Tuesday Open Thread

For those other browsers . . . (poor, I know)
I use the "Opera" browser.  :-)

It doesn't use much oil.

So, how energy-intensive is our computer/internet technology?  Remember to include the embedded energy in the infrastructure.  People are finding new ways to splurge on bandwidth faster than "they" can lay down new fiber optics cables.  Should internet access be billed by the byte rather than by a flat rate?

I don't have the numbers handy, but it's a Big Number.  Aside from 50 bazillion PC's and monitors, and more than a few laserjets (which eat electricity like crazy), in many cases you have things like substantial extra energy costs from to air conditioning server rooms.

The actual use of the net likely isn't an energy hog, at least not nearly on the scale with simply having the equipment turned on all the time.

Luckily, Intel and AMD seem to be pushing hard now on bringing out lower-power CPU's, which will help the situation, but not as much as most of us would like, I'm afraid.

I think the Internet uses more electricity than most people realize.  Not your own computer at home, but the server farms that power the likes of eBay and Amazon.  They often have their own power plants, and use the electricity of a small city.

Yes, but if on line shopping, bill paying, etc. saves thousands of car trips, is it a net gain?
No.  In fact, it's been a huge PITA for us infrastructure-builders.  

Online bill-paying doesn't really save car trips.  Few people actually drive to the power company to pay the bill now.  They mail it.  And the mailman comes every day, even if you don't mail anything.  

Online shopping ends up using more oil, not less.  Instead of trucks delivering to malls or Main Streets, and people driving their cars there to do their weekly shopping, you have huge trucks making daily door-to-door deliveries on residential streets.  This creates additional wear and tear on the roads, and more congestion because the local roads were never meant to handle that kind of traffic.  

The only way online shopping saves energy is if you buy a downloadable product.  A song, software, etc.

Interesting. Your point is accurate and does show that my initial reaction wasn't as well thought out as it could be. However, I expect this is fairly complex and that there are both savings and additional waste associated with on line transactions.

If I buy an item on line, yes it is shipped to me, not the mall. This uses more energy. But then again, I don't go to the mall. Over time this could reduce the need for big stores and infrastructure, which also use energy. But if I have three items shipped to me separately, this could involve three trucks coming to my house, but would have only been one trip to the mall. However, maybe Federal Express was going to deliver to my neghbor anyways.....

I agree that the only way that on line shopping is a pure energy reducer is downloadable products. However, it does seem clear that in other catagories the impact is complex and difficult to measure.

Does anyone know if this has been studied?

It has been studied, but I don't know if the information is on the Web.  The federal and state DOTs have studied it, as part of their planning processes.  
I'd imagine the present level of product availability probably requires a lot more intermediate storage and transfer facilities.
Just-in-time delivery, "rolling warehouses," etc., are distribution systems designed around cheap energy.  (Wal-Mart has perfected this system.) It works because it's cheaper to send a truck out every day than to rent more storage space on-site.  As fuel prices rise, I expect that to change.  
I need to add that it has very often been the case that I order something on-line and it is delivered at time where there is nobody at home. The resulting trip to UPS or FedEx (usually at rush hour time) kills off all possible energy savings and if the item is not that expensive, sometimes kills the price differences too.
Please explain how a handful of delivery vehicles moving through a neighborhood each day for deliveries is more traffic than every single homeowner having 2-3 cars all of which are in circulation on those same residential roads each day.

By your argument, it would be better for everyone to drive to the post office to pick up their mail rather than having the post office deliver it. I don't buy that but if you have data that somehow validates this position, I'd love to hear it.

Please explain how a handful of delivery vehicles moving through a neighborhood each day for deliveries is more traffic than every single homeowner having 2-3 cars all of which are in circulation on those same residential roads each day.

The trucks are not a replacement for ordinary traffic.  They are in addition to ordinary traffic.  

Moreover, residential streets were not designed for trucks.  They are designed for cars.  The turns are often so tight trucks can't make them without crossing over into the wrong lane or climbing the curb.  The asphalt and subbase are thinner, and don't bear up under the load as well.  A parked truck on a residential street can bring traffic to standstill; a car wouldn't be parked there, or would be easy to drive around.    

By your argument, it would be better for everyone to drive to the post office to pick up their mail rather than having the post office deliver it.

I think we may be going back to that.  That is how it was for me, growing up in a small town.  UPS wouldn't deliver; too small a market.  The USPS would deliver, but only to the post office.  People had PO boxes and picked up their mail in town.  It didn't take as much gas you might think.  Most people didn't check their mail every day.  And everyone knew everyone, so you could have a neighbor pick your mail up if they were going into town.  Many people had their mail delivered to their office PO Box.  A secretary would go down to the post office daily, and pick up everyone's mail.

I'm not convinced and would like to see some data.  Googling "energy efficiency online shopping" turned up lots of links to efficient appliances but only this item on the topic at hand:

For example, for each book sold, the online retailer Amazon.com uses just one-sixteenth the energy to operate its buildings that a traditional bookseller uses. Internet shopping also uses less energy to get a package to your house. Shipping a 10-pound package by overnight air -- the most energy-intensive delivery mode -- uses 40 percent less fuel than the average roundtrip drive to the mall. Ground shipping by truck uses just one-tenth the energy of a trip by car to the store.

In fact, each minute spent driving to the mall uses more than 20 times the energy of a minute spent shopping on the Internet. Online shopping eliminates the need for car trips and reduces congestion. Already, nearly 40 percent of people with Internet access say they go to the store or the mall less often.

The article, however, is dated 2000, and gives no sources.  It also touts just-in-time delivery.

Along with downloads, Amazon's used book network is an energy saver.  Everything I've ordered there has come via regular mail, not FedEx or UPS.

Intel and amd have a long way to go to catch up with via with their low cost and low power cpu's.

Intel's ulp Pentium-m's somewhat match these but the cpu alone costs more then the all of via's motherboard + cpu combos.
basically for the price of a single ulp Pentium-m you can get the VT-310DP which is a dual cpu mini-itx board. not to mention buying a Pentium-m supports Isrial which i do not like supporting.

Interesting question.

I'm just in the middle of putting together an energy strategy for my company (small 20 person software development house).

I've grouped energy efficiency into 3 categories:

Easy (read: cheap) "low-hanging fruit" savings

  • Low-energy light bulbs
  • Turning off equipment not in use
  • Configuring all PCs to use maximum power savings settings

Medium term (a bit more expensive):
  • Replacing Desktop PCs with laptops. Desktops can use anything up to 800W, whereas laptops typically use less than 100W. Laptops also give you backup power during blackouts.
  • Replacing servers with low-energy CPU models. Also, replace server monitors with LCD ones. These would also reduce the air-con requirements in the server room
  • Consolidating separate server activities onto fewer actual machines
  • Reduced voltage Fluorescent circuits saving up to 30%

Long-term, high cost:
  • Solar PV array on roof to power servers and core lighting
  • Replace vehicle fleet with hybrids or electrics
  • Solar water heaters for toilet/showers hot water
  • Free Company minivan to maximise car-pooling. Employees would have to use their own vehicle (at their own cost) if they 'missed the bus'.

I reckon the easy stuff could knock off up to 20% of current electricity usage, with the medium stuff pushing that up to almost 50%.

As I'm doing the research in my own time, I'd appreciate any other suggestions for efficiency that people might have.

There is one way to reduce A/C cost of a server farm and make hot water. Adapt the the servers to use water cooling. The water cooling of the CPUs can pre-heat water for the solar to finish heating it or use other otherwise-waste heat. (though not from CPUs.) A server can drain a hundred watts or more just for the CPU itself. 10 servers like that, and you get a kilowatt of "free" heat - and 3600 BTUs removed from A/C load. The watercool interface heatsink costs $50 a pop. $500 for a free kilowatt and removal of 3600 BTUs of A/C. Not low-hanging fruit, but you're not brachiating in the canopy either.

The laptops idea is good too. I use one at home mainly for that reason. Backup for more than an hour is easy. Mine takes 24 volts @ 2 amps at most, so I could go hours on a pair of marine batteries in series. A neat idea for servers: If you need file servers, some networkable hard drives (similar to the USB variation) can work wonders unless I suppose you really load it up. A normal server will be needed for a web site. With Linux, a normal server plus a batch of USB hard drives can make a lovely server setup.

If you want really high-altitude fruit, it's a fact that skinny people need less A/C than fat people. Figure out a way to encourage people to slim down, and you can solve the obesity problem! (assuming peak oil doesn't solve it by famine first!)

Hard to see it.  Seems much more valuable to use the heat as hot air space heating as I do.  GB's A/C load at this time of year is zero and minimal, except for 1 month, the rest of the year.  

3412 Btu/h = 1 kW @ 100% heat transfer efficiency
reasonable heat transfer @ 60% efficiency
1 kW = 2047 Btu/h

10 computers @ 100 W/ea = 3600 W
@ 60% efficiency = 2160/h Btu useable heat transfer
2160 Btu/h /3412 Btu/h/kW = 0.63 kW saved/hr
@ 0.125 $/kWh
savings rate = 0.07875 $/h

$500.00 material cost
$500.00 Labour Cost (unless you DIY as a hobbby or labour of love)
$1000.00 Total Cost

@ 0.07875 $/h = 12698 hrs
12698 hrs/8h/d = 1587 Work days
260 WD/yr = 6 years (@ i=0%)

Evaluating Alternatives
$1000.00 invested @ 5% simple interest/yr
$1000.00 invested in PC water heat X-changer

Even allowing for a fuel cost escallation factor of 25%/yr

Net Values won't be equal for about 10 years.

Even if you install it for free, it takes 8 years.

Problem is;  Who keeps a PC for more than 3 years?
At end of 3 years, you must remove cooler and replace it in the new equipment.  Another 500.00 every 3 yrs to do that.  

Every 5 years?  Needs running the PC for 11 yrs.

I haven't seen a 8 yr old PC anywhere, although there is a 5 year old one over in the corner that hasn't been turned on  for 2 years now.  I don't think I'll turn it into a water X-changer anytime soon.  Do they make good air heaters?

Problem is;  Who keeps a PC for more than 3 years?

more then you realize.
contrary to popular belief the vast majority of pc users(all the non-gamers) keep their machines as long as possible.
the parents of a friend of mine still use their amd-k6 350mhz machine.

You're probably right.  I do a lot of CFD work, but did buy a game about a month ago.  The first game I bought since CivII 5 years ago.  I was intending to put it on a 450 mHz I've had sitting in a dark corner waiting to become dinner for a canibal.  Needless to say, it would hardly run the intro screen.    
The last time my employer went on a cost-cutting binge, they removed half the lightbulbs in the building.  Just ordered the maintenance guys to remove every other flourescent light tube.  Many employees actually preferred that, since it's easier to look at a computer screen in the dark.  It was kind of dreary and depressing in the hallways, though.  (They don't get any natural light.)

As usual, the main office ordered that all computers be turned off at night.  Also as usual, our IT guys said to leave them on.  They run antivirus software at night, and send out software updates, and if the computer's not on, it causes hassles.

They also went on an appliance-hunting binge.  Space heaters, fans, aquariums, toasters, etc. were banned, and if you still had them after a certain date, they were confiscated.  Coffee makers, refrigerators, and microwaves were permitted.  This caused a good deal of disgruntlement.  I suspect it wasn't worth it.  Caused a lot of bad feeling, and a lot of people just hid their appliances and used them anyway.

Thanks, I'm stealing this list for my clients.
You're welcome.  I'm very 'open source' when it comes to info like this.  There is so much to learn from each other.

Here's some.

Before changing the water heater try putting in a low flow shower head.  This saves water and energy.

Then you can buy a smaller model.

Turn down the thermostat on the Air Con in Winter and up in Summer. Make the office temp more like the outside.

Travel less and use the phone more.


Regarding energy saving idea, please contact me.  I cut total power use for a 5 story office building in New Orleans by almost 70%.  Nothing high tech, but "different" approachs.


If you aren't going to post it here, mail me a copy and I'll put it up as a guest piece case study at The Ergosphere.
I am a bit short of time, but this is what I wrote.  Perhaps a more complete report later.

Each site is different.  This one oncluded:

  1. Not just T-8 fluorescent, but high CRI bulbs (extra 50 lumens, higher light quality offsets lower quantity.  Used light meter and Illuminating Engineers Society standards. Premium ballasts.

  2. I used 95% reflective computer folded reflectors (Metal Optics)

Single bulb with reflector in hallways for example. 4' of single bulb, 4' space, 4' of single bulb, etc.

  1. Replaced two large 60 ton AC units with 18 residential high efficiency units.  1/3 of 1 floor turned on when someone came in on Sundays, much less air pumping loss.  Installed high efficiency gas furnace (condensing exhaust allows MUCH easier installation).  Just 10 tons (120,000 BTUs, 34.2 kW) of "bulk heat" plus some heat pumps (others straight a/c) and a few electric strips) provided heat in our mild winters.

  2. Make up air from outside pumped in only when CO2 monitor requests it.  Windy day, no requests due to wind driven leaks.  This is a MAJOR energy savings !

  3. Reflective film added to windows.  Saved 10 tons of a/c.  Also keeps heat in in winter.

  4. Plugged holes into building, including gaskets behind switches & outlets.  Added insulation to underside of roof with glue-on pins.  Added insulation where-ever possible.

Off the top of my head,
Now that's some good stuff!
I think if you make a rule that in the winter the temperature is 18 deg Celcius and in the summer it is 28 deg Celcius and ask people to change their clothing accordingly, you save quite a bit.

Another thought: Why don't you ask the people in the office? In my office, we close the blinds to get the right light for the computer, but we turn up the heating because it gets cold. And we switch on the office lights. A rearrangement of the desks would solve part of that.

Hope you don't mind me coming to work in a tank top and Speedo because that's the only way I'm going to be comfortable at 28 C, aka 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Otherwise I'll be sweating like a pig. Anything above 72 and I'm uncomfortable. 60s, I'm feeling great. 50s, I'll put on a long sleeve shirt.

That's just me, but in any office you'll find just as many people with problems at the other end of the scale. At 18 C, aka 64 F, they'll have to bundle up like it's Siberia. It's hard to type when you're wearing ski gloves.

In my experience if you don't keep the thermostat pinned right at 72 you get a lot of complaints.

Here's my creative solution to the problem. Set up a heat gradient. Put your heater vent at one end of the building, and the air conditioning vent at the other end. Then one end is consistently warmer than the other, and people can choose their seating according to their temperature preferences. And you only have to heat/cool a portion of the building, for considerable energy savings.

The key is to lower humidity (down to about 45% RH, below that some complain about dryness, mainly native New Orleanians who develop gills :-).  Each person's comfort range broadens as humidity drops, and much more "overlap" of comfort ranges develops.

Standard HVAC practice to lower humidity is to supercool the air, then reheat it (4 pipe system or use electric strip reheat).  Wonderously efficient !! :-P

I did two things, bought AC evaporators with variable speed motors and attached humdistats to some of them (others were just set on low ALL the time, saved the cost of a humdistat).

And bought some dehumidifers from DEC, most energy efficient on market.

The heat gradient idea is great. It potentially solves a problem that is the bane of building maintenance people everywhere. Some people (usually women) need it HOT and others (usually men) like it COLD. Add in ethnic diversity (people coming from hot or cold climate places) and that spells big trouble with thermostat wars.

The only alternative is allow fans and in summer keep it at 78F (25.5C) and in winter trun the heat down to 68F (20C) and pass out sweaters. Women would just have to wear pants and long underwear instead of use desk heaters, which are fire hazards.

Where I work, the warehouse floor wasn't heated to the mid-80s only becuse of natural gas prices. The offices are still saunas due to desk heaters. These offices are at least 30C (86F) becuse mostly women work in them - and belong to a hot climate ethnic group. Worse, they refuse to dress warmly if they get cold. They complain instead or use desk heaters.

You probably already have them but sun blinds to keep direct sunlight from reaching the windows is a very good idea.
At Bartlett's conference last year, the engineer Wulfinghoff recommended that we start designing buildings with very small windows shaded from the sun.  

I see it as a coming design challenge to reconcile this approach with daylighting, clients' desires for natural light/good views and the commercial aspect of extensive storefront glazing.

My building used to have heat, but not air-conditioning.  (They eventually were forced to install air-conditioning for the computers.)  We used to open the windows to cool the building off in the summer.  
Lotta' buildings in Houston you can't even open the windows without a large heavy brick.
Did anyone else find it interesting that almost none of the ideas mentioned involved oil and/or transportation?  Employers share part of the responsibility for employee transportation energy, but they almost always ignore that, as if no energy was used in transportation.  This "energy expenditure that doesn't exist" phenomenon is one of the reasons I suspect oil peaking will be so difficult for the car-dependent world.

There are lots of excellent ideas already, so I won't repeat those.  I'll add one for non-petroleum energy savings and a few for petroleum energy savings.

  1. Buy a small combined heat and power (CHP) genset.  Capstone Microturbine and its competitors are good sources.  These double as uninterruptable power sources and achieve high efficiencies, well over 90% as CHP systems.  This may not seem like an energy saving idea, but when you consider the amount of loss in the electrical transmission grid, decentralized electrical production makes more sense.  This should be much cheaper than similar sized solar or fuelcell systems and can run on bio fuels or waste gas.

  2. Charge for parking, and provide everyone with a tax deductable transportation subsidy instead.  

  3. Provide covered/enclosed bike parking close to a building entrance.

  4. If/when the business decides to relocate, make sure the new location is close to transit lines, on bicycle friendly routes, and in an area that would allow some employees to walk.

  5. Stop maintaining the parking lot (assuming the business has one.)  Over time, remove parking so that there is less to maintain.  If possible, sell or build on the land that is now unused parking.

I recommend you broach the last four topics with extreme caution, as you may find severe hostility to any idea that reduces parking privileges.  I was nearly fired for making suggestions to improve conditions for nonmotorized transportation, and I work for the EPA!
We were forced to cut our gasoline use for air quality reasons.  There was talk of paying people to walk, bike, or carpool, charging people to park in the parking lot, etc.  In the end, they just decided to buy cars that don't use gasoline.  So we have a fleet of electric vehicles, and natural gas vehicles.  And now one hydrogen.
In the 90s there was a tax credit available for employers who pay for bus, subway, train fares of employees. Where I worked the credit was more than the price of a monthly bus pass. Don't know if it still exists.
Yes, the idea I had was a company minibus.

Here in the Hawkes Bay region of NZ, we have two major towns, Napier and Hastings, which are about 20km apart.  Up until last september our office was in downtown Napier, and about 12 of the 18 employees lived in Napier or it's suburbs.

In September we moved into this office in Hastings with a 14 year lease.  Now the 12 people from Napier have about a 15 minute commute (much grumbling).

So, a company minibus could be driven by the person who lives furthest away, and he can come along a prescribed route that everyone else can walk to. Employees then have the choice of the free company minibus or use their own vehicle at their own cost.

Of course, some people may need to run errands at lunchtime, so they would need their car, but as petrol prices go higher they'll probably think more about combining those trips to save on fuel.

More info on the X Prize for high MPG vehicles.  Still in the brainstorming stage, but it sounds interesting:

"...The market really has to validate them. ... If it's hydrogen, great. How many sales are you going to get?"

Ontario seeks way out of energy policy turmoil

The province of Ontario, Canada's industrial heartland, is on the brink of an energy crisis, in spite of exhaustive efforts to decide on its future energy supplies.

I kind of wish the X-Prize would take a look at compressed-air as the stored energy for cars.

It just seems like compressed air is a lot easier to deal with than hydrogen -- no messing about with fuel cells. You could recharge from the electrical grid, or pull into the local Air station to top off on long trips. And the exhaust? it's just air.

Is there anyone here who could put real numbers on the theoretical amount of energy storage one could fit in a 200 liter carbon-fibre tank?

From what I've been reading, it sounds like it's in the ballpark for personal transport, with the main problem being how to warm the air as it is expanded. (It will release a lot more energy if you re-heat it.) Here in California, it may not be enough to heat exchange to the air, not so good in January in Frostbite Falls MN, where it's -40F.

The X Prize is not tied to hydrogen or anything else.  Hydrogen was just the example used.  It's still in the early stages, but it looks like the winner will be determined by a combination of mileage and how many you can actually sell.  So if you think you can get people to buy compressed air, go for it.
Joe, air doesn't compress itself so what forms of energy are used to compress the air? Electricity? Natural gas. Gasoline? Human muscle? What percentage of power is lost in the transfer from one form to another? Please help me understand how compressed air could be a consideration for anything other than paint sprayers and nail guns.
Hi Ammond,

Yes, compressed air is another form of energy storage, not an energy source. But it does however have a number of advantages:

  • non-toxic
  • non-flammable
  • spills and leaks are environmentally harmless
  • simple technology
  • doesn't require new infrastructure if "refuelled" from the grid
  • does not require transportation (ie, "mining" the raw material is very easy)

Yes, an energy source is required to compress the air.

But by using compressed air as storage you have decoupled the "fuel" problem from the "energy" problem, meaning that they can be solved independently.

If the cars are plugged into the grid (to drive a compressor) when they are not being driven, they could easily take advantage of intermittent energy sources such as wind and make the whole renewable electricity generation and grid management problem more flexible.

On the cold air problem (low efficiency), it is easy to burn a small amount of fuel in the compressed air before it expands if you're driving in cold weather or need longer range.

You're right, I'm just trading one energy storage medium for another. (Hydrogen, with its complexities for compressed air, with its complexities.)

I assume that the air would be compressed via electric motor. I'd prefer that the electricity for that motor come from windmills, of course. If you have another high EROEI energy source that will be around in another 500 years I'd be happy to think about that as well. ^_^

My interest in compressed air is that it is a relatively low tech storage medium. I'm hoping(!) that solving the basic problems of making a practical air powered vehicle are no more complicated than the problems that have been solved to deal with gasoline and diesel vehicles.

The Air Car is what first got me going -- unfortunately they seem to have gone quiet. If you dig around (Sorry -- I don't have the URL) they got less than 10 km on a fill up on their prototype, they had a list of future improvements that would improve that over 10x, but it lead me to wonder about the basic energy density of compressed air as a storage medium.

It's true that we are not going to find a place where we can drill for fully-charge bottles of compressed air, any more than we can drill for bottles of hydrogen. The nice thing about compressed air is that it will stay in a bottle for a long, long time, hydrogen will find a way to leak out. Dang those tiny molecules!

> High EROEI around in 500 years ...

Hydroelectric, of which we have not harnessed all (most sites , but not all, with large storage have been harnessed.  Existing sites may have another 5% or so energy to be extracted.  Very few small storage and run-of-river sites developed in US).

Geothermal, including "hot rock" and low pressure steam sites.

Tidal in a few sites

Solar thermal in desert, low latitude sites.

Very high strength materials for air storage would make a compressed air car more practical, but then, they would also make a flywheel powered car more practical.
Keep in mind that an compressed air powered car, like a flywheel car, can operate on electically powered lanes and make short trips off the lanes to rechargers.
I prefer battery cars. They don't explode if you treat them right and don't let hydrogen evolve and build up.
If the roof of the air car has solar PV panels that drove an electric compressor, then it could quite easily 'recharge' itself while it sits out in the car park during the 8 or 9 hours that you are in the office.

Also, most of the new air car designs use re-generative braking to pump more air back into the tank.

Assuming we still have enough energy to actually manufacture these things, then I think we will see a lot more of the compressed air vehicles.

By the way, see MDI's "Air Car" for commercial compressed air vehicles available today.

Maybe this can help you.

Amount of air you can store in a container depends on the pressure rating of the container.

Scuba tanks would be a good example for you to have a look at.  This one has about (should be) 0.6 cu ft of tank volume with compressed air stored at 3000 psi.  This air will expand to around 80 standard cubic feet at 14.73 psia and 60ºF.
see it here,

To calculate Volumes of gases at various conditions you will need to know the critical point data for the specific gas,
For Air,
Critical Temp = 132.41ºK  Critical Pressure = 37.25 atmospheres
Some others can be found here.
Critical Points for Common Substances

compressibility factor for air

For determining compressor power required, have a look here,

For compression ratios of <= 1.5:1
Centrifugal Compressor sizing page

For compression ratios of > 1.5:1
Recip Compressor sizing page

Fill up in the winter to take that summer vacation.
Strangely enough, I've been pondering this same question with regard to regenerative braking for semi-trucks (imagine using the compression brakes to stuff air into a cylinder).

If you're charging the cylinder from a source outside the vehicle, your pressure could be considerably greater than you'd get with a brake.  Assuming the following:

  • 330 bar pressure.
  • Isothermal tank conditions (tank does not get cold as it's drained),
  • Air is an ideal gas (not true but it makes the numbers easier), and
  • The expansion is also isothermal and lossless (impossible)
I get about 8.9 kWh (the tank will actually hold somewhat less air because molecules have non-zero size).  You'll get less if you allow the tank to cool as it's drained, less if the gas cools during expansion, more if you heat the gas with something.


I bumbled around the web a bit and found that the Toyota Rav4 Electric had a 288V, 95Ah battery pack. Thats about 27.36 kWh, about 3X the energy storage the air tank. On the other hand, that Rav4 battery pack weighs in at 900 pounds. Oh, and the 95Ah had to be derated to 85% capacity as the battery aged - no such problems with an air tank. ^_^;

I found this article about hydrogen storage that talks about running at 700 BAR using a Quantum fuel systems storage cell. They didn't let on the actual weight, but they claim "lightweight" so I'm thinking less than steel tanks. (And way less than batteries.)

Anyway, I was thinking about using the air tank in an ultra-light vehicle - on the order 900 lbs for the whole vehicle. This kind of looks like it might work, but the devil is in the thermodynamics.

Any excuse to dust off the integral calc (and keep from losing it the way my E&M drifted away from me) is a good one.
the devil is in the thermodynamics.
Truer words were never spoken, and they've been the subject of other things too.
I did some calculations a while back and 200 liters at 7500 psi provided roughly 20 kwh.  It gave my theortical small truck a range of 40 miles.
Compressed air has advantages at the compressor end of generating hot water from the heat of compression for building heat. Compressors can be directly driven by the wind with the air used as a storage medium which becomes more cost effective as tank size grows. As the air expands in a motor used to generate electricity it cools to sub zero temps to provide air conditioning.  A wind driven compressed air system can provide fuel for a vehicle, both hot and chilled water, and electricity when its needed not just when the wind blows.
On another topic:  from Yahoo news:

Venezuela's oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, said Tuesday he would press other OPEC members to cut production by at least half a million barrels of crude a day. The South American country is one of the group's most strident voices in favor of constraining output to keep prices high.

"The market is overstressed ... this means we have to cut around 500,000 barrels a day," Ramirez said.

- why is Venezuela pressing for lower output?  And what does he mean by "overstressed"?  Does this refer to the wells in Venezuela and elsewhere being "overproduced" with possible damage and loss of future production?  Or is this solely an economic issue, trying to save more oil for later without losing much revenue now (if prices go even higher)?   Remember that Hugo Chavez talks openly about depletion.  (He even posts here :-)

I think he means inventories are high relative to expectations. It's been a warm winter.
I believe Mr. Chavez wants to train and equip 500 000 armed reservists. So he may need the loot for that
Some news from the Middle East...

Kuwait Denies Report on Lower Reserves

"The report contained some right information but not the whole picture," Energy Minister Sheikh Ahmad Fahd al-Sabah told reporters before leaving for Vienna to attend an OPEC meeting.

"The information is related to only 31 reservoirs we are currently working on. It does not include reserves in another 74 reservoirs which are not developed," Sheikh Ahmad said.

Saudi Aramco Khurais Oil Project Takes Major Step

"It's not every day we build a facility from scratch that will increase the maximum sustaining capacity of our oil production," Rabeh said.

...The mission of the program is to design, construct and bring into production safe and reliable facilities to produce 1.2 million barrels per day of stabilized Arabian Light (AL) crude and 4.5 million bpd of treated seawater for reservoir injection.

The EIA believes OPEC output is down 50,000 bpd in Feb from Jan. Which doesn't seem like much except it follows on top of a 550,000 bpd decline from Dec to Jan.

Neither the SA nor Kuwait info is very encouraging. If Kuwait's 74 reservoirs were large or especially promising they wouldn't be telling the world they need billions of dollars and expetise from outside to develop them.

SA's 1.2 million bpd from Kurais, if achieved when planned (probably doubtful), won't cover the decline from existing fields from now till 2009.

I am absolutely shocked, shocked! that Kuwait denied that claim. I thought they were going to tearfully embrace it and finally acknowledge that they'd been living a lie for all these years! </snark>

Seriously, you'd think it would take them less than a month to issue this denial.

They denied it earlier, but were forced to address the issue again.  One of their own MPs demanded that the truth about their oil reserves be revealed.

March 20 falls in line with the anticipated date of the dollar crisis from the LEAP/E2020 reported here:

Help me out here:

How does a country with the following rebuild its energy infrastructure to run on renewable energy??

Negative US saving rate for the first time since 1932 and 1933
$8+ trillion National Debt
$726 Billion yearly trade deficit
$427 billion yearly budget deficit

Where does all the "new" wealth come from that makes all the US billionaires even richer??


Treasury Dept. Moves to Avoid Debt Limit
The Associated Press
Monday, March 6, 2006; 1:18 PM
WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary John Snow notified Congress on Monday that the administration has now taken "all prudent and legal actions," including tapping certain government retirement funds, to keep from hitting the $8.2 trillion national debt limit.
In a letter to Congress, Snow urged lawmakers to pass a new debt ceiling immediately to avoid the nation's first-ever default on its obligations.
"I know that you share the president's and my commitment to maintaining the full faith and credit of the U.S. government," Snow said in his letter to leaders in the House and Senate.
Treasury officials, briefing congressional aides last week, said that the government will run out of maneuvering room to keep from exceeding the current limit sometime during the week of March 20.
Snow in his letter notified lawmakers that Treasury would begin tapping the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, which Treasury officials said would provide a "few billion" dollars in extra borrowing ability.
Treasury officials also announced that on Friday they had used the $15 billion in the Exchange Stabilization Fund, a reserve that the Treasury secretary has that is normally used to smooth out volatile movements in the value of the dollar in currency markets.
Treasury has also been taking investments out of a $65.3 billion government pension fund known as the G-fund.
Officials have said that once the debt limit is raised, the investments taken out of the pension funds would be replaced and any lost interest payments would be made up. The formal title for the G-fund is the Government Securities Investment Fund of the Federal Employees Retirement System.

AngryChimp -

You left out two things: i) a 'defense' budget well in excess of $400 billion, and ii) the cost of wars in Iraq and Afganistan that easily exceed $100 billion.  

Half a trillion here and half a trillion there, and before you know, you're talking about some real money.

Shadow Government Statistics
says its "really" closer to 50E12 (American Pesos)
This is an interesting "mainstream" article exposing "official" figures as a joke...

The numbers behind the lies

Economist John Williams says `real' unemployment and inflation numbers -- figured the old-fashioned way -- may be two or three times what the government admits. Here's why, and what it means for Social Security.

Williams starts by discussing the headline economic data: "Real unemployment right now -- figured the way that the average person thinks of unemployment, meaning figured the way it was estimated back during the Great Depression -- is running about 12%. Real CPI right now is running at about 8%. And the real GDP probably is in contraction." (By "real," he means calculating the data the way they used to be calculated, not as inflation-adjusted.)

He then explains how the employment data are compiled, noting that 5 million chronically unemployed people are not included in the statistics. In fact, there are seven or eight different employment statistics. One called U-3 is the official one. The broadest one, U-6, currently shows unemployment as running around 8.4%. As he explains, the one that's the most historically consistent is running around 12%.

The fact that that information (which I've been having drunken conversations with economists about for years) is coming out in MSM sources probably means that the shit is very near to the fan.
Gotta' believe it.
I seems to me that very soon the profession of economics will self destruct since all their information will be hidden in lies.  It must be that they will not be able to make predictions anybody will believe or have a chance to come true, since all thier data will be flawed, or somehow they will have to start believing in their own lies (enter The Matrix?)
"AngryChimp -
You left out two things: i) a 'defense' budget well in excess of $400 billion, and ii) the cost of wars in Iraq and Afganistan that easily exceed $100 billion."

That's how the billionaires keep getting richer.  Through military plunder...

"When plunder has become a way of life for a group of people living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it, and a moral code that glorifies it."
~Frederic Bastiat

Recall that whenever push comes to shove a sovereign government can repudiate its debts. History is replete with examples, and the easiest way for the U.S. government to write off its debt is through unexpected and abrupt inflation that accelerates into the double, then the triple digits per year.

This typical action by government of course plunders the savings of those who worked hard and saved their money. Punish the virtuous, punish the elderly, punish those whose incomes are not adjusted upward for price-level changes.

Note that the profligate and irresponsible debtors are rewarded when inflation unexpectedly snaps upward. Politically speaking there are far more debtors than creditors, and this superior political influence of the debtor category pretty much guarantees an inflationary bias to government in cases of financial stress--such as those caused by the need to finance a long and ruinous war.

The history of money is largely a history of the destruction of the value of money. Deflations are rare.

To say nothing about the Bush tax cuts, which he wants to make permanent.
As i recall in the early 90's, congress was trying to tap into all 401k accounts (to borrow against them)to increase spending.
M. King Hubbert's Lower 48 Prediction Revisited
What can 1970 and Earlier Lower 48 Oil Production Data
Tell Us About Post-1970 Lower 48 Oil Production?

In recognition of the 50th Anniversary M. King Hubbert's famous speech (March 8, 1956), Khebab and I coauthored a paper, found at the above link, that summarizes a lot of the work that we have been doing.   As usual, Khebab did all of the math and graphing.  

In summary, using just 1970 and earlier Lower 48 production data to predict future production, the Hubbert Linearization (HL) method, described by Kenneth Deffeyes in his recent book, was 98.7% accurate in predicting post-1970 cumulative Lower 48 oil production.   This suggests that Dr. Deffeyes' prediction, that we have used half of the world's conventional oil reserves, i.e., we are at 50% of Qt worldwide, should be given a lot weight.

We then combined the production data from the top four net oil exporters into one HL plot and one predicted production profile, which predicts that production from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Norway and Iran will be down by about 50% in about two decades.   We suspect that this would equate to about a 75% drop in net oil exports from these four countries over the next two decades.

Finally, we proposed that the highly regressive US Payroll Tax be replaced with basically a fossil fuel tax.  

Fifty years ago this week, on March 8, 1956, at a meeting of the American Petroleum Institute in San Antonio, Texas, M. King Hubbert, in the preprinted version of his prepared remarks, had the following statement:

"According to the best currently available information, the production of petroleum and natural gas on a world scale will probably pass its climax within the order of a half century (i.e., by 2006), while for both the United States and for Texas, the peaks of production may be expected to occur with the next 10 or 15 years (i.e., 1966 to 1971)."


Around the same time, Congress was debating the Interstate Highway System which was signed into law by Eisenhower on June 29th 1956. Here is an ominous quote from President Eisenhower:
"Together, the united forces of our communication and transportation systems are dynamic elements in the very name we bear - United States. Without them, we would be a mere alliance of many separate parts."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Feb. 22, 1955

So what happens post-peak. Can we hold the union together?

Remember that the modern Federal heavy state as we know the USA did not really take shape until the period between the beginning of WWI and the End of WWII.

Should we hold the union together?  

Tainter  suggests that decentralizing may be salvation:

The Byzantine Empire responded with one of history's only examples of a complex society simplifying. Much of the structure of ranks and honors, based on urban life, disappeared. Civil administration simplified and merged in the countryside with the military. Governmental transaction costs were reduced. The economy contracted and there were fewer artisans and merchants. Elite social life focused on the capitol and the emperor, rather than on the cities that no longer existed. Literacy, writing, and education declined. Barter and feudal social relations replaced the millennium old monetary economy.

Most fundamentally, the Byzantine government cut dramatically the cost of its most expensive part, the army, while simultaneously making it more effective. No longer did peasants have to support themselves and a recently ineffectual army. The army became landholders and producers much like the peasants. The land soldiers defended was their own. The people they defended were kin and neighbors. Accordingly they fought better than before and the government obtained a better return on their cost. Almost immediately the army began to perform better. The empire stopped losing land so rapidly and in time took the offensive.

Quote (from someone, I don't know the source):  "All politics is local."
I think we should address that fact and make it (mostly) local.  Seditious as this may seem, it's just too damn hard to interest the average voter when their vote is being stacked up against tens of millions of others (dependant on voter turnout at the time).  Too many issues that don't affect the day-to-day and unique local situations, with the knowledge that incumbents very rarely lose, just makes it hard to even pay attention, let alone take effective action  as a concerned citizen.
Our Petroleum Predicament
 A Special Editorial Feature by GEORGE PAZIK Editor & Publisher, Fishing Facts, November 1976

EPILOGUE: When I finally pushed the typewriter away it was 7 AM. I glanced out the basement window, it was light outside. I could hear Bernice come down the steps to the kitchen to prepare breakfast. Our Carol was still asleep.

 I had worked all night in order to finish this editorial. After three years of preparation and research it was finally done. It would have been easier to write a book than to try to cut down all my material to fit this editorial.

 Soon I'll be out on the freeway, part of the gas guzzling crowd. Our company switched to small economical cars a year ago, but today the big ones are selling like hot cakes again. America has forgotten all about The Energy Crisis and the Arab Oil Embargo. It's waste as usual.

 I wonder about Dr. Hubbert. It's three years ago since he submitted that report to the Senate Committee. Nothing has happened. Nothing has changed. The National Academy of Science and the U.S. Geological Survey have both confirmed Hubbert's range of estimates. In effect, the Survey took away about two-thirds of our gas and oil (on paper).

 The administration did nothing. Congress did nothing. .

 Will we kill the messenger this time - or just ignore him? Is anybody out there listening? Well,
aside from that. . .

Good work WT

One to add is remove hidden subsidies to the auto industry.This only encourages producers to build SUV's and stops consumers from buying smaller more efficient cars.

Here's some other suggestions user pay roads and congestion pricing.

You guys should start a "TOD: Texas" local site. Completely agree about a fossil fuel consumption tax. A good first start toward that would be to eliminate the Billions of dollars subsidies for non-renewable energy consumption.
A nice piece of work. Why not submit it to the SPE /
The Houston Oil Show.
After all the doom and gloom we've been into recently in relation to Iran, global meltdown, the end of the electric age and quicksand of discussions about population control, perhaps we need a little bit of light in all this darkness?

I think we can solve most of our problems if we really want to. There are enormous savings to be made in US oil over-consumption. On average an American uses roughly double the oil we Europeans use. In Europe there are number of studies that supposedly show that we can quite relatively easily reduce our energy consumption by around 50% just by conservation and appropriate use of already existing technologies and cutting waste.

Now these studies may well be over optimistic, but I think they indicate that truly massive reductions in our consumption of energy are possible in the short term without sacrificing our "standard of living" or increasing our reliance on nuclear power.

However, it would require a lot of organisation and conservation. There are so many ways the United States could conserve energy consumption and reducing levels to the European average. I mean people in France and Germany don't exactly live in the stone age!

For example the Pentagon uses four to five million barrels of oil every day. One could cut this consumption in half and still have the world's biggest military dwarfing all other nations.

The government could decide to pay for people to insulate their homes. This would pay in the short and medium term as well as providing lots of new jobs.

One could impose a speed limit on highways.

One could give the centres of the major cities back to pedestrians at week-ends by banning cars.

One could massively invest in public transport and put freight back onto railways and away from trucks.

One could develope an integrated transport policy.

There are so many things one could do.

The problem of course lies in the little word "could". All of this would require political leadership on a scale the US hasn't seen since before WW2. It also means questioning the underlying assumptions of modern free market capitalism. A model which seems to be based on gross over-consumption of mostly crap and fantastic levels of waste. People are no longer citizens, they are consumers. And not just consumers, we are being turned into gluttonous, uncritical consumers, swelling until we're fit to burst. Our culture is also actively promoting stupidity and infantalism. Being really smart and participating in a critical dialogue with society is no longer seen as a virtue.

I suppose it may boil down to a much needed cultural revolution, where we once again shift the balance back towards the citizen and away from market forces. The market is a usful tool for many things, but I don't believe it's good at actually running society. I think we have to have a critical reapraisal of the role of the market in American society and make the market our servant once more - not our master.

Clearly many Americans will regard this as close to heresy, sacrilege or even "socialism". I don't think it is. I just think one could call it putting the market under democratic control. Many Europeans already believe that the God most Americans claim to worship is really the so called Free Market or Mamon. I personally wonder whether George Bush's God is even truly a Christian God at all? His God seems to be a very old God, verually unrecognisable to most of us. He doesn't seem to talk about Jesus very much, or the sermon on the mount, but I hear him talking about God, and I shiver because I think he may actually be praying to Satan!

Here endeth the theology lesson for today!

We've certainly done politics on TOD recently, maybe we should move on to a thread about PO and theology? What exactly should the Christian attitude to PO and environmental destruction be?

Indeed, we DO need to inject some theology into the discussion.

Therefore, let me remind you of what Jesus once said, "Without oil, you're shite!" (I don't have the precise gospel citation handy, but I'll try to look it up when I get a chance.)

Regarding the amount of oil used by the Pentagon, I think you might have slipped a decimal point somewhere in there. If the Pentagon used 4 to 5 million barrels a day, that would amount to about 20 to 24% of the US total oil consumption.  While the military uses a huge amount of oil, it is nowhere nearly that large. If you're going to use number, you've got to be careful :-)

Yes, I was blinded by Satan for a second. The real figure I seem to remember was closer to a million barrels a day. I can't really remember the source for that number either. I saw the number in about two different places and just thought - wow! It seemed like an awful lot of oil, if the figure is accurate. Sorry about that!
writerman -

All is forgiven. I often mess up on numbers too, but I'm supposed to know better.  Regardless of how much oil the US military is using, it is far too much! Recall the absurd situation where we were briefly importing gasoline into oil-rich Iraq at enormous expense because the infrastructure was down.

Regarding that New Testament quotation, I should point out that scholars differ on the precise translation from the original Aramaic. Some say that He said, "Without oil, you're shite!" whilst others maintain that He said, "Without money, you're shite!"

Either way, He was correct :-)  

DC reply: "The American way of life is non-negotible
Back to the topic of What would Jesus Drive.

He would walk.

He could have used chariots in his day that was the car of choice.  He walked.

Why.  Simple.  While Walking you meet people, While Walking you see your nieghbors,  You see folks that you would not see if you drove a car, and went to press meetings, and Spoke to the Choir.

I walk my Community Watch day,  It is 2.5 miles on the path I take, I take a bag with me and pick up soda and beer cans.   I know a lot of people now, that I would have never met in my car.  

Jesus is a Personal Leader and God.

The last time I met Jesus, He was riding a bike. I asked him about his plans, and He kept talking in these parables that sounded pretty much like Socratic dialogues. Was he still mad at the scribes and the pharisees, I asked him?

He just looked at me, then across the bike trail at one of the local right-wing churches. And wept.

we can use  political  wind power on the energy/wind farms...
what is the problem?
Another open thread:
I've been pondering peak oil for about 2 years now and have been extremely alarmed by the dire prospects for our future, although I've always believed that there are population limits that this earth can carry.  That said, I must comment with the most optimistic energy news I've read in a while, that being in my Nebraska Alumni journal regarding a UNL alumni by the name of Alan J. Heeger.  He is a nobel prize winning physicist, currently at UCSB, and has been working on solar plastics and has been involved in starting two companies, including the development of solar shingles.  His quoted statement is that a 30-miles-in-diameter area of the Mojave Desert is all we would need to use the new polymer-based solar collectors, and we would be able to meet all of America's energy needs--forever.  Considering the source of this statement, I must think we may have a future afterall, if our government can get their act together to enable this to happen.  Also, the annual solar decathalon contest in Washington DC is showing great prospects for our future, including on site conversion of solar to hydrogen, and back to electricity.  Perhaps our greatest problem is that of transition in regards to a government that doesn't act in the best interests of its citizens, and mega utilities and corporations who will fight this.  
Here are a couple of links about Heeger and his solar cell technology. Popular Mechanics, November 2005, "Breakthrough Awards":


And here is his flexible solar-cell company, Konarka:


Those That Would Accept
    As a reader of this site I have come to accept a few trends that I am witnessing here. Though the purpose of TOD is quite clear in that it allows readers access to PO information and a place to discuss what appears to be the central issue to all current events at hand. It is quite clear now that several camps have formed here and in what I'm reading these camps can be brought down to three basic groups.
    Group one members and contributors realize that change is at hand and quite inevitable. They believe that even though the situation at hand regarding energy is dire, humans will rally around the problem and solve it. Group two members and contributors realize that change is at hand and quite inevitable. They believe that since the situation at hand regarding energy is dire society will collapse and most living things will perish. Group three exists though not on this message board and its main claim is that, "The world is a party and if you are in groups one and two your not invited since you are insane!"
    Regarding myself I have excepted that I no longer need to see graphs, estimates, trends, bar charts or pictures to prove that the "party is over." On September 11th the party hangover began and no matter how I slice it, medicate it, rationalize it and massage it the buzz is gone. The joy is gone along with the American Dream and nothing will change that. Here I could speak volumes regarding all that I have learned, I will instead cut to the chase.
    Thanks to oil and a few inventions we humans have created almost 7 Billion humans. Yes the oil fosters the food, medicine, homes, light, creature comforts and all the rest. It was energy in the USA that replaced raw slaves with raw horsepower. It was energy that brought us Velcro, plastic, computers and debit cards. It is energy that brought us 75 mph highways and 6000 lb. Cadillac's. It was energy that enabled people of different cultures to intermingle. It was energy that brought us countless movies like the Matrix and Star-Trek. Thanks to energy we got to see that super form fitting costume of  "7 of 9."
    Members here want to believe that we can move on and get past this bump. I know of no war ever fought that was not in the end simply about resources. Though I do know that thanks to oil our weapons of war are more destructive then ever. The resources needed to build them are stolen from the mouths and stomachs of our children. Oil has enabled us to pursue nuclear dreams followed by nuclear disaster and perpetual waste. Waste that has been injected into the crust of the Earth itself. Maybe we should ask any of the thousands killed by Chernobyl if they could do it all again would they rather live a more simple life and lack having a reactor in their vicinity?
    How can 7 Billion people travel back in time to fundamental living conditions? Fundamental things like family, acceptance, love, togetherness, thoughtfulness, harmony can only be had if all the members of that society valued all life above their own. If oil is in the equation we in the end spend our free time washing our cars, buying things that we don't need in a world that is not large enough for all of us. In the end we are hostages to the things that we build and make.
    When members here state that building reactors is the best bet to insure some sort of future have failed to account for the damage and deaths that fission has already inflicted. They fail to remember all of the images of Japan in 1945. They can't compute the vast number of years that make up the infinite maintenance of atomic waste. They don't realize that they are in group three. This is the prominent reason why the human race is on the brink of extinction. I can only hope that a simple disease takes us out so that all of the animals can retake the Earth. Yet one day all of those drums and barrels of waste will rupture from lack of infinite maintenance and all of the animals will be eradicated too.
Some of you will view me as a pessimist. Rather then worry about my mind set you might do better to consider what will happen to all of the waste and which kids you are rising today will be waste deep in your great nuclear idea of the future.
Perhaps you might want to consider that while you're wishing for a virus to take "us" out, "us" includes my children, whom I'm rather fond of - thus I take some offense.  

We have the population we have.  I wish we didn't, but here we are.  I've said this before, and I'll say it again:  You are not going to wake up one day after the big die off cleanly takes out all the unwanted folks, and be living in the Shire with Frodo and the boys in a wonderful sustainable world.  Pray our grandchildren can.  I hope we can reduce our population considerably, but that MUST happen over a long time (generations), or it will be unmitigated disaster.  And I believe we have an obligation to try to take care of our fellow man, which means we must find a way to both conserve, and yes generate power in other ways.  Food production is a big concern.  If we do not do this, then a lot of people will die.  So do your part, and cut your energy use, switch to alternatives, learn to live sustainably.  But if you think we should not try to build other sources of energy, then IMHO you are advocating die-off.

I figure we will to the simple-minded thing, and fill our skies with filth from burning coal.  I would rather see nuclear power, as I believe the downside is smaller.  There may indeed be ways to deal with the waste - hell, let's build a big rail gun and shoot it into the sun, I don't know.  But the choice is:

1.    Do nothing, and learn to ignore the coming suffering of multitudes.
2.    Conserve, learn to live wisely, and create large alternative sources of energy to make a smooth transition possible.  I believe this must include nukes.

And BTW, the images of Japan in 1945 were due to nuclear weapons, not nuclear power.  I maintain the an insufficient supply of power, which I believe will require nuclear power, will make further scenes like Japan in 1945 far more likely.  

   To address your reply let me super simplify our mother Earth. On this new Earth is you and yours and me and mine. You decide that you are going to power your 1/2 with a fission reactor, I decide that I will do w/ out electricity and opt for the mountain man approach. Some time passes and I see your making fuel rods. I whip out my basic chemistry set and make gun powder and fabricate shells and bombard your nuclear facilities. In the end it will come down to two things. Your will and mine. Hence survival of the fittest and all of that.
    Back on this Earth it would seem that a commuter jet can hit just about anything. Folks have heart attacks while driving. Since we all have faults it is hard for me to imagine another nuclear accident. The reason I can not imagine one is that after the first accident all of the rest are simply based on foolish behavior. That behavior is simply persisting in the use of nuclear fission around living things. I'm not in insurance though the following line comes from that industry. "On a long enough time line every ones chances of survival are zero!" So you later say that Japan 1945 is from nuclear weapons and that there is a difference between radiation burns from a bomb or a total melt-down like Chernobyl? The weapons and the reactors are one in the same. Perpetual maintenance, perpetual debt  and a constant supply of mutation inducing death so you can watch it all on TV.
    We should build a rocket and shoot all the waste into space or a "Rail Gun" Hey we do have rockets called MX missiles and what do they do? Again you say a gradual decline in population is needed. I'm sure that between the DU and the MXs it can be a sudden decline. So when your sitting there deciding who to feed to the sharks keep in mind that this is why everyone around the world is siding up. In the US it's, "The towel heads did it!" When Nero burned Rome he said, "The Catholics did it!" See you want to ensure your survival but in doing so you forgot that fission reactions increase the odds of a tumor filled death. By the way I don't want your kids or mine to deal with maintaining our legacy.
    By the way we have nothing to prove, nothing to gain and nothing like the ability to control nature. We can count on death and taxes. If I survive what is to likely happen that would be because a disease killed off the masses. If someone decides that pushing the button will get us all closer to God then not even the roaches have a prayer. I doubt that any of us will make it much further and that belief is based more on thermo dynamics then anything else. Like your computer even though Windows runs better now then ever sometimes it has to be restarted. This is also part of the human condition and the planet is going to do a re-boot!
So what exactly is your approach?  I'm not understanding what you are proposing - back to basics without technology and fight it out?
Hi Twilight,
First I want to say that while I don't know you I respect you and hope that all of our children can make it. Yes, I have a computer that in the end will not solve the ultimate question. My computer can not tell if there is a God or not; it can't tell me who I am; and it can not tell me what my purpose is.
Yes, I realize the golden rule of reading and that I should not believe everything I read or everything I'm told. To this I give the 50/50 rule of thumb and realize that if 50% of all readable material is BS or propaganda the other 50% may be true.
Way back in the long ago I was a science major yet I detested history, religion, politics and current events. Things like biology, chemistry, physics and math were tangible, interesting and fun. Now as an adult I realize that everything that is made to be a convenience to make my life more easy has many hidden costs. More then that as a direct result of being a consumer the devices that are supposed to make my life more simple have now done the opposite. My life has become complex, dangerous and void of any real purpose.
Families don't mix well with careers. Hi-Def TV does not make Sponge Bob any less gay. The new Ford Explorer hybrid is not as green as Kermit The Frog claims in the latest Ford commercial. Old women walk slower so get struck by cars more and more often. Energy is a shell game and to switch from one to the other like all things is a gamble.
One bet I would not care to win is the nuclear power gamble. I hope that whatever decision you and all involved make regarding nuclear power is to exclude it. More then that I would contend that all that is nuclear fission related needs to be dismantled. One day a truly safe cold fusion reaction my be achieved. If so perhaps all of the current fissile mass waste may be able to be reduced and further broken down into less dangerous isotopes using fusion?
That statement above is about all that I see as hopeful in that in order to protect our children from isotopes we made through fission that go through a 1/2 life in 10,000 years only to become even more dangerous for another 10,000 years and on and on is the ultimate disgrace that proves that we don't know what we are doing.
Nuclear weapons offer nothing and prove that industrial man is more of a savage then any of our predecessors. We are trained to believe that our technology is within acceptable levels of risk. Last I read the US Navy is looking for a nuke off the NJ shore that got there from an accident years ago. You can bet that it and the thousands of metric tons of mustard gas dumped there after WW2 will add to the industrial meltdown.
So you asked what my approach or plan was and if I'm advocating fighting it out. I like this question and here I could go on and on...
Since our government has contracted Halliburton to construct camps all over the US one could postulate that someone is going into those camps one day. Since another terror attack is the trigger for martial law one might get the idea that the Mel Gibson/Brave heart idea of freedom is better than living in a cage. I have selected the boy scout approach or motto of being prepared as the way solution for me. Here there are a lot of if's and when's. So to me getting out of populated areas would be the first step. If I can survive that the long leg to the north starts and real living has a chance. With luck I may meet frendlies or marauders. So depending on the situation I have to adapt or die. If there is no petro-collapse then at least I learned survival skills and remained prepared. If I get nuked I hope that I'm as close as possible so that the end is as quick as possible. No this isn't any super plan yet I dislike cages and enjoy long walks.


Tell us more about the Halliburton concentration camps. I hadn't seen that one yet. What are the links to it?
FWIW:  Link
See? People do read old threads.

Thanks for the link.

It sounds like this is just a "contingency" contract, meaning nothing is going to happen now --but just in case a Day After Tomorrow scenario hits Canada and they have to scramble South for warmth, our kind govenrmnet is going to build emergency detention camps on a rapid response basis to detain the flood of "illegal" aliens.

There are those who think the reason for building these is more inwardly focused!
Which natural resources were the object of the Vietman War?  Or the Korean War?  Or the Peloponnesion War?
Well, I'm with Twilight in caring about my kids, and all kids for that matter. And my kids aren't kids anymore. But leaving aside all the touchy-feely stuff, it comes down to weighing options, pluses and minuses, when deciding the way to go.

I don't absolutely exclude nuclear no matter what -- that's silly and it's unscientific. But I do think that it would be far better to forgo it if at all possible. I don't see why (on purely techincal grounds) we can't have a gentle, civilized descent to a society much less energy-intensive, much more sustainable than we have now.

Cuba, which is far from a utopia, has shown (having lost its subsidies after collapse of SU) how to do a whole lot with a whole lot less. They are piss poor but have a life span equal to ours, education and health care that is better than ours for those in the bottom half.

The problem with nuclear is that while it might be safe if all the procedures prescribed by the engineers were followed, there can be no such guarantee in societies which are in decay. In fact, it can be almost guaranteed that they won't. Nuclear depends on an advanced infrastructure, and at a certain point that might not be possible. Further, maintaining the nuclear locks one into maintaining that infrastructure whether its feasible or not. It would take a huge nuclear expansion to maintain even a fraction of our current lifestyle. And ultimately, uranium is not an infinite resource either.

Far, far better to put emphasis on living within our energy budget. There is SO MUCH energy waste in our way of life. SO MUCH could be done with relatively low capital costs.

But that's the rub. We, or rather our system, prefers the highly capital-intensive solution over the opposite ten times out of nine. To speak of the need for nuclear power when we haven't even taken the teeniest steps toward reducing the insane waste of our current way of life is what is wrong.

Where my pessimism comes in is here: I fear that the current global system (defended, enforced and policed by whom?) will block all meaningful and necessary (and necessarily radical) steps to reduce our energy consumption -- until disaster does become inevitable.

Nuclear and coal are going to win I fear, at least until we wake up -- but I think that means our kids will lose.

Dave, I would surely prefer that we not have to do nuclear (and certainly not coal).  I'm under no illusions about it bring a perfect answer, and I really see it a short (medium?) term solution.  The long term solution is to have less of us, and to live in a more sustainable fashion.  But we're in a bind here.  We've made too many of us thanks to using up all that stored energy in the last hundred years.  If population cannot be reduced gradually, then the world will be chaos.  And to do that we'll need a lot of energy for a time.  I've said before that the biggest, easiest opportunities are in conservation - but I don't think that will be enough.  We will also need sources.  
Firstly none of the following is meant as a political criticism of what you wrote. I actually agree that the Cuban experiment can teach us a lot about how the organise third world countries. I agree the Cuban example is relevant, but to what? Does the way Cuba dealt with it's energy gap after the fall of the Soviet State, give us cause for optimism or pessimism?

 Let's just say that Cuba is not a "democracy" in the sense most Americans would recognise. Cuba is a highly organised society, just look at the way they tackle hurricanes, moving hundreds of thousands of people out of harms way. Cuba has an "interesting" social and economic structure, shall we call it that? It also has a very intrusive political structure which is highly organised, down to street corner level. The central role of the Cuban Communist Party cannot be overlooked here. Some would describe Cuba as a dictatorship, a totalitarian state, or authoritarian.

Are we to conclude that emulating Cuba as a model for how to survive Peak Oil is relevant or even desirable for the Unitid States? If we say that we can learn from Cuba, aren't we also, paradoxically, underlining just how big a challenge countries like the US face, given the very different social/economic structure of the US? Are we meant to come to positive or negative conclusions when we turn away from Cuba and look at the United States?

I know you were only using Cuba as an example to illustrate that it is possible in practice for a country to survive something similar to PO, and that in theory the US could do the same. I just feel it's highly unlikely. I believe the United States will have to come up with it's own model for dealing with PO. I just don't think opting for "dictatorship" is valid in a US context.

On the other hand! One could argue that the American experience during WW2 is relevant and wartime politics/society/economics is a form of "soft dictorship", so maybe you're right after all?

'I no longer need to see graphs, estimates, trends, bar charts or pictures to prove that the "party is over."'

OK, then maybe you need to go somewhere else, then.

Honestly! If you have decided that our fate is sealed, then, quite frankly, you are wasting your own time by spending any of it reading and commenting on this site.

However, I, and others here, I'm sure, are still interested in trying to figure out what the future holds, so I am very interested in reading the analysis and seeing the graphs. It is these things which keep me coming back every day to see 'where we are at'.

Quite frankly, one less poster of completely superfluous, depressing doom and gloom comments will make it easier for the rest of us to see 'the wood' in all 'the trees'.

OK, then maybe you need to go somewhere else, then.

As I read it this is the open thread. More then that your solution to nuclear power is more nuclear power. Frankly, humans have had little need for more then a fire that did cooking, heating and offered some light and some protection for thousands of years. The industrial part of the story is one of the shortest segments in the human chain thus far. Doom and gloom is a possible result and so survival depends on looking at all of the ramifications of resource depletion.

The global population is at a minimum a problem to the wealthy since they rather not see the very same standard of living that may one day be the only one left...Poverty

Thanks for telling me to get bent and I hope that you fair well!

I was at Advanced Diesel Injection Services (ADIS) in San Diego this morning to have my VW TDI injection pump inspected.  ADIS's major client is Camp Pendleton for whom they rebuild thousands of injection pumps and injectors a year.  A few months ago Pendleton decided to run their diesel generator rigs on 85% biodiesel.  I presume the fuel they used was commercially prepared and not something made from Thai cooking oil.  After running one tank (size unknown) of this fuel they experienced injection pump and injector failures that required rebuilding the pumps and injectors for all 240 generators.  Every pump was coated inside with a gummy substance that was almost impossible to remove.  As far as I can tell it looked like the brownish goo that forms on a frying pan when cooking with oil.  The injectors were completely gunked up with carbon and also had to be rebuilt.

I asked Tanya at ADIS if this was an isolated experience.  She said they regularly receive ruined injector pumps and injectors from people who have run greater than 5% biodiesel mix in their equipment.

I was shocked to hear this because almost all the webpress claims biodiesel is better for diesel engines than petrodiesel.

What I find fascinating is that ADIS has no interest in biodiesel one way or the other.  They simply rebuild pumps and injectors.  I guess one might cynically suppose that ADIS is concerned because biodiesel is so much better than petrodiesel that if everyone started using it their pumps and injectors would never require maintenance.  However, my experience over several years of dealing with these guys is that they're very straight shooters.  On several occasions I've taken in pumps where they could have charged me $400 for a rebuild but they advised me the pump was within spec and charged only $100 for an inspection.  As a result I tend to trust what they say.  They've been in the business for many years and I can't believe the Marines would be contracting with them if they didn't know their stuff.

According to Tanya the Marine Corp has terminated its experimentation with biodiesel after this massive failure.  I do not know what conditions prevailed during the test but I would assume the generators were running at Camp Pendleton during a cool winter and not in Iraq during the summer.

Tanya is sending me pictures of the inside of the injection pumps and I will post them.

I don't know what the thermochemical reaction might be but it seems reasonable that the temperatures in the pump could be high enough to cause polymerization of the fatty chains similar to what happens in a frying pan.

Tom says the biodiesel doesn't store well - that it takes up water and grows fungus and algae throughout.

I would think that if all this is true there would be a fair amount of press about it so it's a great mystery to me.

Any of you guys hear similar stories?

The bio probably dissolved sludge left in the tank by 'mineral' diesel, so it wouldn't happen if bio had been used from Day 1. Now the system has been cleaned it should work fine on biodiesel provided the quality is OK. The flip side to fungal infection is that spills will clean themselves with bugs in the soil and water. The benzene type compounds (aromatics) in petroleum diesel make it nastier for humans and microbes alike. Some alcohol in the  fuel mix should help.
The gensets tanks probably were filled with petrosludge but wouldn't a big diesel generator have fuel filters to keep that crap out of the pump and injectors?  If the filter's clogged, the generator would stall out and the sludge wouldn't make it to the pump.

Furthermore, this crap didn't dissolve with any of the solvents they normally use to work on pumps that run petrodiesel.  Even after cleaning with very aggressive solvents the parts retained a greyish color as if they had been anodyzed.  Surely if the stuff in the pumps were just dissolved sludge from petrodiesel then the normal solvents would have removed it easily.

Good try but I don't think your hypothesis works.

Good try but I don't think your hypothesis works.

Yet the people who sell and advise biodiesel say exactly above - biodiesel acts as a solvent and all the crud from dino-diesel comes loose.  Expect clogging and the need to change the filters.

Indirect injection works best with veggie oil.  

Nowhere in my reading have I come across caveats about biodiesel sludging up injection pumps

Huh.  'common knoweldge' of interducing biodiesel into a previous diesel environemt will see lotsa sludge.   Guess you and I are not reading the same litrature.   Try poking about on google with using biodiesel instead of fuel oil in a fuel oil stove, as that is where I first heard of it.

Visit journeyytoforever.com too

You're missing the point completely.  I'm not talking about veggie oil or sludge clogging filters.  I'm talking about something that goes right through the filters and gunks up the inside of the injection pump so badly that normal solvents won't even touch it.
I'd titrate some of that fuel and see if it didn't have e.g. some un-washed KOH catalyst in it, causing corrosion.

Dropping some injector parts in dilute KOH might create similar deposits and show whether the hypothesis is good or not.

Great idea!  I'll give that a try.  Thanks.
Tom says the biodiesel doesn't store well - that it takes up water and grows fungus and algae throughout.

Regular diesel does this really well given a moist environment (vented diesel tanks on boats) and long storage time.  There are products to prevent critters from growing but it's a lot more work to get rid of them once they do (see "fuel polishing").

I guess it's sad, but it's certainly possible that biodiesel could have a higher tendency ...

You're absolutely right about that petrodiesel is somewhat hygroscopic - Tom was comparing biodiesel to petrodiesel when he opined that the biodiesel takes water up faster.

I'm trying to figure this out because I'm thinking about making some biodiesel from vegetable oil and I'm not going to do it if it ruins my pump and injectors.  A remanufactured injector pump costs $700 and a new one costs $2000 for a VW TDI.  It requires five hours of tedious labor and $200 worth of tools to replace it.  Injectors are easy to remove but they cost $50 each to rebuild.  Not something I want to do often.

Nowhere in my reading have I come across caveats about biodiesel sludging up injection pumps - everyone seems completely gungho.  Now I find a reputable injection pump rebuilding business claiming biodiesel can ruin a pump and injectors after a single tank - with pictures to prove it.

How do I reconcile this with reports of going 100,000 miles?  Something's really odd here.

Let me throw this question out to the folks who know organic chemistry.  At what temperature will biodiesel polymerize into long sticky hydrocarbon chains?  Is there a significant difference between petrodiesel and biodiesel in this respect?

I guess I can put some in a fry pan and cook it up.  It's vegetable oil with a hydroxly replacing a triglyceride at the head of the chain, right? Can the hydroxyl get knocked off and two chains link up strictly from heat energy? I'm talking way out of my depth here so don't dump on me too hard.

IIUC, heating causes triglycerides to break down and form some free fatty acids.  If you do an alkaline transesterification, the FFA's wind up as soap; to convert them to methyl esters you first need to do esterification using acid.  THEN you add enough alkali to create the conditions for transesterification of the remaining glycerides.
The actual biodiesel is an ester.  It would be unlikely to polymerize.  The problem is more likely water or crud left over from petrodiesel.

From wikipedia:

The second problem with biodiesel is that it is hydrophilic (has a great affinity for water). Some of the water is residual to the processing, and some is coming from storage tank condensation. The presence of water is a problem for a number of reasons:

    * Water reduces the heat of combustion. This means more smoke, harder starting, less power.
    * Water will cause corrosion of vital fuel system components--fuel pumps, injector pumps, fuel lines, etc.
    * Water, as it approaches 32°F begins to form ice crystals. These crystals provide sites of nucleation and accelerate the gelling of the residual fuel.
    * Water is part of the respiration system of most microbes. Biodiesel is a great food for microbes and water is necessary for microbe respiration. The presence of water accelerates the growth of microbe colonies which can seriously plug up a fuel system. Bio users that have heated fuel tanks face a year round microbe problem.

Did you ever hear of the "round the world" biodiesel yacht guy?  He might have info:


Lots of ideas here, but it would be nice if it turned out to be "greedy government contractor."

Are you suggesting that the fuel supplier might have delivered bad fuel?  That could be.  If so I might be able to get a sample of the fuel they used and get it analyzed.  Anyone know who does this.  I can mail a sample out so location isn't important.
Unless the contracter wanted to squash biodiesel use it would be more like "stupid contractor."  Selling the Marines tainted fuel is a bad idea.  Can you imagine how much they paid to have all those injectors and pumps refurbished?  And how much inconvenience it cost in their logistics to have all their gensets down?
Greedy and stupid are not mutually exclusive traits. I would even say that being greedy tends to make one do things that others consider stupid.

The military gets screwed all the time. It's part of the way our economic system has been kept afloat and reliable political supporters are rewarded. The Marines are especially susceptible because they are just a subsidiary department of the Navy.

A fairly big case in point from many years ago. The Navy ordered several squadrons of a radically new tailless fighter design from what was then Chance Vought Aviation. It was designated the F7U Cutlass. The thing is, they signed the order before conducting carrier trials, which it failed. So, they gave them to the Marines. AFAIK, the Marines never found a use for it either.

Chance Vought made a batch of money, went on to supply the Navy a lot of F8Us and the derivative A-7, and merged into LTV.

Yes, we are a department of the Navy.

The men's department.

I'll check my sources out on the Left Coast on this.  I can see the experiment being attempted.  And if true about the varnish, word proably got around.
I'm going to call Advanced Diesel and see if they can put me in touch with someone in the Corps who is familiar with the specifics.  Inquiring minds want to know.  I'm only a few miles from Pendleton and would be happy for an outing.

If you could provide a specific unit name (1st Bn, 5th Marines, e.g.), I could probably track something down.  This is an interesting "unintended consequences" development re: biofuels.  No doubt there are plenty of unexpected downsides that will make getting to techno-utopia more difficult than is generally perceived.

There really ain't no free lunches.

I just got my April Discover.  The cover blurb says, "Anything into oil!  It works: Recycled Waste Is the The Future of Fuel."

Yup, it's an article about that turkey waste plant.  (They are now calling the process "thermal conversion," not "thermal depolymerization.")  The actual article is not as optimistic as the cover blurb.  Hopefully Discover will put it in the public section of their Web site when the April issue goes online.

...Appel looks wearier than he did when Discover broke the news about his company's technology (see "Anything Into Oil," May 2003).  Back then, when the process was still experimental, Appel predicted that the Carthage plant would crank out oil for about $15 a barrel and rack up profits from day one.  But the plant was delayed by construction problems, and federal subsidies were postponed.  After it started up, a foul odor angered town residents, leading to a temporary shutdown in December 2005.  Production costs turned out to be $80 a barrel, meaning that for most of the plant's working life Appel has lost about $40 per barrel.  As recently as last April, he feared the whole operation might implode.  

But he's since gotten $100 million in private funding and $17 million in government grants.  He hopes to install more scrubbers to deal with the odor problem and restart soon, hopefully actually turning a profit this time.

Why has it been so difficult?  "Basically, everything has been more complex and expensive than anyone guessed."

He claims that without government subsidies for the oil and gas industry, consumers would pay $15/gallon for gasoline, so he sees his government subsidies as just leveling the playing field.

However, he is planning to decamp for Europe.  Europe is much more generous with the subsidies.  Plus, they are paranoid about mad cow disease, and thermal conversion is the only practical way of dealing with prion-infected carcasses.

"He claims that without government subsidies for the oil and gas industry, consumers would pay $15/gallon for gasoline, so he sees his government subsidies as just leveling the playing field."

Based on the assumption that pre-tax gasoline/diesel is below $2 per barrel everywhere in the world and that most post refined products are either gas or diesel, I calculate that the value of this subsidy would have to be over 10 trillion dollars.

Total oil consumed (85 mbpd) X number of gallons per barrel (42) X days in a year (365) X $13 per barrel subsidy.

This would equal $17 trillion.

Sounds like he came up with the answer before he came up with the calculation, eh? Chuckle.
About a book that may interest TODders:

I just finished 1491 by Charles Mann. It is about pre-Columbian America. I usually skim books these days, rarely finish them, and never, ever read the appendices. I have not yet finished Appendix D on the three Mayan calendars - but that's it.

So many of our pre-conceptions are at least partly wrong. The Americas were heavily populated before the Europeans came. Diseases introduced by the Europeans ran far ahead of the settlements, so that what the Europeans saw in the way of villages and population was but shadow of what existed before.

The Indians did not have immunity to European diseases, nor the diversity of immune system types. Their societies were, in most cases, greatly depleted before their encounters with European invaders.

The forests and wild game the early European saw were due to the collapse of Indian society. The entire North America continent was not like that under Indian care -- it was very much a managed, man-molded environment, thought very much better and sustainably managed than subsequently.

Zero was not first invented in India, but had been invented long before in South America. The wheel was also known to the South Americans, but used only in toys.

Even the Amazon was not an unmanaged jungle. Much of it too was managed, and populated. What we see is the result of collapse.

Some of the primitive tribes in the Amazons were remnants, refugees from much more highly developed societies that had collapsed in face of disease, collapse and the European onslaught.

The American Indians were not at all attracted to European culture and society. The reverse is not true.

The technology gap between the European invaders and the Indians was far narrower than one might have imagined, and in many cases the gap was in the opposite direction. One example: Europeans tend to build with stiff elements; the Indians with flexible elements, and rope. The Europeans envied the Indians their snug, warm and dry teepees.

Finally, one learns that archeologists with competing theories fight like cats in bag. We TODders are relatively civilized. But maybe that's only because Prof G raps our knuckles when we're naughty.

The study of pre-Columbian societies is of immense interest to those interested in the human condition. Here agriculture, civilization, and all that goes with it, were invented independently and not necessarily later than in Europe, Asia and Africa.

The rapid collapse of Indian populations and societies due to disease is a sobering reminder of the fragility of our tenancy on the planet.

The collapse in Indian societies in America is a tragedy of indescribable proportions. Not just for the Indians, but for us. What they knew, we will once again need to know, just as those first settlers needed to know.

"The wheel was also known to the South Americans, but used only in toys."

Think about that. Technology that exists, yet somehow does not revolutionizes society. Another example: The greek inventor Heron made a steam engine.


I used to know a guy who was a real know-it-all. He had an opinion on everything. Anyway, he said that the hard part about inventing the wheel wasn't inventing the wheel. Many cultures invented the wheel and didn't do anything with it.

Wheels by themselves don't actually work very well. The problem is that they wear out too quickly, so that the work of putting together the wheel, axle, bearings etc. is not worth it.

The trick to inventing the wheel and making it useful was wrapping the circumference in iron or some similar hard material so that the wheel would not be destroyed by rolling over the ground. This was the key insight that made the wheel useful to Roman and similar early cultures. It is why Western explorers used the wheel for transport while most "primitive" cultures they encountered did not.

At least, that's what the guy said.

I should think that inventing the roads was the difficult part.
Jared Diamond talks about this in Collapse.  He argues that the reason the wheel never became more than a toy in the Americas is that they had no draft animals.  There's a certain suite of characteristics that makes a wild animal domesticable, and there were no large animals that qualified in the New World.  The closest they had was the llama, and that's way too small.  
The greek inventor Heron made a steam engine.

Urban Legend is that James Watt was first to make a steam engine.
In fact, James Watt's contribution (a big one) was to add a "condenser" to the steam engine.

Anyone notice how the casually bandied about "OPEC is pumping flat out" is getting more and more popular in the mainstream media?

What I'm waiting for is someone to draw the obvious comparison to the Texas Railroad Commission opening the throttles flat out in the early 1970s and the concept of peak oil.

Sure, sure, CERA says we're gonna be swimming in oil, but OPEC has essentially been flat out for the better part of a year, in my book, certainly for light sweet stuff.

Here's a sample of the type of bandying I speak of (no idea if this will link properly...):

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060308/bs_nm/energy_opec_dc_5;_ylt=Aj5DWjFz55X92BI0yR.uupyAsnsA;_ylu=X3 oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

Well, it SEEMS to link properly in the preview, so there it goes. Nice website work!

some one LOCAL learned a Lesson= Do Not Depend on "someonez-elses" to watch you back or butt.
Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 March 2006, 01:23 GMT  

Vesuvius risks 'underestimated'

Researchers are warning that the next eruption of Vesuvius could be much more deadly than the Italian authorities are planning for.

Professor Sheridan said he had been motivated by the US experience of Hurricane Katrina last year, when authorities failed to prepare adequately for a well-understood weather disaster.

"The current planning doesn't consider the maximum probable event," explained Professor Sheridan.
There have been notable cases recently where disaster planners have not taken into account the worst-case scenario and this eruption would certainly be one of those.


TOOOO funny for mother's comments (She spit hamsthebeerrefreshing up her nose when she saw this onez...I think She was thinking closer to "A Bay of Pigs?")

San Francisco: A city in waiting?  
By Simon Winchester
San Francisco  

If you have written a book suggesting that San Francisco could soon be levelled by a massive earthquake, you may find Californians a little reluctant to accept your message. Author Simon Winchester's idea that the US of the future could contain a number of ruined and abandoned cities has met a frosty reception.

I can't believe it's TUESDAY! already... man how the seconds tick...tick...tick by in Geo-TimezUp.

(((Hmmmmmm... good bathroom reading," says The Mother doing her Nature's Business..." FASCINATING... even I didn't notice that little tidbit hmmmzzzzssss" she purssszzz )))......

She is planning to "redecorate" HER garden SOON NOW like (git it ????). What Plantz can tolerate the NeWz Garden she is wondering...)

    100 things we didn't know this time last year

best one as metaphor for Psychological Transition during the Coming .. UknowWhat...

87. Pulling your foot out of quicksand takes a force equivalent to that needed to lift a medium-sized car.

  1. Mohammed is now one of the 20 most popular names for boys born in England and Wales.

  2. Nicole Kidman is scared of butterflies(("...figures- tisk,tisk,tisk..."))).

  3. Baboons can tell the difference between English and French. (look, smell, sound, feel and taste the same ???? too???)

  4. There are an estimated 1,000 people in the UK in a persistent vegetative state. ((..".hmmm low-ballzers...)))

  5. You're 10 times more likely to be bitten by a human than a rat. ((("...note to self - transpecies=many variableszzz??? ...)

74. It takes a gallon of oil to make three fake fur coats.

  1. One in 18 people has a third nipple. (( -all gubermint employees???))

  2. Nettles growing on land where bodies are buried will reach a foot higher than those growing elsewhere.

More details http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/4566526.stm
from Simmons website. I didnt see these reports until recently. In fact this section was usually blank except for one old report. This one is interesting although it shows a less pessimistic Simmons.


First law of thermodyamics
may apply what is going to happen to us all.

What are the Laws of Thermodynamics?

1st Law--Energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed. The total amount of energy in the universe remains constant, merely changing from one form to another.

The sun took along time to transfer its energy to our planet.

We have used this energy in a very short time.


1)You cannot win (that is, you cannot get something for nothing, because matter and energy are conserved).

2)You cannot break even (you cannot return to the same energy state, because there is always an increase in disorder; entropy always increases).

3)You cannot get out of the game (because absolute zero is unattainable).

Is it just me or is the "War on Terror" getting a little "COLDer"??

From Reuters, via Yahoo!::
"Rice, Lavrov expose widening US-Russia rift"

"The top diplomats from Russia and the United States exposed their countries' widening rift on Tuesday, publicly airing disagreements over how to curb Iran's nuclear programs and other issues, such as trade and democracy"

the article closes by stating:
"That sense of suspicion contrasted with the early days of Bush's presidency when Bush said he trusted Putin after looking into his soul."

I wonder what Mr Putin saw in GW's soul when first he gazed into it's icy depths.

Is this the start of the expected posturing for front row seats to Iran's oil sale.  Is China next. I think US rhetoric will get drowned out quite quickly if (once again) very few countries sign on as free agents in our Pre-war anti-Iran "world militia" draft. We'll see if Rummy's really as crazy as I think he is.