Drumbeat: November 30, 2012

Exhaustible resources and economic growth

My view is that with these new fields and new technology, we’ll see further increases in U.S. and world production of oil for the next several years. But, unlike many other economists, I do not expect that to continue for much beyond the next decade. We like to think that the reason we enjoy our high standard of living is because we have been so clever at figuring out how to use the world’s available resources. But we should not dismiss the possibility that there may also have been a nontrivial contribution of simply having been quite lucky to have found an incredibly valuable raw material that was relatively easy to obtain for about a century and a half.

My view is that stagnant world oil production and doubling in the real price of oil over 2005-2010 put significant burdens on the oil-consuming economies. Optimists may expect the next century and a half to look like the last. But we should also consider the possibility that it will be only the next decade that looks like the last.

Shale gas boom in the US ignites a revolution

Brought up in the US chemical industry there were two things you could rely on - the sun would come up in the morning and Gulf coast gas would be a dollar a unit. So there was tremendous build out of infrastructure on the Gulf coast of America because of that. Then the world changed and all of a sudden I found myself hedging gas at US$12 a unit. Now the world is trying to figure out where it's going to settle.

I don't think it will change the balance of power in the world but it's a nice step in the right direction.

We don't know what the new normal will be yet. I don't think you will see a rush of people building new plants with the possible exception of gas liquification plants. The US needs clarity on longer-term energy policy. I'm not sure we have an energy strategy today that people can believe in. Once that's in place I think you'll see investment.

Oil Heads for First Monthly Gain Since August on Economy

Oil headed for its first monthly gain since August in New York amid signs of economic growth in the U.S. and China, the world’s biggest crude consumers.

West Texas Intermediate futures were little changed after climbing 1.8 percent yesterday, the most since Nov. 19. Prices will probably be stable next week amid talks in Washington aimed at avoiding more than $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases known as the fiscal cliff that are due to kick in next year, according to a Bloomberg survey. The U.S. economy expanded more than previously estimated last quarter, the Commerce Department said in Washington.

Did China's Oil Consumption Decline 4% in 2011?

That's what the EIA currently says. See the chart above (red line). BP doesn't agree, showing them up by 5.5% over 2010. Although the Chinese economy has undoubtedly been slowing of late, it's hard to believe it was sufficient to cause a fall in oil consumption, which would be unprecedented since the time of the 1980 oil shock.

India Reliance Oct oil imports up 12.8 pct y/y- trade

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's Reliance Industries, owner of the world's biggest refining complex, imported nearly 13 percent more oil in October over a year earlier and made its first ever purchase of Canadian heavy oil. It also bought oil from Ecuador, the first since August 2011, tanker arrival data made available to Reuters showed.

Natural Gas Pricing in U.K. Is No Libor as Probe Begins

The regulatory investigation into alleged manipulation in the U.K. gas market, Europe’s biggest, may fail to undermine a price-setting system that relies on daily conversations between journalists and traders.

High-tech route is ‘the only way’ for petrochemicals industry

The head of the world's biggest petrochemicals company yesterday urged his Arabian Gulf-based rivals to spend more on technology to strengthen the industry.

"To sustain [our] level of growth, we need to bring in change.

"The only way is by adopting a technology-driven approach to remain competitive in an ever-changing market place," said Mohamed Al Mady, the chief executive of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic).

Discounted Saudi Crude Shaped Refiners’ Political Contributions, Paper Finds

One would think that, as a global commodity, any particular grade of oil would fetch a similar price regardless of where it was sent, but for a 12-year stretch Saudi Arabia sold crude to U.S. refiners at a substantial discount. To judge from the political contributions they made, the refiners appreciated the gesture.

Lebanese lethargy has sparks flying over power crisis

This is because it was the Turks who earlier this year agreed to eventually supply the two power-generating ships that our government has assured us will ease the chronic and shameful power shortage that has kept the Lebanese in misery, and made the country an investment backwater for more than three decades. I say eventually, because this week, the energy minister Gebran Bassil, who is also the son-in-law of Michel Aoun, the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), admitted the ships had yet to dock in Beirut because there had been a problem with payment.

In the meantime, winter approaches and Lebanon's national grid continues to run at only 65 per cent capacity. The joke is that the boats, if and when they arrive, were never meant to make up this shortfall, but to simply maintain the current - oops, there we go again - levels of supply as various power plants undergo routine service.

India's Apr-Oct imports of Iran oil down 12 pct yr/yr

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's oil imports from Iran rose 14 percent in October from September but for the first seven months of the contract year were down 12 percent, data from trade sources showed on Friday, as New Delhi aims to win a renewal of a waiver from U.S. sanctions.

Iran's second biggest client after China, India imported 276,900 barrels per day (bpd) of oil from the OPEC member in the April-October period, tanker arrival data showed.

Iran importing gold to evade economic sanctions, Turkish official says

Istanbul (CNN) -- Over the last six months, Iran has evaded U.S. sanctions by importing Turkish gold to pay for billions of dollars worth of energy sales to Turkey.

Turkey's deputy prime minister has described what amounts to a gold-for-oil barter system.

S.Africa suspends Iran crude imports again in October

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa suspended all imports of crude oil from Iran for a fifth consecutive month in October, data showed on Friday, as Pretoria continued to steer clear of the shipments because of sanctions.

South Africa used to import a quarter of its crude from Iran, but since June has replaced shipments with crude from other suppliers, especially Saudi Arabia.

Thousands on march ahead of Kuwait elections

Tens of thousands of people marched in Kuwait on Friday calling for a voter boycott, a day before a parliamentary election that looks unlikely to defuse tensions in the US-allied, oil-producing Gulf country.

Egyptian draft constitution passes; protesters vow return to the streets

The constitution, which would replace one scrapped in last year's revolution that led to Hosni Mubarak's ouster, needs to be approved by citizens, many of whom are angry at the government.

Hundreds of protesters gathered Friday around noon at Tahrir Square, where they held prayers after listening to a cleric brand Islamist President Mohamed Morsy a "pharaoh" over what many feel was an overbearing power grab by the head of state last week.

Internet and telephones cut in Syria for second day amid sporadic clashes in the capital

BEIRUT - Activists say Syrian rebels and government troops are clashing south of the capital as Internet and telephones lines remain cut for a second day nationwide.

President Bashar Assad's regime and opposition activists blamed each other for the blackout, which is the first to hit the whole country since Syria's 20-month-old uprising began.

Libya's main oil refinery resumes operations

Tripoli - Western Libya's main refinery resumed operations on Friday after protesters shut it down for a day, a spokesman said.

Essam al-Muntasir of the Zawiya Oil Refining Company said employees were able to resume work and fuel trucks were able to leave the refinery.

Abandonment of well hits Falkland Oil stock

Falkland Oil and Gas, which is engaged in a roller coaster ride to find oil in the disputed South Atlantic islands, lost almost half of its value when it announced the abandonment of a well following disappointing results.

The statement wiped 49 per cent off its volatile stock on Tuesday, sending its shares to a historic low of 32 pence, giving it a market value of £103 million. The stock price hit a high of 267 pence in July 2010.

ENI CEO says not interested in Conoco's Kashagan stake

(Reuters) - Italy's oil major ENI does not intend to exercise its right of first refusal on ConocoPhillips' stake in Kazakhstan's Kashagan oil field, Chief Executive Paolo Scaroni said on Friday.

ConocoPhillips intends to sell its Kashagan stake to Oil and Natural Gas Corp Videsh for about $5 billion.

Hungary signs preliminary deal to buy E.ON's gas units

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary has signed a declaration of intent with E.ON to buy the German utility's local gas businesses, which would give the government control over vital gas imports and negotiations with key Russian supplier Gazprom.

Hungary, whose position at the heart of central Europe gives it an important role as a gas-shipping route, gets over 80 percent of its annual gas consumption of 11-12 billion cubic metres through imports, mostly from Russia.

Rosneft sees TNK-BP deal with AAR in December

KHABAROVSK, Russia (Reuters) - Rosneft, Russia's biggest oil company, should sign a binding agreement next month to buy half of oil company TNK-BP from the AAR consortium of Soviet-born tycoons for $28 billion.

"I do not have any doubts. We are working quickly with AAR," Rosneft president Igor Sechin told reporters on Friday after an extraordinary general meeting of Rosneft shareholders. "There are one or two points that need to be worked out."

A deal that could solve one of the biggest headaches in global oil: How India’s ONGC might come to Kazakhstan’s rescue

Kashagan is one of the largest discoveries in the history of petroleum—and also one of the most troublesome. A monster field containing at least 38 billion barrels of oil (a 1-billion-barrel field is regarded as a “supergiant”), Kashagan occupies the extreme end of the industry risk scale—difficult to develop, far over budget, and very late indeed. It’s so huge that no less than seven big oil firms have partnered up to exploit it (which is part of the problem.) Discovered in Kazakhstan in 2000, Kashagan was supposed to deliver first oil seven years ago, at a development cost of about $24 billion. Instead, it is expected to produce only next March, after some $46 billion has been spent.

Now yet another firm is buying in to Kashagan. Under the terms of all-cash deal, announced Nov. 25, India’s state-controlled ONGC will buy the 8.4% stake currently owned by ConocoPhillips.

Fluor set to energise its Middle East business

The US engineering giant Fluor is set to double its business from the Middle East within two years as it increases its focus on the energy sector to compensate for a slowdown in mining.

Progress Energy Takeover Will Benefit Canada, Petronas Says

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state energy company, said its proposed $5.2 billion takeover of Progress Energy Resources Corp. will help Canada develop gas resources and find an alternative market.

Australian resources investment hits $280bn

Investment committed to Australian resource projects has risen to a record US$280 billion (Dh1.02 trillion), up by almost $8bn in six months.

The fly in the ointment, however, is the project pipeline is slowing and development costs are rising in an industry that has so far shielded Australia from global economic downturn.

Canada blocks Cenovus gas project in Alberta

Cenovus wanted to drill up to 1,275 new shallow gas wells at Canadian Forces Base Suffield National Wildlife Area, but federal Environment Minister Peter Kent told reporters: "The environmental impacts are simply too great."

Chevron’s $19 Billion ‘Disaster’ Gets Hearing

A judge hearing Chevron Corp.’s first test of whether Amazon rainforest-dwellers will collect $19 billion in environmental damages from the world’s fourth- largest oil company said the case should be tried in the U.S.

“You should all be in New York,” Ontario Superior Court Justice David Brown said several times during the first day of hearings today in Toronto. “On the issue of jurisdiction, the law is not clear on this at all. Why should the Ontario court stick their nose” into the matter.

BP’s U.S. Contract Suspension Seen Aiding Valero to Shell

BP Plc’s temporary ban from new U.S. government contracts is an additional stain on the British oil company’s record that may give competitors an edge in bidding for future federal work.

“Regardless of how long the suspension is, the government has put a black mark on BP’s record as a contractor that will never be erased,” said Charles Tiefer, a University of Baltimore law professor who focuses on government contracting.

Clean up the mess: big oil must always be held accountable

When BP and its drilling partners caused the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, the United States government demanded that BP finance the clean-up, compensate those who suffered damages, and pay criminal penalties for the violations that led to the disaster. BP has already committed more than US$20 billion (Dh73.5bn) in remediation and penalties. Based on a settlement last week, BP will now pay the largest criminal penalty in US history - $4.5bn.

New York's Delay on Fracking Decision Surprises Few

A legal expert says that the Cuomo administration’s decision to delay a decision on whether to allow hydraulic fracturing in New York for another 90-days makes sense.

When the Cuomo administration announced two months ago that it wanted an additional review of data on potential health effects of fracking, Governor Cuomo said he was going the extra mile to ensure that the state could win anticipated court challenges from environmental groups.

Fracking Secrets by Thousands Keep Americans Clueless on Wells

(Bloomberg) -- A subsidiary of Nabors Industries Ltd. pumped a mixture of chemicals identified only as “EXP- F0173-11” into a half-dozen oil wells in rural Karnes County, Texas, in July.

Few people outside Nabors, the largest onshore drilling contractor by revenue, know exactly what’s in that blend. This much is clear: One ingredient, an unidentified solvent, can cause damage to the kidney and liver, according to safety information about the product that Michigan state regulators have on file.

Is there enough water for ‘fracking’ boom?

Critics say that drilling and “fracking” pose a pollution threat to streams and groundwater. Industry officials say the process is safe. As that debate continues, the industry’s water consumption has grown into an issue of its own.

The change alone in Carroll County is huge. A Dispatch analysis of state water-use records shows that the county’s mineral-extraction industry, which includes drilling, used 3.5 million gallons of water in 2010.

Plan to lower river levels could mean hike in farm input costs

“This time of year, 78 percent of the water in the Mississippi comes out of the Missouri River, and they’re looking to cut off around 80 percent of what’s coming out,” Stegmann said. “Without additional rainfall, that’s going to drop the Mississippi River level to a minus 5. In my time — and I’ve been involved 53 years with the company — I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it that low.”

The plan is scheduled to be put into place because the drought this year lowered water levels in reservoirs in the Northern Plains. That, in turn, will affect recreation opportunities in the Dakotas and — possibly more critically — reduce the source of water necessary for hydraulic fracturing.

River vs. river: Corps manages Missouri, Mississippi rivers for conflicting goals

North Dakota leaders are eager to tap Missouri River reservoirs for the state’s oil fracking boom. Forcing oil from beneath North Dakota requires hundreds of millions of gallons of water. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple says he will contest any Corps plan to restrict oil companies from using that water.

So the Corps seems willing to manage the Missouri River to the detriment of Mississippi River shippers, even as North Dakota gives away water the Corps believes will be needed for navigation on both rivers.

Fort Nelson band’s anti-fracking petition draws overwhelming response

When a small native band in British Columbia launched an online petition to oppose increased water use by the gas industry, it was hoping for 500 signatures.

A month later, the Fort Nelson First Nation has nearly 24,000 signatories on the petition and letter to government posted on Change.org under the heading “Don’t Give Away Our Fresh Water for Fracking.”

Stake in Keystone Pipeline Is Potential Conflict for Susan Rice

Should Susan E. Rice, the United Nations ambassador, be nominated for Secretary of State, one issue likely to arise during confirmation hearings, aside from the lethal attack on the American Mission in Benghazi, Libya, is her large stock holdings in TransCanada, the company seeking an American permit to build the proposed the Keystone XL pipeline.

Ex-Official Is Charged After Deaths at Coal Mine

Federal prosecutors in West Virginia charged the highest-ranking executive to date on Wednesday in a broad investigation stemming from the 2010 explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine that killed 29 miners, a move that suggests more senior executives at Massey Energy, the mine’s operator, are likely to be prosecuted.

Ford Fusion named 'Green Car of the Year'

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Ford Fusion was named Green Car of the Year at this year's Los Angeles Auto Show.

The newly redesigned Fusion has received positive reviews for its styling and performance as well as its fuel economy. The Green Car judges also lauded its accessible price and the fact that it offers buyers a wide choice of options at various prices.

Chevy Volt tops most-loved car survey again

General Motors' Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid car topped Consumer Reports' annual owner-satisfaction survey for the second straight year.

Ninety-two percent of Volt owners surveyed by the influential consumer magazine said they would definitely buy the Volt again, earning the electric car the top ranking. Last year, 93 percent of respondents said they would buy the car again.

Car engines downsized, without sacrificing power

With gasoline prices surging to near-record levels and many experts forecasting a steady climb over the next few years, consumers are looking for ways to cut their fuel bills. There’s a clear trend towards downsizing, with compact and subcompact automobiles increasing their market share substantially.

But Americans have traditionally been believers that big is better, and despite expectations, demand for SUVs and CUVs hasn't collapsed. If anything, sales of pickups are, well, picking up again. Yet, these vehicles are getting far more mileage than ever before and downsizing also gets the credit – but unless you peak under the hood, you may not notice.

AAA warns E15 gasoline could cause car damage

The AAA says the Environmental Protection Agency and gasoline retailers should halt the sale of E15, a new ethanol blend that could damage millions of vehicles and void car warranties.

AAA, which issued its warning Friday, says just 12 million of more than 240 million cars, trucks and SUVs now in use have manufacturers' approval for E15. Flex-fuel vehicles, 2012 and newer General Motors vehicles, 2013 Fords and 2001 and later model Porsches are the exceptions, according to AAA, the nation's largest motorist group, with 53.5 million members.

Nearly 15 million households on food stamps

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The number of American households receiving food stamps jumped nearly 10% in 2011.

Nearly 15 million households were on food stamps at some point last year, up from 13.6 million in 2010, newly released Census data shows. That's an increase to 13%, up from 11.9% in 2010.

Home, squeezed home: Living in a 200-square-foot space

Step into an alleyway in the Northeast Washington neighborhood known as Stronghold, and you will see a vegetable patch, a campfire, a view of the Capitol and a cluster of what neighbors call “those tiny people, building their tiny houses.”

The people aren’t really tiny, but their homes are — 150 to 200 square feet of living space, some with gabled roofs, others with bright cedar walls, compact bathrooms and cozy sleeping lofts that add up to living spaces that are smaller than the walk-in closets in a suburban McMansion.

'Granny pods': The future of elderly living?

A Virginia pastor thinks he has the perfect solution for the growing legions of independent-minded boomers too old to live on their own.

Immigrants lead plunge in U.S. birth rate

The birth rate for U.S.-born women declined 6% between 2007 (when the recession began) and 2010. However, the rate for foreign-born women plunged 14%, more than in the 17 years before the downturn.

Both foreign- and U.S.-born Hispanic women had larger drops in birth rate than any other group, Pew found. That correlates with larger percentage declines in household wealth for Hispanics than in white, black or Asian households.

Welcome the Negawatt Revolution

Finally, the United States is beginning to take energy efficiency seriously.

Western Wind Seen Luring Bid Trumping Top Offer

Traders are betting that Western Wind Energy Corp. (WND)’s executives will persuade suitors to top what’s already the most expensive valuation for an alternative- energy takeover on record.

Shares of Western Wind, the Vancouver-based operator and developer of wind farms and solar projects that put itself up for sale in July, closed yesterday 11 percent above a C$2.50-a- share proposal from Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP. That’s the biggest premium to its offer among pending cash deals in Canada, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, a sign investors project Western Wind will secure a better price.

Fracking Companies Embrace Solar to Cut Carbon Emissions

The vast majority of hydraulic fracturing sites in the U.S. are powered by emissions-spewing, noisy diesel engines.

So, Ron Hyden, who’s seen a lot during his four decades in the oil patch, is eager to show off something new: a machine used in fracking that relies on gravity and electricity generated from solar panels to send sand into a labyrinth of tubes before it’s shot underground to prop open tiny cracks in natural gas- or oil-bearing rock.

Bloom Town

One of America’s hottest cities and one of its coldest may have more in common than you would guess. In places like Phoenix and Minneapolis, scientists think that cities are starting to look alike in ways that have nothing to do with the proliferation of Starbucks, WalMart or T.G.I Fridays. It has to do with the flowers we plant and the fertilizers we use and the choices we make every spring when we emerge from our apartments and homes and descend on local garden centers.

“Americans just have some certain preferences for the way residential settlements ought to look,” Peter Groffman, a microbial ecologist with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y., recently told me. Over the course of the last century, we’ve developed those preferences and started applying them to a wide variety of natural landscapes, shifting all places — whether desert, forest or prairie — closer to the norm. Since the 1950s, for example, Phoenix has been remade into a much wetter place that more closely resembles the pond-dotted ecosystem of the Northeast. Sharon Hall, an associate professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, said, “The Phoenix metro area contains on the order of 1,000 lakes today, when previously there were none.” Meanwhile, naturally moist Minneapolis is becoming drier as developers fill in wetlands.

Delhi and Shanghai Aim to Reduce Plastic Trash

HONG KONG — Two recent items of news from Asia appear to show that the region’s nations are starting to take seriously the ever-growing amounts of plastic trash they produce.

In India, plastic bags, sheets, films and the like were banned in Delhi beginning last week. The city is attempting to rein in the 250,000 tons of plastic waste it generates every year. My colleagues on the India Ink blog have written about the development here.

Fight Over Ferry on Lake Michigan Prompts Questions on Definition of Earmarks

To its critics, the S.S. Badger is a relic and a menace, a coal-fired car ferry that dumps tons of raw coal ash into Lake Michigan each year as it plies its four-hour route between Manitowoc, Wis., and Ludington, Mich.

To its friends in the halls of Congress, the Badger is a national historic treasure, a ship from a bygone era worth saving from the bureaucrats of the Environmental Protection Agency, even if it means skirting the line on the Republicans’ sacred ban on Congressional earmarks.

New York City’s Plan for Tree Waste: Sell, Reuse or Burn

As cleanup continues, New York City finds itself with a seemingly endless load of debris and no easy place to store it. In the case of the 15,000 trees felled by the storm, at least, the wreckage can be recycled. The city’s Environmental Protection Department said that whatever cannot be reused as fuel, mulch or landfill cover would most likely be burned at Floyd Bennett Field.

Mississippi’s Pinnacles of Thebes Should Fall: Shippers

Rock formations have studded the bottom of the Mississippi River for eons. With drought-stressed water levels near record lows, shippers say they must be blasted away now to keep commerce moving on the nation’s busiest waterway.

That is setting up a conflict with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has plans to wait until February to award a contract to remove rocks, known as pinnacles, near the Illinois towns of Thebes and Grand Tower. It’s a complicated project involving synchronized dynamite blasts that may cost as much as $10 million.

End of the Line for an Oyster Farm

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on Thursday ended a longstanding and bitter dispute that pitted wilderness advocates against supporters of a Northern California oyster farm, announcing that the farm’s lease from Point Reyes National Seashore would end on Friday as originally planned. An estuary known as Drakes Estero, where the oyster operation has existed for the last 40 years, will become a federally designated wilderness area.

Canada, Denmark a step closer to settling border dispute

An agreement on a decades-old maritime boundary dispute with Denmark could be a sign that Canada is serious about its plan to resolve competing claims in the north, researchers suggest.

How will climate change impact on fresh water security?

Fresh water is crucial to human society – not just for drinking, but also for farming, washing and many other activities. It is expected to become increasingly scarce in the future, and this is partly due to climate change.

U.K. Energy Reform Bill Casts Aside 2030 Carbon Targets

U.K. reforms to the electricity market boosted plans for low-carbon generators such as wind and nuclear power and offered industry a reprieve from costs, though left environmental groups demanding emissions-cutting targets.

The government plans to exempt energy intensive industries such as steel and cement from costs arising from contracts guaranteeing low-carbon generators a price for power, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said yesterday.

EU Carbon Fix May Avoid Delays as Parliament Seeks Faster Vote

The European Union’s proposal to strengthen the carbon market may avoid delays after a lawmaker overseeing the draft measure said he will seek to bring forward by a month a vote on it in the region’s parliament.

UN Seeks Simplest Process in Six Years for Pollution Cuts

Envoys at United Nations global warming talks are working on streamlining their negotiation process for the first time in at least six years, a step toward drafting a treaty by 2015 mandating more greenhouse-gas limits.

Delegates from more than 190 countries plan to close two parallel strands of talks and concentrate on one track, the biggest change to the process since 2007. The meeting, now in its fifth day in Doha, has avoided the rancor of the past three gatherings to focus on laying the groundwork for a deal limiting fossil-fuel emissions that would take effect by 2020.

Pledges to fight global warming inadequate, U.S. off track - study

DOHA (Reuters) - Major nations' policies are inadequate to limit global warming and the United States is off track even in carrying out its weak pledge to limit greenhouse gas emissions, a scientific scorecard showed on Friday.

The Climate Action Tracker report, issued on the sidelines of talks among almost 200 countries in Doha about climate change, said a toughening of policies was still possible to avert damaging floods, heat waves and rising seas.

Climate change: Africa is most affected

“Climate change is the biggest challenge to humanity this century,” says Fanuel Tolo, the director of programmes of Climate Network Africa.

He observes that African countries, who contribute least to emissions that cause global warming, are most hit.

Where can investors who worry about climate change put their pension?

"We're going after the fossil fuel industry," Bill McKibben tells about 1,800 cheering fans in a Washington, DC, theatre. "They're trying to wreck the future, so we're going after some of their money."

Al Gore notwithstanding, McKibben – an author, academic and founder of the grassroots climate group 350.org – is America's leading environmental activist. His 21-city Do The Math tour begins a campaign to persuade colleges, churches, foundations and governments to divest their holdings in coal, oil and natural gas companies.

Polar Ice Loss Accelerating, Study Finds

Ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland has contributed nearly half an inch to the rise in sea levels in the past 20 years, according to an assessment of polar ice sheet melting that researchers are calling the most reliable yet.

What's more, ice loss is rapidly speeding up in the north, while the rate in Antarctica has been fairly constant, the researchers report Friday (Nov. 29) in the journal Science.

Kash-is-gone is truly the poster child for Peak Oil....

An 8.4% stake for 5 billion in a potential 1 mmbopd field does sound really cheap... Could Kashagan become a field that is never fully exploited?

Re: Exhaustible resources and economic growth

My view is that stagnant world oil production and doubling in the real price of oil over 2005-2010 put significant burdens on the oil-consuming economies. Optimists may expect the next century and a half to look like the last. But we should also consider the possibility that it will be only the next decade that looks like the last.

Yet based on even a quick reading of just the posted articles in today's DrumBeat, it sure continues to look like most of the world is still hell bent on frittering away that next decade by continuing to try and maintain BAU at any cost!

As has been said, "Insanity, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

Insanity, is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

Only with finite depleting resources insanity is expecting the same result (plenty).

Yeah, good point!

So....reality is doing the same thing over and over getting less than the desired results and claiming them to be better?

And double reality is all the serious people believing and touting those less than desired results as better than could have been imagined -as in all our problems are solved. [Energy independence at last!]

We like to think that the reason we enjoy our high standard of living is because we have been so clever at figuring out how to use the world’s available resources. But we should not dismiss the possibility that there may also have been a nontrivial contribution of simply having been quite lucky to have found an incredibly valuable raw material that was relatively easy to obtain for about a century and a half.

Or, maybe that other "possibility" is that the US enjoyed the exorbitant privilege of owning the world's reserve currency for the last 50 years and could therefore print away deficits, a perk no other country enjoys, thereby allowing half of the oil it uses to be brought in under a perpetual trade deficit.

There are plenty of natural resources of all kinds, huge areas of very good farm land, plenty of fossil energy sources of all kinds and two oceans to fish in. What more could you demand?

No more than 1 billion people.

Reminds me of an old joke: this Irishman rescues a leprechaun who's fallen down a well.

"I'll grant you two wishes," says the leprechaun.

"For my first wish, I want a bottle of beer that never empties," says the Irishman.

POINK! A bottle of beer appears in his hands. He drinks it down, and glug-glug-glug it fills up again.

"Fantastic!" says the Irishman, "For my second wish, I want another bottle."

We discover these vast stores of concentrated energy, and develop a lifestyle that demands even vaster stores.

Energy Facts Of The Week: Oil Production Highest Since 1994, Oil Imports Lowest Since 1992 And Oil Jobs Highest Since 1988

This article gives the impression that added US production is driving down imports. Well they have, by about 1 million barrels per day. But US imports have declined by more than 5 million barrels per day. Imports are being driven down primarily because of high prices.

The US production chart the article posts is a weekly chart. My production and import data below is from the EIA's International Energy Statistics which was just updated a couple of days ago with the July and August data. So my production chart ends in August and the import chart ends in July. So my chart does not show the recent jump in weekly production.

US C+C Production and Net Imports in kb/d.

US Production & Imports

Ron P.


Thanks for keeping TOD supplied with you data updates. Adding the US C+C production and net imports seems to imply that the total US consumption of crude plus condensate has fallen from a high of about 18 million bbs/day in early '07 to a little over 14 million bbls/day this year. That is over a 20% drop. Is that a fair reading of the data?

No I don't think that is quite accurate. The chart kinda mixes apples and oranges. Net imports is everything, not just crude. So we do produce a lot of NGLs and that must be considered. The EIA publishes, monthly, total consumption of petroleum products. It is called "Petroleum Products Supplied".

Monthly Energy Review Click on "XLS" to get all the data.

US total products consumed in kb/d.

Ron P.

Thanks for the clarification.

Reading from your graph of total US products supplied, our consumption has dropped from a maximum of about 20.7 mbbs/day to about 18.7 mbbls/day now, or about 10%. However, I would guess that this drop would be much greater if one focused on total C+C consumption only, excluding ethanol, and other non-crude products.

Thanks again for providing the graphs. They are much more accessible than using the EIA website.

Not cheap enough - Gov't still searching for other energy source as LNG remains too costly

Yesterday, the JMA noted that it had been advocating for years for the supply of LNG from the twin- island republic at preferential prices to create a level playing field for Jamaica's manufacturing sector

"We supported the Government when they signed a memorandum of understanding with Trinidad for the supply of 1.1 million tonnes of LNG and came out against Trinidad when they reneged on the deal," said the JMA.

"Since then, we have been in discussions with three different industry ministers, from Karl Samuda to Christopher Tufton and to Anthony Hylton in a bid to reduce the cost of energy," added the JMA.

Trinidad deal was key

The manufacturers group argued that the supply of LNG from Trinidad was a key strategy in the provision of a cheaper source of energy from the JPS. The JMA also demanded answers from the Government as to whether it was no longer pursuing LNG from Trinidad

Juxtapose that with this sory from last Sunday's issue of the same newspaper

Millions needed to pump water uphill - NWC foots heavy bill to subsidise the cost of getting potable water to Mandeville

David Geddes, vice-president for marketing and communications at the NWC, says the situation regarding Manchester and particularly the town of Mandeville has been discussed ad nauseam, but it comes right back to cost.

"We do have a plan for Manchester that will improve the water-supply situation. This is contained in our parish plans. But as it stands now, if every resident of Mandeville paid their water bill and paid it in full, our electricity costs would far exceed what we could collect from them. That is a fact," Geddes told The Sunday Gleaner.

NWC officials have long complained about the high cost of pumping potable water uphill to the residents Mandeville.

Although there are several wells in the parish, getting water to the residents is dependent on power from the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) to power the motors of pumps over Spur Tree hill to Winston Jones Highway and Knockpatrick.

According to Geddes, the last estimate the commission has is that "the average monthly collection for the parish is approximately J$40 million (US$450,000), while it is costing in excess of J$70 million (US$787,000) to keep the pipes with water".

Bold mine.

It will be impossible for these folks to accept the possibility of a near term peak in world oil production or even anything other than a return to the days of cheap energy. I'm convinced that contemplating the possibilty of anything other than BAU is going to make their heads explode.

On that thought, it might not be such a bad thing if some of the world's cornocopians heads exploded, if it weren't for the fact that, some of them are needed to keep things operating at a minimum level.

Alan from the islands

Re: Millions needed to pump water uphill, has it been posited that using PV to pump water is a near-perfect solution? How large is the uphill storage capacity?

Congress looks at doing away with the $1 bill

Congressional auditors say doing away with dollar bills entirely and replacing them with dollar coins could save taxpayers some $4.4 billion over the next 30 years.

"We've never bitten the bullet to remove the $1 bill as every other Western economy has done," Diehl said. "If you did, it would have the same success the Canadians have had."

I imagine the lawmakers will be looking at all kinds of savings potential to deal with the fiscal cliff.

Best hopes for eliminating the dollar bill.

And the cent and nickel while they're at it.

Ird, good point.
Getting rid of the cent (penny) would have the added benefit of freeing up a dish in the cash register that could be used for the dollar coins. Also, it might help with the acceptance of carrying the additional dollar coins.

The penny will be phased out in Canada on February 4, 2013. Production of pennies ended last May.

jstewart, how is the transition going? Are most businesses already rounding to the nearest 5 cents? Are pennies being removed from circulation already?

I'm not aware of any businesses that are rounding to the nearest 5 cents. It's as if everyone is suddenly going to start doing that on Feb 4.

In South Africa we've phased out the 1c and 2c coins. They were worth more as scrap metal than as money. The 5c is on the way out. The 1- and 5-Rand notes went years ago.

I wouldn't bother to pick up anything less than a R2 coin if I saw it lying in the street.

(In 1961 when the Rand was introduced, one Rand would buy $1.40 US. Now it buys 11 cents US.)

In Australia, we also phased out the 1c and 2c coins years ago, and replaced the $1.00 and $2.00 notes (bills) with "gold" coins as well. The 5c coin may go soon, and we have had rounding (up and down) to the nearest 5c for years too, without a civil revolt. And it's not a function of value - the AUD has been worth 3-4% more than the USD for several years.

Plus all our notes are of the durable, almost-impossible to counterfeit, plastic type - which have their problems (springiness mainly), but are much better than paper money, long-term.

But I think in the US it is not primarily about a rational and economic reform of the physical money system ... like the resistance to a change to the metric system, the penny and the dollar bill are welded on to some notion of US character, historical legacy, and uniqueness. Very hard to move people when pride and hubris are in the mix - whatever the cost.

In 1993, Mexico simply replaced all their currency with a new one worth 1000 times as much as the old.

Nuevo peso

Get rid of the dime too. Such small denominations in a world of quickly rising prices makes no sense. Simplify and quicken transactions by rounding prices to the closest quarter.

Not sure if I completely agree. From a practical POV getting rid of small denominations makes sense but I think that in a way having them around acts as a reminder of the destruction inflation causes. It really is quite dramatic but as it seems to happen slowly there is a disconnect between how we emotionally respond and how rationally we get taken over a barrel.


Dug this up, of course the issue of eliminating small coins is more complex than would seem http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/03/31/080331fa_fact_owen

I used to oppose getting rid of pennies on the grounds that sales tax is always rounded up. On a sale you could pay up to 4 cents extra sales tax than you should. It would be a automatic windfall tax increase for the state.

I no longer oppose it because most of my purchases now are online and rarely pay any sales tax.

That's not to say that online purchases shouldn't be taxed.

It would be an automatic windfall tax increase for the state.

I'm not advocating all transactions be rounded up - why not just round to the closest quarter without the sales tax amount changing? Any difference up or down received by the vendor would wash out over x number of transactions.

Acceptance of the US dollar coin has been hampered because at a glance it looks very like a quarter. I wish they'd just taken the old Walking Liberty half-dollar and made it the dollar coin. If that would be too big for pocket change, then go to a seven-sided coin, like the British 50 pence piece. You could still use the Walking Liberty sculpture -- it's one of the handsomest coins in history.

Coins in Mexico are huge, took some getting used to on a vacation there. After a while it seemed like a good thing.

An American dollar coin should be as big as the old silver dollars.

The Canadian dollar coin is a substantial chunk of metal, significantly bigger than a quarter and gold-colored to boot.

However it achieved instant popularity when the Royal Canadian Mint lost the dies for the original dollar coin in the mail, and had to substitute another design featuring a common loon on the back. They were immediately designated "loonies" and people started buying "loonie bins" to keep them in. Everybody loved them and didn't miss the old dollar bills at all amidst the general hilarity.

The even heavier two-dollar coin that replaced the unpopular two-dollar bill also achieved instant popularity when people discovered that you could take the bi-color, bi-metallic design, put it in a deep freeze overnight, hit it with a hammer, and knock the center out of it. People had to try this, and "can you break a toonie?" became the new challenge. It is more convenient than two loonies and much more popular than the old two-dollar bill.

Canada is dropping the penny and introducing plastic bills - the new $20 being the latest example. It is much harder to counterfeit, and if you put it through the washer you can tell all your friends that you are paying them back with "laundered money". Be ready for it the next time you visit Canuckistan.

Most countries take their money much more seriously than Canadians, so this might not work elsewhere.

Canada is dropping the penny and introducing plastic bills...

RockyMtnGuy, thanks for the insights from Canada.
Rather than eliminate the one cent, the US will probably make it out of less expensive steel. Maybe if steel is too expensive some day they will make them out of plastic...

Best hopes for learning from our northern neighbor.

"Rather than eliminate the one cent, the US will probably make it out of less expensive steel."

Steel is magnetic, pennies are not. Coin-operated machines are designed to reject steel slugs.

Austenitic stainless would work, but then it costs too much again.

Aluminum? Probably too light to work the machine. Or hold on to.

Just dump the penny.

Dump the penny. Dump the nickel. Dump the quarter.

In an age when most transactions are actually digital accounting, why do we still calculate the dollar to two decimal places in the US or Canada?

The easiest fix for retailers and consumers is to drop a decimal place. Leave the dime and a half dollar as the small change.
The dime's value now is about the same as a penny around 1970. It wasn't a problem having a minimum coin with that value then and it wouldn't be a problem now.

We have plastic 20 and 50 peso notes. I occasionally see a plastic 100 but the old paper ones are still prominent. Plastic certainly does keep better but it is a PITA to fold in half as it just wants to spring open or flatten if it has been folded. Smallest coin is a 10 centavo and it is small enough to be awkward also the new 10, 20 and 50 centavos are very similar to different denomination older ones so you always need to look twice,


I liked the Sacajawea dollar myself.

I got a nice sack of those for 95 cents each. Pretty little coin, and the price was right.

This is the kind of logical pragmatic thing that our government should JUST DO because is makes sense.

But the spoiled-brat electorate will complain and whine. And politicians will cower in fear of losing office.

So the problem is the spoiled electorate and the politicians who are too spineless to make the voters eat their broccoli.

Ah yes, like the transition to the metric system. The US was on track to go metric -- I actually recall buying gas in Vermont where the pumps measured in litres instead of gallons. I believe the transition to metric was stopped after Ronald Reagan became president. As the US's largest trading partner, it also had a chilling effect on the transition to metric in Canada. We now use a mix of both systems which is just confusing. It's also a guessing game everytime you work on a piece of equipment manufactured in the US or Canada as to whether you need your metric tool set or imperial tool set.

It's a lot more complicated than that. Metrication was originally raised in the 19th century. We've been dragging our heels every since. You can't pin this one on Reagan.

Most recently, the DOT was supposed to convert to metric in the 1990s. State and local public works departments spent millions on the conversion. But it was repealed in 1998. Many states reverted to English units. Eventually, even the states that wanted to stay metric changed their minds, because they had to coordinate with neighboring states, and it was too difficult with different units, coordinate systems, etc. I believe they are all converting back to English now, if they haven't already.

The UK is a real mess. We learn metric at school, but we measure distance in miles, buy beer in pints, bread in pounds, milk in either pints or litres, measure televisions in inches, fuel in litres but fuel economy in miles per gallon. Wind speeds are knots. horses are traded in guineas.

Ah yes, the Mars Climate Orbiter.... Clusterf*ck extarodinaire.....


".....as to whether you need your metric tool set or imperial tool set."
All too often you need both. The baby diesel auxillary engine in my sailboat is metric, but many of the associated parts (alternator, filters, etc) have imperial size nuts and bolts. It is a really small boat, so storage is at a premium. It annoys me that I have to carry two complete sets of wrenches and sockets.


Yeah, had to use both on my Jeep.


Who was it, somebody at end of the war said "sure, you have the atom bomb, but we have the metric system"

I forced all my engineering students to use SI (metric) units exclusively, before it became mandatory, and used as an example a simple calculation that required in imperial units remembering a bunch of oddball numbers, like 32.2 and 8.33, and whether to use them, but in metric was an easy top-of-head arithmetic exercise with no units confusion at all.

"remembering a bunch of oddball numbers, like 32.2 and 8.33,"

9.81 is no better than 32.2. And metric pressure units are completely dorky (101300 mathematicians is one standard atmosphere?) The real world seems to use the bar instead, although I am seeing MPa quite a bit now.

The rest of the metric system is very sensible. Nautical miles do have their place in navigation though.

Nah. 9,81 is ten. 32.2 is three. For getting the answer, ten is somewhat more virtuous than three. QED.

As for the atmosphere, just do the republican thing about such things and tell it to be what we want it to be- a bar or MPa ( since E 1,2,3,etc all the same).

But just be sure to keep the units straight. An atmosphere is not the same thing as a dipthong. There is where we must differ with our R friends.

Let's move on to the US dollar coin after we finish our transition to the metric system.

ROFL! Well one centimeter is 1/100 of a meter therefore one centidollar should be 1/100 of a dollar

Oh, and I'd like a roll of decidollars please. >;-)

According to a recent story on NPR it doesn't really save all that much. I think the $4.4 billion is the amount that ends up in people's jars of coins. A tax on "hoarders".

When you get rid of dollar bills and force everybody to hold dollar coins, people wind up holding more dollar coins than they held dollar bills. This is essentially a gift to the government from everybody with a bowlful of coins by the bed (or a stash hiding under the sofa cushions, in a random backpack pocket or at the bottom of a purse). It's like a voluntary tax.

The biggest saving is the time it currently takes routing around in your change purse to find enough pennies for a cash transaction so you don't get more pennies in return.

Not a problem - I always put any pennies I receive in change into the penny cup (there is almost always one), and every so often, if I need a penny or 3 to avoid getting pennies in change, I have no qualms about taking from the cup. I'd be just as happy to get rid of pennies altogether.

I read somewhere (sorry, no source handy) that dollar coins are issued interest-free by the US Treasury, whereas dollar bills are issued at interest by the Federal Reserve. Supposedly that interest is paid by the Fed back to the Treasury, so there may be no significant difference....

Anybody know more about this?


The mint sells coins to the fed at face value but sells bills (any denomination) for about 10 cents each (approximately cost).
The fed then exchanges those dollar bills for treasury securities which pay interest.
It's appears to be pretty lucerative activity - the fed pays the treasury somewhere in the $20bn/year (to return the accrued interest) - but really it all nets out to cost of production.

Re: Abandonment of well hits Falkland Oil stock

Does anyone remember this?

Together, the four wells planned for the Falklands this year are searching for about 8.3 billion barrels of oil. The Jubilee field, which was discovered in 2007, propelled Ghana into one of the world’s top 50 oil states. Brazil’s Lula field, drilled in 2006, holds an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

That was back in January. I think this well is the last of the four, though it's not clear that all four have actually been drilled.

That leaves the Sea Lion discovery, "believed" to contain "over 300 million barrels" of recoverable oil as the only known (possibly) economic oil in the Falklands. Hopes are for production to start in 2016 (after expenditure of $3 billion), with a peak of 120,000 barrels per day (0.13% of world consumption) to be reached in 2018. If they really reach that production and the recoverable reserves are in the ballpark, it will be depleted in under ten years.

Oh well, no one was counting on Falkland Islands oil, were they?

Notice the library that doesn't use elec.
More sobering is the 35 sqft hongkong flat.


A picture of any ole HK parking spot would have sufficed I suppose: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-11-29/latest-bubble-hong-kong-parking...

Anecdotally, I was chatting with a frequent traveller to China and he mentioned an odd-even license tag driving restriction in Shendu, but a quick Google shows that is prevalent elsewhere in China as well. So, I further suppose, a pic with bumper to bumper cars would have also been apropos. My incorrect assumption was with all the new and overbuilt (vehicular) infrastructure....

New from IEA ... Sharpening the Response

The International Energy Agency just completed a three-day Emergency Response Exercise (ERE) to familiarise delegates from member and 15 non-member countries with key aspects of oil supply disruptions and emergency response measures. Among other issues, this sixth ERE was designed to improve participants’ understanding of how to assess supply disruptions and knowledge of IEA emergency response tools and their impact, as well as the potential for cooperation between IEA countries and key Partner countries.

Keisuke Sadamori, IEA Director of Energy Markets and Security, emphasised in his concluding remarks that the oil market is global and that a supply disruption can no longer be considered someone else’s problem. He stressed that energy security is a shared responsibility, especially given the growing share of oil demand from non-OECD countries.

Report: IEA Response System for Oil Supply Emergencies 2012

Former Shell Oil President: Global Warming Debate Is Over

In an interview with Consumer Energy Report, former president of Shell Oil John Hofmeister said the debate on global warming is effectively settled.

... Mr. Hofmeister responded that he is not a scientist or climatologist, but said that once a critical mass of public officials has determined that something is a problem, then the debate is effectively settled. He also agrees that humans create significant waste, and that if this waste is cleaned up, that would address the climate change issue.

Most environmentalists approach this issue from the viewpoint that if ancient carbon is never burned, the carbon dioxide does not add to the atmospheric carbon dioxide inventory. Mr. Hofmeister’s position is that we should continue to develop and use our fossil carbon resources, but that we also must control the wastes which come about from using those resources.

He concluded his answer by saying that the issue is really not that of a warming planet, but rather the failure to manage wastes. By managing those wastes, he suggested that the climate change issue would ultimately fade away.

... Unclear on the Concept

He admits to GW but then goes on to say what? Waste? Does he mean if we conserve more, i.e. not waste as much, we can continue to burn ff? Maybe he's missing the point of CO2 emissions adding to the problem of GW, whether it's done efficiently or not.

Sounds like he wants to put the genie back in the bottle, while at the same time we need to rub the lamp harder.

Meanwhile, we're running out of wishes :-0

It's sort of the inverse of "we have to fish harder until the fish are all gone". ;-)

Maybe he should watch this


Compared to other cities New York isn't even close to being a worst case offender.

Isn't he simply calling CO2 part of the waste of using fossile fuels ? (which is the case)
And asking for CCS ? (which I think will never get set up due to necessary added ressource/energy consumption, a typical false good idea)
"control the wastes which come about from using those resources."
"but rather the failure to manage wastes."
Sounds like using waste not like in "wasting" but like in by-product of a process, no ?
(makes me think I never realized these two meanings were on the same word in English, two different ones in French)

Failure to manage the wastes? He just doesn't get it. There is no effective way to 'manage the wastes'. Are you gonna connect a big balloon to every tailpipe and collect the CO2 for sequestration? That is impossible. It would not be economic in the least.

The only idea close to this is Carbon sequestration & storage from coal plants and no one has been able to make that work economically.

He is just in denial about the actual problem. It is the fact that we are using the atmosphere as a big entropy dumping ground that allows us to extract the energy from fossil fuels.

Mr. Hofmeister responded that he is not a scientist or climatologist, but said that once a critical mass of public officials has determined that something is a problem, then the debate is effectively settled.

Ah there you go now! Just because the Powers That Be declare something is or is not a problem then that makes it so! That did not work so well for us here in the Northeast still suffering from the Climate Change wreckage of Hurricane Sandy, does not seem to help Midwestern farmers suffering from the worst drought in decades.

Sorry, reality rules over even the plutocrats and their political minions...

And this was the most confused response I ever heard - if global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions is a problem then you have to reduce those emissions!

I'm not sure why the TPTB say anything; one only has to stand on a bridge and observe peak hour traffic (or visit a shopping centre, etc) to see my fellow Joes and Janes don't give a toss about Climate Chaos anyway.

Peak Oil, Global Warming, Limits To Growth... "Not my department", says the me-generation.

Cheers and shoulder shrug, Matt

Why should they worry... we have our top men on it. Top. Men.

I think his point is very clear and his logic impeccable: I want to produce oil, you want to use it. Don't blame us, get someone else to clean up the mess we are making.

Simple. Elegant.

Heatwave Knocks Out Vodafone Australia's Network

Vodafone Australia suffered a network failure across parts of Victoria after an air-conditioning failure at a major switching centre in the midst of a heat wave.

Vodaonfe's spokeswoman Karina Keisler said that the failure was affecting around half of its Victoria customers and up to 15 percent of Vodafone customers nationally.

"My understanding is that the airconditioning has failed which has created an overheating in the switch and a failure as a result," she said. "I believe it was caused by today's extreme temperatures."

Parts of Victoria hit 45C which is unprecendented for November. Meanwhile up to 70 Victorian farms may be turned into open cut mines for high emitting brown coal or lignite
I thought with Australia's new carbon tax all that coal would be left in the ground. I guess I thought wrong.

Surely the government would be eager to promote coal mining if it brings in carbon tax money.

The carbon tax is meant to be revenue neutral with all the proceeds either returned to taxpayers or spent on green programs. It can't be spent on hospitals or the military for example. The fact is the tax is not high enough to favour gas fired generation over lignite, particularly if the gas price looks set to escalate. Hence both Germany and Australia talk about closing lignite power stations but on a net basis they don't.

Some of the dirty power stations here got a $1bn down payment in anticipation of early closure. Now it looks like they will operate until 2030 or later. None have handed back the money. There was a suggestion to squeeze the moisture out of brown coal to make pellets for export to places like Vietnam. This could still happen since the Australian govt says emissions from exported coal are not its problem. Ditto the US evidently. Could be why Australia has kept its mouth shut at the Doha climate conference.

Like the tax on petrol which was supposed to be spent on roads? A million potholes later I have my doubts. Maybe it's just South African politicians, but I think they're the same everywhere. No revenue stream remains unpolluted.

Nowadays, at any time of the year, about 10% of the worlds surface suffers a heatwave, compared to much less then 1% 30 years ago. From James Hansen's landmark paper 'Loading the Climate Dice'.

Nasty stuff... 180,000 Pounds Of Toxic Chemicals Are Spilling Into A New Jersey Creek After A Train Derailed

Emergency management officials have told residents of three New Jersey towns to stay inside after six freight train tanker cars carrying hazardous chemicals spilled into a creek after a railroad bridge collapsed.

Four of the Conrail cars contained vinyl chloride, a carcinogen used in the making of plastics. ... it will be a challenge for Conrail to lift the cars out of the water without releasing any more chemicals.

Photo [Note what the spokesperson has on vs the TV reporters]

[The parts they leave out: ... Cancer is a major concern from exposure to vinyl chloride via inhalation, as vinyl chloride exposure has been shown to increase the risk of a rare form of liver cancer in humans. EPA has classified vinyl chloride as a Group A, human carcinogen. ... Several rat studies show a pronounced early-life susceptibility to the carcinogenic effect of vinyl chloride, i.e., early exposures are associated with higher liver cancer incidence than similar or much longer exposures that occur after maturity. Source ]

Wonder if Hurricane Sandy had anything to do with the bridge collapse?

This is the same bridge that collapsed in August 2009 as a 50-car coal train passed over it, spilling 16 cars into the water.


It appears to be an old swing bridge. Google Maps 39.834593,-75.236657


"Photo [Note what the spokesperson has on vs the TV reporters]"

...listed there as "resident"... and the mask is great... except it doesn't have the canister... a fact obscured by the hand: a posed photo for our silly news. "Fiscal cliff", she shouted fiscal cliffilly at the looming fiscal cliff, "fiscal cliff, what color fiscal cliff is 'neath your fiscal cliffs?" "Rice Benghazi, of course! Benghazi Rice rices my Benghazi Rice under the Rice Benghazi Rice, Benghazi?"


I looked around a bit for a precedent vinyl chloride "spill"... which may be a misnomer: vinyl chloride is a gas shipped under pressure as a liquid:

"Vinyl chloride (C.A.S. 75-01-4) is a colorless, flammable gas with a faintly sweet odor. Its odor threshold (the level at which most people can smell the gas and be warned of its presence) probably exceeds 4,000 ppm. This figure is in excess of every legal standard that has ever been applied to vinyl chloride monomer exposure, and is 4,000 times higher than the current OSHA PEL of 1 ppm. If a person smells vinyl chloride monomer, that person has been grossly overexposed to the substance."

Explosion is an immediate hazard:


I have some graphs for you as well. It's about the Hubbert Curve and Export Land Model results of the oil production of Sudan. It's made with the updated Sokath software which you can download over here: http://sokath.sourceforge.net/

Chevy Volt tops most-loved car survey again

Very impressive, GM. Sure, the first year buyers were all die-hard supporters. But the second year has an expanded set of buyers that goes beyond the die-hard supporters yet they still rank on top. Well done.

And GM deserves a lot of credit for correctly predicting that the PHEV electrification model would be the best way to go. The Volt is the best selling car with a plug.

But they better watch out, Ford is coming in with some decent competition with their C-Max Energi and Fusion Energi models.

Japan is barely on the field. The plug-in Prius is kinda lame. The Honda PHEV is expensive ($40K) and weak (only 13 miles of electric range). Nissan has the best-selling pure EV with the Leaf but the PHEVs are selling much better than the pure EVs.

Fusion Energi is great, but I saw a Volt with black leather the other day with just the right paint color, it was gorgeous.

That any car could ever be considered gorgeous is pretty clearly illustrative of our problem...

A Ferrari is gorgeous, a work of art and engineering.

And less practical then by far most other cars, very resource inefficient, the art and engineering only to be really enjoyed by those in the top highest few percent income. It clearly is an excess in our excessive consumption society.

At least Lamborghini and Porsche have added value...as tractor.

But...Plenty of added value at panty removal!

Admittedly that's something a Porsche tractor is not able to do... much.


US daily crude oil production increased to 6.818 million barrels per day. This was an increase of 108,000 barrels per day from the prior week. This is the most crude oil produced by the US since February, 1994.

This seems to indicate that oil from North Dakota (Bakken) and Texas (Eagle Ford) has likely increased by 200,000 to 300,000 barrels per day since the September, 2012 state level oil reports.

US Total daily oil liquids production is 11.17 million barrels per day.

It's all about the net. I haven't seen anything that indicates that US peak net energy from oil extraction didn't happen a long time ago.

Excellent point. Would love to see (don't know if it's possible) a net energy graph for US (or North American, even) petro production (read extraction). Given the huge number of rigs here compared to elsewhere, the proportion of 'petroleum products' that are made up of NGL's and the phantom 'refinery gain' (let's not even get into 'total liquids' and ethanol...), as well as the ever growing share of the total that comes from tight shales requiring fracking, and in the case of NA, tar sands, I think it would be quite telling to see the net energy curve for US/NA compared to other oil producing regions. Might shed some additional light on current economic conditions, and (wishful thinking now) throw some cold water on all the 'net energy exporter by 2030' hoopla.

Matching in the November data that we have against the state oil production.
It looks like North Dakota and Texas have continued their 30,000 to 50,000 bpd increases. Texas could have done even better in the most recent week.

I think North Dakota will end the year with over 800,000 bpd.
Texas in Sept had 2.05 million bpd (based in EIA definitions) and
should end with over 2.2 million bpd.

The predictability and stability of the 30K to 50k bpd increases for North Dakota and Texas sets up for pretty good odds that the US will end 2012 with nearly 7 million bpd of crude oil production and very likely have surpassed 7 million bpd for Jan 2013 for some weeks.

Continental Resources and Whiting are giving strong investor guidance of 30-35% oil production increases.

The most recent daily activity reports indicate that good well production is continuing in North Dakota.

North Dakota and Texas are like Usain Bolt in their race against the Red Queen.

Bread that lasts for 60 days could cut food waste

An American company has developed a technique that it says can make bread stay mould-free for 60 days.

The bread is zapped in a sophisticated microwave array which kills the spores that cause the problem.

Food waste is a massive problem in most developed countries. In the US, figures released this year suggest that the average American family throws away 40% of the food they purchase - which adds up to $165bn (£102bn) annually.

Bread is a major culprit, with 32% of loaves purchased in the UK thrown out as waste when they could be eaten, according to figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

re: Fort Nelson band’s anti-fracking petition draws overwhelming response

the Fort Nelson First Nation has nearly 24,000 signatories on the petition and letter to government posted on Change.org under the heading “Don’t Give Away Our Fresh Water for Fracking.”

The Fort Nelson Band has 800 people. The town of Fort Nelson has 6300 people. The Fort Nelson Regional Municipality, which constitutes 10% of the area of BC has about 6400 people, including those in Fort Nelson. So, how did they get 24,000 people to sign the petition. Methinks a lot of them reside in more southern localities and have never been any where Fort Nelson.

The BANANAS (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody) strike again. The people who actually live in Fort Nelson may not be totally onside with respect to the BANANA agenda since natural gas is their largest industry, now that their forestry industry has completely collapsed and both their lumber mills have closed.

One would think that finding water for fracking would not be a problem since the Liard River, which flows through the area is about 10 times the size of the Colorado River, which many Americans believe is a big river.

[raises hand]

"the Liard River, which flows through the area is about 10 times the size of the Colorado River, which many Americans believe is a big river."

Gosh, RMG, can we do a little fact checking?

Colorado River

Liard River

Just askin'...

RMG may have meant the Colorado River in Texas which runs through the heart of Texas' fracking country.

But most Americans don't know about that river, let alone think it's big.

Even then, the one in Texas is longer according to the links, though its basin is only about half the size. Maybe RMG was referring to flow rate (discharge). I'm surprised the one in Texas is flowing at all these days. By the time Greer's Mexican hoard takes it back, it probably won't be.

Maybe RMG was referring to flow rate (discharge).

That's probably the feature that matters if you're thinking about extracting water for fracking.

Average discharge rate:

Colorado River : 614 m3/s
Liard River : 2434 m3/s

I miscalculated a bit, but then I was working from memory. It's only 4 times as big.

Is that before or after 90% of the water is taken out of the Colorado as it flows downstream? Up or downstream from the Glen Canyon dam?

The Colorado USED to be a big river, at least seasonally.

According to the Wikipedia article, the flow is measured at Topock, AZ, 300 miles from the river's mouth - so, yes it is measured after water withdrawals.

The Colorado is still a big river on occasion - at maximum flow it is nearly as big as the Liard:

Maximum discharge rate:
Colorado: 10,900 m3/s
Liard: 11,000 m3/s

However, more commonly they reduce it to a trickle to keep all those toilets flowing and crops irrigated:

Minimum discharge rate:
Colorado: 12 m3/s
Liard: 300 m3/s

Geologically speaking, what matters is sediment load. I bet the Laird doesn't even come close. And most of the Colorado's load is not dropped in Lake Powell.

Actually, the sediment load of the Liard is so great it isn't feasible to dam it as the dam lifespan is said to be around 40 years due to sedimentation. I have built small dams with silt suckers in the intake systems, but that was for flowing river run applications and small supplies.

I flew water survey techs for years around the Liard and Kechika systems. The plan was for a dam at the rapids of the dammed with a power line to tie in at Hudson Hope (Peace River), by powerline through the Rocky Mt. Trench. I am pretty sure the sediment load makes the Colorado load inconsequential...and yes I have seen the Colorado. The Liard is what muddies up the MacKenzie...until it hit the Mac is clear.


Depends on where you are, and what other river inflows are near.

12/01 06:00 Discharge,ft3/s

LEES FERRY, AZ              8,040 
PEACH SPRINGS AZ            7,810
AT YUMA, AZ                   667

The flow rate of 8040 ft3/s at Lees Ferry translates into 228 m3/s, which actually is 1/10 of the average discharge rate of the Liard. Perhaps they measure the discharge rate at the point where the river flow is the highest. I don't know.

[also raises hand]

"....the Liard River, which flows through the area is about 10 times the size of the Colorado River, which many Americans believe is a big river."

Aside from your rather dubious claim (see Mr Ghung's comment) that the Laird is "10 times the size" of the Colorado, I'm not sure why you think that many Americans believe the Colorado is a big river?

I happen to know a few Americans (besides myself), and most would regard the Mississippi as a "big river" (at least until recently). They might also regard the Columbia as a "big river". While they would consider the Colorado as an important river, most would not call it big. In fact most Americans I know are well aware that the Colorado isn't nearly big enough for the demands put upon it.

But then you rarely let facts get in the way of hyperbole.

Not when tar sands production is at issue.

I tend to pick on the Colorado River because it supplies water to communities with 40 million people and is the biggest river in the region, whereas the Liard has 4 (ok, not 10) times as much flow, might supply a few hundred people, and is only one of a number of big rivers in northern BC.

However the fundamental issue is that Northern BC is quite well watered, whereas the Southwestern US is not. Shortage of water for fracking in NE BC is not a credible issue except to people unfamiliar with the area.

"Shortage of water for fracking in NE BC is not a credible issue except to people unfamiliar with the area."

Then why not just state that? Or say something like "The area has plenty of water available from Laird River, which is significantly bigger than the Colorado but serves only a tiny population."

You often have good information to present. However your frequent resort to hyperbole, exageration, and bombast tends to seriously undercut your credibility.

"Shortage of water for fracking in NE BC is not a credible issue" if you are human, but don't we have to consider other forms of life as well; after all, we ultimately depend on them for OUR lives.


Hey Don,

Northern BC is awash in water...excuse the pun. I lived there and worked there. The ground is so wet the only time for realistic movement is in the frozen winter....That is to say NE BC. Central north is a desert in places, but still has beaucoup supplies...of course the west is wet beyond belief. Fracing water use certainly will not impact wildlife. Disposal is another story, sure, but water supply at source is more that adequate for all species and activities short of diversion to the parched US.

Regards P

Mesmerizing Visualizations Show Mass-Transit Patterns of Major Cities

Tiny lights swarm like fireflies, representing trains, buses, and ferries shuffling people across different metropolises over the course of a day. These videos show off 24 hours of public transportation in cities such as Boston; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Auckland, New Zealand; and Montreal.

An example of the custom software produced by Sumus Technology is animation of the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) data that is made publicly available by numerous transit authorities.

Working from GTFS and Geographic Information System (GIS) data the software will generate a video of the transit activity for a given region and for a specified length of time.

These videos can be easily configured via an xml file, to specify the desired resolution, coloring, frame rate, frame period, etc. An example is shown below for New York City.

That's really interesting. Thanks!

Gulf of Mexico clean-up makes 2010 spill 52-times more toxic

If the 4.9 million barrels of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico during the 2010 Deep Water Horizon spill was a ecological disaster, the two million gallons of dispersant used to clean it up apparently made it even worse – 52-times more toxic. That's according to new research from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes (UAA), Mexico.

... "Dispersants are preapproved to help clean up oil spills and are widely used during disasters," said UAA's Roberto-Rico Martinez, who led the study. "But we have a poor understanding of their toxicity. Our study indicates the increase in toxicity may have been greatly underestimated following the Macondo well explosion."

It is well known (and rarely reported) that these dispersants are extremely toxic. I happened to work in a bioassay lab testing toxicity when the Exxon Valdez happened. The dispersants we tested killed everything at all concentrations. Really. That BP was allowed to spew this stuff is a travesty, a scandal, a fiasco!

Pushing Natural Light into the Heart of Buildings

The tragedy of Fukishima has forced Japan to re-think natural resources down to the minutest detail. This problem is reflected in the architecture of buildings and the use of electric lighting. Norms have evolved particularly in lighting standards for professional spaces. Indeed, it is common to find common space occupied by dozens of people who work with the blinds closed, under artificial lights that are twice the standard European level. Standards are now changing, but for that, it is necessary to integrate new technologies into the design of the buildings that are too deep to be naturally lit by standard windows.

Through a research project designed at MIT and continued at EPFL, researchers have designed windows that can bring natural light deep into a building. This technology was recently integrated into six floors of an ultra-modern building in Tokyo.

Smaller, fewer, thinner - the future for American beef?

The US national herd is now at an all time low. Numbers peaked at 132 million head of cattle in 1975. At the start of this year this was down to just under 91 million.

... "The US beef industry was built on abundant corn supplies, so when a new source of governmental demand takes away roughly 40 % of the corn for ethanol production, the cattle industry must adjust and get smaller."

... According to Dr Derrell Peel, from Oklahoma State University the current problems could have long term impacts on US beef. He thinks it is likely there will be changes in how cattle are fed. Less grain, more grass, lighter cattle.

related Carbon Dioxide Could Reduce Crop Yields

The carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere continues to climb and heat up the climate. The gas is, however, indispensable for plants, as they use the carbon it provides to form glucose and other important substances. Therefore, the more carbon dioxide the better? The equation is unfortunately not as simple as that.

The plants, which ensure our basic food supply today, have not been bred for vertical growth but for short stalks and high grain yields. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology and the University of Potsdam have now discovered that an increase in carbon dioxide levels could cancel out the beneficial effects of dwarf varieties.

Although nothing has changed in the genetic makeup of the IR8 rice plant in the past 50 years, its yields have declined continuously.

“Breeders now face the challenge of developing new plants that can continue to provide good yields under the altered climatic conditions,” says Jos Schippers, one of the authors of the study. The cultivation of dwarf varieties is not only common in the case of rice, farmers also prefer short-stalked varieties of wheat; both cereals are the staple food consumed by a majority of the global population.

... if you read and understand that last article, it is a SLE 'starvation level event'

For several years, I have been commenting on the decreasing numbers of heifers held back for replacement.

As per cow weights, there is a substantial move afoot, from my perspective, to smaller cows. For a number of reasons, the last couple decades has seen an increase in the average cow size, with weights today at 1700 lbs not unheard of. That's a cow, not bull. When you figure it takes 2-3% body weight in feed to keep the animal, that's a bunch of hay. Spread it over a herd, and it really adds up. Doing the math, a smaller cow provides much more bang for the grass than large ones, as both are kept to generate calves for sale.

It's starting with grass fed producers, I imagine most all will get back to smaller cows. Interesting, those that ranch in more marginal areas, high elevation or dry west, never really left the 1000 lb range. Never was productive in those environs.

Scientists Say 15% Carbon Emissions Cut Needed

... In the runup to the 12-day UN talks which opened in Qatar on Monday, the World Bank gave a 20-percent likelihood of a 4C (7.2 F) rise by 2100 and said a 3C (5.4 F) rise appeared likely. Separately, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) forecast a rise of 3-5C (5.4-9.0F) on the basis of current pledges.

"The window for reversing emission trends is rapidly narrowing," the "Climate Action Tracker" report issued on Friday said.

"Emissions must be reduced by roughly 15 percent from present levels by 2020 to be on a pathway holding warming below 2C" by 2100.

Two degrees possible, but time is not on our side

It's fascinating how the topic of 2C, 4C etc. keeps getting talked about, almost as if the act of discussion itself helps achieve lower CO2 emissions. But who knows, maybe endlessly jawwing about something is like nagging. I know if my wife nags me enough about something needing to get done, I'll drop everything else and fixate on it until it's done so she'll stop nagging. Maybe that's how things get done and how we'll avoid temps higher than 2C. Now where's that Honey do list?

Some expert help about a story on car engines please

The story above: Car engines downsized, without sacrificing power seems to imply that you can get more power out of smaller engines due to new technology w/o any mechanical downsides (at least none are listed. This seems too good to be true- does anyone know about this new tech? Are these engines any more likely to have maintainance issues or issues with wear, calibration, etc? I appreciate any input from those knowledgeable about car engines, engines in general, etc.

The new technologies do seem to deliver in the way of performance and fuel economy; there is a huge difference between the new engines and the ones found in the North American cars of the 1960s and 70s. The latter tended to have relatively unsophisticated engines (side valve layouts only really disappeared in the 1950s) and transmissions (Chevrolet used a two speed automatic transmission for many years). Basically, the manufacturers had aimed for powerful engines that would be cheap to manufacture. Size was kept down to some extent by using a compact V type layout where the valves were actuated by pushrods; it was even possible to fit a 400+ cubic inch engine in what passed for a compact car of the day. Even with a three speed automatic transmission, the performance was typically higher than could be safely used by the typical driver. This strategy turned out badly in the 1970s when oil prices started to rise and crude pollution control techniques were used to need new environmental standards. As a result of the latter, the performance suffered dramatically. If you compare the current state of the art engines with those of the late 1970s cars,there is a spectacular difference; for the same displacement, you can probably get 4x+ the engine power.

The smaller size engines are particularly advantageous under cruising conditions where they can operate under more efficient conditions. Of course, if you drive with a heavy foot, they are quite capable of emptying your gas tank.

The downsides are:

- higher manufacturing costs (extra complexity + requirements for high quality manufacturing)
- less forgiving of poor maintenance
- more expensive repairs if something goes wrong

So far, I don't think reliability has suffered in the process.

"So far, I don't think reliability has suffered in the process"

Quite the opposite. Modern cars are generally capable of lasting, and meeting emission requirements, up into the 300,000 mile range with little maintenance. Cars built in the 1950s and 60s struggled to survive comfortably to 100,000.

All the garages are converting their service bays to convenience stores. There's just not enough business for them. Modern cars last a long time. Plus, there's no such thing as repair. It's remove and replace. Skilled labour is just too expensive.

I can remember when a top overhaul and decoke were regular events in the family jalopy's life. These days the youngsters probably don't even know what the terms mean.

Engines hanging from tree limb were common backyard sights in my youth.

My to-be wife was annoyed when I delayed our first date a few hours to get the VW engine back in after replacing the carbon throw out bearing for the second time.

There could be reliability issues with these new engines versus their predecessors. A lot of this new-found efficiency is due to turbocharging and direct injection. Turbocharging has always been fickle; it's tough on engines. 80's and 90's turbocharged cars have, with a few exceptions, generally proven to be unreliable. Direct injection is another story. Certain elements in the drivetrain were cleaned by detergents in the fuel when using port injection (the valves, IIRC), and are not being cleaned when using direct injection. This has shown to be a problem in Volkswagens and Minis, requiring additional service. Most other car companies have just started using direct injection. Toyota avoids this problem by having port injection in addition to direct injection in the same engine, switching between the two as required.

I also want to point out that these new turbocharged cars are rarely more efficient than their larger displacement counterparts in the real world. You can use the power or reap the efficiency depending on how you drive, but if you drive the turbo-4 quickly like you did the old V6, you won't find much in efficiency gains. The turbo is just pushing air into the engine, instead of the displacement sucking it in. Horsepower = fuel + air, no way around it.

Hybrids, by recouping waste, are a better way to save energy. Or downsizing engines AND sacrificing power.

The newer small engines with fuel injection, variable valving and turbocharging allow much finer tuning for optimal efficiency. Also, smaller engines can operate at higher RPM's, thus have a wider dynamic range as well as more HP per displacement when run at those higher speeds. Improvements in transmissions allow the engines to operate at more efficient RPM ranges during driving, especially on relatively flat freeways at constant speeds. One way to compare cars is to calculate the displacement per mile in high gear, the results of which I think would surprise most folks. The cars with larger engines tend to have lower overall gearing, i.e., the engines turn over slower on the highway. Not to forget, improvements in aerodynamics have reduced the drag, thus less HP is required at highway speeds. A larger engine in an efficient aerodynamic body will tend to lower MPG, since the engine is operated at a power setting which is a small fraction of maximum throttle at that speed and gear.

The combination of all these factors have resulted in steady improvement in MPG using EPA tests, but one must not forget that EPA testing is not going to match the driving habits of many people, thus the actual mileage from any car on the freeway may be less than the MPG found in the tests. There's still the fact that "performance", as in, 0-60 time, is a big selling point, in spite of the fact that driving with a lead foot will kill MPG. I owned a Honda Hybrid Civic for a brief period and was amazed to watch the MPG gauge on the dash as I drove up and down hills...

E. Swanson

Regarding the Philips L-Prize LED bulb/lamp:

Following up on some discussion here a few days ago, I've tried to buy some of the new Philips L-Prize-winning LED bulbs locally. This could be a nice present to give friends and family, "the gift that keeps on giving". I've given CFLs as presents in the past.

I am in Vermont, USA. The web site linked from the discussion here claimed that I can get them discounted ($10 - thanks to a $20 subsidy from the state energy-efficiency agency) via Home Depot (only). I drove to Home Depot (wasting fuel!) and they said "uh"? They had some older model LED bulbs for $15 but at this point I'm holding out for the prize-winning model.

Called the efficiency agency and they researched it and said Home Depot is out of them. They pointed me to another retailer in the area, but they want $30 AFTER the subsidy. I think I'll wait for another time after the price drops...

So seems like these L-Prize bulbs are in short supply?

Various merchants at Amazon seem to have them in stock. Though they aren't cheap.

You can get the L-prize bulb from the home depot website for 30 dollars. You should probably check with the Efficiancy Vermont website to see if you can get the rebate. The program may end Dec 31. I am not from Vermont so I am not familiar with the program.


Hi vtpeaknik,

I have a thousand on order and they should arrive either Thursday or Friday of this coming week (my Philips rep continues to pull rabbits out of his hat). I'm told that demand far outstrips supply.


I'm told that demand far outstrips supply.

And what happened to all those folk who were so upset about being forced to give up their incandescents? Surely they must have stocked up before they were phased out... >;-)

Hi Fred,

To get the equivalent of 60 or 75-watts of incandescent light from just 9.7-watts is pretty amazing, and 30,000+ hours of service life to boot (expect that number to be revised upward over time). But what boggles my mind is that when you slip one into a table lamp you'd swear it was a soft-white incandescent -- you can't tell the difference.


I'm in Canada and the L-Prize bulb isn't available in retail here yet, but I don't see any reason to wait for it. The Phillips 12.5 watt dimmable LED bulb is in stock and I am spending $50 per paycheck replacing existing incandescent bulbs with that product.
I don't know how that rebate works, but the Home Depot website list price for the L-prize is $5.00 higher than the 12.5 watt bulb. If your electricity rate is about $0.10 per kilowatt then the math should work about as follows:

$5.00 /($0.10/kWh) = 50 kWh output required to cover the difference in bulb price.

50,000 Watthour / (2.8 watts difference in bulb output) = 17,857 operational hours for payback on the investment.

I'll buy the L-bulb on principle (when I can get it locally) but the difference in output and costs would mean a 16 year return on investment, under normal use, not including that fuel spent searching for it.
For now, I'd rather have my friends and family see me trying to make a difference with the products currently available. The 12.5 watt bulb works great and sets the example.
I've never thought of giving bulbs as presents before. I like the idea of gifts that make people light up.

Hi Mark,

The 12.5-watt EnduraLED/AmbientLED A19 is a great product and, as you point out, it's readily available in Canada and at a fairly reasonable price; in all respects, it's a big step up compared to any CFL products out there. The L-Prize kicks things up another notch -- it's brighter, uses less energy, offers a longer service life, and I suspect is more tolerant of the things that can take their toll on any electronic device, i.e., heat and "dirty" power. However, the key difference for me is the improved light quality (92+ CRI versus 80); think VHS versus DVD versus Blu-ray. The light seems more "natural" and, to my eye, indistinguishable from that of a standard soft-white incandescent. That's the real story here.


I've replaced all the incandescents that I use to any significant amount with CFLs long ago (starting circa 1985 when they cost > $20). The same math comparing the 10W and 12W LEDs also applies to comparing the 12W LED with a 14W or 15W CFL (that now costs $2). Thus I am not in a hurry to buy LEDs. And I'm holding out for the L-prize bulb for the light (color) quality, like Paul said. Meanwhile the CFLs work nicely, I've gotten rid of the ones that flickered or died quickly, the good ones have lasted more than 20 years (used for about 2 hours per day). And the current "soft white" ones even have a pleasing color IMO.

Talking about CFLs vs LEDs, some 4-5 years ago I bought a few 12VDC CFLs to run directly off my backup power system. Their color was ghastly. I finally found one with a good color but it was hard to find - a friend who's a solar equipment dealer got one for me somewhere, and never found another. And the 12VDC CFLs are much more expensive than the 120VAC ones. I have a very small inverter almost always turned on and running a table lamp with a regular AC CFL, that's another method that worked well for me. Similar to this one (but I paid about $25):

Since CFLs are naturally high-voltage devices, the DC ones basically have a tiny inverter built in. OTOH, LEDs are naturally low-voltage devices, perhaps there are good 12VDC LED bulbs available now?

Of course there are many 12V LED bulbs commonly used in automobiles etc. I have several on hand in case of a power outage, along with portable sealed lead-acid batteries. But those have a poor blue-ish light. I wonder if there are 12V bulbs with high-quality light similar to the best recent AC LED bulbs.

Hi Vtpeaknik,

I'll concede the math point. Nothing comes close to the 15 watt CFL when measuring cost vs watts saved.
I started my incandescent replacement with that CFL bulb, but I got no support from my wife or kids. They quietly reinserted all the incandescents one day when I was at work. I've had more support for LED bulbs (better light, in my wife's opinion, cool Star Wars look to my sons).
If the L-Prize has a significant quality improvement over the 12.5 Ambient LED that leads to more rapid community acceptance, then the hunt to find it is worth the effort.
Personally, I was thinking about chucking the whole notion of upgrading the lights after I found my CFL's in a box out in the garage. Repeated comments from a guy using the handle 'HereinHalifax' led me to try the LED's. Thanks Paul.

Researcher points to Sun as likely source of eighth-century 'Charlemagne event'

Until recently, the years 774 and 775 were best known for Charlemagne's victory over the Lombards. But earlier this year, a team of scientists in Japan discovered a baffling spike in carbon-14 deposits within the rings of cedar trees that matched those same years. Because cosmic rays are tied to carbon-14 concentrations, scientists around the world have wondered about the cause: a nearby supernova, a gamma ray burst in the Milky Way or an intense superflare emanating from the Sun?

... Melott said the scientists, who originally discovered the carbon-14 spike and published their findings in the journal Nature, miscalculated the implied intensity of such an event, and they mistakenly ruled out the Sun as the cause of the radiation detected for the years 774-775.

"What they concluded was that the energy emitted by the Sun would have had to have been, say, 1,000 times larger than the Carrington event—the greatest solar flare ever known," Melott said. "We just observed this simple mistake and corrected it, and the answer came out that it would be 10 or 20 times greater than the Carrington event in 1859.

Melott said that something similar to the Charlemagne event would have disastrous consequences for today's technology-dependent world. He said such an event could occur every one or two thousand years, but unpredictably and with only a few hours' warning.

"You'd get a slight increase in skin cancer rates because of effects on the ozone layer," said Melott. "You'd get a little bit of damage to food crops, but that's not too serious—and it wasn't for the Holy Roman Empire either. But we have a problem they didn't, which is our technological level.

... Imagine the lights going off all over the developed world—not to come on for who knows how long—because you have to build more transformers. And how to you do that without electricity? It's a real problem to prepare for it."

Not that hard to prepare: keep spare transformers on hand. I know these transformers are big and expensive, but the number needed is not that large, and it seems like the least-cost approach, relative to the economic damage that a prolonged outage would cause. And yet, I don't expect that would be done, since "just in time" is the current ideology, spare inventory is considered a sin, and our system has gotten so economically fragile that even the expense of cutting tree limbs above power lines is avoided.

If you buy the spares, and then don't need them, the ratepayers and public utility commissions would be after your head. So we live dangerously instead.

"spare inventory is considered a sin,"

A taxable sin too. Inventory counts as property for tax purposes in some states.

Real Problem? Not at all. On the contrary, a real opportunity to sell what we should have done already and should be doing- distributed power from solar and storage and whatever combustion makes most sense. Everybody has a local power source, and the transformers are for transmitting hither and yon, which is nice but not necessary.

As for frequency and phase. Isn't that what atomic clocks and satellites and GPS can do and does? Your inverter goes click when the clock says click, not before and not after.

Yeah, but would anything you mentioned still be working after a flare like that?


Question seconded.

Also what happens to the power plants themselves?


Here ya go: the mother-lode of system failure information. 10 meg PDF

The solar events kill electrical systems by being picked-up on those long wire lines. This causes sparks and fires along the route that are also funneled into the transformers and such. During the Carrington event, telegraphs with the batteries disconnected still sent and received using the induced power.

What's really bothersome is alluded to by the Fukushima demo: If you turn off the power and run out of backup, they explode.

Systems with a small "cross section" should survive.


"Ice cores contain thin nitrate-rich layers that can be analyzed to reconstruct a history of past events before reliable observations; the data from Greenland ice cores was gathered by Kenneth G. McCracken and others." ... Greenland ice cores... I guess we can kiss that resource goodby.

In most reports I know about no distinction is made between EMPs and geomagnetic storms which makes it hard to understand to which extent such a large event would affect electronic circuitry or high voltage/amplitude circuity that hadn't been switched off. Present-day large power plants must contain a variety of circuitry with different sensitivities to induction currents.

Wikipedia has so far been of no help with these questions.

So if small "cross-section" means anything not hooked up to long range transport thats really good news as it would substantially reduce the complexity of contingency planning.


"The geomagnetic storm, in turn, is a very tepid, weak flavor of the so-called slow component of EMP."
Notes about nuclear EMP
At about 3/5ths of the way down the article.

"the incendiary effects of a relatively weak but natural MHD-EMP from the geomagnetic solar storm of 13 March 1989 in saturating the core of a transformer in the Hydro-Quebec electric power grid."
EMP radiation from nuclear space bursts in 1962
At about 1/5th the way down the article.

The saturation mechanism:
The long, slow wave of direct current energy fed into the transformer causes the windings to make a magnetic field. This field pushes the laminated steel core into a corner of its magnetic operating range: the core can no longer support the flux excursions it uses to transfer alternating current power from the input to the output because the direct current has taken up all the slack in one direction. The transformer saturates: the AC power tries to drive the flux in that direction, but the core can't carry the extra lines of force and so the magnetic field quits building even though the current is increasing: the magnetic lever-arm is pinned. The input windings then suddenly look like a short-circuit. The transformer's share of the short circuit energy is dissipated within the transformer's windings. They get very hot very fast.

The input windings then suddenly look like a short-circuit.

I fail to understand why simple fuses cannot protect a transformer from this?

Think about it this way, the circuit is fused based on the power level that normally flows through the transformer. The loss in the transformer core is a tiny fraction of this amount. Once you start saturating the transformer core on one peak of the AC waveform, the core loss is rapidly increasing without a major increase of the total power flowing through the fuse. Say your core loss is 1%, core loss could increase by 10x and only increase the current through the fuse by 10%. The transformer is now having to dissipate 10x the power, but the fuse is nowhere near blowing. If the circuit is carrying only 50% of the fuse rating, the transformer loss could increase to 50x and yet still be within the fuse rating. What transformer is going to take that kind of core dissipation for long?

I'm not an electrical engineer, but could this be solved by adding reactive power to the system? E.g. windturbines with inverters and solar inverters can deliver perfect reactive power 24/7 and are very useful in stablizing grid in other situations. In Germany large solar inverters and wind inverters are increasingly required to perform this service, there is even talk of changing the grid code so that these inverters will stay connected longer, providing he necessary reactive power when the grid is overloaded/unbalanced.

More here at SMA

The saturated transformer looks like a resistive short because most of its reactance has disappeared. Any sources of power will just feed heat into it.

http://www.nerc.com/files/1989-Quebec-Disturbance.pdf (10 meg)
Pages 51 and 52 describe these kinds of losses including tank heating. In the instance described, where the induced DC current hit over 200 amps, the AC and harmonic eddy current losses and the increased magnetizing current led to the destruction of the windings.

10 meg PDF
Pages 51 and 52 describe the failure of a 400 MVA transformer fully nestled within its breakers and automatic VAR adjusters. The winding was made of a multiplicity of windings with only two carrying the fault due to the vagaries of the parasitic magnetics: the unwanted magnetic circuits that arise due to the geometry of construction.

Thanks for the answers. The last one also helped in tracking down the info in Wikipedia.



How about disconnecting the transmission wires from everything else (including the transformers) BEFORE the solar storm hits? I gather that the eruption on the sun is observable hours before the charged particles arrive and affect the atmosphere.

Its a tough call. Size of eruption isn't that good of an indicator, i.e. the customers would be really pissed if we shut down the grid for every large flare. I think we have a satellite or two in L1 (a million or few miles sunward), they can detect the strength and direction of the incoming field lines. Also if you detected the transformers nearing saturation (just measure the amount of bias current), and initiate a shutdown prior to saturation. It must take multiple 60Hz cycles before it becomes critical.

Measuring the cooling fluids, mostly oil in large transformers, any use? Perhaps easier bolted on as an upgrade?

They talk about adding the means to detect hydrogen in real time to detect damage.

Solar Shield--Protecting the North American Power Grid
"During extreme storms, engineers could safeguard the most endangered transformers by disconnecting them from the grid."
"Solar Shield" is not implemented.

Another real simple solution: add DC blocking capacitors in the system grounding connections.

The center (peak) of the GIS is still an accumulation zone, in fact its getting thicker. It will take quite a while before the increased drainage from the edges propagates into the interior. Parts of the interior had a day or two of surface melting last summer, but aren't going to begin melting any time soon (knock on wood).

Does it really get thicker? The whole of GIS has a negative mass balance (i.e. it's shrinking) and this mass balance is accelerating downwards. See e.g. the GRACE measurements. Do you have a link where it says that the central area is getting thicker?

Researcher predicts more intense North Atlantic tropical storms

Tropical storms that make their way into the North Atlantic, and possibly strike the East Coast of the United States, likely will become more intense during the rest of this century.

"We found that the North Atlantic Power Dissipation Index (PDI) is projected to increase in the 21st century in response to both greenhouse gas increases and reductions in particulate pollution over the Atlantic over the current century. The PDI is an index that integrates storm intensity, duration, and frequency. By relating these results to other findings in a paper we published May 13, 2012 in the journal Nature Climate Change, we found that, while the number of storms is not projected to increase, their intensity is," he says.

"Moreover, our results indicate that as more carbon dioxide is emitted, the stronger the storms get, while scenarios with the most aggressive carbon dioxide mitigation show the smallest increase in intensity," he says.

Projected Increases in North Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Intensity from CMIP5 Models

With Pemex Overhaul, Mexico's New Prez Set To Become Big Oil's Pal

For the past year — first during campaign stops, and now as president-elect — the 46-year-old political star has gone out of his way to talk up his intention to modernize, but not privatize, Mexico’s state oil monopoly Pemex.

As Peña Nieto said to the WSJ a year ago, “It’s amazing that we are one of the most important oil producers [in the world] and yet we import gasoline.”

‘Exceptional’ Drought Conditions Expand In The U.S., Likely Persisting Through February

The stubborn U.S. drought that hit the Southeast and Midwest hard this summer isn’t letting up. According to the latest drought monitor, conditions have worsened slightly across the country, with “exceptional drought” conditions expanding from 38% of the lower-48 states to 42%. Those conditions could last into February.

Slate says The U.S. Will Not Actually Produce More Oil Than Saudi Arabia in 2020

On Nov. 12, the International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook report caused quite a stir by asserting that by 2020, the United States would overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's top oil producer. Mainstream journalists eagerly repeated this claim.

But the truth is that it relied on a very loose definition of "oil." Saying that the United States will surpass Saudi Arabia in oil production is a bit like saying that a 12-ounce latte contains more caffeine than 12 ounces of espresso. It might make for an exciting headline and be useful as political fodder, but it's simply not true.

A glimmer of hope that some in the MSM may get a clue.

The always thorough Chris Nelder wrote the piece. He's written for Slate before. For those who don't stray far outside the MSM Nelder's piece would certainly give them food for thought.

Glad to see my comments regarding the EIA's oil statistics getting a bit of replay. It's probably too little and to late though, given the rapid spread of misinformation after the IEA report was released...

E. Swanson

Native opposition builds
First Nations across Canada attempt to stall Northern Gateway, Kitimat, Enbridge

A wave of aboriginal attempts to disrupt major energy projects is spreading across Canada.

A little-known First Nations community in northwestern British Columbia evicted surveyors who were working on a pipeline linked to the Kitimat LNG project, while activists from a First Nation in southern Ontario have threatened to stage protests against Enbridge plans to move more crude from Western Canada and the Bakken to refineries in Ontario and Quebec.
A taste of what could be in store surfaced Nov. 21 when a handful of members from a First Nation evicted surveyors working on the C$1 billion Pacific Trails Pipeline, a key link in the planned Apache-operated Kitimat LNG project, then seized equipment.
Many aboriginal groups are basing their case on a benchmark ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada, requiring federal and provincial governments to engage in meaningful negotiations with First Nations before major industrial projects are allowed to proceed on Native lands.

governments to engage in meaningful negotiations with First Nations

Gov. rep: "We're going to allow FF Corp. to rape your land and export all the profits"

Native rep: "We don't want you to do that. We've lived here for generations and revere the land."

Gov. rep: "Well, that was meaningful for me. Was it good for you?"

I wish all aboriginals (what few are left) all the best in their resistance to empire. But color me cynical...

Gov. rep: "Well, that was meaningful for me. Was it good for you?"

I wish all aboriginals (what few are left) all the best in their resistance to empire. But color me cynical...

I think it is what a certain US politician recently called "Legitimate Rape".

I think it is what a certain US politician recently called "Legitimate Rape".

It seems it's the same the world over. In Brazil it is the indigenous people vs the white man's Belo Monte Dam...


The government offered little transparency to the people who would be affected regarding its plans for the hydroelectric project, provoking indigenous tribes of the region to organize what they called the I Encontro das Nações Indígenas do Xingu (First Encounter of the Indigenous Nations of the Xingu) or the "Altamira Gathering", in 1989. The encounter, symbolized by the indigenous woman leader Tuíra holding her machete against the face of then-engineer José Antonio Muniz Lopes sparked enormous repercussions both in Brazil and internationally over the plans for the six dams...

The builders have recently been granted a license.

On 14 August 2012, work on the dam was halted by order of the Brazilian Federal Court, when federal judge Judge Souza Prudente, halted construction on the controversial Belo Monte dam in the Amazon, saying that the indigenous peoples had not been consulted.[39] The Supreme Federal Court overturned the decision on 28 August and ordered construction to recommence.[40]

Even if the immense damage of this dam to local biodiversity is not taken into consideration the potential methane emissions alone should be reason enough to disallow it's construction.

The National Amazon Research Institute (INPA) calculated that during its first 10 years, the Belo Monte-Babaquara dam complex would emit 11.2 million metric tons of Carbon dioxide equivalent, and an additional 0.783 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent would be generated during construction and connection to the national energy grid.[68] However, independent studies estimate greenhouse gas emissions of an amount that would require 41 years of optimal energy production from the Belo Monte Dam complex in order to reach environmental sustainability over fossil fuel energy.[64]

Dams in Brazil emit high amounts of methane, due to the lush jungle covered by waters each year as the basin fills.

It almost seems as if TPTB all over the world have agreed to set 4 degrees centigrade of global warming as a goal that must be reached at any cost.

Best hopes for the aboriginals defeating the empire!

indigenous people massacred in Peru’s “oil war”
Crusade For Resources on Indigenous Lands in the Peruvian Amazon

The native peoples who did not want to give up their lands were portrayed as selfish in the corporate news. It was estimated that 60,000 would die in the conflict.

Anyone who impedes such noble “progress” is seen as selfish and a traitor. ... Depicting the population as irrational and selfish... “like a gardener’s dog, they do not only eat from the garden, but they will also prevent others from eating.” Thus, according to Peruvian President Garcia and his allies, indigenous people’s traditional use of their land is an impediment to “progress.”

From back in 2009. Pretty much out of the news now. Yummy ... put a Peruvian in your tank.

"So far as I am concerned, if they are hungry let them eat grass or their own dung."

Its always the same against any technologically unsophisticated people in the way. American Indians, Palestinians, African tribes, whatever. Anything they do to resist is taken as a sign that they are inhuman savages, and that is reason enough to treat them very harshly.

I recall an interview with a New Guinea tribesman recounting the first time his tribe saw white people (from memory):

"The first thing we noticed is they were white, like ghosts, and wore the most outlandish costumes. And the next thing was the smell. That terrible smell. We came to know it well. (mournful tone) It was the smell of soap."

ND’s gas woes
State says might take until end of decade to resolve flaring problem

By the time oil production reaches 1 million barrels per day, projected to occur in 2013 or 2014, the associated gas will amount to around 2 billion cubic feet per day, a huge volume that has state regulators concerned.
Additions to pipeline gathering and processing capacity are said to be helping, but the percentage of gas flared rose to 30 percent in October. In comparison, oil companies flared 23.5 percent of their natural gas in December 2010, up from 13.7 percent the year before. The historical high was 36 percent in September 2011.
Drillers can now flare natural gas for one year without paying taxes or royalties. After one year, companies must either connect to a gathering line, an electrical generator, or apply for an exemption. The exemption would allow an operator to not pay taxes and royalties should connection or an electrical generator be deemed economically infeasible.

Helms said that strict adherence to North Dakota’s production restrictions in the current infrastructure environment could potentially reduce the profit on Bakken-Three Forks wells by 25 percent.

Italics mine. You may hit a paywall the first week or so the article us up at Petroleum News, but the full article can often be accessed with google.

Sea Trial Leaves Shell's Arctic Oil-Spill Gear "Crushed Like A Beer Can"

On board the Arctic Challenger is a massive steel "containment dome." It's a sort of giant underwater vacuum cleaner. If efforts to cap a blown-out well don’t work, the dome can capture spewing oil and funnel it to a tanker on the surface.

The Arctic Challenger passed several US Coast Guard tests for seaworthiness in September. But it was a different story when its oil-spill containment system was put to the test in 150-foot-deep water near Anacortes, Washington.
•Day 5: The test has its worst accident. On that dead-calm Friday night, Mark Fesmire, the head of BSEE’s Alaska office, is on board the Challenger. He’s watching the underwater video feed from the remote-control submarine when, a little after midnight, the video screen suddenly fills with bubbles. The 20-foot-tall containment dome then shoots to the surface. The massive white dome “breached like a whale,” Fesmire e-mails a colleague at BSEE headquarters.

Then the dome sinks more than 120 feet. A safety buoy, basically a giant balloon, catches it before it hits bottom. About 12 hours later, the crew of the Challenger manages to get the dome back to the surface. “As bad as I thought,” Fesmire writes his BSEE colleague. “Basically the top half is crushed like a beer can.”

The photo in the linked article certainly does remind one of a crushed beer can.

In fairness to Shell, it is worth pointing out that the Challenger and it's containment dome is a brand new piece of gear. I've heard that part of the delay in certifying the Challenger barge is that it is a hybrid vessel, and the USCG had some difficulty deciding which set of vessel requirements it had to meet. The dome obviously still has a few bugs to be worked out.

I've also been told (by someone in a position to know) that the dome isn't really required by the formal BSEE regs. However my source said, that since Shell offered to use it when they applied for their permit, "we will hold them to that".

But it was a different story when its oil-spill containment system was put to the test in 150-foot-deep water near Anacortes, Washington.

150 ft?! I've been deeper than that on regular scuba. How is that equipment supposed to hold up a mile below the surface? Did the operators perhaps just forget to equalize the pressure?

Oh, the article says a valve malfunctioned.

How is that equipment supposed to hold up a mile below the surface?

It isn't supposed to work a mile below the surface. The prospects Shell is trying to drill in the Chukchi and Beaufort are in water depths of 150 feet, plus or minus.

Yes, something malfunctioned. Hmmm....do you suppose that's why they do tests on new gear?

It isn't supposed to work a mile below the surface. The prospects Shell is trying to drill in the Chukchi and Beaufort are in water depths of 150 feet, plus or minus.

If the pressure inside the capture dome is the same as the pressure outside, it shouldn't matter how deep it is, right? While the water depths in Chukchi and Beaufort may only be in the 150 ft. range I'd hope that Shell and other oil companies are looking into ways of containing deep water spills as well.

What Really Happened When Shell Oil’s Containment Dome Failed in Puget Sound Last Month?


You can see by the thickness of the folds at the top that the metal is not thick. You can see by the caved expanses that the walls were not reenforced by any internal structure such as ribs. 150 feet is 75 PSI over atmospheric: 5 bar... 6 bar if they turned on a pump.


The comments are fun.

Sea Trial Leaves Shell's Arctic Oil-Spill Gear "Crushed Like A Beer Can"

"buoyancy chambers were damaged"

Forget the spill containment dome, I don't even think I'd want to be on that barge if it were in a sheltered cove, let alone out in rough seas trying to contain an oil spill. Is this really the best that Shell can do? I'm not very impressed. Maybe they could ask Tony Hayward to stand by in his sailing yacht in case something goes wrong and they need back up.

In December, Shell had proposed certification under a stricter standard designed for stationary offshore oil platforms. That would have required engineers to prove the Arctic Challenger could withstand the battering of a 100-year storm.

But the company subsequently said it would be more reasonable to consider the vessel to be what it is -- a non-stationary barge that can move out of the way when storms approach -- and proposed an alternative under which, as a floating installation, Shell would only have to prove it could withstand the winds and waves of a 10-year storm.


"When all else fails, lower your standards."

Shell boss: there will be spills

Royal Dutch Shell’s Alaska vice-president has admitted he believes “there will be spills” by companies drilling for oil in the Alaskan Arctic.

But ofcourse we are sussed into believing:

A Shell spokesman said regulators had approved its spill response plans, which showed its Arctic oil spill response fleet was “second to none in the world”.

I bet BP would say the same before their little GOM incident.

Nothing new ofcourse, but something to slap the naive in the face with. More at Shell.

An excellent illustration as to why folks should immediately cease watching TV and listening to the radio (music and sports are OK).

There is an aspect of humans that defers to authority, give someone a microphone and they are perceived as an authority. Put someone on TV and they become an authority and a celebrity. It's like magic. Our brains should inform us that we have this weakness and allow us to overcome it. Lots of folks just like to ride the wave of being human - consume, reproduce, dote, etc.

I don't think it has anything to do with TV. (Not that I'm a fan of TV.)

People defer to authority, and it doesn't matter whether it's on TV, on the radio, on the Internet, or in person.

It's been long noted here that the people who express their opinions most confidently are the ones who become the big fish. They aren't necessarily right. They may be laughably wrong. But as long as they appear sure of their opinions, people assume they must know what they're talking about.

It's a strange bug in our programming, because research shows that it's those who are most uncertain who are more likely to be correct. Likely because they are open to information the self-certain blind themselves to.

The other thing that link points out...Adam is right. Religion is so often an excuse to do what we want. I think society shapes religion far more than religion shapes society. There's plenty in the bible that could be used to argue for less consumption. Jesus basically said that rich people are all going to hell. (No, it's not about a city gate or yarn.) There's plenty in Christianity that could be used to support the idea that we should care for the earth because it belongs to god, not us, and for future generations. But if people prefer to believe that it's the egg we hatched out of and we should consume it the way an egg yolk is used up, that's what they'll do.