Drumbeat: August 1, 2012

Ageing UK North Sea boosted by tax break, oil price

(Reuters) - Britain's North Sea oil and gas industry, long in decline, is enjoying a rise in deals, drilling and job vacancies because of a tax break that combined with high oil prices may arrest the UK's falling production for a few years.

Chinese companies last week announced plans to spend billions on building a base in the British sector of the North Sea. A survey earlier this month pointed to rising levels of drilling and there has rarely been a better time to be looking for a job in the industry.

Venezuela's PDVSA faces growing debt burden

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA, will have to set aside between $4 billion and $7 billion annually for the next five years to make payments on its increasingly heavy debt burden, according to calculations by economists.

PDVSA, the financial motor of President Hugo Chavez's socialist "revolution," has funded its day-to-day spending in recent years by issuing dollar-denominated bonds and agreeing to bilateral loans with friendly governments such as China.

Power restored across India after historic blackout

NEW DELHI (AP) – Factories and workshops across India were up and running Wednesday after major electrical grid collapses caused the world's two worst power blackouts.

Blackouts highlight diesel needs, price problems

NEW DELHI/SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Diesel use in India temporarily spiked during two days of massive power cuts which left hundreds of millions of people without grid power, highlighting increasing clamour for the fuel to back up a rickety national grid.

Hot weather across the country and a shortfall in annual monsoon rains had already pushed demand as the grid struggles to meet peak consumption. The government has had to halve prices for farmers needing pumped water - ruling out any subsidy cut.

Oil Rises as Federal Reserve Meets, U.S. Supply Falls

Oil rose on speculation central banks will take steps to support the economic recovery and after U.S. crude inventories dropped the most in almost five years.

Futures advanced as much as 0.8 percent before the Federal Reserve concludes a policy meeting today. The European Central Bank’s Governing Council gathers tomorrow. U.S. supplies fell 11.6 million barrels last week, the most since September 2008, the American Petroleum Institute said yesterday. The Energy Department will probably report a 1 million barrel drop today, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Gas jumps 5 percent in July, now $3.50 nationally

Gasoline is at $3.50 per gallon for the first time this summer after a sharp run-up in July.

The price of gas rose 17 cents per gallon, or 5.1 percent this month, as oil rose and drivers burned more fuel on summer road trips. It was the first monthly increase since March, and the biggest gain in any July since auto club AAA started keeping records in 2000.

Natural gas rides heat wave, but not for long

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Natural-gas futures rose to their second consecutive double-digit monthly gain Tuesday as the humming of air conditioners thinned supplies of the commodity, which feeds about a third of the nation’s electricity.

But analysts say the more prices rise, the harder it will be for the commodity, which competes with coal as a fuel source, to extend recent gains.

Jet fuel price hiked by 4.5 percent

Oil marketing companies (OMC) Wednesday hiked aviation turbine fuel (ATF) or jet fuel price by 4.5 percent for the second time in a month.

Panetta says U.S. force an option against Iran nukes

ASHKELON, Israel (AP) – U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday that Iran must either negotiate acceptable limits on its nuclear program or face the possibility of U.S. military action to stop it from getting the bomb.

S. Africa cuts Iran oil import ahead Clinton visit

JOHANNESBURG (AP) -- South Africa cut all crude oil imports from Iran in June amid heavy European and U.S. sanctions over the country's nuclear program.

Tanzania wants amicable resolution on Lake Malawi

Tanzania Wednesday called for an amicable resolution to a dispute with Malawi over oil and gas exploration in Lake Malawi.

Oil Majors Avoid Philippine Bids for China-Claimed Sea Blocks

The Philippines received bids from local companies to explore offshore areas claimed by China in a tender that the world’s biggest oil and gas firms avoided as the nations feud over territory.

Anadarko Beats Analysts’ Estimates, Raises Sales Forecast

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the second-largest U.S. independent oil and natural-gas producer by market value, boosted its 2012 sales volume forecast and posted adjusted quarterly profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates.

BP Reports Loss on U.S. Asset Writdowns, Production Slump

BP Plc, Europe’s second-biggest oil producer, reported a loss in the second quarter as the company wrote down the value of U.S. assets and output dropped.

Migratory birds may reveal further impact of oil spill

(Phys.org) -- The full impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has yet to reveal itself, say researchers in the Tulane Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The largest-ever accidental release of oil into marine waters could impact earth’s ecosystems for years to come — and not just along the 650 miles of the northern Gulf of Mexico coastline directly affected by the spill.

Judge in Chevron Case Declines to Reject Award

The Chevron Corporation failed on Tuesday to persuade a federal judge in New York to find an $18.2 billion judgment by an Ecuadorean court unenforceable, but the judge left an injunction against the award in place pending further litigation.

Shell's Arctic Drilling Plans Scaled Back

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Shell Oil Co. says it has downsized its plan for off-shore drilling in the Arctic this year.

Shell now hopes to complete two wells in 2012 off Alaska's northern coastline. The company had planned on drilling up to five wells.

Mishaps and missteps raise doubts about Arctic drilling

Oil industry plans to drill exploratory wells in America’s Arctic Ocean got off to an inauspicious start recently, when a Shell Oil Co. drilling ship slipped anchor and drifted perilously close to the beach at Alaska’s Dutch Harbor. A tugboat pulled the massive rig back into place, and the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating.

The mishap – along with a series of other troubling setbacks – raises a question that some of us have been asking for the past year: Are we really ready to drill in such a remote and risky setting?

Oozing Fuel, in a New York Reservoir?

Did someone forget to remove two fuel tanks from the bottom of a New York City reservoir upstate before filling it with water?

Officials with the city’s Department of Environmental Protection said they still don’t know why the tanks remained submerged beneath the Pepacton Reservoir in Delaware County, but they turned up when the agency detected oil residue in the water during a routine patrol of the reservoir last May.

Let’s stop catering to Big Oil

Big Oil must love Canada. Our Prime Minister has become an unapologetic hustler for multinational oil companies (as if the most profitable corporations in history really needed the help). Now the two westernmost premiers are going all High Noon to maximize their cut from oil-sands pipelines.

U.S. bets on producing oil with captured CO2: John Kemp

LONDON (Reuters) - The United States can extract billions of barrels of otherwise unrecoverable oil by injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) underground and also needs to bury CO2, produced by its reliance on coal for power and industry, to fight climate change.

1846: The Year We Hit Peak Sperm Whale Oil

Energy experts predict that the global production of oil will soon start to decline, what's referred to as peak oil. Now while we may not be there yet, there was a time in our history when we did reach a similar plateau, but it was a very different kind of energy source — one that could only be extracted from the heads of sperm whales.

A balanced view of the peak oil situation

The peak oil debate is basically divided into three camps, those who wish to save the world, those who wish to safeguard jobs, and those who take a pragmatic view that encompasses both sides of the peak oil argument. To obtain a balanced view of the situation it is necessary to consider the views of all three of these groups.

Book Review: Life after grid crash

What would you do if the lights went off tomorrow, the power cut off for good? If you aren’t already living off-grid you’re going to be in for a bumpy ride.

If you are, great! But what happens next?

Carr signs uranium deal with UAE

AUSTRALIA has agreed to sell uranium to the United Arab Emirates as one of the Middle East's richest oil kingdoms switches to nuclear power.

The Foreign Affairs Minister, Bob Carr, signed a safeguards agreement in Abu Dhabi yesterday, intended to guarantee Australian uranium is only used for peaceful purposes.

Bill Magwood, NRC Democrat, Is 'Treacherous, Miserable Liar' And 'First-Class Rat,' Says Harry Reid

Reid is a vociferous opponent of storing nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. By backing Obama early in his campaign for president, he persuaded the candidate to promise to block the project. A former staffer of Reid's was named chairman, and Reid said he was assured by Pete Rouse, a senior White House official, that Magwood would also oppose Yucca. Instead, according to Reid and confirmed by sources familiar with the internal dynamics of the NRC, Magwood worked against the effort to shut down Yucca.

Top U.S. Solar Company Profits Amid Red for Industry

First Solar Inc. Chairman Mike Ahearn has found the best way to make money from photovoltaics is to sell whole power plants to Warren Buffett and NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE) instead of competing with China on panel sales.

Adult kids living at home on the rise across the board

"This 'Great Recession' has had tremendous effects that previous smaller recessions did not," says Zhenchao Qian, a sociology professor at Ohio State University and the author of the report for the US2010 Project, which studies trends in American society. "The surprise mostly is that it's increasing for every group."

West Virginia: Judge Strikes Down Water Rules

The Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its powers by setting water quality criteria for coal mining operations in Appalachia, a federal judge ruled Tuesday.

World's biggest eco-toilet scheme fails

The dry toilets in Inner Mongolia's Daxing eco-community have been quietly replaced after three years of bad smells, health problems and maggots

Q. and A.: Greening the London Olympics

Efforts to minimize the environmental impact of large-scale sporting events were “conspicuously absent” until Lillehammer played host to the 1994 Olympic Games in Norway, the United Nations Environment Program says. Responding to concerns raised by local environmental groups, Lillehammer’s organizers came up with a number of strategies, including a unique system for retrieving and recycling the bullets used in the shooting events.

New breed of ranchers shapes a sustainable West

Normally, listening to a cattleman talk with reverence about managing grass and water, using terms like "holistic" and "sustainable," would be akin to hearing an environmentalist marvel about the horsepower in an all-terrain vehicle. It seldom happens.

But a new breed of cowboy, like Jones, is changing how ranching is being done in the American West and might – just might – alter the dynamic in the "range wars" that have engulfed the region for more than a half century. Make no mistake: These are not new arrivals carrying out green techniques for the feel-good sake of being green. They are ranchers managing the land in benevolent and environmentally sensitive ways because they think it will help them survive – and make money.

Program Shapes the New Faces of Conservation

Joshua was one of six urban teenagers visiting this remote barrier island for a few days and nights last week, boys who had barely any experience in the wilderness but on whose shoulders the future of environmental science might rest. The boys are among 100 students from 22 states chosen by the Nature Conservancy for an intensive summertime month of working outdoors.

Are heat records performance-enhanced?

Heat records are wilting faster than the corn in the Midwest. July could end up as the USA's hottest month in recorded history. St. Louis, Indianapolis and Denver were among the cities on pace to shatter monthly records. St. Louis, in fact, has had a record 11 days of at least 105 degrees this summer.

This could, of course, just be an anomaly, like the Dust Bowl of the 1930s or Ruth's feat in 1927. Or, the explanation could be the same as in baseball, only less visible: The atmosphere is juiced. Not by steroids, but by the gigatons of heat-trapping greenhouse gases being emitted each year.

Natural cycles trigger extremes in weather

Weather is more publicized nowadays because of its impact on society and the constant push of the global warming agenda. Increases in population result in more people being in the path of Mother Nature's fury.

East Africa's forests shrink, especially near parks

"The decrease in forest cover is strongest just outside protected areas," Rob Marchant of the University of York, who co-ordinated the study in the journal PLOS One by experts in Britain, Denmark and the United States, told Reuters.

"Outside the parks there is very little legislation to prevent people from chopping down trees for timber or charcoal," he said. The study concluded there had been "mixed success" for protected areas in East Africa.

Race on to secure life after Kyoto

Countries driving the Kyoto Protocol process are pushing for a new global treaty to combat climate change to be in place by early next year.

Aviation battle lines drawn as first attempt at a global carbon deal turns sour

The row over the EU’s aviation carbon trading scheme has intensified with both sides making ramping up the rhetoric.

China to build first polar-expedition icebreaker

China is set to construct its first icebreaker for polar expeditions, state media said Tuesday, in a move it described as greatly boosting its ability to explore the strategic Arctic.

See how quickly the ice is melting in the Arctic

Arctic sea ice could be dwindling to a new record low level after almost equalling 2007’s one at the end of last year.

Climate change threatens California power supply: report

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California's electricity sector is more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought, as higher temperatures will impede the state's ability to generate and transmit power while demand for air conditioning rises, a report said Tuesday.

Chronic 2000-04 drought, worst in 800 years, may be the 'new normal'

The chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004 left dying forests and depleted river basins in its wake and was the strongest in 800 years, scientists have concluded, but they say those conditions will become the "new normal" for most of the coming century. Such climatic extremes have increased as a result of global warming, a group of 10 researchers reported in Nature Geoscience. And as bad as conditions were during the 2000-04 drought, they may eventually be seen as the good old days.

"U.S. bets on producing oil with captured CO2: John Kemp"

From the article:

From a climate perspective, carbon capture and storage (CCS)
remains an essential part of policy in the United States and
Europe, despite the lack of commercial projects on any
significant scale to capture emissions from power plants.

The word 'could' is prominently featured. For how long will 'we' pretend that we are going to do this? TOD'ers, I will be so bold to presume, recognize that this is never going to happen on a significant scale.

How long will society pretend that this is a solution? Why do we persist in pretending?

Part of my usual rant about this from last DrumBeat:

"The energy of ancient sunlight was stored in bonds with carbon atoms, and when we release it to burn in our Hemi pickups then the carbon is released too. If you want to bind that carbon atom back up again, you'll have to put some energy back into the process - probably a similar amount if you want it to stay bound up as securely."

From a big picture point of view I don't see how this works. It appears the idea is to cheat entropy by some means that does not require putting energy back into binding the carbon - either by sealing it "away" somewhere, or by using some other reaction that does not require quite as much energy to bind the carbon. But this all seems likely to fall afoul of entropy in the end - it will probably require more energy to do than is acceptable, and the carbon will not be as effectively sequestered as required.

And since the net energy of the fossil fuels we're getting is decreasing, how can we afford to lose more of it? I dunno, this just intuitively seems like it can't work.

My understanding is that CCS does not change CO2 to a new compound - the C-O chemical bonds are left as is. Instead, the CO2 is captured from the exhaust stream (not sure how) and pumped into deep groundwater. Kind of like fracking fluids, I guess.

I have no idea how feasible it is on a large scale. It does sound far-fetched.

Also once I saw a talk by a guy who claimed you could capture CO2 into a solid phase by (iirc) reacting it with Mg silicates. The CO2 would replace the silicates and the resulting product would be Mg Carbonate (dolomite). Again, I have no idea how feasible this is.

Both processes leave C oxidized & bonded w/ oxygen.

I have no problem with research and development on CCS, as long as it is not a substitute for reducing fossil fuel use and spinning up renewables.

Chemically, we aren't reducing the CO2 (removing the bonds with the Oxygen), but either dissolving the CO2 in underground fluids, or chemically combining it. The silicats to carbonates are the natural long term thermostat for the planet, but the time constant is something like a million years (warmer temps mean more erosion which increases the rate of silicate to carbonate weathering). The real questions are practical, if we burn FF at anything like current rates, we need to capture and store several cubic miles of CO2 per year. A few million tons here and there (like some current projects) just isn't up to the scale needed.

Using CO2 for enhanced oil recovery, you have to ask what the net sequestration is? Does it sequester more than burning the extra oil produces? Or is it just less carbon intense oil?

You're right on point here. CCS is one of those poorly conceived ideas that makes "common sense" to the populace, I mean if we store all of the CO2 we make then we can keep on consuming. But it's just going to be expensive and I can confirm many of the "sequestration" projects are using aiding enhanced oil recovery, so it's not really sequestration but an EOR aid.

In Alberta we're giving tonnes (to the tunes of billions) of money for research into CCS with currently no success with regards to the environment (I won't speak whether it's helping getting oil out of the ground since it's being sold to Albertans as an environmental strategy not an EOR aid).

Using Geoengineering to Control the Climate

The lack of humility before Nature displayed here takes my breath away. I wonder where we would put the carbon after we've sucked it out of the atmosphere. Bury it in the backyard? Store it in the basement? (We're talking about gigatons here—billions of tons.)

I also have little doubt that heroic geoengineering will (eventually) constitute an egregious (but inevitable) Error In Judgment. People are starting to think the unthinkable. It is only a matter of time before such thinking becomes commonplace.

Yeah, I'm pretty skeptical about CCS. It costs a lot of money to do the capture and if we do capture, where are we gonna store it all? yeah, we can stuff some in some old wells but there are only so many of them. And they don't tend to be located where the power plants are. CCS seems like a pipe dream to me. Once you start figuring all the costs it seems like there are so many better options (nuclear, more hydro, solar, wind, waves, etc.).

It's not just that there's better option (hydro, solar, wind, whatever) it's that money that could be going into researching those technologies is being funneled into CCS.

Anyways here's a good analysis of why CCS is bad for Alberta: http://andrewleach.ca/canadian-climate-policy/time-to-come-clean-on-ccs/

it's that money that could be going into


Now how much has been spent on da wur un Terrror? What if instead it was spent on the PV (or other things like hydro/wind/whatever)

CCS is simply too easy to stop doing. It's thus inherently a temporary non-fix, because once society starts getting at all prickly about there not being enough jobs, enough energy, enough whatever, the rules stop and the existing CCS plants stop doing it, and show immediate productivity and cost gains.

CCS, whether it is technically do-able or not, is not useful in a system run by humans. In the past, I have represented it by a dog with a bisquit balanced on its nose... pass it on.

the dog represents human society, the biscuit represents the extra expense and energy loss of CCS, and the tormenting owner is our current mild cognitive dissonance about destroying the world for no good reason. Not a stable state.

Greenie - Most excellent. Good enough for me to steal…err…borrow. The more I thought about your perspective the more examples I recognized. From individual BS fairy tales folks tell themselves to fee better to govt “policies” designed to collect votes more than results. Which reminds me of another post where someone mentioned some govt “policy” offered as a way to fix some problem I don’t recall. It was a policy that lacked actual actions to implement said policy. So how does a noble policy that isn’t implemented differ from political BS? Hint: that isn’t trick question. LOL

Heh. You'd probably be astonished how often we agree on most stuff. Now if only you'll admit that I could be right about .50 calibre military ammo being using on whales, and my staffmembers finding machine-gunned walruses with their tusks chainsawed off, then my anecdotes will have the same standing with you as yours about the oil biz do with me. And for that matter I have stories of being in the oil biz too, but they're old ones about doodlebugging in the '70's for GSI.

By all means steal the dog biscuit analogy!


greenie - Nope...not astonished at all. I've noticed the same. I agree about the trophy hunting...I always just hunted for the meat. But I don't hunt much now (difficult to sneak thru the woods on crutches. LOL). And 50 cal does seem a bit heavy handed. But my view may be a tad bloody for you sensibilities: A hunter is responsible for taking down game in the least traumatic way. I don't know how to hunt whales but maybe the 50 cal is the quickest kill. It may be confusing but this is my same rational for not bow hunting. Intentionally wounding an animal so it can slowly bleed to death isn't moral IMHO. I know...strange set of morals mine. LOL. But as far as hunting whales as long as the effort doesn't endanger the viability of the species I don't see it much different than slaughtering a cow. Of course, many folks don't like cows being killed either. Some even are upset about ridding a household of pesky rodents. I see it as just a personal choice more than right or wrong.

Doodle bugs. Now you have the youngsters on TOD heading to Wikipedia to see what the heck you meant. LOL. Next thing you know you'll be talking about an ice box. Old throw backs like us just can't let go of the old. Right now my cell phone is lying on my desk with an old fashion telephone handset plugged into it. Folks in the office laughed at first but now are a bit envious. I spend a good bit of the day on my cell so it's more comfortable. And just $10 from Ben's Outlet. And yes...I don't like ear buds. The only thing God meant for us to have in our ears is wax IMHO.

Hi Rock. Maybe you're forgetting the exchange, June 13 - "Setting aside a bit of hyperbole from greenish.." - I wasn't discussing the best caliber to use on whales and walrus, I was noting that I considered it inappropriate (as well as illegal) and it was assumed by AlaskaGeo that I was making it up (no). My point at the time, I think, was that allowances for traditional indigenous kills make little sense if the animals are being blown away with automatic weapons and sold for fun money. Or just shot and lost for the hell of it.

My opinions on humane killing are the same as yours, sounds like; I'm not a vegetarian and I'll kill and prep my own food. Problem is, our species is wiping out the other species on various pretenses. There's no real equivalence between wild endangered critters and domestic cows.

And cetaceans may in fact be different in another way, in that my work and that of others has shown that at least some species meet the test of self-awareness, meaning that killing them off is a lot like killing off "lesser races" of humans, like aborigines, negroes, injuns, wogs et al... I'm speaking of former acceptable practices of course. But some cetaceans have very large and complex brains, long lives, and probably a culture. Walrus are probably pretty stupid I suppose, but being machine-gunned for their tusks, that's a pity. The world is what the world is.

I agree about ear buds too... what were they thinking?


Neat trick; eventually makes the dog cross-eyed :-0

At least in the case of my daughter's dog, it knows where the treat is, its attention and eyes are fixed firmly on my daughter, waiting for the command to snatch the treat. No crossed eyes :^)

I was actually referring to the metaphorical dog. Real dogs do get cross eyed, but not because we put treats on their noses (as far as I know).

Dovey – you’re correct: CCS can be as simple as injecting into deep salt water reservoirs from which mankind will never be exposed to it again. It isn’t a question of being “feasible”. It’s old technology sitting on the shelf ready to go today. But depends whether you roll the economics into the definition of feasible. CO2 can be extracted from exhaust…for a price. It can be pipelined to an injector well…at a cost. And it can be pressured up and injected (for either EOR or permanent disposal)…at a cost.

Can we afford the process? Depends on who “we” are. On subjects like this I fall back on an existing reality: disposal of oil patch nasty fluids including salt water. The oil patch spends 100’s of $millions every year doing it. We have no choice…it’s the regs. If it weren’t required by law very little would be done. But we make a living (a good one these days) despite those costs. But bear in mind when such regs are applied to all oil companies it makes it easier to past on some/most of those costs to the consumers. Pretty much true for all regulatory costs for all industries.

For interest if all utilities, be they coal, oil or NG fired, are required to CCS all their generated pollution it would be done. But who will pay those $billions in future years? The electricity consumers, of course. That’s how a utility works…essentially a cost+ business. Who else produces a huge amount of CO2? Vehicle drivers, of course. So how do we CCS those emissions? We could capture CO2 directly from the air, compress it and inject it into disposal wells. So who pays that bill? Easy answer: charge the fuel sellers a tax on every gallon they sell and use those funds. Of course, making the oil companies add, say $0.50 a gallon will just raise the price for all consumers.

Bottom line: there are numerous “feasible” solutions to many of our problems. The only question is who will pay for them?

If we calculate the cost in terms of energy, rather than money, is it still feasible? I has to right off the top of an energy supply with an already dropping net energy.

If we calculate the cost in terms of energy, rather than money, is it still feasible?

I think that underscores the fact that we can't just use decades old technology. The old fashioned way with Amine based absorption is pretty expensive, both of money and energy. A number of other methods have been proposed which are on paper are a lot cheaper. I would think trying to scale up some of the more promising methods would be a decent use of public research money. Throwing dollars at demo plants of the old methods, isn't worth it, unless it has some likihood of opening up a path for future largescale deployment.

I'm not against trying to develop this stuff, even though I'd much prefer we leave it in the ground in the first place. I suspect long after we we've quit adding CO2 we will be trying to draw it down. CCS coupled with biomass, would be one mechanism for slowly drawing down the excess CO2. I don't doubt that the cost of removal after the fact will be greater than the benefit (to the people of the past) from burning the stuff in the first place. But, lacking a time machine, those are the choices the world of the future will have to deal with.

Twi – I’ll offer a semi smart ass answer: we can save all that potential energy by just releasing it to the atmosphere. Been working for us so far eh? LOL. If you seen my opinion before, whatever the EROEI of CCS it won’t matter…at least not directly. Decisions will always be made based on $’s IMHO. What would be the energy savings anyway: the energy saved by whatever efforts we make to offset the negative effects of AGW. Good luck with that bookkeeping. LOL.

Bottom line IMHO: regardless of how we attack the AGW issue it will require someone paying a big price tag or reducing their hydrocarbon consumption significantly. There have been steps taken by some. But significant system wide changes? I haven’t seen any serious movement in that direction yet. And as PO’s negative effects increase I see even less potential in the future then we have today.

Well, OK, I was not arguing that what we're doing is OK, rather that the idea of CCS still strikes me as an attempt to cheat entropy, and that must manifest somehow. I think we'll burn all the oil coal and NG we can, until we are stopped due to the net returns becoming so low we just can't do it anymore. Further reducing the net returns by trying to do CCS would effectively accelerate our use of fossil fuels while we try to maintain output levels, and get us to that point sooner - whereupon we would get desperate and abandon it and end up in the same place anyway.

CCS isn't just trying to "cheat entropy" it ensures that we continue to use oil at the expense of investing monies into developing renewables (i.e. actual long-term solutions).

I'm fairly certain that the oil lobby loves ideas like CCS that allow them to say they have a solution the global warming so you know there's no need to develop renewables.

As I said, I believe we will use all the FF we can until the returns are so low we're forced to stop. I see no viable mechanisms to prevent that. My questions about CCS concern the energy that must be put into accomplishing it and where that comes from. The energy that was required to form the bonds that previously contained it came from the sun over millions of years - how much is required to banish it again, where will that come from and how effective will that be?

Well the thing is you're talking a bit about apples and oranges. CCS doesn't involve chemically reducing carbon, which is what photosynthesis does, it is simply storing CO2 whether those means are sealing in a reservoir, dissolved into aqueous solution, or adsorption to porous materials. It's really not meaningful to compare chemical mechanisms that produced FF to the mechanism of storage.

Yes, I know it is a bit apples and oranges, and that is really what I'm curious about. My hunch is that regardless of the different processes, if you want to lock up that carbon as securely as it once was you may have to put in similar amounts of energy to do it, regardless of the process used.

People are working on artificial photosynthesis. The amazing chain of molecular engines used by living plants is replaced by a molecule usually involving a metal atom. When exposed to CO2 and light, the carbon is moved.

Light-driven carbon dioxide reduction is another studied process, replicating natural carbon fixation.

Panasonic Rolls Out Artificial Photosynthesis System

Panasonic's efficiencies are about the same as in plants: 0.2%. The Panasonic process announced this month can tolerate concentrated solar. The advantage over living plants is that only air, light, and water are involved: there is no need for the components of soil and fertilizer. Further, the output product can be of direct industrial value.

There is constant progress:

You're right, we're gonna burn it all. So where does CCS fit in? Well, to my mind, presuming we're gonna use it all, and presuming CCS doesn't run afoul of EROEI directly (as Rock has pointed out EROI is the more immediate issue), then CCS simply ensures we're gonna burn through the remaining FF's that much faster, as some of the energy coming out of the burn goes back into storing the CO2. Not as much energy as if we fused the CO2 back into FF's, but still, compression and transport is not trivial. So, in the end, looks alot like increasing efficiency - CCS is just another route back to Jeavon's paradox. Assuming we actually could politically and economically achieve CCS on a massive scale, most of your hippies would trade in their Priuses for Hummers, wouldn't they? The 'better' you make your fuels, the more desirable they become...I don't think that leads to substitution. Of course we have vapor-CCS which is even better - makes FF's seem more attractive, without actually having to do anything.


CCS is just another route back to Jeavon's paradox. Assuming we actually could politically and economically achieve CCS on a massive scale, most of your hippies would trade in their Priuses for Hummers, wouldn't they? The 'better' you make your fuels, the more desirable they become...I don't think that leads to substitution. Of course we have vapor-CCS which is even better - makes FF's seem more attractive, without actually having to do anything.

Hey - I think you must be channelling the Premier of Victoria in Australia. Victoria has billions of tonnes of brown coal ("500 years worth" is the usual metric), and (a) we're going to use and sell all of it, and (b) by the way CCS is going to save us all, and make brown coal not only clean and economically viable, but even desirable.

It's complete nonsense of course, but decent science is not going to get in the way of creating (or saving) thousands of jobs out there in marginal electorates. Nothing will save us, sadly.

Hey Twilight,

if you want to really split the bonds of the CO2 and make it back into C + O2 - then obviously you would need to put in the same amount of energy that you gained by burning the C in the first place (ignoring the H for the moment) - so that won't work. What people want to do is just pump it underground.
Talking of entropy, it's also obvious that the CO2 is more easily captured at places with high concentrations, e.g. at the exhaust stack of coal power plants where you end up having about 20% CO2 because of...

air + coal = O2 + 4N2 + C -> CO2 + 4N2 = exhaust

ignoring all impurities. So that's roughly 500 times higher than the 0.04% we have in the atmosphere right now, and thus "500 times easier" to do. People even talk about using pure O2 to burn coal, which would leave you with a more or less clean CO2 stream at the exhaust (the idea probably being that separating O2 from N2 in air is an easier process than doing stuff in the flue gas which has all kinds of impurities you may not like).

You ask about energy penalties of capturing the CO2 - these are usually said to be around 1/4-1/3 of the output of a coal power plant (but since this isn't being done on large-scale & optimized we don't really seem to know yet).

Coming back to "500 times easier", I know of a Swiss startup that wants to separate CO2 directly from the atmosphere (www.climeworks.com); they state on their website that "Thermodynamics reveal that, while the CO2 concentration differs by a factor of about 300 between flue gas and air, the minimum energy required to extract pure CO2 differs only by a factor of about 3".

Finally, some people seem to think that CO2 sequestration will simply not work (http://twodoctors.org/manual/economides.pdf) - the basic argument runs along the lines that the CO2 volume is far too large, and the potential reservoirs can't accept it.
As a hand-waving argument think of the following: we have put into place an enormous oil infrastructure to deal with ~90mbpd of oil. This took several decades. We would have to put a similar infrastructure into place just to move all the CO2 around.

All in all, it's probably easier to plant some trees and conserve a bit of energy...

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. This issue is something I'm going to have to put more thought into - I have admittedly been going on intuition so far, but I am still very skeptical on both the required energy and scale. For example, 1/4 to 1/3 of plant output would seem enormous when net energy of the input fuel is also declining. Things get tough on the downslope, don't they?

Again, that was the amine based process, things with much lower energy penalty are being investigated. I'm not sure what the minimum energy required is, it would have to be the entropy diference between unconcentrated versus concentrated, which I doubt is very large when compared against the entropy change of combsution.

Just to clarify: I got my numbers from the Wikipedia article which doesn't really say much about different technologies. There is an "old" (april 2010) article on TOD:Europe (http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6398) which compares a lot of different technologies and puts additional energy costs at 14-40% of the output:

Overall such processes raise the energy costs to produce the same amount of electricity in a cleaner way by 24-40% for new (supercritical) conventional coal plants using the post combustion approach and by 14% to 25% for coal based Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) systems using pre combustion. Nearly all coal plants today are conventional. IGCC plants are expected to be more efficient, but are more costly to build.

I'm fairly certain that the oil lobby loves ideas like CCS that allow them to say they have a solution the global warming so you know there's no need to develop renewables.

Ideally they would get paid to take care of a waste product and use it to improve their oil production.

If the price of the energy is increased to pay for the CCS and extraction of fossil carbon from the atmosphere, then the higher price would encourage a conversion to renewable energy sources.

Twi - I didn't think you were. I general agree with you but on a simpler level: so we’ll burn more hydrocarbons (producing more CO2) in an effort to reduce the amount of CO2 we pump into the atmosphere by burning hydrocarbons. And no…I’m not going to try to quantify the process. Geologists don’t generally like playing accountant. LOL. But the apparent illogic of the dynamic is obvious to my simple thought processes.

And then there’s the obvious capex problem IMHO. We want to A) spend huge sums to reduce existing GHG in the atmosphere as well as reduce what we’re adding. We also need to B) spend $trillions on alts so we can wean ourselves off of FF. But we also need to C) spend $trillions on FF so we can maintain BAU while we do A & B. And as we try to carry on A, B and C the world economy is expected to grow sufficiently to employ the ever expanding worker base of billons of souls…a base that’s expanding how many million per day? Even with the US govt creating money out of thin air it’s difficult for me to believe we can pay for this process.

Entropy smentropy…it’s all about the Benjamins. LOL

LOL, good summary. We're just a wee bit conflicted eh?

Is it just me or has anyone thought that the majority of the energy consumed by CCS need not be delivered concurrently with combustion?

In some hypothetical mostly-renewable-electricity future, we could do lower-energy (eg. at low pressure, or keep it dissolved in amines) storage of captured CO2 from industrial processes and the remaining fossil-fuelled peaking power plants and defer amine recycling, pressurisation and transportation to be done with off-peak renewable energy.

Just a thought.

I figured it out:

"Magical Thinking!"

Summary of Weekly Petroleum Data for the Week Ending July 27, 2012

U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged about 15.6 million barrels per day during the week ending July 27, 225 thousand barrels per day below the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 92.2 percent of their operable capacity last week. Gasoline production decreased last week, averaging just under 9.0 million barrels per day. Distillate fuel production decreased last week, averaging 4.6 million barrels per day.

U.S. crude oil imports averaged 8.4 million barrels per day last week, down by 1.2 million barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports have averaged 8.9 million barrels per day, 428 thousand barrels per day below the same four-week period last year. Total motor gasoline imports (including both finished gasoline and gasoline blending components) last week averaged 638 thousand barrels per day. Distillate fuel imports averaged 62 thousand barrels per day last week.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 6.5 million barrels from the previous week. At 373.6 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are above the upper limit of the average range for this time of year. Total motor gasoline inventories decreased by 2.2 million barrels last week and are in the lower half of the average range. Both finished gasoline inventories and blending components inventories decreased last week. Distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.0 million barrels last week and are below the lower limit of the average range for this time of year. Propane/propylene inventories increased by 1.4 million barrels last week and are near the upper limit of the average range. Total commercial petroleum inventories decreased by 7.2 million barrels last week.

Total products supplied over the last four-week period have averaged 18.8 million barrels per day, down by 0.1 percent compared to the similar period last year. Over the last four weeks, motor gasoline product supplied has averaged nearly 8.8 million barrels per day, down by 3.4 percent from the same period last year. Distillate fuel product supplied has averaged about 3.5 million barrels per day over the last four weeks, down by 2.4 percent from the same period last year. Jet fuel product supplied is 4.1 percent lower over the last four weeks compared to the same four-week period last year.

China likely to raise fuel prices this month

BEIJING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- China is likely to raise its gasoline and diesel prices this month after three consecutive cuts this year, as the international crude oil prices to which China's prices are pegged have increased.

Data from a monitoring system run by the Xinhua News Agency showed that as of Monday, the basket of crude oil prices used to calculate China's own fuel prices went up by an average of 4.41 percent since its previous adjustment last month.

The moving rate calculated by Oilchem.net and Chem99.com, two major oil industry service providers, came in at 4.45 percent and 4.47 percent, respectively.

China says US sanctions against Chinese bank over transactions with Iran will damage ties

BEIJING — China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged the United States to rescind sanctions imposed on a Chinese bank over its transactions with Iran, saying the move damaged China-U.S. relations.

Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement that China expressed its strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition and would lodge an official protest with Washington.

“We ask the U.S. to correct the mistake, withdraw its sanctions against Bank of Kunlun — which is controlled by a major Chinese oil company — and stop harming Chinese interest and hurting bilateral relations,” Qin said.

China slams new US-Iran sanctions as 'serious violation of intl rules'

Fresh US sanctions against Iran, targeting not only the country’s oil industry but also foreign banks have sparked a furore. China warned Washington of a worsening in Sino-American relations, while Iran said the penalties amounted to "military war."

..."The U.S. has invoked domestic law to impose sanctions on a Chinese financial institution, and this is a serious violation of international rules that harms Chinese interests," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.

I get the impression China presumes to be able to play by their own set of rules. They are given carte blanche to peg their currency to whatever they think best serves the purposes of competing against the competition for the sale of exports without US interference (only the rare urging to raise the value of their currency), so maybe they are spoiled by US inaction. Also, China would never allow the US to export goods to their country on the scale they do to ours, thus the huge trade imbalance. Again, the US must seem impudent to China. If a kid is allowed to do anything he/she wants, then gets told no, a tizzy fit follows, which appears to be how China is handling this rare case of US action. I guess we must owe them a whole lotta mulah!

I get the impression China presumes to be able to play by their own set of rules.

Well of course they do - why would they feel any differently than the US? They're simply acting in their own interests. They understand full well the sanctions are about one power trying to expand its influence and control of resources, which would ultimately be at their expense, so you can hardly expect them to go along with that. Naturally they will push back with their own considerable strength.

The US gets some advantages from having the dollar be treated as a world reserve currency -- the biggest advantage being that Treasury can print them and other governments can't. OTOH, there are a number of disadvantages that come with being the primary reserve currency:

  • Liquidity. You have to let there be markets that you don't control where it is easy to trade dollars for other currencies.
  • Volume. There has to be enough dollar-denominated paper around to be used for global trade currency as well as a store-of-value.

China doesn't particularly like having the dollar be so dominant and has proposed that some international agency be given the task of creating a purely fiat currency for use in trade, the value of that currency being loosely tied to the value of a basket of real currencies. Interestingly, China makes the point that they don't want the yuan/renmimbi in that basket of currencies; they want to remain free to set the value of their own currency, to restrict yuan-denominated capital flows, and to restrict currency trade involving the yuan.

This is the answer to the people who talk about the yuan replacing the dollar as the world's reserve currency. China doesn't want the yuan to be a reserve currency, so for the foreseeable future it won't be.

"China doesn't want the yuan to be a reserve currency, so for the foreseeable future it won't be."

Perhaps it goes much deeper than that. We (the US) have them right where they want us:

I used to warn –and still do– that Great Powers do not die in bed. What dangerously represents the demise of those countries is their possession of both nuclear weapons and great historical and strategic memories. These are never absent. They are there at the back of the minds and in the recent memories....

...Chinese and Russian officials did not keep it a secret nor was it a mere burst of candor -contrary to what Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote- when they concluded that the decline of the U.S. and the rise of China and Russia were an inevitability, [2]. However, breaking down is not an option for great powers. They may fail, but not collapse. In reality such powers can only be shelved.

Chinese and American officials recommend that a great power should not decline too quickly.


Old, eastern-world patience. Why hasten the demise of the $$ and US economic dominance when things are already headed in that direction? China already has most of our manufacturing, produces many (most?) of our essential durable goods, holds an s'load of our treasury bonds, and is buying up huge shares of viable resources and arable lands worldwide. The American proletariat? Regarding world dominance, let them dream a while longer. Our worst enemy is us; the Chinese and Russians know it.

"We (the US) have them right where they want us"


Do they?
They have a birth rate of 1.5 children per woman. China will get old before it gets rich(on a per-capita basis).
And that's assuming that they continue getting 10 % growth rates in a peak oil world.
Which, of course, they won't.

You have an entire country wired for continued growth. psychologically, and who have seen nothing but upward ascendance for the last 30 years with almost no stops.
What they will see over the next decade(and beyond) is not only a temporary slowdown but a permanent lower-growth environment.

China may be outbidding others for oil, but it can't escape the consequences that will have on the world economy, especially as it's domestic economy is still so heavily geared towards exports.

The whole 'China will rise for whatever reason' is a meme like the 'Japan will rise for whatever reason, whatever happens'. It's lazy thinking.

That doesn't mean America can sit back, of course. America is in no way in a strong position, but from an energy perspective it has more going for it going forward, the same is true demographically.

Who said anything about China getting rich? What China has done over the last 20 years is game the western financial system to its own advantage. China has grown far faster and gained far more technology then they otherwise could have developed on their own. Now that they have gotten all they can from the western world they are working to diversify away from the existing financial system in order to assure their access to raw materials in the future. Not a bad strategy considering that they, as you point out, are not as well endowed with energy as the US.

The western world is banking on the idea that they can keep China and the rest of the developing world within their financial sphere indefinitely. We'll see how that works out.

Oh, it's no surprise - just enjoying them having a fit about it. Let them stew I say.

Just follow the mullah(s) ;)

Regarding A balanced view of the peak oil situation, above:

The peak oil debate is basically divided into three camps...

If one is to categorize folks in the Peak Oil genre, may as well add a forth category: Those of us who've determined that a massive power-down and population reduction is the only viable response; that peak oil is just one aspect of an overarching predicament. To us, peak oil will ultimately be our friend.

Expecting to define a "balanced view" to humanity's grossly out-of-balance relationship to the planet is, indeed, an unbalanced attempt to define reality on our own terms; just another story we tell ourselves.

Ghung is by no means alone folks. I was quite surprised at the number of people who came out of nowhere to my off the top of the head call for a meeting of power-down people. And not only that, but that group took off on its own, and now has growing membership and monthly meetings, at which I have been astounded at the technology and inventiveness coming out of hill-billy land hereabouts.

And I add my standard remark that I think is important- power down is FUN and rewarding in many ways. And it doesn't cost more than the silly frivolities (like overweight pickups etc) that can be so easily given up.

I went thru 11 days of no grid on a 1kW PV array, and people noticed-"Aw, you really didn't really run your freezer too, didja?".

So, there is hope for a bottoms-up solution, and to hell with TPTB and BAU and all those other thugs muscling around the streets.

PS, On all this talk about oil and prices thereof-- I am reminded of an old friend who spent his last days of lung cancer looking for the lowest cost cigarettes.

Written by wimbi:
I went thru 11 days of no grid on a 1kW PV array, and people noticed-"Aw, you really didn't really run your freezer too, didja?".

Huh? I have been running a 20 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer using a 650 rated watt off-grid PV system for the last 3 years. It consumes less than half of the energy.

Hello Blue,

Could you possibly supply some details?

Specification of refrigerator/freezer:
Manufacturer: Amana
Model: BC20TW
Bottom freezer, top refrigerator
glass shelves
Energy Star rating: 575 kWh/year = 1.6 kWh/day on average
two 40 W light bulbs in refrigerator, one 40 W light bulb in freezer.

Measured specifications:
Power consumption while compressor running at my 12 V batteries (includes the inefficiency of the inverter and wiring): 18 A at ~13 V or ~230 W

Compressor power-on transient: ~1,300 W

On a sunny day I can run this refrigerator from ~7 am to ~4 pm from the power from the photovoltaic panels, that is, without discharging my batteries which improves their longevity.

Modifications to improve efficiency:

1. remove all light bulbs

2. rearrange the glass shelves in the refrigerator so that the upper shelf is somewhat isolated from air flow from the lower shelves. This makes the upper shelf warmer where I place things for defrosting or that do not need to be kept so cold.

3. bypass the defrost timer. I do not allow it to waste power on an electrical heating element wrapped around the heat exchanger to automatically defrost. Consequently, I must manually defrost the freezer occasionally. It usually needs it in late Winter or Spring about once per month.

4. improve the insulation. I cover the top with boxes of crackers. Although I did not, one could glue Styrofoam to the outside surfaces.

5. annually clean dust from the radiator and the compartment containing the compressor.

6. add thermal mass in the form of water, ice and brine bottles. I use three 1 gallon water jugs that always remain in the refrigerator. I have various plastic containers for the ice and frozen brine bottles, mostly 16 ounce and 24 ounce peanut jars. They do not break when the water and brine freeze. Currently I have 200 fluid ounces of ice and 120 fluid ounces of brine with a concentration of 2.5 tablespoons of salt to 16 fluid ounces of water that remain in the freezer.

Because I run the refrigerator only in the daytime, it acts like a battery storing the power from the PV panels in the form of cold food, cold water, ice and brine. This "cold battery" discharges at night and on cloudy days. The power cord is plugged into a power strip that I mounted on the wall for easy access. In the morning I use the switch on the power strip to turn it on manually. I move the ice bottles from the refrigerator to the freezer. Around 3 or 4 pm I turn it off. I wait a few hours before I move some of the ice bottles back into the refrigerator placing them on the middle and bottom shelves. If I put them on the top shelf, more ice will melt without making the lower shelves cooler. I move the ice bottles in a rotating fashion so that they get about 32 hours in the freezer and 16 hours in the refrigerator. If the day is cloudy or partly cloudy, I run the refrigerator for an amount of time that is related to the insolation for that day. For days with dark clouds I run it for 1 or 2 hours. When I will not be home, I use a timer to turn it on and off. When I run the microwave oven or other high powered devices, I turn the refrigerator off.

In the wintertime it only needs to run 3 or 4 hours/day. In the summertime 6 to 8 hours are ample, but it manages with 4 hours / day due to cloudiness from thunderstorms which make the weather clear in the morning and cloudy in the afternoon. The brine lasts 2 days and the ice lasts 3 days without running the refrigerator. As long as the brine remains frozen, the temperature of the freezer remains at ~25 F (-4 C) or lower. My freezer is not packed with food, and I am still experimenting with the brine concentration. I estimate the average power consumption as 1.2 kWh/day.

A few months ago I added another PV panel that increased the rated power of my system to 790 W. I mounted this panel with an azimuth of ~50 degrees east of South and the ability to be manually tilted in altitude. It allows me to start the refrigerator between 7 am and 7:30 am instead of 8 am to 9 am which is especially helpful in Summer. It gives me more power for baking in the morning and on cloudy days. The PV array in an off-grid system must be overbuilt.

If you swing the first panel towards the west, would that extend your day even further?


None of my PV panels can be rotated in azimuth. If I mounted another 135 W PV panel facing, say, 40 degrees west of South in azimuth, it would probably allow me to shut off the refrigerator an hour later on a sunny day. However, it will likely be cloudy on a summer afternoon at my location and is therefore pointless to favor westward azimuths.

That's fair enough though it may well help others. I've been thinking that a house with roofs angled at 45% to the longitude may be better for PV than straight forward N/S given the exception of regular cloud cover you mention.


Your procedures would add a nice touch to a suggested operational manual for just about any refrigerator/freezer!
Too bad that your typical J6P owner probably wouldn't be able to understand most of it or be willing to actually follow them.

I think what you have here is a perfect example of low hanging fruit to help reduce needless wasteful consumption of energy. Too bad it is so incredibly difficult to raise people's level of consciousness about things like this let alone convince them that they do not have a 'God' given right to use infinite amounts of energy.

And I'm not even considering the possibility of government incentives to give everyone who lives in a place with reasonable access to small scale wind, PV or say microhydro to run their refrigerators off the main grid. After all our current lifestyles are non negotiable... We certainly wouldn't want to inconvenience our citizens consumers with actually taking some responsibility for their actions.

Too bad for that!

There is an opportunity for an inventor to automate the things I am doing manually.

1. Insulate the refrigerator/freezer adequately using R-15 for the refrigerator and R-30 for the freezer.

2. Lights are not necessary in the refrigerator/freezer because ambient light in the kitchen is sufficient. If you have to have lights, then use low power LED's. When inserting my arm into the refrigerator, I could feel the heat radiating from the two 40 watt incandescent lamps. Jeez, not worthy of an Energy Star rating in my opinion.

3. Design the unit with thermal mass to run in the day but not at night. The refrigerator would make ice in the day which would melt at night. The freezer would use some other phase change material, maybe brine.

4. Include a programmable timer.

5. Include a transducer that can distinguish between sunlight and dark clouds. The threshold should be adjustable to allow the user to adapt it to the size of his PV array. There should be a manual switch to disable this feature.

6. Both manual defrosting and the defrost timer used in my refrigerator are less than optimal methods to deice the heat exchanger. Manual defrosting means remove all the stuff from the freezer. put it in the refrigerator and leave the freezer door open for 16 hours overnight. The timer is set to melt the ice under the worst possible conditions which means it wastes power. A better idea is needed, and perhaps that would follow naturally from a design that incorporates thermal mass into the freezer.

1. Most definitely or better

2. I've never seen the point of a light that is obscured by something in front of it.

3. People get bogged down with storing electricity when the real need is storing hot or cold.

4. & 5. Don't follow your point.

6. The problem with defrosting is it has to be a compromise over many different climates. Keeping stuff frozen in our heat and hummmidity tends to collect a lot of stray ice from the air. A cool dry area or here in winter is very different. (Reminds me I have a chest freezer to figure out the defrosting, it is picking up ice FAST)


Right. What I was saying is that people noticed that I ran my whole house on a fairly small PV array. So they got to thinking that maybe PV ain't just a toy for old geezer tinkerers. Anyhow,a fair handful of my retired academic type friends actually went out and bought some PV.

The grid on this slightly remote dead end road is somewhat better than India''s, but related.

Both my fridge/freezer and freezer take a time average of about 60 watts each. When both are running, my house wattmeter reads 250.

The Prius effect-- when you have those big red wattmeter numbers right before your eyes, you tend to behave better.

The solar-powered freezer gets 'em where they live! In reading about the electrical grid failure in India, the most upsetting part, the riot-bait, was that the air-conditioning went down.

India's Blackout: A Wake-Up Call to Energize Clean Energy Solutions
"On Tuesday, about 10% of the world’s population woke up sweltering without fans or air conditioning in temperatures above 90°F..."

Large industry players investing in solar cooling
"Hitachi Plant Technologies Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) and Mitsubishi Plastics Inc. (Tokyo, Japan) have started to enter the solar cooling market. Hitachi has set a goal of earning JPY 5 billion (USD 63 million) by 2015 with its solar-powered air conditioning unit, and Mitsubishi estimates that it will earn JPY 3 billion (USD 38 million) with its new compact absorption chiller series by 2015."

Solar Power Helped Keep the Lights On in India
"Oddly enough, some of the formerly energy poor, rural villagers throughout the subcontinent, found themselves better off than their middle-class compatriots during the recent blackouts, thanks to village homes outfitted with photovoltaic panels. In fact, solar power helped keep some electric pumps supplying water for fields parched by an erratic monsoon this year."

What a bunch of cry babies. Where I live, right in the middle of Spain this week we are having max temperatures of 96.8 and I happily have my AC machine turned off collecting dust and spider webs. Of course I am half naked around the house but it is actually kind of nice. I am much more afraid of the winter though.

Ahh, but how does the humidity compare? What is your 'feels like' temperature? For example, we are hitting 33-34C, which is a little cooler than you, but the humidity is sending our 'feels like' up into the low/mid 40s.


Long ago, I tried to sell a solar air conditioner concept to people in Madras. Great little demo- I aimed the concentrator at the sun, a small duplex stirling, heated at the sun end, got an ice ball on the other end. Cheap, simple, any car shop could make one.

No sale, usual killer question- "Is this thing sold in the US?" No. "OK, we don't want any second rate junk that people don't buy in the US".

But-but, it isn't sold anywhere, it's a new thing, great for hot sunny places. -- "Don't try to pull that one on us, not sold in US, not sold here." End.

I've run into a similar problem: If there is no shelf space designated for such items, they don't know what to do with them... "What shelf does it go on?"

The other fun thing about the cascaded Stirlings is that you can condense drinking water out of the air. The efficiency is not stellar, but having the water could be vital.

Ah, KD, I see you too are a great thinker. I have been convinced for years that drinking water thingie should sell like mad to all those movie crews who have to spend hours in the sahara refilming Lawrence of Arabia and Beau Jeste and all those other films of my younger years featuring the same little mud fort and tired Taureg toting his flintlock.

Ahem. Efficiency? Compared to what other magic umbrella that you can use to simultaneously ward off the deadly desert rays and have drip drinking water into your gasping mouth?


Ghung, nobody knows how things will pan out.
A lot of doomsters have been wrong the past 4-5 years. I don't know your predictions(if you had any) but I wouldn't bet against the fact that you were proven wrong on your assumptions, just like many of us have.

I mean some people have bought into the idea of permanent decline and will not budge whatever happens. Kunstler(spelling?) have been predicting huge crashes for years now.

If there is one story we tell ourselves then it's that we can somehow predict the future or are condemned to a single outcome(usually the one we favour). I see no difference in your post.

Gosh, Svamp...


Perhaps you can share some data indicating optimistic trends. I'm sure most here would love to see it. So far my assumptions are panning out pretty much as expected, unfortunately. Please explain how growth can continue as we consume finite resources at an unprecedented rate, while we degrade the biosystems humans, and virtually all other species on the planet, rely on for our survival. Perhaps you think mass extinctions are a positive indicator of progress. What? They've happened in the past? How did that turn out for the higher lifeforms of those periods?

"If there is one story we tell ourselves then it's that we can somehow predict the future or are condemned to a single outcome(usually the one we favour). I see no difference in your post."

Unlike the numerous other species we're eliminating, humans actually have a choice about how they relate to their environment. Please provide examples, on any scale that matters, where we're making the right choices, 'cause I could really use some good news on this subject. Non-faith-based, please...

Please explain why you think there's a snowball's chance in hell that this can end well.


Too bad the planet isn't growing at the same rate. (BTW: We've actually somewhat exceeded the population growth rate predicted in this graph. The data suggested we would hit 7 billion humans around 2020. We did it a few months ago.) I suggest you examine the concept of overshoot.

[Leanan: Sorry for the bandwidth usage; seemed appropriate.]


Because, Ghung, you're assuming a static world that it will just continue and then collapse.

Second of all, you're attacking a straw man, and this is a big deal, essentially pretending my view is that everything is fine and will go on without problems. And that, of course, is totally wrong and even if we pretend that view was mine, why on earth would I be on this site? Even basic logic defeats that argument.

Clearly there will be huge changes ahead. There may indeed be population reduction(involuntary if we are honest). But to go from radical changes to the 'end if nigh' rhetoric which you are pushing is a giant leap.

My original point stands: we know the general direction but just taking current trends out all the way until it reaches a point(preferably our favourite doomster scenario) is lazy thinking. And it's also faulty thinking because nobody can predict the future, which has been demonstrated by the continued failures of Kunstler et al.

People seem to be living in this world where it's either black or white. Either it
all doom or it's all fine.

That your response is a strawman designated to one of those camps say more about your own mental constraints of how the debate looks like.
The world is more nuanced than all doom and gloom or all is fine.

And skepticism of one position does not mean full embrace of the other.

But I guess this is harder to debate than misconstructed straw men.

Limits to Growth is not a static model. It shows what happens when exponential population growth collides with a finite supply of critical resources and pollution.

A New World Model Including Energy and Climate Change Data, Dolores García, April 3, 2009

The main conclusion of the results of the New World Model is that, if the world continues behaving as we have so far, decline is inevitable in the long run. This isn’t a surprise and the fact that we are on an unsustainable path can be deduced from much simpler and reliable calculations. What this model provides is some slightly more refined ideas about how this could happen and, more importantly, it’s a tool where we can experiment with our ideas on how to solve this problem.

Why is this such a difficult concept to understand, let alone accept?! Rhetorical question...

Svamp is debating the following part of the model: "if the world continues behaving as we have so far...."

The problem is that to change the behavior we must drastically reduce our population, consumption of resources and emission of pollution. The same things happen on the falling edge of collapse. Our predicament is to do it voluntarily which would reduce natural damage or to do it involuntarily which would likely drag the entire biosphere down with us.

"Because, Ghung, you're assuming a static world that it will just continue and then collapse."

Exactly where do I assume stasis, highly unlikely since I've spent much of my life dealing with dynamic systems. The first line of my last post:

"Perhaps you can share some data indicating optimistic trends."

Discussing trends here; hardly implies a static condition. Still waiting for you to provide data indicating optimistic trends.

So, you say: "Second of all, you're attacking a straw man, essentially pretending my view is that everything is fine and will go on without problems...."

Pot paints kettle black; see above, and I pretend no such thing. From your earlier post, to which I was responding:

"If there is one story we tell ourselves then it's that we can somehow predict the future or are condemned to a single outcome(usually the one we favour). I see no difference in your post."

From your earlier post: "I don't know your predictions(if you had any)..."

Jeez, It seems you're the one making assumptions here. Where have I made specific predictions. My point has always been to state my determination of what direction we're pushing our species and planet.

If a pilot knows he has an oil leak, his wings are icing up, and he's running out of fuel, he can't know exactly how far he'll get or how bad the 'landing' will be. All he knows is, barring some miracle, he's going down, and chances are it won't be good. This is why pilots have oil gauges, instruments, weather reports, etc., so they can hopefully avoid crashing. Humanity is ignoring its instruments and telling their flight engineers to shut up. Pardon me if I'm busy telling anyone aboard who'll listen that they better don their parachutes, or at least brace for impact. Mean time, it seems, you're telling me I shouldn't frighten the passengers?

IMO, our fundamental difference here is that I see a need to promote a sense of urgency regarding the course we are on. I have issues with those who admit that things aren't looking so good, but criticize those who openly acknowledge this. I find this odd, that you apparently notice that humans are complicitly committing ecocide, paying forward genocide, yet object to my pointing this out. If ever there was a solid case for my doomer side, this would be it.

...and yes, I do admit to being a bit lazy...

Primo post.

Isn't it overly optimistic that population will surge upwards until mid-century if we suppose that Darwinian's shark fin decline reaches fruition?

Optimistic, perhaps. Unreasonable, perhaps not. I have my doubts about LTG's (and others') population forecasts, since climate change and environmental/resource degradation seem to be moving along faster than predicted by many. That said, I've always considered LTG and other predictions weren't meant as specific forecasts, but as trend warnings, and the trends are quite clear. Humans' ability to cope via increasing complexity is clearly yielding diminishing returns, while humans' ability to damage their biosphere isn't. I expect the backwash of our destructiveness will peak well after our population does.

I have serious doubts about our ability to get along well enough to reach 10 billion souls. The well of cooperation is running dry, though at least some of us won't be blindsided. We run the simulations every day. Did someone say ignorance is bliss?

Credit where credit is due. It is not my shark fin decline, that belongs to David Murphy.

Shark Fin

From: The Oil Drum: Net Energy

We will not reach 10 billion humans on earth, we will not even reach 8 billion. The crash will happen within the next 10 years. The population curve will turn down then... sharply.

Ron P.

"...we will not even reach 8 billion."

Don't be so sure, Ron. Who was it said "life will find a way"? At least those cars will be good for something, even without gas ;-)

[Ilargi gets the blame for this one.]

"life will find a way

Ghung, that is a meaningless phrase. Sometimes life finds a way and often times it doesn't. There are about 1 billion people in the world who do not have enough food to eat each day. About 10,000 people die per day from starvation. Life doesn't find a way for them. It is quite obvious that life doesn't always find a way. Simply saying it doesn't make it true.

Your short video was very funny but totally unrelated to the subject.

Ron P.

Jeez, Ron, it's an add for cheap rental units, aimed at un/underemployed Spanish youth who are living with their parents. They're breeding in the back of cars. Must require a sick sense of humor...

Starvation and war haven't stopped Africans, living 10 to a hut, from increasing their population, nor has dramatic overshoot in parts of Asia, etc.. While I agree that, at some point, hard limits will reverse population increases, reproduction is certainly a priority amongst humans, even under challenging circumstances. Of course, this will only make our overshoot condition more dramatic once we reach the peak of the sharkfin curve.

I recently watched a documentary where a Filipino worker in Dubai remarked that living in a room with ten people was preferable to living in the Phillipines.

Sabine Gruffat I Have Always Been a Dreamer.

The portion of the film concerning Dubai depicts a postmodern city in a continual process of being built, and posits Dubai as virtual in the sense that it is artificial, performed and shaped by an increasingly service-based economy driven by tourism. By contrast, the portion of the film depicting Detroit reveals a once shining example of a Fordist city presently in ruins and in the process of being vacated, beleaguered by a failing industrial-based economy vacillating between ideologies of self-preservation and destruction.

An interview with the director can be found here.

Edit: Filipino spelled correctly on third attempt.

In a simple system where an energy source allows the creation of competing consumers, there will always be those pushed to the margins. That is why you can not solve world hunger by throwing food at the mass of consumers: the mass of consumers will grow until the original situation is re-obtained.

I am not so sure. I think we will se inceased mortality among the old (shorter life span, IOW) while the young will reproduce more. I think this effect will make population grow beyond 8 billions. 10 billions OTOH seems to far away to be reached. Instead of collapsing population, I predict increased misery, infant mortality and poverty.

In the long run - off course - I see no way to avoid a strong depoulation.

RE LTG graph.

I really don't get the birth and death lines in this graph. It makes no sense to me that the birthrate would skyrocket as people are starving and all kinds of social structures are likely to be crashing. I don't think the demographic transition runs in reverse.

It makes sense.
The death rate will be accelerating, that doesn't mean that only older people will die. Humans have always had high birth rates and often times large families until recently. That is due to the survival rate of children improving due to immunization, improved nutrition, improved healthcare, better access to clean water, the rise of the middle class and to a certain extent contraceptives.

The birth rate will increase that doesn't mean the survival rate will also. The birthrate increase will be in response to poor survival rates of children.

Well, I know offhand at least one example of hard times leading to lower birthrates. That is the Great Depression during which birthrates dropped. I'm sure other examples could be found. I don't think the demographics is as simple as an inverse correlation between wealth and birthrates.

Well cherry picked, I'll give you a mark for the attempt. Notice we are talking about the world.
Take a good look at the population growth graph. See if you can find a blip in population growth during the depression. Even world wars have no discernible affect.

The trend to lower birthrates in the developed world didn't occur overnight, it trended over about sixty years, along with escalating FF use and the green revolution. Couples these days don't usually continue to reproduce after the attain the family size they or can afford. Men get vasectomies, women get their tubes tied and there is contraception. This is because couples EXPECT their offspring to survive. Couples will generally have another child if their child dies young or is born disabled.

The opposite would not be true, I mean if couples did not expect their offspring to survive, I don't think they would reproduce if they had the choice. Then again IMO if the chances were say 50/50 of even 25/75, couples would increase their chances of having surviving offspring by reproducing more, which is what occurs in the developing world.

Couples these days don't usually continue to reproduce after the attain the family size they or can afford. Men get vasectomies, women get their tubes tied and there is contraception. This is because couples EXPECT their offspring to survive. Couples will generally have another child if their child dies young or is born disabled.

This is the common belief. I still think it's more complex than that. In the US 19th century people had rather huge families, whether they were rich or poor. There was a big petri dish to fill. The perception of vast wealth, in terms of a rich frontier was a big factor (notwithstanding the indigenous inhabitants). But often, the perception of future wealth can drive population dynamics.

Cuba had an uptick in birthrates when Battista was deposed. Egypt had an uptick in birthrates when the British were kicked out. The US had the aformentioned drop in birthrates during the depression, then a big uptick in birthrates after WWII. This was not driven by poverty but by hope and feelings of well being as well as growth in real wealth. Then circa 1970 the median income leveled out and the fertility rate and birthrate began to fall. This was less driven by increasing wealth than by women entering the workforce in greater numbers, i.e. a perception of future tighter economic times.

Actually, if you graph the 'green revolution' by calories available since about 1950 you will see an almost perfect inverse relationship between food availability and total fertility rates. One side argues that this is the classic demographic transition with calories, in this case, equaling increase in wealth. While others insist that more food availability always means more babies, even though on the family level, women were having fewer and fewer babies while the population continued to grow simply because of the mathematical momentum.

You can find plenty of counter-examples for the classic demographic transition model as well as for just about any other model I've heard of. Even India is having a significant drop in total fertility rates. Is this driven by wealth (including education of women and availability of birth control) or by something else? Maybe people are just feeling too damn crowded.

I still maintain that it isn't a simple function of inverse correlation between birthrates and wealth, which is what I assume the LTG model does which creates the sudden skyrocketing birthrates.

Of course, it is academic arguing these points. The population dynamics will do whatever they do.

It makes no sense to me that the birthrate would skyrocket as people are starving and all kinds of social structures are likely to be crashing

Visit India or Africa. It will start making sense. Extra kids = Extra labour . Also in uneducated, poor families women have no choice and no medical facilities, one excess drink for the husband usually results in one excess kid.

I mean some people have bought into the idea of permanent decline and will not budge whatever happens.

Svamp, that's a bit like accusing an engineering team that is looking at a cracked and leaking damn that they have bought into the idea that the dam will fail. They have data that indicates that the stresses are increasing and that it is no longer possible to repair the damn! Yeah, they must be all be wrong because the dam hasn't failed yet.

Some of us so called doomsters are just suggesting that it might not be a bad idea to move out of the possible path of the water. No one is saying that the dam will burst three days from now at 4:37 AM

All we are saying is that this might not be the best time to decide to paint your house if it is down stream from the dam!


Hell, there are idiots that are telling us it's a great idea to build a new house just downstream from that dam!

Idiots? Buy me enough hookers & blow and I'll say anything :-)

Transit Tunnels Completed in New York City

Three major projects have been tunneling under Manhattan since 2007.

The Second Avenue subway (Phase I), designed to take the pressure off the overloaded 4 track Lexington subway (1.5 million passengers/day).

"East Side Access" project to allow twice as many Long Island RR commuter trains (electrified BTW) into Manhattan by opening up and expanding Grand Central Station.

And extending subway Line #7 on the West Side of Manhattan.

Drilling for East Side Access was completed last week and the other two were completed in 2010 and 2011.


The completion date for East Side Access has slipped badly.

Phase II of the Second Avenue subway will use work stopped in the 1970s for about half the length. After than Phase III and IV.

The original plan for the Second Avenue subway was made in 1929 as part of a grand plan to massively expend NYC subways. Then the Great Depression.

Best Hopes for more Oil Free Transportation,


Meanwhile: Does New York City Need More Taxis?

The City of New York is planning to add 2,000 more yellow taxi cabs onto its streets. They'll be wheelchair accessible and raise a bunch of money for the city. The new licenses could fetch up to $1 billion at auction. And the hope is that the extra taxis will make life better for the many New Yorkers without cars.

...and, in the mean time: Supreme Court torpedoes NYC’s hybrid taxi plan:

Eventually, a lawyer figured out a way to challenge the city’s move by highlighting a preemption argument under the Clean Air Act. The city, said a federal judge, was precluded from enforcing gas mileage standards because Congress had preempted the field via federal legislation. It seems crazy to think that a federal court would find the Clean Air Act a preemption of New York City’s efforts at regulating the taxi industry, but there go...

...Yesterday, the high court declined to hear the case, thus ending an important environmental effort for now. City officials were upset. “I am bitterly disappointed,” Taxi and Limousine Commission Chair David S. Yassky said, ...

...disappointing, indeed :-0

I tried to extend the 7 Service up to Portland in 2004, but for the moment its ridership is limited to one, and I got the track gauge confused with our Narrow Gauge line up here I guess.


Hong Kong study raises alert for further increase in city's temperature

The temperature in the inner urban areas of Hong Kong is predicted to rise by two to three Celsius degree in 30 years' time, according to the latest scientific study by researchers at the Department of Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI) of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU).

Given no further urbanization, the annual mean temperature in Hong Kong will rise by 3.0 to 6.0 Celsius degrees by 2100 (according to a study of the Hong Kong Observatory in 2007). However, the mean temperature is predicted to rise by 3.7 to 6.8 Celsius degrees within the same period with a constant urbanization rate as before. The impact of urbanization effect or UHI magnitude is estimated at 0.08 Celsius degrees per decade.

... over the next three decades night time temperatures in the centre of Kowloon are expected to show at least an increase by two Celsius degrees, reaching over 31.5 degrees at night. This means that most urban districts in the city that are currently "comfortable" at night will become "uncomfortable" by 2039. As a result, those people who cannot afford air conditioners will suffer heat stress both during the day and at night.

... and 70% of people will be living in cities then.

Professor Nichol's methodology:

1. use satellite images for baseline air temperature mapping

2. use global climate models for the projection of greenhouse-induced warming

3. increased heat island effect caused by more urbanization.

There is no mention of whether she considered decreasing pollution emitted by coal fired generators as China's coal supply dwindles or pollution control regulations are imposed. When China reduces emission of sulfur dioxide, there will be less scattering of sunlight, increased insolatio and increased warming.

Before getting to taken up with fear mongering, try a dose of reality.
The IPCC 0.2 C/decade models are 2 sigma higher than reality of the satellite temperature data. See
John Christy’s EPW testimony
Especially Christy's Figure

Let's leave aside the fact that the IPCC scenario uses the IEA energy outlook scenario from the year 2000, which everyone, including IEA themselves, now understand to be hopelessly optimistic in terms of oil production.

I can see several problems with the graph already

1. It uses a base year of 1979-1983 while if we take the NASA GISS GLB data as an example...the base is 1951-1980 much more reliable. 5 years vs 30 years.

2. Christy conveniently takes a 7 year running average while IPCC didn't use any such measure, it's just a projection of how temperatures will be. While I don't have any bones to pick about averaging, choosing a window like that is called cherry picking. Same as taking 1998 as the base year and saying that hey temperatures really haven't changed in the last 15 years.

Also please note that IPCC modeling doesn't account for aerosol cooling/warming. (Which will get worse as we switch to more coal in the absence of oil.), this means that a lot of temperature changes are hidden and will only be visible once we run out of coal to burn.
See this Nature link Prof Ramanathan has done some really stunning work in this field.

Here's another chart showing the actual temperatures compared to IPCC projections (without the averaging and base year confusion
The image is too big to accomodate here...so posting the link

The grey band is the range of IPCC forecasts. Clearly shows that while temperatures are not tracking the worst case scenario(thankfully) it's within the band of best and worst forecasts.

Now I will nitpick on Christy's testimony...

1. It is popular again to claim that extreme events, such as the current central U.S. drought, are evidence of human-caused climate change. Actually, the Earth is very large, the weather is very dynamic, and extreme events will continue to occur somewhere, every year, naturally. The recent “extremes” were exceeded in previous decades.

First...yes it's popular, but Christy is trying to attack IPCC and not what's popular and what's not. Climate scientists rarely ascribe one particular event to climate change because the evidence trail is not clear, it's well known in academic circles and is not even debated. IMO using arguments like these amounts to a strawman attack. Second...saying that extremes were exceeded in previous decades is silly and again amounts to cherry picking of the data, yes extremes occur all the time but what we are bothered about is the frequency of the extremes and not just the extreme.

If for example a forest like Amazon is hit by a very big 100 year drought once in a hundred years, it's considered normal, but if it's hit by two very big 100 year droughts in a span of 10 years (2005, 2010) it's not considered normal. Similarly if a city is hit by a once in a century flood, it's not a statistical event but if multiple cities around the world are hit by once in century floods in rapid succession it's considered a statistical event, in both scenarios we are not so much bothered about the intensity but by the frequency.

Back in the cretaceous avg temperatures on Earth were higher than today's by about 6-8 degree C, so if we were to compare ourselves to cretaceous, our climate is not extreme but that's not a comforting fact because our industrial economy didn't evolve during the cretaceous, it evolved in the past 200 years. And for the record, 2000 has been the warmest decade on record and 2010 was the hottest year ever on record.

New discoveries explain part of the warming found in traditional surface temperature datasets. This partial warming is unrelated to the accumulation of heat due to the extra greenhouse gases, but related to human development around the thermometer stations. This means traditional surface datasets are limited as proxies for greenhouse warming.

If the data is so anomalous what explains the correlation between high temp years and melting of ice and disaster events around the world. Pure coincidence ??

Rising CO2 emissions are, therefore, one indication of poverty-reduction which gives hope for those now living in a marginal existence without basic needs brought by electrification, transportation and industry. Additionally, modern, carbon-based energy reduces the need for deforestation and alleviates other environmental problems such as water and air pollution

Why is he trying to muddle the debate using economics. That's something else altogether, IMO again an example of FUD.

I will post more on this later.

Having written about John Christy's work and followed his efforts with his buddy Roy Spencer beginning with their first report published in 1990, I think Christy is a denialist who presents poor science to support the contention that there's no problem with Global Warming. In my 2003 paper (doi:10.1029/2003GL017938), I showed that his so-called "temperature" data derived from the MSU instruments on several satellites gave a result which was at odds to other data over the Antarctic. Neither Christy nor Spencer have ever addressed this discrepancy in print. They also have created a data set of globally located data which extends to the poles, whereas their calculations can not provide this data over the poles. They use interpolation to fill in the small area over the poles, which is clearly the sort of fabrication which should be avoided. The other research group which calculates a temperature data set from the MSU/AMSU instruments excludes any data between 70S and the South Pole.

Without taking the time to study Christy's testimony, my presumption is that he is playing to his audience at the Senate Committee Environment & Public Works Committee, especially, specifically, James Inhofe, a man who has repeatedly refused to accept reality, aka, science...

E. Swanson

After reading a bit of Christy's testimony, here's a point of interest. His figure 2.1, reproduced above, shows data derived from both his UAHTLT product and that from RSS. Christy says this about that data:

...The two satellite-based results (circles, UAH and RSS) have been proportionally adjusted so they represent surface variations for an apples-to-apples comparison...

As usual, he provides no reference or other description as to how this adjustment was carried out. Yet, here's a guy that claims that it's important to uphold the scientific method, no hand waving allowed. I suppose he will produce a report describing this new data set, which one must assume has not been peer reviewed at this time, else he would be shouting about it...

E. Swanson

New Research Shows Chinese Direct Investment into Australia No Cause for Alarm

Despite an intensity of interest in China's outbound direct investment (ODI) into Australia, the nature and distribution of this investment, especially by State Owned Enterprises (SOEs), is poorly understood. This has given rise to public perception that the investment is government-directed rather than commercially motivated, provoking speculation and unwarranted anxieties about the speed and extent of Chinese direct investment in Australia, according to a new report from KPMG and the University of Sydney.

Key insights

- From September 2006 to June 2012, a total of 116 completed deals were recorded. During this period, an accumulated USD 45.1 billion was invested by Chinese enterprises in Australian businesses.
West Australian (WA) registered firms attracted the highest level of Chinese investment, by transaction value, from September 2006 to June 2012.
- Investment diversity has been greatest in NSW. While more than 70 percent of China’s investment volume (USD 7.6 billion) was directed into mining and oil and gas, investment also occurred in real estate, agriculture, architecture and other sectors.
- The average size of completed deals is larger in Australia, compared with other countries. Nineteen of 116 completed deals have a transaction value of more than USD 500 million. These ‘mega-sized’ deals account for more than 80 percent of total Chinese investment in Australia.

Report: Demystifying Chinese Investment: Update August 2012 [PDF 1.69MB]

While more than 70 percent of China’s investment volume (USD 7.6 billion) was directed into mining and oil and gas, investment also occurred in real estate, agriculture, architecture and other sectors.

It's occurred to me more than once that, if a nation is grossly overpopulated, it not only makes sense to buy resources abroad, but to actually buy "abroad", especially areas that have resources and low population densities. Australia and Canada come to mind. Economic occupation begetting eventual physical occupation beats the crap out of warfare for solving one's population issues. Just sayin'...

Economic occupation begetting eventual physical occupation beats the crap out of warfare for solving one's population issues. Just sayin'...

Just agreein'

You mean shuffle off excess population to Australia and Canada? Well as an Australian I wouldn't look forward to that, but I suppose it would be fair play after what Europeans did to native Australians and Canadians. But just try resettling 10s or 100s of millions of people to Australia you'll find there's good reason the population density has been so low. Neither nation can simply support that many people.

You mean shuffle off excess population to Australia and Canada?

No, of course not! We'll just take the excess fossil fuel in the form of tar sands and coal found in Canada and Australia and harness it to develop new technology so we can resettle the excess 100's of millions to our Mars colonies which can easily support them /sarc

Hi ho, Hi ho
It's off THE CLIFF we go

We dig dig dig dig dig dig dig in a mine the whole day through
To dig dig dig dig dig dig dig is what we like to do

It ain't no trick
To get rich quick
If you dig dig dig
With a shovel or a pick
In a mine (In a mine)

Luring Locavores: Research Shows Female and Older Consumers Highly Motivated To Buy Local

... "Females, who tend to be the primary consumer when it comes to food products, and the older population seemed to have a greater motivation and calling to buy local products, and this appeared to be very important to them," Bernard said.

Consumers among all demographics in the survey rated local support as the greatest motivating factor and price as the main barrier in the purchase of local beef. However, those who had previously purchased local beef found greater disagreement with barrier factors compared with those who had not.

also When Microbes Make the Food

Wolfe, who calls cheese his “favorite fermented milk product,” is sharing his enthusiasm for food, drink, and microbes in a new class at Harvard Summer School called “Feast and Famine: The Microbiology of Food.”

A postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Bauer Fellow Rachel Dutton, Wolfe created the class as a way to make the study of microbes more accessible to the broad array of students — from high school to graduate school — who people Harvard’s summertime campus. Wolfe is using food as a lens through which students can better understand microbes and the helpful and harmful roles they play in our everyday lives.

“People are really into artisanal cheeses and craft brewing. It’s also a really great way to teach undergraduate microbiology,” Wolfe said. “I’m using food as a window into microbial diversity.”

Food as Fuel
This summer’s drought highlights the madness of the government’s ethanol mandates.

Every day that the drought continues garroting the American Midwest, the lunacy of turning corn into motor fuel becomes ever more obvious and ever more outrageous.

Over the past six weeks, corn prices have soared by about 50 percent. They recently hit $8.20 per bushel, an all-time high. And if drought conditions in the United States and Europe persist, prices may continue climbing. Several factors are influencing grain prices, among them the reduced amount of grain available in storage and increased meat consumption in the developing world. (Remember that most corn is used as livestock feed, not food for humans.) But there is no doubt that the corn ethanol mandates imposed by Congress are distorting the market, which will mean higher prices for everything from milk to cheeseburgers.

The Future of Life: An interview with E.O. Wilson

Life on Earth is in the early stages of the worst mass extinction since the end of the Cretaceous. Many species are likely go extinct before they are even discovered and named by biologists. Of the estimated 10 to 20 million species living on Earth, only 10 percent have been described in the past 250 years. Dr. Edward O. Wilson, Professor Emeritus at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, proposes that the remaining 90 percent must be described in one-tenth that time to save millions of species from extinction.

Earthwatch spoke to Dr. Wilson, a world-renowned expert on biodiversity, in his Harvard office about the future of life and how people can work together to ward off imminent mass extinction.

Replacing Lost Environments - a Devil's Pact?

With up to a billion hectares of wilderness likely to be cleared to feed the world in the coming half century and an area the size of China devoured by cities, leading environmental scientists are urging caution over the extent to which lost ecosystems can be replaced or restored.

“There’s been a lot of talk among policymakers about ‘offsets’, meaning that if you damage or lose the environment in one place you compensate by restoring or protecting an equivalent area somewhere else,” explains Professor Richard Hobbs of CEED and The University of Western Australia.

Currently there are more than 64 such programs under way around the world and policy support for the solution is gathering steam, “But the science to date suggests it is very hard to replace a lost environment in another locality so there is no net loss of species,” he adds.

Also “When habitat is re-created on a highly degraded site through revegetation, the revegetated site rarely resembles the target ecosystem,” the paper states.

“Current conservation policies talk glibly about offsets and seem to promise much – but it isn’t clear they really appreciate how difficult and expensive it can be to translocate a whole ecosystem with all its species and their relationships. Or even to restore one that has been damaged to full vitality. You can’t simply go and plonk species somewhere else and feel you have conserved them,” says Prof. Hobbs.

The paper ‘Faustian bargains? Restoration realities in the context of biodiversity offset policies’

... whither post oil sands

Re: Climate change threatens California power supply: report in DB ...

Link to resources: Reports on the Third Assessment from the California Climate Change Center

The third assessment, like its two predecessors, reflects a powerful collaborative process. Guided by a Steering Committee of senior technical staff from State agencies and outside scientific experts, 26 research teams from the University of California system and other research groups produced more than 30 peer-reviewed papers. They offer crucial new insights for the energy, water, agriculture, public health, coastal, transportation, and ecological resource sectors that are vital to California residents, businesses and government leaders

The report notes that renewable energy facilities, like wind and solar, are less threatened by climate change conditions, use less water, and produce none of the heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that come from natural gas-fired plants.

That 'use less water' is very important in water-short California. It is hard to build conventional power plants w/o a large source of water. I guess we can build plants on the ocean but Fukushima showed that doesn't always turn out so well.

PV solar is nice because it tracks the load pretty closely (yes, it is shifted by a couple hours but is pretty close), requires no water, and can be built right where the power is consumed so you don't need big long transmission lines. I guess natural gas turbines will continue to be the go-to power source though. I think it would be pretty hard to build a new nuclear plant in California considering the seismic conditions and political situation.

CA's trying to move to dry cooling anyway, which is a potential threat to resource adequacy if implemented poorly. Reclaimed WWTP water (purple pipe) is another key source of inland plant cooling water in dry climes.

The Startling Accuracy of Referring to Politicians as 'Psychopaths'

The characteristics that define clinical psychopathy are many of the same that make effective leaders.

The question, then, is whether it is reasonable to believe that people with serious abnormalities in the way they interact with the world can be found running for (and winning) office.

However unsettling as this may be, the answer seems to be yes. It's possible for psychopaths to be found anywhere -- including city hall or Washington, D.C. Remember, psychopaths are not delusional or psychotic; in fact, two of the hallmarks of psychopathy are a calculating mind and a seemingly easy charm.

The characteristics that define clinical psychopathy are many of the same that make effective leaders.

The reason why is they are clear about their viewpoints, vs. most people who are not sure. A normal mind sees the grey, the mix point of both viewpoints intersecting, but the abnormal person is absolutely certain of their myopic viewpoint. Look at all the great leaders throughout time, good and bad, all thought in black and white, making it easy for the mindless throng followers to be provided with a clear path ahead.


The definition of a 'good leader' here is being able to get people to follow you.

That involves absolute conviction, but it is also about charm, being able to tell people what they want to hear etc, then lying to them but doing it in a way so that they 'accept it'.

All marks of a psychopath. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Tony Blair, had he undergone a classical psyhopath test(and been honest while taking it, which is a tall order), would have gotten very high correlations with the questions.

Now, my definition of a good leader is doing 'what's right but is hard to sell to the public'. And that does also probably include being very sure of yourself, getting people to follow you. But it does include a measure of going against the grain, instead of appealing to people's most basic instincts and indulging them in fantasies rather than telling them like it is.

But then again.. if telling it like it is was a viable strategy in electoral politics, then we wouldn't have the kind of political leaders that we do.

We have an extremely popular mayor of New Orleans - who says the truth, but with a pleasant way of phrasing it. And taken some tough actions.

His son was arrested for DWI (driving while intoxicated) a month ago - an impossibility with previous mayors.

Best Hopes for Honesty - even if phrased "nicely",


Woman's Water Is Flammable, Which She Says Is Because Of Fracking

The woman (and faucet) in this video are at a farm in Granville Township, which is on the Marcellus shale formation. The video description says that "Chesapeake Energy has drilled one well and installed compressor and metering stations and a gathering pipeline," in the area. "She said her water became contaminated with methane after maintenance activities at the site in June 2010."

She says that before the installations, the methane in the water tested at 0.01 milligrams per liter, and now the water tests as high as 64 milligrams per liter. "Obviously something has changed." The video is a part of "The Marcus Shale Reality Tour."

and In Northeast Pennsylvania, Methane Migration Means Flammable Puddles And 30-Foot Geysers

Last Sep­tem­ber, Chesa­peake Energy CEO Aubrey McClen­don declared to a Philadel­phia energy con­fer­ence that the prob­lem of methane migrat­ing through the ground near nat­ural gas drilling sites had been fixed. “Prob­lem iden­ti­fied. Prob­lem solved,” he told an industry-heavy crowd at the Philadel­phia Con­ven­tion Center.

Nearly a year later, Brad­ford County res­i­dent Michael Leighton is wor­ried about the flam­ma­ble gas seep­ing into his woods.

Leighton lives about a half-mile from a Chesa­peake Energy well that Pennsylvania’s Depart­ment of Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion sus­pects leaked methane gas through holes in its cas­ing. For more than two months, gas has been gur­gling into creeks and wet­lands on Leighton’s prop­erty. That’s in addi­tion to the methane in Leighton’s water well, and the methane in his basement.

S – Hopefully that lady had her water tested by a certified company for other toxins besides methane. If you recall I made that recommendation to one of the TODsters that had similar concerns about future drilling near his property. Just saying the methane increased won’t likely cut it in court. Even if certified the company could still argue (though somewhat weakly IMHO) that it was a natural contamination. It has been documented that natural methane contamination has occurred in parts of PA long before the first oil well was drilled. I’ve testified on both sides of the fence and it’s usually a slam dunk one way or the other with regards to manmade pollutants: most have very unique fingerprints.

In the second example it sounds as though CHK admitted the cause the problem due to casing failure. That can happen with any well...frac’d or not. It’s normally relatively rare. CHK may have been taking some shortcuts increasing the failure rate.

Methane gas in groundwater is not unusual in areas with natural gas formations and has always been a problem in those areas. However, it appears to be something that is new and different to the the mainstream media (who aren't paid to know anything about anything, anyway).

Environment Alberta: Methane Gas in Groundwater

Methane gas occurs naturally in groundwater aquifers in most geological sedimentary basins worldwide, including here in Alberta. Methane gas exists in a dissolved state in groundwater underground and will “bubble out” when pumped to the surface. For those on private water well supplies, spurting taps is a common result of this phenomenon. Methane gas can pose an explosion or asphyxiation hazard if allowed to build up in a confined space, so well owners are strongly encouraged to vent their water supply systems when gas is present.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development: Methane Gas in Well Water

Methane is a colourless, odourless gas and is lighter than air. Methane is not considered toxic, but it is an asphyxiant at a concentration of over 50 per cent in air. Methane is extremely flammable and can be easily ignited by heat, sparks or flames. Methane is explosive at volumes of 5 per cent to 15 per cent (50,000 ppm to 150,000 ppm) in air. Although methane will rise, it can displace oxygen in confined spaces such as cisterns, pumphouses or well pits.

Gases (not dissolved in water) can migrate into wells that are not properly cased. Gas can also be naturally present in the water in an aquifer. For example, the Ardley coal zone is present in the Scollard Formation, which is the major aquifer in central Alberta. A water well completed in the Scollard Formation can yield gas if the gas-bearing zone is not cased and sealed off. Water well drillers are required to report and seal off gas that could be dangerous to the drilling operation or operation of the well.

Methane can also migrate from coal seams into sandstone aquifers. If methane is present in an aquifer, it will likely exist as a dissolved gas in the water. When the well is pumped, the water level is drawn down. The drawdown will lower the pressure in the well and allow more gas to be released from the water. Methane will readily move from the water phase to the gas phase when water pressure is reduced to atmospheric pressure at the ground surface.

Don't ignore this:

She says that before the installations, the methane in the water tested at 0.01 milligrams per liter, and now the water tests as high as 64 milligrams per liter. "Obviously something has changed."

This is not a case of naturally occurring methane in the well water, even though that's the explanation you gave. She had the water tested before and after and there has been a huge increase.

Augie – I’m not saying the lady’s claim isn't invalid. But as I said I’ve been an expert witness in such legal actions and as often representing the landowner. The potential problem with the small amount of detail presented is that methane concentrations, whether natural or manmade, are time variable. The same water well might test an insignificant amount of methane one day and then high enough the next day to be ignited. In fact in many of the cases I’ve seen the methane tends to “flow in heads”. IOW they often will belch a high concentration followed by very low levels.

As I said this doesn’t necessarily means the lady’s claim isn’t valid. But it shows the difficulty in establishing the truth. I’ve seen folks on both sides of the fence cherry pick the data to support their position. In fact, establishing an apparent bias in data collection was often the best approach to defeating the argument. Courts, at least in Texas, take such intentional efforts at deception as sufficient cause to throw out or award a claim regardless of other information.

If it makes any difference to you I always enjoyed winning for the landowner more than the oil company regardless of the nature of the case. Many folks think an oil patch hand automatically wants to vote on the oil patch side of the argument. Just speaking for myself I couldn’t care less if some operator got crucified for breaking the rules. Such efforts paint all of us as bad guys. I’ve help bust illegal dumpers (“midnight haulers”) of oil field toxic fluids twice and once a company selling a bogus drilling deal to private investors (Texas Rangers actually took them away in handcuffs...very cool. LOL). OTOH you will see me vigorously defend oil patch activity when it’s attacked with bogus claims.

Or, as I’ve clearly stated before, nothing would make me happier if frac’ng shale wells in PA, and across the entire country, were immediately banned. That would allow my company to get a higher price for the conventional NG we drill for. Like I’ve said: nothing personal against the other companies…just business. LOL.

Interesting. What would cause methane in the well to vary on the daily time scale?

We just got to see some private home water wells in NY State over the Marcellus/Utica et al that put out a lot of methane and stank like H2S. These were in areas where no fracking had taken place (yet). It was impressive the amount of dissolved gas in some of this water. So sure, simple presence of methane in the water is no proof of anything.

Have water well-owners successfully sued nearby gas/oil drillers for contaminating their wells? Seems like getting a good understanding of one's well water pre-drilling is essential.

dovey - I posted a longer reply last night but I don't see it. Just time for a short answer. It's complicated and would be better anwered by a hydrologist. It has to do with pressure transients and permeability of a liquid or gas through the earth which is dependent upon it's saturation level. How complicated: Significantly increasing the water production from a well might greatly increase the methane concentration or reduce it to very low levels. In reality we often don't have enough hard data to clearly paint a picture of what's going on down there.

The video description says that "Chesapeake Energy has drilled one well and installed compressor and metering stations and a gathering pipeline," in the area.

She said her water became contaminated with methane after maintenance activities at the site in June 2010. She says that before the installations, the methane in the water tested at 0.01 milligrams per liter, and now the water tests as high as 64 milligrams per liter. "Obviously something has changed."

Correlation does not imply causation

"Correlation does not imply causation" (related to "ignoring a common cause" and questionable cause) is a phrase used in science and statistics to emphasize that a correlation between two variables does not automatically imply that one causes the other (though correlation is necessary for linear causation in the absence of any third and countervailing causative variable, it can indicate possible causes or areas for further investigation; in other words, correlation is a hint).

Investigators need to look at what maintenance activities were done and how they could affect the groundwater. I don't see how doing maintenance on a compressor station or gas gathering system could have any effect on the groundwater. A well could, if there was a casing failure, but.... did they do anything to the well, and if so, what?

On an unrelated note:
1)Washington and Oregon are not nation-states
2)All sellers of power on wholesale markets regulated by FERC have agreed to FERC rules and jurisdiction, which is why Powerex paid FERC settlements and continues to be party to FERC proceedings.

You're still really P.O.d about California not being able to sue Powerex over the 2001 electricity debacle, just because Powerex is owned by the Government of BC, aren't you?

California should just have charged its consumers a much higher price for electricity. At some point consumers will run around their houses shutting off lights and air conditioners because they can't afford to keep them running. That would have solved California's electricity shortage problem.

The court case was never the proper venue, it was an attempt to retrieve a situation that had already been punted at FERC.
I'm PO'd that FERC screwed us (by giving broad immunity to Powerex for settlement of a minor amount of fraud of one type), and that Powerex screwed us, and that people who I was responsible to keep the lights on for had to "run around their houses shutting off lights and air conditioners" because if they didn't we would turn those off for them, and that industrial customers had their plants shut down because we raised their retail rates in real time to penalty levels so they'd self-curtail. I'm also PO'd that the line of nonsense peddled as a smokescreen by fraudsters talking out of both sides of their mouths has currency here.

"Correlation does not imply causation"

Your audience might be interested in this movie:


Over and over again, rural country people tell of their experiences with newly ruined wells. The water from the well was fine, the gas well was made operational, the water from the well was then no longer useable, the company trucks in water for them. One of my favorites is the jar of black water that comes back from the "official" lab as "perfectly fine", yet the lab personnel won't drink it. Another is the rancher who can set the flame of a propane torch to the water in his stock trough and polymerize the contamination into floating sheets of plastic. And, of course, a cinematic montage of people lighting the water flowing from their taps.

API, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry mouthpiece, veiled behind a special and otherwise-named organization "Energy in Depth" it created just for the task, provides any number of arguments against the veracity of the movie. Josh Foxx provides a point-by-point rebuttal.


Energy in Depth (EID) is a pro-oil-and-gas drilling industry front group formed by the American Petroleum Institute, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) and dozens of additional industry organizations for the purpose of criticizing the documentary "Gaslands", their latest attempt being a documentary produced by a political attack ad agency for EID, the ironically titled "Truthland" which was exposed as a gas industry infomercial as soon as it was released. The domain for the website promoting the film —Truthlandmovie.com — is owned by gas driller Chesapeake Energy.

EID attacks grassroots opposition to fracking as part of a conspiracy, and denounce specific legislation, such as legislation proposed by Colorado U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette to regulate underground hydraulic fracturing fluids.

Energy in Depth hires locals as bloggers...

Here is the video from the farm in Granville Township:
There is a long text description.

Here are many other citizens of Franklin having new water problems:
Black water, methane in the water, and getting worse.

At what point does the correlation become statistically significant?


Human Health, Exposure from the Development of Shale Gas Plays

There seems to be a considerable amount of misdirection here. Energy in Depth was founded by the Independent Petroleum Association of American (IPAA) not the API. The IPAA is first and foremost an industry mouthpiece and lobby organization.

A key purpose of IPAA is advocacy for federal policies that promote the development and use of domestic petroleum and natural gas. IPAA interacts with both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government on issues affecting independent producers. This section presents information in the form of testimony, fact sheets, and comments on federal proposals. These documents provide IPAA’s advocacy positions.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is first and foremost the national trade association for the American oil industry.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is the only national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Our more than 500 corporate members, from the largest major oil company to the smallest of independents, come from all segments of the industry. They are producers, refiners, suppliers, pipeline operators and marine transporters, as well as service and supply companies that support all segments of the industry.

Although our focus is primarily domestic, in recent years our work has expanded to include a growing international dimension, and today API is recognized around the world for its broad range of programs:

As I said elsewhere, the API does considerable research, and is the main standards-setting authority for the American oil and gas industry.

For more than 75 years, API has led the development of petroleum and petrochemical equipment and operating standards. These represent the industry’s collective wisdom on everything from drill bits to environmental protection and embrace proven, sound engineering and operating practices and safe, interchangeable equipment and materials. API maintains more than 500 standards and recommended practices. Many have been incorporated into state and federal regulations; and increasingly, they’re also being adopted by the International Organization for Standardization, a global federation of more than 100 standards groups.

I don't see the API among the "Energy in Depth" sponsors. What I do see is the IPAA and numerous state oil and gas advocacy organizations.

" the API does considerable research, and is the main standards-setting authority for the American oil and gas industry."

And not just oil and gas industry, but the wider chemical industry at leasts starts with API standards, then modifies them as needed for whatever they are processing. Much of API's stuff needs no modifications at all to fit the more general case.

Gosh, I'm so relieved to hear that the API does not engage in lobbying.


Big Oil Lobby Announces It Will Start Donating Directly To Candidates
The American Petroleum Institute, the Big Oil industry’s chief lobbying organization, will start directly backing political candidates in the second quarter of this year. API, whose membership includes oil giants like Exxon-Mobil and Chevron, already spends tens of millions of dollars every year on lobbying, advertisements and Astroturf campaigns to support the the oil industry agenda.

“This is adding one more tool to our toolkit,” Martin Durbin, API’s executive vice president for government affairs, told Bloomberg News. “At the end of the day, our mission is trying to influence the policy debate.”

Oil Group Starts Political Giving as Congress Weighs Repeal of Tax Breaks

The American Petroleum Institute, the largest oil and gas industry trade group, will start backing political candidates this year as the U.S. considers repealing $46 billion in subsidies and imposing pollution rules.

The group, whose members include Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., would make donations separately from industry executives and employees, who gave $27.6 million mostly to Republican candidates for Congress last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington. API has paid for advertising on policy issues and to lobby on legislation.

Oil lobby to fund campaign against Obama's climate change strategy
American Petroleum Institute outlines plan to create appearance of public opposition to Obama's climate and energy reform

The US oil and gas lobby are planning to stage public events to give the appearance of a groundswell of public opinion against legislation that is key to Barack Obama's climate change strategy, according to campaigners.

A key lobbying group will bankroll and organize 20 ''energy citizen'' rallies in 20 states. In an email obtained by Greenpeace, Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API), outlined what he called a "sensitive" plan to stage events during the August congressional recess to put a "human face" on opposition to climate and energy reform.

"Correlation does not imply causation"

Here is the video from the farm in Granville Township

Here is what they don't tell you: Pennsylvania has shallow gas formations in addition to the deep shale gas formations the companies are now drilling. The trouble with drilling a gas well (or a water well) in such an area is that if you don't case the well properly, you may connect the gas and water formations and get methane in the water. This has nothing to do with hydraulic fracturing which is being done a mile or so deeper.

The solution is simple - vent the methane off the water so it doesn't get into the house. Here's a web site that explains how to do it (from Alberta, where flaming water is pretty routine even in the absence of drilling). Alberta Agriculture - Methane Gas in Well Water

Interesting historical note - The Medicine Hat shallow gas field was discovered when the Canadian Pacific Railway was drilling a water well for their steam locomotives - the well exploded and burned down the adjacent railway station. In fact a number of buildings in Medicine Hat burned down due to exploding water and seeping gas from backyard wells. Rudyard Kipling said it had, "All Hell for a basement".

At what point does the correlation become statistically significant?

Never. Correlation is only a hint. In order to establish causation, you have to link cause and effect, not broadcast a YouTube video.

BTW, I'm not real impressed at YouTube videos - I like to see official reports from national and state environment departments, and I like to see the originals, not someone's filtered interpretation of them. I'm sure they exist in these cases, but these sources never link to them or publish them verbatim.

At what point does the correlation become statistically significant?

Never. Correlation is only a hint. In order to establish causation...

Trick question
Straw man reply


"Correlation does not imply causation" is a funny phrase. It's too negative. Correlation indicates a relationship between A and B. One possible relationship is that A caused B - that would explain the correlation.

So better to put it: "Correlation indicates causation is a possibility, thought it does not prove it."

My problem with that phrase is that it is used to say "you didn't prove it", when in fact proving it is often outside the capabilities of those making the observation. That's the reality of life - one is often given partial information upon which one must make a judgment, while this phrase seems to imply that one must never do that, and only let those who are qualified make decisions - and of course they are employed by vested interests. I'm fine using my judgment, while trying to be open to data that might change it.

Exactly. Absent other info to the contrary, correlation indicates causation may be happening. Sometimes it's impossible to prove things to a tee, anyway. You have to use your judgment and the information available to make the best decision you can.

Scientists Sound Caution on Geoengineering

'Climate engineering cannot be seen as a substitute for a policy pathway of mitigating climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions,' the authors write in the paper. This suggests that this geoengineering solution to climate change could lead to significant rainfall reduction in both Europe and North America.

They observed a reduction in rainfall by 100 millimetres per year, roughly a 15% drop of preindustrial precipitation values in large areas of North America and northern Eurasia. Meanwhile, over central South America, all models show a decrease in rainfall that reaches more than 20% in parts of the Amazon region. Overall, global rainfall is reduced by about 5% on average in all four models studied.

'The impacts of these changes are yet to be addressed, but the main message is that the climate produced by geoengineering is different to any earlier climate even if the global mean temperature of an earlier climate might be reproduced,' says Dr Schmidt.

Cut Emissions Further or Face Risks of High Air Pollution, Study Shows

Most of the world's population will be subject to degraded air quality in 2050 if man-made emissions continue as usual. In this 'business-as-usual' scenario, the average world citizen 40 years from now will experience similar air pollution to that of today's average East Asian citizen. These conclusions are those of a study published today in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, an Open Access journal of the European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Taking all pollutants into account, eastern China, northern India, the Middle East, and North Africa are projected to have the world's poorest air quality in the future. In the latter locations this is due to a combination of natural desert dust and man-induced ozone. The effect of anthropogenic pollution emissions are predicted to be most harmful in East and South Asia, where air pollution is projected to triple compared to current levels.

Senate Panel Keeps Navy’s Biofuel Plan Afloat

The Navy’s plans to power warships with biofuels may not be out of gas quite yet. On Tuesday, the Senate defense appropriations subcommittee voted to continue funding the alternative energy program, keeping alive the Navy’s push for an ambitious “Great Green Fleet,” propelled by renewable fuels

Nano Breakthrough Paves Way For Super Cheap Solar Panels

... A typical photovoltaic cell is built with silicon and treated with chemicals. This treatment is called “doping,” and it creates the driving force needed to extract power from the cell. Photovoltaics can also be built with cheaper materials but many of these can’t be doped chemically. But a method developed by Professor Alex Zettl’s research group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California at Berkeley makes it possible to dope nearly any semiconductor by applying an electric field instead of chemicals. The method is described in a paper published in the journal Nano Letters.

Photovoltaics from Any Semiconductor

... This technology opens the door to the use of plentiful, relatively inexpensive semiconductors, such as the promising metal oxides, sulfides and phosphides, that have been considered unsuitable for solar cells because it is so difficult to tailor their properties by chemical means.

“It’s time we put bad materials to good use,” says physicist Alex Zettl, who led this research along with colleague Feng Wang. “Our technology allows us to sidestep the difficulty in chemically tailoring many earth abundant, non-toxic semiconductors and instead tailor these materials simply by applying an electric field.”

Ahem, ahem, excuse me sir - what are you going to use as the (transparent) gate electrode material?

There's Indium-Tin Oxide, widely used in liquid crystal displays - that works well.
Other Transparent Conductive Oxides just aren't conductive enough.

And, pray tell sir - how abundant/inexpensive is the element Indium?

next question please...

alternative answer:
Oh, this fabulous stuff called graphene makes a great electrode.

And, pray tell sir - (a) has anyone figured out how to make large area graphene electrodes, and
(b) what's the current density that it can support?

next question please...

Uh, pardon, just one last question - how are you going to form such fine lines without (expensive) lithography?

Oh, that's just a manufacturing issue - no worries.
Rather the same thing as upthread - we're saved from climate change, just use:
(a) CO2 capture and sequestration
(b) geo-engineering

And, pray tell sir - how abundant is the money to implement such schemes?

shut up boy, you ask too many questions.
Meanwhile, good old crystalline silicon PV modules are a buck a watt and falling (far below the cost of most thin film PV production - actually, all but First Solar).

BTW, silicon is the 2nd most abundant element in the earth's crust.
The 1st? Oxygen. As in SiO2.

Polysilicon is now at $30/kg, due to (over-)expansion of capacity for the moment.
Indium is now $550/kg.

"There'll be no more advances here! Stop that!"

July 7, 2012
Abundant zinc could replace scarce and pricey indium in solar panels

That line isn't from Jabberwocky, is it?

Sorry, I don't get the reference.

The linked article you posted is WRONG!
It claims that:

For as long as photovoltaic panels have been in large-scale commercial production indium – a relatively scarce and expensive rare earth element – in the form of indium tin oxide (ITO) has been the key ingredient.

This is just plain incorrect.

ITO is only used for thin-film PV, and not for all of that.
The only wafer silicon based PV that uses a Transparent Conductive Oxide is
Sanyo (now Panasonic) HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin-layer),
but they are on the order of 1% of the total market.

The 90-95% of the total PV market that is made of conventional crystalline silicon PV has NEVER used a TCO.

My point is, just like the bunch of babbling commentators and government/university researchers are hand-waving about CCS, there are a bunch of babbling commentators and government/university/corporate researchers hand-waving about thin-film PV and/or organic PV.
(and various deniers denying PV - who likewise are WRONG.)

But when one asks the hard questions: both sets of babblers have nothing real to show, and technically competent people with no axe to grind can point out (often) where there NEVER WILL BE anything to show.

Thin-Film PV, even with a zink TCO, is not now and will never be competitive with crystalline silicon PV (with the sole exception of First Solar - which is now at par with silicon, but silicon has recently been falling in price faster).

I have someplace to go, or I'd explain this at length.
If you have $2K to spend, the latest report from Photon Consulting will enlighten you.

Ahem, ahem, excuse me sir - what are you going to use as the (transparent) gate electrode material?

There's Indium-Tin Oxide, widely used in liquid crystal displays - that works well.

The linked article states:

“Zinc is a much more abundant material than indium, and our silicon-doped zinc oxide material offers electrical conductivities around two thirds of ITO, with comparable optical transparency. In addition to solar cells, our new coating could be used with lighting displays and LCD displays used in smart phones, computers and televisions.”

What's not to get?

For all of those who just want to stand appalled as the obvious unfolds, go ahead. But, nothing is as simple and obvious as our little monkey brains would project it. There will be strata and spatial differentiation of effects. There will be winners and losers, survivors and road-kill, the lucky and the dead. Among those whose path still leads into the future, any and all technical knowledge and advancements will have value. It's not resources turning off like a faucet. It's not nine billion survivors consuming everything inexorably, monotonically and unmolested, to the bare rock. I liked the depiction in Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou:


...A sort of twilight.

There are more episodes. Their numbering is in confusion.


Manufacturing in slump in US, UK, eurozone and China

Manufacturing in most of the world is in a slump, a raft of reports for July has suggested.

Nigeria's Precarious Oil Amnesty

An amnesty for thousands of militants in south-eastern Nigeria has brought relative stability to the region, enabling its huge oil industry to recover but, as the BBC's Will Ross reports, some are questioning how long the peace can hold.

... not everyone is convinced that the peace is permanent and there are fears that re-arming has been taking place in the Delta.

"This is a dangerous time bomb. The Boko Haram issue in the north of Nigeria is child's play compared to what is going to happen in the Niger Delta," says Onengiya Erekosima, the reintegration and peace-building officer in the amnesty commission.

Multiple reports circulating of the assassination of Prince Bandar bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia. Google has been censoring these reports from its news feed (but not non-news web searches) but now seems to be letting some speculation through its filters (not Press TV on this yet though)

Saudi spy chief Prince Bandar assassinated, report says

Saudi Arabian spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has been assassinated, a report says.

The Paris-based Voltaire Network confirmed the death of 63-year-old Prince Bandar on its website on Monday, citing unofficial sources.

The international non-profit organization, which publishes a free website (voltairenet.org) in eight languages, said that Prince Bandar was killed because of his role in the July 18 deadly bombing in Damascus.

The bombing killed at least four high-profile Syrian security officials, including Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha and his deputy Assef Shawkat who was also President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law.

However, there has been no confirmation or denial neither from Saudi officials nor from the Syrian government yet.

This DEBKA story also currently censored by Google. Press TV and DEBKA both censored on the same story. Hmm...

Saudi silence on intelligence chief Bandar’s fate denotes panic

Washington, Jerusalem and a row of Middle East capitals is gaining ground the longer the Saudi government stays silent on the reports of the assassination of the newly-appointed Saudi intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, purportedly in a revenge operation by a Syrian intelligence death squad. If true, it would shoot a devastating tentacle out from the Syrian conflict to the broader region.

It is widely feared that Saudi rulers are too traumatized to respond by the fear of Iranian penetration of the highest and most closely guarded circles of Saudi government, possibly climaxing in Bandar’s assassination.
The unconfirmed reports of his death attribute its motive to revenge by Iran and Syria for the bomb explosion five days earlier in Damascus which killed four of Bashar Assad’s top managers of his war on the uprising against his regime.
The prince, son of the late crown prince Sultan, has not been seen in public since Saudi General Intelligence headquarters in Riyadh was hit by a bomb blast Monday, July 23 killing his deputy, Mashaal al-Qarni.

The Role of CIA-Pampered Saudi Spymaster In Syria

By Dr. Ismail Salami

01 August, 2012

An enigmatic personality who has periodically vanished from the scene of politics in different junctures in time, Prince Bandar bin Sultan was appointed as the Director General of Saudi Arabia’s main intelligence agency on July 19, an appointment which took place at a critical time, namely when the unrest in Syria was growing gravely worrisome thanks to the influx of the Saudi-funded rebels infiltrating the Syrian soil.

Known as ‘Bandar Bush’ on account of his close ties with former US President George Bush, the prince-cum-spymaster is widely considered as a linchpin in CIA-Mossad dastardly subterfuges in Syria and Iran and his appointment to such a sensitive position is from an intelligence point of view regarded a strategic step to contribute to the materialization of these sinister plans.

...As time passes and the situation in Syria unravels, the satanic role of Prince Bandar bin Sultan in stoking up chaos in the crisis-ravaged country under the aegis of the Saudi monarchy becomes more crystallized and the thickening plot to overthrow the Syrian regime under the banner of a popular uprising starts to surface.


Rumors of Death

Unconfirmed reports[49] [50] [51][52] [53] of Prince Bandar's assassination surfaced on 26 July 2012 but so far there has been no official denial or confirmation. These unconfirmed reports claimed that Prince Bandar’s deputy was also killed in the attack. The assassination was credited[by whom?] to Syrian intelligence operating in Saudi Arabia.[citation needed]

Prince Bandar has not been seen or heard of since the rumours began.[citation needed]


The Arabic al-Fajr news website reported from Saudi Arabia that the deputy head of Saudi Arabia's secret service has been killed in the blast.

Google has just removed its filter on the story in the last hour. Been filtering increasingly more stories over the last couple of days.

Press TV reported that his deputy was killed in an explosion a couple of weeks ago. That report also censored from Google News.

I posted it here at the time http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9365/907234

Blast hits Saudi intelligence building, killing deputy spy chief

A blast has hit the builing of Saudi intelligence service in Riyadh, killing deputy of the newly-appointed intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan, according to reports.

The explosion took place on Sunday when Bin Sultan’s deputy was entering the building, Yemen's al-Fajr Press quoted eyewitnesses as saying.

Seems there may have been two explosions a few days apart or else the days are mixed up. Or not true at all but that's looking less likely as time passes.

Isn't it a true testament to our "Free Press" that no news of the rumoured assassination has surfaced at all in MSM over the last few days? Different story if it was the rumour of the assassination of Assad. That would be all over the news even if they knew it wasn't true.

It is strange, and confirms a hunch I've had for the last 6 months [actually a lot longer than that]. I search a lot of news everyday [not just oil related]; I do this by hand - no spiders. And over the last 6-9 moths their has been a 'change - a dumbing down' in the search results.

Information that I know is there cannot be retrieved [or is shifted to page 10 of search results]. This has occured pre-2004 and 2008 election and at other opportune times.

As Morpheus said - ... they are the gatekeepers. They are guarding all the doors, they are holding all the keys.

Edit: In answer to Ghung's question below - If Google is censoring it as well, who's behind it? Just askin'...

I don't know, but if you had attempted to use a Google search for "smirkingchimp.com", a 'slightly' left leaning progressive website 2 months prior to the 2004 election you would have found no matches on the first 10 pages of search results. That site has more traffic than TOD - go figure. On the Wednesday after the election the website was back to number one in the search que. Go figure.

There is a lot of info that Google [or someone who can override them] keeps a lid on. Just sayin'

When a certain UK football player had a "Superinjunction" out banning all mention of him and a certain issue, the news spread all over twitter and "Ryan Giggs" and variations started trending. Everyone could see the name instantly on twitter. Then twitter filtered them out. Perhaps they could argue they were complying with a UK court order (now lifted so I can say it) on that occasion. Then, more sinisterly, when the Occupy London lot were finally forcefully removed at 3am UK time, that trended straight to the top of the UK tweets and more people started arriving even at that late hour. All of a sudden all mention of the eviction vanished from the UK trends. Funny how that works.

On your posting of the Saudi intelligence building link on July 21st, I verified that it was not on the Google "News" page but was on the "Search". Then I went back after a couple of days and looked again: the expanding trail of the story on "Search" had stopped like it hit a brick wall on the next day, July 22.

There's certainly no love lost on Bandar in the comments to this article:
Saudi spy chief Prince Bandar assassinated, report says

Recently, the full movie "Blood and Oil: The Middle East in WWI" disappeared from any Google searches. I have wondered if it isn't still there, but just not being displayed.

An old link to one instance of the movie says it was pulled for copyright.

"There is a lot of info that Google [or someone who can override them] keeps a lid on. Just sayin'"


Information is power.

Google is always changing their search algorithms, but recently there's been a really big change. I don't think there's anything nefarious in it, other than the usual selling your privacy for their profit thing.

What's struck me is how personalized the search is now. It's been personalized for awhile now. You and I can search for the same thing, but get different results. (So I always laugh when people say "such and such" is the first result when you search on whatever. Maybe it is for them, but that doesn't mean it is for someone else.) But recently it's gotten far more personalized. I noticed it after they integrated all their privacy policies recently. Now Google Plus results show high in the rankings (sometimes even if you're not in Google Plus). It uses your IP address to find out where you are, and show you local results over national or international.

I'm not too keen on the way Google is going, but I haven't found anything that comes near to replacing them.

Are there services which can mask your IP address/give you a random proxie IP address?



Beware of TOR !! The problem with TOR is that although it provides anonymity it's used by god knows who else, connecting to the network will put your IP right in the cross hairs of authorities and web monitoring softwares. If for example your IP is the second last link in a chain connecting someone in Saudi Arabia to someone in Iran. Your PC will glow up like a light bulb in some server room in the intelligence departments of almost a dozen countries.

The best way to hide is to hide in plain sight.

Try using Startpage. It uses google search data but hides your ip and identity from them.

Thanks all for the suggestions

Thanks. It comes as an extension to Firefox, so I won't google even by mistake.

If you use firefox and want to make it your default search engine from your address bar:
- Open about:config in new tab
- Find "keyword.url"
- Right click and "Modify"
- Paste in https://startpage.com/do/metasearch.pl?language=english&cat=web&query=

I tested and it works for me; instructions found here:

* ShareThis Blocked here
* SiteMeter Blocked here
* Google Analytics Blocked here
* Who's tracking you?

Plus one ad network.

Problem is that many sites don't work without cookies such as google services. I have found a workaround, use two browsers, one for gmail and stuff with all features enabled. Other for browsing the net with everything disabled and anonymizer on.

Feel free to block all those. I do. (To speed up browsing more than for privacy concerns.) This site will work fine without them, and so will most others.

ShareThis is so you can share TOD articles on social media. People who worry about being tracked generally aren't on social media sites, but social media was looking like the next big thing, and some on staff wanted to be part of it.

The others are so SuperG can keep track of traffic and where it's coming from. For the usual reasons webmasters like to keep track of those things - to keep things running smoothly, and to see what draws traffic and what doesn't.

We no longer run ads, so there shouldn't be any ad networks. If you mean Feedburner, I think that's to create our RSS feed.

I think this illustrates why people put up with Google. They provide very useful services. You pay for them with personal information rather than money. I'm not thrilled about it, but I still have a Gmail account, and use the Google search engine daily.

NoScript is another useful add-on. I also use a Squid proxy to cache web pages as it can speed up downloads by serving up repeated items such as images (that also cuts your web traffic, which is a help if you have limits). Errrr, it was some of the big images in TOD that spurred me to use that, blush, but it made a difference with checking back to places like Drumbeat since the images were being served locally every time I came back rather than pulling them down.


I grow tired of having search-specific ads show up on every site I then visit afterwards. I searched Google for high-efficiency washer/dryers, a high-value consumer item, to advise Ghung... and afterwards every site that could was showing me washer and dryer ads. Clearing all the cookies stops it. That leaves Cache and History. Bookmarks?

Bandar was KSA Ambassador to the US from 1983-2005, a close friend to the Bush family, and likely a primary reason that Saudi involvement in 9/11 was downplayed. A search via Ask.com brought up several reports, though a search of CNN/Time listed nothing regarding an alleged assassination. If this was considered a hoax or rumor, wouldn't it be reported as such? The alternative? Implications? If Google is censoring it as well, who's behind it? Just askin'... [looks over shoulder]

Anyway, the conspiracy blogs are all over it. e.g.:


Google has been censoring news stories for quite some time. I think they started with early reports of attacks on troops in Afghanistan before official confirmation - or at least that's when I first noticed it. Recently they've greatly stepped up censoring the news feeds. They still index the story and you can find it with a "web" search just not a "news" search and it will never show up as a news story in their feed. Usually it's a story carried by Press TV or the Tehran Times but that seems to have now expanded greatly.

An hour or so ago a Google news search for "Prince Bandar" gave no results mentioning his possible death. Now it gives many - most a day old at least. Even the Press TV report I linked above is now showing as a "News" story.

As to how they decide on what to censor and who makes the decision? Who knows...

EDIT: And now most of the stories have vanished again from my news search. Maybe a cache issue. Either that or someone pulled the plug again. The only story I now see concerning his reported death is "Where is Prince Bandar?" as the top story. Google - Where is your news?

An alternate meta search engine is DogPile.com and iZito.com

If you want a real laugh try doing a search for "Prince Bandar" or "Bandar Bin Sultan" on the Saudi Press Agency search engine


you will notice no matches - nada

Like no mention that he was appointed Director of the Intelligence Services two weeks ago - nothing

Methinks ...this guy is toast

Edit: More interesting search results from Saudi Press Agency ...

A search for "Bandar" (a relativly common name in Saudi Arabia) gives no matches prior to July 23, 2012, and nothing on the prince. "Curiouser and curiouser!"

It can' even find this archived link http://www.spa.gov.sa/english/details.php?id=576719

I just did a Google search on "saudi assassination" and the first hit in News was:
To be or not to be, that is the… assassination? from examiner.com

On July 31st, just eight days after Prince Bandar’s appointment as Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, the Paris-based Voltaire Network, an international non-profit organization, reported that Prince Bandar was assassinated.

Only a small handful of media outlets have published reports about this alarming event. Some of those international media organizations include the Tehran Times and DEBKA. Both media outlets are often observed as propaganda mechanisms for Iran and Israel. Could they be reporting this as news just to lure Saudi Arabia into a devastating conflict? Possibly.

So, why have so few reported on this significant event? .......

Both media outlets are often observed as propaganda mechanisms for Iran and Israel. Could they be reporting this as news just to lure Saudi Arabia into a devastating conflict? Possibly

Iran and Israel working together to destroy Saudi Arabia - well they sure had me fooled ;-) Hey, maybe they even secretly share nuclear technology - "That's the last thing they'd suspect"

Seriously though, perhaps this may be the more worrying quote from your linked article.

Many inferences can be made. One key inference would be the most obvious. World War I was initiated because of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and in today’s day and age no one wants to let the cat out of the bag claiming a successful assassination of one of Saudi Arabia’s top government officials was killed. It could start World War III. That is, if we aren’t already fighting the third world war.

Yep. A summertime assassination 98 years ago was the first thing I thought of.

And I was arguing who our next Hapsburg ruler was going to be.

Don't know the bloodlines, but House of Bush is my guess. ;)

Now the Aspen Times is reporting it, so it must be true!


ASPEN — In the newspaper business, the first rule about covering someone's death is to make sure of one thing: The person is actually dead. If a reporter is 99.9 percent certain a person is dead, that's not good enough, at least not for this publication.

With that ethical posturing out of the way, Prince Bandar bin Sultan — a man well known in Aspen circles because of his generosity to nonprofits, fat tips to ski instructors and other worker bees, and the palatial Starwood estate near Aspen that he recently sold for $49 million to hedge-funder John Paulson — is reported to have been assassinated.

At least that's the buzz online with a few news sites. .....

..... But there hasn't been a peep about Bandar's death from Al Jazeera, arguably the most credible news outlet in the Middle East.

Not a whimper from The New York Times or CNN, either, at least as this is being written.

Obama has authorized covert US support for the Syrian rebels:


I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!

I am getting some stories. Not many, but some, using:



These might help,too:


What'll be interesting is if the blogs who made this call turn out to be right.


Today Stock Exchange trading went off the charts with 2000% increases instantly. This is EXACTLY what happened 2 days before 911. It's happening again!

Could be an interesting time on Friday. Damn.

It was reportedly a software glitch at a trading firm:

The Wall Street machine is broken

Technology is a great thing until it runs amok. That's the plot line of scores of good (and bad) sci-fi novels and movies. But it's also the sad reality for investors.

The Knight Capital Group trading glitches Wednesday are just the latest example of how an increasingly short-term oriented market can fall victim to colossal computer screw-ups. Knight said Thursday it had removed software responsible for erroneous orders. But the damage is done. The company reported a $440 million pre-tax loss tied to the snafu. Shares of Knight (KCG) lost half their value Thursday, raising some doubts about the firm's future.

Whoops, $440 million: POOF! Another flash crash... and another reset rehearsal.

Again, who was it said technology will save us?

Again, who was it said technology will save us?

The pro-nukers who were claiming Fukushima was safe last year?

Notice that they've been real quiet lately?

Actually, this is one of the funniest things I've read in a while! What a wonderful illustration of just how much of finance is pure fantasy with no grounding in reality at all.

Unfortunately it's only revealing to someone who's willing to see. Most aren't.

Now THAT'S a bug! I wonder what each line of offending code was worth?

Warning: Murdoch/WSJ
Put in Software the Night Before Trading Problem

"Tom Joyce, chief executive at Knight Capital Group Inc. (KCG), said Wednesday's trading glitch was caused by software installed late Tuesday that was intended to prepare the brokerage for a trading program rolled out by NYSE Euronext (NYX) the next day.

The New York Stock Exchange system, Mr. Joyce said, was not to blame for the problem. Instead, Knight's software was at fault, he said, terming it a "fairly major" bug in the software.

NYSE's new program allows market makers like Knight Capital to offer stock prices for individual investors that are fractions of a penny better than the going market rate -- a new function for exchanges that was heavily criticized by brokers, including Knight."

Broken Market Chronicles: Algos Gone Autosell Wild - Video Explanation Of What Happened
"Still scratching your head over what happened this morning (this would be everyone at the SEC... but not their porn webstream vendors - even they realize just how broken the market is!)? Don't be. Courtesy of Dennis Dick and Premarket Info, here is a 20 minute video explanation parsing the tape and showing precisely what happened that impacted nearly 150 stocks."

From a blog:
"Suppose a customer wants to sell 1M shares of a stock. Rather than sending one order for 1M shares, the order is broken up into 10000 100 share orders. This minimizes the minimizes the amount your order moves the stock. It also makes it harder for other traders to figure out what you’re doing. In this case, the program for “break up one big order into lots of small orders” was misbehaving."

It is very interesting that MCP (Moly Corp) one of the stocks on the list that suffered from the "glitch" yesterday morning with extremely high volume and significant losses. Today, guess what? They released earnings and are down a whopping 25%! This is a fairly volatile stock, but this is a great big move even for them.

Coincidence, correlation... collaboration? Did the glitch just give a glimpse at some insider trading?

Unless the source code is released the odds of us "knowing" is nil.

There is plenty of evidence of insider trading and market manipulation - so if there was a "truth" of insider trading/market manipulation to become known via analysis of the software it would just be another bit of evidence to support those who call the market fixed.

*digs round inside head*


By tracking the 50 companies that spend the most money — as a percentage of their total assets — on lobbying, the so-called Lobbying Index proves it's a darn good investment.
How good? The Lobbying Index has now beaten the S&P 500 for 12 years in a row.
"It's almost in the statistically hard-to-believe category," says Jason Trennert, Managing Partner at Strategas Research Partners, of the benchmark's unbeaten string. "Remarkably, it seems to work. The companies that spend more, tend to outperform," he surmises in the attached video.

Government power influencing the outcomes for Corporations - There should be a word for that.

Woah. If Syria killed Bandar Bush then Assad is probably as good as dead. I don't think the Saudi intelligence people will allow that to go unanswered.

The US Justice Department opened an investigation into bribes he received -- maybe the Saudi family didn't want to go through the embarassment (or maybe he is still alive and will be brought to justice -- haha!).

Saudi prince under investigation in US

Wikipedia is carrying rumors of his death/assassination (four citations)


Well, what is probably protecting Assad right now is partly Iran but also Russia. He has powerful friends. Also, nobody truly knows what would happen if that country falls apart rapidly because by now there are so many people there with an outside agenda who are influencing various groups.

Also, do consider this piece from the Guardian:


Apparently there have been meetings with the leaders of the 'Free Syria' opposition at the highest levels years back with key members of the Western elite.
The neocons have their Chalabi ready, again. He failed in Iraq(he had no ground support) let's see if their choice this time for Syria will fare much differently.

Where's Assad? Mystery Deepens About Syrian Leader

Syrian President Bashar Assad urged his military Wednesday to boost its fight against rebels, but his written call to arms only deepened a mystery over his whereabouts two weeks after a bomb penetrated his inner circle.

Assad has not spoken publicly since the July 18 bombing killed four of his top security officials — including his brother-in-law — during a rebel assault on the capital, Damascus. The president's low profile has raised questions about whether he fears for his personal safety as the civil war escalates dramatically.

The United States called the Syrian president a coward for marshaling his forces from the pages of the army's official magazine.

... last seen hanging out with Prince Bandar, Waldo, and Jimmy Hoffa ...

...On the set of Stars Earn Stripes...

Northwest Passage as good as open

... I don't think it will be declared open officially yet. There is still some ice rubble here and there in Parry Strait and Lancaster Sound, and ice in the Beaufort Sea is still blocking McClure Strait for now. But the rubble will clear and the ice will pull back, making the Northwest Passage [NWP] navigable for the fifth time in six years (previously in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011). With the Northern Sea Route almost open as well, we witness yet another summer in which both Arctic sea routes have opened up. This was a very rare occurence in the past, but has already become almost normal in current times.

Yepp, normal indeed. I predicted here on TOD this spring both northern passages would be open this summer. Easyest bet I ever made. I guess within a few years, we will never see the passages closed over the summers, except vulcano years.

Mini Flash Crash? Knight Capital Says Technology Glitch Impacted 150 NYSE Stocks

... Among the stocks that appeared to be impacted Wednesday (all but Goodyear were halted):

•Goodyear, which jumped almost 10% from an $11.51 open to $12.60, before falling back to $11.60.
•China Cord Blood, which opened at $2.47, more than doubled to $6.20, was halted twice, then dove to $2.88.
•CoreLogic, also halted twice, plunged from its $23.04 open to $20.33, then rebounded to $22.93.
•Trinity Industries jumped from $28.32 to $32.84 then retreated to $28.82.
•Kronos Worldwide went from $17.02 to $20.14 and nearly round-tripped to $17.31.
•Molycorp opened at $17.50 before diving to a fresh 52-week low of $14.35, then recovered to $17.16.

Not just small stocks were potentially affected. Among the 148 stocks NYSE was reviewing were big companies like Alcoa, Wells Fargo and AT&T.

Markets Hit by High Volume: 'Stocks All Over the Place'

The trading sparked unusual activity in stocks such as Molycorp, which had traded more than 5.7 million shares in the first 45 minutes of trading. The stock usually averages about 2.65 million shares daily, and it was one of the stocks halted due to excessive volatility.

... and they're 'betting the farm' on this.

Prosecutors: Criminal Inquiry in Nuclear Accident

Japanese Prosecutors will start investigating the Fukushima nuclear accident as a criminal act by the government and Tokyo Electric Power Company.

About 1,300 people asked prosecutors in Fukushima in June to determine the criminal responsibility of government officials and TEPCO executives. Charges might include professional negligence resulting in death or injury.

Groups in Tokyo and Kanazawa filed similar complaints.

Fukushima residents say resounding "no" to nuclear energy

... "Many people are now aware that the government's talking of 'no immediate risk to health' is tantamount to 'long-term health risk'," she said to the applause of about 200 residents packed in a small concert hall.

Rally for a Nuclear Free Future Sept 20-22 Wash DC

... Speakers over the three days (confirmed) will include: nationally recognized experts Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER); Arnie Gundersen of www.Fairewinds.com ; Alice Slater of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Michael Mariotte of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS); Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter; Harvey Wasserman of www.nukefree.org ; congressman Dennis Kucinich; Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein; and Japanese activist Yuko Tonohira.

"In the wake of the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plants, we are witnessing a mass uprising against nuclear power in Japan," said Gene Stone of Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE), a watchdog group working to keep the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shut down permanently in Southern California. "Let's hope that it doesn't take a major nuclear catastrophe in the United States for the American people to awaken to the dangers posed by the production of nuclear energy."

Breaking the barriers for low-cost energy storage

Led by Sri Narayan, professor of chemistry at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the team developed an air-breathing battery that uses the chemical energy generated by the oxidation of iron plates that are exposed to the oxygen in the air – a process similar to rusting.

"Iron is cheap and air is free," Narayan said. "It's the future." Details about the battery will be published July 20 in the Journal of the Electrochemical Society.

Iron-air batteries have been around for decades – they saw a surge in interest during the 1970s energy crisis, but suffered from a crippling problem: a competing chemical reaction of hydrogen generation that takes place inside the battery (known as hydrolysis) sucked away about 50 percent of the battery's energy, making it too inefficient to be useful.

Narayan and his team managed to reduce the energy loss down to 4 percent – making iron-air batteries that are about 10 times more efficient than their predecessors. The team did it by adding very small amount of bismuth sulfide into the battery. Bismuth (which happens to be part of the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol and helps give the pink remedy its name) shuts down the wasteful hydrogen generation.

Re: New breed of ranchers shapes a sustainable West Top Post

This is a pretty good article, although slanted to livestock on the biggest pocket operations. But that's the historical meme.

As it states, the main idea is to mimic historical ungulate grazing to preserve the land. IIRC, Bill Big Spring was attempting this 30 yrs ago on the Blackfeet Reservation in MT, and numerous smaller ranches have used the principles. Keep em moving. Strip grazing, as I wrote yesterday, is a variation for smaller ranches and farms. As stated in the article, haying can reach 70% of a your costs, so any way to cut this really helps while improving the land. One attribute I didn't mention was that by moving the back on the strip with the front, you prevent livestock from eating the tender regrowth of already grazed grass. Keeps it in a healthy condition.

My youngest was helping brand/vaccinate on a mid size ranch last weekend near the Mexico border. They also had switched their operation, grazing smaller numbers on rotated units. The place was off grid, all solar, with trombe walls in the straw bale adobe ranch house and pumping water to a central silo for gravity distribution to various units.

The predators are returning, and I don't know how that will pan out. Alot of anger, esp in our county, at wolves. Keeps the sheriff busy. We lost a cow last week to a presumed wolf attack, the signs were classic, but it isn't definitive. Healthy cow with her neck opened up, udders eaten, but no smoking gun of tracks. The other cows had circled the carcass and tore up the ground.

Having been part of the conspiracy to move wolves from Canada down into the Western US, I'm happy that my efforts have had some effect.

You have to expect the wolves to take down the occasional cow, but this is just an insurance issue. The government should indemnify the ranchers against cattle loss to wolves - they don't eat that many of them.

If some wolves go on a cow-eating spree, you might have to shoot a few of them, but this is a rare occurrence since wolves catch on really fast as to what the rules are. They are a lot smarter than dogs.

Another alternative is to raise bison. Not only do bison produce much healthier meat than cattle, and are better adapted to living on the Western range, but they are capable of killing some of the wolves that prey on them. This turns it into more of an even contest.

And Bison are delicious.

Yes, we had barbecued bison burgers a couple of days ago. They're very tasty. I don't see what the point in corn-fed beef is, it's not nearly as good.

Cattle should not be fed grains.

Problem is they won't pay without 'proof' and the low losses are based on cases where there is proof, and 'inexplicable' losses have risen... I'm thinking range stock may need to change. We haven't been selecting for predation problems for a long time.

Horns were bred out of the remaining breeds (Herefords for example) about 30 years ago.


Why do you need proof? If there are wolf-sized teeth marks on them, just assume it was wolves. It could have been dogs, but dogs aren't as good at taking down cattle as wolves are.

It's not as if there is a huge amount of money involved in cattle losses to wolves, anyway. OTOH, if large numbers of cattle are being mysteriously eaten, maybe it's time to thin out the wolf population.

Assumptions don't pay the bills. You have to prove it's wolves to get compensated.


Do wolves act as scavengers, like dogs? If so they could be blamed for taking advantage of a dead/dying cow they found. There are predators which rarely take down animals of type X, but take the fall because they are found feeding on X carcasses. I suspect these insurance claims could go either way (i.e. some real attacks denied, and other non attacks that get paid off).

Yes, wolves do act as scavengers, and if they find a fresh dead cow they will eat it.

Alberta has more wolves than any state except Alaska, and more cattle than any state except Texas, Nebraska, and Kansas, but wolf kills are not considered a major problem for the cattle industry. Ranchers are allowed to shoot wolves who go after their cattle, however, and since 1974 there has been a program to compensate them for cattle losses to predators.

Wildlife Predator Compensation Program

The Wildlife Predator Compensation Program provides compensation to ranchers whose livestock are killed or injured by wildlife predators.

Compensation is paid only for:

  • Cattle, bison, sheep, swine and goats.
  • Attacks by wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, cougars and eagles.
  • The costs of veterinary care and medication associated with the incident or the loss of an animal, up to the value of the animal based on the average for the type and class of livestock.

    See also: Ranchers Guide to Predator Attacks (PDF)

    If producers suspect that a predator has killed or injured their livestock, they are advised to contact the nearest Fish and Wildlife office of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development as soon as possible. A Fish and Wildlife officer will examine the animal. The producer may be advised to move or cover the animal prior to the officer’s arrival, which will help ensure that evidence is not lost due to scavenging.

    The other cows had circled the carcass and tore up the ground.

    That surprises me in a way, I would think they would be so traumatized they would get as far away as fast as possible.
    A rancher friend in Ferry Cty WA was telling me he worries more about the indirect losses he incurs from having this new predator reintroduced - cattle who won't nurse, who stay on the move and alter grazing habits, stay away from established water sources, etc.
    He claims to to able to document lower weight gain and more injuries since this wolf pack was confirmed on his range... it is a bigger problem than just compensating for the verifiable wolf-kill.

    Beats me. Don't really know if it was before death, protecting the cow? or after, a "funeral procession". Nothing will ever come of it tho, another story. But I couldn't have torn the ground up better with a tiller. A stretch, but it was tore up.

    One I could verify was a few winters ago. I watched wolves kill a doe, next to the garden fence, not fifty feet out the kitchen window. Lightening fast, it seemed. Tough winter, snow 3' deep in the valley, iced up crust after a thaw. They could really scoot on top.

    Cats are back too. Some women were helping an elderly widow clean house a few months ago. They were in the basement when they heard the 80+ year old lady wail a blood curdling scream. She had gone out to her garage, was back in facing her pet cat about center of the garage. A cougar came from behind her, swiped the kitty before her eyes. F&G caught and killed the cougar several hours later.

    Greetings from Stevens County WA. I have owned property in Ferry County for 39 years, lived there for 15. A quick question before I make a point, does your friend have any grazing permits on the National Forest or is his entire operation on private land?

    Cattlemen around here have been talking openly in public meetings about poisoning wolves to take care of the "problem".

    Hi, Sldulin

    re. the ground being ripped up, I'll bet that occurred during the attack. I've never seen cows being attacked by wolves, but have witnessed numerous coyote attacks on sheep. The sheep (if they don't get picked off first) will bolt, bleat and gather. If they are circled, they will pack very tightly and jostle for position (nobody wants to be on the outside, unless there is a goat with the flock... they can be pretty gutsy).
    The ground can be visibly disturbed with at that frantic jockeying for position, trying to protect the lambs, etc. They really do panic.

    re. indirect losses, you raise a very important point. We had sheep for almost 25 years, during which time coyotes became an increasing problem. Most years we'd lose 20-25, mostly lambs. But one year we lost 44, for which we were compensated as long as we found the carcass.
    But we breed starting Dec. 1st (so lambing starts May 1st), and that year the ewes were harassed badly through December.
    The following May, we had very few twins or triplets, just singles. If all you get is a single lamb, you're wasting your time.

    We could not prove it, and of course there was no compensation, but we attributed the ovulation of only one egg to the stress that the ewes were under. (The rams seemed quite unaffected, and happily did their job as usual!!)

    Georgia's massive transportation initiative, "TSPLOST" failed to get voters' approval yesterday:

    T-SPLOST fails in Atlanta and most of state

    Governor Deal is likely to push for a fuel tax increase, since the penny sales tax for transportation upgrades won't happen. Many groups, including the Sierra Club opposed the initiative as not addressing the Atlanta Metroplex's long term transportation issues. I'm not sure anything will, but am quite sure that drivers will continue to steer their vehicles, gridlock or not, into an inviable future, until they can't. So it goes... So glad I escaped.

    The latest from Atlanta is this:

    No revote, no gas tax hike, Deal says

    Georgia motorist have enjoyed rather a low gas tax for decades. That's part of the reason for the sprawl and the freeways. This has kept the real estate developers happy, so Mr. Deal isn't going to step on their toes. I too am glad that I left HotLanta behind...

    E. Swanson

    I too am glad that I left HotLanta behind...


    Why in god's name would you want to leave this paradise behind?! I just don't understand...

    Why? Next exit: The Varsity! Best dayum chili dawgs and onion rangs on Earth. What'll ya have?!

    No gas tax hike means *MORE* general taxes used to subsidize oil burning.

    $78 billion in 2009 - and an extra $11 billion stolen from the Pension Guaranty Fund (!) to keep gas taxes low a few weeks ago.

    A little essay on this on my blog "A conservative (small c) Principal - User Pays".


    Georgia does collect sales tax (prepaid) on motor fuels, unlike many other states, which partially offsets the extremely low excise tax.

    T-SPLOST mostly lost, eh? Well, what culture medium do you grow that stuff on, anyhow? And what containment level would CDC require? OK, if ever there were an elegant acronym, there it is. Oh, well, at least it got the Sierra Club and the Tea Party together. Politics still makes strange bedfellows.

    "First Solar Inc. Chairman Mike Ahearn has found the best way to make money from photovoltaics is to sell whole power plants to Warren Buffett and NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE) instead of competing with China on panel sales."

    The profit is in the systems, not the commodities you use to build the system. The commodities end is always cutthroat; you can lose a contract over a nickel a kw, or for poly-silicon, a nickel a kg. It's much easier to fudge in a profit in a complete system, especially if you can throw in a little "I'm greener than the other guys" marketing BS.

    Whew! Those pesky clean air standards are not going to get in the way of burning more coal.

    E.P.A. to Consider Relaxing an Air Pollution Rule


    And rid of all that nonsense about clean water, as well...


    KingCoal has been doing a bunch of whining because gas frackers have the advantage of being exempt from EPA regs. But hey! This is the land of equal opportunity for all -- isn't it?

    Economy may be permanently stuck in slow-growth mode


    ///Permanently/// is a very big word here.

    Economists are still debating the causes, but there’s general agreement that the pace of growth has undergone a more or less permanent downshift.

    ...still debating the causes...

    Ooooh!!! Ooooh!! Mr. Kaht-air! I know the answer!


    You're right, of course. The whole 'why is this happening' meme reminds me of the headlines on Bloomberg regarding the oil price. Since you have a team of journalists that essentially have to churn out a few articles per day regarding energy, it invariably reaches into depths such as writing articles with headlines that assume the oil price is constantly changed due to political factors(ECB meeting coming up? oil goes up too!).

    You don't get these articles writing about secular trends.

    The piece you referenced does not go into great detail, but not surprising me or probably anyone else here, they didn't mention energy constraints as a reason a single time.

    So it's only natural that people then bash the President, whoever is in office to 'do something'. They've been fed lies all their life, so they naturally assume everything happens for political reasons or it 'just happens'.


    This puff piece went into zero detail about causes...it even admitted as much.

    It almost seems like a teaser article...used the word 'permanently' in the title and then 'permanent' in the article to describe the duration of the diminished economy.

    No mention of Limits-To-Growth, resources, sinks, population, consumption...not Peak Oil, not anything.

    The Gods must be crazy. It must be the fault of sex education, abortion, not cutting the tax rate for the top bracket to zero, and gay folk.

    Downshift of growth? Just has to be not enough money...because not enough gold. (:-


    Reads like Peak oil graphs.

    Apple's new data center

    Apple is building something new at its Maiden, North Carolina data center, and thanks to our 1949 Piper PA-11 (Cub Special) iSpy Plane, we can give you an exclusive first look.

    In our photos, taken Monday, you can see construction crews laying the foundations for a new approximately 20,0000-square-foot structure in a wooded area just northwest of the main data center. Apple appears to be finally building its 4.8-megawatt array of Bloom Energy fuel cells, which convert biogas into electricity.

    Apple is one of many web giants that are now building their computing facilities in an effort to save both money and power, including Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. In many ways, Maiden is the model of the modern data center. It’s home to a mammoth 500,000-square-foot building that houses rack after rack of Apple servers used to power the iCloud, but Apple is also tacking on a few extras that you won’t find in most data centers: a 100-acre solar farm, and an array of Bloom Energy fuel cells.

    Of course it's Apple so all the hype, still shows that alternatives are being seriously pursued in building data centers, and who can blame them, who wants to burn diesel during a blackout ?

    Iceland has made a pitch for data centers. 100% renewable electricity - cheap. High bandwidth connections to the EU. But cooling is where they have a great advantage.

    Most of the time use variable speed fans to draw in "already conditioned air" (very low air pollution as well), and often quite cool. And use a nearby river or stream when ambient temperatures get above +10 C to provide cooling by passing the air over a heat exchanger.


    I've wondered about having data centers close to northern cities or suburbs, where they can sell the heat into residential areas.

    Even if the heat output might be seen as 'low-grade' for the purposes of transporting it in this way, I would think that as a root source for a heat-pump it could still find great advantages above just trying to spill that energy into the atmosphere or the local waters as fast as possible.

    The same is true for the north of Sweden. Facebook is building a data center in Luleå, not far from the arctic circle. Northern Sweden has a lot of hydro plants, and great internet infrastructure, and of course lots of cool snow and ice.


    Google Doubles Down On Sea-Cooled Data Center

    In February 2009, Google paid about $52 million for an abandoned paper mill in Hamina, Finland, deciding that the 56-year-old building was the perfect place for a data center. Previously operated by Finnish pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso, the Summa Mill included underground tunnels that ran into the Baltic Sea, and Google saw these as the ideal way to cool its server rooms. Cold water could be pumped from the Gulf of Finland, straight into cooling systems inside the facility.

    Interesting article on the companies trying to make fortunes off of ngl's. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-01/gas-liquids-bloodbath-brings-sh...
    Maybe I shouldn't have prepaid for my propane this year.

    Gas Liquids ‘Bloodbath’ Brings Shale Pain to Oil Market

    The shale boom that sent natural-gas prices to a 10-year low is being felt for the first time in the oil markets.

    The “NGL bloodbath,” as it was dubbed by Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. last month, is rippling across the oil and gas industry as explorers cut production and reduce cash flow projections, service companies forecast lower demand for drilling rigs, and pipeline partnerships suffer falling revenue for their gas liquids processing plants. The price of an ethane- propane NGL mix was down 58 percent yesterday from a high in January, outpacing the 19 percent drop in crude from a February peak.

    “The same thing is now happening to liquids that happened to natural gas itself,” said James Williams, an energy economist at WTRG Economics in London, Arkansas. “We now have too much. We have an oversupply, so it’s depressing the price.”

    13-year Cascadia study complete -- and Northwest earthquake risk looms large

    A comprehensive analysis of the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Pacific Northwest coast confirms that the region has had numerous earthquakes over the past 10,000 years, and suggests that the southern Oregon coast may be most vulnerable based on recurrence frequency.

    Written by researchers at Oregon State University, and published online by the U.S. Geological Survey, the study concludes that there is a 40 percent chance of a major earthquake in the Coos Bay, Ore., region during the next 50 years. And that earthquake could approach the intensity of the Tohoku quake that devastated Japan in March of 2011.

    “The southern margin of Cascadia has a much higher recurrence level for major earthquakes than the northern end and, frankly, it is overdue for a rupture,” ... The last mega-earthquake to strike the Pacific Northwest occurred on Jan. 26, 1700.

    Article: Turbidite Event History—Methods and Implications for Holocene Paleoseismicity of the Cascadia Subduction Zone

    Interesting, thanks for posting. Those who would like more background might want to check out USGS Prof Paper 1701: The Orphan Tsunami of 1700—Japanese Clues to a Parent Earthquake in North America.

    Glad to see that OSU is still doing good stuff. Go Beavers!

    That's really interesting and educational. Thanks!

    San Bernardino Files For Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Protection, Owes $1 Billion

    The financial morass that San Bernardino, Calif., plunged into last month widened on Wednesday, when city officials filed an emergency request for bankruptcy protection with a federal bankruptcy court. The city's estimated liabilities are greater than a billion dollars.

    July 2012: Exceptional Drought and Tornado Drought

    In the United States, July 2012 saw one of the lowest numbers of tornadoes on record since 1951.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported 12 "preliminary" tornadoes in the month of July, a number which usually drops after the administration investigates the actual counts. Last July, however, a total of 103 tornadoes were counted, which is even lower than the three-year average between 2009-2011 of 122 tornadoes.

    The jet stream responsible for tornado-producing wind shear moved farther north into Canada. The result was a burst in tornado activity in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, which borders Montana and North Dakota.

    and Emergency drought aid expands as Midwest bakes

    The USDA has now designated 1,584 counties in 32 states -- more than half of all counties in the United States -- as disaster areas, 1,452 due to drought

    Possible hottest day in OK history, 121 degrees.


    Drought classified US dropped marginally, ~ 1%. Perhaps the worst is past, but still poor forecast through Oct. I wonder of next year, esp of going into spring with such moisture deficits.


    Supposed to be 115 here in SW OKla...but already 114 at 2:40pm, so another record in the making. Good thing it isn't going to rain; our animals would get scalded. I had to put out a mister for my hummingbirds, and they are using it.

    How's your pastures holding up? IIRC, you had some real nice photos, grass ready for fall couple yrs back.

    Not holding up. Had to sell over half our herd last summer. This spring we took all our open
    heifers to a friend's ranch in Ark to spend the summer (now the drought has creeped over them!).
    We are keeping our remaining breeding herd in paddocks close to the barn and have been feeding hay
    since mid-June; trying to give the native grass some rest....nothing green except some broom weeds.
    Grasshoppers have been/are still stripping off everything close to green. Hope they don't start eating
    the window screens. Bright side: we did make a pretty good crop of wheat hay early this spring and
    probably will have enought to get through the winter. Cannot tolerate another sucessive summer drought like this one however. Lots of cows going to slaughter now and beef prices down somewhat but look for all beef to soar by next spring. Stock up your freezer now!

    We will plant winter wheat before Sept 15th and hope for some good winter grazing.

    Aug. 2, 1873: San Francisco’s First Cable Car Conquers Nob Hill

    1873: Andrew Hallidie formed the Clay Street Hill Railroad and was awarded a contract to build the city’s first cable car line up Nob Hill. Fourteen months later, on Aug. 2, 1873, the first cable car made its way up Clay Street. It was an unqualified success. Regular passenger service began a month later, and cable cars have been operating in San Francisco ever since.

    A number of cable car lines and companies sprang up in the wake of Hallidie’s success. At its high-water mark, prior to the great earthquake and fire of 1906, 53 miles of cable car track stretched to virtually every corner of town.

    Why not use this in lieu of overhead electrification infrastructure?

    Just a guess but the installation and MAINTENANCE of a cable car line is probably inline or higher than that of an overhead electric system. The vehicles are much simpler (no motors) but the in road cable system and main Powerhouse/Wheelhouse are a bit more complicated. Finally I don't know if you could gain any energy efficiency with a cable system.

    I do like cable systems to move up and down hills, because the cars can be used as counterweights to eachother. You only end up having to use energy to move the actual weight of the people or materials and just a little bit more to cover the cost of friction in the system.

    From CABLE CAR SYSTEM STATISTICS (bottom of page)

    Number of Vehicles - 40
    Number of Lines - 3
    Round-Trip Route Miles - 10.2
    Annual Vehicle Revenue Miles - 494,650
    Annual Vehicle Revenue Hours - 128,899

    Boardings - Fiscal Year 2000-2001:

    Average Weekday - 22,814
    Average Saturday - 23,483
    Average Sunday - 21,939
    Annual Total - 8,312,946

    Track & Cable:

    3' 6" gauge single track - 8.8 miles.
    Steepest grades - 21%, Hyde between Bay and Francisco; 18%, California between Grant Ave. and Stockton; 17%, Mason between Union and Green; 17%, Powell between Bush and Pine.

    Cables - four cables moving at 9 1/2 mph, each powered by a 510 hp electric motor in the cable car barn, using a total of 3.7 million kwh per year.

    Cable diameter - 1 1/4".

    Cable length: Powell - 9,300 ft.; Mason - 10,300 ft.; Hyde - 16,000 ft.; California - 21,700; Total - 57,300 ft.

    vs Electric Bus

    In Europe electric bus Solaris Urbino 8,9 LE[34] with about 100 km (60 miles) range and about 120 kWh battery pack was introduced in September 2011. Production model should be available in 2013.

    40 buses x 120kWh x 365 recharges = 1.75 million kWh/yr
    if 2 charges a day then 3.5 million kWh/yr

    SanFrancisco has a lot more hills than most urban areas.

    Cable car systems were very expensive to build because of the cost of stringing cables and pulleys under the streets, and very expensive to maintain because that cable and pulleys keep wearing out. However, when San Francisco built its system there were no electric trolley cars.

    Once the trolley wheel was invented, everybody strung overhead wires and used trolley cars because they were cheaper to install and run. Nowadays they prefer light rail systems because they use pantographs, which are even cheaper to maintain, and are much faster and quieter.

    San Francisco's cable cars keep running because all of the capital costs were paid over a century ago, and they are more of a tourist attraction than a public transit system. Tourist dollars spent in San Francisco by people who go there to ride the cable cars pay for the maintenance costs on them.

    RMG, Huh? The cable car system was overhauled ~1982. The original 600 h.p. hundred year old electric motor was replaced by seven modern 100 h.p. electric motors. The entire cable and pulley system was replaced. Yes the cable cars attract tourists. They have another reason to exist: they can make it up the hills when trollies or light rail would slip both in the late 1800s and today.

    ...Then again in 2011:

    California Cable Car Infrastructure Improvement Project

    "The California Cable Car Infrastructure Improvement Project, which replaced aging underground components of the cable car system and repaved the 17 blocks of California Street from Drumm Street west to Van Ness Avenue. This maintenance project was necessary to ensure the future safety and reliability of the cable car system.

    Prior to this overhaul, the last major overhaul of the cable car system was completed in 1984. As a result, much of the system’s infrastructure, including key electrical and mechanical components, were in need of rehabilitation. The roadway along this corridor had last been resurfaced 25 years ago."

    Replacement of necessary electrical and mechanical components to support the safe operation of the cable car system
    $19 million for cable car line maintenance and improvements

    Nob Hill -> Devil Hill. Steep?


    Slide show of a micro-grid in India.

    Wed, Aug 1 2012: Life in a remote Indian village used to grind to a standstill as darkness descended. The arrival of solar power last year has changed all that.

    Blackout? What blackout?

    Blackout? What blackout?

    After reading news articles from reporters in the affected regions, I agree on this point.

    Seems for most, having generators is just part of their normal lifestyle if they need electricity to always run.

    Perhaps a collapse stairstep here in the US might be the same?


    Would seem the transition from individuals running generators to these would help with pollution, too. That and hybrid designs with FF generators as needed when PV and batteries are unable to meet late night demand or cloudy days.

    -the very day a solarmodulemaker starts to reproduce those modules - ehh - solely with solar power ITSELF .. all over the entire production lines involved - !!! including the DAILY energy-demands slash needs of the very people engaged in this industry !!!
    ... well that very day I will say : "Yes they can" - But not until.

    Thermodynamics rules PVs viability- not human wishful thinkin'

    What a foolish, obstructionist logic.

    We can calculate how much material, effort and energy is required for the process and see how PV of different types comes out on an LCA basis.. whether that energy was sourced from other PV's is irrelevant. It's a sidetrack.

    How many other things in the world could you even try to make such a demand on?

    What utter cr@p. The tar sands are processed with an about equal amount natural gas energy. Nuclear is made with coal. ...Or, gads!, are you yanking our chains?... (I feel such a fool.)


    "In order to protect itself, [Suntech] then asked GSF Capital to post collateral for the funds, which it said it did, in the form of 560 million euros worth of German bonds. GSF claimed to have placed the funds in a "reputable custodian bank," as David King, Suntech's chief financial officer put it this week.

    "Fast forward to the present: Suntech, laboring under a huge debt burden, with large payments coming due next year, was looking to "monetize" its investment in GSF; that is, it wanted to cash out in order to pay down some of its debt next year. But Suntech discovered -- allegedly -- that the German bonds supposedly put forth as collateral by GSF capital didn't exist. "


    A $14 billion company is now worth $188 million. And falling.

    The price pressure on Chinese PV firms is crushing them too. And Financial fraud isn't helping.

    We're looking to add about another 1.4 kW to our PV soon (max out our controllers) and I called three of my suppliers today. They all said to order soon (next month or so) because the PV market is likely going to correct itself this fall. PV tariffs (US/China) and the fact that the PV industry is suffering from the same ponzi finance dynamics as other industries will reverse the per watt drop in PV prices to some extent. All three of my sellers are predicting a bottom soon, though inventories are still high and sales are fairly brisk. This glut may not last too much longer. It doesn't help that FITs and subsidies are being cut, globally.

    Got PV?

    Gas Prices May Spike Up to 35 cents a gallon

    Gasoline prices could spike as much as 35 cents a gallon in the next few days, driven mostly by a supply shortage across the Midwest.

    Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst with Gasbuddy.com, said gradual increases in retail pricing likely will begin today. It won’t be much, maybe a few cents, he said. “Price increases likely will start tomorrow morning,” DeHaan said Wednesday. “We probably won’t see a 10-cent increase in one day, but it may be seen over the next three to five days.”

    Production disruptions at some major Midwest refineries is largely to blame for the jump in wholesale gasoline prices, DeHaan said. A delay in reopening the oil pipeline operated by Houston-based Enbridge Engery Partners, which ruptured last week near Grand Marsh in Adams County and sends oil from refineries in the Superior to Chicago area, also is a factor in the sudden price surge.

    In the Great Lakes region, DeHaan said wholesale prices for gasoline jumped 61 cents a gallon since July 25.

    ... The reason is a surprising dynamic in world oil markets: There’s a relative glut of crude oil in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer. ... But this oil “glut” is not turning into a glut of gasoline, experts say. U.S. refiners are using their cost advantage over foreign competitors to export record amounts of gasoline. - Paul Cheng, an analyst at Barclays Capital

    China Set to Cut Corn Imports as Drought Spurs Record Price

    Record corn prices amid the worst U.S. drought in more than half a century make it harder for China to import, the manager of the country’s grain market said. Shipments are set to decline, according to a Bloomberg survey.

    While China was a net exporter of corn until 2010, usage has outstripped record output as surging incomes in the second- largest economy fuel consumption of animal protein, which uses grain as feed. In 2012-2013, there’ll be a shortage of about 5 million tons on projected demand of 200 million tons and the biggest ever harvest of 195 million tons, according to the USDA. The soybean deficit is larger ...

    ... In April, the U.S. Grains Council said that China may displace Japan as the largest corn importer as early as 2014. China’s imports in 2015 may total 20 million tons, according to an October forecast from Singapore-based Olam International Ltd. (OLAM)

    also Economic Impact Of Drought: Midwest Businesses Suffer At The Hands Of Extreme Weather

    The ongoing drought, combined with global economic turmoil, is hurting business in nine Midwest and Plains states and boosting worries about the possibility of another recession, according to a monthly report released Wednesday.

    and India confirms drought as El Nino looms

    India's monsoon rains will not be enough to save the country from its first drought in three years, the weather office said on Thursday as it forecast that the El Nino weather pattern should reduce rains again in the second half of the June to September season.

    Pipeline company opens claims center in Jackson

    The total number of wells contaminated with gasoline from a July 17 pipeline break in the Town of Jackson now stands at 17, West Shore Pipe Line Co. said Thursday in announcing it had set up a website with information on the spill and cleanup.

    The July 17 break in the company's fuel pipeline occurred in the 1800 block of Western Ave. and spilled an estimated 54,600 gallons of gasoline. The line extends from the Chicago area north to Green Bay.

    and More wells contaminated from gas pipeline spill

    More than 40 residents of the town of Jackson have been urged not to use their water except for flushing toilets. Each of those wells will get a special filtration unit that can remove gasoline contaminants. Over two dozen systems were installed by yesterday, and the rest could be in by the weekend.

    India allows dismantling of Alaska tanker Exxon Valdez

    India's Supreme Court has allowed the giant tanker Exxon Valdez, which was involved in one of the world's worst oil spills, to be dismantled at a ship-breaking yard in Gujarat.

    ... the Deacon and his Smokers are missing a golden opportunity (Waterworld -1995)

    A Kernel of Wheat

    Western Missouri, 1932

    Of all farming activities we performed during the Great Depression of the 1930s, two were notable because they involved the whole community: thrashing of the wheat, and butchering the animals. Summer thrashing of the wheat was the most exciting time of the year because it was a social time rolled into sustenance activity.

    Only one person in the whole community owned a steam engine pulled thrasher, and his name was Harry. Each farm set a day for the thrashing of the wheat. The thrashing of the wheat was special, dramatic, and planned in advance, almost as if the whole community was planning a state fair. ...

    ... tales of our grandfathers ... tales of our grandchildren?

    My father grew up on a farm in South-Western Ontario. He was just recently telling me that one of his earliest memories was of farmers thrashing wheat and how that that experience was likely the last time anyone thrashed wheat.

    My Dad also told me of how families shared beef before refrigeration. All the farming families had beef cattle, but to keep the beef from spoiling one family each week, or so, would slaughter a cow and share it. The rotation ensured everyone had fresh meat with little spoilage. Seems so sensible and yet quite alien to someone who grew up with meat from the grocery store.

    When I was thirteen I worked on a small farm that had goats, cattle, chickens and a big vegetable garden. The big community task was haying. The family I worked for (I probably ate more then I was worth, though I did work pretty hard for a thirteen year old) co-operated with two other families to get the hay off the fields. It was all square bails, so lots of lifting and stacking and unstacking of the hay wagon and loading the conveyor,and stacking the bails in the loft. It was a great experience and a great way to establish relationships with neighbouring farms. That no longer happens even on the small farm as it's all large round bails; it's all machinery and a lot less community.

    Study: Oil Spill Dispersants May Have Hurt Gulf Food Chain

    A study on possible effects of the 2010 BP oil spill indicates dispersants may have killed plankton — some of the ocean’s tiniest plants and creatures — and disrupted the food chain in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the nation’s richest seafood grounds.

    Scientists who read the study said it points toward major future effects of the spill. One called its findings scary.

    For the study, Alabama researchers pumped water from Mobile Bay into 53-gallon drums, then added oil, dispersant or both in proportions found during the oil spill to simulate the spill’s effects on microscopic water-life in the bay. “In those tanks, all of the energy seems to get trapped in the bacterial side. There were lots of bacteria left but no bigger things. It’s like the middle part of the food web is taken away,” said lead researcher Alice Ortmann of the University of South Alabama and Dauphin Island Sea Lab.

    and New report released about the effects of oil spill

    Dudley Do-Right vs Greenpeace?

    Radical environmentalism threatening Canada's energy policies?

    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police's criminal intelligence assessment, focusing on Canadian waters, cites potential dangers from environmental activists to offshore oil platforms and hazardous marine shipments, representing perhaps the starkest assessment of such threats by the Canadian security community to date.

    The report drew a sharp dismissal from Greenpeace -- a prominent environmental group singled out in the document -- which suggested it could simply be an effort by security authorities to tell the Canadian government what it wants to hear.

    "It's true that the distance between the government policy and the environmental movement is growing, but I don't think that the movement is getting more radical."

    It seems that anyone who disagrees with the government on subjects such as the Alberta oilsands "has become an enemy in many ways," he said.

    So who here on TOD wants to implement solutions?


    This green energy device (which we learned on our own), operates on radiated isotopes and magnets, puts out a steady and constant charge of AC or DC current for 5 to 7 years, and is very compact. So much so, that one the size of a pack of cigarettes can power a television set or electric scooter, and one the size of a shoebox can, and did power a small car with an electric motor non-stop for 13 months - before Uncle Sam came along and confiscated all of it - in the name of national security.

    Now who thinks solutions can actually happen?

    If even half of this were factual "Danny" just needs to leak all of it specs, designs, software, mfg. processes, onto every media outlet and blog he and about 1 million of his closest friends can hit, come on "Danny" can't you recreate some of this information from you own head? (or did they confiscate that too?) To bad everyone on TOD has heard this kind of story before in some way shape or form. The author of the story does not seem to know the difference between a power/energy source and a battery. "Radiated Isotopes and magenets"...how about "Moonbeams friction with the Aether instead?"

    Elsewhere on that same site:

    The prototype battery was used to power a small electric car non-stop for 13 months before the DoD intervened.
    Technically the battery is a "nuclear device" but the amount of radiation is similar to that of a cell phone. Although it is not recyclable (as far as we know), it can be reclaimed through a disposal process that renders the device harmless after 20 years.

    Being a "nuclear device" means government control from the get-go, no? Government control is why there are no fission powered civilian shipping.


    Since 2006, five different inventors have designed, three have created, and two have demonstrated self-contained safe and green nuclear "plasma" batteries that can put out reliable and stable power for 5-10 years - without a single recharge. These inventors include Americans Aries M. DeGeus, MIT Professor Eugene Mallove, a former U.S. Air Force Reservist we only know as "Danny", and a Russian name Dimitri Petronov. The fifth inventor still works for Uncle Sam and is not allowed to give us his name or details, but he vows to write a tell-all book when he retires and expatriates himself in 2 years. He too is very angry. Now if you Google the above names, along with the key words of "Inventor, plasma battery, energy, technology" you will find that two of these inventors have been murdered and the other two have simply vanished over a year ago. Why?

    Guess "we" only need to wait a year for the "tell-all" book eh?

    As for:
    If even half of this were factual "Danny" just needs to leak all of it specs, designs, software, mfg. processes, onto every media outlet and blog he and about 1 million of his closest friends can hit, come on "Danny" can't you recreate some of this information from you own head?

    "Danny" made several models that could power anything from a mobile telephone to an 18 wheeler, and certainly a car. He even claimed that larger batteries the size of single family home could be plugged into the grid and power a city of 2 million people, and one the size of a refrigerator could power a 300 room hotel or hospital. He took one of his batteries to show investors in China in 2009, and when he arrived back in America he was greeted by four FBI agents which interrogated him for 4 days. Before he was released however, he was served a court order obtained by the Pentagon advising him that the U.S. government now owns all the rights to his invention, and he was ordered by the court under threat of imprisonment not to even discuss his invention

    Hrmm.....given the universal respect for law - why would anyone suggest violating a court order?

    He even claimed that larger batteries the size of single family home could be plugged into the grid and power a city of 2 million people...

    ...and the Navy is still using PWRs to power its carriers. Must be a conspiracy :-/

    - great & thanks - you just freed up some space in my mind ! (btw - where do them Danny-people come from anyway, i mean, in the first place??)

    Or he got ahold of some highly radioactive substance (like say Polonium), and built a generator around it. There were a few of these floating loose after the Soviet Union went bust. Very dangerous. The government would certainly be doing to right thing if it confiscated such a device.
    It would probably be safer to camp out inside the Fukishima plant than operate such a device!

    Radioisotope thermoelectric generator, so he stole someone elses work. :)

    From the Salon link upthread:

    4. Last but certainly not least, the Pentagon has first priority in grabbing any commercially-valuable, or environmentally-friendly technology if it can help them kill more people, faster and cheaper in some future far away war.

    Too bad the author of the Salon link could not be bothered to show a list of 'suppressed' patents.....

    Did anybody answer your questions, Eric? Cause I do. I want to work to find some solutions, and I think that many really useful improvements ARE completely possible for us to be delving into.

    Of course, I don't think that these AREA 51 Tabloid guys will be very interested in talking about boring stuff like recycling old junk into millions of solar heaters and ovens, or getting a growing bunch of homes up to Passivhaus standards with simple materials, no less. Yawn!

    And then, of course, I still have to be ready when I do these things for the people who will charge me with trying to keep BAU going, or that I'm enabling further population growth if I do anything to make life livable in the future.. but at least so far, nobody has. I was in my yard today, stapling Aluminum Fins to a set of copper risers on my new pair of flat plate collectors, and I got no flak at all. A couple friends passed by and said 'cool!' or something.. which was nice to hear, since in my head of course, I've got all the harangues from imagined detractors running in multiple echoes for no good reason. Oh well!

    But I'd still rather hear much more of those boring obvious ideas around here than just pointing at more of the idiots and their delusions, you know what I mean? I just don't think we get anywhere wasting our time talking about all the people who are wrong, when we know a LOT of the right things that REALLY need to be getting done.

    I actually had to prod myself up from a fairly relaxed working speed with the question.. "Should you treat this work like a Sunday Hobby, or would there be any compelling reason to work really hard, and as quick as is practical, as if this was for some really important and time-critical concern?" It's not that I think my 30 square feet of collector is going to save the world.. it's more that we have our own focus and attitude in the right place for what we feel we need to be doing at this point.

    "A couple friends passed by and said 'cool!' or something.. which was nice to hear, since in my head of course, I've got all the harangues from imagined detractors running in multiple echoes for no good reason. Oh well!"

    Go Bob. In a few years those friends will be buggin' the crap out of you to help them do the same thing. Maybe you should be working in the back yard, 'cause it'll be "some really important and time-critical concern" for them.

    We haven't paid a cent for hot water for months because of my 'hobby', turning other folks' trash into treasure. Let the world save itself, though it doesn't hurt to show them the way,, so yeah, keep it going in the front yard.

    BTW, over time, the detractors are showing a little respect. "Crazy" is now "Crazy, like a fox".

    This is twice today you guys have made me want to link this band to the site.. I think I must heed the call!


    They have a song called "Crazy like a Fox", but this one is better. Master Bluesmen, practising their craft!

    RIP- Tommy the Drummer boy! Jan 2012

    It's funny, I was downtown this evening and ran into an energy consultant I know, told him about my project and he said

    'your Soldering your own Flat Plate together?..' and he starts in about the master plan.. you know rim joists, energy audit, etc.. and about how he just put in a couple systems at Harvard, so I asked what they're using, 'evacuated?' ..

    'No,' he says, 'they're using flat plate too. Basically Copper and Aluminum.' So there you go..

    I didn't get into a lot of the extras, but the fact is that mine are also using a high percentage of reused Copper and the front glazing and insulated casing is 'Pre-owned' as well.. while the Alum. Flashing is new from the roll.. so I am still fairly curious to see what kind of EROEI that would earn a collector, when much of it's high-energy material has already 'discharged' if you will some of the EI burden that it carries, while the expectation of Energy being Returned by such durable tools is likely to go on for decades if it was properly built.

    I would think that the EROEI would actually be quite amazing with such a tool.

    Of course, I don't think that these AREA 51 Tabloid guys will be very interested in talking about boring stuff like recycling old junk into millions of solar heaters and ovens, or getting a growing bunch of homes up to Passivhaus standards with simple materials, no less. Yawn!

    But where is the profit in that for manufacturers? How can weapons of war be re purposed to provide further civilian sales?

    There are millions of tons of aluminum just sitting in the desert aircraft bone graveyards. Thousands and thousands of the same exact parts in some cases. A small engineering firm could look over the existing parts and with small alterations use them as the basis of designs for mass production of "new" "green" systems.

    Now sell it to the public, it's not sexy and won't make the military industrial complex trillions. It would employ hundreds maybe even a thousand (engineers, disassemblers, machinists and asemblers). Maybe sell the things as kits, a small but viable market. Given the right environment a few small manufacturers could make a nice little profit. The small startup cost might attract a few investors.

    Aluminum is a rather expensive material which can easily be recycled into other useful products. For my solar system, I used cheap galvanized roofing "tin" for the collecting area, which is much less expansive than aluminum. Either way, the surface must be coated with something that absorbs sunlight and it would be ideal that this coating also exhibited a low IR emission. Most paints don't have low IR emissivity, which has resulted in the use of various chemical treatments, such as surface plating, to achieve the best thermal result.

    I used flat black automobile paint for my system, which was cheap and relatively easy for me to apply with the usual shop tools out here in the boonies. Proper painting of galvanized steel requires chemical etching to insure good bonding of the paint to the zinc, a step which is quite messy. There are much better surface treatments methods available in an industrial setting and the results are more thermally efficient, which means that less collection area is needed for the desired energy output. Sorry to say, your suggestion would only cause more people to be dissatisfied with solar energy, IMHO...

    E. Swanson

    I disagree that it would disappoint.. but hey.. the thread's on its way to Thread Heaven.

    Even the thousands of Aluminum can solar panels are probably horribly inefficient, but people are using what's around and doing the right things in little stages.. I think that approach will be what many people will end up having as an option, and I hope a lot of people can get access to the plans and possibilities of using just junk and scrap for this stuff, if that's what's around.

    And so, since we both know that their whole enterprise is silly and a dead end, do you not agree that there are useful directions we can be putting our attention towards? Even our energy of communicating and brainstorming here..

    I just don't see the point in these 'Aha! Debunkings', when they are pointing at things that are either obvious bunk or just a hair's breadth from it.

    I'm hardly above making some silly remarks and enjoying the hang-out aspect at TOD, but since you framed it all under the banner of 'Do your eally want to find solutions?'.. when you had only this item for derailment to offer, it seemed like you were very pleased to be wasting energy with such a pre-failed subject..

    Maybe it's fine for the 'Game Over, man!' crowd to simply point out failures and frauds.. but for me, I think there's a crisis on top of us, so apart from trying to keep my spirits up a bit here and there, my real interest is in figuring out what can work and what can help us at all, and getting it going.

    I just don't see the point in these 'Aha! Debunkings', when they are pointing at things that are either obvious bunk or just a hair's breadth from it.

    I was more interested in comments on if Thorium could be a 7-12 year 'radioactive battery' per the claim as it seems to me the expense of separating the Alpha emitters (to make a battery lightweight)/Beta Emitters would be cost prohibitive. And most breakdown chains have far heaver emitters in the chain. There are TODers who know those breakdown chains off the tops of their heads. (the magnet part of the story I don't understand why THAT was in there)

    you framed it all under the banner of 'Do your eally want to find solutions?'

    I was hoping to have pointers to 'valid' energy solutions and patents that have been redacted for national security. A list I can't find again had such a list but they all seem to be tied to nuclear weapon systems.

    But governments VS "solutions" should be a topic thought about.

    Palestinians prepare to lose the solar panels that provide a lifeline
    Israel is planning to demolish 'illegal' solar panels that are the only source of electricity for Palestinians in West Bank villages

    And in your own life - what will you do if someone shows up with a truck of people, some guns and a hunk of paper that says "by order of X we, the government, are taking your solar panels in the interest of keeping government functioning"?