Drumbeat: October 3, 2011

Record U.S. Gasoline Cargoes Seen Driving 17% Tanker-Rate Advance

Record U.S. exports of gasoline and other refined oil products are poised to eliminate a glut of ships hauling the fuels next year, driving freight rates to a three-year high.

Shipments in the first nine months were 24 percent higher than a year earlier, led by cargoes to Latin America, Energy Department data show. Costs to hire medium-range tankers, holding enough gasoline to fill about 800,000 cars, will gain 17 percent to $14,000 a day next year, according to the median of seven analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

U.S. crude-oil output in the first nine months rose 1.7 percent, the highest for the period since 2003. Gasoline demand fell 3.7 percent in July to the lowest for the month in 11 years. At a time when ships hauling crude and coal are forecast to lose money for at least another two years, product tankers may break even as early as 2012. Billionaire Wilbur Ross completed his first shipping investment last month, joining a group of investors buying a fleet of 30 fuel carriers.

BW Maritime Idles Two Supertankers, Plans to Mothball a Third, CEO Says

BW Maritime, a Singapore-based owner of 15 supertankers, said it temporarily idled two of the vessels and is mothballing a third for a longer duration as earnings plunge to the lowest since at least 1997.

Oil drops to lowest price since 2010

NEW YORK – Oil started the final quarter of 2011 with a whimper.

The benchmark price dropped below $78 per barrel to its lowest level in more than a year, as fears of another recession grew. Oil fell along with broad declines on Wall Street: The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq composite were each down about 2 percent.

Enbridge To Spend C$120 Million On Expanding Eastward Oil Shipments

CALGARY -(Dow Jones)- Enbridge Inc. said Monday it will spend C$120 million on two pipeline projects to expand the eastward flow of crude oil from producers in western Canada.

Pump logic: Why gas prices are still a pain

Falling oil prices should be welcome news for Canadian drivers as they look for a break from the stubbornly high cost of a fill-up at gas stations across the country.

But in both Canada and the United States, gasoline prices have remained high, despite recession-level demand for oil products. Pump prices in Canada are now 22 per cent higher than they were a year ago, while the most commonly quoted oil price, West Texas Intermediate, is up only a few dollars.

Soft energy prices challenge Alberta's new premier

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Alison Redford, the new premier of Alberta, may be hard pressed to narrow the Canadian province's budget deficit as softer energy prices cut into the revenue of the largest oil exporter to the United States.

Insight: Brazil's oil future hinges on bill to share wealth

(Reuters) - Brazil's government is racing to forge a deal in Congress this week that it hopes will prevent a lengthy legal and political battle over its huge offshore oil reserves.

Global Markets And The Mayan Magic Market Wave

Being radical, the answer is real easy: just flip the clock back 40 years and forward 40 years. The results are interesting. 40 years back, less than 1-in-2 of all people living today existed on the planet. 40 years forward we dont know how many will be living (say anywhere between 67% and 133% of today's 7 billion, maybe less but not more), but for the other things fixing what kind of economy we can have - and will have - we can be really sure.

Both Peak Oil and Peak Gas, despite shale and frac gas resources, will have come and gone. The economy (whatever kind it is) will have shifted away from oil in a big way. The gas bubble will itself be winding down in a big way. It happened despite the rearguard action of Ecological Royalty and green commissars. Coal reserves will have been heavily developed, all over the world but this will not stop coal from getting a lot more expensive. By 2055 early generation and wildly uneconomic, even anarchic alternate energy quick fix vanity projects like offshore windfarms and solar polar plants may be strange museum pieces on the horizon, along with hulks of abandoned but still dangerous nuclear power plants, totally shunned after a couple more Fukushima-type disasters. Global energy consumption from fossil fuels will have had no choice at all but to decline in a big way.

Cold Front In Crude Oil: Is A Bearish Winter Ahead?

YET -- after hitting an all-time high at $147 in July 2008, oil prices endured a precipitous decline to a low-$30-a-barrel bottom in mid 2009.

What was the fatal flaw of the widely bullish call for crude in 2008?

Same as with most forecasts based on market "fundamentals": They simply take the previous and existing trends -- and boldly extrapolate them into the future. As a result, you end up completely unprepared for trend reversals.

Price-Fixing Suits Over OPEC Rejected by U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to revive two price-fixing lawsuits pressed by gasoline retailers against OPEC-affiliated companies including Venezuela’s state- owned Citgo Petroleum Corp.

The justices today left intact a federal appeals court ruling that said the antitrust lawsuits couldn’t go forward because they would improperly embroil the judiciary in questions of defense and foreign policy.

Three strikes and you are out?

Daniel Yergin, whom the media have consistently designated as one of the world’s premier experts on energy matters--and who has a consistent track record of predicting higher oil production levels--has been very visible of late, especially with a full page essay in the Wall Street Journal, focused on why concerns about Peak Oil are misplaced.

I thought that it would be useful to review how some of Mr. Yergin's prior predictions regarding oil prices, production and exports in the 2004/2005 time frame have turned out, now that we have several years of post-2005 price, production and export data. Following is a brief summary.

With pirates, it's one step forward, two steps back

Some three centuries ago, a Welshman named Bartholomew "Black Bart" Roberts captured hundreds of vessels in a record run of piracy off the West African coast. Roberts was a star of what historians call the Golden Age of Piracy, when brigands seriously terrorized the movement of seaborne commerce. He comes to mind because, for him, it all began off the coast of Ghana, which today is seriously worried about a new flourishing of piracy. The oil-soaked Gulf of Guinea, of which Ghana is part, risks becoming one of the world's riskiest zones of piracy if security is not enforced rapidly, reports the Ghanaian Times.

Power protests continue to rock city

LAHORE: The citizens, irked by excessive load shedding, staged protests at various locations across the city for the second day in a row. The protests were held on various main roads of the city, resulting in traffic jams on almost all the important roads.

Exxon Starts Fracking Hard In Eastern Europe

Exxon Mobil has been expanding its footprint on shale exploration efforts in Europe. The company recently inked a pact with Ukrainian state oil and gas firm Naftogaz to explore and develop Ukraine’s shale gas reserves. The move comes on the back of Exxon completing its first hydraulic fracturing operation in neighboring country Poland last week.

Temporary ban on oil, gas permits doesn't sit well with some

State regulators are not happy with El Paso County’s moratorium on oil and gas permits, which county commissioners enacted last Thursday.

The four-month suspension, imposed to give county leaders more time to create local land use regulations, also has had at least one unintended consequence. One oil company was so concerned it canceled a free tour of oil rigs for commissioners that was supposed to have happened Monday.

Pa. would let counties set gas drilling fees

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Gov. Tom Corbett released a plan for Pennsylvania's natural gas boom Monday that would allow the state's counties to impose a fee on drilling to help pay to regulate it and fix environmental damage in communities where it is happening.

France cancels three shale permits

The French government has cancelled three exclusive shale gas exploration permits after the holders failed to commit not to use hydraulic fracturing, energy minister Eric Besson and environmental minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet said Monday in a joint statement.

Syria Forces Kill 10 Protesters as Dissidents Form Council to Unseat Assad

Syrian security forces killed at least 10 protesters demanding the ouster of President Bashar al- Assad as dissidents created a council to coordinate efforts to end his 11-year rule.

Learsy: Europe's Praiseworthy Syrian Oil Embargo. Why Not Now a U.N. World Embargo on Iran's Oil??

The Iranian people are under a regime of subjugation as harsh as that of Syria. Popular demonstrations and movements for greater freedoms are put down as ruthlessly as those in Syria. This, to the point that Iran's agents have been acting as mentors to Syrian Security forces teaching them the deadly tricks on how to crush popular demonstrations with the likes of strategically placed snipers and other murderous responses to peaceful acts of civil disobedience seeking respect for personal freedoms.

“Ethical Oil”? Why stop there?

Canada is trying to hit one out of the ballpark with a brazen attempt to re-brand some of the world’s dirtiest and most dangerous oil as “ethical”. If we pull it off, there's no reason to stop there. If an “ethical” brand make-over can make our tar sands smell sweet, just imagine how many other profitable, but deadly, industries it can pry open for us.

TEPCO report faults operating manual; disputes hydrogen explosion

TOKYO — A committee set up by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) to investigate the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following the March 11 tsunami has released an internal document that says the company’s operating manual had not properly prepared workers for a disaster scenario.

Tepco needs to raise up to US$112bil over 10 years

TOKYO: A government panel reviewing Tokyo Electric Power’s finances said the utility will need to raise 8.6 trillion yen (US$112bil) to help pay compensation to residents forced to evacuate the area around its contaminated nuclear plant and to scrap its stricken reactors.

Chevron Unveils World's Largest Solar Enhanced-Oil-Recovery Proj.

Chevron Technology Ventures, a division of Chevron U.S.A., launched a unique demonstration project to test the viability of using solar energy to produce oil. The project uses over 7,600 mirrors to focus the sun's energy onto a solar boiler. The steam produced is injected into oil reservoirs to increase oil production. The project is the largest of its kind in the world.

When Money Dies – a “Live from the Summit” Report

First, as investors, we have heard a lot about risks from governments, the clash of cultures, geopolitics, etc. But in terms of your portfolio, the real risk is not taxes, regulations, fraud, or peak oil. It is your own self. In an era of permanent volatility, you must have the courage and liquidity to accept and exploit it.

The new recession

We're at the end of growth. Growth of the economy, of consumption, of wealth. That this would happen isn't news to those who've followed the writings of Meadows, Heinberg, and many others. What's different now is that it may have actually arrived. I'd like to briefly look at our current situation in this context and synthesize the various ideas we explored in previous posts.

Bill McKibben: Pipeline to disaster

On November 6—exactly one year before the presidential election—some of us will spend the afternoon circling the White House. I'm not sure that's ever been done before. There won't be arrests this time. Depending on your perspective, we'll either be making a giant hopeful "O" around the president or performing a symbolic house arrest. In either case, the message to the president is clear: Keep your word.

November 6 is a Sunday. I'm not telling you to skip church to come to D.C. that day. But I can promise that, just like that Sunday morning in jail, church will be there if you come.

Tough Oil: Five public health challenges of petroleum scarcity

It was the easy oil—that’s what fueled our prosperity.

Economists associate the availability of abundant inexpensive energy with economic growth, suggesting that the modern era’s rising tide of global wealth—and health—was borne up largely on a sea of cheap oil. “We’ve been living for 150 years on a fossil fuel bubble,” is how Stuart Chaitkin, MA, a retired energy policy analyst and senior associate in Environmental Health Sciences (EHS), describes the current situation. “You can’t just simply replace oil for many of its uses. Oil is the world’s master resource.”

'Fossil fuels are wonderful', claims US documentary

New Mexico filmmaker makes a 'pro-truth' film about oil – but he needs to be more open about his own links to pro-oil advocacy.

Kurt Cobb: Crisscrossing the Rubicon of peak oil

In the minds of many of those concerned about an imminent rendezvous with peak oil, the day the world slides past the all-time peak in oil production will be a fateful and irreversible crossing. After it all the calamitous predicted consequences of the ensuing decline will become obvious--financial collapse, unaffordable energy prices, shortages of food and other goods dependent on cheap oil, and mounting unemployment to name a few. And, the cause of these effects will be plain for everyone to see.

But even as some of these symptoms begin to manifest themselves, the public remains ignorant that stringency in oil supplies lies at the heart of them (though peak oil is admittedly part of a complex web of problems related to our broader energy and resource use). Why is this so?

TransCanada Pipeline Foes Allege Bias in U.S. E-Mails

With the Obama administration about to decide whether to green-light a controversial pipeline to take crude oil from Canada’s oil sands to the United States Gulf Coast, e-mails released Monday paint a picture of a sometimes warm and collaborative relationship between lobbyists for the company building the billion-dollar pipeline and officials in the State Department, the agency that has final say over the pipeline.

Environmental groups said the e-mails were disturbing and evidence of “complicity” between TransCanada, the pipeline company, and American officials tasked with evaluating the pipeline’s environmental impact.

Crude Oil Extends Decline From One-Year Low After Worst Quarter Since 2008

Oil fell in New York, after closing last week at a one-year low, on concern that Greece will default on debt payments, leading to slower economic growth and fuel consumption.

Futures slipped as much as 2.3 percent after dropping 17 percent since the end of June in the worst quarter since 2008. Reports this week may show manufacturing in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, barely grew last month, while job growth failed to cut unemployment. European finance ministers meet today in Luxembourg to weigh the threat of a Greek default. Saudi Arabian Oil Co. canceled a crude shipment to Royal Dutch Shell Plc after a fire at Shell’s largest oil refinery.

Koch Brothers Flout Law With Secret Iran Sales

What many people don’t know is how the Kochs’ anti-regulation political ideology has influenced the way they conduct business.

A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries -- in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East -- has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.

Iraq sees oil output at 3 mln bpd by year-end

(Reuters) - Iraq's oil production will reach 3 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of this year from its current output of 2.9 million bpd, the Iraqi oil ministry said on Monday.

China outgrowing dependence on Russian arms, oil, think tank says

Stockholm - China is weaning itself off Russian arms shipments, revealing rifts between the two countries despite their historical links, a report said Monday.

'Decreasing dependence on Russian arms exports and a growing number of alternative energy suppliers mean that China has taken the upper hand in the relationship,' according to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

The report, titled China's Energy and Security Relations with Russia: Hopes, Frustrations and Uncertainties, compiles input from Chinese and Russian experts on the relationship.

Gazprom ready to supply gas to Turkish private firms

Russia's gas giant Gazprom is ready to supply gas to private Turkish companies if Turkey's state gas pipeline operator Botas terminates its gas supply contract with the Russian gas exporter, Gazprom's export head Alexander Medvedev said on Monday.

"We see that the gas supplied via the western corridor finds demand among commercial and industrial consumers," Medvedev told journalists.

BP-led Azeri project receives three bids for gas

(Reuters) - BP's Shah Deniz project said it had received three bids for 10 billion cubic metres of gas that will be made available to European customers from the next stage in the fields' expansion.

Libya Forces Tighten Grip Around Qaddafi’s Sirte as NATO Mission Nears End

Libyan opposition fighters tightened their cordon around Sirte, the hometown of Muammar Qaddafi and one of the country’s last loyalist strongholds, as NATO said it was preparing to wind down its mission there.

Interim government forces, who have been shelling Qaddafi loyalists in Sirte backed by NATO air strikes, are seeking a two-day truce to allow civilians to escape the coastal city. A family of four was killed by machinegun fire as they fled Sirte yesterday, the Associated Press reported yesterday.

Big oil firms waiting to see what happens

Tony Hayward's move into the Kurdistan part of Iraq will lead to fresh speculation over the entry of oil majors.

Libya govt shuffles posts; oil, foreign affairs stay

(Reuters) - The head of Libya's interim government announced on Monday changes to its ministers but kept key portfolios of foreign affairs and oil unchanged.

Russian oil production increases 1.23% in three quarters, exports drop

Russian oil production increased by 1.23% in the first three quarters of this year to 381.446 million metric tons, and exports shrank by 2.13% to 180.429 million tons, the Energy Ministry said.

Shell Singapore cancels crude, petchems deals

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell's Singapore refinery has cancelled the lifting of four million barrels of Saudi Arab Light crude and is in the process of shutting down a chemical complex after a fire forced the closure of its biggest refinery.

Q&A-Shell's shutdown may impact Asian gasoline mkt

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The shutdown of Royal Dutch Shell's Singapore refinery will impact the gasoline market as the massive 500,000 barrel per day (bpd) plant is a key supplier in the region.

Sailor abducted off ship supplying Nigeria oil rig

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Gunmen attacked a ship Friday supplying an Exxon Mobil Corp. offshore oil rig near the coast of Nigeria, kidnapping a sailor and leaving another wounded, an official said.

The attack happened off the coast of Akwa Ibom state, the home of Exxon Mobil's Nigerian subsidiary, local spokesman Nigel Cookey-Gam said. The gunmen boarded the vessel as it idled near an Exxon Mobil oil rig, attacking the crew, he said.

Eni Repairing Nigeria Pipeline After Sabotage Attack

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Italian oil major Eni SpA said Monday it was undertaking repairs on its Obama-Brass pipeline in Nigeria, following damage caused by sabotage.

Bataan nuke plant conversion likely: DOE

MANILA, Philippines - The government is likely to convert the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) into a coal-fired power facility, said Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras.

Nuclear plant works on during protest

(Reuters) - Two reactors at EDF Energy's UK Hinkley Point nuclear power plant continued operating as normal on Monday, while one man was arrested during anti-nuclear protests at the site which blocked access to the nuclear plant, the operator and local police said.

UK nuclear regulator submits final Fukushima report to government

London (Platts)-- The UK's chief nuclear inspector, Mike Weightman, submitted his final report on lessons from the Fukushima I nuclear power plant accident in Japan to the Department of Energy and Climate Change on Friday, a spokesman for the Office for Nuclear Regulation said Monday.

Weightman's interim findings, issued May 18, found there was no need to curtail nuclear power in the UK.

Proposed Keystone XL oil project draws a divisive line

Some might have been surprised to hear that plans to build a 1,700-mile oil pipeline through the Midwest to the Gulf Coast — a source of new oil and thousands of jobs — would drive an emotional fault line down the middle of the conservative heartland. But any skepticism would have quickly evaporated here in the noisy bleachers of the West Holt High School gymnasium.

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline — the subject of public hearings convened by the State Department last week along the route from Montana to Texas — was alternately described as a plot by a foreign corporation to exploit America, a potentially perilous polluter of the nation's greatest freshwater resource, the answer to America's energy insecurity, a generator of the last great family-wage jobs and, oh yes, a dangerous new instigator of global warming.

What The Frack Is Going On Here?

Hydraulic fracturing sends “huge volumes of toxic fluids” deep underground at high pressure, to fracture shale rock and release natural gas, Food & Water Watch claims. “Billions of gallons of toxic fluids” will “contaminate” groundwater and drinking water “for generations.” We need to “Ban Fracking Now.”

Environmentalists used to support “clean natural gas.” Whence the intolerant new attitude?

Alaska may become Silicon Valley of rare earths

TORONTO (Reuters) - A rare earth project nestled into a mountain ridge on Alaska's Prince of Wales Island may unlock a motherlode of resources, bringing needed jobs and opportunity to the state and offering a secure supply of the strategic metals for the high-tech sector.

Between the Bokan Mountain deposit, owned by Canada's Ucore Rare Metals , and the nearby city of Ketchikan, Alaska, state legislators see the potential to build up a lucrative rare earth mining and processing industry, with exploration companies set to exploit about 70 promising sites already identified by state geologists.

"They have this view that, potentially, they can make Alaska the Silicon Valley of rare earths," said Luisa Moreno, an analyst at Jacob Securities in Toronto.

Recycling: Rarely so Critical

As renewable energy finally takes off, China, which controls 97% of the global supply of rare earth elements, vital to much renewable technology, has tightened supply. As industry and governments around the world scramble for solutions, the complex process of recycling rare earths has moved into the spotlight.

Op-Ed: Why EV Haters Are Wrong

Below are some of the current issues surrounding EVs, and my analysis:

Homeowners and Businesses Embracing Small Wind Turbines

AUSTIN, TEXAS — Most of the buzz about wind power centers on the enormous turbine farms that dot plains and hilltops around the world.

But another segment of the wind business is also gaining traction — small wind turbines, the type that stand alone at homes or businesses.

Brazil: Again, Court Ruling Halts Giant Amazon Dam

A Brazilian judge has suspended work on a massive hydroelectric dam in the Amazon jungle, saying it would harm fishing on the Xingu River.

BP boosts investment in Brazil biofuels in bid to become top global supplier

BP is planning a multibillion-pound investment spree to become the world’s leading supplier of biofuels.

The company’s ambitious target is centred on building up its huge land holdings in Brazil to produce billions of gallons of ethanol from sugar cane.

U.T. Making a Big Bet on the Future of Algae

For decades, scientists have been trying to find ways to mass-produce algae as a viable source of fuel for vehicles. High costs and environmental factors have created insurmountable roadblocks. Now, researchers hope, a new facility at the University of Texas will help them move closer to that goal.

Does Secretary Mabus Do the Right Thing with Wrong Reasons?

Here one again needs to ask the following: How long should the tax payers subsidize the biofuel industry to finally get a competitively prices biofuel?

Functional deficits for dysfunctional America

As its people suffer as they haven't since the Great Depression, the United States' political elites have turned away from thinking about real human suffering in the name of a pious concern with the abstraction of fighting "deficits". But if that concern were serious, and not just a political ploy, we'd see the US and the world in a strikingly different light. Three structural/functional deficits - the sustainability deficit, the time/jobs deficit and the equality deficit - revolve around values, choices that we, as a society, make about how to organise the broad patterns of how we live.

Fewer Humans, More Humanity?

Making a taboo of population is bizarre when the win-win solution to factor P (voluntary, accessible family planning within a rights-based framework) is actually so life-saving, a humanitarian measure. Life-saving? yes, the lives of women (WHO says the outrageous avoidable mortality of 1000 mothers every 24 hours could reduce by 35%, since so many women are dying through a pregnancy they did not want and would have avoided with realistic access to voluntary family planning); and of children, since child survival is always increased by well-spaced births.

The Melancholia of the middle classes

Lars von Trier’s new film brilliantly teases out the link between the rot of the bourgeois mind and the rise of apocalyptic fantasies.

Post-Carbon America

Forget about 'peak oil' and global warming. What about two centuries from now, when we'll really need help?

EPA objects to 19 more mine permits

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has objected to 19 mountaintop mining permits in Kentucky only days after Gov. Steve Beshear urged President Barack Obama to ease up on the state's coal industry.

Churches take to the streets to press for coalition action on climate change

A thousand supporters have been on the streets in Manchester for a march organised by Christian Aid, Tearfund and CAFOD. Their aim: to persuade the coalition government to work harder to deliver climate justice.

For many years, churches in the UK have campaigned to end global poverty. Now, Christian organisations are taking on climate change, on the grounds that much like the third world debt, global warming is a poverty-related issue.

Analysis: EU carbon costs may force refiners to relocate, close

(Reuters) - European Union plans to make oil refiners pay for carbon emissions from 2013 could accelerate European refinery closures and encourage them to relocate outside the EU to avoid higher operating costs that could run into millions of euros a year.

The UK refining industry is seen as being at particular risk due to UK government plans for a carbon floor price that may be above the level set by the market. UK companies such as Ineos are worried they will be put at a competitive disadvantage.

Shell oil paid Nigerian military to put down protests, court documents show
Secret papers reveal that in the 1990s the oil giant routinely worked with the army to suppress resistance to its activities

Go well, go Shell...yeah right.


The new Spartans.. 'Come back with your Shell or on it..'

Meanwhile, Climate Chaos continues:


"Philippine authorities were struggling on Sunday to reach communities in northern provinces of Luzon island that were hit by two powerful typhoons in less than week, as concern grew about a third storm forming off the coast.

The national disaster agency said one person had been killed when Typhoon Nalgae struck on Saturday, although there were reports of more deaths from provincial officials. The storm, packing winds of 140 kph (87 mph), is moving away from the Philippines toward Vietnam.

The Philippines had yet to recover from Typhoon Nesat, which hit on Tuesday, killing at least 52 people, when Nalgae struck. Thirty people are still missing after Nesat and a number of towns and villages are flooded, the disaster agency said.

Parts of two provinces north of the capital, Pampanga and Bulacan, have been submerged in chest-deep water since Friday, with many residents sheltering on their roofs, and Nalgas's rain meant the towns were likely to remain flooded as water ran down from the mountains.

"If there's anyone willing to help, we need food"...

"It's the first time we've been hit by two consecutive typhoons, strong ones""

And more bad news for Texas--when do people start fleeing the state en mass?


"Grim predictions say 9 more years of Texas drought possible"

We had our first frost this morning, not hard, but enough to wilt sensitive plants. Earliest I can remember.. Many years we're having an "Indian summer" (late heat wave) about now.

We've got a pretty good heat wave for this time of year going up here--70s and maybe some 80s--very warm for October in MN. But small local fluctuations like this are relatively unimportant to the larger picture. Back to back mega-typhoons, 15 year droughts, epic floods...are what we are seeing more and more around the world.

For the North part of North America, the La Nina pattern should mean another snowy, reasonably cold winter. Where are you?

"Where are you?"

SW North Carolina (2500 feet).

Beautiful area!

I just heard that our warmth and your coolth are part of the same "omega block" system.

Of course. Most of climate change we see is not actuall warming, but heat moving around. If it gets hotter one place, it must be cooler another. When we got cold winters in Europe orN America, it means Arctic winters are mild. CC deniers never uderstand this bit.

This is also the reason why the upper atmosphere is cooling down; heat is trapped in the lower atmosphere and thus the upper is robbed off heat. Most of CC is just heat moving around.

Except for the fact that the overall average global temperature has increased. Nice theory though, too bad it doesn't mesh with reality or the overwhelming evidence proving that climate change is actually occuring.

Don't missunderstand me. Surface temperature is increasing all over the planet. But it is dropping in the upper atmosphere. This is because GHGs are trapping the solar energy in the lower atmospheric layers. So to recap: Up there in the blue: colder,down here at the ground: warmer.

If the planet was a very simple system with one smooth ball of just one type of solid surface, CC would lead to little total warming at all. But now we have a massive heat trapping device called the "oceans", and they will store up loads of enery over the years. It is gonna get hot here. Very hot. But it does not change the fact that most CC is just moving heat around. The sun is not getting hotter, after all.

The UK is due to be hit by the remnants of hurricane Ophelia, the second hurricane to hit the UK this year. Infrequently the UK gets the tail end of the odd hurricane, so twice in quick succession is pretty unusual.

North braced for Hurricane Ophelia as south basks in record-breaking heat

...they were last night warned to brace themselves for the remnants of Hurricane Ophelia, which is set to sweep in from the US bringing lashing wind and rain.

The tail-end of the hurricane currently battering North America will hit Scotland, Northern Ireland and the North West of England by mid-week.


If it's a repeat of last year, by next Spring we'll be shutting down our thermal power plants and our windmills and Bonneville Power will be giving away free wholesale electricity as generation from hydro far outstrips the regions transmission capacity.

Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with excess electricity that must be used locally?


Smelt aluminum?

Been there. Done that.

Most of the smelters that did exist in Washington were shut down in the early 2000's due to low prices and high electricity costs.

Lately, Microsoft and Google server farms have been located close to the hydro dams on the Columbia.

The problem is that this excess power is only available for part of the year and is not guaranteed from one year to the next. Delivering the power to where it's needed over improved transmission lines would be the obvious solution. But erecting new inter-state transmission lines is a political and legal nightmare.

It's a problem akin to the overproduction we see in windpower. Over a few hours or at most a few days, windmills can provide enough electricity to drive German wholesale electricity prices negative. (We may soon have that same problem in Washington state.) With hydro, we have that same problem for weeks/months at a time. The phenomenon is fickle enough that you wouldn't want to build an entire industry around it. But anyone who can think of a way to put that seasonally intermittent electricity to good use will make a heck of a lot of money.

"Been there. Done that."

Yes, I know - my comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

It is an interesting problem, and I can't think of a useful and interesting solution off the top of my head.

BMW are sourcing all there carbon fiber from a plant in Washington State. Open a few more plants


use it to pump water into a reservoir attatched to a hydroelectric generator.

Run the hydro on windless days.

Should this have <humor> tags around it?

The excess electricity is coming from water releases from already overfull reservoirs. More dams upstream to stretch out the snow melt might be feasible, but in a year like this one, you wouldn't need to pump water into them; they'd fill naturally.

2011 was a very strange year for precipitation in the northern parts of the West. California's snow melt filled reservoirs that had never been full before. BPA had huge surpluses. Along the Missouri River, the Army Corps of Engineers had to make record releases in order to protect the big dams, resulting in months-long flooding downstream. At the same time, parts of the Southwest are having record droughts.

When you have the excess power...
Do thermal desalinization of seawater.
Do water purification of waste water through a VDU type system.

Use the water localy at the time of excess power(instead of depleting your current supplies) or bottle for storrage/sale.

You do realize that the power BPA was looking to give away was essentially all hydro power, right? That at times when there is excess power, there is also excess high-quality fresh water without the need to do anything tricky, ie, you can just divert vast quantities of it out of the river below the last dam, if only you had somewhere to put it?

They had a freak year for precipitation. The climate change models suggest such years may be more common in the future -- heavier precipitation in the winter, less in the summer. If that's the case, the obvious answer is additional upstream storage, so that the flows can be evened out more. Or expand the HVDC link to Southern California, so they can use the hydro and throttle back their nukes and natural gas generators for a couple of months. Either of those will take years to get permitted and constructed.

This comment is too snarky -- someone slap me. Under certain circumstances it may be a fine use, just not under these particular ones.

You have an over supply of water...I understand, you can run it out the bypass or through the turbines to create power...the issue was there was an oversupply of power so no reason to run it pasted the turbines, I was giving a use for the electrical power.

So you have potential energy of stored "fresh water" making perfectly "pure" water....still an increase of water quality and a use for the power.

Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with excess electricity that must be used locally?


Cheap electrity plus CO2 plus H2O yields carbohydrate fuel. Doty believes it can be competitive with oil based fuel at roughly $90/barrel. I traded some questions with him on an energy blog a few months back, quite a smart fellow, I learned a lot. But, ASICT he's had no investors. His plan was to take stranded windpower, plus sequestered CO2 from a power plant, and make vehicle fuel from it. Of course the "windfuel" isn't really carbon neutral, it just reuses CO2 from coal for a second go around.

Anybody got any good ideas for what to do with excess electricity that must be used locally?

Make Ammonia for fuel?

Synthetic fuel production. To be used for heating buildings in Washington state.

Well, maybe not from man-made ozone depleting gases but I would think that this is likely from man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

'Nature' reports largest ozone hole ever in Northern Hemisphere

As reported by The Guardian, the researchers found that the unsually large hole was not due to man-made causes, rather to unusually strong wind patterns at high altitudes and intense cold.

I think the Guardian's inference that the unsually large hole was not due to man-made causes misread what the researchers actually found.

The map (below show a one-to-one correspondence between Ozone loss and Chlorine Monoxide (derived from CFC, a man-made chemical).

Stratospheric cooling is an expected effect of climate change, AGW, also man-made.

As lead author Gloria Manney of NASA's JPL in Pasadena, Calif indicated "...This implies that if winter Arctic stratospheric temperatures drop just slightly in the future, for example as a result of climate change, then severe Arctic ozone loss may occur more frequently."

Study finds unprecedented Arctic ozone loss

Yah, seems odd to assume that lower stratospheric temperatures are a natural phenomenon.

On the other end of the planet, the ozone hole size has peaked already at very near record size. The minimum ozone level, however, continues to decline... it's at 98 Dobson units, and now within spitting distance of the record low of 82 Dobson units. This is compared to last year, when the minimum didn't get below 128.


Interesting to look at stratospheric temperature in the Antartctic with respect to these numbers. This year's minimum was 179 Kelvin, which is considered extremely low by some contemporary researchers.


The size of the ozone hole seems to be in lockstep with the temperature, but the minimum level usually comes a few months after the minimum temperature.

As far as Texas, difficult to say right now, time will tell.

At the very least, the idea that Texas is a utopia of job creation and prosperity, which has been a popular meme in this depression, will disappear.

Let's have all Mexicans and Americans move to Texas! Yeah right.

Link up top: Fewer Humans, More Humanity? From the Huffington Post.

Authoritative (UN, WWF) reports on the planet's health have regularly found that water, land, plants, animals and fish stocks are all in "inexorable decline". The more we are, combined with our ever rising world-average environmental footprints, means the less of our finite little planet's dwindling, but still rich legacy we each have to live on. It's not rocket science. Indeed the Chief Scientist and the last President of the Royal Society have both referred to the approaching "perfect storm" of population growth, climate change, and peak oil, leading inexorably to more food, water and energy insecurity.

It's called "Overshoot" and indeed it's not rocket science. I find it amazing that some people still question whether or not we are in overshoot. We are deep, deep into overshoot. Overshoot is the point where the human population passed the point where the earth cannot, long term, support that level of population without eventual collapse. I will not argue exactly where that point was, only that it was several billion people less than we have now.

The things that humans must have in order to prevent a massive die-off are all in inexorable decline as the article state. Some people, Lester Brown, Paul Ehrlich, Garrett Hardin, William Cannon, and many others have been warning us about this for decades. Yet it is a taboo subject among all politicians and TV talking heads. How can something so obvious so oblivious to the vast majority of people, even well educated people. It is baffling.

Ron P.

Possible answers,

1) Our reptilian brains simply can't process the information - our emotional discounting mechanism is screwy.

2) People only like to think positive & happy thoughts. No room for critical thinking.

3) We are addicted to growth - consumption & population growth.

4) We are insane.

5) We feel immune to the problem, it doesn't affect me & someone else will deal with it. They always do, right?

I have to say all of the above.

It's a many fold problem really but three major ones are:

1. Diffuse responsibility. Ever here of the woman who got raped whilst people stood around watching? That isn't unheard of either.

RICHMOND, Calif. -- Police believe as many as a dozen people watched a 15-year-old girl get beaten and gang-raped outside her high school homecoming dance without reporting it.


2. People with foresight tend to get ignored until the problem becomes often too big to solve easily.


It was originally called 1919 class but he was forced to change it because it unsettled people.

3. Humanity has been given a set of lucky breaks. However we've acted like gamblers and instead of taking our winnings and leaving the table we put more on the line every time we've had a big win against the odds.

We've been lucky with the stable climate of the past 10,000 years.
We've been lucky that we could draw upon coal when the wood started to run low.
We've been lucky that oil scaled as it did as the easy coal reserves started to dwindle and oil allowed us to extract even more coal.
We've been lucky that the green revolution allowed us to feed billions whom would have otherwise starved.
We've been lucky that we have been able to increase gas production even as the BTU output of coal and oil has stagnated.

Every time we've been lucky the world population has been allowed to increase without forcing a natural contraction on our numbers. However as world populations have increased it's becoming orders of magnitudes more difficult to find each lucky break as we use up our luck. Building the renewable infrastructure to replace fossils is probably about 10* harder than it was to build the fossil fuel infrastructure since we'll have to find energy to replace everything that fossil fuels give us from electricity to fertilizer to transport fuels.

Better that we give up the idea we can maintain existing infrastructure and way of life. If we find ways not to use the auto, for example, that goes a long way to not having to replace all the fossil fuels with an equivalent amount of power from other sources. This would require a radical, hard to fathom change in paradigm and mind set, but we could make it a lot easier on ourselves not to pursue the impossible dream of replacing all fossil fuels. It cannot be done. People fear not having the auto and hate those who suggest such an idea. Might as well try to take away their guns. Those of us, however, who have been lucky enough not to need an auto to get around recognize the liberation pertaining thereto.

Instead, however, we will probably end up in a kind of Max Max situation, but less fun.

Last month I put together a short Powerpoint presentation on DeMotorization and have given it twice already. Once for a “Moving the Planet” event for 350.org back on Sept. 24th, and then again for the sustainability group at the local UU church last Sunday. Only about twenty viewers in all so far, but it has been well received.

Maybe it’s just a matter of choosing carefully who you show it to, until you get some idea about how it will be received. I emphasize the facts that no cars are built in Maine, and we have no oil wells or refineries here. So, in effect, every car in Maine is an imported car, and so is all the fuel to run them. The end result is that about $6.8 Billion gets drained out of the state economy each year, just to keep all the cars going.

If you live 10 miles downstream from a hydro dam with a large crack, you live in a state of constant anxiety, you have a mental escape plan to high ground plotted at all times, you jump at the sound of thunder.

If you live one mile downstream from that dam, you live a life of calm serenity.

Presumably, you meant 'upstream' in the second sentence.

But of course there really is no 'upstream.'

No matter how remote or well stocked your doomstead, it the rest of the world is desperate enough, they will find it and find a way to get to your store of food.

But certainly, some places are poised to fall down the cliff faster than others. India is an interesting case, here. On the one hand, they would seem to me to be the epitome of a society about to crash--highest birth rate in the world (just in terms of numbers of kids born per year in the county, not per capita), aquifer losing water at a breathtaking rate, right on the path for extreme effects of GW...

But others have pointed out that they also have traditions of local eating and resource use, self reliance, non-meat eating (especially beef)...that could make them much more resilient than many more modern cultures that have lost these abilities.

But between the mega-level (climate, population, water availability...) and the micro-level of household and neighborhood cultural memory are the middle-level structures, particularly politics and economics, that seem likely to make everything much worse, both in India and in much of the rest of the world.

So, it is obvious that on a global level we're well into overshoot, but weighing all these (and other) factors, what areas seem to most people to be most likely to be at the cutting edge of the great unraveling. (Yemen, particularly, comes to mind. And probably other places in MENA, where temporary oil wealth, now mostly plateauing or in decline, had allowed for a huge boom in population and, sometimes, prosperity.)

"Presumably, you meant 'upstream' in the second sentence."

Somebody posted a study a while back that determined that the closer folks live to "the danger zone", the more they discount the threat. Folks just below a dam tended to worry less about it than folks farther downstream. The study alluded to a larger context, folks near nuke plants or tsunami zones "try not to worry about it much", of course, until it's too late :-/

Yep. When I was a child in the early 1960s, and lived far from any obvious targets for nuclear missiles, I had friends whose parents had built some sort of fallout shelter. We moved, our new house was about six miles from SAC headquarters, and nobody bothered with fallout shelters. No sense in preparing for a disaster you aren't going to survive.

No, he meant downstream. We have discussed this on this list before. The closer you are to the impending disaster the less you can be concerned about it.

Ron P.

What of the United States of America ?

Double the energy and oil use of the EU & Japan.

Severe and chronic Balance of Payments deficit - balanced with nicely engraved pieces of paper (T-Bills and US $).

Population growth 0.9%/year (perhaps down a bit since the Great Recession).

Severely dysfunctional political system - which echoes a society that is dysfunctional in a number of areas.

One major area of dysfunction is the refusal to simply accept that a problem even exists in several significant areas.

This denial is part of reason for such high rates of consumption and low levels of investment. And the limited investments are made in absurdly dysfunctional "investments" - such as military spending that is over 40% of the global total.

Of the OECD nations, the USA seems closest to the edge.

Best Hopes for a Panic Response Soon - I guess,


You still grow far more grain than you need to feed your current population. You still pump enough oil and gas to run a reasonably high tech society, and you have a century of fat tail depletion ahead of you. You have enough coal to cook the planet, and plenty of most mineral resources except phosphates.

Climate change and aquifer depletion will hit hard, but the bigger short term problems are economic and social. We all have a dysfunctional financial system in the throws of collapse. You are not a society with a recent history of coming together in times of crisis at a national level. You have a political leadership which still controls the most destructive military in the history of the planet. I see civil war and large scale internal migrations in the coming decades, but it could be so different.

You still grow far more grain than you need to feed your current population.

And currently the Population Growth is 78 million people per year while one hectare of productive land is lost every 7.67 seconds.

In China 80 percent of grain is grown on irrigated land. The water tables in Northern China are dropping by meters per year. The Yellow river only reaches the sea during the rainy season.

In India 60 percent of the people get their food from irrigated land and the water tables are dropping just as fast as in China.

You still pump enough oil and gas to run a reasonably high tech society, and you have a century of fat tail depletion ahead of you.

A century no less? Just how fat is that tail? Actually net oil imports, to importing nations, are down over 16 percent since they peaked in 2006. And they continue to drop. Higher prices on less oil, a recipe for disaster. This is what is causing the current recession though many would deny it.

Of course you did not mention that ocean fish stocks are down to a tiny fraction of their level just a few decades ago. Animal species are disappearing at an alarming rate. Water tables are falling and rivers are running dry. Deserts are expanding and rain forest are disappearing. And I could go on and on.

The deniers of overshoot really don't have a leg to stand on but they continue to deny, deny and deny. What does it take to make these folks to see what is as plain as the nose on their face?

Ron P.


You overestimate my optimism :)

I was responding to the post suggesting the US was particularly badly off, whereas in fact the US is still blessed with huge resources matched only the unsustainable and profligate rate at which they are being depleted. Any European country would think all their Christmases had come at once if they found a quarter of what you have under the ground.

I still think we are as a species deep in overshoot, but for the US the overshoot is for now more psychological than physical.

If the US drove European style cars you could become almost oil import free overnight, at least for a few years. If you invested heavily in CNG conversions, you could be oil import free for a decade or more. You may well collapse before we do in Europe, but it won't be fore resource depletion reasons.

If the US drove European style cars you could become almost oil import free overnight,

We cannot do anything overnight. I have seen it estimated that it takes 17 years to turn the automobile fleet over. And we haven't even started the conversion process yet. Then there are trucks and planes. Hirsch said it would take 20 years from the time we started. I don't expect us to start any time soon.

No nation is an island. Not anymore anyway. We must think global now. What happens to one will eventually happen to all. All nations may not collapse together but like dominoes one will follow the other.

Ron P.

I think 17 years may not do it:

(DETROIT) — Pickups and SUVs helped accelerate U.S. auto sales in September, although carmakers remain concerned that worries about the economy could dampen demand later this fall.

So there's this:

North America was relatively sparsely populated prior to the arrival of European settlers. No empires seem to have existed or survived long there. Which is a bit odd, there were plenty in South America. No doubt there can be many reasons for this, but as an outlier, maybe climate or some other environmental reason was responsible. Is it possible that the actual carrying capacity of North America is much lower than believed, just currently masked by access to abundant fossil fuels and a benign climatic period?

A paucity of domesticated crops and animals was a limiting factor in pre-Columbian North America north of the Rio Grande.

The soil fertility in the Mid-West is superb, and rainfall and ground water are generally excellent for the last two centuries.

Post-industrial agriculture, there will be lots of good land left. Illinois corn fields will produce good crops, just much lower yields, with organic agriculture and crop rotation.

In particular, small plots of good land in hilly areas, unsuitable for industrial agriculture, can provide a subsistence living for many millions.

Add silviculture (fruit and nuts from trees).

Climate Change will likely take out Texas and Oklahoma agriculture - but I suspect that we could feed 300 million with a mostly vegetarian diet from subsistence organic agriculture.



I don't doubt what you say for a minute Alan. There's just something nagging about the fact that humans hadn't utilised the vast areas and resources of North America as they had done elsewhere in the World. It wasn't because they weren't capable of doing it, there must be a reason.

With 30-60 million buffalo, why bother?
The plains Indians were embarrassingly healthy.

Plus, you had 100 million salmon coming up the Columbia.
California Indians never even bothered with agriculture.

Human populations tend to grow until natural limits are met. The fact that there was abundant resources and food just add to the curious situation that seem to have existed in North America. IIRC humans have been there for 10 to 12 thousand years, plenty of time to expand up to any natural limit.

I suspect native Americans were no different to humans elsewhere and their population did grow until natural limits kept them check. The fact that the population stabilised at relatively low numbers seems to indicate there was a significant environmental check that they were never able to surmount.

What kept the plains Indians in check was the simple fact that they could not run faster than a Buffalo. This oversight was redressed when they started too use horses brought in by the Spaniards. Then there population started too grow and went rapidly down again when the white men in there wisdom started to eradicate the Buffaloes believing erroneously that the flatulence from 60,000,000 Buffaloes was causing global warming.


No, it's the buffalo that are to blame for global warming through their flatulence and bison that provide meat.


Sorry to nitpick, but the majority of the methane comes from the front of ruminant, not the back.

Basically it's the burps not the farts.

Hmm, I guess that is why they don't smoke.


Just this point is addressed by Catton in his book "Overshoot" in the first chapters when he discussed the invasion of North America by Europeans.

To summarize: North American populations were at the hunter gatherer stage - this made North America 'full' of people at that state of societal evolution. Agriculture allows for larger population density, industrialized agriculture even more so.

The numbers he discussed which interested me most, and which I can't remember off the top of my head, were the population density for Europe at the time of conquest. If I remember correctly, in North America we have exceeded those density numbers as of the eighties (about when the book was written)

Without industrialized (nonsustainable) agricultural processes, it is likely that we will experience the same sort of pressure that affected Europe at that time: unreliable food supply due to (essential) overpopulation.


Not all cultures in North America were hunter-gatherers. Some were. Some were in the horticultural stage, and some agricultural.

The population density of North America pre-Columbus is still in dispute. It's possible it was much higher than Europeans were aware of.

There is little doubt that humans expanded the range of the American chestnut - and possibly increased it's density in the forest.


A couple of factoids without references:

1. When Lewis and Clark entered the northwest they would have starved without the help of Sacajawea who just happened to be related to a local chieftan. The resources in the area were completely spoken for.

2. The area I live in now, Sonoma County CA, supposedly had the highest pre-conquest population density in North America. The primary food source for the population was Oak tree acorns which had to be processed in a very complex fashion to be edible. There were also vast resources of game and Salmon in the rivers. The trees were cultivated intensively but, since they did not look like agriculture to the invaders, were not considered an important food source until researched many years later.

There was the Mississippian Culture.

Population of Native Americans decreased prior to extensive contacts with Europeans due to the spread of Eurasian diseases ahead of the contacts.

But I think that a limiting factor in the East of the United States was the lack of metal smelting. Without metal axes, clearing temperate woodlands for agriculture is fairly difficult.

Breaking the sod of Illinois and Iowa was facilitated by the steel plow.

There are a variety of reasons. Start from the observation that technology gets developed in cities, not by nomads, which requires at least the beginnings of "industrial" agriculture.

  • The Americas completely lacked large domesticable herbivores. From the perspective of agriculture, adding horses and/or some form of oxen to the mix represents an enormous jump in productivity. Large-scale agriculture in the Americas was confined to limited areas where "human power" was sufficient.
  • Between the Sierras and the eastern edge of the Great Plains, with a few exceptions, it's just too dry for reliable agriculture. Today there is considerable production in that region, but it's taken a lot of big dams to spread irrigation out beyond the narrow river valleys, and a lot of breeding to get appropriate strains of more drought-tolerant grains like wheat.
  • The Prairie states have the soil and the rainfall, if you can get the damned grass under control. Between the dense root systems and the periodic fires, tallgrass prairie will crowd out almost anything. Remember that even the Europeans with horses/oxen had a lot of trouble with it until steel plows got cheap.
  • Some of it was timing. In another few hundred years the Native Americans might have made it to metals hard enough to clear-cut forests. Absent such metals, there were limited opportunities where large-scale agriculture could be practiced.

South American civilisations overcome many of these limitations successfully and also humans elsewhere in the World. I'm not discounting them, as I've no idea whether they were limiting factors or not. But they don't seem to have been limiting factors elsewhere in the World. Easter Island for example managed to grow their population beyond their resource base and probably overcome similar problems with less resources than Native Americans had available to them.

I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Native Americans certainly did "succeed" in growing their population beyond their resource bases from time to time. ("Man corn," anyone?) There were examples of very complex societies in North America - certainly as complex as Easter Island ever got.

Jared Diamond, in Guns, Germs and Steel argues that geography is the reason for the different paths taken in different parts of the world. By that, he means not only natural barriers, but the flora and fauna available for domestication, and east-west vs. north-south layout of the land.

It was interesting to visit Mesa Verde a few years back and hear that the latest thinking (ca 2002) on that culture's demise was from mismanagement of resources, ultimately topsoil, forest and finally water, as erosion removed the growing and waterstoring potential of that Promontory.. and of course much of that was the result of their agricultural developments, but also the need for structural timbers and firewood.

A lot of this discussion assumes that a more complex "civilization" is an improvement. I think there is evidence that humans were happier and at least as healthy as hunter-gatherers as they are now. Civilization, including agriculture, seems to benefit a relatively small fraction of the society for many centuries. And maybe the improvements we assume are relatively short lived.

Also I'm not so sure that civilization's improvements come from the cities. Certainly the industrial revolution did not. It came from the English midlands.

Well, the industrial revolution was a little more complex than that. It started because the English had run out of wood and had to resort to dirty coal for heating and cooking. This sudden need for coal, and the fact that coal mines at the time often extended out under the sea and, subsequently, flooded, resulted in Newcoman and later Watt inventing/perfecting the steam engine. Other enterprising people realized that the ultra efficient engine could be used in places formerly driven by water, wind or animal power. The industrial revolution was an unintended consequence of finding a replacement for fuel. (Watch James Burke’s show, Connections, so see how often this happens.) After all, they had a steam engine in 1st century BC Alexandria. Why no industrial revolution? Not because the Egyptians were stupid or that they had slaves to do their work for them, as some people have said. They just lacked abundant energy or any driving need.

This is how societies usually evolve. Not by logic but by necessity, opportunity and luck.


A large chunk of the land area don't have climate for agriculture for reliable lengths of time. Those things are sure civilization killers.

You may be on to something, paleoclimatologists are starting to wonder about this. We know now from the compiled treering records of many researchers that the continent or large parts of it can lock into multidecadal megadroughts. Look at Ed Cooks' work at Lamont http://iridl.ldeo.columbia.edu/SOURCES/.LDEO/.TRL/.NADA2004/.pdsi-atlas..... Megadroughts are a bummer if you are a farmer.
Larry Benson has a paper in American Antiquity 2009 74:467-483 on "Cahokia's Boom and Bust in the Context of Climate Change". Cahokia was the big centre of the Mississippian culture in Illinois. Europeans have had little experience with the megadrought here...this may change soon. They don't look pretty. The late 1200s Megadrought also took out the Ancestral Pueblos. The 1300s Megadrought took out the farmers of the Missouri Valley, the survivors decided Bison ranching was more reliable. These puppies aren't pretty.

Paleo, yes, I was thinking something along those lines might have been responsible. In Australia the aborigine population was held in check by the fragile Australian ecosystem and probably less favourable climatic conditions than have existed recently. I was thinking that something similar was responsible for the low Native American population.

Thanks for the link, I'll take a look at it later when I have the time. Have to go to the forest wood cutting now.

The natives of North America lived in a paradise filled with game, fuel and fresh water. They used their large amount of free time to wage constant war on each other. This kept the population low and also kept their paradise intact. Because they were hunter/gatherers they never allowed their settlements to grow large enough to require a system for peaceful resolution of disputes.

The deserts of the southwest protected them from encroachment by the Central American civilizations.

Maybe not all natives of North America.

The Poverty Point culture people who constructed Poverty Point were hunter-gatherers rather than agriculturalists, displaying a rare example of a complex hunter-gatherer society that actually constructed large scale monuments. The vast majority of other prehistoric monuments, ranging from Stonehenge in England to the Great Pyramid at Giza in Egypt were all constructed by agricultural societies.


They are now replaced with the Power Point culture.

What I would find odd is that an advancement like civilization happening nearly simultaneously in disconnected human populations. Modern humans have been around for tens of thousands of years, to expect civilization to pop up in unconnected areas within a mere thousand year timespan is asking for way too much. So its not surprising that a couple of places didn't reach that point, before modern humans from elsewhere made it a moot point.

I'm not sure that explains the facts that all of the aboriginal Americans came to this continent across the Alaska-Russia strait and that all of the advanced civilizations developed south of the hunter-gatherer tribes in the north.

Perhaps they left all of the smartest ones behind as they travelled south, or was it the dumb ones?

I think typically it is the malcontents that keep on moving. I know that's how my parents landed in California in 1948. Only the Pacific Ocean could have stopped them. (they weren't good swimmers)

A few weeks ago I talked to a guy on a chat chanel. He wasn't sure weather the effects of climate change were going to be bad or good,but leaning towards a net positive effect. He also said there was no obvious climate trend, and CO2 was a minor climate driver.

Yes; no obvious climate trend... Those are the moment I just know we won't do anything until it has been to late for a long while.

There will be no response. The value of the dollar will fade over the next 20 years. The price of oil in dollars will continue upward faster than the price of oil in rupees, yuan, yen, euro, etc.. Likewise the price of clothes, cars parts, machine parts, electronics, computers, etc. from China will continue upward due to the falling value of the dollar. The government will print as many dollars as needed to fill the deficit. This number will grow each year.

Americans will car pool when gasoline gets expensive enough. The government will grow and have a big rationing department at the federal and state levels. By 2031, most smart Americans will have left.

But where will most smart Americans leave to?

America seems like it might be better than a lot of more crowded countries.

Once it becomes clear that this is really the end of growth, people will start to rip up parking lots and redo football fields back into wheat fields. At least there are parking lots and football fields in the US.

Of the OECD nations, the USA seems closest to the edge.

No, I would say that of the OECD nations, Mexico is closer to the edge, along with the EU PIGS (Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain). However, the US has been crowding them closely of late, and the US is the 900-pound porker in this pigpen.

The US Army agrees with your assessment of Mexico, citing the apparent inability of the federal government to control the drug violence, and falling oil production. The government gets about 40% of its current revenue from oil exports and will have to make hard choices: restrict use in the country in order to maintain exports, or watch a large part of their revenue vanish.

I'm always surprised that Japan doesn't appear on these lists ahead of the US. They import more of their energy, run a larger deficit, have a much larger public debt, the banks are at least as broke as those in the US or the PIIGS (remember Ireland), and their population is aging more rapidly.

The Japanese government is massively in debt - but mostly to the Japanese people. The people may become very angry when they finally realise that their savings have gone, but Japan is still a major industrial exporter who can pay for most of her imports.

Indeed I meant downstream.

I think India will crash, but a hundred years from now, India will be much like India has always been, albeit with a lower population than it has had these last few hundred years.

Their culture has survived famine and population crashes and imperial invasion many times. The survivors will go back to their old ways, certain in the knowledge of the circle of death and rebirth and eventual Nirvana. Globalisation will be just one more chapter in the history scrolls. Maybe they will discover a new God to add to their pantheon, a Moses figure who leads them from the desert to pastures new...

Ralph,"The culture has survived----".The past is not the future.Urban Indians are not of the same make as there ancestors so don't expect them to go to the old ways.Of course I agree with you about a new god.But then again there are so many of them that one more won't make a difference.Being myself an atheist I find the superstitions and rituals even in the well educated,very rich Indians for want of a better word "funny".The belief system is very strong,but crash it will and soon,you won't have to wait a hundred years.

The crash will come and it will be worldwide, but to the complex lifestyles will be affected most. I agree that the urban Indians are most susceptible, just like urbanites everywhere. As for adding a new God, that is meaningless talk. The culture based in simplicity and natural living with renewable practices has the best chance of surviving this crash. As far as I have seen, India has this embedded in its rural folks. I hope that knowledge is still intact (given the onslaught of irrigation, artificial fertilizers and modernization in general ).

Unfortunately, in modern India, the rural Indians depend on the "system" almost as much as the urban Indians. Most of them use subsidized kerosene for cooking and eat food heavily subsidized by the government. The farmers use fertilizer subsidized by the government (India imports all its Potash which is now very expensive) and use subsidized electricity to pump ground water.

There is not enough fire wood in India for rural Indians to cook and not enough land to live as a subsistence farmers. Take away the subsidies and most of them will starve.

Native,I am in complete agreement with Suyog.TV and the cellphone have raised the expectations of the poorest of the poorest and they have abandoned all historical knowledge for modern lifestyles.Like I said earlier the Indian of today is not of the same cloth as his ancestors.Being Indian and in constant touch with family back home I can say positively that Suyog's view point is a better reflection of the Indian society today.What is frightening is that when the expectations are not met,then what?Recently a fast by a Gandhian bought millions(and I mean M I L L I O N S)on the streets.That is more than the population of countries like Latvia,Lithuania,Slovakia,Slovenia etc.By the way poorest of the poorest is an income of $0.52 per person per day as defined by the govt for rural folks.Try living on that.

Ralph, don't club the whole of India into one entity, I take it that your views are based on depictions shown in MSM or maybe your own interactions with people of Indian origin who are the cultural mutations of east meeting west. It's just like Europe, only hundred times bigger in terms of diversity. There is absolutely no such thing as Indian culture, there are a million versions of it. You'd be hard pressed to find similarities once you start traveling through the country from one end to other.

Even I expect a crash and it won't take a hundred years, maybe fifty or sixty, I really don't know just a wild guess, but it will split first and many parts of the country will do well, like the east and south because society has undergone fundamental transformations there and because there are plenty of resources.

The survivors will go back to their old ways, certain in the knowledge of the circle of death and rebirth and eventual Nirvana

I have come to believe that fatalism is a double edged sword, while it prevents scientific investigation it also prevents bloodshed during times of crisis.


Is there a book that describes the different cultures of India on a geographic basis? I'm thinking of something along the lines of "The Nine Nations of North America," a classic from 1981, albeit already getting outdated by recent events, IMHO. Please advise.

Not aware of any, I guess it's too big to catalog, there are around 15 mainstream languages (recognized by the constitution) over two hundred unofficial ones, maybe over a thousand distinct communities and cultures. Your best source would be Wikipedia. Follow the cross links.

Wow, that's pretty staggering....perhaps like North America before Columbus. Two Native American tribes once were present within my town's typical daily commute, and three or four or five more within my range for a weekend day trip to the seaside.

Thanks for the advice!

I think India will crash, but a hundred years from now,

India will crash when Bangladesh, Pakistan, China... when the World crashes. When globalization collapses every economy of the world will crash. I don't know when that will be but it will be way, way before one hundred years has passed.

The ways of old, before the days of fossil fuel cultivation, fossil fuel fertilizer, fossil fuel pesticides and the green revolution could support only a fraction of today's population. Much of the new population of these countries is busy producing exports to OECD countries and importing fossil fuels, fertilizer, grain and other necessities.

Also, just as in the West, the old ways have been forgotten. The learning curve, learning the old ways, would take many years and many would die before that happened. Going back is not as simple as it sounds.

Ron P.

Maybe I need to improve my grammar. My post has beeen mis-interpreted again. I meant to say that India will crash soon, but by the year 2111 the crash will have become nothing more than a chapter in the 3000 year history of India.

Yes India is far too large and diverse for me to understand from the two short trips I have had there, and my close friendships with Indian ex-pats. However, I did spend three weeks in a remote mountain village, sleeping on the floor and sharing the work in a village where the only water source was a stream up the hill, the only light was a single hurricane lamp, and sanitation was basic.

But a blink in the Subcontinents history, as one more species crashes from overshoot.

Ralph,Yes,India is far too complex to understand with two short trips.We Indians have ourselves trouble in identifying with all the castes,regions,languages etc, so not your fault if you arrived at a flawed conclusion in your assessment of the current social situation .

There are lots of possible explanations, some of which might be addressed, others which might not be addressable very easily. One in the latter category is denial or "psychic numbing," as it's been called by psychologists.

A set of realities addressed some years ago by psychiatrist and psychohistorian Robert Jay Lifton may actually cast some light on why we are so resistant to confronting the societal problems we face today. Lifton won the 1969 National Book Award in the Sciences for his work DEATH IN LIFE: SURVIVORS OF HIROSHIMA (1968). He is not so much a theoretician of crisis and collapse as an expert in the psychology of catastrophic events. He has written extensively about survivors of the Nazi death camps and of the Cultural Revolution in China as well as about survivors of the atomic bomb blasts in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In his acceptance speech for the National Book Award, Lifton observed incisively that

"nuclear weapons have already damaged us more than we know. They have created within us an image of historical extinction, and caused us to feel severed from both past and future. They also impose upon us every variety of psychic numbing—of emotional and intellectual anesthesia—so that we need not feel and cannot grasp their brutalizing effects upon human beings. This numbing not only interferes with our capacity to cope with the weapons themselves, but extends into all of our perceptions of living and dying. Rather than an age of anxiety, we live in an age of numbing."

Could our reluctance to face possible societal crisis and collapse—the death of life as we know it—be owing to forms of psychic numbing? Theorists of crisis and collapse (Catton, Diamond, Greer, Heinberg, Kunstler, McKibben, Meadows and Randers, Tainter, et al.) have generally not considered such aspects of our present situation subtly or at length.

I read somewhere that a limited nuclear exchange would start the 'mother of all storms' in any urban/suburban area struck and that even a few bombs would be enough to start a nuclear winter. Unfortunately I don't have the link to the paper anymore so I can't put in the relevant link.

Here is one reference, you can read the synopsis but the entire article is behind the Scientific American paywall:


I have the paper magazine somewhere in my house with this article...IIRC, the study concluded that an India-Pak exchange with as few as 50 nuclear weapons would create a global darkening that would likely lead to massive crop failures for several years or more and could result in ~1 Billion excess deaths or more.

In this case the prompt casualties (from blast, thermal, and initial radiation) would be the minority report collateral damage.

I wouldn't want to run that experiment.

Here, the nice folks at Rutgers University have posted the article...a pretty sobering read...


That's the one! Thanks so much for the link.

Yeah quite sobering really. Though I wonder if the results would be different in a winter exchange given the reliance in the models for the sun to loft the particles into the lower stratosphere.

The case for re-naming the human race

How about Homo fecundus stupidicus as a more appropriate moniker?

One of my favorite cartoons:


I have a serious proposal on the table to rename us Homo calidus, meaning "man the clever". We are clever but definitely not wise. We can solve local problems without any regard to global consequences.

More to the point... F**king Stupid Humans

I find it amazing that some people still question whether or not we are in overshoot.

Ron, they are the same people who are talking about growth being a good thing.

RE: U.T. Making a Big Bet on the Future of Algae

When I read this article, I took a hard look at the included photo of their system. I wonder, how is the solar energy to be delivered to those tubes of algae? Where is the solar collecting area or is what you see what you (won't) get? Plants (including algae) are solar collectors in a direct way and any system to convert solar energy to some other form must cover a rather large area to gather some fraction of that 1000 watts per m^2 which arrives in the direct solar beam. Sorry guys, I just don't see how your UT design is going to get it done...

E. Swanson

I asked this of a student who was quite excited about the possibilities of algae-based oil, and he said that they would use efficient, LED bulbs to grow the algae.

Where do you start with that one?

Maybe in high school science class. Tell them about EROEI...

E. Swanson

If it's a US high school science class, you might start by explaining the First Law of Thermodynamics - conservation of energy. Based on much of the discussion here, I get the impression that this basic concept of science is rather lightly glossed over in US schools.

52% of high schools in New York City do not offer a single physics class. RockyMtnGuy you are right it is not covered.

52% of high schools in New York City do not offer a single physics class.

That explains a lot. I've often wondered why the New York based media seemed to have a near total lack of understanding of basic scientific principles.

But surely some basic science including basic physics concepts are taught, no?

(One needs calculus to do actual physics. Many High School students do not reach the calculus level until they get into college in the USA)

The sequence in New York State for science in high school is:
earth science - erosion, pollution, geology, etc.
biology - Krebs cycle, genes, anatomy
chemistry - pv=nrt, balancing reaction equations
physics - if your district has the money, energy, conservation of energy, momentum, waves, heat, light

Where I live (Alberta), students learn conservation of energy in grade 10. By grade 12 they are into nuclear physics and quantum theory. This is an excerpt from the curriculum guide for grade 12 physics:

Students will:

  • Describe the nature and properties, including the biological effects, of alpha, beta and gamma radiation.
  • Write nuclear equations, using isotope notation, for alpha, beta-negative and beta-positive decays, including the appropriate neutrino and antineutrino.
  • Perform simple, nonlogarithmic half-life calculations.
  • Use the law of conservation of charge and mass number to predict the particles emitted by a nucleus.
  • Compare and contrast the characteristics of fission and fusion reactions.
  • Relate, qualitatively and quantitatively, the mass defect of the nucleus to the energy released in nuclear reactions, using Einstein’s concept of mass-energy equivalence.

I get the impression that the average NYC high school doesn't get to this level. However, virtually all the high schools here teach to it because otherwise they couldn't meet the admission standards for our universities.

BC too.

I teach at high school.

My buddy teaches pre-calc, etc.

There is Physics 11 and 12 as well as applied physicis, provided enrollment and sign ups allow the class to go ahead.

That's true. BC schools have similar standards to Alberta schools, as do Saskatchewan schools. Not very many high schools in the US are playing in the same ballpark.

This isn't a serious problem from the US perspective, since Western Canada doesn't have very many people. Their real problem is that in recent years Chinese schools have been pushing up their standards to even higher levels (helped by a 9-12 hour school day) and there are 1.3 billion Chinese.

You've probably noticed that there are an awful lot of Chinese students in BC high schools in recent years. Rich families in China have been sending their mandatory one (1) child to BC to learn English. They like the high educational standards, and the English accent as spoken in BC is nearly indistinguishable from the generic American accent as spoken on US television. They can also send their kids to Australia, which has similar school standards, but then the kids end up with an Aussie accent.

the English accent as spoken in BC is nearly indistinguishable from the generic American accent as spoken on US television.

Eh ?


Regional accents of English

Three major dialect areas can be found in Canada: Western/Central Canada, the Maritimes, and Newfoundland.

The phonology of West/Central Canadian English, also called General Canadian, is broadly identical to that of the Western US, except for the following features:

  • The diphthongs /aɪ/ and /aʊ/ are raised to approximately [əɪ] and [ʌʊ] before voiceless consonants; thus, for example, the vowel sound of out [ʌʊt] is different from that of loud [laʊd]. This feature is known as Canadian raising.
  • There is no contrast between the vowels of caught and cot (cot–caught merger, as above); in addition, the short a of bat is more open than almost everywhere else in North America [æ ~ a]. The other front lax vowels /ɛ/ and /ɪ/, too, can be lowered and/or retracted. This phenomenon has been labelled the Canadian Shift.

If you're from the Southern US, it is going to be completely different from what you speak, but you're going to have a great deal of difficulty distinguishing the accent of someone from Vancouver from someone from Seattle or even Los Angeles.

About 30% of "American" TV shows are shot in Canada, but it's quite easy for West/Central Canadian actors to fake a Western American accent - they just have to go over the script with a yellow highlighter and adjust the pronunciation of words like out, loud, cot, caught, and bat. This is much easier than for Brits and Aussies.

The "eh?" is completely optional. Some people on both sides of the 49th parallel use it, but a lot of Canadians don't.


Eh (/ˈeɪ/ or /ˈɛ/) is a spoken interjection in English, Armenian, Japanese, French, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Portuguese and Catalan that is similar in meaning to "Excuse me," "Please repeat that" or "huh?" It is also commonly used as a method for inciting an answer, as in "It's nice here, eh?"


The usage of the word is widespread throughout much of the UK, particularly in Wales and the north of England, in places such as Yorkshire, Lancashire, and the English Midlands. It is normally used to mean "what?"

"Eh?" used to solicit agreement or confirmation is also heard regularly amongst speakers in Australia. The usage in New Zealand is similar, and is more common in the North Island. It is also heard in the United States, especially Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Oklahoma and the New England region.

Since usage of the word "eh" is not as common in the United States as it is in Canada, it is often used by Americans, and indeed Canadians themselves, to parody Canadian English.

British Columbia English

The dialect is very similar to the English spoken in the Prairies and Washington, Oregon, and Idaho....

Canadian raising (found in words such as "about" and "writer") is less prominent in BC than other parts of the country and is on the decline further....

The interrogative "eh" is not used as frequently as in the rest of Canada, however "hey" is occasionally substituted.

eh Alan? RMG?

yes...we have lots of Koreans as well. Locally, a Korean co. bought an old youth prison and converted it to a dormitory for young kids...grades 3 and up. The conditions were so bad (corp punishment, standing against walls for time outs, caning for talk after lights out, etc) local teachers assoc complained. Because of chronic underfunding, local districts are competing for foreign tuition dollars. They also recruit Germans in our District. The Korean parents send their kids away for 1 year in order to learn English. They do chores and school work before school, attend classes 5.5 hours, return to pris....oops dorms for school work, supper, more school work until 8:00 pm. Day in and day out. They stay in NA over holidays.

German students that I have taught have been delightful. Actually, all foreign students are pretty darn good, although younger kids act up at times and can be hard to deal with. Most are great. They are wayyyy ahead of Canadian kids in math and science, but have poor social skills. This may also reflect the fact that parents spend 20-30 thou per year to send kids overseas and may be fairly high end and high achieving.

Kids are kids, though. Mostly, working with them is very rewarding although my wife is being ground into hamburger this year....inch by inch.

Ed, have you got a link for that? That's a pretty big claim.

Last time I have checked the EROI was below one based on lab test. Oil extraction and water motion is very expensive.

- Led lights need to be powered, sunlight would be more logical to use directly rather than mimic it with energy-using tech.
- Algae need more than light to grow: water and food.

Yeah they never talk about the food input.

And CO2 IIRC. That's why they have been talked about on the eflux from FF power stations.

Where do you start with that one?

Second law of thermodynamics but you still have a very very long way to go after that... >:-(

Woodlots yield about 0.1% of solar energy, plants like corn about 1%, PV 15-20%. Let's say native algae is at 1% and they can engineer it to 5%. Then a 200 mile by 200 mile farm would provide all the energy need for transportation in the U.S.. Located in the southeast maybe. PV in the southwest and wind up the middle.

And at 1% efficiency - 200 miles by 1,000 miles.

1% or 5% - Ain't going to happen.

Just the materials to build such MASSIVE structures exceed available resources and investment capital.

And just why ?

Best Hopes for Better Choices,



I always end up having to put together examples to get an idea of the scale of some of these proposals. 200,000 square miles is North Dakota, South Dakota, and most of Nebraska. Imagine the concrete needed for footings, the steel needed for supports, and just the idea of covering those three states in glass/plastic tubes. Not that those three states are a good choice; they all have deep sub-freezing temperatures in the winter.

Even at 5% and 40,000 square miles and (mostly) non-freezing temps, you'd need almost the entire southern half of both Alabama and Mississippi -- and your construction would need to be hurricane resistant. Or a little more than a third of Arizona, but then the availability of water becomes a problem -- since you're talking about the equivalent of covering a third of the state in water to a depth of at least a few inches.

I don't think I'm a doomer, but it seems inevitable that personal transportation in the future will involve a lot fewer miles and overall efficiencies that require electrification.

The oil tanker corporations can't hold out much longer. The Frontline (FRO) quote is now under $5, in 2006, their stock price was more than $70. It amazes me just how clueless the folks running these businesses are. They really believe Yergin and folks.

Law Firm Sees More Bankruptcies in Store for Freight

Oil tanker earnings on the Baltic Exchange's benchmark Middle East route have traded in negative territory for most of the last two months, dropping to a record low of -$6,492 a day on Friday.

In other words, ship owners pay $6,492 more a day in bunker fuel and other variable voyage costs than they receive from companies using their very large crude carriers (VLCCs) to ship crude oil [CLCV1 78.87 -0.33 (-0.42%) ] from the Middle East to Japan.

Those oil tanker companies remind me of the airlines.

American Air stock loses 32% on bankruptcy fear

One of the few major U.S. airlines that did not go through bankruptcy in the last decade, AMR is forecast to report its fourth straight year of losses in 2011, and analysts expect it to lose money again in 2012.

Merge with US Airways?

This is from an article on the oil & gas journal:

The table lists projects in 44 countries that are in the construction or planning stages, with peak production from these projects occurring in 2011 or after. If all the projects' peak production rates occurred in the same year, world production capacity would increase by 36.7 million b/d of liquids and 74.3 bcfd of gas .


Would be interesting to check the table they are talking about, if anyone has membership would be great if they can share. thanks.


You can buy the article for $4.99 or subscribe for a year (digital) for $49, so it is not terribly expensive.

The list includes some projects out to 2020 and beyond.

Large oil projects include the following:

Australia - Gladstone LNG - Peak year 2015 - 900,000 b/d peak

Brazil - Campos basin sallow water - PY 2015 - 450,000 b/d peak

Brazil - Presalt production - PY 2015+ 2,500,000 b/d peak

Iraq - Rumaila expansion - PY 2013+ 1,850,000 b/d peak
Iraq - Halfaya exansion - PY 2013+ 500,000
Iraq - West Qurna expansion - PY 2015+ 2,045,000
Iraq - West Qurna 2 - PY 2013+ 1,800,000
Iraq - Majinoun expansion - PY 2013+ 1,750,000

Kazakhstan - Kashagan future phases - PY 2013 - 1,190,000

Saudi Arabia - Manifa - PY 2013+ 900,000

UAE - ADCO expansions - PY 2012+ 560,000

Most of the others are quite small. The above projects total 24.4 million barrels a day (out of the 36.7 million b/d shown in the table). Of the 24.4 million barrels/day, 7.7 million barrels a day are from Iraq. All of the dates for Iraq have a + after them, suggesting they don't really know when production will begin.

Canada has a long list of "small" oil sands projects, most of which are SAGD. The text also says that Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board expects production to reach 3.7 million b/d in 2020, up from 1.61 million b/d in 2010. The text says that the three countries adding the most production are Brazil, Canada, and Iraq. (Australia is adding natural gas production.)

The United States is not listed on the chart at all. The text mentions several deepwater developments - Jack, St. Malo, Olympus, Vito, Gunflint-Freedom.


Once again we are into oil equivalent, as all the Gladstone out put is LNG from Coal Bed Methane / Coal Seam Gas, depending where you are from, which is totally dry gas, to the point that the LNG is discounted due to the lack of C3 to C5 in the LNG.

So how much oil are they planning to be developed? A lot less then the article is quoting that is for sure. Woodside and Chevron alone are developing some massive LNG projects on the west coast of Australia and if they are also included in the estimates of "oil"production, then the quantity of actual oil capacity is not going to add up to what people expect.

Of course nobody ever mentions in these reports how much of this new production is needed to accomodate depletion in older fields.

Re: EPA objects to 19 more mine permits

Between actions like this in Kentucky, and the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule starting in January, the next summer or two could bring rolling blackouts to the Midwest and Southeast as well as Texas. Neither the Midwest nor the Southeast would seem to be inclined to take Alan's advice to implement large-scale conservation and quickly deploy a lot of PV. TTBOMK, neither can expect large new supplies of natural gas to be available in that time period. Which seems to reduce their options to low-sulfur western coal. ERCOT thinks it unlikely that the western producers and the railroads can expand quickly enough to meet Texas' demand if they have to give up their local lignite; the same case probably holds for the other areas.

Re: Koch Brothers Flout Law With Secret Iran Sales from DB

Koch(s) are in good company. A list of some of the other puppet masters ...

World's Most Powerful People

#13 Rupert Murdoch - News Corp
#31 Kim Jong-il - North Korea
#57 Osama bin Laden - wacked
#60 Joquin Guzman Loera - Sinaloa Drug Cartel

The 2011 winner of the 'King Canute the Great' award for commanding the tides to obey.

Iran, Iraq pay $1.2 bn to battle sandstorms

A top Iranian environment official said on Monday Tehran and Baghdad will jointly pay $1.2 billion in a project to reduce the number of sand dunes in a bid to cut the number of sandstorms from Iraq.

"This initiative began with 500 hectares and in our negotiations (with Iraq) it was decided to either use fossil materials (petroleum products) or biological ones to stabilise the dunes," Mohammad Javad Mohammadi-Zadeh added.

it was decided to either use fossil materials (petroleum products) or biological ones to stabilise the dunes

These people are morons of the highest order... but what else is new?!

Joni Mitchell Big Yellow Taxi


Why do you call them morons? It seems like a sensible approach, although the article to which you link doesn't explain their technique.

If what they are are going to do is to make use of plants (palm trees?) and ground cover made of polyethelene or polypropylene,then they are on to a good plan. The ground cover, which can be held in place with earth staples or by other means, will not only hold the sand down, but will retain moisture. The ground cover is subject to deterioration from solar radiation, but this can be mitigated. This method is in wide use in soil stabilization and remediation projects already, because it works.

The value of polyethelene and polypropylene, as evidenced by their use in landscape remediation is another argument to stop the expansion of the tar pit operations, so as to husband the resource. Shipping the sludge to the 'refinery coast', or to the Pacific coast so that it can be sold for a quick buck and then burned is moronic.

Massive fire at chemical plant near Dallas

Firefighters in Waxahachie are confronting a huge fire after several explosions at the Magnablend chemical warehouse. The fire started just before 11 a.m., reports CBS Station KTVT.

According to the company website, Magnablend houses ammonia and other chemicals for industries ranging from oil fields to industrial cleaning, at the facility located just off of Highway 287 near Interstate-35E.

Magnablend Oil Field Services. This is the Google cached version, since their website appears to be down for some reason.

The map at the link identifies shale formations. Do they blend the additives for fracing fluid?

It might have an impact in the Marcellus Shale region

from bizjounal Energy companies use railroad to haul Marcellus Shale drilling supplies

... According to Tom Balya, chairman of the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners, there are two shale-minded companies that are using Southwest Pennsylvania Railroad to haul supplies for the region.

... .Magnablend Inc. (Waxahachie, Texas) located near Scottdale Borough. Magnablend performs custom chemical blending, manufacturing, and packaging for the oil field industry in the Marcellus Shale region. The SWP RR will deliver product to their facility along SWP for further distribution in the region.

Might put a crimp in things
That is one knarly looking fire. A couple of tankers look like they may go BLEVE

Video: http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/03/us/texas-chemical-fire/

Initial air quality tests show no danger from Texas chemical plant fire

'Nothing to see here, move along!' I don't know why the brazen lies still shock me. I should be used to it by now.

Wall Street protests continue and grow across the country

NEW YORK – Protesters speaking out against corporate greed and other issues showed no signs of giving up their campaign on Monday, with organizers urging participants to dress up as corporate zombies and to take part in a rally against police brutality.

The Pretorian Guards response ...

meanwhile, in quite backrooms behind closed doors ...

Former Congressional Employees Form Lobbyist Army to Push Tax Holiday for $1 Trillion in Offshore Profits

... Data compiled by Bloomberg News show that Forbes is part of an army of more than 160 lobbyists, including at least 60 who once worked for a sitting member of the House or Senate, pushing for the repatriation holiday. Their job is to persuade Congress to establish a tax break estimated to cost the U.S. government $78.7 billion over the next decade.

Independent studies have found that the last time this tax break was tried, in 2004, the bargain rate for bringing home offshore profits did little to spur hiring or domestic investment. Most of the money was used to buy back stock.

... U.S. multinational companies have amassed more than $1.375 trillion in profits overseas on which they have paid no federal income tax, according to a recent report by JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) When the earnings are returned to the U.S. — or repatriated — they are taxed at the top corporate rate of 35 percent, with credits for foreign income taxes paid.

or find out yourself http://www.followthemoney.org/

Most or Europe has a tax rate of 20-25%, So they are not bringing in the profits to save the difference of 10%?
Well have n't they already lost 10% in the euro crash in the last 30 days?
Should have brought it in and paid the taxes.

It's possible the profits are from Asia, ME, or Africa. I recall a GAO report on U.S. corporations using Tax Havens to hide the 'geld'

GAO Report: International Taxation: Large U.S. Corporations and Federal Contractors with Subsidiaries in Jurisdictions Listed as Tax Havens or Financial Privacy Jurisdictions

Eighty-three of the 100 largest publicly traded U.S. corporations in terms of 2007 revenue reported having subsidiaries in jurisdictions listed as tax havens or financial privacy jurisdictions.

I've been optimistic regarding the OWS phenomenon because I've had a feeling the inspiration came from Dr. Gene Sharp. I was hoping to find words from him regarding such but instead I just found a somewhat older video with Q&A regarding uprisings in news. This video is called We the people - Dr Gene Sharp at Zeitgeist Americas 2011.

The use of non violent struggle in major conflicts has been expanding in recent decades as has the knowledge of how to make it effective. New publications have helped this development with virtually no promotion. My From Dictatorship to Democracy, a generic examination of how non violent struggle can destroy a dictatorship is now in 34 languages. The Arab Spring and other developments demonstrate that the genie is out of the bottle. It cannot be put back again.

And then I found an itty bitty piece of evidence. This is a photo at Liberty Square on day 4 of the protest: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation

Ah, To Be Young And In Hate: America's New Radicals Attack a System That Ignores Them

... The entire economic, social and political order faces collapse; young people may choose revolution rather than accept a life of poverty in a state dedicated only to feeding the bank accounts of the superrich.

As Crane Brinton pointed out in his seminal book "The Anatomy of Revolution," an important predictor of revolution is downward mobility among strivers, young adults whose education and ambition would traditionally have led to a brighter future.

I think we may see an 'age war' wherein young people push for programs to help get them jobs and move the economy whereas old people push to prevent such programs in order to protect social security and medicare. The old people will win that war because they show up to vote.

Here's a very emotional rant by a young protester at OWS that was uploaded today: Fiat Money (VIDEO)

There is nowhere left to run. If we lose America, we lose the world to the elite. The 1% will continue to get rich as we all live like slaves. If you think the way of life is bad now, you will all be living in projects like Hooverville's.

House Rep Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) shows support for young protesters: "Your presence is making a difference"

We need a financial system that is of the people and for the people. It is time to take our monetary system back from the big banks. We need economic justice. I recently introduced HR2990, the National Emergency Employment Defense Act to put the Federal Reserve under the Treasury and end the fractional reserve banking and take control of our monetary system and make sure it works for the people.

Interesting, HR2990 was introduced to committee on 9/21/2011.

EDIT: Added Dennis Kucinich

Earth is having a bad acid trip, study finds

The problem isn't just acid rain or ocean acidification, either: pH levels are plummeting all over the planet, according to a new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Virginia. The origin of all this acidity, the researchers report, is humanity's growing use of natural resources such as coal, metal ores and nitrogen.

Obama's fuel economy rules a job killer, auto dealers say

Flying squads of auto dealers descended on Washington, D.C., in late September. Amped up by a rabble-rousing talk by House Speaker John Boehner and clutching copies of a dealers' association pamphlet entitled "A Flawed Fuel Economy Structure Produces a Flawed Result," about 500 dealers lobbied their elected representatives to do what they could to overturn the 54.5 mpg Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard for 2025 hammered out between automakers and the Obama administration.

Somehow, I think CAFE standards will be the least of anyone's problems by 2025.

From the article……

But despite the automakers winning some significant concessions in the 54.5 rule (including a big SUV exemption), the auto dealers - who see an unholy alliance between California's regulations and the greens at the EPA - aren't happy. Hence the lobbyists.

The article mentions a big SUV exemption, but then doesn’t give any details. Does anyone have that info ready at hand?

Meanwhile, I heard from a friend yesterday that one of our local auto dealers made the trek to Washington last week to visit our Congressman, Mike Michaud, Second District Maine. Apparently these auto dealers aren’t the least bit concerned about that $400 Billion per year that we spend for foreign oil. I'll bet that $400 Billion drained from the US economy each year already kills far more jobs than a 54 mpg mileage standard ever could.

The blind leading the greedy. The dealers blind to peak oil complain to greedy lawmakers who will do anything if given enough money. The sad result could be winning changes and then those law makers end up with lots filled with gas guzzlers when oil prices rise sharply as they are certain to do some time within the next 15 years.

Greed, the last taboo.

Though millions of Americans are angry over the economy, little moral outrage seems to be coming from the nation’s pulpit, they say. Too many pastors opt for offering pulpit platitudes because they are afraid parishioners will stop giving money if they hear teachings against greed, said the Rev. Robin R. Meyers, senior minister of Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ in Oklahoma City.

“Money is the last taboo in church. It’s much easier to talk about sex than money,” said Meyers, who wrote about greed and the other seven deadly sins in his book, “The Virtue in the Vice.”

Greed maybe the last taboo among American evangelicals, wary of placing any stigmatization on capitalism (although Jesus issues over 400 warnings in the Gospel accounts on wealth but only one or two on sexuality, go figure) but I wouldn't say that that is the problem among mainline liberal Protestants and progressive Catholics. The Social Gospel movement of the 1920s and 1930s led to the Social Justice movement of the 1980s and 1990s when it should be remembered the more stalwart clergy wailed and railed against the perils of corporate consumerism. They in turn were promoting activist government as a panacea for the dehumanization of popular capitalism. (Margaret Thatcher and the Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie were forever butting heads on social questions.) Partly out of self-preservation and partly out of indifference, most people (even devote parishioners) learned to tune such prattle out.

Greed may not be good, but the alternative - some kind of socialized Christianity - has become equally as morally bankrupt. We no longer know how to pay for the entitlements promised by activists governments of a generation ago, so there is no appetite today for any public intervention for the common good. Apparently, sloth proved to be as deadly as any other sin.

Pulpits fall silent on the questions of mammon - greed, sloth, idolatry, envy, etc. - because at the end of the day clergy are responsible for seeing that the bills get paid. And as I have reminded more than a few confirmation classes, the petition "give us this day our daily bread" comes before anything to do with neighbour in the Lord's Prayer. The key root in the word humility is the Latin humus, earth. A church without humility is no use to anybody. Despite all our other failings, we are called to be grounded in reality if nothing else (a trait admittedly failed as much as forgotten in many circles).

This is true. I would have elaborated on this, if only my englsih knowledge alowed me to find the right words. Scary how I have become fluent in talking about geological and chemical engineering techno speach, but lack words for such things as these.

Oh please! Is anyone really surprised!? Churches are and always have been simply an excuse to establish a hierarchy to extract wealth and power from the suckers at the bottom and deposit said wealth and power into the hands of the keepers of the flame, at the top.
One thing they won't do is bite the hand that feeds.
Google "church corruption"...I did and got 42,000,000 results.

If you Google "panda corruption" you'll get 3,000,000 results. By that logic, churches are only about 14 times more corrupt than passive furry bears from China.

Try, "church porn" and you get 50,000,000 results. However, I'm not exactly sure why anybody but the most desperate would watch ;-)

Chill my friend. You're starting to sound like Marx - a bit of Karl with a hint of the brothers.

Comparing me to Karl and his namesake brothers?.. I'll take that as the compliment it was obviously intended to be.

Yes, intended with respect.

Opiate of the people and all that jazz. Same has been said about the entertainment industry.

Must confess, I tend to like the opiates - at least the drug free kind. A jolt of inspiration and a good belly laugh, IMHO, does everybody good at times ;-)

Yes, I agree......and I like your Handel ;-)

No, you are wrong. I wont go into the details because Leanan will delete my post and mail to me not to discuss religion if I do. But read "THE EARLY
CHRISTIANS - in their own words" (downloadble as a PDF if you google a bit) for what the church was initially; a band of people who looked out for each other under a draconic dictatorship.

The lie you tell do not get truer, how many times you repeat it, even if you believe it your self. History is full of counterexamples. Ignorance is not accepted as defence in juridical courts, nor here at the drum.

Jedi, please kindly chill too. Be gracious.

There are a few of us here who do have a passing knowledge and interest in the Church Fathers. Yes, the early church was a fairly cohesive social group who looked after one other in the face of pretty harsh persecution. As Tertullian observed, "the blood of martyrs is the seed of the church." And one does not have to read too much of John Chrysostom before one is aware of how much a thorn the truly devoted could be in the side of the rich and the powerful.

That said, please refrain from religious persuasion. For you alone, Jedi, I will say this, think on Paul's words, "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbour."

This blog is about energy issues. It is a forum for reasoned debate. Respectfully, and being aware of your difficulties with the English language, my advice for you is to stay on topic and avoid telling others they are wrong. To quote Oliver Cromwell as he dismissed the somewhat overzealous Rump Parliament during the English Civil War, "Remember, gentlemen, by the bowels of Christ remember, you might be mistaken."

Gas boom means little space for Pa. flood victims

TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. — Pennsylvania residents who lost their homes to Tropical Storm Lee more than three weeks ago are having a tough time finding affordable housing, or any housing at all, because workers in the area’s natural gas drilling boom have filled nearly every room.

... “The rental rates are severely inflated,” said Kim Wheeler, a state Department of Community and Economic Development staffer who has been working to secure housing for flood victims in heavily drilled Lycoming County.

In Bradford County, the center of the Marcellus industry, three-bedroom homes are listed for $1,200 to $1,700 per month, far above what a flood victim can be expected to receive from FEMA. That’s because rental assistance is based on what the government calculates as fair-market rent for the area — and the fair-market rent for a three-bedroom in Bradford County is only $704.

S - Always happens in booms. A fellow down in the Eagle Ford trend tried to sell a small patch of land with 4 metal buildings on it for $250,000 a few years ago...no buyers. He just signed a deal to LEASE the property for $550,000/year with a 5 year no cut term. $2.75 million in his pocket and he still owns it. As they say: timing is everthing.

I think Rockman is well versed in a question I have, as I watch with interest the (not so) gradual decline of WTI. Is the 'breakeven' for new drilling $65/bbl? That figure sticks in my mind.

Thanks for answering; I will check back later.


zap - Complex answer. Most important aspect: most plays demand a higher price than WTI. My coastal Texas oil is being barged to La. and selling for over $100/bbl. Which plays need $100 oil to be drilled? Which ones can handle $65 oil? Just my wag but I suspect most of the fractured shale plays would lose a lot of appeal at $65/bbl. But I suspect many of the fractured plays are getting well aove WTI.

Cullen Roche has made 3 new videos debunking myths we hear so often.

He calls them MMT 101-The Very Basics. While not directly related to oil, Modern Monetary Theory has implications for oil prices and the prices of everything else.

It seems to me that everyone should understand how our fiat monetary system works. The new idea I learned was that taxes and bond sales do not fund the government.


Weathering the Storm: Impact of Space Weather

This Wednesday, 5 October, the Energy & Environmental Security Policy Program and the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at National Defense University (NDU), in conjunction with US Congressional EMP Caucus, and InfraGard National Members Alliance (INMA) will gather to discuss recent war games on the impact of space weather on the electric grid.

As if we didn’t have enough to worry about, these good folks will talk about “how to better prepare for widespread and long term power outages as outlined in a number of studies from the National Academies of Science, the US Congressional EMP Commission, etc.

... We don’t get thrown back to the 19th Century….more like the 16th.

This looks like a free conference in Washington DC that anyone can attend regarding the impact of solar storms on the electric grid and mitigation approaches. See this link. I am confused about the date. The link talks about Oct. 6. The post above talks about Oct. 5. It may be a two day event--October 5-6.

The header says:

National Defense University Conference on Severe Space Weather Threats to the US Electrical Grids: Briefings from workshops and exercises preparing for nationwide infrastructure collapse.

Edit. I am now thinking the conference is only on October 6. The quoted date in the post above is wrong.

2010 drought damaged Amazon as much as man-made deforestation

The drought of 2010 caused about as much damage to the Amazon as man-made deforestation in that year, according to researchers in the US.

The way this is phrased troubles me some: sort of presumes that the 2010 drought was not in any way anthropogenic, no?

If the drought was a symptom of anthropogenic climate change, then it *was* "man-made deforestation", just not as direct as that committed by armies of underpaid labourers with bobcats, chainsaws, etc.



I have heard of this from buds who worked at the five-sided squirrel cage, but I never saw an article until now.

Then I checked Wikipedia...


Anyone out there in TODland slugged?

Sounds like inverse hitch hiking. Strangely enough I was hitch hiking after pranging my motorbike and got picked up by the MD of the company that made the crash helmets that had saved my head, had a chance to say thanks.


That's a pretty strange coincidence, one might even say a synchronicity. I'd mull the meaning of that one over.

On the other hand, some people see no value in information from such incidents, certain everything that happens is purely accidental with no meaning.

Take your pick. I pick the former.

Brent close to 100$. How long till OPEC starts issuing threats of cutting production ? $90...$80 ?

How long till OPEC starts issuing threats of cutting production?

I'm beginning to think OPEC has finally gotten it, i.e. triple digit oil prices greatly reduce GDP. Accordingly they are reducing expectations of what can 'safely' be profited per barrel. Safely, meaning without causing recession in developed countries, which dampens economic activity lowering consumption and increases efforts to reduce oil dependency.

Maybe OPEC would curtail production if OECD stocks levels grew high enough to affect the price. Looking at the graph below, stocks are quite a bit below the high levels of 2009 and 2010. When they cut production in 12/2008, stocks levels had started to rise quickly.

IEA OECD Stock Levels

Brendan O'Neill's review of Melancholia is a piece of work, innit... so glad to know that peak oil and climate change are really just narcissistic fantasies indulged in by a bunch of alienated rich kids :-)

Keep whistling past that graveyard, Brendan...


This subject came up in a chat with another TODster: directing the distribution of oil/NG production in the USA. It started with that nasty old bumper sticker: "Let the Yankees Freeze in the Dark".

But here's the serious side of the discussion. Many won't like the reality and will argue that it isn't legal or at least not fair. Others can debate it but I won't. I just put the facts out there so least no one can say they didn't know. I doubt many will pay attention now but when the PO effects become very bad it may be one of THE major issues under discussion across the country.

Essentially who owns the oil/NG in the US? That's an easy start. Most of the mineral rights onshore belong to individual citizens. Some corporations own large chunks if minerals rights (we call those "fee lands". Not long ago Conoco bought La. Land and Exploration that owned over 600,000 acres of fee lands in S. La. Along the shore lines to about 10 miles out each state owns the mineral rights. Beyond that the fed govt owns the rest of the oil/NG.

First, the obvious: the company that leased, drilled and produces the oil/NG can TYPICALLY sell it to whoever they want. I'll explain the "typically" later. As expected these sales are controlled by market forces. IOW they sell to max profits. If, at some future date, NG is in short supply, a New England utility might out bid a Texas utility for NG from a Texas field and it will be shipped north even if that means some Texas businesses have to shut down. Just because some oil/NG is produced in a state it doesn't give that state a "first claim". If a NY state utility out bids a PA utility for some Marcellus production in PA then that's where that NG will go. PA gets the fracs and NY gets the NG. Obviously that won't set well with many folks in PA especially if folks there have some NG deliveries curtailed. But the production belongs to who it belongs to and they have the right to sell to the highest bidder. Not much to debate there. If a corn farmer can get more money for his crop by selling to an ethanol plant that a food processor...even if it means that company has to shut down food production.

But it doesn't always means production will be directed towards the buyer with the biggest check book. Three concepts first: Right of First Refusal (ROFR), Call on Production (COP) and Take in Kind (TIK). ROFR: there is a contract that requires a commodity producer to sell to a specific buyer if that buyer is willing to pay fair market price (usually established by some index). So even if there another buyer willing to pay more they are shut out of the transaction. Call: Company A ones have the production of the well and can sell to whoever they want. Company B owns the other 50% of the production. But when they cut the deal B negotiated a call out of A: B gets to direct the sale of A's 50% of the production as long as A get fair market price for its share. TIK: a royalty owner get 25% of the gross production from a well on their land. Typically the operator sells all the production at their discretion and sends a check to the royalty owner. But if the leasor has a TIK clause they can take possession of that 25% of the production and dispose of it as they chose. Typically don't take physical control of the oil/NG but directs its sale to whoever they want it to go to. Most federal offshore leases have the TIK provision.

Now let's jump forward to the truly bad days of PO: limited supplies of oil/NG in the US regardless of ability to pay. Company A joins Rockman Inc. in a NG drilling program. The joint venture brings 500 million cu ft of NG gas online. That may be close to $1 billion/year of NG. Not only does A own their 50% (less the royalty ) but RI agreed to give A the call on all the NG in return for a cash consideration. So now A can sell all the production to whoever if wants to as long as the index price is paid to RI and the royalty owners. So folks sitting in Chicago freezing in the apartments because their NG has been shut off for lack of supply can't buy the production from RI even if they can outbid A's customers. A will sell to its customers in N Carolina instead. So why would A sell for less? Easy: A is owned by the customers in N. Carolina. Company A is a NC utility customer and the reason they entered the joint venture with RI is to do just what they did: take NG out of the market place and give their customers the only access to it.

Now for what might be a shocker for some: this isn't a theoretical possibility. Such arrangements have been in place for many decades. In the late 70's when I worked for Transco Pipeline I managed a series of joint ventures with a number of east coast utilities. Not only did they direct their share of the production to their customers but also had a call on Transco's share. For those too young to remember the late 70's not only was there an oil embargo for a while but also a NG shortage. Manufacturers were shutting down for lack of NG. Folks could get all the NG to their homes they needed. Given the large amount of NG on the market today and with more coming online it might be difficult to relate to such times. But I'm projecting forward to the bad PO days ahead.

How bad could the politics get? Let's go to an extreme...and I won't even use Texas. Times are tough and most folks realize there is a long (maybe perpetual) period of shot NG supplies. Virtually all the NG under the lands in PA belong to the citizens of that state. So the state official ask all mineral owners to put a call in any new leases they sign with the oil companies. The oil companies won't care because they get market price regardless of who buys. So now all future NG production in PA will be sold to buyers the land owners are free to decide. If the citizens of both NY and PA are suffering from a NG shortage who do you think the good citizens of PA will want to sell the NG to? Now, want to make the politics even bloodier? A NY utility has a drilling venture with Chesapeake and has a call on all of their new production in PA. So they direct the sale of all the PA production to end users in NY.

There are a number of different scenarios where oil/NG production can be withdrawn from the market place. There are such arrangements in place today but almost no one in the public knows about them....times still aren't that bad. But the system is in place and very legal. When I was reviewing drilling deals in the 70's ROFR, COP, and TIK were THE major negotiating points. And as we roll down the PO path it's very easy to see them emerging again big time.

Think about it for a moment: this is no different than what China is doing globally. About 500,000 bopd of Venezuelan oil is going to China because they have a ROFR since they agreed to build special ship and refineries to handle the Vz production. They also own much of the offshore Angolan oil and can ship it all back to china regardless of what any other importer is willing to pay. This is a point we've been batting around for a while: what's more important: how much oil will be coming out the ground in X years or who will have (and not have ) access to it? The global consumers may every shot on supplies one day but that doesn't mean every user will not have all the need.

American Airlines used to have an oil and gas subsidiary, and they had a provision in their joint venture agreements whereby they had the right to Take In Kind, and direct crude oil to refiners of their choice, presumably in exchange for guaranteed access to jet fuel.

Globally, based on recent data, we seem to have a hierarchy regarding who has first access to oil supplies, especially regarding oil produced in exporting countries. It goes as follows:

(1) Consumers in oil exporting countries;

(2) The Chindia region;

(3) Non-Chindia importers.

As I have noted several times, if we extrapolate the 2005 to 2010 rate of increase in Chindia's combined net imports, as a percentage of Global Net Exports (GNE), the Chindia region's net imports would approach 100% of GNE some time around 2030.

Could a nation or state retroactively force a change in contract if they didn't like 'their gas/oil' going out elsewhere when there is a shortage locally? What im talking about isn't so much their ability but a likelihood to act in this manner if they deemed it necessary. So lets say that texas decides that due to the drought they can't afford their gas going elsewhere due to the fact that their natural gas fueled power plants are their best generation option with limited water to prevent blackouts. Could they or better, would they force oil companies to comply to their wishes?

S - The feds could try but I think it would require some national emergency act to do so. And remember if the feds make some NG production shift towards some specific end user they'll also be denying it to the original buyer. How could they justify that move: it's more important to keep manufacturing plants in Ohio open than ones in N. Carolina? I think the states would be in an even weaker position to do so. If a producer in Texas has a contract to deliver NG to a NY utility it would be interferrence in interstate commerce and the feds would dive in immediately IMHO. But that knife cuts both ways: if a Texas operator gave a call on NG produced in Texas to a N. Carolina utility the feds would have to defend their right of unemcumbered interstate commerce. Thus how could the feds try to redirect that production to a different end user? One thing for sure IMHO: when such contracts start multiplying and folks start having the energy sources curtailed it will be high political theater.

It would take a presidential declaration of a national emergency:

E. Energy Authorities

29. The Public Utilities Regulatory Policies Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95-617, 92 Stat. 3117 (1978) (codified in various sections Titles 15, 16, 30, 42, and 43 of the U.S.C. (2007)), and the Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978, Pub. L. 95-620, 92 Stat. 3289 (1978) (codified as amended at 42 U.S.C. §§ 8301-8484 (2007)) authorize the President to prohibit any powerplant or major fuel-burning installation from using natural gas or petroleum as a primary fuel during an emergency.

30. The Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 791a-828c (2007), 10 CFR § 205.370 (2006), authorizes the Secretary of Energy to order temporary interconnections of facilities and/or the generation and delivery of electric power to alleviate an emergency.

31. The Department of Energy Organization Act, Pub. L. 95-91, 91 Stat. 567 (1977) (codified predominantly at 42 U.S.C. §§ 7101-7385o (2007)), and the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 791a-828c (2007), 10 CFR §§ 205.350, 205.353 (2007), authorize the Department of Energy (DOE) to obtain current information on the electric supply systems in the United States during emergency situations so that appropriate Federal emergency response measures can be implemented in a timely and effective manner.

32. The Energy Policy and Conservation Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6201-6422 (2007), as amended by the Energy Policy Act of 1992, Pub. L. 102-486, 106 Stat. 2776 (1992) (as amended and codified in various sections of the U.S.C.), authorizes the President to order Federal buildings to close and/or conserve energy during an emergency. The President is also authorized to create and maintain a Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, and to order a drawdown of either reserve in emergency circumstances.

33. The Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, 15 U.S.C. §§ 3301-3432 (2007), authorizes the President to order any interstate pipeline, local distribution company served by an interstate pipeline, or person to allocate natural gas in order to assist in meeting the needs of high-priority uses during a natural gas emergency.

34. The Powerplant and Industrial Fuel Use Act of 1978, 42 U.S.C. §§ 8301-8484 (2007), authorizes the President to allocate coal (and require the transportation of coal) for the use of any powerplant or major fuel-burning installation during an energy emergency.

35. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981, 42 U.S.C. §§ 8621-8629 (2007), provides the Department of Health and Human Services with discretionary funds for distribution under the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, according to the criteria that relate to the type of emergency that precipitates their need.


Could a nation or state retroactively force a change in contract if they didn't like 'their gas/oil' going out elsewhere when there is a shortage locally?

This is an excerpt from the Alberta Gas Resources Preservation Act (1949):

Notwithstanding any permit or any enactment, if, in the opinion of the Board, an emergency jeopardizes an adequate supply of gas or propane to consumers in Alberta, the Board may, with the approval of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, as long as the emergency, in the Board’s opinion, continues, and for the purpose of meeting the emergency, require the diversion of any gas or propane intended for use outside Alberta to any other uses the Board directs.

If presented with such a Board order, the NG gas companies would have to divert gas as ordered and declare Force Majeure on their contracts.

"Board" means the Alberta Energy Resources Conservation board and "Lieutenant Governor in Council" means the Alberta government. The latter bit of legalese is because the Alberta government is theoretically acting under powers delegated to the LG by the British monarch.

US states don't have this kind of power, but then they don't have a Queen, either.

They also own much of the offshore Angolan oil and can ship it all back to china regardless of what any other importer is willing to pay. This is a point we've been batting around for a while: what's more important: how much oil will be coming out the ground in X years or who will have (and not have ) access to it?

I seem to recall a historical event a few years back when we blocked access to oil from a fast growing Asian nation. :-/

S - We did eventually win but the cost was almost much greater than we did pay. Not only were the Japanese developing their own nuclear weapon they had an interesting delivery system: a submarine aircraft carrier. They actually completed the carrier before they could finish the bomb. It was the longest sub (maybe even longest ship) built at that time. The enclosed hanger carried two aircraft that would be launched after surfacing. The assumed plan was to travel to the west coast, launch the planes and nuke L.A. One theory: the delay in this the effort was the saturation bombing we did of Japan prior to our nuclear attack.

I think it an easy bet that if we tried to embargo oil against China we wouldn't be as lucky this time avoiding our own "nuclear event".

To the Canadians in the crowd:

The same options Rockman mentioned (ROFR, and TIK) apply to leases in Canada as well. The major difference is that the Alberta government owns the mineral rights on 85% of the land in Alberta, which, if you include the oil sands, is 95% of the oil in Canada, or 80% of the oil in North America. Alberta has a ROFR and TIK option on all this oil.

There is a common myth that the free-trade provisions of NAFTA require that Canada allocate a portion of its oil and gas production to the USA in an energy crisis. This is sort of true in a theoretical sense, but the Alberta government didn't sign NAFTA and is not bound by its provisions. They apply only to the Canadian federal government in the event it declares an emergency.

So, in the event of an energy crisis, the Canadian government will deliberately NOT declare an emergency (they're not that stupid), and the Alberta government will exercise the ROFR and TIK options on all its leases. As a result, the Alberta government will end up owning the vast majority of oil and gas produced in Canada, and will sell it to whoever it feels like. That will most likely be Albertans first, and other Canadians second. Americans will get what's left over. (The other producing provinces will most likely do the same with their oil and NG.)

This is not a hypothetical possibility. At the moment, NG production is falling in Alberta, and the Alberta government is starting to control who gets the remaining natural gas. Exports to the US are being curtailed even now. OTOH, the Alberta oil sands plants have a secure NG supply for the next 50 years or so, regardless of shortages elsewhere.

In the end Rock there are 101 ways to divert oil and NG where you want - provided you are in a position to strong arm people. They range from getting all the execs in a room and presenting them with an offer they cannot refuse, to investigating the company for wrongdoing and taking control in the interim (a Putin favourite), to straight out nationalising the asset and telling anyone who objects to please stand against this wall.

Legal niceties have a habit of lasting very little time when we get into this domain. Ask all those companies who had contracts with an overseas nation that was classified as 'persona non grata' overnight. Contracts get torn up and legal bows down to might.

Thus as far as oil and NG is concerned, I think you'll find that the federal level makes a grab for control of all resources, everywhere, and fairly early on in any dispute/post peak world. They then station a bunch of assets and dare anyone to take them on. States that realise what's going to happen may attempt the same, but short of all out revolt, they are going to get outnumbered by those with an iron in the fire of making sure the resources get shared out equally.

And by-the-by, I think Canada and Mexico are going to get strong armed in that situation into being part of Imperial America. They aren't in a position to complain, and a pretext can always be arranged. Taking effective control of Canada means making a play for the arctic of course....

If you think this is too pie-in-the-sky, look at the attack on Iraq with less than zero justification - except someone wanted strategic control of the oil. Now imagine we are post-peak, rather than just plateau.

There are a few articles on web regarding the North American Union. I have no idea how much of this is real and how much is CT.
Canada and Bush's North American Union Project

And by-the-by, I think Canada and Mexico are going to get strong armed in that situation into being part of Imperial America. They aren't in a position to complain, and a pretext can always be arranged. Taking effective control of Canada means making a play for the arctic of course....

A three headed monstrosity with three official languages - English, French and Spanish (unless you're going to tell the Quebecois they must now speak English, good-luck with that one!) - is equally pie in the sky.

While most Canadians like to visit the United States and enjoy the company of Americans, politically there is very little appetite north of the border for any kind of North American Union. Considering the near civil anarchy of the Mexican drug cartel situation these days I'm not sure there is much incentive within America to pull the U.S. closer to Mexico either.

Further, bearing in mind the Whig-liberal philosophical underpinnings of the United States as well as its strong regional identities, holding the 50 state union together will be enough of a challenge should things really go to pot. To use a thermal chemical metaphor, the most likely political reaction to uncertain times and loss of global preeminence will be explosion not implosion. Notwithstanding the wishful thinking of a few diehards of the Project for a New American Century, to be frank, Americans do not make good imperialists. Their hearts are simply not into it. The twentieth century repeatedly saw a reluctant America play the role of world policeman. I suspect splendid isolation will become the default position should things turn really sour.

These bastards just don't get it.....

Japan to go ahead with whale hunt
Whalers will have heightened security after last year's clashes with activists, says Japanese fisheries minister

You'd think, after the way nature has treated their country of late, they might be a little more reverential toward nature?


Pathetically endearing.. Just like the US after 9/11.

Thyroid gland irregularities found in young Fukushima evacuees

Nagano (Japan), Oct 4 (Kyodo) Hormonal and other irregularities were detected in the thyroid glands of 10 out of 130 children evacuated from Fukushima Prefecture, a Japanese NGO said today. The Japan Chernobyl Foundation and Shinshu University Hospita

also from Japan

Cooling Problem Shuts Nuclear Reactor in Japan

TOKYO -- In a fresh blow to public confidence, a reactor in southern Japan went into automatic shutdown on Tuesday because of problems with its cooling system, clouding the outlook for an imminent restart of the country’s idled nuclear plants.

Ouch..... From the Article - After Tuesday’s shutdown, only 10 of 54 of Japan's reactors remain feeding the grid. And Solar is too unreliable - Dawn may or may not happen tomorrow. I'm really amazed how much useful energy that 250 watt PV panels make even on cloudy days.

Low-Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR-Cold Fusion) and Anti-Matter Workshop and Presentations at the DoD

New Energy Times Obtains DTRA Report on LENR

On Dec. 12, 2006, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency held a meeting in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia, to review several controversial areas of research. Low-energy nuclear reactions were among those topics. (first public record of this meeting through the use of a Freedom of Information Act request)

From Summary: ... Low-energy nuclear reactions are showing some remarkable progress with respect to energy (excess heat) production and transmuted element detection, but experiments remain only thinly reproducible. LENR also suffers from a basic lack of understanding of the governing physics. ... Nonetheless, the persistent and increasingly repeatable demonstrations of excess heat and transmutation suggest that there is something here worth pursuing.

Workshop Report & Presentations: http://newenergytimes.com/v2/government/DTRA/2006-DTRA-LENR-Krivit-FOIA.pdf

Post Carbon Institute and Energy Bulletin websites appear to be down today. Que pasa? Someone couldn't pay the hosting fees?

Group Urges Research Into Aggressive Efforts to Fight Climate Change

With political action on curbing greenhouse gases stalled, a bipartisan panel of scientists, former government officials and national security experts is recommending that the government begin researching a radical fix: directly manipulating the Earth’s climate to lower the temperature. ... in its report the panel said it is time to begin researching and testing such ideas in case “the climate system reaches a ‘tipping point’ and swift remedial action is required.”

... reluctance to discuss geoengineering is giving way, at least in part because “it’s possible we may have to do this no matter what.”

From Task Force on Climate Remediation Research Report: Geoengineering: A National Strategic Plan for Research on the Potential Effectiveness, Feasibility, and Consequences of Climate Remediation Technologies

... The rapid loss of Arctic floating ice observed in recent years was not forecast nor is it quantitatively well understood. It is possible that feedbacks intrinsic to the Arctic climate system are causing the second half of the Arctic’s permanent ice to disappear more quickly than the first half did.... If methane and CO2 start degassing rapidly from Siberia, it will be important to understand whether there are possible interventions that could address this potentially very potent feedback mechanism.

... The addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere does not just cause warming; it also causes an increase in water vapor in the stratosphere, which amplifies the ozonedestroying potential of halogens. Current halogen concentrations in the atmosphere remain high, despite the effects of the Montreal Protocol. The increase in water concentrations in the stratosphere in the presence of continued halogen loading may destroy enough ozone to eliminate any gains made by the Montreal Protocol.

Additionally, the destruction of ozone by halogens can take place in the presence of sulfur particles, as was observed following the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. This occurrence suggests that ozone destruction could be exacerbated by the climate remediation methods that involve injecting sulfur into the stratosphere as a way to reflect solar radiation.

Certain Biofuel Mandates Unlikely To Be Met By 2022; Unless New Technologies, Policies Developed

... whether and how the mandate for cellulosic biofuels will be met is uncertain. Currently, no commercially viable biorefineries exist for converting cellulosic biomass to fuel. The capacity to meet the renewable fuel mandate for cellulosic biofuels will not be available unless the production process is unexpectedly improved and technologies are scaled up and undergo several commercial-scale demonstrations in the next few years.

Additionally, policy uncertainties and high costs of production may deter investors from aggressive deployment, even though the government guarantees a market for cellulosic biofuels up to the level of the consumption mandate, regardless of price.

Only in an economic environment characterized by high oil prices, technological breakthroughs, and a high implicit or actual carbon price would biofuels be cost-competitive with petroleum-based fuels, the committee concluded. The best cost estimates of cellulosic biofuel are not economical compared with fossil fuels when crude oil's price is $111 per barrel.

Furthermore, absent major increases in agricultural yields and improved efficiency in converting biomass to fuels, additional cropland will be required for growing cellulosic feedstock.

related The economic potential of bioenergy for climate change mitigation with special attention given to implications for the land system

OECD and IEA Recommend Reforming Fossil-Fuel Subsidies to Improve the Economy and the Environment

04 October 2011 Paris --- Governments and taxpayers spent about half a trillion dollars last year supporting the production and consumption of fossil fuels. Removing inefficient subsidies would raise national revenues and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, according to OECD and IEA analyses.

The G-20 Leaders in 2009 agreed to phase out subsidies that “encourage wasteful consumption, reduce our energy security, impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to deal with the threat of climate change”.

... “In a period of persistently high energy prices, subsidies represent a significant economic liability,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven, noting IEA estimates that subsidies that artificially reduce the price of fossil-fuels amounted to USD 409 billion in 2010 – almost USD 110 billion higher than in 2009.

related http://www.oecd.org/site/0,3407,en_21571361_48776931_1_1_1_1_1,00.html

Climate Change Caused Angry Runts

“Our findings indicate that climate change was the ultimate cause, and climate-driven economic downturn was the direct cause, of large-scale human crises in preindustrial Europe and the Northern Hemisphere,” wrote the researchers, led by David Zhang of the University of Hong Kong, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Between 1500 and 1800, every change in average temperatures correlated to a change in agricultural output and food supply. The climate changes did not result in immediate changes in population growth, so even in a cold year with poor harvests, the population kept going up. More mouths to feed with less grain meant a rise in food prices and starvation.

related http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-10-chinese-early-climate-responsible-hu...

Who's Bankrolling the Climate-Change Deniers?

It's one thing when people disagree on the effectiveness of different approaches to fix a problem; it's worse when they refuse even to believe that a problem exists — despite an overwhelming scientific consensus that says it does. One of America's major political parties has, in effect, adopted denial as policy. How did we get here?

Seraph, Are you practicing to substitute for Leanan? You seem to find a lot of good articles.

I got laid off last month so I have more time on my hands. Apologies for pegging the doomer meter sometime. Used to do this over at PO.com (aka vox_mundi).

Seraph, sorry to hear.
what did you used to do (when you had a job)?
what are your prospects for quickly getting a new job?

p.s. thanks for all the fish

Saudi Arabia Blames Riots on 'Outside Forces'

Saudi Arabia has blamed an unnamed foreign power for clashes that took place in its oil-rich Eastern Province in which it says 14 people were injured.

The unrest, on Monday night, occurred in the Gulf coast city of Qatif which is home to a large Shia population and was the scene of protests earlier this year.

The official stated that some of those involved gathered on motorbikes, "carrying Molotov cocktail bombs" and "started to wreak havoc under instructions from outside forces with the aim of destabilising the country."

Saudi Arabia seems quite stable since it pays off its people . . . but it is in tough neighborhood and the effects from neighboring nations could affect them. Island nation neighbor Bahrain had an Arab spring the got squashed with SA's help. SA borders Iraq which still isn't totally stable. Southern neighbor Yemen is in the midst of a revolution and SA has been helping prop them up by giving them oil and helping their leader. I think Yemen is headed for failed state status as their oil and water run down. And now Iran is stirring up some Shia trouble on SA's oil-rich East coast?

Things still look quite stable for SA . . . but the stakes are high because we all know that TSHTF if Saudi Arabia falls apart.

However, it is interesting that these demonstrations and violence has until now been completely off the radar in the MSM, at least in the UK.

SA buys huge amounts of UK military hardware at premium prices. I suspect most of it is of little military value.

The UK MSM media rarely if ever criticises SA (although the recent spat about a woman facing being lashed for driving hit the headlines) and barely mentioned the crushing of peaceful demonstrations in Bahrain by SA tanks. Certainly there was not a wimper of complaint from the UK government.

Southern States Energy Board Annual Meeting Agenda

The Southern States Energy Board is an interstate compact, comprised of governors and state legislators from sixteen southern states, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as a presidential appointee focusing on energy supply, demand and policy.

GM Building Natural Gas-powered Pickup For 2012

By the end of next year, GM will begin selling a commercial pickup truck powered by natural gas.

The bi-fuel CNG pickup will join two already existing natural gas powered cargo vans in GM's lineup. According to GM, the truck, which is expected to go on sale sometime in the fourth quarter of 2012, is being sold as a way to provide consumer choice.


Saddle Creek Corp. adds natural gas trucks to fleet

Saddle Creek Corp., a nationwide third-party logistics provider headquartered in Lakeland, FL, has invested in alternative fuel vehicles for its for-hire fleet by committing to the purchase 40 Freightliner natural gas trucks with plans to add 40 more in early 2012.

Texas drought does not seem to be affecting oil and gas industry

According to a recent article in The New York Times: A 2007 study prepared for the state's water authorities estimated that natural gas drillers in the Barnett shale area of north Texas could consume 7 to 13 percent of the groundwater from local aquifers in 2025.

If you think it sounds like the Barnett shale is sucking up a lot of Texas water, it turns out that the Eagle Ford shale,where oil is being extracted, requires three to four times as much water to fracture a well as the Barnett Shale. According to a Bloomberg report: fracking a single Eagle Ford well requires as much as 13 million gallons of water--"....enough to supply the cooking, washing and drinking needs of 240 adults for an entire year."

Cripes! I use 1/3 - 1/4 of that water the 'adults' use even when I need to soak the garden!


Natural Gas Drilling Tax on State Rep. Murt's To-Do List

State Rep. Tom Murt, of Upper Moreland, is holding a press conference this morning in Harrisburg, PA to urge support of his legislation, which calls for a 4.9 percent levy on natural gas drilling.

S - Taken them a long time to do the obvious...like 50 to 60 years late. You may recall about my advice to my Yankee cousins long ago: take a trip to Austin and visit with the hands at the Rail Road Commission...might learn a thing or two. Texas charges (and has for many decades) a 7.5% tax on NG production and a 4.6% tax on oil/condensate. And in La.: 12.5% on oil/condensate and about $0.29 per mcf (about 6.5% at current prices). At 4.9% they are still letting the oil companies off easy. And I saw nothing about county production taxes. In Texas we call them ad valorum taxes and counties collect around 1.5% to 2.5% in addition to what the state collects.

The vast majority of rigs drilling in the US today are in Texas and La. The companies will drill regardless of what new taxes are imposed. I also suspect PA and the other states let the companies off with much lower fee and regulatory charges. The production taxes and royalty payments to the state and county has over the years paid for much of our education costs including the university system. This income also pays for the regulatory side enforcement. Some folks may think the lobbyists are the one responsible for fostering so much drilling in these two states. Nope...it's the many $billions in income the state has earned over the years. And that doesn't take into account the jobs and corporate income taxes . It ain't the lobbyists...just follow the money.

Folks had asked how the state and counties were going to take care of road damage, etc with all the drilling acivity. Easy...just charge us. To us it's just the cost of doing business...we don't take it personal. LOL.

Will a Failed Solar Loan Guarantee Kill New Nukes?

Republicans up in arms about the infamous failed federal $535 million loan guarantee for the Solyndra solar panel producer are finally tasked to apply the same standards to nuclear power.

If that happens, there will be no more commercial reactors built in the United States.

Unlike solar power, atomic energy cannot attract private capital. So if the GOP succeeds in dragging down the entire federal energy loan program, the “Nuclear Renaissance” could be definitively done.

We can only hope. That still leaves us with all the waste at all the facilities in existence now.

9 billion in cash vanishes in Iraq . . . they didn't bat an eye.

1/2 billion invested in a US company, at least creating domestic jobs before the bankruptcy, and they go beserk. Go Figure.

From NSIDC Oct 4, 2011

Summer 2011: Arctic sea ice near record lows

... The last five years (2007 to 2011) have had the five lowest September extents in the satellite record. The linear rate of decline is now -84,700 square kilometers (-32,700 square miles) per year, or -12% per decade relative to the 1979 to 2000 average. ... First- and second-year ice made up 80% of the ice cover in the Arctic Basin in March 2011, compared to 55% on average from 1980 to 2000. Ocean sea surface temperatures (SSTs) indicate above normal temperatures on the surface of the Arctic Ocean.

However, the oldest, thickest ice (five or more years old) has continued to decline, particularly in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. Continued loss of the oldest, thickest ice has prevented any significant recovery of the summer minimum extent. In essence, what was once a refuge for older ice has become a graveyard.

Putin's grand vision: a new Eurasian bloc with old Soviet neighbours

One week after announcing that he will return to the presidency next year Vladimir Putin has laid out a grand vision to bring Russia's former Soviet neighbours back into the fold.

"We propose a model of powerful, supranational union, capable of becoming one of the poles of the modern world," he writes in the article.

You don't know how lucky you are, boy
Back in the US
Back in the US
Back in the USSR

Apparently, Putin joins hip-hop Battle for Respect

Forget that old decadent western trash, the Beatles, when good young Russian talent is taking hold. As chairman Putin says,

These youngsters who who work in this art in our country - they bring unique Russian charm. Street rap may be a little bit rough, but it contains social meaning - raising social problems. Graffiti becomes a real elegant art. Break dance is something special. It is really a promotion of a healthy lifestyle. It is hard to imagine break dance being combined with alcohol or drugs. When people perform with acrobatic elements, it really calls for respect.

The winner goes on to say,

I'm glad that I've won the battle for respect, but it would be cool to invite Mr. Putin to record a joint tract. Because this man is a legend, he's our icon.

Even rebel music in Russia is tightly scripted.

It beats me why they don't just drop the pretense and crown him Tzar and get on with the imperial adventure.

And here I thought I still had some time to fine-tune the solar water heater system !!??!@#$ 3 win Nobel for showing universe is speeding up

Three U.S.-born scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics Tuesday for discovering that the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace, a stunning revelation that suggests the cosmos could be headed for a colder, bleaker future, nearly devoid of light.

API data show big drops in oil, gasoline supplies

Crude-oil supplies fell by 3.1 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 30, the American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday, while gasoline inventories dropped by 5 million barrels. Distillate inventories also fell 2 million barrels, the trade group said.

API data show big drops in oil, gasoline supplies

Which means what exactly? I ask because inventories rise and fall, and of course those numbers do drive price, but beyond that is there any significance to them?

Blame it on Rio – and Russia (Part 1)

Despite ever deepening gloom about prospects for the US economy, commercial oil inventories in the US continued their relentless decline that started some weeks ago. Had it not been for an emergency release of 30 million barrels of high quality oil from the Strategic Oil Reserve last summer, oil and oil product inventories might now be in short supply.

How can this be, when domestic US consumer demand for gasoline, for example, is now running about 2 to 3 % less than about a year ago? Simply put, the drop in US domestic demand is being more than offset by increasing oil product exports – and a rather steep fall in crude oil imports. Although the US only imported a small amount of Libyan oil before it went ‘offline’ into its revolution of sorts in early February, other countries have made up their loss of Libyan oil by grabbing oil shipments that would normally go to the US.

International shippers this week are planning for a resumption of exports from Libya of about 100,000 bpd – far below the 1.35 million bpd export level at the start of February. So it does not seem reasonable to expect much of an increase in US oil imports very soon.

Meanwhile US oil product exports to Latin America – especially Brazil – have picked up greatly in recent months. Accounting for most of the export increase are products like ethanol (yes Brazil needs more ethanol due to drought) and naptha (basically unfinished gasoline). Russia is not helping the situation by building up its internal supply of diesel and similar products, probably to insure adequate supplies for winter. This results in Europe seeking replacements products from the US.

Hopefully Libya will increase its exports quickly to avert the need for a second SPR oil release before Spring. If they don’t, at least we will know who to blame. [that’s a joke of course, more soon].

Very informative - thanks Mackay.

Simply put, the drop in US domestic demand is being more than offset by increasing oil product exports – and a rather steep fall in crude oil imports.

So as our economy slows, reducing consumption, we help supply other economies that are moving faster. Hmm, that doesn't sound so good for us. :(

Italy credit rating slashed by Moody's from Aa2 to A2

Stay tuned for another rough day on the markets tomorrow.

The price of oil seems to be dropping on every bad news story. Despite a plateau of supplies and a decline in exports, the $64000 question remains: are we on the precipice of a deflationary spiral?

Yeah, they're talking about "injecting more capital into the system"....AKA more digital debt to pay off the previous digital debt...what a load of cobblers.
Does anyone have any faith in this "system" anymore?

The system is fueled by gouvernmental debt. IE deficits is good. However this logic is based on the asumption of productivity, and growth. When that stops, printing digital money changes from beeing good to bad. Any guess on where we are now?

Planet 'far away' on climate goals: study

... A study by the group found that the world at current rates would emit 54 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in 2020, a gap of 10 to 14 billion tonnes with what is needed to meet the goals.

The planet is "very, very far away" from meeting the 2.0-degree goal, said co-author Bill Hare, a lead writer of the major 2007 UN scientific report on climate change and director at Potsdam-based research group Climate Analytics.

"We are heading towards a warming of well over 3.0 degrees at present unless there are major improvements in the pledges,"

Herbivore Populations Will Go Down as Temperatures Go Up, Study Says

In a paper being published this month in American Naturalist, a team of ecologists describe how differences in the general responses of plants and herbivores to temperature change produces predictable declines in herbivore populations. This decrease occurs because herbivores grow more quickly at high temperatures than plants do, and as a result the herbivores run out of food

"If warmer temperatures decrease zooplankton in the ocean, as predicted by our study, this will ultimately lead to less food for fish and less seafood for humans," says co-author Benjamin Gilbert of U of T's ecology and evolutionary biology department.

How North Dakota Became Saudi Arabia

Late in the thread but just amazing that they used past tense in the article name...

How much oil does Bakken have? The official estimate of the U.S. Geological Survey a few years ago was between four and five billion barrels. Mr. Hamm disagrees: "No way. We estimate that the entire field, fully developed, in Bakken is 24 billion barrels."

My comments on the Energy Bulletin regarding this item:

"The latest Cornucopian fantasy du jour in the WSJ follows. As a Peak Oiler, I am beginning to feel like one of the defenders of the Alamo--surrounded on all sides by vastly larger Cornucopian forces.

"Imagine if you will, that in 2005 I told you that average global crude oil production for 2006 to 2010 would be less than the 2005 rate (following a very rapid increase in global crude oil production from 2002 to 2005) and that Global Net Exports would show a measurable decline, with China & India taking an increasing share of what is net exported, and that because of all of the preceding, annual oil prices would all exceed the $57 level that we saw in 2005, with four of the five years showing year over year increases in oil prices. And that the US in 2011 would remain dependent on oil imports for two out of every three barrels of oil that we process in US refineries. And I then I told you that the dominant theme in the media in 2011, given all of the foregoing, would be forecasts for steadily rising global oil production, with the only question being when, not if, that the US would meet all of its energy needs from domestic sources."

I would have said to you even the cornucopians cannot be that positively deranged.

George Foreman said of his 8 mini-george's, tell a joke to one and he'll laugh, but tell the same joke to another George and he'll take it wrong.

Maybe the reason is some people are just wired differently than others, and once someone is wired a certain way there's no way of changing the schematic.

So a state that produces a few hundred thousand barrels a day is the same as a country that produces nearly 10 million barrels a day?

The math education is really really bad these days.

More news about the clashes in eastern KSA, albeit from the Torygraph:

Saudi Arabia: Police 'open fire' on protesters

Brother Kornhoer,
Your html anchor is missing the link. Here's an article in another publication.
Saudi Wahhabi Forces Attacked Peaceful Shia Protesters in Awwamiya, Many Injured

The protest broke out in the aftermath of arrest two old persons (Hajj Sa'eed Abdul 'Al , 61 years old , and Hajj Hassan Ahmad Al Zaid , 72 years old ) from Awwamiya , who were summoned by the General Intelligence (Al-Mabahith Al-'Aamma) to pressure on them to give their sons up to police due to their participation in the demonstrations staged last March demand the release of fellow Shiites prisoners held for long periods without trial.

The caption in Torygraph article mentioned policemen getting hurt from gunfire and petrol bombs. IMHO, that is wrong way to do a protest since a govt will always react violently when confronted with violence.

Greetings, TODers,

I thought I'd share the notice of this upcoming event, a book-signing by Daniel Yergin, in case there are any folks in the area who might like to...humnnn...perhaps pose questions in the Q and A?

Or something.


I so wish they would have arranged for a panel, instead. (Sigh.) The venue is quite large, and it's the only oil-related lecture on the docket this academic year for a public lecture.

UK "Drivers have cut their petrol consumption by more than 15% since the credit crunch and the recession."


Deliberate omission that the diesel fuel consumption has gone up in the last 3 years. My consuption of petrol has fallen
99% in the last 3 years. I consume almost half as much diesel as I used to consume petrol. Tax on diesel in the UK is higher than the tax on petrol.

The AA is an open pressure group for cutting taxes on fuel. Given the craven nature and intellectual ability of our transport minister they may yet get their way.