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Tuesday 27th March 2007


Basic Computer User

Firefox users urged to update
New versions of browser fix several flaws. More

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Advanced Computer User

Windows weakness can lead to network traffic hijacks
Problem in the way Windows PCs obtain network settings could let attackers hijack traffic, researchers warn. More

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Online ’pharmacy’ sells killer drugs
The danger of buying drugs over the internet was highlighted after a Canadian woman died when she took pills laced with radioactive materials. More

Mysterious collapse of honeybee populations threatens national food supply
The honeybee population in the United States is currently suffering a devastating collapse. More

Are GM Crops Killing Honeybees? More

GMO corn causes liver, kidney problems in rats: study More

Prominent psychiatrist admits psychiatric diagnoses are not based on science
(CCHR.org) Growing public scrutiny over people being drugged for normal behavior in addition increasing international warnings on the deadly side effects of psychiatric drugs has forced one of the leading architects of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual... More

Mercury levels in fish...

Chlorella to remove mercury...

Grassroots organization POWA launches campaign to outlaw fluoridation of municipal water supplies
Whenever a faucet is turned on, the question looms as to the safety of the water that flows out of it. The practice of water fluoridation is a controversial issue... More

More data on flouride... More
and... More

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If you were to receive a text message from an unknown number saying “hi I’m back, can we catch up?" wouldn’t you reply asking who the sender is? That’s just what one unsuspecting victim of a phone scam did, and was then strung along with text messages such as “can’t you guess?," until the messages suddenly ceased without the identity ever being revealed. The next phone bill arrived to reveal a $5 charge for every one of those messages sent and received.

I personally believe we as individuals and as a group (mankind) are not doing enough to care for and protect our environment. And I don’t necessarily agree that “The world can take care of itself". But I am also aware that not everyone has honorable motives for what they do and statistics can be made to lie. Apparently I am not alone...
What about volcano-made warming?

This continuing global warming bunk is driving me to distraction. Put things in perspective:

Krakatoa volcano blew up in 1883, putting enough debris and chemicals in the air to circle the globe in 13 days. The spectacular atmospheric effects acted as a solar radiation filter, lowering global temperatures as much as 1.2 degree Celsius in the year after the eruption. Global temperatures did not return to normal until 1888.

Mount Pinatubo’s eruption, in 1991, put more CO2 in the atmosphere in one day than mankind has done in his entire history on the planet.

These are just two examples of very recent natural occurrences that have put more junk in the atmosphere than mankind ever could, without taking into account the many hundreds of thousands of such occurrences that have taken place back through recorded, and unrecorded, time.

So, what gives these crackpots the temerity to say that we are the cause of “global warming"? The world can take care of itself and has been doing just fine for the last billion years or so.

In reality, this whole issue is just another excuse to take away more of our rights, give government more control and allow the U.N. to grow in power.

Richard Dahl

A warning on the limits of multitasking More

One of the newsletters to which I subscribe received this:
Having been on your peak oil mailing list for 2 years and an avid reader of much of the correspondence,(and trying to apply some of its’philososophies, I have recently acquired a book that I (in my humble opinion) believe to be one of the best I have read on the state of play of our current civilization. It is titled, ’The chaos Point’ by Ervin Laszlo, founder of the Club of Budapest. I believe this book to be so relevant to BOSA (and other) concerns that it should be a must read for all. It is not all doomsday and offers some positive steps in addressing our current dilemma.
Note that a very powerful and positive review of this book is given at Amazon.com here

Comments (with which Michael Lardelli closely agrees) on our oil and economic future form a reader of theoildrum.com: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2400#comment-172475

GreenMan on March 24, 2007 - 11:40am
This morning I took a few minutes to record my Peak Oil thoughts. I did so in a series of “I Believe" statements. I think this is generally a good exercise, if only to explicitly formulate the assumptions I filter new information through. I do not claim that anyone else should share these beliefs. You will note that I offer no arguments to sway others to my “camp". I offer no defense of them. They have evolved considerably in my time lurking at TOD. I expect that they will continue to do so. Thus, they represent a snapshot of one man’s view of the near future. I am enclosing them, below, for your amusement.


1. I believe that light sweet crude production peaked several years ago - probably in the 2000 era. This is mostly a refining issue, and one that can be fixed with sufficient investment in existing refineries to process available grades.

2. I believe Deffreys was probably right about the peak of C(rude)+ C(ondenseates) production being the fall of 2005. Since C+C is the overwhelming single component of all liquids production, and it is now in decline, we entered the bumpy plateau at about the same time.

3. I believe that the first crossover event, where demand bumped up against available supply, ocurred in 2005. We had a round of price increases that resulted in demand destruction. (zimbabwe-ish) Prices continued to climb into 2006 based on market momentum. The new floor of $60 was established. I define “bumping up against available supply" to mean that surplus capacity dropped to an unacceptably low level.

4. I believe that 2006 was an unusually quiet year as far as energy issues went. A relatively mild winter lead into a fairly mild summer (as far as air conditioning loads were concerned).

There was almost no hurricane activity, due to an El Nino pattern. The first six weeks of the 2006-2007 winter were the warmest on record. Rebel activity in Nigeria was constant at a low level. We had a pipeline interruption from Alaska that was quickly repaired. The Israeli/Lebannon conflict was brief and did not spread. There was a great deal of feel-good propaganda leading up to the election. Prices held at $60.

5. I believe that quiet years will be the exception going forward.

6. I believe that we are now a year and a half into the bumpy plateau of all liquids production.

7. I believe that actual peak, which may have already ocurred, will not be more than a 5% increase in today’s production. For all practical purposes, peak is now.

8. I believe that the relevant issue is not when peak will occur, but how long we can expect to remain on the bumpy plateau, and how rapidly we drop off it.

9. I believe that the bumpy plateau will not be symmetric around the peak. Peak may occur at any point in the plateau, including near the beginning or the end. This is due to the fact that the ultimate limit will not be geologic, but above-ground factors. We will approach but never quite reach the geologic limit.

10. I believe that 2007 will witness another crossover event, and we will see a large increase in prices, another round of demand destruction. A new, higher support level will be established for prices. I would guess that this would be in the $80 range.

11. I believe that production estimates made by reputable Peak Oilers are probably pretty good, but that decline rate assumptions are overly optimistic. Projecting historical rates of decline into the next couple of decades paints too rosey a picture. Historical rates of decline were dominated by fields which were developed with traditional techniques. We have seen, in Yibal, in the North Sea, and in Cantarell, very high rates of decline associated with modern production techniques. As the weighted mix of producing fields trends towards fields developed with these techniques, we will observe the overall decline rate to be higher than historical norms.

12. I believe, based on the above and bottom-up analysis such as the Megaprojects list, that the bumpy plateau will be relatively short. We will begin to drop off it as soon as 2010. Above-ground factors could accelerate that.

13. I believe that the result in industrialized nations will be a series of crossover events, of increasing amplitude and frequency. Since there is probably some minimum time that the market needs to accomodate a spike in prices with demand destruction, the events will eventually merge into a fairly continuous process. This will look like a super-inflation (not quite hyper-inflation) in energy prices. Perhaps on the order of 30%-40% per year, compounded.

14. I believe that demand destruction sufficient to match the decline rate past the bumpy plateau will require an ever-deepening recession/depression that eventually reaches economic collapse.

15. I believe that when economic collapse finally occurs worldwide that consumption will drop sharply, and create a cushion of surplus capacity, even as production continues to decline.

To quote Dmitri Orlov: “An economy does not collapse into a black hole from which no light can escape. Instead, something else happens: society begins to spontaneously reconfigure itself, establish new relationships, evolve new rules, in order to find a point of equilibrium at a lower rate of resource expenditure."

Prices will drop. The spin will be that “the crisis is over" and “good times are just around the corner".

16. I believe the Peak Oil is only one of the major challenges facing industrial civilization. As serious as it is, history may record it as an “also-ran". In America they are, in temporal order: recession, natural gas shortages, peak oil, collapse of the economy, collapse of the political order, climate change. Other nations will have a somewhat different order of occurrance based on their particular circumstances.

17. I believe that we are not tens of years away from these things, but (perhaps several) tens of months. That before the lumbering political system, which includes the corporatocracy, can be pressed into action we will reach a point, again to quote Dmitri Orlov, where “No long-term planning [is] possible. Large new projects [are] not even considered."

18. I believe that solutions, where they can be found at all, are to be found at the individual and community levels.

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