Drumbeat: October 24, 2011

Studying the Energy Trap

How do Americans cope with high gas prices? What are the keys to driving costs down? The Energy Trap did scores of interviews, scrutinized historical spending data, and surveyed 2,000 households. The stories on this site share what we've learned.

John E. Sununu: Natural gas isn’t PC, but it’s the future

Despite a tough national environment, investors still see an opportunity for long-term returns in natural gas, banks are willing to commit capital, and the industry is hiring. The combined firm will employ over 12,000 people. Plus, this isn’t a case of bankers doing a deal just for the sake of ginning up fees. The gas pipeline business is capital-intensive, and it’s growing: The industry estimates that over $150 billion in new construction will be needed during the next 20 years.

That projection tells us something about the underlying resource as well. While many analysts, political pundits, and doomsayers continue to talk about “peak oil’’ and the end of fossil fuels, technology has passed them by. Hydraulic fracturing has been around for 50 years, but when combined with the latest technology for underground modeling and mapping, it has unlocked vast new domestic gas formations. Over just the past two years, the government’s Energy Information Administration has doubled its estimates of recoverable shale gas in America.

Shale Gas Could Be the Answer to Our Energy Woes

Given the importance of North Sea oil to our country, imagine how absurd it would have been if politicians had refused to exploit this discovery. Any reluctance to drill on the sea bed would have been an epic act of folly.

Yet just this kind of grotesque scenario might be happening today.

For it appears that a vast new source of energy may have been found in the north of England with the same potential to enrich us as North Sea oil possessed 40 years ago.

Technology gains are energy efficiency's future

Post: Between technological breakthroughs with shale gas and tight oil, does that reset where the U.S. is in terms of its energy independence?

Yergin: In 2007, the expectation was that the U.S. would be importing very large amounts of liquefied natural gas, and you know, we would've been spending upwards of $100 billion a year on those imports. So that's a complete turnaround, that people are talking about moving to exporting gas. Inconceivable half a decade ago. It's more recent on the oil side, but it does change the picture, and what's striking to me is if you take tight oil in the U.S., you take Canadian oil sands, and you take the offshore pre-salt in Brazil, you suddenly have this kind of resurgence of Western Hemisphere oil production.

India's GAIL eyes more shale gas assets in US

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - State-run gas utility GAIL India plans to buy stakes in more shale gas assets in the United States, its chairman B.C. Tripathi said on Monday as the company reported results.

"We are looking for more assets there. We can't fix a timeline but we hope something will come out in six month," Tripathi told reporters at a press conference.

Iraq's Shahristani says sees no need for OPEC cut

(Reuters) - Iraq's deputy prime minister for energy, Hussain al-Shahristani, said on Monday current oil prices are acceptable for both consumers and producers and that he saw no need for OPEC to cut production at its next meeting.

Uganda Ruling Party Lawmakers Vote to OK Tullow Oil Deal

Ugandan lawmakers from the ruling National Resistance Movement party Saturday voted to rescind a resolution that blocked the government from approving U.K.-based Tullow Oil's $2.9 billion sale of some of its interests in the country to France's Total and China's Cnooc, officials said Monday.

Electricity prices could stunt South Africa growth: Coface

High electricity pricing could stunt South African economic growth and impact on its competitiveness, credit insurance group Coface said on Monday.

Asking whether SA is doing enough to mitigate the impact of the current power shortage, Coface suggested that alternative energy sources needed to be made a priority to meet demand.

Cyber attacks against Energy Department disclosed

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Energy has been hit by recent successful cyber attacks and needs to do more to protect its computer systems, the department's internal watchdog said in a report on Monday.

The report by the department's inspector general did not disclose who launched the cyber attacks or the consequences at four affected locations.

Prince's death sets challenge to ageing Saudi royals

(Reuters) - The death of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Sultan sets the stage for an eventual generational shift in the ageing leadership of the world's top oil exporter, even if King Abdullah picks 77-year-old Prince Nayef to succeed him.

At stake is the direction of a U.S. ally attempting to reconcile its conservative traditions with the needs of a modern economy and a young, increasingly outward-looking population.

U.N. report seen worsening fear over Iran nuclear plans

(Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog is expected to publish intelligence soon pointing to military dimensions to Iran's nuclear activities but stopping short of saying explicitly that Tehran is trying to build atom bombs, Western diplomats say.

Locals to big oil: We want our town back!

WATFORD CITY, N.D. (CNNMoney) -- For those who have spent their entire lives in the previously quiet farm towns that dot the northwestern corner of North Dakota, the discovery of oil in the Bakken formation has been anything but fortuitous.

The thousands of people from around the country flocking to these boomtowns has led to a housing shortage and an increase in traffic, crime and frustration among the locals who feel like their small, close-knit towns are now gone forever.

Canada pushes back in EU oilsands trade spat

Canada's natural resources minister is criticizing the European Union over its plan to discriminate against Canadian oil derived from Alberta's oilsands.

Chris Martenson: Oil and the economy

By itself, the concept of having to get by on just a little bit less oil each year seems to be manageable enough. Some think that a steadily, or even sharply, rising price will merely reduce demand and promote exploration and that everything will more or less normally work itself out through well understood market mechanisms. Perhaps it will, but I think the odds are stacked against a smooth transition to a future of less net energy.

The critical fact is this: Because all money is loaned into existence, our economy requires perpetual growth to function. The purpose of this article is not to opine on whether this is a good or a bad system, but merely to describe it and the risks it carries by virtue of its design.

Drilling Down on the Family Farm

The working dairy farms that used to surround us had failed, most of them choked to death by a complex system that held the price of milk in check while energy prices, which drove up the cost of everything on those farms, spiraled upward. Those who could leave did, selling off their land, often in small chunks to people from New York or New Jersey who imported with them a fantasy of country living. Little by little, the country I had known, that whole way of life, was vanishing. It was, as one of my neighbors put it, “the end of country.”

And now, the drillers were coming.

Crude Oil Advances a Second Day on Japanese Exports, European Debt Meeting

Oil gained for a second day in New York as European leaders made progress with their debt rescue fund, while economic data from Asia signaled that growth is holding up in the region’s two biggest crude consumers.

Futures climbed as much as 1.4 percent after reports showed Japanese exports rose more than forecast last month and Chinese manufacturing may expand at the fastest pace in five months in October. Europe may agree on a blueprint to rein in the debt crisis at an Oct. 26 summit after leaders yesterday said they’ll aid banks.

Cost of gas up almost 5 cents in past 2 weeks

CAMARILLO, Calif. — A survey says the average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has risen nearly five cents over the past two weeks.

The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday puts the price of a gallon of regular at $3.47.

Hedge Funds Bullish Raw-Material Bets Jump Most in Two Months: Commodities

Hedge funds increased bullish bets on commodities by the most since August on mounting optimism the global economy will avoid another recession, boosting prospects for raw-materials demand.

Money managers raised combined net-long positions across 18 U.S. futures and options by 12 percent to 737,647 contracts in the week ended Oct. 18, Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Wagers increased most in energy and agriculture, led by heating oil, gasoline, coffee and soybeans.

Billionaire Sprott Funds Buy Energy With Commodities Near Recession Values

Chemical, metal and agricultural companies around the world have fallen to valuations whose only precedent came in the last recession.

Commodity producers in the MSCI All-Country World Index lost 21 percent since the second quarter and trade for 10.6 times reported income, cheaper than 96 percent of days since 1995, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In Canada, where stocks get more value from producers of fuels and minerals than any other major developed market, losses in energy shares are exceeding oil prices for the first time in 17 years.

Saudi Arabia won't tap reserves, mulls project bonds

Saudi Arabia will not need to tap into its reserves this year to finance additional budget spending but it is considering whether to issue Islamic or conventional bonds to help fund specific projects, the country's Finance Minister Ibrahim Alassaf told Reuters.

Responding to a wave of social unrest across the region, the world's top oil exporter pledged early this year to spend an estimated $130 billion, or nearly 30 percent of its economic output, on housing and other social measures for its citizens over an unspecified period.

Kuwait Pumped 2.9 Million Barrels a Day of Oil in September

Kuwait, the fifth-largest producer in OPEC, pumped 2.9 million barrels a day of crude in September and sees current prices as reasonable for exporters and importers, Oil Minister Mohammad al-Busairy said.

A conversation about energy with Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer-winning author and economist

You're not a believer in peak oil. Why?

This is the fifth time the world has run out of oil. Whenever markets are tight and prices are high, you get this fear that the end is near. There's a picture in "The Quest" of Woodrow Wilson walking to church and he said I'll have to walk to church because we'll have gasoline-less Sundays in the United States, because we didn't have enough oil. In the 1970s, it was thought that we were going to run out of oil and, of course, it turned out that there is a lot of oil. The theory today is that we're about halfway through the global endowment. Our view is that we're probably more like 20 percent, based on what we know today.

Our 5 Biggest Long-Term Challenges

Jeremy Grantham, founder of fund managers GMO, has been examining the real limits to our economic development. How will the world look a generation from now, or ten generations from now?

N.Sea Grane field back to full output -Statoil

(Reuters) - Statoil's Grane oil and gas field in the North Sea is back to full production of some 150,000 barrels per day after technical problems reduced output to a fifth of its normal level for several weeks, the Norwegian firm said on Monday.

Russia, South Korea to discuss gas supplies via North Korea

A Russian delegation has left for Seoul for a meeting of the intergovernmental commission on gas supplies to South Korea and construction of a pipeline via North Korea, a source in the Russian Energy Ministry said on Monday.

Russia-EU talks on 3rd energy package deadlocked - Shmatko

Talks between Russia and the European Union on the EU Third Energy Package, which requires the separation of energy production, transportation and sales, are deadlocked, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Monday.

The Third Energy Package particularly affects Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, which produces and sells gas and owns transportation facilities.

Price China pays for Russian gas should be similar to European price

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) – The price China pays for Russian gas should be tied to the European gas price formula, Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky said on Monday, following talks between Moscow and Beijing on a long-awaited 30-year gas deal.

Although Russia and China have agreed on the formula, the biggest stumbling block to a deal between the world's largest gas producer and the fastest growing energy market concern the specific ratios, Yanovsky told reporters.

PetroChina Dalian LNG terminal to start mid-Nov-source

(Reuters) - China's fifth liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal, in the northeast city of Dalian and operated by PetroChina , will start receiving its first LNG shipment around mid-November, an industry official said on Monday.

The start-up comes about four months later than previously scheduled.

Boom: Welcome to shale gas revolution

While the Obama administration has been busy lining the pockets of its campaign contributors with solar-power handouts, an energy revolution is taking place that even the Washington Luddites and federal Gosplanners can’t buck. American technology, borrowing offshore deep-water drilling techniques, has started exploiting huge deposits of natural gas buried deep in the Earth below shale rock across the country. It would be hard to exaggerate the meaning of this “new” fuel for the American economy and the world - what with three-quarters of the known new resources outside North America.

Revenue-strapped states pull back on hybrid auto tax breaks

As New Jersey and other states look to get out of financial crunches, exemptions and credits aimed at putting car buyers in hybrids and high-mileage automobiles are becoming harder to find.

Nissan Targets Sales of 1.5 Million Zero-Emission Cars by FY2016

Nissan Motor Co., the world’s largest maker of battery-powered cars, expects to sell 1.5 million zero-emission models with partner Renault SA (RNO) in five years, betting consumers will accept cars that need charging.

Japan urges Tokyo Electric to cut 33 billion dollars in costs

Tokyo - Japan's industry minister told Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) Monday to cut at least 2.5 trillion yen (33 billion dollars) in costs over 10 years before it can receive financial aid for compensation payments over the nuclear disaster.

Russian Grid Boosts Spending to Promote Smart Grids, Chair Says

Federal Grid Co., Russia’s state monopoly for high-voltage power transmission, will spend $116 million this year on research and development, according to Chairman Ernesto Ferlenghi.

The company is boosting spending to explore environmental developments including smart meters and grids, he said in an interview in London today. In 2008 the transmission operator spent $3 million on research and development, he said.

Mitsui to Double Power Capacity in Five Years, Expand Renewables

Mitsui & Co., Japan’s second-largest trading firm, plans to more than double its power-generating capacity within five years to profit from a global shift to spot electricity sales rather than long-term contracts.

Mirrors in the desert reflect future energy

PARIS // The first tribes to live in what is now San Bernardino in California called it "The Valley of the Cupped Hand of God".

Today its desert is home to the construction site of what developers hope will be the world's biggest solar power plant - a field of more than 165,000 mirrors to concentrate the sun's energy. The mirrors will reflect sunlight on to three towers containing a liquid that, when heated, makes the steam to drive electricity turbines.

Siemens Poised to Enter Geothermal Industry With Steam Turbine

Siemens AG (SIE), Europe’s largest engineering company, already makes wind turbines and solar energy equipment. Now it’s getting into the geothermal energy business.

Environmental Features in Science Campus Plans

If Cornell University were to win the city’s competition to build a new science graduate school, it would install on Roosevelt Island almost four acres of solar panels, 500 geothermal wells, and buildings with the rare distinction of generating as much power as they use.

Stanford University’s proposal for the island calls for minimizing energy use, creating a marsh to filter water, and recycling water from storm runoff and sinks, and possibly from toilets as well.

Repower to Supply 12 Turbines for Alaska’s Biggest Wind Farm

Repower Systems SE, a German unit of the India turbine maker Suzlon Energy Ltd., won an order to supply what will become Alaska’s largest wind farm.

Cuts Threaten to Close Center for Crop Safety in South Texas

An agricultural research center that ensures the safety of crops imported from Mexico is in danger of being shut down because of budget cuts.

2 Fisheries Collapsed Unnoticed, Study Says

Two popular Southern California fisheries have collapsed right under the noses of management agencies that had inadequate data, a new study suggests.

Empty Fields Fill Urban Basins and Farmers’ Pockets

With water increasingly scarce in the West, some other communities are allowing farmers to sell their allotment of it for whatever price they can find, in some cases thousands of dollars for the amount it takes to grow an acre of a crop. But this comes with a hitch. Working farms provide jobs and income to their many suppliers. There are 450 farmers in the Imperial Valley, but half the jobs held by the 174,000 residents are tied to agriculture.

When land is idled, the communities around the farms can wither. Residents here point to the neighboring Palo Verde Valley, where farmers can sell more than a quarter of their water supply at much higher prices in a process they control. As a result, nearly a third of the agricultural land was not farmed this year; over time, businesses and workers have suffered.

Americans Don't Care About Climate Change—And That's OK

While there’s no excuse for people to deny the dangers of climate change, it’s important to keep in mind that public opinion on the subject matters less and less. The deniers may be winning the battle for Americans’ hearts and minds, but they’ve lost the true war: The market is tipping in favor of renewable energy, leaving them behind.

The price of fossil fuel energy has been rising for the last decade, and every year those fuels get even more expensive to extract. Meanwhile, the price of solar power has fallen steadily since the 1970s, and manufacturing capacity for solar panels has quadrupled in the last three years alone. The inexorable result is that electricity generated from solar plants will soon become as cheap as electricity generated by gas and coal power plants, a moment known as “grid parity.”

Why current population growth is costing us the Earth

Our population is rising while our ability to sustain life on Earth is shrinking – we must change before nature does it for us.

7 Billion People: A Growing Number of Assets or Liabilities?

Agricultural, energy, or water issues aside, the problem with contemporary analyses on overpopulation is that such analyses are usually based in the contemporary mindset of functional needs, way of life, housing, reproduction, technology, and energy usage. Contrary to popular belief, humans do not need cars, cell phones, televisions, indoor plumbing, electricity, and computers to survive.

Paul Ehrlich, a prophet of global population doom who is gloomier than ever

The population of Earth has doubled since Paul Ehrlich first warned the world that there were too many humans. Three and a half billion people later, he is more pessimistic than ever, estimating there is only a 10% chance of avoiding a collapse of global civilisation.

Yergin and others who tout that there is an abundance of oil and natural gas act as if this is an unmixed blessing. They don't mention the other side of the coin, which is carbon emissions that meet or exceed the IPCC's worst case scenario. Damned if they're right, damned if they're wrong.

Yet another offer from your disposable Planet

I'm not a big fan of the holiday season. Could be it's stuff like this: While taking our recycling to the County landfill/transfer station this weekend I met a woman who was upset that the plastic she wanted to recycle was rejected; pounds and pounds of disposable dinnerware. She wasn't upset that it had been deemed unrecyclable, only that she would have to pay a fee to put the stuff in the landfill container (to be trucked to Georgia for burial). I got this from one of the boxes the stuff was shipped to her in:

SmartyHadAParty.com, Elegant Disposable Dinnerware!

Party on folks! Enjoy the holidays....

Oil is truly a resource too cheap to meter that it is easier to drive an SUV to a MalWart to pick up plastic spoons that were probably trucked over several hundreds / thousands of miles ... than to just wash and reuse a steel spoon.

sunson, I particularly do not like the plastic silverware that is colored silver (shown in the SmartyHadAParty ad). It confuses people, and kids in particular, who may throw away real silverware when they are used to discarding the fake plastic silverware.

That isn't just silver coloring; it is silver, or some mix of silver and other metal deposited on the plastic-ware to make it look nice for the one meal it serves before ending up in a landfill. Probably why the recycling place wouldn't accept it...


From the "shale gas revolution" above. Just a little picky point to start the week off: "American technology, borrowing offshore deep-water drilling techniques, has started exploiting huge deposits of natural gas buried deep in the Earth below shale rock across the country." Just the opposite: all the drilling tech used in all offshore ops, including horizontal well bores, was developed onshore. Not sure why they want to give any credit about drilling/frac'ng horizontal wells in shale formations to the offshore hands since it's never been done out there. Maybe just hype for the sake of hype.

"It would be hard to exaggerate the meaning of this “new” fuel for the American economy and the world". No it wouldn't...folks doing almost daily. LOL. I'm tired of saying it so I'm sure most are tired of hearing it. But: the domestic NG boom started back in the early 70's for the same reason it's boomed in the SG trends several years ago: increased price of NG. And there is nothing new about drilling/frac'ng horizontal wells in shale formations. One of the hottest plays in the US over 25 years ago was such a play. That's where the tech really started...not in the DW which developed decades later.

I'm sure you're getting tired of saying it all, but hang in there.. this stuff is slippery in some of our minds, and truly bears a bunch of repetition in order to nail down those 'reasons why' in our eager but overstuffed heads.

Your contributions here have become really valued. You put things in clear language, and you keep your sense of humor. I swear I'm really trying to learn lessons on both of those fronts!


You are surprised Rock, that journalists, in their desire to meet a deadline and specializing in knowing nothing about something prior to trying to explain that something to others, are always get it wrong? I am not.

The history of the industry is ignored by mostly everyone, including Texas based folks who forget that the hilljacks of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia were rounding up oil and gas for a generation or two before those johnny come latelys in Texas arrived on the scene.

"the domestic NG boom started back in the early 70's for the same reason it's boomed in the SG trends several years ago: increased price of NG."

Probably more important is the increased price of crude oil, which greatly increases the price (value) of natural gas liquids coproduced from fracked wells.


Ret - Today for sure. But many of the original SG boom reservoirs had little to no liquids. But that was at a time when NG prices were more than twice current levels. But much has changed in the last couple of years with the Eagle Ford and now, the Utica. Those plays are strictly driven by oil prices with the NG production a side benefit. Driven by oil prices and the absolute necessity of public oil companies to drill anything that can add to their y-o-y reserve numbers.

Hello Rockman,

I been following you and others here at TOD for years and appreciate the education you have provided. It has been priceless. To me, the additional NG and Oil you drill for and provide is merely a delay to the inevitable. Time we do not have but a time delay none the less to prepare per Robert Hirsch.

There is one question that keeps on resurfacing and I have heard it many times here that "NG will peak about 10 years after conventional oil peaks". With all the work in the Shale Gas plays, will that delay NG peaking? If so any ideas of how long after??

I can see where we could have higher fuel prices when the Colorado Shale Oil is developed but if it uses water (permitted max 3 barrels of water to 1 barrel of oil produced from Kerogene using NG), won't depleting NG supplies put a crimp on their development?

It always amuses me to hear that we are the "Saudi Arabia of Shale Oil" yet President Obama authorized the release of 60 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to curb the speculators.

Saudi Arabia will not need to tap into its reserves this year....

Yes it's pretty hard to tap into reserves that don't exist.

They'll probably run a few pipes across the border into Iraq and just add that to their reserves.

The article refers to the Kingdom's financial reserves. They won't need to use the financial reserves because high oil prices have been such a boon to their national income.

"Fill 'er up!"

Just saw this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/884464...

Less known is that the technology of hydraulic fracturing - breaking rocks with jets of water - will also bring a quantum leap in shale oil supply, mostly from the Bakken fields in North Dakota, Eagle Ford in Texas, and other reserves across the Mid-West.

"The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d)," said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.

Total US shale output is "set to expand dramatically" as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.

The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago.

72%? Something isn't right with that number? Or is it the phrasing 'oil'?

The EIA just come out with its Annual Energy Review with all energy data from 1949 thru 2010. Below are the figures for production and consumption for all liquids in 2010 and a decade earlier. Keep in mind that production includes about one million barrels per day of refinery process gain with over half that gain on imported oil.

US all liquids production and consumption in thousands of barrels per day.

      Production  Consumption Percent produced in the USA
2000   8,784	  19,699	44.59 %
2010   9,443	  19,157	49.29 % 

This report also gives US total petroleum imports from 1949 thru 2010. The chart below is US total imports for All Liquids and Crude + Condensate in thousands of barrels per year.

US Total Imports

The chart does not show 2011 data but for the first eight months of 2011 imports have dropped 5 to 6% from 2010. Also keep in mind that in this case, "All Liquids" includes not just propane and butane but refined products such as gasoline and diesel as well.

Ron P.

Thanks Ron. It's always breath taking to see how the oil price shock of the late 70's sent the world into a major recession. And that it took us about 7 years to recover to former consumption levels. And that was with oil prices dropping to around $10/bbl in '86. Some folks think we went through a major price shock back in '08. Looking at your chart that was just a little slip. Imagine how folks will react if we get another really big thumping.

A contributing reason for the decline in crude oil demand in the early 80s was the CAFE standards which were established in the US. Although the CAFE standards were established in the mid-70s, it took that long for them to have effect (fleet turnover).

The new CAFE standards in the US started phasing-in in 2011, and they will continue to phase-in through 2025. The full effect of these standards won't be felt until the 2030s. Of course, the price of crude oil will likely have as much or greater impact on vehicle fuel economy as the new CAFE standards.


No doubt even more people will turn to gods and guns.

"FLASH: Wall St. Comes to Standstill, We’re Safe for a While

"Trading on the stock exchange came to a screeching halt today, paralyzing Wall St. and financial markets across the globe.

"Accomplishing what thousands of protesters have failed to do in weeks of occupation, trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange came to an instantaneous halt when broker Robert Braudington discovered an exact likeness of Kenneth Lay toasted onto a bagel (plain with butter) he was about to bite into. “I can’t believe how close I came to eating it!” Braudington lamented."

Read the rest at


Thanks. I thought it was about 50%, so I'm left wondering just what the heck he is talking about. That's assuming that he knows.

USA is importing less and less oil. This is due to declining financial activities. I guess they had a quick look at that statistics, and then wrote the article.

Bear - Mucho thanks. Interesting stat about being the leader in supply growth. OTOH: "...comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea"...that's a tad over the top. Especially when you factor in the cost to produce each bbl of oil the two plays are a million miles apart.

In a perverse way the boom in shale production (both oil and NG) are a symptom of PO and not a cure. A help, for sure, but not a cure IMHO. Look at who are all the big players in the SG: public oil companies. You may have seen my posts before: Wall Street values such companies on the ability to add to their reserve base y-o-y. The indisputable fact is that there are not enough conventional oil/NG prospects left to drill in the US to support all the oil companies we have. Just my WAG but probably not enough to support half of them. Though there is some profit to be made in the shale plays that's a secondary consideration. My company doesn't drill the resource plays...not profitable enough compared to our conventional plays. We're privately owned so no stock to hype.

It's the tens of thousands of potential wells to be drilled that drives these public companies. The real financial value of the plays is the boost in stock equity. Recently Petrohawk was acquired for $12 billion. The company's actual production was worth a small fraction of that amount. The premium was paid for the company's undrilled shale acreage. As long as oil/NG prices are high enough to at least allow the public companies to break even they'll keep drilling the shale plays like there's no tomorrow. Because if they don't there will be no tomorrow for them.

BTW: how silly can Wall Street get in these regards? About 15 years ago I drilled 4 horizontal wells that increased a small public company's production rate 400%. Didn't add one $ worth of reserves...just increased the recovery rate. So actually lost money ($18 million) in the process. And how did WS respond? Increased our stock from $0.75 to $3.50 per share. And that led to a successful hostile takeover. And not too long afterwards the company went bankrupt and disappeared for ever. But the brokers made money which, after all, is their primary concern.

Total US shale output is "set to expand dramatically" as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.

Is this feasible? My back-of-the-envelope math says that would be a 1 mbpd increase every year between now and 2016.

The EIA shows that US C+C production increased by 151,000 bpd from 2009 to 2010, and the most recent data show that the US is dependent on imports for 61% of the crude oil that is processed in US refineries.

BP shows that total petroleum liquids production increased by 242,000 bpd from 2009 to 2010.

Here is a snapshot for consumption to production ratios for US oil (total petroleum liquids), natural gas and coal (on a BTU basis), from 2009 to 2010 (BP):

Oil: 258% to 255%

Natural Gas: 111% to 112%

Coal: 92% to 95%

"will also bring a quantum(?) leap..."

The idiot doesn't even know the meaning of the word.

quan·tum (kwntm)
n. pl. quan·ta (-t)
1. A quantity or amount.
2. A specified portion.
3. Something that can be counted or measured.
4. Physics
a. The smallest amount of a physical quantity that can exist independently, especially a discrete quantity of electromagnetic radiation.
b. This amount of energy regarded as a unit.
Relating to or based upon quantum mechanics.

Not huge, boundless, enormous: simply an amount.

The days of prescriptive dictionaries are long gone. These days, words mean what people widely use them to mean - as, really, they always did:
1. quantity or amount: the least quantum of evidence.
2. a particular amount.
3. a share or portion.
4. a large quantity; bulk.
5. Physics.
  a. the smallest quantity of radiant energy, equal to Planck's constant times the frequency of the associated radiation.
  b. the fundamental unit of a quantized physical magnitude, as angular momentum.
6. sudden and significant: a quantum increase in productivity.

Oh, probably. I still think it's what Bryan Garner would refer to as a "skunked term" though. IMHO.

There's a term for that use of the word - wrong.

A quantum of something is the smallest possible amount, any other use means the individual saying it doesn't understand the word - which unfortunately means most people. Doesn't stop them from still being wrong.

Disagree. English is a living language, and all that. Definition 6, especially with respect to the term "quantum leap" is now the most common use of the term.

And it makes sense. It refers to the discontinuity that is the heart of quantum physics.

Nicely put.

Things, including languages, change.

Get used to it.

Presumably the purists also only use the term 'decimated' to mean 'reduced by a tenth.'

The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs...

People have pretty thoroughly rebutted this number for oil. It would be pretty close, though, for total energy consumption.

ah, natural gas, coal and nuclear, Americans energy future?

Well, for at least the last couple of years I've said that there are two largely independent energy problems: one is the whole transportation/liquid fuels thing, and the other is the "keeping the lights on" electricity thing. At least for the electricity thing, I tend to think that there are two Americas, that will need two approaches.

Define the West to be the Rocky Mountain states west to the Pacific coast. To a considerable degree, this aligns with the Western Interconnection portion of the US power grid. The West has about 23% of the population, but uses only about 9% of the electricity (for various reasons). The mix of power sources is also quite different in West/non-West, eg, about 25% of Western power is already renewable if you count conventional hydro.

Opportunities for additional renewable power also appear to favor the West, as reasonable quality resources are relatively close to the population centers. The Northwest has significant undeveloped hydro; Great Plains and mountain downslope wind close to Denver, and offshore wind along the Pacific Coast; solar in the Southwest between LA/SD and Phoenix; more speculatively, geothermal in the Great Basin. Couple proximity with the smaller supply problem and you can make a reasonable sounding case for a largely renewable West.

Much more difficult in the non-West. In the big picture, their population is heavily skewed towards the East Coast, but their energy resources are not. No matter how you slice it, they seem to me to be dependent on really long supply lines, be they transmission lines, pipelines, or rail. Other than nukes, of course. Much harder to solve that problem reliably.

Crop scientists now fret about heat not just water

... scientists now wonder if a more immediate issue is an unusual rise in day-time and, especially, night-time summer temperatures being seen in crop belts around the world.

Interviews with crop researchers at American universities paint the same picture: high temperatures have already shrunken output of many crops and vegetables.

"As temperatures rise we are going to have trouble maintaining the yields of crops that we already have," said Gerald Nelson, an economist with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) who is leading a global project initially funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to identify new crop varieties adapted to climate change.

In regards to corn yields in the US, it appears to me that precipitation and heat are interconnected. More precipitation and less heat in the spring and less precipitation and more heat in the fall. On each end we are trending towards extremes. Anyway, the weather guarantees less beef next year continuing the trend whose start coincides with peak world oil exports.

Beef herd continues to shrink amid drought, soaring feed costs

Since 2007, beef cow numbers have dropped by 12 percent, and the number of heifers retained for replacements is down 5 percent, Chris Hurt said. Cow slaughter has remained high this year ensuring even smaller cow numbers in 2012.

While less beef is being produced in the United States, more is being exported. Hurt said beef exports would be up about 19 percent this year.

Egypt Restores Gas Exports to Israel, Jordan, Operator Says

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Egypt has resumed exporting natural gas to Israel more than three months after a sabotage attack on the pipeline connecting the countries halted the flow, government officials said.

The North African nation also restored gas shipments to Jordan, Hassan al Mahdi, the chairman of pipeline operator Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co., told reporters today in Cairo.

Prior to the latest bombing on July 12, Israel received about 40 percent of its gas from Egypt. Israel Electric Corp., the main buyer of Egyptian gas, used imported crude oil and diesel to make up the shortfall.

Shall we open a book on the number of days before a 'pipeline explosion' shuts them off again?

Re: Paul Ehrlich, a prophet of global population doom who is gloomier than ever

The population of Earth has doubled since Paul Ehrlich first warned the world that there were too many humans. Three and a half billion people later, he is more pessimistic than ever, estimating there is only a 10% chance of avoiding a collapse of global civilisation.

"Among the knowledgeable people there is no more conversation about whether the danger is real," Ehrlich told the Guardian. "Civilisations have collapsed before: the question is whether we can avoid the first time [an] entire global civilisation has given us the opportunity of having the whole mass collapse."

Meanwhile, over at kulturCritic, it is posited that this condition (the current human one) is perhaps more basic than over-population or outrunning our resouce base:

A Specter Is Haunting America

Unbeknownst to most Americans, Europe is again engulfed in revolt, which threatens to spread. The financial crisis that started in the USA and swept the globe, along with the sovereign debt crisis that was inflicted upon the European Union as a result, has ignited the passions of strangled and enslaved masses everywhere. People have recognized their enslavement and have put a finger on their slave-masters. The largely capitalist regimes are no less affected than are the socialist, communist, or theocratic ones, for they all have the same owner...


What is haunting the globe today is the specter of primitive anarchy, a feral tendency buried deep within the marrow and musculature of the human species. It is a powerful instinct, an irrepressible will to survive the artfully constructed but cold hierarchical systems of domination that have been enslaving the planet for six millennia, and which are now failing. It is anarchic in the truest sense of the word: it seeks to be leaderless not merely in a political sense, but to be free from the tyrannical hegemony imposed by the civilizing logic of syllogistic reasoning itself. It seeks to make each person, each interaction, each moment unique, unclassifiable, open to will and chance. It seeks freedom in the polysemy of the senses, of the physical body—not the body politic. This specter is not imaginary: it is real, and it is upon us. It is now everywhere and has a will of its own. It can no longer be brought under control, through force or through reason, and there will be no escaping it. It is not interested in you; it is coming after who you are.

I'm off yet again, to try and discover who I am before it gets me....

For those who have a lot of cable channels, you may be able to find a one hour special (from ABC in Australia) called "Peak Everything" in which Ehrlich prominently appears. I viewed it yesterday and it was very interesting, although TOD readers may find the part about peak oil simplistic.

You will know who you are when it gets to you.

Perhaps I'm more dense than usual today, but could someone translate that last paragraph for me? Speaking as someone who has had to both (a) explain technical subjects to management and (b) explain complex public policy budgets to legislators, at least the writing style seems to fall into the category of "if you can't blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bullsh*t".

I think he/she is saying we're now entering a Stage 5 mentality on Orlov's working model:

The Five Stages of Collapse

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost. The future is no longer assumed resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out, and access to capital is lost.

Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down, and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.

Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost. As official attempts to mitigate widespread loss of access to commercial sources of survival necessities fail to make a difference, the political establishment loses legitimacy and relevance.

Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost, as local social institutions, be they charities or other groups that rush in to fill the power vacuum run out of resources or fail through internal conflict.

Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost. People lose their capacity for "kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity" (Turnbull, The Mountain People).

Maybe the stages are somewhat concurrent, instead of sequential.

that stuck me as odd. while i do see glimmers of stage 5, for example texas will stop feeding lunch to it's prisoners on weekends. the cheering of 'let him die' in that one debate. the demonetization of the down trodden by people little better off(the 53%ers for example)

I do not see stages 2-4 yet, but we have already passed stage 1. there are some signs of stage 2 starting by at least nature, weather here and there is effecting the availability of some products. and man since china has decided to stop exporting rare earth metals. money here in the states has yet to become worthless, though it has become worth less when compared to the dollar a few decades ago but that's much longer then many people's memories.

we have not yet reached wide spread stage 3 yet it seems but some individuals like myself already expect it. many people even in the 'lets dismantle the government on purpose' tea party still seem to expect their ss and medicare. the ows protests could in theory become a wider spread 'we don't consider you a legitimate government' kind of movement at a later time but not right now.

A lot of stage 4 seems to already be happening as many institutions that help the poor are being bullied by local governments not to, handing out food to the poor has become a crime in many cities including the one i live near kansas city. churches and shelters are at mythical record attendance numbers as well as food pantries. both are at or near the breaking point.

what happens from here? hard to say i can see it both quickly going from stage 2 through 5 in a cascade effect as the burdens from higher stages hit the lower ones that already weak to begin with causing near simultaneous collapse. I can also see it temporarily, as for a few years maybe a decade at most, due to stage 1 and part of stage 2 cutting a lot of the excess out of the market. downsizing cars, both number and size. combining family's under one roof. people taking pay cuts rather then being let go..

OWS firmly supports US Constitution, State Constitutions, the laws of the state, and the customs of our government. Our grievances seek to redress the control of these entities by the 1%.

We are the 99% (MUSIC VIDEO)

It goes to who we were and how our hierarchical systems, our packaged security, leadership, economics, etc. run counter to how we evolved. We've sold our souls for the comforts of "civilization", the security of conformation, and our tools of convenience and efficiency have robbed us of the basic joys and challenges of struggle, the lessons of real suffering.

We, humans, have taken our Faustin bargains too far, abdicated our one chance at life to the mediocrity of the collective.

One wonders how many early, primitive humans commited suicide, just gave up....

One wonders how many early, primitive humans commited suicide, just gave up....

All they had to do was give up, nowadays you have to be more proactive to achieve the same result (and it probably costs too). Although they were probably too busy living to even consider giving up :)

Hierarchical systems depend upon surpluses to maintain the non-productive incumbents. Collapse is already shrinking those surpluses and the Middle Class is being squeezed as a result. As our hierarchical systems pancake everyone in them and dependant upon them will be crushed to some extent. One of the reasons I jumped ship early and engaged in the joys and challenges of being relatively free of the System.

Of course you have to pretend you're still part of the System so they leave you alone, whilst learning to live and create a non-hierarchical resilient way of living. I think the last few years have been the happiest of my life, living like a human in a real world outside of the collective insanity of BAU. On the downside, I still have a lot to do, but look forward to the challenge.

We do have a fundamental problem in this regard: productivity increases. While most of the productivity increases over the past century were driven by cheap energy, not all of them are dependent on cheap energy.

With the average 2%/year productivity increases we've had it takes many fewer people to provide for fundamental needs than it did in 1911 (something on the order of 1/4th or less, but I haven't done the math in a while), and due to process improvements even if all the reliable cheap energy goes away we'll still require far fewer people to meet fundamental needs than we did in the 19th century and earlier.

How does this relate to your comment?

If we only need 25% of the population to meet fundamental needs, then the other 75% are surplus (and the absolute numbers don't matter, cut the population in half and you only need half as many productive workers). People who realize they are surplus frequently end up depressed and suicidal. I guess feeling useful is one of those fundamental urges that people get in varying quantities. So most of the 75% have to try to pretend they are useful to the system, and as that percentage increases to 77%, 80%, and higher it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain the fiction.

Sorry, I only have the dilemma so far, I don't know if there is a way for humans to deal with this problem gracefully. so far signs point to "not gracefully at all".

Yes, I can see how being dependent upon a system that removes your individual ability to survive and subsequently finds it can no longer support you leads to suicidal depression. Productivity increases seem to have created a negative effect for humanity. I guess farmers were the canary in the coal mine in this respect, having seen huge productivity increases that ruined their lives.

The only way I see the problem being dealt with gracefully is for individuals to leave the System. But, as you say, that isn't likely to happen, people are basically going to go down with the ship.

Hi Burgundy

re: "One of the reasons I jumped ship early and engaged in the joys and challenges of being relatively free of the System."

I'm curious - what did you do and how did you do it?

Not to be nosy; looking for role models and ideas. Also, interested on general principle.

Have you talked about this (at any length) previously?

Aniya, to make it short; when I realised what faced us in 2003 and the hopeless situation I would be in and Britain too, I decided to take action. I sold my home, business and everything else in the UK and moved to France (which took a few years). Where you live will probably be the biggest determinant of your chances of surviving and thriving in the future and I believed France presented the best choice in my circumstances. So here I am in France in a small village:


The challenge is to survive and thrive on the land with minimal dependence upon the global system which is now failing fast. Today I'm off to the forest to fill an order for firewood. I'll post something in today's new drumbeat if you like as this thread will be dead soon.

Another cut from the Orlov link- remember this was written in 2008. Think Greece...

Thus, a much more likely scenario is that the federal government (knowing who butters their bread) will remain subservient to foreign financial interests. It will impose austerity conditions, maintain law and order through draconian means, and aide in the construction of foreign-owned factory towns and plantations. As people start to think that having a government may not be such a good idea, conditions become ripe for Stage 3.

In the Barnett Shale, the bloom is off the boom

The boom is no more in the Barnett Shale. Drilling in the natural gas-rich North Texas field has sunk to its lowest level in more than seven years and is barely more than one-quarter of its 2008 peak

Amid the new craze for crude, the Barnett Shale rig count plummeted to 53 active rigs Oct. 14, the fewest since June 11, 2004, according to information compiled by RigData.

That's barely more than one-fourth of the peak count of 203 active Barnett rigs on Sept. 5, 2008, a year when gas prices soared above $13 per million British thermal units. Prices began plunging in the latter part of 2008, have generally been in a funk since and have recently been in an anemic range of $3.50 to $4.

Barnett Shale gas drilling has been discouraged by the fact that prices for oil, condensate and natural gas liquids such as ethane, propane and butane are much more attractive for energy producers, causing them to divert rigs to the liquids-rich areas.

Russia Eyes $225 Billion Investment In Offshore Energy: Report

Russia hopes to invest up to $225 billion (163 billion euros) in offshore oil and gas exploration through 2030 and may introduce tax breaks to attract foreign investors, a report said on Friday.

The preliminary draft of a government programme to be discussed for the first time next month admits that Russia's current attempts to develop its Arctic shelf are progressing too slowly, the Kommersant business daily said.

The most investor-friendly plan under discussion would see the government invest 1.33 trillion rubles ($42 billion) in the joint project while private and foreign firms would contribute 5.7 trillion rubles($183 billion).

also Large Russian interest for Arctic licenses

EU European Financial Stability Facility Draft Market Intervention Guidelines October 19, 2011

Several of the following documents were published by the Financial Times behind a paywall. They were then openly posted on the website of the Greek periodical Το Βήμα.

- Draft EFSF Guideline on Primary Market Purchases

- Draft EFSF Guideline on interventions in the secondary market

- Draft EFSF Guideline on Precautionary Programmes

Reservoir of natural gas could hurt coal interests

A huge reservoir of natural gas trapped in shale rock deep beneath Ohio holds the promise of a fresh supply of cheap energy and thousands of new jobs.

But what does it mean to the state’s coal industry?

... Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association, said his industry’s future remains bright. He said increasing demand from foreign countries, particularly China and India, will help keep Ohio’s 2,900 coal miners at work.

So much for clean energy. Many on this forum have remarked, that we will use all the FF we have. Without a global agreement dirty fuels [like dirty industries] will be burnt by other countries

But the future is bright. Except for the dark clouds over China. And very, very warm. Still waiting for winter in the mountains of Colorado which we used to get in September.


White Roofs When this was debated, a few days ago, I couldn't figure how they could add to urban heat traps. From direct experience here going from a concrete roof to a white roof has really dropped the temperature of the upper rooms in my house. I haven't needed the thermometer, it has changed the rooms from unusable to usable. Another point is that the heat being emitted by the building is at a far longer wavelength than the heat shining on it. Black body at 330K vs 5100K. The whiteness in the visible range would have to extend a long way into the far infra red. This prompted me to try something I have wanted to do for a while.

I have some 20cm square terracotta floor tiles knocking around so I cleaned 4 up. One I painted black (gloss, unfortunately, as I did not have any matt), one white, one with aluminium foil (shiny out) bonded to it and one natural. I put them out in the sun on a slab of polystyrene foam and checked the temperature underneath. Not that local high noon is about 13:45 and the air temperature around 33C. Here are the results:-

 Tim  Black  Natural  White  Foil
 13:00  29  29  29  29
 13:15  54  47  39  36
 13:30  60  51  42  38
 13:45  65  53  45  40
 14:00  65  54  42  40
 14:15  65  52  44  41
 14:30  64  54  43  40
 14:45  66  54  44  41
 15:00  65  54  44  40


The White tile is getting to around 11C above ambient, Natural around 21C while Black a toasty 32C - you really don't want to put your hand on it. Foil is not a big help over white. The cooling of the white roof is very noticeable in this quick test. A dark roof would be soaking up a lot of heat to emit later.


Actually, foil does seem like a pretty good deal.

Well, it is easily damaged, will corrode, needs to be bonded on. The white paint can be easily painted on and can be washed clean. Renovation of the foil is difficult while it is easy to repaint. I don't think it is worth the candle for a 3C improvement YMMV.

There are a lot of roofs here that are painted with a terracotta coloured waterproofing. Change that to white waterproofing and you would experience a big improvement. One thing worth noting is that terracotta Spanish tiles, on top of a roof reduce the temperature of the roof to roughly ambient provided air can circulate through them. If they are the roof, ie mounted on laths, they act as fierce radiators into the space beneath.


VIA http://www.redrok.com/up980301.htm#mylar

http://www.mirrorsheeting.com/ My memory is that thin film acts like R3 or R5.

White Roof and then foil on the inside of the roof, as an emissivity and convection barrier between the roofspace and the tiles.

There is some moaning about asphalt roofs heating up more with a radiate barrier and thus degrading faster, but if its painted white then the absorption in the first place will be less anyway. For tiles it seems a no brainer.

I bought some stuff called "attic foil", looks like thick aluminum foil, but has tiny holes so water vapour can get through. Home Depot, had about twice as high a price as what I found on the internet -so shop around. The stuff can stapled onto wood, below the plywood and roof joists. But it will do almost as much good sitting ontop of the fiberglass insulation. I observed it cut top of insulation temps by about 10F. Slightly reduces winter heat loss too, but not enough to justify the cost. My cost was roughly $.14 per square foot (non trivial), but that was over two years ago.

Decades ago, I performed experimentation on the effectiveness of attic foil (while employed by Manville, an insulation manufacturer). Both roof color and foil become progressively less effective as ceiling insulation levels increase (makes sense because the ceiling insulation decouples the building interior from attic temperatures). In the extreme case of PassivHaus levels of ceiling insulation, attic foil and roof color are almost completely ineffective for reducing cooling load, and attic foil and roof color either have no effect or increase heating loads. Attic venting also reduces the impact of attic foil and roof color, and good attic venting is important for building durability.

But for buildings with poorly insulated ceiling foil and/or roof color can have a significant impact on cooling load. From a systems perspective adding more fiberglass or cellulose makes much more economic sense than foil, because insulation reduces both cooling and heating loads, during both night and day.

Here is that old research report (the most fun part of the job was seeing a co-workers leg suddenly appear through the drywall in the middle of the living room and start wildly wiggling around...)



Thomas W. Volckhausen
Manville Sales Corp
Denver , Colorado

David G. Ober
Research Associate
Manville Sales Corp
Denver, Colorado
There is a limited data base on the full scale
performance of radiant barrier insulation in
attics. The performance of RBS have been shown to
be dependent on attic ventilation characteristics.
Tests have been conducted on a duplex located in
Florida with soffit and ridge venting to measure .... etc.,etc.

I would agree that stacking solutions (like foil and good insulation and lighter colors) diminishes the gain to be had from any one of them. It is the result of the combo.
Some of my foil is nearly wasted (put solar panels on, and that part of the roof is now shaded). Later I added more insulation, so the cost effectiveness of my foil might be questionable. Although inland California as compared to Florida, we have much high summer insolation load, so foil is probably more efficacious.

Better than foil (supposedly) is aluminzed mylar. Of course when they are hot, put them into shade and then abserve the cooling rate. I predict the foil case will take longer to cools off -its IR emissivity is pretty low (maybe .05 to .1). I would think the other would be similar, high emiisivity >.9 -even for white.

White or silver saves energy on vehicles also.

Silver and white cars are cooler, says study

Researchers at the Berkeley Lab Environmental Energy Technologies Division (EETD) say that the color of your car affects your car's fuel economy and how seriously you contribute to pollution. A light-colored shell reflects more sunlight than a dark car shell. The cooler the color, the cooler the cabin air, and the less of a need to run your air conditioner.

A silver (or white) shell would allow for a lower-capacity air conditioner as well

Overall, the numbers compiled in this car-color exercise found that using white or silver paint instead of black paint would raise fuel economy by 0.44 mpg (2.0 percent); would decrease carbon dioxide emissions by 1.9 percent, and reduce other automotive emissions by about 1 percent. ...An improvement of 2 to 2 percent in fuel economy, scaled to the fleet of light-duty vehicles in the United States, represents savings of gallons of gas in the billions, if these design changes are adopted by the automotive industry.

Cool Colors for Cars Could Improve Fuel Economy, Reduce Emissions

Cool Colors Project: Improved Materials for Cooler Roofs

An improvement of 2 to 2 percent in fuel economy, scaled to the fleet of light-duty vehicles in the United States, represents savings of gallons of gas in the billions, if these design changes are adopted by the automotive industry

Repainting the existing fleet would achieve the same thing. ...

...white or silver paint instead of black paint would raise fuel economy by 0.44 mpg (2.0 percent)...

I prefer white vehicles because they are cooler, but I am surprised that there would be a 2% fuel savings. That seems too much to me. What do other people think?

I think that is some sort of averaged figure. Average driver, with an average mix of weather. Obviously if you live in Alaska, you won't be running the AC, even if your car is black. Probably depends upon trip length, and it you open your windows etc. Once you are moving at speed, I doubt surface temp varies too much from air temp (60mph wind).

'Best short EVER!' ends up costing Citigroup $285M

The SEC said Citigroup Global Markets Inc. made a deal with Credit Suisse Group AG's asset management unit for the latter to purportedly act as an independent adviser and assemble a collateralized-debt-obligation [CDO] portfolio tied to the U.S. housing market. In fact, Credit Suisse agreed to let Citigroup pick about half of the assets.

Citigroup took a $500 million short position in the specific group of assets that it had selected for the underlying investments, according to the SEC complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The CDO defaulted in November 2007 and left investors with a worthless investment, while Citigroup made $160 million in fees and trading profits.

On Feb. 28, 2007, the day that the transaction closed, an experienced CDO trader wrote in an e-mail that the portfolio was “dogsh*t” and “possibly the best short EVER!” the SEC said in its complaint.

Investors were not informed that Citigroup had decided to bet against them and had helped choose the assets that would determine who won or lost,” said Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement.


The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. agreed in July 2010 to pay $550 million to resolve claims that it failed to tell investors in a mortgage-linked product that a hedge fund betting against the CDO helped select the underlying assets. JPMorgan Chase & Co. agreed in June to pay $153.6 million to resolve similar claims related to its sale of a CDO in 2007.


Our View: Banks' Wrongs Too Numerous to Comprehend

The Banks "Frauds" are too numerous to comprehend.

Consider Kurt Cobb's article from yesterday, Don't gamble with the grocery money.

That is exactly what the Wall Street-Congressional-White House Complex did to us - they used fraud to gamble with the nation's retirees' "lunch money."

We need a revolution. And then Nuremberg-like Trials where for Obama, Bush and Clinton, as well as Timmah Geithner, Hank Paulson, Ben Bernanke, Greenspan, Phil Graham, SEC, FDIC, state AG's who are ready to "settle" and sweep the mess under the rug...

And yet, this is the industry that Gov. Perry would have us believe is fully competant to 'guard the hen house' and do so without all those pesky regulations.

Greenspan believed the same thing - the markets will police themselves (Ayn Rand told him so !).

Later he said he realized there was an "error in my model of the world." DUH!

I've made a number of recent posts about China 'grabbing' a larger share of what is now declining amount of world net oil exports (except for a short term bump up we may get as Libya returns to some fraction of its former oil export capacity).

According to this report from Barclays, increased China imports may be related to falling domestic output. Meanwhile as China grabs most of the oil East, in the West where most of the OECD nations are, stored supplies have been falling.

Last Updated : 23 October 2011 at 10:30 IST

OECD oil stocks to thin further in Q4; but sentiments to cap prices

The most prominent signs of the tightness in the Crude Oil markets are now evident from the global trend of rapidly thinning inventory cover.

Thus far, though OECD inventory levels had been below the five-year average, US inventories were still in a surplus, but this changed last week as the latest EIA weekly release placed US crude and product inventories below the five-year average for the first time since November 2008, with the pace of stock drawdown picking up over the past month.

In particular, the latest Chinese output data showed a steep fall in domestic production, adding to the woes of the non-OPEC supply pool.


If memory serves US net oil imports increased at about 11%/year from 1949 to 1970, when US production peaked. US net imports increased at about 14%/year from 1970 to 1977, when demand started to fall and when production from the North Slope of Alaska started to kick in (resulting in a year over year decline in US net imports).

And an item on the steady increase in the number of years that Yergin estimates it will take us to see a 20% increase in global productive "Capacity."

Daniel Yergin massively reduced his energy estimates


If one can’t rely on Daniel Yergin for soothing reassurances about the state of the global oil market, who you gonna call?

Since 2005, Yergin and his associates at CERA have massively reduced their projected rate of increase in Global Total Liquids “capacity.”


Just another fine example of the costs of globalization. Instead of keeping open the government agencies that might prevent disastrous health consequences we just let the people find out by getting sick, or dying. So for the "benefit" of getting cheap cantalope we either pay more taxes or get sick.

Question for traders.

I just noticed that trading in longer term futures for oil, gasoline and heating oil seems to have reappeared after a multi-month hiatus. At least as reported at http://finance.yahoo.com/futures.

Has anything changed in the regulation of the energy futures markets? Or in margin requirements?

I've been following futures chains at the Futures Explorer for quite some time and just noticed that things look "more normal" today as opposed to the previous six months. Lightly traded futures contracts -- 18+ months in the future, are the playground of high speed traders and the numbers I glean from yahoo finance have bounced up and down a lot in the recent past. Today they look a little more sane. I'm just wondering why?

Thanks for any leads.


Interesting. I notice WTI/Brent spread closing markedly. Now at $19.59. Was about $28 on 14th October. Spread hasn't been that narrow since August.

Notice that the spread is closing as a result of WTI going up relatively not the other way round as some analysts had predicted. If Brent was indeed going up as a result of lack of Libyan light sweet the futures market is certainly not reflecting it. WTI on the other hand might finally be catching up with the falling inventories.

Ahh, so that is the answer to my question of the other day. Low inventories is meaning there is more demand at Cushing, pushing up prices.

There are some reports from yesterday and today that there was somewhat of a 'squeeze' concerning WTI oil futures. That is some sellers of WTI futures had to enter the real oil market to make delivery against WTI futures contracts sold.

As ROCKMAN often says, the price of real oil being exchanged may not be the price that futures are trading at - although they can and do come closer together when futures are used to buy the actual oil for delivery.

Meanwhile the low WTI price of oil at Cushing vs. everything else is encouraging all sorts of schemes to get oil out of Cushing - even just using trucks:

Sunoco Logistics beefs up truck fleet
October 25, 2011 17:42 ET
Thomson Reuters

NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Sunoco Logistics said on Tuesday it has ordered about 60 new trucks to add to its current fleet of 140 to move crude around its system, including moving crude out of the hub of Cushing, Oklahoma.

"Trucking has been a good play for us," a company spokesman who said he expected the trucks to be in service in the next few months. He said that even with the spread between U.S. crude and Brent moving in over the last day or so, the premium for Brent remains wide enough to make trucking crude worthwhile. "The spread is just one factor," he said.

The spread between benchmark crude Brent and U.S. West Texas Intermediate moved out as wide as $27 in favor of Brent before moving back in near to $16 on Tuesday.


I am not presently a trader but I once was. Margin requirements have gone up, not down. Light Sweet Crude Margin on the NYMEX is now $8,100 per contract. It was just over $5,000 back in January and it went up in February to just over 6,000.

Out 15+ months I see virtually no volume except for the December contracts. Light Crude Oil But even the December 13 contract is only trading about one contract for every 25 or so contracts traded in the near term, December 11, contract.

I never knew that the far out very thinly traded contracts were the playground for high speed traders. Thinly traded, high speed seems to be a contradiction in terms.

Ron P.

I trade the far out futures. I'm amazed that they don't get more activity. They are key to any buy+hold strategy like mine. The difference between $5,000 and $8,100 is nothing. They'd have to be closer to $50,000 to deter me from investing.

Have you noticed the market has turned to backwardation? Not so good for me, I guess I'll just have to hold mine until 2016 when I can sell them, and hopefully triple digits by then.

In what would be an easy sentence for most criminals but an unlucky one for an avocado thief, a San Diego county judge sentenced Barron Stein to three years without possessing more than 10 avocados at a time.

Last March, Stein, an out-of-work tow truck driver was caught swiping between 600 and 1,000 pounds of avocados from a nearby grove in Bonsall, Calif., according to a report from the LA Times. Stein was reportedly desperate for his family when the theft occurred.


This will become so much more common as we move forward. I know pig theft has been rampant in this area (midwest) and I've heard of other livestock that have been stolen. My guess is that out of season deer shootings have increased (no way to verify because I doubt the DNR has the manpower to enforce it).

I had some young kid in my yard this past summer picking plums out of my tree. I think the same guy took a large ripe melon out of my yard. Pretty tough to grow some of your own food when someone just walks away with it.

And what is to be done if things break down even more with people stealing food in people's yards in the middle of the night? Nobody can stay awake 24 hours a day to protect their crop. Do different family members take turns sitting in a chair and how do they protect the crops? You can't legally shoot someone for stealing apples. What if 20 people descend on to your property and take everything in one fell swoop? All you can do is stand there and say bon appetite! Should get really strange in the years ahead.

Of course, aside from Dogs, we also have cheap motion sensors now, and really cheap video cameras that trigger recorders with motion in the frame. (..and except for the dogs, they could all run on PV!)

If you dig around on YouTube you should find a video of a paintball gun that someone has automated. It uses a camera and laptop to track the target and aims the gun. It is pretty fast and accurate.


Dogs can be poisoned or shot.

With your cheap sensors and cameras, - what if the police are not bothering with such pettiness?

"If you come home to find your house burglarized and you call, we're not coming," said Oakland Police spokeswoman Holly Joshi.


For the first time, because of the economy, police departments ... may have to change how they do business," says Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement think tank. "People will see a change in the basic delivery of services," from longer police response times to a dramatically reduced police presence in some communities.


Two months ago I had a conversation with a Georgian (the country).

When it comes to "community problems" he asked me, "What do you do if someone iz shooting their rifle on the balcony at 3am, - you call the police. What do you do if a drunk is beating his wife in the community garden below your apartment in front of the playing children? - You call the police."

"In Georgia, you don't bother calling the police," he said.

As far as dogs and motion sensors go, it's just ways that you can get alerted without being out in the fields all night.

You really need to tell me that dogs can be poisoned and shot? Write a screenplay already.

get some geese,live on scraps noisier and tastier than dogs and the grease if rubbed on the chest is good against colds

We had a couple geese once. Good idea. Lots of things to relearn..

You're right about the noise.. never tried the Geese Grease.. but I do remember having to protect Myself from the creatures!

I think they succombed to Coyotes or Coy Dogs, ultimately..

~ "John, John the Grey Goose is gone and the Fox is on the Town-O!"

There's a Whiskey distillery in Scotland that has traditionally used geese to watch over the plant.

Many years ago I was watching a documentary on Brazil about farming, absentee landlords or something. About halfway through it the film crew came across some locals who'd caught some bandits that had been bothering them. They'd beaten them up pretty badly and piled them in a heap by the time the crew arrived. As they started filming the locals poured petrol on the heap of unconscious bandits and set them alight. Gruesome stuff, especially as one regained consciousness, but a good example of how lawlessness isn't one sided, it also gives freedom to individuals to protect themselves too.

Guinea hens do a good job also. Excellent at warning about snakes. And taste better han chicken IMHO.

Geese used to be used by the Romans as sentries. I remember the ones at my local pub, used to go for you in a very painful place!


"Geese used to be used by the Romans as sentries."

Indeed, they are why money is called 'money.'

They were sacred to Juno, and when the Celts tried to sneak into the city at night, the geese in her temple raised a ruckus, awoke the citizenry, and thereby saved the city.

After that, it was called the temple of "Juno Moneta" or "Juno the Warner."

The building was later one of the first places that coins were made, and through various changes of pronunciation, 'moneta' became both 'mint' (the place where money is coined, not the plant) and 'money' (a word borrowed from Latin into English before the English were in England!).

dohboi - thanks for that, I love that sort of fact, and knowing my brain, it'll be stored away for ever!

except for the dogs, they could all run on PV!

There is that "dog" that Sony makes (a cutesy robodog), but I don't think it would be up the chasing off (taking abite out of) intruders.

Well, in some failed states, what tends to happen is that family groupings tend to form where largish clans will live in close proximity to each other. They will do whatever it takes to guard clan property. These groupings will also tend to supplant, eradicate or at least co-op whatever is left of centralised law enforcement (see Somalia).

In others, private security companies will step into the breach and, operating somewhat outside the law, will attempt to protect their clients' interests (see modern South Africa).

In yet other failed nations, organised crime will step in and take over large chunks of both the security arrangements and the criminal activity, killing those who don't go along (see 1990's Russia).

I kind of suspect the US will pull a Wild West and you'll see an increase in organised vigilantism. Perhaps more states will explicitly legalise the use of lethal force to defend property. I suspect rural regions will go more this route, where cities may end up with more of the private security firms. Given the wide array of options, though, we'll probably just have to wait and see.

What you are describing is how the Roman empire became feudal Europe.

" Do different family members take turns sitting in a chair? "

I remember reading about how russian (eastern europeans ?) slept in the barn with a rifle or shot gun to prevent theft of animals.

Also, re the symptoms you list -see Orlov's 5 stages of collapse quote in my link up-thread..

Suggest you read about Resilient Communities (if interested). The truth is that a small group (4-10) isn't likely to sustain any kind of stationary existence in close proximity with competing groups. Not enough energy in a group that small to sustain. Resilient Communities or sets of networked groups of 4-10 units can do well.

As long as people care enough about each other and work hard at common goals (sharing and thriving), it probably works.

The problem is you have to set it all up before things get nuts.

The lone survivor/movie-plot types won't last. (I think "The Road" was a good example of a total system crash, but in that case, it was some sort of supervolcano (or similar massive change-- they never told us).

Do different family members take turns sitting in a chair and how do they protect the crops?

Just search google for "gpl motion detection software", and dedicate a PC to install Linux, a webcam (or two), to document (perhaps have it email you with stills) if someone takes from you...

Police really appreciate citizen help in the form of pix that have a good face shot, or license plate, and timestamp....

The other variant is you poison your food, either in whole or in part.

An example of poisoned "food" - fish packed in lye. Eat that straight up - die. Eat it after processing/de-lying and you have "food" - lutefisk.

I'm sure if one thinks about food, one can come up with a meat coating that is toxic unless you subject the meat to re-heating to cause the toxin to be non-toxic.

Or you have stocks of food/liquid that is toxic that you do not touch.

Poisoning food to discourage burglars is an invitation for realy nasty accidents.

It would take a radically different (i.e. less civilized) world than currently. In todays world, you would be sued for homicide (and probably prosecuted).

I had some young kid in my yard this past summer picking plums out of my tree.

Ah, this takes me back. Sweet childhood memories.

Anybody want to buy an oilrig? At least I think that's what it's saying...

I don't think that's an oil rig at all. It looks like a production platform. I can't imagine why Statoil would be selling a production platform. But what do I know?

Ron P.

It's what's called a "4-pile" platform...4 legs sitting on the sea floor. And a fairly small one at that. And all production platforms eventually come to the end of their lives...no more production. Regs usually require eventual removal. The remaining value is what they can get for the equipment and the scrap metal salvage of the jacket. But it can also cost a good bit to pull it out of the water. Ever so rarely it can be recycled. If the regs allow it it's often more economical to just cut the legs off at the sea floor and topple it over. That's actually preferred in the GOM: old jackets have become thriving reefs. I once operated the deepest fixed leg platform in the GOM...600'. The removal estimate was over $24 million. It would have cost $5 million just to mobilize the largest lift vessel on the planet to the location. But the feds and Texas let me cut the top 100' off and drop that section into the GOM. Put a life-time buoy marker on it and paid Texas $200,000 to maintain it. Total abandonment cost = $5 million.

I read norwegian. The text say it is a production PF. Modern, and built 2001. Constructed for 15+ production years. The Huldra field is one of high temperature and pressure, so the platform is extra strenghtened.

Dunno what this means, or why they sell a so new and modern PF. But that is what it said.

Hahaha...! It's phrased like an ordinary real estate advertisement. My translation (with the caveats that I am neither an oil man nor familiar with american real estate agent parlance):

"Huldra" for sale

Well kept 20-room platform for sale. Panoramic seaview and plenty room for helicopter.

The "Huldra" platform, which has been in production since 2001, is now shutting down its production and is therefore being sold to the highest bidder.

The platform is built with a timeless and resistant steel base, topside with living quarters, helicopter deck and production facilities.

Owner has performed regular maintenance on the platform, and its appearance is that of a modern and sensible solution.


At present the platform is splendidly situated with a 360 degree sea view in the North Sea, in the blocks 30/2 and 30/3 about 16 kilometers from the Veslefrikk field, but buyer will be required to move the platform to [a] different location.


By boat: Sail west from Bergen, out to sea. Turn left at the Veslefrikk platform and continue for 16 kilometers.


Here, only your imagination limits the uses it can be put to.

It has functioned as production platform for the Huldra field, which is a field with high pressure and high temperature. This means the platform is sturdily constructed with an eye towards handling challenging conditions.

The platform is designed for a longer bout of work than 15 years, and the production facilities, both topside and jacket, is still in good technical condition.

Reuse will spare both expenses and [the] environment, and is therefore seen as a far better alternative than scrapping.

A potential buyer could get a faster and more cost-effective development of his field by reuse of Huldra.

Also, the mythical Huldra

KODE - That's very funny. Guess that's a better pitch than "Buy this pile of junk before it rusts and falls over on some fishing boat".

Poked around a little and here is the english version. Not funny like the norwegian one, but has some more info:

The field is scheduled to be shut down around 2014/2015.

Also, there is a pdf with "technical information" downloadable from there, I assume it's the same as the "Prospekt ..." I downloaded from the page in norwegian, which was in english and titled "Prospect" (they're the same size).

mumble Statoil could tidy up its webpages a bit grumble

Thanks for the translation. It does sound pretty funny. Love the directions. Maybe one of those libertarian sea-steaders would be interested.

From MIT: What can make a dent?

Given the enormous scale of worldwide energy use, there are limited options for achieving significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

At any given moment, the world is consuming about 14 terawatts (trillions of watts) of energy — everything from the fuel for our cars and trucks, to wood burned to cook dinner, to coal burned to provide the electricity for our lights, air conditioners and gadgets.

To put those 14,000,000,000,000 watts in perspective, an average person working at manual labor eight hours a day can expend energy at a sustained rate of about 100 watts. But the average American consumes energy (in all forms) at a rate of about 600 times that much. “So our lifestyle is equivalent to having 600 servants, in terms of direct energy consumption ...

Gasoline prices at historic highs for this time of year

With the nation still poised to shatter the old record for gasoline spending of $449 billion in 2008 by shelling out as much as $491 billion this year, Phil Flynn, an analyst for PFGBest Research in Chicago, said, "It's like we just can't ever get a break. This has really been a bad year for fuel prices."

Analysts say that world demand for refined fuels is driving U.S. gasoline prices, with the U.S. exporting record amounts of fuel. In addition, U.S. refineries are processing more diesel than usual instead of gasoline to meet that global demand.

For those who can break away from their computer screen a movie, 'Margin Call', is coming out Friday. Sounds interesting.

'Margin Call': Thrills, Chills of Financial Ills

If your spine is subject to shivers, it may well be set off by the moment in "Margin Call" when a young risk analyst who used to work as a rocket scientist spots a piece of data on his computer screen, reflects briefly on what he's discovered, then realizes that it's the financial equivalent of the asteroid headed for earth in "Armageddon."

Number Crunching at the Apocalypse

I saw it a few days ago--
It is worth viewing.

Downloading now.

Bermuda Firm To Begin Iraq Oil Exports

“The work on the upgrade will be completed in the first half of 2012 and will be followed by the development of the pipeline project to connect the Shaikan field with the Kirkuk-Ceyhan export pipeline,” he added, referring to Iraq’s northern oil export pipeline connecting the country’s giant Kirkuk oil field to southern Turkey’s Mediterranean oil export terminal at Ceyhan.
An independent appraisal has assessed Shaikan’s oil resources at 4.9 billion barrels or more with a 90 percent probability, and 10.8 billion barrels or more with a 10 percent probability. The mean oil-in-place estimate for the discovery was 7.5 billion barrels.


World power swings back to America

A rare gem of factual incorrection in the media.

"The US already meets 72pc of its own oil needs, up from around 50pc a decade ago. "



This aroused my interest, as Mr. Evans-Pritchard is usually fairly reasonable, and anything in the British mainstream press, even commentary, is 10 times better than what you'll find here.

However, you've got to read behind the lines and see the bigger picture. The U.K. and its people are perhaps beginning to understand their precarious situation and how they'll be unable to rely on a graying Europe or declining North Sea fuels for prosperity. So they are counting on the U.S. to maintain its leadership so they can tag along, the way they've been doing since 1945.

Despite reports that well to do Brits are having their kids learn Mandarin, deep down they would rather have a North American dominated world.

We contrarians in America know better, though, because we understand that America is unsustainable and corrupt to the core.

The strange thing about the USA it that it could become sustainable if it really put its mind to it, after all if they adopted European fuel economy standards and built more compact cities they could easily halve their fuel consumption and no longer rely on imports from outside North America just Canada.

The UK on the other hand is rapidly becoming totally reliant on imports from less desirable sources.
I just can't see the USA ever exporting oil!

Yes I agree but look at the historical evidence.

Were the Soviets or British or Nazis or Romans or (insert historical empire here) ever satisifed with just enough?

The U.S. is not going to decide to do the above, we are not going to decide to drive girly cars and liquidate the bases, not a chance.

We want more, more, more, and more is never enough. We want to occupy Iran, and when we're done we'll go on to Saudi Arabia and then maybe Canada next. Those Canadians sure will be surprised when they find out those tar sands belong to us!

We want every last person with an iPhone in their hand, we want a Starbucks on every street corner. We want a million dollars to turn into ten million, to turn into 100 million and then a billion and then a trillion.

Of course, none of the above will happen, because we're going broke. But until that day of reckoning arrives, let the bombs fly, let the fiat money trickle down, and let the oil flow like so much champagne.

Under Col Momar Perry, many changes will come to Canada after we invade. No one has the right (or need) to universal healthcare. Maple syrup will also be banned and replaced by very healthy Iowa corn syrup, with coal based dyes and stabilizers.

i luv the smell of maple syrup in the morning....it smells like.....victory...

Just out Fukushima is likely the largest radioactive noble gas release in history not associated with nuclear bomb testing. Press release http://www.zamg.at/docs/aktuell/20111021_fukushima_review.pdf

Full study pre-release link below (includes full PDF)

New study on Fukushima release (ZAMG et al)
Xenon-133 and caesium-137 releases into the atmosphere from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant: determination of the source term, atmospheric dispersion, and deposition

The main result of the investigation is that the emissions from the power plant started earlier, lasted longer and are therefore higher than assumed in most studies conducted before.

... Regarding 133Xe, we find a total release of 16.7 (uncertainty range 13.4–20.0) EBq, which is the largest radioactive noble gas release in history not associated with nuclear bomb testing.

...For 137Cs, the inversion results give a total emission of 35.8 (23.3–50.1) PBq, or about 42% of the estimated Chernobyl emission. Our results indicate that 137Cs emissions peaked on 14–15 March but were generally high from 12 until 19 March, when they suddenly dropped by orders of magnitude exactly when spraying of water on the spent-fuel pool of unit 4 started. This indicates that emissions were not only coming from the damaged reactor cores, but also from the spent-fuel pool of unit 4 and confirms that the spraying was an effective countermeasure.

I have quickly scanned the full report and, reading between the lines, I believe they hint they may still be underestimating. Critical Japanese data was not available to them or incomplete, to estimate exactly how much fallout had landed in Japan.

Also note this is air emissions only and does not include the massive quantity of emissions to water and hence the Pacific.

They appear to be certain the major source of release for Cs was the fire in Fuel Pool 4 beginning the morning of 15th March Japanese time.

We don't know what else was released from the reactors or the pool from this report.

Their data may be consistent they say with criticality incidents after supposed initial shutdown.

My best guess is that the numbers in the paper will continue to go up as more investigative work is done.

I'm not following how if Fukushima is

42% of the estimated Chernobyl emission.

it can be

the largest radioactive noble gas release in history not associated with nuclear bomb testing.

That 42% is for Caesium-137 which is not a noble gas. The noble gas emission (Xe-133) is calculated at 2.5 times Chernobyl but that wasn't in the quoted summary I posted but is in the paper.

They only calculated values for Xe-133 and Cs-137 based on monitored readings throughout the world and Japan and known weather patterns. We have to fill in the blanks for all the rest of the isotopes.

Also if it is eventually resolved that say there is far more Cs on the ground in Japan than initially indicated by the Japanese government (as independent Japanese university and Japanese local government results now seem to be saying) then the total Cs release could also exceed Chernobyl. That is implicit in the paper.

They also only cover estimated emissions up to the 20th April.

That 42% is for Caesium-137 which is not a noble gas.

Ah, apples and oranges - got it, thanks.

Post Fukushima: All the King's Horses and All the King's Men...
by Fairewinds Associates

Fairewinds' Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen testifies to the NRC Petition Review Board detailing why the 23 BWR Mark 1 nuclear power plants should be shut down following the accidents at Fukushima. True wisdom means knowing when to modify something and knowing when to stop. Sometimes, all the King’s horses and all the King’s men should not try to put Humpty Dumpty together again.

Video http://vimeo.com/30955593

Our results indicate that 137Cs emissions peaked on 14–15 March but were generally high from 12 until 19 March, when they suddenly dropped by orders of magnitude exactly when spraying of water on the spent-fuel pool of unit 4 started. This indicates that emissions were not only coming from the damaged reactor cores, but also from the spent-fuel pool of unit 4 and confirms that the spraying was an effective countermeasure.


Ok, If Fuel Pool 4 really did effectively drain dry on March 15th, why did it take them until March 19th to attempt to put water in it? They quickly started emergency attempts to get water in Fuel Pool 3 next door - including by helicopter drop. What if they knew the pool was compromised and could not hold water so there would be no point in trying to fill it? Did TEPCO and the Japanese Self-Defence Force possibly spend a few days making emergency repairs to the pool (or what remained of if)? The radiation would have been likely lethal even in very short shifts but it seems to me that, depending on damage, 5 days would be enough time to do a lot of work for military volunteers knowing they almost certainly faced death.

When they did eventually start re-filling the pool they used a huge concrete pour system to deliver water instead of concrete. I wonder if if had been also used to pour concrete previously?

As I said above I'm just speculating.

Flashback: CNN's Anderson Cooper at the time http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy3rn3lGGpA

why did it take them until March 19th to attempt to put water in it

The low hanging fruit would be PR - dumping water would be a public display that things were bad VS claiming its all good and there is no worry.

So to 'save face' - admit no flaw.

But they did dump water on Reactor 3 on the 16th March by JSDF helicopter and the pictures were shown live on NHK. They had said they would dump on 4 as well at the same time but that was called off and that pool had to wait until the 19th before any filling attempt.

This leads Nature to write (my bolding)

Fallout forensics hike radiation toll

The new analysis also claims that the spent fuel being stored in the unit 4 pool emitted copious quantities of caesium-137. Japanese officials have maintained that virtually no radioactivity leaked from the pool. Yet Stohl's model clearly shows that dousing the pool with water caused the plant's caesium-137 emissions to drop markedly (see 'Radiation crisis'). The finding implies that much of the fallout could have been prevented by flooding the pool earlier

Well clearly the Japanese knew that's where the major source of Cs emissions was at that particular time and had informed the IAEA of such according to the IAEA website at the time even though Japan denied it in public. It was even on CNN (see link upthread). Either they deliberately allowed extra major emissions from the fuel pool for several more days than necessary or there was some other reason for the delay.

This was also the time period TEPCO was directed to prevent a re-criticality specifically in Fuel Pool 4. Adding water to an unknown fuel configuration was possibly a worry as well.

Re. "Technology gains are energy efficiency's future" above

Post: Between technological breakthroughs with shale gas and tight oil, does that reset where the U.S. is in terms of its energy independence?

Yergin: In 2007, (blah, blah)... and what's striking to me is if you take tight oil in the U.S., you take Canadian oil sands, and you take the offshore pre-salt in Brazil, you suddenly have this kind of resurgence of Western Hemisphere oil production.

Oh boy, a "resurgence"... doesn't answer the question Danny.

Well Danny, "does that reset where the U.S. is in terms of its energy independence?"

(... crickets ...)

Hurricane Rina ramping up quickly in the Caribbean

Hurricane Rina is projected to become a major hurricane, with maximum sustained winds in excess of 110 miles an hour, within the next 48 hours. It reached hurricane status on Monday.

also http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/graphics_at3.shtml?5-daynl#contents

Jeff Masters

Rina intensified into a hurricane just 21 hours after the first advisory was issued for it as a tropical depression. This is the second fastest such intensification since record keeping began in 1851. Hurricane Humberto of 2007 holds the Atlantic record for fastest intensification from first advisory issued to hurricane strength--18 hours. (Actually, Humberto did the feat in 14 1/4 hours, but this was rounded off to 18 hours in the final data base, which stores points every six hours). There have been six storms that accomplished the feat in 24 hours.

Las Vegas leaders still fuming over Obama’s anti-Vegas speech as he tries to woo the West


The feud began in 2009, when Obama admonished corporations using federal bailout money: “You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayer’s dime.” A year later, Obama warned families against gambling away college tuition: “You don’t blow a bunch of cash in Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.”

I suppose a person would need to have some period of time under their belt to know a time when the idea of gambling was part of the seedy side of town. A time when it would not be considered moral or smart to spend bailout money or savings for College in Vegas.

But not today. In today's world of everyone and every institution is given cart blanche to be self involved to the point of being in opposition to what makes common sense, Vegas can get angry that there are any conceivable impediments to spending money in their casinos.

In fact, just recently it was asserted that money for diapers and baby food should be used as cash on the barrel for gambling. Drop those chips on red, close your eyes and listen to that little steel ball bounch, click and clack all the way to 00. Snake eyes! Hold the baby, we'll use dishtowels and bent forks to hold them together. What about food? Argh!

Dairy farming: Canada's supply management system

Further to yesterday's discussion about the economics of farming, etc (on the Oct. 22nd Drumbeat), CBC Radio had an interesting debate (25 mins) this morning regarding Canada's supply management system for the dairy sector (and the latest effort to get rid of it):

The operative word that comes through the CBC discussion is "reasonable:" farmers need to be assured that they (and their kids) can make a reasonable living by milking cows, and consumers need to be willing to pay a reasonable price for milk (ie. one which covers the farmer's cost of production and a fair return on the farmer's labour & investment).

The Canadian dairy management system is a farce. It is basically a protection racket for the (Quebec dominated) dairy industry. It sets "quotas" and issues "processing" and "export" licenses. What do you think are the chances that the dairy management board, dominated by Saputo and the like, will let small companies innovate and grow?

Canada's dairy industry does not even produce any net exports.
For a successful dairy industry model, look to New Zealand, where they got rid of all such nonsense twenty years ago, and their dairy industry is now a world leader.

For a similar example here, look at the Canadian wine industry. It was only once the free trade agreement came in, and wine import restrictions came off, that the Canadian wine industry really got its act together and started producing (and exporting) good wine.

Instead, with the dairy (and egg) industries we have these cartels that restrict production and innovation - basically preserving control of the market for the big boys - and doing a far better job of it than OPEC ever does. It is the only industry where Canada goes to world trade talks and says, upfront, that the dairy subsidies/tariffs are non negotiable.

It is a restraint on free trade - on the ability of a farmer to produce and sell what he wants, to whom wants, at whatever price he wants. Almost any other business has that freedom - and lives and dies upon it. With the dairy industry we have this cozy protection system and the result is things like overpriced and under quality cheese - just when Canadian wine meant "Baby Duck"

It is time for this industry to grow up and stand on its own feet. Only then will we see opportunities for new, small producers and better quality products elbowing out some of the crap that is produced today.

just when Canadian wine meant "Baby Duck"



PS - Thanks for reminding me I need to buy some more 'Fern'.

Did you listen to the CBC debate and the arguments in favour of supply management?

My father-in-law was a dairy farmer both before and after the introduction of the Ontario Milk Marketing Board. He pointed out the reality from a producer's point of view: you have a milk tank with limited capacity; you need the tank emptied in time for the next milking. The cows cannot wait and you have a family that needs that milk cheque.
The bulk shipper offers you an unfair price, but what are you going to do? You have little storage capacity, and in any case you have a highly perishable product. Unlike meat & grain producers who could wait a week or even a month, your milk will be useless within a matter of days.
You will either accept a low price (knowing that your neighbour may be asked to accept an even lower one tomorrow) or you can dump your milk in the gutter, which is what happened whenever pride got in the way.
What power does the farmer have under such an arrangement?

The current system is not perfect, I agree, but please do not call it a farce: it has allowed my in-laws to count on a stable income which gives them a fair return for their labour & investment. Such stability is rare among agricultural producers.
You say that free trade will allow a farmer to sell what he wants (perishable milk) to whom he wants (his local bulk carrier), at whatever price he wants? Dream on: if my father-in-law were still alive, he would ask for your phone number and tell you what life is like for primary producers (I presume that you are not one of them).

Have you ever wondered why so many farmers wish that their kids would do anything BUT farm? Unappreciative, one-sided pronouncements like yours would be a #1 reason.

Supply management was a real gift to the dairy farmers operating at the time supply management was introduced. Those farmers got their milk quota for free -- quota that later became quite valuable when they retired and sold their farm. Today the quota system is a huge impediment to anyone trying to get into dairy farming. On top of the huge investment in land, buildings and machinery you have to add the cost of purchasing milk quota which I understand runs into many tens of thousands of dollars per cow.

Supply management also resulted in the destruction of almost all of the small cheese factories here in Ontario. Industrial milk users also need quota and the only way mega corporations such as Kraft could get more milk quota was to buy up small cheese factories.

A farm is essentially a small business. We accept the fact that many small businesses in other areas will fail. For example, a high percentage of new restaurants go out of business within a year. Every failed restaurant represents someone who lost a substantial amount of their savings, perhaps all of their savings. I'm really having a hard time understanding why we are not supposed to give a **** if someone loses their shirt in the restaurant (or whatever) business but if they are a dairy farmer we are supposed to guarantee their success whatever the cost.

Because farmers punch far above their weight politically. Why? Food security tends to be somewhat more important to governments than retail success. Free markets (including market failure) is a non starter in basic food supply. Countries that can't manage this tend not to exist after a short while or not really exist at all except as lines on a map (e.g. Somalia). Economics does not rule everything. Some things really are too important (in fact if not in theory) to be left to the market. Food security is one of them.

Seeking a Pacific Northwest Gateway for U.S. Coal

Plans are under way for a $500 million marine terminal that would make Bellingham a gateway to energy-hungry Asia for the U.S. coal industry. As many as 18 new freight trains per day would run back and forth from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to carry coal to the new port. The tracks pass just a few hundred yards from the craft and vegetable stands of the Bellingham farmers' market.

... the city has long been mapping a plan to redevelop its waterfront, which had been dominated by a wastewater treatment lagoon used by a Georgia Pacific pulp and paper mill that was closed a decade ago. City leaders envisioned retail, housing, park space, and trails, to create an eco-friendly magnet for commerce. Pike fears all of that would be jeopardized by the constant flow of mile-and-a-half-long (2.4-kilometer-long) freight trains on tracks that essentially block the waterfront area from the rest of the city. And Pike doubts that the coal port would ultimately provide as much long-term employment as promised.

"Why would we risk 10,000 jobs for a few hundred?" he asks.

Is there even enough coal in the west to supply Asia and the US?

If you mine coal and Asia pay more it is not a problem.

The lower 48 have 200 Giga tons of coal. The US uses 1 Giga ton per year. So if we exported 4 Giga tons per year to China the coal would last (200/(1+4)=40) 40 years.

If the article on TOD about 5000 Giga tons of Alaskan coal is correct then we could export 50 Giga tons per year from Alaska to China for 100 years.

/sarc on
President Obama calls clean coal a green technology. I guess he had better get that working.
/sarc off

Sounds good. Sometimes I get the feeling we are running out, while other times it seems like we have an unlimited supply.

I won't worry about running out of electricity any time soon.

Oh, don't worry about it. We've "only just begun" blowing up our mountains here in Tennessee.

/srac on
It sounds like team spirit is missing in Tennessee. I guess that is why the DHS is out in force in Tennessee, to give you folks an attitude adjustment. Win in 2012 with team Obama the most drillingest president in history. Make no mistake about it some say burn baby burn, I say drill baby drill.
/srac off

More is less?: Report finds local TV news less diverse

Watching local TV news can lead to déjà vu. During the past decade, a growing number of local television stations have entered into service agreements together – to share video footage, reporters, anchors and even full newscasts.

... In Denver, for example, stations with service agreements shared the same script and graphics about two-thirds of the time. In Peoria, Ill., consumers, despite having five local news stations, were viewing identical stories on several channels.

The combination of newsrooms also resulted in job losses. In Peoria, 30 employees were laid off and 16 were transferred to another station within the market.

A long, steep drop for Americans' standard of living

Not since at least 1960 has the US standard of living fallen so fast for so long. The average American has $1,315 less in annual disposable income now than at the onset of the Great Recession.

... What has led to the most dramatic drop in the US standard of living since at least 1960? One factor is stagnant incomes: Real median income is down 9.8 percent since the start of the recession through this June, according to Sentier Research in Annapolis, Md., citing census bureau data. Another is falling net worth – think about the value of your home and, if you have one, your retirement portfolio. A third is rising consumer prices, with inflation eroding people's buying power by 3.25 percent since mid-2008.

"The pace of change has been incredibly rapid and incredibly tough on the less educated," says Mr. Zandi, who calls this period the most difficult for American households since the 1930s. "If you don't have the education and you don't have the right skills, then you are getting creamed."

Plenty of signs for the erosion of the middle class as the energy squeeze sets in. I think by the end of the decade we'll see unprecedented inequalities between the rich and the rest.

I think by the end of the decade we'll see unprecedented inequalities between the rich and the rest.

'We the people' have zero power. We lost it to a system that allows lobbying, views corporations as individuals and allows unlimited campaign contributions, which keeps the politicians beholden to those that can shell out the most.

one person one vote

... one corporation a hell of a lot of money... a hell of a lot of influence.

Go back and read about the influence of big business and political corruption from, say, 1890 through 1930. Then, you didn't have to bother with buying votes; you could just buy the politicians. Big enough economic crash, though, and it didn't matter. Trying to stand against the tide meant the Republicans lost control of Congress for >30 years. There are a lot of political historians who will agree with the statement that "FDR saved the rich from themselves." I think quite arguably we are in a situation in which the only thing that has saved the Republicans this time is the remaining parts of the New Deal and Great Society: Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, unemployment insurance, FDIC,...

Energy is the wildcard this time. From the TVA and REA onwards, the federal government created large amounts of new energy production and distribution in the 1930s and 1940s, and the associated market demand for new goods and services enabled by the energy. Hard to see that happening this time.

large amounts of new energy production and distribution in the 1930s and 1940s...Hard to see that happening this time.

Unless there is magic or the 'smart people will do something' technocopanians are right....

Even if they come up with unlimited electricity, there's the question of what they would make and sell to use it relative to what happened in the 1930s due to the REA. Where are the equivalents to lights, a stove, a refrigerator, fans, a non-battery radio, power hand tools, mixers, a washing machine, an electric pump for the well, etc?

My mother is old enough to remember when the REA brought power to her very small town in southern Iowa when she was little. The promise was that power would be turned on on Christmas Eve. Her father had wired one room of the house and bought a string of electric lights for the Christmas tree. She says that it seemed like a miracle about 8:00 that evening when, in a house lit otherwise with kerosene lamps, the tree lit up!

"..Essentially Indistinquishable from magic.."

That's a great story.. I can imagine the scene well.

And yet it also reminds me of the reverse story, when I was with a crew of people on a short film, and in the cabin we were staying at, with everyone consumed by their electronic gadgets in every corner, a thunderstorm took the power out, and within a half hour, everyone was sitting on the porch, facing IN, and telling stories, playing music. I, as the crew electrician secretly switched the breakers off until bedtime, to make sure it continued..

I, as the crew electrician secretly switched the breakers off until bedtime, to make sure it continued..



...one person one vote...

Sounds simple enough :-/

Nothing is simple

US Lab Says Electronic Voting Machines Easy to Hack

As the primary election season gains momentum in the United States in early 2012, voters will head to the polls to cast votes for their preferred candidates. About 30 percent of Americans will use electronic voting machines, all the way through the general election next November. A group of researchers at Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago, Illinois have determined that those electronic voting machines can be easily manipulated, casting doubt on their security and effectiveness.

"These machines are modularly designed, so you have a touch screen, that’s a module, and when I press the touch screen, that sends a signal to the CPU," he said. "Well, the CPU is going to respond back with something. All I did was intercept that communication flow. If I like the vote, fine let it go through. If I don’t, change it."

Warner manipulates voting information on the electronic machines using a small, custom-made remote control device.

If it sounds simple, that’s because it is.

"We believe that a very resourceful 12 to 13-year-old would be able to essentially produce these alien electronics that can hijack the machine," said Roger Johnston.

Johnston says now, the closer the outcome of an election, the greater the role of just one electronic voting machine.

"In the 2008 senatorial race in Minnesota, Al Franken won by 312 votes - that’s one voting machine," he said. "Tampering just a little bit with just one voting machine could potentially have swung that election the other way."

Whenever I'm counting on Diebold to be counting on me, I bring my HAL 9000 tag..

"HAL, did you get my vote, Hal? Hal...?"

I should have turned on my sarc tag. The dangers of large scale, pure (one person/one vote) democracy should be self evident; = rule by majority mob.

That is why we need constitutional democracy where the mob is constrained by the constitution. Of course the constitution does not seem to have constrained the president, representatives, or senators in our republic. How we have mob rule by the 1%.

This was an issue during the Bush years. The people producing the machines were bushista wingnuts and the software was proprietary and secret. This resulted in black neighbourhoods scratching their heads at how they'd managed to vote in the ku klux klan and other mishaps. But nowadays it doesn't really matter, only the 1% get to vote for the act, the 19% get to choose the mood music and the rest have to pay to watch.

We just need to find this one person and ask them to vote "our" way.

one cat one vote and one beer


Ok, who is that person? I need to make sure my lobbying dollars are spent on the one that gets to vote.

There is a science fiction story where the voting predictions have been refined so far that the entire election can be predicted on how one person votes. If I am remembering it correctly he ends up that one person voting.


Franchise by Isaac Asimov.

That's the one, thank you very much.


yea, you just keep thinking that and ignore the evidence to the contrary.

One person, one stone.

When voting does nothing, and the middle and working class standard of living is such that they have nothing left to lose, they WILL revolt.

The rich have to run before that point. They will have to be physically distant from the people, somewhere where they can protect themselves, and somewhere where the prols never had it good, or still have it good.

Anyone got a list of overseas domiciles owned by the rich and powerful?


'We the people' have zero power.

It might be interesting to look at history, and see if the fact there was ever an empowered middle class was due to inexpensive FF that allowed it.

It seems in history before FF use there were a very view powerful, and the rest were peons.

With FF, there were people that had labor by FF assist, so they became a 'middle' class between the powerful and the peons.

So, it is my opinion that as FF use sunsets the middle class will also fade away, in a BAU world....

There's truth to this, I think that industrialization allowed the expansion of a large middle class. Even if they still had limited political power, they at least lived comfortably and could shape economies by changing preferences. Should renewables prove to be too little too late to halt the FF slide I would expect a (plausibly dramatic) reversion back to a two class (rich 1-10% and poor 90-99%) system in all societies.

Nominally, they still have power, i.e. they have enough votes, if they could figure out their self interest and vote accordingly. The problem is media largely sets the public mindset, and media is (largely) beholden to big money. So candidates whom big money doesn't like, tends to get bad press, and that usually means they lsoe the election.
Plus most of the office holders, and competing for big bucks so they tend to favor what the big contributors want. Again, theoretically, if the people figured it out, it could be seriously changed in a single election.

It's figuring out how to get people to move together that's so difficult. There's so much dinosaur inertia within our populations' aspirations to hope for change from the top down instead of bottom up, to hope that we can get back to BAU economic growth, to hope that we're too big to fail, to hope that we can indulge in the same excesses that have characterized the last century. Failing a massive catastrophe that doesn't actually dissolve our institutions, I don't foresee the middle class rising up to change together.

Good article on the squeeze of the Middle Class in the UK.

Have the middle classes lost their place?
The rich are thriving. The poor are flexing their muscles. But where does that leave Britain’s silent majority? You don’t want to know

Every day, we see another sign. A generation ago, the average middle-class family had one breadwinner. Now they have two. But they’re poorer. Why? Food, clothes, and appliances are cheaper. Yes, but mortgages are much, much bigger than they used to be. The middle class is hugely in debt. In a typical family, both parents must work to pay the interest on those debts. If interest rates – or petrol prices, or heating costs, or stealth taxes – go up much more, they’re finished. Bankruptcy looms. The middle class is under threat like never before.

Yep, sounds about right from where I'm sat. The bills seem to just keep going up.

I expect some eruptions by next spring. We're due a long cold winter again, probably a lot worse than last year and it's going to put a major strain on all our infrastructure.

I'm sure the media can blame the subsequent drop in GDP on the harsh winter, but I'll bet a Greggs* pasty that we'll have headlines about some old dear freezing to death this winter.

* For our trans-Atlantic cousins, Greggs is a very low-end chain of bakeries.....and you best not ask what goes into their pasties.

Ah! "very low-end chain of bakeries" In a few years only the 1% will be able afford the luxury of a Greggs's pasty.

I believe the weather has already been a bit rough in Old Blighty. The UK has been lucky to get through the last few winters so far without an energy crisis, but one can't depend upon luck forever. You'd better get a hot water bottle (or a Greggs pasty) to keep the feet warm. :)

I'm quite lucky in that I live right on the coast, just north of Liverpool. We never normally get bad weather, but even last year we had well over a foot of snow. The most we normally get is about half an inch, and we've not seen snow like that since 1976.

Seeing as the UK only has about 2 weeks of gas storage and a rather inadequate connector to Norway, I think we might be putting an emergency call in for LNG.

I might just get a dog, feed him the pasties and use him as a hot water bottle....the kids are getting too big and bony, and the dog would smell better!

English Cousins,

Here in the States, a Pastry is a general term for a bread roll with lots of sugary stuff, often for morning consumption with coffee - for instance, a Cinnamon Roll (unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn't have an entry for my local favorite, the Pecan Roll). Now, on the other hand, Pasties are generally considered to be well-filled and yummy, but in a different way, and always spoken of in the plural.

Best wishes for us both avoiding Gregg's-quality pastries!

Dear Colonial Cousins,

A Pasty

Been around longer than the plural you talk of I think.

Greggs is a northern-based purveyor of said sustaining food, such as an individual might purchase said lunchtime snack from.

Oggies - yummmm.


A good Cornish Pasty is a thing of beauty. Sweet at one end, savoury at the other in a folded crust, a self contained pack lunch for tin miners - you don't even have to wash your hands as you don't eat the part you hold.

In comparison, a Greggs Pasty is a disappointment in every respect.

That's ok, because your will never hear about it in the news or the internet there. the uk is purposing making tpm's mandatory for computers.
'i see your trying to install normal twitter/im/etc instead of the uk censored versions. i can't allow that dave since they are not authorized to run on your machine.'

I get to pay the highest electricity rates in the Nation.

From UCAN:
Yesterday, SDG&E's spokesperson refused to appear on this KPBS Television News interview with UCAN's Executive Director, Michael Shames to explain why the utility deserves a rate increase during a recession. UCAN says that SDG&E's rates must be lowered, not increased.

SDG&E's response is completely understandable: If you charged the highest rates in the nation, you wouldn't want to be seen publicly justifying a $1.5 billion rate hike, either.

Find your rates here:

I'm powering down now....

Tom, are you paying around 24 cents per kilowatt-hour now?
Will some of the money go to improving the electrical system to help prevent another blackout?

Yes and more. The local Elec. Co. (San Diego Gas & Electric) hasn't done anything to improve service or reliability.
SDG&E has a sliding scale.
Baseline 325 kHh @14 cents, 16 cents, 29 cents, and up to 31 cents more than 100% over baseline.
They list 31 cents per kWh as $0.23222 dollars in their billing, crystal clear, yes?

Tom, it appears that there are increasing block rates. The more you use above the baseline the higher the cost per kWh. I'm guessing the $0.23222 is the weighted average of all the blocks you are using.

The $0.23222 is the amt.I'm billed per kWh after passing the "more than 100% over the baseline", 325 kWh.
So in a period when the A/C is running etc. I'll be billed at the 31 cent rate for use above 650kWh.

Middle class' share of the nation's income is shrinking

"The lower share of income is a way of saying income inequality is growing in the middle," says Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center, who has studied the shift. "The vast middle has less of the pie than it had before."

Income is shifting to the top tier of households, especially those in the top 5%, Taylor says. The top 5% earn more than $181,000 annually.

You think this might be important for the Future of Western Nations?

From the above:
"So, here, I wanted to clear up – briefly – three incorrect assumptions that I heard reporters and others bring to their coverage this week:

We’re complaining about cheap Chinese production. No. We believe Chinese production costs approximate our own. Labor makes up a comparatively small part of overall costs. The Chinese must ship halfway around the world. At least in the recent past, China has imported silicon feedstock and manufacturing equipment from the West. Our labor productivity is higher.
Chinese subsidies are no different from U.S. subsidies. No. Ours are fractional, narrow and transparent; theirs are all-encompassing, bottomless and typically hidden – in violation of WTO requirements. Further, the three remaining U.S. producers of solar cells – SolarWorld, Suniva and Solar Power Industries – have received no federal subsidies.
If low product pricing is good for solar, Chinese tactics must be good for solar. No. If China seals a world monopoly, it will gain power and motivation to set prices higher. No reasonable observer should imagine that if China were allowed to continue piling billions of dollars into subsidizing artificially low prices to secure a monopoly that it would leave prices artificially low after succeeding. Also lost would be our renewable-energy security and jobs as well as the industry suppliers and their employees who would no longer need to operate in the West.

We surely all can agree that these are interesting times. In that light, I argue that we must test our assumptions and recognize we must grapple with new realities. Along our struggle to defend high-standard green manufacturing and jobs in the West, I aim to bring you some new insights."

They overstate the case just a wee bit...

They are correct about labour costs being a small part of it. Capital costs dominate, and China Development Bnk does make generous loans available (so thats the main subsidy).

However Sunpower, and FirstSolar are two American companies who are holding their own, and haven't joined in this trade action. SolarWorld is really a German company with high manufacturing costs, they have nothing to lose (without protection they are toast). The germans have been terrific at reducing installation costs, but not panel manufacturing costs.

As manufacturing costs come down, the relative costs of shipping become more important, and that should favor local production.

The WTI price has increased almost 7 $ in less than 48 hours :

What is going on? Anyone burnt due to the unwinding of the WTI-Brent spread? QE infinity coming?

All that I know is the media sure doesn't cover the price of oil much anymore. Even the financial sites seem to bury it.

Could it be related to this, from the previous DB?

Diesel users facing fuel pinch

With harvest season for row crops right around the corner, farmers will be paying more for diesel fuel — where they can find it.

North Dakota, and most of the Upper Midwest for that matter, is in the midst of a diesel fuel shortage with no sign of relief, at least in the short term.

Mike Rud, executive director of the North Dakota Petroleum Marketers Association, described the situation as “a huge shortage,” extending into Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa.

“There’s just not enough product right now,” he said.

Anyone on the scene (i.e. US Upper Midwest) and willing to corroborate?

"A huge shortage" sounds serious, but I can't remember seeing other reports like this, so may be hyperbole?

EDIT-ADD: from http://markets.ft.com/research/Markets/Commodities

NYMEX RBOB Gasoline November $2.67
NYMEX Heating Oil November $3.05

That's $0.38 difference per gallon between the two.

IIRC, the upper Midwest experiences periodic diesel shortages. Fundamentally the problem has always been described as "they sit at the far end of the pipeline from the refineries". And are unwilling/unable to bid enough more for diesel than the customers that are closer to the refineries.

Maybe some of the WTI price increase has to do with the rapid development of hurricane Rena in the Caribbean, noted in a post above.


I can't help it but it sure looks like conspiracy theories at work, this is price manipulation plain and simple, you don't get such wild distortion swings without some upper hand at work. There have been hurricanes before and inventories have been falling for some time now, why such sudden changes ?

FOR ALL - It would be good for folks to remember that chart has no bearing on what oil is selling for today. Nor does the NYMX prices for fuel oil has anything to do today with what it's selling for today. These are futures prices: what someone is betting oil/fuel oil will be selling for in the future. And just as much money is being bet that these guesses are wrong.

Just my guess why anyone would be expecting heating oil to cost more in the future: winter is coming and that's when we use more heating oil. And given our recent draw down in oil inventories any increase demand for fuel oil should represent an increase in demand for oil which should put upward pressure on prices. I don't think I see a conspiracy but just normal market forces at work.

Well the 2016 futures haven't budged, so not really burnt, but haven't gained anything either.

A week or so ago I was asking why WTI hadn't risen, if inventories at Cushing were so low. Surely refineries would need to be upping their production, maybe after a period of maintenance? Now this week WTI prices rise.

Seems sensible, and when inventories are high again, I expect the WTI prices to fall.

I'm unsure whether it is appropriate to laugh or cry...

Weather Blunderground

Barack Obama wants to create a green economy by weatherizing American homes.

Well I don't know what to say as it appears that Dailyshow videos are not available in Canada. Instead of the expected content, I get a video that just says "This content is unavailable from your location".

Ack, I think their site is buggy with this video. I can't get it play from the good ol' US of A. Cliff note version, US spends 5 billion dollars to weatherize 170,000 homes. Result: waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement of funds. Stewart concludes "If we as a nation cannot handle a task as simple as weatherizing our homes, we're done. We may as well cut a hole in the roof and huddle around a tire fire for warmth!"

"We may as well cut a hole in the roof and huddle around a tire fire for warmth!"

From what I've heard about US house construction, it seems people are already living in something one step up from a cardboard box. Weatherizing? Is that an optional upgrade? You get a roof, windows and doors with the weatherized version? :)

This past weekend in Rochester, MN, I saw that high school kids were sleeping in cardboard boxes to bring awareness to homeless problem in that city. They were even "pimping" out some of their cardboard boxes (windows/shutters/central heating/geothermal heat pumps :) j/K). I suppose they'll have some experience so that when their parent's houses go into foreclosure, they will be able to make the transition from McMansion to McCardboard.

phree - Thanks. And I vote cry. Remember: this is the result of "the best and the brightest" applying themselves to a rather simple solution. Can't hardly wait to see how the tackle the really complex problems. This is the problem I have with our political system (both parties): solutions are designed without any acknowledgement of human nature. Sometimes willfully so IMHO. IOW here's Solution X which works on paper but the implementation won't come close to projections. Like a simple example I saw in Texas many years ago: state bureaucrat saw an easy way to raise revenue: increase the price of vanity plates from $25 to $75. What could be simpler: worked great...on paper. result: the state took in $500,000 less the first year. But how could this plan go wrong? Why wouldn't everyone keep buying a non-essential item just because the price jumped 300%. Who would have thought.

Recent MSNBC Interview on US involvement in Iraq.


Talk about oil starts around 3:44 minutes in.

"We are pretty sure there are 200BBL maybe 300BBL of oil, Maliki himself would like to be at 13Mbpd production capacity within 7 years" - Col. Laurence Wilkerson interviewed on the Ed show.

If there are 300BBL and the war cost 3 trillion dollars that is $10 per barrel surcharge not bad. (and 3 billionth of a dead American soldier per barrel and 1 millionth of a dead Iraqi per barrel both are bad)

Yes. But, when the final analysis was in, I'm betting that China gets to consume "our oil, that was under their sand". So we probably helped make China's big economic/industrial push last longer, rather than got the oil ourselves.

UMaine researchers discover revolutionary process for biofuel

Researchers have long been interested in waste products as sources of biofuel. In Maine, those waste items could include treetops and limbs deemed by the forest products industry as unusable and often left behind in the woods.

The TDO process starts with the conversion of cellulose to organic acids. The acids are combined with calcium hydroxide to form a calcium salt. That salt is heated to 450 degrees Celsius (900 degrees Fahrenheit) in a reactor, which constantly stirs the salt. This produces a reaction resulting in a dark amber-colored oil.

The reaction removes nearly all of the oxygen from the oil, which is a key step that distinguishes TDO from other biofuel processes.

“Biomass has a lot of oxygen in it. All of that oxygen is dead weight and doesn’t provide any energy when you go to use that as a fuel,” Wheeler says. “If you’re going to make a hydrocarbon fuel, one of the things you have to do is remove oxygen from biomass. You can do it by using hydrogen, which is expensive and also decreases the energy efficiency of your process. So if there’s a way to remove the oxygen from the biomass chemically, then you’ve densified it significantly. Our oil has less than 1 percent oxygenates. No one else has done anything like this. ”

"In Maine, those waste items could include treetops and limbs deemed by the forest products industry as unusable and often left behind in the woods."

This sounds great because treetops and limbs left behind in the woods are just "wasted" and this process puts them to good use, right? WRONG! When we remove all that "unusable" stuff from the forest, we are removing material the forest soil needs to maintain fertility. Over time, the forest will die. You can't really get something for nothing from nature.

And what, I wonder, do we burn to heat that reactor to 900F?

Is it just me or do a lot of these nifty schemes have a whiff of "perpetual motion engine" about them?

China's glaciers in meltdown mode: study

Sharp increases in temperature driven by global warming are melting China's Himalayan glaciers, an impact that threatens habitats, tourism and economic development, says a study released Tuesday.

At the 14 monitoring stations above 4,000 metres (13,123 feet), the jump over this period [1961 and 2008] was 1.73 degrees Celsius (3.11 degrees Fahrenheit), roughly twice the average global increase over the last century.

Many of the glaciers examined showed a "drastic retreat" as well as large loss of mass, they reported. "The implications of these changes are far more serious that simply altering the landscape," the researchers warned.

This is a big threat indeed, Himalayan glaciers provide water to most parts of the subcontinent and China and even parts of SE Asia. Without this entire North India and parts of southern China would become deserts. If you look at the map you will see that they are on the same latitude as the Sahara and Northern Mexico.

2 billion or so people living in runoff territory from those glaciers. When they are gone, you have a lot of drinking water to replace.

Making sodium-ion batteries that are worth their salt

Because of their reduced energy density, sodium-ion batteries will not work as effectively for the transportation industry, as it would take a far heavier battery to provide the same amount of energy to power a car. However, in areas like stationary energy storage, weight is less of an issue, and sodium-ion batteries could find a wide range of applications.

Which comes first?

The financial collapse of Europe, or the withdrawal of troops from Iraq?


I'm interested to see if Obama sticks with the plan to have the troops exit Iraq. If the past is any indication, when the R's say jump he gets out his pogo-stick and appeases their demands.

It would be tough, because the Iraqi government won't agree to it (at least they won't give the Americans the legal protections they (rightly) demand). So it would be obvious to all, that they are illegal occupying troops. Things could go south pretty quickly.
(South to the Gulf, is the best retreat option isn't it?).

Rightly demand?

All troops should be subject to legal systems and have to respect human rights. Most countries sign up to international treaties and make sure their soldiers answer for crimes - but not the US. It's one of the big black marks against the US and part of the reason they suffer so many attacks whenever they go into a country - they commit crimes with impunity, and nobody trusts them.

Troops will be out of Iraq soon, but I wouldn't like to guarantee they won't be into Iran soon after.

If I was a soldier sent to fight in a war, I would not want to have to defend my action in a civilian court. War makes good men evil. That is part of the price tag. They become monsters on the battle field. Those who don't are the ones who die. You basicly have the choise to be bad, or dead. War crimes, or be one of the white crosses on the war grave yards. If I knew I had to be held accountable before a civilian court upon return, no way I would ever deploy.

"...at least they won't give the Americans the legal protections..."

That is a smokescreen according to the article.

"An obvious fix for troop immunity is to put them all on the diplomatic list; that's done by notification to the Iraqi foreign ministry," said one former senior Hill staffer.

"If State says that this requires a treaty or a specific agreement by the Iraqi parliament as opposed to a statement by the Iraqi foreign ministry, it has its head up its ass."

Again, which first, the financial collapse of Europe, or the withdrawal of troops from Iraq?

Which comes by the end of the year?

I bet Obama sticks to the plan.

Ex-Apple Leaders Push the Humble Thermostat Into the Digital Age

Homes account for more than 10 percent of the total energy consumption in America, including transportation. About half of the residential energy consumed is for heating and cooling, with the rest going for lighting, heating water, appliances, televisions and computers.

Each degree cooler a house is kept in a heating season (winter), or warmer in a cooling season (summer), translates to a 5 percent energy saving. So shifting consumption patterns, say, four degrees on average can mean energy savings of 20 percent, experts say.

Since the average home spends $1,000 to $1,500 a year on heating and cooling, that would translate to $200 to $300 in lower energy bills. It would also mean fewer power plants built and lower carbon emissions.

“There is a huge amount that can be gained in homes, and an intelligent thermostat could be a great opportunity,”

Compass Summit Conference

Compass Summit Conference will examine some of today’s most pressing problems through the lens of global citizenship, recognizing that human ingenuity is an unlimited resource. ...experts illuminating the intersections of topics as varied as: the future of banking, climate imperatives, finite natural resources, social networks and public policy, redefining education and job creation in a global environment?

Program: http://compass-summit.com/program/

Video TAKING OUT GE’S TRASH (about recyling)

Don’t Blink! The Hazards of Confidence

...The exaggerated expectation of consistency is a common error. We are prone to think that the world is more regular and predictable than it really is, because our memory automatically and continuously maintains a story about what is going on, and because the rules of memory tend to make that story as coherent as possible and to suppress alternatives. Fast thinking is not prone to doubt.

The confidence we experience as we make a judgment is not a reasoned evaluation of the probability that it is right. Confidence is a feeling, one determined mostly by the coherence of the story and by the ease with which it comes to mind, even when the evidence for the story is sparse and unreliable. The bias toward coherence favors overconfidence. An individual who expresses high confidence probably has a good story, which may or may not be true.

Another article about how the more confident someone is, the more suspicious you should be about his or her predictions. The person who admits uncertainty is more likely to be right - less likely to be "blind to their own blindness."

Of course, humans have a tendency to do just the opposite. The more confident someone is, the more we think they must know what they're talking about.

Some years ago I read some popularised neurobiological studies on dreaming, that suggested that we actually dream in incoherent images and fragments -- and that in the process of waking, the brain desperately sorts them into some kind of coherent storyline (no matter how outlandish) because that's how we deal with information. And what we "remember" as "the odd dream I had last night" is actually a narrative constructed during a few ms (or sec at the most) in the transition from unconscious to conscious state.

I found this fascinating (and still do).

Water Use Rising Faster than World Population

Water use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century, said Kirsty Jenkinson of the World Resources Institute​, a Washington think tank.

Water use is predicted to increase by 50 percent between 2007 and 2025 in developing countries and 18 percent in developed ones, with much of the increased use in the poorest countries with more and more people moving from rural areas to cities, Jenkinson said in a telephone interview.

Only 8 percent of the planet's fresh water supply goes to domestic use and about 70 percent is used for irrigation and 22 percent in industry, Jenkinson said.

Industry Workshop on Technical and Regulatory Challenges in Deep and Ultra-Deep Outer Continental Shelf Waters

This workshop will assist in improving existing regulations and develop new regulations under the authority of the BSEE, which assumed regulatory responsibility for safety and environmental protection over OCS oil and gas operations effective October 1, 2011.

BSEE will obtain feedback and analysis from stakeholders related to drilling, production technologies, operations, spill prevention, emergency response, and cleanup. In addition, the two-day workshop will offer a structured venue for consultation among offshore deepwater oil and gas industry and regulatory experts in order to:

(a) Identify the effects of water depth and related issues on equipment and operations; and

(b) Identify approaches to address the water depth issue through regulations, standards, and practices designed to safeguard personnel, operations and the environment.

DATES: The workshop will be held on November 2 and 3, 2011, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Early sign-in begins November 1, 2011, at 5:30 p.m.

ADDRESSES: The workshop will be held at the San Luis Hotel, 5222 Seawall Blvd., Galveston, Texas 77551.

To apply, please visit BSEE's workshop webpage at http://www.boemre.gov/tarworkshops/EWD/Apply.htm.

S - I might sign up to go...this is a very nice time of the year to hang out on Galveston Island...and the San Luis has a great pool bar. Otherwise it would be a waste of time IMHO. As I've said before we had all the regs and industry standards to prevent the Macondo nighmare. They just weren't applied. This little PR event in just an effort by the oil patch and the feds to make the public think the problem is being solved IMHO.

A Look At 'Umka', The Domed Russian City Planned For Sub-Zero Arctic Temperatures

Russia is planning to further it's reach in the Arctic circle, according to a statement from Vladimir Putin's website. The country has already made a bold appeal to the UN to annex some 380,000 square miles of Arctic seabed due to the existence of oil and gas in the area.

One plan for the region will involve special Arctic cities. The first city is proposed for a frozen Siberian island will be known as "Umka", housing 5,000 residents underneath a huge dome. The city will be spared from the harsh weather — -30 degrees Celsius in the winter with strong winds — by the dome, living instead in a sealed environment.

vs. [Russian] Military energy bills rocketing

Military towns and units in the Kola Peninsula might soon see their energy bills skyrocket.

As BarentsObserver has reported, energy companies have on several occasions turned off the heating supplies to the towns because of unpaid bills.

Backwardation - I was all excited about crude going up significantly today until I realized the crude market has abruptly turned to backwardation. My farout futures (DEC2016) have actually lost value while the front months are up.

Tar sands pipeline will comfort our enemies

By Steven M. Anderson, retired Army brigadier general, and senior mentor with the Army’s Battle Command Training Program

As the military’s senior logistician in Iraq in 2006 and 2007, I saw the impact of our oil addition in the Iraq combat zone. Our appetite for fuel wastes billions of taxpayer dollars, transfers $1 billion daily in our wealth to the Middle East, and puts our soldiers at risk. The fuel trucks we depend upon provide hundreds of convenient rolling targets for our enemy. My experiences in Iraq convinced me that the greatest threat to our security is our over-reliance on oil and that Americans must immediately take steps to cut our petro-addiction before it’s too late.

The Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t help. This pipeline would move dirty oil from Canada to refineries in Texas and would set back our renewable energy efforts for at least two decades, much to our enemies’ delight. It would ensure we maintain our oil addiction and delay making the tough decisions regarding energy production, management and conservation that we need to start making today.

What your new home will look like in 2015

Although the average American home in 2015 (mercifully) won't resemble something out of "Blade Runner," 68 percent of builders surveyed say that energy-saving technologies and features including low-E windows, energy-efficient appliances, and LED lighting will be common...

also NAHB New Homes in 2015

The current housing downturn has affected not only the number of new homes that are built each year, but also the characteristics, features, and size of the ones that do get built. Many in the industry are wondering about how the new home will evolve over the next few years and whether those changes will stick once the economy bounces back to a more solid footing. In 2010, NAHB conducted a survey that sheds light on the likely characteristics of the average, new single-family detached home in 2015. This article summarizes the findings of that survey, which were released in December 2010 in a report titled The New Home in 2015

Electric DeLorean: First Drive

Don't take it over 88 mph (141.6 km/h)

Available 1.21 gigawatt flux capacitor and "Mr Fusion" power supply extra.

First Google.org-funded geothermal mapping report confirms vast coast-to-coast clean energy source

... Areas of particular geothermal interest include the Appalachian trend (Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, to northern Louisiana), the aquifer heated area of South Dakota, and the areas of radioactive basement granites beneath sediments such as those found in northern Illinois and northern Louisiana. The Gulf Coast continues to be outlined as a huge resource area and a promising sedimentary basin for development. The Raton Basin in southeastern Colorado possesses extremely high temperatures and is being evaluated by the State of Colorado along with an area energy company.

More information: To explore the new Enhanced Geothermal Systems maps built on SMU's research via Google Earth, download the latest version of Google Earth at http://www.google.com/earth/ and then download and open the file at http://www.google.org/egs/downloads/EGSPotential.kmz.

The stock market is getting ready to crash. It only rises on low volume days when the dollar falls. The dollar falls on days when the US treasury is buying bonds. The equity-currency inverse correlation is at record levels.


The European situation is likely to cause an abrupt flight to safety soon, causing the dollar to rise sharply and stocks to drop. Hard.

The dollar falls on days when the US treasury is buying bonds

You mean when the Fed is buying bonds (with printed money).


When I posted this I almost looked up whether it was the treasury or the Fed who was buying the bonds, but I figured someone would correct me on that if I got it wrong. But it doesn't really matter which one is doing the buying. The government is buying it's own debt! That forces the dollar down, which is by design. Forcing the dollar to decline helps reduce the national debt, increases export revenue, and makes the stock market rise (actually it is only bearly slowing the runaway rise in the national debt). And deflating the currency is the same policy that every other nation is trying with their own money for the same reason. It is a race to the bottom. Debasing the currency is always the last step before it's final collapse. The point is that we are definitely in the end game now.

Energy prices rise as resource flow plateaus

Profits shrink as energy costs rise

Greater demands on fewer employees

Long term bank loans riskier

Tight money

Lower GDP

Tax revenue decreases

Government debt rises

Monetization of debt

Devaluing of currency

Food costs rise

99ers disenfranchised


"flight to safety" Ownership of global corporations is the safe place. As the dollar goes down the dollar denominated price of global corporation stock goes up. Dollars like gold do not do anything , do not make anything, etc. Global corporations make everything.

So dollar sharp decline yes. Global corporation share price up and to the right.


"So dollar sharp decline yes. Global corporation share price up and to the right."

That is what is going on right now. I'm saying that that is about to change.

Eurozone rescue plan hits new hitch

The rescue plan has three key prongs, banks refinancing, boosting the EFSF's 440bn euro firepower (£385bn, $612bn) and cutting the amount lenders to Greece should expect to see repaid.

Agreement on that last point was made in July but the chairman of the eurozone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, said on Tuesday that private investors may need to take a 50% loss on Greek lending, rather than the 21% loss agreed then.

Meanwhile, the Italian government has been told it must come up with new austerity measures by Wednesday before any eurozone rescue measures can be signed off, something that its premier, Silvio Berlusconi, is struggling to get agreement for from his coalition government.
Breathing space

The Bank of England governor, Mervyn King, cast doubt on whether eurozone area leaders would be able to find solutions: "Even on July 21 there was a package which they held out as being the solution to it. The underlying problems hadn't changed at all and they won't change."

Speaking before the House of Commons treasury committee, he said at best the leaders might gain a breathing space.

The guv of the Bank of England doesn't hold out much promise for Europe. Breathing space? Til when? For what?


"Breathing space? Til when?"

The first Greek bailout gave the world about two years of breathing space. The second one (in July) gave us less than two month's worth. I think the latest deal, if there is one, might net us two days!

"For what?"

Good question.

Yep. Loren, in fact, you may be a tad optimistic.

Central bankers are lining up with the gloomy forecasts. Sniping but no solutions

Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney also foresees more deterioration. In justifying keeping rates on hold on Tuesday, Mr. Carney cited a slowing Canadian economy and a coming “brief recession” in Europe, explaining the region’s debt crisis “will be contained, although this assumption is clearly subject to downside risks.”

Such blunt forecasts are not commonly seen in the commentary of central bankers, said Michael Gregory, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

A coming "brief recession" in Europe. Might as well say the lady's a "little bit pregnant". Double dip and no one wants to admit the "D" word.

The region's debt crisis "will be contained"? Sure, the same way a disease is contained when the patient dies.

Blunt forecasts? Not like the central bankers have a whole lot of choice. If you see an hurricane coming, you might as well tell folks to batten down.

I don't think the central bankers are even giving it two days this time.


Wow, that's the first time I've ever been accused of being optimistic! That is refreshing. (I was only joking about the two days!)

Zad & Lo
Good points. In UK our economy has already been slowing for a while now because of our own predicament. Nevertheless, 'Eurozone' will be a further complication: our connections with wider EU are profound. UK is outside Euro currency zone but inside EU, and half our trade is within EU, and we must play by EU rules whether we are formally 'inside' both the trading zone, (whatever the currency), and the political framework, or whether somehow we 'break away' from the political frame of the union. Our 'right wing' politicians would now persuade the population to 'break away', if they could. (Used to be the other way round; our 'left' were the ones who wanted out thirty years ago.)

UK's sterling currency depreciated as an early response to 2008/2009, but economic output has not fully recovered and is probably again in recession. Our government coalition went for a 'Greek type' austerity 18 months ago, which has been kicking in for 12 months now (but with a long way down still to go) and some have commented here that Mervyn King and UK govenment (MK is the guy who said, "nobody saw this coming", 2008) this time are getting their excuse in first - i.e. "Europe". We had it coming anyway, but these guys will have political cover. Popular anger can be diverted toward those "Johnny Foreigners", as if "we" were not Europeans for g'ness sake. Europe has flown apart before now; the structural fault lines are there; advanced economies can no longer assume economc growth, and we are at a dangerous multi-furcation. I just invented that word btw ;)

[EDIT] "Eurozone crisis is a handy excuse for faltering UK economy", Larry Elliott, Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/economics-blog/2011/oct/23/european-d...

Phil, nice word "multi-furcation".

In some ways Britain has avoided the direct turbulence of this current maelstrom b/c Maggie Thatcher's Euro-skeptic intransigence back in the day prevented the U.K. from going in head first and later, the fiasco of Black Wednesday, 16th September 1992, decoupled the Pound from the European Exchange Mechanism.

Unfortunately, Britain’s exposure to eurozone debt is third after France and Germany. Britain's lifeboat it seems is tethered to the bow of a sinking Europa through it's banks and commercial investments.

Europe tends to behave nasty when divided. Anger towards "Johnny Foreigners" will not be confined just to Britain. Multi-furcation may be a handy word to describe the fallout.

"When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes... Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain."

Napoleon Bonaparte, 1815

• "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies . If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around [the banks] . . . will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered . . . The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs."
-- Thomas Jefferson -- The Debate Over The Recharter Of The Bank Bill, (1809)

Can't say we weren't warned can we?

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
George Santayana
The Life of Reason (1905-1906)
Vol. I


Interesting headlines from Mish:

Greece Pension Plans Insolvent; No Conceivable Way to Make Promises; Can Spain and Portugal be Far Behind?

Apply Enough Pressure, Something Eventually Breaks; Italy Government on Brink of Collapse


Lines to Withdraw Deposits Queue Up as Run on the Banks starts in Greece

... The head of an Athens bank branch told BILD: "More and more Greeks who still have some money come to get it from the bank. In my office there are a total of 5,000 customers, 2,500 of which either have their money transferred abroad or hoard it at home. If this continues, there will soon be no more money."

"...In my office there are a total of 5,000 customers, 2,500 of which either have their money transferred abroad or hoard it at home. If this continues, there will soon be no more money."

Sounds like an albido effect of the worse kind. Can't see how this bailout bit is going to work in Greece or Italy, Portugal and Spain. When the EU needed bailouts in 08/09 they came up with money and ideas on how to solve the situation very fast, but this latest attempt of a bailout has taken a long time and it still seems uncertain whether or not it will do the trick, even for a short period of time. Seems like the writings on the wall the EU will disband, or at minimum reconfigure with less members.

If you were president, would you rather have the troops home from Iraq before or after the financial collapse of Europe?

Talk Nerdy to Me

A new Huff-Po Blog:

Science is humanity's most important tool for describing, interacting with, and understanding the nature of our reality

I wonder if she will tackle the "reality" of Peak Oil?

tackle the "reality" of Peak Oil?


Steven Lee @ 14:30 - how China's Resource grab will mean the end of the American Way of Life.

CSPAN this morning on Washington Journal, Rep. Tom Price from Georgia has continued his party's tradition of 'Twist and Shout', by framing the country's shift in Oil Imports from (He said) 25% to 70% as an example of the "complete failure of the Department of Energy".. I mean, how dare the DOE allow geology to dictate our energy reality to us?

I feel like I've just swallowed a quart of wd-40 .. these guys are so greasy!

How long before it's bullets flying?

Occupy Oakland: police fire teargas and baton rounds at protesters
At least 85 arrests after police clash with protesters attempting to retake Frank Ogawa plaza, which was base for demonstrations