Links 6/9/11

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Structural Power Technology Turns Car Doors into Batteries ExtremeTech (hat tip reader Carol B)

5 WikiLeaks Hits of 2011 That Are Turning the World on Its Head — And That the Media Are Ignoring Alternet (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Fukushima nuclear plant may have suffered ‘melt-through’, Japan admits Guardian (hat tip reader May S)

Oil slick spotted in Gulf: Weathered oil from last year? McClatchy (hat tip Buzz Potamkin)

Romney Stuns World With Mundane Statement of Fact Mother Jones

The great land grab: India’s war on farmers Aljazeera (hat tip reader May S)

US universities in Africa ‘land grab’ Guardian

Freedom of Speech in Pakistan and India Global Economic Intersection

Iceland prepares $1bn bond issue Financial Times. As we’ve said, the bond vigilante talk that a government body that has defaulted can never go back to the market is tripe.

Georgia farmers attest to labor shortages ahead of new immigration law enforcement American Independent (hat tip reader furzy mouse)

Cash is king: Buy volatility and buy liquidity Ed Harrison

Eyes on Goldman-Libya Dealings Wall Street Journal. Goldman and a host of other firms are being investigated for violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Who was the dumb lawyer who thought this would work:

As part of the arrangement, the Libyan fund planned to hand over the $50 million to Palladyne, according to documents reviewed by the Journal. Goldman said it would make the payment if the deal satisfied “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act representations as set out in the Terms Letter,” among other conditions.

Lawyers said firms generally can’t rely on such language to ensure compliance with antibribery laws.

How Does Geithner Still Have a Job? Jon Walker, Firedoglake. I think he’s licensed Steve Jobs’ reality distortion sphere. Seriously.

The destruction of the middle class will not be televised – 56 percent of American workers have less than $25,000 saved. Even worse 60 percent of retirees have less than $50,000 saved. 45 million on food stamps and the consequences of peak debt. MyBudget360 (hat tip reader furzy mouse). Good charts despite the eccentric headline length.

Output Has Not Fully Recovered Tim Duy

US Senate blow for banks over card fees Financial Times. Well, the banks finally lost one, but only because WalMart was on the other side.

Antidote du jour:

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  1. Alea

    ” As we’ve said, the bond vigilante talk that a government body that has defaulted can never go back to the market is tripe.”
    Iceland has not defaulted.

    1. Pat

      Iceland walked away from some 50-60 billion Euros in bonds issued by their banks, plus the government won’t pay an extra 500 million due to UK and NL for the Icesave deposits. They also have capital controls (meaning money can’t be taken out of the country) and there have been rumors that the government might turn existing dollar/euro bonds into (worthless) kroner, or delay repayment. And they have a leading “Odious Debt” advocate (Lee Buchheit) on their payroll. The article says that Iceland claims to have $6.75 billion in reserves — that’s rubbish. Why exactly would Iceland need more money now if their economy was so great and they had all these reserves?

      Any investor who goes near Iceland after all that happened there is crazy. Especially at only libor +3.25%. Iceland is where investment money goes to die.

      By the way, in Michael Hudson’s articles he claimed that Iceland is not legally obligated to pay the extra Icesave deposit money. Let me just mention this: Iceland hired two British law firms to review the Icesave issue and both concluded that on balance UK and NL had the stronger argument and would probably win in any neutral court. (The detailed confidential memoranda were leaked on the internet.) So who do you believe on this issue – competent neutral lawyers hired by Iceland who concluded (privately) that they will lose, or crackpot Icelandic lawyers and hyper-nationalistic politicians and press who claim Iceland doesn’t have to pay? Plus you also have the preliminary conclusion by the EFTA court that Iceland does indeed owe the money.

      1. Paul in TO

        Alea said “Iceland has not defaulted”.

        Three paragraphs of response later and the statement remains true. I assume that because Ireland guaranteed the debt of its banks, Iceland’s failure to do the same now constitutes a default. Interesting.

      2. Paul Tioxon

        “Who do you believe on this issue-….”? Belief is for metaphysics and theology. The politicians and the press of Iceland make their own reality and repudiate the farce of justice in the courts. It they can repudiate the debt and get away with it, more power to them.

        1. Peter T

          A legal system that makes the liabilities of a mad bank the liability of the people is to be rejected, by the people, in a democratic way. Democracy over bankers’ power is the way to go.

    2. Just Tired

      Like Ronald Regan said, “An economist is someone who sees something in the real world and sets out to prove that it is not possible”. If a country defaults, it is ruined —NOT!

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        A good economist will tell you, in the long run, we will all be ruined.

        1. Valissa

          A mathematician, an accountant and an economist apply for the same job.

          The interviewer calls in the mathematician and asks “What do two plus two equal?” The mathematician replies “Four.” The interviewer asks “Four, exactly?” The mathematician looks at the interviewer incredulously and says “Yes, four, exactly.”

          Then the interviewer calls in the accountant and asks the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The accountant says “On average, four – give or take ten percent, but on average, four.”

          Then the interviewer calls in the economist and poses the same question “What do two plus two equal?” The economist gets up, locks the door, closes the shade, sits down next to the interviewer and says “What do you want it to equal?”

          More economics jokes here

          1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

            I just looked up in the dictionary that hopefully I will write one day.

            Econoclast – noun,

            One who attacks economics as being based on superstition.

            Valissa – are you an econoclast?

          2. Valissa

            An econo-clast? Moi? Maybe a little :) Very clever wordsmithing MyLTPB, looking foward to your tome!

            However, I graciously decline the label as I have an aversion to being labeled. I do not think of economics as superstition (that is an insult to superstition!); nor do I perceive myself as attacker… more of a satirist I suppose since I have a sense of humor about it.

            To me Economics currently operates more like a religion where economists act as the high priests. There are many great things about religion that are educational and enjoyable once you remove theological dogma wars, social status & authority games, and tribal mores. [btw, leaving the good stuff, IMO, folklore & mythology, wisdom practices(high and low), philosophy (high and low), music, dance. poetry and kindness/compassion/caring of more than the self.]

            I remain convinced that, buried somewhere in all the obscure and convoluted thinking that is called economics, there is some actual knowledge at it’s core and I would honestly like to learn more about that. But, like religion, economics get’s caught up in it’s own theological dogma & sectarian wars, social status & authority games, and tribal mores/customs.

            I challenge current economic thinking in order to try and tease some science out of the self-important theologizing & warped mythologizing.

            From, some definitions of iconoclast:

            a breaker or destroyer of images, especially those set up for religious veneration.

            a person who attacks established or traditional concepts, principles, laws, etc

            a person who attacks cherished beliefs, traditional institutions, etc., as being based on error or superstition.

        1. Skippy

          I’ve got some slave electrons you can have, but, forget any hard assets like clean water, arable soil, standing forestry etc. Most humans would turn them into projections of their greatness, there by diminishing its/their real value.

          Skippy…every here of Hiesenburg, uncertainty works it’s self out, evens out a bit after sufficient time, we do just the opposite. Just for fun imagine these electrons as potential (stored x sq x cubed etc) inert by themselves. Now mix them up like the market does, add dueling algos et al, bevy of exchanges, intermideate assumptions based on initial conditions (deep property[s of the natural world), any way its hard to analyze dynamical systems like the economy cuz the laws and initial conditions keep changing….sort of like the Hartle-Hawking proposal *no beginning*. Model that economic cosmos…eh…but god wants his money is the only law…me sees.

          PS. its gonna be a hell of a bang, yet some worry about pay back of a fraud?????…shezzzz.


    The Iceland bond issue is interesting. So far, Iceland has not formally defaulted, but presumably if the EEA court finds against Iceland and it still refuses to repay the British and Dutch, Iceland would then be clearly in default. If Iceland did agree to repay, increased holdings of foreign currency might be useful even though Britain and the Netherlands are not asking to be paid immediately. Either way, the prospect of iceland losing the case makes it sensible to borrow now.

    1. Alea

      Iceland has not defaulted AND has NOT refused to repay the British and Dutch, it doesn’t agree with the the terms (that’s not the same thing). Plus it’s unlikely that it will to pay anything at all since the claims are now covered by the value of the assets.


        OK; the Icelandic state refused to pay as requested. Although Iceland’s politicians promised to “honour [their] obligations”, Iceland’s parliament rejected the interest rate used to calculate deferred payment, and also wanted to insert clauses to the agreement that could cancel some of the loan if Iceland’s economy struggled, which was not acceptable to the British and Dutch. And the court case is about whether the state of Iceland, as opposed to the Landsbanki estate, has any obligation to Britain and the Netherlands at all.

        Actually, Iceland should arguably have to pay far more than is likely to be recovered from the Landsbanki estate. First, the projections are that liquidation will raise enough to repay “priority” claimants, which includes the British and Dutch deposit protection schemes, but Iceland dubiously downgraded the priority of bondholders on the eve of the Landsbanki bankruptcy, which must be open to legal challenge. Second, Iceland ensured that Icelandic depositors in Landsbanki lost nothing, and it is therefore possible that Iceland could be required to pay for the same treatment of British and Dutch depositors.

        1. Alea

          “…and it is therefore possible that Iceland could be required to pay for the same treatment of British and Dutch depositors.”
          That’s unlikely, Iceland’s liability is limited to the first 20,000 euros per account covered by the depositors’ compensation scheme (not sure about exact number).

          1. Dave of Maryland

            What part of Iceland is a sovereign country are all of you in denial about?

            You, personally, want their money? Invade & rob a store, rob one of their surviving banks, mug a passerby. Take an army of young innocents with you, if you can find one. (Smedley Butler, how about you? How about the French army that occupied the Ruhr?) You should be thankful Nicelanders are even talking to you.

            There are people guilty of crimes who should be prosecuted. Iceland is responsible for bringing guilty parties residing on their soil to justice. Which is the same responsibility the UK & the Netherlands have. It’s what extradition treaties are for.

            No matter how it was lost, stolen money is rarely recovered. Which never stopped people from crying & moaning about their imaginary loss, for years on end, ultimately becoming some sort of perverse grudge against the world as a whole.

            This kind of money insanity results in sick & starving people, children among them, dying in the streets, but no one weeps for them.

            It’s been suggested before: Iceland can serve up its newborns as suckling pigs for their deserving masters.


            Why not? Iceland ensured that its own Landsbanki depositors lost nothing, and under European law, there must be no discrimination between nationalities.

            The precise figure that the Icelandic deposit protection scheme supposedly guaranteed was €20,887.

          3. RebelEconomist

            @Dave of fairyland,

            No-one is disputing that Iceland is a sovereign nation, and if the state of Iceland is judged to be liable by the EEA court, continued failure to repay Britain and the Netherlands will become a sovereign default.

            In this case, Icelanders used their freedom under EEA laws and the reassurance provided by Iceland’s deposit guarantee scheme to take deposits in Britain and the Netherlands, and are not paying it back. Who is the robber here? Perhaps some of the Icelandic bank losses may be attributed to fraud rather than incompetence, but has Britain refused to extradite any Icelandic bankers to Iceland? No. Nobody is going to starve according to the outcome of this dispute, but bear in mind that Iceland has a higher GDP per capita than Britain anyway.

          4. ScottS

            “Rebel” Economist:

            Why not? Iceland ensured that its own Landsbanki depositors lost nothing, and under European law, there must be no discrimination between nationalities.

            This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. So if someone steals a loaf of bread in the UK, Iceland has to saddle up and arrest them just because they don’t allow theft within Iceland’s boarders?

            It’s not discrimination. It’s up to UK’s citizens to make sure their deposits are insured, or suffer the consequences. They already benefited from the higher interest rate, they don’t get free deposit insurance too. The UK gov didn’t have to step in and guarantee uninsured deposits.

            Next you’ll be saying that the Cayman Islands owes everyone all over the world for all the damage done by companies “headquartered” there. As much as tax-dodging bothers me, the citizens of the Cayman Islands don’t have to shoulder the burden of bad companies’ overseas behavior.

            What you’re saying is complete lunacy.

          5. RebelEconomist


            Go and read up about this issue before you express an opinion, especially one as strong as “complete lunacy”. Under the European single market regulations, Britain and the Netherlands were obliged to accept that Landsbanki was competently regulated by Iceland’s bank regulators and adequately insured to the European minimum standard by Iceland’s deposit protection scheme. If they had questioned this, they would have no doubt have been accused of “bullying a small country”. In fact, they did question it a bit, and look what happened:

            If you want to know the facts of the case, rather than fitting some superficial take into a prejudiced view, you could start with this:

  3. F. Beard

    I do like Elizabeth Warren!

    Why is she loathed by the PTB? Because now, during the bust, the banks are desperate for means to loot their customers and she would expose/block that looting?

    Why do we tolerate banks? The government does not need so-called “credit” and the private sector should not have it unless we think stealing purchasing power is sound economic policy.

  4. craazyman

    @US Universities in Africa Land Grab

    Looks like more evidence of demonic possession. I guess the Satanic Mills can’t get by with (how many figures in a billion??) . . . ah . . . it’s 10. I had to project my fingers on my mind screen and count with them while I envisioned 1 billion. ha ha ha.

    The Satanic Mills can’t get by with a 10-figure endowment. They need to make it 11 or 12 by starving African villagers now that the US has been strip mined. And for what purpose?

    So they can teach (with greater efficiency no doubt) kids to count and read before they sober up and hit the job market? Sounds expensive! I guess a wooden desk and a pencil won’t do it with complex stuff like “liberal arts” ha ha ha. What a bunch of turd heads. You’d like to think things have changed since Heart of Darkness days, but only the word wrap has and it seems a lot less honest.

  5. Pat

    This looks important:

    “Analysis: Limited default might clear way for Greek bond swap
    – After initially resisting the idea of any Greek debt restructuring, the ECB is warming to the idea of having private investors share the burden of rescuing Greece, potentially clearing the way for a debt swap.

    Although the ECB still opposes a cut in the principal of the debt, which would mean full default, it is now believed to be considering a scenario in which credit rating agencies would declare Greece in limited or “selective” default — minimizing the impact on financial markets and its own balance sheet.

    If the central bank decides to endorse this scenario, it will remove a major obstacle to agreement among international creditors on a second bailout of Greece.

    … Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble proposed to the ECB, the International Monetary Fund and euro zone peers that holders of Greek bonds swap them for longer-dated bonds, giving Athens seven more years to work through its 340 billion euro debt pile…. A major problem with a debt swap is the likelihood that credit rating agencies would declare Greece in default… Under this scenario, investors would be asked to swap their old bonds for new ones in near-unison… Standard & Poor’s, one of the big three rating agencies, would not declare a full default for Greece but a “selective default.”

    And the selective default would not trigger CDS payouts to “speculators”! Brilliant!! And you kick the Greek debt bomb way, way down the road.

    Why doesn’t the ECB go one step further and simply wave a magic wand around and presto, all the debt and CDSs disappear and the Germans and French banks get all their money back?

    1. Praedor

      I don’t see the value. All that is really doing is simplifying the process for people/business to accept a credit card. Big deal. It is the CREDIT CARD COMPANIES THEMSELVES that are tacking fee after fee after fee on THEIR cards. Square doesn’t do squat about that. Visa or Mastercard can (and will) STILL jack up fees on you, the card user. Same way that banks will continue to slap you with fees for moving YOUR money around.

      It’s nice that Square simplifies credit card reader use for businesses but it really dosn’t do anything to prevent fees. They will continue to be tacked on and continue to climb unless the originators are tied in a straightjacket.

      1. Anonymous Jones

        Yes, it is difficult to find reasonable justifications for not wanting to regulate monopolies or clearly powerful oligopolies, unless you are directly benefiting from the plunder generated by such monopolies or oligopolies.

        The entire payments system is absurd, a privilege tax to the processors. I’m in favor of the straightjackets, sooner the better.

      2. Eagle

        Not only does it simplify credit card use, but it caps the total fee at 2.75%.

        I’m sympathetic that this area may need to be regulated – people correctly point out that fees are a lot lower overseas – but I can’t figure out why there haven’t been other entrants into the market. Why doesn’t a large chain like wal-mart or kroger introduce their own charge card, at least for use in their own stores, and encourage customers to use it by splitting some of the interchange fees saved with them?

        1. Foppe

          To quote from this article:
          If customers flash an American Express card to buy a banana, Chung waves them off: “Just take the banana. Don’t give me the card.”
          Chung has run Cups for about a decade and says that plastic has allowed him to better serve a hurried and harried clientele. But Chung is still routinely frustrated with the card networks — Visa, MasterCard and American Express — that dictate the fees storeowners like himself must pay to process credit and debit card transactions. There’s an additional fee for using cards from banks outside his contract, but Chung says he has no way of knowing until he’s gotten his bill how much of that pricier plastic has been swiped.

  6. Cynthia

    “Well, the banks finally lost one, but only because WalMart was on the other side…”

    Yes, sometimes WalMart is better at getting its way than Goldman Sachs. But I see this more as Congress’ way of softening the blow for WalMart as we shift out of the WalMart economy into the Tiffany economy:

    And if you haven’t already heard by now, Walmart has joined Michelle Obama’s campaign to fight childhood obesity. But in exchange for being her top corporate sponsor in this, Walmart has promised to sell fresh fruits and vegetables to its customers at reduced prices (see link below). But something tell me that WalMart won’t do it unless its get a sizable tax break out of the deal. And since we know that eating too many fatty snacks and drinking too many sugary beverages are two of the leading causes of childhood obesity, it would make a lot more sense to slap an enormous sin-tax on junk food giants like Frito-Lay and soft drink giants like Pepsi-Cola, instead of handing out tax breaks to mega-grocery chains like WalMart. All I can figure is that President Obama receives far too many campaign contributions from the junk food and soft drink lobby to ever let this happen!

    Let me also comment on Lady Obama’s plans to replace the food pyramid with a dinner plate (see link below). Come on, Lady Obama, kids learn the difference between a meat, fruit, and vegetable and what sorts of ingredients makes them fatty and sugary by the time they graduate from kindergarten! So I find it highly condescending of Lady Obama to assume that the average American is functioning at a kindergarten level! And if she truly believes that the average American can’t differentiate between a chicken leg and an ear of corn on a dinner plate, much less on a food pyramid, then childhood obesity should be the least of our worries. My suggestion to Lady Obama: first complete Lady Bush’s job of fighting childhood illiteracy before taking on the job of fighting childhood obesity!

    1. wtf

      Sorry, Obama cannot unilaterally impose a sin tax on food. That has nothing to do with campaign contributions.

      Americans, including children, are increasingly overweight. The First Lady is attempting to do something to counter that. Why the “Lady Obama” snark? Did you refer to Laura Bush as “Lady Bush”? Or do you just do that with Democrats or black people?

      1. Cynthia

        We can spend millions upon millions of tax dollars a year, educating overweight kids on how to eat right, but none of them will shed a single pound until we reduce the amount of empty-calorie foods and drinks being sold at the retail level. And the best and the easiest way to do this is to tax all of this junk to the point where only rich kids can afford to get fat. That’s one way to get the rich to lose some of their power over us!

        And now that the President has given himself the power to declared war on any country he wishes and assassinate any person he wishes without any Congressional approval whatsoever, the President and his family have been elevate to royal status. This is why I have given Mrs. Obama the title of Lady. I suppose I could give her the title of Queen, but I’m too much of an American to do such an un-American thing as that!

    2. pjwrites

      “it would make a lot more sense to slap an enormous sin-tax on junk food giants like Frito-Lay and soft drink giants like Pepsi-Cola”

      Let’s be clear: that enormous sin-tax would be slapped on consumers of junk food and soft drinks, not on the companies who produce them.

      Corporations are profit machines. They make money.
      The individual loses money, if the individual wants to eat and drink.

  7. PQS

    “Well the banks lost one, but only because WalMart was on the other side”.

    That was my precise thought upon reading the headline yesterday about the swipe fees: Goliath vs. Goliath and Goliath won.

    1. Anonymous Jones

      While yours is an undeniably legitimate perspective, I don’t necessarily agree we should be entirely indifferent to which Goliath wins in every case. There are always collateral considerations.

      Specifically, although this victory undoubtedly benefits WalMart, it also (inadvertently) benefits many small retailers and consumers. Just because WalMart may be a very destructive enterprise when looked at as a whole does not necessarily mean that everything WalMart does is entirely destructive.

      1. PQS

        I agree with you WRT small retailers winning with WalMart. Furthermore, I am always happy to see the Banksters get some teeny portion of their enormous pie swiped!

        As it were.

  8. tyaresun

    From the landgrab in India article:

    While land has been taken from farmers at Rs 300 ($6) per square metre by the government – using the Land Acquistion Act – it is sold by developers at Rs 600,000 ($13,450) per square metre – a 200,000 per cent increase in price – and hence profits. This land grab and the profits contribute to poverty, dispossession and conflict.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Hopefully the developers don’t waste those profits but save them for their children’s Ivy League education.

      Our ‘brightest’ would really appreciate global effort for their African land grab.

  9. financial matters

    Is Jeffrey Immelt the right person to lead us through this crisis? How about letting Elizabeth Warren pick a worker friendly replacement…

    Sleepwalking through America’s Unemployment Crisis

    Mohamed A. El-Erian

    “”The US government has little time to waste if it is to avoid an even more protracted and entrenched unemployment problem. It must move now to address the problem’s sources through multi-year programs that range from educational restructuring and worker retraining to productivity enhancement and housing-sector reform. And it must do so while better protecting the long-term unemployed, many of whom bear little responsibility for their current, once unthinkable, and unfortunately long-lasting predicament.

    It is past time for the US to wake up and confront in a holistic fashion its unemployment crisis. As everyone who has ever had an unpalatable job knows, shutting off the alarm and pulling the blanket over one’s head is not a solution.””

    1. PQS

      While I might agree with his conclusions, two out four of his solutions seem quite lacking:

      Middle class Americans with college degrees and years and years of experience do not need either “worker retraining” or “productivity enhancements”. What we need are jobs with salaries that don’t match China, and for the decline in our wages to start to creep back up, even ever so slowly. Furthermore, we are the most “productive” workforce in the Western world: for God’s sake, we don’t even take vacations! But I’ve heard this from neolibs like Bill Clinton on more than one occasion as well.

      So, he gets a 50% grade on his assessment.

  10. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Hmmm…56% of workers have less than $25,000 saved.

    According to an accounting identity, money printed is nearly equal to money in the private sector, minus shrinkage and foreign looters, etc.

    If the public sector prints more money, people in the private sector will have more money.

    It’s definitely not a zero-sum game, like raising taxes on the middle class.

    You print more money, the system as a whole has more money. It’s in the accounting identity. Everyone is happy.

    1. Just Tired

      How does Geitner still have a job? Geez, even I know the answer that one. JP Morgan and GS are just not hiring right now.

  11. ScottS

    Today’s antidote must be Swedish. Is there an flat-pack cat ETF I can invest in? I want to get in on the ground floor on this.

  12. derek

    “Attesting” is cheap and easy. The employer class always attest to labor shortage all the time, and have done for ten thousand years. You can never get the staff, and the servant problem is eternal.

    I’ll believe there’s a genuine labor shortage when the wages go up, the rents go down, and the farmers sell acres. It’s all in Ricardo.

  13. Valissa

    Best political drama of the day, LOL, enjoy! :)

    Gingrich senior aides resign

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign imploded Thursday afternoon with virtually his entire senior staff leaving en masse, according to multiple sources familiar with the moves.

    “When the campaign and the candidate disagree on the path, they’ve got to part ways,” said Rick Tyler a longtime Gingrich spoksman who was among those who left the campaign today.

    Tyler as well as Rob Johnson, Gingrich’s campaign manager, Dave Carney and Katon Dawson, senior strategists to the effort and media consultant Sam Dawson have all stepped aside. Much of his early state operation was also headed for the exits, according to a one senior campaign source.

    Several sources said the mass resignation came at a meeting Thursday in Gingrich’s Washington office.

  14. Max424

    from: 5 WikiLeaks Hits

    4) World leaders are practically lighting a fire under the Arctic.

    Exactly. We must heat up the planet, so as to heat up the polar cap, so as to melt it, so as to retrieve … the last of the remaining oil. Is this so hard for Global Warming activists to understand?

    Global Warming activists are sooooo dumb. Well-meaning, but dumb. You are being used, people. You are the simpleton deflectors.

    Is Global Warming going to kill us all? Yes, it is going to kill us all — eventually.* But this potentiality is IRRELEVANT, because you can’t deal with Global Warming, if don’t deal with Peak Oil first.

    (They are heating up the North Pole on purpose, you stupid fucks.)

    The freight train hurtling down the suicide tracks is being driven by Peak Oil. Global Warming is a random — one amongst many — kidnap victim, tied-up in the caboose.

    * My prediction? Within 100 years.

    1. Mark P.

      It’s not only the oil, but also the natural gas — aka methane — under the Arctic. That latter represents not just a resource, but also a threat that must be managed.


      Yeah, it’s astonishing that the same folks who bleat on with the boilerplate lines about global warming and peak oil — sometimes in the same breath — never manage to actually understand the real connection between those two things.

      Because it didn’t need a wikileaks release to reveal this rush to mine the Arctic now the ice is melting. All this has been totally out in the open since at least 2008, with the Russians building a fleet of floating nuclear generators to power their Arctic drilling/mining.

      1. Max424

        Thanks for the links.

        Yup, the Russians love Global Warming, and why shouldn’t they? The melting of the Arctic should create an unbelievable, ruble bonanza.

        I’ve been making this prediction for 4 years, and I’ll feel even more confident about it today: Russia, if they can maintain control of their state owned oil companies (no easy feat), will be, at the end of the second decade of this century, the richest nation-state the world has ever known.*

        How can the US exploit the Arctic? Well, we can’t. We don’t have an oil company, and we don’t have any money, so the only thing we can do, is send the US Navy up there to carefully (helplessly) monitor the international exploitation of the polar region.

        Note: Here’s a no-brainer prediction I’ve been making for more than 30 years: the US, in the end days of oil, will be forced to turn to coal liquefaction on an epic scale. We are moving quickly in that direction:

        President “Anti-Coal” Obama was an enthusiastic advocate, when he was a “Green” Senator (pun intended):

        Like I always say, Peak Oil is not about oil — oil is a done deal; Peak Oil is about coal, as in, how much coal does the world really have left? We need to know, because coal is the energy source of the future!

  15. Peter on Health Care Ins

    Nice link pick in the “Destruction of the middle class will not be televised …” Its eye opening to say the least and really portrays how the middle class has hurt itself with massive debt. Hard to believe so many have that little in retirement savings as well.

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