DrumBeat: August 9, 2006

[Update by Leanan on 08/09/06 at 10:02 AM EDT]

When Oilmen Turn Sour on Crude

Bringing down Energy City, from within: Former oilman Jeffrey Brown and activist Nan Hildreth have been spreading the Peak Oil message. They're part of a Peak Oil mini-conference this Sunday in Houston.

Rebels blow up third Pakistani pipeline in a week

Tracing the trail of the NYRI high voltage power line

BP readies oil tanker spree after Alaska outage

Poll: High gas prices lower driving time

Worries rise over pipeline reliability

We're saved! Russian Researchers Say Rains Boost Oil Reserves

A group of Russian scientists at the oil and gas research institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, led by Azary Barenbaum, have come up with a new explanation of the nature of oil and gas formation. They argue that huge reserves of hydrocarbons may take only decades to be formed, not millions of years, as earlier believed.

[Update by Leanan on 08/09/06 at 12:06 PM EDT]

According to the EIA's Weekly Petroleum Inventory Report, crude oil, gasoline and distillates all fell more than expected.

We're saved, part 2: Wal-Mart wants to sell ethanol

has natural gas in the USA peaked?
I'm in oil and gas exploration and I don't think that natural gas has peaked. But I'm not a cornucopian, and I feel that it is very unlikely that we can replace oil or coal with increased natural gas production. But it should be a significant help, one of the silver BB's.
  Higher prices make gas at deeper depths economic, as well as gas from "unconventional" sources. But, its not cheap.
Conventional gas has peaked in US. Total gas has been approx flat for years. Nat. gas outlook 2006
Shipping half of the GoM off-shore rigs to the Saudi part of the Persian Gulf will not help future US NG production.

The lost rigs may tip the balance on future domestic US NG production.  Either to a steeper decline (my guess) or the delta between a flat to slightly rising production vs. modest declines.

That is very odd. Why need off-shore rigs if you have 2 mbd of Daniel-Yergin-spare-capacity? And if you insist like the Saudi's do that you have no production problems? Land based production, that is.

I think it was discussed before on TOD but this is a clear indication of where SA production stands now.

Most of the rigs that are being moved to Saudi are rigs for shallow Gulf waters, which have been pretty well explored. Our illustrious government has just opened the deep waters in most of the GOM to exploration, and the Gulf is prone to gas production. There are not enough drill ships to handle that acreage and the lease sales are just beginning.So once again I will get to operate my perfect 20/20 hindsight in five years or so, but I think prospects of increased production are pretty good.
US Natural Gas production peaked in 1973 and reached a secondary but lower peak in 2001.


This is the monthly figures but change to "Annual" then click under "view history" for either "Gross Withdrawls" or "Dry Production" for yearly totals. Both are way past peak.

Its hard to draw conclusions about a peak just from production data. There is very little storage of gas and it is all consumed domesticially.Also, gas wells typicially have a 75% decline rate after their first year, so production is pretty much what producer's can sell and reflects the prior couple of years drilling decisions together with demand which can vary with switching to different fuels in power plants..
  Right now we are in a drilling renaisance in natural gas domesticially. The practical economic production depth has expanded to about 20,000 ft. from the 12,000 ft. of 20 years ago, and we can now drill high temperature reservoirs. In addition non-conventional gas has become economic. With "bright spot" 3D seismic the economics have changed
  I respectfully think the jury is still out on a natural gas peak timing. This doesn't mean I think that it is limitless, I just think we may not be at peak yet.
Production per well has fallen since 1999.
The US Army Corps of Engineers seems to think that the US natural gas peak has come and gone.  Their published report from several months back stated as much.
ASPO Newsletter 68 (August 2006) is now available:


Articles in this newsletter:

  1. When will they ever learn ?
  2. People Eat {dhtmled1:Newsletter68.pdf}
  3. Country Assessment Series - United Kingdom revisited
  4. Regional Assessment- AFRICA
  5. Ireland begins to formulate a post-Peak Energy Policy
  6. Brilliant Australian Peak Oil Programme
  7. Nomenclature
  8. ASPO International Conference
I noticed a change in the estimated production table:

Newsletter 67:

           2005 2010 2015 2020 2050 Total Peak Date
Gas Liquid 6.9  12   13   14   11    276   2035

URR= 2450 Gb, Peak date= 2010

Newsletter 68:

           2005 2010 2015 2020 2050 Total Peak Date
Gas Liquid 6.9  12   13   14   11    354   2035

URR= 2500 Gb, Peak date= 2010

The rounding value goes from 2 in newsletter 67 to -25 in newsletter 68! no explanatations are given.

My sense is that Colin Campbell does not have as good a handle on gas liquids as he does on crude oil. BTW, I don't have any better idea about gas liquids. The gas liquids numbers in the newsletter have flopped around a fair amount over the past few years, without much in the way of explanation.

Given the amount of stranded gas out there, and the various economics regarding recovering it and, possibly, converting it into diesel via FT process, the gas liquids number is always going to be subject to WAG's, until the technology settles down a bit.

Note that the NGL numbers however make no meaningful difference in the timing of the peak or the shape of hte slope.

I don't understand the rounding value, by definition it should be around +/-1, why -25? it should not be called "rounding value" but "number added to get the URR we want"!
Maybe the rounding number is "one-third of the increase in NGL's," or "approximately one standard deviation for our WAG on NGL's." I know Colin Campbell is trying to be helpful by including gas in his chart and calculations, but I think it is misleading-- we simply can't chart gas the same way we chart oil.

Who knows what amount of gas was flared in the past? A Hubbert linearization doesn't work for gas, and won't, imho, until we are about one-third of the way down the slope for gas.  There is not the same time lag between discovery and production, or the same depletion rates. Just take the gas out of the chart, already, and go back to crude.

What does work for gas?
Adding all the numbers is that column gives me 2525 Gb. I assume by rounding this number off he is acknowledging that his estimates should not be considered accurate to more than two significant figures.
Hi Khebab, just noted the same thing. Colin Campbell uses rounding in all tables I have, he just does it to get a round number for URR (2500 instead of 2525 in this case).

Although this doesn't favor much his work, one must acknowledge that the increase in NGL will not change the peak date, which is now set by the peak in the Southern Atlantic Offshore.

Also it is interesting to note that this new date of 2010 is much more close to those of his peers like Skebrowski or Laherrère.

The recent HydroPower conference in Portland has been quite productive in leads or starts on ideas that are relevant to PO and/or GW. Just to report, and show that one person with "good ideas" can have some impact.

People ARE looking for solutions to an ill-defined "problem".

1) I talked a utility executive (in charge of development) to join with 3 other utilities and jointly offer electrification to a large railroad for a ~1,500 mile section of line.  The utilites would be willing to do this on a turn-key basis; or just sell power at the wire to the RR loco from utility owned system.

I HOPE that the first railroad electrification will start many more up in a cascade.

2) Talked two senior engineers at Landsvirkjun to look seriously into a HV DC line to Scotland (old plans exist).  The UK will have serious problems starting in 2012/14 and Iceland could sell renewable electricity "at a good price" in competition with LNG imports.  Perhaps average 1 GW.

The French see the same problem and are building an unneeded (by France) 1.6 GW nuke 50 km from England.

  1. Possibly matched a surplus high head powerplant equipment with a plant in Zambia that wants to expand.  Also, suggested privatizing RR from Zambia to Tanzania with the condition that it be electrified.  Transfer large truck movements to rail.  RR ends at large copper mines.  The Zambian claimed to have ear of the President (democratically elected).   20% of Zambia has electricity.

  2. Several leads for Chile, which is in a MAD rush for renewables.  They are burning oil today for electricity due to shortfalls in Argentine NG deliveries and are planning for zero NG deliveries in 2 or 3 years.  30% to 40% of their electricity (depends on how wet a year) comes from NG.

Landsvirkjun plans to send a team to look at 60 prospects already defind by gov't.  I told Chile that some wind turbines might be available from India (they are having trouble finding any for delivery before late 2008).

5) I meet with local Streetcar President in Portland and was invited to join a new national group he was forming.  Portland is planning for major streetcar expansion on both sides of the river as well as a new Green Line Light Rail opening in late 2009 and a commuter rail line.

Also meet with Portland TODer and a local consultant.

All in all, an extraordinary 11 days !


Unfortunately, its not easy to electrify US railroads due to the use of double stack container operation. Clearance under bridges and tunnels is very limited and installing catenary would be very expensive. On the other hand, double stack containers are very economically hauled even with diesel locomotives.

I am originally from India and help manage a comprehensive web site about Indian Railways: http://www.irfca.org.

I know that India is frequently mentioned in the context of  rapidly increasing energy demand but it should be noted that  India has been electrifying its railways at a furious pace over the past few years. See http://www.irfca.org/docs/electrification-history.html for more information. At this point most trunk lines are fully electrified.

Per consultant dinner last night; a rule of thumb is a bit over $2 million/mile for single track electrification and $2.5 million/mile for double track electrification.

This is for "simple" installations.

I actually cannot belive those numbers. 2 million a mile? Somehow, a few tons of copper and a bunch of metal towers costs 2 million? How can that be right?

Digging holes for the concrete, and the concrete itself, to hold the towers is expensive.

And a mile is quite a bit of metal once you start walking it by foot.

Sill, that almost $3,800 per foot of track! how close together are the towers?
Straight line track, about 130' spacing between towers.

Copper contact wire is usually suspended by carrier wire (steel and/or aluminum) with catenary support wires (like suspension bridge).

Straight trolley wire requires 100'/30 m spacing.

dont' forget labor costs
Labor to install, transformers and feeders, more complex work around switches and turnouts, etc.  All conducted in mostly remote locations.

Yes, that is about right (perhaps add a few hundred thousands with recent copper price increases).

That's actually not too bad. Interstate construction where I am costs about $1.5 million per mile.
Way low on the costs.  Often highway construction costs are quoted in dollars from the year it was constructed.  According to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, it would cost on average $10 million per lane mile (meaning, $40,000,000/mile for the most basic two lanes in each direction interstate) to rebuild the interstate system.
A few months or weeks ago folks on here talked about the proposed NAFTA superhighway from Mexico to Canada.  I have seen a lot of press in the local news sheets about it.  One thing I wonder if the group pushing it really understands the cost of something this large is going to be if new roads have to be built at anywhere near the costs you state for a mile of 4 lane highway.

Right when the oil prices start ticking up someone wants to build more highway.  Why do they need a highway, and not just build a 2 to 3 track railway and forgo the trucks?

I have not searched out anything new about it, just wanted to point out, someone has to pay for any road building, and it usually is us.

You pay for highways with your tax dollars at the pump. I think it's just short of a hundred billion dollars a year. If you were a government, would you like to repair highways that need to be rebuilt because they are sixty years old and at the end of their design life, or would you like to build new highways that would increase the value of land someplace where you or your friends have previously bought it and let the next administration repair the old highways?

As part of a railroad electrification transition have you considered a 'plug-in hybrid' style locomotive?  The concept I was thinking would be basically a Prius style drive system (diesel), with the ability to run on the electric line where available, but having the diesel for areas of interruption.  This could be used as a transition locomotive.


Mixed use has happened many times around the world (for example on the Trans-Siberian as they were electrifying it).  AFAIK, the universal solution is to have seperate electric locos although mixed use locomotives are certainly possible.

If there is a short diesel gap between electrification, the electric locos would be hauled along.  Longer gaps and they would decouple and couple the appropriate locos to match what is coming up.

In switch yards there is the Green Goat and talk of other hybrid technologies.

Rail electrification is NOT some new technology but a century old technology with vast experience under a wide variety of conditions.

You should look at RailPower's products
While you are "on a roll" I would really like you to contact Kevin Scheiffer, head of the DM&E Railroad about electrication.
As a land owner along the DM&E tracks I was at one of the meetings concerning the rebuilding of the entire track (all to 1/4 mile 110# rail [if I remember correctly] from old 90# short rail) + extending into Powder River Basin in Wyoming to haul coal east to power plants.
I asked M. Schieffer if they had considered switching to electric traction from diesel-electric and he said they had considered it and it would be lower cost operation, but that it would be "inconvient to interface with non-electrified railroads" and therefore they would not be going with electric traction.
My initail reason back then (a few years ago) was mostly to reduce the level of carcinogenic diesel exhaust fumes from along the entire system. Now it also to ensure that they will still be running when oil gets very expensive and/or in short supply. They are talking about running 45 coal trains a day past my farm (and through all the local towns)
Both the City of Rochester Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic located there are still fighting the expansion project (and slowly losing), but one thing that the DM&E could do to reduce the problems of the 45 trains a day going through Rochester right near the Mayo Clinic would be to promise to go all electric. This would eliminate the diesel exhaust problems and it would also eliminate most of the vibration generated by the train. (I can currently tell when the trains are about 1 to 2 miles away from the sound and vibrations of the diesel engines).
I even went to the expense and trouble to send him copies of both of Mr. Deffeyes books and also Mr. Simmons book. I recommended that he contact Mr. Simmons as the DM&E is trying to coral enough investors to cover the cost of the major renovation and expansion of the Railroad.
I (and all the people living within about 1 to 3 miles of the DM&E tracks) would be most appreciative for any help you or anyone can supply to get DM&E to electrify when they rebuild their entire trackage.
UPRR just announced record coal shipments in the first half 2006.  Based on demand and capacity, UPRR sees this as going no where but up and coal wasn't even on the RR's priority lists just 5-7 yrs ago.  

I think it's clear that as econ teaches, producers will adopt the least costly alternative.  Since most of the harmful effects of coal are exernalized & borne upon society to shoulder the long term costs, coal will dominate our future energy.  We are stepping back...hopefully we take those two steps forward again.

Jason, there is no doubt that the war in Iraq is fantastically expensive. And how can you put a price on the national shame of torture, robbery, rape and murder committed by the government in our names?
   But that still doesn't make ethanol cheap or practical.
Yes that is correct oilmanbob, it might not make ethanol cheap or practical but if you asked all the "what ifs" if we didn't have to enter this war and rather spend the billions on things more applicable...by the way have any of you seen the "911 Cover-up Video", pretty convincing...http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5946593973848835726
I didn't see the video (1 hr 21 min.). No sound on this PC either. I would like to dismiss all the conspiracy about 911 and don't want to sound like AngryChimp. I don't buy the "no plane at the Pentagon" BS (numerous eyewitnesses) and other hoaxes.

There is one small, minor thing I would like to see cleared.

Bush was reading about goats at Booker Elementary that morning. This visit was made public 3 days in advance. At the time there were an unknown number of hijacked planes above the Eastern US. The president was not moved, stayed put, and if I'm correct addressed the press later from his location.

Why wasn't he moved immediately? He could/would/should have been a target, ain't it? Then why wasn't he rushed out with an unknown number of hijacked planes in the air?

This is the dog that did not bark.

Just curious. Anyone?

That could be as simple as a second-string President being watched that day by second-string watchers.
In other words the "real" TPTB didn't care what happened to him? Disposable symbol?
many people have long since suggested that chenny has always been the real power in the white house and bush is just a figurehead that believes the same stuff he spews because it makes it look better on camera when he says it.
Just a guess but moving the Prez around is a big undertaking involving lots of folks, for example if they were going to move him by road they need to clear the roads for his motorcade, if by air then they need to close the local airspace. All this takes time, as does any change in the preset contingencies. Given that the school had been "secured" unless they thought a plane was heading for the school as well keeping him in place until they had set up a move plan probably seemed like the safe option, but indeed it did make him look like a... Oppps, sorry too late, that cats allready out of the bag.

Anyway it did not surprise me

A certain amount of airspace around the prez is always watched by an AWAC.

Also, even though the level of threat was unknown, the persons piloting the planes were relatively inexperienced could they find an elementry school.

Also, no one had ever planned for this scenario, that is why it was so succesful.  The guys who protect/move the president probably were back on their heels.  We lost the initiative that tues morning at all levels.  Armed fighter pilots in the air were seeking enemy fighters for awhile.

I do not think anyone is clever enough to pull of a conspiracy of this level.  Someone would talk.

then can you please explain how many of the people on the government list of 9-11 hijackers turned up later alive and well? these people were supposed to die in the planes according to the official government story?
no government elected or otherwise EVER tells it's people the truth about anything they do. if they did there will be HUGE outrage by many people on just about everything they do.

as a side note you do seem to be Cherry picking. you believe word for word what happened according to the government yet you do not take their word for say oil supply?

at the very very least there has to be some cover up on the building of the towers, it's a federal REQUIRMENT that all sky scrappers have to be built to withstand such hits by airliners(full of fuel no extra explosives) and stay standing. because if someone in the company that built the towers cut corners then there needs to be a investigation of all the other buildings they built.

Watching the discovery channel a few months ago they discussed this.  The biggest airliner at the time the plans were approved was a 707...  That was the "benchmark"
Newer larger jetliners are also built much lighter and more fuel-efficient. No real difference in the hit taken by a building that gets in the way.
so then we are back to where we started. unless the builders skimped on the construction they should of not collapsed due to just the airplanes hitting them.
The towers were each designed to be able to absorb TWO airliner impacts of the largest commercial jets at the time. They did in fact absorb them so well, then after the pissant not-hot-enough-to-do-shit fires petered out, people could be seen poking out of the giant holes in the sides of the buildings. Then the charges were set off and you can see clearly on the video the cascade of pops out the side as the concrete was pulverized throuh explosives into a pyroclastic flow and the mass of material falling at near free fall speeds. Also building 7, which was not hit by a plane at all, collapsed in a classic controlled demo fashion, inexplicably, that is until Silverstein himself admitted that particular bulding was "pulled". Clearly a controlled demo, which forces very scary conclusions, the only logical one being an inside job. Also of note, no steel building in the history of steel buildings has collapsed from a fire, ever. The official gov't story is full of baloney. So who is responsible? I dont care to speculate, but it leaves me oh fairly hopeless about the whole world state of affairs that such lies are bought up by the masses.
You have balls. It's too bad you are a comedian. You are extremely funny.

If you had an actual serious point to make - numbers, photos, maybe a power-point presentation, a podium, and American flags(or at least a bookshelf) behind you would be appropriate.

The one paragraph, halfway down on an old thread on The Oil Drum of all places doesn't exactly cut it. But keep trying. Hone your skills. Practice. Maybe someday.

Although, at the rate your going, by the time anyone believes what you are saying...It won't matter. I'd suggest looking for a new hobby. But if this is what you like, then, by all means, stick with it.

For the record. I don't believe it. Try again. That was a horrible job. B-/C+. You have potential, though. Losing the Anonymoose tag might help a bit. If you were Chuck Somebody, people might care.

Next on American Conspiracy! We have...

[Kaiser:] ...you believe word for word what happened according to the government yet you do not take their word for say oil supply?

[Anonymoose:] ... it leaves me oh fairly hopeless about the whole world state of affairs that such lies are bought up by the masses.

The bottom line, I guess, is that we humans do want to buy up lies ... especially the one about living forever ... or at least living happily ever after.

Each topic is very complex, be it Peak Oil (PO), or Global Warming/Dimming (GW/D) or Abrupt Climate Change (ACC) or the unexplained collapse of tower number 7 (WTC7).

With PO, it's relatively simple because the MSM explanation that we will not see a decline in oil production rates for decades to come, and we will live happily ever after, is just wholly implausible.

Similarly, the MSM explanation that we will not see a melting of the polar ice caps for decades to come, is beyond implausible, especially when we see the melting glaciers and the drowning polar bears now.

However, with WTC7 thing and the rest of the 9/11 story, it seems at first blush that the government story is more plausible than the 9/11-truth seekers story. So it becomes very confusing to try and sort things out --with the nagging question running in the background of: What can I as an individual do about it?

Maybe that is the same nagging question that runs through the minds of PO deniers or PO agnostics?

I won't believe most of the conspiracy theories about 9/11. I won't believe the government conducted the attack, or brought down the towers with explosives after the plane hit.

I will, however, believe that they may have known about the attack and let it happen in order to give them another excuse to invade the Middle East. They've known about PO and its associated problems for a while now, and the need to control Middle East oil supplies to guarnatee national security is obvious.

I suspect the President wasn't moved because all of the hijacked planes were in the Northeast, and he was in Florida that day.

The probability that the POTUS knew about 9/11 in advance is about >0.00001. Let's face it, he doesn't seem to know too much about anything other than maybe the Texas Rangers. At that level there is so much information coming in that filtering it must be overwhelming. There is no evidence that suggests that they knew the specifics of 9/11.

OTOH, there is evidence that Gulf War II was a "go" well before 9/11. And that did have much to do about the estimated 110 billion barrels of black stuff. What was once seen as maybe the cheapest oil on the planet has now become the world's most costly oil.

I haven't made up my mind on this, but it certainly does happen -- Putin gained power in Russia after some government engineered attacks blew up apt buildings in Moscow and greased the skids for a war in Chechnya.


The Bologna train station bombing in the early '80s also had complicity of government elements.

But there is no ambiguity about 9/11. We know who the hijackers were. We know which planes were taken and who the passengers were. Remains of the planes were recovered from NY, PA, and the Pentagon. Additionally DNA evidence was collected from the sites.

We have the cell calls of the passengers (some have said that cell phones don't work from aircraft, which is not true). Can we believe that all those calls were staged?

Speculation was that the WTC towers collapsed as the result of controlled demolitions. I doubt that you will find a qualified structural engineer that would agree with that.

There have been claims that the hole in the Pentagon was too small for a passenger jet. The actual diameter was 90 feet. There was little wing damage to the Pentagon for the obvious reason that the wings have very little mass and the exterior walls were reeforced concrete.

Hey, but I gotta tell ya that I haven't seen this film (unless it was the one I saw a couple of years ago).

There have been many pancake steel frame building collapses. All but three of them were demolition jobs where they wanted to minimize damage to surrounding areas. The three that weren't demolition jobs all collapsed on 9/11.
There have been many steel frame building fires. Only three have had pancake collapses. All three were on 9/11.
This is statistics. It could be a million to one coincidence, or there could be a reason. Maybe the cement was substandard, or the steel reinforcement was actually painted paper mache, or some other reason. No, the steel was real. We recovered it from the debris pile and shipped it to China as scrap. Must have been the cement.
OK, maybe three meteor strikes at the same location at three different times? A million Iranian terrorists all jumped off chairs onto floors in a precisely staged maneuver to send reinforcing shock waves through the earth to NYC focussed on the buildings?
Demolitioned buildings collapse from the ground floor up. The ground floors go first then the rest of the building collapsed down upon the rubble at the bottom. The Twin Towers collapsed from the point of impact down. The tops of the buildings collapsed down, crushing the areas burnt by the jet fuel. Then the next floor went, then the next floor and so on.

That should settle it. End of story. The idea that a controlled explosion is just truly absurd. But conspiracy nutters never use common sense. A conspiracy has to cause all major catastrophic events. The evil-doers in Washington, they think, are responsible for any and all evil that happens anywhere in the world. They are true believers.

I know, I know, I said conspiracy theory nutters should be ignored, not argued with. But consider this a psychological observation into the nature of the true believer, not an argument. ;-)

It is the true believer's ability to "shut his eyes and stop his ears" to the facts that do not deserve to be either seen or heard which is the source of his unequaled fortitude and constancy. He cannot be frightened by danger nor disheartened by obstacle nor baffled by contradictions because he denies their existence.
     Eric Hoffer: The True Believer.
Your post on demolition project buildings collapsing from the first story down was both interesting and for all I know true. But the official story is that they were fires, not demolition jobs. So if you would like to reply to what I posted?
So why did these three, not two, but three, burning steel frame buildings, unlike any other burning steel frame buildings in the history of the world, pancake?

I no longer assume that Bush Jr. is smart enough not to do something that stupid.

Of course it was fires and not a demolition job. That was the point of my post. There was no demolition. The upper floors collapsed because the fire weakened the stories below them where the planes crashed. This caused the building to pancake from the point of impact down.

Building 7 collapsed because 40,000 gallons of diesel was stored in the building and caught fire. The fire weakened the girters, causing them to bend, then collapse. There has never been a building in history that caught fire with 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel in it. That is why only that one has collapsed. The Twin Towers had the jet fuel burning. Burning jet fuel heats the girters much hotter than the building material burning could heat it.

But hell, why would I have to explain this. The very fact that the buildings collapsed from the point of impact proves the case. Case made, case closed. Anyone who cannot understand that has my pity.

fuck you
if you're gonna eat what ever your feed maybe posting at the gerber's site would be more appropriate.
if it doesn't eyeball right it aint right,  
anyone who can't understand that has my pity
I don't need your pity I need you to pull your head out of your ass
and for a future reference keep this kinda bs on a 911 site there's no need for it here
The explanations put forth by the conspiracy theorists are orders of magnitude more ridiculous than the official explanation of what happened.  The idea that there were controlled explosions that brought down the WTC are beyond absrud.  How did the explosives survive the impacts of the planes?  If they weren't there to begin with, when exactly did the demolitions exports rush them in so they could level the building?  If you say the explosives were on another level right below the impact, do you really think it's that easy to count floors as you're flying in on a plane?  
"The idea that there were controlled explosions that brought down the WTC are beyond absrud."  
I have real concern with this statement but I just don't think any real energy needs to be spent debating the issue here.
"The explanations put forth by the conspiracy theorists are orders of magnitude more ridiculous than the official explanation of what happened"
if you'd like to create a divide between yourself and others ( you peak oil freak) use the word conspiracy. I'm just trying to understand this fucked up world and perhaps give my six year old son some sort of grasp on the situation. (NO I'm not teaching him that BCR blew up the wtc)
again I don't think it's appropriate here
I see you as low hanging fruit. and you undoubtedly see me as an idiot.  fair enough. let's leave it at that.
but as I've said before  their are about 6.5 billion realities on this planet let's keep that in mind
Chill. No reason to get angry. He's just wrong, not evil. Hey, up until they gave our ports to that Arab company I figured even Bush wasn't stupid or treasonous enough to blow up those banking buildings, that his brother being in charge of the security guard's company was just a coincidence, that it happening just when the result of the Florida recount was released was a coincidence, that one of his daddy's consulting company's (Carlyle group) biggest competitors (Cantor Fitzgerald) being a principal tennant was a coincidence, and that the SEC files were in the basement was just a coincidence.
So I have made the move from coincidence theorist to conspiracy theorist a little before him and a little after you. Not different from him or you, just a little earlier and a little later.
40,000 gallons of diesel or jet fuel is equivalent to 320,000 pounds of paper. Make that 480,000 pounds because the paper has some clay by weight. Or about 240 tons, or about 240 cubic yards. That's about as much paper, let alone other flamable materials, as on any floor in any skyscraper fire that has happened before.
Think with words instead of feelings.
So why did these three, not two, but three, burning steel frame buildings, unlike any other burning steel frame buildings in the history of the world, pancake?

Gee, I'm young but I can't recall any stories of fully fueled 747's slamming into buildings at over 300 mph.  Its asinine to totally disregard the Raw explosive energy expelled at impact.  After the initial explosion fire cooked the steel and everything else it could consume.  The stories above were literally cooked like in an oven.  

If you believe that the US gov't blew it up then it's logical to assume you think the gov't actively used the highjackers as cover.  The highjackers were the bombs that were detonated, so why would the gov't help when the hijackers were doing all the work already?

There are no available facts to substantiate a controlled destruction other than, "it couldnt be this or that."

Lastly I do find it interesting that the Pentagon side that was struck was the ONLY side that was JUST RECENTLY reinforced to handle an attack.  The other four sides were far weaker and would have caused more damage.  

The towers were designed to withstand jetliner impacts, two each in fact. Diesel fires cannot melt steel, or even significantly weaken it. Molten steel was observed running out the side of the buildings prior to collapse (not molten aluminum which cannot glow red), pyroclastic flow of pulverized concrete is only created by explosive action, the explosions can be observed running down the side of the building at near freefal speeds as the debris above falls. Access to recovered steel for independent analysis was blocked. A small sample that was recovered showed evidence of thermate reaction (initial structural weakening).

Too many unanswered questions. Too many problems with the official story. Dig deeper, WTC7 is the smoking gun. Is it possible that whoever was responsible for actually bringing the towers down had foreknowledge of the aircraft impacts? It has to be so, unless of course you believe the official story.

A confined kerosene fire can weaken and even melt steel (why else are ALL interior steel I-beams coated with insulation ?)

You just have your facts wrong.

"just" has his facts wrong? Hahaha.

Alan, I'm a long time reader of this site. I go back before your time.  I also have a huge amount of respect for you.So I will attempt to spread some "wisdom."

Don't bother. Don't get upset. Just run with it. Have fun. Play.

I used to try to argue. But I got religion.

The Twin Towers/Bldg 7 thing comes up about once a month here. I didn't know shit about structural engineering before 9/11. Now I'm an expert.

This is the case with many other Americans these days. Being a Boston native, I can tell you, Bostonians for the most part are extremely capable of commenting on the Big Dig. We know how much a steel bolt can hold. Or whether(that's whether, not weather, Fleam) or not epoxy should actually be applied in every bore-hole as the blue-prints specify. This comes from a history of cement landing on our head. Much knowledge has been gained from incidents in New York and New Orleans as well.

Don't get angry. Just sit back and judge. Personally, I'm looking for much more specific data from Anonymoose. Semi-entertaining.

I'm pretty sure that several of the reported hijackers were alive and well after 9/11.   Probably victims of identity theft, but we don't know who all of them actually were.
You could be right. I'll ask Elvis :)
I'm having a good alternative-energy week...

About five years ago, when I had money, I ordered a 30 square meter photovoltaic system for my roof. Up and running about two years later (various government and Euro-subsidies, endless bureaucracy).

I applied for a contract with the French state monopoly, EDF, to buy my juice (I'm not an off-the-grid dropout, I just want to contribute what I can to keep civilization running). I didn't like their contract a bit, in fact it would have cost me further monies (which I no longer had by that stage) to upgrade my household electrics to the level where they would condescend to buy my production.

They were offering about 15 euro-cents a kwh for a 20 year contract. I vaguely thought : if I wait a bit, they will lose their monopoly and I can sell it for a better price to some German outfit.

So I let it rot... and I have in fact been injecting electricity into the national grid for about 2 and a half years, for free. Gimme a chocolate medal, somebody.

Now it turns out that the French guvvermint in their infinite wisdom haved upped their offer to 55 euro-cents a kwh...

So, by giving away the power for a couple of years, I can now sign up at a price that will pay back my installation in about 5 years, instead of the original projection of about 15.

France is now, finally, offering about the same purchase price for solar electricity as Germany. Let a million panels bloom.

Alistair I'm in a boat similar to yours. I have Alt E equipment sitting idle for now because the local utility will not pay a fair price for any electricity I put on the grid, and because the local politicians build Walls of Red Tape into their Zoning Rulez (McNeighborhoodz-R-Us extend into the rural countryside where I live).

Apparently most loco locals are more worried about wind turbines killing birds than they are worried about energy supplies or costs...

Blissfully ignorant, fat and happy for now, the "meek and obediant follow their leaderz down well trodden corridors into the Valley of Steel... " (thank you Mr. Pinkest of Floydz).

The same story everywhere. Yes, wind power had some problems in the early days, but those have been pretty much solved.

Of course, utilities are not happy about all the wind and solar electricity entering their grid. It makes planning more difficult for them.

There is no progress unless the government forces utilities to connect renewable energy to the grid for a fair price, no matter what. In terms of scaling up renewables, the German concept seems to be the most successful.

Million Solar Roofs Bill Passed Unanimously by Senate Committee

There is a lot of politicing on this one, not sure where it will end up ...

"The Public Utilities Commission does not have legal authority over the municipal utilities..."

That's the problem for my area - municipal utilities run by civil servants whose main goal is to keep their chairs warm and to continue collecting their paychecks.  

Right now the only alternative is to wait until the locals pull their heads from their least clean orifice (or from the sand), or to buy land in an area outside my municipal (but then there are still the local zoning rulez to contend with...).

Local poliTICs are fascinating - right now my Locals are planning for another White Elephant School that will last 50 years and require bussing childrens from all over the county.  No Brains, no headaches I guess.

I am a bit confused about who is responsible for what in the US. Probably, it's not that different in Germany.

But, luckily, energy policy is a national matter, so the federal government could pass the "law on the priority of renewable energies". The law that first forced utilities to connect renewables to the grid no matter what was passed already in 1991, by the way.

Siggi :

I have a friend who is a photographer specialising in alternative energies, he recently spent a lot of time taking pictures of bioclimatic, solar-panelled housing in Freiburg (you know, there are two sorts of Germans : those that live in Freiburg, and those that wish they did...)

And we were talking last week about his plans for building a small, energy-efficient house. He said, no solar panels, we'll add them later when we have more money...

I've got a feeling he'll be revising those plans now!

He can even get a loan with a low interest rate from the "Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW)", meaning you don't need any capital. He can also register himself as a business man at the tax office in order to get a VAT identification number. Then, all costs related to the photovoltaic equipment will be VAT-free.
Of course, utilities are not happy about all the wind and solar electricity entering their grid. It makes planning more difficult for them.

Two of my local municipal utilities are not even sure they are going to get even ONE bid from a wholesaler.  I think they will be getting their knee pads out pretty soon if you know what I mean ;)

assholes are not good places to stick your head when TimezUp.

Wow! just how much in U.S. cents is this per kwh
and how much do you have to pay retail per kwh
consumption? I pay 21 cents per kwh in Texas.
In Germany, you get about 0,71$ per kwh PV for 20 years. The retail price is 0,2$ per kwh, including all taxes (electricity tax and VAT).

1€ (euro) = $1.28 US right now, so that 55c they will be paying me per kwh is about 70c US.

The new contract proposes to buy all I produce (unlike the old one, where they only bought the surplus after self-consumption). I buy power back from them at a much cheaper rate... (actually six different prices : day/night, normal/cold/very cold day.) Ranges from 5c to 50c a kwh, averages around 8c. I could get flat-rate power for 13c, but I prefer to consume off-peak as much as possible.

So, assuming (from memory) that I'm producing about 2500 kwh per year, and consuming about the same, and including the powerco's fixed subscription charge :

I should be spending about 350 euros ($450) a year, and earning about 1350 ($1730), on a zero-sum electricity game...

Not bad for what was originally a quixotic gesture.

But I feel awful for the pioneers who are tied to 20 year contracts at the old rates.

You're going to make out like a bandit!  Now my question is...where are they getting the money to pay you?  If everyone got a system and sold back to the grid at those rates they'd be losing money hand over fist, so where does it come from?
The utility has to pay it. They, of course, make their customers pay. In 2005, 2.4 billion Euros were paid to owners of renewable power generation in Germany, that is 0,0044€/kwh.

You should know that there is a EU directive stating that by 2010 12% of the energy consumed in a member country has to be renewable, 20% by 2020.

The utility has to pay it. They, of course, make their customers pay. In 2005, 2.4 billion Euros were paid to owners of renewable power generation in Germany, that is 0,0044€/kwh. On the other hand, the utilities avoided C02 emission certificates worth 1 billion Euros.

You should know that there is a EU directive stating that by 2010 12% of the energy consumed in a member country has to be renewable, 20% by 2020.

I have a stupid question that I have asked here
before but was never answered. How can you be paid
or pay for electricity at more than one rate in
a month? My meter only registers only total usage.
I read on this site all the time about people using
power at night or other off peak periods in order
to get a cheaper rate but my meter doesn't know
when during the month I used the power.
There are meters that can count your consumption during night and during daytime. That makes sense when you have a huge consumption during the night. Night electrity is about 0,13$ cheaper. However, the metre is much more expensive, and at least in Germany, the meter belong to the utility, and you have to pay a monthly fee for it.
We've had a time of use (TOU) meter for a long time.  Our rates vary by the time of day and day of the week.  Our highest rates are noon to 6PM weekdays.  Check with your local utility to see if they offer them.
You sure have it better than I do in CA.  Here, there is some assinine balance system, whereby we pay for however many kWhs we need if we don't produce enough, meanwhile if we produce more than we use our utility just keeps it for free.  And no matter what, even if we produce more than we use, we have to pay $5 a month minimum fee.  

In a bizarre quirk, power we actually pay for can be offset by power we generate, but the minimum fee cannot.  So, there's actually some incentive to be a net power producer for fewer months.  We're paying for the priviledge of giving the utility free power and I think it sucks.  One of the Democratic candidates for governor wanted to change this, but he lost in the primary.  I have no idea whether anyone will make any changes about this now.  

I hear that. I only installed a large enuf PV to hopefully break even. I ain't gonna give welfare payments to PGE.
 I thought about getting peak metering, but why bother? It's an extra 100-200 bucks, and the best I can do is still...break even. If California ever gets back to paying for xs power, I may change meters. I work nights, so it would be perfect. Asleep during peak hours, using my job's electricity at night :>) And, if they pay,( or when TSHTF), I might plug in my seasonal creek. Just not worth it right now.

The $5 is for being connected to the grid. The alternative is to buy a battery system and get off the grid completely. Pretty expensive way to save $5 a month.


If inflation increases, you are also going to be tied to a twenty year contract. Don't do business with people that dislike you. Like your power company management.
The Samson Option
Is Hezbollah on the verge of destroying Lebanon?
By Michael Young
Posted Monday, Aug. 7, 2006

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2147260/

Later this week, the U.N. Security Council will probably vote on a draft resolution dealing with the war in Lebanon. The document is not likely to end the fighting, but it might prove a major step in that direction. But the more troublesome long-term question for many Lebanese is the future of Hezbollah if it insists on remaining armed. Their country lies precariously poised on a tightrope, and it's the party that holds the balancing pole.

Much has been made of what would constitute a Hezbollah victory in the current conflict. If the party survives as an effective military force, some have argued, it will claim victory and transform this into political gains once the fighting stops. The argument has validity, but its implications may be far worse given the proliferating problems that will overcome Hezbollah in a postwar Lebanon--not least the massive human catastrophe the party will have to address when it again puts on its bonnet as a distributor of social patronage to its Shiite brethren.
By any measure, Hezbollah is facing a trial of tremendous seriousness. It may now be benefiting from Israeli indecision in the land war--the party can still fire rockets across the southern border--but it has also had to watch the dismantling of the painfully constructed edifice that once bolstered its domestic legitimacy. To play down this essentially political setback, Hezbollah has narrowly highlighted its tactical military successes. Down the road, however, it may try to regain the initiative through a full-fledged coup against the Lebanese system.

Take Hezbollah's missile capability. In May, Iranian Revolutionary Guards Rear Adm. Muhammad-Ebrahim Dehqani declared, "We have announced that wherever America does something evil, the first place that we target will be Israel." While he did not mention Hezbollah, it was plain that retaliation for an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, for instance, would at least partly come from Lebanon. Last week, Iran's former interior minister, Ali Akbar Mohtashemi Pour, who helped create Hezbollah, told an Iranian newspaper that Tehran had supplied the party with long-range Zelzal-2 missiles. These were not intended to defend Lebanon but rather to place Iran's military deterrent at Israel's doorstep.

While Hezbollah still retains thousands of rockets, mostly shorter-range Katyushas, can it even consider using them in, let's say, the next decade? With nearly 1 million people estimated to be displaced, a majority of them Shiites, and with Lebanon facing an economic calamity from which it won't emerge for many years, could Hezbollah--or, more important, its base of followers--withstand the devastating impact of a new Israeli onslaught if the party were to assist its comrades in Tehran? That's doubtful.

And what of Hezbollah's anchors in Lebanese society? For over a decade, the armed group used its militancy against Israel, Syria's backing, intimidation, and Shiite support to protect its independence and prerogatives. This now lies in tatters. Much has been made of two polls recently released in Beirut, claiming that more than 80 percent of Lebanese citizens support Hezbollah's resistance against Israel. These results are simply not borne out by facts on the ground. Anecdotally, while there may be hostility to Israel in many quarters, there is no noticeable backing among Christians, Sunni Muslims, or Druze for what Hezbollah has done. If anything, hostility is being expressed with greater boldness.

More significant, in closed meetings, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has said his first priority--and fear--is to avoid the war's feeding sectarian strife. Officials won't express this openly, partly because Hezbollah is armed and mobilized, partly because the war continues. But such anxieties--and they permeate the political class--hardly speak to broad approval for the party. There has been solidarity with displaced Shiites, though aid workers tell me petty disputes between refugees of different sects are on the rise. Druze leader Walid Jumblatt has allowed Shiite refugees in his areas to put up Hezbollah flags and photographs of the party's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, mainly to reduce Shiite frustration and avoid clashes with the Druze. In other districts, particularly Christian ones, however, such flexibility is rarer.

Hezbollah's third test will be to rapidly alleviate the suffering in its own community and, therefore, avoid losing its base. The party still has substantial backing among its coreligionists, and it is not about to see this disappear. But soon the fate of the hundreds of thousands of Shiites now living in schools, tent cities, and even public parks will be an overriding concern for Nasrallah. Many have fled areas partly or wholly destroyed, to which they might not return for months or years. Once they do go back, Hezbollah will have to provide funding for reconstruction and rehabilitation that is likely to run into the billions of dollars. With the onset of winter, the party will have a monumental task to revive not only Shiite morale but confidence that Hezbollah can take care of its own.
The money will come. Iran and Hezbollah's Shiite finance networks in the Gulf will surely provide what is needed--they have to. But even the party's most optimistic interpretation of the current war--that it is a heroic achievement--will not spare it having to tiptoe very carefully through Shiite trauma.

And that is what is most potentially worrying. To detract attention away from its own responsibility for the war, Hezbollah may well choose to go on the offensive inside Lebanon, politically and even militarily. Instead of facing Shiite anger, it might opt to redirect it against those Lebanese who, many Shiites feel, failed to satisfactorily sustain the "resistance" in its existential struggle against Israel.

This is the essence of Lebanon's dilemma as the war nears its fourth week. Does Hezbollah agree to integrate itself into the Lebanese political system and disarm? Or does it exploit its substantial reserves of men and weapons to bring all of Lebanon forcibly into line with the party's priorities? The first means the end of Hezbollah as we know it and is a suicide option; the second could bring Lebanon down around everybody's head in renewed civil war. Call it Hezbollah's Samson option.

MICHAEL YOUNG is opinion editor at the Daily Star newspaper in Beirut and a contributing editor at Reason magazine.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2147260/

Oil CEO,

Interesting it did not note the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens of all religions.

I think a PR team needs to do more training.  An IDF officer interviewd for my US TV said he was there to defend the "Jewish" people.
That is correct, Jack. The writer seems to be based in Beirut. If I were to guess, his views are of an anti-Hezbollah, pro-Lebanon variety. I could be wrong. As the article was about Lebanon specifically I'm not too concerned with the omission. It seems that in the global media as a whole displaced Israelis get scant attention compared to Lebanese. Then again, the Israeli refugees will be better off when this whole thing ends. They will at least have homes to go back to.
On the whole I thought the article was balanced, but then what do I know, I tend to side with the Israelis. I wonder if you had a chance to read the article I posted yesterday about Israel and Iran?
Since Hizbollah will be swamped "once the war is over," that gives it huge disincentive to stop fighting. Since Israel is committed to Hizbollah's destruction, it is total war. In previous instances of total war, it is not at all uncommon to fight to the bitter end; and to tell you the truth, I'm not at all convinced Israel will win.

It is clear from the opening shots that Israel "shaped the battlefield" by destroying communications, power, etc. throughout central and southern Lebanon. Then they made the mistake of underestimating their enemy and not sending enough troops. Instead of the usual scene of guerrillas shooting over their shoulders as they retreat, or fighting hopeless, suicidally, they are fighting professionally as well as fanatically. As the NY Times reported in last weekend's Week IN review, "A Disciplined Hezbollah Surprises Israel With Its Training, Tactics and Weapons," (sorry, lost the link when I saved it) Israeli soldiers are being met not Banzai attacks with swords, but disciplied soldiers with wire guided anti tank missiles.

Since the soldiers on the offensive want to return home in one piece, while the defenders would just as soon die gloriously, we can bet that it will be a long war. Israel's offensive is going slowly, and in some places has stalled out in fierce fighting right at the border.

We would assume that Israel, since it is unified on this war, and has the US' backing, will eventually prevail. But Hizbollah has a great deal of strategic depth to which they can fall back, as well as enormous and growing support from the rest of the Arab world. Indeed, think of the psychological value: this is the first time Arabs have ever been able to stand up to the Israelis and fight for more than a few hours. The first time Ever.

My worry is that this war will merge with the war with Iraq, and turn into a major regional struggle, one I am not confident we will win; or can even imagine what "victory" would resemble.  

Yes, a nice long, drawn out conflict.  Which will then become the MSM explaination for oil shocks and crude prices... it actually fits nicely if you think about it a bit.
Unlike the Sunnis in Iraq, Hezbollah has modern weapons. Hussein did not dare allow his troops modern antitank weapons that can toast modern tanks because the tanks were what gave his troops the ability to put down revolts. Nor did Hussein allow his troops to have modern sniper rifles that can penetrate body armor because he was worried about being assassinated by a sniper a mile away, or through his armored car windows. Not those little LAWs that are only good for shooting up World War II level tanks and Hummers, not those low muzzle velocity AK47s that can't penetrate modern body armor. They can't buy them, either. They are not popular with any sophisticated weapons manufacturer.
But the sophisticated weapons manufacturers will sell modern weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Israel may still win. They are smarter and have much, much, more money, and access to our most sophisticated munitions. Don't count them out just because they are acting like children throwing a tantrum.
Israel has been underestimated before. They could just be building up databases on where fire is coming from so they can crush Hezbollah all at once by deploying large numbers of modern remotely guilded weapons and just going everywhere at once. Trading one robot for one jihadi is not a losing exchange.
Has anyone here been watching the new show on discovery channel about the most advanced weapons systems.  It's hosted by an ex navy seal or SF of some sort.  About 2 weeks before this blew up I saw the feature on the new assualt rifle that Isreal invented.  

It's bad ass.  Small and compact, built in red dot laser sight that creates an accuracy that is unprecadented.  It's designed for urban combat and street level operations.  It's more powerful than the M16 with little recoil.  It's scary how awesome this gun was.  At the end of the episode they said they had begun using them in certain units.  I suspect these are being built now at light speed.  Anyone see this episode?

Jim Burke,

Very good insight.

There are Israeli's prepared to die and they are dying. Don't sell that short, but yes, their are a lot on the other side who buy  into the 70+ virgins hype.

I would add that Israel mismanaged the start of this campaign by falling between two stools - i.e. not keeping it low key on the border OR knocking out Syria (which may still occur), and,

Israel has leadership issues in that the military is being run by an Air Force General, for the first time ever, and like in Kosovo, they want to solve problems with air power at 20,000 feet, and,

The political leadership of Israel is not an experienced bunch with a ton of military in their background.

Hey, and Hezbollah is well trained and well equipped by Iran. The bad guys get a vote too.

I always loved the quote from von Moltke the Elder, "The enemy has only three possible plans, and he will always choose the fourth."

The leadership is Israel is just acting stupidly.  Hezbollah has kidnapped people before and it has not provoked a full scale war.  Weird as it may sound, I doubt this would have happened if Ariel Sharon were still around.  The current bunch have just proven they don't have a clue what they are doing by unnecessarily escalating this situation.  
It appears "fairly" clear to me that Isreal was waiting for a pretext to "take out" Hezbollah.  I suspect that BSR + Condi were involved in the process before hand and saw this as a proxy war against Iran/another front on the War against Terror".

No real facts. just "straws in the wind".  The US gifted bunker busting bombs to Isreal, sequence of diplomatic efforts, etc.

Oil CEO,

I agree with you on this. I was just making an aside. The Los Angeles Israeli Consul was on radio here today and he pointed out that his University has had a professor blown up on the way to University, and a friend is in the hospital in Haifa, and I have not seen that on CNN.

Yes, I thought the Romancing Iran article so good that I printed it and will parts next time I go on radio.

I must say that my thinking about the Middle East is going through a fundamental change. I am re-examining my thinking based on a PRINCE OF THE MARSHES just out about Iraq and a ex-soldier who fought for the Druze in the Lebanon Civil War. Both think we should just stay out because of our ignorance on both sides of the Republican and Democratic Party equations.

The Druze officer said that you were dealing with two complex minds, the Jewish and Arabic minds, and throw in 3000 years+ of civilization (yes I know it goes back further than that, but not with the "modern" religious aspect).

Politically, since politics is the art of the possible, I would not want to be the President that stood up before Congress/the nation to say we had lost the Middle East and all its oil. He/she ain't getting re-elected anytime soon.

But Pat Buchanan is not the answer either.

Most all of us at TOD know where the energy answer lies, but again, the art of the possible is key.

"Like the overwhelming majority of Lebanese, I pray that no one puts an end to the Israeli attack before it finishes shattering the terrorists."


Going on an inspection tour of the bridges you own in Brooklyn soon?
It's more likely that you are wondering how your plans and prayers for certain British aircraft went awry today.

Better luck next time .... not.

The figurative bridges are not in Brooklyn. They connect Brooklyn and Manhattan, where I was born.

It seems Oil CEO is right that you can't seem to get beyond one snarky little sentence.

So it's never occurred to you people that what you write is too stupid to deserve a longer answer?
The answer is NO

No. If fact the whiff of that thought never even came anywhere near our stupid little brains.

Now Fuck Off - You Fucking Stupid Prick.

And if that isn't clear, ask one of the brilliant assholes you hang out with what it means.

Stay clear of any thread Jack, Step Back, or myself ever makes - ever again.

We have no need for your services.

And let Fleam know when you see him.

It has been hinted at, and joked about, and stated straight out, ad naseum, repeatedly.

You cannot claim that you have not been warned repeatedly.

You have absolutely no ability to engage in any even semi-rational debate on any level. You add nothing - NOTHING - to any discussion here. You are a troll.

If you there is anybody here who has a use for your one-sentence bullshit or your rabid anti-semitics, then hang with them. But stay the fuck away from us.

Do you get it? Don't Answer. No, Really, Don't Answer.

Go back back to whatever rock you crawled out from under and stay there, asshole.


Wow! I'm surprised Michael Behe hasn't been assassinated yet. A journalist with a very strong conscience. Would you be writing stuff like that if you were currently living in Beirut and didn't believe it? I'm thinking it would take quite a strange person with a death wish to make it all up. Thanks for that article. File it under - "I hope he's right."
What a ridiculous article.  I doubt most Lebenese are happy they are being attacked, nor hoping Israel doesn't stop till they get Hezbollah.  What a bunch of garbage.  Even if they don't support Hezbollah, I'm sure they want Israel to stop attacking ASAP.  Ask yourself this, how would you feel if bridges and buildings in your city were being blown up.  Would you really be concerned about the wellbeing of the attacker?  Commonsense tells you that the majority of Lebanese do not hold that viewpoint, whether they like Hezbollah or not.  
I am guessing you are not an expert since you couldn't even spell Lebanese right. More proof of my theory that the knowledge to opinion ratio is lower for this conflict than most other topics.

I am also not an expert. I do think it is possible for Lebanese to resent the fact that Hezbollah has taken their country hostage and to want it back. If I were Lebanese, I would be angry at both sides, but more so at Hezbollah.

My point in posting this is to show that the situation is more compex than the one-sided hysteria that usually characterizes discussions on this issue.

Jack :

Lebanese who manage to maintain sophisticated, rational political reasoning during wartime may well wish the Hezbollah to be destroyed.

However, I have seen numbers indicating that 86.9% of Lebanese support Hezbollah against Israel:

(I have seen elsewhere, this number drops to about 70% among Christians.)

Similarly, there are surely very many Israelis who think their government's invasion plan sucks sh*t. But I don't think you would find many who would back the Hezb against the IDF. Because, y'know, there's a war on.

Not rational, I know; but if I were Lebanese, and an Israeli bomb fell on my house, and maybe killed my grandmother, I'd more likely be pissed off at Israel than at the Hezbollah.

Don't forget, we bought those bombs.  Our military aid to Israel exceeds their military budget.  We're breeding another nation of people that curse the Americans in the same breath as the Isrealis.

Whoever gets elected in 2k8, I just hope to god it's not someone else that AIPAC has tentacles in.  Fat chance.

Try this. Insight into why you think AIPAC is running the world.


Thank you Mr Medved, for this :

Whether it's the angry international reaction to Israel's efforts to defend itself in Lebanon, or Mel Gibson's drunken rant in Malibu, the age-old specter of anti-Semitism refuses to disappear.

Yup. If I oppose Israel's invasion of Lebanon, I'm just like Gibson...
I agree with most of the article, but that sort of hyperbolic conflation is very damaging.

If it makes you feel any better, I think you have every right to oppose Israel's invasion of Lebanon - or anything else the country does. I don't think there is necessarily a connection between opposing Israel and ant-Semitism.

But based on the angry and uninformed rants on the subject here, the Mel Gibson/age-old specter comparison does apply in some cases.

I oppose most hyperbolic conflations, but not all.

'A half smile appeared on his face, and he pushed a napkin across the table. "You see this napkin?" he said. "In twenty-four hours, we could have the signatures of seventy senators on this napkin." - AIPAC leader

I think that Israel has recieved a thousand times the per capita foreign aid of the rest of the world.  I think that they recieve preference over every other Middle Eastern nation.  I think that it is in their interests to perpetuate the current situation, where we give tons to Israel and anyone that questions it is deemed anti-semitic and attacked by the jewish community as well as the vast majority of Politically Correct politicians.  I think that Neoconservatism has its roots in Jewish pro-Israel interests :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoconservatism#Neoconservatism.2C_Judaism.2C_and_.22Dual_Loyalty.22

Look at Cynthia Mkinney's primary, which turned from being about hitting a police officer + being demonized for it, to a national referendum about whether her pro-State of Palestine views were allowed to be aired in Congress:

We're breeding another nation of people that curse the Americans in the same breath as the Isrealis.

Yup. "We" have madrassahs set up all over world preaching vile hate 24/7 to their babies. It's all our fault. The "blame" (monkey poop) is in our corner of the ownership society. If only we stopped helping the last vestige of democracy and sanity in the ME, things would be much much better.

No matter what you say Squalish, you are still an unbeliever infidel to "them". They still intend to behead you ... after they finish with the Jews ... then they come for you. And who will be left to cry out in your defense? When they finally come for you?

You mean besides the one and a half billion other Christians besides the Hindus, Confucians, Secular Humanists, etc?
There are about one billion Moslems and about six and a half billion people on this world. I would worry more about the Chinese, myself.
We imported forty million legal and illegal immigrants in my lifetime, and they had twenty million children. What's wrong with importing six million Jews?  They make this country a better place, so why share them with the Arabs that don't even want them?
I could certainly use some Mossad and IDF people beefing up our defences if we do have to fight a war with China, and it would certainly terminate our war with the Moslems.
Isn't that what I'm complaining about?  Hezbullah will be hero-worshipped for the next ten years THROUGHOUT the arab world, not just the Shiite portion - because we couldn't bring ourselves tell Israel "That's enough".  I don't believe in giving power to those that preach hate.

If after a week we'd told Israel to stop offensive actions or we'd yank their aid, and proceded to send in humanitarian assistance, we would have at least a place to stand in negotiations with Iran.  Revolutionary concept - public opinion matters in diplomacy.

But that's not the goal, is it?  The goal is to invade Iran/Syria.  Because doing otherwise would be anti-semitic.  Because it's an election year, and people need their Other to posture against.  Ahmadinejad is playing on anti-US sentiment to build his base, Bush is playing on anti-Iran sentiment to build his base.  And the neocons now have their airbases to bomb from.

Except for the fact that 68% of Americans support Israel. If it's so important to you why not put the matter before congress.

There is the counter-argument that our support of Israel is in  our strategic and national interests. You may not agree with it, but it is certainly there. It seems rather silly that we would act according to the vaguely defined views of a minority consisting of those like yourself.

Be clear, when you said public opinion, you meant Iranian public opinion, right?

No the goal isn't to invade Iran and Syria, don't be silly. We can have a decent discussion here, some of us already are. But we need to knock off the hysterical nonsense. I'm asking nicely.

Actually Isreali occupation creates the resistance.  Before Isreal invaded and occupied Lebanon, there was no Hezbollah.

Before Isreal invaded and occupied Gaza and Jordan, there was no Hamas and in the first few years of occupation, no effective resistance of any type.  Then some riots (put down with live ammo, not tear gas & rubber bullets) as Isreal took Arab land and water for their settlers.  Then step by step Isreali repression has created a stronger, more extreme, more violent and more terroristic opposition.

Hamas & Hezbollah are a direct consequence of Isreali actions as occupiers.  Isreal thinks the "iron fist" will break the opposition when in fact it only breeds a more violent and stronger opposition.

Isreal left both Lebanon and Gaza only due to military pressure, they retreated under attack.  It was not an act of compassion (if Ghandhi were in charge of the Arab resistance, Isreali would not have retreated and the settlers would have multiplied).

Alan, can I ask you this? And I'm asking you because you've been around here for awhile and seem like an intelligent, analytical guy who can look at a situation from several different angles.

Is there a simple solution to this problem? If so, what is it?

But more importantly: What should Israel do? Can Hezbollah be dealt with as an equal partner(adversary) across the table? Can they be trusted? Does the fact that Hezbollah's avowed/often-stated long-term goal/strategy is to wipe Israel off the map matter? Does it matter that this is much the same case with Hamas and every other faction that is "resisting"?

Should Israel simply exchange 1500 hundred prisoners every time their opponent captures 3 of theirs? And then when Israel has no prisoners to exchange, start handing over bits of land?

Where exactly does this other path lead?

What should Israel do?

Honestly, what would you do?

Hamas was on the verge of holding a plebiscite among the Palestanians on the legitimacy of Isreal; a historic and offical turning point (that could not be easily reversed, since it would be a "vote of the people".  Hamas was going to hold this vote as a confidence building measure for negotiations with Isreal.

A wing of Hamas that did not agree with the elected leadership abducted one Isreali soldier but asked for all the women & children in Isreali jails to be released.

If I were the Isreali PM, I would offer a majority of prisoners freedom IF they promised to vote yes on the plebiscite.  And some other very unexpected gesture of good will (increase water to Gaza by 10% ?)  Create hope that the Palestanians would see something other than an iron fist from Isreal. Make a public statement that if Palestanians formally acknowledge Isreal's right to exist, then Isreal will acknowledge Palestine's right to exist as a viable. workable state with a transit corridor between Gaza and the West Bank.

There is more, but it will require time to consider.

Once the Palestanians voted yes, I would state that Isreal seeks a just peace in a situation that none since Solomon could find true justice.  But Isreal would seek a peace based upon justice and not strength.

As a first step the Knesset would formally apogolize for the Arab villages massacred by Irgun and Sharon's Unit 101 and   by Isreali mercenaries and offer compensation to the relatives.

Say that politicans are poor sources of moral wisdom and that Isreal would appoint a rabbinical council and a second Isreali Muslim-Christian council to determine the elements of a just peace and ask the Palestanians to appoint their own council or councils.  Humbly ask that each council member read the works of the other religons (I have read most of the Talmud (the Gemara, the 4th Order is relevant) and it influenced my moral reasoning) and that the different councils meet periodically.

In addition ask that the Isreali councils periodically suggest concrete measures towards justice (I would hint to councils: equalize the charges for water for Palestanians & settlers, so all pay the same price).

Also strongly state that racism has no place in Isreali society or Judaism.

Details could be added (I am amused by the idea that the Dalai Lama could be an honest broker between the councils).

A true commitment to justice as a basis for peace, rather than self-interest and overwhelming strength, would change attitudes and could lead to a just, lasting peace.

Working through religious councils that focus on justice (an intractable concept in this case !) could create new, and better realities.

Amen brother!
... And if I were King of Hezbollah, I would lie like hell and dart around the truth until the desired "just" result, the "final solution" was achieved.

Can I have another "Amen" for that brother?

No argument from me. My point is that the situation is complex.

I respect a wide-range of opinions on this and any other subject. However, the topic seems to be dominated by comments such as "What a ridiculous article" from people who don't offer any support except their self-righteousness and lunatic ravings from Fleam.

I thought the article was interesting and provocative. I don't know much about the Beirut Center and their website is in Arabic. Maybe they are unbiased. But maybe not. Maybe people surrounded by terrorists don't feel free to speak. Polling is difficult in the best of circumstances and clearly this is not one of them. The TNR article does provide a counterpoint to the poll.

I agree that many Israelis have mixed feelings, as do I.


Surprisingly negative articles from The Detroit Free Press The ethanol bandwagon

Ethanol also has won growing awareness among American consumers. A Harris Interactive poll taken last month found that half consumers would be interested in a flexible-fuel vehicle, and most of those would be willing to pay more for a vehicle with such technology.

But some of that awareness may be fueled by unreasonable expectations. When pollsters asked what motived their interest in ethanol-capable vehicles, 69% of those who responded cited improved fuel economy. Yet government data show flex-fuel vehicles get 25% to 28% lower mileage when burning E85, because a gallon of ethanol holds less energy than a gallon of gasoline.

Related article: Caution flags are raised over the corn-based fuel

In Germany, the government has recently decided to tax biodiesel and bio-ethanol with 10ct/l, increasing to full taxation in 2012.

In contrast to that, BTL remains tax free.

In the UK, excise duty for biofuels is 27 p/litre, ie 40 Euro cents/litre or $1.96 per US gallon.

But this is over 40% less than the conventional excise duty of 47 p/litre ie 70 Euro cents/litre or $3.40 per US gallon.

Add VAT at 17.5% on top of the product + tax price. No wonder gasoline is $7.11 per US gallon!

Entire Alaska Pipeline Like Swiss Cheese

I caught CNBC early this morning. They had a guy on there named Charles Hammel. Hammel is an advocate for BP workers in Alaska. Hammel said he warned BP in 2004 that there were serious corrosion problems with the pipeline. He said BP workers reported this problem to him. He said there is about 1000 miles of "flow-line" in Alaska. He said the entire flow-line is like Swiss cheese. He said BP responded by trying to figure out who was talking to him.

BP workers in Alaska were told, by BP officials, to cut back on a chemical that helped control corrosion in the pipeline, Hammel said. Hammel said he raised concerned in 2004, brought to him by workers, to BP officials. Later on CNBC a BP spokesman for BP, one Daren Beaudo, said it was "absolutely untrue" that they ignored concerns. He did not deny that they were warned of all this in 04 however.

Beaudo said the Alaskan pipeline was installed as a "quarter century pipeline". CNBC did not pursue this remark but according to my calculations, the pipeline was installed about 35 years ago. At any rate I think this means that if ANWR is ever opened up, and I believe it will, it will mean an entirely new Alaska Pipeline. Beaudo said BP expects to be in Alaska for the next 50 years.

CNBC remarked that they have a crew on their way to Alaska. We will be hearing much more on this story in the future.

Hello Darwinian,

Thxs for this report.  So the question is: did BP topdogs cut back on corrosion protection to maximize short-term profits or was this intentional to maximize long term profitability?  If the pipeline is shutdown for a year or more to replace 1,000 miles of swiss-cheesed pipe, when it finally comes back online: what will be the barrel price of oil then?  IF $150/bbl--topdogs look pretty brilliant, but any price higher than pipeline replacement costs can serve their profit levels nicely.

The other reason might be to financially strangle Alaskan Govt.  The $6 million/day royalty loss due to shutdown forces Governor to cutback stupid stuff.  It might also induce Feds to give generous taxbreaks or incentives to Alaskan IOCs so the pipeline will be in good shape to transfer ANWR when it comes onstream, if it ever proves to have economic volumes.

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

Hi Bob, I doubt very seriously that the entire pipeline would be shutdown. If they do start to drill ANWR they might build a new pipeline but keep oil passing through the old one while the new one is being built. At any rate, it would take several years, not just one year to build a new pipeline. BP ownes half of TAPS, (Trans Alaska Pipeline System).

Seven companies jointly own the TAPS pipeline, with BP Amoco and ARCO the two largest owners. BP has about a 50% interest and ARCO has about a 22% interest. Each owner of TAPS has an exclusive right to sell space on its ownership-share of TAPS capacity and to set its own tariff, and to discount those tariffs, for carriage on that capacity. After the merger, BP Amoco would control a 72% interest in TAPS. Alyeska Pipeline Service Company operates TAPS.

What this does do however is add a new complication to the ANWR argument. If it requires a new pipeline, for a lot less oil than was in Prudhoe Bay, then it might not be drilled.

I have heard a lot of estimates of how much oil is in ANWR, but most of them run from from 3 billion to 6 billion barrels, with 3 billion being the most often quoted.

Doesn't that mean that BP owns 72%, since ARCO is part of BP?
Nevermind, I see toward the bottom of the quoted text it says BP would own 72%, so obviously it does.  
If the story about sulfur loving bacteria being able to accelerate the corrosion, due to reduced flow in the pipe, is true, then it only makes sense that the same problems could be occuring in the main pipeline itself and the flow being now cut in half will accelerate the problem. This could end up a much larger and more time consuming problem than first anticipated.
Wall Street's New Love Affair

"Why some of the world's smartest investors are betting billions on clean energy"

A good paragraph from the above link:

You know a cultural movement is real when the money men get on board. In just the past year a broad swath of financiers -- venture capitalists, hedge funds, investment banks, public pension funds, and even stodgy insurers -- have begun sinking billions of dollars into producers of ethanol, fuel cell superbatteries, microscopic bugs that turn glucose into plastic, environmentally friendly pesticides, anything that might tap into the green craze. Saving the planet, protecting America, doing God's work, cynically exploiting a feel-good trend -- call it what you will. Wall Street sees money to be made. When John V. Veech, a managing director at Lehman Brothers Inc. (LEH ), showed up at a renewable energy conference in June, he was amazed to see that it was standing room only. "If you went five years ago you'd see a lot of ponytails," he says. "Now these conferences are packed with suits."

A "cultural movement" would be good news, wouldn't it?

Beyond that the ponytails to suits thing is funny, and perhaps cautionary, as an echo of the early World Wide Web and Open Source days.

The New York Times ran this article yesterday.

Saudi Arabia Begins to Face Hidden AIDS Problem


For years Saudi Arabia kept its growing AIDS problem hidden. Statistics on the disease were sealed in envelopes and guarded like national secrets. In mosques, imams spoke of AIDS as the "wrath of God" brought upon people who committed "sexual deviancy."


Officials say that better reporting is the reason for the growing numbers. But many doctors say even the latest figures are off, with the real numbers likely to be far higher in this nation of 27 million people. One physician who has treated many patients who have been hiding their condition or were unaware of it estimated that the real number could be as high as 80,000.


But the rights and protections are only for Saudi citizens. More than three-quarters of the reported H.I.V. cases are of foreign residents. Foreigners living here found to be H.I.V.-positive are typically imprisoned and then deported.


Many other Muslim countries have begun similar programs after decades of underreporting incidence rates. Religious leaders long credited Islam and the region's conservative culture, which forbids premarital sex, for the low incidence of AIDS. But most clinicians inside and outside the region long suspected that local health agencies were reporting incomplete numbers.


Would the Saudis really play with numbers like that? I thought they only knew how to over-report.

There's a computer modeler at my University who does AIDs research -- he says a LOT of socially-conservative societies are going to be devastated by AIDs far worse than more socially liberal ones. His explanation was actually quite interesting -- social conservatism may, at the margins, make couples more faithful to one another or defer sex before marriage, but the 'urge to merge' is so strong and taboos against and discussion of sex so powerful that the problem develops and is raging well before anybody is willing to talk about it.
Very interesting points. I'm always interested by the supression of information whatever form it takes. I am reminded of the SARS problem in China two years ago and more recently by the toxic spills they've had in Northern cities. China also reportedly has an AIDS problem as well as a serious drug problem in the South. At least it has been rumoured for years. In this case, the cause of suppression is authoritarian, rather than social-conservatism. I'm sure our own government doesn't hide anything from us. They did in the past, but they're all better now :)
AIDS as potential pandemic is over. It did terrible damage in southern Africa but has peaked even there. All that's left is hype.
Can someone who has the data handy knock out a few numbers for me?  The other night I was wondering what the world production rate would be if the barrels/day were calculated for all of the fields that were in known decline, and then projections for the world 5 and 10 years out were made off of that assuming no new supply came online.  In other words, a forecast of world production based only on known declines.
Eia inventory figures are just in.
Crude Oil down 1.1 million barrels.
Gasoline down 3.2 million barrels.
Distillates down .2 million barrels.

This is about was expected for Crude oil, but a much greater draw than was expected for gasoline. Distillates were expected to be up by .8 million barrels, so this draw was also unexpected.

These figures, along with production and other figures will be available on the web at 1PM Eastern Time at:

I've just updated my charts as usual:

Weekly Petroleum Status Report

  • no reduction in gasoline consumption
  • gasoline stock coverage still in the lower range
  • crude oil imports below average
  • total petroleum product imports above average
  • refinery unputs is down and below expectations
  • refinery utilization down and still below average
Check it out. 4 graphs.

Starting in May, imports fell off rapidly while domestic production increased substantially. Stocks were at a low point in May then rose in the normal range until just recently. Now the BP Alaskan oil is off the market and not available to west coast refineries. This development is not reflected here.

Finally, they've been motoring like there's no tomorrow. Maxed out at 9.6 barrels a day.

However, tomorrow will come.

My boss at work is into coaxing big ocean fish into a boat.  They tend to resist...So he was in a Tuna Tournament last weekend somewhere off the New England Coast last weekend.  An annual event for the last ten years.  I asked him how it went, and he said he tied for first place! "How big was the fish?"  "Well, actually, everyone tied for first place."  "Huh???"  
Turns out, nobody caught a tuna.  One guy hooked one and lost it after eight hours.  39 boats out there, one tough tuna.  I guess that fish should have won the $12,000 prize.
Maybe next year's tournament will be fishing for manatee in the Hudson...
Not to go too far off topic, but: Altered Oceans: 5-part series on the crisis in the seas.  Excellent.

(To the extent that PO reduces overfishing, that's a good thing.)


It is beleived 90% of the big fish are gone. In 2003


By the way, a 1000 lbs bluefin tuna can make up to US $ 100.000 at the Tokyo fishmarket, so they ARE going the way of the dino's.

Let's see, that would be 39 high-powered charter fishing boats trawling for 8 hours each for nothing.   Any wonder fuel usage in the states hasn't fallen off yet?  Sounds like a good argument for TEQs.  Then they could start the first annual tuna fishing regatta! "Rule 1, no boat may use more than 10 gallons of fuel per day..."
Those big boats get around 1MPG.  And gasoline at New England marinas is $4/gal.  Ouch!  Another interesting note - boats are having problems with the ethanol blends for various reasons.  For instance, it eats through older fiberglass gas tanks.  And any water in the fuel system becomes a problem.
Kayak fishing for Tuna!  Now there's a man's sport.
Stats are weak:

Crude: -1.1 mbbls, Gasoline: -3.2 mbbls, Distillate: -0.2 mbbls


Talking heads on the Bloomberg/Squawk on the Street sites this morning after these figures came out. Two said that it would have to get to $125 a barrel for a USA recession to start happening. If over $100 it would still be 1% growth rate in the GNP.

One of the guys said that a big event would be "if Iran went out of business." I loved that line. Said it would spike oil to $90. I think that is a bit conservative.

Don't you mean CERA's minister of DIS-information?

I wonder how much longer these Clownish Conz will be considered "well-respected" by anyone other than themeselves?

"Regardless, for some energy experts, the choice to gloss over political realities is a flaw that marginalizes CERA's work."

In DannyBoy "Jerkin'" Yergin's world the Energy Industry apparently exists in a bubble immune to poliTICs and in which projections count more than realities.

I can't wait until next year's Daniel Yergin Dayze - we're having a bonfire with an effigy of DannyBoy on the top.

Does CERA really believe we are producing 89 mbpd or did the reporter simply misread his notes?  While this site constantly denegrates Yergin, has anyone gone back and looked at his estimates over the years to determine how accurate he has been?  Has anyone done that for the EIA estimates?
Yergin has admitted several times in interviews that he has missed on his guesstimates.

The fun part of this is that he loves to say things like, "The end of oil has been predicted five times in the past and it never happened."

The man is a five star hypocrite, liar and oil company paid hack apologist.

But that never stopped anyone. Just look at every republican and most democrats out there. All bought and paid for.

Oh, I believe that his real nickname is "Jerkin the Gherkin" Yergin.

Yesterday's "new" take on nuclear had me all jazzed up for awhile. In retrospect it reminded me of my ecstatic reaction to a good promo piece I read on ethanol. Same letdown too.

So, we're now supposed to believe that nuclear is going to be safe, plentiful and (best of all) really cheap? Half a century ago it was supposed to be safe, clean and "too cheap to meter." Instead, and even with heavy government subsidies, several utilities suffered signficant financial damage. And half a century's nuclear waste is still multiplying in steadily corroding drums.

If wind can increase in cost 70% in a year or two, I imagine that nuclear will be in an even worse position; though that won't prevent us from ramping up with new nuclear power plants over the next few decades. Mining is becoming increasingly more expensive (the technology is improving and getting cheaper, but the sheer volumes required to be processed to get at lower grade ore, combined with more stringent mining regs, AND the skyrocketing cost of things like huge rubber tires, all send the final costs sky high. Read the material on Tar Sands, and apply it to mining uranium.  

And, to add to the costs, fighting the local neighbors for permission wont' exactly make them any cheaper.  Even the solidly Republican state of Nevada is tired of being a nuclear dumping ground, and elected Democrat Reid specifically to stop Yucca Mt. from proceeding.  

In all likelihood, the new nuclear facilities will be hard pressed to do more than replace the old facilities that need to be decommissioned.

Could someone please critique this? With all respect, why are they so far off in left field?

World oil supply poised to outpace demand - CERA

HOUSTON, Aug. 8 (Reuters) - With continued high prices, strong investment and unconventional sources, there should be plenty of oil to meet demand through 2015, despite disruptions, a research group reported on Tuesday.

Cambridge Energy Research Associates said a field-by-field analysis projects worldwide capacity should rise to 110 million barrels per day in 2015 from 88.7 million bpd currently, with unconventional sources growing in importance, CERA predicted.

"This capacity growth would accommodate rising world oil demand so long as there are no major disruptions in the actual flow of oil, for political or other reasons," CERA Chairman Daniel Yergin said.

"The current worldwide aggregate disruption in production of 2.3 million bpd is about 2.6 percent of world capacity. That disruption, along with geopolitical risk, has driven prices into the mid-$70s.

"In this very high price environment, companies are diversifying into unconventional assets. These unconventional liquids will loom increasingly large in the world's oil supply - going from less than 25 percent today to almost 40 percent by 2015," Yergin said.

CERA's Peter Jackson and Robert Esser said the specter of peak oil output is not imminent. They also found that, contrary to conventional wisdom, production of lighter crudes is growing faster than heavy grades.

The pair analyzed existing fields and 360 new projects -- 250 new non-OPEC and 110 new OPEC undertakings -- all expected to start production by 2010

The study found strong potential growth in both OPEC and non-OPEC sectors to 2010, with both OPEC and non-OPEC growth slowing between 2010 and 2015, but OPEC growth remaining relatively strong.

CERA estimated OPEC operators will add 7.6 million bpd and non-OPEC producers 5.7 million bpd to 2010. OPEC operators will add 5.3 million bpd from 2010 to 2015 while non-OPEC producers will add 2.7 million bpd, the consultants predicted.

The analysts assessed the 10-year consequences of current supply disruptions and assumes that disruptions over the next 10 years will "average more or less the same magnitude as the current level with a similar impact," the report said.

"The ability of E&P companies to collectively grow global production capacity at a rate allowing a comfortable supply-demand buffer that will absorb supply disruptions and manage these risks will be a critical factor in ensuring global energy security," the report said.

CERA, based in Cambridge, Mass., is a consultant to energy producers, consumers, regulators and investors worldwide.
ne please critique this? I am flabbergasted

Why are you flabbergasted? It's CERA. They are the most optimistic institution there is when it comes to oil. Run a search on CERA on this website. This article was discussed here in the last two days. Their numbers alwyas seem to be the result of supply meeting long-term future demand. In other words, they draw a straight line into the future based on current usage-increase rates and then assume supply will reach that point. I don't believe anybody has come up with an explanation for the 88.7 number other than maybe it is a typo.
Re: "I am flabbergasted"

Dan Pillar, with the Fort Worth Star Telegram, wrote a story based on our buddy Dan's comments.  Following is my e-mail to Dan Pillar:


If you do a Google News search for Daniel Yergin, you will find my article on the Energy Bulletin (Daniel Yergin Day) regarding Mr. Yergin's prior predictions.

Alternatively, following is a link to my Energy Bulletin articles:  http://www.energybulletin.net/news.php?author=jeffrey+brown&keywords=&cat=0&action=searc h

Based on the Hubbert Linearization (HL) method, the Lower 48 and the North Sea both peaked in the vicinity of 50% of Qt (URR).  Russia peaked in the middle of a broad plateau centered on 50%.  

Mexico just crossed the 50% mark, and their production is falling, led by the crashing production in the Cantarell Field, the second largest producing field in the world.  

We know that three of the four largest producing fields in the world are declining.  The only remaining question is Ghawar, and we now have credible reports that Ghawar is declining.  In my opinion, the recent Saudi decline of close to 7% is confirmation of this.

Which brings us to the world.  Deffeyes estimated that the world crossed the 50% mark in late 2005, and world crude + condensate production is down 1% since then (EIA numbers).  

Yergin has consistently been wrong about oil prices and production, and in my opinion you are doing your readers a disservice in not pointing this out.

BTW, Canadian crude + condensate production is down by 11% since December, and the WSJ reports that oil production in Venezuela is falling.


Jeffrey Brown

How did Mr. Pillar respond?
Response (so far) from Dan Piller:

Jeff: Thanks for your information.

Dan Piller

The Cantarell situation should be a BIG STORY. OTOH, do we really have credible reports that Ghawar is declining? When you hear that an "unidentified insider said... ", you gotta ask yourself if that really passes the sniff test.

At this point the only evidence is indirect. Sure, SA production is down but by choice or geology? But without independent outside analysis, we really won't know until we see the fire.

One thing bugs me. I seem to remember Yergin saying that oil would fall to $38 a barrel last November '05, yet I can't find that factoid anywhere on the 'net. I can't credit him with that if I can't back it up.

According to Simmons, a retired Aramco insider gave Ghawar no more than 70 Gb, URR.  It has probably made close to 60 Gb, so a reported Ghawar decline + a confirmed overall Saudi decline certainly fit what we expect to see--plus the frantic Saudi drilling program.  

Again, Saudi Arabia last year was at the same stage of depletion that Texas was at when we started declining.  Also, oil prices up 15% to 30%, and the Saudis voluntarialy  cut production?

2004 Forbes Column:

Digital Rules
Capitalism's Amazing Resilience
Rich Karlgaard, 11.01.04, 12:00 AM ET


Energy is one of the two leading risks in the global economy. (Terrorism, of course, is the other.) Just take a look at one industry already suffering from oil shock--U.S.-based airlines will lose $5 billion this year. That loss matches the bump in fuel prices. Ouch. Then there's China, which has climbed to the world's number two spot in oil consumption. China uses most of its oil wildly inefficiently to generate electricity. Oil consumption by cars barely registers--now. But during the next four years, China's oil imports will double as the Chinese give up their bicycles. Biting your nails yet? Here's one more sobering oil fact: The world has only a 1% short-term cushion. This makes for a very volatile market.

Given these facts, where will oil prices be a year from now--$75 a barrel? $100?

Wrong numbers, says Daniel Yergin. Wrong direction, too. Try $38. Yergin knows oil. He is a founder and the chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates, a consultancy that has 230 employees, with offices worldwide. He is also a recipient of the United States Energy Award and a member of the Secretary of Energy's Advisory Board. A former Harvard professor, Yergin is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book on oil, The Prize: The Epic Quest for Oil, Money and Power.

Yergin's prediction of cheaper oil prices is noteworthy because he doesn't dispute any of the alarming facts cited in my opening paragraph. Not that he would. The facts came straight from Yergin's own mouth at the recent Forbes Global CEO Conference in Hong Kong. I jotted down Yergin's comments while listening to him speak at a dinner. Then he gave a formal speech the next morning and, fueled this time by highly caffeinated tea, I again took notes, just to be sure. Yergin is pretty clear about his predictions. He says oil demand will rise, yet prices will drop. How can this be?

Answer: capitalism's amazing resiliency. Oil prices rise--oilmen become innovative. They work, they invest, they put their heads to the task, they apply technology, and pretty soon they'll discover how to extract oil profitably from oil sand. Or open wells in deeper water. Or scour the planet for new sources using scanners thousands of miles in space. As Yergin reminds us, oil output is 60% higher today than it was in the 1970s. Not many sages from the 1970s would have bet their reputations on this development. The opposite sentiment prevailed back then; experts said the planet was running out of oil. Wrong.

Yergin says he's always asked when oil will run out for good. He shrugs. He's willing to say the world will need 40% more oil in 2025. Hard work and technology probably will find a way to meet the demand.

Thank you for providing that reference. I was beginning to think that I had imagined it.

It's really said that CERA is generally viewed as a reliable source for future energy trends. They need to be as objective as possible but it seems that DY tends to spin the facts.

He mentions that the peaker's said that the North Seas would run out but that they are still online. But, as we know, what was said was that the production would peak and then decline. He evades the reality of the current decline by simply stating that production is still online. That is just plain misleading.

BTW, as a lay person speaking (or typing), this is a great site. I greatly appreciate the expertise of the posters and give a thanks to all.

In the 1970s experts predicted that the peak in oil production would be not in the 1970s but around the year 2000. The Club of Rome report on "The Limits to Growth" in 1974 did consider the possibilty that oil and other finite resources were greater than their mainstream projection of a 2000 peak and that perhaps the peak would happen later. This simulation option showed that pollution would then increase so much as to destroy the environment anyway. If Yergin misrepresents the views of others to this extent, it shows he has no interest in proper scientific debate: he is a charlatan.
Yergin, and all the other fools who say The Club of Rome predicted that we would run out of oil in 92 are telling are telling a blatant lie. They made no such prediction.

Petroleum is mentioned only one time in the entire book, The Limits to Growth. On page 66 of the paperback edition, petroleum is listed in Table 4. That is the only place in the book where the word is found. In Table 4, it gives the US Bureau of Mines (who later changed their name to the USGS) estimate of world oil reserves. That number was 455 billion barrels. The table gives years that number would last, (static 31, exponential 20). Then the table gives the number of years with expected new discoveries, which the authors estimated to be roughly 5 times current known reserves. That number, using exponential expected growth, was 50. But of course we did not have exponential growth because we had the Iran-Iraq war. Now we have other problems.

I find it ironic that the Club of Rome was too high in their estimate of total world oil reserves. Five times the then current known reserves of 455 billion barrels turns out to be 2.275 Trillion barrels. Counting oil that had already been consumed in 1972, that would put total UUR at over 2.5 trillion barrels. About .4 trillion barrels too high. The Club of Rome was just too damn liberal in their world oil reserves estimate. Oil will not last nearley as long as it would if they had been correct.

I worked with Deffeyes in the mid 1970s. He gave me a copy of a 1960s Senate report by Hubbert. From reading that, my impression was that peak oil would hit around 2025. Even a few years ago when I was poking around, that didn't seem so unrealistic. Now the peak looks significantly earlier.
Hello Westexas,

IF Yergin & CERA are smart: they should strategically position themselves by offering their traditional, optimistic 'straight-line analysis' and a more pessimistic 'political-logistical' analysis-- then let the consumer of this info personally decide whether to be cornucopian or doomer.  Otherwise, their continued string of bad oil-pricing predictions will marginalize them--Yergin's Pulitzer fame will only carry them so far before they are ignored.  By 'riding the fence' and then offering both boom & doom predictions: it would allow them to continue their MSM visibility as they could always point to whichever analysis best answers the media questions.  In short, with a targeted market segmentation strategy: they could always look like geniuses and keep their jobs safe.

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

Yes, I agree.

Lots of consultants prefer not to say "The Emperor has no clothes".

It's funny. Once in a while I discuss oil issues in an argentinian forum with a local energy consultant. He told me some weeks ago that in 2010 there would be a lot of new production. So I asked him to give me his sources. "CERA reports" he said.

And on top of that, he thinks he's a very, very smart guy.



CERA estimated OPEC operators will add 7.6 million bpd and non-OPEC producers 5.7 million bpd to 2010. OPEC operators will add 5.3 million bpd from 2010 to 2015 while non-OPEC producers will add 2.7 million bpd, the consultants predicted.

That's an increase of 13.3 million barrels per day by 2010, or over 3 million barrels per day per year. That is totally and completely absurd. Never in the history of the world has oil production increased that far that quick. So far in 2006, world average production is up 105,000 barrels per day over the average for 2005. But production in April and May has been considerably lower than the same two months in 2005, we are headed in the wrong direction. Any chart shows that oil production has reached a plateau and CERA has oil suddenly increasing faster, for longer, than any time in history.

In short, Daniel Yergin and CERA is full of it.

I'll be Freddy for today, since he's been so rare lately:

That's an increase of 13.3 million barrels per day by 2010, or over 3 million barrels per day per year. That is totally and completely absurd. Never in the history of the world has oil production increased that far that quick.

Not true. YOY increases in 2002 and 2003 averaged almost 4mbd, with a few months (Dec03, Jun and Jul 04) having well over 5mbd yoy increases. We went from 76mbd in 2002 to 84mbd in 2004.

We've been through plateaus and even multi year declines before and we've always come right back up as soon as the economy recovered. My personal theory is that the current plateau is due to a flat-lined economy masked by understated inflation stats. I think we might even have recession by Q1 2007, again partially masked by Orwellian statistical subterfuge. Oil use will naturally decline, and prices in real terms might even decline. Nominal dollars/barrel may continue on upwards.

The difference this time around might be in the recovery. By the time the economy recovers from the coming recession, we may have passed gross liquids peak without realizing it, especially if Canterell, Gawhar and Burgen have all peaked. I still maintain that NET liquids peaked sometime around 2000 +/- 5 years.

And I'll be Ron Patterson and your figures are all wet.
Last four years, change from previous year, All Liquids:

2002 -761 mb/d
2003 +2,609 mb/d
2004 +3,439 mb/d
2005 +1,356 mb/d

Total increase over 4 years= 6,644 about half Cera's estimate for the next four years. That is an average of 1.661 bp/d per year, not the over 3 mb/d Yergin and Company are predicting for the next four years.

We went from 76mbd in 2002 to 84mbd in 2004.

No we did not!
2002 76.957 mb/d
2004 83.005 mb/d
You were off by almost 1 mb/d on both figures, putting your figures off by a total of 2 mb/d. At any rate Yergin's figures were for four years.

I rest my case. Never in the history of the world have we increased oil production by that much that fast.


Ron Patterson, the Darwinian

Don't forget much of that increase (probably around 3 mbpd or about half) came from producing the prior spare capacity of OPEC, not from new capacity. That cushion is no longer available. Most of the rest came from FSU/russian increase which as we all know has slowed considerably. So now where will it come from??
2002 was a year of significant economic distress. Demand was suppressed. It's not sporting to include it to bring down the average. But your figures show an average increase greater than 3mbd yoy for 2003 and 2004, which you said had never happened and never could happen.

The numbers I was referring to were monthly YOY numbers, sorry for not being clear:

mon yr YOYdelta
Dec 03 +5,882
Jan 04 +4,863
Feb 04 +3,138
Mar 04 +2,488
Apr 04 +3,358
May 04 +2,996
Jun 04 +5,601
Jul 04 +5,278
Aug 04 +3,704
Sep 04 +3,300
Oct 04 +3,108

Nevertheless, expecting a sudden reversal of the recent plateau/declines back up to the fastest pace of 2004, in a time of economic slowdown, makes CERA seem delusional. If the increases of 2003 and 2004 were just spare capacity being opened up, then its even worse.

Next week, can I be Ron, and you be Freddy?

No, you keep on being Freddy, you a great Freddy. Freddy's numbers are always wrong. What I said WeHappyFew, was that: "Never in the history of the world has oil production increased that far that quick." How far and how fast was Yergin saying oil production would rise? He said it would increase 13.3 million barrels per day by 2010, or 3.325 million barrels per day per year for four years.

No, Freddy...Oh, I forgot, you are not really Freddy are you...anyway, it has never increased that far that fast ever before in the history of the world. And it is not sporting of you when we were talking about a four year gain to try to bring it down to two years.

And why the hell are you posting monthly data? Because of storms, maintenance, and whatever monthly data just jumps around all over the place. Just look at what happened last October as compared to two months prior. Yergin was talking about four years of gains and you wish to talk about monthly fluctuations?

I repeat, four year gain of 13.3 million barrels per year, (averaging 3.325 million barrels per year)has never happened before in the history of the world. And even Freddy Hutter cannot twist the data to make that statement untrue. Oh, I forgot again, you are not really Freddy. ;-)

So we had two years with a gain of 3mbd/yr, but a 4 year gain of 3.25mbd/yr is totally impossible?

If we just drill enough holes for 4 years instead of stopping after 2, we'll have all the oil we need until 2010, don't you think? [wink,wink]

Whew! this Freddy stuff is hard. Let me try one more...

Today's plunge from $77/barrel all the way down to 76.4 PROVES that the Alaska pipeline closure is just a minor blip, nothing to get excited about, and already discounted by the market, which is obviously preparing for the huge glut of supply that will hit the market when the pipeline comes back online next January. As we roll into the historically low demand period of Feb-May, we can expect the already bloated storage situation to become critical unless OPEC regains some sanity and cuts production drastically next spring. Otherwise, expect crude-in-storage to start squirting out from all kinds of embarrassing places as the pressure builds.

That was fun, kinda got into a groove towards the end there.

"Otherwise, expect crude-in-storage to start squirting out from all kinds of embarrassing places as the pressure builds."

Add in the abiotic oil which is going to start spewing from the earth in giant fountains any day now, and we are looking a crash in oil prices of biblical proportions.

So we had two years with a gain of 3mbd/yr, but a 4 year gain of 3.25mbd/yr is totally impossible?

That was not the argument. I said it had never happened ever before in the history of the world, and I was absolutely correct in that statement! End of that story!

However that being said, the gain in 2003 and 2004 was due to two factors. One, OPEC opened the tap that they had deliberately closed in order to raise prices. They have no other taps to open.

Second, Russia was recovering from the collapse of the Soviet Union. Fields were opened up that had previously been closed for political reasons, and had deteriorated due to no maintenance. The gain in Russian production this year will be about 2.5 percent instead of the 10 percent gain in recent years. In short, Yergin's numbers ain's gonna happen.

Today's plunge from $77/barrel all the way down to 76.4 PROVES that the Alaska pipeline closure is just a minor blip, nothing to get excited about, and already discounted by the market, which is obviously preparing for the huge glut of supply that will hit the market when the pipeline comes back online next January. As we roll into the historically low demand period of Feb-May, we can expect the already bloated storage situation to become critical unless OPEC regains some sanity and cuts production drastically next spring. Otherwise, expect crude-in-storage to start squirting out from all kinds of embarrassing places as the pressure builds.

Now you are getting very good at being Freddy. Keep up the good work and we will give you the Freedy of the month award.

"The gain in Russian production this year will be about 2.5 percent instead of the 10 percent gain in recent years."

Note that the Russians have been talking about year over year production gains, but the EIA--so far--shows falling production since December.

In fact, of the top 10 net oil exporters, seven are showing declines since December, and the other three are flat.

I'm not sure if you will see this anymore...but, who are the top 10 exporters?


It seems all the capacity growth they expect by 2015 is in "non-conventional liquids". A sign of sanity, I think.
But just expecting crude capacity to be unchanged then, and conjuring up 4 mbd of currently-existing capacity, are sufficiently silly ideas to maintain CERA's reputation.
In a post last week I said that I was going to check through the 29 fields on the Megaprojects list for 2006.  I'm in the process of preparing something a bit more professional but here's a summary:

12 fields representing 1,485,000 bpd new production capacity are confirmed on stream

7 fields representing 1,015,000 bpd new production capacity are confirmed to most likely be comming on stream later this year.

11 fields (maninly ME OPEC) representing 1,455,000 bpd new production capacity have no recent information available.  Some of these may already be on (e.g. Ghawar Haradh GOSP 3) while others like South Pars 6 & 8 are unlikely to come on before the end of next year.

The fields that are already on will not be producing at capacity.  Furthermore, production data for smaller projects are not recorded.

To state the obvious - capacity erosion has matched new capacity during the first 7 months of 2006 resulting in a production plateau.  There is no reason to believe a wall of oil is heading for the market during the remainder of the year, although the Azeri-Chirag fields in the Caspian will be ramping up now that the BTC pipeline is open.

I'll prepare something a bit more comprehensive to post tomorrow.  Got a spread sheet with summary data and links which I'm happy to share - how do I get this linked up?

Interesting competition between tidal power companies:

Verdant Says Tidal Power Sites are Being Tied Up

The picture of the overweight white guy should come with some kind of warning.

A couple of points. Some of my joint venture partners probably wish I were a  "former" oilman, but I am still in the game.  Also, in regard to the East Texas Field, we use the energy equivalent--from total fossil fuel + nuclear sources (not just petroleum)--of the East Texas Field every 30 days.

The only thing worse than seeing oneself online is my next challenge.  I just got the DVD of the two part PBS debate on Peak Oil.  I may, depending on how bad I was, publicize when the debate will be broadcast.

PBS debate? When and where was this and how do I get a copy?

Speaking as somebody who is as straight as a water buffalo, I don't think you looked half bad.

We'll have to get Leanan to post a Alanfrombigeasy image next week. IMO, the main reason to come to the Peak Oil conference is Alan's talk on electrification of transportation.

The Peak Oil debate, which was basically me versus ExxonMobil and Michael Lynch, is going to be shown on the McCuistion Program, which is syndicated on PBS.  

I've decided to watch the DVD after two or three glasses of wine tonight. If all else fails, the Bush Administration may be able to use the DVD as a new way to "persuade" people to talk.  

Looking good, Jeffrey.

Is there any way to get that program online so we can all watch it? I don't think I'll ever see it any other way.

Super G -- is there a way for us to do that?

by the way


I'm glad you are going all out on education, the only way to begin to make a difference!

I sent a link to my brother in law in Houston, who owns a couple businesses. We go camping and I tell him about peak oil, and he says I'm "fucking with his head." But it's gotten him thinking.

But how to translate the growing recognition into action? What sort of action would actually make a difference? THat's the tough part. It would probably require he sell his companies, sell his mansion in Sugar Land, and change his lifestyle. But then what about his employees who are dependent on him? (he's probably the best boss in the world. He REALLY looks after his employees.)

I think the action part of the equation inhibits the understanding part. If someone "gets it," then what do they do? They can't all become urban homesteaders, can they?

I think this is also the big difference between Global Warming and CFCs. CFCs could be phased out, but what can you do about fossil fuels?

But enough of that. Congratulations WesTexas!

Good jobs should not be eliminated.  Encourage him (and his employees) to look across the board at their companies energy use.  Conservation can only help the bottom line.
for a short while.
at the same time their competitors will use what they refuse to use, forcing them to either grow and compete(which negates all their gains in conservation) or up and die.

conservation is mainly a pipe dream along with efficiency, both will only work if some all powerful third party dedicates themselves to enforcing that everyone takes part.
think bob-shaws earth marines but many many times more powerful. without it any short term gain is eaten up later by growth(more people) or some people just not doing it. the former because no one will think long term once the short term gains come in, they will be all happy about the illusion they solved the problem and now it's back to basically things as usual. the latter because no matter what you do, no matter what you say there will always be people who will out right refuse to do what you say, even IF you manage to somehow convince everyone in your country to go along with it you will NOT be able to get all the other country's to do the same. it only takes one that decides not to follow to ruin every thing you worked so hard for.

Respectfully - I completely disagree.

There are people (more then you might think) that will pay for green.  There are states where people can opt to pay more to get their electricity from Wind power.  Whole Foods market charges a premium for fresh organic food.  You don't always have to be the cheapest to win.

ggg71 says,

"Respectfully - I completely disagree.", and more than respectfully, I agree with ggg71.

TrueKaiser seems to be making an argument that only waste builds wealth(??)

We will leave aside that this idea goes against every single idea of business and good monetary stewardship in history.  Waste has never built wealth over the long haul, if it had to compete directly against efficiency.

This brings us back around to the example given by Vinod Khosla, the ethanol proponent.  I differ with much of what he believes, but he said one thing in his defense of ethanol that rang true.  What the early adapters, the "tinkers" will buy may be interesting, but it is the trajectory of what will save the average person money and be adapted by what folks here call "the sheepies" that will decide the fate of new technology.  I will give you a short example, a friend of mine.  A middle aged legal assistant I know drives a Toyota RAV4.  She moved down from a full sized pickup several years ago, and bought it new.  When I asked her why, she said simply, "It does the same job, and it costs less to drive."  Can you get anymore direct than that....Jevon's paradox didn't seem to enter her thinking.  The other day, I was talking to her.  The RAV4 now has over 200,000 miles on it.  I asked her what she thought of the new hybrid Toyota's, since she had been so happy with her Toyota, with gas high, would she get one?  She astounded me with her knowledge......"Not yet, I can still afford the gas at this price, and the RAV will probably make 300,000 miles.  Thats another 3 years for me, and by then, the batteries will be so much better....."

There you have it.  THAT is how a revolution will come.  People are already watching, reading, listening.  As always, the cautious and astute will get it right, and the revolution will come.  I will keep it short, and draw you a brief scenario, a longer one and more detailed on request:  

The size of the gas electric hybrid market will grow, just like the home computer market, and the color TV market, and the radio market did before it. 2, then 4 they 8 then 22 percent of the market....the batteries will improve (they already have more than most folks know) by 10, then 20, then 30 percent....trucks and buses and vans will adapt hydralualic hybrid drivetrains, then efficient Diesel engines, then gas turbines, not those cornball "rocketship" ones of the 1950, but the efficient microturtines, by firms like Capstone, that will drive alternators and hydralualic pumps....and fuel consumption will level off.  Of course, as we know, oil production will be leveling off too....and there will be mixing....gasoline yes, but gradually less....natural gas, yes, as efficiency and Distributed Generation and modern heating and cooling take the load off of natural gas consumption, and propane, and biofuels will be in there, methanol?  of course, some, but it will only be one part of a rapidly fracturing pie.....and newer fuels in smaller volume (bio-butanol, compressed sewer gas, methane from waste?), but more and more, the electric grid.  Houses, cars, and people will be tied together through electronic "convergence"  getting more information, able to move about, able to enjoy clean and efficient housing, interesting high tech recreation, while not even noticing, NOT EVEN NOTICING, they are consuming less.

And then, someone notices the price of "energy" in whatever form has leveled off (when?  was it a year ago, two...who notices when energy costs go down, we just enjoy...).  They see the photovoltaic panels on roofs, how long have they been there?.....the windmills on the edge of suburbs and towns, how did they not pay attention to those when they were built?  It was like the cell towers!  How many people see cell towers now and wonder, "when did that damm thing get there?"  If they read financial journals,  they would see the articles, "30% more electrical rail in last decade boosts electrical equipment market shares.  Here are the best plays."  DAMM they would think, why wasn't I in on that at the front end?  Another article says that electric controllers in hybrid vehicles have made profit for high tech heavy industry.  I could have bet this stuff across the board!  It's just like the tech days, but now it's too late to make the real killing!
And the generation that remembers the Yom Kippur War, and the Arab oil embargo, and Iran hostage crisis and the Iran Iraq War, and the "Peak Terror" of the early 2000's (Campbell and Deffeyes themself were still around then!  Getting up there in years, but still here)  look around, knowing their last remains of the day, to use the words of one who can really write...., and now in old wisdom know that a world 5000 and more years in the making will not fall apart so easily just to amuse them.

The children of the once afraid are working in professions and industries not even thought of when the "old folks" were so frantic,  laser heated liquid air to drive a ceramic turbine, with the air compressed and liquified by super torque windmills?  It's still expensive, say the young, but (the magic words) "the price is coming down fast."

And the children and grandchildren will find new things to be frightened of.

Roger Conner  known to you as ThatsItImout

"I sent a link to my brother in law in Houston, who owns a couple businesses."

It depends on what kind of businesses he is in.  If he is not on the nondiscretionary side, I would advise looking into transitioning into something that will be still be needed if consumer's income falls and if food and energy prices go way up.

He sells big specialized industrial parts to the oil and petrochemical industries. I suppose some of that business will migrate to the Persian Gulf, but he can still sell to them there.
post a Alanfrombigeasy image next week.

Not something to look forward to !

Speaking as somebody who is as straight as a water buffalo, I don't think you looked half bad.

Too many gay water buffaloes is one reason their population is endangered.


"straight as a water buffalo"

That sounds like an insult to gay, lesbian and transgendered water buffalo everywhere.

RE: Houston Mini-Conference

What would it take to organize a mini-conference in Austin?

After watching the End of Suburbia, I thought that having Matt Simmons and Jim Kunstler would be a great combo.  I e-mailed them and they agreed to do a joint event, which came to pass last year in Dallas.

I think that the best way to do this is to get an academic cosponsor.  A university sponsor gives you a facility, resources and credibility. People also don't generally hesitate about writing checks to universities.  I had some contacts with the Greater Dallas Planning Council (GDPC).  The event was cosponsored by SMU and the GDPC, with underwriting support by Chesapeake Energy and Boone Pickens (and others, including yours truly).

A lot of people have a kind of love/hate relationship with Jim Kunstler.  But if you really spend some time with the guy, you realize that he is really a man in mourning--for what the country used to be, for what it has become, and what it could have been.  In my humble opinion, it would be a great idea to do Simmons/Kunstler symposium, Part Two.   I'm pretty good at fundraising, if someone would like to push the idea along.  

Since I'm new to peak oil, any guidance on organizing a peak oil event here in Austin would be much appreciated.


k4ddogs at yahoo dot com

If you can't get a university to host it, try contacting the local UU church. They're hosting the conference in Houston, and they also hosted the one in DC in May.

Just a thought.

Ironically, I'm a new member of First UU in Austin.
Glad I'm not the only UU on the board. :) How does it feel to be a liberal religious person in the middle of conservative fundamentalism?
Reminds me of Norm from Cheers- "It's a dog eat dog world and I'm wearing milkbone underwear."
"It's a dog eat dog world and I'm wearing milkbone underwear."

Boy, do I know how you feel.  Moving to Alabama was quite a culture shock.  
Talking in tongues, snake handling, full immersion baptisms, believing that the universe is only 6000 years old and full of demons.   Sometimes I feel like I'm a time traveling anthropologist.  At one point, a few years back, the governor got up on stage and danced like a monkey to prove that evolution was not true.

your reminding me of a simpsons epp.
insert hommer acting like a chimp while trying to get a bottle of beer open.
Forgive me but what is a UU?
Unitarian Universalist
A (very) liberal religious group composed of people of all faiths and walks of life. Here's the link to the UUA: http://www.uua.org/
Unitarian Universalism
You aren't the only one, FWIW...
Likewise, me. A little about god, a little about jesus, and mostly about Boston.
The picture of the overweight white guy should come with some kind of warning.
nonsense! I see a kind, smart and handsome peakoiler!
"nonsense! I see a kind, smart and handsome peakoiler!"

Of course, I suspect that in the Peak Oil world, the bar is, shall we say, probably not too high?

though i bet if you had some supermodel up saying the same thing more people would pay attention. :P
Well...next time there's a photo op, let's take the pen off the shirt. At least there are no more pocket protecters anymore!!
Ask a geologist a question, and he draws you a picture.  Gotta have a pen handy.
Pen and napkin is great, but hand waving works too.
There's still room for one or two more in the car-pool to Houston this Sunday to see Jeffrey and Alan at the Peak Oil Mini-Conference. Prime seating next to the nice warm battery back. Leaving Dallas bewteen 6 and 7am.
Email to we_happyfew[at]hotmail[dott]com
Trust a UU church to hold another PO/Climate Change meeting. (BTW, for whomever was trying to meet folks the other day, try your local UU church. Atheists are always welcome, and you'll find a lot of like minded folks there.)

I think the extra 2 million a day from the CERA report is the supposed 'excess capacity' of the Saudis.

I just glanced at Khosla's response.  I won't post on it.  My reactions:  I had a hard time getting through the "stop reading" paragraph.  Seems to me all those issues are very much on the table, I refuse to ignore them.  That would be unscientific...
As for the rest, I'm interested in what we CAN do, but I'm more interested in what we WILL do.  Or really what we ARE doing.  Which includes wars and droughts and tuna and manatees.  And collapses and extinctions and "conspiracies".
So, Vinod, enjoy making your money.  I'll bet ya some morning you'll wake up and say "uh oh"...
I just glanced at Khosla's response.  I won't post on it.

Please do post on it. Find a specific area of disagreement, and address it. I believe that's what he needs. He has heard the same criticisms from me again and again. He needs to hear some of those specific criticisms from TOD readers. Give him your best shot.

I dunno, Robert.  I just don't think people like him are worth the time.  He's got nothing.  He's just $,$,$.
Anyway, I've gotta stop spending so much time here, as much as I love y'all.  Time to make more of my stained glass mosaics for Xmas (if we're still doing that this year...), as long as the system keeps functioning I need to make some bucks.  Just bought a car - '02 Corolla, 36MPG!!.  Car payments again, ugh...
OK, I moved my comments over.  RR, please don't think I'm criticizing you for discussing these things with him, I applaud you for it.  Honestly.  I'm just not in the "figuring out what to do" camp, more the watching-and-trying-to-see-the-big-picture type.  Keep up the good work!
Keep in mind that it isn't just Khosla you are trying to convince. Many, many people will read the essay and the comments, and many of those will not have made up their minds. The questionable claims should be rigorously challenged to ensure that the path we take is the right one. I have some very strong disagreements with a number of his proposals, but for now I am going to let others critique his ideas.
Hello All,
  I am a first time poster, long time lurker.  As my name and bio suggest, I am a proud member of the oft maligned, but wildly successful(sorry, I know its not polite to open with sarcasm)airline industry.  I've been "peak aware" for a couple years now, but have only truly convinced over the past few months, thanks in no small part to the constant postings by westexas and others. As I have obviously chosen what is probably the most vulnerable industry in the nation to our energy crisis, I have since begun retooling my self as a wx forecaster and or climatologist...work in progress, but I digress.  I have really become fascinated with the many different points of view represented here, and look forward to joining the debate.  
  From what I've seen so far, the problems seem to be generally acknowledged, but potential mitigations seem to be either less than  technically adequate(by themselves) or not popularly acceptable.  Disregarding the "die off" crowd, not meant as an insult just a simple disagreement, the biggest challenge seems to be that of will, the will to acknowledge the problem, and the will to do something meaningful about it.  

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."

Hey JetJockey

As an air traffic controller, I'll be right behind you.  I'm currently trying to adjust my lifestyle to match my reduced income as a future unemployed ATC.  I hope to exit the company while there's still a decent chunk of pension left.  Anyone who's flying should be doing the same (if their pension hasn't already be decimated).

Glad to see I'm not the only one in this beleaguered industry aware of our faults.  I do wonder what will become of air travel over the course of the next decade.  I foresee a severe contraction, but certain things simply need to be sent via air.  Considering that today air travel encompasses only a small fraction of total liquid fuel use, I cant believe that air travel will completely disappear, at least not in the near future.  
Air travel is just toooo convenient to go away any time soon.  Last time I checked Air Canada's books, fuel seemed to be about 25% of their expenses (to what extent their fuel has been hedged below average spot prices is anyone's guess).  So I'm thinking that $150 oil might work out to 40% of costs therefore a doubling of current oil prices might equate roughly to a 25% increase in total fare.  So I think there will be a gradual reduction in flight (as there will be a gradual reduction in all FF consumption, directly and indirectly).  Airlines with older fuel inefficent planes will be hurt most.  As my handle suggests, I'm not operational at the moment; I do ATC software instead.  But our company, in these relatively good times (compared to 2002-4, for example), is still actively trying to reduce costs, saying that the industry's survival is at stake.  Wait until $300 oil, I think to myself!  So, from the software side of things, I see more computer systems being foisted onto fewer systems specialists like myself (ie. more work per person).  From the operational side; if there are fewer planes, staff WILL be cut.  Sectors combined more often means more airpsace per controller, fewer staff per day, which means that hiring will stop and then, eventually, layoffs.  But I don't see this happening for a few years.  What I DO see is an active effort by the company to switch the pension from defined benefit to define contribution.  That will suck.  However not as much as them eventually saying that there aren't enough airplanes flying to pay the fees to pay into the pension plan.  Therefore, you all now only have X% of what you thought you had.  I intend to jump off that sinking ship just before the inevitable.
We can design aircraft to use less fuel. The problem for you, and my brother in law the pilot, is that we can also design aircraft to use less pilots and ATCs. GPS anyone?
Welcome - I sold my Beech B55 Baron last year - saw the handwriting on the wall. Sure do miss the bird though.
Lack of will...you got that right. Many solutions are posted here, most won't be undertaken, although one has hopes for Alan's electrified rail. Our denial is deep and vast.
"I have since begun retooling my self as a wx forecaster and or climatologist...work in progress, but I digress."

The market for jobs in the atmospheric sciences is really tight unless you plan on getting a masters or PhD.  Climatology is the worst.  You can probably find something in forecasating if you're willing to move to some generic Hellhole, USA.  The budget for "Climate" just keeps getting slashed year after year and forecasting is progressively getting turned over to computer programmers, there are few real forecasters left.  So here would be my advice...figure out something else.  My suggestion is to try Hydrology or environmental engineering and see if you like that, I imagine water is going to be a hot topic in the years to come.

Shouldn't be too hard to get a job as a climatolgist. Just claim that global warming doesn't exist. I'm sure someone will hire you to do that.
I was just over at Kuntsler's Typepad site, and there in the Aug 7th's Comment section someone was Quoting, None other than Jeffery Brown, Known to us As WesTexas.  I was plaesed that others have found your work.  Then I get here and There you are again.  Good Show!

The troubling part of all this that now its August 9th and Not one sign of a Hurricane troubling the Gulf of Mexico.  A whole season ago, by this time in August we had gotten up to the L's  This time our next windy guest will be named in the D's.  Something fishy here, where are the hurricanes?  Oh yeah, BP has leaky pipes, who needs hurricanes!   Ah so sad to see gas going up again.  Looks out to his van,  Humm maybe I ought to at least crank her up this month see if she still runs.  Pity I need to travel the end of the this month anyway.

I hope no one was planning on buying a big gas guzzler this week.  

Oh and Hi to all you Current or Former residents of Huntsville Alabama.  I am a former, though I still visit on a regular basis.

I'm familiar with Huntsville myself. There are people on this board living there now?
Hi Dan,

Know it well (or should say that I used to, as I lived there from the late 50s to the late 60s). Dad worked in the "space program."

Boy Scouts, Little League, hunting for arrowheads in the cotton fields...many fond memories of the place.  We last lived off on Mt. Gap Road (off Memorial Pkwy), on the south end of town.

POTarzan, its been a while since you've been to Huntsville then. Mt. Gap Road is now firmly in the middle of Southeast Huntsville. There aren't many cotton fields left now, and you have to drive a minimum of 10 miles in any direction from Mt. Gap to find one. More's the shame, as cotten fields are more pleasing to the eye then miles of plastic McMansions with Hummer parked out front.
Hi optimist,

Yeah, I know about the "changes."  I visited last around 1980 and found that much of my old turf had been paved over.  Even the little creek where I used to fish for bream was gone.  They had cleared the banks and routed much of the stream through large concrete culverts.


One of the very few nice things about PO is that it will force many of the overbuilt cities to 'de-pave'. I intend to do my part with the nearest available jackhammer. ;-)
"Comment section someone was Quoting, None other than Jeffery Brown"

Well, there is no accounting for taste.   I think that Jim also quoted me this week.  I'm the friend that told him that I thought that the Left's (fully justified and understandable) hatred of Bush is driving a large percentage of the Left completely insane.

George Ure is quoting you daily now.


Sure beats the web-bots, earthquakes, scalar weather wars and fractal market doom.  
Well at least Huntsville is not a bad city traffic wise.  Its usually rather easy to get on and off of the Parkway to go places.  But now the city is from the Tennesse river to several miles north of Alabama A&M.  The New influx Military Industrail complex and Army Missile Command is bringing in another 5,000 people plus the families of said folks and all the support businesses.  More College Degreed people live in Huntsville than likely any other city in the state.  4 Wal-mart supercenters, 2 Sam's Clubs, A Costco, have all moved into the city in the last 5 years.  Costco does not go to a place unless they can make $65,000,000 in a year.  The first year they were open they made $90,000,000.  Great place to buy gas, to bad there is not one here in Little Rock Arkansas, my membership is good for another 6 months.

There are a few cotton feilds still down on the west side of Memorial Parkway between Airport Rd and Weatherly, just not many.  

Ron Paterson is a former Huntsville native.

I worked for 5 years with Intergraph in Digital Mapping, there was not a happy ending.

Jeffery,   Keep up the good work!  

"I thought that the Left's (fully justified and understandable) hatred of Bush is driving a large percentage of the Left completely insane."

I agree with you fully on both counts. Bush is the worst president in my memory. But he has one great political talent. The very sight of him drives his opponents to idiocy.

The left's fixation with Bush is driving them crazy and annoying the hell out of the rest of us.

The troubling part of all this that now its August 9th and Not one sign of a Hurricane troubling the Gulf of Mexico.  A whole season ago, by this time in August we had gotten up to the L's

I think it is the other side of the world's turn to get hammered - a super-typhoon is currently bearing down on China:

China evacuates 1.3M as Typhoon nears

By GILLIAN WONG Associated Press Writer
© 2006 The Associated Press

BEIJING -- Authorities evacuated 1.3 million people from areas along China's southeastern coast on Thursday ahead of the arrival of Typhoon Saomai, which the government warned could be the most powerful storm to hit the country in five decades.


According to Kunstler, natural gas production in the U.S. peaked in 1973 at 22.90 tcf. Is this not correct?
Article from CNNMoney:


"Why Wal-Mart wants to sell ethanol

E85 is available at only a tiny fraction of gas stations. But Fortune's Marc Gunther says the giant retailer is poised to change that."

Got drafted today to take a class about designing for the new environmental laws.  

Boy, is it complex.  They estimate it will add months of design time to the project...and that's probably optimistic.

And unintended consequences - or maybe declining marginal returns? - have already reared their heads.

Because there's so much paperwork to file now, and it's so difficult and expensive to comply with the new regs, people are just not doing it.  They're building their projects without permits, and hoping not to get caught.  

And because the rules are much stricter in "urban" areas, some areas which are not urban are declaring themselves to be urban in order to control growth.  

Companies have found that it's not worth jumping through all the hoops to build in an "urban" area, so they go a few miles down the road to an area which is not "urban."  That's right - environmental laws are contributing to sprawl.  

Leanan -

Having spent most of my professional life as an environmental engineer/consultant,  I know all too well of what you speak.  I would venture that more environmental manpower is spent preparing environmental permit applications, environmental impact statements, environmental due diligence reports, emissions reports, remediation plans, etc. etc, ad nauseum than is spent on actually cleaning up hazardous waste sites or in curtailing air and water pollution.

That is why the environmental field is no longer fun. The current regulatory structure was devised by lawyers for lawyers. It is a perfect example of process over substance. I don't believe in the environmental field anymore and am glad that I am out of it. It was a very good field to be in while it lasted but no more.

My prediction is that, in general, environmental considerations will gradually go by the wayside as the energy situation gets more and more desperate.

However, one thing I would be willing to bet the farm on: no one is going to be able to build a new nuclear power plant anytime during the next 10 years anywhere on the East Coast from Virginia to Maine. Hell, it'll take a couple of years just to go through the permitting process, then there will be the inevitable citizens' NIMBY law suits, political machinations, and other impediments. It just ain't gonna happen. So much of all this talk about nuclear power (which I happen to favor) is purely academic.

"no one is going to be able to build a new nuclear power plant anytime during the next 10 years anywhere on the East Coast from Virginia to Maine"

I am sure that they will all be built at the site of existing nuclear power plants.  That will minimize siting problems.

Ya really think so?
The class was about stormwater.  One thing that stuck out for me: maintenance.  All of the "mitigation" options require maintenance.  Some more than others, but they all require maintenance.  Monitoring the soils, cleaning pipes and ditches, mowing grass, dredging silt, etc.  

I find that ludicrous, because maintenance has gone out the window since the '50s and '60s.  In the name of "productivity," the workers who used to do that kind of thing have been fired.  Instead, we're going to low-maintenance designs, such as using 18" pipe when 8" would do.  (Clogs less.)

Another layer of complexity in a system that's already too complex...

Well, wouldn't you just know it, Isreal is pushing forward to the Litani river:


This should be plenty of confirmation that the war is about water, assuming they are reluctant to retreat when the UN force arrives.

No, they will not be staying in South Lebanon long enough to steal the water.

They are more interested in it as a barrier to movement, that's why they destroyed the bridges.

Seems to me that the main thing fuelling the Israeli reaction, and Israeli politics in general is not water, oil, or even defense per se, but revenge. It's interesting to note that, as the death toll mounts, the ratio stays at 10 to 1.

According to Israeli moral calculus, one Israeli civilian is worth ten Lebanese civilians. That'll sure teach somebody some sort of lesson. Surely.

That sounds awfully close to Anti-Semitisim, alistairC, and that I won't stand for. I may not agree with what Israel's government is doing, but I won't demonize her people either.
It's not anti-semitism if he's criticising the multi-ethnic, multi-religoius, people of Isreal ;-)
Just a reminder that Semites are peoples who speak Semitic languages; the group includes Arabs, Aramaeans, Jews, and many Ethiopians.
In a Biblical sense, Semites are peoples whose ancestry can be traced back to Shem, Noah's eldest son. The ancient Semitic populations were pastoral nomads who several centuries before the Christian Era were migrating in large numbers from Arabia to Mesopotamia, the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, and the Nile River delta. Jews and other Semites settled in villages in Judea, southern Palestine.
Those Lebanese are semites, while many Israelis are not (as the originated elsewhere....)
Optimist. Sir.

There is one thing I won't stand for, and that's spurious accusations of anti-semitism. Maybe you could explain to me what part of what I wrote is close to anti-semitism.

The 10-to-1 ratio can be independently verified. Its constancy as the war progresses, makes me wonder if it isn't a matter of policy.

If it is indeed policy (Hezb missile killed three Israeli civilians yesterday? OK let's look for a village where we can kill thirty Lebanese civilians) then it can't be explained by any rational war plan that I know of. It can only exacerbate and prolong the war, and would seem to be driven by irrational desire for revenge.

Now, I have no idea as to why the expression of this idea might be close to anti-Semitism. If I postulate that Palestinians or Lebanese are driven by revenge in certain acts, am I guilty of this same thought crime which you will not stand for?

Accusations like yours are a form of intellectual terrorism which are intended to shut down rational debate. I don't intend to be shut down.

The 10-to-1 ratio can be independently verified. Its constancy as the war progresses, makes me wonder if it isn't a matter of policy.

It would be nice if you would independently verify it rather than say it can be.

Look, while I may disagree with some of your other points, I'm not going to take issue with them here. I'll let you have your day.

I suppose anything can be "independently verified" these days. But on this ratio thing: The total death numbers I'm seeing suggest more like 6-to-1. If we want to talk about only civilians, there is an article above that suggests it could be as low as 3-to-1. The constancy issue presents a serious problem for you. But I'll wait until you show me your numbers on that before I elaborate.

I don't think the matter is trivial, as apparently you don't either since you are using it to apportion culpability and possibly pursue accusations of war crimes. I don't agree with this stance and simply hope for a quick and lasting peace, however I wish you would be more careful with the numbers you are throwing around.

So please, verify away.

You have postulated a 3-to-1 ratio for civilian deaths. This is a pretty clear indication that you are ill-informed about the issue. Sometimes, accurate data may lead to changes in one's world view (see Peak Oil).

Here are some numbers from today's Guardian :
(at the end of the article)

Lebanese deaths to date :

  • Civilians: 1,009 killed

  • Hizbullah: 100 (Israel claims up to 500)

Israeli deaths to date :

  • Military: 78 killed

  • Civilians: 37 killed

· All figures revised daily and based on Lebanese and Israeli government estimates

So the overall ratio is pretty close to 10 to 1.

The civilian ratio, however, is more like 25 to 1.

OK. I appreciate your response. I just wanted to call a possible bluff. You win.

While I still disagree with you, You've proved that your are paying attention. I admire that.

I follow the conflict quite closely. Sick as it may seem, I've got a running spreadsheet on casualties. I'm extremely informed. So it would seem that your clear indications need to be rethought.

When do you think a cease-fire will happen?

I haven't been keeping a daily tote, but I have observed at several points in the conflict, that the overall death toll was 10 to 1. There may have been days when that was skewed one way or the other.

I'm surprised, given that you claim to be paying close attention, that you challenged the 10:1 ratio, and postulated other, preposterous ratios. Isn't it time to put up or shut up with your casualty numbers?

As to when there might be a ceasefire : It might be pretty soon. It seems that the IDF is not attaining its assigned objectives, therefore a deployment of Lebanese and international troops in the south would seem to be an excellent option for Israel. And for everyone else. One can only deplore the fact that there was no serious attempt to obtain this by diplomatic means (though that would probably have required the US to act as an honest broker).

On the other hand, the Hezbollah might not wish for a ceasefire, if in fact they are holding their own as well as it appears.

Have you seen this Christian Science Monitor article, indicating the Bush sect wanted Israel to attack Syria?

Yes, I will "put up or shut up." Please give me some time, though :) 24 hours. (maybe 48). I've got alot on my plate.

I want to say that I really appreciate your discussion here. You are keeping this on a completely professional, rational, intellectual level. Something I wish would happen more often on this web site. Many thanks. I haven't read the article yet, but I will. I'll be right back.

Just a note, that I am not demonizing Israelis : I am trying to account for the behaviour and motivations of their government and military.

By the same token, I don't demonize Americans when I say that the prosecution of the Iraq war has in some instances seemed to me to be motivated by revenge rather than any rational plan. One of the (many) turning points of the war when some American contractors got lynched in Fallujah in 2004, which led to the siege and virtual destruction of the city. It seems that the decision came from Bush (certainly it's in character for him), the military were against it.

According to Israeli moral calculus, one Israeli civilian is worth ten Lebanese civilians.
Well almost.  Over 90% of the 1,000+ people killed in Lebanon (by 'surgically precise' hi-tech weapons mostly supplied by the US) were civilians, while a majority of the 75 Israelis killed were invading soldiers. So, it's more like one invading Israeli soldier is worth 10 Lebanese civilians. Just as in Iraq, the overwhelming majority of civilian deaths aren't considered terrorism because the hi-tech weapons were aimed for somebody else in the apartment building, or the intelligence was bad, or whatever. Apparently, it's never 'terrorism' if you do it with an F-16...
Marty -

"War is the terrorism of the rich and the powerful;

Terrorism is the war of the poor and the powerless."

                                                    - Peter Ustinov

I think it's more like ten to one the other way, with ten dead Israelis for every dead Lebanese.
Trained soldiers are more effective than untrained soldiers, but trained soldiers cause government expenditures for training, goverment expenditures cause taxes, and taxes cause smaller families.
Search for Kipling's "Arithmetic On The Frontier".
it's more like one invading Israeli soldier is worth 10 Lebanese civilians

Its been claimed that Hizballah and Hamas intended to do a prisoner exchange, 2 israeli soldiers for 1000's of lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails. I guess Hizballah is saying 1 Israeli is worth 1000 Lebanese.

For those attending the Peak Oil Conference in Houston this weekend and unfamiliar with that part of town:

The light rail passes directly in front of the church where the conference will be held. The church is about four blocks away from the Museum District station, along Fannin.

There is also a bicycle rack in front of the church. :-)

Here are two interesting stories:

Alaska Calls Hiring Freezes, Wants BP held accountable for the state's losses:

More Oil Workers Kidnapped in Nigeria:

This happens much more, and there will be an exodus of foreign oil workers from Nigeria. Looks like the Nigerian 'disruptions' aren't going away anytime soon!

"Wants BP held accountable for the state's losses"

now, that's funny.

Checking back in after some serious berry- and cherry-picking in the countryside...

Here's an update on the break in the Druzhba pipeline (Samara-Bryansk-Polotsk, with a branch to Lithuania). An interview with a Transneft vice-president, Sergei Grigoriev, appeared on www.delfi.lt a few hours ago. He says that the crude that would have gone to the Mazheikiu Nafta refinery is now going instead through Odessa and Yuzhni in Ukraine. Odessa was previously scheduled to get 570,000 tons in August, now it'll get 970,000 tons (Rosneft and Lukoil being the beneficiaries). Yuzhni was previously scheduled to get 80,000 tons, now it'll get 320,000 tons.

So, the bottom line: no evidence of a drop in Russian exports, at least in connection with the Druzhba problem. The crude will be re-directed through other pipelines onto the export market.

Interestingly, here's a quote from Mr. Grigoriev (my translation from the Lithuanian, which was almost certainly translated from the Russian in which the interview was conducted -- how many Russians speak Lithuanian??):

"If [Europeans] can find an alternative to Russian crude, which nobody has been able to find so far, we at Transneft would just rejoice. That would mean that somebody has to find more crude or order would at last be restored in Iraq, or the crude price would fall. I don't know where [the Europeans] will get their crude, and why Russian companies should have to suffer on account of that."

Very interesting, indeed.

A technical note: the section of pipeline near Bryansk that had the accident was built between 1964 and 1974. Same age as the building in which I live. I sure hope Soviet buildings hold up better than Soviet pipelines...

So that explains the sudden drop of the Brent price from 78,30$ to 77,30$. 1$ in a couple of minutes, quite remarkable.
Thanks for the info!
Anything to this theory?

"Virtually unnoticed, the inauguration of the Ceyhan-Tblisi-Baku (BTC) oil pipeline, which links the Caspian sea to the Eastern Mediterranean, took place on the 13th of July, at the very outset of the Israeli sponsored bombings of Lebanon."



No. Let's see, Hezbollah decided to ambush some Israeli soldiers coincident with the opening of the BTC pipeline the next day...

God willing, we will
destroy the BTC pipeline

Actually it's the other way around. Israel kidnapped some Arab soldiers, so the Arabs kidnapped an Israeli soldier to exchange. But the Israelis don't seem to have the Arab soldier any more for some reason, so the war was on.

In so far as you seem to know so much more than I do, tell all of us where your information comes from.

I merely mentioned an ambush which indeed took place. I did not go into motives or recount the whole sorry history of conflict in the region.

Also, did you see the picture & caption? Do you have a sense of humor? By God, I hope so 'cause you're going to need it in the future.

-- Dave

I'm a Willis. We have a famously black sense of humor in our family. Dad's San Angelo Texas on his mother's side, Alaska gold miner on his father's. Mom's Hungarian, but she grew up in a Sicilian neighborhood. Makes us a little odd.
Source for an incident in a war? Does anybody have a database of all the little skirmishes going on in the Israeli/Arab war? Almost certainly. Anybody on this panel know where it is?
Somebody is supposed to be in charge of deciding which dead Arab's family gets a "Martyr" pension from the Palestinian Authority and Hezbollah and the other armed resistance groups, and they probably know. If I read Arabic I could probably google it in a minute. Tell you the guy's name, phone number, street address, and whatever else you want to know.
No kidding about the "Martyr" pension. Read a story about some Arab family complaining that they didn't get one because he wasn't directly involved in combat or even killed by a stray bullet, so they didn't get one.
Matter of fact, they probably do have a web page someplace. I'll go look.
Bet I find the Israeli soldier's name.
In recent years, Hezbollah has established a substantial presence in Lebanese life. Apart from two radio stations, a popular television station and several newspapers, it has a far-reaching network of hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, schools and martial arts centers, as well as welfare and rehabilitation centers for war casualties and their families, and pensions for relatives of dead fighters.

--from an article 6 years ago (Feb. 2000)

Read also about the cult of martyrdom here

Went looking for about fifteen minutes, found the Israelis soldiers, but not the Arab soldiers. Somebody must know the name of every dead Arab in the wars. It's not just their families.
Strange, the terrorists have ranks, pensions, medical plans, survivor benefits. When do the terrorists become soldiers?
When they have a country of course.
Case in point, Menachem Begin and Irgun.
Appropos of Juan Cole's peak-oil Middle East war theory One Ring to Rule Them, Reuters is now reporting that Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been killed in Lebanon by the IDF.  Casus belli for the war with Iran?
Brother Kornoer -

If one wants war, one can ALWAYS find a casus belli.

The trick is not finding how to start it, but in finding how to stop it.

That's what my mom used to say when she caught my brother and I fighting:  "I don't care, who started it, who stopped it?"
At least tensions aren't too high...

Jewish leader wants crack down on Canadian Hezbollah demonstrations.

Frank Dimant [vice presidient of B'nai Brith Canada] says the streets of Canada should not be taken over by extremists supporting a known terrorist group. He said his group has been in talking to police forces and government officials to target the rallies.

"The streets of Canada will not be taken over by radical Islamic forces supporting terrorist activities," he said Wednesday. "B'nai Brith Canada will do its utmost to ensure that Canadians will not be intimidated by these terrorist sympathizers."

I'm not hysterical

They're taking over the streets of Canada! Let's suspend civil liberties before it's too late!

Sigh. Awaiting the crazy responses... I'm supposed to write a piece for Matt Savinar on Israel & Hezbollah. Maybe that is unwise.

What the hell does suppression of free speech have to do with peak oil? Or is this just a "Senior Contributor" moment?
You made me laugh! Good job.

My view is simple. Hysteria on both sides raises terrorist risks (witness today's news about transatlantic flights from Britain). Acts of terrorism at this time will affect the already precarious oil markets. If the terrorist act strikes at oil production, the effect will be worse. All this is called blowback.

My advice to all the childrent of Abraham is calm down.

-- Dave

B'nai Brith is a biased organization which is involved in the "promotion of human rights" and is also "a vocal supporter of Israeli policies".

They are know for their outrageous statements:  Adam Aptowitzer, the Ontario chairman of B'nai Brith Canada's Institute for International Affairs, was widely criticized by Canadian Arab and Muslim groups after he made statements on the October 19, 2004 Michael Coren Show (a television talk show airing in Canada) defending the use of "terror" tactics by Israel against Palestinians. Aptowitzer argued that such actions were permissible when used to prevent deaths, saying "When Israel uses terror . . . to destroy a home and convince people to be terrified of what the possible consequences are, I'd say that's acceptable use to terrify someone."

Consider for a moment World War II. In that war a few hundred American civilians were killed during the attack on Peral Harbor--at most a few hundred (and sometimes it is hard to know who is a "civilian"). However, consider the bombing raids by the U.S. (not to mention RAF night-bombing and firestorms of Hamburg and Dresden): How many Japanese civilians--innocent men women and children--were killed by U.S. bombing? I think the lowest reasonable estimate is in the neighborhood of a million, and the true number may be much larger.

Does this statistic--a million vs. at most a few hundred--mean that the U.S. was morally wrong to bomb Japan?

Ethicists may debate endlessly, but without U.S. bombing, the Empire of Japan would probably still rule China and much of Asia, not to mention Australia and New Zealand.

War is nasty business.

I am opposed to war.

Once a war gets started, it makes sense to follow tactics that will quickly bring it to a close and prevent a replay, as the U.S. did against Japan and the Allies did against Germany and Italy.

Note that the seriously considered alternative to bombing and then invading (before the A bombs) Japan was to blockade the home islands of Japan and starve half or two-thirds of the population to death while continuing fire bombings--whatever it took to get the Japanese High Command to give in.

Sometimes a war does settle an issue, as it settled the question of whether Japan was going to establish by force their "Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere."

We lost a lot of merchant marine sailors before Pearl Harbor. Man for man it was a lot more dangerous sailing merchant marine ships than navy ships.
And as for the Japanese, it was one dead Japanese civilian for every dead Phillipino civilian. The Chinese account has not yet been closed. Or the Korean account.
Unless Kim wants those bombs for purposes of revenge.
You raise good points.

I have to laugh at all the twaddle and nonsense being peddled about how the U.S. is the most hated nation on earth.

In first place for most hated is Japan: Many millions of Chinese are still alive who remember the atrocities the Japanese committed in China (not to mention Korea, Indonesia, etc.). The Chinese have long memories and tell stories to their grandchildren.

The Germans are much hated for reasons similar to the Japanese; ask any Russian age seventy or older about Germans . . . .

Russians themselves are much hated--and with good reason.

Many with long memories hate the Turks, the French, the Belgians, and even the English.

On the most-hated nation list, I'd have to put the U.S. somewhere around fifth or sixth place--nowhere near the top.

Oh, c'mon, you're just trying to inject some logic and reason into the discussion. We need more knee-jerk hysterics.

OK, that's enough out of me, I have to go work on somebody's blog :)

hmm, now where have I heard that before rubs chin.  Ah yes!


"A group of Russian scientists at the oil and gas research ... argue that huge reserves of hydrocarbons may take only decades to be formed, not millions of years, as earlier believed."

YES! This is exactly what I tell my wife. She's always wanting me to scrub the bathtub. But I tell her those rings are hydrocarbons in formation and shouldn't be disturbed.

Meantime, let me go put a steak over my eye.

Forbes Article "Don't Bank On SPR"
C-Span 2 just had a very good 1 hour discussion from US Energy Association with 3 board members on Central Asia Energy Issues. It will probably repeat. It ended at 8:55 Pacific Standard Time.


Hello TODers,

Using the latest scientific techniques: Greenland is now melting three times faster than earlier predictions.

SYDNEY, 10 August 2006: The Greenland ice sheet is now melting three times faster than predicted, making the likely rise in sea levels this century larger than originally feared, according to a U.S. study published today.

In a study published in the online issue of the U.S. journal, Science, Jianli Chen and colleagues at the University of Texas in Austin have calculated that the Greenland ice sheet has been melting at an accelerated rate since 2004.

The researchers now estimate that about 240 cubic kilometres of the ice sheet is disappearing annually. This is a staggering three times faster than the rate estimated in the past five years.

The difference in estimates can be attributed to increased melting in the past one and a half years and, most importantly, to the improved filtering and estimation techniques from GRACE.

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


Hello TODers,

Condi Rice's response to the glacial melting in Greenland.

Satirical, of course.  =]

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

Hello TODers,

In contrast to my early satirical posting, this one is a serious note about Mexico as the agony of the election recount gets underway.  Is the shooting of newspaper employees the first sign of what lies ahead?

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

Seems like BP may have to shut down the western operating area of Prudhoe Bay with the lose of 200,0000 bpd. They will make the decision by Friday. They appear to be putting in plans to shut the field down this weekend.

Western Prudhoe Bay may be shut down

Hello Essex Land Rover Man,

Great find!  Hopefully, it will be a leadoff article by Leanan tomorrow.  I wonder if the December pipe delivery, assuming it is on time, can be installed, tested, and govt. approved by their January re-opening estimation date--that seems extremely optimistic to me.  The pressure from Alaskan revenue officials to get this restored and flowing will be enormous on BP mgmt.-- the field workers will have to be extremely self-safety conscious to prevent their injury.  My gut feeling is that BP will discover that much more pipe will need to be replaced than publicly admitted so far.  Time will tell.

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

Hello TODers,

The biggest lawsuit since the breakup of Standard Oil is slowly working through the court systems worldwide.  This will be even bigger than the protracted controversy of the Microsoft Anti-trust Action.  This lawsuit goes to the heart of what constitutes fair competition and supplier pricing control over consuming markets.

Can you imagine if similar court cases were brought against EXXONMOBIL, BP, GAZPROM, PEMEX, PVSDA, OPEC, and other worldwide corporate energy suppliers?  I encourage everyone to read this CNN article of purported conspiracy and collusion where AMD accuses INTEL of making offers its customers cannot refuse.  Mind-boggling in its ramifications if it can be legally extended to the fossil fuel industries worldwide.

I have no idea what is the truth in this controversy.

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

Hello TODers,

West Coast gas at $4/gallon?  CA has a twenty day supply--can they shift to other sources in time?


LOS ANGELES -- California and the rest of the West Coast are bracing for a possible big jump in gasoline prices, the likely result of BP's halt of crude oil shipments from its main Alaskan field.
The next wave of price increases hasn't hit yet, but experts warn the spike will begin in a couple of weeks. Price shocks could rebound from Washington state to the Mexican border and hit Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Hawaii, too.

For a while, the West Coast will have to get by on reserves. As of this week, there are about 55 million barrels of crude on hand, about a 20-day supply. There's also a 20-day stockpile of gasoline, says Paul Tossetti, director of market analysis for PFC Energy. Additional tankers are being chartered to bring oil to the West Coast.

If gas prices drift much higher than $3.40 a gallon, motorists would start driving less, predicts Tom Kloza, analyst for the Oil Price Information Service. He says $4-a-gallon gas is "really hyperbole."

But David Purcell of Pickering Energy Partners won't rule out $4-a-gallon gas, saying, "It's a lot more likely than this time last week."
Bob Shaw in Phx,AZ  Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?