South Ossetia

Georgia and Russia Nearing All-Out War
By Anne Barnard
August 9, 2008
NYT

The conflict between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia moved toward all-out war on Saturday as Russia prepared to land ground troops on Georgia’s coast and broadened its bombing campaign both within Georgia and in the disputed territory of Abkhazia.

The fighting that began when Georgian forces tried to retake the capital of South Ossetia, a pro-Russian region that won de facto autonomy from Georgia in the early 1990s, appeared to be developing into the worst clashes between Russia and a foreign military since the 1980s war in Afghanistan.

Georgia’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili, declared that Georgia was in a state of war, ordering government offices to work around the clock, and said that Russia was planning a full-scale invasion of his country.

Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline

Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline

Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, eclipsing the authority of President Dmitri A. Medvedev, left the Olympics in China and arrived Saturday evening in Vladikavkaz, a city in southern Russia just over the border that is a military staging area. State-controlled news broadcasts showed Mr. Putin meeting generals, suggesting that he was in charge of the operations on Georgian soil.

Mr. Putin made clear that Russia now viewed Georgian claims over the breakaway regions within its borders to be invalid, and that Russia had no intention of withdrawing. “There is almost no way we can imagine a return to the status quo,” he said, according to Interfax.

Russian armored vehicles continued to stream into South Ossetia, and Russian officials said that 1,500 civilians had been killed in South Ossetia and that 12 Russian soldiers had died.

A Georgian government spokesman said that 60 civilians had been killed in airstrikes on the city of Gori. Each side’s figures were impossible to confirm independently.

Attending the Olympic Games in Beijing, President Bush directly called on Russia on Saturday to stop bombing Georgian territory, expressing strong support for Georgia in a direct challenge to Russia’s leaders.

“Georgia is a sovereign nation, and its territorial integrity must be respected,” Mr. Bush said in a hastily arranged appearance at his hotel in Beijing. “We have urged an immediate halt to the violence and a stand-down by all troops. We call for the end of the Russian bombings.”

~zk~

I'm curious about the abundance of sloppily arranged reactive armor on these bad boys. You see this on older Israeli tanks, but it seems to be done better. I confess I don't know what these are. I would like to think modern T-80s.

A Lesson on U.S. Need for Russia
By Helene Cooper
August 9, 2008
NYT

What did Mr. Putin do? First, he repudiated President Nicolas Sarkozy of France in Beijing, refusing to budge when Mr. Sarkozy tried to dissuade Russia from its military operation. “It was a very, very tough meeting,” a senior Western official said afterward. “Putin was saying, ‘We are going to make them pay. We are going to make justice.’ ”

Then, Mr. Putin flew from Beijing to a region that borders South Ossetia, arriving after an announcement that Georgia was pulling its troops out of the capital of the breakaway region. He appeared ostensibly to coordinate assistance to refugees who had fled South Ossetia into Russia, but the Russian message was clear: This is our sphere of influence; others stay out.

“What the Russians just did is, for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union, they have taken a decisive military action and imposed a military reality,” said George Friedman, chief executive of Stratfor, a geopolitical analysis and intelligence company. “They’ve done it unilaterally, and all of the countries that have been looking to the West to intimidate the Russians are now forced into a position to consider what just happened.”

~zk~

Capturing projectile at muzzle velocity - Pretty Cool. Or Photoshop?

Taunting the Bear
By James Traub
August 9, 2008
NYT – Week In Review (4000 words)

Russia Resurgent

It was, of course, at this very moment that another ambitious young figure was reshaping Russia’s politics, economy and self-image. The combination of Vladimir Putin’s reforms and the dizzying rise in the price of oil and gas have rapidly restored Russia to the status of world power. And Mr. Putin has harnessed that power in the service of aggressive nationalism.

Marshall Goldman, a leading Russia scholar, argues in a recent book that Mr. Putin has established a “petrostate,” in which oil and gas are strategically deployed as punishments, rewards and threats. The author details the lengths to which Mr. Putin has gone to retain control over the delivery of natural gas from Central Asia to the West. A proposed alternative pipeline would skirt Russia and run through Georgia, as an oil pipeline now does. “If Georgia collapses in turmoil,” Mr. Goldman notes, “investors will not put up the money for a bypass pipeline.” And so, he concludes, Mr. Putin has done his best to destabilize the Saakashvili regime.

Beautiful country. Now let's destroy it.

This entry was posted by JR.

44 thoughts on “South Ossetia

  1. Nice graphics, JR. Just when you think there’s enough to worry about with looming PO and CC (Climate Change), up jumps the war card. Let’s hope things don’t get too far out of hand.

  2. Bet you won’t like this as a first comment…

    But then again, maybe you can hear me…

    I am so paranoid. I wonder if all that work up about attacking Iran was subterfuge for this, the real move.

    Then again, it is interesting that, with this move, US forces now exist on three sides of Iran.

    Okay, I admit it, except that it is about the oil, I have no clue what the big plan is.

    We need to stop paying our taxes and stop this shit. Fuck McInsane. Fuck Obama. (Wanted something clever to defile his name with but Old Mamma, or BareAss Obama, were all I could think of. Not worthy).

    Fuck the stock market.
    Fuck the dollar.
    Fuck fiat currency.
    Fuck currency collapse.
    Fuck banking.
    Fuck insolvency.
    Fuck gold and silver.
    Fuck inflation.
    Fuck deflation, stagflation, any flation you got, fuck it.
    Fuck the USA.
    Fuck Europe.
    Fuck China, Japan, Zimbabwe, Argentina, and Brazil.
    Fuck Russia and Israel.
    Fuck conspiracy theorists.
    Fuck the Fed.
    Fuck the FDIC.
    Fuck Bush, Chenney, and John Edwards.
    Fuck his cancer ridden wife too. What the hell.
    Since we are going after the innocents…
    Fuck depleted uranium.
    Fuck fetuses exposed to depleted uranium.
    Fuck cleft palate, brain damage, and deformity.
    Fuck soldiers exposed to depleted uranium.
    Fuck habitat destruction, pollution, climate change…
    What cho got, lets fuck it, we are having a goddamned orgy here.
    Fuck peak oil.
    Fuck all energy.
    Fuck Cuntsler.
    Fuck-it-all.

    Let me off the Goddamn merry-go-planet with its ego maniacs and rigged systems.

    We can’t stop you say? It is the only game in town you say? Not good enough. We can do better than this. Act locally you say? Okay. But get this, NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Acting locally won’t stop this shit. We are helpless because we believe we are helpless.

    The only reason they let us have the internet is because we can let off steam bitching. Arm chair lap top warriors. But we don’t do shit. Nothing. Nada. A vote is a joke. Voting with your dollars is a joke. Conjecture this, that, and the other, all fucking day long. Does not accomplish shit.

    No balls, no guts, no glory (unless it is the local glory hole, now that is acting locally).

    We suck.

    I feel helpless about this new war. Did you guess?

  3. @Doom –

    It’s all stolen from the New York Times, except for the pipeline map, and TOD has a better one (I’ll link to that thread soon). These are some of my favorites. You might have noticed that missing so far are any photos of the destruction and dead civilians. But it’s in the works.

    Although I’m well versed in conflict in the Caucasus, I’m still getting up to speed on what happened in the last two days, and honestly don’t have any opinions or anything approaching original thoughts yet.

    @ MOU – Welcome back. We’ve been wondering where you were.

    “Bet you won’t like this as a first comment…”

    No, but as a second one it does quite well.

    I’m curious as to whether or not the CIA is going to be shown clueless about this one as well. certainly nobody else saw it coming, even though everybody is scrambling to say there were signs going back years, yadda, yadda.

    Interesting was a comment on TOD referencing Jerome a Paris(editor) who had said in one of his blog posts that the neocons has pushed this somehow.

    I don’t think you are alone in the “helplessness feeling” department. You just proved you were human. Maybe more than most, since it takes the ability to deeply, honestly assess one’s own feelings to write that kinda stuff.

    I was very surprised when a couple acquaintences on Friday night showed they were actually aware of this war happening. They had already seen video and were curious to learn more about Georgia and Russia. I could have hugged them, I was so proud of them. Small changes? Good news? Probably just(sorry thal) random. No need to get excited.

  4. I’ve been a subscriber for about the last five years to John Mauldin’s free e-mail newsletter. Here’s an excerpt from Friday’s letter and there’s a website address at the bottom for the whole newsletter and more of Friedman’s comments:

    But first, a quick note. George Friedman from Stratfor was at my daughter’s wedding rehearsal dinner last night. He had just found out about the invasion of South Ossetia by Georgia and was keeping track of the events over his Blackberry from his correspondents on the ground in Georgia.

    The media is not particularly excited over the events in Ossetia and Georgia, and the markets seem indifferent. It’s much more important than it looks. This the first time since the fall of Communism that the Russians have directly and openly intervened in the former Soviet Union under the claim, made by Dmitri Medvedev, that Russia is the guarantor of security in the Caucasus. That’s what the Russian Prime Minister Putin also said. Russia has claimed a sphere of influence in the Caucasus. And that is of historical importance. (Think Monroe Doctrine.)

    This is payback for Kosovo. Putin didn’t want an independent Kosovo and was ignored with contempt. Payback is an independent Ossetia, with Russian military intervention guaranteeing it. If it’s good enough for the Americans and Europeans, it’s good for the Russians too. Why the Georgians invaded Ossettia is opaque. For some reason they felt they had to move. The Russians were clearly ready and by dawn had armored formations in South Ossettia and air strikes in Georgia. (The Russian army is about 40 times the size of Georgia, and far better equipped.)

    http://www.frontlinethoughts.com

  5. I didn’t read frontline thoughts yet. I hope you read the 4000 word analysis I posted. I’m psyched you saw this.

    “Why the Georgians invaded Ossettia is opaque. For some reason they felt they had to move. The Russians were clearly ready and by dawn had armored formations in South Ossettia and air strikes in Georgia.”

    The issue of who started what is a big one. I’m staying clear for now, but you have to wonder about the timing. All those involved would have known beyond a shadow of a doubt that the two most important people in the conflict – Bush and Putin – would be in Beijing at the wrong hour.

    And if it was Putin who started it – this knowledge would be doubly effective. Because he would have 100% knowledge and his adversary off-balance when it came time for the first press-conference.

    Condi Rice and the CIA caught flat-footed again.

    OK, so I’m not so “clear of this issue” anymore. I threw in.

  6. Hi,

    FYI, I was on the road and in the air being a compliant worker bee.

    According to the article below, the US military (also known as us or we) is there “training” them.

    U.S. troops get ready for exercise in Georgia
    http://www.stripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=62888&archive=true

    Though the article claims they do this somewhere every year with those countries, and that it had nothing to do with any conflicts…those are a lot of munitions to “train” with. Oh yeah, and are those munitions there now? Usable by the Georgians? How about the US personnel?

    Have they bombed Hawai’i yet? Texas? I understand they have some secessionists there too.

    All that “practice” I don’t care what country hosted it what year, has been about being ready to do what is happening here. If it is such a surprise to the US, why don’t they tell Georgia and Russia to both back off and stop the bullshit? Instead we hear Bush carping about Georgia’s rights as a sovereign nation. Hey buddy, could be Georgia pulled the trigger wrong by accident? Why are you so sure Russia is the bad guy? So quick?

    Because they have the story line worked out already for the world stage, that is why.

    They can get away with anything. I knew it would be bad when he was elected, but I did not have the imagination to conjure up this stuff. If you submitted it as a fiction story, it would get rejected as not believable.

    Hope ya’ll are well.

  7. Gyaa, I am besides myself watching this unfold.

    Maybe this is but the itty bitty opening act to the bigger general-area troubles that have the potential to break out?

    For the record, I still say “Go Putin!!” when my boss (another SUV-driving Bush-supporting chickenhawk) isn’t watching. Putin is using all our Bush phrases against us .. “energy security” .. “being the guarantor of regional security” .. and more. I love the idea of him being in Beijing, probably not far from Bushbaby, right while it was all getting started. Did he smirk a little when some functionary passed the news to Georgie?

    Once this thing gets moving, and the great Eye of Mordor is obsessed with it, pay close attention to what happens elsewhere. It was just a week ago, or less, that Putin expressed some new interest in Cuba. Things between Israel and Hezbollah (the respective sockpuppets of the US and Iran) could heat up anytime .. and I wonder how differently round 2 will go if the latter equips its people with SAMs, one of the types of portable weaponry conspicuously missing from the last conflict. Things could also get interesting anytime in Nigeria, source of the light sweet stuff so beloved for making gasoline, and several weeks closer to us (in shipping time) than whatever’s in the middle east.

    In keeping with that “Always look on the bright side of life” thing, one of the better outcomes I’m hoping for is an arrest to that annoying slide in the prices of liquid fuels.

  8. “Gyaa” is an oldie from the SNES days .. try the harder Zelda game.

    The original movie quote was from “They Live” starring rowdy Roddy Piper, altered for this use.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096256/

    Putin has pulled yet another mindfuck on the grinning chimp sitting alone at the poker table.

  9. JR-

    Did you get that e-mail I sent you last week on the Boeing plant in WWII? It may be caught in your spam filter.

  10. Yipe. My niece’s family was hosting an exchange student from Georgia (the nation, not Planet Georgia). I hope she’s going to be OK. Better yet, I hope she’s here & out of any potential crossfire.

    I wonder if Bush-league still looks into Pooty-Poot’s eyes and sees that same benign spirit there.

  11. Nudge, I saw your comment/question at CFN and its echo here at ZK: “It was just a week ago, or less, that Putin expressed some new interest in Cuba.”

    I’m working on an article for ZK that is going to touch on this and a related panorama of concerns. It’ll be a few more weeks before I send it to JR for his consideration. Between the Olympics and new wars breaking out left and right, distractions are legion. But I’ll get it done. It’s coming into full view and floating toward the cross-hairs. ;-)

  12. @EE –

    Yes, I got it. It’s awesome. It’s easily the best photo thingy I’ve ever received.

  13. And speaking of fucking depleted uranuim, what’s in those square packets pasted all over them new Russkie tanks? Is that DU for extra armor, or some kind of stealthy radar avoidance stuff? Packs of Russkie-Cuban tobacco? (I’ll bet the soliders wished that were true.)

  14. If anyone is surprised by this, they haven’t been paying attention. Putin smells weakness in the US and smells fear of freezing in Europe. Loss of the satellite states and buffer zone around Russia apparently was given short shrift by the clowns in DC, where they like to spend billions making the simple truths complex lies.

    Note to Obama – Putin is likely comfortable with the use and maintenance of an ice pick.

  15. Thanks MOU for providing the stark reality to attenuate the pap and circumspect of the MSMFM.

  16. damn mou, you sure got your panties in a bunch. maybe you’ll let me smell them sometime. no skid marks though.

  17. @Remus –

    On your 12:51am post. This is a very interesting article. There is one sentence early on that is pure propaganda. It is mixed in with analysis that is workaday. Then there is some interesting stuff, it starts to cook, but then contradicts itself. The tell is that Moscow knew it was going to happen.

    I still refuse to state an opinion on this war ( I slipped a little two days ago). I don’t know what happened. I wasn’t there. I know nobody involved. I’ve got Tipping pissed at Nudge on CFN. It looks like Nudge read your article right before she posted. I’ve got ample “evidence” to back either one of them. I’m hoping MOU will step in and broker a ceasefire.

    I knew one thing the second I saw it. That this was going to be a hottie.

    OK, so I should read the last ahlf now. Good stuff.

  18. “I knew one thing the second I saw it. That this was going to be a hottie.”

    Congrats, JR, that could turn out to be the understatement of the week, month, year, depending on how it unravels. If the Russian Army leaves Georgia, for example, and heads east toward Baku, or (less likely) south, into Turkey, it’s going to be hold your butt time.

  19. It was slow over on CFN .. so this is where y’all are.

    The latest news says that Putin’s better half has ordered a halt to the Georgian operation. It remains to be seen whether this means they return to Russia, remain in their present [forward] positions, or move on to somewhere else. I’m guessing #2.

    The news also says that the televised fireworks from the olympics opening ceremony were in fact CGI and not real. LOLz. NBC treated it as the real thing.

    Perhaps tomorrow’s news will contain something about how the relay swimming team of [fill in the nation] scored poorly because a shark suddenly appeared in the pool during the event. Ahh, JR, I need to quit this stuff and go work for the Onion.

    As to TP, well, I love TP but just threw a quart of unleaded on the fire. Hopefully the conflagration won’t last long.

  20. When it comes right down to it, Georgia and the pipeline are Europe’s problems. If they don’t want to do anything about it, that’s their decision.

    They could if they wanted — France & Britain have nukes, Turkey’s a NATO member & definitely an interested party with Georgia on their border. Why the hell should we do their dirty work for them?

  21. FAR,

    I see your POV, and agree that, for now, it is Europe’s problem. But from the larger geopolitical and resource perspective, milquetoast isn’t going to cut it. I may be wrong, but implicit to your POV in your 9:47 post is that it should NOT be US lives and treasure that is spent in response to the Bear. If so, I agree, as you may have ascertained from my UR “what if” post.

    And from the NATO perspective, aspiring wannabes have to be asking themselves WTF and whats the point of being in NATO if THIS is the kind of response I can expect?

    Doing nothing emboldens the Bear and this Bear has teeth.

  22. Apparently, being a member of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (as Georgia is) and $1.95 will get you a Café Americano at Starbucks.

    http://www.nato.int/pfp/eapc-cnt.htm

    Browsing around at TOD yesterday, I saw an interesting thread of comments about the Russia-Georgia situation. Someone suggested that NATO should immediately grant membership to Ukraine. Yes, an accelerated NATO membership drive might be an interesting way to rebuke the bear.

    Indulge Me For A Moment: If Turkey can be a part of NATO, why not Iran? Try to contain your laughter… I allow myself to ponder highly improbable diplomatic maneuverings. Moreover, such a turn of events would be the ultimate calling of Ruskie bluff and a possible solution to various other problems as well.

    Doom, the bear might be walking around with war wood right now, but (to borrow from dave’s parlance) is it packing enough of a steel pipe to turn into Turkey? Don’t think so. Not yet anyway.

  23. Holmes, agree, but just to point out the stakes involved, if they did “go for broke” and head into Turkey, it would likely result in WWIII. The bear heading towards Baku would be bad enough. So far, there is an air of subtlety in these moves, bloody as they are “on the ground”, and it is encouraging that the Russians are either negotiating or apparently willing to do so with what’s left of Georgia.

  24. “Doing nothing emboldens the Bear and this Bear has teeth.”–UR

    OK, so what’s their next move? Poland? Kosovo?

  25. Hm. If I got it right, Georgia poked the bear by shelling/invading S. Ossetia. There’s a certain amount of hypocrisy on Saakasvili’s (did I spell that right?) part: It was OK for Georgia to declare independence from Russia, based on ethnic considerations, but it isn’t OK for majority-Russian provinces to break away from Georgia, based on ethnic considerations?

    Poking a bear is never a good idea, and Saakashit got mauled for it. At least it looks like both sides are unwinding into a ceasefire now. And did the pipeline ever get zapped? I know BT shut it down because they were afraid it would, but I haven’t heard anything about it taking a direct hit. In any case, maybe both sides will be willing to do some horse-trading. Russia will be dealing from a position of strength — but if Georgia’s leadership thought it would ever be different, they’re even more delusional than Bush-league or Ahminejerk.

  26. D3PO,

    Good question. But this is a smart Bear and a one with significant non-military advantages in addition to being on the ground militarily. Putin had a good hand and he has played it. Now he is waiting to see what the dealer tosses him diplomatically in Georgia. Putin’s pot is also not leveraged – Europe’s is and by proxy, so is ours.

    He also sent a message to ethnic Russian (and wannabes) enclaves that Mother Russia’s arms are open and yes that is a gun in Daddy’s pocket.

    I am probably wrong on this, but I think ultimately Putin is playing chess with China and poker with the west. Toe to toe with the Rooskies is not on the table; Putin knows it and in their hearts, so does Europe. Bush/Cheney is more bully than anything and Russia is still clearly a formidable foe, especially in the strategery department.

    I think Putin will be calling a lot more BS before it is all over. The end game is, I believe, getting back the buffer zone in the west, bringing as many former Soviet satellites back into the new Russian Federation fold as is possible without having to resort to Georgia-like tactics (but has clearly shown the willingness to do so) and expand the energy extortion racket as far as the market will bear. Without scaring the Germans into the 30’s, again.

  27. “Russia will be dealing from a position of strength — but if Georgia’s leadership thought it would ever be different, they’re even more delusional than Bush-league or Ahminejerk.”

    Amen to that.

  28. I’ve been reading this new history of the CIA by NYT writer Tim Wiener – “Legacy of Ashes.” I’ve only read about 150 pages, but I jumped into the middle during the 1950’s for starters and I’ve been reading slowly and taking notes.

    One thing that seems pretty clear is that the CIA, State, Congress, Pentagon and White House (read “we”) from the start til way, way past his death got something wrong. Very wrong.

    Stalin and then the Soviet Union’s intentions.

    Stalin apparently never had any designs for expansion, which is the core basis for the Cold War. He was scared shit (or rational) about US power. His machinations in Eastern Europe were basically to create a vast human shield.

    I will continue to refrain from judgment and opinion on this war, but I keep these things in mind.

    Thank you all for contributing. You guys and gals make this site.

  29. Sorry for the crappy quality of the viddy…. In the late 1960s I was obsessed by Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s book, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch. Then, the movie of the same name came out with Tom Courtenay–I saw it in early 1972 and can still conjure up scenes from the film. Courtenay may have won and/or won an Oscar for his performance.

    Stalin was a pretty beastly guy… probably killed more folks in the gulag than Hitler did in his run of horror. According to famed writer and former Psychiatrist , Alice Miller, both Hitler and Stalin were horribly abused as children. Stalin was so badly beaten as a child that he was left with a deformed arm and, when he arose to power, had thousands of photos either retouched or destroyed to disguise that fact.

    Also, the Russians–like the populations of most “countries”– were not a monolithic culture, part of the reality behind the current conflict. There were also large parts of the population that were very superstitious and xenophobic which put Peter the Great’s fascination with and forays into Western culture all the more remarkable.

  30. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/jan/10/russia.business

    January 10, 2007

    Mrs Merkel’s unusual criticism was in stark contrast to her predecessor, Gerhard Schröder, who struck large and controversial energy deals with Russia and now heads a Russo-German consortium building a pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

    Europe’s largest economy gets more than a third of its oil from Russia and half of that arrives via the Druzhba pipeline. The closure sent shivers through Germany, although the country has legally required strategic oil reserves to last three months.

  31. EE, the Germans made a strategic mistake in not going nuclear in a big way, like the French. They have pushed wind and solar very hard, but they are limited in various ways. Biofuels and efficiency will not save them, so they must also consume FF. Than means being nice to Ivan, which must be a bitter pill for some of them, at least. It gets mighty cold in Northern Europe in the winter.

  32. Doom, I saw a BBC program on alternative energies this week. Part of the report echoed your concerns about there not being enough to supply everyone, especially as a lot of places in Europe are too far north and therefore receive insufficient sunlight to help in any significant way.

    One expert said that 20% of the sunlight could be converted into electricity using PV cells. He went on to say that some people in a German city (name escapes me now) saved up to $1200 per year on their electricity bills but that the cost of set-up was quite prohibitive – around $40,000 for five solar panels.

    He added that the state had pledged to generate 33% of power from alternative sources with an increased target of 45% by 2030 by offering subsidies to encourage uptake.

    The report stated that there had been a 60% growth rate in the solar industry since 2000 and this had driven up the price of solar panels for poorer countries.

    In Rizhao, China 90% of homes used solar panels to provide hot water and solar generated lighting for streets, parks and traffic lights was being used.
    Developers were now required to install solar hot water systems in all new buildings

    Criticisms of alternative energies were:

    Just because it was renewable didn’t mean that it was the right thing for a particular place;

    Manufacturing of solar panels was very big in China and this had caused a tripling in the price of silicone and made it unaffordable for most of the domestic market and therefore the construction of 2 coal-fired plants every week would continue;

    Wind turbines had doubled YOY, but were not possible without government subsidies;

    Expectations of renewables in China was too high, as coal is still much cheaper and it was unrealistic for richer countries to demand poorer countries use renewables when they were far more expensive than coal.

    There needed to be a breakthrough to the “China price” before uptake could be expected; and

    Once renewables approached supplying 50% of energy needs there needed to be an effective way of storing the energy as well as keeping in mind the loss of power through transmission.

    Thought this article was good:

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=chinas-big-push-for-renewable-energy

    In the end I think that energy from renewables can only go two ways:
    1 Localized renewables with the burden of expense on the individual or community.

    2 Centralized – in effect an energy dictatorship from governments around the world, but I can’t really see that happening given their recalcitrance in acknowledging PO.

    As you’ve stated before we’re largely fucked. Governments need to stop dragging the chain and get going on renewables plus promoting conservation and will have to take the crumbs from any oil table they can get whilst doing a spot of boot licking to smooth the transition.

  33. Mary, that was good. To quote Jay Hansen, an old-time PO doomer, get thee away from the cities, and all other highly populated areas, because when the colossus fails, there will be panic everywhere. (I should take his and my own advice.)

    BTW, Gail the Actuary has another great post on TOD today, on electrical grid failure. I must read, here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4381#more

    “When the lights begin to flicker, time to move out even quicker” :^}

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