Drumbeat: August 22, 2011

Libyan oil could take years to come back

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- If the Libyan rebels have successfully overthrown the country's longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi, as seems to be the case Monday, analysts say Libya's prized "light oil" should begin trickling back on the market within a few months.

But it could be years before it returns in any substantial amount.

Oil companies see quick return to Libya, once peace restored

WASHINGTON — With the regime of Moammar Gadhafi on the verge of collapse, international oil companies began preparing Monday for what they hope will be a quick return to production in Libya, a move that’s expected to reduce the global price of crude and help drive down U.S. gasoline prices.

Mexico's Pemex Finds Light Crude in Shallow Gulf Waters

Pemex said the Kinbe-1 well reached an initial average production of 5,600 barrels of light crude per day. The well took more than a year to drill, and was finished Aug. 9. Kinbe-1 also has reached natural gas production of 9 million cubic feet per day on average, the oil monopoly said.

Tumbling oil price puts squeeze on Rabigh

Petro Rabigh, a Saudi joint venture between Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical, is likely to face margin pressure on its petrochemical products as oil sinks below $110 a barrel.

Shale gas EROI: Preliminary estimate suggests 70 or greater

The key to the future of shale gas is its EROI. I’ve been unable to find estimates of the EROI of shale gas in the literature. However, I’ve made a preliminary first-order estimate that the EROI of shale gas is in the range of 70 to greater than 100. This is probably significantly better than most other energy sources available today.

API Expands Fracking Remarks to U.S. Energy Dept.

The federal government should not tell states how to regulate natural gas operations within their borders, the American Petroleum Institute (API) told a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) panel in formal remarks on the panel's preliminary findings.

Can We Fix the Economy?

The peak oil theory. Production of oil has pretty much maxed out, which means that every time the economy gets moving it will create a spike in oil prices, which will send the global economy back into recession. We're now in a continual oil-fueled boom/bust cycle that limits our long-term growth rate.

Review: The End of Growth by Richard Heinberg

The future of cites will rest on their ability to change economic thinking patterns that have only benefited the top few percent of corporate executives.

Book Review: Life Without Oil: Why We Must Shift to a New Energy Future

The first half of the petroleum age saw unprecedented prosperity. The second half won't be so pretty.

Meditation On A Shrinking Planet

I’m not sure who first mentioned Peak Oil when, but an early reference to it (not by that name, but in substance) occurred in 1957 in a speech given by Rear Admiral Hyman G. Rickover May 14, 1957.

Kurt Cobb: Who are the real radicals?

It is becoming standard procedure these days to decry those who oppose you politically as radicals as in "radical agenda," "radical views," "radical friends," and "radical past." Often this refers to suggested changes in policies that are no more than a few decades old. But I'd like to do something that will seem truly radical to those who are narrowly focused on the contemporary world. I want to look at what might be regarded as radical when considering not the last few decades, but the last 100,000 years.

Large Zone Near Japanese Reactors to Be Off Limits

TOKYO — Broad areas around the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant could soon be declared uninhabitable, perhaps for decades, after a government survey found radioactive contamination that far exceeded safe levels, several major media outlets said Monday.

The formal announcement, expected from the government in coming days, would be the first official recognition that the March accident could force the long-term depopulation of communities near the plant, an eventuality that scientists and some officials have been warning about for months. Lawmakers said over the weekend — and major newspapers reported Monday — that Prime Minister Naoto Kan was planning to visit Fukushima Prefecture, where the plant is, as early as Saturday to break the news directly to residents. The affected communities are all within 12 miles of the plant, an area that was evacuated immediately after the accident.

Brent Crude Slides as Libyan Rebels Enter Tripoli; Premium to U.S. Narrows

Brent oil fell in London, narrowing its record premium to the main U.S. oil grade, as investors bet that Libyan production may recover after rebels entered the capital city of Tripoli in a push to force out Muammar Qaddafi.

The European benchmark contract tumbled more than 3 percent amid speculation Qaddafi’s regime is crumbling. Libya’s output dropped to 100,000 barrels a day last month, a Bloomberg News survey showed. That’s less than 10 percent of the 1.6 million barrels the nation pumped before the uprising started in February. Prices rose in New York as the dollar weakened, making crude more attractive for protecting against inflation.

With Gadhafi out of power, oil prices should fall

NEW YORK — Oil prices around the world should start falling if Libyan rebels succeed in toppling Moammar Gadhafi's regime, though the full effect won't be felt for months.

Pertamina to Boost Oil Production

Indonesian state oil company Pertamina would almost double oil production from reactivated old fields to 7,600 barrels of oil per day (bopd) by end-year from 2008 levels, as the country struggles to halt declining output.

Alberta must prepare for riskier world

One scenario "behind our back" is that the world, a generation from now, will continue to produce as much energy from fossil fuels as it does presently and, in these conditions, Alberta will be a major international energy producer. That may in fact turn out to be the case. But, of course, it also may not be the case. Do we have "peak" oil? What will be the acceptance of electric cars as their trip range increases and battery costs fall? How will the reality of climate change be addressed? What about a carbon tax? Will the response to a fossil fuel price bubble foster even stronger efforts to reduce the unit cost of alternative energy sources? Will wind power and solar become more cost competitive? These and many more questions about energy are "behind our back." So I conclude that whether it is the most probable scenario is far from clear; what is clear is that it is not the only scenario.

Are we all wrong about end of America?

As per Daily Crux, by the 2020s, the capital of energy is likely to shift back to the Western Hemisphere. It must be noted that prior to the ascendancy of Middle Eastern oil suppliers such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the 1960s, the US was the leading supplier of hydrocarbons. Thanks to the country's abundant reserves of unconventional oil, the old pecking order is all set to reemerge. Geologists believe that he US' endowment of unconventional oil is more than 2 trillion barrels. Add to that another 2.4 trillion in Canada and 2 trillion-plus in South America. That makes it more than 6 trillion barrels of oil reserves. In comparison, the conventional Middle Eastern and North African oil resources are just 1.2 trillion! That clearly proves who can benefit with oil prices going up.

Disco Aside: Are the 1970s Returning for Commodity Investors?

In terms of excess return, defined as return over the risk-free rate indicated by three-month U.S. Treasury bills, commodities offered an average of 18.2 percent excess return in the 1970s, and an average of only 1.82 percent in the 1980s and 1990s.

Why? Because, Credit Suisse tells us, the high prices of crucial natural resources did exactly what textbooks indicate they do. They “encouraged new production and exploration activity and increasing efficiency standards.” Importantly, this happened in – and made major oil exporters out of – non-OPEC nations such as Russia. This led to excess capacity, which in turn created a lower volatility and return environment.

Top Frontier Oil Countries: Potential, exploration opportunities and risks

Fiscal growth in non-OECD countries, particularly in developing countries such as China and India, and a predicted increase in vehicle numbers to 2bn by 2030, are the chief factors in forecast growth in global energy demand, forecast to grow by 40% by 2030 compared with 2008 levels. Despite rising concerns about emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and the effects on the global climate and increased investment in renewable energy sources, fossil fuels are forecast to account for more than three quarters of this energy demand growth.

Syria's Assad: 'I am not worried' about security

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's president said Sunday he was "not worried" about security in his country and warned against any foreign military intervention in a speech designed to portray confidence as the regime comes under blistering international condemnation for its crackdown on dissent.

Analysis: Gaddafi collapse will embolden Arab rebels

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The implosion of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year-old rule will put a new spring in the step of the Arab revolutions and demonstrate once again that these entrenched autocratic governments are not invincible.

As Governor, Perry Backed Wind, Gas and Coal

In the opening days of his presidential campaign, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has railed against a favorite target, the Environmental Protection Agency, and declared himself a “skeptic” on the subject of humans as the cause of global warming.

If Mr. Perry wins the White House, his national energy policy will focus on cutting federal regulations, especially at the E.P.A., his spokesman, Mark Miner, said.

China says ConocoPhillips finds 9 oil seep sites

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese authority said the local unit of ConocoPhillips has found nine oil leak sites amid intensifying pressure on the company to clean up oil spills in the Bohai Bay. The company says it believes the source of the seeps is not new.

Laser Advances in Nuclear Fuel Stir Terror Fear

In a little-known effort, General Electric has successfully tested laser enrichment for two years and is seeking federal permission to build a $1 billion plant that would make reactor fuel by the ton.

That might be good news for the nuclear industry. But critics fear that if the work succeeds and the secret gets out, rogue states and terrorists could make bomb fuel in much smaller plants that are difficult to detect.

Hedge Funds Buying Corn to Silver to Soy After Commodities Futures Decline

The rout that drove commodities to a nine-month low is proving irresistible to speculators anticipating that even slowing economic growth will cause shortages of raw materials.

Oil has risen 8 percent since plunging 25 percent in the two weeks to Aug. 9. Copper has rebounded 4.6 percent after sliding 16 percent. The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Enhanced Commodity Index rose 4.2 percent since bottoming almost two weeks ago. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. expects the gauge to gain 20 percent in 12 months, led by energy and industrial metals.

Sitting on a Powder Keg

One of the defining characteristics of globalization is its tendency to produce winners and losers by polarizing communities – economically, socially, and politically – within and between nations.

Globalization's benefits have been privatized, while its costs have been socialized. The appearance of severe inequalities – in incomes, opportunities, and future prospects – after decades of generally narrowing gaps, has been one of the most worrisome consequences. The triumph of neo-liberalism has social democracy on the run most everywhere, and not least in Canada. However much this may please special-interest groups such as business communities and the wealthy, a smaller state almost inevitably translates into program and service reductions for the disadvantaged and those least able to defend their interests.

Department of Energy Announces Loan Guarantees to Alternative Energy Projects

The Department of Energy secretary announced Friday the department has finalized a loan guarantee of $197 million to SoloPower and a $133.5 million loan guarantee to Abengoa Bioenergy.

Mass. OKs utility deals to buy wind power

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts regulators have approved deals by the state's second-largest utility to buy power from three land wind farms scattered around New England, the firm announced Friday.

Windfarms prevent detection of secret nuclear weapon tests, says MoD

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is blocking plans for hundreds of wind turbines because it says their "seismic noise" will prevent the detection of nuclear explosions around the world.

Stunted corn crop could lead to higher food prices

Smaller-than-expected corn harvests are likely to keep corn prices elevated into next year, economists say, driving up retail food prices. That could further dampen consumer spending in an economy hobbled by high unemployment and modest wage increases.

Corn is the single-biggest driver of food prices, says Bob Bresnahan, CEO of agriculture consulting firm Trilateral. It's used in everything from animal feed to cereal.

Blasda blasts off on the Black Isle

THE Black Isle is to take part in Scotland’s first nationwide celebration of local food, Blasda.

Community groups from across the country are joining forces to host great food experiences, including ceilidhs, suppers and feasts, picnics, talks, food-films and soup kitchens.

What Drives Cities’ Runaway Growth?

In a finding surprising to anyone who knows the history of cities like Los Angeles, the authors write that “urban growth is driven, at least in part, by the economic incentives of local officials to increase their revenue by obtaining rural land and transferring land use rights to developers.”

The highest rates of urban growth are in the developing regions of China, India and Africa, but the greatest absolute loss of rural land to the cities occurred in North America.

PM brings soft power and firepower to bear in the North

Stephen Harper has been pounding the drum of Arctic sovereignty even before he became Prime Minister. And in 2007, he rattled his sabre and said the Conservative government would buy as many as eight ships to allow the military to conduct regular patrols of northern waters.

His plan, however, to open his sixth annual visit to the Far North with a display of Canada’s military capabilities has been turned on its heels by the horrific plane crash on Saturday that killed 12 people.

A carbon tax is good for Australia’s mental health

Unmitigated climate change will be a lot more expensive and the cause of much more anxiety and financial loss than a carbon tax.

The twin impacts of climate change and peak oil will drive up prices of food, water, petrol, electricity, transport, housing and telecommunications, not to mention the huge unexpected costs incurred by increasingly intense and frequent extreme weather events.

Hopes low before South Africa climate change talks

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South Africa's foreign minister said Monday she is hoping for compromise but expects only incremental progress in climate change talks she's hosting, further lowering hopes the Durban meeting will produce a dramatic agreement to stop global warming.

There are fears that "politics cannot deliver on what science requires," Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told South African business leaders in a speech Monday.

Vietnam's rice bowl threatened by rising seas

Vietnam is listed by the World Bank among the countries most threatened by rising waters brought about by higher global temperatures, with only the Bahamas more vulnerable to a one-metre rise in sea levels. Such a rise could leave a third of the Mekong Delta underwater and lead to mass internal migration and devastation in a region that produces nearly half of Vietnam's rice.

"If there was a one-metre rise, we estimate 40% of the delta will be submerged," says Tran Thuc, director general of the Vietnam Institute of Meteorology, Hydrology and Environment. "There is also the threat of cyclones and storms linked to climate change. The people in this area are not prepared for any of this."

It looks like I might get a Tripoli discount on my heating oil this winter.

I hope people don't put too much faith in restoring Libya as a long term solution.

Well, so far there has been a ~$3 rise in WTI--WTF?

Spread closing with Brent slightly - back to $22.50.

The impact from Libyan oil is on Brent, which has dropped. WTI does not really compete with Brent oil, which is the European standard, and probably a more accurate measure of world oil price. In the US, a minimal effect may be noted on East Coast of America. Which is where most of the use of oil for heating takes place, so there could be hope for that decrease.

The rise in WTI is from the drop in the value of the greenback.


A drop of 0.25% in The Dollar index is responsible for a 2.2% rise in WTI?

That's pretty much what I figured--I just wanted a chance to put WTI next to WTF '-)

could be folks who have been short WTI and long Brent closing out their positions as a result of events in Libya.

Fortunately (for those wanting lower gas prices, I guess), Syria only produces 400,000 bpd. Should the unrest spread to a major oil state, though, the short term ramifications would be more significant.

Long term, the total volume of oil available does not depend on who is in power, or what religion they profess. Long term, there is no 'solution.' That is part of the problem. That is also why we need to get our heads around the need to adapting and learning to live sustainably on our finite planet.


"Syria only produces 400,000 bpd"

(Why NATO intervened in Libya and not (yet) in Syria??)

The Lybian NTC requested NATO assistance when it looked like Ben Ghazi would be overrun.

The Syrian dissidents have specifically NOT requested any.

"learning to live sustainably on our finite planet"

Any current examples ??? or do we have to go back to pre burning of fossil fuels ?

Does sustainability mean no importation ?

One guide to living on one planet:


I'm at about one planet and living quite comfortably, thank you.

Remember that there was importation before ffs. Slow boats are quite efficient and can be powered or aided by the wind.

A few years ago, WWF did a study comparing accepted standards of well being with sustainability indicators. The only country that hit the sweet spot of being both sustainable and providing good basic quality of living for its citizens was Cuba. You can imagine that this made the study a bit...controversial.

Of course there was importation before ffs ... but was it sustainable ?

Cuba imported most of their grains.

Photosynthesis can only produce so much food and fiber in a year.

Photosynthesis can only produce so much food and fiber in a year.

And this is why one sees things like the food growing towers or even things like this http://www.supercloset.com/grow-rooms.html
where one makes photons and other plant needs via electrical power and industrial solutions.

Right ... Dual 1000w HPS Bulb/Ballast , pumps , imported fertilizer, etc ....

wouldn't 600 HPS watters save money, and get the goods closer to the source?

Sunshine ... Plant (photosynthesis)... Human eats plant

Entropy bats last

I think you're missing the point of those closet grow huts. They only make economic sense if you're growing something other than food.

Grow lights only make sense for specialty purposes like starting seeds inside in the spring, or supplemental light for a greenhouse in winter.

Light isn't a limiting factor when a comes to food anyway. The real limiting factor is water, something that's becoming more and more of a problem.

It's possible to go overboard with challenges to 'Sustainable' .. there are improvements to be made, even if they (like everything else in our world) won't be ideal Forever.

RIP, Craig Ivan Johnson. My mom's big brother tipped his hat and exited Stage Left this weekend.



Sorry to hear about your loss.

On the other point, I'm not sure what his definition of 'sustainable' is. Why would building the occasional sail boat and whisking across the water once in a while to trade a bit of spice from your part of the world with a bit of something from some somewhere be unsustainable?

Constantly and massively moving most goods and food across thousands of miles for no very functional reason, on the other hand, is quite different

I agree, particularly about shipping.. and then there are the cultural benefits from trading and continuing to mix.. (as if we could do otherwise, it's simply a part of us.) It could be that you gain significant amounts of sustenance by building trading relationships, even if the trade goods and the process has been very 'lossy'..

I look to an idea like 'sustainable' as almost an euphemism for 'Reasonable'. It's never an absolute, it works on the middle ground, where things are constantly moving and changing.. and there are choices within these winds and waves that have to be decidedly 'UNsustainable', and 'Unreasonable'.. you might have to take a step away from to goal to get to it.

I think the term has become almost useless.

It should mean that you don't extract resources from the earth faster than they can be naturally generated.

This would essentially mean no use of fossil fuels and only reuse of already extracted metals.

Few have this in mind when they talk about "sustainable."

Somebody on TOD wrote a while back that "The only responsible use for non-renewable resources is to build a renewable society"

Sounds pretty spot on.


Does sustainability mean no importation ?

No, of course not jmygann. I have seen some preliminary drawings of ships that are powered by wind/solar electric, plus wind directly. The difficulty is after import, whether transportation is possible. Which is why I (and I hazard to guess maybe Alan from Big Easy) am promoting a shift to electric powered rail for intercity transcontinental shipping.

The planning must be comprehensive, and our lives will not be all that bad. After, that is, the initial shock and drawdown have passed. Short term planning must include some contingencies for things we do not want to happen, and may not believe will. I wish my crystal ball was set up with a direct connection to someone about 25 years in the future. That being impossible, I have to do my best, and make plans accordingly.

Long term readers here have seen items posted concerning US Military planning for 2013-15 (frankly it looks like the timeframd has been extended by the recession, and may be more so by future dislocations), and that impacts how I plan. Lack of present progress, and continued push back by the tea baggers is another factor to keep in mind. The longer we wait, the worse things will be. I have heard no serious discussion at the levels needed, and so I remain more or less in the doomer camp. I like the J.M. Greer vision, but fear that Kunstler's is closer to reality as time goes on with not only no progress but continued losing ground.

Will we be back to pre fossil fuels? In some ways, perhaps. Like I said, we could avoid some of the worst, and still have a pretty good life. Sure hope so, for the sake of my grandchildren. The plans I make are for them.

Best hopes for great imports.


Darwinian has a new ally, Paul Farrell. He gets the seriousness of the problems faced by humanity and how difficult it's going to get in future. The great thing is his message is going out directly to the heart of the business/financial world...

E. Swanson

Thanks for the link Eric. But it is not just I, there are many on this list that would agree with Farrell. Anyway I might have completely missed this link had I not caught your post.

Because our human genes are not good at planning ahead for catastrophes. Our brains are designed for fight-or-flight. Otherwise we procrastinate. We respond best when our backs are against the wall. Then we rally the troops, go to war, so to speak.

Until we reach that point, we focus on everyday stuff, like jobs, the kids, short-term buy-sells and ideological stuff like today’s anti-science, anti-intellectual political rhetoric.

Deep down, I believe anyway, most everyone has the conviction that nothing really catastrophic can happen to humanity as a whole or that the economy of the world cannot possibly collapse. "It just can't happen so I don't need to even think about it."

That is why I am convinced that nothing will really be done to even mitigate the coming collapse. However I am not predicting it for 2012 like Mr. Farrell. But... could happen.

Forget global warming — it’s too late

Hey, this is a man after my own heart. It is too late. But then it is also too late for anything else. And Farrell is way too optimistic. The population decline will not stop when the our numbers get down to 5 billion. We might support 5 billion with fossil fuel, for awhile anyway. But without fossil fuel, or even without petroleum... no way.

Ron P.

And Farrell is way too optimistic. The population decline will not stop when the our numbers get down to 5 billion. We might support 5 billion with fossil fuel, for awhile anyway. But without fossil fuel, or even without petroleum... no way.

Optimistic? Or is it sarcastic? To me, his "investment advise" sounds more like Orlov's "Collapse Party's Manifesto".

our human genes are not good at planning ahead for catastrophes

I think that is true for American genes, and less true for Swiss, Sweden, French and other genes.

Cultural bias is mistaken for innate human traits.

See the quote in the upper right corner about Americans being the least likely to worry about the longer term.

Best Hopes for Planning,


The Europeans have lived much longer with limits. Americans still have a frontier mentality even though the frontier is long gone. They have always been without much oil. In this country, despite all our imports, we still believe that it is available; we just need the right gov. Michelle Bachmann will save us all.

Americans still have a frontier mentality even though the frontier is long gone.

Excellent post. I agree that this mentality can be linked to many failings with our culture. Like many progressives, I had to transcend this careless modus operendi at an earlier stage in my life.

I am still more individualistic than most Europeans, and certainly more than Scandanavians and Islanders who have gotten better at collective thinking.

However, my "frontier" mentality for all but scientific endeavors went out the window when as young man I went to see the great frontiers. Only a few locations passed the beer-can test (anytime you are anywhere, look hard for a 20ft radius for any sign of modern humans -- chances are good that where you've just hiked to "get away from it all" a logger, farmhand, or roughneck once sat and a had a beer after work), and I failed to find anywhere sufficiently remote that there were no roads (logging or fire or whatever) within a few miles.

Most areas have been logged at least once, all have been over-hunted, over-fished (or invasively stocked), and even in seemingly remote forests I've seen cows. Worse, even in the few old-growth forests you see stumps and fallen logs much larger than any standing tree.

I think the frontiers are gone. Colonialism might stage a resurgence, though -- there are still resources to be had.

I always come in with small tweetlike posts, but I must say you match up with my experiences as well. For me, finding quiet, and lack of beer cans (litter) were the unachievable goals, at one point disgusting me enough to just go whole hog big city.

And the mentality gets reinforced/expanded by identity politics. Basically what is it that sets us apart? He who can claim to more purely represent that, and by extension resist the foreign ideas, gets a leg up politically, and in terms of media attention.

Sustainable may be "1/2 billion" ...... down from 7 billion

I have heard many possible sustainability figures. 1/2 Billion, 1.0, and 1.5 Billion. All ignore the possibility, and I think probability, that our numbers will drop FAR below sustainable before rising. If, that is, we survive as a species, which is not guaranteed. Remember, intelligence as a survivability trait, is still unproved and being tested. Just like eyes, lungs, hands and feet were at one time. And gills, fins and feathers. Some secondary traits that survive are accidental, being produced with some other actually helpful trait. Others are primary traits, and either survive alone or not. From what I have seen, the jury remains out on our specialty. I would say, though, that time seems to be running short for delivery of a verdict.

Also, the ultimate survival of life from Earth, beyond the 'normal' half billion years scientists say are left to all such, is to find our way out to the stars. I am not such a Chauvinist about Humanity to presume that we will look like, or be much like today's h.sap.; my best hope would be that what survives derives from humanity. It will, no doubt, be adapted to the world and times in which it lives. If it has left Planet Earth, and spread to multiple star systems in our Galaxy, we can expect that it would also colonize other galaxies. If our descendants find other sapient species out there, I can hope they wlll not share our warlike tendencies, and that all such species blend into a cosmic society.

Best Hopes for Intergalactic Sustainability.


Look up Fermi's paradox.

Also, the ultimate survival of life from Earth, beyond the 'normal' half billion years scientists say are left to all such, is to find our way out to the stars. I am not such a Chauvinist about Humanity to presume that we will look like, or be much like today's h.sap.; my best hope would be that what survives derives from humanity. It will, no doubt, be adapted to the world and times in which it lives. If it has left Planet Earth, and spread to multiple star systems in our Galaxy, we can expect that it would also colonize other galaxies. If our descendants find other sapient species out there, I can hope they wlll not share our warlike tendencies, and that all such species blend into a cosmic society.

Best Hopes for Intergalactic Sustainability.


Very good comment - untile the phrase "... I can hope they wlll not share our warlike tendencies ...".

This is pseudo - goodwill nonsense. We are the way we are because we are complex self-replicating DNA entities (Evolution by random natural selection). There is no other way. Nearly all "higher" forms of life (mammals, reptils incl. birds, ...) use war or "fighting" for their survival. Of course humans are different, but thats only because of our "superb" capabilities (technology). See studies of chimps fighting and beating other groupmenbers (of the same social group) to death. Bears and Crocos eating their own offspring (or the offspring of others) and so one. The only thing that matters is if they are sucesfull in passing their DNA over time. If "peace" or some kind of symbiotic behaviour is helpfull it will be practised. If fighting/war is sucessfull it will be practised.

"Nature" ist not peace but a medium - term anti-entropy machinerie on a local scale fighting the inevitable heat-death of the Universe. Sustainability is not a concept because there is no sustainability option in the long run!

All ignore the possibility, and I think probability, that our numbers will drop FAR below sustainable before rising. If, that is, we survive as a species, which is not guaranteed.

I don't really think many of us doomers are ignoring undershoot. We just take it for granted. It should be quite obvious that the population will fall far below the long term carrying capacity of a fossil fuel free earth, before eventually rising back up to the carrying capacity.

Also one reason for not talking about undershoot is the shock factor. It is bad enough just to talk about the long term carrying capacity without fossil fuel, about 1 billion at the most, but to say that the original collapse will fall far below that number, just makes the whole concept much more easy to ignore. "That is just too horrible, therefore it can't possibly happen."

If it has left Planet Earth, and spread to multiple star systems in our Galaxy, we can expect that it would also colonize other galaxies. If our descendants find other sapient species out there, I can hope they wlll not share our warlike tendencies, and that all such species blend into a cosmic society.

I think people who imagine such scenarios as this have no concept of the distance to other stars, and for certain absolutely no concept of the distance to other galaxies... or the time and resources it would take to take such a trip. Old Sol is our home star and the only one we will ever have.

Ron P.

Old Sol is our home star and the only one we will ever have.

So we're doomed anyway! But at least it is not unpossible to reach other stars and even galaxies. But the flat suggestion here is that we do this as humans as we are now. This has not do be the case. At least their is a possibility for fare enhanced artifical creatures evolving from humans by DNA-manipulation or even bio-techno mixtures of creatures which haven't even to breath oxygin. At least some kind of advanced winter-sleep should be not a problem. But anyway it will not happen soon, maybe what comes out of the ruines of our FF-society one day, maybe not - how knows?

We could have made it. We could have used our resources in an orcestrated effort to get out to the planets around our Sol. Then we could have used the vast reserves of solar energy, water (and hence oxygen), other minerals such as metals etc, and build a sustainable world in stellar orbit. Based entirely on technology. Then, in the next step, some later generation could have built generation ships or come up with some Star Trek technology to get us to the stars.

But we burnt all those resources, and now we can not afford to go. We are stuck here. We were born here, and here we are gonna die.

Humanity still could - but it would take careful shepherding of resources *AND* somehow beating back greed and envy.

Getting a check on greed and envy - that part I have less faith in than the magic of technology.

I doubt that any individual would be able to make that trip, to the stars. That does not mean that we could not send out many 'seed ships,' each carrying the seeds of life forms. Miniaturized, and shielded, with 'intelligent' programs seeking out hospitable planets. And, with a means of training and educating the 'humans' (assuming it is our progeny who do this), so that some part of our collective knowledge might be passed on to a new group.

Worst case, all ships fail. Or, they do not, new little h.sap.sap. overpopulates and exploits that planet, ad nauseum. Best case, maybe life goes on as an offshoot of us.

Fanciful, yes. Science fiction? Of course, Ron. So what? Looking down the tupe of life on Earth, we see it ends. Eventually, all life in the universe must end... entropy and all that. Why not dream a bit though, eh? Pass those dreams along to our kiddies and grandkiddies, etc. Maybe the thought will give them hope. Maybe it will make them laugh! We all need both of those things!

Best hopes for hopes.


You need to get off heating oil and move to natural gas.

I'm on heating oil with Two buildings up here, one a rental.. I'm sanquine about NG, though, since our NG imports up here seem more vulnerable than the oil.. which is what our electricity also hangs on. Not that I'm content with the oil, but I'm reluctant to move from one scarcity to another.

Busily Insulating and Solarizing..


A lot of people in rural New England heat with oil, and can't switch to natural gas because there is no service. Truck-delivered propane is a possibility, I suppose, but very expensive.

I have an oil-fired furnace, but mostly heat with wood. I use propane for cooking and hot water.

On an unrelated media note: is anyone else than me slightly amused at how the media is promising us ever-lasting green (lower oil prices) now that Gadaffi is on the ropes?

I wouldn't be surprised if have the same range of prices next year in August, if not higher. The only thing to stop that, Gadaffi leaving or not, is a giant double dip.
But even that will just be a temporary blip, as the cycle worsens.

But the media loves to tell us all is well.
BAU must continue - consequences be damned.

The media is paid to tell us all is well. BAU owns them.


Check this out...MSM spin in full swing


After falling sharply early Monday, Brent crude prices recovered some ground. They were down by about $1.25, or 1.2%, by midday London time, at $107.25 per barrel. That is still some way above the $100 mark Brent traded around in early February when concerns about lost Libyan oil output first arose, and 13.2% above the 2010 year-end price.

The market's subdued reaction reflects legitimate uncertainty over what comes after Gadhafi. His removal is the unifying cause for the rebels and its realization may well open fissures in their ranks. Moreover, whatever government results, it could take 36 months for Libyan oil production to reach its 1.6 million barrels per day pre-February level again, energy consultant Wood MacKenzie estimates. Older oil fields in the Sirte basin, where two-thirds of Libya's oil lies, are likely to see output restart slowly.

I guess they are expecting a 13.2% correction....for something which is 1% of world production !!

But the media loves to tell us all is well.
BAU must continue - consequences be damned.

For MSM and people investing in the stock market, now is the moment, living in the 'now'. Look at the Dow - oh my, everyone's jumping back in! Oh, look, Libya oil soon coming back on line! All is well in this particular moment. Forget about EU or US debt problems, or if Helicopter Ben will start up the printing presses again with QEIII. No, live it up today, for tomorrow may be a whole different mood.

Wasn't lower oil prices that would pay for Iraq the tout before we went into Iraq.

Lower oil prices is the carrot that the masters like to hold out in front of their debt slaves to support their never-ending wars.

BBC crew travelling in to centre of Tripoli this morning with rebel convoy were ambushed. Gaddafi troops came out of side streets and opened fire with heavy weapons and and rebels had to retreat under heavy fire. BBC now showing live pictures of fires burning in central Tripoli.

Not quite over yet.

Edit: Libyan State TV just went off air a few minutes ago.

Egypt and Kuwait have both announced they recognize the rebel council, the National Transitional Council, as the legitimate government in Libya.

Although fighting continues and Col. Gaddafi remains at large, officially, among international players, the Gaddafi regime is over.

I've been talking to a friend of mine who has joint Libyan/British citizenship. He returned to Libya a few years ago to take over the family business in Benghazi but has returned to the UK for now. He thinks everything will move forward smoothly to democracy but he's never been very political. I remain totally unconvinced given the shape of the world at the moment. I hope he is right.

I'm glad if Gaddafi has finally gone but, to be honest, I didn't think initially he would last this long given NATO action. What happens next is always what has really worried me. The assassination of the Libyan rebel army commander, by supposedly his own side, is very worrying.

Libyan rebel tv reporting heavy fighting around Brega but Gaddafi troops said to be retreating but still fighting and still in control of the town. Installations at Brega are vital to Libyan oil and gas production/transport. Hopefully if Gaddafi has ordered the facilities destroyed if they cannot be held, these orders are not carried out.

He thinks everything will move forward smoothly to democracy but he's never been very political.

When he says democracy, does he mean "liberal western democracy" as practiced in the UK, or the kinds of illiberal democracies that Zakaria talks about? It's easy enough to install elections and such; much more difficult to build the kind of institutions that keep the elections from being about which set of corrupt thugs are in charge at the moment.

being about which set of corrupt thugs are in charge at the moment.

That statement describes exactly the whole theory which underpins representative democracy everywhere. Its all about "various factions settling their competitions for control by winning votes rather than with weapons". And make no mistake, competitions can get just as ugly in Canada or the US or the UK as in "the illiberal democracies that Zakaria talks about". In fact, I'd suggest even moreso. Higher the stakes and all that.

After reading a detailed history of the 2nd and 3rd Russian republics (Gorbachev to Putin), I've actually concluded things are likely more nasty here. Get inside a contending party's machinery some time.

I've studied the theories and practices of democratic government autodidactically for several decades, and am coming more and more to the conclusion that much of what we're fed regarding how our governments run is thin veneer over a really brutal, nasty and ugly process.

governments run is thin veneer over a really brutal, nasty and ugly process.

Which is why the Libertarians hate Governments. And somehow think when the power differential is "money" rather than "law" its gonna all work out better.

I'm glad if Gaddafi has finally gone but, to be honest, I didn't think initially he would last this long given NATO action.

I wasn't surprised. NATO owns the air, but the ground belongs to the troops. Unless there's confirmed targets that do not risk (too many) civilians, the fighting is on the ground only. The rebels were poorly armed and their military leadership was often in dissaray.

I'm actually quite surprised the rebels finally pulled it off. A lot of men died or were injured fighting to oust Kaddafi. It takes a lot of courage to fight a war without the military might of shock and awe. And it's not over until it's over - where is he?

Yes, but NATO bombed every single Gaddafi defensive (never mind offensive) position in front of the rebels they could find. NATO told the rebels when to move forward and when to move back. NATO told them what was ahead.

Had this just been a mission to purely "defend civilians", Gaddafi would have never really been under threat. NATO went all the way through its target list until even hitting the tv station in recent weeks. Gaddafi staying in power was never an option.

And yes it is not over. There are reports of very heavy fighting now compared to last night. Also a report now that Mohammed Gaddafi, captured by rebels overnight, has been freed by a Gaddafi army advance.

Does anyone else find anything...odd about the juxtaposition of these statements:

"Tripoli's only working hospital overwhelmed...'blood-soaked bandages everywhere"

"surprisingly bloodless takeover"


If it's so freakin' bloodless, where are all those folks flooding the hospital and bleeding all over it coming from??

San Tropez??

Perhaps NATO takes a larger view of "defending civilians" than you do?

You can set up shop to prevent Gadafi from attacking civilians,
or you can set up shop to prevent Gadafi from EVER attacking civilians.

The latter option is way cheaper in the long run. (See: Iraq, sanctions against, and Iraq, No FLy Zone

The Iraq sanctions that killed over 500,000 children under age 10. That US sec of state said was "worth it". I do not think Gadaffi killed any where near 500,000 humans as the US federal government did in just one country in one multi years action. An action in violation of the UN charter and the religious standards of most of the worlds religions.

Correct. 10 years of sanctions and military deployment to prevent Saddam from encroaching on the Kurds.

Versus 3 months of all out war to prevent Saddam from EVER encroaching on the Kurds.

It adds up.

It's the eight years of being an occupying army that really added up.

What is our exit strategy from Libya?

The US is negotiating with Afghanistan to stay until 2024. So that would put Libya at about 2034. So no need to even start to think about an exit plan for at least two decades.

When is Libyan oil projected to run out?

To quote from an TOD article on Sept 18, 2008

"There is much irony in Libya's history as an oil producer. If Colonel Gaddafi hadn't reached power, the country probably would have extracted most of its oil during times of cheap energy (as happened in most of Europe). While the country was forced into isolation for decades, Libya now reaches the XXI century with half of its oil reserves to extract and healthy foreign relations, looking set for what maybe the country's Golden Age."

healthy foreign relations I wonder what went wrong?

here is one comment on that article in 2008

writerman on September 18, 2008 - 2:44am Permalink | Subthread | Comments top

Very interesting, thanks.

It's easy, in the Western media, to ridicule and demonize leaders like Gaddafi. His primary 'crime', in the eyes of the West, is that he's a fiercly 'patriotic' and nationalist leader, who for decades has steered his country in an independent direction, always putting, what he percieves, as Libya's interests first. Leaders who follow this course and oust pro-Western regimes are never going to be popular in our part of the world.

He isn't a democrat, but then, who really is? He's more like a knight who kicked out an old, incompetent and deeply corrupt, king; and Gaddafi, the new 'king' set about building a new country virtually from stratch. Such a task, as one sees from European history, isn't easy and certainly isn't pretty, absolute monarchy is a risky business. A good king can reform and strenthen a country, a bad one - like George Bush - can lead it to disaster.

Whatever one thinks of Gaddafi's politics and form of government, he has proved, on balance, remarkably successful in steering his new 'kingdom' forward. He is also incredibly popular with ordinary people all over Africa and the Middle East, who look with envy towards Libya. I've talked to people in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, who dream of the day when a 'hero' like Gaddafi will appear and sweep away the corrupt and incompetent old guard and finally make their countries independent of Western domination.

This is, of course, something of a nightmare scenario for Western leaders and economic interests, a free and independent Middle East, but it really is what the vast majority of the ordinary people want, which is why we support and arm the various dictatorial regimes spread throughout the region. Gaddafi, is also a kind of dictator or absolute monarch, the main difference being that he is a nationalist ruler rather than a controlled client or vassal, content to reap the benefits of serving the primacy of Western interests.

His primary 'crime', in the eyes of the West, is that he's a fiercly 'patriotic' and nationalist leader

Is that so, not in my eyes its bloody well not. In the Norman churchyard in the village where I was brought up is a double grave, two local kids just got married in the church never got farther than Locabie, ask the parents of those two if they agree with you. I hope you have also not forgotten those Nurses accused of infecting Libyan kids with the HIV virus. I am feed up with people whitewashing this evil sociopath. A little bit of rough justice would not come amiss, and I will shed no tears, if he comes too a sticky end, if fact it might even give me an excuse for opening that bottle of 18yr single malt I have been saving for a special occasion.

I want to see him jailed and tried, however.

A rushed execution like Saddam Hussein's is too easy on him, and too bad for our legal expectations.

And yet his own people, the majority of whom can remember no other ruler, rose up in rebellion against overwhelming odds.

Your image of Ghaddafi is romanticized and out of touch with reality.

Best Hopes for a Quick End,


That's for a different objective.

Protecting the Kurds from Saddam was accomplished 3 months into it.

You can set up shop to prevent Gadafi from attacking civilians,
or you can set up shop to prevent Gadafi from EVER attacking civilians.

One can also ask why such is a personal concern. Or even a concern between nations.

"You can set up shop to prevent Gadafi from attacking civilians,
or you can set up shop to prevent Gadafi from EVER attacking civilians.

One can also ask why such is a personal concern. Or even a concern between nations."

One might. But this discussion started with the claim that NATO's decision to wipe Gadaffi out was inconsistent with their stated motive of preventing a massacre in Benghazi. As I pointed out, a war to wipe him is cheaper in the long run than drawing a line across Lybia and standing ready for years to prevent him from crossing it.

So when do you get around to answering the question why the matters inside the border of one nation WRT oppression of another group by the use of force was of concern to nation-states.

Varies from case to case, I hear.

So its really not about humanity - the way one human treats another, but about access to things like oil.

For a "rational" group of people who somehow are 'ahead' of the rest of the masses - why then the cheering/rationalization for THIS action when other Nation-states have had internal oppression operations using bullets for 40+ years or buying the army of one of your neighbors for this years variation on the theme 'Man's inhumanity to man'?

You're surprised a ragtag group of rebels driving passenger cars and trucks couldn't take Gaddafi's forces faster? I'm not.

Remember if you're a soldier on the ground there's always the risk of a sniper taking you out, and no matter how many buildings get blown up, there still remains cover to shoot from. My hats off to the rebels for having succeeded. You think its easy becaue Nato's overhead, then go to Tripoli and start walking the streets, but don't worry about being shot by a sniper. If it happens, you're gone anyway.

I didn't say I expected it to be "easy".

Update from BBC team ambushed a few hours ago.

BBC Live Battle for Tripoli

1618: Our correspondent in the west of Tripoli says forces loyal to Col Gaddafi appear to have retaken ground that had been held by the rebels earlier in the day. The rebel unit he is travelling with has returned to the city but is several kilometres further from the centre than they were this morning.

Edit: Just in from BBC correspondent, Matthew Price (by phone) at Rixos hotel in Tripoli. Large number of Gaddafi troops seen moving through the city. Doesn't know where they are headed but the general direction was towards Green Square.


1818: Matthew Price BBC News, Rixos Hotel, Tripoli

We've been hearing fighting all day - heavy gunfire, explosions and a moment ago a colleague saw a large number of trucks that looked to be well equipped and carrying soldiers heading north, possibly towards the Green Square area of Tripoli. So it looks as though large numbers of Gaddafi troops are moving through the city at the moment.

Sky News team has retreated inside a hospital near Green Square as there is too much firing nearby. Many casualties being admitted. Power has gone off across much of Tripoli.

CNN now reporting they have retreated from compound after coming under heavy fire from Gaddafi forces firing from outside the compound. Fighting also still reported at airport.

Saif Gaddafi just turned up at the Rixos hotel where the journalists are staying. BBC and CNN both confirming they spoke to him. Guess the "confirmed" reports of his capture were very wrong.

Government spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, also just appeared on the one remaining tv channel still under Gaddafi control.

Edit: Link now http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14610722

0043: More from our correspondent Matthew Price. He says Saif al-Islam appeared buoyed up and confident when he arrived at the hotel. Asked where he believed the balance of power lay, he said: "We have broken the backbone of the rebels. It was a trap. We gave them a hard time, so we are winning".

0038: Our correspondent says that, during a brief exchange, one journalist asked Saif al-Islam if his father was safe and in Tripoli, and he almost shrugged off the answer, saying "of course".

0033: The BBC's Matthew Price in Tripoli says that one of Col Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Islam, whom the rebels claimed had been arrested, has just turned up in the back of an armoured vehicle at the hotel where he and other foreign journalists are based.

Astonishing pictures of Saif Gaddafi greeting ecstatic supporters now being broadcast by BBC and CNN from "parallel reality" in Tripoli.

Astonishing pictures of Saif Gaddafi greeting ecstatic supporters now being broadcast by BBC and CNN from "parallel reality" in Tripoli.

Yep, "parallel reality" alright. One has to wonder if we're dealing with a "parallel universe". Either the reports of an imminent rebel victory have been exaggerated or good old Saif and his dad have found an unused portal in the time-space continuum. Sounds like an episode of Dr. Who! Where in hell's green acre is our 'intelligence' coming from?

Update: it is now being reported that another son, Mohammad Gaddafi, has escaped detention. Wassup? A Gaddafi family reunion??

Saif claiming it was a NATO psy-op to collapse the regime. Also said Libyan state-tv has been taken off air by "electronic warfare" to prevent them broadcasting the "truth".

CNN reporting that power and internet restored in the hotel following Saif's visit. Pro Gaddafi Libyan tv now back broadcasting from another uplink.

Credibility score: Saif, 1 - Rebels/NATO, 0

For tonight (anyway) the Gaddafi regime can quote Mark Twain, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."

Live video now showing rebels inside Gaddafi compound in one part of Tripoli. Meanwhile Gaddafi forces said to be attempting to retake area around airport at other end of city.

The Gaddafi sons were allowed to escape after having tracking beacons secretly implanted. This will lead the rebels to Dad.

Or not.

Life imitates Star Wars.

Princess Leia: They let us go. It was the only reason for the ease of our escape.

Han Solo: Easy? You call that easy?

Princess Leia: They're tracking us.

Han Solo: Not this ship, sister.

Princess Leia: [sighs] At least the information in R2 is still intact.

Han Solo: What's so important? What's he carrying?

Princess Leia: The technical readouts of that battle station. I only hope that when the data's analyzed a weakness can be found. It's not over yet.

Life imitates Star Wars, yes. And then life imitates life. Syria is now mirroring Libya.

Al Jazeera is reporting:

Syrian dissidents meeting in Istanbul on Tuesday established a "national council" to coordinate a campaign to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

In a final declaration, activists said the council rejected foreign intervention or the rule of any one ethnic group and emphasised the national character of the "revolution."

"By this (council), the first steps of a large-scale transformation in Syria are taken," it said.

"(The) coming together of all groups is a must despite all dangers. This delegation will bring different groups together," it added.

Months of "sacrifice" in Syria, where many have died in a crackdown by Assad's regime, had created a "sense of unity," activist Ahmad Ramadan said following the four days of talks.

Nothing like a crackdown to get diverse opposition singing the same tune. And the United Nations is getting into the act,

Reuters reports that it has obtained a United Nations Security Council draft calling on a freeze on Bashar al-Assad's assets and an arms embargo on Syria.

The draft also calls for UN sanctions on 23 Syrian individuals and 4 companies.

Even if history isn't exactly repeating itself, it's sure starting to rhyme.

Gene Sharp, author of book Self-Liberation and free pdf Protest Playbook, published an opinion article a couple of days ago: The Syrian revolution as I see it

Article discusses protests in Syria, Egypt, Libya, Poland, Hungary and Tunisia.

He discusses the strategy of identifying the "pillars of support" that provide a government with legitimacy.

As long as those legs are strong you can bump the table as much as you like but it won’t collapse. But if the wooden legs have been eaten by termites, even a small bump will cause the table to collapse.

Well of course...according to MSM

Peak Oil = conspiracy theory
High Oil prices = Libya + speculators

With Libya gone only the evil speculators remain, I wonder when they will be taken down.

Re: As Governor, Perry Backed Wind, Gas and Coal, up top:

Why I Don't Want Another President From Texas:


Perry supports resources available in his state, but attacks energy resources like ethanol that are mostly available in other states.
Then he has the nerve to expect Iowans to support him for president.
What a jerk!

Also Re: Stunted corn crop could lead to higher food prices, up top:

We had been sitting pretty here in North Iowa expecting a bumper corn crop with record high prices. Land prices have been soaring.
But all of sudden on about July 15th, the rain stopped. It is now about 5 weeks since we've had any significant rain. It appears Northern Iowa is joining Texas in drought.

Corn is drying up especially on sandy soil. The yield will be reduced. Temperatures have been above normal and it shows in the crops. Soybeans shrivel up during the day and have even died in the worst spots. August is a critical time for beans just as July is for corn. Beans are hurting around here.

If people want to find a state with a booming economy they should look at Iowa, not Texas. Unemployment is about 6 percent. The state budget is in surplus. And Iowa is the leader in wind power, not Texas. Iowa produced 20% of its electricity from wind in the second quarter. The biggest producer is not necessarily the leader.

To whom much is given, much is demanded. Or at least it should be.

Once again, satire is truer than MSM:


"Visa Exposed As Massive Credit Card Scam"

HERE's a commentary about Byron King the editor of OL. King takes note of the case of
Tim DeChristopher, the article remarking that he is:

an environmental activist just sentenced to two years in prison for joining in and disrupting a federal oil and gas land auction in a way that even the trial judge acknowledged "wasn’t that bad."

For those really interested, Here's DeChristopher"s statement to the court before sentencing. For his "crime", he was sentenced to 2 years in Federal prison. Interesting reading about our government in the US...

E. Swanson

There are still Patriots in the U.S.

DeChristopher's sentence is probably excessive, though I wish you had found someone other than the uber-racist Brimelow (proprietor of VDARE) to bring us the news!

Completely off topic, but today is, according to the account info page, my sixth anniversary as a member at The Oil Drum. A rather remarkable array of expertise is reflected in the comments left here, and the signal-to-noise ratio remains unusually high for a site that gets this many comments. Over that time my primary concerns about energy have shifted more towards electricity than oil, and I particularly appreciate that the site allows discussion to veer off in that direction on a regular basis.

A heart-felt "Well done!" to all.

Happy Anniversary!

Ditto, happy anniversary mcain6925, felicitations and salutations as you begin your lucky seventh year with TOD!!

Is there any such thing as a seven year itch with a group like this?

Don't you be straying off to other blogs or getting all twisted over little things on us...


then again, that's a tad normal behavior among seasoned veterans so if you do, remember, we'll luv ya all the same;-)


Is there any such thing as a seven year itch with a group like this?

But there is an oil one can apply to make it less itchy.

For those of you who are thinking "Hey! I havn't seen a good technofix pitch in a while" I present:
The e-book can be downloaded for whatever you think a technofix pitch is worth to you. $0 even.

Re: Are we all wrong about end of America?

Sigh... Another suggestion that oil shale (and oil sands in Canada and Venezuela) will be the salvation of the US. Another opportunity, I suppose, to point out that Peak Oil isn't about reserves, it's about flow rates.

Given the limits to resources in the portions of Colorado/Utah/Wyoming where the largest deposits of oil shale occur (water for more conventional extraction, electricity for proposals such as Shell's in situ methods), it seems unrealistic to me to expect flow rates to ever be significant compared to the current global scale. I would argue that a US in which a million barrels per day of production from oil shale is an important energy source is most likely a US that can't afford to run such an operation.

mc - Congrats ole timer. Obviously agree about the rate issue. But I'm slowly moving towards feeling rates per se won't be THE critical issue. It's the distribution of the remaining reserves and who'll will be controlling the process. IOW above ground factors will be taking the lead. A good bit of the world today has no significant access to oil/NG as a result of pricing. And as more are excluded on this basis some of those folks may have the means to disagree with a purely capitalistic distribution. And even if it doesn't come to serious blows a number of the global economies the US is tightly connected to will stuble...and drag us down with them to some degree. So many different scenarios to pick from it's difficult to focus.

I have commented many times that the term that applies is "triage." And, I know that you and I are on the same page that it is economics that will determine who has access to fuel, fertilizers, plastics, pharmaceuticals, and more importantly, food and water. It is not that I believe this to be an ethical, or good thing. It is just the way things are shaping up, and will be worked out. I don't know how it could be otherwise.

Now, how many of those who do not have access to most or all of the items noted above, for economic reasons, do you think will simply lie down and die? And those who do not... what will they be doing?

It makes an interesting thought game. When I play it I tend to stay awake.


As a counterpoint -

Washington DC Metro shifted the gas consumption patterns from a non-rail city (LA, Detroit, Phoenix, etc.) in the mid-1970s to a rail city (NYC, Chicago, Boston, etc.).

Arlington County uses 288 gallons/capita/year, Fairfax County 388 gallons/capita/year. The rest of Virginia uses almost 700 gallons/capita.

All told, DC Metro saves about 200,000 b/day. Repeat in most American cities (and expand Urban Rail in DC area - and cut demand another -40% there).

My plans for electrified and expanded rail (including denser multi-modal centers) if implemented today would save at least 1 million b/day and 2 million b/day in an prolonged oil supply emergency.

Best Hopes,


I went by the local campus multi-modal transportation facility to get a parking permit. It was a large parking garage. "Multimode" appears to be bi-modal -- auto and foot traffic.

Best hopes for modes other than auto......

I should have said "multimodal freight"

Above is a slightly dated map of rail<->truck multimodal centers. Most ports are multimodal ship <-> truck & rail.

Additional multimodal freight centers are being built in Birmingham Alabama and Chippewa Wisconsin for example.

Best Hopes for a denser multimodal freight network,


I've always liked the concept a lot, and generally like the map. A small quibble is Omaha being such a major node; I understand that current track and road configurations may dictate that, but population considerations might make Des Moines a better choice. A larger quibble is the six (seven if you count the southern route from El Paso to San Antonio) links across the Great Plains.

I love the Great Plains. I grew up on the edges, drive back and forth across portions regularly, and find them endlessly fascinating. OTOH, I also believe that the handwriting is on the wall: with the exception of the few major river valleys and places where there's still oil/gas to exploit, they're depopulating. The process appears to have reached the point of positive feedback, with services (eg, medical, education) declining, causing more people to leave, making it harder to keep the level of services, spiraling steadily downward. Do we really need to maintain that many links across all that empty space? Shouldn't we make do with three or so?

The lines on the map are Interstate Highways, not rail lines.

How many 4+ lane, limited access highways do we need ? Perhaps downsize to two lane limited access roads on the empty sections instead ?

As far as E-W double (or triple) track railroads out west, I can see the clear need for
- Los Angeles-El Paso (multiple spurs from El Paso)
- Los Angeles-Chicago with spurs off to Ft. Worth-Memphis & New Orleans and Kansas City-St. Louis
- Portland & Seattle-Chicago
- Vancouver-Winnipeg-Chicago

And a number of single track lines with double track sections as needed. Farm belt to port, etc.

A well built electrified double track railroad with good signals should be able to handle 150 freight and passenger trains/day. At 200 to 250 containers/train (or equal amount of grain, etc.) - that is a lot of transportation.

Best Hopes for Wise Investments,


Yes, electric rail can change things significantly. And I certainly wish that the urban rail project in the Denver area, where I live, were progressing more rapidly. I live in an inner-ring suburb, and the line isn't scheduled to get here until 2016.

I admit to a parochial interest in the US West (from the Rocky Mountain states to the Pacific), and think that the impact of urban electric rail will be less there than in other parts of the country. While the population of the West is, by the Census definitions, less rural than the other portions of the country, its urban areas are much less structured than many of the "older" parts of the country, for a couple of reasons:

  • Much of the population growth occurred after cars were available, and the urban core didn't have a chance to become enormously dominant.
  • During WWII and the following years, the federal government established large job centers -- relative to the size of the cities -- on the periphery, and the private sector followed suit. Larger western urban areas are heavily multi-centered, especially as regards jobs.

The structure makes urban rail less effective. Denver's system will do a fine job of moving people from outlying areas to the edge of downtown. It will be much less effective at moving people from, say, the north down to the Tech Center, or moving people from anywhere to Boulder, etc.

My expectation is that electrification of transport for people in the West will, out of necessity, depend less on rail and more on small light personal electric vehicles than many other areas. The alternative is a massively expensive rebuilding program, relocating jobs into fewer, more centralized, locations.

Due to a paucity of investment, US rail systems are *NOT* designed for comprehensive transportation. But that does not mean that they could not be.

One post-WW II city with good plans was Miami (note Phase II brown lines)


More Detail but not as Pretty

At the moment, they are having trouble getting funding for the orange line north to Ft. Lauderdale. This is largely elevated, all grade separated rail except Miami Beach. Pretty quick and should be easy transfers. Not overly downtown centric, although downtown is well served.

Some years ago, I was told that 80% of the population (without TOD effect) would be within 2 miles of a station and over half within a mile if it was all built.

IMHO, build the map and wait a few years for TOD to kick in, make bicycling safer and easier and Miami gasoline consumption would drop by 2/3rds or more with just $4 gas and w/o EVs.

BTW, such transit-centric cities are also more EV friendly :-) They feed each other.

Best Hopes for Better Investments,


Salt Lake City-Wasatch Front 30 year Plan is pretty good too, is just needs to be built in ten years.

Only in large pdf file that I can find.
page 32 of Chapter 7

Hopefully, some of the Bus Rapid Transit will be converted to streetcar or Light Rail when/if built. Several lines were electric rail in the last 30 year plan and downgraded in this one.

I keep a list of such plans, from a variety of cities, to show that

1) American cities can indeed be transformed


2) have a list of projects where the planning has already been done and can be built quickly :-)


One of my favorite mass transit planning stories is about the Great Genius Stalin.

In the early 1930's he was shown the plans for the Moscow Metro. He looked carefully, then placed the cup of coffee he was drinking on the center of the plans and left without saying a word (not wishing to embarrass the engineers).

The planners picked up the cup, saw the ring left, gasped and realized the great flaw the Great Genius had seen instantly.

A ring connecting all of the radial lines through the city center. So the Brown Line, the connecting ring line was added to the Master Plan.


Best Hopes for Insights :-)


Sorry, but when I think of Stalin and 'mass transit' I can't help but think of the forced migration, mostly by rail, of millions of people for various (often kooky) political reasons:


My 'favorite' was the forced migration of over a hundred thousand ethnic Koreans from the area around Vladivostok because he thought they would side with the Japanese in the conflicts leading up to the 1938 Russian-Japanese war. (Koreans notoriously hate Japanese, and visa versa.)

So today a common surname around Tashkent is 'Kim.'

Sigh... Another suggestion that oil shale (and oil sands in Canada and Venezuela) will be the salvation of the US.

That shale oil bit must be on conservative radio and repeated almost daily for there to be so much written about it. What's disconcerting, is the assertive attitude of that stuff simply being there for the taking. I suppose we are to believe liberals are holding it's usage back.

It's so weird how in this country if something gets said, and it is not immediately rejected, it becomes accepted as fact. Yes, the stuff is there but the question is how much energy is it going to take to extract the oil from the shale - is it economical? Does it make sense at today's prices? If it did don't they think oil companies would have already taken advantage of so much shale?

And on top of everything else, the media often uses "shale oil" — real oil in tight shale formations, eg, those in North Dakota — and "oil shale" — the kerogen in Colorado that's not a lot better than crappy coal — interchangeably. I've gotten to where I dedicate a proofreading pass over some of the stuff I've written just to making sure that I haven't flipped the order of the words somewhere that I didn't intend.

I'm serious about the crappy coal remark. I had a chance a few years ago to have a question asked of a couple of Shell's engineers in a public forum. The question I submitted was, if they put the same amount of energy into their kerogen-to-liquids process, and into one of the current coal-to-liquids processes, which would produce more liquid fuel? Their answer, with lots of caveats, was that coal would probably have a slightly higher yield. At least part of the focus on kerogen is that there are other useful things to do with coal, but not with kerogen. Estonia not withstanding, no one is going to use oil shale as a solid fuel unless they've run out of coal.

That's interesting 6925. So kerogen is a step down from coal. No wonder its still in the ground.

The seed of that article is another Amy Meyers-Jaffe cornucopian wet-dream.

She believes that deepwater oil, the oil sands, heavy oil, and oil shale will be our salvation. Perhaps she is advising Bachmann? LOL

I would take anything she writes with a couple tons of salt. She is the one that said the biggest energy problem in the early 21st century would be too much cheap oil.

Number of rigs drilling for oil in January 2009 (end of Bush administration): 328
Number drilling June 2011: (EIA) 979
Latest August (Baker Hughes): 1066

Looks like Obama is the "Drill, Baby, Drill" President...

They will be running out of rotary parts at that clip. LOL

Oct - We already have. Equipment failures happening all the time now. Replacement parts getting difficult to find at any price. Equipment being run too hard. Just this weekend I had to have drilling mud mixed at a distant facility and hauled to the rig: our mixing tank had a bad valve and no replacement in sight. Using hands with less experience is driving up the accident rate. Almost got into a fight just this weekend with an unsafe hand. Only thing saved me was he didn't want to knock the cr*p out of a cripple. LOL.

Companies haven't been rushing to expand the infrastructure. And this recent small pull back in oil prices just reinforces their desire to not over expand: just max profits and save it away.

Yeah no doubt. The economy was not geared to produce those parts. I guess It will.

Now not being a drilling expert, when you say you ran out of mud, I chuckle. Cause my son can always find mud.

What are the ingredients of drilling mud? Well stay safe! Sounds like a frenzy.

Oct - Very special and expensive mud. Typical clay sized grains mixed with a very densed mineral (barite) and a variety of chemicals to make it thick like a milk shake. We actually use guar gum just like they do at McDonalds. Could be water based or made up with mineral oil. Oil based mud can cost around $120/bbl. Total mud cost for a deep onshore well can cost $500,000 or more if you have problems.

More hurry-up-and-wait then frenzy. And time is money. Waiting to get mud mixed costs around $2-3 thousand per hour of rig time.

Well shoot my son also can find milk shakes too. Yeah I knew it was expensive stuff. You guys recycle it I imagine but with all that drilling you have a lot of mud demand.

The mud density is key since it is balancing a pressure load I imagine.

Oct - yep...if mud is in good shape we either sell when finished drilling or store it for later use. Yep...mud weight keeps Mother Earth's presure back. Which is where BP went tragicly wrong: the let the mud weight pressure get below the formation pressure = well flowing = blow out. Like I said back then: a lot of what we do ain't rocket science.

Rockman, you missed your own pun. What you do is rock science.

What you do is rock science.

What he does is try to avoid faulty Rock science from becoming rocket science (as in stuff rocketing out of the well).

tow - He still has a way to go to catch up with the greatest "drillin' president" of the USA: Jimmy Carter. When he left office we had over 4,500 total rigs drilling. President Obama has barely made it half way there.

I usually call Obama the "Bait and Switch" President

Time to anticipate and adapt to climate change

Despite the uncertainties surrounding climate change, it is time to start developing effective strategies that will keep the nation’s transportation systems and other critical infrastructure running in the face of the adverse impacts that seem increasingly likely to occur.

This consensus emerged from a two-day leadership summit that brought together major stakeholders from the $1 trillion-plus freight transportation sector with climate change researchers to discuss the issue for the first time. (see PodCast below).

“It appears to us that more extreme weather events – like floods and hurricanes – are becoming more frequent and pronounced and we need to be prepared to adapt to the prospect that what have been episodic events in the past become chronic features of our operational landscape in the future,” observed Craig Philip, Chief Executive Officer of the Ingram Barge Company and a member of the conference steering committee

The summit discussions identified several reasons for the current lack of action: 1) uncertainty in the timing and magnitude of climate change; 2) insufficient knowledge of how these changes will impact the performance of critical infrastructure systems; 3) the succession of short-term crises that deflect attention and resources; and 4) lack of political leadership.


Watch: "Modal Perspective on Vulnerability of Freight Transportation Infrastructure and Operations" featuring panel members from Ingram Marine Group, Canadian National Railroad, Dallas Fort Worth Airport and the American Trucking Association as part of “Climate Change and Freight Transportation Infrastructure – When and How to Adapt?”, a two-day national summit of stakeholders held at Vanderbilt University. June 2, 2011

Watch: "Anticipated Climate Changes and Freight Transportation Infrastructure" featuring Caspar Ammann, National Center for Atmospheric Research-Climate Change Applications Program; and Ralph Cantral, U.S. Global Change Research Program. Civil and Environmental Engineering Professors Mark Abkowitz and George Hornberger open the two-day summit “Climate Change and Freight Transportation Infrastructure – When and How to Adapt?” at the School of Engineering,

"Ford, Toyota team up to build big hybrids"


""Our collaboration with Ford is a move to make hybrid technology more widely available in sports utility vehicles and trucks," said Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota executive vice president of research and development."

Perish the thought we'd all drive smaller cars...

Now when Toyota was showing off the Prius in the US of A, I asked the VW reps if they were gonna do the same. What a difference a few years make.

Volkswagen is poised to unveil a single-seat, ultra-frugal, zero-emission electric car. The German carmaker also plans to offer a “full-service package” for customers of its electric cars by selling them power from renewable sources, Jürgen Leohold, head of research, told the Financial Times.

And mentioned in the article http://www.volkswagen.co.uk/volkswagen-world/news/282/volkswagen-unveils...

The new Volkswagen XL1 Super Efficient Vehicle (SEV) has been unveiled at the Qatar Motor Show. Pioneering construction techniques, an advanced plug-in hybrid drivetrain and innovative packaging all play a part in allowing the XL1 to return 313 mpg on the combined cycle while emitting 24 g/km of CO2 to set a new benchmark for vehicle efficiency.

But: Hydrocarbons are a great way to store energy. Unless some magic happens and something like the proposed move to Dilithium Crystals or Fusion ends up working out better than Fission has happens, Man will be on a photon energy budget.

Man can grow plants and get oils or longer storage alcohol or processed bio-gas - but that won't work for the present consumption rate per person and population.

That single seat EV is just a concept car. Nothing to write home about.

VW (and Germany in general) has really been dragging their feet with regard to electrics. VW has focused on diesel. Mercedes has focused a lot on Hydrogen fuel cells. BMW seems to be making a change recently though.

I think the ICE has such a strong cultural identity in Germany such that they are very reluctant to move in a different direction. Their electricity is also probably very expensive with all those generous solar feed-in tariffs so that doesn't help.

Yeah, I have a client who's very proud of his Tahoe Hybrid He made a big deal that he's actually getting ~18 mpg; much better than his 2008 Navigator. Of course, I feigned envy and excitement...not that he needs any encouragement.

"The Power of Green". I guess they must be referring to the 51K price tag ;-0

Adam in the Garden of Eden could cover up pretty well with that kind of green.

This is what FFs do to a sustainable society - There's no going back

In warmer Greenland, shoot the dogs, drill for oil

... "If they find a lot of oil, it would be a big change and mean jobs for Greenlanders," said Lindenhann, 62. "But I'm afraid of pollution."

A spill, hard to combat in icy, stormy waters, could devastate fragile marine life. "We heard about what happened in the Gulf of Mexico," the old seal-hunting hand said.

People here on the central west coast have relied on that marine life for perhaps 5,000 years, prehistoric remains show.

Yep, it really is the crack cocaine of energy sources. I keep coming back to the comparison of the monkeys that were supplied cocaine when they pushed one lever and food when they pushed the other. Once they got a few hits of coke, they never touched the food lever again and just kept taking hits till they were dead.

We are those monkeys.

But it won't just be us who die from it--we are taking most of the rest of complex life down the tubes with us.

What a pathetic spectacle.

I just read this : "Fundamentally, one idiot can create more devastation than all professors in the world can repair. That is the tragedy of human existence." Thomas Fischbacher, in a preface to a permaculture design course.

What's amazing about that story, among other things, is how long ago the Inuit elders knew the world was warming. People with their finger on the pulse of the planet should be listened to by the lunatic denial fringe.

a black swan event

what has occurred in libya is unprecedented in
the history of the modern nation state

libya which was not involved in hostilities with
any country was immediately pounced on when it
tried to put down an internal rebellion

the two nations leading the attack britain and
france when faced with upheaval in ireland for
the u.k and first indochina then algeria for france
reacted with brutal savagery and no one interferred

also it is no idle coincidence the aggressor countries
and their economic union are facing mounting financial
crises and libya is filled with valuable and highly
coveted resources

this blatant and massive criminal act by nato which
was consented to by other powerful political entities
clearly shows the economic crises enveloping the
world is now at its most severe

the financially threatened nations will commit any
and all atrocities in order to buy whatever time is
left before the rapidly approaching and unavoidable

I think it was about Gadaffi setting up three banks to handle the banking needs of Africa cutting out the global bankers. They needed him killed to keep their business monopoly. Libya was giving all its oil at market rates to the west. It was not the oil.

That claim completely fails the giggle test.

This sort of rubbish has been going on for the last thousand years, in a modern society gold as a base for money is ridiculous, just think about it, there is only so much gold in the world and therefore there can be only so much money denominated in gold in circulation at any one time. As most of the oil exporting lands in the middle east have a balance of payments surplus the gold would soon accumulate in there central banks and the amount of money in circulation would contract result recession. It is not a problem if the amount of gold is increasing but it isn't. Britain fought a bloody war in Africa to get its hands on the Gold in the Transvaal. It was called the Boer War. This allowed the British to expand the money supply before the first world war. If Gadafi had managed to do this he would have been removed before now, and very quick, and the reason is very easy to see. There is a saying that the golden rule is that he who has the gold makes the rules. Well it does and it doesn't. When you have the gold you can control the quantity of money in the system and it is that that gives gold the power therefore it is important that gold is never used as a backing for a currency. The Chinese tried the same thing in the middle of the 19th century this time with silver demanding only payment for Tea in silver and not wanting to buy any British Goods. It is easy to see that over a few years China would have cornered the worlds silver. The Brits got nasty and crack a few Chinese skulls. Money is made round to go round as my old Grandfather used to say and the Chinese had to learn that lesson by being forced to buy Opium, to get the silver back into circulation. Sad but true. Luckily or unluckily for America the American Dollar is back by Oil, since the 1970s when America went off the gold standard America has persuaded the Middle East potentates to sell there oil in dollars only. This why Saudi gets a free pass what ever it does. They might grumble a little bit and threaten to sell there oil in Euros, but that is only to get the American's attention, they are not as stupid as Saddam and try it, otherwise they would end up as cat meat.

in a modern society gold as a base for money is ridiculous,

As opposed to the full faith and credit of a nation?

just think about it, there is only so much gold in the world and therefore there can be only so much money denominated in gold in circulation at any one time.

Which is what the Austrian School pitches. If you do not have some fixed hard to change thing, the temptation is to just create more money.

Say, hows that money printing working out for the Fed? Hod did it work out for Zimbabwe? Wiemar Germany?

But a fixed amount of money doesn't work. You can end up in a deflationary death spiral. The cost of goods can keep dropping since the money becomes more and more valuable (since it is a fixed amount). Thus people will put off buying things because they'll be cheaper next month. This slows economic activity to a halt.

Both systems have advantages and disadvantages. But the deflationary death spiral is a serious flaw with the gold system which makes it impractical in the modern world. Why should the amount of money be set by the finite amount of an arbitrary element?

Why should the amount of money be set by the finite amount of an arbitrary element?

Because those who hold the gold want to stay on top?

Thus people will put off buying things because they'll be cheaper next month. This slows economic activity to a halt.

Yet the 'world economy' is off of the gold standard and been on a fiat system for some time. And in 2008 the economy 'slowed to a halt' (money still changed hands, goods were still bought and sold so it didn't halt) Gas was at 4+ a gallon and is less than that now.

Reports are that the velocity of money has slowed, and "we" are still not on a gold (or even a watt) standard.

Not being on gold isn't a cureall. GDP equals volume of money times the velocity of money. If you can't get velocity up, increase the volume. So the volume has been increased. It would be worse if we couldn't increase the volume. The main problem is the extra printed money is going into banks, where it sits. It isn't being loaned out, since businesses don't think they will have customers. Should have given the new money to the little guys, who would have spent it.

If they can't bother to type up their drivel, I have no patience to watch it being narrated on a youtube clip.

I watched the clip. You didn't miss much.

this blatant and massive criminal act by nato

And where can one go to have this criminal act 'adjudicated' or ask for a 'redress of grievances'?

Some kind of League of Nations? A US Criminal court?

Let's not be naive. The UN does what the UN does, which isn't much, and the rest is up to what a given country or group can accomplish. For a long time Gaddafi got away with a lot, and fostered his own power base. Just like Saddam did. Eventually, they over-reached and got whacked by a western power. Eventually they will over-reach, and somebody will whack them too.

Human rights are only as inviolable as the power which supports them. Or oppresses them.

How about a League of Nations where the major aggressor nations do not have veto power?

Outside nations fomenting coups isn't exactly new, is it? Is international war any more or less criminal than civil war or internal rebellion? Laws are only important if they are enforced, and if the enforcers are the ones breaking the law then what?

Really, the notion of sovereign states makes a lot of sense, because states can really do no absolute wrong. They can only do things which cause conflict with other states, and thus it's a more relative reality. Sure, I'd like the notions of universal rights to peace and law and all that as much as the next guy, but affection for the ideal does not cloud my expectations of the reality.

I don't think this is "unprecedented" or "most severe". Simply par for the course. Pretty sure it'll get a lot worse, as hardly anybody has died from conflict yet.

Really now. The guy was threatening to destroy whole towns, because they didn't want to remain under his rule. This is one of the rare times former colonial powers did the morally right thing. You must be buying Chavez's logic, which is essentially the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Just because Gaddafi was an enemy of the US, doesn't mean he is a good guy. The world is far more complicated than that sort of two sided reasoning. You would have thunk a guy who claims to be revolutionary and on the side of the people -especially the poor, could see beyond that sort of thinking. So why were the working class districts of Tripoli self-liberated? Because the very classes that Chavez claims to represent see Gaddafi as their enemy.

Viva Free Libya! Those folks earned their freedom. Even if they wouldn't have succeeded without help.

The guy was threatening to destroy whole towns, because they didn't want to remain under his rule.

Didn't the US federal government do just that in its civil war? That makes Gadaffi Libya's Lincoln.

Ed, come on. These are wild-eyed comparisons.

Post that stuff over at HuffPo. Don't make this place go any more silly.

Didn't the US lay waste to two towns in Iraq because they didn't want to remain under US occupation? Fallujah being one, I can't remember the other. According to the Independent the "Toxic legacy of US assault on Fallujah 'worse than Hiroshima'". The crimes of petty dictators seem to pale in comparison to those of the US.

In fact the entire history of the US since WW2 has been one of occupying countries for no apparent reason and killing their occupants if they objected.

Yep, that's the entire history of the US since WW2. No more, no less.

I am a USA-ian, and am disgusted by a lot of what happens "in my name", believe me. But totalizing statements like yours are absurd.

The only thing that's absurd is your answer. I'm perfectly willing to listen to a good reason why the US has spent 70 years killing people in their own countries for apparently no good reason. Fire away, educate me.

How is my answer absurd? You stated that "In fact the entire history of the US since WW2 has been one of occupying countries for no apparent reason and killing their occupants if they objected."

The entire history of the US since WW2? Nothing else has happened in US history since WW2 except the killing of people in other countries? This is an absurd statement, and it makes you seem absurd and not serious.

As I said, I am aware of and disgusted by some (some) of the things my country has done in the past 70 years. But to totalize it the way you have is, in fact, absurd. If you can't understand that, no amount of schooling will help. You are blinded by your hatred of the US, or some simple black and white political narrative, or whatever. But you are not seriously engaging history.

"The entire history of the US since WW2" is a figure of speech to emphasise a point, don't tell me you where unaware of that. Now I don't want to labour the point, but let me put it this way. Of all the wars, military actions and covert operations the US has engaged in since the WW2, in which millions have been killed and wounded whilst in their own countries and whilst posing little direct threat to the US. Can you give a good reason for any of them?

"You are blinded by your hatred of the US, or some simple black and white political narrative, or whatever."

Yeah, that must be the reason, not that what I said is so blindingly obvious anybody can see it is generally correct unless they have a bag pulled over their head. BTW I want to take away your freedoms. :)

Whether the historical perspective makes US actions reasonable, at the time (say, a few years after WW II), the US faced what appeared to be an enemy bent on destroying Western Civilization, i.e., the Soviet Union. One can go thru a long list of events, such as the Berlin Blockade, the Communist win in China, the Korean War, the loss of the French in Indochina and the Geneva Convention, Sputnik, the Cuban Revolution and later Missile Crisis, etc. There's a quote from Krushchev, made a few weeks into the Kennedy administration, in which he announced that national "wars of liberation" were to be the vehicle for advancing the Communist cause (as described in Tuchman, "The March of Folly"). If the US had not confronted the actions of the Soviets, would the US have survived? Hard to say and the debate about Vietnam, etc still rages.

That said, the post Cold War activities of the US can't be explained so easily, even though the Chinese are still nominally a Communist nation and thus might be perceived as a threat. More recent involvement in conflicts may be the result of the same sort of mindless thinking as that which put the US into Vietnam supporting a government which did not have the backing of the population against a determined nationalist force. Given our bloated military, there's always the temptation at the top to use that available force, with results which are often tragic. Then too, there's the post OPEC Embargo realization that oil is really, really important to the Western economy and without it, BAU can't "move forward"...

E. Swanson

But the fact is there were no direct threats to the US, only perceived threats, which may well have been blown out of all proportion for financial or political reasons. Russia never attacked anyone in an expansionist move after WW2 at least until Afghanistan. Their occupations in Europe were as a result of fighting an existential fight against Germany and can't really be viewed as expansionist more of keeping a buffer zone. The real threat after WW2 was more likely the West invading Russia (ie. General Patton or McArthur wanting to nuke NK and China). The US was not attacked and manufactured a rationale based on perceived threats, more or less the same as they do today.

Debatable, yes. But the fact is that the West is usually the actual aggressor doing the attacking and not defending against any immediate threat.

"Russia never attacked anyone in an expansionist move after WW2 at least until Afghanistan."

Ah, got to love plausible deniability. That's why both sides in the Cold War loved proxy wars.

Stalin who invaded Poland, Finland and the Baltic Republics plus border wars with China and Japan before WW II was still in charge after WW II.

And his protegees succeeded him after his death.

After WW II, the zone Russia occupied in Korea invaded the American zone of occupation.

And the Hungarian and Czech invasions.

So your point after a "benign USSR" is worthless and pointless. Only MAD contained more direct aggression by the Soviet Union.


Partly this was that we had rivals whose propensity for security via bluff, made it easy to puff them up as an oversized threat. Even though there was no missle gap, the Russians felt compelled to act like there was. And that made it very hard for the few people who discovered otherwise to argue their case. The same thing happened with Saddam and the WMD. He had got rid of them, but he thought that blustering as if he still had them was necessary to stave off aggression. So again, those who tried to promulgate the truth, were easily marginalized.

It doesn't help to have enemies, who provide just the sort of rhetorical ammunition the militarists need.

the US faced what appeared to be an enemy bent on destroying Western Civilization,

That would be Communism, right?

http://library.georgegordon.com/communist - in case one wonders how much of the Communist Manifesto is in force. Even if they may be good ideas.

Of all the wars, military actions and covert operations the US has engaged in since the WW2, in which millions have been killed and wounded whilst in their own countries and whilst posing little direct threat to the US. Can you give a good reason for any of them?

I can. The Korean war. Yes one million died. But South Korea is notpart of North Korea. Millions and more millions have died in North Korea. Should the same fate have fallen upon South Korea, the death toll of NOT going to war would have been above 10 million.

sgage - At the risk of butting into some else's debate uninvited let me offer a more coldhearted version: Since the beginning of the USA, including its birth, we'vwe been involved in killing folks somewhere. And every military adventure was done for very specific reasons. Now you and I may disagree with the reasons behind various sorties. And even when we might agree to some degree with a particular confrontation we might not care for how we went about it. Originally I thought protecting Viet Nam from communist take over (even if there were other motives) was a good thing. But participating in the slaughter of perhaps as many as a million civilians...not so good.

I see no point in going down that long list and poll everyone's opinions. For instance who today would be opposed to stopping the Nazi war machine? But I suspect you're aware that a sizable portion of our population (prior to 11 Dec 1941) weren't to keen on the idea of getting involved in "Europe's problems". We can debate every adventure forever but I doubt anyone will ever change there position so what's the point?


I don't disagree. As I said (twice in this thread), I am not always particularly proud of what gets done "in my name" as an American. I was mostly just taking exception to Burgundy's trollish and absolutist language.

I am very well up on US history, the good, the bad, and for sure the ugly.

Then you should be able to answer my very simple question instead of throwing insults around.

US General Butler said [from http://rationalrevolution.net/war/major_general_smedley_butler_usm.htm ]

“War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses.

I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag.

I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

I am not going to expound the history of the last half of the twentieth century to you, if that's what you want. That's what it would take to answer your "simple" question. BlackDog actually made a pretty good start, and more power to him.

To put it another way, your very simple question is not simple at all, and insisting that it is and demanding a simple answer is a standard polemic tactic. Take a very complex situation that has a long and complex history, reduce it to a "simple" black and white question, demand an answer to it, and then feel like you've made some kind of point when your interlocutor doesn't get sucked into your game. Classic, actually.

And making ridiculous totalizing statements, and accusing your interlocutor with throwing insults around when he calls you on it - that's another classic. Your whole style is classic troll - that's not name-calling, it's simple description.

It seems you are just out looking for a fight. You are being really weird and belligerent. Alas, I must leave now for an evening engagement, so I can't play this game with you any more.

But you really ought to simmer down and learn some history and nuance and shades of gray. Your rhetorical style would benefit greatly.

Good night!

I am afraid that arguing wars and military murders with most Americans is like arguing religion. You can never change someones faith with facts or conviction. Give it up.

Let me make my question even simpler for you. Of all the wars, military actions and covert operations the US engaged in since WW2 in which millions of people were killed and wounded in their own countries. How many were due to the US defending itself due to being attacked? Are there any inaccuracies in my second sentence?

This is one of the rare times former colonial powers did the morally right thing.

It's too soon to tell.

Is Libya's social fabric strong enough to prevent a descent into anarchy, or (at a minimum) a bloody struggle for control of the country? Who really knows?

In ten years Libyans -- and Europe -- may well be looking back on the Ghaddafi years as the good old days.

The strongest Chinese curse is "may you get what you wish for".

First Atlantic hurricane of the season, Irene, projected to head up the East Coast of the US towards Charleston. Projected to be a Category 3.


"Projections called for Hurricane Irene to skirt the storm-killing mountains of the Dominican Republic and Haiti and strengthen into a major Category 3 storm as it approaches the Southeast United States by the weekend, the National Hurricane Center said Monday."

Just been upgraded to Cat 2. Some model tracks shifting west.

The complete hurricane Katrina path is very strange.


I sometimes wonder whether the 5 day forecast is really worth anything.

Look at these forecasts of Katrina:


I'm not holding my breath on Irene. Usually when a hurricane is north of the Dominican Republic it moves out to sea without it's impact damaging the US. Just some scattered showers. Move on, nothing here to see.

Now projected to hit the US east coast as a Cat 3

Check out the track for the 1938 hurricane that hit New England (the "Long Island Express"):




That's an "interesting" 8am Sunday position on latest update.

... and a 5.9 earthquake centered near Richmond, Virginia...

Today, an earthquake. Sunday, perhaps a category 1 hurricane. Earth, wind... and let's see... there are no volcanoes along the beltway, right?

No volcanoes yet...

You may get water.

Usually when a hurricane is north of the Dominican Republic it moves out to sea without it's impact damaging the US.

Except when it doesn't. All along the East coast should update their hurricane plans and supplies. It's been a few years since we've run this drill, so people will be out of practice.

That was my point with Katrina. Look at the prediction 5 or more days out. They have no idea of the path until it is in your face basically. Once it enters the GOM then it make sense but before that who knows.

EROEI of 3:1 - getting rid of parasitic loads such an EROEI might work out.

the village of Wildpoldsried is producing 321% more energy than it needs! The small agricultural village in the state of Bavaria is generating an impressive $5.7 million in annual revenue from renewable energy.

In case one has some money they are mad at and want to be rid of it

BALLE Business Conference - Place Matters, June 14-17, 2011 Bellingham, WA

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A big part of the reason my family has been completely priced out of all dairy and beef products;
Another unintended consequence of biofuels;
And another crop problem with linkages to climate change and peak water...

If you aren't into livestock this will be a bit of a dry read, but look at the info about price changes and changes in planted acreage, starting on page 7.

(pdf warning, 18 page document)


Those poor dairymen. I would hate to be a dairyman today.

At least this explains why a block of cheese abruptly skyrocketed from $5 to $8 in one month a few months ago.

I keep a couple rabbits as a hedge against catastrophic food inflation. This document also explains why the last time I went to the feed store, the only hay I could get was next-to-the-bottom quality grade of hay. It was truly awful stuff.

I found it interesting that desperate dairymen have been driven to trucking hay in from out of state, even with the huge diesel cost that adds to the price they pay. As the price of fuels continually rises, I wonder at what price the added cost will become an absolute barrier to long-distance purchases. It sure doesn't look good.

I found it interesting that desperate dairymen have been driven to trucking hay in from out of state

They probably don't want to kill off the cows. As long as they expect the situation to be temporary, it is worth losing some money to avoid catastrophic loses.

I think expensive feed for dairymen is a curse for some and a blessing for others. The later group because the price of the end product has gone up. As long as they don't need to purchase hay, their profits should be up. I think thats the real thing about farming, the best weather for a farmer is good growing weather for his crop, and terrible weather for all other farmers with whom he competes!

That Hay Industry Perspective was actually rather interesting to read. I had no idea that Texas was such a large producer of hay I should have know better, we're talking TEXAS).

About 25 years ago there was a major drought in western Canada, so farmers here in eastern Canada donated hay and trains moved it (also for free, as I recall). Then they realized it would be more efficient to move the cattle east and feed them here, so a loaner system was started.

A few local farmers serve the Florida race-horse industry, which wants only top quality square bales (the traditional small ones). You'd think that they could find plenty of such hay much closer than Ontario, but apparently not.

EOS, your final point is correct, and is one that many farmers would like to see corrected. I believe that most farmers would prefer to receive a steady, fair return on their sweat & investment, rather than cyclical prices with the occasional windfall because of other farmers' misfortune.
Achieving such systems (income stabilization programs, single-desk selling & marketing boards, supply management, etc) is never easy, however. The Government of Canada seems determined to get rid of our Wheat Board (which was set up to help farmers during the Depression): some producers want "freedom from monopoly" while others warn that the old-timers set it up for good reason, and that grain traders will pit farmer against farmer to drive the price down.
I agree with the latter group.

"the best weather for a farmer is good growing weather for his crop, and terrible weather for all other farmers with whom he competes!"

Usually that works on a regional, or national basis, but it is not confined to that. Although the article's Northwest FCS holds my paper, I'm in the other end of their northwest projections. The bulk of our hay is from subirrigated ground, this year, it's been way too wet and cold and I'll be selling both cattle and sheep I never intended. Nothing to feed them this winter, and I'm not so sure the gamble of buying high priced hay will pay out.

Sorry to hear that, Doug

A province-wide drought 6 years ago forced us out of sheep. Our hay-field (which this year gave us 180 5' round bales) yielded only 20 bales that summer and nobody had extra to sell.

One thing we did during several dry summers was to cut down hawthorn trees, which sheep love. They picked off every leaf and the next day I'd roll the trees over and they'd eat the other half, as high up as they could reach. This had the triple benefit of getting rid of a real nuisance (we get several flat tires every year from thorns), gaining firewood (it's extremely dense) and feeding less hay.
They seem to like evergreens as well: our Christmas tree was always a hit.

Good luck...

Hawthorn, excellent for hedged hedgerows and very impenetrable.


That's the best thing about sheep-move them behind cows and you extend your pasture.

I've toyed with the idea of yr round grazing, even read about some up in Alberta making it go. But I think they were depending on wind to blow it open; snow here can be too deep, too long.


re. your first sentence, I agree with the second half. When we had sheep, this place was like a golf course, and you could see every rock & stump. Now I have to bush-hog the rough pasture to stop the weeds from taking over, but it's brutal because I can't see the rocks.

But I disagree with your first bit. The best thing about sheep is definitely LAMB CHOPS (actually, we ate quite a bit of mutton as well... stuff we couldn't really sell). But you're right, sheep eat stuff that cows miss and keep the grass right down. Goats are even better in that regard (and here the price is just as good as lamb).

Back to the serious matter of your feeding problem, if we were a bit short on hay (we had a commercial flock and always had to buy some extra hay) or in a cold snap we would give them cracked corn and Sheeplement (I think that was the name... it was pellets) but of course they still had to have enough hay to digest everything properly. A bit expensive, but it certainly helped, and if everyone in your region has crap hay then your options are probably pretty limited.
At least sheep & cows can tolerate crap hay to some degree; horses cannot.

Not like any of us with the possible exception of the good folks at NSP couldn't see this coming...

NewPage Port Hawkesbury to close indefinitely

The NewPage Port Hawkesbury Ltd. mill will be shutting down both of its paper machines next month for an indefinite period, putting about 1,000 people out of work.

See: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2011/08/22/ns-new-page-m...

With that, Nova Scotia Power loses its single largest customer, but the bigger question in my mind is what will happen to its $210 million joint venture with NewPage to generate 400 GWh a year of biomass energy. Roughly half of the required feedstock was to be wood waste supplied by this mill's operations and without this low-cost fuel source I have to assume it's game over.

Given NewPage's precarious financial position (the company has been teetering on bankruptcy for sometime), I couldn't imagine why NSP would even entertain such a venture. I was even more flabbergast when the deal was approved by the PUC, particularly when the two consulting firms hired by the Board to review the proposal recommended against it.

I feel deeply sorry for the thousand workers who lost their jobs, but I won't shed a tear if this biomass plant should never sees the light of day. Everything about this deal stank to high heaven.

Additional coverage at: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/41266--company-announces-indefin...


US Presidential nominating process moves online :-

Americans Elect

" The first-ever open presidential nominating process. No special interests. No agendas. No partisanship. A greater voice for all Americans, no matter their party. Every registered voter can be a delegate. Any constitutionally-eligible citizen can be a candidate. "

Currently being discussed on PBS Newshour. Video not posted yet.


it's been brought up before, the chances of them being what they claim is about not taking special interest money are about as true as the existence of the tooth fairy.

That question was raised by the interviewer - they currently don't disclose their donors - they "hope the donors will declare the donations". This is a major issue of lack of transparency, of course. They claim they "want small donations online from everyday people".

The other concern I have is "astroturfing". What's to prevent someone registering 50 times to post their agenda and drowning out real discussion ? I guess it remains to be seen, since the discussion board is not available yet.

This commentary from LA Times :-


NPR just had coverage of the drought in TX.

Where does the moisture in Texas usually come from? GM? I would think the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada would take out Pacific moisture. Have the airflow patterns changed. All I know is that New York State is receiving a fair part of the missing moisture. Need to buy some dehumidifiers before we all are eaten by mold and mildew.

Yes, usually GM. Right now they are praying for a hurricane, but Irene is not going to be the one, since it seems the eye will stay well of east coast of Florida. It is the east coast, perhaps all the way up to New England that will really get lashed by this thing most likely. And they have recently had torrential rains already.

Biblical flooding, indeed--to those who already have (too much), even (much) more will be given. (apologies to Matthew)

Oil Market Smells A Rat

So far the undeclared Libyan war has cost the US alone an estimated $6.6 billion – a drop in the bucket of a $3.8 trillion annual budget. But the oil market is sniffing a rat.

With two drawn-out, unaffordable, imperial wars already under way...in addition to the three covert wars in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan...how long’s it going to take and how expensive will it be to “wage the peace” in Libya now?

Getting Libya’s 1.3 million barrels a day of light sweet crude production back online will be no small task, either.


What if the democratic government of Libya decides to lower production by half to save it for the future?

The US usually has a pre-packaged kleptocracy ready to go once the dust settles. The main problem will be dividing up the oil contracts between the allies. The Libyan people will be chopped and diced into socio-economic groups and with relentlessly marketing turned into consumer zombies. The resulting disenfranchised, divided and segmented population can then be sucked up into the corporate system as wage slaves or into the criminal system which feeds upon the same fractured societies as the corporations.

Welcome to the free world Libya.

Yes, Libya, welcome. And probably kiss your status as highest life expectancy/lowest infant mortality in Africa bye bye.

The Spaniards have already taken steps to lower their consumption, as have the Italians.
They're the ones who depend on this oil.

What steps (beyond financial crisis) ?
I am interested.

Best Hopes for reduced oil consumption,


Drastically lowered speed limits, IIRC

How much did that lower Spanish consumption?

Some money, but it didn't last. Max speed had been lowered from 120 kms/h to 110 kms/h. When the Summer began it was put up back again and as there are elections the next 20th of November it will stay at 120 until then, and probably long after. There's some talk of lowering the speed in ring roads and such to less than the present 90kms/h but they are afraid of the reaction of the public.

Our public doesn't understand the need to lower the maximum speed but the authorities hardly ever say a word about Peak Oil or the impossibility of affording the present oil bill. They are told that solutions are just around the corner to the crisis and unemployment, that growth will restart, lots of growth if only the banks lend money to the businesses. If only.

By the way our government is perfectly aware of the problem of Peak Oil. Rubalcaba, the PSOE presidential candidate (ex Vicepresident and Interior Minister) is a PhD in Chemistry and used to be a University Professor. And in the relevant websites of The Government it is very easy to find internal documents about Peak Oil, supplies etc. They are not secret, just not discussed in public. In the newspapers the expressions Peak Oil and Great Depression 2 are forbidden and censored even in comments.

Even the young militants "indignados" are not really well informed, being more worried about the lack of good jobs for university graduates and the exceses by politicians.

Meanwhile many cities are in arrears to business as much as a year and no hope of paying their debt. Pharmacies are not being paid by many local administrations but if they refuse to give the medicines to the customer (and wait a year or so in the hope of getting paid by our NHS) or go on strike then they are fined.

Has anyone seen this simulation of the huge plume of radioactive sea water spreading across the Pacific?


Also available here:


How long for the radioactive water to get to Alaskan fisheries?

As far as US territories go, it looks like it will hit Hawaii first.

and how do we humans "fix" this probelm? We will do the same thing already being done in Japan. Simply increase the acceptable levels of radio-isotopes in the ocean life we consume. Problem Solved!

God I just made myself feel bad.

"NATO’s operation in Libya is a perfectly planned political spectacle which marks the beginning of the second colonization of Africa, declared former Belgian Parliament deputy speaker Lode Vanoost."

from http://rt.com/news/second-colonization-africa-554/

"second colonization of Africa"

Yes, I think neocolonialism is a given. Look at Britain, deep in overshoot, trashing its own currency, its resources near spent, its lost empire still dragging it into decline and total failure to create a productive economy (unlike Germany for instance). How is it to support 60-70 million citizens, or rather subjects, when it produces little that anyone in the World actually wants to buy? Probably by doing what it did in the past to solve the same problem, by taking what it needed from somewhere else, by force if necessary. The trouble being the game is going to get a little crowded as more countries with the same problem and capabilities come up with the same solution.

I've long been of the opinion that Africa will be the battleground of WW3.

What is he talking about? We never ended the first round of colonialism. We just figured out ways to suck up Africas resources without actually "owning" the land. Nothing is new here, move on.

Iran’s oil output drops in average 300 000 bpd annually, oil official

The managing director of the Iran’s Southern Oil Fields said that the country’s oil output drops in average between 300 to 330 000 bpd and pointed to the aged wells as the reason.

“Most of the oil wells, especially in the southern regions are in the second half of their life, thus the drop is normal,” Hormoz Ghalavand told Mehr news agency Monday.

Food riots likely within the next year:


But today, Marco Lagi and buddies at the New England Complex Systems Institute in Cambridge, say they've found a single factor that seems to trigger riots around the world.

This single factor is the price of food. Lagi and co say that when it rises above a certain threshold, social unrest sweeps the planet.

The other day I came across an article that stated corn was the number one factor in food prices and I cannot disagree with that assessment although rice and wheat have a huge effect too.

The two fixes for high food prices recommended in the article are fundamentally flawed. First, speculation has little to do with price of corn (or oil or natural gas or ...). Second, eliminating ethanol would reduce the supply of transportation fuel by roughly 10% causing gasoline prices to rise and causing more economic distress on personal budgets at a time when spending is very weak.

I do think we should try and eliminate ethanol, I just don't think we will like the consequences.

But what can be done to reverse the increases. Lagi and co say that two main factors have driven the increase in the food price index. The first is traders speculating on the price of food, a problem that has been exacerbated in recent years by the deregulation of the commodities markets and the removal of trading limits for buyers and sellers.

The second is the conversion of corn into ethanol, a practice directly encouraged by subsidies.

Those are both factors that the western world and the US in particular could change.

How much sense does it make to end tariff on imported ethanol? I've read a few articles stating sugar ethanol from Brazil would be cheaper than domestic corn ethanol. I'm not exactly sure what the impact would be or how much truth is behind what I've read.

Well, shipping the stuff thousands of miles would certainly lower its EROEI.

Brazil is importing gasoline so why would they have transport fuel to export? I believe sugar prices set a nominal high this year due to a weak crop in Brazil whose ethanol (from sugar) production is significantly down yoy. IMO, burning sugar in our cars isn't much smarter than burning corn but that can be debated.

New record sugar prices hit China

The price of sugar in China has risen to new highs despite the government releasing sugar reserves into the market six times.

Funny china is doping honey exports with fake sweeteners while their people pay for high sugar prices. Seems like Capitalism is alive and well.

Corn , Wheat, Rice is what feeds the world. Even if you eat animal products.

Time to power down and go to a plant based diet.

I eat grass fed beef and lamb, and chickens are essentially carnivores, if you are observant.

We could also sequester a huge amount of carbon.

Grains are poison.


2000-2500 Calories per day .... 15,000+- calories / week/adult

You get that from ?? Grass and bug fed animals ??

what is your daily diet ?

Along with veggies, mostly grown myself, and I just finished harvesting and drying the apricots.
I did have a plantain for breakfast, with my grass fed beef and eggs from the coup.
Almost no animals were grain fed before 1950.
Planted 15 olive trees last week, and the walnuts are looking good.
Of course, I have animal fertilizer to grow these things (llama, chicken, horse).
Industrial AG is killing the planet. Grain production is biocide, and species cleansing and destruction of ecosystems, deplete topsoil, drains aquifers, etc.

Sounds wonderful, and I am sure you produce extra. Can you give us an idea of how much land you need to produce what you need per person?

Great question ... I would also like to know.

Or .... anyone else growing their diet. Any current examples ? anywhere ??

I say 2.5 acres/adult ... assuming the best conditions and a plant diet.

I live on 20 acres, but 10 of it is a intact oak-bay headland, with a few Grey pines and redwood mixed in.
5 of us live on the property, along with 4 horses, 2 llamas, 2 mules and a donkey, and other assorted animals.
The orchard of plums, pears, walnuts, and apricots is mature and producing.
You really don't need much land for veggies, but getting calories from plants is either grains or potatoes(or bananas in the tropics), and grains take space, and are very destructive.
Chickens provide protein.
It really depends on numerous things.
And I'm just doing it, and far from an expert.

Well ... I'll say I am an expert ... and it takes a minimum of 2.5 acres/adult

If animal products are used, it takes more acreage ... ENTROPY,
if soil has limitations ,it takes more acreage ,
if water is limited, it takes more acreage ,
if sunlight is limited , it takes more acreage
if temperature is not ideal , it takes more acreage

3 people on 10 acres ... no animals , no refrigeration, 13 plus years

This family of 4 vegetarians (non-vegans) apparently produce 90% of their diet off 1/10 of an acre of gardens (1/5 acre lot including the house in Pasadena, California). Although I think it would be very tough to duplicate, it might open your mind up as to how much is possible in small spaces.

The Urban Homestead

I commend them ... but that is not what it says.

90% of your vegetarian produce is not 90% of calories.

..and while that's still only their summer output, as they add that it's a lower amount in Wintertime.. but it's STILL on 1/5 of an acre.

In fact, they also have Poultry and Eggs, and I think some Goats as well.. so it's not just vegetable foods..

No doubt, in their climate, the fact that they can count on city water is another factor on the 'yeah, but' side.. and still, it's a great example of how much you can do just as one family.. and extending that to a small community of folks can expand these opportunities.

New report by Food Safety News on honey "laundering".

Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves

Slaps on the wrist for offenders, lax regulation...middle men go to jail, large agribusinesses proceed with BAU.

More reasons to eat local.


I think all processed foods from the big processors are basically using these lowish, tainted grades of Indian and Chinese foods and then at the end they get to slap a Made in U.S.A sticker on the side and Joe Six-pack and Jane 3-pack buy the stuff at WalMart and have an All-American BBQ.

Problem is 1 in 30,000 will die if exposed to chloramphenicol. Oh well. They had an All-American BBQ and Big Processors (like Kraft) made bank was a beautiful re-labeling scheme.

I wonder which is nastier at the end of the day. Drilling for oil in Nigeria or hustling honey from China.

Just makes me wonder even more about the fragility of the systems we have created for ourselves. Every rock one turns over seems to have a scam underneath. The "cheap is better" mindset has been so destructive I'm not sure we could adequately measure it all.

I was listening to an interview on the radio this morning about how, before the advent of supermarkets, every neighborhood block had a mom-and-pop grocery store on it. One store served about 50 families. Then, in the 40's and 50's, "efficiency" and economic thinking became prevalent, bigger became better and cheaper, in a short-sighted, instant-gratification kind of way.

I often have this fantasy about time-travel - you know the one, going back in time and making alterations that change the course of history. I have a short-list...

Just for fun what is your short list?

Limiting myself just to the last 120 years, more or less :-

The individuals who were responsible for the following ideas :-

1. Putting petroleum in combustion engines
2. The Green Revolution
3. The Supermarket
4. Using warfare chemicals for growing food
5. Plastic bags and bottled water

Not an exhaustive list...

The problem is that these industrial ideas would spring up with a new inventor like a wack-o-mole problem. No way to reign in the insanity. Industrialization is a phase of human history that was unavoidable -- just like the resource depletion and AGW phases to follow.

But I appreciate your idealism. ;-0

I began to wonder about all this when the cigarette thing went down with Philip Morris. I realized that chemicals and human testing were being done on a grand scale to sell their products. Once P-M bought Kraft and laundered their brand, I realized that this is how processed food works also. Tons of manipulation of the chemistry and inputs to make money and sell stuff without concern about nutritional aspects or quality.

Yeah local mom and pop are there in my neighborhood for fruits and veggies basically.

I am resigned to eating raw food mainly or cooking my own in large batches on the weekends. We eat leftovers and we are happy mainly. My wife, however, gets the processed snacks and crackers and stuff for my son and I try to explain the stuff is not exactly quality -- but ... well I value my marriage. ;-)

Plums, onions, green onions, beets and lettuce did well this year. We got about 10 lbs of green and purple beans in the first round. Strawberries are a continuous trickle -- pint a week. Tomatoes and apples on deck. Squash is not planted in a good spot (grrr). Eggplants and peppers coming along. Lemons and oranges are looking good -- lemons are always more prolific though than the orange.

Not going to solve the energy crisis but they are a fun hobby.

I'm having a horrible year for garden veggies due to all the rain we've had, interspersed with extreme heat.

The early berries did well - strawberries, raspberries, currants. Cucumbers have been good, as well as lettuce. My beans were doing well, then collapsed in the heat. Limited pollination on the tree fruits due to a lot of spring rain. Blossom drop on the tomatoes due to heat extremes, but may start late. The squash and pumpkins are doing fine - if I can keep the powdery mildew at bay (I'm trying Neem Oil now, for that). The corn may have made it through - I see kernels starting to fill. May yet get some melons. Swiss Chard is doing well.

I'm hopeful for a fall crop. Sheesh...

We have had depressed temps on the coast of CA. So I did not plant regular tomatoes. Only cherry tomatoes, but the weather is very odd here. I actually was getting rain in June. I water them now a few hours a week.

Squash is getting that powered gray mold on the leaves. Need to work on that. I am getting a lot of yellowing too. I did not till that soil and hoped that the squash would blast through it to the ground water, but I was wrong.

Best hopes for beating the powdery mildew ;-)

The one thing I'm having a spectacular year for is honey. It's turning out to be the most flavorful since I started, 6 years ago. I don't know what the bees are snacking on, but it is working. Something very fruity. I brought in 60 lbs last week, and will probably get a second harvest in early September, with enough left over for winter feeding.

We're getting powdery mildew on our squash too. Read that spraying with 10% milk/90% water helps. Giving it a try today.

Hmm, might try that as I have some on my oranges. Must keep the fur heads away though, they are maniacs for 10% milk. Last time I tried Copper Sulphate and the leaves dropped off, must have made it too strong or something:(


This summer there has been a drumbeat of food-related illnesses. Strawberries containing E. coli killed one person in Oregon and sickened at least nine others. Ground turkey contaminated with salmonella poisoned more than 100 people nationwide, with one dead, and prompted one of the largest meat recalls ever. Imported papayas tainted with salmonella sickened at least 99. Sprouts grown in Idaho were linked to salmonella illnesses in five states.


US Congressman reported to be among those trapped behind Gaddafi lines at Rixos hotel. RT Moscow reported this yesterday but no confirmation elsewhere until now. Fox producer just reported on Sky News that US congressman led prayers this morning in hotel.

Anyone any idea who it is?

RT Moscow also said that there was a CIA presence at the hotel so maybe that's true as well if there really is a congressman there.

Sky News passed a message to the those at the hotel that, "Rest assured that very important people are trying their very best to make sure you are safe and get you out". Or very similar words anyway.

Update: Tweet from BBC producer Peter Leng says there was a (possibly retired) congressman there recently "He was there as an "observer", though never quite clear what exactly he was doing"

Edit: Unconfirmed tweets say Curt Weldon

Wayne Curtis "Curt" Weldon (born July 22, 1947) is an American politician. He served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1987 to 2007, representing the 7th district of Pennsylvania.[1] He was defeated in November 2006 for reelection by Joe Sestak. Weldon was vice-chair of the Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee. He was also the co-chair of the Duma-Congress Study Group, the official inter-parliamentary relationship between the United States and Russia.

There has been a fair amount of talk about observing whther the rebels can avoid atrocities and reprosals when they take over. Everything I've seen shows they got this message.

Former Congressman present now confirmed to be Walter E. Fauntroy by CNN. I presume there is only one there...

Walter Edward Fauntroy (born February 6, 1933) is the pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., and a civil rights activist. He is also a former member of the United States Congress and was a candidate for the 1972 Democratic presidential nomination,[2][3] as well as a human rights activist. His stated life work is to advocate public policy that "declares Good News to the poor, that binds up the broken hearted and sets at liberty them that are bound" in the United States and around the world.

I just posted a new article about the profitability of Canadian oil sands on my blog:


Comments and suggestions are very welcome!

My usual net export perspective:

BP shows Canadian net oil exports increasing from 0.81 mbpd in 2005 to 1.06 mbpd in 2010 (total petroleum liquids), an average rate of increase of 50,000 bpd per year.

Over the same time frame, Venezuelan net exports declined at an average of rate of 120,000 bpd per year (BP).

So, in round numbers we would have needed about 2.5 Canadas just to offset the five year decline in net exports from Venezuela.

And even if there were 2.5 Canadas available, some of it would go to China instead of the U.S...

It should go to Montreal first.

It is a little ironic that Canada is exporting oil to the US at around $25 less than what Canada is having to pay to import oil on its East Coast.

Rick - And it will...as soon as Montreal builds the pipeline. Nearly all things are possible...if you have the money.

The pipeline to Montreal is long since built (1975) and paid for (Enbridge Line 9).
I posted some new info at Aug. 20 Drumbeat but the info would be obscure to non-Cdns... I should have been more clear.

Line 9 was built to give security of supply as far east as Montreal. The problem is that Line 9 was reversed a dozen years ago and now takes imported crude from Montreal to refineries in Sarnia and Nanticoke in SW Ontario. Sarnia is also served from the west by Lines 5 and 6b (the one that spilled in Michigan last summer). Most of the crude coming into Montreal arrives by a dual pipeline from Portland, Maine.

Here is what was posted on the 20th (clarified a bit):
I'm puzzled by the absence of info at National Energy Board's site re. Line 9 reversal: nothing under News and even a search produced nothing.
Enbridge applied two weeks ago but the application is to reverse only 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:

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 twice as old (WW2).

Rick - Thanks. I was just being a little smart *ss. Didn't know about that line reversal. I suspect one problem beside the cost of reversing it again is contract obligation.

True, Rock

But (speaking of obligations) one of the great benefits of re-reversing Line 9 will be to decrease the proportion of our production which goes to the USA, thus relieving us of a bit of our NAFTA "proportionality" obligation to the States should a supply problem come along.

It should go to Montreal first.

Which seems more foreign to a western Canadian, Montana, or Quebec?

Nous au Québec aimer nos voisins à l'ouest.

Mais ces voisins à l'ouest, ils vous aiment?

Isn't Canada periodically in some danger of splitting in two (or more), or is that just a show put on for foreigners?

Isn't Canada periodically in some danger of splitting in two (or more), or is that just a show put on for foreigners?

It's a show put on to justify sending tens of billions of dollars a year in federal subsidies to Quebec.

Interesting... I was thinking of Alberta and you were thinking of Quebec.
I don't think either is likely. (I grew up in Montreal, worked in Fort McMurray in 74-75, and now live near Kingston, Ontario).

Well the tens of billions of dollars come mostly from Alberta, so they do have some cause for grievance. But I don't think there are any serious separatist possibilities in the West.

Quebec's chances are dying out as the old-school separatists are increasingly outnumbered by immigrants. Could flare up again if the feds are forced to reduce spending in any serious way, though. Quebecers are definitely the most entitled group as a whole, and a lot of those entitlements (like heavily subsidised day care) are paid for by Alberta.

From an environmentally damaging standpoint, Canada should use the tar sands oil domestically via pipelines before exporting it anywhere including the US.

Its not so much the cost of getting the it out of the ground, as the cost of getting it to market, at the moment. There's not much money to be made expanding production until there is an infrastructure upgrade.

5.8 earthquake hits US. Pentagon evacuated.

Link now


This event has been reviewed by a seismologist.

Magnitude 5.9

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 17:51:03 UTC
Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 01:51:03 PM at epicenter

Location 37.975°N, 77.969°W
Depth 1 km (~0.6 mile) (poorly constrained)

6 km (4 miles) SSE (152°) from Louisa, VA
6 km (4 miles) SW (236°) from Mineral, VA
26 km (16 miles) SE (133°) from Gordonsville, VA
66 km (41 miles) NW (318°) from Richmond, VA
134 km (83 miles) SW (219°) from Washington, DC

Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 10.9 km (6.8 miles); depth +/- 7.4 km (4.6 miles)

Very, very shallow. I-64 appears to be close to epicentre. Preliminary shake-map suggests no major town badly hit.

Down in S. MD it was crazy. At our facility you could see fences, trees, and the road literally rippling up and down as the waves moved from West to East. The floors were shaking for quite a while. We're checking for damage at our facility right now. Apparently some local roads have been "compromised", at least that's what we hear on the emergency scanners.

A population of 34K estimated to have had level 6 shaking and higher. That could mean quite heavy damage to non resistant structures.

Louisa (pop 2K) had projected Level 7 shaking. That's possible Mod/Heavy damage to non-resistant structures and moderate damage even to resistant structures.

Nuke plants near http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Anna_Nuclear_Generating_Station

Our plant seismic sensors picked it up. So far no major damage discovered but a fair bit of evacuation and now we must inspect tank foundations to make sure of integrity. The tank level sensors are going a bit haywire due to what I can only assume are several million bbls of hydrocarbons sloshing around.

How far are you from the epicentre? Latest fix is 37.975°N, 77.969°W

Around 80 miles.

What worries me is that the nuke power station was only 10 miles away from a 5.9 quake almost at the surface. The shaking will be much more than you would expect from a typical 5.9 due to the proximity to the surface.

Can't get a reliable shake-map from USGS - keeps changing and has vanished completely for now.

We've been told no damage to the nukes. Like I said, FWIW.

It is physically impossible to say "no damage" at this point I would say. No "reported" damage appears to be the official line right now.

Anyone who can say categorically there has been no damage after a seismic event forced a shutdown this soon after the event is a liar. I'm not calling you a liar though as you are just relaying what you have heard.

Hopefully there is no significant problem though but the shakemap vanishing from the USGS web site does not give me confidence. Hopefully it will be back soon.

EDIT: Still waiting. I think Level 6 shaking was projected for the plant before it vanished. That might exceed plant design limits.


Shakemap is up. Looks like Level VI to VII around the quake site.

That's an old auto-generated map and it is not indexed any more as far as I see. There should be (and were) more detailed maps - can you see the population exposure map?

Edit: I note it is Version 2 on closer inspection. Anyone seen a later map?

Official Statement from Dominion now.
An Alert at North Anna Power Station; Reactors Shut Down Safely, No Damage Reported

RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Virginia Power declared an Alert at the North Anna Power Station in Mineral, Va., following an earthquake in Central Virginia. The reactors have been shut down safely and no major damage has been reported.

The station declared an Alert, the next to the lowest of the four emergency classifications of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Both reactors have been shut down. The emergency diesel generators started as off-site power from the electric grid was lost. No release of radioactive material has occurred beyond those minor releases associated with normal station operations.

Hmm, "no major damage reported". I take it that means that some damage has been reported.

No release of radioactive material has occurred beyond those minor releases associated with normal station operations.

Well that's comforting to know. :)

Venting? If so I hope it goes better than at Fukushima. Edit: CNN Confirms plant vented steam.

Found V4 shakemaps. Still looks like the plant was at about the boundary of Level 6 and 7 shaking. That's substantial.

Now this is comforting:

ABC News notes that "Seismographs had been installed around the North Anna Power Station to detect earthquakes, but those were taken offline in the 1990s due to budget cuts, according to the state of Virginia website."

We looked at the historian on our control system and some of the accels on our big cryo motors picked up 0.2g acceleration.

And you are at maybe 6 times the distance of North Anna nuclear plant from epicentre going by latest locations. Hmmmmmm.....

How many g's can a nuke plant take?

The Fukushima plant was designed for a peak ground acceleration of 0.18g.

Earthquake Risks Probed at U.S. Nuclear Plants

At the North Anna nuclear plant in Virginia, for example, experts hired by Dominion Resources pegged the peak ground acceleration that should be factored into a new reactor's design at 0.535g. The measurement means a force more than half as great as gravity itself—likely to be produced only by a substantial earthquake. The peak ground acceleration figure is a simplified calculation, because a quake produces motion at different frequencies with varying effects on structures and building systems.

The North Anna plant's existing units are designed to ride out only 0.12g, NRC documents show, although in a prior NRC exercise the utility demonstrated they could almost certainly withstand 0.16g with no danger.

Distance is not really a guide. Base rock and ground can have a lot to do with it.


Obviously that comes into play but obviously so does distance as well. I will assume that peak ground acceleration at North Anna probably exceeded plant design limits (possibly by a considerable margin) until I see data proving otherwise.

North Anna nuke plant now reported to have shut down and they may have lost grid power and have no phones.

Fox 59 WXIN Indianapolis
Dominion Generation, which operates the North Anna nuclear power station in central Virginia a few miles from the epicenter of the earthquake, is trying to reach operational staff at the plant, according to a company spokesman. Landlines to the plant appear to be down.
47 seconds ago

Plant looks like it is not much more than 10 miles from epicentre.

Reports on CNN indicate that they are on backup power, so there is "nothing" to worry about.

I'm told they are ok - FWIW.

I think they are only inferring it is on backup power because they know it is not on the grid...

Wow! The Great Sky Fairy is really messing with the nuke plants of late.


SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- Two nuclear reactors operated by Dominion Resources Inc. D +0.66% in Virginia have been taken offline as a precaution following a rare earthquake, The Associated Press reported Tuesday. The reactors at the North Anna Power Station in Louisa County, Va., are currently being run by diesel generators and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is not aware of any plant damage, according to the AP

Associated Press

Yeah, for "rare" read Black Swan.

Dominion Power now reports grid power just restored to plant.

Water pipes are the most vulnerable, with gas next.

So watch for that.

Best Hopes for Just an Interrupted Work Day,


Well luckily it's all well water and no nat gas infrastructure out here in the sticks...

I've heard of a local shorline cliff collapsing with some trapped people on the scanners but nothing worse than that. I think I'm going to use it as an excuse to leave work early...

My brother in Arlington says it was quite frisky there - he is no stranger to earthquakes, having lived some 30 years in SoCal. No damage - just some books rattled off the shelf and such. He was headed to DARPA HQ for a meeting, but they had evacuated the building. And you don't want to be in the Metro until they sort it all out...

Undertow, you must be connected/hardwired to the Newswire. ;-)

You beat me to the post. Good show! D.C. could get Irene after a quake.

It's sounding kinda biblical out there!

Best wishes to all,

Whose FAULT was this?

Tea Party: Obama's, of course! Every fault is his, now that we're three years in!
Liberals: Obviously Bush's. Plus if you look carefully you'll see that ante-shocks started with Reagan.
Bush 2: I thought that was 9/11 post trama hitting me again.
Bush 1: For a moment there I thought the news said Quayle was in DC, not Quake. That was scary!

Fox News and Rush both immediately complain that the Washington Monument is now leaning left. Sharpton says if you sit on the Lincoln Memorial it is clearly leaning right. The Supreme Court justices were asked to make a ruling, but were cross from being awakened from their naps, and sided with Boxer and Feinstein on the whole thing being a blatant attempt to steal CA's leading earthquake role.

You know a Hurricane on top of a quake when a nuke plant is shut in seems like a bad combo. The northern VA area could get a real taste of power down if a lot of infrastructure is ripped up imho.

Maybe an energy policy is possible -- nah

They are /.ed at the moment. There was also a 5.3 in Colorado 12 hours earlier.


So once in 50 to 100 year level earthquakes happen within 24 hours of each other on the East Coast and in the center of the continent.

Does that strike anyone else as a little...odd?

A half moon, so tidal forces are average. So that is not it.

Too far away for the first to trigger the second.

Just dumb luck ?


Do any seismologist frequent this site that might want to pitch in? How about all you geologist?

VA is smack in the middle of a plate--any fissures there were left, what, 200-300 million years ago?

Is SE CO also in the middle of a plate? Are we just bat ignorant about why these two should go off at essentially the same time?

I did play a seismologist in grad school, although that was a long long time ago. We do have intraplate seismic activity, its just at a much lower level than near the boudaries. There still are stresses that can be conducted inland from the boundaries. I bet the east coast still contains weaknesses from former times, for instance the Appalacians were supposedly once a great mountain range -perhaps as great or greater than the Himalayas. But that was back when the American plate smashed into Gondwanda. The Rockies were very active roughly 70 million years ago. Weaknesses, and variations in the crust can concentrate stresses. Doesn't the St Laurence Seaway follow a major fault. I seem to recall it was supposed to have had a massive quake around 1700ish.

Then we have the Rio Grande rift, which is gradually ripping apart, and sinking the Rockies from South to North. As recently as 30million years ago there were massive volcanic eruptions in the San Juans [SW Colorado]. A million four hundred thousand years ago the Jemez volcanoe blew up [North Central NM], with a level of violence not much smaller than Yellowstone. The later is a hotspot, that happens to have migrated under the thick crust of the Rockies. The former is associated with the rift zone.

I really doubt there is any relation between these two quakes. Coincidences happen all the time. And mag 5 earthquakes are very common everyday occurences as far as the planet is concerned.

dohboi - The N American plate extends from the west coast to the east coast so VA I actually on the eastern edge of the plat. The Atlantic plate is sliding under the east coast of the US so VA is proximal to that activity. I still haven't heard about the depth other than it was "shallow". If it is very shallow it might likely be due the compaction/faulting of the sedimentary (sand and mud) deposits. Those sediments are the remains of the Appalachian Mnts as they were eroded away. No a big deposition hole like the Gulf of Mexico but still significnet.

Just as the Pacific plate is sliding under CA so is the Atlantic plate sliding under the east coast. Obviously the CA subduction is generating a lot more seismic activity that the east coast subduction. Beyond those basics I can't add much more...no money in earth quakes like oil/NG so why would I care to understand them? LOL.

The New Madrid area is obvious close to the middle of the NA plate and doesn't fit the subduction model very well. It may be a former subduction area: yep...the Appalachians were once a mighty mountain range perhaps caused by the collision of the Atlantic plate and the NA plate at that time. That would explain why the App. Mnts follows the current coast line but inland a good bit.

I don't know if that is a coal mining area but could mountain top mining redistribute loads and stress to trigger earthquakes?


That just didn't sound right to me (I was not aware of any subduction on the East Coast), so I looked it up.

If you accept wikipedia as a reference, there is no Atlantic plate. The North American plate extends all the way to the mid-Atlantic ridge, where it meets the Euasian plate. Since the mid-Atlantic ridge is spreading and not contracting, there isn't really any subduction on the East Coast - at least until you head south and reach the Carribean plate. Or if you go back in time to a point where the plate motion was different..

I felt it all the way up here in NYC. Everything in the apartment was shaking. There were widespread cellphone failures as well (i.e. no calls were going through), but that only lasted for a few minutes.

Reports of earthquake being felt from as far away as Cleveland and Toronto.


Maybe I missed it but no one brought up the New Madrid earth quake in MO about 200 years ago? No R scale at the time but it's estimated to be the strongest quake hitting N America in many hundreds of years. Purely theoretical but there are estimates a repeat could kill into the hundreds of thousand and perhaps millions. Obviously the affected area does't have the same building codes as the west coast. I think they still don't have a good handle on its origin or the frequesncy.

Have they ID'd an epicenter yet? In particular the depth?


Location 37.936°N, 77.933°W
Depth 6 km (3.7 miles)

Far too close to North Anna Nuke for my liking. Apparently they've now lost at least one emergency diesel generator as well as grid power.

"I think they still don't have a good handle on its origin..."

Gosh, Rock, they were frackin' their wells. Thought you knew that.

I thought the washing machine was spinning off balance again, but the dogs knew better ;-)

A partial answer.

Gov. Clinton upgraded the bridges in Arkansas - perhaps the highest value upgrade - and there have been some seismic standards enacted.

Small earthquakes in recent years have given some idea about the fault.

Best Hopes for "Not in My Time",


Good point about New Madrid. It is pretty close to exactly half way between these two near simultaneous quakes.

These guys are saying it's coincidence:

http://truthfrequencynews.com/?p=9689 as are most other sites that discuss this if you search "seismologist virginia colorado"

Of course, they are on different plates and our current understanding of seismology does not allow for there to be any relation. But is seems to me that we are back to the flipping-the-coin-twenty-times scenario or something like it.

It seems mathematically improbably that these two places would stand essentially quiet for decades and then both go off at essentially the same time at essentially the same magnitude. Some genius of statistics can calculate the probability of that happening by chance, but I'm guessing its quite small. Especially when you consider that quakes over magnitude 5 are relatively rare anywhere in the contiguous US outside of CA. And then two of the least likely places go off at the same time...just too weird, if you ask me.

I'm in Toronto, and I felt it...I thought, at first, that the effect might have been magnified because I was in the Sharp Centre for Design at OCAD University, which is a 2 story building which has been built 5 stories in the air and is supported on 10 pillars made of 3 foot diameter drill casing IIRC.(Pic here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OCAD_University). However, my wife also felt it on the ground floor of our house. SHE didn't get evacuated, though. Much discussion afterwards about whether the evacuation was a good idea or not.


Colonial Pipeline was also shut in as a precaution north of Greensboro, NC.


Shut as precaution:
- Colonial Pipeline Co shut main refined products lines
north of Greensboro, North Carolina. Spokesman says no
indications of damage. [ID:nWEN7487]

Dominion’s North Anna Nuclear Plant Loses Power After Quake

One of the four diesel generators stopped working after startup, David McIntyre, a spokesman for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, said in an e-mail today. There were no reports of damage at the plant, he said. North Anna is about 7 miles (11 kilometers) from the earthquake’s epicenter in Mineral, Virginia, according to Bloomberg data

My question is: how many generators are required to keep things under control? Was this just a fail-safe/redundancy?

It has been decades since I studied the issue - but one generator should provide enough power for emergency systems - but the operators bathroom make be dark if they had just one genset working.


You are correct

Much appreciated. I live in the Shenandoah Valley, so I'm not far off if the issue turns sour.

..So, why isn't anybody commenting on any wind turbines or solar arrays in the quake areas? /snark

BSF, it's not bad to notice just how much of a constant level of uncertainty these reactors can provoke when confronted by unsmooth conditions.

Would a drought also threaten them? A flood? A Blackout? A Hurricane? A plane crash .. and how many of these would make us look at affected Renewable Sources in the immediate area with anything like the same level of worry?

Just the Dams, I think.

**BSF (But Seriously Folks)

From (Earth-Policy Institute)- Lester R. Brown
Expanding Deserts, Falling Water Tables, and Toxic Pollutants Driving People from Their Homes

... China is heading for a Dust Bowl like the one that forced more than 2 million “Okies” to leave their land in the United States in the 1930s. But the dust bowl forming in China is much larger and so is the population: China’s migration may measure in the tens of millions. And as a U.S. embassy report entitled Grapes of Wrath in Inner Mongolia noted, “unfortunately, China’s twenty-first century ‘Okies’ have no California to escape to—at least not in China.”

Grapes of Wrath in Inner Mongolia A May 2001 report from U.S. Embassy Beijing

Thawing Permafrost Could Release Vast Amounts of Carbon and Accelerate Climate Change by the end of this Century

... The simulations revealed a climate-induced loss of between 25 and 85 petagrams of carbon, depending on the processes included. The best estimate is from a simulation that includes all of the permafrost soil processes. It found that 62 petagrams of soil carbon will be released into the atmosphere by 2100, or about 68 billion U.S. tons. This release of carbon is equivalent to an additional 7.5 years of global anthropogenic emissions at today’s rate.

This looks like another report intended to provide us with the comfort of knowing we will all make it to the end of our lives, because the year 2100 is so far away we'll never get there. And even still it's projections are conservative in the extreme. My understanding from previous reports is if 1% of the CO2 in the arctic circle permafrost emitted, atmosphereic CO2 levels would DOUBLE.

Therefore this report is erring on the side of a very slow conservative estimated release of emissions, not any kind of runaway scenario or even a greater than expected increase.

I think it was more like 100% of the permafrost carbon to double it. Of course if it happens quickly, we could get elevated Mathane as well. But, you know the Mantra, [we aren't doing it its just normal variations.....]. So we will continue to push the system, and the system will push back in unpleasant ways.

So it will happen in the end of this century. Then let me make a prediction:

In a few years, a study will show that those thaw related carbon emissions predicted for the end of the century will happen much sooner than that.

Like with virtually every study ever before.

The NY Times wrote of a public presentation held in Andes, NY to explain fracking. 10% of residents attended and after 75 minutes of formal presentation, the question segment began. Numerous townspeople presented 3 minute prepared statements against fracking.

Of note were the following statements:

...the state couldn’t be counted on either to pass or enforce regulations

I can’t trust an industry that has got itself exempted from the air and clean water act.

One speaker requested a straw poll and no hands were raised to support fracking.

Reference: Looking for Gas in All the Wrong Places

Generator Design

General Fusion is developing a full-scale fusion demonstrator to prove the viability of our approach. This builds upon our experimental work, which proved that magnetized plasmas can be compressed to thermonuclear conditions using acoustic means.

Would somebody care to run a tricorder with a b/s app over this...?

There have been a number of reports floating around over this and a grant. Sounds like they have some sensible people overlooking it compared with A.N.Other.


As far as the physics goes it can work. Whether the engineering will work out needs to be physically tested. My guess is they will get net energy out. Maybe significant net energy. Whether it will hold up under a years worth of pounding and heat/radiation pulses that may take several iterations of mechanical design and several years and a fair amount of money.

The compression is like sonoluminessece done in a brute force kinda way. Creating and confining the plasma is plain vanilla. I guess the question is can they keep the plasma separate from the liquid lead long enough for the compression and fusion. You need to avoid having the liquid lead kill the plasma. Avoid sucking away its heat and neutralize its charge. You also need a dense enough and large enough plasma to produce a usable amount of fusion. We will see. I dearly hope it works.

So, it does have legs, potentially. Thanks.

Libya's deadliest weapons not yet corralled

No one can be sure who controls the Libyan government's weapons stockpiles, a stew of deadly chemicals, raw nuclear material .........


And just when world's finances have been out of news headlines a few days, Moody's cuts Japan's debt rating on deficit concerns.

Rating agency Moody's has cut Japan's long-term sovereign debt rating, citing concerns about the size of the country's deficit and borrowing levels.

The rating was cut to Aa3 from Aa2, though Moody's also said the country's outlook was stable.

Japan, the world's third-largest economy, has the highest public-debt level amongst developed economies.

The 2009 global financial crisis, and this year's earthquake and tsunami have increased the pressure on its finances.

"The rating downgrade is prompted by the large budget deficits and the build-up in Japanese government debt since the 2009 global recession," Moody's said in its statement.

"The March earthquake also undermined Japan's recovery from the 2009 global recession," it added.

Probably that is the reason that the Yen is the only currency against which the greenback is rising in value.

I need some help here from someone: Dollar is losing value; Interest rates are going up extremely rapidly. Gold remains about the same, or goes up to new records. And the stock market is bouyed up by, what? the RATE of bank failures has diminished? Some slim rope to hold on to, I'd say. So, is this all that is holding the market up?

When do the first governmental reductions hit the fan? September? Or, October? What about the various State austerity measures. Wisconsin? Illinois? Texas? How many government jobs are going to be impacted in the next 40 days? And, consider the 'job multiplier' that impacts both ups and downs in the job markets. Then, consider the impact of all those lost jobs on income taxes, social security taxes, and payment of UIC. Debt will rise some more, I think. How is this economy going to sustain, much less grow?

I despair at the level of mendacity we see from our politicians, and from their corporate masters. Our corporate masters? Someone please tell me how this can possibly work out well?


The economy is starting to remind me of Zeno's arrow paradox.
The fecal matters' distance from the fan blades is being halved, then halved again: closer and closer to impact but never actually hitting.
But, in the real world, as we all know, the arrow does get there eventually.

But, in the real world, as we all know, the arrow does get there eventually.

That Matrix bit to dodge the inevitable has been pretty amazing so far, but like you say S*** must hit the target eventually. I'd say the choices are Default on enough loans (govt. and private) or hyper-inflation, either way causing collapse. Along the lines of the latter, it should be interesting to see if Bernanke bites on QEIII or errs on the side of caution. Of course caution does not help the big O to get re-elected. Wall St. today bullishly erred on the side of being sure Bernanke would bust a move to aid the economy, to be announced on Friday. Maybe he will once again make assurences the next QE will be the last, like he did regarding QEII.

In any case, I like your analogy of the fan blades getting smaller.

I haven't been aware of interst rates going up. Has that changed? With interest on bonds so caryy, where else to put money? Actually I think buying PV is a better investment than stocks, but you can't trade that on the exchange.... Until the latest hickup corp profits were going fine. This whole transfer of relative power from labour to capital, is doing what the aristocrats want, helping the rentier class at the expense of the rest.

Aug. 23, 2011, 4:43 p.m. EDT
API reports surprise drop in oil inventories

By Claudia Assis

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a drop in crude-oil inventories of 3.3 million barrels in the week ended Aug. 19. The trade group also reported an increase in gasoline stockpiles of 6.4 million barrels, and a rise in inventories of distillates of 2 million barrels. The U.S. Department of Energy is scheduled to report official numbers on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. Eastern. Analysts polled by Platts expect to see crude-oil stocks up 2 million barrels, gasoline stocks down 1.4 million barrels, and distillates stocks up 1.3 million barrels.


Keep in mind that API also reported a sharp drop in oil inventories last week, although the EIA reported a small gain - which was more than accounted for by withdrawals from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

If the API is anywhere near right now, we could see a larger than expected fall in oil inventories reported Wednesday by the EIA.

Elsewhere, after the Colonial Pipeline closed most lines north of North Carolina due to the earthquake, most subsidiary lines were re-opened late in the afternoon, but some of the main lines still remained closed. This may be a problem as the Colonial Pipeline has been operating at or near capacity for some weeks now. Gasoline supplies in the upper Midwest were also reported to be in short supply Wednesday due to refinery operational problems.

US Light Products: Chicago Gasoline Premiums Widen On Refinery Snags