Drumbeat: July 29, 2011

Arkansas commission votes to ban wells

EL DORADO, Ark. – The Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission on Wednesday voted to ban wells for the disposal of natural gas drilling fluids from a region where hundreds of earthquakes have struck, a move officials said was necessary to prevent a potential catastrophe.

Commissioners voted 6-0 to close a disposal well between Greenbrier and Enola in the Fayetteville Shale, an area rich in natural gas that stretches across the state. The commission also voted 7-0 to issue a moratorium on new disposal wells in a 1,150-square-mile segment of the shale in central Arkansas north of Conway, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported.

DOE: 6.77 Million Bbls Of US Oil-Sale Crude Oil Delivered As Of Friday

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Some 22.1% of the 30.64 million barrels of crude oil sold from the government's emergency stockpile has been delivered as of Friday, the Energy Department said.

In its second weekly update of oil movements from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the DOE said five million barrels of crude oil has been delivered since July 21. In addition to the 1.77 million barrels reported delivered last week, a total of 6.77 million barrels has been shipped so far.

US natgas rig count falls by 12 to 877-Baker Hughes

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States fell by 12 this week to 877, the first drop in three weeks, data from oil services firm Baker Hughes showed on Friday.

Huntsman energy speech ruffles GOP feathers

Republican Jon Huntsman signaled an unconventional presidential bid when he teased his campaign launch last month with videos of a motocross rider in the Utah mountains.

But his keynote speech on Thursday to an environmental group that backs cap-and-trade regulations reviled by most in his party is drawing even bigger double-takes.

Victories over Ontario and BC Highways

This week the government of Ontario cancelled the controversial $6 billion Niagara to Toronto freeway. A broad coalition of groups vigorously opposed the highway across the Niagara escarpment, and pushed for investment in transit and freight rail instead.

O.K., Smart Guys: Fix the Energy Problem

The U.S. first became a net importer of oil in 1948. The intervening decades have led Americans down a steady path of price spikes, shortages, and compromised foreign policy decisions. Imported fuel means expensive gasoline, lost jobs, and hobbled industries, while climate change poses risks as dramatic as they are difficult to assess. So how do we fix our fuel and energy problems? To answer that question—the first in a quarterly series called Fix This—Bloomberg Businessweek Chairman Norman Pearlstine gathered BP Capital Management’s T. Boone Pickens; Bob Shapard, chairman and chief executive officer of Oncor Electric Delivery and chairman of GridWise Alliance; Carol Browner, former director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy for President Obama and EPA administrator for President Clinton; Jigar Shah, CEO of the Carbon War Room; and Thomas Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute.

Thinking about an oil-free world

If you’re skeptical that the end of the oil age is not only in sight, but is affecting you right now, read Jeff Rubin’s book Why Your World is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller. Rubin is a Toronto economist who presents so much hard evidence that crude oil supplies are dwindling that I can’t imagine how anyone could reasonably argue against it. The question isn’t if oil will become too scarce and expensive to be practical, but rather how much foresight and ingenuity we’ll need to redesig the Canadian economy so it isn’t linked to the price of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel that most every home, job, meal and industrial process depends on.

Although your home may or may not use crude oil products directly, the end of the oil age will still redefine what constitutes an efficient home. These revisions will also change what people feel are desirable residential locations, alter the mechanics of how you get around, and shrink the size of the physical community you connect with. And all of these issues boil down to more or less the same thing. How little energy can you use and still stay happy?

Canada’s Economy Shrank 0.3% in May Posting the Largest Drop in Two Years

Canada’s gross domestic product fell in May by the most in two years due to temporary disruptions in the mining and oil and gas sector, government data showed.

Energy subsidies cripple Pakistan economy, says study

Energy subsidies in Pakistan are contributing to “severe supply problems” according to a report from the country’s Petroleum Institute.

Power consumption has grown by 80% over the last 15 years, but a failure to keep up with demand has led to crippling electricity shortfalls.

Pakistan spent nearly $3.5 billion subsidising the power sector in the fiscal year ending in June, and the artificially low price of natural gas is creating a problem with supplies. Subsidies contribute to inflated demand and gas now accounts for over 45% of Pakistan’s domestic energy needs.

Analysis: Iraq Faces Challenges in Growing Oil Production

Iraq's large oil-production potential could allow it to compete for leadership with Saudi Arabia in the coming decades, but a new energy study by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy finds that in the near term, both Baghdad and Riyadh may have difficulty meeting rising demand for oil.

GULF PRODUCTS-Gasoline supported, fuel oil remains tight

DUBAI/Khobar, SAUDI ARABIA (Reuters) - Gasoline premiums in the Middle East Gulf were supported this week, while traders expected fuel oil market to stay tight for at least another month on the back of weaker Iranian exports.

The Iranian volumes, which jumped to a record-high of 1.2 million tonnes for June arrivals and had averaged 550,000-600,000 per month up till this month, have fallen to less than 200,000 tonnes for August arrival, due to disruptions to its natural gas supplies.

Chesapeake adding acres in Utica shale

(Reuters) - Chesapeake Energy Corp, the second-largest U.S. producer of natural gas, is continuing to buy acreage in the Utica Shale, a basin that the company expects to drive growth of oil and liquids-rich natural gas, the company's chief executive said on Friday.

"We're quite confident about the play," Chesapeake CEO Aubrey McClendon told analysts on the company's second-quarter earnings call.

BP remans Gulf platforms as Don threat termed over

(Reuters) - BP Plc said Friday it was sending workers back to its Gulf of Mexico platforms because the threat of Tropical Storm Don had passed for facilities that far east of the system.

But a spokesman could not say when production would restart on the shut Atlantis platform.

China approves Sinopec's plan to build Saudi refinery

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese government has approved state-run Sinopec Group's plan to build a 400,000 barrel-per-day Yanbu refinery in Saudi Arabia, three months after Sinopec and state-run Saudi Aramco struck an initial pact to build the $10 billion plant in the world's top oil exporting country.

Life in Tripoli 'very, very volatile'

With little fuel and a shortage of banknotes, life in the Libyan capital is getting harder despite Tripoli avoiding some of the heavy bombardment seen in other parts of the country, a senior UN official said.

Lukoil Crisis Won't Cause Fuel Supply Shortages at Bulgarian State-Owned Transport Companies

Bulgarian Transport Minister Ivaylo Moskovski has assured that currently there is no indication of a fuel supply shortage for the Bulgarian State Railways BDZ, Sofia Airport and the major ports in the country.

The announcement comes on the heels of the anticipated closure of the Lukoil Neftochim refinery, the sole operational crude oil processing plant in Bulgaria, over its failure to comply with legal requirements and install measuring devices.

Crisis widens for Cyprus as cabinet quits over growing financial woes

NICOSIA // The Cypriot cabinet resigned yesterday to try to damp down public fury over a fatal munitions blast that destroyed the island's largest power plant and compounded its economic woes, possibly forcing an EU bailout.

When you're a petrocrat, it's one day at a time

As part of the tumult roiling the petro-producing world, we took the plunge last week and pondered who would succeed the aging president of one much-obscured corner of the globe should he become incapacitated or die. That corner was Kazakhstan, and we found good reason to settle on oil tycoon Timur Kulibayev to succeed his father-in-law, long-time Soviet-era ruler Nursultan Nazarbayev. In short order, we have received a form of validation in commentary by a court aide to Nazarbayev. In a pinch, the aide argued sensibly, Kulibayev would step in as a stabilizing force and "continue the president's strategic program."

Russian refinery runs hit post-Soviet high in June

(Reuters) - Russian refiners processed more crude in June than any month since the fall of the Soviet Union, Energy Ministry data showed, in order to maximise gasoline output and close a supply gap that has led to shortages.

EOG's big gamble on shale oil

Doerr's crew drilled to a depth of 9,100 feet, stopped, and then curved out laterally to target a 40-foot-wide layer of porous, oily rock sandwiched between two thick layers of shale. "Our goal was to drill horizontally 5,000 feet," Doerr recalls during a tour of the original drilling site. "But we only got out 1,800 because of all the oil and gas we encountered."

To Doerr's amazement, the Parshall well immediately produced 450 to 500 barrels a day, about five times more than his best-case scenario going in. "I called up Mark and said, 'Wow, I think we've found something here.'"

Brazil May Cut Ethanol Output Tax to Avoid Shortage, Folha Says

Brazil may cut taxes on ethanol production or allow mills to delay tax payments to avoid a shortage of the fuel in the future, Folha de S.Paulo reported, without saying where it obtained the information.

Nobel Prize Winner Pursues Clean-Tech Leadership With Thinning Wallet

There's something about Energy Secretary Steven Chu's laugh, something that may hint at what -- he hopes -- a scientist can achieve in the age of deficits.

It is a kind of self-effacing chuckle that doesn't condescend, though his credentials would back that. Nor is it wistful, even though the new Congress has assaulted his energy agenda and the climate science behind it.

Perhaps it reflects the magnitude of what he is trying to accomplish: the evolution of an aging energy infrastructure into one that can make the United States a leader in a vital global industry. In an interview with ClimateWire, he said he'll have to do it by using DOE's thinning wallet as a catalyst for the technology breakthroughs that only the private sector can pull off.

An Energy Crisis Solution That Proves Small Can Be Beautiful

Chances are you’ve never heard of the arenga sugar palm tree. No, it’s not the next untapped source of limitless, economically viable, scalable biofuel feedstock (for that, perhaps see the latest on recently discovered algae that thrive at the hot temperatures needed to most effectively breakdown and convert biomass into fuels). But, as National Geographic described last month, arenga does have some remarkable features that could provide an important, if small-scale, piece of the sustainable energy and development puzzle.

Richard Heinberg: Debt tantrum on a sinking ship

The even bigger, and most important, context is that we are entering a new historic era. Oil prices are high due to the ongoing depletion of giant, easy-to-produce oilfields discovered back in the 1950s and ’60s, and the substitution of expensive oil from deepwater drilling and tar sands. Other non-renewable resources are also becoming scarcer. On top of that, the climate is changing and weird weather is helping drive up food prices. Oh, and let’s not forget, the oceans are dying. Altogether, it seems reasonable to conclude that economic growth—fueled during past decades by cheap energy and raw materials, but also made possible by a stable climate—is coming to an end.

Reinventing Collapse in the US

With the American economy teetering, Dmitry Orlov sees similarities in another 'superpower collapse.' Is he just a doomsayer?

The commons as an antidote to relentless growth

• Commons reduce money-induced growth because they make us more independent of money. The more we produce commons, the less we or the state has to pay for goods.

• Commons reduce population-induced growth because they are associated with a multiplicity of sufficiency strategies which create prosperity by sharing.

• Commons escape the growth compulsion, because all those things that are produced as commons, do not have to be made artificially scarce. And there is no incentive for artificial scarcity because commons are not produced as goods to be exchanged but they foster and maintain social relationships, satisfy needs and solve problems. Directly.

Life After Capitalism

Like many sustainability activists, I strongly believe that with advanced planning and preparation, the demise of capitalism could be an extraordinarily positive change for most of humankind. I tend to agree with Richard Heinberg of the Post Carbon Institute (see TEOFWAWKIT: The End of the World as We Know It) that global resource scarcity, aggravated by catastrophic climate change, will force the break-up of large nation-states into small self-governing regional units. As a strong proponent of participatory democracy, I maintain that it will be up to the inhabitants of each region to determine how they will govern themselves and provide for their basic needs. At the same time, I feel that some features of post-capitalist society can be predicted -- either because they are dictated by resource scarcity or because they are fundamental to true political and economic democracy:

John Michael Greer: Salvaging learning

The realization most Americans are frantically trying to stave off just now is that nature has called our bluff. That limitless new supply of energy most of us were waiting for hasn’t appeared, and there are good reasons, founded in the laws of physics, to think that it never will. In the meantime, our decision to double down has left us burdened with, among other things, a public school system and a collection of colleges and universities even more gargantuan and unaffordable than the ones we had before we doubled down, and a psychology of previous investment that all but guarantees that our society will keep on throwing good money after bad until there’s nothing left to throw. Politicians and ordinary people alike have taken to insisting, along these lines, that the solution to joblessness is to send people to college to get job training, on the assumption that this will somehow make jobs appear for them. To call this magical thinking is an insult to honest sorcerers, but it’s likely to be increasingly common in the years to come—at least until the bottom drops out completely.

Rapid drift to urban areas across the Pacific

Pacific island populations are becoming more urbanised, according to a report from a Pacific based policy think-tank.

..."A combination of high unemployment, climate change and a looming energy crisis means radical new thinking is needed about how to best evolve our cities and towns for the future."

Germany blames Chinese land buys for Africa drought

Germany's Africa policy coordinator on Thursday blamed China's practice of buying up land in the Horn of Africa for contributing to the devastating drought ravaging the region.

Guenter Nooke told the daily Frankfurter Rundschau it was clear that "this catastrophe is also man-made".

"In the case of Ethiopia there is a suspicion that the large-scale land purchases by foreign companies, or states such as China which want to carry out industrial agriculture there, are very attractive for a small (African) elite," he said.

"It would be of more use to the broader population if the government focused its efforts on building up its own farming system."

China rejects claims of Africa land buy-ups

China rejected claims by a German official that it has been buying up land in the drought-ravaged Horn of Africa, saying the allegations are "completely unfounded" and have "ulterior motives".

China offers 14 mln USD emergency aid to drought-hit Horn of Africa

BEIJING (Xinhua) -- China announced Friday that it will provide a total of 90 million yuan (14 million U.S. dollars) worth of emergency food assistance to countries in the Horn of Africa.

Crude Oil Falls, Heads for Weekly Decline, on U.S. Debt Ceiling Dispute

Oil fell, headed for the first weekly decline in five, on concern a failure to reach a deal on raising the U.S. debt limit may cause the nation to default, threatening the economy of the world’s biggest crude consumer.

Futures dropped as much as 0.8 percent after House Speaker John Boehner delayed a planned vote on debt-limit legislation as Senate leaders stood ready to kill the measure should it get to their chamber. Prices also declined before a report forecast to show the world’s largest economy grew at the slowest pace in a year. U.S. crude stockpiles rose for the first time in eight weeks last week, Energy Department data showed July 27.

Analyzing the Global Oil Supply: 2012 Is the Year for Peak Oil

Here is the problem. Current daily oil production is 88.3 million barrels per day and the second half of 2012 expected daily oil demand is 92 million barrels per day. Current production is a 3.7 million barrel per day shortfall from where we need to be in 2012. Where can the oil to make up this shortfall reasonably be expected to come from ? 3.7 million barrels per day is 40% of Saudi Arabia’s current total oil production and they are currently banging up against the most oil they have ever produced on a daily basis. Does anyone really think they have another 3.7 million barrels of spare capacity ?

Peak Oil: When Saudi Spare Capacity Falls Short

The last few nights have been restless, to say the least.

And the worst part is I know exactly why I keep up my insomniac pacing. A single thought has been rushing to the forefront of my sleepless psyche: Let's hope it won't be us asking the Saudis for more oil.

Peak Oil Passed

As for peak oil, it’s no longer a theory; it’s an absolute. We’ve passed peak oil. When oil hit $146/barrel (bbl.) back in 2008, that was based purely on speculation. It wasn’t based on real demand; it was the flavor of the day. At $90 and $100/bbl., oil is pretty expensive. Even though the world is in a depression—and people are starting to recognize that it is a depression—we’ve got pretty expensive oil, and it’s going to continue to go up.

Canada's new national Energy policy: export it

Remember Pierre Trudeau's national energy policy (NEP) of the 1980s?

In his effort to protect Canadians from spiking world oil prices and build national energy sovereignty in the face of increasing Americanization of the oil patch, he almost broke up the country. The "west" and its mostly American oil industry would have nothing of it. The anti-Trudeau, anti-"east" vitriol, the bitter residue of which still remains, was unparalleled.

Oil still leaking at 2 platforms on NE China sea

QINGDAO - Oil continues to leak at ConocoPhillips's two platforms in northeast Bohai Bay more than two weeks after Chinese authorities ordered a shutdown of their output, said China's oceanic watchdog on Friday.

India tries to pay for Iran oil via Turkey - minister

(Reuters) - India is trying to make initial payments for oil to Iran through a Turkish bank, Oil Minister S. Jaipal Reddy said on Friday, after the Islamic Republic halted shipments for August over debts which now mount to some $5 billion.

"We are trying to deliver the first tranches (of Iran oil payments) through Turkey," Reddy said.

Demand Response Helped Some Regions Conserve Electricity During Heat Wave

As blistering heat bakes the United States this month, it has been megawatts and "negawatts" to the rescue.

Power generation plants of all sorts have been able to keep air conditioners running. But last Friday, under the assault of a record heat wave, they were helped by demand response programs that were activated to raise thermostat settings, lower lighting, shut down pumps and production lines and shave peak electricity consumption in other ways.

China's Regulators Tackle Energy-Guzzling Buildings

SHANGHAI -- For Jin Liang, a typical Chinese who watches his utility bills carefully, each scorching hot summer day posed a dilemma: Should he switch on his air conditioner, or keep it off to cool the impact on his wallet?

But his dilemma faded away this year after Jin moved into a new apartment. It features magical materials that allow him to comfortably turn off the air conditioner and yet stop sweating.

China warns of tight power market

China's power supplies will remain tight in some regions for the rest of the summer even though electricity shortages since the start of the season were less severe than anticipated, a government report showed on Friday.

China had forecast the worst summer power shortage in recent years for 2011 but so far actual shortfalls were smaller than expected due to favorable weather and other factors such as power price hikes.

Japanese, in Shortage, Willingly Ration Watts

Already a leader in conservation, Japan consumes about half as much energy per capita as the United States, according to the United Nations Population Fund. But it has been pushed to even greater lengths since the nuclear disaster even as it tries to revive its economy. The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant and the resulting backlash against nuclear power have left only 17 out of Japan’s 54 reactors online as the nation steels itself for August, the hottest month of the year.

Preliminary figures indicate that regions under conservation mandates have been able to meet reduction targets and even exceed them, providing a possible model of conservation’s potential when concerns about global warming are mounting. In the Tokyo area, the government is pushing to cut electricity use by 15 percent between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays to prevent blackouts — and on Thursday, for example, that target was met compared with last year.

Japan PM to speak on plan to reduce nuclear power

Japan's centre-left Prime Minister Naoto Kan was expected Friday to outline a long-term plan to scale back nuclear power and boost renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Japan watchdog tried to plant views at nuclear forum-utility

(Reuters) - A Japanese utility said on Friday the government's nuclear watchdog asked it to recruit local residents to attend a public forum and speak in favour of its planned use of plutonium-uranium mixed-oxide or MOX fuel at one of its reactors.

U.S. Regulator Says Fukushima Lessons Can Percolate

It’s official: the chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been outvoted on his proposal that the panel decide within 90 days on the recommendations it received from its Fukushima task force.

Analysis: Pirates eye share of Gulf of Guinea riches

(Reuters) - Pirate attacks on ships in the Gulf of Guinea are threatening one of the world's emerging trade hubs and are likely to intensify unless the region's weak naval and coastguard defences are beefed up soon.

Stretching from Guinea on Africa's northwestern tip down to Angola in the south, the Gulf spans a dozen countries and is a growing source of oil, cocoa and metals to the world's markets.

Egypt uprising: Islamists lead Tahrir Square rally

Tens of thousands of people have packed Cairo's Tahrir Square, after the first call by Islamist leaders for nationwide demonstrations since President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February.

The demonstrators - dominated by Muslim Brotherhood supporters - are calling for an Islamic state and Sharia law.

Blast on Iran pipeline cuts gas flow to Turkey

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- An explosion struck a major Iranian pipeline carrying gas to Turkey and cut the flow of gas on Friday, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

Libyan rebels say military chief killed

BENGHAZI/NALUT, Libya (Reuters) – Libya's rebels said their military commander was shot dead in an incident that remained shrouded in mystery, pointing either to divisions within the movement trying to oust Muammar Gaddafi or to an assassination by Gaddafi loyalists.

The killing of Abdel Fattah Younes, who for years was in Gaddafi's inner circle before defecting to become the military chief in the rebel Transitional National Council (TNC), set back a movement that was at last beginning to acquire cohesion as international pressure on the Gaddafi regime intensifies.

Libya years away from oil recovery

Libyan oil production will take years, not months, to return to full capacity once a political solution to the conflict is found, according to Barclays Capital.

“The reincorporation of Libyan oil into the world market increasingly seems a distant possibility” according to the study, which warns of a lasting political vacuum after the potential fall of the Gaddafi regime.

Total's profits fall 12% due to cut in Libyan output

Profits at French oil giant Total have fallen 12% after the conflict in Libya disrupted its production in the north African country.

Rosneft first half net profit rises 34.2 pct to $6.8 bln

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti)Russia's oil giant Rosneft's first half net profit grew 34.2 percent to $6.8 billion to US GAAP, the company said on Friday.

Revenues for the first half increased by 43.7 percent year-on-year to $43.397 billion, and operating profit rose 39.5 percent to $9.09 billion .

Chevron 2Q Profit Rises 43%, Beating Estimates

Chevron Corp (CVX), the second-largest U.S. oil company, reported a 43 percent jump in quarterly profit Friday, beating Wall Street forecasts as strong oil prices and fatter refinery margins offset a drop in oil output.

Mexico's Pemex posts 9.1 bln peso net profit in Q2

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's state oil company Pemex posted a second-quarter net profit of 9.1 billion pesos ($777 million), versus a loss in the same quarter last year, as revenues jumped 25 percent, the company said on Friday.

The profit was due to higher oil prices this year and compares with a 20.1 billion peso loss in the second quarter of 2010.

Galp Raises 2020 Production Target After ‘Exceptional’ Progress in Brazil

Galp Energia SGPS SA (GALP), Portugal’s biggest oil company, raised its 2020 output target in light of “exceptional” progress in Brazil and said “several parties” had shown an interest in buying shares in its Brazilian unit.

The company expects working interest production of more than 300,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day by the end of the decade, Lisbon-based Galp said today in a filing. That’s up from a previous forecast of 200,000 barrels a day.

Exxon profit up 41 percent, misses Street

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp reported a higher quarterly profit that missed Wall Street estimates as maintenance slowed its international refining and production, and its shares closed down 2 percent.

Should BP split?

A COMPANY that rakes in profits of $5.6 billion in three months might expect congratulations. But BP’s second-quarter results, unveiled on July 26th, disappointed. Asset sales after last year’s Gulf of Mexico disaster (see picture) have hit production. A botched attempt at an asset swap and arctic exploration deal with Russia’s Rosneft has added to BP’s woes. Some investors are calling for the firm to be split up. Does this make sense?

Infiniti's first hybrid offers high mileage, at a high price

Dominique notes the growing emphasis on battery cars, plug-in hybrids and ordinary hybrids — collectively, the "electrification" of vehicles. So, he says, "developing the technologies, having them in our portfolio, is going to be an important part" of Infiniti's future.

A similar hybrid system will show up on other Infiniti models, probably when they are redesigned, as the M series was for 2011.

Obama fuel efficiency deal could leave loophole for Detroit

The Obama administration is set to announce aggressive new fuel efficiency standards tomorrow, scoring a rare victory on the environmental front. But the details of the agreement may weaken the standards and allow automakers to delay action on improving the efficiency of America's fleet of vehicles.

The cars that didn't eat Paris

It seems everything is peaking these days. You've heard of peak oil - the point at which our global oil extraction starts falling. There's also discussion of peak food, peak wood, peak phosphorous, peak water and peak rare earths.

Now here's a new one for you: peak cars.

California dreaming: LA imagines life without cars

Los Angeles is famous for its addiction to cars -- whether cruising in their convertibles, or (more often) sitting in monster traffic jams on the freeway, the car is definitely king for Angelenos.

But a surprise public response to a "car-mageddon" warning this month has fueled questions over whether -- shock, horror -- LA motorists could wean themselves off of four wheels.

Boeing, Embraer back sugar jet-fuel study

Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer and US rival Boeing said Tuesday they will co-finance research to determine the sustainability of using Brazilian sugarcane in jet fuel.

Oil Rush trailer shows off RTS-tower defense

While politicians fret about the ramifications of peak oil, video games are here to show us that it could actually be pretty fun.

Pedaling Your Way to Environmental Nirvana

Though still in their infancy, cardiovascular exercise machines that enable users to generate electricity are growing in popularity at gyms and sports clubs.

Greenpeace says coal-fired energy costs ailing Greece

Cash-strapped Greece could save billions of euros in environmental and health costs by abandoning a reliance on coal-fired electricity production, Greenpeace activists said on Thursday.

1.5 million bats in Texas city left hungrier by drought

The drought has killed off crops in Texas, and that in turn has killed off those delicious pests the Mexican free-tailed bats consider dinner.

That means they have to leave home earlier than usual each night to find nourishment — giving the locals in this bat-crazy city a precious few more minutes to watch the normally-nocturnal critters fly before the sun goes down.

The Permaculture Movement Grows From Underground

Fourteen of us had assembled to learn permaculture, a simple system for designing sustainable human settlements, restoring soil, planting year-round food landscapes, conserving water, redirecting the waste stream, forming more companionable communities and, if everything went according to plan, turning the earth’s looming resource crisis into a new age of happiness.

Ladner serves up food for thought

What would a city approaching food self-sufficiency look like?

Peter Ladner's soon-to-be released book The Urban Food Revolution offers tantalizing glimpses of urban environments that successfully integrate commercial enterprise, low-impact living spaces and agricultural productivity. Balcony gardens, urban market gardens, rooftop beehives, vertical greenhouses and aquaponics, and acres of lawn converted to high-value herb and vegetable production are all being employed with success somewhere. Why not everywhere?

Interview with The Wealth of Nature Author John Michael Greer

1. What inspired you to write The Wealth of Nature?

As a writer and blogger in the field of peak oil, I realized some time ago that mainstream economists didn’t get the implications of resource depletion. Really, that’s an understatement; mainstream economists very often insist, sometimes with quite some heat, that resource depletion is irrelevant and that a healthy economy can always, by definition, come up with a replacement for any resource that runs short; their arguments have been rehashed endlessly by critics of peak oil. Mind you, these are the same mainstream economists who insisted in 1999 that tech stocks were undervalued, and who claimed in 2006 that skyrocketing housing prices weren’t a sign of a speculative bubble. This doesn’t exactly lend credibility to their claims about natural resources.

Over the Horizon: Viewing the Future Through the Lens of Past

How might international affairs have affected my daughters' lives had they been born in 1909, instead of in 2009? What key events would have shaped their outlooks and expectations? More importantly, how can using the vantage point of 1909 to contextualize contemporary events help us think about the century ahead?

With Sewage in Hudson, a Big Blow to Business

“I came to New York in 1985, and I remember what people used to say,” said Randall Henriksen, the owner of New York Kayak Company, at Pier 40. “To have raw sewage in the water now, that can put people off for some time to come. Who knows what the long-term consequences will be?”

Republicans Seek Big Cuts in Environmental Rules

With the nation’s attention diverted by the drama over the debt ceiling, Republicans in the House of Representatives are loading up an appropriations bill with 39 ways — and counting — to significantly curtail environmental regulation.

African Hydro, Cooking Stoves May Benefit From New Carbon Rules

Wind turbines, hydro-electric dams and efficient cooking stoves in Africa and other countries may attract up to $1 billion in investment, according to ClimateCare after the United Nations agreed on new carbon market rules that may grant such projects more emissions credits.

U.S. and Europe Battle Over Carbon Fees for Airlines

Sharply divergent climate change policies on opposite sides of the Atlantic are setting off political fireworks as European environmental regulators prepare to extend their reach across the ocean. Starting Jan. 1, the European Union will require all carriers entering or leaving its airports to either reduce their emissions or pay a charge — whether the airline is United, Air France or Lufthansa.

Slow Stirrings Among Conservatives on Adaptation -- Just Don't Mention Climate Change

Tony Allender believes in climate change, but his Texan bosses are more skeptical. That disconnection might have made his job to help prepare a coastal city for rising seas and more flooding a losing effort.

So the city planner adopted a motto being used increasingly in conservative places where global warming and its orbiting impacts, such as more powerful storms, are hitched to zany liberal politics: Don't mention it.

Russia may lose 30% of permafrost by 2050

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia's vast permafrost areas may shrink by a third by the middle of the century due to global warming, endangering infrastructure in the Arctic zone, an emergencies ministry official said Friday.

"In the next 25 to 30 years, the area of permafrost in Russia may shrink by 10-18 percent," the head of the ministry's disaster monitoring department Andrei Bolov told the RIA Novosti news agency.

"By the middle of the century, it can shrink by 15-30 percent, and the boundary of the permafrost may shift to the north-east by 150-200 kilometres," he said.

It's Stupid to Talk About Demography When Countries Suffer from Inadequate Demand

The key feature of the "demography stupid" story is that the ratio of the elderly to the working population is too high. This means that workers do not have much left in wages for themselves after the taxes or capital earnings of the elderly are pulled out of the economy.

Of course this is 180 degrees at odd with the problem the U.S. and European economies face. If the elderly suddenly went on a huge buying binge it would create millions of jobs for younger workers. In the current economic situation the young would be better off if the elderly either had more money or there were more elderly spending money.

Literacy and the Population Problem

Compared with illiterate young women, educated ones desire smaller families and generally manage to achieve that goal. The researchers are not saying that better access to family planning and contraception are unimportant — merely that these need to go hand-in-hand with improved education.

The paper offered the most convincing calculation I have seen of just how much the population curve could be bent by a more intensive global attack on the problem. If schools could be built and children educated at a rapid clip in all fast-growing countries, the global population in 2050 would hit 8.8 billion, the demographers projected.

Looking for suggestions about peak-oil related films. Of Crude Awakening, Fuel, What a Way to Go: Life at the End of the Empire,and The End of Suburbia, which do y'all think is most educational for an unfamiliar audience? Also, any other good film suggestions?

Crude Awakening. Collapse is really great too -maybe better.

Collapse will certainly give one a sense of immediacy. I don't paint Michael Ruppert as a doomer-extremist like I have seen him described. Given the complexity and requirements of our systems, his urgency seems legitimate. The film is interesting in that it follows the broader ripples emanating from PO.

Crude Awakening.

IMDB using keyword "peak Oil" gives 11 results.

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone.

Crude Impact is also pretty good. It has the usual cast of peak oil heroes offering commentary.

Repost table from a comment I made in early July. The 1st quarter GDP was revised to 0.4% today. GDP and net import changes are positively correlated for the USA. One can predict the annualized GDP based upon the import changes in the first 6 months of the year. No duh, I know, but some folks will argue that oil imports are falling due to efficiency gains and not less economic activity.

Net imports 4-wk avg (June minus January)	GDP Growth (%)

1993    321     2.9
1994    1801    4.1
1995    1151    2.5
1996     810	3.7
1997    1041	4.5
1998    1154	4.4
1999     252	4.8
2000    1284	4.1
2001    -340	1.1
2002     553	1.8
2003    1633	2.5
2004     891	3.6
2005     429	3.1
2006     417	2.7
2007     666	1.9
2008    -166	0
2009   -1793	-2.6
2010     591	2.9
2011    -646	0.5

How many times are they going to adjust 1st qtr GDP? Originally it was reported at 1.8%, then increased later to 1.9% and today reduced to .4%. How can the original reported percentage be so far off?

The BEA provides a primer (PDF) on the process they use for the NIPA and GDP calculations. The short answer to your question is "at least five times." A month after the quarter ends, they do a calculation, with much of the data estimated. Revisions occur at the end of each of next two months. Things are slightly more complicated this month because July is when they do the annual revision, which may incorporate additional data that has become available since the "final" quarterly estimate. Annual revisions are done for two more years after the first one. Note that the same press release revised 2008's GDP growth down significantly (the recession was worse than previously thought). So, at least two quarterly revisions and three annual ones.

Much of their data is actually collected by state Departments of Labor and forwarded. States struggle to get businesses to report the necessary data in a timely fashion. And with state budget struggles, the BEA data collection may also be delayed in getting through the state-level processing.

Wow, 5! I guess that answers my question. So maybe there not messing with our heads afterall. In any case, the GDP news is dismal, especially piled on to today's political theatre that puts the country one step closer to a downgrade.

Some observations regarding personnel problems in the Oil Patch

Saudi Aramco has been running large help wanted ads in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, trying to hire experienced drilling personnel for work in Saudi Arabia.

In West Texas, it appears that experienced truck drivers, driving tanker trucks carrying crude oil, are getting as much as a $10,000 signing bonus and a salary of $115,000 per year.

wt - And to add to that I still have myself out there even though I'm very happy where I am. I get no less than 3 or 4 inquires a day for well site/ops work. As we discussed in the past the oil patch is getting very gray and broken down (last two barge jobs I went on they lowered me to the logging unit on the basket because of my bad knees and MS so I didn't have to run the stairways and jump barges). As you know the periodic busts in the biz takes out most of the youngins so they're not there when good times pick back up.

Can't anyone drive a truck?

Not easily - its not the 1960s. You have to have a valid CDL and to haul oil or most oil field chemicals you have to have a hazmat qualification. Besides the government regulations most major oil companies have additional safety training and certification requirements. It can be an extra month of training and qualification (without pay) for an experienced driver already holding a valid CDL.

Then in the next little downturn they lay half the drivers off and they don't come back because they want the security of working for established over the road trucking for less money.

I think those bonuses are for people with the necessary qualification - stealing them from other companies.

Bloomberg Oil Movements

Shipments will increase 0.5 percent to 22.93 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Aug. 13, the Halifax, England-based researcher said today in a report. That compares with 22.81 million barrels in the period to July 16. The data excludes Ecuador and Angola.

They were expecting a 360,000 bp/d increase but got only one third that. This does not tell the entire story. As the chart shows Oil Movements, or deliveries from OPEC have been virtually flat since the Libyan conflict broke out. All that vast new Saudi and Kuwaiti production is just not showing up in exports.

Oil Movements in million barrels per day. Each weekly point shows the reported average deliveries for the four weeks ending on that date.

Oil Movements

Ron P.

I noticed something interesting regarding Gulf Coast heavy crude spot oil prices (22 API gravity Maya crude). The weekly spot price increased by $22 per barrel from early January, 2011 ($81) to late July, 2011 ($103). Over the same time frame, the WTI spot price went up by about $10. It would appear that Gulf Coast refineries are having to bid the price up to keep the heavy oil coming their way, as net oil exports from Mexico & Venezuela decline.

Combined net exports from Mexico & Venzuela (BP, mbpd):

2004: 4.2*
2010: 2.7**

This is a simple percentage decline of 36% and an annual net export decline rate of 7.4%/year.

*Combined Consumption to Production ratio (C/P): 36%

**Combined C/P ratio: 52%

At the 2004 to 2010 rate of increase in the C/P ratio, combined net exports from Mexico & Venezuela would approach zero around 2021.

Thanks for the graph. Although hard to see, OM is reporting an incremental drop of 120,000 bpd from last week.

Based upon reports directly from Saudi sources (and not 'surveys' of what energy analysts think that substitute for real information), the Saudis increased output from just under 8.0 million bpd in May up to about 8.7 million bpd in June and July. Even that figure may be subject to revision. But taking that 8.7 mpbd figure at face value, KSA increased output by 700,000 bpd but probably increased exports at the most around 200,000 bpd. The difference was saved for domestic purposes, assumed to be for the increased use of oil for air conditioning and water processing.

The incremental 200,000 bpd went mostly to Yemen and India. Yemen was given 100,000 for a month or so, for free, but since their main oil field pipeline has been repaired, that shipment will stop. The other part was 100,000 of lower quality crude which India now has the ability to process. Based upon recent shipping reports, that increment to India is still being maintained - and may even be increased as Iran cuts back shipments to India due to payment problems.

In sum, the rest of the world (excluding Yemen and India) is not getting any additional oil supplies despite the much publicized announcement in mid-June that KSA was going to take independent measures to supply the world with extra oil to replace that lost from Libya.

regarding the statement:

"Remember Pierre Trudeau's national energy policy (NEP) of the 1980s?

In his effort to protect Canadians from spiking world oil prices and build national energy sovereignty in the face of increasing Americanization of the oil patch, he almost broke up the country. The "west" and its mostly American oil industry would have nothing of it. The anti-Trudeau, anti-"east" vitriol, the bitter residue of which still remains, was unparalleled."

I think it is a little more complicated than that!! The history of European Canada is one of exploitation with the benefits and profits heading east....first to Europe and then to the boardrooms of Toronto. The thought of an NEP sounds wonderful, until you realize that it would have been manipulated by established (eastern) monied interests and their political lackeys (like it is today, for sure). But the thought of the political machinations of Ottawa in controlling the development of resources was one step too far.

Maybe Texas oilmen control the patch, but I submit westerners have more in common with this north/south relationship than with our eastern brethern. Work in Alberta and listen to the accents, the music, the attitudes. It is not eastern Canadian.

Don't get me wrong, I am proud to be a Canadian and I truly don't mind paying my taxes to this confederation. However, as a rural west coaster I think I would be just as proud to belong to a region of Cascadia, or a confederation of the western provinces, Manitoba, Sask, Alta, BC, and Yukon.

When Trudeau flipped off the protesters from his train car at Salmon Arm, it said it all. Stay away....and hands off our resources, please.


Paulo - "Maybe Texas oilmen control the patch". Not really IMHO. We're more like a beneficial parasite. LOL. The oil patch in Texas is controlled by the state regulators and the landowners. It's all politics and those two groups have the big sticks. For the most part the federal govt has no significant influence on the oil patch in Texas or La. Offshore federal waters is another matter, of course. It sounds like your feds have much more control of going-ons in your provinces.

The Texas oil men definitely don't control the Alberta oil patch. There were a lot of Texans imported in the immediate post-WWII era when it was discovered that there were huge amounts of oil in Alberta, but since then they have been replaced by home-grown oil experts. In fact a lot of the home-grown Alberta oil men are now working in oil fields around the world.

The Canadian feds have limited jurisdiction and control over Canada's oil resources, a fact that annoyed Pierre Trudeau no end, he being a dyed-in-the-wool (pure laine, as they say in Quebec) Central Canadian who felt all the wealth should flow to the center. In fact, the Canadian Constitution assigns control over natural resources to the provincial governments and that gives the provinces more power than the US states.

The accents, music, and the attitudes in Alberta differ from Eastern Canada because Alberta wasn't settled from Eastern Canada, it was settled direct from Europe and the United States. The Eastern Canadians stayed home and minded their sugar maples, which in retrospect was a mistake. Immigrants from other countries built the railroads and homesteaded the land, their descendents drilled the oil wells, and subsequent generations now own it all and don't feel any urge to send the money East.

You can't even grow sugar maples in Alberta, and we don't have any rats either. (Rats could survive if we didn't keep killing them the instant they cross the border.) No maples, no rats, and no Liberals. Not at all like the eastern half of the country.

Que in the anthem O Cascadia

I believe it starts like this:

Cascadia is not Ottawa
The centre of the universe said Galileo
Does not revolve around Toronto


Agree with you whole heartedly Paulo. Being raised on the West Coast and lived in both east and west, when I returned Canada from the U.S. the clear decision was Alberta or BC. Aside from hockey, we have more in common with people in Portland or San Fran than we do with Canadians in Toronto or London. Ottawa is a place unto itself, like most central federal districts, detached from reality and accountability.

This is my version of the NEP, "Get in line".

BC - If you like I can look for some of those nasty bumber stickers we saw a lot of in Texas back in the late 70's: "LET THE YANKEES FREEZE IN THE DARK". Nasty and unfriendly for sure but they said nasty things about us at the time too. A litle modification you could have:"LET THE EASTIES FREEZE IN THE DARK". LOL.

It's funny how, even when in jest, it's easy to bristle when you hear your region set into that way.

I'm glad I know how not to freeze.. and I hope everyone out there enjoys a nice cool 'Poland Spring Water' when they come across one.

Me, I'm celebrating a little. Today, after a rough morning with the Frau, we got back to talking, and I told her that beyond the grief about Mom, the career indecision, and getting our 8-year old to eat breakfast, yada yada-- what really weighed on me 'is that the world is collapsing'.. and I pointed out the basics we talk about here.. Fisheries, Grain, Transp, Grid, Aviation.. and she nodded.

That I feel the most crucial thing to be doing today and every day is getting our home truly weatherproofed, our food supply secured (for the state as much as for the family), to prepare for post-oil transportation and heating.. but that the daily fires everyone else wants put out have kept us/me hamstrung to work on what is really needed for the future.

I think she largely gets it. yippee.

joker - makes a difference having a kiddo, eh? I'm 60 yo with an 11 yo daughter. My rodeo isn't going to run much longer so I don't need to worry much about my future. But my daughter's future obviously wears on my mind heavily. I could check out the oil patch now and just cost till the rest of my body falls apart. I've lived longer than any male in my family for as many generations as I know about. And her oldest living relative is 57 yo so she'll have most of her adult life without family support. Besides an education and teaching her selfrelience I hope to set a nice nest egg aside for her. After that it's her against the PO world.

Well don't let it get around, but let the girl know Maine's pretty nice.. still has lots of water, and with all the blackflies up here, noone ever need starve. (Paint them red, serve with butter)

Rockman, I have much the same feeling. My wife and I are 56 and 53 could sell the house and buy a small place in the sticks and sit on the porch and watch the grass grow. But we have three children 27, 25 and 16. The oldest is almost established. The middle child is not established and the youngest still has college to go. I need the county to provide jobs for my kids. Though the oldest has worked in China and is still thinking of returning (higher standard of living and more freedom). So I guess what I mean is I need the world to provide jobs for my kids.

A lot of us in a similar boat. I'm 59, kids 21,19,19. Still all in college. Under anything approaching normal times they'd have great prospects, but given where we are, and where we are going?????

ed/EOS - "I need the world to provide jobs for my kids" Yep...somewhat troubling. These days I'm starting to worry as much about our ineffective political system as much as PO. Beyond the education we can provide and lessons on self reliance in the end it's up to them.

I grew up with zero family support in any area. In fact often very negative. Yet I've done well most of the time. But I rolled into a much different world then our kids will. Troubling.

Rockman - you were pretty close - the exact wording of the bumper stickers in Alberta was "LET THE EASTERN BASTARDS FREEZE IN THE DARK"

RockyMtnGuy may well have had one of those on his car back in the day...

Well, no, I didn't have a bumper sticker like that, and actually, I never saw one.

I suppose some Albertans got hold of those Texas stickers and, with a little whiteout and a marking pen, changed "YANKEE" to "EASTERN" but it wasn't that popular.

Albertans are much more polite than Texans and just threatened to secede (unlike Texans, who actually tried to secede). Disputes in Texas tend to become heated and get down to lethal gunfire rather than idle rhetoric.

Eastern Canadians have done a pretty good job of implementing their own freeze-in-the-dark plan. I keep pointing out that natural gas is a much more secure heating source than fuel oil in the post-peak-oil era, and Eastern Canada actually does have large natural gas resources, but the concept seems to be lost on them. So, freeze in the dark is their default energy strategy.

If you travel a line from Calgary to Houston you will find few things change other than the weather and the topography.

I've traveled a line from Calgary to Houston (often with a stop in Denver) many times, and found there are a lot of things that change down that line. However there are a lot of similarities that result from both cities being major oil company head office centers.

There are also a lot of things that change on a line from Calgary to Toronto, notably attitudes toward government. I'm sure Houstonians find similar changes while flying west to east, or even east to west.

I keep pointing out that natural gas is a much more secure heating source than fuel oil in the post-peak-oil era, and Eastern Canada actually does have large natural gas resources, but the concept seems to be lost on them. So, freeze in the dark is their default energy strategy.


Well, as I've pointed out, natural gas in New Brunswick currently sells for $20.78 per GJ, so anyone moving away from oil in this province is more likely to switch to electricity than natural gas. It seems Enbridge is quite content to screw over New Brunswickers to the greatest extent possible. Here in Nova Scotia, Heritage Gas, a wholly owned division of Alberta-based Altagas, is not interested in serving residential loads, just the more profitable commercial and industrial sectors, so, consequently, natural gas service is available to less than one-tenth of one per cent of Nova Scotians. And, as I also pointed out, the $230.64 a year I would pay in account fees just to be connected to the natural gas network (which doesn't exist in my neighbourhood and most likely never will) represents about half of what I pay now to heat my home electrically.


Yes, surely the better use for NG would be for CCGT peaking plants - like the new GE Flex Efficiency, to complement the growing wind industry there.

Then use electric heat pumps - for which moist air of the Maritimes is ideal - and you don;t need to build any new gas infrastructure.

Using gas to heat the houses directly is so last century....

That's pretty much my thinking as well, Paul. At times, wind energy supplies up to 20 per cent of our electricity needs (up from 0 per cent a scant ten years ago) and that percentage will continue to grow over time. Likewise, five years from now we'll be importing electricity from the Lower Churchill Falls which will further lessen our fossil fuel dependency and help balance out additional wind production. And even though residential rates in this province are twice those of British Columbia, the operating costs of a high efficiency heat pump are still roughly half that of natural gas. Natural gas may be the fuel of choice in Ontario and points west, but it's not price competitive here in Atlantic Canada.


And that won't likely change any time soon. On June 15th of this year, Heritage Gas announced its intention to raise distribution rates 9.8% next year, 9.5% the following year and 5.6% the year after that.

One of the ski resorts I work with has a piped propane system - truck it in from Alberta, store it in 30,000 gal tanks, vaporise and pipe gas to the village - and their rate - for propane - is less than the Enbridge NB rate!

I have often wondered if it is really economically efficient to have two energy sources- elec and gas - distributed to all houses. And when gas was really cheap, I guess it was.

But every commentary I have seen about really energy efficient houses, the amount of gas you would use for heat (instead of a heat pump) the fixed monthly rate makes it very expensive - just like your situation.
NG is a very useful industrial fuel and petrochemical feedstock. To burn if for domestic heat and hot water really is a waste.

Sounds like an intermediate solution might be some community sized (1-5MW) gas fired CHP plants, like these
It could still be run as a peaking plant, and when the wind is blowing and the engine shut down, use industrial heat pumps to keep the hot water hot

To elaborate on an earlier point, the $230.64 that we would spend just to be connected to the natural gas distribution system would buy 1,875 kWh of electricity at current rates, and if we were to feed this electricity to a Fujitsu 12RLS, we would receive approximately 6,600 kWh(e) of heat in return. Our annual space heating requirement runs between 10,000 and 13,000 kWh depending upon the severity of the winter so, again, the monthly administrative charge alone represents over half of what we could expect to pay to heat our home with a 12RLS.

With regards to their respective environmental performance, we purchase 100 per cent renewable energy from Bullfrog Power (in amounts well in excess of our actual usage), and so all of the energy that we use to run our home is essentially carbon neutral.


Good numbers - why pay for "administration" to supply a less useful product when you can pay for more of a more useful product you are already receiving.

How do you buy more green energy than you are actually using - what happens to the excess?

Plus these systems can provide air conditioning during the summer months if we so choose and I can run the one that serves our lower level in "dry" mode to remove excess humidity rather than plugging in the dehumidifier... completely silent (unlike our dehumidifier which, by comparison, sounds like a fighter jet taxing for take-off), considerably more energy efficient and no bucket to empty every other day.

I buy a fixed number of kWh of green power each month through a secondary subscription with Bullfrog Power (http://www.bullfrogpower.com/). Normally, this would be based on the total number of kWh consumed through the course of the year divided by twelve, but I opted to purchase a larger amount to offset the fifty or so litres of propane used each year to operate our clothes dryer and BBQ, and the hundred or so litres of fuel oil that are used to provide backup heat and DHW during extended power cuts, and to periodically exercise the boiler to keep it in proper working order, and to circulate a small amount of hot water through the radiator pipes during extremely cold weather to help prevent them from freezing.


So you are actually buying the REC's, not the electricity directly from them, in which case, that is fine.

Though, I'm not quite right with that. To my mind, to maintain fungibility(?) of the system, the RECs should only be able to be attached to electricity usage. That way, it is strictly a case of substituting renewable electricity for non renewable, rather than treating them as carbon credits.

As long as oil, propane are actually being used, no amount of REC's displace them - they are not green energy sources.

Taken to the extreme, if the renewable fraction reached 100% of the elec production, but people are buying 50% of the RECS to offset oil usage, that means that 50% of the electricity consumed is not paying for the renewable nature of it.

But I guess if the REC's could only go to elec users, you would have a surplus, and the marginal price would go towards zero - at which point those hold-out customers would buy, but there is no no price premium going to the renewable producers - which was the original idea of the scheme...

It seems, that Bullfrog should also sell carbon sequestration credits - if anyone is actually doing bona fide sequestration - at the same price. Maybe they will, if someone does....

About 20 years ago there was a book "The Nine Nations of North America". The area you live in was called Ecotopia.

No - Alberta was part of a huge region with the endearing name "The Empty Quarter." 'Nuff said. Texas was divided into three parts; North was in the Breadbasket, West in Mexamerica, East in Dixie. Perhaps the author did that on purpose to rankle TXans?

"Ecotopia" meant along the Pacific coast. The dryland rural/high desert dwellers living in the eastern parts of WA and OR definitely don't fit in with the mentality of the folks living in the big cities in the western parts of these states. For that matter you don't have to travel too far out of these cities to be in the boonies.

Garreau's book was inaccurate in including Alberta in his "Empty Quarter", after the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia. In the US, the area between the 105th meridian and the coastal mountain ranges is indeed mostly semi-arid, but that trend ends at the 49th parallel.

In fact, the Canadian portion of his "Empty Quarter" includes about 3/4 of the farmland in Canada. Alberta has four times as much farmland as the most heavily populated province, Ontario, and Saskatchewan has five times as much.

Alberta is considerably less arid and more heavily populated and urbanized than the US states immediately to the south of it. Each of its two main metropolitan areas (Calgary and Edmonton) has more people than the entire state of Montana, and nearly twice as many people as the state of Wyoming.

U.S. Economy Comes Crashing Down

The U.S. economy in the first quarter expanded at just a 0.4 percent pace, a sharp downward revision from the previously reported 1.9 percent increase.

This and the sharp downward revisions to the prior quarters suggest a more troubling and fundamental slowdown might be underway.

"With a fiscal consolidation on the way, it is hard to see the economy getting much stronger. In fact, if the debt ceiling is not raised by the end of Tuesday, we could well have another recession on our hands," said Paul Dales, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics in Toronto.

Read the whole thing

U.S. growth was 0.4 % in Q1, down from 1.9 %. Growth for Q2 was allegedly 1.3 %.
Personal consumption, a key point since the U.S. economy is about 70 % consumer spending, more or less flatlined at 0.1 %.

Makes you wonder if Shadowstats.com is really the wrong place to look for concrete, honest data on the U.S. economy. How can they, the Feds, get it so wrong if it's not fudging the stats?

And if they were that wrong on Q1, will they be the same on Q2?

The interesting thing to note is that the data also shows a fundamental slowdown before Japan and the Arab Spring.

In other words, high oil prices mixed with consumer deleveraging?
I've stated quite a few times here that looking at just the oil price is misguided, a sustained triple-digit oil price is much more harmful to the economy, especially America's, at this crucial time when there's so much debt. People can't catch a break.

Since a major overhaul of the transportation and the energy sector to much more cleaner alternatives would take at least 20 years, this doesn't bode well. We're now at the beginning of the end. This is the last few year(s) of the slope. Enjoy it while it lasts.

I'm convinced that we're now entering a phase where we will have an ever-larger permanent Lost Generation. The underclass is growing larger and larger and it's inevitable before we get populism. The Tea Party, The Front National. As the established political parties lose their credibility, just like the Weimar Republic, people will look to outsiders and demagogues for answers.

We're now at the beginning of the end.

I would argue that we are at the end of the beginning and now moving into the collapse phase.


No, the end of the beginning was right before the peak. The beginning of the end, is just after the peak.

So now, if peak was '05 or '06, and if we are about to start our descent from the plateau, would that be the end of the beginning of the end? '-)

National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2011 (Advance Estimate)
Revised Estimates: 2003 through First Quarter 2011

Note that the revisions to GDP go all the way back to 2003, so don't focus too much on whether there is a near double-dip.

In particular:

The percent change from fourth quarter to fourth quarter in real GDP was revised down from a decrease of 2.8 percent to a decrease of 3.3 percent for 2008, was revised down from an increase of 0.2 percent to a decrease of 0.5 percent for 2009, and was revised up from an increase of 2.8 percent to an increase of 3.1 percent for 2010.

For the period of contraction from the fourth quarter of 2007 to the second quarter of 2009, real GDP decreased at an average annual rate of 3.5 percent; in the previously published estimates, it had decreased 2.8 percent.

For the period of expansion from the second quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2011, real GDP increased at an average annual rate of 2.6 percent; in the previously published estimates, it had increased 2.8 percent.

The percent change from the preceding year in real gross domestic income (GDI) was revised up from a decrease of 0.8 percent to a decrease of 0.4 percent for 2008, was revised down from a decrease of 2.9 percent to a decrease of 4.0 percent for 2009, and was revised up from an increase of 3.1 percent to an increase of 3.6 percent for 2010.

And if they were that wrong on Q1, will they be the same on Q2?

In other words, how can we rely on i.e. have faith in the numbers being reported? It seem apparent the Fed are of the mind that the actual much lower number later will not have much impact on businesses that have already committed to their bus. plans based on originally faulty information. Fool them with a lie in the present so the net effect is better for the economy, then tell the truth later so as to cover their butts should the correct information get leaked. Kind of like telling someone the cliff ahead only drops off 5 feet, then after they fall and twist their ankle, yell down, sorry, 10 feet! But the person committing to the cliff did what they wanted him to do, and that was jump. Just as businesses are expected to expand in accordance with GDP phoney percentages. Oh, didn't make as much profit from that expansion as you expected. Sorry, .4%!

The global corporations are investing in the growing economies. They are not investing in the US, so fake data is irrelevant. p.s. They get their own data and they know the propaganda from the federal government is lies.

Greenpeace says coal-fired energy costs ailing Greece

I went to the Yahoo article and read some of the comments. Most of the comments are based on the "act of god" assumption about electrical loads. I also quickly got the impression that most of the first twenty comments were written by the same person, probably someone being paid a handsome salary by some lobbying group, in other words a paid commentator.

And then I started to wonder; is there a well funded enviro group that could afford to pay me to defend their viewpoint? Perhaps this could be a lucrative new career for me.

I've had that sort of impression many times.

I also quickly got the impression that most of the first twenty comments were written by the same person, probably someone being paid a handsome salary by some lobbying group, in other words a paid commentator.

I believe the labels are "viral marketing" and "viral marketer."


Industrial Scars: The Art of Environmental Pollution

A photographer simultaneously captures the beauty and horror of human pollution, from thick oil spills to dirty coal mining.

Saudi exports look down hill from here.
Focus on rows 1 and 2. If that doesn't look like ELM, I don't know ELM from any other tree.

$321 per barrel in 2030!

I'll barter with them. I've got some corn. :)

As previously noted, if we extrapolate their 2005 to 2010 rate of increase in their consumption to production ratio (from 18% to 28%, total petroleum liquids), they would approach 100%--and thus zero net oil exports--in about 14 years.

They are looking into installing significant amounts of nuclear to free up more oil for export.

What could possibly go wrong??

Who is Jadwa Investments, who seem to be making the forecast? How do they come up with their calculations.

Some things look ridiculous - look at Domestic debt forecast.

Jadwa is a Riyadh-based investment company. They are the ones who recently predicted that Saudi oil exports would dive, due to increased domestic consumption.

I think that the Saudi government is setting the stage for gradually bringing, or at least attempting to bring, domestic Saudi energy prices up to something more closely reflecting actual market prices.

Sorry, I didn't mean to shoot with out referencing the source.

Saudi Arabia’s Other Major Crisis

But I can't vouch for them, I just ran across it.

Catholic Online has published an edited version of that peak oil piece from Al-Jazeera. Curiously, there's no mention on the page of where the story came from. The author's name, Dahr Jamail, is not there, either.

It's funny how the water seams to be getting hotter around here.

I noticed on gasbuddy.com that the little arrow is always pointing to the right, which indicates steady, or not change. But, if you look at the actual numbers, the price is going up about a penny a day. At that rate, we would be back up to $4 bay Labor Day.


NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

"The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show," Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. "There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans."

The headline is a misleading load of BS and the author was likely taken (way) out of context.

Conclusions from the actual research report:

Finally, since much of the temperature variability during 2000–2010 was due to ENSO [9], we conclude that ENSO-related temperature variations are partly radiatively forced.

Meaning, it is suspected by the principle investigators that the results have been corrupted by extra radiative forcing produced by El Nino events that occurred frequently during the study period.

Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. "There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans."

What context would change the meaning of this quote?

The authors name. Spencer has published crap before, and this article is no different.

This article is authored by James Taylor of the Heartland Institute. Some of Heartland's previous work, from wikipedia:

In the 1990s, the Heartland Institute worked with Philip Morris to question the link between secondhand smoke and health risks.[6][15] Philip Morris used Heartland to distribute tobacco-industry material, and arranged for the Heartland Institute to publish "policy studies" which summarized Philip Morris reports.[15][16] The Heartland Institute also undertook a variety of other activities on behalf of Philip Morris, including meeting with legislators, holding "off-the-record" briefings, and producing op-eds, radio interviews, and letters.

Heartland is funding by the likes of Exxon Mobil, Walmart, and other BAU conservative types. They are lying scumbags. Read with a handful of salt.

Let's focus on Professor Spencer, the University of Alabama and NASA. The folks who did the work.

http://www.mdpi.com/2072-4292/3/8/1603/pdf the article in Remote Sensing
http://www.dailytech.com/Study+Finds+Huge+Discrepancy+Between+Hard+Data+... by Jason Mick

Dismissing scientific data by character assassination is what Fascist Regimes do. Is Jason Mick also an evil person? Is Professor Spencer an evil person? Is NASA and evil organization funded by the oil industry? Is the journal Remote Sensing evil? Measured facts an inconvenient truth.

Let's put this argument to rest.

Climate Change Debunked? Not So Fast

"It is not newsworthy," Daniel Murphy, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cloud researcher, wrote in an email to LiveScience.

The study, published July 26 in the open-access online journal Remote Sensing, got public attention when a writer for The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think-tank that promotes climate change skepticism, wrote for Forbes magazine that the study disproved the global warming worries of climate change "alarmists." However, mainstream climate scientists say that the argument advanced in the paper is neither new nor correct. The paper's author, University of Alabama, Huntsville researcher Roy Spencer, is a climate change skeptic and controversial figure within the climate research community.

For a broader view and thorough debunking of both Spencer and the article see:


This article was written by James M. Taylor senior fellow for environment policy at "The Heartland Institute" and managing editor of "Environment & Climate News" both ultra right wing organizations. The word "alarmist" was mentioned 13 times in this short article. That is balanced reporting for you.

Ron P.

The article by Spencer and Braswell in the journal Remote Sensing does not mention the word alarmist once. Let talk about the facts of the article.

Every bit as balanced as The New York Times. Every media outlet propagates the message the owner wants propagated. That is capitalism he who has the most money has the most influence on the minds of the masses.

"That is capitalism he who has the most money has the most influence on the minds of the masses."

Including yours, it seems.

I think Spencer is way off with this report, which follows on the work reported in 2010. For starters, he uses an extremely simple, one dimensional model for the heat flow of the entire Earth. One result is that there are no seasonal effects possible. Also, he uses data from the CERES instruments on NASA's TERRA satellite, which is orbiting in a sun synchronous orbit. That orbit crosses the equator (and all other latitudes) at fixed local times of the day. The equator crossing is at 10:30 AM local time in the descending mode (that is, NH to SH moving roughly NNE to SSW). At the highest latitude of the orbit in the NH, the time on the ground below is 4:30 PM, while the highest latitude in the SH occurs at 4:30 AM local time. Because of this orbit, there's no way that the yearly TOA emissions at highest latitudes can be computed, IMHO. The orbit period is 98 minutes, so there are 14.7 orbits a day. That last point tells us that only 2/15 of the surface emissions at lower latitudes (including the 60N to 60S range Spencer uses) are viewed each day, once on the sun side of the Earth and once again on the dark side.

How Spencer can take the CERES data and extrapolate it to claim coverage of the entire Earth is beyond me. But, I'm already convinced that Spencer is stuck on the Dark Side, unwilling to accept science he finds disagreeable...

E. Swanson

(He also believes in intelligent design/creationism.)

I googled it and found he is indeed a creationists. Roy Spencer on Intelligent Design

Twenty years ago, as a PhD scientist, I intensely studied the evolution versus intelligent design controversy for about two years. And finally, despite my previous acceptance of evolutionary theory as “fact,” I came to the realization that intelligent design, as a theory of origins, is no more religious, and no less scientific, than evolutionism...

True evolution, in the macro-sense, has never been observed, only inferred...

One finally comes to the conclusion that, despite vigorous protests, belief in evolution and intelligent design are matters of faith...

Well, that about says it all. The guy is a nut case. Would you take his word on evolution? No? Then why believe a word he says about climate science? I am ashamed to say that he lives and works in my hometown, Huntsville, Alabama.

Ron P.

Intelligent Design, well, I guess Spencer is a dubious source.

With all due respect, ed, anyone these days telling you that AGW is very real and very dangerous should be seen as 'a dubious source' as they are flying in the face of over 100 years of solid research, thousands of peer reviewed articles in legitimate journals, and the considered judgment of every established scientific body anywhere in the world that has weighed in on the matter, which now includes many dozen such organizations.

Though there are of course complicated details, the basics are very straightforward, simple, and unassailable:

1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas (established over 100 years ago and affirmed many times since). That is, increasing the concentration of it increasing the amount of heat the atmosphere retains, kind of like an ever thickening blanket.

2) Modern industrial society has dumped hundreds of billions of tons of extra CO2 into the atmosphere over the last hundred fifty years or so, mostly by burning fossil fuels, and it (that is we) continues to do so at a rate of about 30 billion tons a year, a rate that continues to increase.

3) CO2 levels have increased by well over 30% in the last hundred or so years, from around below 300 ppm to nearly 400ppm today.

4) global atmospheric and ocean temperatures have been increasing on average over the same period.

These are all unassailable facts.

The 'theory,' if one wishes to call it that, is that these basic facts are related to each other.

Do you see any reasonable argument that they are not connected?

Dohboi - I don't think this is what you meant to say -
"With all due respect, ed, anyone these days telling you that AGW is very real and very dangerous should be seen as 'a dubious source'
Looks like "not a" was left out?

Thanks, yep, typing too fast. Unfortunately I cannot now go back and fix it the way they have it set up.

(Note to self--triple check posts before firing them off.)

You just did fix it.

BTW, an interesting side effect of inadvertently writing the opposite of what you believe is that it draws more attention to your post. Personally, I had to take a double take before realizing you obviously left out a word.


Peak oil will [not, --oops] happen.

His climate modis operandi: find some data and combine it in random ways, until you can make a claim it disproves global warming. Try to make the method sound credible to non experts, and find an obscure journal who assigns reviewers who don't understand the material and let it through.

It is unfortunate that we have some folks who aren't doing science in good faith, but are trying to create politically motivated results. After you've run into a couple of these characters, it requires a saint to avoid having complete contempt for such people and their supporters. [I'm not a saint.]

Yes, here is how he sees his role:

“I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

Ya. Funny that this guy is often mentioned in the same breath as Lindzen, who drives me absolutely crazy.

Anyone interested in my more detailed and mostly unscientific thoughts on Lindzen, and who can tolerate a HUGE pdf, can find them here on page 30-31:


Of course, my article is full of wild and sweeping generalizations, is not peer reviewed, etc. But it doesn't pretend to be, and I'm a big believer in evaluating research partly based on direct personal experience and basic common sense and bullsh*t detection.

As far as Spencer is concerned? What makes more sense-- clouds as forcing or clouds as feedback? Ocean temperatures cause clouds, not the other way around, right? Yeah, it's complicated, there's El Nino, the TERRA satellite with the CERES instrument didn't capture all the data, but... it's not THAT complicated. You don't have to be a genius to figure out this is junk. Pity it got so far in MSM.

Hey, the paper made it into the news on FOX and DRUDGE. That's all the denialist care about, not whether or not the paper is good or bad. Hardly anyone outside the scientists who work in the atmospheric sciences will read and try to understand what Spencer did. The title alone serves to spread their message of disinformation...

E. Swanson

Black_Dog, thank you for the thoughtful reply.

We should be getting off of foreign oil soon with new fuel standards ;-) Although maybe the foreign oil won't be their anyway by that time.
Stay tuned.


Damn, I hate being spoken to as if I was five.....I hated being spoken to that way when I was five!!


"In the next 15 years, we're going to reduce the amount of oil we need by 2.2 million barrels per day."

In 15 years! We're just going to get less oil, not need less.

But if you are politician and can get in front of the thing that will happen anyway and spin it as a good thing that you should get credit for then you are an effective manipulator.

Lithium cells take salt to extend life

The Lithium-Imide batteries from Leyden Energy use a patented salt in the electrolytes that doesn't get as affected by heat or moisture. Instead of the traditional materials, it throws in a conductive graphitic foil for its cathode.

Technicals aside, this apparently means batteries last much longer, can be used in environments with extreme temperatures and have over 1000 charge cycles, losing less than 20 per cent of their charging capacity over a three year life span.

To put that into perspective, current Li-Ion batteries can lose up to 50 per cent capacity within just 500 charge cycles.

So three years of driving until battery replacement???? 365x3 = 1095 > 1000

To assume a whole, full-charge/discharge cycle every day of the year is a bit extreme. Too many other factors will affect battery life anyhow, as the 1000 number is surely highly idealized.

Only experience will really show.. but Nimh's have been pushing RAV4-EV's for many more than 3yrs, often above 100k miles..

Reliability is probably one reason that Toyota has continued to use Nikel Metal Hybrid batteries instead of switching to Lithium Ion, even though the latter store more energy per unit weight.

Yes. The Nickle Metal hydrides have really good lifetimes. Toyota warrantees the Prius batteries for 150K. And the hybrid batteries go through many more charge discharge cycles than an EV would. They routinely go from high to low charge and back several times in a single trip, wheras an EV gets charged, then driven until its discharged, So one or two charge cycles per day would be pushing it.

Unfortunately neither the energy density, nor the round trip efficiency of NiMH is very high. So they really aren't a good basis for an EV.

"they really aren't a good basis for an EV..."

I don't know that I buy that. The Rav4 owners certainly seem to have had solid experiences with them, and that's hardly a vehicle that's really been optimized, yet they're getting decent range, battery lifespan, and good vehicle power.

I'm sure we'll see the Lithium formulations clear more hurdles in the coming years, but for now, I still believe that a well-designed, short-range commuter or errand town car can be Perfectly (there I said it) served by Nimh's today.

EDIT: While it must be mentioned that the rights to manufacture Large-format Nimh's was bought up and allegedly Locked up by Chevron, which is why the battery that seems to have worked in at least two autos now is not available in any others..

The existing and proven EV-95 NiMH battery from Panasonic, which lasts longer than the life of the car, has adequate power for acceleration without an Internal Combustion ("IC") engine, and can drive an EV at 80 mph for up to 120 miles, went into production in Jan., 1997. These batteries are powerful enough to run an EV from start to 80 mph and for over 100 miles, and have cycle life of at least 1500 -- over 150,000 miles before they need replacement..


The lithium batteries in the plug-in prius cost something like $14,000 for 9 kWh, about six times the equivalent cost of NiMH, and even more expensive when you consider that NiMH last longer than the life os the car -- even a Toyota car --


It's a lively debate, so take it as you will.. but I don't see that it's been 'disproven' any more than proven at this point, while the RAV4 testimonials still seem to stand.. ??

The discharge cycles on the Prius usually aren't that deep - at least according to the display.
I think the primary purpose of the electric componant of the Synegy Drive is to allow a vehicle with a small Atkinson Cycle engine perform like it had an Otto Cycle engine.
The regenerative braking is a relatively small gain.

You are right on target. The electric assist provides additional torque on acceleration, particularly from a standing start, that could only otherwise come from a larger engine. It is these bouts of acceleration, where the lightly loaded engine is enriching its fuel mixture, where it runs way outside its efficient range, and the electric assist greatly minimises these fluctuations.

A good analysis of just how little gain you get from regen braking at the website for the X-prize winning Edison Very Light Car. If you make an efficient car to start with - i.e. small, light and aerodynamic, the benefits of regen braking are minimal. But for heavier vehicles, it is a very large energy gain - hence the moves to develop systems for garbage trucks and city buses.

GreenCarCongress has, I think, good articles about battery innovation and promising research as well.

Tin nanopillars layered between graphene sheets as high-performance anode materials for Li-ion batteries

Researchers with the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have embedded arrays of tin (Sn) nanopillars between graphene sheets without adding any polymer binder and carbon black for as-formed use as a high-performance anode material for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs).


EDIT: It may even be the same news as previously posted. If true, my bad.

Psychology of debt talks is all in game of chicken

... The game of chicken "has to be dangerous in order to give people the incentive to cooperate. It helps if you are crazy or if you pretend to be crazy,"

..."If there is a recipe for poor negotiations and poor negotiation outcome, watch what these political leaders have been doing these past few days," said Daniel L. Shapiro, founder of the Harvard International Negotiation Program. ... "There's very little listening, very little learning — mutual learning — very little cross-group communication, very little creative thinking," he said.

... Shapiro called it a "very deadly game of chicken," ...In the game, two cars drive head-on. If neither swerves out of the way there is the worst possible outcome: a crash. If both swerve, everyone survives with the same honor. The ultimate win: one doesn't swerve, the other does. Another way to win: throw the steering wheel out the window and make sure the other side knows it and will be forced to flinch. Shapiro thinks that's happened in Washington. ... the side that has the least to lose is more believable when it threatens to ditch the steering wheel and go for broke: "It gives the weaker party more negotiating power." ... In this situation, tea party followers have more credibility in their throw-the-wheel-out threats

Psychologists have shown in experiments that the chicken game's mutual destruction possibility somehow gets individuals to cooperate more, about two-thirds of the time. But that's not necessarily the case with groups. When two groups of people are involved, the best possible outcome occurs only about a quarter of the time, and the chance of complete disaster rises,

Both sides will declare victory when in fact both sides did nothing significant. The inflation in the prices of energy and food will continue until there are enough hungry US citizens to back a demagogue and then we will have change. It may not be good change but it will be change you can believe in. LMAO or cry.

A single-passenger electric airplane that you can (almost) buy is waiting for its day in the sun at an air show in Wisconsin where it hopes to showcase the future of zero-emissions aviation.

Torrential rains at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh earlier this week has created a backlog of flights, delaying a demonstration of the Elektra One, officials said.

The nearly silent propeller-driven plane with a sleek, glider-like design is powered by an onboard battery that has sufficient juice for three hours of flight and a range of about 250 miles. The 220-pound, 26-kilowatt battery is fueled in a solar-charging hangar.


You know the stuff that is going on constantly reminds me of one thing. My time is finite, more so now then before the pituitary tumor made it's self known. I can't say truthfully that watching events day by day doesn't give me some fear, after all, all i need to not be on this earth anymore is to loose access to one of two medications. Both of which are needed to keep me alive, so when i either can no longer pay for them. Or if they are no longer being sold in a way i can get them i am done for.
I am not naive, so i don't expect some 'safety net' to come to the rescue once either one of the two things above happens like some people i talked about claimed. Nor do i think 'if only they could just get along so i can just live 'my' life out' will happen.
I am sure i am not the only one who's life-span is determined solely by how long they have access to medication above food and water. I only know a couple of people who agree with me and realize it, one doesn't want to talk about it. the other one doesn't care because plans to off himself anyway when it happens.
Is it wrong for me to desire a longer life, despite knowing that the longer i live past a event that nearly killed me the worse i will help make the problem? Is it right for me to realize that even if i wanted to live longer I have no control over the matter so i live accordingly? Is it wrong that i try to seek out people who understand the situation rather then telling me i am over reacting like my mother?

TK-- Don't know your exact situation, apologies in advance if I am presumptuous. I have had a chronic illness and the prospect of shortened lifespan since I was a teenager, and in many ways, I count myself lucky because it was an early introduction to the idea of my own mortality. You are not overreacting, because it's not realistic to expect yourself to adapt to this immediately, or even quickly, depending on the circumstances.

My best runs skiing were after my blood clot in '05, not before. Five years later, I was bodyboarding and I got stung by a stingray in the same leg, and got two massive drug-resistant infections. Never really recovered, still no feeling in a lot of my left foot. I sawed my boogie board in half, blind with grief and rage.

Then I got a bigger one, and fins, and learned how to ride properly, so my feet aren't always on the sand. On a good day, I rent a longboard and actually surf standing up. And I quit smoking, so I can go out in bigger waves now. And so it goes... until the next clot. Or whatever.

Absolutely talk to other people who understand the situation... the online support group "Daily Strength" is great, though you have to find the right group and learn to shut it off when it's too depressing.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to live a longer life. Live as long and as well as you can. And do not assume you have no control. Sometimes, you get to do your best work even when you're sure your number's up. Think of Ruby Kennedy eating grass in a concentration camp, pissing on the Nazi missile guidance systems at Mittelwerk, guy winds up a rocket scientist, goes back and gets revenge on the bastards that sent him up.

Or something like that. We can't all be heroes. But hang in there. You never know when you get to take your shot.

my situation is that at the start of 2009 a golf ball sized pituitary tumor made it's self known after a few years of sinus issues and forehead centered headaches.
They had to remove the 'entire' gland as none of it was functional. Because of that i need to take hormones that the gland either produced it's self or started production 'of' and since the pituitary is nicknamed the master control gland that means most of the primary ones are out of commission. i am 29 and have been for the past few years fighting every insurance company with no success for covering my major health expense. replacement testosterone, they think anyone under 60+ who wants to take it must be a body builder wanting to cheat(their words..). though that's not needed for me to live it just means i will have little energy with out it.

The two drugs i need to take to live is the replacement for cortisol
and the replacement for the hormones that this gland produces.
since the pituitary can no longer start the process.

I have been warned by my endocrinologist that i need these two to live and i need to speak with them before even considering altering the dosage level, except for one case on the first one. if i get sick i need double the dose till i get better. especially if it is a serious infection.

My youngest brother has lived with HIV+ for over 20 years. He has to take testosterone due to having had chemotherapy for Hodgkins lymphoma back when he first became ill.

I believe he takes thyroid as well, and probably 20 other things as he battles not only with infections but with circulatory issues caused by a combination of genetics and drug side effects. He had to have artificial hips, also due to the chemo and has dozens of stents around his heart.

So having watched him fight for life for years, I can relate somewhat to what you're going through. Have courage!


Crap-- and cortisol is so critical in modulating mood. No wonder you're depressed. Tricky.

It will probably take persistence and a lot of stamina to manage this, and not so easy to get friends and family to help you because-- I'm taking a wild guess here-- they are probably treating you like you're healthy. Because that's what usually happens if you're not in a wheelchair, aren't missing a limb, you haven't lost 50 pounds, and don't have other visible manifestations of any illness.

And they don't want to think about the fact that you're ill. So you wind up having to deal with THEIR denial as well as your own health.

Am I close? I'm taking a lot of wild shots here.

Try to go easy on yourself. It may take you quite a while to get this sorted.

At least these drugs are fairly easy to synthesize-- I think, at least thyroid is anyway-- and we're not seeing shortages of them yet, last time I checked the list. I think. And there may be substitutes, other ways of getting your body to produce the same substances.

You're only a few years into this. It can take decades to adapt. My illness hit at around 19, and I was kind of lost until my mid 20s. Then I had another bad run in my mid 40s with the clot and some other weird problems, some of them cognitive. At one point, I'd wake up in my car without remembering getting dressed or anything. This was when I was running a department, mind you. We were doing very well and it was raining money, but it was really unnerving, believe me. That passed, fortunately. Immune disorders are incredibly weird.

Try Daily Strength, see if there's a group for pituitary tumors. Other patients may know some stuff your doctors don't. There's lots of information I got from doctors that turned out to be totally wrong. I was supposed to be on prednisone all my life, went off it in my early 30s. Then they said I'd be a lifer on the blood thinners, and went off that, too. And absolutely see a therapist if you're not seeing one already. I do, and not just because I am one (or an intern, anyway). I always have. You can probably find a clinic somewhere, they make us all work for free.

It's hell managing your own health care. Stay with it. If you'd like to keep in touch by e-mail, let me know if there's a way to reach you.



S a group of us is preparing a document to present to the city council to urge them to help prepare the city for the likely consequences of peak oil, the question arose whether there is a body of peer reviewed articles that discusses/supports the basic ideas. Has anyone here collected such a list, or can anyone point me in a promising direction?

Aside from Google Scholar, you should look at the work of Kjell Aleklett's group at Uppsala University in Sweden:


Thanks loads.

Is there a translation of the entire Bundeswehr report on Peak Oil on the internet ? I have a reporter on the military/National Security beat who will be flying to Afghanistan and could use some light reading on the plane :-)

Best Hopes,


Ira Glass does Natural gas

Oikos Forest Farm - Permaculture

Our model would be the perfect homestead system for anyone interested in truly living off the land with minimal tilling. The food forest environment allows ample space for livestock as well, or the occasional “harvest” of some of the abundant wildlife that makes its home here.

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/sustainable-farming/permaculture-farm-oik...


Decontamination delayed / TEPCO fails to meet goal in removing radioactivity from water
The Yomiuri Shimbun / The Yomiuri Shimbun / July 29, 2011

Decontamination of highly radioactive water at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has been proceeding at a snail's pace because of various malfunctions and other problems.

... Last week, torrential rain brought by a typhoon poured into the plant's reactors. As a result, the quantity of radioactive water increased by 3,000 tons over the past week, registering about 120,700 tons as of Tuesday. ...

And you thought the typhoon didn't do any damage, didn't you?

Torrential rain hits Niigata, Fukushima

Torrential rain in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures in northern Japan has caused rivers to overflow, raising the danger of landslides.

Authorities have issued an evacuation order, or advisory, to about 296,000 people in 21 municipalities.

In Niigata's Sanjo City, more than 10,000 people were ordered to evacuate after a dike collapsed.

A 67-year-old man in Niigata Prefecture was found in a stream and later confirmed dead.

5 people are missing in the region.

Since Wednesday, more than 650 millimeters of rain has been recorded in some parts of Fukushima

O.K., Smart Guys: Fix the Energy Problem
Bloomberg Businessweek / July 28, 2011

The U.S. first became a net importer of oil in 1948.

Where was the US importing all that oil from?