Sunday, July 31, 2005

Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation & Risk Management

The_Hirsch_Report_Proj_Cens.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Apparently, Richard Heinberg feels that someone may be suppressing this report.

I don't know. I suppose it's possible, and I have been puzzled and concerned over the lack of coverage this issue receives in US press.

Heinberg complains,
Here, then, is a significant report produced by an independent research company for the US Department of Energy, warning of a global problem of "unprecedented" proportions with economic, social, and political impacts that are likely to be extremely severe. The authors forecast "protracted economic hardship" for the United States and the rest of the world. It is a problem that deserves "immediate, serious attention."

Yet, half a year after its release, the Hirsch report is nowhere to be found. ...
I think that by "nowhere to be found" Heinberg must really mean "nowhere in the mainstream". The report is out there, but you'd never know it without stepping outside the mainstream, which is too bad because it again implies a number of possibilities, none of them particularly agreeable.

Hat tip to Energy Bulletin.

[Update to add a link to Resource Investor's piece on the report.]

[Update to add a link to The Oil Drum's take on the missing report. One of the comments posted to The Oil Drum's piece contained a working link to the Hilltop Lancers' cache of the report, which was said (in Heinberg's piece linked above) to have disappeared. I think it was probably just a typo on Heinberg's part, and then the consequences of cut-and-paste. The link to the Hilltop Lancers site in Heinberg's note starts out with "htto://" not "http://", so of course it didn't work. Hey, I didn't catch that typo the fist time I tried the link either. Maybe Heinberg's eyes are getting old like mine, on top of which the link, as it appears in Heinberg's note, excludes the "http://" part at the beginning.]

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sysinternals Freeware - RootkitRevealer

Sysinternals Freeware - RootkitRevealer
I hope it is not offensive to any possible deity for this old heathen to say, "God bless Bryce and Mark at Sysinternals," but this really pisses me off.

This rootkit shit essentially means that nobody should have confidence in the security of their machines, irrespective of the efforts they expend to keep the operating system up to date, to keep the anti-virus, anti-spyware, boot monitoring and registry guarding software up to date, and all that other horseshit.

It makes me want to just stop using the computer as anything other than a dumb terminal. I'm already doing that for email, having I switched to webmail a few months ago. I've got a few other programs I like, but I might as well toss all that shit, download Knoppix 4.0 and use it exclusively from the CD-Rom to do a few things online.

Whether evil bastards who'll sneak around and take what's not theirs, or computer and software manufacturers who make the products such that the evil bastards can do their piggish thing, some people should burn in hell.

Or, I could just do what I have taken to doing is various other areas - simply decide not to give a shit any more because it does no good.

I might have to modify this post when I'm less angry.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Natural Gas Supply, Demand and Pricing - EnergyPulse

Natural Gas Supply, Demand and Pricing - EnergyPulse

Overall, the expectation that relatively untested (on a massive scale) sources of NG will offset the issues mentioned here is a high stake gamble. Like the Greek tragedies of old, salvation may arrive from out of the blue but submitting our energy future to a complex and fragile series of unverified assumptions is risky indeed.
Here's a good article followed by a discussion thread illustrating, in part, how some people place great faith in what I ignorantly think is economic dogmatism while others are more reality-based.

Interesting reading for while we sail ever closer to the falls.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Robert G. Ingersoll - Wikipedia

"What an organ human speech is when employed by a master." Mark Twain on Ingersoll.

Thanks to Effect Measure for the tip.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Skeptacles: Atheists and Patriots Under God

Skeptacles: Atheists and Patriots Under God: "'I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.'

Stephen Roberts"

OK, so here is the origin of the quote I blogged about in the previous post. Thanks to Keith, a member of the Brights forum, who posted the quote's author's website in this forum thread.

At first glance, Stephen F. Roberts' website seems well worth visiting again, but now I've got to go to work.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Atheists and Patriots Under God

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

Stephen Roberts

My first reaction to this quote was that it was spot on. Upon reflection, though, in isolation (as I found it floating around the internet) I think it is lacking.

The quote addresses a person of monotheistic faith who, presumably, rejects all other gods as a tenet of his faith. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Surely the speaker is not atheistic on the basis of dogma.

Or maybe he is. ThoughI tend to doubt it, maybe that's the proper context. I'll try to learn a bit more about the context of quote.

This next quote, which I happened upon while looking into the one above, bothers me a bit more:

"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."

George Bush - 41st US President

This one doesn't seem to require much context.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Hyprogen Economy?

The Daily Telegraph | Hydrogen to 'solve energy crisis': "In Brisbane for the Austmine Mining Innovation from Downunder Conference, Mr Macfarlane said he believed hydrogen fast fusion technology, under development in the United States, was the only viable alternative energy source."

Various sources have uncritically picked up on this comment by the Australian federal Industry and Resources Minister Hon. Ian Macfarlane.

Trouble is, what is this thing he is said to have called "hydrogen fast fusion"? Every Google or Clusty or Lexis Nexis search I did found nothing except in reference to his comment. If I exclude "Macfarlane" from the search ("hydrogen fast fusion" AND NOT "Macfarlane") I get no hits at all.

A site search at his Departments web site yields no hits.

It seems either the term is Mr. Macfarlane's, or he was misrepresented. I'll email him to request a clarification.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Test of Russian Courts

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russian sues Nasa for comet upset

Let's see if this Russian court can come up with a higher-quality ruling than some of the decisions the US Supreme Court has been delivering lately.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Penetrating the Fog, or, He Said She Said

A person I have reason to respect recently suggested that I was not following the hockey stick argument in the right place, and suggested I see an alternative source of information on the topic.

The Hockey Stick is a graph showing the reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperature for the past 1000 years. It's the subject of considerable controversy.

This controversy is a perfect example of the difficulty in trying to make sense of the world, and why I so like the line from The Quiet American that goes something like:
Sometimes, in order to preserve your sanity, you just have to pick sides.
The climate scientists behind the Hockey Stick run a blog called

Some of the chief Hockey Stick detractors run another blog (the alternative I was referred to) called

I decided to add ClimateAudit to my regular rounds because among the very few certainties I hold is that I am frequently mistaken. Maybe I'm too easily impressed with the Hockey Stick.

Well, it turns out I had read ClimateAudit before, and after a while had turned away. Now that I've again invested several hours in seeing what they have to say, I intend to read their stuff for a while longer, but frankly, I'm afraid I'm going to have to turn away again. I'm just not persuaded that their arguments are as likely as RealClimate's Hockey Stick to represent reality.

How do I make that determination? Malcolm Gladwell, the author of The Turning Point, wrote another book, Blink, reporting on how human beings deal with complex situations through a process of rapid cognition involving a process called "thin slicing". Gladwell's book is about snap judgments and first impressions, whereas the process I appear to use in deciding how to pick my side is longer-term. I think there's still some "thin slicing" type of stuff going on between my ears, and I think it's a valid enough mechanism. Valid enough, but subject to error, which means I always have to entertain some uncertainty about my positions.

Why turn away though? Because I only have a certain amount of time, and I don't want to spend it all trying to penetrate the fog enshrouding the issue of climate change. I have other interests and concerns, too.

Based on what I know and read and see, I think the odds are quite high that the scientists behind are more credible than the minerals consultants and economists behind I agree with Scientific American, whereas my referrer probably agrees more with the Wall Street Journal.

Scientists and economists. Maybe they're all priests. I'll stick with the scientists for now.
For every expert there's an equal and opposite reexpert. - Anonymous
Onward through the fog together.

What he said. Kinda.

BBC [To] pretend this emotional, ad hoc response to the complex and chronic problem of famine in Africa made a positive difference was naive, rooted in a fictional idea that rock changes the world.

I'm so sick of Bono.