Drumbeat: November 2, 2010

Offshore wind could clash with oil and gas projects

(Reuters) - The energy secretary said on Tuesday he was surprised to hear about site conflicts between offshore wind farms and oil and gas projects.

Developers building offshore wind farms off the coast could face cancellation of site leases if their projects are deemed to interfere with work related to oil and gas exploration, according to the Crown Estate lease contract.

Crude oil prices climb; natural gas prices fall

Jakob said, “While the focus is on the additional buying power of the US Fed, Russian crude oil production has reached a new post-Soviet record in October; the Chinese are testing the first crude oil shipments on the new 300,000 b/d pipeline from Russia (the expected quantity for next year, the capacity of the pipeline is expected at double that rate); and the Brazilians are starting the first pilot production from the giant Tupi field only 3 years after discovery.” Brazil also announced last week the Libra field reserves (8-15 billion bbl) will be even bigger than Tupi (5-8 billion bbl). “That would make Libra the largest oil discovery in the Americas since Cantarell in 1976 and will contribute to push peak oil a little further back,” Jakob observed.

Russia, Norway ease borders, seek oil cooperation

OSLO (Reuters) - Russia and Norway agreed on Tuesday to ease frontier controls and said they hoped for cooperation on oil and gas exploration after a deal earlier this year ended a four-decade dispute over Arctic seas.

Foreign ministers of the two nations signed a deal in Oslo enabling people living less than 30 km (19 miles) from the border to travel in the zone on either side for 15 days by buying a 20 euro ($28) permit. Currently, visitors need a visa.

Canada Syncrude Output Rises to 245,400 Barrels a Day, Oil Sands Reports

Canadian Syncrude production rose 6 percent to 245,400 barrels a day in October from 231,500 barrels a day in September, Canadian Oil Sands Trust said in a notice on its website.

October output was affected by unplanned maintenance on upgrading units and planned work on the coker 8-1, according to the notice. Syncrude is a light, low-sulfur synthetic crude oil derived from tar sands in Alberta.

Peak oil task force recommends steps to reduce oil dependency

The first Canadian task force to tackle "peak oil" is recommending that the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District work to reduce oil imports and exports by 2.6 per cent annually.

An 80-Year Run for Nuclear Reactors?

With the so-called “nuclear renaissance” looking smaller and slower than predicted, some in the nuclear industry are focusing on running existing plants longer — not only for their initial 40-year licensing period and the 20-year extension already allowed, but for a second 20-year extension as well.

“If you would have looked five years ago at the number of plants people were intending to construct and then you look today, it’s clear with the economic conditions we face in our nation, they’re pushing the builds out there,’’ said Maria Korsnick, the chief nuclear officer with Constellation Energy Group. (In industry-speak, that means delaying construction.)

How do the new sanctions on Iran affect oil?

(Reuters) - Decades of sanctions have stunted Iran's oil and gas sector, which dominates its economy.

The United Nations has imposed four rounds of sanctions against Iran in the last four years to try to curb a nuclear programme the West suspects is a cover for secretly developing an atomic weapons capability.

Exclusive: Psychological inoculation for a century of challenges - Carolyn Baker with Nicole Foss

CB: What is your greatest concern at the moment in terms of the global economic crisis?

NF: That it could unfold very, very quickly. Because deflation is a swing of poverty feedback, it can take awhile to build up. If you try to explain to people what's coming, because it doesn't happen instantly, they tend to go back to sleep. The thing they need to understand, however, is that when it does hit a tipping point, a kind of critical mass, then it can unfold exceptionally quickly. Then it's very much like having the rug pulled out from under your feet. So I tell people all the time, prepare now because it's better to be two years too early than five minutes too late. You can't play with this sort of thing. In September, 2008, we came within a few hours of the banking system seizing up, and that could easily happen again. People wouldn't get a lot of notice. For anyone who's not in the meeting room-it will be too late by the time they find out. My worry is that if there are an enormous number of people who just had the rug pulled out from under their feet, they're going to run around like headless chickens, and the human over-reaction to events will be really responsible for a large percentage of the impact.

Talisman profit jumps as shale gas focus pays off

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Talisman Energy Inc, Canada's No. 4 independent oil producer, said on Tuesday its third-quarter profit rose fourfold on higher natural gas prices and rising output from its shale gas prospects in North America.

Oil price spikes on Libyan talk of $100 barrel

Oil jumped after OPEC member Libya said oil producers would find prices of $100 a barrel more comfortable because of higher food prices and a weaker dollar.

BP not spearheading oil industry move back in Gulf

LONDON (AP) -- Oil company BP PLC shied away from spearheading any industry rush back into the Gulf of Mexico as it revealed Tuesday that the cost of its devastating oil spill has jumped to $40 billion - taking the shine off a return to profit in the third quarter.

Chief Executive Bob Dudley was forced to raise the likely cost of the worst accidental spill in U.S. history by $7.7 billion because of delays to the final capping of the busted Macondo well.

Oil slicks and slick lawyers

THE last oil-restraining booms have been removed from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but the oil spill at the Macondo well will be a stain on BP for a long time yet. The company showed a profit in its third quarter, it reported on November 2nd, with underlying profits up 18% year-on-year. However, it also took a large charge against further losses due to the disaster. Bob Dudley, a veteran American oilman who took over as chief executive on October 1st, says the profit shows BP to be in “recovery mode”, but he also admits that there is a long road ahead in rebuilding relations with governments, regulators, shareholders and the company’s own employees.

Gazprom Turns to Dollars Amid Ruble Bond Limits

(Bloomberg) -- OAO Gazprom’s Chief Financial Officer Andrey Kruglov says Russia’s largest company may turn to foreign investors for its first bond sale in 16 months because of limitations in the ruble debt market.

Turkmen Foreign Ministry Blasts Russia for Spinning Energy Talks

A week after President Dmitry Medvedev's visited Ashgabat and Russian media gave a positive spin to his talks about the Turkmen-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry has lashed out against Moscow's upbeat claims about the meeting.

Resilience overstretched: Public fury up with fuel prices

ISLAMABAD: The recent increase in prices of petroleum products has drawn stern reaction from people who see it as another factor to cause price hike in coming days. Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) on Sunday increased prices of petroleum products - petrol by up to Rs 5.97 per litre, diesel Rs 4.51 per litre and kerosene oil Rs 5.15 per litre.

Deciphering the energy crisis - II

As we talk of the energy crisis and the possible solutions to it, we need to understand the policies that govern the energy currently being used in Pakistan. The energy mix of Pakistan is no enigma. Primarily based on oil and gas to generate electricity, we simply do not utilise coal or focus on any other form of energy for power generation; and so, we have an alarming situation. There is over 40 per cent dependence on gas, while 30 per cent of all our power is acquired through oil. Majority of which, over 72 per cent is imported oil. This forces Pakistan to import over 300,000 bbl/day of oil.

National Oil tanks Dry up

After months of escalating financial troubles, business seems to be slowing at the National Oil Corporation of Kenya, which the Government relies on to stabilise fuel prices, sparking fears that corrupt oil cartels could take advantage of the situation and increase oil prices further.

The corporation has been unable to fulfill its quota of supply allocation following cash flow related stock outs that left most of its outlets without petrol in the past two weeks.

Don’t neglect fossil fuel energy: ADB

Renewable energy may be the wave of the future, but the Aquino administration must address a looming power shortage with "old" technology now, an Asian Development Bank official said.

WooChung Um, ADB deputy director general, said that given the pace of growth, the government should ensure energy security.

"I think the Philippines has done a good job in terms of getting ready to really mobilize the financing that’s needed to do clean energy. But in a place like the Philippines, we have to worry about energy security at the same time," he said.

Quenching thirst for fuel

The forthcoming December in Nigeria has similarities with that of 2003 and 2007. Although the month that ends every calendar year, has a traditional record of fuel shortage in Nigeria, which successive governments has been facing, the forthcoming month is unique because it is the last to the 2011 general election. But the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, could not be said to be unaware of this as she has been around the country’s multi-billion dollar oil industry for some years now.

Energy efficiency is good for our pockets

In the document being launched at Stormont, a rainbow coalition of groups is promising to kick-start the Northern Ireland economy and provide jobs by harnessing energy efficiency in homes, and eventually businesses, all over the country.

The Northern Ireland Green New Deal group is launching a business plan which will propose, through investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy, ways of tackling the recession, energy security and climate change.

Aviation energy...a finite resource?

Imagine showing up to work to fly. You get your crew assembled, brief the day's mission and step out to your aircraft. You are about to start your engines when the crew chief comes on board to pass you some important information. He says that you have half of your normal fuel level. Or worse, he says that today's mission has to be canceled due to a shortage of fuel Air Force-wide.

You might think that this scenario is unrealistic, but the possibility exists for this to occur in the near future.

To prevent scenarios like this, the Air Force has taken a hard look at how it consumes aviation fuel. Aviation operations account for the majority of energy used by the Air Force.

Flying can be a greener choice than driving

If you have to travel and you want to make as little impact as possible on the climate, your best bet is to go by train, bus or even ship, found a new study. Airplanes are the next best option. Cars are worst of all.

New energy-efficient light bulb, ESL, enters market

Still trying to get used to the curly-Q compact fluorescent light bulb? Haven't yet tried the LED (light emitting diode)? Well, you may be falling behind, because there's yet another, energy-efficient light bulb entering the market -- known as the ESL.

GE to supply wind turbines to Suncor wind project

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Suncor Energy Inc has ordered 55 General Electric Co 1.6 megawatt wind turbines for a Canadian wind power project in the western province of Alberta, GE said on Tuesday.

GE will deliver the turbines to the site of the Wintering Hills project, which is located about 125 km (78 miles) northeast of Calgary, in the second quarter of 2011.

Fewer Turbine Turns Means Fewer Bat Deaths

It's all very well reducing carbon emissions, but a ground full of bat and bird carcasses hardly screams environmental friendliness.

But there is evidence that mortality rates can be reduced relatively simply: for example, by not siting wind farms in areas of high concentrations of bats or on migratory bird pathways, or by using more modern turbines with larger, slower-turning blades.

Food incubators produce jobs, food security

It may seem strange that Ohio’s most successful food incubators are in the Buckeye State’s economically-depressed Appalachian southeast and in the heart of industrial agriculture in its northwest flatlands.

But the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks’ Food Ventures Program (ACEnet) in Athens and the Center for Innovative Food Technology’s Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK) outside of Bowling Green have spawned hundreds of small food businesses, created millions of dollars in food sales, and vastly increased local food options in restaurants and grocery stores in the two regions.

Post carbon university

The Post Carbon Reader feels like a Chicago book. I know that it’s really a West Coast production, with its eponymous institute located north of the San Francisco Bay area. But this book forsakes the Cassandra cry of a Berkeley activist at a giant redwood tree-sit. Likewise missing is the smooth scenario-spinning of a Silicon Valley venture capitalist at a TED conference. Instead, the 500-page volume shows an outsized ambition to present all areas of practical human knowledge from the viewpoint of peak oil. It’s an encyclopedia that seems more at home among the leering gargoyles and faux-Gothic spires of Hyde Park than on the sun-kissed lanes of Sonoma wine country.

Al Qaeda suspected in Yemen oil pipeline blast

ADEN, Yemen (Reuters) - Suspected al Qaeda militants blew up a small oil pipeline in southern Yemen on Tuesday, local officials said, the same day the country launched a hunt for those responsible for a plot to mail bombs to the United States.

The pipeline in the province of Shabwa was operated by a South Korean firm, officials said, but declined to give further details. It was not clear if exports would be affected.

The blast on the pipeline taking crude oil to a maritime export terminal was caused by a timed device, a local security official told Reuters, adding that members of al Qaeda were believed to be behind the attack.

Qatar state visit to cover energy, banking-Kremlin

(Reuters) - Qatar, the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, will discuss joint gas projects and sign a memorandum of understanding with a top Russian bank during the Qatari emir's visit to Moscow, the Kremlin said on Tuesday.

Russia Eyes Polish Oil Assets

After years of rejecting any courtship from Russian energy firms, Poland has apparently changed its mind and will now consider a Russian investor for its second-largest oil refiner Grupa Lotos. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Friday that the Polish government declared, during recent gas negotiations with Russia, that Russian companies could take part in privatization tenders for oil assets in Poland.

EU Comm. "satisfied" with Russia-Poland gas deal

(Reuters) - The European Commission is "satisfied" with the new gas supply deal between Russia and Poland, Russia's Gazprom said in a statement on Tuesday.

Hungarian Population Falls Below 10 Million

The number of Hungarians dropped below 10 million in August 2010, according to official statistics, bringing to the surface the threat of extinction, present in the collective subconscious of the Hungarian nation.

New Mexico regulators to decide Tuesday whether state will adopt emissions cap-and-trade plan

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators are set to decide Tuesday whether to adopt a state proposal that would establish a cap-and-trade program to control greenhouse gas emissions.

The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board is considering a petition by the Environment Department that would allow the state to participate in a regional cap-and-trade program with other Western states and Canadian provinces that make up the Western Climate Initiative.

Russian oil output hits all-time record-high

(Reuters) - Oil output in Russia, the world's top crude producer, rose 4 percent to a new post-Soviet record of 10.26 million barrels per day in October as new fields went on stream on the island of Sakhalin.

Russia’s natural gas output up 14% in Jan–Oct - Energy Ministry

MOSCOW (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s natural gas output rose in January–October by 14.2 percent to 527.1 billion cubic meters, and the export of gas, by 17.6 percent in comparison with the same period in 2009, the Energy Ministry said on Tuesday.

Domestic gas consumption increased by 16.4 percent to 389.1billion cubic meters.

Oil Rises a Second Day on U.S. Stimulus Bets, Falling Fuel Supply Forecast

Oil rose for a second day to trade near a two-week high before a government report forecast to show that U.S. supplies of diesel and heating oil are at their lowest level since July.

Crude also gained as the dollar weakened before a Federal Reserve meeting tomorrow which will probably signal a new round of unconventional monetary easing. U.S. stockpiles of distillate fuels probably declined 1 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg News survey before tomorrow’s Energy Department report. Consumers are happy with oil between $70 and $90 a barrel, said Ali al-Naimi, Saudi Arabia’s oil minister.

Diesel, Heating Oil Supply Fall in Survey on Higher Demand

U.S. supplies of diesel and heating oil probably dropped to the lowest level since July as demand climbed and exports to Europe likely rose because of a French strike, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Stockpiles of distillate fuels fell 1 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, in the seven days ended Oct. 29 from 168.4 million a week earlier, according to the median of 12 analyst estimates before an Energy Department report tomorrow. All of the respondents forecast a drop. Labor unrest across France last month forced 10 refineries to halt operations, boosting prices.

ExxonMobil makes gas condensate find off Nigeria

LAGOS (AFP) – ExxonMobil in Nigeria on Monday announced the discovery of rich gas condensate off the West African country's coast as the government seeks to boost gas supply to help solve electricity shortages.

Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, a local joint venture, announced "a rich gas condensate discovery in Oil Mining Licence 104, approximately 75 kilometres (47 miles) offshore of Akwa Ibom State in southeast Nigeria."

ADNOC mulls gas partners

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is in no rush to choose a new partner for its signature sour gasfield development and has sufficient supplies from other sources to meet rising demand across the emirate, says a top company official.

ADNOC needs the technical expertise of a foreign partner to develop the toxic Shah reservoir near the Saudi Arabian border, analysts agree, but it has offered no comment on a replacement since ConocoPhillips pulled out of the development in April.

Russia starts testing on ESPO pipeline

MOSCOW (UPI) -- Russian pipeline company Transneft announced that it started test oil deliveries through the Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean pipeline through China.

A company spokesman said it opened the valves on the ESPO pipeline to deliver Russian oil to Chinese markets, Russia's state-run news agency RIA Novosti reports.

Clinton Facing Heat on Oil Sands Pipeline

Battle lines have been hardening over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline over the last couple of weeks. The pipeline, which will stretch from Alberta in Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast, would nearly double the United States’ capacity to import oil made from Canadian oil sands. Canadian oil sands are a plentiful and secure source of oil, but the extraction process is high in carbon dioxide emissions and takes a toll on pristine Canadian forest ecosystems.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will soon have to decide whether to allow the pipeline construction to proceed next year, and the State Department is -– once again -– studying the potential environmental impact. Environmental groups and a host of government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Department, had judged an earlier evaluation inadequate.

BP oil spill costs hit $40B, keep lid on Q3 profit

LONDON – BP PLC says the cost of the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill has grown to $40 billion, dragging down its third quarter net profit by more than 60 percent despite higher oil and gas prices.

The London-based company said Tuesday it returned to profit for the first time since the April spill, though the $1.79 billion net income was still well below a year-earlier profit of $5.3 billion because it set aside an extra $7.7 billion to pay for the spill response and cover future fines and compensation.

Number of residents denied BP money up sharply

OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. – Denied claims for Gulf of Mexico oil spill victims are rising dramatically because of a flood of new filings coming in without proper documentation or with no proof at all, the head of the $20 billion BP fund said Monday.

Some 20,000 people have been told they have no right to emergency compensation, compared to about 125 denials at the end of September. This is in addition to many others who say they are getting mere fractions of what they've lost, while others are receiving large checks and full payments.

Chevron faces fines for June oil spill

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- U.S. supermajor Chevron could face nearly $500,000 in penalties for an oil leak near the University of Utah campus, the U.S. Department of Transportation said.

"The department's top priority is safety and we remain committed to ensuring America's pipelines are capable of safely delivering vital energy products to U.S. households and businesses," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a statement.

Hybrid efficiency, gasoline power

Automakers are finding ways to squeeze out as much efficiency as possible from gasoline engines.

The Dollar Should Gain After The Fed

Oil where it currently is, around $81/bbl, is probably about 20% more expensive than it should be given the fact that the world is virtually drowning in supply and that the theory of peak oil has been revealed to be one of the biggest hoaxes’s ever perpetrated. The one and only reason that energy is getting more expensive is that the dollar, due to Mr. Bernanke’s latest machinations, is depreciating in value relative to gold and other currencies.

Is it time to batten down the hatches for economic storm?

MONTEVIDEO -- Forget the brutal winters.

There is a financial storm coming, and west central Minnesota may be one of the better places to weather it, according to a popular Internet blogger on financial matters.

Nicole Foss, of Ottawa, Canada, spoke Oct. 26 in Montevideo on what she believes is a coming, profound period of deflation that will be made worse by a looming energy shortage.

Re-Imagining Suburbia

One thing Jeff does address, however, when it comes to suburbia is the concept of telecommuting, and how we'll all be able to go to work virtually.

It is here that I disagree with him the most. If, as many peak oil writers believe, there is an economic crash (and if it isn't due to energy costs, it will be sovereign state default, or something like it), it's not going to be a case of how you get to your six-figure financial planner job in downtown Toronto.

It will be how you replace the income of a job that has been suddenly rendered superfluous.

As Jeff Rubin likes to say, suddenly entire generations who have never done work more strenuous than typing on a keyboard or serving a cappuccino are going to be figuring out what to pack in their metal lunchboxes, as production moves back onshore due to the skyrocketing costs of shipping goods from China.

The coming liquid fuel crisis

We face a liquid fuel crisis in two to five years. That was the stark message from an international conference on peak oil in Washington DC that I attended last month.

It will be far worse than the 1973 and 1979 oil shocks that induced panic, disorientation and insecurity. Back then stock market declines followed big hikes in fuel prices. This time we can expect ever-rising fuel prices accompanied by annually deepening recession, increasing inflation and unemployment, and a decline in world trade.

Collapse adds thought-provoking fuel to the doomsday fires

The end of Western industrialised civilisation is nigh so start stockpiling gold and organic seeds.

So says Michael Ruppert, the controversial US doomsayer and poster boy for the ‘peak oil’ movement, who is given the Errol Morris treatment in Chris Smith’s stark documentary.

Who Needs Stephen King When We Are Living In A Nightmare?

The following is a sample of the kind of trivia that excites the editors of the mainstream press. "What do you like to do to celebrate Halloween?" the Vancouver Province asks. What would your response be? Mine would be something like,

"As a dress rehearsal for the impending collapse of industrial society I want to spend my Halloween hunkered down in my bunker provisioned with enough food supplies and ammo to deal with the legions of starving marauders who will attempt to get at them. For entertainment I will watch "The Road" which conjures up more terrifying images than the ghosts and gobblins of Halloween night. Instead of indulging in the cliched fantasies of the supernatural, why doesn't the Province attempt to educate its readership about the very real horrors that Peak Oil will visit upon us?"

Judge Suspends Navajo Mining Permit

In a significant legal victory for Navajo campaigners, a federal judge has voided a permit for the expansion of one of two operating mines on the Navajo reservation, calling for a more thorough review of the project’s impact on the environment and on cultural sites.

In a decision issued Friday, Judge John L. Kane of United States District Court for the District of Colorado ordered the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, part of the federal Department of Interior, to reassess the proposed expansion of the Navajo Mine on tribal land in New Mexico.

Biofuel power stations in planning pipeline

Two new power stations that use a fuel critics say contributes to the destruction of rainforest in south-east Asia may be built in the UK through subsidies added to customer bills.

The two plants in the south of England would run on palm oil, which in many cases is sourced from plantations sited on cleared rainforest land.

Scientists find that evergreen agriculture boosts crop yields

A unique acacia known as a "fertilizer tree" has typically led to a doubling or tripling of maize yields in smallholder agriculture in Zambia and Malawi, according to evidence presented at a conference in the Hague today. The findings were central to the arguments of agroforestry experts at the conference, who urged decision makers to spread this technology more widely throughout the African nations most vulnerable to climate change and food shortages, and to think differently about more practical ways to solve the problems that are most pressing to smallholder farmers.

Big oilfields prove able to soak up carbon gas

Abu Dhabi's state oil company has successfully tested a new technique that uses carbon dioxide to boost output from its oilfields, a senior executive said yesterday.

The technology has the potential to transform the oil industry in Abu Dhabi while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Global Warming for Gamers

Think you’ve got the smarts to rein in climate change without crashing the global economy?

In the real world, even leaders of nations are having trouble figuring that out. But in the new strategy video game “Fate of the World,” players singlehandedly confront that daunting challenge, while tackling peak oil, overpopulation and saving the rain forest to boot.

U.S. to Focus on Job Gains Before Carbon Fixes, Yergin Says

(Bloomberg) -- The likelihood of Republicans gaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives means more focus on creating jobs than reducing carbon emissions, said Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer-winning author of oil-industry history “The Prize.”

Europe must save shrinking African lake - Gaddafi

N'DJAMENA (Reuters) - Europe will be confronted with 30 million Africans trying to reach its shores unless it acts to stop climate change from depleting a lake on which they depend, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Sunday.

Scientists say changing weather patterns, along with growing populations and the construction of dams, are to blame for the shrinking of Lake Chad, which provides livelihoods for about 30 million people in surrounding countries.

Earth will take 100,000 years to recover from global warming say geologists

The Earth will take 100,000 years to recover from global warming if mankind continues to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, geologists have warned.

Link up top: Global Warming for Gamers

Now you can practice saving the world from Global Warming, Peak Oil and other environmental disasters that are upon us. The year is 2020 and you are in charge. What would you do?

“You are in charge,” Gobion Rowlands, founder and chairman of Red Redemption, the British-based design company that created the game, said in an interview. “It’s your world to save or destroy.”

Players serve as the president of the “Global Environmental Organization,” a fictional group with the ability to dictate economic, environmental and social policies around the world — “a U.N. with teeth,” Matt Miles Griffiths, one of the games’ designers, told me.

I stopped the trailer in several places so I could read some of the game options. I noticed they had devised schemes to save the world, some that had been discussed on the Oil Drum and some that we had not dreamed up yet. ;-) One was Nanotechnology Improves Fossil Fuel Extraction: Nanotechnology can extract oil from reserves that were previously too difficult or expensive to get.

Others were Gene Plague Alpha, whatever that is, and Covert Sterilization Program. That one sounds interesting. But this one was one of the best: Commercially Viable Nuclear Fusion! Nuclear fusion reactors are now available for widespread use.

By 2020? I don’t think so. Not even by 2050. But then it is just a game and inside the game world anything is possible.

Ron P

Is one of the options in the game the ability to send in Toto's Earth Marines (I think that's what he called them) on Spider Web Riders ?

The 2008 THQ videogame Frontlines: Fuels of War was basically a first-person shooter based upon a war caused by peak oil.

I bought the Beta version of that game after reading about it from this Drumbeat - couldn't resist being a megalomaniac. All I can say is that it seems very hard so far. I've had 2 goes at it and been kicked out of 8 of the 12 regions well before 2100 both times. I guess saving the world is not as easy as it sounds!

Earth will take 100,000 years to recover from global warming say geologists

Well, there may be a silver lining to that. Along with most other forms of life, Republicans and the Tea Party will be extinct, so there's really no point in going out to vote anymore...

The Earth's been around for 4.5 billion years so a mere 100,000 years is but a blink of an eye in geological terms. Disclaimer, I've spent the last couple of weeks working with a geologist, perhaps that may have affected my outlook on life in general >;^)

I like to take a long term view too - I find it a useful perspective. Unfortunately my body requires me to consume other life forms a couple of time a day, which can shorten one's event horizon rather quickly.

Unfortunately my body requires me to consume other life forms a couple of time a day, which can shorten one's event horizon rather quickly.

True, dat! On the other hand think of what it does to the event horizon of those life forms...

An interesting time frame - 100,000 years. Especially when considering that some who study such things believe that we became truly human about 100,000 years ago.

So - 100,000 years to fix a 100,000 year mistake? On a geologic scale, that might not be a bad bargain (speaking from the planet's perspective).

So - 100,000 years to fix a 100,000 year mistake?

That only fixes the climate. Recovery from massive species extinction takes a few million years.

Nature will fill any voids in the food chain within a few decades, but to restore the full diversity would take much longer and woould be more dependant on future Ice ages rather than the elimination of humans.

Does that 100.000 take into account events like future ice ages, assuming recent climatic history is repeated.

Until the climate scientists fully understand the cause(s) for the cycles of Ice Ages, I think it's unreasonable to assume that a warmer climate will preclude the cyclic return of the next Ice Age, which your question suggests. Climate change from Global Warming might include a trigger for an ice age. As it is now, the polar regions are too cold for large snow fall in Winter. Indeed, the Arctic has been called a "snow desert" because of the lack of precipitation during Winter. As the Earth warms, more snow is projected for high latitudes, which could lead to local cooling thru the albedo feedback. Also, as the sea-ice extent is diminished, the water of the Arctic Ocean will warm, thus more water would evaporate, which will add to the precipitation over the lands surrounding the Arctic. And, another projection from model experiments is a reduction in the Thermohaline Circulation (THC), which presently provides warmer winters around the North Atlantic...

E. Swanson

Does that 100.000 take into account events like future ice ages, assuming recent climatic history is repeated.

I think the most convincing science says the next scheduled ice age (not due for a while) will be skipped because of the high CO2 content. So the planet will probably have to wait for the next favorable orbital opportunity in a hundred thousand or whatever years from now.

I think it unlikely that warmer arctic can lead to glaciation. It looks like warmer and wetter leads to less ice, not more.

I think that appraisal is correct in the short term. Certainly, the present evidence points toward an ongoing melting of Greenland's glaciers. However, the projections I've seen are based on model studies which were known to poorly represent the processes which underlie the sea-ice cycle. There are suggestions from these studies that a shutdown of the THC is likely and that the result would be cooler climate around the Nordic Seas. When combined with the warming from AGW, the result might be a wash in that locale. As the sea-ice portion of the models are improved, my WAG is that we may see different projections...

E. Swanson

Let's look a little bit further. In 150 million years the medium surface temparature on earth will pass 288K, which means the extinction of all higher forms of life. Unless we (ore some even smarter species after us or from somewhere over the rainbow) safes this beautiful planet/nature all is lost in the long run anyway, with or without our doing!

Abu Dhabi to go forward with sour gas project despite ConocoPhillips pullout

This article has a number of interesting tidbits

From around six per cent during 1990s, growth in gas demand in the country is projected to pick up by nearly 13 per cent in the next decade,

And remember that they burn oil when gas is short.

The projects will expand Abu Dhabi’s crude oil production capacity to nearly 3.5m barrels per day by 2017 from 2.5m bpd at present…

The initial development of Abu Dhabi was quite conservative, allowing for reserve life of 80 to 100 years. So more aggressive is possible for them. Not so good for 2050 oil supplies.


to reassure the population

Abu Dhabi has 150 years of oil reserves

Although the population will increase by 80% to 3.1 million by 2030



For the visual thinkers out there here's a summary of the situation with charts from a couple of the Mazama Science databrowsers:

Oil, Gas & Population in the United Arab Emirates

These charts are for the United Arab Emirates as opposed to just Abu Dhabi. Hence the population figure of over 4 million.

Here is my take on these historical trends:

(upper left) As Alan has indicated, careful above-ground management of UAE oil fields means that annual production statistics do not fit the classic 'Hubbert' curve. Future production rates cannot be estimated by fitting historical production numbers with logistic curves and can only be guessed at by looking carefully at oil field geology and production data -- which we do not have ready access to. Their bumpy plateau for oil production may be very long indeed.

(upper right) Natural gas consumption has recently taken off along with the building boom in Dubai, surpassing UAE production. It's no wonder they are developing any gas they can find whether it is sweet or sour.

(bottom left) The population of the UAE has been booming with immigration ever since the first oil fields were developed. Lately, growth has tapered off to the galloping rate of 4% per annum -- still incredibly high. Immigration should be expected to continue as long as there is money to be made the Emirates.

(lower right) Natural gas production per capita has actually been in decline for a decade and can be expected to continue. Presumably they will look to their nearest neighbors (Qatar, Iran) for additional supplies.

Happy Exploring.


Their bumpy plateau for oil production may be very long indeed.

I don't think that you would get any argument from Sam Foucher. The UAE had, by far and away, the widest range of possible net oil exports of the top five (2005) net oil exporters that Sam modeled. However, the top five combined numbers continue to fall between his middle case and best case scenarios* (as does the UAE).

*Top Five middle case 2005 to 2015 projected rate of change is -6.2%/year plus or minus 4%, i.e., from -10.2%/year to -2.2%/year

Sam's outlook** for UAE net oil exports:

**UAE Middle case 2005 to 2015 projected rate of change is -4%/year plus or minus 7%, i.e., from -11%/year to +3%/year

A lot of the bumps seem to be coming from one country, then another, maxing out their production. How long before they're all done? And, how steep will the slope be then?


Sam projects that the (2005) top five net oil exporters will collectively approach zero net oil exports sometime between 2030 and 2040. You get a similar projection when you project their combined current rate of increase in the ratio of Consumption (C) to Production (P). The top five C/P ratio went from 22.2% in 2005 to 26.7% in 2009 (BP).

But the real story is a sky high underlying depletion rate. Sam's best case is that the top five's post-2005 CNE (Cumulative Net Exports) will be 50% depleted by the end of 2014 (post-2005 depletion rate of about 8%/year).

As Ron noted before, a production increase results in a higher rate of depletion. In one of life's little ironies, the production increases in some exporting countries that the "Drill Baby Drill" crowd is celebrating means that these countries are accelerating the rate of depletion in their remaining exportable reserves.

This is one of the really dangerous things about net export declines, to-wit, the declines tend to be front-end loaded, with the bulk of post-peak net CNE being shipped early in the decline phase, but a relatively slow initial rate of decline in the volume of net exports (which means a high depletion rate) makes people think that things aren't so bad after all. A rough rule of thumb appears to be that post-peak CNE tend to be about 50% depleted about one-third of the way into the decline.

That is about what I figured as well.

But the real story is a sky high underlying depletion rate. Sam's best case is that the top five's post-2005 CNE (Cumulative Net Exports) will be 50% depleted by the end of 2014 (post-2005 depletion rate of about 8%/year)

That must be what the US Joint Command is focused on? They seem to be preparing for widespread civil unrest in 2015... though I think it may not happen until the following year (demand destruction will cause that slight delay).


thanks for the attempt, but really, it is difficult to reduce a complex situation as exists in the persian gulf to a few graphs. many on here seem to forget, or want to ignore the complexity of this situation. arm chair emirs and arm chair king abdullas abound.

e.g. natural gas used in petrochemical production distorts both consumption and exports. ksa is an exporter of ng, in the form of petrochemical and refined products.

Natural gas production per capita has actually been in decline for a decade and can be expected to continue.

at least until shah and bab come onstream.

you are aware, are you not, that uae is currently importing gas from qatar ? that is probably the explaination for the spike in consumption in the past 3 or so years - gas became available.

[I]t is difficult to reduce a complex situation as exists in the persian gulf to a few graphs.

Amen to that!

No attempt to reduce or ignore the complexity. On the contrary, I'm actually trying to bring some of that complexity out where people can see it. I wish I had some good charts showing the breakdown of consumption by end use so that your point would be more apparent.

The main reason I keep showing data graphics is that it's hard to evaluate all the claims that are made at a forum like this without reference to actual data. Tables of numbers don't really speak to me and until we learn to do a Vulcan mind meld, I'll stick with data graphics as the best way to share my admittedly incomplete understanding of the situation.

And thanks for the mention of the Shah and Bab fields as they may, in the coming years, give UAE production a chance to catch up with their runaway consumption. Here's a recent article with an interesting tidbit:

The gas at Shah contains around 30 percent deadly hydrogen sulphide, making it tougher to produce than conventional gas reserves.

And you're absolutely right about the recent spike being related to gas becoming available. You can't import without import infrastructure.

I'm not so sure about your KSA comment, though. What with increasing gas demand for desalination and electricity supply, let alone reinjection for enhanced recovery, I expect to see Saudi Arabia become a natural gas importer as soon as they get the necessary pipelines in place.

I expect to see Saudi Arabia become a natural gas importer as soon as they get the necessary pipelines in place.

is there actually a plan to build such a pipeline ? i haven't heard of it.

I know of no pipeline being built specifically for import purposes but they are rapidly expanding their pipeline infrastructure related to gas production and petrochemical processing plants. From the EIA page on Saudi Gas:

This is part of a broader expansion of the existing gas transmission system in Saudi Arabia, reportedly to include the construction of around 1,200 miles of additional natural gas pipeline capacity (on top of 10,500 miles of oil, gas, and condensate, products, and natural gas liquid pipelines currently in operation).

Based on the trends I see in Saudi Arabia and in other GCC nations (Gulf Cooperation Council), I expect this pipeline infrastructure as well as the new GCC electrical grid to eventually be used to import gas and electricity into Saudi Arabia.

Oil where it currently is, around $81/bbl, is probably about 20% more expensive than it should be given the fact that the world is virtually drowning in supply and that the theory of peak oil has been revealed to be one of the biggest hoaxes’s ever perpetrated. The one and only reason that energy is getting more expensive is that the dollar, due to Mr. Bernanke’s latest machinations, is depreciating in value relative to gold and other currencies.

Well I for one would much rather listen to a chap writing on a Forex blog than all the so-called 'experts' at ASPO and on TOD. Clearly you lot are pushing the world's biggest hoax on us. Shame on you. Thankfully saner voices in the world of foreign-exchange trading are adding some much-needed facts to reveal this hoax.

As far as I'm concerned if some arrogant fool who's had every opportunity to understand better wants to self-select himself into the group of clueless people who don't prepare - well that's fine. Hey, there isn't going to be enough to go around anyway. It's just unfortunate if he convinces others, but mostly people like him are only telling folks what they want to hear. People can not understand until they want to understand, and even then they will reject anything that is too far from what they believe. By the time things get really difficult there will be way too many who simply cannot adapt their thinking fast enough.

I always just follow the money. That's where deception lies. Those TOD hoaxters are getting SO rich! Sure, HAC.

Ghung, its not that all these ASPO hoaxers are getting rich that bothers me. It is that they are using their extensive experience of working in the oil industry to perpetrate this giant hoax on all the rest of us. Darnit they even go so far as to have a ludicrous sham-conference once a year with some notable big-shots attending - obviously paid off, mind. And then a board like TOD is set up as a PR front so all these industry insiders can hide behind a layer of credibility while communicating with the wider gullible audience like me and make tonnes of money out of this peak oil nonsense whilst scaring the holy crap outta us. Thankfully, working in the foreign exchange space gives one a much better ability to see the deception as one deals in real tangible assets like dollars, pounds and euros unlike those abstract concepts like oil fields. Look, if you want to believe what all these highly experienced industry insiders have to say, that's your beef. Personally I am taking the side of the forex guy. He has made a very cogent argument debunking this peak oil hoax. As he says 'the world is virtually drowning in supply'. How much more evidence do you want?

Apple growers and loggers in my area have been drowning in supply for a few years now. Why? It's not because there are suddenly more apples and trees. It's because PEOPLE AREN'T BUYING AS MUCH. It's called demand destruction.

Regardless, I'm putting my time, energy and capital into reducing my exposure to the train wreck that is bound to come, whether or not Peak Oil is a hoax. It's coming for you, HAcland.

If you're looking for someone to blame, join the Tea Party. They have a long list.

Ghung, I thought Hacland's comment was just dripping with sarcasm... I'm hoping it was. That was sarcasm right?

You do know he's pulling your leg, right?

Leanan! You can be cold, hard and mean sometimes! An explanation would be appreciated.

Threads that get silly and drift off-topic will be pruned - especially this early in the day.

In the future, if you want an explanation, please e-mail me privately.

Noted :-(

Have you thought about the possibility that the way Peak Oil takes place is by people not having the money to buy oil (essentially because the EROI of the oil that is being pumped is too low)? Then the result is what looks like continual over-supply, but it is caused by a lack of cheap (high EROI) oil, and an oversupply of expensive (low EROI) oil.

That's very true, I've reduced my oil consumption recently as the cost of fuel increases. Driving slower and only when really necessary and increasing the amount of firewood I use to heat the house.

I decided to ride my bike to work and weekly for groceries. I cut about 90% of my personal usage.

I also lost 10 lbs. LOL

need to eat more I guess.

Trying to get my wife to ride a bike or hitchhike... It ain't happening! I'd love to drive our car right into the river or Craigslist it. If i added up what that pig costs us each year, i could buy a lot of running shoes. I think some (most/all/everyone)people never stop and add up these little costs (cell phones, cable TV, eating out, etc).

I started jogging several miles each day, but its for exercise (i like to look good for the ladies) and to prepare for the day i have to outrun zombies or at least the crazies that visit a forum like this :0


No kidding. $500 brake job on my wife's car yesterday. Doh! my kid goes to school at the top of a very steep incline -- used to be for an electric street car system -- of course they killed that plan and made it a road (like the rest of the US). Like 1 mile straight up. My wife couldnt kiddy-cart him up on her bike. Neither could I. Maybe we can get a cheap electric car just to go up that darn hill -- those little toy cars that go 25 mpH.

Oct,what's wrong with walking up the hill to school?

True. Good point, but my son is not quite old enough for that and it is a bit of a hike. Like I said about 450 feet uphill over 1000 foot of road based on google elevation map. I need to try the bike route and get a feel for it. Overall about 2500 feet though to get there. Not far. Just high up there.

I will have to see what the price of oil will be to encourage biking/walking to his school ;-)

Like I said about 450 feet uphill over 1000 foot of road based on google elevation map.

This would imply a road with a 45% gradient. Not a chance that your calculation is even remotely correct unless this is a goat trail.

A mere slight incline, some of us come from parts of the world where there are real hills. As an aside,today I defeated the hill that has been defeating me since I returned to my bike. Not a huge hill by any stretch of the imagination but awkward for one just getting back in form.


Sorry a cat walked on the keyboard and I think I accidentally flagged your comment as inappropriate :(

If I can assume by the word "school" that your son is 5 years or older, and he doesn't have some severe medical problem I encourage you or your wife to walk him to school. 1000 or 2500 feet really isn't too much for a child, even if it is steep. It might take some easing into, but within a month or two you will see benefits. The exercise before class helps kids calm down and concentrate and its a good "together time".

I recommend weather appropriate clothing and maybe a juice he can drink at the end of the walk. Your wife might also want to carry his backpack for him if it has super heavy books but believe me, elementary aged children are totally capable of walking a mile or so.

As a sports coach I see way too many kids who are inactive. It limits them in so many ways.

I started bicycling to school when I was 6 years old. The distance was about 3 km each way and a little hilly but no big hills. This being a semi-Latin country (France) we had a 2.5 hour lunch break, which meant I had to bicycle home for lunch. So the total distance was 12 km (7 miles) per day. Often the bike would break down so I would have to walk and later even run part of the route. Unreal fitness level for someone that age, but everybody else was doing the same thing. What has happened in the intervening 50 years?

What has happened in the intervening 50 years?

It's mainly the friggen media. TV watchers are suckers for true crime stuff, and kid abducted is pretty standard fare. People's estimation of risk has everything to do with how often they think about or imagine something, and almost nothing to do with actual statistics. So now it is unthinkable to allow your kid to run the gauntlet of imaginary child predators lining the route to school.

I swear it is a goat trail.


I will try to bike it but it is a dog of a climb.

Or we will walk it ;-)

Learning to try new things is a good time.

That's not a goat trail, this is a goat trail (well, if you find the picture of a goat, no direct link sorry)


You don't have to give up your car completely, and it's a false sort of nobility. Just buy a used (but reliable) inexpensive car, drive less, and keep it maintained.

BTW, about running away from zombies...ever considered that you yourself are in fact the zombie? No offense intended. Realizing that one is a zombie (or peasant, take your pick) can do wonders for peace of mind.

Zombies are at an all time low level, but the *FEAR* of Zombies could be incredibly high. It doesn't mean you have to have government policies to deal with the fear of zombies...

Dara O'Briain


Sarcasm appears several times in the Old Testament,; for example it seems to underlie the rhetorical questions of Achish, king of Gath::

Lo, you see the man is mad; why then have you brought him to me? Do I lack madmen, that you have brought this fellow to play the madman in my presence?
—I Sam 21:10-15

[1] Some authorities sharply distinguish sarcasm from irony,[2] however others argue that sarcasm may or often does involve irony.[3]

Source Wikipedia

Personally I find that rather ironic...and sanity is waaaay overrated! /sarcasm

HAcland: As you know, FOREX is the world money (currency) exchange, and they make money the old fashioned way. They gamble.

Well that requires a slight explanation. There is no real exchange called The FOREX. The Forex is a group of member banks around the world. They are all tied together through the Forex trading network. Trading with these banks is handled through brokers or directly with other banks. The brokers and banks do not gamble. Speculators who trade one currency for another are the gamblers.

The Forex charges no commission. They make their money because of the spread between the bid and ask prices. This difference, between major currencies, can be as low as three basis points. A basis point is three cents per one hundred dollars.

Ron P.

That is correct. Just as the brokers on Wall Street are not gambling... they are charging a fee to the gamblers. Just like the Stock Market, the Forex members make their money by charging the gamblers a fee, consider it a tax, on each wager. I submit, though, that it is the system that enables the gamblers, and it is the banks that enable the system. And, in Las Vegas, the Roulette wheel delivers a payout to the house with no risk on its part. To say that the house does not make its living from gambling, though, would be disingenuous, don't you agree? So... a distinction, but maybe not a difference?


Craig, before the Forex system came into being it was very cumbersom and very expensive to do international trade in different currencies. Now it is very quick, very easy and most important, very, very cheap. It cost almost nothing. Well it cost the difference between the bid and ask price, usually about three cents per hundred dollars.

Without the Forex we would have to go back to the old system and everything would cost a bit more and would be a whole lot slower. You cannot blame the system because speculators use it to gamble. Also the speculators serve a very important function, they make the system very liquid. Because of them there is always a bid and an offer for even the thinly traded currencies.

Ron P.

I have a few axes to grind with the idea of multiple currencies in a 'flat world.' Why is it necessary? For instance, imagine the U.S. with 50 different state currencies. What does each one represent. This system, among other things, facilitates labor arbitrage and economic dislocations of that sort.

I know, I know. The religious fanatics hate the idea of one world government or currency. They are nuts!

Part of the problem is that there is no standard for pay. IMO, value for work performed is what gives value to any product. Otherwise, you only have minerals and weeds. Anyone can pick up a stick. Until value is added, it is not property. I drop a stick, someone else picks it up, and no big deal. After I have worked the stick into a spear, worked some stone or metal into a spearhead, etc., it becomes mine. I set it aside for a moment, and when someone else picks it up I yell, "Hey! That's mine! I made that spear!"

And, here is one of my real gripes about capitalists who want lower taxes b/c they want to 'keep more of their profits.' They omit the fact that they have not allowed the people who created the goods (the laborers) to keep more of the product of their labor. Some of these people are nominal Christians who neglect reading their own holy book. The Bible warns that a 'laborer is worthy of his hire.' That means, pay a living wage. Currency arbitrage leads to labor arbitrage which leads to child labor and adult labor for less than living wages. It is part of the evil of greed that has taken over our nation and our world in the name of Capitalism, supported by all of those economic shibboleths handed down by Milt Friedman, distorted by Ron Reagan, and weirded out by Paul Krugman (all among others).

Forex facilitates the easy exchange of money; it is largely unregulated and so it is easily manipulated to fuel the greed of those speculators. Sorry for the rant.


I have a few axes to grind with the idea of multiple currencies in a 'flat world.' Why is it necessary?

Like many other things in this world Craig, different currencies are not there because they are necessary. They were there from the very beginning, just like tribes then borders. Also many countries want their own currency. Also the inflation rate is very different in some countries. It is best that they have their own currency.

Currency is simply a medium of exchange. It facilitates trade where the barter system would be much more cumbersome and much slower.

April 2010, average daily turnover in global foreign exchange markets is estimated at $3.98 trillion, a growth of approximately 20% over the $3.21 trillion daily volume as of April 2007.

Forex facilitates the easy exchange of money; it is largely unregulated and so it is easily manipulated to fuel the greed of those speculators.

Sorry but you are dead wrong on that one Craig. The FOREX is largely unregulated because first it needs little regulation and it would be nearly impossible to regulate. There are sellers with hundreds of millions of dollars willing to sell and buyers with hundreds of millions of dollars in other currencies wishing to buy. There are scores of banks all bidding and offering currencies at the same time. Millions of dollars, or other currencies change hands every minute.

The Forex is dozens of banks, all bidding against each other. There is no one bank in control because the Forex is really nothing but an internet bidding system. Everyone is bidding one currency for another, that is the Forex!

The Forex is so large it is impossible to manipulate. Impossible because no one has that much money. Volume this past summer averaged 3.98 trillion a day.

Of the $3.98 trillion daily global turnover, trading in London accounted for around $1.36 trillion, or 34.1% of the total, making London by far the global center for foreign exchange. In second and third places respectively, trading in New York City accounted for 16.6%, and Tokyo accounted for 6.0%.

Foreign exchange market

That is 158.33 billion per hour or 2.64 billion per minute. So if you had a cool billion with which to try to "manipulate" the market then you could control the action for about 22 seconds.

Ron P.

"A basis point is three cents per one hundred dollars."
I think you didn't really mean to say that.

Thanks Geek for the correction. No, what I meant to say is that the difference between the bid and ask is usually three basis points which is three cents per hundred dollars. A basis point is one cent per hundred dollars.

Thanks again,

Ron P.

A basis point is one cent per hundred dollars.

Last I heard, a basis point is a cent per dollar, or a dollar per hundred.


It is 0.01%, or one cent per hundred dollars.


If anything I buy less gasoline as a result of this blog. So what is your point? This blog is critical information about the energy economy and its central role in our daily lives. Oil runs the entire global economy and supplies have not increased since 2005.

HAcland cannot even produce any data or statistics to the contrary that oil supplies have not increased since 2005. I guess you are naive and green around the ears still.

Stick with data and facts not commentary and opinions.

He's joking.

HAclund...when so many people don't get your sarcasm, maybe you should tone it down a little.

My bad ;-)

I think the 'Many People', should all go out and replace their sarcasm meters with new ones or have their current ones re-calibrated. Or just ship them all to me and for a small fee I'll fix them...
Oh, I also have a special on irony meters!

You have to understand that a lot of people really do believe the things you mean "sarcastically." The only reason I knew he was joking is because I know him and his posting style.

But not everyone does. Remember, the average forum has four lurkers for every commenter. And many of them will be newbies, or people who only visit once in awhile, not every day. This site is for them as much as for the "regulars."

Sarcasm often doesn't translate well online. The nonverbal cues you might pick up in person aren't there, and your audience (who are from all over the world, and may not share your culture and sense of humor) may not know you well enough to read between the lines.

Sarcasm often doesn't translate well online. The nonverbal cues you might pick up in person aren't there, and your audience (who are from all over the world, and may not share your culture and sense of humor) may not know you well enough to read between the lines.

As a wisecracking international polyglot mutt who comes from a multiethnic multicultural family who often get together and entertain each other with cross cultural jokes and multilingual puns my advice to all, regulars and lurkers would be to lighten up, try to broaden your own horizons but keep in mind that when in Rome, do as the Romans. And if perchance you're not sure if someone is being sarcastic or not, you might actually flat out ask them if they are being serious, my hunch is they'll probably let you know.

Oh, yeah and all roads hyperlinks lead to Rome TOD and you've got to admit, I've cut down on my gigantic graphics >;^)

Haclund is British, I believe. I suspect his countrymen would understand he was joking.

Unfortunately, here in the States, his "over the top" sarcasm is actually a mainstream view. You really can't expect people who don't know him to realize he's joking.

And thanks, I do appreciate that you've downsized your graphics. :-)

Unfortunately, here in the States, his "over the top" sarcasm is actually a mainstream view.

Now that's scary. In fact I was watching a programme about the Tea Party on BBC yesterday. The clips of Palin and Tea Party speakers at a rally could be quite easily confused as some over-the-top political parody. In fact they should employ some British political satirists to polish up their act and make them appear more somber and professional looking.

I've not been keeping abreast of the Tea Party and its progress, but boy was I horrified to hear them speaking and see people going along with them. Unbelievable.

I think politics in the US is a kind of theatrical thing. Drama and theater are remote from people`s lives---there are Hollywood movies, so cold, only the screen and technology. But politicians will perform live and they are "fun" (or horrifying) to watch there (politicians are not fun to watch in other countries so much).

In live drama there is interaction with the audience, meeting the audience`s expectations, having emotional connections with the audience.....all this is is American politics. The "bad guy" is the other side.

You would expect that the people who have suffered more (the have-nots, the angry, who are the Tea Party supporters) would be ripe for fleecing by some pretty slick politicians who can get millions of pretty gullible people to each give them $10 or even $20. It`s not hard, I bet.

The thing is that the supporters (as they go to gauge and diagnose what went wrong with the economy) lack the ability to see beyond the windshields of their cars and the screens of their televisions, there is no information filtering in beyond what they have been inculcated to process, very narrow. So they live in comparative isolation. Therefore they are ripe for fleecing.
Probably they do not think of it like this but the conned never do.

Anyway, how many "preachermen" rode into little towns and gave little entertaining talks (for a few pennies) that broke up the monotony of the day throughout centuries of history and all over the world? The Tea party is a bit like that.

boy was I horrified to hear them speaking and see people going along with them. Unbelievable.

We've had a kind of echo chamber, where a certain kind of personality is entertained by outrageous stuff said about anything liberal. Millions spend hours per day being entertained by such. When I grew up we used to have Federal media licensing reviews that forced some degree of accountability for obvious lies. But, not so anymore, trying to call someone on a lie is considered to be elitist and meanspirited. So these people have spent countless hours getting their brain emotionally programmed. I think this largescale psychology/social experiement is going to end quite badly.

I believe that in Britain they call it "taking the piss".
Which in itself, as with most things British, would require a lengthy explanation that would touch on history and even on the chemistry of hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate, (Alum).

That's why the false tag /sarcasm helps. In a multi-cultural, multi-first-language forum people need to keep aware of their style.


You are right, as a Brit, Hacland may be incorrectly assuming that Americans can pick up on sarcasm.

Wait, Americans don't get sarcasm? When did this happen?!

Perhaps it happened when they were baptized...

E. Swanson

the theory of peak oil has been revealed to be one of the biggest hoaxes’s ever perpetrated.

I must have missed this being revealed as well. Must pay more attention in future :)

There should be a weekly "revealing." Maybe on Faux News? They could 'reveal' that AGW is a hoax this week. Next week, Peak Oil. Who knows what they might reveal the week after?


Who knows what they might reveal the week after?

Umm, that the economic recovery really isn't happening?

No... what Faux News would 'reveal' is that the economy is great, but the Recession was Obama's fault.

Are you worried about Hungarians being and endangered species? I remember 20 years ago when there was concern b/c the population was still only 10 Mil. Things don't seem much different population-wise. It must be a perception thing?



I remember 20 years ago when there was concern b/c the population was still only 10 Mil. Things don't seem much different population-wise.

Yeah, current population of Hungary is 9,560,000, about 2 million less than my native city of Sao Paulo. But have you checked the number of Hungarians living in Cleveland?

HAcland -

Peak oil a hoax?

So now you tell me!

I could have saved myself over four years of worry and anxiety if you were around when I first started visiting The Oil Drum.

Don't worry .... be happy!

LOL. I used to yell hoax when I was a little kid, when I had little or no evidence to the contrary. I felt better even though deep down I knew my dad was right.

Lets toast in any case to infinite oil in the earth's crust ... oh wait ... the earth is not an infinite mass ... which means ... wait well eh oh oil cannot be infinite.


Clearly you lot are pushing the world's biggest hoax on us.

There are those in lifeboats and those remaining on board the Titanic sure it won't sink. So you're the latter - that's ok, we understand. There, there now everything's going to alright. Why don't you sit here with these folks. They're sure global warming is a hoax also.

I've decided my new PO 'outreach' efforts will be to occasionally go a little quiet, shake my head and say, out of the blue.. "In a couple of hours, this will all be at the Bottom of the Atlantic!"

or possibly, "Rose, I'm sorry I didn't build you a better ship!"

and say, out of the blue.. "In a couple of hours, this will all be at the Bottom of the Atlantic!"

And the person next to you will look at you and utter a sigh of relief and exclaim, "Whew, for a moment there I was worried, I'm sure glad that we're sailing in the South Pacific!" Though you still could have built us a better ship, you slacker!

What's Tapis? Where comest it from?

From Wikipedia

Tapis crude is a Malaysian crude oil used as a pricing benchmark in Singapore. While it is not traded on a market like Brent Crude or West Texas Intermediate, it is often used as an oil marker for Asia.

Funny. I though it was a fish... served blackened, in the New Orleans style.


Spanish appetizers?

LOL! With lots of extra virgin olive OIL

Is that correct? That's almost a 6% rise since previous close. Bloomberg's spot chart for Tapis is not showing that (yet?).

Value 90.45
Change 1.040 (1.163%)
Open 90.45
High 90.45
Low 90.45

One-Year Chart for Asia Pac Tapis Crude Spot (APCRTAPI:IND)

Yes that is likely correct. Updated: 02 November 2010 14:00 GMT USD/bbl. In thinly traded spot markets a jump of 5.32 percent is not all that unusual.

Ron P.

That leaves the question why the leading market trading platform (Bloomberg) doesn't have the data. A quick search shows no news agencies reporting this jump. Last reference Google finds posted three hours ago by ABC News Australia says


But Tapis has eased to $US89.41

Louisiana Sweet 86.96

Try this site for a range of prices for various crudes:


Erm, that's the link that started this thread.

I just realised that ... you were too quick for me, I tried to delete it. I always use Upstream as it gives a quick overview of the world situation, for a range of different crudes, and not just USA or UK.

L. F. Buz Ivanhoe on Russian oil production (former Soviet Union) 1998


As the article up top: Russian oil output hits all-time record-high states, five new fields have ramped up to full production, or are in the process of doing so.

Russia overtook Saudi Arabia, where production is restricted by OPEC-imposed quotas, as the world's largest producer as new fields were launched, including Yuzhnoe Khylchuyu, Vankor, Uvat and Talakan.

Most of these fields came on line last year and have been ramping up ever since. Vankor being the largest. I don't know how much they have to go but I think most are now fully now on line. But the tax rate goes up this month on all exports from their old fields. New fields in the Arctic are still exempt from that tax.

Anyway I expect production from older fields to drop considerably as the higher tax discourages production from these older fields. I would not be surprised if October is the all time high for Russian production.

Ron P.

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: QE2 risks currency wars and the end of dollar hegemony
As the US Federal Reserve meets today to decide whether its next blast of quantitative easing should be $1 trillion or a more cautious $500bn, it does so knowing that China and the emerging world view the policy as an attempt to drive down the dollar.

But whatever the rights and wrongs of the argument, the reality is that a chorus of Chinese officials and advisers is demanding that China switch reserves into gold or forms of oil. As this anti-dollar revolt gathers momentum worldwide, the US risks losing its "exorbitant privilege" of currency hegemony – to use the term of Charles de Gaulle.

Well, Ambrose may have not noticed, but the currency war has been well underway for some time now, and the Chinese are in the thick of it. Note that the Chinese are making major investments in the European bond market:

During his recent European tour, Mr. Wen reminded politicians in Brussels that China had acted as “a friend” to Greece, Spain, Italy and other troubled European countries in their darkest hour by buying bonds as other investors fled. In return, he admonished regional leaders not to “pressure China on the yuan’s appreciation,” referring to the Chinese currency, formally called the renminbi.


Of course, the Germans earlier this year successfully, at least temporarily, used the so-called Greek crisis to bring down the Euro.

The problem with the 'end of dollar hegemony' talk is that a credible alternative does not exist.

Paul Krugman isn't expecting much from Quantitative Easing:

I’ve been asked by various people what I would do if I were Bernanke, and/or if I were in charge of the Fed. Those aren’t the same thing: Ben Bernanke isn’t a dictator, and the evidence suggests that he’d be substantially more aggressive in both his actions and his rhetoric if he weren’t constrained by the need to bring his colleagues with him.

So I don’t know what I’d do in his place. What I’d do if I were really in charge of the Fed, however, is the same thing I advocated for Japan way back when: announce a fairly high inflation target over an extended period, and commit to meeting that target.

What am I talking about? Something like a commitment to achieve 5 percent annual inflation over the next 5 years — or, perhaps better, to hit a price level 28 percent higher at the end of 2015 than the level today. (Compounding) Crucially, this target would have to be non-contingent — not something you’ll call off if the economy recovers. Why? Because the point is to move expectations, and that means locking in the price rise whatever happens.

It’s also crucial to understand that a half-hearted version of this policy won’t work. If you say, well, 5 percent sounds like a lot, maybe let’s just shoot for 2.5, you wouldn’t reduce real rates enough to get to full employment even if people believed you — and because you wouldn’t hit full employment, you wouldn’t manage to deliver the inflation, so people won’t believe you. Similarly, targeting nominal GDP growth at some normal rate won’t work — you have to get people to believe in a period of way above normal price and GDP growth, or the whole thing falls flat.

As I wrote way back, the Fed needs to credibly promise to be irresponsible...

The sad truth, of course, is that the chance of actually getting anything like this are no better than those of getting an adequate fiscal stimulus — at least for now. QE as currently contemplated is mild mitigation at best. What one has to hope is that as the reality that we’re in a liquidity trap sinks in (amazing how long that’s taking), as the fact that we’re doing worse than Japan starts to finally penetrate our arrogance, we’ll eventually get there...


If Krugman is correct, and given that the Republican "solution" to our problems is to cut spending, things are likely to get much, much, worse. Obama may actually be lucky that the Republicans are taking over congress. But then,who will be blamed for the coming debacle?

Having said that, what really needs to be done is to figure out how to have a tolerable society without growth. Not gonna happen anytime soon, of course. It's tooth and claw all the way.

A history of sterling

At the same time, Britain's trading partners in the sterling block - mostly her colonies - wanted consumer goods, which the UK could not supply. The UK was still geared for war supply.
These nations turned to the USA and dollars for their consumer necessaries, further weakening the British economy, and by 1949 sterling's importance as a reserve currency was severely on the wane. Sir Stafford Cripps, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, accepted this uncomfortable fact, although he denied it in public.
The pound was devalued by 30 per cent on September 18 1949. The enormous postwar balance of payments deficit was just too much for the UK. Lend lease and debt due America had taken its toll. Sterling's weakness and decline then became glaring. National banks wanted dollars not pounds.

Substitute China for USA and USA for UK, and read again.

"the Fed needs to credibly promise to be irresponsible..."

"Ben Bernanke isn’t a dictator, and the evidence suggests that he’d be substantially more aggressive in both his actions and his rhetoric if he weren’t constrained by the need to bring his colleagues with him. "

Well, the Fed has done a very good job of being irresponsible for the past two decades, and we should be grateful there were some sane members on the FRB..

Also, thank God no one takes seriously anymore the educated fool called Krugman. The NYT will eventually transfer his column to the comics section, where his audience spends most of its time anyway.

Saw this amazing bit of information over on zerohedge regarding the Fed's irresponsibility:

It is no coincidence that after Richard Nixon closed the gold window in 1971 and allowed the Federal Reserve to “manage” our economy that total debt outstanding in the US surged from $2 trillion to over $50 trillion. GDP has risen by 1,300% since 1971, while total US debt has risen by 2,600%. Now for the kicker. Real GDP has only gone up by 292% since 1971. This means that 1,000% of the increase in GDP was from Federal Reserve created inflation. Over this same time frame, real wages have declined by 6%, from $318 per week in 1971 to $299 per week today.

Talk about smoke and mirrors.

Something I never thought of until reading Dmiti Orlov's recent blog post on peak oil (http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2010/11/peak-oil-is-history.html) is that the US oil peak and the move of the dollar off of the gold standard must be related:

For instance, suppose one of the world's largest oil producers, which started out with more oil than Saudi Arabia, reaches Peak Oil in, say, 1970, but then promptly goes off the gold standard, foists its paper currency on the rest of the world by backing it up with the threat of force including the possibility of a nuclear first strike, eventually comes to import over 60% of its petroleum, much of it on credit, and, a few decades later, goes bankrupt.

Can't keep the dollar on the gold standard when you know that you are going to have to pay other countries for oil in dollars because you may want inflate the dollar to counter the oil producers' price increases!


Brief summary of Orlov. "Life as we know it" probably ends a few months from now but if we are "lucky" we have a few years. Oil production crashes. Bye Bye.

Suppose you are a national oil company in an oil-rich nation that still has enough oil left for domestic consumption, although it was recently forced to fire all of its international customers. Your oil fields are huge but mature, and you can only keep them in production by continuously drilling new horizontal wells just above the ever-rising water cut and maintaining well pressure by injecting seawater underneath. If you stop or even pause this activity, then your oil, at the wellhead, will quickly change in composition from slightly watery oil to slightly oily water, which you might as well just pump back underground. And now it turns out that the equipment you need to keep drilling horizontal wells comes from one of these unlucky countries that used to import your oil but now cannot, and the technicians who used to build your equipment have given up trying to find enough black-market gasoline to drive to work and are busy digging up their suburban backyards to grow potatoes. A short while later your drilling operations run out of spare parts, your oil production crashes, and most of your remaining reserves are left underground, contributing to an increasingly important reserve category: never-to-be-produced reserves.

...If we wish to prepare, we most likely have a few months, we may have a few years, but we certainly do not have a few decades. Let those who would have you believe otherwise first consider the issues I have raised in this article.

Wars are stimulation, so is the prolonged low interest rates in 8 of the last 10 years. Tax cuts are stimulation as is earmarks, subsidies, mortgage subsidies, and so on. The economy is 40% local, state and Federal spending which is the epitome of stimulation. The stupidity of further stimulation is a gigantic fraud on anyone under 45 years of age.

Actually it is the DSGE group who are the fools, and Krugman and his kind are more or less vindicated.

But, you evidently worship at the altar of Saint Ronnie the Wrong, and believe the pap put forth as economic wisdom by the neo-Cons and the Trickle Down Tribe.

It took 28 years of greed, stupidity and willful disregard for anything beyond the next quarterly balance sheet to place the world's economy in serious peril. The remedies selected were grasped in desperation by a group of fools who were guessing, just as I would be. If Obama failed, it was by listening to Paulson, Geithner and Bernanke. If he is disliked by many who voted for him, it was not for what he did, but for what he did not do. Strangely, we may see Congress try to revisit the failed policies of 1980-2008.

Compounding all of this, there is no cheap energy on which to fall back; nothing will make recovery easy, or more to the point, nothing to allow full recovery. What confuses me is who you refer to as sane members of the FRB. I have seen little done by the Fed other than the failed semi-religious adherence to economic policies directed at trying to cure inflation by creating unemployment, and then trying to create employment by attempting to create inflation. It isn't working, in case you failed to notice.

OTOH, Krugman is an economist, and like the rest he too is guessing. So, educated fool he may well be. Less the fool, however, than Milton Friedman, et al.


Maybe we should just bury Krugman and then pay people to dig him back up.

That might produce some jobs - the Krugman way.

I apologize for responding at all - any conversation that takes seriously Paul Krugman and anything he has to say is a waste of time.

The New York Times doesn't have a comics section.

au contraire!

Krugman says:

Something like a commitment to achieve 5 percent annual inflation over the next 5 years — or, perhaps better, to hit a price level 28 percent higher at the end of 2015 than the level today. (Compounding)

What Krugman is advocating is a massive default via inflation on the part of the US government. Interest rates held very low while inflation soars.

Of course, the housing bubble was created on Krugman's advice. From 2002:

To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.


A housing bubble built on FRAUD from the highest levels of the Fed/Treasury, down to the lowliest robosigner..

And further attempts to keep the housing bubble going lead only to further FRAUD:

Gee The FRAUD In HAMP Is Coming Out?

HAMP was a scam and a fraud. It was designed to induce people to default on their loans on purpose in order to get a modification.

Yeah, we need more Krugmans and Greenspans and Bernankes and Paulsons... in prison, where they belong.

If you could read, you would know that Krugman has been a strong and effective critic of Greenspan for a very long time. Not to mention Paulson and the regime he served. Krugman has also continually expressed his exasperation with Bernanke and his fellow governors. He criticizes and he offers advice and he does it based on evidence and analysis.

But you can't bring yourself to read, can you? That would involve exposing yourself to evidence and mastering logical thinking.

You would rather just snarl and let ignorance hold sway.

I don't worry about peak oil. I worry about bad policy responses, the kind that derive from ignorance, especially hateful ignorance.

Deleveraging takes a long time. Krugman has laid a few eggs in his time, and maybe it's time for a plan that fits the circumstances better than causing rampant inflation, like Paul Volcker in 1980. Painful as it was, his plan was effective in getting a base from which to get real, not phony growth.

The US is over its head in debt. Inflation should not be the terror of seniors it was. Most retired people will get indexed income from social security and their #1 asset, housing prices should rebound in a mildly inflationary(5%) environment.
The well-to-do folks who own lots of bonds and the banks are most threatened by 'hyperinflation'. But they can always buy gold to assuage their fear.

Hyperinflation is roughly defined by price escalation of 26% sustained over 3 years. The German hyperinflation was a deliberate policy of printing banknotes to pay off the impossible reparations of the Treaty of Versailles.

Since striking workers were paid benefits by the state, much additional currency was printed, fueling a period of hyperinflation. The 1920s German inflation started when Germany had no goods with which to trade. The government printed money to deal with the crisis; this allowed Germany to pay war loans and reparations with worthless marks, and helped formerly great industrialists to pay back their own loans. This also led to pay raises for workers and for businessmen who wanted to profit from it. Circulation of money rocketed, and soon the Germans discovered their money was worthless. The value of the Papiermark had declined from 4.2 per US dollar at the outbreak of World War I to 1 million per dollar by August 1923. This led to further criticism of the Republic. On 15 November 1923, a new currency, the Rentenmark, was introduced at the rate of 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000) Papiermark for one Rentenmark, an action known as a monetary reset. At that time, one U.S. dollar was equal to 4.2 Rentenmark. Reparation payments resumed, and the Ruhr was returned to Germany under the Locarno Pact, which defined a border between Germany, France and Belgium.


Inflation should not be the terror of seniors it was. Most retired people will get indexed income from social security and their #1 asset, housing prices should rebound in a mildly inflationary(5%) environment.

Most retired people have some part of their income indexed -- but only the poorest derive a large majority of their retirement income from Social Security. And you can only sell your house once, or set up a reverse mortgage once. Inflation after that sale does them no good. As my knowledgeable 80-year-old mother asks, "Why does the Federal Reserve hate me?"

I agree.
Once inflation begins in earnest there will be a political marriage-of-convenience between seniors and the investor class to stop it.
Paul Volker has by now become a folk hero, lionized by both left and right.
I would bet most of the current Federal Reserve governors fantasize about being the chosen one to apply the 'tough medicine'.
Fiscal restraint of the kind necessary to be effective is a political impossibility.
But monetary restraint in the form of painfully high interest rates can be accomplished.
Predicting economic policies in this irrational world is a fool's game, but that seems like the most likely scenario to me...
a political imperative to control inflation followed by a calculated effort to crush demand, much as Memmel suggested.
No secret cabals needed, just the 'functional equivalent' of a conspiracy, implemented by 'our' Federal Reserve.

We're talking about only 5% inflation. When Volker came in it was
18%. The fact is that the amount of debt is so high that it can never be paid off, especially when robust economic growth in the US is pretty much doomed by globalization.

A lot of comments here show that people aren't willing to
face facts and are praying the government will preserve the value of their investments but it's really out of their hands.

Their wealth will melt away AND the economy will stall.
It will be the worst of both worlds.

"Most retired people will get indexed income from social security"

The index is well below the actual inflation rate. Both parties like to tinker with it to make themselves look better. Social Security is less than half your retirement income, and this is from the Social Security Administration. Krugman wishes to dissipate the rest of your assets as quickly as possible, 1/4 to vanish every five years by his own calculations. This works out to a loss of 2/3 of my current savings by the time I retire in 15 years.

And the rate of return on investment is a whole 1 % at the bank. So I'd be forced to play the wildest and riskiest markets to have a chance of keeping up.

I've been reading his blog for years (know your enemy and all that) and Krugman is a cornucopian. The real economy will grow at real rate of 3% or better forever. There are no resource limits. And if there are, government regulation can cure them.

And by all means, spend your cash at once, you evil hoarder, and if you have no cash get a loan and spend that. It's all good for GDP. You don't have to use what you buy, just toss it in the dumpster on the way in the McMansion. The trash truck is good for GDP too.

It's quite appalling what passes for Liberal these days.

Of course, the housing bubble was created on Krugman's advice.

I see that the earlier discussion about sarcasm wasn't for you.

In fact, either you don't understand much of what you read, or dipping into an article and extracting a sentence meant sarcastically and presenting it as a prescription is a part of an agenda of disinformation and character assassination.

Are you paid? Or do you work for darkness voluntarily?

Krugman has gone on the record many times supporting Greenspan's decision to keep interest rates low for a long time.

He's criticizes everyone....he's a columnist. That means nothing. The question is: What policies does he support?

Now he's gone on record supporting 5% inflation. Several times previously he's talked up 4%. This isn't controversial BTW. Krugman does not believe that stable money is at all a priority.

What's happening is that the Fed is doing just enough to avoid collapse, but not enough to result in meaningful stimulus or "growth."

One on hand the Fed could print $15 trillion and the government could go on a massive spending spree and jobs program. This is the approach favored by Krugman and ilk. If we did it, it would definitely work...we would solve unemployment, most would be better off, and you could even argue that the deficit incurred wouldn't matter, because it would be payed by a productive economy.

But the catch is that we would still have a massive hangover at some point, and we would hit a resource wall once again.

The other approach, favored by Austrian theory, which has long been on the fringe, is to just let the collapse happen. Everybody would feel epic amounts of pain...asset classes would plummet, we would have 30, 40% unemployment. But at some point, and nobody knows when, the pain would stop and we would reach a lower bound. From this point, those still standing begin to rebuilt the economy.

It is very instructive that we are not doing either of those. The first is politically difficult, and besides the corporate and financial oligarchs have long ceased to care about the well being of the American populace. The second approach is not favored because even the oligarchs would face losses, and they would risk popular uprising.

So instead we have the zombie approach (the same approach used in the Iraq/Afghanistan wars). Do just enough to maintain a veneer of optimism/trust/confidence. Never enough to achieve any sort of victory or anything good, but don't let the house of cards collapse, either.

As any child of 6 or idiot savant can tell you, this will all end in tears.

I ask everybody here: How does it feel to be a zombie?

(As in the movie "The Sixth Sense") for most of us our auto centric suburban way of life is dead, but most of us don't know it yet, and we only see what we want to see.

Krugman and those who think like him do not and would not favour a $15 trillion dollar stimulus program. They favoured the $1.2 trillion fiscal program proposed by Christine Romer, but rejucted by Summers and the politicos around Obama. They favoured this amount for good reason because there are thresholds of effectiveness with stimulus spending on the top as well as the bottom end.

You can google Krugmans debate with James Galbraith to see some of the reasoning he would apply to the $15 trillion idea.

What the US is getting is a policy response which was enough to avoid a massive economic contraction, but not enough to avoid the growth of long term, unemployment. Millions are and will suffer, unnecessarily, because of the timidity of the administration's response.

But just look at the degree of ignorance here on TOD about deficits, the fact-free boogey-man characterizations, which are about as useful as the paleolithic idea of a vengeful god in the volcano. People who are clueless about basic concepts like accounting identities.

And so, in this punishment driven society, innocents will be sacrificed to appease some imagined demon god. Only we won't admit their innocence; instead we will find some reason to tar them deserving of their 'fate'.

Toil, the US is staring limits-to-growth in the face. Millions are going to suffer anyway since the economy is geared to need growth to live.

Krugman is proposing to use inflation to create an illusion of prosperity. Will make things even worse. People of means will front run the fed and beat inflation while the little guy will face the full cost of huge food and fuel increases.

The real debate here is over what flavor of catabolic squeeze you prefer.

Krugman is proposing to use inflation to create an illusion of prosperity.

The real motivation for creating inflationary expectations is not the direct lessoning of debt, but rather that economic players would be more willing to spend if they think prices are going to go up. It is a way of creating more demand by manipulating the psychology of the participants.

You are right. TFO. We have any number of economic theories, all backed by folks who hold them like a religious belief. In fact, some conflate them with their religion.

Moreover, all are simply guessing. None of the theories are holding true. Nothing is going as predicted... not by any one of the opposing factions of economics idiots. Why does the Nobel committee give recognition to any of these guys?

The simple fact is that money, its creation and so forth, are understood on only a basic level, and its relationship to overall economies is a complete mystery. It is like physicists trying to come up with a unified theory. It is their holy grail, and yet it eludes them all. At least with our scientists no one claims to have succeeded! And still, there are mighty fights between adherents of string theory, contrasting with M-theory, and so forth.

I do like your closing! "And so, in this punishment driven society, innocents will be sacrificed to appease some imagined demon god. " Good stuff!


Full disclosure: I do not have the answer. Sorry! c

Some people, economists, look at the evidence and come up with explanatory models. If the models explain well, they are used to prescribe. The models that Krugman uses, explain well, better than any of the rival models.

Sadly, the policy flavour of the month, austerity, derives from the models with a poor explanatory record.

You can learn this, all for free, if you go back through enough of Krugman's blogs and through the links he provides, often to the purveyors of those different models.

The economy is a human construct. It has engineered systems like the financial system. People like to jump and shout about fiat money, as though it was an illegitimate package carrying the seeds of a deadly pathogen, when in fact fiat money is a technological wonder. On the level of the number '0', in terms of its usefulness to the process of civilization.

People like Krugman are a gift to the rest of us. Through hard work, they have great insight into this technology, this construct and they combine it with empathy for their fellow beings. They are not serving any master.

Rather than dissing them, you should read them. Wish I had more time.

Krugman as a gift is hilarius. Just 3 short years ago a responsible saver who invested a million in treasuries would earn something like 50k per year in ultra safe 1yr cd's, today those same people are left with a risk free 1 year return that will earn them a 8 to 10 thousand, money is losing it's value quite quickly. Krugman's a tool. There is no answer that will not end in economic pain for the majority. As Krugman's plan would massively devalue the dollar-what will happen to the price of oil when all those "new" jobs are created, hmmm.... combine inreased demand in oil with a lower dollar. Sounds like a plan.

I spoke with quite of few co workers and customers over the last few days and mentioned QE 2,almost all have no friggin clue what I was taliking about. Its easier to steal from the ignorant masses,than to tell them that things will get much worse before they will get better.

People like Krugman are a gift to the rest of us.

I actually think Krugman has the best intentions and I honor that. I also honor that he has some compassion. That seems to be in short supply.

However, I truly think he doesn't get it and his models are dead wrong.

If you want an economist who gets, start reading Steve Keen. You could, for instance, watch his presentation to the American Monetary Institute Why Credit Money Crashes in which he explains precisely why Krugman's models are incorrect. He was one of the three-dozen or so economists who saw this mess coming because he used the flow of funds or accounting model to understand the economy. Krugman does not and thus will continue to make recommendations that don't make sense.

I know this is hard for most people to believe, but most economists (almost all 15,000 in the U.S. alone) are using bad models (they use "equilibrium" models). Specifically, they don't include debt in their model because they see it simply as the transfer of purchasing power from the lender to the borrower and the overall balance is undisturbed. Loans == savings.

However, back in the real world, debt makes a huge difference.

"What?!" you say? "Shouldn't every model include debt?!?" Yes they should and yet most economists discount it pretty much entirely:

Fisher’s idea was less influential in academic circles, though, because of the counterargument that debt-deflation represented no more than a redistribution from one group (debtors) to another (creditors).” (Bernanke, 2000)

Daft, no? I'll just go try to tell my banker that the credit card debt I owe "doesn't matter."

And that's one reason why the typical economist has such poor predictive power:

Economists Can't Predict Recessions

So, toilforoil, I don't know what you mean about their models having good explanatory power. They certainly don't have a good track record for predictive power. They completely missed this current crash and missed just about all the others, too.

The Queen asked me, "If these things were so large, how come everyone missed them?”
— Professor Luis Garicano, director of research at the London School of Economic's management department

November 5, 2008

They missed them, my dear Queen (I'm Canadian so I can say that), because those blokes are using models that have conceptual holes so big you could drive a lorry through them.

Another big mistake is that most economists and bankers think that deposits create loans when it has been demonstrated empirically over that last two decades that loans are created first, then the banks go find the reserves.

There are a bunch of other mistakes the mainstream economist makes; they are all in their blind spot.

I spoke to a fellow from the IMF about this at the ASPO conference and he pointed out to me that it wasn't inherent in the equilibrium models that debt was omitted. In other words, it could be included if the economists saw the need for it. He thought he'd have the math ready in about six months.

I felt like saying, "It's a little late for that, don't you think?" but I bit my tongue.

People like Krugman are a gift to the rest of us. Through hard work, they have great insight into this technology, this construct and they combine it with empathy for their fellow beings. They are not serving any master.

Holy smokin bazookas! You sir, owe me one spankin new irony meter! Cuz mine just shattered into a bazillion little pieces...

And so, in this punishment driven society, innocents will be sacrificed to appease some imagined demon god

But, that unfortunately is just common human nature. Few can sit down and reason about economics, creating an tesing a model, then letting the math tell us how things respond. We are instead moral creatures, always looking for
good guys and bad guys, and wishing to punish the later. So if the models contradict our moral-emotional compass, we reject them. Logical argumentation is used to place a veneer of analysis around the result we arrived at by other nonrational processes.

Now IMO, we are entering some new economic/political territory, classical financial meltdown, with big time resource limits waiting in the wings. Without the later constraints, big stimulus as a way out would work, the problem this time is that their may be no coming out. Then what we do about the deficits we can't pay back? [I'm not saying fear of deficits should be the driver here, only that if we did stimulate enough to get back to the resource ceiling, we would then have to devise a nonstandard way to deal with the deficit hangover, as being able to pay it back painlessly because of growth won't happen this time.]

We already know what a low per capita energy, high population density city, dependent on its agricultural hinterland, looks like. See Kolkata and West_Bengal.

The only question is how to manage the economic trajectory from the present to the future. Another boom is pointless, since it is going in the wrong direction. A bust is premature and unnecessary. So a managed decline is appropriate.

"One on hand the Fed could print $15 trillion and the government could go on a massive spending spree and jobs program."

Doing what? It will take a decade to get the permits for any public works program that big. War with Iran would be much quicker, and siphon up 2 million young and unemployed men to go to the killing fields and not come back.

All it requires is a complete disregard for human life, to be a good talker, and ambition. I really hope we don't get those three qualities in the same person again.

China, or at least one of its state mining companies, seems to want its reserves switched to copper ore. An entire mountain in Peru shipped to China.


Wonder if Jeff Rubin will weigh in on this double "schlepping"

Edit: Years ago, we dug a big hole out of Butte, MT for copper, but I don't know of a scale to match this. And we smelted the ore on site. You would think that we've run out of the energy to carry on like this, but apparently not so.

Good News from the Pacific Northwest

future energy conference

I'll be attending and will be very interested to see how many folks at this conference are aware of Peak Oil.

Peak oil is not evident from their agenda. Let us know what you learn.

It sounds a fair amount like a how-to workshop for implementing renewable energy and energy efficiency programs, with a few topics that may (??) give a broader overview. Under "Why attend" it says:

The Future Energy Conference is the place to learn, interact with your peers, and do business. Join us for two days full of educational sessions, keynote presentations, and an exhibit floor, all providing the opportunity to:

  • Gain an up-to-date perspective on the state of the industry, policy developments, and emerging technologies.
  • Learn the keys to successfully design, finance, and build renewable energy projects.
  • Learn how energy efficiency can enhance business profitability - and how to implement & pay for it.
  • Explore how to do business in Washington - and with whom.
  • Explore opportunities for your business in supplying the energy industry.
  • Learn about supportive programs and incentives.
  • Meet and network with colleagues, partners, and customers.

From a few days ago but don't remember the latest MasterCard SpendingPulse report being mentioned.


He (Jakob) also charged US gasoline demand implied by EIA “is in total contradiction” with the latest MasterCard Spending Pulse report showing a 1.7% drop in the week for retail gasoline sales, “down 2.7% from the same week in 2009 and down 1.3% on the 4-week average.”

If demand really is down 2.7%, that's quite striking. The US population is 2-3 million people larger, yet gasoline demand is down.

Nov 1 issue of Barrons shows "Petroleum, daily runs" down 2.2% year over year at 13,888 thousand barrels.

Gasoline inventories up 6.38% YOY at 222,941 thousand barrels.

Note that if prices rise faster than volume declines, the GDP still increases.

How about diesel?

Some have suggested that that's the true measure of the economy, since that's what trucks run on.

Per the Bloomberg article in the OP, it is being shipped to France. Also 30% of homes in Northeast heat with oil. So expect high prices this winter.

EIA liquid fuels consumption data can be very heavily revised before the final monthly number appears on their web page. (As much as 500,000 barrels per day) Their weekly numbers are guesswork based on polling a few vendors. The final monthly number is based on full accounting.

Yes I'm aware of that and frequently point it out myself - I have seen revisions of several percent and Gail did a key post on it at one point. Even the monthly numbers can occasionally be revised substantially later on.

If the EIA is overestimating consumption in general it is possibly overestimating US production to balance as well.

The diesel part is especially difficult to get right on a weekly basis.

Oh look, we have had it all wrong! Its the environmentalists that are destroying the planet after all. The financial press and big business is here to save us.

Shut off the board, we can all go home now.

Forget Halloween: It's the Greens That Scare Me

The factories, plants and smokestacks that green zealots charge with endangering humanity have actually improved the human condition


If human civilization is going to prosper, it will be the industrialists leading the charge towards a brighter tomorrow, despite the best efforts of the environmental movement to keep us stuck in the Dark Ages.

What scares me are hidden toxins and pollutants in the environment. Maybe if everyone was honest the green movement would not have any ammunition. Alas American politics in the age of zero compromise.

If you remember the Simpsons episode where Homer Gets to watch "Nuclear Energy, our misunderstood friend.", you'll appreciate this original Walt Disney Book I've got in my 'Precious Ironies' pile, "The Walt Disney story of OUR FRIEND THE ATOM", written by one Heinz Haber, Disney's "Chief Science Consultant" Interestingly, born in Germany in the teens, with a brother Dr. Fritz Haber, both staying in Germany to serve out both wars, (oy, they were in didies during the first one, of course!!).. and yet apparently NOT related immediately to 'our' Fritz Haber, Misunderstood Chemist Extraordinaire. http://www.hulu.com/watch/29838/the-simpsons-nuclear-energy-film


-Good Picture of him with Werner von Braun, there. "Our Germans are better than their Germans.." Sieg Smile!

A brighter, industrialized future, indeed! But will we be able to actually SEE any better, after putting on the requisite shades?

.. and here's Walt Hisself, to lay it right out in Black and White!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcdRQkJulAU (pt 1 of 5, the views expressed do not necessarily reflect TOD or it's associated member stations..)

Yet, objectively, we know .... [it is actually] The factories, plants and smokestacks that green zealots charge with endangering humanity [which] have actually improved the human condition. (source)

I saw a similar argument this morning by Jerry Taylor of "The Cato" Institute on C-SPAN. He argues that "wealth" is created by "brown" (dirty) energy and not by "green" energy

related link ( I couldn't find the more recent one)


edited: here it is, this one (found it now) Title= profitability of renewable energy

America's Recovery Has Now Exposed The Fact That A Large Chunk Of American Consumers Don't Even Matter

Yesterday, we learned from the BEA how consumer spending has made a full recovery, with real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) in September hitting its highest level since the crisis began.


From Farm to Fridge to Garbage Can

How much food does your family waste?

A lot, if you are typical. By most estimates, a quarter to half of all food produced in the United States goes uneaten — left in fields, spoiled in transport, thrown out at the grocery store, scraped into the garbage or forgotten until it spoils.

A study in Tompkins County, N.Y., showed that 40 percent of food waste occurred in the home. Another study, by the Cornell University Food and Brand Lab, found that 93 percent of respondents acknowledged buying foods they never used.

And worries about food safety prompt many of us to throw away perfectly good food. In a study at Oregon State University, consumers were shown three samples of iceberg lettuce, two of them with varying degrees of light brown on the edges and at the base. Although all three were edible, and the brown edges easily cut away, 40 percent of respondents said they would serve only the pristine lettuce.

I'm sure I'm hardly the only one here who can say this, but what little of the excess trimmings WE don't gag down ends up in our compost bin, which will either be good soil for the garden next season, or now, much of it is going to directly feed our neighbor's new chickens, and we just got our first eggs from the deal! I told Lorelei that those eggs were made from the crusts of the toast she won't eat.. so she gets another shot at them!

I still haven't seen them working out the problem of an Avocado Pit.

Funny you should mention an avocado pit. A couple of weeks ago I potted up a beautiful little avocado tree that sprouted in our compost pile. It's in my sun porch now, hopefully it will enjoy the New Hampshire winter there...

My compost pile is somewhat starved of input, since between the sheep and the chickens, just about everything gets used.

I think I am the farm animal in my house. I eat all the leftovers myself. LOL.
I have a worm compost bin and a traditional 3 x 3 x 3 foot pile too.
I hate wasted food. Kills me! Would like some chickens but that would be too big of change for the wife. We will see.

You're killing me..

So maybe if I made me an Arboretum sun-room, I could try to germinate an Aguacate up here, too? If Amory Lovins can do Bananas in the Rockies, why not? I have these wacko dreams of making 3/4 of a Spanish Hacienda up in the White MTs, where the center Courtyard/Garden gets Glazed over for the winter, and I have my Lemons, Avocados and Oranges (Maybe Ginger?) keeping us going...

Just half-joking, ( and the other half is probably just plain mad..)


An avocado pit got tossed into the compost pile, germinated into a nice little seedling, and I potted it up and brought it in with no thought to growing avocados. Just couldn't let it go down in the frosty NH nights. I'm sure as I type that it's wondering what the hell it's doing in New Hampshire to begin with :-)

They claim an avocado has to have another (presumably opposite) avocado nearby to pollinate it. Otherwise it won't bear fruit. I heard one person whose bore fruit without being near another one. He figured it was getting pollen from it's neighboring orange tree and maybe that is enough to fool it?

Some are self pollinating,some require another tree of opposite type (not sex - Google is your friend). Beware that there are animal and bird toxicity issues with the tree wood/bark and fruit. Don't use for perches.


EDIT mixed the last bit up with Mangos, Mango sap can cause allergic reactions.


That was the other one I wanted to grow.
Toxicity, huh?

Well, Maine is used to annoying invasives (like me).. what's a few more?

Mangoes grow quite easily but can take up to 20 years to fruit :( It is just the sap that is an issue with some people, they react quite violently even with skin contact, for the rest of us it is fine. It is recommended to wash any sap off the fruit before handling.


This guy grows bananas in Ohio, near Lake Erie.

I confess, I'm terrible. I waste a lot of food, especially since I started trying to learn to cook. The article is right. The fridge is so big (and I have a small one, for an American) I forget what's in it.

I'm trying to be better. I've put a memo board on the fridge door, where I write what's in the fridge so I remember to use it before it goes bad.

But sometimes, I honestly wonder if it would be better for the earth (and my budget) if I went back to frozen dinners.

I hear you, Leanan. Managing a kitchen and food inventory is not a trivial job. I am only part-time employed these days, while my partner is full-time, so I am the chief cook and bottle washer (plus I am a better cook than she is :-).

Before I go grocery shopping, I mount an expedition into the depths of our fridge to see what needs to be used up, so I can get the ingredients to complement whatever we have and make something interesting. It takes a fair amount of attention, and a repertoire of recipes, and a sense of how ingredients work together. We eat well, but we still manage to overlook some things and have them go bad.

That's where the sheep and the chickens (and the compost pile) come in.

I wish I'd paid more attention to what my mom was doing. She somehow managed to feed a family on a very tight budget, baked all her own bread, and worked full time. She always planned meals out for the whole week, used up the leftovers, and cleaned the fridge the night before she went shopping, so she knew what was in there and made room for new purchases. I'm not so organized. Not least because I don't have to be.

I would like to compost and keep chickens - I was interested in those topics even before I became concerned about peak oil - but I don't live in a place where that's possible at the moment.

Baking bread is but time consuming. I learned to cook with soups and breads first. Now I chop up tons of salad and fruit salad and make a couple of large meals on the weekend, which makes it until midweek. then me make something midweek to make it to the weekend.

We sneak in frozen things as well, since time can get tight.

I just ran my first batch of Tortillas the other day. They were easier than bread.. they're essentially pancakes (the way I did them anyway).. but I have some experimenting to get it right.. They do make for an easy Pizza, when you're in a rush, and I liked the Cinnamon Sugar-Toast Tortilla, tho' my 2nd grader didn't. (Because it's essentially ALL CRUST!, no doubt)

This works pretty good once you get the hang of it. Really is just a couple minutes to do.

Snag a fermentation crock. You can have an item or two on the menu that isn't subject to spoilage.

I hear you, Leanan. Managing a kitchen and food inventory is not a trivial job.

Well perhaps not... Just about everything is already barcoded nowadays. You could get a cheap barcode reader and scan stuff in and out with MS Excel and an old laptop. I had a scan module that attached to an old Pocket PC and ran a version of MS Excel. You can buy relatively cheap inventory management software if you don't want to work with Excel.It might sound like overkill for a single person but if you have a family, a fridge a freezer and a pantry it might start to make sense. You can track costs and quickly check what you have before you go shopping and you can even take your pocket PC with you to the supermarket and scan items as you're putting them into your shopping cart, you can download the scaned items to your home database later. If you're savvy with MS Access or even better, SQL Server, you can really set up a nice database and tracking system with what you probably already own.

Very funny.

Buy those "Hungry Man" meals by the pallet like i do. You'll never go hungry again.

I don't see it so much as waste as i do expensive compost.

Regarding An 80-Year Run for Nuclear Reactors?, at this point, we have virtually no experience on operating reactors beyond 40 years, since the vast majority are 40 years old or younger.

Also, 40 years from now, the world is likely to be a very different place. What are the chances that we will be able to decommission a nuclear reactor? Or even clean up after a major accident?

Talking about 80-year runs sounds like a lot to me. The Union of Concerned Scientists wrote a report in 2004 called U.S. Nuclear Plants in the 21st Century: THE RISK OF A LIFETIME.

Calder Hall operated for 47 years, 1956-2003. Built in 3.5 years on the orders of Winston Churchill. Final decommissioning in 2037.


Nicole Foss had a good point in one of her interviews. She said nuclear power is not a good match for a collapsing society. Just imagine the mess we'll be in when the power plant workers don't show up for work because they aren't getting paid or because they're at home taking care of their families. We got a small taste of that when the Soviet Union collapsed. Full blown civilization collapse will be a nightmare with all these nuclear plants. The smart thing to do would be to decommision them all now.

That's ridiculous, power-plants eventually be militarized along with all other strategic assets. And Dear Leader will make sure all the techs go to work. Now, the supply chain is another matter ...

Do you recall one of the classic Russian State-Labor Axioms?

"It's a fine arrangement. They pretend to pay us, and we pretend to work."

As I keep saying about Fission.. What could possibly go wrong?


'Europe must save shrinking African lake - Gaddafi'

This article from above, is regarding the shrinking of Lake Chad in Niger, which also supplies water for certain other surrounding countries. No where in that article does it explain its total capacity vs. how much is in the Lake now, or how long it might be before it might run dry. When is there rainy season? What is the forecast for this coming season? I don't get it - how can an article about a shrinking lake, fail to provide any numbers?

Blekko is a new search engine. It gave me many answers to your questions with one article. BBC.


Thanks for the link doug fir. Yes, much more informative article.

Reading a book about ancient Egyptian life. Population of 3 million at the height of the New Kingdom (1250BC) according to some estimates. Today there are 79 million people living in Egypt (mostly along the Nile). Yikes! Without energy for irrigation, chemical fertilizers and modern machinery, i highly doubt 79 million could survive. Fun times ahead for sure.

Don't know if its accurate, but just saw an oil price on CNBC of 84.40! Like I say, not sure that is right. Another source has 83.62

$84.41 right now. Showing up in graph at top right of page now. The Yahoo price chart is delayed a few minutes.

$84.50 for WTI. What do they know that we don't...?

The dollar is not looking so hot....

API shows larger-than-expected oil supply decrease

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday a decline of 4.1 million barrels on the nation's crude-oil inventories on the week ended Oct. 29.

Gasoline stocks declined 3.2 million, the API said.

The trade group also reported a decline of 4.7 million for distillates stocks.

Looks like all the floating storage has come ashore. Uh Oh.

Gasoline stocks declined 3.2 million, the API said.

I'm not surprised, at least by Northern Cal. traffic which has picked up considerably these past few weeks. People seem to have 'bought' that bit by the Govt. the recession is over and are teeing off at the pumps. The dollar is losing value like a snake shedding skin, OPEC via Kadahfi want 100 dollar a barrel oil, the Repubs are taking over congress, the stock market is rebounding and oil is raising the roof. Anyone ready for the next step down?

yesterday there was news here in japan that auto sales declined by 23% overall in October compared to last October. Down 50% for Mazda, 30% for Honda, 20+% each for Toyota and Nissan. Yay. This is great news. Because people need to stop buying cars so they can change the economy around so it isn`t oriented around oil and that has to start happening soon-----for obvious reasons!!! I`m very excited about this news!

In fact, I just bought a new Miyata bicycle to replace my old 13 year old one (which still works and which I will still keep, but wich was getting a bit rusty). The new one is also belt-driven. More bicycle commuting power to last another 12 or 13 years I hope. Maybe longer than my job will last!

I have a fully paid for 1996 Honda civic and well I wont replace it for a long long time. I just spent money on my bicycle and rather like the feeling of the outside air on my face each morning. The civic is the pinnacle of perfection with almost no maintenance issues. Peak car performance -- the late 1990s Civic.

Au contraire !

The W123 Mercedes Benz diesels, 1981 to 1985 were the peak of low maintenance reliability with the 240 D, manual transmission as the absolute pinnacle !

Best Hopes for Gathering Momentum,


In Spain car sales to private buyers fell in October 40% compared to the previous year in October. They are falling at more than 30% since the Summer.
Sales had been holding up because of a car-for-clunkers program, as soon as the money run out so did the sales.
Electric cars apparently cost around 30,000 euros about the same as a Renault Laguna. As long as there's gasoline or diesel for sale I don't see many people buying a electric car. Then it will be too late.

There was an article in the newspaper El País/Madrid complaining that cyclists were a cause of accidents. Apparently they keep on getting run over by car drivers.

Linked up top, EXCLUSIVE: PSYCHOLOGICAL INOCULATION FOR A CENTURY OF CHALLENGES--CAROLYN BAKER WITH NICOLE FOSS, Carolyn delivers a clear and important message on the general effects of living in the post peak oil world, but unfortunately repeats a somewhat muddled message about deflation and inflation.

Earlier this year, she contributed a topic here where she made some financial predictions, as did I on that thread. Generally I expected a rising stock market and falling dollar, and she the reverse. You can make your own judgment as to who was right, wrong, or may be right in the future.

However going forward, I strongly suggest that anyone do not accumulate any more paper dollars than you reasonably expect to use in an emergency situation, as it is quite likely they will worth less in the future - much less. It might be awhile before the dollar is effectively dropped or replaced in the US. Meanwhile it will continue to lose value, probably at a faster and faster rate, although the exchange rate against other major countries may not drop very fast. In general, most countries want to keep the value of the US dollar at worst slowly declining - and if possible, a fixed value against their currency. Therefore most of the world will follow the US down its inflationary path.

In general, most countries want to keep the value of the US dollar at worst slowly declining - and if possible, a fixed value against their currency. Therefore most of the world will follow the US down its inflationary path.

Based on the amount of the national debt and apparent direction Bernanke (white house) is taking via monetizing that debt by infusing huge amounts of money into the US economy to try to budge things forward, it would seem that we are on the threshold of a whole lot of inflation. The trouble with high rates of inflation (which I remember all too well from the 70's), is once it gets a tail wind of momentum its hard to stop. It can also exacerbate the situation if wages do not follow suit, and or with higher oil related costs by way of a devalued dollar.

I don't think we'll get inflation without wages following suit. As Nicole said, the fed can create money, but it can't move it. Without wages increasing, they're "pushing on a string."

I think that's likely to be the result. The consumer was providing some 70% of the US economic activity and without rising wages and a resumption of wild lending as seen during the Credit Bubble, it's unlikely that the US consumer could resume their purchases. I suspect that much of the stimulus money went into the stock and commodity markets, pushing up asset prices in another bubble. Without additional stimulus, those bubbles could also deflate, which I think may be Nicole's point of view. Of course, the banking interests are trying to create another Credit Bubble and as I understand Nicole's long term view, it is for more inflation...

E. Swanson

Nicole has said that all fiat currencies die inflationary deaths. So yes, the long term view is for inflation. But she believes by that time, we'll all have far more important things to worry about.

As the US $ declines in value (thanks to quantitative easing to infinity) commodities will spike. The spike in commodities will cause cost-push inflation. No need for wages to rise. Gasoline can rise to $10 per gallon and a cup of coffee can cost $10 without wages going up.

At some point the rest of the world will decide that the benefit of exporting to the US is not sufficient to offset the pain caused by expensive imported food and energy. At that point they will allow their currencies to rise. So oil can be $160 per barrel for Americans but only equivalent of $80 per barrel for the Chinese if the yuan doubles in value.

I think the US will still be in a relatively good position. The oil producing countries, for most part, cannot produce enough food to feed their populations. Nowhere near it. The US is still the world's largest food exporter (and should have an even larger surplus as we grow poorer). For some reason, foreign wealth continues to pour into the US. The dollar is the prettiest horse at the glue factory, I guess. But should that change, we still have food to trade. Barring catastrophic climate change, anyway.

At least 113 killed in series of Baghdad attacks
At least 17 coordinated explosions are set off in Shiite neighborhoods. Al Qaeda in Iraq is believed to be behind the violence, which appears aimed at igniting a new sectarian war.


The situation in Baghdad remain extremely unstable, with 17 explosions (at least 14 car bombs) simultaneously , the country is spiralling out of control; and the formation of a government is no where in sight; those banking on Iraq to delay peak oil will continue to be disappointed.


Is there any discussion about a connection between all the bombings today, and the 'packages' discovered.. and the US elections?

(I'm just waiting for the Bloomberg scoop, Spate of Bombings worldwide, on Dollar Drop .. well, they do it for the oil price..)


'OIL FUTURES: Crude Up As US Oil Stocks Fall'

December Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose 34 cents to $85.75 a barrel.

Back to BAU, gorging on oil, pressing the peddle to the metal, but no worries mate because there's Athabasca tar sands, Orinoco heavy oil, Kasaghstan high sulphur, Iraqi (brewing civil war), Arctic (mostly NG) and deep offshore to fall back on when the old giant fields drop and give us agua! Really the price of oil won't go that high, cough, cough, gag, sputter, croak!

It's interesting that the principal area of agreement among pundits Wednesday morning (especially on CNBC)--regarding the partial replacement of officers on the Titanic last night--was that both political parties need to work together to make sure that the economy grows.

My Doom-O-Meter is reading nearer the red zone this morning.

Drill baby!

I actually wish Congress would just open up the entire OCS and all of Alaska and pass further legislation to give any company drilling for/developing oil from those newly opened regions a permanent tax holiday for the revenues from those new ops.

One way or the other, the relentless talk of how 'environazis' are 'preventing energy independence for the U.S.' would be over, and maybe people, when convinced that every corner of our lands and waters have been explored, would be more ready to talk about both powering down and developing alternative energy sources.

Exactly. I scanned the mains regarding reducing the reserve numbers on the north slope. Nothing, nadda, zilch. I wonder who'll break the news to the peeps that someone stole our oil.

The administration and the new Congress should implement my idea above with a huge media splash: Presidential and Congressional press conferences, politicians and oil industry executives posing for pictures, magazine articles, 'America is saved by energy independence' rallies on the Mall, dogs, ponies, the whole deal.

And then they should set up a web site (accessible by smart phone), a FaceBook page, a Twitter account, etc. so that the public could watch the trend line of the U.S.'s proven reserves grow and grow and our trend line of imported oil drop and drop...or maybe what they will see on the government/industry partnership 'oil reserves vs consumption-meter' won't be what some of them expected...

And then maybe people would be ready to move on.

Is this before or after ignorance is eradicated? I see these plans as being very nice, but in reality, people can be wilfully dense, and that puts a spanner in the works for anyone who wants to be progressive.

I understand your point...however...until this issue is put to rest, talking heads will continually trot out the fantasy of the 'savior oil in the eco-forbidden lands' meme.

I say we go after this holy grail with gusto, and widely publish the results in everyone's face from the start. Time's square could have a 'U.S. oil reserves vs. production vs. consumptions vs. imports chart 24/7...use the Energy Data Browser!

Drive home the point that there is only so much, and that's all there is folks!

Did any of these pundits present a specific, detailed action plan of what is to be done, in what order, and and explanation of how each plan item will 'make the economy grow'?

I asked our congressmen what piece of legislation since 1970 was most responsible for "growing the economy"...... no answer.


It's interesting that the principal area of agreement among pundits Wednesday morning (especially on CNBC)--regarding the partial replacement of officers on the Titanic last night--was that both political parties need to work together to make sure that the economy grows.

CNBC should change their name to BAU.