeore. I mean really, isn't high time we did get a little ANGRY and aggressive with these pundits and economists who have been WRONG for so long now? And who continue to shovel BS? Mr. Don notwithstanding, I don't know enough about what he's been saying since 2004 or so, but plenty of other ones that CONTINUE to get air time really need to be working at McDonalds or something by now. They are complete failures in their field but they are still getting a paycheck. Maybe Kabul would even be a better place for them - that's the real world nowadays.

Well I am not with Eyeore nor with you Malcom. A lot of people have been wrong about a lot of things, that gives no one any right to get nasty and personal. That is just a way to say you disagree without even trying to make a rational argument.

If you cannot use reason and logic instead insults and personal attacks in your argument, then just keep quiet.

Ron P.

A few comments:

1. Look up the following indexs: ECRI, Baltic Dry Index, Consumer sentiment Index. All three are falling or plunging. the ECRI now at -9.8 has always proven a recession when it dips below -10. We'll be well below minus 10 by next friday.

2. The 2009 Recovery happened because the US and many industrialized countries poured trillions into stimulous programs. Now all those spending programs are coming to an end.

3. Europe is implementing Austery measures, which will cut back on gov't spending, further causing a decline in economic activity.

4. Many US states are cutting gov't spending and laying off gov't workers as they have large budget deficits. Most are also raising taxes, which isn't another kick in the teeth for consumers and businesses.

From my vantage point, the world is heading back to the 1930's with, souring unemployment, no credit for for consumers and businesses, Popped asset, Equity, and commodity bubbles. Next up on the agenda is protectionism (trade tariffs, import controls, etc) as gov't try to keep jobs at home, nationalism to rally the population in an economic depression era, revolution\civil war in China (workers in china are being to revolt in mass), return of fascism in Europe (too dependant on centralized gov't to avoid it). Break up the United states into the "Divided states of america", because of a failed centralized gov't.

The federal gov't is broke. It has $14+ Trillion in debt on the books, about $2 to $6 Trillion in bad debt owned by the GSE's (Freddie, Fannie, etc), FHA, and the Fed, and tens of trillions in unfunded liabilities. More than 50% of the Federal Budget services entitlements, which outlays are now soaring because of recent increased benefits (Bush's Prescription medicare program and "ObamaCare"), and retiring boomers (1 to 2 million americans retiring per year). US gov't will eventually be forced to print money (although technically, it already has started printing money). This will eventually lead to hyper-inflation causing the dollar to become worthless (perhaps it will take 8 to 10 years). When the Dollar becomes worthless States will begin issuing their own currency for trade, and the US will cease to be United. Since it the dollar that provides power to the federal gov't. Without the dollar, the federal gov't can't buy goods and services, and pay its employees.

Famous Tytler quote:
"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years."

Tyler stole that idea from Aristotle. Along with other ancient philosophers, Aristotle had observed that democracies, such as Athens, destroyed their own form of government as true (limited to male citizens) democracy inevitably lead to mob rule and then tyranny. Plato, who was of aristocratic heritage, thought democracy was the worst form of government--particularly after democratic Athens executed Socrates on the bogus charge of impiety and corrupting the youth.

The Roman Republic lasted a lot more than two hundred years, and Roman culture flourished for about seven or eight hundred years in the western half of the empire and much longer in the eastern half. The U.S. modeled its republican institutions on those of Rome and emphatically not on anything like Athenian democracy.

Only there were also strong influences on Jefferson and Franklin's designs by the Long House people, the Nations here in the US, who had a system that DID include women directly within its framework. One has to wonder if that little oversight of the Greeks and Romans might have had something to do with the 'inevitable' demise of their democracies?

We've only had women working their way up into our fairly conservative system for 90 years or so now.. I wonder if it makes a difference, and I wonder if we caught it in time?

Native American Ideas and the Origins of American Feminism

An aspect of Native American life that alternately intrigued, perplexed, and sometimes alarmed European and European-American observers, most of whom were male, during the 17th and 18th centuries, was the influential role of women. In many cases they hold pivotal positions in Native political systems. Iroquois women, for example, nominate men to positions of leadership and can “dehorn,” or impeach, them for misconduct. Women often have veto power over men’s plans for war. In a matrilineal society — and nearly all the confederacies that bordered the colonies were matrilineal — women owned all household goods except the men’s clothes, weapons, and hunting implements. They also were the primary conduits of culture from generation to generation.


We've only had women working their way up into our fairly conservative system for 90 years or so now.. I wonder if it makes a difference, and I wonder if we caught it in time?

I don't think it makes any difference at all because it is the system itself that is broken beyond all repair. As anecdotal evidence I hold up my experience with two successful highly intelligent 50 plus year old women who I happen to to love dearly and know intimately. They are my long term girlfriend and my sister.

My girlfriend is in management in corporate finance in one of the very few financially solvent hospital systems in the US and my sister is director of communications and right hand to the CEO of a major global software corporation in Europe. Both of these women are university educated have successfully raised two children each to adulthood and have worked their way up through multiple corporate ladders.

Both these women are probably more liberal than conservative, compassionate human beings who care deeply about issues such as the environment, poverty, social issues etc... But both are hardcore BAU and can't even begin to wrap their minds around concepts such as the implications of "Peak Oil.

Both have warned me that they do not want to deal with my negativity!

So I have very little hope that women, just because they are women, will make any substantial difference in our overall course through history and I don't see tham making much real difference for necessary change. I believe that women in power in our system are no different from men. The vast majority of them don't get it either and fall into all the same traps.

Granted two anecdotal data points are not very useful for making predictions about the influence of women on our system but I have a gut feeling that we will find out that they do not. Perhaps once the current system collapses and the women have a role in building a new one from scratch we will see a different story line evolve. However even then I have my doubts.

Good luck to all men and women folk, I think we won't get past being human...


Best wishes, Magyar.

I just had a "can't deal with that level of negativity" talk with my wife after showing her a video lecture on the latest very dire predictions on global warming.

And the same goes for nearly all the women I know well--caring, smart, competent...and not willing to look at the hard realities of our current predicaments. Of course this goes double for most of the men, too. I just had higher hopes that some females would be able to recognize reality and be emotionally mature enough to accept it when the saw it.

But both are hardcore BAU and can't even begin to wrap their minds around concepts such as the implications of "Peak Oil.


Now I know why you and I seem to often think alike.

Ditto here.

My wife is ... was ... an RN.

She thought the gravy train in "medicine" would never run out.

Now we're worrying about the near future when her unemployment checks run out.

So finally, she's starting to "step back" and reflect on the possibility that her fruit cake eating husband might have been onto something with all this negative talk about Peak Oil, etc.

But what good is it to say "I told you so"?

Women already control things now. Where I live(NSW Australia) we have a Monarch, Governor General, Prime Minister,Governor, Premier and Deputy Premier who are all of the fairer sex. Male or female in charge, we will still be F***ed when the recession really takes hold here (especially as we are now so dependent on the Chinese economy).

Gee Tech guy, Why sugar coat it ? Just bring it on. We can take it.

Thanks for making me smile the fist time today.

Dave in Phuket

Good post TechGuy, that summarizes present and most likely future events. Essentially it's the ravages of peak and post peak oil unfolding. There's no coherent Plan B, so no way to avoid effect of less abundant, more expensive energy.

That link has been changed. This one will work.
Glacier Once Stuck to Sea Floor, Breaks Loose

Ron P.

Obama Hoekstra Take Off the Gloves


This was interesting to watch first hand at the new LG Chem LI battery plant ground breaking ceremony yesterday in Holland, MI

Re: Tesla to build electric Toyota Rav 4

Fabulous! I think roads are going to increasingly get worse so many of the electric vehicles, with tiny tires and a suspension expecting smooth roads, are going to be ill-suited to Energy Descent.

But a Toyota Rav 4 could be the best of all worlds...the only thing better might be a carbon-fibre version to lower the weight but that would raise the cost.

In order for your hopes to be answered there will need to be some serious engineering focused on addressing the extreme josteling that the electronics and batteries will inevitability receive, neither of which do well with shock.

Not saying it can't be, or won't be, just that that is a real issue that will take time and $ and will definitely add to the overall cost.

But I am sure it's not a problem as soon everyone will be able to afford a $50 to 75K EV, a $50 to 100K PV array on their roof, Utilities going up 10 fold, water going up 10 fold, FOOD going up 10 fold.

The future looks so bright I gota wear shades.

"...... $50 to 100K PV array on their roof,...."

Not to belabor your points, ee, but every time you guys post grossly inflated prices for PV I'm gonna call you on it.

Complete 6150W off-grid system for $2.92/watt, even cheaper if you get the "B" panels.


complete 6200W Grid tie system for $1.67/watt ($10,377):


Even paying fees and installer, much cheaper than what folks are posting here. In many states incentives will cover these additional costs.

Let's calculate what the per KWH costs after 20 years would be for this grid tie system:

Lets double the size of the system to 12.4 KW: cost as stated $20,754

Install and fees after incentives: $10,000 (WAG but reasonable)

Total cost assumed: $30,754

Average daily peak hours: 3 (very conservative)

Times 365 days times 20 years (less than the warranty on panels)

($20,754+$10.000) / (12.4 X 3 X 365 X 20) = $0.113/KWH.

In areas that get more than 3 peak production hours (most areas) the cost would be well under 10 cents/KWH over 20 years.

What are you paying now? What will you be paying in 10, 15 years. How forward thinking are you? Seems like a good investment for many (for about the price of an average car).
(feel free to check my math,,, not my forte`)

disclaimer: I'm not promoting this company or their products. I have posted links to several other examples of how low PV systems have gotten compared to their historically higher prices.

Not to belabor your points, ee, but every time you guys post grossly inflated prices for PV I'm gonna call you on it.

He just gave a cost. I'd like to spend $100,000 on a PV array.

"I'd like to spend $100,000 on a PV array."

Smart man! By low, sell high.

Re: Tesla to build electric Toyota Rav 4

Fabulous! I think roads are going to increasingly get worse so many of the electric vehicles, with tiny tires and a suspension expecting smooth roads, are going to be ill-suited to Energy Descent.

I agree. Except for the energy descent claim anyway. Roads being what they are, and an SUV being a nice commuter vehicle for a family, Toyota could sign me up today. Keep the hybrid for long trips, use the EV for commuting, Little League and general suburban activities. Sounds like a plan. Solving peak oil, one EV at a time. I gotta make a signature.....

What grates on me is how slow evolution is: there's these two useless appendages at the bottom of my torso that I just don't use for anything more than occasionally pressing a pedal. Surely they ought to have reduced to something more minimal by now, that way I'd be able to wear more elegant clothing.

Graphene batteries said to recharge in 10 minutes

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Graphene electrodes used in lithium-ion batteries could reduce recharge times from two hours to about 10 minutes, according to government and Princeton University researchers. The new graphene-based electrode fabrication process, also developed by researchers at the Energy Department's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), has been licensed to Vorbeck Materials Corp. (Jessup, Md.) for commercialization.

Interesting development but I don't see what is so revolutionary? We already have lithium batteries that can recharge in 10-15 minutes (4-5C charge rate) - the LiFePo4 chemistry first developed by A123 systems at the MIT incubator.

Also, the best lithium polymer cells can now take recharges as fast as 30minutes. You don't see them in consumer devices yet for safety reasons but these are very popular in hobby applications.

6 more banks closed today: so far

Mainstreet Savings Bank, FSB Hastings MI 28136
Olde Cypress Community Bank Clewiston FL 28864
Turnberry Bank Aventura FL 32280 July 16,
Metro Bank of Dade County Miami FL 25172
First National Bank of the South Spartanburg SC 35383
Woodlands Bank Bluffton SC 32571

A new website I found:

FAOSTAT provides time-series and cross sectional data relating to food and agriculture for some 200 countries.


If they were off shore in La. in 1847 , they beat Col Drake by 12 years.

even the first platform to be established out of sight of land, off the coast of Louisiana in 1847, stood in just 16ft of water.