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The real enemy is not peak oil, it's resource nationalism

by Jerome a Paris Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 01:13:39 PM EST

...or so said both Le Monde and the Financial Times over the week-end.

Eric Le Boucher, the resident (neo-liberal) economist of Le Monde wrote his most recent Saturday column about peak oil. I barely had the time to enjoy the fact that peak oil was even mentioned as such (and given an appropriate definition: the moment when oil production will start to inexorably decline) that the column moved in a totally unexpected direction: the only apparent problem with peak oil is that it has given the idea to oil producing governments that oil is - gasp - a weapon, and that they are going to use for unconscionable policy goals.

Meanwhile, the FT tells us that "US military sees oil nationalism spectre".


Le Boucher states that the West (consuming countries) have the choice between two attitudes: The first one is to wage wars of aggression to protect 'our' resource. He wisely notes that the recent Iraq war has shown that this option is now essentially unavailable as it failed to improve oil production in Iraq, it generated more terrorism and creates hate for the West. The second attitude is to "count on the wisdom" of the producing countries to keep on selling us the resource, avoid politicising it, and keep on receiving Western know how and investment.

Sadly; writes Le Boucher, nationalist policies by governments that closely control national oil companies and use them for ugly geopolitical purposes play against their populations and ultimately make them poorer (he bizzarely gives the examples of Venezuela, whose production has supposedly dropped by 48% since 1998 - the real number is less than 10%, from 3.2 to 3 mb/d, and Iran, whose production has dropped from 7mb/d to 4mb/d - its production was 3.6mb/d in 1998).

He makes his own the suggestion by Mandelson to have oil subject to OMC rules, which would prevent it from being used for political purposes, and concludes, grandly:

L'or noir verrait sans doute son beau statut dégradé mais ce serait in fine protéger les pays producteurs, lisez les peuples, des sottises glorieuses du nationalisme.

Black gold would lose its importance, but that would end up protecting producing countries, and their peoples, from the follies of nationalism.

Yes, the best way to protect poor countries from the corrupting effects of oil wealth and power is for them to give up that power, and hand it over to the Western companies.

Right.

No mention that we might need to reduce our consumption. No mention that it is our own wasteful habits that put us in the position to depend on oil producing countries and hand them that purported power over us. No mention that we have been exploiting these countries for decades, interfered in their internal affairs for just as long, encouraged corruption and graft, so long as the oil flowed to us, and never care about their populations. And now that oil is scarce, and the balance of power has changed, we go holier-than-thou on them? Give me a break.

Same attitude from the US military, as reported in the FT:

Future supplies of oil from Latin America are at risk because of the spread of resource nationalism, a study by the US military that reflects growing concerns in the US administration over energy security has found. An internal report prepared by the US military’s Southern Command and obtained by the Financial Times follows a recent US congressional investigation that warned of the US’s vulnerability to Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s repeated threats to “cut off” oil shipments to the US.

The Southern Command analysis cautions that the extension of state control over energy production in several countries is deterring investment essential to increase and sustain oil output in the long term.

“A re-emergence of state control in the energy sector will likely increase inefficiencies and, beyond an increase in short-term profits, will hamper efforts to increase long-term supplies and production,” the report said.

WHAT THE FUCK IS NEEDED FOR OUR LEADERS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE SOLUTION IS NOT TO PRODUCE MORE OIL, BUT TO USE LESS?

Display:
I spent the day at a conference about how to finance the construction of new nuclear power plants.

The consensus is pretty clear:

  • nuclear is now competitive against coal and gas, emits no carbon, and is thus likely to enjoy a big boost in the near future;

  • it can be financed by the private sector, in a liberalised market ... but that will require strong State support (i) to provide a stable regulatory and permitting framework, (ii) to take care of waste management, (iii) to insure against catastrophic damage.

Wind power was only mentioned once in the whole day, by Areva, the nuclear plant constructor, which mentioned its strong investment in that sector as well. Otherwise, it was ignored from presentations, and criticized in private conversations for the extravagant subsidies it requires/receives.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 01:22:16 PM EST
[nuclear] will require strong State support (i) to provide a stable regulatory and permitting framework, (ii) to take care of waste management, (iii) to insure against catastrophic damage.

Wind power was ... criticized in private conversations for the extravagant subsidies it requires/receives.

<head explodes>

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 01:26:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Amazing how many times by head explodes just miliseconds after yours :)

Why can´t we be friends, Why can´t we be friends (great song)  :)

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 01:58:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So nuclear is competitive in the private sector so long as government bears the costs?

<la la la la, la la la, la la la>

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 02:01:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hey, it's not a "subsidy", it's "a stable regulatory framework".

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 02:11:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And free insurance :)
by Laurent GUERBY on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 03:21:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the state cleans up after them.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 05:57:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
(i) to provide a stable regulatory and permitting framework

By this I guess they mean that building and operating plants should be based on a stable legal framework, like the American Construction and Operating License?

to take care of waste management

But waste management is to be financed by the plant owners of course (as it's not expensive anyway)?

to insure against catastrophic damage

Like insuring windmills from falling on oil tankers due to a meteor strike? I think we are talking about pretty much the same probabilities. How much would it cost anyway? One accident in 100.000 reactor years, and only one in a hundred of those penetrating the containment. That's one penetrating accident in 10.000.000 reactor years. Even if the accident creates 1 trillion euros of damages that's a yearly cost of 100.000 euros, nothing really.

While I am not sure about this, I'd guess that the reason that states have to help insuring nuclear power plants is that a single disaster, no matter how unlikely, would completely overload the global insurance business. I mean, what company sits on a trillion euros?

And the state doesn't complain as it knows that the probability that it'll ever have to honor the commitment is zero as there won't be any severe accidents.

Any thoughts on this?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:06:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we are talking about pretty much the same probabilities. How much would it cost anyway? One accident in 100.000 reactor years, and only one in a hundred of those penetrating the containment. That's one penetrating accident in 10.000.000 reactor years. Even if the accident creates 1 trillion euros of damages that's a yearly cost of 100.000 euros, nothing really.
I want to see how you come up with those figures. You sound like NASA management claiming that one could fly a shuttle every day for 300 years and expect one accident on average. Suggested reading: Professor Feynman goes to Washington, appendix to What do you care what other people think?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:14:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am using a useless 400 MHz Pentium 2 as my ordinary computer has broken down, so I can only bother to present a sample (everything is so slooow).

According to Lennart Hammar, former number two at the Swedish nuclear power inspectorate and chief of the reactor safety department, the IAEA demands are that current reactors must reach a level of safety of one accident (meltdown) in 10.000 reactor years, while new reactors must reach one in 100.000 (all Swedish reactors at least reach the 100.000 level). At least 9 out of 10 accidents must not mean a discharge of any nuclear materials. On top of this all Swedish reactors have an extra filter, essentially a tower filled with crushed stone. This means that in the event of a discharge of radioactive gas, 99,9 % of the radionuclides will be trapped in the tower, never reaching the atmosphere.

According to Areva (page 47)

With the EPR, the probability of an accident leading to core melt,
already extremely small with the previous-generation reactors, becomes infinitesimal:

  • smaller than 1/100,000 (10-5) per reactor/year, for all types of failure and hazard, which fully meets the objective set for the new nuclear power plants by the International Nuclear Safety Advisory Group (INSAG) with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) - INSAG 3 report,

  • smaller than 1/1,000,000 (10-6) per reactor/year for the events generated inside the plant, making a reduction by a factor 10 compared with the most modern reactors currently in operation,

  • smaller than 1/10,000,000 (10-7) per reactor/year for the sequences associated with early loss of the radioactive containment function.


Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:27:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Starvid, although I can only praise your efforts to speak in the name of all of us here at the "pro-nuclear" club, I also feel that anything over 0/100,000(*) accidents in the nuclear field will always be considered unacceptable, due to the havoc potential of the average nuclear accident.
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:30:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
How many reactor-years have we had since the 1930's and how many accidents with release of radionuclides? You are allowed to break down the statistics by type of reactor.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:31:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes and what were the industry's projected accidents per reactor year in the 1950s?...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:41:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As my computer is nearing meltdown, for the moment I'll have to refer you to the World Nuclear Association's propaganda department.

Hey, maybe one could make t-shirts with that logo on?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:03:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think we are at about 12.000 civilian reactor years and an equal number of military ones. Safety work in the West was really kickstarted by the TMI accident and safety has increased incredibly (by a few orders of magnitude if I remember correctly, the whole field of man-machine interaction was practically developed by the nuclear power industry after TMI) since then. In the East safety was improved, I don't really know when...

But when the Ignalina RBMK plant was evaluated by Swedish experts in the mid nineties it had a risk of core damage of about 1 in 3000 reactor years. The subsequent improvements raised it to 1 in 10.000. But it will always lack a containment, and what really counts is not the number of accidents but the damage on the environment. Without a containment it becomes Chernobyl-esque.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:43:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now how many incidents have there been where radionuclides were released without core damage being involved?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:47:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From reactors? Zero I think, but I'd guess there were quite a number of releases from military labs (not to talk about nuclear weapons testing!) during the 50's and 60's.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:10:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now how many incidents have there been where radionuclides were released without core damage being involved?  

Too many to count, at one single installation of three light-water power reactors in Connecticut USA, alone.  


The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 03:13:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You see, here's the problem... Yousay "too many to count" and Starvid says "zero". Where is the data?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 03:50:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A local group (some of whose members live in the pollution shadow) called Citizens Awareness Network has been colating the cases.  

Dozens and dozens.  

Believe me.  Believe them.  Or believe the Industry.  Your choice.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 04:23:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Diary, please?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 06:25:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The right answer is sadly, "too many to count" in the US. In France, it does not happen often, although a few times we hear of accidents where radiation enters the wrong rooms and contaminate a worker or two. No death though. There were some in Japan a few years ago.

Also note that water-cooled reactors continuously release little amount of tritium in the atmosphere as part of their normal operation (the reasoning being that tritium is short lived and flows quickly through living organism, so it is safer to dilute it quickly and never accumulate large amounts that could blow up in one time, and leak anyway - it's still hydrogen and most metals are porous to hydrogen). One of the origins is neutron capture in the water of primary loop, it is extracted because it must be kept non-radioactive for quicker detection of a real leak from a rod.

Pierre
by Pierre on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 05:00:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The half-life of tritium is 12 years, though there is a tradeoff between radioactivity levels and half-life (the more radioactive the shorter lived, obviously).

One reason tritium may be "safe" to release is that the Earth's gravity cannot retain tritium in the atmosphere. However, I don't know how long it takes for tritium to escape the atmosphere after it's released.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 06:29:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
12 years is quite short as half-lives go for radioactive waste. Also, if ingested as water (THO or T2O), tritium is not as bad as it's high activity shows. Other forms can accumulate in the body and are very dangerous (in older days, clock industry workers were applying phosphorescent paint on numbers, that was tritium-enhanced, with a paint brush they used to lick to keep the hair straight, and they had terrible cancers... may be the clock bloggers could dig more detailed stories).
But water in the body actually has a pretty high turnover so it only remains for a few days and concentrates in no particular organs. I was surprised to see in biology labs, that tritium as a tracer is classed rather low in the danger/confinement scale compared to many industrial chemicals used to voluntarily damage DNA in experiments.

Pierre
by Pierre on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 07:37:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(in older days, clock industry workers were applying phosphorescent paint on numbers, that was tritium-enhanced, with a paint brush they used to lick to keep the hair straight, and they had terrible cancers... may be the clock bloggers could dig more detailed stories)
I would chalk that one to metal or polycyclic hydrocarbon poisoning, actually, but I am just guessing.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 07:44:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the tritium had to be bound in a molecule.  

Nothing easier:  Just sustitute tritium for hydrogen in whatever compound you are making the paint out of.  

Suppose THAT persists in the body.  Then the tritium persists right along with it for maximal radiological effect.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Thu Jul 6th, 2006 at 01:34:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, measured in Becquerels radioactivity is inversely proportional to lifetime. But more relevant to how dangerous something is how energetic the radiation is, and how penetrant. And then we get into its lifetime in the body.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 08:21:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Indian Point reactor just north of NYC is leaking Tritium contaminated water from the reactor building. This has been going on for some time (no one really knows exactly how long). They have not been able to find the source of the leak, but are trying to treat it by pumping near the source of the leak.

The reactor is on the Hudson River and the idea is to prevent the contaminated water from reaching the river. (Not that this amount of contamination would cause any real problems).

In addition the emergency alarm system continues fail tests and the evacuation plan has not be certified as practical. (Moving about one million people away from the plant over four or five highways is not realistic.)

Finally they have filled up their spent fuel rod storage tanks and are looking to dry storage on site to allow for even more radioactive waste.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 08:46:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In MY universe, in living memory a power reactor melted and burned near Chernobyl in the Ukraine and rendered large sections of the Ukraine AND nearby Belarus uninhabitable--for the next three centuries to ten millenia, depending on which nuclear decay model you use--with ongoing problems of immune deficiency in children (this is fatal) not to mention cancer and birth defects in the regions that are still inhabited.  

Did that not happen in YOUR universe?  

I am so happy for you.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 02:55:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Gaianne, you will note I gave Starvid an out earlier by saying I allowed him to separate the reactor-year and accident statistics by reactor class. He can always sweep Chernobyl under the "evil RBMK" rug. But I want to see him do that explicitly, and substantiate that other reactor desings have whatever it is that their reactor-year and accident statistics are.

By the way, with only 12,000 reactor-years of civilian use and a similar amount of military use you can't justify a figure of one accident per 100,000 reactor years. I should calculate proper confidence intervals for this.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 06:35:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I fully agree with you on the first two points. The third one is harder to assess. The probabilistic cost of a remote but extremely costly accident may be low, but some will argue that such high cost is just too much of a risk to take. Plus the difficulty of assessing the probability makes it hard to put a price on the government's "service"

One thing is clear: only the government can bear that risk. with the above uncertainty, that means that government should also keep the upside from that technology; i.e. be the owner and do what it cares to with the available cheap electricity.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:28:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In this matter, as usual, it seems that the perception is more important than the reality. Looking around this forum, it is clear that many here deeply oppose nuclear power. I think there is a large fraction of opponents in the USA as well.  So there will definitely be obstacles to widespread introduction of new nuclear plants in Western Europe and the USA, regardless of the actual merits (or lack thereof). I note though, that a dozen plants are being built in China and India.

I ought to confess here that I am a physicist by training, and perhaps not as opposed to nuclear power as some of the commentators. My main problem with nuclear power (somewhat allied to Mr. Lovins arguments) is the same as I have with all such technologies--there are long lead time in building these large plants; once built we are committed to fifty year lifetimes; and the consequences of failure of such large plants are correspondingly large. Rather I would favor a decentralized system with smaller, but more numerous generators (insert favorite technology here) coupled  with a more intelligent power grid than exists today.
This minimizes the effects of failure of individual generators and gridlines, and design errors in local implementations. But I suspect that such a scheme is more expensive, and may not allow the large institutional players to maintain their profits.

This may change if the environmental costs of electric power and transportation are internalized. Solar, windpower and microhydro are a good fit to distributed generation; biofuels, perhaps slightly less so.

And then there is the question of time. If Mr. Hansen is correct and the large continental ice sheets have indeed destabilized, we may not have the time, nor surplus resources to build giant new plants, or for that matter, a distributed grid. I rather think that the planners in India and China foresee quite well the results of multiple population migrations on the order of, say, ten million Bangladeshis, every twenty five years.

sidd

by sidd on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 03:16:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WHAT THE FUCK IS NEEDED FOR OUR LEADERS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE SOLUTION IS NOT TO PRODUCE MORE OIL, BUT TO USE LESS?

Economists need to understand the difference between production and extraction. Then they need to start telling politicians about it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 01:30:05 PM EST
But what do we do with resources that are finite but still incredibly big, with thousands of years of current use? Like iron or uranium-238?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 05:42:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I want to see the figures, and the grades of ore that we are talking about. Why don't you diary them?

The general point still applies, and it is this: there are things that operate on a cycle, where something is produced and at the end of the cycle you are where you started, so you can do it again; then there are things that don't operate in a cycle, where something is extracted and used up. Production from a cycle is a gain, and extraction is a cost. The price of any resource should include the cost of returning the source to its original state.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:11:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Returning the source to its original state? I guess you mean by rehabilitating the mines and cleaning them up, not putting the iron back in the ground? If you mean rehabilitating I am all with you. The easiest way to do that is just legislating that companies have to put enough money in a special rehabilitation fund if they want to mine a certain area.

I might do a diary on iron, but it's just not as exciting writing "Lots of iron, nothing to see here, move along" than "Peak oil, peak gas and peak tires, does god hate cars?". ;)

Anyway, just as an appetizer. Australia is a very big iron producer (or should I say extractor?). Almost all of Australia's iron ore is mined in the Pilbara area. At the current mining rate reserves will last for 300 years.

Another example of the abundance of iron on this world is the pretty much unexploited mountain of El Mutún in Bolivia, home to 70 % of the worlds iron ore.

Uranium-38 is 99,3 % of all uranium, so for every kg of U-235 ever mined there is 140 kg of U-238 lying around. Due to reactor physics it "only" contains 60 times as much energy as the original U-235. There is so much of it around that the Americans are wasting it as cannon shells. They should use tungsten like ordinary people.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:37:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course for mineral resources there is no way to put the ore back in the ground, but there are other resources that are used up and which could be replenished. For instance, topsoil depletion indicates that agriculture is not being run as a cycle but as an extraction process. Or harvesting wood from old-growth forests. Young forests can be replanted without making an impact on the age of the forest, but old growth forest cannot.

So, in a way, mining of minerals, topsoil depletion, or old-growth wood should not be considered to add to the GDP but to subtract from it.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:48:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Btw, as a total bystander here, let me ask this: "are potatoes a potential energy resource?". It's damn easy to grow them ... even my own kitchen has a few renegaded potatoes growing like mad, with no water and no direct sunlight (which makes sense, given that it's a root).
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:50:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course. You can make vodka from them, and blend it with gasoline.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:52:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now I'm beginning to wonder why I didn't ask why people favour beetroot to potatoes (for biofuel),
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:57:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
According to wikipedia, sugar beet is 15 to 20% sugar by weight, while potatoes have 15% starch. Starch is a sugar polymer and needs to be broken down before it can be fermented into to alcohol.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:09:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So basically you're indirectly saying that we need to find a way to use sugar polymers directly. Ach, I would have been a physics star if only I had persevered, hips.

I'm still drunk from France's victory, please don't hurt me.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:14:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Starch has the disadvantage that it is insoluble in water so it will not hydrolyse spontaneously. You need enzymes called amylases to do that, which can be obtained from certain types of bacteria. Ideally there should be a bacterium that could be used for this purpose just like yeast is used to ferment the resulting sugars into alcohol.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:24:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, and then ideally a bacterium that would be simple (in sense "not energetically costly") to grow.

Screw Physics, here I come Chemistry ;))

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:25:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What do you mean? It would grow on the process of turning starch into sugar, just like yeast grows on the process of turning sugar into alcohol.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:28:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hmm, I think I'm looking at this too much from the gardener's perspective.

I meant grow in the sense "before being used on starch" but now that you mention, it does make sense that bacteria reproduce through division.

Ok Chemistry will have to wait, here I come FIFA Fair-Play department!

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:34:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know how you can just keep a sample of a yoghurt after you make it to seed the next yoghurt? You just need to keep some of the sludge you get from the potato juice before you distill it, and use it to seed the next batch.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:36:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think I would know at less than 2 grams of alcohol. But as I stand logic is failing me tonight.
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:39:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you were drunk on kefir you wouldn't have forgotten about yoghurt.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:41:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My ribs are hurting now, that's very insensitive of yours.
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:43:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose it's a good thing you're not frunk on kefir, it could have been really messy as well as painful.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:57:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good lord it's a great thing I'm not frunked on kefir. Ouch my ribs, you bastard!

(I have no idea whether that was intentional of yours but it got my ribs moving)

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:02:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In my defence I aduce the following:
  1. 'd' and 'f' are adjacent keys in a standard QWERTY keyboard.
  2. We are not running the dKos version of the software which forces you to always preview your comments.


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:08:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I still found your comment very frunny ;)
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:10:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok I better log off from ET, I need to get up early tomorrow and jog ... during my jogging I'll daydream about winning a nobel prize in vocabulary (for my secondary use of "osmosis"), after a total breakdown of my logical capacities in physics and chemistry.

G'night Mig (and to you all)!!

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:13:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are there any bacteria that feed off other bacteria, and which we could use for energtic input directly?

Can't fathom peak bacteria at all.

Ok I think I really need to give up on Chemistry and even Biology ... here I come Acting School!

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:38:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't understand your question.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:39:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well it wasn't very clear.

I was thinking of a bacterial osmosis, where one bacteria could feed off another bacteria feeding on the first. But I think I'm just trying to sound smart.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:40:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Now you are inventing new definitions of osmosis?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:45:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You know, that's a good point you raise, I used the same term a few days back on ET and looked it up on Merriam & Websters before (but still carried on with using it) because I thought it didn't carry the extra meaning that it does in French. The original meaning exists in both French and English, but in French we also use the term to define a relationship of equilibrium (and joy if applied to humans). Does Spanish have that extra meaning too?
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:50:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ps: it's an acquired meaning, not in original French ...
This is all I found so far:

[sens figuré] Influence réciproque.

Influence réciproque, interpénétration -- Une osmose s'est produite entre ces deux civilisations.

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:52:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah.

Strange acquired meaning. Osmosis is usually unidirectional.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:54:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Warning: I've just forced myself to drink coffee (I almost never do drink any), so my blood-alcohol content is getting bypassed by my accelerated (facilitated) brain activity.

So exit Physics & Chemistry, here I come Vocabulary ;)))

by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:57:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Uranium-38 should of course be uranium-238.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:31:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Due to reactor physics it "only" contains 60 times as much energy as the original U-235.

What do you mean "contains 60 times as much energy" than U-235? In what sense?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:36:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think he means 140 times more weight only contains 60 times more energy.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep, that's what I meant.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:45:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ok, what energy are talking about? The energy that can be produced per gram of U-23X in a fission reactor? Do you know of a currently operating commercial fission reactor that uses U-238? Or are we talking about breeder reactors? I'm confused?

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are CANDU reactors which burn U238 and are used to produce energy.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:52:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unless the Wikipedia article is missing something, no they don't...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake
by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:02:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Running on natural uranium, they start-up with the U235 in it, but during the cycle between fwo refuelling, they do turn a lot of the u238 in p239 (that's called having a "high breeding ratio", all reactors have a breeding ratio, they're not call breeders unless it's >1, self-sustained cycles if ~1, and vanilla if <1. In a PWR, something like 25% of the energy at the end of the life of the rods is from p239=from the original u238. The future EPR will have a breeding ratio of 0.7, so it will be even higher than that.)

Candu reactors have high breeding ratios with uranium and thorium, unfortunately the uranium side makes them proliferation friendly (I have a canadian science paper on this I should deconstruct one day).

Pierre
by Pierre on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 04:18:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They use natural (unenriched) uranium, not U-238 if I remember correctly.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:07:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:09:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking of breeders.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:05:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, so we're not talking about currently operating commercial fission reactors, but possible future reactors. Still there are quite a few problems with breeders (not least of which is  non-proliferation).

For an (oldish) breeder assessment see "Nuclear Power and Energy Security: A Revised Strategy for Japan (1998)" specifically chpt. 4. AFAIK the problems it highlights are still problems today (but I could be wrong).

For a more general skeptical view of nuclear (fission) power in general see "WHY NUCLEAR POWER CANNOT BE A MAJOR ENERGY SOURCE"...

The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom - William Blake

by talos (mihalis at gmail dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:51:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For the second link.  

The Fates are kind.
by Gaianne on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 03:04:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's amazing how unemployment focuses the mind.

Now where are we going and what's with the handbasket?
by budr on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 05:57:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
WHAT THE FUCK IS NEEDED FOR OUR LEADERS TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE SOLUTION IS NOT TO PRODUCE MORE OIL, BUT TO USE LESS?

Legislation making it illegal for them to personally profit from it????

I personally believe that all the natural resources of the world should belong to no nation or company, but are our collective responsibility to protect and use responsibly.

But unless a band of conniving hippies has infiltrated great governing bodies of the world and staged a coup, I'm calling bs.  Since when has a nation's resources not been their's to use as they see fit?  You know, I've been thinking a lot about something said by some guy whose name and position escapes me, but who, commenting on Russia's use of energy resources as "blackmail," explained matter-of-factly that Russia has to feed her people and to do that they need income.  Now, no one thinks this is the end of the story.  Gobs of people profit while others starve, but the notion that charging a price -political or financial- for a service or product is not fair to those who want it rather begs the question: is it fair to the people of these countries to demand they give their resources away?  Esp. considering the standard of living in Russia or Venezuela compared to the US or Europe.  

Also worth noting is the damned if you do and damned if you don't situation: If you don't give it away (Russia), it is fascism.  If you do (Venezuela), it is fascism.  Looks like the only answer to this ethical dilemma is to let the private companies handle it!  Convenient!

BTW, I have a solution to this scourge of "nationalism."  Just get rid of national sovereignty.  We'll run everything by international and transnational bodies like ... the UN.

Yep.  That's what I thought.  It's not nationalism they dislike.  It's other people's nations they have a problem with.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -Voltaire

by p------- on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 01:48:47 PM EST
Kind of undermines the case for liberalism, would you not agree?

We're not going to solve this problem without state intervention. Either the American way (force) or via peaceful means.

by redstar on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 03:01:48 PM EST
If you stick around, you'll see that I regularly argue against market liberalisation in the energy sector - or at least for open, durable, active State involvement.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 03:47:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
how can you blog and watch France in the World Cup at the same time?  Multitasking...
by BooMan on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 03:49:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's half time...
I would multitask, but sadly my wifi does not work in the room with the TV (plus I'm actually watching this game, and the neighbors are around, plus a few extranumerary kids who are sleeping over, so we're having a big party)

Off now...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 03:52:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OOps I read that as 'my wife does not work in the same room as the TV' and was just trying to get to grips with the surreal enormity of it when I noticed my mistake....

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Jun 28th, 2006 at 03:29:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We agree 100% on this and also on nuclear, I see. And also I presume on the outcome of the game that just ended.

Outside of consumer goods, can you think of a market which operates significantly differently than energy in this regard? I have a hard time thinking of any which wouldn't require active and durable State involvement and regulation if not ownership (health care, communications, banking, transportation, etc...)

The move to liberalise these past two decades will be seen, I am convinced, as a big mistake.

And now it is nearing 19h00 where I am, the skies are sunny and the poor Spaniards have been spanked as predicted by yours truly (by the exact score, I might add), it's time for a little celebratory Pastaga!!

by redstar on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 05:31:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What's your position on nuclear? Just to be sure?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:24:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I gather that redstar is on the "cool team", with you and me. He's just joined the club of people that will keep on getting blasted for "total lack of awareness about the dangers of nuclear power".
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:30:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Redstar is also alone on the Stalinist corner of the ET political compass.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:34:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The political compass is a bit like a referee in a world cup game siding Italy. A lot of unfair judgments, and no replays. I wish I could join redstar in the Stalinist corner ...
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:36:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you see you are now in the authoritarian conservative  quadrant?

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:51:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Finally where I belong ;)
It was a long road getting there.
by Alex in Toulouse on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let's be fair, eh? This compass thing is a relative compass, if I show up as Stalin on the social scale it might just mean most folks taking that test are dissolute libertines, no?

I'd like to think of my space as the Gramschi space. I'd guess Stalin's probably way higher than me up the y-axe, maybe higher than everyone.

This being said, he probably had the right idea about nuclear power too.

 

by redstar on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 10:44:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
PS sorry about that ignomy imposed upon your team earlier today.
by redstar on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 10:45:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not an energy person, my background is in media, but my reading on the subject is that nuclear is a competitive source of electricity, emits no CO2, only two major accidents in the history of the industry and neither in a western democracy with a history of an effective and transparent regulatory and safety regime.

For those who think nuclear is less safe than the alternatives, all I can guess is there are no coal miners in their family tree, or they don't live near a refinery or a gas pipeline.

Many Americans understandably have a phobia about nuclear and I sympathize, since you need to provide stringent safeguards and a regulatory framework around which to build an industry which is safest when standardized. This takes a certain aptitude for the collective which America patently is hopeless at. European countries (other than Belgium and France) have no such excuse except maybe the UK which shares America's economic ideological fetishes to some extent.

But just because it doesn't work in America anymore doesn't mean it shouldn't be a part of our energy future in the West, in much the same way just because gay marriage won't work in Saudi Arabia doesn't mean it isn't an idea whose time has come for advanced Western social democracies.

Sorry I got off topic but that's the pastis and then dinner talking, great game, great game.

by redstar on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 10:36:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nuclear energy accidents are like airplane accidents. It's not how many people are killed, it's the degree of control one has of the situation.

Cars kill lots more people than airplanes no matter how you measure it, but people have no problems driving in cars because "behind the wheel" you feel in control of the situation.

You can choose to go into a coal mine, but you can't choose to not live within 1000 miles of a nuclear power plant. (At least not in North America or Europe.)

It doesn't matter how many nuclear accidents there have been so far, or how many people have been killed (which is a debateable number), but whether you have a choice to live "near" one.

by asdf on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 11:44:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The move to liberalise these past two decades will be seen, I am convinced, as a big mistake.

It's not so much a mistake as the Cult of Capitalism's Counter-Reformation.

It's not even about money really. It's about recentralising power so that the peasants don't have access to it, and so can be exploited ad lib.

Most 'reforms' are about consolidating that power base. Wind is considered a threat because it has the potential to be massively decentralised, with players at every level from house-sized microgeneration to huge national farms.

Nuclear is inherently centralised and anti-democratic because it can never be fragmented like this. In the minds of the noobies who are promoting it, that's a good feature and not a bad one.

Also, Big Technology is always more exciting to plan, finance and build than relatively small-scale run of the (wind)mill projects. Where's the fun in building something that you know will work reliably and can be put together fairly quickly? Isn't it much more interesting to have lots of meetings with government representatives and law makers who make you feel like someone really important, and will hand over big sexy cheques more or less on demand?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:45:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I take nuclear as a basket of clean energy options that include hydro, wind and solar as well as future fuel innovations to come.

But on the other hand, I strongly belive we don't move past the age of petroleum without the state.

by redstar on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 10:39:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know about Europe, but in the US the people have (implicitly) voted for a strong, neo-colonialist military posture. While some on the left may decry the size of the military and its adventurism, politicians who support this outlook consistently get elected.

In addition the people have voted with their wallets as well, from SUV's to McMansions. We want our raw materials, we want them as cheaply as possible, and we don't care what you do to the rest of the world in order to provide it to us.

As Pogo said "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 05:01:34 PM EST
when "it" is no longer available?

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 05:07:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ronald Reagan once said "what has posterity ever done for me?" Most people don't really care about the future, even if they profess to. Actions speak louder than words, and the actions point to SUV's and McMansions. This has nothing to do with a specific political party or which war over resources we are currently engaged in.

If SUV's and McMansions aren't enough of an indicator look at all the NIMBY over things like wind farms.

The issue of neo-colonialism (or whatever you want to call it) has been going on since the Spanish American War, Iraq is just the latest effort. The US hasn't even won a war since WWII, but that hasn't stop us.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 10:30:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the people have (implicitly) voted for a strong, neo-colonialist military posture.

I'm not sure the people have. Even if you can trust the figures, neither Bush election has been a landslide. Disapproval is very high. The jingoism and flag-waving worked for a while, and it's possible a solid victory in Iraq would have made Bush a hero.

But a solid and quick victory would have been bad for the Warrrr business, so that was never going to happen.

I think there's a danger of assuming that the flag-waving morons are the US mainstream. I don't think they are at all. Most people in the US seem to be broadly centre-right, with a strong centre-left counter-balance.

The radical right has only been successful because of dirty tricks, and a deliberate attenpt to exploit the church-going rural vote. Because of the way the electoral map is arranged, the rural vote has a disproportionate influence in the electoral college. And they're sitting ducks for any con-man that appears who seems to be talking their language.

In a real democracy I think we'd see much more moderate policies. We might even see some progress towards real  sustainable energy. A government-led program could easily lead to a sustainable energy boom that would provide a lot of new business opportunities. If people saw that happening, I think it's very likely they'd get right behind it.

So I think the problem isn't so much with most of the people, but with the fact that the US is no longer a liberal democracy and is now a banana oligarchy. From the polls, most of the population doesnn't support the administration's policies at all.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:16:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Kerry was also for a strong, neo-colonialist military posture. In 2004 he campaigned on sending 40,000 additional troops to Iraq, and on pursuing the same goals as Bush but more competently. Anti-war democrats just had to swallow their issue or stay at home.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 07:27:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Kerry was campaigning on the (relatively) reasonable basis that if the US was in Iraq already, it might as well go in and do the job properly.

At that point 9/11 was still being used as an excuse to set the electoral agenda.

I think there's a fine distinction between having a population that's actively neo-colonialist, and responding to a manufactured incident used as focus for  a propaganda campaign to incite neo-colonialist adventures.

My point is that significant parts of the population don't seem to be naturally that way inclined - although given a suitable level of media carpet bombing and a shock-horror incident they can be persuaded to turn in that direction.

But that's not the same as - say - the Victorian model in the UK, where there was a strong consensus in all of the classes felt that military intervention in other countries was inherently a good thing. It was an active, not a re-active colonialism. Populations today seem more sophisticated. Even though there's a long way to go, the propaganda only works up to a point. It's a positive sign that given the volume of noise from the Noise Machine in the US, Bush's approval figures are as low as they are. If they were in the 60s we might as well give up and go home.

But they're not. And that's a cause for hope and potentially something to build on.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 08:26:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A $517B defense bill was just passed unanimously in the U.S. Senate. That includes, notice, ALL of the Democrats.

This is a bill that continues to support massive arming of third world countries, the development of high tech aircraft and ships that have no conceivable use, and a whole bunch of other stuff based on the "let's fight the last war again" philosophy.

Until people vote for leaders they agree with, they will continue to get this sort of result. This applies worldwide...

by asdf on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 11:49:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Resource nationalism? Let me just say: bah-humbug!

Norway has the ultimate model for extracting oil and managing the revenues, and their model (private corporations, national champion, high taxes, strong state intervention while respecting that private companies require profits) works very well, and happen to be pretty much "resource nationalism", as in using the resources of the nation to enrich the people (and give wealth and power to the state).

Not making a fuss just happens to be the best solution for Norway. At least at the moment (I am thinking of Jerome's oil thriller...).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 05:34:48 PM EST
relationship with the EU on energy matters can politely be described as strained. However discreet and unfussy the Norwegians may be, their (understandable) insistence to keep strict public control over the sector in various ways does not play well in Brussels and is a soruce of permanent, if diplomatic, fighting.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 05:52:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good that someone is trying to keep the neolib ideologist at bay in Brussels.

BTW, congratulations on the 3-1 game. :)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 06:10:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
crossposted over at dKos now: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/6/27/173853/278

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 27th, 2006 at 05:50:50 PM EST


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