Drumbeat: January 11, 2013

High costs threaten Norway's oil recovery

STAVANGER, Norway, (Reuters) - Oil production in Norway, the world's eighth-biggest exporter, will fall to a 25-year low in 2013 and an anticipated slow recovery in subsequent years is threatened by rising costs and bottlenecks, energy authorities said.

Production will fall to its lowest level since 1988 as fields, particularly in the mature North Sea, become depleted and a slew of new developments need more time to come onstream, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Friday.

Still, record investments, big discoveries, high oil prices and a decisive move into Arctic waters support the industry's optimism, underpinning expectations that production will start to recover starting as soon as 2014, the NPD said.

"Not long ago we were talking about the industry's sunset," NPD chief Bente Nyland told a news conference. "Things have changed fast... there is now enormous optimism."

Brent Oil Set for First Weekly Drop in Three on China

Oil fell in London, erasing a weekly gain, as concern that accelerating inflation in China will impede steps to stimulate growth countered a drop in crude production in Saudi Arabia.

Brent futures declined as much as 1.5 percent and headed for their first weekly decline in three weeks. China’s inflation climbed more than forecast to a seven-month high, potentially limiting scope for policy easing. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, reduced output in December to the lowest in 19 months, according to a Persian Gulf official with knowledge of the kingdom’s energy policy.

U.S. LNG Profit Seen Elusive as Price Gap Closes

Profits from selling U.S. liquefied natural gas abroad may be elusive, belying the $60 billion race for export licenses as the price gap between Asia and North America shrinks from record levels.

The difference between U.S. and Asian gas is poised to drop by more than 60 percent by 2020, leaving exporters facing a loss of as much as $6 million per tanker, according to calculations by Bloomberg based on data from Rice University in Houston. The U.S. share of the global LNG market will be in “single digits,” according to Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which has stakes in more than 25 percent of the world’s liquefaction capacity.

...“The idea that the world will be flooded with spot LNG is not going to happen,” said Frank Harris, global head of LNG at Wood Mackenzie Ltd. in Edinburgh. “Returns are already getting squeezed. By the end of the decade, the LNG market looks better supplied, and spot cargoes from the U.S. won’t necessarily look so attractive.”

Lukoil Leads Worst Start Since 2008 on Ruble

Russian oil stocks have been sliding as the ruble surged to an eight-month high versus the dollar yesterday. A stronger currency boosts producers’ domestic costs and reduces earnings when converted from dollars. Oil, which together with natural gas accounts for about 50 percent of government revenue, is up 2.2 percent this year, the worst start to a year since 2011, and may drop as stockpiles rise, Otkritie Financial Corp. said.

The Numbers Speak For Themselves

Sometimes statistics lie and liars use statistics yet when it comes to the shale gas revolution the numbers are saying that the energy world has changed forever. Numbers released yesterday by the Energy Information Administration speak volumes and they tell a story of an industry that has achieved what many said was impossible. They tell a story of the free market place, where high prices and the pursuit of profits inspired man to think outside of the box and solve the impossible. Instead of talking about “peak oil” or being held hostage to foreign oil producers we are now trying to decide the best way to handle our energy abundance.

In the past I used to say that peak oil believers and their theories were more like a religion than a science because if you look at the history of the energy markets there has always been innovation when prices got high enough. If you would have predicted numbers like the Energy Information Agency predicted yesterday the “peak freaks” as I called them would say that it was impossible. Yet the impossible is happening now. Just think that according to the EIA US crude oil production is going increase by a whopping 25% in the next two years. On the other hand the EIA is predicting that US oil imports are going to drop imports are going to drop to the lowest level in 25 years. This is a far cry from the doomsday predictions we were hearing during the last decade. Instead of declining production, US production is on the rise expected to hit 7.9 million barrels a day by 2014.

The Peak Oil Crisis: The Year Ahead

There are many forces at work in our world today – climate change, Arab Spring, population growth, and mass migrations to name a few. Some of these forces may come to impact our lives in the coming year while others may not be perceptible for decades. Our concern here is the world oil and gas supply situation which powers so much of our civilization. The decline in the affordability or availability of this resource will bring profound changes to our civilization. There are numerous “trends” or forces active in the world today that have the potential to interrupt or at least radically change perceptions about the future availability of energy supplies.

Texas Energy Boom Fuels Best Performance Since ’09: Muni Credit

An oil and natural-gas boom in Texas is helping the largest U.S. energy producer pile up a record $11.8 billion in reserves, sustaining the best performance in its debt since 2009.

Richards Bay 2012 Coal Terminal Shipments Rise to Six-Year High

Richard’s Bay Coal Terminal on South Africa’s eastern coast shipped the most fuel in 2012 for six years as U.S. exports pushed down prices while demand held for higher-quality African coal.

Shipments rose 4.3 percent to 68.3 million metric tons, the highest level since 2006, according to Bloomberg calculations based on data published today on the company’s website.

Kuwait Energy to expand across region

Kuwait Energy will continue to expand this year, according to the chief executive Sara Akbar.

"We have big development plans for our existing assets," said Ms Akbar.

"This is our year for exploring and more development. A number of projects we have had in the pipeline will go into execution phase."

Lithuania aims to resolve disputes with Gazprom-minister

OSLO (Reuters) - The new energy minister of the small Baltic state of Lithuania wants talks to ease a confrontation with Russian gas giant Gazprom but will stick to European Union plans for gas market deregulation which have angered Moscow.

Jaroslav Neverovic, who became energy minister in December, said the problems could be resolved around the negotiating table, a change in tone to the more forceful rhetoric of the previous centre-right Lithuanian government.

Chevron Strikes Optimistic Note for Quarterly Earnings

Chevron Corp.’s forecast for “notably higher” quarterly profit bodes well for competing international energy producers also grappling with oil- production and refining challenges.

Chevron’s fourth-quarter earnings exceeded the third quarter on higher oil prices and better performance from its refining business, according to an interim results statement from the San Ramon, California-based company yesterday. Increased sales of crude from storage tanks and pipeline terminals and a $1.4 billion gain from a gas-field swap in Australia also contributed, Chevron said.

Former BP chief takes aim at oil supermajors

Tony Hayward last visited Abu Dhabi three years ago as the head of BP, the accident-hit oil giant most recently renowned for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

He returned to the capital yesterday in a very different guise - that of detractor of the oil giants, including his former paymaster.

Iraq threatens to seize oil shipments, sue dealers

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq has threatened to seize oil exports made without its consent and sue companies dealing in what it sees as contraband crude just days after the country's self-rule Kurdish region began unilaterally exporting oil.

The spokesman for Iraq's Kurdish regional government, Safeen Dizayee, confirmed Friday that the largely autonomous territory began shipping oil to Turkey in the past few days.

FACTBOX-Key political risks to watch in Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) - Tanzania faces the prospect of increased tension over natural resources following discontent in a region in the south of the country after some residents there demanded they get a bigger share of the benefits of a natural gas boom.

East Africa's second-biggest economy is fast becoming a regional energy hub following major discoveries of natural gas offshore.

Shell Says Tax Played Role in Move of Rig That Grounded

Avoiding a state tax played a role in Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)’s decision to move a drilling rig from Alaska waters, though the company said the vessel’s grounding days later was the result of an unforeseen worsening of weather.

Cyberstalkers Threaten Pipeline Security

In a recent annual review, a team at the Department of Homeland Security that works to counter the threat of attacks on critical computer infrastructure counted 198 incidents in fiscal 2012. The events reported ranged from the use of malware to sabotage systems to phishing attacks for retrieving sensitive information. In roughly 40 percent of those cases, the target was the energy sector – “an alarming rate,” the report said.

Fracking opponents, backers rally at NY Capitol

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - More than 1,000 protesters chanting "Ban Fracking Now!" are lining downtown Albany's Empire State Plaza concourse where lawmakers pass on their way to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State speech.

The protesters vastly outnumber landowners and business people who have also turned out to voice their support for natural gas development, walking through the concourse carrying "Friends of Natural Gas NY" placards.

Norway fund banned from investing in nuclear weapon firm

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway banned its $700 billion oil fund from investing in several companies involved in nuclear weapon making and lifted investment bans on several others, the Finance Ministry said on Friday.

The fund, the world's biggest with around 1 percent of all global shares, can no longer invest in The Babcock & Wilcox Co. and Jacobs Engineering Group Plc because they are involved in the production of nuclear weapons, the Ministry said in a statement.

Car Companies XP Vehicles, Limnia Sue U.S. Over Loans

President Barack Obama’s administration played favorites on clean-energy loans while improperly blocking a carmaker and a related technology company from receiving millions in aid, according to two lawsuits.

XP Vehicles Inc. and Limnia Inc. filed complaints against the U.S. and the Energy Department today in two federal courts in Washington, seeking damages for what they say were abuses of the $25 billion Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing loan program. XP Vehicles, which has dissolved, and Limnia are asking for $450 million in a case filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and at least $225 million in U.S. District Court.

Taqa moves into renewables with wind farm deal

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company, known as Taqa, has taken its first steps into the renewable energy sector with the purchase of a stake in a US wind farm.

Taqa, the majority owner of the emirate’s power plants, has bought 50 per cent in the Lakefield wind project in Minnesota, which has a capacity to produce 205.5 megawatts of electricity, from a subsidiary of France’s EDF.

Behind China's Roaring Solar Industry

Although some commentators may see this uptick in China's solar investments (and equity values) as an intriguing short term phenomenon, we at The Boston Consulting Group believe it reflects a public commitment on the part of China's government to embrace clean energy sources and to seek economic growth that is less energy dependent, as well as these profound long-term trends:

REC Slides as Output Cuts Signal Lower Prices Ahead: Oslo Mover

Renewable Energy Corp., the Norwegian solar maker grappling with excess capacity and falling demand, declined the most in almost a month in Oslo after announcing production cuts at its Moses Lake plant in the U.S.

High-tech shack brings solar power to slums

(CNN) -- From a distance, it is its shiny exterior that first catches the eye.

As you step closer, a rooftop solar panel, an outdoor security light and a roof overhang make Nosango Plaatjie's shack stand out amid the sprawling cluster of makeshift wooden structures and rusty corrugated iron dwellings where her neighbors live.

Welcome to the iShack, or improved shack, an innovative approach to housing that's being tested in the windswept slum of Enkanini, just outside Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Global contest seeks energy-efficient computer monitors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An international clean energy coalition is searching for the world's most energy-efficient appliances, and has launched a contest to find the top energy-saving computer monitors as part of an effort to drive down electricity usage.

The contest will be sponsored by U.S. Energy Department and other governments.

Desktop computer monitors annually use about 30 to 40 terawatt-hours of electricity, equivalent to about 10 mid-sized coal fired power plants, organizers said.

World population may actually start declining, not exploding

If the Germany of today is the rest of the world tomorrow, then the future is going to look a lot different than we thought. Instead of skyrocketing toward uncountable Malthusian multitudes, researchers at Austria’s International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis foresee the global population maxing out at 9 billion some time around 2070. On the bright side, the long-dreaded resource shortage may turn out not to be a problem at all. On the not-so-bright side, the demographic shift toward more retirees and fewer workers could throw the rest of the world into the kind of interminable economic stagnation that Japan is experiencing right now.

And in the long term — on the order of centuries—we could be looking at the literal extinction of humanity.

That might sound like an outrageous claim, but it comes down to simple math. According to a 2008 IIASA report, if the world stabilizes at a total fertility rate of 1.5 — where Europe is today — then by 2200 the global population will fall to half of what it is today. By 2300, it’ll barely scratch 1 billion. (The authors of the report tell me that in the years since the initial publication, some details have changed — Europe’s population is falling faster than was previously anticipated, while Africa’s birthrate is declining more slowly — but the overall outlook is the same.) Extend the trend line, and within a few dozen generations you’re talking about a global population small enough to fit in a nursing home.

Wheat Trade More Bullish Even as Bear Market Begins

Wheat traders are getting more bullish, even after prices tumbled into a bear market, as demand for U.S. exports strengthened and a drought in the Great Plains threatens to curb next season’s crop.

A Bit of Relief on Food Prices

World food prices ended the year with a slight decline, and for 2012 as a whole they were 7 percent below prices of 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reported on Thursday.

Food prices have been one of the most troubling aspects of the international economic situation for several years now, so this is a spot of good news. But prices, driven by rising demand in developing countries and supply constraints that include climate change, remain well above levels of the 1990s. The price run-ups in recent years, particularly in 2008 and 2011, have led to the biggest increases in world hunger in decades.

Hundreds Protest Demanding Monsanto End Intimidation Campaign Over GMOs and Obama Halt Approval of GE Foods

Nearly 300 family farmers, activists and members of Food Democracy Now! gathered in front of the White House today in Lafayette Square, directly after a hearing on the landmark OSGATA v. Monsanto case, to demand that Monsanto end their campaign of intimidation against America’s family farmers over GMO’s and that President Obama halt approval of genetically modified food. The demand for Obama included a halt of approvals, including GMO salmon, until independent long-term safety tests can be conducted.

Fine dining’s trash-to-table movement

Armstrong recalls that Buben required cooks to have a hotel pan at their station for scraps: perhaps the outer leaves of cauliflower or thyme stems or shrimp shells, stuff that often would be turned into stock.

Such a basic conservation philosophy has hardened into a rigid waste-nothing mind-set in recent years, Armstrong notes, as the sagging U.S. economy has delivered a one-two punch to high-end restaurants. Diners, the chef says, are loath these days to pay an extra dime for dinner, yet food costs continue to soar for the people who prepare and sell the meals. That often is why chefs embrace whole-animal butchery in their restaurants, where they can buy and break down entire carcasses, which are far cheaper than individual cuts of beef, pork or lamb.

A warning: Climate could be 'hijacked'

The global climate may already be changing faster than humans are prepared to adapt to, heralding a shift in the climate change debate from who to blame to how to cope, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum.

In turn, runaway climate change could spur an island nation doomed to drown under rising seas or a wealthy entrepreneur with do-good intentions to deliberately inject sunlight-reflecting particles high into the stratosphere in a bid to cool the planet.

“The global climate could, in effect, be hijacked by a rogue country or even a wealthy individual, with unpredictable costs to agriculture, infrastructure and global security,” the international organization writes in a special “X Factors” section of its annual risk assessment report released Tuesday.

A Closer Look at a Shift in Britain’s Near-Term Global Warming Forecast

The focus of those questioning the importance of greenhouse-driven warming is not so much the forecast downgrade itself, but how it would, if it holds up, create a statistically significant span in which global temperatures have not markedly risen. While global temperatures are the highest they’ve been since formal records began in the 19th century, warming has largely stalled since 1998.

Climate change occurs in fits and starts, and there’s plenty of research finding that pauses are normal, but if the current pause persists through 2015 or beyond, questions will build. In 2011, a team led by Ben Santer at Lawrence Livermore National Lab found that a 17-year span would be long enough “to separate human-caused global warming from the ‘noise’ of purely natural climate fluctuations.”

Baptism of bushfire

The Black Saturday fires in Victoria revealed people aged 70 or over were twice as likely to die in a bushfire.

''A lot of elderly people had experienced fires before and thought that they would be able to deal with it,'' Handmer said. ''[An ageing population] means that there's more people who have various forms of disabilities and who are on medication.''

Historically, flooding had killed more people than fire but that could be changing, Handmer said.

One of the controversial recommendations from the Black Saturday interrogation was that properties in areas of unacceptably high risk should be bought back by government.

''People shouldn't be living in areas of unacceptably high risk by definition,'' Handmer said.

DELAWARE: Buyer-beware option considered on sea level rise

DOVER — A state committee said Thursday the public should consider whether property owners selling inside boundaries where seas are predicted to rise will have to disclose that vulnerability to potential buyers.

This would be a significant step beyond the existing rule of requiring sellers to disclose to buyers that properties reside in designated flood zones, based largely on historic flood and storm surge records.

Year of oppressive US heat illustrated in numbers

Last year was by far the hottest year on record in the United States. Here's 2012's heat by the numbers:

Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide

WORCESTER, England — Britons may remember 2012 as the year the weather spun off its rails in a chaotic concoction of drought, deluge and flooding, but the unpredictability of it all turns out to have been all too predictable: Around the world, extreme has become the new commonplace.

Especially lately. China is enduring its coldest winter in nearly 30 years. Brazil is in the grip of a dreadful heat spell. Eastern Russia is so freezing — minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and counting — that the traffic lights recently stopped working in the city of Yakutsk.

Bush fires are raging across Australia, fueled by a record-shattering heat wave. Pakistan was inundated by unexpected flooding in September. A vicious storm bringing rain, snow and floods just struck the Middle East. And in the United States, scientists confirmed this week what people could have figured out simply by going outside: last year was the hottest since records began.

According to the article near the top, the energy world has changed forever, a meaningless rhetorical flourish. It talks about the magic of high prices and the free market. This is yet another article divorced from the planet's ecological context, another triumphant declaration that all is well as if fracking oil from shales will magically free us from the finite nature of all resources. Rapid exploitation of these resources and this old, not new technology, is not a cause for celebration but mourning as it will just enable us to increase our carbon load in a time when the average temperature of the United States in 2012 exceeded previous records by an incomprehensible one degree.

I don't dispute that we are in for an increase in oil production for some undetermined period of time. I do dispute that this is unmitigated good news. The failure to put this phenomenon in context is journalistic malpractice. I do wonder, however, about the impact of the associated extremely high depletion rates, the availability of ever increasing capital, drilling rigs, manpower, and other resources necessary pull this off.

It is interesting that there is a ying/yang-ness to the "newness" of the fracking technology. While I understand that fracking has been around for many years I do wonder if there is more than the price of oil that has enabled the proliferation of fracking. So here's some questions for our geologist friends:

1. Is the combination of horizontal drilling combined with fracking making it significantly more economical?

2. Have any significant lessons been learned in the past two or three years that has made the process less expensive?

3. Are there new chemicals involved that make a big difference? Come to think of it other than sand and surfactants what the heck are those chemicals doing in the well?

Just wonderin'


This guy has some things to say about fracking. I saw another piece in which he describes how vastly different fracking is today vs what it was 20 years ago. I am convinced that fracking is dangerous and should be heavily regulated where it is happening now, and banned from where it isn't happening (what Ingraffea favors).


Ingraffea appears to be a former rocket scientist who thinks he knows something about the oil and gas industry, but doesn't. He has not a clue what he is talking about.

He gets bent out of shape about the use of hydrochloric acid in fracturing, but in fact we often used HCL on wells without fracturing them. It is called an "acid job". It is used to dissolve limestone and open up the pores in it so oil can flow through it. It isn't much use in shale formations because HCL doesn't dissolve shale. HCL, by the way, is the acid in your stomach, and it is quite a strong acid. If you suffer from acid reflux, which I do, you will find it starts to dissolve your teeth, which mine does, and it can require a lot of dental work to fix. Other than that, HCL isn't very hazardous to the human body in dilute concentrations - and your stomach acid is not dilute, it is quite concentrated, so your stomach takes .

But back to the fracturing process. It is not used to open up old fractures in rock, like he says, but to create new fractures to simulate the natural fractures that sometimes but not always occur in rock formations. If the rock is already highly fractured it will readily let the oil flow through it without further fracturing. If it is not fractured than it can be useful to create some fractures to get the oil flowing. It's not limited to shale, and in fact most of the "shale oil" and "shale gas" formations are not really shale either. There is a lot of tight carbonate and sandstone involved as well.

Companies drill off a gravel pad to minimize the surface disturbance, as well as reduce costs. Rather than have 16 drill sites, you have one drill site and drill 16 wells off it. Rather than having 16 separate gravel pads each with lease road and wellhead equipment on 40 acre spacing in a 640-acre square mile, you have one. In farmland, this only requires the farmer to drive his tractor and combine around 1 wellhead site and lease road rather than 16, which makes him much happier. In forest, this allows the lumber companies to cut about 630 acres of trees per square mile with only one pad to avoid. And, using horizontal drilling, the company could develop the 8 square miles around that 1 square mile as well - one well pad and lease road per 5,760 acres of subsurface area, leaving about 5,750 acres left over for the surface rights owners to enjoy.

And no, hydraulic fracturing is not much different than it was 20 years ago. It always did work. They're just doing more of it because they can afford to at today's prices. Other than that, everything else he says is incorrect, too. I just thought I'd let you know.

Edit: Actually, on viewing the video, which is a mind-numbing 1:45 hours long, it appears the good doctor isn't as obtuse as he seems in the interview. It's just that the reporter didn't understand what he was saying and made it sound like he was an idiot. However, he was still wrong on many of his facts - I can remember companies I worked for using "new technology" he talks about long before he says they were introduced. The companies didn't talk about it though because it was proprietary technology at the time and covered by trade secrets law.

From link up top The Numbers Speak For Themselves

In the past I used to say that peak oil believers and their theories were more like a religion than a science because if you look at the history of the energy markets there has always been innovation when prices got high enough. If you would have predicted numbers like the Energy Information Agency predicted yesterday the “peak freaks” as I called them would say that it was impossible. Yet the impossible is happening now. Just think that according to the EIA US crude oil production is going increase by a whopping 25% in the next two years. On the other hand the EIA is predicting that US oil imports are going to drop imports are going to drop to the lowest level in 25 years. This is a far cry from the doomsday predictions we were hearing during the last decade. Instead of declining production, US production is on the rise expected to hit 7.9 million barrels a day by 2014.

And then what happens after 2014? Is US oil production going to continue increasing forever? This author makes the classic mistake of extrapolating current trends to infinity, an assumption that does not work in the real world.

By extrapolation from the author's reasoning, if the price of oil were to rise to infinity, the United States would be found to contain an infinite amount of oil.

It's a little ironic that the unstated assumption behind drill "Drill, Baby Drill" is that the solution to problems with constrained oil supplies is to increase our rate of depletion of our remaining fossil fuel resource base. So, "Drill, Baby, Drill" could be more accurately rephrased as "Deplete, Baby, Deplete."

In any case, some historical and more recent annual US crude oil production data (EIA, crude + condensate, mbpd) follow. US crude oil production hit 9.6 mbpd in 1970, and then fell to 8.1 mbpd in 1976, and then production began to rebound in 1977, as production from the North Slope of Alaska came on line, after the Trans Alaskan Pipeline was finished.

Basically, Alaska gave us about a nine year undulating secondary plateau/peak, in the 8.6 to 9.0 mbpd range, versus the 1970 peak rate of 9.6 mbpd, versus a 1970's low point of 8.1 mbpd.

An interesting chart would be to line up US annual crude oil production in 1966 (1961 to 1976), with 1976 (1976 to 1991) with 2008 (2008 to 2012). The increase from the 2008 low, about 1.2 mbpd through 2012, has already exceeded the increase from the 1976 low to the 1985 secondary peak, 0.9 mbpd, but the point is that we are probably now seeing a tertiary peak, which will probably be lower than both the 1985 secondary peak (9.0), and lower than what has--so far at least--been the absolute peak of 9.6 mbpd in 1970.

In any case, I don't think that there is much doubt that we finished 2012 with probably the highest overall decline rate in existing US oil wells that we have ever seen. As most of us know, peaks don't occur when we stop finding oil. Peak occur when new wells can no longer offset the declines from older wells.

The new production from Alaska was able, for a few years, to more than offset the declines in older US oil fields:

1961: 7.2
1962: 7.3
1963: 7.5
1964: 7.6
1965: 7.8
1966: 8.3
1967: 8.8
1968: 9.1
1969: 9.2
1970: 9.6

1971: 9.5
1972: 9.4
1973: 9.2
1974: 8.8
1975: 8.4
1976: 8.1

1976: 8.1
1977: 8.2
1978: 8.7
1979: 8.6
1980: 8.6
1981: 8.6
1982: 8.6
1983: 8.7
1984: 8.9
1985: 9.0
1986: 8.7
1987: 8.3
1988: 8.1
1989: 7.6
1990: 7.4
1991: 7.4

2008: 5.0
2009: 5.4
2010: 5.5
2011: 5.7
2012: 6.2**

*Hurricane effects for 2005 to 2008 or so

(Late 2012 production around 6.9 mbpd)

Data table for annual data:


They tell a story of the free market place, where high prices and the pursuit of profits inspired man to think outside of the box and solve the impossible.

The high prices are the problem. That has not been solved. No one doubts that higher prices makes previously uneconomic fields viable. The problem is that the world's economy struggles more and more as we have to keep devoting more and more money & resources to obtain oil.

Get me $20/barrel oil and then you can brag. Otherwise your are merely putting happy face on a plateau and trying to mask the real problem.

The problem is that the world's economy struggles more and more as we have to keep devoting more and more money & resources to obtain oil.

It's fascinating to watch though, as ever more expensive to process resources are being tapped. As the price of oil has gone up, more unconventional oil has become economically viable, yet also causing many importing country's debt to continue to rise to fiscally dangerous levels. The recently suggested trillion dollar big thick platinum coins to pay off the US debt, (made by MSNBC's Chuck Todd), can either be looked at as news theatrics, or as a sad reminder that the clock is definitely ticking on this unenviable position we find ourselves, i.e. precipitiously dropping down the EROEI ladder to maintain flow at ever greater expense.

Either incremental adjustments will be made until it finally blows it's lid all at once, or it will be more like a soufflé, inflating then deflating, squeezing us all to new lower economic thresholds. I would prefer the former because it gets it over with in one fell swoop, however I suspect it will be latter.

The recently suggested trillion dollar big thick platinum coins to pay off the US debt...

Perk Earl, I had to laugh when I heard the story. If only it were so easy...

If my math is correct, at today's price, a trillion dollars worth of platinum would weigh over 19 million kilograms. That's a really big coin. At least it'll be hard to steal ;-)

That is a common misconception. It is only the 'face value' that will be pegged at $1Trillion, actually buying that much platinum would make the whole purpose of the sleight of hand exercise (merely a legal loop hole) pointless. (Then again, banks continue to hold on their books the full value of homes which, if sold, would fetch nowhere near their listed values and THAT charade is allowed to continue 'for the good of the nation').

The (half serious) suggestion has been around since the runup to the 2011 debt crisis. As a way to avoid the debt limit extension political hostage taking.

The trillion dollar coin is not for paying off the debt. Paying off the debt would destroy the dollar, a debt-backed currency. It will never be paid back.

The trillion dollar coin is not for paying off the debt.

Chuck Todd, when he originally broached the topic a couple of weeks ago said they could be used for keeping the govt. going or even pay off the debt. So I was simply relating what he said. I don't think he was serious, but since the Fed is willing to do QE's, his point may have been a sarcastic, "Why not?"

The coin is NOT for paying off the debt. It is merely an accounting trick being proposed to avoid having the government shut down due to the House of Representatives refusing to raise the debt ceiling. Congress authorized spending but then when bill comes due they then decide to not pay. If they don't want to spend then they should not authorize spending. But this refusal to pay for what you authorized to be spent is just childish. So an equally childish accounting trick (with the coin) has been proposed to keep the government open and not default on our debts.

I'm quite sympathetic to the deficit issue. But this shutting down of the government and destroying the full faith & credit of the US Treasury is ridiculous. Congress should man-up and slash the budget if that is what they want. But they don't do it because the big government programs are social security, medicare, and the Pentagon . . . old people, old people, and defense . . . three big GOP constituencies.

The House of Representatives wants to save the American economy by reducing debt. The House of Representatives is willing to destroy the American economy to service its wants. It is really very simple.

Market fans would like you to believe that the supply/demand/price relation creates a CONTROL LOOP that balances everything. No need for laws nor regulations, the "invisible hand" just corrects everything as if the economy were a weather system.

Well the world may release energy in a hurricane, but the people on the ground suffer. The economy may come back after a decade of disaster, but that does not do much for the people wiped out in the process.

CalGuy, I know of no one, not even the most ardent economist, who believes that some kind of control loop balances everything. Because everything gets out of balance from time to time. Just look at what happened to the housing market in 2008.

That is something altogether different from believing that, in the long term at least, supply and demand determines the price of oil. That has nothing to do with the "invisible hand" that some folks believe will step in and create "substitutes" when the supply of oil starts to drop.

Please forgive me but it just irks me when people equate supply and demand with the so called "invisible hand". They are two different things.

Ron P.

Gee, did not mean to "irk" you...lighten up.

The problem is that the world's economy struggles more and more as we have to keep devoting more and more money & resources to obtain oil.

So, what's your take on the amount of extra resources devoted, as a percentage of GDP? Let's assume the average extraction cost of oil has increased by $1/barrel/year during the last decade. Then that amounts to some $1 * 90e6 bpd * 365 days = $33 billion, or 0.05% of global GDP. Would that be reasonable?

We will devote more money to exploring and developing oil, some will say it is THEIR money, but it is all our money. We have to decide if that is the best use for capital.

Yeah, we will decide. Or, as you said, the invisible hand will decide the best use of capital. But the question was more if this currently is a problem of significance. I don't agree with the idea that rising oil extraction costs are a big factor in the current woes of the world economy. In my opinion, they are simply not large enough for that.

"Let's assume the average extraction cost of oil has increased by $1/barrel/year during the last decade."

It was around $20/barrel in 2000 and then went up to near $100/barrel in 2008. So more like $10/barrel/year. But yeah, the effects are pretty marginal for the wealthy . . . but for those living on the edge. Well, it helped cause food prices to shoot up and . . . well, you saw the Arab spring.

We are definitely in a nice fall-back period though. Will we use this respite wisely? Hey, the new Corvette is being announced!

I recently calculated, from the EIA historical data, that WTI had increased in price 12% per year since 2000 and that Brent had increased 14%. That is above the historical trend by a lot.

I talked about average extraction cost of oil. That is very different from price, which is based on the extraction cost of the marginal barrel. I stand by my $1/year guesstimate for now.

The cost to the global society is the extraction cost, because that corresponds to expended resources in terms of labour. The price is just money changing hands.

And IF in fact purchase price is so different from new extraction costs, which might have risen by a mere dollar in some types of well.. but where is that number coming from.., but still, where exactly is that difference going, and how has that affected the global economy in the last 20 years?

You can innocuously call on the 'global economy' and this averaged 'net effect', when you should be well aware of the persistently growing chasm between the rich and the poor.. the immense boosts in profittaking that Exxon Mobil has enjoyed while SO MANY others have foundered, stagnated, and fallen.

A dollar per year over 10 years, that is, $10 in all. I actually think that might be a slight exaggeration.

Yes, of course the difference is in the hands of mostly socialized oil companies. Then philanthropists like Chavez distribute the money to the poor. In the case of private companies, profits are taxed and thus benefit the poor. The remainder is in the hands of pension funds or business angels who make new productive investments, benefitting everybody. It is not seldomly interesting where the money ends up in step one. Granted, it does make a difference for countries with little population to have a large oil wealth, but other than that, the global cost perspective is the most interesting.

Well your numbers are clearly quite bogus. If the extraction costs went up by $1/year and the oil prices went up by $10/year then the oil companies should have exploded in profits. Their books are open and we can see this is not the case. So try to avoid merely pulling numbers from thin air (or other places).

In response to your comment, I took a quick look at ExxonMobile's stock price. It seems to have gone from $30 to $90 from 2003 to 2008. The crude oil price spiked a bit higher, but smoothed, the oil price made a very similar journey.

The profits went from $20 billion to $45 over the same time frame, but I guess they started investing more and tried to hide profits, so it's not very strange that the stock price inflates in line with oil price while profits lags a bit. More importantly, KSA's and others profits should have surged in line with stock price. I hope you don't think KSA's operating costs increased in line with the oil price?

I stand by my figures for now, even though I pulled them out of my ass. (They usually turn out well even when I do.)

The author uses the term "innovation". If I understand the Rockman's numerous postings on this subject, the recent increases in production in the shale areas via fracking and lateral drilling having nothing to do with innovation, but simply with higher prices. Methinks his God is innovation as he sees it everywhere.

There are many reasons to predict doomsday. In fact, I believe that is the direction we are headed. I could be wrong but this conviction is not in any way based on any freaking religion. We will reach doomsday not because of peak oil but because of fools like this who ignore everything in the future except that which is right in front of their stupid faces. Short term predictions may have some meaning for old geezers like me but are cold comfort for those in their thirties like my children.

From a presentation by the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources

Clearly, the decline rates of Bakken wells is no secret to the folks at DMR.


And their forecast for future production is quite interesting (below). Note how production of proved reserves peaks sometime before 2015 (hard to tell exactly from graph) and begins to decline. Probable (p50) also peaks before 2015 it seems and then declines starting in 2020. And then there's the mighty possible (p10) line! True, P10 means there's a 90% likelihood it won't happen, but what they hey - let's throw it up there just for laughs. But even this projection peaks before 2015. And check out the little blue triangles that indicate price per barrel for the P10 stuff -- looks to me like they are saying price would have to be close to $200 per barrel to justify P10 production. Hmmm. And even using P50 they project prices would have to be higher than today -- hard to read from the graph, but it looks like maybe $115 to $120.

So, if you are pessimistic then bakken oil peaks about now. And if you are optimistic, bakken peaks a bit later but at higher prices, maybe much higher prices. It's tough being an optimist these days. These early peaks make perfect sense given the decline rates of the wells unless you have an exponentially growing supply of rigs, skilled labor, and capital. Check out the number at the bottom -- 35,700 new wells possible! Yeah, I guess anything is possible.


But, are there any threats facing bakken production? Sure are, as this slide shows, and three out of four of them are government! That darn EPA, BLM, and "current administration". Oh, and the world economy tanking. But no geological limitations.


Bottom line to me is that the rosy outlook (note the rose in the crystal ball) from ND isn't all that rosy.

Replaced your images with links. Sorry, they're immense. Not just in pixels, but in file size.

No problem, I should have checked first.

Here is the ND Bakken data from the second link plotted against the paper from Jan. 4: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/9756#comment-938060

Rates and ND

That is a horrible decline rate for a typical well. It is a mix of the fast decline of a diffusional flow and the diminishing returns of damped exponential depletion.

At least with diffusional or hyperbolic declines one can expect long tails, but that is definitely not the case with this "typical" well.

The model is probably best described as Ornstein-Uhlenbeck diffusional flow,with a characteristic reversion to the mean.This limits how far the flow can travel in a random walk fashion.

Rate laws such as this one are commonplace in nature, and really all it takes is some empirical data to reveal it. The question is, do we believe this is typical data?

Slide 15 is really impressive, especially for the barrel price listed on the right scale.

Note : went very quickly through it , not sure I understand the green and black "bakken three forks P90" curves, three forks is a region in the bakken ?

A colleague working in eastern Ecuador reports that there is a huge project involving Ivanhoe's HTL process...that Ecuador has enormous heavy oil deposits. I was not aware of this, and know nothing about this process.

Any help, either on the nature of the process as well as the extent of heavy oil resource in eastern Ecuador?

Here is a pretty good report of Ecuador's heavy oil resources.
Ivanhoe Energy successfully upgrades heavy oil from its Pungarayacu field in Ecuador to pipeline quality

An independent review by Gaffney, Cline & Associates estimated that within the 250 square-mile delineated portion of Block 20, and within the Hollin formation, there are between 4 and 12 billion barrels of oil originally-in-place. Canadian reporting standards and, in particular, the Canadian Oil and Gas Evaluation Handbook, stipulate that, until it can be established that oil will flow to the surface, original-oil-in-place must be reported as "undiscovered resources".

The oil must be upgraded by mixing it with lighter stuff in order to be able to push it through a pipeline. Also getting the sticky stuff out of the ground is going to be a problem also. But compared to Venezuela's heavy oil resources, 4 to 12 billion barrels is not all that much.

Anyway recovering and upgrading heavy oil is a slow and expensive process. So don't expect any great leap in Ecuador's crude oil production any way soon.

Ron P.

California's San Andreas Fault could rupture, cause mega-quake - study says

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A new study warns of a possible "mega-quake" in California. The research says the culprit is the massive San Andreas fault, which could rupture or "unzip" from one end of the state to the other.

The 2011 quake in Japan was one that was not considered likely to happen, and that's prompting some reassessment on this side of the Pacific.

Good eye Leanan ... and there is only four nuclear reactors and their fuel pools here in California ... in Japan there are fifty four minus the three that blew up two years ago (plus their fuel pools) ... did you know there are about one hundred and ten active volcanoes in Japan and since the big quake of 3/11 twenty two have become very active ? ... the magma chamber under Fuji has gotten everyone's attention ... probably not a good place for all that Nuclear fuel you think ?

California . . . tumbles into the sea. That's be the day I go back to Annandale.

California won't tumble into the sea. A sliver of the coast will just move north a bit, at about two inches a year. Of course, that's an average. It tends to hang up, then move a foot or so all at once.

Indeed. I can't believe this meme persists when anyone can look at the cliffs along the California coast and clearly see that the land is coming up.

We had a big quake here in Northern California in 1992 and one section of coast went up 1.4 meters!

Calm down. I was just quoting a line from a Steely Dan song. I live in Northern California and I'm not worried in the least about being dumped into the ocean. But "The Big One" is an inevitable threat. But I survived the '89 quake and presume I'll survive the next one.

I wasn't directing my remarks at you, but you must admit it's a very common and persistent meme, though I suspect many promoters of it are not entirely serious when they throw it out.

I hope I survive The Big One too. If I'm home I'm fine. But I think if I'm at work I'm dead. The building is steel-framed, so I'm told that it probably won't collapse and crush me, although the exterior walls might fall off. But it's also built on an old swamp, so the ground could liquify and the building would sink into the muck. Then we can expect the tsunami, as we're only a few hundred feet from the water and only a few feet above it.

Would be an exciting way to go, I suppose.

Great quakes have fault slips measured in meters (sometimes 5-10) meters. Thats why they don't happen in the same place every decade.

Undoubtedly the only song to be heard regularly on rock radio stations to reference William and Mary College.

It could be worse than that. Geological data indicates that the Cascadia subduction zone which extends from southern BC to northern California, lets go with a magnitude 9 quake every 300 to 600 years, and when it does, it usually triggers a big quake on the connected San Andreas fault. The last time this occurred was 312 years ago, on January 26, 1700. We know the exact date because the tsunami hit Japan the next day, and the Japanese were keeping records.

If that happened, it could be a truly epic disaster. Everything from southern BC to southern California could be hit by a major earthquake and/or tsunami. Hawaii could also be struck by a major tsunami.


Yeah, we live pretty close to the fault and it is just a question of time, I suppose. My worry is I'll be in town and won't be able to get home because the bridges will be out. If it was summer I could eventually swim downstream or across the river and walk home but if it was winter we might not get home. I designed a couple of additions for my place that turned our home configuration into a lower case Tee shape for shaking stability. I have lots of rebar in my concrete, sway bracing, as well as 1/2 inch fir sheathing. Local native lore tells of islands that sank into the strait and then reappeared which has been confirmed by soil sampling. Natives won't live on these islands and they remain uninhabited except for picnic outings.

We have always had many supplies stashed around in different buildings and of course we can do without electricity and supplies for weeks/months, if need be.

The joys of living on the west coast. No guarantees, anywhere, right? It might not happen for another 100 years or it could happen when I hit save. Oh well.



It is true that there is good evidence that big earthquakes on the Cascadia Subduction Zone trigger events on the San Andreas Fault. However, it isn't clear that the San Andreas goes at the exact same time. I believe the thinking is that the Cascadia quake alters the regional stress field, and the San Andreas goes very soon after ("very soon" in the geological sense).

One giant simultaneous earthquake from BC into California is certainly possible. Perhaps more likely is a major earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, followed within a decade or so by a major earthquake in California. Either way, a very bad deal for those on the West Coast. Actually, as RMG points out, the resulting tsunami would be a bad deal around much of the Pacific rim.

Chris Goldfinger, a marine geologist at Oregon State, has done some of the key research showing this linkage. He mapped and dated large turbidites along the west coast. These turbidites are believed to have been triggered by major earthquakes, and are part of the evidence for the cyclicity of Cascadia quakes. Goldfinger has said:

"Every time the Cascadia or San Andreas has a large earthquake, it triggers a submarine landslide along its whole length," Goldfinger said. "So it's fairly easy to go out with a ship to take core samples, find deposits and date the samples using radioactive carbon dating.

"This process gives us a time and place of past earthquakes for the last 10,000 years. If we do this in one spot, we can get a 10,000-year record from that spot, but if we do it along a whole fault line, we can tell how big the earthquake was and whether it ruptured along the whole length of the fault or just part of it."


"The earthquake records seem very similar in both places," Goldfinger said. "[The two faults] are similar in 13 out of 15 of the last earthquakes, statistically showing that there is no difference in time, although there is a slight tendency for the Cascadia [fault] to go first."

"We think that when Cascadia ruptures, it causes stress that transfers to the San Andreas, and we think that within a few decades this triggers the San Andreas to go off. Timing is not exact; it could be hours, it could be years or it could be decades, but it is pretty close in [geological] time either way."

Interesting. Unless its virtually simultaneous (within a few minutes) the ground shaking will be the same as two independent quakes. But if the second one happens while all the rescue/recovery resources are devoted to the first there would be reduced capability to respond to the emergencies.

I live at the southern end of the Cascadia Subduction Zone and have rubbed shoulders with a lot of geologists who say that one of the bad things about a big Cascadia event is it can go like a giant zipper. So, let's say it starts here at the Mendocino Triple Junction and zips up to Seattle. On either end, you might experience (just) a normal 8.0, but in the middle (Portland?) you're going to get shaking from the south, then the southwest, then bad from the west, then from the northwest, ... in other words, the shaking is going to go on for a long time. Often it's not so much the magnitude of the quake, as the duration that brings structures down.

My brothers would eat everything they could sink their teeth into in our house, when it was all gone Mom would then reload the fridge ... good thing for them she was able to keep up with their eat-it-all-now attitude ! (Drill, baby drill or Deplete,baby deplete)

Car Companies XP Vehicles, Limnia Sue U.S. Over Loans

“Defendants used the ATVM loan program as nothing more than a veil to steer hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to government cronies,” according to the district court complaint.

Ah . . . well cronies are a bad thing . . .

The companies are being represented by Daniel Epstein, executive director for a Washington-based nonprofit advocacy group. He previously worked for a foundation started by Koch Industries Inc. Chief Executive Officer Charles Koch, a billionaire contributor to Republican-leaning causes. He was also counsel for Republican U.S. Representative Darrell Issa’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which is leading a probe of the department’s loan programs.

And so you file a law suit to support your political cronies? What a joke!

XP Vehicles, or XPV, said it applied in 2008 for a $40 million loan in an effort to mass produce an SUV-style electronic vehicle with doors and other parts made from foam. The starting price for the vehicle was to be less than $20,000.

An electric car for less than $20K. Built out of foam. Yeah, that sounds legit. LOL.

This lawsuit should be thrown and sanctions assigned to the people who filed this transparent political circus.

In hindsight, the loan programs were not a very good mechanism. I think the tax-credit for EVs is a much better system since it allows everyone to compete for the tax-credits on a level playing field such that there can be no claims about cronyism. But this lawsuit is ridiculous.

In a nutshell:

To learn more about Chesapeake and its enormous potential, you're invited to check out The Motley Fool's brand-new premium report on the company.

From the Proceedings of the Royal Society ...

Can A Collapse Of Global Civilization Be Avoided?

Throughout our history environmental problems have contributed to collapses of civilizations. A new paper published yesterday in Proceedings of the Royal Society B addresses the likelihood that we are facing a global collapse now.

Full Paper: http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/280/1754/20122845.full.pd...

The authors say serious environmental problems can only be solved and a collapse avoided with unprecedented levels of international cooperation through multiple civil and political organizations. They conclude that if that does not happen, nature will restructure civilization for us.

In a statement on his website, HRH The Prince of Wales has reacted to the paper, agreeing, "We do, in fact, have all the tools, assets and knowledge to avoid the collapse of which this report warns, but only if we act decisively now. If, though, in our evermore interconnected and complex world, we are to succeed, real leadership and vision is required. It is just possible that we can rise to this challenge, but to do so we will need to adjust our world view in a profound and comprehensive way. We have to see ourselves as utterly embedded in Nature and not somehow separate from those precious systems that sustain all life. I have said it before, and I will say it again – our grandchildren's future depends entirely on whether we seize the initiative and prevaricate no further."

"real leadership and vision is required."

7+ Billion Humans

~200 Nation States

8-10 Nuclear Armed

Major divisions between them, based on Geopolitical, Ethnic and Religious boundaries.

This can only end badly.

It's by Paul and Anne Ehrlich.

The full paper is available in plain text here, and is free.


Great comment.

I have great respects for the Ehrlichs. I read "The Population Bomb" way back in the early 70s. But there is something I don't think they understand about fossil fuels. Phasing out over half of fossil fuel use, to cure the global warming problem, will be far more difficult and have far more serious consequences than they imagine.

The central challenge, of course, is to phase out more than half of the global use of fossil fuels by 2050 in order to forestall the worst impacts of climate disruption, a challenge the latest International Energy Agency edition of World Energy Outlook makes look more severe [65]. This highlights another dilemma. Fossil fuels are now essential to agriculture for fertilizer and pesticide manufacture, operation of farm machinery, irrigation (often wasteful), livestock husbandry, crop drying, food storage, transportation and distribution. Thus, the phase-out will need to include at least partial substitution of non-fossil fuels in these functions, and do so without greatly increasing food prices.

Lots a luck with that one.

Do we think global society can avoid a collapse in this century? The answer is yes, because modern society has shown some capacity to deal with long-term threats, at least if they are obvious or continuously brought to attention (think of the risks of nuclear conflict).

Nuclear conflict did not happen because of the mutually assured destruction of all parties involved. It was not something that involved masses of people, just the politicians in Washington and Moscow. Surviving the demise of fossil fuel, especially liquid fuel, is something I think they have not given a great deal of thought to. In this entire paper they seemed to give little attention to it, assuming that "substitutes" would be found to solve any problems in that area.

Ron P.

I kind of agree with the prince of Wales here. We have the tools, assets and knowledge, depending on the definition of "we". It is fairly easy in theory - the substitutes already exists. The problem is one of media logic and of the resulting public perception. There is simply no acceptance for the solutions. However, in the long run I'm fairly optimistic. Lots of things go the right way under the surface of things.

- the substitutes already exists.

You have got to be kidding!

Ron P.

Why? Half the global use of fossils by 2050 should be easy if existing substitutes are employed. For one thing, almost all energy consuming and generating equipment has to be replaced over that time frame anyway, so investment volumes are not a problem. The problem lies in deciding to go for the low-CO2 alternatives.

Hybrid vehicles and smaller cars, along with rail where applicable, should be able to halve the oil use for personal transport. Nuclear generation and renewables can replace most coal and gas generation. There are lots of other opportunities, of course. In theory, not a big problem. But, as I said, we might not find the cohesion and the urgency to do it. OTOH, we just might. China is in some important ways really laying the foundation, planning 400 GWe of nuclear, 1000 GWe of wind, as well as putting in a lot of rail and so on.

Yes and with all that huge buildout of nuke, wind & rail, how much is China's coal and oil use going down?

Not at all, but it's laying the foundation for shrinking coal use.

Yes, we like to delude ourselves with such thinking. But the only thing that will lead to shrinking coal (or oil) use is the ultimate shrinking of the available resource. We monkeys just can't keep our hands out of the trap.

I don't agree. For instance, US coal use is falling rapidly due to natural gas and tighter coal regulations. It has nothing to do with coal depletion. The Germans could choose to use renewables to shrink coal instead of nuclear. And so on.

The Chinese has soon saturated their electricity use, and then additions of alternatives will shrink coal use. Nuclear and wind is ramping fast.

Correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't the US exporting record amounts of coal? I read here just recently that Europe, or someone therein,was importing record amounts of US coal.

It doesn't need to be said; I'll say it anyways: Humans will burn the cheapest option. Coal is cheap. Gas may be cheaper here now, but honest math must include the whole problem, not subsets. Global calculus must be done, and globally, king coal is still king. And unfortunately always will be, as long as it is cheap.

Someone said here the other day, sagely: Humans are able to manage the planet equally as well as algae can manage a pond.

EIA seems to have the US coal production down some 12% since 2008.

As I said, some countries choose to leave most of it in the ground. Britain, för instance. Sure, Germany is a hog, but it certainly pays a lot for its alibi to burn it. Had it spent the money wiser, which it eventually will, not much German coal would be used today.

Not substitutes that allow plug-and-play BAU seemlessly continues. But clearly combinations of efficiency, doing without frivolous uses, renewables buildout, accepting that some heavy uses will have to be scaled up/down with the variable production etc. would do the trick.

Only phasing out only half the fossil fuels bu 2050, isn't enough. We have to phase out more than 90%. So the downslope has to be twice as steep.

"Have to" is not very absolute. I think unreasonable targets may cause people to give up rather than to pull up their sleeves. Halving until 2050 is reasonable, and then the foundation for additional rapid replacement may be there.

I think unreasonable targets may cause people to give up rather than to pull up their sleeves.

Yep, except that if your ship is sinking and the nearest island is a mile away, planning to swim only three quarters of the way there isn't going to be very useful. You might as well be reasonable, give up and just go down with the ship and save yourself all the trouble.

Of course, but it seems the Ehrlichs don't think all is lost with a 50% reduction to 2050. Just a bit uncomfortable, perhaps. They might be wrong, but again, perhaps better to shoot for something we can realistically achieve, and then we'll see if that is enough for us to survive.

"You might as well be reasonable, give up and just go down with the ship and save yourself all the trouble."



This was a very famous and much examined race in which a number of people died. There were a handful of crews that abandoned ship to the life rafts - the crews were never found but their crew-less boats were - happily floating along. Some of the ghost boats had far less damage than others that were sailed back with all crew accounted for. It's become a consensus that you should do everything possible to keep your boat from sinking and only take to the life raft by "Letting the boat sink out from under you."

what does "prevaricate" mean?

Prevaricate: "to stray from or avoid the truth"

To consider when making up comments...

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can read” ~ Mark Twain


For those using Java ...

Java software said to put computers in peril

The US Department of Homeland Security warned Thursday that a flaw in Java software is so dangerous that people should stop using it.

"This vulnerability is being attacked in the wild, and is reported to be incorporated into exploit kits," the department's Computer Emergency Readiness Team said in a notice on its website.

"We are currently unaware of a practical solution to this problem."

The recommended solution was to disable Java, which typically runs as a plug-in program in web browsers.

How to Treat Heat like Light: New Approach Using Nanoparticle Alloys Allows Heat to Be Focused or Reflected Just Like Electromagnetic Waves

... “It’s a completely new way to manipulate heat,” Maldovan says. Heat differs from sound, he explains, in the frequency of its vibrations: Sound waves consist of lower frequencies (up to the kilohertz range, or thousands of vibrations per second), while heat arises from higher frequencies (in the terahertz range, or trillions of vibrations per second).

Following the application of these techniques, more than 40 percent of the total heat flow is concentrated within a hypersonic range of 100 to 300 gigahertz, and most of the phonons align in a narrow beam, instead of moving in every direction.

As a result, this beam of narrow-frequency phonons can be manipulated using phononic crystals similar to those developed to control sound phonons. Because these crystals are now being used to control heat instead, Maldovan refers to them as “thermocrystals,” a new category of materials.

These thermocrystals might have a wide range of applications, he suggests, including in improved thermoelectric devices, which convert differences of temperature into electricity. Such devices transmit electricity freely while strictly controlling the flow of heat — tasks that the thermocrystals could accomplish very effectively, Maldovan says.

... The crystals could also be used to create thermal diodes: materials in which heat can pass in one direction, but not in the reverse direction. Such a one-way heat flow could be useful in energy-efficient buildings in hot and cold climates.

Didn't read the article so go ahead and flame on :). But I seem to remeber from High School Physics what we perceive as heat is Infrared Radiation. So heat IS light and definetly part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

BB - Your both right.

Heat transfer is classified into various mechanisms, such as thermal conduction, thermal convection, thermal radiation, and transfer of energy by phase changes.

The heat that your talking about is thermal radiation. Thermal radiation is electromagnetic radiation generated by the thermal motion of charged particles in matter.

The heat transfer covered in the article is thermal conduction. In heat transfer, conduction (or heat conduction) is the transfer of heat energy by microscopic diffusion and collisions of particles or quasi-particles within a body due to a temperature gradient. The microscopically diffusing and colliding objects include molecules, electrons, atoms, and phonons. They transfer microscopically disorganized kinetic and potential energy, which are jointly known as internal energy. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_conduction

What they're talking about has utility in heat scavenging or thermo-electric conversion.

Not quite. The wavelength of electromagnetic radiation is inversely proportional to the -temperature- of the emitting body. IR radiation is electromagnetic radiation in a range of wavelengths that correspond with objects too cool to emit visible light, e.g., warmed earth, human bodies, etc. (Which is how night-vision tech works).

But IR radiation is not heat, and heat is not a form of electromagnetic radiation.

What you perceived as heat from IR was your skin absorbing the IR and converting it to heat - i.e., kinetic energy of the molecules in your skin.

IR radiation isn't heat any more than microwaves are heat - heat happens when something interacts with the radiation at that frequency.

Microwave radiation happens to be a frequency that water molecules (among others) resonate with, so it can be useful for cooking.

An item that (notoriously, these days) absorbs IR radiation and turns it into heat is CO2.

You're right sgage, I meant heat transfer. Thanks for catching that.

Dare I say this? No, not me, I am innocent of knowledge and desire to remain so. I will just quote my old thermo book:

"Heat is energy in transit as a result of a temperature difference"
"Internal energy is the sum of all energy stored in a substance- kinetic, potential, chemical, etc".
"Temperature is a measure of the kinetic energy of molecules"

So the CO2 absorbs EM energy and gets hotter (higher temp), meaning it has more internal energy in the form of molecular motion.

After that, all hell breaks loose- slowly.

Mostly right. The thing that a lot of people confuse is the difference between heat and temperature. Heat is simply the aggregate kinetic energy of atoms/molecules in a substance. Temperature is the -average- kinetic energy of those particles in a substance. But we call something "hot" that has a high temperature. "Heat" indeed will follow a "temperature" gradient if it can.

These subtleties come into play when trying to design, say, thermal mass for storing the day's heat for release at night...

E.g., the corona of the Sun has an -extremely- high temperature (with all the interesting spectral properties accruing thereto), like, a million degrees (literally), but it is also an -extremely- tenuous plasma. It is very very "hot", yet doesn't actually contain all that much "heat".

The Sun's surface is on the order of a "mere" 6000 degree, which gives us our solar radiation in the nice array of wavelengths to which we are adapted. The bulk of the energy comes in visible wavelengths, though of course there is some IR and some UV (sunburn!).

After that, all hell breaks loose- slowly.

Yep and I think it kinda looks something like this...


Makes you really wish for that rare and elusive cold day in hell, don't it?

I think they are dealing with heat as thermal conduction in a solid. In free space (vacuum) the only heat transfer is via electromagnetic radiation.

EPA cites Shell Arctic drilling rigs for air emissions violations

Adding to the troubles plaguing Shell Alaska and its drilling program in the Arctic, the Environmental Protection Agency announced late Thursday that it had issued air pollution citations to both of the company’s Arctic drilling rigs for “multiple permit violations” during the 2012 drilling season.

Has this been posted yet?

Oil production down 2 percent for November

North Dakota’s oil production declined about 2 percent in November, as operators were affected by winter weather and implemented cost-cutting measures at the end of their 2012 budgets, the state Department of Mineral Resources said today.


During November, the state saw a small decline in drilling and a very large decline in hydraulic fracturing as operators transitioned to higher efficiency rigs and cut costs, Helms said.

An estimated 410 wells are idle and waiting for hydraulic fracturing crews, Helms said.

So was it weather or was it economics?

Interesting. North Dakota and the Bakken suffers its first decline since April 2011.

North Dakota and Bakken crude production in barrels per day. The last data point is November 2012.

Bakken BP/D

The number of North Dakota producing wells increased by 68, from 7,796 to 7,864 and barrels per day per well dropped from 96 to 93. This should give some indication as to the decline rate and the number of wells that must be added each month to continue the increase. For the previous 10 months, until November, North Dakota had averaged adding 157 wells per month.

For the Bakken the number of wells went from 4,795 to 4,910, a gain of 115 wells. But the barrels per day per well went from 143 to 136. Bakken production went from 684,165 bp/d to 669,091 bp/d, a drop of 15,074 barrels per day. So even though they had a net gain of 115 wells they dropped by over 15 thousand barrels per day. That Red Queen is just not running quite fast enough.

Ron P.

Where's abundance.concept?


BTW weren't they supposed to be getting more efficient at drilling and completing. That is to say isn't it supposed to be getting cheaper?

In addition to weather effects, operators were cutting costs in November and through the end of the year as rapidly escalating costs consumed annual budgets faster than companies anticipated, Helms said.

Helms seems to tell it like it is. The producers probably aren't happy that he is so frank with information.

Well there's another article: Oil production dips for first time in 19 months

“The fracking has really slowed down,” Helms said. “It certainly is a trend that concerns me.”

In addition to weather effects, operators were cutting costs in November and through the end of the year as rapidly escalating costs consumed annual budgets faster than companies anticipated, Helms said.

The number of drilling rigs operating on federal lands fell from four to zero in November, Helms said.

It would be a trend that concerns me also.

Ron P.

And another article

Bakken Oil Output Fell in November for First Time in 18 Months

Production declined 2.2 percent from October to 669,000 barrels a day, according to the North Dakota Industrial Commission. It was the first month-to-month drop since April 2011. The decline closely followed a decline in rig counts in the state, from 210 on Oct. 19 to 181 on Nov. 30, according to data compiled by Smith Bits, a drilling products and services provider owned by Houston- and Paris-based Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB)

Bakken wells tend to have steep decline rates because they’re created with directional drilling and hydraulic fracturing, James Williams, president of WTRG Economics in London, Arkansas, said by telephone.
“The question is, are you drilling enough new wells to make up for the decline?” he said. “With a little decline in the rig count, and the very fast depletion rate of the wells, it’s not terribly surprising that the Bakken production leveled off.”

In my mind, this is likely the harbinger of a declining growth rate rather than the beginning of overall decline. I expect we will see some growth into 2014 and then flat and declining after that. But in case someone is going to quote me on this some years hence, this is not a prediction! I hope I made that abundantly clear.

About :
"Former BP chief takes aim at oil supermajors

Tony Hayward last visited Abu Dhabi three years ago as the head of BP, the accident-hit oil giant most recently renowned for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

He returned to the capital yesterday in a very different guise - that of detractor of the oil giants, including his former paymaster."

Reading the excerpt, you're not sure what "detractor" is all about, but clearer with :

He criticised the supermajors for being too slow to enter frontier regions such as Kurdistan and factor in a high oil price that has made more exploration possible.

"In my world, US$100 [a barrel] is the new norm, with the risk very much to the upside," he said.

Ambitious national oil companies, with the exception of Statoil and Chinese firms, would also sacrifice profits in favour of agendas "neither commercial nor global".

"Much has been made of the rise of the national oil companies and their transformation into truly international oil companies," said Mr Hayward. "The truth is it's more talk than action ... They won't be given the freedom or the arm's length by their governments."

"The truth is...." --Tony Hayward


"After everything is said and done more is always said than done"

I don't know who said that but it seems to fit well here.

RE: A warning: Climate could be 'hijacked'

Duh. That has already happened. Is anybody not aware that Oil-Qaeda hijacted the system already? Or is this worring about someone 'hurting the global climate system' just another deceitful diversion by Oil-Qaeda itself?

CDC: 2012-2013 Influenza Season Week 1 ending January 5, 2013


During week 1 (December 30-January 5), influenza activity remained elevated in the U.S., but may be decreasing in some areas.

... Pneumonia and Influenza Mortality: The proportion of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was slightly above the epidemic threshold.

...Outpatient Illness Surveillance: Thee proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness (ILI) was 4.3%; above the national baseline of 2.2%. Nine of 10 regions reported ILI above region-specific baseline levels. Twenty-four states and New York City experienced high ILI activity; 16 states experienced moderate ILI activity; 5 states experienced low ILI activity; 5 states experienced minimal ILI activity, and the District of Columbia had insufficient data.
Geographic Spread of Influenza: Forty-seven states reported widespread geographic influenza activity; 2 states reported regional activity; the District of Columbia reported local activity; 1 state reported sporadic activity; Guam reported no influenza activity, and Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands did not report.

...2 (0.6%) of the 327 H3N2 viruses tested showed reduced titers with antiserum produced against A/Victoria/361/2011.

Doesn't seem there is anything to panic about but there is a likely vaccine escape variant co-circulating at low level as the CDC confirms above ("reduced titers"). H3N2 has been bubbling for some time now. There was a big outbreak in Japan which has now finally it seems made it over to the USA. Interestingly "Swine Flu" H1N1 is currently dominant in most of Europe and is out-competing H3N2 for now being responsible for four times as many infections as H3N2 so there may be a large H3N2 epidemic still to hit Europe and/or the US may get a return of swine flu as the H3N2 epidemic winds down. But for now Europe has moderate levels of "swine flu" while the USA (and Canada) has very high levels of H3N2.

EuroFlu - Weekly Electronic Bulletin - Week 1

The proportion of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 relative to A(H3N2) is increasing. Of the influenza A viruses, 779 were subtyped: 151(19%) as A(H3N2) and 628 (81%) as A(H1N1)pdm09 with mainly northern and central countries reporting A(H1N1)pdm09 detections (Fig. 2a).

Currently for type A Influenza in the USA the infection ratio is 98% H3N2 and 2% A(H1N1)pdm09 (swine flu). That's quite some difference!

It isn't helped that reporting is incomplete over Christmas/New Year so it will not be until next week that a more accurate picture is available. Google Flu Trends suggests that the current outbreak still hasn't peaked yet in the USA. See http://www.google.org/flutrends/us/#US

Time for all you northeners that have not yet done so to stock up on your megadoses of vitamins C and D. It might also help if a lawyer could draft up something requiring that you be put on a high dose ascorbate (vitamin c) drip, should you be hospitalised and indemnifying the hospital if the treatment kills you >;-). Might help avoid the frustration of the faced by the family in the story linked to on this Google results page. IMHO the 18 minute video at the top link is well worth the time. Best of health to all!

Alan from the islands

Linus Pauling not crazy, after all?


The story at your link is from August 2004. I purchased a copy of the Hickey Roberts book "Ascorbate, the science of vitamin C" in 2007, the year my kid sister succumbed to cancer. The story in my link is from August 2010. Not much has changed in all these years (see the latest orthomolecular news). The larger medical profession still does not accept the theories on how vitamin c works nor the evidence of the miraculous cures that have come about from those that have tried it. During my sisters illness I scoured the internet for information on vitamin c and uncovered the work of Irwin Stone, Frederick Klenner, Ewan Cameron, Robert Cathcart, Hugh Riordan and Abram Hoffer among others.

The theories are very elegant and make a lot of sense. It is easy to understand how and why the for profit medical establishment would not want to do serious research and why they would not want the idea of nutrition based medicine to gain a foothold. IMHO apart from the advances in surgery, the US health care system is an expensive disaster that, through the influence of the pharmaceutical companies, is spreading it's brand of drug based medicine around the world. One of my greatest fears is getting injured or sick while in the US. If it ever happens, I will be one of what must be a very small number of people to take an air ambulance back home to the care of my own orthomolecular physician ASAP!

Thankfully, there is a small cohort of medical doctors alive today that are carrying on the work of the orthomolecular pioneers, most of them are practitioners of the practise of Orthomolecular Medicine even if they are not members of the The International Society for Orthomolecular Medicine or don't attend the annual conference put on by the ISOM. I have a strong suspicion that this branch of medicine will rise to prominence once Peak Oil is solidly in the rear view mirror.

edits : added links

Alan from the islands

A friend just had her gall bladder removed.. and I'm very concerned that this procedure is becoming such a prevalent response (with very weighty followup costs, for life).. it's maddening, particularly our severe lack of understanding of how to eat.

I'd like to know what the diets of the surgeons who worked on her are like, for example.

Flour, Sugar and most Vegetable oils, just for starters, are steadily weakening us.

Sadly, the percentage of doctors who know more about nutrition than the average person in the street is probably about the same as the percentage of people in the general population who have even heard of Peak Oil. I'd like to be able to tell you to check this list of practitioners for one in your area but, not all of them can be found using the internet.

I found out about mine from my local supplement store. During a conversation one of the store clerks told me, "You know, Dr. So And So always buys these same bottles of vitamin C for his patients along with some other stuff". Well Dr. So And So is now the one my dad sees every three months for his vitamin b12 shot and will be the doctor I go to whenever I feel the need to visit a doctor.

Alan from the islands

Just found this over at www.orthomolecular.org

Vitamin C And The Law
A Personal Viewpoint by Thomas E. Levy, M.D., J.D.

A doctor has the right to refuse to see you or treat you. A doctor does not have the right to deny you any therapy that is inexpensive and known to be effective and nontoxic; if there is toxicity involved, the patient can discharge his responsibility for such toxicity with proper informed consent. A doctor does not have the right to deny you consultation with another doctor that may have conflicting medical points of view.

Just as ignorance of the law is no sound defense to legal charges brought against you, ignorance of medical fact is ultimately no sound defense for a doctor withholding valid treatment, especially when that information can be easily accessed [snip]

Always try to make an alliance with your doctor and avoid an adversarial relationship if at all possible. Theoretically, if your doctor really wants to do what is best for the patient and is not more concerned with being told what to do, much stress and conflict can be avoided by all. However, do not hesitate to let your doctor know directly that you will avail yourself of all your rights or your family member's rights as a patient to optimal health care if so forced.

A very common "out" in all of these scenarios is to suggest that "further studies" should be done. More information is always useful, but vitamin C has already been researched more than any other supplement, or even most pharmaceutical drugs, in the history of the planet. Don't allow another 70 years of research to transpire before its proper use begins.

Stand up for your rights today. The way medicine is practiced will never change until the public demands it and the law legitimizes it. Remember, it's your body and your health. Doctors are answerable to you, not you to them.

Thomas Edward Levy, M.D., J.D. is a graduate of the Tulane University School of Medicine and the University of Denver College of Law. He board certified in Internal Medicine and is also a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1998 and the District of Columbia Bar in 1999. Dr. Levy is on the Editorial Board of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service.

Interesting stuff!

Alan from the islands

Vogtle reactor vessel slips between Savannah, Burke County

A 300-ton reactor vessel bound for Plant Vogtle was stranded briefly in south Georgia this week after a malfunction with the specially designed rail car moving the nuclear component from Savannah to Burke County.The steel vessel, which weighs more than the Statue of Liberty, was built in South Korea and took three years to complete.

Plant Vogtle is undergoing a $14 billion expansion that involves building two new Westinghouse AP-1000 reactors.

The new units were scheduled to go into service in 2016 and 2017, but contractors have said they could be delayed by a year or more. Williams said work is being done with contractors to determine a date.

President Obama has tagged $8.33 billion in loan guarantees for Vogtle's construction. And Georgia ratepayers are being forced to pay for it in advance.

Southern’s subsidiary and largest utility, Georgia Power customers already are paying down the [Vogtle] project’s financing costs through a fee that will increase to $8.74 a month by 2015. The fee will end once reactors start producing power in 2016 and 2017


Well, the fee is supposed to end when the reactors start producing power, which is supposed to be in 2016 and 2017. But no nuclear project comes in on time or on budget–and as was just noted, history is not Vogtle’s friend here–and not only will ratepayers continue to cough up cash while construction drags on, it is certainly not unprecedented to see them continue to get fleeced for overruns after the plants are finished


“Bizarre disappearance” of US nuclear plant operator — Carjacking, private jet, $100,000 in gold bars?

A missing nuclear plant operator who vanished after being charged with a DuPage County carjacking faces a March 5 trial date even though authorities say there’s evidence he fled the country.

Michael Buhrman, 32, was free on bail when he disappeared last September after purportedly telling a girlfriend he had collected $100,000 in gold bars and planned to secretly travel to Chile to avoid trial, court records show

Detective Jody Porras] said U.S. Marshals determined a former co-worker of Buhrman’s went to South America last year and has not returned.

... makes Homer Simpson look good. Sounds like nuclear energy has a few weak links.

Nuclear energy is like any other industry, but not at all as dangerous as the medical and food industries are.

Give it time. With half-lives of 20,000 years, it should be able to rack up a good score before the game is finished.

No, actually not. Plutonium is insignificant in nuclear accidents. The dominant isotope after a short while is cesium-137, which halves after 30 years.

And I guess common mercury and lead is worse than plutonium, btw, since they are forever.

Exactly. Those isotopes with the very short half lives are by far the most dangerous because they give off far more radiation in the early moments and hours after an accident than the longer lived ones. Even cesium-137 is not all that dangerous... unless ingested. Plants think it is potassium and extract it from the soil. Cesium then becomes part of the plant, including the part that is food.

On Bikini they have found a partial fix for that problem however. The Radiological Cleanup and Future Plans for Bikini Atoll

Virtually all the scientists that have studied Bikini, however, favor some form of the well-documented and proven method of spreading potassium fertilizer over the entire island. This potassium-block method, which prevents the uptake of cesium because potassium, which is atomically similar to cesium, is what the food crops are looking for in the first place when they use the radiation as a source of food, has been studied in detail over the course of the past twenty years by Dr. Bill Robison of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a number of other scientific organizations.

It is the radiation that gets into the food supply, either plant or animal, that is dangerous long after an accident.

Ron P.

No, actually not. Plutonium is insignificant in nuclear accidents. The dominant isotope after a short while is cesium-137, which halves after 30 years.

And I guess common mercury and lead is worse than plutonium, btw, since they are forever.

You should really read some of the less idealistic literature about nuclear reactors as a source of energy. I recommend Gar Smith, Martin Cohen, or Kristen Iversen to name a few.

30 years+ after Chernobyl's meltdown released an estimated 4.5 billion curies of radiation (about 400 Hiroshima bombs) into the atmosphere, the region surrounding Chernobyl cannot be resettled (relatively thinly populated though it was, thank goodness), with 90% of the remaining radioactive isotopes in the area hiding in the very soil.

As recently as 2009, the German Ministry of the Environment was mandated to compensate hunters $555,000, after wild boars 950 miles from Chernobyl were found to average 7,000 Bq/Kg (>10 times the designated "safe" level of 600 Bq/Kg). The boars must've eaten radioactive mushrooms.

And let's not forget the 64% increase in the cancer rates within 10 miles of Three Mile Island between 1975 and 1985, or the massive die-off of birds and bees in the area following the 'partial' accident, dogs and cats born deformed or dead, and so on.

Two years after Fukushima, 80,000 Japanese people have lost their homes, and hundreds of thousands live afraid to drink the water due to contamination. The cancers that are coming take time- but children in the area are already exhibiting abnormal thyroid growths.

Of course, it took only a month after Fukushima catastrophe for the University of California to detect airborne Iodine-131 and Strontium-90 levels 250 times above normal off the coast of California. Eight months later, the Abukumagawa river was still dumping 50 billion Bq of cesium-134 and cesium-137 into the ocean everyday, according to the Tokyo University.

Meanwhile, populations living downwind of "normal" operating nuclear reactors live with well-documented elevated rates of leukemia as a matter of course. These reactors routinely release various low levels of radiation into the atmosphere during everyday operation.

Mercury and lead may be poisonous, but damage to DNA from radiation exposure is hereditary.

All of this is moot, anyway. Nuclear reactors are merely a proxy for oil, and without it, and plenty of it, they cannot exist.

As you weren't here during the start of Fukushima you don't remember what Jeppin was saying about how safe and wonderful fission power was.

Pointing out how dangerous fisson power is won't change Jeppin's mind, but it is worthwhile to remind others of how morally bankrupt fission power is.

As nuclear power has the best properties of the power sources known to us, it's either that "moral bankruptcy" or worse. At least if you don't suggest that we live the life of pre-fire hunter-gatherers.


that's all I can say, I'm baffled

Oh please, you have to know this is a fairly mainstream opinion supported by mainstream numbers. Or do you never stray outside of TOD?

I recommend Gar Smith, Martin Cohen, or Kristen Iversen to name a few.

I don't want to be ungrateful, but I'm not very interested in drama and fiction.

And I don't want to be disrespectful either, but I do have a hard time respecting the rest of your comment. It is a display of the most common untruths and bad science surrounding nuclear power. I won't debunk them one by one (even though I certainly could), because I think it would be a waste of time. Instead, please read this article, that has a more scientific perspective on nuclear power.

Let me just address your last point, since it is more on-topic:

Nuclear reactors are merely a proxy for oil, and without it, and plenty of it, they cannot exist.

This is clearly wrong. Nuclear power is among the very least resource-intensive power source we have, according to life cycle analyses. Also, nuclear power is especially suited for synthesizing liquid fuels since it can provide both cheap process heat and electricity. Please see, for instance, Los Alamos concept of "Green Freedom".

jeppen's link is:
Like We've Been Saying -- Radiation Is Not A Big Deal
A Forbes article "that has a more scientific perspective on nuclear power."

It ends with "I’m sure the anti-nuke ideologues and conspiracy theorists will not accept these U.N. reports, but then…they don’t like the United Nations anyway."

TOD readers might enjoy the article's comments section much more.

I take it you don't like the UN then?

Once a comment is replied to, it can not be edited. The usual jeppen emptiness stands.

The first quote in the Forbes blog attributed to the report is nowhere to be found in the actual report. It originates from a speech made by the president of the committee. Even worse, the quote is out of context. The complete quote is:

The major findings are: Because of the great uncertainties in risk estimates at very
low doses
, UNSCEAR does not recommend multiplying very low doses by large numbers of individuals to estimate numbers of radiation-induced health effects within a population exposed to incremental doses at levels equivalent to or lower than natural background levels.

Which is quite another conclusion then "Radiation Is Not A Big Deal".

Gosh, a right-wing hack at a right-wing outlet misrepresents an UN-report?

Renewablesinternational also previously debunked an anti-renewables article by the same Forbes blogger. It's not surprising for a nuclear advocate.

Don't agree. If there was much doubt, one would actually recommend erring on the side of caution and keep multiplying large numbers with low doses.

What happens if a human or animal inhales fine Plutonium dust or any other actinides? How long would Plutonium dust pose a threat?

There isn't enough of it in these cases to make a difference. I'll do a wikipedia quote for illumination. Please feel free to google it and follow its references:

"Several populations of people who have been exposed to plutonium dust (e.g. people living down-wind of Nevada test sites, Hiroshima survivors, nuclear facility workers, and "terminally ill" patients injected with Pu in 1945–46 to study Pu metabolism) have been carefully followed and analyzed. These studies generally do not show especially high plutonium toxicity or plutonium-induced cancer results.[91] "There were about 25 workers from Los Alamos National Laboratory who inhaled a considerable amount of plutonium dust during 1940s; according to the hot-particle theory, each of them has a 99.5% chance of being dead from lung cancer by now, but there has not been a single lung cancer among them.""

I'm disappointed that we didn't manufacture the vessel in the USA. Don't these loan programs have some "made in the USA" requirements?

The World Nuclear Association has this to say about it:

The very heavy forging capacity in operation today is in Japan (Japan Steel Works), China (China First Heavy Industries and China Erzhong) and Russia (OMZ Izhora).

New capacity is being built by JSW and JCFC in Japan, Shanghai Electric Group (SEC) and subsidiaries in China, and in South Korea (Doosan), France (Le Creusot), Czech Rep (Pilsen) and Russia (OMZ Izhora and ZiO-Podolsk).

New capacity is planned in UK (Sheffield Forgemasters) and India (Larsen & Toubro, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Bharat Forge Ltd). In China the Harbin Boiler Co. and SEC subsidiary SENPE are increasing capacity.

Nothing in North America currently approaches these enterprises.* The changed position of the USA is remarkable. In the 1940s it manufactured over 2700 Liberty ships, each 10,800 tonne DWT - possibly pioneering modular construction at that scale (average construction time was 42 days in the shipyard). In the 1970s it had a substantial heavy infrastructure, but today China, Japan, South Korea, India, Europe and Russia are all well ahead of it. Steelmaker ArcelorMittal, based in Luxembourg, now owns the US company which built most US reactor pressure vessels in the 1970s-1980s.

Of course, if the US would revive its nuclear industry, this could change, eventually. But I wouldn't hold my breath. Seems simple natural gas generation is the US way for the foreseeable future.

Yeah, I'm not surprised . . . just disappointed. But I would think that natural gas could help bring back some industry since it is so cheap. Or do they just use coal for all such heavy industry?

"The very heavy forging capacity in operation today..."

What they actually mean is "steel casting capability" that uses high strength steels. One of the last large steel castings plant making nuclear pressure vessels in US closed in the 1970's. That was General Steel Castings Corp. plant in Granite City, IL. They made heavy castings for Westinghouse and I think GE. Most of that plant was demolished a few years ago.

Which of course will not be built in the US as these will be hothouses for solid and persuasive Unionized Labor.

Maybe we just can't manage

Borrowing - but to what end

Maybe you won't like the above attempt at allegory, but I have been around these last 50 years as successive governments have borrowed us into penury. Borrowing is not a bad thing in itself: you want to produce something, so you work out your cash flow, and decide that if you borrow, it will increase your productivity enough for you to sell more goods, pay off the loan, and still make a profit. Borrowing can be your route to prosperity.

But put the power to borrow into the hands of self-interested, short-sighted and corrupt people, and 50 years later you will ask: Where did it all go? Years into schools (that produce illiterates) and (potholey) roads, into a despoiled natural environment and an ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor?

We have to be honest and admit that we have not done well with our political independence. The self-serving partisans sing in chorus that they have done rather well; but the facts speak for themselves.

This ties in with a thread I started in the Drumbeat of January 7th. In a couple of the posts I made in the thread, I stated my opinion that a large segment of the Jamaican population consists of very dysfunctional families (if you can call them that), the result of very irresponsible reproductive practices of many individuals. The author of this piece described a spendthrift woman and a man who borrow heavily to support their lifestyles and made the point that this was unsustainable but, being a good catholic, left reproductive practises out of the discussion entirely. I typed up a comment to this article which is yet to be approved by the moderators. I fear it may broach topics that seem to be taboo. Here's the comment:

Is it that the government is reckless and irresponsible with it's borrowing or is it that the government is just reflecting a culture of irresponsibility that seems ingrained in a large portion of the people who vote them into power? How many Jamaican citizens behave like the hypothetical man and women Mr. Espeut describes?

Among the cases I can recall, what of the household helper, just having returned from maternity leave after giving birth to her fifth child for a fifth "baby father"? She cannot expect any help from her most recent "baby father" as he is unemployed. None of her three school age children are supported by their fathers either.

How many politicians or business leaders have consistently pushed the idea that irresponsible parenting ought to be discouraged? That idea seems taboo and is left to programs of the National Family Planning Board, usually funded by foreign agencies such as the UNFPA. The message seems lost in the noise of marketing and political campaigning as it seems the leaders and government and private sectors see no problem in having larger markets and political constituencies to serve. The fact that the most recent census revealed a continuing decline in birth rates, has actually been described as a problem in certain circles.

People give me strange looks when I tell them I have fathered no children but, I would be rude and indiscreet if I ever openly criticised people who have children they cannot properly afford. Heaven help us!

Here are a couple of cases I decided not to include for the sake of brevity:

I was once told by an unemployed young woman that the father of her two young children was in prison, a common lament for young women seen begging on the streets with a baby in hand and sometimes another slightly older child or two as well. I had made the mistake of offering to help her and ended being constantly asked to "lend" her money. One day I noticed a little bulge in her tummy and it turns out she was pregnant!

Then there's the construction worker, on strike during the construction of the Ritz Carlton Montego Bay (Hotel) who, appeared on prime time television news lamenting the fact that his wages could not adequately support his thirteen children.

This also ties in with Gail's key post today. Since we worship at the altar of economic growth, anything that has the potential to restrain growth is heresy.

Alan from the islands

This sounds familiar. Some years ago I had a Catholic machinist working for me. At regular intervals he would ask for a raise based on his supporting five children. He never once tried to ask for money based on a superior work output because he and I both knew that he didn't have it.

That is the root cause of third world poverty. I know I'll sound callous, but sending food to such places seems counter-productive if it will merely create more starving people in later years. Airdrop birth control, fertilizer, seeds, and instructions on farming.

Some soft paternalism, perhaps?

"In Kenya, researchers tried allowing farmers to commit to buying fertilizer in advance. Farmers paid for it when they had the cash handy during the harvest season, but it was delivered during the next planting season. Changing to the advance commitment model was as effective for encouraging fertilizer use as a 50% subsidy in fertilizer prices.
In Malawi, allowing farmers to direct some of their harvest profits into commitment savings accounts, which held the money until the following planting season, increased investment back into crops and boosted the value of the resulting harvest significantly."

That's a bit condescending... I think there are more third worlders who are familiar with farming, and probably more that are very good at it, then there are in the first world (though I've heard nixtamalization hasn't really become a thing Africa with corn, which should be corrected). The birth control thing seems to be sorting itself out as well, as women get more educated and gain social status. Basically, the trends just need to keep going in the right direction. I doubt that most of the women really want 10 kids. Maybe 1% or less. Break the back the patriarchy, bring women equal education and status, and birth rates won't be an issue.

If Nat. Geo. is correct then using Brazil- The fastest way to reducing population is educating women and birth control availability. Something the 'keep-em-pregnant' religious crusades disfavor. Ever wonder why priests cannot marry a woman? Too much overhead expense, it is simple business in disguise.

France’s Hollande sends troops to Mali

French President Francois Hollande, who announced the unexpected deployment, did not say how many French soldiers were on the ground or exactly what their mission is. But he promised that France’s participation in the fighting would “last as long as necessary” to guarantee that the Malian government and army can maintain control of the former French colony in northwest Africa.

I suspect a rather small injection of technologically sophisticated fighters and weapons could drastically change the balance of military power. Most likely this won't be very costly. [Hopefully what happens won't prove me wrong here, as so often the military solution ends up being so much harder than expected.]

New York Times Dismantles Its Environment Desk

The New York Times will close its environment desk in the next few weeks and assign its seven reporters and two editors to other departments. The positions of environment editor and deputy environment editor are being eliminated.

Times says demise of the nine-person team, created in 2009, won't affect climate coverage

... uh, huh

Study: Sunday Talk Shows Still Terrible At Covering Climate Change, Nightly News A Bit Better

This explanation sounds reasonable:

Baquet said the change was prompted by the shifting interdisciplinary landscape of news reporting. When the desk was created in early 2009, the environmental beat was largely seen as "singular and isolated," he said. It was pre-fracking and pre-economic collapse. But today, environmental stories are "partly business, economic, national or local, among other subjects," Baquet said. "They are more complex. We need to have people working on the different desks that can cover different parts of the story."

But I suspect there's also some bean-counting issues involved. Newspapers are still struggling in the new, digital world. I'd guess the NYT paywall has not been very successful at increasing revenue.

...today, environmental stories are "partly business, economic, national or local,...

It could also be a way of 'reframing' the issue.

A physics problem - like climate change - cannot be negotiated or compromised away.

But a business, economic, or policy problem can be delayed, bought off, or compromised away.

Its not entirely binary but I'd say money had more to say about the decision than good journalism.

I suspect the same. Business doesn't want stories that might be inconvenient getting out.

I think so too, it's a commercial company afterall having clients and investors with interest in various markets.

I have always considered MSM environmental coverage more like fluff (for lack of a better word), something that is thrown along with the Sunday edition in the Lifestyle section. Like some cute photo of an Orangutan/Polar Bear or some actor running 20km for "green awareness". For some reason actual environmental reporting is considered as inducing paranoia and being anti-business, in any case most of the good stuff comes out of bloggers and independent small time reporters.

I am not going to miss them.

Environmental coverage that brings eyeballs to the ads is good. Environmental coverage that upsets the advertisers... just will not happen. It's impossible. No ads no MSM. You can not buy, or place, an ad, in our 'free press' and our 'free society' that conflicts with the other MSM advertisers.

Environmental reporting in imminently not missable for this very reason, at least to those aware of the issues outside of the bubble of TV land or basic dominant culture.

How American Cities Are Adapting To Climate Change

A new report by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives highlights twenty local government across the country that are taking the initiative to combat global warming.

The report follows up an earlier survey ICLEI did of 298 American cities, which found that 74 percent had perceived changes in the climate — including increased storm intensity, higher temperatures, and more precipitation. Almost two-thirds are pursuing adaptation planning for climate change, compared to 68 percent globally, and virtually all U.S. cities report difficulties acquiring funding for adaptation efforts. (Only Latin American cities reported similar levels of difficulty.) And over one-third of U.S. cities said the federal government does not understand the realities of climate change adaptation.

Several examples from ICLEI’s new report on local adaptation efforts include: ...

California cold snap threatens citrus crop, strands motorists

An Arctic air mass sent temperatures plunging across California, forcing the 17-hour closure of a key interstate highway through the mountains north of Los Angeles and threatening citrus crops in the state's vast central valleys, authorities said on Friday.

Temperatures throughout the state fell by as much as 20 degrees Fahrenheit (11 degrees Celsius) below normal, allowing snow to accumulate at elevations as low as 1,500 feet, the National Weather Service reported.

Temperature anomaly in the Arctic

Meteorologists for the first time report a record 7°C [13°F] deviation from the annual temperature in the Arctic. According to Roman Vilfand of the Russian Hydrometeorology Center, a record small area of sea ice was observed in the Arctic in 2012.

As he addressed a news conference in Moscow, Vilfand said the temperature anomaly in question had been registered in the northern part of the Kara Sea between Franz Josef Land and Novaya Zemlya.

... meanwhile we're expecting daytime temperatures in the 50's [25 degrees F above normal] along the Connecticut coast for the next three days, and its snowing in the Middle East and its colder than its been in 50 years in Bangladesh. Australia contiues to roast.

By the Numbers: The Hottest Year on Record for those keeping stats.

Is that why the lemons have been dropping off my tree?

That would be the lemon fairy, loosening them. He works alongside of Jack Frost.

When I was living in Concord, we lost fruit like that only once, when we had a freeze. So, while this could just be a post-hoc, ergo propter hoc argument, it is probably valid in this instance.


Wow, I'm impressed! You were growing lemons in Concord >;-)



When I was a kid we had lemons, oranges, kumquots, and all manner of fruit in the ignacio valley (Walnut Creek), a short whiz from the Concord I remember.


I haven't seen lemons affected, by as low as 26F. But a frost at the right time in spring can ruin the flowers (and next years crop). I will pick my outrageously small 2 lemons tomorrow.

Note well the data in the IPCC when it is released. Recall that anything less than 30 years in scope is weather, not climate.

Deniers will be having a field day with cold weather in California (or anywhere else), since that will mean, to them, there is no warming, or that if there is it is not related to human activity. Using an extreme confirmation bias, they will cherry pick anything, changing or omitting the context of any research report.

Still, as objective reporters of truth, we should be somewhat careful about citing local or limited data as support for a position urging caution and reduction of CO2 emissions. It is possible for the US to have record heat and Europe record cold at the same time... neither is evidence of anything in particular, though it may be an indicator of some sort of large scale climate anomaly that may or may not be related to AGW. Continued variations over time, though, could and should be cited [using peer reviewed articles written by climate scientists].


Here in Northern California, we are only a few degrees below the seasonal normal. Normally LA is at least 10F warmer than us. I will be putting attic foil over sensitive plants again tonight.
The news was claiming Chicago was 20 degrees warmer than San Diego today.

Heat, Flood or Icy Cold, Extreme Weather Rages Worldwide.

In Siberia, thousands of people were left without heat when natural gas liquefied in its pipes.

I didn't realize such a thing could happen.

According to my ASHRAE handbook methane liquifies at -259F. That's pretty cold even for Siberia. It's probably propane (-44F)

Top 20 best selling vehicles in Canada

Canadians stick with 'tried and true' vehicles

Top 20 vehicles in Canada as of November 2012
1. Ford F-series
2. Ram Pickup
3. Honda Civic
4. Dodge Caravan
5. Hyundai Elantra
6. Ford Escape
7. GMC Sierra
8. Toyota Corolla
9. Mazda 3
10. Chevrolet Silverado

You'd think gas prices would be sending a pretty decent signal. Yet in the top ten we see four pick-ups, a minivan and an SUV!

Give up all hope...

The US Department of energy says that only 14 to 26 % of the fuel put into an internal combustion engine vehicle is used to make the vehicle go and the rest of the fuel is wasted.
Globaly how many barrels of oil per day are wasted fueling internal combustion engine vehicles?
In the past hundred years how many barrels of oil have been wasted fueling internal combustion engine vehicles?

You need to understand what they mean by "wasted". If they are just talking about the thermodynamic efficiency of the engine then its a meaninless phrase. Yet I don't know what else. Certainly its not the AC or the radio.

I am sorry to say that heat engines, which convert heat from chemical process into mechanical energy, will alway have a good percentage of energy "rejected as heat" or as you call "wasted". Some engines are more efficient than others such as using brayton cycle (jet engine/gas turbine) with steam cycle (steam turbine) to get 62% efficiency mechanical or 60% efficiency in making electrical energy.

Having waste heat is just a fact of nature and physics. Even animals are not very efficient at converting food to motion with the balance being heat. But without that heat produced withthe motion we would easily freeze in cold weather.

(Oh well, I guess it's harmless, and everybody's asleep anyhow, so go ahead and repeat lecture 101 on heat engine efficiency.)

Thanks to clear thinking of one Sadi Carnot, a frenchman, we have known for quite a while that the thermal efficiency of any heat engine whatsoever has gotta be less than the temperature difference between its hot source of heat and the temperature of the local surroundings, all divided by the hottest temperature.

So if I have water at 100C giving heat to an engine and that engine is kept cooled by the air in this room at 20 C, then,( adding 273 to everything to get the absolute temp above zero molecular kinetic energy condition) that engine can have only less than

80/373 =21% of incoming heat converted to work, like turning a bread mixer.

The heat flowing from that Carnot engine to the room isn't wasted, it's just useless. After all, the room was full of the same stuff before, so ho hum.

Run of the mill car engines have about that efficiency, but they are getting heat from the combustion of a rare chemical called oil at high temp, and could have close to maybe 80% efficiency--if we were a whole lot smarter than we are. So, yes, IC engines are wasteful in that they aren't close to perfect.

And neither am I, nor is any animal. even tho we aren't heat engines, we are fuel cells that run on oatmeal at room temp, or close to it. Our efficiency varies between zero and 20%, usually. Zero when typing a thermo lecture.

PS. Sigh, yes I do know that IC engines don't "get heat" from combustion, since it does its thing inside the engine and not by going thru the walls, but, gimme a break, we are talking to freshmen here. We will talk about why IC engines aren't strictly heat engines tomorrow, if ever.

Lecture 101, Carnot, laws of physics not necessary. Just have a simple look at a ICE vehicle going down the road. Lots of heat is removed from the engine and automatic transmission through the radiator and blown into the air. Exhaust comes out of the engine at high velocity at about 800 degrees F or more depending on the engine load. That along with the radiator is a lot of BTU's WASTED and it was paid for when fuel was put in the vehicle. All of these wasted BTU's could do a big part of heating a home. Besides the waste there is pollution.
I have discussed this with people and it seems like they don't want to hear it.
So all of this waste and pollution is just a part of providing us with transportation and that's the way it must be? NO!!
Vehicles powered with electric motors have almost on waste and no pollution and can be powered from many different sources of electricity.
I still have the same question: How many BTU's or equivalent barrels of oil have we wasted and paid for in the past 100 years of ICE vehicle use or would you rather not know.

Real rude crude answer. Back of envelope. Take all the oil used since the beginning of time, multiply that by about 70%. That's an answer somewhere in the ballpark.

And sure, we could do a LOT better. One easy way is to put the heat engine on the ground, near where something can use its exhaust heat, etc. Take the power from it to charge batteries to put in vehicles, and off you go. Simple!

Just do it.

I have reason to mention RUDE but I dont think it contributes to intelligent, meaningfull discussion.

The benefit of the electric car is not its efficiency, but the freedom it gives in the choice of primary energy source. Oil is used perhaps 25% efficiently in an ICE, but if you use coal at 40% efficiency in a coal plant, transmit the power with losses, charge the battery with losses and use it in an electric car that is extra heavy due to batteries, you have not gained much, at least not in energy efficiency, costs or CO2 emissions. However, if you use nuclear or wind to produce the electricity for the car, then you have improved at least the emissions.

So we are all doomed? There is no hope? It will be BAU until EROEI=1 ?

Whenever electric cars are mentioned, the first thing some people come up with is oil fired power plants. Why? Have they been watching Fox News?
There are a lot of people like me who have electric cars and charge them with PV panels. There is a large potential for this to increase all over the world. I think it offers some hope.

You read something into my comment that was not there. Again, the CO2-related benefit of an electric car is exactly what you used - the freedom to use a non-fossil power source. And I think there is hope in that, yes. I'm a Swede, btw, and my TV is overwhelmingly as left leaning as Fox is right leaning.

The owner of an electric vehicle definitly does benefit from its efficiency because most of the energy that you put into it when you charge it you get back when you drive it.

When you put fuel into an ICE vehicle you only benefit from about 25% of that fuel as you say. The other 75% is lost energy mostly through the radiator and exhaust. The exhaust also contributes to pollution and global warming which also has a cost.

But a NG/coal plant is 30-40% efficient, and then you have transmission losses and charging losses and some small losses in the electric engine. And also the battery pack takes more energy to create and makes the car heavier, increasing losses.

So no, the efficiency is not better in EVs, if you count all the way from well/mine to wheel.

Please read my post again. I talked about operating the vehicles. I didn't say anything about the source of the electricity or the fuel.
I have an electric car and I have a gasoline powered car. When I drive the electric car to the town where I do shopping and back it costs 75 cents for the electricity. When I drive my gasoline car to the same place and back it cost more than four dollers. Some of that difference is the cost of electricity vs. the cost of gasoline but most of that difference is because the electric car is very efficient and the gasoline car is very inefficient.
Regarding the well to wheel for the gasoline car, please include the losses involved in extracting oil from deep under the ocean or extracting oil from the Alberta oil sands or transporting oil half way around the world in tankers and losses in transporting oil over longe distances through pipelines and losses in the refinery to make gasoline and the losses in transporting gasoline from the refinery to the gas station and there is some loss in pumping the gasoline into the car. Then after going through all of that to get gasoline into the car, the car wastes most of it because of the inefficiency of the ICE.

Some of that difference is the cost of electricity vs. the cost of gasoline but most of that difference is because the electric car is very efficient and the gasoline car is very inefficient.

I would argue the price difference is all that of coal vs gasoline. To power an EV or an ICE, you roughly need the same thermal energy content from coal or from gasoline. Thus the CO2 releases are roughly the same as well. (Unless, of course, you use a non-fossil source for the electricity.)

All of this is to say nothing of the wastefulness in powering a 3000 pound vehicle as a means of transporting one 150 lb occupant, or two (say, 300 pounds total) for local travel (50% of trips being under two miles) day in, and day out. And nothing of the attendant infrastructure costs required by the practice.

Now don't you go potty-mouthing the RAM ! The 2013 model equipped with the 3.6 Pentastar V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission is rated at 7.8 litres per 100 km highway (36 MPG). I was damn lucky to get 10 litres per 100 km on the highway in my SAAB 900 Turbo with its 2.0 litre/4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission.

I'm hoping that Chrysler can work-out the kinks with its PHEV RAM and Caravan. The PHEV Caravan reportedly averaged 55.0 mpg in extended, real-world testing (http://www.allpar.com/news/index.php/2012/09/chrysler-upgrades-phev-fleet).


I am looking for the NASA giss data, that used to be available here:

But for the last couple of days, the site has not loaded. I wonder if it is down or what?

http://www.isitdownrightnow.com/nasa.gov.html claim it to be up and running

I want to check out the latest data for year 2012, it should be comming this time of the year.

Not just you. I suggest you go to the main NASA page and contact the website administrator.


Will not load for me either.

Thanks guys. No need to error check my laptop or contact my ISP then.

The site is now running. It was down for about a week.

Now I just wait for last years data to be added.

I hope some of you are watching CSPAN Washington Journal right now, (8:15 am eastern US time)

Myron Ebell from Competetive Enterprise Institute, the one who approp. looks like Toht in Raiders, is rewriting CLIMATE Science as he debates with the NRDC's David Doniger about 'whether or not' once again..

They're still entertaining talk of how much plantlife will improve (hence food for more Humans..) with 'better' CO2 levels..

This isn't specific to you, so please don't take it personally, but:

What do you expect from the MSM??

That people keep staring at the box, hoping/expecting that one day The Truth will be told, strikes me as a tad deluded. The MSM is incapable of this. If they did they would cease to exist. Polar bears don't buy ads, or run their editorial boards.

Waiting until the impossible occurs to act isn't a great plan. It's infuriating yes. Dismaying. Depressing, etc.

The overall behaviour is that of being stuck in a pattern. A repeated beahviour, unhealthy, that one can't break out of. It's characteristic of most humans. One most somehow hear the call, or have the pain of repeating the loop/pattern become so large that change becomes the better option.

Turn off the box.

In this case, I disagree.

At least CSPAN will show much more of the naked argument.. even if it still gives the Heartland crowd what appears to be a clear platform for spouting their nonsense yet some more.. but I don't think in that venue it is falling as much on hypnotized viewers as is the case with the standard commercial outlets.

In any case, I don't see them as being synonymous with this shorthand of 'The MSM'.. while similarites are inevitable.

As with the Drumbeat overall, I think it's still appropriate to look at the kind of conversation is happening throughout the communication channels that the people are using.

While the lies are powerful and rampant as ever, I do also believe 'The truth will out'..

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I somewhat agree :)

I come to this site to learn, much more than argue my position.

I believe The Truth has a much better shot when the boob tube is not 'in the picture'.

Judge Tosses Alaska Polar Bear Habitat Designation

A federal judge in Alaska has thrown out a plan designating more than 187,000 square miles as habitat for threatened polar bears.

The federal government declared the polar bear threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008, citing melting sea ice. ...the first species to be designated as threatened under the act because of global warming.


Here's a link to an article, with an embedded video, where alternatives to today's energy system are discussed, and demonstrated. It dates from the time of the '70's energy crisis, but is still very relevant to today. Hint: Reversion to coal is what happens.

Trust me, please, bear with it. I promise, promise, you will enjoy it.

The link is missing.