Friday, December 30, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter. He wanted to die.
The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did not speak his language, but conversed in their own, twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensible rituals, when they were not actually working in the factories.
Once every year they forced him, sobbing and protesting, into Endless Night. During the journey he would stand near every child in the world, leave one of the dwarves' invisible gifts by its bedside. The children slept, frozen into time.
He envied Prometheus and Loki, Sisyphus and Judas. His punishment was harsher.
Have a holiday!
Grade B Investments
Coal Now Too Expensive To Put In Christmas Stockings
CHICAGO—With winter's onset driving the demand for surface coal to record-high levels, the mineral's cost is now beyond the reach of low- and middle-income Americans who wish to punish their naughty children. "Coal in one's stocking is meant to serve as an admonishment or warning, not as a dependable grade-B investment," said William Menchell, a commodities adviser for T. Rowe Price. "In today's market, children should only have their stockings stuffed with lumps of coal if they have been studious and obedient, and show an interest in long-term investments in the energy sector." For more affordable punitive options, analysts point to the relatively stagnant switch market, which could soon go the way of coal if demand increases for combustible wooden sticks
(Via The Oil Drum)
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
humble yet firm
In Sunday Speech, Bush Is More Humble, but Still Firm - New York Times
Since the dawn of time, one of the primary virtues of the ... dildo.
One liner courtesy SW.
the future is now
System disruption in action in UK blast?
A start of systems disruption in earnest?
7/12/05: Zawahiri video posted to the Internet: "I call on the holy warriors to concentrate their campaigns on the stolen oil of the Muslims, most of the revenues of which go to the enemies of Islam. The enemies of Islam are exploiting such vital resources with incomparable greed, and we have to stop that theft with all we can and save this fortune for the nation of Islam." (this is a follow up to bin Laden's earlier call for systems attacks)
11/12/05: The Bruncefield Total/Texaco oil depot northwest of London exploded. The explosion was so intense, there is very little likelihood that any cause will be found. 400 tankers offload everyday at the facility which stores 4 million gallons of gasoline, diesel, kerosine, and aviation fuel. As one of the top 5 facilities in the UK, it supplies 5% of the country's energy needs.
I am fascinated by the analysis at Global Guerrillas regarding the ease with which energy infrastructure can be used as a weapon against those who use energy.
Anyone with a zip gun can bring down an oil or natural gas pipeline for a spell. It doesn't take much more than that to do lasting damage.
And the UK explosion highlights this weakness in a way that weekly attacks against the Iraqi pipelines do not; the UK explosion was actually in the mainstream western media.
If it is the case that the UK mishap is due to terrorist attack, there may well be a link to Iraq, that far off, dusky land where Bush played his Royal Flush as though it were a hand of Go Fish.
The UK explosion could just as well have been a short circuit, or a falling satellite, or a chunk of blue sky --
-- the point is, these tactics are now obvious.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Thursday, December 15, 2005
3 yards and a cloud of dust
Gas Drilling Raises Dust Clouds in the West
Only the dust, which hangs in the air like ground fog among the trees and rolling hills, gets in the way of the scenic view.
"We don't dare leave a window open in the daytime," Cooper said.
While oil and gas development creates other problems — housing shortages, noise, water pollution and increased crime — dust is just about universal in the booming methane fields of Wyoming and other states rich in natural gas.
"Anywhere there's a producing oil and gas well, it's an issue," said Gwen Lachelt, director of the Durango, Colo.-based Oil and Gas Accountability Project, reeling off problem areas in parts of Alabama, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, Montana, New Mexico, West Virginia, Wyoming and Canada.
Booming though the fields may be, to me the pernicious dust is a metaphor for the frantic increase in drilling that is necessary as the large natural gas fields have been played out.
Clearly, that path will be followed to its logical conclusion; we need a parallel path of progress in the meantime.
Drilling more holes in the ground at this point will keep the lights on, but it isn't progress.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Syriana for President
Syriana is an excellent film, not typical Hollywood fair; nothing is spoon fed the audience. There are certain throwaway lines, which nonetheless will resonate with an energy savvy audience, such as the idealistic Matt Damon character stating flatly at one point that oil is “running out.”
In any case, it appears the movie has attracted attention across the political spectrum, including the imperialist dogs at the Global Security think tank.
'Syriana' Used in Oil Conservation Calls
A lot of liberal coalitions and a lot of liberal individuals will look at these people and say, 'We don't like these guys,'" Coifman said. "But the lines on the political map are being redrawn. I don't think this is going to be a short-term marriage of convenience."
Each side still "reserves the right to knock heads" on other issues, he added.
Anne Korin, co-director of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, acknowledged she "couldn't care less" about global warming or protecting the environment from oil drilling.
"I'm involved in this because most of the world's oil reserves are owned by countries that finance people that want to kill us, that finance radical Islam," she said.
Great minds such as the one sported by Anne Korin can’t be bothered to worry about the devastation that global warming is causing. Little surprise, then, that her public reasoning is so witless in regards to the mysterious wish of the heathen rag heads to kill westerners.
For starters, when those of us in the west buy oil, radical Islam is financed.
Just watch the movie.
Thursday, December 08, 2005
chilling out the stock market
Oil, Natural Gas Prices Up on Cold Weather
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Natural gas prices jumped 9 percent to a new high Thursday and oil prices also climbed as cold weather across the U.S. raised jitters about increased demand for home-heating fuels this winter.
But some brokers said they were stunned by the market's apparent knee-jerk reaction to freezing temperatures and snow, chalking it up to speculative buying.
At the end of the day, some serious reflection is in order for rank and file economic pundits. Energy prices are swinging wildly in response to a little chilly weather. When did this phenomenom start?
There were those who predicted this very situation.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
millions of peaches, peaches for free
Monbiot wrote a Guardian story on what we all suspected: "Worse Than Fossil Fuel":
The last time I drew attention to the hazards of making diesel fuel from vegetable oils, I received as much abuse as I have ever been sent by the supporters of the Iraq war. The biodiesel missionaries, I discovered, are as vociferous in their denial as the executives of Exxon. I am now prepared to admit that my previous column was wrong. But they're not going to like it. I was wrong because I underestimated the fuel's destructive impact.
Before I go any further, I should make it clear that turning used chip fat into motor fuel is a good thing. The people slithering around all day in vats of filth are performing a service to society. But there is enough waste cooking oil in the UK to meet one 380th of our demand for road transport fuel(2). Beyond that, the trouble begins.
I often must bite my tongue to avoid criticising people who extoll the virtues of their Peanut Cars, some old rabbit which they load up with vegetable grease and anti-coagulants.
"It will soon be competitive with gasoline at these prices!" they say, and everyone clucks their tongue and nods. (I live in is Seattle. Not sure how this conversation would play out in the red states.)
Sadly, the goal of bio-diesel being competitive with gasoline will be just perpetually out of reach, like a carrot on a string. The actor yanking the carrot should be understood to be (fossil) energy prices; as Monbiot points out above:
But there is enough waste cooking oil in the UK to meet one 380th of our demand for road transport fuel(2). Beyond that, the trouble begins.
Friday, December 02, 2005
ice skating on the moon
'Fossil fuel' theory takes hit with NASA finding (via James Moe)
NASA scientists are about to publish conclusive studies showing abundant methane of a non-biologic nature is found on Saturn's giant moon Titan, a finding that validates a new book's contention that oil is not a fossil fuel.
"This finding confirms one of the key arguments in 'Black Gold Stranglehold: The Myth of Scarcity and the Politics of Oil,'" claims co-author Jerome R. Corsi. "We argue that oil and natural gas are abiotic products, not 'fossil fuels' that are biologically created by the debris of dead dinosaurs and ancient forests."
"If the scientists have ruled out that biological processes created methane on Titan, why do petro-geologists still argue that natural gas on Earth is of biological origin?" Corsi asked.
Saint Jerome updates us with a news flash from Astronomy 101 -- There is gas in outer space, and Titanese cows as of yet have not been spotted emmitting copious amounts of hydrocarbons out of their space butts.
Nothing! Wake me when they find oil on the moon, Jerky. Jerome surely shall be canonized on that day. So far, the evidence is stacked against it. (Zoom all the way in, Jerome. All the way.) Damn that conventional science, expecting verifiable results!
Thursday, December 01, 2005
recipe for local change
The Unplanner has been thinking about ways to kickstart local change, bringing local government in line with some of the seemingly far out results of energy scarcity.
My New Plan
A third way is needed here. We have to take the strengths of both techniques and combine them together to really be able to plan for Peak Oil, natural gas depletion, natural disasters, resource wars and so on. FEMA and the feds have shown little ability and inclination for effective planning. (...) The solution will have to be locally conceived. (...) Combin(ing) the actions of a group with the official structure of the local government. Both entities would work with each other to achieve the same goal (sustainability in my case) but focusing on different tasks and carrying out different actions. This arrangement keeps the city (or other jurisdiction) from overstepping its legal boundaries yet permitting the group from proposing and carrying out more “radical” elements such as a local currency, something an official city government would be more inclined to avoid creating.
Many good ideas.