Drumbeat: December 3, 2011

Surviving Progress

...Surviving Progress feels like a companion piece to Collapse, a 2009 doc by Chris Smith that gave investigative journalist Michael Ruppert an 80-minute platform for his views on peak oil consumption. Ruppert argued that decline in production was a speedy road to global unrest and eventual chaos, as many might agree with, but more importantly that we are at a point of no return. Very soon, believes Ruppert, we won’t even be able to make the tires to put on the cars to drive the materials around to build alternative energy resources in the first place. Collapse was perhaps a better film but Surviving Progress is harder to argue with; by gathering so many respected thinkers Crook and Roy aren’t at the mercy of one man’s personality, as Smith was. Their film is broader and less focused, but much harder to dismiss.

Top Total executives to attend World Petroleum Congress in Doha

A highlight is the keynote speech that will be delivered by Total’s President and CEO, Christophe de Margerie on the theme: “Peak oil- ahead of us or behind us?” on December 7.

A Conversation With Rob Hopkins, Transition Movement Founder

What's a sustainability trend that you wish would go away?

People saying "when the economy is back in a growth mode." Not going to happen. We need to be embracing the idea of a post-growth economy, re-imagining how we function in such an economy, and decoupling the ideas of prosperity and growth. It could well turn out to be the making of us.

Egyptian Vote Forces Islamists to Confront Their Divide Over Rule by Religion

CAIRO — To Sheik Abdel Moneim el-Shahat, the Muslim Brotherhood’s call to apply only the broad principles of Islamic law allows too much freedom.

Sheik Shahat is a leader of the ultraconservative Islamists known as Salafis, whose coalition of parties is running second behind the Brotherhood party in the early returns of Egypt’s parliamentary elections. He and his allies are demanding strict prohibitions against interest-bearing loans, alcohol and “fornication,” with traditional Islamic corporal punishment like stoning for adultery.

25 Reported Dead in Syria as Violent Clashes Continue


Key political risks to watch in Iraq

BAGHDAD: The US troop withdrawal, recent bombings by militants and an arrest campaign against former members of Saddam Hussein's banned Baath Party have sharpened tensions in Iraq. A decision by Exxon Mobil to venture into semi-autonomous northern Kurdistan set up a confrontation between the world's largest publicly traded oil company and the central government, which threatened to cancel Exxon's southern oilfield deal.

Ice halts delivery of winter fuel to Nome, Alaska

SEATTLE -- Lots of Americans are worried about gas prices this holiday season, but the town of Nome, Alaska, is facing a unique problem: With the community's small port locked in ice, the barge hauling the big winter-fuel delivery can't make it into town.

TEPCO bias clear in N-crisis examination

Outside experts investigating the crisis at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co. seem to have taken a sympathetic attitude toward TEPCO although they concluded the utility's safety measures were insufficient.

It is believed their probe into TEPCO's reaction to the accident was superficial out of concern for the potentially huge compensation claims that TEPCO faces.

High winds kill power to thousands in California

(Reuters) - Heavy "Santa Ana" winds returned to the Los Angeles area early on Saturday as over 100,000 homes and businesses lost power due to fallen trees and other damage from an ongoing windstorm.

10 most fuel efficient cars since 1984

Technology has advanced a lot, but some older models still deliver fuel economy up there with today's hybrids.

GM's model response to potential PR hell

What do you do if you are a carmaker, and your vehicles keep self-combusting? If you are General Motors, you write and call your customers personally, offer all of them free loaners, throw your resources into an intense examination of the problem, and hold a press conference to announce all these steps to the public.

China Softens Opposition to Adopting Goal on Reducing Pollution

China this week softened its opposition to making a legally binding pledge to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, opening the possibility for a broader international effort to fight climate change.

Georgia Ethanol Plant Given Guarantee Under Bush Fails as U.S. Pulls Plug

Range Fuels Inc., a cellulosic ethanol company backed by as much as $156 million in U.S. aid from President George W. Bush’s administration, is being forced by the government to liquidate its only factory after failing to produce the fuel and defaulting on a loan.

The closely held company, which counts Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder, as an initial investor, shuttered the factory in Soperton, Georgia, in January after not delivering on its promise to convert woodchips into ethanol, which was intended to help the U.S. become less dependent on foreign oil.

Crude Rises to Two-Week High Amid Concern Iranian Tensions Will Intensify

Oil rose to a two-week high to cap its first gain in three weeks amid concern that tension between Iran and the West will intensify, threatening shipments from OPEC’s second-biggest crude producer.

Futures climbed 0.8 percent after the U.S. Senate passed a bill aimed at Iran’s central bank yesterday and the European Union tightened sanctions. U.S. unemployment unexpectedly dropped in November to a two-year low, while employers added fewer workers than projected and earnings eased.

Iran Faces Oil Curbs as U.S. Targets Central Bank While EU Adds Sanctions

The U.S. Senate took aim at the Iranian central bank in an effort to choke off oil exports, while the European Union stopped short of targeting crude as it tightened sanctions intended to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

EU Widens Iran Sanctions, Remains Split on Halt to Crude Oil Purchases

European Union governments tightened sanctions on Iran in a clampdown on the country’s nuclear program, while divisions festered over a possible halt to purchases of Iranian oil.

Will Sanctions Against Iran Raise Gas Prices?

The nightmare scenario would be an additional $1.25 per gallon. Iran produces just over 5 percent of the world’s crude, which doesn’t seem like a lot. But oil demand is price-insensitive—people and businesses refuse to change their fuel-buying habits until the costs go way up. That means a reduction in supply will have a disproportionate effect on prices. In the past, price increases have been about 10 times greater than their precipitating drops in production. Based on the same historical data, and given that oil is currently hovering at around $100 per barrel, a complete shutdown of Iranian exports could force prices as high as $150. (That’s 5 percent, times the tenfold multiplier, times the current price of $100.) Since a one-dollar change in the cost of a barrel of oil usually translates to a two-and-a-half-cent surge in retail gas prices, cutting Iran off from world oil markets could increase the price of gasoline by a dollar and a quarter.

Syria Is Censured by UN Council for ‘Widespread, Systematic’ Violations

The United Nations Human Rights Council censured Syria, condemning “the continued, widespread, systematic and gross violations of human rights” by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Angolan energy minister sacked

Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos has fired Energy Minister Emanuela Vieira Lopes, blaming the disappointing development of the country's electricity sector, state news agency Angop reported on Friday.

First Nations group signs deal with Enbridge

A day after native groups rallied in a show of force against the Northern Gateway project, a hereditary chief announced that the Gitxsan people had signed on as a partner in the $5.5-billion proposal – allowing Enbridge to make good on its contention that native opposition to the company’s plans is far from unanimous.

Venezuela to boost Caribbean refining and storage

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela said on Friday it plans to boost its oil storage and refining capacity in the Caribbean while increasing energy cooperation between the 19 countries in the region that receive its crude at preferential prices.

President Hugo Chavez has spread political influence with the oil deals, which include the Petrocaribe accord and a separate agreement with socialist ally Cuba.

Transportation office looking beyond gas tax

As cars become more fuel efficient, and drivers buy fewer gallons to go the same number of miles, the state's 12-cent per gallon gasoline tax is not bringing in enough money to pay for all the projects PennDOT would like to tackle, Schoch explained.

Powering the Future: A Nobel-Prize Winner Takes a Look Deep into the Future

Have we hit peak oil? How long can we rely on cheap coal for power generation? Is hydro-fracking worth the environmental impact? To each of these pressing and controversial questions, Nobel-prize winner and Stanford physics professor Robert Laughlin would respond that, in the long run, what’s the difference?

Powering the Future: How we will (eventually) solve the energy crisis and fuel the civilization of tomorrow is Laughlin’s audacious attempt to look past the haze and uncertainty of short-term political and technical questions and predict how we’ll power our civilization in the centuries to come.

The Big Fix

The film presents experts who say that the well hasn’t been successfully capped, and that significant amounts of oil are still leaking and creating an ever-enlarging dead zone. They even imply that the death in a hot tub of the doom-saying energy investment banker Matthew R. Simmons may not have been accidental.

But the film’s most upsetting scenes are its interviews with residents whose livelihood has been decimated and whose health has been compromised. The documentary maintains that little of the $20 billion fund set up to compensate those whose lives were affected has reached them. Ms. Harrell Tickell, after spending time on Louisiana beaches, says that she herself began experiencing respiratory and skin ailments.

Japan looks to region for new nuclear business

Japan's nuclear industry hopes to recover from the Fukushima meltdown earlier this year as parliament is set to approve bilateral agreements that allow for exports, and for Japanese companies to compete for Jordan's nuclear power project.

Predictions for Cleantech in 2012

Macro-economic turbulence, collapse, or at least, reform: They’re the elephants in the room: The Occupy movement. Arab Spring. Peak Oil. The continued and growing mismatch between overall global energy supply and demand and food supply and demand. Ever-increasing debt and trade deficits. Currency revaluation or political/military developments. Any or all of these could spur another massive global economic "stair-step" downwards of the scale we saw in 2008, or worse. Concern about all of these points and the impact they’d have on the cleantech sector weighs heavy on us here.

One Third of World's Energy Could Be Solar by 2060, Predicts Historically Conservative IEA

The International Energy Agency is notoriously conservative on projections for renewable energy. The agency has embraced the need for more clean electricity and fuels to address climate change and peak oil, but its outlook for the future is usually far more conservative than how reality plays out.

So when an official at the IEA says we could get up to one third of our global energy supply from solar photovoltaics, concentrating solar power, and solar hot water by 2060, that’s a fairly big piece of news. But even that projection may be conservative.

Panel Says Chinese Imports Hurt U.S. Solar Firms

WASHINGTON — American solar panel manufacturers won a round against China on Friday when the United States International Trade Commission reached a preliminary conclusion that they were being harmed by imports.

India’s Solar-Power Bid Prices Sink to Record, Consultant Says

India drew record-low prices for solar power in an auction today of permits to build about $700 million of plants as a supply glut in the industry drives down equipment costs.

Something to get steamed up over

Geothermal power generation in Kenya has the potential to mirror the huge economic benefits of oil and gas in the Emirates, and the nation has big ambitions to achieve this.

New Pollution Rules for Boilers and Incinerators

The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday released its much-delayed and oft-revised air quality regulations for industrial boilers and incinerators. The proposal is a modest refashioning of boiler rules introduced earlier this year, which were themselves a major revision of a 2010 plan by the agency that drew heavy political and industry opposition.

Taking the Tiny House Movement Tinier

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — For many Americans who bought more home than they could really afford in the giddy days before the crash, the big-house dream has become a nightmare in the ashes of foreclosure and regret.

So after all that, how does 84 square feet sound?

FACTBOX - Carbon trading schemes around the world

(Reuters) - Companies and governments around the world are turning to emissions trading as a weapon to fight climate change and join a global carbon market worth $142 billion last year.

UN Climate Envoys Weigh Aid Measures

Envoys at United Nations climate talks are working on measures including aid to developing nations, funds to help adapt to more extreme weather patterns and forest protection, according to a text released today.

Top UN official confident rich nations will renew Kyoto Protocol’s CO2 pledges

DURBAN, South Africa — The top U.N. climate official said Saturday she is confident industrial countries will renew their pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions after their current commitments expire next year.

Paul MacCready on nature vs. humans

Food for thought this morning. According to the late Paul MacCready, 10,000 years ago at the dawn of agriculture, humans and their animals, pets and domestic, were less than one tenth of one percent of the land and air vertebrate mass of the earth. Today humans and their animals are 97 percent of the land and air vertebrate mass of the planet. That stat is given about 1.5 minutes into this 23 minute TED Talk.

That is a sobering statistic. We have taken over the earth and are crowding out all other large vertebrates. That is what the word "anthropocentric" means, only humans count. No other species really matters. Most of them will soon be extinct… So what?

Of course most people do care, and would not like it to be that way… but it just is. In Africa the population is still growing very fast and the animal population is declining very fast. Bush meat is a large part of their diet. Animals are for eating. All over the earth the human mass, and their animals, is growing and expanding their territory. All over the earth the all other animals are in swift retreat.

Peak oil will greatly accelerate this process as more and more forest land is cleared to grow biofuel crops. Already Orangutans of Borneo are doomed to extinction to make way for palm oil plantations. We need fuel a lot more than we need them dumb old orangutans. :-(

And that is largely the message most peak oilers post whether they realize it or not. We must mitigate peak oil. Biofuels must replace petroleum. In other words we must destroy the earth in order to save it.

Ron P.

A new word -- Anthropocene -- has actually been proposed to describe the time period Humanity has affected the environment.


more on this topic from the Stockholm Resilience Centre. http://stockholmresilience.org/seminarandevents/seminarandeventvideos/th...

Thanks Jim, this was a great lecture after we got through with the introductions. And some of the other lectures look great also but I have not listened to them yet.

Ron P.

Glad you got through the introduction ok....it was a long one. Here is another good video on "what is resilience" without the lengthy intro. http://www.stockholmresilience.org/seminarandevents/seminarandeventvideo...
The stockholm resilience centre is doing a lot of good work and helping to better educate people about our world situation. Ecological Economist and 2009 Nobel Laureate in Economics, Elinor Ostrum, is on their board. They also do an annual nobel laureate symposium http://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/researchnews/thebestofthenob...
and created the Stockholm Memorandum in May of 2011. They have a ton of good videos and podcasts available for free on their site.

Whew!! Quite a splash in the punch bowl!!
But I'm betting the cornucopians will continue filling
their cups faster than ever.

A Cartography of the Anthropocene

Here is the definition (more or less impressionistic) we propose for the Anthropocene:

"A period marked by a regime change in the activity of industrial societies which began at the turn of the nineteenth century and which has caused global disruptions in the Earth System on a scale unprecedented in human history: climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution of the sea, land and air, resources depredation, land cover denudation, radical transformation of the ecumene, among others. These changes command a major realignment of our consciousness and worldviews, and call for different ways to inhabit the Earth."

Behind the name lie the challenges of our time. This concept illustrates and groups together the main agents that shape our planet, who literally engrave its surface—it is the anthroposphere, the human layer that grows inside the biosphere. ...

By locating the structures and hotspots of human activity, by acknowledging the extent of our footprints and our facilities, perhaps we will glimpse the limits of our world and the importance of redefining what it means to live in and on it.

Be advised: The page is heavy with large images and slow to load, but well worth the wait.


Thanks Jerry, this one's a keeper.

Ron P.

Isn't it cool to be a plague species, and a sentient (well maybe semi sentient) one at that?

Interesting times ahead!

Agent Smith (Matrix): "I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure."

That is a sobering statistic.

But is it true?

97% is a big number. And there are many squirrels, songbirds, and other 'wild' critters.

And some critters are not really "mans" - the big cats, buffalo, and rhino's are hardly "Man's" critters.

I'd like to see the raw data and methodology.

Most interesting, what you say, because it can be visualized as a giant wave, propelling humans and their animals into the place where they are utterly supreme in mass over the others, yet....waves always crest and imply that the trough is also near at hand.

So probably these centuries dominance of our species will be followed by centuries of just the opposite, when we will lose population and find ourselves without the wherewithal to grow. Human populations are already dropping in some countries, and it is hard not to think of these countries as just the leading edges. They are. People try as hard as they can to have as many kids as they can....yet they cannot increase the birthrate to where it passes the deathrate. I see it because I live in one of those countries. It is enormously difficult to afford more than one or two kids, and even a small family is impossible for many, who stay single and live lightly so that they don't get in over their heads. Meanwhile an enormous number of elderly are dying off slowly, their numbers cannot be replaced, try as everyone might.

So the wave crests at different places at different times...
The trough may be long and last centuries. Yet we can imagine there will still be lots of good times to be had by many people, population dropping doesn't mean mass clinical depression.

Had to laugh at the estimate of the effect of Iran on the oil price... how to get a number basically right in spite of yourself...

It is the fraction of exports that matter.... ~ 2 mmbpd out of 41 or call it 5% of available oil.. given a 16% price inelasticity suggests that with out Iran crude would be about $180 ceteris paribus

How long do you think oil (tanker deliverable) will stay above $130 per bbl?? No more than a month before the economy grinds to a halt....

Taking Iran in isolation is probably a wrong approach. If there's enough violence to stop Iranian exports, then there's a better than even chance they'd do something to stop Iraq, and at least threaten the Straits of Hormuz.

Which would be enough to break down any order in the market - SPR, depression & gas coupons plus who knows what instead.

Saudis to spend $66B to boost water supply:


Increasingly, the kingdom is using hydrocarbons for power generation, including the energy-intensive desalination plants that are the main source of water.

As more and more oil and natural gas is diverted to generate greater amounts of electricity as the demand for power swells amid industrialization and a burgeoning population, the amount available for export, Saudi Arabia's economic lifeblood, shrinks.

The International Energy Agency has estimated that Saudi Arabia's rate of direct crude burning more than doubled in 2008-10 because of the rapid increase in demand for electricity and a shortage of natural gas.

Just how much of that went to desalination isn't known but the experts believe it was significant.

And The Dirtiest Job on the Internet:


Moderators (or “mods,” as some call them) can earn anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000 annually, but need to be prepared for daily exposure to humanity at its vilest. Extreme racism and bigotry, images of pedophilia, and even personal threats are all too common. Littleton, who has even had her home address and phone number posted by disgruntled commenters, makes sure new recruits undergo extensive background checks. “You need good common sense, and you need a really thick skin,” she says.

The strain can take its toll. Although nasty comments make up less than 10% of what appears online, according to Littleton, the bad apples are what moderators are paid to deal with. A significant number of new hires with ICUC last less than two weeks. To cope, moderators work on sites in short shifts, flipping between forums prone to maliciousness (news stories about Israel, say) and something more joyful (LEGO fan pages).

We're lucky around here - TOD moderation is mostly fun and educational!

Best to all,

Yowsa, sorry you have to put up with this garbage.

Just to make sure it gets said: Thanks for doing it!

I find the moderation here capricious and heavy handed. Comments that are not the least bit offensive get deleted for no apparent reason. If this forum is so "fun and educational" then why don't you lighten up?


It's not necessarily her doing. Others on staff also remove comments, and comments also disappear if they receive a lot of flags from regular users. Once that happens, all replies to the removed comment also disappear. So yes, that means sometimes comments that were perfectly fine are removed. We thought about it a lot, and it was just too confusing, to leave the replies if the original comment is gone. Not least because the replies then appear to be addressed to the next comment up, which has caused heated misunderstandings in the past.

If you have questions about why comments are removed, you can e-mail me privately to ask.

If I double post should I delete the content in the top one, bottom one or leave them to the friendly team? I remember you saying once but I forgot.

Leave the top one. If you leave the top one, when the lower one is removed, any replies to it will appear to be to the first one.

Also, I always remove the later post, so if you do, too, we won't cross-post, and accidentally end up removing both.

I really miss the old Campfire feature, which allowed us to ramble a lot farther afield, but taken all the way around TOD is even better than it used to be now that it is more tightly moderated.

A flame war can be fun, when both parties are good enough to be considered insult artists, but unfortunately that sort of thing
puts bunny rabbits and cockroaches to shame when it comes to crowding out the competition for space.

I seldom ever bother to post a comment on any other site because this one is the only one I know of worth the bother.There is no point in trying to share whatever expertise you may possess with people too ignorant or prejudiced to understand what I have to say. Here there are always people posting comments that help me understand the nuances and complexities of the subject at hand,and ready to throw a bright light on my many blind spots for me when I engage my mouth before putting my brain in gear.

If flame wars and insults were freely tolerated, the many members who post extensive commentary well worth a thinking person's time would drift away in short order and before long TOD would be just another so so site unable to attract the best writers and maintain the interest of the perceptive and articulate people who make the site what is.


It's a special place and I'm humbled and honored to be a part of it.


TOD is polite place isn't it? I don't post here very often but I still follow most of what is going on here....

Sometimes the debate on a blog site can be a little nasty, but if you persevere, you can slowly shift opionion...

If I post, it is mainly at Zerohedge now where I am one of leading proponents of PO. When I started there it was clearly a minority opinion. Now you will see EROEI being discussed and the deniers and cornucopians are in the minority. I can assure you that the change was not brought about by only having the facts and data but by being able "street fight" as well. The exchanges were at times vicious, definately not for "Mixed Company"...

For what its worth, I think that having ZH in the "peak oil" camp helps in the quest to find that 100th monkey a lot more than me adding minutae to the discussions here....

Agreed. This place is special. The only one I check in every day (except week ends, when I am away and don't have internet access). My posting freqency is declining though; I have got answears to most questions I had and have less and less to say. But I still read most of the stuff here.


Please keep the posts coming - I always enjoy them, and the non-American view that you and the other Euro posters provide.

Ha! Juuuust wait! You will soon regret this comment of yours! And even will have to work moderation overtime!!
Just watch me!!!!

TROLL SYSTEMS(TM) OS reconfiguration started...
personal attacks ................................................. < enabled >
ad hominem attacks .......................................... < enabled >
trolling par excellence ....................................... < enabled >
"yo mama is so [insert some nasty stuff]"...... < enabled >
System reconfiguration completed in 0.0031 ms

Just kidding. ^^ O:-) *angelic face*

(^^^) [FB shark]

Truly, even with the constraints of how comments are removed here at TOD, the proportion of deletes to comments is quite small - a tip of the hat to members and staff for their restraint!

Perhaps we should should do some graphs to illustrate this proportion sometime. . .


Perhaps we should should do some graphs to illustrate this proportion sometime. . .

Of course, if you do that, we'll all be trying to figure out when Peak Snark occurs...



Of course, if you do that, we'll all be trying to figure out when Peak Snark occurs...
~ Canuckistani

Probably close to 100% correlation with peak human population.

For the incredible diversity of controversial topics and tangents that we inevitably go off on at this site I think it comes across as one of the more civilized sites I've encountered on the net. There are probably far nastier exchanges over recipes on a Martha Stewart blog - not that I would know for sure :)

Even heated debates here rarely take a turn toward personal attacks - something that happens in about the first 20 comments of nearly any other site out there...

Even heated debates here rarely take a turn toward personal attacks - something that happens in about the first 20 comments of nearly any other site out there

I've seen that all too often on other sites. It really requires a willingness to delete or even ban center characters to avoid things going to heck in a handbasket. Especially in the energy arena, there are plenty of trolls paid or otherwise, whose objective is to ruin/derail the discussion.

President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology meet on Shale Gas Production (in secret?)

The next President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology [PCAST] meeting is January 6, 2012. It will take place at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC

During this open meeting, PCAST is scheduled to hear from speakers who will provide an overview of a Secretary of Energy Advisory Board report on shale gas production, and an overview of the activities of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State.

PCAST will hold closed meeting of approximately 1 hour with the President on January 6, 2012, which must take place in the White House for the President’s scheduling convenience and to maintain Secret Service protection. This meeting will be closed to the public because such portion of the meeting is likely to disclose matters that are to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy

IMO, there should be /Nothing/ about shale gas production prospects which merits being classified.

I sincerely hope numerous folks conduct Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for disclosure of the minutes and presentation materials from this 'closed' meeting.

A FOIA request in NOT a guarantee that the information will be releases, not by a //Long// shot.

In fact, classification of information by an 'Original Classifier' is exempt automatically from FOIA access...but it still sends a message if folks file FOIA requests.



Government for the people, of the people, and so forth?

What do you expect ... Yergin is on the Subcommittee

Secretary of Energy Advisory Board Second Ninety Day Report – November 18, 2011

The Subcommittee’s charge is not to assess the balance of the benefits of shale gas use against these environmental costs.

Rather, the Subcommittee’s charge is to identify steps that can be taken to reduce the environmental and safety risks associated with shale gas development and, importantly, give the public concrete reason to believe that environmental impacts will be reduced and well managed on an ongoing basis, and that problems will be mitigated and rapidly corrected, if and when they occur.

Initial Ninety-Day Report – August 11, 2011 including twenty recommendations

... Both methane and ozone precursors are of concern. Methane leakage and uncontrolled venting of methane and other air contaminants in the shale gas production should be eliminated except in cases where operators demonstrate capture is technically infeasible, or where venting is necessary for safety reasons and where there is no alternative for capturing emissions. When methane emissions cannot be captured, they should be flared whenever volumes are sufficient to do so. [I recall there was a Presentation at ASPO-USA 2011 Conference on this subject]

OBTW, Diesel will probably be banned from hydrofraking fluid

S – A couple of personal observations. First: “the Subcommittee’s charge is to identify steps that can be taken to reduce the environmental and safety risks…”. In Texas and La that responsibility falls solely in the hands of the state regulators. I’m not clear how the feds would interject themselves into the process in these states…there exists no fed regulations for drilling activity. But there are states, like Kentucky, that did abandon such responsibilities. When I drilled in KY all my environmental and pollution controls were regulated by the EPA out of Atlanta. Just mailed the paper work to them. To the best of my knowledge the EPA had no inspectors in KY so they had no way to know if I complied with the regs. So I wonder how they plan to compel the oil patch to follow the risk reducing steps: the non-existent EPA inspectors or the Texas Rail Road Commission and the La. Conservation Commission that have ruled over such issues with an iron fist for decades.

Second: “…uncontrolled venting of methane…in the shale gas production should be eliminated except in cases capture is technically infeasible, or where venting is necessary for safety reasons and where there is no alternative for capturing emissions". Not sure how to interpret that statement. My first impulse is to assume they have confused venting of NG with flaring. Venting is releasing the NG directly to the atmosphere without burning it. Besides the fact that methane is a much worse GHG then the combustion products of flaring it, venting is one of the most dangerous oil patch activities around. It should never be allowed under any circumstances. When a drilling well takes a NG kick most systems are designed to flare the NG and not vent it. I’ve been on more than one rig that vented NG hile drilling and the procedure is simple: shut the well in or activate the BOP and RUN LIKE HELL. The most powerful non-nuclear weapon on the planet is the fuel/air bomb: essentially vented hydrocarbon gas that is ignited when it’s disbursed into the atmosphere.

I’m not sure what’s more condemning: that in a statement released to the public no one caught the goof or that they actually believe what the statement says.

BTW: why would they band diesel in a frac job? It's not the nastiest portion of the brew by any means. And in many trends a large portion of the production stream will be natural diesel. The amount used in a frac job will likely be much less than 1% of the production from these wells. An Eagle Ford well that recovers 150,000 bbls of oil the first year will have flowed over 1 million gallons of Mother Earth's diesel from the fractures during that period. If worried about ground water pollution with diesel you need to monitor production activity more closely than the frac'ng process IMHO.

What the report actually says is:

Reduction in the use of diesel fuel: The Subcommittee believes there is no technical or economic reason to use diesel in shale gas production and recommends reducing the use of diesel engines for surface power in favor of natural gas engines or electricity where available.

Of course, there is no environmental reason NOT to use diesel fuel in a frac job (you're just putting the diesel back where it came from), so what the committee is really saying is that they want the oil companies to conserve diesel fuel, not that they think it is an environmental hazard.

And of course, the vast majority of diesel fuel is used in highway trucks. In my experience, oil companies will use natural gas in their engines wherever it is available because it's a lot cheaper than diesel fuel, so the committee is recommending that oil companies do what they already prefer to do.

I would prefer that people use electric trains to transport goods rather than diesel trucks, but that is probably a concept that is too far out there for this committee.

RMG - what the report said (pg 25 of 41)

Eliminating the use of diesel as an additive to hydraulic fracturing fluid.

The Subcommittee believes there is no technical or economic reason to use diesel as a stimulating fluid. Diesel is a refinery product that consists of several components possibly including some toxic impurities such as benzene and other aromatics. (EPA is currently considering permitting restrictions of the use of diesel fuels in hydraulic fracturing under Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) Underground Injection Control (UIC) Class II.)

Diesel is convenient to use in the oil field because it is present for use fuel for generators and compressors. Diesel has two uses in hydraulic fracturing and stimulation. In modest quantities diesel is used to solubilize other fracturing chemical such as guar. Mineral oil (a synthetic mixture of C-10 to C-40 hydrocarbons) is as effective at comparable cost. Infrequently, diesel is use as a fracturing fluid in water sensitive clay and shale reservoirs. In these cases, light crude oil that is free of aromatic impurities picked up in the refining process, can be used as a substitute of equal effectiveness and lower cost compared to diesel, as a non-aqueous fracturing fluid.

Well, it's true that there is no technical reason to use diesel fuel in fracturing since mineral oil will serve the same purpose. However the report notes:

One of the commonly perceived risks from hydraulic fracturing is the possibility of leakage of fracturing fluid through fractures into drinking water. Regulators and geophysical experts agree that the likelihood of properly injected fracturing fluid reaching drinking water through fractures is remote where there is a large depth separation between drinking water sources and the producing zone. In the great majority of regions where shale gas is being produced, such separation exists and there are few, if any, documented examples of such migration.

The real issue with diesel fuel is surface leaks, which can easily get into surface water, and these are common at old oil refineries and filling stations.

I doubt that any oil company will sell decommissioned refinery site any more - they will convert it into a truck terminal or some other use which will keep people from testing the soil. Old service stations are a real problem because they are everywhere and the old underground tanks often leaked. In both cases the biggest problem is not diesel fuel but the old gasoline which used to contain tetraethyl lead. Lead contaminated soil is very difficult to clean up.

uncontrolled venting of methane…in the shale gas production should be eliminated except in cases capture is technically infeasible, or where venting is necessary for safety reasons and where there is no alternative for capturing emissions". Not sure how to interpret that statement. My first impulse is to assume they have confused venting of NG with flaring.

Later on they say,

Ozone precursors should be reduced by using cleaner engine fuel, deploying vapor
recovery and other control technologies effective on relevant equipment." Wyoming’s
emissions rules represent a good starting point for establishing regulatory frameworks
and for encouraging industry best practices.

So they're telling you to use cleaner fuel in your engines and put vapor recovery units on your storage tanks rather than letting them vent to the atmosphere. (You do use VRU's on your storage tanks, don't you?)

If you have any questions, see Wyoming's regulations. I don't know what they are but I suspect they are awfully similar to Texas

People are implying this is some kind of huge departure from conventional oil/gas company practice, and I don't see that it is.

Thanks Rocky. I took the excerpt at face value. And yep...been using VRU's for over 25 years. Makes some nice pocket change.

Sounds like this committee may be very successful given they're making recommendatins for the oil patch to do what its been doing for some time.


The subcommittee was definitely talking about venting of methane, not flaring - it wasn't a goof.

Here is a white paper by Robert W. Howarth · Renee Santoro · Anthony Ingraffea Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations that is background to a presentation at the ASPO-USA 2011 Conf. in DC last month. They had some pretty impressive video of methane venting.

Shale gas is extracted by high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Large volumes of water are forced under pressure into the shale to fracture and re-fracture the rock to boost gas flow. A significant amount of this water returns to the surface as flowback within the first few days to weeks after injection and is accompanied by large quantities of methane (EPA 2010). The amount of methane is far more than could be dissolved in the flow-back fluids, reflecting a mixture of fracture-return fluids and methane gas. We have compiled data from 2 shale gas formations and 3 tightsand gas formations in the U.S. Between 0.6% and 3.2% of the life-time production of gas from wells is emitted as methane during the flow-back period (Table 1). We include tight-sand formations since flow-back emissions and the patterns of gas production over time are similar to those for shale (EPA 2010).

More methane is emitted during “drill-out,” the stage in developing unconventional gas in which the plugs set to separate fracturing stages are drilled out to release gas for production.

Combining losses associated with flow-back fluids (1.6%) and drill out (0.33%), we estimate that 1.9% of the total production of gas from an unconventional shale-gas well is emitted as methane during well completion.

Are you suggesting that political considerations are distinct from national security?


Russian oil production slipped 0.1 percent in November

Russian oil production slipped 0.1 percent in November from October’s post-Soviet record, failing to climb for the first time in five months.

Output in the world’s largest crude-producing nation fell to 10.34 million barrels a day last month, according to preliminary data from the Energy Ministry’s CDU-TEK unit.

Exports rose to 5.57 million barrels a day in November, an increase of 5.1 percent from the previous month and 4.3 percent from a year earlier.

Russia still pumps more oil then Saudi Arabia? MSM still seems to never mention that fact (if it is indeed right).

On a crude and condensate basis, Saudi Arabia is a bit ahead of Russia in July and August 2011, but not prior to that. I think most comparisons are on this basis. August 2011 was Saudi Arabia's highest production month in a long time, at 9,940,000 bpd. Russia's was 9,832,000 bpd in August 2011.

On an all liquids basis, Saudi Arabia has been ahead since April 2010. Saudi Arabia has more natural gas liquids than Russia, so it is more often ahead on this basis than on a crude oil basis.

Here are the numbers for recent Saudi and Russian net oil exports (BP, total petroleum liquids):

Saudi Arabia & Russia respectively, mbpd:

2005: 9.1 & 6.8
2006: 8.8 & 6.9
2007: 8.3 & 7.1
2008: 8.5 & 6.9
2009: 7.3 & 7.1
2010: 7.2 & 7.1

Their combined net oil exports increased from 12.2 mbpd in 2002 to 15.9 mbpd in 2005 (an 8.8%/year rate of increase), but then fell to 14.3 mbpd in 2010 (a 2.1%/year decline rate). At their 2002 to 2005 rate of increase in net oil exports, they would have shown combined net oil exports of 25 mbpd in 2010.

Considering the world economic conditions since 2005 it is no suprise that exports have not grown at the earlier rate. Even in the economic conditions prior to 2005 I suspect that 25 mbpd today would have crashed oil prices.

Is "exports have not grown at the earlier rate" Newspeak for "exports have declined by 1.6 Mbpd"?

Goldman Sachs forecast the price of Brent crude oil at $130 a barrel in 2013

Goldman Sachs forecast the price of Brent crude oil at $130 (U.S.) a barrel in 2013, saying crude will continue to rise even in a poor economic growth environment.

Making public its 2013 forecast for the first time, the firm also predicted the price of U.S. crude (WTI) CL-FT at $126 a barrel in 2013, saying the WTI-Brent spread was likely to narrow further as the U.S. Seaway pipeline’s capacity rises to 400,000 barrels a day.

“We continue to view the crude oil market as navigating between the currently tight physical oil markets and the threat that the European debt crisis could trigger a global economic recession in the near future, which would lead to a sharp drop in oil demand,” analysts said in a note.

North Mexico wilts under worst drought in 70 years

DURANGO, Mexico - The sun-baked northern states of Mexico are suffering under the worst drought since the government began recording rainfall 70 years ago. Crops of corn, beans and oats are withering in the fields. About 1.7 million cattle have died of starvation and thirst.

Hardest hit are five states in Mexico's north, a region that is being parched by the same drought that has dried out the southwest United States. The government is trucking water to 1,500 villages scattered across the nation's northern expanse, and sending food to poor farmers who have lost all their crops.

Texas drought leaves heartbreaking toll of abandoned horses


Edit: As an additional comment, not intendied to minimize the current plight of horses or owners, the US is only a short time away from allowing horse slaughter again. Articles have been floating about recently, I'm sure most have read them. If slaughter were allowed now, the equine situation in the SW wouldn't be near as rough. Without slaughter, it's prohibitively expensive to do anything with a horse. Legally, the vet here can not even put it to sleep w/o expensive cremation. This is to prevent the poison from being absorbed by eagles, coyotes and your basic carrion team. Shooting is allowed, but not many owners are emotionally able to shoot their horse.

The drumroll of drought stories just marches on. The rainfall deficits spread north, east. You think it will ever begin to sink in?

I don't see any reason the vet shouldn't shoot the horse if the cowboy is too big a wimp.Seriously, only a very , VERY few of these horses are apt to be somebody's pet.

Only an idiot with nothing better to do than to puff himself or herself up into a tizzy of self righteous holier than thou moral outrage would even give the slaughter of horses a second thought.They are prettier than pigs, but not half as smart.I strongly suspect that about ninety percent of all the so called "horse lovers" in this country have never owned a horse and that fifty percent of them have never even ridden one.

It's insane that we are spending significant time and resources on such a trivial issue with the country-and the rest of the world- headed to hell in a hand basket.

I have no idea what it costs to cremate a horse but including euthanasia and transportation to the crematorium I wouldn't be surprised if it cost a couple of grand or even more.Meanwhile people and lapdogs and kitties are starving for lack of cheap food while abandoned horses are dying of thirst and starvation or predation by coyote and dog packs.

If anybody in my neighborhood needs a horse put down I will take care of the job in an instantaneous , humane and dignified way gratis, but burial will be extra at regular hourly backhoe rates..

We are in living in times time such that we must forget touching but futile endeavors such as finding homes for tens of thousands of useless hay burners, and it is way past time we as a society realized this sad simple truth.

We will soon be having trouble enough finding homes for tens of thousands of people in the same predicament as the horse-both the horses and the people are the flotsam and detritus of a consumer economy on its last legs.

Survivors-realists- will learn to deal with such problems and stomp their own snakes. Shrinking violets will find themselves in very deep doo doo when they no longer have the money to pay others to do their dirty work.

It's all Bambi's fault ... at some point in the AWD (After Walt Disney) era, the vast majority of the TV-watching boomer middle class (and their brain-dead offspring) decided that nature was cute, and that culling was bad. Such is life.

Would you shoot your wife.....don't answer that.

Kidding aside, the bonds between horses and people can be extremely deep. Especially for those "cowboys" that still work on their horse. Not many, but there are still wranglers who are working horseback 10-12 hours a day, not counting feeding, care. And they don't care to put down horses, esp their own. Horse whisperers come and go, but the ties that develop over the years of working daily on and with a horse are immense. Some can put it down, most won't.

I thought I could, after 28 yrs, put down my wife's horse. Nope. I had a neighbor do the chore. A cowboy. Said no problem, that he had to get another cowboy, Randy, to do his. I imagine I'll probably do Randy's. And I buried my wife's horse, with the help of a backhoe. Might have made more sense to drag it into the valley, let the carrion team have at it. But I hate giving the coyotes a reason to hang around, they take enough sheep as it is.

Allowing horse slaughter in the country is long overdue. For the insanity of not allowing it, for all the edible reasons people give below. You're correct, it is a sign of times, that we must concern ourselves with such in the midst of so many other problems.

And it won't do one iota to bring the rain.

How about stray dogs/cats? Eat them too? A horse with serious health problems should be put down and sent to the figurative glue factory (cremation is a waste). A horse that's done faithful service for 20 years and is still relatively healthy but not useful should be put out to grass, with partial medical. But we don't take good care of our human pensioners, let alone our equine ones. This is not yet because we cannot, simply because we will not. When do we start with the ice floes? People are hungry, not because we close slaughterhouses, or are already resource constrained, but because we put the profits of racketeers above the prevention of poverty.

P.S. I've eaten dog and horse in the homes of friends from native cultures. It doesn't mean Americans should start eating dog, horse, and grasshoppers.

P.P.S. My brother (Southern Oregon) and uncle (Montana) are both in the category of under-employed with too many horses. Thankfully they both have adequate pasture/hay. Vet bills are a problem.

There should be no law against eating dogs.

Whether one chooses to is a cultural choice.

Some cultures do eat dog.


Yes, see my original comment where I admit to having eaten dog myself, in exactly that context.

It hasn't been illegal to eat horse either, only to sell or slaughter commercially.

What is wrong with slaughtering horses for food?

There is nothing wrong with horse-meat, and it seems to be a fairly common meat in Europe (but probably not in England, given their love of horses).
We have over 20 of them (my wife teaches riding) and when their time is up, it's a problem.

Years ago if a horse died, we'd call the dead-stock guy and he'd take it away for free and sell the carcass to a pet food facility.
Now they charge us over $100 to take it away, so the last few times I've dug a hole (but soon that will be illegal, I expect).

This article gives some info on legal aspects, etc:

One of the few butchers which is/was permitted to sell horse-meat is in St. Jerome, Quebec. I bought a steak and some burger there in the late 1970s and both were excellent.
My wife would not accept a nibble.

It was the in thing here in in Ireland to own a race horse or buy a pony for kids before the recession hit. They were then been abandoned as owners could not afford to feed/keep them. Latley any that are disease/drug free certified by vet are been slaughtered and exported to france for human comsumption. the rest are either going for dog food or rendered for animal meal . It is ilegal to bury dead animals since BSE outbreak in early 90's as far as i understand

Marvin Harris discussed this in his book, The Sacred Cow and the Abominable Pig, since re-titled Good To Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture. He has almost a EROEI view of food.

In any case, he argues that the US doesn't eat horsemeat because of our history. Pork and beef were much easier to raise for meat than horses were. For that reason, horsemeat wasn't inspected for safety the way pork and beef were, and it got the reputation of being dangerous. Even now, people worry that horses are often medicated in a way that cattle and pigs destined for human consumption would never be. In fact, many Americans did eat horsemeat, often without knowing it. It was sold as sausages and ground beef to unsuspecting consumers before FDA inspection started, and until the '70s, was used in canned dog food, which was sometimes eaten by people who could not afford meat otherwise.

Yes, part of the reason we don't eat "Belmont steaks" in the U.S. is horse lovers. But we don't have more of those than Europe does. The real opposition has come from the powerful beef and pork industries. They're the ones with the clout to keep horsemeat off American tables.

Interestingly, the last time horsemeat was a major issue here was in the '70s - when the energy crisis had people looking for cheap protein.

T Boone Pickens bought Congress (see campaign contributions & lobbyists) to ban horse slaughter for meat (human or animal consumption). With horrible consequences for no longer wanted horses.

many stories of horses left hitched to someone else's horse trailer, starving horses, etc.

Hopefully, after T Boone dies, the law can be reversed.


Funny enough that he is nicknamed after a Steak, huh?

(PS Alan, we didn't get our 'Streetcar Mayor', surprise surprise, but thanks for the help.)

Hopefully, after T Boone dies, the law can be reversed.

He did it for his wife who is a lot younger and loves horses. She is not going to die for a long time.

This is quite crazy.

Especially the idea than a multi-billionaire can buy a law as a present for his wife.

Which he quite literally did !

Not Much Hope for American Democracy,


Interesting connection between horsemeat and peak oil. I heard of another link to peak oil.

Over Thanksgiving, a guy working the Bakkens stopped by. I was talking some of my problems selling lamb, he said he had the buyer. This guy over in Dakota was paying $18-$20/lb for lamb, and alot for horsemeat. (Not that the 2 are anywhere near synonymous in my mind) Anyway, this guy, a hand in the field, was buying horse on the hoof, and had slaughtered one in the lady's front yard. Maybe it's just an oilfield tale, maybe not.

I have had to put down an old pet dog-a faithful companion for years-and I found it hard to do.It would have been a relief to get somebody else to do it for me, but the dog was in very bad shape after being hit by a car and had no chance of recovering, and nobody else was handy.

My grandparents always put old horses and mules out to pasture reasoning that they had earned their retirement.

I do not advocate putting down work horses, or companion animals that have earned their keep until such time as they are in obvious pain or unable to eat and move around ok and so forth.

It is interesting to note that my maternal grandparents (who were not dairy farmers) always chose to sell the one or two dairy cows they kept for family needs, rather than slaughtering them when they got too old.They were too fond of them after milking them for years to eat them, but not fond enough to bear the expense of keeping them once they were past a productive age.They had no compunction about "fixing"
a bull calf and eating the resulting steer once it grew to a suitable weight.

Personally I question whether the meat packing industry has found it necessary to expend significant time or energy on preventing the slaughter of horses;it seems to me that numerous msm media writers, editors, and producers desperate for human interest stories to fill in the cracks between the ads have very conveniently saved the beef and pork industries having to bother themselves very much about horses.

But maybe they have been organizing and funding save the horsey front organizations.I would be only mildly surprised if this turned out to be true.


Baghdad Blast 'Targeted Iraq Prime Minister'

A suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital's Green Zone earlier this week may have been an attempt to kill Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki or some other senior political leader, officials say.

Two parliamentary guards were killed in Monday's blast, which officials initially said was caused by a mortar round. Two other people, including the parliamentary speaker, were injured.

Major-General Qassim al-Moussawi, the Baghdad military spokesperson said on Friday that new intelligence pointed to an assassination attempt but that the investigation was still ongoing.

Weired news department. What's actually going on in Israel? Talk about biting the hand that feeds them;

Israel government scores own goal with US Jewish organisations

The Israeli government is facing an unusual backlash from major US Jewish organisations after launching an advertising campaign essentially urging Israeli expats not to marry clueless American Jews or raise their children in the United States.

Interesting article. Looks like they've been shooting themselves in the foot with their anti-Iranian propaganda/scaremongering.

The advertisements for re-immigration to Israel have the same rationale as Israel’s campaign against the Iranian nuclear enrichment program. A third of Israelis say in polls that they would leave the country if Iran got an atomic bomb. There could be a panicked out-migration. Trying to stop an Iranian bomb is key to retaining Israel’s Jewish population (which finds it nerve-wracking to try to live in a hostile Middle East), just as the ads were thought key to attracting migrants out of Israel to return home.

Israel's demographics seem to destroying the Zionist state from the inside out. Which is not necessarily a bad thing for Israel and its Jewish population.

The more you build fences the more you need to build fences. People who are reminded everyday of security feel less secure than people whom do not. Nuclear bombs only work up to the point where your enemies get them as well, after that you're even less secure than you were had you not even made them.

I just finished telling someone earlier this evening how the 'military industrial complex', for example, gets to where it seems like the dog chasing its tail, whereby it creates its own self-fulfilling prophecies for its continued existence. Whereby military sales/buildup/intervention destabilizes the world which then requires yet more military sales/buildup/intervention.
Great for profit I guess, or as Naomi Klein might suggest, manufactured disaster capitalism. Or the Western style/way-of-life for the cost of a few tens or maybe hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians and roadkill here and there.

As the theory goes, however, once the dog catches its tail, it's self-cannibalism-time.

One would hope.

It's rather difficult to predict the total fertility rate, most charts I have seen do not show what that blogger reports. Arab TFR is falling while Jewish TFR is increasing. I'd say it would be the U.S. that would be more likely to not exist in it's present form than Israel within the timelines presented on that blog.

Israel's Declining Sperm Quality Tied To Depleted Uranium Exposure

By Tim King

15 April, 2010


Actually, that blogger points out that the US already doesn't exist in its present form, at least in some areas like California. You get used to it. It's not the end of the world.

And he also points out that the Jewish Israelis who are the most fertile are not Zionists, so it's not just Arab vs. Jew you have to consider.

Israel as a nation has a whole range of people, some who think the religious texts are to followed 100%.

The US Government gave money to Maplethorpe for "Piss Christ" - did that mean the US Government (as a whole) backed the idea?

Are you dissatisfied with the lack of driving excitement of your small, efficient car?
Longing for the good old days of the masculine growl of the the V8 muscle car?

Well, now you can get that back, sort of, with this neat $50 device;


Keep the windows up and no one will know...

Now, if only could get one of those for my bike!

They should make one to work through head phones and have a receiver over the heart, so when people work out they get an after market muffler sound from the movement of their body's. Might help encourage people to work out more. It could even have a jake brake sound when using your feet to slow your body on steep downgrades.

Get the 'Body-Rev'. Now your body will sound like the throaty engine you always new it could be.

Home heating circa 1937:

In the era before electrical power home heating could be a real challenge, especially during the colder months of the year.

Folks then relied on the kitchen stove, a fireplace or a stationary heater that used wood or coal as the fuel source. And for many people in the nation there were alternative heaters made by a firm in Albert Lea that used gasoline, kerosene and fuel oil as the sources for heat.

This local firm was the American Gas Machine Co. From 1896 to 1947 the firm specialized in a wide variety of products for consumers, especially those living in rural areas where electrical service wasn’t yet available.

See: http://www.albertleatribune.com/2011/12/03/home-heating-the-american-way/

Our November results: http://i362.photobucket.com/albums/oo69/HereinHalifax/HP-Nov2011.jpg

Season to date: http://i362.photobucket.com/albums/oo69/HereinHalifax/ONHPR.jpg


Interesting article. I can still remember my folks running portable (flueless) kerosene heaters in our house in the 70's and early 80's. A very distinct smell!

With your heat pump results, is the 3.1 COP the rated performance of the unit, or is that an actual measured value? The COP will decrease with temperature, so will you use a different value for Dec?

Impressive results, in any case - I'm sure you aren;t missing turning on the oil furnace!


Hi Paul,

The 3.1 COP reflects our actual results based on our daily meter readings and our home's estimated heat loss which we believe to be in the range of 0.175 kW per °C whenever temperatures fall below 13°C. For the first sixty-one days of this heating season (i.e., October 1st through November 30th), our two units have consumed a combined total of 498.6 kWh or an average of 8.2 kWh a day. This is the energy equivalent of 0.93 litres or 0.25 US gallons of fuel oil per day at 82% AFUE. Fuel oil locally currently sells for $1.137 a litre which puts the present cost of oil heat at 13-cents per kWh(e) -- our heating costs with electricity are effectively 4-cents, or less than a-third this.

The rolling average will creep closer to 5 or 6-cents as the heating season progresses and as temperatures continue to fall, but then start to drift back down as we move into the latter part of spring (our heating season basically stretches from October 1st through May 31st). Of course, anyone who heats with oil is no doubt painfully aware that oil prices also move in sympathy with the weather and in some parts of Canada folks are already paying as much as a $1.41 a litre. At that price, a standard tank fill could set you back a cool $1,300.00 !



YUCK... My brother had a kerosene heater in his garage. I wouldn't go in there when he had it on. Between the kerosene fumes and the exhaust fumes, I was pretty sure cancer would be a given. My brother invested in a natural gas heater after using that thing a few times.

Yes - even in Sydney in the 1960s, we all grew up with a portable heater - people really did die all the time. "I love the smell of kerosene in the morning ... it smells like victory."

I grew up in a house where we used kerosene heater too. I'm very lucky to have made it. My parent knew jack about carbon monoxide poisoning!

And its gone! Its all gone! A good example of a government expropriating the citizens wealth and giving it to the global financial system.

Portugal Is Latest Country To Go "MF Global", Raid Pensions Funds To Delay Fiscal Death

"Portugal has raided €5.6bn (£4.8bn) of pension fund assets in a controversial scramble to meet its deficit targets." And since the money is once again implicitly and explicitly used to patch broken fiscal models, it is as good as gone. Which in a paradoxical way is almost welcome, as the true Arab Spring will not come to Europe (and America) until the citizens don't read, in clear writing, that their welfare state entitlement benefits are gone.... They are all gone. And at that point there will be truly nothing left to lose.

I think those that believe they can sit back and watch global collapse pass them by are in for something of a shock.

Meanwhile, this side of the pond, marketing professional and wordsmith extraordinaire Frank Luntz is trying to create the newspeak which will change how people view the "Occupy" movement.

Example :-

"1. Don't say 'capitalism.'

"I'm trying to get that word removed and we're replacing it with either 'economic freedom' or 'free market,' " Luntz said. "The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we're seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we've got a problem." "

Items 2 - 10 follow here :-


And there's a bonus one :-

" Don't say 'bonus!'

Luntz advised that if they give their employees an income boost during the holiday season, they should never refer to it as a "bonus."

"If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you're going to make people angry. It's 'pay for performance.'" "

Orwell roles over in Grave - news@11

"We need to do some rebranding.. ehh, just don't call it 'rebranding'.. who's got an unoffensive word for euphemism ?"

Perhaps no one has done more to cloud the discourse in this country than Luntz. He has reduced just about any attempt at debate and serious discussion on serious matters to a smarmy string of weasel words that leaves a significant portion of the masses clueless and another large part exasperated.

Hey 99% - I would go to great lengths to make him part of your "focus group"... if you catch my meaning.

Some day we may return to some of the most sure and certain principles of religion and traditional virtue -- that avarice is a vice, that the exaction of usury is a misdemeanor, and the love of money is detestable .... But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to every one that fair is foul and foul is fair for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still.

John Maynard Keynes - Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren (1930)


You know they're getting close to the last gasp as fiscal desperation leads to raiding pension funds. When S does HTF we'll all be in the same boat, including retirees.

The authorities will say to their constituents, "Don't feel too bad, imagine how retirees feel? They have to try and find work!"

Yup, pension funds are the low hanging fruit, a convenient pool of money just sat there for the taking. The real problems occur when the governments, desperate for money, start going after diffused and dispersed sources of wealth like their citizens money. Using more innovative and coercive means to extract the money from soft targets (ie. those that cannot move or safeguard their wealth).

As the demands of the global financial system are so great, even bankrupting the citizens will probably be insufficient.

Here in Ireland the goverment/IMF have already raided The national pension reserve fund set up to fund future public service comitments of 15 billion euros as well as a staight raid on all private pension funds of 2%P/a.supposed to be for two years only!

I'm telling anybody with ears to hear, get your money out, the whole thing is a ponzi scheme fraud that is going to come down.

Take a lump sum payment if you can. Liquidate your 401k and take the penalty. Get physical cash, a bank account, and some gold and silver on the side. Avoid most bonds like the plague and if you want to invest in this nightmare stock market, pick only the best companies.

Of course, if you have millions then what are you doing even reading this post. But like most, if you don't, money is too valuable to lose or be confiscated.

Is this panic? No, it's prudent.

I have been trying to convince my wife that we do this for several years.

No sale.

(False) hope springs eternal.

I've sent out a couple '2-star' alarms to my closer friends/family.. just enough so that they'll hopefully notice as we notch closer and closer to the falls.. but not so severe that they stop listening to me altogether. (Also leaves me with a paper trail..)

I think there is something else people should keep in mind too. Without the means of production most are left with their lives hanging on a thread regardless of the amount of money they have. Money only produces a weak claim on the productivity of others.

Money is a very tenuous link to survival given the perilous state of the financial system. Direct ownership of production is better than holding a paper claim to it through an increasingly corrupt and nefarious third party.

I wonder how many people see themselves as being in a similar plight to a subsistence farmer, praying the weather delivers as expected? One bad storm or unexpected event leaving them struggling to survive.

Without the means of production most are left with their lives hanging on a thread regardless of the amount of money they have.

Jefferson used to write about yeoman on the land - what could now be looked at as using land to gather and process photons into products.

Some of that means of production had better be land.

Yeah but - if the financial system were to collapse to such an extent that both government pensions and private-sector superannuation were effectively rendered valueless, then money in the bank, or even a horde of gold and silver would also be worthless in practical terms ... we would have civil war, or more simply, tribal warfare, and basic levels of barter.

So you're trying to solve a problem that has no solution - cashing in a 401(k) is not the answer.

I'd suggest that gold and silver have held (or even increased) in value in just about any war in history. They have been used as currency for almost 6000 years now, and are the most stable money ever invented. It is the paper, and electronic, money that will gradually become worthless.

A review of the Moore Inflation Predictor chart (updated 9/15/11) shows that inflation is, once again, taking place.

After bumping along at around 1% for most of the latter part of 2010, it has spiked up to around 4% in 2011.

Shadowstats has it quite a bit higher, at around 7%.

More foot shooting.

Furious At Latest U.S. Attack, Pakistan Shuts Down Resupply Routes To Afghanistan "Permanently"

But NATO and the Pentagon have a backup plan – since 2009 they have been shifting their logistics to the Northern Distribution Network (NDN), a railway link running from Latvia’s Riga Baltic port through Russia and Kazakhstan terminating in Uzbekistan’s Termez on the Afghan border...

...in January Russian Railways increased rail tariffs for freight by 10 percent and is suggesting an additional increase of 11.7 percent in 2011 to cover “operating costs.” Further east, Uzbekistan increased rail tariffs twice last year.

Bringing supplies overland on the NDN costs two or three times as much as shipping them by sea and moving them up through Pakistan.

Hmmm... what could possibly go wrong routing supplies through Russia?

Hmmm... what could possibly go wrong routing supplies through Russia?

Laughter from those who survived the Zbigniew Brzezinski -induced invasion of Afghanistan.
Back surgery from sitting on the fat wallets due to the payoffs needed to make the supply lines happen.

And attacks from a few who feel they were injured by US actions over the years.

So long as the right Russians get their side payments - the transport will get through under the payoffs and the idea of never stopping an enemy in the process of self destructing.

(and the edit: http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/99713.html claims US government backed NGO's are being changed with attempting to fix Russian elections.)

USPS wants to limit next-day guarantee

The U.S. Postal Service on Monday will announce a cost-savings proposal that would no longer guarantee next-day delivery of first-class mail.

The financially troubled agency will present to its overseers a proposal to change its national standard for first-class mail to two-to-five days from one-to-three, according to interviews with several mail industry officials who received a presentation by the agency this week.

Junk mail will, of course, be delivered as fast as humanly possible.

Junk mail will, of course, be delivered as fast as humanly possible.

And do so for one tenth of the cost of first class mail.
Magazines and books should get a cut rate. Junk mail (advertising) should be charged first class mailing rates.

Don't hold your breath waiting for junk mail to pay its way!

I have noticed - believe it or not - a decrease in junk mail in my letterbox over the last couple of years.
Many of these flyers are now sandwiched in my local weekly newspaper - the pile is thicker than the paper itself! It is available free in a paper box next to the letter boxes, and there is a blue recycling bin next to that, so I can just dump the flyers in there straight away.

Just as many flyers in total as ever, but at least they are not getting subsidised by regular mail.

Same here. I think increased costs are forcing retailers to cut back.

Also, it's not being delivered particularly fast. Local stores are complaining that their sale flyers don't arrive until the sale is over.

An acquaintance who woks for USPS told me about a year ago that "junk mail" has been supporting them for the past couple of years. We all hate it but when you think about the volume (until recently) you could easily imagine it being the post office's cash cow. And, perhaps, their recent economic problems are related to the dearth of junk mai.

And recently I've been referring to our newspaper, especially on Monday, as "the pamphlet". No news, no ads.

Well, it sounds like it is time for the USPS (and Canada Post, and virtually every other gov postal agency around the world) to have a serious re-organisation.

Personally, I think the country(ies) would be better served if the post refused to do junk mail, and only delivered stuff that is actually addressed to the recipients. Let these companies find some other way to hawk their stuff

Also, it is time for the postal services to go to every other day delivery for residential mail, Almost anything that is urgent these days is sent by courier or email anyway. Also, time to end to the door residential delivery - the "group boxes" are just fine - let the homeowners walk there instead of paying someone to walk to their door.

These are large legacy organisations with huge legacy staffing costs - restructuring will be painful, but it has to happen sooner or later.
"Peak Mail" has already been passed and volumes are shrinking - time for the service to do the same.

Totally agree. Just what is this obsession with mail? When I am busy we can go for a week without hitting the mailbox, even though we go by it every day. Mostly we get crap...persoanl communications are usually email or phone calls. Mastercard bill comes at the end of the month with a 10 day window to pay and that we do online. Twice a week rural delivery would suit us just fine.


Want to make a huge change, cut the letter carriers by 2/3. have the remaining 1/3 each cover 3 routes 2 times per week each. That way it would reduce the amount of vehicles and fuel use for deliveries, as well as the labor cost by 2/3. Then distribution could be optimised to work with this schedule, and have a corresponding reduction there.

The fact is that most of us now do not rely on the mail, it is a mere convenience. The older generation will revolt, because change is hard to accept, but lets face it, the world has moved on, and daily mail service will go the way of the daily milkman when the widespread use of refridgerators caught on.
Less mail would also mean less trash. junk mail would still get through, and 2 times a week would be plenty. I know I usually only pick up mail once a week anyway, as anything more important than that gets emailed or Fedexed anyway.

Many people in rural areas and cities get newspapers from surrounding communities (or their own when papers don't cover their area) by US Postal delivery - And they depend on the information in those papers for much of what is happening in their local and surroundinig communities. It directly affects their daily lives.

Also, rural postal delivery people function as unpaid social workers in that they know their customers and if someone (particularly elderly) suddenly stops picking up their mail for a few days they will notify the local sheriffs department to have them go out and check on those customers to see if they need help - medical problems etc... They do save a lot of lives.

The problem with newspapers declining subscribership is directly related to their increasing subscription rates. Increasingly people just can not justify the cost of the subscription. If newspapers want to increase their subscriber base, all they have to do is dramatically reduce their rates and plan on makiing their money from advertisers. As advertisers generally pay higher advertising rates with increased readership, it would seem a pretty simple equation. But, I guess newspaper management has not caught on to that yet? Or maybe I am missing something? (Awful easy to make broad statements when it isn't me that is paying the bills!)

There are other ways for people to get those papers than by postal delivery, and they do not need to get them every day - most local papers are weekly, so the delivery could be too.

What used to be a great feature of the paper - the classifieds - are now fast becoming redundant - in printed form - as the online listings take over, even when the classifieds are done by the local paper, the online version is the place to go to get things first.

I don;t think you can say the posties are unpaid social workers - they are very well paid workers, who sometimes perform a social function - but then so do many other people - gov employees or otherwise.

I don;t think declining subscriptions are directly related to the rates charged - it is related to whether people think the paper is worthwhile - at any price. When you can get it for free online, why bother with a subscription? Why pay for the delivery of physical paper that has half its space devoted to ads that you are not the lightest bit interested in? For the local papers, internet is an opportunity to free themselves from high printing costs - where they don;t get the economies of scale that large newspapers did.

Advertisers are keeping their eyes on readership - both print and online. The increasing piles of unsold newspapers every day, and increasing hits on the websites, tell the story. Advertisers are voting with their feet and going online. I also expect differential rates to come in for classifieds - it is very cheap, as Craigslist has shown, to do online classifieds, and very expensive to do print.

The die hard post, and postal newspaper types are getting older and fewer - at some point it will be time to pull the plug.
In the meantime, what would be a really useful service, would be to get all rural areas hooked up to high speed internet. That is what is the *essential* service these days, and what will bring rural areas in touch with the world. being dependent on post makes them increasingly isolated.

Everyone forgets that the USPS carries a substantial number of packages too - at half the price of Fedex and UPS. Consider, as one example, that eBay sellers primarily ship USPS.

Of course, one can always get rid of the post office and keep paying the increased fuel surcharges of the for-profit carriers.

Free shipping, by Amazon, as one example, is a luxury of the large-volume distributor. There's a lot of competition in package shipping at the moment. Hence the program by the USPS to promote their flat-rate boxes.

Fedex and UPS would love it if the Post Office went under.

hmm, pay the increasing fuel surcharges of the private co's or the increasing legacy staffing costs of the postal services?

Given that Canada post employees went on strike earlier this year over pensions, I think I'd rather pay the fuel surcharges, directly, than the oversized pensions, indirectly.

But no one, is advocating getting rid of the service entirely, and none of this discussion says anything about restricting their ability to deliver parcels, I'm sure they are quite efficient at that.
And they still would be with 3 or 2x per week delivery - in fact, they would be cheaper - though not faster.

And I suspect that most online shoppers will choose cheap over fast - that is, after all, why most of them are doing it in the first place.

It's like the saying: Good, Fast, and Cheap. You can pick any two you wish.

I would say the USPS should work on the good and cheap, but not fast end of things. Companies like FedEx and UPS typically cover good and fast, but not cheap. Cheap and fast will not likely be much of an option, as it will not be good.

It's not just a question of taking a day or two out of the delivery schedule - they have talked about getting rid of some post offices entirely - effectively cutting some communities off from postal service altogether.

That means people are obliged to get into a car, if they have one, and drive to a post office, or pay higher rates to get packages delivered. Double whammy - higher costs for gasoline as well as higher costs for postage.

Personally, when I see the mail people struggling through pouring rain, howling winds and thigh-deep snow, in places where people consistently refuse to shovel their sidewalks, I don't think a pension is too much to ask.

Closing the government "Post Office" does not necessarily equal "no service".

In my town, there is the real post office, and there is also a counter in the corner of the largest drugstore. It is staffed by store staff, open store hours (8am to 9pm) and is far more convenient for parcel pickup than the real post office, which is *strictly* 9 to 5.

There is no reason why this model can;t be adopted, and the better hours make the service more useful.

This can still be coupled with 3 or 2x per week delivery.

Personally, when I see the mail people struggling through pouring rain, howling winds and thigh-deep snow, in places where people consistently refuse to shovel their sidewalks, I don't think a pension is too much to ask.

Well, there is the first reason to end door to door delivery and just have the "super boxes" - the postman can drive (in their EV) to the super boxes and does not have to walk along potentially slippery sidewalks, deal with dogs, etc. A whole bunch of safety issues (and man hours) have been eliminated - let the homeowners walk along their sidewalks that they haven't shovelled - and I'll bet they only then check the mail once or twice a week.

As for the pension, well, the person walking those same sidewalks to deliver newspapers probably isn;t getting one, and neither are many other people working in low paid private sector service jobs. I'll bet many store cashiers etc would gladly take a job walking around delivering mail rather than dealing with angry customers. The era of these sorts of entitlements and jobs for life, especially for government workers, is coming to an end - they will be in the same boat as the rest of us.

Probably more than the past couple of years. It's been a huge source of post office revenue for decades. The reason there's no mail equivalent of "do not call" for junk mail is opposition by the post office.

The Motel of the Mysteries was published in 1979. It's a humor book, about future archaeologists investigating the lost civilization of Usa. What caused the fall of this mighty nation? The post office accidentally lowered bulk mail rates, which resulted in the entire country being buried under a deluge of junk mail.

I heard a good presentation on alternative radio a few weeks ago. I forget the guys name who gave the talk, but the big point he made was that there is a strong correlation between an effective free press and government subsidies of the press via steeply discounted postal rates for newspapers.

But nowadays, people read the news online. Newspapers are in big trouble, and not because of postal rates.

Interesting documentary about how this is affecting the New York Times.

"Page One : Inside the New York Times"


One great scene is where a reporter is talking to a crown of media people, including bloggers from an online news "aggregator".

He holds up a page with 20 screenshots of news articles. Then holds up a page with 19 of them cut out to leave holes - showing what would happen if nobody was out in the field gathering actual stories.

That is definitely true, and I think most bloggers will freely admit it.

But...that doesn't change the economics. Lower postal rates for newspapers won't tilt the balance in favor of dead trees.

Dead tree newspapers are not newspapers but historypapers. Nowadays they need to concentrate on the in-depth stuff, the analysis, the explaining. Adding value to the news. Unfortunately this is more than their readership, used to soundbites, can handle.


After we stopped our newspaper delivery, we ended up getting the same newspaper coupon/sale pages delivered to our mailbox anyway.

Kohls is a profligate junk mail spammer, as are a few other chains.

Junk mail in general still seems prevalent in our box...

You guys need an initiative like this

Stickers for your letterbox. Top one says: "No unadressed advertising, No door-to-door mail", bottom one says: "No unadressed advertising, Yes door-to-door mail".

Door-to-door mail being the local free newspaper, local church leaflet etc. We can call the delivery service to complain if the sticker is ignored and they usually handle complaints well.

It saves tonnes of paper.

Well, you could do that, but I like our system where the newspaper is just in a separate box next to the bank of mailboxes. It is stocked by the paper's staff, so the mail staff aren;t wasting wasting time putting papers into some boxes and not others. This way the paper gets a realistic handle on its actual circulation too.

I had a friend who refused to take his junk mail out of his mailbox in the '80s. USPS refused to stop delivering it and continued to pile it on his front porch.

For me, a handy source of paper to start fires in the woodstove back in the day. Now, all but the envelopes with glassine windows goes into the recycling. Guess it supports jobs, but seems like a huge waste of trees and energy . . .


On a slow news day like today, I thought I will share a project I have been working on with a friend. Our goal is to make this available to non-profit/conservation groups in developing countries. Leanan, please feel free to delete if you think this is inappropriate.

At delighta.com (my hobby in the evening) we made google services like spreadsheet, calendar and translation available to people via SMS (it is free!). No need to download an app, no smartphone or data plan needed.

After registering at the website, just send your SMS to 1-408-357-4815 and it gets backed up to your google spreadsheet. You can create columns and enter data too. I track my odometer reading and how much I spend on gas. Here is the last SMS I sent to 1-408-357-4815:
$odo 161436 $gas 42.35

It backed up the SMS to my spreadsheet and created columns named "odo" and "gas" and put the appropriate values in the next row. No limit on number of rows or columns. Essentially, we have eliminated manual bookkeeping. You don't even need a PC (after initial registration) to do this.

If there is an appointment in the SMS (e.g., meet joe tomorrow at 5 pm at starbucks), it gets added to your google calendar with automatic reminders for you 60 minutes before the appointment.

Send a SMS to 1-408-357-4840 and you will get a translation back in seconds via SMS. You can specify the target language at the website or like this at the beginning of SMS (translate to German):
$german I like apples and red roses

Have fun with this! Much more to come (integration with Gmail, getting directions via SMS, etc)

There are conservation groups in Africa and many other parts of the world that track wild animals by installing a GPS collar around their neck. The cell phone periodically sends a SMS with GPS coordinates and other information. I think delighta.com will be very useful to these organizations. Does anyone know how to contact these organizations? If you can think of any non-profit/conservation group that could benefit from this, please let me know.

Mexico sees 50 deepwater oil wells by 2015

MEXICO CITY: Mexico's state oil company Pemex plans to drill more than 50 deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico, a risky strategy as it enters depths beyond its expertise, the national oil regulator said on Friday.

Mexico has so far only drilled 16 wells in its territorial waters in the Gulf, where Pemex estimates there are more than 29 billion barrels of crude equivalent, or 58 percent of the country's prospective resources.

The company has little experience in deepwater drilling at more than 1,640 feet (500 meters) but plans to jump into depths of around 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) next year with the Maximino well in the northern Gulf, Zepeda told Reuters.

I always wanted to ask you, how the $%^& do you find so many different news articles? It's like you're posting the list of articles which didn't quite make the cut up top in a drip feed fashion.

No magic involved. [The real magician is Leanan]. I just read about 100-150 articles and technical reports on physical sciences, energy, the environment, climate change, economics, and political machinations every day - I post about 10% of what I read.

It has a lot to do with serendipity - I don't use RSS or alerts. I try and post things that may be of some interest to others on this forum - within the subject envelope of this site. I'm not connected with TOD, I'm just another traveler on the quest.

This is not my day job, so I post when I have time - thus the 'drip feed fashion'.

Nice job Seraph! Your posted articles have become something I seek out as part of the TOD experience. Thanks

So now we know.

But really, 100+ reports every day! I'm very appreciative of what you do select and post here, but that sounds like a tortuous process. I'm guessing you must see a lot of repetition over days/weeks/months, particularly with opinion and "analysis" pieces...

It's not torturous. Most of the articles I post are a page or two. It helps that I like to read and have a science background and a good memory (I couldn't make a living doing physical work).

Squill's [comment below] is right. Rockman, RckMtnGuy, Westexas, Dohboi, Undertow, all the article writers and other contributors on this site, including yourself, make it what it is. Everyday I learn something from each of you - I'm just paying it forward.

Yeah! I'd like to ask the same thing as Squilliam, just without the "$%^&". :D

Cuz... you know, I deeply respect Leanan for the Drumbeat and her superpower of finding all those yummy news for us, but if Drumbeat is the cake, then you, Seraph, are the proverbial icing on the cake. :))

To cut the short story even shorter: if I'm not satisfied with the news at top, I'm quite confident I will find some more pleasant surprises down in the comments area. :D

If Leanan is the cake and Seraph is the icing then westexas, Rockman and Rockymtnguy are the candles. I think this is appropriate due to the hydrocarbon nature of wax.

So who is the wick and who is the flame? Also who cuts the cake? Oh and what flavour are Seraph icing and Leanan cake? Are we talking double chocolate or something more exotic? :-D

Also is it an insult if the designated flame 'gets blown'?

I think I just took this analogy a little too far... :-P

I think I just took this analogy a little too far... :-P

Weeeell... How should I put it..? There is this thingie called "social learning" (a.k.a. "monkey see, monkey do") and I think reading spring_tides' post where political correctness is quite rampant I learned thing or two, so lemme just follow suit and say that NO, you didn't took this analogy a lil too far, you just were... quite creative today. :D ;)

+10 for fun and humor :))

I'm a crumb on the plate.

China leader warns about unrest due to economy

``Especially when facing the negative effects of the market economy, we still have not formed a complete mechanism for social management,'' Zhou said. How to do so, he said, ``is the great and urgent task before us.''

Zhou's remarks underscore growing government uneasiness about an economic slowdown and the social unrest it might bring. In the past week, a much-watched index showed manufacturing contracting sharply, and the government lowered controls on bank reserves to encourage more lending. Meanwhile, strikes and other job actions have ticked up recently as factories retrench to confront higher labor costs and reduced demand for exports from Europe.

Maintaining high economic growth rates is absolutely imperative for the CCP. Securing and guaranteeing further economic growth is probably the only real foundation on which the Party can base it's power. The ability to make and implement decisions, which boost GDP numbers and creates more affluence within the general population becomes the only basis of legitimacy, which the Party can claim and mobilize to its advantage.
Empirical investigations seem to support this view.
For example Wang Zhengxu(2006) found that the Party's ability to win public support and trust in the regime, rested primarily on delivering on promises of economic growth. This pattern is unsurprising and was also true for the German, Japanese and American post-WW2 governments and for Taiwan, Singapore and South-Korea in the 1960s-70s.
The CCP's grip on power therefore rests directly on it's ability to deliver economic growth and this in turn is guaranteed to stimulate oil consumption in the country.

it's ability to deliver economic growth and this in turn is guaranteed to stimulate oil consumption in the country.

I have talked with residents of both Beijing and Shanghai, and they are enthusiastic about the growing subway system. Foremost is that it is *SO* much faster and easier to get around the city on subway - despite rush hour crowding. Secondary is that it provides hope for cleaner air. Already there is a reaction against "too many cars", at least by people that do not own them. There is hope of limiting cars once the subway system is largely complete.

As Beijing heads towards 660 km of subway by 2015 and an incredible 1,000 km by 2020#, a major "quality of life" improvement that helps justify the CCP, while reducing oil consumption, is being built with wide spread public approval.

# 29 Chinese cities have metros or are building their first line. Another 19 have them in planning. My impression is that the massive high speed rail build out (soon China will have a majority of the world's HSR) is another program to convince the average Chinese that the CCP is performing wonders for China. And HSR replaces oil burning aircraft.

Best Hopes for Energy Efficiency in China,


Matthew Simmons died?? Anyone have a link on this?

He died over a year ago. Just google "matthew simmons" and you'll find the wikipedia entry.

Another article that touches on the high cost of home heating oil and, lo and behold, this one doesn't blame greedy oil speculators but rather world supply and demand.

Northeast May Pay the Price This Winter...for Heat

The energy cost forecast this winter is bleak, especially for millions of people in the northeast United States.


Mark Fischetti, Senior Editor at Scientific American said the biggest factor influencing energy prices is supply and demand. There is simply a higher demand for oil in the winter when people need to heat their homes.

He said oil increased so much probably because the U.S. is also competing with high demand worldwide.

"The U.S. price is really tied to the world price. Countries are soaking up as much oil as possible."


"Political events like unrest in a country -- or even sabotaging an oil pipeline, which has happened in the Middle East in the past -- can affect oil," he said. "But the basic economic mechanism of supply and demand is almost always stronger than any political mechanism."

See: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/northeast-may-pay-the-price-t...

Who woudda thunk?


Since the '70's energy crises there has been a continuing shift away from using fuel oil for stationary applications such as electric power generation and home heating. But today I was talking with a maple syrup producer from near Attica, NY whose operation just switched over after many years of wood burning to using fuel oil instead. Turns out his family has mostly left the operation for other sources of livelihood and it's just too much work for him to cut and haul all the firewood. OTOH most maple syrup producers including this one are now using some kind of reverse osmosis process which significantly reduces the amount of heat energy (boiling time) required.

The closely held company, which counts Vinod Khosla, a venture capitalist and Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder, as an initial investor, shuttered the factory in Soperton, Georgia, in January after not delivering on its promise to convert woodchips into ethanol, which was intended to help the U.S. become less dependent on foreign oil.

IIRC one or more persons on TOD staff explained to him in detail why it wasn't viable and it just wouldn't sink in.

Yeah. He had a key post here five years ago.

Yes- hat tip in RR's direction!

From the link, that car has $2k worth of lead acid batteries and gets 100 miles on a charge - more than a Nissan Leaf. The catch is, the top speed is only 25mph, but what's your hurry?

In a century of electric vehicles, the range has not changed, all the efficiency improvements have been eaten up by extra weight and speed.

More here;


In a century of electric vehicles, the range has not changed, all the efficiency improvements have been eaten up by extra weight and speed.

If that's true, how come the stock of Tesla Motors has been outperforming the market by a huge margin, not to mention trading significantly above its IPO price:


The stock of Tesla reflects what investors think the company is/will be worth - this has absolutely zero real world connection to the range of electric vehicles.

Now, I will grant you that the Tesla drives more than 100miles on a charge, but it is a very expensive, custom built vehicle, never intended to be sold into mass production. if we looked hard enough, we could probably find a similar custom electric vehicle from back in 1910.

Tesla aside, this does hold true - every other EV that is on the market today, or is about to be, has a range of about 100 miles. There are some (one in China) that claim they will have longer range, but as yet no such prototypes have been released for real world testing.

One vehicle that could buck the trend is the electric version of the X-prize winning Edison Very Light Car.

It gets 2.5x the miles on a kWh as the Leaf. But, the Edison folks are using this to downsize the (expensive and heavy battery) to give it 100 mile range, and try to keep a retail price below $20k.

On the topic of Stock prices, Vinod Khosla recently argued against a claim that "clean tech had been a disaster" with a similar stock price argument to yours:

Over the last 12 months, Khosla has generated more than $1 billion in profits from three IPOs and will “probably” see six more IPOs over the next 12 to 18 months, if the markets hold up, he said. “That $1 billion in profits over the last year is way more than most venture funds have done in IT in the last ten years cumulatively,” Khosla said. “I challenge anybody to claim clean-tech done right is a disaster.”

This conveniently ignores the fact that none of these companies have actually produced any biofuels.

So how do we measure success in renewable energy and alternative transportation? By the stock price of companies, or actually producing renewable energy or achieving oil-free transportation?

Even a billion dollars in profit won't power a vehicle for even one mile - wee need to focus on real world results, not fiat money accumulations.

Well don't forget the Rav4's that continue to run with respectable numbers even a decade after their extremely limited production run.. using Nimh batteries that are showing many packs living well beyond 100k miles, getting drivers reportedly 100-160 miles/chg, in a vehicle that hardly looks like it's been fastidiously optimized for range.

Seems to me the actual success of EV's for many owners has challenged the Auto model, and companies are disinclined to produce the vehicles that would be possible, since their maintenance and replacement needs would be significantly lower than ICE cars.

"My odometer ticked over 100,000 miles today during my commute to work. I was in the car alone, but almost drove off the road celebrating. The first 10k was in LA, the remaining 90k in Maryland. Amazingly, I can still drive over 100 miles before the bottom of red zone in the relatively flat Washington, DC metro area.

"Let's see now, what did I spend on this car during it 's first 100k: one set of new tires, two aux batteries (Duralast $60 lasted less than a year, now using Sears Platinum DieHard $180) and one set of front brake pads (for noise problem only). Just checked my rear brake shoes and they are like brand new. Wow, those darn EVs are so expensive...NOT!

"Looking forward to the next 100k! (hey, it might, you never know).


I strongly suspect those Rav's were sold at well below cost. NiMH batteries aren't cheap, but thet do take the beating. I'm not convinced Li-Ion is better (more energy dense for sure, and better charge/discharge efficiency, but lifetime and safety?

Nimh batts are a lot cheaper than lithiums, and with a run of 1500 vehicles, you'd hardly expect to recoup your R&D, much less develop serious economies in the mfg process. The point is 'How cheap CAN such a vehicle be produced for?' , (or look to the smaller vehicles that should be in the lineup.

Point is, it's not expensive due to any stupendous technical challenge or even material cost, and in fact the overall tech in an EV is far LESS complex than those of an ICE, so an economical model is not at all unthinkable.. it's ONLY being blocked by the Cheapness of Gas, and by those who are heavily dependent for their businesses on us continuing to buy that Cheap Gas.

(STD Disclaimer.. NO, EV's should not and can not 'replace today's fleet' .. ack, ack, ack! )

Well, regardless of whether we use Ni or Li, my point is that the batteries are "good enough" - what is really needed are efforts to make the cars that carry them smaller, lighter and more aerodynamic. Then we can either have more range, or less (=cheaper) batteries.

This is the direction the Edison car is going - making the car highly efficient - which is why I am such a fan of what they are doing, and their very pragmatic, and open to the public, approach.

It is too bad that - to date - they have been given none of the government funding that has gone to far lesser projects.

Paul- you are taking my words straight out of my mouth :-)
I'm getting really pi**ed when I see brand new el_cars straight out from the drawing board still weighing '1 tonne plus plus' , like say the Chevy Volt at a curb weight of silly 3,781 lb (1,715 kg)
...... It really makes me go mental, so what did we learn in school today, actually? We need philosophy classes from first grade- or else ...

I don't disagree about the goal.. but 'a journey of a thousand miles..' you know. As with the rapid growth in computers' graphic capabilities through the silliness (if I may) but also the great profitability of the Video Gaming Industry.. those flabby pale 20-somethings and their FPS (First-Person-Shooter) and Massive Multiplayer games financed a lot of this development, if I'm not mistaken.

EV's, when they start competing against OTHER EV's will likely start to see a downward push in Weight and Size driven by sheer economics.. while today they are trying to get their toehold against a Heavy, Long-range Incumbent. It's got to happen in steps, and many might seem unreasonable, IF you merely extrapolate out beyond the direction they are setting.. but the course can turn, too. We are pretty sure around here that it HAS to, no?

In order to keep the perfect from being the enemy of the good, do you agree that there is good happening as we struggle to improve the overall engineering of EV's, and that merely shrinking the avg vehicle size, somewhere down the road (so to speak) is not likely to be a significant challenge?

do you agree that there is good happening as we struggle to improve the overall engineering of EV's, and that merely shrinking the avg vehicle size, somewhere down the road (so to speak) is not likely to be a significant challenge?

Well, I'd like to agree, but to date, getting any carmaker to shrink the size/weight of any vehicle has been a significant challenge!

The engineering side of it is so easy it is not funny, but it is not happening. This is where the gov could have used some leverage, and make the tax credit only applicable to an EV that gets better than say, 2kWh per ten miles (the Leaf uses 3-4, the Edison is using one).

We don;t need Ev's to compete against each other, we need them to compete against ICE's. The two main obstacles are price and range. making them smaller and lighter is the best way to address both those issues. Yes, it won't appeal to someone who has to have an SUV, but it will appeal to someone who wants to decrease their energy and oil usage - which is the whole idea.

I think the worst thing that can happen is a continuation of the American obsessions with oversized, overweight vehicles. EV's, like the model T, are a chance to break that mould - produce something that is simple and affordable to the masses. That is not what any of the current crop of EV's are.

For the record, I think the $7k tax credit should also applied to aftermarket conversions of existing cars <10yo. Then we would see some real innovation happening, real fast, as the conversion folks would do to their cars the sort of tricks that you are doing to your house. Would create a lot of local jobs too...

Well, I'd like to agree, but to date, getting any carmaker to shrink the size/weight of any vehicle has been a significant challenge!

Five words:



No-one in the car review industry pushes for anything but heavier cars if you look at the things they place the most emphasis on when they review cars. The fuel economy figures are usually somewhere in the back next to the power/torque figures. At this point the issue isn't that the car manufacturers aren't realistic about the cars they sell, it is that people aren't realistic about the cars they buy. Cars are perceived as part of peoples identity and many people try to figure out who you are by the car you pull into their driveway with.

It is possible to make a car which is light weight, affordable, practical and you can pick all three. I would serious consider the Edison EV2 for myself if it was on the market and in mass production today. There are a lot of engineers out there in some of the bigger car companies whom long for the idea of producing a pure, simple and practical efficient motor vehicle for the masses as much as they want to produce the next sports car. The passion is there but the market simply has not woken up to the reality of the future of the personal automobile. One significant reason why they like electric is because it'd force/allow them to make something entirely different.

All these issues can be addressed with careful attention to design details.

Even though I refer to the Edison 1000lb car as an example of what can be done, that doesn;t mean they all have to be done to that extreme.

The real problem with current Ev's, like the Leaf, is that they weigh 1 1/2 tons(!) much more than compacts like Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit etc.

An EV of about 2000lbs would be just fine for NVH.
Safety has been thoroughly addressed by cars like the Edison and Smart, so that is a non issue.

And as for luxury, well, you can have those, for a price - like the Nissan Leaf. Take out all the luxuries, and the weight and power drain that goes with them, and your car becomes 2/3 the weight and 2/3 the price. if some buyers still want to pay for luxury, that's their choice, but I'll bet there are plenty that are happy to not pay for it too.

The original GM EV1 weighed only 2900 lbs, set (and holds) the world record for lowest drag coefficient, and had a range of 160 miles. Its battery pack, at 26kWh, was just larger than the 24 of the leaf, yet it got 50% more range - that is the difference an efficient car makes.

I am sure that, a decade later, they could just keep the body shape and chassis of the EV-1, re-engineer the battery and drive system, and come out with a 100 mile range EV with a 16kWh battery, and a curb weight of one ton (2200lbs), and be much cheaper than the Leaf, and better looking than the MiEV.

I am sure there are engineers in GM and elsewhere that already have something like this drawn up in their scrapbooks - it is too bad that Uncle Sam didn;t insist upon something like this as a condition of the bailout.

I suspect the main problem is that the current EV cars are built as if they are an ICE car with a different motor and not for a different paradigm. This problem gets even worse because car makers expect to share significant parts and even the chassis with other cars in their model range.

Even if they want to make a completely different kind of car the general public will be less than receptive. They like cars like the Prius which look respectable and just different enough to feel smug whilst driving it, they wouldn't be caught dead in something that looks like the Edison.

Greenwashing is cool and respectable, showing you're actually green and willing to think for yourself, uncool and not respectable. Of course if it suddenly became fashionable to drive 'real electric' and Priuses suddenly became passe then everyone and their momma will be scrambling to get one.

Yes, it won't appeal to someone who has to have an SUV

I could see it enabling ownership of a EV or PU. Say you really think you need an SUV or PU, but not everyday. The cost including gas, is too much. But, if you can afford a small ultra-efficient EV, then you could have both, and use the appropriate vehicle for the task.

I'm getting really pi**ed when I see brand new el_cars straight out from the drawing board still weighing '1 tonne plus plus' , like say the Chevy Volt at a curb weight of silly 3,781 lb (1,715 kg)

Well blame consumers and government regulations. Consumers have not shown much interest in NEVs or hyper-efficient light-weight vehicles like the Aptera that just went bankrupt. And government regulations also contribute to the problem because it is extremely hard and expensive to get a legal full-speed vehicle 4-wheel vehicle onto the market due to all the crash tests, bumper requirements, and other legal requirements. Perhaps a new vehicle class needs to be created . . . much of Europe allows 'quadracycles' but you can't sell those in the USA.

You hit on a big part of the problem, IMO. It is a combination of government crash test regulations, most of which add weight to comply, as well as the consumer preference for a "fully loaded" vehicle. find a car without power windows, power seats, tilt steering wheels, plus a plush ride, sound deadening, and all of the other creature comforts that 50 years ago only the rich could even hope for, but are now common on most cars sold.

In order for the car companies to build lighter cars with less features in order to get more range for EV of better mileage for ICE, the NEW CAR buying public has to vote for it with their wallets, buy actually buying them when they do get built. Keep in mind that the car companies want to stear buyers into more profitable cars, which are the bloated versions, then you see how unlikely it is.

Look at the small cars of the late 70's, early 80's. Poor on comfort, but lightweight and better mileage than most current offerings.

I tend to agree, and I have serious questions about the efficacy of air bags and other "safety" equipment. They certainly don't make me feel safer.

I had three bad crashes in my formerly 53-MPG currently 45-MPG '91 CRX HF, and I'm still driving it. In one of these, I hit a stationary car at what had to be well over 20 miles per hour; no one was injured, the damage was all repairable.

I remember in the '70s when so many cars stopped having electric windows because... well, it was obviously just a stupid idea, an expensive, hard-to-repair feature that even wealthy people didn't particularly want or need, and automotive design seemed to be dictated more by common sense. The electric windows on our early-60s rambler station wagon were seemed really antiquated and faintly ridiculous by the time I graduated from high school in '75.

As I understand it, the NEV class (now called "low speed vehicles) is similar to the "quadricycles", but the rules for NEV's have been made so restrictive that no one wants them for street driving, they are used mainly in universities, resorts, gated communities, etc.

I think concept of a separate class for small vehicles is on the right track, but needs a little tweaking. The 25mph limit is a bit too low.

A better way is the medium speed vehicle class, where they can go up to 35mph, and thus on most city roads

These cars would have more safety than the golf cart based NEV's, but not as much as normal highway going cars, which is OK, as they are not going on the highway.

For a real world example, look at any of the Kei cars, vans and trucks that are on the road in Japan.

These vehicles are limited in size (11.2 x 4.9 ft) and engine capacity (660cc), and power (63hp) but are perfectly functional for city driving, and the trucks are becoming very popular here as off road utility vehicles (most of the trucks are dual range 4x4, and can be fitted with flotation tyres or even tracks, in the same way as ATV's). They typically get 50+mpg.

Given that these vehicles have decades of operational experience behind them, and all the engineering has been done, all that would be needed is to adopt the same standards, and let the carmakers go from there - they do not need to re-invent this wheel.

Because they have standardised the platforms and engines, there are quite some economies of scale in production.

Add in a standardised, (possibly swappable), battery pack and you would really be ready to make something happen! See if you can spot where you could put easily accessible batteries on this vehicle;

More here;


I have really enjoyed your series of posts today on this subject.

Thanks for communicating these real-world potential responses and adaptations to our PO/LTG predicament, wrt to fulfilling the need for some sort of urban/suburban motorized transportation, which could be implemented in addition to more walking, bicycling, carpooling, and in cases where it makes sense, buses and light rail.

We definitely could benefit from a class of small, simple, light-weight, fuel-thrift urban and suburban vehicles.

Thanks H,

The funny thing with the small, simple, lightweight, fuel thrift vehicles, is that they have appeared over and over again in motoring history, and are the best selling vehicles of all time.

Model T, VW beetle, Citroen 2CV, Mini, Fiat 500, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla.

When Henry Ford built the model T his concept was to make it simple enough to build that it was dramatically cheaper than any other car of its day, and it sold like hot cakes.

The same approach is what is need for an affordable city EV. The kei cars, and the original EV-1 are both pretty close, so we can go from there.

The Mitsubishi MiEv is actually a kei car, but an example of how to do it wrong, IMO. By trying to keep it roomy enough for four people, it is heavy, has poor aerodynamics and looks like a bloated cockroach.

The car can;t be all things - it needs to be simple, electric and affordable, such that people can have it as a second vehicle, or even as a primary one, and use the money saved to rent one for trips.

An interesting Italian interpretation, is here;

1200lbs, 90 mile range, even comes in a convertible

About $26k (they are handmade in Italy), but I'd take this ahead of a MiEV or a Leaf or an e-Smart.

Just as less physical stuff is more with cellphones, i-pads etc, so too it can be with cars, and transport in general.

The solutions need to be affordable enough to be implemented, on a wide scale, otherwise they won't achieve anything.
The current crop of EV's are start, but they aren't the answer.

The Telsa sedan should be interesting. AFAIK, forged aluminum plus aluminum body panels.

Good performance at a "good price".

Anyone have any "leaked specs" on weight, cost and performance ?



Perhaps a new vehicle class needs to be created . . . much of Europe allows 'quadracycles' but you can't sell those in the USA.

Maybe certifying cars that they cannot go into >50MPH zones? A significant amount of driving is done either in the city or in the suburbs and there are smaller places with no expressways to begin with which ought to benefit from such a class of vehicle. You could have them designated strictly as city/suburb cars, much in the same way that scooters here aren't allowed on state highways.

Alternatively you could always allow people to sign a disclaimer saying 'this car has not been crash tested as extensively as others, drive at own risk'.

The funny thing is that if they don't solve the 'car' problem by allowing cheap energy efficient cars onto the road is that they can probably kiss the suburbs goodbye. Think of how the drop in property values is affecting the solvency of municipal authorities, especially those whom took expensive bonds out to pay for infrastructure which now won't pay itself back with rates. For a lot of people it'd be an easy sell if the advertisement went "For the price of less than current monthly gas bills and car payments you can drive this new car, trade ins accepted."

...... It really makes me go mental, so what did we learn in school today, actually? We need philosophy classes from first grade- or else ...

Not in the United States, the land of corporate-sponsored make-believe trumping reality-based education:


If that isn't something else, apparently we are being arm-twisted to have our adult news dumbed down as well:


I really feel sorry for those kiddos who had to endure this shocking reveal about Santa in-between the news stories about rape/incest/adultery and armed robbery, college student being callously pepper-sprayed at point-blank range, etc.

Now this is what certain segments of corporate America want to see associated with their Cherished holiday symbol:


Now...how much chance do we have of facing, rationally debating, and engineering optimized technological and social/lifestyle changes/responses to climate change, Peak Oil, and Limits-to-Growth?

Just substitute BAU for Santa Claus in these anecdotes...'adults' will not stand for their myths being busted either...and the blow-back is all the more well-funded and strident when the point of contention is for 'all the [BAU] marbles'...

A replacement battery for a Prius (non-plugin type) costs $3000, sold en-masse would be quite a bit cheaper I guess. How many new drive belts, oil changes and tanks full would that be?

The Prius battery is roughly 1.2 or 1.4 KWhours. You'd need to gang several together to make an EV or even plug in hybrid. The effective range of a Prius on electric is maybe 3 miles (at low speed driven conservatively).

The Prius main battery has proven extremely reliable with very few requiring replacement over the life of the vehicle. The main battery is well managed by the car's engine control system and consequently is rarely over discharged or overcharged. Its main purpose is to increase the efficiency of the "ICE" (Atkinson Cycle engine). I don't have nearly the confidence in something like the Chevy Volt, which despite having a Li-Ion main pack is very probably 'deep-discharged" at every trip over 40 miles. The "Leaf" might have a quite good reliability however if trips of say 25 miles or so were the norm, then a top-off recharge after the trip. I had enough funds for a "newsed" 08' Prius, but not enough for a $25k Nissan Leaf...

Were pretty much in agreement about the batteries. I think the Volt only uses half the battery capacity for just these reasons. I worry a bit about my Prius battery, my overthehill commute means that twice a day the battery gets charged to the max capacity the cars computer allows (it then does engine braking the old fashioned way).

I don't have nearly the confidence in something like the Chevy Volt, which despite having a Li-Ion main pack is very probably 'deep-discharged" at every trip over 40 miles.

No, GM is very conservative with the battery. With typical driving, the gas engine kicks in at 35 miles . . . you'll get 40+ if you drive slowly though. And for comparison, the Mitsubishi-i is a pure EV with the same sized battery (16 KWH) and it is EPA rated at 62 miles range. So GM could clearly up the electric range if they wanted to, but they choose not to in order to protect the battery.


Over on the Leaf forum I've noticed a lot of comments about NOT charging the Leaf to a 100%, something about doing damage to the battery? I have no idea why that is the case (heat?).

I've been reading of 50+ miles on battery alone in the Volt. If it were me, I'd take a volt over the Leaf, especially here in Wisconsin where winter is going to zap some energy out of a battery.

The problem with all these cars, in my book, is price. No way would I spend that kind of cash on a car. I'd walk or ride a bike and not live in debt.

For some real-world performance, check out the "proof-of-concept" all-electric Wrightspeed X1 car taking on a Ferrari and Porsche Carrera GT in a drag race in this Youtube video:


400 mile per charge EV1-powered Insight currently under construction,



being built by the owner of the World's Quickest 'Street Legal Electric Car'


In a century of electric vehicles, the range has not changed, all the efficiency improvements have been eaten up by extra weight and speed.

Nonsense. They can build EVs that go 1000km per charge.

They just don't do that since it is not economically efficient. Most people drive less than 60 miles a day 90% of the time. So they try to pick amounts of battery that will hand most driving but keep the cars inexpensive enough to be affordable. It is a difficult balance of trying to find the best business model for EVs. Do you do 72 miles like the Leaf? Do we need 100 miles? Is inexpensive Mitusbishi-i have too short of a range with only 62 miles? Do you do 40 miles plus a gas-engine for distances past 40 miles? They are still trying to figure it out the best business model.

And it is a moving target since both battery prices and oil prices are in flux.

Offer 3 trims for the same car:
Acme EV - 50 mile range
Acme EV XR - 100 mile range
Acme EV XR+ - 150 mile range

If you want more than 150 mile range, buy something similar to Prius.

The major difference between the trims should be the size of the battery. May be the more expensive trim can make some optional features standard.

Give the user the ability to upgrade at a later date from regular to XR or XR to XR+ if they so desire.

actually you prove the opposite, they can't and they know it. There was a article here on tod that was real good, it talked about the electric car and how it can only fulfill two of the three things a normal car does and people 'expect' so it can get a long range or time before refueling. none of them can get all three and not have a very short range.


the car you show there was only going 25mph way too slow to be legally allowed on many roads here in the states. So it sacrificed speed to be able to retain comfort and safety to get a range that would make it a car in most people's minds. many newer ev's like the tesla and the like gamble on 'safety' by using large dense packs of li-ion to provide power. damaged, defective, or cheap charging circuit on these will turn your li-ion powered car into a rolling time bomb. it will be like those burning laptops a few years ago due to faulty/bad charge circuitry but on a 1k pound scale. and yes such things are common, a simple test can be done to see if you have a damaged, faulty, or even poor quality charge circuit in a device. take your fully charged li-ion powered device(laptop, cellphone, etc doesn't matter.) and disconnect the power cord/charge cord and reconnect it a split second later. If your charge circuit is good what ever your device uses to indicate a full charge should turn on right when you reconnect it. if it doesn't, congratulations you have a faulty charge circuit and leaving it plugged in WILL not only damage the battery but you have a LARGE risk of it being over charged and thus leading to bloated, burst, and burning battery.

Likewise you can make a ev run as fast and as far as the average car if you remove all the comforts and pack the space with nmih batteries. it would be like a aerial atom just without the passenger seat and most of the rest of the space between the roll cage tubing packed with batteries.

One example of Jevon's Paradox. If we had better batteries, we'd have electric SUV's. :-)

Ok, I am officially the cousin that never calls unless he needs something. How bad is this one? What is that line's capacity?

Officials in Marengo County have told WSFA that a pipeline explosion south of Linden occurred about 3:30 Saturday near Rembert Hills Road.

The Montgomery TV station said the explosion was heard for miles around and witnesses report flames shooting into the air.

As far as MC252 goes, we filled 15 (fifteen) rolloffs (the big ones) full of tarballs just this week. No press came or cared.

"No press came or cared."

I suppose it's been a bit chilly for swimming, so there's no video of people at the beach complaining they can't go, or don't want to go, into the water. Likewise, I suppose there's no particular sob-story to tell about the coastal tourist "industry" at this time of the year.

Update on pipeline explosion.

Williams Gas, which owns the pipeline, has shut off that section of the pipeline. The explosion happened in a rural area, so no people or houses were nearby. No injuries were reported, according to Marengo County EMA Director Kevin McKinney.

Transco issued the following statement:

"Certainly, this is a serious incident and we are very thankful that there were no reported injuries. We are extremely appreciative of the excellent response by local emergency response personnel, as well as Williams employees who instituted emergency shut-down procedures.

Looks like a local line. As you were.

Edit: Pauls. We (BP & Crowder) still send dive and snorkel teams in. They never report or talk to us tar babies. Rumor mill says it is oil mat city out there. Then we lay off folks. Still we hire other folks, and generally move folks. Like any worksite. Today a family of 20 folks spent half the day in the water. They never went far, but the waves were big. Little oil coming ashore, but enough work with existing buried tar. Navarre is allegedly full of tar on the beach. Is beachmommy still around?

The globalized corporations and centralized nation-state systems appear gravely destructive, fragile and non-resilient, and pose very tangible dangers and threats to our happiness, freedoms and lives!
For one, they hemorrhage our precious energy resources at astounding rates and scales, and away from our subsequent generations.

As the DGR digs in, perhaps we will see more 'alleged indications' of civil disobedient infrastructure sabotage.

I say, let it be our inspiration.

In any case, if we don't do our part-- any part, whether via the DGR Movement and/or the Permaculture and/or Transition movements-- in the protection of our environment, which we are a part of, we may prove complicity in our own ultimate extinction.

Occupy The Machine (13 minute show, produced periodically)

Deep Green Resistance...

...is one easily explicable response to a situation that many perceive as beyond control. It's members seek to fight back, and see themselves as... freedom fighters, whilst being fully aware that the underground (perhaps willing to use physical coercion, for example) part of the movement, at least, is currently more likely to be perceived as terrorist in nature, though the overground part of the movement is more subtle, adhering to a code of conduct. In the book, the activities of an underground are signposted more than they are explicated, which is a wise move on the part of its authors. And, in fact, they seek to inform and educate on 'security' and 'warfare' whilst at the same time denying that they represent an 'underground', as this quote from their website illustrates:

"It provides an exploration of organizational structures, recruitment, security, and target selection for both aboveground and underground* action. Deep Green Resistance also discusses a culture of resistance and the crucial support role that it can play...

Deep Green Resistance is a plan of action for anyone determined to fight for this planet—and win."

"The Deep Green perspective argues that the dominant culture, a term that encompasses all societies that are based on industrialism, will not undergo a voluntary transformation to a sustainable way of living. This includes the dismissal of a possible success of a slow and soft shift to sustainability. Individuals in the Deep Green movement believe that industrial civilization must be forced into collapse in order to maintain as much of the living world as possible, noting that carrying capacity is further diminished as civilization continues. The Deep Green Resistance supports an active resistance movement with the objective of accelerating the collapse of industrial civilization.

Within Deep Green theory, lifestyle or personal changes are not considered effective methods of creating meaningful change. The mainstream environmental movement is seen as being distracted by its emphasis on individual lifestyle changes and technological solutions instead of confronting systems of power and holding individuals, industries, and institutions accountable.

The founders of the Deep Green movement view technological solutions, no matter how well intentioned, as inadequate and possibly leading to accelerated ecological destruction and pollution (see Jevons paradox). The Deep Green movement looks to pre-industrial and pre-civilization, land-based cultures as models for sustainable ways of living.

~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deep_Green_Resistance

See also: At Occupy

I wonder how you can create and build a good set of ideas without it becoming an 'ism' ..?

Sometimes, the groups who are thinking outside the box, have simply defined more boxes out there, and still demand that their box's boundaries are sacrosanct.

James Carse on Finite and Infinite games.. http://www.worldtrans.org/pos/infinitegames.html

There are at least two kinds of games: finite and infinite.

A finite game is a game that has fixed rules and boundaries, that is played for the purpose of winning and thereby ending the game.

An infinite game has no fixed rules or boundaries. In an infinite game you play with the boundaries and the purpose is to continue the game.

Finite players are serious; infinite games are playful.

Finite players try to control the game, predict everything that will happen, and set the outcome in advance. They are serious and determined about getting that outcome. They try to fix the future based on the past.

Infinite players enjoy being surprised. Continuously running into something one didn't know will ensure that the game will go on. The meaning of the past changes depending on what happens in the future.

All games are inherently voluntary. There might be consequences of not playing, but there is always a choice required. Driving in the right side of the road, shaking people's hands, and paying taxes are games one has a choice about playing. There are certain rules and boundaries that appear to be externally defined, and you choose to follow them or not. If you stop following them you aren't playing the game any longer.

There is no rule that says you have to follow the rules.

All finite games have rules. If you follow the rules you are playing the game. If you don't follow the rules you aren't playing. If you move the pieces in different ways in chess, you are no longer playing chess.

Infinite players play with rules and boundaries. They include them as part of their playing. They aren't taking them serious, and they can never be trapped by them, because they use rules and boundaries to play with.

Just some food for thought..

sounds like some freeman on the land b.s.

Freeman on the land or freeman is a form of pseudolegal woo existing in various English-speaking countries. Freemen believe that they can opt out of being governed and that legislative acts only apply with consent, as they are a form of contract. They believe they are only bound by their own bizarre version of common law. They will often assert that the law doesn't apply as they do not consent and do not agree to contract with the state, even going so far as to believe they have a lawful right to refuse being arrested if they do not consent. Essentially, they're hilarious and somewhat less threatening sovereign citizens.

For you (and TrueKaiser), I'd respond simply with...


Truekaiser: Yes, with regard to your link, I suppose freedom or democracy etc., are hilarious from some perspectives.

The link above....

One Third of World's Energy Could Be Solar by 2060, Predicts Historically Conservative IEA

..does not quite live up to the headlines expectations. It is talking about world electricity production, which is different from the authors, (IEA), forecasts of total energy use. Using the solar energy perspectives as the source of the information...


..it predicts that solar PV would make up ~5,000 TWh of annual electricity production and be ~13% of total electricity production by 2050 (in the scenario that assumes 75% renewables). What it totally ignores is the economics.

I have before raised the topic of tthe Moree solar farm and the cost for the 150 Mw power station of $923m. This power station is located ideally in terms of solar hours plus infrastructure of existing roads, labour force and transmission lines, yet the installation costs of the solar farm are still over 66% of the total.


This power station at 150 Mw, by using tracking and space between the modules can be expected to produce maximum power for 6 hrs/day, over a year or a total of 328,500 Mwh/yr. At this rate the world will need the equivalent of 15,220 of these built over the next 38 years.
To dispell the arguments about cost reductions of future solar panels, assuming the panels are FREE, the costs are still way too high. Without the cost of panels (~$2/Watt for Moree) the cost is $623m for 150MW.

As we need to produce 400 of these a year, the cost would be $249b a year for installation alone with FREE panels in ideal locations. We will rapidly run out of ideal locations. The costs of materials needed for installation are not likely to go down in a constrained energy and resource future either.

You would think the world's leading energy agency, and those who report on it, would not confuse "electricity" with all "energy". But it seems to happen all the time, and only serves to obfuscate the public (and some politicians). This, in turn, leads to excessive resources being put towards non urgent things (e.g solar panels in Britain) at the expense of urgent things - reducing oil usage. I can't see this changing until there is a major shock of some kind.

AS for the Moree solar farm, what an expensive waste. It has been billed a major step forward, and will show how this type of system (tracking solar) can be "integrated" into the grid. In reality, it is a huge cash cow for the operator BP, who are spending lots of money on needlessly expensive control/tracking systems. Of course, BP is involved in the production/sale of the tracking systems - the only part that is custom built and not mass produced.

With the wholesale price of panels now south of $1/W, you can make up for the lack of tracking simply by adding 30% more panels, for an effective price of $1.30W, and get the same daily kWh.

The $/daily kWh of this system is more than even domestic rooftop systems. The Moree farm will be so expensive that it will never be replicated, with the panels so cheap and tracking so expensive, all future systems will be rigid panels on simple ground mounts. This should still be cheap enough to do in the future.

This is what I consider to be a real "market" index;

- most of the site you or I will find are retail prices, and we are talking here about a 150MW installation - that wil get pencils sharpened.

best I see for retail prices are about $1.30/Watt

I've seen pallet prices (ok, it's not retail but neither industrial scale either, just organise a group buy with 2 or 3 others) on Ebay for Eur 0.5 per Wp and these are not no-name brands.

Paul, I think 30% extra for nonn tracking is wishful thinking. My own 5Kw system gets a maximum of about 30Kwh a day at this time of year. The angle of our panels is set for summer maximum and shade from trees only takes 5-6 KWh off the total possible. A tracking system would at least double the output at well over 60KWh/day. During winter when our angle is poor, a tracking system would more than triple the output.

Obviously there are losses for the electrical energy used in moving the modules, but overall from my experience with my own system, I believe that you would need to double the number of panels to get the same output from stationary setups. So instead of just 30% more panels, 100% more brings up other costs as well as a concentration of electricity production in only the middle hours of the day.

Can you point me to some other large solar PV installation being built differently that acknowledges the costs?


Here's a study by a tracking mfr (wattsun) that found a 3kW tracked system produced the same as a 4kW fixed system - i.e. a 33% increase per installed watt.


You could do a bit better with a "fixed" system by varying the tilt seasonally, but even when they did that, it only upped the output by 3%.
if you are getting some shading, and you are not using micro-inverters, then the output of your whole array is being affected.

Setting for summer maximum will lower the total annual production, best is about lat-10 deg, but it sounds like you have more going on there.

I can;t find industry stats about tracking v non tracking installations - both are being built - so we can probably assume they are still competitive.

I would be surprised if tracking system costs are coming down as fast as the panels, but that might be possible.

The system in Australia that started this is coming in at about $6/installed watt - that seems VERY high. but there may be more to it than just the tracking costs - i suspect it also has something to do with it being a sole source contract.

The good news is that all PV systems are getting cheaper - whatever works best for you - works best!


Very simple question...is it even feasible/practical to have a small pv array (no micro inverter system) in our neck of the woods? I have an awesome metal roofed carport on a 22.5 degree (6/12) that faces exactly due south Mag and faces right up the valley and unimpeded. Yesterday sun all day, but being Vancouver Island we have more cloudy days than not.

Of course we are at +50 deg north.

The south facing side is approx. 500 sq ft. I have not even bothered to really check into this as I assumed the efficiency would simply be too low.

Thanks in advance....paulo

Paulo, I have the Solar Pathfinder and associated software. I ran a report for 50N 127W and using the weather data from the weather station in Port Hardy, BC. I set the panel tilt to 22.5 and the azimuth to 198(compass 180). This has 3000 watts of PV panel and I've set inverter efficiency to 100% so this represents DC KWH/month from the PV. The program also shows the so-called ideal conditions of 180 azimuth and 50 degree panel tilt. Interestingly the total yearly KWH is nearly identical, your roof tilt makes more production in the summer and less in the winter.

I can run a report for any components you want and email the pdf report to you.

Of course, for a few bucks more, Paulo could tilt the rack on the roof, far enough to find the ideal angle, and of course, if this is along the upper portion of the roof, the lower portion could be painted white or shiny to add a degree of of reflective gain for the array.. (would need to check on Snow Elimination issues and possibly on heat-tolerance of the panels getting additional 'suns'.. tho' it would be unlikely this could really be a situation to overload panels that need to be able to survive in Southern Desert Environments..)

It would likely also warrant shielding the backside/underside to prevent blown snow from gathering and loading the roof..

thank you so much, folks. I am on the run. Will/haved saved comments and get back to you augi.

Thanks again.


I once did a calculation estimated maybe 50% more full 2axis tracking. Estimated +5% for seasonal tilt adjustments. Doesn't seem worth the xtra complexity. It will be site dependent.

I wonder about single axis tracking, mounting fixed tilt panels on a turntable, so they face east in the morning, south at noon, at west at sunset. This might be easy and probably provides at least half the boost of full 2axis tracking. It might even be ameanable to manual turning; one technician could move many turntables.....

If we get super efficient panels -the people working on thin thin GaAs claim efficiencies in the mid thirties are possible,then the benefit per tracker would be nearly doubled, and the cost stay about the same. So I wouldn't count trackers out longterm.

I saw a system in Alabama where the guy used old truck axles planted vertically in concrete, welded a plate to the wheel and welded frames to the plate to mount his panels. He operates three of these things with a single linear (push-pull) actuator and connecting rods controlled using a unit from my link, below. This system could be adapted to solar hot water panels with a bit of imagination. The axle bearings make the system almost effortless to move. Quite ingenious, IMO.

Thanks! You've just given me an idea of what to build with the many huge bearings I have sitting around here.

Paul, in my opinion it's not a question if 'or', but 'and'. And it doesn't have to cost government much. There are relatively small things a government can do to make private investment in PV interesting to oridinary citizens. One thing is to ensure by law that potential investors have a long-term view on the performance of their investment. There are many techniques to accomplish this, e.g. introduce a FIT (doesn't cost government a penny, because consumers pay for production via their energy bill) or allow offsetting consumption with production at retail price. This alone should increase private investment in renewable energy, so that government can concentrate on lowering foreign oil imports (and oil usage ofcourse).

The gov needs to facilitate (greatly reduce) the burden of paperwork/permitting. In many places for small systems this can add $.50 to $1.00 per watt. It also introduces delays into the project. These "soft" costs can represent a significant chunk of BOS costs.

More utility than government, most places. Speaking (self-appointed) for the utilities and the good actors among installers, if there weren't so many yahoos in the PV installation business balance of system interconnection costs driven by utilities would go down for the good actors. I have yet to get a complete application from an installer on certain categories of interconnection. Sometimes they are clueless, sometimes they are trying to elide their non-compliance with utility requirements (they don't follow NEC either, and the inspectors don't know the difference). Of ocurse, as DG grid penetration goes up, interconnection costs will INCREASE, since we won't be able to ignore the grid effects any longer.

P.S. My Dad's in the install business, but a high fraction of installers are clowns.

" ...with the panels so cheap and tracking so expensive, all future systems will be rigid panels on simple ground mounts. This should still be cheap enough to do in the future."

As one who has proven that tracking doesn't have to be expensive or complex, I have to disagree. I have built three trackers for about the cost of my one Wattsun unit, or roughly the cost of one of my inverter/chargers. On the utility scale, I suggest that costs suffer from the same issues as the nuclear industry: Custom designs for each installation, lack of standardization, and overly complex designs. My homebuilt units have proven to be robust, very effective (increasing annual production ~35%), and more durable than my commercially sourced unit. Electronics are @100$ US, new linear actuators around $130, other materials (locally sourced) less than $300. My overall costs where much less via salvaging/scrounging.

At some point I plan to control multiple arrays using only one electronics package and one actuator using a cable and pully (master/slave) system. The actuators and electronics are powered directly from the arrays and use a small fraction of total output. These are single axis trackers as dual axis systems add more complexity and cost with an only minor return in increased production. In my situation, seasonal adjustments for elevation are simple and quick.

My first control system was a simple clock driven system with three positions, morning, noon and afternoon, resulting in around a 20% increase in production.

Space requirements are pretty much a wash between tracking systems or adding more fixed panels, as the tracking arrays need the space to avoid shading each other early morning and late afternoon.

My primary goal was an increase in winter production, which has been significant. While I agree that tracking isn't appropriate for many situations, it can be useful for increasing output by utilizing simple off-the-shelf electro-mechanical tech and few exotic materials. The industry's insistence on reinventing wheels and overly complex solutions has given PV tracking an undeserved bad rap, IMO.

"My primary goal was an increase in winter production, which has been significant. "

So why does it make more of a difference in the winter? The sun rises in the SE, and sets in the SW 8 hours later. South-facing panels would see the sun all day.

In the summer, The sun rises in the NE well be for e I get up at 6 AM, and the panels wouldn't see it for several hours until it crossed to SE. About supper time the Sun is mostly west, so the panels are not illuminated, and sunset in the NW is still several hours off yet at about 9 PM.

I may have to find some software and play with it and draw some pictures.

It's mainly that we need the extra production more in the winter. The 25+% gain we get means more, offsetting the shorter days and keeping the panels facing the sun helps counter the sun's lower angle. During cold, clear days, peak output often exceeds peak during summer, albeit for a shorter period. A good article on tracking here:


(pdf), including a nice comparison chart by month, Tucson vs. Seattle.

If your panels are at a steep angle for the winter, then some sort of flatplate reflector just south of the panels could provide a pretty good boost. I bought a 4*8 piece of plywood with an aluminized reflective side yesterday. Im using it, to reflect a bit more sun through a window. This sort of stuff, or stapled attic foil, probablt won't concentrate sunlight too much if it gets warped into a concave curve -but I'd monitor them in any case. Maybe you can get 1.5suns during the winter season?

Ghung, I am happy that you have been able to build innovative, inexpensive and successful tracking systems.
Unfortunately, nothing innovative or inexpensive ever seems to make its way into these government subsidised utility projects. They often seem to be built in a way to maximise complexity, creating lots of work for engineers and consultants. You can be sure that they would turn their nose up at your system, partly because you can;t guarantee the longevity, and (more likely) because they didn;t think of it.

So, I do agree tracking itself is not a bad thing, it's just that in these projects , it seems to get overdone and actually lowers the ROI, not improve it.

I wonder if the next thing we'll see coming out of China are cheap modular tracking systems - there would appear to be an opportunity for them to commoditise (and expand) that market.


It seems that tracking systems are very popular in the larger installations. The article here claims 85% of larger installations use trackers, and I've seen this figure used elsewhere.


I've rapidly come to the conclusion that washing the panels greatly enhances the overall performance. It is easy for me to get on the roof and do it. Large scale solar power stations in dryer locations would need constant cleaning, perhaps having a lot less panels on trackers would be of benefit.

Another benefit of trackers is spreading peak production throughout the day. Current panel roof setups like mine have the peak between 10-2. As peak useage in Australian cities tends to be late afternoon to early evening, especially in summer, having higher solar production then has it's benefits.

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that trackers are important for large scale solar power stations, as all the rooftop fixed installations will increasingly have the 10-2 slot covered. The worst thing possible in setting up a carbon free future, is having power wasted in the middle of the day and nothing in the morning and evening. This is possibly the thinking of TPTB.

If trackers are used for 85% of large scale installations, then my earlier figures are accurate and there is not a hope in hades of the money being invested nor the resources available in an energy constrained future to allow anything like BAU.

Actually, you can skew your peak production hours a little by tilting your panels east, for an earlier peak or west, for a later peak. You still have the problem of the UV having to penetrate more atmosphere the further you are from noon but as long as you're not trying to achieve peak production close to sunrise or sunset you should get reasonable results.

Alan from the islands

And there are solutions like the clockwork trackers of the sheffier dishes as done in India.

I don't have any pv yet but i built a solar domestic hot water system and solved the tracking problem for the most part by placing the collector that I normally pass by daily by daily morning and evening and most days around noon.

It's dual axis and I just give it a shove or tug-takes about ten seconds as I pass by, or a minute and a half if I make a trip outside to take care of it.

Hopefully I will be able to build my own automated tracking system, but so far I haven't figured out how to do so without buying a bunch of expensive parts.

I would like to build a parabolic solar cooker about three feet or so in diameter and eighteen to twenty four inches deep with the focus internal to the bowl , so I can cover it with tempered glass, and have the pot under the glass.Unfortunately , I last took a math class well over forty years ago, and can't remember how, supposing I ever knew in the first place.I've looked at dozens of solar energy sites without finding a solution to this problem.

We (or I) might be able to help with any math stuff. Probably only algebra and some calc are needed. And in any case even without doing it elegantly, hacking an approximate solution via brute force on the computer can also be done.
I tried to build something like that when I was in high school. Didn't know calc, but invented crude numerical integration for paper and pencil computation.


here is a very interesting plan for a DIY tracking solar oven. This one uses external reflectors instead of a parabolic mirror. The thing sits on a lazy susan bearing and uses a geared down DC motor to drive it. something like the motors used for bbq rotisseries would work well, and they use very little power.


Of course, if you wanted to stay away from electricity, you could rig up a clockwork mechanism powered by weights on a chain, or a water clock.

Another option perhaps easier than a parabolic would be to use a large fresnel lens, and just place the pot at the spot These are commonly acrylic, and could sit above a single pane of glass - giving you double glazing, and without the hassle of a parabolic.

but if you must go parabolic, you can find out how to do the calculations at Build it Solar, and a description of how to make a tool for drawing parabolas


Work is being done on BOS (Balance Of System) costs as well. These should be coming down as well. The Germans are installing PV at $3/watt total cost (although tracking systems have a better capacity factor). Obviously BOS is the most important arena for cost reduction going forward.

Install the system yourself (slashes perhaps 1/3 of BOS)?

regarding the surviving progress mentioning not being able to make tires without petroleum, how about Yokohoma's tires that use orange peel oil?

They are selling multiple tire designs made this way

dB Super E-spec http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Yokohama&tireModel=dB+S...

BluEarth-1 http://www.yokohamatire.com/news/detail/yokohamas_orange_oil_tire_techno...

I'm not sure if the dB Super E-spec is used as an OEM tire but I know the BluEarth-1 tire is being used as one of the OEM tire choices on the new Prius V (Wagon).

they are not made without oil .....

"tire that utilizes oil from orange peels to reduce use of petroleum"

....."allows for less petroleum to be used in the manufacturing process"


I once enjoyed, on the public transport on the way to a two-month work contract in the mornings, some mandarins. In the process, I would deliberately pinch the peels to squeeze the oil out in a fine mist to enhance the ride with mandarin scent.

And if you squeeze that fine mist onto a lit match, you can make nice little flares - highly flammable stuff!

or squeeze it into your wife/girlfriends eye and you will really see a flare-up!

I actually used orange oil to mask odours from a sewage lift station some years ago. The vent filter system failed and we bought a 55gal drum of orange oil and poured it into the lift station. it floats on top of the water and stops the sewage odours. the incoming sewage falls through it, and the pumps cut off before the surface level gets to their intake. It got diluted eventually, but it got us out of trouble, and the sewage plant smelled like oranges for weeks.

It also cleaned every bit of grease/scum off the waterline of every tank in the place.

Gee... clean tanks, fresh-smelling sewage, orange-scented plant... Did you also sprinkle rainbow glitter here and there, wear fancy duds and invite the ladies over?

Ingenious! Sounds like a waterless urinal writ large.

pretty much the same concept, just cheaper. For the price of about six of those cartridges, you can get 60 gal of the orange oil!


Some of these organic oils really are amazing. Eucalyptus oil for example, was used in steam locomotives in Australia. It boils with the water, and puts a very thin coating on all the metal surfaces (a bit like seasoned cast iron) of the boiler, pipes, pump and engine, preventing the buildup of rust and scale.

Made the steam smell nice too, and cleared everyones noses!

That's cool. I'll have to get some citrus and try it out before the produce transportation stops running from the south for good.

If you're playing with matches or smoking on a public transit bus, you'll have more to worry about than I with my mandarin mist. But we might both be hauled off the bus in any case. ;D

1. I never said they were made without oil. In fact I specifically said they used orange oil. Petroleum is "rock oil". Gotta be careful with your choice of words when multiple types of oil are being used in one conversation.

2. If they are made with a combination of petroleum and orange oil it could be just hype. But what if you could ramp up the process and use less petroleum and more orange oil as the ratio of price of the two liquids changes?

The quote was "Very soon, believes Ruppert, we won’t even be able to make the tires to put on the cars". Is that true or can orange oil be substituted on a larger scale as supply of petroleum falters?

I have no knowledge of the amounts they are using per tire but they are selling more tires each year with orange oil in them. It'd be nice if you or any other TOD member could enlighten us with better numbers on the per tire oil breakdown.

Modern tires are made with a complex cocktail or compounds - including natural rubber (from rubber trees). Milkweed has marginal economics today from, I believe, an Ohio State report.

IMVHO, natural sources (natural rubber, orange oil, milkweed, etc.) could make up a good % of a competitive tire (last 40-50k miles, good traction) but not 100%.

Best Hopes for Natural Substitutes,


The question is: what is the Energy Return on the Energy Invested to produce the Orange Oil? If it's anything like Ethanol from US Corn, it's not really an attractive option. Also, deriving industrial products from agricultural ones has its own set of problems, most importantly the use of Phosphorus as fertilizer. Phosphorus is mined from Phosphate Rock of which there is a finite amount. It's not a critical problem now, but it will be in 15 to 20 years because there is no substitute for Phosphorus and Phosphorus is essential to life.

No easy solutions, unfortunately.

The oil comes from the waste stream of the orange juice making market.

It has many uses - including replacing Freon type solvents in PC board making.

Be sure to include the juice market in your EROEI calcs.

Good Luck.

OK, since I haven't seen numbers in other reply's how about this:

Engineers at Yokohama Tire have come up with tires that are 80 percent petroleum-free, the company’s director of technical services, Dan Guiney, said. The Yokohama dB Super E-spec, introduced in Japan in 2007, uses chemically modified natural rubber and a processing oil that is derived from orange peels. The peels are shipped from orange juice factories near the tire plant in Japan.


So if petroleum use is reduced by 80% per tire we just have to ask can the process scale up to a significant portion of their overall production? Apparently it's scaling some as they've gone from doing it for racing tires, to after market car tires, to OEM car tires (progressively larger scale each time a new tire line was introduced with orange oil).

Is it all marketing hype supported by high margins or is it reasonable to assume this is a long term cost effective move? I don't have profit or cost numbers to share nor do I have any hint how much the cost of manufacturing is affected by this orange oil switchover.

SolarReserve CEO: We Spend Too Much on Imported Oil


Yes, he is right on that, but just how, exactly, does doing any amount of solar electricity production, decrease oil imports?

These solar and wind industry types are are very good at saying how much is spent on oil, while quietly avoiding the fact that their technologies do not displace any oil.

It is too bad the interviewers did not ask him, point blank, that question.

They have some impact on oil consumption to the extent wind and solar provide electricity for EV's and hybrids. It probably amounts to a very small fraction at this point, but nonetheless its something to build on.

Also, Pickens plan was to expand wind to decrease use of NG, to use instead on converted localized trucking and taxis that run on NG. The more localized transport that uses NG in this manner, the less diesel, and in turn oil used.

That is a very tenous connection. I have not heard any reports of people *not* buying EV's because their is not enough wind or solar electricity being produced.

The fact is that we could easily power quite a fleet of EV's today, with the existing electrical system, if most of the charging is done at night.

The Pickens plan was fine as it went, but even there, expanding solar electricity production makes no real difference.

What I object to is the way they raise a legitimate, large problem - the cost of imported oil - and then segue immediately into why they should be given money for their pet project that has no direct impact on oil use.

Even just paying that money as subsidies for EV's (incl EV conversions) would actually have some impact on oil use. then solar can vie for a part of the increasing electricity market.

Putting up GW of solar tomorrow won;t make any real dent in oil use, but spending the $billions on solar, instead of on EV's, electric rail, getting homes of heating oil etc etc will likely keep oil use higher than it needs to be.

With limited resources to spend, they should be going into things that directly reduce oil usage, not ones where it is a small secondary effect.

With limited resources to spend, they should be going into things that directly reduce oil usage, not ones where it is a small secondary effect.

Compared to the amounts of government money being pissed away on for example the military, these programs are small potatoes. I prefer to think of oil as just one of a whole constellation of resource depletion issues related to limits to growth. In that broader viewpoint, all the renewables fit together. So while WT and PV have little direct effect on oil consumption, they do get us moving in the right direction in some very similar problem areas.

Also if you think about my dream car. This is a PHEV, with solar panels of the roof/hood. Such a vehicle isn't going to be 100% solar powered, myabe 10-20% is more realistic. But such aa vehicle won't make economic sense until PV technology improves considerable. The empirical Moores law type thing for PV, is the cost drops 20% for every doubling of global capacity. So pushing up demand/supply by any means in the early years can have a big impact on what will be available ten or twenty years down the road.

...a chicken in every pot and PV panels on every garage...

Oil is indeed just one of many depletion issues, but arguably the biggest threat at present.

Now, I'm not saying the government can't support PV - but I am saying it should not do so for reasons of reducing oil use, and it should be very clear in its communications - and to date it, and the industry have not been - that generating solar electricity does not (with some specific exemptions) reduce.

We are better off having intelligent discussion on all these topics, and deliberate misleading statements like the solar guy is making should be out in their place.

I do think at this point that gov billions spent on solar, that mostly displaces NG electricity, has not been as good value to the country as oil displacing projects (elec rail, more freight rail, CNG trucks, Ev's etc) would have been.

As someone who has both a Nissan Leaf and 12 KW of PV solar, let me point out that while PV does not now displace a significant amount of oil, it could.

12,000 miles per year of driving in a 20 mpg car uses 600 gallons per year, costing $2,000+.

At 4 miles per KWH in a Leaf (I get 4.4), this 12,000 miles takes 3,000 KWH, which can be produced by 2 KW of PV. PV prices have come down so that the basic panels cost some $2,800 plus some mounts and electronics.

Bottom line, for the cost of 2-3 years of gasoline, you can get renewable, sustainable PV to support the same amount of driving for the rest of your life.

So the government should both support PV and point out that the combination of PV and EV really does make economic sense.


The oil displacement has been done by the Leaf, not the PV. Unless you happen to live in Hawaii, where most of their electricity does come from oil, then any source of electricity that is supplied to you, is oil free.

Now, putting up your PV system is about gaining your own energy independence, which is a different thing.
And, your system as described, does not include either a grid connection, or storage, so the actual cost will be higher. if you are plugging into the grid, then, well, you could just use the grid supply anyway. if you are doing stand alone battery, you run the risk of not having enough at some times and too much at others.

The EV is one way to get off oil. the decision then as to how to supply said EV is quite a different one. Given that many utilities have very cheap off peak charging rates for EV's (as low as 5c/kWh) your annual "fuel" bill could be as low as $150 - so even your $2800 system takes 18 yrs to catch up.

In any case, PV without the electric car doesn't save any oil, and the electric car without PV does - it's that simple.

As the physicist Richard Feynman said "in matters of introducing a new technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, because nature cannot be fooled". Which do you think is happening here?

If you use your EV to drive to work in the morning, your vehicle is not at home to receive any of the 12Kw of power being generated, unless you have trackers or have your panels oriented East to catch the earliest morning sun.

A second set of batteries for the EV, that you physically change over every day would overcome this, but of course have a much higher capital cost in the first place, as well as being an annoying extra chore.

There are two easy ways to solve this:

1. Put the PV on a "carport" roof over a parking space at work, so the car charges during the work day. Google and others have installed this.

2. Use the grid as your "battery": use a grid-tie inverter (the most common, and not very expensive), sell your PV power to the grid during the day and buy it back to charge the car at night. Good for you, good for the utility.

It's true that you could buy grid power for the car, but if that power is generated from coal or natural gas, that is still fossil fuel and adds to global warming.

It's true that you could buy grid power for the car, but if that power is generated from coal or natural gas, that is still fossil fuel and adds to global warming.

Absolutely true. but this issue was about displacing oil imports, and that was the link that the Solar CEO was implying, which just isn't true.

I think it really comes down to a question of priorities - is it more important to get the US off oil, or to do GW abatement that does not reduce oil use?

I think oil is more important, and a significant reduction in oil use will achieve a significant reduction in GHG. A significant reduction in electricity related GHG's does nothing for oil usage, so why not go with the 2 benefits for the price of one?

is it more important to get the US off oil, or to do GW abatement that does not reduce oil use?

Electrifying and expanding freight railroads - and shifting freight from road to rail - does both quite well.

Best Hopes,



'Iran says oil would go over $250 if exports banned'

The U.S. Senate voted on Thursday to penalize foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran's central bank, the main conduit for its oil revenues, and the European Union is considering a ban on oil imports from the Islamic Republic.

But so far neither Washington not Brussels has finalized its move against the oil trade or the central bank amid fears of the possible impact on a fragile global economy of restricting oil flows from the world's fifth biggest exporter.

Sounds like all the bluster to block Iranian oil exports is giving way to concern over supply and pricing. The trouble with making threats followed by taking no action, is it emboldens Iran.

I wonder if Iran might be claiming their use of nuclear is for peaceful reasons, because once they have nukes the likelihood of an attack on Iran fades away. Afterall, having nukes is a deterrant to attack.

Well, it's also worth considering that the likelihood of an attack on Iran by the usual suspects ( ie the US or Israel ) is just as much bluster in its own way - the threats have been flying around for the best part of two decades now.

The fundamental point though is that Iran is a systemically important part of the global energy complex, and as such is a systemically important economy; going to war with Iran is a substantially costly enterprise, and the economic blowback, even in the best case scenarios, is fierce and immediate. Not a chance with a very dodgy economy in an election year.

The senate provision that was voted on doesn't take effect, assuming the Obama administration signs off on it, until July 1st 2012. Think of it as a "threat in being" - actually attempting to sanction the central banks of China, Japan, South Korea, India, Turkey and a few others is never going to happen - there will simply be a replay of the 1997 Clinton experience with ILSA, when the EU succesfully blunted its extraterritorial provisions by threatening to get the WTO to rule on the legality of extraterritorially-applied sanctions ( they're against the rules ). Taking seriously the idea that any US administration would seek to restrict global oil supplies going into hurricane season in a presidential election year is obviously bonkers - the imperative is for declining gas prices, and that's an immovable object.

The EU has already demurred on the central bank issue/oil embargo - for the simple reason that whilst oil may be fungible, prices are not, especially in tight markets. Given that the Libyan conflict necessitated a 60 million barrel IEA release ( 30 million from the US SPR ), and that, apart from the ongoing Libyan production deficit, there are currently at least 4 additional oil/product market pressure points in play ( Yemen, Syria, Sudan-South Sudan spat, Egypt gas pipeline cut-offs to Israel and Jordan ), there is little prospect of any additional oil coming to market in the near-term that could offset Iranian supplies.

Link up top: Top Total executives to attend World Petroleum Congress in Doha

Total, which is the platinum sponsor of the 20th World Petroleum Congress in Doha, will have about 50 high-level executives attending the key event in Doha from December 4 to 8...

A highlight is the keynote speech that will be delivered by Total’s President and CEO, Christophe de Margerie on the theme: “Peak oil- ahead of us or behind us?” on December 7.

The keynote speech at the World Petroleum Congress will be on peak oil. This should be interesting. Also notice that the title of the speech does not question whether peak oil is real or not, only when it occurred or will occur.

Ron P.

The Tepco report ignores the radiation emitted from the spent fuel ponds!


3.7 Spent Fuel Pools and Dry Cask Storage
Fukushima Daiichi had spent fuel stored in pools at each unit, in a common spent fuel pool, and in on-site dry cask storage. Spent fuel pool cooling flow was lost for all spent fuel pools following the loss of off-site power and was not immediately restored when the emergency diesel generators started. Unconfirmed reports were that sloshing of the water in the spent fuel pools resulted in a loss of some water during the earthquake. The explosion in the Unit 4 reactor building caused structural damage to the Unit 4 spent fuel pool, but it is not clear if the integrity of the pool liner was compromised.
Subsequent analysis and inspections performed by TEPCO personnel determined that the spent fuel pool water levels did not drop below the top of fuel in any spent fuel pool and that no significant fuel damage had occurred. Current investigation results indicate that any potential fuel damage was likely caused by debris from the reactor building explosions.
The dry cask storage building was damaged by the tsunami, and some of the casks were wetted. An inspection confirmed that the casks were not damaged by the event.

What? No mention of the hovering Chinook helicopter trying to drop water into the spent fuel pond of Unit 3?

The current TEPCO position is that they have no idea how so much radioactive material, as is found on the ground and measured by the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Sensors worldwide, escaped from Fukushima. It would be laughable if it wasn't criminal.

Edit: Japanese Press View

Report doesn't answer blast, radiation leak mysteries

Makoto Mitsui / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer

Why did such massive amounts of radioactive substances escape from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant? Why did explosions tear through its reactor buildings?

Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s interim report on the accident at the nuclear plant shed some light on some causes of the nation's worst-ever nuclear crisis, but these and other crucial questions remain unanswered.

The release of radioactive substances is believed to have peaked on the morning of March 15. As radiation spewed from the plant's reactors, residents in an extensive area--even as far as Iitatemura, Fukushima Prefecture, about 30 kilometers from the plant--were forced to evacuate.

According to both an NRC FOIA email and independent analysis (ZAMG et al.) based on Test Ban Sensors, the main March 15th release is thought to have come from Unit 4 fuel pool which TEPCO now says was a "lube oil fire" even though they said it was a fuel pool fire at the time.

TEPCO did imply earlier most of the release on March 15 probably came from Unit 2 but now they are saying it probably didn't and, as usual, they are clueless as to where it did come from. They further claim no release occurred from any fuel pool.

Even if they are speaking the truth about being clueless (and I don't believe that) then they have no business being in charge of anything nuclear ever again.

More curious events in Iran...

Iran says it shot down unmanned US spy plane


TEHRAN, Iran — Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency says the country's armed forces have shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along its eastern border.

The report says the plane was an RQ170 type drone and is now in the possession of Iran's armed forces. The Fars news agency is close to the powerful Revolutionary Guard.

Iran is locked in a dispute with the U.S. and its allies over Tehran's disputed nuclear program, which the West believes is aimed at the development of nuclear weapons. Iran denies the accusations, saying its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.

Most reports say "shot down" but Press TV Iran says

Iran military downs US spy drone

The informed source said on Sunday that Iran Army's electronic warfare unit successfully targeted the American-built RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft after it crossed into Iranian airspace over the border with neighboring Afghanistan.

He added that the US reconnaissance drone has been seized with minimum damage.

...The unnamed Iranian military official further added that “due to the clear border violation, the operational and electronic measures taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran's Armed Forces against invading aircraft will not remain limited to the Iran's borders.

Down with "minimum damage"? Almost as if they are trying to suggest they took control and landed it (highly unlikely you would think). At the very least they seem to be suggesting some form of e-warfare rather than physical fire. Could all still be made up though. Wonder if they'll show pictures?

Down with "minimum damage"?

I can imagine a whole host of possible ground truths. Ranging from made it up out of whole cloth, to took advantage of a drone malfunction, to sophisticated electronic countermeasures.
I think most AA munitions have some form of proximity detector, set to go boom when the munition is at its closest approach to the target. If it is real close, it would severely damage the target, not so close, and it might do just enough damage that it is unflyable. Perhaps shrapnel hit a control surface, and all the drone could do was fly in circles till it ran out of fuel? I woulda thunk the drone would be equipped with some sort of scuttling charge, so that any sensitive equipment could be damaged badly enough that hostile forces couldn't benefit from examing the wreckage. Maybe that system failed?

Tail-less flying wing, highly unstable. I doubt it would fly very well if damaged. Stealth too, how did they get a radar lock? As they say, photos or it didn't happen.


The US military drones were infected with a software virus of unknown origin for several months. I remember reading about it around a month or so ago. The virus wasn't causing control problems but they weren't having much success removing it at the time. Perhaps its linked or perhaps not.

Edit: U.S. Military Drones Infected With Mysterious Computer Virus

Seems they use Microsoft Windows on standard PCs to control the drones. What could possibly go wrong?

This is all just a cunning plan to infect Iranian military computers with the virus. Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

They should have spent the bucks and gone Apple - or Linux.

Choosing MS Windows seems *SO* stupid.


Choosing MS Windows seems *SO* stupid.

I'd change that to:Choosing MS Windows seems *SO* political.

Fox news got the title wrong - the drones were not infected. The command center had a key-logger.

the interesting thing to me is if you google the model of the drone you see that the drone is basically a smaller looking b2 bomber. think about that, why would we send one of these newer ones instead of a older and cheaper predator equipped only with a camera? was this a test to see if we could have our b2's slip in and out without their radar picking them up?

This falls under the heading of "foreplay" in military jargon (listed just a few terms below "collateral damage").

Good thing Obama got our troops out of Iraq.

It seems like Blogs are the only place you will find discussion about National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

Not that it matters I guess, it's Shop-till-you-drop season, so the distracted adult-sized children wouldn't notice anyway.

How did your senator vote?

Detainee Provisions in the National Defense Authorization Bills

Both House and Senate bills competing to become the National Defense Authorization Act for FY2012 contain a subtitle addressing issues related to detainees at the U.S. Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and more broadly, hostilities against Al Qaeda and other entities.

At the heart of both bills’ detainee provisions appears to be an effort to confirm or, as some observers view it, expand the detention authority that Congress implicitly granted the President via the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF, P.L. 107-40) in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

also Senate Wants the Military to Lock You Up Without Trial

Here’s the best thing that can be said about the new detention powers the Senate has tucked into next year’s defense bill: They don’t force the military to detain American citizens indefinitely without a trial. They just let the military do that. And even though the leaders of the military and the spy community have said they want no such power, the Senate ... [has already passed the bill].

So despite the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a right to trial, the Senate bill would let the government lock up any citizen it swears is a terrorist, without the burden of proving its case to an independent judge, and for the lifespan of an amorphous war that conceivably will never end.

What to Replace the Imprison-Americans Bill With

... In the absence of an overall conversion-to-sanity-and-sustainability bill, there is a related bill that has been introduced in the current Congress: "The Nuclear Weapons Abolition and Economic and Energy Conversion Act of 2011" introduced by Eleanor Holmes Norton. This bill is a concise thing of beauty which says: ...

and We need a 'Rout' of Wolves to Evict the 'Stench' of Skunks Occupying Washington


You scored a bull-eye in my book by posting these articles and advertising these ideas.

The special weapons complex duopoly in the two predominate player in this field has become a self-licking ice cream cone with corporate/middle-class-wealthy folks taxpayer-and -debt-funded welfare for decades now...

...And the idea of cutting this Social Security 'payroll tax holiday' is beyond stupid.

President Obama and the Congressional Democrats pushing this idea need to have their heads examined. Kudos to the Republicans for opposing it...except that now they are signaling that they might embrace it...big mistake.

Sounds like both the Ds and Rs are behind a 'back door' stealth course of action to cash the U.S. our of Social Security.

You know, if that is what our elected officials want to do, OK, at least have the guts to be transparent and have an open debate about this policy change.

Or maybe this was discussed in a closed classified session too, like the shale gas production session mentioned on a recent DB.

Its pretty scary stuff. I suspect it is mostly flying below the radar. People figure you gotta be a Muslim to be considered a "terrorist", so it won't affect them. Sure sounds like a very slippery slope to me. Soon they will be including ecoterrorists, then #OWS types. Its always convienient to expand the class of detainees, "just a little bit, and just for a short while until things settle down".

The U.S. has turned into a police state. I think it's obvious by now.

There's still a strong libertarian tradition in America, but things could get ugly if we ever devolve into civil war over all of this BS.

I don't have much knowledge in this matter but weren't the Japanese-Americans interned during World War II without a trial ? Isn't this kind of power standard practice in almost all countries.

They were. There was a minimal amount of due process. There was some mechanism that they could opt out (I think it was something along the lines of you can't live in a west coast state (the assumption being the Japanese invasion threat was to the west coast). It was a bad policy, born of paranoia and racism.

Interesting the most decorated for bravery outfit in the war (for the Americans), was the 442nd, Japanese American volunteers who fought in Italy. Japanese Americans in Hawaii, were not interred however, they were too big a part of the population.

During WW2, the threat was really of an existential nature. Now, its just a sort of paranoia, which feeds into political opportunism. Other countries have learned to accept that low level terrorism, is just a fact of life, and not something to go into a massive crusade about.

Canadians of Japanese ancestry were interned as well, as were people of Japanese descent in many Latin American countries.

Americans for the most part are cowards. There will be no civil war.

Soon they will be including ecoterrorists, then #OWS types.

ELF (Earth Liberation Front) is considered the number one terrorist organization in the US, and it has never physically harmed anyone.
However, it has made capital pay.
As they say "break a window, you are a vandal, clear cut a forest, you are a developer"

Australia approves uranium exports to India

"The [nuclear non-proliferation] treaty does not require that signatories sell nuclear fuel only to other signatory countries."

Australia, which has no nuclear power stations of its own, possesses nearly 40 per cent of the world's known uranium reserves, but supplies only 19 per cent of the world market.

India, Asia's third-largest economy, has long complained about the Australian ban and wants more access to uranium to meet an ambitious target for nuclear energy, with plans to build 30 nuclear power stations in the next 20 years.

This, regrettably, is a continuation of what has become Australia's primary business model - dig it up and sell it!

Wood fires fuel climate change – UN

There is little better on a winter's evening than curling up next to a wood fire, or the modern equivalent, a wood-fired boiler – unless it is the green warm glow you get from knowing that the fuel you are using is environmentally friendly and sustainable.

Except that it is not always. And nor is that two-year-old diesel car you bought because its fuel efficiency, compared with petrol models, makes it more green. As a United Nations report has just uncovered, wood burning and diesel vehicles are two of the biggest culprits in the developed world in generating the black carbon – soot – that is a major cause of climate change.

Refiners Prepare for Iran Oil Embargo

LONDON—European refiners are weighing the impact of a possible embargo on Iranian oil, the spokesman for their Brussels-based industry group said Friday, a day after the EU broadened sanctions on Iran but stopped short of an embargo.

... Proponents of the embargo said they were working to address the concerns of Greece and some other countries that fear an embargo would push prices up at a time when their economies are already struggling.

Iran exported 870,000 barrels a day to Europe in the second quarter, mostly to Spain, Italy and Greece, according to the International Energy Agency. Traders said they were taking precautions to have alternative supplies in place if an embargo is implemented.

In a note Wednesday, Fitch Ratings said "the likely increase in oil prices that would result from a ban would be felt by all oil refiners, not just those that are big customers for Iranian oil."

GM's model response to potential PR hell

What do you do if you are a carmaker, and your vehicles keep self-combusting? If you are General Motors, you write and call your customers personally, offer all of them free loaners, throw your resources into an intense examination of the problem, and hold a press conference to announce all these steps to the public.

It is articles like that which cause PR hell. There was one car, that was IN A CRASH TEST that caught fire 3 weeks later. They had not drained the battery. So how did that become "your vehicles keep self-combusting"? Vehicles plural? "keep" (as if it happens often)? "self-combusting"?

There are 250,000 vehicle fires in gas vehicles each year. But one Volt catches fire after it was put through a crash test and the battery was not drained and that means it is time for the haters to pile on.

Infernal combustion vehicles self combust too.


$7.7 Trillion to Wall Street - Anything to Keep the Banksters Happy!

According to documents obtained by Bloomberg News - in 2009 - the Fed dished out $7.7 trillion in no-strings-attached, super-low interest loans to Wall Street's biggest players.

That's $7.7 trillion!

That's more than half of the total value of EVERYTHING - every single thing produced in America - that same year. $7.7 TRILLION out the door - with no one bothering to inform the electorate about it until now.

Why inform the slaves?

Duffy Electric Boats
He called his first models Edisons, after his idol, Thomas Edison. Now, he frequently can be seen in the waters off Newport Beach in his own Duffy boat.

"We do 5 knots better than anyone in the world," Duffield said.

But plotting a course for the 41-year-old manufacturer hasn't always been as relaxing as lounging in one of his vessels. At first, traditional sailboat and powerboat owners were skeptical.

"Before the Prius and before electric vehicles had the appeal they have now, people used to laugh at us," Duffield said.



"Saudi Arabia to continue will continue production in accordance with market requirement, and demand, according to Saudi oil minister
- saudi Arabia has discovered commercially viable gas in Red Sea, empty quarter.
- Saudi oil output more than 10 MBPD.
- Saudi Arabia will continue exploration in tight gas, heavy oil; discoveries made.
- Saudi has no immediate plan to start production from newly discovered oil, gas fields."


New scientist has published an article rubbishing all the usual myths about AGW. Sort of like an FAQ for the climate skeptic