Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Noose Tightens

From Jenna Orkin

Global Crisis/US

Oil Rises to Highest Since November as US Job Losses Slow
The noose tightens.
North Sea Ekofisk Crude Oil Shipments to Decline 11% Next Month
Next Challenge for Banks: Credit Card Losses
When you see the word "challenge," you know you're in trouble.
Obama Proposes Expanding FDIC Borrowing Power
330%. The trick is to keep building the house of cards higher at the same time as it's collapsing.
White House Foresees Higher Budget Deficit
Obama to Hold Town Hall Meeting on Credit Cards
Dead Souls: Denationalization of the American Elite
Article offering further specifics regarding Eyeballs' comment on the neocons vs. a global plutocracy.
GM's CEO Fritz Henderson Ready to "Resort to Bankruptcy"
US Water Infrastructure Needs Seen as Urgent (from Rice Farmer)
US Seen "Squandering" Infrastructure Funds
The CIA and Declassification: The Role of the Historical Review Panel

Troops Seize Oil Firms' Property After Cash Flow Worries Threaten to Derail Chavez' Revolution
PDVSA Debt Increases 146% in 2008
PDVSA Insolvency Threatens Cash Flow of Mixed Companies
Venezuela Oil Takeovers May Leave 22,000 Jobless

Unemployment Soars to 2.2 Million
The Recession Index

Middle East/Asia/Arctic
1600 KM of Tokyo Sewage Piping In Need Of Renovation (from Rice Farmer)
Ship Owners Forced to Pay to Carry Middle East Oil
Japan Seeks Role in Arctic Council (from Rice Farmer)
ENI StatoilHydro Get Go Ahead in Arctic Development
Pentagon Replacing Top Afghanistan Commander

Brave New World
Robot Teacher Takes First Class in Tokyo
Transgenic, Cloned, Glow-in-the-Dark Puppies
Nuclear Bomb Tests Help Identify Fake Whiskey


Tyler Havlin said...

Peak Oil: Global Oil Production’s Peaked, Analyst Says

http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital/2009/05/04/peak-oil-global-oil-productions-peaked-analyst-says/The contention rests on a simple argument: OPEC oil production actually fell even as oil prices were above $100 a barrel, a sign of the “tyranny of geology” that limits the easy production of ever-more crude.

“Those declines had to have come for involuntary reasons such as the inherent geological limits of oil fields … We believe that the oil market has already crossed over to the downward sloping side of Hubbert’s Peak,” the analysts write.

If true—and the analysts note that true historical peaks are only visible in the distant rear-view mirror—then expect oil prices to jump back toward triple digits. All the more so if demand recovers—oil has clung to the $50 a mark even as demand cratered everywhere.

John said...

Amazing interviews on the book "Family of Secrets."

wxdude714 said...

Baltimore's recent water infrastructure issues.


And then a 20" sewage line breaks over the weekend in Baltimore as well.


First Gate Dreamer said...

Thought you might be interested in China internationalizing the Yuan.


Rice Farmer said...

If you need one concrete manifestation of the energy issue that is easy for everyone to see and understand, it is infrastructure. We're seeing national and local governments everywhere falling behind on infrastructure upkeep. The situation will only worsen because they are using expensive energy in an effort to maintain what was built with cheap energy.

Further, this has disastrous implications for efforts to prop up industrial civilization with renewable energy. The reason is that the wind farms, solar arrays, wave machines, and other equipment constitute yet more infrastructure that also has to be maintained. Since we cannot maintain what we already have, it's obvious that the dream of a Glorious Technological Future powered by renewables will always be just that -- a dream.

Sebastian Ronin said...

Rice Farmer, the environmentalist, do-gooder, save-the-world bubble is a difficult one to penetrate...if not burst.

The wishful thinking in this camp merely exposes a shortcoming of thermodynamic and EROI basics. In a Post-Peak Oil world such naive platitudes of "saving the world" as opposed to assuming responsibilities within one's immediate region translate into philosophical liabilities.

As reported in the most recent ASPO-USA Review:

The US has become the world's biggest wind-power generator. Of the electricity production added in the country last year, 42 percent came from wind turbines. But as more megawatts come on line, the problem of getting power from wind-swept plains to places where people actually live becomes more urgent. The wind industry group says it needs 19,000 miles of new high-voltage lines — at a cost of about $100 billion — for wind-farm developers to keep building.Resorting to my own Post-Peak Oil, secessionist agitation, allow me to poke at a major blindspot. As yet, there is no distinct and ground-breaking PPO secessionist political philosophy, i.e. a platform to be offered to the public that breaks free from both left and right philosophical constraints. Examples of two planks might be: the creation of a financial infrastructure free of fiat currency, and; agricultural self-sufficiency. Creation and presentation of such will require the vehicles of regional political parties.

Notwithstanding the brilliance of the Constitution, it should be kept in mind that it is an 18th century document spawned by Enlightenment principles. It was also nestled within the comfort of an agrarian society with a reasonable population size; an homogenous religious outlook; unbound natural resources to exploit and an indigenous population to trample over in order to do so.

Contrast that with our current array of crises. In a nutshell, we find ourselves riding the entropy arrowcloud comprised of ecological, financial, economic, social and cultural collapse that tears asunder the fabric of industrial civilization, the American Empire inclusive. Such is the historical context of the secessionist initiative, as it is with moving beyond the blinders of an isolated and naive environmentalism. The political demographics that converge upon this initiative carry the responsibility to clarify the latter for proactive benefits while leaving behind directionless and self-defeating reactions.

North American Secessionist Congress, October 2010

John said...

Sorry, forgot the URL for you:

Family of Secrets Interviews:


juanito68 said...

Regarding Oil production...
AFP this morning reported that OPEP is reviewing is prediction of Oil demand for 2009 to 84,03 millions Bpd... a cut of 1,57 millions bpd. Fine! But why did OPEP cut 4,2 millions Bpd off their production since sept 2008? Who's doing the math at Opep??
What did i miss?

agape wins said...

This will take some reading, a little thought, & some reflection on what Mike says in APEP!
I can't do the research for you, any more than I can Think/form opinions for anyone.
Do not trust what I think, You, please think! Which comes first 2017, or "Repudiation" ?


"Defenders of pay-as-you-go respond that the system is a Ponzi scheme only if the United States intends to repudiate its debts. On the occasions when the Social Security Administration has needed to redeem some of those securities, they have always been honored".



"By early 2007, the amount of money looted from the Social Security trust fund by the Bush administration had surpassed the $1 trillion mark, and Bush continued to loot, and spend, Social Security money at the rate of $500 million per day."

"President Bush said,

“Our system is called pay as you go. You pay into the system through your payroll taxes and the government spends it. It spends the money on current retirees and with the money left over, it funds other programs. And all that’s left behind is file cabinets full of IOUs.” "


agape wins said...


"In the past few years, Vauban has become a well-known niche community, even if it has spawned few imitators in Germany. But whether the concept will work in California is an open question."

Not " will work", but how soon!
Has anyone got the time to research Vaubab's history, what/who inspired the concept?


eyeballs said...

Hey, Sebastian!

Well said about the 18th century Constitution. However, the myth that what we live under is that 18th-century document hides the 50,000 new U.S. laws - from one prohibiting the disabling of those things that go beep when you don't put your seat belt on to the five-kilo USAPatriot which nobody even read before they passed it.

However, that myth - and it is really only that - may be our best hope against radical departure from the type of society it suggests. Because we supposedly have the right to bear arms, encroachments on that notion have been necessarily incremental, and the same goes for search and seizure, habeus corpus and so forth. It's laughable to say that we enjoy the same freedoms that (white, male, property owning) people did in 1800. But because of the moldy document on the wall, and the general impression among Americans that it's their right to appeal to it, governments - even the Bush administration - have had to resort to trickery and PR gambles to evade its provisions. And quite a lot has been rolled back by Obama, at least for the present, because Bush excesses had wounded that myth and miffed the general public.

Serious constitutional work needs to be done before any shots are fired across the prow of the USS Constitution. Once it's gone, it's like tearing down an old mansion ... we're unlikely to get a more gorgeous construction in its place. And keep in mind that the class of lawyers competent to do the work (and a very few laymen) are by and large caught up in the very aims that have corrupted what we love about The Constitution. Competing with this mass of intellectual firepower could be disastrous in the creation of new constitutions.

My point is that your work now needs to be practical and positive, rather than negative. We don't need to tear down the U.S. Constitution or unseat the increasingly putrid national administration. It's terminal, but we need to use it for as long as we can. What will serve is a popular, well-understood, simple to operate local system that can survive legalisms and professionally-generated myths hostile to our values. (I'm assuming we have some mutual expectations.)

Common law, not legislation, should be the basis for social regulation. We need to grow a constitution from the ground up, from what people really believe and will really follow through on at the neighborhood and town level. Birthing that kind of enlightened consensus presents an immense challenge, which leaves little room for confrontation with the dying myths of our ancestors.

Trobadorem said...

whereever you are...you have a place here in quebec, where i think will be a better place to be...no cash involved...only good willing...this is what i owe you...


Trobadorem said...

We can discuss, think and whatever in relation to what is happening now....you have a place here in quebec, which i believe is a good place (well, better place) to be.... I am at your services...sorry for my English.

I believe you have about 8 months to go...after that it will be much more difficult....

Please Jenny, let it go this one....