Drumbeat: August 13, 2011

The other side of the oil story

What a difference five months make.

Five months ago, I was in Saudi Arabia, hoping to gain perspective on the global oil markets and whether the kingdom could maintain its role as the world's oil price cop.

Back then, the oil story was all about supply. That's all changed recently. Now, oil is a demand story — and it isn't a happy tale.

Crude Oil Falls as U.S. Consumer Confidence Drops to Three-Decade Low

Crude oil declined after a report showed confidence among U.S. consumers plunged in August to the lowest level in 31 years, signaling that economic growth may drop in the world’s biggest oil-using country.

Oil fell 0.4 percent after the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment slumped to 54.9 from 63.7 the prior month. Futures rose as much as 1.9 percent earlier when the Commerce Department said retail spending increased 0.5 percent following a 0.3 percent gain in June that was larger than previously estimated.

Drop in oil price could bring little relief at the pump

Unlike in years past, when the price of oil and the price of gas moved closely in tandem, in 2011 the relationship between the two has been murkier. Oil prices have fallen precipitously, but District residents are still paying $3.83 per gallon of regular gas on average — 22 cents above the national average and only 9 percent less than the District’s all-time high of $4.21, according to the American Automobile Association.

“What we’ve seen for the first time in recent memory is this disconnect between the price of crude and the price of gasoline. It’s almost like it’s moving in its own orbit,” said John Townsend, spokesman for AAA of Mid-Atlantic.

Japan Buying Most Saudi Arabian Crude Oil, Ship Tracking Data Show

Japan will get the biggest share of Saudi Arabian crude oil cargoes loaded in the week ended Aug. 6, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg.

Tankers with a combined capacity of 1.49 million deadweight tons, or about 11 million barrels of crude, are sailing to Japan after loading at Ras Tanura, the world’s largest oil-export terminal. Europe and the U.S. will get one tanker each, both of which can carry about 2.2 million barrels of oil, according to data captured by satellites and shore-based antennae.

Basra is wary of the neighbors from Iran

BASRA, Iraq — Iraq will supply the world with its last barrel of oil, according to local lore, and that barrel will come from Basra.

Sitting on an estimated 120 billion barrels of untapped crude, this southern province, tucked between Iran and Kuwait, is key to Iraq's economic future. But local residents and officials worry that they are lagging behind their next-door neighbors, whose infrastructure and oil-drilling capabilities are far more advanced.

Iran reiterates threat to take gas project off China

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran reiterated to China on Saturday it could take back control of a gas field being developed by its national oil company unless it speeds up investment, one week after the new Iranian oil minister said no foreign contractors were needed.

"Ultimatums will certainly be given to the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) if the delays in developing the phase 11 of South Pars continues," Ahmad Qalebani, Head of National Iranian Oil Co.(NIOC) was quoted as saying by the semi-official Mehr news agency.

Oil leak detected on North Sea platform

A leak has been discovered on a North Sea oil platform owned by Royal Dutch Shell.

Libyan rebels advance on Zawiyah

(Reuters) - Rebels in western Libya advanced north to within 25 km (15 miles) of the coastal city of Zawiyah on Saturday after a six-hour battle with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

Brega battle takes toll on both sides in Libya

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - At least 21 rebels and government soldiers were killed in fighting for the Libyan oil terminal of Brega over the past two days, hospital workers said on Saturday.

Syrians flee as tanks enter Latakia: activist

DAMASCUS — Armoured vehicles entered the port city of Latakia and a village near Lebanon Saturday, activists said, causing residents to flee as the West seeks ways to pressure Damascus to end the violence.

Jeremy Grantham Foresees Oil Decline and Increases Oil Holdings

In his most recent shareholder letter, Grantham discussed what he foresees as the future of oil. What he mainly anticipates is shortage and rising prices. “The transition from oil will give us serious and sustained problems. We passed peak oil per capita long ago and we are within 30 years, possibly within 10, of peak oil itself. The price will be volatile beyond our wildest dreams (or nightmares), and the price trend will rise, although at times this will be difficult to discern through the volatility.”

Mushrooms Join List of Radiation Threats to Japan’s Food Chain

(Bloomberg) -- Mushrooms are the latest addition to threats facing Japan’s food chain from radiation spewed by Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.

Japanese towns reconsider sea walls after deadly tsunami

"I want everyone to tell their children, they must be better prepared," said Waita, 55, who moved his own house to higher ground 20 years ago after his parents warned of the area's frequent tsunamis. "If you feel an earthquake, don't wait for any announcement, just run to higher ground. I'm no scientist, but building a wall will always have limits," he said.

Fieldpower Organics signposts the way to zero-carbon farming

"I ain't no farmer", says Paul Sousek, "I had a long career in market research, but when I discovered Peak Oil in 2004 I decided to quit my job and invest my family savings in agricultural land." Paul, in his Cottage Farm in the west of England, is now a leading small-scale organic farmer, calling his brand Fieldpower Organics. He concentrates on zero-carbon farm practices. He decided to implement his own style of organic farming with near-zero use of fossil fuels, powered as much as possible by renewable energy, using local inputs and selling his produce locally, to try to create an example of a self-sufficient and resilient food supply.

Film on Climate Refugees Strikes a Chord

During the shooting of his 2010 documentary “Climate Refugees,” the Irish-American filmmaker Michael Nash visited nearly 50 countries in about 18 months, interviewing politicians, scientists, health workers and victims of floods, cyclones, hurricanes and droughts.

His conclusion was that short- and longer-term changes in climate are causing vast numbers of people to abandon their jobs, homes and countries to seek better lives elsewhere, or to simply survive.

Strange bedfellows indeed...

The Pentagon's struggle to become green gets (political) help from the environmental movement

In the war of words about climate change and the need for renewable energy, environmentalists have a new friend.

The Pentagon is going green, embracing energy efficiency at every turn and moving toward bio-fuels and other alternative energies.

"All through the military today there is a new culture - of how we can do more with less energy," former Sen. John Warner, a Virginia Republican, told members of the City Club of Cleveland on Friday.

See: http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2011/08/the_pentagons_strugg...


Hi, Paul

Not only do environmentalists have a 'friend' in the military, so do those of us who are concerned about PO.
When I first enquired about PO to our (Cdn) federal government and got the "It's only a theory... not a problem, sir" response from NRCan, I turned to the military on the assumption that if PO were a legitimate concern, defence analysts would surely be onto it.

The US Army Corps of Engineers were very quick off the mark, only months after the release of the Hirsch Report, and there has been a surge of interest in energy security & PO from the military/security sector during the past six years.
More importantly, the literature from this sector has been quite unanimous re PO: I have yet to find a study from this sector which dismisses PO as alarmist nonsense, etc.
If anyone is aware of such a study, please advise.

This biblio is due for an update (it lacks the best of the bunch, last year's Bundeswehr study):

We should encourage military analysts and civilian emergency planners to attend ASPO-Washington in November. Both groups could be very helpful in building awareness where it might actually bring results.

Thanks, Rick, for these links; much appreciated. I've skimmed through a couple references and will read a few more as time permits.


Hi, Paul

I'm glad that you're finding it useful.
If I may, there are a few studies which stand out (for various reasons). In no particular order, I would recommend:
- 2008 by Maj. Jeckell which also has an extensive biblio, so between the two biblios you would have most of the publicly-available literature, I would think.
- 2009 by Marsh from RAF which is a bit soft on PO as I recall but he is the only serving officer that I'm aware of who has publicly (but very respectfully) called for MOD to be included in UK gov't analyses of energy security. That's what should be happening in Canada (not sure re USA... I would think that DOD would certainly be included in any such analysis by feds).
- 08 & 07 by Lt. Col. Danny Davis, who was slated to present at last year's ASPO but got stuck overseas. I hope he is included by ASPO once he's back home.

And of course the Bundeswehr study, which is in a class by itself:

Thanks, Rick. I read your review and the translation of Section 2.2. I think I'll now pour myself a nice stiff drink !



You commented about the US awareness but you did not say what the Canadian military said. I am under the impression that they are aware (at least some of their students are, based on various publications/theses from at least one Canadian military college), but I am less certain about the more 'formal' military apparatus. Are they following along the lines of the government.
Also, do you have any ideas how the military views climate change, and its responses to it.

Many thanks


Hi, Don

The Canadian military has been wonderfully receptive on this issue, much more so than our media, which came as a great surprise at both ends (ie. that the military would be so approachable, and that media would be so disinterested).

Prior to 2009, there were no theses re. PO from Cdn Forces College, but in 09 & 2010 there were at least five which dealt with PO and other aspects of energy security, I believe.
Cdn Forces sent an analyst to ASPO-Washington last year, which was a first. I hope they will send someone this year as well. I also think it would be most enlightening if someone from Public Safety Canada and especially NRCan attended.
Dave Hughes, who has done excellent work on fossil fuel issues here in Canada (and has presented at ASPO over the years, etc), has made formal presentations to leading Cdn Forces analysts in Ottawa and Kingston, so they have Dave's latest data and his concerns.

The 2009 Future Security Environment (listed in biblio) is significant insofar as it is endorsed by DND"s Chief of Force Development, not just the opinion of an officer-candidate (as with CFC theses). The FSE regards PO seriously and warns, "... the world will face oil shortages and disruptions, rising prices and increased competition" (p. 41).

Bottom line: during almost five years of examining reports from DND and DRDC, discussions with various Defence analysts, etc I have never sensed that the PO issue is regarded by them as premature alarmism, unfounded fear-mongering, "just a theory," etc.
In my opinion, DND analysts are well-informed, very willing to probe and ask hard questions, and have a view which is long-term, practical and is mindful of human nature & its potential effects.
Hence the value of these analysts on such issues, which is why Officer Marsh has called for their inclusion in UK gov't studies of energy security. We need their perspective, which is a rather unique one. I think they also have a low tolerance for BS and would be quick to call people on unfounded optimism, rosy projections based on shaky assumptions, etc.

I also think that military personnel are more concerned than their civilian counterparts regarding the need for a viable government plan for oil supply shocks. As the Bundeswehr study stresses, the real threat of a major oil shock is not that militaries might have trouble "fueling the troops." Rather, the issue is more fundamental and more pervasive: it's a matter of fueling the economy which funds the military.
The Bundeswehr section on Tipping Points explains how this chain of events could get rolling & run away on us.
Under such circumstances, the military (in any country) may find itself with the dual problem of having to assist in maintaining order on the home front, even while under severe fiscal constraints.

In summary, I'm nothing but impressed by what I've seen from Canadian Forces analysts. Of course I have no sense of how high up the command chain this information has gone or what the response to it might be. Indeed, the primary role of Defence analysts at such moments has been to receive and discuss information & concerns, not to provide their information/responses to outsiders, which is entirely appropriate. I'm just thankful that they have been willing to thoroughly explore the data, trends and our concerns, which is more than we can say for many other sectors of our society.

I'm sorry, I really haven't followed the literature on CC to the same degree... I can barely keep up with the info on PO and fuel emergency planning. But CC is certainly viewed as a threat multiplier as well as a problem in its own right.
The Centre for Naval Analyses did an excellent study a couple of years ago:


Send me an eMail (link via name to my profile) and I will send you a draft for your review.

Best Hopes,


Thanks for this very informative response. Can you tell me if the medical people (in the broadest sense) in the military are as attuned to the issues of peak oil as the military in general. I am a physician (public health and pediatrics) very interested in this area but have had virtually no luck in interesting either the public health people in Canada (or in Alberta, especially) or the academic medical community. There just seems to be one great big wall of denial or a lack of imagination as to how PO will affect both the health of people, but our ability to deliver health care. The fact that the economy might take a big hit, that transport will be compromised, that globalization will be increasingly problematic, that adequate food supplies and access might no longer be a tenable assumption, just is not in the mindset.


I have been in and worked with/for the U.S. military for 23+ years.

I wish I could see evidence that the U.S. military is taking energy usage reduction as seriously as you say the Canadian Forces are.

I have (and still do) work with folks from airmen Basics (similar to a private in the Army) to Generals, and the equivalent 'ranks' in the U.S. Federal Civil Servant (General Schedule, or GS) folks as well.

I would desperately like to say that I have seen concern from this spectrum of folks at many different places, times, and rank structures about Peak Oil (I have worked with National Labs folks and even RAND once)...but I have not noted this concern.

Yes, Nellis AFB installed a PV array. Yes, Minot AFB gets most of its trons (when able) from the two large wind turbines South of the town of Minot. Yes, the AF and Navy and Army are interested in biofuels for their machines, and the Army is interested in some PV and smaller wind turbines and fuel cells to power remote bases.

I give credit where it is due...but I hope no one is getting the idea that energy use reduction is Job One for the military....if I were to have my clients structure a list of things they are worried about, reducing energy list would be way down that list.

The stuff they are talking about is akin to putting a band-aid on a massive wound with a large artery spraying blood all over the place.

The very best and biggest and most profound thing the military could do to help with Peak Oil would be to be vocal advocates for ending our current occupations and much more importantly, advocating for the U.S. to greatly reduce its overall use of oil, through whatever it takes,,,subsidizing more efficient vehicles, heavily taxing oil use, etc.

Running some 50/50 biofuels in some jets and ships and fielding some hybrid vehicles are very marginal in effect and profound green-washing.

Cut our overall oil use, and the reason for us being 'over there' and continually sowing the seeds for blow-back will disappear.

But....there is too much profit in the war machine for it to even consider putting itself 75% out of business.


Send me an eMail (clink my name for the profile) and I will send you a draft for your review. Aimed for Joint Force Quarterly.

Best Hopes,


No quarrel with any of your observations.
I did not say that Cdn Forces are taking energy reduction seriously, only that I believe that they take PO seriously.
That said, I believe that Cdn Forces are looking at ways to reduce energy, though I have little evidence to prove that point. There should be good info at DRDC's website which would describe DND's efforts at energy reduction.

There is plenty of evidence re US military efforts in that regard. You have mentioned some of them and RADM Rice listed several others at last year's ASPO conference. The most comprehensive evidence of such efforts is probably at Andy Bochman's DOD Energy Blog, which has critiqued such efforts for several years:

But DOD's efforts (and perhaps those of Cdn Forces as well) bring us back to one conclusion: there are almost no alt-energy initiatives that demonstrate clear advantages over conventional sources.
As for RAND, their recent study on alt-energy was hardly encouraging, which confirms the point (we must try, but don't expect too much):

I believe that most military energy analysts would agree that petroleum is pretty special stuff and will be very difficult to replace.
That observation should be a red flag to the rest of us, since no sector has tried harder to make alt-energy work than the military.


Thanks for your insights and your links...I will read them tomorrow after work...getting late...

Hi again, Don

No, I'm afraid that there is nothing that I can provide re. public health aspect.
I presume that you are already aware of the work of Dan Bednarz, etc on this aspect, but there is nothing more that I can add.
The public health & hospitals aspect is closely connected to emergency response ("police, fire & ambulance") but I continue to be dismayed by the lack of awareness (& even when they are alerted, lack of interest) among many emergency planners. There have been a few exceptions of course, and I can fully understand their predicament (endless red tape, requests for plans for every conceivable mishap, certification, drills & exercises, etc.), but the lack of attention at the highest level (Public Safety Canada and DHS) is really quite inexplicable.

The oil supply issue strikes me as both high probability and very high consequence, which ought to put it near the top of the priority list for EMs at every level.
But so far the issue of oil shocks does not seem to even be on their radar. Rather, emergency managers seem focused on cyber attacks, social messaging during emergencies, and issues surrounding their own professional certification.
I think they are missing a whopper of a threat, especially when we seem so ill-prepared: our legislation and our government plans for oil supply emergencies are in urgent need of re-examination.


You might be interested in this essay and the following discussion:


I had read, with some ambivalence, JMG's essay a few days ago. Today I went to the website and read some of the discussion, not all of it, just enough to get a flavour. No comment on the discussions.
JMG makes some very good points in the essay. Some of his points reflect seriously bad luck in choosing a doctor and I think his comments about censuring poor physicians are all too correct, although the situation is improving. His comments about the costs to the individual reflect the American system and I can't comment about that because I practice (or more correctly,did practice) in the Canadian health care system, which, while not perfect, is vastly more equitable and effective than the American one. You may be put on a wait list for various procedures, such as a hip replacement, but at least you get on the wait list, and ultimately you do not pay for it directly.
I am less comfortable with his comments about alternative medicines. It just is not that simple. I think that some are very useful but that many are unproved and potentially harmful; we just don't know. There is a great need to explore these alternative approaches systematically to determine which ones are useful and which are not. I have a colleague who is doing just that -- within Academic medicine -- and is well accepted for her position. Certainly the public uses them a lot and many physicians are quite OK with their patients trying them out.
The essay is good in that it provokes discussion, but it is not one of his best by far.

A very huge problem that I see with the medical care system (public health care, acute health care, whatever) is that it is predicated on the maintenance of Business As Usual: A stable economy, A stable environment, A stable society, Appropriate infrastructure, Adequate resources, etc. Each of these is highly problematic and there is a great need for a reassessment of the Dependencies of medical care and also what may be realistic health care in the future. This is just not taking place.


Can I interject some reality into what is just another example of modern American inanity?

How is spending trillions of dollars on occupations in the Middle East green?

How is having 900 bases scattered around the world green?

How is spending more on the military than most of the rest of the world combined green?

First, let's talk about ending the wars and liquidating the bases. Then, let's talk about being green.

Fools and idiots! Dear God I hate what this place has become.


I have been holding myself back from making the same comment...except for your last sentence, which is certainly your prerogative.


Of course you are correct.
But the focus of the article was on alt-energy, which or may not be all that "green." I do believe that the US military is trying as hard as any sector to find suitable replacements for petroleum-based fuels and ways to conserve energy (but only within the context of their ever-more energy-intensive weapons & tactics, which is a bit of a contradiction).

My point was that the military (most notably in the USA & Germany) have openly expressed concerns regarding PO, even as civilian authorities tell us PO won't be a problem for decades and by then we'll surely have the next technological breakthrough, etc.
In that respect their concerns provide legitimacy/confirmation of our concerns, which other voices continue to dismiss.

Petroleum has been vital to military forces for over a century, and until that miracle breakthrough occurs, people may have little choice other than to fight for oil, as they have for many decades.

As for hating what this world (or did you just mean USA?) has become, one might argue that little has changed: there has never been a shortage of humans who are happy to exploit the cheap labour of others. In ancient times (and in pre-bellum America and Nazi Germany) people were enslaved so that others could enjoy the benefits of their hard labour.
Now we have 'energy slaves' which are far more productive, and upon which we have become utterly dependent. I expect that there will be a great willingness to fight to keep them, especially among those who benefit most from them.

Well I think that military rule is certainly a possibility, as the military is the last institution that is at least somewhat reality based and competent. It's what Eisenhower warned about years ago. Eventually the military would just sort of take over.

But it's not just a minor contradiction. It's a complete and total contradiction. American Empire and current military spending is unsustainable, and anything which is unsustainable is not green.


It's called doing the wrong thing well. It is better to do the right thing a bit poorly. The mil budget should be cut in half at least. Bring back zero based budgeting and justify every last damn cent. Eliminate the empire. Bring all the troops home from everywhere. Spend the money saved on replacing whatever oil is protected by our current empire. And quit contracting everything out.

I agree with your second point and especially your last... not so sure about the rest.
How would you replace whatever oil protected by current empire? Is Canada included in that empire? (just joking on that last point, though there is an element of truth)

Eliminate the empire. Bring all the troops home from everywhere.

That would mean stepping down from "super power" status, because then the USA would no longer be projecting power across the globe. G'luck selling that to the populace.

I think it would be easy to sell a cut in military power. First, let the users pay for the service by funding the DOD with a tax on imported oil and oil products. Then, bring back the draft in the form of universal service to provide "low cost" soldiers, instead of using professional contractors. I would bet that the average person in the US would swiftly vote to cut spending and bring their children home from involvement in dubious foreign escapades...

E. Swanson

Then, bring back the draft...

Excuse me for saying so, but that doesn't sound so easy ;)

But, there's no easy solution, is there? I'm assuming that the import tax is implemented, once the cuts in government spending by the Tea Party types takes effect and there's no other way to fund the $1,000 Billion we now spend on the MIC. If the public (especially the Tea Party conservatives) really wants a strong military and objects to paying for it directly, then paying with the blood of their children might be a direct way to meet their demand. One might think that those with lots of children would gladly send them off to war, since resource wars would be an expected consequence of their excess additions to population...

E. Swanson

While I'm not a supporter of our various military entanglements, or the MIC, I had a train of thought this morning which goes something like this :-

Corporations are now global.
Corporations that aren't making money in the US will look to overseas markets.
Corporations do not swear oaths of loyalty to countries.
Corporations that make military hardware, therefore, will seek other outlets if US funding gets cut, in order to maintain profits.
So if DoD isn't buying the stuff, which countries will be the beneficiaries ?

Perhaps it is out of fear of someone else getting the edge, militarily, that we are not going to see funding cut dramatically.

Corporations do not swear oaths of loyalty to countries.

A good argument against corporate personhood!
(Or for making corporations take that oath.)

Well it doesn't have to be an all or nothing affair. We have bases all over the planet. It is costly and redundant. It makes us less safe. So start closing down some of the more pointless ones. Overseas military bases are some of the worst government spending . . . at least domestic spending acts as a stimulus to local businesses. But I assume that these overseas bases are largely locally supplied thus we are just shipping money overseas. And to the degree that they are not locally supplied then it is an extremely long and oil-intensive supply chain . . . oil that is mostly from foreign nations. So either way we are just giving our tax money away to foreign countries with such bases.

Thanks, I'll mull that one over. One thought -- you're coming at it from a cost-analysis angle, which is fine, but it really doesn't cover the whole picture, does it? Isn't hegemony/intimidation a large part of it?

Fools and idiots! Dear God I hate what this place has become.

You are surprised? It would seem that as people learn more about energy and alt energy issues, from this website for example, and they apply that knowledge to their worldview, they progress to a perfectly acceptable conclusion. For example, there are now excellent technical defenses and explanations for hydraulic fracturing around here, and at a higher level a debunking of Gasland itself. Explanations of shale gas supply couched in pessimistic terms, with the implications of how it has completely reversed US natural gas supply outlooks hidden within it. A diminished focus on peak oil and heightened focus on alt energy and how well mitigation has negated its effects, a lack of focus on the politics of demanding global oil supply (as you have noted, in exasperation), and a general leaning towards a point of view which, for lack of a better term, isn't as "nutty" as it once was. Defense of BAU just comes with the territory.

This place may be less nutty than it once was, but I don't think defense of BAU has anything to do with it.

There are many factors at work, but I think the main one is that oil hit $150 a barrel, and we didn't end up living in caves scrounging for mushrooms. The natural gas cliff many of us were expecting - which seemed even more inevitable than peak oil - did not materialize. The financial crisis of 2008 did not result in tanks in the streets and store shelves empty. I think it's become clear that the system is not the brittle house of cards many of us feared. Rather, it's got huge inertia, and will continue to stagger on in a semblance of BAU far longer than most of us originally expected.

It's not so much defense of BAU as acknowledgment of reality.

As for the "green military" story - I doubt many here are all that thrilled at the idea of a greener military. The interest comes from the fact that the military seems to understand peak oil. They are preparing for resource constraints and climate change, even while the politicians say whatever they need to say to get elected.

I think you are being a little overly dramatic here Leanan.

The financial crisis of 2008 did not result in tanks in the streets and store shelves empty.

Who among us predicted that any such thing? Though things could have gotten much, much worse had all those major banks been allowed to fail, along with the world's largest insurance company, AIG. But it didn't happen because we took action to prevent it. But of course one cannot prove a negative so a lot of very uninformed people will continue to claim that nothing would have happened had we not acted to prevent the total collapse of our financial system.

Of course there are always crazies who predict total collapse every time there is a glitch in the economy. But by and large predictions made here on TOD have been pretty close except for some who predicted a much steeper decline in world oil production. I, personally, have predicted that the decline will start sometime around mid 2012. But it could very easily be a year or two later. Very high oil prices have had a way of bringing out the drilling rigs, keeping old fields producing well past their peak reserves.

But some have been far more accurate in their predictions than others. I would like to call attention to a few very accurate predictions by Gail, made in January 2008 well before the onset of the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Peak Oil and the Financial Markets: A Forecast for 2008

We are not all crazies around here. Some of us make predictions that are uncannily accurate.

Ron P.

Who among us predicted that any such thing?

Supposedly, the "tanks in the streets" thing was how they convinced Congress to go along with the bailout for billionaires.

As for store shelves empty...Stoneleigh, of course. She feared that disruption of credit would mean it would be impossible to pay for the shipment of goods.

I am not being over-dramatic. It's really interesting to read the older comments. This used to be much more doomer central. At one point, it really did seem impossible that BAU would continue with oil at $100. It's changed a lot over the years, but so gradually that it's been little noticed.

But of course! Now I see where you are coming from. All those those things were predicted to happen if there were no bailout. And they very likely would have happened.

And your term "bailout for billionaires" shows exactly where your bias is. A lot of billionaires lost their shirts in the near collapse.

If all those banks were allowed to fail, and AIG had been allowed to fail, it would have caused the collapse of the entire financial system, first the US financial system then the world financial system. But in your eyes only "billionaires" were bailed out.

Like I said, one cannot prove a negative. So nothing will convince those who think only billionaires were bailed out that it was actually the world's financial system that was actually bailed out. So I will not try. But remember, all this happened during Bush's last year in office. I am a liberal Democrat and the last thing I would wish to do would be to give Bush credit. Actually his policies caused it all, but his cabinet saved us in the end.

Did you not see the HBO special "Too Big to Fail"? In 2008, the fate of the world's economy was decided in a matter of weeks. And you think it was only "billionaires" who were bailed out.

Ron P.

I think you're reading too much into one phrase. It's just a convenient, and to my mind, humorous shorthand reference to the events of 2008.

And whether the bailout was the right thing to do or not has nothing to do with my point. My point is that TOD has become less doomerish, not because of denial or blind faith in BAU, but because of world events.

Nevertheless it was, at best, a Freudian slip.

Perhaps TOD has become less doomerish, perhaps not. How more doomerish was TOD three years ago? I personally have not become less doomerish and I think I can say the same for a few other TOD contributors as well. I know of no one who predicted the collapse this early, though we did come breathtakingly close in 2008. But we were saved by... err wait... we went over that didn't we?

But back to doomerism. WT, Sam, and several others have noted that world net oil exports peaked in 2005 and I am predicting that they will never come close to the 2005 level again. So as far as all importing nations are concerned, crude oil peaked in 2005. But as far as pure production goes, we have been on a plateau for 6 years. And I am predicting we will fall off that plateau by 2012 or soon thereafter. And total collapse will not happen until about 5 years later, in about 2017.

I differ in that prediction from perhaps most on this list who think there will be a gradual slide down, lasting perhaps twenty to thirty years. I respect your opinion, but I think you are mistaken.

Doomer Ron P.

I find it interesting how different societies react differently to diminishing circumstances.

So far, as far as I know, the Japanese people have remained calm and peaceful in the aftermath of the tsunami and the Fukushima nuclear incidents.

Prior to that has been the great stagnation of the Japanese economy.

Back in 1941 when they perceived their backs being against the wall, the government of Japan embarked on conquest as the answer.

Perhaps now, the Japanese accept and even may embrace the idea of allowing their population to age and shrink, eventually reaching a better balance with their island home.

Looking at another island..the United Kingdom...the English portion has instances now where folks have taken to the streets, ostensibly about a wrongful shooting by the police, but some commentators say that underneath this is despair regarding a stagnant economy and lack of opportunities and wealth disparity etc.

The Russian people and the Cuban people each have weathered stagnation and a decline in their economies (measured in classic monetary terms), but have adapted without widespread violence...of course, those countries have autocratic government which would strongly repress uprisings...

Then there is the 'Arab Spring'...uprisings in countries with potentially or actually violently repressive governments...and then there is is Pakistan, which has not seen /large scale/ rioting and violence, even after their devastating floods.

I think a key determinant between a more gradual and peaceful descent and crash scenarios lies in the resilience and stoicism of the people involved, combined with the nature of government input into the situation.

It is a real shame that these types of discussions occur only in isolated internet enclaves, rather than in the 'mainstream media' with our elected politicians and the people...

Sometimes I wonder if the U.S. has started to formulate contingency plans 'behind the green door' to deal with national and World decline.

Such planning seems to me to be a natural offshoot of the 'Continuity of Government' contingency plans alleged to exist for dealing with nuclear war catastrophes...



Although these COG plans may have some justifications for certain events, they are not what we need to plan for the descent we have entered (Long Emergency, Power Down, etc). We need a open, honest, data-driven, realistic on-going discussion and planning and implementation process.

Perhaps the Japanese will serve as our model?

Heisenberg, I think two factors determine whether people take to the streets and riot or whether they just sit down and accept their fate, and eventually starve if it comes to that. The first factor is what they are used to. People who have known nothing but hunger will not riot when things get a little worse, then a little worse than that. They will just quietly accept their fate.

And the second factor is how fast it happens. If it comes on gradually, over a decade or so, then they are far less likely to riot. This was the case with Japan, where it never really got that bad, and also with Russia. Russia had been in the doldrums for years before the final collapse. The collapse was not that much worse than what they had been used to.

The people most likely to riot and blame politicians, businessmen and everyone else for their predicament are the newly disenfranchised. Food riots happen among people who are used to eating when they are hungry. If suddenly they are unable to do that then they take to the streets and take out their anger on businesses, the police and anyone else that they believe are not one of "them". After all, "they" are to blame, whomever "they" are.

Ron P.


Your thinking on this issue seems sound.


Japan has no immigration (virtually) so there aren't any influxes of young people from more crowded youthful countries suddenly getting mad because the cupboard is bare. Instead there is a huge disproportionate number of older people (who were born in the boom years before and after the war) who are gradually losing their youthful vitality---they will not be rioting in the streets; they often can't drive (cars came in the 1950s and 1960s) so they don't care about gasoline prices, and they eat less every year because they are aging. The younger people are not expecting to find good jobs, they have stopped caring about buying things: the older generation with its acquisitiveness. materialism seems out of touch....These middle aged people in their 40s and 50s have the cars and the houses and the toys but they are the most pitied of all because they seem so uncool, all weighed down with stuff, fat, rich, encumbered, overdressed, infantile and demanding. The people in their 80s look lean and remember villages and walking everywhere. Now their outlook born in scarcity is getting dusted off and reexamined I think by the younger set. It's cool to be free of too many material things.

I'd heard this about the younger generation in Japan. It seems hard to credit from a US perspective. Here, everyone old and young still wants more stuff.

As for whether there will be rioting in the streets...more and more, I think it's a matter of culture more than anything else. There have been widespread public protests in Europe, but they have a tradition of doing that kind of thing that we don't have in the US.

There have been widespread public protests in Europe, but they have a tradition of doing that kind of thing that we don't have in the US.


[thinks of the War of Independence, the Civil War, the veterans' protests in the 20s and 30s, various strikes, civil rights/affirmative action protests in the 60s, Vietnam war protests ...]

I blame high-fructose corn syrup, sports, shopping malls, and the cult of celebrity -- the methadone, Vicodin(R), morphine, and heroin of the people -- for this recent passivity.

Not really, of course. That would be making the Fundamental Attribution Error.

The real issue is that since Reagan broke unions, there has been no power to counter that of capitalists.

I have for many years thought that the board game Monopoly(TM or R) was a very good simulation of capitalism in a resource-constrained environment.

The standard rules of Monopoly are like the USA's economy. Most players that I've played with like to amend the rules, introducing effective capital taxes and income support, as in Europe. They seem to think it makes for a better game.

Nevertheless it was, at best, a Freudian slip.

I've grown quite fond of Darwinian's tenacious nature (our very own Tenacious D, heh). Ron, I wish you'd jump into the climate debate fray with equal vigor :)

Ron, I wish you'd jump into the climate debate fray with equal vigor :)

No, I will not, for two reasons. But first... I believe global warming is a serious threat and I do believe it is largely caused by humans.

It's just that I also believe that the consequences of peak oil will hit much sooner and will cause much more pain and misery. It may take 50 years or more before the serious consequences of global warming are felt but by that time world oil production will be a fraction of what it is today and it is highly likely the population will also be a fraction of what it is today.

The second reason is I believe there is nothing that can, or will, be done to mitigate global warming. In just a few years we will all be in a struggle for survival and climate change will be the last thing on people's mind.

Of course there is nothing we can do to stop petroleum production from peaking either. But because it will happen much faster and the effects much more dramatic, I just find it far more interesting to read and talk about.

Someone a few months ago accused me of being obsessed with peak oil. I am guilty as charged. As I said then, when you are watching the end of the world as we know it unfold right before our eyes, it is just hard to take your eyes off it.

Ron P.

...when you are watching the end of the world as we know it unfold right before our eyes, it is just hard to take your eyes off it.

Ain't that the truth! I'm with ya. It just irks me when I see some of the ignorance displayed in the so-called "climate debate." That's when I wish for a bulldog like yourself :)

My point is that TOD has become less doomerish, not because of denial or blind faith in BAU, but because of world events.

I agree. Once the triggers for disaster came, and went, in conjunction with a recession and results of American overspending and imaginative financing, the world didn't end. Some at this website noticed, and began discounting the effects of those triggers the next time around.

Reading a history book or two would have led to the same evolution I bet. Websites are almost like an autonomous organism, learning as they go. TOD learned that the resource scarcity didn't cause the world end in this round (any more than it did in the other rounds) and odds are, won't cause it to end in the future.

... the world didn't end.

Every time I see a consoling thought pattern like this one, I am reminded of the joke that ends with the punch line:

"What do you mean, we, Kimosobee?"

It starts with the Lone Ranger and Tonto being surrounded by thousands of Indians and nowhere to run.

The Lone Ranger turns to Tonto and says. "Well, good friend, looks like we are done for it."

Same thing with TEOTWAWKI theories.

When "it" comes, there are going to be some who are tucked away in their survivalist camps in the mountains or behind the gates of their guarded gate McMansion communities and others who face the tanks alone on streets of the city slums. No one knows for sure which place he or she will be in when that TEOTWAWKI scene plays out.


Damn, I respect you but you are totally out to lunch when you say:

If all those banks were allowed to fail, and AIG had been allowed to fail, it would have caused the collapse of the entire financial system, first the US financial system then the world financial system.

Haven't you figured out that the global financial system is going to collapse anyway...only worse by kicking the can down the road? Horribly worse! Nothing has been fixed! It's been a busy day from cleaning up the grounds at the Grange Hall to stuff at home so I don't feel like doing a full fledged rebuttal to your post. And, frankly, I'm tired of doing that sort of thing. People can believe what they want..including you.

Let's compare notes when mark to fantasy and the shift from private profit to public loss comes down and all the financial institutions are in the can.


Todd, for God's sake, calm down. We did not collapse in 2008 and have not collapsed yet. That's something.

I don't know what the future holds but holding out a few more years is something. Sure it just may make things worse when it does collapse but I don't really know that. That is, I don't know what a difference a decade, or almost a decade, may make.

The supermarket shelves could be empty today. They are not. There could be rioting in the streets of Main Street America today. There is not. Therefor I cannot say that the bailout was a bad thing. In fact it looks like a very good thing... so far anyway.

Todd, we must and do try to survive as long as we can. That is just in our nature. You and I, we are both old men. We could just both end it all today. But we won't. We both will try to survive another day. That is just in our nature. Is that a bad thing?

Is it a bad thing that the world as we know it survives another day. Perhaps, but it is in our nature to survive as long as possible. We just can't help it. That is the way humans behave.

The bailout enabled us to survive another day. And it is just in our nature to want to survive another day.

Ron P.

I'm with you, Darwinian.

Peak oil is far more likely to thoroughly upset the global applecart than global warming simply because global warming on a catastrophic scale is still probably a couple of decades, or maybe longer, down the road..

Peak oil is in my opinion after studying this site and a number of books closely for a couple of years is NOW, or at least headed our way fast.

Peak oil and the associated economic crash will provide us with more than enough fireworks once available crude imports shrink noticeably.

I just can't see oil/tar sand or coal to liquids or anything else ramping up fast enough to keep the sxxt out of the fan.

Greenish once remarked that we have box seats for the greatest show in history, which is just now getting going in earnest-we are still in the first act, building up to the second , which will be pure hell.

The third act -a gradual return to some sort of "New Normal" -well, we aren't likely to live long enough to see much if any of it.

"global warming on a catastrophic scale is still probably a couple of decades, or maybe longer, down the road.."

Ummmm, did you notice:
the largest fire in Arizona state history this year,
or the largest fire in NM state history,
or the smashing of record days above 100 in OK
or the smashing of record days above 100 in TX,
or the record-smashing drought in OK and TX,
or the worse drought and famine in 60 years in the horn of Africa threatening millions,
or the second year that much of Russia has been on fire,
or the extreme flooding in many parts of this country and throughout the world, again smashing records,
or the Wisconsin sized flood that hit Pakistan last year,

Any one of these might be passed off as an outlier in the random chance dice game of weather.

But taken together, along with many other extreme and record smashing events, particularly in the last 18 months, and we can see that the dice have been heavily loaded, and we will see more and more of the same and worse--far far worse, in the coming months and years.

It is true that sea rise is likely to take a bit longer to reach truly catastrophic levels for major cities (although it is already catastrophic for many island nations). But this is only one part of the effects of GW.

This video with David Wadsell


suggests that climate sensitivity to doubling of CO2 is more like 8 degrees C than the three many have been assuming. Since we're nearly half way to the first doubling, we can expect three to four degrees at least, even if we stop completely now. Since there is a lag in the system as the heat accumulates, we are only now feeling the effects of CO2 generated 30 years ago. We here know better than most how much additional CO2 was generated in the last 30 years.

I certainly hope you are right and that things develop slowly, but everything I've seen suggests that we are on a very accelerated schedule, and that the extremes that we are seeing now are the new normal, which will be quickly overtaken by even more extreme extremes, that will make ours current disasters look like a cakewalk.

Before our eyes, the precious earth is becoming unlivable for most forms of complex life.

And we made it so, and continue to make it so.


Why should we notice anything that:

... conflicts with our internal delusions?
... suggests that our stampeding herd is already at the edge of the Lemming cliff?
... means we won't be cashing in on that 401K plan we have been dumping our savings into all these years?

There have been many changes in the global financial system since 2008. One example is Basel III requirements currently being implemented by banks.

My explanation of what would have happened if Bush appointee and former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson hadn't saved the world financial system is very simple. ATM's would have shutdown and no cash would have been available. You can use your imagination to figure out what that would have led to.

The TED Spread is a good metric for systemic bank issues. The spread gets larger when times are rough. The link has a graph that can be adjusted for a 5 year view and what happened in 2008 is very noticeable.

EDIT: Added TED Spread

Haven't you figured out that the global financial system is going to collapse anyway...only worse by kicking the can down the road?

1) He's not gonna admit he's wrong.
2) When you have a background as an economist - "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it" - you're going to see keeping that system up and running as important.

1) Wrong about what? My point was that we all try to survive another day therefore it was not wrong just to let everything collapse and die now. I am still alive, my children and grandchildren are still alive today. And we all know where our next meal is coming from. And you think I should admit that it is wrong to be pleased with that? No, I will not.

2) For the second time, I am not an economist, have never been an economist and have no background as an economist. This is the second time you have assumed that I was an economist. No, I am not and have never claimed that I was.

Ron P.

So you have no degrees in economics?

No and I have never claimed that I did. I have never claimed to even have worked in any field remotely related to economics. (Unless you would consider my six month stint as a stockbroker as being in economics.) I was in electronics all my working life except for the six months I tried my hand as a stock and commodities broker. That was when I figured out the word "stockbroker" was just a fancy word for "salesman". I quit and went back to computer hardware.

Ron P.

As for the "green military" story - I doubt many here are all that thrilled at the idea of a greener military. The interest comes from the fact that the military seems to understand peak oil. They are preparing for resource constraints and climate change, even while the politicians say whatever they need to say to get elected.

Leanan hit the nail on the head here. Peak oil is the elephant in the room when it comes to the US Government. Just about every agency ignores or dismisses the issue. The interesting thing about the "green" or "alt fuel" stories about the military are NOT that the military cares about the environment(yeah right), but rather that the military is the one branch of the government which is reacting to and actually planning for a future where there is less available oil.

In essence, the military is "prepping" for peak oil, which makes the story relevant. This is the same sort of subtile prepping that we've seen in increasing the fuel efficiency standards for cars, or introducing standards for trucks. Baby steps for sure, but confirmation that the inevitability of peak oil is slowly being understood. Unfortunately, these baby steps aren't anywhere near bold enough to make a significant difference.

I'm eager to see someone or some culture take PO seriously, who also has the ear of the leadership.

I think it's very helpful to have those embroiled in the 'Art of the Possible' given a front-row seat for viewing just how possible and desirable independent, renewable energy sources can be.

Sweden plans to be First Oil Free Economy


The Social Democrat Gov't lost the next election (2007 ?) and TODer Magnus Redin was closely involved in energy and environmental policy with the new Moderate Party Gov't.

I always thought that the SD plans were wildly optimistic. None-the-less, a number of steps to "pave the way" were implemented and continued by the Moderates. An oil free alternative is being pursued on several fronts, and oil efficiency on other fronts.

Best Hopes for Oil Free Alternatives,


The intention, the Swedish government said yesterday, is to replace all fossil fuels with renewables before climate change destroys economies and growing oil scarcity leads to huge new price rises.

Nah, they really don't mean a complete oil free economy, they just want to replace fossil fuel. They will keep the rubber tires and rubber soled shoes and all their plastic stuff. They just want to replace their fuel with renewables. That is a far more realistic goal than to replace all petroleum based products. But I think that will be difficult, to say the least.

Ron P.

Color me a bit skeptical, what with the national economy so dependent on Volvo and Saab. I love the country (I'd love to ditch this place and move there for instance), but I think it is going to be tough to ditch the oil dependency, when major local interests would be damaged.

So dependent...

Uhhh, no.

Saab says it's on track to secure $350 million dollars from Chinese investors so it can turn the lights back on and fill those orders. The deal is awaiting approval from the Chinese government and the European Investment Bank...


Sweden's engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Telecommunications, the automotive industry and the pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance.


Totally of topic, but now when you mention Magnus Redin is a Moderate, it just came to my mind he and I are both active at another internet forum somewhere else. Never occured to me it was the same guy, untill now. Smallish world...

Rune & Jokuhl,
I agree.
The reason that ASPO-USA now has a presence in Washington and is locating its conferences there is for the reasons that you mentioned.
Our task now is to get more of those people to attend the Nov. conference, receive the info, determine for themselves the credibility of PO analysts, ask hard questions, etc.

It's hard to think of a sector which has little need to be aware of PO, but certain sectors should be top priority in terms of encouraging them to attend:
- Emergency planners: DHS/FEMA and Public Safety Canada, state & provincial planners. Front line will be at the city/regional level, yet local authorities report having no plan and no authority to administer the sale of fuel to their citizens (ie. no means of prevent panic buying, which is step one in such emergencies). It appears that both Canada and USA have little in the way of a plan for oil shocks other than "full price pass-through" (ie. price does the allocating, not bureaucrats).
- Transportation: movement of people and goods is vital, and this is where most oil is consumed. There is progressive work (for example) in Washington State on this aspect (Kathy Leotta, etc) and perhaps other state transportation departments as well.
- Energy: it's their issue. DOE has the Hirsch Report, but where's the action? NRCan has not even done a study, yet insists, "There is no imminent peak oil challenge."
- Agri-food: USDA and AgCanada still report having done no research on PO, nor even on the much more general issue of "the end of cheap fossil fuel." Rural residents are hit extra-hard by high fuel prices (longer distances, no public transit, etc). Dr. Helen Peck did an excellent study five years ago re. disruptions to UK food supply chain... I've seen nothing comparable over here. One thing that is clear is that a fuel crisis can quickly become a food crisis was well, whether we're talking price or physical supply (for low-income folks, the result will be the same).

As with last year's National Security panel, military analysts can contribute in many ways by their involvement at ASPO:

ASPO is only about 80 days away... those of us who have contacts in such agencies should ask them to please encourage their department to send a representative.

I'm eager to see someone or some culture take PO seriously, who also has the ear of the leadership.

"Leadership" is doing just fine for those they serve.

From the original vision of the United States:

Article IV. The better to secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and intercourse among the people of the different States in this union, the free inhabitants of each of these States, paupers, vagabonds, and fugitives from justice excepted, shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of free citizens in the several States

If you are poor - you are not to have rights.

It's not so much defense of BAU as acknowledgment of reality.

Must be nice to live in some ivory tower somewhere where reality is still out of sight and out of mind. Here's just the tip of your reality...


How 46 million live on food stamps

Why don't you ask those people about their reality!

BTW I'm in the process of hiring an assistant office manager for our new warehouse, it has been a most enlightening experience. Let me tell you, there are an awful lot of very desperate people out there.

Why don't you ask those people about their reality!

A) They are not members of my country club;
B) I don't mingle with those who are beneath my station in life


The very fact that they are getting food stamps means BAU is continuing.

If you look back at the early days of this site...many of us seriously worried that $100 oil would mean mass starvation, even here in the overfed US.

The very fact that they are getting food stamps means BAU is continuing.

I'm sorry, but, 46 million Americans scraping by on food stamps, is a very far cry from business as usual, at least by my definition.

What we are seeing is perhaps a slower form of collapse than some of us would have anticipated but it is collapse nonetheless. To claim otherwise is to be in denial of reality.

It depends whether you define BAU in terms of levels or in terms of trends, Fred.

The liberal econo-blogosphere has been pointing out for some years that in the US, the proportion of of the population that needs some form of government transfer to supplement earned income has been growing steadily for the last three decades. (Tl;dr: the middle class is still being pushed downwards.)

So in terms of the trend, post-1982 BAU is continuing.

So in terms of the trend, post-1982 BAU is continuing.

OK! I'll concede that point. Though I'd argue that is a bit like agreeing with the guy, who has jumped off the top of a 50 story building, that everything is just fine, because he has given a thumbs up, as he passes the 25th floor window on his way to an encounter with the sidewalk below... It just doesn't fly!

To me, it is the very essence of BAU.

Does it mean everything's just fine? Of course not. But it's a matter of degree, not kind. We've had people on food stamps since they were invented. It's not a discontinuity. Things haven't "gone nonlinear."

Lots of people on food stamps is not great, but it's a far cry from everyone living in caves and scrounging for mushrooms.

Lots of people on food stamps is not great, but it's a far cry from everyone living in caves and scrounging for mushrooms.

When an organism dies it isn't instantly transformed into fossilized bones either. It goes through a process of decomposition. Though the general outline of the body may still be recognizable, dead is dead! Certainly a body that dies on the frozen tundra is going to take a lot longer to decompose than one the dies on the shores of a tropical lake... We in the OECD countries are dying on the tundra, it'll be a while before we are back to living in caves.

Well, that's the point, isn't it? The question is one of timing, and always has been. In the long run, we're all dead.

Hi OS,

You raise a number of good points and I would be hard pressed to offer a reasonable counter argument.

Just to be clear, I shared this article with the group because it was on topic (a bit of a rarity for me) and presumably of interest to forum members. I also knew that juxtaposing "military" and "green" would likely generate some "heat". I offered no personal take on the story other than my "Strange bedfellows indeed..." lead-in which, if anything, suggests a raised eyebrow and perhaps a half squinted eye. I figured readers could draw their own conclusions.

As for being labelled a fool and/or an idiot, truth be told, I've been called much worse. Nonetheless, name calling does little to elevate the conversation and seems rather mean spirited. If this is truly how you feel, I apologize for wasting your time.



My impression has been for some time that Oilman Sachs would do well to think (and research, and revise) for some minutes before clicking "Save". Great certainty in one's opinions is the mark of a... well, let's not go there.

You are most certainly not a fool. I highly value your stories of energy efficiency victories both small and large, and I am sure most others here do likewise. You are not wasting anyone's time. Don't let one remark put you off.

Thanks, gregvp, for your kind words; much appreciated. I know that I've said things that in hindsight could have been worded differently or should have remained unspoken. I just chalked it up to OS having an off-day.

Best regards,

Yes. I agree. It is despicable. Moreover, nobody has posted reasonably about how much energy all the wars costs. And there are blogs out there that try. Ignored.

Silence from Mainstream Oil Drum. I guess some oil. cos are paying something around the place? It sure looks like it.

Between shouting about what technotopic miracle will save you, or us, and the mildly marginal upper class rich hunkering down to grow their own veggies and have a domain with solar panels and tractors and real cool green houses and so on, minus slave labor of course, though there are desperate ppl there to help, the larger politics or the grander scale have been shunted away.

It is either details (some of the tech posts are valuable and interesting) or lame discussions from too high up, to avoid real issues, e.g. Tainter, grand sorties that are really completely meaningless, a strong bent towards Social Darwinism or naive US centered discussions about taxes, etc. etc.

Lame. Useless. This used to be a good site with some excellent comments. I haven't posted for a long time, and probably won't again.

I'm sorry about the loss. Also worried - how does a site like this get corrupted? Is it just that many older white men who have been indoctrinated in classical economics and are set on dominating a board are given a free hand? Or that some upstarts need to get some creds, need to get into a community to claim some expertise to be co-opted for well paying gigs? Or simply that all the elephants in the room must be ignored, as it is too frightening, so any ways round must be found?

I don't know but don't like it.

Sorry for the rant. I truly apologize and won't post again. I don't want to bother ppl or create an argument.

Carry on chaps! Best of luck.

Or simply that all the elephants in the room must be ignored, as it is too frightening, so any ways round must be found?

Perhaps it is a natural recognition that the elephants really weren't the elephants many assumed.

As alternatives have come online, be they windmills or PVs or outbreaks of a smart grid or conservation and substitution or EVs or new supplies of old favorites, the elephant was revealed as a mouse instead. Those paying attention, such as TOD, perhaps noticed the obvious and now move forward unencumbered by the false conclusions once so common in the debate.

I would disagree.
As a percentage of our energy supply, it's (unfortunately) still the alt-energy sources which are the mice.
There are at least three elephants in the room: coal, nat-gas and petroleum, all of them getting wobbly, but the latter seems destined to be in terminal distress in the near future.
I follow alt-energy developments as closely as most TOD observers, I think, especially the efforts by the military to incorporate them. What I see in the past few years has been a determined effort to adopt them: corn ethanol, large-scale wind & PV farms, shale gas, EVs, etc.
But what has also emerged are significant limitations on each one of them, whether it's net energy/EROEI, NIMBYism, unsustainable FIT pay-outs, environmental concerns, questionable economics, battery limitations, rare earth supply issues, infrastructure constraints, etc.

Bottom line: replacing petroleum is proving to be much more difficult than we thought.
I do not regard that as a false conclusion, though I certainly wish that it were....
Other views are welcome.

As alternatives have come online, be they windmills or PVs or outbreaks of a smart grid or conservation and substitution or EVs or new supplies of old favorites, the elephant was revealed as a mouse instead.

Still happens on these pages daily. We get told how windmills save FF's, smaller efficient vehicles, electric vehicles, more efficient trucks, use rail, use electric rail, use solar, use bio-fuels, ride a bike, walk, insulate, use LED's.............

Humans have been "saving" FF's since time immemorial. Besides being an an idiot I can't figure out where it has all been saved. The use of fossil fuels increases every year but the "trust me", "my plan is different it's the best way" and so on but all the time not one ounce of fossil fuel been saved. About the only thing humans have ever saved is gold and if it could be put to use to "save" FF's or energy there would be none of it "saved" either.

As I've said many, many times previously, unless we actually sequester, store permanently or place off limits an equivalent amount of hydrocarbons we would have burnt after beginning our use of energy efficient or renewable devices, we have achieved absolutely nothing. We have to actually prevent the person next door, down the road, in the next city, state or country using what we have "saved".

The can has been successfully kicked down the road for generations, I'm sure the next generation would love to kick it as well but the buck has to stop somewhere........unfortunately.

No matter how they say it, the renewable, electric pundits are BAU advocates, global warming denialists and personal agenda pushers. These people are just some of the bandits we will encounter as begin the slide to hell.

No matter how they say it, the renewable, electric pundits are BAU advocates, global warming denialists and personal agenda pushers. These people are just some of the bandits we will encounter as begin the slide to hell.

There are a few of us who do understand the depth and the magnitude of the required paradigm change that is needed along with the implementation of alternative energy sources for them to be effective.


This graphic of mine has been censored before, the chandelier pictured just happened to have that shape and FUK-D
is short for Fukushima Daiichi... To be clear there are quite a few renewable, electric pundits, who are indeed BAU advocates and FUK-D thinkers. On the other hand there are plenty of renewable advocates who get it!

the elephant was revealed as a mouse instead

At the start of World War II that's what many said to themselves:

See? They just wanted a little more elbow room? Peace in our times.

See? They are just rounding up the crippled old man at the end of the street and the Gypsie on the corner of the next, but how could that possibly affect me? Why should I see the mouse as instead being the tip of the elephant's toe nail?

Moreover, nobody has posted reasonably about how much energy all the wars costs. And there are blogs out there that try. Ignored.
Silence from Mainstream Oil Drum.

Gosh, and I keep asking questions that get little to no response from people who support what I'm asking questions about.

Now who here is IDed as claiming knowledge in what the military spends on and therefore would be a "valid source" of what you are seeking?

Also worried - how does a site like this get corrupted? Is it just that many older white men who have been indoctrinated in classical economics and are set on dominating a board are given a free hand?

Yup, that's me. All about classical economics AND I never, ever have a post deleted.

and won't post again.


Hmmm...the request was for an accounting of how much energy was being spent on wars....I will take that to mean 'oil' for a first-order approximation.

It is very difficult to compile that information, even for one on the inside...things are very compartmented, and much information is not eligible for general public distribution [Distribution A - Unlimited Distribution]...

Sohbet Karbuz has done his best to carefully track US military fuel consumption over the years:

Note also his 2006 Military Literature review which is listed at the bottom of this excellent article (it got me thinking about doing an updated biblio re military PO literature, which was done just before ASPO-09):

Exactly - anyone who'd claim to know based on real data was prob. lying.

While its an important question - the energy is gonna get spent so long as there are people who benefit. Someone is claiming over 10+ trillion has been "lost" in the Pentagon from 1991 this week - such budget bleeding will also consume massive energy just to justify that kind of flow of money.

The military has no choice but to become more green. The military is the biggest user of oil in the government. Actually, they are the biggest user of oil in the USA.

With inevitable budget cuts coming they know they need to lower their budgets. And I'm sure they'd rather be spending money on their salaries and fancy weapons than spending it on oil. So they really need to figure out ways of reducing their oil usage.

"According to the 2006 CIA World Factbook rankings there are only 35 countries"

Its more than the cost of oil, its mostly about logistics, supplying vast amounts of fuel to forward operating bases in contested areas, is very expensive, risky for personell, and vulnerable to enemy disruption. So anything that can cut the raw tonnage of material that has to be brought into a contested area is a bug win. So if they bring in some solar panels, and some equipment that converts cooking waste to usable fuel, the metric of merit is pounds of material that needs to be trucked, rather than the raw market cost of the renewable tech, versus the cost of fuel saved. Its much easier, to make say a solar panel, pay for its weight in oil equivalent, than to pay for itself in terms of the market price of the oil equivalent.

So they'd love to have local, and diverified sources for any fuel/energy they need, regardless of the effect on the bottom line.

I agree with the tactical issues here. Certainly force projection has been a major concern for military planners for thousands of years. I would add to this an even larger concern for domestic defense. In the case of global scale warfare, oil sources, transport and refining are critical targets to defend. The navies of of oil importing nations will be tied up escorting (or seizing) oil tankers. Ports on both end will need to be protected. Every mile of domestic oil and natural gas pipelines, as well as electrical transmission lines will need to be guarded against small scale enemy operatives, "sleeper cells" for instance. Energy must flow in the homeland to materially support sustained military efforts domestically and abroad. Energy importing nations that are not prepared to produce energy domestically will not be able to defend their borders for long.

One can go on and on in this vein. The point I'd like to make is that, whether or not military leaders "believe" in PO, they must be prepared for such scenarios. Moreover, citizens ought to demand such preparedness. Of all government institutions, security forces must take most seriously extreme crisis scenarios in which everything falls apart and fails to function as it should.

The efficient market hypothesis and all the rest does mean a damn in the midst of domestic attack. I find that conservatives who might rail against subsidies and tax credits for alternative energy have little to say when it comes to the national security issues regarding energy. That is, nobody wants to be weak on national defense simply because it isn't cost effective in the marketplace. I don't think this is really about the militaries of the world becoming "green." It's about basic preparedness in an oil dependent world.

BTW, I am not doom-and-gloom about this. I don't place a high probability on such scenarios. It is enough simply to ask "Are we prepared for this scenario or that?" If a scenario has plausibility, a reasonable flow of cause and effect, then it is not at all "alarmist" to probe the question and draw up some contingency plans.

I don't expect to die anytime soon, but I willingly pay my life insurance premiums to protect the ones I love.

I've been asking a business-minded friend who does not accept the PO hypothesis, how will the national and global economies grow supposing that oil supply does not materially expand over the present decade? It's a modest scenario, but thoroughly consistent with the last six years. Its a good starting point for meaningful discussion. It really does not matter how much stock my friend might put in imminent PO. The scenario is plausible, so how do you deal with it?

It's better to be prepared than "alarmed."


Part of my argument, was that even if PO never happens, reducing the volume of stuff needed to be shipped along supply lines is huge motivation for the military. So naturally, they are keen to look at alternative technologies.

"even if PO never happens"?
Surely it must... we are dealing with a finite substance.
Please note the last line here, from the conclusion to last Nov's Bundeswehr study:

We are unable to think about the consequences of Peak Oil via our everyday experiences, and can only draw partial historical parallels.
It is accordingly difficult to imagine what kind of impact a gradual withdrawal of one of the most important sources of energy would have on our civilization. Psychological barriers account for the suppression of irrefutable facts and lead to an almost instinctive rejection of in-depth discussion of this difficult issue.

The occurrence of Peak Oil is, however, unavoidable.
- Bundeswehr report on Peak Oil, p. 103

"even if PO never happens"?
Surely it must...

I think you misunderstood what I was saying. Aside from worries about global supply, the logistics of fuel supply, by itself is sufficient to motivate a great deal of searching for alternatives. A rhetorical point like even if, doesn't imply an endorsement, but is instead an argument, that other reasoning may be sufficient to carry the debate.

searching for alternatives

There are no alternatives

that is the real "logistics" of the problem

In the event you didn't already know:

Rick Perry to delight climate sceptics by running for president

Can the US survive with such scientific illiterates as President? Inquiring minds want to know. The Koch brothers will be very happy, though.

At the end of the Guardian article, there's a link to THIS LIST of reasons to worry about Perry...

E. Swanson

Perry won his last race with only 39 percent of the vote. More from Politifact.

Edit : Does this kind of plurality have a precedent in a Presidential election ?

Edit 2 : answering my own question, Abraham Lincoln won with 39.8%.


It would be a rather dangerous scenario if there ended up being more than two candidates running.

Why would it be dangerous? It happened in 1992, when Bill Clinton won 43% of the popular vote. No one questioned that he had the right to assume the presidency.

I think he would probably have liked to win a majority, in order to say he had a "mandate". Of course, anyone can promote 39% as being a mandate.

It's not a question of whether he had a right to assume the presidency - it's a question of how small the vote has to be to get a potentially disasterous president elected. Rick Perry is not exactly well-liked in Texas, by either party, apparently.

Your answer is wrong. A precedent is the first time it happens. John Quincy Adams set the precedent when he was elected with 29.8% of the popular vote in 1824. Lincoln was elected 36 years after Adams. Fifteen presidents have been elected with less than 50% of vote. Eighteen presidential elections have been decided with less than 50% of vote.

Thanks for the correction - it makes me even more nervous !

There are valid reasons for being nervous about Perry. The rules regarding the election is not one of them and is very off-topic for a website focused on oil issues.

Rather than whine, let me help you.

The Macondo incident was well discussed on this website and the link above states about Perry:

He even stuck by BP during the Gulf of Mexico gusher, saying the well blowout was "an act of God" and insisting that he had "full confidence" in the company's response.

An act of God is like a hurricane or an earthquake and government responses are considerably different for these. I would be interested to know more about his views regarding safe drilling practices since I'm not against oil exploration per se but am against recklessness in the pursuit of profit.

Here is our new savior's web site (just went live today):


"It's time to get America working again."

From swooning supporter SC Governor Niki Haley:

"The hardest part of my job right now is dealing with the federal government. They don't let me do my job. And what I want is a president that understands that I need the federal government to get out of the way so that I can do my job. And I will be endorsing based on that."

I want her to enumerate all the individual things the Federal government is doing and explain how these things 'get in the way', and list these items one by one and enumerate the numbers of jobs she can create for each law/regulation/etc. that is repealed. And I want that as a promise, in writing. Otherwise, she is full of condensed monkey milk.

From the link to Perry's web page section Why I'm running:

We don’t see the role of government as a nanny state, and we recognize there is no government money that wasn’t once earned through the sweat and toil of private citizens.

Perry isn't talking about fiat money or fractional reserve banking, is he? Sure, "money" to the average schmuck is what one receivers for his/her labor. But, the bankers and the financial folks on Wall street don't see it that way, since they use leverage to "make" money, literally loaning it into existence. As Chris Martenson has shown, all "money" is debit, as in, a promise to pay later for something consumed today...

E. Swanson

Thanks for posting the Perry website.

I just did a search for the words energy or oil on his website and got no hits. This certainly confirms what Rockman said earlier about him not mentioning the subject.

I don't see Perry as being against government intrusion and unnecessary expenses. In early 2007, he signed an executive order mandating that 11- and 12-year-old girls in Texas be given the vaccine Gardasil. This vaccine is for the transmitted sexual disease HPV.

The vaccination provides lifelong protection.

For those devout "Chasity before Marriage" my arguments is "Yes, perhaps, but what of her husband ? How sure are you that the future husband of your 11 year old will be a virgin on the wedding night ?"

A vaccination now protects her for the rest of her life, regardless of what happens. Even if she is raped, she will not develop cancer from that violation - a real risk w/o vaccination.

So I support Perry here.


Thanks for clarification regarding the vaccine. I had read CDC was very much in favor of the vaccine so I would agree. And many states do mandate it.

I continued researching and found there was more to this story. The Texas house didn't like this executive order and handed Perry the bill HB1098 to stop mandated vaccine. Perry didn't veto and let it go into law without signature.

Good to know the side effects and possible outcomes from the HPV vaccination - http://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv/gardasil.html

I agree with Alan. He did come down on the promotion of public health side, which is the opposite of what we have come to expect from the Evangelical side. A good decision, by a guy I hate, is still a good decision. And I would be dishonest if I didn't praise it.

Generally, on the right, it is about two things. Being forced by government into doing something. And for some, the threat of acquiring a serious disease as a result of breaking sexual taboos, is considered to be a positive.

The possiblity of vacine side effects is always blown massively out of proportion. But, the monetary cost of these vaccines is not small.

Evangelical Rick Perry supporting a 'government mandate' to prevent the spread of STDs? That should make you skeptical as to his motive. And with good reason.

Perry has several ties to Merck and Women in Government. One of the drug company's three lobbyists in Texas is Mike Toomey, his former chief of staff. His current chief of staff's mother-in-law, Texas Republican state Rep. Dianne White Delisi, is a state director for Women in Government.


It is all about money and back-scratching.

When it comes down to the bottom line. Does it really matter if the motives were right? He could have choosen to stiff those donars, and make a play for the Evangelicals. I'm sure his vaccine position is not helping him with either them, or the libertarian wing.

Now, I'm gonna turn around and argue that motive does matter, as it reflects on the character, and potential future decision making process, should the guy get real power. But, I think it at least shows some flexibility, choosing a (for him) practical route, when the easy ideological path led the other way.

It doesn't matter for this issue.

But anyone that thinks Rick Perry is worth voting for because he decided correctly on this issue is gravely misinformed. He decided purely on campaign donations and power-grabbing. He made a calculation that deciding as he did would get more money than the amount of votes he would lose. Period.

I think you are mistaken.

1. The vaccine protects you from some strains of HPV, not all. It is not a cervical cancer vaccine.
2. It is easy & cheap to protect from cervical cancer by getting a regular pap smear. Even with this vaccine, you have to get a pap smear anyway.
3. The vaccine is very expensive.
4. It has serious side effects which have killed or maimed several girls. There are serious safety issues with this vaccine.
5. Merck bribed the Texas state legislators and made them add it to the list of mandatory vaccines.
6. The government has NO right to make a vaccine mandatory unless it is for a disease that is life threatening or life altering and it is spread by casual contact. HPV infection is not spread by casual contact. Let the parents decide if their daughters need this vaccine. The government has NO right to make it mandatory.

Based on all of the information we have today, CDC recommends HPV vaccination for the prevention of most types of cervical cancer.

Its effective against the cause of 70% of the cervical cancers, so yes, it is a cervical cancer vaccine.

As to the expense of the vaccine, making it mandatory means that insurance will be required to pay for it... that makes it much cheaper for the family.

There are serious safety issues with getting cervical cancer as well...

The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for cancer of the cervix in the United States are for 2011:

•About 12,710 new cases of invasive cervical cancer (cancer that has spread beyond the cervix)
•About 4,290 deaths from cervical cancer

The vaccine has been proven effective prevention against 70% of cervical cancers, so that translates into 8897 less cases of invasive cervical cancer in the US (For someone bemoaning the one time cost of the vaccine, how would you like to get stuck with the treatment costs of the cancer) and 3003 less deaths... And this is in the US, where PAP smears are already routine. In other words, the risks of the vaccine are extremely small compared to the much larger risks of cervical cancer. Several girls might have had serious medical issues from the vaccine, but thousands would eventually die from the disease that the vaccine prevents, and even more would have to undergo extensive medical treatment for the potentially preventable disease.

80% of all sexually active people have HPV. 80%!

That means if future husband of your pure and innocent daughter has had sexual contact with as few ONE other person before marrying your daughter, the odds are that she will become infected with HPV. And even if both her and her potential husband have never had sexual contact before marriage, if he cheats on her ONE time, again, 80%. As a parent, I hope (and pray) that my two daughters are not sexually active before marriage, but even if it wasn't a mandatory vaccine in my state, I'd be lining up to vaccinate them when the for vaccination time comes (my oldest is 3, so I have about 6 years before the vaccine window opens {ages 9-26}). The vaccine isn't a blessing to go out and have premarital relations either, and making it mandatory means a parent can just tell their child that it is routine, or a vaccine against cancer, etc.

In summary, it bears repeating.

Based on all of the information we have today, CDC recommends HPV vaccination for the prevention of most types of cervical cancer.

Pap smear will detect pre-cancerous changes in the cervix. At that stage it is 100% curable. Those 12,000 women who get cervical cancer are probably the ones not getting regular pap smears because they lack health insurance or awareness of this disease. If you want to save them, tax payers should pay for their pap smears.

Even if you take Gardasil, you still have to go for regular pap smears anyway. So taking Gardasil saves you nothing.

At any rate, my point is that the government has no right to force this on anybody. If you are convinced, by all means vaccinate your daughters. I don't want my child to participate in an experiment so that big pharma executives can become rich. I don't trust the CDC and FDA to look after my interests any more than I trust SEC or the Federal Reserve to do so. There are too many drugs (e.g. Cox 2 inhibitors, Avandia) that have killed tens of thousands of people that are still on the market.

Again, one good reason to make it mandatory is so that your insurance can't weasel out of paying for a "voluntary" vaccine. Making the vaccine mandatory also sends an important signal to all health care providers that preventing up to 12,000 cases of cervical cancer every year is a goal worth aiming for. It also informs parents that getting the vaccine is in the best interest of their child unless there is some good madical reason that a particular child be excluded.

Pap smears aren't infallable, and as you mention, occasionally don't even get done. For someone who has no faith in the CDC, you sure have a lot of faith in PAP smear testing. Are the people who get false-negative results, or who fail to test at the critical moment not worth trying to save? And isn't it better to prevent the condition in the first place via the vaccination than to attempt to treat is later when found by an abnormal PAP smear (assuming it does get found)? Have you considered the cost savings in not having to "stage" and then treat 70% of the cervical cancers that those PAP smears find? Seeing as this discussion is occuring on the Oil Drum, do you believe the current level of medical care will be available in a resource constrained world, or might the time come when a "routine" PAP smear becomes not so routine?

Making the vaccine "mandatory" doesn't really make it mandatory anyway. Lots of foolish individuals refuse vaccinations of any sort for their children, including those for deadly and crippling diseases like Polio, Hib, Pneumococcal etc., so its not too hard to imagine them skipping the HPV vaccine as well. Making HPV vaccination mandatory is the right decision for the right reason (saving lives), so those who disregard the requirement are fully aware that they are making a medical decsion that in almost every case is not in the best interest of their child.

PS: The CDC (and FDA) are not a giant conspiricy created to force you to take medications that you don't need in order to enrich pharmaceutical companies. The FDA approved COX-2 inhibitors, and Avandia, for use, allowing people to choose to use them(or not) but they did not recommend either of them. I find it interesting that you criticize the FDA for not acting to pull a medication (and make it completely unavailable for voluntary consumption), when there is some evidence of harm by taking that medicine, and yet at the same time criticize the CDC for actually acting when there is clear and unmistakeable evidence of harm in not vaccinating. As for vaccines, they are the only tool in the medical bag that actually prevent disease instead of just treating it. From a profit perspective, it is much more profitable for a drug company to create medicine to treat the condition, which they can then sell to you for the rest of your life, than to license and sell a vaccine.

I read the official vaccine adverse response database summary and found it unremarkable.

Truth in advertising: I am not a doctor, or in the medical field, but am a critical thinker who subscribes to the scientific method.

My wife and I weighed the evidence, talked to our daughter, and she received the vaccination w/o any adverse effects.

The reactions listed seem no worse than those experienced with other vaccinations. When I had my annual flu plus pneumonia and tetanus I ended up with pain and swelling in both sites plus felt rough for a couple of days. It is the body's reaction to the simulated infection and is the idea of a vaccination, stimulating the immune system. OTOH if I get flu I am wiped out for 2 weeks and have been unconscious, in one infection, for 3 days so I am quite happy to only have such minor issues that I have with the vaccinations.

The other point with a vaccination campaign for HPV is that it will decrease the amount of virus in the wild and reduce the chances of people being exposed to the virus in the first place.


Yes, it seems to be a very safe vaccine, as vaccines go.

To me, vaccination is a no-brainer. Peak oil might mean medical care is not as accessible or affordable as it is now (and sanitation might not be what is now); vaccinations seem like one of the best investments you can make.

As for Gardisil...seriously, Pap smear or no, who would choose cervical cancer if they could avoid it? Hysterectomy, radiation treatment, chemo - and not everyone survives, even if it's caught early.

HPV causes cancer and thus it is called as a 'cancer vaccine' even though that is a nonsensical statement since cancer is not a pathogen that you can immunize yourself from.

Oh but it gets worse.

With Texas' minimal regulation and low taxes -- and Perry's cheerleading -- a spike in job growth during the past few years became known as the Texas Miracle. The rise in oil and gas prices, as well as a long-time state law protecting homeowners, helped stave off the recession for a while. And as a result, a miracle myth was created, with little exploration as to what impact Perry's policies actually had on the economic picture. The miracle is that anyone would call minimum-wage jobs a miracle. Of the all the jobs in Texas created last year, 37 percent paid at or below minimum wage -- and the state leads the nation in total minimum wage workers, according to a recent New York Times report.

"The important thing to do is not to just count jobs but to look at what kinds of jobs are being created in Texas," explained Dick Lavine, a Senior Fiscal Analyst with the Center for Public Policy Priorities. "Texas is tied for last with Mississippi for the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs and Texas is by far the leader of residents who don't have health insurance. It's low wage jobs without any benefits."

This resonates with Gibbs at the ARCH, which created a 100-bed unit on the third floor for homeless night-shift workers who needed a place to sleep during the day. These workers, Gibbs said, included bakers from downtown hotels who simply couldn't afford Austin rents.


Bellow minimum wave jobs, is that even legal?

I think you only have to pay federal minimum wage if there is any federal money involved. If you do not do any work, even as a sub-contractor, to federal programs your wages are only controlled by state law. So the reference to "minimum wage" probably refers to federal law.


Federal minimum wage applies to all 'covered' jobs, but not to 'exempted' jobs.

There is absolutely zero connection with a job being funded in whole or in part by Federal money.

An example of an exempted job is wait staffing, where the waitstaff is allowed to collect tips.


Employers of tipped employees (i.e., those who customarily and regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips) may consider such tips as part of their wages, but employers must pay a direct wage of at least $2.13 per hour if they claim a tip credit. They must also meet certain other requirements. For a full listing of the requirements an employer must meet to use the tip credit provision, see the Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #15: Tipped Employees Under the FLSA.

The Act also permits the employment of certain individuals at wage rates below the statutory minimum wage under certificates issued by the Department of Labor:

Student learners (vocational education students);
Full‑time students in retail or service establishments, agriculture, or institutions of higher education; and
Individuals whose earning or productive capacities for the work to be performed are impaired by physical or mental disabilities, including those related to age or injury.

Remember that when you are in a restaurant...or you can be like Mr. Pink:

Disclaimer: This link is to a YouTube video regarding tipping (salty language for yuse with virgin ears and all):


Boys - If that's the best critcism of Texas/Rick Baby you can come up with you've already lost. So Texas created a lot of low salary jobs. And that's compares to the other 49 states essentially creating few to no jobs? Remember politics tend to focus on comparisons and not absolutes. And how many jobs paying bove minimum wage did the other 49 states combined create? Less than the number created in Texas.

I suggest you start digging deeper. You just lost Round 1. And remember what ever you come up with ole Rock Baby will ask: "And who done better?"

And how much of a 'game changer' is the next dude(tte) large and in charge in Washing DC gonna be?

Other than starting global thermonuclear war or global biological war - what they gonna do that is not in the interest in "the other people" - large Corporations? (If you prefer to go old-school - how about "the monied interests" instead?)

And remember what ever you come up with ole Rock Baby will ask: "And who done better?"

Hiya Rock ~
Is that provincialism or pragmatism I hear? Anyway, remember that the economy flows inland from the left and right coasts, not from the gulf or the frozen north. So Rick-Baby can tout his McJobs all he wants -- until the tide comes to Texas (or as we Okies call it -- Baja Oklahoma, hah!).

Disclaimer: We Okies are not exempt from said tide :)

Oh, and I heard an apologist (must have been on the NPR NEWSHOUR, too) explain that there are SO MANY uneducated and unskilled people in Texas that minimium-wage jobs waa just what was NEEDED in Texas. I liked that one.

Yes. I wondered about the "below minimum wage jobs". How is that pulled off by the employers? Are they illegals? Is there a training wage (below minimum wage to start to enable unemployables to enter the market), which is being abused? Of course the phrase at or below isn't very helpful, it would be technically correct if all were identically at the min wage, but it would be a very misleading usage of language if that were the case.

Minimum wage doesn't apply to all employers. Very small businesses, small farms, seasonal recreational facilities, part-time babysitters, newspaper delivery people, companions for the elderly, etc., are exempt from the federal minimum wage.

According to Wikipedia: "Black's Law Dictionary defines "precedent" as a "rule of law established for the first time by a court for a particular type of case and thereafter referred to in deciding similar cases."

but in common usage, precedent simply means to precede.

Merriam-Webster defines it as:

"prior in time, order, arrangement, or significance."

So, SpringTide's comment about Lincoln was semantically correct.

Thanks for the clarification and apologies to springtide for my choice of words.

I would think if one was looking for a single precedent within a set of precedents they would choose the first one since it sets the precedent.

Don't you just love the English language?

There are always more than 2 candidates running.

Ross Perot split off many "Republicans" and helped Clinton get in (per various talking heads)

Ron Paul, according to at least 2 "libertarian party officials", would be offered the chance to be the Libertarian ticket dud. That would split off far more "Republicans" than "Democrats".

At this stage, none of this is a big worry.

What would be more beneficial is an overturning of the 1920's decision that one must have standing to challenge a law.

Perhaps I should have said more than two candidates from electable parties.

Clinton 49.2%
Dole 40.7%
Perot 8.4%

While Perot might have taken a small percentage, he wasn't really in the running to win.

Bush 47.8%
Gore 48.3%
Nader 2.7%

Same with Nader. Although they say he took votes from Gore.

I was thinking more of a scenario like this :-

Candidate A - 22%
Candidate B - 29%
Candidate C - 18%
Candidate D - 28%

Misc others : 3%

None is really representative of a large percentage of the country.

It would be a rather dangerous scenario if there ended up being more than two candidates running.

Two is the minimum number of possible choices. I prefer more choices and welcomed the election that included Perot. More choices, more perspectives. Now what we get is a Repub that thinks the wealthier the super wealthy get the better for the country, rejects AGW, and hates entitlements. The Dems, in spite of wanting to help the middle class, wimp out at every turn to Repub demands. I'd love a 3rd party choice.

"I'd love a 3rd party choice".

Problem is, there are, and I'd vote for one, if I thought they had a snowball's chance of winning. I suppose this line of reasoning is exactly why they don't win. Sigh...they don't even get invited to debate, a lot of the time.

Which is, I suppose, why the fringe elements have to select one or other main party, D or R.

Your problem is you have two big parties, that are combined tolarge to let any other party in. Peoplein the US rarely ever get the idea to start a political party. In Sweden we have 8 parties in the paralment. Every so often a party gets in or out, so there is some degree of change to. Those parties range from reformed comunists to reformed nazis.

With more choises to be made, there are still no one I think is good, but at least we have some that are obviously worse than the other ones, so you can vote on some of the less evil. But in a world where for example the Enviornmentalists don't understand enviornmental issues, and all other parties have similar issues, there is not much to vote for, realy.

The two-party system of the United States is the natural result of the way our political system is organized. It was designed that way; our founding fathers valued stability over all, and that's what two parties with little difference between them gives you.

Prof. Goose, who is a political scientist, wrote about it here.

That doesn't mean third parties are impossible. They have sometimes arisen in the past. But the new party ends up replacing one of the two major parties, and it goes back to being a two-party system.

The two-party system of the United States is the natural result of the way our political system is organized.

I agree, in all but original intent. I think it was envisioned that we would elect unaffilated political representatives, on the basis of what they stood for. It was a bit of a surprise, that the given rules and proceedures strongly favored a party system, and that the most stable form was a two party system. Most later democratic republics choose a parliamentary system, which favors many parties, and which is more fluid in its ability to react to changes.

TV ads were so much cheaper back then

How about Bloomberg. He has the big bucks for a self financed campaign and has thrived as an independent in New Yawk City.


I don't know why but your link to the Parry list keeps kicking me off and shutting down TOD. Just a heads up.

Damn I wanted to read it.


Maybe your system has a PDF allergy, Paulo...Try clearing your cache.

thanks...it was my machine for sure.


Thank for the fine links.

So, Perry has backed wind energy, but not so much backing of solar energy.

Where does he stand on nuclear power?

Where does he stand on the idea of government encouragement (using subsidies and penalties [increased energy rates, taxes, etc])of increased energy efficiency (buildings, vehicles, appliances, lighting etc?)

He thinks global warming is a hoax/conspiracy, and does not like EPA pollution regulation and through his associations one may think that Perry is not supportive of the endangered species act.

Where does Perry stand on foreign policy, war, and the military industrial complex? Does he favor spending more money on building weapons of mass destruction? Winding down our involvement in the Middle East? Will Defense cuts figure into his vision for a balanced budget?

H - I suspect he'll avoid all those subjects as much as possible. He has one very big card to play: jobs. The polls I've seen show that's the #1 issue for most voters. And it looks like the numbers may get worse as we go forward. Given Texas has generated more new jobs during Perry's terms then the entire rest of the country combined why would he talk about anything else? It will be all about business growth and stopping the fed govt from getting in the way of this process. IMHO it's almost like the "Perfect Storm" for Perry: he's not a DC insider who's state has done well. They'll come after him over the state status on education. But let's be honest: those unemployed or afraid of losing their jobs aren't going to be that concerned about little Johnny being able to spell kat.

Folks may try to stain him with being another Texas bush baby. But don't be surprised to see him tar the bush baby the same as the O man when it comes to unemployment and the recession. Not sure but from the little I've heard from some insiders he doesn't tend to kiss the R party butt like some. Typical Texas attitude: I don't need no body. There are R's and D's. But then there are Texans.

Rock, thanks for your valuable local insights.

For those who are interested, here is a compilation of recent Texas economic stats from a Texas state web site:


Here is a sample:


Texas’ June 2011 unemployment rate was 8.2 percent, up from 8.0 percent in May.

Texas total nonfarm employment increased by 32,000 jobs from May to June. Between June 2010 and June 2011, Texas gained 220,000 jobs.

The U.S. gained 117,000 total nonfarm jobs in July 2011 compared to June 2011.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 9.1 percent in July 2011, down from 9.2 percent in June.

The Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 53 consecutive months.

Here is an article about the status of the Texas state budget:


Last week, he touted a Federal Reserve Bank statement forecasting that Texas could add more than 264,000 jobs in 2011. Proposed budget cuts, though, could lay off 100,000 school employees, 60,000 nursing home workers and eliminate 9,600 state jobs this year.

An additional $23 Billion in Texas state budget cuts may be enacted in August for the next budget cycle.

I have read allegations that many or most of the new jobs in Texas are 'McJobs' (low pay, low or no benefits), but I imagine that jobs created in the oil/NG industries pay well.

H - A few more additional points to make you nervouse about Rick Baby.

Unemployment: the Texas U-rate may not be a lot lower than the national average but we've also been adding population like crazy. I think we picked up 2 new House seats last time around. He can use that hammer: folks from another states have been flocking to Texas for a better life. And I doubt many folks moved from Michigan to Houston work at McD's. In fact, more jobs have been added in the medical field than the oil patch. Folks better tread lightly on that burger flipping issue. Rick Baby might rip them a new one.

Obviously he can tout Texas oil/NG development. I mentioned it before: the results of the prez election may be determined by the price of gasoline in November 2012 than by any othr factor. Lots o folks might go for a pro-oil fellow if prices shoot way above $5/gallon. But he might also offer the potential of all that shale gas drilling to fuel a driving alt: CNG vehicles. And he can also point out the Texas has been one of the leading states in wind power. I beleive he is the only govenor to award offshore offshore leases for wind development. He can compare that to some of my Yankee NIMBY cousins.

He can also show support of the US as the "Saudi Arabia of coal" by the new construction of a coal-fired plant during his term. How many other govenors can make such a claim? And if anit-coal liberals come after him for that position he can just point out that the current Democrat prez issued the final Clean Air permit to allow construction to go forward. And that the coal will be shipped by rail half way across the country from the president's home state...Illinois.

Again on alts: he can point out the signifcance of nukes as a major source of power in Texas. And we haven't has a melt down. In fact the South Texas Nuke plant $10 billion expansion has been stalled by events in Japan. He can appease the pronuke folks by pledging to get it back on track.

He also has a bit of a bone to toss to friends of Mexico. He was the one who pushed thru the TransTexas Corridor. It's a major commerce link that will tie Mexico directly to the midwest. Not a popular project with many Texans. But what Rick Baby wanted Rick Baby got...a lesson to be learned.

Rock, as usual, I truly appreciate your intel you provide us on many issues, including Governor Perry and Texas economics and politics.

Where does Rick stand on immigration? The Border Fence?

The War on Drugs? Lots of violence right across the border...

As for the increase in decent-paying (I assume...however, I don't get the impression from visiting the VA and private medical facilities that the nurses and techs and admin are living the life of milk and honey...many seem to hate their lives) medical jobs, what happens when folks can't pay as much for medical care as before, due to scaling back Medicaid/Medicare etc?

How many nuke plants does Texas have? I would be most reticent to quip 'We haven't had a meltdown'...an incident could happen there...

How robust are Texas's water supplies?

I thought the trans-Texas Corridor was mort...perhaps a few toll roads, but not the grand scheme it was first envisioned to be?

H – Since I’ve never read (nor ever will) any of Rick Baby’s propaganda I can only offer some educated guesses:

Immigration: Legal immigration: GOOD…. Hispanics are hard working God fearin’ folk who deserve a chance to escape their oppressive federal govt. Illegal immigration: BAD…they are all drug dealers who will shoot your daughter and rape your dog. BTW: no one gets elected gov of Texas without Hispanic support.

Illegal drugs: BAD. Especially since the feds are doing little to stop the violence at the border. Violence that constantly endangers the children of our hard working Hispanic folks who live along the border.

Border fences: GOOD - to keep those dog killing Mexican drug lords out and protect our local Hispanic hard working folks safe. Especially since the current fed administration had Texas gun dealers knowingly sell automatic weapons to Mexican drug gangs. Some of which have been documented as being used to kill a US peace officer.

Texas medical biz: Houston by all accounts is one of the major medical centers in the western hemisphere. VA workers get paid by the govt. Private hospitals in Houston are highly competitive. In fact, that’s one reason the med jobs are growing fast here: stealing them from other states. And consider what a Houston $ gets you: A standard 3 BR home in CA: $340,000. The same home in Texas: $160,000. And did I mention Texas doesn’t have a state income tax? But we do get you with property taxes.

Texas water: Been worse lately. Worse since I moved here 32 years ago. OTOH no one has died of thirst. Just a lot of lawns going brown. The horror…the horror. LOL. Farmer/ranchers taking a hit of course. But they tend to be more evangelical so they'll atke up that issue with God.

Rock, Thanks for taking the time for your insights...it will be interesting to see what Perry says in his campaign.

Rock, have you seen or heard any stories about drought-caused subsidence harming any buildings or other structures in TX as it is doing in Europe?


The local TV news is advising people to water around their foundations to prevent cracking, and running stories on how busy the people who deal with foundation problems have been lately.

Thanks, T. Has that ever happened before that people in TX have been advised to water their foundations?

The Trans-Texas Corridor is first and foremost a truck super highway. One goal is to move container port activity from Long Beach/Los Angeles to Mexican ports.

Burn, Baby, Burn !


Will it be a brand-new (from greenfields) road or roads, or lane additions/etc. to existing roads?

Too bad they didn't consider railroads.

Greenfield roads (or follow 2 lane roads).

The Photoshop illustrations showed rail, but that was all.


Texas picked up 4 house seats in the past census.


Select the year from 2012 to 2008 and it will switch from 38 to 34.

Population increased from 20,851,820 to 25,145,561 for an increase of 4,293,741

And I doubt many folks moved from Michigan to Houston work at McD's. In fact, more jobs have been added in the medical field than the oil patch. Folks better tread lightly on that burger flipping issue. Rick Baby might rip them a new one.

Unfortunately, the folks flocking from Michigan to Texas are probably machinists, and so will end up working a McJob with no benefits. Hey, better than nothing. Whoa -- maybe that could be Rick-Baby's rallying call: Hey, it's better than nothing!

All in good fun, Rock :) I've lost faith in the political system, and am highly doubtful that this will come out well, no matter who gets in office. I still think Barack is the most level-headed of the bunch.

Could these machinists work building for example offshore rigs? Or are those now built in China and towed to the production theatre? There must be quite a few oil related jobs that require skills. Now probably min wage jobs dominate the numbers, but I bet there are significant numbers of decent ones as well.

The offshore rig business is largely in South Louisiana. Some shells are built in Korea, and towed here for fitting.

NOT my area of expertise, but I cannot think of a Texas offshore rig shipyard.


Alan - I think the biggest yard operation is in Portland near Corpus Christie. But altogether I doubt it compares to La. But lots of blue color jobs in onshore Texas oil patch. But I've seen the statement as far as total salaries go the medical industry in Texas writes a bigger check than the oil patch. And in Houston it's a very big check.

Earthy - Unfortnately I share your pessimism. I get what you say about MI mechanics. But they couldn't even get a job flipping burgers up there. And that's the problem folks will have taking a shot at Texas: whatever negatives shots they take at Texas on jobs will only hit the other states harder. I know it pains folks to admit it but Texas policies on business growth have obviously worked big time. They can critisize the state on social services and education. Other states might be more generous in those regards but if they don't have enough economic activity then they have limited ability to fullfill those goals.

I may have found a misstatement on the above link. I'm not an economist so I'm ok with any corrections or clarifications.

Texas and the nation returned to economic growth in 2010, with the nation increasing its GDP by 3.0 percent and Texas increasing its GSP a similar 2.8 percent, with Texas’ economy not affected as severely by the recession as the nation as a whole.

I went to the following website for GDP figures: US Government Revenue

The charts show US GDP increased from 14,119.0 to 14,660.4 (3.8%) and Texas GDP/GSP decreased from 1,144.7 to 1,144.0 (-.01%).

But he does keep talking and talking about his favorite subject, and getting lots of press coverage. I just received the latest, August 22nd, copy of Time. On page 9, under "Briefing"

His agenda is not a political agenda. His agenda is a salvation agenda.

Rick Perry, Republican governor of Texas, speaking about his faith in God before more than 30,000 Evangelicals at a Houston rally.

This issue of Time has a whole spread on Perry titled:

The Lone Star Warrior
After 10 years as governor of Texas, Rick Perry is setting his eyes on the Republican nomination. Is he the candidate the Tea Party has been waiting for?

Ron P.

Running on a religion-centric 'calling' is disturbing.

At the very least, the religion smokescreen would serve as a distraction from any possibility of facing and adapting to the real issues we face.

Rock said that Perry will focus on jobs jobs jobs and will ride that thoroughbred into the White House.

What is his plan for creating more jobs?

For that matter, what is anyone's plan fore creating more jobs?

We can't spend tax dollars to make more jobs...we are already doing too much of that (in many instances, including the military-contractor complex).

Perry and his fellow travelers will advocate 'government getting out of the way', which will decode to more tax cuts, spending through the tax code, and stripping away as many regulations as possible.

Will any of that work?

And understand that if more tax cuts are enacted (and the same or additional subsides for oil,agriculture, etc), then we either run ever-increasing deficits or will greatly slash the government budget...that is why I asked about Perry's stand on the military budget.

We the people should not let him hide behind his God-talk and should make him explain his action plans to inspire/facilitate the creation of enough new jobs to drive the unemployment rate (U3) down to 5%....and balance the budget

A square jaw, smile full of pearly whites, and good hair and nice suits does not impress me...I want to see straight talk and logical plans.

H - "What is his plan for creating more jobs?"

Talk about a freaking soft pitch for Rick Baby to knock out the park...you should be ashamed of yourself! LOL Obviously he plans to follow the same policies that made Texas a world class job creator during his TEN YEAR REIGN.

Hmm...what? What about details? Oh yeah...right. He'll be coming out with those as soon as he elected. Just like every presidential candidate has promised since the dawn of time.

You keep this up H and if Perry Baby's folks pick up on your posts he'll be a winner for sure. LOL

Rock, I get that you are not the biggest Perry fan, and that you are schooling us on how our questions and concerns will actually feed Perry's re-election campaign a slew of softballs to hit grand slams with.

The following questions may be too deep for Joe and Jane Six-Pack to entertain while they are listening to Perry crow about how it will be morning again in America:

1. Is the Texas economy really that great?

2. Even if so, what proof support is there to buttress the assertion that Teas-like economic performance can be replicated in the rest of the U.S.?

3. What is the outlook for Texas...jobs, water, etc...keep in mind that at one time California was the land of milk and honey...

4. Do we really think that Perry can escape the incessant Tea Party drumbeat of balancing the budget and then paying off the debt? I doubt that he can solely focus on job creation. He has to square the debt reduction with job creation...

H – You’re killing me here! “Is the Texas economy really that great?” Rick Baby just told you: more jobs were created in Texas during his terms than all the other states combined. You need to print that statement on a card: that will be all you ever hear from Rick Baby when he’s asked about our economy. When any MSM talking head tries to pin him down he’ll go there. And how will it be countered? “Well yes, Texas has created more jobs than the other states combined but…..(voice trails off because no one is listening). I think the anti-R folks just don’t get the significance of such a statement today: JOBS…JOBS…JOBS. Just because they don’t want it to happen they can’t see the nuclear arsenal Rick Baby has in his back pocket.

Think for a moment when other R runners toss the Texas economy issue out. All Rick Baby has to do is point out his efforts in Texas created more jobs in two weeks that Gov X created in his/her entire term. Look at the polls. Imagine if unemployment slips up another point. Given the current economic condition, swhich look as though it may worsen, can you think of any better stat that any politicians wouldn’t trade a kidney for: I created more jobs than all the other politicians combined have. Now imagine a scene where all those other prez candidates disappear in a giant billowing cloud.

BTW: the only politicians I currently have any respect for: you wouldn’t recognize the names. Except for maybe our current Houston major. And I’m not 100% on her band wagon. She’s a D BTW. But don’t let that confuse you: most Texas D’s look like Yankee R’s to most folks.

Rock, I copy you five by five...but...to the thinking voter (and here we are doomed)...Rick baby has to connect the dots and make the case that the Texas job creation exemplar can and will be replicated nationwide.

H - Let's try this angle: who will be elected the next president of the USA? The person who lays out the bloody facts and offers logical but painful approaches for dealing with the situation. IOW someone us thoughtful voters would go with? Or someone who makes them believe he can make his campaign PROMISES come true? Whether one agrees with his political philosphy or not, I think many would agree that President Obama's success came from that appoach to a large degree. And that doesn't imply he wasn't sincere in his offerings. Just as I'm sure Ricky Baby will be as equally sincere.

Krugman comments on the Texas "Miracle":


I can't stand Rick Perry. Mainly because he attacks ethanol, but never oil. I wonder why?

That is why he dosen't enter the Iowa straw poll. He doesn't dare.

Colbert urges a write-in ballot for Parry (spelled with an "a").


An atheist's prayer:

Dear god, please spare us another President from Texas. We haven't recovered from the last 3 yet. Amen.

One problem is people who vote on their very narrow special interest. That would seem to be you. There are a whole bunch of reasons beyond ethanol that Perry would be bad for America and the planet.

don't look behind the curtain, don't see that most of those jobs are sub minimum(if that's even legal federally now) wage. cover your gaze from Houston's overflowing homeless shelters from due to the poor and middle class losing everything with the only opertunities are jobs that pay so little they can't even afford the cheapest rent so they have to sleep there. plug your ears from the tails of people being snatched from these places by nightly to nearly nightly police raids so they can collect on the money from the fines and bail from people even with the most minor offense.

Rock said that Perry will focus on jobs jobs jobs and will ride that thoroughbred into the White House.

He, he must have gotten that from Carl Bildt, PM of Sweden at the time, now of Foregin Affairs. "We have debt debt debt, and to pay that we need tax tax tax, and to get that we must create jobs jobs jobs".

Words are easy.

There's a pretty good consensus that the whole evangelical rally stunt was just an opening salvo to cement his christian image in the minds of the evangelical base. He knows that too much focus on the issue going forward will narrow his following nationally. He'll focus more on Washington outsider/Tea Party issues going forward. The issues he may be vulnerable on: exagerting his jobs claims; his funding sources; etc., are too tedious to affect his planned constituency. PBR ain't dumb (at least his handlers aren't).

This whole thing grosses me out.....

Watching him live in SC...double gross out. Jeez! I think he's going to cry. Here he goes:

"I declare for the President of the United States!"

He is also upset that half of American workers do not pay income taxes, and he wants a "fairer and flatter income tax".

Soak the Working Poor and Tax Cuts for the Rich !


I'm actually agree with fairer and flatter income tax. If the tax rate was set at say 15%, with a $10k tax free threshold and NO OTHER DEDUCTIONS, I suspect the fed would pull in more income tax than they do now, especially from rich folks who are able to very successfully game the system.

The key thing would be no other deductions, not the home loan interest deduction, nor all sorts of other things.
Would put a lot of tax accountants out of work, and also a lot of gov tax processors/auditors, but that's better than having one army of people working to game the rules of the other army of people, which is what the current tax system has created.

Best hopes for simplified taxes!

Simplicity, or complexity, in the tax code do *NOT* reside in progressive rates. Applying those rates is utter simplicity.

The greatest source of complexity lies with 1) trying to plug loopholes 2) using the tax code to incentive or discourage specific activities and 3) special interests. The long term (1+ year) capital gains rates are a major factor.


A simple tax system does not make for a good social control system.

A complex tax law allows for long involved court cases to distract those who need to be 'controlled' by 'the system' in some way. One can also get a 'terrorist' label for extra control fun.

The latest reporting claims "preppers" are suspects in the 'war on terror'. How many of the TOD posters would fall into the 'prepping' category with PV and canning gear?

I totally agree with Paul Nash and not Alan below.

Mmmmm....Rock says that Texas does not have an income tax.

If Perry plays the card of 'Let's have the U.S. emulate Texas', how would he advocate for more folks to pay income tax?

The U.S. can't invoke federal property taxes (Rock says that TX soaks folks in those)...maybe Perry would go for some kind of a VAT?

What are the dales taxes like in TX?

H - Sales Taxes? Middle of the road. The big hit is real estate/property taxes. Funds schools, hospitals, utilities, police, etc. I can't confirm but for years I've read that if you add all the taxes (income, property, sales, etc) together Texas would rank as on of the 5 highest taxed states. If he could make some loose pitch for a national sales tax to replace at least some of the fed income tax and not make an ass out of himself by trying to offer details then he might gain some. Especially if he promises to lower the fed budget by firing a bunch of those IRS bastards. LOL.

But, as Ronnie would say:"There you go again...wasting out time with details. Rick Baby just told you he's going to create jobs nationwide just like he did in Texas. For the Good Lord's sake...what more do you need to know?" LOL

As far a the budget deficet in Texas that's easy for him to counter. Even with Rick Baby's heroic efforts he couldn't stop the FEDERAL GOVT'S created horrow story from speading down here. But have no fear: Rick Baby has no troble getting things back in order by getting rid of those wasteful programs and unproductive govt employees. And try to hear that statement with the ears of a bitter nemployed independent voter or a those of a moderate concerned about losing his job and having to pull his kid out of college. Try that and see how uncomfortable you might become.

"Gov. Rick Perry used federal stimulus money to pay 97 percent of Texas's budget shortfall in fiscal 2010--which is funny, because Perry spent a lot of time talking about just how terrible the stimulus was. In fact, Texas was the state that relied most heavily on stimulus funds, CNN's Tami Luhby reports."


OK OK...so he will parrot SC Governor Niki Haley and say that the Federal government got in the way of his state's free market and caused his budget deficit? ...soooo, it was only right that he took the Fed money whilst also simultaneously denouncing Fed stimulus money?

Makes perfect sense...to someone!

Too bad there enough desperate people to vote the new Reagan into office...

Perry is the spear carrier of the oil/mining/ag/defense wing of the Republican party.

Rommney is the spear carrier of the banking/insurance/services/trade wing of the Republican party.

I'd guess that the OMAD wing looked over the field and didn't find them convincingly acceptable. And they really don't want to lose out to the BIST wing for the first time in recent memory -- since Eisenhower really.

Rock, given your read on the Republican-leaning voting public, who do you predict Perry will pick as VP?

H - I'm about as good as predicting such outcomes as picking the future price of oil. But if I were in charge I don't think I would pick Rick Baby for prez. The bush baby memory is just too fresh. But I think he woud make a good VP for the better mainstream R prez candidate...maybe Romney or Bachman. Any prez could use RB as his new "Job Czar" and pick up a lot of fence sitting votes IMHO. Many who might trust RB with part of the economy might not want to trust him with the "football".

If the economy does worsen such a combo would be a serious challenge for the president. Not that this would be my preference...just my bet. Long ago I learned to disassociate what was right/what I wanted from what I thought would happen. A useful skill in the oil patch...helped me avoid a lot of dry holes. And preserve a bit of my sanity. As I've said before: I'll continue doing my part to feed our country's obsessive greed for energy. Nothing personal...it's just business. LOL.

Personally speaking, I don't think it makes a difference anymore who is President. Some here may, but that's fine, we'll agree to disagree.

I don't plan on voting. Still fun commenting on it, though! Hard to say who I'd prefer to be President. Democrats seem to really anger the interior conservative whites, which isn't a good thing. But Republicans are snakes.

And so the long emergency continues.

Oilman - Dang it! Stop trying to destroy the illusion that it makes significant difference which party is in charge. Our "one real party" system has going to great lengths to convince the public that they should vote for "us" because "they" are evil. Otherwise the public would have to judge each of the "sides" on their actual merits.

Cut it out...don't make me rough with ya.

You know, I buy that line up to a point...but...please don't tell me that the recent/current/future Republican Party would have a Pres who would repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, or negotiate a (howver modest) reduction in operationally deployed nuclear weapons, or push an increase in the CAFE standard to 54.5 mpg (even if in the 2020s)...

There are differences...not enough, and maybe many of the differences don't mean much to energy wonks here, but they mean something to me.

I also appreciate President Obama's lack of pandering (hard, anyway) to the theocratically-bent folks out there.

I was taught in an early, very intense military training course to savor the small victories when your tormentors hold all the cards.

H - IMHO if the next prez is an R it will be due to one single issue - the economy. And as long as the economy is the dominant issue that prez can get away with a lot you might not want to see. Especially if he has more control of Congress. Many folks will rationalize any such actions if they begin to feel more financially secure. If that happens it won't be because a R or D gets elected IMHO. It will be just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Presidents get lucky/unlucky depending on when they catch the biz cycle. Think about that as you go to sleep tonight: Perry Baby et al catch the rising tide and float to total dominance. If if the worst of PO begins to hit at that time? The world should be very afraid...very.

Pleasant dreams. LOL

My recollection is that the Texas governor has less formal power in the state's government than most governors. After all, George Bush was able to do the job.

Therefore, I'd conjecture that Rick Perry is good at doing what he's told to do and not a whole lot of that.

It is not clear that he actully believes in the line he's promoting, sort of like an insurance salesman trying to convince a client that whole life is a really good investment.

So he's marginally less scary than Bachman, Paul or some of the other who appear to be actual true believers in their nonsense.

It's doubtful whether the National Security Establishment would allow anyone who is not under control to become President.

Paul or some of the other who appear to be actual true believers in their nonsense.

Yes nonsense like cutting the military and asking for audits of Corporations like the Federal Reserve to bring the spending done by the Fed to light.

Say - hows that Military spending working out for ya?

I'm all for cutting the military and getting out of Iraq, Afghanistan and the other 118 countries where the US special operations forces are alleged to be operating. The only US forces stationed outside the US should be the Marine guards at the embassies.

On the other hand, I'm not for disclosing all the secrets of either the CIA or the Federal Reserve. International finance is war by other means.

On the other hand, I'm not for disclosing all the secrets of either the CIA or the Federal Reserve

Yes, like plans of putting bombs or was it microphones in live cats?

How about explosives in cigars?

Oh, I know (its not in your list) but the secrets of where $2+ trillion is missing from the Pentagon as confirmed on Sept 10th 2001?
How about the $10+ trillion claimed to be missing?

Paul is more complicated. Sure he has great views on military and foreign entanglements. But, the gold standard was a disaster when and wherever tried. The truth that many don't want to recognize, is that fiat money seems to be the only way yet invented to keep a modern economy functioning at near full employment. Of course that is a necessary, not a sufficient condition. Serious regulation of banking and finace was another requirement, that was allowed to slip.

Iconoclasts, can be right-on in some matters, and crazily wrong in others. Focus only on what you want to see, and you can be blindsided.

I am working with what we have before us as Presidential choices.

I agree that Ron Paul has some ideas that do not appeal to me.

However, I put all the candidates known policies/views on the stated issues on the mental scale, and Ron Paul's win for me.

That does not mean that his views are all fine and dandy.

I would take his cutting of the social safety net in return for greatly downsizing the military/security/spy complex, including dismantling the 'Patriot Act' etc.

Gutting the EPA and NIH/CDC would hurt, but again, I would bite those bullets in return for his leading the U.S. to a balanced budget and debt reduction and eventual payoff.

I also understand that Paul has a miniscule chance of winning...further I realize that even if he won, he would likely face tremendous opposition from Congress to implement his ideas, so any change would be less than he would want, both is magnitude and speed.

It would just be so great to break out of the two-party paradigm...

"I would take his cutting of the social safety net in return for greatly downsizing the military/security/spy complex, including dismantling the 'Patriot Act' etc."

Don't forget that gutting the military the way it deserves would leave thousands of combat-trained young men and women stranded in the poor job market, not to mention that they'll have to go without those safety nets you mention... Is that really a good idea... ?

- Resid the Undergrad

I suppose you could recall them all to US territory and have them live at home. That alone should save some hefty expenses. If you warehoused almost all the airplanes, tanks, etc that have costly maintenance and operating expenses it would save another chunk of money. Even if every person in the military kept on drawing a salary you could save $$$ and tons of CO2

R.P. is more important as a voice for certain sorts of ideas. He isn't about to get real power. But, as long as he is able to get press coverage, he has a sounding board for his ideas. I doubt he has any illusions about becoming our boss, and is content do play whatever role he can.

But, I consider libertarianasm to be a dangerously flawed philosophy. It effectively gives free range to hownever has the most (nongovernmental power). In our current society that is corporations and superwaelthy individuals. And important areas like defending the commons would be left undefened. In the most extreme kind of libertarianism, power weilding is left to whatever ruthless forces seek it. As we've seen in Mexico, reduce the power of the police enough, and criminal organizations will spring up to fill the power vacuum. So we have to fill the power vacuum, with something largely under control of the people. And that implies government must have an active role in the society and the economy.

But, I consider libertarianasm to be a dangerously flawed philosophy. It effectively gives free range to hownever has the most (nongovernmental power).

Free range would be fine if there was the ability to recover from any damage they do.

But that requires working, fair courts.

And such is not on the agenda of the ".libertarians"

A couple of problems with the gold standard are:

- the supply of gold is unrelated to the size of the economy, which leads to bouts of inflation when there are major gold rushes and gradual deflation when the gold mines play out. For example, the period after the conquest of Mexico and Peru was a period of inflation.

- the owner of a new source of gold gets a huge seniorage advantage. The California gold fields helped the US grow. Thereafter, there was a period of deflation which became worst globally in the period '73 to '96. The economy was rescued by the Yukon, South African and Alaskan finds with again strengthened the Brits and the US.

I think it made a difference to history when 5 of the Supremes chose Pres. Bush over Pres. Gore.


Thank you, Alan. A related point is that voter fraud of various descriptions is probably a significant factor in many recent elections, and it seems curious that it isn't mentioned here more often.

I am sure most of you are familiar with the problems in 2008, but a quick overview can be found here:


Most of my references are on my other computer, but you guys probably have followed Bev Harris's work as well.

My hunch is that a Democrat has to win by a much wider margin of "real" votes than a Republican.

Actual voter fraud is actually fairly rare. Using the spector of "voter fraud" to propose rule changes that are motivated because they will disproportionately disenfranchise voters who predominately vote for the other side, has been a staple of the right for decades. Forcing ID and address checks, affects the poor, and people who move a lot -renters, and college students. These are overwhelmingly D voters, so the motivation is really political. Also recently divorced women, can be excluded for the same reason (name change), and they also tend to vote D. Exclude all former felons, disproportionately affects poor and minorities... Any way to tilt the playing field is exploited. But the mechanisms have to be justified by sanctimonious sounding motives.

Rock...I am with you on the 'its just business' thing...I live in an exquisite glass house in that regard.

I do, however, think that your 'football' comment ignores a truth: The VP is 'one hearbeat away' from the football.

I can grit my teeth and put up with their polices and buffoonery, but I have grave qualms about either Perry or Bachmann being the WMD Commander-in-Chief.

There are checks and balances throughout that system....except for the case of an insane/inebriated/possessed-by-spirits President, AFAIK.

Although in other arenas I am disappointing with President Obama, I am very comfortable with him having the access and authority of the football. He may not know how to wrangle the Repubs and his own party and push his agenda effectively, but I trust his analytical, logical mind with that duty.

Bachmann, with her little 'We are in the end times...' speech...please do not vote for her, if for only that reason: please keep her out of the designated Presidential Succession chain, certainly out of the top two...

Sadly, the constitution does not require sanity as a prerequisite for holding the office of the President or any other office. The Republicans are offering up the scariest batch of Presidential candidates in the history of the Republic.

There is a definite, too-far-above-non-zero probability danger there.

Funny, Congress has abdicated its Constitutional authority and mandate to declare war after WWII.

Then cam ethe War Powers Act after Vietnam.

That was roundly abused as well by Unitary Executives and wimpy spineless Congresses.

Now think of the Mutually Assured Destruction (or even the single nuclear strike possibility)...The President does not have to consult anyone, except to tell his military minions which war plan option or options to execute.

No required consultations with Congress, the VP, the Speaker of the House or Senate Majority leader, the Supreme Court, or even the Attorney General or the White House counsel.

Just the Pres we elected and his/her God...

I remember someone once posted a link to a movie showing that a insane pres ordered the nukes to fly and only notified his staff later to congratulate them and tell them he was doing god's work.

I can't confirm but for years I've read that if you add all the taxes (income, property, sales, etc) together Texas would rank as on of the 5 highest taxed states.

According to the Tax Foundation, whose data collection people are pretty good, in 2009 Texas ranked 45th when measured by per capita state and local taxes paid as a fraction of per capita income.

Earlier this year, during legislative budget season, low-tax low-services Texas had a slightly larger hole in their state budget than high-tax high-services California (as a percentage of prior year spending). Both states are balancing their budgets the same way: big cuts in both higher ed and K-12 education. Texas also took about $4B (of $9B) from its rainy-day fund, which had ballooned in recent years due to oil/gas severance tax revenues (which are, in practice, taxes levied largely on other state). Texas is considered a "poorer" state, so the federal government picks up 60% of the Medicaid expenses there, versus only 50% in California.

One way Perry reduced budget deficit is by leasing highways to Spain-based company Cintra. The leasor pays for highway construction and collects tolls to pay off debt. I've read $5B of road work has been moved off budget this way.

Cintra also did this in Indiana and I've read a few stories about continuous toll increases. Further buried in contract are little known requirements. For example, Indiana cannot use rail transport anywhere near these toll roads if they compete with tolls.

I'm looking forward to Perry applying oil/gas severance taxes at the Federal level.

mc - Interesting. I wonder if the other "fact" was just one more urban legend or if the difference is in the calculation method. But 5 to 45 is a big gap. But if we are taxed that low I'm sure we'll hear Rick Baby tossing it around a good bit. IMHO most folks today are more worried abot keeping a bigger piece of their paycheck then govt workers losing theirs.

TTBOMK, Texas has always been a low-tax low-services state. I expect to hear a lot about it from Gov. Perry, but doubt that he will include these bits: Texas is first in percentage of children without health insurance coverage; third in percentage of the population in jail; fifth in percentage of children living in poverty; and 43rd in high school graduation rate.

Another example of screwing over the poor:

Poor hit the hardest by Texas heat, legislature

DALLAS - The temperature in Dallas today hit triple-digits. Over the past two months, it's done that 41 times in 42 days.

CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports Texas has a fund to help the poor pay their electricity bills. But somewhere between the fund and the people who need it, the money hit a short circuit.


Texas legislators, eager to avoid a tax increase, approved setting aside the Lite-Up money to balance the state's checkbook. This isn't the first time.

More than $900 million of "Lite-Up" money will be parked in the state treasury by 2013. Texas lawmakers say there's no plan for the money to ever be used for its original purpose.

See: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/08/12/eveningnews/main20091892.shtml


Agriculture is (was) 9% of Texas GDP. The drought will severely damage Texas agriculture


Texas and Oklahoma appear to be uniquely blessed (Louisiana and New Mexico got some spill over).

Dropping, say, 6% of state GDP will have economic effects. Add some minor impact from wildfires. And Obama appears to not be extremely concerned about helping Texas farmers in their hour of need.

2012 may be a repeat of 2011 (La Nina and such). If so, the effects will be multiplied.

Add that the heat wave has created a larger than average wealth transfer from consumers (individuals & business) to utilities. I have heard of $400, $500 and $600 monthly bills for McMansions. This is bound to affect retail sales (including psychology), and people & companies willing to move to Texas.

All this bad economic news as the election approaches.

Do you think the above will dim the "Good News" (economic) that Perry is selling ?

Best Hopes for Divine Aid,


Agriculture: open question - the "good news" would have to be more than just dimmed - it would have to be dimmed so much as to become dimmer on the whole than the almost uniformly bad news from everywhere else.

Obama lack of concern: might garner more votes for Perry, LOL. Coastal liberals tend to forget that nowadays a good deal of "flyover territory" (including Texas) is less unpopulated than it used to be.

Heat wave $$: big deal, so what? Every year, the existence of something called "winter" is overlooked or forgotten on TOD, starting as early as March. In the depths of "winter", much of the country gets snow, ice, and high heating bills. Pay in winter, or pay in summer, or pay astronomical rent or mortgage (and risk earthquake) on the Pacific coastal margin - but pay no matter what.

Texas Agriculture is an unmitigated disaster ATM, statewide - except a distressed - but not totaled - crop in the Rio Grande Valley and 100% irrigated crops (heat > more water though). Cattle herds are being sold en masse, etc. A 2/3rds drop in agricultural production is likely too optimistic.

I was in Texas in 1980. the last Great Heat Wave. High electric bills did crimp many people's budgets and generated a lot of complaints. Like gasoline, a "must have" purchase that affected all other purchases.

Northeast retailers notice the difference in the spring after a cold vs. mild winter. A mild winter means (roughly) an extra $1,000 stimulus for every household.

The opposite in Texas this October, after the September bills come in.

And the neighbors of Texas are not generally very sympathetic to the woes of Texas due to a lack of federal aid.


Yup, I imagine ag is indeed a disaster this year, but the Big Picture under discussion is of course far more than just ag. And many of the jobs created may be dead-enders as some pundits have said, but some are apparently sufficient to induce people to move, so at least it's more than the zilch elsewhere. I dunno, maybe "tax everything that moves until it stops moving, dies, and rots away" isn't a good strategy after all, or maybe TX will, in time, get the comeuppance that many coastal liberals and wannabee Europeans seem to figure it deserves.

WRT the retailers, exactly right - as I said, pick your poison. Pay through the nose for cooling in the south, or heat in the north, or else pay triple on mortgage or rent plus heavy taxes on the Pacific coastal margin (and unless you're as rich as Donald Trump, drive until you qualify and spend four or five hours a day commuting.) No overwhelming disadvantage for TX in any of that - plus, as they say in TX, AZ, etc., when queried about their utterly miserable, endless, stifling summers, "at least we don't have to shovel the heat."

Paul – Remember as the country wonders aimlessly down the PO path (leading to energy shortages and more unemployment) Texas is still a major source of energy even on a global scale and the current source of the great majority of job growth in this country. Those liberals and EU’s might not want to hold their breaths for Texas to “get the comeuppance…they figure it deserves”.

There are a number of reasons I plan to spend my retirement years in Texas. Like I said earlier: nothing personal...just good business.

Cut taces (on the rich), until the government leg of the economy collapses. Thats whats being advocated. We functioned best as a mixed economy. But, that, and the middle class are no being destroyed. Better to let a handfull of billionares take the entire pie.

Texas, did (relatively) well, because it is the home to the major oil companies. High oil prices transfer wealth from oil consumers to producers, and Texas is a big beneficiary of the coming of high oil prices. Another state doing well, is North Dakota. All because of the Bakken play. But politicians, and political advocates will ascribe ideological causes to things that are largely beyond their control.

Both TX and ND benefit from military spending, and in Texas's case, from NNSA spending.



(El Forko Grande has absolutely no reason to exist anymore...saving it from the Base Re-alignment and Closure (BRAC) was a pure political pander to ND.

Texas is on the gravy train:



However, according to this source, TX receives $.94 of federal spending for every $1.00 of federal taxes paid. ND, on the other hand, has a ratio of $1.68 received for every dollar sent.


NM.....$2.01...Los Alamos National Lab (in Los Alamos)...and Sandia National Labs, Air Force Research Labs (AFRL), and the other military functions at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque bring in lots of cash.

I imagine that the Bureau of Indian Affairs brings in bucks too...judging by the number of BIA jobs I have historically seen on USAJOBS.com.

Did they decommission the Grand Forks Anti-Ballistic Missile base and the giant radar pyrimid.

IIRC, we were allowed Grand Forks and someplace in Alaska as our two ABM bases under the treaty.


Did they decommission the Grand Forks Anti-Ballistic Missile base?

Answer: The base you speak of is not Grand Forks Air Force base, but it is nearby:

The Safeguard Anti Ballistic Missile system's first and only base was in Nekoma, ND.

It was opened and closed 1n 1976...depending who you believe, it was open for one month or 9 months....

It still exists...the base is in mothballs, with the electronics (and of course the missiles) removed...it is now called the Stanley R. Michelsen Safeguard Complex. There is the main SPARTAN missile base, and several Remote Sprint Launcher bases surrounding Nekoma.







The Perimeter Acquisition Radar and Attack Characterization System(PARC)[Big phased array radar pointing North) is still operational at Cavalier Air Force Station, ND.


At one time, the U.S. and USSR allowed each other two ABM bases....one to protect each respective capital, and one other base. Then as the treaty stuff evolved, the agreement became to allow only one site in each nation.

Russia, (according to open Internet sources) allegedly has a site protecting the Moscow area:



The U.S. elected to use its one ABM base to defend ballistic missiles in their Launch Facilities from being destroyed by a Russian counter-force preemptive attack.

Russia apparently chose to protect its leadership and command and control capabilities in Moscow with populace protection being a happy coincidence.

Congress closed the U.S. system due to its great expense (Yes, it was already built, but its Operations and Maintenance (O&M) costs would have been large).

There was a bit of changing of the minds during the ABM treaty negotiations...the U.S. started construction of a second Safeguard ABM site near Malmstrom Montana, but it was terminated and the little bit of foundation etc was bulldozed under when Congress terminated and closed the Nekoma (now Stanley R. Mickelsen) site.

To add more detail, in 2002 the U.S. withdrew from the 1972 ABM treaty with Russia.

This was to pursue the dream (contractor gravy train extraordinaire) of the 'Ground-Based=Mid-course Defense' system (GMD).



NMD= GMD + Navy Sea-based anti-missile missiles (based on the STANDARD missile and the AEGIS RADAR), experiments with the ABL (Air-Borne LASER), and other numerous programs that have been, and still are in, development. A contractor playground paradise!

IIRC, the two GMD bases are at Fort Greely, Alaska (perhaps minimally operational, don't go to bed thinking you are protected from anything, IMO) and perhaps eventually Vandenberg AFB, VA.

For what its worth, I agree with Congress's decision to scrap the Safeguard system in 1976. Too bad we spent so much developing it...we could of not spent that money at all and kept the debt lower.

In my unofficial personal opinion, I thunk the National Missile Defense Efforts (started under President Ronald Raygun) have been, and continue to be, a black hole money pit for American taxpayers, have added zero to our national security, and have been a huge boon for contractors.

What about the Ruskie system?

...Yawn...(not an official remark).

I am glad to see some folks interested in where at least a little bit of their tax dollars for 'Defense' have (and still are) going...

Heisenberg -- Thanks for all the information. I worked with a number of ex-Safeguard engineers following the closure of the project. They were excellent, but chafed under the technical, economic and bureaucratic constraints of doing R&D for the phone business. Some adapted, while some did not.

The feeling I got was that it was quite possible to intercept one incoming ICBM, and that even a "hard" intercept with physical missile to missile contact had been made fairly early on in the program. On the other hand, I also got the feeling that in an actual war it wouldn't work very well. Multitudes of incoming warheads, decoys, high-altitude nuclear explosions, etc., would likely be beyond the systems ability to detect and defeat all the incoming actual warheads.

Which is probably why later systems were advertized to counter the "rogue nation" threat of a handful of early model ICBMs. Although its has also never been clear why a "rogue nation" would insist on using missiles as the weapon delivery system instead of more prosaic alternatives.

One of the engineers designed radar power systems. There are probably shiny, like-new transformers still in the basement in ND, since he alleged that they had installed them on the foundations and built buildings around them.

You might like Locations of Former Nike Site Locations & Status.

The Holmdel /Hazlet Nike base was still fenced and guarded when I came to NJ. It is now tennis courts in Holmdel Park.


My pleasure...I have geeked out on this war stuff, particularly the whole nuclear war / deterrence theory/technologies/psychology etc.

After 'living the dream' (actually while living the dream)I realized how futile most of it was/is.

Ballistic missile defense is a great example.

Very cool technology to scientists and engineers and military folks...but it is well understood by many that any defense can be overwhelmed by an increasing offense...and the defense will always be /much/ more costly than the offense per unit fielded.

Doesn't matter what defensive technology...missile v. missile, anti-missile lasers, particle beams, space-based brilliant pebbles, etc.

Strange game. The only way to win is not to play.

Thank for the link...I like to rad...books, internets, etc.

One of my fav Twilight Zone eps was 'Time enough at Last'.

spolier alert: The last act of the episode...if you never say the ep you may want to start at the beginning pf the ep on Youtube....


The unfortunate reality for New Mexico, is that aside from the military related hightech sector, which mainly revolves around those labs (and White Sands as well), that the job market really sucks, and wages are pretty crappy.

I honestly do not know about the non-MIC sector...but what you said would not surprise me.

It seems that the MIC is the #1 game in towm.

Eclipse Aviation (one of the first to get into the 'Very Light Jet' market segment crashed and burned.

Besides poor management, the economy pulled the throttle back on the VLJ air taxis everywhere fantasy.

Not sustainable, so I do not shed many tears for them.

Tesla Motors was going to set up a factory here (for their hoped-for sucessor to the Roadster), but they selected a site near San Fransisco I think.

There are some solar PV-related businesses in Albuquerque and Santa Fe etc:



Schott Solar has a manufacturing facility in Albuquerque:


I think it would be grand to manufacture wind turbines here as well....we have access to Texas and OK etc via I-40 and to Colorado and WY and SD/ND/MT via I-25, both of which cross right here in town.

All that being said, it is my sense that the combined jobs from the companies I linked to above are dwarfed by the number of jobs from Sandia Labs, Los Alamos, Air Force Research Laboratory, and other MIC concerns here. I imagine the pay and benefics on the MIC side are superior as well...and the job security...unless we elect Ron Paul...

BTW, I agree with you that unfettered Libertarianism would be a mistake...I would like to see Ron Paul, moderated by folks (VP etc) who can make the case for reasonable health, safety, and environmental protections and safeguards. [Cue 'Nanny State' folks to weigh in here...].

Bill Gates couldn't get a business loan in Albuquerque, so he relocated to Seattle.

Oh, I forgot all about Intel and their chip Fab.

I don't get over to the West side of the river very much at all...

If I could get the same scratch as I make here I would live in the Pacific NW as well....I like ABQ and NM and all, but I would prefer the cooler climate and would like the green trees...when I last went to the Seattle/Bangor area, my green photoreceptors almost burnt out!

On the Issues: Rick Perry

Rick Perry on Energy & Oil

$5,000 incentive for Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles. (Jan 2009)
More funding to develop domestic energy supplies. (Sep 2001)
Use federal funds for nuclear cleanup, with state input. (Sep 2001)
Share offshore oil development revenue with states. (Sep 2001)
Federal tax incentives for energy, with state decisions. (Aug 2001)
Signed the No Climate Tax Pledge by AFP. (Nov 2010)

Rick Perry on Environment

Flexible permitting to reduce ozone & NOx levels. (Feb 2011)
Flexible permitting: cap emissions for entire facility. (Nov 2010)
Katrina: feds impede crucial work; get out of the way. (Nov 2010)
Stop declaring wildlife sanctuaries on water reservoirs. (Feb 2007)
More state autonomy on brownfields & Superfund cleanups. (Aug 2001)
Support State Revolving Loan Fund for flexible Clean Water. (Aug 2001)
Supports national drought policy, focusing on readiness. (Sep 2001)
Maintain water flow in Mississippi & Missouri Rivers. (Feb 2001)
Focus on prevention and states for Endangered Species. (Aug 2001)
Collaborative, incentive driven, locally-based solutions. (Aug 2001)
Apply "Good Samaritan" rules to abandoned mine cleanup. (Aug 2001)
State primacy over water quantity & quality issues. (Aug 2001)

E. Swanson/Black_Dog
Then may I recommend you actually read reviews of the evidence left out by the IPCC or since AR4. e.g. See Climate Change Reconsidered, the 880 page 2009 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change nipcc.org. See also evidence at CO2Science.org. You might learn something.

On Perry's contributions, have you considered investigating why Obama refuses to disclose the contributors of $200 million in campaign donations? Including foreign donations from Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Beijing, Fallujah, Florence, Italy, Nigeria, Libya, Gaza etc.

As for climate change, I've followed the AGW science for more than 30 years and I think the NIPCC stuff put out by the Heartland Institute is pure crap. I actually found errors in work by one of the prime contributors to that mass of disinformation and wrote a published rebuttal as well. Fred Singer, who put together the NIPCC paper, is probably the leading denialist, who has shown little interest in science, instead preferring to present cherry picked propaganda. As for CO2Science, the Idso's have been spewing lies since day one, starting with their posting of their "Station of the Week", where they cherry picked raw data from the USHCN temperature data so that they showed cooling, not warming. That was before Anthony Watts started looking at the individual stations.

BTW, the station data is only one indicator of climate change, perhaps the best is the loss of sea-ice, which this year is trending toward another near record minimum in September, perhaps below the coverage seen in 2007. Now, look at the section in the NIPCC regarding Arctic sea-ice in Chapter 4. Notice that the references are all rather old, mostly from the early 2000's or late 1990's. There's nothing there about what has happened since about 2005. Doesn't that seem a bit strange, given the latest data?

EDIT: The IPCC process sets a cutoff date for referencing published works when each updated issue is written. Thus, the IPCC AR4 report did not address any work done or published after some date, perhaps 2005(?), thus the NIPCC's focus on older work is reasonable. Not that this improves their take on the references used. To assess the validity of their claims, one would need to read and understand each reference, not an easy undertaking for the average reader who is not schooled in the geophysical sciences, IMHO.

E. Swanson

I'm a scientist and attended a Fred Singer presentation at NIST in Boulder a few weeks ago. The level of open acceptance of Singer's message really surprised me although I'm well aware that privately most of us know that AGW is overblown and that warming/cooling is largely driven naturally.

I'm well aware that privately most of us know that AGW is overblown and that warming/cooling is largely driven naturally.

BS !!!

Perhaps you individually believe that, but that is *VERY* far from a scientific consensus.

I personally think the IPCC is way off - they seriously underestimated the speed of Climate Change. I suspect I am a minority in that POV, but not a small minority.


I'm sorry, but I have a hard time giving much credence to 'privately most of us know' ... how do you know this?

..and of course, 'Warming/Cooling is largely driven naturally..' the problem is adding in Artificial Forcings on top of those massive but balanced Natural forces. Throw them off kilter and you get to be the skiier who starts the avalanche.. and so do we.

Funny thing, AFAIK, all the major scientific organizations which represent the geophysical sciences agree that AGW is a problem which must be addressed. "Most of us" (who ever the "us" is) don't count in assessing the problem since most of us don't have a clue regarding the atmospheric sciences. Singer is a master at propaganda, by which I mean presenting a case which appears reasonable, yet contains a final conclusion which is wrong. The examples of such in the NIPCC report are clearly obvious, yet their repeated presentation has resulted in their acceptance. Your mentioning of warming and cooling being natural cycles is historically correct, but that fact in no way proves that future fluctuations will be natural, in spite of the well proven effects of CO2 on the energy balance of the Earth.

One of the favorite denialist claims is that the CO2 levels rose after the Ice Age glaciers had already begun to melt, therefore the end of the glaciers wasn't the result of CO2 warming. The flaw with this logic is that during that period, CO2 acted as a positive feedback, amplifying the natural warming which began the melting. In the present situation, the CO2 levels are being increased by mankind's emissions and thus the CO2 increase will be a cause of warmer conditions, not the result of a feedback process.

Another favorite is the idea that there was a Medieval Warm Period which naturally produced conditions which were warmer than today. The denialist present analysis of data which they claim proves this, yet their data has been shown to be flawed. Yet, they continue to present these data as if there were no controversy to audiences such as the presentation at NIST which you mentioned. Did you, who claim to be a scientist, question the validity of the data which Singer presented? If not, why not?

E. Swanson

Well put. Skeptical Science has a nice list of common denialist positions.

Meanwhile, the latest actual science suggests that we are much further down the swirling toilet bowl than many even among the cogniscenti had thought, according to a new synthesis of historical studies by David Wasdell:


The gist: climate sensitivity to doubling of CO2 is 7.8 degrees C at minimum (as opposed to the about 3 degrees usually assumed based on just the three main fast or 'Charney' feedbacks).

Perhaps Darwinian may want to reconsider his estimate of which is the more proximate and devastating threat, PO or GW, especially given the many very extreme and deadly weather events globally, particularly in the last year or so.

I came to the same appalling conclusion about a couple of years ago (thank you very much Hanson.....not).
I think we would have eventually reached some sort of impasse with overpopulation, FF's have certainly accelerated the process. There probably was a chance of some sort of dieoff and recovery if we only had to deal with peak resources and overpopulation.

Global warming caused by the continued wanton abuse of the fossil fuel bonanza has ensured there will be no recovery. I can accept that sixty or so years ago when we really had a chance to start saving the planet things were not so clear but now, even now, look around we are doing everything possible to extend the burning and environmental destruction for as long as possible.

You know even if tomorrow awareness became absolute, there would be no move to stop the burning but the Geo-engineers would be jumping out of the ground, to "sell" and I mean literally sell their solutions. There will never be a shortage of bandits.

we are much further down the swirling toilet bowl than many even among the cogniscienti had thought

That proves that even the AGW-proponents among scientists are in "denial" mode.
They are refusing to see how bad it already is.
The early papers I recall seeing, all said we have until the next century (another 100 years) before any of this starts unfolding. It must have been a lot of fun recently because time sure seems to have flown by faster than expected.

HERE's a description of Singer's presentation. He apparently used Loehle's 2008 climate reconstruction as one of his main talking points. That graph appears to have been THIS ONE posted on Roy Spencer's web site, which used data from Loehle 2008. I doubt that Singer mentioned the obvious flaws in Loehle's first analysis or my letter to the editor in 2008, which presented THIS GRAPH pointing to problems in Loehle's "corrected" work, both of which were published in E&E...

E. Swanson

As if we didn't have enough to think about, Vampire Bats apparently are likely to move their ranges northwards from South America, as the climate warms.

Keep those chickens locked up at night !

I agree the incident of Vampire bat rabies in US for first time is cause for concern. However, I would want to see evidence showing Vampire bats have migrated northwards. The actual bat bite causing rabies occurred in Mexico rather than US in an area known to have Vampire bats.

I did a little google-searching about this topic and found some interesting information. I don't think a live bat has ever been found in US. However, fossil remains of the Vampire bat have been found. This indicates the Vampire bat was in US at some point in past. The incubation period for rabies after a bite from this bat is very short. The poor fella in article was bit on July 15 and died on August 21. He arrived in US on July 29 and sought medical attention on July 30.

It is tough for the Vampire bat to migrate because they must eat within 3 days and they can't fly after eating. Since they live in tropical and sub-tropical areas, I was curious if they could survive freezing temperatures. I found it snowed in Brownsville, TX in 2004.

I also found an interesting tidbit that was related to previous comments regarding empathy. The Vampire bat displays empathy toward other bats by feeding hungry bats in colony via regurgitation. I have no idea if this is innate or learned behavior.

Is it just my computer/connection or did TOD just loose an entire thread?

Which thread?

He must mean yesterday's Drumbeat. It's still there, D..

Found it. Under the drumbeat button above...and now it has magically re-appeared on the TOD main page.

I would like to shoot a video of a PC tied to a wood post facing a firing squad...cigarette hanging out of the disk drive...blindfolded...15 PC users armed with AK- 47's blasting away....

It might have been a story accidentally posted too early. Which one was it? What was the title?

Saudi need for oil at $85 may speed cutback

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia may start cutting oil output ‘much sooner' than it did after the financial crisis in 2008 because it now needs crude prices of at least $85 (Dh312.2) a barrel to pay for spending, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co said...

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries will trim shipments by 0.3 per cent this month as refiners reduce imports during plant maintenance, according to tanker-tracker Oil Movements. Exports will drop to 22.71 million barrels a day to August 27, the England-based researcher said.

OPEC average contract price was $112.13 as of August 5th. The average contract price is likely now about $105 a barrel after last week's drop so I really don't see why they would consider cutting already.

Anyway oil OPEC oil shipments dropped again. They are near their lowest point for the year and well over one million barrels per day below their pre Libyan revolt levels.

Ron P.

Based upon OPEC oil export shipping reports from tanker tracker, 'Oil Movements' and current reports such as up top, 'Japan Buying Most Saudi Arabian Crude Oil, Ship Tracking Data Show', OPEC exports are expected to fall about 350,000 bpd in August as compared to July. To the best of my knowledge, most but not all of that drop is a reduction of exports from Saudi Arabia. It is not clear if this has anything to do with the start of the Ramadan holiday, if this is due to unusual summer internal demand, or if this reduction is intentional. My guess is that all three factors are at work.

That is, of course, if you take their recent 'output' figures at face value. There have been a few examples earlier this year where KSA revised their output totals - usually down but sometimes up. KSA has reported a significant increase in output since the June OPEC meeting, but curiously, none of that output increase is showing up in August exports.

It would be a fair statement to say that OPEC has not increased its exports at all to make up for the loss of even one barrel of lost Libyan exports. However the media usually just talks about 'output', which if you believe KSA, has increased almost 1 million bpd since early June.

Just to clarify, Ramadan is not a holiday and oil and industrial production does not traditionally slow during Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr, normally just referred to as the Eid holidays, falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month which follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. Eid al-Fitr is a holiday and is three days long. It will be celebrated on August 30, 31 and September 1. It is doubtful however that this will result in any decrease in oil production for those three days.

I completely agree with you, since the Libyan conflict we have seen only a decrease in OPEC oil exports. You would think someone would have noticed this fact in the mainstream media. All that hyped new oil production has resulted in no increase in oil exports, but there has been a significant decrease because of Libya.

Ron P.

In the mean time, all is well in the US as fuel prices drop. "Nothin' to worry about folks, take a road trip!"

Thanks for the clarification on the holidays, as you have personal experience with that.

The problem with the loss of Libyan oil is that it was of high quality, is a main or important source of supply for Italy, Ireland and other European countries. The release of 60 million barrels of oil and oil products by participating IEA countries (30 million barrels SPR oil were released in the US) has temporarily obscured this loss. How the IEA as a group is going to handle this ongoing loss of Libyan supply will continue to be a difficult problem to deal with - if OPEC does not increase exports. This is another point which is ignored by the mainstream media.

Staniford points out that KSA has hit a new high point of oil production, for recent times that is. But according to JODI they lead the pack worldwide in May for YOY demand gain, at 197 kb/d, presaging new records in the last few months, which haven't been entered into JODI data yet. This FT piece Leanan posted a few days ago is now available sans subscription: Saudi Arabia grapples with gas conundrum - FT.com. Demand for oil generated electricity is predicted to be double of last year, 1.2 mb/d vs 600 kb/d - total consumption was 2429 kb/d for Aug 2010; this would equate to close to 3 mb/d, wholly wiping out their production gain.

Most of these exports are headed to Japan, as linked today in DB, as they have an electricity shortfall to make up for.

Don't you find it a bit strange that seemingly all of Saudi Arabia's extra production is exactly the same as the amount of extra oil that they claim to be burning in power plants? Let's see if they keep up that production as the weather cools and then if any turns up in exports.

Yes I know they need more electricity for air-con in the summer but, like for example China, we just seem to accept whatever internal figures they choose to put out. Only Venezuela seems to be "disbelieved" by the IEA/EIA.

We choose to take these numbers with a grain of salt; if they are later revised downward sans explanation that's another bit of data we can point to for any detractors. I accept these numbers as given for the time being, what else is there to work with?

The coincidence, if it is, between production and consumption is exactly what I'd expect them to do. The question of where the extra oil to make up for Libya is another curio; did the IEA oil make up for it somehow? At any rate it shows that KSA hasn't peaked as of yet, unless you refer to their ultimate peak of 30 years ago.

One month means nothing. Let's see if they can hold it. Average crude only production for Saudi Arabia in 2005 was 9,415,000 barrels per day according to OPEC's Oil Market Report. Average production, through July, for 2011 has been 9,032,000 barrels per day. To match their 2005 average they would have to produce 9,950,000 barrels per day for the rest of the year. That is extremely unlikely to happen.

But you could argue that they could,if they wished, produce for the next year, or two years, what they produced in July. That remains to be seen but I doubt it very seriously. But we shall see.

But all OPEC, not just Saudi, is the important thing. In July OPEC produced 1,603,000 barrels per less than they did in July 2008, their peak month and peak year. The Libyan output drop was about 1,500,000 barrels per day. So even if Libya was producing at their old level before the conflict, OPEC would still be below their peak of 2008.

Ron P.

As Ron noted, Saudi Arabia has still not exceeded their 2005 average annual production rate, and the problem with monthly data is that besides the inherent data quality issues, inventory changes presumably have a bigger effect on reported monthly production numbers than on reported average annual production numbers.

In any case, it seems somewhat ridiculous to talk about Saudi Arabia not peaking, when their 2010 annual net exports (total petroleum liquids, BP) were 21% below their 2005 level--as their ratio of domestic oil consumption to domestic oil production (C/P) increased from 18% in 2005 to 28% in 2010. At this rate of increase in the C/P ratio, Saudi Arabia would approach zero net oil exports some time around 2024. If all of the oil exporting countries in the world showed the same kind of recent net export numbers that Saudi Arabia has shown, and if the pattern continued, we would be looking at zero global net oil exports in about 14 years.

At their 2005 to 2010 rate of increase in consumption, Saudi Arabia would have to increase their 2011 average annual total petroleum liquids production to 12.1 mbpd, versus 11.1 mbpd in 2005 (and versus 10.0 mbpd in 2010), just to match their 2005 net export rate of 9.1 mbpd.

And a prime example that really makes one wonder what is going on regarding data collection is the large gap between what the Texas RRC shows for Texas crude production versus what the EIA shows (my understanding is that in both cases crude is defined as C+C). In 1981, the EIA number was about 4% higher than the RRC number. In 2010, the EIA number (1.17 mbpd) was about 20% higher than the RRC number (0.978 mbpd).



KSA could switch to gas for power, but about 55% of their gas is associated, thus bound to quota. Contrast the US, where it's more like 30% historically and currently at about 22%, and quotas are long a thing of the past. Switching over helped the US shed ca. 1.5 mb/d of consumption in short order 30 years ago; if the Saudis could do the like it would feed their domestic jones for decades, but it just hasn't happened yet.

In any case, Saudi Arabia showed large increases in annual production and net exports from 2002 to 2005, in response to rising annual oil prices.

From 2005 to 2010, in response to generally rising* annual oil prices, Saudi annual production has been below their 2005 rate for five straight years, and their net exports have shown year over year declines for four of the past five years.

As noted above, if Saudi Arabia were the only oil exporter in the world, at the current rate of increase in their C/P ratio, importers would be looking at no available net oil export supply in 14 years.

*From 2005 to 2010, annual oil prices showed year over year increases for four years out of five, with all post-2005 annual oil prices exceeding the $57 level that we saw in 2005.

Saudi demand for crude increases during the summer(Jun to Sep).
Electricity demand for air conditioning goes through the roof.
Natural gas production has been declining, so they are using more heavy oil for the boilers.
There is a swing facor of 600-700k bl/da(2nd to 3rd qt).
This extra demand has been increasing about 100k bl/da for the past 6yr.
So, they have increased heavy oil prod for their own use.


I was thinking on the same lines, how low will the prices go even in a severe economic recession given OPEC's dependence on revenues from oil.

I was thinking on the same lines, how low will the prices go even in a severe economic recession given OPEC's dependence on revenues from oil.

And with that question (which you may have been inferring) is, how much will OPEC reduce exportation to keep oil prices at recessionary causing levels? What we have here is a conflict of interest. OPEC wants X dollars a barrel, and the economy can only handle Y dollars which may be less than X. It's kind of like the Golden Gate Bridge when they started raising tolls and ridership across the span decreased, so they upped the price again until the price they got equalled what they needed. It's now 6 bucks, with talk of going to 8 or even 10, but the number of vehicles is less than ever, just as there will be less barrels than ever before, spelling disaster for OECD economies.

Here are a few possible scenarios
1. We have an economic recession that dwarfs 2008, oil prices go into a free fall and OPEC does nothing to counter it. Oil hits 40$ and stays like that for a few years. The economies of ME countries go into a tailspin without oil revenues and we have Arab Spring 2.0 once again pushing up oil prices, starting a vicious cycle of high oil prices and a deflationary scenario.

2. We have a recession and oil prices free fall, OPEC cuts production to counter this, once again starting a vicious cycle of high oil prices and a deflation. Here it is bound to get ugly since OECD will put pressure on OPEC not to cut production, what outcome this will have is open to debate. (likely : possible invasion of oil producing countries)

3. OPEC and OECD enter into some kind of agreement where OPEC decides to cut prices in return for subsidies and stimulus (this can include military assistance to subdue the population), how much this is a possibility is also debatable.

4. Oil stays just above 80$ and somehow the economy stumbles along, neither growing nor contracting. This is an unlikely scenario given the way our economy is built since population changes need to be absorbed.

I am looking more and more onto centralism here. The big leadersof the world comes together to discuss central solutions to global problems. More and more of the world economy - money and oil transmissions - will get regulated centrally. Allthe way down to your own pocket. Global socialism! And it will of course work as good at the global level as it did on the local; not at all. Ugly times awaits.

3. OPEC and OECD enter into some kind of agreement where OPEC decides to cut prices in return for subsidies and stimulus (this can include military assistance to subdue the population), how much this is a possibility is also debatable.

Your #3 is an impossible scenario. OPEC does not have the power to keep prices low. Low prices would likely cause the economy to recover, creating more demand for oil. But OPEC exports, due to increased internal consumption as well as declining production, are falling. They cannot produce more oil to meet the increased demand.

It is difficult to see how OPEC could "agree" to keep prices low when their exports are declining. Also, the last OPEC meeting just shows how much animosity exists between different OPEC nations. The OPEC cartel, as a cohesive force in world oil markets, is a thing of the past.

Ron P.

OPEC may not be capable of pushing prices down, given their limited production and export potential, however, were there to be some changes in the leadership of a few OPEC nations, they might act to keep prices higher than they might otherwise be. For example, the Saudis have claimed that they wanted to keep prices low enough to prevent the consuming nations from developing alternative energy sources instead of burning oil, a stance which might vanish along with the ruling monarch, due to some instability. We TODers think the world supply can be expected to decline as the peak production becomes a thing of the past, and the OPEC nations might decide that it would be better to push the consuming nations toward conservation and alternative energy instead of facing military intervention as the gap between supply and desired demand becomes acute. Maybe the Iranians will be proven correct about the need to keep prices higher, but the Saudis won't go along at present...

E. Swanson

But OPEC exports, due to increased internal consumption as well as declining production, are falling

You answered it yourself, OPEC does have the ability to cut prices by cutting back on internal consumption and oil subsidies given to it's citizens. That however will require a lot of guts and foreign aid in the form of other energy sources, clean tech and military aid to quell dissent.
Although as you pointed out this won't be a permanent solution since consumption will soon rise in other places.

Here are a few possible scenarios: Posted by Wiseindian

I would expect a combination of #2 and #4.

A recession/demand destruction followed by a price in the $30-$40 range. After a couple of months OPEC (primarily the Saudis) will cut production, but not to the point that it will create an immediate price-spike followed by another round of recession/deflation. Rather, the Saudis will cut production to the point that the price levels off in the $75-$85 range.

At this point the Saudis will be sitting on several MBD of spare capacity. And as time goes on and the world muddles along, the price will gradually again start creeping up. As the price starts creeping up, the Saudis will cut into the spare capacity to seriously retard the upcreep in price. After two or three years the spare capacity will be all gone, THEN we get the next price-spike, and then the next round of recession, the next stepdown in Aangels Revised Staircase Model of economic contraction.

I expect this dynamic will repeat until we go off the big long step in the Staircase Model. The question seems to be, will the next step down be the Big One, or the step after that or after that or….

Antoinetta II

You are giving Saudi Arabia a lot more power, a lot more latitude, and a lot more spare capacity than they actually have.

Ron P.

I'm talking about what spare capacity they are likely to have after the next round od Demand Destruction, not what they have now.

Antoinetta III

DB: Oil Majors’ Production Declines Startling, $120 Oil?

Dramatic oil production declines in the second quarter at more than 20 major oil companies, from ExxonMobil (XOM) to Lukoil, were startling, even accounting for lost Libya production of 1.3 million barrels, writes Paul Sankey, who covers big oil names for Deutsche Bank.

His conclusion: Wall Street has to ratchet down its estimates, and oil prices could rise to $120 per barrel for the U.S. benchmark contract.

Understand these are major, (publicly owned), oil companies not national oil companies like ARAMCO. However some of the companies did have a share of Libyan oil and this accounts for some of the decline. The biggest loser was BP, down 254,000 bp/d in the second quarter and they had NO Libyan interest.

I added the total decline for the 15 major companies listed in the article and it came to 1,352,000 barrels per day.

Ron P.

Some observations -

- A number of oil companies were not listed, Exxon & Shell for example. So I assume they increased production, offsetting declines elsewhere.

- The article should have listed what production was lost due to Libya in each of the oil companies.

- And production often declines for a quarter due to maintenance. I know North Sea maintenance is done in the summer for example.

Is the 2nd Qtr vs. 1st Qtr a higher maintenance period ? Given that the spring (Northern Hemisphere) is traditionally a low demand time, and in many climates it is the best time to do work.

Just thoughts,


The article stated that there were declines in more than 20 major oil companies. They listed only 15 of them but I am sure they were the biggest decliners. I googled Exxon and Shell to try to find out what they did in the second quarter.

Exxon had a 10 percent increase in US BOE production. However their foreign production was down.

Exxon 2Q earnings rise 41 percent

Higher oil prices also boosted earnings for Exxon's European rivals BP and Royal Dutch Shell PLC in the second quarter. All three missed Wall Street expectations, however, as they reported weaker oil production from fields outside the U.S. Foreign entitlement contracts force them to take less oil as prices rise, analysts said.

Higher Prices Buoy Profits as Oil Companies Scramble for New Fields

Shell also reported a decline of 100,000 barrels of daily oil and gas production for the quarter, in part because of permitting delays in the Gulf of Mexico after the BP accident last year.

So it looks like Exxon and Shell did not do all that good either but due to much higher oil prices their profits were up.

The second and third quarters are both high maintenance periods. I don't think the second quarter is usually has higher maintenance outages than the third. Both are about even. But the tropics do not usually have a maintenance season at all. Maintenance is done there all year around.

Maintenance seasons are in the warmer months so this means that in the southern hemisphere their maintenance season is in the third and first quarters.

Ron P.

Quote from above:

Foreign entitlement contracts force them to take less oil as prices rise, analysts said.

Ok, Chevron has an interest in a 100,000 b/day oil field in, say Indonesia. At $100/barrel they get 60,000 b/day. Price increases to $120/barrel, and they get 55% of 100,000 b/day or 55,000 b/day.

A production loss of 5,000 b/day for Chevron, but no drop in physical oil production. Important for financial analysts concerned with Chevron profits, but not for us Peak Oil analysts.


What is the address for suggesting speakers at the next ASPO meeting ?



re ASPO- Washington

I'd contact Jan (address mentioned here):


The address for recommending conference speakers is:


There was a question in the previous Drumbeat (I believe it was Heisenberg) about the energy policies of presidential hopefuls. This is worth a look:

On The Issues: Every Political Leader on Every Issue -- Energy & Oil

I'll come back and edit if I find anymore.

EDIT: I now realize this is titled 2008, but it has been updated sporadically with information up to 2011.


Thank you very much, I scanned the pages and this appears to fit the bill nicely!

I wonder if an article (keypost) by someone on the TOD staff (or cadre of TOD article contributors) comparing and contrasting the candidates' energy statements, votes, positions, and/or perhaps identifying and enumerating common themes and discussion the implications of these would be useful?

My very quick assessment of the Republican candidates wrt energy policy:

Bachmann, Santorum, Paul, and Cain are all about Drill, Baby, Drill, against any government role in encouraging alt-Fossil Fuel energy technologies such as wind and solar, and against any government actions to encourage energy efficiency.

Romney and Pawlenty have statements on record which seem to show that they might favor some sort of government role in improving energy efficiency and developing alternative energy to fossil fuels...they even may have some environmental awareness. Gingrich also shows some glimmers along these lines.

The material on Huntsman is sparse, but appears to show that he may be the Republi9can candidate with the most favor for increasing energy efficiency, developing alternative (to FF) energy, and taken actions to reduce pollution.

The info on Perry is sparse at this site...info from Black Dog's links upstream show that he has supported wind energy, but not solar, and he doesn't favor regulating pollution via the EPA nor does he seem to favor government encouragement of energy efficiency.

I found it interesting that several of these folks voted for a an initiative to field hydrogen-powered cars, which I regard as a blind alley. Most favored the drill, baby, brill mantra, the 'regulation is killing domestic energy production mantra', and the opening of ANWR.

I regard the true contenders to be Perry, Romney, and Bachmann...barring any big skeletons in their closets and/or heinous gaffes.

Honestly, I think the nomination is Perry's to lose, with the real question being who will he select for his VP?

I think it is a shame that Huntsman is not a contender...too moderate for the red meat R primary voters, and his being a Mormon doesn't play well with them either.

Even though Ron Paul would do nothing to encourage alt energy or efficiency developments, I would vote for him because he would likely crack the whip from the bully pulpit to try to balance the budget and would seriously down-scope the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). He also would try to end the failed, wasteful, counter-productive 'War on Drugs'. I also think that, since he is a staunch Libertarian, he wouldn't push the co-mingling of Christianity and American governance.

Too bad Paul has no chance. He should run as an Independent...he needs a couple of sugar daddies...perhaps after Citizens United he can find a few Libertarians with deep pockets to bankroll his run?

It's looking increasingly likely that we'll have a Republican win in 2012, but it's still early.

When push comes to shove, the conservatives and libertarians will fall in line, because they have this quaint belief that Democrats are destroying the country.

Which isn't true of course - the country is destroying itself - but that's a discussion for another time.

The liberals and independents are exhausted and demoralized. What can motivate them? This place is as right wing as it gets. Nobody talks about ending the wars, except the media unfriendly Ron Paul. Nobody talks about basic universal healthcare, or energy conservation/alternative energy. Wall Street continues to get free money from the Fed, which they can use to speculate in world markets, and then get bailed out when they fail, because they put a gun to the Treasury and say "give us such and such billions of dollars, or this market goes down on your watch."

Please stop me if you disagree, I'm all ears.

Meh. It's not even a matter of agreement or disagreement, so much as disjunction. Never mind acting on that stuff, nobody's going to talk about it (in a serious way) because there's nothing to say that violate one taboo or another.

Potential demand for health "care" is functionally infinite, so you can't possibly universalize it (for real) without saying how much is enough, otherwise all the tea in China couldn't pay for it. If you broach that subject in the puritanical USA, you're Hitler. Demand for oil is large and not about to disappear overnight (even though it fluctuates at the margin), and that includes Europe which is heavily dependent on diesel trucks for freight. So as Kunstler has pointed out, you've gotta have a police station in the Middle East for the time being, like it or not. And those demoralized liberals have long since elevated "elf'n'safety" to trump all else no matter the cost (i.e. it's always worth sacrificing all of one's rights to avoid even the most immeasurably trivial risk because surely you can see that under some cockamamie contrived scenario where you're dead, you'd have no rights anyway), so no one can touch the police-state stuff. And nobody seems to have the slightest clue about the financial stuff, apart from futilely beating up the perceived "other" as in England these last few days. Or, more precisely, many "know" just what to do, but their "knowledge" is mutually contradictory - recall Harry Truman's plaintive wish for a "one-handed economist."

So, when all is said and done, motivate them to do just what? They've done a decent job of yelling "gimme, gimme" while organizing themselves into a dandy circular firing line, but beyond that... ??

What I don't understand is why no-one is making any mention of stopping the billions of dollars in foreign aid from going out of the USA while our country is going broke? Or, How about stopping the billions in payments to the UN?

We should immediately stop all of both until the USA is debt free and our people have full employment!

Because that is talking point that only resonates in right-wing land. People think we spend like 20% of the budget on foreign aid . . . in reality, it is around 1%. And nearly half of that is aid to Israel, good luck cutting that. So cutting off all foreign aid would do almost nothing to the budget.

An interesting study was done about the size of foreign aid. Two questions were asked, How much do you think we are spending?, and How much should we spend? The average answer to the first question is many times the actual expenditure. The answer to the second question is much less that what they think we said, but much more than what we currently spend. But, untruthful memes live on. The same thing applies to welfare spending, which is smaller than most people realize. It just goes to demonstrate what well funded misinformation campaigns can accomplish.

does that factor in the extended costs of foreign aid?
for example, for every one dollar given to Isrial what is the factor that increases other costs? a factor of 3? 4? 10?

Huh? I never heard of that before. I can't understand why giving them a dollar would cost 4 dollars somewhere else. You need to explain exactly how that works.

Ron P.

Ron - I've haven’t joined the foreign aid chat…just not a significant issue IMHO. But I haven’t noticed anyone mention some of the strings attached such as the requirement that some of that aid is funneled back to US companies through purchases. Especially military hardware and food. I don’t know the magnitude but I think it’s significant. Also easy to understand why the govt/companies don’t advertise this fact.

Now how does that work? The only plausible mechanism I can think of it that it pisses off a lot of people in MENA, and that anger directed at us is countered by an expensive war on terror. But, thats pretty indirect, and would more easily be changed by changed our foreign policy.

Please stop me if you disagree, I'm all ears.

I agree all too completely. It's like the country cannot stop itself from slowly imploding.

Nobody talks about ending the wars, except the media unfriendly Ron Paul.

And if Ron got the nod from the Repubican party - Obama can end the armed conflict with the stroke of a pen taking that issue off the table.

Same goes if Ron runs as the Libertarian *AND* gets traction there.

Nobody talks about basic universal healthcare, or energy conservation/alternative energy.

Remember when there were movements for Constitutional amendments for womens/others rights and a clean environment? Note how they deflated once there were new layers of Government to keep track of equal rights and the EPA?

Start pushing for Constitutional amendments on energy (And how the heck ya gonna phrase that?!?) and healthcare and all of a sudden you'll get movement because it seems the people in power don't want the shackles of Constitution and will take the simpler and more controllable shackles of regulation.

Romney and Pawlenty have statements on record which seem to show that they might favor some sort of government role in improving energy efficiency and developing alternative energy to fossil fuels...they even may have some environmental awareness. Gingrich also shows some glimmers along these lines.

Yeah, I don't know about that.

Every time I see a bumper sticker that says this, I wish I had my cordless drill and a 1/2" drill bit so I could drill a hole in the bumper through the sticker (and to add an extra flair, I could dribble some thick oil on the hole so it looks like something was oozing out). But that's not the sort of thing I would ever do in real life...

On a more serious note, this is the paradigm shift that has not yet happened in the Republican party. They still think of resources as being more or less limitless, which implies that individuals should not need to curtail or limit their usage in any way. In a sense the issue is the same with climate change - they like to believe that man is incapable of changing things enough that the climate of the planet could change. While the message may be comforting to their base, eventually they will have to come to terms with the fact that the actions that we take do have global consequences. But I don't expect this paradigm shift to happen any time soon..

I think they are trapped by some of the power groups supporting them. The evangelicals, by and large take seriously the biblical line, about go forth and multiply. To them it is gods will whether we can tap into endless milk-and-honey. Then you have corporate interests, who think they benefit by eliminating environmntal restrictions, and suckering the population into thinking BAU can go on forever.

Of course environmentalism and limits to growth, are seen as left policies, so the natural kneejerk response is to be against them. And they've made spreading hatred of wacko environmentalists, and elitist academic sorts into a major part of their efforts to prepare the electorate. So changing, would not be asy to do, without risking a lot of support.

On the article "Japanese towns reconsider sea walls after deadly tsunami":

I just returned to the US from Japan. I was not in an afflicted area (I was in Shikoku), but I did get to see the amazing modern art that the Japanese have performed on their seashores. It's really quite absurd and more than a little sad, coming from Florida and Hawai'i where natural seashores are considered valuable. Despite beaches like Clearwater beach in FL or Waikiki in HI that are partly artificial at this point because the sand is added artificially, there are many natural beaches in both states... So Japan was a bit of a shock, because finding a natural, untampered with beach was nearly impossible. Found one on an island in the Seto sea though. Yes, Japan gets earthquakes and tsunami, but there is such a thing as going way to far, and when you've concreted up the majority of your coast you've gone way, way, way to far.

Honestly, it's way past time people (not just in Japan) started considering living WITH the world rather than against it. Seawalls may have to be put up in some places, but the reliance on them to the point of ignoring the words of ancestors telling you that you better build up the hill is amazing hubris and ended predictably. What is amazing and can't be emphasized enough is that several towns in the tsunami affected region had no fatalities, despite the extremely severe tsunami, because they heeded warnings on stones and built above the danger zone.

There is discussion in flood-ravaged Minot, North Dakota, of razing houses in certain flood-prone parts of the valley and prohibiting future structures in these flood-prone zones...creating a greenway along the Souris River.

We shall see if the folks are smart and build up on the North ans South Hills (plenty of room) and make much of the Valley parkland, or if hubris, greed, and stupidity prevail.

I lived there for nine years...hopefully the folks will make smart choices to preclude repeat disasters in the future.

Concrete has a much faster decay cycle thn ordinary rock. So when Civilisation is over, nature will gradually erase those walls. It is only we who live in the era of abundance who will enjoy the scenery.

Here's one folks likely haven't seen in the MSM:

Rumsfeld must face trial for torture, Court of Appeal rules Bush official does not have personal immunity for torture

It is hard to overstate the significance of the ruling by the US Court of Appeals that Donald Rumsfeld will face trial for torture. Every Bush-era official who committed crimes, including authorizing torture, has to be deeply alarmed.

The movement for accountability has entered a new, decisive stage and we are committed to stepping up the momentum....

...Here is what has happened:

The court ruled on Tuesday that two U.S. citizens who worked for a private security firm in Iraq can proceed to take Donald Rumsfeld to trial for the torture they assert they endured during months of imprisonment in 2006 in a prison set up by the Pentagon at a military base near Baghdad's airport..

The two men say they were arrested and then brutally tortured after they tried to expose bribery and corruption in the private security firm that was on the Pentagon payroll. They informed U.S. authorities and began cooperating with them to expose bribery and corruption. In early 2006 they were unexpectedly arrested and sent to the prison at the US military base Camp Cropper located near Baghdad's airport.

After months of imprisonment they were taken from the jail and dropped at the airport without ever having been charged with a crime.

The Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday upheld a lower court ruling that the men have a right to take Rumsfeld to trial.

The court ruled, "We agree with the district court that the plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to show that Secretary Rumsfeld personally established the relevant policies that caused the alleged violations of their constitutional rights during detention."

From Bloomberg:

Former U.S. secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld must face a lawsuit filed against him by two American men claiming they were wrongfully held and tortured by U.S. forces in Iraq.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago yesterday upheld a lower court ruling last year allowing the men, Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, to pursue claims that Rumsfeld should be found personally liable for their treatment...

...‘Decision Is Troubling’

“Today’s decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals is a blow to the U.S. military,” Rivkin, a partner in Cleveland-based Baker Hostetler LLP, said yesterday. “This decision is troubling, particularly for the uniformed personnel throughout the entire chain of command who are defendants in this lawsuit. Having judges second-guess the decisions made by the armed forces halfway around the world is no way to wage a war.”

Charles Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. Justice Department, said by phone he couldn’t immediately comment on the court’s decision. The department is representing Rumsfeld and the U.S. in the case.

Best hopes for more accountability, though they are likely misplaced :-/

The attitude by some that the U.S. military is above the law is an affront to our citizens.

I spent 20 years taking Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) training,(including Survival, Escape, and Resistance 'POW' training) including theory and applicability of the Geneva Conventions and other national and World laws.

Seems that it only applies to the worker bees (and only when there is no choice due to public outcry), but the boss men are above the law.

The attitude by some that the U.S. military is above the law is an affront to our citizens.

VS politicians or "the rich" who have similar attitudes?

The higher one is "in power", the more this attitude seems to show up.

This is not a 'disease' limited to the Military.

Your valid points in no way invalidate my point.

I just didn't want anyone to walk away thinking it was a problem with JUST the military.

In theory the military has far more checks on them than "the rich". Perhaps more than Congress, if you happen to be a American citizen because, in theory, military staff have very limited ways they can interact with citizens.

Your last point cuts two ways: The citizenry has very very little idea of the details of what their money is paying for.

First there is the Giant Shield of classification...some classification certainly serves to protect our strategies and capabilities and vulnerabilities from potential enemies...some, IMO, likely serves to protect the budgets and inadequate systems performance and embarrassing information from public scrutiny.

Even all Unclassified information cannot be accessed by FOIA requests (Freedom of Information Act)...there are 9 (IIRC) FOIA exemptions that allow (U) info to be marked 'For Official Use Only'.

Then there is another Giant Shield of contractor proprietary Information (PROPIN)...including costs.

The citizenry rarely gets to question military members directly, and, if they do, there is zero chance that the uniformed members are not under severe pressure to toe the party line or be ostracized, with greatly diminished chances for promotion...

The military tells the citizenry what the military wants to tell them, in the details that they want, when they want, and only communicates the official vetted 'opinions', not any 'views of others' (in or out of the complex).

Yeah, that's probably why your fellow workers are so smug about things. They have an iron grip on the nation, because their activities are so well hidden behind layers of "need to know" compartments. Do you really think those new F-35 fighters cost $350 million (or what ever) each, (not including spares)? Show us a real audit of all that "proprietary" spending by the company(s) which make all that hardware...

E. Swanson

As supreme court chief justice Oliver Wendel Holmes said "the law serves the convenience of the dominate group in society".

Libyan Freedom Fighters cut off Tripoli

They have entered, but not yet secured Zawiya (Zawiyah). The last oil refinery under Gaddafi control is there, and the coastal road to Tunisia.


Just surrounding or contesting Zayiwa isolates Tripoli, and reduces available oil to what is stored.

Getting new supplies, and mercenaries, in will be more difficult.

Unless repulsed, this is likely the turning point.

The civilians in Tripoli will be largely trapped. No fuel or open road out, little food in, and collapsing utilities soon enough.


It is looking like Ghadaffi better negotiate himself an exile deal or he'll end up like Mubarak or Saddam.

The rebels have certainly been been a rag-tag bunch and NATO has not had their best players on the field yet progress is being made. I think there is also a bit of waiting game . . . Tripoli is pretty isolated as is such that time is more on the side of the rebels.

If NATO and the rebels pull this off, it will be interesting to see how this plays politically. A lot of GOPers have been against the (relatively minor) role of the USA in this venture. But if the rebels win, they'll be on the wrong side of history.

And what if NATO/rebels get Quadaffi? Does that mean Obama got Bush's big nemesis Osama and a Reagan nemesis? Not bad for a Kenyan Muslim socialist.

But who knows . . . the fight could go on for years.

But who knows . . . the fight could go on for years.

I fear that the longer it takes, the more likely the result will be unpleasant.

"The World is indeed comic : but the joke is on Mankind" : H. P. Lovecraft

It seems that the main topics of the presidential campaign will be trusted by the same issues as before. Maybe leaning even more toward abortion , gay right and faith mixed up togather for a comeback. Since Obama was elected nothing much has changed and i guess that energy consumption in the US is roughly the same as 4 years ago ...
As usual BAU is king and the masses have no clue about peak oil and its ramification.

Smaller Brazilian cane crop means no competition for corn ethanol after subsidies expire at the end of the year. May mean increased ethanol exports to Brazil.

Brazilian distillers are struggling to meet demand this year. Under government pressure, producers will direct more cane to fuel ethanol this season -- output is seen falling approximately 4% this year, while there are potential customers for a double-digit jump in supply.

Brazil uses ethanol as an independent fuel and as a 25% additive to gasoline fuel.


Smaller Brazilian cane crop means no competition for corn ethanol after subsidies expire at the end of the year. May mean increased ethanol exports to Brazil.

The one coment:

Perhaps American Ethanol will continue to be exported to Brazil in the coming year to help make up for their shortage. More jobs, more export earnings, more tax revenue and more prosperity in the mid west.
Posted by Thomas Blazek at 9:49PM CDT 08/12/11

Does no one understand ERoEI?! Rhetorical question... >:-(

Coal Strikes a Tough Vein Over Costs, Natural Gas

In China, coal consumption rose 19% in July, from a year ago, while coal imports reached 17 million metric tons (18.7 million short tons)in the month, which may be a record, according to Vic Svec, a senior vice president at Peabody Energy Corp.in St. Louis.

Earlier post on TOD (July 4, 2011), Peak Coal and China:

Taking the experience of 2005-2010 as a guide, this report generously assumes that China’s future economic growth rates will be coal production growth rates plus five percentage points.

According to this report’s projection, China’s average annual growth rate of coal production will slow down to 3.8 percent for 2010-2020, 0.7 percent for 2020-2030, -2.3 percent for 2030-2040, and -4.6 percent for 2040-2050.

Here's another post on China's energy crisis


From the article

Meanwhile, city residents complain about high food prices while desperate farmers had to destroy their harvest corps because no one is coming to their fields to buy their food produces. The reason: even though the prices of produce may be dirt cheap at locations of harvest, the cost of transporting them and distributing them into the basket of city dwellers is prohibitively expensive. The transportation bottleneck in China is just another facet of the energy crisis in China: There are not enough trucks and diesel fuel to transport the goods around the country, because diesel fuel is also needed to generate electricity.

There's PO impact for you, right there.


Welcome to PERRY WORLD! I have no idea if Rock Baby will be a serious contender or not. But he knocked it out the park this weekend IMHO. Uncharacteristically I’ve been scanning all the MSM the last two days. Typically Rick Baby has gotten more coverage then the rest of the wannabes combined. In fact I doubt the straw poll would have gotten half the screen time if it literally wasn't a physical circus: saw more folks eating BBQ and playing around than we saw of the candidates.

And I think his success was partly due to MSM/public boredome with the process. They ran the same stories on the pack for months. Since there was nothing "bleeding" to lead with the media needed something new to hype. Fortunately for Rick Baby he was in the right place at the right time. IMHO he took the wind out of the R pack more effective than anything the D party has tried.

The question now is how long before Rick Baby shoves his foot down his own throat with some way over the top statement. He is slick but egos have a way of overtaking common sense. I’ve also reconsidered my thoughts about his being a future VP. If he is serious about getting the nomination he'll probably have to start cutting throats fast. That won't get him the VP nod from the eventual winner. I also wonder if his late announcement was due to a backroom negotiation with the pack leaders for the VP slot. No VP deal then nothing for Rick Baby to lose IMHO. And if he doesn’t get the nomination he’s young enough to be around for a few more presidential election cycles.

I have read that no sitting president has been reelected since Roosevelt with an unemployment rate over about 7.2% or so. Therefore, it seems likely that any GOP nominee with a pulse will probably beat Obama, in the contest to elect the latest captain of the USS Titanic.

Agreed Obama will probably not win again due to higher unemployment than 7.2%, and for other reasons like being anything other than a mediator pandering to the razor thin edge where left and right sometimes overlap vs. making a hard stand on what he believes in. Still cannot understand why he didn't let the Bush jr. tax cuts expire - all of them.

Obama will be a one term prez much like Carter. Here's an interesting tid-bit. Nostradamus' 3rd anti-christ (not that I believe in such things) is suppose to be Mabus. Could that be MA massachusets BUS businessman Mitt Romney? Anyway, just having some Sunday fun with this very odd group of Repubs running this time.

I agree, whichever one wins will be at the helm of the USS Titanic. Can't see this ponzi scheme, shell game of QE's etc. lasting much longer. Personally I would avoid being Prez absolutely and completely. They may do Obama a favor by ousting him.

Still cannot understand why he didn't let the Bush jr. tax cuts expire - all of them.

I am as disappointed with Obama as anyone else, but I like to play devil's advocate too:

We know Obama is not stupid. He knows about peak oil. He was raised mostly by his grand mother who was a vice president of a major Hawaiian bank. This explains his love of bankers and Timmy. He never knew his real father for all practical purposes, so he never had a male role model most of his life.

He has survived all the sticks and stones thrown at him in his life with a smile and turning the other cheek. Some say he has accomplished nothing and is a wuss. Maybe so, but he managed to get himself elected President of the United States which in my book is no small accomplishment. And he's a millionaire.

Comparisons to Carter are a complement in my view. Carter was the best President we have had since FDR. He mostly told the truth especially about Peak Oil. He was beat by Ronald Reagan, a well established actor who had been in movies and on television for decades and was familiar to nearly everyone. There is no Reagan in the Republican menagerie, only weird birds squawking about cutting Social Security and Medicare and balancing the budget during a recession.

Obama knows about Peak Oil. He knows that Social Security money has been spent on wars for oil security and tax cuts for the rich. He also knows that increasing taxes during a recession is as stupid as cutting spending during a recession. So what he did in letting the Bush tax cuts ride for a couple of years was to keep higher taxes from slowing the economy before the next election.

The debt ceiling deal is mostly fluff and hot air. He gave up nothing that matters. Even the ethanol subsidy is still on the books 'til the end of the year. And the Super Committee is nothing but a standard politcal ruse to put off a problem in the hopes that with time everyone will forget about it. And they will. The attention span of the American people is 1 millisecond IMO.

If posters and commenters on TOD are right, growth like we have had in the past is imposible. Obama knows it too. The only out is reduced consumption which is another way of saying permanent recession. This has been unthinkable in the past, but times change.

Permanent war use to be unthinkable too. But now it is accepted as the natural state of affairs. Here again Obama, much to my displeasure, made the one in Afghanistan bigger, helped start another one in Libya and appears to be working on starting still another one in Syria.

Obama will run against the GOP threats to cut Social Security and Medicare. These are important issues to the elderly and they vote their own interests, unlike working people. The baby boomers are now part of the elderly and there are lots of them. The GOP is foolish to threaten Social Security and Medicare. The GOP and nearly all their candidates have touched the third rail of politics and will find out the hard way who the master politician is come November 2012.

There is no Ronald Reagan running against Obama. If anything Obama is more likable than Reagan and behaves like Reagan much to the consternation of liberal Democrats like myself.

So all the anti Obama rhetoric ain't necessarily so:


If the election were held today, Obama would be easily re-elected. But the election is still more than one year off, and a weak or failing economy could be Obama's undoing. Meanwhile there is going to be not one but two more contentious debates over deficit spending, since a 'pledge' was made to actually have the federal government functioning on a normal budget as the fiscal year starts on October 1. Frankly, I don't see that happening, but if so, there will likely be more budget cuts, which will lead to slower economic growth.

Assuming there are no wars or other major incidents, there is still one other important reason why economic growth may be lacking next year - that is the fall in OPEC exports, particularly the export of light sweet crude from Libya.

The IEA oil/product release this (Northern Hemisphere) summer is only a temporary band-aid covering up a deep problem. IEA members will have to make a tough choice in the coming months to either release more oil/product reserves, reducing emergency supplies in the future - or letting the price of oil rise back to where it was going before the IEA intervened.

Charles, I disagree that "if the election were held today Obama would be easily re-elected." I don't say that for any ideological reason, but simply by the looks of the electoral college. If the election were held today, the Repub has a very good chance of carrying VA., NC, Fla, Ind, Ohio and Nev. In addition CO, IA, NM and Wis could be in play. Without an enthusiastic voter turnout, I don't think he can carry the top five I mentioned above. He could very well win the popular vote, but unless he can carry at least Florida or Ohio he is likely to lose.

So what he did in letting the Bush tax cuts ride for a couple of years was to keep higher taxes from slowing the economy before the next election.

The debt ceiling deal is mostly fluff and hot air.

Oh wrong! The recent huge DC battle that concluded with a US downgrade by S&P was about trying to find 4t over ten years of cuts. Those bush jr. tax cuts = 4 trillion over ten years! He didn't have to do a thing except let them expire. Remember, most of those tax cuts were for the super wealthy. The rest was doled piecemeal to keep the masses from clanking their chains.

It was in my opinion the biggest bone head wussy move ever by a prez to acquiese to bully tactics to keep all those tax cuts.

Obama may have done this and that, and I even voted for him, but he turned out to be a panderer, unable to meet the challenge of facing off against the right. He turned out to be a wimp. I expected a fighter! Scarborough said that when he was a Freshman in Congress Clinton kicked their arses in 1995. Could you ever imagine Obama doing the same?

No, everything is done on that razor edge of the least conflict possible, rather than standing by what he thinks is right. That's known as pandering.

One of his campaign promises was to end lobbying. We never even heard one tiny word about lobbying after he got elected.

Yes, I agree Carter was a great prez, but he was a one term prez and so will Obama be a one term prez. People want someone with a vision, not a jet setting mediator.

No black man had ever been elected in the US, but Obama was. You can't step in the same river twice.

No black man has ever been elected in the US.

Why would an unemployed person vote for a Republican presidential candidate?

You aren't serious, are you?

People vote Republican because they don't like blacks, liberals, illegal immigrants, gays, city dwellers, intellectuals, the nonreligious, and, of course, poor people. And, people who vote Republican are never poor -they are just temporarily embarassed millionaires. And if only every last person on this planet was conservative, white, Christian, and American, there would be never ending progress, forever. Either that, or they would be raptured up to a place where they could spend eternity listening to harps and petting animals.

They vote Republican because they believe America is #1, and will always be #1. They vote Republican because their God, or their preacher, told them to. They vote Republican because we have the right to bomb anybody who we want.

Or, they vote Republican because taxes are communist. If only we could eliminate all taxes, capitalism would thrive and unleash endless prosperity.

They vote Republican because God created humans 6000 years ago. They vote Republican because climate science is an environmental conspiracy. They vote Republican because we have endless amount of fossil fuels right hear in America, and if we just get rid of regulation, we can prove that.

Being unemployed or not has NOTHING to do with voting Republican. Except of course, that unemployed Republican voters are, again, temporarily embarassed millionaires.

Finally, someone who understands why most Redneck Southerners and Hillbillys everywhere vote Republican.

Ron P.

Why should anyone but an extremely rich, politically very conservative person who cares nothing about the future of the country or the world ever vote Repub?

What drove many working (and not working) people toward the repubs (or away from the polls altogether) in the last election was disgust at Obama's failure to stand up for them, even though the repubs are obviously even worse for them.

He hasn't done much to un-disgust those folks.

1. Nobody implied that. Even now (and even on Shadowstats), a great majority of the voters are not unemployed, so it is possible for an R to be elected even if no unemployed person votes that way. And indeed, in almost every presidential election, we come very close one way or the other. (Calling 55-45 a "landslide" seems like a sick joke.)

2. An unemployed person might see the D's as disinclined to do much of substance on behalf of economic recovery. In the end, for example, punishing success, or even punishing illusory "success", doesn't count unless a clear showing is made that it will somehow put bread on the table or gas in the car. Nor, really, when push comes to shove, does it count to caterwaul endlessly over, say, failed species of rare fish on their way to the Great Darwinian Refuse Dump In The Sky. Thus an unemployed person might anticipate remaining on the dole indefinitely under D management - but even in the D states the dole runs out in time. Now, maybe that sort of perception is not entirely fair, but as per the long discussion elsewhere in the thread, it might be how the rhetoric plays out.

3. It has been said before: the two main classes in the USA are the rich, and the would-be rich. Perhaps this is partly due to a history of self-selection, with the unambitious or lazy folks, those inclined to say "stuff it, I give up", simply having stayed home on their side of whichever ocean. And perhaps it's partly due also to throwing in large numbers of refugees from Communism, pre-1990s; from bitter experience they often show little love of Big Government and Political Correctness. But all the same, there's a bit of a mystery: entire books have been written on why a large-scale European-style socialist party never took hold here, without (IMO) yet adducing a compelling explanation.

Once the coldwar got cooking, the enemy became communism, and by extension socialism, or anything that could be tarred with that broad brush. That doesn't answer the question pre WW2. It may have been luck. Roosevelt, was a patrician who defended his class by making sure the poor people felt they had a stake in the system. That took enough of the sting out of capitalism, that it was never seriously challenged.

Also, I note, the Republicans are masters at making the Democrats appear spineless. Aided of course by the D's themselves. I suspect it is less about personalities, then about compromising demands, trying to be on the side of labour, but at the same side, sucking up to whatever big busineses they have a shot at getting contributions from. So they come across as weak, and many voters will vote for a strong seeming candidate that they don't agree with, rather than a weak seeming one whose views they like.

Since both the dems and repubs work for the global bankers and global corporations why would anyone vote.

This morning's news tells us that Pawlenty has dropped out of the race. Given Newt's terrible showing in the straw poll, I suspect he will give it up soon as well. As for Perry accepting a VP slot under Mrs. Bachmann, I don't think so, given the typical Texas macho personality...

E. Swanson

Paul and Huntsman should declare as Independents, with Paul at the top of the ticket and Huntsman as his VP.

That might stir the pot a good bit!

Cain, Santorum, Newt, etc. can stay and play a bit or just bow out now...they are not relevant.

Paul can run as a Libertarian if he wants it.

Not sure he'd take it - I don't know how much of this running is ego or nest feathering.

Newt won't give up so quick . . . he is not in it to win. He is in it to raise is profile, sell more books, get better speaking fees, etc. His performance went quite well at the last debate. The only thing that will knock him out is if he runs out of money.

I guess on the bright side, we can look forward to Perry and Bachmann trying to outcrazy each other for the votes. Oh, I see Perry's son Griffin is an investment banker with UBS. I couldn't find anything about his 24 year old daughter Sydney. Another site uses the term "Slick Rick". I have no idea what might be dug up about Perry's relationships with women.

Yes, I expect him to focus on job issue. And I don't expect anyone to win a debate with him on this issue. Competing candidates will attempt to change issue to one of an emotional nature.

Hopefully, jobs will shrink in Texas for the next year, making that claim hollow.

A drop of 6+% in state GDP due to the drought, plus transferring 2% or so more personal income to utilities than average, should take some air out of the Texas economy. Not Perry's fault (other than being a Climate denier) but much of the jobs gain was not his policy virtue either.


Obama has leaked out a new plan for jobs. The NY Times article from yesterday
White House Debates Fight on Economy states:

The administration may also merge the Department of Commerce, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and some economic divisions at the State Department into a new agency, administration officials said. Possible names include the Department of Jobs or the Department of Competitiveness.

I guess you want this kind of nutjob in office eh?


this guy makes shrub look sane.

Since I think it's likely the really bad crash will happen sometime between 2013-2017, I'd rather have a nut job in office to get the blame for it, rather than a somewhat sane person. Of course, the crash could happen before January 2013, which would be really bad because then people might elect a nut out of desperation.

The crash this time came before Jan-09. But it takes long enough for the economy to shed jobs, and corps to go out of business. So most of the personal revelations (We Are So Screwed) came with enough latency to blur the attribution of blame. For pure attribution the crises must be well contained with a given administrations time in office.

the really bad crash will happen sometime between 2013-2017, I'd rather have a nut job in office to get the blame for it

I think this is a good point. Since many people won't be able to understand peak oil, perhaps it would be best to elect someone I don't like for the time when peak oil hits hard. Of course the problem with this is determining when peak oil hits hard (and getting the stooge elected). Who ever is in office at the time is going to get a lot of grief even if it isn't really their fault.

I suspect that we will continue to see "Revolving Door" elections, as voters vote against the dominant party then in power on two year and four year cycles.

Wanting an outcome and projecting a possible outcome are often two different things. Those who want some other outcome would do well to grasp the difference, take it to heart, and take leave of the illusions that taking it to heart would necessarily dispel.

Professor James Hamilton, who frequently discusses the economic relationship between the price of oil and the economy, has a new post on "Economic consequences of recent oil price changes":

Hamilton notes that the effect of oil price prices take some time to have effect. The effect of rising oil prices earlier this year may not be completely showing up until the end of this year - but may be somewhat mitigated by the recent fall in prices to about the levels where they started the year (at least in the US).

Even using the 1-year threshold, the above relation still says that the 2010-2011 oil price increases would not be enough by themselves to bring about a recession, but would only mean slow growth for the end of this year and beginning of next. But of course, the concern is that this is not the only shock that may be hitting the economy. I continue to worry a great deal about possible consequences of credit disruptions and fiscal contraction from the unsettled situation in Europe.

It's worries about these developments, and what they would mean for world petroleum demand, that have been the most important factors bringing oil prices down. And that most assuredly should not be read as good news for the U.S. economy.

Peak Nuclear hits Japan harder than Peak Oil:

Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s effort to reduce reliance on nuclear energy would require the equivalent of 470 million barrels of oil a year, swelling the 17 trillion yen ($222 billion) annual cost of fuel imports and further burdening Japan’s $5.5 trillion economy, former Saudi Arabian Oil Co. manager Osamu Fujisawa said.

“Growth will already be difficult with persistent deflation, an aging and shrinking population and deficits,” said Fujisawa, now an independent energy economist in Tokyo. “Rushing Kan’s vision under those conditions would spell chaos for the economy.”


By the way, has anyone been able to wade through the almost 1,100 pages of the new NY doc re fracking:

Rick - I skimmed through it. Mostly is standard boiler plate as seen in Texas regs. Don't know if their regs were this tight to begin with or not. The only significant point I caught:

" POTWs (locals municipal waste treatment centers) are required to perform certain analyses to ensure they can handle the waste without upsetting their system or causing a problem in the receiving water. Ultimately, the Department needs to approve such analysis and modify SPDES permits as needed to insure water quality standards in receiving waters are maintained at all times."

Apparently both NY and PA local politicians were allowing these utilities to take those nasty fracs fluids in and then discharged them back into the environment untreated. And probably not charging the companies anywhere close to what it was worth. You may have seen my concern that illegal dumping of frac fluids (and not the actual frac'ng itself) was the real danger. Turns out LEGAL (though stupid) dumping by the local treatment centers was also a problem. Amazing that both states had to pass laws making it illegal. Apparently common sense wasn't enough to overcome the greed of the local politicians.


Assuming fracking fluids aren't illegally dumped into surface waters or municipal treatment systems, where are frack fluids supposed to go for disposal? Are there large collection sites for the fluids where they are sealed and contained, or do the fluids go through some sort of treatment process?


'Arctic Sea Ice Thinning Rapidly, UN Wrong: MIT'

From the above article read below where MIT research indicates arctic ice is thinning 4 times faster

Researchers from MIT condemned the United Nations' global climate report, arguing that the UN underestimated the severity of Arctic sea ice melting. Thinning occurred at approximately four times the rate reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, MIT's research team said

Then from the very same article, read this:

"One of the results that surprised us all was the number of computer simulations that indicated a temporary halt to the loss of the ice," Jennifer Kay, NCAR scientist and lead author, said. "The computer simulations suggest that we could see a 10-year period of stable ice or even a slight increase in the extent of the ice.

NCAR used computer simulations of climate variability to suggest the situation in the Arctic could suddenly stabilized or even could reverse and start adding ice.

But what is there in the way of climate variability that we can rely on? CO2 concentrations have been increasing every year now since first measured in 1958. Ice thinning has been consistently increasing with each successive year since 2000, as can be seen in this link:


Scroll down - on left, one up from bottom shows a downward trend for ice volume.

Now look at this trailer for a new documentary on climate change refugees:


So let's put all this together: We have increasing CO2 levels annually - guaranteed. We've got thinning ice volume in the Arctic - guaranteed. We've got millions of climate refugees, with those numbers increasing yoy - happening as we speak.

Yet, CLIMATE VARIABILITY is still being trotted out as the great equalizer. So when is all this climate variability suppose to override CO2 increases that is trapping more heat/energy in the atmosphere? It's a phantom of AGW deniability - it is the last vestige of rejecting what is happening across the globe on a biblical scale. We are on the threshold of some really disasterous events that have occurred in recent years, with more and possibly much harsher events to come. When will climate variability be sh!!canned?

Late to respond but...

   Though I think we'll have some very serious AGW consequences by 2015-16, I also think we may have a lull in the next few years. I'm waiting for El Nino to come back to get a better picture of how the atmosphere will act in the near term. It will at least change the locations of heat/cold/water events.
   The rather large heat increase in the arctic region could possibly distribute around the planet for a bit, easing the arctic melt (but likely contributing to heat effects elsewhere), which would also reduce the methane release a bit.

   The other thing I'm watching is the (not so) slow death of the oceans. I thought a little while ago that "70% of the surface of the planet" means the oceans are really ~98% of the living space of the planet when you consider their depth. And now that they are acidifying as well as being overfished they are going to be a sad canary to watch.

Update of the "growing gap"

Does anyone have an updated version of that nice graph showing oil production and oil discoveries that is usually titled "the growing gap"? With data up until 2010?

The latest one I have seen was on Drumbeat 4-15-2011.