DrumBeat: August 6, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 08/06/06 at 9:30 AM EDT]

From Juan Cole: One Ring to Rule Them.

I've had a message from a European reader that leads me to consider a Peak Oil Theory of the US-Israeli war on Lebanon (and by proxy on Iran). I say, "consider" the "theory" because this is a thought experiment. I put it on the table to see if it can be knocked down, the way you would preliminary hypotheses in a science experiment.

Media attacked for 'climate porn':

Coverage breaks down, they concluded, into several distinct areas, including:

* Alarmism, characterised by images and words of catastrophe

* Settlerdom, in which "common sense" is used to argue against the scientific consensus

* Rhetorical scepticism, which argues the science is bad and the dangers hyped

* Techno-optimism, the argument that technology can solve the problem

Could apply to peak oil, too, huh?

Global Warming Could Slam Food Supply

Suppose the dinner on your table last night had cost 20 times what it did? Or 50 times as much?

Scientists say global warming very likely has something like that in store in the coming decades.

War could trigger oil crisis, warns EIU

The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has warned that if Iran were to become involved in the current Israeli-Lebanese conflict, the results could be “catastrophic” for the world’s oil market.

Gazprom's huge Venezuela gas deal alarms US

Gazprom, Russia's state-controlled gas company, is risking a diplomatic row with the United States over a mooted multibillion-dollar pipeline investment in Venezuela.

The Russian gas giant is close to a deal on the project, according to Venezuela's firebrand President, Hugo Chavez, who has led opposition to US influence in Latin America.

U.K.: Firms face record power bills

Facing energy crisis, Chile looks at building dams

Gulf states struggle to boost spare oil output

Abu Dhabi: Gulf oil producers are struggling to expand their spare crude output capacity to meet surging global demand and their plans are blocked by manpower shortages, security factors and their ageing oil reservoirs, according to the World Bank.

Lebanon: Fneish denies reports of impending fuel shortage

BEIRUT: Energy Minister Mohammad Fneish's office denied Wednesday that the country is facing a chronic fuel shortage, even as thousands of motorists fearing a crisis converged on gas stations to fill their tanks before supplies dried up.

Officials from the United Nations have said that there is an "acute fuel crisis" in Lebanon with only two to three days of supplies left owing the Israel's blockade of the country and attacks on gas stations.

"The UN figures are wrong," Ali Berro, an adviser to Fneish, told Agence France Presse.

Carpool Passes Go Fast

The state has so far received 74,108 applications for an allotment of 75,000 decals permitting hybrid owners to drive solo in HOV lanes.

Shortage has truck drivers fuming

Colorado - and the nation - are experiencing a diesel-fuel shortage this summer that is hampering a variety of shipping businesses and has trucking companies scrambling for fuel.

At some Colorado truck stops, fuel is being rationed to 50 to 75 gallons per truck - far less than the 100 to 300 gallons needed to fill the tank, said Colin Heupel, safety manager for HVH Transportation Inc. truckload division in Henderson.

Seems like an interesting theory on the neocon state of mind.

We already tried for Venezuela covertly - and now with the talking points.  I think this is probably credible enough to worry about, though I wonder whether the neocons will ever be able to convince Congress + a majority of the American people that this is practical after Iraq.  There's certainly no hope of getting anything out of it in the reality-based community's thinking - not after Iraq, and more importantly for Shiites, not after Lebanon.  We probably don't have the military power to do anything but carpet bombing Tehran.

If Bush goes ahead without congressional approval, you may as well cede those hopes of Repubs being in power at any time in the next 20 years - something that's probably a good deal more important to their state of mind than oil.

So what is the "False Flag" for the Peak Oil crowd? Is it the theory of imminent PO or the theory of perpetual Cornucopia or sureptitous blog sites like TOD being run by covert government implants?

OK Goose, you've been outed. Come out and stand proud next to Valerie Plame. ;-)
"Damn it Scooter, you weren't supposed to tell anyone that actually mattered!"
So all we have to do is destroy that Privatized Command Center. Where is that thing, anyway?
Crystal Springs  Maryland, but it's disguised as a McDonald's.
Oops! That was supposed to be Silver Springs, not Crystal
I thought it was located 1.7 miles below disney land
I figured this needed to be near the top...

Major Alaskan oil field shutting down By MARY PEMBERTON, Associated Press Writer
17 minutes ago

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Half the oil production on Alaska's North Slope was being shut down Sunday after BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. discovered severe corrosion and a small spill from a Prudhoe Bay oil transit line.

BP officials said they didn't know how long the Prudhoe Bay field would be off line. "I don't even know how long it's going to take to shut it down," said Tom Williams, BP's senior tax and royalty counsel.

Once the field is shut down, in a process expected to take day, BP said oil production will be reduced by 400,000 barrels a day. That's close to 8 percent of U.S. oil production as of May 2006, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

I bet we see a new record oil price tomorrow
The point being, if a measly 400k bbl/day shutdown had happened in 1999, nobody would have noticed or cared.  Now the markets are expected to react to every hiccup in production anywhere in the world.
Does any see the similarity between this shutdown and the russian pipeline shutdown going into Lithuania's Butinge facility?

Interesting, that US and Russia have convenient "accidents" that allow each country to keep it's oil on home turf.

Westexas...take it away...this is your cue.  

For starters the US did not have this accident, British Petroleum had this accident. Second, it wasn't an accident, it was corroded pipes that would have resulted in an accident if they were not repaired.

But I guess if you wish to see some grand conspiracy in any and every major event that happens, even a damded old corroded pipeline will suffice. Yes, it's all those evil-doers in Washington who caused this pipeline shutdown. They have probably been putting salt and water on the pipeline for months just to make it corrode.

I'm just saying that these accidents have the end result of keeping the oil in the ground or the "home" country from which it lies.

Now, put this in the backdrop of Iran saying they will use the "oil weapon" if the security council pushes things and it starts to smell not like a conspiracy theory, but perhaps countries keeping their oil wealth for themselves.

Is that such a HUGE stretch of the imagination.

Well, it would be a huge stretch of the imagination for the US to convince BP to damage their own pipelines. Why the hell would BP go along with that?

Second, everyone is screaming for more production, not less. Sure, it makes perfect sense to produce less, saving oil for when times really get tough. But who in Washington is that smart? They all want to drill more, produce more, get gas prices lower.

What most people fail to realize, especially all those conspiracy theory folks, is that except for one or two, Washington politicians know how to get elected and not much else. They haven't a clue about peak oil. They take the USGSs word for it and think oil will not peak until the mid 30s. And they believe by that time oil will be obsolete, we will be running everything on something much cheaper.

Yes, they really believe that, and so do most Americans. No one in Washington would dream of sabotaging BPs pipeline just to try to cut back on US oil production. Hell, they all want the exact opposite. They want more oil, cheaper gas, fewer pissed off voters.

Well, I have seen quotes from Dick Cheney that say he knows quite a bit about the oil industry, so I will have to disagree with your comments above.
Juan Cole (University of Michigan Professor) writes about Peak Oil, Lebanon and Iran.


Rick D

I wrote to Professor Cole last August about peak oil and at that time he said he didn't buy it. I suspect this is because peak oil is probably not yet given much credibility by academics in fields outside of the earth sciences. Given the amount of times his readers bring up peak oil in their comments it is only a matter of time before he researches the matter more fully. Cole's blog is a must check everyday to get a feel for what is going on in that region.
from reding his "ring" story , referenced above, it sure seems like he buys it now...you have to start buying it to make any sense of world events...once you understand peak , its implications are right in front of you every day...every time you hear a news story from the middle east....i.e. ...why are the israelis flying over the heads of hezbollah and attacking the entire infrastructure of lebanon....certainly not to retaliate for hezbollah rocketry...there are larger fish to fry here, as far as bush et al. are concerned.
As you read more and more about the events that appear to be shaping the world(struggle for oil reserves, political jockeying for future positions in the world stage, etc.), you start to envision it all like a grand movie plot.  That there is a reason for this happening today that will eventually play out in a few years.

It is our Western psyche to think there is a "plot" and a "happy ending" to this insane sequence of events. It is, perhaps, our only way to keep going on.  Hoping there is a plan and someone knows what they are doing.  

The greater fear is that there is no director, waiting to reveal the surprise ending to us all, and this scares the crap out of us.

As in the movie "Syriana", things will not end well.
  Unfortunately, our mindless rush over the cliff seems mor probable than any grand conspiracy with the illuminati of all nations doing battle over a shrinking resource.
So, that said (chaos vs. grand plan), which is worse?
I think the change in Prof. Cole's thinking is very much due to his shock at the bombing of Beirut.  He was there in the '70s, at the American University.  Recently he pointed out that the University had been so respected by the population that its campus had survived the Civil War unscathed.

Earlier today I found an article by Anglican Dr. Stephen Sizer on the ups and downs of Christian Zionism over the century, and he discussed at length the remarkable relationship that the American University developed with Arabs in the early years of the last century.  According to him its founders had come as missionaries but came to have a deep respect, for whatever reasons, for Arabs of all sects and became great advocates of Arab nationalism before the British  Empire conned the Arabs in WW1 and broke its promise to not interfere with the creation of a "single Arab kingdom".  The University's own students became the Arab intellectuals who opposed the West:

"In 1948, weeks before the founding of the State of Israel, Bayard Dodge retired from AUB for Princeton in New Jersey. In April he wrote a watershed article in Readers Digest entitled, 'Must There Be War in the Middle East?'

[This six-thousand-word article, while forgotten and obscure, is the
definitive statement of American Arabists on the birth of Israel.
Though he cautioned, 'Not all Jews are Zionist and not all Zionists
are extremists,' for Dodge the Zionist movement was a tragedy of which
little good could come. Dodge was not anti-Semitic... Dodge's argument
against Zionism rests, not on the politics of the movement, but on the
Arabs' opposition to it, which in Dodge's view made the Zionist
program unrealistic and therefore dangerous. Years and decades of
strife would, Dodge knew, follow the birth of the Jewish state. As a
result, wrote Dodge, 'All the work done by our philanthropic
non-profit American agencies in the Arab world-Our Near East
Foundation, our missions, our YMCA and YWCA, our Boston Jesuit college
in Baghdad, our colleges in Cairo, Beirut, Damascus-would be
threatened with complete frustration and collapse... so would our oil
concessions,' a scenario that Dodge said would help Communist Russia."

Some things never change.  But we'll never get a second chance to influence the Arab world in that peaceful way, as opposed to the Pentagon way or the Coca-Cola way.

Hello TODers,

Mexican update:


New forms of protest would be announced today, he [AMLO]said.

"Their refusal to count all the precincts and all the votes is a very clear indication that we won the presidential elections," Lopez Obrador told thousands of followers.

"Fraud! Fraud! Fraud!" his supporters shouted back.

 He and his supporters say Calderon's becoming Mexico's next president Dec. 1 would amount to an electoral coup d'etat.

"We cannot permit that a group of the privileged continue controlling the government," Lopez Obrador said. "Let's have confidence in ourselves and our people. They might have money and power, but we have the power of the people."

Lopez Obrador told his supporters that the tribunal's ruling was "legally feeble; it doesn't have sufficient or in-depth logic."

We know he won," insisted 74-year-old Rufina Vega, who rode a bus from her working-class neighborhood to protest outside the court. "The other guy had money, and he gave lots of money. He's a thief."

Emilio Serrano, a congressman from Lopez Obrador's party, outlined a path of peaceful resistance, calling it akin to that taken by Mahatma Gandhi.

"We're prepared to give our lives for democracy in Mexico," he shouted through a megaphone to the crowd. "We're willing to let our blood flow. We're not going to kill Mexicans, nor are we going to fight the army with bullets. We won't answer the aggression, but we will allow them to attack us and let our blood flow if necessary."

If AMLO really wants to drive his supporters into a frenzy: he merely has to explain to them that Cantarell is tanking and the PEMEX goose that lays the golden egg is going bankrupt.

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

It's my understanding that most of the elite in Mexico, including Obrador, understand a collapse in Cantarell's production is coming.  Obrador is basicaly against mass new investment in the depleting Cantarell fields, although that may be due to some political motivation (against supporting PEMEX) and/or a belief it's not worth additional major investment.

I am not sure what the average person in Mexico thinks - they may be even more PO aware, at least PO within their own country, than Amercians.  But I am quite sure that they don't know how steep the decline in Cantarell may become.

I suppose Obrador could hold back the bad depletion news 1. pending a possible (but unlikely) assumption of the Presidency or 2. as an issue to discredit the current President later on.  He may just want to wait for a few more months of production shortfalls to speak up.

obridar would be better off letting it go, and then waiting for the pieces to fall. certainly nobody in mexico will be in a good mood in about two years
Remarkably honest MSM article on Ghawar & Cantarell

"It's over now, the lifestyle we once knew. . . "
(Sung to the tune of "Music of the Night" from Phantom of the Opera)



Mexico's energy problems hurt U.S.
Morris R. Beschloss
Special to The Desert Sun
August 6, 2006 August 6, 2006

America's energy doomsday clock could be inching closer to midnight with the news that Mexico's primary oilfield may be ready to crater. If these dire predictions turn out to be correct, such a development could deal a body blow to the United States' desperately needed oil supplies.
With 2006 demand calling for 22 million daily barrels, domestic U.S. supply is down to less than 8 million barrels a day. Of the average daily imports exceeding 12 million barrels, Mexico has been counted on to deliver 20 percent of that amount. In fact, additional offshore discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico were expected to add to that total. However, due to the excessive depth of these reserves, and the prohibitive cost of extraction, Mexico is not capable of pursuing that option at this time.

Compounding this problem, energy experts now believe that the Cantarell Oil complex, which had reached 2.1 million barrels a day two years ago, is now in sharp decline. It could be as low as 520,000 barrels a day by the end of 2008, with further downturns after that.

This unexpected shrinking of the world's second-largest oil complex, which has made up the lion's share of Mexico's production of 2.5 million barrels, jeopardizes about 90 percent of Mexico's exports, most of which are headed for the U.S. Only America's northern neighbor, Canada, which is expanding its oil sands capacity, may be left to make up this shortfall.

Ghawar complex

However, a similar crisis could be developing at the world's largest oilfield, Saudi Arabia's huge Ghawar complex, the only one in the world eclipsing the size of Mexico's Cantarell. Like Mexico's giant offshore development, Ghawar is also starting to be plagued by the incursion of seawater.
Despite vehement denials by Saudi officials, some reputable analysts have indicated that three of Saudi Arabia's five major sources of 9 million daily barrels of oil production could also be on the wane.

The 266 billion barrels that the Saudis have claimed as their part of the world's 1.2 trillion barrel reserves have never been verified by independent geologists.

With oil supplies currently tight and demand on the upsurge worldwide, such a combination of implosion in the world's two largest oilfields could prove to be catastrophic for the U.S., since Saudi Arabia supplies five percent of America's imports.

Other energy chickens may also be coming home to roost in America. International oil acquisition policy which has depended on the world's multi-nationals to assuage the increasing demand/supply imbalance is proving increasingly inadequate. The much-touted national Strategic Petroleum Reserve holds barely enough oil to cover a one-month supply in case of a national emergency.

Why is it that bad things seem to happen in concert? One or two good things might happen at once, but it seems like trouble attracts trouble, and as soon as one major thing happens, the whole stack of cards comes tumbling down.

A random observation on Sunday evening.

Or perhaps with the recent "accidents", nations are starting to create excuses for not putting as much crude on the market.
"Why is it that bad things seem to happen in concert?"

You are replying to a post with an allusion to the phantom of the opera, go figure :-)

Why is it that bad things seem to happen in concert?

"Clustering": random events are not evenly spaced. And as thinks worsen, the clusters come in bigger blobs.

The term "clusterf**k" is therefore sooo appropriate.

Ya, I read that and about sh*t my pants.  

Seems like Heinberg's "source" is making the rounds, eh?

Hello TODers,

My thxs to all that replied.  Here is a link to a John Ross article that outlines the Mexican Standoff pretty well:


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

Just getting involved in the community, reading through some of the blogroll.

Is there any kind of authoritative wiki about 'energy and our future'?  Thinking about whipping one up to try and consolidate the myriad developments and technologies I'm seeing in various posts.

We had a go with a particular emphasis on Nuclear Energy. http://nuclearinfo.net

Wikipedia itself is really very good.

we'd love to work with readers on putting one of these together.  Right now, there's such a rich set of posts sitting out there in the ether (but are not that easy to find), that it would make a lot of sense to consolidate them in wiki form.  Honestly, we just haven't had the time.
This is to Leanan:  Thanks for the links that you provide every day.  They always make my day.  You are very appreciated.

Rick D

the biggest of non-Limbaugh dittos.
Very good news that Chile probably will build more hydro power. I hope they can start ASAP and that the local economy around the powerplants will get some benefit from it. Long distace tourism will probably not continue to be a growth industry and Giga Watt sized nibbling on the Global Warming coal burning problem is progress.
I think that Chile is forced to do that because our own (argentinian) energy crisis.

Argentina is the main provider of nat gas to Chile. And Chile uses it for its power plants.

But Argentina can barely sustain its own needs. In the last years Argentina started to import nat gas from Bolivia, and curtail nat gas exports to Chile

This got worse when Evo Morales became president of Bolivia, he refused to sell nat gas to Chile because of geopolitical reasons, and forbade nat gas exports triangulations through Argentina.



Hi Fernando:  I used to live in Argentina, 1976-1978 (as a teen), and 1988.  I have been back in 1993 and again in 2003/4.  My understanding is that YPF was sold to the Spanish.  Is that true?  And does Argentina produce enough crude for export or is it importing?  (I miss San Telmo and the plaza tangos.) :)
Yes, it was sold to the Spanish. Not only that, the second oil company was sold to the brazilians of Petrobras.

Regarding oil exports

    With around 2.7 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, Argentina is a significant player in the Latin American oil market. After peaking in 1998 at 916,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), Argentine oil production has steadily declined; nevertheless, in 2004, the country was still the third-largest oil producer in South America at 692,600 bbl/d. Argentina consumed 397,000 bbl/d of oil in 2004, with net exports of 295,600 bbl/d; Argentina's oil exports go primarily to Chile and Brazil.


I live in San Telmo, by the way.



I had a nasty surprise this morning, when a poster offered to attack me in my personal life:

So, you are worried about the environment in Newport Beach?

Does anyone wants John's phone number to help him cope with the problem or just have a chat?


Just wondering what the TOD input is ... did I handle it correctly?  How should I handle it?

I wouldn't worry about it.  No one knows you are a dog, but everyone soon realizes who is a troll.
Very inappropriate-- "ignore" button time??
Have you informed the administration?
Kevembuangga's posting privileges definitely need to be revoked.  

Also remem

Hit the wrong button! Just ignore the "Also remem"
  Just don't debate the guy anymore.  He's a clown and a poor conversationalist.  You are not going to convince him of anything.  With minimal effort most of us are easy to find in the real world.
I think that's the best plan.
Replying here to your posting Sunday August 06, 2006 at 3:19 PM CET

So you've descended into the true ad hominem attack eh?

I have not "descended", strictly speaking this is not an argument ad hominem, or ex concessis but an argumentum ad personam which is ALSO a legitimate mode of dialectical debate which you probably learnt too as a speech competitor.

I DO mean that you do not have the capabilities to discuss the substance of the matters in technology, complexity or economics, your arguments are pure rhetoric at the political and emotional level, a level at which you excel (poor Jason), but this is the VERY REASON that you discourse is devoid of any value, all form no content, BALDERDASH.

Not only against my pseudonym, but seeking to call out my real name and location?

I am not "seeking", I do have your full name AND address, why do you think I didn't disclose that?
This is NOT rocket science, ANYBODY with a modicum of IT savvyness can do it.
Don't be foolishly stubborn in your arguments, others may be less lenient than me.

I hope you'll drop this though, and simple discuss the issues without attacking the person. That's what I've been trying to do.

NO, you have been trying to CONFUSE the issues, and that is my resentment, I will not let you off the hook.

In your response to my last argument about complexity you switched the question from

A - Explain how "complexity" does not include redundancy.

To :

B - The question was specifically about the measure of copmlexity, and how redundancy was excluded from that measure.

Sorry, "the question" was A not B, this is a transparent and clumsy attempt to apply both Diversion and Don't Let Him Off The Hook
I doubt many TODers are interested in such dialectical technicalities.

We already have a good contingent of trolls at TOD, at least most of them are funny.

So, could you please stick your rhetoric wherever you like and lower your level of noise and silly interference.

Cut ALL blather, bunkum, claptrap, drivel, garbage, idiocy, nonsense, piffle, poppycock, rigmarole, rubbish, tomfoolery, trash, twaddle, tommyrot, applesauce, baloney, bilge, bull, bunk, crap, hooey and malarkey.

"Cut ALL blather, bunkum, claptrap, drivel, garbage, idiocy, nonsense, piffle, poppycock, rigmarole, rubbish, tomfoolery, trash, twaddle, tommyrot, applesauce, baloney, bilge, bull, bunk, crap, hooey and malarkey."

Good to see you own a thesaurus, but respond to my post....

How does it further your argument to post odographs name and location?  That is like breaking into your ex's house and sniffing her panties.  It's just weird.  I read the whole thread and IMHO I think you are dodging and being difficult.  

Matt....betcha cant find me.

it's quite easy.
$20 and a couple of hours and one can find out a whole lot about you.
thanks to the 'free market' there are company's that do nothing but sell this information to anyone.
I tell you what, drop your $20 and find me.  I KNOW that I cant be found because I don't have an address or a phone # and am moving around 7 knots for the next 90 days.  I'll give you a hint I'm somewhere in a large body of water.  But even comercial back ground checks can't find many people.  They search public records and sometimes financial.  For instance where is OSAMA? The reward for him has to be above $20.
How does it further your argument to post odographs name and location?

1) Not everything is about "arguments", we will see...
2) How many "Johns" do you think there are in Newport Beach?
3) It is beneficial that everybody be aware that Internet anonymity is bogus.
Most hackers have anonymity but it requires extreme technicality and can sometimes be broken by other hackers.

I read the whole thread and IMHO I think you are dodging and being difficult.

Odograph is "dodging and being difficult".

I would not mind an HONEST debate about doom v/s nodoom and complexity but he keeps weaseling (I can do that too ) and he did not even read Tainter, so what is he talking about?

betcha cant find me.

Why would I bother to do that?
We had arguments but I think it was fair from both sides if a bit teasing.
May be you disagree, fetch my name, very easy, I am a known sucker.

Thought you said you're going to be in Brasil. When you're not out working ... (not like that narrows it down very much)
You found me!!!I am the white guy.  :)

My point of annonymity is our conversations here should be for entertainment or education.  If we (as I do my name is matt tipton) are open about our identity no big deal, but if we are annonymous It seems strange to "look up" someone.  Much like opening someones dresser drawer at a party....its not locked but it is still an invasion.

Agreed. The pseudo-anonymity of the internet makes it easier to express oneself. For what it's worth the email address in my profile is correct and if you were so inclined, I'd be easy to locate from that.

Yeah, I think the drawer analogy is appropriate.

You just made Odo's case for him.
No need to reply.
You hung yourself by yourself.
Time to let it go & move on.
I have not modified a comment or deleted one in a very long time on this blog, because words are the currency of what we do here.  Words are the means by which ideas are expressed.  And when used well, they are the most beautiful thing on earth.  

No pain can be caused by words.

However, words also demonstrate the character of a person.  

Attempting to "out" somebody's pseudonym in order to win points in an argument is unacceptable.

You owe odograph an apology.  You also owe the community an apology.  

TOD is about ideas, not about individuals.  I am sorry that you do not see the value in that.

As far as I am concerned, anything you have to say without a sincere apology is invalid and should be dealt with in the harshest of terms:  we'll ignore you.

The community will do all that it can to defend what we have here.

Do you understand?

Do you understand?

Yes, I understand we are doomed because our current "social emotions" take over reason any time.
I am much worse than all nazis and wingnuts here, right?
This is a VERY MINOR example, I agree.

Odograph "won" the prize for you all...

You owe odograph an apology. You also owe the community an apology.

I apologize.


One man's wingnut is another man's visionary.  In some circles, anyone who gives credence to peak oil theory at all is a wingnut.

By the way:

I am much worse than all nazis and wingnuts here, right?
Odograph "won" the prize for you all...

This is an example of keeping social emotions in check?

Despite some of the above posts, I find your contributions interesting and insightful for the most part.  Why not keep it respectful?  Nobody wins if you get shut out.

You understand how provocative tracking someone down is these days(no matter how easy), particularly a non-public figure.  That's why you do it.

You're the guy at the high school debate club who stalks his opponent + takes videos of him in embaressing situations, just in case you need to add a 'my opponent pisses the bed' video to your points.

As to the thing that I'm guessing got you stirred up - the fact that someone believes in taking back a political brand (republicanism) for people that once had ideals about government (conservatives) is something to be praised, regardless of the idiots who have conquored it for now.  As a progressive, I LIKE debating + convincing my conservative friends(without a backup plan) - the current administration simply isn't.

I joined The Oil Drum today because I think this is a serious issue.  We are in fact living in a time when popular media figures demand that critics of the President be imprisoned and punished and possibly executed for treason, or drowned in Boston Harbor.  That's getting at the thin edge of incitement.  As bad as things got during the McCarthy era, I don't know of a right-wing vigilante attempting to murder someone for being a leftist.  But when Southern extremists rebranded themselves from racial supremacists to Christian supremacists, the bombings of black churches and murders of black dissidents in the South faded away, and a generation later the bombings of abortion clinics and murders of abortion clinic doctors began.  It is only a matter of time before one of those people takes the incessant pro-dictatorship voices on the radio and cable seriously and pulls a Thomas a'Becket against an administration critic.

And don't believe that the smarmy Internet chickenhawks don't know that's a credible threat when they threaten to "out" the people they debate.  They get a hard-on from spreading fear, yet their hands are as clean as someone who screamed for war with Iraq with no intention of ever enlisting.

I know that Thomas Friedman is often quoted here.  But my contempt for the man turned to active rage when I heard that he wrote an editorial calling for the printing of the names of people who disputed the Administration/Israeli line on the causes of terrorism - an enemies list.  An enemies list for ideological deviance in America.  Being advocated in the Times.  

So I did the only thing a real American could do with that news.  I e-mailed him and volunteered to be the very first name on that list.  Haven't heard back from him yet, though I imagine I'm now on somebody's list.

But if we are not ready en masse to raise our hands to be on a state enemies list like the slaves at the end of "Spartacus", our freedoms will not last long into the era of depletion.

Dear super390,

There were plenty of high minded principled people in Germany and Russia who spoke out against Hitler and Stalin, mostly, they got a bullet in the head or ended up in the camps.  I recall an old popular art poster of a mouse raising his middle finger to the hawk that was swooping down to eat him.  Well, if you have no other options, there is some psychological pleasure in last acts of defiance.  But it is much too late to revive the old US republic.

In all seriousness.  Have your considered emigration to escape the US?  Even Australia and Canada (which are unfortunately also under their own versions of religious neocon management) are less likely to inflict violent vigilante persecution on anti-regime dissidents.  Emigration was good enough for Einstein and has worked out well for me.

I'll second that. Consider voting with your feet.

Many negative factors contributed to our deciding to move. Peak Oil, Global Warming and Climate Change, the new fascist tendencies in government, the rising fundamentalist christian theocracy, etc., but we also wanted to expose our daughters to a different culture and language. I used to obsess about politics, war, collapse, etc., but over time, the positives of simply living here have eclipsed the negatives we ran away from.

I am glad to be here. It is damn nice to live in a country respected by the world and that no one seems to hate.

Damn shame they did so badly in the World Cup though.

Where are you Micro?

Micro is in the heart of New Zealand's dairy country, one of the places where Holsteins outnumber sheep.
  Glad you joined. Thanks for volunteering for the list, good idea.  We know Big Bro is watching, so let's just flood the switchboards. Tho' it Seems like they're already swimming in poor intel, anyway.

  Hope you don't mind the cranks, here. There are a lot of good ideas and references at this site.

Bob Fiske

As to the thing that I'm guessing got you stirred up - the fact that someone believes in taking back a political brand...

No, I have no definite political leaning, I can hardly find anything good on whatever side as many as there can be.
Malice in argumentation coupled with anonymity is what stirred me up.

On Republicanism,

FWIW I've been describing myself as a "lapsed Republican" ever since I heard that term (maybe in a Kevin Philips interview?)

I keep hoping and waiting for a pendulum swing in that party, but see little sign of it yet.  Maybe a "postwar" party will need to be different.

Thanks for the apology even if you feel you didn't need to.

There are days where this community keeps me going and hoping.  

I'd really like to not see it screwed up to the point where no ones wants to have civil discussions anymore, but that's me being selfish.

since we are all about outing id's I was wondering if this was you Jean?:
Yeah, So what?
You don't hide either.

I don't see any problem with writing that excellent letter to the Prez, at least you can say you tried. And if Pat Robertson has come around on global warming, who knows, maybe W will come around on some of this stuff too.

Kavabuannga or whatever his name is ranks (I typed "rants" lol and had to correct it) right on the same level as Oil CEO. Um, that's not good.

Um, that's not good.

Not so, I very often see that kind of misunderstanding, having a tendency to speak "twice tongue in cheek".
Of course the substance of the letter is excellent, what is ridiculously hallucinating is the apparent expectations of the signers.

at least you can say you tried.

I am too pessimistic to find much solace in such considerations.

Look, Bush is never going to read the thing, some underling will, but who knows? The main thing is to try, to say you at least tried.

And it's still less pointless than writing to the Dems.

The front page of the business section in today's Sunday Omaha World-Herald has a good anti-ethanol story written by Bill Hord, a local editor.  Unfortunately, it is not in the on-line version, so I cannot link it, so I will post some highlights.  The title is "High-octane clash:  Researchers, growers, conservationists argue pros, cons of ethanol."  (There have been quite a few editorials and anti-ethanol stories in the local papers lately, but this one is longer, more prominent, and especially good, IMO)It cites Pimentel, Jerry Taylor of Cato Institute, Jason Hill of the Univ. of Minn., Jerold Dewitt of Iowa State Univ. Leopold Center for Sustainable Ag., Todd Sneller, Administrator for Nebraska Ethanol Board, and Iowa state Univ. economist Dave Swenson.

...Pimentel has not backed down.  He said last week that rural developers, farmers and investors will rue the day they put their money, hopes and dreams into the corn-based alternative fuel.

..."If ethanol made economic sense, it wouldn't need a subsidy," Taylor said.

   A federal subsidy program for ethanol--currently a 51-cent-per-gallon tax credit for blenders--expires in 2010.  While dozens of new ethanol plants are planned in Nebraska, Iowa and other rural states, recent university reports have debunked the idea that ethanol is a silver bullet for breaking the United States' addiction to foreign oil.

...said Jason Hill, chief author of the Minnesota report.  If all of the nation's corn crop were used for ethanol, he said, the net reduction in foreign oil would be about 2.5 percent.  Current production is only about 1 percent of the nation's fuel supply.

   Other critics have suggested that the rush to put corn into ethanol could disrupt the nation's food and feed supply.

...pork producers are worried about a possible corn shortage as well as increased feed costs if demand continues to climb.  Unlike cattle, hogs have trouble digesting the distillers grains that are a byproduct of ethanol production.
   "Over half of the cost of producing hogs is feed, and 80 percent of feed is corn," said Mike Brumm, a Univ. of Nebraska-Lincoln swine specialist.  "There is a lot of nervousness out there."

...Environmentalists say they are concerned that the need for more corn will tempt farmers to till erodable land that is better left to grass.
   "The more corn we have, the greater the chance for soil degradation and soil loss and the greater the risk of nitrogen impacting water quality," said Jerald DeWitt, interim director of Iowa State University's Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.
   Farmers also might stop rotating crops, a practice that keeps corn rootworm from getting entrenched in the soil.
   "Honestly, what we need in agriculture right now is more diversified operations,"  DeWitt said.  "We simply do not need more corn and corn-soybean operations."

...Conservationists also have been concerned that ethanol plants use large amounts of water.

...Environmentalists have also raised concerns about air quality around ethanol plants.

...Iowa State University economist Dave Swenson wrote in a June report that proponents tended to "overstate, over-describe and outright double-count the economic activity linked to ethanol and other biofuels production."
   Even though ethanol benefits are real for rural areas, there could be many losers eventually, Swenson wrote, if public money is allocated based on what he called "wildly optimistic" impact studies.
   Taylor of the Cato Institute said:  "If you are investing in ethanol, you are investing in politics.  Ethanol is made attractive only by federal policy."

Next to this story is another titled "Professor calls for linking subsidy, market" by Nancy Gaarder, World-Herald Staff writer.

If there was ever a year when taxpayers didn't need to spend $2.5 billion subsidizing ethanol production, 2006 would be it, an Indiana professor says, calling for a change in the way the subsidy works.
   Boom times have made ethanol so lucrative that a $100 million plant can pay for itself in a year, Wallace Tyner of Purdue Univ. said at a recent media forum at the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations.

And in a related editorial recently, at least one columnist is very angry about US Agriculture subsidies.  Here is a link to Jonah Goldberg:  Welfare Queens on Tractors from the la times.  This ran in yesterday's World-Herald.  It helps paint the accurate picture that it is next to impossible to put a price tag on ethanol subsidies, because ag subsidies are complicated, though he never mentions ethanol in his rant.  One more aspect of nonproductive complexity.

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-goldberg3aug03,0,5959522.column?coll=la-opinion -center

And then we have an article in today Des Moines Register tauting biorefineries as the answer to our energy needs..

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060806/BUSINESS03/608060344/1030/BUSINESS0 1

Brasher: Companies tout new technology featuring biomass, but at what price?

Iowa refinery using cornstalks, grasses is planned Iowa plant to use corn stover, grass in the works.

But making ethanol from biomass requires a costly extra step: breaking down the fibrous material in plants, the cellulose, into sugars that can then be distilled into alcohol.

One way is with enzymes similar to those used to give blue jeans an aged appearance. That is the process used by companies like Iogen.

Some firms also are trying a gasification process, which uses heat to turn biomass into chemicals that can then be converted into ethanol. Gasification is a "potential end-run" to the problem of breaking down biomass, said Robert Brown, a chemical engineer who is director of Iowa State's Office of Biorenewables Programs.

DOE's road map listed a number of research hurdles facing the technology, including studying the mechanisms that control the synthesis of cell walls and identifying the genes that determine the traits of microbes used in fermentation.

Since when did the USA get the right to tell Gazprom where it has the right to invest?  Does the USA also have the right to dictate to Venezuela with whom it does business.  Looks like the USA is restarting the cold war.  At the same time the USA wants LNG from Russia.  Get real.

Unrestricted Warfare. I think I got the link to that from TOD a week or so ago. The discussion of "non-military" operations is fascinating. What is the difference, the Chinese theoreticians ask, between Soros, LTCM, WTO, setting the rules, owning the media, and military attack? They write about it as broadening the options available to the military. They write about deployment in depth - both at home and abroad. They write about a company attacking a country. Destroying its resources and environment. Everything in society becomes a military tool. Anyone that opposes that is an enemy.

I think about military and wiretapping, how business activities are now protected from state regulators by national security and as more and more businesses work hand in glove with military, ultimately everything a favored business does will be a state secret. It strikes me as naive to think that the military is not conducting operations domestically on its own behalf. [McNamara and the DoD - don't tell me they cannot account for money - their accounting system is set up deliberately to hide operations.] Business, law, guns, bombs - they are all different colors in the palette. The ultimate goal is to force the opponent to do one's bidding. By whatever means necessary.

Perkins, CTMain, Halliburton, our non-negotiable way of life. Looting the last resources from the planet is in our national interest, a matter of our national security. So of course, Venezuela is ours and who they do business with is our interest. Might makes right.

Israel understands the concept of unrestricted warfare well enough. I can only guess as to their goal - another river, oil, more land? - but clearly they see no limits in the way they will pursue it. Their society, our society, both become nothing but military support systems. That's where the resource crunch takes us. The militarization of our entire society.

How supportable that is, where Tainter's diminishing returns kick in, that's a good question - my thinking is we are in this mess because the diminishing returns are kicking in and this is the last throes. How long can we keep our military society going? Sooner or later, like Russia, all we will have left are the nukes.

That's going to make the downside of the Hubbert curve a bit steep.


The Bush administration is a gang of criminals and traitors. TPTB are self-serving criminals. The National Security of this country has sacrificed for profits. If war is profitable then we shall go to war. These criminals have placed our economy in an EXTREMELY vulnerable position. They encouraged our manufacturers to go overseas. They encouraged everybody to go deep in debt to fund mindless consumption. We have done nothing to invest in a FUTURE. They use this vulnerability to justify military spending. They use this vulnerability to justify their war crimes. The average person will ultimately find that they are left with huge bag of debt. We have no energy or economic security at all.
Amen.  As far as I am concerned, the center of power in USA is Wall Street.  All of the expressions of this power, the military, the intelligence agencies, the government as a whole, exist first and foremost to serve the interests of Wall Street.  The question was: "What gives the US the right to dictate what Venezuela does?"  When it comes to the interests of Wall Street, there is no morality, only money and profit and, ultimately, survival.  It is "might makes right."  Ever since the Monroe doctrine in the early 1800's, the US has dictated, in large part, what Latin American countries can and cannot do.  US intervention in Latin America is nothing new. However, Bush Admin has been distracted with events in the middle east which has allowed Latin America to exert a certain degree of independence.  Personally, though, I do not think that Bush will allow Venezuela to go against US interests for much longer.  No matter what the cost, they will undermine Chavez in some fashion.  Historically, the US has either deposed or tamed  liberal Latin American leaders by supporting a military take over or threatening it.  They tried that once in Venezuela and it failed.  This time, Bush may actually send in a US military force to assist segments of the Venezuelan military in deposing Chavez.  The Cuba - Venezuela situtation could become very interesting during 2007 - 2009.  
"I made an Excel spread-sheet once to estimate total narco capital in the economy.

My numbers showed` that Dave the drug man had bought up not only Sam's companies, but ---if you throw in other organized crime cash flows----a controlling position in about most everything on the New York Stock Exchange."
Narco-Dollars for Beginners

A direct military overthrow by the US would be the only way to get Chavez out.  After gaining back power from a US assisted coup attempt, to winning a subsequent recall election, Chavez has the support of the majority.  So military means is the only way to get him removed.  But even if Chavez was out, would the US be able to null and void all oil dealings/contracts and industry construction? - as it did from day one in Iraq? (Although there seems to be no international convention to support what the US did).

BTW - IMO a military move against Venezuela would be counter productive and make everyone in the world question the viability of contracts/dealings with the US - as well as give other countries the incentive to grab oil reserves where they can.  

Before he changed it, Soros' name was Schwartz.

Israel first, no matter what!

fleam, I thought you of all people would be "against" discrimination. Please step back & think again about the direction the humble maid's son is heading in. Is this the direction you want the herd to head towards? You want us to be constantly focusing on a person's last name, the color of their skin, the hint of accent in their speech, the trace of non-aryan genes in their DNA? Is this the real you talking?
While Kevin McDonald makes a case for actual parasitic genetics, there's certainly a case for parasitic cultures. I tend to believe in there being a parasitic culture, because of the training Schwartz and other kids get intensely almost from birth, and that theory also accounts for the few good ones like Chomsky, Isreal Shahak, Israel Shamir, etc. There are a few who were raised to be parasites and yet had the awareness to become utterly disgusted with it and turn against their culture.

The First Nations people here in America can say the the same thing about almost all Americans except for the few who rebel, and agree that there's something inherently wrong, and death-seeking, in the rape of the land, obsession with ownership of land, etc.

Might makes right in this world.  The US has the "guns" to obliterate Russia without fear of retaliation if they wish; this in turn earns the US the "right" to bully Russia.

See the article on US nuclear primacy in the March/April 2006 issue of FOREIGN AFFAIRS for more details.

  Good article, but only written from a military perspective.  We have the ability I agree to first strike russia, but at what cost to our economy and what cost to our allies. I don't think the europeans would be to keen on fallout, and the american jobs lost due to lost trade would piss of our citizens.  So present a thought experiment where we need to fight Russia.  Even with their support for Iran (an economic not religous or political decision) we have no cause just or otherwise to nuke em.  Its nice to know that we can though.
Dream on baby.
Nuclear primacy is insanity. The idea we can obliterate Russia and come out unharmed is totally flawed. The FALLOUT both nuclear and economic would end life as we know it. All we really have left is arrogance.
That's an insane article. All it takes is a couple of nukes, either walked across the border by Russian agents or lobbed into the US from any surviving rocket, sub, or bomber to make even the idea of a first-strike nothing more than a stategist's wet dream. It's crazy. It would kill millions.
That article is inane.  The USA can catch Russia off guard with B2 bombers!  What total drivel.

Gazprom is going to invest in Venezuela and the only thing that the USA can do is to launch an invasion to stop it.  I hope Americans are willing to die in every country around the globe for this "policy" to have a chance of getting off the ground.  Forget about it actually succeeding.

I think you misunderstand the problem. I also do not believe the US has "nuclear primacy" and I also believe that if they attempted to assert that, it would fail (catastrophically for all of us). But that is not the issue. The issue is whether the neocons believe they have nuclear primacy. Given the consequences of a nuclear first strike to the entire world, it's small consolation if Russia can counterstrike and make a US first strike worthless. What's more important in the nuclear chess game is making sure the other guy does not believe that using a nuclear weapon is viable at all. This is like Japan considering whether to attack Pearl Harbor. In the end, it did not matter that the assessments of the Japanese military were wrong. The damage was done because they believed their assessments.

It is in this regard that the Foreign Affairs article is truly worrisome. Yes, I believe Russia has the firepower and systems to successfully counterstrike us. But that doesn't do us or Russia much good if the bombs start falling, does it? So let's hope that Russia and China (and Britain and France) can successfully persuade the US that it does not possess nuclear primacy. Or else one day we may see someone test the theory and I don't think any of us want that.

It is difficult to believe that Russia's entire triad system (ICBMs, Subs, and bombers) are so obsolete that they would be unable to deliver one or more of the many thousands of warheads they possess.

It sounds like another Foreign Affairs pipedream, like they occasionally produce. Only this one is more dangerous than most, in that it could help goad Russia into "modernizing" their nuclear deterrent, to the detriment of their people and the concept of world peace.

They've been modernizing to some extent anyway and I suspect they will accelerate that process now. Likewise China has been slowly revamping their IRBM and ICBM forces and will probably accelerate that now too.

Despite his warmonger viewpoints, General Curtis LeMay once said something to the effect that successful nuclear deterrence was not having enough weapons to destroy the other guy, but rather, it was having enough weapons to dissuade the other guy from even trying in the first place. That was the essential lynchpin of M.A.D. policy. I think it would be dangerous for any nation to achieve nuclear primacy. The temptations would be huge.

Deisel prices are rising faster than the temperatures in a heat wave.. My brother, also a truck driver, drove to Texas last week and the price of deisel was $2.97 and by the time he got back today to Iowa it was $3.19, up from $3.05 just three days ago..

I wonder what's going on with deisel costs??

There are shortages in Colorado and diesel is being rationed to as little as 50 gallons per vehicle. Truckers are just hoping they can get out of the state to some place with more supply.  It is said that the reason is that the local diesel refinery has had some problems converting to the new local sulfur diesel.  They have spenthundreds of millions of dollars, but still have bugs to be worked out.  It wasn't like they weren't warned.
Duh, should have read all the intros. Sorry, for the useless info.
"I wonder what's going on with deisel costs??"

You must be new here ;) Ummm... $3.19 for a gallon, and how far did it pull the truck?, and what would it have cost to get real slaves, as opposed to "energy slaves" to pull it that far?

Even if you only provided minimal food, water, and paid the guy who would shoot them if they tried to run away

"Designer Dogs" on CBS Sunday Morning.  A breeder said cross-breeding makes for smaller dogs, that eat less and poop less.  Bill Geist said, IOW, these are hybrids that require less fuel and produce fewer toxic emissions.
I thought Juan Cole's article was excellent!

I have read many of his articles and seen him discuss Middle East issues on TV.  He strikes me as highly knowledgeable and level-headed in his area of expertise, the Middle East. From the beginning, he was highly skeptical about US invovlement in Iraq, and his only error was in underestimating how really bad things could get.

Depsite the 'special relationship' between the US and Israel, I'm leaning more and more toward Cole's conjecture that Israel's attack on Hezbollah and its wholesale destruction of Lebanon is really just the opening phase of a joint US/Israeli operation directed at 'fixing' Iran once and for all. However, the main objectives of the two parties are quite different: Israeli wants to destroy its enemy, Iran; whilst the US wants control over Iranian oil. Theoretically, a win-win for both!

If this conjecture is correct, then the Bush regime is neglecting one little detail.  While it may possible for the US to wreak immense destruction upon Iran from the air, controlling their oil will require at least a partial occupation of the Iran, and that will require several hundred thousand (pairs of)  boots on the ground, something the US does not currently have an abundance of. So, I don't understand how the Bush regime thinks it's going to pull this off. Iran can never will against the US, but it can sure throw one big stinky turd into world's punch bowl. The whole idea of 'doing' Iran is pure folly.

So, if Juan Cole is correct, which I tend to think he is, then what we have here is the makings of a global catastrophe of  massive proportions.

Forget worrying about global warming and start worrying about global war.

 (Though a large nuclear exchange would do wonders for reducing global warming.)

What article? The link does not work for me.
Oops.  Don't know what happened to the link.  I think I've fixed it.  Try refreshing this page and trying again.  
There seem to be elements of long range planning (the methodical destruction of Lebanon), but Olmert's vacilating on mobilizing reserves, and Condi's waffling and shifting positions makes me think that the Economist is correct in calling this "The Accidental War."

It would fit the facts more to think that Olmert was suddenly immersed in a double crisis (soldiers captured north and south) and his air force chief of staff said "here's a plan  for using the air force to destroy Hezbollah." The plan didnt' work well enough, they're bogged down in a ground war, and the US is (presumably, and hopefully) worried about how this will impact our position in Iraq.

Kind of like World War I. Lots of posturing/bluffing that has to be backed up with action if the bluff is called; and when it does, nothing goes as planned.

What we need now: Giant, flying oil derricks!

Seriously though, there's a possibility that we'll escalate just enough to shell or have shot at us every last Silkworm,  send guided missiles at all their anti-ship missile production facilities.

Castrating their military(finally, a military target!) with airpower without deploying troops on the ground would remove Hormuz and OPEC from the playing board.  For what purpose, I don't know.

Squalish -

Yes, but I don't understand how that would in any way give the US control over Iranian oil.

It would give the US control over Saudi/Bahraini/Qatari/Emirate oil.  Which we currently don't have, if Iran decides to shut down the Strait of Hormuz by firing on oil freighters - which would incidentally probably start a middleast-wide open war.  The idea is that the direct confrontation of Iran's coastal defenses with a semi-invincible US carriergroup would be get better reception on the markets than Saudi/Qatari oil tankers sinking.

It's a complicated situation, this is really just one half of a theory :)

Really, I think a major point for the current administration would be "Because we can."  They rushed into Vietnam 2.0 without knowing what a Shiite or Sunni is - and this crowd LOVES airpower.  No casualties possible in an invincible Phalanx[anti-shipmissile cannon]-protected airstrike?  It costs, as they say, no 'political capital,' while at least covering the bullet point in the PNAC handbook short of a (politically and militarily impossible) fullscale war - that Iran is a Big Bad Wolf.
Carrier groups in PG are sitting ducks. Their anti-ship missile defense systems are designed for defense beyond the horizon, whereas in the Gulf there's no horizon to hide behind. Further, as we know, China has signed many very large contracts to lock in hydrocarbon resources for the long run, and IMO China will fight to defend those contracts, plus China has a defense pact with Russia. It's also likely that China and Iran have inked a secret defense pact along with those many contracts. I'd be very interested in knowing where the bulk of China's and Russia's air forces are now staged at. Thus, I think it folly to dismiss Iran's overall defense capabilities, as many here do. The stakes are very high--higher than October 1962, IMO.  
Correct. Iran has the hardware and the terrain to absoutely control the straits. The only thing restraining them at all is  awareness of how serious the repercussions would quickly become.
What I've been wondering is what exactly prevents Iran from simply halting exports for say, 30, 60, 90 days or until a political settlement of various issues they are interested in is made? If they made such a step my guess (it's a guess folks, I don't know, make a comment) is that other Islamic countries would be under much pressure to follow suit, possibly even oilfield workers around the Mideast would join in the action ahead of states. It just seems that Iran has several very strong cards in in hand, and we are begging for them to be played.
This whole case about Iran you guys are trying to make is probably somewhat overblown. Iran fought an eight year stalemate with Iraq. Three years after that, with Iraq refreshed and re-armed, the US destroyed that same Iraqi military in 100 hours.

Many of the scenarios regarding the Gulf waterways have been the case since the tanker crisis in the mid-eighties. The US navy also dominated that conflict.

I'm not saying that some of the things you guys mention aren't possible. It's just that you speak like Nasrallah himself. "There will be surprises." The US military is all too aware of these potential contingencies.

But I understand. I would probably feel the same way if I got all my information about the Mid-East from Juan Cole.

"The US military is all too aware of these potential contingencies. "

Being aware of the problem is meaningless if you can't convince the politicians.  If Bush tells the pentagon to fall on its sword, it will.

Besides, Iraq was a smaller country with easier terrain and we had almost universal cooperation from its neighbors.  You have to get to the enemy to kill him, and nobody is going to help us do that this time.  I can't imagine anyone giving us flyover rights for an Iranian campaign.  (well maybe Israel)

Flyover rights for what? We own Iraq and Afghanistan(for good or ill), not to mention the Indian Ocean. Qatar and Kuwait would gladly allow us not only flyover rights, but air bases on their soil. And Saudi Arabia would quickly accede to us using our bases that are already there once a single Iranian-caused incident occurs. I don't think people fully appreciate the history of ill-will between Saudi Arabia and Iran. And I think we have learned a lesson about trying to play the occupation game.

And no, we didn't have "almost universal cooperation from its neighbors." Only from Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Not Iran and Syria(which was supposed to be one of our allies). Kuwait doesn't count. They were the reason we were there. That would be half.

8 years. 100 hours.

Nobody wants this war anyway. That's why it is being fought as a skirmish in Lebanon.

In Richard Cramer's "Why Israel Lost," there is an interesting section about the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and how the safest place to be in the occupied territories is right behind the fuel trucks. Biggest, slowest targets on the road. They never get hit. Israeli trucks pull up to one side of a wall, a tube goes over wall to the Palestinian trucks on the other side. Nobody even has to talk to each other. Checkpoints, bus-stops, safehouses, cars - everything gets suicide-bombed and Hellfire-missiled. Not the fuel trucks.

Neither the US nor Iran wants a fight in the Straits of Hormuz to go down. And Bush will be gone before you know it.

We own Iraq?

Can a Westerner walk outside the so-called 'green zone' in Baghdad safely?

Good point about the ill-will between the Saudis and the Iranians...but to what extent does that hold on the 'Saudi street' as it were? How stable is the Saudi monarchy in a crisis like the one we're in now? Remember, as soon as we invaded Iraq we pulled our bases out of KSA.

I meant we own Iraq more in the sense of like, y'know,"You break it you bought it." I'm sure the Kurds at least wouldn't mind us having an airbase in the North.

As far as the Saudi street. Don't know. There is a lot of talk about unrest, but as an excellent Frontline I saw again the other night on the Kingdom points out, the "family" has been remarkably resilient in its grasp on power over the years. Remember the take-over of Mecca in 1979(?) which was brutally put down and then the de facto deal the monarchy cut with the radical religious types(I want to say the Ikwan?). These guys were the original Al Queda.

...the "family" has been remarkably resilient in its grasp on power over the years.

Didn't they say the same thing about the Shah?

And Fidel Castro.
"bush will be gone before you know it"
bush will be a lame duck prez before we know it.
"Nobody wants this war"
man, I hope you are right
I'm feeling scared today and I don't know why. I wish my mom was here to give me a hug and tell me everything is going to be fine. But I'm damned near forty and it's my turn to do that for my son. Maybe santa will bring him some sane leadership for x-mass. or the easter bunny ...
I need some good news
''we own Iraq''

- You own Iraq like I own the arse end of the moon.

Like you said ''it took a hundred hours to bring down Iraq''

Ha Ha Ha.

You have now been in Iraq for more days than you were in the Second World War.

Sadly, the USA is using up its blood, treasure, credibility and authority in a war of occupation that cannot be won.

Shame really, You could have done the world a lot more favours by deploying your energy in a more constructive manner.

You are treating this potential conflict as if it were military vs. military, Gulf War I style. Iran knows its mediocre air force can't stand up. It will fight asymetrically and turn the Persian Gulf into a sea of fire.

Look how successfull Hezbollah has been lobbing ancient WWII rockets into Israel. Then consider that Iran has a far more sophisticated and extensive collection of cruise missiles which it can use. In particular there is the Russian Sunburn missile:

"The Sunburn can deliver a 200-kiloton nuclear payload, or: a 750-pound conventional warhead, within a range of 100 miles, more than twice the range of the Exocet. The Sunburn combines a Mach 2.1 speed (two times the speed of sound) with a flight pattern that hugs the deck and includes violent end maneuvers to elude enemy defenses. The missile was specifically designed to defeat the US Aegis radar defense system..."


In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a missile attack, suicide gunboat, or other strike against a US ship in the Gulf becomes a pretext to attack Iran.

How ridiculous.

"You are treating this potential conflict as if it were military vs. military, Gulf War I style."

No I'm not. I don't even know if there will be a conflict. I'm simply looking at what we know from history and what we know about Iranian capabilities. It is you who is acting as if you have a crystal ball.

"Look how successfull Hezbollah has been lobbing ancient WWII rockets into Israel."

Yeah, right. Over 3000 rockets fired resulting in about 75 deaths - most of them civilian. At 20 km, the Katyusha has a probable target area with a radius of 1 km. Strictly speaking(putting aside the fact that this method is a war crime), militarily this would be classified as useless. Useless. The indirect result is much of Southern Lebanon destroyed. Could you maybe elaborate on what you meant by "successful"?

I made half a case. I don't much have a position to defend. I'm curious.
This is an oil site. Everyone here seems to only want to talk about guns. Iran has an oil weapon. Iran has an oil weapon. Iran has an oil weapon.
If Iran attacks a U.S. carrier group no one will be surprised if nukes fly.
If Iran turns off the tap on oil, what do we do, say it's our oil and you have to give it to us?
US/Israel is absolutely trashing the infrastructure of Iran's friend/client. Aside from human casualties. Why should Iran not trash the infrastructure of the West by depriving global markets of 2.5mbpd?
"If Iran turns off the tap on oil, what do we do, say it's our oil and you have to give it to us?
US/Israel is absolutely trashing the infrastructure of Iran's friend/client. Aside from human casualties. Why should Iran not trash the infrastructure of the West by depriving global markets of 2.5mbpd?"

If Iran shuts off the taps, what will China do? They are growth dependent, buy Iranian energy resources, and don't have a strategic reserve. The impact of Iran's oil weapon will be on Asian ecomnomies and the poor. The U.S. would be hurt, but less and later.

The weapon is a dud.


The funny thing about your argument is that we do not get oil from Iran. Not that much from the Middle East, about 15% of our total. Who it will hurt more is Asia, especially China and Japan, and Europe. I know, I know, oil is fungible, so we will feel the price hit.

Remember that two of the last three Presidents (not the supreme leader) in Iran stated that 10,000,000 dead Muslims to eliminate Israel was O.K. They may get their wish.

What's your beef with Cole?
He's a completely biased, unbalanced commentator on the Middle-East in my opinion. There is another commenter further down who lays out more detail. I've done it before. It's the same as listening to Anne Coulter or Rush Limbaugh. The story you're getting in a cherry-picked compendium of facts and half-truths designed to further an ideology, in this case an anti-Israeli, anti-Bush, anti-American one. No matter what the US does it must be the wrong thing because the US is doing it. If you like Noam Chomsky/conspiracy theory-type historical analysis, he's great. He plays to an audience that is all too eager to believe his lies.

I groaned when I saw that Leanan had led off the day with him. I knew exactly the things that were going to be said in praise of his article and who was going to be saying them. And please, I'm certain you don't want to hear my take on what he actually wrote.

Other than that, I don't have a problem with him. In fact, I think if he didn't exist somebody would have to invent him. I think his views need to be heard. But the truth usually lies somewhere closer to the middle.

Juan Cole is an expert on Middle Eastern history.  He has reading knowledge of both Arabic and Persian.  

He rightly predicted what is going on in Iraq today four years ago.  He was right on Sistani and the Iraqi constitution.  He rightly predicted how the Askari Mosque bombing in Samara was going to change the security landscape of Iraq.

The right-wing commentators you mention have been completely wrong on each one of these.

Furthermore, whenever there's an election in Iraq, our media without fail explodes with stories about how pro-American parties will make a comeback this time for sure.  This despite the complete inability of the Iraqi government to find out what anyone is thinking or doing outside the Green Zone.  Yet with his "biased" Arab media sources, Prof. Cole was able to cover the elections in detail and sketch out roughly what the outcome would be, and the complexities of coalition-building in a multiparty system, and how the US would have opportunities to play these groups against each other so as to defeat the simple fact that the Iraqi people are sick of the mess we've made, so we could claim an Iraqi "mandate" to hover over its oil fields like vultures until they're finally privatized.  "Today In Iraq" did the same.  They also discussed in detail where votes would be stolen: wherever our Kurdish allies could reach.  Afterwards, did the mainstream media admit that their pre-election counts were nothing but utter fantasies fed by a delirious Administration?
"If you like Noam Chomsky/conspiracy theory-type historical analysis, he's great."  

Actually Chomsky pretty much does not believe in any of the "popular" conspiracy theoies.

I;m going back to tending my cabbages. This is too twisted to even think about.
How is he biased?

And why pick on Chomsky? What's your beef with him?

"How is he biased?
And why pick on Chomsky? What's your beef with him? "



Pretty good chat with Chomsky.  He is defending his left status...



I'm assuming you don't have a problem with my characterization of Coulter or Limbaugh :)
Comparing Limbaugh or Coulter to Chomsky is disingenuous. I ask again, what's your beef with him?
I don't have the energy today to launch into a full-on critique of Chomsky today. I hope this will suffice. I don't have a beef with Chomsky. I have a problem with his ideas. He has every right to say what he says and he makes the world a more interesting place by doing so.

I tried unsuccessfully to find a link to a great bio on the man written in the New Yorker in 2003. I think I may have tucked away a copy at home. Perhaps to be dragged out at a later date.

I was, however, able to find a short essay referencing this particular article.

Noam Chomsky and the
Political Psychology Anti-Imperialism

by Ted Goertzel

To understand the psychological roots of American foreign policy we must include the opponents as well as the supporters of the current administration. And there is no more prominent opponent of American foreign policy than Noam Chomsky. Chomsky's reputation as a scholar is based on his path-breaking work in linguistics. But he is perhaps even better known, especially in third world countries, as a tireless crusader against American "imperialism".

Chomsky travels the world giving speeches to audiences of angry radicals, often on college campuses. He uses his intellectual brilliance and massive reservoir of factual knowledge to intimidate anyone who challenges him in debate. Yet he is quiet and unassuming in his personal manner, seldom raising his voice. He appears to be a dispassionate intellectual, following the truth wherever it leads him. Yet the content of his remarks reveals a passionate ideologue.

Research on the psychology of radical activists helps us to understand this mismatch between Chomsky's ideas and his personal style. In the 1970s, Stanley Rothman and Robert Lichter administered Thematic Apperception Tests to a large sample of "new left" radicals (Roots of Radicalism, 1982). They found that activists were characterized by weakened self-esteem, injured narcissism and paranoid tendencies. They were preoccupied with power and attracted to radical ideologies that offered clear and unambiguous answers to their questions. All of these traits can be found in the work of Chomsky and other anti-imperialist intellectuals.

Leftist activists are prone to believe that their own thinking is rational and objective, while that of their opponents is distorted and biased. This is clearly true of Chomsky. He write long historical and analytical tomes, full of facts of figures. He speaks softly and maintains a veneer of scholarly objectivity. Yet no one can miss the bitter anger just beneath the surface. As Larissa MacFarquhar observes in her brilliant essay on Chomsky, he "chooses to believe that his debates consist only of facts and arguments, and that audiences evaluate these with the detachment of a computer. In his political work, he even makes the silly claim that he is presenting only facts - that he subscribes to no general theories of any sort. His theories, of course, are in his tone - in the sarcasm that implies 'this is only to be expected, given the way things are.'" ("The Devil's Accountant," The New Yorker, March 31, 2003, available on LexisNexis Academic Search Premier).

One of the most common critiques of leftist intellectuals, especially Karl Marx and his followers, is that they claim to be objective, scientific observers, although their work oozes anger. They also studiously avoid offering alternatives to the policies they are criticizing, expending all their energy on attacking the enemies they blame for all the world's problems. As Chomsky's wife observed, "an early question in every Q. & A. is 'you've told us everything that's wrong but not what we can do about it,' And they're right. He hasn't. So he gives what to me is a fake answer: 'you've got to organize'."


So he's angry. And represents a political agenda you might not like. What, specifically, do you take issue with? His take on imperialism? Manufactured consent? What? The 'analysis' you provided provides a modicum of psychologial insight that could probably be applied to all scholars/intellectuals, left or right. Furthermore, I could just as easily post something from Dean's new book 'Conservatives Without A Conscience' to point out conservatives tend to have authoritarian personalities.

I've listened to Chomsky on various media outlets like Amy Goodman's 'Democracy Now' program. Do I take everything uncritically? No, of course not, but I don't hate him like many on the right do nor do I see him saying unbelievably outrageous things the times I've seen him discuss something.

If you want to criticize him, then argue he has an overly Manichean view of the world and his explanations are too simple.  

C'mon. This is ridiculous. First of all, I have liked most of what you have to say on a variety of issues. You are one of a shrinking number of people I bother to read here.

I'm not criticizing him. I said this. I'm criticizing the fact that he is looked upon as some kind of icon for expressing arguments that in my opinion often don't stand up to even basic intellectual scrutiny.

The 'analysis' you provided provides a modicum of psychologial insight that could probably be applied to all scholars/intellectuals, left or right. That's correct. Hence my mention of Coulter and Limbaugh. Though I don't think either is a scholar or intellectual. But then, neither is Chomsky an historian. He is a linguist. Why is he the most popular American writer in the world? Because he is anti-American and there has always been a lot of anti-Americanism in the world. So it sells. Not because it is correct. But because it exists.

Furthermore, I could just as easily post something from Dean's new book 'Conservatives Without A Conscience' to point out conservatives tend to have authoritarian personalities. Do it. I'm not stopping you. I believe this started with you asking me what my issue was. Am I the only one who has reservations about Chomsky? Is this so wrong. A quick Google search will show that while I may not be in the majority, there are some others who apparently feel the same way. Or maybe I don't understand. Is this specifically about me? Is my view that important?

No, of course not, but I don't hate him like many on the right do nor do I see him saying unbelievably outrageous things the times I've seen him discuss something. I don't understand. I'm not saying you do. I however have seen interviews with him and have been less than impressed. I certainly don't hate him.

If you want to criticize him, then argue he has an overly Manichean view of the world and his explanations are too simple.

I think I'm allowed to do things in my own way, and you in turn to criticize me in the way you see fit. I don't think it's really yours to tell me how to do things.

"Manicheaism" (capitalized) is an ancient Persian religion. I think you meant "manichean" which is a view of things being black or white. I have never given this much thought in regards to his arguments. But I will tonight after I dig his books out of the basement - something I'm only doing, by the way, because of your thoughtful harassment. Peace.

True, but it was the Western insurance companies that essentially halted tanker traffic at the time since they set the hazard rate so high at first, then withdrew tanker insurance coverage completely.

The U.S. Navy was used to bring insurance rates down during the Iraq-Iran war, and in exchange, Hussein seems to have attacked an American destroyer. At the time, we generously forgave him for his 'error.' Later, he seems to have misunderstood our generosity when he decided to take over Kuwait's oil industry and armored division parking lots, conveniently located next door to the Saudis.

Strangely, I have not read anything about killing American sailors with French missiles as a reason to invade Iraq. I guess it would too inflammatory to remember when we approved of Arabs invading their neighbors just because they were scared of what some religious madman could do.

With the middle east, as with peak oil, as with due dilegence when looking for investments, I NEVER get my information from just one source.
Hm. A lot of nations were supporting Iraq, Iran, or both in that war.

First four google links for "iran-iraq war us support"

So I'm not sure how much we can conclude from the apparent parity of military forces.


The Iranian gov't has little domestic support - see Heinberg's recent analysis.  And their oil revenues are falling while their population, who wear jeans and listen to ipods, is exploding.  So cutting off their oil exports would be suicide.  They plan to start rationing gasoline sharply soon, I recall Sept 23rd as the date of implementation.  This won't help their domestic support, and we may hold off any action to see how that develops.  I hope...

from one old hippie to another:
"Nuthin' left to do but Smile, Smile, Smile..."

Sunspot -

Yes, of course Iran would lose a tremendous amount of oil revenue if they temporarily cut off oil exports. But so did the United States when they cut off oil exports to Japan in September 1941.  It costs money to wage war, and the willingness to cut off oil exports is probably the most cost-effective weapon in Iran's arsenal.

And as far as domestic support for the Iranian government is concerned, what would rally the Iran people around their government more than an attack by the satan United States?

The Iranian people are very aware that their governments' gestures towards the U.S. were rebuffed in the past.  Iranians were key in the U.S. getting the result it wanted in Afghanistan.  The Northern Alliance was being helped by the Iranians, and they made our life there a lot easier.  

When Bush responded to this helpful gesture by labeling Iran as a terrorist supporter in his "axis of evil" speech a few months later, every Iranian was annoyed-- not only the government.  

As far as attacking Iran, it's all a cost/risk-vs-benefit analysis.  The cost/risk of such an option is much higher than its benefits.  Especially since Iran is not a client of Russia or China, and simply wants to be the "world's energy supplier" (analogous to "world's workshop" <China> and "world's office" <India>).

In addition to oil and gas, they have significant Uranium reserves and see the sale of enriched Uranium as yet another component in their marketable energy portfolio.


They may be sitting ducks, but they will be in the Arabian Sea (well, they should be).

It is a layered defense, from a long way away to close in with the Phalanx system. It is more likely one of the outer cordon ships would take the hit and not the carrier too.

I got this from another site and thought you might find it of interest. Another missile attack in Israel kills civilians today.

In other words, with the right manpower level, Hizballah's ability to fire rockets can be dented, notwithstanding claims by Israel officials and generals that there is no way to do this when most of Hizballah's 13,000-rocket stockpile remains intact.

But even cutting down on the daily 200-plus rocket blitz on northern Israel is

not plain sailing because:

First, Neither the Israeli Air Force nor any other air force is capable of completely halting rocket fire from the ground. In the relatively small distances between Lebanon and Israel, the short-range Katyusha rockets have the effect of medium-range weapons, while the short-to-medium range rockets perform like long-range missiles.

Second, Israel does not have enough infantry on the ground to make substantial inroads on Hizballah's rocket-firing capabilities.

Third, Iran and Syria are constantly restocking Hizballah's diminishing supplies of rockets of all types, launchers and operating manpower by a round- the-clock airlift from Iran via Syrian military air fields. Some of the incoming supplies are destroyed by Israeli air attacks as they cross into Lebanon, but a substantial part is conveyed to Hizballah by smuggling networks employing mules to traverse Lebanese mountain paths. Even if 2,000 have been wiped out and a similar amount has been fired, no one knows how many are left in stock because it is replenished. As long as that corridor is not severed by bombing the Syrian stopover air facilities, Iran will continue to top up Hizballah's stockpile. Therefore, the rocket offensive cannot be reduced by very much.

Fourth, Israeli forces do not operate in all parts of South Lebanon.

Hizballah's withdrawal to five pockets in South Lebanon affords the IDF certain tactical advantages - although liabilities too.

The Advantages:

It is now possible to carve the region the Israeli army controls into three sections, western, central and eastern, a tactic familiar from the Gaza Strip, for encumbering Hizballah guerrilla movement between the sections. The goal is to confine Hizballah to the five pockets and place them under blockade. They can then be made to capitulate or face liquidation.

The Liabilities:

Leaving the two banks of the Litani River, the Nabatea plain and Hazbaya to the north of the river in Hizballah hands leaves a route open for its reinforcements to come through and to strike Israeli forces from the rear.

Nonetheless, by Thursday, August 3, Hizballah was showing signs of being in trouble.

A. Local Hizballah village commanders signaled repeated appeals for more manpower and ammunition. The appeals were not met because outside forces cannot break through the defense lines held by the advancing Israeli troops. The village commanders were therefore told by their superiors to fight to the last man and last bullet and reserve the last grenade for suicide.

i would like to see proof of such because all i am seeing is people accusing Iran and Syria of being the puppet masters of Hizballah, when it's much more possible that Hizballah is getting support form the thousands of people they have helped in lebanon who were victims of both Isrial and united states.

Support from Iran and Syria is obvious. Look at the missiles being fired and how you can supply them to Syria.

But, as with most everything in life, it is not just one thing. Clearly the Islam-fascists, much like the NAZI movement in the pre-WWIIwar era, are very good at taking care of their own with clinics and schools and the like. Apparently Hezbollah is quite good at helping non-Shiites as well in Lebanon.

One outgrowth of this current war is that Christians have taken in a whole lot of Shiites from the south in the quieter areas of Lebanon, something not done before.

But any movement that has as its goal the "liberation of southern Palestine" must be crushed. I will have no part with a new holocaust.

If your interested in what's happening in Lebanon check out

He spent a lot of time there and has contacts still in the country.


Thank you for noting that. Very interesting.

The well run section of Hezbollistan (as it is sometimes called) reminds me of a protest I was on in 1976. It was the Tall Ships visiting Baltimore for the 200th anniversary celebration. I was protesting the Chilean sailing naval (cadet training) Esmeralda prsence, as it had been used for torture in the 1973 coup in Chile. Some USN naval officers came up and asked what we were doing, it was such pretty ship and so well operated.

I turned to them and said if the German pocket battleship Graf von Spee had docked here in 1938 we would be saying how well run and operated it was. But it was still a Nazi ship and all that met.

do you have any proof of these missiles being sold?
i asked for solid proof that these two country's are supporting this group. you have not provided any.
also calling people who want Israel to stop what they are doing and leave a sovereign country alone nazi's doesn't help your case any.
anyway before anyone can deal with the crimes of some of the people in both Lebanon and Palestine one must stop Israel's crimes.

Actually they were probably given, and not sold.

As to sources, there are MANY. Here are just a few. I chose not to reference the Jerusalem Post.

See http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htweap/articles/20060718.aspx

Iran bought 150 C-802s from China in the early 1990s, but shipments were halted in 1995 because of diplomatic pressure from the United States. Iran is believed to be building its own version of the C-802, which is 30 year old technology. Several years ago, it was reported that C-802s had been shipped to Hizbollah. The C-802 needs a radar to spot the target at long distance, and guide the C-802 to the general vicinity of the target. In this case, the Lebanese government coastal radar apparently was used. As a result, Israel destroyed the Lebanese coastal radars after the use of these two C-802 missiles.

and http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20060804/wl_mideast_afp/mideastconflictiranhezbollahweapons

According to Jane's Defence Weekly, Iranian authorities have supplied the militia with Iranian-made Noor radar-guided anti-ship cruise missiles and Chinese QW-1 (Vanguard) shoulder-launched SAMs.

and http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060725/ts_nm/mideast_syria_usa_dc_2

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Syria can do far more to rein in Hizbollah, such as stopping arms flows into Lebanon, but is not capable of putting the militia "out of business," a top U.S. counterterrorism official said on Tuesday.

As to the Nazi reference, it is sometimes forgotten that Germany, like Hezbollistan and Iran, cared about the environment, had well run clinics for the poor, etc. There are some interesting similarities.

Jack: You are compelled to use the N word every two sentences. Iran has never invaded anybody and has no global conquest ambitions whatsoever. I am sure everyone has noticed that these crazy Islamofascists who hate the freedoms of all good people everywhere bear no ill will towards: 1.China 2. Japan 3. South American countries, etc.etc.Why is this? Maybe because these countries leave them alone.  

Your point is interesting, but Franco's Spain (Fascist/Nazi) did not invade anybody either.

So Iran does not want to see China (or another nation of your choice) partitioned, nor does Iran want a piece of China's territory. I agree.

Iran seeks the destruction of Israel. It is wrong.

Iran also seeks to extend the number of Shiite run nations to SA, Gulf States, etc. Of course allied with Iran and sending their theology scholars to Qom (http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/0120/p16s01-legn.html).

By the way, I do NOT equate Nazi Germany with fanatical Iran. Completely different philosophies. Actually the Baathist Party in Syria has closer philosophical ties with 1939 Germany than does Iran.

Right-wing conservative/reactionary regimes may share similar behaviors but Iran is a Theocracy based on Islam, while Nazism was based on a perverted ethnic-driven Nationalism.

Franco invaded Spain from Spanish Morocco backed by U.S.oil interests. Sorry Jack.
FDranco was absolutely nobody, nobody had ever heard of him until he had a sugar daddy ready to keep him well supplied with guns and ammo.
To hell with the Israelis. They want to bomb and occupy other folks' land, then do it without my tax dollars.
That's a good one. You should be doing stand up with lines like that. I wouldn't hold my breath for your refund.
Jack, where do you get your info on Israel's deployment and strategy?
Any number of zionist clowns peddle this drivel. If you believe them, they're under every bed and inside every coffin.
Looks like they got a nasty kick in the teeth today from the Arab untermenschen.

I am a junkie when it comes to this stuff. I get it from http://debka.com/, Memri.org, and there are two Iranian news outlets (both anti-current regime) one Syrian (pro). Plus the WSJ (it had a great article last week on $$ and supplies flowing to Lebanon from Iran), NYT, and the SF Chronicle as well as our local paper.

An one gets tidbits too. The latest New Yorker has a good article on Hezbollah, while a French navy and history magazine I get, (Navires & Historie) in the July issue showed that an Israeli sub is deployed in the Arabian Sea as we speak for May and June 2006. I wonder what it has for warheads in it!

P.S. I can guess

karlof1 -

You are quite correct in saying that carrier battle groups are sitting ducks, particularly in a tightly confined area like the Persian Gulf, most of which is no more than 125 miles from the Iranian coast.

  I also have it on very good authority that, based on numerous war games pitting carriers against conventional subs, the carriers always come out on the losing end.  That is why a carrier battle group will run like rabbits if subs are detected anywhere in its vacinity.

While a 90,000-ton super carrier can absorb a great deal of damage before sinking, it is hardly necessary to sink a carrier to rendering it inoperative. One or two well-placed cruise missiles landing on the flight deck will effectively put it out of action for a long time. And while the Aegis defense system is highly effective, it probably can be overwhelmed by first firing a huge barrage of 'junk missiles' to deplete its munitions, then followed by the real thing.

I predict that if the US does launch a carrier-based air strike against Iran, those carrier would first have retreated from the Persian Gulf to take station somewhere in the Arabian Sea.

One other thing: it is not necessary for Iran to actually physically control the Strait of Hormuz to attack outbound tanker traffic.  There is about 400 miles of rugged Iranian coastline both within the Persian Gulf and along the Gulf of Oman on the other side of the Strait of Hormuz. Most of this stretch is within 100 to 150 miles of the Iranian coast.  I think it would be virtually impossible for the US to find and eliminate all Iranian anti-ship missile  launchers. And it is pretty hard to miss a super tanker.  All that has to happen is just one western-bound tanker to be sunk, and the world oil markets would go absolutely nuts.  

As I said before, Iran cannot win against the US military, but it can really spoil the party for the West.

What would you do if you're the Iranian defense minister and saw US carrier groups stand out from the PG to AS? I asked before if the US was willing to take heavy casualties in PG in order to maintain the element of surprise.

As for using the "oil weapon," it does get mentioned about once a week.

An interesting change in our domestic balance of forces: Pat Robertson now accepts the fact of global warming, which could prove to be a negative for Republicans if we have a November election.


The "oil weapon" just made page 1 of the Guardian.

There're 3 ifs. I presume you refer to the latter?
it is not necessary for Iran to actually physically control the Strait of Hormuz to attack outbound tanker traffic.  There is about 400 miles of rugged Iranian coastline both within the Persian Gulf and along the Gulf of Oman on the other side of the Strait of Hormuz. Most of this stretch is within 100 to 150 miles of the Iranian coast.  I think it would be virtually impossible for the US to find and eliminate all Iranian anti-ship missile  launchers. And it is pretty hard to miss a super tanker.  All that has to happen is just one western-bound tanker to be sunk, and the world oil markets would go absolutely nuts.

Exactly. All Iran has to do is turn the PG into a sea-going equivalent of the Baghdad airport road.  


Good post.

I would point out that effective submarines are why the USA has one included in every carrier group. Just to sink the other guy's sub. Also, you are assuming that Iranian subs, which are three (3) old Kilo class subs are handled well. They have a handful of short ranged mini-subs too. Really not much to worry about if you are not in the PG.

The Iranian navy will no longer exist after a week of combat.

One hit of a mine, torpedo, bomb, or missile on a PG transiting tanker will send oil prices up a whole lot. You do not need to sink the tanker. A second and third hit will really impact the market. First hit on one is close to free. It gets a lot more expensive after that.

From what I have heard about WWII Atlantic convoys, sinking oil tankers is not easy. They tended to float for a very long time after being hit by torpedoes whilst burning and spreading oil into the ocean. Being in the sea, covered in oil (unable to see because of oil in your eyes) whilst your ship is burning nearby must be one of the worst things. Thinking how the fire would spread to the sea, as the convoy sailed on, perhaps hoping the cold would kill you first, before you burned to death. Ships carrying Sherman tanks would sink almost instantly when they were hit by torpedoes by comparison.
You believe the stuff Cole has written? I've got a bridge to sell you.. Just because he mentions peak oil doesn't mean he's got his conspiracy theories right.
The hate that he harbors towards america and israel is reflected in his writings. He will use any excuse to demonise them(for proof, just refer to his past writings.)

I'm in one of those countries that his "european reader" mentions and I have far better understanding of what is going on and not going on here. Iran will sell oil to anybody who wants it.

More on this lebanon "theory" of his. The UN passed resolution 1559 that asked for hezbollah to be de-armed and the lebanese army to take over south lebanon. This resolution passed years back. Why hasn't anything been done about it? After all, the arabs bitch through the UN when Israel moves so much as a finger. There is a binding resolution and the arabs are twiddling their thumbs over it?
Until hezbollah captured 2 Israeli soldiers, Israel wasn't bothering in Lebanon's affairs.

This is all conveniently not mentioned by juan cole. Of course, why would he? It doesn't fit into his theories. What is hezbollah still armed when the lebanese army that should be in control of all of lebanon? So instead of hezbollah being disarmed by the arabs or europeans, Israel is having to go in and do the hard work. And when it does, everybody screams murder. Hmm..

Cole is pretty evenhanded. He has criticized Hesbollah and Israel both for possible war crimes. Sounds like you haven't really read any of his blogs before this.

Also please refrain from raising the resolution 1559 article unless you can answer for the ridiculous number of UN resolutions passed against Israel and also not enforced. Here's an out of date list that has at least thirty:


Ab, thanks for a great post. But it is my theory that conspiracy theory nutters should be ignored, not argued with.

Is Ab your real name? I had an Uncle Ab. His name was actually Absolom. He has been dead for about thirty years or more however. A little story about Uncle Ab.  Once he and his wife, Aunt Fanny, went from his home in North Alabama to Ardmore, on the Tennessee-Alabama state line, in a horse drawn wagon. This was a distance of about 15 miles. This was in the early part of the last century. On the way back, Aunt Fanny looked out over the vast expanses of the countryside and considered the great distance they had traveled that day and commented; "Ab, it's a big old world ain't it."

Uncle Ab used to tell this story a lot. He thought it was so funny. Then one day Aunt Fanny said to him; "Ab, I wish you wouldn't tell that story anymore". He never told the story again.

Let me guess, they went to Ardmore to shop at the Piggly Wiggly.
Don't be absurd, the Piggly Wiggly did not appear on the scent for at least 40 years after that trip.
Actually it was just for an excuse to say  Piggly Wiggly.  It's a funny name, and I've been to the one in Ardmore.
Funny you should mention Piggly Wiggly.
Piggly Wiggly was the first true self-service grocery store. It was founded on September 6, 1916 at 79 Jefferson Street in Memphis, Tennessee by Clarence Saunders. A replica of the original store has been constructed in the Memphis Pink Palace Museum - a mansion that Saunders built as his private residence but later sold to the city.

In grocery stores of that time, shoppers presented their orders to clerks who gathered the goods from the store shelves; thus, only as many customers could be attended at once as the store had clerks. In the Piggly Wiggly plan, customers entered the store through turnstiles and walked through four aisles to view the store's 605 items sold in packages and organized into departments. They selected their goods as they continued through the maze to a cashier. Instantly, packaging and brand recognition became important to companies and consumers. Without self-service, modern branded packaged goods would not exist.

Piggly Wiggly was the first store to:

1.provide checkout stands.
2.price mark every item in the store.
3.feature a full line of nationally    advertised brands.
4.use refrigerated cases to keep produce fresher longer.
5.require employees to wear uniforms.
6.design and use patented fixtures and equipment throughout the store.
7.franchise independent grocers to operate under the self-service method of food merchandising.

The concept of the "Self-Serving Store" was patented by Saunders in 1917.

The museum at the pink palace is well worth visiting, if you are ever in Memphis and have some time on your hands.
ab -

Now let me guess.... this is a real tough one ...... you hate Juan Cole because he is occassionally critical of what Israel is doing.  And any criticism of Israel, anywhere, by anybody, simply cannot be tolerated.

Am I getting warm?

Another way of considering Israel's behavior would be to imagine what the USA would do if Canada allowed a terrorist organization to control the Canadian side of the border, raid kill and capture US soldiers, and shell Detroit and Buffalo. I think we might do something harsh. One might make the argument that Israel's actions are counterproductive (the message of the film "Munich"), but the actions of the first week of the war were what IMO most nations would want to do.
The actions on the Mexican side of the border have some similarities to Lebanon-isreal.

Smuggling gangs (drugs & people smuggling gangs are "allies") control several border cities by reputation. They launch tons of drugs into the US each month; which devastate our inner cities and economy, killing hundreds.  They also have helped bring in ~12 million illegal aliens.

What would be the lesson here?  That we should invade Mexico?  Or that Israel should refrain from invading Lebanon?  
the lesson is both party's are very much to blame. though to get any peace one MUST stop Israel from doing what it's doing.
otherwise the other party will not listen to reason while any attempt to get them to talk while Israel still bombs would be seen as helping them.
The lesson would be "the war on drugs is a failure, too".
Isreal captured three Hezbollah leaders with commando raids first.  Hezbollah launched a commando raid to capture Isreali soldiers to use in a prisoner exchange.

So I see the first stone in the current conflict as being thrown by Isreal; with their reaction using the abduction as just an excuse.  They could have had the prisoner exchange by now if that was their concern.

For God's sake, those things did not all occur before Israel began the systematic destruction of Lebanese society.

As for what you would consider a reasonable provocation, check out this article from Israeli academic Ran HaCohen listing what UN observers had actually reported seeing in the years before their post was repeatedly bombed and they were killed 2 weeks ago despite continually phoning the Isralies to stop.


Sir, how would you respond if Canadian and Mexican fighter bombers went supersonic over American cities thousands of times in a 5 year period?

Let's try this on for size:

In 1916, Pancho Villa, miffed at what he viewed as American bias towards the right-wing tyranny he was in revolution against, crossed the border, attacked an American town and killed a bunch of people.

So we sent a tiny punitive expedition, which wandered around Mexico, accomplished nothing, killed hardly anybody, and went home in time for the real war we were practicing for: Germany.  Villa and the dictator both were destroyed in the fullness of time, but only one of them is still a hero there.

Do you believe that we should instead have sent our entire Army and Navy against Mexico, destroyed all its cities, ruined its pro-American government, caused the deaths of (eventually) thousands and maybe held on to some parts we thought held potentially valuable resources?  Were the consequences of shrugging off this TERRORIST incident in fact the destruction of our country?

[The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has warned that if Iran were to become involved in the current Israeli-Lebanese conflict, the results could be "catastrophic" for the world's oil market.]

I've often thought that "peak anarchy" could trump peak oil, so that we never really get to the true peak in a geological sense.  Terrorists are well aware of the west's achilles heel, requiring an uninterrupted flow of cheap oil to sustain our economies and life styles.  Trying to safeguard the Middle East oil infrastructure will be a daunting task as terrorist groups acquire more sophisticated tactics and weapons...

Interesting comment from someone in the oil industry in this thread posted at PeakOil.com.  It's about the problems Cantarell is likely facing, and whether horizontal drilling can fix them.

He seems to agree with Simmons.  According to Shanny, who posted his comments for him:

...he frequently laments that wherever production is done by for-profit corporations (as opposed to nationalized oil companies) it is always done to maximize current profits, future production be damned. He actually does the calculations to ensure that for a living. Being peak oil aware, this causes much anguish for him.

So, if corporations are involved, they certainly may be compromising future recovery with current production methods. It happens all the time; it's inherent to the system in place.

I am betting HO will be all over this.
What I don't understand is why, if the rumors flying about that Ghoram has peaked are true, Saudi Aramco would continue to plow ahead at full speed, desperately trying to keep up capacity...

When they could just slow down production and price gauge their way to greater riches.

Anyone wanna edumacate this outsider on why?

IMO, Saudi Arabia is concerned that if they admit to Peak Oil, more countries may try to seize their oil fields, AKA my "Iron Triangle" theory.  

More "Iron Triangle" info:  http://www.energybulletin.net/15126.html

yeah, but it doesn't matter--no one will take 'em.  I am efforting finding our article that talks about John Robb's discussion of the nuclear boobytraps RSA has around their oil fields...
I doubt the Saudi Royal Family would nuke their own oil facilities even if they were about to lose power.  They would be hated and hunted worldwide.  The few that are still in SA, rather than a yacht on the Riviera, will bolt when the time comes, they've made their fortunes.  I think this whole story is a plant, so if/when the ME blows up we'll blame the Ay-rabs.

On page 177 of Twilight, regarding Ghawar, Simmons states, "To an observer reviewing the 60 years of accumulated information about Ghawar, it may seem less and less likely that Haradh in the south and 'Ain Dar, Shedgum, and North Uthmaniyah in the north were ever part of the same field."

If we treat Ghawar as two fields, as Simmons seems to imply that we should, it seems to make the future, "catastrophic" collapse of SA's oil production less plausible.

Simmons' data (all of which found in the "Ghawar, King of Oilfields" chapter of Twilight) suggests the following:

North Ghawar ('Ain Dar, Shedgum, North Uthmaniyah) is currently producing approximately 2.2 million barrels of oil per day.

South Ghawar (Sough Uthmaniyah, Hawiyah, Haradh) is currently producing approximately 2.8 million barrels of oil per day (I arrive at this number by adding the recent 300,000 barrel per day at Harady increment III, to Simmons 2,000,000 number back in 2005).

North Ghawar, then, is far past peak and has already experienced a significant (not sure if it would qualify as "catastrophic") decline.  North Ghawar's peak was at 4.2 million barrels per day (again, according to Simmons) in 1979.  So, between 1979 and 2006 North Ghawar went from producing 4.2 million barrels per day to producing 2.2 million barrels per day, a loss of almost 50% of production.

It is North Ghawar, according to Simmons, which is, "now closing in on 50 percent of the area's original oil-in-place," not South Ghawar, which has only recently been put online and has been seeing steady production increases.  

I'm not saying that South Ghawar can be ramped up much farther, that would be surprising since Haradh Increment III was the last scheduled project to come online regarding this oilfield.  And Simmons does suggest that South Ghawar might have a far shorter productive lifespan than North Ghawar.  But I don't think anyone is expecting anything too dramatic (in the way of declines, that is, there may be slight increases) with South Ghawar within the next 5-10 years.

So, it seems that there really is no, "shocking" story to hold our breaths for.  And by "shocking story" i'm talking about something along the lines of Heniberg's recent revalation that Ghawar (as a whole) was now producing under 3 million barrels of oil per day.

There's no reason to suspect that the decline rate at North Ghawar will vary significantly from the decline rate that it has already been experiencing for the last 27 years.  It will continue to decline, no doubt, just like SA's other very old oilfields, and that's the majority of them, which are all far past their peak.  

In short, I think the most likely scenario for SA oil production will be a continuation of the 5-10% decline rate at the older fields (which already includes North Ghawar's decline), offset by new production.

I would like to review that again.  Almost all of my information comes from Twilight, which is like a bible for me:

Abqaiq: 500,000 barrels per day
Qatif: 500,000 barrels per day
Shaybah: 800,000 barrels per day
Marjan: 270,000 barrels per day
Safaniya: 500,000 barrels per day
Berri: 300,000 barrels per day
Zuluf: 500,000 barrels per day
Hawtah Trend: 200,000 barrels per day
Neutral Zone: 300,000 barrels per day

That's 3,870,000 barrels per day

North Ghawar 2,200,000 barrels per day
South Ghawar 2,800,000 barrels per day

That makes 8,870,000 barrels per day

For 2007-2009, SA plans to bring online another 1,800,000 barrels per day:

Khurais: 1,200,000 barrels per day
AFK: 500,000 barrels per day
Nuayyim: 100,000 barrels per day

This should be more than offset by the approx. 2,400,000 in decline from older fields.

So by the end of 2009, SA could be producing approx. 8 to 8.5 million barrels of oil per day.

Simmon's suspects that they have about 600,000 in spare capacity as Safanyia, other people say 1,500,000.

With that spare capacity and additional heavy crude refining capacity set to come online withing a year or two, SA could still be announcing production numbers of around 9 million barrels per day through the end of 2009.

From this perspective, we might expect to see Saudi production fluctuate between 8 and 9 million barrels per day between now and the end of 2009.

While these numbers are nothing to celebrate, since they suggest a Saudi plateau in a world of ever increasing demand, treating Ghawar as two fields, as Simmons implies that we should, seems to lesson the probability of a "catastrophic" collapse.


Sorry, typo, towards the beginning, should be, "I arrive at this number by addiding the recent 300,000 from the Haradh Increment III to Simmons 2,500,000 estimate from 2005."
"So, if corporations are involved, they certainly may be compromising future recovery with current production methods. It happens all the time; it's inherent to the system in place."

Saudi Aramco, a national oil company, redrilled Ghawar to maximize short term production.  

IMO, Hubbert's Peak is largely immune to political factors.  Whether one is ardent Commnunist, or a free market Republican, we tend to find the big fields first.

I think that private companies can do a better job of maximizing post peak production, but in the grand scheme of things, that's just a rounding error.  


I talk Peak Oil at work a fair amount, and a couple weeks ago my "Science Officer" basically attacked me on the subject, referencing the tar sands and saying things like "there is PLENTY of oil". He got quite testy, which is odd as he is usually an easy-going guy that I get along with quite well. It was like he was pod-personed there for a couple minutes. I'm beginning to understand all this cognitive dissonance stuff that I read here. That or perhaps people are looking at ME like I'm the one in the UFO cult. Hope not :)

Argh! I meant to respond to the post below where you were talking about your daughter's PO experiences at college. Maybe I'd be better throwing in with the neo-luddites?
What is his response to EROEI?
Same thing happened to me the other day.  Some guy comes out with the Greg Palast article that 'debunks' peak oil, and he was acting as if anyone who read the thing would immediately change their thinking.  He was quite insistent, and used a lot of colorful language (something like "peak oil is an f-ing lie).
Horizontal drilling may push the decline curve up and to the left for a few years but mostly likely this Improved Oil Recovery (IOR) strategy will only result in a steeper decline after the sweet spots have been sucked dry.

OTOH nationalized oil companies often do things like underinvest, bloat payrolls, and hire poor managers.
A Peak Oil Encounter

My daughter is in graduate school, and she related an interesting story she about a discussion with a professor.  They were discussing energy issues (as one would expect, my daughter is, shall we say, somewhat "Peak Oil Aware").  The professor said that he became PO aware after reading The Long Emergency, by Jim Kunstler (JHK).  Daughter replied that her dad knows JHK.  

(At this point in the conversation, daughter had considerable regrets about not listening to repeated pleas from dad to join him for dinner with JHK, prior to the Simmons/Kunstler event last year in Dallas.  Would have been way cool to respond to the professor that "I had dinner with JHK.")

Back to the story, another student--upon overhearing the discussion--became very antagonistic, stating that there is plenty of oil in the Canada, that Peak Oil is a myth and then militantly asked what kind of car that she drove.  (She walks to school--dad having made sure that she had an apartment within walking distance.)

As JHK might say, "Americans can't handle the truth."  We are in for interesting times.


The understanding of the populace is reflected in the level of media coverage.  For example, most journalists don't know the difference between production and reserves, especially for tar sands.  Couple this with the hostile reaction to cognitive dissonance that a lot of people exhibit and you get the militancy experienced by your daughter.

I don't think society will be able to respond intelligently to peak fossil fuels until the media starts sending the right message.  It is rather frightening the level of control that the media exerts.

"Americans can't handle the truth."

Funny you should say that.  I was looking at the Hirsch powerpoint talk at U of Calgary (PDF of slides)
and thinking the same thing.  


We've never been forced to think ahead as a society.  Ours has been the land of milk and honey, where even our poor are rich.  Although I'm not a doomer, I do think this is going to get ugly.

westtexas, you are right about many things, including the notion that we collectively "can't handle the truth."

I love the way you've helped your daughter to understand at least a big part of the truth about "peak oil."

My daughter is 15, my son is 9.  I ride the cargo trikes and pedicabs, as you know -- so try to educate my kids about environment in terms of resource depletion and pollution as "fouling the nest."

I am concerned about the kids because they are immersed in such a toxic stew of disinfotainment.  There is so little in their life exoperience telling them about the real issues they will face.

I've worked with the public school my daughter attended 'til 8th grade, and that my son now attends, to present the concepts I've mentioned above, as well as "peak oil" and "resource war" and "powerdown."  I will continue these efforts.

By the way, the school kids especially love the pedicab and cargo trike!  They really "get it" when we talk about the resources needed to create, operate, and then recycle such vehicles as opposed to the SUVs that many of their parents ddrive.

I have to be careful, because so many parents do not want to talk about these issues in depth, and seem to want their kids just to be taught the standard curriculum -- which is all passed through corporate and government screening to provide textbooks which "spin" even environmental issues into a dreamy "big corporations have the techno-fixes coming along nicely, we can comfortably consume our way out of any problems we may face."

WT -- and everyone -- any advice on educating young people of various ages about peak oil???

WT - -could you ask your daughter what she thinks about this question?

I often feel entirely inadequate about this, but keep pedaling along doing my bit, which seems to be nary a drop in the big bucket.

Reading the posts and comments here are very helpful to me -- they help me stay informed and thoughtful, constructively self-critical, and they help me feel that others are dealing with this important reality.

Hey, if I'm nuts, at least I'm in great company!

   I went to Outward Bound when I was a kid. They are expensive courses but there is (that is how I went) scholarships/grants to go.  I went twice for 28 days of backpacking in the appalachians.  One way to learn about nature is to experience it.  I would recomend Outward Bound to anyone of any age but teenagers especially.  I learned so much about myself also.
"WT -- and everyone -- any advice on educating young people of various ages about peak oil???  could you ask your daughter what she thinks about this question?"

She has talked to some of her friends and she gave a speech on Peak Oil, in an undergrad speech class--resulting in pretty much denial across the board, mixed with anger.

I suppose that most people have to more or less go throught he Five Stages thing--starting with Denial/Anger.

I would start with the End of Suburbia DVD.  

Thanks for the comments on this so far!

I agree that an "Outward Bound" type of program would be good for both of my kids.  I did a similar program between high school and going to college. Younger would have been better.

And the whole stages of grief thing:  this is tougher for kids who are torn between the popular culture and planning seriously for the future they will face.

Peak Oil tends to strip us all of the "guarantees" that make life seem worth living.  Peak Oil takes much of the promise of life away, from the perspective of kids who are being told that they will graduate from high school, go to college or university and maybe graduate or professional school, and then live a life of relative stability and comfort.

Many of the implications of peak oil (combined with the ever-present global climate change) does inspire some serious grieving.

That's the tough part for me right now.  It is hard to communicate to my kids that they can make plans along one track in which the future is a continuation of the past 50 years or so, while preparing them for the increasing likelihood of radical and difficult discontinuities.

i think it does that to everyone.
to some it even makes them start to question the whole system we have now. i do wonder if the whole system of working 8-12 hours a day till you drop dead or reach 60(which ever comes first) is worth it.
till you drop dead or reach 60(which ever comes first

Sixty? Ha!! Utopian dreams... the British government has decided that if you haven't yet dropped dead... you have to carry on working till you are 68... before you are allowed to climb off the treadmill...

Anyway.. since I started reading TOD 6 months ago... I find that everything I read about "the future plans of governments"... I take with a pinch of salt... so much of what we now think as "normal" is going to have to be drastically re-assessed...

I think it's 67 in the USA, you're to work your 60+ hours a week for less and less real pay and less and less of anything resembling a safety net, and like it, and SAY you like it, or else.

Most working-class US'ians are very lucky to see the north side of 60. My parents made it to 62 and they were worn out.

Incidentally, this is why there's such a problem with kids buying cigs and alcohol in the US, working-class kids in their teens often look like they're in the 20s, by the time they're in their 20s look like they're in their 30s etc.

I know tht I question the sytem every day.  The difference between the way the world is and the way we could choose to make it is a sign that something is definitely wrong.

Of course, there are many ideas about just what thing(s) are wrong.

I see us as having a fundamentally flawed "Robber Baron" approach to people and planet. The planet is an infinite resource to be exploited, and infinite waste sink to be exploited, and people are simply a disposable labor "human resource" to be exploited.

The Robber Baron approach is foundational to capitalism and to communism -- inasmuch as either has been tried so far.

Hello Beggar,

A couple of things I've done with my son, beyond the usual lectures, "come over to the computer and read this" stuff, and videos, are:

  1. have a blog.  Tell your kids about it, and they'll tell their friends (sometimes). It's a great way to communicate with them in a somewhat indirect way.
  2. We've taken two backpacking trips in the last year. Besides the fun aspect, I consider it excellent training, myself included, in experiencing how to live, if only for a few days, without a lot of modern conveniences. Some of the gear we've bought for these trips will conceivably be useful if the worst happens.  
Your kids may be further along with the concepts but it's nice to get real practice in powering down.
Good ideas!

I think it is time for a blog or webpage with photos of the trikes in action.

Also more inclusion of the kids in gardening.

Backpacking will take some persuading, but is a great idea.

My niece resently had the same experience at her college.

I had educated her last summer about peak oil, and she researched it further for a project in her "communications" class.

She said the response was indifference.

When she tried showing "End of Suburbia" to her dorm mates, some of them "fell asleep."

I'm putting my hands up now as the coaster crests the hill....

PO Denial in College
By the time they enter "college", many of our youth are already deeply steeped in the myths of our culture.

Think about what it took for them to "apply" for entry into college, to compete in SAT's, to take all those "advanced" placement courses that assure them they are at the "winners" in our competitive way of life.

You are talking to the distillates of the process. You are telling them that "hard work," "inner beuaty" and "keeping the nose to the grindstone" will not win the day. And you want them to accept this (the coming PO storm) on first blush when these poor kids have already been so programmed and pre-filtered that the whole idea of "everything you were taught being a lie" is just ludicrous.

PO-awareness is not going to come about in a magic slip-of-the-slipper moment from having played a single DVD or having given a single talk. It's not a game of  Cinderella and the midnight thunderbolt strike. Think of it more as a game of Tortoise and the Hare. We are the Tortoises and we have many miles to go.

About a week ago, I was with my nieces and we toured a lighthouse that had been built in 1906 which had been turned into a historical site.  The keeper's house had been restored to original condition, and as we walked through you could see no electricial fittings whatsoever.  A manual typewriter, some books and kerosene lamps, and a wood stove.

At the end I asked my niece what she thought it would be like to live like that (not literally like that, but with TV, no phone), and she wasn't impressed.  I told her that we could be living like that again in the future, and her only comment was "very funny!".  I told her I wasn't kidding, and she didn't have much to say...

I've lived that way, it's called being poor. Big deal when  the bookmobile comes around.
Interesting indeed.

I had a brief encounter with an investment banker last week, who told me that rising gasoline prices were simply brought about by five immensely wealthy speculators who for pecuniary reasons want us to think of oil as scarce instead of abundant. (We didn't have enough time for me to, er, drill down to names and specifics.) Scarcity was simply nonsense, he told me, since (1) there is at least a 300 year supply of oil, which they just don't want us to know about; and (2) if there were in fact a true scarcity, I would have had to ask permission of the government to make the trip on which I met him (vide, I suppose, the discussion on carbon rationing.)

So you see, westexas, there's no need to worry ;)

BTW, on that trip, I saw that the vast thicket of construction cranes and vast herd of bulldozers, barricades, and whatnot infesting the vast ratsnest of jammed highways leading east out of Chicago are still very much there. For many years now, they have been immensely busy creating monumental traffic backups while failing utterly to ever finish anything, a phenomenon that epitomizes the US highway system these days. In other words, leaving aside the digits on display at gas stations, everything seemed absolutely normal, with not the slightest sign of anything unusual or awry...

Anyone who says that in response to that anecdote is a boob.  (And no, westexas, I'm not calling you a boob.)

A lot of Americans get it and can indeed handle the truth; making that kind of sweeping generalization only ensures that those of us attempting to raise energy awareness have an even steeper hill to climb.

Interesting times ahead?  No argument there, which is precisely why I'm working hard to make them less interesting.

I had dinner with a friend last Saturday. His son, an early twentsome PhD student writing his thesis on wind erosion and so well into ecology, had not heard of Peak Oil!

I suppose that he is too buried in the minutiae of his subject, I still found it disturbing, if not terrifying that this level of ignorance could exit in a major Australian University at the PhD level.  (I hope I enlightened him and he follows up).

My problem with JHK's "Long Emergency" is simply that it has no index and no bibliography. (The first is completely unforgiveable)  Thankfully there is the odd foot note.

However, I owe him much.  Without his book and Tainter's work, I would still be asleep on the whole PO issue.

China's Farmland Shrinking

I have stated before that as our population soars, the earth's carrying capacity shrinks. There is no better example of this than this story of China's shrinking farmland.

According to this news report, between 1995 and 2005, China shed eight million hectares (20 million acres) of arable land -- equal to about two-thirds of Iowa's farmland. Over the next five years, the nation's farmland will "irreversibly shrink," the report quotes an Agriculture Ministry official.

While China's farmland sprouts suburban housing and factories, its demand for food imports have surged. In 2005, the nation became the world's leading soy importer. Soy imports from Brazil alone leapt more than 10,000 percent between 1995 and 2005, the Guardian reports.

Let's review this arrangement. The U.S. shunts its manufacturing base off to China. To accommodate the boom, China starts outsourcing its food production to Brazil. To accommodate that, Brazil rips into the Amazon rainforest, which, as Biodiversivist never tires of pointing out, ranks as one of the world's great carbon sinks.

God help us.

Ron Patterson, an atheist who does not believe in God. But what the hell, I am grasping for straws. :-(

There are no atheists in foxholes.
Although, even as an agnostic, I'm inclined to join you in prayer.

God help us.

One the funniest one liners I heard someone utter:
---"Thank God I'm an atheist."
"Thank God I'm an atheist."

Thanks for the great laugh. Much needed in these troubling times.


Woilf -

And let us not forget that great old standby that has probably graced the walls of every  john in every college-town pub from Berkeley to Harvard:

'God is dead.'
                       - Nietzsche

'Wrong: Nietzsche is dead!'

                                   -  God

"Some are born posthumously."  -- Nietzsche
I love that old no atheists in foxholes joke.... original version:There are no atheists in foxholes, and no Jews either.  If you bring it up, might as well be accurate........
Zipper up. Your orthogonal Z's are showing.
Years ago I was a Pre-Ranger Instructor at the ISTD (international student training detachment) at Ft. Benning, GA.  I have a picture of an Israeli and an Egyptian soldier digging a fighting position together.  I get the atheist joke, under fire you find god, but wouldn't a muslim or jew pray to theirs? Where is your "original version" from this is the first antisemitic caveat for foxholes I have seen?
I gave up religion this year for Lent...
..and a custodian at (I think) the Unitarian Church in Sacramento was heard to say once..
'I love this Goddamned Church!'

If you know any Unitarian/Universalists, you know this could qualify as a Common Prayer..

Yes, Virginia, there are atheists in foxholes. His name is

Paul Fussell

Mike, it was a joke. I am a 68 year old atheist and I will die an atheist, a little older I hope. I often joke about asking God for help, because to me it is such an absurd request.

I expect a lot of people will be turning to God for help as the world collapses around them. I have often stated however that I hope to be safely dead by then.

I like the Garrett Hardin quote. "X will save us, where X equals science, God or providence".

sorry. my irony detector doesn't work well on the internetsss.

besides, i'm so depressed lately that people aren't getting It.

MikeB -

Ah yes, Paul Fussell. A favorite of mine.

His book 'Class' was an excellent tongue-in-cheek yet highly accurate description of the modern American class structure.

And his more recent book, 'Doing Battle', in my view is one of the best first-hand accounts of how unromantic and thoroughly pointless modern warfare is. There really are no heroes, just ordinary people trying to survive hell as best they can. He also has a very healthy disrespect for military authority and the ability of TPTB to do the right thing.

I love Fussell, and have read a few of his books, I'd like to have one each of all of his someday..... I've read his on WWII, I forget the title. The one on WWI is supposed to be very good also.
WWI: "The Great War and Modern Memory."

WWII: "Wartime." Devastating critique of the romantic myth of the good war.

He's a hero.

I doubt the originally pudgy patrician from Pasadena (Fussell) did anything heroic in the war, but he certainly is heroic in the literary sense for his writings. :-)
I always get hung up on ''how great China will be in the next two decades''. It just doesnt add up, and your post reinforces my feelings.

  1. PRC stopped organic ag in the 70's, substituting hydrocarbon ag.
  2. PRC is the last to arrive at the party, when the easy oil has gone.
  3. Industrialisation requires other, external markets for goods and this requires cheap fuel and solvent customers.
  4. Soil erosion and water depletion is now very significant in the PRC.
  5. Global warming + reduced hydrocarbon input fertilisers and drought will make food production problematic in the PRC and elsewhere. Food will not be exported for LCD TVs, Game boys or anything else that is peripheral to survival.

Excellent points, all.  Add to that their demographic problems (aging population, no system to care for the elderly, and male/female birthrate ratios dramatically skewed toward males only) and you have a long slow disaster acoming.
And throw in the desertification of their wheat-producing lands in the north to go along with their rapidly dropping water tables.
And throw in the desertification of their wheat-producing lands in the north to go along with their rapidly dropping water tables.
A carbon sink would be something that steadily absorbs carbon. A carbon storage unit would be something holding an unchanging inventory of carbon. Quite obviously the Amazon stores an inventory of carbon as living and recently-dead biomass. But if the Amazon is a carbon sink, where is the carbon steadily accumulating? Tropical rainforest soils are notorious for being poor and thin, which is why conversion to conventional agriculture is often not such a good idea. So the presumed steadily accumulating carbon can't possibly be piling up in the soil. And dead trees rot away in a great hurry in the tropics. So where does it pile up? What is Biodiversivist talking about? (And, BTW, as a side issue, don't these considerations make greenwash out of the act of buying up bits of rainforest to "offset" carbon emissions, since there is no permanent storage, meaning that nothing is actually "offset"?)
OTOH, reforesting Icelandic sheep pastures that were deforested ~1,000 years ago is a carbon sink, in both trees and soil.  And raising timber that is used for structures or furniture keeps about half the captured carbon captured for a couple of more centuries.
Peak Mayhem? We may be a whole lot closer than anyone thinks.

A deadly combination of heat and drought is slowly wreaking a trail of devastation across much of the globe, and the full extend of this scourge will only be felt as winter nears.......

Imagine a world when peak oil meets peak grain and peak water at a confluence called peak mayhem?


A timely thought as here in the Midwest, USA, as we are once again going to go over 100F today (index up to 105F).  We received about 3 days of relief, but here we go again.  And August has just started.  

My lawn (which I've let go dormant) hurts my feet to walk on because the grass blades are crispy and sharp.  Starting in late afternoon, the cicadas start up with their hypnotic droning.  They are earlier this year than I remember and louder.

Western writer Elmer Kelton said that "West Texas is in a state of permanent drought, broken occasionally by rain."  

I think that this may be true of most of the Western US now.

At around 5pm today, the high temp on my car's thermometer was 108F (Kansas City, MO).  At 9pm, it's still 99F.

I've lived here all my life and don't ever remember seeing 108F.

Officially, the high was around 104F at Kansas City International. A sizzler. And, at St. Louis, the thermometer reading climbed to 98F.


Yesterday LevinK wrote:

"India might be unpleasantly surprised if it bets on hydro in the medium term. Himilayan gletchers are retreating and unless we stop GW tomorrow I expect a very poor future for Indian hydroelectricity."

I had thought that the problem of disappearing glaciers was that the seasonal rainfall would wash down all at once, rather than being stored in the glacier and released throughout the year, as is convenient for agriculture.

If that is correct, then big-hydro projects, capable of storing a year's worth of rainfall and letting it go a bit at a time, might be exactly what's needed to save agriculture. Or am I missing something?


My understanding (definitely limited) is that most of the good locations meeting the neccessary criteria (capable of supporting a dam structure, topography that lends itself to reservoir storage capacity, sufficient river flows with low sediment load, access to irrigatable farmlands and so on) have already been built out.
I spent some time with Indian engineer with their "National Hydroelectric Power Corp. Ltd." (He gave me a nice day planner that also has details on the projects).

They are getting astoundingly low costs of some of their projects (latest was 1.6 US cents/kWh).  Transmission and seasonality are bigger issues.

India is planning on spring melt moving up 2 weeks in their long range planning.

Melting glaciers give a one time "fossil fuel" bonus on top of annual snow & rain.

Some dams will provide power year round; others are seasonal (see monsoons).  A hodge podge.  India will burn coal when hydro is not available (nuke added in later years).  So the more hydro, the better, regardless of timing.

Wind is also getting more emphasis.

The biggest issue with hydro is that it is almost all remote from the major centers of consumption, so transmsission is a growing issue.

Fun how history repeats itself.  In the early day of the industrial revolution they had the same problem.
Mills and factories were water powered and in the mountains, while the markets for the goods were not.

I believe their solution was to build canals.

Is this crazy enough to work?

LNG requires a lot of energy, and an expensive and NIMBY-prone plant, to re-gasify it.

Natural gas is sometimes stored underground in previously emptied gas reservoirs.

There's a lot of heat in rocks, more so the farther down you go.

Would it be possible to gasify LNG simply by pumping the liquid down to underground pockets, and then pumping the gas back up (perhaps from a different well in the same pocket)?


I'm no LNG expert, but I would assume that the energy cost of regasifying the NG is very marginal compared to the energy cost of turning it to a liquid and transporting it.  
westexas -

Hell, if you don't have to regasify it super fast,  all you need is a great big 'ol natural convection heat exchanger, and the energy cost of regasifying the NG will be next to nil.

Turning it into a liquid on the other hand IS a big deal, with all sorts of thermodynamic and mechanical losses along the way.

According to Shell, the delta between the open loop (uses Gulf water directly, kills larvae & small fry) and closed loop (uses more NG to heat LNG, is 1% of NG total delivered.

LNG pipeline would have some MAJOR issues as liquid boils off.  Perhaps a dual liquid-gas pipeline with frequent transfer points.

An off-shore LNG port above an exhausted NG field would be "interesting", but I wonder as to the absorption rate of the geology.

From p. 8 of http://www.portsoflouisiana.org/July2005.pdf LNG gasification requires either hundreds of millions of gallons per day of seawater, or 1.2-1.6% of the natural gas. The problem with using seawater is that the thermal and chlorine shock kills all the small organisms in it. Without knowing a lot more about the size and flow characteristics of depleted reservoirs, I can't guess whether the rock equivalent of hundreds of millions of gallons of water per day would be available. I assume it would not be sustainable indefinitely--not enough heat would diffuse in from the surrounding rock--the question is whether existing storage reservoirs hold enough heat internally to gasify a day or a decade worth. I think water has a higher heat capacity, but rock can be cooled below 0C. (But I wonder whether thermal shrinkage would cause cracking.) Chris
You don't normally want to do this.  You pump the LNG up to high pressure and then immediately gasify it, normally with some sort of water bath or against gas, as said above.  This saves you the power that would be required to compress the gas into the delivery pipeline, and partially recovers some of the liquefaction power.  Using the rock idea would have a very large pressure drop.
I just realized there's a much, much better idea.

Burn fuel to vaporize the gas.

Put an electric power plant between the burner and the vaporizer.

To keep the technology simple, use a standard power plant, with one additional turbine that transfers heat from the steam condenser to the methane vaporizer.

Methane has a boiling point of -161.6 C (111.6 K), but that's at atmospheric pressure, and it's delivered at higher pressure (1000 PSI?). So to be pessimistic, I'll assume it has to be warmed to the triple point, at 190 K. The energy recovery should be extremely good: Carnot efficiency between boiling water (373 K) and 190 K should be 49%--and that's on top of all the energy extracted by a standard power plant. (Carnot between 373K and 111K is 70%.)

I found a description of an LNG gasifier that planned to use air-transfer towers to dump the coolth. It planned to gasify on average 1.5 BCF/day. OK, 1% of that is 15 MMCF/day which corresponds to about 180 MW times the near-1 efficiency of the power plant. That seems worth building a power plant for. (The towers would only provide sufficient warmth 9 months of the year, and they'd have to burn LNG to supplement the other 3.)


Buried in Global Warming Could Slam Food Supply is what some are calling an even greater risk than peaking oil - the increasing scarcity of fresh water:

What's also vital is water, and therein lies the greatest threat.

The agricultural miracle of the San Joaquin Valley -- crops stretching in every direction literally as far as the eye can see -- simply wouldn't be possible if the farmers tried to pull it off with the natural weather. It only rains eight inches a year, and almost all of that in the wintertime.

What makes all the food possible is irrigation -- water brought in from far away, a large part of it from snow pack in the mountains, and distributed throughout the Valley by a vast system of irrigation canals and pipes.

Even though the Sierras had a snowfall far above average this past winter, as did many of the western mountain regions, in most places that didn't help the valleys much because the snowpack melted weeks too soon as it has been doing for some years with global temperature rising. And snowpack provides about three-fourths of the West's water.

The trouble is, as scientists studying the change explain, water normally used to trickle out over the summer. Now, running downhill too soon, it is leaving many valleys dry by midsummer, and crops withering.

But computer model projections shown to ABC News by eminent climatologist Steve Schneider at Stanford University, and other calculations from California state water boards, now warn that because of global warming the mountain snowpack so essential to all the food is most likely to be not only melting out too fast in the spring, but diminishing drastically -- by as much as 90 percent, according to some computer models -- before the end of the century, well within the lifetime of today's kids.

Assessment of climate change impacts by the U of Washington Climate Impacts Group, including empirical evidence of the approximately 50% April 1 snow pack decline in the Pacific Northwest over the past century.

And this isn't just a West Coast problem:

Ogallala Blue: Water and Life on the High Plains (2006, Ashworth, W) Seattle Times book review

Some previous TOD comments on the declining Ogallala acquifer:

ericy on Friday May 12, 2006 at 8:24 AM EST

porsena on Friday May 12, 2006 at 6:17 PM EST

Mine on Friday July 28, 2006 at 1:08 AM EST

The world fresh water situation in general:

Outgrowing the Earth: The Food Security Challenge in an Age of Falling Water Tables and Rising Temperatures (2005, L Brown) on-line contents

When the Rivers Run Dry: Water--The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century

totoneila on Monday May 22, 2006 at 4:40 PM EST

Chile - A Natural Gas Export Depletion Example

Last winter (Southern Hemisphere) Argentina cut off natural gas exports for a few weeks, with limited exports since then.  Argentina NG production is depleting and they want to husband their remaining production for domestic use (Indonesia, source of half of Japan's LNG, has told Japan that existing LNG contracts will be honored but not renewed when they expire in 2008 & 2010).

Chile depends upon Argentine NG for 30% to 40% of their total electricity production.  To make up for NG import cutbacks they are burning oil (the gov't offical at the hydro conference said diesel, but I think that may be a language issue).

Chile sent a delegation to the Hydro conference in Portland OR seeking investors for some 60 renewable energy power projects (most hydro, some wind and a couple of geothermal projects) that the gov't has defined and is providing an exposition on in early October.  Merchant power is valued at  the highest marginal cost (i.e. oil most of the time) for the hour it is produced in that district (Chile is divided into 4 districts).

In response to my question, the gov't offical said that Chile was counting on Argentine NG imports for only two more years.

Chile, to their credit, is NOT going towards coal due to their Kyoto obligations.  BUT a MAD rush for renewables.

Sigh. If only the UK would do likewise. But as well as going to coal (thereby blowing our CO2 targets last winter) we now have nuclear back on the agenda. Why don't we follow Sweden's example of being fossil fuel free by 2020? Or Chile? Or Switzerland? What is it in Anglo-Saxon cultures that makes us so short sighted?
Alan, did you see that not only was Argentina cutting off exports but "Argentina has been importing gas from Bolivia since 2004 to help meet local demand and fulfill part of its export contract with Chile."

The old pea and thimble trick- like Venezuala, who had to import oil from Russia earlier in the year to fulfil contracts to the US! Lots of double-entry bookkeeping happening here!

Very good article here by Eugene Linden re: GW


Note how his "dire predictions" parallel the predictions of the consequences of PO.  "Converging catastrophes" indeed...

I also recommend his book "Winds of Change".

Uh oh...

The methane clathrates are starting to break down.

See for yourself on ABC:


This is not good...

No, this is not good. In fact, it's downright alarming. This is the first sign I've seen of methane bubbling up through the water column from the sea floor.

It's at the end of the video on the page.

It's not merely bubbling, it's FLOWING, GUSHING out. And it's coming out of muds on the sea floor, 60 meters down, this is taken by SCUBA divers, no exotic frozen this or that thousands of feet down, this is is in relatively near-surface muds.

It's scary as hell.

this is exactly what they think happened in the Permian extinction. back then the first phase of the warming was the increases in c02 in the air from abnormally high volcanic activity(i think it was the formation of the Siberian traps that they put the blame to). this warmed the oceans enough to melt the methane hydrates in the oceans which doubled the previous heating.
in our case it's our burning of fossil fuels that are causing the first part and not volcanic activity, but it's at a rate many times faster then the previous one. the result is the same though, if the methane hydrates melt we are sol.
They? It is one theory of the Great Permian Extinction which seems to occurred somewhere between 251.4 and 252.7 million years ago. Interesting, there is one hell of a big crater in remote East Antarctica which awaits dating. It's age is constrained to between 100 and 500 million years ago. It's so big (from the magnetic imaging) that the impact must have done a lot of damage. So, this impact is definitely a candidate for the Permian. There's also the Siberian Traps mantle plume volcanism which starts perhaps 249 million years ago and continues for a couple million years. Volcanoes throw a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. One theory is that the eruptions caused the climate to heat up as much as 5/6 degrees C during this time. That would have helped cause the extinction itself but might also have led to the release of methane hydrates as the oceans warmed over that time. There is also evidence for anoxic oceans at this time. The oxygen question seems unresolved. Finally, as if all this were not enough, sea level rose at this time (this makes sense) but land & sea extinctions seem to have been more or less simultaneous.

A stronger case for release of methane hydrates can be made as the cause of the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) which occurred about 55 million years ago.

Studying the big Extinctions and paleontology is an excellent introduction to climate change. Smoking guns, except for the K/T boundary extinction that killed off the non-avian dinosaurs and lots of other life, are hard to come by. But if you and me live long enough, we might have first hand evidence -- though it's more likely the children and their children will be the beneficiaries of human behavour during the Age of Fossil Fuels.  

Re: "251.4 and 252.7"

No! Between 251.4 and 251.7 million years ago. I hate that, you're typing merrily along and you make a typo.

See Doug Erwin's book Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago.



Gaia gets a fever and kills off the viral monkey infection.

Anybody got a spare planet?

The politicians will start tapping the SPR more and more. I'd bet they will find another excuse to tap the SPR before the 2006 elections to keep a lid on prices. There is no greater national purpose than to get those incompetent bozos reelected. Bush needs those bozos to keep from getting impeached and to keep our poor soldiers in the Iraq hellhole.

Portland TOD member asked to meet me

But I cannot find old eMail.  Send me another eMail.  Heading out to Saturday Market now.

Hello TODers,

I having been using the govt website: CIA Fact Book for several years now:


I used to be able to get right in, but now my computer prompts me for approval of their security certificate from Verisign.  Has anybody else noticed this change?  I am not a computer guru, but my guess is that they want to track who is interested in CIA info--is this a plausible guess, and is it legal?

The other thing I noticed is that Blackwater Security removed the ominous close-up photo of a sniper that I used to link too in some of my earlier postings at this link:


Has anybody else noticed this change?  Now it basically presents stuff for sale.

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

I think you're just using an outdated link.  That's why the "name doesn't match."  

Try using this link instead:


"BP to Shutdown Prudhoe Bay Oil Field"

"ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Aug. 6 PRNewswire -- BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. has begun an orderly and phased shutdown of the Prudhoe Bay oil field following the discovery of unexpectedly severe corrosion and a small spill from a Prudhoe Bay oil transit line. Shutting down the field will take days to complete. Over time, these actions will reduce Alaska North Slope oil production by an estimated 400,000 barrels per day."


Wow, you just ruined my evening.

The big question now is, how long will it be down? They said days to shut it down, so I would think days to start it back up after the the problems are fixed. I would guess several weeks at least and there may be problems in other of the lines. Any predictions on oil where oil will go tomorrow?

I think it depends on how much of the pipeline they have to replace. As the AP story says: ""corrosion-related wall thinning appeared to exceed BP criteria for continued operation."

And that's assuming they A) can patch it or B) if it's too big to patch, that they have spare pipe laying around.  I know that PEMEX has had a real problem getting pipe (they keep getting outbid).

Hello Seanarama,

According to MSNBC:  3 miles or more of pipe with no idea when production resumes:


Yikes!  I am going to fillup my scooter now.

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

I just made a new thread for this on the front page, folks.  
Short some Pete, Trader?   Ouch.
My guess is that prices increase $10 per barrel.
OPEC production down in July.0.8%.

Iran,Kuwait ,Saudi Arabia and Nigeria all down. The citibank analyst says "it is unusual to see so many members move in the same direction" Really? Get used it. Idiot.

"Leaks in Kirkuk on July 7 halted the flow of oil from the north."

I wonder how many times you can bomb a pipeline before you just have to completely replace damaged sections - instead of just patching up all the 'leaks'?

US loses 400k barrels a day

Half the oil production on Alaska's North Slope was being shut down Sunday after BP Exploration Alaska, Inc. discovered severe corrosion and a small spill from a Prudhoe Bay oil transit line

Once the field is shut down, in a process expected to take day, BP said oil production will be reduced by 400,000 barrels a day. That's close to 8 percent of U.S. oil production as of May 2006, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.


Yes! Now Bush can tap the SPR again to cap oil prices.
I heard that!
Yikes! Pardon me if someone else posted this already.


Prudhoe Bay oil field shutting down for an undetermined length of time.

Johns in Costa Rica

The markets are not happy - up 84 cents at 11PM ET
"undetermined length of time"=many moons.  We'll see $80 this week.  Yergin day revisited for the last time.  

Ghawar+Cantrell+Prudoe=fecal matter hits fan!

I just posted the Prudhoe Bay news in its own thread on the front page...
Yikes -

BP to SHUT DOWN 400,000 BPD oil line in Alaska due to corrosion for an unknown amount of time.


Tuesday Oil trading is going to be nuts.  

That ain't no good...

It's all about population!

Um, look down at the bottom the thread, it's been posted four times.  :)

(and it's out on the front page too...take the conversation about this one over there folks!  This is going to be a big one.

More energy tosh on the (UK) radio - on BBC Radio 4's "Analysis" programme 21.30 BST Sunday.  One Peter Odell of Erasmus University in Rotterdam, whose name I think I've seen before on these pages - "gas availability (for Europe) will continue growing until 2090", but lest you think he's being optimistic - "oil will ONLY grow at 2% p.a. and then only until 2020".  So gas is the fuel of the future, indeed for the next 85 years!  

Presumably some people are still making business decisions on the basis of this nonsense.