“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Past Time to Rethink Transportation and Fuel

Alternative Transportation Need Not Be all That Bad

Car sales last year were up 60 percent in Russia, up 30 percent in Brazil and up 20 percent in China. Imagine India with $2500 cars. Friends, the era of getting 300 miles on a twenty gallon gas tank is rapidly coming to an end. Electricity, propane, hydrogen or perhaps a motorbike are in the future. What is clear is that the existing automobile fleet is going to be replaced sooner than you think. Ford (F) closing at $7.50 may be the buy of a lifetime.


Oil prices to double by 2012: Canadian study
Breit Bart

U.S.: biodiesel usage to increse to 1 billion gallons per year by 2012.

The price of oil is likely to hit 150 dollars (Canadian, US) a barrel by 2010 and soar to 225 dollars a barrel by 2012 as supply becomes increasingly tight, a Canadian bank said Thursday.

The CIBC report says the International Energy Agency's current oil production estimates overstate supply by about nine percent, since it wrongly counts natural gas liquids -- which are not viable for transportation fuel -- in its numbers.

Analyst Jeff Rubin in his report noted accelerating depletion rates in many of the world's largest and most mature oil fields. He estimates oil production will hardly grow at all, with average daily production between now and 2012 rising by barely a million barrels per day.

"Whether we have already seen the peak in world oil production remains to be seen, but it is increasingly clear that the outlook for oil supply signals a period of unprecedented scarcity," said Rubin.

"Despite the recent record jump in oil prices, oil prices will continue to rise steadily over the next five years, almost doubling from current levels."

The CIBC report also notes that while production increases are at a virtual standstill, global demand continues to grow.

An expected drop in demand in the United States due to higher prices and a weak economy will be more than offset by demand growth in developing nations, it says.

Rubin cites, for example, the recent launch of Tata's 2,500-dollar car that will allow millions of households in India to soon own automobiles.

He also notes that car sales last year were up 60 percent in Russia, up 30 percent in Brazil and up 20 percent in China.

Transport fuel now accounts for half of the world's oil usage.

Although US oil consumption is likely to fall by over two million barrels a day over the next five years as pump prices rise, he says, more drivers on the road in Russia, China and India will surely pick up the slack in demand.


  1. "The world has been spooked by the sprector of global warming": Here's an interesting podcast from the Cato Institute:

    April 25, 2008: "Rising Global Wealth (and Ethanol) Driving Higher Food Prices" featuring Indur M. Goklany Cato Institute

  2. It's all Rufus's and Co2's fault.

  3. Coal plus fire = Electricity plus Co2.

    Co2 + Hydrogen + Electricity = Fuel.

  4. Officials: U.S. food shortages unlikey

    Wheat stocks held by farmers are at lowest level in 60 years; poor crop yields, growing worldwide demand cited as reasons

    AP--Even though grain bins throughout the country are nearly empty, U.S. consumers are not likely to experience the food shortages seen elsewhere in the world, officials said.

    The National Agriculture Sta;tistics Service recently reported wheat stocks held by farmers on March 1 were at their lowest level in 60 years.

    Total U.S. wheat stocks on hand as of March 1 were estimated at 617l.3 million bushels. In Idaho, wheat stocks were at 19.3 million bushels, Washington at 45.6 million bushels. That's less than half of last year's levels. Globally wheat stocks are at a 30 year low.

    The situration is the result of poor crop yields around the world last year and a growing demand for wheat and other staple grains.

    "This las year was the second year of drought in Australis," Squirres said. "Normally they produce 24 to 26 million tons, the last couple years they've only produced 9 to 10 million tons. They export everything, so there's just been a lot less wheat on the market, which explains high prices."


    This situation is ripe for a big move upward, with more bad harvests.

  5. He estimates oil production will hardly grow at all, with average daily production between now and 2012 rising by barely a million barrels per day.

    Peak Oil is the new Global Warming. The father of Peak Oil, Dr. M. King Hubbert, said it was going to be in 1995. Many models are too simplified and static, and don't take into account that high prices cause demand to slacken, which translates to lower production, which translates to a longer time for depletion. Right now we're in a time when China's demand for oil ballooned faster than our supply chain could adapt , so prices are at historic highs. This will work itself out.

    Well this piece of eye candy isn't good enough to make my link list, Deuce. But this weekend I will be "deep diving" into the EB archives to find gooder ones to point to.

  6. Mexico oil reserves along US border at risk -panel

    Wednesday April 23 2008
    By Chris Baltimore

    WASHINGTON, April 23 (Reuters) - Big new oil finds on the U.S. side of the Gulf of Mexico could drain away Mexico's supplies unless the Latin American producer fundamentally changes its oil law to allow it to sign production-sharing deals with foreign firms, experts said on Wednesday.
    At issue are the undeveloped oil deposits in the Gulf of Mexico's Western Gap known as the "doughnut hole," which could hold up to 20 billion barrels of oil and will be open to drilling once a moratorium ends in 2010.
    New developments like the Perdido floating spar facility being built by Royal Dutch Shell will bring oil development within miles of the Mexican border, while Mexico's state-owned Pemex is powerless to chase a wealth of ultra deepwater resources due to a lack of cash.
    Without a new legal framework to allow Pemex to sign deals with foreign oil companies, drilling rigs in waters controlled by the United States, Cuba and Belize could drain Mexico's oil due to the area's flow dynamics, experts said.
    "Our potential transboundary fields are at risk," said Lourdes Melgar, a Mexico City-based oil consultant, speaking at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. "If Mexico doesn't do something ... those resources are going to be lost."
    Both Shell and the U.S. government have downplayed the possibility of cross-border drainage from existing fields, saying that geological barriers keep the oil in place.
    Chris Oynes, an official with the U.S. Minerals Management Service, said the United States and Mexico could perhaps sign unitization contracts that would divvy up transboundary oil resources in line with proven reserves.
    The U.S. government has signed more than 200 such contracts to divide the rights to oil produced near Gulf of Mexico states like Texas and Louisiana, but currently has no authority to sign them with foreign governments.
    U.S. State Department officials are currently studying how such unitization contracts might work, panelists said.
    If written as performance clauses to service contracts with Pemex, the cooperation agreements would be authorized by the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to Jose Luis Alberro, a director at consulting firm LECG and former Pemex official.
    Without such assurances, "the first person to drill gets to suck up all the goodies," said Joe Dukert, an independent energy analyst.
    Mexico is the world's No. 6 producer of crude and a top U.S. supplier but Pemex is not finding new reserves fast enough to stave off a decline in output.
    President Felipe Calderon's conservative party is pushing a government energy reform plan to sweeten terms for foreign oilfield service contracts.
    But objections from Mexico's centrist opposition party will likely delay approval of the bill until after Congress wraps up its spring session on April 30.
    Melgar said that Mexico could approve a framework for transboundary oil resources without acting on the larger issue of privatization.
    Miriam Grunstein, an attorney with Thompson and Knight, said the two issues are too interlinked to solve separately.
    "If you don't overhaul the legal and contractual agreements you will have nothing at all," Grunstein said.
    World-scale exploration companies "would rather be at war than come to Mexico," because Pemex contracts are slanted against them, she said. (Reporting by Chris Baltimore, editing by Matthew Lewis))

  7. Wheat has dropped from an intraday high close to Fourteen Dollars/bu a couple of months ago to almost exactly $8.00, today.

    The traders on wall street are having a big time trading pieces of paper, or bits, and bytes on a computer screen; but, don't call your local elevator and try to sell them any Oct Corn for $6.00 cause they ain't goin for it. They're just saying "call us back in few months."

  8. It was an itsy bitsy
    teeny weenie yellow polka...
    Yellow to Sharks
    is "Yum Yum Yellow."
    Swim in the morning:
    bled out for the mourning.

  9. The dope on the Shark is Enviros INSISTING on having an obscene (and smelly) number of Seals in the very pool where kiddies once played.
    I like seals:
    Feed them Lean Enviroburgers 10 miles out.

  10. The North Sea production is plunging.

    Alaska is steadily declining.

    Mexico is falling 10%+ every year.

    Venezela is falling.

    Russia is starting to decline.

    The Gulf of Mexico is in decline.

    Saudi Arabia is down about 1.5 million bpd from their high, and (here's the shocker) stated recently that even though they have some fields coming online in the next year they have no interest in producing any more than they are now (which means with their exploding consumption exports will continue to fall.)

    China has peaked. Angola has peaked. Nigeria? A mess, but, definitely peaked.

    Overall, existing fields are falling 4%, Globally. Global consumption rising somewhere between 1.5%, and 2.0%.

    We need to add a Saudi Arabia every two years. No way. The only country I would bet will increase exports in the next ten years is Iraq.

    Don't let stories of new fields fool you. Most, like the Jack (big story last year, remember?) are in difficult spots, will be slow to develop, and will not have really significant "flow rates." It's All About "Flow Rates."

    The "Peak Oilers" might actually be naive optimists. What happens when other Nations take the Saudi Arabia attitude, and say, "Why should we produce all we can now when we can get a higher price for our precious lifeblood later?

    Anyone want to buy a slightly used SUV? You lookin for a "Deal?"

  11. "Peak Oil is the new Global Warming."
    My Ass.
    It's our China Policy from Nixon to present.

  12. BTW, if T don't like that'n she's been lyin to us.

    That'd make a bulldog break a brass chain.

  13. Nuthin like a Flat-Head Harley.

  14. Millionaire yachts vs. the EBay schooner -- who are you rooting for?
    There's a bunch of millionaires racing their fleet and fancy yachts down the coast to Ensenada today, and then there's John Haupt, who bought his boat for $780 on EBay. Susannah Rosenblatt reports:
    Newly painted red and green, the aging metal-and-cement boat, he said, needed some work -- to put it mildly. He is aiming for the brass spittoon that is awarded to the last-place finisher in the annual competition. "You don't have to be a millionaire to race against these millionaires," Haupt said.One of the crew's good-luck charms? An empty beer bottle autographed by -- who else?
    -- Jimmy Buffett.
    Haupt's vessel is one of 390 boats in the Newport-Ensenada yacht race, a 125-mile regatta with an entry fee of just $145.

    (That's last year's race in the photo, which the story calls "... a cross between ballet and bumper cars -- but with fewer collisions.")

    So what kind of guy bids for a boat, sight unseen, online? And how did he turn his bargain-basement find into a sea-worthy schooner? Details in Susannah's full story.
    -- Veronique de Turenne

  15. Big new oil finds on the U.S. side of the Gulf of Mexico could drain away Mexico's supplies

    Serves them right. Take back all your people, we'll think about not draining your oil bucket.

  16. "Henry, Henry, play the China card."

    That little puppy would make any old hound drop down to his knees.

  17. Rats from heavily infested house in Washington state to be offered for adoption as pets
    04-25-2008 3:07 PM

    ROCHESTER, Wash. (Associated Press) -- Rats from a heavily infested house here are being trapped to be offered for adoption as pets.

    After being alerted by neighbors, Thurston County animal control officials served a search warrant on April 9 at the residence of Michele Diller, 64. They found that pet rats had ruined the house, chewing through walls, cupboards, drawers and wires, soaking carpets with urine and covering floors with feces. The officials removed a cat, four severely malnourished snakes, five mice and two rats.

    Since then, county health officials have said the house will be condemned and Diller has moved to an apartment in neighboring Lewis County to await assisted-living housing.

    Poisoned traps were set for a time to eliminate the rats, apparently the offspring of a few Diller purchased as food for the snakes, and more than 100 dead rats have been removed, said Hilary Price of RatsPacNW in Seattle.

    Poison was used before her volunteer group got involved, and the rest of the rats are being trapped live to be offered for adoption, said Price, the sister of former Seattle Mariners pitching coach Bryan Price.

    Rodent enthusiasts around the state constitute "a huge rat community," Price said.

    As of Thursday the group had captured 29 live rats, including 10 babies.

    "They're very smart, they're very clean, they can do tricks," Price said. "They're like little miniature dogs."

    Before agreeing to move, Diller was saying, `You can't hurt them, they're my friends,'" said Susanne Beauregard, director of Animal Services.

    The rats could not survive in the wild because Diller fed them cat food ...

  18. Providing Context For Reverand Wright

    In his interview with Bill Moyers, Pastor Jeremiah Wright blasted the media for failing to provide context to his much-condemned remarks.On today's show I played great portions of his sermons from April 13, 2004 and from September 16, 2001. I will post the audio here later.

    Pastor Wright has a legitimate complaint that only sound bytes have been played, but until today I had no other material to work with. The pastor could help us all if he would release recordings of all of his sermons, and Moyers ought to have asked for just that.

    If you are going to mount the defense of "out of context," then provide the context.Jeremiah Wright - 4-13-03 - Cut 1
    - Jesus' enemies

    Jeremiah Wright - 4-13-03 - Cut 2
    - Military making war for peace is like raping for virginity.

    Jeremiah Wright - 4-13-03 - Cut 3
    - crusade and jihad are one and the same

  19. So WHY do you characterise your Senator as "Mad," 'Rat?

  20. Rats from a heavily infested house here are being trapped to be offered for adoption as pets.

    Kill 'em, put then in cold storage, let the high students use them in anatomy class.

    Maybe sell them to China.

    I remember when we cut up rats in biology class, we were all amzed at how big their livers were.

  21. Because he is almost always mad about something.

    Explosive temper, they say.

    He seems a tad bent, mentally.

    His aQ, Shia, Sunni, Iran misstatements of the past few weeks exemplify his mentality.

    No room for reality or facts, just his feelings of self-rightousness

    Mind fucked, for sure, by the North Vietnamese

  22. Rev Al Sharpton is is blah, blah, blahing today.

    I wonder why that case was decided by a judge, rather than a jury. Would have had to be a move by the defense, they have a right to a jury, if they want. Must have figured they were in really inhospitable territory, thought a judge would be more rational.
    The cops got off, the people are mad, Al's on the high horse, making a speech.

  23. All eleven Wright cuts in one file .
    (only have to hear Grover once)

    Mp3 File

  24. It seems kind of amazing what the west gets blamed for--Our Fault

  25. All together now saw "enemies".

    Say enemas.

    Friend or enema.

  26. Don't forget Conscious Pilate. --Maybe my hearing is just getting worse.

  27. I've been sitting here it seems like 20 years listening to Rev. Wright, and I can't think of a thing to criticize him for. Except that rising rhetoric, which becomes too predictable, but does keep one awake.

  28. Desert Rat: Mind fucked, for sure, by the North Vietnamese

    Well let's give him the nuclear football then.

  29. Want to hear some horsepucky?

    From KGORadio.

    There is a proper and an improper way to understand Rev. Wright's words. "God Damn America."

    Those here would understand it as expressing a distorted hatred, etc. of our county. This is the improper manner.

    The proper way, as expressed by Professor Hopkins of U. of Chicago, I think they said, is the context of Moses leading the children of Israel out of slavery towards the promised land. When they arrived at Mt. Sinai, Moses ascended the mountain alone and spoke with God. Left alone, the Israelites became distressed without their leader, and began to do all manner of bad stuff, like worshipping images and so forth. Descending, face aflame, Tablets in hand, Moses saw this, and the Golden Calf they had made, and broke the tablets and the image in the manner of "God Damn You Israelites", like Heston. And it's true, as told, all that generation died out before reaching the Land. (Moses too, but this wasn't mentioned.) This is the proper context for understanding Wright's statement.

    If this seems a stretch to you, join me in calling it horsepucky.

  30. Now they are trying to put the AIDS statement in context, struggling mightily.

    Wait till they pick up on the fact the west is responsible for abortions in China. See 11:11:00

  31. “Any person who supports John McCain’s (Obama's) campaigns is a subscriber to John McCain’s views and even if those people have published things or said things in terms of policy that are contrary to John McCain’s (Obama's) policies that does not mean John McCain (Obama) supports that person’s view. That person is working in a campaign to help express John McCain’s (Obama's) view.”

    The McCain campaign discounts Rev Wright's influence, so should you, doug.

    There is enough other, better, dirt. Ayers is better, to club him with.

  32. The French did help evolve the AIDs virus, in Africa, when they made some low cost vaccines, if the TV special I once saw on the subject was accurate.

    It was "whitey", just not GI Joe.

  33. Wasn't it thought it popped over from some monkey, the green monkey, whatever that is, to humans?
    The AIDS virus has probably been around a long time. Maybe it was in humans before it mutated a bit and became virulent.

  34. WASHINGTON - Twenty-five years after the first AIDS cases emerged, scientists have confirmed that the HIV virus plaguing humans really did originate in wild chimpanzees, in a corner of Cameroon.

    Solving the mystery of HIV’s ancestry was dirty work. Scientists employed trackers to plunge through dense jungle and collect the fresh feces of wild apes — more than 1,300 samples in all.

    Before that, it took seven years of research just to develop the testing methods to genetically trace the primate version of the virus in living wild chimps without hurting the endangered species.

    Until now, “no one was able to look. No one had the tools,” said Dr. Beatrice Hahn of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She led the team of international researchers that reported the success in Friday’s edition of the journal Science.

    “We’re 25 years into this pandemic,” Hahn said. “We don’t have a cure. We don’t have a vaccine. But we know where it came from. At least we can make a check mark on one of those.”

    Scientists long have known that nonhuman primates carry their own version of the AIDS virus, called SIV or simian immunodeficiency virus. But with one exception, it had been found only in captive chimpanzees, particularly a subspecies that in the wild populates mostly West Africa.

    It was not known how prevalent the virus was in chimps in the wild, or how genetically or geographically diverse it was, complicating efforts to pin down the jump from animal to man.

    Hahn’s team tested chimp feces for SIV antibodies, finding them in a subspecies called Pan troglodytes troglodytes in southern Cameroon.

    Chimps tend to form geographically distinct communities. By genetically analyzing the feces, researchers could trace individual infected chimps. The team found some chimp communities with infection rates as high as 35 percent, while others had no infection at all.

    Every single infected chimp had a common base genetic pattern that indicated a common ancestor, Hahn said.

    There are three types of HIV-1, the strain of the human virus responsible for most of the worldwide epidemic. Genetic analysis let Hahn identify chimp communities near Cameroon’s Sanaga River whose viral strains are most closely related to the most common of those HIV-1 subtypes.

    “The genetic similarity was striking,” Hahn said.

    The first human known to be infected with HIV was a man from Kinshasa in the nearby country of Congo who had his blood stored in 1959 as part of a medical study, decades before scientists knew the AIDS virus existed.

    Presumably, someone in rural Cameroon was bitten by a chimp or was cut while butchering one and became infected with the ape virus. That person passed it to someone else.

    The Sanaga River long has been a commercial waterway, for transporting hardwood, ivory and other items to more urban areas. Eventually, someone infected made it to Kinshasa.

    “How many different transmission events occurred between that initial hunter and this virus making it to Kinshasa, I don’t know. It could have been one, it could have been 10, it could have been 100,” Hahn said. “Eventually, it ended up in an urban area, and that’s where it really got going.”

    Somewhere in all that spread, the virus became more deadly to people than it is to chimps, who seldom are bothered much by SIV.

    The research seems to settle any question of HIV’s origin, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health’s AIDS chief.

    When tracing a virus’ evolution, “it’s important to get as close to the source as you can,” he said. “It’s of historic interest.”

  35. I don't buy McCain's Flak's defense for Big John, or Barry.

    I agree Aeyrs is better, but Wright offers a MUCH more visible target.
    Any A-hole that sends his young girls to that hatehole is a first class A-hole.

    (as is W, for letting Ramos and Campeon rot, even after Sutton's perp's been found guilty. As he pardons drug dealers.)

  36. That guy that works for McCain is worse than Wright, but Barry's socialism is worse.

  37. IOW I prefer a-hole #1's policies to a-hole #2's.
    They both remain corrupt a-holes.

  38. North Carolinans are pissed off BIG TIME for John telling them what they can say... again.
    Acting holier than thou as he LOVES to do to CONSERVATIVES.
    Should have kept his mouth shut and let Barry twist in the wind from the moyer's exposure, and the upcoming press club appearance, instead, he sticks his big censorious nose in other people's business.
    THEN, when he could have said how much better things will be in Louisianna now that they have a competent governor, he has to give the feds an F, w/o mentioning the bigger failures of Schoolbus Nagin and that incompetent governor.

    ...course John would NEVER criticise Schoolbus, because any criticism of anyone black is automatically racist.
    Out of touch old fart.

  39. Doug: North Carolinans are pissed off BIG TIME for John telling them what they can say... again. Acting holier than thou as he LOVES to do to CONSERVATIVES.

    Well North Carolinians are welcome to go to a monster truck rally after work on TUESDAY! TUESDAY! TUESDAY! November 4, instead of voting. NC isn't entirely Deliverance country. They have college towns and high-tech and a large Obama fan base.

  40. Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.
    There are various sea vessels involved in shipping to jamaica. It may include box boats or container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, ferries, cable layers, dredgers and barges.