Drumbeat: January 25, 2013

U.S. Will Cap LNG Shipments to Boost Economy, Shell’s Voser Says

The U.S. won’t rival Qatar and Australia as the world’s largest liquefied natural gas exporter as it keeps fuel at home to drive an industrial renaissance, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser said.

The U.S. may export 50 metric million tons a year of LNG by the end of the decade, or about 10 percent of the projected world market, Voser said today in a Bloomberg TV interview in Davos, Switzerland. That’s below the 120 million tons a year he said is predicted by some forecasters and less than Qatar’s current annual production of 77 million tons. Australia is projected to pass Qatar by the end of the decade.

“Exports will happen,” said Voser, 54, whose company is the world’s largest LNG supplier. “But I hope that the U.S. will actually keep most of the gas back because it will help them to industrialize parts of the U.S. more.”

WTI Crude Poised for Longest Run of Weekly Gains Since 2009

Crude headed for a seventh weekly advance in New York, the longest run of gains in almost four years, amid signs of global economic growth and concern that oil facilities in North Africa are vulnerable to militant attacks.

West Texas Intermediate crude advanced as much as 0.6 percent as German business confidence rose for a third month in January. The European Central Bank said 278 banks will hand back 137.2 billion euros ($184.4 billion) of its three-year loans next week at the first opportunity for early repayment. The U.K., German and Dutch governments yesterday urged their citizens to leave the Libyan city of Benghazi.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Looking at 2013

We are only a few weeks into the New Year and already the shape of the next 11 months is starting to form. To start, the U.S. Department of Energy sees two good years in front of us with increases in domestic tight oil production and falling demand in Europe offsetting what now looks like a million b/d increase in global demand in each of the next two years. Demand for oil in the U.S., which has been falling pretty steadily in recent years, is forecast to increase a bit in 2013.

The Paris-based International Energy Agency, however, is not so sure about the next two years. The Agency recently started talking about coming “tightness” in the oil markets as economic growth in China gives indications of starting to revive, increasing its demand for oil. If you want a really pessimistic forecast, you might be impressed by the Goldman Sachs chief commodity strategist who told a conference in Frankfurt that he would not be surprised to see oil prices reach $150 a barrel this summer from the current $112.

Billionaire Fredriksen Says Tankers to Lead Shipping Revival

The market for oil and fuel tankers will be the first to recover from a glut in the shipping industry, reviving over the next 15 to 20 months as international trade picks up, billionaire John Fredriksen said.

Energy Swaps Migrating to Futures on Dodd-Frank Rules

More than half of the $18 trillion in notional daily trading of energy swaps has moved to futures exchanges from the over-the-counter market in response to the U.S. regulatory overhaul aimed at increasing transparency following the 2008 financial crisis.

ENI Makes a Push Toward the Top

MILAN — Tucked away in a building on the outskirts of Milan is the “nirvana room,” so called perhaps because of the good tidings it contains. There, geologists working for the Italian oil company ENI don 3-D glasses to contemplate day-glow images of underground geological formations and try to divine which might be worth tens of millions of dollars in exploratory drilling.

The mood around ENI has been nirvana-like lately as the company’s explorers have made some lucrative enlightened guesses. Beginning in 2010, ENI and a rival, the Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum, made a series of finds off Mozambique, a country in East Africa, that add up to the largest natural gas trove of recent years — the equivalent of about 16 billion barrels of oil.

Combustible political climate has Morsi stuck in paradox over gas

Energy, politics and the economy are invariably intertwined, and there is no exception to this in Egypt.

As the political situation remains tense two years after the crowds first gathered on Tahrir Square, the government is reluctant to scrap subsidies for natural gas that inhibit economic growth and sap its finances.

Anger over the stagnant economy fuelled the demonstrations that ended Mr Mubarak's 30-year reign in 2011. As unemployed youth raged against the regime, one of the few state handouts they enjoyed was heavily subsidised gas.

Chavez Cancer Freezes Venezuela’s Overseas Oil Funding

Venezuela’s $100 billion oil industry is seeing the first drop in funding in five years from some of its closest partners, as concern mounts President Hugo Chavez’s battle with cancer is creating a political vacuum, people familiar with the matter said.

Norway’s Statoil says 2 missing workers in Algeria terror attack confirmed dead

OSLO, Norway — Norwegian energy company Statoil ASA says two Norwegian employees missing after a terror attack on a gas plant in Algeria have been confirmed dead.

Statoil CEO Helge Lund says the two workers are 58-year-old Tore Bech and Thomas Snekkevik, 35. Three other Norwegian Statoil employees are still missing after the Jan. 16 attack on the Ain Amenas plant that resulted in a four-day siege.

Algerian Attack Puts Focus on Worker Security

The attack in Algeria has already led oil companies there to evacuate hundreds of workers temporarily and eventually could lead some companies to pull out of especially volatile countries. But analysts said the siege was not likely to fundamentally reshape the industry, which has a long history of making money in countries in the throes of upheaval and even war (including one in Algeria), and where workers with a taste for traveling the world — and the hazard pay they earn — have long put aside fears of kidnapping and death.

“This attack is highlighting in a ghastly way the security concerns around the global energy infrastructure on which the world depends,” the oil historian Daniel Yergin said. “Security has been a very big concern over the last two decades, and security is now an even bigger concern. But that doesn’t mean their work will stop.”

Samsung Total strikes Iran oil deal, lured by cheap fuel-sources

SINGAPORE/SEOUL: South Korea's Samsung Total Petrochemicals Co has revived a contract to buy Iranian oil after a year's hiatus, as thin margins in plastics make the cheap fuel from Iran hard to resist, people familiar with the deal said on Friday.

Stringent U.S. and European sanctions aimed at reducing Iran's oil income and forcing Tehran to curb its nuclear programme have made shipping and paying for the oil hard, halving the Islamic Republic's crude exports.

The deal is a rare example of a buyer returning to the market for Iranian oil despite the obstacles arising from sanctions and efforts by Western powers to stem the flow.

South Sudan to Start Teak Exports to Cut Dependence on Oil

Equatoria Teak Co., a South Sudan- based forestry group, plans to start shipping the wood from the East African nation within two months, helping the country diversify away from its dependence on oil.

The company, a unit of London-based venture capital group Maris Capital, will export a container load of furniture-grade teak to the U.S. within two months and may boost shipments to three containers a week by April, Coco Ferguson, a director of ETC, said in an interview in the South Sudanese capital of Juba. Exports may yield millions of dollars a year, said Simon Ndigi, state minister for trade and investment.

New rules don’t close door on oil patch foreign investment: Prentice

The Harper government’s new foreign investment rules for state-owned enterprises leave plenty of room for such companies to invest in Canada’s oil and gas sector, but investors need to consider not only the higher regulatory hurdles but an uneasy political climate, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce vice-chairman Jim Prentice says.

Halliburton Profit Falls on U.S. Fracking Equipment Glut

Halliburton Co., the world’s largest provider of hydraulic-fracturing services, said fourth-quarter profit decreased as customers pushed prices down amid an equipment glut in North America.

Net income dropped to $669 million, or 72 cents a share, from $906 million, or 98 cents, a year earlier, Houston-based Halliburton said in a statement today on Business Wire. Excluding one-time items, the company was expected to earn 61 cents a share, the average of 33 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Commission That Oversees Drilling Is Being Overhauled, Even in Name

The Railroad Commission of Texas regulates one of the most advanced industries in the world — oil and gas drilling. Yet the commission’s software systems, many of its rules and even its name are from another era.

As the 122-year-old agency confronts a drilling boom that is altering the state and national economies, an overhaul of its operations is under way. Its old mainframe computer system will be upgraded with modern digital storage, clearing the way for a more user-friendly Web site. Decades-old regulations are getting updated to reflect the rapid spread of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

And the Legislature may change the commission’s name to accurately reflect what it does. (The commission’s railroad duties ended in 2005.)

California Sued for Allegedly Failing to Regulate Fracking

California was sued for allegedly failing to regulate and supervise hydraulic fracturing by oil and gas companies under the state’s underground injection control program.

The Center For Biological Diversity, a Tucson, Arizona- based environmental group, said in a complaint filed in state court in Oakland today that the program requires the state to obtain detailed studies, conduct inspections and supervise testing before any subsurface injection or disposal project can begin.

Keystone Pipeline Fate Shifts to Climate Hawk Kerry

As a senator, John Kerry fought for sweeping climate change legislation, called human-induced warming among the top challenges facing the U.S., and pushed for an international accord to cut carbon dioxide emissions.

That track record has emboldened critics of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline who want him to scuttle the remaining $5.3 billion portion of the project if he’s confirmed as secretary of State. Appearing yesterday at a hearing on his nomination before the Senate committee he chairs, Kerry was non- committal on the Canada-U.S. pipeline, though called himself a “passionate advocate” for action on climate change.

Shell Arctic plans anchored with its Alaska drillship

(Reuters) - A Shell drilling rig that ran aground near Alaska's Kodiak Island remains anchored in a nearby sheltered bay three weeks later, and its fate is as unknown as whether the oil company will be able to drill in waters off the state this year.

Environmentalists say insurance cannot cover oil spill in Canada

Environmental groups are concerned that the current insurance system cannot support an oil spill in the province of British Columbia and are calling on the lawmakers to change the rules, reports News1130.

The groups warn that, unless the existing rules are changed, taxpayers will have to pay for the majority of damage caused by an oil spill.

Hey, lead foot! You're throwing away money

Studies show that fuel economy has become the number one concern among American car buyers – but motorists have also been pressing for higher speed limits, which can sharply reduce the mileage a car gets.

While that might seem common sense, a new study clearly quantifies the impact of putting the pedal to the metal. And it finds that there are surprisingly few differences between vehicles, whether brick-like SUVs or sleek, wind-cheating sports cars.

Toyota Prius hybrid was top-selling car in California

For automakers who worry that California sets trends for the nation, here's something to either cheer or worry about: Toyota Prius was the best-selling car in the Golden State last year.

Want a Car That Gets 117 mpg?

What if someone offered you a car that could get up to 117 mpg in city driving? A car that would cost about $1,500 less than typical hybrids? It need not look like some pod from a Lady Gaga concert. When it's not running on gasoline, it uses … the air. There would be a sturdy tank of compressed air in the floor or trunk, recharged by the engine or the brakes.

What holds energy tech back? The infernal battery

WASHINGTON (AP) — As 21st century technology strains to become ever faster, cleaner and cheaper, an invention from more than 200 years ago keeps holding it back. It's why electric cars aren't clogging the roads and why Boeing's new ultra-efficient 787 Dreamliners aren't flying high.

And chances are you have this little invention next to you right now and probably have cursed it recently: the infernal battery.

21 Amazing Off-the-Grid Houses

Real talk: Between diminishing stores and oil wars, fossil fuel-dependance is officially a bad deal. In the future, as these resources get scarcer, we're going to have to figure out how to live in a little more harmony with Mother Earth. Here are 21 houses that are already doing it right: eschewing the power grid for solar, wind, and geothermal energy sources.

Ethanol Mix Gives Soros to Shell Mills a Boost

Raizen SA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA)’s sugar venture with Cosan SA Industria & Comercio, is among producers set to profit from funneling more of a record cane crop into ethanol as a government measure bolsters demand.

Mills in the Center South, the world’s largest sugar producing region, are likely to turn as much as 54 percent of their cane into ethanol in the season starting April 1, the most in three years, said Antonio de Padua Rodrigues, a director at industry association Unica. Brazil plans to boost the amount of the biofuel added to gasoline to 25 percent in June from 20 percent now, the first increase since 2010, Energy Minister Edison Lobao said in a Jan. 17 interview.

E.P.A. Directs New York to Act on Muddy Waterway

The agency notified the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in a letter that it must take action to reduce the turbidity levels of the water, which violate federal water quality standards. The pollution – silt, sediment and other particles – has been worsened by discharges from a reservoir that helps supply drinking water to New York City, the E.P.A. said.

The muddying of the Lower Esopus, which the region relies on for recreation, has long been a point of contention between local residents and New York City. The city mostly blames nature, saying that more frequent rains have been stirring up sediment and sending it down to the Ashokan Reservoir, necessitating the discharges into the Lower Esopus.

Obama climate push to tie environment, jobs: White House adviser

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will renew his push to spur investment in renewable energy projects that create jobs as a key part of his second-term strategy for tackling climate change, a top White House policy adviser said on Thursday.

This time around, though, Obama won't have the $90 billion in economic stimulus funds that his administration earlier pumped into clean energy and "green jobs" projects.

Instead, Obama wants to see "targeted and smart" investments in research and demonstration projects, and will also use the upcoming corporate tax reform process to try to "level the playing field" for renew

Buoyed by Obama, leaders press for climate action

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) -- Hurricanes, floods, droughts and a newly climate-conscious Barack Obama are helping boost efforts around the world to fight climate change.

Top political and financial leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos say recent natural disasters, along with Obama's inauguration announcement this week that he's making the battle against rising temperatures a pillar of his second term, could rev up the glacially slow climate pact negotiations and revive fundraising for global action to cool the planet.

"Unless we take action on climate change, future generations will be roasted, toasted, fried and grilled," International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde told participants at Davos.

Norwegian Sea can hold 100 years of Norway's CO2 emissions - NPD

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway could store 100 times its annual emissions of carbon dioxide under the Norwegian Sea to help fight climate change, adding to its even bigger potential under the North Sea, an official report showed on Friday.

The findings are most relevant for natural gas finds such as the Sleipner field in the North Sea, where the gas contains high levels of carbon dioxide.

Norway has imposed taxes on carbon emissions since 1991 as part of efforts to limit climate change.

Northeast Faces Stark Choice on Climate Pollution

Cap-and-trade programs are designed to lower emissions gradually by reducing the cap and the allowances that are available. Polluters get flexibility in cutting emissions by being able to trade allowances among themselves. The idea is to achieve the reductions at the lowest cost through market forces rather than through direct regulation.

But of the four cap-adjustment proposals under consideration, three would reset the cap above current emissions and allow pollution to rise through 2020. Only a fourth option would continue to drive down pollution by resetting the cap at 91 million tons, the current emissions level, and then reducing it by another 2.5 percent a year through 2020.

New tax hikes eyed for roads, transit

A big reason for the hustle for new taxes: Federal and state gasoline taxes, the primary way of funding transportation, aren't keeping up with demands as automobiles become more fuel-efficient, people drive less, and electric and hybrid vehicles increase in number.

Compounding the situation: The federal gasoline tax, which goes back to the states to pay for transportation, has been set at 18.4 cents a gallon for two decades. Some states haven't raised gasoline taxes in a quarter-century.

Best hopes for updating the US federal and state gasoline taxes.

Just an observation from the U.S. that would go along with any of these headlines.

If anyone is interested in how we behave during a hint of scarcity, look at the unavailability of firearms and ammunition in the U.S. right now.

In the fall, I would have gotten $250-350 on a private sale of a particular weapon I own. I saw an inferior one on auction last night at $1700 with three days left. I think it will go for around $2500.

I know firearms dealers and manf. create demand through scarcity. They've done it for a while now to boost retial prices.

But now, even small caliber ammo and weapons, like a Ruger 10/22 and its ammo, are hard to find. Ammo prices are way, way up.

People with a little cash or a little credit are hoarding, and I've never seen it like this.

That's an ominous foreshadow for the future peaks in resources that we talk about here and see in headlines.

It's sad. We've gone off the rails, and it only takes a few to keep sending the masses off the rails at the drop of a hat.

Again, this ain't about gun laws, it's about how people are reacting to what amounts to minor *proposed* changes in those laws.


Think back to how it was for Beanie Babies ($5 stuffed toys going for $200); Cabbage Patch Dolls. Tulips, if you really want to go back some. People are insane about their "wants".
Gasoline and guns are a god given right to lots of people. Interesting times ahead.

I think the gun thing is different. People don't buy Beany Babies because they fear what the future holds. This is clearly the case with guns, whether their fear is reality based, or because they've watched too many episodes of Doomsday shows (or the local news). They aren't just buying guns at a record rate...

Hundreds attend Marietta gun safety seminar:

Hundreds of people turned out for a gun safety seminar held in Marietta on Thursday night. The event, which was sponsored by the Marietta Police Department, drew a crowd so big that they actually had to move it to the auditorium at Marietta Middle School to accommodate everyone.

Before the event, police said nearly 700 people had registered for the gun safety seminar. Typically, they say, they have about 100-150 people. Thursday's crowd was by far the biggest they've seen, with the women outnumbering the men. Because of the high turnout, police were forced to find a new location to host the seminar.

...they're learning how to use them, or at least trying. Not sure which is scarier. My step son is a vendor (not guns) at gun shows and he says it's been crazy lately. While there's a growing sense of unease about our systems, I'm convinced that most folks aren't responding in a rational way.

While there's a growing sense of unease about our systems, I'm convinced that most folks aren't responding in a rational way.

Ghung, the behavior does not seem rational to me either.

Best hopes for a more rationality.

Demand is not created thru scarcity. Artificial scarcity is a way to take advantage of existing demand, leveraging it, but absent additional heavy marketing, it doesn't create demand where little or none existed before.

So where did the demand for guns come from? Easy! Frightened people. People filled with fear hoard guns.

This begs the question - "Why are so many people so frightened?". Well people here could list some good reasons... but I think they would be mostly wrong to look at external events like peak oil or climate change.

I believe people are frightened because we have a dysfunctional society. People isolate themselves and allow themselves to be manipulated by others. TV is a great fear inculcating agent. The 'news' especially. Rape! Murder! Bludgeonings! Coming to a town near you, soon!

Politicians love to instill fear. In healthy individuals, this doesn't really take. But in insecure isolated populations, folks buy into this.

External circumstances won't do humans in. It's the internal stuff that will take us down. Ironically, when society eventually crumbles, smaller groups can successfully adopt healthy attitudes and ways of relating. Trying that now will get you steamrolled by our capitalism at all costs, for profit, power hungry, fear driven society.

This isn't about gun laws, or even guns, it's about frightened people in an unhealthy society being manipulated for the profit, and other, motives.

This is not about frightened people. Just say your going to take away anything overnight, and the people who need/want/desire the item will create an instant demand for it. This is not a steadily depleting commodity with some far future date that it may be gone like oil. This is the exact same effect we saw a couple months ago with Twinkies/Hostess products.

It's exactly about frightened people - you just said as much. They're afraid someone is going to take something from them.

Didn't Goering state this nicely a while back? "How to manipulate a population: Tell them they are under attack, denounce the peacemakers for a lack of patriotism, etc."

Very very few people in the USA need guns.

Fear, along with your digestion, shuts down your brain.

Yea it's pretty crazy how fast all the AR & AK std 30rd mags sold out on the internet and at all the local spots here.

As for the Ruger 10/22, I've noticed that it had been in limited supply going all the way back to the summer of 2012 as I have been in the market for one since then. I haven't been in a *desperate need* for one so I've been unwilling to overpay but they had not come back in good supply before the Sandy Hook shooting. And since the shooting the rifle and the rotary mags are almost unavailable anywhere and if they are available the price is ridiculous.

Interesting times ahead no doubt!

Agreed. Ruger keeps them on shorter-than-demand runs, I think, so they won't have to drop the price to what it probably should be. I ended up buying a custom one myself last year, to go in my collection... Most of the custom rebuilders have a pretty good set up for getting new recievers and building up one from there. Not cheap though :-)

FWIW, even bolt-actions and revolvers are sold out at the big internet gun dealers. Even the odd-ball calibers too, and in some cases the really cheap "saturday night special" brands.

Interesting times ahead no doubt!

A young woman I know is a librarian at a community college in Texas. A while back, a young man, well over six feet and about 300 pounds, was banned from from the library and from the college due to his temper outbursts and irrational behavior.

Yesterday an employee at the library saw this young man at Walmart. Buying a handgun.

I sure hope this got reported to the authorities. I hardly think that would be overreacting..

To what point? It's like the proposal to have psychiatrists report patients with thoughts of homicide. Other than getting on a list, what purpose could it possibly serve? There is nobody to even check up on obvious threats in any significant number, and it would be scary if there were.

In most cases, angry people have the same rights as happy people. Until they do something illegal, this guy would simply be an armed person with anger issues.

You probably would have 99 false positives for every case that would have happened. We as a society couldn't function that way, everyone gets angry and say's things from time to time. The vast majority of them have no intention of ever following through. Its really tough sorting out the future perps, from the merely disturbed.

Even better, once you have "mandatory reporting", which is what voluntary reporting would become as soon as lawsuits became the norm, your more paranoid psychos would avoid shrinks completely. You'd catch the false positives and miss the real ones, probably.

If anyone is interested in how we behave during a hint of scarcity, look at the unavailability of firearms and ammunition in the U.S. right now.

Not to worry noble, The Brazilians look like they're more than willing to step up to the plate and supply some of that pent up demand...


Gun Ban No Obstacle to Taurus Bid for Freedom: Corporate Brazil
By Christiana Sciaudone - Jan 17, 2013 10:15 AM ET

Brazilian gunmaker Forjas Taurus SA (FJTA4) is emerging as a likely bidder for Freedom Group Inc. as analysts bet that proposed U.S. gun controls will fail to deter demand in the world’s largest consumer firearms market.

snip ...“Despite recent tragedies, they still look to the U.S. market with a lot of optimism,” Bruno Piagentini Caloni, an analyst at Sao Paulo-based Coinvalores, said in a telephone interview. “One of its growth strategies is through the acquisitions of small companies that already have a traditional presence in North America.”

I'm going to be down in Sao Paulo soon, place your orders now while prices are still low. /sarc

On second thought does anyone know of any employment opportunities in New Zealand, I'm willing to tend sheep...

Lots of historical examples of such bubbles.

"The only winning move is not to play." -- Wargames

Tulip mania

Tulip mania or tulipomania (Dutch names include: tulpenmanie, tulpomanie, tulpenwoede, tulpengekte and bollengekte) was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed.[2] By 1636 the tulip bulb became the fourth leading export product of the Netherlands—after gin, herring and cheese. The price of tulips skyrocketed because of speculation in tulip futures among people who never saw the bulbs. Many men made and lost fortunes overnight

Oath Keepers and the Age of Treason

...There are scores of patriot groups, but what makes Oath Keepers unique is that its core membership consists of men and women in uniform, including soldiers, police, and veterans. At regular ceremonies in every state, members reaffirm their official oaths of service, pledging to protect the Constitution— but then they go a step further, vowing to disobey 'unconstitutional' orders from what they view as an increasingly tyrannical government... In the belief that the government is already turning on its citizens, they are recruiting military buddies, stashing weapons, running drills, and outlining a plan of action... some of Pray's comrades were guinea pigs for military-grade sonic weapons, only to see them used by Pittsburgh police against protesters last fall.

Most of the men's gripes revolve around policies that began under President Bush... "Only now, with Obama... I trusted Bush to only go after the terrorists. But what do you think can happen down the road when they say, 'I think you are a threat to the nation?'"

In Pray's estimate, it might not be long (months, perhaps a year) before President Obama finds some pretext— a pandemic, a natural disaster, a terror attack— to impose martial law, ban interstate travel, and begin detaining citizens en masse... Rhodes, 44, is a constitutional lawyer... He's now working on a book tentatively titled We the Enemy: How Applying the Laws of War to the American People in the War on Terror Threatens to Destroy Our Constitutional Republic...

As an undergrad, he had been fascinated by the notion that if German soldiers and police had refused to follow orders, Hitler could have been stopped. Then, in early 2008, SWAT received a letter from a retired colonel declaring that "the Constitution and our Bill of Rights are gravely endangered" and that service members, veterans, and police "is where they will be saved, if they are to be saved at all!"

Rhodes responded with a breathless column starring a despotic president, "Hitlery" Clinton, in her "Chairman Mao signature pantsuit." Would readers, he asked, obey orders from this "dominatrix-in-chief" to hold militia members as enemy combatants, disarm citizens, and shoot all resisters? If "a police state comes to America, it will ultimately be by your hands," he warned. You had better "resolve to not let it happen on your watch."...

Rhodes stood on the common that day before a crowd of about 400 die-hard patriot types. He spoke their language. "You need to be alert and aware to the reality of how close we are to having our constitutional republic destroyed," he said. "Every dictatorship in the history of mankind, whether it is fascist, communist, or whatever, has always set aside normal procedures of due process under times of emergency... We can't let that happen here. We need to wake up!"

He laid out 10 orders an Oath Keeper should not obey, including conducting warrantless searches, holding American citizens as enemy combatants or subjecting them to military tribunals (a true Oath Keeper would have refused to hold José Padilla in a military brig), imposing martial law, blockading US cities, forcing citizens into detention camps ("tyrannical governments eventually and invariably put people in camps"), and cooperating with foreign troops should the government ask them to intervene on US soil...

The crowd was full of familiar faces from patriot rallies and town hall meetings, with an impressive showing by luminaries of the rising patriot movement. There was Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who had refused to enforce the Brady Law in the mid-'90s. Also present was Mike Vanderboegh, whose Three Percenter movement styles itself after the legendary 3 percent of American colonists who took up arms against the British...

So these policies were Ok under a regime they could trust, but now are Tyrannical?

I'm guessing you can find people who didn't like the policies then or now.

If one chooses to go looking for them.

I am one of them. I decided the terroists won as soon as we created the Deparment of Homeland Security.

I was simply trying to point out the hypocrisy of these "Patriots" to the constitution.

"the terrorists won"

Boy did they ever.

Patriot Act, DHS, NDAA - warrant-less wiretapping, endless detention of American citizens by the military, militarization of local police, Iraq and Afghanistan wars which aside from ruining the goodwill of the world have bankrupted the country.

Holy loss-of-liberties, Substrate! Only the Oath Keepers can save US now!

Every time I'm hopping around an airport in my sock feet while going through the charade of security screening, I have to give a grudging tip of my hat to the idiot shoe-bomber for forcing US citizens to act like idiots. Well played, wacko.

Becoming stupid with fear is our default response these days. Are we easy to manipulate, or what?

Meanwhile, the same radio design that downed Pan Am 103 would be waved aboard any airliner. But sorry, sir, we need to confiscate your shampoo, your bottled water, and your toenail clippers.

Good point, Eric. Who, exactly, decides which policies are unconstitutional?

My fears have grown over the years as we went to a 'volunteer army' (read 'professional army'), from a conscripted army.

Loyalties may form more to the Colonel than to the President; these are the circumstances that provided impetus to the many coups d'etat in past years as seen in some of our Southern neighbors. Far better a required period of national service following high school during which time young people might learn some lessons in patience, budgetary discipline and valuation of persons. At least it seemed that way when I was in the Air Force... longer term for more 'desirable' service teaching patience, budgetary discipline demanded by low pay, and seeing how men and women from every walk of life integrate into a family.

Anyway, I feel about the "Oath Keepers" about the same as about the Collin County Sheriff who announced he would not enforce laws he did not like (believing them to be unconstitutional). The Sheriff should be fired or impeached. Oath Keepers should be fired.

Just my POV of course. And I could be wrong.


Who, exactly, decides which policies are unconstitutional?

The Courts and your elected county Sheriff. The Sheriff power is from 2 parts, the 1st is them being top law enforcement in their County and 2nd is the oath.

The Sheriff should be fired

On what grounds?

or impeached.

Go nuts.

As for the oath keepers - they have a point: There isn't an "unswearing" process, so the oath to defend the Constitution 'is still valid'.

In the 1920's the idea of standing for a legal case took away the ability of a citizen to bring an injustice done to another to the court and have the constitutionality challenged. Along with the concept of 'no controversy, nothing before the Court' this allows the power of the Government agents to bring a case using an unconstitutional law, use the full power of Government to lock you up, take your money/property, and then "drop the case" with no recourse beyond writing the elected officials hoping one of them will write a law to change the unconstitutional law.

He took an oath to uphold the laws. Until they are declared unconstitutional by a Court of Law (subject to review), but at least one court needs to hold it unconstitutional before he can refuse to enforce it; and arguably, if one court has declared it uncon, he should refuse to enforce it. However, to willy nilly say he will decide which laws are constitutional is a usurpation of power far beyond the pale. A law is valid until declared by a court to be invalid. His duty is to enforce valid laws. Or is that concept somehow invalidated when he is a Republican?

And, the idea of standing is not a 1920's concept. It is a fundamental principal of law - a person needs to have a dog in the hunt in order to sue. Otherwise, I could sue over someone else's injury if they did not. Or, as a citizen of Texas, I could sue over an Illinois law the I don't like. Unless a law impacts one, she cannot file a lawsuit. Well, she can, but she can be sanctioned for frivolity.

So... if the US enacts a law requiring that I submit to a background check, I can sue over it b/c I am impacted. However, if the law requires gun owners to register automatic rifles, and I do not own an automatic rifle, I cannot file a lawsuit.

Once that suit is filed, by a person having standing (there is NEVER a problem finding someone to become plaintiff in these suits, so your worry is ill considered), if the trial judge declares the law unconstitutional, the Sheriff can refuse to enforce it. Then the 5th Court of Appeals in New Orleans has its' say. If they say it is NOT unconstitutional, the Sheriff must enforce it. Finally, the US Supreme Court gets the final bite of the apple. Depending on how that goes, the Sheriff is required by law to enforce the law if SCOTUS says it is okay, or not if they say the opposite.

The thing is, though, that the Sheriff does not get to say, "Hey! That law is not constitutional." If he thinks it is, perhaps he can file the lawsuit. If he remains as Sheriff, however, he has to go along with the courts' decisions about the legally enacted laws and statutes of the US and of the State and County. He is not a judge of constitutionality.

Thank God.


Every cop picks and chooses laws to enforce every day. There are so many regulations that if you look hard, you could write just about anybody up for something. Having the "little local people" pick and choose has pros and cons, as it helps avoid oppression by the feds but also enables favoritism.

Of course a jury can also decide to ignore laws, too, and sometimes do. Jury nullification used to be more prominent than it is now, from what I've read. We had it happen locally and the judge was really quite angry that people wouldn't convict on quite solid evidence. It has its pros and cons as well.

Very little about the law is black and white, and lawyers are probably quite happy with eternal shades of gray.

So these policies were Ok under a regime they could trust, but now are Tyrannical?

For some, sure. But others have been rather constant over the years. Like Richard Mack. Mack's rap hasn't changed much as far as I can tell.

There was Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff who had refused to enforce the Brady Law in the mid-'90s

While the Brady bill was in 1994 - Brady was shot on Reagan's watch and the process started then and took time to get passed.

The paranoia among the hard-right is very worrisome. It has always existed but it always gets worse when a Democrat is in the White house. It is odd how they so willingly accept losses of civil liberties (Patriot Act) when a Republican is in office.

It is odd how they so willingly accept losses of civil liberties (Patriot Act) when a Republican is in office.

Exactly. Because it's never really been about "principles", it's always about which tribe wins the election. The 'baggers were astonishingly tolerant of all sorts of horrible abuses of power as long as it was OUR GUY and he was mainly doing it against all the BAD PEOPLE who aren't "real Americans" (Democrats, non-whites, gay people, liberals, women using birth control, pot-smokers, environmentalists... oh, and terrorists too). But when it's ENEMY LIBUHRALS threatening to tread on our freedoms, whoa there! Get my Bible and guns, ma --we're headin' for the hills!

Why don't we just face facts: it was all about having an African-American in the White House. That's what it boils down to. It was never about principles, or reality, or anything else other than tribal, purposefully inflamed, hatred.

It's so ironic, isn't it, given that Obama has done everything humanly possible to prop up BAU. These are the times we live in.

I weep for my country.

While I remember there was some kind of 'keep your oath' movement after 2001 - alas I don't remember what it was called and the "Oath Keepers" is a 2009 creation per the internet.

So your claim is supported - lets see if these 'keepers of an oath' stick around after the present person in charge leaves office.

Hi, eric,

You may be thinking of the Promise Keepers, an evangelical Christian all-male group founded in 1990: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promise_Keepers

Naw, I'd swear there was a 2002is timeframe group that did a 50,000 to 100,000 person rally in Washington.

It might have been tied to Richard Mack - but I don't feel like jumping down another rabbithole by reading up on Mack.

I think its less about the race of the president, than his party. These are just people who take conservative talk radio too seriously. So they and up believing the stock and trade conspiracies. His race just makes it more believable for them. But even if it were say Hillary, there would still be a similar (although probably smaller) movement. Its the downside of the fragmentation & consumer choice in media. Significant sectors become echo chambers, and the residents of those echo chambers drift further and further from reality. Especially if the way to get attention is to be even crazier than the other guy. So you get a kind of race to the craziest.

The Teabaggers got started protesting the bank bailouts, TARP, which occurred under Bush. Obama hasn't done anything to clean up the bank system and prosecute the fraud so why should the Teabaggers like him any better?

Yeah, if you want to get your blood pressure up, watch this week's Frontline: The Untouchables. It's a from-the-horses-mouth expose` of how The Street fleeced America.

Nova, this week, Rise of the Drones may have folks looking up. Skynet in gestation?

There were 9/11 truthers in the 2006 timeframe using a tea party name/trade dress WRT 9/11.


In fact, Manny’s awakening came at the Tea Party for 9/11 Truth in Boston on December 15 and 16 in 2007. That 2007 event and the original one-day Tea Party for 9/11 Truth held on the cobblestones outside historic Faneuil Hall on December 15, 2006, were conceived originally by Barbara Honegger and carried out with the help of her fellow progressives.

And before the bailouts/TARP there was the Ron Paul 'tea party' stuff from 2007.
From the above link:

historic Faneuil Hall — that had been reserved by the progressive organizers for both weekend days, Dec. 15 and 16, was used by Libertarian Ron Paul for a fundraising event for his then presidential campaign on the 16th. When one of Paul’s Boston activists called the Hall to try to reserve it and was told that both days had already been taken by the Boston Tea Party for 9/11 Truth, he called one of the organizers and begged to be able to have the Hall for one of the two days. The organizer relented and allowed Ron Paul to use the hall on Sunday, Dec, 16.

This history is the key to understanding where the original Tea Party idea came from — it came from Barbara Honegger and her passionately independent Progressive allies.

I agree Obama hasn't done squat about bringing banksters to justice or even re-regulating them, but the Tea Party didn't get started until Rick Santelli's famous rant on February 19, 2009 --one month into Obama's 1st term. Naturally, all of the (overwhelmingly conservative) people currently *in* the Tea Party movement today were alive in 2009, but when it came to actually speaking up about Bush II's awful economic policies?

(crickets) chirp, chirp, chirp...

when it came to actually speaking up about Bush II's awful economic policies?

The 9/11 truther 'tea party' had elements who did speak up on that front.

And 'bad economics' is stock and trade of the post Ron Paul Dec 16th 2007 'tea party'. So that version spoke out more.

Santelli's rant just made the MSM is all. A weakly organized and funded group called 'tea party' was changed yet again into what one now sees.

Are you sure it's paranoia? My experience with the Government leads me conclude that there is considerable truth to the concerns. Back in the early 1970's, I worked on a project which had a high level of classification. Later, during the Watergate Hearings, it was revealed that there were perhaps as few as 4 people in Congress who knew what I was doing. It's been 20 years since the Soviet Union collapsed, yet, we still classify massive quantities of material, most of which hides the truth from the general public, not from some enemy which presents an existential threat to our survival. The US spends more than the next 10 countries combined on our military and maintains a large number of "bases" around the globe, more than 900, as I recall. The US has become an empire and empires tend to assume as much power and control over their populace. One recalls the old saying: "All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Of course, if the twin problems of Peak Oil and Climate Change are as serious as some have claimed, it may turn out that we will find it impossible to enjoy the "freedom" and "Liberty" of earlier times. I for one see no easy way forward, especially if the economy collapses and a large fraction of the population suddenly has no way to earn a living to provide the necessities for life. Government coercion and repression would likely be seen as necessary by those in power...

E. Swanson

Our government has certainly done some bad things. And they are doing bad things right now. But there is very little concern about those things.

On the other hand, if you are are worried about most of the stuff Alex Jones or Glenn Beck rants about . . . yes, that is paranoia.

Who said anything about Glen Beck? I've noticed that many of those of Tea Party persuasion are ex-military. Perhaps those guys see something going on which you have missed in your life. As an educated man with a legal background, have you ever read "The Pentagon Papers" or other description of the long US involvement in Vietnam before John Kennedy? Does it bother you that the US has a habit of invading other nations with little obvious cause, the most recent example being Iraq? Our drone tactics are extra judicial killings, quite similar to assassination, also being conducted against peoples in other nations. One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Or, has the US PTB decided (behind closed doors) that Islam represents an existential threat to the "American Way of Life" (tm), GHW Bush...

E. Swanson

Naw, what worries the thieves at the top is Iranian technology.


One of Iran’s official press agencies published photos showing the public amputation of a thief's fingers on Wednesday. These show a man getting his finger chopped off with a machine resembling a rotary saw.

Too High Tech. The French solution during their revolution was much more effective. No electricity required and the results were permanent...

E. Swanson

But that's the problem . . . they don't care about those things. They don't care about the fact that Iraq did not have stockpiles of WMDs, they don't care about the fact that the Afghan war will never end because our presence makes the GDP about a magnitude larger such that even the Afghanis on 'our side' don't want the war to end because it provides jobs, they don't care about the blowback from drone attacks, etc.

They care about 'Chemtrails' from jets, Fluoridation of water, 9/11 conspiracy theories, Obama being a secret Muslim born in Kenya, the 'NWO', Agenda 21, the Amero, and all sorts of other nonsense.

I had a mixed reaction to their claims. Even though I am the sort of liberal who would be on their most hated list, some of that stuff is true -and some is pure overblown imagination. We really have jumped the shark with the whole war on terror thing. We have chucked out a lot of freedoms and protections to satisfy our unquenchable need to feel safe. Also it has been noted (especially in liberal circles), that Obama's behavior towards secret leakers is especially egregious. Holding Bradly Manning, in solitary confinement, and going after people like Aaron Swartz. So I think they are responding to a mixture of both real and fabricated issues.

Yes, the number of documents being classified has been increasing exponentially. Its much worse than in the seventies. In some way I can understand it, I once did some work in those circles. Basically any scratch paper generated working on a secret project, had to be classified -because it was too hard to prove it didn't contain some reference to a real secret. So the amount of classified stuff -which is really just garbage is immense.

The old theories were also dealt a significant blow

...by new revolutionary events that could not be easily explained by them...

The study of revolutions thus evolved in three directions, firstly, some researchers were applying previous or updated structuralist theories of revolutions to events beyond the previously analyzed... conflicts. Secondly, scholars called for greater attention to conscious agency in the form of ideology and culture in shaping revolutionary mobilization and objectives. Third, analysts of both revolutions and social movements realized that those phenomena have much in common, and a new 'fourth generation' literature on contentious politics has developed that attempts to combine insights from the study of social movements and revolutions in hopes of understanding both phenomena. Revolutions have also been approached from anthropological perspectives. Drawing on Victor Turner’s writings on ritual and performance, Bjorn Thomassen has argued that revolutions can be understood as "liminal" moments: Modern political revolutions very much resemble rituals and can therefore be studied within a process approach. This would imply not only a focus on political behaviour "from below", but also to recognize moments where "high and low" are relativized, made irrelevant or subverted, and where the micro and macro levels fuse together in critical conjunctions.

While revolutions encompass events ranging from the relatively peaceful revolutions that overthrew communist regimes to the violent Islamic revolution in Afghanistan, they exclude coups d'états, civil wars, revolts and rebellions that make no effort to transform institutions or the justification for authority (such as Józef Piłsudski's May Coup of 1926 or the American Civil War), as well as peaceful transitions to democracy through institutional arrangements such as plebiscites and free elections, as in Spain after the death of Francisco Franco.

...I for one see no easy way forward, especially if the economy collapses and a large fraction of the population suddenly has no way to earn a living to provide the necessities for life.... ~ Black_Dog/E. Swanson

As Olduvai's vultures circle overhead...

(cue duotone, dreamy, subtly stark, desolate sequence)
"...Welcome home... It's not much anymore, but it's still home... Nice gun... Any bullets left? Your spear is still in the corner where you left it..." (sound of cicadas and the wind...)

liminal (ˈlɪmɪn ə l)
— adj
psychol relating to the point (or threshold) beyond which a sensation becomes too faint to be experienced ~ dictionary.com

I think that it is cyclical insanity, ever since the Clinton years. The Republicans went crazy in the Clinton years; the Democrats went crazy during the Bush 43 years, and now it's the Republicans' turn again.

Having said that, the HBO program "Newsroom" had a pretty accurate term for some of the crazies in the GOP, "The American Taliban."

Yeah, it did seem like 43 years.

Seemed more like 44.

Not really. Some of us complained about that, too. To no avail, of course.

I was fine with the Afghan war, but mostly out of principle, not the number of deaths. The TSA and HS are the true wins of terrorism. When there are more deaths from medical mistakes than guns, wars, or terrorists, we have our worries misplaced.

Just value each life at about $6M, a generous sum as per gov't policy, and it would be easier to be rational.

I can confirm some of noble_serf's observations. I went to the gun store with my wife to buy a home defense handgun. There was a sign on the door that said due to limited supply, .223 ammo was limited to one box per customer. Their display wall and cases were more empty than not, and they were completely out of self defense 9mm rounds. The gun we wanted was available only in subcompact. The salesman suggested we call them after their truck comes in and buy it via credit card over the phone.

I have to say it all gave me a feeling of foreboding. The reactions people have, and may have to other circumstances in the future... kind of scares me.

Every gun store and gun manufacturer should be thanking Obama. That scary black Kenyan Muslim commie has made them so much money. People get frightened by the most irrational things. If all that money spent on guns went toward something like safety bars and texture stickers for bath tubs, far more lives would be saved. Go figure.

I think his vp Biden gave the best all around advice, which should get a little thanks from store owners. If you're serious about home protection, get a shotgun. Short double barrels if possible. Cheap, easy to aim, easy to get ammo, the original point and shoot.

I gave this advice to a friend ten years ago when he was travelling a lot and leaving his wife home alone out in the boonies. What I said then is still true:

1. Cops can't hit anything most days with a handgun and they are required to practice regularly. Do you really think you can hit a moving target in the dark with a 4" barrelled pistol?

2. Just the sound of a shotgun cocking is so familiar and so scary you probably will never have to see a burgler.

3. Anyone who has ever seen a shotgun pointed at them knows that the size of those barrels can be the scariest thing in the world.

4. Most people don't have the guts to shoot someone anyway so looking and sounding really scary is much more practical.

I'm not so sure. I'm trying to find a recent story from Gwinnett County, GA where a women, fairly new to guns, chased an intruder into her garage and put five bullets into him with a hand gun. That said, for most folks it may come down to how big the holes are in their walls, repair costs and all that. If you start shooting just about any gun in an intruder's general direction, I doubt they're gonna stick around to see if you've been practicing.

I've been in this situation twice (never at my current home). One time I stuck the .357 out the window and fired off a few rounds. I could hear the guys cussing as they busted through the briar patch out back. Probably just kids.

The other time, I put two big holes in my parents' ceiling fan at the top of the stairs. I had shampoo in my eyes, dang it... They caught the guy down the street; said he was selling greeting cards. I was in the Persian Gulf when his trial came up, so he walked.

This was a long time ago so I forget what started the argument in the first place (could have just been that we were Northerners in the South - aka "damned Yankees") but this guy told my mom that "Someone's gonna burn a cross on your yard one day" to which she responded "Isn't that what they make shotguns for?" - never heard a peep from him again.

Kachook, the martial art of the shotgun. We had them to scare off the beasties when they tried to eat the chickens.

She didn't chase him. She hid in the attic with her children. When he opened the door, she shot him.

He did not know she had a gun (may not even have known she was there). His intent was to burglarize the house; he thought no one was home. I'd guess that if she'd just brandished a shotgun, he'd have been out there so fast there would have been a sonic boom.

Thanks, Leanan. Local media stories are hard to follow sometimes. If she had just fired off a couple of rounds into the wall he probably would have fled, but in this case they got the guy. OTTH, she could have spared her children witnessing their mother pumping lead into some guy's face, though I doubt she thought about it that much.

Repeat after me: "I feared for my [childrens'] life!"

jj – I know what you mean. I’ve mentioned before being an NRA safety instructor long ago. For the ones I accepted (the others didn’t satisfy my emotional requirements) I always recommended a pump shot gun. But it was odd how many folks felt more comfortable with a sidearm than a shotgun. Even a 20 gauge often didn’t do the trick. I pitched it more as a safety factor than hitting the target.

Same recommendation to everyone including the very competent calm types: the time honored rock salt load in the first round. You probably know how easy it is to reload a shot shell. Two major safety features IMHO. First, not likely to be lethal in an accidental discharge/wrong target. Second, I often perceived an inability of many to pull the trigger. Even folks who think they can in a scary situation would still hesitate. Fortunately for most folks it just against human nature to take a life. But putting a load of rock salt into the floor is a lot easier for most.

And the follow up rounds with small bird shot. Lethal enough at close range. Not very good at longer ranges but shouldn't be taking such shots anyway. Also same safety consideration as the rock salt: low penetration. To me someone cutting lose with a magnum pistol in an apartment/house that can penetrate 4 or 5 walls and still be lethal is scary. And now thing about someone cutting loose with a Bushmaster with a 30 clip. That’s really scary IMHO.

So, what do you think of a small 20 gauge shotgun? I've been looking at a "young shooters" shotgun. I'm a small woman. I have hands the size of a ten year olds'. I have shot rifle and pistol, all with great difficulty hitting the target because my hands don't reach the trigger and grip comfortably.

Hamster – You’re the perfect candidate for a youth shotgun. I don’t want to be graphic so suffice it to say a 20 gauge loaded with large birdshot is all you need. At 10’ to 15’ you’ll put every pellet into your target. One such round will transfer a lot more energy into your target than several 9 mm rounds. And if they are further away the threat isn’t immediate and you probably shoot fire. Even if not immediately lethal it should incapacitate them. It may be difficult to find such a shotgun with a pistol grip but it’s a better choice than a full butt stock. On some shotguns you can cut the stock off and some you can’t. Another hint: some shotguns can take a flashlight attachment. If not you can just tape a small one on to the barrel. Will look crappy but who cares? LOL. Darkness is such situations is very dangerous.

I’ll emphasize again the best use of such a weapon is as deterrent and not to take someone out. That’s why I say putting a round, even if its bird shot, into the floor will chase 99.9% out of the house. And everyone is more likely to do that than taking a life. Also another bit of advance: don’t go looking for someone if you hear a noise, etc. Walking down a hallway with a shotgun sticking in front of you isn’t a good idea for a number of reasons. Stay where you are in a far corner from the door. Make the bad guy come to you if it’s possible. Towards that end another hint: keep one of those little air horns next to the shot gun. Yelling “whose there?” especially with a woman’s voice isn’t the best. A few loud blasts should chase the great majority away and, in the case of the noise coming from a friendly source, they’ll just wonder why that nutty broad is making all that racket. LOL

Some mfgr. makes a .410 shotgun that isn't just a full-sized gun with the small caliber. It's designed for the small bore and is smaller overall.
The price is higher likely due to lower demand (no, I'm not making a oil related comment) but I think it's a Remington Wingmaster 410. No link 'cause the website isn't working now. Search "Remington" or Wingmaster 410.


Rockman, Tom, Thank you very much.


To me someone cutting lose with a magnum pistol in an apartment/house that can penetrate 4 or 5 walls and still be lethal is scary

Just use different bullets.

Powdered Tungsten.

Every gun store and gun manufacturer should be thanking Obama. That scary black Kenyan Muslim commie has made them so much money. People get frightened by the most irrational things. If all that money spent on guns went toward something like safety bars and texture stickers for bath tubs, far more lives would be saved. Go figure.

... If you're serious about home protection, get a shotgun....

Err, yeah. How about: if you're serious about home protection, get a scary black commie Muslim president that just might make a half-baked effort to at least get rid of military assault weapons from US streets.

Dear US citizens, personally I believe there's much to admire about your country, but you'll have to take it on faith most other western countries stand bemused by the acceptance of guns, and the inevitable slaughters that happen in America.

That being said, I'm probably biased here, being a ex-Tasmanian cop. As a cop, I saw far more cases of guns being misused rather than offering some sort of protection. And Tasmania was the scene of Australia's worst gun massacre at Port Arthur. After that horrific event, gun laws where considerably tightened in Australia, and gun violence since has dropped.

I am hoping that all the Americans with guns simply find that ammunition will be scarce and scarcer as the financial and economic problems get worse. There will be people with enormous SUVs and no gasoline, huge McMansions stranded miles from any food and water, and they will have a set of many weapons, but no ammunition.....

Obama will hopefully succeed in his efforts at gun control, but Mother Nature will definitely succeed at her efforts at gun control. Of course, the time frame may be lengthy, I have no idea about it, I suppose other people here have been speculating about "when currency ceases to be effective" and all the rest.

I think a lot of the guns will be just useless as time goes by, like the cars, the empty factories, etc. People will stop moving around so much with cars and live more locally and that will make people have closer ties and be more limited in their actions. Not to mention hunger getting in the way, poverty, etc.

Probably the fantastical distances that Americans travel every day and think is normal also sponsor fears and irrational panic about being alone.

I am hoping that all the Americans with guns simply find that ammunition will be scarce and scarcer as the financial and economic problems get worse

You overestimate collapse and underestimate the production capacity of factories of this world. I think even a crumbling decrepit industrial civ has enough resources to make a hundred bullets for every living soul on this planet. I expect guns industry to boom going forward not scale down. Guns are banned here but if it was ever made legal, everyone would buy one (whoever can afford), no one trusts the cops down here.

"The men are talking below-deck, sir
They're talking mutiny
It's your responsibility to steer the ship
It's just sea-sickness, sir..."

~ Sleepy Town Manufacture (Russian electronica)

I'm not at all afraid of being alone, but of large groups of unreasonable people acting in concert.

About 14 billion rounds of ammo are produced per year; a bit less than half in the US. Until there are a lot fewer people, I doubt that number goes down. In professional warfare, 100,000 bullets are fired per casualty, but in civilian squabbles and banditry, the ratio goes down a lot. Still, almost all ammo is used either in practice drill or cover fire.

Poverty will likely change the mix of ammo and guns produced. A 7.62mm round costs more than a buck apiece in small quantities. 5.56mm is maybe half that. .22 rimfire is more like $.02 per round, in boxes of a few hundred. But many people already have reloader tools, and can quite cheaply reload their own rifle ammo, trading time to save money.

"A 7.62mm round costs more than a buck apiece in small quantities. 5.56mm is maybe half that."

If you can find them in stock .223/5.56 is going for twice that, or more. Crazy. I've seen crappy FMJ imports going for about $17/box of 20, but even in bulk, decent rounds are going for over a dollar each (~$640/500). Many sites are sold out even at these prices.

I haven't even looked recently. I think I have enough for now, though I do kick myself for not buying 10x more in 2008. Would have been a better investment over the past year than gold or silver for sure! Sell 20 rifles and put a kid through college.

Here, I understand Academy gets about 6 to 10 assault rifles per shipment. People wait in line for the 6:30a.m. arrival, and a store clerk takes the first 10 names, and they get to pick first-come, first-serve. Nobody knows what brands or models will arrive, but they get bought anyway.

With law enforcement officers encouraging folks to arm themselves, prices could go even higher:

Wisconsin Sheriff: Calling 911 No Longer Best Option

In his latest radio spot, Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. tells residents personal safety isn't a spectator sport anymore, and "I need you in the game."

"With officers laid off and furloughed, simply calling 911 and waiting is no longer your best option," Clarke intones.

"You could beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back."

Clarke urges listeners to take a firearm safety course and handle a firearm "so you can defend yourself until we get there."

"You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We're partners now. Can I count on you?"

Ha! I don't fit under the bed anymore ;-/

"A shotgun would keep you a lot safer – a double barrel shotgun – than the assault weapon in somebody's hand who doesn't know how to use it, even one who does know how to use it.

You know. *Points to the camera*


This is a fascinating (and large PDF - 84 pages) article by the Global Head of Research of one of the UK's biggest financial brokerages, While I don't agree with it in its entirety, it is a breath of fresh air that someone has finally published an article that puts the pieces together and reveals (what he believes to be) the truth. http://ftalphaville.ft.com/files/2013/01/Perfect-Storm-LR.pdf

I will be intersted to see how much, if any, air time this gets, and how the TPTB respond.

TODers can assist by reading the article and forwarding the link to any reasonably intelligent adult. At the very least, I'd want this to be mandatory reading for every politician, economist, banker, teacher, etc in the world (a modest ask!).

I'd be interested in TODers' opinions of the EROEI discussion, and in particular the estimates given for the various energies. For me, the following appeared out of line:

Hydropower: high 90's EROEI seems too high
Nuclear: EROEI of below 10 seems too low (whatever your view of whether nuclear is desirable or not)
Current Oil & Gas: EROEI of below 10 seems too low given that it excludes tar sands and shale oil/gas
Shale gas: seems way too low at EROEI of close to 1
PV: seems too low at EROEI of circa 5

On the whole, therefore, I'm sceptical that EROEI is curently as low as Dr Morgan suggests. However, given his prognosis of economic collapse within a decade, maybe that's not such a bad thing....

Haven't read it yet, but I can say that we are selling new REC solar PV panels that claim to have a 1 year energy payback.

They will be producing electricity for 30, 40, 50 years or more. So the EROEI is 40 or 50? I guess you have to factor in the wire, aluminum mounting stuff, etc. that comprise a functioning system.

So EROEI of 20 or 25 then maybe? REC is a Norwegian company. Panels are mostly made in Washington state. Either way isn't that hydro power supplying the energy? What's the EROEI on hydropower making PV panels?

"REC is a Norwegian company. Panels are mostly made in Washington state. "

The Silicon is made in Washington state. The panels are made in Singapore. Not China, which may shortly become important depending on how the trade wars work out.

I'm looking forward to the next big TOD discussion on renewable energy. Not sure what will trigger it ;)

In case of PV, at the moment you have an energy return of around 10, you have to factor in some contributions:

1) Most people calculate the PV only for 20 years, production life should be 30 years or more.

2) Modern production will reduce the energy input.

3) There are no hard data on recyling of the silicium, only the other metals (aluminium, steel) are used at the moment.

In case of wind I see the siruation very relaxed:

1) Modern WTGs have already a energy return of 40-70 in 20 years; with recycling of steel, copper, burning of the rotor blades and useage of the concrete in construction you get 60-90. (Data of German Wind Energy Association BWE).

2) Most of the primary energy for a WTG goes into the tower (concrete, steel). These towers have a projected life time of more than 40 years. In the past they were usually scrapped when the gears and rotors were worn out and pelaced by higher ones. If the height of towers will not incraase much further due to legal and technical limitations (cranes), there is no reason that the tower is used at least twice.

3) There are promising field tests of wooden towers for onshore WTGs. These have a much better energy balance than concrete/steel and are assumed to be cheaper.

So a combination of 2) and 3) will IMHO drive the EROEI of wind turbines in the range of >120, which is more than we need.

A longer PV calc only makes much difference if the discount rate is very low, and that's not the case. But then, in a non-growth world, it probably would be.

Discount rate, do you mean degradation of modules, i.e.lower output per year? According to Fraunhofer this is less than 0.5% for crystalline PV, so after 20 years you still have more than 90% of the initial power.

I'm more concerned about degraded insolation due to climate change than degraded panel output.

I wonder,, if a system is grid-tied and under contract to a utility, can the owner depreciate (on their taxes) the cost of the system by by 0.5% per year. Production degradation due to climate change?

The thing I read about wooden towers, was that because they are shipped in pieces, the limitation on tower diameter (which limits height) imposed by transport can be relaxed, so we could then go higher -and presumably larger.

That has been posted before. There's some discussion in the previous Drumbeat.

The report swipes a lot of graphs from this site without citation, and I gather the staff is not pleased.

It was obvious to me that the author had gained a lot of insight from The Oil Drum. While plagiarism is never a good thing and attribution of credit to TOD and its contributors would have been welcome, I think, on balance, that it's good that the message gets disseminated to a wider audience than those of us who read TOD on a frequent basis.

I'd add that anyone googling EROEI is going to end up here, and a short perusal of the history of EROEI discussions here will make it abundantly clear where Morgan got his insights from.

Notwithstanding, I missed the previous Drumbeat discussion, and will search for it. Please feel free to kill off this thread if it's just a rehash of previous discussion...

Wow. But at least many of the concepts elucidated here will receive attention from a more mainstream audience. I was thinking the staff should ask the author to post here so it could be scrutinized through the usual TOD meat grinder as Alan from Big Easy used to say. Guess that may not be in the cards since he is apparently a plagiarizer. Were they charts original to TOD? Wonder if same charts might have been available elsewhere. At least the author has good taste when it comes to charts.

I don't know that I'd go so far as to call him a plagiarist. At least not an intentional one. Posts here are covered under a Creative Commons license that allows people to adapt and redistribute, as long they give credit, and the new work is also distributed with a similar Creative Commons license. Perhaps he didn't understand those restrictions.

On the one hand, he's working for a for-profit company. OTOH, he distributing this particular report for free. I think they're asking him to give proper attribution.

Sorry, the guy has an academic title (Dr.) which requires research. Therefore, he should know the whole drill: everything that is not your own picture, compilation or conclusion is published with a correct reference, it's that simple. And it does not hurt do add in the acknowledgment something like "Thanks are due to the forum member of ....".

I agree - he should know enough to give some acknowledgement. In fact, I have to wonder why he didn't.

NFE, this is indeed a great article, especially in pointing out the importance of EROEI. Though it does get crude oil reserves terribly wrong, the article points out that reserves aren't the main point. What Dr. Morgan got wrong:

The classic Hubbertian argument is that oil production must soon enter an inexorable decline, because half of the world’s originally-recoverable petroleum has already been extracted. The first flaw in this argument is that it is simply not true. The application of the Hubbert thesis at this point implies that reserves were of the order of 2,200 bn bbls (billion barrels). Ample evidence exists to suggest that the originally recoverable reserves base was at least 3,000 to 3,500 bn bbls, and very possibly much larger.

All this extra oil is mostly hype. Deep sea oil is not fulfilling the promise it once made. Reserves are way smaller than originally estimated and decline much faster than originally anticipated. Oil sands and bitumen reserves are indeed quite large but can never be extracted at a rate that will equate them with conventional reserves. And indeed conventional reserves may turn out to be way less than the 2,200 billion barrels originally stated. That figure assumes that OPEC stated reserves are accurate. However:

Opec believed to overstate oil reserves by 70%

Analysts at a New York-based research firm believe that the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (Opec’s) global oil reserve statements could be inflated by as much as 70%.

That would put OPEC reserves at around 360 billion barrels. Non-OPEC reserves are put at 282 billion barrels so remaining world proven reserves are about 642 billion barrels. Assuming that 300 billion barrels are yet to be found, though it is not likely to be anywhere near that figure, that would put remaining reserves at less than 1 trillion barrels.

But he does make amends:

These arguments – and the apparent scale of remaining recoverable reserves – have generally enabled peak oil sceptics (sometimes known as ‘cornucopians’) to counter the Hubbertians and thereby, in general, to win the public debate. In so doing, they are providing the right answers to the wrong question. The critical issue with peak oil does not hinge around remaining reserves. Rather, the critical issues are energy returns on energy invested (EROEI) and deliverability.

Ron P.

What impressed me most about the article was how Morgan tied everything to energy (correctly in my opinion). He made the point that fiat money is essentially an "energy token", at least that's how I read it.

I hope the article is read widely by people in power and even more widely by "normal people" - it's one of those "the emperor has no clothes" moments and has the potential to open the debate about "energy and our future" to a much wider audience.

Perhaps the staff at TOD might contact Tullett Prebon, point out the plagiarism (for lack of a better word), ask for some acknowledgement in the article, and perhaps a contribution to running costs...

EROEI is fraught with issues that I have posted a couple of times already.

EROEI is not a panacaea, but it provides very useful and relevant perspectives on comparing energy sources.

Do you think it's 'fundamentally' flawed, or are you bothered by some limitations in its analysis or application?

Jokuhl – I don’t think the concept of EROEI is flawed. But I think some folks tend to use it in inappropriate comparisons at time. IMHO you can’t compare the EROEI of drilling an Eagle Ford well to building a dam in Oregon. First, the company drilling well doesn’t care what the EROEI is of their projects…probably isn’t even familiar with the term. It’s even more complicated than just utilizing rate of return for a public company because they are also factoring the effect on the stock value from booking (or not) additional proven reserves. Second, ignoring the first point, no one builds a dam expecting to recover 100% of their investment in a couple of years. Same could be said for any other major alt project. Payout could be 5+ years. OTOH the revenue stream from that alt could last for many decades while the other project has a life span of just a few years. Third, what if a dam project and a nuclear plant have the same EROEI? For one thing not everyone can build a dam in their area. Not going to be a lot of hydro plants in FL. And not everyone is going to want a nuke plant in their back yard.

I’m sure you can see where I’m going. Perhaps on paper one can estimate that A has a better EROEI than B which is better than C. But if A can’t be built in the same area that B can be done does it matter if A has a better EROEI? And if someone projects a better ROR for C (and ROR is their priority) than B’s better EROEI won’t matter. And if the only business Company X does is investing in C’s and doesn’t even use the EROEI metric in their decision making process does it matter if C has the lowest EROEI. Folks can offer all day long that Chesapeake could improve the EROEI of their efforts greatly by not drilling shale wells, liquidating the company and start making wind turbines. But even if that's true it isn’t going to happen, is it?

These points are, of course, right on. How you treat an EROEI number is highly dependent upon context, and the highs and lows of it alone usually can't simply be translated as GOOD/BAD or BUY/SELL ..

But the other side is to remember that what EROEI provides IS its own context, or a way to understand each source within a raw energy frame precisely because it is a relationship that has generally been, up to now, easy to ignore and discount.

.. So as that all goes, I think you CAN compare the EROEI of very different sources to have a sense of where they are going. It's not all about cost and profitability, which will see Tulips making people rich right up to the last Bud.. but for less mercenary goals.

Sorry for the late reply. Here are some of the issues with EROEI
(not living off ad clicks, that's for sure!)

...you can’t compare the EROEI of drilling an Eagle Ford well to building a dam in Oregon.


Why not? I mean, isn't that the whole point of establishing EROEI? If it takes 1 or more measures of energy to create one unit of energy, there is no reason to do it. EROEI of greater than 1 is good, and the higher the better.

Or are you saying that you think EROEI can only be compared, oil : oil, hydroplant : hydroplant, or wind farm : wind farm?

Or, more likely were you just saying that you cannot compare an individual EF well to an individual dam project?

In my view, for the purpose of establishing policy, whether economic or political, there should be a measure of return that covers all of the alternatives, so that the better energy source is chosen - be it for profitability or sustainability. Of course, you may have a new field with tremendous pressure where they just stick the old straw into the ground and the EROEI for that individual well or field is quite good. In which case, of course, you are correct. I just think, though, that measuring overall oil production and gauging whether oil production per-se has higher overall EROEI than wind, solar, or hydro is a valid point in establishing economics and policy.


Why not? I mean, isn't that the whole point of establishing EROEI?

Sort of like a Standard Model of EROEI? hey if physicists are almost there with being able to bring the four forces Strong, Weak, Electro-Magnetic and gravity together into a single equation, EROEI should be a sinch! >;-)

Zap - one can compare goats to helicopters but towards what end ? LOL. IOW if the EROEI of a nuke is much better (or worse) tha for a shale well what difference does it make? I'll never build a nuke plant and my local utility will never drill a shale well. It may be an interesting a academic exercise but where is the practical use of the answer? Some of the debates remind me of the discussion of how history would have changed if Superman had fought on the side of the Nazis...why argue about it one way or the other. OTOH discussing the difference in the EROEI of two different methods of making solar panels has some merit. OTOH if a company decides to make their panels using the lower EROEI method does it still make a difference other than to find fault with the choice? Consider how's many. $billions have been spent drilling shale wells which are easily shown to have a lower EROEI than a typical conventional well. That fact hasn't changed the game.

I really dislike the use of the term "Hubbertians". If we are Hubbertians, peak oil can be discredited by discrediting Hubbert. And frankly, Hubbert got a lot wrong, so it's not too tough. I would rather peak oil be grounded in geology and economics, not personality.

It's analogous to Creationists referring to anything and everything evolution as "Darwinian". It's a pathetic rhetorical fail.

Well I'd certainly be called a Hubbertarian than a Creationist. Some things are too demeaning to tolerate.

I would prefer to be called a Hubbertarian.

ts - If they want to tag us with a silly name why stop halfway: I like "hubbies". LOL. We could bill ourselves as "compassionate Hubbertarians”. Didn’t work for the bush baby but we ain’t him either

Or 'hubblies'. Like 'wobblies' :-)

If you're a "hubbie" and work in telecommunications, does that make you a "telehubbie"?

If you believe we're living in an energy bubble you're a "hubbly-bubbly".

Actually, we want an energy revolution so we should be "Hubbelistas".

My god that's adorable. Stop it, guys, you're killing me! ;)

What Hubbert got wrong, he got wrong by having very little computing power at his command, and using numerical methods suitable for graph paper and slide rules.

Not something to be embarrassed about.

He also had access to very limited data and no knowledge of the technical advancements that would be achieved. But despite those issues, he came up with a pretty good estimate.

His number for the USA was pretty accurate. But his world-wide estimate was not good . . . why? Because with USA conventional oil running low, we just switch over to foreign conventional oil but with world-wide conventional oil running low, we have moved on to unconventional oil . . . something he did not foresee. If you only look at conventional oil, even his world-wide estimate was decent. But unconventional oil burns just fine in our cars.

Reading the guy's biog


I can't help feeling that TOD needs better publicists than this. Reading between the lines I guess he is the son of a weathly stockbroker who paid his way into top university and then spent 20 years working for companies that owed his dad a favour. Having finally got bored with this and realised the implications of peak oil and limits to growth in general, he has decided to make a name publicising it. However, he finds it hard to break a habit of a lifetime and simply claimed the work on TOD contributors as his own. Sorry for the ad hominem, but I've met a lot like this, living in Cambridge.

Apology accepted but I fail to see the reason for this attack. Do you have substantive criticisms of this article which, if true, has profound implications for the future of civilization.

I have mixed feelings.

It's a genuinely good paper that sums up the big picture. The more people we have who understand this, the better.

On the other hand, it comes from an investment firm. Now, think about it. If you genuinely understand the big picture, most likely you are going to keep your money in cash, precious metals, maybe buy a plot of land. You are unlikely to ever buy a stock or bond ever again in your life.

This puts any investment type people in a bind when they research and realize stuff like this, which they are often trained to do. It's like a car salesman who realizes he's selling overpriced junk, but in the end he still has to talk his book.

As a general rule, I don't trust anybody in the investment business. They peddle snake oil and make it seem legitimate.

This puts any investment type people in a bind when they research and realize stuff like this... ~ energyblues

Practically everyone's in a bind. That's lock-in.
People are doing things based on the system's own internal logic-- truly in the matrix.

They-- 'We'-- are knowingly shoveling coal into the runaway steam train of our own demise, while helping it along by capturing and holding others hostage-- themselves feeding the boiler of that same train and holding yet others hostage. Like everyone pointing a gun to everyone else's head: A perpetual stalemate sliding slowly down a slippery-slope toward a precipice we see and can do something about.
But we don't.

Constitutions essentially are simply sets of rules for other kinds of caves. Institutional control.

Fiction pales by comparison. We need to become our own super'men and truly break free, or we continue to hold even-- or especially-- our own children hostage to a future at the bottom.

"...Like car-parts, bottles and cutlery... I wonder what my body would sound like, slamming against those rocks... I go through all this before you wake up..." ~ Bjork, Hyperballad

The world has extracted about 1.2 trillion barrels of crude oil to date. If the remaining proven reserves are about 642 billion barrels and the peak occurs today, then the peak would occur when 65% of the oil is extracted. I have doubts that world production would be shifted that far from 50% making me think it is more likely that world URR is over 2 trillion barrels of crude oil.

I tried to access this when it came up the other day. I get this error: "Failed to read the document catalog" I use Ubuntu (though know nothing about it...) Can anyone give any tips or send this to me in an accessible format? Thx.

The default pdf downloader/reader for Ubuntu is "evince". Make sure it is installed via Ubuntu Software Center (do a search and install the latest evince), or go to the terminal and enter sudo apt-get install evince-gtk, or:


Good luck ;-)

Also, go to "Software Up To Date" in the tools pulldown (top right corner) and be sure all updates are installed, Firefox especially, if you use Firefox.

In case Ghung's suggestion doesn't solve the problem, I have downloaded a copy of the PDF file and can forward it as an attached file to an email. Contact me at my posted email address and I'll reply with the file attached. You will still need to be able to open a PDF document on your Linux machine.

And as another option Adobe actually has a PDF reader that will work on Ubuntu too. Select Linux, English, and the .deb file. You should be able to double-click it once downloaded and follow the prompts. I've run it successfully on Ubuntu versions going back to 8, if I recall.

Now granted, some Linux purists will object to anything Adobe, but the Reader is free. ;)

*cough* evince *cough*

Thx all. Latest evince was already installed. Don't want to clutter the thread with further software issues, so have asked Fred to send it along, and will work on whatever the issue is. I download pdfs all the time. It's just this one doesn't want to open. Thx again.

Since the process of adjustment began in the early 1980s, the officially-reported CPI-U number has diverged ever further from the underlying figure calculated on the traditional methodology. ...
Instead of the 3.2% number reported for 2011, for example real inflation was probably at least 7%. Worse still, the official numbers probably understate the sharp pick-up in inflation which America has been experiencing. A realistic appreciation of the inflationary threat would be almost certain to have forced very significant changes in monetary policy.

NFE, I think the discussion (on page 46) of the "real" inflation rate being significantly higher than the government's adjusted values is right on the mark. I think a lot of us little citizens are experiencing much higher inflation than the government leads us to believe we are.

Does anyone want to comment on the author's estimated 7% versus the offical 3.2% 2011 inflation rate?

Best hopes for making the inflation index more accurate.

I agree that "real" inflation is decidedly higher than official government statistics. this is equally true in the UK (where I live).

Morgan gives the answers as to why governments cannot afford to make inflation indices more accurate: they are already essentially bankrupt, and reflecting real inflation numbers would increase liabilities...

I somewhat agree with his view that hyperinflation is coming. My personal view is that it's more likely to be something I call hyper-stagflation - I've been expecting this for the last five years though it;'s building more slowly than I anticipated.

Higher interest rates will make many mortgages (and other loans) unaffordable, especially as wage settlements continue to fail to keep pace with real inflation. A real concern is that official inflation will maintain its 50% track to real inflation. If that's already a problem at 7% vs 3.2%, imagine what it would be like at, say, 15% vs 7.5%. They keys to many assets will be thrown back to the banks, thereby enabling the 1% (or 0.1%)to continue to accrue real capital assets in exchange for writing off worthless paper loans.

There's so much to say around these issues I feel I could write a book, but I'm interested to hear others' views

My sense is that new debt created at the top by the Fed does ultimately flow out into the financial economy as inflation, but that the inflation gets heavily focused in particular asset classes. Hence the dot com and housing bubbles.

The investor class can get it's paws on lots of capital via this sort of debt creation, but finding a place to put it where it will provide the kinds of yields they expect gets trickier and trickier in the real economy. Thus when something starts to heat up they seem to pile on, until the whole business topples over.

Also, after the most recent implosion at least some of the new debt went to paper over the big bank's busted balance sheets too, of course.

So long as all of that money doesn't actually flow out into the real economy I think it unlikely we'll get hyperinflation. From what I can tell all the new stuff from the various QEs is just flowing into the global derivatives markets, where again not much of it impacts the real economy, though some certainly does (commodities, etc)

Just my two bits, FWIW.

It looks like the Hedge Funds are using a lot of it to buyout foreclosed housing inventory...

They are trying to lock up that market. My sister said her friends knew of that happening in Clearwater, Florida for one example where it is very difficult to get a distressed property sale despite the collapse in housing prices and high rate of foreclosures there. See Mike Whitney for details on this:


Now get a load of this from Dr Housing Bubble:

“The last few years have seen a large amount of buying come from investors. Nearly one third of all sales were investor based. This is incredibly hard to find historical data on a normal figure here but I would venture to guess that it is around the 10 percent range for the nation. In California, foreign demand makes up this portion alone:

“(OC Register) The National Association of Realtors estimated that foreign buyers accounted for 11 percent of California home sales.

The California Association of Realtors, however, pegged foreign sales at 5.8 percent of the state’s transactions. Of those, 39 percent of the buyers come from China, followed by buyers from Canada (13 percent), and from India and Mexico (8.7 percent each), CAR reported.”

Last month over 33 percent of buyers in Southern California paid all cash for their purchases, tying a previous historical record set a few months ago. The monthly average since 2000 is closer to 17 percent so we are nearly double that.” (“What constitutes a healthy housing market?” Dr Housing Bubble)

Do you think a 33% investor share of housing sales is a sign of a healthy market?

This is why we are still in deep, deep trouble despite all the handwaving about the imminent recovery and housing market recovery. It is nonsense! Investors are buying up real housing assets subsidized by the Fed to collect future rents with no real production involved as in investing in Green Transit, energy efficiency or even old fashioned manufacturing. This will not bring back either the housing market or the economy. Sooner or later there has to be further "corrections"....

From a buyer's perspective, why would we want to bring back the housing market. There are positive aspects to the market crash such as letting in some people who would otherwise not have been able to afford a new house. Depends on whether you are talking about existing or new houses but even with new houses, I just see the same unsustainable suburban sprawl. We invest in the housing market because there is very little tangible produced in America anymore. The Fed heavily invests in mortgage back securities as a way to further bring down interest rates. Would rather see the FED invest in something that will provide some sustainability over the long run.

"I somewhat agree with his view that hyperinflation is coming."

To get hyperinflation wages have to go up. Not much leverage for that.

Hyper-impoverishment, where prices on necessities run up while wages do not seems more likely. Maybe even probable.


I think "Hyper-impoverishment" is a better name, but this has all the markings of the classic "Stagnation-Inflation" or "Stagflation."

Coincidentally the last time Stagflation occurred was during the oil shocks.

Why Congress Is Paralyzed: A Scientific Explanation

Here, perhaps, is part of why Congress is paralyzed: A person with power is more likely to think he or she has a better moral compass than the rest of us. We see shades of gray. The powerful see black and white.

That's the central finding of a new study from researchers at the University of Southern California and Stanford University who say the acquisition of power makes a person on the rise think they see with greater "moral clarity." They may think that, but they may be wrong.

Huh. And here I thought politicians tended to espouse black and white viewpoints because they thought that's what we wanted to hear. The idea that they might really believe it is kind of unnerving.

Feels at least to me worse than simple black or white polarization. The Government all parties seem to now not want to make ANY decisions and instead consantly hedge. It's one thing for a group to vote yes, another to vote no, one side wins and we move on. But that's not whats happening either a lot of people abstain from the vote or worse yet the issue never even comes to a vote. In business who do you trust more someone who sometimes makes bad decisions or someone who tries not to have to make any decisions?

The Government all parties seem to now not want to make ANY decisions and instead consantly hedge.

Every argument gets cancelled out by the other's and power is balanced by confused voters to the point of neutrality, such that nothing ever gets done. For every political action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Meanwhile trillion dollar deficits just keep piling up and energy concerns are pushed farther into the future. Democracy has turned into a lumbering ineffectual morass.

It's interesting when compared to a link Seraph posted yesterday...

Climate change beliefs of independent voters shift with the weather, another study finds

...implying that independents tend to be wishy-washy about climate change, and other things. I had a hard-core, type A boss that insisted that, politically, one must choose sides; he didn't like that I was an independent. He finally acknowledged that my non-rigid thinking helped the company through some impasses.

I think this explains why there are so few moderates in government these days. People confuse giving complex problems due consideration, especially those without good solutions, as indecision and weakness. Taking a stand, right or wrong, seems to be the norm in this age of complexity and compressed time frames.


That brings up the adage of Lord Acton: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great [people] are almost always bad [people]." (The Germ Theory - of Government). There are several scientific bases for such a hypothesis, and that study is an interesting addition to the list.

But Congress isn't paralyzed. It is doing exceeding well at its job, which is babysitting BAU and gradually whittling away at what remains of the welfare state. Those are the tasks for which TPTB pay the candidates.

Moreover, if the impression that "Democracy has turned into a lumbering ineffectual morass" spreads, perhaps that's what TPTB want, for better acceptance of a future coup?

Who needs a future coup, when you already own everything? The hopelessness just keeps folks from thinking too much.

Or the idea that you give an ordinary person power, and without realizing it he morphs into a hyper-judgemental monster.

It always amazes how economist want to tie the price movements of some oil to factors that actually have little or no influence while there is ample evidence a mouse click or two away on the net. From above:”West Texas Intermediate crude advanced as much as 0.6 percent as German business confidence rose for a third month in January.” Now the reality of what’s going on with WTI and the cause:

“Light Louisiana Sweet (LLS) crude produced in the Gulf of Mexico gained versus West Texas Intermediate as the U.S. benchmark dropped after Seaway pipeline’s ability to ship oil south from the Midwest was limited. EPD said capacity on its Seaway pipeline that links the Cushing, Oklahoma, oil storage hub to the Gulf Coast had run into “unforeseen constraints.”

WTI’s discount to international benchmark Brent increased after Enterprise said in a notice to shippers that deliveries…would be limited to 175,000 barrels a day. The line was in the process of increasing to 400,000 barrels a day.

The spread widened $1.83 a barrel to $17.57 a barrel, based on settlement prices. LLS strengthened by 75 cents to $19.75 above WTI as of 2:31 p.m., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. WTI’s discount to Brent had narrowed to $15.16 Jan. 17 from more than $25 in November after Seaway finished the expansion, increasing the amount of crude oil that shippers can send from the over-supplied depot in Cushing to refineries in the Texas.”

So again, Brent prices have no effect on WTI to any significant level. WTI, as well as LLS prices move according to local supply. In addition to Seaway bringing more Canadian oil down from Cushing another pipeline is being reversed to bring hundreds of thousands of bopd from the Eagle Ford to Gulf Coast refineries. But I’m not certain how much of that will be a net gain or just a switch in transportation method. Much of the US product base comes from LLS. It’s the WTI/LLS relationship folks need to pay attention to. In July 2008 LLS peaked at $135/bbl and then fell to $38/bbl in Feb 2009. But in April 2012 it was back up to $120.60/bbl. I’m barging my Texas crude to Lake Charles and getting LLS less transport charges. But when Seagate started flowing LLS dropped by $25/bbl to $95.50 in July. But now that the constraints on the Seagate line are taking effect LLS is back up to $105-10/bbl.

This is how crude oil is priced in the Gulf Coast be it Canadian, west Texas, Eagle Ford or upper Texas coast/La. It's simple supply/demand pressures. From what I understand east coast refineries are more tied to Brent. But much of the eastern US consumption still comes from GC refineries.

Re : U.S. Will Cap LNG Shipments to Boost Economy, Shell’s Voser Says

The U.S. may export 50 metric million tons a year of LNG by the end of the decade, or about 10 percent of the projected world market, Voser said today in a Bloomberg TV interview in Davos, Switzerland. That’s below the 120 million tons a year he said is predicted by some forecasters and less than Qatar’s current annual production of 77 million tons. "

And how do you reconcile this with below ? :
(from Kjell Aleklett)


During recent months fracking has been promoted as the cure for Peak Oil. It is said that production in the USA is to more than triple. However, the trend that we are now seeing gives no indication that gas production will increase in the near future. To triple production would require the number of drilling rigs to increase to 4000. At the moment, an enormous number of wells must be drilled just to maintain the current production level. David Hughes showed in his presentation that it requires 7641 wells to maintain current production of oil and gas. A doubling of production would require 15,000 new wells per year to hold production constant at that new level.

This time of synchronicity between peak oil and hysterical propaganda/self delusion is really quite sad ... (especially coming from the US)

Maybe there won't be wars over LNG but I'm sure there will be conflict. Already in Australia fertiliser manufacturers are saying to hold off on LNG exports. The companies that drill for coal seam gas (a major input to east coast LNG) want restrictions relaxed. A carbon tax funded plan to replace brown coal fired power stations with gas fired has been cancelled due to fears of gas price escalation.

All this is happening when not a single LNG ship has left the Australian east coast yet. The first is scheduled for late 2014 from Gladstone Queensland. Some are calling for a domestic reservation policy whereby x% of gas production (conventional, shale and CSG) is set aside for domestic use not LNG export. Otherwise the price shock will be too high for domestic industrial customers. Since Japan is slow to restart its nukes the LNG price looks to be at least 3X the price of domestic piped gas, allowing for liquefaction costs.

I also think there will be a second price shock if CNG becomes a major diesel substitute in trucks. Countries that have spare gas for now should be conserving it, not selling it to the highest bidder.

Not to worry. Even if fracking production peaks and falls soon, we have more than enough flatulent federal employees to make up the difference!

Sugar-rich willow can boost biofuels' green credentials

Scientists have identified willow trees that yield five times as much sugar as ordinary varieties, "drastically reducing" the impact of biofuels.

UK researchers found that if the trees grew at an angle, they produced a special kind of wood that resulted in the higher sugar content...

..."The phenomenon we are investigating is a natural phenomenon that is observed in most trees. You get a special type of wood (known as reaction wood) laid down in response to environmental stimuli, such as tipping or wind, which induces these special woods to be formed."

"We found that the trees we tipped, compared with control trees that were not tipped, the different genotypes responded differently. Some of them did not release any additional sugar, even if you tipped them. Yet in others, there were very big differences."

I learned as a boy that tipping cows produces more methane, at least initially, but trees? [sorry] Heating with wood, I've noticed that trees that have been stressed or bent at some point seem to make better fuel. I always assumed that the wood was just more dense. Perhaps there's more to it than that; more calories overall.

Interesting that there seems to be no reference to the 2011 Oak Ridge study. That was published in Energy & Environmental Science according to their ORNL press release.

The higher cellulose-to-lignin ratio in tension wood means greater potential fermentation yields. But lignin has the higher heating value and that is released during the usually more efficient charcoal burn.

In softwoods the reaction wood is produced on the opposite side, and this compression wood is mostly lignin.

Scientists have identified willow trees that yield five times as much sugar as ordinary varieties, "drastically reducing" the impact of biofuels.

Naturally sweet Aspirin?

Corps of Engineers Completes Army's Largest Solar Array Installation

The Energy Savings Performance Contract, or ESPC, project, awarded and managed by the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, provides the sprawling desert base with a new 4.465 megawatt solar photovoltaic system, guarantees energy savings of 35,358M British thermal units per year, and reduces their energy consumption by 10 percent, said Wesley Malone, Huntsville Center project manager


"reduces their energy consumption by 10 percent"

Wow, those PV panels must be magic to reduce energy consumption. ;-)

The PV is just part of the contract. The 10% is probably "gained" by things like hot water temp, room temp and LED lighting. Heck if the base had a server farm that is now in the cloud that would probably "save" 10%by itself.

Makes sense. Just take the appositive phrases out of the paragraph and it reads "The Energy Savings Performance Contract provides the sprawling desert base with a new 4.465 megawatt solar photovoltaic system .. and reduces their energy consumption by 10 percent, said ..."

You guys are quite correct. I misread that sentence.

Billionaires Secretly Fund Attacks On Climate Science

Audit trail reveals that donors linked to fossil fuel industry are backing global warming sceptics

A secretive funding organisation in the United States that guarantees anonymity for its billionaire donors has emerged as a major operator in the climate "counter movement" to undermine the science of global warming, The Independent has learnt.

The Donors Trust, along with its sister group Donors Capital Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is funnelling millions of dollars into the effort to cast doubt on climate change without revealing the identities of its wealthy backers or that they have links to the fossil fuel industry.

Millions of dollars has been paid to Donors through a third-party organisation, called the Knowledge and Progress Fund, with is operated by the Koch family but does not advertise its Koch connections.

The Donors Trust is a "donor advised fund", meaning that it has special status under the US tax system. People who give money receive generous tax relief and can retain greater anonymity than if they had used their own charitable foundations because, technically, they do not control how Donors spends the cash.

... Robert Brulle, a sociologist at Drexel University in Philadelphia, has estimated that over the past decade about $500m has been given to organisations devoted to undermining the science of climate change, with much of the money donated anonymously through third parties.

... Criminal! Plus, they can write it off a a tax-deduction, subsidized by the taxpayers they are screwing.

... and generously supported by legislators.

and generously supporting legislators in kind.

No revelations here, would you really expect otherwise? Or try the first (or last) drumbeat link-on the RGGI initiative. Once again, an expected reaction by the Koch bros.

There are 2 issues : First, to be dedctible, or an allowable contribution for a donor advised fund, the organization that receives the money has to be a qualified charity. Which shouldn't be possible for a PR firm producing disinformation for profit.

Second, there's a whole spectrum of abuses at the donor advised fund level, which the IRS explains at

The new science on viruses indicates that the great majority of them are beneficial to the human species.

So, one has to wonder how they interact with oil.

South Korea Makes Billion-Dollar Bet on Fusion Power

South Korea has embarked on the development of a preliminary concept design for a fusion power demonstration reactor in collaboration with the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in New Jersey.

The project is provisionally named K-DEMO (Korean Demonstration Fusion Power Plant), and its goal is to develop the design for a facility that could be completed in the 2030s in Daejeon, under the leadership of the country’s National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI).

South Korea is already developing the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (K-STAR) project and contributing to ITER, the €15-billion (US$20-billion) experimental reactor being built in Cadarache, France, under the auspices of an international collaboration. K-DEMO is intended to be the next step toward commercial reactors and would be the first plant to actually contribute power to an electric grid.
K-DEMO will serve as prototype for the development of commercial fusion reactors. According to the PPPL, it will generate “some 1 billion watts of power for several weeks on end”, a much greater output than ITER's goal of producing 500 million watts for 500 seconds by the late 2020s.

This article implies that a positive net energy fusion reaction can be sustained within the next decade. Have I missed something? I didn't think that technology is that close to prototype stage.

I didn't think that technology is that close to prototype stage.

Obviously, you haven't followed the subject very closely. Technology has been that close to prototype stage for more than 60 years. Why, the first patent on a fusion reactor was issued in 1946. And according to Wikipedia a pamphlet from the 1970s printed by General Atomic stated that "Several commercial fusion reactors are expected to be online by the year 2000."

Supporters of fusion power have announced it's just around the corner for at least sixty years. Why should we believe them this time?

There has been a lot of work going on regarding the basic science, superconducting magnets, smaller test machines such as the South Korean KSTAR, etc.

Much of the delay in ITER has been due to the multinational politics. In other stories about the South Korean - Princeton collaboration, it is pointed out that similar planning is going on in China, India, and other ITER participants. If ITER goes reasonably well, it is expected that each of the main industrial powers will strike out on its own program to realize commercial fusion reactors. They will be a key competitive advantage well worth a $10 billion bet.

Fusion is the energy source of the future----
And always will be.

*points at big yellow ball in sky*

Fusion works and works now.

(and perhaps one day earthbound fusion will end up as an energy source Just imagine all the Helium balloons!)

*points at big yellow ball in sky*

Fusion works and works now. ~ eric blair

The sun's not good enough.

Man make OWN sun!


Oh so true!


How badly does the rebound effect undercut energy efficiency?


To sum everything up: the rebound effect exists, and it should be taken into account when planning policy and legislation. Taking all the various aspects together, studies estimate the combined effects to be between 20 and 60 percent on a macroeconomic scale. This certainly isn’t negligible, but it shows that improved efficiency will still lead to reduced energy use overall.

So here is an interesting "externality" (an arrogant term) of NG extraction in the Netherlands:
Summary: there have been earthquakes where the NG is extracted but they thought that they would top out at 3.9. As it turns out they think there is a 1 in 14 chance that the next tremor will be 4 or 5. The government has set aside 100mm EUR and/but if they reduce extraction rates by 20% (as suggested by researchers) the government would take a hit of 2.2bn EUR because of reduced gas sales.



Another one? A quick Google finds reports of a major explosion a few days back.

And that was not reported by any mainstream source. Near as I can tell, the original report is from Wingnut Daily - not exactly the most reliable source.

And I have no idea how the rsoe.hu site gets its information.

Explosions happen at industrial sites. Its not like we at TOD will be told what is going on.

WingNut Daily seemed to be implying it was sabotage. Perhaps by Israel or the U.S. Of course, you wouldn't expect anything else from WND. They're always beating the war drums.

implying it was sabotage

Assuming there was an explosion there are 3 framings that can be invoked as 'world concern':

1) Nuclear is dangerous - no one should have it.
2) Sabotage
3) Iran is not responsible enough for fission power.

#3 can invoke things like the IAEA and other 'technical advisors' to address the issue.

#2 - why are some Nation-States allowed nuclear power and others arn't?

#2 is rhetorical? Obviously because nobody was in a position to stop some?

I used to believe that humans should have natural rights, but anymore I'm pretty sure rights go to those who have the power to keep them.

#2 is slightly rhetorical. A framework was put in place - called "The Peaceful Atom". The IAEA reporting from Iran indicates Iran has been following 'the peaceful atom plan'.

If there is sabotage - why are some Nation-States not being allowed to have Commercial Fission energy by other Nation-States?

rights go to those who have the power to keep them.

Rights come from a barrel of a gun?