DrumBeat: June 1, 2006

Now for some wise words from the readers of The Oil Drum...
Interesting that a senior geologist with Chevon casually says that the Middle East has peaked.  Note the comment by the author of the article that worldwide supplies are threatening to decline.

New York Times:
For Venezuela, a Treasure in Oil Sludge


"We do know that the Orinoco is underdeveloped," said Mr. Nelson, 49, a geologist from California with 27 years' experience developing heavy-grade oil. "And the resources in the Middle East are at their midpoint."

With demand rising, worldwide supplies threatening to decline and oil prices near record levels, the struggle in this country underscores the growing debate between governments and oil companies worldwide over profits from technologically challenging but potentially lucrative oil fields -- whether in the Caspian Sea, the Arctic tundra or here in the Orinoco region.

BTW, as has been referenced earlier, an interesting item from the Energy Bulletin on Saudi oil production:  "Saudi output since April stood at 9.1 million barrels per day (bpd), Petrologistics said. That was down from around 9.42 million bpd in March."   http://www.tradearabia.com/tanews/newsdetails_snOGN_article105674_cnt.html

The article claims that the production decline was due to voluntary cutbacks because of lower demand, but what is odd is that oil prices don't seem to reflect the lower demand.  Also, if I interpret the numbers in the article correctly, the Saudis have not increased their production back up to the 9.4 range.  

As I pointed out in our (Khebab & Brown) Energy Bulletin article, Saudi Arabia is now at about the same point at which Texas started its permanent decline.  The Oil & Gas Journal recently published an article that had an even lower reserve estimate for Saudi Arabia than our work indicated.

The four week running average of total US petroleum imports has rebounded back to the same level we saw in later December, 2005, after a 15% to 25% increase in crude oil prices.    The price/import discrepancy was what I though was so odd.  Why were US importers paying more for less crude oil and product?  My conclusion was that we are seeing the early stages of a bidding war for available net oil export capacity.  

What is impossible to quantify is what happened to total petroleum imports into poorer countries.  We do have lots of news reports of cutbacks in consumption in places like Thailland and Senegal and news reports of riots over fuel prices and fuel supplies in India and Pakistan.  

IMO, we are (temporarily) outbidding poorer importers.   The recent news from Saudi Arabia doesn't offer much reason for optimism on net export capacity.

Greeting and salutations.

In answer to your speculation concerning the reason for the reported increase in cost per bbl of imported crude: Isn't the most probable answer the effect that some of the short term hedge fortward buying enterred into prior to the run up in oil prices haveing gone throught the systems resulting in more purchases at a current spot price? Maybe this is what you meant by the bidding war???

My nominee for the second most likely cause is that the mix between light / sweet versus heavy and sour crudes may have shifted toward the more easily refinable and tighter supply of the good stuff.

One last point to which I have been trying to elicit a comments from someone [hopefully a whole lot better informed than me]: The headline cost of a bbl of WTI or Brent seems to react to reported U.S. inventories, but the differential between WTI and Brent ain't what it used to be. Is the overall level of the market actually being driven by the inventory numbers on the other side of the pond? Inquiring minds want to know. Thanks & :-)

Is peak oil now a fashion statement?? Here we have Robert Redford going on record stating We  need to Kick the oil habit

I believe America is ready to kick the oil habit and launch a new movement for real solutions and a better future.

Something is happening all across the country. People are coming together and demanding new answers. A grassroots movement is gathering today to promote solutions, like renewable fuels, clean electricity, more efficient cars, and green buildings that use less energy -- all of which are exciting alternatives that rebuild our communities even as they cut pollution and create good jobs. And, when people come together to invest themselves in building a better future, we are not only helping to solve our energy crisis, but we are taking back our democracy itself.

How many cars does he own?
What color ribbon do I need to wear for "peak oil" awareness? Black? Green? E-85 Yellow? No wait, yellow was for AIDS. Or was it the troops?
When oil runs out we won't be able to make ribbons anymore.
Maybe I should hurry up and make a "peak oil" awareness ribbon sticker for the back of SUVs!
How about a black drip, with (white text) "PO" in the middle?
PO = piss off? as in Friday is Poet's day? (piss off early, tomorrow is Saturday). British humour. Sorry, humor :)
I believe that would be a yellow and green ribbon for E85(from the logo of "Live Green Go Yellow)..
Shell out Green, Turn Yellow.
Order your Peak Oil ribbons here:
That ribbon looks great. Do I have permission to develop a bumper sticker to advertise theoildrum.com ? I suppose a bumper sticker like "Why are gas prices so high? Visit theoildrum.com !" would get the interest of yuppies.
Maybe they can add an arrowhead to the back loop with the arrow pointing down to the ground to let people know where we are heading if we don't do something about PO?

Cool, you can custom design your own:

How apropriate. All this talk of ribbons. About a week ago I saw a yellow Support-the-Troops ribbon/magnet. I had a good chuckle since it was the first one I could remember seeing in the last year. It was on the back of a ten-year-old sub-compact Toyota driven by an ethnic-minority as best I can guess, with all four seats filled, no doubt with a son, or daughter, or two somewhere just east of Falluja.

While we fret about Haditha, rich, white, drive-yourself- to-the-mall-in-an-Expedition- isn't George Bush awful, politically purple Americans could give a shit. I thought it was funny that as half of us want to get rid of all the aliens, it seems the immigrants may be the only ones that care any more.

What happened to all those yellow ribbons? Not cool anymore?

I like the black peak-oil one, Step Back. I think you may have a winner there. The only thing you want to achieve is to get one person to ask - what the hell does that mean? And you've succeeded.

Hey, a parked car is better than a moving one ;-), maybe he should corner the market.
The comments appended to the article are just as interesting. The commentators are enthusiastic about "getting off oil," but you can tell they have no concept of what that really means. An example:

American innovation always solves problems. Henry Ford ran his original Model T on corn oil so we can recapture our independence from petroleum products through cellulosic ethanol and conservation measures. No question American grassroots ingenuity can retool our actions relative to our energy needs.

Definitely not a techno-curmudgeon!

Another reason to question the grand idea of using nuclear power as 'the solution'.

The economics of oofle dust

Commercial-in-confidence, shhhhh!

The US alone has in excess of 720,000 tonnes of depleted uranium hexafluoride in storage in enormous "parking lots". It is contained in large, thick-walled special steel containers, which must be re-painted and tested for leaks continuously. The containers hold almost all of the dUF6 that was created since 1946.

720,000 tons of toxic material.  Which needs energy inputs to be maintained.   In a time when humanity is looking into using food materials as fuel....how will such continual maintance be justified?

Justification comes from the fact that this is very toxic material! And it will remain toxic for a VERY long period.
And, if I am not mistaken, UF6 is an amazing GHG, exponentially more damaging than CO2.
If we released our entire stockpile of UF6, it would probably have less global warming potential that one year's worth of the CO2 released by the global burning of fossil fuels.  This estimate is based on the numbers for SF6 given at: http://www.gdrc.org/uem/waste/waste-gases.html
Last time I checked 720,000 tonnes of UF6 is 30 000 times less than the CO2 we release in the atmosphere. Are you:
1) UF6 is 30 000 times more potent GHG than CO2?
1) Suggesting to release it all in the air?
2) Suggesting that we have to enclose it in a large steam house so that it does not condensate at night and soak in the ground (UF6 condensates at about 30 degrees Celsium)?

Great ideas! It is amazing what kind of idiotic arguments would people think of when they want to prove anything.

Hi LevinK,

I'm not trying to pick an argument, but:

  1. Without checking out the figures it doesn't seem unreasonable - CFCs for instance are thousands of times more effective GHGs than CO2

  2. I don't think it was a suggestion.

  3. ...and water condenses at 100oC, still, there is plenty of water in the atmosphere. ie, vapour pressure is the issue, not boiling point (where vapour pressure is 1atm pressure)
1. Without checking out the figures it doesn't seem unreasonable - CFCs for instance are thousands of times more effective GHGs than CO2

I don't need to prove that - he does. I just made a wild guess that 30 000 times is extremely unlikely. Want to make a bet?

2) I don't think it was a suggestion.

I think it was implied. Without anybody intentionally opening the caps and spraying this substance in the air there is physically no way for it ending up into the atmosphere in any substantial amounts.
Needless to say that even in the wildest civilisation-collapsing-terrorist-paranoid dreams I haven't seen anybody suggesting such thing. Actually I prefer fearing the Moon falling down on Earth than that.

..and water condenses at 100oC, still, there is plenty of water in the atmosphere. ie, vapour pressure is the issue, not boiling point (where vapour pressure is 1atm pressure)

Ever noticed that the water on the Earth surface is quite more than the one in the atmosphere (some several million times)? The reasons I will not explain because you seem to be acquainted with physics. If this substance ever gets released it will contaminate the soil, the underground water and just a miniscule amount will evaporate, uless like I said someone puts in our deodorands. After some years (months?) it will chemically degrade (UF6 is unstable) releasing some F in the air and most of the U will end up in the seas and on the ground.

I'm sorry for nitpicking on this, but people talk all sort of BS and sometimes others that can refute it just don't bother, cause' they think it is "self-evident". Then the BS turns into myth and the myth to a God-proven truth.

  Why is the UF6 the stored form why is it not converted to a solid. I thought the gas form was just for the enrichment.  Can they bombard the depleted uranium to make fissible plutonium.  Then you would have fuel from waste, no?  Obviously next you have wast form that fission but are they not researching multi step fission resctors that bring the waste to a lower state.  I agree with you though pressurized UF6 in tanks seems like a when not an if type of disaster.


sorry just saw the answer further down....:)
Justification comes from the fact that this is very toxic material! And it will remain toxic for a VERY long period.

We know that Uranium w/o the radioactive part is a mutitigen.   Making it a gas creates a purified U,. once you convince the F to attach elsewhere.

Thus far it looks like the disposal plan is 'the solution to pollution is dillution' and America is happy to dilute the U across the landscape of Iraq and Afaganstan.  

Having 700,000+ tons from 1946 looks to me like no disposal plan.   If 'we' are unprepared to deal with the waste of energy production, why again are 'we' planning on making more waste?

eric blair -

 Uranium hexafluoride (UF6) resulting from the depleted fraction of the uranium enrichment process is indeed very nasty stuff, not so much due to residual radioactivity but also due to the fact that it is highly corrosive and highly toxic.

The only reason that this enormous amount of waste UF6 has accumulated is that, at the time, it was considered cheaper to just store the stuff and forget about it rather than to chemically convert it back into either metallic depleted uranium or uranium oxide (UO3), both of which are far less reactive, far less chemically mobile, and far less toxic than UF6. Both would pose far less danger regarding permanent disposal.

I don't see why a processing plant couldn't be set up to convert all that stored UF6 into either  uranium metal or UO3. The answer, of course, is money.

By the way, UF6 is actually a crystalline solid at room temperature.  At atmospheric pressure it becomes a gas at about 125  degrees F and goes directly from a solid to a gas with no intermediate liquid phase (sublimation).  

Also note that processing this stuff back into metallic uranium or uranium oxide would make it far eaier to store for the longer term. A stable metallic uranium, stored deep in salt mines, would be far less likely to end up back out in the ecosphere than uranium hexaflouride that can become gaseous and is highly reactive in the first place.

The safer way to store this is to reprocess it. And we don't reprocess it because that is considered taboo under the NPT. So for purely political purposes now we are going to subject all the tomorrows to our folly.

The safer way to store this is to reprocess it.

If 'we' are not going to re-process the waste, then 'we' should not make MORE of it to not convert back into UO3.  

(leaving it as U - metal is a fire hazard, no?)

If 'we' are not going to re-process the waste, then 'we' should not make MORE of it to not convert back into UO3.

I think the more obvious alternative is to start reprocessing the waste, including the one on storage what do you think? Russia does it, are we so far behind already?

leaving it as U - metal is a fire hazard, no?

Sorry to disappoint, but no. Uranium doesn't burn unless you intentionally store it as powder and even then it will not burn well. Like many metals (silver comes to mind) it reacts with oxygen at room temperature to form an UO3 cover.

But still storing it as UO3 would be a better idea.

I've had a question forever on nuclear waste....why don't we ship it into space?  I mean really.  I know it would cost a bunch of money but is the real reason we don't do it b/c it might explode and all that waste is now scattered?  You could argue that the cost of leaving it in the ground is far greater than paying for a rocket to blast it into space.
The risk of an accident during launch or during flight is too great. If the rocket were to blow up, or crash, it would scatter high-level waste in the atmosphere and cause a severe contamination problem. By comparison, it would make Chernobyl look like a picnic. Aside from that, the cost is prohibitively high. There is about 100 million gallons of high level nuclear waste at various sites in the U.S.
a better plan would be to bury the wast along subduction zones in the earth's crust.
I've often wondered if it would be possible to "fling" things into space. We can build a big flywheel, and then spin it up really fast, and...
  1. It would be very expensive in money and energy.

  2. Do not throw away a resource that has a fair chance for being recycled.
Thanks Magnus. This stuff will be recycled. Whether it is better to store it in metalic form, as a salt, or in a gaseous state is beyond may level of understanding ... but is IMO a cost accountant's answer to an engineer's alternate processing technical solutions.
"Money" is a way of saying "Energy". Whatever the EROEI for nuclear reactors is, it's going to be a lot worse if all the waste is to get launched... low earth orbit won't work, all that junk just comes drifting back down after a few dozen years or so. Do you want it out of earth orbit altogether?

I haven't done the math, but I bet the energy yield from a pound of uranium reactor fuel is significantly less than the energy it would take to launch that pound e.g. past the geosynchronous altitude.

Give it to Iran - they will only use for peaceful purposes - not
to destroy Israel. :-)
Just another of the collapse-scenario consequences that terrify me--who will be responsible for safeguarding ALL nuclear materials in the event that civilization-as-we-know-it disappears?

Think I'll go to my happy place for a while.....

Hello Autodidact,

The unwashed masses, and worst of all, our leaders, prefer to stay in their mental 'happy place' instead of realistically avoiding the sledgehammer blows of PO & GW.   Building large biosolar habitats offers an optomistic message of teamwork, community, and the inclusion of all Nature in a harmonious function.  Widespread understanding of this message can create a positive outlook for pioneer change; a mental happy place and a physical happy place can be one and the same.  This is just what Pres. Carter was trying to achieve in his 'Sweater Speech'.

Our leaders need to create some pilot programs that people can visit via webcams: to see all the physical redesign work, the permaculture efforts, and the interaction of the people involved.  These initial efforts can also be closely monitored for research gains in all scientific and humanistic fields.  Large pilot programs can induce a positive public outlook as we go postPeak to head off violence.  Otherwise expect the unwashed masses to riot like those that invaded, trashed the offices, and beat up the employees of that African utility company.

Pres. Bush's Crawford ranch is ready to go off the grid. Is he helping his Texas neighbors in the same manner to build a future biosolar community?  I really don't know, but I doubt it.  Yet, he has the political power to jumpstart a biosolar program that could quickly spread for dozens of miles, in all directions, with his house at the center.  His self-interest could rapidly include hundreds of other Powerdown Pioneers.

The Senators from each state could strive to do the same as most are individually wealthy in their own right.  They could buy property scientifically determined to be centered in the best biosolar places in each state, then encourage the surrounding growth of Powerdown Pioneers to build a larger habitat.  

Bob Shaw in Phx,AZ  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Some points:
  • There are no grand ideas except that we are going to have to try just about every available solution to avoid an implosion of civilization. Nuclear power is not a silver bullet, probably a silver pellet.
  • The external costs for fossil fuels, the implications of global warming, are going to be much higher than the external costs for nuclear.  There is no free lunch, any energy source is going to have significant external costs.
  • The sequestered 'waste' UF6 is a mere speck compared to the billions of tons of toxic ash and gas released into the air by coal power plants.  The particulates have killed millions, while that UF6 probably hasn't killed anyone.
  • Using technology like the Integral Fast Reactor, all of that depleted UF6 is nuclear fuel.  There is enough of it that even with 100% of the electrical grid going nuclear we could go a couple of hundred years without needing to mine any more uranium.  
  • The fact is that we have the UF6, it might as well be used. It is like chosing to ride a bicycle instead of choosing to carry it because riding is risky and requires a minimal level of attention.
I do not believe there is any way to create the levels of energy we use (or even the levels we need) without significant impacts to the environment - regardless of what methods are used.  The impacts from coal and oil, and the methods used to get them, are also severely damaging.  I'm not saying that some aren't worse than others, but it is primarily the energy use itself that is the problem, not the source.

There aren't any better plans to fix the mountain tops blasted off in WV than there are to deal with the UF6.

Some years ago, perhaps 40 or so, a professor at the University of Arkansas -- I don't remember his name --  suggested converting or encasing nuclear waste into the form of glass bricks.  He would have them dumped into a slow-moving subduction zone, so that it would be several million years before some of it came back to the surface as part of a volcanic eruption.  I don't know that I could or would concur with such a solution.

However it might be done, I believe that the waste disposal problem must be solved before  we should contemplate signimicant expansion of nuclear generation facilities.  The would seems less reticent.

-- Mort.

No telling how you make it into glass, but so long as it's solid at high temp, it can be disposed of in some way. The subduction zones doesn't sound bad, but it'll be expensive. (as if any method is ever cheap)

A stable formation is also a good place, probably better than subduction zones. I can think of just THE place: depleted oil wells, the kind where ERoEI dropped to unity. Unless the owner attaches a windmill to the stripper well (four-itary extraction?) the well is capped forever. But before you cap it, you dump some nuke waste down it, fill it with cement, then cap it. Now, the solid waste sits at the drill bit thousands of feet down, with a slug of cement to keep idiots from getting at it, and the formation sits there forever. Texas would be a good "glowing state"!

The uranium doesn't worry me so much. We can use that in nuclear reactors to maintain our civilization a while longer as the oil runs out. (That is, until the ocean levels rise and all those nuclear power plants built along the seashore are submerged.) It's the tons of high level radioactive plutonium-239, cesium-137, cobalt-60, etc. that are not suitable for power generation, yet are sitting in radioactive waste dumps all over the world. Some, such as the Hanford site, are known to be leaking and are endangering ground water supplies. (Plutonium, the most toxic material known, and is used for making nuclear weapons.) Are we going to have the resources to clean up these nightmare materials?
Are we going to have the resources to clean up these nightmare materials?

If 'we' have not done the clean up when energy is cheap and plentiful, why would 'we' have 'excess energy' later?

The alpha and beta particles from cesium-137, strontium 90, and other wastes can be converted into electricity by rolling them with thin film PVs. These ultracap look alikes could continuosly put out kilowatts non-stop for decades. The only waste from nukes is brainpower wasted on throwing energy away.
Laughingly, the US DoE describes this intractable mess as "a future resource", but there is no way out. The energy and capital cost of changing this poison into something benign makes the nuclear option a loser

Another of the illiterate statements made up to bash nuclear. If this 720 000 tons of UF6 are processed and enriched in breeder reactors the energy contained in them will be equivelent to the burning of 3 600 billion barrels of oil, or more than all the oil that will ever be burnt! Is this what you call "waste"? Storing them for this future where we are supposed to "run out of uranium in 50 years" makes the most perfect sense for me.

I find it ridiculous to raise this question and keeping silent about the millions tons of ashes and heavy metals released by the coal power plants in the air every day!

Thanks God there are enviromentalists like the co-founder of Greenpeace Patrick Moore that finally saw the light.

The energy and capital cost of changing this poison into something benign makes the nuclear option a loser

Another of the illiterate statements made up to bash nuclear. If this 720 000 tons of UF6 are processed and enriched in breeder reactors

Lets see.  Converting Uranium-238 into Plutonium-239 is an IMPROVEMENT in your world?

Turning uranium into plutonium is like turning water into napalm. It has been used for nasty deeds but what a fuel source it would be!
Turning uranium into plutonium

How does such a conversion support the idea that 'changing this poison into something benign' is 'Another of the illiterate statements made up to bash nuclear'?

Not seeing the connection makes me wonder if you are at the right forum. Or at the right planet.
Not seeing the connection makes me wonder if you are at the right forum. Or at the right planet.

So why don't you explain it then?

Because on the planet I am on, the claim YOU called an 'illiterate statement'was The energy and capital cost of changing this poison into something benign.   Your 'helpful suggestion' was to take Uranium and make Plutoinum.    

Go ahead.  Spell it out.   Without your normal handwaving though.  

I'll WAG but I challange you to prove me wrong:

The cost of chemically transforming 1 kg of UF6 to reactor fuel (UO2) ~ several dollars per kilogram

The value of the energy contained in the U-239 if transformed and used as reactor fuel ~ some tens of thousands of dollars per kilogram.

Still don't thinking of U-239 is a resource? I say think whatever you want - this hardly changes reality.

You may ask why they don't make it now? Because it is not profitable at current prices, it's cheaper to just store it away. It is not even radioactive, just toxic. Like millions of tons of chemical and other waste compared to which this is just a tiny drop in the bucket. But some day it will certainly be profitable to use U-239, uranium is also supposed to run out, remember?

If in the meantime it happens that we are lucky enough to discover a better energy source in the future I will be the first to start demanding the nuclear industry to take care of it's waste - transform it, bury it in the desert, whatever. You have my word.

I'll WAG but I challange you to prove me wrong:
The cost of chemically transforming

Amazing.   You start by calling "The energy and capital cost of changing this poison into something benign makes the nuclear option a loser" an "illiterate statement" and offer up the solution of converting Uranium to Plutonium.

Now you've abandoned the nuclear transormation to a MORE toxic  material and offer up chemistry.

Amazing moving of debating goalposts.

If in the meantime it happens that we are lucky enough to discover a better energy source in the future ...... You have my word.

Considering  your past wilingness to discount acutal issues as 'illiterate statements', your words ring hollow.

"The energy and capital cost of changing this poison into something benign makes the nuclear option a loser" an "illiterate statement"

Yes it is. Ok, probably illiterate was the wrong choice of words but manipulative sure it is. The cost in question would be some hundreds of millions dollars. This is nothing for an industry working with tens of billions. Russia, Britain and France all do it without this affecting the cost of energy even slightly. But if you are in the industry and had the option:

a) to store some staff away at a cost of some tens of thousand dollars per year
2) build a plant that costs some 100 million

what would you choose? If I could spare that 100 million I could, unless the government decides to do its job and demand it to be built.

Eric, what you are doing I would mildly say is "acting a fool". You constantly challenge every word of your opponents and engage him/her in proving otherwise obvious things. I will be mild again and call this annoying. I can't escape the feeling you are doing that on perpuse in order to provoke ad hominen attacks. Now say something meaningful or please shut up.

The cost in question would be some hundreds of millions dollars. This is nothing for an industry working with tens of billions.

If it is AS simple as your handwaving claim is, why does the UF6 exist from 1946?

. But if you are in the industry and had the option:

a) to store some staff away at a cost of some tens of thousand dollars per year
2) build a plant that costs some 100 million

what would you choose?

The option you opted to not list.   As a corporation, you have no reason to SOLVE a long-term problem, esp. when the government has limited libality.   And, as a corporation, it is 'better' for the shareholders and heads of the company to transfer any/all weath and leave the waste product behind.    

But lets address what you DID claim.   It is not 'affordable' to process the waste.
If you can't "afford" to process the waste material, then you can't "Afford" to make the waste.

When you say "the government decides to do its job and demand it to be built." you are AGREEING that the UF6 should be re-processed into something less dangerous.  

So again, I'm not seeing why you are arguing with the position, when you are agreeeing with that reprocessing NEEDS to be done.

Eric, what you are doing I would mildly say is "acting a fool".

You can make any damn claim you want.  

You constantly challenge every word of your opponents and engage him/her in proving otherwise obvious things.

And yet you don't actually PROVE these 'obvious things', nor do others.    Must not be all htat obvious.

Now say something meaningful

Something Meaninful.

or please shut up.

Then how could we establish that we agree that the nuclear fission industry is un-insurable without the price-anderson law?   How could we agree that the UF6 needs reprocessing?

You can make any damn claim you want.

You're right, but it is meaningless when you don't answer your opponents and keep talking crap.

How could we agree that the UF6 needs reprocessing?

One more reason it is pointless to talk to you - if you did read my answers, you would have known that I agree on that point.

The fact that the nuclear in USA does not do it should lay as a responsibility to our government. Again to claim that some couple of hundred millions is not "affordable" for the nuclear industry is a complete bullshit.

Something Meaninful

How old are you?

If it is AS simple as your handwaving claim is, why does the UF6 exist from 1946?

I'm sorry I did not answer that central question:

From wikipedia:

Uranium hexafluoride

About 95% of the depleted uranium produced till now is stored as uranium hexafluoride, (D)UF6, in steel cylinders in open air yards close to enrichment plants. Each cylinder contains up to 12.7 tonnes (or 14 US tons) of UF6. In the U.S. alone, 560,000 tonnes of depleted UF6 had accumulated by 1993. In 2005, 686,500 tonnes in 57,122 storage cylinders were located near Portsmouth, Ohio, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Paducah, Kentucky. [9], [10] The long-term storage of DUF6 presents environmental, health, and safety risks because of its chemical instability. When UF6 is exposed to moist air, it reacts with the water in the air to produce UO2F2 (uranyl fluoride) and HF (hydrogen fluoride) both of which are highly soluble and toxic. Storage cylinders must be regularly inspected for signs of corrosion and leaks. The estimated life time of the steel cylinders is measured in decades. [11]

There have been several accidents involving uranium hexafluoride in the United States. [12] The U.S. government has been converting DUF6 to solid uranium oxides for disposal. [13] Such disposal of the entire DUF6 inventory could cost anywhere from 15 to 450 million dollars. [14]

So I was in the ballyard with the couple of hundred million $. To put in perspective what 450 million is (the high estimate), the nuclear industry in US is producing energy worth $107 mln. every day (@ $50/MWth). So with a 4 day of energy production they can pay for a 50 years production of uranium hexafluoride. But nobody makes them so they simply shirk.

Good point. In addition to being highly radioactive, plutonium is considered to be the most toxic substance known. How much of this stuff do we really want to have in the world? Pu-239 generated by a fast breeder reactor is a ideal for making nuclear bombs. If we ramp up nuclear energy, and manufacture of fissionable material with construction of more fast breeder reactors, how many more nations will get their hands on weapon's grade material? How long before terrorists get a nuclear bomb? How long before we have another nuclear accident?
I think energy scarcity is much worse conflict maker then making nuclear proliferation a little easier.
I think energy scarcity is much worse conflict maker

There is no 'energy scarcity'.   There is a lack of CHEAP energy, matching the historical pricing.

True. There is not. Yet.

We had electricity rationing in Bulgaria for some years before 1989. Trust me, nobody cared whether that energy that was missing was "cheap" or not.

How long before terrorists get a nuclear bomb?

About a year after Iran starts doing this.

nope the iaea has found no proof Iran is making a nuke.
if this administration was actually worried about them getting nukes they would be insisting that Russia do a wide scale collection and destroying of all their cold war bombs many of which are resting in poorly guarded facility's. many if not all of the 'Iran seeks the bomb' story's are plants like 'Iran color coding their minority's' one.
you can read more about it here.

"There can no longer be any reasonable doubt that Iran's ambition is to obtain nuclear weapons capability."

Joschka Fischer
Former German Foreign Minister and Green Party Leader

Is he on the CIA pay role too?


It's still only his assertion... and you quote him only because he stood up and said "Excuse me, I'm not convinced", to Rumsfeld, making the ultimately correct assertion that the US was pulling everyones leg...
I note that your source is a Pakistani one.
I also note the particular references in paragraph four about Isreal.
After the intial assertion the rest of the article boils down to if buts and maybes about the possible consequences (ie what other countries will do) if Iran gets the bomb... and given that Iran has signed the non proliferation agreement and Pakistan, India and Israel have not... can any argument directed solely at Iran be considered any thing more than hypocritical? I'm as concerned about Iran getting the bomb as I am about Bush having his finger on the button now.
The editorial was widely circulately. I read it in the Bangkok Post, but a web search turned up the Pakistani paper where it was syndicated. I fail to see how the paper that prints it has any bearing.

I quote him because what he said is unequivical and he is a respected figure clearly outside of US policy circles.

It seem the first line of defense for Iran apologists (not saying that you are one) is insisting they do not have plans to make a bomb and any other assertion must be a CIA plot. Then when evidence is presented the fall back position becomes "Well why can't they have one."

Now that we have gotten that over, do you dispute what Fischer said?

Apolgies for length.

Neither you nor I have access to any of the "facts".
My point is that Fischers assertion is an assertion regardless of its unequivocal nature or his standing vis a vis US political opinion.  The article you reference provides no "facts", only speculation of possible motives and consequences of the various players.  An appeal to authority is not a convincing starting point for a discussion, and recalls  various other authoritarian assertions made re Iraqi intentions to give WMD to terrorists - since proved to be completely without justification - on mulitple counts. So I guess I remain unconvinced on that front.

I mention Pakistan as of course Fischers opinion would be quoted there - and as an oblique reference to Pakistans non signatory status re the non proliferation treaty.  And considering that the now stated reason for US involvement in Iraq appears to be "bringing freedom and democracy", the outwardly accomodating treatment of this military dictatorship (and others) is interesting in comparison to the kick in the teeth offered to Iran... where elections do actually occur. Also it is still required of Germany to atone for its past and support Isreal - granted the President of Iran has made some unhelpful remarks on that front.  But then, he wouldn't be the only one to curry  favour at the expense of others.

And finally "Well why can't they have one[?]"
If you object to Iran having the bomb you have to object to all powers with the bomb, do you?  The frequently touted and unsubstantiated 'they would give it to terrorists' statement is interesting, given that the currently stated position of the US seems to be that any use of a nuclear weapon (defined as against US interests) will see Iran nuked, what interest would there be for Iran to do this?  You could just as easily speculatively argue that one or two of the other nuclear powers in the ME, if they wished to harm Iran might arrange for such a transfer.

Given the ~100 year history of "interference" in Iran, you should at least admit that they might have an understandable scepticism of US and British motives.

Given that they are virtually surrounded by nuclear states/powers, can I understand the desire to have the bomb? Yes. Do I want them to have one? No.  Is the position of Irans opponents and the assertions made against Iran credible? Given recent performances, not sufficiently.

So when the US says do as we say, not as we do, you can excuse me if I remain sceptical and unconvinced.
Interesting reading at NNPT

Do they offer courses titled 'Demonization for Idiots' over there?
Not here. On CNN & Fox. Free of charge, everyday course, great-looking teachers... what else do you need?
Just checking a hypothesis: the same crowd that believes nuclear power is too risky in the west because terrorists might get be able to steal or hijack nuclear materials will defend Iran's right to have a nuclear program.
The second most toxic metal is berylium.  When first OSHA numbers were released, the minimum exposure levels were twice that of plutonium.  So almost as nasty, yet no one is concerned about our risks and exposures to beryliuum.
Like it or not plutonium is being produced and will be produced in ever increasing quantities. The gene is out of the bottle and the problem is not whether it will be produced, but how to ensure the safety of the material. FWIW there is also quite a lot of Plutonium-239 in the spent nuclear fuel, but so far no problems from this have arised. I think when we go this way all the operations will be conducted in military guarded industrial complexes up to the transportation of the fuel to the power plant.

Personally I fear uncomparitavely more that terrorist will be able to get access to some biological weapons than nuclear bombs. Potentially much more effective, and uncomparatively easier to do - consider what it takes to steal guarded radioactive material, chemically process it to separate the Plutonium and construct a bomb without poisoning, irradiating or blowing yourself. Shortly said you  need special skills and equipment you can hardly buy at the local Lowes.

Like it or not plutonium is being produced and will be produced in ever increasing quantities.....but so far no problems from this have arise

Its a good thing that most of the plutonium from Chernobyl was within 30 kMs of the plant.

No problems says LevinK.  

How much are you paid to say 'no problems'?

Perspective: The amount of plutonium released by Chernobyl is thousands of times less than the plutonium released by open air nuclear weapons tests.  We ought to see plutonium problems from those tests before we see any problem from the Chernobyl release.
It is probably strontium and cesium that should be of the most concern around Chernobyl.
Perspective: The amount of plutonium released by Chernobyl

The statement was 'no release' and the discussion has historiclly about fission power for direct civilian use.

Thus the citing of Chernobyl.  

Because I don't have access to data aboput other releases that are 'accidental', I used the low hanging fruit to show "no" was wrong.

Is this your best you can think of? Soviet Russia, irresponsible operators, unsafe reactor without containment vessel: is there similar picture today in US?

Actually the problems with U and Pu were fewest with the Chernobyl disaster. Their particles are too heavy to spread further and the Pu concentration was miniscule (the reactor was not designed to enrich Pu). The radioactive isotops like strontium-90 and caesium-137 are the main causes of concern because they are also able to go into the food chain.

Shipping industry had Titanic. People are still sailing. Airline industry had thousands of plane crashes due to technical failures. People are still flying, right? You can not stop the progress and the will of people to live better lives just because you want to.

Is this your best you can think of?~

No, but your claim was:  Plutonium is being produced and there have been no problems.

I offered up a simple response to why your position was incorrect.

You are welcome for the correction.

OK, let's review what we said:

Plutonium is being produced and there have been no problems

eric blair:
Its a good thing that most of the plutonium from Chernobyl was within 30 kMs of the plant.

Actually the problems with U and Pu were fewest with the Chernobyl disaster.

Ok, first tell me when I said something was a good thing?...  Second my first statement was right even in the Chernobyl context.

Your Chernobyl "kick-in" could be used as textbook example of an airy argument put to engage certain emotions, not a rational discussions. In a rational discussion every side is having its arguments but is having the will to admit when it is wrong. What you do is to make up arguments out of thin air whenever you are proved that you are wrong. This hardly makes any good.

Is this your best you can think of? Soviet Russia, irresponsible operators, unsafe reactor without containment vessel: is there similar picture today in US?

How about if you demonstrate that human beings don't make mistakes?   Because thus far, all the 'nuclear safety' plans need the humans involved to not try cutting costs or making mistakes.

Thus far, the human nature of shortcutting and mistake making means the best laid plans of nuclear industry will often go awry.

Are there functioning breeder reactors? AFAIK all have been shut down, or aren't used for breeding.
Most breeder reactors have been shut down because mining uranium is currently cheaper than producing plutionium in a fast breeder reactor (FBR). However, there are a few running, and a few more planned. From Wikipedia:

"As of 2003 one indigenous FBR was planned for India, and another for China using Soviet technology.

South Korea is developing a design for a standardised modular FBR for export, to complement the standardised PWR (Pressurized Water Reactor) and CANDU designs they have already developed and built, but has not yet committed to building a prototype.

The FBR program of India includes the concept of using fertile thorium-232 to breed fissile uranium-233. India is also pursuing the thermal breeder reactor again using thorium. A thermal breeder is not possible with purely uranium/plutonium based technology. Thorium fuel is the strategic direction of the power program of India, owing to their large reserves of thorium, but worldwide known reserves of thorium are also some three times those of uranium.

The BN-600 (Beloyarsk NNP in the town of Zarechny, Sverdlovsk Oblast) is still operational. A second reactor (BN-800) is scheduled to be constructed before 2015.

On February 16, 2006 the U.S., France and Japan signed an "arrangement" to research and develop sodium-cooled fast reactors in support of the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership."

There is another advantage of thorium. When you burn coal, the fly ash contains mercury, but also contains thorium. So, you get energy from the coal, and scrub the exhaust for the fly ash, and get thorium to use. That way, you double the BTUs of the tonne of coal you burn! (no telling the ERoEI factor of that thorium)
Coal power plants release about 10 000 tons of thorium and 5 000 tons of uranium annually (by memory).

Assuming breeders these would contain the energy of 30 billion tons of coal or ~6 times the total world coal production.

Most breeder reactors have been shut down because mining uranium is currently cheaper than producing plutionium in a fast breeder reactor (FBR).
I've read critics that say this isn't true. How can someone very this type of information?

My question re-stated: At what price does the FBR break-even with mined uranium?

Thanks for any help.

I heard about 1999 from a Shell Executive that Saudi Arabia was contemplating CO2 injection for pressure maintainence and tertiary recovery, and that the CO2 was going to have to come from Iranian natural gas. The current production numbers are proof that the mideastern reserves have peaked. Also, all additional reserves that have been added from that area have a lower gravity and are more sour than the prior production. That means thicker and harder to refine with a lot of sulfur that needs to be removed from the products, so the profit is less.
  The Saudi's have announced a $100 MM development program for the next two years. It will not be easily apparent whether the program has been successful until the oil comes to market.
  But even if they double their recoverable reserves and although new production techniques have added a lot to new reserves, the additional recoverable oil costs a lot more to produce and refine. The number of oil consumers has gone up 500% or more in the last 40 years and the gods haven't been making any more oil. Peak oil is going to occur because the supply is not infinite. And its going to cost a lot more on the way.
There's a post called "Everything You Wanted to Know About Ethanol But Were Afraid to Ask" based on the IPO prospectus of Hawkeye Holdings, an ethanol company.

The posting, which includes a nice diagram, goes through the essential steps. The link to the actual filing has a long, interesting list of risk factors starting on p 11.


I hope we see some more comments questioning how much energy it takes to make their ethanol and what exactly will that energy source be aka coal or natural gas..
Im quite scared about the possibility of cliff oil. I mean how many places have production quotas, and if they do, do they stick to them (opec) ? Seems like everyone is pumping to the absolute max. Combined with modern horizontal wells, etc etc could lead to some very nasty decline curves.
We could be headed for the perfect storm in the next year or two - Saudi, Russia and Venezuela (conventional) peaking more or less simultaneously, Mexico's Canterell production collapsing, Kuwait's Burgan production declining, Iraq civil war, MEND escalation in Nigeria, GOM hurricanes.

Not to mention the situation in Iran, that could really push us off the cliff


Speaking of Iran.

The thought out there is now an economic blockade (as a 1st step) in lieu of a naval blockade. Smart move.

http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2006-05-29T033004Z_01_N2 8264184_RTRUKOC_0_UK-NUCLEAR-IRAN-SANCTIONS.xml&archived=False

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is pushing Europe and Japan to use broad sanctions to financially pressure Iran's leadership if diplomacy fails to resolve an international dispute over Iran's nuclear activities, the Washington Post reported in its Monday editions.

The newspaper said the plan would target every Iranian official the Bush administration sees as linked to nuclear enrichment as well as terrorism, government corruption, suppression of religious or democratic freedom and violence in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

It would restrict the Tehran government's access to foreign currency and global markets, shut its overseas accounts and freeze assets held in Europe and Asia, the newspaper reported, citing internal government memos and interviews with three U.S. officials.

The plan was developed by a Treasury Department task force that reports directly to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the Washington Post said

P.S. Defense Weekly noted in latest issue that a Pentagon wargame had us bombing Iran, China took advantage of that and hit Taiwan, and Venezuela followed up by cutting off oil and attacking USA merchant ships. It was done while the President of China was visiting the USA!! I am sure he found out about between bars of the Taiwan Chinese national anthem!

JC the potential for steep decline curves is scary!
I have been approached by my state department of transportation (how about that!) to make a presentation about peak oil. In preparing my chinese water torture/powerpoint presentation, I thought that this community is very well suited to putting together a common presentation, with clear copyrights, for just such local presentations. I think back to Woodrow Wilson's "four minute men." Anyone interested in creating/collaborating on an open source PPT file as a peak oil primer?
The approach used in the editorial written by Westexas (with help from Bart & myself) is a good one.  I would be glad to post it here, but I question whether it would be appropriate.

I can help in some ways.

This sounds as if it needs it's own thread.

You may want to download and watch the presentation by Al Bartlett on peak oil. It's a big real media file (like 111MB or so, but that's better than trying to stream it). Here: Al Bartlett Colloquium The idea is to simplify the issue, so that people can quickly understand the limits. I think he did a pretty good job.
Try the resources at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/RunningOnEmpty2/  (membership required).

They have presentations for Peak Oil.

This is a great opportunity.

Keep these principles in mind when designing the presentation:

  1.  Catch attention at the beginning.  People remember the beginning, especially the first 5 minutes.  Attention drops after that.

  2. In the middle of the presentation, put in something else designed to grab attention.  If it is incongruous with the body of the talk somehow, visually, thematically, it can stand out from the background.

  3. Let them know when you are about 10 minutes from the end and attention will perk up again.  Then make the last 10 minutes very memorable.  People remember the beginning and ends best, but only if they know the end is coming.

  4. Presentations should be no longer than 40 minutes.  

  5. Have some established means of dialoguing with them at the start and at the end as a formal review.  Ask them to write down, personally, responses to some key questions they have perhaps.  Then ask them to share these and solicit feedback.  

  6.  Use text and bullet points as little as possible, if at all.  Have images that make an impact and you need to memorize the narrative.  Create acronyms and mneumonics to help you know your points.

  7.  Hand out a fact sheet that everyone can refer to and to help with follow up.

It may be difficult in the situation you will be in, an official, meeting, to get into their emotions.  But if this is closed door and not open to the public, you may want to explore the emotional impacts.  If your goal is to get them to start internalizing some basic facts and principles, and to act upon these, emotional processing really helps.  Memory is assisted by high emotions, and a sense of participation in the learning process also helps build the sense of team cohesion.  

Draw them out by asking pre-scripted questions.  Try to put yourself in their shoes when coming up with these.  The questions are designed to get their participation and open exploration of the issues. E.g.  "What implication does a near-term peak in oil production have for the projects you are involved in?"

In terms of licensing whatever you produce, you may wish to consider the Creative Commons License, a license intended to ensure that materials can be shared, etc. However, be sure to understand the license choices before you apply one of them to your own work.

Here's what I found that works:

Have a very fact based presentation, complete with graphs, power point, etc.

Then at the end, admonish your audience to "turn or burn!!! turn or burn!!!" as a 40 foot mechancial fire-breathing Jesus with sword in hand rolls across the front of the room.

Works like a charm.




If you live in a "politically correct" area, you can also have a 40 foot mechanical fire-breathing Mohammed (sp?) with sword in hand roll from the other side of the room.


All joking aside, a couple notes:

  1.  Regarding copyright, all of the U.S. government reports are in the public domain. Most peak oil authors will be okay with you using their materials in your presnetation (I am), although you should always double check.

  2.  Make sure to check out Stuart's graphs comparing GDP to miles driven. That hits home big time, at least it did for me. The correlation is obvious.



NYT article describes oil beneath a once tropical Arctic.  So if the pole melts due to GW we can worsen the problem by burning a lot more oil after-all:


I saw that.  I think it adds a bit to the whole precautionary principle surrounding CO2 doubling, trippling, ...
Had the core sample ship instead drilled into a waiting supergiant, we would have heard about the gusher - as a big giant mess. Polar bears soaked in oil, filthy blackened ice, the whole schtick. Greenpeace would have been FURIOUS! Quick! Where's the Glomar Explorer when you need it?
Quite a jump in the oil price there right around 10:30.  I didn't think that the weekly report was that bad.
Oil rises above $71 ahead of OPEC meeting

U.S. gasoline stocks rose by 800,000 barrels, the fifth consecutive weekly increase, a government report showed. But the gain was smaller than the 1.1 million-barrel increase analysts expected.

"The report is overall bullish for gasoline," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Alaron Trading in Chicago. "Gasoline demand edged up again to 9.4 million barrels per day and that is stronger than anticipated."

I think it may have had to do with Iran refusing to agree to suspend its nuclear activities to talk with the US.  
On the radio news here today:
There is room for significant growth of nuclear energy production.. Right after that they said that it was enough for 85 years at current production (they omitted the percentage of nuclear energy today). Further growth should come from marginal ores. They compared it with the availability of 40 years of oil (according to BP).

Of course, they didn't tell us who would mine that low-grade ore with pick and shovel when the oil runs out after 40 years.

85 years sounds a bit optimistic. (I'd heard 50 years.) In any case, that figure will be significantly reduced if we ramp-up nuclear energy use world-wide. Also, the construction of nuclear power plants requires a lot of energy, as does uranium mining and processing.
The report must be based on using only scarce uranium 235 to fuel reactors.  The numbers get much better once uranium 238 and thorium are also considered as fuels.  We have already mined enough U-238 to fuel the electric grid for a couple centuries.
There is a reality check article on the question here:


Basicly the situation with uranium is much like with all other metals - if you look at every ore, the current reserves  will "run out" in couple decades or so. Meaning that with almost certainty in 30 years we will not have civilisation at all, right? What an utter BS. If we start needing more uranium in the future we would find it. Where is the support of the assertion we will not? U is a common element - much more common than silver and even copper. If it comes to this - just the uranium in the oceans would be enough for millions of years.

yea but the uranium is so diluted that it's not worth it energywise at all to distil the water for it.
You don't get the point. Yes, it is "not worthed", but it is not worthed given current prices. Nuclear energy will still be profitable even uranium reaches 1000$/pound. With such price almost every rock or source on earth will become viable.

In short we will never, ever "run out" of uranium. This is a ridiculous and politically motivated speculation. Just read the article.

U-238 and thorium are not nuclear fuels. However, they can be converted to fuels in a fast breeder reactor, but this is a costly intermediate step. (Fast breeder reactors are liquid sodium cooled and are very expensive to construct and are considered more dangerous than conventional nuclear power plants. See "We Almost Lost Detroit.") Furthermore, having more fast breeder reactors in the world risks increasing the proliferation of nuclear weapons as they can easily produce weapons-grade material. It seems likely, however, that this is the direction that many countries will go to provide their growing energy needs in the future. India, for example, has 360,000 tons of thorium reserves which could be processed in fast breeder reactors to provide energy and fuel for nuclear power. I'm increasingly beginning to suspect that this is our Peak Oil future - tremendous proliferation of nuclear power. Occasionally there will be ghastly accidents but I suppose that will be accepted as part of our Faustian bargain.
OTOH, mixing thorium with uranium or plutonium in a CANDU (heavy hydrogen moderated) reactor (the safest older design IMO) can breed about 80% of the fuel for the next cycle.

True breeding creates a surplus (more than 100%), but this is a good way to extend the uranium supply safely.

(BTW, Thorium does not breed a long lived isotope of Plutonium)

OPEC moots enlargement to seize bigger oil share

CARACAS (AFP) - OPEC oil producers have held informal talks on admitting Angola, Sudan and possibly Ecuador into their ranks in a move that would tighten the cartel's grip on world oil supply.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has to weigh the added production of the countries against the political fallout of admitting some regimes cold-shouldered by the West, sources said.

OPEC's current president, Nigerian oil minister Edmund Daukoru, has already written to the governments of Angola and Sudan inviting them to join the cartel.

Both countries said they were considering the proposal as ministers of the 11-nation OPEC held their latest talks in the Venezuelan capital.

This is important. Angola and Sudan would set a precedent - they would be the first OPEC members (not counting Indonesia which is now a net importer) for years without an influential national oil company of their own.
Ecuador was once a member, has refused to come back before and has a presidential election later this year, so no telling how that will turn out.
TPM notes that the boiling frog meme, which is often mentioned here, is false:


you do realize they are talking about the actual frog?
it is quite true though when you use it as a analogy to describe a situation. for example, people will balk and complain etc if oil and gas prices jumped overnight, but they will barely notice and rationalize a way to accept the same prices if they are raised slowly.
If frogs actually notice the heat and try to escape, then the analogy is false. Why use a false analogy?

It would be better to say, "Frogs are smart enough to jump out of a steadily increasing pot before it boils.  Are we?"

No, we're not.
I'll be interviewing TODs Nate Hagens on my next radio show, The Party's Over:  Going Local this Mon, 9-10 am PDT.  Streaming available from www.kzyx.org and the mp3 will be at www.globalpublicmedia.com sometime thereafter.
I'll be interviewing TODs Nate Hagens on my next radio show, The Party's Over:  Going Local this Mon, 9-10 am PDT.

Thanks for the heads up. I marked it on my calendar. I may send you a handful of trick questions to see how fast he can think on his feet. :)


FYI - Sales of American Autos Fell Sharply in May

Sales of American cars and trucks fell steeply in May, automakers reported today, with both General Motors and Chrysler posting double-digit declines.

In a sign of Toyota's ever-growing strength in the domestic auto market, the Japanese automaker displaced DaimlerChrysler as nation's No. 3 seller for the second straight month.

General Motors led the drop among the American automakers, falling 15.7 percent over last May when the numbers are adjusted for the difference in selling days. The company also said it would reduce third-quarter vehicle production in North America by 8.4 percent, a sign of its weakening position in its biggest but least profitable region.

GM's not going Yellow, they're going into the RED, big time. But that doesn't mean the SUVs are becoming a rare breed:

Sales of its new S.U.V.'s and pickups remained strong, with the Cadillac Escalade up almost 50 percent. The new Chevrolet Tahoe, however, slipped 5.5 percent.
Detroit is having a harder time selling the SUVs. Notice the latest incentive gimmick? It's some amount of money's worth of free gasoline. Cash back and free gas!!!! But the catch is that the user will burn through $1,000's worth of gas quick - especially as gas prices climb. But, as PT Barnum always said, there's a sucker born every minute.

But there's a kicker. When the hapless sucker finishes burning up the free gas, he now must pay for it - at full price. With the SUV being upside down financially, the car company gets all the money and the sucker takes a big loss as the vehicle loses all its value.

More bizarre is an advertisement for a suburban development using the same tactic. The developer is offering $7,000 cash back and $1,000 in free gas, plus the whackiest no money down mortgage some banker could invent. Talk about a financial time bomb in your basement.

It is just unbelievable to live in this country at this moment...you must have a fine appreciation for the absurd.
You are all not going to believe this. I swear it is true though: About 6 weeks ago there was a company running ads here on the radio stations in Santa Rosa saying, "we want getting a mortgage to be as easy for you as ordering a pizza."



Here is a very entertaining window into the world of doom promoters. Are any of the TOD commenters working for Greenpeace?



Critics Blast Al Gore's Documentary As 'Realistic'

May 31, 2006 | Issue 42*22

NEW YORK-- The Al Gore-produced global-warming documentary An Inconvenient Truth is being panned by critics nationwide who claim the 90-plus minute environmental film is "too disturbingly realistic and well-researched to enjoy." "I found it difficult to suspend my disbelief in man-made climate change for the first half-hour--and utterly impossible after that--which makes for a movie-going experience that's far more educational than it is enjoyable," said New York Post film critic Skip Hack. "Gore's film overwhelms viewers with staggering amounts of scientific information until nothing about global warming is left to the imagination, and that's just not good entertainment. Two stars." Some critics have called the film's claims that sea levels could rise 20 feet somewhat sensationalistic, although most agree that this is not enough to save the film from being unwatchably factual.

From The Onion

For those fellow goldbugs out there .....