Drumbeat: October 29, 2011

How solar can save Gulf oil exports

Something rather unexpected is happening in the Middle East. The oil-rich Gulf states, which have earned trillions of dollars in the past few decades exporting crude to the east and west, find they can no longer afford to consume their own oil. They are consuming ever increasing amounts at home, at a huge cost to exports, and are being forced to turn to renewables as a cheaper source of energy.

The Gulf state of Kuwait, the fifth biggest producer in OPEC, has announced it aims to supply 10 per cent of its electricity supply with renewables by 2020 – double what it contemplated less than a year ago. It may not seem a high percentage, but considering that the entirety of its renewable energy generation consists of a single 50kW turbine operated by an environmentally-minded former army engineer, and its energy demands will more than double over the period, this would be quite a feat.

Cheap Oil Isn't Coming Back

As the world urbanizes, demand for oil could outstrip many nations' abilities to get it out of the ground. Most new discoveries have been made in difficult territory, where the costs of extraction dwarf inexpensive Middle Eastern crude. Consumers may have to get used to high prices at the pump, with or without the threat of conflict between two of the world's largest producers. There's risk for some, but great opportunity for many, so read on to discover what's happening and who's poised to strike a gusher as oil prices continue to rise.

Crude Oil Pares Biggest Weekly Gain Since March as Japan Output Declines

Crude oil futures fell in New York, paring the biggest weekly gain since February, as a drop in Japan’s industrial output prompted traders to lock in profits from yesterday’s rally.

Crude dropped 0.7 percent as Japanese factory production declined 4 percent in September, almost twice as much as the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. Oil advanced 4.2 percent yesterday after data showed the U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace in a year and European leaders agreed on a plan to curb the region’s debt crisis.

Iran downplays report India paying for oil via Russia

TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian Oil Ministry source played down on Saturday a report that Indian oil buyers had started paying for their crude through a bank in Russia as a new way to get around sanctions-related difficulties in making international bank transfers.

The semi-official Iranian Mehr news agency said on Friday that importers in India -- Iran's second biggest oil customer after China -- were paying off oil debts through Gazprombank .

Navy and MMEA rescue hijacked oil tanker

KUANTAN: The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) rescued a tanker with RM12mil worth of oil and gas cargo from a group of armed pirates in the South China Sea on Friday.

Three separate blasts in Iran oil infrastructure kill 1, injure 3

TEHRAN: Three separate explosions were reported on Iranian oil and gas infrastructure Friday, with an oil field blast killing one person, semiofficial Mehr news agency reported.

...Increasing incidents of explosions have hit Iran’s oil and gas sector recently, but authorities rarely provide explanations for them.

Divide Libya into its tribal parts

Who should get Libya's fabulous oil and gas wealth, an amount that could be equivalent to several million dollars per Libyan? With NATO leaving Libya Monday, the West should prepare for the aftermath. The coming chaotic months will see infighting, and perhaps a renewal of civil war, among the many rival tribal and ideological groups. The West should now consider whether to influence - or impose - a just resolution.

279 gas petrol stations closed because of flooding

The Energy Ministry Saturday reported that the flood disaster in Bangkok and vicinity provinces has caused 279 petrol stations to close.

30 years to decommission Fukushima nuke plant

TOKYO - Decommissioning the stricken reactors at the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant is likely to take 30 years or more, the government's Japan Atomic Energy Commission said in a provisional report released on Friday.

China's export curbs under scrutiny

China's export restrictions on key raw materials such as bauxite, coke, fluorspar, magnesium, manganese, silicon carbide, silicon metal, yellow phosphorus and zinc have been a point of contention. The failure of consultation to resolve the issue led the EU, the US and Mexico to request for the establishment of a WTO panel on November 4, 2009.

Tesla’s Musk Says Model S Sold Out; Profit Likely in 2013

The company has orders for “more than 6,500” units of Model S to be built next year, Musk said. The premium electric sedan will retail for as little as about $50,000, half the price of Tesla’s current Roadster sports car, he said.

“They’re mostly new buyers,” Musk, 40, said in an interview on “In The Loop With Betty Liu” today. “Only about 600 people who have ordered Roadsters have also bought the Model S.”

Look out: Fossil fuels may be out-innovating green tech

Scrappy green-tech start-ups aren't the only ones who make big bets on technology.

A spate of articles this week points to the fact that new technologies in the fossil fuel industry are making it harder for alternative clean energy technologies to get a larger foothold

Less government meddling could unlock green energy's power

The book 'Reinventing Fire' outlines what consumers and industries need to do to make energy independence a reality. Much of the vision involves letting market forces and innovation work their magic.

After Scandal, Solar Industry Looks On Bright Side

Solar power's image has taken a hit lately with the bankruptcy of Solyndra. The California solar panel manufacturer received more than half a billion dollars in Energy Department loan guarantees before going belly up.

But the industry is still optimistic — that much was apparent at the Solar Power International conference held in Dallas in mid-October. Walking into the big hall of the Dallas Convention Center, it was impossible not to be impressed by the huge array of black solar panels hanging from the ceiling.

White House to scrutinize Energy Department loan guarantees

Embarrassed by Solyndra, the White House says it will review all loan guarantees by the Energy Department and asks for recommendations about 'how to improve the loan monitoring process.'

In ‘Setback’ for Cape Wind, U.S. Court Vacates FAA Safety Study

The Federal Aviation Administration must reconsider a study that concluded the Cape Wind offshore power project off the Nantucket coast poses no threat to planes.

The agency failed to adequately consider the impact of 440- foot-tall turbines on air traffic in the area, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said in a decision today.

Batteries at a Wind Farm Help Control Output

ELKINS, W.Va. — Another wind farm opened on another windy ridge in West Virginia this week, 61 turbines stretched across 12 miles, generating up to 98 megawatts of electricity. But the novel element is a cluster of big steel boxes in the middle, the largest battery installation attached to the power grid in the continental United States.

Rolls-Royce Talking to Developers, Utilities About U.K. Tidal Farms

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, the world’s second-largest aircraft engine maker, said it’s in talks with project developers and utilities to install tidal energy turbines in Scottish and Irish waters.

A Conversation With Dave Hamilton, Self-Sufficiency Expert

What new idea or innovation is having the most significant impact on the sustainability world?

I think the Transition Towns movement will continue to make an impact in the coming years. The beauty of the Transition movement is its simplicity and adaptability. Transition aims to face the twin challenges of peak oil and climate change by (amongst other things) facing these problems on a local, rather than national or international scale. Unlike many movements which follow a one-size-fits-all principle, Transition aims to make sense wherever it is set up.

Ground Floor Coverage: Operation Occupy

With peak oil production nudging the price per barrel into a relentless, upward spiral with no end in sight, and very little investment in alternative energy methods, a large percentage of the population will no longer be able to afford adequate utility coverage by next spring. Already, the experts on energy utilization, who once advised Americans to turn their thermostats to sixty five degrees fahrenheit, now insist we can live comfortably at a cool sixty if we just put on sweaters. We are told once more to sacrifice because energy is dwindling, yet the cranking of machinery and the splintering of frakking is still heard in the distance. They wish us to sacrifice for them, at their convenience, and as we cautiously moderate our fuel consumption, the energy companies continue raising the rates so your savings will bot show on your monthly bills.

Global warming: Middle East's vital wet winters are disappearing

Global warming is playing a significant role in diverting much-needed wet winter weather away from the increasingly dry Mediterranean, a new study led by a NOAA scientist suggests.

Climate Case Studies – The 2010 Russian Heat Wave: Risks (2)

"What strikes me is that in the short term, a large impact of weather extremes is on markets. This impact is not directly related to the actual amount of grain deficiency caused by the weather extreme. Rather it is related to humans trying to find advantage or avoid perceived risk in the market. People are anticipating changes in not only wheat supply, but also changes in behavior. They are betting. This stands in contrast to the idea that because a quantity such as wheat operates in a global market that wheat would be relatively immune to such climate extremes. That is deficiencies in one place would be offset by surpluses in other places with the cost minimized by market forces. Perhaps this is true in the longer term, but damage has already occurred to those who are vulnerable."

Commentary by Dr Richard Rood on Weather Underground, regarding the impacts of the Russian drought.

What I find interesting is the "market behavior" surrounding these events. I find the idea that the "market" will decide how to allocate scarce resources somewhat terrifying.

The market behavior is that people tend to hoard in anticipation of shortages. That's normal. There aren't many people left who participated in world war II rationing systems, but few would want to do that again. It just led to black markets.

Do you think, then, that price is the only way to allocate scarce commodities ?

It didn't 'just lead to black markets.'

There was actual decrease in the amount of all sorts of material used by domestic society, 95% decrease in domestic use of petrol in the UK, for instance, and major decreases in meat and dairy consumption. Most people recognized the moral imperative of not using more of these things than were necessary. The startling thing is that most measures of health for most people improved dramatically over the same period. Many of the luxuries that we consider necessities--driving in cars rather than walking and biking, eating large amount of meat, dairy and sugar...are actually making us less healthy and killing us. If all of the billions that go into convincing us to eat crap and drive gas guzzlers was put into convincing us of the actual truth--that these things are killing us and damning our children--a well constructed rationing system may be embraced by the majority.

Agreed, db.
I was there.
I must have been about 9 before I had my first banana, or eggs AND bacon in the same breakfast.
Black market could not increase the total supply of food available and was very unpopular among the majority who could not get or could not afford access to bm (there were severe prison terms of hard labour for the more serious black market entrepeneurs when they got caught). There were always minor fiddles of course - but having access to a secure food supply was the main thing. Much better than in WW1 in Britain when rationing was late and poorly administered. My father spent much of his mid teens feeling very hungry.

+10000 !!!!!

I think that cars will become less and less important, then less ubiquitous, then vanish, the whole car-based economy will seem like a dream that we dreamed.

diamond engagement rings - makeityourring diamond engagement rings

Example #3,476,880 of the moral poverty of the term "the market." Presumably "the market" will determine sometime later in this century that a hundred million or so Bangladeshis will no longer choose to live in their inundated homeland, and will head for more rationally determined pastures.

Passive "solutions" usually end up that way.

Rather it is related to humans trying to find advantage or avoid perceived risk in the market.

Welcome to the real world of humans making bets on anything and everything. It's people's form of the Serenghetti. Instead of taking down a wildebeast, they take advantage of a situation and make a killing so to speak. No morality pervades.

re: A Conversation With Dave Hamilton, Self-Sufficiency Expert
What new idea or innovation is having the most significant impact on the sustainability world?

And he mentions transition movements.

I used to live in a small city that relied on a pulp mill for cash cow taxation. Of course when the inevitable clash was prompted by declining fortunes, aka the last ten years, no one blinked and the mill shut down taking hundreds of direct jobs and millions of tax dollars with it. The transition included a slow raise of property taxes until folks are now choked to death. Example....I live in a great place on a river...rural... taxes approx 400 dollars a year. I have friends crowded into town lots, but have a view....taxes 4,000 dollars a year (I kid you not). That is the transition movement when the established govt. co-ops the word. Maintain BAU at the expense of some designated cash cow. Of course residents are getting angrier by the year.

Meanwhile, same small city is now on the bandwagon of sustainability and local food supply. They have had meetings and commisions to 'investigate' local farming and increasing its presence. They also mention it as a means to replace the pulp mill effect, or lack, thereof. Did I mention this is a forestry town that grows a pretty good Douglas Fir, but has a topsoil layer of maybe 1-2 inches? You can't dig a post hole without a pry bar to remove the rocky glacial till and pound through the clay layers. There has never been a producing farm in this area....never. Hobby horse owners with brought in hay, personal gardens, but the soil sucks. Anyway, the city fathers are all 'on board' with their mind numbing meetings and Roberts Rules. Did I mention this is the same city that installed a 'green roof' on city hall for 300 thou of taxpayers dollars? Painted torch-on could have been done for 10,000.

The point is to be careful of the term and who is on board. I don't think a city or municipal (county) govt has the ability to really shift beyond trying to maintain BAU in another form.

Transition has to be out of the mainstream and grassroots, imho. We're talking lifeboats, really. How big can they be?

With respect to the urban gardening movements written by TOD posters, please don't view this as criticism of this positive trend.


The point is to be careful of the term and who is on board. I don't think a city or municipal (county) govt has the ability to really shift beyond trying to maintain BAU in another form.

Really, really hard to dislodge the entrenched good old boy network -- even people who are fed up with it are afraid to change to something else that might be even worse.

And even when the good old boys know they are moving in the wrong direction (which they do, they aren't stupid) they don't have a clue where the "right" direction might be. I think it is probably almost impossible to be in a leadership position these days.

Our property taxes for a fairly ordinary house now are close to $6000/year, and if you get behind, the city and county can start foreclosure proceedings after 3 years. People with paid-up mortgages can still lose their homes to confiscatory taxes.

Clearly, you do not live in New York State. Let's say $9000/year. And still rising 4.5% this year. Gee, the social security COLA is zero, what up with dat?

I thought this trend was limited to high priced west coast. I had no idea this is common. Who on earth can budget for this tax amount? Halloweeen, tomorrow....I guess the vampires will really be out, whoops.

California property taxes are capped at something like 1% of purchase price with a maximum of 2%/yr inflationary adjustment. So property taxes are quite low but it is commonly thought that the introduction of this tax in 1978 is the basis for the mess that the state is now in.

If you want low taxes, move to South Dakota. Providing government services in heavy populated and urbanized areas is intrinsically expensive. Americans live in states such as California and New York which are as densely populated as European countries, and yet they expect their taxes to be lower than in Europe.

Americans have come to expect to have huge houses on huge lots and drive huge SUV's on wide, wide streets, but they don't realize that all these things are very expensive for governments to provide and maintain. Europeans live in small houses on small lots and drive small cars on narrow streets for a reason - it is all they can afford to do. Their taxes are high because it is expensive for governments to provide services to them. Americans are in a similar position but the reality of that has not sunk in yet, and their politicians find it convenient to encourage their delusions about what is and is not possible.

I used to live in a small city that relied on a pulp mill for cash cow taxation. Of course when the inevitable clash was prompted by declining fortunes, aka the last ten years, no one blinked and the mill shut down taking hundreds of direct jobs and millions of tax dollars with it. The transition included a slow raise of property taxes until folks are now choked to death.

You really can't blame the Transition Initiative for the loss of the pulp mill, and the corresponding rise in property taxes. Obviously, since the free market is not creating jobs, the town is investigating other ways to sustain itself, so brainstorming new options is appropriate - reducing the ideas to the workable ones is the key. Many soils that are incompatible with crop farming are suitable for pastureland.

Examples of govts who shifted beyond maintaining BAU include Portland and Cambridge, to name a couple. Every new light rail project is a move away from BAU, even if modest in scope. The point is to move with sufficient speed.

Lifeboats are one response, but it is pretty obvious that that unless you have a sufficient number of skilled people all pulling together (and standing watch at night for the scenarios that presumably you expect), that won't solve the problem either.

What city are you referring to, btw?

China buying while we talk

While we sort out where we stand, Chinese money keeps buying up Canadian oil and gas reserves.

Sinopec’s $2.2-billion acquisition this week of shale gas producer Daylight Energy Ltd. is sure to be followed by more. Athabasca Oil Sands Corp.’ two major oil sands projects are in play because of put/call options with PetroChina that could increase the Chinese company’s ownership to 100% from 60%. Birchcliff Energy Ltd., another unconventional gas producer, put itself on the block last week following unsolicited expressions of interest. Market speculation is bubbling about which company the Chinese will snap up next — from senior Talisman Energy Inc. to junior Celtic Exploration Ltd.

Where is the money coming from? Dumping US government bonds. China will no longer be subsidizing US government expenditures.

If China is serious about letting its currency float in the next five years, there is no need for its government (and state owned enterprises) to own more than $3-trillion in foreign reserves. It makes more sense for China to start recycling its paper holdings into tangible assets.”

And the bottom line:

Why aren’t green groups all over this? They’re running around Washington and the European Union, leveraging democracy to knock Canada’s oil sands and shale gas, while being silent about the change in ownership that is slowly taking place. Are they worried that influencing Chinese oil companies to improve environmental and safety standards will be about as likely — or welcome — as staging protests in Tiananmen Square?

This is part of an ongoing trend that I have been watching for some time. While the US quibbles about whether it does or does not want to buy Canadian oil sands production and build pipelines to take it across the US, the Chinese are buying up the oil sands reserves. There's no question in their minds that they want the oil. The only hard part is getting it to China, and based on recent information I have heard, the solutions are on the way. Ditto for Canadian shale gas.

Well, at least they are buying it up, not blowing it up.
The Chinese seem to have learned that they can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

Goldman Sachs, et. al. may have pioneered techniques for resource wars with financial instruments as weapons, but the Chinese seem to have become extremely skilled at using them in a focused manner.

Let them buy it all up. Hopefully it pushes gasoline prices here in the US to $5/gallon so people start thinking about cutting back or moving to alternate forms of transportation. Maybe NASCAR will switch to hybrids.

Gasoline prices in the US will very likely go up to $5/gallon, but I don't see any sign of alternate forms of transportation being implemented. In fact public transportation budgets are being cut and transit service reduced in many areas.

When things get really bad (e.g. gasoline goes to $10/gallon), this means that many people (i.e. the poorer ones) will be stranded because they will not be able to afford transportation.

By contrast, here in Canada, the vast majority of people have access to public transit and transit ridership rates are 2-3 times as high as in the US. Canadian oil consumption has not increased significantly in the last 30 years, while non-conventional oil production has skyrocketed, and Canada is now exporting more oil to the US than it consumes itself. However, the US is lacking in alternatives to oil, whereas Canada has lots of them.

Where would you prefer to be when TSHTF?

Americans need to think about the realities of the modern world rather than just lurching along from crisis to crisis. Preparing for the post-peak-oil era requires forward planning, a concept that has escaped US politicians and media.

Because of the implications of Communism and Socialism in five-year plans, any form of planning, especially at the Federal level, is a non-starter in the U.S.

The "Communism and Socialism" analogy is a red herring. Even capitalists can and should do forward planning.

It's obvious that it's totally irrational, but it has prevented the U.S. from engaging in any form of national-level planning for the past thirty years.

Its essentially a strawman argument. Anything other than total markets plus corps do what they want is equated to Stalinism. So even minimal planning becomes exceptionally hard to do.

Equating planning with socialism and communism is a huge leap in logic - an example of the False Analogy fallacy. The communist countries often had 5 year plans, but that has little or nothing to do with communist ideology.

Real planning involves looking 50 to 100 years into the future, since you don't want your children's children to be the victims of some kind of disaster of your own creation.

If you don't plan for the future, eventually you will have to live in a future that you didn't plan for. This is often a pretty grim experience.

There is plenty of planning that goes on.

The plans are just not to benefit YOU.

Plans exist for the invasion of Canada. The continuity of government plans. Plans that passed the DMCA and now trying to pass E-PARASITE (a bill that chould put TOD out of work). These plans are for the benefit for organisation . Just not you.

Gasoline probably won't ever go to $10/gallon in the USA. (At least not until $10 has been inflated to the point of being worth what $3-6 is today.)

We've hit peak oil already. The result has been demand destruction rather than price hikes. And even if the worldwide fundamentals eventually justify $10/gallon gasoline I'm still confident that the US govt will subsidize and nationalize whatever is necessary to keep it cheaper at the US pumps.

All of which is not to say that peak oil isn't hurting us in the USA. It certainly is. I agree that PO is wrecking our economy. I'm only saying that IMHO the pain will probably never be felt too strongly at the gasoline pump. The existing US govt has only one train of thought about domestic gas prices - up means bad, down means good.

It will be interesting to see how they handle falling production. Do they limit how much you can get and? freeze prices or do they let the market decide ($5-$10 gasoline)?? Its coming one way or another, just a matter of time.

Mass transit varies. Its not too bad in my town. My city will have 3 hybrid buses shortly and I can easily get around if I transfer to different buses (although its slow). We have a river (Mississippi), railroad tracks (Amtrak goes right through the city) and the interstate (I90). There is always walking and biking (which is tough during November-March). Of course a large city like Chicago/Los Angeles with their huge populations will have much tougher time. Commuting by automobile is also going to get expensive/impossible (depending on availability of fuel).

" We have a river (Mississippi), railroad tracks (Amtrak goes right through the city) and the interstate (I90)."


As we ride the oil production curve down, oil prices will rise to whatever level is necessary to stop people from using it. If it takes $10/gallon to stop people from consuming gasoline, that is the price it will rise to.

There is demand destruction in the US, but not much in Chindia.
The price depends on what the highest bidder is willing to pay for it. China, Japan, et al are willing to convert their US $ into natural resources. How high can they push up the price?

IMHO the fundamentals of oil are already suggesting that gasoline should cost more than it does in the USA right now. It is already subsidized heavily (both directly and indirectly) in the USA to keep it unnaturally cheap. It has been this way for a long time. I see no reason to think this will end any time soon.

If you count the various middle-eastern wars as part of that subsidy, then the picture of the US govt's view on this subject gets even clearer. The Federal govt will spend pretty much any amount of money indirectly in order to keep domestic gasoline prices cheap. The rest of the world could be paying $10/gallon but it doesn't mean the USA will. We might pay more than we are right now but we will probably pay less than the rest of the world's fundamentals suggest we should.

I think the USA's economy could go down the drain while the domestic populace merrily continues to drive everywhere in oversize vehicles.

Gasoline probably won't ever go to $10/gallon in the USA. (At least not until $10 has been inflated to the point of being worth what $3-6 is today.)

spectator, even the $6 per gallon equivalent would be a significant increase over the $3.50 we are presently paying.

Re: Batteries at a Wind Farm Help Control Output

The article describes the battery system as being built by A123 Systems, but the author never mentions the storage capacity of the battery bank. We may guess storage quantity from the statement that the maximum output of the wind turbines is 98 megawatts and the battery bank can be charged in 15 minutes, giving a storage capacity of 24.5 megaWatt-hours. The cost is said to have been $25 million, or about $1,000 per kWhr, which likely also includes the cost of the inverters to feed the power to the grid.

The cost of this system seems rather high to me, given that I have a 15 kWhr lead acid battery bank in my garage, which cost me considerably less, as it was acquired surplus. Does anyone have a cost estimate for a similar sized system based on flow batteries?

This story reminds me of a game that Georgia Power (aka, Southern Company) played years ago. They installed a bunch of solar PV panels on a typical house and used it as a demo for public display. At the time, PV panels were still quite expensive, so their marketing group was able to claim that solar was too expensive to compete with nuclear or coal generated electricity. After a few months as a demo, the PV panels were removed and the house sold as a normal structure...

E. Swanson

$1000/kwh is about what you would expect if they are using the nanophosphate A123 batteries, and they have an inverter big enough to discharge the bank in 15 minutes (plus structure and so on).

Note that the A123 lithium batteries have much better cycle life (~3000) than a lead-acid battery.

Cheaper LiFePO4 seem to be going for about $300/kwh.

Generally connecting up a bunch of wind farms (to reduce relative variablity) or using hydro is a better bet.

You may want to keep your eye on Winston Chung. He's working on a Lithium-Sulfur battery technology that looks capable of putting A123 in a tight race. Here's a quickie google search that will give you lots of links.


I don't think he's kidding.

Did I hear Gail the Actuary on the Keiser Report on RT Moscow earlier? Currently live is Richard Jones, Deputy Director of the IEA on Spotlight but I think I heard Gail's name mentioned on the Keiser report earlier. The volume was low and I wasn't looking at the screen but I definitely heard Max Keiser refer to "Gail the Actuary" right at the end. May have been an interview when I wasn't paying attention.

The Keiser Report will be repeated at 6:30pm UK, 1:30pm Eastern (19:30 Moscow) (just under 2 hours from posting this).

Live stream at http://rt.com/on-air/

Yes, she did mention to me that she was going to be doing that.

Thanks , will make a point of watching for it again. Probably beginning about 1 hr from now as the interview was in the second half of the 30min show I think. Max Keiser is Peak Oil aware and the show is normally presented in Max's own, how can I put it :-) "unique" style if you haven't seen it before.

RT Moscow broadcast details at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RT_%28TV_network%29#Satellite_and_cable_bro...

Including Freeview terrestrial channel 68 for UK viewers.

http://rt.com/on-air/ for high quality stream.

Thanks for the link! I always enjoy getting non-US-centric points of view. I built a multi-channel long-wire shortwave antenna last week and have been listening to Voice of Russia, via London (9.665 MHz, LSB, around midnight UTC). Also getting ABC broadcasts out of eastern Australia. Quite interesting stuff, all likely available online, but there's something 'different' about sitting around the shortwave listening to live broadcasts.

The Keiser Report will be repeated at 6:30pm UK, 1:30pm Eastern (19:30 Moscow)

Oops - got the wrong Moscow time above - should be 21:30 Moscow.

It's best to always give times in UTC and to know your own Local to UTC conversion. Then there's never the confusion, no matter where you are in the world.

I did at first intend to list GMT/UTC/Zulu as well. In a few hours, when we put the clocks back, UK time will be GMT/UTC/Zulu anyway :-) USA goes back next week just to confuse things a bit further.

Then there's never the confusion,

That's not always the case;; Consider that I live in the western time zone, in a state that doesn't change. The current time is, 00:39z the time differential is 7 hrs. So what time is it. You can't add or subtract 7hrs for what the clock reads and get the correct time so what time is it. The correct time as shown on my clock in the living room shows 5:39pm so hows that work?

and yes I know how it works.

Actually you do subtract 7 hours from UTC to get your local time. Using 24hr time, your local time of 5:39 PM is 17:39. Hours are counted modulo 24 so 00:39z - 7:00 = 17:39 Mountain. Since you crossed back through 00:00, the date moved back one day also. Your local time/date in Arizona is 17:39/October 29 when local time at Greenwich is 00:38/October 30.

There's no need to check your Zulu time and offset to see the Keiser Report. Just go to http://maxkeiser.com/ and click on it.

It wasn't up yet at the time of my posting but it is there now as you say.


We discuss Occupy London art that may be from Banksy… or Keiser Report? They also look at the skyrocketing cost of new oil supply as Tony Blair sets up office in Kazakhstan. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser interviews Gail Tverberg of Our Finite World about the 65 year debt bubble now bursting as resources and credit hit their limit.

Stoneleigh is a regular on the Financial Sense News Hour. Monthly I beleive.

I was struck by a quote in the following article in the WSJ, which is highlighted. I suspect that Greece is a preview of future events in many developed countries.

For Ordinary Greeks, Big Bailout Adds Up to Years of Hardship

Greece was promised a heap of debt relief at this week's summit of European leaders. But there is little that looks like salvation. The debt crisis has spurred searing austerity measures that will continue for years, and are likely to prolong the country's recession. Bit by bit, Greek society is being stretched, and it is popping at the seams.

The small businesses that form the core of the Greek economy—and the bedrock of the Greek middle class—are closing. The poor are becoming poorer. The fiery street protests are turning nastier. Friday, demonstrators in Thessaloniki, Greece's second city, blocked an annual military parade and jeered the Greek president, who left the scene. "There is a feeling that things can only get worse, that we will have to live with half the money we had," says Spiros Papadopoulos, a young blogger. "What is at stake is our quality of life, and, for some, their subsistence."

My ELP essay from April, 2007:

The ELP Plan: Economize; localize & produce

For some time, I have suggested a thought experiment. Assume that your income dropped by 50%. How would you change your lifestyle?

. . . In my opinion, the unfortunate new reality is that we are going to see a growing labor surplus–against the backdrop of deflation in the auto/housing/finance sectors and inflation in food and energy prices. By reducing your expenses now, while you can do it voluntarily, you will at least be better prepared for whatever the future may bring.

Sign of the times - being forced to live within ones means is considered to be austerity.

True. But it's also a question of fairness.

Why should people who are working take austerity, while the banksters and welfare dependents make out like bandits? It doesn't make sense and is in fact the opposite of how a functioning society should operate.

Losses should be fairly distributed. The money changers need to take a loss. The welfare dependents either need to pick up a mop, move in with relatives who can support them, or disappear.

If you are buying any, gasoline or diesel in the U.S.,,, you are a "Welfare Dependent"

Your tax dollar is re-distributed to anyone buying at the pump. Think that obscene Military is free?

Really, what's the diff? There is none.

Choose Wisely,
The Martian.

Well, fairness isn't going to happen. Like Gaddafi, the current crop of oligarchs controlling the System will not let go, until it is ripped out of their cold dead fingers. They will try and maintain their position, wealth and privileges even as the rest of the population slide into ever greater poverty. Those remaining in the System and wholly dependant upon it for their survival will have little choice in the end but to rid themselves of the elite blocking reform. By then it will of course be too late.

Meanwhile, the elite will have to court those they'll need in the future:

New law to put service families at top of housing queue

Councils could be forced by law to put military families at the top of the housing queue under new plans to be announced by ministers within weeks.

And how many (I'd guess most) of those Greek Welfare recipients are those whose jobs were eliminated because of austerity. In this economic environment a lot of people never have much of a chance to get their heads above water.

Well there's the rub, isn't it? Austerity leads to joblessness, which leads to welfare dependency, which leads to government overspending and debt, which leads to more austerity.

If anyone here wants to explain to me how any economy can be 50% money shifting and 50% government tranfers, I'm all ears.

Something has to break eventually, and the economy must shift back towards jobs and production, even if it's at a small scale.

Instead of food stamps, why don't we have a jobs program to get people to clean up and maintain their neighborhoods? It would require little energy, and it would result in an income, however meagre.

We need jobs and income. We don't need banker bonuses and welfare. But we aren't smart enough to figure this out.

Instead of food stamps, why don't we have a jobs program to get people to clean up and maintain their neighborhoods? It would require little energy, and it would result in an income, however meagre.

But, that would be socialism! End of discussion! It would probably also cost more (at least in the short term), and that is really hard to push when a cut-everything menatlity rages.

Just wanted to say 'Hi!' to Ron from Paul's Lounge who I met last night and had a nice discussion that danced around the topic of peak oil. I told him to check out this Website.

He worked at the Airport in a large NA City. He is the second Aerospace/Aviation WORKER I have met that seemed to have an innate understanding of the Energy squeeze without actually giving it a definition. A natural peaker if you will.

It was nice to meet a like minded person in the wild.

Mainstream Japanese press breaks silence.

Japan's leaders must face country's 'latent' possession of nuclear weapons

There's a little "secret" to the reprocessing plant, however.

On July 17, 1988, Japan implemented revisions to the Japan-U.S. Nuclear Agreement that would allow Japan to construct nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, despite strong opposition from the U.S. Congress. Using its own enrichment technology, it was now possible for Japan, in theory, to produce the raw materials necessary to build nuclear bombs.

By 2005, the year I last visited Rokkasho, the facility had been subject to 11 routine inspections and 14 unannounced inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose aim was to ensure that the plant was not producing any such materials. Despite being a nonnuclear weapons state, Japan was now a "latent" nuclear weapons state. Japan claims it is protected against threats from other countries by the U.S. nuclear umbrella, but the rest of the world sees Japan as a state that would not hesitate to possess nuclear arms, if the circumstances called for it

...The true elimination of our dependence on nuclear power, however, must include our abandonment of nuclear weapons possession. The decisions we face now hold the key to the security of our country. (By Taro Maki, Expert Senior Writer)

I think more people should be walking. Be good for them. Smell the air and listen to the birds.

Any news yet on the Rossi cold fusion experiment today? Any net energy?

This news report has mixed reviews on the results of the experiment:


Just located this article too:


'1 MW E-Cat Cold Fusion Device Test Successful'

It ran for 5.5 hours producing 470 kW, while in self-looped mode. That means no substantial external energy was required to make it run, because it kept itself running, even while producing an excess of nearly half a megawatt.

I think the input was measuring 19 C, and the output was 109 C.

Great, let's bring this forward to the light of day, and have it thoroughly examined to ensure (cough) those pesky nay-sayers are quieted...

"Secondly, observers apart from the customer were only allowed to view the test for a few minutes at a time and during the entire test the E-Cat remained connected to a power supply by a cable. The external power was supposedly turned off; as a demonstration it would have been more impressive for the reactor in its shipping container to be visibly disconnected while operating."

Lack of confidence on Rossi's part?

Also unit inconsistencies on the reports. How many J did it produce? kW is only a measure of transient power.

no, the sign of a scam. and a uninformed public..

This thing has fraud written all over it. It is not hard to do a black-box demonstration that reveals no internal details while the device is provably disconnected from all possible external power sources. The smoke-and-mirrors approach suggests they are trying to conceal an external power source.

it's worse then that. the thing was visibly connected to a external generator the whole time. as posted above.

Rocky - They don't even have to be that tricky. You and I could build a one cubic yard black box with no external power source and easily boil many gallons of water just by throwing the switch on. IOW how many 12V batteries could we fit in our black box? Of course, we would tell eveyone there was no internal energy source other than our "magic bullet". Trust us.

If it's scam it's not even worthy of an episode on "The Mentalist". LOL.

Rather than batteries, why not put in some high level redioactive substance. That could generate a lot more heat then puny chemical means.


As usually there is no details and numbers that would actually allow anyone understand and verify the claims.

It ran for 5.5 hours producing 479 kW, while in self-looped mode

No details on how much gas that was injected and other fuel sources. No details as to why it produced half. No explanation why they stopped after 5.5 hours. No details as to where the 479KW was dissipated other that a mention of a radiator and some steam coming out somewhere at the back or how much energy it looped back. No pictures or details about the radiators and the steam ejected. 479 KW should produce quite profound amounts of steam visible for Kilometers around in my knowledge.

Also there is the comment:
Once the reaction chambers got up to temperature, they were maintained by the heat produced by the reaction. I'm not sure why they kept the generator running after that, but I would guess it was for back-up or safety. I'm sure the engineers testing the system made sure what the power levels were at all times.

Maybe they kept the generators running to sustain the reaction?

And this comment:
Probably the biggest opening for skeptics will be the continually running genset that is probably rated for 500 kW (my guess), and appears to have been connected by cables to the E-Cat. "Where's the mystery?" So knock yourselves out, skeptics. It's the customer who has to be happy, and apparently this one was satisfied that those cables were not contributing to the 470 kW output during self-sustaining mode.

If this Madoff ooops i mean the customer wants to sell the product on to other investors then of course the customer is happy...

Sorry for being a little sceptical...

Heating a kilogram of water for 19C to 109C needs 2,6 MJ of power. 470 kW for 5.5 hr is equal to 9306 MJ. This means that this heat would have to evaporate 3,6 tons of water (942 US gallon), about 3 gallons per minute. Is this looks possible?

If taking your numbers and looking at the steam - from the top of my head i get:

3 gallons per minute ~10 litres = expanded by approx. ~1700 times thus producing ~17000 litres or ~17m3 of pure steam a minute.

Steam is quickly mixed with surrounding air and should thus produce in the order of 50-100 m3 of "smoke" rising into the air a minute - which is what i would call large amounts - impossible not to notice.

Of course they might have had enormeous fans on the radiators which somehow did not create any audible sound.

Or maybe they were melting vanilla icecream in the basement. What a sad waste !

Sorry for being a little sceptical...

Being sceptical is the editors pen so to speak of being scientific. Questions must be raised until proof is clear, and independently repeatable experiments must be done to confirm results until no questions remain. I agree, Rossi's not there yet.

I am skeptical too, as I haven't been able to personally verify this thing.

But neither can I rule it out.

Here's another interesting link:

As a "practical" EE, I have been involved in a lot of inventors bringing "energy-for-free" stuff in to sell it to the company I worked for. Every one of them was excellent presentation and bad science. A magic show, nothing more, nothing less.

I was even overriden once by a management guy who was taken in by a slick presentation and I had to stand idly by while he spent two million dollars in legal and patenting fees before discovering the thing simply would NOT work. It was an expensive lesson for us to pay attention to physics. You don't know how much I would love to go over the details of that fiasco here, but I am bound by a NDA not to talk about it.

But, on this one, my jury is still out until I personally test this thing. I do not see this one as "bad science", rather it is treading into the unknown. Unlike ALL of the previous inventors I have seen, at least this one does not violate any laws of physics as I know tnem. All the secrecy surrounding it makes due diligence investigation darned near impossible for me, and raises warning flags. Reminds me of the stint I served in the Aerospace sector trying to work with redacted documents which rendered my work nearly useless.

Personally, I would love to know how much water it boiled. Don't condense it; just let it go. If I know how much water I *had* before the experiment started, and know if I released the water as 100% saturated steam at, say, 50 psig, I could run enthalpy calculations and know pretty darned well how much energy was injected by how much water I lost. By the time I account for electrical power provided, and graphs of reactor temperatures, I can get a really good idea of what the thing did. I get a bit antsy over seeing complication as distractions are the key tool of magicians. I would have loved to work for the company who tested this thing and got to set up the test. I am old (err, experienced), ornery, and skeptical enough that I can guarantee they would have got their money's worth.

The problem with all of this is that they do not disclose information that would not expose the invention and its vital parts and construction, but that would verify their claims to its energy production.

Why would they not disclose the particulars of where the produced energy goes? Is it steam? Or massive air convection around radiators? I cannot see it as anything but a way to hide the actual energy produced. Which is the one number they actually give us. So it cannot be verified that they tell the truth about produced energy. Very conveniently !

The unnecessary shrouding of all sorts of non-critical information (not related to the invention itself) is what leads me to be very sceptical, but as you point out: They may just be extraordinarily paranoid and as such incoherent in their disclosement of facts. But I, personally, do not believe that for one second. I have seen too many of these fantastic new inventions dissipate into nothing...

Note this is a late post. I am continuing to research what I find on this.

I have found on YouTube this interesting video by Rossi titled:
2011 - Andrea Rossi Explains His Energy Catalyzer


This video raised more questions than answers for me.

To start off, 40 sec into the video, he measures input current at 3.4 amperes, or, at 220 volts, 748 watts. Whoa! That looks like a bank of six triac power controllers for the heaters in the box (5:57). They present quite a non-sinusoidal current load. Is that meter calibrated for nonsinusoidal input? I have seen digital meters read all over the place when presented with a nonsinusoidal input. Power factor also a concern here.

He feeds this to his catalyzer. Room temp 31C, water temp 26.5C, outlet temp 100.1C, ( 4 min ). I note flow rate not shown.

Question.. at 100C, as Rossi states, water boils and becomes steam. Does ALL of the water boil? That is, what is the "Quality" of the exit steam? 100%vapor? 5%vapor/95%liquid? He is operating on the "liquid line", and there is a tremendous enthalpy difference between low and high quality steams. That "chimney thing" (about 10 minutes) does not fool me... the chimney may be full of boiling water. I can't see. The water exit hose is black ( looks like 5/8" automobile heater hose to me - can anyone else assist me on what diameter they think it is? )

Now watch what he does at 11:06... looks like he is draining an incriminating hoseful of water, and why is the hose stuck in the drain? The water trap in the drain would only send the steam back up. Why not go ahead and run the hose to the bucket... is there an unexplainable amount of "condensation"?

OK... Look at 11:28. Note the amount of steam visibly exiting the hose. Does this look like about half the amount of steam you could expect from say, a 1500 watt cappuccino machine? Note the exit velocity of the steam? Its not like its under a big hurry to get out, no?

At 12:24, Rossi notes the flow rate through the system is 7Kg of water per hour. Does the flow rate through that hose look anything like 7Kg/hr of steam? I have some calculations to do and I do not have anything hard to offer yet, just a gut feeling that leaves me a little underwhelmed.

I get the idea he's passing a lot of 100.1C ( as measured ), slightly sub 100C (if at 1 bar atm pressure ) hot water through that black hose to the drain where I can't see it.

I get the idea he's thermodynamically accounting for a phase change in ALL 7Kg of water, but actually changing much less of it. Again, I need to run a calculation to see just how much water I can vaporize with 750 watt-hours of energy, and the observed flow rate of vapor from the hose and see if those two figures agree.

[11/10/11 Edit:
First, let me get some numbers for the Enthalpy of water and steam from the Tables of Saturated Steam from my thermodynamics text. ( Oh yes, I collect texts of thermodynamic data on every substance I can find. )

The Enthalpy of 25C water is 105KJ/Kg. 100C Water is 419KJ/Kg, 100C Steam (1 Bar) is 2676KJ/Kg.
The Specific Volume of 100C water is 0.001044 m^3/Kg, 100C Steam (1 Bar) is 1.673m^3/Kg.

Ok, let's run some numbers...

At 7 Kg/Hr, volume of steam is 11.7 m^3/Hr = 714650 in^3/Hr = 198 in^3/sec

Assuming that's a 3/4 inch hose, that gives cross sectional area of 0.44 in^2.

Flow rate is then 448 in/sec or 25.5 MPH.

If ALL of the water was converted to steam, does the video look like anything close to 25MPH exit velocity?

Doesn't look like it to me.

Well, what's the water boil rate for 750 watts? That's 0.75KJ/sec.

Looking at difference in enthalpies of 25C water and 100C steam, I get 2571KJ/Kg or 3.889e-4 Kg/KJ. At an energy feed rate of 0.75KJ/sec, that will give me 2.917e-4 Kg/sec (1.05Kg/hr) boil rate. At 1.673 m^3/Kg, thats 4.88e-4 m^3/sec, or 30in^3/sec, or 67 in/sec velocity through the 0.44 in^2 hose end. Still a bit high to me.

But wait, there was 7KG/hr of water flowing. A lot of the energy went to heating up the water, which appears to just be draining down through that black hose.

So lets calculate what the steam quality will be if I put 750J/sec into water starting off at 25C and flowing at 7KG/hr: ( i.e. how much water am I actually going to vaporize with the energy left after I heat 7Kg/hr of water from 25C to 100C? )

0.75KJ/sec*(1Hr/7Kg)*(3600sec/1Hr)=385.7 KJ/Kg energy transferred to water.

Incoming water at 25C enthalpy is 104.85 KJ/Kg. Adding 385.7 KJ/kg gives me water energy of 490 KJ/Kg

From tables, Liquid water at 100C has an enthalpy of 419 KJ/Kg. Steam is 2676 KJ/Kg.

I have stuff of 490 KJ/Kg, which clearly consists of so much water at 419 KJ/Kg and so much steam at 2676 KJ/Kg

Solving this gives me a steam quality of about 3% steam, 97% water.

So how fast does the 3% steam exit?

3% of the 37 ft/sec previously calculated is 1.12 ft/sec, or 13.5 in/sec. Even this is a bit fast, but looks a lot more like that observed.

Say, some of that 750 watts was going to power the peristaltic pump and the control circuitry and what was left over actually went to the heaters. That power would come directly out of the steam generation budget because the exit water would continue to be 100C until there was insufficient energy to make any steam.

Now, the observed flow would match the thermodynamically calculated flow, and I can rest easy.

Note how I noted his draining the hose at 11:06?

Given the numbers I just calculated, how many seconds can he hold the hose before it fills with water and begins gurgling "condensation" ( eh, in quotes because I don't think that water was vapor ).

I have already determined that 97% of the incoming water is just being heated up.


Given the hose volume of 0.44 in^3/in, it will fill at 0.27 inches/sec. Long enough to let him hold the hose up in the air and show you some steam... If you count he had several feet of hose lying on the floor, it could take quite some time ( tens of seconds ) before it would refill to a level as to start erupting liquid from the upheld end.

As a side note, if I were to supply only enough energy to heat the water up to boiling, but NOT boil it, I would have to supply 314 KJ/Kg of energy. This, when added to the 105KJ/Kg of 25C water will bring it to 419KJ/Kg, the enthalpy of water at 100C. From then on, at 1 Bar pressure, additional heat will boil the water.

314KJ/Kg * 7KG/hr = 2198 KJ/hr = 0.611KJ/sec = 611 watts.

Steven Krivit of New Energy Times newsletter also raises these concerns.

Thanks, Leanan, for letting me use TOD as a kind of personal blog on this. I post here in the hopes anyone else doing research on this will find it of some help. I found few people on the web actually running thermodynamic analysis of this, and this is one of the things I do a lot in my process design work, so my intent is to throw what insight I have into the pool. I can not even begin to express my appreciation for the research my TOD brethren have posted.

Until I get a better handle on this, this video is kinda a smoking gun in favor of the nay-sayers to me.

I won't nay-say the whole shebang yet, but this particular video did not give me the evidence I needed to convince myself that anything out of the already explainable is happening. Its hard for me to discredit the findings of those "on the scene", but then, after working around a lot of highly-certified people, I am quite aware that papers often fail to reflect the competence of an individual. Its been my experience, that in the practical world, people who have a personal interest in a subject excel in this over those with a professional interest in it. I will grant Rossi this, that he may know he's onto something but hasn't got the kinks out of it yet, much as one may KNOW there is a nest of rattlesnakes under the barn, but so far has failed to present a snake as proof. The video failed to show me a snake, but I have yet to condemn the man or his research.

[11/05/11 Edit: I found a PDF of a Rossi E-Cat testing ... it has specific test data. (8-page PDF)]
I have no commentary on this yet.


15:53 Power to the resistance was set to zero.
A device “producing frequencies” was switched on.


15:53 Power to the resistance was set to zero.
A device “producing frequencies” was switched on.

The video I did my analysis on is:

2011 - Andrea Rossi Explains His Energy Catalyzer

It runs for 13:24.

I think you may be watching another video. Sounds interesting. I haven't heard of him using a device "producing frequencies" yet.

Can you post its URL link?

Some videos by Steven Krivit of "New Energy Times" have been quite critical of Rossi's technology. This is just the mark of a good scientist doing due diligence. This is the main thing that separates us from those of a "political correctness" persuasion. It takes a completely different skillset to work with physics or people.

Here is something that just came out today on Pure Energy Systems News...

National Instruments signs to do E-Cat controls
Note: PES Network has a business relationship with Andrea Rossi.

National Instruments is a leader in instrumentation technology. They are one of very few companies I think that could do this properly. Personally, their word means more to me than what a government agency may say.

My experience has been Government agencies and contractors were more concerned with politics than physics.

Late edit... I would like to note E-Cat has two websites:

They do seem quite confident. I will continue to track them, as I have the highest of hopes that they actually got this to work.

Testing a black box for power production is not that difficult. All you need to check what is going in and what is going out. Electricity can be measure with induction coil. For heat, you only need thermometer, pressure meter and flow measurement. Non of these measurements would give you any information what is going on within the box.

"Testing a black box for power production is not that difficult."

Sure, whatever, and conceivably Pons and Fleischmann thought so too. It seems so simple, so very 19th century, so very undemanding of intellection. In an idealized abstract, maybe that's almost true; in the real world, not so much (witness, say, the highly dysfunctional, thoroughly incompetent HVAC installations found in abundance... almost everywhere.) Oops.

Whatever one may think of Pons and Fleischmann at least they put their information on the table.


Yup, give 'em credit for that. Putting calorimetry behind the Wizard of Oz's magic curtain, as in the case under discussion here, makes it even more difficult.

Yes... as I thought of this further, I would have simply condensed the water it boiled, then measure how much water I got per hour and per run. I would have kept my condensed water in a separate container. At the end of the run, it would be quite obvious how many kilojoules of thermal energy were transferred.

Why do they have to make things so darned complicated?

Why do they have to make things so darned complicated?

Why is so much of a magician's show so complicated?


Every one of them was excellent presentation and bad science. A magic show, nothing more, nothing less.

I was even overriden once by a management guy who was taken in by a slick presentation and I had to stand idly by while he spent two million dollars in legal and patenting fees before discovering the thing simply would NOT work

It seems there is someone who decided to spend US taxpayer (or is it US Bond buyer money)

The customer's controller, one Domenico Fioravanti, apparently reports to a man whose title is "Colonel". This suggests that the mystery customer might be DARPA, the Pentagon's extreme science wing which, as Wired.co.uk has previously noted, has expressed interestin Rossi's work -- but which might not be quite ready to explain to its political masters why it spent millions on a cold fusion device.

Now the one I'm trying to figure out why the BOD and leadership is filled with ex-spook/ex-military is Terawatt http://terawatt.com/
The pretty graphs from the UL and TUV show excess energy - that in theory is either a measurement mistake or magnets de-energizing but I'd think UL would do better that that. But it was from 2008 and not much has publicly happened 4 years later.

At least neither E-cat or Terawatt is claiming its Tesla Technology.....


I have looked at Terawatt's site and am convinced its main purpose is to fund high-falutin' lifestyles for tinkerers at the expense of the taxpayer. Being no-one holds Government officials personally liable for bad judgment, they apparently use governments for funding their fun.

I'm sure you've seen their site. Let me try a "business presentation" of that ilk.

I have UL and TUV measure the volume of water in my garden hose. They come out with 3 gallons. I have UL and TUV also measure the volume of water my wheelbarrow holds. They come out with 15 gallons. Ok.. I have the names of UL and TUV on my research team. I run the hose into the wheelbarrow, filling it. I have magically turned 3 gallons of water into 15 gallons!!! a 5X INCREASE. Verified by UL and TUV! ( Plaster THAT all over the place! Respectable Name! Of course I tell them their analysis of the end-to-end is not needed... only their measurements are ). Then I go to governments and get them to fund big-time versions of this. Live high on the hog like Michael Brady teasing investors with the Perendev motor.

Of course I would have lawyers on my staff who write up the contracts like ISP's writing business contracts which clearly define what happens if I don't pay what they demand, while holding them harmless against failing to deliver bandwidths alluded to in their ads.

Knowledge of physics is your only friend. You know as well as I that Terawatt is a resonance demonstration. Its how a bunch of tae-bo dancers can sway a skyscraper, or gusts of wind and traffic patterns did in the Tacoma Narrows bridge. Its how singers can break a glass ( and my eardrums ) by just singing.

The build-up of energy ( torque, speed ) in the second shaft is as expected as circulating energy in a resonant converter. Not a thing looks out of the ordinary to me.

Having connections to politicians will get you funded, as no-one holds politicians personally responsible for bad judgement. Much unlike Michael Jackson's doctor. Can you imagine Bernake defending his rate hikes of 2006-2008? Do you think our economy would be in the mess its in if those making the decisions were held accountable?

If there is one thing working in government funded aerospace taught me, its that salesmanship skills, not physics, rules the roost. My own personal experience is that sticking with the laws of physics will get you canned as being closed-minded and unable to accept new paradigms. I think my willingness to not throw out Rossi demonstrates I can at least consider new stuff, even if I do not understand it right now.

I will state again... I think Rossi may be onto something. If I were allowed to personally test this thing, I would be more definitive.

As far as Perendev goes, well, if you really want to spend the time to try it out, could I suggest you start out with a hot-glue gun, several stacks of neo-magnets from Harbor Freight Tools, and an old hard disk drive.

I did. It will become obvious quite fast that all you will make is a magnetic shaker.

I was hoping that if there was anything to this, I was going to use the HDD's drive motor as a generator to feed resistors in a water bath for energy transfer calorimetry. Never got that far.

I'm sure you've seen their site.

I think you'd find I'm the only one to post it to TOD over the years.

So yes, I've seen it.

Having connections to politicians will get you funded

And who's fault is that? The taxpayer? The voter? Someone else?
How does one change this?

Rossi may be onto something.

He may be. He may not.

I believe the deliverable was 1 MW for 24 hours in October of 2011. While the October timeframe was met, the reporting I saw was he did not meet the other deliverables. Too bad.

At list Rossi got something out by Oct - that puts him ahead of EEStor, Blacklight power, or whatever other magical energy things have been mentioned over the years.

If Rossi has found some reaction - good for him. Yet Nickel is still being placed in Nickles - if this reaction was real - would Nickel be in Nickels at this point? (The previous question assumes the various US intelligence agencies worked and reported to Congress AND Congress would work to preserve the nationwide Nickel reserve.)

Yup, Eric, I remember you bringing that link to my attention a few weeks ago here on TOD.

It was immediate interest to me and I had quite a time researching their technology. The existence of this company is quite an enigma to me. I see red flags all over... why doesn't everyone else see it? Is it me? Or is everyone scared of them?

I have already been laid off so I can't lose my job over this. I already lost my job doing what I felt I had to do. It doesn't look like I'll ever earn another corporate dollar anyway...I would never get past their HR department, given my age and lack of certs. I earn my keep these days by fixing unusual industrial stuff that no-one else will support. I do not solicit business from those who do not know me already.

From what I have observed, corporate types will keep those who have the people skills to tell them what they want to hear. I am not one of those. Like a religious zealot, I feel responsible to obey the laws of physics above all else.

I believe the deliverable was 1 MW for 24 hours in October of 2011. While the October timeframe was met, the reporting I saw was he did not meet the other deliverables. Too bad.

He seemed to be getting something...if I can believe at all his "customer". That's more than what I have seen before.

If Rossi has found some reaction - good for him. Yet Nickel is still being placed in Nickles - if this reaction was real - would Nickel be in Nickels at this point? (The previous question assumes the various US intelligence agencies worked and reported to Congress AND Congress would work to preserve the nationwide Nickel reserve.)

< tinfoil hat > I have thought of the possibility of this already being known by secret US agencies who may be working behind the scenes to discredit Rossi to delay the implementation of his technology. < /tinfoil hat >

He claims to be taking orders. This is the step that got Michael Brady into deep trouble marketing Perendev magnet motor technology. You can google "brady perendev magnet motor arrested" and get lots of accounts of what his marketing got him. You can also look up "perendev magnet motor" on YouTube and see quite a few videos of people trying to replicate his technology and even a few of his where he was showing it working.

Heck, it was even enough to make me spend some of my own time reverifying the laws of magnetics as I knew them, as I am still convinced the work integral around a closed loop in a magnetic field will be zero. Before I spent a lot of time at the machine shop, an old hard disk drive provided me a nice rotating surface I could glue the magnets to, then I could hold the drive magnet in my hand or put it in a vise and see if I could position it any way to make the disk spin. I never succeeded one bit in making anything that even appeared to put out more energy than I put in. But at least I had peace of mind and could put the thing to bed.

With all the deception I have seen, especially when one mixes money, marketing, gullibility, lack of scruples, and technology, some of the biggest messes imaginable have arose from this mix.


if you are into that sort of stuff with motors, I'd welcome your thoughts on the following. Nothing about over unity or the like here, but some interesting claims about how magnetic flux flows in permanent magnet DC motors;


And, another very interesting motor, that he compares to;


Cedric Lynch started out making his motor from flattened soup cans and ended up with about the best power-weight ratio motor out there. very popular for electric bikes, and would seem ideal for EV's, but widespread adoption hasn't happened.

Thanks, Paul

Interesting motors. It looks like they would also make good generators. I find those "pancake" motors to be the most efficient around... probably due to the increased leverage of the rotor.

They remind me of motors found on some of the old floppy disk drives. Some of the old Mitsubishi 5 1/4 floppy drives had an unusually poled disk shaped magnet rotor, driven by six coils attached to the PCB. Looked like they were driven by the lorentz field from the coils.

Others had a clever ring-shaped magnet with 24 or so poles around the inside of the circumference. It was fit inside a metal cup and supported via bearings above a 24 pole stator on the board. This was so the stator electromagnetics could be switched faster to minimize iron size. Beautiful designs. They would work as a generator too. Of course, I would have to build suitable inverters to interface their 3-phase windings to a DC load.

One of these days, I want to get me a box of neo magnets and place them around a bicycle wheel to make a large cylindrical multipole magnet which could give me a high flux change rate at low RPM. If I wind the stator right, I figure I can make a zero-cogging multiphase generator that won't resonate when the wind blows "at just the wrong speed".

Seen those "hub motors" they make for electric bicycles, where the motor is made "inside-out", that is the motor's stator is the center, and the rotor is on the outside?

Motor design reminds me of the telephone... I remember when telephones came in only two styles ( desk and wall ) and in one color (black). Today, anything goes.

The motor you want to make sounds a bit like this one that is already made - the Fisher and Paykel Smart Drive Motor - a centre stator motor used for direct drive of washing machines - no more belts to fail!

They are 36 to 42 pole units and have become very popular for re-purposing as generators for micro hydro and wind turbines. The AC output is rectified, and then, if needed, inveretd to AC. I guess you could build your own inverter, but the off the shelf ones, even the PV grid tie, are pretty cheap these days...

You can buy the Smart drives in the US from here:

And the ultimate source is the guy in NZ who started it all - check out the "smart drive inventors kit"


Also, a low speed generator, used for wind turbines, based on an auto wheel hub check out this, and this is also THE place to buy your magnets;

They have a very cool 2kW steam powered unit! It has to be the heaviest duty home alternator ever built! 2kW @200rpm!




Paul, --thanks for the additional info

Thanks for all those cool links, Paul!

I was wondering when the washing machine folks would use something like this to completely eliminate the mechanical transmission.

This design is exactly what I had in mind. Windings in the hub. Magnets on the outside. And the outside is the part that rotates. Three phase. No brushes. Just like a big multipole version of the common computer fan motor.

I absolutely *love* this design. Absolutely controllable. Can be made nearly impervious to water seepage. Works great at LOW speeds with no gearbox. Energy transfer between mechanical and electrical completely bidirectional at high efficiency. What more could I ask for?

The wiring itself is a moot point with me, as I am quite comfortable building custom power converters. My guess is this thing is 3-phase, variable frequency, and will require a maximal-power-point controller to get the most out of it as a generator. Probably use a variant of Don Lancaster's "magic sine wave" PWM to drive it. ( I like to add a little "white noise" to smooth the peaks out of the spectrum ).

Don Lancaster's Magic Sinewaves... an interesting PWM method highly compatible with microcontrollers (like Parallax's "propeller" ) that minimizes harmonics. Resonances have caused me more grief and ruined motors than I can shake my proverbial stick at. Resonances literally pulverize motor shafts and ruin gearboxes. Guess who had to deliver the bad news? Very expensive.


Parallax Propeller... it has eight CPU cores on one chip. Each core runs its own program. All cores run simultaneously. This means I can have eight timing critical processes running simultaneously without the random latencies an interrupt-driven architecture would require.


Thanks for taking your time to post. You saved me a lot of work.

Believe it or not, the Smart drive is actually two decades old! An NZ invention, now used by many of the major mfrs.

A more industrial version of the same concept, designed for direct mounting to engines is here - it is an generator that does not have a single bearing or rubbing part!


There is an Australian version of the same;

These units are not cheap, but are virtually foolproof, and as such are favoured by the military...

I have always thought the torque/power could be improved further if the rotor had a second ring of magnets on the inside of the stator coils, but none of the radial flux types them seem to do this.

Another interesting, though quite different motor, is the polyphase induction motor by Chorus Motors. No rare earths needed here. They have had this on their website for years, but I am not aware of any real production - but it seems like a good concept. I welcome your comments on their Technical Show.


Finally, one really weird concept that is beyond me to understand, but if it works, it seems like it would be really useful for wind turbines - the RPM independent generator;


He also has a different take on building a grid connect inverter.

Not being an electrical engineer, the field and harmonics stuff is over my head, as is the case for your links. I have to rely on people like you to determine the usefulness - I am looking for places to put them into action!




You have shown me quite a few things I was totally unaware of. Thanks!

The closest thing I had seen was some alternator/starter technology being proposed for automobile engines. I do not know if Ford, Toyota, GM, etc are using this yet. Unfortunately, I get so busy doing some things and fall behind in everything else.

The customer's controller, one Domenico Fioravanti, apparently reports to a man whose title is "Colonel". This suggests that the mystery customer might be DARPA, the Pentagon's extreme science wing which, as Wired.co.uk has previously noted, has expressed interestin Rossi's work -- but which might not be quite ready to explain to its political masters why it spent millions on a cold fusion device.

For what its worth, here's an 11/02/11 Update on this...

According to Fox News


Allan hinted on his blog that an unnamed “customer” of Rossi's device is a military organization that starts with an N. Rossi said this customer measured and verified the test -- and told FoxNews.com that Paul Swanson with the U.S. Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems unit (SPAWAR) can vouch for the demonstration.

FoxNews.com spoke with a man at SPAWAR who identified himself as Swanson, and who said only that he was "not in a position to talk to the press." Several other sources within the Navy and the Pentagon either declined to comment or did not return messages.

Read more:


Here's a link to the WIPO patent on the E-cat...


What I don't get is what are they trying to accomplish? If it's a scam, which is highly likely, they sell their first unit to some industry and it will become obvious in short order that the thing doesn't do what it's advertised to do. Then the lawsuits fly thick and fast and the Rossi company is run out of town, tarred and feathered. You just can't get around those pesky laws of physics.

you falsely assume that they will stick around once their first deal is made. as soon as the ink is not even dry on the paper and they have the money they will disappear. calls to their office will go unanswered by voice mail even, and what ever store front or offices they have will appear to be locked and empty.

Its not 1850. It is 2011.

No one can 'disappear' with money.

The kind of people who have the kind of money to blow in Rossi and company odds are have the kind of money to have 'em hunted down and 'have a talking with'.

It's risky to do the fraud thing... Remember what happened to Mike Brady and the Perendev magnetic motor?


I don't get it, either. Perhaps it's like Madoff's ponzi scheme. The first person he fooled was himself. Maybe Rossi really believes he can get it working, he just needs some capital. And if that requires a little show, so be it. (Reminds me of Steorn's Orbo. Their perpetual motion machine really does work...or will, as soon as they get the friction problem solved.)

The thing is, Rossi's been busted in a large scale energy scam before. Perhaps he made enough money off that one (and managed to hide enough of the funds) that he thinks it's worth another round. Or maybe he's the type who just likes the attention.

What's really baffling to me is why governments, knowing his history, would have anything to do with him.

When you know you have a problem (energy) and don't see a solution, you'll grasp at any straw that holds out hope of a solution for you.

One thing that makes me very uneasy is the thought that the "customer" may be an agency of the US government.

I have observed that over the past five years or so, those guys have run the show using a lot of deception. It seems to be no-one wants to fess up to the sad shape of the economy, and trying to get any useful information, especially for investments, from anyone associated with the Government takes a real risk the information will be rendered obsolete at the next meeting of Congress.

Remember Hank Paulson exhorting about the soundness of the world economies a few years ago? Or Bush indicating what dire need we were in for energy?

Those of us who took long positions in the oil exploration and alternative energy development lost our shirts.

I watched my neighbor, far smarter than I in financial matters, simply poke around and buy foreclosures. She has done far better than I. I felt I understood the urgency of energy related issues and invested my retirement funds likewise... She collects rents, and knows every trick in the book for dealing with renters.

With current Tax Law, our nation will become a nation of owners and welfare serfs, considering the tax rewards of owning and the tax penalties of doing. This will go on as long as the world honors the output of our printing presses.

I have seen our government do too many really crazy things that no-one in his right mind ( or personally responsible for their actions ) would do. I fail to understand why other nations keep coming to our aid, bailing us out, and not replacing the dollar as the world reserve currency.

If a Government agency is evaluating this thing, I feel the evaluation will be based more on the personal relationship with Rossi, or political manueverings to steer other's investments, than in the physics of the device.

Those evaluating the device are only doing the deed our Government is paying them to do and retire with honor whether or not the device works. I find it very hard to place any credibility in the evaluations of Government "intelligence" agencies. From what I see, they are paid to issue reports favorable to some position, giving decision-makers "plausible deniability" to do what they want to do.

Someone once told me...
if some government recruiter asks you a mathematical question on a test, do NOT evaluate the equation! That marks you as a nose-in-the-mud realist. The answer that will get you hired is: "What do you want it to be?"

"Carnivals come cheap – the true test of their worth is what remains the day after, how our normal daily life will be changed. The protesters should fall in love with hard and patient work – they are the beginning, not the end. Their basic message is: the taboo is broken; we do not live in the best possible world; we are allowed, obliged even, to think about alternatives."


like this guy ..... like Greer

I joined TOD 3.7 years ago and now I've taken a complete U-turn in my decisions since then. I stopped being materialistic, I stopped my bad habits, I reinvested / pulled out most of my savings / money from peak-oil-prone segments. I'm not off into the woods but we're gonna be off to learn how to meet our needs ourselves.

Today we leave Bangalore - a comfortable home, a comfortable (IT) job and many other comfortable things to head to one of those 'marginal areas' (as Orlov puts it) that, I believe, is likely to become a more livable, thriving place in the mid-future (say, 5-10 years). We leave all of this with no repentance, being fully aware that this is the best we could be doing given that time is also a 'resource' that has been running out ever since we got to know about Peak Oil and the converging catastrophes of this century.

Thanks all folks! I'll still be around on TOD but just felt like thanking you all for this significant event in my life that was ONLY because of this awesome online community :)

Best of luck as you move forward. I noticed that many here have also left the comfortable. Stoneleigh's post this past week was most appropriate.

When I think about it, with the focus my wife and I have developed pushing forward into our sustainable efforts ,(within common sense and reason), our life boat little farm in development, my son building in the neighbourhood, I have never felt more in tune with being on the only track possible in this moment of history. I think it would be a different picture and one of despair if we had refused to let go.

Nice to make choices....have choices...be willing to make them.

Have fun.

I have been here six months, though I was aware of this topic I hadn't realized the gravity of the situation. TOD is one of the best sites around focusing more on fact and evidence based discussions, which is a rarity.

I am also looking to change my life, learning more basic skills and picking up some practical knowledge. I too plan to quit this city based life and migrate to somewhere where life is more sustainable.

congratulations and good luck. my medical incident in 2009 put a stop to any such plans of my own now being dependent on certain medications to live.

After years of increasing subliminal anxiety -- been PO-aware for at least a decade, maybe more -- I have finally realised the dream / strategy and found a bit of land with a well and woodlot, house and workshop.

We're hedging our bets. The property is in an area which offers subsistence possibilities if things go pear-shaped fast, but should remain a popular place to live if BAU staggers on somehow. The well is reliable. The house is heavily insulated and we can get by with wood heat if BC Hydro goes out. My partner is a master shipwright (and all around carpenter and woodsman), and I'm pretty handy meself. I'll be adding manual well pump and eventually some kind of DC power for the house.

We are close enough to civilisation that decent internet connectivity can be had for a price, and the local population of about 1500 souls is interesting and numerous enough to offer good facespace connections and community even if the internet collapses along with everything else. There are 2 grocery stores, but also several startup and established organic farms (I hope to join their number using the 1 acre of cleared land out of the 5 we own).

It is only a half step so far towards autarky or subsistence, but the potential is there and I hope to spend the next year or so strengthening our local position, getting to know all the neighbours, doing as many favours as possible, "soaking in" as Musashi says.

I have to admit I read my favourite fellow-doomers online with slightly less fear in my heart knowing that I have drinking water and firewood and wil be fairly far from the urban cores if things get nasty. It is a selfish survivalist POV, I suppose -- maybe I should hang with the city and battle for urban gardening rights and so on -- but I and my partner dislike urban life and want to live more rurally and quietly *anyway*, so this makes sense in terms of personal preference as well as preparedness.

We've tried to furnish the new place exclusively with used stuff from thrift stores, craigslist, and auctions; some tools we gave up on and bought new, but they should last the rest of our lives. Exiting the consumer lifestyle will be hard in a way, but also a huge relief. Anyway, we are in the unpleasant phase where we burn lots of FF to move our several tons of tools, wood, personal possessions etc. to the new location -- I have that shivery feeling of racing through a door that is closing, as I fuel up the moving truck...

best hopes for rapid relocalisation :-)

Oct. storm: Power could be out for days

A snowstorm with a ferocity more familiar in February than October socked the Northeast over the weekend, knocking out power to 2.7 million, snarling air and highway travel and dumping more than 2 feet of snow in a few spots as it slowly moved north out of New England. Officials warned it could be days before many see electricity restored.

Woke up this morning to snow on the ground. Just inland enough to turn cold rain to freezing drizzle. Nova Scotia has similar weather as New England and it is very rare to have the white stuff before Halloween. The dark dreariness of November has come early.

New England hasn't had the best of years weather wise. Hurricane Irene in August and now an early taste of winter. If it remains cold, and often these weather patterns get stuck, heating oil will be in high demand in the populated American northeast. The global economy seems to be chugging along sufficiently to keep the cost of fuel high. A combination of frigid weather and high fuel costs is never good news for many low income families.

We had a foot of snow here - wet heavy snow. We lost power overnight, but it came back by 10:30 this morning. Sunny and well above freezing now, but breezy - I wouldn't be surprised if it went off again. The woodstove is much appreciated at times like this...

We had a foot of snow here - wet heavy snow.

sgage, trick or treat? If the snow is the trick, sounds like the wood stove is the treat. Btw, where is here?

Inland New Hampshire - north and west of Concord. Concord had 22"! Not bad for October. It's strange how the vibe completely changes once the ground is covered in white. You start to wonder when you'll see the bare ground again? Next week maybe? Next April?

The stove is indeed a treat...

The ground should still be frost free so the snow shouldn't last long. Even in Concord.

Nothing like wood heat and snow to set the mood for Christmas. Enjoy!

Hi Tom,

Those of us hugging the coast saw only rain although temperatures did dip to the freezing mark briefly.

Without a doubt, it's going to be a tough winter for those who heat with oil. Fuel oil in Atlantic Canada is already selling between $1.04 to $1.18 a litre ($3.94 to $4.47 a gallon) and we're still early on in the season. As mentioned the other day, a tank fill could very well set you back a $1,000.00 or more.

Our last oil fill: August 24th, 2009. Next anticipated fill: August, 2018.

Addendum: The winds have really picked-up in the past hour and with gusts approaching 100 kph it's not surprising to see the lights starting to blink out in various parts of the province; currently, some 18,700 NSP customers are without service.


Paul, it is messy but the snow and sleet has thankfully turned to rain. Just a whiff of the white stuff remaining on the ground.

Yep, it will expensive to heat homes this winter. A cord of wood if you have a wood stove is a blessing, particularly at a $1000 per tank fill. Mind you, if one has the foresight to outfit the abode with a heat pump and proper insulation, the costs can be greatly reduced. Unfortunately, it is those who live on the financial margins and who can least afford not to take advantage of the savings who will be the last to receive the retrofits. I get the calls when the pipes are about to freeze, they're out of food, and out of oil in mid January.

Although it would throw off our carbon footprint, I wish many people would invest in a wood stove. It's a lot easier to find spare wood in Janaury (most of the neighbours overstock for winter) than cash for a tank of oil.

I'm not a fan of wood stoves and even less so of pellet, but the ability to share wood with those in need is a point well taken. Your post reminds me that I should pick-up a couple 3M window kits to donate to the food bank.


I'm not a fan of wood stoves and even less so of pellet

Hi Paul - why is that- emissions maybe? Do you specifically mean for urban areas?

The great thing about wood stoves - when they are the proper type and operated properly - is that they are about the only heat source where the owner can get/create the fuel themselves.

Be interested to know why you like the pellet stoves even less...

Hi Paul,

With wood stoves it's the human factor or, as you put it, the "when they are the proper type and operated properly" caveat.... folks burning unseasoned wood or things that they shouldn't be burning at all, running their stoves too hot, allowing creosote to build up in their chimneys, self-installs that would never pass code, and so on.

I consider pellet stoves the Plymouth Volare of heating technologies.... temperamental, failure prone and very high maintenance. Personal opinion aside, there are a couple things to note:

1) for better or worse they become the focal point of the room and most pellet stoves are rather utilitarian in appearance;
2) there are restrictions as to where they can be placed due to clearance and venting requirements;
3) with that, you generally end up with an ugly vent pipe sticking out the side of your house;
4) they won't work in the event of a power cut unless you have a backup source of electricity;
5) you'll need a place to physically store the pellets and they must be stored properly so that they don't absorb moisture;
6) you can't carry over pellets from one season to the next because they'll absorb moisture;
7) they're noisy, i.e., the clinking of the pellets, the combustion fan, auger motor, circulation fan;
8) you have to clean the combustion pot on daily basis, empty the ash drawer weekly and clean the venting monthly;
9) once a year the stove will need to be professionally cleaned and serviced (budget $120.00 to $150.00)
10) no matter how carefully you try, a fine cloud of pellet dust will be given off each time you refill the hopper.

In addition, the supply of pellets can be spotty at times and the cost savings are generally modest. For example, an 18 kg bag of pellets locally runs between $5.50 and $6.00. Depending upon the efficiency of your stove, you net 70 to 75 kWh(e) of heat per bag which puts the cost per kWh(e) at between 7.5 and 8.5-cents. By comparison, the cost per kWh(e) for our ductless heat pumps is closer to 4.5-cents ($0.1243 per kWh divided by a seasonal COP of 2.73). Also bear in mind that a pellet stove will exhaust between 70 and 80 cubic feet of conditioned air from your home every minute -- air that you've just paid to heat.

Compared to pellet stoves, ductless heat pumps are clean, quiet, reliable, simple and safe to operate, virtually maintenance-free, and you have the added bonus of air conditioning and dehumidification should you desire it. There's also no fuel handling and storage requirements and, at least in our case, the operating costs are more favourable.


Compared to pellet stoves, ductless heat pumps are clean, quiet, reliable, simple and safe to operate, virtually maintenance-free, and you have the added bonus of air conditioning and dehumidification should you desire it. There's also no fuel handling and storage requirements and, at least in our case, the operating costs are more favourable.

What is their efficiency when the power goes out? ;)


Pretty much on par with that of a pellet stove as both are dependent upon electricity. That said, a pellet stove is a better choice under these circumstances as you have the option of running it off a generator or PV system.


But you can't cook on a ductless heat pump :-)

I'm not a big fan of pellet stoves myself. Seems like the worst of both worlds - you have to buy a "manufactured" fuel, and you need electricity to run the feed mechanism. Plus the other issues you mentioned.

Thanks Paul,

Yes, that is why I always put in the "properly operated" caveat, which includes the sue of seasoned wood.

Having just spent a week up in the BC interior cutting wood for the in-law (she uses 8 cords a year for her wood furnace!) I can personally attest to the health benefits of (collecting) wood as a fuel! The electricity supply to this little town (Nazko) comes from a 100km long, single phase 14.4kV power line from Quesnel - what do you think the line losses are on that!

The DIY part for wood fuel is a bonus, the DIY part for installations is definitely not! I think for the rural areas they are fine, as most rural folks know what they are doing with them. Agreed that for city people, the heat pumps are much better.

Also agree on all your points re pellet stoves - they could be much better looking, more reliable, lower maint etc. The Euro ones seem to be all that - for a price, of course.

As for the pellets and moisture, that is certainly the Achillies heel for this fuel. But a solution to this is at hand, and I think over the next few years we will see the availability of "torrefied" wood pellets, which do not absorb moisture, have combustion characteristics similar to coal, and can be stored outside, year over year.

Interesting presentation here from the Wood Pellet Assn of Canada on the topic;


In effect, this is where pellets "grow up" to become a really useful fuel - though I am not sure how much growth there will be in the home heating sector, but for commercial applications (e.g schools, hospitals etc in country towns) I think there is good potential here.

Then again, given that 2/3 of Canada's wood pellets are exported to Europe, that is probably where they will end up!



Relying a lot on wood heat as we do, I am skeptical about pellet stoves -- anything with a finicky mechanism that requires reliable electric supply and forces you to purchase industrially-processed fuel rings three alarm bells right there. We season our wood for 2 years before burning.

8 cords a year! holy schemoly! I think we'll be running about 1.5 to 2 cords per season in the new house, but it's a recent home with double glazing and excellent insulation. BC Hydro will be the "auxiliary" heat. Does the in-law have a huge old farmhouse with excellent (ahem) ventilation?

Previous owner of the new property was running a wood surplus from 4 acres of woodlot using mostly windfall.

That said, I'm interested in these ductless heat pumps and will look into them if they are more efficient than basic baseboards.

Keep in mind that pellet stoves are an option for those who can't handle/store firewood, and/or don't have and area suitable for a wood stove. -pellets can be handled in small lots, and the stove can be thermostatically controlled.

That said, if you are able to use wood, then it is the better option.

8 cords is a lot, but this is a 40yo log cabin, 1500 sqft and probably does have some "natural ventilation". Also, she is at 900m elevation in the Cariboo - the winters there are long and cold - probably more than 2x the heating degree days of the coast/island.
My previous house here on the coast used 2cords a year, with electric backup, and in the bedrooms/bathroom. If that whole house was done with wood I would expect at least 3cords/yr - so doubling that for the -30 winters in the Cariboo doesn't seem unreasonable.

Besides, what else can you do with all that blown down beetle kill wood?

Thanks, Paul, for sharing this; very much appreciated.

And on a lighter note, take a boo at this kijiji ad (I've taken the liberty to quote it in its entirety for fear it may disappear).

**** Now Approved by Nova Scotia Government for Rebate *********
**** Blue Energy Star Rated ****
(Can get up to as much as $1,200 back in rebates from the Government on some of the rebates they offer for the up grades to your home heating )

We have a variety of Air Conditioners and Heat Pumps to choose from for your house to heat and cool . These units will help save on power bill for heating in the winter and also keep your house cool durring them hot days in the summer . The units are all blue star rated for energy savings. There are 3 units to choose from to fit your needs at your house also and do 1000 sq feet per head.

-UTL 12,000 btu / 18,000 btu single head pre charged lines that does Heat , Cool , Dry and Auto controls with wireless remote control with sleep timer . Auto swing louvers , washable filters and 5 year compressor warrenty with 2 years parts with 6m lines. $1,400 for 12,000 btu and & $1,950 for the 18,000btu.

-TOSOT duel head units 12,000 btu per head and come with 7.5 m lines and must have a AC teck to pressure the lines. Does all your Heating , Cool , Dry and Auto controls. $ 2,300.

All prices are as if you where to instale the unit your self if need to be instaled by a Eletrician we can supply the numbere of a instaler that does the units and your price is going to be as a packaged deal for installation and unit.

Contact me for your pricing and we will get you set up with a unit.Thanks

See: http://halifax.kijiji.ca/c-buy-and-sell-home-appliances-Mini-Split-Ductl...

Owe, me head hurts.


Too funny! Is that the result of trying to put a maritime, or maybe even a Newfie accent into print?

Interesting that they are selling a DIY unit, and fairly cheap, but what is the quality of the thing?

I do expect as the ductless heat pumps get more popular, we will start to see the knock-offs appearing- but that still doesn't excuse the spelling!

I'm at a total loss to explain this one, but you're right, it does have a bit of that down-east flavour.

With respect to UTL and TOSOT, there are the great Bordeaux wines and then there's, well, Blue Nun. Personally, I wouldn't touch either of these brands or anything else that comes with pre-charged line sets -- total garbage. For comparison purposes, I paid $1,390.00 plus tax for our second Sanyo 12KHS71 which is an unbeatable value for a top-tier manufacturer. Installation by a professional, licensed HVAC technician was another $400.00.


Hmm, my neighbour just paid $3500 for a Daikin 15,000 btu unit. Took two guys half a day to do the install, so I am guessing the unit is $2500-3000. Makes your Sanyo look like a bargain!

Daikin makes a good product but their prices are a bit on the high side. IMHO, Sanyo is comparable in quality and a better value overall.

As an aside, I seem to recall reading that Daikin had some serious corporate accounting issues and that they were under investigation... not sure how that turned out.

Addendum: OK, some background on their accounting irregularities can be found at: http://www.daikin.com/press/2009/090430/index.html


Well, woodstoves are not for everyone, everywhere. However, here in rural NH, living on 15 acres of woodland, it works for me. Sure was nice during the snowstorm ;-)

Grid independence and fuel self-sufficiency are huge pluses and nothing beats relaxing in front of a wood stove on a cold winter's day. A good quality EPA-certified wood stove (preferably a non-catalytic design) properly installed, operated and maintained is pretty much the gold standard for rural dwellers. For we urbanites, it's best to stick with something that comes with a remote control.


"Our last oil fill: August 24th, 2009. Next anticipated fill: August, 2018"

Just wondering, not being very familiar with fuel oil: does that stuff have a shelf life, like gasoline, or can it be stored indefinitely?

We should be ok. Our tank is located inside our utility room and so it isn't subject to temperature fluctuations; this helps minimize condensation issues and in turn bacterial action. I've also added a fuel stabilizer/biocide as an added precaution.


How Solar Can Save Gulf Exports

I'm sorry, I don't buy it. If you add more electricity, someone's going to use it. How often have countries built new generators, then shut down the old ones? Not terribly often, I would think. I expect them to build the solar, then keep burning the oil anyway, with the electricity going to new industry or more consumer goods. They won't be able to shut off the oil electricity without causing riots.

They could implement a tiered electricity rate, with huge rate increases for increments beyond what is determined to be a 'reasonable' electricity use for a household. Make the base rate high enough to encourage conservation, coupled with a 'sub-typicsl' usage rate that is somewhat cheaper per unit of energy.

Requires thinking, planning, ensuring everone's usage is properly metered, enforcement, and someone to program the billing computers.

No warp drive nor Unobtainium required...just smart planning and strict implementation.

" ...the electricity going to new industry or more consumer goods. They won't be able to shut off the oil electricity without causing riots."

You're assuming growth continues, not likely IMO. I do agree that the remaining 'affordable' oil/energy will get burned and used, though in an effort to prevent decline, proping up BAU as long as possible.

"Growth" will not continue but "needs" will continue because population will continue to expand.

"Needs" (and entitlements) will be re-evaluated and redefined as austerity becomes a bigger part of the culture, not so bad in some ways, as those of us who've been practicing "austerity" have discovered. The economic effects will be interesting to watch, especially in energy.

Um, doesn't and expanding population imply growth?

FM - I guess we should start identifying what "growth" we're referring to. Even the US has continued growth in its population. Unfortunately job growth isn't matching it. We've had some growth in domestic oil/NG production but for how long> We're seeing a significant potential growth in retirees in the near future. A growth, though small, in PV utilization. A growth in govt debt. Etc, etc.

Just had a vision: a giant tug of war contest between these different growth factors. All the negatives pulling against the positives. With doomers cheering on their side while the cornucopians try to rally theirs. That’s pretty much the basis for most of the debates on TOD: whose “team” will persevere? And for how long?

And that brings to mind a very sad memory from many years ago. A happy day in Japan at a giant tug of war contest: a couple of thousands folks maybe trying to set a record I think. Adults, teens, children. Using a very thick rope like a ship’s mooring line. Everyone happy until the line snapped. Horrible injuries: fingers and hands amputated…maybe even a fatality or two. It looked innocent as there was very little movement. But think about the stored potential energy from thousand of folks pulling. Not sure if there is a metaphorical equivalent down the road for us with respect to energy. Global military conflict? Devastating trade wars? Rapid financial institutional breakdown for greater that we just experienced?

Just some rambling thoughts on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

But think about the stored potential energy from thousand of folks pulling.

Yes, Rock,

We could call it a form of overshoot. The fact is, all kinds of 'growth' will soon become, if they aren't already, impossible!

We are heading for contraction on all fronts and anyone who says or thinks otherwise is either ignorant of reality or being disingenuous. It's time to stop picking teams, to pull against each other, as it will only lead us all closer to disaster.

Perhaps instead of using the tug of war metaphor we need to start thinking synergetically along the lines of tensegrity spheres where all tensions are more evenly distributed among multiple nodes.

Just my own rambling thoughts on a gray, wet and blustery Sunday in south Florida. At least I had some great company, live music and good wine...



Fred - Exactly. Unfortunately with the way political discourse is degrading in this country (and maybe the rest of the globe) our "one party system" is pushing more folks to opposite ends of the rope. And inflaming the passions of the folks already online. It's very difficult for me to see anything other than an eventual catastrophic out come. Cooler heads will not prevail IMHO.

Not Japan, as far as I can find.

Taiwan 1997 - two lost arms (reattached).

Germany 1995 - two fatalities.


WARNING: very graphic image in this link:

sunny - Thanks for the details. I've reached the point where I have trouble remembering what I had for lunch yesterday.

Its pretty underwhelming actually. They want/expect to double total generation, but its a wild stretch goal to make 10% of it renewable, i.e. instead of increasing oil/electricity by a factor of two, it will only go up by 1.8times! If they really want to save the oil for export earnings they have to be serious.

Studies challenge wisdom of GOP candidates' plans

Consider proposed cuts in taxes and regulation ... "Republicans favor tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, but these had no stimulative effect during the George W. Bush administration ...

As for the idea that cutting regulations will lead to significant job growth, Bartlett said in an interview, "It's just nonsense. It's just made up."

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which tracks companies' reasons for large layoffs, found that 1,119 layoffs were attributed to government regulations in the first half of this year, while 144,746 were attributed to poor "business demand."

[Shortage of cash for employees is not the problem either]... The rating firm Moody's says the roughly 1,600 companies it monitors had $1.2 trillion in cash at the end of 2010. That's 11 percent more than a year earlier. [however] ...Small businesses rate "poor sales" as their biggest problem

This is a fine time for me to offer a response to Rockman's post a few daze ago regarding his opinion that small business owners were being choked by taxes, regulations , etc, and that this explained most of the current U.S. unemployment.

Sorry I didn't reply in a timely manner, but I was working my contracts by day and working proposals to ~3 each morning.

I think the 'taxes and regs are stifling small business and causing most of the unemployment' is a dog than doesn't hunt.

I think effects of the current tax and regulatory climate are swamped by the effects of:

1. automation

2. out-sourcing/globalization (moving manufacturing jobs from the U.S. to other countries and in turn fooling ourselves that we will prosper mostly on 'innovation' and the FIRE economy.

As our U.S. population continues on a trajectory towards ~ 400M by ~ 2050, there will be more and more people, but thanks to automation and outsourcing, the number of U.S. workers required to fulfill consumers needs will not increase commensurately, thus there will be higher unemployment.

These automation and out-sourcing trends have caused U.S. wages to stagnate, in turn adding imperative to the trend for both members of a household (man/wife, M-M, W-W, whatever)to work, which increased the labor pool and kept wages in check.

Unless more manufacturing jobs are returned to the U.S., and our population growth is stopped and indeed reversed, our unemployment will not improve and will likely increase.

What's more, I fail to see how the U.S. can support too many more 'shopkeeper'-type businesses.

We are already up to our eyeballs in a smorgasbord of retail shops of all shapes and sizes. I recall Alan from Big Easy stating that the U.S. has 3-5 times the amount of retail floorspace today as in the 1950s, and also in comparison to retail space in Europe.

How many more sub shops, pizza joints, sushi joints, Chili's-type places, Walgreen's, CVSs, Wal-Marts, etc can we support?

I don't think we can all own restaurants and all eat at each others places, nor can we all cut each others grass...we have more stuff available to buy, per capita, than ever before...

Even folks of limited means now seem to have cable TV, DISH, flat screen TVs, etc....we have plenty of folks who have too much crap stuffed in their houses and flats already!

People of moderate-to -more well-off means have multiple cars, multiple flat-screen TVs, mutiple computers, smart phones, appliances...witness the progression in televisions:

CRT>Bigger CRTS>Big HighDef CRTs >smaller LCDs >larger and high Def LCDs >LED TVs> refresh rates going from 60 Hz to 120Hz to 240 Hz...> then a company touted a new technology with ~ 64 Million colors (using a yellow LED in addition to RGB)...> then along came the train-wreck of 3-D Tv with the various formats and ~ $120 -each glasses...

VHS > DVD > Blue Ray >...?

I think we have reached 'peak stuff', and 'Peak Services' (places to eat out etc)...that, combined with automation and outsourcing and increased population, the melt-down in the housing markets, and the turbulence in the stock markets, and we have painted ourselves into a corner wrt the chimera of trying to achieve 'full employment'.

Of course there is the declining availability of cheap and easy energy underneath all of this as well...

I don't have an answer. I am not sure there are answers.

But I am pretty sure that trying to hang our unemployment woes solely or largely on this idea of big bad Obama stifling businesses with taxes and regulations is a red herring. I am pretty sure that taxes were significantly higher in the seemingly booming 1990s...

Greece’s distress is an extreme example of what happens when debt service is high but investment in the economy is insufficient. The U.S. is following along in that same path.

Re: retail floorspace Europe vs. U.S.

The 14.2 billion square feet of total retail space in the U.S., divided by a total U.S. population of 304,059,700, yields 46.6 square feet of total retail square feet per capita (includes 23.1 square feet per capita of shopping center space).

European shopping centre space is approximately 15 percent of the size of the comparable space in the United States

Excess 'retail space' is an example of why the commercial real estate mortgage market will inevitably implode.

Where I live, there is a //lot// of empty CRE, not just in run-down strip malls but in nice office towers, new speculatively-built shopping plazas, etc.

And I can't think of us in ABQ needing any more places to eat, shop, be entertained, etc.

As an aside, my wife and kids and I wondered why in the World Albuquerque had soooo many nail salons...Galaxy Nails, Pacific Nails, on and on. Women here couldn't possibly have the $$ to get their nails done that often, do they?

It was a mystery until we saw the one episode of Breaking Bad (a show, based in Albuquerque, where a beta-male high-school chemistry teacher gets cancer and starts cooking 'blue meth' to provide for his family when he is gone) in which Sal, the crooked lawyer, is helping the main character look for a business to launder the drug money, and keeps suggesting nail salons....given that ABQ is, in reality, awash in both drugs and nail salons, this seems a plausible conjecture to me.

Maybe if the gubnent just grew a brain and legalized and taxed Mary Jane (and maybe cocaine, back in 'special edition' bottles of coke (the real thing), they could knock down a lot of underworld crime and make bank on taxes...the big brother 'war on drugs' sure ain't working...never has, never will.

to kind of add to your statement here. have been doing, after being taught to do it, a spreadsheet keeping track of who i applied to, when(time and date), contact information if they provide any(few do i have to Google the company name or Google maps the branch i am applying to too get the phone number.) and followup results.

i have applied to 101 positions since everything regarding unemployment and cobra became stable for me to look for work rather then fighting to get those two. that was July this year, i was terminated in may. I have long standing issues with adhd and in face to face conversations i lack the ability to pick up most of the subtle social cues.
out of that i have had 5 interviews, 6 if you count want calling you in to do another application only asking for information they did not put as a requirement for the first one and more computer administered personality tests. another 4 to 5 have been scams.

i have barely better odds at getting a interview then winning the lottery. career builder recently added a new feature to their site, giving you information in averages of education, employed vs unemployed, and salary ranges of people applying for the positions including the number of applications sent through them to that. NONE have been under 100, and most have been well over 300. the majority of them seem to be people 'just' out of highschool

Excuse me for being overly nosey, but would you willing to share your age?
Since you mention adhd Im guessing you belong somewhere in the 20 - 30 range..

Regards from Germany

1. automation

I've been ranting on about this for about 20 years :-) A couple of trends on obvious collision course here, any fool can see the intersect (you would think).

First, a growing population. Second, a growing "efficiency" in semi-automated and automated mass production. In other words, more and more people alive and breathing (theoretically a growing market) but fewer and fewer jobs. The industrial capitalist salivates over the dream of a labour-free factory -- the very definition of "profit" and "efficiency" being the reduction of wages to as near zero as possible -- but who will buy all the products being manufactured if there are no jobs for the 99 percent? Do they ever ask themselves that, as they eliminate one wage-slave position after another?

I suspect the plutonomy model is one adaptation to the contradiction: more and more manufacturing capacity being devoted to luxury goods for the 1 percent, or at least the 5-10 percent. Everyone else is surplus to requirements. Hell, the wealthy are already getting excited about (and buying) robot vacuum cleaners etc... why hire a maid when you can own a machine? We could imagine a "New Economy" that consists entirely of rich people who own robots selling stuff to each other, with a smallish class of skilled artisans designing and repairing the robots. No niche for anyone else. [Substitute "slaves" for robots and you have a pretty good description of various earlier editions of human social order.]

NY Times on 'shadow labour force' of automation

Race Against the Machine

Automation seems doomed to fail as a grand strategy because the thing that makes human labour seem expensive is cheap fossil fuel (which enables the tremendous, staggering industrial infrastructure needed to produce robots). As the cheap fossil fuel runs out and energy in general gets expensive, the remarkable caloric efficiency of human and animal power may be rediscovered. (What am I talking about? well, your average car has at least 100 HP under the hood, often hugely more; but it sure didn't take a team of 100+ horses to pull your great-grandma to town. One would do the job! What we bought by such grotesque overkill is speed -- plus the release of a hella lot of heat and waste products of combustion.)

Another reason we need the overkill is the heaviness and leakiness of the tech, and I mean this literally as well as figuratively... Internal combustion engines are only about 10 percent efficient iirc -- 90 pct or so of the potential energy in the fuel is lost to friction (heat of various kinds, leaking out all over, unused). Then the carcass of the car outweighs the driver, passengers, cargo by a large factor -- 10:1 is quite normal and SUV trophy vehicles are far worse. So only 10 percent of the fuel energy actually moves the car (rest is lost as heat or incomplete combustion), and only 10 percent of the load being moved is actually payload (the rest is the dead weight of carcass and engine). [And we are not even counting the enormous energy inputs needed to manufacture the darned thing in the first place.] You can jigger these numbers around a bit, maybe it's 15 percent for more efficient vehicles, but you get the point. Enormous wastage.

Contrast a human on a bicycle: very little waste heat is built up in the bike's drivetrain; the human sweats and glows a bit, but only at the 25-50w level; and the vehicle weighs less than the payload, by a factor of 4:1 or better. That human can bike all year on the amount of bio-fuel needed to fill the tank of an SUV just once. ["The grain required to fill a 25 US gallons (95 L) fuel tank with ethanol will feed one person for a year." - wikipedia on "food and fuel"]

I suspect that the same is true for many automated machines in factories: they are cheaper than humans only because fossil fuel is so insanely cheap. They are actually squanderously wasteful in energy terms compared to a trained human. You could feed a warehouseful of workers for a year, I will bet, for just one month of the *energy* consumed by the automated warehouse. But the fossil fuel is sooooo cheap that the insane calorie (reality) economy makes temporary sense in money (fantasy) terms.

Things change at the point where the price of a barrel of oil starts to approximate the price of the human labour equivalent in that barrel -- *with waste, friction, and other overhead properly built in*... what I'm saying is, we shouldn't compare the gross, theoretical BTU equivalent in that barrel to the energy output of a human, but the gross BTU equivalent *minus* all the lossiness of FF-based technology. in the case of a car, maybe only 1 percent of that barrel actually moves stuff with the same direct coupling of energy input to effort output that we see when a person picks up a box and wheels it a block using a hand truck.

In other words, expensive FF spells the death of casual automation, using robots to replace human labour. It doesn't spell the end of mechanical ingenuity, of course -- just the profligate "throw more energy at it" type that we're used to.

"the same is true for many automated machines in factories: they are cheaper than humans only because fossil fuel is so insanely cheap."

But people are not cheap unless you designate them as expendable. The personal protective equipment that you need to keep them in good health in an industrial environment is not cheap, nor is the training, the confined space entry team, emergency response team, those little defibrillators all over the place, and now a whole new level of rules and equipment for arc-flash protection.

And all that training you just paid for walks out with the employee if he/she quits for any reason, or if you discovered after the training that he/she just didn't work out. And rotating shifts drive out a lot of people. So if a machine can do a given job, then by all means you use the machine. Even in war, those dashing pilots of the great wars have been replaced by robot planes. And that was supposedly the most skilled job in the military.

All that said, your fundamental point is sound; when the machines can do it all, then what will the people do? Will society come out with some form of Douglas' Social Credit, or do we end up with Pournelle's Welfare Islands?

But people are not cheap unless you designate them as expendable. The personal protective equipment that you need to keep them in good health in an industrial environment is not cheap, nor is the training, the confined space entry team, emergency response team, those little defibrillators all over the place, and now a whole new level of rules and equipment for arc-flash protection.

That was not the argument.
You seem to imply that humans are cheap to employ. Or cheap to employ when expendable.
I think that isn't what has been said. Yes, humans were too expensive to employ, that is why machines were used in the first place, when the price of energy to produce and maintain them became cheap enough.

Once the energy for those machines gets too hard to come by, human employment becomes more attractive again.
Machine work has to be replaced by human work, given that energy is falling and human population growing.

However, since humans are, as you note, also expensive, they will be designated as expendable. I belive that has been the case in most of history and is true today.
Since some jobs need a higher skill set, some people will get the expensive protection gear. There is a chance that the skillk set will "walk out of the door". But given that ressources are scare and most jobs in a low energy world are highly labour intensive there are few alternatives.
It's not a complicated model, really.
1% controll the ressources, between 10% and 20% are responsible for security and administration, the rest are expendable slaves.

All that said, your fundamental point is sound; when the machines can do it all, then what will the people do?

I was under the impression that he was saying that machines (on this scale) are doomed, because their fuel runs out.
The question what would the people do, given an energy source big enough to allow an only robot work force, remains sci-fi. It is a fun question to think about for sure. It's just not based in reality.

If there was enough energy to continue to replace every manual work with machines, I dare say the current capitalism + welfare state would continue to grow as it was for the past few years until the system encounters a different limit to it's growth, like pollution.

And if we are talking books here, I'd say that the next few years look a lot like Neuromancer or Shadow Run.

1. Automation

I agree.

Automation is the number one reason why there are fewer "jobs" and more people chasing after those fewer jobs.

Automation itself is neither bad nor good. It is simply the replacement of human brawn and brain with machine counterparts.

The question is who "deserves" what proportion of the wealth produced by automation? Just the 1% who own the machine? Or some of the people who helped bring the machine into existence?

Depending on your political/ideological point of view (PiPoV), you will have a respective answer that suites that PoV.

I suspect that the same is true for many automated machines in factories: they are cheaper than humans only because fossil fuel is so insanely cheap.

Matters not if fossil fuel became insanely expensive as machines can do things over and over the same way in dangerous locations faster than man.

2 solar panels are under $1000 and output 300 watts. For years.

200 watts is the leg output of a fit cyclist for 8 hours.

Can you feed a human for 20 years for $1000?

In other words, expensive FF spells the death of casual automation, using robots to replace human labour.

Not at all. Human labour needs training and still needs power tools to do their jobs.

As long as one has a torch or grinder at the business end - why not have a robot arm swing that power tool about with more repeatability and precision than a human does?

The U.S. Military in the Meddle East...we can check out anytime, but we can never leave...


We will be squatting down on the Gulf Cooperation Council states...somehow I think they won't be having an Arab Spring any time soon.

Until we in the U.S. reduce our military expenditures to at least a level one-half (in real dollars) of our present expenditures, I will yawn anytime I hear anyone prattle on about the U.S. deficit and debt.

And yes, I am on-board with reducing non-MIC spending in a big way as well...but only if the MIC spending will be cut at least as heavily.

Until we in the U.S. reduce our military expenditures to at least a level one-half (in real dollars) of our present expenditures, I will yawn anytime I hear anyone prattle on about the U.S. deficit and debt.

However, the far right want to eliminate SS & Medicare to provide enough funds to increase Defense spending to 1 trillion or more while also reducing deficits. I know that sounds sick but it's what keeps being expressed by one candidate or another. Cain, Perry & Bachmann want to eliminate SS & Medicare, and although Romney doesn't campaign on ending SS he does want to increase Defense to One Trillion dollars a year.

How will the numbers pan out to accomplish that while reducing deficits?
By essentially turning the country into a massive military machine, without entitlements. Once entitlements are either cut to the bone or eliminated completely, the extreme right will probably want to increase Defense spending to 1.5 trillion.

I was naive. It seemed likely that after the fall of the Berlin Wall, US defense spending could be substantially cut. However, you'll notice that Reagen is essentially considered a God by the far right. Anything and everything he said or did is considered Gospel. He was for huge defense budgets, so that persists today. He was for shifting wealth to the super wealthy and that has continued unabated via reduced taxation for the rich for 30 years. Reagen was for Deregulation, and the far right stick with that idea regardless of what happened in 08.

Unfortunately, there is no force on Earth that can ever dissuade the right from their allegiance to, their worship of Reagen and his policies. It's written in stone on some mountaintop.

Perk Earl,

I have concluded that the U.S. MIC is so powerful that we may not see significant reductions for decades...

I do not get the feeling that many U.S. folks, even among this population on TOD, support reducing MIC expenditures either...the idea of Mom, apple pie, and patriotic glorious bombers and aircraft carriers and tanks etc. is inculcated into or national psyche.

The MIC contractors have the Hill thoroughly soaked with their lobbyists and their influence money.

Don't you just love how the bums running Florida see fit to demand that poor folks who receive some measly benefit have to pee in a cup to see if they are taking illegal drugs (and these results are NOT protected like medical records...law enforcement and other can have access to them)...whilst banksters and MIC contractors who receive billions in corporate welfare do not have to pee in a cup to get their taxpayer-provided bags of gold...

I like this quip I heard John Fugelsang say on the radio:

The Rich people pay the Fox people to convince the middle class people to blame the poor people.

The MIC spending is, however, a vicious circle. I would love to see our priorities move away from it, but at this point, it would be effectively sawing through one of the heftier branches that our economy is sitting upon. It's become a self-fulfilling profit, see? (gak.. sorry, even my sense of humor is immersed in some kind of gravity-well-hell-hole. The 'General Malaise', as Dr. Evil put it, I think. I think I'll go reinvent the question mark.)

I do not get the feeling that many U.S. folks, even among this population on TOD, support reducing MIC expenditures either...the idea of Mom, apple pie, and patriotic glorious bombers and aircraft carriers and tanks etc. is inculcated into or national psyche.

True, it's as if it has been etched into the American psyche. To be american now is to presume world military domination regardless of deficits or budget reductions.

The Rich people pay the Fox people to convince the middle class people to blame the poor people.

Now that's a gem! I recently saw some Fox clips on John Stewart's show in which they were referring to the unemployed and poor as animals and racoons. I suppose if they can be redefined as less than human it will become accepted behavior to do whatever with them, because the rich people consensus is probably those racoons are standing in the way of developing a much more impressive MIC.

The number of people here proposing large (not 20% but 50%plus) cuts on TOD isn't small. I suspect the majority of TOD would probably go for something that the rest of the country would consider to be drastic.

I do not get the feeling that many U.S. folks, even among this population on TOD, support reducing MIC expenditures either.

How many do you need to support reduction? Cuz I'm all for the reduction even though that would destroy the Federal Reserve Note as the international exchange medium and make things in the US of A really really expensive as the trubutes to empire would stop.

However, you'll notice that Reagen is essentially considered a God by the far right. Anything and everything he said or did is considered Gospel.

yet if he was running today he would be considered more liberal(and thus evil in their minds) then obama. path to citizenship for the illegals? yup he did that. raising taxes? did that to. funny how we deify heads of state ignoring what they actually did and putting in myths that fit the views.

Washington is considered the father of our freedoms but did not consider blacks as human and kept slaves while he himself fought to remove the British from keeping the colony's as economic slaves.
Lincoln the great emancipator would be considered backward and racist today if he was alive today, never really considered them equal's and like all politicians once he saw the populace turning against slavery rushed to the front to pretend to lead. he himself only went as far as 'separate but equal' which was progressive for that time. Clinton has been deified on the left as the only president who could balance the budget yet people seem to forget that it was mostly economic hand-waving that would of gone bust anyway once the tech bubble burst 2000-2003 despite bush's handouts to kbr and the like called the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

To be fair to Washington, didn't he deem to free his slaves (after his death so it wouldn't inconvienence him) -or am I confusing him with Jefferson? Nevertheless a good portion of the founding fathers were slaveowners. Even more supported the expropraition of Indian lands. Face it, we just never were the enlightened city of a hill of our mythology. Slavery would have ended sooner, and I think Indians wouldn't have been as badly trampled, had we stayed under the Brits.

yea slavery was on it's way out in the world(mostly, there is still slavery going on now but under other names) when the short revival started here in the us due to the arrival of the cotton gin. what would of doomed slavery here a few years later if the civil war did not hasten things along, was the invention and application of the gas powered / motorized cotton gin. paying for, running, and maintaining two or three large machines would of been cheaper and faster then a field full of slaves and the various handlers. like how the car liberated horses from the drudgery of their short and hard work lives much to the chagrin of animal lovers.

However, the far right want to eliminate SS & Medicare to provide enough funds to increase Defense spending to 1 trillion or more while also reducing deficits.

In Debt Talks Obama Proposes Social Security Cuts

The 2012 Defense Budget is the Biggest Since World War II

Keep voting, sucker.

Keep voting, sucker.

Who am I voting for? A or B are both for huge Defense budgets, so the vote means nothing.

Yes. This is the way the Shock Doctrine works. Once it has created a bad enough crisis even a "liberal" government has no choice but to implement the program!

Keep voting, sucker.

Guess what?

If only 1 person voted what you are complaining about would keep happening.

I look forward to TOD and you still being around when a Republicrat replaces a Demopublican and you keep posting similar links.

Maybe this is a stupid question, but: why do we need to stay in the Middle East? The very value of the oil there ensures that somebody (probably the Chinese) will pick up the slack if we leave. As it is, our military presence there is already subsidizing the oil exports that head to Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world. What would be lost if the US returned to its old Monroe Doctine sphere of influence (the entire Western hemisphere, after all) and just left the dirty work in the ME to others?


Your question is quite reasonable.

My answer is that we do NOT need to be militarily involved in the ME.

Of course we are subsidizing everyone else in the World who is interested in ME oil.

The big losers from withdrawing from the ME would be the military industrial complex serving the U.S.

Ever since the Berlin Wall fell and the U.S.S.R. dissolved the U.S. MIC desperately needed another selling point to keep the funds rolling in from the taxpayers and the Treasury debt to feed our many, many, many big Daddy Warbucks and their well-compensated employees.

We got our next reason for the war machine from the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam in 1991.

In 2001 we tried, under GWB, to gin up some strife with China, culminating in the the U.S. spy plane (EP-3) that was forced to land on Hainan Island.


Then magically, along came 9-11, and the ultimate justification for zooming the MIC budgets.

Now, we have the Worldwide 'War on Terror', North Korea, and China fears being propagandized into the sheeple to justify the MIC budget juggernaut.

The folks who work for the organizations listed at the following links thank you for your tax dollars and your support of the creation of more debt to send endless big bucks their way for the rest of your lives:









I apologize to the organizations I missed, this is not an all-inclusive list!

To those who think the American MIC is endless---no, it is not. Its recent intensifying activity is more an indication of a last hurrah, the last "doubling" before collapse, the final frenzy before the fall. Like the US housing bubble or the credit bubbles around the world, the last appearance or final phase is the most active and "frothy", the cluster of action and attention is huge around it.....but it is internally quite weak and spent, lacks direction and focus and costs society more than it delivers in benefits.

So lefties out there, don't despair! The MIC not just the US one will be shutting down shop eventually, YAY.

Factoring energy efficiency into a home's value

A bill introduced Oct. 20 would force the three mortgage giants to take account of energy costs in every loan they insure, guarantee or buy. It would also require them to instruct appraisers to adjust their property valuations upward when accurate data on energy efficiency savings are available.

... [For example] a typical new home that is 30% more energy efficient than a similar-sized average house will save about $20,000 in utility expenses over the life of a mortgage. Under the Bennet-Isakson bill, appraisers would be required to add those savings to the current market valuation of the house. In this instance, Callahan says, the increase in value would be about $10,000.

India's gas demand to more than double to 473 mmscmd by 2017

NEW DELHI: India's natural gas demand is likely to more than double to 473 million standard cubic meters per day by 2016-17 with most of incremental demand coming from power plants.

Climate: which nations, cities most at risk?

Bangladesh, India and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are among 30 countries with "extreme" exposure to climate shift, according to a ranking of 193 nations by Maplecroft, a British firm specialising in risk analysis.

Five Southeast Asian nations -- Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, the Philippines and Cambodia -- are also in the highest category, partly because of rising seas and increasing severe tropical storms.

At the other end of the spectrum, Iceland, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and Estonia top the list of nations deemed to be least at risk.

also http://maplecroft.com/about/news/ccvi.html

Yup. Scandinavia is the place to be.

The Dollar’s Not Almighty Anymore

Shanghai - ... The company in question, a joint venture between a very profitable U.S. drug company and a local Chinese company, is quite profitable itself. The guy was explaining to me that his firm needed to add another factory.

You would think that it would be a simple matter of the parent company’s sending over the $50 million or so that it would cost to build the new plant and that would be that, but it turns out that the dollar is falling so fast against the Renminbi (RMB), the Chinese local currency, that no contractors or other vendors necessary for setting up a new facility are willing to accept it as payment.

The important point here is that the dollar is being viewed here in China the way people in the U.S. have typically viewed Mexican pesos or Chinese RMB...

US Dollar (USD) in Chinese Yuan (CNY) (set graph to 10y)

European Bailout Fund Could ‘One Day’ Issue Bonds in Yuan, Regling Says

Not sure why this is an issue since the US $ is convertible. If they don't have faith in the US $, they can instantly convert it to Yuan, Swiss Franc or any other currency of their choice. After the conversion, they are insulated from the fall of the US $.

" If they don't have faith in the US $, they can instantly convert it to Yuan, Swiss Franc or any other currency of their choice. After the conversion, they are insulated from the fall of the US $."

It may be more of a they want it up front problem. The Corp. wants to pay in stages as the project reaches certain defined benchmarks, while the contractors don't want to be stuck with a final payment worth much less than they thought.

This too is solvable via currency hedges or even that archaic yellow metal. But it does complicate things a bit.

The Koch Brothers: People & Power asks if the tycoon duo's fortune could put the radical right into the White House.

... The Kochs rarely talk to the press, and conduct their affairs behind closed doors. But at a secret meeting of conservative activists and funders the Kochs held in Vail, Colorado this past summer, someone made undercover recordings. One caught Charles Koch urging participants to dig deep into their pockets to defeat Obama. "This is the mother of all wars we've got in the next 18 months," he says, "for the life or death of this country." He called out the names of 31 people at the Vail meeting who each contributed more than $1m over the past 12 months.

The Kochs contributed to 62 of the 87 new members of the US House of Representatives in 2010. Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the Kochs supported have taken the lead in opposing US Environmental Protection Agency efforts to reduce global warming emissions. Other members backed by the Kochs belong to the right-wing Tea Party bloc that took the US to the brink of default in July by refusing to consider a budget deal that would include tax increases.

At the end of the atricle, there's this note:

In 2012, many believe that President Obama can raise a billion dollars for the presidential race, and break all fundraising records. But as Lee Fang of the Center for American Progress tells reporter Bob Abeshouse, in the end it may not matter "because the Koch brothers alone increased their wealth by $11bn in the last two years".

Not to mention that corporations have been declared to have the same Right of Free Speech as humans. Now, I'm really getting depressed...

E. Swanson

Not to mention that corporations have been declared to have the same Right of Free Speech as humans.

"I'll believe corporations are humans when Texas executes one"

You cannot execute a corporation.
It has no heart.
It has no soul.

But then again, there are those who believe life begins with the signing of the papers of incorporation.

in the end it may not matter "because the Koch brothers alone increased their wealth by $11bn in the last two years".

It is interesting the presumption that more advertising dollars directly correlates to number of votes attained. There is no presumption of the populace having the good sense to determine what is in their best interest independent of manipulation.

There was an ad that Bush jr.'s campaign ran against Kerry that is credited with winning the election. It played on people's fears (lizard brain response) by showing a pack of wolves, suggesting in a voice over we would be vulnerable if Kerry was president.

So even though humans have well developed neocortexes (3rd brain layer) it's often the first layer (R complex - lizard) that determines a vote by way of fear. Fear is used over and over again by the far right, and this is one of the reasons the left get behind wars and Defense budget increases to try and seem just as gung ho for keeping the people safe.

How safe do we need to be? This country is run like we expect an invasion by some massive military any day. Is that even remotely realistic? It's probably a case of being completely the opposite. Other countries probably think we are one of the most screwed up country's ever, and have no desire whatsoever of being involved in our lives.

I would refer you to JMG's latest series of articles.

There is a sort of magic in advertising and political campaigning that bypasses the rational centers of the brain. The only really effective way to fight it is to not let yourself be exposed to it too much. Most Americans spend hours a day watching TV with advertising, thus allowing themselves to be exposed.

The Bush ad was a classic, bypassing the rational centers completely if one was not armored against it, and wielding a massive assault even on the prepared.

Most people would consider it psychology rather than magic, but the effects and defenses are the same either way.

Are we facing a crisis of overpopulation?

Mao Zedong, the architect of communist China, didn't worry about over population because "every stomach is born with a pair of hands". In his view, the need to consume was balanced by the ability to produce. Chairman Mao was not the only powerful cornucopian - someone who believes that population growth is a blessing, not a curse.

Standing on the other side of the political spectrum and sharing a similar world view, was Julian Simon, a business professor and fellow at the free-market CATO institute, who passed away in 1998.

To oversimplify his arguments, Simon contended that resources are not becoming any more scarce and population growth should be celebrated; more people means more geniuses who can solve the world's problems through technology and innovative policies.

Today, it looks like Mao and Simon are out of style.

More geniuses? The ones we have aren't even listened to.. Why is hoping for a magical technical solution to materialize so popular? Because it relieves us of any personal responsibility?

Yes, that's exactly why. Because if the designated magicians can be counted on to pull the expected rabbit out of the appropriate hat just in the nick of time, then there's no need for you & me to do anything. We can just sit around and take no responsibility for our own share of the disaster, make no effort, give up no scrap of convenience, remain lazy and ignorant.

I used to say to anyone who would listen to me that ours may be the first civilisation to commit collective suicide for the sake of *convenience* -- not for some passionately insane religious belief, not for some crazy notion of glorious conquest, but for sheer dumb laziness and wallowing comfort. Because we wanted power-everything on this year's model of SUV with eight cup holders, and we wanted to get a big dose of no-effort junk food at a drive-through window without ever getting out of the SUV. That kind of thing. What a marvelous rationale for a civcrash!

And I'm not exempting myself from the roster of the lazy and comfortable. I'm emerging from that cocoon but some days it is much easier to sit around reading TOD in the warm (as I'm doing right now) rather than go out and face a brisk NW morning and get on with my preparedness/Transitional tasks for the day :-)

We wuz raised lazy and coddled by the great Fossil Fuel Expansion. Time to grow up. Waaaaah. Don't wanna. A whole civilisation may well topple in a great collective howl of Don't Wanna, like some whiny kid in the supermarket checkout line. If we're going to commit such a spectacular historical "epic facepalm" I wish it were for some more dignified and picturesque god/dess or notion. "We burned our Rome for the sake of sheer laziness" somehow doesn't have much gravitas...

Asian shares fall on caution after rally

(Reuters) - Asian shares fell on Monday, taking a breather from a nearly 10 percent rally last week after Europe laid out a basic framework to tackle its debt crisis, but the euro held steady while the dollar dropped to a record low against the yen.

One would be tempted to say this is but a temporary slip with confidence bullish towards Europe. Except the article goes on to say,

But a weak sale of Italian bonds on Friday underscored fragility of the euro zone's debt progress. The 10-year yield gap between Italian and German bonds widened after the auction to 378 basis points, about 10 bps wider on the day.

Italy paid record high cost of more than 6 percent to borrow on the debt market, in the first euro zone bond auction after policymakers struck an agreement on Thursday to slash Greece's debt burden and strengthen the European Financial Stability Facility, the region's rescue fund.

Details to implement the agreement remain unresolved, with one of the key issues being raising funds for the bailout vehicle.

"It aint over till the fat lady sings." Can anyone say Götterdämmerung?