Drumbeat: October 5, 2010

Running on empty: the end of oil as we know it

Now, after just 150 years of oil extraction, we have burned through roughly half of it. The world is consuming four barrels of oil for every one we find, more than 80 million barrels of oil every day. The United States alone consumes more than 20 million barrels a day. Most major oil exporting nations are well past their supply peaks, with giant fields rapidly diminishing in size and new finds proving to be small and relatively insignificant. Worldwide oil supplies have plateaued and now face a decline from which there is no return. This peak, plateau and decline is referred to as “Peak Oil.” Many of the world’s top energy experts attending ASPO-USA’s annual peak oil conference in Washington, D.C. this week agree that the era of low-cost, easy-to-get oil has come to an end just as global demand will start to accelerate.

Running on Empty: The End of Oil as We Know It (Press Conference is at 12:30 pm - press release gives more details. Conference starts at 12:00)

The Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO USA) is holding a news conference on the energy crisis and the drastic consequences of shrinking oil supplies on our every day lives, the economy, the environment and the military.

Petroleum is being consumed at a rate of four times faster than it is being discovered. The debate about Peak Oil is over; it's time for the government and society to recognize the crisis and begin to vigorously change how we use energy.

The news conference kicks off the three day 2010 ASPO PEAK OIL CONFERENCE at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, which will include speakers from across the political spectrum and scientists who have produced studies about Peak Oil.

UK May Face North Sea Oil Decommissioning Cost Rise

he U.K. oil industry needs to make significant investments in specialist equipment and manpower needed to remove retired offshore oil and gas platforms over the next 30 years, or face lengthy delays and further increases in the total decommissioning cost of around GBP30 billion, two studies published Monday said.

The decommissioning cost estimate has already tripled in the last five years, said Johan Nell, a senior executive in the energy practice of consultancy Accenture who is one of the authors of a report on decommissioning published Monday. "Every year now the increase is more significant. We need to do something," Nell said.

The U.K. oil industry needs to get together and, "figure out what is required to do this in a smart, planned way...that controls the cost," Nell said.

Solar Panels To Be Installed on The White House

The White House announced today it plans to install solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the roof of the White House residence in Spring of 2011. The announcement was made by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu at the GreenGov conference this morning at The George Washington University.

Special powder fuels electric bike

The range extending system that SiGNa developed uses a sandy metal powder called sodium silicide, which creates hydrogen gas as soon as water hits it. According to the company, sodium silicide is "a safe, air-stable reactive metal powder" that produces hydrogen at about half the pressure of a soda can. I'm not exactly clear on precisely how it's made, but it looks like the powder can be formed by absorbing sodium in porous silicon dioxide, or reacting sodium directly with elemental silicon.

After the powder in the cartridge creates hydrogen gas, the byproducts are sodium silicate, which is actually pretty useful stuff, and water vapor. Once all the powder is spent, the cartridge containing it can be reused. With SiGNa's fuel cell system, electric bikes should be able to go up to 60 miles without any pedaling, as opposed to the 20-mile limit for most existing e-bikes. A spent cartridge can be swapped out for a new one with no need for recharging.

Tighter Regulations Help Drive Stock Offerings Into Emerging Markets

With financial regulations growing tighter in Washington, London and Basel, as the Journal detailed today, Wall Street increasingly is turning its gaze to emerging markets.

So far this year, 47% of stock underwriting activity has taken place in emerging markets, up from 22% in 2005 and 9% in 1995, according to research firm Dealogic. Two of 2010’s most notable offerings were from emerging markets: a $70 billion follow-on offering from Brazilian oil producer Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, and a $22 billion IPO from Agricultural Bank of China Ltd.

“The real growth is coming out of emerging markets, and bank profitability is often correlated to economic activity,” says Christopher Harland, Morgan Stanley’s regional head of Latin America.

US Coast Guard: Houston Ship Channel Closed At Least Until Late Tuesday

The U.S. Coast Guard Monday said that a 3.5 mile stretch of the Houston Ship Channel will likely be closed until late Tuesday, when low hanging power lines and a listing tower can be cleared away, affecting crude deliveries for four refineries in the Houston ship channel.

The tower, which carries one of three transmission lines into Exxon Mobil 's (XOM) Baytown refinery, was struck by a barge early Sunday.

Liberty Energy Corp. Old Field, New Technology, New Potential

Oil executives often state, "Tell me when technology can no longer be invented or improved, and I will tell you when the world has reached peak oil."

The life cycle of a producing oil field typically includes several stages. Initially, oil flows naturally to the surface with existing reservoir pressure. As natural pressure drops, the reservoir is flooded with water to push out more oil. In the final stage, any remaining oil is recovered by CO2 injection, natural gas miscible injection, far-out perforating or steam recovery.

It is widely believed that as long as new technologies can be invented, there are going to be new ways to get increasing amounts of oil and natural gas out of the ground. The best example of this is in the U.S. natural gas industry which was all but dead and buried up until a few years ago, when suddenly U.S. independents came up with new ways to get natural gas out of ground. The U.S. natural gas industry took off, and estimates have grown from 30 years' worth of supplies in the country to more than 100 years' worth.

Norway 2010 Oil Output To Fall 5% To 2.2 Million B/D - Ministry

"While oil production declines, gas production is still increasing," the ministry said. Norway is forecast to produce 105 billion standard cubic meters of gas in 2010.

The country also raised its budget assumption for oil prices in 2010 and 2011 to NOK485 a barrel, or around $83 a barrel, driven largely by economic growth in non-OECD countries.

Analysis: O&G Reserves Rise Despite Decline in Investment

Total hydrocarbon reserves worldwide increased for the first time since 2005 despite a decline in worldwide upstream investment and development spending.

Worldwide upstream investment declined by 23 percent to $378 billion in 2009 among 224 oil and gas companies surveyed, but total worldwide total hydrocarbon reserves grew three percent, according to IHS Herold's report 2010 Global Upstream Performance Review. Production also increased one percent, driven by a 2.2 percent increase in natural gas output. Development spending declined by nearly 20 percent, the first decline in a decade.

"We were very surprised at the strength of reserve additions given the weak economic conditions and tightness in credit markets during 2009," said Nicholas D. Cacchione, director of IHS Herold and author of the report.

IHS Herold: Oil, gas reserves rise in 2009

Worldwide oil and gas reserves climbed 3% in 2009 as capital spending declined, IHS Herold reported Oct. 4 in its 2010 Global Upstream Performance Review. The analyst found that the worldwide upstream investments of 224 oil and gas companies decreased 23% last year to $378 billion.

During 2009, both oil and gas reserves grew for the first time since 2005, and production increased 1%, driven by a 2.2% increase in natural gas output.

Oil reserves, up 3% to 164 billion bbl, reversed a 2-year decline driven mainly by positive reserve additions but also by extensions and discoveries in Canadian oil sands and South and Central America.

Natural gas reserves climbed 3.7% despite a record 11.4 tcf in negative reserve additions as the development of unconventional plays in North America and LNG resources in Asia accelerated, IHS Herold said.

The report found that E&P companies slashed capital spending by 40% last year, while the integrated oil companies reduced their investments by 9%. Exploration outlays fell 12% to $62.7 billion, but unproved acquisition costs dropped 71%.

Chris Martenson: Racing Against Time: Peak Oil = Peak Economy

Peak Oil will result in 'peak economy.' Once it arrives, nothing will work quite the same way again.

Let me explain. . .

The short version of the story is this: Our economy utterly depends on oil to function. And for the first time ever, oil production is declining. We are now racing against time.

Money & Growth

To explain why this is so important, we should begin with an understanding of how our monetary system operates.

Crude Oil Rises on Port Closures, Speculation of Growth in U.S.

Oil rose to trade near an eight-week high after the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman said the central bank’s asset sales have boosted the economy, while disruptions at France’s biggest oil port continued.

Futures reversed earlier losses as a strike at Marseille’s Fos and Lavera oil terminals threatened to spread to local refineries and the dollar slumped against the euro. U.S. gasoline and distillate fuel stockpiles probably declined last week as refiners cut runs, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

“There is a view that further quantitative easing in the U.S. could help boost the economy,” said Hannes Loacker, an analyst at Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich in Vienna. “Investment into oil could well be expanded.”

Oil Supply Rises in Survey as Refining Declines: Energy Markets

U.S. oil supplies probably rose last week as refineries undergoing seasonal maintenance cut their processing rates to the lowest level since April, reducing demand for crude, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Stockpiles gained 1 million barrels, or 0.3 percent, from 357.9 million, according to the median of 11 analyst estimates before an Energy Department report tomorrow. It would put inventories at their highest level since Sept. 3. Gasoline stocks were little changed in the survey and distillates fell.

CGT Aims to Extend Marseille Strike to Refineries, Figaro Says

The CGT union is seeking to extend a strike that has blocked oil terminals at the port of Marseille for a week to oil refineries, French daily Le Figaro reported, citing regional CGT official Jean-Marie Michelucci.

OIL FUTURES: Crude Little Changed; Mood Remains Optimistic

Crude futures traded sideways in Asia Tuesday, lacking a clear direction for a second day, as the market shifts focus back to supply and demand as well as the U.S. macroeconomy.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in November traded at $81.67 a barrel at 0643 GMT, up 20 cents in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose 18 cents to $83.46 a barrel.

Brazil's Petrobras Output Rises 2.7% In August From Year Ago

-Brazilian oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PBR, PETR4.BR), or Petrobras, produced 2.59 million barrels a day of oil equivalent, including gas, in August, up 2.7% from a year earlier, the company said Monday.

Output was 0.7% higher than in July, the company said.

Output in Brazil accounted for 2.35 million barrels per day of the total, 2.4% higher than a year ago.

Mexico's Pemex Sept Crude Output 2.583 Mln B/D Vs Aug 2.559 Mln

Mexican state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said Monday that crude output in September rose to 2.583 million barrels a day on average, versus August production of 2.559 million barrels a day.

The September figures, which are preliminary and subject to revision, showed the Ku-Maloob-Zaap offshore oil complex at a near-peak level of 853,000 barrels a day, compared with August output of 833,000 barrels a day.

Pemex's mature Cantarell fields, also in the southern Gulf of Mexico, continued their decline in September to 489,000 barrels a day, from 495,000 barrels a day in August.

Ecopetrol CEO: Sees Total Oil Production At 750,000 Bbl/D In 2011

Ecopetrol SA, Colombia's state-owned oil company, plans to increase oil production to up to 750,000 barrels a day in 2011, Chief Executive Javier Gutierrez Pemberthy said Monday.

The company, which produced 580,000 barrels a day in the second quarter, expects to increase production from several of its existing fields, while also nearly doubling production from the assets in Colombia it recently purchased from BP Plc.

Oil rises to near $82 amid mixed stock markets

Analysts said oil's gains could be attributed to bountiful cash available to financial speculators who were putting their money in commodities.

"Oil prices are mainly finding support from investors, as is evident from the rise in speculative net long positions in crude oil," said a report from Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Oil has plodded along in the $70s for most of the last year, but broke above $80 last week, bolstered in part by a rally in global stock markets.

Origin, ConocoPhillips Mull Smaller LNG Build As Demand Wanes - Citi

Origin Energy Ltd. and joint venture partner ConocoPhillips are considering halving the size of the foundation stage of their liquefied natural gas project in Queensland state due to a regional oversupply of the fuel, Citigroup analysts said Tuesday.

Origin declined to comment on the Citigroup report, which also said that the joint venture could be left targeting Chinese and Indian LNG buyers after Japanese buyers it was initially courting ended up signing deals with rival Australian LNG projects.

Plan to Expand Rail Service Imperiled at State Level

Republicans running for governor in a handful of states could block, or significantly delay, one of President Obama’s signature initiatives: his plan to expand the passenger rail system and to develop the nation’s first bullet-train service. . .

Mr. Walker, who worries that the state could be required to spend $7 million to $10 million a year to operate the trains once the line is built, started a Web site, NoTrain.com, and has run a television advertisement in which he calls the rail project a boondoggle. “I’m Scott Walker,” he says in the advertisement, “and if I’m elected as your next governor, we’ll stop this train.”

U.S. Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels

With insurgents increasingly attacking the American fuel supply convoys that lumber across the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, the military is pushing aggressively to develop, test and deploy renewable energy to decrease its need to transport fossil fuels.

Last week, a Marine company from California arrived in the rugged outback of Helmand Province bearing novel equipment: portable solar panels that fold up into boxes; energy-conserving lights; solar tent shields that provide shade and electricity; solar chargers for computers and communications equipment.

Fossil fuel accounts for 30 to 80 percent of the load in convoys into Afghanistan, bringing costs as well as risk. While the military buys gas for just over $1 a gallon, getting that gallon to some forward operating bases costs $400.

Alaska offshore plans should reflect conditions there, panel told

Concerns raised following the Apr. 20 Macondo well accident and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may not fully apply to activity off Alaska, witnesses told US President Barack Obama’s independent oil spill commission. They agreed that conditions are different that far north, but disagreed on whether to go ahead or wait.

“It was because of the lack of sufficient science in the Arctic and the reality of oil-spill response capabilities caused us to defer sales there,” US Interior Sec. Ken Salazar said on Sept. 27, adding that he has tried to take a slow and thoughtful overall approach there.

“The reality of the Arctic is that you don’t have the kind of US Coast Guard response we had in the Gulf of Mexico,” he told the committee. “You’re also operating in frigid conditions with floating ice in very narrow windows. On the other hand, you are dealing with depths that are much less than what we were dealing with in the Gulf of Mexico, with depths of 100-150 ft.”

Iraq says jump in oil reserves is only the start

Rising production promises to fuel investment outside of the oil sector, too. In Iraq’s reconstruction plans, foreign investors are needed for their expertise, training and – most of all – capital; however, many have stayed away because of the security and political risk. Iraq appears to be easing the concern by officially announcing a larger reward.

“These new estimates (of reserves) will feed into calculations by international lenders, particularly government export credit institutions,” said Phillips, the IHS economist. “They will look at their Iraq portfolios, and increase the size of their Iraqi investments. For the Iraqis, it will help remove some financial obstacles, and bodes well for getting these reconstruction blueprints into reality.”

Uganda: Fuel Shortage Causes Load Shedding

SEVERAL parts of the country will suffer a 14-hour power black-out this month following persistent fuel shortages.

The power outages will hit most of the country for at least five days on different dates, according to Umeme.

Our Crumbling Transportation Systems Will Affect Prosperity, Report Says

U.S. investment, the study states, in terms of transportation infrastructure, is so far behind that of China, Russia and Europe, that it will erode our social and economic foundations in the long run.

To address some of these problems, the group estimated that we would need an additional $134 billion to $262 billion per year through 2035 to rebuild our roads, rail systems and air transportation.

World financial reform agenda falters

Leaders of the world's top economies pledged in the wake of the Lehman Brothers collapse to work together to make the global financial system less prone to booms and busts. Leaders did reach agreements on an array of subjects, such as increasing the amount of cash and highly liquid assets banks must set aside as a cushion against losses. These are changes that many analysts agree will make banks better able to survive a downturn in the future.

Chilean miners’ rescue ‘very close’

He said his team expected to break through to the area where the miners are sheltering in 3-4 days.

And he said rescuers were debating whether they would in fact need to line the rescue tunnel with metal casing as planned, a process that would take several days.

Bearish gas prices won’t kill coal demand: Raymond James study

Although bearish natural gas prices will lead to lower US demand for coal, the effect of that trend will be blunted by declines in US coal supplies, an increase in coal exports and other factors, analysts with Raymond James said in a report Monday.

China National Offshore, Altona Agree to Australian Coal-to-Liquids Study

China National Offshore Oil Corp., that country’s largest offshore oil explorer, and Altona Energy Plc approved a A$40 million ($39 million) program to evaluate a coal-to-liquids project in South Australia.

Can natural gas keep China from destroying the world?

One of the strongest current global trends, as we’ve been discussing, is the world's growing glut of natural gas. We are swimming in it, and yet more keeps coming. This has both financial and political implications. On the financial side, nations relying on gas income -- Australia and Qatar among them -- have years to wait until prices recover from their current fire-sale lows. On the political side, the ocean of gas is likely to push its way on a much larger scale into China, which will be a much cleaner industrial power than feared.

AgSense: Cows have smaller ‘footprint’ than believed

So anybody who, based on this “quack shack” science, decided to reduce their daily intake of milk or meat in order to save the planet can breathe again. I mean literally! No need for milk-less Mondays! As a matter of fact another study just released in Food & Nutrition Research compares the nutrient density of milk to several other beverages and their impacts on the environment (footprint), and concluded that milk is twice as good as any other beverage (including juices, beer, wine or soda’s) in providing nutrients while protecting the environment. I guess mom was right after all; it makes sense!

Russia put to the test by grain shortage

The crisis has, however, exposed myriad challenges facing the sector. The export ban not only drew international criticism, it failed to halt a surge in food prices as Russians, haunted by memories of Soviet-era shortages, hoarded supplies.

The global food crisis of 2007-08 prompted the Kremlin to draw up a food security doctrine setting a goal for Russia to produce at least 80 per cent of the cereals, meat and milk it needs by 2020. Since the drought, Mr Putin has raised the bar, calling for Russia to become a net food exporter, relying on foreign markets only for exotic products such as “tropical fruit”.

Police training halts as agencies face budget cuts

Nearly 70% of police agencies cut back or eliminated training programs this year as part of local government budget reductions, according to a survey this fall of 608 agencies by the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington-based think tank.

World Bank warns on food-price rise

‘‘For many developing countries, the food crisis of 2008 has never gone away. And recent prices are a serious cause for concern,’’ Zoellick said.

New MPG standards will lead to political debate

The roar is coming from both the EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) and it comes in the form of some ambitious proposals for mileage standards in America. The two agencies unveiled an array of plans calling for increased fuel standards for cars and trucks that increase the current standards by anywhere from 3 to 6 percent. Whatever number is decided upon would be another step following an announcement in April that all new cars and light trucks in the United States should have an average fuel economy of 34 miles per gallon by 2016.

Transit Agencies to Get $776 Million to Upgrade Bus Service

The money, which will come from unallocated funds in this year's budget for the Federal Transit Administration, will support capital projects in 45 states and Washington, D.C. The biggest awards will go to large bus authorities in urban areas, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, but rural areas including Alaska and Arkansas will also receive funds.

Agencies launch Bikeshare program

Federal employees in the Washington area now have the option to share bicycles for their daily commute, thanks to a new Bikeshare program.

The program gives users access to 1,000 bikes at 100 stations in Washington and Northern Virginia.

Google translation from http://i-pers.nl/20101005/public/pages/01010/articles/DP-20101005-010100...

Bacteria will increase oil revenues
Editors AMSTERDAM knowledge ...

Bacteria are energy

Oil companies often know only a small part of what is in oil fields is to bring out - sometimes only one-third. That should do better. Bacteria will help us.

Germs are everywhere. In underground waters, where they must make or without oxygen, and where it is very hot, but where the oil is good food. Once an oil field is tapped, life changes there (which was the same millions of years) suddenly radical.

Pressure drops, it creates currents and because often seawater is pumped into an oil field (the pressure slightly to maintain), it gets colder and there will be strange minerals, especially sulfates inside.

The bacterial ecosystem thereby acquires a bang. The extra sulfate causes the bacteria H2S to make, what quality oil - and pipelines - are affected.

The Delft geologist Geert van der Kraan therefore suggests that the bacteria in the inflated oil are to be used to "see" what's in depth all changes. Once too much H2S-producing bacteria emerge, it is possible for example to suppress undesired production of oil wells by various open or closed position. The yield from a field, according to Van der Kraan as double-digit percentages are inflated.

He also plays with the idea of bacterial growth on certain spots in the ground, very focused, stimulating, so that in the porous rock 'biofi lms' forms the molded seawater forcing a different route through the rock to choose from, so that even more Oil pressed upwards.

Van der Kraan promoted today in the Kronigzaal of the Technical University of Delft. 1

Once an oil field is tapped, it radically changes the life.

Link up top: Analysis: O&G Reserves Rise Despite Decline in Investment

Oil reserves reversed a two-year decline, rising three percent to 164 billion barrels, mostly due to extensions and discoveries in the Canadian oil sands that added 8.6 billion barrels in positive reserve additions. A record 7.9 billion barrels also was added in the South and Central American regions also added a record 7.9 billion barrels.

Something is wrong here. They talk about worldwide reserves, they talk about natural gas reserves in Asia so they are obviously talking world reserves here. But 164 billion barrels is about one seventh to one eighth of the figures reported by BP, Oil & Gas Journal and World Oil. (From 1.184 trillion barrels to 1.342 trillion barrels.) Hell, even doomers like me put world reserves somewhere between 700 and 800 billion barrels.

This is obviously a misprint but one would think RigZone would not make such a silly mistake. Or is it my mistake? Am I misreading this? What am I missing?

The link just below that link makes the same mistake.

IHS Herold: Oil, gas reserves rise in 2009 And this link was published by the Oil & Gas Journal.

Oil reserves, up 3% to 164 billion bbl, reversed a 2-year decline driven mainly by positive reserve additions but also by extensions and discoveries in Canadian oil sands and South and Central America.

Ron P.

It's not a mistake, it's sloppy reporting. The reserves are not "world" reserves, they are world reserves for the 224 companies reporting to IHS Herold. This naturally does not include the various national oil companies which (supposedly) control the vast majority of the world's oil and gas reserves. As we all know, the bulk of these are magical reserves which are unchanged or increase year after year in spite of producing billions of barrels every year.

It is interesting that reserves increased while expenditure decreased, but exploration expenditure only decreased by 12%, and that may not represent a real drop in activity: some of it probably reflects a drop in day rates for drilling as development drilling was canceled.

Thanks for the clarification Lrd. That explains it and the reporting is indeed sloppy.

Total hydrocarbon reserves worldwide increased for the first time since 2005 despite a decline in worldwide upstream investment and development spending.

Their "Total worldwide hydrocarbons" is not quite the true total. ;-)

Ron P.

I agree that a 12% drop in investment could well come largely from lower costs and may not represent a drop in activity.

I am a bit surprised by this as I had expected activity itself to drop. I was involved in analyzing the E&P sector in 2008-2009 and recall that most company announcements indicated that they were cutting back. On the other hand, an unchanged level of investment from 2008 to 2009 would represent a cut back from planned investment as there was a lot of growth at that time.

If these figure are correct, it also seems to imply that E7P activity has held up better than overall investment in the oil & gas sector, which has fallen off sharply.

It is also useful to note that there is a pretty substantial lag between investment and recognizing resources. So a drop in activity last year, if it had occurred, would be expected to lead to a fall in recognition of new resources next year.

Actually, the whole article seems a bit sloppy. It says E&P companies capital expenses fell 40%, but exploration fell 12% and development costs fell 20%.

Those are the two big pieces of E&P cap ex, so I don't see how it could total to 40%.

Capital expenditures could also refer to acquisitions, but all the companies in 2008 were looking to acquire more and explore less.

Note that there is also an accounting issue involved in looking at this at a company level. E&P companies capitalize successful exploration (and depreciate with production over multiple years) and expense failures (or dry holes).

But dry holes are still investment, but they are treated differentially in financial statements and reporting, which is where this data would have come from.

I don't see how this could justify the apparent inconsistency, however.

And whoever is in charge of designing their print set up should be covered in ink from head to toe. Five pages of black squares, which become two when pasted into word.

Edit: After a more careful read, I still think this article is sloppy and hard to interpret. It does appear that acquisitions are included in the investment figure as it says unproven acquisitions would be down 71% if not for the $20bn Suncor/Petrocanada merger, but certain only a small part of that can be attributed to unproved resources and the value and quantity of assets in proven and unproven categories moves with oil price to some degree. Overall acquisitions of companies, must have been pretty strong.

The difference Between a 12% drop in exploration (finding) costs and 20% drop in development costs may be explained by the nature of contracting mechanisms for subs, which is longer term in exploration.

The huge difference between investment in E&P and integrated companies can be explained almost entirely by the fact that E&P is the segment that requires new variable investment and that 85% of companies in their survey are integrated.

To my mind the mismatch between year of investment and year of resulting production makes any attempted correlation near useless on one year figures

"Plan to Expand Rail Service Imperiled at State Level" above.

More from this article :-

" “The bottom line is that high-speed rail is a national program that will connect the country, spur economic development and bring manufacturing jobs to the U.S.,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman, said in a statement. “It will also transform transportation in America, much like the Interstate highway system did under President Eisenhower. It’s hard to imagine what would have happened to states like Ohio and Wisconsin if their leaders had decided they didn’t want to be connected to the rest of the country back then.” "

This is quite an interesting statement, given where we are. We know that the road networks are going to crumble. How are people and freight going to travel without mass transit and the rail networks? What will happen to states that remain disconnected from other rail networks ?

It's a mindboggling lack of insight on the part of these candidates saying "no" to rail.

If I were living in one of those states, and they voted down rail projects, I'd be packing my bags...

Is there enough demand to support high-speed rail (and it isn't very high-speed at maybe 90 mph in some stretches) between Milwaukee and Madison?

How is Badger Bus doing?

Note that there is no bus or limo service from the Amtrack station nearest Madison to downtown Madison.

It's pure political pork. The money would be better spent putting in true 200 mph service between Chicago and Milwaukee.

Areas without rail connections won't be in trouble, they will probably be dead or dying. Here in Fort Worth, Texas, the mayor, about a year ago, told an audience that "BAU is dead; the future of mass transit in the DFW area is rail."

The real tragedy is that until about 1948, Dallas and Fort Worth had close to 350 miles of electrified streetcar lines, with an electric Interurban system connecting area cities and towns. The mass transit agencies are now in the process of trying to rebuild a portion of what was torn up and/or paved over.

Intracity and intra-urban buses will also get a piece of the business. They are more energy-efficient that auto travel, and it is easier to convert them to fuels such as compressed natural gas. With fewer cars and trucks on the highway, they will be able to reduce travel time. They also depart and arrive at more convenient locations than intercity rail, which tends to be downtown to downtown.

Intercity Bus Travel on the Rise in the U.S. and Abroad

The mass transit agencies are now in the process of trying to rebuild a portion of what was torn up and/or paved over

Just the same in Hamburg/Germany.

The last train was mothballed in 1978. Now they hope to open a new line in 2014. Planning should have begun this summer.

And, as usual, motorists complain about their streets being occupied.

My favorite high speed rail site:


Sometimes the rides aren't high speed. It's a cheap way to see Germany.

I rode on that rail system a few times including one miserable trip from Dallas to Waco where I was going to college. I was wishing that I had the money for a 48 Nash with reclining seats or at least a 39 Plymouth.

350 miles of electrified streetcar serving an area considerably smaller than today. One of the problems the mass transit agencies face is that there is a clear "network" effect to mass transit: the more places the network can get you to conveniently, the greater the value of any individual line.

I've always thought that Manhattan's subway system had a terrific advantage in the form of geographic limits that created a long skinny city. In that situation, one or two north-south routes, plus a modest amount of walking, make it possible to get to and from almost anywhere of interest on the island. That arrangement also makes it convenient for mass transit from outlying areas: you can connect to the north-south line(s) almost anywhere and get the full benefit. You don't have to have a single hub for the connections from the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. In short, it's cheap to provide a robust network.

Grids, or spoke-and-hub arrangements, require a lot more track miles to get the same effect. It will be interesting to see if urban areas -- particularly in the West, I think -- collapse back to follow the potential mass transit "lines", or if something else happens.

It will be interesting to see if urban areas -- particularly in the West, I think -- collapse back to follow the potential mass transit "lines", or if something else happens

I predict Scenario #1. I expect to see selective ongoing abandonment of outlying suburban areas.

If we see a very small reduction in production by the exporting countries (down 5% in 2015, versus 2005), if we see continued increase in consumption in the exporting countries at their recent rate of increase, and if Chindia's recent rate of increase in net oil imports continues, then for every three barrels of oil that non-Chindia countries imported in 2005, they would have to collectively make do with two barrels of oil in 2015.

The San Diego Trolley was like that when I was stationed there in 1984/85. Downtown to the border with multiple stops along the way. As everything was strung out along the coast you could walk anywhere east or west in a half-hour.

Is the Trolley still there?

Yeah, but they are still in denial about the road infrastructure crumbling, and the demagogues still try and paint rail as 19th century technology. And I would venture a guess that slower speed freight is nowhere nearly as expensive to build and maintain as high speed passenger rail.

My guess though is that an intermediate adaptation will be for more inter-city bus service to spring up here and there. The capital costs are a lot lower (ignoring the externalities of road maintenance), and routing and scheduling can quickly adapt to demand. It might not be what we would ideally want, but I am guessing it is a lot closer to what we might actually end up with.

I found this post at another site enlightening, as I live near Portland:

People in the US have no idea how convenient and pleasant a good rail system can be. For example, I live 70 miles north of Seattle on the I-5 corridor. There are only two trains a day from where I am to Seattle and the ride takes an hour and a half. There is one train in the morning and one in the evening. The schedule makes it impossible to use for commuting. If I drive, it can take anywhere from an hour to three hours each way depending on how backed up I-5 is.

Now compare the situation here in the US between Seattle, WA, and Portland, OR, and Fukuoka and Hiroshima Japan. The cities are similar in size and the distance between them is similar, 175-180 miles. In the US you can either drive, 3 hours minimum one way, take the train, 4 hours minimum one way, or shlep your way to the airport, 30 minutes, deal with security and walking out to the gate, another 30 minutes minimum, fly 30 minutes, and spend another 30 minutes to an hour getting back into town.

Between Fukuoka and Hiroshima there are some 150 high speed trains traveling each way every day and the trip takes 1 hour and 6 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes, so you are averaging about 160 mph with top speeds of 190 mph. You can leave your office in Fukuoka, be on the train in 15 minutes and be in Hiroshima in an hour and ten minutes. It's impossible to do anything like that between Seattle and Portland. In Japan you can make the trip in the morning and easily be back by lunch. Such speed is unimaginable in the US.

The railroads in Japan are constantly undergoing improvements. Trains speeds keep improving, the rolling stock is constantly being improved, service keeps getting upgraded. You can buy your ticket using your cel phone, and on some trains, the conductors won't even ask to see your ticket because their handheld computers tell them that your seat should be occupied.

Some kind of presentation with rail systems of other countries overlaid on US geography might get the impression of what utility rail has across.

Any comparison of US cities to Japan wrt rail will find the US cities coming up short - way short. Even NYC.

Americans made a religious - existential - transition to automobiles a century ago and nothing short of a new revelation from on high will change American society.

But even NYC falls well short of the cram-and-jam conditions of Tokyo. Manhattan is a match, but Manhattan is tiny. One needs the entire states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to match the population crammed into a US county's worth of acreage or a bit more in the Tokyo region. When you have masses of people, you can have good mass transit. In that light, it's no surprise to see a train going by every 90 seconds or two minutes on each track of the four-track Ginza Line - all day long - where it crosses over the river...

But you also need to overlay population density onto US geography to convey the full truth, especially with respect to Japan. Stuff the entire US population into the Pacific tier of states plus a couple more, something like that, with a considerable concentration along the coast, and with four-fifths of the population of California crammed and jammed cheek-by-jowl into the acreage of one typical Midwestern county, as in the Tokyo region.

Which brings me to the full truth of the Madison-Milwaukee "high speed" train - scare quotes very much intended. The last I heard was $880 million, almost $200 an INCH, to "upgrade" freight tracks and provide a (theoretical) 58-minute trip. The promise is that "someday" the feckless Federal Railroad Administration, with all of its leaden bureaucratic feet planted in, I dunno, the 1920s, might deign to allow the peak speed to go from 79mph to 110mph. The reality is that the freight railroad will get a nice expensive freebie on which to trundle along trains of, well, rocks, and the taxpayer will get a hefty bill for useless nothing. What a stinking, fetid heap of rubbish!

It is said there will be six trains a day, giving roughly a three-hour wait. Local buses in Madison run once an hour much of the time; in Milwaukee twice an hour. So realistically we're looking at two-and-a-half to four hours for the trip (or shorter if one forks over astronomical cab fares), plus another hour or two of waiting for the train or waiting for one's meeting or event to start. (After all, most trips will be to meetings or events that will neither be synchronized to the train schedule, nor located next door to the train station.) This eternity of time will transpire each way, in place of an hour-and-a-quarter drive. At the reasonable worst-case (five or six hours) it will be almost down to bicycling speed, which reminds me that in the 1890s bicycles were a very considerable annoyance to the railroads running north out of Chicago for just such reasons. Oh, and it doesn't even include the random, interminable, Amtrak-standard "freight delays", allow yet another hour for that.

Compared to the Shinkansen or even the TGV, this fails to rise even to the level of a sad, sick joke. Partly it's down to population size and density; Milwaukee is simply not Tokyo or even Paris, not even a small fraction. And partly it's down to the absolute, utter worthlessness and incompetence of government in the USA, which practically condemns any such project even before one troubles to delve into the absurd, comic-opera particulars. (So how do we get rid of the government we have and replace it with something that even functions?)

My guess though is that an intermediate adaptation will be for more inter-city bus service to spring up here and there. The capital costs are a lot lower (ignoring the externalities of road maintenance), and routing and scheduling can quickly adapt to demand. It might not be what we would ideally want, but I am guessing it is a lot closer to what we might actually end up with.

I think you are right about this and it is already happening with BoltBus and MegaBus, and other "China Town Bus" style companies. Given the huge societal investment in roads, bus systems have much smaller capital requirements and smaller barriers to entry than rail. Rail with heavy ridership of course is much more fuel-efficient and probably has lower total life-cycle costs (Paris and NYC are still amortizing rail investments made a century ago, and at this point the initial investment amounts just don't matter anymore), but the flexibility and low initial cost of bus transport will probably win out at least for the short term.
I remember a friend joking that "The bus, it is not just a white-trash terrarium anymore!", but Greyhound in the US really is reserved for the poor and desparate, while other countries have inter-city bus transport that is used by people that actually have other alternatives. BoltBus, etc., are moving to capture this "transit by choice" customer which I think is a good thing.

Of course, once bus travel reaches critical mass, then bus companies are one more well-funded political opponent of rail investments. Buenos Aires was interesting this way, in that the taxi companies tried to cripple the bus system, while the bus companies tried to cripple the subway, and so everything limps along in gridlock...

Chris Martensen thinks that the new Honda car advert is cool. I think it's delusional and his effusive support for its visual rhetoric undermines his credibility. Imo.

In my humble opinion this post undermines your credibility Stewart. If you have a problem with Chris Martenson's article it would behoove you to post your objections instead of just calling it delusional. That is not criticism at all, it is just name calling.

Basically what Martenson says is: "Peak Oil will result in 'peak economy.' Once it arrives, nothing will work quite the same way again." Then he explains why peak oil means peak economy. I agree and I agree with his reasons. If you disagree then post why you think he is incorrect.

He says: "All you really need to know about debt-based money is this: It demands growth." Then: "Without constant economic growth, preferably in the range of 3% or better, the debts of countries like the US begin to default, new loans are withheld (limiting future growth), the entire financial system suffers enormously (even threatening to collapse), and gobs of wealth are destroyed. Sound unlikely? It shouldn’t, as this is what most financial professionals call “2009."

Yes he explains why a debt based economy requires growth. But this point is explained in much greater detail in his "Crash Course". But others on this list, especially Gail, have hammered this point home time and time again. If you disagree then again, it would behoove you to explain why.

But I suspect you are far more comfortable with just calling people "delusional". Is that the limit of your rational argument?

Oh, and the Honda piece is not an advertisement trying to sell cars. It is a request to bloggers and others to try to come up with solutions to out future transportation problems.

From the Honda piece: "The campaign launches with Racing Against Time Week, where five thought leaders and bloggers in the green, energy, and automotive spaces will provide unique perspectives on approaching the discussion of oil as a finite energy resource."

And Chris's piece was in reply to that request. "Chris Martenson was selected to provide a unique perspective on how we should approach the discussion of oil as a finite energy source."

Ron P.

If you cannot answer a man's argument, all is not lost. You can still call him vile names.

I hardly think I called him "vile names". Lol. I kow Chris's work well and respect it greatly. I just can not see why the Honda advertisement should be celebrated. This is a global car company desperately trying to keep their market share. Like any other big corp it will do anything, coopt anyone, in order to do that. This "campaign" is so obviously just the same old same old advertising for a slightly more sophisticated audience. Do we need a new eco-car? I don't think so. We need a great deal less cars. We need to question the whole ethos of personal car ownership - eco or otherwise. As far as the future is concerned Honda is toast - along with all the other energy wasting car companies.

If you really believe that Honda are not trying to sell more cars through this "campaign" I'd have to say (quietly and with respect), you are also just a touch delusional. Just kidding.

Stewart, you cannot say a person is just a touch delusional, then fix it with "Just kidding." You know better than that... I hope.

Okay here is Honda's press Release: Honda Kicks off Conversations Inspired by Its Dream The Impossible Campaign With Contributions From Five Bloggers on the Global Energy Crisis

There are no car ads in this press release, though I might be delusional, I read it several times and I did not find one. Anyway here is their objective.:

"At their core, the Dream the Impossible films are about bringing diverse and inspiring individual perspectives to philosophies that are lived every day at Honda. Bringing the conversations we're having in the films into social media is a natural extension," said Barbara Ponce, manager of corporate advertising, American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

And here are the five bloggers they will ask to submit essays:

Racing Against Time Week will feature writings from Peak Oil Blues (Oct. 4), Chris Martenson.com (Oct. 5), The Oil Drum (Oct. 6), Greentech Media (Oct. 7), and Jetson Green (Oct. 8). Each contributor will post thoughts on their respective websites which Honda will then highlight each day to create a larger conversation on the issue. Participating sites are offering their unique insights and perspectives independent of Honda's viewpoint.

Oh my God... The Oil Drum! Will you say the same thing about The Oil Drum as you said about Chris Martenson? Will you say: The Oil Drum thinks that the new Honda car advert is cool. I think it's delusional and The Oil Drum effusive support for its visual rhetoric undermines their credibility. Imo. ???

Truth is Stewart, you never read the Honda press release and you never read Chris Martenson's contribution to the request. Had you read them both you would not have made such a very stupid reply.

However I await your comment on The Oil Drum's contribution to the effort.

Ron P.

Ok, let's drop the delusional tag. Nothing I've read of the blurb for this "campaign" changes the facts. This is a car company trying to get ahead of the loop. They want to be seen to be embracing diverse contemporary opinion. They want to be cool and up to the moment - but only as long as it doesn't threaten their business. There is a fundamental contradiction at the heart of a lot of corporate capitalist thinking: otherwise known as greenwash. This is a classic example - and an ambitious one at that - of corporate greenwash. Americans seem to accept this more the europeans. In the UK there is, rightly imo, a much more cynical and wary view of corporations talking about "impossible dreams" embracing "thought leaders" and the like.

Bottom line: TheOilDrum shouldn't touch this with a barge pole.

I suppose Honda, like just about everyone else, hopes that electric cars or something else will replace gasoline powered cars. And though I think this is wishful thinking there is absolutely nothing wrong with looking at this path and hoping it takes place.

Not corporations, not governments and not people are responsible for the damn mess we find ourselves in. It is has just been people doing what their nature, their genes, told them to do. And that is to have children and make the best life possible for them.

And yes The Oil Drum should participate in this discussion because that is what we do. That is we talk about energy, the future of energy and the future of the transportation energy. Some of us think it has little future but that is beside the point. It is a discussion and discussion is what we do.

Throwing stones at other peak oilers like Martenson, especially after he posted such a fantastic essay, which really did not deal with cars at all, is really juvenile. Your post showed your immaturity. And I think it showed you posted without even reading Martenson's article.

The Oil Drum already has responded with a fantastic article by Gail. It is a special thread today. You should read it but I hope you refrain from any silly comments like you made above, especially until after you even bother to read it.

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

Ron P.

You can get Martenson's essay directly on his website http://www.chrismartenson.com/blog/peak-oil-peak-economy/45229

I couldn't figure out to do it through the Honda site without using Facebook.

I commend Honda and Chris Martenson on what looks like a very useful project.

I am not nearly as pessimistic as he is and think his money/debt overview is a bit simplistic, at least as presented here.

But it is great to see such core TOD topics out there on a big corporate website with a general audience. I look forward to the rest of the series. I think this will be a great opportunity to put the ideas that we have been discussing in front of the people who we complain don't see them.

Quote, "Not corporations, not governments and not people are responsible for the damn mess we find ourselves in. It is has just been people doing what their nature, their genes, told them to do. And that is to have children and make the best life possible for them".

That's a convenient ruse to avoid responsibility. Again, corporations are good at that. I'm reminded of the train drivers in Germany in the 2WW, and all the other petty bureaucracy that facilitated the holocaust, saying the same thing. 'Just doing our job' ... human nature ... etc. You ignore the fact that corporations by their "nature" have immense power and wealth to influence people's hopes, fears and dreams. Have you seen the wonderful series, Century of The Self? It's here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6718420906413643126#

We have had all the evidence we require about AGW and PO and yet companies (governments et al) continue to pursue growth, profit and advantage at the expense of the majority of people and the greater good. I fail to see how Honda's little "impossible Dreams" scenario adds to anything other than their image? Their "dream" is of course, to continue 'business-as-usual' as it suits them in a globalised market.

I really don't see that I was "throwing stones" - I thought this was a forum for robust debate - not a self affirmation club. I will resist commenting on the "juvenile immaturty" sleight. Much more aggressive and unpleasant than anything I posted

Btw ... if you read the feedback on Chris's site it seems I am far from alone in my thoughts about Honda.

Your comments here are absurd. I read the comments on Chris's site and there was some criticism of Honda but nothing but praise for Chris's essay. You are apparently delusional if you think there are any comments there that supports your silly post.

Ron P.

Carts were still used when trains took you right into towns all over the US back in the days of trains.

So saying that cars all need to die is not going to solve much of the issues we will have unless we are all within walking distance and we have a load more horse and buggys handy.

Honda is trying to get opinions to help them become better able to serve a customer base that barring a world war will still be there for some time into the future, albeit much changed in some places.

Just using the blanket statement that we don't need a new eco car, seems short sighted. We need all the cars that drive in the future to be higher on gas mileage and or not using any of it. We need to have improvements every year for everything tht we as a world does, and advertising has to push that idea.

Honda mightnot be toast, they might have to downsize a lot, but I doubt that they'd just fail and fall away to nothing. They could go into the coach business, using better carbon fiber coachworks and allowing more people per horse than older all wooden wagons and coaches had. Gee don't write everyone off as toast so easily.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed world, nothing much is written in stone, even stone weathers and the writing all goes to dust.

I'm not saying all cars will "die". I'm pointing out that the business model for a future post PO world may be rather different than the head honchos at Honda like to imagine. I suspect it will have more to do with hard realities than "impossible dreams".

I do think we need to move beyond the idea of personal car ownership as default. Far too much "impossible" dreaming is going into car development that would be better focused on public transport systems.

As far as I know corporations don't 'do' downsizing - at least not as a permanent business strategy. Honda will surely want to maintain its market share and will, as i said, do anything to achieve that. We need to see the meta-level of message in this "campaign" and not be taken in so easily by its upbeat corporate sheen.

Hey Ron, who said the last quote you have there in your post. By the way, Good post, it made me laugh, hugs to you.


That was Elbert Hubbard, American Journalist.

Elsewhere in the news
Energy scavenging: Cantilever bends repeatedly under light exposure for continuous energy generation

With the goal to enable small electronic devices to harvest their own energy, researchers have designed a device that can convert light and thermal energy into electricity. When exposed to visible light and/or heat (infrared) radiation, the 20-mm-long carbon-nanotube-film-based cantilever bends back and forth repeatedly, as long as the light and/or heat remains on. This is the first time that such cyclic bending behavior, which the scientists call "self-reciprocation," has been observed in this kind of system.

Alt energy: Geothermal mapping project reveals large, green energy source in coal country

New research produced by Southern Methodist University's Geothermal Laboratory, funded by a grant from Google.org, suggests that the temperature of the Earth beneath the state of West Virginia is significantly higher than previously estimated and capable of supporting commercial baseload geothermal energy production.

Sustainability: Bricks made with wool

Spanish and Scottish researchers have added wool fibres to the clay material used to make bricks and combined these with an alginate, a natural polymer extracted from seaweed. The result is bricks that are (37%) stronger and more environmentally-friendly, according to the study published recently in the journal Construction and Building Materials.
The clay-based soils were provided by brick manufacturers in Scotland, which was also the source of the wool, since the local textile industry cannot use everything it produces. "The aim was to produce a material suitable for adverse climatic conditions, such as the specific ones in the United Kingdom “, the authors explain.

Environment: Storing carbon in rocks may help fight against climate change

As climate change continues to emerge as the biggest challenge of the 21st century, the race to come up with novel ways to deal with the threat has become more urgent than ever.
… Now the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Yale University $2 million to research an alternative approach to storing carbon dioxide called mineral sequestration — i.e., putting the gas in existing rock below ground. … Mineral sequestration mimics the natural process of carbon storage in basalt rocks found at the bottom of oceans and on land, where carbon dioxide reacts naturally with minerals to form carbonate rock.

Toxic mud spill kills four in Hungary

Hungary declared a state of emergency on Tuesday after a toxic mud spill killed four people and injured 120 in what officials described as Hungary's worst-ever chemical accident.
With eight people in serious condition and as many as six people missing, officials fear the death toll could rise after the walls of a reservoir of residue at an aluminium plant in Ajka, 165 kilometres (102 miles) west of Budapest, broke on Monday afternoon.

Birds could signal mass extinction

The first detailed measurements of current extinction rates for a specific region have shown that birds are the best group to use to track the losses. The study also reveals Britain may be losing species over ten times faster than records suggest, and the speed of loss is probably increasing: the losses from England alone may exceed one species every two weeks.

Economy: Research shows workers who begin careers during recession suffer long-term, negative effects on earnings

For workers who have managed to land jobs in this tough economy, your employment woes may not be over.
Research from the University of Notre Dame shows that individuals who begin their careers during economic downturns earn lower wages than similar workers who begin careers at other times, and that negative impact lasts five to ten years after starting work.

Research shows workers who begin careers during recession suffer long-term, negative effects on earnings

Not nearly as many long-term negative effects as workers who do not begin careers during a recession, but instead just hang out unemployed.

The kids are OK. Most of the entry level young people that I know personally are adapting in creative ways. Two of them have a little sideline going, building chicken coops for our increasing number of chicken enthusiasts. A rapidly changing economy opens up space for new ideas, and the young and energetic go for it.

I have been seeing news items from all over talking about how people are coping with the downturn and at times some of the articles are fluff pieces. Written in a fashion as to get you to open the page, only to find no thoughts actually mentioned in the piece, or thoughts that are only true for a little tiny bit of the country.

My first paying job was in college(work-study), then I got another one helping my dad out at his maintaince job. I had a lot of jobs since then, but the first steady full time for a full year job was in 1996, 15 years after highschool. And to top that one off, I have only had two jobs where I worked a whole year full time, the last one being the longest which was for 5 years, 2000 to 2005.

Just because you can't get a great job making great money and living the american dream the way they want you too, does not mean you can't be happy.

We have been sold a bill of goods that is just not true, happy is not a full time job for a full year making 35k or more and having a 100k house with kids and a pool and a car or two. Happy is being happy with whatever you have, making do with anything you have on hand and trying to be better at everything you can do. Now I am not going to say I'd be all that happy living in a place like Haiti, if all I kept hearing was "They gave Haiti 5 billion dollars, and they don't need anymore, can't they get along living in tent cities?"

Maybe I would be a little mad if I lived in Haiti right now, I am a little mad thinking about it now that I have heard how nothing much seems to have been done there. But in general I am happy where I am, whatever I have going on.

This is not over with, millions of people are just starting to readjust to life in an odd world, and more are going to head that way toward the readjustment staging areas before it is all said and done. Most of the stories and research projects are going to be about how people are dealing with this and how much change is going on. Get used to living with the need to know where all your pennies are and having a jar collecting them so you can have a nice dinner out once a month, or maybe every 8 weeks instead of every other night, like you used too.

Maybe people need to get back into connecting with people and go to the park when the Ren-Fair hits town, or start a Ren-fair or other such gathering up. Why are people sitting moaning that they can't go to a concert every month like they used too, when they can invite a bunch of friends over and have a concert in the backyard with a potluck meal.

People this is change, you have to go with the rocking boat or you'll be in the drink and no one will pay attention to you, unless you have a network of friends and family all looking out for each other. These united States have been too long ME for Myself and not you. Get back to family and friends, share things with strangers and soon they will be friends and you won't feel alone as much.

Almost every person I meet in the day I try to see if I can say something positive to them, try to see if they have an opinion about what we are both doing in the line we are in, making connections to someone I may never see again, but you never know, maybe you'll meet a friend you'd never have known without saying something to them, or learned something neat you never knew you didn't know.

People are shy, I know I used to be one of them, I'd say I was just reserved, but I was shy, fear can be overcome, you have to work at it though, so none of this is going to be easy. I am not saying it is, but you can change if you want too, and this can be better if you want your part in it all to be better. You will have to step up to the plate and at least take the pitches, can't hit the ball sitting on the bench.

(baseball was my mom's favorite sport, so I do a bit about it, climbing is mine, lots of risk in the things I've done in that sport)

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed world, ps, new post to my blog on that topic.

seeing news items from all over talking about how people are coping with the downturn

Front page of my local paper had a picture of people praying for a job.
The caption said something about God having a greater but mysterious plan for us all.


As I mentioned in this comment:


Your daily dumping of the Physorg homepage in the comments section doesn't seem very useful in light of the inaccuracy of some of their write ups.

I suggest you either read the articles and add some analysis, or just tell people to look at the website.

But just pasting another website in here looks more like advertising than education.

Re: U.S. Military Orders Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels

From the article:

Fossil fuel accounts for 30 to 80 percent of the load in convoys into Afghanistan, bringing costs as well as risk. While the military buys gas for just over $1 a gallon, getting that gallon to some forward operating bases costs $400.

I think we all know that the US military has been heavily dependent on concentrated energy for it's operations. That providing this energy has become difficult is likely to become the single reason that our military won't be able to sustain it's present capabilities, without major changes. A large portion of the military's mission is to protect the oil supplies which fuel the US (and the rest of the Free World's) economy, thus, as these fuels become ever more scarce, the demands of the military can be expected to grow. This process might result in even less fuel being available to the rest of the economy. Add in the fact that recovering oil from geological sources is also becoming more difficult (read: expensive) and it begins to look like the US empire will end up simply "chasing it's tail" in search of more oil to fuel our transport systems.

I think there is a small slip up in the article:

Last year, the Navy introduced its first hybrid vessel, a Wasp class amphibious assault ship called the U.S.S. Makin Island, which at speeds under 10 knots runs on electricity rather than on fossil fuel, a shift resulting in greater efficiency that saved 900,000 gallons of fuel on its maiden voyage from Mississippi to San Diego, compared with a conventional ship its size, the Navy said.

To say that the ship "runs on electricity rather than on fossil fuel" appears to be incorrect, as the ship is powered by gas turbine(s). The gas turbine is the likely source of the electricity, although I did not see any reference to storage of electricity, such as in batteries. It's not going to work like a a hybrid car...

E. Swanson

My guess is that it does have some sort of batteries. The military does like to minimize battlefield "observables", one of which is engine noise. Being able to switch to a quiet means of motion for the final approach to a target might be considered to be worth the price. The greenwashing is probably a secondary consideration. A lot of large commercial equipment is hybrid, in the sense that a diesel engine or gas turbine generates elecitricy , which then powers its drive motors (like a diesel locomotive) , so adding some battery capability to enable low power operation for a short period while the generator is off might not be that tough to add.

Chesapeake Energy sells Barnett Shale output for $1.15 billion

Chesapeake Energy, the second-biggest producer of U.S. natural gas, sold $1.15 billion worth of future Barnett Shale production to an affiliate of Barclays, a major British bank, raising money to fund drilling and cut debt.

Oil-rich Norway to cut spending, reduce reliance on oil and gas revenues in 2011 budget

The Military Understands Why Getting Off Oil Pays, Why Don't We?

Luckily for our soldiers, the military is not waiting for us to get our act together on a political or industrial level and is just pushing forward to find new energy solutions.

New Oil Sands Legislation Would Strip Clause From 2007 Energy Act

Environmentalists are bracing for a renewed fight with lawmakers and the petroleum industry over whether the U.S. military should be allowed to meet its massive fuel needs with highly polluting Canadian oil sands.
At issue is Section 526, a tiny clause that was tucked into the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The measure forbids all federal agencies, except for space agency NASA, from purchasing carbon-heavy unconventional fuels that belch more
emissions than traditional oil.

IEA Maintains Estimates for Worldwide Oil Demand Amid Economic Concerns

The International Energy Agency left its estimate for oil demand for 2010 and 2011 little changed as fuel stockpiles surge and concern persists that a revival in world economic growth may falter.
Global crude demand will average 87.9 million barrels a day next year, the IEA said today in its monthly Oil Market Report, unchanged from last month. It revised the 2010 estimate 50,000 barrels a day higher to 86.6 million. Soaring stockpiles and slowing Asian consumption are capping oil prices and there’s a “significant downside risk” that demand will falter should the global recovery stall, the Paris-based group said.

IEA sees upward pressure on oil prices in H2 2011

"All things being equal we could potentially start seeing a decline in stock levels, probably by the second half of next year,"


'White House goes green with solar panels'

...a survey that shows all the 48 Republican mid-term candidates do not believe in man-made climate change.

Here we go again. Just like when Carter put them on the roof and Reagen removed them, now we have Obama putting them up and the next Republican Prez will remove them. History continues to repeat.

Bush had solar energy too at the White House and at his Crawford Ranch in Texas. Check up on your facts..... This is due to lack of fossil fuel in the future, not climate change.
When the fuel runs out, we will be glad that temps are a little warmer....

My facts are Reagen removed the one's Carter put up and history will repeat when the next Republican prez pulls off the one's Obama put up. The hatred at this point of the Dems, and in particular Obama, by the Republican is so heated they will remove them just for spite, let alone any other reason.

The hatred at this point of the Dems, and in particular Obama, by the Republican is so heated they will remove them just for spite, let alone any other reason.

That does seem likely. I don't think it was operable (at least not to much of an extent) during Reagan. It was well into his second term before he removed them. But it is true that some conservatives will conspicuously waste energy, just to make liberals, and environmentalist mad.

How do you know there will be another Republican President? What if there is no US in 2012?

I'm sure First Citizen Palin will lead us into a glorious future.

I'm going to go throw up now.

Whomever the first citizen is around here, they won't last as long without a massive amount of support from the people with all the money and the guns, and even then, conflict to get to the point where we are in a collapse won't allow the whole place being run from a central city like Washington, so no Palin in charge fantasies, unless you like torturing yourself.

Americans hardly think of themselves as one solid body and mind, most of the place is just a bunch of bands of people that don't hold together very often, so getting one solid leader in a failed central gov't or failed USA is not going to be as easy as it looks on paper. Chaos would be the norm in our case.

BioWebScape designs for a better fed and housed world.

Palin is not strong enough to lead the country, if she were, They would have won a long time ago.

will lead us into a glorious future


Tea Partiers need a boiling planet to dip their bags into.

Who would be better than the "hot" Palin horse for leading us into this glorious future?

Attention students, Geography lesson is in Room 2012 next period.

Ask not what your governess can do for you,
but what you can do to your governess --(JFK?)

Surely there should be an apostrophe in 'teachers'?

I'd also say 'real' should be 'really' but then hey, we only invented the language, so what do I know? ;)


Who's looking at the black board?

I was focusing on those spunky pair of ... eye glasses.

Besides, formation of a complete English sentence is not mandated in either the US or the Alaskan Constitution and any attempt to do so is therefore unconstitutional.


BTW, did anyone else out there ever notice that Sarah speaks backwards?

As she nears the end of a sentence, the volume of her voice goes up and speed of vocalization goes down.
Normal people operate the other way. Their volume drops and they speed up the last few words as they are running out of breath.

As I don't intend to vote for her, I don't waste time listening to her.

So no, I never noticed.



I am a Christian, but that does not mean I trust either party that we now have, I want a thrid choice, I formed my own party.

Even if there is no US in 2012, someone will want to use solar panels, even if they just use them for painting glass.

But I don't think the US will go belly up by 2012, unless a lot more is going on behind the scenes than it looks like right now.

There mightnot seem to be enough sane people in the world, but we are out there, just not getting as much air time as the crazy ones are just yet.

BIoWebScape designs for a better fed and housed world.

Perhaps in the winter but not likely in the summer

Good link Klee. Yes, while one party not only ignores but rejects AGW or if its preferred, Climate Change Disruption, the weather will get hotter and at some point super hot in the Summer. Pulling the solar panels off by Reagen symbolized the attitude of man first, the planet last. But what we'll find out probably the hard way, is the planet will always have the last laugh. We really don't want it laughing at us due to a Republican led arrogance.

Well, it's true that the National Park Service installed both PV panels and solar water heating as part of a routine roof replacement on a maintenance building on the White House grounds. The facilities are similar to several installations the Park Service has done at other locations. It is unclear whether the top levels of the Administration had any knowledge of the activity. I would expect not; it seems unlikely that such routine maintenance of the grounds gets reviewed by anyone very high up.

The PV panels are mounted at a sub-optimal angle for the latitude in order to conform with the existing roof; some reports suggest that the PV panels are partially shaded by trees near the building; one of the two hot water systems is residential sized and used to provide hot water for maintenance workers; the other hot water system provides part of the heating for the swimming pool. The pictures I've seen make it clear that making the panels unobtrusive was probably a much larger consideration than the energy aspects.

Starting from a smaller base helps:

A study by Ernst & Young says that the Indian market will clock the fastest compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2009 and 2020, more than double that of China and the triad of North America, Europe and Japan. India’s CAGR between 2009 and 2020 is likely to be 14 percent compared with China’s 6 percent, and the triad’s meek 4 percent


What will all those cars run on?

Since I'm feeling semi-cynical today -- they will run on the petroleum that India's expanding middle class can bid more for than the poor in the US, Japan, and Western Europe. Even pessimistic forecasts for post-peak production suggest that more than 55 million bbl/day will be pumped in 2020. Models that took production as high as 85 million bbl/day (which we reached, if you count all liquids) suggest >70 million bbl/day in 2020. That's still a lot of oil. But the price will be higher, and a software developer making $20K per year in India can afford a larger share of it than someone making $20K in the US.

Great comments today!

What will all those cars run on?

I think these cars will be driven far fewer miles per year than is done in the US. The same applies to China. Also traffic is so congested that they will raely travel above 20 miles per hour. So I think consumption per capita, and per auto will be a fraction of the comparable figure in the US. Nevertheless, the extra oil "demand" will probably have a major impact on price.

Graphene research wins Nobel prize

LONDON – Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, two researchers who began their careers in Russia, have been awarded the 2010 Nobel prize for physics "for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene."
Geim and Novoselov, both now professors at the University of Manchester, extracted graphene from a piece of graphite using regular adhesive tape, according to the Nobel organization. They were able to obtain a flake of carbon in the graphene form, which at the time, 2004, was thought to be unstable, unlike the fullerene C60 allotrope where the carbon sheet is wrapped up into ball.
However, graphene is the world’s thinnest material and is also the strongest, while being stiff and yet flexible and extremely good conductor of heat and electricity.

Nobel winner in physics is also an Ig Nobel Laureate

It was bound to happen eventually. An Ig Nobel Prize winner has become an actual Nobel laureate.
Andre Geim, a 51-year-old, Russian-born physicist who has gained renown for his work with the substance graphene, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics Tuesday.
It was just 10 years ago that Geim was honored with a satirical Ig Nobel Prize for using magnets to levitate a frog. The 20-year-old Ig Nobel awards are given out for achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think, during a ceremony which features real Nobel laureates handing out the prizes. The ceremony, at Harvard University, typically closes with the phrase "If you didn't win a prize — and especially if you did — better luck next year!"

U.S. gold hits record highs as dollar slips

U.S. gold futures ended nearly 2 percent higher on Tuesday, scaling an all-time peak as a tumbling dollar and currency market volatility prompted investors to buy gold as a safe haven.

COMEX December gold futures GCZ0 settled up $23.50, or 1.8 percent, at $1,340.30 an ounce on the COMEX division of the NYMEX.

I have been warning about a potential large and sudden collapse in the value of the dollar for five years on the web, on such web sites as www.321gold.com. The flip side of that is a sudden rise in the price of gold.

Keep in mind that this coming drop in the value of the dollar does not necessarily mean the dollar will plunge against all other currencies, although it quite likely it will against such currencies as the Swiss Franc.

It is possible that the US government even wants the US dollar to fall in terms of gold.

Therefore while we continue business in the present fiat (paper money) based US dollar financial system, the price of gold will continue to go higher. There is no a specific price which is too high as long as more paper money is being 'printed' (more specifically, printing money today means the Federal Reserve justs credits the accounts of the primary Treasury dealers on Wall Street when buying Treasury bonds, etc). Of course, there will be ups and downs in the price, so I suggest no one here speculates on the price of gold through futures trading.

Eventually, the US will have to return to some type of fixed, or semi-fixed, value for the dollar, which I would expect to be at least partly measured against gold and possibly silver (those being the only valid forms of 'money' in the US constitution). Technically, Federal Reserve dollars are required to be used for transactions, but they have no stated value - that is you can not request that the Fed give you anything in exchange for your dollars, such as gold.

Running on empty: the end of oil as we know it -
The topic Peak Oil is mired in lot of controversies. However there are few undisputed facts
1. The world is increasingly consuming oil at a faster pace than before thanks to newly emerging economies
2. We are discovering less and producing more and hence the available reserves for the future are depleting
3. The commercially exploitable alternate energy sources are no where near replacing the oil even by 10%.
The earlier we face these facts and start using this vital energy source more responsibly better it would be for the mankind and our childrens' future.

Interesting responses underneath the "Hill" article.

Lots of denial, rage, incredulity, etc.

Not much evidence too many people are ready to grapple with the problem like mature adults.

Facts? Are you kidding?

1) The world hasn't been consuming more oil for about 5 years now, its why its called a plateau.
2) We have been discovering more and more, otherwise all the reserves from 1980 would have been used up and we would have already run out. Instead, we have twice as much as started with back then, plus used a few hundred billion to boot.
3) But they could if we would just stop finding so much oil at a reasonable low price.

If you want to talk about facts, fine, but please go FIND some first before pretending that speculation is the same thing.

1) I agree. The world overall has produced & consumed the same amount of conventional crude oil for the last 5 years.
2) Strongly disagree. If you plot a graph of oil discoveries, you will see that the peak was in 1964. A more relevant measure is how many barrels of oil we discover for each barrel of oil we consume. Right now we consume about 4 to 5 barrels of oil for each barrel of discovery. This is obviously unsustainable. The quality of new discoveries and cost of extraction is also another factor. The new discoveries tend to be in remote areas, deep sea, etc. where the cost & risk of extraction is very high.
3) Disagree. There is no alternative source of energy that can replace more than 10% of the oil without serious repercussions (very expensive food, etc.). Electric cars are a game changer, but we are long ways off from making that transition.

2) Strongly disagree. If you plot a graph of oil discoveries, you will see that the peak was in 1964.

Thats because the oil discovery data you are looking at is censored. A common misconception among peakers.

Right now we consume about 4 to 5 barrels of oil for each barrel of discovery.

Depends on what you call "discovery". Since 1980 or so we have consumed all of the worlds reserves listed at that point in time. If we hadn't discovered anything, we'd be all out. No oil. Anywhere. Nada. Instead, we got what, another trillion barrels laying around? Somebody sure found SUMPTIN!

Electric cars are a game changer, but we are long ways off from making that transition.

Nah....they are a game changer as fast as people want them to be a game changer. I remember in 2008 when the waiting list for a Prius stretched into the 6-month range, nothing like peak oil to cause some needed behavioral change.

Can you point to a reference that details discoveries by field and makes clear which "discoveries" are due to increased production from previously discovered fields and which are de novo?


For the information to do any domestic analysis, go here.


If you wish to do the international analysis, go here.


Bring your checkbook.

I'm not sure if the same level of detail is available in the free resources from places like the IEA or EIA, but to do decent analysis the quality of the data matters.

Bring your checkbook.

Those who can, will do science, and those who can't, will try to buy their way to truth and then fail miserably.

Some think science involves hefting their favorite hammer, while blindfolded, and hitting everything they can reach in the middle of a hayfield hoping to find a nail, allowing "experts" who don't know what a nail or hammer are, offering targeting advice through a cell phone while sitting on the moon with binoculars.

My science involves data and stuff, peer review, just run of the mill stuff. Not near as exciting as flogging about wildly with a hammer but it works pretty well for me.

The geology field is wide open for analysis because we have had years and years of complacency and a quite evident lack of intellectual curiosity.

Yeah, there was this Hubbert idiot who...well....never mind.....

A guy and his graph paper. Who in geology or in geophysics followed up on it?

Is there not one textbook dedicated to his finding?

Deffeyes is light reading full of humorous anecdotes and personal asides.

A guy and his graph paper. Who in geology or in geophysics followed up on it?

Here we go again. So even the usual band of culprits like Campbell, Laherrere, you don't count them?

Did they write textbooks or in any way add anything to the educational knowledgebase, or were they just riding the fringe? Listen, I am not the only one complaining about this. I am sure Campbell and Laherrere would say the same thing if they didn't worry about burning bridges.

Did they write textbooks or in any way add anything to the educational knowledgebase, or were they just riding the fringe?

You wanted someone who followed up on it, I listed two easy ones off the top of my head who you at least wouldn't claim you had never heard of. One of whom actually has some published science on the topic, and a book, and the other who seems to prefer your "open science" method of publication.

Otherwise I'm with you, they are fringe. And certainly a textbook isn't required, Hubberts recognition within the geoscience community wasn't for the bell shaped curve now relegated to a random religious symbol by some disciples, it was for his important contributions.

Well, to be fair it was me who asked.

And while your sources aren't useful to me, they did point out that the publicly available data should be all that is needed to do a reasonable analysis.

And no one has done this analysis. Laherrere has made some graphs but where is his database? I am sure if he put his database up somewhere he would get sued.

In theory you get what you pay for, but it is vitally important to know exactly what you are paying for in that case.

Who provides the field and reservoir proved reserve data in the database?

Nehring Associates' staff estimate all the field and reservoir reserve data provided in the database. These estimates are made annually using the most appropriate decline curve for each field and reservoir. We also compare and correlate the sum of our field estimates by product for each geopolitical area (states and districts) to the area estimates provided annually by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). For the hundred largest oil and gas fields by remaining reserves, we also infer field reserves from EIA's annual published lists of these fields.

At least with the Nehring database you are paying for an analysis of EIA raw data, or so it would appear.

I can see the value in that, but it isn't what I asked for.

On the other hand, it does tell me that the EIA reports are where I want to look for what I was after.


At least with the Nehring database you are paying for an analysis of EIA raw data, or so it would appear.

Richard doesn't limit himself to just EIA information. He has some rather interesting ways of converting and incorporating state information into his data as well.

Probably true, but for an amateur like me the EIA data should provide a good start.

EIA info is mostly fine at the domestic level, they do their own data collection. Their international data is rehashed public data I believe, which is why you need a different reference for that, otherwise you can get the same stuff they get from BP world review or outlook or whatever that report is.

Nehring and his associates are clearly incompetent since they do not subscribe to peer-review. Those are your words and your complaint, Reservegrowthrulz2, not mine.


So Richard collects production and reserve information on 3 wells in some field in Kansas...and this requires peer review in your opinion?

In your world-view, yes, it apparently does.

In your view, he could be making it all up. He could be in the middle of a hayfield in Kansas or he could be sitting on a moon with binoculars according to your logic.

How can we believe him or his data without peer review?

For starters, certainly you aren't qualified to enunciate my world view on topics I haven't commented on, and I certainly haven't commented on peer review requirements for basic data assembly.

But it is a fair comment. Certainly after some of the disasters in data gathering which have afflicted the climate change gang it is reasonable to ask.

Climate change data availability is excellent compared to oil data. The problem with climate data is the noise riding on top of the data. The problem with oil data is business corruption and political weakness.

Data availability and peer review are not the same thing. Even Mr "Reason Without Knowing Anything First" should know that.

That's two strikes against Nehring & Associates.

Thats because the oil discovery data you are looking at is censored. A common misconception among peakers.

Do you have an evidence that the data is censored? Who is doing the censoring and why? How do you know about it?

If we hadn't discovered anything, we'd be all out. ...somebody sure found SUMPTIN!

Nobody ever said we are not discovering any more oil. We are discovering oil every year. The point is that with time the new discoveries are getting smaller and more expensive to produce.

With regard to Oil Reserves, I would like to invoke a Universal Truth espoused by one Dr. Gregory House and probably a very close second to the #1 Universal Truth

1: "The two most common elements in the Universe are Hydrogen and Stupidity".

2: "Everybody lies".

Not sure where to place this question, but this thread seems at the moment, as good as any.

Here's a hypothetical concerning Climate Change and possible "local cooling". There have been fairly persistent rumors concerning weakening of the Gulf Stream and a severe weakening or disappearance of the North Atlantic Drift (which moderates Europe's temperatures in the range of +10-12 deg. (F).) IF TRUE, I can see Europe's Heating Oil demand increasing substantially. Another report (allegedly from a Russian Weather Forecaster), is calling for a extremely cold winter. Again IF TRUE, that gives some weight to the North Atlantic Drift reduction or stoppage. Can't find much good data to verify one way or another...

We'll know by next spring I suppose on this one, but I can see bad things happening to Global Oil Supplies if the CTs get this one right.

There have been fairly persistent rumors concerning weakening of the Gulf Stream and a severe weakening or disappearance of the North Atlantic Drift (which moderates Europe's temperatures in the range of +10-12 deg. (F).)

This "rumour" is the result of weak science and typically incompetent science reporting. The Gulf Stream only accounts for 15% of the heating of Europe from sea surface temperatures (not total heating). The rest is due to warming of the Atlantic Ocean by solar radiation. The thermo-haline circulation of which the Gulf Stream is a part descends into the deep ocean in the North Atlantic. The depth of this descending part depends on a relative increase in salinity at the surface and the resulting heavier sea water pulled by gravity to lower levels.

The notion is that we can get some sort of Younger-Dryas event by the "shutdown" of this salinity driven descent through fresh water fluxes into the North Atlantic from Greenland melt and more precipitation in the Arctic and sub-Arctic (via rivers emptying into the Arctic Ocean). This notion is mostly a joke since we do not have the glacial climate state we had 12,000 years ago. Ice albedo was not too different from peak glaciation conditions (the North American ice sheet and the Arctic Ocean ice was still mostly intact). There was a surge of fresh water in quantities and rates that cannot be produced today since we do not have the massive inland glacier melt lakes (where the Great Lakes basin is today) maintained by ice dams. This surge temporarily stopped the deep descent branch of the THC in the North Atlantic, leaving only a shallow return flow to the south.

This fresh water surge did not stop the THC as is often claimed by people who know nothing about ocean dynamics. As long as the Earth is spinning and the Sun is shining there will be a meridional circulation in the atmosphere and the major oceans. The THC is driven by the waves and eddies induced by contact with the atmosphere and variations in solar heating of the surface waters (plus flow over topography in shallower waters). The role of salinity is to modify the shape of the THC, in particular how deep it can penetrate below the surface. Much like in the atmosphere the heating is relaxational, -r(T-T_radiative), in the oceans buoyancy is relaxational as well, -s(b-b_mean). So the wave and eddy activity induced circulation (the mechanically driven part) induces additional "forces", buoyancy anomalies, that amplify/reshape the circulation. Turning off the buoyancy driven part does not stop the circulation. And it is not possible to stop the buoyancy gradient formation for all time since it will be induced by the mechanically driven circulation.

The idea that there will be a permanent shutdown of the THC deep descending branch through additional fresh water fluxes is simply inane. What will happen is a new equilibrium will develop. The process leading to salinity increases, namely evaporation, will not stop. If Arctic Ocean surface waters become more fresh then you will have stronger horizontal salinity gradients in the North Atlantic, which will increase current intensity poleward. On top of this, the warming that increases melt and precipitation also intensifies the mechanically driven part of the THC. This will happen through more baroclinic eddy activity in the atmosphere (hence more wind induced wave action) and relative tropical warming compared to middle latitudes. Also, the loss of Arctic sea ice cover will increase evaporation in fall and eventually into early winter.

Europe should worry about AGW and not about some mini ice age hysterics spread by the media.

Well if Maury was indeed wrong and most of the heat input turns out to be wind patterns aloft, then somebody needs to have a long talk with somebody else...

In the mean time and referring back to my base question, should Europe and Russia experience extreme winter this year I'm thinking that Europe's increasing demand for Heating Oil and Russia's reduction of oil exports to compensate would accelerate the end of BAU.

Since the science seems in dispute, perhaps we'll have more data come next spring particularly if it does turn out that the Gulf Stream has weakened (I know its cyclical but it has been looking a bit "anemic" on the DEOS maps lately), and the North Atlantic Drift has also weakened or disappeared, by next spring we'll have at least some correlation, one way or the other.