Drumbeat: October 21, 2010

"In America most people have no conception that anything can really change radically" - Interview with John Michael Greer

Alexander Ac: Do you think that peak oil is a turning point in the history of human development? And can we compare it to anything else?

John Michael Greer: I think so. One of the problems that I see that a lot of people tend to think that whatever is happening at the present moment is the most important thing in human history. The crisis in industrial society, of which peak oil is one of the symptoms, is larger in scale than any previous example but is not different in kind. Most civilizations in the past have outrun their resource base and gone through the process of decline and fall. Ours is simply doing it on a bigger scale than previous civilizations because we have more energy to throw around.

Sea ice melting as Arctic temperature rises

WASHINGTON – The temperature is rising again in the Arctic, with the sea ice extent dropping to one of the lowest levels on record, climate scientists reported Thursday.

The new Arctic Report Card "tells a story of widespread, continued and even dramatic effects of a warming Arctic," said Jackie Richter-Menge of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers facility in Hanover, N.H.

Warmer Arctic probably permanent, scientists say

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The signs of climate change were all over the Arctic this year -- warmer air, less sea ice, melting glaciers -- which probably means this weather-making region will not return to its former, colder state, scientists reported on Thursday.

In an international assessment of the Arctic, scientists from the United States, Canada, Russia, Denmark and other countries said, "Return to previous Arctic conditions is unlikely."

BMW's Mini E drivers lead the electric-car wave

Todd Crook, a 42-year-old television advertising producer from California is convinced. So is Tom Mologhney, a 43-year-old New Jersey restauranteur. They're sold on the Mini E, BMW's first electric car to be put in the hands of consumers in the U.S.

Japan adding subs amid tension with China

Japan will add six submarines to its current fleet of 16 during the next four years as it sees increased naval activity from Asian neighbor China, according to news reports from Tokyo on Thursday.

Those Supposedly Ballooning OPEC Oil Reserves

So is it time to bust out the champagne and buy a new Excursion? Absolutely not. Oil prices may be fluctuating in the short-term, but the long-term trend is up, up, and away.

Gulf deepwater drilling freeze thawing slowly

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Some leading offshore drilling contractors, after reporting declines in quarterly profits, said on Thursday there were encouraging signs for activity in the Gulf of Mexico next year despite a shortage of permits.

East Timor Forges Ahead on Deep Oil Drilling

DILI, EAST TIMOR — To Demetrio do Amaral de Carvalho, the explosion last spring on the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico — and the oil that then gushed for months into the surrounding waters — held alarming portents for his young, fragile nation.

The disaster in the gulf spilled an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil, prompting the United States to impose a moratorium on deepwater drilling that was provisionally lifted only last week.

But while much of the world, including the European Union, is rethinking the risks and benefits of drilling at ever greater ocean depths for oil and natural gas, East Timor, among the poorest nations in Asia, is just beginning to authorize it — and Mr. de Carvalho, director of the local environmental organization Haburas, worries that a reckless rush is on.

New Rules for Tapping Africa's Abundant Oil

Oil producers led by ExxonMobil, Chevron, and London-based Tullow Oil have spent billions in their quest for new crude in sub-Saharan Africa. Now their expected flow of profits is at risk as African governments tighten control of the industry.

From 1989 to 2009, sub-Saharan Africa's estimated oil reserves more than doubled, to 127.7 billion barrels, equivalent to about 9.6 percent of the world's total, according to BP (BP). Along the West African coast, Liberia, Gabon, and Sao Tomé and Principé have invited bids for exploration licenses. In the interior, the geological formations that stretch from Mauritania to northern Namibia may hold 71.7 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, according to U.S. Geological Survey estimates. "There is plenty of interest," says Martin Kelly, head of sub-Sahara Africa research at energy consultants Wood Mackenzie.

Kuwait Cuts 2020 Heavy Oil Target More Than Half to 170,000 Barrels a Day

Kuwait plans to pump about 170,000 barrels a day of heavy crude oil by 2020, down from an earlier target of 450,000 barrels a day, Kuwait Oil Co. Chairman Sami al-Rushaid said.

“The heavy oil target is now about 60,000 by 2015/16. This is the first milestone,” al-Rushaid said in a phone interview today. “Our target is about 170,000 barrels per day by 2020.”

Aramco gas projects delays are cause for concern

No announcements are being made regarding major oil and gas projects in the kingdom and this is causing some concern among contractors. The $500m Wasit gas site preparation scheme is already slipping behind schedule, as are several other Aramco projects.

What is more worrying for contractors is that none of them seem to know the actual reason for the delays. Rising gold prices, the Eid holiday falling in late summer, declining materials costs, as well as good old fashioned procrastination, have all been cited as reasons from executives working in the kingdom’s hydrocarbons industry.

Oil Declines as Chinese Refinery Demand Growth Slows to Least in 18 Months

Crude declined as China’s oil processing grew the least in 18 months after government measures to cool the economy damped fuel demand.

Oil slipped as much 1.4 percent following data from China Mainland Marketing Research Co. that showed refineries in the world’s biggest energy-consuming country processed about 8.5 million barrels a day in September. That’s a 6.6 percent gain from a year earlier and the smallest increase since March 2009.

Russia sees oil output above 500 mln t through 2012

(Reuters) - Russian oil output will exceed 500 million tonnes (3.6 billion barrels) this year, and it expects a similar production rate through 2012, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told journalists on Thursday.

"I don't think oil production will change significantly in 2012," said Shmatko.

Ukraine to raise gas price issue in Russia talks

(Reuters) - Ukraine will once again urge Russia to revise the two nations' gas agreement when Ukrainian and Russian prime ministers meet in Kiev on October 27, Ukraine's First Deputy Prime Minister said on Thursday. "We will raise the issue of gas price and gas pricing formula," Andriy Klyuev told repoters.

Russia's Transneft sale is off agenda in next 5 yrs

(Reuters) - The Russian government will not return to the issue of possibly privatising the Transneft oil pipeline monopoly in the next five years, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told reporters on Thursday.

Japan buys Saudi crude from Showa Shell -sources

TOKYO (Reuters) - State-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp (JOGMEC) has bought 100,000 kilolitres of Saudi Arab Extra Light crude for Japan's national reserves from refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu via tender, industry sources said on Thursday.

Six months after the spill, BP's money is changing the gulf as much as its oil

Today, it is BP's money, not its oil, that is most visibly altering the Gulf Coast. The company has been trying - on federal orders - to protect not just the water but the way of life there. But BP's waterfall of cash has changed people's lives profoundly.

Six months later, what did we learn from the oil disaster in the Gulf?

Six months after a BP-owned offshore oil rig exploded, setting off a violent leak 5,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, there is still much debate about what the United States has or hasn't learned from this disaster. As other issues -- like November elections and Chilean miner rescues -- dominate news cycles, there are also accusations that we've all turned a blind eye to the nagging problems that caused such an enormous spill in the first place.

Has the Earth Run Out of Any Natural Resources?

China has cut exports of rare-earth metals to Japan, Europe, and the United States, undermining high-tech manufacturers that rely on the minerals for wind turbines and missile-guidance systems. The People's Republic controls more than 90 percent of rare-earth production and now claims that their reserves may be exhausted in the next 20 years. Extinct plant and animal species notwithstanding, has the Earth ever run out of a natural resource?

Taxes, duties on green power technologies likely to be eliminated

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided, in principle, to eliminate almost all taxes and import duties on renewable power technologies, including solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and instruments.

Shocker is false alarm for WNY, as Cuomo clarifies power policy

Andrew M. Cuomo raised eyebrows and concerns in Western New York on Tuesday after outlining "the need to get power from Western New York -- down to New York City" during Monday night's gubernatorial debate.

But despite a torrent of comments and criticisms, the Democratic candidate for governor insisted Tuesday that he plans no major changes in upstate hydropower policy. Speaking with reporters in Poughkeepsie and later through spokesman Josh Vlasto, Cuomo emphasized that he was addressing the need for upgraded transmission lines and that he expects current hydropower agreements that reserve specified amounts for Western New York use will not change -- including the Power for Jobs program.

Hot air? White House takes credit for Bush-era wind farm jobs

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is crediting its anti-recession stimulus plan with creating up to 50,000 jobs on dozens of wind farms, even though many of those wind farms were built before the stimulus money began to flow or even before President Barack Obama was inaugurated.

Out of 70 major wind farms that received the $4.4 billion in federal energy grants through the stimulus program, public records show that 11, which received a total of $600 million, erected their wind towers during the Bush administration. And a total of 19 wind farms, which received $1.3 billion, were built before any of the stimulus money was distributed.

Unplugged Chevrolet Volt will still get high gas mileage

Here's an interesting question: What if you're a lazy person who buys a Chevrolet Volt with the best of intentions of being on the cutting edge of the plug-in electric car revolution, then you never plug it in? What kind of fuel mileage will you get?

Our James R. Healey, who is tooling around the Detroit area today in a Volt, says General Motors engineers gave him an answer: high 30s.

Is this the housing standard of the future?

Recently, the housebuilding industry has complained that this is an unrealistic target in a slumped housing market which would struggle to carry the cost. But, while builders gripe about the impossibility of making Britain’s homes green, a German standard for super-insulated housing is beginning to gather pace in the UK.

Passivhaus technology was developed in Germany in 1990 and is now widely used across Europe – particularly in Germany, Austria and Sweden. 90% more energy efficient any normal home, a Passive House applies a number of strict building standards, which help to conserve heat by utilising heat sources and solar gains.

Kuwait adds '12 billion barrels to oil reserves'

KUWAIT CITY (AFP) – Kuwait has added at least 12 billion barrels of crude oil to its reserves, which are estimated at over 100 billion barrels, following a comprehensive study, a newspaper reported on Thursday.

Citing well-informed oil sources, Al-Jarida daily said the new oil was found in Greater Burgan, the world's second largest oilfield after Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, with reserves estimated at close to 70 billion barrels.

The sources told the paper that more reserves have been discovered at a number of other reservoirs following a comprehensive study, which will boost the Gulf state's reserves - the credibility of which has been questioned in the past.

Oil falls near $82 after US gasoline supply drop

The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that commercial crude inventories rose less than analysts expected, adding 700,000 barrels. But a surprise 1.2 million barrel jump in gasoline supplies dismayed traders.

"Demand is getting worse," Cameron Hanover said. "Lower demand is also telling another element of the story of weakness in the U.S. economy."

China's Looming Cold Snap May Strain Energy Supplies, Hit Farms, Transport

A cold snap will hit China today and lower temperatures by as much as 16 degrees centigrade through the weekend, potentially straining the country’s energy supply and transportation and disrupting agricultural production.

When will another oil price boom restore GCC economic growth?

It is surely only a matter of time before the higher oil prices determined by Peak Oil theory return to give the Gulf Oil States another bout of serious economic growth. Indeed, cash flow from oil this year is set to bounce back from $570 billion in 2009 to around $720 billion.

Scattered Protests Still Grip France as Fuel Runs Low

PARIS — Maintaining his tough line, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France on Thursday warned demonstrators protesting his effort to increase the retirement age that they would not “have the last word” and would be pursued and punished “with no weakness” on the part of the authorities.

The president was speaking at a meeting with rural officials south-west of Paris as strikers blocked traffic in several cities and other protesters vowed to maintain weeks of efforts to thwart the retirement changes on which Mr. Sarkozy appears to have staked his political future.

French students clash with police ahead of new protest

PARIS (AFP) – French protestors blocked key sites and clashed with police Thursday as unions called for further mass nationwide protests against President Nicolas Sarkozy's bid to raise the retirement age.

With no fuel left in more than a quarter of petrol pumps, police are playing what unions dubbed a game of cat and mouse with protestors at depots and refineries in a bid to prevent the country grinding to a halt.

Sarkozy Faces Strike Threat as Lady Gaga Scraps Two Paris Shows

French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces a double threat as labor unions consider extending their protests over his planned pension overhaul and as debate over amendments delays a Senate vote on the legislation.

Government officials began tallying the cost of transport disruptions and strikes at oil refineries, saying they’re hurting French competitiveness. Strikes against the bill, which would raise the retirement age to 62 from 60, have caused about half the country’s service stations to run out of gasoline and prompted the singer Lady Gaga to cancel two shows in Paris.

Gas tax talks still mired after letters to Rendell

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- An effort by Gov. Ed Rendell to jump-start negotiations on a tax on natural gas extraction from the Marcellus Shale formation produced no movement Wednesday after legislative leaders responded to his call for counterproposals.

$60B U.S.-Saudi Arms Deal Sends Message to Iran

(AP) As American and Saudi officials spent months quietly hammering out a wish list for a mammoth sale of American warplanes and other weapons to the oil-rich kingdom, leaders in Iran were busy publicly displaying their advances in missiles, naval craft and air power.

Medvedev has strong hand in Ashgabat

Not so long ago, Russia, or rather the state-owned gas company Gazprom, was willing to buy as much Turkmen gas as it could and was willing to pay top dollar for it.

But that was before the global economic crisis hit, along with a significant reduction in demand and price for natural gas. Now when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev comes calling to Ashgabat, as he was due to on October 21 for a two-day visit, any bargaining on natural-gas supplies and prices will be from a position of strength.

Russia to Sell Rosneft Stock in $59 Billion Plan to Cut Deficit

Russia plans to sell as much as 15 percent of OAO Rosneft, its biggest oil producer, as the government seeks to raise 1.8 trillion rubles ($59 billion) in asset sales in the next five years to help balance the budget.

Conoco Chief Says Asset Sales May Top $10 Billion

ConocoPhillips may sell more assets than it initially planned as part of its 2-year bid to raise cash and pay down debt, the company’s chief executive told CNBC on Wednesday, according to Reuters.

“We may sell more than the $10 billion,” Jim Mulva said in an interview.

Afghan peace council wants Saudi Arabia's help

KABUL, Afghanistan – The Afghan government's newly formed peace council wants Saudi Arabia to play a key role in efforts to reconcile with the Taliban and find a political resolution to the war.

Chavez signs major energy deals with Iran

TEHRAN (AFP) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez left Iran late Wednesday after signing 11 deals focused on energy cooperation between the two major oil producers who are foes of the United States, state television said.

Chavez and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad both denounced American "imperialism" and called for a "new world order," during the visit, part of an international tour aimed at strengthening Venezuela's economic ties with eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Turkey to start Cyprus drilling

Turkey will begin work on oil exploration around the divided island of Cyprus and may supply energy to the Greek Cypriot side, Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said today.

Turkey primes $3.2bn Iraq spend

Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said today investment in two Iraqi gas fields that were won by ventures that include TPAO, Turkey's state-run oil company, will be $3.2 billion.

Chevron places a big bet in the Gulf

Chevron Corp. has approved a $7.5 billion project to develop two deep-water fields in the outer rim of the Gulf of Mexico, marking one of the oil and gas industry's biggest investments ever in the U.S. offshore area and a big vote for the future of the region after the BP oil spill.

The decision on the Jack and St. Malo fields, which comes seven years after the first discovery there, sets in motion a sweeping effort to design and build a massive floating city about 280 miles southwest of New Orleans that is expected to produce its first barrels of crude oil in 2014.

Ottawa urged to beef up oil sands enforcement

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A trio of environmental groups called on Ottawa on Wednesday to beef up enforcement of legislation in the Alberta oil sands, saying unchecked development is harming Canada's international reputation.

In a report, Environmental Defense, Equiterre and the Pembina Institute said lax federal standards and poor policing are causing inter-provincial friction as well.

Legal action against gas hub land clearing

Legal proceedings have begun to stop Woodside Petroleum from clearing vegetation at James Price Point in Western Australia's Kimberley region as part of plans for a gas hub.

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) granted a permit to Woodside on July 30 to clear 25 hectares of native vegetation for environmental investigations for the proposed $30 billion gas precinct.

Groups sue BP for harm to endangered Gulf wildlife

ATLANTA (Reuters Legal) – U.S. environmental groups filed a suit on Wednesday against British-based oil giant BP Plc saying the world's worst offshore spill inflicted "ongoing unlawful" harm on endangered wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico.

Time to tally BP oil spill's toll on wildlife, habitat

What's a brown pelican worth?

"$328.63," deadpans economist Jim Boyd, senior fellow at Resources for the Future, a non-partisan economic research organization. "Reasonable people will differ on the value of a pelican. Some will say zero; some will say thousands."

BP spill threatens a third of Canadian gannets

Research indicates that more northern gannets from Newfoundland and Labrador may have run into BP's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico than previously believed.

Microbes May Have Eaten Methane From BP Spill

Scientists have identified unusually hungry microbes living at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico that eat methane. Methane was a big part of the Gulf oil spill, and it's possible that these microbes ate some of it. The research also could help scientists understand climate change, since methane is a big contributor to warming.

New Zealand: Govt has no plan for high oil prices

Minister of Finance Bill English demonstrated that the Government has no plan for coping with high oil prices, said the Green Party today.

An independent report published by the Parliamentary Library last week states that another oil supply crunch is likely to occur soon after 2012 and high oil prices will be sustained in the future because low-cost reserves are near exhaustion.

Botswana: Traffic Planning – a priori

Is it worth it having the same office hours all over town? Do all schools have to start at 7.30 and end at the same time?

And where is the much needed high quality public transport that I have recommended years ago? The one we need when the peak oil is not available to acceptable cost for normal people (to deliver and take children from school). THESE are questions that must be answered within a short time, otherwise we are doomed.

Increased population density can be good for a city

With the inevitable challenges of peak oil and climate change, driving our cars will become increasingly less affordable and accessible. As well, we have a growing population in Guelph that will need access to all the amenities necessary for life. We will have to make major changes in the way our cities are laid out in order to ensure accessibility for all.

Increasing population density is one simple way to create more accessibility. However, most of us associate high density living with all sorts of negative things: increased crime, noise and decreased privacy and peace.

Will Walmart's locavore promises mean much?

The king of grocers is committed to sell $1B of local food from small farms, but not everyone is impressed.

Biofuels support community, could create new jobs

The creation of a regional biofuels industry would help create jobs and support farming in the area, said Joe Ramirez, director of Marine Corps Liaisons for Government and External Affairs for MCB Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River.

There are multiple biofuels manufacturing facilities in North Carolina, but they are all west of Interstate 95, and since most are either shut down or operating at a greatly reduced capacity, it would be beneficial to have a facility in the eastern region, said Mark Sutherland, director of the Eastern Region Military Growth Task Force.

California: Solar Plant Advances

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar approved a big solar energy plant in the Mojave Desert on Wednesday, making it the fifth such project on public land in the West to win federal authorization.

Tidal Power: The Next Wave?

Over the next few years, we can expect to see huge advances in our ability to harness power from the ocean’s waves and tides, a new report from IHS Emerging Energy Research, a Cambridge, Mass., consulting firm, predicts.

Kenya Says Five Independent Power Projects, Including Wind, Delayed a Year

The projects include the 300-megawatt Turkana wind farm, an extension to a geothermal plant and three diesel-power facilities, Nyoike said at a conference today in Nairobi, the capital.

Polar bears, Bush and Obama tangle in court

WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Wednesday ordered the Obama administration to review whether polar bears are endangered under federal law.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan wants the Interior Department to clarify a Bush-era decision that polar bears were merely threatened rather than in imminent danger of extinction.

Putting a Value on Biodiversity

Forests, fisheries, coral reefs, bee colonies and other natural assets carry large and unappreciated economic benefits as well as contributing to the diversity of the planet’s plant and animal life, according to a new study from the United Nations Environment Program.

Nature panel under threat as nations wrangle

Political wrangling threatens to derail plans to establish a global science panel to assess the loss of nature.

Silicon Valley fights California's Prop. 23

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Texas oil giants Tesoro and Valero have garnered much of the ink for bankrolling a ballot initiative to kill California’s landmark global warming law.

But it’s the Golden State’s Internet titans, venture capitalists and clean energy technology engineers who may end up stealing the show.

California voters turning against Prop. 19 and Prop. 23, poll shows

California voters have turned against controversial initiatives to legalize marijuana and to suspend the state's global warming law, a poll from the Public Policy Institute of California found.

Bill Gates gives $700,000 to defeat Proposition 23

The campaign against Proposition 23 — the ballot initiative that would push back California's landmark global warming law — is getting another big financial boost from a high-tech billionaire.

Climate Change Doubt Is Tea Party Article of Faith

“Climate change is real, and man is causing it,” Mr. Hill said, echoing most climate scientists. “That is indisputable. And we have to do something about it.”

A rain of boos showered Mr. Hill, including a hearty growl from Norman Dennison, a 50-year-old electrician and founder of the Corydon Tea Party.

“It’s a flat-out lie,” Mr. Dennison said in an interview after the debate, adding that he had based his view on the preaching of Rush Limbaugh and the teaching of Scripture. “I read my Bible,” Mr. Dennison said. “He made this earth for us to utilize.”

U.N. Urged to Freeze Climate Change 'Geo-engineering' Projects

The United Nations should impose a moratorium on "geo-engineering" projects such as artificial volcanoes and vast cloud-seeding schemes to fight climate change, green groups say, fearing they could harm nature and mankind.

The risks were too great because the impacts of manipulating nature on a vast scale were not fully known, the groups said at a major U.N. meeting in Japan aimed at combating increasing losses of plant and animal species.

Argentina protects its glaciers by law

Argentina enacted a new law that protects the country's glaciers, in a global context where climate change threatens the large bodies of ice and there are risks of different polluting activities.

The law, enacted on September 30, aims to preserve the glaciers as "strategic reserves of water for human consumption, for agriculture and as suppliers of water to recharge basins, for the protection of biodiversity ; as a source of scientific and tourist attraction."

Coastal dwellers unfazed by sea rise

Sea levels are expected to rise, but many people in Australia's most vulnerable coastal communities don't think they are at serious risk: study.

People living on the coast are concerned about climate change, but are confident they will adapt to rising seas, temperatures and more frequent storms, University of Adelaide PhD researcher Christopher Button says.

Water Scarcity a Bond Risk, Study Warns

The municipal bonds that help finance a major portion of the nation’s water supply may be riskier than investors realize because their credit ratings do not adequately reflect the growing risks of water shortages and legal battles over water supplies, according to a new study.

As a result, investors may see their bonds drop in value when these risks become apparent, and water and electric utilities may find it more expensive to raise money to cope with supply problems, the study warned.

IMF lowers oil production forecast for Iraq

The International Monetary Fund Wednesday said it has lowered Iraq's oil production forecast, after a disappointing 2010.

In its first review report of its February 3.7 billion dollar standby loan to Iraq, the IMF said it expected Iraqi oil production to reach 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2011, against the 2.9 million it forecast in February.

Dated September 20 but published on Wednesday, the IMF report also lowered Iraq's projected 2012 oil production to 2.6 million bpd, from 3.1 million bpd in February.

Uhuh! I love the reasons given by the IMF for those disappointing results...

"Production and export volumes have been disappointing," the IMF said, adding that average exports of 1.88 million bpd in the first half of the year were "significantly lower than the target of 2.10 million bpd for the year."

"Bad weather delayed tanker loadings at the main export terminals near Basra, while a bomb attack in April temporarily interrupted exports through the northern pipeline to Turkey," the report said.

"Also, internal political difficulties caused delays in the expected increase in exports from the northern fields," the IMF added.

I'm sure when the weather clears up things will be looking up again...

The sun will come out tomorrow
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow there'll be sun...


1.336 kW/m2 Hey IMF, that's what you should be financing, not Iraqi oil... or is this the International Moron's Fund we're talking about. Bah!

the IMF said it expected Iraqi oil production to reach 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2011...

This is weird. For the first nine months of 2010, according to OPEC's Monthly Oil Market Report, Iraq produced an average of 2.4 million barrels per day of crude only. Next year the IMF expects them to produce 2.2 million barrels per day. That is a drop of about 200,000 barrels per day from 2010 so far.

They are going in the wrong direction.

Ron P.

Re: Climate Change Doubt Is Tea Party Article of Faith

There's another article in the NYT about the so-called Tea Party. As is clear by now, the Tea Party is the result of a clever marketing campaign by those who oppose government regulation and control of the "free market".


It would appear that their campaign has been wildly successful...

E. Swanson

Denninger has a rant about the Tea Party today. http://www.market-ticker.org


Todd, you need to give the link of the article, not just his blog. His blog changes, often several times a day. The Tea Party article can no longer be found there. At least I searched his blog, up today, on the word "Tea" and came up empty.

If you click on the headline of any article on his blog, it will give you a link for that article only.

Ron P.


FWIW it was right up there when I looked this morning (about 5:45AM PT). But, I admit I was lazy because I didn't feel like going back for his permalink. I was more concerned about the weather effecting whether a tree guy would be able to work today since I was to do the rope work on the ground while he climbed. Things worked out fine...there was light mist coming down, he has the flu and I threw out my back Monday bucking up logs and splitting them (for next year's firewood) and it is far from better so everything is off until next week. :-) So, in retrospect, I could have taken the time for the link.


PS in case anyone wonders what I mean by "tree work", Two were to be limbed up (about 40' up) for view, one was coming down because it is close to our power feed and a clump of 6-50' oaks that have started to shade my PV system in the late afternoon were going to be dropped. The latter are a pain because they will have to be pulled to fall in the right place. This means climbing to set a rope up high, setting a block in another tree, running the rope to it and then to my truck which will pull it when it is close to falling. You can't put much tension on it early or it may "barber chair", i.e., split up the middle. I'm glad I've done it many times before. Being a chicken, I always run a chain around the butt above the cut so this can't happen; I don't know about the tree guy.


To The Tea Party: Go Screw Yourself

The Tea Party will save us by reducing the size of government ;-) since that is the problem we face as a Nation.

Didnt Gingrich do that one in the 90s? Seems gov't grew under the R's. Oh well. Another election and nothing will come of it.

A new coat of paint brightens up the image a little -- and Homer Simpson eats it up -- "Doughnut! Mmmm! Tea Party!"

Denninger was actually one of the first bloggers to promote sending a tea bag to members of Congress to protest the banking bailouts. The tea party seemed to get legs from there, and was initially somewhat non-partisan. Unfortunately, a few months later I noticed names of some long time Republican operatives getting into the lead on tea party events and the whole thing started slowly devolving into a Republican subgroup. Having Sarah Palin lead rallies was pretty much the last straw. Sad to see, because we could really use a strong non-partisan group to take on the banking interests that are ruining the country.

Denninger was actually one of the first bloggers to promote sending a tea bag to members of Congress to protest the banking bailouts. The tea party seemed to get legs from there,

Plenty of groups had used the tea party branding over the years. A group of Libertarians were pimping it 2-3 years ago, and were going strong enough that they had the room booked in Boston where Ron Paul's Campaign for Liberty wanted to be. So they shared the room, thus alerting some Republican operative(s) into the existence of the idea. Taking that branding from the Libs/Paul may have been a factor.

Sad to see, because we could really use a strong non-partisan group to take on the banking interests that are ruining the country.

That was the message of Naomi Klein when she did her 'yea for the tea party' piece.

Taking on the banking interests - Sue 'em over your mortgage fraud.
Stop using Credit cards and move to cash. Move your money to a local bank/credit union.
http://www.solari.com for ideas on getting out from under the banks.

I presume you are referring to this post, dated yesterday...

Tea Party my ass. This was nothing other than The Republican Party stealing the anger of a population that was fed up with The Republican Party's own theft of their tax money at gunpoint to bail out the robbers of Wall Street and fraudulently redirecting it back toward electing the very people who stole all the ****ing money!

E. Swanson

What role have Justices Scalia and Thomas played in the Koch money machine?
Should they recuse themselves from climate cases?


Is this why we're getting the 'Distraction Articles' today about Anita Hill being asked by Mrs. Thomas to 'Apologize' for talking about being SLEAZED by his honor 20 years ago?

a number of attendees at the Koch’s secret meetings include health industry moguls with a direct financial stake in the litigation challenging health reform (Justice Thomas’ wife, of course, actively lobbied against the Affordable Care Act).

(from the above link at Climate Progress)

These people are revolting.

The working theory is that the story was meant to come out last week as a distraction to this, but Hill "blew it" by sitting on the tape for a week.

Activism of Thomas’s Wife Could Raise Judicial Issues

Ginnie Thomas is bigtime teabagger and is profoundly delusional
and she has a hard time accepting the fact that SHE MARRIED A PERVERT.
Or do I exaggerate?

It sounds like there were other testimonies against Thomas that only surfaced just as he was Confirmed, and so the stories weren't printed..

but in either case, the idea that the Mrs Thomas is asking for Hill to Apologize is so typical of this reversal, where the Accused perpetrator gets to play the Victim Card, and such a bit of Self-righteous Moral Indignation is pure Red Meat for the Machine.. it also plays into this 'She must have been tempting him' that is constantly the first defense for 'men who can't be blamed for their natural urges' ..

Then tossing Prayer into it..


Here are a couple of crazy and wild ideas:

How about Clarence apologizing to Anita for having been a boss in a workplace that caused her to believe she was being sexually harassed (whether or not that was actually true) and not realizing that such was perhaps going on?

How about Clarence apologizing to America for having an uber-right wing activist wife who gets money for her activities and thus creates an impression of inappropriate influence? How about Clarence stepping down and letting Obama pick someone else with a less questionable background to sit on America's highest court? Will Clarence make the "ultimate sacrifice" for the good of the country?

Very doubtful. ("Ultimate sacrifice" applies only to poor and uneducated kids whose corpses we "honor" on Memorial Day --for a split second before the doors open at the mall for that day's big "sales-a-bration".)

If the market is "free" then why are there so many corporate lobbyists in Washington?

Snarky remark ahead.

If it is a free market, all stores are labeled, free take one, or more, leave donations if you like at the door, and next week we might have more free items for you.

Freedom market is what they might have labeled it, if they were thinking clearly, or maybe. No regulations market, or something better than that.

What we have mostly had all these years is someone with control over things hiding in the shadows making more than they could if they were ruled by a king, calling everything free so that the serfs would think something else.

Snarky remark off.

There was a free table at the yardsale up at my church, I took an old avon bottle, irony has it, it was a bottle shaped like the US Capital.

BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world, Designs and help given away pro bono. AKA free.

Why are there so many corporate lobbyists in Washington?

Freedom's just another word for influence left to buy (by the highest bidder) --Janis Joplin

From the Tea Party article : “Being a strong Christian,” she added, “I cannot help but believe the Lord placed a lot of minerals in our country and it’s not there to destroy us.”

Her god must really love those chinese then. Thats all i can say.

Spoilt brats, having tantrums because proper adults dare to claim that they aren't the center of the universe and demanding special rights while trying to deny even basic human rights to everyone else.

Why then did the US peak in oil production in the 1970s?


All caps to sound authoritarian!

Good one.

(Be glad TOD editors have not yet censored your response)

((-Oh come on Leanan. My image wasn't that big. I'm trying to keep them small, in actual byte count. Honest. Is 4KB OK? How about 30KB? 100?))

OPEC says $90/barrel oil would be a fair price.

And they have had nothing to do with the recent price rise.


IMHO, both statements are true.


LoL! is that all ? $90 seem cheap compared to $147 .....


PS: with all those paper barrels I'm suprised they want that much ;)

Link up top: Kuwait adds '12 billion barrels to oil reserves'

The race is now on, which OPEC nation can add the most billion barrels to their already "proven reserves". It is well known that Kuwait was already vastly overestimating their reserves. Petroleum Intelligence Weekly in 2006 discovered a Kuwaiti internal document dated late 2001 which showed Kuwait had only 24.205 billion barrels of proven reserves and 23.911 billion barrels of unproven reserves.

But interesting that all this new 12 billion barrels they found came from their largest but oldest field, Burgan. Burgan, fabled Kuwait oil field in irreversible decline with high water cut. They could not fine any oil anywhere else so they went back to old reliable and suddenly found 12 billion more barrels there. Burgan is in steep decline and has been for many years.

It is highly unlikely that these newly discovered barrels will make any difference in the decline rate of Burgan.

Ron P.

I surprised nobody is calling OPEC's bluff. With current production completely at odds with claimed reserves, it should be pretty easy for the IEA to question these new reserves.

But then they might have to answer for where the new oil IS going to come from. After all, we want it and so it must appear somewhere.

Those might be paper reserves or subprime reserves. The sure look good on paper.

How do you call their bluff?

And what is the point? They can claim they have infinite barrels but it really doesn't matter if they can't produce the flows.

They could not find any oil anywhere else so they went back to old reliable and suddenly found 12 billion more barrels there.

Just the so called 'backdating': look at an article from Campbell and Laherrere, published in Scientific American, march 1998.
Among many other things it says:

GROWTH IN OIL RESERVES since 1980 is an illusion caused by belated corrections to oil-field estimates. Backdating the revisions to the year in which the fields were discovered reveals that reserves have been falling because of a steady decline in newfound oil.

According to most accounts, world oil reserves have marched steadily upward over the past 20 years. Extending that apparent trend into the future, one could easily conclude, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration has, that oil production will continue to rise unhindered for decades to come, increasing almost two thirds by 2020.

Such growth is an illusion. About 80 percent of the oil produced today flows from fields that were found before 1973, and the great majority of them are declining. In the 1990s oil companies have discovered an average of seven Gbo a year; last year they drained more than three times as much. Yet official figures indicated that proved reserves did not fall by 16 Gbo, as one would expect rather they expanded by 11 Gbo. One reason is that several dozen governments opted not to report declines in their reserves, perhaps to enhance their political cachet and their ability to obtain loans. A more important cause of the expansion lies in revisions: oil companies replaced earlier estimates of the reserves left in many fields with higher numbers. For most purposes, such amendments are harmless, but they seriously distort forecasts extrapolated from published reports.

Han, thanks for the post. We beat this "reserve growth" horse to death at least three, four and five years ago. We all know what reserve growth is. This is not reserve growth. Burgan was discovered in 1938, 72 years ago. It has grown all the reserves it is ever going to grow. Anyway, you should know that reserves do not grow in a field that is in steep decline like Burgan. And it looks really stupid to try to "backdate" reserves to a much higher level in a field that is in decline.

I hate do dig up this old dead horse but "reserve growth" caused by underestimating their reserves for SEC filing regulations, and other reasons, is a product of publicly traded oil companies. National oil companies are far more likely to overestimate reserves. Anyway there are a few hundred posts on TOD on the subject if you would like to did them up on the archives.

Kuwait, and all other OPEC nations began "backdating" their reserves in the mid 80s. In fact there was a "backdating" race to see who could backdate the most. That backdating contest is still going on. Iraq recently "backdated" their reserves by 24 billion barrels putting them ahead of Iran in the backdating battle. Iran, a few days later, backdated their reserves by enough to put them back in second place.

The latest reserve updates by Iraq, Iran, Kuwait and Venezuela are a farce, a ploy to give them prestige and position them favorably in any new OPEC quota talks. It is not real oil Han, OPEC nations have about one half the reserves they claim, give or take.

Ron P.

OPEC nations have about one half the reserves they claim, give or take.

Probably Ron. In the first half of this year there was a shouting CNN story on t.v. from the journalist Richard Quest about reviving declining oilproduction from a supergiant oilfield in the ME, IIRC it was about Burgan. There was hope for more oil under the original field, something like that he said.

There was hope for more oil under the original field, something like that he said.

I doubt it. Remember the oil in the Burgan reservoir originally came from under Burgan. Oil seeped up from the source rock below into the reservoir. It would be extremely unlikely that any oil, that is another reservoir, would be found below the main reservoir. That would mean there would have to be another cap rock below the source rock and another source rock below that and...


Ron P.

One technical point. Not to get into a debate about Burgen, as I suspect they are indeed inflating reserves. However, I would point out that finding additional pay zones below known reseervoirs is not that uncommon. It is often referred to as "stacked pay", or "stacked reservoirs". Some of the big old California fields are famous for this. Up here in my neck of the woods, Prudhoe has the main reservoir in the Ivishak, but there are lesser but economic accumulations below in the Lisburne, and above in the Sag River Formations.

Oil migration is usually not a simple direct route straight up from source rocks below to reservoir above. Migration is often lateral (but up dip), following thin lag sands at unconformities, or faults, or fracture zones. Many of these zones would be considered impermeable from an engineering point of view (in a human time frame). However, over geologic time even tiny permeable zones can allow oil migration. Sometimes later regional tilting of reservoirs can cause oil to be spilled into another sand. Again Prudhoe is a good example of this. It is believed that the Prudhoe accumulation was much originally much larger but then was tilted, spilling some of it's oil to form the West Sak Field, which was later degraded to heavy oil. See Masterson, 2001, "Evidence for biodegradation and evaporative fractionation at West Sak, Kuparuk and Prudhoe Bay field areas, North Slope, Alaska", Organic Geochemistry 32, pp 411-441 for details. Oil generation, migration, and degradation is very complex.

Again, just a technical point. I suspect they are indeed inflating reserves at Burgen.

Thanks Alaska, you obviously know a lot more about oil field geology than I do. However the reserves were not found under Burgan, they decided that Burgan's reserves were simply larger than they originally assumed. From the article linked up top:

In April, Kuwait's deputy premier for economic affairs Sheikh Ahmad Fahad al-Sabah told a symposium that Burgan reserves were in fact higher than published figures.

After 72 years and after the field went into decline with a high water cut they suddenly decided it was bigger than they thought. Wellll... okay.

Ron P.


I was responding to your note, where you said " ...the oil in the Burgan reservoir originally came from under Burgan. Oil seeped up from the source rock below into the reservoir. It would be extremely unlikely that any oil, that is another reservoir, would be found below the main reservoir. That would mean there would have to be another cap rock below the source rock and another source rock below that and..."

It is entirely possible that there might be other reservoir rocks and cap rocks below the main Burgan field. However, as I also said, I seriously doubt that there is enough to make the increase they are talking about. Also, I would expect they would have deliniated those reserves long before now. I agree those increases are probably bogus. The reasons it is bogus are more political than geological. If you want to talk about oil generation, migration, etc, it is best to keep your technical ideas accurate, which you did not in this case.


If you want to talk about oil generation, migration, etc, it is best to keep your technical ideas accurate, which you did not in this case.

Alaska, I acknowledged that you were the expert on oil field geology and I was not. That means I acknowledged that your remarks were correct and mine was not.

What the F**K else do you want?

Ron P.

Hey sorry, I'm not trying to pick a fight. It only seemed like you were saying no new reserves could be found under the field. They could, but I agree, probably not nearly enough, and probably would have been found a long time ago.

Peace Bro :-)

Not a problem Alaska. Sorry but I am on my second toddy for a Thursday afternoon. I am retired and have a couple every afternoon. Because of a hiatal hernia I cannot eat or drink after about 6PM else I would be up all night with heartburn. That means I must start early and quit early. So I get a little edgy about 5:30 every afternoon. (I get edgy because it pisses me that this must be my last one.)

Peace to you Bro ;-)

Ron P.

Ron, you have it exactly right. These oil guys tend to get wrapped around the axle in thinking that everything revolves around pure geological considerations. Not always; as a matter of fact much of this reserve growth is purely a statistical phenomenon.

Any time you have a level of uncertainty in some measurement and all you have are indirect means of estimating, conservatively you will always have a phenomena such as reserve growth.

It is very easy to show that with a degree of uncertainty (i.e. maximum entropy) given some constraints you will get what is called a hyperbolic reserve growth curve. Laherrere has consistently referred to this empirical observation without ever giving a derivation for it.

I have derived this a while ago in a key post on TOD. The same general idea occurs in other disciplines: one of my recent faves is that of hyperbolic discounting which you can read a good definition on Wikipedia. The basic gist in this situation is that you have an initial estimate of how much payback you may get, you turn that into an exponential discount curve, but then you smear your estimate again and you get the hyperbolic curve. It's a fact that human nature consistently does this, partly subconsciously and partly because that is how people reason under uncertainty. Estimating oil reserves is no different no matter how much the oil professionals will bellyache that I am cheating somehow in this analysis.

The key thing about hyperbolic reserve growth is that you can be anywhere on the curve. Get on it too early where you have the greatest uncertainty and it looks like you have quite a bit of growth. Later on where the uncertainty goes down, you have much less reserve growth. The thing that makes it different than an exponential profile is that it is much more gradual and actually falls into the fat-tail category of statistics. That is why people have a lot of problems with it as well, as it is not amenable to conventional statistical measures. For example, a hyerbolic curve in time doesn't have a variance or even have a concept of expected value, as in average time to reach the asymptote! It does however have a concept of URR because you have to supply some sort of initial estimate, the only issue is how slowly you will climb this curve.

The ideas behind hyperbolic growth come from laws of probability, maximum entropy, and Bayesian reasoning. The only way that it would not apply is if you can actually physically measure something by building up enough constraints. When your guiding constraints have uncertainty in themselves, you will always get hyperbolic growth.

The bottom line is that most fields and reservoirs in the USA show the classical hyperbolic growth profiles. The ones in the Middle East don't because I think they may be pulling numbers out of the hat, otherwise Bayesian updating would always show these curves to evolve as a series of hyperbolic curves. The fact that they always look like step functions raises suspicions.

BTW, you will not find this explanation in any professional textbook, as afar as I am aware. Most of the professionals still call it an "enigma", as in they don't understand it.

as a matter of fact much of this reserve growth is purely a statistical phenomenon.

It is no such thing.

Thanks for the detailed discussion points.

Let's take the converse. Say that reserve growth had to do with diffusion and drift of oil into a region. That would be a real physical process removed from any statistical considerations. Yet, someone who understood how that came about and could solve all the equations (so to speak) would be able to accommodate this as a real non-reserve-growth estimate.
But they don't do this and the reason for that is that they do not have an accurate statistical estimate for how much this effect actually is. So the reserve growth process is all about tracking statistically how much better the estimates get over time.

The same could be said for new technology. That is just a hyperbolic discount of potential sometime in the future. If they knew that the technology was there and they could get at it, then they would have placed this as an initial non-reserve-growth estimate.

So it is essentially all statistical.

Here is an example of one of Laherrere's hyperbolic curves. A creaming curve only differs from a reserve growth curve in that the number of wildcats takes the place of time :

I drew the dispersive discovery reserve growth model shifted over a little bit to demonstrate that it matches Laherrere's notion.

Say that reserve growth had to do with diffusion and drift of oil into a region.

Someone who doesn't know what it is might say that. I certainly would not.

So it is essentially all statistical.

No, it is not.

OK so it is all about not making the correct estimate early on. Which means it brings on the elements of uncertainty, which brings along the elements of probability, full circle to statistical analysis.

So another example of something statistical to first-order. I happened to just post this tonight -- the statistics of bird surveys: http://mobjectivist.blogspot.com/2010/10/bird-surveys.html
Cripes, I don't even have to know the species of birds, they are just ranked numbers.

Why does it bother you so much that all this detailed geological data can be reduced to just a statistical set of numbers?

These oil guys tend to get wrapped around the axle in thinking that everything revolves around pure geological considerations....as a matter of fact much of this reserve growth is purely a statistical phenomenon.

The problem with this kind of statistical analysis is that it doesn't scale down very well. If one wishes to talk about the world wide aggregate, or even a large region (the Mid East say) it is a useful predictive tool. And to be sure, prediction on a world wide basis has value. However, it becomes an increasingly blunt tool when scaled down to smaller regions, let alone an individual field. For those of us on the sharp end of the spear, this smaller scale prediction is what it is all about. "Is it worth it to spend money to drill this well (or not)....case and perf (or P&A)...commit to waterflood this part of the field (or not)..etc etc. At that level, while statistics does play a role, the rocks and engineering considerations become far more important. Knowing that "...that most fields and reservoirs in the USA show the classical hyperbolic growth profiles..." might be of some small comfort, but I have to decide if this field does....or does not.

In another thread some days ago, our illustious expert oil pundit was asked by someone else to provide his simple prediction of how much oil might be in the Falklands Basin. "Should I invest in an exploration program in that basin...or not?" is a valid question. He huffed and puffed and bluffed, but alas, no prediction was produced. People like me make those predictions all the time....and rise or fall by how often...or not...we are correct. Unlike certain web pundits, if I'm wrong too often, I will find myself called to an office upstairs, where the converstation will be something like "thank you for your years of service...and best of luck in your future endeavors." Web pundits just move on to another blog post.

It works on a statistical basis, which you seem to agree with. If one reservoir doesn't obey it exactly, another will balance that out so the ensemble starts looking like the statistical average.

This is one of my favorite plots:

I know that doesn't help you make money, but making money doesn't interest me as far as this topic is concerned.
Trying to understand the grander scheme is all that matters if we want to establish policy decisions on a larger scale.

If one reservoir doesn't obey it exactly, another will balance that out so the ensemble starts looking like the statistical average.

I know that doesn't help you make money, but making money doesn't interest me as far as this topic is concerned.
Trying to understand the grander scheme is all that matters if we want to establish policy decisions on a larger scale.

Besides not being helpful in "making money" it also doesn't help that much in putting oil in the pipeline. And "another will balance out" only if somebody understands the geology and the engineering well enough to put the right wells in the right places. Fat tails only become fat when somebody actually drills the wells.

"Trying to understand the grander scheme is all that matters if we want to establish policy decisions on a larger scale." Try filling your gas tank with "policy" and see how many miles it gets you. Policy is useless, unless someone with some brains implements it.

Problem is. You cannot fill a gas tank with a false premise that their are bloated unattainable/nonexistent oil reserves either. At some point $$$ needs to be spent on products that will be able to produce better yields of energy per investment.

I have no quarrel with that. I have never suggested that "drill bably drill" is the solution to our problems. But in the meantime, until these new "products that will be able to produce better yields of energy per investment" arrive on scene....? In my opinion, PO needs to be addressed from both sides of the problem. We need to stretch out what we have, and find newer better ways to do without.

Ron sometimes has trouble understanding how misunderstandings get started.

Otherwise, he's a good ebb.

(That's a flowrate joke..)

Designing a scheme to hide the rate and long term magnitude of resource conversion to reserves does not reflect favorably on either of the authors referenced. And I consider that a substantial underestatement of how I might normally express my disgust with deceptive schemes like this.

I'm not saying that Burgan is not in decline . . . but that article you cite is suspect.

Burgan, fabled Kuwait oil field in irreversible decline with high water cut
September 22, 2009
Analysis by: Michael Lynch
Analysis of: Kuwait Oil field, World's 2nd largest Needs IOCs
Published at: www.rigzone.com
Production from the world's second-largest oil field may decline without the help of international oil companies. Kuwait, which produces 2.2 million bbl/day, has failed to renew agreements with several international oil companies including BP and Chevron. The Burgan, second in size only to Ghawar in Saudi Arabia, has an estimated capacity of 1.4-1.5 million bbl/day. It possibly could have been maintained for more than 10 years. Without expertise the production will decline in five years.

Seems like a condescending, "those Arabs don't know what they are doing", article used to push them. Then on the other side, this is from cornucopian Michael Lynch so it is strange to see him screaming "Peak!" But want most stands out is the 'click here to get Michael Lynch as your consultant' button. LOL!.

You are reading something into that article that is just not there Speculawyer. There is nothing condescending about the article. All Middle East nations use international oil service companies.

Burgan was heavily damaged in the Iraqi invasion. They blew up all the wells and set them on fire. But Kuwait is getting all the international help they can and Burgan is still in decline. Burgan has been in decline since 2005. This has been reported by dozens of oil analysist have reported this.
The World's Second Largest Oil Field Declines

And you are way off base on your opinion of Michael Lynch because you have the wrong Michael Lynch. This is Consultant, Michael E. Lynch, not the Michael C. Lynch whom you seem to be thinking about. Michael E. Lynch is one of the most respected oil field consultants in the business.

Ron P.

Thanks for correcting me on the two Michael Lynch guys. That makes a BIG difference.

And the thesis of the article that they need IOC help seems wrong if they already have western oil service companies there (and that is where all the technology and expertise resides).

And I do agree that Burgan is in decline . . . that just really didn't seem to be the best article to cite.

The whole point of expanding reserves while the field is in decline seems kinda pointless. It won't help on OPEC quota because if it is in decline they can't sell more anyway. It seems the point is to keep the oil importers addicted to oil by giving them a sense of security. (Which may or may not be warranted.)

The whole point of expanding reserves while the field is in decline seems kinda pointless.

The whole point is you can't really expand reserves... with a pencil.

Ron P.

The whole point is you can't really expand reserves... with a pencil.

You can expand reserves by proving that you can extract more oil at today's prices with currently available technology. If you can prove that, I see no problem with expanding your reserve numbers.

It does mean that there is more oil in the world that we can access than previously thought (again, assuming they legitimately prove the reserves). But w/o the flows, it doesn't move the peak. It just makes the tail longer. (Which is nice.)

Well you can increase the recovery rate but that is not increasing your reserves. You cannot, with a pencil, increase the amount of oil in the ground.

They have been drilling horizontal wells for almost 15 years and have had water injection for a lot longer than that. But that is all old hat, they have done nothing new that anyone knows about.

In 1984 Kuwait increased their reserves from 67 to 92.7 billion barrels. Then they inched them up a little each year until they reached 96.5 in 1991. Then they stayed at exactly that level for 12 years, not going down a barrel as they pumped close to a billion barrels out each year. Then in 2004 they raised them again to 101.5 where they sat until they decided to raise them again this month. Now I ask you, is that a believable scenario?

If someone made that story up as fiction people would say it was too crazy, that no one would believe it. But the whole damn world does believe it. And they believed Saudi, Iraq, Iran, and the UAE when they pulled the same silly trick. And they are still doing it. And the EIA, IEA, the BP Statistical Review, World Oil and the Oil & Gas Journal all report these numbers as fact. And the Main Stream Media all accept these numbers as fact because they reported as fact by these prestigious agencies.

And even a few people who post on TOD buy into these fictitious numbers. It is so damn frustrating. It is so obvious that these numbers are a scam, that world reserves are from 300 to 400 billion barrels less than those reported.

But more and more people are getting just a little suspicious. Soon it will be a landslide of doubters. Then not long after that the truth will come out. And when it does that will be the shock felt around the world. Everyone will take peak oil a lot more seriously then.

Ron P.

Ron, as a side note, here is an interesting bit of statistical info from the EIA:

All petroleum numbers are thousands of barrels per day
World Petroleum Production (Daily)
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
84,589.042 84,652.134 84,535.035 85,477.530 84,390.536
World Petroleum Consumption (Daily)
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
84,105.010 85,165.887 85,842.016 85,758.899 83,714 (Forecast)

Source page: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm?tid=5&pid=54&a...

The discrepancies between consumption and production amount to several hundred million barrels annually (in either direction). Given the relative sizes of these discrepancies, it simply reinforces the viewpoint that we have been on a plateau of production for nearly 6 years now. The questions to which no one knows the answers are when does the plateau end and what will be the rate of decline? I suspect we'll start to see the answers to both soon.

Thanks Greyzone, this is very interesting. Looks like in 2007 the world consumed over 1,300,000 barrels per day more than was produced. The year before the world consumed over half a million barrels per day more than was produced and the year after, 2008, the world only consumed 281,000 barrels per day more than was produced. So for three years in a row a lot more oil was consumed than was produced, an impossible scenario.

So what all this proves is that the EIA is way off on either production or consumption. I suspect a little of both, perhaps a lot of both.

So much for the reliability of the EIA numbers. But if we are looking for production numbers from each country, those are the only numbers we have so they will have to do. Pity.

Ron P.

Looks like in 2007 the world consumed over 1,300,000 barrels per day more than was produced.

According to EIA STEO, the world consumed 1,790,000 barrels per day more than was produced in 2007. "Other Stock Draws and Balance" stood at 1,570,000 barrels per day.

But interesting that all this new 12 billion barrels they found came from their largest but oldest field, Burgan.

Not really. Reserve growth tends to happen in bigger fields because thats where you get the most bang for your buck.

Bigger volumes of supply have absolutely larger everything, statistically speaking. Now if you were to say that they have proportionately larger reserve growth, you would have to demonstrate or document that fact.
These kinds of first-order effects are important to understanding the dynamics.

Now if you were to say that they have proportionately larger reserve growth, you would have to demonstrate or document that fact.

Of course. Now go teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

I understand that you can't engage in any real discussion because that would force you to link to some references of your work. Yet if you give out these references, then it will give away your identity and that will likely have consequences on your conditions of employment.

So let us indeed take the case of eggs. Say we have no idea of how much yolk (reserve growth) we could get out of an ostrich versus a chicken. If you actually saw the ostrich egg and the chicken egg and could measure it, you would say of course the ostrich egg would have more yolk. This is of course true in the absolute sense. But one could also predict this would occur in a relative sense just based on the size of the ostrich versus the chicken. That is what I am talking about here.

Now this doesn't always work. For their size, dinosaurs have a pea brain, for example. But they also died off.

Now go teach your grandmother to suck eggs.

And this has exactly what to do with the subject at hand?

Web was stating that 2+2=4. I simply noted that fact in an obtuse way.


Are you sure you have that spelled correctly?

No. I didn't run it through spellcheck, and my normal editor wasn't available to proofread the post prior to me hitting the "save" button. But when at a cocktail party with a group of people in various stages of inebriation, if the drunks can mix up and make up definitions as they go along for reserves and resources, I can misspell anything I wish and not feel bad for even a nano-second.

I was thinking you misspelled jerkish is all.

What is the point of announcing reserve growth if they are already in decline???

If they are already in decline, they can't pump more so it would seem there is no point in increasing their OPEC quota.

Is it just to give a feeling of security to the importing countries to keep them addicted? And even that doesn't work because if they can't produce the flows, the volume of reserves is irrelevant. Too much demand and too little supply flows will still create high prices.

From link above:

Kuwait adds '12 billion barrels to oil reserves'

It must be more than just a coincidence that within a few weeks 3 OPEC countries discovered that their supergiants are a lot bigger than originally thought.

Looks like a repeat of what happened in the 1980's, but why there would there be a 30 year lag between the two reserve inflation periods:

(1) Are they all just sheep?
(2) Are these just ego trips by OPEC members?
(3) Are they trying to disprove peak oil?
(4) ......

Necessity. The mother of invention.

(1) No. The ME has more goats than sheep.
(2) Yes.
(3) Ha ha.
(4) Jockeying for the next round of quota cuts when supply exceeds demand due to the massive flood of oil from Iraq

...err (2) it is.

P1 Reserves - OPEC ME Nations 2010

Gentlemen, we are in a quota war. All bets are on the table; do I hear 280 bbo for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia? 120 bbo for Venezuela?

Seriously, I got two hearty laughs from today's stories, one from this pile of merda and the resources limits guy saying pffft if we run out of rare earths here, we'll just exploit the ones that are undoubtedly on the moon - using the space elevator we'll build.

Wait a minute - how can you have a rare earth on the moon?

Is that you, George Carlin?

A lunatic idea, that!

One of these days Alice...

An interesting approach.

I do wonder about maintenance though and the claimed initial cost savings from a single prototype. Bulb turbines can operate off 1.5 m heads and are nothing new.

In the USA, paperwork is the largest cost for small hydro. Installed 2 and 3 MW plants have been scrapped when their 50 year license came up for renewal. The paper work cost more than the Net Present Value of the energy.

Sec. Chu is working with Colorado and a couple of other states on a "low documentation" approach for small hydro.


Putting the stream in penstock interferes with fish. The alternative is to start with a larger stream. In Washington and Oregon, the states are very protective of fish and it is difficult to get new micro-hydro permitted.

The seasonal streams are the best candidates, but they are often too small to have useable head. A small, seasonal stream that goes off a bluff, so it has enough fall, is the thing. If you happen to have property with a stream like that.

The cool thing about micro-hydro is that when it works, it's great. Some folks around here have small systems, and they produce so much juice when the stream is running that the electricity has to be diverted to water heaters and pond pumps just to keep the system from frying.

A murder of crows just chased off a hawk that was circling the chicken barn.

That reminded me of France.

A murder of crows just chased off a hawk that was circling the chicken barn.

Ravens and crows are well known for their counting abilities...they are also known for occasionally feasting on eggs and little chicks, perhaps they were counting your chickens before they hatched and didn't want to share with that hawk.

LOL ! Good point.

But the crows are guarding an empty nest. No roosters, just hens.

We have crows in this area now, when we first moved here, there were not crows around. I do wonder why that changed, the area has not changed much, but the wildlife seems to have changed, as well as new plant species.

Watchful birds crows are, I have been warned of things going wrong that I could not see by listening for their caws. They have been helpful locally at least to me. But I still don't know why they have shown up here abouts.

BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world. Hopefully with as many species saved as possible.

Hi Charles, crows are very smart and also very opportunistic, I actually like them myself.

I don't know if this video is accessible outside of Canada, but if so it is well worth watching. A Murder of Crows:


And if you like crows, you'll love "The Aliens of the Deep Sea" who come packed with 3 hearts, 9 brains, and 8 arms:


But that French hawk isn't going away, if I understand your analogy correctly.

Yes, I think the French Hawk plans on sticking around.

I think it is not really a hawk at all anymore except in body. I think a parasite has taken over the Hawk's nervous system. Just like here in the US.

Zombie Banks, Zombie Fed, Zombie Congress, Zombie President... pretty soon they'll all start sprouting mushrooms from the base of their neck... do NOT breath in the spores ;)


See this recentpic here of Greenspan.

The fungus on greenspan's foot made him hyperinflate the housing bubble.

Mind control by a single-celled organism.

Dead algae are controlling our minds!

The fungus on greenspan's foot made him hyperinflate the housing bubble.

Sounds like it might have been that rare Russian white fungus called Ayn randaria

BTW, what's the average temperature and humidity at the Federal Reserve?

Once infected, the spore-possessed ant will climb down from its normal habitat and bite down, with what the authors call a "death grip" on a leaf and then die. But the story doesn’t end there.

"The death grip occurred in very precise locations," the authors write. All of the C. leonardi ants studied in Thailand’s Khao Chong Wildlife Sanctuary had chomped down on the underside of a leaf, and 98 percent had landed on a vein. Most had: a) found their way to the north side of the plant, b) chomped on a leaf about 25 centimeters above the ground, c) selected a leaf in an environment with 94 to 95 percent humidity and d) ended up in a location with temperatures between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. The researchers called this specificity "remarkable."

I always knew my compost heap was smarter than I am.

Remarkable how that fungus knows the local climate so well.

Wonder what the toxin is? Maybe it will be the next BoTox.

Norway puts a value on nature

An index to judge the state of Norway’s nature is a world first that may be a step towards valuing “free” services such as insect pollination or forest growth in a radical shift in economics, officials say.

The “Nature Index of Norway“, worked out this year and to be presented at UN talks on biological diversity in Japan next week, shows that seas, coastal waters, freshwater and mountains are in a good state but forests and lowlands are suffering.

Oslo says it has used 309 indicators to get what it calls the “world’s first official index of nature” comparing 2010 to 2000 and 1990.

Video: The Money Fix

Money is at the intersection of nearly every aspect of modern life. Most of us take the monetary system for granted, but it has a profound and largely misunderstood influence on our lives. THE MONEY FIX is a feature-length documentary exploring our society’s relationship with the almighty dollar.

THE MONEY FIX examines economic patterning in both the human and the natural worlds, and through this lens we learn how we can empower ourselves by redesigning the lifeblood of the economy at the community level. The film documents three types of alternative money systems, all of which help solve economic problems for the communities in which they operate.

This website is dedicated to providing you with resources to educate yourself about currency. We hope you will find space in your busy life to ponder deeply what kinds of economic relationships you wish to be in. Conventional money is just one way to measure wealth. How will you measure the wealth you create?

About the film

Watch The Money Fix (subtitles available in several languages)

WE already have local vore shopping, and have had them for a long time, they are called farmer's markets. But North Little Rock has opened a locally sourced store, along with products that are from other small farms and small companies else where, as well as national brands of healthly living items, or niche items that any small local store would carry.

Argenta Market, is just such a store, has contacts with the local CSA and Farmer's market folks, local farmers are a big featured plus. Two in house Chefs, making products and keeping the place homey feeling. About 50,000 products stuffed into a small space, without it looking cluttered. Nice folks, in the new Downtown walkable theme in NLR Ark,.

Arkansas being the home of Wally-world (which is the tongue in cheek comment that I have heard almost 20 years, now) But sadly wal-mart has gotten it's fingers into almost every major country in the world, buying up local food stores, just so that they now are a World-wide brand, scary stuff, makes them less local and friendly that way. I have in the past worked for them, but it was just after Sam Walton died and they still had his picture up and his sayings all over the place. Now they don't so much stress his ideals, which kinda tells you where they have gone thinking wise.

I just don't want to see a lot of farmers being owned by wally-world in a new serfdom kind of way. That is bad enough as it stands with the big seed giants and all.

But Wally-world was planning more small stores in cities, because not everyone likes the huge stores as much as they once did.

The Jury is still out, They might need to spend more than only a billion dollars of the project.

BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world.

Electric Trains compared to Natural Gas Trucks

Compared to Natural Gas Trucks – Natural gas trucks operate off of either compressed or liquefied natural gas. Compressing the gas to 2,500 to 5,000 psi takes a considerable amount of electricity. Liquefaction takes even more energy than compression (but makes the fuel over 1/3rd as energy dense as diesel).

Inferring from California Air Resource Board numbers#, compressing natural gas takes 1/5th of the energy in the natural gas. It would take less electricity to move an electric train than it would to just compress the natural gas to move the same freight by NG truck. Add to this the safety and road impacts of trucks, however fueled.

CARB says compressed gas from landfills has a Greenhouse Gas impact of 11.26 gCO2e/MJ and NG from pipelines is 67.70 gCO2e/MJ. Since landfill gas is considered to be zero emissions (it comes from the living environment, not fossils), one can infer that 20% of the 67.70 gCO2e/MJ for CNG is for compression. Given the 20 to 1 gain in diesel fuel to electricity by shifting freight from trucks to electrified trains, it appears that more electricity is consumed in just compressing natural gas than it would take to move freight by electrified train.

Also, natural gas burned in a combined cycle natural gas plant has efficiencies above 50% to 60% at best. Diesel engines in trucks are a bit below 30% efficient.

The better solution is to burn the natural gas to make electricity that drives electric trains and not to power long haul “18 wheelers”.

[The author is seeking more direct data]

Comments Please on this draft section.


Adsorption tanks for NG can reduce the compression penalty. It maxes out at around 1200 psi at about 2/3 the storage of CNG at 3600 psi. After about 500 psi returns diminish. If memory servers it is about 1/2 the storage of 3600 psi CNG at 500 psi. Take the numbers with a grain of salt, I'm working from memory.

Agree that freight should be moved by rail or barge whenever possible.

A train run on LNG using solid oxide fuel cells (.8 LIQ x .6 SOFC = .48) would be slightly less efficient than electric trains(.53 CCGT x .94 grid = .5) but your idea of dedicated CCGT power plant only for railroads is silly, it would be the typical electric grid power so the efficiency would be .35( .37 x .94).
Even normal diesel electrics at 35% efficiency run on LNG fuel at 27% would be a slight drop in efficiency of 23%.

Energy efficiency is a poor way of evaluating the usefulness of
a transport system. Barges are extremely efficient but nobody wants to travel by barge. Trucks can go where ever there is roadway. High value goods go by truck, low value goods go by rail; people figure they can afford to pay more to transport high value stuff. Do people need deliveries of low value bulk commodities by rail?

Once upon a time there were little tiny electric 250 volt frieght trains in tunnels under high rise Chicago delivering goods and coal to buildings in the Chicago Loop and remove ash to landfills. Piped natural gas ended the tunnels usefulness by 1959. Later they got flooded costing hundreds of millions in damaged basements.


I really don't think anyone is going to argue against the fact that trains are more efficient than trucks. The fuel source is probably besides the point. But the argument seems moot. Trains only go where the tracks are. Trucks go anywhere a road exists. The two can be used together.

Electric Trains compared to Natural Gas Trucks

In an economically rational world, the railroads would have already converted their main lines to electricity. Only the branch lines would have diesel locomotives.

However, it is not a completely rational world. The up-front capital costs of electrification would be enormous, and most of the benefits would occur long after the current senior executives had retired. So they won't do it until the short-term benefits exceed the up-front capital costs.

Running trucks on CNG probably won't be cost-effective for a long time. And by that time the trucks will only be moving containers from the nearest railroad to the customer. They won't be doing long hauls because, even using diesel locomotives, the railroads will be cheaper than trucks using CNG. Using electric locomotives, there will be no comparison.

Is the Office Really Necessary? Global Study by Cisco Reveals 60 Percent Of Workers Believe Being in the Office Is No Longer Needed to Be Productive

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Oct. 19, 2010 – Cisco announced today results of an international workplace study that reveals three of five workers around the world believe that they do not need to be in the office anymore to be productive. In fact, their desire to be mobile and flexible in accessing corporate information is so strong that the same percentage of workers would choose jobs that were lower-paying but had leniency in accessing information outside of the office over higher salaried jobs that lacked flexibility. These and numerous other findings provide real-life insight into the expectations, demands, and behavior of the global workforce that is influencing the way information is accessed and how business communications are changing.

Null commutes and empty office buildings take less energy.

Maybe the issue is not really whether the workers need to be in the office to do their jobs, but whether their jobs need to be done at all. If you don't need to be there, maybe:

A. What you do is not essential, or won't be essential in the world that is coming.

B. Your job could just as well be done by someone on the other side of the world who makes a small fraction of what you do.

I suspect that not having to commute will be a transitionary step towards not having a job.

B is the one that always bothered me. If you are able to convince your boss that your job can be done from anywhere with a phone and an internet connection, it is not a great intellectual leap to think about whether it can be done from India.

Logitech's LifeSize Taps Into Growing HD Videoconferencing Demand

LifeSize, a division of Logitech, is unveiling a 16-port bridge that makes high-definition videoconferencing significantly more affordable than ever before. At $4,062 per port, less than a third the price of the competition, LifeSize Bridge 2200 deploys easily and scales across existing resources, geographies and standards-based video conferencing offerings. It supports any codec, speed, resolution, layout or port without losing capacity or HD video quality.
"While LifeSize has seen strong momentum for its videoconferencing endpoints, lack of a videoconferencing bridge in its product line was a serious disadvantage compared to its closest competitors Polycom and Tandberg, that offer end -to end solutions," says Roopam Jain, industry director, conferencing & collaboration - ICT, Frost & Sullivan. "The introduction of this HD videoconferencing bridge, at a fraction of the price of what its competitors charge for HD bridges, is expected to further support LifeSize's growth in this market."
The research company says last year the total videoconferencing and telepresence systems and services market stood at $2.3 billion, growing by 9.5 percent over 2008. Frost & Sullivan expects this market to reach $7.6 billion by 2015 growing at a strong CAGR of 22 percent,, representing the tremendous uptake expected for video in the future.

Actually, when interaction with others is required, bandwidth on undersea cables is not free.

Every one of these sold displaces a lot of airplane trips.

Check out vPoint HD. Does HD video on any modern laptop to high-end or other conference equipment for a few hundred $. And there is Skype 5 that now does multipoint conferences. I use both frequently and have significantly dropped back on work air travel.

Forgive me in advance for being a Neanderthal redneck conservative folks, but at some point, we are going to have to face up to reality-globalism and deficit financing of the American lifestyle have as much or more to do with our current short to medium term economic problems that ANYTHING ELSE, period.

Yes, going out and getting drunk on the credit cards is lots of fun;but you wake up sick and broke.We are just really beginning to pay the price of this folly-"we" thought that somehow every job lost as we exported our industrial base could be replaced with another shuffling paper-this works in the minds of well intentioned liberals mostly working in the sort of jobs not easily exported-journalism, politics, education, medicine, law enforcement, law, and so forth-and of course the conservative business community went along for the ride to the bottom -after all, if you lay off ten thousand employees from your company , and cut your cost fifty percent by moving the jobs over seas, then you save an enormous amount off your expenses-but in a country with three hundred million consumers, you lose only an extremely minute percentage of your potential customer base.Damn good for the bottom line-for a decade or so , until the chickens accumulate in sufficient numbers that the profits mudst be spent on food stamps and bailing out banks that can't collect on the paper they pushed here in the states in the form of mortgages, and overseas on the assumptioon that the paper economy could run either forever or after the current generation of managers are retired.

This works like a charm-so long as you don't follow things out to the logical conclusion-which is that we cannot live without the stuff we are importing, and we have nothing much to export except paper anymore.Sooner or later these kinds of chickens come home to roost-they are coming home now.

The undesirable positive feedback loops are beginnning to really begin feeding on each other-every year we have a larger portion of people employed in govt jobs that contribute little or nothing to the economy-and more people employed in essentially make work jobs dependent on the disposable incomes of the remaining work force.

We exported some environmental problems too of course-but coal burnt in China will raise co2 levels here a few weeks later anyway.

Of course this is just a rant, and of course I realize I have painted only one side of the issue-but it happens to be a side seldom seriously considered on its merits due to the rules of the debate game being rigged by the politically correct crowd in bed for a little cheating on the side sex with thier supposed worst enemies-big business.

Those who believe we can talk talk our way thru a world that has always resorted to fight fight if the odds looked good are going to be in for a very rude awakening when the Chinese sooner or later embargo the export of rare earth metals for real.Or maybe they will be content to ship a few pallets of the stuff in exchange for a few shiploads of grain-leaving us enough to eat bread but not beef .

Ps-for those who might have missed it, my sarcastic comment a day or two ago about having gasoline as a farmer and condescending to sell some eggs to a soccer mom-there was a winky ;) after it.

Not sure what your first paragraph had to do with being a "Neanderthal redneck conservative", but OK.

It is nothing more or less than the whole laissez-faire capitalist crowd that clamored that greed is good, it's all going up, get drunk on your credit cards. Not some phantom liberal immorality, as you seem to be saying.

You attribute attitudes to "well intentioned liberals" that were promulgated by the rightest of the corporate right. It's the corporations that run things now. Don't you get it?

You talk about govt jobs that produce little - well guess what, most jobs produce little, public or private sector. Little of value anyway - do we need 40 brands of toothpaste? We call this "decadence". It was fun for a few decades when we had massive supplies of cheap petroleum to fuel the binge, but oh well. Trying to pin it on government jobs and "liberals" is absurd in the extreme.

Your crack about the rules of debate being set by the "politically correct crowd" is equally ludicrous. The debate has been framed and set by the right-wing for years now - what used to be considered very moderate and middle-of-the-road is now "lefty". The bar has really been moved. There are no more moderate Republicans any more, only wack-jobs falling over themselves to be wackier-than-thou.

Your whole post is not so much a rant as a revisionist attempt to reclaim the word "conservative" as something honorable and reasonable. Good luck with that in this day and age.

I reckon we need a new word, but the old liberal-conservative thing is a divisive distraction. Being played by both ends against what used to be a middle, but is evaporating fast.


OFM has a lot of good insights on this forum, until he starts ranting about liberals, of which he is apparently totally ill informed.

You are partly right -- the environmental restrictions placed on business in the US have caused a number of heavy industries to either fold up or move off-shore.

But the idea that the free trade crowd of CEOs building factories in China and the rest of the Far East or deciding to source goods from the Far East instead of the USA are "well intentioned liberals"?

Not at all believable.

"the environmental restrictions placed on business in the US have caused a number of heavy industries to either fold up or move off-shore. "

And we should impose appropriate tarfiffs on manufactured goods from countries that do not have such environmental, health, labor regulations.

But we are not a serious country. We don't even have citizens. We have "consumers".


I never knew you were a redneck ;-)

But I believe even liberals or whatever the heck I am or was or may soon become. I don't personally believe that politics matter anymore, since gridlock pretty much ends any political solutions to our crises...

...but even those more centrists, moderates want to not consume so much Chinese junk and try to keep our credit line in check. At least I do.

We probably made it just past peak consumerism I imagine right around 2007.

I worried about debt until I realized that it is just the new Worldwide game of risk every country is playing. While I pay mine down, I do not believe that the US debt or California's or any Western Country can be paid down ever unless they print money.

Who will keep the other countries honest in the game of global printing press?

Really it is the Peak Oil that is the killer in all this and probably the major reason we are in all this debt, since it started accumulating with Nixon taking us off the Gold standard after the first energy/oil crisis.


I never knew you were a redneck ;-)

The whole bubble thing seemed more a conservative thing to me than a liberal thing. That may be mainly a matter of timing, the biggest part of the bubble came during Bush-2. And the political reality was such that the choice was cheer on the bubble -so you can claim your side is responsible for the good times -or pop it, and get blamed for the hangover. So they did all they could to egg the bubble on. It was pretty much the houses as ATM thing, as the price goes up extract equity in the form of home equity loans, that kept our already broken economy going through the oughts.

But, the real problm, is that our politics, and our media have been captured by the plutocracy. The Republicans embrace it, because their philosophy matches, while the Dems have to compromise. Few politicians can get elected without the money and organization of the plutocrats, so nearly all get bought out. And it cuts both ways, don't do their bidding, and the money and organization helps your opposition. So as long as our system of politics demands massive fund raising by candidates, we are doomed to domination by the plutocrats.

Philosophically the dems should oppose this, but the plutocracy spreads its spending to both sides -even if they prefer the R's. That way no matter which side is dominant, they mostly get their aganda accomplished -mostly via boring out of the limelight modifications to the rules of commerce. And of course the Dems end up looking like they don't believe in anything, as hal the time they are trying to be progressive, while the other half of the time, they are servicing tle plutocrats.

But, the bottom line, is that the playing field is becoming heavily slanted, in favor of the uber-rich. The rest of us are being sold down the river, a little bit at a time. Since the media also depends upon the uber-rich for their own revenue, they become complicit as well. So they are able to mold the debate, and misdirect the growing anger, away from themselves and towards mainly liberal segments of society.

The whole bubble thing seemed more a conservative thing to me than a liberal thing.

And really, how are the liberal/conservative different? I'd say there is not a dime's bit of difference between 'em.

But you know this. the plutocracy spreads its spending to both sides and the playing field is becoming heavily slanted, in favor of the uber-rich. The rest of us are being sold down the river,

So - what to do about it?

Eric is correct, no difference. Two of the most important and powerful pushers of bubble-dope were Barney Frank and Chris Dodd. Obama has covered for Wall Street in exactly the same manner that Bush 2 was covering for Wall Street. His SecTreas is another Wall Street man (Turbo-Tax Timmy Geithner) just as Bush's SecTreas was another Wall Street man (Hank Paulson). On the financial front there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two of them and right now, the financial crisis is overwhelming everything else. It's leading to the start of trade wars, which is leading to China embargoing Japan and now the US for rare earths. Actions like this have caused world wars in the past.

And behind all of this, severe resource depletion, biosphere destruction, climate change stand ready to act as lids on any possible new "growth" unless a host of severe problems are solved first. And that even begs the question of whether we really want more growth or not (which we probably do not).

Our civilization is 100 feet up in the tree, way out on the end of a rotten limb that you can hear cracking behind you with a pack of wolves waiting on the ground when we fall. And what is important to us? American Idol. Lindsay Lohan.

The positions of the liberals and conservatives were completely different. The liberals wanted the lenders to give everyone a mortgage with a federal guarantee whether the borrower could afford it or not. The conservatives wanted to depend on the market to self-regulate the financial industry and to eliminate regulation of mortgage securitization and the creation of derivatives. While separately pernicious, in combination they were disastrous.

I cannot stand either position on housing and the net result is that I am paying through the nose for a shelter for my wife and kids that is over-valued by 2-3 fold.

As a result, I pretty much hate all of government. They are all crooks. LOL

I need a drink now.

A and B are true of a wide spectrum of jobs that don't involve either:

1. providing a direct personal service, such as a teacher or nurse,

2. working on an object located in the country, such as an electrician or a plumber, or

3. required by law to be done by a person in the country, such as a lawyer or doctor.

Even then, automation and/or remote workers can do things like on-lne instruction, design electrical and plumbing layouts for new buildings, prepare briefs and interpret radiographs.

Yes, particularly B. And keeping mind who sponsored the "study", we can add that maybe:

C. Your belief that you don't need the office is largely delusional.

It's already well-known that people who "multitask" tend to do their tasks poorly, even as they delude themselves that they're doing them well. I wonder whether something similar doesn't apply to the Cisco subjects. Are there any credible studies getting at what's really true, instead of what a selected sample of people might self-servingly claim to be true?

Oh, and let's not forget those computer and gadget ads showing nerds using them on the beach in full sunlight. Sure, whatever. We can add:

D. You can't even see what's displayed on the screen, so what does it matter? Maybe your job isn't just nonessential. Maybe it's nonexistent.

Of course, such activity is certainly "productive", as long the desired "product" is a suntan, whence the self-serving nature of the "study" "data". But whether even a boom-times world could afford to pay people for that sort of "productivity", given the ever-metastasizing array of astronomically expensive demands, entitlements, and regulations, is a good question.

One day I was taking a walk in the local forest with my brother-in-law when he received a text on his mobile. A problem on one of his projects. First he contacted someone in the US to get further details on the problem. Secondly he contacted the team working on the project in India to give them revised instructions to solve the problem. Then we continued our walk in the forest.

The obvious question is: what was it that your brother-in-law contributed?

He was the acting client in this case.

I love it when it works out.. of course, I wonder how many of the others he was calling were also out walking in the woods..

Just joking. I snark cuz' I love..

(as it happens, I'm working for a client between the 2 Laptops in my own house right now, while earlier, I commuted all the way to the basement to walk around with the Energy Auditor and look at our rentals' energy profiles.. all under one roof!)

Well, yes, the original comments were full of "maybes" since one size does not fit all situations (though the original point is not negated, since your brother-in-law could in principle be replaced in an interaction like that by someone in a cheaper part of the world.) On yet another hand, what your brother-in-law and many of the rest of us have given up in this process is the very enjoyment of walks in the woods. The mobile intrudes everywhere, even at concerts, and has abolished peace and solitude for many. And mostly for nothing, since 99% of the calls and texts could readily wait an hour or three, and a major portion could wait a week or three if not forever.

Totally agree. A bit like this from an article I linked to on another thread:

“Connectivity is poverty” was how a friend of mine summarized Sterling’s bold theme. Only the poor — defined broadly as those without better options — are obsessed with their connections. Anyone with a strong soul or a fat wallet turns his ringer off for good and cultivates private gardens that keep the hectic Web far away. The man of leisure, Sterling suggested, savors solitude, or intimacy with friends, presumably surrounded by books and film and paintings and wine and vinyl — original things that stay where they are and cannot be copied and corrupted and shot around the globe with a few clicks of a keyboard.

I seem to be "the man of leisure" above, not even owning a mobile phone. I feel sorry for my brother-in-law, he is always accessible (even in remote forested areas) and often works evenings, nights, weekends, in the car, on the train, in the bar and even on holidays. Even meals with friends can be interspersed with bouts of frenzied laptop work and calls to and from people all around the globe.

Possibly there will be an app available soon that will cut him out of the loop entirely.

Interesting sentiment. It's long been studied - the higher up the socioeconomic ladder people are, the more distant and seemingly "colder" their attitudes and relationships. But it's really nothing more than economic reality - well to do people actually don't need people and connections as much. Whereas the poorer one is, the closer (but also more frenzied) are the connections to other people.

A generalization to be sure, but mostly true.

Which is interesting because the poorer we get, the more we are going to need other people. So maybe this connectivity might prove to be advantageous (even as it drives people further apart, physically speaking). Hard to say which will win out.

My gut tells me that diminishing returns on complexity is rearing its ugly head in a variety of ways. You look at technology, the jump from snail mail to e-mail is much more important, in my view, than e-mail to texting. And you look at storage capacity, there's no way the average person will ever be able to fill up their hard drives or smartphones, really. Or 500 cable channels and the internet- beyond a certain point watching TV or surfing becomes a pointless activity, culturally speaking.

What is so interesting is that all of this technology is soon to bump into real energy limits. Will technology mitigate energy decline, or be undone by it?

Good insights.

The only ex-wive that still is alive or talks to me, complains "Charles, why do you have a cell phone if you never answer it?"

Because it comes in handy when I am away from the house, to call the house and get a ride back from somewhere. Neat on the hikes to take pictures with, or call for help if I really need it. When I am at home, I have a home phone number that most people locally knows as well, if they can't get me on the cell they can on the home phone. But the cell phone gets a better long distance deal than the house phone.

The house has had the same number for 35 years, It is not going to go away.

I don't text on my cell phone, it is too limiting, and too costly. I also don't tweet x-number of spaces, it is too limiting, though I guess if I were to really figure it out, I'd be short and sweet and still use full words.

I lost my last cellphone, which had about 100 numbers in it, the new one has a dozen, So if you have ever had me call you, and I haven't in a while, that might be the answer.

I still walk in the woods, garden, cook, play pool, work on drawings and hang out with musicians, even sing form time to time. My life is richer than money right now, money can buy you things, but things only can make you so happy, then it melts into just being a packrat, with not enough room to have the gang over for a real sword fight.

500 years from now, I'll be able to think of someone's name and call them up in my head to head telepathy screen and we can have a talk about where they are, and I'll be able to see where they are through their eyes, and feel their emotions as well for what they are seeing. Oh never mind, I wrote a story where the folks all have chips in their heads and can do that right now, or use some people who don't know there is a chip in their heads as a remote camera and sound device, The land of the paranoid tin foil hat people might hate that story line. This is one of the first times it's been mentioned online or on paper( pixels in this case).

I spend too much time making stories up, that I can't get to my email accounts on a daily basis, and if I hadn't posted to the threads today, I might not have been here either.

BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world, where songs and story telling are the norm and art is all over the place.

He contributed to the noise pollution of the forest.

There are parts of my job that can be done reasonably well in isolation - perhaps I am designing a circuit, etc. But most other phases of the job require me to be there. Also, I work as part of a pretty tight team. I may stumble across a conversation by chance and hear something that I can contribute to, or the other way around.

When you have an idea you can take it just as far as your experience, knowledge and imagination can go, but there it stops. If you can share that with others, they may see some small nuance you missed, and from there the idea can progress whole stages farther. I don't see how you do that remotely. And I agree about multitasking - I actively avoid it. People were not designed to multitask, and they don't do it well - I know I don't and I have seen the results of many who think they do......

Mulitasking, makes your brain, start and stop and switch attention to one event, then to the next event in the other task. What ends up happening is that your brain looses information between switching from one task to the next, you might think everything is going fine in some sets of tasks. But if you do something like read words( a story) and then do math problems as your two tasks. You will find that you have missed several parts of the storyline, later when you are tested about what you remember.

The key here is memory. We can do some multitasking, but the outcomes get wishy washy if we are needed to have to remember the events during these tasks.

This is a simplified explaination of it, but it has been known for a long time, long before the internet got here and everyone had a cell phone while they were driving. I was always taught while driving to take your eyes off the road only to look in your mirrors and then to only glance by moving your eyes not your head, be as aware of where you are in the world as you can be, or else you're in a dead heap in a ditch.

But nooooo, they don't teach that anymore it seems and then with the internet and kids, and tv and radio, we can have 50 things going on at once and everyone tells you that they are doing okay, till you ask them how their days are going and if they know who their kids friends are.

BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world.

Or perhaps, as we're talking virtual workspaces, the work may be done for free, a la open source or cloudsourcing. People providing their own workspace (ie. their home), equipment and time to complete tasks they're willing to do for free, perhaps like a virtual game.

At the moment I'm considering what kind of economic model will develop for the densely packed urban conurbations of the future. John Robb over at "global guerillas" as ever makes an interesting observation here.

“Poor folk love their cellphones!” Bruce Sterling. Connectivity = Poverty.

Bruce Sterling on Favela chic: "You have lost everything material, no job or prospects, but you are wired to the gills and really big on Facebook."...

...Connectivity = poverty will grow until: an economic system that truly leverages and aligns with social connectivity is built. Once that social economy is built... watch out.

Global cell phone production is over 1 billion per year. Personal computer production is around 150 million per year.

The era of cheap transportation is being replaced by the era of cheap computing and communications. In the 1800s my ancestors who emigrated from Europe to the US never made the return trip or saw any of their relatives again. Infrequent and relatively expensive letters were the only contact after crossing the Atlantic.

In a decade or two, long distance travel will again be unaffordable for most, except that contact by communications will be frequent and cheap.

Yes, again the connection between being too weak to achieve things in the real physical world and so having to reduce things to the same level of our abilities. In this case doing things in the virtual world instead of the real one.

The two links on John Robb's article are interesting:

Let Them Eat Tweets

Nice, right? The implications of Sterling’s idea are painful for Twitter types. The connections that feel like wealth to many of us — call us the impoverished, we who treasure our smartphones and tally our Facebook friends — are in fact meager, more meager even than inflated dollars. What’s worse, these connections are liabilities that we pretend are assets. We live on the Web in these hideous conditions of overcrowding only because — it suddenly seems so obvious — we can’t afford privacy. And then, lest we confront our horror, we call this cramped ghetto our happy home!

5 Reasons The Future Will Be Ruled By B.S.

You make money selling your labor. At some point down the line, like his music, your skill as a human being can and will be converted to an electronic format for a fraction of the cost, rendering your skill worthless.

I am always amazed at how these discussions seem to imply that everyone works behind a desk in an office. I have never yet seen a single office worker turn out a single real material product.
This is part of the problem in the USA that we have shipped out a large number of our real jobs making real products.
Come the decline in oil production and the ensuing economy decline I would guess that large numbers of office jobs will disappear.
Until we have teleportation, real manufacturing type jobs will have to be done mostly in factories. Transportation of raw materials and finished products from home shops will simply be too expensive in an energy starved world.

Despite having shipped a lot of manufacturing overseas, the US manufactures more now than in earlier decades. But employment in manufacturing is down to about 11% and headed to single digits. To do manufacturing, you do need factories -- but you don't need many people.

I have never yet seen a single office worker turn out a single real material product.

What your lying eyes "see" (or in this case, don't see) and what really happens are two entirely different things.

I was just visiting a high tech company the other day and all their people were sitting at desks, in an "office" and just typing into computers.

I am not at liberty to say who they are or what they do, but suffice it to say that their "desk jobs" (design engineers) do become real material products and perhaps you are holding one of their desk-job produced products in your hand right now.

Don't judge the book by its desktop cover.

Good one!

I was twisting up my face trying to think of something made at a desk, and here I am typing through just such an 'interface'.. hidden in plain sight.

Every modern "real" product is designed on someone's desk.

Without the design (the at-the-office desk job), the product would never have come into being.

But that is not all.

There are all the logistics steps of: a) financing the production and marketing operations, b) getting pre-assembly components into inventory so that the product can be assembled and c) shipping the right numbers of product to different distribution points so as to match the "demand" of the consumers who think the product just magically "appears" at their local big box store.

Yes you are right.
All the hidden-in-palin sight "software" you are using through your keyboard and screen was "produced" in an office.

Moreover, other office jobbers are making sure all the email, blog comments, etc. that you upload move into a functioning server farm for distribution across the internet. That too does not happen by magic. Just because our lying eyes do not see it doesn't make it not so.

Moreover, other office jobbers are...

But, thats just the point. All the office jobbers are doing it reanaging bits of information. Now those bits may be needed to negotiatte through the bueracracy. Or to design a product that works well. Or to order all the parts for said product. But, the real physical work is dome elsewhere. It is part of the specialization of the economy. More people function as neurons for the economic brain, than do as the muscles and bones that do the physical heavy lifting. And often the "production" workers serve more as neurons for robots than as physical muscle.

More people function as neurons for the economic brain, than do as the muscles

You obviously haven't been paying close attention these last 200 years.

"Oil" is the muscles that do the heavy ("real" work) lifting.

Re-read Colin Campbell's talk here

We humans (and that includes the forklift driver at the "real" factory) merely push the control buttons on the heavy lift machinery --directly or indirectly.

CHICAGO, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Chicago Public Schools officials said vegetables being harvested from school gardens are bound for sale rather than school cafeterias.

Administrators said the fruits, vegetables and herbs grown by students, teachers and volunteers at the 40 school gardens can't be served in cafeterias because they do not meet the rules set by the school district and its meal provider, Chartwells-Thompson, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

Its all good. The GMO "pork chop patties", "mystery meatloaf" and the "walking tacos" all meet the government guidelines.


They put the topic under "Odd News"...

But at least the "GMO 'pork chop patties', 'mystery meatloaf' and 'walking tacos'" are safe, unlike garden produce. And in this safety-obsessed society that wets its pants over one-in-a-billion risks, what else, irrespective of its importance, could conceivably matter?

Well.. it gets really perverse when we get to watch you wet your pants over them wetting theirs.

Our schools here have Harvest weeks, where the school foods are provided by local farmers, and more of the schools in our district are planting gardens, as well, and that food DOES go right inside.

I'm going to revive what my mom did for my second grade class, and go into my daughter's to show them how to make bread. There is a growing willingness to challenge the school food programs, as we keep seeing how our overproduced food hasn't made our lives or bodies all that healthy.

My wife screened this with other parents and the food administrator for our city schools last year.
http://www.angrymoms.org/ .. about some folks out west who took school food into their own hands, so to speak.

As I might have mentioned before on TOD, my first recipe was in crayon, we found it in my dad's own recipe book.

Teach children to cook at home and in the schools should be on the list of courses. As it teachs chemisty and math and other sciences, you also get smiles when kids create things that they can eat or at least taste. You might have some picky eaters, but if you start early and try new things, getting parent's involved whereever you can, it is a great learning experience.

But schools have devolved to a point where you have to know facts and figures that you really never use much outside classes, teaching to a testing outcome is silly in my mind, and wasteful of all this growing brain power and interest you could be harnessing.

I'd also teach sewing and craft making through out the grades, including stage work, and dance.

In grade school while my dad was in the US Air Force, PE classes had dance, as part of the program. But these were DODDS programs and not run by the local school boards, you might have to fight them nowadays to get dance taught in grade and high schools.

DODDS= Dept of Defence Dependant Schools. Lots of cool classes that everyone had to take, that I did not see when I got into public schools after the end of the 8th grade. In fact the difference was so stark, that it was like going from a light room into a dark one, I felt shell shocked most of my 9th grade year and part of my 10th grade year.

The DODDS years were like going to what 9th to 12th grades were like, lots of different classes all over the place. But in grade schools they picked your well rounded education programs.

If I had kids now, I'd home school them rather than let the public schools waste their time. But I might also push hard for better public schools, from the ground up if I could.

In Central Arkansas there seems to be so many other issues going on in the school systems that It is a wonder they have money to do any teaching. Big mess about lawyers and this or that school board fight about silly adult issues, been going on so long I wonder what it is like to be a parent around here these days, I don't follow the news articles, but they are always talking about them in the paper.

By all means have fun baking bread, try some sweet bread recipes, and experiment at home then use those refined recipes at school. I can think of several I have been meaning to try( I create my own bread recipes these days, trying various things in non-sweet breads to see how the textures and flavors can be enhanced ).

Email me and I'll go dig some out to give to you.

BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world.

Isn't it a crying shame that our kids are fed disgusting Grade D fruits and vegetables from contractors like that. Hey and even Reagan said that Ketchup is a fresh vegetable! LOL

Isn't Chicago strong enough to break the contract and find a vendor that can work in fresh foods grown by the students and staff?

Isn't this a smart thing to do! Good grief!

Break the contract? Ha! Chicago is owned by its unions. That's half the problem there - the unions have gone from being useful entities to full blown parasites.

I imagine a bunch of angry moms can bust a union like that.

Have you seen what angry moms can do?

I am surprised they don't require the school garden produce to be disposed of as hazardous waste.


Link up top: Russia sees oil output above 500 mln t through 2012

That works out to be about 9.86 million barrels per day. I suppose that is all liquids because that is how Russia reports their oil production, tons of liquids. Russia reached a post Soviet record in March of 10.12 million barrels per day but their production in September will top that, about 10.2 mb/d.

So they are hoping to hold production relatively high, dropping only about 300 to 350 thousand barrels per day between now and 2012.

This is bad news for non-OPEC production. Fully one third of all new megaprojects is in Russia. But they pretty well peter out after next year. If Russia cannot hold production up then no one can. Anyway the EIA says non-OPEC production will fall by 240 thousand barrels per day next year while the IEA says non-OPEC production will rise by 500 thousand barrels next year.

Vankor, which was responsible for most of Russia's increase this year, is now fully on line. Of course they have other projects coming on line but they are much smaller. And their old fields are declining at an alarming rate. The natural decline of Russia's old very large fields is 19 percent and growing. But hundreds of new infield horizontal wells has kept their decline well below that figure. But I have heard reports that Russia has cut back on infield drilling. I would be very surprised if Russia's production holds at above 9.5 mb/d in 2012.

Ron P.

The "Increased population density can be good for a city" from above is interesting.

It seems to fit nicely with my theory that the future for many will be in densely packed urban conurbations forming huge increasingly autonomous ghetto/city states.

But, having more people living in a smaller geographical space actually has countless benefits. First of all, it increases the economic activity of that area. The more people that are living closer to downtown, the more people will frequent downtown stores, increasing local profitability. In other neighbourhoods, if there is increased density, the need for services such as small grocery and general stores rises, thereby creating more opportunity for economic activity in that neighbourhood.

Increased density also means more accessibility for more people. Already, people closer to downtown experience more access to transit and to their basic necessities. With more density, this accessibility will only increase for downtown, but could also expand into other neighbourhoods as their populations increase.

The third benefit is increased social interaction.

One of my points was that the incarcerated occupants will be willing partners in the whole process. Living the illusion is an important aspect in the whole thing working. The interesting twist in this is the role of transition movements. Something to watch.

One of my points was that the incarcerated occupants will be willing partners in the whole process. Living the illusion is an important aspect in the whole thing working.

For some reason there is something about that idea the bothers me...

Don't knock that bio-electric-drive-hypnotic-robotics system.

Sans all the funny wires, bioenergy can be useful.

Turning biomass into energy is seen as a good solution to our problems :)

You could try squishing atoms together. The other option might be to get atoms to go really fast.

(and 'member - rock oil and coal is biomass)

Well and good, but people must eat. It's one thing to support, say, a Chicago Gold Coast during boom times. But if, instead, "incarcerated occupants" are cramming into downtown sardine cans because things have gone bad, then what in the world could they possibly all be doing for a living? Shallow pointless social "interaction", revolving around such earth-shattering matters as football scores, may well be superficially pleasant until it grows tiresome from sheer mindless repetitiveness, but it's not a living. What would be putting the food on all those definitely non-Gold-Coast tables?

Across today's world, of course, many places like that subsist in part on international aid. But that's not indefinitely scalable: almost by definition, we can't put every place on international aid.

Another little problem: "people closer to downtown experience more access to transit and to their basic necessities". Transit, maybe. Other basic necessities, not so much, certainly not at an affordable price. Again, it works fine for the Gold Coast. But for many others, it will be problematical to pay double or triple the going rate for groceries and other necessities at some downtown bodega that must price-gouge mercilessly because it pays staggering city taxes and reaps zero economies of scale. Likewise for often-outrageous downtown rent for housing.

Maybe scenarios like this will be good for power-grabbing empire-building machine politicians. For the rest of us, I'm not so sure.

Yes, I certainly don't think its good for the rest of us, that's why I call them ghettoes. But I'm also beginning to see the pieces of the puzzle falling into place to form a possible view of our future. The purpose for ghettoising people is to provide the necessities and utilities in an energy constrained world with a failing global system.

The trends for this slightly dystopian future are already in place and increasingly being accepted. Transition movement, urban agriculture, walkable neighbourhoods, the maker movement, etc. encouraging in-place solutions, centralising and increased urban density to aid service delivery. People are being systemically guided to a promised future where survival is possible, but only if certain limitations are accepted. Meanwhile the other half of the new paradigm, the corporations, are being also guided into their new roles buying up farmland and other resources to feed, in every sense the ghettoes.

You are right, Burgundy.

In the energy poor third world, where energy is either not available because it isn't there, it can't be imported, corruption, or lack of scientific/technical expertise to produce - people cram into ghettoes. Slums, favelas, shanty towns, whatever you want to call them.

It's where we are all headed.

Suburbia - everybody owning a ranch house and driving everywhere - is what you do with energy surplus.

Could you be a doomsteader? Sure, but it's hard to see how that's any better than ghetto dweller, especially with all of the backbreaking work. Whereas the ghetto dweller sits on his ass, does an odd job here or there (legitimate or underground, as it were), gets some blood money or food stamps, and doesn't starve.

Japan's rare earth minerals may run out by March: govt

Japan's stockpile of rare earth minerals could dry up by March or April without fresh imports from China, which has stopped shipping them, a senior Japanese government official said Thursday.

For those that think the mortgage meltdown mess is behind us, here's a reality check:


'US taxpayers warned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may need $363bn bailouts'

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has now warned that the government-guaranteed funds Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which have already absorbed $148bn in bail-outs, may now need up to $363bn under worst-case predictions.

With home prices experiencing their worst fall since 1930 by some estimates, claims are likely to soar. Pension fund and private equity firms including Pimco and BlackRock, as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, are moving to force BoA into repurchasing $47bn in bonds, though BoA's chief executive officer Brian Moynihan insists that most claims can not demonstrate "the defects that people allege".

What a strange world we now live in. While the OPEC countries in the ME vie for which one can over-inflate their oil reserves the most in a bizarro-world abiotic oil bonanza, the French are willing to take their country down over a two year increase in the retirement age, while US taxpayers may need to ante up hundreds of billions more to shore up Fannie & Freddie plus four trillion more to give themselves, especially the super wealthy, a tax break. Anyone for a little peak oil or climate change?

A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you are talking about real money*.

*Apparently there is some controversy over whether Everett Dirksen really originated the "Billion here, billion there" saying:


I gave up on the idea that dollars or any paper currency are "real" anything.

Funny that it is all the rage to worry about currency inflation when "Everyone is doing it."

Seems akin to curbing CO2 and treaties on climate change.

Who will be the first Nation to curb CO2?
Who will be the first Nation to go back to the gold standard for their currency?

"No no you go first."
"No I insist. You go first."

I wrote a short science fiction story once, where a guy finds a cache of millions of tons of Gold on a small island, and wonders what to do with it all.

I have been trying to figure out how this story would play out in today's world, in that the gold that we have trading so high these days only amounts to a little over 170,000 tons of the stuff. Not nearly enough to trade for all the currencies in the world, let alone all the debt and other paper values.

I asked a few people in email for some help and most couldn't or didn't get back to me yet.

The world does have several million tons of gold in it's crust, but the ability to get it all out, is too energy intensive to make it worthwhile in our world to even try.

In the story, someone had been running a mineral extraction process in times past and the people that did it had left earth for the stars long ago. Think of a race of beings native to earth, but having been good at hiding their existance, except for this one place, where they left things around for someone to find, like a message in a bottle.

Anyway, It'd be neat to have to trade gold for a glass of beer, here have my plastic incased miligram gold chit for a Bass on Tap.

BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world.

Your fictional cast away can use some rocks to pound the gold into usable pots for catching rain water.

He could also fashion the ductile and notoxic metal into fishing lures
Maybe make some other tools that mix rock and gold?

To extend the hypothetical.. If Gold were as Common as Iron or Aluminum, it's value as a Non-corrosive would probably make it a very helpful structural item, maybe for Plumbing Fittings, or for Storm,Window Frames, Roofing, Storing Food in Gold Foil..

It's also a great Electrical and Thermal(?) conductor, and might become more helpful in Energy Transfer and Heat Transfer equipment.

It's physical value would outstrip its onetime Economic Value.. I wonder what the new Coins of the Realm would be minted from at that point?

Unlike Copper though gold is brittle and lacks strength.

Best uses for gold are in industry (through its inertness) and electronics (through its high conductivity) though most is used for decoration and as an asset base.

Unlike Copper though gold is brittle and lacks strength.

Gold is not brittle, in fact it is the most malleable of all hard metals. When gold is mixed with other metals, to make 14K gold for instance, it often becomes slightly brittle. But 18k gold is far less brittle and 24k gold, pure gold is extremely malleable, so malleable in fact, that it can be pounded into gold leaf, far thinner than any other metal can be drawn.

Ron P.

Also, you can build a coconut juice powered SOS radio transmitter to work better with gold wires instead of copper wires.

If you are not that technically astute, wrap a gold leaf with inscriptions of your location on a sea bird's leg and let her fly. Help should come fairly soon.

I'll take Climate Change for $200, Alex.

Last year we had over 35 inches above normal for rain, set an all time record high. This year we are running a drought at 12 inches below normal in the area.

So the climate is changed at least for the last two years running.

I am super wealthy, I have about a million maple leaves I can trade for those little green bills I saw at the grocery store the other day, I just have not tryed to trade leaves for apples yet.

BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world, will take mulch as trade for services. LOL.

How far do you think my billion pine needles will go?

I'd take some, but I can't convince my dad to keep the ones we do have. He hates ants, something I find annoying, but it's his house so I let him go without saying too much about it. I'd rather he not taint a good food source myself, I eat ant larva when I find them.

But back to what we were talking about, those pine needles if baled, would get you a nice drawing or two of your new home designs, I need to mulch a big grassy section of my yard where I was poor at weeding this year. If you were local, and I could get my dad to wave his habit, we could make a deal.

As to going to the green grocer for some apples or pears or what not, try it at the whole foods markets, or farmers markets, never know you might start a trend, of trading for things.

Although some of this conversation started out tongue in cheek humor, the idea of trading yard waste and skill sets has been around a while, just not used a lot in the past. Diseased plants, shouldn't be used, but even there, burning can cure that and you still get some of minerals.

Charles, BioWebScape Designs for a better fed and housed world. Drawings are hand done on vellum, or tracing paper.

I am super wealthy, I have about a million maple leaves I can trade for those little green bills I saw at the grocery store the other day, I just have not tryed to trade leaves for apples yet.

The Golgafrinchans tried that, but there were some interesting unintended consequences...

It is all fraud, all the time now. The Big Picture has a great run-down on the continuing disaster.

Mortgage Madness Linkfest

By Barry Ritholtz - October 21st, 2010, 4:29PM

These are the most interesting items I have come across on the current mayhem in the mortgage market. I do not expect this issue to pass very soon:

• Who’s Who in the Foreclosure Scandal: A Primer on the Players: This Pro Publica piece is a MUST READ that will get you up to speed quickly

• Blame The Victim – Or the Perp? The plain fact is that foreclosure law lays out a very specific series of steps intended to protect the rights of both the bank and the homeowner... Unless your a banker trying to evict people, apparently.

• This Fortune article gets my nomination for the single most clueless MSM piece so far: It’s time to stop blaming the lenders - I guess the securitizers, servicers, underwriters, lawyers and banksters for sure — but not the lenders.

NY to Hold Lawyers Accountable on Foreclosures: NY State’s highest judge is starting to get angry (Front page NYT)

• Fidelity National Will Require Foreclosure Warranty but see also Fidelity National’s Role in the Cover-Up

• Fed Wants Banks to Buy Back Some Bad Mortgages but see New York Fed Faces ‘Conflict’ in Mortgage Buybacks

• Foreclosure freeze could put security clearances at risk

• Regulator Says Fannie, Freddie Cost at Mercy of Economy - To be filed under Duh!

• Firm says foreclosure letters ‘mistake.'

• Simon Johnson: Time for Some New Stress Tests for Banks

• And Who Pays for the Laws? DJMT puts all this into a bigger context

• The Foreclosure Mess: The Start of Another Bank Bailout?

• Foreclosure Crisis + Higher Rates = Fewer Mortgage Applications

FBI looking at foreclosure mess Updated version of Tuesday’s article

• Clueless or putting up a good front? Banks Clueless About Foreclosure Mess Severity

• Here’s why the government should not own stock:

Treasury on Foreclosuregate: “This is a problem for the banks and servicers to fix. They can fix it as fast as they feel like it.” (HuffPo)

WH Foreclosure probe: Problems aren’t ‘systemic’

Man, is this White House politically tone deaf or what?

There are more mortgage disaster articles on his main page.

quick! someone hit me over the head with a colorful graph!!!!!


darpa, the umerikan bastion of high strangeness and home to super boffins wants to develop
a star ship to colonize other worlds. the oil conundrum should rear it's ugly head and snuff
out such outlandish stuff. why dont you all email darpa and tell them we will be using stone knives and bearskins before any such silly things as multi generational star ships will launch.

it is an affront to your collective intelligence, if any.
you have been warned....

say....darpa is TPTB. can this be the new BAU?

$1.1 million will produce a 10 slide PowerPoint, without animations. Off we go. We'll just upload, and arrive as static between Shopping Channels.

Storming Statehouses With Plans for Growth


"MIAMI — Few issues have inspired as much voter anger this campaign season, or as many caustic campaign commercials, as the issue of jobs and how to put Americans back to work.

And while candidates in Congressional races have mostly offered broad-brush proposals, the country’s governors-to-be have been busy outlining specific policies to reshape the economy one job at a time.

Democrats and Republicans in the 37 races for governor this year have published economic plans that for all their differences share what experts describe as a significant shift: public investment, government support and education are all likely to become less one-size-fits-all, and more focused on the dorm-room dreams of budding entrepreneurs."

*Poor politicians. They need to come up with plans for growth. I hope they are telling the truth.

Yeah . . . sadly neither the Dems nor the Reps have any real solutions. There are no simple solutions. Between massive deficits, expensive wars, escalating energy prices, cheap labor competition in China & elsewhere, and an aging population . . . well there just are no easy answers.

The 'cut government' stuff of the T-partiers won't work. That is nothing but faith-based economics. The AM radio told them it would fix everything . . . but it won't. It could make things worse.

When I did not understand Peak Oil, I used to listen closely to the political messages out there.

I kind of understood tax cuts to a certain extent could spur the economy. I kind of believed in gov't support of start-up companies and the like.

Now I realize that they cannot turn any lever in Washington to fix the oil/energy problem.

The only issue I care about is energy, and politicians never like to talk about it in realistic terms. It is too polarized. "All Oil and Coal." "Or All Renewables and no Coal." No compromise -- so that the status quo can march on.

Today gov't is about terrorism, class warfare, age warfare, race warfare, and a myriad social issues -- none of these are energy issues but they are all likely traced back to energy decline per capita.

SO WHY THE HECK won't they try and go after the core issue? rhetorical question.

Oil Sands Effort Turns on a Fight Over a Road


KOOSKIA, Idaho — As U.S. Highway 12 hugs the serpentine banks of the Clearwater and Lochsa Rivers here, road signs bear the silhouettes of the 19th-century explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, with Mr. Lewis pointing off into the distance.

He is not pointing the way for big oil companies, says Lin Laughy, whose gravel driveway abuts the road.

But to Mr. Laughy’s dismay, international oil companies see this meandering, backcountry route as a road to riches. They are angling to use U.S. 12 to ship gargantuan loads of equipment from Vancouver, Wash., to Montana and the tar sands of Alberta in Canada. The companies say the route would save time and money and provide a vital economic boost to Montana and Idaho.

Oil Sands Effort Turns on a Fight Over a Road

Of course, this is all part of a plot by ExxonMobile's Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Oil, to keep American drivers supplied with fuel. US production is down to half the level it was 40 years ago, and the other suppliers like Mexico and Venezuela are falling off the charts one by one. Canadian oil sands production, though, is rising and the Kearl project will give it another big boost.

However, the equipment is built in Korea (the cheapest place), and the US Army Corps of Engineers have turned Lewiston, Idaho, into a port city convenient to land-locked Alberta. The US Interstate highways can't handle the same loads as Alberta's rather highly engineered roads, so they have to use some obscure state highways to get it from the docks in Lewiston to the Canadian border. It's the lack of overpasses which is important.

People in Alberta are used to seeing this kind of equipment (two lanes wide, three stories high, 600,000 pounds weight) rolling by, day after day (207 loads of it for Kearl), but I guess it's a bit of a revelation for the people of Idaho and Montana. They're dumbfounded.

But that's what it takes to keep American drivers supplied with fuel. It's either that or have everyone walk to work.

US 12 is a Federal highway that runs from Detroit to Aberdeen, WA on the Pacific. It is not a state highway or local road as the Times article would suggest.

The NY Times reporters should get west of the Hudson more often.

I've been preparing my family for Peak Oil for 4 years now and made some videos to help people powerdown and prepare. I attached one of them here.



How many years have you been spamming your links?

I think you're way off base here.

I interpreted his post as a contribution. Many people here post links to the work they've done to prepare...it's not even remotely unusual and it's actually encouraged.

I agree Aangel. I have gained a lot from people who post their links. It should be encouraged. When a person has something on their web page that may be of interest to me I damn sure want to know about it.

Ron P.

I concur.


I checked out MR Energy Czar a while back and his site is pretty nice in my view. It made me think. Thanks.

on kuwait's reserves

If opec countries are indeed struggling to keep current levels of production, then what's the point in raising one's production quota?

Can someone please explain?

Can someone please explain?

If you had a resource that was finite, with flat or declining production, would you want the World to know so they could begin by whatever means possible, to at least attempt a transition to a different source of energy for transportation, or would you want to draw them out as far as possible to maximize profits as the per barrel price continued to climb due to increasing demand for a limited or at some juncture a declining supply?

Well, an individual with a strong moral conscience might opt to be truthful, but the ME has never really liked anyone else except themselves (mainly for religious reasons), so guess how they are handling it.

Yes, we have more, that's right, much more!

But your taking the stuff out of the ground, so there's less, right?

No, no, it's seeping up from the gooey mantle of the Earth. In fact, the faster we extract it, the greater the reserves.

But, that has no basis in Geology.

Oh, but see this is the Middle East! (wry smile)

Peak Earl,

thanks for your explanation.

Inflating reserves does make sense for OPEC as a whole, to avoid losing its commercial/political power and keep us addicted to oil.

But I still wonder why would an individual opec country, with supposedly flat or declining production capacity, run the risk of exposing to OPEC and the world its past-peak condition by not being able to comply to a higher quota??

I know good people are in the oil community, but the higher powers are in my mind a little crooked, playing this game on the world economy.

This is called an expectation bubble -- and it will pop and the oil powers are responsible.

No this time it is not the little guy who bought the bad loan on his house that is to blame. It is the liars in the Middle East and the liars sitting behind the big desks at BP, Exxon, et al.

The truth cannot be changed by opinion.

The truth cannot be changed by opinion.

When the truth turns out to be lies.
And all hope within you dies.
Then what?
Then look to the parking lot.
Your savior will be there for you.

Huh? say what?

If The Economy Is Recovering, Why Is Not Energy Demand?

Denninger again ...