Drumbeat: August 12, 2010

America’s Energy Future May Lie In Canada’s Oil Sands

The Gulf of Mexico disaster has changed U.S. priorities, costs and energy supply sources for years to come. But the fact that the U.S. needs energy isn’t changing anytime soon, and as mass sources of green energy are still a while away, the most likely alternative might be the most surprising one.

With $15 billion invested annually in offshore drilling in the United States, the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico means that this money is getting ready to migrate elsewhere. And it is the Athabasca oil sands of Alberta, Canada, that are number one on the list.

Analysis: U.S. oil spills hit support for Canada mega-pipeline

(Reuters) - For Calgary-based TransCanada, a recent Michigan oil spill from a pipeline operated by its rival Enbridge Inc couldn't have come at a worse time.

The spill threatens to tilt public opinion against TransCanada's $12 billion pipeline system that could ultimately stretch from Alberta to Texas.

More than 800,000 gallons (3.6 million litres) of crude oil from a 41-year-old stretch of Enbridge Inc's 6B pipeline spewed into a Michigan waterway on July 26, in one of the biggest pipeline spills in U.S. history.

That has rankled U.S. safety regulators, who earlier this year ordered Calgary-based Enbridge to monitor 6B closely for suspected corrosion.

Texas Files Challenge to Obama's Offshore-Drilling Ban

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott on Wednesday filed a legal challenge to the Obama administration's six-month deep-water-drilling moratorium, saying the federal government violated a law that requires consultation of affected states before imposing the ban.

"Under federal law, affected states are guaranteed the right to participate in offshore drilling-related policy decisions, but the Obama administration did not bother to communicate, coordinate or cooperate with Texas," Mr Abbott said.

Gulf fishermen: oil tainted our waters, our trust

State and federal authorities, who insist they are closely following safety protocols, have begun reopening selected segments of Gulf of Mexico waters to recreational and commercial fishing after the successful capping and cementing of BP's blown-out deepwater Macondo well in recent weeks.

But fiercely independent Gulf fishermen, many of whom harbor a deep mistrust of authority since the much-criticized government response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, believe both President Barack Obama's administration and BP may be moving too hastily to close this ecological and financial nightmare.

FACTBOX - Gulf of Mexico oil, gas ops returning to normal

REUTERS - Several oil and gas companies restarted operations and began returning nonessential personnel to offshore infrastructure as Tropical Depression Five fizzled out into a cluster of thundershowers after it moved through the Gulf of Mexico and inland over southeastern Louisiana Thursday.

Brazil ANP Head Lima Says $8 a Barrel `Reasonable' For Petrobras Oil Swap

A “reasonable price” for Petroleo Brasileiro SA to pay for offshore oil reserves it’s planning to buy from the government in exchange for stock would be $8 a barrel, said Haroldo Lima, head of Brazil’s petroleum regulator.

“Research that I have seen in the market, I have given my opinion, I think a price of $5 to $6 is lower than what would be possible,” Lima said today in an interview in Rio de Janeiro. “A reasonable price in my opinion would ideally be around $8 a barrel.”

FACTBOX - Details on Petrobras' capitalization plan

(Reuters) - Brazilian state oil company Petrobras is preparing a massive capitalization program that will help raise up to $25 billion in new funds to finance an ambitious deep-water oil exploration campaign.

Under the oil-for-shares capital program, the government will give Petrobras access to up to 5 billion barrels of offshore oil in exchange for shares in the company, while minority shareholders will buy stock to retain their stakes.

ANALYSIS - Spill-wary oil sands to pump up revs at pipeline cos

(Reuters) - In the oily wake of the BP and Enbridge spills, Canadian energy service firms that coat and maintain pipelines are eyeing lucrative contracts as oil sands majors spend more to prevent similar industry-tainting accidents.

Increased spending on pipelines will drive margins at companies such as ShawCor Ltd and North American Energy Partners Inc, which saw a lull in new energy projects last year.

BP to Pay Record Fine of $50 Million for Texas Accident

BP has agreed to pay a record $50.6 million fine to the federal government for safety violations found by regulators last year at its troubled refinery in Texas City, Tex.

In addition to the record fine, BP has agreed to take immediate steps to protect those now working at the refinery and spend at least $500 million on that effort, according to the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Pemex's Budget Request May Be Cut on Lower Oil Prices, Board Member Says

Petroleos Mexicanos, Latin America’s largest oil producer, may have its 54 percent proposed budget increase trimmed if oil prices extend this week’s losses, a board member said.

“Let’s hope the market losses are something temporary,” said Hector Moreira, a board member of the state-owned company. Lawmakers “would be very worried at least” if crude prices keep falling during the budget debate, he said today in an interview in Mexico City.

Saudi Aramco offers rare Yanbu cargo

Saudi Aramco is offering a rare cargo of high-viscosity, high-sulphur residue from its Yanbu refinery, tender documents showed on Thursday.

Maridive Q2 profit hit by sluggish oil sector

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian group Maridive and Oil Services posted second-quarter net profit below forecasts as it suffered from a continued oil industry downturn.

The biggest oil services company in the Middle East by fleet size posted second-quarter net profit of $11 million on Thursday, down from $29.5 million a year ago and below a forecast for $18.7 million in a Reuters poll.

Maverick of the oil industry

Simmons had carved a controversial public profile since at least 2005, when his book entitled Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy hit US book stands before rapidly becoming an international best-seller.

He revelled in the often critical attention that ensued and might have delighted in the wilder rumours surrounding his death.

Matthew Simmons Showed the Supply of Oil Is Finite, Says Morse

The late Matthew R. Simmons’ greatest contribution was showing that the supply of oil is finite, said Edward Morse, the New York-based head of commodities research at Credit Suisse Group AG.

Simmons, an energy investment banker and leading proponent of the “peak oil” theory that claims the Earth is running out of crude, died Aug. 8 at 67 in an accidental drowning at his home in North Haven, Maine, local officials said. He made “remarkable contributions” in making the energy market transparent and helping the U.S. understand Saudi Arabia, Morse said.

Georgia decries Russian missile deployment in Abkhazia

The Georgian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday protested the deployment of Russian S-300 air-defense systems on the territory of its former republic of Abkhazia.

CNG stations to remain closed for 6 hrs everyday

All CNG stations would remain closed from 3 pm to 9 pm everyday from August 16 as part of the energy conservation plan adopted to overcome energy crisis.

"It is a temporary order for saving energy to feed the power plants and to meet the increased demand of electricity ", a top official of the Energy Ministry told BSS Thursday.

Zambia: Is Solar Power Viable Option?

GRAPPLING with the increase in electricity tariffs by Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco), most businesses and residences will now have to cushion the impact of the tariff hike.

After August 1, 2010 residential customers will be facing a 41percent increase and large power consumers a 12 percent increase, followed by a 14 percent increase for the small power consumers.

With unlimited sunshine in Zambia, could alternative energy like solar power be an answer to the fuel and energy crisis?

Nine Challenges of Alternative Energy

Unlike conventional fossil fuels, where nature provided energy over millions of years to convert biomass into energy-dense solids, liquids, and gases--requiring only extraction and transportation technolgy for us to mobilize them--alternative energy depends heavily on specially engineered equipment and infrastructure for capture or conversion, essentially making it a high-tech manufacturing process. However, the full supply chain for alternative energy, from raw material to manufacturing, is still very dependent on fossil-fuel energy for mining, transport, and materials production. Alternative energy faces the challenge of how to supplant a fossil-fuel-based supply chain with one driven by alternative energy forms themselves in order to break their reliance on a fossil-fuel foundation.

U.S. firm's landmark solar deal with China starts off with a bang, then fizzles

BEIJING -- With great fanfare, an Arizona-based energy company signed a preliminary agreement with China last fall to build the world's largest solar power plant in the Mongolian desert.

The deal was hailed as the first major example of the U.S. and China cooperating on a big-ticket energy project, and the largest foray by an American company into Asia's fast-growing alternative energy market. The agreement became a centerpiece achievement of President Obama's visit to China last November.

But nearly a year later, the deal has not been completed and there is growing skepticism as to whether it will happen.

France's New Rural Ghettos

There is an extensive spread of settlements further and further away from towns; there is an intense concentration of jobs in urban centres. Because of this clash between settlement and job geography, rural areas mean pauperisation for those who cannot commute daily between home and work. “When I’m offered a job 30 kilometers away, I think twice,” said Anne, “especially since travel time is not included in work time and petrol is never reimbursed. Anyway, my car’s very old, every new problem gets me into a real mess.”

How to build sustainable homes without spending a penny

From Earthships to underground houses, The Moneyless Man says building low-impact housing for free is theoretically possible.

Starving Africa's Future?

In what may be President Obama’s most significant foray into changing U.S.-Africa policy since his election in 2008, the United States is embarking on a new initiative to boost agricultural production in the global south. Feed the Future (FTF) came out of the G8 summit in L’Aquila in 2009 where developed country leaders committed to acting to “achieve sustainable global food security.” Obama pledged $3.5 billion over three years toward this goal, in hopes that other rich nations would also make significant investments in agricultural development.

Food security, however, does not equal food sovereignty, nor does it ensure that the roots of hunger in the world’s poorest countries will be addressed. Feed the Future is likely to be yet another program that benefits large corporations and does little to address the real issues hindering agricultural growth in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

John Michael Greer: Thinking like an ecosystem

Last week’s post on composting had, as my more perceptive readers will probably have noted, more than one agenda. First on the list, obviously, was the straightforward goal of getting as many people as possible to start practicing one of the simplest and most useful skills in the green wizard repertoire, and getting plant nutrients out of the waste stream and into the soil in the process. Still, there’s more involved here than that sensible step.

Composting, as I mentioned in passing last week, is more than just a core technology for organic gardening. It’s also a template on which a much broader range of approaches to sustainability can be modeled – or, rather, need to be modeled. It’s crucial to keep this in mind, because quite a few people who are discussing sustainability these days, with the best intentions in the world, are doing so from within the presuppositions of our current, utterly unsustainable civilization, and getting thoroughly bollixed up by the resulting misperceptions.

Land fertility decreasing in Rangpur

Land fertility in Rangpur Division including Kurigram, Lalmonirhat, Gaibandha, Rangpur, Nilphamari, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts are decreasing alarmingly due to shortage of green fertilizer, shulphur and zinc in the soil. Unabated use of chemical fertilizer and pesticides has created such situation a source in the department of Agriculture extension (DAE) disclosed.

Tom Whipple: A Gathering in Louisville

Every year the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) holds a conference where legislators from all over the U.S. gather for updates on major policy concerns. This year the organization found that issues surrounding the future of nation's energy supply were becoming of such paramount importance to state governments that it set up a task force to study the issues; produced a report on meeting the energy challenges; and devoted a whole day prior to the annual meeting to an "Energy Policy Summit."

Oil Falls for a Third Day on Stockpile Gain, Signs Economic Growth to Slow

“The U.S. inventory report was bearish, showing that there wasn’t much of a summer driving season again,” said Victor Shum, a senior principal at consultants Purvin & Gertz Inc. in Singapore. “Global economic concerns are becoming the top-of- mind issue, so we’ve seen equities pull back. China is showing signs of weakness in growth.”

Stockpiles of distillates such as diesel increased to the highest since January 1983. Inventories of distillate fuel, a category that includes heating oil and diesel, climbed 3.46 million barrels to 173.1 million. Analysts projected a 1.75 million-barrel increase.

U.S. refineries operated at 88.1 percent of capacity, down 3.1 percentage points from the prior week, the Energy Department report showed. Crude supplies declined 2.99 million barrels to 355 million. Analysts forecast a 2 million-barrel drop.

Fuel Oil Shipments to Singapore May Tumble as Profits Drop

Fuel oil shipments to Singapore from Europe and the Americas may fall as much as 20 percent in August after the profits for such cargoes slumped 26 percent in July.

An estimated 3.2 million metric tons of the refining residue, used to generate electricity and power ships, are likely to arrive in Singapore this month, according to a Bloomberg News survey of seven traders in Singapore and Tokyo. That would be a three-month low, dropping from about 4 million tons in July.

Russia's LUKOIL resumes gasoline supply to Iran -trade

SINGAPORE/MOSCOW—Russian oil giant LUKOIL has resumed gasoline sales into Iran together with China's state-run firm Zhuhai Zhenrong, even as the United States urges the global community to be tough on Tehran.

Turkey backs petrol sales to Iran

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey will support petrol sales by Turkish companies to Iran, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told Reuters on Wednesday, despite U.S. sanctions that aim to squeeze the Islamic Republic's fuel imports.

Turkey puts out fire at bombed pipeline

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (AFP) – Turkish firefighters on Thursday extinguished a blaze on a pipeline carrying oil from Iraq that was triggered by a bomb attack by suspected Kurdish rebels, a security source said.

Tuesday's bombing ripped through a section of the conduit near the village of Midyat in Mardin province in southeastern Turkey, killing two civilians and halting the flow of oil.

Chechen rebels claim small blast near Gazprom HQ

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Chechen rebels claimed responsibility on Thursday for a small explosion three days ago near the Moscow headquarters of Russia's state-controlled gas giant Gazprom.

"The aim of this operation was to show Kremlin businessmen... that the war is not over," Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov said in a statement posted on the www.kavkazcenter.com Islamist website. "On the contrary: it has come to your homes and your comfortable offices."

PetroChina to Shut Daqing Oil Refinery Next Week for 40 Days' Maintenance

PetroChina Co., the country’s biggest oil company, will shut its refinery in northeastern Daqing city for about 40 days of planned maintenance, an official at the plant said.

All the 37 refining and petrochemical units at the facility will be closed starting Aug. 17, the official said today, asking not to be identified because of company rules.

Iraq willing to accommodate Syria-bound Iranian gas pipeline

Baghdad - Iraq is open to allowing a pipeline transporting gas from Iran to Syria to run through its territory, a press release from the Iraqi oil ministry said Thursday.

'Iraq does not mind facilitating the extension of the Iranian gas pipeline through its territory to Syria and the Mediterranean Sea,' Iraqi oil minister Hussein al-Sharistani said in the statement.

IPIC offloads $2.2bn stake in Korean oil refinery

An Abu Dhabi Government fund has agreed to sell a US$2.2 billion (Dh8.08bn) stake in a South Korean refinery after it lost a long legal battle with Hyundai Heavy Industries.

The sale will end an 11-year presence that helped maintain South Korea’s position as the second-largest market for the emirate’s crude oil exports.

US wants Iraq to pay bill for war victims

RAMADI, Iraq—Off a dusty street flanked by piles of rubble and bombed-out car skeletons, the Saleh family is rebuilding their home with American aid money they got because three family members were accidentally killed in crossfire between U.S. forces and insurgents.

In another neighborhood of the battleground city of Ramadi, a new boat motor and fishing nets are tucked into a corner of the Zeyadan family's courtyard, bought with money from the same U.S. aid fund.

The aid for these families and hundreds of others like them came from a special fund earmarked by Congress for innocent civilians killed in U.S. military operations in Iraq. But recently, members of Congress asked the U.S. Agency for International Development in Baghdad, which manages the fund, to explore having Iraq take over financing and management of the project.

China-based Brightoil aims to be global oil trader

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Hong Kong-listed Brightoil, which is expected to hire most of the former traders from BP's global fuel oil team and Asia marine fuels desk, plans to become a global oil trading presence, court documents show.

Brightoil's detailed plans dated May, including an organisational chart, hierarchy of hires and employee share schemes, were submitted to the Singapore High court by Quek Chin Thean, former global head of BP's fuel oil desk, as part of his defence to a breach-of-contract suit by the oil major.

Brazil Controls Mean Petrobras Can't Turn Oil Price Surge Into Profit Gain

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, which lost a quarter of its market value this year, is set to post the smallest profit gain among the world’s largest oil producers because of government controls on fuel prices.

The Rio de Janeiro-based company will report tomorrow that profit was little changed at 89 centavos a share in the three months through June, according to the average of four estimates in a Bloomberg survey. That would be the worst performance of any of the top ten major oil companies with the exception of BP Plc., whose earnings were hurt by the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Petrobras to Create Company to Manage Pre-Salt Oil Exploraton, Exame Says

Petroleo Brasileiro SA plans to create a company to manage exploration of the so-called pre-salt oil fields off Brazil’s coast starting in 2011, Exame magazine reported, without saying where it got the information.

Petrobras, as the Rio de Janeiro-based company is known, will own 10 percent of the company, while the rest will be owned by investors including the Petros and Funcef pension funds and FGTS, the workers’ compensation fund, Exame said on its website. Banco Santander SA is acting as an adviser for the creation of the company, the magazine said, citing the bank.

Brazil May Determine Price in Oil-for-Stock Swap by Aug. 19, Estado Says

Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency, ANP, may get the results of studies to determine the price it will charge per barrel in an oil-for-stock swap with Petroleo Brasileiro SA by Aug. 19, O Estado de S. Paulo reported.

The National Council for Energy Policy will discuss the amount Petrobras will pay for the oil three or four days after ANP receives the calculations from external consultants, Estado said, without revealing where it got the information. The government will sign a final contract by Aug. 31, the newspaper said.

Gas production starts at Babbage field in southern North Sea

Dana Petroleum said that gas production has commenced at the Babbage field, located in block 48/2a some 80km off the UK coast in the Southern North Sea, where the company holds a 40 per cent interest.

The Babbage field development was approved by the UK authorities in 2009 and is being executed in two phases. Total investment in the development will amount to around GBP300m.

Tropical depression fizzles out over Gulf of Mexico

MIAMI (Reuters) – A tropical depression which had been forecast to pass close to BP Plc's oil spill site in the Gulf of Mexico dissipated on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

BP to start Libyan drilling this year

LONDON (AFP) – British energy giant BP said Wednesday it will begin deep-water exploration drilling off the Libyan coast some time before the end of this year.

In late July, the company had said it would start drilling off the Libyan coast in a few weeks amid controversy over its 2007 deal with Tripoli and the oil firm's role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

"We are working on the last details and we are talking now about the second half of the year," a BP spokesman said.

Gulf of Mexico `Dead Zone' Grows as Spill Impact Is Studied

The Gulf of Mexico faces a renewed and enlarged threat to marine life: a low-oxygen “dead zone” about the size of Massachusetts, caused by chemical runoff into the Mississippi River that flows into the sea.

Greenpeace to launch expedition to probe BP oil spill impact

MIAMI (AFP) – Environmental watchdog Greenpeace on Wednesday announced the launch of a three-month expedition on which researchers will analyze the impact of the massive BP oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem.

A Greenpeace ship sets sail Thursday from Saint Petersburg, Florida, and will tour the southern tip of Florida and its Keys before heading northward to the area of the failed oil well.

Well capped, BP accused of reneging on contracts

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The drawdown of the BP oil spill may bring relief to Gulf residents, but one sector is feeling the pinch -- companies that went into overdrive to produce containment boom and are now wallowing in loss.

The manufacturers charge that BP placed bulk orders but since last month has quietly reneged on commitments, leaving the companies saddled with millions of dollars in inventory and forcing them to lay off workers.

Markey wants BP to accept government oil estimate

A Massachusetts congressman is asking BP to accept the government's latest estimate of how much oil spewed from the company's blown-out Gulf well as a basis to determine how much it may face in civil fines.

Rep. Ed Markey sent a letter Wednesday to the head of BP's U.S. operations telling him that the oil giant should legally own up to its obligations as one of the responsible parties for the spill.

The most important single factor for your investments

The most important thing for your investments isn't gold or the dollar, or the consumer price index or Treasuries or even the stock market.

It's energy. More specifically, it's crude oil. Oil absolutely dwarfs everything else.

LED Bulb Edges Below $20

Not long ago, such bulbs were not expected by most experts to cost less than $30 until 2012.

Viking plans still need more time

Citing the recent deep water drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the pressing issue of energy security at a time of peak oil, Mr Wishart says he is more committed to the case for a wind farm in the isles than ever before.

“People are now realising that there is a big problem and there have to be alternatives. I haven’t heard from anybody in Shetland an alternative that is better than what Viking Energy is doing at the moment."

UN launches massive feeding drive for children in drought-stricken Niger

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has begun a major round of feeding for 670,000 children under the age of two and their families in drought-stricken Niger, where as many as eight million people need assistance.

People in the West African nation are experiencing severe food shortages as a result of a prolonged drought that has caused crop failure and livestock deaths.

Analysis: Indonesia forest moratorium to stymie palm oil firms

(Reuters) - Indonesia's plans to halt forest clearing will slow the aggressive expansion of plantation firms in the world's top palm oil producer, leading to higher costs as firms will need acquisitions or improved yields to boost growth.

The two-year moratorium on new permits to clear natural forest from 2011 will increase land prices, pushing some to consider following industry leader Wilmar in expanding overseas to Africa or to diversify into food crops.

The Last Stand? Rallying Behind a Primeval Forest

Environmentalists say the last stand of primeval forest in all of Europe is at risk.

Germany mulls tax on coal for power generation-paper

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany is mulling a new tax on coal used in power generation to help make up for revenue it would lose if it kept much-debated tax breaks for large corporate energy consumers, a newspaper said on Wednesday.

The new tax, which would be footed by energy companies, would raise 410 million euros ($534 million) next year and 710 million euros in 2012, the Handelsblatt newspaper said in a preview of its Thursday edition.

UK government urged to evaluate biochar potential with trial schemes

The idea of burying charcoal produced from microwaved wood to tackle global warming is still beset with scientific uncertainties, says the UK government's first report on "biochar".

The warning comes as a separate US study published this week said that as much as 12% of global greenhouse gas emissions could be offset by biochar.

Australia can easily cut CO2 and keep growing - business

(Reuters) - Australia, one of the world's top carbon polluters, can cut carbon emissions by at least 15 percent by 2020 without hurting its economy, business leaders at a climate conference said on Thursday.

By espousing the right policies, the country could cut its emissions by 25 percent by 2020, the conference heard. A price on carbon was a key component, but by no means the only one.

What's the carbon footprint of … the internet?

The internet releases around 300m tonnes of CO2 a year – as much as all the coal, oil and gas burned in Turkey or Poland, or more than half of the fossil fuels burned in the UK.

Greenland ice sheet faces 'tipping point in 10 years'

The entire ice mass of Greenland will disappear from the world map if temperatures rise by as little as 2C, with severe consequences for the rest of the world, a panel of scientists told Congress today.

Greenland shed its largest chunk of ice in nearly half a century last week, and faces an even grimmer future, according to Richard Alley, a geosciences professor at Pennsylvania State University

"Sometime in the next decade we may pass that tipping point which would put us warmer than temperatures that Greenland can survive," Alley told a briefing in Congress, adding that a rise in the range of 2C to 7C would mean the obliteration of Greenland's ice sheet.

The fall-out would be felt thousands of miles away from the Arctic, unleashing a global sea level rise of 23ft (7 metres), Alley warned. Low-lying cities such as New Orleans would vanish.

Canadian Wheat Harvest to Drop 21%, USDA Unit Says

Canada’s wheat production will drop 21 percent in the year ending July 31 because of excess rain in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta, a unit of the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

Record Droughts, Floods and Fires Strain Food Markets' Resilience

Flooding in Pakistan and a series of deadly mudslides in central China further fueled the food price angst. Canada is expected to see its wheat crop fall by 20 percent this year due to adverse weather. And now Australia's government is warning its farmers of a pending locust plague that could devastate that major exporter's wheat production.

U.N. officials are warning of the potential for a food crisis erupting in Pakistan. About 1 out of 10 Pakistanis has been hard hit by the flooding, and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 1.8 million acres of cropland is now underwater there.

Excess rain is quite right. I've yet to get all our hay baled-keeps raining and we keep turning. So much for quality forage.

Normally we won't see precip till fall after the 4th of July. Original euphoria over increased yields disappearing. Some of our fields were up 30%, but what good is it? Everything is way out of whack. See my post below.

Weather Chaos sucks.

Last year's drought in my locale wiped out the corn (I've never seen such puny, wilted corn stalks in all of my 48 years).

This year rain and humidity is making it a Bumper Crop Year for corn and Fungi (I've never seen such tall, strong corn stalks in all of my 48 years).

I wonder what next season will bring. Glad we still have supermarkets and just-in-time inter-state/-national delivery of vittles.

"Glad we still have supermarkets and just-in-time inter-state/-national delivery of vittles."

You know...there are a lot of "eat local" movements and "100 mile diets" and whatnot - but people do forget that when you're isolating your food supply to a small area, it's highly likely that the whole shebang will wind up wiped out by something. So I'm quite happy supporting 5000 mile diets if it means the import infrastructure is in place when the local harvest fails. Averaging food harvests over the world means that if your harvest fails, someone else's probably didn't - and I like that.

Part of the problem may be due to monoculture farming. If you only grow one crop and the current conditions have a devastating effect on that particular crop the result is complete failure for that season. My CSA has had failures of certain crops this season due to torrential rains but other things have been thriving. The same story with my home garden. Perhaps diversity is important?

Well, I would be happy to have a railroad diet. Anything that can be shipped in bulk in a nonrefrigerated boxcar is OK. There is not much energy required for that. Otherwise, 200 miles.

We have to hold any statement by USDA as suspect until proven correct from another source. They have a history of releasing statements that tend to move markets in one way or another, to the benefit of commodity traders and firms over real farmers or the public... we will need further information from our Canadian friends before we buy this...

Iranian natural gas pipeline to Emirates open for testing


New sanctions and this 2001 contract MAY be in conflict (with 47 C highs and a shortage of NG for electrical generation, interpretations of sanctions may be flexible).

Other related stories.


Price dispute. Iran wants more than US$0.50 per MMBTUs




RE: National Conference of State Legislators

State Governments could go a long way in reducing energy consumption.
1. Suspend state legislature meetings, and meet online.
2. Park all State owned vehicles.
3. Allow much more telecommuting for State workers.
4. Stop building new highways and encouraging more traffic.
5. Shut down schools and government office buildings for 25% of the year.
6. Use budget savings to install more clean energy sources.
7. Stop taking Federal "bailout" money.

8. Keep collecting paychecks and benefits...

2. Why not sell them if they are not going to be driven?

8. Make kids develop their own educational curriculum and learn it at home via the internet. Close all schools.

9. Eliminate State pensions and make those people rely on social security.

10. Increase the retirement age to 95.

11. Grind up all roads and turn them into gravel roads with no regular maintenance.

12. No power to street lights.

13. Close all libraries.

14. Make all intersections round abouts and shut off light signals.

15. Eliminate building codes to reduce cost of oversight.

16. No auto registration or smog controls and no DMV.

17. No elections and no representation.

18. Legalize prostitution and drugs to reduce law enforement.

19. Friday and Saturday nights are chaos nights. Anything goes.

Perk Earl,
You may think you are being sarcastic, but some of the items you mentioned are already happening due to budget cuts. Some places are eliminating 1/3 of police force, closing libraries, etc.... As the debts and interest rates grow, most will probably become true.
I am planning for no dependency on state funded programs. No driving at night, no need for lights, go to sleep at dark, or use an LED flashlight. God knows, we do not need any new state laws, or any new taxes. Just think of the savings by not running election campaigns!

The bottom line is that states have become far too wasteful, and a correction is happening now.

#14...man i hate traffic lights. For some reason they are always red when i get to them. I noticed S. FL had quite a few round abouts, some were several lanes wide.

#16...the people that work at the DMV have a lot of troll blood in their family tree.

#17...just go back to a dictator/king/emperor setup...this whole election business gets us nowhere. Spend more time on getting elected then they do fixing anything.

#12...put them on timers..have them shut off at midnight or something.

#8...school? learning? don't need a lot of education to dig holes, weed, and harvest fruits/veggies/grains.

Substitute your answer #12 for answer #17.

For #8, I'd add "hire the Amish for Shop Teachers"

(apologies to "Tech Ed" teachers everywhere)

20. Execute population, reduces carbon footprint to zero.

I think that is sort of baked into the cake. Except it will be "execute 'other peoples' populations".

#21 Cancel all taxpayer supported sports programs.

Not sure if this is what you meant, but that's most pro sports, if you count the stadiums/arenas/et al. We're building a massive new arena here in Orlando that is supposed to be LEED certified, but it's replacing another that was just built in the past 15-20 years.

And it's being built, mostly, for the Magic-owned by the head of Amway. But it's ok, it's mostly 'tourist taxes'....

In 10-15 years tourists won't be able to afford the energy prices for travel to Orlando.

00x I would love to see us eliminate the complex set of packaging laws that have sprung up, Sell stuff in bulk and hire some guards to watch shopers.

00y Why not get rid of every government bureaucracy with over 30 people

00z Eliminate all "for your own good" laws, we have more than enough people and seatbelts and helmits are the cause.

8. Convert existing multi-billion dollar contracts to software monopolists for their operating systems, databases, and server software to open-source equivalents.

Jobless claims jump to 5-month high

There were 484,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Aug. 7, up 2,000 from an upwardly revised 482,000 the previous week, according to the Labor Department's weekly report.

Borrowers Refuse to Pay Billions in Home Equity Loans

Mr. Schlegel’s tale is similar to many others who got caught up in the boom: He came to Arizona in 2003 and quickly accumulated three houses and some land. Each deal financed the next. “I was taught in real estate that you use your leverage to grow. I never dreamed the properties would go from $265,000 to $65,000.”

In an Atlanta suburb yesterday, 30,000 people lined up for section 8 federal housing vouchers, and they were only put on a waiting list for 655 vouchers. This is looking more and more like 1930.
2009 was like 1929, and 2010 is like 1930. If so, we have another 10 years, a WWIII, and a followup 5 year recovery to go. So by 2030, everything should be good again. Woooopssss! I forgot that we won't have any oil left in 2030! Uh Oh!!!

Most prior month revisions are ugly as well:


Prior Nonfarm Payrolls revised lower from -125K to -221K
Prior Private payrolls revised lower from 83K to 31K
Prior Manufacturing Payrolls revised higher from 9K to 13K
Birth-Death Adjustment: +6K v +147K prior
Non-farm 3-month avg (with revisions): +26K v +175K prior
July temporary census workers: -143K

.........A significant reason the unemployment rate is now at 9.5% is due to roughly 380,000 individuals no longer being counted in the labor participation pool as these people continue to drop off the rolls and thus they are no longer counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.


U6, or Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, (table A.15), was 16.5%. Then 45% of the official unemployed have been so for 27 weeks or longer. The long term unemployed percentage is staying at historical record highs.

http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/unemployment-95-july-2010?quickt... (some great graphs here)

Look at EUC line from todays report: Jumped by +1,158,473 to 4,493,351 on July 24th from 3,334,878 on July 17th.
Seems every one that has been dropping off the extended end of unemployment is climbing back on.


" I never dreamed ... "

That, along with "nobody saw this coming !!!".

If I hear one of my kin, etc say that again I am off my own Mud Hut.

Too much noise.

I was sort of "uninvited" from a dinner party a few years ago for expressing gloomy predictions of our short/long term economic future.
I noticed in the paper last week that my 'hosts' home was being foreclosed on. Nice house!

I know the feeling.

I'm invited to a friend's campsite this weekend for a mini-reunion of old classmates. I doubt i'll go. At social gatherings like this I no longer bring up anything remotely related to "doom" and instead suffer the endless mind-numbing prattle of adult-sized children.

We are supposed to be expanding our social networks for resiliency's sake. But I can't stand the pretending anymore and am therefore becoming more socially isolated as things deteriorate.

That's all right though. Multiple forks in the road ahead... all turning from asphalt to gravel... (hmmm, follow the noisy, confused crowd down Fork A, or ??)

I am sure they will be grateful to be spared the "endless mind numbing prattle" of doom.

While society does need to treat risks much more seriously, ruining social activities is not the way to do it. Your social isolation seems to be a case of self-destructive narcissism, not martyrdom.

I am tortured by people like you all the time. If they can't discuss their own pet schemes for the destruction of the world, all the while implying that everyone else deserves it, they get into hissy fits.

While I don't want to be mean, I do have to say I am happy to see the pain placed with the ranters and not with their victims.

I am extremely sympathetic to a range of theories that point to negative outcomes for humanity. But the self-righteous rants of doom aren't any better just because the ranter blames society this time around and not our neglect of God, which has been the source of the same rant for most of history.

I view the need to rant and judge as a outgrowth of, usually American, puritanism. "You are all going to die in a fiery hell and deserve it". Drop the self-righteousness, enjoy your friendships and get a life. You are going to do yourself more harm with your attitude than the collapse of society will.

I am tortured by people like you all the time. If they can't discuss their own pet schemes for the destruction of the world, all the while implying that everyone else deserves it, they get into hissy fits.

Jack, put the shoe on the other foot for a moment. Personally, I'm more and more reluctant to spend time with people who are profoundly ignorant and don't have a clue about reality, drive big gas guzzling SUVs, live in huge houses they can't afford and try to convince me that I should invest in the stock market, because the recovery is just around around the corner. People who insist I should believe in Jesus and tell me we need to build a huge fence between the US and Mexico.

I'd much prefer not to torture anyone and instead spend time with like minded people. Unfortunately there aren't a whole lot of people out there who would prefer to discuss say neuroarchaeology and its cultural implications on the changing cultural paradigm in a civilization with rapidly depleting resources, while paddling a kayak in high winds and rough seas...

So I too tend to avoid many of the available opportunities, for what according to the majority passes for social interaction...

All true. And I have always agreed with your comments on religion and faith.

In fact, this is what bothers me about some of the ranters. I am the choir and they still annoy me. They certainly aren't converting the profoundly ignorant.

Some of it does seem religious or cult-like. That is why I compared this element of the doomers to puritans.

I don't dispute the legitimacy of many doomers on this site and elsewhere. I have listened to and learned from Leanan, Tainter, etc. I know that climate change is 100% backed by science and believe it. I think peak oil is based on analysis and believe it too, although with a lower probability.

I am a huge fan of assaulting ignorance head on, along the Dawkins line. But, oddly, a lot of the doom rant does turn me off.

I may be a bit sensitive, but I have been reading TOD for a long time and did say I have listened and learned.

And by the way, I would far prefer to discuss neuroarchaeology and its cultural implications on the changing cultural paradigm in a civilization with rapidly depleting resources, while paddling a kayak in high winds and rough seas, than listen to the more ideological of the doomer rants any day.

I had already seen The New Science of Morality discussions that you linked to at The Edge the other day, but was happy to see you put it out there. Amazing stuff. But I do have friends to discuss it with. I agree with you that the world is menaced by the profoundly ignorant. But don't want to put people in the camp until they prove it. Once they do, I move on and deal with people I like. We may have screwed up the planet horribly, but at the individual level, a lot of us are good folk.


Hello FM, it sounds like we are very, very much alike.

I think you forgot to mention the discussions of how Climate Change, and Peak Oil and environmentalism are all conspiracies that interfere with their boating and other vital recreational activities.

Or how 'charlie' down the street is a lazy ass on welfare who should "git a job!"... etc, etc

How long can you smile and stomach those kinds of conversations, even if you love the people involved?

I am extremely sympathetic to a range of theories that point to negative outcomes for humanity.

yeah, accept doom as a possible outcome and assign it a probability, accept endless recession as a possibility and assign that a probability, bau, plentiful supply, milk and honey, all with a probability. plan a, plan b, etc.

many don't have plan b and some don't have plan a.

My "rant" that wasn't a rant was specific to the huge real estate bubble that these folks were blowing and that it was time to back off. They didn't want to hear it. Since then the principles of this little group have defaulted on more than $40 million in properties, the combined group much more. This greed and lack of foresight has done tremendous damage to our local economy, the 2 banks that financed many of these "deals" have closed (at taxpayer expense) and many of these folks have packed up and left town. Full time jobs at a living wage are not to be found. My wife (who worked for these guys) has been un/underemployed for 22 months.

I'm sure that the U6 numbers for our county are well over 20% and the local paper has had to add a section for foreclosure notices. The folks that bought into these developments have seen promises broken, incompleted infrastructure and property values cut in half. Many abandoned properties. Tax revenues are down dramatically so my property taxes will surely go up while my property values drop.

So, Jack, I really don't care what you think about your "torture", Ardvark's "endless mind-numbing prattle" or someone's social isolation factor. I was dead on right to speak out. Those who don't are guilty cowards, IMO. This isn't a time for fence sitting.

"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco".


My point was really directed to the aardvark and sentiment such as:

suffer the endless mind-numbing prattle of adult-sized children

If you assume everyone is an adult-sized child (which aardvark does does in another comment in this thread) and treat them accordingly, you aren't going to break down many barriers.

I have met a lot of people who I initially thought were idiots and was proven wrong. I'm sure others say the same thing about me.

I just do find a lot of doomer rant to be self-righteous, patronizing, and counter-productive.

I'm sorry if it seemed I was lumping you into the wrong group. Again my comment was to aardvark.

Perhaps the superdoomers (aardvark not-with-standing, I consider him fairly moderate compared to many) do us a favor. They may make the more focused of us seem a bit more sane. In my case, I have a good record of being pretty accurate about where trends will lead us and tend to back things up with data, history and credible sources (with a lot of help from this and other sites), but I agree, once you hit someone over the head with an idealogical club, they likely aren't listening anymore.

It's important to realize that most folks don't have the background to contextualize decline and dramatic change. It helps to "break 'em in slowly". I find that folks are a bit more receptive these days, considering what many are going through. Some are even getting downright 'doomerish' and need to be pulled back from the brink. Sometimes I'll point them to JHK, and when they get the 'deer in the headlights' look, I'll turn them on to someone like Greer (a friend and his son are all excited about his 'Green Wizard' thing).
I like to use the term 'exciting times' alot ;-)

That said, I believe folks have limited time to make basic preparations and it's not a time for half measures. Ultimatly this is what I try to impart to those I care about.

I do agree that extreme arguments on one side, if compelling, can shift the middle, which is very important. I am less concerned with position on the spectrum than whether or not an argument is based on fact, analysis, science or other rational grounding. I think the hysterical right wing extreme arguments against climate change (and gay marriage) have backfired, and shifted the middle away from them.

People may act like sheep sometimes, but we are rational beings at others. Angry ideological muck does attract a frightening number of people, but a focus on reason is the best long term strategy.

Perhaps the superdoomers...

i prefer the term rabid doomers. there is nothing super about a doomer, imo.

1. irrationally extreme in opinion or practice:

supercavedwellers.....that may have a future too.

Adult-sized Children - people who are entirely dependant on BAU, ignorant of the problems their industrial civilization are creating, and who demand 'someone' fix it for them so they can continue to act like children and not take responsibility for themselves and their behavior.

If the shoe fits ...

Throw a stone into a pack of Pigs and the one that Oinks the loudest is the one that got hit.

Jack, you must be talking to someone else, and accidently posted to my comment.

1. Note that I said I do NOT discuss doom at social events. What is kind of funny is how some friends and relatives bring up subjects like that, but I stay out of those conversations because they never go deeper than small talk and rants.

2. The social isolation is selective. It has nothing to do with narcissm or self-destruction. Imagine you are islamic, or of some other very different culture and the people at your social activities are from a narcissistic culture of consumerism and flesh-fetish.

How long can you tolerate the differences before you wittle down your social circle to those whose culture and morals are similar to your own?

Either you are building a strawman and want me to fill in as a model, or you are talking to someone else.

Sorry I woke you up, you can now go back to sleep and keep dreaming of your own boogey men.

Imagine you are islamic, or of some other very different culture and the people at your social activities are from a narcissistic culture of consumerism and flesh-fetish.

How long can you tolerate the differences before you wittle down your social circle to those whose culture and morals are similar to your own?

I am not entirely sympathetic to islamic cultural isolation in western countries. But I have just finished reading Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Nomad, so may be influenced.


I do think one needs to associate themselves with people of similar moral viewpoints. But more broadly think social expansion in a time of stress is better than social contraction. I guess that I just don't find that the people at my social activities are as bad as all that. But I live in a big weird city, maybe it's different elsewhere.

I see self-imposed cultural isolation as more of a natural force than a choice (think in terms of "social chemotaxis"). The desire to limit your exposure gets much stronger when you start seeing your children get sucked into the pigstye.

I agree about the social network expansion in times of stress. But the majority of social networks around me are not at all equipped to handle the stresses we are starting to experience. Did you ever try to save a drowning person, or several dozen of them at once ?

I think we will need more stress before those I call "adult sized children" join our networks. At that point, I imagine my social network will expand rapidly.

(P.S. thank you very much for the book reference. It sounds like a must-read)

Yes. Different people and different situations warrant different approaches. I never intended to be proscriptive and know that social isolation, in a wide range of degrees can be a positive choice. And as long as it is that, I am OK with it.

There is a conflict in being positive when things look bad and maybe it looks like a cop out. I just oppose negativity for its own sake. I do think it is destructive.

But I don't want judge anyone for how they react to negative situations, especially when I know nothing about them.

aard said:

I'm invited to a friend's campsite this weekend for a mini-reunion of old classmates. I doubt i'll go. At social gatherings like this I no longer bring up anything remotely related to "doom" and instead suffer the endless mind-numbing prattle of adult-sized children."

Hokey Smokes, aard! I thought I was the only one that felt like that. Crap!

Well, we have to deal with it somehow...so I've taken up the perspective of being a good listener and asking good questions. I've been accused of "lecturing to 6th graders" when topics of Peak Fossil Fuels and AGW come up. I thought I was adding to the conversation and sharing information (mostly because my social contacts do not follow these topics at all, so when the topics are broached, most of my friends sit and stare until someone else brings up the latest "American Idol" idiocy, or the new store in the fashion Mall, or if the Braves are still in first place...). Those are not crimes against humanity, mind you, but I suppose I should point out that many of my friends are, like me, scientists...


I'm a scientist too. My fellows on our tiny campus are very much like those you describe (i.e Adult-sized children).

Our school has financial problems. I mentioned faculty pay cuts to an admin and she said to shut up, or the rest of the faculty will lynch me ;)

We have an "institute" and student clubs that are "green" but their activities are superficial BAU. I know that sounds harsh and arrogant, but it is the truth. Gentle persuasion is not a option, real effort costs them too much.

I guess we have to "Grin and bear it."

I have a good friend married to a real estate developer. They were living in a smaller, older house.

He wanted to build his "dream house" - 4 times bigger, all the best materials, all the bells & whistles. Beautiful place.

They were going to sell it and make a quick profit. They had to rent out the small house and move into the new one, to keep it looking occupied. No buyers at any price.

Unfortunately, with both of them working, they are struggling to pay the construction loan.

I've been off the guest list for a while, ever since I commented on the energy usage of the new place...

The funny thing about my "subject matter" at the dinner party was that it was mostly positive; I suggested that it would be a good time to cash in and hunker down. Realtors and developers for the most part, it seems that they don't know how to identify a peak until it's too late. Optimists to the end. "Just one more deal...."

I think "mostly positive" can be pretty subjective ;)

Is that sort of like, "mostly dead"?

Or, "a little bit pregnant"?

It was more like; "Cheer up. Things could get a lot worse."

Or, "a little bit pregnant"?

Having had twins (actually my wife had them I was along for the ride), I know the difference between a little bit pregnant, and MORE than a little bit pregnant!

I am not going to be a slave to the bank,” said Shawn Schlegel, a real estate agent who is in default on a $94,873 home equity loan.

Since the lender made a bad loan, Mr. Hairston argues, a 10 percent settlement would be reasonable. “It’s not the homeowner’s fault that the value of the collateral drops,” he said.

The next time you hear someone whining about how only "corporate America" is getting bailed out, think about these two losers, who apparently believe that you only have to pay back the money you owe when things go your way. If we follow the logic of this argument, its the stockbrokers fault if you borrow money on margin to invest in stock, and the stock goes down, resulting in a margin call. In fact, its never the fault of the borrower for refusing to pay back a loan, its always the fault of the lender.

Yet corporate America does exactly that every day.

A mortgage is a business document. It's a contract. It clearly says if you pay, you get the property when paid in full, and if you don't pay, the bank gets the property instead.

For example, on the one hand, the Mortgage Banker's Association says:

Real estate professionals call it “buy and bail,” acquiring a new house before the buyer’s credit rating is ruined by walking away from the old one because it’s “underwater,” or worth less than the mortgage. It’s an attempt to escape payments on a home whose value may never recover while securing a new property, often at a lower price with a more affordable loan.


“Making it possible to pursue people who do this particular kind of default would go a long way to addressing the buy-and-bail problem,” said Jay Brinkmann, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association in Washington.

But look at their actions for what they really think: The Mortgage Banker's Association appears to have done ITSELF EXACTLY WHAT THEY ARGUE OUGHT TO BE MADE ILLEGAL!

Reference: Mortgage Bankers Association: HYPOCRITES

Bankers know that a mortgage is just another business contract. If you are willing to walk away from the mortgage, they don't have much choice in most states other than to take the keys to the place. And given that these same banks knew that they were making bad loans, I don't have one bit of sympathy for them, Runeshade. If they didn't want the loan to blow up, there's an old formula for ensuring it almost never happens - it's called 20% down and house payment not more than about 35% of disposable income. The fact that these same bankers deliberately ignored that tried and true formula doesn't cause me to shed any tears for them. Indeed, I expect them to burn in the very hell they are creating.

So...why didn't we give the bailout money to the people and make them pay the bank off and keep their houses?

That way the folks could keep their houses AND the bankers would still get the moolah.

Certainly that would have been better than giving the same money to the banks, and then the banks going ahead and still foreclosing on folks...

Seems like the big knob options were:

1.) Bail out the banks, nutin for the people getting foreclosed upon

2.) Pay off the outstanding mortgages...folks keep their homes, banks still get the money

3.) pay off no one and let it all burn.

So what if all the house values fall after paying off people's loans...at least they will have homes...who cares what they are worth?

Not fair to those who had not yet bought houses? Oh well, at least there would still be an economy to support a housing market,and houses would probably be cheaper.

Call it a one-time jubilee...least worst of the alternatives...

This blog post Debt Repudiation: Good Idea or Bad Idea? gives a good sampling of views on debt repudiation.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard wrote in 2009:

In the end, the only way out of all this global debt may prove to be a Biblical debt Jubilee.


Economist Steve Keen is also calling for a debt jubilee, stating:
We should write the debt off, bankrupt the banks, nationalize the financial system, and start all over again.

"We need a twenty-first century jubilee... "

I know I recently read some good arguments against the concept or and the improbability of having a Jubilee, but can't recall where.

What happens if the forclosure rate gets so high that many folks who have only one residence and have been in their homes for years, perhaps have well over 50% equity in their home (even at reduced values) are loosing their homes?

It seems to me that will be the point of collapse. So start the 'jubilee' with these folks. Unfortunately, these are the folks that the banks will put pressure on first because they have a good record of payment and plan to stay put. Once the next wave of forclosures starts or banks start calling their loans, these will be the folks that get called first because the banks have the best chance of recovering their losses. This needs to be prevented.

At what point should (will) govts start to say "no more" to banks?

What happens if the forclosure rate gets so high that many folks who have only one residence and have been in their homes for years, perhaps have well over 50% equity in their home (even at reduced values) are loosing their homes?

You don't lose your home due to lack of equity... nor does a high forclosure rate directly affect homeowners who are making their mortgage payments. In fact, the longer a person has been in their current home, the less likely they are to be forclosed on. I'd love to find a chart showing how many years into the mortgage that each forclosee was, but I don't have one. Due to the nature of interest on home mortgages being front-loaded, someone won't have more than 50% equity in their house until they are 19 or more years into the mortgage... unless the home value has appreciated significantly over the entire course of their mortgage. Someone who has been making the same mortgage payment for 19 or more years is unlikely to suddenly stop making payments and be forclosed on unless they have a significant life-change, like a major job-loss or health issue. This kind of forclosure is a completely different animal from the scenario/article that was originally discussed, where an irresponsible borrower was able to obtain a loan with a payment that they could not afford, often with little to no equity/down payment, while trying to "flip" the house for a profit. When the house value dropped, the gamble backfired and the person walked away from the house, leaving others (the bank and the taxpayers) to cover their losses.

Forclosure doesn't just happen to people... it is caused by failure to make the monthly mortgage payments. Its definately a bad situation to find oneself in. However, I personally wonder what people think would happen to a renter in the same situation who fails to make his/her monthly rent payment. Is life somehow worse for the forclosed homeowner as versus the evicted renter?

However, I personally wonder what people think would happen to a renter in the same situation who fails to make his/her monthly rent payment. Is life somehow worse for the forclosed homeowner as versus the evicted renter?

I think it depends. Some people being foreclosed now can actually make the payments; they choose not to, for financial reasons. (And I have no problem with that. If the shoe were on the other foot, the bank would do the same thing.)

If you're filthy rich and decide to quit paying because you're upside down, you'll obviously be much better off than a poor person who's booted out of his rental because he can't pay.

But if you're talking about people of equal wealth...then I think the renter will be in better shape. Assuming he or she stashed the extra money from not buying in the bank, rather than spending it on vacations or fancy cars or designer shoes. Not least because they can move before they get into serious trouble.

So...why didn't we give the bailout money to the people and make them pay the bank off and keep their houses?

We didn't give it to "the people", because "the people" didn't have the money in the first place, which is why they had to take out the loan. You can't really lose what you never actually had. Since these folks seem to be walking away from their mortgages, the only thing they really lost was whatever down payment that they actually put into the house. In some cases, they took "no money down:" loans to boot, so in reality, they didn't lose anything except for a bunch of money that the bank gave to them, and whatever credit rating they might have built up. The house payments that they actually did make became the equivilent of rent for the time they lived in the house. Why should we reward people for borrowing money and then losing it? Talk about a government program that would make no sense whatsoever.

Look at it this way, before the defaulter took out the loan, they didn't own a home. After walking away from their mortgage, the defaulter still doesn't own a home. In essence, they went full circle from renter to mortgage payer, to defaulter and back to renter again. The bank, on the other hand, gave these people actual money, which was not paid back to them. Meanwhile, the money that was given to the defaulter is based on money that bank depositors "loaned" to the bank. For every defaulter, there is one (or many) bank depositors... maybe an old retired couple with their life savings in that bank, etc. When the Fed steps in to bail out that bank, in reality, they are preventing the irresponsible borrower from causing the bank depositors, regular folks with bank accounts at that bank, to lose their savings. If you had your checking and savings accounts at any bank affected by all this mess, in essence the government bailed you out personally... While the stockholders of these banks lost their investments, these depositors are "the people" who were actually bailed out.

No-Party-Affiliation political ads:

Grim Voter Mood Turns Grimmer

The sour national mood appears all-encompassing and is dragging down ratings for the GOP too, suggesting voters above all are disenchanted with the political establishment in Washington.

Just 24% express positive feelings about the Republican Party, a new low in the 21-year history of the Journal's survey. Democrats are only slightly more popular, but also near an all-time low.

Mr. Hart said the 2010 contest is being pulled by the sentiment associated with the JetBlue flight attendant who fled his plane via the emergency chute after an altercation with a passenger.

Calling it the "JetBlue election," Mr. Hart said: "Everyone's hurling invective and they're all taking the emergency exit."

It seems to me that the drought and fires of Russia are being basically ignored by the US media. Foolish.

"“The trade is guessing that the Russian wheat crop is anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent devastated,” Allendale’s Nelson said. “At this point, we don’t know what it’s going to be. They’re into harvest in key drought areas right now.”

“It has the potential to be very explosive the next five weeks because by then we will know if Russia gets enough rain to plant its winter-grain crops,” Rand Financial’s Macintosh said. “It will take a miracle for Russia to get enough rain to get winter crops fully established” before freezing temperatures arrive at the end of September, he said. "

Won't be that way for long. AGW is not just more AC and replacing dock pylons.

fires of Russia are being basically ignored by the US media. Foolish.

The gifts of Nuclear power just keep giving!

Russia is mounting extra patrols to fight wildfires in a region hit by nuclear fallout from Chernobyl, amid fears that radiation could spread.

AGW is not just more AC and replacing dock pylons.

Yup. The proposed mass solution of carbon trading is just an economic con job.

For every unit spent on actual carbon reduction, a unit goes to the "investor" class like Goldman Sachs.

Only 30% of the funding goes to actual reduction - the rest is "overhead".

Adding to the fires, most of their wheat crop was destroyed by the drought.
Here we go with global warming round 1.....
US should trade wheat for Russian oil.....

My original post highlighted the fact that about 30% of this year's wheat crop is lost. But it is the second quote that to me is more perilous, that it will take a miracle to establish next year's winter grain crops. Folks just don't realize the importance of fall seeded grains in northern climes, and how close we already are to freezing weather.

I think we are locally only a month away from killing frosts, for normal years. After the wet, cool start, there's not much time left for your garden tomatoes or squash to ripen.

Couldn't agree more, there's massive climate related events going on around the World which are barely mentioned in the media. Heat, drought, flooding all across the Northern Hemisphere in various degrees of seriousness. 14 million people alone in Pakistan affected.

And in the Southern Hemisphere:

Snow in Brazil and Argentina

For a second day running it snowed Wednesday in Southern Brazil and in twelve of Argentina’s 24 provinces including parts of Buenos Aires as a consequence of the polar front covering most of the continent’s southern cone with zero and below zero temperatures.

1 Million Fish Dead in Bolivian Ecological Disaster

Over 1 million fish [now revised up to 6 million] and thousands of alligators, turtles, dolphins and other river wildlife are floating dead in numerous Bolivian rivers in the three eastern/southern departments of Santa Cruz, Beni and Tarija. The extreme cold front that hit Bolivia in mid-July caused water temperatures to dip below the minimum temperatures river life can tolerate. As a consequence, rivers, lakes, lagoons and fisheries are brimming with decomposing fish and other creatures.

Unprecedented: Nothing like this has ever been seen in this magnitude in Bolivia. Inhabitants of riverside communities report the smell is nauseating and can be detected as far as a kilometer away from river banks.

Agriculture is being affected everywhere, Nature is withdrawing Her services (primary economy) which is beginning to affect the secondary economy (physical production). This doesn't bode well for a World expecting ever more from a resource base showing increasing signs of fatigue.

" it will take a miracle to establish next year's winter grain crops. Folks just don't realize the importance of fall seeded grains in northern climes, "

Your're right. I didn't think about. So what happens next year if the winter grain fails?

Luckily we have surplus stocks from prior years which give us circa 90 days supply. IIRC in 2008 wheat stocks fell to about 45 days supply and things started to look a little grim, although price rises caused production to rise too, saving the day. But, the market and surplus stocks cannot negate the effects of a rising population, increased meat production and stagnating agricultural output which will eventually lead to global food shortages.

When today's perfect storm becomes tomorrow's normal we will be in deep gooey stuff. 2010/11 forecast for wheat is already lower than this year's badly affected harvest as it is, and that doesn't allow for any problems Russia may have with their winter wheat sowing.

Throw in a global financial oligarchy speculating on hunger to support their lavish lifestyle, a contra trend of deflationary pressures and a climate increasingly moving towards extremes, then who knows what next year will bring.

Something I've not seen mentioned anywhere. When other sources of food which are currently supporting the global population (ie. fish, meat, vegetables, fruit, etc.) come under increasing difficulties (ie. dying oceans, animals dying due to heat or cold, vegetables & fruit succumbing to climatic extremes, soil depletion, etc. ) then demand for grains will probably increase due to substitution. Increasing dependence on fewer sources of nutrition would lead us towards a potential Irish famine like catastrophe. The consequences of dietary change would also lead to an explosion of ill health and sickness globally as so called genetic diseases kicked in due to poor or unsuitable nutrition (aka. wheat, corn, dairy, soya, etc.).

My immediate guess is that they will consider switching production next spring to other crops. That will entail plowing up the fall seeded ground next spring, should they risk planting now, and hoping to absorb the loss. Many will be unable, for they don't have the tools/machinery or wherewithal to switch. Not to mention the bind and weed situation it may place in their rotation pattern. Some may switch to new spring seeded varieties, such as the new "hard" white wheats, but I don't know if those have been developed in that part of the world. Most I think will end up letting their fields lie fallow, storing moisture. This is a common practice over much of the US where annual ppt is insufficient for annual cropping.

I recall well the last time this was an issue in the interior PNW, 1988 I believe was the year. Then, the seed was "drilled into the dust". We were fortunate, rains came late that fall, and unlike Russia, hard freezes which break the plant roots did not occur till late, after the plants had gained a toehold and gone dormant.

Anybody weith a brain and a little practical knowledge of the current economic banking and regulatory system knows that cap and trade is a joke.

Speaking as a REAL conservative with an understanding of the basic sciences-and therefore an understanding of our overshoot problems - rather than a repuglithan ingonant of these matters,I understand that what we need is a straight up carbon tax,which would get the jod done more economically and fairly, without creating another trough for the banker and regulatory hogs to wallow in, scratching each others backs at the expense of everybody else.

There would simply be fewer opportunities to cheat, fewer regulators would be needed, and the bankers and brokers wouldn't be needed at all.

Sometimes less govt can get the job done more effectively than more govt;this is the case in the case of cap and trade.

Unfortunately real conservatives with some training in the sciences are not numerous and tend to keep thier mouths shut since they are apt to be heavily invested in bau.

Repuglithans are as a general thing no more true conservatives than liberals are true communists.

Both words have been hijacked and raped by political partisans, until the average citizen who percieves himself to be in one or the other camp scarcely has an inkling as to the true original meanings of either word.

Todays conservatives are yesterdays liberals in a true sense. ;)

OFM, the only difference between liberals and conservatives these days is who's trough gets the slop. They all spend about the same, so it's just a matter of who pitches and who catches.

Leanan linked to a Fortune article yesterday....... http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/11/news/economy/economic_collapse_GDP_unemp...
........that concluded with a quote most of us have seen here before:

"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

I read Democracy in America in highschool. I wonder how many students these days have to read De Tocqueville.

Both words have been hijacked and raped by political partisans, until the average citizen who percieves himself to be in one or the other camp scarcely has an inkling as to the true original meanings of either word.

olderfarmermac, well said. Those who value and cherish "conservative" or "liberal" ideals have been disenfranchised by spin doctors and insiders redefining the political talk.

In English speaking countries where voting is voluntary, voter turn-out has been on the steady decline. Popular participation in government is becoming less popular with each passing election.

The 2008 election in the U.S. bucked the trend. Highly unlikely to be repeated in 2010 or 2012.

Does not bode well for the future of representative government.

Sadly, the passive consumer (whether satiated or destitute) is heir-presumptive to the active citizen.

Unfortunately the drop off in citizen participation is part of a vicious cycle that end up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. We eschew participation in an increasingly corrupt system, enabling the system to become yet more corrupt. Rinse and repeat.

OFM, You are right. The dynamic is basically one to promote no action whatsoever. The so called conservatives have made tax such an untouchable third rail, that out of desperation cap and trade is resorted to as the only politically possible alternative. Then political forces representing narrow minded constituencies go to work. Aided by those who want to make the proposal/system fail. Then they shout, "but it is so lousy a way to do things, and greedy speculators will get their hands in the pie...". Then we are back to square one.

Meanwhile, back on the planet, the window of opportunity, both for climate change, and for making the transition away from fossil fuels reasonably smooth is closing.


You are so right, labels are meaningless, but actions still speak volumes.

Cap and trade is a con job, but it is not the only con job. Anytime the government needs 2000 + pages to write a bill you can be sure that plenty of people are stealing from someone’s piggy bank.

A carbon tax would do the job but I so hesitate to give the same robbers more tax money. After all, what did they do for us last time?

Far better to give consumers of carbon based products a credit (like a credit card rewards program) that they could cash in for prizes. The only companies who could redeem the credits would be alternative energy suppliers and the credit value would be based on EROI. These companies could in turn collect cash for the credits from the oil companies themselves. The only place for government would be to set the EROI standards and audit the transactions. (And private industry could do this better.)

Putting a price on carbon is among the most important things mankind can do reduce climate impacts and improve our energy balance.

A carbon tax and cap and trade are two methodologies for achieving this. Anybody "weith a brain" should be able to see that the difference between the two is not huge. Implementing a well-designed carbon tax or a well-designed cap and trade program could be among the most positive things society could do.

It is legitimate to argue that a carbon tax would be more effective than cap and trade - or that cap and trade would be more effective than a carbon tax.

Either one can be stricter, simpler, or more efficient. At the end of the day, it is all in design. Both have drawback as well.

But anyone pretending that one is great and one is terrible is wrong. It is like a starving man saying a turkey sandwich is wonderful, but a ham sandwich terrible. You may like one more than another, and someone else may feel the other way, but at the end of the day, they are both paths to a solution and wind up in the same place.

It seems to me that the drought and fires of Russia are being basically ignored by the US media.

Airline steward meltdown is far more engaging, and distracting.

Especially "distracting."

Don't want to worry the adult-sized children of america going into an election.

Another disaster too far away to be interesting to the corporate media:

A third of Pakistan is now under water, and fresh rainfall threatens two more waves of flooding in the southern Sindh province.

Details at Juan Cole's Informed Comment blog.

And the meteorologists are still going - "are these events connected ?"

"What's behind the weather chaos?" By Brandon Miller, CNN Meteorologist

"(CNN) -- Is the record-shattering heatwave that has been blamed for the death of thousands in Russia somehow related to the devastating flooding in Pakistan?

Are these disasters happening more frequently -- and are they a result of global warming?

Sometimes these connections can clearly be observed and understood. At other times they are more complex, taking place across time scales much longer than we are able to observe.....

....So, while we can tie many of these global weather disasters together around a common meteorological trigger, we cannot say for certain if climate change is helping to pull that trigger, or perhaps loading the gun more frequently.

One thing is for sure: as global weather disasters will continue to happen, and our knowledge and coverage of them continues to improve, we will continue to question if they are related, and what is really causing them."


Let's continue to question, and not do anything about it...(/sarc)

I think they've all been told, "Don't ever attempt to connect ANY weather event to global warming!"

But they can still try to suggest connections between one event and another :-)

And, yes, it will be awhile before anybody in the MSM can suggest DOING anything about it....

I was just watching a CNN interview regarding the giant iceberg that just broke off in Greenland.

Interviewer : "Why do you think the iceberg broke off?"

Respondent : "mumble, mumble...ocean currents, mumble"

more general stuff...

Interviewer : "Should we"(I kid you not) "bomb the iceberg in case it becomes a danger to shipping ?"

I tuned out after that...

Sure we should bomb it unless there are good reasons of which I am unaware not to bomb it- if it gets into places it might cause major loss of life and lucre.

We undoubtedly have lots of old dumb bombs laying around someplace which are no longer really useful in real life, considering we now have smart bombs, and the pilots and aircraft mechanics gotta stay in training, and the people building bombers can sell us more when the ones we have are worn out. ;)

Life is altogether too much like a dog chasing its tail sometimes.

I wonder if the climate models currently in use are way the hell off and that changes due to warming in a big way might have already started showing up in this years erratic weather.

We locally have had so far this year the wettest and latest spring in memory after the harshest winter since 77,then a record busting drought, then record busting heat combined with record busting humidity and excessiver rain. We have had a new record of days exceeding ninety degrees in a row.

Things are happening to our crops we have never seen before, and the old folks here are REALLY old.

Which would you rather have: One giant iceberg, well-charted, everyone knows where it is, or...

Bomb the giant icebergl, and have hundreds or thousands of very large icebergs, which no one can keep track of, each of which is a menace to shipping.

That's one reason I can think of why not to bomb it.

But people seem to love to bomb things. Gotta DO something.

President to America, in serious TV event:

"I am happy to tell you, America, that I have authorized the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy to bomb and torpedo the giant iceberg."

[[beats chest]]

"Take that, you terrorist iceberg!"

Meanwhile, in related news, Reddy Ice has a fleet of merchandisers preparing to collect the remains, unaware that POTUS has decided to us Nukes.

- -- - - - - -

Didn't the Shaw of Iran, or the King of Saudi Arabia plan to corral icebergs and use the water and ice to water the desert at one point? Just a vague recollection.

Make mine a frozen margharita.

Best wishes for nice ice.


Push that puppy over to Saudi Arabia and save them some desal costs.

My comment was mostly in fun, partly sarcasm.

You may be right about lots of little ice bergs being the greater problem, this sounds logical.But maybe bombing would only speed up thier creation, thereby also getting rid of them faster

I don't know how big icebergs usually behave-do they break up into lots of small icebergs naturally, or just slowly melt away over a very long period of time?

I doubt if there are enough old dumb bombs around, or pilots in need of training, to bomb "little" ones of the size that cause shipwrecks.

At any rate , I an under the impression that modern ships can detect icebergs with thier navigational radar and other electronic gear, so collisions should be very rare .


It is also a record cold winter in Peru, -20 C Vs a normal of 0 C. I can get behind all this anecdotal evidence that climate is variable and perhaps more variable this year-- what is not clear is that any model predicts both hot and cold records being set at the same time.

I suppose there is more CO2 in the northern hemisphere than the southern but evidence that warming tracks with CO2 concentration is a weak correlation (and sometimes not correlated at all -- at least not the exponential nature of the CO2 concentration ) I accept that something is going on and we don't understand it. What is the ice pack doing in Antartica -- last time I heard it was deepening. Some kind of hemisphere cycle out in the Atlantic -- maybe going to shut off the Gulf Stream. But how is carbon doing this? Or maybe El nino changing to La nina?


As world burns, CNN skeptic Chad Myers finally admits global warming ‘is caused by man’

As world burns, CNN skeptic Chad Myers finally admits global warming ‘is caused by man’

I wonder how long before his job dissapears.

And the meteorologists are still going - "are these events connected ?"

This may be an early round in the debating point on which will cause more immediate and profound problems, Peak Oil or Anthropogenic Global Climate Change.

This may be a big score for the AGCC being more immediate and disastrous point of view.

From the Archives

OIL SUPPLY IN COAL AND CORN - St. Petersburg Times - Jan 21, 1928

WASHINGTON. Jan 21.—{JP} — When present petroleum deposits in the United States are exhausted the country can turn to oil shale, coal, corn, and sugar cane for a supply of oil and oil substitutes that will last for many years, in the opinion of the federal oil conservation board.

The board further recommended that while there was no immediate need of developing oil from shale and coal, the study of the technical problems involved in the process should be carried on, as eventually the well oil in the country would be exhausted.

The substitution of alcohol for efficient uses of all the products of gasoline, the constant study of more petroleum, and the possible substitution of crude oil burning engines for the high compression motors now generally used were mentioned by the board as means of conserving the country's supply of oil fuels.

Who'd-a-thunk we had a "Federal Oil Conservation Board" from 1924-1934. It might be time to reinstate that one! I mean, why create new federal boards when you can just recycle the old ones?

"FOCB"? Sounds like a restaurant specializing in yogurt. From 1929: Business & Finance: Smooth Oil - TIME

As to the meeting itself, its outstanding result was an agreement to restrict 1929 oil production in North and South America to approximate its 1928 output of 1,075,369,847 barrels. Output of various companies will be pro-rated by five regional committees; restriction is apparently on a voluntary "gentlemen's agreement" basis. Had the U. S. oilmen been European oilmen, they might have drawn up a very solemn legal compact involving fines for overproduction and compensation for underproduction. But despite the fact that President Coolidge in 1924 appointed a Federal Oil Conservation Board which consistently recommended co-operation within the oil industry as a cure for over production, the U. S. tycoon is still a little nervous concerning production agreements which might provoke anti-trust proceedings. So everyone simply shook hands all around and Edwin Benjamin Reeser, head. of A. P. I., also of Barnsdall Corp., Tulsa independent, said: "For the first time in the life of the Institute a child has been born."

Wow - did they even have Socialists referred to as such back then?!?!? Prorationing, what is this, some stodgy centralized economy? Dad Joiner's wildcat would subsequently make the very notion laughable until the Rangers enforced it at gunpoint. The RRC kept trying to feebly demand that companies hold to quota, in the kind of sad display we know come to expect from agencies like the SEC.

texas had to grant exceptions to anti-trust laws to allow unitized(waterflood) operations. the concept of unitizing a field was considered a communist plot by some at the time.

The Economic Evolution of Petroleum Property Rights in the United States


Wow! I am in awe of the historical perspective you guys can provide. It's amazing how yesterday's 'communist plot' can turn into today's 'best practices'.

Thanks for the link, elwood, interesting reading. Author says on pg 22 that Prudhoe declined not due to geologic factors but due to inability of producing parties to reach an agreement on what to do with the ever expanding gas cap, which is one I've never heard before and also fishy sounding since BP have been injecting water into the gas cap itself for 8 years now. I thought the reinjection program solved the problem of what to do with the gas, at least until it was time to blow the cap down; also pre production projections like the one I linked to previously all seemed to show the field declining sometime in the mid-80s.

FYI - The Texas Rail Road Commission still has the proration law in effect. The allowable (what percent of a well's rate a company is allowed to produce). Since just before the embargo days of the 70's the allowable rate has been 100%. The TRRC sets the allowable every month. Any time the TRRC wants to limit the rate of oil production in Texas they still have the authority.

FWIW - I linked to a story from the late 70's where the allowable plunged down to something like, oh, 99%. Turn those screws! Dunno if they ever really shut in much of anything.

Denninger's silly expectations for leaders...

Cut The Cord to PIMPco

Now comes Bill Gross with yet another threat:

Bill Gross, who manages the world’s largest bond fund, said on Wednesday that he would not buy bonds backed by mortgages unless the US government continued to guarantee the debt.

So what? Gross has, over the last couple of years, successfully goaded the government into giving him guaranteed profits by essentially demanding - and getting - policy moves which he unabashedly and publicly front-ran!

PS: I am arguing here against my own apparent interests - I own my home free and clear, and as such every dollar of deflation of the bubble that occurs is a dollar I won't be able to get from someone if and when I sell. But my personal interest in a bubble economy "price" for my home is outweighed by what is right for the country.

If I can do it, so can Congress and The President.

(edit - my emphasis added)

Utilization of Sulfur Wastes from Sour Gas and Crude Oil



published in 2008
–p8 of 29 projected gulf states sulfur prod.

and a related article:


where is bob shaw ?

Sulfur (S) is used in fertilizer production as described in the document you reference but it's not one of the big three: N-P-K. The ones Bob Shaw kept harping on are phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). There's plenty of nitrogen around.

More on P and K below but first, here's the scoop on sulfur from the 2010 USGS Mineral Commodity Summary for Sulfur:

World sulfur production increased slightly and is likely to steadily increase for the foreseeable future. Significantly increased production is expected from sulfur recovery at liquefied natural gas operations in the Middle East and expanded oil sands operations in Canada, unless the downturn in the world economy limits investments in those areas.

After elemental sulfur prices reached record highs during 2008, prices collapsed early in 2009 as demand plummeted and the global economy faltered. In August 2008, contract sulfur prices in Tampa, FL, reached about $600 per ton and remained at that level throughout September. By the end of November, however, the Tampa price had declined to less than $150 per ton, and in January 2009, prices were reported to be $0 per ton. The Tampa price recovered to about $30 per ton by the end of 2009. Export prices were higher than domestic prices, so exports were higher than they had been for many years. Sulfur prices were expected to increase more as the global economy improved but will probably never again achieve the levels seen in 2008.

Domestic phosphate rock consumption was lower in 2009 than in 2008, which resulted in decreased demand for sulfur to process the phosphate rock into phosphate fertilizers. The global economic slowdown contributed to the decreased demand for fertilizers.

As Bob kept reminding, the worrisome minerals are phosphate and potash. Being minerals they are mined which is why they are tracked by the USGS. In the days of guano and "pot ash" the sources of essential nutrients P and K were much more expensive.

Here are some charts on phosphate from the US Minerals Databrowser. One the left is US production, consumption and net exports of phosphate. (The US is exhibiting classic "Export Land Model" behavior with regard to phosphate.) On the right is world production in light gray, US production in darker gray and an adjusted price trend in green. (US production is down, world production is on a 'bumpy plateau' and the price is spiking.)

These same charts for potash, from which we get potassium, look just as scary. (Check out the long term price trend for potash and the amazing price spike when the US was cut off from German sources of mineral potash during WWI. Wow!)

Best Hopes for rekindling Bob Shaw's concern for these minerals.


yeah, as i understand it, sulphur is utilized or can be utilized in fertilizer production. my gig is sulfur supply as a by-product of sour gas production(not sulfur consumption).

.......that and making rabid doomers nervous.

bob shaw only came to mind because of his many posts on the subject.

Organic gardeners can use plain mineral sulfur to aid in phosphate utilization and to sweeten alkaline soil. It helps on the volcanic soil in my area.

Yeh, where is he? The fun factor has certainly gone down since he left TOD.

...for that matter, fleam, airdale, or darwinsdog?

airdale is back as "passingby".

What was the offense of airdale that got the airdale account wacked? Drunken posting?

My guess is that he simply forgot his password.

Nope - its in the 'you don't have permission' - the typical message for the deleted.

Airdale is a serious pouus Christian and he often expressed his outrage that religious people are so often ridiculed here in this forum, and that he was going to drop off and out to look after his own affairs.

I have no reason to think his membership was canceled.

Why would any one else think he was kicked off TOD?Have I missed something?

I hope he is ok, but he is old and was living alone on a farm-he might have died or had an accident or be liad up in a nursing home.

I don't believe he is posting as passingby;the content of the posts are similar, but the nuances and the prose style do not impress me as being from the same writer, even if the wrtiter is disguising his style.

Airdale is a serious pouus Christian

That explains the verbal charity he offered when:
1) City folk were idiots and he'd be a survivor because he knew how to forage
2) When shown to be wrong his response was to call others 'googlemeisters'
3) The comments about Native Americans

I have no reason to think his membership was canceled.

Because the account is 'you do not have permission' when one goes to view it.

My memory is fleam asked for an account deletion.

She was a regular reality check.

Hope you're ok, fleam! Drop us a line sometime.

The explanation for Bob Shaw (that he simply lost interest) is one I am not comfortable with, and I worry that he is not well.

darwinsdog posts almost daily on Sharon Astyk's blog, I don't know why he doesn't post here anymore.

I think some folks got disgusted during the oil spill swarm. I did until the Drumbeat and Campfire quieted down a bit.

oil spill swarm

Lots of angry folks who were looking for a place to vent.

(I stayed out because I had no framework to hang comments on, and I'm betting plenty of others posted on the nasty toxic nature of corex and how groups of people organized to accumulate capital will lie to do that/lie about their screw ups)

LED Bulb Edges Below $20

Cool. Still expensive but if you replace your most-used bulbs with these they will pay off eventually.

On economic recession, recovery, double-dip recession and depression...

Since late last year when (I think that's when) we started hearing talk about a recovery and the possibility of "double-dip" recession, I've been thinking about something Richard Heinberg said in The End of Suburbia, around 45 minutes in if you have a copy and want to revisit the video:

Consequences of global oil peak for the average family may not be immediately apparent. Because energy prices and the economy are so closely intertwined, that would probably result in an economic recession. The underlying direction of events would be toward decreased economic activity because there would be less energy available to fuel economic activity and people would be wondering why we're in recession after recession and why every recession seems to be a little bit worse than the last one and it takes longer to get out of it and then we never quite get out of the recession. Until finally it would come to the point, after a few years, where the recession would turn into, really, an economic depression. And in this case it will be one that never ends.

[emphasis mine--reading the bolded words teletype style being sort of how I remembered it before going back to transcribe the whole thing]

Seems like a rather prescient description from 2004 of what's happening now. Not that he was the first to link depletion and recession, of course. But the description of it unfolding... wow. Here we are in 2010, officially in recovery for almost a year now, from a recession that lasted a year and a half, but it turns out that it's a rather weak recovery and it seems like we'll need to recover from the recovery too.

Oh, and then about three minutes later in EoS, Kunstler hits one on the head too:

I think that Americans will elect maniacs...

Hello, November, 2010!

I think that Americans will elect maniacs...

Hello, November, 2010!

There sure are a lot of far right wing nuts that won their primaries. Will be interesting to see which ones get into office. Sharon Angle in Nevada and Ron Paul of Kentucky are definitely two to keep an eye on.

It seems likely people are thinking if the usual ones we elect aren't getting this economy moving, then by golly we'll elect someone really different. But that won't change the ledger sheets. In fact it might make it worse, as many of these wing nuts want to reduce taxation for the wealthy and corporations thinking it will invigorate the economy, and in turn bring in greater tax revenue for the government. But that tactic has repeatedly translated into less tax revenue.

"But that won't change the ledger sheets."

As the IMF succinctly put it, we are insolvent with 2 choices (or a combination). Double taxes on all personal and corporate income, or reduce spending by a like amount. I doubt the first will happen.

Correct. There are only two ways out and doubling taxes is political suicide with both parties simply because it will cause capital flight, leaving the US mired in depression for decades and whichever party proposes it will be destroyed, even by their own voters.

My expectation of proposed solutions is some relatively minor tax increases coupled with massive spending cuts in all categories.

These spending cuts will include the US military and create a political power vacuum globally. Into that vacuum will step regimes like Venezuela, Iran, and China. In some cases, those new regional powers may be preferable to the US. In other cases, those regional powers will be much worse than the US. The net impact on science and democracy globally will be largely negative, more negative even than the US has caused thus far. This will be further exacerbated by the ever more apparent need to secure and control real resources, which will drive more regional wars.

At home in the US, I expect a transition back to a late 19th century/early 20th century United States. Social Security may be vastly reduced or even vanish. Health care reform will slide by the wayside but all taxes associated with it will remain. The United States will have nothing substantial to trade on the dwindling global markets as the dollar reaches a rejection point, possibly as soon as 2020, causing constant shortages here in the US. The general populace will react with scapegoating and intolerance, pushing the nation further towards the brink of social collapse. Families will be forced into adopting the extended family structure again, purely because of economics. Security will be established and provided locally, mainly by local sheriffs and police, but vastly supplemented by unpaid volunteers (effectively a posse comitatus - the body of persons that a peace officer of a county is empowered to call upon for assistance in preserving the peace, making arrests, and serving writs). Food will be produced more locally. US diets will change to resemble diets of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, reflecting vegetables and fruits that can and will be grown in that region versus vegetables and fruits imported from around the world. Grains, because they are easy handled in bulk and store well, will still likely be transported longer distances, probably by rail. And this cheery scenario assumes that the country manages to hold together socially in one piece. If it comes apart, all bets are off. At that point get as far away from densely populated areas as you can.

And there is nothing that either party can do about this. The promises to pay are now so large that it would require the indentured servitude of the next 6-7 decades of Americans at tax rates double their current rates (on every level of taxpayer) in order to pay off the debts that exist right now, today, and that is with ZERO future government services of any type. And never mind the obligations that would arise in the future as Social Security and Medicare extend to more and more people. That simply proves the mathematical absurdity of the entire scam as it currently exists.

(No, I'm not thrilled with this view but reality is what it is and we're broke, whether people want to admit that or not.)

I can see Rand Paul possibly winning but Sharon Angle seems to be too much of a certifiable nut. I mean jeez . . . start using "second amendment remedies", no abortion even for rape/incest, she has earlier pushed for prohibition IN NEVADA!, she runs from reporters, she will only talk to friendly right-wing press, theocratic stuff, etc. I think many will plug their nose & vote for Reid even if they have not been happy with him since she's a nut.

I think that Americans will elect maniacs...

Um, wasn't the _previous_ US vice-president the one shotgunning their pal in the face? [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Cheney_hunting_incident ]

So, agree on the statement, but not the date provided of 2010-11 :)

Fair enough. I should have elaborated rather than resorting to one snarky sentence. I think "the crazy", as some are calling it, will be much more front and center during the campaigns (i.e. plastered all over the news, not just Fox) than it will be elected to office this year. As Peak Earl pointed out above, who gets elected won't change the ledgers. Assuming more of the same (foreclosures, high unemployment, cutbacks in local and state services, etc.) for a couple more years, 2012 might be the year. Or maybe not. Who knows.

I'm inferring that your reference to Cheney is soaked in your own sarcasm, but just in case it's not... I think his hunting malfunction is about the least convincing piece of evidence of Cheney's maniac tendencies. (-:

Any fan of Heinberg should read this:

Temporary recession or the end of growth?

I think it still too early to judge whether this recession will last forever, and I don't think it will. Essentially, depsite widepsread pessimism here and most everywhere else, the US economy is still in a bit of a small economic recovery. It's just that the job market is the last thing to improve, so for millions of Americans, this will be the recession that lasts forever.

But for most of us, it won't be - at least not while oil is more or less stays under $100 and doesn't rise too rapidly. Ironically, events like panic out of the Euro earlier this year (to be followed before long by the coming panic out of the dollar) have only served to reduce the price of oil and increase oil demand - in the US and even in the rest of the world (where countries are more or less pegging thier exchange rate to the dollar).

We are not quite at the tipping point of no return, in fact I also disagree with those pessimists who say that the stock market is due for a fall soon. I am expecting it to increase in the next few months, and no, we won't have widespread deflation. Keep in mind that I was a pessimist writing popular web articles five years ago about the coming collapse of Fannie Mae and a fast rise in the price of silver once the silver ETF would be launched, but financial and economic events are not always endlessly bad.

I'm not convinced we'll see a big leg down this fall, either. These things are just very difficult to predict exactly when they are going to happen. However, that it is going to happen is just a matter of time, of course. Also, you don't seem to account for the oil price spike coming in the next few years.

I'm not convinced we'll see a big leg down this fall, either.

Agreed. I think this is all going to happen far more slowly than many expected.

Note that this article is an update of one that appeared a year ago. Heinberg may be right on what's going to happen, but when is a whole 'nother matter.

Naw, it will happen in 2012... In 2013, the world welcomes President Palin to the stage, and the fun begins!!


I'd worry, but fortunately, the world ends on 12/21/12.

The Onion stands alone.


PORT FOURCHON, LA—In what may be the greatest environmental disaster in the nation's history, the supertanker TI Oceania docked without incident at the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port Monday and successfully unloaded 3.1 million barrels of dangerous crude oil into the United States.

According to witnesses, the catastrophe began shortly after the tanker, which sailed unimpeded across the Gulf of Mexico, stopped safely at the harbor and made contact with oil company workers on the shore. Soon after, vast amounts of the black, toxic petroleum in the ship's hold were unloaded at an alarming rate into special storage containers on the mainland.

From there, experts confirmed, the oil will likely spread across the entire country's infrastructure and commit unforetold damage to its lakes, streams, and air.

"We're looking at a crisis of cataclysmic proportions," said Charles Hartsell, an environmental scientist at Tufts University. "In a matter of days, this oil may be refined into a lighter substance that, when burned as fuel in vehicles, homes, and businesses, will poison the earth's atmosphere on a terrifying scale."

This may be satire but it is absolutely accurate.

The Boycott Continues: 14th Sequential Week Of Equity Outflows

... It is getting really bad: we have now had over a quarter of non-stop redemptions by mutual funds, which of course means, by end-retail investors.

The problem is that now everyone is starting to notice the stench that the market is not supported by anything except momentum manipulation and primary dealer machinations.

A loss of confidence in the markets might be part of the explanation, but I think most retail investors are cashing out because of financial hardship rather than loss of confidence.

a quarter of non-stop redemptions by mutual funds, which of course means, by end-retail investors.

I read the article, but still don't get the lingo to know what's going on here. Can you put it in laymen's terms?

Can you put it in laymen's terms?

People are taking their money out of the market. I agree with the earlier post . . . I think a lot of this may be driven by people pulling out money to deal with financial hardship. Perhaps they are pulling some money out to cover the mortgage/rent payment while they continue to look for another job. Owning a mutual fund means you already decided to let someone else handle your investment decisions . . . a redemption is more likely to be pulling money out instead of just changing your investment strategy.

I'm sure part of it is people withdrawing money because of financial hardship.

But I think there's also distrust of stocks that hasn't abated since the crisis of 2008. Older people who are realizing the stock market is far too risky for someone their age. People of all ages who don't trust the market, or don't think it's a level playing field for the little guy. And people who have been waiting for a selling opportunity to get out.

Look at the savings rate. It's high by American standards, and increasing. That tells me people have suddenly remembered that there's a difference between saving and investing, and they are doing more saving.

The stock market has always been too risky for older people and always will be. Practically speaking, anyone who may need to draw on assets over the course of the next ten years, should put cash into fixed income or more cash-like instruments. This would be true even in a case in which the expected returns to equity are high relative to other investment classes. Older people need secure income streams that they can count on, and equities have always been and will always be a risky asset class.

Yes, but I think it's pretty clear that many older people were overly invested in the stock market. The interest rates on CDs weren't very good, and a lot of brokers were telling their clients that with people living longer, even retirees needed to take more risk.

I don't think they understood just how risky it was. They should have, with the dot-com bust and all, but people are prone to optimism bias. They tend to remember the good rather than the bad, and to think that this time it's different, or it will be different for me.

but people are prone to optimism bias

Just imagine how gloomy TOD would be without this bias.

That thought has crossed my mind more than once. Aside from the clinically depressed, humans tend to believe they have far more power over their situations than they actually have, and that things are not as bad as they actually are.

And I would say this is true even of the doomiest here. If planting a garden doesn't represent faith in the future and the belief that things won't really change all that much, I don't know what does.

If you're interested in this topic, I recommend Stumbling On Happiness by psychologist Daniel Gilbert. He doesn't really deal with apocalyptic scenarios, but his studies of smaller, every day things ("will buying a new car make me happier?") is a pretty good window into the problems we have trying to predict the future.

If planting a garden doesn't represent faith in the future and the belief that things won't really change all that much, I don't know what does.

Yup. And picking a garden type that isn't what others expect gets you fees and notices from the city that you have 'weeds'.

That specific sentence means that for the last 3 months, every single reporting period showed that there was more money withdrawn from mutual funds than there was money deposited into the mutual funds.

Most mutual funds are nearly fully invested most of the time. So if people are taking money out of their mutual funds, the mutual fund has to sell stocks to cover those redemptions.

Leanan makes very good and valid points about the change in mood/attitudes toward investing.

This decade we had the dot.com crash, then housing bubble/stock market crash and now it looks like we are going down a third time.

Third time's a charm ?

I doubt the carcuss of the Stock Markets gets back up off the mat again in time for the 2012 election, if ever.

Thanks aardvark and Leanan for the clarifications. Certainly a very interesting development with the reduction in mutual fund investments for the last 3 months running. May be a signal we are headed for a double dip.

I heard a stat on CNBC, in which they said only 16% of the population is currently investing in stocks. But we all know that when the stock market has done great in the past, a much higher precentage jumps in. I understand that during the roaring twenties, cab drivers, school teachers, just about everyone was invested, as I'm sure it was during the tech stock craze and many other periods.

My take on a lack of investing in stocks is in part caused by the extreme volatility that has occurred during and after the 08 collapse. When the Dow can lose several hundred points in a single day, confidence will naturally be low. When that huge 1,000 point drop occurred from a malfunction it spooked many people. But also the post peak oil economic data keeps fluctuating in a narrow band of consumer malaise.

The withdrawals from mutual funds have been going on for some time and have been noted by many as inconsistent with the artificially pumped stock market values. However, reality is starting to creep through the rose colored glasses at CNBC and other market cheerleader locations and there's much more fear now than before. You can also see the materialization of fear in the drop of the Euro/US Dollar pair again, from 1.33 down to 1.28 in the last week. That's a serious drop for a single week. China is also facing real estate problems and a slowing economy as well.

All is not well with the New World Order and globalization. The chickens are coming home to roost.

As was commented by SA on TOD yesterday, the all-time minimum in Wall Street stock dispersion puts it into real concrete terms. Forget about all the talk about value in individual funds, the entire stock market is going up and down in unison as part of some kind of metastable game theory exercise. To me it looks like it has entirely become a plaything for the biggies to run their algorithms, and to try to squeeze each other out. What else to make of it, other than to describe it as some kind of zero-sum casino machine?


Thank you WHT and Greyzone for add extremely important details to the discussion.

The closer you look, the more details you see, the uglier it gets.

All of our Big Multi-Decade Plans for Transition require functional capital markets. Those markets are dying, the symptoms obvious, and the future of most of our "Big Plan B(S)" are dying with them.

"plans that either come to naught, or half a page of scribbled lines"
Pink Floyd

All that financial hardship sort of causes me to lose confidence...



The opposing views ...

Michael Pento Favors Depression vs. More Stimulus: Dan Greenhaus Can't Believe It


Long, hot summer of fire, floods fits predictions

...The WMO pointed out that this summer's events fit the international scientists' projections of "more frequent and more intense extreme weather events due to global warming."

In fact, in key cases they're a perfect fit:

Global warming may force Swiss gas line diversion

LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) - The operator of the main pipeline transporting gas through Switzerland to Italy might reroute the link as it could be damaged by rubble released by melting permafrost, it said on Thursday.

"Building a tunnel diversion would take around two years if all planning permits come through quickly," Paolo Beretta, technical director of pipeline operator Transitgas, told Reuters.

Transitgas was forced to close its nearly 300-kilometre long pipeline on July 23 as bad weather conditions threatened to release rocks which had been set free by melting ice layers.

Rerouting our gas lines because global warming is destroying them. Ha! You can't stop our destruction of you, Mother Nature! ;-)

That is almost as bad as the fact that we gleefully watch the polar ice-caps melt because it will simplify the task of drilling for oil in the polar regions.

The only good news I see on the climate change front are the studies that show even if we burn up all the coal, that will only push the CO2 concentration to 460ppm or so. Because we are going to burn it all up. We are humans and we really don't give a crap about future generations.

Bite the bullet now or kick the can down the road.

Which do you think folks will do ?

One of Matt Simmons observations is that because the spot market for oil dominates the world (courtesy Marc Rich)
and because of national secrecy
we have no idea what global oil production or production capabilities will be at any time in the future.

spot prices are based on current immediate supply divided by economic expectations = price

like driving on the highway with only a rear view mirror, and a view of the dashboard readouts in the car.

An interesting link comparing the EROEI of energy efficiency versus energy generation.

In previous articles, I’ve often claimed that the Energy Return on Energy Invested (ERoEI) for energy efficiency measures is much higher than the ERoEI for Renewable or fossil energy generation. This was based on the logic that a high ERoEI is needed to sustain the high financial returns from energy efficiency. Unfortunately, there are few studies of the energy return on energy efficiency, so most of my evidence was anecdotal.

No longer. I was just reading the 2009 Annual report for Green Building company PFB Corporation (PFBOF.PK.) PFB manufactures SIPS (Structural Insulated Panels) and ICFs (Insulated Concrete Forms) and in their sustainability report, they found that the energy saved by their insulation over 50 years would be approximately 130 times the energy used in its manufacture (see chart.)...

Since ERoEI is a flawed measure, I also calculated the Energy Internal Rate of Return (EIRR), using both 25 year and 50 year lifespans… they worked out to be 262% and 264%, respectively. For comparison, the highest EIRR I’ve found for a energy generation technology is 205% for wood cofiring. The EIRR for a wind turbine is around 84%, and a combined cycle natural gas plant has an EIRR about 164%.

In otherwords, insulation is a slam-dunk when it comes to energy economics. That’s no surprise, but it’s nice to have some numbers, so we have a better idea of just how good a slam dunk it is.

Indeed. Just doing something like building houses with 2x6s instead of 2x4s would very quickly pay for the thicker wood in heating and air-conditioning energy savings.

But we don't do it because we don't think past the next quarter.

Just doing something like building houses with 2x6s instead of 2x4s would very quickly pay for the thicker wood in heating and air-conditioning energy savings.

Unless the building code is changed to force greater R values, I wouldn't expect to see it. New construction should be expected to do the minimum needed to make code (and no more).

Walls are a bit of a problem. It is fairly easy to retro thicken your attic insulation, but doing anything about the walls requires major surgery. And with attic insulation codes already higher, the walls are probably more important. Thats probably more true for AC, as the attic has some ventilation, which removes much of the heat.

2x6 are local code.

Unless you are using some form of insulation that can boost the R value beyond fiberglass bat. Then you can use 2x4

Due to Climate Change and Energy Resource Depletion , Global Grain Supplies (GGS) are in decline.

Ramadan or not, hunger hits Pakistan flood victims

MULTAN, Pakistan — Pakistani flood survivors already short on food and water began the fasting month of Ramadan on Thursday, a normally festive, social time marked this year by misery and fears of an uncertain future.

Damage to crops, roads and bridges have caused food prices to triple in some parts of the country, adding to the pain of millions affected by one of the worst ever natural disasters to hit the already poor nation.

Wheat Supplies and Food Fears

Laurie A. Garrett, Senior Fellow for Global Health

August 9, 2010


But look who this report is from .... must be a conspiracy there somewhere..

At one time there was a '7 year grain reserve'.

That time has gone. The world grain reserve, last time I was it, was 42 days. I'm guessing it is even less now.

Looks like it's time for more biofuels!

the Global community relies on Seeds (Grains) .

Increasing population - decreasing Global Grains = ?

Peak Grain Production may have been already reached .

Peak grains! Wow, everything is peaking at the same time. Well, that is except population which is still rising. That will be quite a moment when the world pop. starts back down from a peak. What year will that be, hmm? Let's see, if peak oil discovery was in 1965 and 40 years later was peak oil production in 2005, then peak population should occur in _________ ?

Re: LED Bulb Edges Below $20

It's encouraging to see that the cost of LED technology continues to fall. However, for now, CFLs still offer better overall value for your lighting dollar. The simple payback for a $2.00 CFL is three months and in the case of the $20.00 LED option, it's three years (based on the assumptions noted below). The IRR values for our CFL and LED lamps are 350% and 37% respectively, and their ten-year NPVs are $63.05 and $44.26.

Basic Assumptions:

Cost per kWh (Year 1) $0.12
Hours per day operation 5 hrs
Cash discount rate 5.0%
Annual power rate increase 6.0%

Lamp Particulars:

Lamp Type Wattage Initial Lumens Nominal Life Lamp Cost 10 Year Op. Cost Simple Payback IRR NPV
Incandescent 40w 430 1,000 $0.25 $120.03 N/A N/A N/A
CFL 9w 580 10,000 $2.00 $29.63 3 months 350% $63.05
LED 9w 429 50,000 $20.00 $31.84 3 years 37% $44.26

And if bad power should kill your CFL, you're basically out-of-pocket two bucks; with the A19 LED replacement option, you're twenty dollars poorer.


And if bad power should kill your CFL, you're basically out-of-pocket two bucks; with the A19 LED replacement option, you're twenty dollars poorer.

Just curious Paul. Why wouldn't LED bulbs be far more robust than either incandescents or CFLs when it comes to bad power. Every CFL I have ever bought has had a warning on it that it is not to be used with dimmers and AFAIK LEDs are quite happy to work with dimmers, i.e. low voltage doesn't bother them at all (brownouts won't burn them out). .

It just seems to me that, apart from the longer lifetime, it should be possible to manufacture LEDs that are able to withstand the vagaries of power from utilities that are not as reliable as North American ones, like the one in my neck of the woods.

Alan from the islands

Hi Alan,

The weak link is the electronic driver and, in particular, the electrolytic capacitors. These components will weaken over time and at an average of 5 hours per day, 50,000 represents just over twenty-seven years of service. Ten to twelve years might be more realistic, but I still wouldn't bet on it; we use high quality electronic ballasts in our work (Osram Sylvania QHE) and the reality is that some will fail within days or weeks of their installation.

For more information, see: http://www.elna-america.com/tech_al_reliability.php


Last month I replaced a PL5 bulb with 58,000 hours on it. PL's don't have high tech electronics.

I think these early (cheap) LEDs are primarily for the bleeding edge, who gotta have the latest. And those who like the supposedly better light quality. I expect to pass on these. Maybe in a few more years the cost and efficiency will be good enough for them to make sense.

And if bad power should kill your CFL, you're basically out-of-pocket two bucks; with the A19 LED replacement option, you're twenty dollars poorer.

Actually Light Emitting Diodes are quite robust and highly unlikely to burn out. Unfortunately most people today still have alternating current in their homes instead of direct, LEDs,need DC transformers to work off 120V AC household current. This is usually accomplished through the addition of a driver chip and it is this component that is vulnerable to electrical spikes.

I've actually scavenged the LED portion of fried bulbs and by soldering on the appropriate resistors have been able to use them in some of my 12V DC applications.

Here's to hoping that we all go full blown DC!

U.S. car buyers want large vehicles, SUVs again thanks to "stabilizing gas prices"

Twelve of the top 20 most-searched new vehicles on AutoTrader.com in July were trucks or SUVs, with muscle/sports cars and sedans making up the balance of the top 20 new-vehicle list.

AutoTrader.com president and CEO Chip Perry said in a statement that new car shoppers in the U.S. are just resigned to today's gas prices (currently at $2.78 U.S. per gallon), saying "New-car buyers also want to make sure they make the right choice, but it appears many new-car shoppers and buyers have accepted gas prices in the high twos and low threes per gallon and are considering things like utility and style ahead of gas mileage."

I look forward to buying a REALLY CHEAP used SUV a few years down the road when gas clears $4/gallon again.

I've said it before and I'll say it again . . . we are witnessing the creation of a GAS GUZZLER BUBBLE.

Emergence of the big car/no car culture.

And it's not bubble since when gas goes to $4 we are back in recession with more people losing their gas-buying power, leaving more for those with jobs.

I guess it'll end with all the rich folk driving tanks.

It is like a bubble in that when the gas prices go up sharply, the market will be flooded with SUVs for sale from people that can't afford the SUV or gas . . . just like the housing bubble flooded the market with houses for sale when people could not afford the mortgage.

Happy days are here again!?

U.S. car buyers want large vehicles, SUVs again thanks to "stabilizing gas prices"

Autotrader analyzed recent sales data and found that large vehicles lead the way for the recent turnaround for the industry because "many new-car buyers continued shifting back to trucks and SUVs in the face of stabilizing gas prices." Based on recent car searches on its site, Autotrader believes that this trend will continue, since:

Twelve of the top 20 ......

What can I say?

Alan from the islands

Edit:How weird is that? While I was composing my post speculawyer was obviously posting about the exact same article!

Twelve of the top 20 most-searched new vehicles on AutoTrader.com in July were trucks or SUVs, with muscle/sports cars and sedans making up the balance of the top 20 new-vehicle list.

When men are surplus and impotent, size matters.

There are two hummers regularly parked in my neighborhood. Both black, both have custom license plates.

One is "Beefman 3" - I wonder what happened to Beefman 1 and 2 ?

The other is "Biggest". I often get an almost uncontrollable urge to add a seven-letter noun. All I ever see in it are golf clubs.


That article is interesting due to the chart showing US oil production for every month from the 1850's to the present.