Drumbeat: September 30, 2011

North Sea gas production falls 25%

North Sea gas production has slumped by 25% in the second quarter of the year, an alarming increase in the rate of decline that will cut tax revenues and could put more pressure on government to agree controversial shale gas developments.

Figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) also show a 36% rise in coal imports, but a leap from 6.3% to 9.6% for the amount of electricity generated by wind and other renewables.

North Sea oil slump will cost UK Treasury millions in lost taxes

Britain's oil production from the North Sea has fallen by 16pc since last year in a drastic drop that will cost the Treasury millions of pounds in lost taxes.

Forget ‘peak oil’ - America has a glut of the black stuff

I'VE NEVER believed in 'peak oil', the notion held with religious conviction by many on the left here that world production is topping out and will soon slide, plunging the world into economic chaos.

There's plenty of oil, with the constraints as always being the cost of recovery, as witness the vast new North Dakota oil shale fields. I regard oil "shortages" as contrivances by the oil companies and allied brokers and middlemen to run up the price. I fill my aging fleet of 50s and 60s era Chryslers with a light heart. The 59 Imperial ragtop and the 62 Belevedere wagon get around 18 mpg, which is still way ahead of the SUVs.

Analysis: America's Gasoline Excise Tax

With oil prices being volatile on the downside in recent weeks, the mainstream media coverage of high United States gasoline prices has faded noticeably. This is most certain to pick up again should the world shake off a global economic meltdown and once again face the prospect of oil prices in excess of the hundred dollar a barrel mark. As my regular readers well know, as a geoscientist, I am a firm believer in the concept of peak oil (or at the very least peak cheap oil) and it is my belief that consumers in Canada and the United States will eventually be forced to deal with gasoline prices that are far higher than what we are seeing today, excluding the impact of increases in excise taxes.

Crude Oil Heads for Its Biggest Quarterly Decline in New York Since 2008

Oil headed for its biggest quarterly drop in New York since the 2008 financial crisis as signs of slowing growth in China and Germany heightened concerns that fuel demand will suffer.

West Texas Intermediate futures have fallen 15 percent this quarter, the biggest drop since the three months ended Dec. 31, 2008. Chinese manufacturing fell for a third month, data from HSBC Holdings Plc showed today, while Germany’s Federal Statistics office said retail sales declined the most in more than four months in August. WTI’s discount to Brent oil narrowed for a sixth day, the longest streak since March 2010.

Singapore Shell Refinery Restart To Take At Least Month-Reuters

Royal Dutch Shell PLC's (RDSB) fire-stricken Singapore refinery is expected to remain shut for at least a month, Reuters reported Friday, citing industry sources.

Middle East Crude-Shell fire may cap Saudi OSPs

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The shutdown of Shell's Singapore refinery increasingly weighed on Middle East crude on Friday, as expectations grew that Saudi Arabia would increase November official selling prices (OSPs) by less as demand recedes.

Sheel declares force majeure on distillates sales-trade

(Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSa.L) has declared force majeure on its distillates deals following a fire that forced the shutdown of its 500,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Singapore refinery, traders said on Friday.

Shell CEO Tells Us Where Oil Prices Are Going - And It Isn't Lower

I would like to emphasize one specific comment that Voser made because I think it is incredibly simple, yet completely ignored by the mainstream media:

“Oil output from fields in production declines by 5 per cent a year as reserves are depleted, so the world needed to add the equivalent of four Saudi Arabias or 10 North Seas over the next 10 years just to keep supply level, even before much of an increase in demand.”

Commodities Head for Biggest Quarterly Drop Since 2008 on Growth Outlook

Commodities declined, heading for the biggest quarterly drop since 2008, on concern global growth is slowing after reports on sales in Germany and manufacturing in China.

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI index of 24 raw materials fell 0.7 percent to 602.55 by 1:18 p.m. in London, led by sugar and nickel. The gauge is headed for a 9 percent decline this quarter, the worst since a 44 percent plunge in the three months ended Dec. 31, 2008. It gained as much as 0.6 percent earlier. Nickel fell as much as 2.3 percent and crude oil declined as much as 1.2 percent.

Copper Rout Outpaces Analysts Focused on Production Shortages: Commodities

The biggest rout in copper since the global recession drove analysts to cut their price forecasts by 16 percent in a week as mounting concern about growth eroded expectations for supply shortages.

Shell seeks shippers for new Westward Ho crude

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shell Pipeline LP said on Friday it was beginning the solicitation period for shippers to book firm capacity on its Westward Ho pipeline, a new pipeline project which could carry as much as 900,000 barrels per day crude oil from St. James, Louisiana to Houston.

Iran resumes gas exports to Turkey - report

(Reuters) - Iran resumed natural gas exports to Turkey on Friday after an eight-day halt requested by Turkey over technical reasons, the Iranian semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

"After Turkey announced its readiness, Iran resumed the flow of natural gas on Friday afternoon," Mehr said.

Ankara wants better prices from Gazprom

ANKARA, Turkey (UPI) -- Ankara might not renew its contract with Russian gas company Gazprom if demands for lower prices aren't meant, the Turkish energy minister said.

Norway oil, gas find may be its third biggest

The Avaldsnes/Aldous Major South oil and gas discovery in the North Sea could be the third-biggest find made off Norway, after Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum more than quadrupled its resource estimates for Avaldsnes on Friday.

The find, which could already be the biggest discovery made so far this year worldwide, may hold between 1.2 and 2.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), Lundin said.

BP’s $7.1B Argentina Sale to Cnooc May Collapse

BP Plc (BP/)’s $7.1 billion deal to sell Argentine crude producer Pan American Energy LLC is at risk of collapse, jeopardizing China’s biggest energy acquisition this year, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and China: The Axis of Pain

Pakistan and India can't get along, have fought several wars, have disputed territory, and are both in possession of nuclear weapons.

China and India are in the same boat.

Pakistan also has close ties to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis promised them 50,000 barrels of free oil a day after their nuclear bomb test in order to cope with sanctions; Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were the only two countries to recognize the Taliban as legitimate rulers of Afghanistan...

Syrians protest against Assad, fighting erupts again

AMMAN (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across Syria on Friday demanding the removal of President Bashar al-Assad as fighting continued between loyalist forces and insurgents in the center of the country, activists said.

Iran to Syria: Save regime and preserve alliance

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Two weeks after Egypt's uprising swept aside Hosni Mubarak, the presidents of Iran and Syria stood side by side in Damascus in a blunt message to the Arab Spring: The Syrian regime can count on its allies in Tehran.

Seven months later — and after at least 2,700 deaths in Syria — Iran is tweaking its big brother role for Syrian President Bashar Assad. The Iranian leaders are now urging him to consider talks with protesters or risk heading down a path with few escape routes.

Gov.: Wyoming should issue energy policy next year

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead said Tuesday that he expects his administration to release a state energy policy by early next year that will spell out not only what energy resources are in the state but where it wants to see future development of energy transmission corridors and other infrastructure.

What's the future of the oil economy?

According to Pulitzer-winner Daniel Yergin, the fossil-fuel tipping point is a myth. He explains what that means.

New technologies won't erase fossil fuels, energy expert says

With all the excitement over renewable energy, it might be reasonable to assume that fossil fuels such as coal, oil, and natural gas will go the way of the steam engine in the next 20 years.

Not so fast, says Daniel Yergin, author and one of the most influential voices in the world of energy.

Energy expert Yergin: Shale gas here to stay

Daniel Yergin, one of the most influential voices in the world of energy, says shale gas is here to stay.

"Shale gas has come on really fast," Yergin, an author and energy analyst, said in an interview Monday. "But people don't realize it's 30 percent of our gas production. It's not a question of whether to do it or not. It's happened."

EPA holds hearing in Texas on natural gas drilling

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Environmentalists and advocates for drilling companies faced off Thursday at a public hearing in Arlington on the Environmental Protection Agency's proposed rules aimed at limiting pollution at oil and gas wells.

DEC releases hydrofracking regulations, sets public hearings

ALBANY -- The state Department of Environmental Conservation on Wednesday released a set of proposed regulations for hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale, a move that would bolster the agency's regulatory authority but has left conservation groups angered.

A Rancher Stands Up for His Scrub Trees

An eastern Montanan warns that the Keystone XL pipeline project could deprive his erosion-prone ranch of what little wind protection it has.

A Pipeline Divides Along Old Lines: Jobs Versus the Environment

GLENDIVE, Mont. — The final days of rancorous public debate over a $7 billion oil pipeline that would snake from Canada through the midsection of the United States have taken on an unexpected urgency this week, as the economic and environmental stakes of the massive project snap into focus at a time of festering anxiety about the nation’s future.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Adaptive Technology

Significant technological advances rarely make eye-catching headlines as they come from many small advances involving numerous scientific disciplines. However, every now and again it becomes clear that progress is being made.

In praise of … 55mph

Invoking Richard Nixon as a hero of enlightened progressivism is a sign of desperate times. Yet it was none other than the 37th president who proposed a national maximum speed, and later signed the modest figure of 55mph into law. The federal edict has crumbled in the decades since. But in the face of the first oil shock – and in an age where shared wartime sacrifices for the common good were recalled more vividly than today – by banning gas-guzzling speeds, Washington put the security of supply to the collective ahead of individuals' desire to push the pedal to the metal.

Peak driving? National study shows Seattle traffic leveling off

With driving behavior pretty static -- some would say the road system around here is actually saturated -- a historical change may be underway, after tremendous growth in traffic during the latter 20th Century.

Hybrid car sales: Lots of options, few takers

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- For all the excitement generated by every new hybrid car introduction, there is one little problem. In case you haven't noticed, hardly anyone is buying them.

The market share for hybrid cars peaked in 2009 at 2.8% of all new vehicles sold. The year after that, it fell to 2.4% and it's on track to be a little less than that this year, according to data from Edmunds.com.

Electric Car Fantasy And The Real World

Using the magic of Internet, it is possible to find swaths of vintage frothy sales talk used by promoters of Hydrogen Cars, around the years 2000-2002. Who talks about hydrogen cars, today ?

But checking the hydrogen car snakeoil talk of 10 years ago, we will find rich pickings. In fact using cut-and-paste, and inserting "electric car" for "hydrogen car", you can produce leading edge journalism on electric cars and their fabulous role in beating energy and environment (now called climate) challenges with almost no effort at all. Making things easy for promoter of electric cars today.

Pedicabs and exercise: That’s how we roll

I was running on the Mall one beautiful evening a few weeks ago, when I was nearly stopped in my tracks by a big yellow sign: “We’re Hiring.”

In this economy, the sheer novelty of a private-sector job offer can stun you to a standstill. But when I realized that the prospective employment came from National Pedicabs, one of three companies whose drivers traverse parts of the city, I had a true epiphany.

These guys would pay me to ride a bike all day? Could this get any better?

Utilities Give Away Power as Sun Floods Grid

The 15 mile-per-hour winds that buffeted northern Germany on July 24 caused the nation’s 21,600 windmills to generate so much power that utilities such as EON AG and RWE AG had to pay consumers to take it off the grid.

Rather than an anomaly, the event marked the 31st hour this year when power companies lost money on their electricity in the intraday market because of a torrent of supply from wind and solar parks. The phenomenon was unheard of five years ago.

...“You’re looking at a future where on a sunny day in Germany, you’ll have negative prices,” Bloomberg New Energy Finance chief solar analyst Jenny Chase said about power rates in wholesale trading. “And a lot of the other markets are heading the same way.”

FBI Probing Solyndra for Possible Accounting Fraud

Solyndra LLC, the solar-panel maker that filed for bankruptcy protection two months after executives extolled its prospects, is being investigated by the FBI for accounting fraud, an agency official said.

Obama admin approves 2 solar loans worth $1B

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Energy Department on Wednesday approved two loan guarantees worth more than $1 billion for solar energy projects in Nevada and Arizona, two days before the expiration date of a program that has become a rallying cry for Republican critics of the Obama administration's green energy program.

Sunny outlook for emirates in drive for more solar energy

Solar panels are spread across Abu Dhabi rooftops and Dubai officials promise to announce a "big" solar plan. Cheaper solar technology is helping to drive their progress.

Japan lifts some nuclear evacuation advisories

TOKYO (AP) — Japan lifted some evacuation advisories around the tsunami-devastated Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant Friday to reassure tens of thousands of residents who fled the worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl that it is safe to return home.

A 12-mile (20-kilometer) no-go zone remains in place around the plant, which was badly damaged by the March 11 tsunami that left nearly 20,000 people dead or missing across Japan's northeast coast.

Tepco Faces ‘Zombie’ Future as Fukushima Claims Set to Surpass $59 Billion

Tokyo Electric Power Co., which faces damages of at least 4.5 trillion yen ($59 billion) for the Fukushima nuclear disaster, may be consigned to a future as a “zombie company” requiring constant government funding.

Argentina inaugurates third nuclear power plant

President Cristina Kirchner inaugurated Argentina's third nuclear power plant in a move she says helps diversify her country's energy sources.

Swiss plan to phase out nuclear power accelerates

BERN, Switzerland (AP) — A government plan to phase out nuclear power in Switzerland has moved a lot closer to becoming reality.

Switzerland's upper house, the Council of States, approved a measure Wednesday as expected to gradually shut down the country's five nuclear reactors by 2034.

Fate of the World: Tipping Point Launches for Windows and Mac

LONDON (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The global economy is headed toward collapse, revolutions are breaking out across the Middle East, famine is ravaging Africa and the world is approaching a peak oil crisis. No, these are not headlines ripped from the news; these are the challenges facing Windows and Mac gamers in Fate of the World: Tipping Point from Red Redemption.

This next entry into Red Redemption's Fate of the World series is a hardcore strategy game that puts players in hypothetical situations within a realistic world, with threatening scenarios based on the latest science and modeling technologies covering the next two centuries. Players must balance economic, political and environmental needs in order to save the world (or destroy it).

These are the good old days

The good news is that much of the bad news is wrong, Andres Oppenheimer writes in the column linked to alongside this editorial.

“But wait, there’s more,” as the TV pitchmen say.

Here are two other problems that once may have seemed intractable but now are looking pretty “tractable” after all.

Invest the 'Surplus' In Human Capital

So, at the risk of irritating those who might be saying, "What does this have to do with Falls Church?," we think that lifting one's gaze beyond the daily grind may provide some unusual enlightenment. We would translate the Peak Oil crisis this way: remain frugal, remain flexible, and, in particular, look for ways to limit dependency on oil and gas in the operations of our lives.

Jeremy Rifkin on San Antonio, the European Union, and the lessons learned in our push for a planetary-scale power shift

In some ways the quest to transition off fossil fuels is a race for the future. A race that the United States is losing. (It wasn't the fallout of Cali's Solyndra so much as China's $30 billion injection of domestic solar subsidies that has rattled U.S. renewables.) Yet in other ways it's a dance. To make solar and wind work as a baseload power source that can replace coal, we need some way of storing and using that power over long periods of time. To make electric cars feasible, we need to be able to plug in at work, at the grocery store, at the soccer field (and charge in a flash, not overnight). In other words, it takes advancing what visionary author, teacher, and clean-tech consultant to numerous heads of state Jeremy Rifkin calls the “Five Pillars.”

ENERGY ARMAGEDDON - Oil Starvation in the 21st Century by Robert C. Hackney, Exposes the Next Major Global Event That Will Change our Lives Like None Before

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. /PRNewswire/ -- The Great Recession and The Great Contraction are just the beginning of global economic problems that will mark the end of the oil era. Coming soon, Energy Armageddon – Oil Starvation in the 21st Century, lays out our future.

The Microeconomics of Green Jobs

In order to avoid the rather pointless debate about the definition of a “green job” I will re-frame the question to one that I believe both sides would agree is more important (at least if they were able to put aside partisan bickering):

Does a particular green policy create more jobs than it destroys?

If a policy is both green (which I define as lowering our use of resources and/or environmental impact) and is a net creator of jobs, all parties should agree that it is a good policy. Green policies which destroy jobs, on the other hand will require further analysis as to whether the environmental and health benefits outweigh the economic losses, a question which requires putting relative value on various benefits, and cannot be resolved purely by economic reasoning.

Gassing Up: Why America's Future Job Growth Lies In Traditional Energy Industries

Not surprisingly “recession-proof” fields such as health care and education expanded some 11% over the past five years. More inexplicably, given its role in detonating the Great Recession, the financial sector expanded some 10%.

But the biggest growth by far has taken place in the mining, oil and natural gas industries, where jobs expanded by 60%, creating a total of 500,000 new jobs. While that number is not as large as those generated by health care or education, the quality of these jobs are far higher. The average job in conventional energy pays about $100,000 annually — about $20,000 more than finance or professional services pay. The wages are more than twice as high as those in either health or education.

The 7th Billion Human On Earth—Examples Of Our Future Abound

Right now, Earth’s carrying capacity is thought to be somewhere in the range of 1.5 billion to 2.0 billion people with a Western standard of living. We sport 6.72 billion today and grow by 240,000 every 24 hours as we add 77 million annually. Visit www.populationmedia.org[31] to see the population meter.

You might be curious about the above paragraph. In other words, we’re already out on a hazardous limb as we have overshot the world’s carrying capacity in a short 100 years. Michael Brownlee of www.transitionus.ning.com , said, “We face a perfect storm with ‘Peak Oil’, ‘Climate Change’ and ‘Economic Instability’. China and India want what we have but they won’t be able to obtain it. We want to keep what we have but it won’t be possible with oil’s decline.”

From Dump to Paragon of Ecology: A First Peek

The 2,200-acre site, which the Department of Parks and Recreation calls a “reminder of wastefulness, excess and environmental neglect,” will, as it evolves into a park over the next 25 years, feature every environmentally correct practice known to landscape architecture.

There will be composting toilets and “rain gardens” to capture water for use in irrigation. Hundreds of acres of meadows will be sown with native grass and wildflower seeds. Goats will graze on invasive plant species like phragmites. And educational and cultural programs will emphasize sustainability. Four enormous waste mounds, built up over 53 years, will be transformed.

Canada faces huge global warming costs

The economic impact of climate change on Canada could climb to billions of dollars per year, according to a study published Thursday by a policy group that advises the Canadian government.

The report "Paying the Price: The Economic Impacts of Climate Change for Canada" by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy estimates that warming-related costs may rise to $5 billion per year by 2020, and between $21 and $43 billion per year by 2050.

Climate change compounds global security threat, British admiral says

Stresses from global climate change are increasing the threat of wars around the world, a British admiral said Wednesday.

Royal Navy Rear Adm. Neil Morisetti told students and faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology that global climate change threats to food, water, land and energy will present substantive security challenges in regions of the world where there are already stresses.

I have a post up on Our Finite World that I call Is Yergin Corrrect about Oil Supply? (An opinion the WSJ did not run)

I didn't submit it to The Oil Drum, because Euan already had a post up about the subject. This one is intended for a different audience, so is quite different.

From your article:

The Wall Street Journal published an article on May 24, 2011, titled, “Facing Up to End of ‘Easy Oil’“. The article talks about the Saudis turning to tougher sources of oil, such as billions of barrels of heavy oil trapped beneath the desert that need to be steamed out. A current project is described as costing billions of dollars and taking decades to complete. If Saudi Arabia really has 265 billion barrels of reserves comparable to those of OECD countries, why would they feel a need to pay Chevron to help them with this project, which is described by the Journal as a “gamble”?

Good question, so I decided to have a look at that article. Behind a pay wall but available via Google.

Facing Up to End of 'Easy Oil'

"The easy oil is coming to an end," says Alex Munton, a Middle East analyst for the Scottish energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. The major oil fields in the Gulf region, he says, have pumped more than half their oil—the point at which production traditionally begins to decline.

Bold mine. More than half their oil. And now they are spending billions on a steam injection scheme to try to melt bitumen deep in the ground to extract it. (That is the subject of this article.) This is not cheap oil, this is very expensive oil. This is the kind of activity that will become very common on the back side of the shark fin curve.

Ron P.

By this steam injection method of melting bitumen to liquify and extract it. Aren't they expending close to as many Calories to remove it as is contained in the stuff when it's extracted?

Based on current and prospective plans, it appears that the world's production capacity for "oil and related liquids" (in industry jargon) should grow from about 92 million barrels per day in 2010 to over 110 million by 2030. That is an increase of about 20%.

I have a different view of what lies ahead, not as rosy as Yergin's view.

Gail, I appreciate your responses to Yergin's article.

The MSM seems to be tending toward a sort of irrational optimism about US oil supply in recent weeks, as witness this article in the WSJ:

How North Dakota Became Saudi Arabia

Harold Hamm, discoverer of the Bakken fields of the northern Great Plains, on America's oil future and why OPEC's days are numbered.

I don't think Harold Hamm had even been born when the Bakken Formation was first identified in 1953. It's not actually a new field, but recent high prices and developments in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have made it viable.

The only thing is, I was looking at North Dakota oil production today, and it seems to have flat-lined at 360,000 barrels per day in recent months. The exponential production growth that has been happening since about 2005 seems to have come to a sudden end. They may have reached the point where they can't drill new wells fast enough to offset the production declines in wells they've already drilled.

360,000 barrels per day is less than 1/20 the oil production of Saudi Arabia, or equal to the capacity of just one of the big Canadian oil sands plants, to put it in context.

Using the energy in oil shale without releasing carbon dioxide in a greenhouse world

New technology that combines production of electricity with capture of carbon dioxide could make billions of barrels of oil shale — now regarded as off-limits because of the huge amounts of carbon dioxide released in its production — available as an energy source.

“Almost 3 trillion barrels of oil are trapped in the world’s deposits of oil-shale, a dark-colored rock laden with petroleum-like material. The United States has by far the world’s largest deposits in the Green River Formation, which covers parts of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Estimates put the domestic oil shale resource at 1.2 trillion to 1.8 trillion barrels. Limiting potential use of those deposits are concerns over the large amounts of the greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide) released by current methods for extracting oil from shale. ...”

Brandt’s answer is EPICC — a self-fueled method that generates electricity, as well as the heat needed to produce that electricity from shale. The report describes how EPICC could generate large amounts of electricity without releasing into the atmosphere carbon dioxide from burning the shale. That carbon would be captured and stored underground as part of the production process.

EROEI? Water use? Stability of CCS?

EROEI? Water use? Stability of CCS?

All nontrivial considerations. The oil majors have been working on similar solutions ever since the initial failure of oil from kerogen shale. The only thing they need to make it work is cheap power. Natural gas is inexpensive these days, so they might be closer to making the economics (read EROEI) work than ever before.

Knock-on effects matter, though. The scale of this complex would be such that the natural gas and electricity demands would stress availability/price, quickly testing the economics even if they looked good initially. And water? Sincerely doubt there can be sufficient water for this, although XOM bought up all the remaining conditional rights to the Yampa River in Colorado a couple of years ago, just in case....

The actual technical report appears to be behind a paywall: Oil Shale as an Energy Resource in a CO2 Constrained World: The Concept of Electricity Production with in Situ Carbon Capture

Also, I'm not sure what the drawbacks mean.

Potential drawbacks of EPICC include uncertain operation of subsurface fuel cells, potential geophysical impacts without pressure management, and economic concerns associated with the value of stranded energy left in the formation and the long time period of retorting.

It sounds like this is still in lab and feasibility has yet to be established.

"Potential drawbacks of EPICC include uncertain operation of subsurface fuel cells,"

We don't know if they will work, or keep working if we can't babysit them in the lab.

"potential geophysical impacts without pressure management, "

We might make earthquakes.

"and economic concerns associated with the value of stranded energy left in the formation"

A EROEI consideration, will you get enough out to pay for what you had to put in.

"and the long time period of retorting."

Does it take so long the interest costs kill the project (the Fed won't hold ZIRP forever, and if it did it would mean no one could afford the process.)

Here's a few additional details I found about this EPICC thang: Fuel cell electricity production

EPICC produces gas as an intermediate product, and the waste heat output from conversion of this gas to electricity provides the driving heat for kerogen decomposition and cracking of hydrocarbons. Thus, the heat integration with electricity production is a fundamental part of the EPICC concept.

I wouldn't get very giddy about this proposal as I'd guess it has many years ahead to prove viability not to mention all the possible environmental issues.

Oh, I read a wiki article that stated Shell retorting heats oil shale at 700 degrees F for four years.

EDIT: Added Shell comment

S - correct me if I'm wrong but there are no crrent commercial efforts to produce the "oil shales" nor or there any planned. Last I heard Shell had postphoned their pilot (i.e not commercialized) project until 2014 but I haven't anything else about for a year.

So at the moment and in the near future there doen't appear to be any potential problem with CO2 releases...since no "oil shale" will be harvested.

Rock - As always, you are correct. It doesn't look like electricity will be 'too cheap to meter' anytime soon.

One of the other concerns I had about a project like this is - What if you get it started and can't shut it off? Back east here, we have several coal mines that have been burning for decades, maybe longer.

Would this turn into a fossil fuel version of Fukushima? With a company like TEPCO, washing their hands of it and walking away.

Probably limit O2 source; though, if there is water source and 2000 degree heat it could be self-sustaining.

Added: I think the goal of this project is not so much to get the oil out - but rather produce an excess of electricity, while leaving the CO2 underground. i.e. subterranean power plant.

UK oil production down 15%. Natural gas down 25%.

Coal imports up 36%

A good day for the UK government to propose raising motorway speed limit from 70mph to 80mph.

We (in the UK) are in deep trouble.

Yep, just when you think this country can't get any sillier they go and announce the speed limit increase.

Just as long as the long term outlook for the winter isn't too bad.....oh, silly me it looks like being another cold one. Things could be quite interesting around here in 6 months.

Prospects in the UK for the future are very poor. Eventually it's future will be governed by how it deals with its chronic over population. Use the "subjects" as millions of slave like workers (aka. a mini China) or a force for expansion (aka neocolonialism). Neither seem like good prospects in today's world, maybe a look how the Irish coped during the famine would be a better reference.

Britain has to deal with the ongoing collapse of empire which won't be resolved until the Union dissolves (ie. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland leave the Union). On top of that it has the global collapse to deal with plus chronic overpopulation and resource shortages. Climate change, financial collapse and energy descent aren't going to be kind to the UK. If I where still there I'd leave :)

When I visit home (London) and I'm driving on the motorways around town (when they're actually moving) I always feel like I'd get run over doing 70 mph. Seems like most people just go as fast as they possibly can, speed limit or not.

I think that it's a pragmatic move to just accept that the majority of motorists do about 80mph anyway, you either risk a total economic collapse by booking all the speeders (four tickets and you're banned) and taking them off the road. Then they'll be unable to work, no staff no economy.

Or you just raise the legal limit to the de facto limit and avoid annoying the sheep!

Isn't there an investigation going on in the UK as to the feasibility of developing shale gas resources? Certainly it would cheaper to develop your own than buy our expected exports? Or relying on Russia for such a critical energy source?


One exploration well for shale gas, result announced this week (by the company), as I understand it.

I understand we get no NG from Russia at the present time.
(We are increasingly supplied from other parts of the N Sea, Norway in particular, and there are increasing imports of LNG).

Germany on the other hand is very reliant on Russian NG, and going forward W Europe as a whole will abolutely rely on continuing large Russian imports.

UK does rely on Russia for about half of our imports of coal necessary to maintain electricity production. (Coal accounts for something around 35% of UK electricty, though it varies from year to year. Home production of coal has shrunk to significantly less than we import from Russia, and is not expected to rise.

New report reveals the impact of global crises on international development

... The report challenges core development assumptions and ideas, and concludes:

•Economic growth is not always a force for good – while there is no alternative to growth, there are alternative forms of growth and as with technology, it is how it is governed that matters.

•Civil society did not deal well enough with mega-shocks – case studies found that civil society did not sufficiently rise to the challenge or opportunity afforded by the crises.

•The nation state is more relevant than multilateral mechanisms – global agreements on climate, trade and drugs do not drive national behaviour but national alliances supply oxygen and credibility to global agreements. Several case studies showed how national self interest will continue to undermine collective action that is in the long term interest of all.

The global crises of the past four years and the slow burn of climate change have called into question the way we live, and have had fundamental impacts on international development. But this research shows that although some new ideas have emerged, they have struggled to dislodge established concepts and become embedded in development thinking.

Challenge: Reimagining Development for the 21st century

Report: Time to Reimagine Development?

From Think Progress: an article in American Economic Review estimates the gross external damages caused by coal pollution.

Solid waste combustion, sewage treatment, stone quarrying, marinas, and oil and coal-fired power plants have air pollution damages larger than their value added. . .

Coal plants are responsible for more than one-fourth of GED [gross external damages] from the entire US economy. The damages attributed to this industry are larger than the combined GED due to the three next most polluting industries: crop production, $15 billion/year, livestock production, $15 billion/year, and construction of roadways and bridges, $13 billion/ year.

The author concludes:

With an estimated social cost of carbon — a damage estimate of global warming pollution — of $65 (far less than other estimates), the GED for coal-fired generators is $0.21/kW.

In other words, instead of being “cheap” and “affordable,” coal is actually the costliest fuel for electricity.

On some parallel Twin Earth, the levers of government are not all oriented towards subsidizing and promoting the interests of incumbent fossil fuel extraction industries; secondary costs of these industries are priced in to what people pay for their products; and subsidies instead go to developing renewables and increasing energy efficiency. I don't know if that's enough to overcome the challenges of climate change and peak oil on Twin Earth, but it sure is an interesting experiment they're trying.

What makes a thinker?

The notion of teaching people to become better thinkers is such a basic concept that most people would assume the goal has always been a vital part of educators’ tool kits. But the concept is fairly new on the education landscape ...

To illustrate that point ... answer a “sensible moral question.”

“Should a man be allowed to marry his widow’s sister?”

“Should a man be allowed to marry his widow’s sister?”

No, people that commit insurance fraud shouldn't be permitted to remarry. ;-)

If she's a widow, he's dead.

That's the way I see it too. (If she is now his widow, he is now dead.)

On the other hand, the question did not indicate "when" the dead man could have married his wife's sister.
Maybe he was allowed to marry the sister before he married his wife (and before he died)?

Ah Marty, you are not thinking 4 dimensionally!

Lets just let Einstein and his ilk think in 4 dimensions I would be pleased if a certain amount of us could think in 3 dimensions.

Einstein is a DOG! (in the Back 2 Future movie)

You don't have to be Einstein and think in 4 dimensions (I did introduce time travel later down in the thread). Consider the following scenario:

Man: "Honey, it's true that I secretly married your sister and now I have two wives, but I hope you'll forgive me."

Wife: "No I won't, you dirty, lying bigamist!" (Pulls out a gun and shoots him)

Judge: (at the trial) "Well, normally I'd have you hanged for this, but I think I'll let you go since I blame your widowhood on your late husband. It's just wrong, wrong, for a man to marry his widow's sister."

And despite the condemnation at the end of the story, this is a case where the man WAS "allowed" to marry his widow's sister.

(Think 4 dimensionally.)

“Should a man be allowed to marry his widow’s sister?”

Standards vary. Looking back in my family tree, it seems to have been more or less mandatory to marry your widow's sister. There are a lot of cross-connections and loops in the family tree.

I can envision the scene at the funeral. Aunt Flora has been floored by cholera along with a few elderly relatives, and the family has gathered to remember her. After a few shots of whiskey, Great Uncle George goes up to her former husband Fred and says, "It's really sad about your loss, Fred, but when you get over the grief, you may notice that Flora's younger sister Fauna is very good looking but still unmarried. You're making good money in the mines, but you have 12 kids and no wife to look after them. Somebody has to raise those kids. Think about it."

In the Old Testament it was not just permitted but mandatory for a man to marry his brother's widow. If a man got killed (which was pretty often), his widow and orphans needed someone to support them, and if you were his brother you were responsible. Of course men could have three or four wives in those days, so as long as they could handle the pressure it all worked out.

Didn't read the article, did you?

Really shocking for a guy as clever as Rocky to miss this. Shows we all have a blind side sometimes.

Rocky - How did his wife become a widow?

How did his wife become a widow?

Maybe she practiced plyandy (had multiple husbands at the same time). If one dies, can she call herself a widow?

I didn't like the question, it was tricky, and one who wasn't ready for the question to hinge around a tricky to notice interpretaion of a noun could be easily fooled by it. In this case, it requires careful consideration of rhetoric, not of logic.

You are not reading the original question ;)


Rocky - You have alot of company. I was suckered in to, before I got to the 3rd paragraph

Well, in retrospect, it was a trick question. The question is logically inconsistent and therefore invalid. My mind, however, transformed it into a valid question.

However since the question itself was logically inconsistent, any logically consistent answer I gave will suffice, therefore my answer was valid.

You can make the question consistent by allowing time travel. See "The Time Traveler's Wife" for a more elaborate exploration (although in that story the time traveler's wife didn't have a sister, so he continued to visit his wife from time to time after he died).

I used to drive my professors in University nuts when they asked trick questions, because I would start off explanations with things like, "Assuming time travel is allowed..." They would say, "I didn't say time time travel was allowed", to which I would reply, "You didn't say it was disallowed either, and the question doesn't make sense unless you allow time travel."

A classic case occurred when a computing science professor asked a trick question on a test that required a recursive subroutine in Fortran. The answer he was looking for was, "The question is not soluble because recursion is not allowed in Fortran". Recursion was theoretically not allowed in standard Fortran, but I had been working with a recursive version of Fortran which could have solved it, so I started off my answer with "Assuming recursion is allowed...".

He said, "I didn't say recursion was allowed". I said, "You didn't say it was disallowed, and I stated recursion as a precondition for the solution, besides which you can simulate recursion in Fortran using arrays." At the end of the day, he didn't give me any more marks and I didn't take any more of his courses.

I missed it as well.

I had that question in a highschool philosophy/morality class. "Write a short essay on whether or not a man should marry his widow's sister." I was one of two people in the class who wrote a very short essay. My answer was that the question was invalid because dead people can't get married. I got a B because I didn't fully address the question as asked :-/

There were some great essays. Some folks got an A even though they missed that the question was a trick. The professor was a jerk...

I got a B because I didn't fully address the question as asked

It should not surprise most here at TOD that many people cannot think 4-dimensionally (so as to include the time axis) or even 3-dimensionally, let alone in terms of sentence structure (indefinite actor --who is doing the "allowing"?) or in terms of consequences (big deal, so we "allow" him to marry; but the dead man still doesn't show up for the wedding ceremony --he "stiffs" the sister one way, but not the other, ha ha).

The inability of many people to think outside the box may well explain why so many cannot "get it" about Peak Oil or about many other quandaries that humanity faces.

Spock: "As with all living things, each according to this gifts" --Wrath of Kahn

Kirk: He doesn't know how think 3-dimensionally:

from the article

To many people’s surprise, the work showed that effective thinking had less to do with a person’s IQ and “more to do with what people are alert to and care about.”

We found that “the biggest problem that stood in the way of thinking was alertness. Things just pass people by. They didn’t notice the little anomalies. They didn’t notice that the other side of the case was missing.”

This is why Yergin can say what he does and get away with it every time.

We found that “the biggest problem that stood in the way of thinking was alertness. Things just pass people by. They didn’t notice the little anomalies.

You know, I really do think this is true. Unfortunately our society does not seem to encourage thinking, and most certainly TV blocks it out. People just seem to spend their time lost in thoughts about trivialities, not noticing what is happening around them, without introspection, never thinking about why they are doing what they are.

It's part of the difference between the word citizen and consumer that I often harp on. In our role as consumers we're not just consuming products and spending money like we're told to, we're consuming the things we think we "know", to be regurgitated later upon command. It's a passive role. Citizen implies something else entirely.

You mean a bit like the President's decision to assassinate a US citizen in the Yemen without due process. Just passes people by without a thought of what the implications might be.

A bit like Seraph's comment further down:

A study conducted by Daniel Bartels, Columbia Business School, Marketing, and David Pizarro, Cornell University, Psychology found that people who endorse actions consistent with an ethic of utilitarianism — the view that what is the morally right thing to do is whatever produces the best overall consequences [the end justifies the means] — tend to possess psychopathic and Machiavellian personality traits.

You mean a bit like the President's decision to assassinate a US citizen in the Yemen without due process.

This episode and the background leading up to it disturbs me deeply. The CIA now keeps an approved "assassination list"; because al-Awlaki was a US citizen, the CIA asked for and received permission from the President to put him on the list; al-Awlaki has never been convicted of, or even charged formally with, a crime; a second US citizen who was apparently not on the list was killed during the strike; numerous Yemeni citizens have been killed in previous assassination attempts. US officials have alleged that al-Awlaki has had an "operational" role as a terrorist, but have never offered any evidence to support that claim.

If my civil rights are no good when I'm outside the country, then it's only a matter of time until they're no good inside the country either.


Pretty good summary I thought. Hope and change my cat's backside.

Give me a break you guys, all of you who think the killing of this thug, who would kill any and all Americans if he got a chance, was not justified. I am on record here of being a card carrying bleeding heart liberal, but I do not condone the killing of the killing of innocent Americans such as the 18 soldiers murdered at Fort Hood with the blessings of Al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Or the many who would have died from the "underwear bomber" if the bomb had worked. Or from the Times Square Bomber has he been successful.

He was actively planning to kill as many Americans as he possibly could and he would have killed you if he had the opportunity. We are at war with those who hijacked four airlines on September 11, 2001 and killed over three thousand Americans. This thug was a soldier in that war and his killing probably saved hundreds of American lives. One of those lives might have been yours.

And as for the others killed in this strike... they were ALL soldiers in the war to destroy America, they ALL wanted to kill you. They not only wanted to kill you, they wanted to kill your children and your grandchildren and were hatching plots daily to do exactly that. And you are upset because a drone took these murderous thugs out? Apparently there is something about this war that you guys just don't understand.

Ron P.

I have to admit, Ron, that I feel the same way. And I too am very liberal.

Due process? This guy is on countless videos, Internet "sermons", etc., saying kill kill kill Americans. Just do it - kill Americans, as many as you can, however you can. Many wannabe terrorists (and some successful) have stated that he inspired their acts.

Although I do understand the desire to keep to forms and all, this is a strange and crazy "war", and there are strange and crazy edge cases. I do not buy the "slippery slope" arguments. He abdicated his Constitutional rights, by his words and deeds, as far as I'm concerned. What, were we supposed to send a squad car down there and pick him up for questioning? This guy put himself out there, and he had to go. And now he's gone.

Comfortable with President Palin having this kind of precedent to base her foreign policy on? Or maybe even her domestic policy? And believe me, I don't give a toss about this particular scumbags demise.

I hear you, and I hear you.

What a crap world we live in.

Yay, verily. :(

There are at least hundreds and more likely thousands of US citizens who are members of organizations that have, or who personally have, advocated the violent overthrow of the US government. In some cases, those organizations have killed, or at least attempted to kill, duly authorized persons acting on behalf of the government. Which ones can the President arbitrarily, with no public process, designate to be killed by civilian employees of the executive branch?

I'm liberal in some areas, and conservative in others. But this is, for me, a black-and-white issue. Either the President can authorize, and civilians can carry out, the execution of certain citizens without review or appeal, or he can't. I'm on the side that says he can't. I know it's inconvenient; I know it's frustrating as hell; but it's not a slippery slope, it's a cliff. Citizens can either be executed without process, or they can't. And if they can, then there are no limits to it.

Really? Thousands who have helped fabricate bombs and trained suicide bombers to set them off on US airlines? Thousands who have counseled army officers, as clerics of their religion, telling them it was right and just to shoot their fellow servicemen? Thousands who have instructed car bombers in how to build bombs and blow them up in Times Square? Thousands who have, on dozens of video tapes, advocated the murder of innocent and distributed these videos to others of their religion around the world? Thousands who have recruited others into a murderous army bent on the killing of innocent people.

Mcain, I have never heard such a line of crap from anyone in my life. Slippery slope by butt, this is open warfare, no slippery slope. They brought down the twin towers in New York killing over 3,000 people. In 2003 they blew up a subway in Madrid killing 171 and wounding 1,755. In 2005 they blew up a train in London killing and wounding dozens more. They blew up the USS Cole killing 17 sailors. They have blown up embassies all over the world killing dozens. And I could go on and on all night.

But noooo... there are others who have advocated doing similar things similar things. The problem is they didn't do any of those things. And the ones that did, as in Oklahoma City, are either in jail or dead.

When the day comes that we cannot go after those who murder thousands of innocent people in times of war, and they have declared war on America, then we are in a sad state indeed.

Ron P.

Ron, from your last statement it sounds like you are very trusting of your government making correct decisions without any outside influence or selfish motives. Thanks to many people with similar beliefs to yours, I look forward to the day when our own "terrorists" born and raised in the U.S. who feel that the U.S. government has infringed on their rights and dedicate themselves to preserving (actually restoring) liberty are targeted and wiped off the face of the planet.

Thanks for having completely no respect/understanding for the rule of law, due process, and our constitution. What a sad shortsighted fear driven view. Go ahead-give up your liberty for safety, you deserve neither! Dave

If Anwar al-Awlaki had been successful with his "toner cartridge" bomb plan and had brought down half a dozen American planes, and some of your family members had been on one of those plans, you would all be singing a different tune.

The very idea that we have a mass murderer on the loose, trying to kill thousands, and you guys want to wait until he is arrested by some foreign government before the slaughter can be stopped.... Words fail me.

No, no, no you say. Let the slaughter continue you say. After all only about half his attempts had really been successful. They found about the toner cartridge plan before they could be shipped. Perhaps they might get lucky again. Or if he is successful in only killing a few hundred people, how bad is that?

This guy is at war, and recruiting more soldiers every day to help him in his plan to slaughter thousands. But that don't count. Human lives don't matter nearly as much as "due process" even if it is a war.

Ron P.

The next maybe they learn the procedures how to get things thru and send the bomb correctly marked with TNT.

We are in the process of blowing our big chance to delegitimize anti-US terror. The only reason most recruits turned to radical Islamic terror, was because nothing else seemed to work, as far as freeing their people from repressive governments, that appeared to be supported by the imperialistic yankees. Now, we have the arab spring, which demonstrates that secular forces can be harnessed to accomplish the same means (freeing the people -not extracting vengence). Better yet, they see the US is more often an ally than an enemy of their people. [Yes there are some places, such as Bahrain, where we unquestionably support oppressive governments, but to the arab on the street, we are on their side in more cases then we are against it. So the motivation for AlQaeda type terrorism is undermined.

But, we continue to not recognize that the climate has changed, and let the people of these regions live in fear our missiles from above. So now, the people of a major country Pakistan, hate our guts. This wasn't and isn't necessary, its really just letting our emotions overrule our better judgement. So I predict, anti-US terror will be rekindled, by the actions of the US. Being overwhelmed by our fear of terror is a self-fufilling prophecy, because of it we undertake just those actions whicht will inspire that which we fear.

Thank you Mcain, it is absolutely black and white. Due process, I prefer knowing I can voice my opinion no matter how radical it is and not fear becoming a target, although it might be naive to still believe that at this point.

Suppose Americans were able to target an American citizen serving in the German Army during WW II ? A US citizen and German soldier, perhaps, with exceptional knowledge of Americans, their motives and military organization ?

Under the rules of war, killing enemy combatants, regardless of their citizenship, is legal.


Under the rules of war, killing enemy combatants, regardless of their citizenship, is legal.

I'm curious - Would you say these killings were legal or not http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_on_the_Rock ?

The documentary featured witnesses who claimed that the SAS had given no warning prior to shooting. Carmen Proetta, an independent witness, told Thames Television "They [the security forces] didn't do anything. They just went and shot these people. That's all. They didn't say anything, they didn't scream, they didn't shout, they didn't do anything. These people were turning their heads back to see what was happening and when they saw these men had guns in their hands they put their hands up. It looked like the man was protecting the girl because he stood in front of her, but there was no chance. I mean they went to the floor immediately, they dropped."[4] The researcher for Thames Television believed Ms Proetta's evidence as it coincided with another account they had received.[5]

The IRA was at the time a designated terrorist organisation which had killed many innocent people, and therefore, "enemy combatants". The "justification" was that they were thought to be in possesion of the remote control for a massive bomb which they were about to set off.

For the record, in my opinion the killings were not justfied.

Yes absolutely.

This IRA cell had been terrorizing civilians in Germany for years. They killed women and children who happened to be family members of servicemen serving in Germany, in cold blood because they were soft targets. If they hadn't been taken out they'd have continued to do so. Did the SAS try to get them to surrender to arrest and risk a potential gunfight in Gibraltar? No. Glad they didn't. Was very happy to hear they'd been killed and the cell de-activated, so families like mine didn't have to keep living in fear of cowardly terrorists who shot at families in public places like gas stations.

Give me a break you guys, all of you who think the killing of this thug, who would kill any and all Americans if he got a chance

"Kill any and all Americans"? Maybe they could have just waited until he killed himself then as a US born and educated American?

I completely agree with you Ron. I am happy every time an Al-Qaeda or taliban terrorist is killed. I don't care if Awlaki was an "American". He did not consider himself an American and he waged a war against the United States. Good riddance.

We found that “the biggest problem that stood in the way of thinking was alertness. Things just pass people by. They didn’t notice the little anomalies.

Ron, you've assumed that in this case the "end justifies the means" without really thinking about the wider implications, the real issue simply passed you by. "The end justifies the means" type arguments and justifications are becoming ingrained in the system, whether to get someone whacked, start a war or to funnel tax payers money into insolvent banks. It's all part of the ongoing corruption and hollowing out of the State, Government and institutions. Regulators routinely ignore the rampant fraudulent practices in the financial markets because the banks must recapitalise, the financial system mustn't freeze up, etc.

As laws become meaningless we can all ignore them and make up our own. It's what we would expect as collapse gathers momentum. When the President can authorise extra-judicial killings of US citizens that's what I see, Collapse ripping through the System breaking the bonds holding it together.

It is interesting that here we have many people on this site who have been reading here for a long time, and they still believe that a group like Al-Qaeda, which barely exists at all, has a significant influence on what is happening in the world. How can one discuss these issues here day after day for years and still not understand what the real forces are which are driving the actions of the empire and its opponents? And once you do understand the issues, how can you put much stock in any of these distractions?

These political discussions are so disruptive to energy issues and the hope of people pulling together in order to ameliorate what most of us seem to believe is, and will be, a decline of fortune and opportunity in direct correlation to declining energgy resources.

Some folks spend time and energy educating others, (TOD) inventing processes and sharing them, or re-discovering ways to live that have been forgotten in our short lived time of energy gluttony and waste. Some folks spend time and money invading other countries, trying to control them for their own needs; killing them if need be.

"Apparently there is something about this war that you guys just don't understand."

Sure is....3500 killed on Sept 11
reprisal....3,000,000? killed 2 countries invaded and destroyed....rapid instigation of police-state surveillance....becoming the terrorists you say you are fighting.

At first blush I applauded the 'kill', but then after thinking about it I am not so sure. From an outside perspective one can easily see why much of the world hates America, and that many want to strike out. (It ain't jealosy....sorry)

If you pull on the tiger's tail as renegade cleric publicly did....you will get hurt or killed. The problem is that of process.

Why don't we put together a hit squad for all kinds of people? Sounds like a good idea until the list gets so big you find out you are on one for just speaking out. Remember those persecuted by the IRS and FBI for speaking out against a little illegal southeast asia conflict about 40 years ago? (just had to stop those evil commies) or the current (just have to kill those 'evildoers') or torture them to find some more.

Even the rightful end to WW2, which my parents both fought in, did not justify the firestorms of Dresden and other German cities. The point I want to make is that maybe both sides are more alike than different. Was Osama more evil than mean little Donnie Rumsfeld or Dick Cheny? I don't think so.

paragraph 2 wiki.... def.

Fascism promotes violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality.[10] It views conflict as a fact of life that is responsible for all human progress.[11] It exalts militarism as providing positive transformation in society, in providing spiritual renovation, education, instilling of a will to dominate in people's character, and creating national comradeship through military service.[12] Fascists commonly utilize paramilitary organizations for violent attacks on opponents, or to overthrow a political system.[13

I submit that the statement...."national regeneration, spirit and vitality" manifests itself as the economic imperialism the world has grown to hate in the once 'exceptional ' America....a country that hollowly worships the almighty dollar and kow tows to those who have the most.

And Oil, or lack thereof, is a root cause much like the German rush for the Caucuses 70 + years ago.

When the budget cuts equally limit military spending to the same extent of other programs, then we will know America has found its way again. Until then, they have become world thugs acting in the interests of the rich and influential (corporations) that own the Govternment, itself.

How will the citizens take it back, and is such a thing even possible?

If this is going on now, just how bad will things become when energy constraints really begin to bite? I think that both parties simply reap what they sow....and on and on.


I have found it incredible how easily the American public has been inculcated into accepting the idea of a permanent state of war.

Even more, a permanent state of war with very little demand for public accountability of the resources used, the death and injury tolls, the means and processes used, and the establishment and tracking of metrics for success in the outcomes.

A blank check.

Perhaps Americans should go back to school and take an Econ 101 course and learn how economics is the study of the processes for allocating scarce (finite) resources, and learn the idea of opportunity cost.

Might as well focus on the economics of it, since We seem to have jettisoned any widespread discussion of the morality of our means to secure 'our' resources around the World, and seem to increasingly regard the evolution towards a more and more onerous 'security state' as more worthy than questioning such measures' effects on our Constitutional principles and values.

You mean a bit like the President's decision to assassinate a US citizen in the Yemen without due process

Well, sort of. A better example would be that such an event is even a surprise to anyone toward the end of 2011. Focusing on individual events or stories like that and not seeing how they are connected or the bigger issues that are driving them is a symptom too.

I too found it disturbing. Especially so because our obsession with all things AlQaeda, makes it politically unassailable. What, you would let a terrorist, who is your country's sworn enemy live!!! As such, it is the perfect entrypoint onto a very slippery slope.

I'm bothered by the part of this trend that has us killing this sort of Leadership in Extralegal Hits, instead of creating a present day Nuremburg. Both Bin Laden and S Hussein should have been tried and thoroughly interviewed before public record. The way we're doing it is also setting a very 'Thuggish' precedent, and I'm sure it will continue to create levels of blowback that will cost us dearly.

Of course, extensive and meaningful interviews with Saddam and Osama would reveal or remind us of the very tangled history each one had with the USA.. so their 'quiet' exits were hardly a surprise.

I just hope people are careful about who they glibly label Brutal Thugs. Such namecalling makes things seem so Black and White, and there are many very Pro-America thugs who are doing us great harm with their insistence on these tactics. Former VP Cheney is simply Trumpeting his pride at initiating a new generation of Torture in America's Name. 'Slippery Slope' isn't the word for it.

How many potential successors to Bin Laden have we already created as fallout from our military occupation and military strikes in the Middle East, and what types of vengeance will be our reward for our blood and treasure and realpolitik intrigue in that region?

Our connections to Saddam and Osama and other frenemies in that region are documented, yet unknown or denied by the majority of our citizens who would prefer to revel in seemingly patriotic stories, pics, and vids of our military shooting at folks and blowing up people and their things....and these folks put a big bow around the whole armchair general thing by flying little American flags from their cars and/or affixing those 'God Bless the Troops' yellow ribbon magnets on their vehicles...

...yet few of these folks bother to think in any depth about what our metrics for success are, what alternative means could be employed to protect our citizens in the U.S. in the sort, mid, and longer terms, and how we have befriended and nurtured some of the leaders and organizations that have turned against us.

Blast all the back and forth about how much oil and NG the countries in the ME have...I don't care how much oil and NG they have left...the over-riding reason to lower and ideally end our ME oil use is to be able to disengage from being the ME policeman/praetor and stop sowing the seeds of our own future blow-back...let others buy or take the ME oil from their folks and deal with them.

I wonder how many Prius-equivalent (~ 50 mpg city) cars could have been bought/partially-subsidized by Uncle Sam since the first Gulf War with all the money we spent since then in ME military ops?

5 Million per year for 20 years since 1991?

Combined, of course, with a sufficient fuel tax to put paid to any possibility of Jevon's Paradox rearing its head.

Oh, if folks want to say that there would be too much embedded energy, battery pack replacement. etc...I might counter with: Really, compared to all the embedded energy we blew in chewing up Hummers and MRAPs and helicopters and aircraft and shooting off millions of rounds of ammo in the ME? And all the oil it took (and takes) to move supplies from her to there, and within the operations theaters?

I am NOT pushing the noodle on the idea that a high-mpg car in every garage would be our panacea...just pointing out that our war expenditures (which very well may accomplish negative results in the mid-long term) have had huge opportunity costs.

Edit: Apparently there are at least a few folks in the military who think that 'National Security' is a far broader (and more internally-focused) set of ideas compared to most folks' exclusive focus on foreign military adventurism:



Perhaps it is finally sinking in that we can't afford standing armies overseas indefinitely:


But McCain, Lieberman, Graham, and their like-minded supporters say we can:


The option to hold troops in Iraq will undoubtedly increase the nearly $3 trillion total price tag of the Iraq war, though the Senators say otherwise. The distinction they make in their article is that keeping 3,000 troops (a number discussed by the Obama administration in light of Iraqi deadline negotiations) or 10,000-25,000 troops “will make no meaningful difference to our budgetary situation.” Maybe the Senators make this conclusion because the U.S. has yet to pay for the war, but in a follow up Letter to the Editor, Robert Naiman, policy director for Just Foreign Policy, calculated that leaving 10,000 troops will cost $80 billion from 2012 to 2021; 25,000 troops would be $200 billion. The Senators cannot argue logically or mathematically that continued U.S. troop presence would make “no meaningful difference” with numbers that large.

For those who will counter that we must cut social spending, I say, OK, let's do it! Shared sacrifice is what I want to see. I almost want the Super-Committee to fail and for the half-n-half (military/other than military) automatic budget cuts to be enacted.

Break break: Nuremberg..Just returned from D.C. ...My wife and I took the opportunity to tour the Holocaust Museum...I recommend it to everyone...it is mind-numbingly difficult, yet essential I think, to face that historical reality.

On more gear shift: My wife and I (once again) enjoyed riding the D.C. Metro (and buses) (and walking). Two nits:

1) Gee, it would be nice to have public bathrooms in/near the Metro stations...please, by all means, make them pay toilets...make the patrons tap their Metro Smart Card on a reader pad on the door and charge them three bucks per use...enough to pay for the construction, maintenance, attendants/cleaning, policing, etc.

2) Buy some automated visual/verbal annunciators for the Metro cars ('This stop: East Falls Church'...)...Most of the time the noise that came from the train drivers sounded like Klingon...do the drivers have marbles in their mouths and are the speaker systems recycled from old drive-ins?

The cab and shuttle drivers hate the idea of the Orange Line (Silver Line?) extension (being built as we speak)...too darn bad...It will be great when one can get off the plane at Dulles and ride the Metro into town.

Maybe a return to the old American style diplomacy as seen in the 1956 Suez crisis instead of the heavy handed approach of the last 20-30 years might be more cost efficient. I believe they'd make a lot more friends at a much lower cost with honey than with vinegar.

   [hol-uh-kawst, hoh-luh-] Show IPA
a great or complete devastation or destruction, especially by fire.
a sacrifice completely consumed by fire; burnt offering.
( usually initial capital letter ) the systematic mass slaughter of European Jews in Nazi concentration camps during World War II (usually preceded by the ).
any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.

Holocaust as a word is quite fitting for a website dealing with peak oil given the fact that oil is usually burnt. It is quite ironic that the word holocaust actually applies both in the abundant use of oil and the lack-thereof and the expected aftermath of such an event. The biggest denial of the holocaust isn't from people who say it never happened. The biggest denial is from people whom would say that they themselves would never let it happen again and they would never be complicit in a future holocaust and they would never even actively participate in perpetuating one.

"Corporation. An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility." Bierce, Ambrose

This is another concept quite fitting for the website. It applies both to the corporations responsible for energy extraction as much as it applies to the individual people in society. I very seriously doubt that people as a whole would willingly for instance consume a little less food or oil so that it becomes available at a much cheaper price to those who actually need it. The free market economy is probably much more ruthless than it is efficient.

"According to the March 17, 2010 Associated Press article by Jamey Keaten, "French polemic over fake game show electrocutions," in Paris, France, a state-run TV channel presesnted a fake game show in which credulous participants obey orders to deliver increasingly powerful electric shocks to a man, who is really an actor, until he appears to die. The name of the show is "The Game of Death."

The reason producers wanted to repeat Milgram's experiment is to see whether people of this generation have the same tendency as people from the 1960s generation to pull the lever giving electric shocks to someone just because the TV game show hosts told them to pull the lever and deliver the shocks. It was all about how willing people are of this generation to obey orders just like people did in past generations--if they thought the authority figure giving the orders could be trusted.

The people would have to suspend their own morality and instead of questioning authority and thinking for themselves, like sheep, they obeyed orders to prove the mind-numbing power of mainstream TV that has now become their authority figures that they'd trust without question to see what flaws might lie in the authority figure's logic or power."


So this is where I raise my hands and ask what can one person do against that? Society hasn't gotten any better than it was 50 years ago! This is extremely demoralizing and it relates directly back to the topic at hand which is peak oil. This is the kind of inertia which is probably going to see one of the various peak oil scenarios play out. Peak in this case meaning ridiculously expensive oil. Sure the people here are probably significantly different from the general population but it's the general population which needs convincing and none of us here are islands completely isolated from what happens to the rest of society.

What makes really cringe is the fact that when/if oil does start to fall in production other people will probably be angry at me for not saying anything!

I say put up those panels, and let them know why you're doing it, if they ask. But you also get to offer them to touch a couble wires and get a real 'Solar' shock so they know there is real power in there. Don't kill em, but give them something to remember you by! B~)

(*re Batt Storage: If the fridge is a key reason to have durable power in outages, consider that there are other ways to store cold or compressed refrigerant. It doesn't have to be batteries, and then the Batt Pack could be much smaller..)


When you ask about how many Hybrids and EVs we could have bought, I am left also wondering how much copper and rare-earths (etc) get powderized with all the munitions and devastated equipment we have shipped over to their soil.. never to spin an armature again?

The locals are pretty good at picking up the spent shell casings and recycling - in one way or another.


If you have only one match and you walked into a room where there was an oil burner, a kerosene lamp, and a wood burning stove, which one would you light first?

The match!

Yes. We have a thinker in the house. LOL...

An engineer is taken to a room containing a stove, a table, and a tea kettle full of water sitting on the table, and asked to boil the water. She picks up the kettle, places it on the stove, turns the stove on, and after a bit the water boils.

A mathematician is presented with the same problem. He performs the same actions.

The engineer is taken to a second room containing a stove, a table, and a tea kettle full of water sitting on the floor, and asked to boil the water. She picks up the kettle, places it on the stove, turns the stove on, and after a bit the water boils.

The mathematician is presented with the same second problem. He picks the tea kettle up and sets it on the table, then turns to leave. The researcher stops him and asks if that's all he's going to do. "What?" asks the mathematician, "I reduced it to a problem whose solution is known."

I should have opened with, "It's Friday afternoon and I need some humor."

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week, and don't forget to tip the waitress!

Excellent joke, that I will try, and probably fail, to remember.

What's the Bloody use of trying to make people better thinkers, when according too a report I read a few days ago that 25% of the school leavers in the U.K. were as good as functionally illiterate, if you haven't got the facts, or the ability to use them, being able to read and write, then it is a bloody waste of time. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

It is very depressing Yorkie. I used to do geology show&tells at innercity schools and the level of ignorance about simple common sense aspects of life was often shocking. And I'm talking about a few teachers...not students. One teacher couldn't spell "geologist" when she tried to write it on the board. Granted it's not a common word for some but this is Texas, oil center of the world and home to more geologists than the rest of the word combined. And she had received a note telling her a "geologist" was coming to class that day.

Boggles the mind. Some years ago 40% of the graduating class of one high school couldn't name the ocean between the US and Europe. And these are the adults who will cast votes that count the same as me and you.

Though those that are casting votes is worrying I find those that become politicians more frightening.


'Artificial leaf' makes fuel from sunlight (w/ video)

The artificial leaf — a silicon solar cell with different catalytic materials bonded onto its two sides — needs no external wires or control circuits to operate. Simply placed in a container of water and exposed to sunlight, it quickly begins to generate streams of bubbles: oxygen bubbles from one side and hydrogen bubbles from the other. If placed in a container that has a barrier to separate the two sides, the two streams of bubbles can be collected and stored, and used later to deliver power: for example, by feeding them into a fuel cell that combines them once again into water while delivering an electric current

So with all the recent development of solar energy and especially solar voltaic, would people actually break or make money on current solar panels in a reasonable time span in a reasonable climate? I recently had a look at some install possibilities but I couldn't get a straight answer from any of the vendor sites on the internet. So is solar ready for mainstream deployment on peoples houses in the same way that solar hot water is or if not how close is it?

You really ought to be able to get a clear answer.

There are a few further questions though: How are you paying for the system? If you have access to financing, your savings, month 1, may (or may not) exceed your finance payment, each month.

A big factor is what $ amount you are paying for electricity. In California, rates are tiered. 6 panels on your neighbors house could save $700/yr. The same 6 paenls on your house could save $240. Difference is what tier of usage you are replacing.

The no money down outfits will lease you a system. They guarantee a savings each month (more or less). But your savings thru time are MUCH less than if you bought the system outright.

Producing your own electricity, as long as you are paying someone else now, will always save you money (barring the end of the world, etc.), in the long run. The long run might be 4 years, or 40.

If you wish to share your usage and rates I'll do an analysis for you. Also roughly which direction the panels face, and at what tilt. Shading? An address and Google works well enough initially.

The cost of paying for the system varies significantly. None of the installers seem to be willing to locally come out with an upfront 'typical' cost. Anyway does solar make sense at a utility rate of $0.18 U.S.D per KW/H?

The average insolation here is 4.38W/M^2 and the roof pitch is 30 degrees.

The roof faces north and we use roughly 12,000 KW/H per year (We could cut this down significantly when we install heat pumps and efficient lighting/computers)

Theres no financing involved, we'll be paying the cost upfront. I was just wanting to know if it was even worth considering solar yet or if we should wait until next year. I was considering a grid tied system of about 4,000 KW peak.

http://www.kmsolar.co.nz/solar-panels/perlight-plm-190w24.html 475.875 USD for a 190W/P solar panel
http://www.kmsolar.co.nz/grid-tied/inverters/kinglong.html 4000W inverter 2,055.78 USD

So does it make sense yet at these kinds of prices? We have had a bunch of natural disasters here so I was thinking that maybe a system which could keep the lights on and the heater/aircon going in the summer/winter for a couple of days at least and save us some money in the long run could make sense.

Remember, a grid-tied only system won't produce power if the grid goes down. It will take a BIG battery on a grid-tied with battery backup to keep your AC going.

How big is 'big'? The average high here in summer is 23.8C (75F) and the average winter low here is 5.2C (41.4F) and the average yearly temperature overall is 18.9C (66) during the hottest part of the day and 10C (50F) during the coldest point of night. Given the fact that the house is new with very good insulation it shouldn't be too hard for heat pumps to knock a couple of degrees off the temperature in summer and raise it a few in the winter.

OK, I was thinking of much different extremes. Here in Alabama we've had summer average highs in the mid 90's (35C) and during the day a solar powered 5000BTU window AC kept the house at 83-85F (28-29C). I mostly used a whole-house fan to pull in cooler air at night. I've got 8 L-16 size batteries. I keep the house below 83-85F in the summer and above 63F in the winter when we get average lows of 25-35F (-9 - 0C). You'll be good with less/smaller batteries if you're going grid-tied and only using the batteries for occasional backup.

One thing which is hard to quantify with batteries is 'home much you're willing to pay if power is otherwise unavailable'? For instance if there's a storm which cuts power out for a couple of days, how much is 10KW/H worth then? Is there any literature on accounting for power outages in battery capacity planning? IMO having power when it is otherwise unavailable does swing the cost/benefit towards having a battery pack but where im at a loss is how much to weight it in my calculations.

how much to weight it in my calculations.

In my opinion not much. Because a backup generator is much cheaper, and fuel costs should be minimal id outages are rare. If you are expecting civilization and power the break down thats a different story.

Only I'd say that it doesn't take 'civilization and power to break down' to start getting interruptions in simple things like the availability of Generator Fuel or replacement parts.

It would seem to me that installing enough Solar to keep some lights and the fridge on, some basic electrical apps, and plan one's storage around only food refrigeration and other 'high essentials', that you would be steadily getting your payback during normal times, and then would more quickly justify the costs during outages, were they to come. Detailing what are your essentials is really key in all this.

I have backup gas generators for both of my buildings.. nothing fancy. I don't see this as an either/or proposition.. but I know that I can be getting benefits from PV day-in and day-out, while the generator is more like 'momentary high-protein muscle', and of course requires continual inputs of gas AND attention, and produces undesirable outputs as well.

Other complications. Can you do most of the installation work, or must you hire a contractor? Will your roof need repairing long before the panels lifetime is up? If you are likely to move within a few years, how much of the cost of your system will be recovered by the selling price of the house? On the plus side, are the electric rates likely to increase over time? Do you need to do a lot of airconditioning? If so what will the etra roof shading from the panels do for you?

It is a kinda strange situation really. On the one hand even in a nuclear winter im pretty sure the lights will stay on given the fact that I live in New Zealand with >60% hydro/geothermal/wind power mix. http://www.em6.co.nz/em6/faces/pages/login.jspx but even with the renewable I pay the marginal cost for the gas consumed in electricity generation and the cost of the gas is increasing so even as the wind/hydro power mix is improving the power prices are also expected to rise as the current gas production peaks and falls on the other.

I don't need a lot of anything really, all I probably would need is enough energy to keep the A/C on heat in the winter and a little cooling in the summer in case of a heat wave or something similar. The reason for this is that I have a vulnerable person at home whom is very sensitive to heat and cold. Since the climate is mostly pretty mild any extra shading won't do much in particular as the house is <6 months old and it has been specced with heat exchange ventilation already and thicker insulation than standard.

The only issues im thinking about are reducing the electricity costs by using heat pumps vs oil filled electric heating (to be installed) and better lighting as well as the open question at this point whether solar voltaic cells are cost effective enough to install along with the associated battery packs and inverter. I can't install them myself but at the same time I can probably pay for a decent system to be installed outright and a larger system presents economies of scale.

It's also reasonable to set yourself up with a bit of direct Solar Heating. Using PV for electrical heat is pretty uneconomic in comparison.


I've built a couple of these, and want a bunch more.. Direct Solar Hot Air Heaters.

If you're not a builder, maybe you can enlist a contractor or entice a HighSchool Shop Teacher to find the right student to take on something unusual and fun like this. (Fun in concept, but boring to watch after a couple minutes..)

That looks pretty interesting although my direct use of the suns heat will likely begin and end with solar hot water heating. I think in terms of time/effort a simple heat pump powered by on site solar or off grid power ought to do the trick given the stability of the climate. I think a ratio of 3:1 of KW of heating and cooling in terms of output vs input isn't bad and something like that is a lot easier to sell to the other folks around here! :-)

I think solar is interesting in itself because I can't think of anything which would make you as aware of how much power you use as making it yourself. I remember the first rule is efficiency before you even begin to think about installing anything. Only once you save every dollar you can on the consumption side does it actually even remotely become feasible.

It's funny how value works. You can ask someone how much they want to pay for a solar install and run the numbers for battery backup and come to one conclusion on value, however if you ask someone 'how much would you pay if you could turn on your lights in the middle of an earthquake or in the immediate aftermath' and you come up with another. It makes a huge difference even if it's between a light and a cellphone and a radio and nothing powered at all. The huge question isn't whether it's worthwhile but how much is worthwhile.

So now thinking about things since the batteries aren't likely to change significantly perhaps starting with battery backup and working forwards from there might be a wise way to implement solar. The panels will probably be cheaper and better if I have to delay their purchase by a year or two. Even something like 4KW/H worth of batteries ought to be good enough if implemented alongside other power saving techniques.

Myanmar suspends dam project after rare outcry

Myanmar's president on Friday ordered a halt to construction of a controversial $3.6 billion mega dam following rare public opposition to the Chinese-backed hydropower project.

US demand destruction from 2006 until the present, where art thou?

Yesterday, Ron posted this enlightening graph of US oil supply (Net Imports + Production Graph) that shows a current decrease of 3 MBD consumed when compared to 2006.

From the EIA Product Supplied Data
0.7 MBD decrease in gasoline consumption over the period*
0.5 MBD decrease in diesel
0.5 MBD decrease in jet fuel
0.2 MBD decrease in petrochemical
0.2 MBD decrease in petro coke
0.2 MBD decrease in asphalt
All others around 0.5 MBD

* Ethanol has mostly filled this gap in gasoline

The EIA has product supplied down ~2.7 MBD over the same period. Missing about 0.3 MBD b/w the two. Total stocks have increased over the same period so the missing difference isn't due to depleting inventories.

One comment about reduced US jet fuel consumption since 2006.

I see three factors -

1) Fewer people flying
2) Older, less efficient planes grounded and largely scrapped
3) Higher capacity factor - fewer empty seats flying

#2 is pretty well completed. L-1011s, DC-10s, 737-200s are gone and 737-300/400/500s and DC-9s are going fast.

The 787 will burn significantly less fuel (-20+%) than the 767 it replaces, but this a small fraction of the market. The next generation 737s and S32x's are still a hafl decade away.

#3 is getting pretty close to maxed out. "Yield management" and on-line ticket agencies (Orbitz, etc.) are filling seats. Load factors appear to be near peak.

That leaves fewer people flying. The easiest way to do that is a bad economy, with higher fares the next best choice.

Absent an even worse economy, I do not see a continued drop in av fuel consumption for the next few years.


I saw a report, the other day, that the number of aircraft flying was due to double over a few decades. Sorry to be short on detail, I just tend to brain log these in passing.


Looking at the monthly product supplied data, April, May, June, and July are all down relative to 2010. The weekly product supplied data, both August and September seem to be down as well--especially September, August is close to 2010. The weekly data is likely to be revised, because export data isn't good on a weekly basis, so I don't think we should put much weight on them.

With the recession that allegedly went from December 2007 to June 2009, the product supplied started to drop about January or February of 2008 (there was a small drift down previously - 2005 was the peak year for product supplied). A year over year pick-up in oil consumption did not really start until March 2010. The amounts suggest we are close to dropping below 2009 in consumption. The big 2008 drop was hurricane related (lack of gasoline in Atlanta, for example).

Gog, my data was copied and pasted directly from the EIA, just as yours was. The difference lies in other petroleum products, I suppose. The highest monthly points were in 2006 but the highest yearly average was in 2005 so that is the data I use here. I had to average the 2011 data myself, January thru August. The data is in thousands of barrels per day.

                                        Products      Imports Plus
Year	      Production  Net Imports   Supplied      Production
2005 Average	5,178	   12,549	20,802	      17,727
2011 Average	5,583	    8,870	19,001	      14,453
Difference	  405	   -3,679       -1,801	      -3,275

This data is copied and pasted directly from the same page at Monthly Energy Review As you can see there is a 1,473,000 bp/d difference between Imports Plus Production and Products supplied. Where did this extra 1,473,000 barrels come from? Some of it was ethanol and biodiesel and some of it was supplied from the SPR but both of them added together does not equal 1,473,000 barrels per day. The rest/ I have no idea.

Ron P.

Production you show is crude and condensate. One part of what is missing is natural gas plant liquids; another is "refinery expansion," as well as biofuels.

Production on an all liquids basis for 2005 and 2011 (January-June) is as follows from EIA's International Energy Statistics:

2005 8,322

2011 9,874

The comparison is a lot closer using these numbers.

This is true but there is those figures hide a lot more than they reveal. The US adds to those numbers over one million barrels per day in refinery process gain. They add, to US production, process gain on imported oil. And natural gas liquids is a natural gas product, propane and butane. I like to discuss peak oil and plot plot oil production numbers. Throwing bottled gas into the mix only confuses things.

Take the article the other day that said the US may surpass, in oil production, the 1970 peak. A closer look revealed he was talking about all liquids now but C+C in 1970. It don't work that way. We did not count refinery process gain on foreign imports as crude oil in 1970 and we should not today. And we should classify bottled gas in an entirely different category cause it ain't oil.

Ron P.

Of note US natural gas consumption has increased considerably since 2006. In 2010 consumption was 2.4 TCF greater than in 2006. That's the equivalent of an additional 1.1 million barrels per day of oil. 2011 Nat Gas consumption so far is reported as up 2.2% on 2010.

The Spread of Inequality


The causes of socioeconomic inequality have been debated since the time of Plato. Many reasons for the development of stratification have been proposed, from the need for hierarchical control over large-scale irrigation systems to the accumulation of small differences in wealth over time via inheritance processes. However, none of these explains how unequal societies came to completely displace egalitarian cultural norms over time. Our study models demographic consequences associated with the unequal distribution of resources in stratified societies. Agent-based simulation results show that in constant environments, unequal access to resources can be demographically destabilizing, resulting in the outward migration and spread of such societies even when population size is relatively small. In variable environments, stratified societies spread more and are also better able to survive resource shortages by sequestering mortality in the lower classes. The predictions of our simulation are provided modest support by a range of existing empirical studies. In short, the fact that stratified societies today vastly outnumber egalitarian societies may not be due to the transformation of egalitarian norms and structures, but may instead reflect the more rapid migration of stratified societies and consequent conquest or displacement of egalitarian societies over time.

Excerpt from Results
Our simulation trials showed that stratified populations in constant environments exhibited more demographic instability, crises and extinctions than did egalitarian populations. Figure 1 shows typical population trajectories for egalitarian and stratified societies over 2000 years. Egalitarian populations are eventually able to stabilize, not because of density-dependent growth but because fertility, mortality, and resource productivity achieve a balance. This is an unexpected outcome in a complex system. Reaching this balance appears to depend on the stochastically determined magnitude of the rebound following a population crash.

Stratified populations were never able to stabilize because the upper classes continued to thrive even as resources were being depleted and the population was headed for trouble. In other words, stratification disrupted stabilizing feedback in the system. However, stratified populations did not cause more resource depletion, as we had originally predicted on the basis of excess resource consumption by upper classes. Instead, stratified populations in our simulation depleted the resource base significantly less because high mortality rates in lower classes kept the total population relatively low compared to carrying capacity.

Thanks for this link

Has anyone heard whether the US Federal Gasoline tax of 18.4 cents per gallon was renewed? It was set to expire today (9-30-2011).

I just found out... President Obama signed H.R. 2887, P.L. 112-30 on Sept. 16, 2011. The law extends transit programs, including the existing tax, until 3/31/12.

I don't know what's the noise about.

In India, a 'poor' country, we pay $5.5/gallon for gasoline. It's causing problems but things aren't falling apart, I believe in Europe it's close to $6-8/gallon. Also I read that gas is cheaper than milk in most parts of US. Is that true ? It's crazy if that is the case.

Currently gas $3.55 per gallon, milk $6.50 per gallon. But raw milk at my local farm is $6.00 per gallon.

Goodness! 2% milk at the local grocery here $3.09 per gallon this week.

Here milk is around $1.5/gallon, even the processed ones.

That is the organic. Store brand $3.50 per gallon about the same as gasoline.

Auburn, AL Gas $3.10/gal, 1% Milk $3.29/gal, Whole Milk $3.49/gal

Organic milk = $6/gallon Pesticide and antibiotic-ridden stuff full of RBST = $3.49/gallon Coastal central CA Gas = ~$3.85 - $3.99/gallon

Time for a new barometer for the economy. The Oil/Milk ratio, much better than Gold/Oil ratio.

Phoenix, AZ - This week I paid $3.35/gal. for gas, and milk was on sale for $2.56/gal. Milk is normally about $4/gal., but either the gallon or half-gallon (store brand) is nearly always "on sale". A few weeks ago they had half-gallons for 88 cents.

Cow Milk is for Baby Cows....So much better stuff to put in your body than that Gunk. It's actually one of the worst things one can drink. But hey, in the US, it's all about the Money, Honey.


You are overlooking the following:
1. Indians don't drive as much as Americans and on an average the cars are smaller. An average American driver drives 12,000 miles in a year. An average Indian car owner probably drives less than 3000 miles in a year.
2. Most Indians live with their parents. They have no mortgages or rents or utility bills to pay. In the US almost no one above the age of 25 lives with their parents although it is now changing.
3. Property taxes in India are negligible. In the US they are significant.
4. Self-employed Indians cheat and don't pay income taxes. In the US it is almost impossible to cheat and certainly not to the same extent. It is not a big deal to pay for expensive gasoline if you have "black money". Americans don't have black money.
5. In India mortgages and credits cards have only recently become available. Hence not many Indians (as a fraction of the population) have over extended their standard of living. In the US it has been cheap and easy to borrow money for a long time. Hence a majority of Americans have over extended their standard of living.

As a result, Americans are more vulnerable to rising gasoline prices compared to car owning Indians.

I am not overlooking anything. No matter what you bring into the equation, if milk is costlier than gasoline, something is wrong.

No,nothing is wrong.You are comparing apples and oranges.Please compare apples and apples.Try running your car on milk or alternately try drinking gasoline/diesel to power your body and you will know exactly what I mean.

I think he's saying that a gallon of gasoline in the right machine can do the work of 200-300 bodies, while a gallon of milk is only going to power a very few bodies for a short while.

Eastern Washington State; gas is $3.80, milk $2.49 to $2.99, depending on brand.


“Daniel Yergin, one of the most influential voices in the world of energy, says shale gas is here to stay.”

Wow, Danny boy is really sticking his neck out. FYI: the oldest commercial NG trend in the USA is the New Albany Shale Gas play. In the late 1800’s NASG was used for street lighting in Louisville, KY. So I guess it’s safe to say that after 120+ years the SG plays aren’t exactly an overnight success story. And as long as NG prices stay up (or go higher) and public oils continue to drill them instead of letting the stock prices drop to zero I pretty sure Danny boy’s brave prediction will be proven correct.

And again I'll point out the the biggest NG play in the country 30 years ago was a shale gas play (Austin Chalk)in Texas. SG is not a new idea. And its development began wih vertical wells. And it ended for the most part when nearly all the potential locations were drilled and depleted. All oil/NG plays are finite...eventually.

19th century 'Protestant work ethic' at heart of Europe's North/South debt crisis split

Research from the University of Warwick suggests the 19th Century 'protestant work ethic' could have given the economies of northern Europe a head start on their southern neighbours, and is still shaping popular northern European feeling that rankles against bailing out struggling southerners.

He added that his findings were particularly interesting in light of the recent European Sovereign debt crisis.

May also be relavent to the U.S., though geography is more muddled.

another view How Conservative Politicians Wait for God to Fix the Economy, With Frightening Results

... A study released last fall suggests that the theology embraced by American religious conservatives may render them immune to evidence and reason when it comes to economic management. The study found that a sizable minority share a uniquely faith-based view of how the economy functions, believing that both good and bad outcomes are an expression of God's will, and are therefore beyond the reach of mere mortals.

Research from the University of Warwick suggests the 19th Century 'protestant work ethic' could have given the economies of northern Europe a head start on their southern neighbours, and is still shaping popular northern European feeling that rankles against bailing out struggling southerners.

Take a look at a world map and where do you see greater societal success? Answer: In regions that at least part of the year get cooler. This goes to a Theory of mine that hot weather is not conducive to the optimum operation of the human brain. Like a super computer that needs to be cooled, the human brain works better cool. Haven't you ever noticed you don't mind your head being in 60f without a hat? Well imagine how well its going to work when its 95f. Fact is it has nothing to do with work ethic and everything to do with the weather.

What about the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Mayans, 8th to 14 century Islam, SE Asia 1000 years ago? Over 2000 years of significant accomplisments. Gave us astronomy, the zero, and the foundations of much of our math and science.

Or could it be due to available resources?

When the East Mediterranean had its glory days, its weather was a lot cooler and rainier than it is nowadays. As an example, my native island used to be forrest covered while now it is semi arid and quasi desert.
It is possible that the its decline is due to hotter weather and lower crop productivity.

So I agree with both Peak Earl and Seraph

Yes, much of the forest of the Mediteranean were cut down by each succeeding empire; pushing back the cooler/rainier zones and leaving semi arid and quasi deserts. Iceland had a similar problem.

what about the maya, inca, aztec, egyptians, and others?
aren't there systems in place in the human body to keep the brain at roughly a constant temperature? to, like, avoid death?
what's the average iq of an inuit?
why was ancient greece so much more advanced than northern europe?

Jared Diamond wrote a pretty good book on this subject, called Guns Germs and Steel. Can't say much more or any better than he.

More likely it is because peasants in a colder climate know from cultural experience that survival depends on working hard whenever one has a chance and on storing away "wealth" for later use. "Make hay while the sun shines" and the parable of the ant and the grasshopper are expressions of this which are taught at a very early age.

In southern climes, food is available for more of the year so there is less needed for far-sighted and prudent storage. Some areas have pretty predictable monsoon and seasonal rains, so severe drought did not make such a difference. When the monsoon fails, it is due to "god", rather than insufficient human diligence.

Another factor is that uban culture started earlier in the Middle East and Southern Europe. So the less seasonal occupations of the trader, merchant, clergy, soldier, and so forth formed a greater part of the economy and cultural outlook.

I recall reading 'somewhere' about seven 'fat' years and seven 'lean' years. Definitely a southern climate as I recall. Food security was a global problem pre-1800.

The variations and timing of the season can be predicted with experience and a little primitive astronomy, which neolithic people were familiar with if we are to believe the interpretations of Stonehenge, etc. So the need for diligently raising crops and livestock in the summer and the laying up of the fall harvest would be a rational coping strategy.

On the other hand, multi-year variation in weather is not so easy to explain, and we still argue about its causes. So longer ago this would have been seen as an act of God, and the only coping would be fatalistic resignation to the ill effects of adverse climate conditions (barring the foresight of the occasional successful prophet).

Some prophets were smart enough to recommend saving grain during the good years to be available for the bad ones. Of course that says nothing about keeping the population density low enough, that good years still produce a surplus.

I would imagine that the population issue was "sorted" during the lean years. Farmers would grow the same amount the following year, but because the population has dropped there is a surplus that can be stored.

I suspect the superior economic performance per capita of cooler climes, may have to do with population density. Because of seasonal changes, and the severity of a food shortage when you need to generate calories to keep warm, I'd postulate that famines keep northern populations at a considerably lower level than tropical populations. So naturally there should be more (non-food) resources available per capita. And then you have the long winters when little farming activity pays off. That leaves months during which infrastructure can be built up. In the tropical situation, population should increase until famines and diseases balance out the birth rate, which means productivity per person hour of acriculture is lower -a years worth of work to sustain a person year in the limit. In the northern clime, you can only spend roughly a half years labour, to obtain a full years supply of food, so there is seasonally surplus labour available.

It's probably got little to do with whether the human brain functions better at one temperature or another and more to do with the challenges living in colder climates present. To survive in colder climates simply requires people to be more organised and cooler weather is more conducive to manual work.


This evolutionary study compares liberal and conservative Protestants.

Liberal Protestantism was shown to correlate positively with social class, education and various measures of individualism. Conservative Protestantism was associated with lower levels of education and socioeconomic class, and correlated with higher levels of dependence on family. The results of this study strongly indicate that liberal Protestantism is an adaptive cultural strategy in groups of highly educated individuals in secure environments. Conservative Protestantism seems to be adaptive at the group level in situations and environments with comparatively lower existential security and lower levels of education.

So education leads to lower ability to pair bond, to form families, to reproduce. This would seem to lead to the majority of the population being less educated.

This seems to parallel Merrill's post up-thread and yesterday's post http://www.theoildrum.com/node/8434#comment-839766.

The conclusion: In times of competition, individuals who are less altruistic are seen as dominant and more appealing as leaders.

There do seem to be north south differences. Not sure what the reason is.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared M. Diamond talks about north south differences but I do not remember him giving a causative reason.

He does not talk about the North South difference, he tries to explain the dominance of Eurasia over Australia and the Americas. His book focuses till the 14th century, till which time you could take this theory and invert it on it's head. All southern climates starting from the Chinese to ME to Mayans, Aztecs and Egyptians were far more advanced compared to Northern cultures. Even the Romans lived in comparatively warmer climates.

Even if you look today within some geographical regions you will find this theory failing, the Mongolians are not more advanced than the Han Chinese and the Siberians are not doing any better compared to the Mongolians. Any theory that is proposed must fit the data, not the other way round. All this talk is incredibly simplistic and naive.

Diamond's north/south were over much longer distances; he would have classed both Greece and Germany, for example, as "temperate". One of his theses is that civilization is much harder to get going in the tropics than it is in temperate zones; among other reasons, he points out the generally greater virulence of pests and diseases in the tropics.

It would seem that the last century's access to extreme amounts of energy and consequently transportation has skewed development towards those in control of energy sources and economic rules, and the advantages or disadvantages of particularly N-S geographies must currently draw a lower card in the pecking order and in deciding where advancements would take place. (Not that I'm completely bought into the 'Northern Miracle' argument anyhow.. we ended up reinventing a lot of what China forgot about centuries ago, and someone had to come north and reteach us Algebra, didn't they?)

Further, Some places with reserves of energy were able to control and capitalize on these assets, (KSA) while others were manipulated by the economic powers over them, (Nigeria?)

...and someone had to come north and reteach us Algebra, didn't they?

Interesting example; if I recall the history correctly, within a couple hundred years after that the Islamic world had begun suppressing scientific inquiries, while European mathematicians continued to advance algebra. (Side note: in Renaissance Italy, mathematics competitions were held, frequently requiring the solution to cubic equations; methods were kept secret for a number of years as a competitive advantage.) Whether it was critical that algebra be reintroduced is open to question; the basic principles appear to have been independently invented several times at different places around the world.

It's always surprising to realize just how far back the invention of high-school level math goes. The ancient Egyptians came close to "area under the curve" calculus, as a matter of practical land measurements for tax purposes. The Greeks came much closer, and in a more abstract fashion. Newton/Leibnitz get credit for more formal treatments, although both built on the work of others. And of course, about 1850 all of the old stuff was tossed and calculus was rebuilt from the ground up using set theory.

I think its more important, what the surrounding culture and economic systems did with the advances. China made many great discoveries, but they never ignited a process where one discovery created the conditions for another, and then those created the conditions for two more. The advancements of these earlier great civilizations were in a significant way selflimiting. It was only the accidental (IMO) conditions that came about during/after the renaissance and industrial revolution that created a sustained scientific/technological/economical breakout. That breakout is now nearly worldwide, but for the first few hundred years it gave the Europeans an insurmountable edge against the rest of the world.

China looks to Arab Investors in Muslim Western China Oil



Interesting acticle over at The Market Oracle:

U.S. States to Financiall​y Break Away from Federal Government


The challenge before our nation today–our moment in history–is not merely a financial or economic or political or legal / Constitutional crisis. It is also, and primarily, a moral crisis that could literally destroy the United States of America and all that it has stood for in more than two centuries. A stable society requires sound principles. A moral society requires sound money. Today, the United States of America has neither.

re: North Sea gas production falls 25%

Yes, North Sea oil and gas production is starting to go down like a rocket in reverse. It is somewhat characteristic of offshore oil and gas developments that when they crash, they crash hard. I hope this is not a surprise to the governments concerned. It shouldn't be.

Since this was highly predictable, people in the UK should have started worrying some time ago. Norway seems to have started worrying some time ago, so it has about 600 billion dollars in its national retirement fund.

Time for a new barometer for the economy. The Oil/Milk ratio, much better than Gold/Oil ratio !!

Antisocial personality traits predict utilitarian responses to moral dilemmas

A study conducted by Daniel Bartels, Columbia Business School, Marketing, and David Pizarro, Cornell University, Psychology found that people who endorse actions consistent with an ethic of utilitarianism — the view that what is the morally right thing to do is whatever produces the best overall consequences [the end justifies the means] — tend to possess psychopathic and Machiavellian personality traits.

Kinda explains why Wall Street acts like a cancer. (The wishing for a recession part of the Rastani interview comes to mind)

something important is missing here. for example, a christ figure and a tyrant would both say they did what they did to produce the best overall result, and that the end justifies the means. but the ends and the means would be about as different as can be between the two.

utilitarianism is trying maximize the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

In utilitarianism everyone has the same moral worth.
In pyschopathy everyone else has the same moral worth.

If you remove the individual from consideration (as was done in the reported study) they are going to lead to the same results.

The moment you include the individual in the calculation their choices will diverge dramatically because the psychopath sees themself as being of infinitely greater worth than everyone else, while the utilitarian doesn't.

Both a utilitarian and a pyschopath push the fat man under the trolley. The fat man jumps if he is a utilitarian and not if he is a psychopath.

Driller unlocks huge natural gas deposit in Ohio's Utica shale

... According to Chesapeake, the so-called Buell well is producing 9.5 million cubic feet per day of natural gas and 1,425 barrels per day of natural gas liquids.

For comparison purposes, the well is producing 3,012 barrels of oil-equivalent per day. Among the more traditional Clinton sandstone formation wells, a good well may produce 100 to 150 barrels of energy equivalency, and it is rare to find one as high as 1,000 per day, Stewart said.

Two Chesapeake wells in Carroll County are producing lower volumes than the one near Cadiz, which is in Harrison County.

One is producing 3.1 million cubic feet of natural gas and 1,015 barrels per day of liquids with 1,530 barrels of equivalency per day; the other is producing 3.8 million cubic feet of natural gas plus 980 barrels of liquid or 1,615 barrels of equivalency per day, Chesapeake said.

Some wells in Pennsylvania's Marcellus shale are comparable, but the volumes are bigger than anything found in Ohio currently, Stewart said.

But, when looking at barrels of oil equivalant per day, and holding this against one of the Thunderhorse or Mars wells, huge suddenly looks real tiny.

S – Interesting. Looks like CHK has done well. Looks more comparable to the Eagle Ford than the Marcellus. Not enough wells to tell for sure but maybe better than the EF. But Aubrey still can’t help but blowing some smoke. It’s irrelevant that the Utica wells come on stronger than the Clinton Sand. That’s an apple to orange comparison. Actually more like an apple to alligator comparison. The production characteristics of these two rock types are about a different as you can find. Likewise with the reservoir rocks at Thunder Horse. Fracture production as found in all SG plays is typically very high initial flow rates completely disproportionate to URR. There’s enough production history of the EF to characterize: 80 – 90% decline rate: an EF comes on at 1,000 bopd and then 12 months later is doing less than 100 bopd. It will take 2 to 3 years to get a good read on the Utica but it cannot be very different than the EF or Marcellus in decline rate: can’t violate Mother Earth’s laws.

Fukushima's radioactive sea contamination lingers

... After levels peaked at around 100,000 becquerels per cubic metre of seawater in early April, much of the radioactive iodine, caesium and plutonium from Fukushima was expected to rapidly disperse in the Pacific Ocean.

Instead, it seems that the levels remain high. That could be because contaminated water is still leaking into the sea from the nuclear plant, because currents are trapping the material that's already there, or both.

... TEPCO said last week that Fukushima-Daiichi may still be leaking as much as 500 tonnes of contaminated water into the sea every day.


On October 31, 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a campaign speech before a crowd at Madison Square Garden. The words he spoke could be uttered in our present time.

75 years ago. It's uncanny. History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce. or History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Thanks, Seraph.

Good find!


In the past, we've discussed how well the Internet would weather peak oil. Some thought the benefits were so great the net would never go dark. Others wondered who would pay for it - hardware, content, etc. - if the economy got really bad.

Wikipedia was mentioned as an example of something so useful people would keep paying for Internet access to get it. But will they pay for Wikipedia? Today, they have huge ads on every page, asking for donations.

I didn't see it at WikiPedia, just at WikiMedia.. but I'm not surprised.. the call for an archive of video through the web has been an enormous upscaling of the demands on the internet.

I hope we can keep a 'text-based' emergency fallback position ready for the net, as I see this 'TV alternative' as the Computer Equivalent to that 2-hour commute people seem to regard as 'nothing special' these days..

A lot of people who insist that the Internet will continue in something like its current form in spite of PO are really saying "it's really cool and I really like it, and it's so danged useful that surely it must carry on".

We will see how scarce resources get allocated. I tend to think of the Internet as we know it as an epiphenomenon of cheap energy and prosperous times...

I think the Internet is really cool, and I really like it, but...

A while back there was a post that observed that pre-Internet we valued knowledge - now we value were knowledge can be found. Maybe, post-Peak we'll go back to valuing knowledge or those 'with the knowing of a lot of things'.

Another way of looking at it: the only difference between our discussion on the DB today and 200 years ago - is time.

And maybe we'll rediscover the distinction between knowledge and "information". Or even, wisdom.

I suspect that long before the Internet goes away due to factors like our inability to spare the energy or maintain the infrastructure, it will have changed so much that it would be unrecognizable. I'm expecting things like bandwidth limiting and much more corporate control to be coming soon. I must admit that I'm addicted to the information access and it will be very difficult to adjust to being unaware.

Can you even remember what it was like before? Of course I can remember on one level, but on another, it's like trying to remember pain. You can remember that you hurt, but not how it felt.

It's been like the Krel mind boost - course, things didn't go to swell for the Krel

Of course, there are those of us who actually print out valuable information! Computers fail. The Internet might fail but I have the "good stuff" in a series of three ring binders. Thousands of indexed pages.


Yes, thanks for the heads up. I think it was you that mentioned this before and it has been making me think about that. I have some binders that have become free so I may start this. Any hints on what may be good material, there are probably a few that could use it.



It's Saturday so I don't know if you'll come back for a look Anyway, it really depends on your focus. As most TODers know I'm a real doomer so much of my focus is upon alternative technology/replacement technology and "surviving". In my notebooks I have everything from a printout of Nuclear War Survival Skills to how to make wood bearings.

I send out an "Update" news letter about once a week to a few TODers and in the last one I had links to a Bug Out Bag Medical Kit with Natural Remedies and How to Survive a Gunshot Wound. Naturally, I printed these out for my notebooks. Incidentally, the Update has lots of other stuff besides "prepping". I've made the offer before so I'll do it again, if you or anyone else wants to get the Update, email me at detz2 at willitsonline dot com. Use a real name and where you live. We literally cover the world.


That's also why I'm hitting the local library's book sale today. Always some good finds!

Yes, that would help, but what I meant was knowing what is happening now, the new information. To be home not knowing what is going on. However, I do recognize that my knowing is not important to anyone but me.

I hear that, Sgage;
I do feel that we have seen levels of computer to computer comm's that can offer such immediate and powerful advantage that we will put 'whatever it takes' towards keeping that going. I mean, whatever, I'm not really going to try to outguess the future events awaiting us.. but it does seem to me that Ad-hoc Radio Networking with much simpler, durable machines and lower thruput can be managed at a far lower Energy Intensity for MFG than we're likely to get to.. Practically Teletypes with Memory and Programming, over Shortwave, etc..

as you say, 'We will see.' But we do have some tools and materials that don't necessarily need continual, massive energy inputs to keep on with now. A few, good semiconductor factories somewhere could supply for a lot of basic comm gear.

One problem is that the Microsoft/Intel model is high energy. If you move away to other software/chip models energy use drops. Look at the OLPC project for example. Even switch from desktop to laptop will drop your energy consumption to 10%-20%. MFG too if we are not hidebound in ancient technology. Teletypes - no, way too high an energy use. Shortwave, maybe, what bit rate can you get? RFC 1149 may be a little slow though.


I don't know the Teletype Technology.. just meant the level of signalling.

I'm thinking of Ad-hoc networking over Packet-radio setups as one of the more 'by the fingernails' internet alternates.. and I think that the Various MicroControllers that are already out there have the potential for being turned into lower-energy and lower-complexity User Terminals for such a project.


The American Internal Revenue Service is really starting to get on the nerves of Canadian politicians and reporters in its enthusiastic effort to make up for the unwillingness of American politicians to increase taxes to cover the United State's reckless spending habits.

All other countries tax people on the basis of residency rather than citizenship, and the US is about the only country that insists on taxing people on the basis of citizenship. There are about a million people with American citizenship in the Canada, many of whom haven't been in the US since they were babies, and the IRS wants them to file US tax returns dating back to the beginning of time.

Canadian taxes are generally higher than American taxes, so it is highly unlikely that the IRS will actually find much money owing under tax treaties. Canadian governments will take all the money first because they have first dibs on Canadian residents incomes, regardless of citizenship.

Canadians don't want to burn down the White House AGAIN to make a point, but next year is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and we could celebrate with another big bonfire.

See: GLOBE EDITORIAL: Get the IRS taxman off the backs of innocent Canadians

Canada and the United States have had a civilized, wide-ranging tax treaty since 1942, with the fair-minded purpose of preventing double taxation. But in the past few years, the Internal Revenue Service has violated this long-standing relationship, by treating Canadians who may also be American citizens as if they were criminal tax evaders trying to conceal ill-gotten gains, and by claiming penalties that would amount to confiscation of large portions of people’s life savings.

Also: Finance Minister slams IRS over cross-border tax crackdown

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty says U.S. authorities are spreading “unnecessary stress and fear” among law-abiding Canadians in their aggressive pursuit of offshore tax cheats.

In his harshest comments yet on the simmering cross-border tax fight, Mr. Flaherty complained that a U.S. Internal Revenue Service crackdown is targeting “large numbers” of dual American-Canadians living in Canada who have unwittingly run afoul of tax filing rules.

Has anyone looked at the 1.5 million barrel per day increase in Imports this past week? I've looked over the EIA website but can't really determine just where that number came from. I'm probably looking in the wrong place....

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The weekly figures bounce up and down. It takes at least a month, often more, to establish any kind of trend. I would not get too excited over what happens this week. Wait a month or so and see which way the trend is moving.

Ron P.

There was a big surge in imports from Mexico making up for low levels the last 2 weeks (probably weather related). Mexico imports alone were about 1 million bpd higher than the previous week. Weekly imports from Mexico at http://www.eia.gov/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=W_EPC0_IM0_NUS...

20 protesters arrested in Take Back Boston protest. Bloomberg news writes article BofA’s Boston Building Draws Protesters, Arrests

We are essentially challenging the system of financial malfeasance and social bankruptcy.

United Federation of Teachers, Workers United and Transport Workers join forces with Occupy Wall Street and plan to march October 5th.
Day 14: More unions join Occupy Wall St

In addition to rapidly increasing support for the action in New York City, Occupy Wall Street confirmed over the phone that there will be at least 26 solidarity occupations in the U.S. by Oct. 6.

Reverend Billy preaches Revolujah! at Wall Street (VIDEO)

Negative Pricing: Germany Swamped with Renewable Energy

I mentioned the opportunity costs of our military actions in the Middle East up-thread..then I ran across this as well!


Congress wants to fund NASA for a new heavy-lift rocket that doesn't seem to have a mission yet...oh well, good thing it may only costs upwards to $62B by 2025....

But hey, we don't have the bucks to fund electric upgrades to our freight train lines (electrification, double-tracking, better inter-modal centers, etc such as Alan Drake advocates) or for intra-city trams/light rail and such.

Lots of people would accuse those as being big government jobs programs...even though we could decrease our oil use and move people and goods around by implementing these things...but apparently a NASA rocket that gives government welfare succor to the aerospace industry without an envisioned mission is A-OK, Houston!

Maybe we could use this rocket to keep pouring money into that rat-hole ISS (extend its life, add some more modules, etc)...$100B+ and up, up, and away? Anything to say that we 'are staying ahead of the Chinese'.

Does anyone else think it is strange than when you type in 'peak oil' in google nearly all the latest news stories coming back are one sided on the 'glut' / shale oil argument. Started about 1 week ago, almost like someone had pressed a button :-) I know there is a election coming up next year in the states, and the oil market is one of the easiest markets to short term distort, but I would have expected a search engine to return a wider spectrum of search results on latest news by just entering the keywords 'peak oil'. Just seems odd to me to get news stories on shale oil / 'us gas glut' etc etc when just using the keywords peak oil.

I think it's a result of Yergin's new book being published...and reviewed all over the place. Yergin's message is peak oil isn't here yet, so that's what people are reporting.

Google has started writing algorithms that tailor search results more to the individual's browsing habits. I'm sure if 10 of us here googled "Peak Oil" we would all get different results.

As it happens, I tried that this morning, and got a list of sites I have already visited, including this one, and many of the list on the left. The name "Yergin" didn't appear until page 3 in the short descriptions.

Of course, when you hit "news" it's a different story. These days, I'm less interested in the actual content and more interested in who's doing the reporting.

Cheers for the feedback - but I thought google's new algorithms only worked when a user was logged into a google account. Eitherway, guessing the peak oil deniers are playing their cards, but we have our new ones yet to play. The whole debates have been just too political of late.

Typing peak oil into chrome generated this page, so there is rather more than just peak oil going into the algorithm. There are probably cookies being used without any need to log into a google account.


Not a denier to be seen on the first page, just sites like TOD and wikipedia and this one :)

Peak Oil distributes competitively-priced fuel and heating oil across Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.

There are probably cookies being used without any need to log into a google account.

I think there are, too. Different people often don't get the same results from Google (or Yahoo), even if they're not logged in.