Drumbeat: August 20, 2011

Sixty-five arrested outside White House in oil pipeline protest

Police arrested 65 environmentalists outside the White House Saturday as they staged a demonstration urging President Obama to block a proposed pipeline that would bring oil from Canada’s oil sands projects to Gulf Coast refineries.

The civil disobedience launched two-weeks of White House demonstrations – with more arrests to come – as activists seek to increase political pressure on Obama over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Is Canadian Oil Bound for China Via Pipeline to Texas?

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would ship oil from Northwest Canada south through Mid-America to the Texas Gulf Coast has drawn sharp opposition from environmentalists worried about Canadian forests, greenhouse gases, and potential leaks.

But one line of attack is more about economics and geopolitics than land and water. And it strikes at pipeline proponents' central argument that Keystone XL would buttress U.S. energy security. Opponents contend instead that the pipeline's petroleum could largely bypass the American markets and be shipped to Asia.

Libya rebels take two more cities

ZAWIYA, Libya (AP) — Libyan rebels are in full control of the strategic western city of Zawiya, pushing Moammar Gadhafi's troops back on the road east to Tripoli.

An Associated Press reporter on Saturday visited positions held by Gadhafi troops over the past week — all of which are now under rebel control.

Better radiation education needed to end prejudice

Ever since the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, many evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture have been subjected to discrimination and prejudice.

A student who transferred from the prefecture to a primary school in the Kanto region was shunned by classmates and eventually stopped going to class. Some gas stations in the Tokyo metropolitan area have refused to serve cars bearing Fukushima license plates.

Two Voices Are Heard After Years of Futility

Yuichi Kaido and Mizuho Fukushima have battled to alert people about the dangers of nuclear power, and are seeing major results only after this year’s tsunami.

Falling oil and gas prices: A blessing and a curse

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Oil prices are falling once again, and relief at the gas pump is likely on the way too.

But be careful what you wish for. Low gas prices can sometimes be more a symptom of a weakening economy, than a cure to consumers' woes.

Crude Oil Caps Fourth Weekly Decline; Brent Extends Record Premium to WTI

Crude oil fell, capping a fourth weekly decline, on concern that slower global economic growth will reduce fuel demand. Brent oil traded at a record premium to the U.S. contract.

Futures in New York have dropped 18 percent since July 22, the biggest four-week decline since October 2008. Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut their U.S. growth forecasts as officials struggle to stem Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis. Oil pared losses as the dollar weakened, making commodities more attractive as an alternative investment.

Britain downplays likelihood of ban on Syrian oil

LONDON (AP): Britain is not urging Europe to join the United States in imposing a ban on Syrian oil in a bid to increase pressure on President Bashar Assad, a government minister said Saturday.

Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said sanctions should target the regime, not ordinary Syrians.

Libyan Rebels Claim to Advance on Tripoli

Libyan rebels say they are advancing toward Tripoli after overcoming a force commanded by Muammar Qaddafi’s son Khamis to capture the western town of Zlitan.

Oil minister does not return to Libya-Tunisia source

TUNIS - Libya's oil chief, Omran Abukraa, is in Tunisia after deciding not to return to Libya from a trip abroad, a Tunisian official source said Saturday, the third apparent defection this week of a senior figure associated with Muammar Gaddafi's rule.

Fracking Oversight Raises Staffing Questions

A panel charged with advising New York officials on regulating a controversial form of natural gas extraction known as hydrofracking will first examine whether the state government has enough staff members to properly monitor and enforce new drilling regulations.

Japan Quake Is Causing Costly Shift to Fossil Fuels

YOKOSUKA, Japan — The half-century-old, oil-fueled power generators here had been idle for more than a year when, a day after the nuclear accident in March, orders came from Tokyo Electric Power headquarters to fire them up.

“They asked me how long it would take,” said Masatake Koseki, head of the Yokosuka plant, which is 40 miles south of Tokyo and run by Tokyo Electric. “The facilities are old, so I told them six months. But they said, ‘No, you must ready them by summer to prepare for an energy shortage.’ ”

Now, at summer’s peak, Yokosuka’s two fuel-oil and two gas turbines are cranking out a total of 900,000 kilowatts of electricity — and an abundance of fumes.

Japan’s Crude-Oil Imports Fall 11.2% in July; Coal Declines, LNG Increases

Japan’s crude oil imports fell 11.2 percent in July to 16.03 million kiloliters from a year earlier, the finance ministry said in a preliminary trade report today.

All Deliberate Speed for Nuclear Reforms?

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is moving forward on recommendations made by an internal task force studying the Fukushima Daiichi triple meltdown. But it is not moving quite the way its chairman wanted.

Belarus Suspends Pact to Give Up Enriched Uranium

MOSCOW — Belarus said Friday that it would suspend an agreement to give up its supply of highly enriched uranium, torpedoing, at least temporarily, what was considered a significant victory by the Obama administration in curtailing the spread of dangerous nuclear material.

The move comes in response to the latest wave of economic sanctions imposed by Washington this month as punishment for a ruthless crackdown on government opponents, including widespread arrests, that has continued unabated for months.

Review of Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk (U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2011)

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released its Index of U.S. Energy Security Risk: Assessing America’s Vulnerabilities in a Global Energy Market, 2011 Edition (80 pgs). This is an update of last year’s inaugural edition and is published by the Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy.

Green Way to Social Network With Like-Minded People

Code Green is an open-source website created by a former St. Petersburg College student who wants to spark a green movement in Tampa Bay.

Book Review: Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation by Sharon Astyk

Unless you keep current on peak oil predictions, you already live off the grid, or you entertain notions of a coming apocalypse, you probably haven't given much thought to your pantry or how long you could feed yourself without making a trip to the grocery store. Most of us, myself included, could go a week. Maybe a week and a half, at the most. In Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage and Preservation (2009), Sharon Astyk encourages us to shed some of the negative assumptions that come with storing food for the future and makes a rational case that all of us should give far more thought to feeding ourselves, independently of the current "just-in-time" supermarket system.

More colleges offer organic, sustainable ag courses

Experts said those graduates shouldn't have trouble finding jobs as the agriculture industry replaces aging farmers — the average age of a U.S. farmer is 57 — and farmers increasingly look to diversify their operations.

Two Oklahoma Indian Tribes Contest State for Water Rights

The Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian tribes in Oklahoma have filed a federal lawsuit to protect water rights they say derived from long-ago treaties and to prevent exports of water from their traditional homelands without their permission.

The dispute had been simmering for more than a year, since the export of water from Sardis Lake in southeastern Oklahoma to Oklahoma City was proposed in June 2010.

Britons Face Insurance ‘Crisis’ as U.K.’s Government Trims Flood Defence

Direct Line and Aviva Plc (AV/) are among British insurers threatening to tear up an agreement with the government that commits them to cover high-risk properties, even after claims rose threefold to 4.5 billion pounds in the last decade, because the U.K. is cutting spending on flood defenses. Smaller insurers not party to the so-called Statement of Principles are also cherry-picking low-risk homes and undercutting rivals, according to Aviva’s head of claims, Dominic Clayden.

Weiss Research, Inc. which bills itself as the nation's largest independent rating agency and has rated the US debt at just above junk stage, predicts the US economy is about to collapse. Doomsday is upon us. But there is good news. Weiss tells us how we can make a mint from these doomsday scenarios. ;-)

America's Financial Doomsday

An historic, world-changing event is about to crush the U.S. economy and stock market.

It will destroy the income, savings, investments and retirements of millions of Americans.

It will plunge vast numbers of families into the nightmare of poverty ... hunger ... and homelessness.

Only a minority of investors will survive intact. And some will actually build their wealth in the process.

Reminds me of the cartoon caption that was pointed out by WT a few weeks ago. The CEO addresses his board of directors:

"And so, while the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors, we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit."

However the first half of this article makes for a very interesting read. That is the part where Weiss tells us what is happening and why. The second half is where he tries to sell us something.

Ron P.

It's best to look at Weiss Research ratings with a certain amount of prejudice. To wit.

CNBC Hypes Bogus US Debt Rating

...Scratch the surface, and it turns out that Weiss [Research] Ratings is far from "independent," and the rating, itself, is bogus. Weiss Ratings, headed by Martin D. Weiss, an investment advisor who has more than once run afoul of the SEC, ...

Meanwhile, CNBC failed to disclose the ratings agency has a content-distribution licensing agreement with TheStreet.com, whose chairman and co-founder is CNBC host Jim Cramer, [host of the popular CNBC show “Mad Money”.]

Cramer’s company owned Weiss [Research] Ratings until last year, when TheStreet.com sold it back to Weiss for an undisclosed sum. Since then Weiss and Cramer’s firm TheStreet.com have had a cross-licensing agreement to promote each other’s ratings

... In 2006, the same year that Cramer’s company bought the Weiss Report, the SEC accused Weiss of misleading investors and violating securities laws, and slapped the investment advisor and his company with a combined $2.1 million fine. In 1972, the SEC suspended Weiss for four months, charging that Weiss’s investment publication “had been used to promote the sale of a fraudulent unregistered investment contract.”

Just sayin'

Though; when you think about it. They're all scammers

Wars bankrupting the American economy

... For $1 trillion, says the War Resisters League, Americans could provide every unemployed citizen with a job paying $50,000 a year (total, $765 billion). Furthermore, unemployment could be reduced to zero and still have $235 billion left over to meet human needs – to provide health insurance, build schools and offer job training.

Just some numbers to ponder

Regarding those who would seek to be our leaders ..."All you need is ignorance and confidence and the success is sure."
-- Mark Twain

I think "The Nation" is just being a tad dishonest here. CNBC was not "hyping" anything here, they were just reporting what Martin Weiss was saying. They do that for hundreds of others, most positing a far more bullish sentiment than Martin Weiss. In fact it is extremely rare that CNBC publishes such bearish stuff as Martin Weiss has been publishing.

And in this case "independent" just means they are independent from the firms they rate, unlike the big three rating agencies who are paid by the very people whom they are rating.

But all this distracts from the message in the article linked in my post above. Should "The Nation", or anyone else, be attacking the person of Martin Weiss rather than the argument he is making. I, for one, thinks he makes one hell of an argument in the article.

Now I don't think the U.S. will default yet that is the very thing most Republicans were threatening. But the rest of his article was, in my opinion, very sound. However I would have liked to seen him discuss resource depletion, like crude oil.

Ron P.

Agreed. Many of Weiss' observations on the economic situation [in the article] are valid. Just saying, some 'due diligence' is required regarding any 'snake oil' the man may be promoting.

I think he has a point that its _still_ advisable to go for gold (even though (some say) the 'bubble' might see a correction after the ongoing fiasco is settled). I mean, what if the ongoing fiasco finally blows up and the US dollar is thrown away?

I'm no expert and I'm looking for convincing arguments for / against hedging on real gold at this juncture.

I think "The Nation" is just being a tad dishonest here. CNBC was not "hyping" anything here, they were just reporting what Martin Weiss was saying. They do that for hundreds of others, most positing a far more bullish sentiment than Martin Weiss.

More like dozens, not hundreds. So every decision to report this pundit and not that pundit deserves some scrutiny. If, say, they started reporting Jim Kunstler's predictions, you'd have to wonder just what market orders they put in before putting him in the schedule.

"If, say, they started reporting Jim Kunstler's predictions, you'd have to wonder just what market orders they put in before putting him in the schedule."

LOL. That will be the day. And yes, we will be wondering what their plan is. Of course, if he helps sell papers or grab eyeballs, perhaps that will be enough to get him in.

Actually, the above article fits in with my grand "Theory of American Hucksterism"--we are so far inside huckster culture that we cannot hear a message unless it fits into the format parodied in "The Music Man" number "Trouble"--terrible threat is presented, but only in the context of a ready, total solution that only requires that we part with a bit of our dough re mi.

We, as huckstee's, just cannot hear a message (by and large) unless it fits into this format, even though at one level we also recognize the falseness of the whole construct. So at the same time we are all hopeless suckers and totally cynical of any message of warning, because at some level we always suspect that it is part of some such scam.

This complex is partly what denialist manipulators use to undermine people's opinions of the science of GW--they point at Cap and Trade (which the represent as Tax and Trade or Cap and Tax), and suggest that the whole thing is just another mega-scam to get people to accept more of their wealth leaving their pockets.

So, in this context, the only package they can wrap dire predictions in is one that ends with the pretty/slimy message that if you buy product X, all the nightmarish images will turn into butterflies and unicorns before your eyes.

Another relevant insight is that, while my wife was working with populations recently out of jail to get them jobs, she found that the ones who had been most involved in street scams were themselves the most likely to fall for the same. I think that applies at the higher levels of scammers as well.

An interesting chart on the accuracy of pundits. Apparently liberal lawyers are the most accurate. ;-)

Aside from the link to bigger picture of chart, it would have been good to have a link to a corresponding article

But still with that said, the next obvious step is to make our own TOD list of THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY in Peak Oil Predictions

Worst of the worst
1) Steve Forbes: Peace in our time and oil at $20 real soon
2) Daniel Yergin: $36, that's my number and I'm sticking to it
3) Right wingnut politicians: PO and AGW are both hoaxes (and besides, the world is flat, under-crowded with our kind of people and soon to see the wisdom of our ideologies)

--no wonder liberal lawyers ended up on top

Wow Ron, thought I was a peak oil battle hardened doomer until reading that article. Unfortunately, I cannot argue with it's conclusions. Wonder when that date is when investors stop lending the US mo money? 40 cents out of every dollar to pay US bills will be gone when the lending stops - what will get paid, and what will not? I'm sure Congress and the White House will be able to argue about that endlessly while people drop like flys.

Here's another link to a very similar article: http://news.goldseek.com/LewRockwell/1311775380.php

'Rollover Risk and American Hegemony'

He says much the same thing.

If our creditors say "No more", we’ve had it. At that point, it’s best to wipe the slate clean and start over fresh. It’s best to cut spending. Better late than never.

It’s possible that a large war will be engineered by the U.S. government in order to justify cutbacks.

I thought that was an interesting notion, the 2nd paragraph, because it suggests the Govt. needs justification to cutback entitlements. "Well folks, we've got a big war and so we need to tighten our belts."

This next paragraph is a doosey:

Rollover risk will be realized. It’s the financial side of a larger struggle of the major powers in the rest of the world seeking their independence from American domination.

Never thought of it that way. Now for this conclusionary statement:

Americans have a choice: cut back the welfare-warfare state or continue the quest for world domination. If they do nothing or continue the quest, the rest of the world will stop funding America and will build itself up militarily and economically. America won’t succeed, and the process of failing will be painful.

It sure is going to be mighty painful finding ways to reduce spending when 40 cents of every buck is borrowed! Where are the lifeboats?

The US is already a failed state.

--The US is already a failed state.

Out Report Cards (scholastic scores) come out next November, in the year 2012

He has been saying this at least since 2002. Unlike Prechter though, he has been right about gold. I give him credit for first getting me interested in gold as an investment.

Gold is a good one. Not sure if you are comfortable answering this, but do you take it into possession yourself or simply invest in gold stocks, and if so do you recommend one?

Isn't silver easier to build a big portfolio of ounces?

Good questions, Perk.

My dilemma about Gold is not about whether but about when - is TODAY the right time to buy gold? Will gold prices see a correction the way it did in 2008 (Oct)?

Yeah, certainly don't want to jump in late in the game.

Gold bought between 2000 and 2005 was an investment. Students of history and observers of the Dow/Gold ratio could see that the dollar price of gold was at a generational low. Eyes-open awareness of public and congressional attitudes toward debt led one to obvious conclusions and the slightest inclination toward monetarist economic thought made it clear that gold had nowhere to go but up.

Today, gold is an insurance policy rather than an investment. If you've got it, keep it until you have something else that seems like a better investment. (Energy efficiency business, productive farmland, etc.). Most people are comfortable paying for insurance in case something really bad happens to themselves or their property. Ideally, nothing bad happens and you get nothing back. If your insurance does pay out, it will ameliorate the pain associated with said "really bad thing".

Seen this way, gold is an insurance policy against central bank malfeasance. Unlike other insurance policies, it can be redeemed for cash at any time. If central bankers run amok (as they currently are) gold can "pay out" to help ameliorate the pain. Even if economic policy ends up working in the long run, gold's future cash value will almost certainly be more than zero. "But in the long run we're all dead." as Keynes famously quipped. When considering buying gold you have to identify the time period over which you wish to carry insurance and the amount of money you are willing to sideline.

Here is my current assessment of what is in store for the price of gold between now and December 31, 2012:

  1. If we have a true, global "panic" at some point all bets are off -- anything can happen.
  2. Gold is a little ahead of itself at the moment and could easily slide back as far as $1600 in the coming months.
  3. That said, gold could just as easily climb over $2000 in the coming months.
  4. The € price of gold will probably climb faster (or fall more slowly) than the $ price of gold. (The euro is not looking good to me these days.)
  5. Whatever happens to gold, it will do better than stocks between now and Dec 31, 2012.

The above guesstimations should not be misconstrued as investment advice. I'm interested in history and shifts in generational attitudes and sometimes it's fun to make a prediction about how those will play out to test my understanding. If I were the type to give out investment advice I would probably say something helpful like: "Turn off your TV and read some history."

Best hopes for peace and prosperity in the coming years.


Over 50% of the population today wasn't even born during the 70's oil shock and no know nothing about even odd tag number days when you could purchase, no Sunday sales and sometimes 10 gal limit on purchase.During that era gold took off on inflation along with wages going up but those who bought Gold then are I'm guessing even with the board 40 yrs later.Almost all gold that has ever been mined is still around but that first barrel of oil is never coming back.

Gold back then reached $850 while silver reached $75. I don't quite get the current spread.
I worked at a gas station during that 'oil shock', likely my first real job.
I wonder just how much of the current run up in the price of gold is just the fact of its inability to be manipulated.

You nailed it, DelusionaL.

Its the spread that makes it look very 'different' this time. I sometimes get the feeling that I must convert whatever little earnt wealth that I have into Gold - and not look back at the decision. But no betting is wise. ;)

Nailed it? Gold prices cannot be manipulated?

"One can only marvel at the bubble of the century that's been blown. No, not gold as the idiot MSM portrays, but Treasury bonds. The CME offering 43-1 leverage in T-bond futures is akin to when no-doc and liar loans were being peddled at the height of the housing bubble. That debacle got resolved nicely, no?"

disclosure: I added more than a handful of American eagle coins after the latest debt ceiling charade

I was referring to the "spread" between Gold and Silver and how its "different" now than 2008. Not that I believe Gold is not manipulatable.

I use to say we are in the beginning of a gold speculation bubble. This bubblewill be the mother of all speculation bubbles. You can expect gold prices to rice to 20X pre-bubble prices. You can still get onto the train. But be prepared to sell when the prices get high; they will come down again, and that hard. My message to everyone who listen is: Hold on to your gold for a while longer, but don't marry it, be ready to sell in time.

It is not like 2008 this time because the US $ is no longer seen as a safe haven but gold is. The US $ has made a small bounce due to trouble in the Euroland but gold is going up. In 2008 the US $ was going up a lot and gold crashed.

Buy physical gold and keep it in the locker. Also, buy the following stocks: GDX, GDXJ, GG, RGLD, NEM, AEM. Gold mining stocks are really, really cheap right now with respect to the price of gold.
Note that I am not a financial adviser and these investments are risky; you could lose money.

The problem with silver is that because it is cheaper than gold, it occupies a lot of space for a given valuation. For example, you can easily fit $1 million worth of gold in a small briefcase; you can't do that with silver.

Weiss left out scary descriptions of widows, orphans, and suicides. Hucksterism of the worst kind.

"Supersized Water Diversion Raises Questions for Great Lakes States"

"Waukesha is a city of 71,000 located in the western suburbs of Milwaukee, but outside the boundary of the Great Lakes Basin. The Fox River flows right through town, on its way – eventually – to the Mississippi River. Ignoring the Fox, Waukesha and other nearby towns make use of groundwater for municipal purposes, but rapid growth and lack of coordinated management of the aquifer have led to substantial declines in groundwater levels."


One can only hope this application is rejected as it would set a very unwelcome precedent. Waukesha should go back to the drawing board on its water usage.

Edit : having driven through Waukesha county numerous times, I can vouch for the fact that McMansions and giant shopping malls have blossomed, consuming valuable farmland. It's a sad sight. Of course, they had to widen the expressway, so all the giant SUV commuters could get to work.

In about 10,000 years the erosion at the falls will drain the lakes.

That won't be my problem, or anyone reading this. But a diversion at the end might be a good plan.

The majority of the water is diverted from Niagara Falls to hydroelectric generators.

The water diversion varies by time of day and time of year (more water at peak tourist season). None-the-less, as long as the diversion continues, the falls will be fairly stable.

Best Hopes for 4+ GW of steady renewable power,


Well 100% would have to be diverted to stop the erosion of the hard rock cap that keeps the lakes "great".

And how would anyone go over the falls in a barrel that way?

Lake Ontario would be the first to go if the Niagara Falls eroded back to that lake, then the next shelf would be that in the river at Buffalo, NY the next would be that between Detroit and Windsor, CA., which is now the course of the Detroit River. The depth of the Detroit River channel is as much as 50 feet, with the channel actually having been dredged to allow transit of deeper draft vessels. So, even if the Niagara falls eroded back to Lake Ontario, the initial drop in water level above Detroit couldn't be more than 50 feet, IMHO. But then too, you need to add in the effects of isostatic rebound over the 10k yrs on your claim that the Great Lakes will drain...

E. Swanson

Surely you mean Lake Erie, not Lake Ontario?

That cap is what maintains an elevatio difference between lakes Erie and Ontario. Lake Ontario is kept wide by the bottleneck at the Thousand Islands where the St. Lawrence begins. I do wonder what would happen at Lake Erie, but I suspect there is enough silt there to wash down and keep it a lake. At which point it will be Detroit's turn to have a big waterfall.

re: Falling oil and gas prices: A blessing and a curse

Once again the mainstream media fails to note that only the price of West Texas Intermediate delivered to Cushing, OK (which they think is the price of "oil") has fallen. International benchmark oils have maintained their prices. Brent, at this point in time, is trading at $109.22/bbl while WTI is trading at $82.87. That's over a $26/bbl difference.

The decline in WTI will not be fully reflected at the gas pumps, which is going to cause Americans to demand an explanation of why their gas prices are still high while oil prices are falling.

The reason is that the cheap WTI stored at Cushing can't make it to their gas pumps because there aren't enough pipelines to take it to the coastal refineries. The refineries that can get WTI and other landlocked North American oils are going to charge the same prices as the ones who can't. Therefore their gas prices are based on the price of international oil, not WTI.

I worked a couple summers in a summer campground near Wakesha. Beautiful country 20 years ago, starting to be marred by the orange glow of sprawl at the time. Now, it's gone. So sprawled out the camp shows up on Streetsview.

With the huge margins that the oil co's are making on this, their next quarterly profits should be quite something. Once again, we can expect them to be hauled up before Congress to explain...

Really, I think it is time for the Cdn gov't to give up on the US and pass some enabling legislation and get both new oil pipelines to the west coast underway, fast.
My estimate is that this silly business with WTI has cost Canada about $5bn so far this year - more than enough to build both the pipelines.

Could probably build one to eastern Canada too, but only if they ask nicely...

Enbridge is already in the process of applying to reverse its line from Sarnia, Ontario to Montreal to take oil east and start to back imported oil out of Quebec. The problem is that the line can only handle light oil, and that's not what is in surplus supply in Western Canada.

Canadian government officials are seriously irked at US government officials because, as you noted, this is costing them billions of dollars. There will probably be repercussions from this down the road, probably involving fast approvals of pipelines to the West Coast to take oil to China. Obstructions may dealt with on the "nail that sticks up gets hammered down" principle.

I guess another option would be to refine all the oil before it is piped.

If that was being done today, then the crack spread would be staying here.

if we went that route, and then have refined, ready use products to sell, instead of heavy crude, then, I expect, there would be lots more options as to who to sell to and at what price.

The west coast pipelines could then be product lines and sell diesel to China buy the shipload.

Definitely the gov should do a bit of a repeat of the C P rail, and just legislate to make it happen, though maybe,this time, share a few more of the rewards with people along the way - there is plenty to go around.

One wonders, if such was to be announce and put into motion tomorrow, what that would do the WTI price? Certainly once 1.5 mbd is removed from the WTI market, you expect this gap to narrow. In fact, it would be well worth the while of N. Dakota to support the west coast pipelines as they are losing out too.

It is as if we are dealing with an internal version of OPEC!

Not so much an internal OPEC, as merely the usual handful of crackpots whose attitude is that everyone should live "simply", imprisoned as serfs in neo-medieval villages or maybe caves. Their power to delay and obstruct arbitrarily knows no bounds.

""the usual handful of crackpots whose attitude is that everyone should live "simply", ""

Gee, PaulS, I live "simply", on about 15K a year, always have,,,,, well below what the average american wastes in their pursuit of BAU. It has brought me, stability, financial security completely outside of the mainstream Banking system with a few million$ in hard assets easily converted to any currency that should pop up. It has also brought me PEACE in the World I live in. I have traveled to more places than most can find on a map. Never been called a "crackpot" yet.

You should try it. Life, truly, is about what a Man holds between his ears, not what he can hold in his hands. Simplicity, in my zen, is the ART of life.

Choose Wisely,
The Martian.

Dictating what "everyone" should do to solve any problem is not sound advice. I realize that is not what you are doing but PaulS was saying that was what the "crackpots" were doing.

Ron P.

Who are these crack pots who are dictating life styles? And how is that even possible? If there was a governmental decision to seriously reduce our carbon footprint with a serious cap and trade regime, this would require most people to live a much simpler lifestyle. Strictly speaking, that is not dictating a simpler life as some could buy their way out of said life.

But many things in life are dictated, like mpg standards, for example, or the percentage of ethanol to be added to gasoline or environmental regulations. Are these the result of crack pots? Well, maybe the ethanol part. But that is in the eye of the beholder.

I applaud your decision to live simply which would be required if we are to obtain a relatively a low carbon lifestyle. How were you able to do all that travel without a big footprint? Not saying you weren't able to do that; I am just genuinely interested. My siblings think they are environmentalists and they travel all over the damn place, including Europe, and I assure you it is not done in a low carbon manner.

I am also curious how one can travel, I assume all over the World, on 15K per year, and be able to accumulate lots of hard assets?

Please, I want to follow your plan!

With all due respect to Jefferson, writing in the Declaration of Independence, all men are not, created equal on this Planet. My "PLAN", my lifestyle, my choice about how I live, is not for everyone, nor should it be. I doubt many have the discipline to do it. I could ask you quite a few questions about your lifestyle, but I will ask only one.

How large is your dwelling, and what have you spent on housing over the last 20 years or so? Include all the costs associated, heat, cool, tax, payments, lost opportunity value of assets converted to housing cost, time spent in upkeep/maintenance, furniture/fixtures/appliances...and I would add a certain amount of transportation cost should be attributed to housing as well, since it is a choice, in most cases, not to live close to your employer.add it all up.

That is but one area, there are many more.

It is not our abilities, our gifts or our social status that takes one down the path of this life, it is our choices. Until one is dead, there is always a choice.
Choose Wisely.
The Martian.

Ummm, 'equal' in that context was pretty clearly not meant to be the same as 'identical'.

But one rough guideline for a plan is at www.myfootprint.org

I try to stay pretty close to one planet--ideally a bit below. Mostly that's giving up most distant travel (unless I decide to take up long distance biking again, as I did as a lad) and most meat, small house, few new furnishings, not too many electric doodads, mostly walk or bike around town... I think they should give a bit of credit for not having kids, or only one late in life, and perhaps for some activism. I would like to get my house a bit better sealed up and insulated before the snow starts to fly, though.

“imprisoned as serfs in neo-medieval villages or maybe caves.” Posted by PaulS

And what “crackpots” have been advocating this? Living “simply”, yes, but “living simply” doesn’t necessarily equate to medieval or caveman.

There has been a good deal of speculation that we may end up in a situation of a resurrected feudalism, but saying we may end up in a certain place is not necessarily endorsing it.

There seems to be a tendency, when someone speculates on the possibilities of something perceived as “bad” happening, that they are accused of actively wanting it to happen.

Antoinetta III

Well, I'm enough a Kantian to accept the generally held ethical convention that if a given course of action is possibly ethical for one, it must also be for all-- and I'm afraid "living simply" in whatever form that manifests itself is, at least from an ethical perspective, the only defensible game in town. There's nothing crackpot about offering solutions that actually could work, although they might be a long shot-- especially as opposed to no solutions at all.

It's also worth noting that in a culture were some feel ethically compelled to live simply and sustainably-- the actions of those who don't have that burden of conscience have a extremely negative impact. The costs driven by artificial demand fueled by credit and consumption--in all real goods but especially real estate can make for scenarios where property is so expensive that it's forever(or at least until reality catches up) absolutely impossible to utilize for any other than inherently unsustainable purposes. You're not going to live any kind of benevolent sustainable lifestyle on property once the square foot or debt service cost exceeds a certain amount. So should? It's a real hassle where the actions of the unethical prohibit right action by the ethical. But that's just facts.

I teach sustainable living techniques on the Big Island of Hawaii and run occasional "boot camp" training to help people get a real perspective of what a future in scale with the planet may actually look like. There's a myth out there where people think the future is solar panels and cold-fusion powered robots picking organic strawberries, or some such. That's bunk, at least in perspective of reality as it exists-- and what sustainable mostly looks like is a semi-agrarian, modest, handiwork lifestyle. It looks like a little cottage on a couple of acres and a pile of chickens. Less whizzbang that, but it's doable and a model available for immediate transition. Still, while land costs here in Hawaii have been hard hit by the ongoing recession, land prices especially in the more viable areas are outside of what can be supported by any kind of real sustainable living. We can thank speculation and development for that, and general shortsightedness, but the impact is far beyond expense. The facts are while this island should be an ideal model of sustainability it's once of the least sustainable places in the US. That's changing, but not fast enough.

More diatribes on that issue here: http://sanityandsimplicity.blogspot.com/2011/06/numbers-of-sustainabilit...


While I would welcome a change where just about everyone lived simply, this is not even on the horizon here in the good old U.S.A. What I see around me is people just doubling down in the face of an ongoing semi recession and a situation that is probably going to get worse. I hear that the middle class is hollowing out but all I see around me is excess. Maybe I live on fantasy island.

Further, given projected increases in population, even a serious move to simplicity would still leave us in crash, dieoff, and climatic disaster mode.

PaulS does not need to worry for now. The drill and extract crowd are still in control and may be even more in control if the likes of Perry get into the White House.

I agree, although I'm pleased to report a trend in the direction towards voluntary simplicity. It's not what I had anticipated for sure, because I thought as the "writing on the wall" got so very visible you'd see a broad general trend that way. Actually, I think one has seen a broad general trend towards more entrenched "denial" as much as anything, but of the people I meet who are changing their lifestyles they're perhaps more serious and less interested in the issue as a fashion statement.

But otherwise, as unspoken, the real reasons to live simply and sustainably is 1) It's the morally right thing to do-- and 2)Even though it probably doesn't actually matter in the great scheme of things, one will be an awful lot better positions when the inevitable collapse occurs.

The problem largely is that there's so few working examples of people that have effectively adopted a realistic low impact lifestyle. People need to see choices successfully made to emulate them.

McKibben is not a crack pot. Hansen is not a crack pot. They just think that a stand against high carbon oil needs to be taken somewhere and they want to confront Obama so that any decision he makes is high profile and well publicized. I guess it depends on what you mean by simply. I don't think it means that everyone will be imprisoned as serfs in neo medieval villages although I suppose that it always an option. Their decision to obstruct is arbitrary in your opinion which does not make it so.

Not so simple.

The Natives (First nations) will demand a cut. Some members of bands will demand a %, and some will be violently opposed to any pipeline. Band leadership in Canada is often corrupt, with a notable exceeptions, of course, but band politics make the US political crap look pretty reasonable.

When the CP was pushed through the First Nations were disorganized, disillusioned, uninformed, and had their children held hostage in Residential Schools.

(I refer you to the recent film entitled 'Fallen Feather'. Govt. documents referenced re: residential schools and their purpose.) It Googles, of course.

I would like to see a new pipeline to Houston. I would like to see a pipeline to the east coast. There should be increased capacity on the west coast, but as an estuary dweller I would be quite upset to see tanker traffic increased for China export in order for us to buy more crap we don't need.

imho, perhaps negotiations for a different price structure would be a win win. The oil stays at Cushing, the Canadians get royalties based on world average prices, the companies sell it for what they can get....build their own pipeline if you will, railcars, whatever, and the production remains steady without the goldrush development to justify increased pipeline capacity. The US will then be able to count on this supply. If there is a west coast pipeline you know it will go to China...as much as possible and as fast as possible.

Everyone talks about how much Canadians have lost out, but the last I heard when Alberta tried to increase royalties they got spanked pretty hard and were too hard up to call the oil companies bluff. They just started delaying projects.

We already have skilled labour shortages in the oil industry. Slow steady development will keep our economy on track, and will keep foreign workers out as much as possible. The growth of oil sands development is already pretty steady and certainly controversial. It doesn't need to be speeded up, in fact, it would probably really screw things up.

I'm puzzled by the absence of info at NEB's site re. Line 9 reversal: nothing under News and even a search produced nothing.

Enbridge applied almost two weeks ago but the application is to reverse to Westover junction, not all the way to Montreal. Presumably this will allow western oil to flow to the Imperial refinery at Nanticoke.

Enbridge's engineering assessment is clearly an NEB doc, but I had to get it from another source:

My understanding is that Line 9 handles both light and medium crude, and they would not be embarking on this if their system could not handle what the west provides.

The big puzzler is the idea of reversing one of the Portland lines to get western crude to the Atlantic. Line 9 is 36 years old, but the 18" Portland line is almost 70 years old (WW2).

There's an article in the WSJ today about the pipeline problem. It's behind a pay wall.

A Rush to Pipe Oil to Gulf

The article takes note of several pipeline projects in the works:

Enbridge Energy Partners LP, Enterprise Products Partners LP and TransCanada Corp. are all in various steps of planning for new pipelines.

In addition to the new pipeline proposals, Magellan Midstream Partners said it is considering expanding its Longhorn pipeline and reversing its flow to bring crude from revived oil fields in West Texas to Houston instead of shipping the oil to Oklahoma.
Crude is piling up at Cushing due to the oil boom in western Canada and in onshore producing regions in the U.S. That is what is keeping Nymex prices suppressed.

Don't suppose the authors read TOD?

E. Swanson

A while back, one of the WSJ reporters called me about my article about WTI vs Brent prices. So I think they do read TOD.

Another alternative is a new rail line from Ft. McMurray, Alberta to North Pole, Alaska, where syncrude or other bitumen mixes can be injected into the mid-point of the Alaskan Pipeline for ocean shipping in Valdez.


It would cross existing N-S rail lines to Great Slave Lake and Ft. Nelson with a number of auxiliary benefits.

I have talked extensively with them - the idea is viable.

Best Hopes for Multi-Use Transportation,


Probably more likely than getting a pipeline across BC.

They got First Nations support at the beginning. They like the access it can provide up north.

Best Hopes,


Nice. It would be better to ship it east, though, if there are any refineries in Ontario that can take heavy oil.

The average 2011 price for Brent, through July, is $112, and it closed at $109 on Friday, down about 3% from the average annual price through July.

Investors seeing gold in farmland, infrastructure

Farmland prices are setting records and farmer incomes have been buoyed by exports and biofuels, easing the pain of some rough summer weather from drought, floods and fires.

Amid China's voracious appetite for grains and worries about climate hurting crops and food supplies in many countries, U.S. agriculture's attraction as the world's breadbasket has become a beacon for Wall Street.


Corn is back over $7/bu, wheat jumped up to hit $7.30/bu for September delivery, rice and soybeans are essentially flat.

Back on the farm, my 2000 square feet of dry-farmed heritage corn is on track to yield 1-2 bu, which is enough for the family.

More "Fry & Dry" for Texas + Oklahoma ?

The six month precipitation forecast


About a 50% chance of a return of La Nina. Similar odds for long range forecasts.

I have noted how the current drought appears centered over Texas and Oklahoma. It is as though the Deity is trying to convince someone.


Best Hopes for Slowing Climate Change,


In the Fifties drought, parts of Texas became uninhabitable, because of a lack of water. Of course, our population density is vastly greater now. And the Fort Worth Star Telegram ran an article last week about some West Texas towns that are literally on the brink (a few months if they don't get rain) of completely running out of water.

To once again quote Elmer Kelton, "West Texas* is in a state of permanent drought, broken occasionally by rainfall."

*Really true of the entire American Southwest

Good points. That is why it is so stunning when even in this traditionally very dry area, records are being broken. Something very extreme seems to be going on here. Ranchers are selling off all of their cattle or shipping them out of state, since either of these is cheaper than importing the amount of fodder needed to keep herds alive.

If conditions persist through next year, as seems as likely as not, most ranchers will probably go under--I can't imagine that very many can handle these kinds of losses for two years in a row.

The ten months ending July 31, 2011 were the driest ten months in recorded Texas history, and by good margin - 9.15" vs. 12+" in the worst period in the 1950s.

Statewide rainfall measurements started @ 1890, but the earlier years reported nothing comparable.

And severe drought, if not absolutely no rainfall, appears likely to continue through September (i.e. below normal chances of a hurricane filling reservoirs in East Texas).

This spring, soil moisture was still good. Likewise water sources for irrigation (surface and shallow wells). Very unlikely to be true next spring even with normal rains starting in October (winter is typically a dry season in Texas).

So not just cattle but crops will be wiped out with a more moderate drought next year. The soil in much of Texas is just bone dry and seed germination without irrigation could be a problem in many areas - much less producing a profitable crop.


Are there any solutions at all apart from evacuations? perhaps bring in water by trank trains from the north?

I attempted to find monthly/annual water use for certain cities in Texas...Odessa, Lubbock, etc. Their municipal web sites did not seem to have that information. Lots of tips on water conservation (mostly aimed at homeowners).

Same dry hole for a general search for water use for West Texas water use in general, including agricultural...the information is surely out there, I just didn't see it during a hasty search.

Once one knew the total water demand, perhaps one could theorize about a certain percentage reduction in an emergency, then find the capacity of a standard rail car, and do some math on how many rail cars would be needed per year/month/day. One could then estimate the number of locomotives needed, and the amount of diesel needed, and also look at how many cites/ag areas the rail lines go through.

Then one could determine the amount of offloading/pumping/pipeline equipment to transfer the water from rail heads to the municipal water systems, and/or to heavy tank trucks for further distribution, and add up the costs for that as well.

One should also consider the time domain...is this fantastic operation required for one year, two years, five years, or more?

Also, consider the sources of the water...'from the North' is a start, but we need more detail. What areas have excess water and are willing to sell it to Texas in this massive effort?

One might, as a point of comparison, study building a number of large desalination plants along the Texas Gulf Coast and building pipelines to pump the fresh water North and West. Of course, one would need to add up the realistic initial building and long-term operations and maintenance costs for the plants and the pipelines, and have a plan for how they will be powered and paid for.

Large-scale, deep, and immediate conservation measures would be something do-able right now to buy time for whatever comes next.

300 gallons per day per household is a reasonable number to start with.

I'm on the water board of this subdivision, (we have our own water system) and the average here is about 240 gpd per household. We have separate irrigation water, so that is not included (though some people do use domestic water for irrigation despite our harangues) and a higher average of retired people than is probably typical. But for a 'you have to start somewhere' number, 300 gpd per house is a good start.

300 Gallon per household may be on the low side. A quick check of Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority says they deliver 24 million GPD to a population of about 80,000. 300 GPD per person, and they are pretty good about not wasting water.

It boggles my mind how anyone could use that much water. In our most recent billing cycle ending June 30th, our two person household used eleven cubic metres over a ninety day period which is roughly sixteen U.S. gallons per person, per day. And that's sixteen per cent higher than the previous quarter because my partner is overly smitten with our power washer.


It seems to me that such statistics are nearly meaningless, as you are seldom informed as to what they are based on.For instance, a town might use a good deal of water to supply various businesses and industries and to run a water and sewage treatment plant.

The quoted figure "per household" seems in some cases to include this water used outside residences-in others, it doesn't.

We use as much water as we like, getting it for the entirely trivial cost of running a pump from our own wells and springs.I doubt very seriously if we have ever averaged over thirtyfive gallons per day per person IN THE HOUSE, and that much only during seasons when we bathe two or three times a day due to heat, hunidity , and hard work.

Flushing the old tiolets, which hold about five gallons two or three times per day per person , probably takes more on average than anything other particular usage.I have checked, and I need less than ten gallons to take a shower.

But some days we use hundreds to tens of thousands of gallons OUTSIDE, being farmers.

Personally, I like to pee outside whenever possible. It saves flushes, satisfies some odd primeval man urge in me, AND it really does help keep the deer steered away from the garden.

I just got my bi-monthly bill. Almost double the usual, due to heavy garden watering in July. Myself, several animals, fruit trees, containers and vegetable garden. 3000 gallons for 60 days. 400 cubic feet, 11.3 cubic meters. 50 gallons per day, all uses. I could cut back quite a bit using rain barrels more frequently for outdoor usage (2 x 55 gal).

That is an insane level of water usage. imo

Flush too much, shower too often, etc etc. People can live very well with a more conservative approach. The whole point is that BAU being unsustainable applies to many things....including water waste.

H - Don't let the drought hype suck you in. Yep...the Houston mayor just enacted emergency water rationing: we can only water our lawns twice a week now. The horror...the horror.

I would think farm yields will be down. But this morning on the way to a well I drove past many thousands of acres of crops. Most of the cotton has been pulled from the fields and the sorgum is still green. Corn has been pulled for a while. I suspect the ranchers down south are hurting the worse. But that's pretty much life in S Texas. Good years are measured in how many head you don't lose.

And FM: Don't worry about shipping water down to us. If this is a long term trend we'll just burn some of that cheap NG in our desalinization plants. You know...that stuff we had been shipping to our Yankee cousins . LOL.


I was trying to help BrownBear with the critical thinking involved with answering his hypothetical question.

I am not a climate scientist, hydrologist, farmer, meteorologist, or sage who can tell the future...the Texas drought could be on its way to being over in a couple months, or it could last hundreds of years, or anything in-between!

Everything's bigger in Texas, and it's like a whole 'nuther country, and we know not to mess with it...I'm sure the Texas guys and gals have every confidence that they will cope and figure out whatever hands they are dealt.

H – Understood. Just wanted to point out there is much more mention of the Texas “drought” on TOD then there is on our local news. Yep…we’re way behind in our average rainfall. But it rains almost every day in SE Texas somewhere. Not a lot and not enough to refill our reservoirs. But it rains. Summer is the dry season here. What’s different this year so far is the lack of tropical storms coming out of the GOM. The season will change and it will rain here a lot.

What’s happening here now may be the beginning of a long term weather pattern change. But it ain’t yet here: this is Texas in August: dang hot and dry. Always has been. Get over it! LOL.

You know me: I’m a dedicated doomer on a variety of issues. You know I ain’t shy in that regard. And I appreciate the frustration of the AGW crowd with the stubborn deniers out there. But jumping on (and tending to exaggerate) every abnormal weather condition as proof of AGW is becoming somewhat tiring…not much different then when the deniers take a severe cold snap as proof against AGW.

I’ve mentioned before that, as a geologist that has seen huge climate changes in the rock record, I appreciated the potential 30 years before the vast majority of current AGW believers. OTOH I have no expectation of any significant changes in our bad habits. Not because folks won’t accept AGW but because the immediate economic factors are not acceptable. See…I told you I was a doomer. LOL

Interesting Rick Baby update on AGW. Just accidently heard a Rick Baby response to a question about global warming. He essentially acknowledged that the planet is in a warming phase. What he disputes is the cause: AGW vs. natural cycle. Been warning folks he’s slick. So they just lost one angle of attack: arguing evidence of proving long term weather pattern changes is a nonstarter: he agrees. An example: glaciers melting. The Columbia Ice Field in Alberta is the largest accumulation on the continent. I walked across it a number of times. Great photo op: nice big markers showing where the glacier has been retreating SINCE THE 1800’s…long before the industrial revolution could have been the cause. Arguing cause and effect is much more difficult especially with Joe6pack: post one chain of chemical formulas and you’ve lost him for good. LOL. But that photo of where the CIF edge used to be over 100 years ago is easy for him to understand.

So Rick Baby can have his cake and eat it too. He can preach that we should prepare (and he's the man to handle this Texas size problem) to deal with increasing weather disasters and sea level rise and not have to alter our FF burning activities. “We” ain't the problem…Mother Earth is doing it all by herself. IMHO if anyone doesn’t think this has the potential to be a winning gambit then they are as deep in denial as any AGW denier.

I don't know who this Baby Rick is, but he is right in one aspect: Climate Change is now so far gone, and so much future change is programmed into the system, that debating the CAUSE is as useless as debating the size of the iceberg while Titanic is still sinking. Knowing it is sinking is all that matters. Climate is changing NOW and we need to prepare for it NOW. Preventtion is a lost cause.

The Issue is not if Climate Change will happen or not. The Issue is "How Much" and "How Fast".

Both Humanity and Nature will benefit if we slow done the rate of change, and benefit even more if we reduce the ultimate maximum change.

Best Hopes for Less, and Slower, Climate Change,




"Prevention is a lost cause."

We already certainly are committed to pretty horrific effects of climate chaos.

But of course every day we are furiously, ferociously, fanatically contributing to the problem by extracting and burning as much ff (=safely sequestered carbon) as we possibly can. And still, in spite of all of our supposed 'peaks', at accelerating rates every year.

It is as if someone pouring gasoline over himself near an open flame admits wistfully that preventing an explosion is a lost cause, as he goes on pouring ever more gas over himself ever closer to the open flame.

So I come back to my plea--stop using ffs where ever you can cut back on them; stop consuming things that require large quantities of ff to grow, produce, process, or transport them; and if you are in the business, stop extracting the damn stuff from the ground--find a less morally compromised way of supporting your family.

One rough guide for reducing your personal contribution: www.myfootprint.org

Of course, we need to go beyond personal to institutional and political action.

If I were to take my own words to its logical conclusion it would be "bur oil as fast as possible." When all petroleum carbon atoms have been turned into CO2 in the atmosphere, there will be no infrastructure left to mine coal or access the nat gas. When we are out of oil, we are out of all FFs. Oil is the key fuel.

Rick Baby is Texas governor Rick Perry - also known by the moniker Molly Ivins gave him (for reasons that even the quickest Google Images search will make clear), namely Rick "Goodhair" Perry.

namely, Rick "Goodhair" Perry

In other words, Donald Trump will be his sidekick running mate?

Just to make him look good (goodder)?

Paul - A real shame Molly isn't around anymore. It would be the one bright spot in the upcoming primary. The pundits can stop researching Rick Baby now. They can pull up all of Molly's work. She gave a tongue lashing better then anyone on the planet...and do it in Texan to boot.


This is the drought map of Texas


Drought is measured as a % of normal. Overall, Texas in the last 10 months has gotten slightly less than half of normal overall. A few OK spots (El Paso, lower Rio Grande Valley, Beaumont/Orange, northern part of Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex, etc.)

New Orleans typically gets 60 inches of rain/year. One can raise good crops on half that. Houston gets over 50 inches/year and likewise.

However, when one goes inland, half of normal rainfall, and summer months with none, does impact yield. I read where Texas cotton, a crop that does well in hot, dry weather, yields are down 49% this year.

No farmer can make a profit with his yields cut in half, although it is still well worth running a harvester through.

A key factor is soil moisture. It varies with the crop, but 9" to 12" down is a good rough estimate. This spring, there was still good soil moisture. Next spring, absent a hurricane, there will not be in interior Texas.

Even with continued drought, the coastal strip between Houston and Corpus Christi will still be able to make a crop next year. But north of College Station, not so much. East of Austin, it has been largely a total loss - both farmers and ranchers (who are selling their herds).

Very few Texas farmers made a profit this year, even if they made a crop. Irrigation could make a good crop, but not a profitable one (too much water required), this year. This means that they will pull in their horns this year and next. No new trucks or farm equipment, no winter vacation, no fence repairs, etc. Small town Texas will suffer, as will state sales tax revenue.

There will be no need for Houston to desalinate water - and interior Texas is just too far inland for that to work.

As I stated before, the ripple effect of farming losses from the drought may well reverse the jobs gain elsewhere that Perry brags about.


Alan - Pretty much agree with every thing you say except job loss. Virtually none of the jobs gain has been in the ag biz. Around 40% of all those new jobs were minimum wage positions...they ain't farmers. For the most part farmers don't become unemployed...they just lose their butts. Life in the ag biz has always had its brutal periods.

Also maybe I sould point out what I thought should be obvious: Rick Baby inherited the Texas miracle. Whether you agree with the process or not the system was in place long before Rick Baby arrived on the scene. And it has been fostered by both D's and R's along the way.


The job gains have been outside agriculture, but the ag sector can certainly lose jobs. Most farmers are older, and need some hands to help.

One question will those loosing ag jobs show up in the statistics ?

The small town jobs lost will show up in the statistics though, I believe.


One question will those loosing ag jobs show up in the statistics ?

For the most part, no. The BEA figures on employment and unemployment are explicitly nonfarm labor. That doesn't mean that all ag jobs are excluded, but most of them. Some of that is due to the preponderance of the labor being the owner and his/her family: the USDA estimates that two-thirds of farm labor falls into that category, and the fraction has been increasing in recent years.

And much of the rest of Texas ag labor "does not get reported to the gov't".

Still, an economic drag when they lose work.


But, even 50-60 inches a year, water can still be the limiting resource for farming. Cut it in half, and you have higher temperatures and lower humidity to boot, so you need more irrigation per unit of output. So a 50% drop could translate into a greater than 50% drop in output.

Very few crops are limited by getting only 50 inches of rain. Sugar cane, rice (certain varieties), perhaps bananas.

The vast majority of commercial crops in the USA can do quite well with 40 inches of evenly distributed rain and are not particularly stressed by 30 inches (just reduce yield a bit, but not nearly halve). Below that point, the issues become more extreme.


I think you have captured the dimensions of this problem very well. The scale of the problem in Texas is so great that there are likely no good solutions.

I am originally from India and I recall that there was an extended drought in the city of Chennai (previously known as Madras) back in the late 1970s and early 80s. Trains were used to bring drinking water from nearby rivers and other sources.

Meanwhile, the drinking water scarcity in Madras City became so acute that for the first time we sent water from Neyveli Lignite mines in South Arcot to Madras, by trains. While Lignite is mined in Neyveli, enormous quantities of water automatically springs out from the mines. This water came to the rescue of the district as well as Madras city.

The near-dictatorial 'strict' laws passed to force everybody to setup rain water harvesting at their homes was useful. The water problems were solved, for a while and now I see Chennai once again hurtling towards water problems. The fundamental problem, of course, is our addiction to "Growth".

Perhaps the Yanks have take offense at the Texan attitude of 'Let them freeze in the dark' and will reply with 'Let them die of thirst in the sun'... The future could be most interesting indeed!

Here's a CRS report (PDF) concerning impact of new EPA rules.
EPA’s Regulation of Coal-Fired Power: Is a “Train Wreck” Coming?

The primary impacts of many of the rules will largely be on coal-fired plants more than 40 years old that have not, until now, installed state-of-the-art pollution controls.

A benefit of rules, and difficult to quantify, is reduction of health costs. The EPA report (PDF) Proposed Transport Rule Would Reduce Interstate Transport of Ozone and Fine Particle Pollution states:

The proposed rule would yield more than $120 to $290 billion in annual health and welfare benefits in 2014, including the value of avoiding 14,000 to 36,000 premature deaths. This far outweighs the estimated annual costs of $2.8 billion.

Getting ready for a wave of coal-plant shutdowns

Pardon my cynicism, but if even half the "health" stuff that has been touted as reducing mortality by huge percentages or saving countless hundreds of billions a year actually did so, then, mathematically, by now we should be living to age 150, and health "care" should be both nearly free and virtually unnecessary.

Health care costs have been rising for several years. Expenditures in the United States on health care surpassed $2.3 trillion in 2008


I imaging health care costs for 2011 are more than this figure, and that annual health care costs will be even greater each year through 2017 and beyond.

$120B is ~5% of the $2.3T quoted by Kaiser, and will be even a smaller percentage given that the 2011-2017 annual total health care outlays will be larger.

If one actually takes the time to read the CRS report titled '...Is a train Wreck Coming?' one clearly sees that CRS states that this 'train wreck' talk is all hot air hype by the Edison Institute and its fellow travelers.

First, the report agrees that the new rules will likely force the closure of many coal plants between now and 2017, although it’s difficult to know precisely how many. For green groups, that’s a feature, not a bug: Many of these will be the oldest and dirtiest plants around. About 110 gigawatts, or one-third of all coal capacity in the United States, came online between 1940 and 1969. Many of these plants were grandfathered in under the Clean Air Act, and about two-thirds of them don’t have scrubbers.

CRS notes that many of the plants most affected by the new EPA rules were facing extinction anyway: “Many of these plants are inefficient and are being replaced by more efficient combined cycle natural gas plants, a development likely to be encouraged if the price of competing fuel—natural gas—continues to be low, almost regardless of EPA rules.”

CRS further notes that these pre-1970 coal plants without any scrubbers operate, on average, 41% of the time, and further, CRS notes that between 2000 and 2003, U.S. electric utilities added 200 GW of new capacity, much more capacity than will be closed between now and 2017.

All in all, these new rules being enforced will be a net positive to the citizens of the U.S....we will have the electricity generation capacity we need, and we will have bobs and GNP from closing down the old plants and building the new more efficient and cleaner plants, and our air and water will be cleaner, with attendant health benefits, not only to Humans, but to the other life we share our planet with.

If this adds a penny or two per kilowatt (and I am not saying that it will) to some folks' electric bills, that is a small price to pay...besides, higher electric bills will help encourage efficiency from consumers, and may spur more home/commercial/industrial PV installations.

So, in sum, Michele Bachmann (Quoted in the Ezra Klein article as saying she would basically shut down the EPA), can go jump in the lake, along with with her know-nothing party fellow travelers.

So, in sum, Michele Bachmann (Quoted in the Ezra Klein article as saying she would basically shut down the EPA), can go jump in the lake,

The EPA is 'bout 1/5 of the "rules" from FedGov.

And it was created in response to the desire for a constitutional amendment for protecting the environment.

I'd love to see 1/5 of the rules not be needed. Just go back to the pre 1920's 'must prove direct harm' standard for lawsuits. So "we the people" can file lawsuits without showing that we have been harmed - just MIGHT be harmed and lets get the 1/5 of them thar "rules" gone.

And those who think its a bad idea to kill the EPA - start NOW on constitutional amendments.

Please provide a detailed analysis showing your 150 year estimate. Alternatively, provide your critique of this specific EPA analysis. Otherwise, you are just buttressing your point of view with hyperbole.

The WaPo today has a long article about AGW:

Climate-change science makes for hot politics

I think the important point may be that R's and D's have opposite opinions regarding climate change. The quote from Marc Morano (who was Senator Inhofe's attack dog on AGW) at the end of the article sums up the situation rather well:

Climate change...is “a litmus test, pure and simple, for the presidential race.”

E. Swanson

Unless the GOP nominee (assuming a male nominee) is caught in bed with "A dead girl or a live boy," (to quote a famous politician), or unless the unemployment rate drops suddenly, the overwhelming probability is that the Republicans will win the presidency in 2012, followed I suspect by the Democrats in 2016, and so on, as the electorate desperately hopes that someone can figure out a way to once again provide large volumes of cheap oil, or large amounts of cheap alternatives.

I suspect that AGW will have as much relevance to the election as weather patterns on Venus.

... I suspect that AGW will have as much relevance to the election as weather patterns on Venus.

"You can ignore reality, but you can´t ignore the consequences of ignoring reality" - Ayn Rand

Central/East Groundhog Day Blizzard (Jan. 29-Feb. 3): This storm was tied to 36 deaths. The losses totaled more than $2 billion.

Midwest/Southeast tornadoes (April 4-5): Nine people were killed. Total losses were more than $2 billion.

Southeast/Midwest tornadoes (April 8-11): Resulted in more than $2 billion in losses.

Midwest/Southeast tornadoes (April 14-16): Caused 38 deaths. Total losses are more than $2 billion.

Southeast/Ohio Valley/Midwest tornadoes (April 25-30): Caused 327 deaths. Losses total more than $9 billion.

Midwest/Southeast tornadoes (May 22-27): Caused 177 deaths. Total losses are more than $7 billion.

Southern Plains/Southwest drought, heat waves, wildfires: Direct losses are more than $5 billion.

Mississippi River flooding: At least two deaths and losses ranging from $2-$4 billion.

Upper Midwest flooding: Losses estimated at $2 billion.

Today:Flash flood kills at least 3 in Pittsburgh, fourth body found

Plus,We're just entering the peak of the hurricane season

"When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic." - Dresden James

U.S. ties 2008 record for billion-dollar weather disasters – Bulk of hurricane season still ahead

The United States has already tied its yearly record for billion-dollar weather disasters and the cumulative tab from floods, tornadoes and heat waves has hit $35 billion, the National Weather Service said on Wednesday. And it's only August, with the bulk of the hurricane season still ahead.

The electorate will be focused on jobs, food prices & fuel prices. And as noted above, absent some combination of dead girls, live boys or miraculous drops in unemployment, the overwhelming likelihood is that the latest chief officer of the USS Titanic will be a Republican.

But if it feels better to talk about AGW or weather patterns on Venus, have at it.

I have wondered what a Perry/Bachmann or Perry/Palin (or Bachmann/Perry or Palin/Perry) administration would look like. I wonder if their mutual delusions would be so mutually reinforcing that they would go terminally crazy. But of course, I suspect that most of us* are going crazy, just at different rates.

*Except for me and the "Rock." We are profoundly sane and logical at all times.

Edit: But of course, if Perry/Palin/Bachmann did go completely insane, how would we know?

Will politicians miraculously avert collapse? Nope! Will politicians miraculously cause collapse to accelerate? Why hell yes! That's all we need to know about politicians of any stripe.

Beats me why everyone keeps wasting their breath talking about the useless asses. They're of no more importance to our future than the winners of X Factor are.

Counterpoint - President Gore vs. President G. W. Bush.


Or Punch vs. Judy. It doesn't matter, they don't control the system, the system controls them, they can't change a thing. Politics isn't going to help anyone, the sooner people realise it and take matters into their own hands the better. To meet what's coming head on requires people to reorganise the way they live and get rid of the redundant overheads.

In the end that's what energy descent will mean, without surpluses, the non-productive tiers of society have to be cut out. Give the politicians a shovel, perhaps they will then be of some use or perhaps not.

Because America is a disneyland society, so we believe in the goodness of politicians.

Even very intelligent, thoughtful people keep on waiting, keep on voting, for some politician or another that is going to end the wars, take on Wall Street, invest in rail and energy conservation and renewables. Even though it never happens!

Best to sort of ignore all of this. Beliefs are beliefs, they are hard wired into brains and difficult to change.

Then again, one must be careful to look at the planck in one's own eye. I believe in precious metals, for example, but it's possible this might be completely irrational.

The most one can do is be flexible while maintaining some core things that you believe in and cultivate.

Oilman, it's not just in America, globalisation has spread the disneyland mentality everywhere. No matter where one looks one can see people sitting on their hands waiting for politicians or the State to do something to save them. I think the big shocker will be when realisation hits people that they're really on their own.

Beliefs do seem to be hard wired as you say, perhaps they're the result of some kind of mental sclerosis. Or just the result of continuous mental conditioning. I prefer to replace beliefs with working assumptions that can be jettisoned at the drop of a hat if proved incorrect.

Precious metals? I certainly think of gold as being the only true money. But having said that, I don't think today's wealth can be converted into gold and then magically converted back into the equivalent wealth after TSHTF. Many that have accumulated fiat money wealth are converting it to gold with the assumption that it can be converted back again at some future date, thus preserving their current wealth. I don't think it is going to work out that way.

I knew a high ranking refugee that fled his country during dangerous times and he cleverly converted his wealth into gold beforehand. The thing is that the gold soon vanished as he bribed border guards, bought food, transport and provided a roof over his family's head. The value of his gold deflated against everyday, but essential things. He never regained his former wealth once he'd settled in a safe country. I know of other similar stories where gold and silver probably saved peoples lives, but it was never converted back into the wealth it represented previously.

To me gold is real money, readily tradeble, instantly acceptable and exchangeable for all necessities. It isn't necessarily a good store of wealth however and can rapidly fall in value against things of real importance. Everybody should hold some, but not as a store of wealth.

The electorate will be focused on jobs, food prices & fuel prices. And as noted above, absent some combination of dead girls, live boys or miraculous drops in unemployment, the overwhelming likelihood is that the latest chief officer of the USS Titanic will be a Republican.

I agree, and your point was a Repub would win the next prez election, not whether AGW was a legitimate topic or not. Voters will swing wildly back and forth between the two main party's in a desperate hope it will steer the USS Titanic clear of iceburgs, only to smack into one regardless of party affiliation.

I have wondered what a Perry/Bachmann or Perry/Palin (or Bachmann/Perry or Palin/Perry) administration would look like. I wonder if their mutual delusions would be so mutually reinforcing that they would go terminally crazy.

I think the US would stop circling the drain and head straight for the plughole. These individuals are not even close to being suitable candidates to run, let alone be elected.

Frankly I'm not seeing any repub candidates that wouldn't come across as goofballs in a long US style campaign. In consequence, unless the repubs can rustle up sane looking candidate by next year I'm seeing them running a 'good hair' candidate and losing.

Oh course, the US electorate have elected joke candidates in the past, but ...

So since Obama has turned to be a mouthpiece for BAU (and therefore would continue with the drain-circling), who would you like to see run, in any Party?

Dylan Ratigan

While we were in jail for our Keystone XL protest this past weekend, many of us discussed who we might like to support for the US Presidency. Unsurprisingly, Bill McKibben and James Hansen came up. Many of the activists also noted that they have been impressed by things that Matt Damon has been doing lately.

There are a number of good candidates, and it would be a pleasure to have a frank conversation about their various merits. Someone in our group also mentioned the Americans Elect project, which might be useful for hosting some of that discussion. I would really like to see that site experiment with alternative voting systems so that we could, for example, provide a rank order of our favorite candidates, allowing interesting options from those lists to bubble to the top, and allowing discussion threads about them.

Frankly I'm not seeing any repub candidates that wouldn't come across as goofballs in a long US style campaign.

I think Huntsman (or is it Huntsmen?). I think we just tried to take a reasonable position regarding AGW. Theres usually at least one dark horse with nothing to lose. Staking out the "I am the sane one", in the hopes that if political conditions change, he will suddenly be the natural choice. Not, that I think that outcome is likely, but there usually is one.

I think we just tried to take a reasonable position regarding AGW.

Reasonable is out - hard right is in, (not for me, but for reg. repub voters).

They're looking for someone who can spit nails.

Which is why he (I typed we) is taking that position. Might as well be the one guy in the field that can pick up the pieces in the improbable event that things change. Kind of like Alan, trying to have a plan ready for when the times decome desperate enough. Staking out that position is like buying a stock option in get rich quick Uranium mining inc. Most likely they will be worthless, but in the unlikely event, proceless.

I don't think this Country will elect a person that barely got a degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M in 1972. There is a reference to Perry's transcript on this thread from the Huffington Post. Or accept him as anything other than a oil company's mouthpiece on a scientific topic like GW.

Report: Tunnel linking US to Russia gains support:

The greatest railway project of all time' would enable trains to travel from NYC to London, England



The underlying assumption is that rail is cheaper than ocean shipping. In this case, rail shipping could be longer (more km) than shipping across the Pacific rim.

Given the maintenance over melting permafrost and other issues (e.g. winter operations) I would expect higher costs than the most efficient container and bulk ships. The costs to transfer cargoes to and from ships is much lower than it once was.

Even if built, I wonder if it could pay to continue operations and renew infrastructure as it wore out.

The one "mega rail project" that makes sense to me is sponsored by Chavez - a rail line on the eastern slopes-foothills of the Andes from Venezuela to Argentina. This would replace trucking over the Andes for that area.

And a rail line from Mexico to Columbia/Venezuela.

And 80 miles over Tejon Pass from Bakersfield to Slymar (and > Los Angeles).

Best Hopes for Good Investments,


FOR ALL - Fracking Oversight Raises Staffing Questions

Once gain I forced to offer unrequested advice to my Yankee cousins:

A panel wonders if they'll have "enough staff members to properly monitor and enforce new drilling regulations." The number of staffers is unemportant. Me and 3 hard ass regulators from the Texas Rail Road Commission could put the fear of God operators overnight. Just as has been done in Texas for more than 30 years.

“One likely contentious topic will be how to generate revenue to carry out the new drilling regulations. One option that other states are using is a severance tax levied on gas drillers." Well...DA! The TRRC charges fees for all extraction efforts in the state. Doesn't cover all the overhead but a good bit. And it does not go into the general fund for the politicians to play with. And not only does the state charge a severence tax (varies with the type of NG but usually around 4%) but the counties also get a slice of the production pie...around 1--2%.

Last year I believe over 400 bcf was produced from the Marcellus. I'll do the math for you: 4% state severance tax = $80 million. County ad valorem of 1.5% = $30 million. That's over $100 million/year (and growing) to handle regulation. But will the companies pack up and not drill? Hasn't stopped them in Texas and La (where the taxes are even higher: La. severence tax of oil = over 16% off the top). "To have any kind of gas drilling program with the safeguards that the state believes are necessary is going to be quite expensive". Yep...and the industry will pay for it all...just the cost of doing business for us.

"Mr. Martens has added five additional members to the advisory panel, almost a third of which now consists of environmental watchdogs. The body also now includes a representative of a natural gas industry group, the Independent Oil and Gas Association, and a representative of landowners who are leasing their properties for drilling." I won't expand on this since I think most folks recognize a "circle jerk" when they see it. LOL.

Who knows...maybe they stop pretending they can handle the job and call Rockman Inc. Trust me: me and my boys would be last ones Halliburton would want to see on the committee. LOL. BTW: I would only charge them $50 million/year and let them keep the rest of the tax collection. I figure I would clear around $20 million/year.

The number of staffers is unimportant. Me and 3 hard ass regulators from the Texas Rail Road Commission could put the fear of God [into] operators overnight.

You're missing the point. The point is not to keep anyone "safe", or to prevent, say, contamination of water supplies. The point is to set up a giant bureaucratic apparatus that can hire your cousins and friends at excellent salaries and give them outrageously luxurious pension plans as gifts. After all, New York is the state where Nelson Rockefeller's, ahem, personal "secretary" was once appointed to run the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, on the basis of no apparent qualifications at all. Though if you want real corruption, try Pennsylvania, which can give Louisiana a run for its money or even outdo it - at least in New York and New Jersey there's a minor constraint: corruption occasionally gets exposed, which is why you hear about it.

Paul sadly I understand what you're saying. I'm sure part of the attempt to scare the locals over frac'ng was to have them beg the local politicians to save them from those "evil SOB's". Same tactic the right wing uses the environmentalists, liberals use the SOB Social Security cutters and Texas politicans use those gun-stealing liberals. So tranparent IMHO but so damn effective.

NSIDC mid-month Update: Arctic sea ice at the crossroads

... Sea ice volume normally changes with the seasons, but monthly estimates through July 2011 show that the volume for each month has tracked well below the 1979 to 2010 average, and below the volume for 2007, which saw the record low ice extent. PIOMAS projects that this year's minimum volume in September will very likely finish below 2007 and could even reach a record low volume.

Climate Change accelerating? Check!
Financial collapse accelerating? Check!
Energy situation deteriorating? Check!

And here is the order that these will be prioritised in at this moment in time:

1. Financial collapse
2. Energy situation
157..climate change

Game over. Nothing is going to change this status quo and there will always be bigger problems. Not to mention the 4billion people in chindiastanussia who couldn't care less and just want to consume the same useless trash that the west does. Oh...and then there are the 2.5 billion westerners that are sooooooo tired of hearing the green drum bang that they got bored and switched off too. That leaves about 7% of the population who might actually give a monkeys.


My prediction is there will be lethalpunishments for burning FFs by the end of this century. By then it will - off course - be to late.

In John Michael Greer's "Star's Reach" novel, being serialized on-line, the punishment for burning fossil fuels is being buried alive.

One blacksmith is caught as a side story.



I was out Kayaking the Intra Coastal Water Way yesterday and came upon a brand new sign posted by the city of Hollywood at the entrance of some channels leading into the Ane Kolbe Nature Center mangroves. I plan on photographing these new signs I like them so much! The signs say: NO FOSSIL FUEL VESSELS By ordinance # (some number) of the City Of Hollywood. Note they do not say NO POWER VESSELS, so a solar powered boat is acceptable and of course all human powered vessels as well... Love it!

Just curious - would a biofueled power vehicle be acceptable then?

Love it too. There are probably few if any non FF powered vessels that can raise a damaging wake. I recall back in Wisconsin 9.9HP motors were pretty popular, because a lot of smaller lakes had an under 10HP limit.


Nuclear powered aircraft carriers and submarines fully acceptable? (Probably not their intention). They also have to watch out for some smart *ss showing up in an ethanol or biodiesel-fueled power boat.

Awesome! This summer, I was toying with buying a runabout family boat but having run into this forum, I decided instead to invest in a nice canoe for the family to enjoy water sports with. It's going to be very expensive to run a boat in the years to come.

I once had a big Bass rig that ate twenty-five gallons an hour (if not more) at full throttle. Still, that was 60 or so miles, so about 2.2 miles per gallon. Now I have a small aluminum bass boat with a 35hp motor on it - it eats about 3 gallons an hour, and I'll get 25 miles with it - or 8.3 miles per gallon. Much more affordable, not to mention the cost savings of hauling a much lighter boat around. I'm putting it up for sale soon, probably in the Spring - I don't think gas prices will jump too much by next summer.

By the way, have any of you guys seen how much one of those newer top of the line Ranger Bass boats go for? Try $50K! Bass fishers tournament most weekends of the summer and go through much gas and oil - I think Bass fishing is another industry that's going to die a horrible death, and soon.

Bass fishing. An activity in desperate need of a rationale. I ate one once. Never again, even 44 years later I can summon that funky memory too easily and gag a little.

Just goes to show that we'll figure silly ways to burn anything we get out of the ground.

The only time Bass fishing is worthwhile is when you can make 3 casts and catch 5 bass.

I am following NSIDC almost daily,and am deeplyintruged by the fact that the sea ice seems to thin faster than it is losing surface. It is like if the ice is trying to keep up a good apearance.

But also; thin ice melts faster. One of those years there will be a long and warm melt season, and the ice will just collapse. Didn't happen this year. What about next year? Or 2013? Or 2014?

The most recent research out, seems to imply there isn't a real tipping point, that the volume/area of ice versus the amount of warming should be a continuous function. So it will probably on average just get less and less. There will still be seasonal ice for a long time. And another paper warns that decadal trends can outweigh the longterm secular changes. It is possible we could see a decade of improving (growing) ice conditions, before a reversion to trend brings us back to reality.

The real issue now, is that low ice will be increasingly common. The past two winters we've had some very wild weather, with some areas much warmer or cooler than normal (but the cold spots get most of the press). If this is caused by low ice conditions, we can expect a lot of wild weather in the future.

The tipping point I'm worried about up there isn't about total loss of sea ice, but longer and longer periods when the East Siberian Arctic Shelf is ice free. There is enough methane under there, by most accounts, to swamp all other sources of GHGs many times over. If the clathrate layer and the free methane beneath it start to go in a big way (assuming they are not already), it makes any attempts to lower our contributions of GHG essentially irrelevant--i.e. at that point, we're cooked.

We can only hope that natural variability will kick in and bring us back to summers with relatively little ice melt for a decade or so. That could give us a slight reprieve to clean up our act to avoid tipping that mega-tipping-point. But I have grave doubts that we would take advantage of any such opportunity. Instead, we would hear a chorus of voices from the denialists that GW was over so nothing to worry about...back to our happy-motoring ways...

The North East passage is ice free now. Ice free enough that even I could navigate through it. Was only lately it happened the first time, now it seems like an annual occurance. There is a chance there will be an opening of the North West passage too. Ifso,it would be the first year both are open at the same time. I wish I were a cargo shipper...

Falling oil and gas prices: A blessing and a curse

I actually wrote a story on the exact same theme two weeks ago:

When Falling Oil Prices are Bad News

I also talk about our deficit problem, and while I pin a lot of that on Bush, I also don't think Obama has done a great job of making the tough choices to right the ship. They both contributed to this mess.

The Energy predicament can be put down in two lines

Either everyone gets a job and is not able to afford gas
Or everyone loses a job and is still not able to afford gas

and all the oil below the price that folks can afford will stay in the ground

Tripoli Uprising

Numerous individual reports of various neighborhoods rising up with a bridge taken and an airbase surrounded.

Fragments, but the totality appears significant.

Best Hopes for a Quick End,


Stick a fork in him.

Stick a fork in him for me too.

At 1 PM local time, an Al Jazeera reporter said that rebels are in control of 3 Tripoli neighbourhoods: Fashloum, Zawiyat Dahmani and Mansoura.

These were the "problem" neighborhoods for Ghaddifa last February. And this is far from a complete takeover of the city.

The big question is how many troops will stay loyal to Ghaddifa. If a core group of a few thousand do, then it will be rough going for days and perhaps weeks.


Yes. I'm nervous. Gaddafi is clearly on the way out. But, it is uncertain how many he can take with him. Casualties could still be high. Reportedly retreating loyalists killed 122 people in a demonstration. I hope we won't see too much of that.

Gaddafi is clearly on the way out.

Yes, because he's and old man and the sickle of death spares no man.

But I remember such talk last century about a guy named Saddam. How many years was that guy "on his way out"?

The question at the moment seems to be if Gaddafi will avoid capture until the dawn. Few seem to think the near term outcome is in doubt.


So there is an eye witness report of the rebels taking the main base that had protected Tripoli. That would seem to be it--the rest is mop up work, although that could get messy. Wounded animals are notoriously dangerous when cornered.

They may have taken the base but where are the soldiers?


Giving themselves honorable discharges and changing into their civvies, I bet.

Two reporters within the last hour say the Libyan Presidential Guard surrendering.

One faction claims to have captured Ghadafi at Rixos (?).

Best Hopes,


Libyan government spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, holding live press conference right now - perhaps his last. But at least some part of the government must still be functioning. He is calling for an immediate cease-fire by all sides.

Incredible, it is co-broadcast by Washington Post...
Washington Post Live Media

One of the rebel leaders says that Moussa Ibrahim may now be the last government official still at his post and in control of nothing more than his hotel. What happens next?

CNN reporter says gov't minders and guards quietly and quickly left the hotel with all the international correspondents a couple of minutes ago.

Separately, three of Gaddafi's sons have been captured per Benghazi rebel gov't.

Best Hopes !


BBC reporting the International Criminal Court has Saif Al-Islam Gaddafi in detention. An international warrant was issued in June.

Guma El-Gamaty, a spokesman for the Transitional National Council is saying he is awaiting confirmation of big news: that Muammar Gaddafi has been arrested.

A lot happening very fast.

Live pictures from Green Square with the rebels in control on Sky News. BBC reporter says Gaddafi loyalists still preventing them from leaving hotel. He said he expects a battle for control of the hotel may start imminently and hopes it is short.

A lot happening very fast

Obviously some sort of tipping point. Suddenly for the typical member of the home guard, deserting seems the safer course of action. And for all those who have biding their time, the time is now -or else they won't be able to claim they were part of it. Hope this thing gets over with much violenence or destruction.

I am guessing that many of the "supporters" of the regime were fearful of the security forces, and once the rebels arrived they no longer had to keep up appearances.

I am wondering if there will now be reprisals against the people who were in the security forces.

"supporters" of the regime were fearful of the security forces, and once the rebels arrived they no longer had to keep up appearances.

Doubtlessly thats a big part of the change in the calculus. Don't switch sides until risk is low.

The zero hour has started. The rebels in Tripoli have risen up

Gaddafi faces final battle

These things never go smoothly.

But if the rebels pull this off, how long until the oil could start flowing? I guess it depends on the damage to the oil infrastructure but much of it was far from the fighting.

I suspect the more important issue is whether this could be real peace or will low level violence continue as people settle scores.

What chance do the Syrian opposition forces have?


I would be very surprised if wither the U.S. or European forces became involved, in any way other than small-scale covert aid.

Turkey has made disapproving noised about Syria...However, the opposition does not want outside/foreign help.

This is about Libya, not Syria. And speaking of Libya, it looks like the Rebels just won.


I am all over it...I have been following the Libyan situation closely!

I was transitioning to making a comparison/contrast overhead question about what you all think will transpire in Syria.

'Arab Spring'...Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, ...maybe Syria next?



From Al Jazeera live blog:
Technical staff for Italian oil giant Eni have arrived in Libya to investigate how quickly they can get oil facilities back up and running, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has said.

"The facilities had been made by Italians, by [oil field services group] Saipem, and therefore it is clear that Eni will play a number one role in the future [in Libya]", Frattini told Italian state TV RAI.

Italy? Really?

Libya and Italy have a history:


I recently purchased a couple Belkin Conserver Timer Sockets at Future Shop for $9.99 each (also available through Amazon.com). Unlike a conventional timer that follows a predetermined schedule, this is a countdown timer that is activated when you press the button on top and it kills power a half-hour, three or six hours later depending upon the position of the selector switch on the left.

The touch pad controls on our dehumidifier failed a number of years ago and rather than buy a new dehumidifier I turn it on and off by pulling the plug. More often than not, I forget to do this as I run out the door or head off to bed and it runs continuously for many hours at a time, needlessly wasting a good amount of electricity in the process. Now, whenever it needs to run, I tap the button and it automatically shuts off three or six hours later. I expect this will save us a couple hundred kWh over the season.

The other one controls a television and satellite receiver. This older set draws 9-watts on standby and the receiver an additional thirty-watts when switched off -- altogether, about one kWh per day. I watch very little television, so I expect this device will save us three hundred or so kWh a year in standby losses alone. I also have a bad habit of falling asleep in front of the TV (one minute I'm watching the Nightly Business Report and four hours later I wake up to a test pattern), so this will help minimize that waste as well.

In effect, these two $10.00 timers could very well trim our electrical bill by five or six hundred kWh a year.


You have a test pattern?

Well, I don't, but WNED does.


Yup, I'd seen those Belkins, not a bad idea, especially with a dehumidifier (kWh eaters). I still prefer the vampire kill power strip for the TV and internet modem.
Not sure if this bit of financial meltdown has been published here yet:

The recession in the USA

The recession in the USA has hit everybody really hard…

My neighbor got a pre-declined credit card in the mail.

CEO’s are now playing miniature golf.

Exxon-Mobil laid off 25 Congressmen.

A stripper was injured when her audience showered her with rolls of pennies while she danced.

I saw a Mormon with only one wife.

If the bank returns your check marked “Insufficient Funds,” you call them and ask if they meant you or them.

Angelina Jolie adopted a child from America.

Parents in Beverly Hills fired their nannies and learned their children’s names.

My cousin had an exorcism but couldn’t afford to pay for it, so they re-possessed her.

A truckload of Americans was caught sneaking into Mexico.

A picture is now worth only 200 words.

The Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is now managed by Somali pirates.

I was so depressed last night thinking about PEAK OIL, the economy, wars, jobs, my savings, Social Security, retirement funds, etc., I called the Suicide Hotline. I reached a call center in Pakistan, and when I told them I was suicidal, they got all excited, and asked if I could drive a truck.

CO2--It appears that you are the reincarnation of Rodney Dangerfield.

Merely cherry picked from a friend's email..

A bit pricier, but a really nice controller for a dehumidifier is the
Honeywell Model H46E1013 Dehumidistat (Grainger Item No. 2E082 in this link). Mounts on a wall near the dehumidifier and can be set anywhere from 20-80% relative humidity (or on/off). I have an old Sears Kenmore dehumidifier that works fine but the internal control seemed kind of erratic. Now I have the dehumidifier's control set for full on, but the dehumidifier plugged into the dehumidistat (set for 40% RH) and it runs just enough to keep our basement at a comfortable level.

Thanks, Walt. This would allow for more precise humidity control and eliminate needless runtime, and it would also eliminate the need to continually monitor and adjust its operation. I see that Grainger also sells a less expensive wall plug model (see: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/DAYTON-Dehumidifier-Control-1UHG2).

Yesterday, our dehumidifier ran for a total of eighteen hours and consumed 9.23 kWh. Earlier this morning, when I went back down to check, the relative humidity has creeped back up to 72 per cent (outside RH so far today is running between 96 and 100 per cent). It's a never ending battle.


1) How are you for air leakage? That can push your humidity up fast, even opening and closing doors.
2) You may need an extended 'dry time' to get moisture out of items in the room. You get the air nice and dry but then everything starts unloading moisture back in. I get that problem here. Once the stuff in the room has dried out then you nay find it easier to keep humidity down.



We're in reasonably good shape with respect to air infiltration, but the lower level is connected to the main floor via an open stairwell and so I can't prevent the exchange of air between these two levels. The alternative is to close all windows and doors on the upper two floors and run the a/c but that's an even more costly proposition in terms of energy use.

I've tried extending the drying time as you suggest and that does help to keep things on a more even keel, but I wonder if there's an energy penalty to be paid in doing so. I ask because I've noticed that no matter how long it runs I can never get the relative humidity below 45 per cent. I try to keep it in the range of 60 to 65 per cent but on occasion it has climbed as high as 75 and 80 per cent. Even at 60 per cent, we're probably pushing our luck in terms of mould and mildew.


I like it when our humidity is below 60% but, at the moment, a little above isn't too bad. Outside, we are getting 90/90 weather - 90F 90% - during parts of most days. The only way to get a decent nights sleep is run the A/C on dehumidify for a couple of hours first. A side benefit is that the bedroom stays tolerably pleasant the next day to get away from the heat for a siesta. It seems to be more effective than running as A/C which I need to set on the timer to go off a few hours after going to bed. The humidity really chews things up. It has been giving me a lot of food for thought on my next house, I am considering how to feed in filtered, dried air via storage areas and bedrooms.


Iran sentences two hikers, held already for two years, to eight more years of prison...three for illegally entering Iran and five for alleged espionage.


I wonder what their evidence for the espionage charge is?

Three years for trespassing what, a couple feet? A quarter-mile? The hikers said they were kidnapped, thought they were still on the Iraq side of the border.

No allowance for 'time served'?

Harsh and unfair.

I guess Iran just can't get beyond their hostage-taking habit.

I don't know about the circumstances, but if I were the Iranian government I would be paranoid too. They are surrounded on two sides by a hostile nuclear power (though the force in Iraq is winding down, it's still there). Who goes hiking on the Iran/Iraq border? Especially from the US? Most people in the US would avoid Iraq because it's still not that safe. Yes, they where in the Kurdish north, an American-friendly, relatively peaceful area near a "pourus" border... Which is exactly where you would send spies, right?

Basically, I can't fault Iran without seeing the evidence or lack thereof. That said, if you read the article, the sentence is most likely not going to be carried out fully - they will probably end up back in the states in a few years, if that.

None of us mere peons knows the truth here.

However, I can fault Iran for not displaying their evidence to the World, and to the hikers' families, to see and examine.

Otherwise it is a kangaroo court.

If they were sent as spies, then if that truth were to be known, the fair thing would be to send over the American spymasters who sent them there, and have the spymasters languish in Iranian jails for at least 8 years.

But...we do not know if they were spies, or just young people who are what they say they are...innocent until proven guilty, and the World needs to see the body of evidence.

Paranoia is not recognized by international norms as a justification for false imprisonment...and BTW, that goes equally for the United States!

None of us mere peons knows the truth here.

*clap* *clap*

However, I can fault Iran for not displaying their evidence to the World, and to the hikers' families, to see and examine.

Otherwise it is a kangaroo court.

And how is that any different than any of the many court trials in, say the USA, where the police "loose" the video from the squad car, Judges get kickbacks from prison operators, or video from incident X is 'not available for national security reasons' or the terms of an international treaty which benefits large corporations is also 'not available for national security reasons'.


Your last paragraph is in agreement with, and an expansion of, the thought I was trying to express with my last line above.

9-11 gave the tyrants in the U.S. the perfect cause to decouple aspects of our legal system from their Constitutional moorings. And it looks as if this will continue indefinitely, in the holy name of National Security and Homeland Defense.

Random thoughts:

Iran is in a difficult position, especially if they really are US spies. Presenting evidence to the public is hardly an intelligence option. Revealing what they know about these people would be really really stupid. They do have rational reason to believe the US is an enemy of their regime.

What is the point of having a state intelligence agency if you don't staff it with paranoids?

Fair? What does that have to do with the behavior of either US or Iran?

Is paranoia a recognized medical disease in Shia Islam?

Maybe they are just American tourists. Other American tourists have been known to do really stupid and provocative things elsewhere. Either way I feel sorry for the hikers, and hope they will be released soon.

Yes. We, here present, have no idea of the truth.

It just gives Iran something to "trade" for or "We are far kinder than them, that is why we are releasing them".

I wonder what their evidence for the espionage charge is?

Does it matter? What Nation-State is really 100% committed to truth and the rule of law?

All this shows is Iran is willing to be like every other Nation.

For a different view of Iran, read 'Iran or Persia?'. A beautiful essay...



People seem to accept the fact that the Eurozone will disassembles itself at some point.It would start with Greece and Portugal leaving the monetary Union to fly on their own when the bail outs talk collapse. This collapse can come from a variety of reason like political instability in both the countries but more likely it will be by having some, then all of the countries, cancelling their support due to to the cost rising to much or some public discontent with the idea.

The interesting part is what happend when things start playing out in this scenario. First you can imagine for greece and portugal huge economic pain which will translate into a big social instability. It will probably affect other economies in the eurozone by falling trades and decreased confidence. Not the mention the huge logistical cost to retrofit to their local currencies . Here some people would mention that there would be probably be a magical fairy tale boom in in Greece and Portugal but for this baseline doomsday scenario we will assume that it doesnt happend.
That's only the beginning probably after some months maybe much faster depending on GDP and CDS figures you get to the point where Italy or Spain have to be kicked out and it's a whole new disaster in motion. 50 years of careful economic and social integration thrown in the trash of history from one day to another. Nothing to plan anymore for , Brussels ,Strasbourg and Frankfurt become the hollow shell of a born dead empire with everyone scrambling for the exit .

In this drama the most important factor is confidence , probably when the bailout talks will collapse around september or october it will already send huge shock wave capable of destoying the "recovery" .
I still think Europe will be nail in the coffin of the globalized economy and the day it truly happend we will see the collapse of so many markets around the world that lehman brothers will be nothing in comparison.
Europe was at it's post WWII pinnacle when it introduced the euro, but due to the energy predicament it is doomed to fail first due to it's loosy political interconnectdness .

There is talk of "Euro North" and "Euro South". It's politically more acceptable to go with an explicitly two speed Europe than see countries drop out one by one.

I heard someone on the radio talking about this. The problem is that the Maastricht Treaty does not have provisions for a country leaving the Euro once they have joined. It was only ever intended to be a one-way deal, so it would be a horribly chaotic affair were there to be any kind of split. Then again, if all of those big Euro banks fold, and Euro-zone finances are all in tatters, I suppose it could be easier.

The EU civil war? I never understood who benefited by the US civil war. Who might benefit from the EU civil war?

I never understood who benefited by the US civil war.

"the war profiteers". Plenty tales of fraud WRT the outfitting of the troops as an example of 'who benefited' Anyone who had $300 to pay off the draft board benefited.

One could frame it as one group wanting to change BAU and another thinking it wasn't a good plan.

"I never understood who benefited by the US civil war."



Just realized something. Maybe I missed the post: does everyone know that Rick Baby was a Democrat for much of is life?

"In 1984, Perry was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a Democrat... He befriended fellow freshman state representative Lena Guerrero of Austin, a staunch liberal Democrat who endorsed Perry's reelection bid in 2006 on personal, rather than philosophical, grounds. Perry was part of the "Pit Bulls", a group of Appropriations members who sat on the lower dais in the committee room (or "pit") who pushed for austere state budgets during the 1980s.

In 1987, Perry (as a D) voted for a $5.7 billion tax increase proposed by Republican governor Bill Clements. Perry supported Al Gore in the 1988 Democratic presidential primaries and chaired the Gore campaign in Texas. In 1989, Perry announced that he was joining the Republican Party. At one point, The Dallas Morning News (as liberal a news paper you'll find in Texas) named him one of the ten most effective members of the legislature.

Go ahead...underestimate Rick Baby. Obviously he doesn't know anything about gaming the system. LOL. BTW for those confused: a Yankee R probably couldn't get elected as D in Texas...too liberal.

A few years ago, everybody in Texas was a Democrat. Not unlike Louisiana.

Duke - Which is why I register as a D when I live in La. and an R when I live in Texas. Only the primaries count for the most part. If you want to feel like your vote means anything the primaries are the game.

BTW: IMHO here's not a lot of difference between the average Texas R and La D. Neither would go over well even within their own parties in NY. Same BS...just a different letter behind their names. LOL

Thanks to A. Lincoln and Roosevelt, your typical Southerner after WW II was a Yellow Dog Democrat. I think most of them held views nearer that of a typical mid-western Republican, but the Democrats held the field until desegregation and then the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. More recently, most of those folks have admitted that they were really R's, so the game has flipped the other way...

E. Swanson

Rick Perry on Bush: 'He's a Yale Graduate; I'm a Texas A&M Grad'

Perry attended Texas A&M starting in 1968, the first year civilians were allowed to attend school, and was member of C&C. He graduated with degree in animal sciences in 1972.

The article Texas A&M Years Launched Perry — and a Rivalry discusses his college days.

Perry learned that he could drop something down the second floor toilet and get it to come out the first floor toilet. Then he learned M-80s had waterproof detonators — a perfect combination. His accomplice, Sharp, would give the high sign out the window when a potential target wandered into a stall. Perry, from the floor above, would flush the lit firework down.

Rick Perry's College Transcript: A Lot Of Cs And Ds


Bush made me yearn for the days of Nixon. A President Perry would make me yearn for the days of Bush. Even Rove thinks he's scary. An inspiration for failed students everywhere. I wonder how he knows there are gaps in evolution theory. For him, it is probably just one big gap, like the one between the two sides of his head.

The technical way of saying the same thing is to state that his head has an impedance of 377 ohms (i.e., the impedance of free space).

A Lot Of Cs And Ds

Which should make him an ideal drinking buddy, a la George Bush Jr. People distrust people that are more intelligent them themselves, and figure a dullard won't be able to bamboozle them. Try to act like I'm a smart guy, and you go over like Al Gore.

I never got that people thought of "W" as someone that would be a good drinking buddy. He seemed more like the type that would get into a lot of bar fights, and that he would end up barred as the bar owners didn't want to deal with the trouble. And Perry seems to have the same personality type.

I heard a discussion recently about how the environmental movement oftentimes speaks down to average people and treat them like idiots. And then to top it off, I was listening to a different session where they were talking about how you get average people more interested in science and the environment, and the speaker introduced a video clip by saying "this is your audience". He subsequently played a clip from "Idiocracy". I just had to shake my head.

Has he been a reliable "servant" for the "money interests"?

If so, then he's got a shot.

You got it.

The presidency gives Perry a new "money interest" to serve, the Military Industrial Complex. Rick Perry has been meeting with neocons Feith, Luti, McCarthy, Fata, Stimson and others.
Rick Perry and the Neocons

He will distinguish himself from other Republicans as a hawk internationalist, embracing American exceptionalism and the unique role we must play in confronting the many threats we face

If he can couple that with 20 trillion dollars for the global bankers he is a winner.

Bank of America will help Rick Perry, as the following video states:
James Mahoney, Bank of America Tells Rick Perry, We will help you out

The big banks are facing numerous new regulations that impact profitability. It would be expected for banks to support anti-regulation candidate.

Only if the banks don't go under first..

I'd say that James Mahoney needs to learn about open mikes...

E. Swanson

The Military Industrial Complex is new?

Not at all. 100 years ago the posters existed warning the population of the money the arms dealers were making off the latest created conflict. Congressional reports about fraud and shoddy products from arms makers.

It is not new, not by a long shot.

Will Rick Perry re-create the so-called 'Texas Miracle' in the rest of the U.S?

I have some swamp land to sell you in Florida if you think so...


There's also this headline from today's WaPo:

Perry criticizes government while Texas job growth benefits from it

The attack dogs are going to have lots to chew on in 2012...

E. Swanson


"Fukushima radiation alarms doctors
Japanese doctors warn of public health problems caused by Fukushima radiation."

"Scientists and doctors are calling for a new national policy in Japan that mandates the testing of food, soil, water, and the air for radioactivity still being emitted from Fukushima's heavily damaged Daiichi nuclear power plant.

"How much radioactive materials have been released from the plant?" asked Dr Tatsuhiko Kodama, a professor at the Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology and Director of the University of Tokyo's Radioisotope Centre, in a July 27 speech to the Committee of Health, Labour and Welfare at Japan's House of Representatives.

"The government and TEPCO have not reported the total amount of the released radioactivity yet," said Kodama, who believes things are far worse than even the recent detection of extremely high radiation levels at the plant.

There is widespread concern in Japan about a general lack of government monitoring for radiation, which has caused people to begin their own independent monitoring, which are also finding disturbingly high levels of radiation.

Kodama's centre, using 27 facilities to measure radiation across the country, has been closely monitoring the situation at Fukushima - and their findings are alarming.

According to Dr Kodama, the total amount of radiation released over a period of more than five months from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster is the equivalent to more than 29 "Hiroshima-type atomic bombs" and the amount of uranium released "is equivalent to 20" Hiroshima bombs."

Thanks for helping to keep this in our awareness. Still very much an ongoing disaster, and out of control. ENENEWS has recently reported cracks forming in the earth around these plants, and steam billowing out. It would appear that the "corium" is continuing to migrate and come in contact with ground water. The health effects from all this are slow to be manifest but this is a tragedy in the making.

According to Dr Kodama, the total amount of radiation released over a period of more than five months from the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster is the equivalent to more than 29 "Hiroshima-type atomic bombs" and the amount of uranium released "is equivalent to 20" Hiroshima bombs."

I wonder if that data is normalized in some way for the shorter lived isotopes of a fission bomb VS the longer lived ones of a reactor?

The quote I read elsewhere was the bomb based isotopes are 1/10th as long lived. It had no comments on the bio-affinity of one VS the other.

I read the use of "Hiroshima bomb" units as unscientific scare tactics without relevance. I just discounted the analysis as someone with an axe to grind, regardless of the facts.


In a sense, but the problem is that if you use numbers that are in more conventional units, people have no easy way of putting it into any sort of context as they have no experience with those units, and they don't for have any kind of feel for what it all means.

% of background would be more relevant - and FAR less scary.

The residual radiation 6 months after Hiroshima was minimal - a fact lost to most today.


Perhaps, but I guess the first thing I would want to know is which radioisotopes are responsible for the increased radiation levels. Mainly because some radioisotopes bio-accumulate, and others don't, but also you would also want to know what type of radiation is involved (alpha, gamma, beta).

I am not sure if there is a simple way of presenting information like this in a simple way that the public could easily understand.

And fear has again created discimination against people who "might" be radioactive. There was really pernicious discrimination against the bomb survivors, I hope Fukishima won't recreate the phenomena on a wider scale. The less trustworthy the information, the worse the FUD.

But the various 'actors' have been caught misrepresenting the data, issuing memos to 'downplay the danger', past failures to report releases of radioactive material into the biosphere, place fake stories into the media, ......

The publicly demonstrated failure at Fukishima is just another example.

At what point is one just delusional for approaching the situation with a default of trust?

There is a pathway out - being honest.

And how much of that reduction was due to the removal of the radioactive material?

My memory has the removal of topsoil as part of the decontamination.

I'll also note in the original quote there is mention of the volume of Uranium. The US of A has deployed far more Uranium in various conflict zones via the DU munitions. Not to mention the reduction of the U to a fine aerosol so the whole world can enjoy DU.

Uranium is a common element in the earth's crust. In fact, the Spanish Empire's foray to conquer Santa Fe was driven by descriptions of the region's uranium deposit, which they took to mean mercury. And that was in the late 1500's.

Even the vaporized uranium left after a deployment of DU munitions will coalesce into standard sized dust particules, after which it will cause little trouble. Less than natural uranium, in fact, since it is depleted.

Uranium is a common element in the earth's crust.

So? The crust is a large volume in 3 dimensions. The surface is almost 2D by comparison. And if your part of the Earth's surface happens to be where DU is used as a weapon, it'll be even MORE of a "common" element.

As more humans are exposed to DU, more evidence will be generated to show what it does as a heavy metal and mutagen.

Even the vaporized uranium left after a deployment of DU munitions will coalesce into standard sized dust particules, after which it will cause little trouble.

Other than Uranium is a heavy metal toxin AND mutagen - yuppers! little trouble. Now it would have been less trouble left in the ground in the "natural" state - a state noted in the 1st sentence of your argument. Instead such 'DU dust' can now enter the biological cycles on the surface where the toxic/mutagen factors can play out VS having been buried and out of the biosphere.

Less than natural uranium, in fact, since it is depleted.

"Natural Uranium" is typically buried far underground and not part of the air, like DU after being used as slugs. So the two conditions are not at all the same.

Nice try to hand-wave away the issue.

Now if DU is "so little trouble" - why the regulations about it? Why did the US of A import DU 'contaminated' soil from the Middle East?

No, it was an air burst with the height calculated to allow fall out to blow away and not contaminate.


Here's the original interview

Head of Tokyo University Radioisotope Center calls for speedy decontamination

On July 27, Dr. Kodama gave testimony before the Committee for Health, Labor and Welfare of the Lower House of the Diet. He strongly criticized the negligence of the government in not channeling its energies into radiation tests for food when fears about food contamination are so widespread, and in not working to enact new laws to better protect children. "Unless the government commits itself to reducing radioactive materials, the Japanese people will not trust what it says about safety." Dr. Kodama also proposed some specific measures. The hearing has been posted on numerous video-sharing websites and is attracting a large audience.

Ranchers fear fracturing will add to drought woes:

It takes an average of 5 million gallons of water to fracture a well, according to a study by the South Central Texas Regional Water Planning Group.



One fundamental problem with the Index of Energy Security (which was recently published by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) is its reliance almost exclusively on information from the EIA. The Chamber regards this reliance on EIA as a strength, but many here would regard it as a weakness.
My question is this: does anyone remember a posting (I'm pretty sure it was here at TOD) which reviewed erroneous predictions from the EIA re. price and future production volumes?
I think there was a similar review of predictions from IEA showing downward revisions of future oil demand (which was traditionally equated with future oil supply).

If anyone can help with this info, that would certainly be appreciated.

- rick

For the EIA.

Systematic bias in EIA oil price forecasts: Concerns and consequences

In the comments section of another Gail article, there are graphs of EIA and IEA predictions.

TOD article

There was also a very good article on the EIA linked over at the Energy Bulletin a couple of years ago showing how inaccurate the EIA is, but I don't see it offhand. I am sure you could find it in their archives with a little work.

Thanks very much, Goner

I can't access the World Oil study on-line but I may be able to locate a print copy at the university library.
I'm going through Gail's article, etc now... very helpful


I can't access the World Oil study on-line but I may be able to locate a print copy at the university library.

No problem. If you Google the paper's title, you can backdoor the subscription (like WSJ articles).

I've searched for 30 mins and can't get that 07 WO study.

Meanwhile, I see that the EIA released their 2011 Retrospective Review a few days ago:

I would like to ensure that I'm understanding their info correctly.
In Table 4 re. World Oil Prices, the green portions indicate that EIA underestimated the price by (more or less) 25% to 70% throughout this decade. Most noteworthy would be their underestimation of the 2009 price by 50-60% and it turned out to be a recession year. And the 09 Outlook underestimated the 09 price by one-third.

Also, Table 6 re. Domestic Production shows overestimation of US production by 10-20% throughout this decade.

Have I understood correctly, folks? Any other observations on their Retrospective?

I am curious as to what will happen if Saudi's and many other oil producers cut their internal consumption by 60-70%. Let's say in a hypothetical scenario the rest of the world decides to provide them with Abundant Nuclear Energy and other clean tech and traditional fossil fuels like coal, NG etc, would the current peak we are experiencing shift and to what degree ?

Also what happens if the predicted Iraqi oil reserves come online in a short time. Would that affect the current peak oil scenarios a great deal ?

Wiseindian,the chances of your hypothesis coming to pass is 0%,so no comment.Like they say in Punjab"Why ask directions to a village which you will never visit".

You may be right but I like to maintain a healthy degree of skepticism in all my assumptions. What I have outlined is not at all impossible though chances are lower.

“I am curious as to what will happen if Saudi's and many other oil producers cut their internal consumption by 60-70%” Posted by wiseindian

As Hole in Head stated above, not gonna happen. But if we were in some alternative universe and this did come to pass, how would it play out? I guess this is what you are asking.

Well, it wouldn’t affect the overall date of production peak, nor extend the production plateau we are now on. What it would do is mess with Westexas’ Export Land Model. Instead of exports peaking and more or less immediately decreasing, there would be a plateau in exports. Exports would remain basically even while decreased domestic consumption would be balanced by the declines of the producing fields.

But this export plateau would only last two or three years, so in the end, this would have little effect on the overall situation.

Antoinetta III

The 'what would happen' that I look at is a question of 'How would they try to achieve it, and at what costs to their people?' - In other words, if they took a Top down approach in order to protect and enlarge exports, it seems highly likely that this would only happen with severe, forced sacrifices on the part of the Saudi People.. and I'm sure the stability of their government would be at extraordinary risk.

This is not all that different, actually, from how any western government has been dealing with energy resource issues, and their bearing on Stability of Government.

It's hard to get spoiled kids to turn over a new leaf, after all.. and we're pretty horribly spoiled by cheap energy. It won't be pretty.

You are right, any transition would be marked by periods of horrible uncertainty. Although I am not talking about a complete transition here, only a temporary one, my question was by how much the timelines would shift. I guess the ultimate demise is inevitable.

My big 'what if' for KSA and many other MENA countries is--what if they invest the last of their fast disappearing oil wealth in massive investment in research into and production of solar energy technologies.

That becomes more believable if you accept an even greater and even less likely what if--what if the global community finally sees that extreme limits need to be put on the extraction and combustion of ffs.

With big incentives to move in that direction, much of the global south, and particularly MENA, would be in a good position to create lots of both solar electricity as well as PV and other solar systems themselves.

Exports of these to a world greatly in need of ramping up non-carbon energy sources could provide much needed income for these countries to feed their populations while they move to stable then shrinking populations.

The whole scheme also depends on lots of well trained expats returning to newly liberated MENA countries to provide training needed for the technological revolutions needed there. (Holy crap, I'm really starting to sound like a techno-optimist, now!!)

Hey, we all need a dream...

Otherwise, and far more likely, that part of the world will lurch toward ever greater human tragedies as the oil that provided the capital for their huge run up in population dries up, and as GW there and elsewhere, along with PO, drives food prices ever higher prompting famines that will make the current one in the Horn of Africa look like a walk in the park--instead of ~12 million threatened with imminent starvation>>~24 million in Yemen, ~80 million in Egypt, 170+ million in Pakistan...

massive investment in research into and production of solar energy technologies.

While some may oppose fission/coal/oil - other than Montgomery Burns - who would begrudge you the Sun?

Iran's solution - Every Iranian gets @ $40/month, up significantly (plus a one time $77 payment) just before they raised fuel prices last December - quadrupled them to $1.44/gallon for the first 16 gallons and $2.64 above that !


Fareed Zakerai (CNN) talked about the IMF approval of this policy today on his show.

Best Hopes for other nations copying,


"I am curious as to what will happen if Saudi's and many other oil producers cut their internal consumption by 60-70%."

Incredibly dangerous suggestion. It's bad enough that the Arabs suffer under their rulers. Having the outside powers tell them to forgo their way of life like that would add more resentment to the mix and set the region on fire.

The Persian Gulf Arabs are already intensely interested in solar power and green initiatives. Best to let these ideas come from the grass roots and not from elsewhere.

I think the question assumed that reasonable means would be choosen. Like not using oil to generate electricity. Transitioning from oil to nuclear/gas/solar for electricity doesn't have to mean deprivation. The incremental oil revenues from haiving more to export, can probably fund the transition.
Of course raising gas prices, is trickier. But, again there exist "revenue neutral" ways of providing incentices to wise use.

Incredibly dangerous suggestion. It's bad enough that the Arabs suffer under their rulers. Having the outside powers tell them to forgo their way of life like that would add more resentment to the mix and set the region on fire

I am not thinking about having to force any solutions, addiction to oil is as dangerous to them as it is to the western world. As far as stable solutions go, yes they have to be grassroots, no two ways about it. I was more interested in ELM, if KSA can cut down on consumption while keeping prices same and then re-investing that in more tech it could serve as a model for other MENA countries.

Abundant Nuclear Energy and other clean tech

The many failures of Fission show "Abundant Nuclear Energy" is not "clean tech".

And I've not seen an answer to the question:
What happens if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a leadership change once it has fission reactors?

What happens if the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a leadership change once it has fission reactors?

Same as the US when it has a leadership change or Canada or England.

1. regarding offsetting Saudi ELM: Nuclear / Coal / NG don't give you liquid fuels. Saudi's fleet of transportation infrastructure won't run on Abundant Nuclear or even Natural Gas without a war-time like effort to 'modify' them to run on NG.

2. regarding Iraq's "reserves" coming online: The oil sitting in the reserves are brought online by 'producing' them. The last installed capacity was capable of producing 3 million barrels a day. Now, I'm not sure how much of that capacity remains intact. Even if we assumed Iraq can start producing using the entire installed capacity, that's just ~3% of world's consumption. To produce more, more wells have to be drilled and this takes time. By the time this is done, the depletion on existing fields would be big enough that this would perhaps only offer a bit of 'support' to the decline and not delay the peak by any significant amount. Remember, peak crude is behind us. Also, the consequence of doing such an epic drilling in Iraq will be that the depletion rates will be higher and hence the life of iraq's oil will last lesser (therefore, you will see a 'crash' in production post Iraq's peak). Think about it as: The more you have production capacity, the more is the depletion and hence the lesser will be the overall 'life' of the field. There are also all sorts of practical limits to putting as many straws in.

So . . . . it looks like Libya is now controlled by the NTC (National Transition Council). Obviously there will be some mopping up to do but this looks pretty much done.

Anyone wanna take any guess as to how soon the light sweet Libyan crude can start flowing from Libya up to Italy?

Will this cause a drop in the Brent price?


Bernanke May Have to Go for 'Shock and Awe': Strategist

As global markets await hints of further stimulus in Fed Chief Ben Bernanke's annual speech at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this week, one strategist says the U.S. central bank may be forced to take extreme measures to prop up the U.S. economy.

Jones believes the pressure on Bernanke to respond with a policy move will be "absolutely overwhelming" if the U.S. stock market sees further selloff. He thinks the trigger point would be a decline of a further 10 percent from the current levels.

Sounds extremely desperate. We are at a point where the Fed knows further intervention via QE's has inherent risks of inflation, or even at some point hyper-inflation, yet they are being compelled by market forces to come to the rescue to prop up the economy with yet another QE.

Pressure has been mounting for the Fed to take to take action - possibly a third round of stimulus or quantitative easing 3 (QE3) – after recent data, particularly the Philly Fed manufacturing index and weekly jobless claims, pointed to continued economic weakness.

We are witnessing end game. When the 08/09 Great Recession occurred, they threw trillions at the problem, just as the EU did. Now the credit to borrow out of this debacle is gone, and all that is left is the printing press. But that always leads to inflation or hyper-inflation. It's starting to look like the 08/09 cataclysm was a death blow, and subsequent high oil prices continued to maintain those pressures, only relieved by massive borrowing and currency printing.

But make no mistake, the constrictor of this disaster (high oil prices) is cinching down on growth, stock markets, real estate, jobs, etc. Even at super low interest rates (which always stimulated growth in the past) desperation to get the economy moving enough to generate jobs is the #1 concern to the W.H., yet apparently under these conditions that's unattainable.

Look for Helicopter Ben to start up the printing presses with QEIII being announced in the coming couple of weeks. But, that will simply move us closer to the edge. Stock up on food, water, gold whatever!

one strategist says the U.S. central bank may be forced to take extreme measures to prop up the U.S. economy.

May be forced to take extreme measures? We have long passed that stage. Cutting the rate to zero and holding it there for years. Then buying up Real Estate obligations like crazy with QE2.

"Additional extreme measures" would be a better phrasing.

"Additional extreme measures" would be a better phrasing.

It is interesting how people quickly become accustomed to what has been done recently as 'the platform' with which to use as a reference to any new measures, forgetting that quantitative easing, stimulus and multiple bailouts costing trillions were surely hail mary desperate efforts.

It's similar to MSM following WTI oil price, exclaiming recently when it dipped below 100 that the price was finally dropping below triple digits, like that was suppose to be a big relief to us. Neglecting to note that WTI use to sell for 20-30 dollars in the 90's, or that most oil used in the US is Brent which is still about 109 a barrel.

Looks as if Libya will be fully in control of the NTC and Gaddafi will be gone within the next 24 hours. Engineers from ENI are already in place in Libya and working to get Libya's oil production back online. From the reports during the last months there seems to be little indication that there has been any large scale damage to the oil facilities in Libya so it would seem likely that most, if not all of Libya's oil production will be back online within 1-2 months. However, interestingly, oil prices (Brent - please don't mention WTI anyone) are not falling by that much today and have basically been stable between 100 USD and 110 USD for quite a long time now. Will be interesting to see if Libyan oil coming back on the market will have a significant effect on prices. (Will Saudi Arabia just reduce exports correspondingly?). Regardless the "risk premium" should be reduced.