Drumbeat: July 23, 2011

Iran says remains OPEC second-largest producer

(Reuters) - Iran retains its position as the second-largest producer in OPEC despite the group's report that Nigeria has now obtained the rank, the students news agency ISNA quoted the country's OPEC governor Mohammad Ali Khatibi as saying on Saturday.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' Annual Statistical Bulletin has put Nigeria ahead of Iran, adding that Iranian experts were examining the report.

Crude Oil Futures Advance in New York on U.S., Europe Debt Talk Optimism

Crude oil climbed to a six-week high on optimism that the U.S. will increase its debt ceiling and as euro-region leaders worked to convince investors that plans to contain the debt crisis will be adequate.

Oil increased for a fourth week as President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, seeking to avert a U.S. default, are pursuing a broad agreement to boost the debt limit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said government chiefs had widened the scope of their bailout fund to allow it to buy the bonds of debt-laden nations.

Chances for gas pump price breaks appear slim

The chances for late-summer discounts at the gas pump are looking pretty slim.

Americans are paying about 15 cents more for a gallon of gas now than they did over the July Fourth weekend and nearly $1 more than a year ago. The national average for a gallon of regular was $3.695 a gallon Friday, up 0.6 cent overnight, according to AAA, Wright Express and the Oil Price Information Service.

In a rare twist, California drivers aren't paying the highest prices in the lower 48 states. That unwelcome distinction belongs to the Northeast. Refinery and import issues have tightened supplies there, while gas is more plentiful in California, according to Fred Rozell, retail pricing director at OPIS.

Could U.S. Gas Prices Rise Above $5 Per Gallon?

No one knows precisely at what point oil begins to substantially hinder consumer spending and slow commercial activity - but this much is known: every $1 per barrel rise in oil decreases U.S. GDP by about $100 billion per year and every 1 cent increase in gasoline decreases U.S. consumer disposable income by about $600 million per year.

To be sure, the flexible and resilient U.S. economy is more-energy efficient today that it was 10 years ago - even five years ago -- and it will likely become more efficient in the years ahead, but that doesn't blot-out the fact that the U.S. remains an oil-dependent economy. Most cars still run on gasoline, trucks on diesel, and oil is also a major fuel for heat. Hence, sustained, high oil prices translate in to bagdthings for U.S. GDP, corporate earnings growth, and by extension, for most U.S. stocks.

Mexico oil exports rise in June, output edges down

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's oil production dipped slightly in June to 2.544 million barrels per day, while exports rose in the month compared to May, state-oil company Pemex said on Friday.

A top oil exporter to the United States, Mexico shipped 1.425 million bpd of crude in June, up 4 percent from the 1.368 million sent abroad a month earlier.

Nigeria’s September Crude OIl Exports to Fall to Six-Month Low, Plans Show

Nigeria, the largest oil producer in Africa, is scheduled to export 2 million barrels a day of 14 major crude grades in September, the lowest in six months, according to loading plans obtained by Bloomberg News.

The country will ship 65 consignments in September totaling 59.9 million barrels. This compares with next month’s plan to export 71 cargoes amounting to 64.6 million barrels. The daily shipments for September will be 4.2 percent less than August.

China hungry for South China Sea oil: Philippines

NUSA DUA - China's aggressive actions in the South China Sea appear to be motivated by a hunger to exploit the area's rich oil and gas resources, the Philippines' foreign secretary said Saturday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an Asian security forum in Indonesia, Albert del Rosario also said China's behavior in the disputed waters raised concerns about how it would treat its neighbors as it became more powerful.

Iran, Iraq, Syria to sign contract to transit natural gas to Europe

Iran, Iraq and Syria will sign a contract for the transit of Iranian natural gas from the country's South Pars gas field to Europe, the English language satellite Press TV reported on Friday.

Beijing Looks to S. China Sea for Much-Needed Offshore Resources

The South China Sea has been engulfed in territorial disputes for decades. Its rich oil and natural gas resources is one of the biggest reasons the area is so hotly disputed. China claims the entire South China Sea as its own and recently stepped up its efforts to harness and exploit resources there, deploying its first deep sea oil rig to the area.

In late May, China announced the launch of a massive, advanced deep sea oil rig, the CNOOC 981. The rig, which is as big as a football field, was built by China's State Shipbuilding Corporation for the country's flagship offshore oil and gas producer, China National Offshore Oil Corporation. It is capable of working at depths of 3,000 meters and extracting oil as deep as 12,000 meters.

Malawi President Blames Protesters for Violence

CAPE TOWN — Facing international condemnation for his government’s use of force against peaceful demonstrators, Malawi’s president defiantly blamed protest organizers and political opponents on Friday for the violence that left 18 people dead this week. And he warned them against a return to the streets.

“This time I’ll go after you,” President Bingu wa Mutharika said at a police ceremony in the city of Zomba, according to The Associated Press. “Even if you hide in holes, I’ll smoke you out.”

Egypt’s protests continue despite cabinet reshuffle

CAIRO (BNO NEWS) -- Hundreds of protesters on Friday participated in a mass protest designated as "Friday of Decision" in Cairo's Tahrir square despite the latest government reshuffle, Ahram Online reported.

Jordanian protesters burn U.S. flag

Hundreds of Jordanians held a demonstration Friday, where they burnt a U.S. flag and stressed rejection of America's interference in the region.

Tripoli struggles for a sense of normalcy 5 months into civil war

While rebels may be no more than 60 miles away and opposition to Moammar Gadhafi seethes in shadows of the capital, Tripoli does not have a feeling of city under siege, as its 1 million residents adapt and carry on getting married, going shopping and strolling by the sea.

Survivor of Attack Leads Nuclear Effort in Iran

WASHINGTON — Eight months after he narrowly survived an assassination attempt on the streets of Tehran, Fereydoon Abbasi, the nuclear physicist whom Iran’s mullahs have put in charge of the country’s Atomic Energy Organization, is presiding over what intelligence officials in several countries describe as an unexpected quickening of Iran’s production of nuclear material.

Japan Trade Min: Tepco Should Share Cost Of Cesium-Tainted Beef

TOKYO -(Dow Jones)- Japan's trade minister said on Saturday that Tokyo Electric Power Co. Inc (9501.TO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, should share with the government the cost of purchasing beef containing radioactive cesium, public broadcaster NHK reported.

"Because purchases of contaminated beef are part of damages caused by the nuclear crisis (at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant), we are going to ask Tepco in what way the utility can pay compensation," Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Banri Kaieda was quoted as saying.

EPA releases 2 draft permits for offshore projects

JUNEAU, Alaska - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released draft air quality permits necessary for exploratory drilling projects in Alaska's Arctic waters to proceed.

ExxonMobil not cooperating, Schweitzer says

Three weeks after polluting the Yellowstone River, ExxonMobil continues to withhold information key to cleaning up the mess, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer said Thursday.

Exxon cleans up 4 sites in Yellowstone oil spill

BILLINGS, Mont. – ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. crews have finished initial cleanup work on four sites contaminated when a pipeline carrying crude oil broke underneath the Yellowstone River three weeks ago.

US State Dept to assess Canada oil pipe next month

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said Friday it expects to issue next month a final environmental assessment on TransCanada Corp's proposed $7 billion pipeline that would take petroleum from Canada's oil sands to refineries to Texas.

NRC Releases Study of Yucca Waste-Site Application

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission released a technical study of the U.S. application for a waste dump at Yucca Mountain as Republicans demand information on the halted Nevada project.

Heat wave sends Con Ed electric use to new high

(Reuters) - Power company Consolidated Edison said its peak electric use hit an all-time high on Friday as a brutal heat wave enveloped New York City.

Walgreen Pledges to Host 800 E.V. Chargers by End of 2011

Walgreen describes itself as the nation’s largest drugstore chain, and the company has another superlative to promote. On Thursday, it vowed to become the country’s biggest host for public electric vehicle charging stations by the end of the year. In total, stores will have about 800 chargers.

Solar Mirages Bring Muddy Waters Concerns to Panel Makers

Investors are starting to doubt profit estimates for China’s solar manufacturers as concerns about accounting practices first spotted at a forestry company spread nationwide.

10,000 Buildings Get the Word on ‘Dirty’ Fuel

In April, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced new heating oil regulations for thousands of buildings across the city. Now those buildings — most of them apartment houses — are reviewing their heating systems.

The new rules require that by 2015, about 10,000 buildings switch from No. 6 heating oil, the cheapest but also the dirtiest fuel available, to No. 4 heating oil. Some buildings need to make the change as early as next July. But since buildings will be required to use either No. 2 oil or natural gas by 2030, many building owners are contemplating making the larger change now to avoid two separate conversions. Natural gas currently costs about 30 percent less than fuel oil.

Preparing for Hendersonville's Future

Nicole Foss, a world renowned economic analyst, focused her discussion on financial bubbles. According to Foss, what financial bubbles do is not create real wealth but the perception of real wealth, such as the rise in housing values over the past decade. Every credit expansion in history has been followed by an enormous debt deflation. Given that credit is more than 95 percent of the effective money supply, the effect is there's excess claims for underlining real wealth. A comparison was made between the roaring ‘20s in America during the height of a credit expansion and the contraction of the ‘30s, which lead to the Great Depression. Looking at the credit expansion currently underway, Foss explained that what we are currently facing is the largest credit expansion in human history, which is bound to fall in proportion to the excesses that preceeded it.

UN Emission Traders Start Abandoning 2012 Credits on Price, Surplus

Interest in United Nations emission credits for 2011 and 2012 has waned after prices dropped to a two-year low and traders began to transfer positions into later years to avoid an oversupply exacerbated by the recession.

Say goodbye to Colombia's glaciers

Colombia's greenhouse gases pale compared to emissions from the United States and other industrial giants. That's why Ceballos says there's little the Colombian government can do to slow the melting of the glaciers. Instead, he's focused on documenting their disappearance.

Alpine glacier retreat pushing Europe closer to water crisis

Future glacier retreat in the Alps could affect the hydrology of large streams more strongly than previously assumed, a new study shows.

Flood-Prone Land Likely to Increase by 45% -- a Major Challenge to Federal Insurance Program

CHICAGO -- A three-year study to determine the possible impacts of climate change on federal flood insurance will warn of huge increases to the amount of land that could be inundated by rising sea levels, heavier downpours and stormier coastlines.

From the top story:

OPEC's growth in oil reserves was mainly due to Venezuela, whose holdings rose to 296.5 billion barrels from 211.2 billion in 2009, as the report said. Top OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia's reserves were steady at 264.5 billion barrels.

Iran and Iraq also boosted their reserves last year. In October, Iran increased its reserves to 150 billion barrels within a week of an upward revision by Iraq, ensuring that Tehran continued to rank above Baghdad.

Can you want better evidence that figures for OPEC reserves are fiction? Despite production of some 3 billion barrels in the last year, Saudi Arabia's reserves are unchanged. Funny how they've discovered exactly as many barrels as they've produced! And Iran posts a reserve increase, coincidentally just a week after Iraq does, and coincidentally restoring it to its previous place in the pecking order.

If industry professionals believe these figures, they're fools. They should call them on their lies, publicly.

Because of these top stories on Iran, I went to take a fresh look at the Export Data Browser on Iran. Wow!, if you look at their consumption curve compared to their export curve, it looks like a crossover in 3-4 years.That should do wanders for their ELM profile.

That's why Iran is implementing a massive programme to reduce domestic usage by both raising prices and promoting a massive switch to compressed natural gas for vehicles.

Press TV Iran has covered the subject complete with mention of worldwide Peak Oil.

Well, they certainly know how to keep the people in line.

Iran public execution outrages human rights groups
Footage shows 'disturbing normality' of public executions with convicts hanged from bridge in front of crowds, including children

Just as well those friends of ours like the Saudis don't have public executions. Oh wait a minute.

Then there's that nice Quatar with the Football World Cup in 2022. I wonder if they'll lash openly gay football players at half-time.

Telling something so obviously untruthful carries many messages most people ignore. They are a sovereign state and what business but theirs is it to any one else. KSA is being 'diplomatic' or 'polite' instead of saying F-off. It is not 'our oil' that just happens to be under 'their' ground. Telling the world what your reserves are could make you less important and less worthy of US defense, or China's. I personally think it is their right to keep their information to themselves, I would.

No one has the right to know what is or isn't in my bank account, it is mine, obviously unless it is the gov. If I feel I'm compelled to talk about it I will tell whomever whatever I think is strategically in my best interest for them to hear, which is likely not the truth. Telling people to F-off doesn't go over well, if they want to ask about something they shouldn't, I don't find it impolite to lie to them. KSA has sold their national resources to cheap for to many years, they should play their cards very carefully and they do.

The idea that we have the right to know all about what goes on in KSA or any other country and to meddle in their internal affairs and expect to be treated 'nicely, with respect, and honestly' goes against the grain of humans on a fundamental level. Turn the tables, should the KSA take our money in exchange for our oil with out knowing what our true debts are, how much money we intend to print, what our military has in pre-planning?

Talking about fools, we have delayed dealing with the reality of finite resources. We have been warned over and over. We have much bigger problems than arguing over where they are telling the truth when we KNOW they are not.

This is not intended as a personal attack. The issue of KSA telling the truth has been a issue for years, it is pointless. We need to move on with the critical and pressing issue's we face. The lack of 'cheap' oil will reshape our world economy. The hard edged of decreasing supply will force actions we have not been able to do ourselves voluntarily.

Ignore KSA's statements. If you want to be effective, devise a plan to not need them.

The House of Saud doesn't put figures for oil reserves in the OPEC bulletin because its customers want them. It does it because OPEC allocates production quotas on the basis of each member's reserves. Most, if not all, OPEC nations lie about their reserves in order to maximise their quota. A special prize should go to the Emir of Kuwait, who started the shenanigans in the 1980s and set off a round of competitive re-statements of oil reserves.

It does it because OPEC allocates production quotas on the basis of each member's reserves.

Well no, this is not the case. True OPEC, in the early 80s, did discuss quota allocations on the basis of proven reserves. This set off a flurry of vast increases in "proven reserves" by the then OPEC members. But this policy was never implemented. If it had been then Algeria, Angola and Ecuador would have virtually no quota at all. The production quota of OPEC nations seems to have no relation to their claimed proven reserves as the pie chart at this link shows.

OPEC Share of World Crude Oil Reserves

Ron P.

Delusional, you are simply on the wrong track. You have the wrong idea about everything. It is not about our "meddling" or "our right to know what is only Saudi's business" or anything even remotely along those lines. It is about being aware, or totally not aware, of a very dire situation. Do the people of the world have a right not to be lied to about the future of oil production, about whether they should prepare for the collapse of world oil production or not.

Saudi is lying for two reasons. One, it is about prestige. We are not really concerned about their prestige, it is the second reason they are lying that is so important. They are very afraid that the world will, if they sense a decline in world oil production, develop alternatives to oil that will kill demand for Saudi oil, or at least greatly diminish the price of their oil.

Their lying is far from being the sole cause of world ignorance of the coming decline in world oil production, but it does greatly contribute to it. The link I posted at the top of Yesterday's (Friday's) Drumbeat is a perfect example. It showed a chart published by the IEA that show MENA recoverable oil reserves at about 1.3 trillion barrels. The world is betting on this oil. But less than half of this amount is actually there. That lie is definitely hurting. We have a need as well as a right to know how much recoverable oil is left in the ground.

Ron P.

Perhaps they also lie to perpuate the myth of supremacy and stature for their own population. If the (Saudi commoners) 'locals' knew the truth, the uprising would be well underway. When the wells start to really sputter water-cut the only sound you will hear are those private jets firing up for safety and refuge. Maybe GW has some rv spots set up on the fabled Crawford Ranch. Who would want to live there, anyway? Add some bullets and beheadings, well, it was a good ride while it lasted.

Maybe the Saudi royals have cut a deal with China, trading oil for a few of those "ghost cities". When the time comes, the princes could just fly in and take up residence. That is, assuming they first stash enough gold in Switzerland to pay the locals for the next 100 years...

E. Swanson

Remeber that they are muslims, and KSA is the "Holy Land of Islam", with the two Holy Mosques. They are VERY proud of this, and they will not give this up as easily. They will stay to the bitter end.

The leadership may SAY many things - but are they what they say they are?

Statements about how the leadership class drinks booze (as an example) show a disconnect between what one says VS what one does.

And 'leadership' claiming they 'lead' because they do special stuff due to their special relationship with a 'big sky chief' goes back many generations - "the divine right of kings" is a phrase for a reason.

As far as the U.S. goes, the current prevailing belief is that we have plenty of oil and natural gas to last us for at least 100 years. Based on that belief, the prevailing belief of the Republican party and much of the Democratic party is to drill as much as possible. This coincides with a belief that we don't need to be dependent upon Saudi oil. So, I am not sure it matters what OPEC or the Saudis do at this point.

So, I am not sure it matters what OPEC or the Saudis do at this point.

Tstreet, I specifically used the word "world" several times in my post to emphasis that I was talking about what is important to the world! It is very important to the world what the Saudis do, or don't do, at this point.

That being said the data put out by BP, the EIA and the IEA has great influence on US politicians. It matters what they say. If the truth were known then US politicians might just have a totally different attitude about the situation. So I think it matters, not just to the world as a whole but also to the US in particular. It is precisely because the IEA and the EIA tell us that the world is awash in oil that US politicians think simply drilling locally would solve all our local problems.

Ron P.

I know you said the "world" fwiw. Anyway, I believe your view is that we will extract every last bit of economically extractable hydrocarbons regardless. Further, I think the people and the politicians are completely hopeless when it comes to recognizing reality so what's a little extra unreality from OPEC. Maybe I misunderstood you but I thought you have repeatedly said that the only thing that will gets people's attention would be extreme pain in the form of higher prices or lack of oil to meet basic human needs. I may be mischaracterizing your view but I have pretty much come around to what I thought your view was. LOL

I think the vast majority will quit consuming mass quantities of oil and other hydrocarbons when they simply do not have a choice. This is grossly anecdotal but I have a brother who is certainly aware of what is going on who recently went the wrong way --- he traded in his Honda civic (fairly new) for an SUV. It is a small SUV but nevertheless this seems like the wrong direction.

Maybe this has just been a bad week but I feel particularly doomerish lately. The weather probably has something to do with it. Will this heat wave and record power demands make any difference? Not on your life. When Inhofe recants, I will start to have some hope again. Maybe.

Yes you pretty well have my views down pat except the part about extracting the last drop of economically available hydrocarbons. Of course I have no crystal ball but I can make an educated guess as what is likely to happen. And about halfway down the back slope of peak oil I expect all hell to break loose. Constant conflict, I expect, will make it near impossible to extract every drop of oil. For confirmation of this we only need to look at Libya today.

But I really get angry when I see, over and over and over, those stupid estimates of OPEC oil reserves. It would be a whole lot easier to convince people, family, friends and perhaps even politicians if only a little truth were to come out of the Middle East. It is just so frustrating to see the BP, the IEA and the EIA buying into those very absurd reserve numbers.

I think the vast majority will quit consuming mass quantities of oil and other hydrocarbons when they simply do not have a choice.

Well, here our opinions diverge. I used to believe something like that as well. I thought everyone would eventually become aware of peak oil but too late to do anything about it. But over the last year or so I have come to an entirely different opinion. I think the economy will collapse and people will blame it on the President, on Congress, or on their local government if they are European, Japanese, Chinese or whatever. I now seriously doubt that people will ever blame it on the declining oil supplies, the lifeblood of of the economy.

Peak oil is here. Net oil exports peaked six years ago. The economy began crashing almost three years ago. And hardly anyone one knows why.

Ron P.

the economy will collapse and people will blame it on the President, on Congress, or on their local government if they are European, Japanese, Chinese or whatever.

How it'll shake down is brick-bats shall be hurled upon the Nation that had the Global Reserve Currency status and how it mis-managed said currency and status. A fine way of making things "the others" fault - an external enemy.

Meanwhile members of 'The Government' of said Nation will point at the fact that large private banks were the shareholders and how that groups actions had mislead 'The Government'. Events like loaning 16 trillion "in secret" will be used as evidence. All in an attempt to try and make it "the others" fault.

No matters who's to blame or who gets blamed, none of that will change the boot stamping on a human face—forever more. But perhaps that boot will have a nice HD sole and surround sound speakers hung off the side so it'll be a nice view and some enjoyment for the senses, unlike the past predictions of the future.

"What Keeps Mankind Alive"
Weill, Brecht, Waits

I think there's a credible emerging view that the ongoing economic woes are a result of a diminishing ability to create more "wealth", a growing population seeking that wealth, and a concentration of the bulk of that wealth into a small fraction of the population.

diminishing ability to create more "wealth"

I doubt that the mass public even speaks in terms of "wealth".
They only talk about "money" and "How come I don't have my fair share?"

Economists are a different breed. They do peddle their wares using the "wealth creation" verbiage.
They also babble 'bout "entrepreneurship" and encouraging "others" to get with it and start "outwitting, outcompeting, outproducing and outfooling" Mother Nature.

Not to pick on one individual as being emblematic of the problem, but the other day on C-SPAN Book TV I saw black economist, Julianne Malveaux encouraging her black brothers to forget about looking for a job because that is never going to come back to the black community. She said they should all become "entrepreneurs" and create jobs for themselves and their community.

Two thoughts immediately crossed my mind:
1) With what resources?
2) Why isn't she herself out there walking the talk?

p.s. here is a link to Dr. Malveaux's new book

p.p.s. This is the best I could find thus far re this weekend's C-SPAN show

To be technical, some of them(but not all and i am not implying that) do. it's just that the entrepreneurship they start up is not exactly legal..

People were not able to link prosperity with oil in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.....so why should they be able to link economic collapse with oil now?

People want to believe it is their hard work, talent, merit, etc. that got them success and money, not a bunch of black gooey stuff.

And I guess when it is time for the tide of oil to recede, people will see it as the governments's fault, or the bankers, or other countries.


People were not able to link prosperity with oil in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.....so why should they be able to link economic collapse with oil now?

Because that was not a common talking point.

By the timeframe you cite, the idea of Propaganda was in force. Who's interest would have been served by the message of oil TOD has?

(BTW Oil was linked to prosperity. There is an old 1950's video talking about how oil is how you got ties and chemicals thus leading to a better life)

People want to believe it is their hard work, talent, merit, etc. that got them success and money, not a bunch of black gooey stuff.

That is because of effective propaganda.
Samuel Byck is an example of someone who believed the propaganda.

Inhofe, and the Koch brothers, and Exxon...either recant, or are thrown in prison as traitors to the planet.

After the massacre in Norway, perhaps we can start locking up at least the most rabid far-right-wing Christians? Or at least start recognizing them as the dangerously delusional elements they are?

Inhofe, and the Koch brothers, and Exxon...either recant, or are thrown in prison as traitors to the planet.

What about the 70% not-productive-to-the-goal spending when it comes to Carbon Reduction?


Why should the "profit taking" class get a pass?

For that matter - any scheme called "the white collar crime of the future" should be examined before its widespread adoption.

A tad more on the topic:

"Why should the "profit taking" class get a pass?"

By all means, start with the banksters.

"Why should the "profit taking" class get a pass?"

Now, sir, you are getting too close to the heart of the matter.

There are them that "deserve"
... and them that are equal but don't "deserve" (or don't deserve quite that much).

"Money" is the way used to dole out as between the deserving and the less deserving.

"Money" is the way used to dole out as between the deserving and the less deserving.

'Money' in the United States is printed out of 'thin air' - it has no backing beyond what the US of A can tax out of the citizens - if that.

How are 'bankers' who 'secretly' 'borrow' 16 trillion dollars "deserving"?

To tie to energy - how are the people who walked away with far more money than they invested in Enron "deserving" of that?

If someone in power has decided you get more money, then they have decided you are more "deserving"

If someone in power has decided you get less money, then the opposite is true.

"Deserve's got nothin' to do with it."

By such logic - if I come with a gun and place it to your temple until you hand over what money you have I "deserve" it more than you once I have your money and you do not.

if I come with a gun ...I "deserve" it more than you

I wonder how far from that level we really are. If you were say a patent troll, using the legal-patent system to rip off corporations, basically a legal parasite, our system would consider you deserved the money. If you got it by crooked accounting Enron-style, as long as you weren't caught, the same rules apply. I really wonder what fraction of the wealth in our country would be considered to be well-deserved, by for instance someone who created something of true social-economic value, versus those who cleverly got ahold of someone elses money.

Mao Tse-Tung "Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."

Typically the people who have benefited from a system that is abusive don't see what they have as a product of abuse.

The stocks that have done well in the last 3 years have been financial stocks. Yet the finance system has been propped up by transferring public money to their private use - so are the "worth" of these stocks "correct" if that worth is due to 16 trillion in secret loans?

Who said it?

"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime"

Regarding Mao, one might reply ;

"Hammers can greatly appreciate the work of other hammers. It's hard to say if they'll recognize the successes of say, sewing machines or water pails.."

...I "deserve" it more than you

I'm surprised this subthread took off into the pure violence angle of deservedhood.

My intent was more towards understanding why society "values" certain groups less than others:

Postal office workers
Crop pickers
Hamburger flippers


Investment bankers
Sports celebrities

Who "works hard" and who "deserves" much more even though they don't work hard?

Pricing of labour is, or should be, about supply and demand. Thus there is no big surprise that hamburger flippers are less well paid than doctors. Also, when it comes to investment bankers, I guess good ones generate much more money than bad ones, and thus prices (wages) go high. Unfortunately, there is a lot of government mandated cartels in the labour market, i.e. licensing of doctors, severely limited amounts of taxi medallions and in some countries even too few education spots for many occupations.

I'm surprised this subthread took off into the pure violence angle of deservedhood.


This crowd is typically anti-violence AND accepts that violence happens.

And if showing the violence angle end up disproving the original claim, it is one of the discussion paths quickly taken.

If the 'correct' value judgement is 'more money, more worth' one way to end up with more money is via raw force AND there are already societal judgements about getting more money that way. So why not bring up that example?

Seems to work for the recipients of tax dollars.

Inhofe, and the Koch brothers, and Exxon...either recant, or are thrown in prison as traitors to the planet.

Traitors to the planet! LOL.

Perhaps they prefer being traitors to the planet over being patriots to jersey??

For what it's worth, even after becoming peak oil aware, I traded up from a 4 cylinder compact to a V6 midsize sedan. Why? Power and comfort on the highway.

The different in efficiency is there, but it's negligible for me, even at high oil prices.

Sometimes that makes more sense. I had a company car for a while and the company wanted us to move to smaller cars. In the end they did not. With the travelling we were doing and the equipment we carried the smaller car would have been more stressed and used more fuel. It is not just moving to a smaller vehicle but rightsizing the vehicle too.


The decision to buy a V6 instead of a 4 might seem less of a good idea if you have to scrap the car halfway through its lifespan because you can no longer afford to buy fuel for it.

Most people are buying fours now, and I think that's a good idea given where I think fuel prices are going in the next few years. You can get V8 power out of a four with dual overhead camshafts, variable valve timing, turbochargers, six-speed automatics and all the other clever technology they are putting into cars these days.

Actually, a lot of people might not be able to afford to keep a four in fuel and will have to take public transit. If they don't have public transit then they will be screwed. Welcome to the 21st century.

At this point I could launch into my usual monologue about how I took wind-powered electric light rail transit to work for years, but that seems to annoy a lot of people, mostly Americans.

It's more to do with simple inapplicability than mere abstract annoyance. After going round and round, we ended up observing that it works best for commuting into a highly Manhattanized mega-CBD as in Calgary. A few Americans' (USA-ians) situations fit that description but most do not.

And likely they will not - the past doesn't always predict the future. In a world so far gone that people can't keep up a four, or its natural future successor, an EV, going, highly abstract jobs of the sort that can feasibly be done in Manhattanized CBDs - in marketing, finance, pixel manipulation, etc. - may only be available to relatively few anyhow.

In that world, labor productivity would probably have become so abysmal that far less of the abstract stuff could be afforded than now. Thus, even the USA probably already possesses enough Manhattanized CBDs, and rail lines serving them, to have a vast surplus over what the need would be.

I knew that mentioning wind-powered trains would bring some of the usual nay-sayers out of the woodwork. When I was consulting in the oil industry in Calgary, I was struck by how efficient it was to have 90% of the oil companies in Canada within walking distance of a light rail station - and train service within the downtown core was free. I could jump on the train and be at any of my clients' offices within 15 minutes. Consulting in the US was quite different - few of the companies were even within driving distance of each other and visiting a client usually involved a multi-hour ride on a jet airliner. The former model seemed much more efficient since it involved no fossil fuel consumption at all.

However, PaulS, you have to realize that most of the world's population can't afford to commute to work by private car even now, so peak oil won't have much effect on their commuting habits. Even in Canada, although most people now drive to work, 2/3 of the population of the country and 90% of the population of major cities are withing walking distance of public transit, so if they can't afford to drive they will just have to take the bus or train.

Given their near-total dependence on the private car, it is Americans that are going to be hit hard by their inability to afford to drive, and American cities are going to have to be restructured to reflect the new realities of the post-peak-oil era. It is going to be a difficult transition for Americans, as if it isn't a difficult time already.

In Canada, things are not nearly as bad as in the US, and they will continue to be less bad even as the situation gets worse south of the 49th parallel. Canada's superior public transit systems and lower reliance on oil for industrial production will make things easier. The worst problem is that the collapse of the automobile industry and lack of alternative energy resources will hit Southern Ontario very hard, and they're already hurting pretty bad already. In Western Canada it will make little or no difference and the biggest problem will be finding space for all the economic migrants.

"They are very afraid that the world will, if they sense a decline in world oil production, develop alternatives to oil that will kill demand for Saudi oil, or at least greatly diminish the price of their oil." Posted by Dawininan

Seeing all the difficulties (if it's even possible) to scaling up the alternatives to any meaningful level in any meaningful timeframe, I find it hard to believe this is actually a serious concern.

Maybe they fear that if a realization that oil production will be declining happens, it will simply implode the world economy.

Antoinetta III

Seeing all the difficulties (if it's even possible) to scaling up the alternatives to any meaningful level in any meaningful timeframe, I find it hard to believe this is actually a serious concern.

But they don't know that Antoinetta, just as most Americans don't know that. It is not what is possible or impossible that matters, it's what they think is possible.

Maybe they fear that if a realization that oil production will be declining happens, it will simply implode the world economy.

I doubt that seriously. They haven't a clue.

Ron P.

It is not the realization of declining oil that is crashing the world economy. It is the declining itself. Denying the cause prevents discussion, much less decisions making, about alternatives, directions and new paradigms needed for survival. Or for planning, since even if many won't survive some provision for the future will be needed for those who do. Preservation of a knowledge base, planned reclamation of metals and plastics from what will be our ruins. And a new infrastructure, designed and constructed for the long term. A shift from planned obsolescence to durable, efficient products will not happen when people do not know why the changes are needed.

The saddest part of all of this is that even those who understand have trouble passing along their knowledge even to family members and close friends. At least I do, and I keep reading others' comments that they share in this phenomena.

"They haven't a clue"? No. They are ignorant, and many are willfully so. If I was to design an educational program, I would start with "their" pastors; who next, though?? They do not listen to relatives and friends who have studied, they do not verify the stories and myths that facilitate BAU. And, IMHO, they will not until it is impossible to deny, and then they will prefer to believe that it was somehow a plot by the 'heathens' designed to 'persecute' the true believers.

Do you remember Harry Truman? Caretaker at the Lodge on Spirit Lake. He refused to move with disaster impending. He deserved his fate. So also with humanity. Only difference, Harry did not create his disaster.


Do you remember Harry Truman? Caretaker at the Lodge on Spirit Lake. He refused to move with disaster impending. He deserved his fate. So also with humanity.

Craig, dammit you know better than that. Tell me you misspoke.

The ignorant do not deserve the fate that befalls them. Harry was just behaving the same way his ancestors had been behaving for thousands of years. Simply because you have been fortunate enough to see a bit further and deeper into the nature of things does not mean that those less fortunate deserves a horrible death.

And humanity will not deserve the fate that is about to befall them any more than the poor wretched people of Somalia deserve what is happening to them.

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

Ron P.

The ignorant do not deserve the fate that befalls them.

ignorance [ˈɪgnərəns]
lack of knowledge, information, or education

Who is to blame if one lacks information or knowledge on a topic?
Who is to blame if one does not take advantage of someone or something attempting to educate?

The ignorant do not deserve the fate that befalls them.

At some point the absolution of guilt breaks down. On one level, it is a tautology, we are the product of our nature (genes) plus envirnoment. On another level, if you believe in free will, and people repeatedly reject attempts to teach them, and also refuse to make the effort to establish clear thinking patterns, at some point we can't help but to blame them. In some sense blame, is a social construct meant to influence others. If we deny its use, we have just lost one of the arrows from our quiver.

The ignorant do not deserve the fate that befalls them.

It will still happen though... and it will have been somewhat preventable if they hadn't been ignorant.

Humans cannot think they have free will when it is convenient to their ego, then decide they're the victim of circumstance whenever things don't go their way. Especially when it's a mess of their own making.

(i'm talking more first world people here with access to information, obviously a small tribe in the middle of the desert is not going to know this stuff. Although i can't help noticing that a lot of small tribes in the past were rather respectful of the earth. With perhaps a proper understanding that once you burn something up, it's gone for good.)

ignorance, deservinghood, blame, ...

All of the above are interesting words.

Do we feel better when we call another of our fellow man "ignorant"?

Do we feel better when we can say another "deserved" a misfortune that fell their way?

Do we feel better when we cast the "blame" thing upon others?


First of all, Harry was NOT ignorant. He was informed, and made a decision to take actions (or refrain from actions) with full knowledge of the fate that was coming. Just as humanity is informed, and chose to make bad decisions. Hence, he and we deserve our fate.

Past that, your position is pure determinism. I reject that, since it implies that there is no free will. Even animals have free will, and exercise it. When a human being exercises it, she sometimes says, "for some reason, I..." There is an old rhyme that conveys that:

You can and you can't;

You will and you won't;

You're damned if you do;

and, you're damned if you don't.

In Bible College, we called it the 'predestination poem.'

The reason I cannot agree is that, with your POV as a given, there is no personal responsibility. The greedy simply say, "I can't help it. That is just the way I am" and go on raping the planet, exploiting the weak, and stealing the bounty of others' work and planetary wealth. I say we are personally responsible for our acts, and for the consequences of each of them. They say the can externalize their waste, their pollution, and all of the consequences of their greed. I say that, if government is good for anything, it is for placing such under restraint.

To restate my position: some people are incapable of learning. They can be forgiven, and they do not deserve the fate that seems to await us. They are not ignorant! Others can learn, but they ignore facts, distort reason, and their ignorance is why they clearly deserve anything bad that befalls them. There are others who understand, learn, and try to change things for the better. To the extent that they fail, they also do not deserve our fate. But all will suffer, some will survive (in my opinion), and perhaps the survivors will have learned.

Or not.


In Bible College, we called it the 'predestination poem.'

Oh! That completely explains where your point of view is coming from. I wrote: Simply because you have been fortunate enough to see a bit further and deeper into the nature of things does not mean that those less fortunate deserves a horrible death.

But you believe that they do deserve such a fate. The argument of the true believer is "but they could have overcome their ignorance if only they had listened to smarter people than themselves. Therefore they are culpable for their own ignorance." Gad, can't some people understand? The ignorant think they understand what is truth! They think everyone else are the ignorant ones and that is why they don't listen to them!

I am forever grateful to fate that I have been able to see deeper into human nature and understand why people believe the way they do. However...

Absolute truth is not subject to logical argument. I'll know better next time.

Ron P.

I am forever grateful to fate that I have been able to see deeper into human nature and understand why people believe the way they do. However...

So you mean you think you understand what is truth?

No, that is not what I said and you know that. What I said was that I understand belief! That is I understand why you believe you have found truth. ;-)

Ron P.

Harry was informed. As I recall, he simply decided that he would rather die than move away from his home of 53 years. He was 83 years old. He didn't make a bad decision, just one that you don't understand.

He didn't deserve or not deserve his fate - "deserving" isn't really the operational concept here, and is wrapped up with "guilt" and "badness".

I'm with Ron here. My conclusion after some thinking over the acts and words of KSA is they just want to keep the show running for as long as possible.

Few people:

1) Change habits that 'work' for them with new habits.
2) Abandon power they have.

So why would the leadership class in KSA be any different than other humans or different than any other group in a position of power?

Indeed. If I have to bet, I'll bet on global trade collapsing (and killing demand for Saudi exports) before alternatives to petroleum are widely-enough deployed to kill demand for Saudi exports. And if Jeffrey and Sam are right, in 30 years or so it's a moot point.

"It showed a chart published by the IEA that show MENA recoverable oil reserves at about 1.3 trillion barrels. The world is betting on this oil. But less than half of this amount is actually there. That lie is definitely hurting. We have a need as well as a right to know how much recoverable oil is left in the ground."

The lie that has hurt us the most is the one we tell ourselves. We placed our bets, disregarded reality, and here we are. We have KNOWN that oil is finite. The last oil shock in the US we imported what @33% back then and here we are 40 years later importing 66%. We have all the information we need and have needed. We blew it.

Our collective delusion will no longer fit reality.

IF and I mean a big "IF" --we would use the remaining oil for the purposes of investing in things and methods that would carry us through then I can see where it might be helpful that we know what there really is left of KSA's oil. But I have no faith in our institutions to educate and prepare for that reality, or that the people will suddenly go "Oh I get it".

So if I were KSA I wouldn't tell anyone anything. Better they think you have lots of it so you get some military protection.

The world is betting on this oil. But less than half of this amount is actually there. That lie is definitely hurting. We have a need as well as a right to know how much recoverable oil is left in the ground.

I disagree with this I think. Further, I think "the world" is heading down a dreadful path on both grounds - (a) they believe the wildly optimistic numbers wrt the amount recoverable oil there is, or (b) they don't believe the numbers and actually think there is much more, especially as "new technology" magically arises over the next few years and decades.

FFS - there are even states in Australia basing their financial and economic modelling on the emergence of CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) technology for which they have NO real basis to rely on. It is fantasy, pure and simple, because no elected official can face the truth, or ask the electorate to face it.

So I agree that obsessing over reserves in OPEC (or non-OPEC) countries is absurd ... build your future on the basis that those reserves are zero - would seem to me to be the least-regret strategy.

You touched on some that has really been bothering me lately.

"Talking about fools, we have delayed dealing with the reality of finite resources. We have been warned over and over. We have much bigger problems than arguing over where they are telling the truth when we KNOW they are not."

In hind site the decision to use fossil fuels to expand the population form ~1 billion to what 8 billion and rising seems completely irrational. Not only that but every choice we make these days seems to be to do more of the same.

Think about this for hundreds of thousands of years our population remained remarkably stable at around 1 billion, and then comes agriculture and government and taxes and a massive growth in the population all in a relative blink of eye.

everyone on here seems to agree that what we are doing is completely irrational and yet we keep on doing it, we keep turning on the AC when its hot even we though we know that massive amounts of poison are spewed into the atmosphere every time we do it.

You would probably shoot me or at least call the cops on me if I came to your house and dumped my garbage in your living room but you would shake my hand if I drove over to your house, with a nice gift, in my car and dumped my poisonous waste into the air you breath. Why?

The pat answer that every economist will tell you is that we discount future risks in order to concentrate on more immediate risks.

That makes no sense to me. If that were true why didn't agriculture begin almost immediately in our evolution?

Actually, about 70,000 years ago, we went through a bottle neck (we can measure this through mitochondrial DNA) where our species got down to just several thousand individuals.

I would put the population varying between that figure and 3-9 million before 10,000 years ago.

The recent DNA sequencing of the Neanderthal genome has provided evidence that modern humans are the result of interbreeding. Apparently, most people carry some Neanderthal DNA. Interesting finding, perhaps more muddle to add to the old confusions regarding "race"...

E. Swanson

Everyone except those living in sub-Saharan Africa.

I wonder about the aboriginal people of Australia, who left in a migration wave before the rest did. Any interbreeding there ?

And they would have migrated through the "hobbits" area as well as potentially other hominids.


Neanderthal lives in us all

The scientists compared Neanderthal DNA with that of the modern chimpanzee and five present-day modern humans: one from Papua New Guinea, two from Africa, one from China and one from France.

They were surprised to find evidence of "gene flow" from Neanderthals to present-day humans outside Africa. All the non-African populations had the same amount of Neanderthal blood. The simplest explanation, the team argues, is that the encounters happened before the non-African modern human populations diverged and at the gateway, perhaps in the Middle East, through which our species passed as it left the African homeland.

Estimates put the date of the exodus between 50,000 and 70,000 years ago, with modern humans reaching Australia at least 50,000 years ago and Europe about 40,000 years ago.

The timing of the population bottleneck at 70,000 ya and the arrival of aborigines in southeast Australia by 60,000 ya is a little problematic in my view. Dates from archaeology are to be prefered over dates from molecular clocks, which are still subject to revision as more whole genome data becomes available. In particular, whole genomes from related individuals with known family trees for a few hundred years will allow a better estimation of mutation rates.

The overall picture is not simple, especially in Eurasia, with populations reduced to glacial refugia and then expanding as the climate/technology allowed. Especially after the invention of agriculture, populations expanded out of the key loci of crop and animal domestication. In Africa, earlier populations were submerged by expansions of Bantu speakers. There is evidence for early back-migration into Africa from the Middle East.

Naw, the jury is still out but there is serious doubt that we carry any Neanderthal DNA. There were two studies that came to two entirely different conclusions. And a study of the two studies sheds serious doubt on any possible Neanderthal DNA in modern humans.

Inconsistencies in Neanderthal Genomic DNA Sequences

However, the two studies came to very different conclusions regarding the ancestral role of Neanderthals. In this paper, we reanalyzed the data from the two original studies. We found that the two studies are inconsistent with each other, which implies that the data from at least one of the studies is probably incorrect. The likely culprit is contamination with modern human DNA, which we believe compromised the findings of one of the original Neanderthal DNA studies.
In conclusion, the sequencing of Neanderthal nuclear DNA is truly a remarkable technical achievement. However, because contamination with modern human DNA and sequencing error rates are continuing concerns, it will be important to carefully evaluate published and future data before arriving at any firm conclusions about human evolution.

Ron P.

Later work has been done. See above. I would also think that Australian aborigines have Denisovan DNA as well, since Papuans and aborigines are very closely related.

Siberian Fossils Were Neanderthals’ Eastern Cousins, DNA Reveals

Next, the researchers looked for evidence of interbreeding. Nick Patterson, a Broad Institute geneticist, compared the Denisovan genome to the complete genomes of five people, from South Africa, Nigeria, China, France and Papua New Guinea. To his astonishment, a sizable chunk of the Denisova genome resembled parts of the New Guinea DNA.

“The correct reaction when you get a surprising result is, ‘What am I doing wrong?’ ” said Dr. Patterson. To see if the result was an error, he and his colleagues sequenced the genomes of seven more people, including another individual from New Guinea and one from the neighboring island of Bougainville. But even in the new analysis, the Denisovan DNA still turned up in the New Guinea and Bougainville genomes.

"That makes no sense to me. If that were true why didn't agriculture begin almost immediately in our evolution?"

It required a stable climate to have a society based on agriculture. that didn't happen until about 10,000 years ago aka the Holocene.

Even during most of the last 10,000 years it really didn't make much sense for a human being to worry about the distant future over the risks of the immediate. From a purely evolutionary perspective what happens to you when you are 40+ and past the prime years for procreation is irrelevant. Perhaps when we routinely start having children in 40, 50 and 60's (women) then we might have the evolutionary basis to start valuing distant risks. Even then those who value surviving and procreating when they are 20 will out compete those who worry about surviving to 60 and procreating.

Just because we are sentient does not mean we can self-regulate as a species. Most living things are constrained by external checks and balances.

My insight, that is not new or profound, is that (surprise!) we cannot self-regulate as a species. Never could. Never will.

We have vaccines, antibiotics, machine labor, easy mobility. All via inexpensive fuel. We use and used the easy fuel the same way herbivores enjoy a field of forage in spring.

In my opinion once fuel is depleted, we will have dieoff. Same as a herd externally checked by no more forage.

Selfishly I hope my offspring might be some of the adaptable and fortunate few that get to survive and thrive.


"In hind site the decision to use fossil fuels to expand the population form ~1 billion to what 8 billion and rising seems completely irrational."

Yeast and sugar, flies and dung: it is not a rational process. The human flies tell each-other stories about how the dung was put there just for them.

The deer run out of island greenery to eat. Every morsel of it was exposed with very little reserve available through Enhanced Recovery.

The same story, presented as a short graphic novel.


It was excellent.

Poignant, but excellent.

Actually, your offspring may be fortunate if they leave the scene before it gets really ugly.

Despite production of some 3 billion barrels in the last year, Saudi Arabia's reserves are unchanged.

You should have noted that since they raised their reserves in the 1980's to the 264 figure and have produced about 100 billion barrels since then. How could they still have the same amount today?

In this post, I looked at combined output from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, using a Consumption (C) to Production (P) ratio analysis:


The Export Land Model (ELM) shows what happens to net exports as a hypothetical oil exporting country goes from consuming 50% of their production to 100% of their production. In the case of the ELM, net exports fall from their peak to zero nine years later. One third (three years) of the way into the Export Land decline, the C/P ratio had risen from 50% to 63%. If extrapolate this rate of increase, "Export Land" would hit a 100% C/P ratio, and thus zero net oil exports, in 9 years, which is exactly what happened*. Note that one third of the way into the net export decline, "Export Land" had shipped more than half of their post-peak CNE (Cumulative Net Exports).

The combined Venezuelan + Saudi data show that they consumed 18% of production in 2005 and 29% in 2010 (BP, total petroleum liquids). At this rate of increase in their combined C/P ratio, their combined net exports would hit zero around 2023. This C/P analysis also suggests that they would have shipped at least half of their combined post-2005 CNE by the end of 2011 (a post-2005 CNE depletion rate of 12%/year).

In other words, the 2005 to 2010 C/P data for the combined output from Venezuela & Saudi Arabia suggest that they have been emptying their post-2005 Cumulative Net Export "Fuel Tank" at the rate of about 12% per year. This same analysis suggests that post-2005 Global CNE (from top 33 net oil exporters) are being depleted at about 5%/year.

*This C/P analysis has, in retrospect, been reasonably accurate for many, but not all, net export decline case histories. Mexico is an interesting case history. So far, the most rapid production decline was from 2004 to 2008, when their C/P ratio went from 52% to 65%. At this rate of increase, their net exports would hit zero in 2017, which appears to be much closer to reality than many of us, including yours truly, thought would happen (I was guessing close to zero by the end of 2012). The 2004 to 2010 data suggest that Mexico would approach zero net exports around 2021. Using the "One Third" Rule, if they hit zero in 2017, they would have shipped at least half of post-peak CNE by the end of 2008 (post-peak CNE depletion rate of 17%/year). If they hit zero in 2021, they would have shipped at least half of post-peak CNE by the end of 2010 (post-peak CNE depletion rate of 12%/year).

New York Times Passes Gas

This is really a great article from "The Weekly Standard". It slams the New York Times because it doesn't believe natural gas will save the world. ("Great" doesn't mean I agree with it, just that it is a very revealing article coming from the world of cornucopia.)

Cheap, abundant, domestically produced energy? Naturally all the usual suspects are unhappy about this.

No one seems more unhappy than the New York Times, which was late to recognize the unfolding natural gas story, even though much of it was happening in its own back yard. So late last June the Times published a multi-part series by their gas beat reporter, Ian Urbina, suggesting that prospects for the “gas revolution” are not merely hyped, but constitute the next bubble certain to burst.

And The Weekly Standard slams the Times by attacking their messengers.

Rogers is identified by the Times as a member of the advisory committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas; undisclosed is her affiliation with the Oil and Gas Accountability Project, an environmental group opposed to fracking. The Times similarly describes Art Berman as a “geologist who worked two decades at Amoco and has been one of the most vocal skeptics of shale gas economics,” but omits his alignment with the controversial “peak oil” community whose ideological dislike of fossil fuels drives its conclusions.

Ron P.

Any link to the NYT article ? Anyone ?

It could be useful for a MSM source.



Here's the original NYT article by Ian Urbina:


The last input I had from Art Berman was that he was planning an updated shale gas post.

The New York Times documents are extremely interesting and have a lot of useful information in them, but I'm not sure that the NYT is the best interpreter of them. There is a lot of jargon and industry knowledge in them that is foreign to outsiders, and the NYT is very far outside of the loop in the oil biz.

I'm not sure the NYT realizes that they are disclosing companies' internal trade secrets (methods for evaluating prospects are proprietary), or that there is evidence in the e-mails that the companies are stealing data from each other and running their own evaluations on their competitors prospects. It's always best to know what kind of hand your opponent is holding before you make your own bet.

For a former industry insider, it is a lot of fun to read this stuff. In the oil biz you tend to assume that your competitors are tapping your phones and hacking your e-mails and usually they are. There is a certain amount of potential for making money if you can get hold of information you are not supposed to have.

The funniest thing I found was an image on a Chesapeake Energy presentation on Gas to Liquids. The image was actually of an an Apache/EOG Resources proposed LNG terminal at Kitimat in NW British Columbia. Chesapeake stole the image off the Apache/EOG web site. (Come on Chesapeake, you didn't pay them to license that picture, did you?)

The New York Times documents are extremely interesting and have a lot of useful information in them, but I'm not sure that the NYT is the best interpreter of them.

With all due respects Rocky, the New York Times is not a person and cannot interpret anything. I know you probably meant "editors" or "columnist" but that would not have been accurate either. At least one of the people who examined the emails and documents was an Oil and Gas insider and a geologist as well.

The Times similarly describes Art Berman as a “geologist who worked two decades at Amoco and has been one of the most vocal skeptics of shale gas economics,” but omits his alignment with the controversial “peak oil” community whose ideological dislike of fossil fuels drives its conclusions. Unlike Rogers, Berman has considerable expertise in the area but has been a controversial figure in the oil and gas industry for some time.

And that was from the article highly critical of the Times articles. All the articles state that they are quoting industry insiders, not just giving their own opinion:

Behind Veneer, Doubt on Future of Natural Gas

One official says the shale industry may be “ set up for failure.” “It is quite likely that many of these companies will go bankrupt,” a senior adviser to the Energy Information Administration predicts. Several officials echo concerns raised during previous bubbles, in housing and in technology stocks, for example, that ended in a bust.

The above article, like all the rest, is literally peppered with links quoting industry insiders and energy officials. Unless it is an editorial or an op-ed column, this is the normal practice of the New York Times. They simply do not allow columnist editorialize within their columns.

Ron P.

When I refer to "the NYT", I am of course referring to the employees of the newspaper, i.e. the editors and reporters. Berman is not an employee of the newspaper, he is an independent consultant and apparently didn't even get to read the article before it was published. If I wanted to know what Berman's opinion was, I would prefer to get it directly and not to have it filtered through the newspaper since something inevitably would get lost in translation. Berman and the NYT do not appear to on the same page on a number of issues, e.g. the ethics of publishing confidential e-mails, and the safety of hydraulic fracturing.

Berman was a 20-year employee of Amoco, which I also was, and then moved on to become a consultant, which I also did, so I think we would probably be on the same page on most subjects. There are an awful lot of us out there who fit that profile because Amoco had tens of thousands of employees during its heyday, and a lot of us became consultants after Amoco became an early victim of Peak Oil. He would know a lot more about shale gas than I would though.

One of the hazards of keeping intellectual property as a trade secret is that no one who does not have a contractual obligation to the owner has a duty to keep it a secret.


"Heavy rainstorms are Chicago's latest weather nightmare"


Chicago breaks another new weather record - the largest single-day rainfall since records began in 1871. 6.91 inches fell overnight. At least we have cooler temperatures this morning. For a while. Back to the 90's this afternoon.

In other local news, a bid to stop a local wind turbine fails :-


Opponents vow to keep fighting.

Good stuff! Thanks for the links.

Sure puts the cornucopian porn posted yesterday into perspective. Nine trillion barrels of hydrocarbon goodness only buys the bacteria a few more bottles which, given their growth rate, will last all of about...

Two minutes.

My, oh my! Do the bacteria suspect they have a problem? Certainly not! They are FAR too busy heaping ridicule on those so-called "doomers".

Speaking of bottles, think I'll go buy one now...


simple, pure math. 1+1=2 in a way.
yet when everyone around you says 1+1=5, no matter how much you show them otherwise. no matter how much you KNOW 1+1=2 and NOT 5. part of you, a rather big part of you will always gnaw at you all the time to say 1+1=5. Why? it's because we are a 'social' species. We have to belong, we NEED to be with family, friends and community. physically and ideologically we need to be with people otherwise the effects of loneliness take their toll. ask any atheist in a religious area, even with understanding families knows this feeling well because their families do not share their view. This is what we are fighting against. Not a measly matter of lack of education, it's simple biology. And that's why we will lose.

We have to belong, we NEED to be with family, friends and community.

+1 Exactly.

We are herd animals.

We move with the herd, usually with the "mainstream",

but sometimes we stray to the periphery and get "marginalized".

I speak this from experience, especially the example listed on the last part.
The simple biological need to be in sympathetic surroundings, physically and ideologically is what i fight against every day. I am a atheist with a mother that semi religious bordering on new age spirituality. I live in kansas which is now the buckle of the bible belt. I go out every day and see those large family decal's on some big suv window. you know the kind, two stick figure adults and about a half a dozen to a dozen stick figure kids in decreasing height with a possible dog or cat at the end. or they have some religious bumper sticker. etc.
I can't talk to the people i know online about a lot of this stuff either because i know it will cause arguments and bad feelings i don't want to make or they have gotten tired of hearing about. yet the desire is there to 'just fit in' to be with people, at the same time you mentally know what you talk about is true and is backed by math. HIGH SCHOOL to entry level collage math even. Fighting with it every day as turned me, who is about 30. into someone more cynical then people twice my age and in the process NOT a person ANYONE wants to hang around with unless i use my Role play skills to create a persona ignoring all that i know is true.

I understand as I moved out of Oklahoma as soon as I was able. Suggest you move out of Kansas unless you do not have a choice.

I understand, at twice your age, and with somewhat less hostile intellectual surroundings, I've reached to same point at twice your age. I really think the thing to do is to find an environment more conducive to your style. I wish I had reached your conslusions at your age. I would have packed up states and moved to one of the Scandinavian countries, end of story. I still hope to convince my kids to do that. I doubt they want a near-retirement aged old fart.

Ditto here - 30, Atheist and have a religious mother. Extreme orthrodox, ritualistic, religious cultural underpinnings to my family (i mean, the entire family tree) exists. The co-workers, while most are religious, are all 100% believers in Technology and the Human Genius.

I've tried a LOT to spend time (by way of building interactive computer games to demonstrate peak oil - http://peakoilgame.com/ ) or by sharing books, links and videos. I too have experienced the "They have gotten tired of hearing about this" feeling after a point.

So I put on a mask as well. But hey, it atleast gets you the social leverage and you can still inject these fundamental truths into that social crowd while you're here.

That said, after 3 years of constant talking, arguing (with graphs from TOD and elsewhere), I've managed to convince my wife and succeeded at selling my house that was on mortgage. Now, when it comes to moving out of town, my wife is afraid we'll be ridiculed by "Friends and family". I know its coming and I tend to focus on the dark times ahead to find all this ridicule as a silly thing. But, I guess that's because she didn't spend 6+ hours per day reading voraciously about the economy, peak oil, environment and climate change.

I'm outta here (the BAU world) shortly. If all goes well :)

So after selling the house, whats the new plan? If you are going to move, do you have an idea where you think life will be better after peak oil? Nothing that you have said should make you a target of ridicule. It takes an extreme amount of courage to be an athiest, and whats wrong with starting a new life elsewhere? You don't have to tell everyone exactly why you are moving either, you can just say that you want to explore the country, see somewhere new, or to try something different.

When you decide where you want to go/think is a better place to settle/prepare for PO, don't rule out buying some property of your own though. Some fruit trees and chickens in your yard go a long way towards sustaining a baseline of existance. If hardcore inflation hits, you will easily pay off the debt for pennies on the dollar as well.

My wife is afraid we'll be ridiculed by "Friends and family"

Ostracism is a hard cookie to swallow.

Ostracism = being kicked out of one's herd.

In the wild, for many an animal, being kicked out of the pack/herd means certain death.

That is why we all fear being outside of the main stream.

""Egypt’s protests continue despite cabinet reshuffle""

Although not directly related to this story, but more relevant to this website is the poor state of finance in the Egypt Oil and Gas operators.

What has escaped the newswires so far is the fact that most of the oil companies have not been paid for any oil or gas they have produced since the revolution in January. The reason is the production sharing agreements in Egypt force the operators to deliver all production to the state oil company, EGPC, who is then responsible for paying for it at a rate based on a discount to the current Brent price. Before the revolution, payments were running 4-5 months late, so effectively oil has been free since August 2010.

Some larger companies, like Apache, do have an export clause that allow them to sell some of their production on the open market, but since Egypt is now a net importer, EGPC are doing everything they can to cancel this export agreement.

EGPC were due to take a $2 Billion loan in January, but this was never finalised. They have no way to raise income since EGPC are responsible directly to keep to local price of gasoline at about $1 per gallon.

The conclusion is, and what we will start to see more over the next few months is many of the smaller operators in Egypt will simply sell up for whatever money they can get, only the larger companies will be able to take the longer term view and wait for EGPC to sort out their finances, which realistically will be after the elections early next year.

Meanwhile the Mergers and Acquisitions market is going to be a busy place.

More corrupt pols. What a shock!

Chris Huhne orders inquiry into fossil fuel lobby influence over Tory MEPs
Groups may have swung crucial vote on ambitious carbon target, says energy and climate change minister

Re: 10,000 Buildings Get the Word on ‘Dirty’ Fuel

School Boilers Set to Go from Filthy to Not Quite So Filthy

When Mayor Michael Bloomberg April announced the Clean Heat Campaign to end the use of No. 6 and No. 4 heating oil in the city, he made it clear he thinks these fuels are detrimental to the health of many New Yorkers.

While the administration presses private landlords to switch from both No. 6 and No. 4, though, the city itself plans plan to convert nearly 200 of its public schools from No. 6 to No. 4 heating oil --even though the mayor himself has acknowledged the hazards of heating oil No. 4.


It costs about $8,000 to convert one school’s boiler from No. 6 oil to the somewhat cleaner but still polluting No. 4 oil. That comes out to roughly $1.7 million in total costs for all 198 schools slated for the transition. Conversely, converting a single boiler to heating oil No. 2 or natural gas costs well over $1.7 million alone, according to Feinberg.

See: http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/Environment/20110721/7/3570

#2 fuel oil sold locally contains a considerable amount of sulphur -- up to 3,000 PPM -- which is one of the reasons why I stopped using the stuff. Get it down to 15 or 30 PPM and it could re-enter the mix, but as it stands now, it's on the sidelines indefinitely.


One would think that converting the boilers from #6 to #4 fuel oil would be something of a pointless exercise considering where the price of all fuel oil seems to be heading in this post-peak-oil era. They'll probably end up heating the schools by burning textbooks.

OTOH, converting to natural gas should be something of a no-brainer since New York State appears (based on recent NYT leaked documents although the NYT doesn't seem to realize it) to be sitting on one of the biggest and cheapest gas fields in North America, the Marcellus Shale. However, "no-brainer" describes a lot of politicians, so their response to the idea would probably be, "Hunh? What?".


Well, as noted in the article, the cost to convert a boiler from #6 to #4 runs in the range $8,000.00 whereas converting to natural gas (assuming it's available in your neighbourhood) is said to be "well over $1.7 million".

Hopefully, natural gas prices are lower in NYC than they are in, say, New Brunswick. If you were to convert your home from oil to natural gas, you would pay a $12.8347 per GJ delivery charge and another $7.95/GJ for the gas itself, a combined total of $20.78 per GJ. That's a steal considering that this same time three years ago, the commodity charge was $14.95/GJ which would put the final price tag at a whopping $27.79 per GJ. No wonder in that province the word "Enbridge" is synonymous with rape.


Well, here in NG rich Alberta, in December (to take the peak usage month) my own bill was $5.36/GJ for the gas and $4.73/GJ for delivery, overhead, and taxes for a total of $10.09/GJ - about half of what you pay in NB.

On an energy equivalent basis (one oil barrel of 42 US gallons = 6 GJ of NG), that would be equivalent to fuel oil at about $1.44 per US gallon or 38 cents per litre. Naturally, nobody here uses fuel oil.

It's a lot cheaper if you start out using NG and don't have to pay to convert a fuel oil fired boiler. Natural gas furnaces, even 95%+ efficient ones aren't that expensive to install when the building is new. I'm not sure why it would cost $1.7 million to convert a school boiler to NG, though.

When we bought this home I had the entire house plumbed for natural gas and selected a boiler that is certified to burn either oil or gas. The cook top, dryer, BBQ and fireplaces (four in number) currently operate on propane, but the lines are all oversized so that they can be switched over to natural gas should that happy day arrive. Ten years later, it hasn't and I suspect it never will. Not that natural gas in these parts is any great bargain -- the Heritage Gas monthly account fee keeps going up (now $19.22/month) and so too their delivery charge ($7.443/GJ). The gas recovery fee in January of this year was $8.08/GJ, which puts the final tally at $15.52 per GJ (all taxes extra). Not as raw a deal as for those living in New Brunswick, but hardly reason to jump up and down with joy. If the utility were to dig up our street and lay pipe tomorrow, I wouldn't bother to connect.


The thing about fuel oil is that global oil production appears to be going into a terminal decline and oil is likely to become unaffordable for the average person in the not-too-distant future. The future supply of oil is geographically constrained and appears to be limited at any price, whereas there are large amounts of natural gas in North America and elsewhere which would be brought to market by higher prices.

At the current relative prices of oil vs gas in Maritime Canada and the NE US, fuel oil may seem competitive with natural gas, but if the price of oil doubles or quadruples, I don't think people will be too happy with choosing to stay on fuel oil.

Here in the energy-producing centers, the decision seems obvious. We sell the expensive oil to other people and use the cheap gas ourselves. This has been the philosophy for the last half-century or more.

I have no clue as to how residential fuel oil and natural gas prices will stack up five months or five years from now; I might as well throw darts at a wall. My point is that natural gas is not necessarily your least cost option and there are no guarantees that natural gas prices will always remain affordable nor supplies plentiful. For some of us, a high efficiency air source heat pump is a more economical option and that can be true of electric thermal storage heating systems as well. Right off the bat, the $19.22 a month that I would pay just to be connected to the natural gas network, if service were available in our area, would cover off almost half of our home heating costs. The best you can do is to weigh your options carefully and to take steps to minimize your exposure (that's one of the reasons why our home has four separate heating systems).


The elephant in the room; we dare not speak its name. And we are headed for record ice loss in the Arctic, beating 2007.


This site is going to be amusing, given another 5 years. Wonder if anyone on the board will eat crow about "that" which cannot be named?

I also think there will a large shift as the effects of climate change become clear. But I think grace in welcoming changed minds will be essential to taking action quickly. The goal is not to be right, the goal is to ward off disaster. Soon many people will be willing to help. James Hanson has said that building new coal plants is stupid, not because they emit so much carbon, but because they will be bulldozed as people realize the nightmare we have unleashed upon ourselves. Japan & nukes take 2.

For a blow-by-blow of the current sea ice situation see Arctic Ice July 2011 - Update

Meanwhile the people think they're at a carnival.

Icebergs off N.L. amaze locals, thrill visitors

The greatest iceberg season in recent memory is drawing scores of visitors to Newfoundland's northern peninsula for a glimpse of the majestic sculptures.

"For this time of year, I've never seen so many icebergs -- and so big," said Paul Alcock of Northland Discovery Boat Tours in St. Anthony, N.L.

"It's a pretty spectacular sight out here right now," he said of at least 25 icebergs still looming within 16 kilometres of the town.

"For this time of year, you wouldn't expect to see much more than three or four."

Wait a few years, when the really big chunks start floating by.

also Manhattan-Sized Ice Island Drifts Close To Canada

... On Thursday July 21, 2011, MSNBC reported that PII-A was slowly drifting toward Newfoundland. The glacier was not likely to reach land; its base would probably become grounded on the sea floor off the coast. The ice chunk did, however, pose a potential hazard for shipping lanes and offshore oil rigs.

brings to mind a bit from the chronicle of theophanes. In the winter of 763-764, he writes

"..in the same year it was bitterly cold after the beginning of october, not only in our land...the north shore of the black sea froze to a depth of 30 cubits a hundred miles out. this was so from ninkhia to the danube river...Since the snow and ice kept falling, its depth increased another twenty cubits, so that the sea became dry land...during february...the ice divided into a great number of mountainous chunks. the force of the wind brought them down to daphnousia and hieron, so that they came through the bosporus to the city and all the way to propontis, abydos, and the islands, filling every shore. we ourself were an eyewitness, and with thirty companions, went out to one of them and played on it..."

(the location is constantinople, not the place you normally expect this kind of weather)

And we are headed for record ice loss in the Arctic, beating 2007.

If you go to the link on your post, 2011 ice melt has in just the past few days began to angle over apparently soon to be less than 2007 - at least for now. Still lots of time until mid-sept. to know the tale of the tape comparing 07 & 11. I hope it exceeds the 07 minimum to ring warning bells loud enough to finalize the climate change argument once and for all.

The fact that recent years ice minimums have been so low in comparison to the 1979-2000 average is very alarming, particularly if it means an albido effect leads to even greater ice melt years. And that is probably the case due to increasing loss of multi-year ice.


"it exceeds the 07 minimum to ring warning bells loud enough to finalize the climate change argument once and for all."

One would hope this would wake some out of their stupor.

But after tens of million dead from the European heat wave of '03; the already extensive melting of the Arctic and most glaciers around the world; 100 and even 1000 year events becoming commonplace; the now innumerable off-the-charts droughts, heatwaves, wild fires, crop losses, downpours, floods, snowmagedons...I despair that if none of these are enough to sway people, that any other events in the real world will move people much.

What should be persuading them, of course, is understanding the science, the long term trends and measurements, the paleo-climate studies, the behavior of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, the interactions that lead to amplifying feedbacks and runaway GW scenarios, the enormous quantities of CO2 we are emitting into the atmosphere every day...

But these so far have seemed to be beyond the ability of most to take in, and their inherent complexity makes them playgrounds for clever (and even not so clever) manipulators of the truth to sew doubts...

I think we nee a combination of constantly working hard to get truth into as many forums in as many compelling forms as possible, and lots of people willing to openly point out the connections, proven and potential, between recent extremes and predicted effects of GW.

What we don't need is main posts on this and other otherwise thoughtful and trustworthy sites, to dismiss GW as a minor, silly issue that we don't have to worry about for a long, long time, if at all.

Dohboi: Doncha know you are trying to mess with the forces of nature, like in the film "Network"

You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it! Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal. That is not the case! The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back! It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity! It is ecological balance! You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU... WILL... ATONE!

I'm just mad as hell and ... well, you know...

That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU... WILL... ATONE!

NO! I... WILL NOT... ATONE! For you sir, are an idiot of the highest order...

"The law that entropy always increases holds, I think, the supreme position among the laws of Nature. If someone points out to you that your pet theory of the universe is in disagreement with Maxwell's equations — then so much the worse for Maxwell's equations. If it is found to be contradicted by observation — well, these experimentalists do bungle things sometimes. But if your theory is found to be against the second law of thermodynamics I can give you no hope; there is nothing for it but to collapse in deepest humiliation." — Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, The Nature of the Physical World (1927)

One would hope this would wake some out of their stupor.

One would hope at some point the data is overwhelming, but like you mention if all those other events have not persuaded folks then maybe nothing will. What if enough ice to raise sea level a foot overnight in a cataclysmic Greenland ice flow occurred? - or maybe if 1% of the arctic methane released in a week of methane bombs raising worldwide temps 1.5 c degrees? - or maybe if a summertime temperature hit 124 f in Seattle, WA, that might do the trick. Then maybe those innumerate dense folk would say,

"Uh duh, you know, I just had a thought. Maybe there is something to all that weird science climate change bit."

For many, God would probably come into play at that point.

I mentioned in another post that the power of 1% of seabed methane, 100 billion tons, exploding would be rather large.

Methane burns at 55.7 kJ/g (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methane)

Someone should check my math, but I believe we are in be petajoule or exajoule range--the equivalent of thousands or millions of atom bombs.

An explosion this size would likely be ... noticed.

Whether it would prompt careful, rational discussion of causes or mass hysteria and superstition, well, I'm guessing more of the latter and less of the former is likely.

Speaking of God; the Bible do predict that when the end of the world comes, it is through fire, and specificly mentions it will not be water this time (making references to Noa).

The elephant in the room...

I thought it was global population, and population reduction that was the Unmentionable?

That, too--makes two elephants.

I think there's pretty much a small herd of elephants in the living room. Getting crowded in here!

Its a big room. Plenty of corners where you can't mention various topics you can mention elsewhere.

The site is on my daily watch list. In the begining each month they have a summary of the events of the previous month. This july they had a mid-month summary. I have never seen this before. Meaning: so important events was going on, they had to make an early posting about it.

I note that the head start over 2007 shrunk a little the latest days, but the decline is still in the lead. Last years record will be broken, 2008 most likely to. Weather we will se a new record low (breking 2007 minimum september minimum) remains to be seen, but I still claim a 50+% probability.

Latest from India-Iran payment crisis


NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's immediate strategy to deal with the loss of crude from Iran in August is to buy more from Saudi Arabia and Iraq, while inventories and plant maintenance give refiners breathing space as they seek to establish new supply lines

The halt has given regional rival and U.S. ally Saudi Arabia an opportunity to grab a bigger share of the market in Asia's third-largest oil consumer. If Saudi Arabia fills the gap, tension on oil policy between Riyadh and Tehran could worsen.

How long till OPEC dies ?

Indian Oil is considering importing oil from Africa and South America for its 300,000 bpd Paradip refinery in eastern India, due to start up next year. MRPL plans to lift 110,000 bpd from Venezuela by 2017. Selling to India fits into Venezuela's strategy to divert cargoes from the United States.

2017 !! That's a long plan. And how long till Venezuela starts having payment problems ?

Wiseindian, do you know what is behind the India-Iran payment crisis? As Alan pointed out yesterday, nothing stops India from buying $5 billion worth of gold in Zurich and airlifting it to Iran.

Must have missed that thread.
Anyways maybe it can be done without telling anyone, but trading gold for oil is not something that would be politically acceptable, besides that the use of gold to trade anything for that matter esp by a major country would imply that other means of trading have collapsed. You must realize the impact that such a news would have on the market.

Can you give me the example of any major country which uses gold for any kind of trading ? The last I checked central banks (other than the Fed )have started hoarding Gold in anticipation of major problems in the future. If we ever go back to the Gold standard (and that's a big if), the country sitting on the largest pile of that yellow metal would be the richest, trading it for the black liquid when it can be sourced from other places cheaper would be a very bad idea.

I don't recall any transactions in gold, but iirc some countries were trading grain for oil at the peak of the last crisis.

That may be a good idea with this years bumper crop harvests and most of the existing stock going to the rats.

Saudi Arabia to supply,China,India,Japan,USA etc etc.By WT model of ELM they come to zero exports in 2021 just 9 1/2 years.Is Saudi Arabia a jug that always refills?The refiners have now another greater problem.They had set up the plants based on NG production from the KG basin developed by Reliance Industries as feedstock.This year the production crashed,the reason being"reservoir behavior".Now they have to import LNG which is at twice the cost Whereas they make a little loss on petrol,they loose a lot of money on diesel and LPG.The govt is supposed to subsidise this loss but the govt itself is broke.

LOL - "Hole in head" is that above or below "DelusionaL" on the list of descriptive namesakes...just curious...;-)

Above+ :-)

The preventative could be: for those working in their nuclear program to live in military-protected 'secret cities' like the Russians did?

There was one thing that made Los Alamos different from any other town that had ever been – can anyone think of what that was? (the town was a secret) It was a town like many others, with hundreds of people, a school, a grocery store, theatre, laundry, etc. But if you lived here it was supposed to be a secret. You could not tell friends or family where you were living. You could not even mention the name of the town.





Having lived/worked there many years later (79-84), it was still a most unusual place. It had been many years since the town had been opened up, anyone could drive there without showing Id etc. Some of the people who retired even stayed there. But it many ways it was unlike the rest of the country. I can recall being at the grocery store needing to write a check, but I'd just used the last one in the book (oops!). The clerk said, its OK, simply take out a deposit slip, and write on it "this is a check", and so I apid that way. Of course no one in the rest of America ever believed this story. I once had the occasion to need it after having moved away, and was laughed out of the store. Oh, and unless I was leaving on a weeklong vacation, I never locked my door! We had our first bamk robbery, when I was there, but it was almost a joke. The poor fool, was recognized by half the people in line, so his little adventure ended badly for him.

I always thought it was odd. The town that built the bomb, you would hear. But, the relationship went both ways, the town that was built by the bomb, was just as accurate a description, for without the bomb, it would have remained a remote boys school/camp. Incidently, your metropolis Albuquerque, nearly shares this distinction. It was just a dusty stop on the railroad. But Kirtland/Sandia grew up around weapnizing the same A-weapons. In a very real sense, Albuquerque might be no biger than Las Vegas (NM), hadn't it been for the atomic age and cold war.

My dad had been a low level military grunt, who was assigned to the project. He and my mom, had a choice Oak Ridge, or the mysterious New Mexico site. When he visited me, more than thirty years later he was kicking himself, he choose OakRidge because he didn't want to be in the damn desert. But Los Alamos, is not in the desert, but rather beutiful forested mountains, in fact one of the most scenic spots in the whole country. But, they didn't have any tourist brochures to show potential low level recruits.

The workers at my dads level, were never told the purpose of the project, until after the first bomb had been dropped. he says one night they broke the law, and got a whole bunch of people toghether to compare notes. They figured out that it had to be an A-bomb. They would have been in deep doo-doo, if the security types had known about this.


Thanks for the great color background about Los Alamos...some of the folks I work with live up there.

The check-writing thing reminded my of my 9 years in Minot, ND...everyone writes checks up there for everything! Even at the drive-through windows...very few times was I ever asked for ID when writing a check. Folks left their cars running in the Dak Square Mall lot while they were watching movies when it was below zero F...

As for ABQ...I hope upon hope that it (and Rio Rancho) does NOT expand towards the scale of Phoenix...fortunately ABQ is bounded on the North and South by the Sandia and Isleta Pueblos, and on the East by the Sandia Mountains. As for the West...there is considerable room to expand to the Rio Puerco, where the next pueblo is...fortunately, lack of water has downshifted the crazy expansion plans the mayor of Rio Rancho had the last time I lived here ( he wanted RR to be much bigger and grander than ABQ!!) You can see all the roads laid out (with no houses) in the Western side of Rio Rancho...he's hoping that that they stay a ghost platte.

Back to Los Alamos and the Jemez etc...it is a real shame about all the fires the past decade...I fear that this is becoming the norm...I see why those nice 50-year warranty metal roofs are used out in the forest!

As for remote...my Dad was stationed for a year or so (~1956?) at a remote radar station up in Tierra Amarilla/El Vado reservoir (NW of Los Alamos)...it was part of a number of radar stations meant to keep watch on the approached to Los Alamos and Sandia Base etc...I think he hated it as a ~ 19 year old...he got out and did other things.

I think we have a lot in common. We both have same aged kids to get through college. If yours are going to UNM, I suppose it might be fairly cheap, living at home etc. Mine are in three separate universities, and at the rate U of California system is losing state revenues, I suspect it will be just as expensive as a private institution by the time they finish.

I avoided the military life altogether. Was kind of a geek math-physics sort. Did put in some time at secret sites, but only as a part-time consultant. Was, and am, a reluctant Californian, I cried when I left there. But, I needed a job to support the family. Been puting in my time ever since.

Analysis: Australia shale gas heats up, but output still far off

(Reuters) - Australia's fledgling shale gas sector is picking up steam, but significant production is still at least a decade away, even if the industry clears hurdles such as high costs, a growing shortage of labor and environmental concerns.

... shale gas faces a bumpier ride in Australia, where drilling costs are triple those of the United States, labor costs about 50 percent higher, and the continent's vast distances and infrastructure deficiencies will slow progress.

"We'll have pilot plants and people will declare first production, but it will be relatively small quantities. It's going to be small production within the next five to ten years, but could become substantial after 2020."

The Barriers to Unlocking Capital for Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is the quickest and cheapest way to meet our energy needs now or in the future, earning it the nickname, "first fuel." Unfortunately, most companies aren't seizing energy efficiency opportunities, leaving billions of dollars of potential savings and investment dollars stranded on the sidelines.

But the potential for energy savings is huge, ... Here are just a few highlights:

• In one example from EDF's Climate Corps, the program that matches MBA students with companies to look for efficiency opportunities, Fellow Jen Snook discovered that installing lighting sensors in AT&T's central offices across the country could trim lighting energy use by 80 percent because lights were turned on about half of the time, but the spaces were occupied just 10 percent of the time. The company invested in 4,200 energy efficiency projects in 2010, saving AT&T an estimated $44 million a year.

• Red Robin's corporate restaurants began using LED lighting three years ago and save $600,000 in electricity costs annually. LED lighting was installed in a further 22 franchised locations earlier this year, expected to save the restaurants $117,000 annually.

Report (pdf): Show Me the Money: Energy Efficiency Financing Barriers and Opportunities

Scratch another species from the Book of Life ...

South Australia Cuttlefish colony missing

NOVA just re-ran a documentary called "Kings of Camouflage:"

"Meet the cuttlefish, one of the brainiest, most bizarre animals in the ocean."

They showed the giant cuttlefish in particular. Fascinating animal.

Ah, that is sad.

The only reason offered to save them is that they draw tourists.

Didn't you know? Animal, vegetable or mineral; the only value it can have is how much cash it can generate for someone. :-(

Grants of up to £1,250 mark 'new era in home heating'

Householders across the UK are being offered grants of up to £1,250 towards the cost of installing renewable heating systems such as biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels

I have had an impression that much of Europe was fairly free of home-grown violence such as was visited upon Norway yesterday.

It seemed for quite some time that the days of the Red Brigades and the Baader-Meinhof Group etc in Europe were a memory. Far-Left, Far-Right, Islamist, Christian...killers are killers.

Unfortunately, I do not see how a World with population increasing to 9B and perhaps beyond by ~ 2050, coinciding with declining resources and increasing pollution, is going to get anything but more violent over time.


The threat of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is bad enough, but now folks have to deal with home-grown other-then-Islamic terrorist factions again.

One analyst called the attacks possibly Europe's "Oklahoma City" moment, a reference to American right-wing militant Timothy McVeigh who detonated a truck bomb at a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.

Police forces in many western European countries worry about rising far-right sentiment, fueled by a toxic mix of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry and increasing economic hardship.

Best hopes for Europe for remaining a group of civil societies...

Heisenberg,there are loonies everywhere and this was just one of them.Europeans are mild and not prone to violence .Maybe because there is no gun culture,or maybe family values are still there(at least compared to USA).You can still cross the road on zebra crossings without getting run down.The analyst is overdoing the case;but I am in complete agreement with you that when TSHTF violence is going to increase not only in Europe but worldwide.


Your second sentence is the basis for me expressing my surprise at this event.

I understand the well-know differences in firearm availability ('gun culture').

I do not have enough context to properly understand your remark about differences in 'family values'. That term has been so propagandized in the U.S. I do not know hat to make of it in the context of your post.

Parts of Europe used to have a home-grown left-wing terrorism problem (1960s-1970s?), but that faded away.

Several decades prior to that some countries in Europe had a couple of governments which used hatred of 'the other' to justify invasions of other countries and mass killings of targeted peoples.

Recommendation: Be ever vigilant against extremism.

Indeed, the statement "Europeans are mild and not prone to violence" seems rather ahistorical at best.

Alexander the Great was a European, as were all the Caesars, Germanic and Celtic hordes, Vikings, conquistadors and colonists (i.e. global pirates), empires from English to Russian to Napoleonic...

Historically, we must call this anything but 'mild and not prone to violence.'

I would like to think that they have gotten it out of their system after the lasts two enormously disastrous universal wars, but incidents like this belie that notion.

"Berserk", after all, derives from Old Norse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berserker

Norway Anders Behring Breivik Knights Templar 2083

The news in America tried desperately to tie the attack to Muslims, even late into the night. This information had been available before dusk:

"Massacre suspect is Norwegian"

"Anders Behring Breivik, age 32, a self-described nationalist with no criminal record who was opposed to Islam and to a multi-cultural society.

could be tied to right-wing extremists with a grudge against the left-wing Labour Party."


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Wikipedia page:

The youtube video manifesto
Released 6 hours before the attack.
The video is gone.
The thumb photo is shown:
He's on about caliphates.

The video reappears:
"Knights Templar 2083"

The written version:

If you wish to review these, tell us what you see.


Fox News ran this later:

Fox News:

I include the Fox News article to illustrate the propaganda mechanisms of a sympathetic media machine. The article is by -James Jay Carafano: Director of The Heritage Foundation’s Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies.-

And then later had its O'Rielly Factor show:

Later in the night, a interviewer on CBS radio kept trying to move her Norwegian source back onto Muslims. The source kept protesting this. The interviewer pursued the point even further.

It is hard to get any real information through this system as it now stands. News on the state of oil, climate, and people are all given "spin".

"Massacre suspect is Norwegian"
At least early on this can be forgiven? Or at least understood. It is well known that the most extreme elements of most religions are often the new recruits, not those who have grown up with it. The fact that he was clearly Norwegian, shouldn't be taken as proof that he wasn't a memeber of some foreign-inspired group. You really just have to throw out the caveat, that we won't really know until we've had some time to investigate. I thought that "helpers of the Jihad" sounded a bit like the sort of fakey terroristgroup a hollywood script writer would invent, but all you can do early on is reprot the facts.

More on the Nowegian Shooter/Bomber:


His manifesto is found at the link titles 'written version' on KalimankuDenku's list of links.

It is a little North of 1500 pages I think...Since the Cibola Forest trails have re-opened (we finally got some rain!), I currently have better things to do than read his screed...I will wait for the compact analysis that folks will surely write...

How many other folks in Europe share his views, and how many of those are willing to act on them?

I seem to remember over the past couple of years a few low-key news stories about the ascendancy of nationalistic/xenophobic groups and some politicians of that stripe coming to power in various countries...

I just want to express a big fat WTF? to the people on that island, the ones who outnumbered this guy 600+ to one. How was he able to walk around for such a long time killing folks, without a mob of enraged, selfless folks getting to him, beating him to a pulp and hanging his entrails from the nearest tree? Just askin'......

I know it may seem crass, but running for your life when kids are being shot, one by one, begs many questions.

The 600 were mainly youth, and the killer likely had more than 600 bullets and was very well prepared, had been taking steroids and is very fit, was methodical and had two weapons, of which one was semi-automatic. He had also trained with the weapons for a year. I don't see how a mob could have reached him before being gunned down. Perhaps if a group could have surprised him with close-range stone throwing or something.

Unarmed people have been known to walk directly into gun fire. The Chinese Boxers (of the rebellion by that name) believed that they were invulnerable to the effect of bullets and cannon balls.

I can find no one who cares to make even a rough estimate of how many of these brave/delusional rebels died, but one can only imagine that it was an enormous toll.

The people in that youth camp probably were not prepared to face gun fire, and probably were not in "defensive mode". I imagine that the time it took them to process and change their mode of thinking severely reduced their ability to do anything about it.

And how much time does one have to deal with the typical asymmetric situation of someone with a gun VS someone without a gun?

It takes time to create a deadfall. Time to gather whatever that can function as a ranged weapon. Time to convince a large enough group to gather, arm themselves with whatever and rush the holder of the gun - knowing that X of Y total number would function as bullet sponges if that was going to be a course of action.

Time would have to pass to observe the killer to plan what may/may not work VS the killer.

It sounds like time was not one of the things in abundance.

There is also the issue of the 80+ unfortunates lacking skills to address the situation. How many had the mindset to attack/kill the attacker? The skills to use, say, a rifle or bow+arrow set? The skills to attempt to improvise some form of weapon. It is easy for any of us to sit in our armchairs and go with 'this is what I would have done'. Entirely different to be a teenager with little experience beyond Call of Duty and Big Buck Hunter on the Xbox.

Ghung – Fine line between crass and truthful, eh? I suspect you’re just expressing feels that other would except for being judged "politically incorrect”. I’ve always admired that aspect of you. LOL.

An old tale: the wolf, his foot caught in the trapper’s snare, chews his leg off to escape. Question: was the wolf being brave (saving himself at any cost) or a coward (could have stayed and tried to kill the trapper hoping to protect his kind)? A simple answer: neither brave nor a coward. The wolf is an animal that can do nothing but follow his instinct to survive.

But we are more than animals…we’re human beings who always have the choice to follow our animal instincts or chose to sacrifice for others. But despite our hopes to do the right thing the animal instinct is strong especially when mortality is involved.

That’s one reason why the military uses live fire exercises despite the risk and occasional tragedies. And even in those situations the recruits realize that no one is actually trying to kill them. Most of us like to think we would choose sacrifice over self preservation in such a circumstance. But you can never be sure. And for some of those who have faced such a situation can’t always be sure. Read a story about a Marine how threw himself on a grenade. Fortunately it was a dud and didn’t explode. Not long afterwards he refused to go out on a mission. He simply said he was too afraid and knew he would let his unit down if it came to it. Because of his previous actions he was given an early discharge with honor.

We can always hope…but can never be sure.

I have a weapons instruction video onmy computer. A direct[*] qoute:

"If you have a pistol and the bad guy have a rifle,you aproach him with caution. If you have a belt feed machine gun and the bad guy have a rifle, you aproach him with determination".

These guys had nothing.

[*] Not a direct qoute. I remember stuff in swedish whatever language they used to say it, and am translating back to english from my memory.

Dohboi,you are absolutely correct.

Indeed, the statement "Europeans are mild and not prone to violence" seems rather ahistorical at best.

I think the remark was referring to the current European culture, not a genetic trait that Europeans may or may not possess. But that being said, there are rebels in every culture. Also, psychopaths always appear in every culture or society. That is a genetic fluke, a person that is born without a conscience. Such a person could murder their child because they were a burden then party on as if nothing had happened. Such a person could easily shoot 85 kids with no feeling at all.

It is not the violence that is in them it is the conscience that is not in them. Also psychopaths are usually great liars. Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us

Ron P.

It's going to be something when the economy craters enough so a large percentage of the population can no longer afford their anti-psychotics. I think they are more common than we realize. Would not surprise me if it is already starting to happen.

Don in Maine

Ah, yes... We will be awash in a sea of confused speech and bizarre behavior with a good chance of mayhem... But these are psychotics, not psychopaths. The derangement of thoughts and the disorders of personalty are in different classifications. Though, there is no barrier to mix-and-match! In today's world, especially Los Angeles, it would be best if you knew of:

Thought disorders:
---Schizophrenics (one class of many psychotics)

Personality disorders:
---Narcissists (All for attention: anything goes)
---Borderlines (Find you perfect, find you evil: anything goes)
---Psychopaths (Present as perfect, act as evil: anything goes)

Mood disorders:
---Manic-Depressives (They can go psychotic in the manic phase)

I'm waiting for a psychotic depressed narcissistic psychopath to get here, even now. He is out talking with God. God talks back. Zero empathy. Loves attention and praise. Depressed. What fun!

The beauty thing is, you can know all about psychopaths and still get fooled. One definition is "The psychopath is the patient who can talk the doctor out of a loan."

Cleckley: "Mask of Sanity" a $600 book, these days:

Wasn't the psychopath identified, by lack of empathy. So people become mere things to manipulate for ones own benefit. Possibly, just faulty mirror-neuron circuitry.

KD, nice cliff-notes version of the DSM-IV. Personality disorders are useful clinical constructs, but they can be very stigmatizing. They never present exactly as described in the literature, and I think many are quite treatable. They are not etched in stone, I think. One of my very close friends is, or probably was, borderline, but was repaired as a teenager. I do not know who her therapist was, but he was an artist who did beautiful work. She is going to be an outstanding clinician, tremendous person, extremely trustworthy.

Enemy, you may be right that there is faulty circuitry, but the problem about thinking about it that way is that it often leads to the conclusion that the problem is fundamentally organic-- in other words, more nature than nurture. (You do not state this, and that may not be what you are implying.)

I believe the current thinking is that neurons have predispositions that are genetic, but experience is what causes the neural nets to be formed. Worst is when there is trauma before the neurons have myelinated-- kind of like running too much current through electronics with no sheaths on any wires. (A very imperfect analogy.) The current arcs in the wrong places in huge, ghastly loops from the prefrontal cortex to way back in the brain stem.

For some of those problems, I think, without early intervention, there is probably no repair. I have not been practicing long, and have only encountered this once so far. And it made my blood run cold.

I am more self aware than most - and I am aware of a several unusual aspects that are marginally functional or dysfunctional.

An ideal, loving, supportive childhood has had a very positive result - even if my behavior is far outside the norm.

But the same starting point, with just a more normal childhood (not particularly abusive or anything ... just the median), would likely have had disastrous results. The most likely would have been a pre-teen or teenage suicide.

I can see several ...pathies I could easily have developed.

Today, I still have almost no fear and almost no remorse. Empathy is a learned trait for me, but it is quite strong :-)

As many know here, I cling to New Orleans. It is where I can function best, and "fit in" as well.

I wonder what fraction of people have one or more faulty circuits. I clearly have one related to understanding sound. I can't at all replicate or recognize accents, even highly exaggerated ones. I was kicked out of the "good" reading group in second grade, even though I'd been the first person in the class to read, beacuse I flunked the accents test. So I can entirely understand how someone may be neurologically incapable of something that everyone else takes for granted. Other blocks may develop as a function of a traumatic experience.

The brain is a complex, multi-dimensional organism

People can be gifted or handicapped ("challenged") in any of many departments:

audio processing neural pathways

visual pathways

limbic pathways (empathy, social cues, etc.)

mathematical comprehension

linguistic comprehension

science comprehension

etc., etc. (King of Siam comprehension)

The narcissist also has no empathy.

Remember, these are one-line descriptions.

Sweden is a good example. We were a warfaring nation. For illustration, we do not have an independence day, but all our neighbours have. But 200 years ago we were at the end of a military losing streak (we lost Finland wich was a hughe blow, like if the US lost Canada). Then we lost the will for war and became one of the most pecefull countries in the world. With the right inputs and responses to that input, change is possible.

Come now Jedi wealder you got Norway in compensation for Finland at the Congress of Vienna, surely that can't be such a bad deal, who wants to rule a country where two thirds of the people speak a language that is understood only by Hungarians, at least the Norwegians could understand Swedish. Now from my reading of Swedish History the Swedes have never been particularly peaceful. 200 years ago at the end of your so called losing streak a Swedish army was marching through Holland to join up with Wellington at Waterloo. It got as far a Zutphen about 150 miles away. Now if your lot had got your finger out and marched a little faster or Napoleon had waited a week before he invaded Belgium you might have been able to share in that glory. All you need is some ruthless bastard like Gustavus Adolphus, plus a few barrels of the Swedish drink to liven up the interrogation session, when it comes to water boarding the Americans have nothing on your lot.

Deep Regards

Yorkshire Miner

who wants to rule a country where two thirds of the people speak a language that is understood only by Hungarians,



While the Hungarian and Finnish languages are indeed related, to say they understand each other's languages would be quite the stretch...

That is no problems. We tought the finns swedish, then they understood us. They still have a large swedish minority.

Regarding Norway, it was useless and they had no natural wealth except fish. Especially no mineral wealth. So we let them go. Then they found their oil...

I heard from a Swede that the Norge offered to "cut Sweden in" on the oil when first drilling started. The Swedes turned the offer down.

Any truth to that ?


PS: Did the Treaty of Separation include the seabed mineral rights ? Or have the Norge been drilling and selling Swedish Oil all these years ?

Yeah, in the 70-ies we were to give them half of Volvo (Swedish company producing cars and trucks) and we'd get half their oil. Could've been nice, but there are risks in getting wealth for free.

Be ever vigilant against extremism.

Red brigades were pretty nasty back in the day. The US had had its Symbionese Liberation Army of Patty Hurst fame as well. But it looks like homegrown terror has moved from the leftwing to the right. Although even so, it is rarely organized groups, usually just a deranged loner type, sometimes with an accomplice, but never with an organized support group. Lets hope it stays that way. This latest event, seems more similar to the Gifford shooting from a few months back. A politically motivated loner arriving at a political event and going on a killing spree. I suspect the difference in casualties, is that in America, we are (somewhat) used to dealing with gun violence, and most cities have local forces ready to respond.

I think the difference in casualties mostly reflects the diabolical planning behind the attack on the camp:
- the preceding bomb attack would have diverted the attention of the police;
- the camp itself was on an island, thereby delaying the police response and making it difficult for the victims to escape;
- the police uniform worn by the attacker confused the victims and could easily have confused any responders.

It would seem that the police should have been able to respond more quickly, but even then, it is not surprising that grievous harm was inflicted. Since the attacker has the advantage of being able to pick the time and place, he stars out with an initiative, and, with modern weapons has the firepower of what would have required a very sizable military force when guns were single shot affairs.

I might add that if a dozen teenagers, perhaps with an adult in lead, had rushed the shooter, they would almost certainly die.

I noted that the evil one did not chose to die. He apparently values his own life.

Best Hopes & Sympathy for the Norwegian People,


""I noted that the evil one did not chose to die. He apparently values his own life.""

Bush2 killed over a million Iraqi, and about 10,000 US. He is retired to his Ranch in TX.

The Martian.

That is a patently false analogy, Martin.
The Norwegian didn't torture ANYBODY.

Smitty - He did plan well. Sick but well. As far as firepower they are lucky the body count wasn't higher. From the little I've seen he is at least a modest if not excellent marksman. He had at least an hour for his madness. My eyes are old and the muscles don't tighten up as they once did. But long ago I earned a 9th level expert rating with a single shot rifle. Such skill would allow a shooter to take out twice as many as he did in half the time. All he had to do was get eyes of them. Perhaps they at least scattered and made aquisition more dificult for him.

Bottom line you don't need to be a great marksman or have a semi-auto. Just need a total disregard for human life. And unfortunately it took only one such maniac in Norway this time..

Rock: I suspect there are different sorts of marksmen. I've only fired two shots in my entire life. But they were much more accurate than the gun fans who've spend endless time playing with guns. But, that is taking ones time to carefully line up a stationary target, and pull the trigger in a manner that doesn't bump the aim. I bet, hitting a moving target, -especially if under duress, and with little time to get things right is a whole different skill. Close quarter combat skills are likely far different from long-distance sniper skills.

It's the shot that matters one practices for.

Please, world, excuse me and my American compatriots... But we live in the violentest place on earth... I am sure any of our high-school student shooting-rampagers could have done a better job... But this seems hardly the time to be discussing it.

rockman, he certainly did plan well. For 9 years. He used dum-dum bullets, illegal in Norway. Never told a soul, to avoid both being turned in, and involving his acquaintances unnecessarily. He got his police clothing online. He wrote a 1500 page manifesto for others to follow his footsteps. He went abroad to purchase the stuff he couldn't get in Norway safely, like accurate copies of police insignia, etc.

Considering he killed 85 out of 650, on an island where many swam out to the Oslo Fjord to escape, he had his work cut out for him, there were trees, woods, it wasn't a small island. He also used the police uniform he was wearing several times to get kids in hiding to come out, saying he was the police, there to save them, then he shot them. He used ear plugs, an interesting fact revealed by one of the earliest eye witnesses. I followed the norwegian live coverage so I assume I'm getting more details than most here. Note the concern for his own heath/hearing, for his friends/aquainances? No maniac this, just another far right christian extremist calling for a new crusades, explicitly, both in his video and in his manifesto.

As for the 'who could have imagined', well, the discussions online about how to create diesel/fertilizer bombs that the norwegian/swedish far right forums he frequented contained certainly could have been a clue. I read a mystery by a current norwegian mystery author that had as a premise a very similar type right wing assault by what turned out to be roughly a lone guy, that was written last year, so I think the people with their eyes open saw enough.

He had realized the value of wearing a police uniform in terms of how people would respond to him, especially as he was hunting them down, all extremely rational. I knew, and predicted to some people I was talking to, a few hours after this started, that Fox news and other right wing news dispensers would twist this guy into being a 'lone lunatic', when in fact he's a dedicated terrorist, just like any islamic type jihadist, in fact, what his entire project appears to be is in fact creating a Christian jihad against muslim immigrants. A notion that is going to resonate in more than a few ears there by the way. So at least let's call him what he is, a home grown, rational, terrorist, with a clear plan of action and execution. The right always gets uncomfortable about naming the right wing extremists as terrorists, why, I can't say, since that's what they are, in Norway now, and of course, for quite a while here in the USA, and they should be treated as such.

But Norway sees this, today's news calls it terrorism, correctly, even if Fox/Sky doesn't want to call a spade a spade. I predicted, sadly totally correctly, that this (lone maniac, a crazy person) would be the right wing media spin as soon as it turned out he wasn't islamic at all, quite the contrary, in fact, and that prediction was born out with sad predictability. See, if you call him what he is, then you to start looking at right wing fundamentalist extremism as the serious threat it is....

Luckily this kind of garbage doesn't sell in Norway, they seem to be observing this for what it is, homegrown extremist terrorism.

Image control is an aspect of promotion.

He'll be 53 when he gets out of jail.............Assuming BAU.
Personally I think he should executed and revived 91 out of 92 attempts, probably for the next 21 years.

h2 - Coincidentally just this morning NPR had a quest discuss the problem with folks identifying a group by the act of an extremist member of that group. The speaker happened to be Muslim but IMHO it doesn't really matter. Someone on post pointed out how dangerous the far right is and should be dealt with. But name any extremist of any group that truly represents the mindset of the group as a whole. There have been such insane acts done by Muslims, Jew, Baptists, Catholics, Democrats, Repubs, etc, etc. Granted some groups have a disproportionate number of crazies but there are crazies in every group.

So should folks take this Norwegian maniac as representative of the right? Nationalists? Gun enthusiasts? Blondes? But it's inevitable that various agendas will focus on any aspect that forwards their position. This sad situation can even be used to rebuke the victims: why was there no one on the island armed but the maniac? The easy answer is because no one could contemplate such a risk. But now they will. And many folks throughout the EU will...another sad collateral loss of a sense of well being. One could even put forth an agenda of supporting a legally armed public. Not something to brag about but had the shooter showed up at a Baptist youth camp in Texas the body count would not have been as high: to many armed potential victims. Yep...a bit unnerving to have so many non-professionals with concealed carry permits in Texas. OTOH if your child were in the camp you would be thankful if a few of the counselors were armed even if they presented a level of concern for you. From personal experience being in a threatening situation there's a huge difference in one's state of mind and reactions whether one is armed or not. I've found being armed is better. But I've known folks who probably would be worse off if they were armed. As usual one size does not fit all.

Rock, I realize you grew up in that Texas gun nut culture, and that you actually believe what you are saying, but happily, in the civilized world, such things are seen as the pure and unadulterated nonsense they are.

Please give me a rough count of the number of hand gun deaths in the US over the last 50 years. Feel free to round down to the nearest 100,000.

Norwegians are capable of doing this type advanced mathematics, and have never fallen for that absurd notion, promoted by the US gun lobby.

You can own licensed weapons in Norway, for hunting, and I guess there is a small gun nut branch, which I assure you, is going to see their rights to keep and bear automatic weapons severely restricted after this event, which is only proper, nothing that guy used had any purpose other than killing people.

Likewise I realize that working in the oil patch and living in Texas, you are more less obligated to do the right wing talking points., but please, realize, out there in the first world, those really don't carry much weight, sad to say.

Personally, having lived in Oregon, with its share of untrained gun nuts, and hunters who can at best hit the side of a non moving house, or maybe a cow they mistake for a deer, or their friend, I can think of many reasons to NOT live around such a culture, and not a single reason to live in it.

So let's talk body counts rock, ok? How about this year in Texas, how many is it. Please don't shy away, you are smart, let's talk facts. Didn't save many did it? In fact, none at all, almost every murder is done with a gun. In the US, that is. In Europe it's much harder, not, as we saw in Norway, impossible, but much harder.

So what the Norwegians are going to do will be rational and intelligent, they will severely restrict all gun nut type military hardware, and they will increase the controls, because these weapons have no purpose other than killing civilians.

While I don't love Norway, and I can see many of the faults that others also see, one thing I have really liked was their response.

No hysteria, calm, let the police do their work, investigage, adjust, do not threaten the fundamental open principles of a genuine democratic country. You know, everything the US is not today, where people live in fear due to the vast numbers of unregulated handguns spread out due to the influence of NRA and other people and organizations.

Now let's look at the murder rate in Texas, ok? Then repeat that pure nonsense if you can. Or stop and think for a second, if you can see past your local regional cultural biases, that is...

Still love your ongoing get out the word campaign re fossil fuel extraction realities, but this Texas gun nut nonsense, and the pro right wing blindness certainly, while of course required to work where you do, do not do you any justice, but none of us are going to change our ways as this ship circles down the drain, so who really cares. I'd still probably vote for you for a political office, be better than the alternatives.

By the way, part of falling for the right wing media spin is really believing this is a lone extremist. He was a member of a far right forum, Scandinavian, with about 20,000 members. That forum discussed methods of construction of bombs. There is in fact a body of support there, just as there is a body of support around islamic terrorism. Sarah Palin suggested, you may or may not recall, that every 'liberal' politician should have a target on them. Then that kid in Arizona took her up on that suggestion, and acted on it. The right to bear arms state of Arizona's gun policy didn't help the people in that crowd or the congresswoman, did it? Failure to take responsibility for words and actions is beginning to strike me as a core, and essence, of the current US right wing movement. Paint every person who responds to the non stop hate mongering pushed by the fox news / glen beck types, as a nut, lone, acting alone, crazy... then paint every comparable person of islamic origin as a member of a vast overwhelming conspiracy which we have to sacrifice our freedoms and pay for multiple billions of security... I see no, zero, difference, between right wing christian type extremists and islamic extremists, they are the same, and should be treated the same. However you want islamic terrorism handled is how right wing terrorism should be handled, otherwise you expose the hypocrisy, wouldn't want that, now, would we?

Please stop calling the guy christian. He is not. Even if he say he is. Even if he think he is. There is no shread of christian philosophy in his action. As I stated before; if I call myself the emperor of China, the chinese will not be impressed anyway.

The rest of you post I agree with.

Jedi, the term 'christian' is not an absolute, as you should hopefully be aware of if you've studied any 'christian' historical events, such as the crusades, the vast numbers of christian wars, the still ongoing attempt at destruction of non-christian cultures by destructive and invasive proselytizing, think of the priests who spread across the planet 'saving the savages souls'... nothing to be proud of there, Christianity from just after the first century was almost custom tailored to fit the needs of hierarchical, power hungry elites. So if I take what Christians have actually done in history, then that's what they are. Now if, on the other hand, I look for the actually spiritual people, who more or less reject the old testament and its hypocrisy and hardcore extremist violence, then yes, there are a handful of Christians who would fit what you are talking about. Not much more than that, and certainly as far as I'm concerned, you'd be better off, much better, looking elsewhere, like Buddhism, for a practice that doesn't engage in such centuries long hypocrisy...

I assume what you are referring to is a very specific, and sadly, niche, sect of Christianity, which largely totally ignores the old testament, and only pays attention to the somewhat buddhist type teachings of the Jesus character, and maybe even has ears to hear and eyes to see the varying messages and structures found in some sections of the more interesting of the gospels. You know, like the Quakers, and others who reject the habit of killing in Christianity's name. Certainly a tiny subsection of the larger Christian body.

Sadly, as with all such religious systems, or political, the thing is what people today, yesterday, and tomorrow, make it. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't dislike parts of the New Testament, though I think the stuff is so distorted and compromised over the centuries that it's a pretty poor example of anything positive. Not to mention how the church routinely declares as heretical anything that tries to return the religion to its spiritual foundations, which is another story for another time. But I do want to know how Meister Eckhart got away with it for so long...

Just as you are able to define to yourself what your Christianity means, so to is anyone else, because that religion is so inconsistent and hypocritical almost any view at all of the religion's meaning can be injected into the words. Sad day when the founding church fathers decided to go with the old testament in addition to the new, very sad, but that was the end of that idea as far as I'm concerned.

Let me see if I remember it, oh yes... then god commanded the israelites to kill every man, woman, and child, so that none could stand against them... isn't that about right? I think that's roughly the words, right? Exodus? Pick your poison, if I want the real deal I want it straight, no chaser, and I don't want to have to ignore 90+% of the words written down,and then try to extract the hidden messages and coded references, there's better sources and better material for this part of human life. Though I do admit to liking and admiring those christians who reject their history and most of the old testament and manage root out the actual spiritual message contained here and there in distorted nuggets and modified codes that managed to survive centuries of political and religious corruptions.

So if we go by the real history, the real activities of christians, the explicit destruction of native people's and their cultures, of which the christian church was always a primary actor, then this Norwegian guy is totally justified in calling himself a christian. All of history, except little moments here and there, buried in the Gnostic and other fringe areas, supports his view of Christianity, which makes it no more or less valid than my view, your view, or anyone else's view. Actually quite a bit more valid, since his view is in perfect accord with the real world actions of Christians since the whole thing started as an organized and hierarchical system, whereas what you or I might point to as the essence is hard to prove, difficult to detect in actual ongoing human actions, and certainly almost impossible to find anywhere in the old testament.

What a mess, huh?
One of the saddest things to ever happen to the humans.
The Aztec priests made the rains come and the springs flow.
A Indian priest showed the sun the path to take in the sky.
The inquisition
All the Kings and Pharaohs that were living gods.
Power and money

By psychotics for psychotics
Keeps the psychotics in line, when it works.
Makes money flow from its concentration with the rich
To the betterment of the poor
For the rich's salvation
When it works.
Makes huge make-work projects
Like the pyramids and cathedrals
Where much is learned in the doing
Like the American space program.

Even Buddhism was seen as a tool of elite control
By the popular Chinese uprising.
L. Ron crafted his own, -pure- ,
Self-perpetuating proselytizing hierarchical organization
With big pink Wookies that yank our collective chain.

There's a lot of money concentrating, right now.
There is a bumper-crop of dangerously broken monkey minds.
Lots of work and hope are needed.
Mortality is making itself palpable.

What new power-elite
What new comic-book cosmology
will rise?

We make fun of "them".

But do we ourselves not suffer from the same delusions?

Our religious beliefs revolve around the "Invisible Appendage" and how it makes the wisest, most divine choices based on the godly powers of "The Free Market" and the unquestionable "Wisdom of the Crowds".

Perhaps one day not too far off into the future, historians will look back at us and wonder in gobsmackedness, What were those delusional apes thinking back then? That the oil will last forever? That they can pillage the Earth with no bounds and no consequences? That the Moai Faces printed on their Dollar Bills and their incantations to divine guidance would save them? Really?

Then I guess you wisely and evenhandedly don't view "muslim terrorists" as muslims?

What I meant by family values is more of family structure then family values as meant in the USA.The families here are glued because they are small,children stay with parents till 20-25(in Italy we have what are called"Mama's boy" who are living with parents at 40),parents(not necessarily children)still stick to christian teachings which does have a pass on effect.I think(maybe I am wrong)the history of WW I & II in schools also contributes.I still meet Germans between age 22-25 who carry a guilt.There are less single mothers and if they are single they are not looked upon as leeches in society, have social(state) support to raise the child that is not dysfunctional.In some countries single mothers can get by with only state support and care for the children whole time.There are no Republican type political parties that call for such support to be eliminated.

Thank you for your expansion/amplification of your usage of that that phrase...although entire posts could be devoted to exploring these philosophies and their alleged impacts!

Of course what I am about to say is anecdotal...My wife and I have two children, and they are 22 and 19, and they live with us...at least until each is finished with their college degrees, then maybe +6-12 months...although my wife and I have been debating this. We enjoy the company of our young adult children, and vice versa, but we do not want to stunt their continued growth into adulthood by encouraging them not to spread their wings and fly from the nest.

We do not want a situation such as with my Brother, who is 42 and has spent most of his life living with, and sponging off, my Mother, who admits she has been an enabler and accepts partial responsibility for hi never having 'grown up' and excepted adulthood responsibilities....long story there...

The point of my anecdotes? I am not convinced that children staying with their parents into their mid 20s and beyond...mid 40s...all their lives is a good thing. The thing is, we would need good data (from the U.S, and from other countries), not anecdotes, in order to have the basis for an analysis of the effect. Of course we would have to identify and attempt to control for, other factors...and by the way,we would need to agree on what we were measuring (our attribute(s) and construct criteria, and that is maybe the most contentious part!

As for the 'Christian teachings' part, I would say the same...what outcomes (attributes) are we measuring, what are the grading criteria, and how do collect the data and construct a convincing analysis of causes and effects? Same with the guilt feelings you mentioned...

Fascinating Sociology research topis!

Sorry to be a stick in the mud about the structured thinking approach, but that is how I think, and what I do in my job.


IMHO - I've seen the extended family living together more amongst Europeans than among white North Americans. If relatives can get along, it can actually work very well indeed, more resilience in the household in case of illness, unemployment, disability, child care, etc. What is key in the successful extended families living together is that everybody works hard at something, to the best of their ability at some job, whether it be in the money or non-money household economy. Perhaps in the North American cases that you're shuddering at, the older generation is always supporting the younger one? It has been in the problem cases that I have personal experience with. Two other features in the cohabiting extended families in Europe that I've observed: generations are smaller, fewer children and families have often lived in the same region for hundreds of years, being very tied to a place and its social networks.


Thank you for your insights, I agree that extended families/others living under one roof required contributions, sacrifices, discipline, and understanding/empahy from all involved in the arrangement.

Have you not heard of operation gladio?
in which cia directed nato officers or just plain cia officers posed or backed left leaning groups which would do terrorist attacks and claiming ties to the soviet union to help keep the politics of European countries right of center and away from dealing with the soviet union?

while i have no proof, it would be a disservice to history to not even remotely consider the possibility attacks such as these are not part of a similar effort to keep European counties aligned with United states interests.

This is the first I've heard about this. I wonder if it was real, or made up. Of course such provocative acts have not been unknown. Stage a false flag attack in order to inflame the public, then push through your agenda. There were even some leaks early on in the current Syrian crisis, that reportedly were orders for government snipers to shoot security forces to stir up hatred among the security forces of the demonstrators. Its a risky (as well as highly immoral) strategy, for if exposed it can backfire horribly.

This is the first I've heard about this. I wonder if it was real, or made up


Gladio is considered 'truth' just like Operation Northwoods.

Sorry - the 'leaders' are bastards. But you knew that:

provocative acts have not been unknown

Variation on the theme.

Undercover police officer unlawfully spied on climate activists, judges rule
Mark Kennedy was arguably an agent provocateur, says appeal verdict quashing Ratcliffe-on-Soar conspiracy convictions

I can't tell you how relieved I was when informed the norwegian gunman was not muslim. I am not muslim, but lives in Norways neighbour Sweden. If it was an islamist, the potential for hate and violoence would have been very high, and it would have gotten ugly.

He also purchased 6 metric tons of fertilizers. If he put that in the bomb, those houses would not have been damaged, they would have been demolished.

Technical woes may delay Libya oil restart

But any restart will also be hindered by the waxy nature of Libya's crudes. The country's sweet and light crudes are highly prized by refiners because they are easy and cheap to turn into fuels. The downside? If the oil stops moving in the pipeline, "it turns into a giant candle," says one former top Libyan oil official.

Last year, a sample analysis for the American Chemical Society's journal concluded that five Libyan crudes "present problems in transportation through pipelines" because of waxy depositions.

A former senior oil and gas research engineer in Libya says that, even before the war, "a specific pipeline in Libya [had] to be cut and revamped in order to resume production" because of a wax bottleneck.

I did not know that! Light sweet crude turns into wax when it sits still in pipelines in the tropics.

Ron P.

It's paraffin wax. The straight-chain hydrocarbons in crude oil are paraffinic hydrocarbons and the heavier ones will solidify if you leave them sitting at room temperature. Apparently the Libyan crudes contain a lot of these heavier paraffins.

We used to dump hot oil down our wells every so often to melt the wax off the walls. Otherwise the wax would plug up the wellbores. Pipelines might be a lot more difficult to restart if they plug up completely.

Too soon to tell when ruptured TransCanada natural gas line will restart

CALGARY - It's too soon to tell when a TransCanada Corp. natural gas pipeline that ruptured in northeastern Wyoming this week will be up and running again, a company spokesman said Friday.

A blast took place in a remote area of Wyoming, near the city of Gillette. A report from the Gillette News Record said the explosion could be heard 16 kilometres away.

... The US$630-million Bison pipeline, which carries natural gas from Wyoming to North Dakota, only came into service in January.

Merger, Acquisition Wave Sweeping Shale Sector Bound To Surge

... International oil companies are expected to continue adding to their recently acquired shale-gas positions. They will also expand their foothold in oil-and-liquids rich shale properties to boost their hydrocarbons reserves. At the same time, state-owned oil companies, some of which already have venture partnerships with independent producers, are seen becoming operators by acquiring entire companies.

"Overtime many of the Asian national oil companies that are currently joint venture partners will aspire to become operators," said Adam Waterous, head of Scotia Waterous, the oil and gas merger and acquisitions division of Scotia Capital. "These guys are very good students."

The Asian's are the suckers who will be left holding the bag.The Americans really know how to do a fraud.

A few months ago, legendary investor Jeremy Grantham talked about peak oil and the increasing resource scarcity facing humanity. It was even posted here on TOD.

Here is the follow-up for those interested:

Grant Ham

(You wouldn't believe how long the link is, so I didn't dare touch it, hence the strange link name. It wasn't picked by me).

From WorldWatch Inst. The Renewables 2011 Global Status Report

The Renewables 2011 Global Status Report provides an integrated perspective on the global renewable energy situation.

Do any of you guys in Maine (Black Dog, Don in Maine, Jokuhl?) know anything about a company called Central Maine Diesel in some little town called Bangor?

They assemble and sell all sorts of diesel, propane and LPG generators, and, are the only outfit I have come across that sells an engine set to run on straight vegetable oil
{warning, turn your volume to half before going to this link}

Image Link

And yours for just $4600 (bring your own dirty oil drum!).

Lots of normal generators at at amazingly cheap prices.
From their website they seem like a fairly progressive and innovative company - does anyone know if they are real deal?



I thought the US Government banned the import of Lister-style engines?

That's why I bought the one I have (6 inch bore 800+ lbs) when I did.

What was the reason alleged reason for banning them?

Edit: Ooops, one reason will suffice!

Back in the day, I helped assemble, sell and ship, thousands of small Lister Diesels, from the Midwest to the far flung reaches of South America. Pump packages mostly...The hand crank option was the key selling point. They were used on a huge variety of pumps and equipment in the trenches of the gold miners. Also in the oil fields remotes.

Long as it had something thin to get thru the injection nozzle, it would run. No electrics, very basic injection pumps, Air cooled and built like a Brick Shxxhouse!

The Martian.

There are lots of hand-cranked Listers all over Namibia pumping drinking water from boreholes for isolated villages.

(Before the boreholes were drilled they got water from wells in dry river beds. In the rainy season they would get nitrate poisoning from the rain flushing cow pats into the underground water.)

Starting a two-cylinder Lister was a bitch. Pull the compression lever over to lift the valves; crank vigorously to build up momentum on the flywheel; push the lever back to get compression; pray hard as it goes duf. duf. duf. (and hopefully...) duf-duf-duf-duf-duf. After which it will go all day unless you forget to open the baffles on the pump house and it overheats because it's recirculating hot air.

As a 5' 3" lightweight my starting efforts normally went duf. duf.. duf... phut.

EPA regs - they didn't like the emission profile of the engine.

This from an old issue of Farmshow magazine:

EPA restricted importation because the engine didn't meet new TierIII emission standards on straight diesel. However the EPA backed off recently, in part because the engines burn very clean on vegetable oil fuels.

It says they were being sold by www.utterpower.com But looks like they are only selling an information CD now.

The CD is good - one should own one if one has a lister.

Thanks all for the comments. It is good to see that they are actually marketing a veg oil engine.

According to the guy at Utterpower, people would import the engines as an "air compressor", and then buy the engine "parts kits" and then assemble themselves.

There are lots of other cheap Chinese diesels imported that don;t meet the emissions standards either - they are advertised as "not legal for sale in California"

Yet another case of nanny state regulations stifling innovation, but the innovators have persisted.

I wish these guys well.

Don't know one thing about it.

The crank-handle will break your arm. It is not shown in the next photo on the page.

The vegetable oil tank has an outlet. There is no recirculation... which is O.K. for vegetable oil as it tends to turn into gunk with continued heating, I understand. But, there is also no means shown for heating the oil in the tank at the point of the outlet. So, when the oil has turned into paste in the cold (40 degrees F?), there is no way to get it to flow out of the tank.

There is a wee-bitty inline filter from the vegetable oil tank to the engine. The oil in the tank must be super clean to make this work for any length of time. The filter and the line are not heated, either.

I don't see any means of heating the oil feed line into the engine... They instead recirculate the oil through an electrical heater when running on vegetable oil. Interesting...

The car conversions are all about filters... and heaters and heat exchangers EVERYWHERE.


Nice line of propane generators, too!

So... My hare-brained thought (Ya know there had to be one, else why reply?):

I was trying charcoal -to- carbon monoxide too casually. So, droozled used engine oil onto the hot coals just to try something with the failed yet still glowing hot rig. Got a very nice, heavy, flammable vapor. Such a thing would perhaps allow running a diesel-fuel-piloted diesel engine (I.E., kept idling on real diesel fuel) on waste oils without all the settling, drying, filtering, and heating. Perhaps a gasoline engine would run on it too since thermal decomposition produces a wide range of lighter weight product chain-lengths and coupled-rings. I've no way to play with this at the very moment, nor the HDPE. So, if anybody wants to play, enjoy!

The crank handle does give you a bit of a workout, but the engines have decompression levers, so you can get the flywheel up to speed first.
My father restores old diesels and has an original hand cranked 3hp Lister running a pump, starts fairly easily. Also has 24hp twin cylinder diesel, also hand cranked. with the decompression levers engaged, there is almost no resistance, get the flywheel going an it takes over a minute to stop by itself!

Regarding the charcoal gasifiers, I have always though that you should be able to put in a small amount of oil stuff, like asphalt shingles, tyre chop, plastic etc, as the tars will get cracked by the charcoal. When I get to set up a gasifier myself, I will be trying that.
An ideal setup would be old slow Lister type diesel, or the oilfield engines, running on a gasifier and using veg oil for the pilot ignition.

Saw this late..

Sorry Paul, don't know of them. Looks like a Mainer built it, tho..!


In a very similar vein, I think this would be closer to the truth for a national anthem, and the goings on in Washington;


In all seriousness, this has to be as close to real life version of "shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic" as we have seen. Surely a political cartoonist somewhere must have drawn their version of that.

I think Obama should let congress keep the debt ceiling - isn't it Congress that is obligated to pay the debts?
If they have to lay off govt workers, make sure the military is part of that...

It's just insane. Frustrating beyond words really. Rome had Nero, we have an entire orchestra.

Sure, I'll play a round!
Just combine the two parties into one really scary clown and you get:

The public is played by... the public!

Just ignore them and they will go away...
'Course, they'll eat your children first...

The Repubs aren't going to let Obama look good by way of debt reduction unless they get everything they want and give up nothing themselves, because it would help him get re-elected.

Unfortunately the country and its people once again play second fiddle to the needs of the Party.

The most recent issue of Scientific American has a story The False Promise of Biofuels written by David Biello.

Despite extensive research, biofuels are still not commercially competitive. The breakthroughs needed, revealed by recent science, may be tougher to realize than previously thought.

Corn ethanol is widely produced because of subsidies, and it diverts massive tracts of farmland needed for food. Converting the cellulose in cornstalks, grasses and trees into biofuels is proving difficult and expensive. Algae that produce oils have not been grown at scale. And more advanced genetics are needed to successfully engineer synthetic micro­organisms that excrete hydrocarbons.

Some start-up companies are abandoning biofuels and are instead using the same processes to make higher-margin chemicals for products such as plastics or cosmetics.

Good piece I thought.

Budgetary Deceit and America's Decline By Jeffrey Sachs

Incredibly great article, Martin. It succinctly explains the untenable situation at hand, in which,

In America today, only the rich have political power.

We the people, or the sheeple if preferred have lost our America. Whether it can be recaptured by a 3rd party as the article suggests is very questionable, because as we know money talks and bull*&^% walks. I suppose the latter is the people.

Shale gas set to supply half of America's gas needs within 10 years

Shale gas is energy's "game-changer".

According to Chris Weston, president and chief executive of Centrica's direct energy unit, this single source of energy has grown so much in North America that it is bigger than the UK's entire gas production. Some experts believe shale gas will account for half of all North American production by the end of the decade.

Technological advances over the past 10 years have meant that it is finally economically viable to drill great distances horizontally, fracture the tightly packed shale rock and capture the gas. Shale gas production has rocketed in the US, with President Obama promoting the technology in overseas trade talks.

And we were worried...

..And after it becomes apparent that the shale gas bonanza is peaking or has peaked, then we can get busy building that ~$100B (fill in your better guestimate here) NG pipeline system to ship the large quantities of Alaskan and Canadian Arctic NG to the Lower 48.

To whip up support for that, that nice lady (or her daughter) from the American Gas Institute (or whatever the org is called) will run more 'Did you know?' commercials on the TV machine and the Internets stating that this new NG source will supply some 100M Americans with clean, versatile NG for the next 100-some years!

What a laugh those ads are - oh my. They are so slick in the manner they have her walking (in business slacks) spouting her diatribe (with agreeable background music) with an air of extreme confidence and assurance of the data, I'm sure most laypeople are swayed into thinking our energy situation is just fine. Which goes to show it's not if it's true, it's how it's presented in swaying public sentiment.

Clearly a Marketing campaign worthy of accolades within that industry!

Smart, articulate, slim, good looking woman who speaks with great authority and confidence...a handful of simple (simplistic!) talking points, expressed simply and briefly, with plenty of re-enforcing pictures, graphics, and animations, all underlain by a subdued score expressing modernity and progress...and then this is actually now a series of what, six or seven commercials,all reinforcing the same theme in slightly different ways? And don't forget that ANGA has deep pockets and can run these quite often...repetition is one of the keys to selling ideas...

These commercials are all on YouTube...





More of the same theme...


What's so tragic is the consciousness level of most the recipients is such that facade is 99% of reality. I often thought that's why Reagen was so popular because people didn't think about the message, but rather in the manner it was delivered. Cheney I am sure you noticed was a master of saying just about any kind of rediculous string of pearls, and the go along audiences he was addressing just sat there nodding their heads in the affirmative, never really analyzing or interpreting the meaning the slosh.

Humankind's consciousness will either move forward of its own accord in a timely manner, or our economic or natural environment will enforce the lessons needed to make that transition to a higher level. And to no one except ourselves, will it matter whether it takes a few years, decades, centuries or millions of years.

H - Nothing feeds hope like an incomplete cornucopian tale, eh? To put a little more meat onto Leanan's comment:"Technological advances over the past 10 years have meant that it is finally economically viable to drill great distances horizontally". The typical hz SG wells being drilled/frac'd today are not using technology significantly different than used 20 years ago. Now if they want to tout tech they should reference the 25,000' hz wells being drilled by Maersk in the Persian Gulf compared to a 5,000' hz leg in the Eagle Ford et al.

In fact, the hz S wells drilled in the US are significantly more expensive than ever thanks to the need for 12 to 20 individual fracs per well. What made the SG plays (which I first drilled more than 30 years ago) more "economically viable" was NG reaching more than 3X current price levels. The SG plays do represent a significant potential of our future energy supply base but only as long as the economy can handle the required price. The seesaw swings between SG development, NG pricing and economic growth appears obvious to me. But many don't see it or refuse to acknowledge it. Theyt see sufficient NG supplies at relatively low cost and think this is the normal relationship. Many can't grasp the time lag relationship of the system. If/when the economy heats folks will have difficulty understanding why NG prices spike. There are SG wells being drilled today but not on the order of just a few years ago. Much of our current NG supply is coming from SG wells that will never make a $ profit but are contributing to the supple train. Current low NG prices are not encouraging operators to drill the wells needed to replace those quickly depleting reserves. And when NG prices double or triple we’ll see another SG driling boom. That is inevitable IMHO. But it will last only as long as the economy doesn’t slide into another recession. The cyclic nature of the system is inescapable IMHO. The big difference: when I started in the 70’s the cycle ran on the order of 10 – 15 years. Today it seems more like 5 years or so. And that may be too fast for the system to respond effectively.

Rock, you give great insights as usual!

The whip saw boom/bust cycles kind of leads to the idea of a private-government cartel establishing a floor/target price for NG. The country should have an energy policy...ah, but to blazes with trying to logically manage our fundamentally crucial energy supplies and demand...leave it all to the invisible hand is our credo...

H - Sad but true. Look at the game being played by both parties with the debt situation. Imagine if one party pushed for a even modest price floor on NG (or gasoline et al). Such a floor would encourage conservation and help move the alts along. And if companies had the extra income taxed away unless they put it back in the ground to expand the SG base. Who would use such a plan as political weapon? Easy answer IMHO: the party that didn't propose it. And it wouldn't matter if the R's or D's put the plan out there...the other would attack IMHO.

As a political operative once said: Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Texas hits Peak Water: Importing water not an option.

"It's scary. A house without water is a dead house," said Pete Baldwin, an environmental consultant who acknowledges his family's small role in a growing problem across Texas, where an estimated 1 million water wells tap rain-starved aquifers.

"This drought is making it clear: There are too many straws in a small cup. We've created our own problem," he said while a drilling crew lowered his well 14 feet to the bottom of the 181-foot shaft.


Lee Weaver knew he was facing a serious problem when he watched his lawn sprinkler dwindle to a meager squirt at his home south of Fort Worth.

Okey, you spend water in a desert on maintaining your lawn. I think I may be a bit on my way to spot the problem here.

Fort Worth is not in the desert. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is quite green if my memory serves me correctly.

Ron P.

Not this summer.


Try this:


First go to location select NWS WFOs Then find Fortworth DFW

To find DFW check Highway/citys

Time frame year to date and then from product select normal.

Water year (Oct 1)to date is 30 to 35 inches, observed is 10 to 25

My recollection of it was the snow.


I was stationed at in Bossier City, LA for ~ 6 years, and in Albuquerque for ~ 7 years...I have driven I20/I-40 back and forth across TX several times (what a drive!)...I found it remarkable each time I drove around DFW that right West of FW seemed to be where a boundary between greener and yellower was...

Once again...I will advertize for Big Bend NP...if you love the beauty of the desert, and love being somewhere where there is not a lot of people, take a camping vacation there! Be sure to camp down by the Rio, and enjoy the owls in the cottonwoods hooting at you in the moonlight as you go to the latrines...try not to trip over the Javelinas! And take a little black light and look for scorpions! Beautiful!

It looks like Krugman's Lesser Depression will have a Lesser Dust Bowl to go with it:

Pulling into Robert Lee for the first time, the depression was palpable.

What wasn't burnt by the pervasive spring wildfires was dead or dying from lack of water. The city has imposed strict outdoor watering restrictions to help save the little bit of water left in the once-great E.V. Spence Reservoir.

Before embarking on this journey to document the Great West Texas Drought of 2011, I researched the area and interviewed people who enjoyed the lake in better years. To be sure, it didn't resemble anything sources spoke about. There were stories of boating, fishing, swimming and sunset kisses. Now, it's barren and empty.

The "body of water" more closely resembled large mud puddles broken up by giant sandbars.

The desperate citizens of Robert Lee only underscored the bleak scenery of the lake. The residents told a story of rising water rates, declining lake levels, increasing ranching costs and decimated spirits. Downtown was empty. Lake houses were abandoned.


E. V. Spence Reservoir in wetter times:


Comes with a $100 per month water bill:


Yes, but it might as well be in a desert because it does require lawn watering. When I lived in Virginia, I never watered my lawn and it did not die. It was not as green as my neighbors but it was possible to have a lawn that did not die without watering. I doubt that is the case in Fort Worth and I know it is not in the case in Denver, which is also not technically a desert. Best of luck using aquifiers which will never be replenished.

In Denver, I used to see just how little water I could use and still have a lawn that was green. At one point, a little brown spot developed on the edge of the lawn. The lawn police swept in immediately and forced me to increase my watering.

Even a normally well watered place can have a year where grass will die if not heavily watered. I grew up in New Jersey (50inches annual precip). We had a drought when I was a teenager, watering was disallowed for two or three years. My parents, and neighbors kept the lawns alive by installing an illegal pump on the local creek.

Then I remember one summer in Wisconsin, when we had a serious drought. Didn't have restrictions, but my land-lord was amazed that I watered enough to keep the lawn arrive. Said I didn't need to do that.

Dallas/Fort Worth was just about the only part of Texas not in a some type of severe drought, but that will probably officially change next month.

As I noted a few weeks ago, in the Fifties parts of Texas became uninhabitable because of a lack of water, and of course our population density is vastly greater now, especially in the Eastern half of the state. As Elmer Kelton said (which is really true of the entire American Southwest),"West Texas is in a state of permanent drought, broken occasionally by rainfall."

As Elmer Kelton also said, about the Fifties drought, "Many a boy would become a man before the land was green again."


I live in Sweden. By MY standard, it is desert.

New Japan Law ‘Cleanses’ Bad Nuclear News

Friday, July 15, the Ministry of Industry and Trade (METI) – Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, opened a call for bids (tender) regarding the “Nuclear Power Safety Regulation Publicity Project”, for contractors to monitor blogs and tweets posted about nuclear power and radiation.

Since March 11, 2011 it has been reported that YouTube videos containing footage or comments unfavorable to Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) or the Japanese government have been removed within several hours of their posting. Examples of offending YouTube videos include excerpts of TV shows with controversial comments like footage showing smoke emitted from the nuclear reactors, and an ex-TEPCO employee speaking on his Fukushima experiences. Likewise, Twitter accounts with too much content regarding nuclear power and radiation issues have been disrupted.

also Military to Calculate Radiation Exposure in Japan

I wonder what justification or explanation is being offered by YouTube for the removal of these videos. Several months ago I watched a series of fascinating videos on YouTube (linked on TOD) produced by the BBC entitled "The Secret Life of the National Grid." Later when I tried to share them with someone, I discovered that they had been taken down with a message displayed about potential copyright infringement. So what message is displayed for these deleted TEPCO videos?

Folks with all sorts of interests are also busily rewriting Wikipedia.

KD-- Yah, one of many good reasons why Wikipedia is not considered a valid source in academia. That was pretty much the first thing we learned at the beginning of our program. IMDB is not a valid source for movie credits, either. It's all been cracked, hacked, diced and sliced.

Walt and Seraph -- very interesting. The lovable crackpots who post at enenews.com have been complaining about Fukushima You Tube videos disappearing for months, but they have cried wolf so many times that I wasn't taking them seriously.

I see all 4 parts of The National Grid documentary on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAGiJroS1iI (part 1) - maybe they are only disabled outside the UK?

The link works here in California.

Recently a friend suggested that oil is not getting more expensive; the dollar is getting cheaper (inflation). They used the reference to gold as the true standard of value to back this up. The same person had blamed the price run-up in 2008 on speculation, and indeed the price at that time did rise and fall dramatically (but so did the economy).

Now I've been around here for a while and understand that the timing of peak oil cannot be argued on the basis of the price of oil, although at some point the price will be very high and/or the economy will be very bad and/or supplies will be very scarce. That is, at some point the problem will be undeniable. But this did get me curious - Has anyone here come up with a graph of the value of the dollar (some general index of inflation) vs. price of gold vs. price of oil? Or perhaps gold/oil vs. a "basket" of currencies? That would be interesting to look at and track.

People get obsessed with gold because of its historical use to mint coins. In fact, it is just a pretty yellow metal which is highly resistant to corrosion and rather scarce, which makes it useful for high-value coins. OTOH money is an abstract concept which is whatever the government says it is, and which follows hard-to-understand rules that make no sense to the average person.

Gold production displays a bell-shaped curve which is much like the oil production curve. USGS data shows that gobal Peak Gold occurred in 2001, so naturally the two bell-shaped curves are roughly equivalent.

Italian tanker Anema e Core seized by pirates off Benin (BBC)

Note the comment:

The Gulf of Guinea has become increasingly important for its potential energy reserves which have attracted international interests, BBC West Africa correspondent Thomas Fessy reports from Dakar.

The US, for example, hopes to import about a quarter of its oil supplies from the region by 2015.

E. Swanson