Wednesday's Top 10 with NZ Mint: Will Europe deliver a Big Bazooka or a Big Palooka; Suez Canal traffic slumps; UK's Great Recssion longer than 30s Great Depression; Dilbert

Here's my Top 10 links from around the Internet at 10 am today in association with NZ Mint.

As always, we welcome your additions in the comments below or via email

See all previous Top 10s here.

My must read today is #1 on the ECB's Big Bazooka. It better be real big. Or else the Euro-zone crisis could get real ugly and real quick.

1. Big Bazooka? - Or Big Palooka?

The focus on Thursday night's European Central Bank decision and following news conference will be intense.

Many are hoping for clarification on plans for a 'Big Bazooka' round of bond buying the European Central Bank to lower bond yields from unsustainably high levels in Spain and Italy.

Remember the ECB boss Mario Draghi said a couple of months ago the ECB would do 'whatever it takes' to rescue the Euro-zone. He subsequently said this meant the ECB would work with the official rescue funds to buy European bonds after a nation such as Italy or Spain asked for a bailout and agreed to new austerity measures.

Then the Bundesbank came out and said it wasn't keen on such a plan.

Also, Spain has been reluctant to pull the trigger by formally asking for a bailout.

Markets have already rallied sharply in anticipation that Draghi will get his way.

But what if he doesn't? What if Thursday night's 'decision' is the usual fudge to delay or extend or pretend away the problem of the Euro's ultimate unsustainability?

Here's Bloomberg's preview:  and here's Reuters' preview.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned today against expecting too much of the ECB, saying whatever Draghi announces must fall within the central bank’s mandate. “We have to be very careful that we don’t raise false expectations,” Schaeuble told Deutschlandfunk radio.

In addition to governments dragging their heels, tensions between the ECB and Germany’s Bundesbank are growing. Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, who opposes ECB purchases of government bonds, has considered quitting over Draghi’s plan, Bild newspaper reported Aug. 31.

Weidmann, who traveled to Jackson Hole while Draghi remained in Frankfurt to assemble the bond plan, said he “won’t comment on speculations” when asked about the report.

2. Spanish bailout - BBC reports the Spanish regional government of Andalusia has asked for a 1 billion euro bailout from the central government. This is happening daily now.

Spain's austerity spiral is ripping through its economy from the regions up.

A 18bn-euro public fund was set up by Madrid to aid its 17 autonomous regions, which are in deep debt.

The conditions which the Spanish government will impose on loans from the fund have not yet been announced. But Mario Jimenez, the spokesman for the Socialist Party (PSOE) in Andalusia's left-leaning coalition government, warned against trying to impose a "corralito", which refers to capital controls and harks back to Argentina a decade ago, when its government froze bank accounts in order to prevent bank runs.

"What shouldn't happen is to run the financing of the autonomous communities like a corralito," he said.

3. Appetite for Australian bank covered bonds drying up? - Eric Johnston at writes about how British appetites for Australian covered bond issues may be drying up after soft demand for a National Australia Bank covered bond issue.

The soft demand for NAB has raised questions as to whether offshore investors are tiring of Australian bank bonds, given nearly $100 billion worth are sold a year. At the same time the big Australian banks have been rushing to the market on their new covered bond issues. One London-based investor said they were taking a ''more cautious'' approach to Australian bank bonds.

''Although the Aussies offer a diversification play away from Europe and the US in times of heightened volatility, China is coming under increasing pressures and it seems like Australia is coming off the heat a bit,'' F&C Asset Management portfolio manager Paul Fenner-Leitao said in London. Australian banks generate about 40 per cent of their funding from global money markets, making up the shortfall in deposits.

4. Controls stay on - Xinhua reports China's Premier Wen Jiaobao is sticking with his hard line on real estate market controls that have helped slow down the Chinese economy in recent months.

All sorts of desperate people are calling on Wen to relax a bit, but he's sticking to his guns. He's particularly worried about how poorer Chinese people are struggling to get access to affordable housing and has acted to make it happen.

If only our politicians did the same.

Here's Wen:

"The controls over the real estate market are still in a critical period," he warned. He said that increasing the effective supplies of homes to the market will be more important to consolidate the previous achievements in stabilizing housing prices.

China has tightened its curbs on the property sector since 2010 in an effort to bring skyrocketing home prices back to a reasonable level. The government has restricted home purchases in several cities while requiring higher down payments and introducing property taxes.

5. The Great Recession that is going on forever and ever - Here's a chart from Britain's National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) showing Britain's recession since 2008 has now gone on for longer than the one from 1930-34.

 It seems clear that what was initially a reasonably strong, albeit patchy, recovery stalled in the autumn of 2010; GDP is roughly at the same level as two years ago, and the output gap - the amount of spare capacity in the economy - continues to widen. 

The chart also shows that this "depression" - defined, admittedly somewhat arbitrarily, as the time period during which output remains below its previous peak, shown as the X-axis above - is now significantly longer than that experienced during the Great Depression, and is not likely to end any time soon; we do not expect output to pass its early 2008 peak until 2014.

6. What's happenign with global trade - This Reuters chart on global world exports and traffic through the Suez Canal is instructive.

7. Droughts galore - We've heard a lot about America's worst drought in 50 years and how it has triggered a spike in corn, soy, wheat and other grain prices.

Here the New York Times reports on a 6% rise in food prices globally in the last six months. There is drought all over the place, it seems. Wish we had a bit more of it in Auckland...

Here's the latest detail on a bad drought in India.

Drought has devastated crops around the world this year, including corn and soybeans in the United States, wheat in Russia and Australia and soybeans in Brazil and Argentina. This has contributed to a 6 percent rise in global food prices from June to July, according to United Nations data.

India is experiencing its fourth drought in a dozen years, raising concerns about the reliability of the country’s primary source of fresh water, the monsoon rains that typically fall from June to October.

8. Going backwards - America's middle class saw its income fall last year for the first time since World War Two, Marketwatch reports.

The top quintile of Americans generally appear to have high skills, high wages, and job security. They now hold 90% of the nation’s wealth and account for virtually all recent income growth.

The other 80% of the working population increasingly fall into what has been called the “secondary labor market,” with lesser-skilled jobs in places such as restaurants, retail stores, and hospitals. These jobs often pay little more than minimum wage; entail few, if any, benefits; involve little to no skill development or opportunities for significant advancement; and are often only part-time.

9. How many Kiwi FiFo jobs will this cost? - The Australian Financial Review reports that A$119.6 billion worth of mining projects will be put on hold because of the recent slump in iron ore and coal prices in the wake of China's hard landing.

Deloitte Access economics director Chris Richardson has previously warned the federal government that the boom in mining construction could fall steeply from 2014 as rising cost pressures bite.

“Some of the froth has blown off the top and some projects that were seen as more likely are now clearly pushed back for a while,” he told The Australian Financial Review yesterday.

10. Totally Jon Stewart on the Republican National Convention. Here's there in Tampa.


We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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#1 Draghi's Big Bazooka, which has been rumoured since early 2011, doesn't exist. It's just a hot air gun designed to keep the market bubbling along on the possibility that the ECB is going to drop the magic pill that will fix the Euro.
The intrinsic problem with the Euro is not going away - namely the North-South divide. Even IF the ESM gets ratified, which is still unlikely, you can't solve a debt crisis with more debt. And who would want to buy it?

#5 The Great Recession aka The Great Deleveraging hasn't even really started. You've got another 10 or so years of inflation and debt repayment/forgiveness to get even close to balancing the books. It's not going to have a chance to get fully underway until the Eurozone stops dragging everyone down, and at the rate they keep kicking the can (see #1 above) that is another couple of years away. Then you'll have two - three years of turmoil, and that's not factoring in China, America, or war in Iran. 2020 at the earliest.

Total US government debt topped US$16 trillion for the first time on Friday, the WSJ says, with total federal borrowing marching toward the US$16.394 trillion borrowing limit.
The Treasury Department said total government debt hit $16,015,769,788,215.80 on Friday, up $25 billion from the day before.

Gareth - I have been wondering when someone at was going to mention this.
Things will get interesting in the US around December.

It's effectively impossible for the US to default on its public debt. the borrowing limit is artificial, its simply political posturing.
Have a look at private US debt approx. 300% of GDP. $50 trillion ;)

I don't think the issue is whether they will/can default or not.  The issue is whether the debt holders still believe that the US dollar is still worth anything.

wow....seems to be accelerating.....and with a Romney win in November.....
USD GDP is about 8 trillion so its now 200% of GDP....even paying that down at 5% per annum is a big ask.....wont happen of course....the la la land of make believe.....

I think US GDP is about $15T Steven. Take out Federal, State and Local Government spending  to give  private sector GDP and its probably only about $8T. Of course the debt figure is only for federal debt, they have three levels of government and I know that most of the states have huge debt burdens as well. I will try and get some actual facts when I have a chance.

Yes, 15t it seems, hmm wonder where I go 8th from...
that curve looks awfully expotential...
PS I wonder whats real GDP ie what % of the GDP is based on real goods as opposed to financial mumbo jumbo...its the real GDP that will have to be used to pay back the real debt in the end.
...To get just over $16X1012 which means it took 286 days to go from $15 to $16 trillion: $3.5 billion in extra debt every day.

This is how they got there:
Yes we can Obama will add more debt in this term than all the presidents did from Washington to Clinton.
The federal budget deficit for 2012 will be larger than the entire U.S. national debt was 30 years ago.
And that's not taking into account future unsustainable liabilities like veterans' healthcare and government pensions. By one estimate the true debt is $222 Tn.
If you count a dollar a second it takes 500,000 years to get to 16 trillion.

It's also worth noting that a big chunk of the administration's spending which Romney et al have been squawking about has been under a Republican-controlled House.  
Good luck to Romney in turning that around.

Western Australia's grain crops 'on knife' edge'.

Read this from Naked Capitalism
7) Europe, ex. Germany, is in recession.
9) China’s economy is slowing down.  Since China is the main engine of the world economy, followed by the US, this is really bad.  If it goes into an actual recession, bend over and kiss your butt goodbye.
10) Austerity is a means by which the rich can buy up assets which are not normally on the market for cheap.
13) For people earning less than about 80K, the economy never really recovered.
16) Australia, having tied itself completely to China is about to reap the downside of that decision.
17) Wages are being systematically broken in the developed world.  The rich do not believe they need you, except as wage-slave labor.  You will all be company store slaves, paying rental streams to everyone to be allowed to continued to eke out a miserable existence.
21) The money the Fed floods into the financial markets (quantitative easing, among others) is mostly NOT getting to ordinary people, and whatever Bernanke and his apologists say, it was never intended to.  It is intended to prop up financial actors, and keep the rich richer.  It has done what it is supposed to do.

Goldenfox - Its called the rat-race for a reason. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result.  


prolly too subtle there Stevo......not bad, becoming quite the card , are you not...?

Steven - before you get all excited - think again. You can choose to stay in the rat-race or get out of it. 

So true Notaneco......That is what I'd sincerly love to do, but I've still got to figure out how to leave the rat  in me behind.....
Cynicism is after all a state of mind, but unfortunately the main drive cog for the rat mentality.

Count - taking the rat out of your behind would be a start.

Ouch..! PDK.....I was just thinking , I don't give a rats ass, and then you pop up like a zen moment and point out that is exactly my problem.
 Cudos to you PDK  ....The Art of Motorcycle Maitenance got nothin on you my brother of another mother.

Motorcycles? Had a few.
Rectum, mostly.

Oh....sounds painfull..!..glad to see your up and about.

notan e - actually, it's a little more complicated than that. Opting out completely can/does end up being 'illegal' (not surprising, you're turning you back on the 'rules') and therefore can curtail your enjoyment through punishment. As this should be avoided (although I respect Mandela and others like him who endure on principle) you have to make some judgement calls. You also have to formulate a moral code - which may mesh with some of the rules, not with others - and stick to it.
The rules - look at housing this last few years - get harder to circumvent with time, arguably that's the tragedy of the commons playing out on a finite planet......

The Clint Eastwood fiasco you can laugh off but American politics, in general, beggars belief.
Seriously, are they all insane? Supposedly the best politicians money can buy and they can't put together a budget, are effectively destroying their middle classes and are in the complete control of Wall st. and the big corporations. Bush, Obama, Romney, Ryan - liars, show ponies and simpletons. Is this the best they can come up with from 350 million people? God save America.

"When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America you get a front row seat." - George Carlin

bring dack the kennedy clan.
at least they didn't waste their time coming up with a crappy budget.
they had more important things to do.
marilyn monroe springs to mind.

Its very strange, somehow the middle class whos income actually fell this year will still vote Republican en mass....and then the rednecks of course.....V8 driving, gun totting, born again christians....
GOP, yes they are ALL insane IMHO.
Im still trying to determine if Client E's performance was a comedy sketch or not, if he ever claims it was then I think I just have to believe one can seriously stand up on stage and say the lies he said and get applause to boot and not be in la la land.
Mind boggling......

and the next ponzi scheme sold by the oil industry and oh what a surprise US banks is....shale oil.
Comment on just how badly the US shale plays are doing,
the data suggest downright fraud on a massive scale, yet again.....

Has Israeli firm cracked electric car angst?
The BBC's Hugh Sykes tests out a new electric car that allows Israeli drivers to zip all over the country, without worrying about flat batteries.

MikeB - that was being done a while back
"The early cabs had 3 1/2 HP Lundell motors, ran at 9 MPH for about 30 miles, and featured quick-change battery boxes".
The problem is what you use to generate your electricity.
so 99.9% fossil fuels, then, just very inefficiently delivered.
Why are there so many dreamers who don't 'get it' ?

It's not 'eco-nuts' who tout electric cars - mainly it's middle-class folk who realise there's a problem, but who want to believe their lifestyle can outlast peak oil. The wish outweighs the known reality - cogtnitive dissonance in other words.
Their lifestyle - based on the mosr powerful-per-litre energy source -  can't outlast it's peak supply rate..
But we will apply renewable energy (eventually the only source) to all things. I suspect micro-cars and bikes in cities, public transport between them, oil rationed to food production, but that's assuming social cohesion, which probably presupposes a no-growth fiscal system......

Oil price is the trump card. Presently the only reason it's below $100 a barrel is because the world economy is stuffed.
The economy improves, oil goes up, the economy tanks again.
It will continue this way indefinitely unless we bring about fundamental change.
That means throwing out our obscene debt-based economic system which cannot survive without continuous growth. That system isn't going to be abandoned any time soon without bloody revolution so basically we're f**ked.
Urewera refugee Tama Iti's onto it. Time to go bush with PDK.

OMG you seem to have a great ability to find the papers by vested interests and usually dubious sources to say the least. For someone who was supposedly a teacher, thank god I or my children dont bring work to you for marking is all I can say.
"a paper by local engineer Gary Kendall. Also, incidentally, one of the original members of the CCG"
so no bias or vested interests then.
uh huh.
but I have what looks like his pdf, I will look at it in detail.
My first comment is he doesnt appear to cite his qualifications to claim he is an engineer,  B.Eng(Hons) etc goes a long way to satisfy me he might be creditable as his membership of the above kooky group doesnt.
For instance he quotes large vehicles which are never going to work on batteries.....also transformer losses seem transmission losses I think are more like 4%, while he says 10% but I need to check that....such things make huge differences.
Also a charging quote at 60amps and 240v single phase for an american vehicle, I would have expected 115volts for the the end of the piece I'd have expected him to cite the works he used as reference, he doesnt.
It will be interesting/fun to go through this.....I'll put a spreadsheet together.
Apart from all that you still done seem to get "PDK" power down kiwi (s) that is the only option
The kicker though is simple economics....Electric cars are 3 times the cost and last at most 2/3rds of a std car (so 20k v 65k and 20 years v 12 years) They are not going to work economically for me, you and I suspect most new zealanders. So when Gary says 300,000 cars he's probably right!  only the very rich will have such "luxury", simple maths.

This is not a static situation.
Presently the sums don't add up. Battery replacement costs—both price and environmental—, lithium shortage, charging or battery swap infrastructure, battery recycling, it goes on and on... Presently, the most efficient diesel cars are more efficient than their electric or hybrid counterparts.
However, the game will change. Solar panel and fuel cell technology and battery technology have made a lot of progress recently and will continue to do so.
Although we're going to have to get out of our cars, electric or not, the indications are that electric vehicles will at least eventually be a better alternative than the status quo.
The infernal combustion engine is a very inefficient device. The thermodynamic efficiency of the overall process will eventually make transferring the pollution from the exhaust pipe to the power station chimney a "less bad" alternative.

The internal combustion engine is indeed an inefficient device, but so is coal-fired electricity....

Putting my retired marine engineer hat on. :)
Most ICE engines have efficiencies of 20-30% but very large marine diesels (up to 80,000 kW) can nudge 50%. To get to such high efficiencies requires a lot of tacked on ancillaries which won't easily fit in a small vehicle.
A combined-cycle thermal power station can exceed 60% efficiency - just.
Probably the best solution for small vehicles right now is technology that's been available for decades. You install a very small 1 cylinder diesel driving a generator. Because it runs at constant speed and power output it can be optimised for relatively high efficiency.
The diesel generator charges a battery (which doesn't have to be very big) and which, aided by the generator when it's running,  powers electric motors built into the wheels. 
The size of the diesel generator can be relatively small because its output only has to match average vehicle power consumption. Most vehicles running now require an engine which is optimised for high power but which spends 90% of its life operating inefficiently at a much lower output.

Blue Funnel / Elder Dempster in my case...
CHPs can do better when the match is good, typically get to 80~86%. The problem is getting good use off the "waste" steam"  Ive done some laundry and absorption chiller setups that did very well.  One we ran the plant on the steam demand and sold power back to the electricity company, payback under 3 years incl replacement gas turbine (4megawatt) with warantees of 3 years on the "self-sustaining" in money terms.   Others were catapillar deisels 1mw (x3) each hot water at 122deg C (thermal limit of cyl head) into absorption chillers...for summer plate exchangers for winter heating.
I agree on deisel mainly because it would / could then run bio-deisel which is trivial tech to make, unlike bio-petrol.
I think the chevy volt will have a 1500cc engine, but petrol not in the drive train either.

@ steven
20 years grey funnel (RNZN engine room artificer and then commissioned EO), 20 years merchant including C/E in Maersk and Jardines.

While digging google I came across this site,
Lists (some of) my ships....amazing what google finds that ppl have setup.

What a load of blather.
Steven, it was you who was ripping into GBH claiming he wasn't paying tax and would come back to NZ to claim super. When your mate PDK admits he hasn't paid tax for nearly 30 years and is "eligible" for the hand out you spring to his defence.
As far as educating your children - that dubious privilege I happily passed on. Of course now that you admit to having had children, you are indeed the source of your fantasy "climate" problem. I have only one CO2 breather.
The clock is ticking, steven, the hatred, bigotry and prejudice you and PDK daily spread here will catch up with you both. Carpe diem! Try to be happy.
Thank you for handing me your tiny head on a plate - yet again, LOL!

OMG - you have a serious problem with comprehension, and the truth.
At no time did I say I 'Hadn't paid tax for nearly 30 years'.
I said I'd earned little, and paid in kind. I explained what I do - real social input - in lieu of a bigger fiscal contribution. I also stated that I don't 'claim' all the nonsense that one can (office space, phone, etc). I also stated that I don't expect the only benefit i might come into - the pension in 7 years time, currently  - to be there, nor am I bargaining on it.
Kindly withdraw and apologise.

"paid in kind" - what you wrote is nonsense. 
The pension will still be there in 7 years and you'll be there with your hand out.
No apology needed.

The point is you wrote a lie, were told it was a lie, and were asked to retract it.

You need to explain your comment above in detail.
"I said I'd earned little, and paid in kind. I explained what I do - real social input - in lieu of a bigger fiscal contribution"
How can anyone  read that as being "tax" paid
A satisfactory answer and I will withdraw and apologise

You need to refer to the interchange in question. Which you misquoted in statement form.
I earned little, therefore paid little in tax.
That suits my 'tread lightly on the planet, give future generations a chance' philosophy.
I do, however, appreciate what my society gives me, and do my bit to repay it. Hours of work maintaining/running the local school/comunity pool, weeks of rescue-boating, coaching, teaching skills (was at a school Tuesday, teaching straw-bale construction). It's my contribution - and it's a real one.
Mind you, what p....s me off is those who pay no tax (particularly the ones who make 'capital gains' on existing items) and the fact that ACC hammers those who earn little.

Then in that case call it a truce. Believe it or not there are many things we would agree about. I have done a great deal of voluntary work myself and still do here in HK. Unearned income irks me too. The only obnoxious people I met out of the many thousands who stayed at our B&B were rich folks living off others - they always wanted a bargain, yet we were cheaper than a motel. I worked two jobs ( including our business ) for 10 years - 7 days a week, on top of pruning trees, my only "relaxation"
I gave you all a heads up with the investment I have committed to a few weeks ago. I'm not going to repeat it but I expect some here have taken a punt and put their toes in the water. When there is something more concrete I'll share it - in about two weeks. 
Have a nice day.

Fantasy on your part OMG...
What you write here will be googlable for years if not decades.
Hate is a strong word, I certainly dislike your lack of objectivness or in-ability to do analysis without blinkers....
So if its I hate [your form of] lies, then yes, sure sign me up.
One breather, sure so you have no interest or stake in the future....such self-centre is obvious.

Ive started to look at his paper and the boobs are starting to come out.
For instance page 5 the biggest, he states 60amps at 240volts needs 14kwh...."so you would have to re-wire your house".  True if you charge in ONE hour. Which isnt what is going to happen.  A MiEV has a 16kw battery and charges from close to empty in about 7 hours, so really its 2kw (ish) per hour....a 10amp curcuit is almost there or yes OK wire in a dedicated 20amp biggee, 2.5mm2 cable.....a few dollars per M.....RCCD, <$500. 
His grid transformer losses are huge, realistically its more like 6.5% he's suggesting what looks like 20%.
then his politics,
wonder if this is the same guy....

I tried to get onto the paper, no luck and no boobs on show either. Big let down there Steven. 3, UK Dailiy Mail?  Sun?

He then goes on to say 300,000 cars at he's allowing no diversification, 300,000 cars every night in one hour.....and arrives at 5400MW....peak load.....
So 7 charges per week is his expectation. An 2010+ A G trim (bigger battery) MiEV does 180km per charge. You can pick the diversification but really 2 charges per week is far more realistic...spread across 300,000 cars and assuming commuting 5 days a week, 20km each way.  (sure pick your own numbers)....
So on my number is 85k cars charging each night at about 2kw each for 7 hours, 176kw demand per night.  Now I'd expect everyone to charge Sunday night "just to be sure" so its likely to be higher on some nights. I'd pick Sunday night, Wednesday night and Friday night as the three heaviest nights.  Lets say 3x or 500KW...
Another boob of his, of course its night load when the cars will mostly be charging, so the extra capacity needed is probably zero.
This was quick and dirty so by all means point out any errors Ive made.

Where world crop prices could be going this year,
"it wasn’t just the U.S. grain harvest that was failing — drought across Russia was tempting the Kremlin to shut down grain exports for the second time in three years, and the Indian monsoon was fitful at best, with large parts of the subcontinent’s grain belt in official drought. Corn and soybeans were fetching 30 percent and then 40 percent more then they had just weeks before. Where it wasn’t drought, it was deluge — the U.K. was enduring the wettest weather in its history, and Beijing the worst flooding in its modern history."

In that alone resides a war, next year is going to be chaos when the supplies are exhausted.

Steven the oil in america is doing fine ive got stock in US based companies
there doing great. All up north boom times top grade oil surplus nat gas hundreds of
years of oil and thats below Canada

Baz, Exxon, yes but the shale plays, well they look extreme;y dodgy.
Your money after all.

That's the issue though Steven, it's the money!  But at what cost?
Reading up on the Alberta Tar Sands operations and words don't come close to explaining what an environmental disaster it appears to be.  But, hey, who cares as long as the "economic" benefits keep rolling in.
The globalization of the industrial system over the last century has pushed the Earth beyond her capacity to mitigate the impact of humans and created enormous inequity amongst humans. The era of excess, instant gratification, and production and consumption as our raison d'être, will have to end if we are to bequeath a viable planet to our children. Insatiable economic growth cannot continue if our children are to have a future. The dominant culture needs to find ways to grow other than accumulating endless things. Surely our human intelligence we are so proud of can aspire to more than becoming mindless consumers?
If we do not understand that the crises we face are symptoms of a deeper moral, ethical and spiritual crisis, no technical fixes will help us. Creating a viable future is about justice - for humans, for the Earth, and future generations of all species.
Thus we need to ensure that we find a mutually enhancing way to live on our planet, our only home.

2 things about alberta,
1) Its EROEI is not exceeding 6 to 1 and indeed it may not even be 5 to 1.  The problem with that is its below what our "modern" economy can stand.  What I have seen written is 10 to 1 though PDK says 8 to 1, either way its well below, so its Peter being robbed to pay Paul somewhere.
2) Yes its environmental demands, yes polution and water...whatever its output isnt likely to get significantly higher there isnt the water to do it.
Both the above point at someone(s) being severly, adversly effected and not standing for it....
"mindless consumers" indeed....consumerism though is dead, cant be sustained.

Also, these sources of oil and gas have much shorter "half-lives" than conventional oil fields. So many of the projections on the quantities to be extracted are off by an order of magnitude or two.
Fortunately :)

It has been said that the Chinese are the most patient race on Earth.  They will have to be given the latest Crafar farm saga.

The big question today - unasked by Checkpoint, was about the mussel farm that went into receivership
That article doesn't mention it, but the manager said that they'd had a 'slow growth' season.
I've long pointed out here, that unless totally fed, aquaculture was going to be a 'mining' operation, akin to farming without fertiliser. They had to be an intrusion into an already-existing food web, although so messed around by existing fisting that the base-line must be hard to identify. Anyone know if they feed this lot? Mussels usually filter plankton. Or is it a slow-down in the food-chain?
Do we have a plankton-supply reduction? That's more serious than any interest rate.