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Guest Post: "Don't Frack Me Up"

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Marin Katusa of Casey Research

"Don't Frack Me Up"

To many walking the planet, fracking has a seriously bad reputation. Thanks to hyperbole and misinformation, fracking opponents have convinced a lot of people that the operators who drill and then hydraulically fracture underground rock layers thumb their noses at and even hate the environment.

Anti-fracking claims may be twists on reality – for example, that a legislative loophole makes fracking exempt from the America's Safe Drinking Water Act, when really this federal legislation never regulated fracking because it is a state concern. Then there's the completely absurd, such as the idea that frac operators are allowed to and regularly do inject frac fluids directly into underground water supplies.

We decided to set the record straight by using facts, not playing on emotion like many of the frac-tivists do. It's important because unconventional oil and gas constitute an increasingly pivotal part of the world's energy scene. In the United States, where shale gas abounds but imported energy rules the day, this is especially true.

America's shale deposits hold a heck of a lot of gas. According to the United States Geological Survey, the Marcellus Shale alone is home to 84 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of technically recoverable natural gas. Estimates of the amount of recoverable gas contained in all of America's shale basins range as high as 3,000 TCF.

To access this gas, fluids made of water, sand, and chemicals to increase lubrication, inhibit corrosion of equipment, and possessing other qualities are pumped into the shale formation. When the pressure from the fluids exceeds the strength of the rocks, the rock fractures, and in a demonstration of might by the mighty small, the granules of sand prop the fractures open. Once the fracturing is completed, the internal pressure from the formation pushes the injected fluids to the surface again.

Frac wells are only open to the surrounding rock at the depth of the target formation. Starting at 250 feet (76 meters) or thereabouts above the producing interval – it varies a bit from state to state – the production casing must be cemented. This graphic, borrowed from the Texas Oil and Gas Association, shows what the procedure entails.



Casings are the liners that isolate the inside of the well from the surrounding rock, and from any

Casings are the liners that isolate the inside of the well from the surrounding rock, and from any water that might be contained in that rock. The surface casing is the first line of defense, while the production casing provides a second layer of protection for the groundwater.

Casings do require proper cementation to be effective: the cement seals the annular spaces between successive casing layers to provide a barrier to vertical and horizontal fluid movement. A poor cementation job was a significant factor in the Deepwater Horizon well blowout, and that transpired because deepwater regulations were insufficient. On land, however, cementation is highly regulated, and inspections of wells in progress, announced and unannounced, are common.

Unlike deepwater drilling, fracking is not new. Nor is fracking specific to natural gas or to the United States. Drillers frac many thousands of oil and gas wells around the world every year. In America, oil and gas producers have been using hydraulic fracturing since at least the 1940s to enhance recoveries from older oil wells and to access the oil in tight reservoirs, such as the Bakken.

Then there's shale gas, a domestic source of energy for North America that's much more reliable and secure than the millions of barrels of oil that come from places like Nigeria, Venezuela, Iraq, Angola, and Algeria every day. And as we've said, accessing that gas using hydraulic fracturing is much less dangerous and damaging than many people think.

Gasland – More Drama Than Documentary

Frac-bashing really took off last year, with the debut of the film Gasland. After receiving a letter offering his family US$100,000 for the right to drill frac wells on their land, a documentary film maker by the name of Josh Fox decided to investigate. Gasland is the product of that investigation, which took Fox to Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio, and West Virginia to interview other people living atop the newly discovered Marcellus Shale. Fox also visits Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and Texas to talk to those who have been living alongside natural gas drilling for the last decade.

The resulting film is well crafted, dramatic, and emotional. However, documentaries are also supposed to convey context and a fair representation of the facts. That's where Fox failed.

Let's be clear: fracking is not without drawbacks (and more on that in a moment). What drives us Casey "Focused on Facts" Research types crazy is messing with the data. Some examples:

Fox "Fact"
Fracking Reality
An energy bill pushed through Congress by Dick Cheney in 2005 exempts the oil and gas industries from the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act (SWDA), the Superfund Law, and about a dozen other regulations. The oil and gas industry is regulated by every single one of these laws except for the SDWA, which has never regulated oil and gas activities. If it seems these federal statutes do not sufficiently regulate fracking, that's because the states do it instead.
Oil and gas drillers are allowed "to inject hazardous materials, unchecked, directly into or adjacent to underground water supplies." Disposing of frac fluids is a challenge. One method does involve sending them down old natural gas wells, but the wells are always cased, cemented, and grouted where they pass through drinking water supplies to seal off contact with the surrounding rock and terminate in formations many thousands of feet below water reserves.
Drilling and fracking a well pollutes aquifers. The shales that contain natural gas are 5,000 to as much as 18,000 feet below ground. The aquifers we tap for drinking water are at about 500 feet. That means roughly 2 miles of rock lie between aquifer and frac. A 2010 report by Pennsylvania's Department of Environmental Protection concluded "no groundwater pollution or disruption of underground sources of drinking water have been attributed to hydraulic fracturing of deep gas formations."
Frac fluids are toxic mixtures of 596 deadly chemicals. Allowing for variance among companies and operations, fracking fluid is typically a bit under 91% water and 9% sand. Tiny amounts of added chemicals reduce friction, fight microbes, control pH, and prevent corrosion of equipment. Many are found around the house, including guar gum (in ice cream), borate salts (a fungicide), and mineral oil. And yes, there are 596 ingredients that have at some point been used to make frac fluids, but any single fracturing job uses only a few of the available options.

Figure 1. Composition of typical gas shale frac fluid (modified from Bohm et al., All Consulting, 2008a).
Drilling companies refuse to disclose just which deadly chemicals they use to create their frac fluids. Drilling companies must disclose the names of all chemicals stored and used at a drilling site. Anyone who knows how to read a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) can find out what chemicals are present.
Fracking makes people's drinking water flammable. It's possible for improperly cemented wells to leak, but one study after another has failed to find frac fluid chemicals in drinking water supplies. Flammable tap water is more likely related to dissolved methane, which is naturally found in well water. (No worries here either – the methane bubbles out quickly, and the US Environmental Protection Agency does not even regulate it.)
Fracking is severely underregulated, and it's because the industry has lobbied for and achieved so many regulatory exemptions. Fracking is very closely regulated, and reviews of fracking regulations regularly find them to be very rigorous. For example, the State Review of Oil and Natural Gas Environmental Regulations, an independent panel of environment, industry, and EPA personnel, found Pennsylvania's fracking process was not only safe but "merits special recognition."
Frac fluids that flow back out of a well are often stored in pits in the ground that aren't even lined, where a lot of the fluid just seeps into the ground; even if they are lined, they often leak. Here Fox has finally hit upon some truth – that some pits have in the past leaked. That's why they are being phased out in most states in favor of above-ground storage solutions that enable much better leak detection and repair capabilities. In fact, this month's recommendation is a rapidly growing company with an innovative solution to storing frac fluids.
People who live near fracs have been found to have elevated levels of benzene in their blood. The only residents who had elevated benzene levels were those who smoked. Cigarettes contain benzene.
The EPA has never really studied fracking – the current study, which won't even release its preliminary findings until the end of next year, is the first real environmental assessment of the practice. EPA started a study on hydraulic fracturing in 1999 that focused on coalbed methane reservoirs and whether fracturing them impacted underground sources of drinking water. Published in 2004 after peer review, the study concluded that fracking posed little to no risk in terms of contaminating drinking water.

Industry Efforts

As we alluded to earlier, fracking does has its drawbacks, two of which stand out in particular. The first is that hydraulic fracturing uses a fair chunk of water – an average multi-stage frac requires a total 5 million gallons of water. To put that number in context, electric generation uses nearly 150 million gallons per day in the Susquehanna River Basin of Pennsylvania.

Nonetheless, industry engineers are working hard to reduce water usage. After all, they know as well as anyone else what their livelihood depends on.

The most important shift here has been toward recycling frac fluids. In Pennsylvania, the fracking industry now reuses more than 60% of its water, for example. In addition, companies are exploring other, more creative water reduction strategies. In British Columbia, energy giant EnCana Corp (T.ECA) and its partner Apache Corp (NYSE.APA) spent nine months and C$10 million finding a deep, sour water aquifer and then figuring out how to make the super-salty, hydrogen sulfide-laced water usable for fracking. This novel technique could significantly reduce the need for fracking operations to use freshwater supplies.

The second drawback is that the fluids that flow back to the surface after a fracturing are often stored in containment units that have been known to leak.

As we pointed out, pits, lined or not, are being phased out in many jurisdictions, precisely because it's truly difficult to tell whether a pit dug into the earth is leaking. This is where companies like  Poseidon Concepts (T.PSN) come in. Instead of lined pits and even the dozens of steel tanks that are the not-so-ideal alternative, PSN offers above-ground lined frames that are inexpensive and much more environmentally sound.

Another way to ease the problem of frac fluids spills or leaks is to make frac fluids so benign that we could literally drink them. It sounds pie-in-the-sky, but the world's second-largest oilfield services company is working hard on the idea. In fact, Halliburton (NYSE.HAL) has created a frac fluid called CleanStim, made from materials sourced from the food industry. A Halliburton executive showed the stuff at a recent conference – and then tossed it down his gullet.

Where there's a need, an innovator will rise to the challenge, and there are plenty of innovators in the world of oil and gas.

Fracking Earthquakes: Hazard or… Preventative?

A few weeks ago privately held Cuadrilla Resources, the first company to successfully frac natural gas shales in Europe and a Casey Energy team recommendation back in early 2008, announced that its fracking operations caused two small earthquakes in northwest England last April and May. After the earthquakes, Cuadrilla voluntarily suspended its fracking operations in the area while an independent group investigated the events.

The earthquakes measured 2.3 and 1.5 on the Richter scale. Seismic events, to be sure, but so gentle they were barely felt. Indeed, the independent report found that Cuadrilla's work had caused the tremors, but the earth moved so little that they posed no threat to anyone or anything.

And what others may consider concern, we consider potential. As two plates of Earth's crust naturally shift along their fault line, they can sometimes get hung up on rocky "hooks" called asperities. As the plates keep trying to move, stress builds and builds. The huge earthquakes we all fear occur when the stored energy has built enough to break through the asperity: the gradual slide becomes a destructive jerk.

Small tremors, on the other hand, reduce the pressure one bit at a time. Whenever there is a major earthquake or a discussion of when California or Vancouver or Japan will get hit with the next Big One, someone often laments, "If only we had a way to release the pressure beforehand!"

What if hydraulic fracturing could relieve the stress on the faults in earthquake-prone areas? Clearly the notion needs a battery of modeling and tests before it's anything but a concept, but on a basic level the idea makes sense. Perhaps by releasing the accumulated stress at depth slowly with small tremors, we could mitigate the Big One enough that it might not be so big after all.

If nothing else, the concept is a reminder not to fear serendipity. Finding something you didn't expect when attempting something else is how the scientific world achieved many of its major breakthroughs.

A Resource We Can't Ignore

The ability to produce clean-burning natural gas from the 48 shale basins in 32 countries around the world could transform the global energy economy and increase energy security, starting in the United States.

Hydraulic fracturing has become a scapegoat, targeted by environmentalists as another attempt by the oil and gas industry to lock America into fossil fuel dependence. The thing is, America is already addicted to fossil fuels. Until that changes, even environmentalists will need to heat their homes, charge their cell phones, and purchase products made at gas-powered factories.

We of the Casey Research energy team are always looking for alternative energy ideas that stand the test of economics, but to date only geothermal and run-of-river power have come close. In the case of geothermal power, the industry has gotten ahead of itself and for now, at least, has failed to come through on its promises. As for run-of-river, the projects often work, but they provide only a drop into the big bucket of power needs, and each project requires major negotiations from landowners afflicted with NIMBY ("not in my back yard") syndrome.

So next time someone says that America should put an end to fracking, ask them how they plan to ensure America's energy security over the next 30 to 50 years. If the answer involves alternative or renewable energies, ask for some hard facts and numbers to support it. Like it or not, none of our alternative energies are as yet even close to stepping up as a major energy pillar for America.

Natural gas is ready to step up. It's not a perfect solution – it's much better at providing peak demand than baseload power, still takes energy to produce, and still produces greenhouse gases – but it's an important part of the solution for now. Not only does America have the reserves, the fracturing process that can unlock them has been demonstrated as safe – and equally important, not demonstrated as not safe. And the industry that uses it seeks and incorporates improvements along the way. Just the facts, ma'am.


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Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:14 | 2079445 Mr Lennon Hendrix
Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

And what is the EROEI, bitchez?

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:17 | 2079454 Triggernometry
Triggernometry's picture

Fracking is known to cause earthquakes, duh.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:38 | 2079473 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Fracking Reality: Fracking is the exact same as licking the spoon and the bowl clean after Mother Nature's frosting is all gone.  That doesn't sound so bad, right?

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:41 | 2079542 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Looks like thin shit, too. What's that grin about?

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:40 | 2079702 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

"So next time someone says that America should put an end to fracking, ask them how they plan to ensure America's energy security over the next 30 to 50 years."

The answer your most likely to get here is guns, gold, bullets, and stored food.  ;- )

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:14 | 2079786 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



My answer is as follows:

1. New nuclear power plants

2. A nuclear waste facility

3. Commuter rail

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:08 | 2079940 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 23:04 | 2080187 NidStyles
NidStyles's picture

1. Same groups are prostesting those, along with the UN regulating the hell out of them without authorization.

2. Same people are protesting the building of new storage facilities, and they see the other.

3. Will never work, US cities are too wide and sread out for it to ever be truly feasible. You can not force people to use Commuter rail and to try is just ridiculous. It would never work in cities like LA or PHX.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 02:35 | 2080446 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

When the nuke industry can build a plant and get insurance without government guarantees, I'll consider it a source of energy; until then, it's a dangerous and expensive jobs program.


Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:52 | 2080919 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



Then what is your answer to ensure America's energy security over the next 30 to 50 years?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:47 | 2081337 donsluck
donsluck's picture

I didn't realize our expectations of energy planning had fallen so far as to expect a blog response to answer a 30-50 year question. The fact is that this country has NO ENERGY PLAN.

Fri, 01/27/2012 - 16:44 | 2103742 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture


The first step is learning to think in eons, not decades.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:06 | 2080667 trav7777
trav7777's picture

oil scarcity is going to have a way of making that choice for them.  You still act like reality is elective

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:54 | 2080936 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

elective and selective

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:03 | 2080657 prains
prains's picture


6.snow shoe

7. oil up a plastic sheet invite friends over, harvest the heat

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:53 | 2080934 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

nuclear is temporary at best not enough of the special stuff to put out the energy needs for a sustainable time (couple of decades if replacing everything). Commuter rail absolutely. Problem in america, unlike europe many cities were planned around the automobile.   

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:41 | 2081075 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



All solutions have their problems. 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:04 | 2081163 DFCtomm
DFCtomm's picture

There is enough Thorium and Uranium to supply the current electrical needs of the planet for a couple of hundred years last study I read. I realize that on a long enough timeline everything is temporary but I'm willing to bet most people would consider that a bit more than temporary.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:35 | 2082446 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

Even easier than that.

Community geothermal (little g, not big G).

Passive House or similar energy metrics for new housing.

Passive solar zoning & design mandatory.

Deconstruction not demolition.

Commuter rail.

Biodiesel, SVO and non-food based sources like willow biomass.

Living Machine technology & community farming, including methane.

That gets you mostly there.


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 23:40 | 2080242 fnord88
fnord88's picture

"So next time someone says that America should put an end to fracking, ask them how they plan to ensure America's energy security over the next 30 to 50 years."


Bomb Iran. duh.

Then Chavez.

Then Canada.

Then everyone else.

Then Frak.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 00:24 | 2080317 NewThor
NewThor's picture

Hey. yo. seriously. I usually have a lot of tolerance for every Earthling's opinion on a subject....

....but, yo, seriously. How fucking stupid is the collective intelligence of the planet.


if you pull trillions of cubic feet of oil or natural gas, after a while your subtractions are going to fuck

people, and the planet.

It's like mice. Living on a planet of cheese. Eating it, All the way to the core.

I don't know how to teach you.

I don't know how to wake you.

I don't know how to make you aware.

Yes, I fail with the greatest of alll or none.

The simple things.

The simple things we should all understand.

It's soooooooooo fucking basic.

.......but you're all turned and  topsy turvy.

If I have to fight to convince any man woman or child the basics of life and survival, 

we're all ready to be DOOMED.

This world.

These people.

So ready to be free.

So easy.

A much better way for all to live, love and be safe.

Than this cluster fuck of a shit pile we have towering over us now.

We've waved the white flag to the full retard invaders.

because it's too hard to understand,

or it's too inconvienient or annoying to fight,

we've let a group of 5'4 bankers subvert and destroy our country,

the foundation of freedom andl liberty,

for fucking a million dollars and a name drop on American Idol,

How can Bernanke beat me?

How can Geithner twist a fucking math mother fucker into some bizarre reality?



I stare into the abyss.

I stare as focused as a human being can be.

I don't think I could be any more disappointed in humanity.

so willing to lay down and let them buttfuck the world.

I do not fear death. Not in any way, shape or form.

I've imagined this universe, and understood it enough to know,

it goes on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on,

and I'll take my spirit / soul / energy into eternity.

Mammon and money are nothing. 

We all have everything,

enough for all people. 

God, please, strike down these people

who create the stumbling blocks

for a dollar, or a million.


has been far too long without

the spirit of th Great ones.

Please, don't let the least subvert, control and cage the most talented beings.

This is not how life should be.

This is not how life should be.

This is not how life should be.

This is not how life should be.

This is not how life should be.

God, help me. 

Your children suffer soooo much.


strike me down now,

and let me be done with this,

and all me beautiful dreams,

which shall never come true.



Fri, 01/20/2012 - 05:03 | 2080517 BayAreaAlan
BayAreaAlan's picture

Yeah. That's like putting military bases on islands. Eventually they will flip over!

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:42 | 2080732 Confused
Confused's picture

Hahaha, thanks. Need a laugh today, and I totally forgot about that dolt.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:51 | 2080751 beaker
beaker's picture

Hey NewThor, gimme a hit of that before you throw it away.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 16:20 | 2082166 NewThor
NewThor's picture

It was 15 shots of Yagermeister.

...and I pissed it all out this morning.

screenwriting meetings are a bitch.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:42 | 2079550 trav7777
trav7777's picture's going after formations that couldn't be developed by just drilling a round hole.

lower EROI.  No choice tho.  We are going to be doing like my dad and running that toothpaste tube along the edge of the countertop to get the last drops out.  Then we will cut the tube open and scrape the remains.

And morons will still be bleating IONIC LIQUIDS!!!!!1 and denying the reality of production peaks.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:47 | 2079568 Teamtc321
Teamtc321's picture

Vertical drill's mainly Trav. 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:07 | 2080945 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

would be nice if we used the last toothpaste for new systems instead of new wars, cars and stripper bars 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 17:39 | 2082454 DarkAgeAhead
DarkAgeAhead's picture

or for preventing the next Ice Age.  seriously.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:00 | 2079607 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture



After she finishes up that frosting I got a protein packed spunk shake that she can wash it all down with (that will wipe that grin off her face).

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:30 | 2079679 daccord
daccord's picture

fracking, duh

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:11 | 2079782 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

stay classy

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 08:05 | 2080592 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:34 | 2079688 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

As I explained it to a guy on a flight to Australia, tar sand mining, mountain top removal and fracking are the energy versions of scraping left on shit off the sides of your toilet bowl and mining your septic system.  There's stuff there that can be used but the time and money needed for the investment alone to get at it much less massaging it into useful derivatives all adds to the cost of the final products.

Cheap energy is gone.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:55 | 2079909 Arrowhead
Arrowhead's picture

Not entirely true. I do very well on my fracked oil wells at $50/bbl.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 03:39 | 2080479 Element
Element's picture

Dude, there are vast quantities of extremely cheap high-grade coal in Australia, and most other continents still have heaps as well, especially Russian territories.

Coal can be economically converted to oil and gas.

You're getting ready to scream, "no, it can't be done", at me.

But with demand and the right pricing levels you certainly can do it economically.

It will just redefine what is 'economic'.

And that's exactly what will happen.

The energy-death end-of-the-world story is very unconvincing, from so many angles.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:10 | 2080677 trav7777
trav7777's picture

LOL...convert coal to oil?  We'd be out of coal in 10 years.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:14 | 2080686 Element
Element's picture

Try a couple of hundred

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:18 | 2080831 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Provide some form of evidence to this effect...

Be sure to take into account the US is a modest net exporter of coal currently, about 5% of production....

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:19 | 2080956 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

second that vote. Like oil, the stuff that's left is less and less quality and energy and it's getting harder and harder to extract. Add to that, every time they reassess, there is less and less time - not only are our assessments wrong but the demand (and its people) keep growing.

No hydrocarbons will save us, we have to build sustainable systems


Fri, 01/20/2012 - 19:45 | 2082811 Element
Element's picture

While doing a MSc in economic geology in 1990 I read a BMR Govt report that stated plainly that australias known reserves of high grades of coal at that time were sufficient to supply the entire worlds demand at the then 1990 global production rate for 4000 YEARS.

Good luck contradicting reality.

And note that i specifically referred to aust and russia in my post.

Answered via phone.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 20:28 | 2082900 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Wow... so you have some hearsay for us...

Could you maybe give us something more tangible...because I call bullshit...


BTW, if we burn coal at current rates for 4000 years we wont have to worry about the future because the planet will be terraformed into our very own Venus....

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 09:06 | 2083710 Element
Element's picture

BMR stands for Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics. It was charged with generating geological and geophysical maps of Australia, from 1946, and to develop a national survey and database of known deposits and estimates of known reserves, provenance, and economic extractability. It's work underpins all of the modern mineral exploration and exploitation in Australia.

You can talk totally ignorant shit all you want, and post silly pdf reports with dopey assumptions and claims, but none of that utter horseshit changes the physical fact that the coal (and also gas) deposits in this country are MANY TIMES larger than the CURRENTLY economically extractable proven reserve.

Now listen very closely dumbshits.

Firstly, how about you get your arse on to a jet, and come over here, and have an actual physical look at the scale of the deposits and coal resource here.  Walk over the terrain, visit an outcrop, get in a four wheel drive, and spend A FEW MONTHS actually driving around the perimeters of the known surveyed extent of these coal deposits, to get an actual physical sense of how geographically gigantic they are, and of the incomprehensible extractable tonnages involved.

Do that, before you say another damn thing on this subject, because TRAV, and Flack, you have not got the slightest physical clue of what you're talking so much complete shit about.

Note that I referred to, "known reserves of high grades of coal".

I did NOT refer to PROVEN ECONOMICALLY-EXTRACTABLE RESERVES of coal, and this is why, "Proven" means that you actually drilled it in fine detail, logged cores, mapped in 3-D, and determined the grades and tonnages present, etc.

Now this is going to be difficult for you to grasp, because you are conceited fools, with a very faint grasp of the physical reality of the situation of these deposits, so I'll keep it simple;

Australia's coal deposits are so extensive and so plentiful, that surprise, surprise, we have not drilled ALMOST ALL of it, to any great degree of detail.


(A)  Because drilling is extremely expensive and easily eats the lion's-share of every exploration program.


(B)  Because we already know of so many locations, that are fully drilled and proven, and also close to transportation access for export and domestic use, thus easily and profitably extractable, so guess what!? No one has bothered to prove-up any more PROVEN reserves, because we already know it's there, awaiting. We simply don't NEED more, for decades to come, and proving-up more would senselessly waste money which could be given to the investors ... to keep them coming back.

Getting the picture now?

We already have so much that we can easily get at, that we won't be INCREASING our PROVEN ECONOMICALLY EXTRACTABLE RESERVE, until we have ALREADY EXTRACTED MOST of that which we HAVE all ready PROVEN to be cheaply extractable.

That's what a PROVEN RESERVE is--and is for. 

It's only there so you can access investment capital, and make 30-year plus development plans, and attract long-term cunstomer's and contracts, because your creditors and customers and the Head-Office then know you can ECONOMICALLY deliver in a very competitive environment in the longer-term lifetime (30 to 50 years!) of the typical large mining project's phases.

There is no other reason to increase the size of a PROVEN ECONOMICALLY-EXTRACTABLE RESERVE.

But if you want to WASTE money, then, you CAN increase it.

But why would you?  You would be an idiot to do that.  You'd get fired.

But when you do finally require more proven reserves at a site to get development approval to extract more, then you MUST invest in proving-up  more (detailed drilling and mapping), to generate A MUCH LARGER PROVEN RESERVE.


That is a normal long-cycle variation of estimated reserves.

This is because the proven economically extractable reserves HAVE NOTHING AT ALL to do with the ACTUAL SIZE of the UNPROVEN but already discovered (coarsely-mapped) KNOWN deposits (unproven reserves ... which are typically about 5 times larger than the proven reserves).

These deposits actually exist and do not vary ... unless you discover more (unproven) deposites.  And guess what?  More unproven deposits are being constantly discovered!

Are you fuckwits getting this?

The PROVEN EXTRACTABLE RESERVE does not in any direct or linearly estimatable way indicate the full scale of the actual deposits and tonnages present in the ground, right now.

Is that clear enough for you hapless "PDF-experts" ?

This is why the PROVEN Australian coal reserves SEEM to be only about 100 years of future production, which is vastly smaller than the actual extractable resource base.

And that is why I originally used the phrase ,"... KNOWN RESERVES OF HIGH GRADES OF COAL ...".

This sort of distinction is why a scientific specialist sub-discipline of, "Economic Geology", exists.

And this is why un-initiated ignorant fools (like TRAV, Flak and DJ - yes, I do think you are ignorant and out of your depth though I don't think you are stupid or idiots) have no clue about any of this, or the practical realities of economic extraction so simply sprout the latest .pdf concoction of silly horseshit about "proven reserves", then exponentially extrapolate pending energy "crisis".

It's all just a verbal knee-jerk. with no direct feel for the scale of the existing untapped deposits.

There isn't going to be a crisis of insufficent liquid hydrocarbons--extreme abundance is and will remain the on-going reality.

TRAV, you don't even suspect that you don't have a fucking clue about the physical reality of coal deposits in Australia, or on the planet in general.  Australia and Russia can supply the whole planet with liquid hydrocarbons for many hundreds of years. Ten years and we're all-out eh Trav?  Just get on a Jet and have an actual physical in-depth look at what's here, and in russia, or just shut the fuck up.

That's the basic truth mate.  Peak oil will initiate an adjustment to a substitute extraction mechanism.  That is all.  And the sorts of 'sources' that you credit as so technically 'informative' are just fucking blind and laughable to someone like me, who's actually been all over the ground of these vast physical deposits of coal and gas.

You could fit most of western Europe inside the area of these Australian coal deposits.

All continents still have very large deposites of lower grades of coal, but Australia really is the global El-Dorado, of vast high-grade coal, and high grade abundant uranium deposits (and the uranium economically extractable proven reserve is likewise dramatically smaller than the full physical scale of the unproven known deposits, and yes, we regualarly discover more of that as well ... getting the picture now?)

"Economically-extractable", basically means it costs you significantly less to extract and get to a customer, than what you get paid for doing so.

If I build a new road, or rail line, or port, or develop a new efficient mining and extraction technique, or an more efficient processing technique, or build a much more efficient propulsion system, guess what?


Without doing a single fucking further thing!

Do you even understand that much?

When the Commonwealth Bureau of Mineral Resources reports estimates that Australia's then known reserve of high-grades of coal is sufficient to supply the entire world's then demand, at the then 1990 global production rates, for about 4000 YEARS, that is in fact the PHYSICAL GROUND-TRUTH of the ACTUAL DEPOSITS which they discovered and confirmed to exist within their multi-decade national resource reconnaissance survey programs.

This is not bullshit, this is the truth of the situation.

That BMR statement of the PHYSICAL FACTS OF THE STAGGERING SCALES OF THE DISCOVERED DEPOSITS, is not a fact that can ever be challenged by some ignorant twat, armed merely with a .pdf file!

Get a fucking GRIP!

I like you guys, I do, and I know you try, and you believe, and you make a nice story, but you really don't have a fucking clue. And there is absolutely no chance the mineable Australian coal resource will exhaust within the next 500 years if we convert it into distillate and gas to supply the world with affordable energy.

Sorry if you made bad long-investments on the ignorant assumption that humanity is running out of cheap liquid hydrocarbon.

It isn't.

And economic activity is VERY FAR from a final collapse.



Now look at what I originally said:

Dude, there are vast quantities of extremely cheap high-grade coal in Australia, and most other continents still have heaps as well, especially Russian territories.

Coal can be economically converted to oil and gas.

You're getting ready to scream, "no, it can't be done", at me.

But with demand and the right pricing levels you certainly can do it economically.

It will just redefine what is 'economic'.

And that's exactly what will happen.

The energy-death end-of-the-world story is very unconvincing, from so many angles.



Feel free to go fuck yourselves.

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 07:30 | 2083727 Element
Element's picture

BTW, if we burn coal at current rates for 4000 years we wont have to worry about the future because the planet will be terraformed into our very own Venus....


Flak, you really should get some clue about palaeoclimatology, and CO2 abundance variability, and global temp variability, and their non-phase correspondence over the past 1.5 billion years of geological history, before making a fool out of yourself with absurdist crap about run-away greenhouse effects from burning coal, or any other hydrocarbon.

Start here, and if you really give a shit, as you suppose, go and study Earth. From Latin; 

Geo = "Earth"

ology = "study of"

Study of Earth, and how it behaves, on the longest timelines, is what I have been doing for the past few decades.

But you can pretend to know more relevant shit if you want to, no one's going to stop you or nuffin'.

But learn a thing or two from this guy because he actually knows what he's talking about, as opposed to you;

Audio interview:

Dr. Ian Plimer - Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science - October 24, 2009 - Financial Sense NewsHour

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 11:08 | 2084013 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Plimer is a member of a very vocal minority in his views, hardly representative of mainstream thought.

The C02 levels most relevant to H. Sapiens are those levels that have existed since the emergence of anatomically modern humans or about 400,000 years...

As for long term non-runaway effects, would you care to discount the cost to our civilization of a 30 m rise in sea level with that from reducing our coal consumption...

I point you to the following paper

and a nice synopsis here

Would you care to discuss these findings? We can move on from there after....

I would suggest a different thread, this one is large and unweildy.

Sun, 01/22/2012 - 01:06 | 2085719 Element
Element's picture

The C02 levels most relevant to H. Sapiens are those levels that have existed since the emergence of anatomically modern humans or about 400,000 years...


Can you really be that blind and conceited?

Flak, tell me, are you an accredited geologist?

If you aren't, I'm not going to waste my time talking to someone who has no clue about the Earth ... and doesn't even know it ... and is not even equipped to get to grips with such a discussion.

If you're not, your 'dismissal' of Plimer as some sort of minority oddball means I am not going to discuss anything with you on the topic, and just let you bask in the mud of arrogance and ignorance.

It might surprise you to know that the vast majority of professional field and research Geologists would broadly agree with almost all of what Plimer is saying in that interview and his book on the topic, and this is based on SCIENTIFIC OBSERVABLE EVIDENCE not on blog-comment opinion-isms or dippy confabulated pompous UN 'consensus' bullshit 'reports', that pretend to represent a genuine scientific-consensus (which is itself a contradiction of terms).

The very fact that they have not only ignored geology (The formal scientific Study of Earth), but dismissed almost all what it reveals to be actually true, should be a big enough clue at to the actual truth and veracity of what the UN IPCC is propagating as a 'science' consensus.

From what you've said so far I'm very confident you are not a geologist, of any sort, and probably not a trained scientist (i.e. a real working one, as opposed to a useless environmental pseudo-scientist wannabe parasite ... or a geographer ... or even worse <shudder> ... a fucking 'archaeologist').

Palaeoclimatologists, which is a sub-branch of GEOLOGY (not of meteorology or 'climate sciences') have been writing and discussing at length, since about WWII about the observed temperature and environmental swings, both short term, medium and long term cycles, that all overprint, continuously.

So suddenly a buch of arsehats with satellites and computer models say, oh look! the temnperature of Earth is changing!  EEK!! 


Well fucking DUH! ... as that's what we have been observing an discussing, for decades, prior to all that stupid crap. 

The temperature of Earth constantly rises an falls. ... like, ho hum.

And it would be EXTREMELY ODD if the temp were not either rising, or falling, because that's what the geology tells us it always does.

But it just happens to be on a short-term rising trend at present, at the same time these wankers got their enviro-SATs and purdy workstations.

W E L L   B I G   F U C K I N G   D E A L

Geologists just yawn at all that shit because we have seen this, MILLIONS of times before, RECORDED in Earth's geological record.

We're the ones who actually know about this stuff, and were trying to tell everyone about it, but what happened? A bunch of feral greenies spent the next decade trying to assert that there was no such thing as decadal cyclicity in weather, or century and millenia scale climate variability.

That's what happened Flak. A pack of rabid greenie-tree-hugging arsewipes hijacked the scientific discussion, via the MSM, with pure bullshit assertion and false-accusation.

And you're just reguritating their hapless horseshit ... and expecting me to then engage you in a discussion about their pet 'topic'?

Fuck their pet 'topics'!

And for your info, it was occurring long before 400k years ago.

It may even be due to those fucking pesky trees, so we should probably cut them all down ... as a precautionary principle!

And that's the same level of idiotic 'logic' the IPCC is expressing, when it blames an observed short term blip of rising Temp, on modern human industrialisation, and incites damaging impairing economic and social reaction, on the basis of the 'precautionary principle'.

Hence Geologists, as REAL scientists, regard the entire thing with the greatest degree of absolutely appropriate and necessary scientific scepticism.

But no  ... we must all just be in the service of Mega-Energy Corporations ... right?  ... I mean ... we must all be liars and crooks and global vandals!

No fuckwits, we're the ones who actually gave enough of a shit about the earth to study it in extraordinary detail, to find out what it is, and what it does, and why it all happens to be thus.

Sorry, the pure unadulterated arrogance of the greenie-greenhouse-warmer cretin brigades is simply not worth talking to, becaseu they are not even interested in the Earth itself, they are only interested in one laughable dumbshit theory.

"Iz all dah humanz folt!"

Sun, 01/22/2012 - 01:34 | 2085895 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You talk like a lawyer.... I am a scientist

1) Did you read the resultI linked?

2) Would you care to dispute its findings? Are you able to read the paper?

Lets start with the basics and find what facts we do agree upon...

Step by step.... are you game?

I am off to bed. I will notify you by a post in another thread (via the track feature) about where and when.


Sun, 01/22/2012 - 04:13 | 2085957 Element
Element's picture

You seem curiously intent on suggesting a breaking-up of any critical pre-discussion, into something non-linear.  Basically, you don't want the earlier part of the discussion to be included in what would follow.

I scanned through your links, it was a yawn, I'm not interested in revisiting the notion or suggestion of anthropogenic climate change. I'm satisfied it's pure farce, from one end to another.  The very first IPCC report (which I unfortunately had to read) established that, and all the IPCC 'report' circus-of-claims, since then, have only confirmed that initial assessment.

The Earth warms, and it cools, and it warm, and it cools -- b i g   f u c k i n g   d e a l

CO2 goes up, and it goes down, and it goes up, and it goes down -- zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wake me up if it ever stops doing one or the other, because that actually would be unusual, otherwise, no, you don't get to waste my time with intellectually insulting rank greenhouse-warming propaganda and 'models', dressed up as objective empirical science, that pretend to predict the future with some sort of allusion to 'scientific' certainty.


EDIT: Oh I see it can be downloaded in .pdf ... wow, this will make me an expert!

In the Conclusions section it says;

"... There is no indication of any slowdown or acceleration of global warming, beyond the variability induced by these known natural factors."

i.e. there is no reason to just assume it's not due to the natural cyclic processes that are recorded in the Geological record, prior to the existence of humans.

Don't waste my time with this pitiful radiometric fluff-piece, when it regards a planet that is KNOWN to 100% naturally warm and cool itself, incessantly, regardless of the presence or the absence of humans.

What an endless idiotic farce. 


Paper Dismissed

Sun, 01/22/2012 - 10:51 | 2086348 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I told you this thread was too large and unwieldy (i.e. slow to download). I have moved your last post and my reply to


Sun, 01/22/2012 - 12:02 | 2086448 Element
Element's picture

Oh yeah ... wow ... it's terribly unwieldily ... hey Tylers ... these comments ... they're terribly unwieldily, apparently ... I hadn't actually noticed this myself ... but apparently they're becoming a real impediment to general discussion ... can we get something done about that? ... no mate, I don't know what's wrong with them either.

Sun, 01/22/2012 - 12:11 | 2086474 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You are obfuscating.... Catch-22's are a bitch eh?



Sun, 01/22/2012 - 21:13 | 2087290 Element
Element's picture

Er no, you are merely ASSERTING some sort of obfuscation is even necessary.

There is only a 'catch-22' within your ignorant deluded little mind, because you wish to assert that rising CO2 in the industrial era (due to hydrocarbon oxidation) is correlated with rising temperature, because you see the two occurring in parallel.

So pseudo enviro-science morons like you merely assert that;

"correlation equals causation"

With regard to rising CO2 correlating with rising Temperature.

Except the detailed study of rocks during the Phanerozoic (the period that life has existed on earth)  reveals that Earth has had extremely high CO2 levels for extended periods, and it did NOT correspond with any correlation with a global greenhouse effect, in fact the palaeoenvironments of deposition reveal this was not the case.

The high CO2 correlation does NOT equal global warming causation.

This is an empirical fact.  You can not dispute it, so you merely ignore it, and all of what geology reveals, because you are in fact deeply disingenuous and mischievous, not the open scientific learned one you want to portray and the pretence of 'science' that you wish to use to pimp this global warming claptrap.

So because we know this to be so, we're never going to be sucked-in by your facetious imaginary 'catch-22', that you pseudo-scientists are pimping to the MSM and Govt.  And any member of the public should be unreservedly sceptical of your fiction of thermal rise causation via CO2 rise, that you a-scientifically keep insisting is real.

And you have the nerve to even assert that I'm the one ignoring facts, and am imbued with nothing but ideology.

Fuck you.

You therefore must keep endlessly disparaging Geologists, for simply stating the observable truth, of a lack of discrete correlation as causation. And no, playing with time-series enviro-SATs, and shallowly claiming glacial carving and icesheet retreat is evidence of a causation.

We know it isn't.

It is simply evidence of a warming-cycle, with a duration and amplitude unknown.

What you can't get your head around is that global warming and transient glacial retreat is exactly what we see repeated, incessantly, throughout geological history, which is far longer than you can possibly imagine, and you certainly can not comprehend it.  Even I can't.  

Such warming NEVER turns into a "runaway greenhouse effect", even with CO2 at level over 1,000 times higher than now, and both cooling and glacial advances often coincide with such high CO2 levels! 

A small sample of this sort of typical Earth behaviour is given in plain-english format within this page:

Climate and the Carboniferous Period:

You see, we happen to know your greenhouse a-scientific carpet-bagging to get a crust, and a shiny arse desk job, at tax-payer expense, is complete and utter bullshit.

Go get a real job.

We also happen to know that the MINISCULE rise in CO2, during the industrial period of human history, in terms of the scale of geological history's record of CO2 levels rising and falling, is simply equivalent to a noise level within the geological data. It is inconsequential and irrelevant.  We also know that when such very high levels of carbon were in the atmoshere the profucion od life was extreme and spectacular, because life and the environment of life in general absolutely LOVE high carbon dioxide levels. The only thing life loves more than high Co2, it High Co2 combined with HIGH TEMPERATURES

Because when you get such, planet Earth explodes with life and a massive biota develops, over almost all of its surface.

While fools like you use your lame nonsense arguments to stupidly suggest that life will be damaged by higher temp and CO2, and completely ignore the fact that the very highest levels of speciation and bio-diversity occurs at the hot saturated humidity equator, and is lowest at the cold very low humidity poles.

So none of your pseudo-science and alleged environmental concern, and pompous 'expertise' impresses me.

CO2 levels up to 1000 times higher have persisted in the past while the Earth was in the deep-freeze Glaciation cycles of an ice age, with many glaciers existing even at the EQUATOR, so we KNOW for sure, that CO2 does NOT directly or indirectly lead to sharp rise in runaway global temperature rises.

Thus we know that the PROSAIC CYCLIC WARMING PHASE that is occurring NOW, and has oscillated measurably during the past 1000 years, which is on the scale of inconsequential NOISE  within the geological data, is not being DRIVEN by a coincident CO2 rise from modern human economic activity.

We know that humans do not cause this ROUTINE planetary cyclic variability. 

It is simply a political fear campaign that is not at all supported by the full-range of scientific data available.

This is the sort of crap guys like you support, simply to brain wash the next generation of children, and to deliberately attempt to scare the existing generation with you disproportionate absurd melodramatics, and all your huffy-puffy nonsenses:

2009 Copenhagen Global-Warming Summit Opening Video:

It is a deeply disingenuous, thoroughly perverse and totally a-scientific process, and nothing but vile political propaganda and a psychological attacks, on the clear thought and sense of proportion of the population, is the aim.


And naturally geologists are just a wee bit tired of all your errant crap, developed from ignorant data-selective story-spinners like you Flak.

Fuck you all.

And this is why I'm not at all interested in your tedious little dog-and-pony show, that pompously pretends to have a franchise on scientific data, and hard facts.

An experienced geologist who understands their sedimentology, via field experience (no, not via pdf files and GIGO computer models) and their Palaeonvironmental geology (the environment of deposition of sediments, not mere 'environmentalism') and knows their palaeoclimatology fundamentals, regarding the state of Earth, throughout the past 1.5 billion years, especially during the past 15 million years, and particularly the past 4 million, is going to very broadly agree with a highly-experienced and rightly very respected Geologist like Professor Ian Plimer.

Because he's actually right and he's telling the truth about how Earth is observed to behave with regard to CO2 and temp variability, and the clear absence of causative 'forcing' of a temp rise via CO2 rise.

You can't get around any of it, it is all factual, so you simply cast disingenuous aspersions on it, and hope everyone will ignore scientific reality.

That's the sort of a-science 'scientist' you are, or aren't, Flak.

What Plimer is reiterating is based upon about 150 years of accumulated detailed observations and methodical empirical development, as you would expect of any professional science of understanding the Earth. And it is simply indisputable by some greenhouse warming obsessive with a .pdf file, because none of your twisted 'catch-22' nonsense negates the reality of what the rocks of the Earth itself reveals to be true.

There is no catch-22, and you do not have a franchise on facts, and I swiftly and logically totally demolished your silly little paper, with the geological realities, in a couple of concise sentences-- it was that easy.

Any geologist can see that.

Your a-scientific bleating is pathetic, and you're only doing it now, because I clearly showed that humanity actually has vast reserves of extractable hydrocarbons, still available, which absolutely will be used, and which will maintain economic activity and large human populations and theirmore-or-less controlled decline, for many centuries to come.

So not expecting me to be able to recover from your silly little challenge, you then went into a cerebral spasm and sought to immediately separate that very relevant part of the discussion from your global warming propaganda horseshit that you wished to assert is real, simply so you can formulate a cheap shallow nonsense 'argument' that says such hydrocarbons should not be used, and that economic activity should thus grind to a halt (to save da whirld!), on the basis of your false premise that correlation equals causation.

You are a disingenuous pompous fool.

And I blow my nose in your general direction.

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 02:13 | 2087896 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You realize that what you wrote is all but unreadable because of the margins....

BTW... Plimer is a hack, he contradicts himself every 15 pages or so in his book...


Hah, Hah Hah.... you are going to have to do better than peddle out this guy....

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 03:50 | 2087983 Element
Element's picture

The rocks of the Earth show conclusively that you're little fairy tail is completely wrong - end of story.  

Nothing rests on Ian Plimer, the man, it all rests on the Geology alone, as he also would tell you.

I only defended his reputation and findings due to your previous baseless attack on his character, slighting of his credentials, and of the relevancy of his technically spot-on facts and conclusions in order to cheaply smear him, so you can attempt to push him and also reality aside, so your lies can gain a little traction, and you can pretend to be a real scientist.
(1) Your baseless petty attack on his work and professionalism is simply done in order to deny and ignore the GEOLOGICAL DATA that he presents, which entirely kicks the floor out from under the global warming regime of theoretical psychosis.

(2) Geology and experienced geologists broadly agree with Plimer based entirely on hard evidence and on that alone, and not on personalities, nor any shallow irrelevant bullshit on the MSM.
You have nothing whatsoever to contradict WHAT THE EARTH SHOWS TO BE TRUE, because you are only a damnable little pseudo-science twat with your head stuck up your arse, another worthless deluded .pdf expert-clown, trying to steer humanity into a grand economic, policy and scientific error, via your unrequited farce of pretending that correlation equals causation.

And several other geologists have done exactly the same thing.  It's because the science shows that the axioms you follow are bunk, and they have been conclusively debunked, according to geological evidence.

That is why people like me have zero time for a hapless brainwashed nuggets such as yourself, as we know from long experience that morons like you are a completely unable to face the physical reality of Earth, that entirely denies and disallows your mental edifice of MSM-propaganda based bullshit, and that you are in fact no scientists at all, but merely committed propagandists, looking to weasel your way into the public-purse, via talking crap and pretending to have something worthy to add.

You don't.

Plus my last post had zero cut-n-past bits in it, it only had two links, and not even any quotes from them.  And yes, you definitely read it, you childish cockhead, just who do you think you are kidding?

You're a disingenuous lying fucking idiot, and it's very plane to see that you're deliberately trying to misrepresent the situation, and wish to completely avoid and deny damning fundamental contrary evidence.

And I will keep pointing that out, any way I see fit, since you want to maintain your charade, you pitiful little maggot. You're just seeking to spray more of your petty lies and cheap-shot disparagements, in order to try and escape the simple fundamental facts and truth, ESTABLISHED BEYOND DISPUTE BY THE PHYSICAL REALITY OF THE EARTH ITSELF.

You are thus demonstrating that you are wilful concerted idiot, and not merely deeply ignorant and a mislead one as I had formerly suspected, and people like you will not prosper, when people like me are around to pound the shit out of your lies, and your propaganda, and your attempt to mislead others into a needless monumental mistake.
EDIT:  And by the way, you dopey fuckwit, I notice your post above is almost entirely cut-and-pasted (!) you utter fucking hypocrite, as opposed to mine, which contains zero cut and pastes.

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 04:39 | 2088020 Element
Element's picture

Seeing you love cut-n-pasting, and also love to lie about it and accuse me of it when I have done no such thing, then I may as well cut-n-paste right back at you some findings (from the sample link I already provided you):



Putting Things in Perspective

New studies of plant stomata add important information about natural CO2 variations in Earth's atmosphere. Such studies show that natural variations in CO2 are more dramatic than we have been led to believe, and that CO2 levels which regularly rise past 300 ppm may be the norm-- not the exception-- during the last 11,000 years. Natural CO2 levels up to 340 ppm are suggested during this time, challenging claims that 300 ppm represents a CO2 threshold which is both "unprecedented" and un-natural in our recent climate history.

In reality, the actual amount of human additions to CO2 over the past 250 years is more of an academic issue than a practical one, as the theory that human additions to atmospheric CO2 are the principle driver of Earth's temperature changes, has not been proven. For example:

    The notion that CO2 drives temperature is disproved by the ice core record,which shows that temperatures rise first, then CO2 follows later.

    While CO2 has risen steadily over the last decade, global surface temperatures have not increased.

  Temperatures in the mid troposphere (5 km up), where signals of greenhouse warming should be strongest, have actually declined since 2000. According to greenhouse theory, this should not be happening if CO2 increases are the primary cause of global warming.

As the case for a CO2 problem looks increasingly uncertain it is appropriate to question climate projections and computer models on global warming to ensure that we are not basing important and expensive decisions on information that currently may be no more meaningful than answers given by a magic 8-ball.

Given the many complexities of clouds, ocean sinks, cosmic influences, and historical uncertainties, it is clear that our understanding of CO2 levels and climate cycles is incomplete. A new piece to this puzzle comes from simple plant fossils, which hold important clues about Earth's dynamic climate past-- and future.

Return to Carboniferous Climate




Our Future Written in Stone

Today the Earth warms up and cools down in 100,000- year cycles. Geologic history reveals similar cycles were operative during the Carboniferous Period. Warming episodes caused by the periodic favorable coincidence of solar maximums and the cyclic variations of Earth's orbit around the sun are responsible for our warm but temporary interglacial vacation from the Pleistocene Ice Age, a cold period in Earth's recent past which began about 2 million years ago and ended (at least temporarily) about 10,000 years ago. And just as our current world has warmed, and our atmosphere has increased in moisture and CO2 since the glaciers began retreating 18,000 years ago, so the Carboniferous Ice Age witnessed brief periods of warming and CO2-enrichment.

Following the Carboniferous Period, the Permian Period and Triassic Period witnessed predominantly desert-like conditions, accompanied by one or more major periods of species extinctions. CO2 levels began to rise during this time because there was less erosion of the land and therefore reduced opportunity for chemical reaction of CO2 with freshly exposed minerals. Also, there was significantly less plant life growing in the proper swamplands to sequester CO2 through photosynthesis and rapid burial.

It wasn't until Pangea began breaking up in the Jurassic Period that climates became moist once again. Carbon dioxide existed then at average concentrations of about 1200 ppm, but has since declined. Today, at 380 ppm our atmosphere is CO2-impoverished, although environmentalists, certain political groups, and the news media would have us believe otherwise.

What will our climate be like in the future? That is the question scientists are asking and seeking answers to currently. The causes of "global warming" and climate change are today being popularly described in terms of human activities. However, climate change is something that happens constantly on its own. If humans are in fact altering Earth's climate with our cars, electrical powerplants, and factories these changes must be larger than the natural climate variability in order to be measurable. So far the signal of a discernible human contribution to global climate change has not emerged from this natural variability or background noise.

Understanding Earth's geologic and climate past is important for understanding why our present Earth is the way it is, and what Earth may look like in the future. The geologic information locked up in the rocks and coal seams of the Carboniferous Period are like a history book waiting to be opened. What we know so far, is merely an introduction. It falls on the next generation of geologists, climatologists, biologists, and curious others to continue the exploration and discovery of Earth's dynamic history-- a fascinating and surprising tale, written in stone.

This page by Monte Hieb
Last updated: March 21, 2009




Global Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 over Geologic Time





 There you go toss pot, we actually KNOW that you and your fellow pseudo-scientists extravagant claims are just full of shit.

Mon, 01/23/2012 - 11:26 | 2088625 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Tilting at windmills? Are we?

I will ignore your posts here...they are unreadable with the margins...

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 20:35 | 2082912 Jumbotron
Jumbotron's picture

I'm in Australia at the Australian Open at this precise moment working in the World Feed broadcast booth serving close to 60 million viewers.  I asked some of my mates about your 4000 years of global production and they called bullshit on you.  So I went to the official Australian Coal Association website and found this tasty tidbit of info......

"Economic resources of black coal occur in most Australian States, but are particularly abundant in Queensland and New South Wales, with 58 % and 38 % respectively of economic demonstrated resources (EDR).  At the end of 2009 recoverable EDR  in  Australia increased by 11.5 % over the previous year to 43.8 gigatonnes (Gt), implying a resource life of around 100 years at current rates of production."

Of the course the kicker is "current rates of production".  We all know that these rates will have to increase as China, India and Africa continue to come online much less to counter the increasing cost of finding oil. 

Sorry mate but you're full of shit.  And there is no need to "scream" this fact out....your own words do the screaming for you.

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 00:40 | 2083390 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

thanks for the info.

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 05:24 | 2083729 Element
Element's picture

thanks for the dysinfo.

there, fixed it for you

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 05:30 | 2083719 Element
Element's picture

I'm in Australia at the Australian Open at this precise moment working in the World Feed broadcast booth serving close to 60 million viewers.  I asked some of my mates about your 4000 years of global production and they called bullshit on you.


Well isn't that nice ... good for you! 

Your mates ... they're like ... economic geologists with a detailed working-knowledge of Australian coal deposits?

No, that's right ... they aren't.

You really are a fucking idiot (not merely ignorant).

... and this irrelevant tangential crap;

Of the course the kicker is "current rates of production".  We all know that these rates will have to increase as China, India and Africa continue to come online much less to counter the increasing cost of finding oil.


C o a l  ... not oil, arse-clown.

Get an education, or better still, just shut the fuck up cretin. 

PS:  And tell your MSM TV-land mates that I said they're ignorant dumbfucks and should never give up their day job.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 22:17 | 2080109 gravedestruction
Fri, 01/20/2012 - 01:50 | 2080408 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Where's the other girl?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 01:51 | 2080410 Whats that smell
Whats that smell's picture

Lets hear the other side of the story, its worth a listen. The truth is usually somewhere in the middle. It is a proven fact that a for profit company would never ever put profits in front of safety and do a half assed job to grab the money and run.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:25 | 2079477 LetThemEatRand
LetThemEatRand's picture

According to this article, fracking induced earthquakes could actually be a good thing.    I suppose anything is possible, but I recall very recently that the companies involved in fracking vehemently denied their activity causes earthquakes.  So now it's shifted to, "but maybe they are GOOD earthquakes!"   Next we'll hear:  "no one could have predicted that fracking would cause so much damage!"   I'm all for new technological answers to energy problems, but how about we get some more answers from people who don't have a major profit to protect before we take any more risks with our water, our general safety, etc

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:43 | 2079552 trav7777
trav7777's picture

fortunately, real scientists involved in this do not get their rocks off on killing people.  Their management might, however.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:48 | 2079566 hedgeless_horseman
hedgeless_horseman's picture



...earthquakes could actually be a good thing..

Think of the broken windows that will need replacement.  I did not imagine fracking is so very bullish.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:10 | 2079947 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

So much more colorful that the orginal Broken Window Fallacy.

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 00:43 | 2083392 DaveyJones
DaveyJones's picture

kind of like those real psychologists who avoided advising us on torture

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:53 | 2079589 flattrader
flattrader's picture

I think we need to send the a-hole who wrote the article some of that exploding water from a few fracked areas and a bic lighter for his kids to play with.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:02 | 2079608 Bananamerican
Bananamerican's picture

Frack off.

The beauty of Fracking lies in its time-honored approach to the problems of environmental damage...

"Hey, it's not in MY back-yard so, Fuck it!"

example: The Frenchies have banned the practice in France but they're heavily invested in Amerikan Frackups...
Increasingly, we ARE just another 3rd world dumping ground and receptacle for corpoRAT lu$t and will receive the same amount of corporat propaganda and consideration as the good folks of Bhopal, India. 



A Department of Energy advisory panel’s draft report has insufficiently examined in depth the health and safety issues raised by natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing, according to a detailed assessment by Environmental Working Group.

An EWG analysis finds that the Natural Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board failed to offer a comprehensive plan to avert the most harmful impacts of hydraulic fracturing on health, property and the environment.

According to EWG’s comments to the Energy Department, the panel report does not mention seven exemptions from federal environmental law enjoyed by the natural gas drilling industry. Nor does the report address drinking water contamination by drilling operations. It has not explored how confidentiality agreements between drilling companies and landowners whose property has been been damaged have interfered with the public’s right to know about the dangers of fracking.

The panel has urged the industry to disclose its activities and plans more fully and to make greater efforts to ensure air and water quality. But too much of the panel’s verbiage has focused on public relations aspects of the fracking controversy, not on the underlying reasons for it.

EWG, along with other environmental and public health organizations, religious leaders, affected communities, New York State elected officials, and scientists from across the country had previously expressed concerns that six of the seven members of this panel have current financial ties to the oil and natural gas industry.


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:18 | 2079654 Whoa Dammit
Whoa Dammit's picture

Natural gas is methane. The attached blog post references a magazine article from 1949 about Germans using methane from cow manure due to post war fuel shortages. Admittedly, some of these old photos showing methane being used are downright hilarious because the gas was not compreseed. But if it could be done back then, why can't we use cow manure the same way now (adding the compressed gas step), other than the fact that we are being held back by the big energy companies?

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:32 | 2079683 blunderdog
blunderdog's picture

In the USA, our cow manure is a lot different than what the Germans were working with in the 30s.  May be possible, tho.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:14 | 2079785 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Enough bull shit is being produced in the media and Washington DC to power half the country.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:27 | 2081040 ucsbcanuck
ucsbcanuck's picture


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:19 | 2079802 Big Corked Boots
Big Corked Boots's picture

Already being done. Lots of dairy farms in Lancaster county, PA are doing it... just google "biogas farm waste" and take yer pick.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 03:47 | 2080486 Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

you mean our bullshit is different?

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:40 | 2079865 richard in norway
richard in norway's picture

jupiter is all methane, its the biggest cow fart in the solar system


hey lets mine it, no such thing as peak gas

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:41 | 2080022 Matt
Matt's picture

Methane from Jupiter, Oil from Titan, oxygen from moon rocks, then ship the waste CO2 to Mars so we can make it habitable too. Now all we need are gas tankers in space, and we'll have our very own TLC/ Discovery channel reality TV show. Space Road Truckers? Ice Road Truckers: The Final Frontier? Most Extreme Jobs?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:59 | 2080772 beaker
beaker's picture

Yeah!  We can just run a long tubes from all the planets and pipe it into to Mars!

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 22:08 | 2080094 falun bong
falun bong's picture

yeah, let's build a pipeline! Keystone Planetary Project. The KPP will put America back to work!

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:17 | 2080828 Colonial Intent
Colonial Intent's picture

Its europa you want, more resources there than any other planetary body we know of anywhere in the universe.

Really wish I could live long enough to see us explore it.

The day we do that is the day travel between solar systems become possible, simply because of the incomprehensibly huge amount of stored energy.

Assuming our species lives that long.................

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 23:28 | 2080220 robobbob
robobbob's picture

Its being done now. I am involved in a project to convert area farms into electrical production facilities. Many of these industrial farms burn through $50K per year each in electrical charges.

Cow pies are placed into giant lined and covered lagoons. gas and temperature sensors transmit over the internet to the central monitoring office. various additives can be used to speed or slow methane production as needed. The gas is collected, filtered, compressed, and used to run onsite generators. Its a completely automated process. Not only enough power to run the farms, but creates a net positive that is sold to the local power company. Of course, occasionally someone has to dredge the lagoons out.

Did I mention the start up cost is being covered by green grants from the government?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 02:08 | 2080430 Lore
Lore's picture

"Green grants" = More market interference...

Your local power company is amenable? You aren't being stonewalled?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 04:02 | 2080499 minosgal
minosgal's picture

What's wrong with grants? Many private industrly firms offer rebates or discounts on new products, just to get people to try them. It helps overcome market inertia for old-technology products, which benefit from common knowledge or paid-for research.

Grants are not the the same as ongoing, pork-barrel subsidies for zombie industries which simply refuse to change their business plans.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:48 | 2080746 Confused
Confused's picture

No way? Good shit!



Sorry. Couldn't resist.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:11 | 2079955 AGuy
AGuy's picture

Yes, especially all of the energy inputs that will be required to replace and repair all of the damaged or destroyed infrastructure and buildings destroyed during a fracking triggered earth quake.   The damage caused by a big quake on the east coast will negate all of the frack drilling because of all of the energy input required to rebuild repair the damaged caused by a fracking quake.  Consider that the Virgina quake last summer as a wake-up call for fracking. What if the next Quake is a 7.0 or 8.0 on the east coast.


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:45 | 2080028 Matt
Matt's picture

Bullish! Think of all the broken windows, get the money out of the hands of hoarders and insurance companies and get it back circulating in the economy! /sarc

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 23:55 | 2080264 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

Sarcasm duly noted.

However, a problem from earthquakes in areas that usually are not frequented by them is a lack of property insurance coverage for that type of damage.

And if you do have the property insurance coverage, the other issue would be will the insurance actually pay out anything if the damage is wide spread and catastrophic to your area.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 23:48 | 2080255 Lost1
Lost1's picture

Where do you suppose we get this unbiased scientific research? The majority of funding for research is provided by corporations “looking out for their interests” and government “looking out for their interests”.

Example: Climate Gate

A 2005 study in the journal Nature surveyed 3247 US researchers who were all publicly funded (by the National Institutes of Health). Out of the scientists questioned, 15.5% admitted to altering design, methodology or results of their studies due to pressure of an external funding source.

Source: Section Funding influence on research.

While I would love to have non biased research on a myriad of topics political leanings, protection of profits, and ideology seem to trump the truth in the “information age”.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:04 | 2079618 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

"So next time someone says that America should put an end to fracking, ask them how they plan to ensure America's energy security over the next 30 to 50 years."

Same ploy used when nuclear reactor energy was questioned. That didn't turn out so good either.

"...Recent earthquakes in Ohio and Oklahoma have been directly linked to deep wells used to dispose of liquid wastes for hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" of natural gas..."

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:14 | 2079787 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Hey, maybe one of those earthquakes will fuck up a reactor... perfect.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 00:50 | 2080345 Pike Bishop
Pike Bishop's picture

Yeah! We've got ourselves a fucking screenplay here.

Mr. Facts here is all full of quant, until we get to the shit leaking out of groundtanks and earthquakes. Then it's "some", and they are small. Maybe even good.

If you know so much about these minor indescretions, then you have measured them?

Oh yeah right. Some fucking company engineer is going to hand over the company's proprietary cocktail for blowing gas out of the ground? How fast would his ass get fired? Plus I'm sure he's motivated to provide 100% of the chemistry, because he's an honest guy. And the legal Dept said "Aw, fuck it. I don't have to look at it. I'm sure it's fine as-is".

There's 7MM shrs of GOOG out there, which were handed off by HFT algos today, and at the open of market tomorrow, will be worth 10% less.

WTF is the difference between Frackers and HFT algos? Apparently legally, not much. The main difference being that the GOOGlers made a choice. What neighbor asked to have toxins and flammables made a part of their life?

I'm sick of this. This is Soviet fascist bullshit. Mob and Thug Rule.

The needs of the many do not trump the Rights of the One.

And 2 of those Rights is to be free of man-made earthquakes, and free from wondering if you're going to die because of the shit some rational-self-interest asshole is pumping into the ground at 5,000 psi. Oh, and make #3 free from dying from it, if you light the stove, having forgotten you left the faucet running.

The simple critical thinking to this, fucked by tortured logic and retarded mental development is that.... if there's some guy in upstate Penna getting cornholed on the deal. well you'd better grease-up, because you could be next.

At least when the nuclear reactor blows, nobody is left to bitch.

And any half-nuked zombies can live out their days writing White Papers for Fracking Interests.

It's apparent their brain-damage would not be noticed.

More obviously, it's a requirement.

Be sure to have this guy back real soon. I can't speak for everybody, but i would be interested to see how his Glenn Beck training is further progressing.


Fri, 01/20/2012 - 02:05 | 2080429 Lore
Lore's picture

Relax. Breathe.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 13:39 | 2081513 Think for yourself
Think for yourself's picture

Of course, don't worry - go take a bath, light a cig -

not in that order, though, you'll get yourself killed! 

Sometimes indignation can be both righteous and justified. 

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:15 | 2079644 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

We have been working on that and got a few wells capped stopping the dozens we had experienced up to that point.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:20 | 2079656 Archimedes
Archimedes's picture

I don't know what four morons junked you but the quality of the visitors on this site lately have been going down, kinda like the quality of the posts.,0,6455763.story

Don't get me wrong I still love ZH, but how many times can I hear that QE3 is coming. With the SnP over 1300!

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:10 | 2079778 Lord Koos
Lord Koos's picture

Exactly.  And what about that "biocide" getting into the water table.

An awful lot of pro-big energy proganda on ZH lately.  Some of these people are paid sock-puppets.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 03:36 | 2080478 e2thex
e2thex's picture

Fracking ruins water tables and aquifers. End of story. 

Drill offshore if you need energy.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:21 | 2079468 Habspurg
Habspurg's picture

The notion that "properly cemented" stuff doesn't break or leak is, at this stage in history, unforgivable hubris. This whole article has the stench of spin and diesel.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:24 | 2079472 drink or die
drink or die's picture

Kind of like the Fukushima reactors right?

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:27 | 2079483 tgatliff
tgatliff's picture

Even the finest designs cannot account for simple human ignorance...  

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:29 | 2079992 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Whatchoo tockin bout, Willis?


EVERYBODY knows that when you add pressure, cracks only form outwards and downwards!

NEVER upwards, that would be ludicrous.

And, NatGas automatically goes right to the giant sucker at the bottom of the cement-cased drill pipe, it's insane that it would go up through any pre-existing fractures in the rock and getting anywhere NEAR aquifers and such.

Besides, it's all priced in.

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 07:50 | 2083818 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

sorry, that shows a basic lack of understanding about the geology involved in vast majority of shale plays which are the main driver behind the hydrofracking push.  the targeted formations are in many cases literally miles below the water table, in my area around 12,000 feet.  there have been heretofore no instances that i know of where it has been proven that the actual process of hydrofracturing polluted drinking water.  there is however one case i am following where a much shallower coal bed methane fracture may have led to such an incident as you are describing.  i don't think they have conclusively proved it in that case either, but it is my understanding that it might be plausible.  for the most part, this process that has unlocked untold reserves of super chreap energy is no more dangerous than any other conventional energy production, and in many cases (deepwater horizon) it is safer if something actually goes wrong, because we can get to it and fix whatever went wrong.  there have been some cases in my area where a few homes have been evacuated because of blowouts and other incidents, but these are the kinds of acceptible risks that most people are willing to face in order to have some semblance of an economy.  you must understand that many of the areas where shale gas is present are more or less rural, and more or less have been depressed for decades.  i know for a certainty that is the case with where i am from.  the last few manufacturing jobs left in the 80's and early 90's, never to return.


oftentimes with complicated issues, as you may well understand, there are no easy answers... but that does not stop some from distorting in order to engage in demagogy.  such as was done in gasland with lighting water containing naturally occurring methane so it can be pointed to as evidence of damage from the production of hated fossil fuels.  people might be surprised that methane migration is not an uncommon occurrence in areas with lots of gas in the ground, years ago i personally witnessed well (not municipal) water being lit in an area that is half a state away from any current hydrofracturing, and since gasland have heard many stories from other people, not a few  of them older.  it seems that it was far more common back before all of the shallow methane was drilled and produced.  go figure.


the fact is, most media goes for the easy story, instead of trying to relay things like complicated engineering and geology.  sixty minutes did a piece in my area.  did they feature the huge number of new good paying jobs, many of them permanent, skyrocketing tax receipts, increased pay for public employees, an above-water housing market, and general economic well-being generated by the shale boom?  no, they chose to focus on a single incident where a discharge pond levee broke and some cows died.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 22:12 | 2080105 falun bong
falun bong's picture

Read the National Academy of Sciences report on Chernobyl - 20 Years On. Scare the sh*t out of you. 270,000 cancers and counting

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:44 | 2079555 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Properly cemented -- you know like the Macondo well was "properly cemented" before the Deepwater Horizon essentially blew the fuck up.

These guys think we're stupid or something? I guess they do. Sorta pisses me off, knowwhutimean?

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:22 | 2079814 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

get a clue.  deepwater horizon was a bad operator doing bad shit and cutting corners.  where should we get the energy to replace all of the "dangerous" sources you don't like?  canada maybe?  oh wait.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:26 | 2079823 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Nobody cares who poured the fucking cement. All these fuckers work for the same fuckers, it's like a circus.

It blew. The Fuck. Up.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:32 | 2079843 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

you really think it just "blew up?"

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:55 | 2079906 Cole Younger
Cole Younger's picture was on fire before it blew up...

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:04 | 2079930 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

and if your aunt had a dick she'd be your uncle

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 21:31 | 2079998 UP Forester
UP Forester's picture

Or a hermaphrodite.

Don't be rayciss....

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 22:19 | 2080117 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

uncle karen never could tell coming from going, i think you may be onto something there.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 03:02 | 2080462 Freddie
Freddie's picture

How many wells were drilled in the Golf of Mexico during Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush?  Thousands maybe tens of thousands.  Never a problem.  Pemex had a blowout back in the early 70s but not the same thing.

The islamic shows up aka Saudis puppet, the rug blows up, every mistake supposedly happens and the entire Gulf gets shut down.  Stuxnet.

Ditto the vaporware of Bin Laden then the entire Seal Team 6 is put on a Chinook in a hot area filled with Taliban and gets iced. 

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:41 | 2081074 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You are aware of the difference in technical difficulty between a jack up rig and a deep water rig...

So the PEMEX blowout was not the "same thing"?  Split hairs much, do we???

Did it ever occur to you, that you are the puppet?? The shit you spew sounds like you bought some bullshit hook, line and sinker...

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:33 | 2079845 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Re: Macondo.... took the words out of my mouth....

Have you seen this?


and the link to the orginal therein....

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 09:54 | 2080761 Confused
Confused's picture

 where should we get the energy to replace all of the "dangerous" sources you don't like?


There are many individuals on this site who seem totally reasonable. But when the issue comes to energy, there seems to be this idea that the ONLY option for us, is to rely on the standard technologies.

Your question presupposes that we are incappable of coming up with something new. I'm not a science guy. But something tells me that if humans can clone see where I'm going. It can be done. If not willingly, then out of necessity. But at some point an alternative will present itself.

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 08:24 | 2083846 Fedaykinx
Fedaykinx's picture

look, i never said we shouldn't spend money on alternative technology.  in fact i think we should probably be spending even more than we are on alternatives, but the thing is we need to quit being so goddamned stupid about how we spend it.  the government needs to be encouraging competition, not picking the winners.

your position presupposes we are currently capable of radically altering how we produce and consume energy in short order.  i am operating under no such assumptions.  people in the renewable industry will tell you that most of their sector ceases to exist virtually overnight if subsidies are drastically reduced.  henry hub prices as low as they are right now give even king coal a run for its money, much less strangles renewables to death in the crib, which is why i think this big media blitz about the dangers of fracking has been pushed so hard..  what we need to do is figure out how to either use or sell this gas, so that it DOESN'T completely kill things like solar panels in north america for the next two decades or more.

Sun, 01/22/2012 - 17:12 | 2080176 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Makes me wonder if this "article" was produced to run in the WSJ-Europe in return for taking 5K copies a day at 1c per to be later reimbursed by NewsCorp.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:07 | 2079624 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

What's with the Tylers the past couple days? Yesterday, "Tyler" is pitching the Keystone XL oil pipeline, now, fracking is the greatest thing next to sliced bread?

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:16 | 2079646 drink or die
drink or die's picture

Yeah, it's crazy.  Almost like you can't believe everything you read on the internet anymore and you have to go and do your own research.  Heaven forbid.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:44 | 2079711 gmrpeabody
gmrpeabody's picture

I'll drink to that!

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:12 | 2079780 roygbiv
roygbiv's picture

I agree totally dude, I can't figure it out either. 

I'm guessing maybe the Tyler's have all invested heavily in energy stocks, and now are talking their book?

I don't know, but the recent right-wing/big energy slant to Zero Hedge is starting to alarm me. 


Reminds me of when I used to read Drudge back in the day, then he rapidly turned into a mouthpiece for Murdoch and the Koch brothers and I had to abondon that shithole.

Hope the same thing doesn't happen to ZH, as they seem to me to be one of the best non-filtered news sites on the Web.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 01:56 | 2080418 RockyRacoon
RockyRacoon's picture

Hits.   It's all about quantity of readership/comments.   Sorta like the stock market -- volatility.   Stir things up and all that.   Roll out a controversial topic and the boards go wild!

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 03:55 | 2080492 Element
Element's picture

You want unanimity of views in zh, or anywhere else for that matter?

You can keep that sterile shit.  Don't bring that in here.

I want opposing views, intelligent sharp disagreements, and real alternatives that can stand the test of a fucking good kicking, punching and eye-gouging.

It's Fight-Club.

It is not, and it never will be Consensus-Club.
Keep it coming Tyler.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 15:18 | 2081916 Kiwi Pete
Kiwi Pete's picture

Right on Element. You can't read the article without reading the comments. Informed criticism is good for you. It's good to see the industry view point - and good to see it argued against.

Sat, 01/21/2012 - 07:17 | 2083790 Element
Element's picture


I want to see the fight because it is the most efficient way to learn and to cut-through all the BS.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:23 | 2079669 Bangin7GramRocks
Bangin7GramRocks's picture

This douche must've paid the Tylers a shit ton of money to run this thinly veiled advertisement for the fracking industry. For shame Zero Hedge!

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 03:52 | 2080491 Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron Skillet's picture

Habspurg, your comments are ok, but your screen name irritates me. Did you misspell "Habsburg" (see below) on purpose? ... maybe i'm too dense, but I don't see the point ...

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:54 | 2079553 Taint Boil
Taint Boil's picture


EROEI ... well it depends. Visit The Oil Drum (oh no!!, not TOD) for good info on that.

Copy and paste from the link above:

1. EROI peaked around 40:1 (not exactly sure frack)

2. Production peaks at about 70% of total extraction.

3. EROI declines sharply past peak.

4. The steep EROI decline indicates extraction is in the final 25%.


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:53 | 2079588 NoLongerABagHolder
NoLongerABagHolder's picture

GasLand has been debunked:

And the EPA findings in Wyoming is a farce. The EPA just let the report out for peer review. They will get smoked for the way they did the research and the conclusions they came too.

Getting longer CJES. Estimated to earn $4.33 next year with no debt. Throw an under the industry average 8 PE on those earnings.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:12 | 2079781 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

go drink that cloudy water and we can debunk your corpse

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 01:06 | 2080373 Aulieude
Aulieude's picture

The so-called Debunking has been debunked - by the Filmmaker and his advisors

This article is a disgrace.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:07 | 2079625 OneLessZombie
OneLessZombie's picture

Have a glass full of this.  And be sure to mix in some radioactive sand too.

Hydraulic Fracturing Report, April 18, 2011

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 07:49 | 2080573 mantrid
mantrid's picture



Between 2005 and 2009, the oil and gas service companies used hydraulic fracturing 

products containing 29 chemicals that are (1) known or possible human carcinogens, (2) 

regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act for their risks to human health, or (3) listed as 

hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.  These 29 chemicals were components of more 

than 650 different products used in hydraulic fracturing


In many instances, the oil and gas service companies were unable to provide the 

Committee with a complete chemical makeup of the hydraulic fracturing fluids they used.  

Between 2005 and 2009, the companies used 94 million gallons of 279 products that contained at 

least one chemical or component that the manufacturers deemed proprietary or a trade secret.  

Committee staff requested that these companies disclose this proprietary information.  Although 

some companies did provide information about these proprietary fluids, in most cases the 

companies stated that they did not have access to proprietary information about products they 

purchased “off the shelf” from chemical suppliers.  In these cases, the companies are injecting 

fluids containing chemicals that they themselves cannot identify

now, democrats may not be reliable source of such research but this IS quite disturbing. what does "reguleated" have in common with "safe" if everyone injects unknown to them stuff without concern because "it's already regulated"?!


Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:20 | 2079658 Joshua Falken
Joshua Falken's picture

Nice piece of Fracking propaganda by Marin Katusa

Funny how that he fails to mention the Fracking induced Oklahoma 5.6 earthquake on 5 November that was felt all the way from Houston to Chicago that has the government real worried

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:15 | 2079447 ZippyBananaPants
ZippyBananaPants's picture

ah, Frack it!

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:12 | 2079635 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

If the environment is destroyed where no one is around to see it, is it really destroyed?

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:59 | 2079920 Cole Younger
Cole Younger's picture

Does a bear shit in the woods? Not if he is in a Zoo.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:18 | 2079456 Archduke
Archduke's picture

I love the frack spread, the crack spread, the dark spread and the dirty spark spread.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:18 | 2079457 Alex Kintner
Alex Kintner's picture

Um. I saw Gasland. The people lighting their kitchen faucets on fire with a Bic lighter were pretty convincing. But yeah, the Gas Cos say it's all good.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 18:26 | 2079485 The Swedish Chef
The Swedish Chef's picture

What he said. I´m so thankful that I don´t live on top of a shale gas deposit. Not only does it seem risky, the wells are goddamn ugly too... Like living in Star Trek(not in a good way).

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 19:35 | 2079687 DartThrowingMonkey
DartThrowingMonkey's picture

Not me. I would have loved to own land on top of a large shale deposit. The mineral rights went for $15k per acre, with royalties on top.


The article is largely accurate.

Thu, 01/19/2012 - 20:14 | 2079788 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

"The article is largely accurate."


for the strip miners at heart....



Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:28 | 2080863 DartThrowingMonkey
DartThrowingMonkey's picture

The US is sitting on an enormous natural resource that has the potential to, in the long term, make us energy independent. But I suppose we could ban hydraulic fracturing and instead pay $15 for natural gas like Japan does since it's relying on LNG imports, pay much higher electricity bills, keep our trade deficit high, and keep securing our oil supply by means of military operations in the Middle East.

I suppose you are also against the Keystone XL pipeline?

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 10:43 | 2080905 Flakmeister
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Quit listening to shills and educate yourself....

Yes, shale NG is new resource, but it ain't ever going to make the US energy independent...

Convert all of the current US NG production to oil on a BTU basis and how many equivalent barrels of oil is it? This is a detail that your right wing energy shills seem to overlook....

And take into account that US is a significant net importer of NG to begin with....

The US does not secure oil in the Middle East, dummy...

It "secures" the pricing of internationally traded oil in US dollars, i.e. the only fucking thing keeping the dollar alive given how it is being created out of thin air....

BTW, how much oil does the US get from the Middle East???

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:00 | 2080946 DartThrowingMonkey
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Convert all of the current US NG production to oil on a BTU basis and how many equivalent barrels of oil is it?

- Around 12 million barrels per day, in other words, very significant. And with the potential to grow substantially.

And take into account that US is a significant net importer of NG to begin with....

- Yes, but basically only from Canada at this stage, and volumes are shrinking rapidly. Contrast that with projections a decade ago that the US was going to import 35% of NG in the form of LNG by now.

BTW, how much oil does the US get from the Middle East???

- Oil is fungible.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:42 | 2081030 Flakmeister
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Very good re: the 12.... so if the US could somehow convert the NG to oil, they would have a modest surplus of 3 mmbpd of oil... But you forgot that all that current gas (and then some) is spoken for by power production, fertilizer production etc....

So do you realistically think that the US can double its production of NG from this level?

Here is US production:

Since the shale revolution, it has increased about 14% in the past 4 years...or ~3.5% a year....

So, if the US has 100 years of NG supply at current consumption rates, how long does that gas last if you increase production at 5% a year?

Finally, you do realize that they are drilling the shales desperately trying to get "liquidy" plays because at these NG prices they are loosing money and need the Condensate to pay the bills???


Oil is not fungible... if I have a refinery optimized for API 38, 0.15% S,  its going to choke on API 24 2% S... Unless I refit at a non-negligible expense...

The misconception that oil is fungible comes from the old days when "heavy oil" was lighter than the average API of what we now import....

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 11:44 | 2081093 DartThrowingMonkey
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I do think that NG production can rise substantially from here, yes. Not if you ban fracking though, then it will DRAMATICALLY fall, and we will have to import massive quantities in the form of LNG from abroad.

I also believe shale OIL will play a major role in helping the US free itself from reliance on imports. It is already proving to be a major success in the Bakken play, where production is up by almost 0.5 million barrels per day from last year. But of course we need fracking here as well.

Bottom line: you can argue about to what degree a ban on fracking would negatively impact the US in terms of lost jobs, higher energy prices, lost manufacturing, energy security, trade imbalances etc, but you can't argue that it would not have that impact at all.

By the way there is not one single source of oil of a certain quality, so for the purposes of our discussion of imports from the Middle East, oil is fungible.

Fri, 01/20/2012 - 12:19 | 2081227 Flakmeister
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Sorry.... I missed something...Where have I even mentioned fracking?

You are aware of the argumentative fallacy called a strawman??

My only gripe is that the gains from fracking are seen as a means to continue BAU where in reality it is a reprieve of sorts while we change paradigms, and the clock is ticking.... 


Yes, the Bakken is nice play, they *may* get another 400.000 bpd over the next 5 years, if they drill like crazy and the undeveloped sections are as good as the ones already in production. Now, do you think that the oil cos. drilled the mediocre or best prospects first?

That extra 400,000 bpd might just compensate for the declining flows from Prudhoe Bay and the GOM....Any idea what the decline rate is in Prudhoe Bay?

The only way the US achieves energy independence is to reduce consumption by about 8 million barrels a day...


If oil was fungible, why did the Libyan episode require the release from strategic stocks?  Why are old refineries closing all over the world?? Could it be that there is an over capacity in the light sweet crude end of refining sector and oil is *not* fungible???

And you do understand that Libya was ~10% of the light sweet crude on world market?  


Edit: BTW, you never addressed my comment on growth rates and reserve lifetimes... too inconvienient for you?

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