Thursday, July 05, 2007

Vivoleum Hoax
JFK Turns to CIA to Plug a Leak
Gulf Arabs Less Sure of Dollar Peg
UAE to Divert 50% of Oil Meant for Gas to Power
Hormuz Oil Bypass: Six Firms in "Pipeline"
Iran's Gas Rationing Sets Off Violence
Iran Launches Answer to CNN and BBC World
Iran Rejects Oliver Stone Film Request
West Africa Drug Haven for Latin American Smugglers
China to Search for Oil in the Sudan
Ben Stein Sounding Humbler These Days


Rice Farmer said...

Vivoleum Hoax -- Very clever. I love the way the Yes Men get their point across. Indirectly, however, this is what we're doing in the mad scramble for oil: sacrificing the lives of those who happen to be in the way, Iraq being a case in point. And now Africa will be the new killing field.

UAE to Divert 50% of Oil Meant for Gas to Power -- A very timely item! This is another example of a hot peak oil-related topic that is getting much attention recently. Oil exporters are diverting more of their oil and gas for domestic consumption. Add this to reductions due to peak oil, and the situation is still grimmer.

And a little light reading:
"The Rising and Falling Power of Hydrocarbon States"

Rice Farmer said...

Demand destruction in the air travel industry.

It would be interesting to know how many people so far have just given up flying, or are seriously thinking of it, because of this situation. As the "security measures" and delays worsen, people are just going to say nuts to flying. Which I think is the whole idea.

A peon said...

I requested E-mail updates from the Yes Men website.Here is the most recent one I have received,I thought people here might find interesting: June 28, 2007

Yes Men badly need sysadmin, server co-location


One day after the Yes Men made a joke announcement that ExxonMobil
plans to turn billions of climate-change victims into a brand-new
fuel called Vivoleum, the Yes Men's upstream internet service
provider shut down, the Yes Men's spoof website, and cut
off the Yes Men's email service, in reaction to a complaint whose
source they will not identify. The provider, Broadview Networks, also
made the Yes Men remove all mention of Exxon from
before they'd restore the Yes Men's email service.

The Yes Men assume the complainant was Exxon. "Since parody is
protected under US law, Exxon must think that people seeing the site
will think Vivoleum's a real Exxon product, not just a parody," said
Yes Man Mike Bonanno. "Exxon's policies do already contribute to
150,000 climate-change related deaths each year," added Yes Man Andy
Bichlbaum. "So maybe it really is credible. What a resource!"

After receiving the complaint June 15, Broadview added a "filter"
that disabled the IP address (, and
furthermore prevented email from being sent from the Yes Men's
primary IP address ( Even after all Exxon logos were
removed from both sites and a disclaimer was placed on
on Tuesday, Broadview would still not remove the filter. (The
disclaimer read: "Although Vivoleum is not a real ExxonMobil program,
it might as well be.")

Broadview did restore both IPs on Wednesday, after the
website was completely disabled and all mention of Exxon was removed

While this problem is temporarily resolved, the story is far from
over. Meanwhile, though, two bigger problems loom, for which we're
asking your help:


Broadview Networks provides internet connectivity to New York's and the websites and servers it hosts, including the Yes
Men's server. has been a host for many years to numerous
activist and artist websites and servers.

At the end of July, will terminate its contract with
Broadview and move its operations to Germany, where internet
expression currently benefits from a friendlier legal climate than in
the US, and where baseless threats by large corporations presumably
have less weight with providers. At that time, the Yes Men and two
other organizations with servers "co-located" at will need
a new home for those servers. Please write to us if you can offer
such help or know of someone who can.


The Yes Men are desperately in need of a sysadmin. The position is
unpaid at the moment, but it shouldn't take much time for someone who
knows Debian Linux very well. It involves monitoring the server,
keeping it up-to-date, making sure email is working correctly, etc.
The person could also maintain the Yes Men's website (which will be
updated next week), if she or he wants. also needs a sysadmin: someone living in New York who knows
Linux well. The position involves some money and the
rewards of working for an organization that has consistently and at
great personal risk supported groups like the Yes Men over the years.


bartonbythesea said...

Brent crude oil breaches 76 dollars per barrel -

Green2Go said... is wiped off the net. It's not on Google's or Yahoo's cache and it's not on the Internet Archives. Gone.

bartonbythesea said...

Non-OPEC peak oil threat receding -

bartonbythesea said...

Gold prices rise along with crude oil, as U.S. dollar falls -

bartonbythesea said...

Oil shortage could spark conflicts in world: SIPRI

* Calls Iran’s influence the most disturbing factor in the region

bartonbythesea said...

Oil crisis to hit in four years !!,23599,

Anonymous said...

Financial crisis hitting the Midwest as some property tax bills increase by over 100%. The Indianapolis real estate market has received a death blow as the result of corporate inventory taxes being shifted to the backs of home owners.

The fleecing of America and the destruction of the middle class is in full swing. The following article describes the situation, then closes with an insider saying that this is a good thing because it will give the government more spending power to create jobs. Simply unbelievable.

Chris XVX said...

There's a video on Google Video of Amory Lovins, CEO of the Rocky Mountain Institute, discussing alternative fuels and the future of energy. He mentions peak oil, bio-fuels, etc.

Rice Farmer said...

The Lovins video is too long for me (no high-speed internet access here), but I hope he's not promising that alternative energy will prop up the oil economy, because it's not gonna happen.

We need to be skeptical of any such promises. Note that just the other day -- after a whole year of hype -- the demonstration of Steorn's free-energy "Orbo" perpetual motion machine was postponed due to "technical difficulties." Right.

Pandabonium said...

U.S. strategists are exploring how to implement a peace accord to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War and hope to start discussions with North Korea as soon as year end. Obviously, the US needs those 37,000 troops elsewhere - Middle East? Africa?

JohnT said...

"Scientists Create Endless Power from Magnets"

I'm not even sure what to think about this. Comments?

Pandabonium said...

JohnT - re: "Scientists Create Endless Power from Magnets"

Misleading headline. Read the BBC article they linked to.

This a cool little invention. It is less than 1 cubic centemeter in size and produces microwatts of power, so its application is for things like small sensors or perhaps pace makers. It cannot be scaled up because of how it works.

So, yes it's a nice invention, but will have no effect on "macro" energy power generation, peak oil, etc.

Pandabonium said...

chris xxx (and rice farmer) -
re: Amory Lovins

Lovins is a "techno-optomist" with lots of wonderful sounding plans. If we had 30 years, and the WILL to implement them, parts of his vision might be plausible. I also think a number of his ideas are a complete waste of time and capital which could be better used elsewhere.

I have a book which he contributed to - Natural Capitalism - which came out in 1999 and offer up nice ideas about eco-friendly business, recycling and so on, and gave some real examples of businesses following that ideal. Eight years later I doubt you find many more examples than existed then, except at a small business level, and the big businesses in the book have not progressed very far down the path toward their goals.

There was an article on Salon last year about peak oil which mentioned Lovins - here: Oil is Going". It can also be found on this page at From the Wilderness: FTW news articles

Whether the future holds very "turbulent" times, as Howard Kunslter calls it (Rice Farmer and I would be in this camp) or a techno-fix utopia as Lovins describes depends on how long we have and the flow of energy. We don't have that information exactly, but the evidence we do have is not at all leaning toward the utopian camp - quite the opposite.

If I may go on a bit further (sorry for the long comment) there are structural reasons in politics, economics, and business which make any change to sustainability unlikely at any but the individual/local level. The fact is that governments and big business have known about these problems (environmental, resource depletion, population growth, etc) for many decades, yet have made virtually no progress toward changing the situation. They are simply not set up to deal with them, and more to the point, are set up to profit from the status quo.

Rice Farmer said...

Nice catch on the Korean War article, Pandabonium. Also, thanks for the lowdown on the Lovins video. He's still peddling the dream of a glorious technological future (i.e., have your cake and eat it, too).

Johnt -- Pandabonium's comment on the magnet generator is spot-on. It needs a source of outside physical movement, and mechanically converts part of that into a tiny current of electricity. There's no magic.

Chris XVX said...

Yes I'm quite aware that Lovins is a "techno-optomist" but the interview is interesting nonetheless. He does talk about passive/active solar houses with more that average insulation without the need for heating/cooling.

The big questions is where to move to? Is the Pacific Northwest still a good bet now that the West(especially the southwest) is drying up?

Will the south become too hot?

If the ice caps melt and the jet stream halts will the Northeast become too cold?

Rice Farmer said...

Chris XVX -- Don't get me wrong. I do think that Lovins has much useful information to offer. Where I part ways with him is the idea that alternative technologies can prop up the petroleum economy.

‘Lights Out: The Electricity Crisis, the Global Economy and What It Means to You’

Rice Farmer said...

Despite warnings, oil usage expected to increase

bartonbythesea said...

If it smells like peak oil, it probably is -

gaelicgirl said...

Here is an interesting article from "Truthout". It's an interview with the head (a woman!) of the Iraqi Union of Oil Workers. She talks about the objections that the Iraqi workers have to the US mandated Oil Law, and she is extremely clear about the motivations behind the oil law, and the reasons that the US went to war in Iraq to begin with:

Rice Farmer said...

Major bioenergy initiative takes flight in Midwest

With a $125 million grant from the DoE, people will work on anything. If the DoE gave me that kind of money, I'd be glad to spend my days tinkering with perpetual motion or whatever. The article says, "These centers will provide the transformational science needed for bioenergy breakthroughs to advance President Bush's goal of making cellulosic ethanol cost-competitive with gasoline by 2012..." By that time just about anything will be cost-competitive with gasoline! Who are they kidding?

Pandabonium said...

chris xxx - sorry if went on a bit about Lovins, but I think his kind of pie in the sky talk leaves the general public with the impression that there is no problem, which encourages inaction - which is also why mainstream media likes him.

There does seem to be a nexus of activity in the Pacific Northwest with people from northern California to Washington doing good things on the personal and community levels, including things you mentioned. You are probably familiar with the videos, audio interviews and such at Post Carbon Institute's Global Public Media website. If not, check it out.

I'm out of the USA now, but were I going to live there, I would head for Oregon. Macro weather issues are tough to predict, but the South is out of bounds to me for political/sociological reasons, the Southwest has always been a desert only brought to life by energy which won't be there in the future, the Northeast is already a deep freeze (I'm allergic to snow), which doesn't leave much.

Who knows what will happen weather wise. Invest in knowledge and you can take it with you where ever you go.

Anonymous said...

rice farmer -

Hey, for a $125 million grant from the DoE, I could write up a report on how to double, triple or even QUADRUPLE the energy efficiency of EVERY car on the road, starting TODAY!

(It's called car pooling, but don't tell them and I'll throw you a subcontract.)

Jacob said...

Rebels say attack on Mexican pipeline is just the beginning

This newsbit stinks bad... how convenient that "leftist rebels" are damaging the olie infrastructure - but not in a way that damage the export: "Mexico's oil export capacity was not affected by the attacks, and Pemex reported Tuesday that the average price of a barrel of its export crude was nearly $64, a near-record high."

Oh and lets just connect it completely here: "In its statement, the EPR linked the explosions to an ongoing political battle in the southern state of Oaxaca, where teachers and leftist activists have been demanding the ouster of Gov. Ulises Ruiz since last year."

bartonbythesea said...

IEA boss denies and confirms peak oil in same breath -

bartonbythesea said...

Cold opportunities for undiscovered petroleum resources -

FBI reveals its data-mining
practices -

Chris XVX said...

Thanks Pandabonium. I see that you're in Japan(just like Rice Farmer!). How's the outlook for the future over there?(I don't have any intentions of moving there but I am curious.)

Wherever there are problems, there are solutions and what's the worst case senario? death? Life goes on well after our bodies have died...

Pandabonium said...

chris xvx - rice farmer has been in Japan ten times longer than I have and has a better grasp of conditions here than I, but here's my take:

Japan imports 100% of its oil and gas, and grows less than 40% of its own food. That's the bad news.

What it has going for it IMHO are the following:

A relatively peaceful society used to working together (not so sure about the younger people though). Continuous experience with serious emergencies - earthquakes, typhoons (one is hitting Japan now), volcanic activity, tidal waves. A low level of personal debt and high savings rate. A high trade balance. A fairly large number of people who remember when times were lean, there was little power, few cars, few public utilities, etc. Engineering expertise. Experience with energy conservation. Excellent, efficient public transportation.

Still, the major cities are huge and totally unsustainable even in the relatively short term. I think it will be "turbulent", but do-able.

My personal plan lies in the Southern Hemisphere in two 2nd tier countries which already have a low fossil fuel dependence, where large numbers of people presently live off the land and sea, and social structure is still very much family oriented. You can tell which countries I mean - or at least one of them - if you visit my blogs.
Already have land, and an organic farmer for a neighbor, in one location. Hope to build a modest, "post carbon style" home next year.

One cannot always make plans and have them go to schedule - so far I'm two years behind plan. I'm in a fairly rural area and my SO's family are farmers, so I'm prepared to stay here if that's the way things unfold for us.