Open Talk Tuesday

Once again, an open thread.

Some suggestions? How about the recent elections where pundits are counting it as a 1/2 and 1/2 Republican vs Democrat and not noticing that the “power for common folks” motions won while the “power for government” motions lost. Simple, really. We want to make our own decisions and retain the power to ourselves, thanks.

Or perhaps the Killer Storm coming out of Alaska. 80 MPH winds in a blizzard. Would be a hurricane in Florida…

Cain saying “I did not have regular interactions” with that woman… Or the persistent quakes, some over 3.0, on top of Katla…

I’ve done my seasonal change of the lightbulbs back to cheaper high power consumption ones (heat, in winter, is not wasted…)

And then there is that DIY cold fusion cell I found on some page. Tungsten TIG welder element and Stainless Steel in KCO3 solution. Claims of 1.2 x heat gain at low power, nearly 2x at high. Or even using Nickle welding rod instead of tungsten. I think this is it:

Looks to me like a pretty easy thing to test…

Or maybe the way that Greece has started to take back seat to the Italy political circus.

Even Germany does not have enough money to bail out Italy.

Ah, well. The US Stock market has been slowly ‘melting up’ and both Oil and Gold are rising. Guess it pays to be the least ugly whore in the whore house. I’m still feeling too unenthusiastic to get a full financial posting done, as whatever it concludes can be blown out of the water by one political episode in Europe.

Well, with that, have at it!

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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121 Responses to Open Talk Tuesday

  1. Sera says:

    Another good article from Patrick (my go-to guy about all things China).

  2. Jason Calley says:

    @ E.M.

    Regarding the cold fusion cell (or whatever mechanism is at work!) I remember seeing that from the University of Birmingham back in 2003.
    Neat site, JLN, you have linked to about it, and nice to see an experimental test! I also noticed on the JLN site that they have a link to an article about Dr. Irving Langmuir. His development of mono-atomic hydrogen still raises some questions about anomalous energy production. Basically he used an electric arc to disassociate H2 to single atoms, then burned the monoatomic hydrogen in a blow torch. Numerous people have reported that the overall energy output is too great to match the input.

    I wonder if the Birmingham KCO3 unit is somehow making use of monoatomic hydrogen produced by the current they send through the solution. Maybe it is interacting with a nickle electrode or nickle in the stainless steel container. Dunno…

    One reason why I sometimes think about atomic hydrogen is because of NASA. Being one of those people afflicted with both curiosity and a long memory, I remember that NASA was experimenting with monoatomic hydrogen as a fuel back in the seventies. The numbers looked fabulous! There was talk of a school-bus sized space ship capable of single stage to orbit flight with a breakfast on Earth, lunch on the Moon and then back to Earth for dinner. Sounded great! Making H1 is easy, but storing it is not — and I never could find out how they were planning to keep the stuff in a tank. And then the subject disappeared. Not a word about it, down the memory hole. I am still unable to find much info on it. Might be one of your famous “dig here!” subjects.

  3. R. de Haan says:

    You didn’t mention the nuclear concerns about Iran and the sable rattling reaching new highs this week.

    I just read that even the German Air Force is practicing bombing runs on Iranian targets.

    If Iran is attacked, oil prices of 300 or 500 USD have been predicted.
    But that’s for the short term.

    I think Iran has held the markets hostage for a long time and played a big role pushing the oil prices up.

    So could we see lower oil prices after a military confrontation with Iran?

    I think a break through in fusion technology could make a difference short term but what we need now is a radical move to secure our long term energy requirements.

    I really think we should put our money on thorium for electricity generation, gas to liquid (sulfa free diesel) and coal to liquid (gasoline) to power our economies. Maybe a short period of extremely high oil prices will boost common sense among our political elite and something constructive is done.

    We could finance the entire hardware if we stop wasting money on green pipe dreams and good for nothing technologies like wind and solar.

    As for Cain I think he’s done.
    The ladies are not giving up.
    Besides that Cain is clueless about the world, clueless about foreign politics, in short, he is too clueless to become President of the USA.,0,7925369.story

    What’s more important than Cain and his past is the question which candidate is going to kick Obama out of office.
    To be honest I haven’t seen a single person who can.
    And with Obama’s campaign budget I think he has a big chance for a second term. All the Republican candidates are birds of one feather compared to the Democrats so we’re screwed anyway. As for our freedoms? I’m afraid we going to have to fight for it.

    You can wake me up for quake and volcano stories.
    But I’m not focussed or obsessed by Katla.
    I am more fascinated by the powers that control the frequency and strength of quakes and the volcanic activity in general.

    It wasn’t very long ago when I was totally burned down on a volcano blog when I claimed seismic (and volcanic) activity was on the rise. I even send an e-mail to the USGS and was told I was totally wrong and there was no statistical rise in seismic activity.
    But recently the USGS has admitted there is a rise in seismic activity.

    From scientific reports about the Little Ice Age, the Maunder and Dalton Minimum and geological research and ice core analysis and the search in historic records, we know volcanic activity was about five times higher than today.

    What’s fascinating me is the question if we will see a repeat in activity comparable with the Maunder/Dalton minimum.

    As for Italy and the crises in general I really hope the entire crooked system will collapse. I also hope the political elite will be tarred and feathered.
    Such an event could make matters worse but I think it would do wonders for our freedoms and create the opportunity of a fresh start. Without the culprits of course. You might call me crazy but I am a strong believer in the Capitalistic System and Free Markets. Those markets get strong because the weak fail. They go bankrupt. Today the weak win with Government Grants and Bail Out’s. That’s unnatural and it won’t work.
    Italy has never worked. Italy doesn’t need saving. The Italian industry, business and farmers have worked around Government and the Mafia for a long time.
    Government isn’t in control of anything in Italy.
    That’s why the concept of the EU doesn’t work.

    If you mix your entire pallet of colors, you end up with the color black.
    The EU wants the color blue. That’s impossible.

    We can have free trade and free passage of people and capital without giving up the autonomy of our states. We won’t go to war without an EU to watch over us. We don’t fit the straight jacket of a Super State with unelected Commissars and an unelected President telling us how to grow our cucumbers on our lands. It’s a concept that failed on many occasions and it fails now.

    So let the House of Cards collapse and rid us from this horrible bunch of apparatchiks most of us even don’t know by name and our clueless politicians who sold us out against our will.

    Just bring it on.

  4. R. de Haan says:

    Italian exposure per bank:
    The list doesn’t include the Dutch and Spanish banks.

    So we can now skip Italy, move to France to know they are destroyed completely and Germany which will switch to the D-Mark at first opportunity.

    Probably on the same day Italy will reintroduce the Lira.

    After that Europe and the Euro will be dirty words, just like unity and solidarity.

  5. R. de Haan says:

    Goldman’s exposure to the EU banks and governments 56 billion

  6. Richard Ilfeld says:

    If something is unsustainable, it will stop. Momentum is the product of mass and velocity. The larger the mass and/or the faster the decline the bigger the crash. Unless brakes are applied. Government officials, like teenage drivers, do not seem to have a fondness for brakes.

    But we all have a pretty high tolerance for fantasy. Progressive government is certainly sustained by fantasy; libertarian as well were a libertarian government ever to exist. What libertarian would ever even want to govern.

    But with all the issues cited, my biggest fear might be that the young would discover their prospects are dim when compared to those of previous generations, whom they are supporting handsomely (along with the indigent among themselves). Once the welfare state fails, the social contract implied: “you pay in now, you’ll get yours later” also fails.

    What is the response of the young person who says “I’ll never see a penny of Social Security” (common), then awakes and considers what that really means (rare).

    Complaints that a Democratic government can’t cope the the problems we see are a warning we ignore at our peril. Fix the social contract, Force economic reality into government so the population has at least a fighting chance to make reasonable decisions. That’s a better alternative than a concealed carry permit (up 100% year over year in my jusridiction).

  7. Pascvaks says:

    (What If On) Just before COB today the NYSE takes a dive that looks ‘really bad’, Japan and China get nervous and start selling like there’s no tomorrow, Europe wakes up and goes bonkers, and tomorrow the Dow closes at ~6000. The world economy is toast on Veteran’s Day and NewYorkers are dodging jumbers like rain drops.(What If Off)

    Given that little nightmare, people all over the world of the round door knob are sitting at home Saturday morning twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the Prez to come in to the 19th Hole to give a live speech on the chrisis. The Guru from Chicago tells them that Congress needs to increase his latest Freebee Program by a thousand percent. You’re a first term member of the House. What do you do?

  8. R. de Haan says:

    Let James Delingpole take care of our youth.
    He explains it perfectly and I am sure they will understand.

  9. R. de Haan says:

    “You’re a first term member of the House. What do you do?”
    Introduce a Motion of Confidence to get rid of Obama would be a great step.

  10. R. de Haan says:

    “If something is unsustainable, it will stop.”

    Not in the territory that is under control of the Euro Fascists.
    They will keep lending, stealing and spending until they die.

  11. R. de Haan says:

    After that we’ll have the Russians invade the EU.

  12. R. de Haan says:

    To collect their gas bill.

  13. R. de Haan says:

    To collect their gas bill of course.

  14. pouncer says:

    Watching the traditional markets doesn’t tell me what’s really going on. The value (in trade) of a given company or industry — say Kodak or Olympus camera — is almost wholly disconnected from the value (in dollars or yen, or shares of stock or discount of corporate bonds) in money. Not long ago dozen of small kiosks around town took 35mm film, transported it, developed it, made prints, and returned stuff back to the kiosks. That whole industry is as gone as whale bone buggy whip manufacturing. The skilled chemical workers turning fragile unstable film into “permanent” memories are now out-of-work while a cash register operator at any department store services a machine that can make prints from a USB stick. And yet, Olympus trades (or traded) as if it were NOT in the buggy whip business, and Kodak slaps their trademark brand on other makers SD cards and PC printers and tries to stave off the end of their business model.

    On the other hand, there are businesses making and distributing and marketing new products or better implementations of old products — yet their stock prices and bond rates and value in inflated currencies are all falling in near-parallel to the buggy whip makers. Nobody has quit buying bandages or sneakers or plates or tape — but Johnson&Johnson, New Balance, and Corning and 3M are suffering right along with Kodak.

    At some point, if the US government either defaults on its own bonds or triggers runaway inflation of the dollar, the “unit of account/store of value/medium of exchange” situation will fall completely apart. But we’ll STILL want band-aids and shoes, and still value the people and plants that produce this kind of stuff.

    On the other hand, if — say — Johnson & Johnson has been covering up real factory issues the way Olympus has been cooking financials, what, in dollar-denominated public information, can we look at that might show us?

    I don’t try to time the markets, but holding cash over time seems like putting more faith and credit in the aristocracy than they deserve. Rather would I put my faith and reserves and my kids’ future into a share of the risk of the real value of business — making, transporting, warehousing, marketing. Even entertaining: Disney, GameStop, Ninetendo … Picking a few companies to buy a few shares for my kids to hold for a few decades is just overwhelmingly daunting.

    So, if not picking particular companies or sectors — what measure would a pro trader recommend a lay investor look at that are more or less independent of the unit of account? Market share? Earnings ratio?

  15. H.R. says:

    Hey! I have bunches of tungsten (2% thoriated) rods that I trip over every day. We probably throw out a dozen-plus 35mm long stubs a week.

    I wonder if the thorium contamination would grind things to a halt Guess I’ll have to carve out some time and see what happens.

  16. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M.:We want to make our own decisions and retain the power to ourselves, thanks.
    Bad news, “they” got the power, from Necker on…(1776, France)

  17. R. de Haan says:

    When ideas have sex

    A bank transfer tax, carbon tax and limitations on transport (just local production) would severely undermine this concept.

    That’s why we need to get rid of those people.
    They’re killing us.

  18. R. de Haan says:

    Ron Paul: Obama presidency on the verge of being a dictatorship

    Don’t you love this?

  19. Jerry says:

    Re: Italy – Forget the Deutsche Mark think Deutsche Panzer. At this point I don’t think even W. Churchill would object. :) same goes for Greece.

    “The Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania State University is outraged by the horrifying details contained in the grand jury report,” the strongly worded statement read.

    “We cannot begin to express the combination of sorrow and anger that we feel about the allegations surrounding Jerry Sandusky.

    “Penn State has always strived for honesty, integrity and the highest moral standards in all of its programs. We will not tolerate any violation of these principles.”

    To which I can only say MICHAEL E. MANN

  20. Jerry says:


    LED guys just keep on keeping on. I have not seen a price list on this new Acrich2, but the older Acriche are $7.50 at

  21. kuhnkat says:

    R. De Haan,

    “Besides that Cain is clueless about the world, clueless about foreign politics, in short, he is too clueless to become President of the USA.”

    Compared to whom?? McCaint, Ron Paul, Kerry, Gore, Obie, Perry, Clintoon, Bush, Cahtah, Johnson, Nixon……

  22. George says:

    Cain just isn’t ready to be President. He should run for Governor or something first. Of the candidates running, I honestly am not all that enthusiastic about any of them. But this is an “anybody but Obama” election for me so I will hold my nose and vote for the candidate opposing Obama no matter who that might be.

    Romney has done one thing (well actually two things at the same time) that made a great impression on me: He took over the 2002 Winter Olympics and completely turned that around from being millions in the hole, to turning a profit even after $224.5 million in additional security costs were added. And he did all of this while running a campaign for Governor of MA at the same time.

    The thing is, he gets things done. Newt talks a lot but doesn’t get all that much actually done. Cain has nice rhetoric but has no track record in politics. Perry is all hat and no cattle. Texas’ economic strength is due more to the Texas legislature than to anything Perry did. He was there to sign the bills but the legislation wasn’t of his doing. Perry would be fine with a Republican majority in both houses of Congress but I just don’t see him as that much of a mover and shaker. Romney actually is.

    Re: Romney Care. The MA legislature was hell bent on having government health care. Romney wasn’t going to change that because even if he didn’t sign the bill, the legislature would have overridden his veto. What he did, instead, was use constructive engagement to attempt to influence the bill to the extent that he could. It has since been changed quite a bit from the program that he signed.

    Romney isn’t my best choice of candidates but he is the best we have this cycle. Next cycle we will have some serious players (Rubio, Christie, Jindal, Walker, and more).

  23. H.R. says:

    Dang! Lots of broken links on the DIY fusion cell. I can lay my hands on just about everything shown from what’s lying around (except the oscilloscope). I even found a tungsten electrode in my desk that came as a sample.

    Maybe I can scale up and save on heating bills this winter, assuming I don’t have to reimburse FEMA for anything ;o)

  24. Pascvaks says:

    Ref: Jerry (00:10:59) :
    “The Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania State University is outraged…”

    Unfortunately the Board is responsible for everything Penn State does or fails to do. Something’s really wrong, upsidedown, and backwards when the little guys get fired and the Board gets off scottfree. It’s way past time to fire the Board too, and start all over at Penn State.

  25. H.R. says:

    @R. de Haan (22:43:00) :

    “Ron Paul: Obama presidency on the verge of being a dictatorship”

    Heck! My wife was noticing this yesterday. She was reading the paper and said something to the effect; “Since when does the President get to make up whatever laws he wants?”

    She’s at home recovering from a stroke and has never been really political, though always a fiscal conservative, and I can’t believe how much and how fast she’s picked up on local, state, and national politics. I gues when someone has the time to pay attention, the current political climate really gets your attention.

  26. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Saudi Joke of the day : Our cost is $2.50 so we can “Survive” if oil goes down to $80

  27. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Ummmmm he was in Pakistan not Iran –> Check out the Loaded BS of the media

  28. E.M.Smith says:


    So much to catch up on, on my own blog! And here I was wasting my time making a new posting ;-)


    That ‘sand bottle home’ is fascinating… Now if they would just use some of the plastic to make a binder for the ‘cement’ that binds the bottles together, you could have the whole thing water proof, erosion resistant, durable, and made from sand and plastic bottles… “mud” as cement doesn’t have that much attraction to me ;-)

    Maybe some styrofoam cups and a bit of gasoline to make the ‘plastic bound sand cement / stucco’? Wonder how much styrene can be dissolved in a gallon of gasoline and how much sand that would bind…

    I think I need a dog.

    Don’t need a dog house if you don’t have a dog…. and I’m feeling this urge to make a small dog house sized ‘bottle house’… Hmmm… Maybe the wife would like a small dog… ;-)


    Islam has not been known for logical consistency. In fact, having read their book, I’d assert it is an essential requirement to NOT hold to logical consistency as it is full of inconsistencies that are mutually exclusive, yet all are ‘the word of God and true’… So Saudi is trying to convince the rest of the Muslims that THEY are the most bad ass hard core Muslims. Who else better to pick on than the women… as they party with the infidels in France…

    Oh, and folks often get all excited about the cost to produce, as though it meant something. What is the cost to write a book. Yet how much did Lord Of The Rings bring in (in the various forms)? Or the Harry Potter series? Or Bambi? Cost to produce is largely irrelevant as long as it’s lower than price by enough. BTW, typical markup is about 50% for the maker and 50% for the channel. So a $400 phone cost about $200 from the company who made it for about $100. Often by outsourcing to a build company that made it for $50. From parts they bought for about $25. From someone who made them for about $12… It’s a fun game, but kind of silly, really.

  29. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:


    They are even training them with computer games to attack us!!!

  30. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  31. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Peace prizer sells more bombs

    But apparently it’s hard to bomb it in winter too much cloud. I wonder if gold would go to 5000 if they bombed it. Like in the early 1980s when gold did the mega spike when the Iran/Iraq war started?

  32. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  33. George says:

    Today’s union story.

    A small town in California was paving a street today behind a school. There is a parking lot for the teachers that is accessed via that street. Since the school’s address is officially on a different street (the one in front of the school), they didn’t get notified of the paving.

    A civil engineer went to the office to ask if the teachers could move their cars. The principal told the engineer that if he asked the teachers to move their cars it would be an “extra duty” and the union would protest. As a result, a crew will need to be deployed twice to that street. 1/2 was paved today and the other half will need to be paved next week. This greatly increased the cost to the city for having to pay a crew twice instead of paving the entire street in one go.

  34. Pascvaks says:

    I’m beginning to feel pumpernickeled and pumperdimed to death. Frankley Scarlet…

  35. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @ Pascvaks; yes, most of the time I just ignore em. pg

  36. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pascvaks & P.G. Sharrow:

    Well, I’m of two minds… On the one hand, S.P. does tend to excess in links, and could benefit greatly from a bit more ‘editing for content and interest’, on the other hand, there are sporadic ‘good bits’ and things of interest. So I’m going to the ‘open talk’ postings to see if that can both preserve the ‘tips’ for more edited things (itself an attempt to get them out of OT postings…) and give a place where ‘variety stuff’ including S.P. can go. If that doesn’t ‘cut it’, I’ll go to an S.P. weekly ‘stuff page’ and “other stuff” ;-)

    Unless folks have a better idea…

  37. Pascvaks says:

    I’m thinking I threw a rock at a Hornet’s Nest. Sorry Scarlet! Honest!

    PS: …. no, better not

  38. P.G. Sharrow says:

    Don’t worry Pascvaks, I don’t think your stone was noticed. ;-)
    I can step over things in the road. pg

  39. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    This is pretty interesting, first time I’ve heard about this :

    From 1957 to 1978, scientists secretly removed bone samples from over 21,000 dead Australians as they searched for evidence of the deadly poison, Strontium 90 – a by-product of nuclear testing. Silent Storm reveals the story behind this astonishing case of officially sanctioned ‘body-snatching’. Set against a backdrop of the Cold War, the saga follows celebrated scientist, Hedley Marston, as he attempts to blow the whistle on radioactive contamination and challenge official claims that British atomic tests posed no threat to the Australian people. Marston’s findings are not only disputed, he is targeted as ‘a scientist of counter-espionage interest’.

  40. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  41. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: One of my favorite books actually. Someone’s done a bit of a summary

  42. H.R. says:

    @Scarlet Pumpernickel (09:07:58) :
    Re: the things some scientists are paid to study.

    Maybe the rid-the-world-of-people Luddites are right. If we send our economy back to the stone age, no one will have time for studies like that. All I can do is shake my head at something like that and get on with my life.

  43. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. I think this picture is good for your blog´s heading:

  44. adolfogiurfa says:

    Forgot to tell you it is from the “Cordon El Caulle Volcano” last june eruption. BTW it continues erupting until now; a few days ago commercial flights were interrupted in Argentina because of this eruption.

  45. E.M.Smith says:


    Thanks. Nice picture. Not sure I’m wedded to this theme yet, though. The picture would need to be fit to the (small short) aspect ratio of the image above… I’m thinking maybe a variable width theme with a larger picture might be better; just haven’t had time to spend on that. (Too busy playing steam engineer ;-)

  46. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Re Europe unexplained radiation, could be from Libya?

  47. E.M.Smith says:


    Might I suggest that’s a bit sensationalist tabloid stuff? If you read it critically, the countries around the area are not finding iodine. It’s just one corner of Germany / Czech / Austria and even there it’s not very much. The headline “soaring” levels are just bogus. It’s more ‘slightly detectable’. Then the pictures and strange pseudo-correlations with things like star clusters and a photo of Fukushima, when the article goes on to say that due to a short half life it can’t be from Japan back then?

    Overall that ‘radiation’ story sounds like someone TRYING to fabricate a story out of stay bits left laying about and some detected medical Iodine. Now a much more valid story / headline would have been “Traces of radioactive iodine detected in central Europe. Did a medical facility drop a vial of medical iodine, or what?”

    Oh, and that “from a submarine” suggestion… In the MIDDLE of the continent with none detected between there are the ocean? Gimme a break… Where’s the critical thinking skills in the writer…

    Yeah, it’s a tasty headline. Yeah, it got me to read it. Yeah, it was a complete waste of that (small) chunk of my life… I’d rather there had been a bit more ‘editorial restraint’ and a bit more ‘critical thinking’ applied to selecting it…

  48. adolfogiurfa says:

    A swarm of earthquakes lasting for months, north of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Island…and nobody cares about it?

  49. E.M.Smith says:


    I suspect the ‘word of the month’ is going to become ‘swarm’… and I care ;-)

  50. George says:

    An interesting strategy has suddenly dawned on my how California plays favorites with politically connected industries.

    It is unconstitutional for California to tax business unequally. By that I mean, they can’t say “businesses that don’t donate to my party or advance my party’s agenda must pay a higher tax rate than other companies” but California has found an interesting way around this.

    What California does is creates a very anti-business climate with a lot of regulations and high taxes. This works to discourage all business activity equally. Then what they do is provide special “incentives” to their favored businesses where they do things like give exemptions from sales taxes for equipment purchases or give these companies other tax and regulatory exemptions that other businesses don’t get.

    Tesla Motors is one example:

    Solyndra ( along with 32 other companies) is another:

    Same happened to Twitter:

    So the government creates an environment that is bad for business generally, and then picks and chooses the companies it wants to stay by giving them special “breaks” on taxes. This is, in effect, the same as having a two-tiered tax system. One for companies you want to keep, and one for companies you want to bankrupt or move out of the state.

    The notion of giving specific companies tax breaks not available to other companies should be against the law. If you want to keep business, lower the taxes for all, not just for the fair-haired few.

  51. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Interesting the whole solar system is undergoing Global warming, if you google each planet you’ll find data suggesting this and also a weird storm on Saturn

  52. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    French down grade must be coming, they let their mates have a warning ehheheheh

  53. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: 5 days of data now, I think they can start a trend?

  54. E.M.Smith says:


    An interesting insight…


    That Libyan lost culture is a new one on me. I knew someone had been there, but not their name…

    Per the solar system: I’ve seen bits on the ice caps of Mars before, and the atmosphere on Pluto being more dense than usual. It really does surprise me that folks don’t make more fuss about the incredibly shrinking ice caps on Mars… Maybe when they come back it will make news ;-)

    Didn’t see anything French in the F.T. page (then again I declined their ‘sign up’ nag so may have been redirected to a generic page), but the S&P did have a ‘leakage’ of their downgrade. The article slipped out and was pulled back with a ‘Oh, sorry, not real’… and nobody thought to ask WHY they had a French Downgrade article queued up but ‘not real’ yet?…

  55. Pingback: Quakes – Curiously Quiet « Musings from the Chiefio

  56. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    ummmm if oil comes from squashed fish and trees, how does it get 7km underground (2km sea and 5km underground?)

  57. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    The above post, it’s also 300km out to sea lol Guess what, all the squashed fish and trees used to live in one single spot on earth, Saudi Arabia, then it magically turned into oil. The “Fossil Fuel” is all there because all the trees and fish decided to live in one single spot and didn’t like the rest of earth. Fossil Fuels also happen on the moon of Titan, the squashed fish and dinosaurs die and turned into fuel.

  58. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  59. E.M.Smith says:


    Offshore oil is not proof of abiogenic oil. The North Sea oil, for example, is clearly the result of a large shallow algae filled sea depositing biogenic oil. Algae can be up to 50% oil, BTW.

    Since “land moves” (and in particular rises and falls) we find sea fossils at the tops of mountains ( i.e. Himalayas ) and we find land ‘stuff’ at the bottom of the sea. Land erodes out to sea and deposits thick sediments. This goes on for millions of years.

    Very easy to get oil of biogenic origin a few km down and way out to sea.

    For example, look at the salt being mined off the coast of Sicily. Salt UNDER the Mediterranean Sea. How can you possibly get salt deposited UNDER all that water? Pretty simple, really. Ice age comes. Global sea level drops. Straights of Gibraltar become land. Mediterranean evaporates leaving very thick salt layer (about 1000 years). Over many more thousands, land nearby erodes and deposits dirt on top of the salt layer. Eventually depth and pressure pack it into a water proof layer. Glaciers melt, the sea reforms, and “viola”, salt way under ground and way under water.

    Just like the oil deposits offshore Brazil that are under a salt dome…

    So take a shallow sea. Have lots of algae bloom, die, and sink to anaerobic depths (shown to happen even today), then some drying sets in to put a salt cap on it, and some erosion to add the rock layer. Wait a few million years as the continents wander around and land sinks / oceans rise. Viola, oil way out to sea under km of dirt and salt.

    Roughly the same process gave us the oil in Texas (that was a shallow inland sea…) and all that oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s not ‘trees and fishes’ nor dinosaurs. It’s algae in shallow seas.

    So why Saudi? Perhaps just because they had a longer lasting inland sea from their geography.

    Yes, It’s also possible that the subduction of carbonate rock has a F.T. reaction making oil (and I like to point that out too). But it’s just as possible that the same geology leads to sustained shallow seas near subduction zones…

    The proof of abiogenic oil will come from finding deep oil under igneous or metamorphic rocks, and with no reasonable path for migration from sedimentary rocks. The Russians claim to have found oil in such places…

    The problem with those kinds of claims, though, is that an awful lot of the global geology is not as clean as folks like to think. Volcanic and sedimentary are intermixed quite a lot. Look at the Sierra Nevada mountains, for example. Nice volcanic plutons in Yosemite … just a few dozens of miles from where my high school biology teacher took us hunting for fossil sharks teeth up in the mountains… Land is a very dynamic concept, you just have to wait long enough ;-)

    For an interesting example, see Zealandia. The SUBMERGED continental scale area that broke off of Australia / Antarctica / Southamerica way long ago AS LAND, where all that’s above water now is New Zealand… BUT, New Zealand is thought to have only recently risen back up (and the mountains are still rising about an inch a year)… So here’s a whole continent scale chunk that, over geologic time scales, is bobbing up and down in the ocean… Sometimes ocean bottom, sometimes land. (And folks want to worry about the water level changing… heck, THE LAND can just go and sink on you. Oceans are not fixed things…)

    Oh, BTW, one other: The Amazon used to drain out the Pacific side of South America. The Andes were only added later, making a giant inland sea, that eventually cut a new exit and gave us the Amazon River. Think maybe if the west is rising the east might have sunk a bit? Maybe that ‘deep’ oil was not so deep back before the Andes rose and the river changed sides of the continent? We have a fresh water dolphin in the Amazon due to it being trapped in that fresh water ocean long enough to evolve… Think about it… Then realize that when thinking about oil, or biology of species, and especially about geology: You need a whole ‘nother way of thinking about time and change; about what is fixed, and what is fluid… The only constant is change…

  60. kuhnkat says:


    “ummmm if oil comes from squashed fish and trees, how does it get 7km underground (2km sea and 5km underground?) ”

    Veeeewwwwwy sloooooooooowwly!!

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  61. kuhnkat says:


    “,7340,L-4148322,00.html Iran – Israel War has begun”

    The war has been ongoing since 1948 when the Arab world REFUSED to even negotiate about peace with Israel. Anwar Sadat was later assasinated over making peace with Israel and the Jordanian Royal family is under continuous attack for the same reason.

    The fact that the West likes to pretend the lies of wanting peace from the Arab World only shows how despicable our leaders are.

  62. E.M.Smith says:


    And how ill educated and ignorant they are.

    They need to read their Koran. It clearly states that once ANY land has been consecrated to Islam it can not be returned to the infidel. It must be retaken for Islam. Period. Direct word of Allah. Not negotiable.

    That they can be very patient about this is NOT evidence that it is not a core fundamental command of Islam.

    So, all you folks in Span and Greece, you know what is headed your way. Those lands were once consecrated to Islam. They can NEVER be ‘yours’ again. Israel is just the front line. Put Turkey inside the EU and you will get a flood of Turkish immigrants just to retake the land. Greece knows this (having been under Islam for a few hundred years) and that is why they regularly hold up the Turkish bid for EU membership.

    Frankly, if Israel were not keeping folks occupied, the focus would just move to the next piece of dirt on the ‘to be reclaimed’ list.

    Oh, and yes, I’ve read that part of MY Koran personally. I’m not taking this second hand…

    Anyone who believes in peace between Israel and it’s Arab neighbors is a fool or an idiot. The only peace that will exist there is the peace that comes from superior firepower and the will to use it.

    Frankly, too, it’s one of the “Fool Indicators” I use in evaluating politicians. IFF they believe in “peace in our time” between Israel and Islam, I know them a fool (i.e. Carter). If they believe in “peace through strength”, I know them wise (i.e. Regan). It’s become a bit harder to use lately as some politicians now TALK “peace in our time”, but know otherwise and practice otherwise, so you must look at actions, not words.

    Still, it’s a pretty good ‘separator’ of the fools from the wise. So listen to the answers politicians give on Israel during this presidential sweepstakes. It will tell you a great deal about their capacities and fantasies.

  63. P.G. Sharrow says:

    A wise man prepares for war to insure the peace. pg

  64. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Looks like Skynet from Terminator 2 LOL

    The Unabomber was right after all LOLOLOL

  65. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Goldman Sachs, is now administrating Europe lol

  66. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: For the fossil fuel believers, what is the explanation for Titan then.

    Earth’s Fossil fuel, may be from “Fossils” but it is more like from the deep biosphere. 90%+ of life lives under the ground, and this has been happening for billions of years. We are actually the minority and the weird ones, since most life on earth has existed under the ground. So basically we have the whole globe and up to 5km (maybe more) of life under the ground. Using different metabolic systems. Bacterial have been found to digest so many thing. I mean they can eat up concrete pipes underground and live in toxic substances even radioactive. Some of the oil may also be produced by the earth, just like titan.

    Why does oil occur in meteorite craters?

    Why is oil/gas found upside down sometimes?

    Why do wells refill

    Why does most of the earth’s oil only occur in one region, eg Saudi/Middle East.

    So the eg I put above, the oil is under sea 2km underwater, then 5km under ground and it’s 300km out to sea. The Atlantic is spreading, so did the oil come from the midpoint of the Atlantic then?

    The Russians believe in it, and they are number 2 producers in the world, with lots of ultradeep wells.

  67. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  68. E.M.Smith says:


    You are, IMHO, falling into the A XOR B trap. It’s A incOR B.

    SOME oil will be abiogenic. Pretty much guaranteed by the fact that we find it in space. SOME of the oil is definitely biogenic in origin. SOME of the ultradeep oil is definitely of biogenic origin (and I’ve already point you toward how that can happen). It is not at all hard to get biogenic oil under km of water or rock.

    For example, just to make it explicit, that oil off of South America can easily be from the shallow sea that would have been there as Africa and S.America started to separate. Yes, that long ago. It would have been a few hundred feet down as algae sunk into an oxygen deprived zone and accumulated. That sea dries up, depositing the salt, then has the mountains next to it erode in to cover the salt. Yes, mountains ‘go away’. Look at the Appalachians. Then, over many millions of years (about 200 Million) the land subsides as the continents spread AND the water rises as the Ice Age ends. It really IS essential to think of the land as plastic and flowing, the rock and salt as more like blowing sand dunes than solids. The continents as dynamic dancing silly putty. Seas as things that REGULARLY come and go. (Vis the large inland sea that WAS Texas to Wyoming…)

    There is no doubt what so ever that much of the oil we have recovered is from just such sources. Old shallow seas that were anoxic at depth, algae deposition, sedimentation. Pretty much all the oil in the USA oil belt is that way including all that Texas Tea. Not a lot of subduction of carbonates rocks going on in Texas…

    Does that mean that NO oil is abiotic? Not at all.

    In particular, there is the fact that a lot of oil is found near subduction zones of carbonate rocks. (California, Saudi) Does that mean that all oil is abiogenic? ABSOLUTELY NOT. As we have an existence proof of many clearly biogenic oil deposits.

    Since we can make oil by both process in the lab, I think it’s pretty clear that both are at work in nature too.

    Now, per Saudi having “most of the earth’s oil”: That is just false. It has most of the “Easy to recover economical to produce at $50 / bbl or less” oil. The USA / Canada has as much or more oil. It’s just mostly in tar sands and oil shales. Places where the algae deposits got covered with silt, but without a salt cap to keep the oil from being absorbed into that ‘shale to be’. The shallow sea formed, but there was not a drying salt deposition phase.

    The “dirty little secret” about oil is that it’s all over the place, it’s just not produced due to Saudi Oil being cheaper. ( It is the ‘price leader’). The definition of ‘reserves’ is what causes all that other oil to be ‘not counted’. For example, there’s about a trillion bbl of oil in the USA sands / shales. Not counted as a resource since it is not economical to produce.

    Per your other specific questions, they have similar answers. I’ll be brief with them.

    Craters: They happen in all sorts of terrain (assuming you mean ‘on earth’) so are irrelevant to the question of how the oil gets to any given terrain. If you mean non-terrestrial craters, well, I’ve already said there is some non-biogenic oil, so what’s the point? When looking for oil, what you care about is where the Big Lumps that are Easy To Produce are at, and if those are the biogenic ones, you don’t care much about the ‘little bits in hard rocks’ that are abiogenic.

    Upside down: See the points about plastic continents. Look at any continent and you find folding and inversions. Oil is not immune from those normal geologic processes.

    Refilling: Says nothing about the SOURCE of that refill. Could easily be an even older biogenic deposit in deeper sediments. You have to show that the refilling is from abiogenic oil (which still does not say ALL oil is abiogenic, just that it’s some of each. Top layer can be from a shallow sea and the deep layer from cooked carbonates.) Also realize that oil fields are not pumped dry. Sometimes as little as 1/4 of the oil is extracted. One would expect that over time the other 3/4 would get squeezed into the pumped area. Not a surprise at all, really. IIRC, over 1/2 the total oil in the ground IN PRODUCING FIELDS was typically left in place. We are now going back with different techniques to get more of it.

    Russians: If your land is full of oil, ANY theory of how it formed will result in wells producing oil. Even a blind squirrel will find some nuts. Basically, both Russian and US producers find oil. Using two opposite theories. By your logic, the US oil finds prove all oil is biogenic (just as much as the Russian finds prove it is abiogenic… so the logic of the argument is broken). You have to look at the particular characters of the oil to figure out if it is abiogenic or biogenic. For much of the global oil produced, there are very clear biogenic markers. (for some other bits, not so much…) Oh, and note that all that Russian Oil is NOT in Saudi… so about that Saudi having all the oil meme ;-) (In fact, if you look at absolute oil, not economically recoverable, oil is pretty much spread all over N. America, Asia/Russia, Middle East and S. America. The Venezuelan Orinoco tars are likely more than Saudi oil, but folks haven’t cared enough to measure it accurately)

    For the Brazilian oil, I’ve already covered that. I don’t know the age of that particular oil, but it could easily be from a time when there was no Atlantic ocean at all. You really do need to expand your time scope and think in geologic time with fluid plastic rocks… The world when the oil formed was entirely different from the one you see today. Continents were in different places (or, such as Zealandia, existed then and are now sunken below the ocean) or were in fact the bottom of a sea (Texas to Wyoming). The Earth MOVES. So where you find oil today just doesn’t say anything about where it was when it formed.

    End note: Saudi oil is particularly problematic to use in the biogenic vs abiogenic argument. They sit on top of a subduction zone (so make a great argument for carbonate rock conversion) yet they also are where there WAS a large shallow sea in prior geologic times. (Before India floated up from Africa and whacked into Asia and before Africa fully crashed into Europe). It’s possible they have so much oil as they got a double dip… some of each. And in Saudi we find both sour and sweet crudes. Sour has many biogenic markers (including all that sulphur) while sweet is more like a simple alkane mix. More reminiscent of a F.T. product.

    So I’d suggest letting go of preconceptions about what the answer might be, opening your time horizon to the 200+ Million Year time scale for land form changes, and getting numbers for total hydrocarbons in the ground, not just ‘economically recoverable oil’. The whole picture changes then.

  69. kuhnkat says:


    you mention mountains eroding. I agree that they erode. In fact they erode quite quickly. Yet, they are really big and the ocean basins are still very deep and there are, in fact, areas of pristine ocean bottom with NO sediment at all.

    Kinda makes me wonder about that 200+ million time frame. Apparently the surface should be pretty smooth over that period of time with filled in basins based on the erosion rates we currently see. Have you run across anything that can explain why erosion would be significantly slower previous to our time??

  70. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    @EM Re Oil. Peak Oil 1919

    I don’t think the science is settled with Oil.

    Deep Hot Biosphere is worth reading. I think the West pushes the Fossil theory too much, as it suggests that oil is running out soon, which increases the price. Saudi just has the right rocks for it to come out of the earth. If we are finding oil at 5km, who’s to say that it’s not everywhere deep around the earth, we just don’t know, sure it could have been pushed down. But Titan is the main problem, it’s covered in hydrocarbons lol.

    [ @ S.P.: Please go back and re-read what I wrote, as you clearly missed my point. You are taking the positions that 1) I don’t ‘get it’ that deep or abiotic oil can be the source and 2) I need to be persuaded that the source of oil is not yet settled. Very clearly I said exactly that the source is not settled and that abiotic oil can quite possibly be the source. The only thing where I dinged you was on faulty logic. That the depth of the oil is an argument for the source. It simply isn’t. ROCKS MOVE, sometimes A LOT and they can take oil with them. That makes the assertion that deep oil, oil out to sea, or oil under a lot of water can not be from biotic sources a broken syllogism. That most specifically is NOT saying anything about where oil actually comes from, or how it may or may not be made. It most specifically does say that the reasoning about it is broken so that reasoning can not reach a valid conclusion. Two very different things. Titan is also similarly flawed reasoning. Sure we could easily have had some celestial oil (like the sound of that… celestial oil ;-) when the earth formed. THEN Earth got turned into a molten ball of iron and magma when it was hit with a Mars sized planet and the moon was formed. That process would destroy any primordial oil. Further, we have a volcanic earth. That, too, assures that eventually most of the rocks on the planet get run through a rock melt, again destroying oil. So we have at least two significant hurdlez that mean any primordial oil has little chance of surviving (though not a zero chance). (We will ignore the biologicals that eat oil found all over the planet and will also have consumed any primordial oil left laying about… bugs don’t just make oil, they eat it too…) So pointing at any planet or moon that HAS primordial oil still laying around IS NOT A PROOF THAT OUR OIL IS PRIMORDIAL. It does suggest that it is POSSIBLE to have SOME, but that’s about it: possible. At the same time we know FOR CERTAIN that some of the oil (perhaps most or even nearly all) comes from biological process. The biological chemicals are in the oil. The processes are documented. The bugs are seen doing the same things today in labs and ponds. These are not the kinds of alkanes you get from F.T. or the kinds of products found from boiling alkanes with rocks. We find specific biochemicals of life that simply do not form all on their own. The only reasonable conclusion that can be reached from those facts is that SOME or MOST of the oil on Earth is biological in origin, but it is possible that some is not. Since we’ve drilled holes damn near everywhere and NOT found abiotic marked oil to any significant degree, the only place it can still be hiding is Very Deep. That that is the only place left to look does not mean “it IS”, it means only “it MIGHT be”. So please, work on the logic and reasoning and let go of the notion that I have any belief about where oil comes from. My only belief is “it might be either”. The rest is logical syllogisms and known facts. Not about “me” at all. OK? Oh, and pointing at a few dozen links is NOT logic, nor reasoning. It’s just pointing at other folks beliefs (with the occasional fact or two if you are lucky…) So look at what they say but ask yourself “What does it MEAN?” rather than “Do I BELIEVE?” -E.M.Smith ]

  71. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Be funny if it was hydrocarbons again

  72. Scarlet Pumpernickel says: Interesting about the Antarctica Rift system. Are these subglacial lakes there from geothermal origins?

  73. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  74. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    @EM re Oil

    I’m not sure if Oil is destroyed by Volcanoes. I was at Rabaul New Britain last year, which in itself is a gigantic caldera with active Tavurvur and Shell is about to start doing some production there lol. Also there are Gold and even Diamond operations beginning lol U can see the caldera how big it was, it’s the whole bay the giant eruption was around 500AD I think from memory

    Start Date: 540 AD ± 100 years Stop Date: Unknown

    Dating Technique: Radiocarbon (uncorrected)

    Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI): 6

    Tephra Volume: > 1.1 x 1010 m3

    Area of Activity: (Rabaul caldera-forming eruption)

    Eruptive Characteristics:
    Central vent eruption
    Explosive eruption
    Pyroclastic flow(s)
    Caldera collapse

  75. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  76. kuhnkat says:


    your note mentions radiocarbon dating.

    We are in a rather large altercation over CO2 and its current and past levels. The Climate Scientists would have us believe that CO2 has been mostly at or below 280ppm for the millions of years of the ice ages.

    Beck and other paleo work would seem to indicate that CO2 is variable and ranges above 400ppm.

    What do you think happens to radiocarbon dating when you use a baseline of 280 when the object actually grew with 400ppm or higher???

  77. E.M.Smith says:


    The more you keep pushing that abiotic oil point, the worse it’s going to get. I suggest you ‘let go of it’, at least for a while.

    I said we have ‘a volcanic earth’, not that ‘volcanoes destroy oil’. A volcanic earth is more than just volcanoes. It’s subduction and recycling of crust, too. It’s the melting and forming of metamorphic rocks out of sediments. It’s the Farallon plate that has been substantially completely subducted under north America (and any oil in it is long gone at those depths and pressures) and however many OTHER plates have been subducted as the surface of the earth remodeled.

    So please please please, read what I write more carefully. Think through your syllogisms more completely. Approach the issue with QUESTIONS rather than with ASSERTIONS OF KNOWING. We simply do not KNOW. We have ideas and evidence, but not much more.

    On “The Video” above: That is just GREAT! Who is that guy and where can we get more folks who “speak truth to power” like that? He just reamed the whole European Parliament I think…

    IMHO, most of Europe needs to watch that video (and a few in S. and N. America, too…) It says a great deal about how power in the EU works…

    List of natural disasters is nice. Wonder how many similar things happened, but in places like Russia, South America, Australia, etc. where the ancients were not recording history… And folks like to pretend we live in a risky time… it was far worse in the past. (And while it may return to that prior state, right now it’s been pretty darned nice. Warm and few great quakes or giant volcanoes).

  78. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    @Kunukat – I’m not sure. But the plant stroma don’t show the ice core similarities with CO2. I can’t see how CO2 could have been so constant, considering how many ice ages we’ve flipped in and out of as CO2 is just a measure of life on earth, and if you hit an ice age, the CO2 will drop in response to the cold, as life will die?

    @EM so why do we keep pushing this “Fossil Fuel” myth as well. We really don’t know. But Deep Hot Biosphere is a very interesting book to read, and also the Paul Davies book The Fifth Miracle. It seems that life exists mostly in the crust of earth, why it can be wiped out so well and it keeps coming back. It’s a 5km biosphere all around the earth. And we are totally dependent on it as well. Look at the soil where the trees live in, all the chemical reactions are coming from underground to fix the nitrogen. And look at our intestine, we have anaerobic bacteria that live inside us which are from the deep hot biosphere. Eventually they will help eat us up when we die as well ;)

  79. E.M.Smith says:


    We recognize the reality of fossil fuels as there is ample evidence that a lot or most of our fuels ARE from biogenic origin from long ago. What we don’t know is the percentage that might be a-biogenic. It is NOT all of it. It is most likely a very small percentage. As we drill deeper, we may find more of it and that is why it’s unclear if it is 1% or 20%.

    Sites like North Sea are great examples of biogenic oil. We can pretty much plot the whole life of the shallow sea that filled with dead algae and turned into that oil.

    The problem sets up as:

    Is there biogenic oil: Yes, well proven. Large quantities, perhaps all of it.

    Is there abiogenic oil: On other planets, so possibly here at one point in time. No significant proof yet. Some interesting evidence. Percentage likely very low (unless hiding at extreme depths) Some very interesting “oddities” found that fit the theory, but may just mean it’s biogenic oil of a different sort.

    The first part says: There IS biogenic oil, lots of it.

    The second part says: We don’t know if there is a-biogenic oil too.

    That we don’t know the amount of a-biogenic oil is NOT proof that the other oil is in doubt. It is not in doubt. It is biogenic.

    Again, I strongly suggest learning some formal logic. I had a nice class in it in college and it does help your thinking to be more orderly and problem analysis more structured. Helps you avoid traps like the ‘deep oil’ one you are exploring…

  80. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    @EM I think Oil

    The problem is it’s another Global Warming, it’s politicized to make money.

    Firstly, it started with Standard Oil. Rockefeller was clever in that he bought up all the railways to reduce the supply.

    Fossil Fuel is another we are running out of it supply idea. In 1919 they were talking about Peak oil lol. In 1950, 1970 it was going to run out soon.

    The Fossil Fuel model is a way of increasing the price of oil, is it seems finite and limited. Ie. it took billions of years of sunlight to create the bonds in this energy.

    So basically we have to run around earth, getting all the cheap easy oil, and getting maximum price for it, because it’s running out. When this is not the fact, it’ll be around for a very very long time, like you said, Tar sands, Venezuela, the whole of Alaska.

    It’s the same with the war, Iraq probably could have more oil then Saudi, but make a never ending war there you just take out a little bit and get maximum price for it.

    So the science has been biased that way too, and if you mention Abiogenic oil you’ll get laughed out of the room like people who mention that cosmic rays create the climate, since there is a lot of money at stake.

    By the way, if CO2 has increased ppm in the atmosphere, when oil is burnt, isn’t more H2O produced, so shouldn’t we be able to measure a ppm increase in H20 in the air too? Just a side thought?

  81. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  82. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Wow this is very weird, considering they have most of the accessible oil on earth?

  83. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Amazing, now the demonstrators have drones too lol

  84. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Amazing, soon nobody’s backyard will be private ;)

  85. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    When will Drone Defenses have to start on buildings?

  86. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    If you could connect this to wireless electricity, it could run all day!

  87. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

  88. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:
  89. kuhnkat says:


    the Russians claim that it takes too much energy to build the complex molecules of oil. That the biogenic material would need much more heat and pressure to be converted into the complex long chain molecules that is available at the depths it is found. Also that a depth great enough to add this energy would also break down the biogenic material so that it would not be identifiable! Basically, unless there is a catalytic reaction that has not been identified to reduce the energy requirement the biogenic basis is NOT possible. This is the issue with our making synthetic petroleum. It takes a lot of energy.

    Paragraph 3.1 on this page:

    has links to three papers discussing this and their claim that biogenic petroleum is not possible.

    I would be interested in your opinion of these papers if you have time.

  90. E.M.Smith says:

    @Scarlet Pumpernickel:

    Sorry to say it, but I’ve added you to the moderation queue. It’s getting too much like thread bombing, no matter what I’ve tried.

    Your stuff will still make it through, but with some time delay. I’ll also be consolidating some of the zillions of “one link posts” into a more usable set and perhaps editing a bit for interest and value. Things you ought to be doing, BTW…

    FWIW, your back yard is already on Google Earth. All those things do is up the resolution by a bit to match Google Street View. I suggest planting large spreading trees and having awnings and a gazebo installed.


    It will be awhile before I have time. See “Open Thread Thursday” for a discussion of why. (My drugs have to run out first ;-)

    FWIW, it’s not very much energy at all to make biogenic oil. Take Algae. Bake in “warm to hot” rocks for a few million years. Done. There are MANY catalysts in rocks (not the least of which are the natural zeolites who’s discovery lead to their use in oil synthesis…) and what is missing from the paradigm is the axis of TIME.

    Catalysis are to reduce the TIME it takes for an energetically unfavored reaction to happen. It sill happens, just much slower, without the catalysts.

    Reaction rates also change dramatically with pressure. Industrially we use far lower pressures than in the deeper earth…

    BTW, the same thing with turning plant oils to crude is done on a lab scale today. Grow algae, squash out the oil with some heating. Heat more with some pressure. You get oil. None of it at extremes of heat or pressure. You want the complex things like asphaltines? Yeah, takes longer… We know virtually nothing about the chemical reactions of biologic triglycerides in the presence of various rocks at temperatures in the 400F range over time scales of millions of years… but I can state with certainty that at room pressure and 300 to 400 F you can turn them into very complex polymer like coatings in about 1/2 hour. (longer if cool, shorter if hot). I do it ever year or two when I ‘season’ an iron pan…

    So any assertion that the energy needed is too high or the heat not available is just making stuff up, IMHO.

    Algae Straight to Crude Oil

    May 4, 2010 | 11 Comments

    University of Michigan professors are heating and squishing algae in a pressure-cooker that fast-forwards the crude oil making process from millennia to just minutes. It doesn’t have to be algae it could be any wet biomass.

    This method is the raw and brutal way to take biomass to oil products. Savage says, “We’re trying to do what nature does when it creates oil, but we don’t want to wait millions of years. The hard part is taking the tar that comes out of the pressure cooker and turning it into something you could put in your car, changing the properties so it can flow more easily, and doing it in a way that’s affordable.”

    Notice that they are making very complex tar like mixtures and their “problem” is to try and back off the conversion enough to get ‘light sweet’ instead of ‘Orinoco Tar’…

    Savage describes how the process works – “We make an algae soup, heat it to about 300 degrees and keep the water at high enough pressure to keep it liquid as opposed to steam. We cook it for 30 minutes to an hour and we get a crude bio-oil.” The high temperature and pressure allows the algae to react with the water and break down. Not only does the native oil get released, but proteins and carbohydrates also decompose and add to the fuel yield.

    Would have been nice if they had said what scale the 300 degrees was in, but they are in the USA, so I presume F (also, at 300 C you get carbonizing and destruction…) and the word “pressure cooker” implies about the 300 F range too. Besides, Europeans tend to say “C” while Americans tend to not think there is any other scale than what they use ;-)

    So, as you can see, not very ‘exotic’ conditions at all.

    These folks do it too:

    Petroleum is widely believed to have its origins in kerogen, which is easily converted to an oily substance under conditions of high pressure and temperature (15-17). Kerogen is formed from algae, biodegraded organic compounds, plankton, bacteria, plant material, etc., by biochemical and/or chemical reactions such as diagenesis and catagenesis. Several studies have been conducted to simulate petroleum formation by pyrolysis, some of which used the marine alga Fucus sp. as the base material. Recently, activated sludge and fungi were converted to oily substances at relatively low temperatures as compared with those used in previous experimental simulations. On the basis of these findings, it is assumed that algae grown in CO2-enriched air can be converted to oily substances, and that such an approach can contribute to solving two major problems: air pollution resulting from CO2 evolution, and future crises due to a shortage of energy sources. Use of thermochemical liquefaction of organisms in the production of alternative fuels, would reduce CO2 evolution into the atmosphere since such fuels would indeed be produced from CO2.

    I could go on, but it’s time for my next pain pill, so I’m going to be ‘fuzzy’ for a while… Bottom line is that it is not hard AT ALL to find a load of references showing every step of the conversion of algae to kerogen to oil in nature AND we can do it in the lab fairly easily AND we’re finding ever easier ways to do it (like using sewage instead of pure algae… more like the crap on an anaerobic sea bottom…) AND some folks are doing it on even larger scales preparing for industrial production.

    It just isn’t very hard at all to turn algae into crude oil. Anyone who says otherwise is just focused on some agenda and wants to put axes to grind stones…

  91. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    Interesting article, was on the side link of the one above

    By determining the properties of hydrogen-helium mixtures at the millions of atmospheres of pressure present in the interior of Saturn and Jupiter, physicists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have determined the temperature at a given pressure when helium becomes insoluble in dense metallic hydrogen. The results are directly relevant to models of the interior structure and evolution of Jovian planets.

    The NAZIs turned Coal into Oil.

    Black Coal is the same source as the oil really. But the Brown Coal is actually the squashed trees and fish and things ;)

  92. Scarlet Pumpernickel says:

    If you ever go to Potosi, you see the Child Miners eating Coca so they can do their whole shift without eating.

    U can also watch them play with dynamite, it’s crazy ;)

    Still don’t get why some mining company doesn’t just smash that mountain down. Still has some silver in it. A few hundred thousand miners have died in there since the 1400s.

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