DrumBeat: July 29, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 07/29/06 at 9:32 AM EDT]

In a shocking development, EIA Revises May US Oil Demand Growth Down by 2.5%.

U.S. oil demand in May averaged 20.463 million barrels a day - the highest-ever for the month - and 1.6% above a year earlier, the Energy Information Administration said Friday.

But the latest figure is a sharp 2.5% downward revision from earlier estimates showing 4.2% growth in the month from 20.139 million barrels a day a year ago. Estimates published last month suggested May demand averaged 20.994 million barrels a day, the most for any month since December 2005. The revised figure is strongest for any month since March.

[Update by Leanan on 07/29/06 at 9:43 AM EDT]

Indonesia oil well explodes, thousands evacuated

Pakistan fears major energy crisis

Oil from bombed plant covers Lebanon shore

BEIRUT, Lebanon - A black coat of oil now covers the Lebanese capital's once-beautiful sandy Mediterranean shore, spilled from a power plant that was knocked down by Israeli warplanes two weeks ago.

Fishermen say hundreds of oil-coated fish have been washed ashore in what is the country's worst ever environmental disaster.

Asean mulls joint oil stockpile

Shell Canada plans to expand in oil sands despite rising bill

U.K.: Retirees are angry over natural gas prices

Russia: A New Gas Strategy Emerges

A Gazprom subsidiary recently issued a report recommending a dramatic change of strategy for the Russian gas industry. It determined that Russia should decrease exports of natural gas to European markets and concentrate instead on developing new gas fields to keep up with domestic demand.

American Coalition for Ethanol VP Brian Jennings is caught telling a lie about ethanol subsidies:

Caught in a Lie

He says that the subsidy is actually an incentive for the petroleum industry, and that ethanol producers don't benefit. But guess how he reacted to calls for ending the subsidy?

Also, drought starting to impact ethanol plants:

Drought Impacting Ethanol Plants

Corn fields in the Aberdeen area are withering from this summer's hot and dry conditions.

Heartland Grain Fuels General Manager Bill Paulsen says, "There's a large amount of corn that won't be harvested Aberdeen and West."

And for ethanol plants like Heartland Grain Fuels...that's bad news. The company usually gets corn locally from areas West of town.

Paulsen says, "We're running on last year's crop and we will through harvest of this year, so the crunch really starts coming next summer, is when the biggest crunch for the lack of corn that's produced in northeastern South Dakota."



Every corn-producing state west of the Mississippi is suffering from some degree of drought:


This area produces nearly 60% of the US corn crop, led by Iowa, Nebraska, and southern Minnesota.  Most of the major corn growers east of the Mississipi (Illinois, Indiana, Ohio) appear to be better off.  Wisconsin is the exception; it is experiencing unusual drought in the north and central parts of the state, but less so in the south, where most of its corn is grown.

Robert - for every farmer thats showing drought conditions or poor crops, there are two not saying anything because their crop is great.

Corn futures (and soybeans) are near their low prices for the year - if there was too much ethanol demand and/or drought, prices would be much higher. The market will not solve our long term problems, but its pretty good at pricing short term supply and demand.

december corn futures chart

Depends on how much is irrigated. Look at the link that "Consume More" supplied. All of central South Dakota is experiencing exceptional drought conditions. Note that the guy I quoted said they are still using last years crop, and next year is when they will feel it.



that makes a bit more sense.
Next years future (dec 07) corn chart doesnt look as bad
Crop futures prices are not a bellweather for future supplies.
Call the USDA, they'll tell you the same thing.
Lot's of stuff going on:

The 'Arab system' is dying in Lebanon

"With this Hizbullah operation," said Beirut columnist Hussam Itani, "the collapse of the Arab system has given birth to its alternative." That alternative, anarchic by definition, is one in which non-state actors derive their strength from the very fact that, militant, populist, welling up from below, they have little to do with the system, a system they render yet more impotent and irrelevant as they impose their agenda on it and the world.

The rhetoric against Iran is starting to heat up:

Blair warns Iran, Syria of 'confrontation'

British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Iran and Syria that they face 'the risk of increasing confrontation' unless they reform their behavior in the Middle East.

'Iran and Syria have a choice. And they may think that they can avoid this choice; in fact, they can't,' Blair said after talks at the White House with US President George Bush.

'They can either come in and participate as proper and responsible members of the international community, or they will face the risk of increasing confrontation,' said Blair.

Hezbollah leader said to be hiding in Iranian Embassy

NBC/WSJ poll: U.S. pessimism on increase Doubts about children's future and concerns about wars weigh heavily

South America: Hugo Chávez to the fore

Is this starting to paint a picture yet?  

The picture being painted is an inkblot.  What do you see?
I see the opposite of whatever you see! :-) Where ya been?  

I see the coming of war, as the US tries to assert hegemony and the world resists.   I see nations with oil asserting new power, and the US and its allies fighting back.

I see the failing of an Empire, and the coming conflicts that this will involve.

I forget the name of the book but it was written by to chinese generals in the 90's about how to bring down the US through unconventional warfare (by encouraging third party small states to engage/challenge us) and a repeated cold war expressed through korea. At the same time they said to keep trade relations and destroy our economy through mercantilism.  I'll post it later but need to llok on my shelf.  I have been in the process of moving to brasil.  After what happened to my fiance she won't live here.

I see the same thing but still see korea/iran as the problem.  

id like to know the title of that book, thanks. what happened to your fiance? Are you Brazilian?
No way I am a redneck (ask cherenkov) from tennessee, I work in GOMEX as a medic, but I get a paid flight to and from anywhere so I am moving to Brasil.  My best friend from paramedic school introduced me to his sister a few years back and she is getting her phd in political science at Unicamp near Sao Paulo.  So that is how I ended up there.

Last time I flew her up she was interrogated for four hours and they tore a page from her diary and had her strip searched and made her cry.  Long story but she had all her documents and no contraband and was still treated that way.  So she is a bit anti american.  Odd couple if you know me.

Here is the book it is on amazon, hard to call it a conspiracy theory since it was written a few years back but a lot of things click when you read it.  At the same time though we use similar methods to cajole foreign powers.

30.    Unrestricted Warfare: China's Master Plan to Destroy America
by Qiao Liang, Wang Xiangsui

you might be better off in Brazil. They make better ethanol than we do and also have crazy Carnivale parties that make New Orleans look like catholic school. good luck.
I have confidence she'll bring you around eventually!
Oilrig Medic -

It both saddens and angers me to learn of yet another example in which someone arriving in the US is bullied by police-state thugs that pose as airport screeners.  The way your fiancee was treated makes me ashamed to be an American, something I never thought I would be saying as recently as only a few years ago.

The irony is that Brazil does not exactly enjoy a reputation for being a paragon of liberty and freedom, and if your finacee finds America repressive in comparison, then that speaks volumes about where this country is headed.

Good luck on your move to Brazil. (If I were younger, I'd seriously consider getting out of Dodge myself.)

The USA has always behaved like this...

In 1975... having spent 5 years increasingly growing to love American literature & music... I decided I would like to spend 3 months travelling to "all those places" I was reading/ hearing about... so I saved up, quit my job... and was refused a visa in London... "If you don't have a job how do we know you will return from our wonderful country?"

No matter that Mexicans were walking over the border in their thousands (even back then)

So I flew to Canada and ended up getting a US visa in Winnipeg in 5 minutes...crossed over at Vancouver on a Greyhound without even being checked and ended up hitchhiking the length & breadth of USA...

Five years later in 1980 visa restrictions were lifted... so I decided to repeat the exercise... this time I was interrogated at JFK... had my diary & address book scanned... Spent 6 wonderful weeks delivering cars with DriveAway...

But after two bad experiences with US bureaucracy ...I didn't return to the good ol'US of A for another 20 years

( Sorry...not really PO... just an opportunity to vent!!)

I think this "welling up from below" stuff is what kills Empires. The "Working independently together" method was espoused by the various US militias in the 1990s and it worked - as awful as his act was, Timothy McVeigh pointed out that if the US internal police forces kept shooting kids, stomping cats to death, terrorizing old people, killing more kids, shooting babes in arms, etc then unpredictable independent operators such as him would make 'em hurt. And he did. His awful act did have the effect of causing the US's internal forces, use of which against the US population was ramping up to a frightening degree, to sit back and reconsider. Other than Waco, McVeigh, etc themselves, the biggest thing that percolated through the media to the proles was a lot of noise about the "militias", first making them out to be scary and then quickly changing to ridiculing them as a bunch of fat old men running around in the woods, since gov't/militia skirmishes were over (the point had been proven and the gov't didn't feel it would win an all-out war with the populace) and the idea was to make militias sound silly and hope they'd disband. Many have, the militia movement has reallly died down, but it's reasy to rise up in a second if needed - this is the lesson the US gov't learned.

Not too long after this, the attention was turned to foreigners, especially those handy ay-rabs, and of course 9-11 gave everyone some bad guys to pay attention to.

Someone posted in another thread, there was a comparison being made between how the collapse of Rome went and how it might go for the US, and they said before there's actual starvation, what really happens is you come to hate your country. By this I think they mean not only literally hating your country, easy to do if your country is the US, but that by hating your country you're willing to leave it, live low enough on the energy scale to be untaxable, etc. (Living low on the energy/income scale enough that you're not taxable is the method advocated by That Guy Who Wrote The Book "Radical Simplicity". I think it's a noble method and the only one available to most of us. Most of us would leave the US if we could.)

You are smart, and fortunate, to leave the US. Your wife is right - she's had one taste of the Evil Empire and No More.

Luke Skywalker grew up wanting to be a pilot for the Imperial navy......

I am an american and I do not see us as an evil empire.

I want to fix things when they are broken.

I can only hope things go well...........

Luke Skywalker.... yes, good quote because movies are reality.

However, Geo. Washington did grow up wanting to be a British officer. I grew up wanting to be part of The System, working for HP or IBM, building fancier and shinier cogs for a bigger and better machine.

This is what happens when Empires go downhill, they get old and ugly and smelly and when they're not peeing on the carpet or eating the chickens, they're snarling and snapping at the 5 year old kid next door because he made eyes at the food bowl, and next thing you know anyone who gets in the way is getting bit and it's time to put the dangerous bugger down....

I am an American and I do not see us as an evil empire.

Oilrig MD,

There is much that is good about America.
But which way are the weather-man vanes pointing?

Calling something a "Patriot Act" when on fact it is an Invasion of Rights play? That does not bode well. Talking about "No Child Left Behind" when you mean after the Rapture? That doesn't sound too kosher.

Something is wrong some place.

Did you see Alex Jones on C-SPAN?

Scary stuff if true. He claims the US Governement orchestrated 9/11 and not Bin Laden. Claims to have irrefutable proof.

This is not a new claim. It is interesting that it appeared on CSPAN. I've believed the government was involved from the beginning. It was a very flawed plan. When you have the support of TPTB and the media you just ignore the obvious. The Bush administration has demonstrated their willingness to commit crimes over and over. They are guilty of war crimes and treason. Their energy policy is simply a means to make big oil rich. Our country is completely unprepared for peak oil. This scares me more than anything.
Our country is completely unprepared

Let's keep hoping Yergin is right, that we have 30 more years and that somewhere in this long era of "undulation" a light bulb goes off and the American populace wakes up and realizes the herd is a headin' for the cliff.

Git along. Go along lill' doggie. Yeeha. Rawhide.

(Right click on image & pick "View Image" for bigger view)


now free on google video!

The CSPAN broadcast of the Panel Discussion held on the second day of the conference which featured Webster Tarpley, Steven Jones, Bob Bowman, James Fetzer, & Alex Jones IS BEING RE-AIRED TUESDAY August 1st at 6:10pm EDT.
The way your fiancee was treated makes me ashamed to be an American,


Americans have other qualities and you better bear with the "negatives" because deeply ingrained cultural traits never go away.
Remember the early settlers were a mix of bigots and outlaws, from there you get :

- The righteousness of bigots.
- The ruthlessness of outlaws.
- The entrepreneurial mindset of migrants to a risky yet promising place.

You can't have it all good :-)

P.S. Just think what this kind of "stickyness" of behaviors (not only the ones above) mean with respect to the upcoming and quickly unfolding changes...

I too would like to know the title.

Back in March China threatened to sell US bonds if we didn't behave ourselves.  And Baby Hugo is visiting Iran today... and he also made threats about cutting off oil imports to the US if we do not behave ourselves...

The West is losing Leverage everyday ... all because of Peak Energy and Matter.  Fewer choices - harder rocks and hard places - claustrophobia is setting in for All Sides.

The World was already pissed off at us enough before the Lebanon thing, now, if there's a pissed-offedness scale, we're probably doubled the reading.

I'm surprised Hugo and the rest haven't already dropped the hammer on us, but I think they know what they're doing - the idea is to kill the Beast without the Beast killing you in its death throes. They need to come up with an economic/resource/possible force of arms triple whammy that's very well thought out and well .... I have faith in 'em.

Very astute.
the book "Unrestricted Warfare" -- reviewed in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unrestricted_Warfare

It is hard to see how our government is combatting any of the modern threats in any but militaristic terms -- just as the book predicts.  

Catastophic system failure seems almost guaranteed.  Surely the smart folks in the defense and state departments can see this.  Is all the warfare just a smokescreen and they are really working through secret back channels to defeat our enemies?

i think the people in the defense department are blinded by their own arrogance.
they are so secure in the thinking that they are the top military in the world they cannot fathom anyone being able to do this.
Don't stop by just saying "arrogance".  Also add a huge serving of greed, superstition (My god is greater than your god), idiotic optimism and disdain for human life.

But you also have to remember that the DOD is like a giant chainsaw.  It does exactly (and occasionally reluctantly) what the politicians tells it to do.

And I say this after 20 years as a DOD employee.

no wonder youre a bitteroldcoot...:)
Have you read James' Carrol's new book House of War?
Catastophic system failure seems almost guaranteed.

Very likely.
The "smart folks in the defense and state department" are no match for ancient chinese strategies.
I did not read the book but the Wikipedia entry is explicit enough, this is very typical of the chinese approach.
The whole of China has been living thru more than 2 millenia of such struggles, since Warring States.
You may also consider that the publishing of this book IS part of the assault as a PsyOP and that it contains a calculated mix of truth and disinformation.
Aren't the authors colonels in the People's Liberation Army?
I doubt the military in China are allowed to go public as casually as in the US.
China has been done by westerners only with the help of technology which they underestimated, but now they are up to speed on technology.

Though, the various impending "Peaks" are throwing in a few aggravating factors for everyone, "interesting times" indeed.

Lots of stuff going on indeed Twilight - too much to keep up with.    

The US quickly shuttles "Weapons and supplies" to Israel to the dismay of Mr. Blair.  Bunker Busters are said to be part of the package (although their may be much more... why not tell Blair until after the fact unless you don't want even the Brits Sniffin' Around ???).

Now Israel backs off from Tyre... maybe a carpet bombing campaign to level some villages is in the works ???? - as the rest of the 30K reserves Israel called up prepare to Mop Up afterwards??? --- it will be interesting to see how well the Hezbollah Bunker system holds up).

Iran rejects the Nuke resolution the Group of 8 Hegemonz cobbled together the past few days...  

Hezbollah "politicians" backed a "peace package" that doesn't mention disarming Hezbollah and which they know will not be acceptable to Israel (meanwhile, Israel continues to offer a similar package they know will not be acceptable to Hezbollah).

Bush and Blair QUICKLY try to find forces to join a "non-UN Peace Keeping Force" (hezbollah asked who the International Forces will be Aiming At...) and Iran finds it's options and weapons are disappearing fast while The West Carves a New Middle East - which of course is exactly what They want to do, but they want to carve a little differently ;)

Oh what a web we have weaved ...

Both Pakistan and India are Energy Basket Cases with nuclear weapons and are once again rattling their sabres (pakistan is a Nuclear Allah-Worshipping country - a very dangerous wild card infiltrated by Moozlim fanatics).

Nut cases in North Korea Just Say No to the UN resolution telling them to come back to the 6 party talks or starve to death...

US consumers grumble about gas prices and ReRuns....

Dangerous Combinations of Events ... The Perfect Storm?

and speaking of perfect storms - the Atlantic is starting to bubble up.  Add some spin - and there's plenty of that around these days! - and everybody gets the "perfect excuse" for economic collapse this fall.  Act O'god.  Like I always say, the important thing to most people is who to blame. And the most important thing to gov'ts is convincing the people to blame someone else!
"the important thing to most people is who to blame."

THANK YOU SUNSPOT !! spot on.  

That is the most annoying part of this experience so far for me.

And if you look back at history, I think at TimezUp like these, you see there was no "one" to blame.  Take out any individual and someone else would have filled his role and the outcome would be very similar to what we have today.

And again, you are exactly right - we are actually encouraged by our LeADerz to "blame someone else" - that is the norm historically and the Chosen Scapegoats curiously happen to have what We Need (including Energy = slave labor).

"In the End, Everyone is Responsible for Themselves," says Mother Nature (I think she means "thou shall not become overly dependent on your neighbor, or covet your neighborz ass or solar PV system, - or depend on Hal at the Utility company...)

sendoilplease -

Apparently, not everyone is as worried as some of us are.

A few days ago, the letters-to-the-editor section of our local paper had no less than two letters voicing complaints that the new format of the paper's weekly TV section was more difficult to read than the old one.

However, among the letters for most of the whole week, there was not a single one about energy, Iraq, or the Israeli destruction of Lebanon.  The few times there are letters remotely connected to 'energy', they are consist of complaints about high gasoline prices. This may be more the result of timidity on the part of the paper's editorial staff than true reader apathy, but I suspect it's the result of both.

I did notice, though, that since the Israel/Lebanon war started, our paper has published numerous syndicated pro-Israel editorials but only one that mildly voiced opposition to  what Israel has been doing. The paper is part of the Gannett chain of papers, so this may be a corporate policy.

If you want to get a more unbiased view of what's going on in Lebanon and the Middle East in general,  totally ignore US mainstream media TV (including PBS) and watch BBC World News. US coverage is more sanitized, whilst BBC coverage is far more gritty and graphic. Better yet, don't watch any TV news at all.  

Even better yet, don't watch any TV at all.
I agree completely with you and Twilight - just turn the garbage TV right off.  And look to all sources of media around the world = then think for yourself ;)

I know exactly what you mean about how oblivious and COMPLACENT our friends, families and neighbors in our 3D world are to the incredible events unfolding... (godz what a incredible mess it is going to be in my Profoundly Local neighborhood when the stupid bastards wake up... I am going on vacation for a while I think - lol).

I do not believe there is any conspiracy to hide the Truth of Peak Energy and Peak Matter - I think this is the typical Path of Mass Delusion.


Flights home stopped as US figures out Baghdad security plan

WASHINGTON Any American family thinking their soldier is coming home soon from Iraq may be in for a nasty surprise. All flights out of there for troops at the end of their deployment are canceled, while the military tries to figure out how to make Baghdad safe.President Bush had said earlier this week that soldiers in other parts of Iraq would go to the capital.

Today, defense officials say commanders are working out the details of a plan to move as many as five-thousand soldiers with tanks and armored vehicles. They'd team up with Iraqi police and army units, turning every Baghdad operation into a joint effort.

America now has about 130-thousand troops in Iraq, with 30-thousand in the capital.

joule you're not going to get any news out of the US propamedia so don't even try.

Try the Asia Times, the various British newspapers the Guardian being one to check, other sources from Europe, even Australia, etc. Britain's ruling government is a bunch of Baby Bushes but they do have papers that take the other side, which is something you won't find in the US. There are some US sources that are not utter bullshit, but they're very rare - all I respect are Zmag and Common Dreams. The Nation magazine/website is right up there too. All very small and obscure, but there.

I need to start buying The Nation, I'd subscribe, but don't want to get on a list. It's at the really well-stocked newsstands.

Now there are also sources like The Daily Kos, stuff like that, but they're just into hero-worshiping Hillary and Dean (father of the DNC credit card for poor peeps at 25% interest) and so on. They have their heads up their asses as firmly as the Repubs, and are owned by the same corporations.

So, get to know some Brit dissident and European/Asian news sites and kill that TV. I don't even own a TV, myself.

A good site for round the world coverage is Watching America.  They translate news sites from around the world.


I still own a TV but it doesn't work.  Television is the main reason I can rarely spend more than an hour or two at any person's home I visit (why is there one on CONstantly ... usually in several rooms at once... and how about MUTE the damn commercials instead of turning up the volume and hushing conversation for them...)

In fact, since I quit watching TV I can see what it does to people for the first time in my life.  

Thank Mother for Forced powerdown because it will also stop the dumbing down eventually ;)

I was recently trying to think of some "positives" of post PO... and the first one that came to mind was ... no oil  > no useless `plastic' products > nothing to sell >> no advertising industry!! Yo!!

Simplistic, I know (it was only a daydream) Will it happen??? Probably not...

As for "will TV survive as we know it?" Now that's an interesting one...

Iwo Jima was pounded with thousands of tons of explosives before the US invaded... didn't exactly take care of the problem. There is no was artillery and airpower will take care of their 'problem'
Reading this, I thought that I had drifted into Alas Babylon on Yahoo Groups, (I am a member). http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AlasBabylon/

I am not complaining, just remarking that everything, even the dry technical details of Oil Depletion, is being overrun by Politics.

I don't know about the Atlantic this hurricane season, but the whole world is becoming enveloped in a perfect storm.

There are many twists and turns in history that are not always clear except to some of those close to the events. The USSR suffered through a crisis in the 1980s brought about by (a) a massive expensive arms race with the US, (b) the collapse of oil prices (instigated by Reagan and acted upon by the Saudis), and (c) a counter espionage program that led the Soviets into a technological cul-de-sac. The arms race and the collapse of oil prices did not by themselves deter the expansionists within the USSR. In fact, their position was "use it or lose it" with regards to their nuclear arsenal and their then established ability to execute a first strike that had at least a small probability of success.

So what stayed their hand? Item (c) above, coupled with the First Gulf War. In that war the world has still not fully understood how coalition forces could sustain a few hundred total casualties while Iraq sustained 150,000 casualties. Yes, the coalition had superior tactics but that was not the entire story.

You see, the counter espionage program mentioned above led the Soviets for nearly a decade into stealing high tech plans from the US. Except for one small problem - the plans they were led to steal were deliberately defective plans. And the Soviets were well known for how accurately they copied such plans thus ensuring they would embed every such fault into every piece of equipment they built from stolen technology.

Thus we come to the First Gulf War and the absolute rout that it became. Prior to that war there was both serious proposals to strike first, and a growing unease as information started to come to the KGB that they had been taken in, fooled, used, for over a decade. Initially, none wanted to believe it but then the Gulf War happened. And Iraq, deliberately outfitted by the USSR in some of the best equipment the Soviets could offer, was destroyed on the field of battle as the US exploited every single fault known to exist in their equipment.

It was then and only then that the hardliners realized that any attempt to strike the US would only mean the end of the USSR. Mere months later the Soviet Union was no more. However, note that in the years since that the USSR has been very busy replacing every one of those strategic systems with newer systems, systems not built on defective stolen technology.

Now why do I bring this up? Because if the USSR, facing its final days, was tempted to "use it or lose it", can we be certain that the US might not adopt the same attitude? Can we be certain that the US will go quietly into the night, a washed up superpower living in the shadow of China and a resurgent Russia?

I don't know the answer to that question but I don't like the feeling I get when I consider the attitudes of the neocons. Especially when the neocons are writing about The Rise of US Nuclear Primary.

You ask what picture I see there and I see a desperate and dying superpower trying to impose its will one last time, and perhaps desperate enough to cross a taboo line whose final end we cannot yet see.

I remind you that the Pentagon itself was horrified at this administration's insistence on actually considering usage of "tactical" nuclear weapons (B61 bunker busters, as powerful and more powerful than the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) against Iran. Worse, if none of you bothered to look at what was proposed, the US was considering hitting Iran with 75 "tactical" nuclear weapons (out of 400 total targets). And the argument from the White House was "So what can Russia or China do about it?" It was the same mindset as in the article I referenced.

I don't know how close we stand to something monumentally horrific but I don't like the way this is unfolding, and I am not comfortable with the people in the White House today.

The WSJ had an article late this week on the (Fundamentalist) Christian-Zionist movement, which is diligently working to support Israel, because of their belief that "The end is at hand."   Fine.  Feel free to spend your time and money as you so wish.   Note that the Fundamentalist Christians are diligently working to support Israel, although they are certain that the Jews are not going to heaven--one of life's little ironies.

The kicker is that Bush sent the group a message encouraging their efforts--something to the effect that they should "Keep up God's work."  

Have you begun to wonder if Bush is actually insane? What if he is determined to bring on Armageddon?

According to Seymour Hersh, the nuclear option has been taken off the table regarding Iran--but only because what amounted to a refusal to carry our orders by senior officers in the Pentagon.  

A retired three star general had an essay in Time in which he twice commented that officers do not swear to follow orders--they swear to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  IMO, he was sending a message to Bush that he could order the launch of nuclear weapons against Iran, but the Pentagon would refuse to carry out the orders.  

To seriously contemplate the unprovoked unilateral use of nukes on Iran, IMO, is the very definition of insanity.   I suggest that we all pray--that this country, and the world, can get to January, 2009 without Bush, et al, actually bringing about Armageddon.

I think a coup by the US military who have indeed sworn to protect and defend the USA's constitution, and don't forget that good old line, "from all enemies foreign and domestic", would be an improvement. Our generals, I believe, have the attitude that war is best to avoid unless you really need to do it. It's always been our presidents, not the generals, who've been war-mongers. The job of the military has always been to do their best job acting on the orders of the Pres and Congress, trying to do so with the least amount of destruction and loss of life, because those things take up time better spent reaching the objective.

I also think anyone's who's Zionist is certifiably nuts. The idea that one group of people is superior, etc. is synonymous with Nazism. Yet if you read what the founders - and the present leading lights - of Zionism say, that's exactly what they're saying.

Don't even get me started on the loony things the rabid Christians believe!

What do you think of "Pilgrimnists"? You know, the ones who want to establish an Anglo-Saxon homeland in Plymouth, Massachusetts?

Oh. It already happened? Doh. I feel so stupid.

Maybe we can pretend it did not happen and start talking about the occupied territories of the Massachusetine peoples and how to lob rockets in there and retake what should be theirs? That sounds sane.

The parallels of the native Americans and the Palestinians is kind of interesting.  The big difference of course was the use of bioweapons.  (AKA: smallpox.)  By the time the pilgrims landed in Plymouth smallpox was already spreading throughout the Americas.  It's one of the main reasons the invading Europeans managed to get a foothold.

If I remember correctly a colonial general actually collected the blankets from a smallpox ward and gave them as "gifts" to the Indian chiefs.


The difference here is that we killed all the Indians. The Israelis don't have the capability to do that. Even if they used all their nukes they would still be surrounded by millions of pissed off, though no radioactive, Arabs.
And the BIG problem here, in general, is we're finding that the "Indians" were right - living lightly on the land, not having to work from dawn to late into the night to survive, etc.

It is amusing to see the West vs. Islam war as one of industrialists against those who for the most part live off of the land - not as hunter-gatherers but they are largely agricultural societies. Oh wait, here's a good one, the US using their latest goodies against a bunch of farmers in Vietnam, and getting their asses handed to them there too.

Well, if by 'Indians' you mean the original peoples of the Americas, then no, we were not ALL killed.

And I use the term "Indians" because that's what the Euros called 'em at first, and in their language the name stuck. I myself like the Canadian term First Nations, and to each tribe/group/language themselves, their name for themselves means The People. What are we? Why, we're People of course. Just People.

crap, my brain wasn't working. Sorry, Native Americans, of course. (please accept my HUMBLEST apologies!)
Our generals, I believe, have the attitude that war is best to avoid unless you really need to do it. It's always been our presidents, not the generals, who've been war-mongers.

Two words: Curtis LeMay.

Yeah, and General Sherman too. And Patton. But by and large, maybe I'm wrong but our military seems a bit more sane, having to deal with reality once in a while, than our gov't.
Remember, the President of the United States is a supporter of these groups.


Are These the End Times?
The coauthor of the popular `Left Behind' series explains why he believes Christ will return in our lifetimes.


Does this explain how living right with God, in a Christian sense, would entail supporting the Israeli state right now?

I think those two things are related. Christians who take the Bible literally are generally supportive of Israel because God promises to bless those nations that are a blessing to Israel and curse those nations that are not. And the history of America bears that out.

But is it accurate to equate the state of Israel, which is a geopolitical entity, with all Jewish people around the world, who far outnumber the people actually in Israel?

No, that's just a third of the number of Jews in the world.

So believers in the Rapture don't necessarily foresee a damnation of the Jews then?

No, we don't believe in the damnation of people in ethnic groups. We believe that's an individual decision. Now, it often follows in people groups. Take the Muslims that we've been talking about. Everybody knows that they do not accept Jesus Christ as a means of salvation from sin. That's the only way you can be saved, is to call on the name of the Lord. They're not about to do that.

Neither are Jews.

Correct. But during the Tribulation period, there'll be a sea change, and many Jews will accept Christ. Not all. Again, it's an individual decision.

Texas preacher leads campaign to let Israel fight

 Thursday, July 27, 2006 By Andrew Higgins, The Wall Street Journal


WASHINGTON -- After Israel sent warplanes into Iraq in 1981 to bomb a nuclear reactor, Texas televangelist John Hagee sent letters to 150 fellow Christian preachers to rally support for the Jewish state.

He got just one positive response. When Mr. Hagee pressed ahead with plans for a pro-Israel gathering in a San Antonio theater, he says he got a death threat on the phone and someone shot out all the windows of his station wagon parked in his driveway.

Last week, as Israel's armed forces pounded Lebanon and worries of a wider conflagration mounted, Mr. Hagee presided over what he called a "miracle of God": a gathering of 3,500 evangelical Christians packed into a Washington hotel to cheer Israel and its current military campaign.

 Standing on a stage bedecked with a huge Israeli flag, Mr. Hagee drew rapturous applause and shouts of "amen" as he hailed Israel for doing God's work in a "war of good versus evil." Calls for Israel to show restraint violate "God's foreign-policy statement" toward Jews, he said, citing a verse from the Old Testament that promises to "bless those who bless you" and curse "the one who curses you."

 The gathering was sponsored by Christians United for Israel, a national organization the 66-year-old preacher set up this year. The group lobbies politicians in Washington, rallies grassroots support for Israel and aims to educate Christians on what it calls the "biblical imperative" of supporting the Jewish state.

 Mr. Hagee is a leading figure in the so-called Christian-Zionist movement. This evangelical political philosophy is rooted in biblical prophecies and a belief that Israel's struggles signal a prelude to Armageddon. Its followers staunchly support the Bush administration's unequivocal backing of Israel in its current battle with Hezbollah in Lebanon.

 President Bush sent a message to the gathering praising Mr. Hagee and his supporters for "spreading the hope of God's love and the universal gift of freedom." The Israeli prime minister also sent words of thanks. Israel's ambassador, its former military chief and a host of U.S. political heavyweights, mostly Republican, attended.

 At a time when Islamist groups are displacing secular nationalists as the main vehicle for political revolt across the Middle East, Mr. Hagee and like-minded evangelicals are injecting greater religious fervor into American attitudes and policy toward the region. They see, and even sometimes seem to embrace, the notion of a global conflict between Islam and the Judeo-Christian West, just as do many zealous Muslims.

"This is a religious war that Islam cannot -- and must not -- win," Mr. Hagee wrote in a recent book, "Jerusalem Countdown," which focuses on what he says is a coming nuclear showdown with Iran. "The end of the world as we know it is rapidly approaching. ... Rejoice and be exceeding glad -- the best is yet to be." The book has sold nearly 700,000 copies since it was released in January, according to his Florida-based religious publisher, Strang Communications.

Superstitious nut jobs bent on destroying the world.
People keep distorting Christianity till they cause untold suffering. The crusades and the Spanish inquisition spring to mind.

PS: Here in the deep south people openly embrace the whole Apocalypse thing so they can be with Jesus.


There is a thought out there that if Iran had the bomb they would use it against Israel. As two Presidents of Iran have said, if it cost 10 million Muslim deaths to eliminate Israel as a state, so be it.

So far, Iran has pushed talk, and not force in regards to the latest Lebanon War.

I got this off another site:

Breaking: Iranian student leader, Ahamad Batebi, arrested

Kianoosh Sanjari: Translation by Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi
This afternoon Ahmad Batebi, was arrested in front of his home in Tehran by plain clothes secret service agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

At 5 pm on Saturday evening, as Batebi and his wife Somaya, exited their apartment building they were accosted by several agents, forcing Batebi and Somaya back inside for interrogation and inspection of their home.

Somaya Batebi said that the agents spent 3 hours inspecting their apartment and finally gathered and confiscated Batebi's personal property, including his computer, cellular phone, CD's, several files and family photo albums.

In a phone call, Ahmad Batebi's father expressed fear and concern for his son's safety and wellbeing; Batebi's father said that if his son's situation is not clarified by tomorrow, Sunday, July 30th, he and other members of the Batebi will start a hunger strike.

Batebi's father also stated that Ahmad himself had communicated that should he be illegally re-arrested, he would go on hunger strike during the initial hours of his detention.

It appears that after interrogation that Ahmad Batebi would have been transferred to detention center 209 of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security.
Ahmad Batebi was orginally arrested in 1999 during the massive student uprising in Tehran. He was arrested because of the humiliation the regime felt after this young man's photo appears on the cover of the Economist and has become a symbol of the Iranian student movement. This photo appeared all over the world but sadly the western media failed to condemn the Iranian government for arresting this young man. Dr. Iman Foroutan also confirmed the report of his rearrest. We need to spread the word on this arrest so the Iranian government will know the world is watching his fate.

Ussr had been on a decay curve for decades - internal economics that just did not work. Brezhnev was a moron, probably even stupider than Bush and a calcified burocracy followed him. Everything you cite about how an arms race with USA contributed to fall of Soviet empire is 100% pure Reaganite propaganda.
In your reply to me you cite exactly the factors (the bureaucracy and internal economics that were not working) that an arms race pushed over the edge. Even committed communists today note that the arms race was a factor in the collapse. Even before the collapse of the USSR, Soviet economist Otto Latsis wrote about the negative effects of the arms race.

Thank you for making my point and actually supporting what I said.

(b) the collapse of oil prices (instigated by Reagan and acted upon by the Saudis)...

I've seen references to FSU collapsing because of their first oil peak. Can anyone expand on that and why the break up of the Soviet Union seemed to solve the problem? Does that amount to a partial collapse, a simplification, maybe a scale-back of the kleptocracy? I'm trying to think through the implications to state and local control and when is the point reached where the national government becomes irrelevant and the state and locals understand that.

NOLA - maybe that is a failure, maybe it is a huge success for the corporate rapists. $3/gallon or more heating oil this winter - and if we get a cold winter - will that be a huge disaster or another opportunity for wealth transfer?

Here in Maine the state and locals are doing nothing, saying it's up to the Feds.


Today I read some Swedish statistics from www.spi.se comparing the first 6 months 2006 with the first 6 months 2005.

Petrol sales down 3.6% to 2 600 000 m3
Diesel sales   up 2.7% to 2 148 000 m3
E85 sales      up 300% to    21 000 m3 (From a low level)
Total pure ethanol use in E85 and petrol 137 000 m3

Heating oil down 8% to 751 000 m3

Todays list price from www.preem.se

Bensin 95      12,74 kr/liter  1.75 $/l  6.6 $/gallon
Bensin 96     12,90 kr/liter
Bensin 98     13,04 kr/liter
Diesel Biomil     11,41 kr/liter
Diesel Promil     11,31 kr/liter  1.56 $/l  5.9 $/gallon
Etanol E85     8,49 kr/liter   1.17 $/l  4.4 $/gallon

Swedens population is 9 million.


Astonishing.  $6.60/gallon would (will) reak havok in the US.

It's interesting that E85 costs significantly less in Sweden than pure gasoline.  I live in one of the largest corn-growing states in the US, and even here various ethanol blends cost the same as or more than regular gas (but I realize there are tax and subsidy inequities).

I assume the ethanol in Sweden is from rapeseed?  How are the prospects there for its sustainability?  300% growth in ethanol use is significant.  Do you think this is likely to continue?

It makes people complain but few are surprised since higher petrol prices have been a trend for a long time, first for fiscal reasons to get to the money flow after the previous short lived oil crisises, then motivated for enviromental reasons and now it gets higer due to the world market price.

As it is now the oil price have given a larger intrest in smaller cars and is probably one of the reasons for the growth of the largest cities and towns reachable via rail commuting.

E85 costs less then pure gasolene since the ethanol content only is taxed with sales tax while gasolene and diesel has a heavy road/CO2/goverment-budget-milk-cow tax in addition to the sales tax.

No ethanol is made from rapeseed but it is used for making biodiesel. All major oil companies are now starting to sell a 95% diesel 5% biodiesel blend since EU regulations were changed to allow it. I think the same tax benefit is present for biodiesel.

The largest ethanol plant in Sweden makes ethanol from wheat and ryewheat with distillation steam from a biomass burning district heating plant. The second largest use sugars extracted during paper pulp production. But most of the ethanol is imported from Brazil. The ethanol production is currently being expanded in Sweden with mostly wheat and ryewheat as raw material but sugar beets and a large experimental celulose plant is proposed.

The other large biofuel is biogas, methane. I use to find statistics quickly but now I only find old outdated numbers such as the total sales during 2004 were equivalent to 13 000 m3 of petrol.

The close to building ethanol plant(s?) in Sweden can fill last years need about two years in the future while consuming all average excess wheat production. A doubling of that is probably reasonable and more or less what is proposed by various investors. The 5% of rapseed based biodiesel will use all of the rapseed production. And there is a large unused biogas potential but I dont have figures handy.

Overall we need to use forest biomass, get more rail transportation, smaller and more efficient cars, plug in hybrids and move to need less transportation work and it will be ok with neglible oil for transportation in about 20 years.

I think Sweden has a very different society. They have good public transportation, and it's not a "fuck you, I've got mine" society.
Astonishing.  $6.60/gallon would (will) reak havok in the US.

There's nothing astonishing about it... as has been said many times on TOD... for taxation reasons... European gas prices have always been 2-3x high than US.

Does it change driving habits?... NO. I would venture to suggest that the annual mileage for Europeans is little different to the majority of Americans... (how many hours a day CAN you spend in your car?) (BTW:  I have owned vehicles in UK, Europe, Middle East, Canada, Aus & NZ)

I might concede the need for some minor lowering of prices in large countries... USA, Canada, Australia

So as for causing havoc... briefly, if it happened overnight, probably not at all if it happened incrementally... Why should US be different from anywhere else?

Not sure on the effect on trucking in different tax regimes... is it usually tax-deductible or simply passed on in the price of goods?

I understand that the Europeans consume significantly less oil per person than they do in the united states, so it would seem price does make a difference. You would expect it to, wouldn't you?
But what does "using oil" mean in this instance... oil for transport, heating oil, oil for manufacturing...

And levels of car ownership would affect the "per person" analysis..

We were discussing the effect of $6 gas prices due to increased taxation...

To repeat... my experience is that price makes little difference... it becomes just "what you are used to paying"...

Agree completely.

People in the US spend (doing quick calculation with myself back when I had a car as an example) maybe 4% or so of their annual income on gasoline, probably (a lot) less in many cases, but that's kindof a high end figure. So, lets get this straight, if people had to spend,  lets say, 8% of income on gasoline instead, that would be a disaster, economy crashing, and all that.

Don't think so.

The same thing is true on the level of the country as a whole. We spend about (7 billion barrels a year * $80/barrel) $560 billion a year on oil, even with today's high prices. That's something like 4% of GDP, about what was guestimated above. So, if that went too 5-10% of GDP (oil at $150-$200/barrel) that would be a disaster, eh, probably not.

That would however let electricity really compete for the first time ever. $80/barrel oil is about equivalent to $0.04/KWh electricity, which would be very cheap, even as a wholesale price. When oil was at $20/barrel ($0.01/KWh), nobody even bothered to consider the alternatives, nothing was even remotely that cheap. Pay the equivalent of 0.10/KWh, and nuclear becomes an absolute gold mine (producing electricity for something like $0.039/KWh), as does almost every form of efficiency and generation technology.

"$560 billion a year on oil, even with today's high prices. That's something like 4% of GDP, about what was guestimated above. So, if that went too 5-10% of GDP (oil at $150-$200/barrel) that would be a disaster, eh, probably not."

Heck, doubling that will only mean the loss of a couple of walmart corporation sales equivalents out of the economy and probably only cost 4-5 million jobs.  No problem at all in our booming economy with a vibrant manufacturing segment, great trade balance, balanced federal budget and high personal savings rates.

Depends. If we double it, but spend the money at home, then perhaps we get more jobs. In any case, it doesn't mean that 90% of the country will spend their days eating dog.
It isn't being spent at home.  Oil money is basically funneled from low and middle class households to wealthy people throughout the world.  As oil prices increase, this drain becomes unsupportable.

High oil prices are not a problem to wealthy people.  However, it will cause a collapse of the poor and lower middle class populations in all countries.  In countries such as the United States, with little in the way of support services for these classes, this will likely result in the collapse of the country as a whole.

High energy costs are simply accelerating what has been going on in America for the last 100 years, namely the tranfer of the national wealth to a small percentage of the population.  The end result will not be pretty.

Hold on though....

I thought we were talking about alternatives (ethanol, nuclear, wind, whatever...) being too expensive too support our current economy once the oil runs out. I grant your point about the oil, so it's better for us to transition sooner rather than later. It's what comes after the later that seems to be the difference of opinion.

The opinion of this site seems very clear that after oil, we live in caves with sticks and stones. I think that even if we spend twice as much ($0.10/KWh, about the average cost of electricity in the country, give or take) on all energy, we may still be better off as we'd be spending it on real industry within the country, not funneling it into the trust funds of terrorist sympathisers.

I would say the economy post-peak will be better than the one now, it's just the little span between now and then that must be watched carefully.

Even if we spend twice as much ($0.10/KWh, the average cost of electricity) on all energy, we may still be better off as we'd be spending it on real industry within the country, not funneling it into the trust funds of terrorist sympathisers.

There is both a good point and a bad point mixed into this one comment.

First, the GOOD point.
Yes, if we stop listening to the "wisdom" of the money crowd, and if we stop investing our time, energies and resources into the continued build up of the oil based infrastructure, and we instead invest in sustainable infrastructure, then in the long run we will be better off; even though the accountants tell us otherwise.

Now to the bad point.
By "terrorist sympathisers", it is implied that these are not people and they do not deserve to have a way to live sustainably. Actually, we are all people. We are raised & educated under different Edge-occassion models. But that does not mean some deserve more to die while others deserve to live. Our western "Education" is just as flawed as is the eastern education model. We all believe in invisble dieties and manifest destinies. We are all sicko's in this regard.

Let's not kill off the other half of the world while at the same time encouraging them to retaliate & try to kill us. Let's find an alternate solution.

First of all, saying nothing about the Saudi people (who presumably, by and large, do not have trust funds), I think it's fair to call a spade a spade and declare outright that the royal family is something other than a pack of generally decent human beings.

That being said, I didn't advocate genocide, or any other sort of engagement with them. We shouldn't be buying oil from them, case closed. If others do, that's their business, if nobody does (not likely) and the Saudis have trouble living in their desert peninsula, then that is also not of particular relevance to us. Sure, if some massive humanitarian problem arose, maybe we do something, but it's not like we really owe them anything at this point. We never did. They can make their own way just as we make ours, or not.

I'm not an isolationist, but at the same time, it is not our job to save every starving and opressed person on the planet. There is a middle ground here, and it doesn't look much like the policies we have in place now.

Give an average American savings rate of negative 1.5% (US government/BLS statistics), and an admisssion that Americans are liquidating assets to "stay afloat", an additional +4% spend on gasoline instead gives you negative 5.5%.

So, just how long do you expect to spend 5% more than you make and remain out of bankruptcy?
How long will "GenericCo" stay in business if costs rise another 4%?  Or more?

One must also consider the fact that energy costs can be found in nearly EVERY good and service available, and that higher energy costs translate into higher costs for all such goods and services, be it food (diesel, refrigeration, fertilizer) or a microwave (refined metals, electronics, transportation).

Does it change driving habits?... NO. I would venture to suggest that the annual mileage for Europeans is little different to the majority of Americans... (how many hours a day CAN you spend in your car?) (BTW:  I have owned vehicles in UK, Europe, Middle East, Canada, Aus & NZ)

I found this Swedish statitsics for the years 1998, 2000 and 2003
It is also broken down per municipiality and can be found on:
http://www.google.com/u/scb?q=cache:AY4dR3J4oTYJ:www.scb.se/Grupp/Webmaster/ntal1_2.xls+k%C3%B6rstr% C3%A4cka&hl=sv&ct=clnk&cd=1&ie=UTF-8

13790 km per car
6100 km per person

13300 km per car
6470 km per person

14040 km per car
6810 km per person

I have no idea on how this compares with for instance US average.

The explosion took place at a joint Pertamina-Petrochina oil refinery in eastern Java province early Saturday as workers tried to contain a gas leak by setting it on fire, local police officials said.


Tried to contain a gas leak by setting it on fire ?!? Wow

Burning gas leak - relatively controllable problem - cool area, close valves and depressurize lines / tanks.

Large and growing gas cloud gives asphixiation problem and will eventually find an ignition source if the prevailing wind does not disperse it sufficiently.  Then you have a horrendous fireball.

It's a matter of fine judgement whether to ignite the leak or not.  Looks like they made the wrong call.

Peak Oil hits the mainstream media today in the US Midwest, as the Chicago Tribune is running a fantastic on-line, multi-media special report today titled "A Tank of Gas, A World of Trouble". You'll need broadband internet to view the Flash video presentations (which include interviews of Matt Simmons). The author is Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Salopek.

It's very interesting to see fuel traced from one Marathon gas station near Chicago to various regions of the world.

Also note the sidebar stories on peak oil and the potential peak of Saudi Arabian oil production.

Congrats to the Chicago Tribune for a superb story!  Thanks for the link.
Paul has been working on this story for months.  I haven't read it all yet, but it looks very good.  The ExxonMobil guy in the Peak Oil column, Scott Nauman, is the guy who was at the PBS Peak Oil debate.

I talked to Paul quite some time ago for a couple of hours regarding background information on Peak Oil, and I have been sending him e-mails every once in a while asking about the publication date.  Following is my 7/24/06 e-mail to him:


If your editors keep delaying your article, the way things are going we may see gas lines by the time that it is published.


Jeffrey Brown

WestTexas - can you elaborate on Why the Editors were delaying the article ??? Was it typical newspaper shuffling crap or was it due to the content?

Just curious.

The article is quite long, and Paul said that they were trying to figure out where to put the piece.   The article was originally supposed to run in early summer.    These are the facts that I know.  I have my suspicions as to why the article was delayed.

I sent Paul an e-mail asking him when and if the article is supposed to run in the print version.  It will be very interesting to see if the article is published in the print version.

Thanks WestTexas.  Isn't it funny how they test the waters using the internet first?  The NYTimez did the same thing a couple months back if I recall.

I wonder how much pressure the Gubermint is putting on them behind the scenes and how much of it is just simple disbelief on the part of the editors.  

After what happened in Europe last year with the stupid Allah Cartoon episode, I can see why the gubermint and editors might be a bit gun shy about publishing the Truth in Print... with BIG Head LineZ so even the Dunces Amongst Us cannot avoid reality anymore.

Many motivations possible, doesn't matter really.  The Saps on the Street will behave exactly like Twighlight said earlier - "XYZ Is To Blame !!!"  ... and "XYZ" is almost always "BUSH!"

It's a start... I hope more editors answer Clinton's call to get the word out.  

Too bad Clinton the Genius president didn't Wake UP a few years earlier.

Recall he had to work with a Republican Congress after the '92 elections.
'Doh -- I meant the '94 midterms.
Great stuff.  He seems to have done his homework.
A most excellent article in the Tribune. Chapter 2 has an interview with a poster family for American consumption, complete with $2000 pool heating bill. It makes clear the prevailing mindset, and that getting people to believe in Peak Oil is just a small first step.

Shuttling the boys across the suburbs to piano lessons, floor hockey practice, Little League and hip-hop dance classes, she can rack up 40 miles or more in the Hummer.

"Are there problems coming? Maybe. But I prefer to think the glass is half full," said Tim, 37, arriving home from his office one afternoon after a commute of 19 miles each way. "When shortages jack up oil prices permanently, someone will have the incentive to invent another fuel. That's how the market works."

I'm going to go tinker in my basement now and invent that next fuel.

"That's how the market works."

Let's just repeal the Laws of Thermodynamics.

If you've got a Mr. Fusion Home Energy Reactor, try Miller High Life.

Thanks for posting Mr. Fusion.
Every time somebody says '"They" will invent something' --that image flashes into mind.

Because I am in the innovation/technology business and know how often good ideas go South, I am utterly amazed at how naive the American-poster family is in regard to what it takes for "They" to invent something and successfully bring it to market.

Recall that Doc Brown's mind-reading machine was a total failure:

"When shortages jack up oil prices permanently, someone will have the incentive to invent another fuel. That's how the market works."

I believe this calls for the magic can opener to make another appearence.

I love that frickin' thing. I still am trying to grasp the totality of what it means, but I just love how you got the white backround, so it justs floats there. Cheers. It's got to be magic.
Thanks! I'm glad you like it. As for what it means, recall the joke about the economist stuck on the desert island....
I'm sorry. You'll have to recount it in full here. I've never heard it. Hahaha. I'm serious. I didn't think economists got stuck.
I didn't think economists got stuck.

The longest recorded interval for an economist being stuck on an Island is 23 hours.

The Market always comes through and provides solutions for those who believe in her.

(If there hadn't been a bridge to Brooklyn, "they" would have invented it ... and then sold it. That is the Magic of the Markets.)

A physicist, a chemist, and an economist are stuck on a desert island. While scavenging, they come across a can of food that has washed up on shore.

The physicist looks at the can and says, 'I know, we will climb to the top of a tree and drop a rock on the can. The resulting force of the impact wil knock the can open for us.'

The chemist, not to be outdone, suggests the following, 'I can use chemicals from some of these minerals on the beach that will create a corrosive substance that will eat away and weaken the metal for us.'

The economist picks up the can and thinks for a moment. 'First, for our three agent Robinson-Crusoe economy we must assume we have a can opener...'

Praise the Lord for the guy who invented oil.  Guess they were a lot smarter back then.  It is because of people like this that gas should be jacked up to at least $10 per gallon. And he will be the first to complain.  If we can send a man to the moon, why can't we invent a new fuel?


There was some discussion on yesterday's DrumBeat about electric grid reliability. It wasn't mentioned in the general media, but on July 20 the North American Electric Reliability Council (NERC) was appointed the responsible organization for monitoring and enforcing grid reliability standards. Here's a web page and here's a press release about the appointment. To understand the fine point of the arrangement, who will be taking which roles, how enforcement actions and appeals are handled, etc., this video of a press conference is probably the most convenient source.

One interesting element is that NERC has a Resource Issues Committee with a mission to "Encourage long-term resource adequacy, and evaluate and report on resource adequacy trends."

Long-time no-post, but I saw something last night at an intersection that seems to indicate that word is slowly percolating out about our energy predicament.  The car in front of me had a vanity license plate that said "PEAKOIL" (they were Maryland tags).
Was it a Hummer?
Usually it's the sign of an impending peak of some sort. (If you know what I mean)
Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you said,"What is a Hummer?" Please excuse my poor taste.
Actually, it was an early 1990s Honda Accord (green, if I remember correctly).  I wonder if the guy/gal who owns it reads or posts on TOD?
Scratching into the memory banks, I think I recall FatherOfFour had gotten himself some PO plates. Don't know what happened. Disappeared from the scene. Maybe got tired of the PO scene.
I'm wondering when the point will be reached when the investers will stop investing in the energy sector? Here's an example:


That's not really the energy sector. That is a gas and electric utility. The true energy companies are doing pretty well.



I'm sorry I can't put it into open thread which would be more appropriate but some of you might find it interesting:

The 9/11 - NeoCon Agenda on CSPAN Sat July 29 @ 8PM EST

On Saturday July 29 @ 8PM EST main CSPAN channel will air a panel discussion from The American Scholars Symposium.

The panel consisting of academics, former military, and researchers, challenges the government's official story of what happened on 9/11.

Tell your friends!

For more links and info about the subject start here:

PS The fun part is that C-Span put it between some uncle Dick Cheney PR stunt..

btw. if you don't have C-Span on your cable/dish you can watch it live as realvideo/wmv stream from their website:


Hehe. Good one. Hugo Chavez might have to start posting again if you stick around.
Actually, I saw this one late tonight on the West coast. This Alex Jones fellow and his friends seemed dead serious in their belief that the US Government orchestrated the whole 9/11 thing.

Scary stuff if true.
I just don't see how the Government could have had that many people involved (i.e. dozens of FBI agents, etc.) in something like this without someone spilling the beans. It doesn't pass the plausibility test.  Human beings just can't keep secrets. And besides, it was too well orchestrated. The US Government is incapable of doing anything quite that right. (Katrina, Valerie Plame, Iraq, War on Drugs, the Addicted to Oil thing, Global Warming truth ...) Maybe it was orchestrated, but not by "our" Guberment.

Speaking of secrets, Psst ... did you hear about this Peak Oil Denial thing?

Well, for starters how many people leaked the Manhattan Project which needed perhaps 1000x more people to make happen?

The point is as my nick suggests that similar "false-flag" state sponsored terrorism acts are heavily compartmentalized within agencies. Similar events throughout the US history are now in the official record be it CIA archive, FOIAs etc.

Besides, you have FBI agents like in the ongoing scandal 'Able Danger' who reported up 70x times about particular terror cell which can be hardly described as negligence or system failure..

I'm afraid the whole PO debate has meaning only in this 9/11 context but I'm not going to spam this great forum. Just some small occasional updates if you will..

You are a science based community so perhaps someone would like to sharp his intellect on the real deal Prof. Steven Jones (BYU) paper about the WTC demolition:


I saw part of the CSPAN recording for a second time today.
It was an interesting experience.
Realized there were many things I had failed to pick up during the first round --including the talking point response that uses Manhatten Project as an example.

Guess that is human nature.
Probably how the PO-unaware receive our rants.

Too much data, too fast.
Can't cope. So ignore it.

Higher quality video rip is available now in many formats here:


Is that magnitude of revision common for EIA? And it looks like the demand for finished products wasnt really revised much, which means....? Refiners used some of their inventory rather than pay $70+ for incremental new stocks??
One thing to keep in mind is that when they say "demand" they really mean "consumption". Worldwide, "demand", i.e. consumption, is always equal to production, within a percent or two. Oil produced is oil consumed, except for the small amount that is stored or withdrawn from storage.

So if and when we hit a production peak, "demand" as the agencies define it will fall automatically, along with production.

Nobody really tries to measure demand in the colloquial sense of how much oil people desire; maybe, how much more they would consume if the price weren't sky high. That's too subjective and hypothetical to measure accurately. Instead they measure consumption, because that's relatively easy and well defined, and call it demand.

Well-stated, as always.

One quibble, a very minor one: Although by definition "demand" cannot be measured (because, among other reasons, demand is based on opportunity cost, and that concept has essential subjective and unmeasurable elements in it), it can be estimated fairly accurately--but only within a narrow ranges of prices and quantities.

I think my textbook (ECONOMICS: MAKING GOOD CHOICES) is the only one that dared tell freshmen the truth about supply and demand, rather than the convenient fictions and misleading graphs that sugar-coat and dumb-down these basic concepts. Introductory textbooks in economics usually lie bigtime in an attempt--entirely futile--not to confuse students with the truth. These grotesque oversimplifications in the major texts do much harm, in my opinion.

Let the victim beware!

Oops, better not say it so bluntly.

"Caveat Emptor."
(sounds so much better in Latin)

And so much for the much-vaunted anonymity.
Amazon doesn't have a picture of your textbook -- do you have sample chapters?
No, because my book is not in print it is hard to get any promotion for it;-) Indeed, my approach of radical truth was such that although the first edition was highly profitable for all concerned, there was never consideration given to a second edition. One of these days I'll ask for the copyright back, and then I'll put it online free for all to gaze at in wonderment and learn DUETs (Deep Universal Eternal Truths) about economics.

But the book is cheap. One of my ex-students collects copies of them and has me autograph them--working on the theory that someday these copies will be valuable. Somewhat worn copies may go for about forty-nine cents plus shipping.

Take a chance. If you do not like the book, I'll buy it from you for what you paid (shipping included). But you should not have to pay more than a few bucks even for a mint copy that includes the "free" study guide that was shrink-wrapped along with the book.

BTW, if you are Canadian, it is against the law to purchase a used textbook in Canada. Weird laws those Canucks have.

"BTW, if you are Canadian, it is against the law to purchase a used textbook in Canada. Weird laws those Canucks have."

Ummm... if thats the case then all the Univ's. up her are scofflaws, which hey, they may well be 'cause they all sell used books. But do you have a sorce for that factoid.

I do buy used text books, but only hollow them out to stash my narcotics, is that ok? :)

My source is the price for my book: ECONOMICS: MAKING GOOD CHOICES.

It goes for something like $Canadian 150 to 200 because there are only about a dozen new never-sold copies extant in the world. In the U.S. it sells for one or two dollars American, plus shipping--used.

Now why is this?

Apparently, in its great wisdom and to enhance the income of Canadian authors, the Powers that Rule Canada decided that it would be a Crime to sell a used college text book.

The RCMP have been alerted. They are on their way.

Flee, all is revealed;-)

A bit of research into the 1999 changes to the Cdn. copyright act reveal that what is illegal is "grey market" importing of books by (any books, not just texts) by retailers. I.E. a Canadian retailer buys books retail in some country other than Canada, imports them, and resells them retail to Canadian customers rather than purchasing them wholesale from the Canadian rights holder.

It also does not apply if there is not a Canadian distributor with the book in stock and ready to sell in a reasonable time.

The whole messy law can be found here:


interesting report on CBC radio in Toronto last week. The reporter suggested that conservation measures may have a rebound effect. In other words, when someone buys a car with better gas mileage, they simply drive more than they otherwise would have. The same principle seems to apply to other uses of energy-e.g. turning the air conditioner a bit lower after putting in new better insulated windows. it is counterintuitive . has anyone seen any articles with the same perspective.
This is called Jevons Paradox
This is why taxing energy consumption makes sense, and it is why arranging your life so that you can minimize or eliminate your need for a car makes even more sense.
well i have tried explaining this to many people and all i get are glazed looks or out right denial(in person) and 'mis-representing data' on line.
i do not know why but some people can't get their head around the concept that in general if item a uses less energy then item b they tend to use item a so much it becomes a worse problem then item b.
This is why taxing energy consumption makes sense, and it is why arranging your life so that you can minimize or eliminate your need for a car makes even more sense.

I totally agree with you. 100%. I also am enamoured with your ability to put it into one sentence. We can disagree on other things. But not on this. This is getting us to the crux of the matter. I'm with you.

they tend to use item A so much it becomes a worse problem then item B

Why stop with taxing energy? If we legalized and taxed drugs (item A) then ... why think of it ... the Government would be filthy rich and all our problems would be solved.

(If you don't think so, you haven't swallowed your daily quota.)

Do cases exist where Jevons Paradox does not apply?

Jevons Paradox, also known as the Khazzoom-Brookes postulate, or backfire in the Rebound Effect, is a generally accepted concept in economics which is used as an argument against energy efficiency. Here is a description of the the Khazzoom-Brooks postulate (KB):

"Economic theory predicts, and the historical record for most of this century suggests, that increased energy efficiency at the microeconomic level while leading to a reduction of energy use at this level, leads not to a reduction, but instead to an increase in energy use, at the national, or macroeconomic level."

Numerous instances exist where Jevons Paradox/KB has occurred. A more recent occurance is the UK government effort to reduce carbon emissions through increased efficiency such as improved home insulation. It was found that carbon emmissions were not being reduced by efficiency gains. The UK has launched a full scale investigation into the Rebound Effect which is currently underway.

Since Jevons Paradox/KB is a postulate, it has not been proven to hold true for all cases. Instances may exist where efficiency gains do not result in increased energy use. For example, how does KB apply to non-grid connected renewable energy sources like solar panels, solar thermal, wind power or wood stoves?

With a wood burning stove, increased efficiency would result in less wood being gathered from the site. With non-grid connected photovoltaic systems, excess electricity is not used for anything - it doesn't go anywhere. Increasing the efficiency of a refrigerator will only result in a decrease in electricity use, since no market exists to absorb the excess energy.

Small independent energy sources operate on a microeconomic scale and are not connected to a grid or distribution network, so efficiency gains do not roll up to the macroeconomic scale. Increased efficiency does not generate extra money since the energy has already been paid for, and no market exists to sell the excess energy. In this case, macroeconomic energy distribution only occurs in the form of embodied energy in the durable good, such as a wood burning stove.

The point at which you go off grid the energy you were using is released back to the market, so KB would apply to this action. But from this point forward you no longer participate in the energy macroeconomy. Subsequent improvements in energy efficiency affect only the microeconomic level and do not result in increased demand caused by KB.

Can you think of reasons why Jevons Paradox/KB would apply to efficiency gains in non-grid connected renewable energy?

Magnus, this is a well-known effect in energy efficiency studies (though many studies ignore it). You have the same impact when you replace incandescent lamps with CFLs--some people will leave the lights on longer. It's not at all counterintuitive, especially when you consider that efficiency measures provide the practioner with a financial benefit (they don't see the energy saved, only money). Since you're "richer" for having done the measure, then it's natural to spend some of that money on additional energy services.

There have been academic studies that have attempted to quantify the rebound effect. For some products (e.g. refrigerators, which are running 24/7), the impact is likely negligable, but for automobiles, it can be quite substantial (as US VMT/car shows).

This is a first order affect and is usually called DIRECT rebound effect. There is also an INDIRECT rebound effect, whereby the money saved from efficiency or conservation is used to purchase other energy-consuming services, such as taking a vacation trip by airplane. The third effect is called the General Equilibrium effect, and this for the most part negates the savings from efficiency and conservation (except under certain circumstances). This is the effect whereby the money saved from efficiency enters the banking system and is thereby multiplied 7-8 times through the fractional reserve principle, and leads to 7-8 times more spending (and energy mobilization) than the money you originally saved. Efficiency, in other words, provides financial benefits to the practioner, but it doesn't, in the broadest sense, necessarily save the system energy.

There are several conditions under which efficiency does save energy: when energy prices are rising (and thus you don't get any financial benefit for the same level of energy service consumption); or when the financial benefits are taxed away and invested in natural capital (land, air, water); or when the energy saved is physically removed from the system (which no one has figured out how to do yet).

This is the effect whereby the money saved from efficiency enters the banking system and is thereby multiplied 7-8 times through the fractional reserve principle, and leads to 7-8 times more spending (and energy mobilization) than the money you originally saved

This will apply to any new energy discovery as well. Even a stellar EROI will have multiplier effects through the system - the extra net energy will be split between the entrepreneur (more yachts and houses) and the consumer(more NASCAR and Disneyland).  In essence, in the long term, higher population, higher consumption are the normal human trajectory - breaking this chain can only come from being happy with less. Being happy with less will only come from experience or knowledge. People are too busy to get knowledge so it will have to come from experience.

Fascinating.  I really hadn't considered multiplier effects.  This should be more widely discussed.

This is basically how we got rich of the 70-80 oil shocks.
With a lot of help from the Japanese via cars, business practices and initial windfall from globalization i.e Japanese imports. This plus the crash in oil prices carried us into the 90's before we reverted to inefficient behavior.

Cheap oil helped a lot but the multiplier effect from more efficient cars homes and business is what I feel fueled growth till we hit the SUV/McMansion era. Basically recently say since 1995 or so we started back on the wasteful path a lot of resources are no longer being funneled back into productive economic growth when this happens eventually the economy stalls. Building houses for examples instead of roads and factories has a massive drop in economic return. 2-3 years after a home is built it effect on the economy becomes a negative IMHO its a drain on the economy.

Given this effect, don't we need rationing and/or cap and trade.  On the other hand, there are those of us who resist this effect.  I know my driving hasn't increased since I got my Prius.  I also have CFLs and you won't see me leaving a room with the lights left on.  So what's the solution?  Genetic modification?

But there may be a related effect having to do with renewable energy.  What if you know that, theoretically at least, all your power comes from wind.  I try to keep my consumption within the wind power that  I have "purchased".  If I didn't have this wind power feature from the utility, would I try a bit harder?  

The CBC did a story on ethanol last night. http://www.cbc.ca/national/

Press watch online.

The anchor actually said we were running out of oil.
They also did an interview with the President of Lebanon.

The story on ethanol starts at 41 min.
"The anchor actually said we were running out of oil.

IF true, Alert Houston and SETI At Once ... this means we may have Actually Made Contact the Average Joe and Josie on the street.  

(Oh godz this is going to get a lot funnier now...)

I just watched it again and Houston we have made contact.  Although I don't know how many people caught the implications of that statement.
And like the Cargo Cult Peoplez, they will slowly catch on.. and carve Solar PV panels from wood and place them on their tents... lmao... awegodz this is going to be hilarious...
Yes It Is! We're going to have people seriously thinking they can somehow process the weeds in the vacant lot next door into fuel, not only won't it work for much fuel but the result is a desertified vacant lot.

There's an article out there about desertification, with a striking description of goat herders cutting down trees, which are immediately swarmed over by their goats and stripped bare, then on to the next one.....

This is what, essentially, the biofuel folks have in mind, although they don't know it. Imagine in effect an Amurrikan going along, felling tree after tree, which cute little Hummers swarm over, stripping bare...... And on to the next one.

Wow, this was surprising. It is 10 minutes long. As noted above, jump to around 41 minutes.

It even culminated with the message that, although energy experts agree that ethanol is only a small (but valuable) part of the solution to oil dependence, the fact that it is so difficult politically to deliver such a nuanced message explains why politicians are making such positive noises about ethanol.

Quite a complex message for an MSM piece.

Uh, that's not quite MSM - its the CBC, a publicly financed broadcaster!  
Oh, Ok. I didn't know that. I am in Australia and have never visited Canada.

I didn't watch much of the footage (except the ethanol), but noticed ads and some FOX style hype in the promotional bits, and just jumped to the conclusion it must be MSM.

I guess the fact that it is publicly financed explains the more complex coverage... Still, just looking at minute 40 to 41, adds and fear-mongering... obviously only partially publicly financed.

Yes, CBC is, I believe, a lot like the US's PBS when it was new, and had some balls.

Even the MSM in non-US countries is amazing compared to the mainstream propaganda in the US. Films like "Why We Fight" which is an underground, little-known, cult film in the US, are shown during primetime on TV outside the US.

Of course it is MSM... it is the national broadcaster.

Would you ever say that the ABC in Oz wasn't MSM??

They are identical... originlly modelled after the BBC... in fact Cbc and ABC even co-produce one programme... "Hemisphere's"... hosted half in Sydney/half in Vancouver...

I too watched the CBC ethanol item (several times) yesterday...

I started out alarmed that they were talking up ethanol... bringing in a spokesperson from a Canadian ethanol company who, unsurprisingly, just gushed Ethanol...

But I was then relieved when they pretty much debunked the whole ethanol idea with a great diagram on EREOI, fossil fuel inputs and land availability...

However the piece concluded with the line... (as best I remember)

"Everyone is looking for the liquid fuel of the future ... and the big bet is on ethanol..."

..which I found rather strange given their demolition job...

erm, I think you might have got the wrong message from that final quote. It was the same bit I tried to paraphrase in the post above. The exact quote is as follows...

"Evan though ethanol will never solve the energy problem, most agree it's still a good idea - every little bit helps. And for politicians, there's an added advantage - offering struggling farmers a new market for their crops. But it is difficult to frame a political message that reflects the true potential of ethanol - as forming a part of a complex energy mosaic. So for now, the political message is this: It's time to develop a new source of fuel, and the fuel of choice is ethanol."

The part in bold is emphasised by the speaker. I believe the intended message is that although experts understand that ethanol can only be a part of the solution, politicians, as a matter of practicality, simply come across as pro-ethanol.

Thank you for the exact wording... that is exactly why the final message was so at odds with the content & tone of the (majority of) the programme...

*    most agree it's still a good idea - every little bit helps. Who are these most??... apart from an ethanol company insider... nobody else on the programme thought it was a "good idea"  

*    there's an added advantage - offering struggling farmers a new market for their crops. Are farmers struggling? Are they unable to sell corn now? No mention of this issue was made in the programme ... the only reason ethanol" works" in USA is because of subsidies... not for "energy" reasons

*     but it is difficult to frame a political message that reflects the true potential of ethanol - as forming a part of a complex energy mosaic. I'm not even sure what this means... guess it depends on what you consider "the true potential of ethanol"

*    It's time to develop a new source of fuel, and the fuel of choice is ethanol." But as they ably demonstrated, ethanol isn't really a source of fuel... with an EREOI of only marginally greater/less than 1:1 (depending on irrigation needs and transportation distance) ... it is just fossil fuels re-configured.

BTW: NO mention was made at all of the lower energy value of ethanol cf. petrol.

Let's look at the bigger picture:

*    You are going to all this effort to reconfigure fossil fuels to lower energy value ethanol and then you are going to BURN it in a 30% efficient ICE?? Makes no sense.

*    Short term solutions > what happens to the ethanol market when oil is too expensive or no longer available?

*    What about competing land issues when lack of cheap fertilizer means yields are way down... do you want food or fuel... ultimately you might also be relying  the land to provide a bio-chemical stock too...  

Seems to me that in the future land use will be, by order of priority:  (i) food production (at greatly reduced levels) (ii) Bio-chemical stocks (iii) Liquid fuels where EREOI is great enough and no competing land issues (sugar growing regions?)

If there is going to personalised transport... it will have to be achieved by some other means: Wind > Electric

You are going to all this effort to reconfigure fossil fuels to lower energy value ethanol and then you are going to BURN it in a 30% efficient ICE?? Makes no sense.

That is exactly what I told Khosla this morning. His reply was essentially that it's the only way the auto companies will buy in.

as forming a part of a complex energy mosaic. So for now, the political message is this: It's time to develop a new source of fuel, and the fuel of choice is ethanol.

yet any complex solution fails from it's own complexity.
the only way a complex solution works is when you have a much higher source of energy at your disposal then the previous system. having a much higher energy source allows one to construct a more complex system then the previous that solves many but not all of the problems of the previous system built around a lesser resource. this is the main problem with he bb idea, it's much more complex then our current system but it doesn't have the uber high energy source needed to run it in the background. from what i have seen also people who propose this as a solution play down to a major degree as to what fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas helped make possible in the first place.
for example steel was known as far back as the middle ages yet with only wood fueling the fires of the forges they were only able to make high quality swords and armor out of the metal. even then they could not make enough for every soldier. despite what Hollywood shows you many made due with chain mail and padded leather, only the richest of the knights were able to afford full suits of armor. coal made it possible to make the need quantity and quality of steel for many things we make today.
On the phone with Khosla right now.
High six figures. Minimum..;)
Still talking. He is doing most of the talking. Hard to get in a word.
I wonder if Robert is actually being hypnotized and reprogrammed via the phone. . . the "New" Robert:  " I was a pawn of a criminal conspiracy by a consortium of major oil companies and major oil exporters whose intent was to keep the  miracle of ethanol from saving the country and the world, and the ethanol industry needs even greater subsidies and higher tariffs on imported ethanol."
Still on the phone. I am getting in some words now. We are having some disagreements at this point.
at this point i would ask him if he is willing to pay the phone bill since he is doing all the talking :P
He called me, so it's on his tab. We are talking about a job right now. :)
Fascinating.  This is so voyeuristic in a 21st Century way.  

What has been the tenor so far?  Is he trying to show why you are wrong?  Or do you sense an honest attempt to understand the physics of the situation?

RR - I wouldnt test your multi-tasking abilities too far. update us after its over. You might miss something important, like a zero...
Achhhh!  What's an order of magnitude amongst friends!
He just asked for my resume. He also said that I can summarize this conversation in a blog entry, but he told me quite a few things "in confidence". Still trying to wrap up.
Finished. An hour and a half. I need to eat lunch and try to get my notes organized.
In all seriousness, both parites are worthy.

Mr Khosla is commended for laying his business case out for dissection by an individual (R2) who can flay those parts that need flaying.  The easy path would be to avoid the call and not hear the ugly truth.

And Robert is contributing a valuable service to those of us who wish to see an honest discussion.  

My hat is off to both.


bjj - I could be wrong, but I think you've been MIA for a while. By choice? Good to have you back. Shout out to OilRig as well. You guys seemed to have made a coordinated parachute drop.

I got more to say, but I won't. Good to have you back. Both of you.


Thanks.  I've lurked frequently, but been real busy otherwise.  I quit my day job and started a web development business.  I've alays wanted to run my own show, and a long-lost friend called with a need for an AJAX-driven, GIS application.  It's based on the GlobeXplorer API.  That, a few other offers, and an opportunity to lower my gasoline footprint was all I needed to take the plunge.  If you do AJAX development, then you need to try the prototype.js library at least once; Sam S. has done a great job of removing most cross-browser complexity.  It's worth a try; it's free after all.  Thing's have been crazy ever since; be careful what you wish for and all that.

>> I got more to say, but I won't.

You can email me directly if ya gotta get something off your chest.  (oops, did that violate the new kinder, gentler ground rules here @ TOD?  I do prefer civil discourse.) bjj at mchsi dot com.

And finally, Robert....my hat's off to you for having the knowledge and commuication skills that you have.  Where are you going to post a summary of your phone call?


I finished it up yesterday. It is sitting in the queue.
Im hoping you remembered the Socratic method, praised his daughters intelligence, and invited him to go hunting with you.
I will get my notes written up later today. First I have to update my resume and figure out a good title for my upcoming essay "Why I Love Ethanol". ;-)
 'figure out a good title for my upcoming essay "Why I Love Ethanol". '

"Beer: So much more than just a breakfast drink."
-Whitstran Brewery sign

People who Love People who Love Ethanol, are the luckiest PeO-ple in the world --Barabara Streisand
Oh, C'mon. That's a cheap shot. Who doen't like big breasts? I mean titties. Sorry.
The Market rewards those who come up with a cheaper Mousse Trap.
Or as I read on the licence plate frame of a pickup ...

"BEER - helping ugly people have sex, since 1843"

Guys like Khosla are super-predators, all about making money.

Ethanol can be an utter crock, Khosla will be interested in it if he can fool people into investing in it long enough for him to make a lot of money and disappear with it, giggling.

Assuming Khosla is smart enough in a sciency way to know Ethanol is an utter crock, his overriding concern will be how to silence whistle-blowers who can prick the nice big ethanol bubble he plans to profit from.

Remember Karen Silkwood!

Guys like Khosla are super-predators, all about making money.

You know what's funny? "Super Predator" used to be a handle I used for a long time on a couple of boards - mainly arguing against Creationists.

LOL that's funny!! I think I thought of the term from some news or magazine article from the late 80s, about some of the prisoners with uber-long records, the guys they were worried about because they'd work out in the prison gyms, and had a totally predatory outlook on life.

LOL super-predator lol, that's about what Empire-culture humans are though. And Khosla is the guy we're all indoctrinated to want to grow up to be.

I actually got the idea from a Discovery Channel show on predators. They said "Man is the ultimate super predator". I thought that sounded pretty cool. However, some people said it sounded too much like "sexual predator".
You know, years ago I read a science fiction novel in which desperate aliens came to earth to try to recruit homo sapiens to fight on their side. They kept trying to tell the hero of the story that we humans were the nastiest, meanest creatures in the universe. Our hero, of course, didn't buy it and tried to explain how hard we worked to live together in peace. Near the end of the novel, the friendly aliens appear to give up arguing and head back into space resigned to fight a war without our assistance against another hostile species that was overrunning the galaxy.

But in the last chapter, a last remote outpost on some remote planet is being overrun and a few of the friendly aliens from the story are wounded and in the outpost, surrounded by tens of thousands of those other hostile aliens who have been overrunning the galaxy. They are expecting to die and wondering how many more worlds will fall to the creatures they are fighting when suddenly over the horizon comes a mere dozen humanoid forms in armored jump suits. In just minutes, thousands of the opposing aliens are destroyed and the rest are driven back. And as the commander of that unit stands over the wounded friendly aliens, he orders a medic to see to their wounds, pops open his visor... and it's the hero of the story who earlier was trying to convince them (and us) that we were really not so violent.

I've tried to remember the author and title of that book for years and just have not managed to do so. Does anyone here perhaps know the book of which I write?

This guy can't wait to frame your rez on his wall.

Another trophy <g>.

Will: No doubt with RR's head mounted beside it.
Brilliant long term scheme you developed, and now its all worked out as you planned...congrats!
Not fair.
You rock, dude!

Now wave your magic wand and make ethanol work for us!!  Our non-negotiable way of life is waitin' on ya.

Trying to wrap up now.
Standing by...
Vinod was cover boy on San Jose Merc News today (story on Prop 87) as a crosser-over from tech to politics.
Interesting article if you overlook the author's bias and his conclusions.

Still... the truth is Civilization depends on a couple of pipelinez and shipping lanez here and there...

On Straws and Skinz of Teeth the Balance Hangs... tick...tick...tick...

I posted a link to this article a couple of days ago - don't think it got any comments.  I don't know what to think of it yet.  It's obviously quite a different interpretaion, and the pro Israel camp will be less than enthusiastic about it.  But there is something there - the link to the The Jerusalem Post confirms there is negotiation concerning the underwater pipeline idea:

The new Turkish-Israeli proposal under discussion would see the transfer of water, electricity, natural gas and oil to Israel via four underwater pipelines.

"The whole premise is based on the assumption that Turkey is becoming a major hub for energy in the region," said Gabby Levy, the Director of International Relations at the National Infrastructure Ministry.

So is everything about oil?

"So is everything about oil? "

I think so.  Now that we are at Crisis Level the Role of Oil in every single aspect of our individual lives and our global lives will become more and more obvious I guess.

Most of us just took it for granted the past few decades and now it will become the focal point of everyone's life... most just don't know it yet.


Drudge:  Heatwave hits vegetable supplies

Fresh vegetable supplies are in peril due to the hot summer

Not a problem. Those fellahs have crop insurance.
Yes but do the People Who Need to EAT have "Crop insurance" is the bigger question... or maybe, do the Ethanol Priests have Crop Insurance maybe... depends on if you ask a 3rd worlder or a Oil Exec or Archer Danielz WasteLandz...
No problem. If the price of vegetables goes up, food substitutes will be found.
Out here in the burbs we intend to use grass clippings and poodle poo.
I just hope the Inner Cities have a plan other than Soilent Green - Profoundly Local may take on sinister meanings for Inner City Food Chainz in Some Peoplez Realities.

Mother Nature is a Sick Bitch, but whatdya gonna do?


Chat rooms could face expulsion
"Web sites like Amazon.com and MySpace.com may soon be inaccessible for many people using public terminals at American schools and libraries, thanks to the U.S. House of Representatives.

By a 410-15 vote on Thursday, politicians approved a bill that would effectively require that "chat rooms" and "social networking sites" be rendered inaccessible to minors, an age group that includes some of the Internet's most ardent users. Adults can ask for permission to access the sites.

"Social networking sites such as MySpace and chat rooms have allowed sexual predators to sneak into homes and solicit kids," said Rep. Ted Poe, a Texas Republican and co-founder of the Congressional Victim's Rights Caucus. "This bill requires schools and libraries to establish (important) protections."

Even though politicians apparently meant to restrict access to MySpace, the definition of off-limits Web sites is so broad the bill would probably sweep in thousands of commercial Web sites that allow people to post profiles, include personal information and allow "communication among users." Details will be left up to the Federal Communications Commission.

The list could include Slashdot, which permits public profiles; Amazon, which allows author profiles and personal lists; and blogs like RedState.com that show public profiles. In addition, many media companies, such as News.com publisher CNET Networks, permit users to create profiles of favorite games and music. "

Oh yeah, save us from using the internet!

The US gov't managed to demonize the word "Patriot", and "liberal" and "foreign" are demonized, I'm sure they can't wait to demonize, and even criminalize, "social networking".
demand destruction
the market will take care of it
Streaming video of the hearing on peak oil at San Francsico City hall yesterday (July 28, 2006):


Since I have been reading TOD, I find that PO colors the way I interpret virtually everything I read in the MSM...

A couple of examples from today's UK Guardian:

Experts say that In 2020 European tourists will be flocking to the UK to avoid the heat... http://travel.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1832631,00.html

To which I find myself thinking... by 2020 the only place European tourists will be "flocking" is the place NEAREST to them...

Then we have Branson's space tourism (& it seems Jeff Bezos is joining the game too...) http://www.guardian.co.uk/space/article/0,,1832818,00.html

Just what we won't be needing by 2010...

As I posted yesterday about Bill Gates... what is it about billionaires that THEY GET IT SO WRONG??

To which I find myself thinking... by 2020 the only place European tourists will be "flocking" is the place NEAREST to them...

Rail, boat and bicycle transportation is enough to have massive tourism. Such vacation travel started before the car were common and the passanger aeroplane invented and now when lots of people enjoy the habit it will probably continue for a very long time even withouth cheap car and air travel.

your right about boat transport but only for the rich(hey the seamen have to pay for their ever increasing costs of maintaining their ships).
rail at that time was run with coal both in the manufacture of the materials used and with powering the trains. they don't have that luxury anymore. for bikes well.. can you pedal your bike the same distance carrying your needed luggage?
"Such vacation travel started before the car were common"

This simply not true: Prior to 1970s...  99% of people took vacations within their own country. In UK it was to seaside resorts perhaps a car or train journey of 50 miles. In France it was perhaps Paris to Cote D'Azur. Don't know what you Scandinavians did...

International travel was still the prerogative of the (few) rich... as it had been for several centuries

International travel for the masses didn't take off (pun intended)... until the advent of cheap air travel in the early 1970s... for example... British & German working class heading  to the Costa del Sol...

I concede tho' that (electric) rail will still be available in 2020 for tourism within Europe... whether people will be available to afford it is another matter...

As for the effects of PO on mass tourism... Personally, I can't wait for its death... I'm sick of finding "everywhere" over-populated with tourists... National parks, European cities, Australia, Thailand... I no longer see the POINT of travel...

Hopefully combining the death of mass tourism with the death of the global car market/global food market... we can also get back to a bit of cultural diversity rather than all-pervading monoculture we have now...

IMO travel helps define what it is to be middle class. The world's population should be low enough relative to energy supply so everybody can do at least some distant travel.  Kids born now are going to hear stories from the backpacking days of their parents. This is a recipe for discontent. In fact some fruit growing areas need backpackers to harvest the crop. If they can't pay enough to help cover the airfare the crops will ruin. Also travel broadens the mind they say. We're gonna have lot of even more narrow minded people if everyone stays home.

Travel can broaden the mind???... I've always had trouble with this phrase.. what exactly does it mean? (and, besides, I might want a more precise definition of what exactly you mean by 'travel'... do you mean tourism?)

But what is the quality of travel at the moment... have you been to a National Park recently, have you seen the Kho San Road in Bangkok? Have you tried visiting the Pyramids...?? Have you even tried queuing up to climb Mt Everest recently?

And what exactly will parents be saying to their kids... "hey, you should have seen the New Years rave I went to in Kho Samui...  "hey, I hung out with a couple of hundred other Europeans in a backpackers in Byron Bay... it was cool." "I went to the Taj Mahal... it looks just like it does on Discovery Channel"...

The following quote epitomises my disquiet with the current notion of "travel"... from the Explore brochure 1999

"The Sahara Desert remains one of the few completely untainted places left on Earth. Using 4wd vehicles, we explore its magnificent landscapes.(!!!)"

If travel has any merit then... as you say: "It's all in the numbers"...  not a rich/elitist activity but in low enough number that it is a unique experience... that you are a stranger in a different culture...  & even then "the leave only footprints/ take only photos" rule still applies...

"We're gonna have lot of even more narrow minded people if everyone stays home."

I don't know about "a lot more"...I thought 70% of Americans already did stay home... without passports.

Actually... in my experience, this is a very simplistic `western' hedonistic notion... do you think Asian, African & Arab civilisations think much about "travel broadening the mind"... they are too busy living, being part of a family... too busy surviving..

Well if many of the PO scenarios play out as forecast... western kids are going to have a lot more on their mind than travel...

Oh' and I wouldn't worry too much about "backpackers being needed for fruit picking" post-PO ... and let's not even get in to what hydrogen-electric-fuel cell wind-up rubber-band airplanes they are going to be using for this "backpacking"...

PS: Curiously, I bought the prototype "Lonely Travel guide" for a trip across Asia in 1976... "Across Asia on a Shoestring"... yellow cover... it was hand printed in front of my eyes in a seedy little office in Paddington, London... little did I realise what it would unleash 25 years later...

Yes, international mass tourism is something new. And I am sure it will continue where small hops via boat and longer travel via electrified rail is enough. Far fewer will travel to another continent since air travel will be extremely expensive and boat travel expensive and slow. Bicycling will mostly be used beyond the train stations.
And in the USA case inter-state mass tourism will continue. ;-)
... about Bill Gates... what is it about billionaires that THEY GET IT SO WRONG??

How can the Smithian religion be wrong when it's been so right for me?

Bill Gates has arranged to give 99%+ of his wealth to charity. Warren Buffett has done the same.

Please explain what is wrong, per se, with being extremely rich.

Note that both Gates and Buffett seem to be allocating their resources to improve the world with far, far more wisdom and efficiency than any government on earth.

Look at what Andrew Carnegie did for public libraries in the U.S. Try to count the scholarships handed out by the Ford Foundation.

These examples could be multiplied. Are they exceptions? Or are they the rule? Research could answer this question, but so far as I know, nobody has done this type of research. It would make a great master's thesis in sociology--or possibly a best-selling book.

Gates and Buffett have appeared to give 99% of their wealth to charity.

The truth is, Gates has given his to "charities" which I think are bogus, just a good way to hide the dough and look like a nice guy. Buffett has decided to give his money to.... Gates' "charities".

The whole thing is ballyhoo'ed so much in the MSM that it's got to be about as true as all the other garbage, like "all muslims are evil" and "we're doing God's work" in Iraq etc etc etc.


I posted on this issue a couple of days ago but will paraphrase/expand...

As you rightly say... in the last century philanthropic billionaires dutifully gave their money to (amongst other things) the establishment of educational causes... libraries, scholarships, universities etc.

Note that both Gates and Buffett seem to be allocating their resources to improve the world with far, far more wisdom and efficiency than any government on earth.

On the surface, what Bill Gates & Warren Buffet are doing is exactly the right thing... promoting world health... what goal could be more noble & humanitarian.


Given the realities of PO... is it not, though, both futile and actually counterproductive? Do we really need more mouths to feed in the current situation? In what sense is it "improving the world???"

I know this sounds harsh... but these next few decades are not going to be normal times... perhaps it's time to start dropping some "20th century modes of thinking/acting"...

I can't fault Gates and Buffet directly for their philanthropy, but I can't help but feel there is something badly wrong with the whole picture. In a better world, there wouldn't need to be this type of mega-philanthropy. What is a 'better world?' Well, my own view of this includes (gasp) socialistic things like a strong public education system, complete publicly subsidized health-care, excellent public transport, etc. etc. etc. Question then becomes, how many people like Gates and Buffet lobby the US govt, or local govt to do these things? In short, the 'every-man-fer-hisself'/laissez-faire/captialistic/privatize-everything system that has enabled such massive accumulation of wealth has also been hugely instrumental in causing the poverty that is now being belatedly addressed with Gate's a Buffet's wealth. And this is a system that these people have enthusiastically supported and helped to bring about.
ET -

I cannot help but have some antipathy toward many of these mega-rich philanthropists, both present and past.

The typical pattern seems to be somewhat along the following lines:

Talented, highly ambitious young man from humble background becomes overnight businescs success, partly through single-minded drive and hard work, partly through ruthlessness, and partly through good fortune.

 Young man can't turn it off and spends most of his productive years compulsively accumulating more and more wealth,  far beyond what he will ever need, even for the most lavish lifestyle.

Once old age and mortality start to appear over the horizon, the former young go-getter realizes that he may not live forever, starts to feel guilty about his single-mined, grasping, ruthless life, and now wants to be remembered as a great guy after he dies.

So he tries to buy respect, and he tries to buy the admiration of his fellow man by establishing  foundations (in their own name of course) and by giving huge sums of money to various 'noble causes'; and after he does this he feels that he is a truly good person who will enter the kingdom of heaven after all.

It's a bit like the conversion of Scrooge in The Christmas Carol, except that the real-life philanthropist expects something in return. Quid pro quo.  

I think some of these people like Andrew Carnegie, for example, would have done far more good if they had treated their tens of thousands of underpaid employees halfway like human beings so that they could lead halfway decent lives instead of living like beasts of burden. (I reccoment refreshing one's memory of the early US labor movement to recalibrate one's sense of what it was like to be rich and poor in the first half of the 20th century.)

And of course the heirs to these various robber barons and con men continue the tradition of philanthropy, though their motivation is a bit different: they know that they are totally useless drones and would be lucky to be flipping hamburgers if it weren't for great-great grandaddy's success. So, to make themselves feel useful and virtuous, they too buy respect, good name, and hopefully a place in heaven.

Well, that's my cynical view on the whole subject of philantrhropy.

I agree. One note: neither Gates nor Buffett came from humble backgrounds. Often the priveleged upbringing these megamillionaires/billionaires enjoyed is downplayed by their PR people. I have even read about Donald Trump's humble background (his father was one of the largest residential landlords in NYC).  
I, too, was perplexed by Buffet's philanthropy.  What puzzled me as much as anything, is how it would be possible for a seemingly intelligent man who has spent his life amassing wealth to not have ideas of his own as to how that $ should be used.  Would that not have been a question in the back of his mind for his entire life?  Does he not stand for anything?  He's put most all of his eggs into one basket, too--what if Bill and Malinda were suddenly killed in an accident?  As an aside, I feel a good goal for any of us to make a difference in this world is to do so nearby--your own family, neighborhood, community, etc.  Since I live 45 miles from Buffet, I have been surprised at his lack of giving to his own community.  Maybe that will yet be done in the future--no newspaper around here will touch the subject for fear of offending him.  Also, whenever he gets on the subject of how he doesn't pay many taxes... he's been clever in achieving that situation.  His house in Laguna Beach was purchased many years ago, so Calif. law protects him against any property tax increases.  He lives in a relatively inexpensive house in Omaha, he pays himself $100,000/year, and he's never distributed dividends to his shareholders, nor sold any of his own stock.  None of these things are very possible for the average person!  Now, since this thread is supposed to be about OIL, I'll add, as I've mentioned in comments before, that Berkshire Hathaway is looking more like an energy company all the time with the possibility of an energy CEO in the future--David Sokol, the president of Midamerican Energy, who believes strongly in wind farms and is branching into areas that need power--Calif, and the UK, to name two.
He got a lot of press, but think about it: what is he supposed to do with this money? He is keeping something like 13 billion, he has a few years left and he does not want to leave it to his kids. His only options are to go for some sort of immortality or to literally burn it all somehow.  
Regarding "Russia: A New Gas Strategy Emerges", in Leanan's introductory remarks, I think I would be truly alarmed if I lived in Britain and saw the recommended strategy of cutting back Russian exports of natural gas to European markets. Britain is pretty much at the end of the pipeline for Russian natural gas, so if there is a cut back, Britain is going to get hurt worse than most. Their own production is declining, and oil (and coal) aren't doing well either.

Last winter, Britain came very close to running out of natural gas. If Russia implements this new strategy, it would seem like there would be a good possiblity of running out in late winter, either this year or next.

By now some of you have checked out the conversations on Omaha Gas Prices. I go there twice a week to find threads where some useful information might be injected and d it, and there's another member of TOD also doing it (at least one besides me).

Frankly, it's not a very rewarding thing to do, although it's not repulsive like dealing with the trolls on nerd news sites. The people on OGP want their information in bite sized morsels...