Drumbeat: July 4, 2011

Britain considers central oil stockholding body

(Reuters) - Britain may create a central stockholding agency for oil reserves following a warning that could face emergency stock shortages within the next 10 years, a spokesman at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said.

Current stock levels are comfortable and well above the minimum requirement of 67.5 days of future consumption set by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

But new European requirements to come in force at the end of 2012 will set higher storage obligations, according to a briefing paper from the UK Petroleum Industry Association(UKPIA).

Genkai mayor OK's restart of N-reactors

SAGA--The mayor of Genkaicho, Saga Prefecture, told the president of Kyushu Electric Power Co. Monday that the company could restart two reactors at its nuclear power plant in the town.

Genkaicho Mayor Hideo Kishimoto is the first leader of a local government that hosts a nuclear plant to give the green light to resume reactor operations since the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Petrobras oil workers to protest over profit share

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Oil workers at Brazilian state-controlled energy giant Petrobras will stage on-site protests from Wednesday to demand a larger share of profits, the main oil workers' union said on Monday.

ANALYSIS - Behind "mad dog" image, Gaddafi may accept a deal

(Reuters) - Behind his image as a crazed tyrant, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi is fiercely intelligent, loves his family and just might do what everyone is least expecting and let go of power.

NY Official: Highly Unlikely to Issue Fracking Permits in 2011

New York State environmental authorities have determined that hydraulic fracturing can be safe, but the first permits to apply the controversial drilling technique won't likely be issued this year, the state's top environmental official said Friday.

International Energy Agency brings South Africa in from the cold

An agreement between the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the energy department will help South Africa become more energy efficient, minister Dipuo Peters said in Johannesburg on Monday.

"This ... is an important milestone for us because it seals the co-operative engagement that we enjoy with the IEA," she told reporters at Eskom's Megawatt Park.

Chu proposes energy efficiency initiative at Clinton conference

Energy Secretary Steven Chu used the Clinton Global Initiative conference in Chicago to announce today that 14 businesses, developers, financial organizations and local governments had agreed to take part in the Obama administration's Better Buildings Initiative, seeking private-sector investment in commercial building energy and water efficiency upgrades.

Power industry urged to curb emissions

Canada’s electricity sector needs to face up more strongly to environmental challenges such as increasing carbon emissions, says an advisory panel to the Canadian Electricity Association.

Montana Governor Schweitzer reviewing oil, gas pipeline safety

(Reuters) - Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer on Monday said authorities will review safety of all oil and gas pipelines crossing waterways in the state and close those that did not meet standards.

Oil spill outrages Montana residents

An oil spill in Montana's Yellowstone River surged toward North Dakota on Sunday as outraged residents demanded more government oversight of Exxon Mobil's cleanup.

Ruptured Montana Pipeline Was Shut Down Before

An Exxon Mobil pipeline that ruptured late Friday along the Yellowstone River in south-central Montana, spilling crude oil into the river and forcing evacuations, had been shut down for one day in May because of concerns over the rising waters on the Yellowstone, the company said Sunday.

The president of the Exxon Mobil Pipeline Company, Gary Pruessing, said in a conference call that the company decided to restart the line after examining its safety record and determining that the risks of failure were minimal.

Oil Rises in New York, Extending Weekly Gain, As Europe Agrees Greek Loan

Oil in New York traded near a two- week high after the European Union authorized a loan payout for Greece, easing speculation the country’s debt crisis will derail the region’s economic recovery.

Futures climbed as much as 0.6 percent after European finance ministers approved an 8.7 billion-euro ($12.6 billion) aid payment to Greece on July 2. Brent crude gained as much as 0.3 percent after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said the “downside risk” to oil would be “reduced proportionately” as sales of stockpiles from members of the International Energy Agency might be less than announced.

Iran to Keep Selling Oil to India After Warning on Payments, Official Says

Iran’s oil exports to India are continuing with no plans to halt supplies after a warning to the neighboring country over delays in paying for imported crude, an Iranian Oil Ministry official said.

“A warning was sent to indebted refineries but sending this letter doesn’t mean Iran’s oil exports to India were cut,” Mohsen Qamsari, the National Iranian Oil Co.’s head of international affairs, told the Oil Ministry’s news website, Shana. “We have no intention of halting our supplies to the Indian market.”

Blast hits Egypt's gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan

EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Security officials say an explosion has hit the Egyptian pipeline that carries gas to Israel and Jordan.

Security forces in Syria raid homes, activists say

(CNN) -- Dozens of security forces began raiding homes and arresting tens of activists on the outskirts of Hama, Syria, at dawn on Monday, an opposition activist and a human rights group said Monday.

Angry residents took to the streets and began throwing stones at the security forces that instigated clashes that ensued for several hours, said Omar al Habbal, a member of the Local Coordination Committees of Syria in Hama. The LCC is an opposition group seeking "freedom, democracy and a free country for all the people of Syria."

Rebel leader: Gadhafi can stay in Libya

(CNN) -- Libya's rebel leader says he does not have a problem with Moammar Gadhafi remaining in the country, once he resigns and as long as he remains under supervision, according to a television report.

British Gas fined £1million after supplying less green energy to business than claimed

British Gas has been fined £1million for supplying less green energy to its business customers than it stated.

British Gas Business will also have to repay more than £2.8million in rewards to the Government for falling short of its renewable energy targets, but it would have received a 'much higher' penalty if it wasn't for the fact it reported the error itself, energy regulator Ofgem said.

Tepco Rises to Seven-Week High on Edano Comment, Kyushu Reactor

Tokyo Electric Power Co., battling the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years, climbed to a seven-week high after a senior government official said he knows nothing about a proposal to split the company and a rival utility got initial approval to restart reactors.

The power producer known as Tepco rose about 20 percent to close at 393 yen in Tokyo trading, the highest since May 16. The gain was the biggest since June 15, when the stock surged 32 percent. The benchmark Topix index advanced 1.2 percent.

Radioactive Cesium Is Found in Tokyo Tap Water for First Time Since April

Radioactive cesium-137 was found in Tokyo’s tap water for the first time since April as Japan grapples with the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. The level was below the safety limit set by the government.

Electric Cars Remain Tough Sell in China

To bolster China’s energy security, Beijing has pronounced electric vehicles a top priority. It has earmarked $1.5 billion annually for the industry for the next 10 years in the hope that it can transform the country into one of the leading producers of clean vehicles.

But even with government support and the enthusiasm of electric-taxi customers, challenges remain if electric vehicles are to gain broader acceptance and widespread use.

Charging stations are few and far between, repair shops are hard to find and the cars are costly. Even after generous government support, a Shenzhen electric taxi costs 80 percent more than the Volkswagen Santana that ordinarily cruises the streets of Shenzhen.

McDonald's frying oil to fuel lorries in Emirates

Vegetable oil that has been used to cook French fries at McDonald's fast-food outlets across the UAE is being converted into fuel for lorries in the region's first biodiesel factory.

An Abu Dhabi company has struck a deal with the world's second-largest restaurant chain to convert the oil used in all 80 of its UAE kitchens into environmentally friendly fuel at a factory in Dubai.

Bicycles fight for space on city streets

New York (CNN) -- Move over cars, bicycles are occupying more space on U.S. city streets every day thanks to an ever-expanding network of bike lanes. Bikes aren't just for recreation. They're increasingly becoming a mode of transportation for commuters, but it's not always a smooth ride.

As more commuters turn to pedal power, bicycling blogs and online biking bulletin boards are filling up with tales of ticket blitzes and stories of bikers feeling like they are under assault.

The World Will Never Run Out Of Oil — Might Its Price Tank?

While global demand for oil has moved to an all-time high, one long-established theory suggests that oil production (and consumption) might be peaking out. If this is the case, might its price tank?

Obama’s energy policies deserve to be junked

Again, and again, we must return to energy, the mother’s milk of the economy, where the Obama administration’s hamfisted tactics are strangling the baby of recovery in the crib.

In his press conference last week, the president again singled out rebates to push U.S. fossil fuel production in his demand for tax increases for an economy already threatened by double-dip recession. The proposal only compounds the regulatory mischief, blocking oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico while Chinese and other foreign companies drill off Cuba almost within sight of Florida beaches, at a cost of 250,000 U.S. jobs.

Prelude author Kurt Cobb/The battle over Vermont's Yankee nuclear plant

Carl Etnier, host of "Equal Time," asks guest Kurt Cobb about his peak-oil-themed thriller, Prelude, in a wide-ranging interview covering who in government circles understands peak oil, Vermont's new peak-oil-aware governor, the inscrutable and often unmanageably complex human-built systems within which we live, the advisability of using nature as a guide for redesigning those systems, and recent revelations in the media about exaggerated and perhaps fraudulent claims concerning the amount of natural gas we can expect from shale gas fields. The second half of the hour-long program is devoted to an interview with Vermont Law School faculty member Don Kreis who discusses the federal courtroom battle over possible closure of the Yankee nuclear power plant in Vermont. The interview includes audio excerpts from arguments made before the court.

New Zealand: Govt infrastructure plan full of contradictions

“The plan states that we need to consider global trends that will affect the economy, including climate change, but then it prioritises fossil fuel production and irrigation to expand dairy production, both of which will increase our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Dr Norman.

“It states that we need to consider peak oil, yet it plans for growth in traffic, despite the fact that the last few years have seen no increase in light vehicle trips and a decrease in freight tonnes per kilometre.

“It plans to spend billions on new state highways, even though it states that we need to find more cost effective ways of using the infrastructure that we have, particularly in urban areas."

It all starts at the dinner table

Eat together.

Could the solution to the vexing challenges of peak oil, food insecurity, food price shocks, diet-related disease, globalization and commodification of food be that simple?

The dinner table is as good a place to start as any and that's exactly where about 100 of Vancouver's farmers, policy wonks, food and poverty activists, nonprofit sector apparatchiks, farm market managers, educators and bloggers were this week to knock around some of the city's goals for enhancing our food security.

Gillard Exempts Gasoline From Carbon Tax in Bid to Win Support

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she will exempt gasoline from a proposed carbon tax as she battles to reverse record-low public support for her climate change legislation.

“Petrol prices will not be touched by carbon pricing,” Gillard said in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp. television yesterday. The government is seeking to “do the right thing by Australian families struggling with cost-of- living pressures.”

Chubu Elec: wants Japan govt consideration on CO2 emissions

(Reuters) - Chubu Electric Power Co , Japan's third-biggest power company, has asked the government for special consideration on its greenhouse gas emissions after operations at its sole nuclear plant were suspended, President Akihisa Mizuno said on Monday.

Merkel: binding, verifiable climate targets needed

(AP) -- All nations must commit to binding and verifiable goals to reduce their carbon emissions to reach a new international climate agreement as the Kyoto Protocol expires next year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday.

U.S. Airlines Challenge European Emissions Rule

BRUSSELS — When the European Union’s highest court hears arguments on Tuesday that Europe should not charge American airlines for their carbon emissions, it will be a showdown between environmental protection and cold cash.

Preserving Land for Northward Migration

A new report warns that as climate change unfolds, there will be a great need to free up new lands for species seeking habitat conditions that they are now used to in wildlands surrounding Glacier National Park in Montana and Canada.

Warm oceans may speed ice melting

WASHINGTON - Warming air from climate change is not the only thing that will speed ice melting near the poles - so will the warming water beneath the ice, a new study points out.

Increased melting of ice in Greenland and Antarctica has been reported as a result of global warming. But little attention has been paid to the impact of warmer water under the ice.

Swiss Re warns of growing subsidence risk

Swiss Re has warned that climate change could “magnify” an already significant increase in property damage as a result of soil subsidence.

According to a new loss model developed by the reinsurer and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, soil subsidence will worsen and spread in Europe, with some areas seeing a more than 50% rise in future losses.


A prominent Liberal Democrat has called for Chris Huhne to resign immediately as energy and climate change secretary after emails were released detailing his officials' efforts to co-ordinate a PR response to the Fukushima disaster with the nuclear industry. Civil servants in the energy and business departments were apparently trying to minimise the impact of the disaster on public support for nuclear power.

Sounds like one minister competently doing his job. In some corners that's grounds for sacking.

Yes, competent ministers should definitely get involved with coverups to protect the industries they're supposed to be overseeing. You know, on behalf of the people.

An Energy minister working out what to tell the press in connection with an energy news story, and consulting with the industry to make sure they are not at cross-purposes?

Heinous crime...

Hey Gary,

Perhaps you can tell us why the government officials who replaced the bones of the dead with broomsticks was a correct action?

And perhaps you can explain why Government officials working on behalf of the interest of Corporations is not Fascism?

US compadres

Enjoy your fourth. I hope it is a family focused day off. I have visited my sister (who lives next to a park) on the fourth and voiwed to never repeat as we couldn't sleep due to the war zone explosions and drunken hooting all night long. Although we did clean up on orphaned picnic coolers and left behind cases of beer on our morning reccy.

Anyway, it is a big deal down south which Canadian July 1st celebrations compare as sedate and quiet. May it spark another kind of freedom.

We have a fire/fireworks ban here in Boulder county. Pyrotechnic celebrations will be restricted to Lake Estes 16 miles down the road where they blow off tons of fireworks over the local bird sanctuary area, a sanctuary for birds who don't mind lots of explosions every now and then.

Global Warming Boosts Worst Wildfires ‘Since the Last Ice Age’, Extreme Drought Imperils July 4 Fireworks
By Joe Romm


Fireworks last night were great. The heavy showers in late afternoon lifted at twilight and the weather was partly cloudy and cool.

"..vowed to never repeat as we couldn't sleep due to the war zone explosions and drunken hooting all night long. Although we did clean up on orphaned picnic coolers and left behind cases of beer on our morning reccy."

Yeah, we stayed on the farm; all the grandkids had a great time picking blackberries and canning jelly. Made pickles too. I guess we could have gone down to the lake to watch the drunks on their jetski's and party boats try to avoid the patrols...Not enough parking though.

Like Kunstler this morning, "I wish I knew what the hell we are really celebrating today."

It feels a bit like celebrating one's recent divorce, after the ex-spouse got the house, the kids, the family business, all the assets, and alimony for life.

I will celebrate the still existing beauty of this part of America by going on a hike through the mountains. I will give thanks to those before me who loved the land so dearly that they fought to set it aside for the peaceful, untrammeled enjoyment of future generations. I will not be celebrating independence because the notion that we are independent is a fantasy.

July 4th Is A Scam

The last time I visited my congressman (when I was 12 years old), he was both drunk and senile and I couldn’t understand a word he said. His administrative assistant had to translate everything he said. And then he got re-elected four more times before finally dying. Did he really represent my interests?

I’m the most apolitical person I know. But I do like to think of things that can improve the country. Let’s forget July 4th for a second, which was a war fought mainly between the values of the East India Company and the values of colonial tea smugglers that cost the lives of the children of 35,000 mothers. Note we tried to invade Canada twice to get them to help us but they would have none of it. Now they are our biggest supplier of oil. Go Canada!

Most importantly, lets not view the Constitution as gospel. Countries, people, systems, technology evolves. As they do, its important to see what from the past is good and what can be discarded.

Yes, we have learned that a constitution with no mechanism for enforcement will in the long run become "just a piece of paper" as president George Bush said.

The president of the Exxon Mobil Pipeline Company, Gary Pruessing, said in a conference call that the company decided to restart the line after examining its safety record and determining that the risks of failure were minimal.

Gary: Hey, are we doing a good job?
Underling: Yes, yes we are.

Now where have I seen an award given for such?

Ahh yes.

David Dunning of Cornell University and Justin Kruger of the University of Illinois, for their modest report, "Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments." [Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 77, no. 6,

Pro-Tip: Your past safety record has nothing to do with the mechanical failure of an item under load. One COULD make such a claim IF one is replacing parts that are known to go bad with use over time with new parts that have undergone testing. I don't know of any oil firm that is proactively replacing piping that shows not sign of failure - but perhaps Exxon does this because of their known and demonstrated concern for the environment.

Given a public waterway in a public place I expect Congress will get right on asking the question "Say, was that pipe leaking?" and when an admission of 'yes' happens the next question will be "And when were you going to replace the failing pipe?" we'll all understand the safety culture of Exxon.

(The other variant is hiring consultants until you find one that gives you the results you want)

Oil Pipeline Bursts Into Yellowstone River

The National Wildlife Foundation's Alexis Bonogofsky lives on the Yellowstone River and has a farm there. When the ExxonMobil oil pipeline below the Yellowstone Rver burst late Friday night leaking oil into the river and contaminating the local waterway, her farmland was contaminated with oil form the spill. Exxon officials told Alexis that she should not document the effects the spill has on her property and that she should stay from the oil "just to be safe." They told her "off the record" that she should move her livestock away from the parts of the farm effected by the spill.

...off the record..

Exxon officials told Alexis that she should not document the effects the spill has on her property

Yea, cuz if ya don't document it, you'll have a harder time suing.

The under oath admissions during the Congressional inquiry will not help, and you showing up in DC because you were invited by your Congressperson will have more impact if you documented it.

It is a good thing you did not record our interaction - its your word VS ours that we ever said anything.,..

Another perfect example of a whiny environmentalist/farmer commie worried about harm to the environment, wildlife, animals,etc. We would have plenty of oil if environmentalists, farmers, fisherman, beach combers, fish, wildlife, and other life forms would just get the hell out of the way so that we can get down to the proper business of America, getting unlimited amounts of oil so that we can fuel our God given lifestyles guaranteed by the constitution. And how dare the Obama administration even think about regulating oil or anything else for that matter. Sure, stuff is gonna die but that is the price we pay for freedom and progress.

And Bonogofsky sounds like some kind of Russian communist. Either that or a relative of Bono, who is a bleeding heart liberal and not even an Amurrican.

Happy 4th of July. Be sure to blow stuff up and don't worry about the fact that your county/state may be under a fire ban because of this temporary drowth/probable disaster.

As for the Yellowstone, didn't they have a major volcano eruption awhile back. As if they can't handle a little oil spill after the mess that Volcano created. Broken pipelines are usually a result of natural causes.

whiny environmentalist/farmer commie

I love it that lately "farmers" are starting to get included in that list. (Really, I do.) Pretty soon loggers, then oil field workers?

Politics and Framing of Increasing Fuel Economy for US Cars and Trucks


Perhaps Too Little, Too Late,


Apparently global warming has been flushed down the memory hole. Let us pretend we are doing this to save the auto industry. Orwell was a slouch compared to these people. I kind of get it, though. Can't have a policy to solve something that doesn't exist in the minds of millions of Americans whose primary news source is Fox News.

"Can't have a policy to solve something that doesn't exist in the minds of millions of Americans whose primary news source is Fox News."

Fox News,,whose foxnewspolitics twitter account is still reporting the demise of President Obama:

@ObamaDead, it's a sad 4th of July. RT to support the late president's family, and RIP. The shooter will be found.

@BarackObama has just passed. Nearly 45 minutes ago, he was shot twice in the lower pelvic area and in the neck; shooter unknown. Bled out.

These posts are heinous.

I do not have a Twitter account...I poked around the website to determine how to contact responsible parties from Foxnewspolitics to complain, but couldn't find anything as quaint as an email address or phone #.

Seems that these were posted not too long after midnight...

Is this what celebrating the birth of the nation is about for some folks now?

sad, sick stuff.

It is absolutely astonishing how long these posts have stayed up on a Twitter "Verified Account" - heads should roll both at Fox and Twitter but I doubt they will. Fox News is well aware of the postings. They appear to be astoundingly incompetent as well as liars. Or perhaps they just think it's a laugh to leave them up for a bit.

Meanwhile in the UK the Murdoch Press phone hacking scandal takes a new twist.

News of the World 'hacked Milly Dowler phone

An investigator working for the News of the World (NoW) allegedly hacked into the mobile phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, the Guardian has claimed.

The newspaper said Glenn Mulcaire hacked into the voicemail after her disappearance nine years ago.

It also claimed he intercepted messages left by distraught relatives and said the NoW deleted some it had listened to, after her voicemail became full.

Hmm, perhaps one part of Murdoch's empire is responsible for "hacking" their own twitter feed as well.

(CNN) -- Hackers apparently broke into the FoxNews.com's Twitter feed..

"The hacking is being investigated, and FoxNews.com regrets any distress the false tweets may have created."

But six tweets related to the fake news remained on the Fox News Politics twitter feed even after hours the apology was posted.

Fox News did not respond to CNN e-mails or phone calls about whether they were in control of @FoxNewsPoliltics....

A student journalist interviewed someone claiming to be a representative of the hackers shortly before the Obama tweets were posted.

Adam Peck of the University of Stony Brook's Think magazine reported that the hackers, calling themselves the Script Kiddies, were an offshoot of the hacker group Anonymous.

"Without groups like Anonymous, what is there to prevent corruption?" he quoted the representative as saying....

Twitter spokeswoman Jodi Olsen said the company did not comment on individual accounts, declining to answer CNN questions about whether @FoxNewsPolitics had been hacked or why the account of the alleged hackers was suspended.

11 hours and counting. Must've been quite a hack (or Fox/Twitter are displaying blatantly poor taste).

Even if Fox no longer have the password to the account they can escalate the issue with Twitter to the very highest level instantly. 4th July or not it does not make sense to me that the posts are still there unless someone isn't trying very hard to get them removed.

According to Foxnews.com the posts have been deleted:

The tweets have been removed from the feed.

FoxNews.com alerted the U.S. Secret Service, which is declining public comment. Jeff Misenti, vice president and general manager of Fox News Digital, said FoxNews.com was working with Twitter to address the situation as quickly as possible.

Not! (as of this posting). I just looked again.

The lack of any panic caused by this tweet is a testament to the credibility of Fox News.

Maybe they shouldn't have use "FairAndBalanced" as their password.

One popular tweet right now says "And don't use "palin2012" as the password next time."

Finally just gone and a new tweet up saying - "Twitter Feed Hacked" The US Secret Service is not known for its sense of humour so whoever really did it might want to check they are "bullet proof" about now.

CNN is reporting that the false tweets were removed, but obviously, some people are still seeing them. That's not uncommon. To speed up traffic, there are cached versions of pages in various places around the net, and depending on where you're connecting from, your ISP, etc., it might take awhile to get the new version.

Yes, but that's usually responsible for a few mins of delays at worst with twitter and normally less than that. It's supposed to be real-time after all.

It's supposed to be, but sometimes the delay is hours, even days. It can get "stuck."

I've never seen days or even hours delays but I'll take your word for it. Speculation: Secret Service may have asked for posts to stay up - maybe try to attract the hackers back in to make another post if they thought they still had control of the account? Just a thought that occurred to me as one possible reason for the extreme delay if it is not simple incompetence or foot dragging.

I don't think that's it. CNN reported the posts had been removed hours ago, and I'm still seeing them. Even after refreshing and trying a new browser.

This kind of thing happens on the net. Message boards and the like are not supposed to be cached, but sometimes they are.

The tweet from Fox saying that they had been hacked is dated "1 hour ago". The very first tweets from people noting that the posts were no longer there are dated "2 hours ago". We can argue about the last minute to an hour but they were definitely up for about 10 hours first.

Btw are you logged into twitter or not? Does it make a difference to what you see on the feed? Maybe you are a suspect if nobody else is seeing the version of the page you are seeing ;-)

I'm not a member of Twitter. That might well be the explanation.

I speculate that the twitter account wasn't 'hacked into'. The offending posts were done with management foreknowledge and approval. And if anybody tries to do something about their continued presence, they will be accused of hacking by the real perps.

The Fox News / Rupert Murdock plan is to create a reputation of incompetence at managing internet technology. Then they can say anything, which they do already, but they can plead, " It wasn't me. It was those evil hackers. ", if anyone in power ever does try to punish them.

I know nothing about hacking into a web site, but nevertheless, I am confident that it is easier for sysadmins to plant fake evidence on their own web site, than it is for them to mount a real defense against real hacking.

I think it was hacked into. They notified the Secret Service, unlike Anthony Weiner, who was careful not to do that.

Like I said, speculation. But your comparison of a major news publisher to Andy Weiner is telling. In the situation of a company that deals is fraudulent news what is integrity? And how does their integrity compare to that of a really stupid politician? Maybe it was hubris. Maybe they their friends at NAS told them what they should do to fool the Secret Service. Maybe the advice was honest. Maybe it wasn't. Maybe ...

Does anyone believe that it is impossible for there to be someone at NAS who plays at being a friend to someone who claims to work for Fox? Is it unreasonable to suspect that a company that does terrible things in public, might be guilty of doing even more terrible things in private? Oh, yes. Benefit of the Doubt ... If they were set up, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving collection of people.

In the situation of a company that deals is [in] fraudulent news what is integrity?

Seriously?! I don't follow Fox on Twitter, but I have seen the Fox News cable TV channel. Their actual coverage of hard news isn't any more "fradulent" than the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN. Obviously you have a personal bias against their brand of political biased shows, but Fox never to my knowledge has claimed O'Riley or Hannity are news anchors, or news shows.

You can't possibly be that naive. EVERY ACT of presenting "news" by every news medium is biased, first in the editorial selection of what to present (and more importantly, what to ignore). And Fox is WAY OUT THERE on the right.

I'm not naive to the fact that there is bias in the news. What I am saying is that it's not fair to single out Fox as I said: Their actual coverage of hard news isn't any more "fradulent" than the likes of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN.

What's over the line for me is the accuse Fox news, or anyone for that matter, of pourposely posting a false story about the death of a sitting president. I don't care what your politics are, that's in bad taste.

Well, those who actually listen to Faux do seem to be the very least well informed when compared to listeners to other stations (but that could, I suppose, be because of some mental deficiency they had before they started listening).


"A WPO poll found a remarkable 60% of those who watched Fox News almost daily believe that “Most scientists do not agree that climate change is occurring,” whereas only 30% who never watch it believe that. Only 25% of those who watch CNN almost daily hold that erroneous belief — and only 14% who listen to NPR or PBS almost daily.""

It sure is (to allow it to stay up). Not as bad as R Murdoch's "The News of the World" crimes though. Consistent management policies.

{Washington Post} - The 168-year-old News of the World, the widest-read paper in the English-speaking world, has acknowledged that it hired “investigators” who hacked into the phone accounts of politicians, celebrities and ordinary Britons in an attempt to develop stories. The targets of the paper’s hacking apparently included the families of British troops killed in Afghanistan, victims of the 2005 London transit bombings and a 13-year-old missing girl who was later found dead.


These folks offerr weak arguments:

n Wednesday, 14 GOP governors and one Democratic governor wrote top Obama officials to tell them that they need to take several factors into consideration when setting emission limits, including Americans’ need for large cars and trucks that can accommodate a variety of cargo, including skis, farm equipment and children’s car seats.

Wow, they need to do better than that...

Raise your hand if you have seen ski racks (Thule, other brands) on the top of even rather small cars in the U.S. What percentage of the population skis anyway? Yes, let's torpedo good public policy for them...gotta get to Aspen!

Car seats? Uhhhh, last time I checked there was ample room to put child car seats in the back of Prii, or even Geo Metros.

Farm equipment? For the what, 1% of folks who are no-kidding farmers? If one truly is a farmer, by all means buy a truck (and a trailer for that matter) and have at it. It is a business necessity and a business expense. Pass the expense along the supply chain...if fuel becomes more expensive for all farmers, then no one will have a competitive advantage...pass the costs to the consumers, maybe if they don't like it they will start to garden more.

While I'm for much stricter CAFE limits, I think your post reflects a rather narrow world-view. How many child car seats? My brother had 5 kids in car seats at the same time and 7 kids at home. My parents had 5 kids at home from 1980-1997 (total of 7). My high school (with about 2000 students), had at least 3 families with 15 or more children (Mormon and Hispanic area). 14% of family households in the U.S. consisted of 5 or more persons as of the 2010 census. These households have 2 or 3 vehicles. Most families will want the ability to fit all members in either of two vehicles and another person or two in one of the vehicles (in case another family member (re)joins the household, or to allow for a friend or two to be accomodated).

The mandated use of child seats doesn't help the situation. You cannot install three car seats in the back of a small, fuel efficient car. While you can carry a third person in the back who doesn't require a car seat they will have precious little space. I believe Canada has now mandated LARGER child seats in recognition of the number of overweight children. This will make it even more impractical to carry three people in the back seat of a small car. Our society has essentially decided that safety concerns trump everything else and if you have more than two children you must buy a minivan or large SUV.

I still think we need cap and trade on children. Instead we subsidize their production.

Bingo. America has long ceased to be the land of the free and home of the brave. More like land of the coddled and home of the fearful.

We will return to the dark ages, as the fossil fuels decline and as the religious and unintelligent outbreed the rest of us. They will inherit the machines, which will at some point stop working. When that happens, the intelligentsia will either by rounded up and executed, or forced at gunpoint to "fix" the combustion engines and the electrical grid.

Idiocracy is the most prescient film of our times.

Happy 4th everyone.

I am firmly with tstreet here.
This slays me.

I have posted previously about how population growth and having more than two children is deleterious and I have gotten adamant responses ranging from "No, it's the per-person consumption' to 'No, the population growth thing is petering out and will not be a problem' (some truth in these assertions, in fact)...and then I get this.

Here's my take: In today's world, woman/parents who have more than two children are taking more than their share, according to the framework of sustainability whereby ~2.1 children per woman per lifetime are all that is needed to maintain a given population level.

As I have posted before, I have known folks with 5, 6, 7, 10, and once, even 11 children. I am referring to children conceived and birthed by the mother in question, not adoptive children, which are exempt from my remarks here.

If such parents can't fit all their children in one vehicle, then that is their problem, not mine or anyone else's, particularly not the government's. I do not think the government should subsidize children with tax credits, etc. In fact, perhaps folks with more than two children should pay an extra fee for their additional children to attend public schools.

These parents have to 'pay to play'. If fuel prices increase, then they need to prioritize...they can budget to buy bigger and/or additional vehicles for their additional children. What's next, do they want a discount for medical insurance and food vouchers?

The U.S. government will not, can not, and should not mandate a two-child policy, but they also have no business encouraging more than two children, and they should be in the business of educating and encouraging folks to have no more than two children (2, 1 or none at all).

Holy cow, what good would it do to enact strict immigration/border controls when we would just excess-birth ourselves into poverty?

And yes, I like children. I love our two with all my heart. I like other kids, and most of them take to me quite well.

Even my Mother and Father, who were married in 1964, had the good sense to have two children and no more.

But there is always a point of too much of any initially good thing, even children.

tstreet, I like your cap and trade for kiddoes more and more! :)

I recall a scheme called something like trade-able birth rights. I think it was Herman Daly that wrote about that one. My idea is that each mother should be given 1 and 1/2 "rights" to essential services for a child, such as school, health care, food vouchers and child care for a working mother, to name a few. That way, the first child gets a subsidy, but the next child, the woman would need to purchase 1/2 a "birth right" from some other woman, while the third would require the purchase of a full "birth right" to gain the services. The extra "birth rights" might be from women who could not conceive or women who wanted only one or no children and these extra "birth rights" would be offered thru some market trading mechanism. A women who gave up her "birth rights" would need to agree to be sterilized, as a guarantee of no future births.

Of course, those women (or her husband) who had the money to pay for all the expenses of rearing extra children could have as many as she wanted. With this scheme, the governmental payment for schools, which typically comes from local taxes, would decline, since the number of children in school would likely decline and the general health of the population would be expected to improve as well. I doubt that such an idea would get very far in the US these days...

E. Swanson

The only thing driving population growth in Canada and the US is immigration. Without immigration we'd already have a declining population without the need for any disincentives for having children.

I don't think this is true. China has a total fertility rate somewhat lower than the US (1.73 vs 2.05) and its population will continue to rise for a couple of more decades at least. The US will probably top 400 million regardless of whether we halt immigration or not. There is a lot of 'momentum' built in to the demographics of population growth.

But that's not really what he said. He said immigration is driving population growth in the US and Canada. That is not the same thing as saying halting immigration will instantly stop population growth.

I have not looked at the Canadian situation, but he's right about the US. Without immigration, we would be like Europe and Japan, with a flat to declining population. (This is why Greenspan says all the economic growth of the past 20 years is thanks to immigration.)

But it's not just the influx of new people that drives population growth. It's that immigrants tend to have larger families for several generations after they arrive. So you are probably correct, too. Halting immigration won't instantly halt population growth.

cap and trade for kiddoes

Well, given that China has a one child policy and that, in Canada, at least, you can adopt a Chinese baby if you have enough money ($20k +), I would say that there is already a crude cap and trade system in operation.

All the adopted chinese babies I have heard about are girls, so maybe if the chinese couple adopts out, they get to try again, hoping for a boy, of course. This sounds a bit like the discussion from the other day about stopping when they have a boy....

That aside, H I thoroughly agree that the difficulties that arise from having a large family, are for the family to deal with - that's just the way it is. If they choose to buy a big vehicle that is expensive and uses lots of highly taxed fuel, that is their choice, and they live with the expense that comes with it.

That said, the discussion about three child seats in the back suggests a market opportunity there for a three in one bench style child seat that can fit into the back of Priius, etc. I'm sure some design engineer with three kids if their own could do that...

Paul - Unfortunately the Chinese adoption system is quit that warm and fuzzy. I adopted my daughter as a baby in 2000. Chinese families don't "adopt out" their babies. Instead the babies, by the hundreds, are left in front of public buildings. It's against Chinese law to abandon babies, but just like our speed limits here, not much effort is made to enforce the law. And yes, almost all abandoned babies are girls. Even the poor are penalized for breaking the one-child law by having various support systems withheld.

A sad situation for families, especially mothers, in China. But a very thin silver lining for older wanna be parents in the US. Don't ask me to explain why, but in general public adoption agency don't consider folks over 40 to be good parenting material. Very difficult for these old farts to adopt. OTOH the Chinese attitude is just the opposite: you have to be older than 30 to adopt.

And just heard an odd story on NPR. Fertility clinic biz in booming in China. You might think with all the abandoned babies it wouldn't be so. But two big factors. First, blood relations are a very serious desire in China. Second, the clinics are striving for boy babies. And not a cheap process especially for China: $4,500 for each effort.

Years ago saw a report that an estimated 60-80 million Chinese men will never get married due to a lack of females. There's even a Chinese slang term for this group: "barren branches".

It's hardly the norm for an employer to pay someone more because they have a wife and kids. While I whole heartedly support the idea that we should be reducing our population instead of increasing it, I do recognize that we have to have children for our society to continue to function. As we age we expect the next generation to take on the jobs we once had and provide the medical and home care we need when we are no longer able to care for ourselves. People who choose not to have children should have to pay more into the system because they are most assuredly benefiting from the children that others are raising.

A major source of funding for children is property taxes, which in many localities go primarily to fund education. Property taxes are independent of whether the property owner has children or not.

Merril - Excatly. In Texas property taxes fund local education as well as much of the public utilities like water and sewage. Some Texans like to flaunt that we have no state income taxes. But when you roll in the property/utility taxes Texas is supposedly the 3rd highest tax state in the union....at least a few years back.

It is the excess of children which will bring the whole planet down and while those children are growing up, they will incur massive resources for their care, feeding, health care, and impact on society and the planet. People who choose not to have children are doing the planet a favor and to require that they pay more for other people's brood is perverse and is a function of pro natalist policies which are obsolete.

With continued increases in population and consumption, the planet will not be habitable and, therefore, the society will be completely dysfunctional if it exists at all. The fact that there will be a future lower ratio between working adults and older people is hardly a good reason to perpetuate population growth. This is an argument for population growth forever. Eventually, the piper must be paid.

While it is true that there will be a greater burden on working adults to take care of retired adults, if low population growth policies are favored, there will be a lessor burden on those working adults with less children. It may also be necessary to extend the retirement age and make other adjustments but any policy which perpetuates the growth cycle is untenable.

And let us say, just for the sake of argument, that we have a deficit in working age adults in the next generation. It is not like we are going to have a problem importing working adults. It appears to me that we are spending considerable resources right now trying to keep them out.

Population overshoot is self-correcting.

Francis Fukuyama in "The Origins of Political Order", cites a reference that says -
"Kent Deng, using adjusted official population data, shows China's population dropping from 56.5 million in A.D. 157 to 18.5 million in 280, a decline of 67 percent."
Keng G deng, "Unveiling China's True Population Statistics for the Pre-Modern Era with Official Census Data," Population Review 43, No. 2 (2004): 32-69.

Population overshoot occurred during the Han Dynasty, which created a modern bureaucratic administration that authoritatively ruled an efficient agrarian society. The collapse of the Han due to a weak emperor, epidemics, floods, famine, and the Yellow Turban peasant rebellion led to the collapse of the infrastructure and productivity.

There was another later decline of about 50% at the end of the Song Dynasty.

So population overshoot and correction is probably as natural on longer historical time periods as the Malthusian theory that population increases asymptotically towards a limit, which probably applies only to short-term adjustments of population to short-term increases of productivity, i.e. changes near an equilibrium.

I believe that at many, if not most, companies there is some benefit to being a family man. I note that I got a nice raise after getting married, and better perks and roles as I became a family man after that. Some of this came along with experience, but the comments at the time clearly indicated that they viewed themselves as a family-friendly company and considered a family man with associated responsibilities and commitments a safer bet that single guys and gals. A stay-at-home wife who volunteers on the side is a great asset for a guy climbing the ladder too. I have been in layoff meetings where preference was given to keeping people who had dependents over single people who could relocate or cope more easily. Nothing official in earshot of HR of course -- just discussions between peers.

They don't pay you more because you have a wife and kids; they pay you more because you're a solid, dependable guy in a responsible role making important decisions reasonably well, and it just so happens that those people have a wife and kids. Married women don't get equal chances for such roles, and neither do single people from what I've seen.

Probably some of the gender-gap income disparity is due to this effect. If you have a promotion opportunity between a guy with two kids and a stay-at-home wife, a single mom with two kids, and a single guy who sees his kids every other weekend, who gets the promotion?

Now add in that the married dad sees other exec's kids at the ballfields, helps coach, and his wife volunteers at the concession stand and knows everybody in the school. They have a Chrysler minivan and Excursion and often give kids rides home after practices and to out of town games. The working mom has kids at the school too, but she's always running a little late, and her kids are always looking for rides. Nobody much sees their dad, unfortunately, though they hear he's a decent guy. The single dad helps coach too, but his kids are in the next town over, and his social network splits between golf and the local scene and occasional birthday parties and games in the other town.

The execs chat about the candidates. One points out what a solid guy candidate A is, a regular pillar of the school community. Another points out the good work his wife does as well -- he hears about it from his spouse, who is in the same social group -- and their kids went to camp together just last month. All agree he's here for the long term -- ambitious enough, but not likely to pick up and move to a competitor just for a few bucks.

Another notes how tired candidate B is, and how his wife worries about her latchkey teen who has little to do on days without basketball practice. Another quips that her kid shows some good sports potential, but the trips to see Dad always seem to conflict with weekend games, and it's hard to get a team to gel that way. Not the kids fault, you know -- sure is a shame he's stretched that way. A third notes to himself that she's quite charming and sociable -- maybe that's why his wife is always asking who is going along on the company retreat. Another notes how capable and sharp candidate C is. Another mentions his spiffy new Camaro. And wonders to himself when he'll get that new car he's wanted -- probably after one more set of braces and tires for the minivan. With child support, that guy's expenses must be high too though -- wonder what corners are getting cut? The other is glad that C at least dumped the girl he brought to the last Christmas party - his wife really disliked her, and he'd had to hear about the snippy comments on the phone until New Year's.

They talk a little, and grumble a bit that B seems better with customers and C has sharp ideas for improvement, while A missed half the Sales meeting last year. But that was for a signing trip at the local U, and they're going to have a great team this year.

Yup, A is the one. Let's make him an offer. He'll do a good job of managing B and C, and we'll maximize their value too, unless C picks up and goes to a competitor -- he seems footloose, and Consolidated is hiring again I hear. Oh, and let's put a few bucks into sponsoring the local team uniforms this year -- we're a community-oriented family-friendly company after all.

I have been in layoff meetings where preference was given to keeping people who had dependents over single people who could relocate or cope more easily.

This is extremely common in smaller business. Single people (men especially) are seen as being able to handle a layoff better. I suspect the opposite is true, but doubt anyone has really done the research. And if a single person owns a home with an upside down mortgage, his ability to relocate is severely hampered.

Over the past couple years I went through some career upheaval of my own, mostly due to an employers preference for maintaining staff w/children and other various reasons. As a childless married man it was "assumed" that my working spouse would support me. (Friends in Sr. Management let some details leak.) Meanwhile another co-worker, married w/out children, was spared due to the recent purchase of a new home and pleas to management about financial hardship. Underperforming staff were kept on for reasons as random as having a spouse in the military to not carrying the company health insurance plan. All this happened at a company where I had been recently publically recognized for my performance and given expanded responsibilities including a promotion.

The epilogue to this is that my marriage ended some 14 months later. I don't blame my career upheaval as the sole reason, but it did add great undue stress to an already delicate situation. Had the situation been different perhaps the outcome would have been different.

They don't pay you more because you have a wife and kids; they pay you more because you're a solid, dependable guy in a responsible role making important decisions reasonably well, and it just so happens that those people have a wife and kids. Married women don't get equal chances for such roles, and neither do single people from what I've seen.

Yes, I've heard the argument about the dependability of married people w/children, but from experience persons with kids work fewer hours and take more vacation and sick time. Many times I've been asked to work significant overtime to meet a deadline while a co-worker is passed because of "family obligations." This has been said to me personally by superiors in small businesses whithout HR departments and keen knowledge of employment law.

I have not seen the "glass ceiling" effect for women, but being in what was historically a male dominated industry there are still plenty of companies trying to elevate women to look diverse. Single men/women almost always are passed up for promotions and advancement.

Personally I'm not sure a married man w/kids is a better decision maker than his single counterpart. To me this seems like an outdated stereotype that needs to die. I suspect with the younger generations generally having a higher percentage of childless this discrimination will die out over time.

Employees who are married with kids are some of the biggest problems. They are exposed to both marital problems (infidelity, divorce, spouse who is invalid, mentally ill, using drugs, etc.) but they are also exposed to problems with kids (disease, injury, learning disabilities, juvenile crime, drugs, etc.).

Single or DINK employees tend not to have these home life distractions.

aqua - A sad story I've seen first hand too many times. I knew of two geologists who committed suicide eventually after being laid off. As you imply there are going to be other critical factors in such negative reactions. I actually laid myself off once to allow my two very young and very newly married geologists to keep their jobs. Not a great sacrifice on my part though. I knew the company was never going to survive. And I had no desire to watch first hand the body count grow on that sinking ship. I've always preferred picking my exit timing than waiting for that security guard to walk me to the front door. On a purely personal level that would have been very difficult to tollerate.

> security guard to walk me to the front door. On a purely personal level that would have been very difficult to tolerate.

I almost had that happen to me once. A VP volunteered his time to help me pack and walk me to my car. I am still grateful to him these many years later.

Best Hopes for Dignity,


Hi Rockman,

That is sad to hear where the baby girls are coming from. I have a couple of friends in Calgary that are trying to adopt - sounds like a very dehumanising and mercenary experience - pay lots of money to the "agents", and you get put through the wringer as to whether you are a suitable parent, but somehow, if you pay more to them you can - human trafficking IMO. It is sad that these leeches are extracting all this money from from these well intentioned people - then when they finally have the kid, many have exhausted all their savings that could have gone to the kid's future!

The story they got told is that it is where the mothers are "unable" to look after the kids, or they are a second child, in contravention of the law, etc. Always girls, and no mention, ever, about the fact they are abandoned ones - very sad indeed, though glad you have been able to provide a good home for one - hopefully you did not get extorted the way my friends are.

The one child policy, and the favouring of boys, is going to lead to some huge societal problems for them, at some point in the future - it just does not make a for a balanced or stable society. Part of their current solution seems to be to export the men to the farmland they are buying up in Africa, though there is only so much of that they can do.

Paul - I don't know how much Chinese adoption have changed in the last 10 years. But comparing my experience with stories I've heard/read about in the US, the Chinese system was actually less dehumanizing. Of course, it is a cash and carry business. But there are orphanages full of nothing but abandoned baby girls and special needs baby boys with caregivers who actually have a heart. Not counting travel expenses it cost us around $8,000. The Chinese govt was sensitive about the appearence of human trafficing but at the end of the days the babies were better off, the new parents were very happy and the orphanages got financial support from the govt'. Also, the US agency was a non-profit.

Given the alternative it's not a bad system. A great many of the babies don't survive the orphanages.

I adopted two little girls (sisters) through UK social services. Children are only put up for adoption after they have already suffered at the hands of their natural parents. My wife and I have just spent an hour and half getting our 8 yo asleep, who was crying, kicking, scratching, wee-ed on the floor, because she is over tired and has sensory processing disorder as a result of early neglect and abuse.

We are going to make her a weighted blanket to see if that helps her settle. She is calm now. She behaves like this far less than she did five years ago.

Back in the Air Force, a fellow Staff Sergeant had a wife and four kids. He made three times what I did, even though we both turned the same damn wrench for the same number of hours. I've long since left the Air Force, but you can bet that twenty-five years later, it is still the same. Welfare for able-bodied people has always rubbed me the wrong way.

Compare the per capita energy usage of a household with 7 children and one with 0 or 1 child. Then note that my brother lived off-grid (PV and wind) with his brood and burned wood. Then note that he got triplets by accident with no fertility treatments involved. Given that in the U.S. (and most of the developed world) average is below replacement, maybe childless folks who let themselves out of the work of raising the next generation should pay an extra Social Security premium. Note that I don't have any kids and my siblings are (on average) below replacement level despite the one with 7 kids.

BTW, school is not always a subsidy to parents. School deprives parents of children's labor. My ex-girlfriend ran a masonry crew (for her father) from the time she was 12. A buddy of mine ran a loader, drove a tractor, drove a feed truck, etc. on a dairy (his Dad was herdsman) regularly at 8. I did non-trivial work from the time I was 6 (drilling and tapping and wiring control panels at that age), and paid my way fully from the time I was 12 (I got room and board, but I'm sure the surplus value of my labor was worth more than their marginal costs).

Just keep in mind that the next generation being born now has a life expectancy of maybe 40 years.


Show something to back this up.

There have been any number of graphs projecting a more or less fast decline in oil production over the next 30 years. There have been several major topics of discussion to the effect that alternative energy production requires too much investment, is too inefficient, or is too dangerous to be implemented as a replacement.

Therefore, between now and 2030 there will be a worsening series of crises as nations compete for energy resources and other resources.

Meanwhile the population is on a trajectory to over 9 billion by the mid 21st century. This is in direct conflict with worsening agricultural production driven by the exhaustion of low cost fertilizers (ammonia and phosphate rock), the increases in fossil fuels, and the exhaustion of agricultural lands. Climate change will also shift agriculture regions, devastating some areas that are currently heavily populated.

Ultimately, this will lead to resource wars that blossom into a full-blown global conflict. The US, as a major player is likely to lose more of its population than average, since it will be a major combatant.

Children being born in this decade are in the same position as children being born in Europe in the 1880s - whole classes of English, French and German schoolboys were wiped out during WW I.

It will happen again. Except on a much greater scale. And there will be no distinction between civilians and soldiers, male and female.

Yes, we seem to be heading into very interesting times.. but please be responsible with your extrapolations. Statements like that, just pulled from the trousers.. you just don't know that.

Can you describe a plausible scenario that does not result in a substantial decreas in population during the 21st Century? (And it needs to be plausible in the social sense of being implementable by realistic political and economic processes -- not just some idealized theory.)

'not just some idealized theory..'

"Just keep in mind that the next generation being born now has a life expectancy of maybe 40 years."

Try to incorporate some quality analysis, and not just Frantic Hail Mary Passes like this, huh?

It seems the "Special Period" in Cuba might be one of the best case studies of what would happen and also what needs to be done in the case of rapid import failure of resources.

During the early nineties Cuba lost nearly all of its imports of crude oil due to the collapse of the Soviet Union and its subsidized oil contracts. So in some way an extreme form of "peak oil".

According to wikipedia, it did lead to many of the economic collapses people here predict from peak oil, including that of agriculture. The rapid reduction of available food did lead to malnutricia to begin with, but the effects on population seem to be controversial, some even claiming positive due to the reduction of problems of overweight.

At least this graph ( http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=wb-wdi&met_y=sp_pop_totl&idim=countr... ) of population at least indicates that there wasn't a massive decrease of population or mass starvation.

I don't know much about the "special period" (perhaps there should be more discussion about this on TOD), but it appears to be more of a positive example than a negative example of what will happen in a rapid collapse of resources. It shows that society can rapidly transition to a much less resource intense society with a lot of hardship, but relatively little loss of life.

The key aspect is possibly to prevent a collapse of the political structure in order to organise rationing and of security.

I think Cuba's political system and local conditions amenable to agriculture made it possible for them to get through this period. They were also willing to invest significant resources in organic research and agriculture and medical care.

This country, the U.S. cannot even seem to raise their debt ceiling and is rapidly dismantling government at all levels. Throwing most of the population to the wolves seems to be the current approach and I don't think this country is capable of surviving a situation like what Cuba has gone through.

I think Cuba's political system and local conditions amenable to agriculture made it possible for them to get through this period. They were also willing to invest significant resources in organic research and agriculture and medical care.

Yes, that is exactly my point. Mass starvation and death is not a fundamental necessity but a question of political system, will from the population and optimism. Those aspects make the difference between extreme hardship during the period of transition and catastrophe.

This country, the U.S. [...]and is rapidly dismantling government at all levels. Throwing most of the population to the wolves seems to be the current approach and I don't think this country is capable of surviving a situation like what Cuba has gone through.

The US is imho an "interesting case". On the one hand the US is one of the most resourceful countries in the world, both in terms of natural / energy resources, as well as intellectual resources. It also has one of the structurally best political systems. So it should have ideal prerequisites to get through the transition well. On the other hand, its culture has become so confrontational and selfish that it seems impossible to pool the resources and collectively make the necessary changes and investments.


Cuba appears to have just been able to keep from widespread starvation. Diabetes, heart disease, and stroke diminished, but the death rate for older people went up. Calories were below 2000 per day.

Cuba had time to institutionalize an authoritarian government for decades while it exported sugar to the USSR and imported oil in return.

Cuba has 110,000 km^2 area of which 27.63% is arable, and a population of 11,087,330.

UK has 243,610 km^2 area of which 23.23% is arable, and a population of 62,695,362. It is also a temperate climate, so year around crop production is not possible.

Developed, populated countries like the UK will find it imposible to adopt Cuba's approach, which is why there will be famine, disease, and war.

but the death rate for older people went up.

How does this help your original claim?

Developed, populated countries like the UK will find it imposible to adopt Cuba's approach


Arable land in the UK amounts to about 0.22 acres/person.

Compare this with Cuba at 0.68 acres/person in a much more favorable climate for year round production of food.

If a country like CUBA had really become self sufficient, would they let go most of it in a few years?

Cuba imports close to 80% of the food supplies consumed by its 11 million inhabitants at a cost of some 1.5 billion USD per year.


As I have stated before, if CUBA is the best example of powerdown people can come up with, then we are in a lot of trouble in a much shorter time frame than most expect.

If your siblings are '(on average) below replacement level despite the one with 7 kids' then you must have an above replacement number of siblings..people just don't get it do they?

Retroactive zero population growth?

Narrowing WTI-Brent Spread

More Bakken to ship by rail


Proposal for Alberta-Alaska rail link (TAPS from Delta Junction to Valdez)


Best Hopes,


Alberta to Valdez? That's a bit coals-to-Newcastle, innit? Given that the US doesn't export much crude oil; yet; or that we raised quite a stink about such in the 90s.

KM want to expand Trans-Mountain line, to export to China. The line to Kitimat would be an order larger headache, it seems. Turning Vancouver into the Tar Sands Shipping Port - The Four Worlds International Institute

Crude oil shipments along our coast were rare until 2007 when Kinder Morgan, China, and the Tar Sands producers decided to expand the shipping of crude oil through Vancouver.

Average crude oil shipments through Vancouver:
1950-2006 .. approximately 2.8 million barrels per year (7,700 barrels / day) = about 4 Aframax tankers each year
2007-2010 .. 22 million barrels per year (60,000 barrels / day) = over 30 Aframax tankers each year.
2010 .. about 30 million barrels per year (80,000 b/d) on 71 tankers (smaller Panamax and Aframax tankers)
2016 .. about 120 million barrels per year (325,000 b/d) on 280-300 tankers each year, almost one per day.

Re: Bicycles fight for space on city streets, up top:



Obama visits aluminum plant. Ethanol profits soar as corn crashes. Chinese hogs pig out on cheaper corn giving the market a little support. Cattle stampede out of drought stricken Texas pastures into slaughter houses and northern feed lots. Mark Pierson gets even fatter and Elaine Kub has a bad hair day on this week's Market to Market.


Ethanol profits soar as corn crashes.

But rice producers appear to have shifted to other crops in a big way. According to USDA, total rice plantings are forecast at 2.7 million acres... down more than 25 percent from last year.

Again, ethanol trumps food..

•Total shipments from U.S. rice mills to all markets remained steady compared to last year; exports increased 3 percent, while domestic shipments declined 3 percent.
◦58 percent of total shipments (62.5 mm cwt) went to the domestic market
◦42 percent (44.6 mm cwt) were exported
•Rice shipments to U.S. market segments was 62.5 billion pounds.
◦59 percent for direct food use (36.7 billion pounds)
◦41 percent to food processors (25.8 billion pounds)
•Largest market segments for rice in direct food use are retail grocery (32 percent), ethnic distributors (25 percent), repackers (17 percent) and foodservice (17 percent).
•85 percent of rice consumed in the U.S. is domestically grown, and 15 percent is imported.


Time to stock up on rice?

I just got back from a lengthy vacation. When I left, oil was at $110 and Goldman Sachs was projecting $120.

What have I missed?

The IEA and the U.S. Authorize the Release of 60 Million from SPR ??

TOD discussion here.

As discussed, prices were dropping some prior to the announcement.

Cudos on your apparently successful vacation!

Thanks Ghung. It was indeed a splendid vacation, especially after the motherboard on the laptop failed in Malta. Buried it at sea off Valletta. Maybe bin Laden can use it.

My first paranoid thought was that Goldman Sachs was frontrunning another trade against their clients and had succeeded perfectly. Silly me.

No where near as shocking as hearing the govt. is shopping the SPR.

Thanks, Dave

US price of gas stopped falling.

Here is a link to a high tech, high resolution graph (actually a hand drawn graph that I gave to my daughter, who is doing the computer generated version) that shows Global Net oil Exports (GNE) and ANE (Available Net Exports), (left scale) versus annual US oil prices (right scale) by year, from 2002 to 2010:


ANE = GNE - Chindia's net oil imports
(BP + Minor EIA data, total petroleum liquids)

I'm thinking of using "Peak, What Peak?" for a title.

Note the rapid increase in GNE, from 2002 to 2005, in response to rising oil prices, versus flat to declining GNE, in response to generally rising oil prices from 2005 to 2010. In my humble opinion, this continues to be the single biggest--yet largely overlooked--story in the world. While people are still talking about the possibility--or impossibility--of a near term global production peak, it's quite possible that from 2005 to 2010 we may have already burned through about one-fifth of post-2005 Global Cumulative Net Exports (Global CNE), with Chindia so far taking an increasing share of what is (net) exported.

Yesterday I told my father that the greatest economic threat to the future of the US is depleation of domestic resources. He replied "we can just import more". What he and other listeners to Rush Limbaugh & Fox News don't understand is the oil available on the world export market continues to decline.

And with China locking up production with contracts in Venezuela, Cuba, Iraq and other places, much newly produced oil will never reach the export market. It will be taken from a foreign wellhead directly to China. The amount of oil traded on the world markets will decline even as world oil production remains flat.

In the case of Iraq, no oil will go direct to China unless they pay market prices for it as that's the way the contracts are written. International oil companies will receive a management fee but never own the oil. Well they can take their management fee in the form of oil but that amounts to about 50 cents worth of oil per barrel produced going to China under one contract. At $100/barrel they'd need to pay the full price for the remaining 99.5% if they physically wanted it.

It seems China likes to buy oilfields. They buy whole or part of a field then they own it. Price per barrel is irrelevant. I do not know the details of Iraqi oil contracts. But countries that have a hard time find borrowed money can just sell the field to China and then it is China's problem to finance the development.

Under the Iraqi contracts the oil companies (whether Chinese or anyone else) still have to finance the development up front long before they ever see a a penny in fees. They are reimbursed capital costs eventually if the field is developed to plan. The field, the oil, all the infrastructure etc always belongs to Iraq.

Iraq knows the world is desperate for its oil and the contracts have been written accordingly.

Contracts! Snickering.

Care to expand on that?

Not worth the paper they are printed on.

And then what happens?

Civil war plus sabotage causes production to collapse.

Ok, I just wanted to check that you weren't suggesting the opposite. There are many people (including a few on TOD) who seem to think the opposite - ie that somehow PetroChina extracts millions of barrels per day from Iraq and ships it to China for about $1 per barrel.

But I agree that the oil companies are taking a huge gamble in Iraq - spending a fortune with nothing more than hope that things hang together long enough for them to start actually pumping the stuff.

When I gaze at that figure, what springs to mind is the saying "So this is the calculus on what global wars are waged". Competition for resources, in this case, for the most precious one known. I doubt that the US and allied powers will go quietly into that dark night.

2000-2010: The Decline Of The U.S. Airline Industry

- passenger traffic in the U.S. peaked in 2007 and the current traffic levels are about 6 percent below the peak
- jet fuel prices rose an average of 10 percent per year during the decade

Here is an article about why solar energy will provide the best future. I expect that everyone who believes that we cannot escape the fossil fuel status quo should also read this.


Moon based solar power. I like it but the question the article does not cover are the costs of all of its flash ideas. Solutions where price is no object are easy.

The article points out that the common people are ignorant on energy issues. I would say the common people have little power or influence. So that point is irrelevant. TPTB have a good understanding of the state of the world. They act to maximize their power and wealth. Which is not aligned with the commonwealth of humankind.

The Moon is a harsh Mistress....I'd keep an eye on that. And it's not just the "common people" that are ignorant on past, present and future energy issues in the U.S.. Just look to your gov, and just about anyone in the media these days.

The common people have a great deal of power or influence, the point is NOT irrelevant. Real change to a criminal/corrupt/invalid gov, comes out of the end of a Gun Barrel. Been following the news lately in the ME?


The Martian.

Dear Benjamin,

First, I'd like to say that I am a vocal proponent of solar energy and fully expect that it will continue to increase in importance as part of our future energy mix and especially as humanity's dependence on fossil fuel diminishes.

However with regards the post in the link I afraid it reeks of pie in the sky cornucopianism. It is a prime example of a deep seated quasi religious belief in technology as a the ultimate savior of humanity. It is nothing more than science fiction. Nice illustrations though!

And this...

The solar future will be bright. Nearly everyone will be young, healthy, and sexy. The men will be beautiful and muscular and their days will be split between teaching university classes and swimming in the oceans protecting the fish farms from sharks. They will do this with long knives that they hold between their teeth. The solar future will be populated by heroic god-like men.

Well, that sounds like a perfect description of me... Yeah! Get real!




Are you saying that some people have unrealistic expectations of what solar power can do? Are you saying that their belief in solar might be based more on wishful thinking than realistic analysis of facts based on good engineering?

Thanks for the post Benjamin. I search Drumbeat every day for some post on peak oil, or oil production or some related subject. Sadly these posts are few and far between these days so I am posting less and less. Occasionally I get in a good debate and love it, but that only happens about once a week or so.

But then we get a post like yours spouting that space based solar energy will be the wave of the future and the savior of all humankind. What would we do without such comic relief now and then?

Thanks again, I loved it, you made my day. Perhaps tomorrow someone will post that fusion will be the savior of all humankind. That will be good for another roll in the floor.

P.S. Of course it was all a spoof. I knew that but I am not sure you did. And that is the part that made the whole thing so funny.

As to the women, they will be thin, beautiful, and will mostly wear mini skirts and dresses that fall at mid-thigh. Most of them will speak with sexy British accents and be just as smart as the men. The children will push straight blond hair out of their eyes as they perform advanced math on their computers.

Just as in Lake Wobegon all women are good looking and all the children will be above average. :-)

Now surely Benjamin you don't really think this guy was serious?

Ron P.

Now surely Benjamin you don't really think this guy was serious?

The inability to distinguish whether or not such a post is serious or not is what qualifies it as good 'POE'

1. Poe's Law

Similar to Murphy's Law, Poe's Law concerns internet debates, particularly regarding religion or politics.

"Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism 'Cornucopian Vision of a Solar Future' that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing."

In other words, No matter how bizzare, outrageous, or just plain idiotic a parody of a Fundamentalism 'Cornucopian Vision of a Solar Future' may seem, there will always be someone who cannot tell that it is a parody, having seen similar REAL ideas from real religious/political Fundamentalists Cornucopians.

But it was good for a laugh!

It is obvious Emek Vale, blogger, believes that solar energy does not work as he advertised. I suspect he believes that it does not work at all. Indeed, in We Shouldn’t Build Those Dirty Power Plants! he trots out all the uninformed nonsense about alternative energy systems:

Don’t get me wrong, solar cells on calculators are great, but no one should seriously expect them to power a house or factory.

My off-grid PV system has powered my house for the last 20 years.

He advocates coal and nuclear generated electricity. Nothing else will do for his cornucopian delusions of an ever growing, vibrant U.S. economy abstract from the real world of resource constraints and pollution.

Perhaps tomorrow someone will post that fusion will be the savior of all humankind.

Ron, there is another one. Geothermal energy in combination with: http://www.energyboom.com/geothermal/reducing-cost-geothermal-energy-hyd...

Nothing is going to save all humankind, there are just too many problems, but there is enough eternal energy to harvest. Regarding solar energy (not space based), that can be expanded quickly. In Spain they placed about 1 km of solar panels a day during 4 months and the energy for nighttime is stored in molten salt. However electricity is not the main issue concerning oil production decline.

On the island Curaçao where I live now, many know my concern and most ridicule it. I hardly dare to write it down, but it sometimes springs to mind that when Peakoil starts to cause much bigger problems, people will see that I am not nuts. But when that happens there is a good chance that those problems will not be traced back to Peakoil.

"Now surely Benjamin you don't really think this guy was serious?"

My impression is that the author's tongue was planted firmly in his cheek, but his other posts seem to be more serious.

Most of them will speak with sexy British accents and be just as smart as the men...

It is a shame our glorious future is as mysoginistic as ever.

In response to the article on bicycles how about raised bicycles paths in cities. Bicycles and riders are lightweight it should be easy to build elevated bikeways and they are not noisey like elevated subways. They could even have roofs to make them more appealing on rainy/snowy days.

Around my town the roofs would be welcome to keep the blazing hot rays of the Sun from baking your cranium. These roofs could host PV panels to boot!

As far as solar PV goes, space-based (including Moon-based) solar power is not gonna happen, but we can make small steps of investment on Terra firma:







These six examples are all new from 2011 -2010, and I found them with 2 minutes of Google search time.

I have driven around NM a fair amount for my outdoors fixes and can tell you all that most of this state is devoid of people, and there is a lot of hot desert for thousands of square miles.

I do not see transmission as being a big probelma...we get most of our trons from places such as the four corners plant, coal-fired plants in AZ, and some from Palo Verde!.

Albuquerque, El Paso/Las Cruces, Alamogordo, Santa Fe, Grants, Gallup, Deming, Roswell, Carlsbad, .. between solar PV, CSP, and wind...these places should be able to get a majority of their electricity from these sources, with NG and some coal-fired trons rounding out the portfolio.

The Sun blazes away here at least 310 days a year, with decent partial sun for most of the balance.

We should stop pissing away our scarce money by funding war machine programs at Los Alamos and Sandia Labs and their contractor cohorts and divert a goodly portion of those funds into more PV, CSP, and wind for this region....enough to decommission Palo Verde..if that plant every has a catastrophe Albuquerque will likely be in the plume footprint.

Attention government: Stop subsidizing monstrous over-spending in the MIC and start heavily subsidizing solar and wind...let us start building a new paradigm.

You are correct, we are making small steps.

Those 6 projects give a combined total of 94.3 MW of capacity. If they generate for 7 hours a day on average, then they will produce 240,936 MWh of power a year or .240 TWh. Considering that by 2020 on a world wide scale the growth in energy use will be 3500 TWh/yr, based on current trends, then we will need 14,500 projects with this capacity built each year. This of course will not replace any existing FF use, just the overall growth.

Personally I cannot see it happening, but we do need to do everything possible.


Here is my take on the recurring argument that 'by the year (fill in the blank), the World energy use will be (fill in the blank with some very large number):

1) The U.S. is not the World...the amount of electricity that folks in China, India, etc aspire to is not germane to the prospect of how much PV, CSP, and wind electricity can be generated in New Mexico.

2) I am referring to the generation of electricity, not to all energy demand (...growth in energy use...from your post).

3) The U.S does not have to continue to increase its population to 400 million and beyond. Enforce strict immigration controls and adequately fund Planned Parenthood and other similar efforts. Eliminate tax breaks for children.

4.) Americans already have all the toys and gizmos they need, and most that they do not. Instead of assuming that per-capita energy use will grow according to someone Else's prediction, price energy such that this growth will be unfeasible.

I am not raining on you or your post specifically, but am giving me blanket reply to the numerous such posts that renewable energy cannot possibly even keep up with renewable energy growth, let alone most of the projected total...growth will not be continual, and efficiency and doing less with less will be a fundamental part of the transition from our current lifestyles.

Pick any presidential candidate or congressional candidate from the left or right with maybe a few exceptions. Every one of those candidates will promise growth forever to the American people or complain about how growth has stalled in the last few years. Growth is the primary directive. All growth projections must be accepted without question. You are messing with the forces of nature. You will be crushed by the growth machine. You are a purveyor of misery and you will be harassed and then stamped out.

We are headed over a cliff. We know that but we must move forward even if we have been warned about the cliff. Something will turn up. We will grow wings right before we reach the cliff.

Planned parenthood is being threatened on the federal level and is being dismantled on the state level state by state. The so called pro life forces have gone way beyond abortion and now don't want anyone to even be assisted in family planning much less in out and out birth control. The forces who hate sex in all its forms except procreation are ascendant and have embodied themselves in the candidate of Saint Michelle Bachmann.

Americans' need for toys and more crap is insatiable and will continue until the shopopalypse.

The truth, however, is I think growth is over even though the vast majority has not gotten the memo. Right now, a lot of people are playing let's pretend.

The U.S. is not the World

This is what many here do not understand and why talking about what is happening in the world upsets people.

The numbers I keep raising are equivalent of the world wide energy use per capita rising to about 2/3 of just the US or Australia's current oil use. Total energy use per capita in the US was ~87,200 KWh in 2008. Total energy use per person by the figures I'm using rise from 21,283 KWh/capita to ~26,000 KWh/capita by 2020 on a world wide basis.

Given that current energy use is growing mainly in developing countries, not OECD countries, it is quite foolish to consider just one country from the OECD group.

It is the demand in the growing energy users that will price "developed" countries out of the market for many resources which is likely to stiffle the growth of the renewables.

I do think you've made your case pretty clearly, Hide-Away, but it's based on a couple points that bear more scrutiny.

Even if our energy use and Population still do look to be rising towards those heights you refer to, I have no great confidence in those estimates. Assuming we meet with a substantial decline in oil and other FF, or even maybe just this ongoing plateau, then it will stifle ALL growth, not just renewables, as we've been seeing with Airlines and other more immediately fuel-dependent industries. If that is to happen, I hope we will have been wise enough to keep the priority of Renewable Energy production up high, since no matter what our 'desired demand' for energy might be, and how much less these renewables will be able to offer us, they will possibly be the best if not the only game in town.

It's not a matter of whether renewables can keep pace with today's growth or with overall energy demand.. it's that these will produce energy based on Nature's Deliveries, not Man's, and we're looking towards the possibility that our own delivery systems might become FAR more intermittent than the Sun's and the Wind's, etc..

It's a matter of having a few natural candles in place of our dying kliegl lights, so that even if it's not as bright as it was, we're not cursing TOTAL darkness.


I do not always communicate the overall message clearly enough. I pretty much agree with everything you are saying.

I do not believe that it is remotely possible for renewables to replace FF. The numbers I'm showing are just trying to highlight how badly we are progressing with solar and wind. We should have been doing it 40 years ago when 'Limits to growth' was bought to the world's attention.

What we are currently doing and planning to do in the next few years is only tinkering at the edges of the overall problem.

The politicians around the world are really just pandering to a few green votes while they march ahead burning every Barrel of oil found and every tonne of coal dug. With the short term thinking of the next election (and even without elections for China) we will burn all the FF, all the trees, eat everything edible as we rapidly descend into chaos before meaningful numbers are reached with solar and wind to replace what the world uses.

To be realistic for populations to enjoy a modern lifestyle then renewables numbers need to be approaching the types of numbers I am using. We are already seeing some societies start a rapid descent into Chaos. The MENA countries are suffering under the burden of burgeoning populations and limited resources with modern society promising better. How much longer before Greece, Spain, Portugul, Ireland, UK or US goes the same way with stifling oil prices brought on by the peak and populations expecting better.

I'm sorry but I am firmly in the camp of the doomers, because the numbers clearly state where we are heading. We had our chance but blew it. The fast easy buck won and to hell with the future.

Sorry for the rant.

I guess I see your point a little better. Thanks for explaining.

To me, it still doesn't suggest any reason NOT to work to build out Renewables (and a large list of other preparations) as well as we can, and avert what amount of the (likely) disaster is possible.

When you say 'we had our chance but blew it'.. well, what of it? When you say it like that, it sounds pretty much like 'Shrug, well I guess we'll all just die screaming in flames.' and I don't believe that is clearly stated at all. I think there will be places that will be able to muddle through, that the results of this coming mess aren't going to be simply a homogeneous 'kerplunk!', and so I hope I've chosen my region well, and am lucky, and am prepared as well as possible to help this place be resilient and succeed in 'threading the needle'..

We have lots of chances all the time.. it wasn't One chance, it's a continual string of them, and the variety of outcomes changes with every choice and action.

'Tinkering at the edges'.. don't diss the edges, that's where there might be the best chances of a survivable scurrying path... I don't think this will come if it means waiting for the big dogs to do it.. but there are a lot of activities going on that don't read at the 'Big Dog-o-meter' (MSM), too. In a society defined by Big Sticks and Big Power.. most people have been carefully taught to disdain Teaspoons as weak and meaningless.. since compared to all the 'Mighty' stuff, they sure seem that way.. just like no raindrop is responsible for the monsoon.

I honestly believe that the future is going to be millions of little things saving us. I imagine a big seesaw, and at one end of this seesaw is on the ground with a basket half-full of big rocks in it. The other end of the seesaw is up in the air. It's got a basket one-quarter full of sand. And some of us got teaspoons, and we're trying to fill up sand.

A lot of people are laughing at us, and they say, "Ah, people like you have been trying to do that for thousands of years, and it's leaking out as fast as you're putting it in." But we're saying, "We're getting more people with teaspoons all the time." And we think, "One of these years, you'll see that whole seesaw go zooop in the other direction." And people will say, "Gee, how did it happen so suddenly?" Us and all our little teaspoons. Now granted, we've gotta keep putting it in, because if we don't keep putting teaspoons in, it will leak out, and the rocks will go back down again. Who knows? - Pete Seeger

The entire state of Texas has been declared a natural disaster. (bring on the Texas jokes). While I think this is actually an unnatural disaster mostly caused by man, that is beside the point. If one thinks this is just a cyclical phenomenon and things will return to "normal" , say, next year, then no problem. However, I think this is just a foretaste of worse things to come. Our 100 year drouths have become 3 year drouths; our 100 year floods have become 3 year floods, etc. The southwest is rapidly becoming uninhabitable and this will occur much more quickly than climate scientists thought just a few years ago.

The big problem for your view about little teaspoons is that these will be swamped by all the people migrating from places like Texas and elsewhere in the world to those places where people are trying to make a noble stand with their little teaspoons.

I admire your optimism and, despite the above, I do take the position that we soldier on with as many renewables as possible in the face of overwhelming odds. It all may just be one big disaster anyway. But continuing to count on fossil fuels is certain disaster.

There is the view, however, that nothing can be done and nothing will be done so why waste your energy and your breath. That is probably the most logically defensible position.

I look out my window and see a young rabbit contentedly eating the wild green leaves of summer. Sometimes I wish I were that rabbit. He just lives in the now.

..the not-so-silly Wabbit.

Well, you may have noted from prior posts that I don't live in the Southwest.. and this is not an accident. I can't prove that Maine will not get hit by some extreme or other, nor that I won't retain the capacity to relocate if it does.. but we animals do have to select our homes to what degree we can, and try to take stock of what dangers and opportunities a given home affords us.

'We blew it.. Game Over..', these statements with such certainty and finality are not about logic and defensability.. they are philosophical positions, no less than mine, perhaps, but they are presented with this hubristic air of 'The Hard Truth', and I simply don't buy it. We're in a hell of a predicament, I've never, ever on this site denied that.. but my response to it cannot include "nothing can be done and nothing will be done so why waste your energy and your breath."

There are certainly places where NOT acting, NOT doing is the best response.. but an overarching approach to life needs a lot more nuance than just that..

as for rabbits, there might be more to that rabbit's life than meets the eye at first glance..

"All the world will be your enemy, Prince of a Thousand enemies. And when they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you; digger, listener, runner, Prince with the swift warning. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people will never be destroyed."
— Richard Adams (Watership Down)

Cheers.. and hoping that wasn't too glib!


"For scientific leadership, give me Scott; for swift and efficient travel, Amundsen; but when you are in a hopeless situation, when there seems to be no way out, get on your knees and pray for Shackleton."

that most of this state is devoid of people, and there is a lot of hot desert for thousands of square miles.

Actually none of it (by my definition of hot) could be classified as hot desert. The minumum elevation in the state is roughly 3100feet (where the Pecos river flows into Texas). Weighted by population the average elevation has to be over 6000feet. Temps much over a hundred are difficult to come by. That should be even better for PV. The intensity of sunlight is reduced about 30% at sealevel. I bet in your state it is only reduced about 20%! Then the cooler temps that come with the higher elevations, mean the panels run cooler and are more efficient. So all in all the same rated system should do much better there. I imagine you have a similar effect with vehicle mileage. Wind resistance is proportional to air density, and your lower density (pressure) air probably lowers it around 15 or 20 percent.

Everybody has their own definition of "hot". Albuquerque, at 5000 feet, looks like ≥99 degrees every day for the next week, with a seasonal average around 93. Yeah, OK, it's a dry heat, but that's still bloody hot. Of course, Palm Springs is even worse, but that's hardly a consolation.

I suspect the cost of elevated bikeways would greatly exceed the revenue collected from the sales tax on bicycles, parts and equipment. The cheaper solution is to push the cars aside. As fewer Americans become able to own and operate cars, there will be fewer on the roads. Bicyclists should focus on surviving the transition.

Of course, elevated cycleways have already been done - Pasadena, 1890;

Ten miles long, connecting Pasadena to LA. Toll was 10c one way, 15c return. ($2.40 and $3.60 in 2011 money).

And built of a renewable material too, would have been great to ride on. You could probably charge at least $5 or even $10 each way for that today - there would be no faster way from Pasadena into LA in peak hours!

If any city had anything close to that today it would a major tourist attraction.

Full description here;

Via Low Tech Magazine

Thank you that is so cool.

Sigh. It's hard to imagine much of anyone building one of those nowadays, not in the lawyer-infested USA anyway. The on- and off-ramps would have to be enormous, as they already are for pedestrian overpasses, since the ADA would probably be invoked, prohibiting grades over, IIRC, 7%. (This has already prevented some overpasses from being built where I live; too many houses would have to be taken out to make way for the ramps.) That simple fence would never do, it would probably have to be a fully enclosing cage, again as on many pedestrian overpasses. The thing would probably be closed for "maintenance" every time you turn around - there's a lot more linear distance to "maintain" than with a pedestrian overpass, and even those are closed too long and too often. The chances of making an uninterrupted end-to-end trip would be essentially nil.

Oh, and the NIMBY issues with any sort of long elevated structure are probably two orders of magnitude too expensive to overcome merely for a bikeway. This is to do with "property values" and "home ownership", which trump all other considerations except sometimes for "safety".

Maybe it could be done in a city that has lots of lawyers that ride bikes? (if there is such place)

My solution to the on and off ramps is simple - a staircase. The "ramp" is right next to the stairs, at the same angle. You walk up or down the stairs, and push/pull the bike along the ramp. Put in an occaisional flat landing, every 15 steps or so. If you are healthy enough to ride your bike, you are healthy enough to push/pull it. This is exactly how one of the stairways that accesses the Sydney Harbour Bridge western walkway is built.

But yes, ADA would likely be invoked...

Even so, you can still do some tricks you can't do with car ramps. The ramp can, at half height, do a U-turn and even go back under the main cycleway. Calgary's has several cycleway crossings over major roads with the U shaped ramps - works fine, and, thankfully, no cage - that must be an American thing.

I agree that the NIMBY's would make sure it is not in front/behind them, but still want it close enough that they can use it.

I think somewhere will do it, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was somewhere like China or Brazil where there are many more people that ride bikes, and much less NIMBY ism.

Japanese researchers may have just increased the know reserves of rare earths by a factor of 1000.


"Vast deposits of rare earth minerals, crucial in making high-tech electronics products, have been found on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and can be readily extracted, Japanese scientists said on Monday."

The deposits are 3,500 to 6,000 meters below sea level, and the article does not indicate the concentration of REE's. I wonder how much and which type of energy would be needed to mine and refine them.

The Register doesn't think much of it.

Pacific rare-earth discovery: Actually just gigatonnes of dirt

Extracting just the rare earths at such concentrations costs too much. So, what else can they extract to defray those costs?

I don't know – and having read their paper, I don't think they do yet either.

There's a linguistic distinction used in the mining industry, the one between dirt and ore. Your veg patch and the North Sea bed both contain gold and uranium, but they're still just dirt really. Extraction would cost more than the value of what is extracted. If we can extract the metals at less than the price we'll be paid for them, then, and only then, the dirt transforms into ore.

So far, at least as far as I can see, the researchers have just found a very large amount of rare earth containing dirt, not an ore.

"Hose rip interrupts cooling of reactor 5"

The image is too big to fairly put up:

"a worker on patrol found seawater leaking from the plastic hose... Tepco said"

So this is what a "leak" looks like, in corporate-speak.

"If it hadn't been fixed, the reactor would have reached boiling point about 22 hours later, the utility said. That would cause all its water to evaporate, exposing the rods and causing another core meltdown."


I hadn't fully grokked that reactor #5 was being cooled with seawater delivered through external pumps and hoses to the Residual Heat Removal System. I guess this replaces the normal seawater flow to the sea-side of the heat-exchangers with the Pressurized Containment Vessel pure cooling waters.

This is a precarious situation. I guess it always is with these designs. If the waters stop flowing, the cores melt-down. When a core melts down, it can be detected in countries all around the world. When a wind-turbine falls over, the birds with the chainsaw just run away.

A view from the pro-nuke side:
>Nobody has died
> As for a large area around the plant being ‘uninhabitable’, it is worth noting that many thousands of people have worked at Chernobyl since the accident there in 1986 and continue to do so.
> alarmist nonsense
> Given that radiation has been released into the environment, it would be highly surprising if children had not ingested at least some.
> alarmist nonsense (#2)
> Making mountains out of meltdowns
> Only around 50 deaths can definitively attributed to Chernobyl

I find #4 most particularly enlightening.

This is a precarious situation. I guess it always is with these designs. If the waters stop flowing, the cores melt-down.

I've wondered about this, the pro-nuke pushers always say that the new ones are safe because they have "gravity-fed" cooling water from a tank to cool them during a shutdown without power. Well, this is 3 months later and the long since shut down reactor core still needs flowing cooling water. That's a HUGE tank to hold more than 3 months of water!

Ah! Nothing like seeing that Too Cheap to Meter Technology hard at work! I feel safer already.

Owners of nuclear plants are too cheap to care.

From the link:

the email said. ‘We need to ensure the anti-nuclear chaps and chapesses do not gain ground on this. We need to occupy the territory and hold it. We really need to show the safety of nuclear.’ The only shocking thing about this email is the public-school prose, chaps.

Oh, come now, all you pro-nuclear chaps and chapesses, no need to fret about this. No one doubts the safety of nuclear! Do simmer down, now, please! Go have a nice hot cup of tea with biscuits.

It's things like the stability of tectonic plates, the now all too frequent '100 year' droughts and floods, the increase in the frequency of category 5 hurricanes and typhoons, the historically unprecedented massive wild fires, the potential for civil unrest caused by resource depletion and the absolute stupidity of the idiots like yourselves who are in charge of public policy and have built up quite the reputation for lying through your teeth to the public at large, that we are really concerned about...

Seriously, the safety of nuclear, not so much!


Regarding the Yellowstone Oil Spill:

Cleaning oiled Pelicans is one thing. But its going to be really difficult to clean off those oiled up Grizzly Bears and Moose. It will use a lot more Dawn Detergent as well!

Broken pipeline leaks oil into river near Billings

LAUREL, Mont. – An ExxonMobil pipeline that runs under the Yellowstone River near Billings in south-central Montana ruptured and dumped an unknown amount of oil into the waterway, prompting temporary evacuations along the river Saturday morning.
Three oil refineries are in the Billings area, and Peters said he asked all three to turn off the flow of oil in their pipelines under the river once the leak was reported. He said the river where the leak occurred is about 250 yards wide, and that early Saturday morning an oil slick appeared to be about 20 feet wide.

Lots of moose and grizzlies near Billings?

Mooses kick real hard. (I am assured this by a vet friend.)
Grizzlies have lots of pointy bits.
Fun, fun, fun...

Since posting is light and this is a U.S. holiday, I thought I would share the following :-

I never realised how much activity (plant and animal) could be generated from seeds, sunlight, water and Moo-Nure.

As I sat, this afternoon, observing the results of five months of soil preparation, seed-nurturing and care, adding fermentation products from insect activity (mead from honey), and watching various members of the animal kingdom go about their daily activities, while reading Catton's "Bottleneck", I realise how little H. sapiens will be missed by the biosphere in general.

Happy 4th of July.

Nissan uses MPD (Miles per Dollar) to compare different fuels.

Says MPG per gallon now obsolete.


Leaf is rated at 25 MPD.

Prius is rated at 18 MPD.

Click on graphic to see comparisons with other vehicle MPD.

A Civic GX would then be cheaper still. We're allllmmmoooossstt to critical mass on CNG infrastructure here, with CNG at about $1 per GGE. That should come out a ways ahead of a Prius, or TDI VW.

I completely agree with this approach. The cost of driving is really made clear by
expressing it in terms of cents/mile. I now think at least twice before each trip.

I use a web tool called Fuelly to keep track f my gas expenses. You can see my data here:

Nice cool. I might force my wife (she drives 99%) to keep the receipts of fuel and miles driven, and start loggin.

Great email was read on CBC radio noon show. The question was put to listeners would you support a fixed link to Vancouver Island from Vancouver? Of course most said non no no, but one fellow said, and I paraphrase:
The ferries will continue to pollute even as oil becomes more and more scarce/expensive
A bridge could also support numerous windmill systems
The support columns could have embedded low-speed turbines for tidal power
And the deck system could embed wave generated power systems as support fixtures

Great ideas...certainly possible. Engineers could really get their teeth into those designs.

However, the best comments were:
too many cars anyway
don't promote more driving
what about foot passenegers and bikes? How can they travel the bridge? (25-35km?)
Maybe it is time to scrap car ferries and provide more passenger only ferries.

As a long time Island dweller, I shudder at the thought of a bridge, the hordes of visitors, and seldom travel to the mainland for any reason other than passing through.

Best then would be not to connect it from Port Angeles from the south (this would block ocean going traffic out the Straits of Juan de Fuca) or from Vancouver. How about a bridge from the mainland at Bloedel or Campbell River to Vancouver Island, and then connecting with Hwy 19?

Of course, they'd have to build a highway to Quadra Island from the south first before the massive hordes could make it across!

Best then would be not to connect it from Port Angeles from the south

The only delay known to man that is longer than the long weekend ferry lineup is the long weekend border crossing lineup, and you would have two>border crossings each way.

That is a plant the bureaucrats could truly get behind...

Well, in theory, this guy is right, you could have a bunch of offshore wind turbines that happen to have a causeway connecting them. And the bridge piers would make good reaction points for wave energy, not that there is really much of that in the Georgia Strait. This would be very expensive, and for safety reasons, you would likely have to shut down the bridge in stormy conditions, though this happens to the ferries anyway.

The best route for the bridge, would, of course, be from Tsawassen to Galiano Island and then Salt Spring Island, where you bulldoze a new road through Mt Tuam Ecological reserve, with a final short bridge across Satellite Channel Ecological reserve, to come onto the Saanich Peninsula at W. Saanich Rd.

I don;t think anyone along that route would have any NIMBYism, would they?

Those who live on V. Island knew it was an island before they went there, so why try to connect it? And those who were born there, are , well "islanders", we wouldn't want to have to call them "bridgers" now would we?

Another interesting question to have asked for that discussion is what toll people would be willing to pay to use said bridge?

replies to a few upstream comments.

Bloedel is actually Powell River and a very long way from hwy 1 and Vancouver....+ it would require more bridges or hundreds of km roadway to be connected as it is separated from/by very large inlets (fjords).... Howe Sound and Jervis. The mountains are straight into the sea rising as much as 2,000 metres in some places.....from the salt water. Couldn't happen. I flew this country for 20 plus years; straight granite plunging into the sea. Furthermore, a road that island hops would have to navigate through some pretty strong environmental areas. I can remember logging equipment being vandalized on a weekly basis.

The route in question....usually drummed out in the press, would be from Point Grey, at or around the Fraser River north arm, to Gabriola Island near Nanaimo, and then would meet up with the island Hwy via Duke Pt. Or, Horseshoe Bay to Gabriola.

I don't think the Saltspring route would ever fly due to the points Paul made....well, Saltspring is Saltspring and full of wealthy influential people. Saanich Penn would still require a huge drive for the rest of the Island and the way through/around Victoria is already a congested goat trail that baely keeps up to its' population growth.

Our Province is broke, although it tries to paint a rosy picture. There is a tax battle raging which will probably see a VAT tax tossed out. The money for mega projects was spent on the Olympics. The cupboard is bare and the citizens are getting angry a little bit, everyday. The average worker seems pretty cynical these days believing most of the Olympic projects went to insider friends of the Govt, which of course they did. The citizens got the tax bill, though. After all, how many average folks just need that 600-900 million dollar hwy to Whistler for the insnely pricey ski experience? (None?) Or, how many locals will use the 1 billion dollar cost overrun trade and convention centre? None? No, there is little appetite or trust for any more Govt. mega projects, especially ones that involve more pavement. Funny, I never see any fixed link proposlas floated out by the private sector? If it was a good idea, and could be cost effective, Jimmy Pattison or the Washington Group would be on it like white on rice. No, the only conjecture is the use of tax payer funds, and then the .....will be on it and great supporters. Tony Soprano, where are you? The smell of contracts is in the air.

The toll number kicked around was 160 dollars for a round trip.

What I think we are seeing and will continue to see is the costs of ferries (rising every freaking year), reach the point where they outstrip the rise of real wages. People will travel less and less and they (ferries) won't really be needed so much in the future. Freight can be moved by tug and barge, more cost effective than by trucks on ferries....and i well remember the cp railway barge that plied between Van and Nanaimo not too long ago. It can happen.

Of course, I am just a Yaris driving, homestead building citizen, with few credentials or connections beyond a great family and callouses.....plus that sore back. (We don't need no stinkin' bridge).


We (the sail transport project in Seattle) have gotten a couple inquiries from farmers near Port Ludlow about carrying over their goods via the community sailboats. One of them commented about the sharp increase in ferry costs.


I just love these sort of arguments about the pros and cons about doing some project. The bureaucracy have to have them to justify there fantasies. I remember the prime argument for building a bridge to the island of Langeland in Denmark. Langeland was suffering from high unemployment, the argument went when we build the bridge this will allow firms to build factories and thereby increase employment. The bridge was built then the law of unintended consequences kicked in, the bridge made it easier for people to travel to Fyn to find work and the island started to depopulate.

Deep Regards

Yorkshire Miner

Well.. that's easy to fix. Its like the leaking boat. You just need a second hole to let the water back OUT.

Slightly OT but somewhat related to leaky boats... My latest solar project, a little garden fountain powered by a 40 Watt panel, solar charger, 12V sealed gel 32 Amp/Hr battery, and running a 1.5 Amp 24V bilge pump purchased at West Marine.


How well do those bilge pumps like continuous use?


We shall find out! >;^)

They are not intended for continuous use but I'm running this one on half it's design voltage and it is shut off manually at night. If it fails it only cost a little over 30 bucks. Then we'll go out and buy a pump designed for continuous use... that's a lot more expensive.


Great Gadget, Fred.

I've just been picturing how to make such a fountain fit with my original image.. and I think I've got it.

It would be a 'half-sunk rowboat, with a fountain inside the boat showing us the 'In' leak, and its occupant standing and peeing off the side as the 'Out' leak.. maybe he has to have a long straw in his mouth, going down into the bilge as well.

Way too literal, I know.

Ah, let us know. Jokuhl ---eeeewww!


I thought peeing fountains were supposed to be cute.. ok, maybe he could just be 'seasick' and leaning over the edge.

No, I've got it.. the guy could have a little black box/Rube Golberg Contraption onboard with 'Zero Point' engraved on the sides, and the bilge water is being boiled in it, and the resulting steam is driving a paddlewheel.. or bursting out of a Tail-jet that is decorously propelling the boat! (The Boat would be called 'His Boy EROEI')

What fun!
Sweet doggy.

Another water project:
I made a solar-powered swamp-cooler for my dogs in the truck in the 80's. It had the batting lining the floor and four sides of a milk-crate with a spray nozzle wetting it - mounted within in a closed box - with the open top of the milk-crate facing the top of the closed box - with an inlet slot in the closed box to admit the outside air - with a squirl-cage blower exhausting the closed box through a large cut-out in the top of the closed box. The closed box consisted of two big plastic tote or storage boxes sealed rim-to-rim. The bottom of the bottom box acted as a water reservoir. All of the air passageways and the blower were oversize. The pump was a Sure-Flow 12V RV Pump running on a PWM speed controller turned far down. The blower had a computer tape drive reel-motor, a DC torque motor, very efficient at low speed, turning it. The air-conditioner would run on a single 40W panel. It also was used to cool my rooms for over twenty years.

I concur. I've tried to explain the role of energy in our economy, particularly in respect to price and how that impacts GDP, however, Only on a rare occasion does someone understand.

Our neighbors are very nice people, however they fail to understand the situation with energy, peak oil. They want to do anything and everything they can to promote greater development of our gated community. More amenities, newer buildings, etc. I've tried to convey it isn't a good idea for the assoc. to take on more debt while 25% of the homes are either vacant or going through foreclosure, because the economy isn't going to rebound like many think.

But like your post indicates, "the innocense and ignorance on matters of energy in our general population is astounding..." Perhaps it goes along with being innumerate.

Maybe the greater point is, if humankind is failing to comprehend our situation and act on it like Roscoe is imploring us to do in that linked video, then nature has a way of delivering a just response.

Solar power and community spirit sees Welsh village win eco title

A Welsh village is £100,000 richer after being named the greenest community in the UK.

So environmentally aware are the 1,300 residents of Llangattock in the Brecon Beacons National Park that they expect to shave around £62,000 off their combined energy bill in the next five years.

And they will be helped in that by the cash prize collected from their triumph in the British Gas Green Streets Community Challenge, designed to encourage neighbourhoods to save and generate as much energy as possible.

Gren Ham, founder of the group which has driven the Llangattock project and an officer with the national park authority, said the community had impressed judges with their ambition to become a carbon negative community by 2015.

See: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/07/04/solar-power-and-...

Llongyfarchiadau !


Widening GM Truck Supply Reminiscent of 2008 ‘Bad Habits’

General Motors Co. (GM) stocked Jim Ellis Chevrolet in Atlanta with plenty of Silverado full-size pickups in early 2011, part of a wager on a strong economic recovery. The strategy is backfiring.

“We thought that this year would bring back the kind of economic activity that would translate into us selling more trucks,” Mark Frost, the dealership’s general manager, said in a phone interview. “It’s not happening.”

Supply of Silverado has ballooned to 6 1/2 months worth at the dealership, a figure Frost, 52, calls “a little scary.” The Detroit-based automaker, 33 percent owned by the U.S. after its 2009 bankruptcy, has 280,000 Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups on dealers’ lots around the country. If sales continue at June’s rate, that would be enough to last until November.

WARD'S 10 Best Selling U.S. Cars and Trucks - 6 Months 2011
            Cars            YTD             Trucks	     YTD
1       Camry           147,469         F-Series         264,079
2       Corolla/Matrix  136,747         Silverado        182,785
3       Altima          131,842         Escape           122,607
4       Fusion          131,686         Ram Pickup       111,898
5       Civic           127,571         CR-V             110,916
6       Accord          127,105         Equinox           95,838
7       Cruze           122,972         RAV4              73,155
8       Malibu          122,783         Sierra            67,598
9       Sonata          115,014         Explorer          65,823
10      Impala          103,644         Econoline         62,545

Looks like they still sold a s**t load of trucks, anyway, despite high gas prices. Not surprised based on what I see on the road.

From the general population to the corporate world's best and brightest, everyone bought this fake recovery crap hook, line and sinker. Well, not everyone - I know a few who didn't believe it, but I've seen plenty of business plans now that simply treat 2008 as some kind of anomaly and assume that of course the recovery will continue. I'm pretty tired of well paid managers that are so confident in themselves and their opinions, and yet don't seem to have the faintest ability to think critically. How much should you really pay someone to extrapolate straight lines and assume tomorrow looks like today, only more-so?

People like trucks. Let's make more trucks. What a great plan - give that man a bonus!

OK, rant over - I feel a little better now. The collapse can continue.

GM Channel Stuffing Hits All-Time High

[T]oday we get point blank evidence that the second leg of the economic recovery is now completely debunked[;]...GM['s] June car sales were up 10.2%, broadly missing expectations of an 18% pick up, but far more importantly, and as we have been pointing out for a year now, the bulk of GM production [did] not ultimately lead to any sales, but merely more and more channel stuffing in the form of month end dealer inventory which in June just hit 605,000.

Grammar corrected, post date July 1. Handy chart at the link.

The scariest risks to the economy

Many economists blame the spike in oil earlier this year for the slowdown in economic growth, as it raised costs for businesses and cut into consumer spending. And though oil and gas prices have come off their highs of a couple of months ago, the threat they pose to the economy has not vanished.

"Oil prices sustained above $125 a barrel for six months or longer would guarantee another recession in 2012," said James Smith, chief economist for Parsec Financial Management.

How did he, James Smith, come up with that figure? Is it just a wild guess, that looks safe based on recent past? As long as we stay just below that price, everything should be just ducky then.

I could attribute this $125 breaking point view to this report -> Oil Shock Alternative Scenarios (PDF), however, $125 was in print before April 2011. The first report that I ever read on the subject was issued by the Wharton School of business about a decade ago and, by memory, they used $80 oil as the point when the economy starts being negatively affected.

$80 a decade ago is about $120 now due to the decreased value of the dollar.

Macondo II

China oil spill to have 'long-term impact'

SHANGHAI — An oil spill off China's eastern coast kept hidden from the public for weeks has caused long-term environmental damage that will hurt the area's fishing industry, state media reported on Tuesday.

...The state maritime bureau said that an area measuring 840 square kilometres (336 square miles) had been badly polluted due to the spill, Xinhua news agency reported

State-owned China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) tried to stem anger over its failure to warn the public about the spill, saying government authorities were aware of the incident all along.

The spill was first reported by a member of the public on the popular Chinese micro-blogging site Sina Weibo on June 21.

CNOOC confirmed nine days later that US oil company ConocoPhillips, which operates the Penglai 19-3 oil field where the leak originated, first reported oil on the surface of the sea "in early or mid-June", the China Daily said.

BP probably wishes that had China's media control

World needs $1.9tn a year for green technology: UN

GENEVA — The world needs $1.9 trillion in green technology investments a year, with over half of that sum necessary for developing countries," the UN said Tuesday.

"At least one-half, or $1.1 trillion per year, of the required investments will need to be made in developing countries to meet their rapidly increasing food and energy demands through the application of green technologies," it added.

At the moment, "external financing currently available for green technology investments in developing countries is far from sufficient to meet the challenge," it assessed.

Required = $1.900 trillion/a ($1900 billion/yr)
Allocated = $0.020 trillion/a ( $20 billion/yr)
Short = $1.880 trillion/a ($1880 billion/yr)

Hmmm ... not looking so good

Didn't we need a $ tillion a year (accoring to IEA) just to maintain oil production plateau.

S - And there's the rub, eh? If those numbers are approx. correct we need to maintain peak plateau so the economies can survive and thus be able to turn more green. But not enough capital to do both. Let FF production slide down too fast and the economies will having trouble just surviving let alone switching to scalable alts. Of course, had we started 30+ years ago we might have been able to handle both. But that don't matter now.

I'm not an economist so I don't know if your model is fairly accurate or not. But it's still the basis of the knock I have for most of the "solutions" folks toss out without explaining where the capex will come from to "fix" our problem. A viable solution that can't be funded is no different than no solution IMHO.

Rock - You pretty well summed it up - ... A viable solution that can't be funded is no different than no solution.

Can't be funded?

Come on, now. "No" is just 'Yes' to a different question.. Mother Nature just hasn't been clear enough with the question yet. She's working on it.

joker - That's why I've always had warm fuzzy feelings for Mother. She doesn't care how we project, predict, phrase the question or design an answer. She just does what she wants and laughs at us when we're sure we're in control. That's why I chuckle when I see folks saying we're destroying the planet. The worse damage we can do to the planet is insignificant to what Mother can and has done in the past. Just man's arrogance I suppose. We're certainly capable of destroying ourselves. But in Mother's grand plan we may be just be another one of those many milions of species that had their time and are now gone forever.

Agreed. This is why I am beginning to like small local partial solutions. For example a town that uses pumps to pump water into a water tower for pressurization can install enough PV to run the pumps during the day when the sun shines. This will not solve all the towns post peak energy issue but they will at least be able to flush the toilets and have water to drink and cook with.

Yes. Where it can happen, yes. It seems like a natural evolution. The town would then look like a well-behaved load to the grid, the grid that supplies its base-line requirements right now. The town can add energy collectors and energy storage willy-nilly. When the grid goes down, they have their own capacity. If it stays down, they have their own capacity. So these independent, 2nd-generation systems grow as accessories to the 1st-generation system, which may then wither away if things go bad, or continue if things go good. A model would be a neighborhood with a few big solar homes. If the grid went down tomorrow, the neighbors would probably work-out a deal to run "extension cords" to them right away. If things stayed down, the system owners would probably realize that the components might do better if joined or shared.

This offers a way to build-up solar without driving the grid schedulers crazy. Too bad wind only works or is reasonable in the large scale.

RE: Small Wind.. 'reasonable' is negotiable, of course. Hugh Piggott has led many folks into running their own homebuilt wind setups. http://www.scoraigwind.com/ .. and many a do-it-yourselfer is only a step away from being a cottage business.. and with all the development of high-caliber Radio Control gear, I've been messing with the idea of a small-scale kite turbine, using some of the concepts we've seen here.

In terms of Electricity in small communitites, I've been wondering if there might be a shift for some communities similar to places with scarce plumbing, where the waterworks and possibly the power and appliances are in central, community buildings, and the places where you sleep and have personal space aren't really powered or plumbed. Kind of an extreme for those picturing life on today's western terms.. but everything, ultimately is negotiable.. no?

A viable solution that can't be funded is no different than no solution IMHO.

Perhaps we need a different economic model... or maybe even just bypass the necessity for funding altogether.

Hanging Gardens

Swiss Re Warns Europe of Increasing ‘Soil Subsidence’ from Climate Change

According to a new study from Swiss Re, “Europe is witnessing a dramatic increase in property damage as a result of soil subsidence.” A new loss model developed by Swiss Re and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), also concludes that “climate change could magnify those risks.”

Prolonged dry spells, as recently seen in parts of Europe, can cause the ground to sink by so much that cracks appear in the earth, tearing apart the foundations of houses, bridges, factories and other structures. In the worst case, whole buildings can collapse.”

UK faces more harsh winters in solar activity dip

Britain is set to face an increase in harsh winters, with up to one-in-seven gripping the UK with prolonged sub-zero temperatures, a study has suggested.

The projection was based on research that identified how low solar activity affected winter weather patterns. However, the authors were keen to stress that their findings did not suggest that the region was about to be plunged into a "little ice age".

"The key message we are trying to get over here is that past experience is not a good guide here, even recent experience is not a good guide," he told BBC News. "Taking the averages from over the past 20 or 30 years is not a good way to plan for the future because there may be real systematic shifts.

Interesting article, but there's no mention of variability in the THC. There is evidence that the THC in the Greenland Sea weakened these past few years. Measurements of surface salinity show that there has been an increase in fresh water in the Nordic Seas, which would tend to "cap" those waters, preventing sinking. Trouble is, measuring the THC is very difficult and one program to do so may be missing the whole point, which is: Where does the sinking happen? I dearly wish that there were better data available, but, thanks to Bush the Younger, funds weren't spent on climate research...

E. Swanson

BD - Re: Fresh water cap

See Warming ocean layers will undermine polar ice sheets

The subsurface [650 to 1,650 feet (200 to 500 meters)] ocean temperature along the Greenland coast could increase as much as 3.6 F (2 C) by 2100.

The title of that report is a bit misleading, IMHO. From my reading of the abstract, since the study combines the results of 19 models, one must wonder how good the results might be. Many of the models in the past have not do a good job of representing the physical reality of either the sea-ice or the THC sinking, which occur at sub-grid levels. Lumping the poorer models with better ones would surely distort the results. Check out the different model results from Figure S2 (PDF warning) in the supplemental information. In Figure S5, results for the AMOC using two versions of the same model show considerable difference. As Michael Schlesinger noted years ago, if 2 models differ, they can't both be correct, but they can both be wrong.

Then too, this report appears to focus on the coastal glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica, apparently not the changes in THC process and we have measurements which show that there is a freshening of the waters of the Nordic Seas...

E. Swanson

Global warming lull down to China's coal growth

The lull in global warming from 1998 to 2008 was mainly caused by a sharp rise in China's coal use, a study suggests.

The absence of a temperature rise over that decade is often used by "climate sceptics" as grounds for denying the existence of man-made global warming. But the new study, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, concludes that smog [sulfur aerosol] from the extra coal acted to mask greenhouse warming.

China's coal use doubled 2002-2007, according to US government figures.

also Global warming pause linked to sulfur in China

I just made this comment to liminqi over at his Guest Post, Peak Coal & China, after thanking him for his post and his further interesting comments

In your first comment you mention industrial aerosol pollution possibly having a delaying or diminishing effect on climate change, with a later catch-up as skies clear when industrial burning diminishes. I saw this discussed by James Hansen in 1990 in an article in the journal Nature. (Hansen & Lacis, Nature 346 713-719.) They describe a delay as a "Faustian bargain".

Nukes going strong

"More than 180 nuclear reactors are currently under construction or being planned to be built in emerging countries and other regions, comprising a 1-trillion-dollar (approximately 80 trillion yen) market worldwide. Demand for nuclear energy shows no signs of decline even in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, rekindling fierce competition in the international business arena."

from http://mdn.mainichi.jp/mdnnews/news/20110704p2a00m0na015000c.html

Dutch state 'responsible for three Srebrenica deaths'

A court in the Netherlands has ruled the Dutch state was responsible for the deaths of three Bosnian Muslims in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre.

The Dutch were in charge of the UN "safe area" when Bosnian Serb forces overran it in 1995 and killed 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys.

The court in The Hague ruled that the Dutch troops should not have handed the three men over to Bosnian Serb forces.

The ruling was unexpected, and may open the way for other compensation claims.

IEA: What is the best way to respond to major electricity shortfalls? Plan now!

The report says it is crucial for governments and utilities to plan measures that encourage swift electricity savings because prolonged shortfalls may reduce economic competitiveness by creating uncertainty in supply and increasing costs of electricity. In addition, extended shortfalls may also have a negative environmental impact: Consumers faced with blackouts or mandatory rationing of electricity often turn to on-site diesel generators, which can lead to greater air pollution.

The 2011 report, Saving Electricity in a Hurry, is an update of the 2005 IEA report of the same title.

Pakistan could use a copy... just sayin

Listing of 2011 DoD Climate and Energy Symposium Presentations

Duncan Brown Presentation: Economic and Energy Security and its Impact on Maritime Forces
Economiscs: Slide 5-6
Supply Chains: Slide 10
Port Disruptions: Slide 12

• Disruptions do not need to be large to have an impact
• Lack of excess space and capacity for recovery magnifies disruption –and as congestion increases magnification also increases
• Effects of disruption could persist and propagate
• Multiple small disruptions can cause cascading effects that can reinforce each other, leading to system failure

Energy: Slide 13-37 (SPR, Worst Case Scenarios, etc.)

Bloomberg top story: Best Consumer Credit Since ‘06 Reveals Loan Rebound

Improving credit quality gives households the ability to lift borrowing as concerns ease about rising gasoline prices, hard-to-find jobs and falling home prices. A reacceleration in spending would belie Morgan Stanley economist Stephen Roach’s assertion that consumers will be “zombies” for years because of too much debt.

Burn-baby-burn, that oil aint no good in the ground.

Mid-Atlantic states' unique plan to replace region's dirtiest trucks

Led by the University of Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA), the new program will target the so-called short-haul "drayage" fleet that shuttles between their major ports, warehouses and local stores

"We no longer want our ports to be the place where old trucks go to die," says Joanne Throwe, director of the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center

The Mid-Atlantic Dray Truck Replacement Program will offer $15,000 to short-haul truckers to cover the down-payment on a new vehicle. The program is also helping arrange financing for the truckers. Over the next two years, it could replace hundreds of the most polluting delivery trucks in the region.

The Ports of Virginia, Baltimore, Wilmington and Philadelphia, with support from their states, are chipping in to add dollars to a $3.3 million base grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Private industry has also expressed interest in supporting the effort financially.

Dry and getting dryer ...

Fewer rain storms across southern Australia

Decreasing autumn and winter rainfall over southern Australia has been attributed to a 50-year decrease in the average intensity of storms in the region – a trend which is forecast to continue for another 50 years.

Italian police raid notorious hackers group: report

Italian police Tuesday detained 15 suspected members of an international hackers cabal called "Anonymous" blamed for several major online attacks, an Italian newspaper reported.

...The Italian branch of the gang is suspected of online sabotage against the country's parliament, senate and large companies like the state oil major ENI, according to La Republica.

"WASHINGTON—According to a report released this week by the Center for Global Development, climate change, the popular mid-2000s issue that raised awareness of the fact that the earth's continuous rise in temperature will have catastrophic ecological effects, has apparently not been resolved, and may still be a problem."


Antonov creates a 3-speed transmission for electric cars

There are a surprising number of designs out there for electric cars. Most of the design innovations are about creating a more efficient design. While this has meant, for the most part, that design innovations have focused on the creation of better batteries or other fuel cells to power the car but those are not the only ways to improve the electric engines.

... You may wonder why one would want to use a 3-speed transmission in an electric vehicle? While most electric engines reach their full torque at 0 rpm, which has lead the majority of developers to believe that only one speed is needed, the efficiency of electric motors still varies at different speeds and variable efficiency. So while the engine may be a peak efficient when it reaches 90%, at lower speeds the engine may be working at 70% or even 60% of capacity. This means a multi-speed transmission can optimize the engine efficiency at different speeds.

May also have some utility in marine propulsion: How can those little motors replace a great big diesel?

This design change has taken the IDTechEx Electric Vehicles Land Sea Air "Technology Award" for the most significant EV technical development in the past two years.

Umm - it's a 3 speed gearbox. There must be like a billion gearboxes in production for everything under the sun, and we've been making them for a hundred years (about as long as we've been making EVs). How on earth could this be such a big deal? It would just be a basic design decision based on the output characteristics of the motor balanced against cost, weight, space and other factors. What am I missing?

Lifetime. TZero had a very difficult time trying to source a 2-speed transmission which would last any time on their roadsters. They delivered the first lot with a guarantee that they'd replace the gearbox as soon as they found a suitable one. With no gears, the designer has to compromise too much in choosing starting capability on upgrades v.s. top speed, which is why the original TZero, though it could blow away every other sports car on start, was limited to only about 112 mph, whereas eg. a Corvette owner wouldn't even look at a car with that limited a top speed. (Ya do gotta sell them to somebody with lots of money at the start.)

Perhaps all the very expensive high-input-torque units available from the German manufacturers spent too much effort and cost and weight on things like clutches and synchronizer systems, whereas a good electronics designer would prefer to simply control the motor to emulate those effects. You know, an acceleration sequence like "1) accelerate to optimum speed for first gear 2) unload the input shaft using the motor controls 3) pop it out of gear 4) reduce motor speed until 2nd gear is synchronized 5) engage second gear 6) accelerate ..... etc."

Electric Beetle beats Bugatti and secures world record:


If you were involved in a serious enterprise to design an EV and you needed a gearbox of a certain specification, then you would have one designed. What this indicates to me is that EV manufacturers must be of such limited capability that incorporating such commonplace technology was problematic - probably they didn't have the money to pay for the development and tooling. So now you see a gearbox manufacturer fronting the development to get in the game. Keep in mind that for the automotive and agricultural equipment manufacturers all around the world putting out a new gearbox would not be a very big deal.

So which is it - are gearboxes for EVs really needed or are the EV development programs too shoe-string to make the investment?

IIRC, Tesla's do have gears. Some EV's like Zenns don't have them because they would add weight, and they are designed not to go faster than about 35 mphs anyway.

So is that why Borg-Warner builds all (the best) gearboxes for most US and German auto companies? Allison for GM heavies?


Tesla originally contracted with Tier I parts supplier Magna Steyr, but Magna was unable to deliver a satisfactory model within the timeframe.


Perhaps designing and producing a multi-speed transmission capable of accepting 300 NM torque from 0 to 14,000 rpm with an 8.5:1 low ratio, at automotive reliabilities and prices isn't as simple as you make out?

Torque won't be flat across the curve; it typically peaks at 0 RPM. Power peaks much higher. Torque is a function of current, so curves can be more complex with adaptive electronics. You can limit torque to save gears or limit current to save drive electronics.

Price and weight are the hard part. The cheap solution would be to gear it so the wheels spin before the box shreds.

Usually electric motors have maximum torque from zero up to their rated speed but power equals torque times rotational speed so power is low at low speeds. For example a 5kW 1450 rpm electric engine running at 145 rpm produce 500 watt of power.

An electric motor producing a given torque have approximately the same losses regardless of the rotational speed but useful power varies linearly with rotational speed. If a 10:1 gear is used then the electric engine above run at 150 rpm so that torque with be one tenth losses in the electric motor will be lower.

Some electric motors could also be run at above rated speed at rated power, they are usually rated for the power grid if a higher frequency are used they will run faster but at a lower torque. Output torque of electric motors with a fan mounted at the drive shaft usually have to be reduced at low speed because they are not effectively cooled.

Spain heat helps harvest but hydro reserves down

(Reuters) - A Spanish heatwave has helped the harvest in grain dependent Spain but official data on Tuesday showed it had also undermined hydropower reserves, which may boost the major gas importer's dependency.

... Lower hydropower reserves tend to make costlier gas-fired plants work harder and raise wholesale power prices, as well as drive shipments to what is the world's eighth-biggest gas-importer and the fourth-largest of liquefied natural gas.


Heatwave forces trains to go slow

Britain's heat wave has resulted in trains running slowly due to the risk of overhead wires overheating.

Portugal’s Debt Rating Cut to Junk by Moody’s

PARIS — Portugal’s debt rating was cut to junk by Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday, ratcheting up the pressure on euro zone governments to work out a lasting solution to their financial woes, a day after Standard & Poor’s said it would consider Greece to be in default if a French plan for rolling over its debt were implemented.


Is Europe’s debt crisis a “Lehman Moment” for America?

... In sum, this is not an economy that is well positioned to deal with a shock from abroad, let alone a major one. Its ability to absorb a systemic shock has been worn down by persistent internal economic weaknesses and the agility needed to sidestep, or at least minimize the impact of the shock, has been eroded by slow economic policy responses and stretched balance sheets.

... It also speaks to why some commentators have gone as far to suggest that the country faces another “Lehman Moment” — a devastating shock that totally paralyzes the economy, disrupts the functioning of the financial system and pushes the country to the verge of a great depression.

America's Newfound Energy

Similar to what's happened with shale gas, shale oil output from areas like the Bakken formation stretching beneath North Dakota and Montana is rising quickly. Rystad expects U.S. oil production, which bottomed out at 5.4 million barrels per day in 2008, to reach 7.4 million barrels per day by the end of the decade.

It appears the right wing MSM are on an (oil) disinformation campaign today. Can it be coincidence that this article appears in the WSJ on the same day that this one appears in Forbes?


7.4 MBD by 2020! Problem solved!

Pipe Dream:


I'm afraid your wishes for a pipe dream are themselves a pipe dream.

I actually follow this stuff closely (unlike most of you) and it is eminently believeable.

I find it very interesting that a report with few supporting facts or assumptions is given prominent placement in the WSJ.

Probably there are some critical assumptions built into their relatively very optimistic forecast - such as rising oil prices, future discoveries, favorable tax and environmental treatment, etc.

If someone from Norway, or anywhere else, has further details, please post.

You can always email them. Would actually be interesting to get them to do a guest post here:

But, Abundance-concept, surely as one who "follows these things closely" you would already have emailed them to get their detailed analysis of the US oil renaissance rather than merely relying on some anecdotes in the WSJ. Do please share with us the fruits of your research.

If you insist.

In a nutshell, my own guesstimates. I'm not going to email them because I already know what they're talking about ...

-- Bakken shale: 1+ million bpd by 2020, probably more like 2015. The shale extends all the way to Glacier NP in a different depositional basin, and there are some companies poking around that part of it, so if we include that it could be more.
-- Eagle Ford shale: ~1 million bpd somewhere around 2020, maybe a little less.
-- Niobrara shale: This one doesn't seem as big, I'll say 300K bpd by 2020
-- Utica shale (Ohio): Not sure, but based on the vast amounts of leasing going on I'd say it'll be good for 500K bpd around 2020. Maybe more, maybe not.
-- Monterey shale (CA): This is the source rock for most of California's oil fields. Occidental Petroleum says this will eventually become their biggest business unit. They're a big company so that says a lot. From the stuff I've read this sounds like a better rock than the Bakken. On the other hand ... it's in California. Have no idea, but I'm going to say 500K bpd maybe around 2020. We'll find out more from Occidental later this year.
-- Misc. Permian Basin shales and other unconventional plays. Haven't been following this one, but I'll just throw out a number: 250K bpd.

So far we're at 3.55 million bpd. Add in another 500K - 1 million bpd from misc other shales and you're over 4 million bpd. If the shales on Alaska's North Slope get developed, throw in another 1 million bpd, though the timing for that would likely be later.

Note that the oil from all of these shales is light sweet crude. Though this is unconventional oil we're not talking tar sands grade stuff.

Finally, these are *just* the shales. Throw in some deepwater GOM and maybe additional offshore Alaska stuff which will be coming online in the 2015-2025 time frame and you've got more to add to the total.

Now that I've written all that undoubtedly I'll be scoffed at, but as time goes on and these things actually happen I hope you'll remember this post.

EDIT: If the price of oil goes below about $60 for any longer than a year before the time frames I've described above, then you can throw these projections out the window.

Abundance, this post is a re-hash of what you said in a TOD thread about a month ago. You could have saved yourself a lot of effort by merely linking to that thread.

If I can rephrase my original request.... The "research" of yours that I was inviting you to share with us concerned the Rystad findings. Since you have not by your own admission actually contacted Rystad, and the link to Rystad that you have provided gives no information on shale oil in the US, you presumably have some other source of information on Rystad's work which allows you to claim that you "know what they are talking about". It is this "research" that I would once again politely request you share.

I do not have any access to anything Rystad has done. In fact I never even heard of them before today. When I said "I know what they are talking about" I was referring to what appears to be an effort by them to do the same kind of play-by-play analysis which I described above and which, as you pointed out, I have posted here before. That is all.

Unfortunately the WSJ article does not give details on Rystad's field-by-field analysis, but I don't expect a relatively short article in a newspaper to include such details anyway. That's why I said it would be nice if we could get them to do a guest post here on TOD.

Bill – You may have caught one of the debates abundance and I have had over his cornucopian expectations. But I’ll cut him a bit of slack on his Eagle Ford 1 million bopd expectation. But just a bit. Setting humility aside for the moment, I know the EF better than he or just about anyone else on TOD. Not that I’m that smart but I do have complete access to the detailed production history of every EF well ever drilled. And my data base is updated every 30 days. I also know what it takes to drill those wells and I know the oil patch infrastructure.

This is what it will take to reach and, more importantly, maintain his 1 million bopd expectation. Average initial flow rate = 600 bopd (I’m being a tad generous). Average rate over first 12 months = 330 bopd (90% decline rate). Thus it will take about 3,000 wells drilled EVERY year indefinately. A rig can drill about 10 wells/year…again a tad generous. So we’ll need about 300 rigs drilling. We’re approaching 200 rigs drilling now. If the oil patch pulls another 100 rigs into the play it will take a massive investment in the infrastructure: the oil patch in Texas is nearly maxed out today. If it happens it will take a while…the services companies still remember getting their legs cut off when the E Texas shale gas play busted. I wouldn’t say it’s likely to happen but won’t argue that it’s impossible.

But if it happens how long can it continue? The typical producing unit is 180 acres. So 3,000 wells per year will drill up about 500,000 acres. They haven’t delineated the full areal extent of the play. BTW only a portion of the EF is as oil productive as the above model. In fact, most of the EF interval is non-commercial. But, and it’s a big BUT, drilling is ramped up in time we may see as much as 4 to 8 years of such a drilling boom (my personal WAG). But once the play is drilled up the party will end very quickly. With that 90% decline rate that 1 million bopd will drop to less than 50,000 bopd in a few years. And that, my children, is why the EF is called is classified as unconventional. It ain’t got the legs of a Ghawar Field that’s still throwing our beacoup oil decades after its discovery.

Thus I would still say the 1 million bopd isn’t likely but not impossible. As far as his “predictions” of the others plays I will consider them BS until he (or more likely a real expert) offers the type of support data as I can for the EF. Until that time it's just white noise to me.

And yes...this was rather painful. LOL

Here ya go Rock. Note these are not *my* estimates, but estimates by "real experts" who work in the same biz as you.

Enterprise sees 750,000 to 800,000 b/d oil potential from Eagle Ford

The conference began with a new projection on potential Eagle Ford production for 750,000 to 800,000 b/d of oil, with expectations changing all the time, from Enterprise Products Partners executive Mark Hurley.

"The numbers get bigger every time we look," said Hurley, vice president of the pipeline company's oil and offshore business.

He said the new outlook tops previous estimates of 400,000 to 500,000 b/d and noted that some have predicted the play could generate 1 million b/d.

Chesapeake Energy says their project alone should produce somewhere around the 400-500K boepd figure somewhere in the 2020's. This does include gas, but still ...
Chesapeake Energy sez ...

Chesapeake anticipates the project will reach its peak production of 400,000-500,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the next decade.

Somebody else says Eagle Ford oil production will reach 421K bpd somewhere around 2015:
Benteck sez ...

“Horizontal drilling for oil has been highly successful in the northern part of the play, with production expected to increase fivefold from current levels of 71,000 barrels of oil per day (B/pd) to an average of 421,000 B/pd by 2015,” said BENTEK Managing Director E. Russell (Rusty) Braziel.

The Rockman analysis says:

But once the play is drilled up the party will end very quickly. With that 90% decline rate that 1 million bopd will drop to less than 50,000 bopd in a few years. And that, my children, is why the EF is called is classified as unconventional.

But this is the same spiel I pointed out a month ago that Rockman gave on the peak oil forum a couple years ago regarding natural gas. Turns out he was wrong. So yes, ladies and gentlemen, Rockman is capable of being wrong.

And BTW Rock, I never did see your response there until now (the format of this forum is annoying, but I digress):

Read that post again. I'm cleanly talking about the number of wells drilled and not the amount of NG produced.

Nope, that's not what you said. Wrong-O. Nada. Error. Nice try, but no cigar. Let's look at it again.


I would chance saying that NG production won't fall eventually but rather in the next couple of months. Your chart does support that possibility. Those records NG rates were set by record breaking rig counts in the unconventional NG plays. Also remember that not only do those shale gas wells deplete rapidly but that depletion begins the very first day production begins. There is no flush production. For each cubic foot of NG a well produces the reservoir pressure drop minutely but it does drop. And as reservoir pressure drops so does flow rate.

Again, I haven't seen the numbers from other operators but we’ll probably only drill 40% or less then the number of wells we drilled in 2008. And those wells drilled in Jan '08 have already declined significantly. We won't have to wait a year to see how accurate my guess is. We should see the results by the mid-year numbers. But, as you say, that drop in production capacity may be hidden by a bigger drop in usage. Time will tell there also.

Clearly and obviously you were talking about production. Even reading the exchange between us in the few posts above that quote made it obvious we both were referring to production, not just well counts. And yet:

Feb 2009 natgas gross withdrawals: 2,070,531
March: 2,256,718
April: 2,143,187
... And so on, and so forth. The mid-year numbers you spoke about actually increased over February. Four of the six months in the 2nd half of the year did see declines compared to the corresponding months in 2008, but the declines were small. If you look at it via marketed production *every* month in the 2nd half of 2009 saw increases over the corresponding months in 2008. And by spring of last year the year-over-year comparisons began pulling out of the gate. So your claim that high decline rates of each natgas well and falling rig counts would soon lead to falling natgas production just turned out to be good-old-fashioned wrong. And if you can be wrong about the relationship between shale gas decline rates and drilling activity in relation to overall production regarding natural gas, it is well within the realm of possibility you could be wrong about the same with shale oil.

Yair...abundance, what are you actually saying mate? You reckon this is going to make any difference?

Refresh me, I've pretty much lost the plot...as I see it Rockman's take on the play hasn't timed out yet.

One other thing ...

So 3,000 wells per year will drill up about 500,000 acres. They haven’t delineated the full areal extent of the play. BTW only a portion of the EF is as oil productive as the above model. In fact, most of the EF interval is non-commercial. But, and it’s a big BUT, drilling is ramped up in time we may see as much as 4 to 8 years of such a drilling boom (my personal WAG). But once the play is drilled up the party will end very quickly. With that 90% decline rate that 1 million bopd will drop to less than 50,000 bopd in a few years.

Say they drill 3000 wells per year for 8 years. That's 24K wells. Say by the time drilling stops 4K wells have been shut in, leaving 20K producers. To be nice I'll use the long-term stable production number you cited before - 20 bpd, or whatever it was. If drilling stopped immediately after the 24K wells had been drilled, you'd still have 400K bpd after a few years when the last of the drilled wells are completed.

BTW I read something the other day which seems to indicate the Eagle Ford goes all the way over to Louisiana. Have no idea if there's an oil window in east Texas too, but at any rate they're still in the baby stages of this.

Then there's one shale which no one has touched yet which, if what I've read is true, I will laugh my ass off at the doomsday crowd when they start tapping the thing, which is probably inevitable.

"I will laugh my ass off at the doomsday crowd when they start tapping the thing, which is probably inevitable."

I'm laughing my ass off at you already, a.c.. Our problem isn't so much peak oil. It's hubris like yours. It feeds my doomer side far more than peak oil.

a-b: Nope...24,000 wells won't be producing 400,000 bopd after a few years. The 90% decline rate has been well established. The 20k to 40k rate I was referring to was not per well but for all the wells. Essentially within 3 to 4 years after each well begins producing they decline to near stripper level...if the are still producing at all. And that's based upon the actual production numbers put out by you cornucopian EF drillers.

BTW: current results from the EFS indicated that 800,000 bo recovery is total BS. It would require a well to begin producing at 3,000 bopd or better. Todate the average initial rate of all wells driled is less than 1/3 of that rate. But hey, it's a free country: any one can predict any "potential" they won't if they don't have to back it up with fact. At some point I would hope you would notice that you keep repeating the conclusions/expectations from folks that don't offer any proof other than "trust us". Perhaps you're just a naturally trusting person.

Exhausted global oil supplies make Arctic the new hydrocarbon frontier

... Extracting these hydrocarbons would be hugely expensive using conventional means, but oil companies such as Shell are now building floating liquefied natural gas production systems which would reduce costs. But even high extraction costs can be economically viable because of the soaring value of fuel.

The price of crude has risen – from below $10 per barrel barely a decade ago to a current level of around $110 with predictions it could double again in the coming years, making exploration a highly attractive business.

Despite concerns about climate change, there is still rising demand for petrol and acrimonious debate about future fuel shortages and whether the world has already reached "peak oil" (the point at which oil production peaks before going into terminal decline). All of this makes oil deposits that are more difficult to reach financially viable.

"The low-lying fruit has been picked," is how Fadel Gheit, the veteran oil analyst at Oppenheimer & Co brokerage in New York, puts it.

also Thawing Arctic opens up new shipping routes on the 'roof of the world'

Other news from the 'great white north'

Satellite Spots Massive Ice Island Off Canada Coast

...The island has been slowly breaking up and melting on its more than 1,800-mile (3,000-km) journey so far. News agencies reported that the ice island now covered roughly 24 square miles (62 square km) in area and weighed between 3.5 and 4 billion tons.

But even with its diminishing size, could eventually pose a hazard to offshore oil platforms and shipping lanes off Newfoundland.

If oil doubles to $220 a barrel (2 X $110 from article) and the world's consumers cannot afford to buy (let alone have their economies see any growth) oil at that price: how does that make oil deposits that are so much more difficult to extract financially viable?

The Jack-2 field in the GOM, discovered in 2006, may finally be going into production - in 2013.

GE O&G Awarded Chevron Contract for Jack/St. Malo Fields
Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Chevron's initial development of the Jack and St. Malo fields will be comprised of three subsea centers tied back to a hub production facility with an initial capacity of 170,000 barrels of oil and 42.5 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.


Here is the original TOD analysis:

Jack-2 and the Lower Tertiary of the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico

Posted by Dave Cohen on September 11, 2006 - 10:50am

With the successful test drilling of Jack-2 in the ultra deepwater Gulf of Mexico, there has been a media blitz proclaiming the good news. The "peak oil" theory is under attack. From Business Week's September 7, 2006 article Plenty of Oil--Just Drill Deeper The discovery of reserves in the Gulf of Mexico means supply isn't topping out, we learn

"You can tune out all the scare talk about Peak Oil for a while--probably a long while. Peak Oil is the theory, on the verge of becoming conventional wisdom, that the world's petroleum supply is topping out and will not be able to meet global demand soaring along with the economies of China and India. But a successful test in a mammoth field deep beneath the Gulf of Mexico, announced on Sept. 5 by Chevron (CVX), Devon Energy (DVN), and Norway's Statoil (STO), should help put that scary scenario on hold for decades...."

Cambridge Energy Research Associates predicts world oil and natural gas liquids capacity could increase as much as 25% by 2015. Says Robert W. Esser, a director of CERA: "Peak Oil theory is garbage as far as we're concerned."


I have a short draft article on Jack-2, then and now, hype vs. reality.

Since TOD will not publish anything I write, I will publish it elsewhere when completed.


Since TOD will not publish anything I write, I will publish it elsewhere when completed.

And yet, here that statement is and I'm able to respond to it.

Geez, Eric.. Publishing an Article and posting a comment are really not the same thing, are they?

Just keep letting us know when you've got articles coming out.


TOD was willing to publish the JPod thing as an article - why would they not be wiling to publish what you have to say?

An article that I worked on for 4 months was very quickly rejected. The elapsed time between submission and rejection was too short to allow a reading of the article and the discussion between two editors. So I conclude that it was not read, but summarily rejected because I was the author.

Published here


And here


and here


Heading Out later reviewed the article on TOD.



I had no idea...

"Ant Tribes"

"These graduates are becoming a part of a phenomenon called “Ant Tribes” -- university and college graduates who cannot find work."
"Parents dedicate their lives to provide education for their children. They work extremely hard to make sure that they can receive the best education available. Chinese people believe, much thanks to Confucian tradition, that education is the key to success and prosperity,"
"”Unlike slums in South America or
Southeast Asia, these villages are populated with educated young people as opposed to laborers or street peddlers,”"

"China’s college graduates on average make only 300 yuan, or roughly $44, more per month than the average Chinese migrant worker."

The comments say that the graduates are not really skilled. They also, due to Chinese culture, generally can not be creative.

The swarms are so bad that residence restrictions and electronic ID cards are being considered.

But, please, remember that this is a numbers game. Once the huge numbers of useful and inspired graduates are set to work, there iremains a vast pile of dross. It has in no way hampered China from fulfilling Хрущев's promise of "In 7 years we will reach the level of America. When we catch up and pass you by, we'll wave to you."

This relates to engineering solutions to energy problems. It comes from researching while reading the Chinese coal thread.