giving our commenters some credit (or, taking a minute on this long trek to look at the great view...)

I have to say, having spent some time in the blogosphere (perhaps too much), that I think our commenters are some of the best in the business. Our comment boxes have really intriguing discussions of topics, some turn into linkfests of their own...but they are always of high quality. After seeing some of the drivel and pablum that's in the comment boxes on other sites, for some reason the quality here always surprises and heartens me.

One of the goals HO and I have for this blog is to build a community that builds on itself with knowledge and purpose with regard to this ridiculously complex and salient topic. I would like to think we're moving toward that goal.

It is very gratifying to see the topics get discussed at such a high level, celebrating the exchange different ideas. It is also gratifying to see how many people have been coming to visit our site each day as well.

So, thank you, thank you, thank you...this whole thing really would run quite poorly without your educated participation.

Also, remember, if you are a frequent commenter and you'd like to post something here, please by all means, write it up and run it past us at the address in the sidebar. It worked well for Ianqui's post, so we'll keep the option open. (Submission doesn't guarantee publication of course...but we'll at least read it!)

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After looking at Kevin Drum's peak oil series with the comments, the first thing that strikes me is that no one who is not familiar with engineering has any clue about the time delays involved in the possible remedies. They think that the free market can nearly instantly solve the problem of high prices. You can pick any possible solution; drilling more wells, wind power, natural gas imports, coal liquefication, tar sands, nuke plants, what have you. In all these cases even if the technology exists now it would take years to build the physical infrastructure. With the decline of manufacturing in this country we would have to first build the factories to make the parts and train the people to install them. If peak oil is ten years away we would have barley enough time if we started now.

The second thing is that a lot of people are adamantly opposed to any government action of any kind. Their ideology is that government will screw it up and waste their taxes. The magic of the free market will cause magic innovation and our problems will be solved cheaply. Of course this doesn't explain why the magic market hasn't done squat so far.


Obviously, the "Market" hasn't done squat because there is no problem. The price of gas goes up, we will stop driving to the store, sit at home, and food will be delivered to us by the grocery clerk on his bicycle (Just as Pizzas are now!) And of course, with the added benefit of being able to watch more Fox News and "Reality Shows" on TV

Maybe there would be some sense of urgency if more people realized that for something as simple as buying a very large compressor to use for CO2 injection, the delivery time can be 2-3 years. And large multinational corporations are just as bureaucratic as governments are nowadays and a whole lot more risk-averse.

I read in "The Long Emergency" last night that Bush had been briefed on peak oil by Matthew Simmons back in '99, and again after the election.

I don't recall having read that anywhere before, or if I did, it didn't stick.

Today that curious fact casts very stark shadows on nealy every action this administration has taken since his first day in office.

P.S. in the "Some evidence for concern" thread I posted a comment as "J." which is how I frequently sign my correspondence. I didn't notice until later that there was another poster who was already using "J" -- I apologize for that J, my mistake. Won't happen again.

Joseph Palmer: I have heard the same thing regarding Matthew Simmons' briefing of Bush.

Here is a link over at the Agonist in which Sean Paul Kelly interviews Matt Simmons.

About Bush and his awareness of peak oil: I would be absolutely stunned if he didn't know about it well before 1999. Hell, Jimmy Carter knew about it in the 70's.

But the larger point, that his knowledge of this looming event colors almost every one of his actions (or inactions) in office is very important. The more people see recent history in that light, the better.

joseph -

no sweat dude..lot's of J's out here - a grand letter!

Every president has been aware of Peak Oil since Hubbert was commissioned to look at it.

Until such time as real demand destruction begins ($6-10 per gallon gas, or shortages), it will remain off the radar. This is because the administration is trying to orchestrate the privatization of SS to crank the markets and perpetuate the so-called "expansion". This expansion has actually been a series of bubbles facilitated by low interest rates and before that by "irrational exuberance" and low interest rates.

They are walking a tight rope economically, and adding Peak Oil as a real item will totally dump their apple cart, whereas if it is still something they can peddle as "fringe madness" to the masses, then it isn't perceived as something valid. And perception is what all the clothes are made of on this pig-king of an economy...

Watcha think, Lou?

oops! forgot to sign in again....

above poster is me!

Well, I suppose I always 'knew' that Bush had to have known about oil depletion, it was just comforting to delude myself that maybe he didn't.

I've spent much of the day re-compiling in my mind the actions of this administration with the "Peak Oil Aware" flag set. Things that didn't parse before suddenly make sense, but a dreadful, cynical sort of sense. This is going to take a while to sink in.

Pardon me while I bang my head on the table for a while... {baka baka baka!}

P.S. Thanks, J ^_^;

Of course Bush knows--if not because he's president, then perhaps because his family is in the oil industry.

J--would it be fair to say that everyone who works in the oil industry knows about this?

ianqui -

I had a discussion Thursday with the VP of my company. We have known for decades. That is why and I are finally breathing easier - we have a feeling of job security for the first time in 20 years because of PO and the personnel shortage. If they let me go, it will take at most a week to find more work. Before now, it was months finding a job in a depressed industry.

Last year we drilled 2 dry holes in the first 6 months of the year. This year I am staring at 9 dry holes. And this is with 3D seismic and all the other "high tech goodies" we have in our arsenal.

I think the key to understanding the administrations actions is revealed only when you factor in the machinations of the Federal Reserve and the money supply, interest rates, and the Fed generated "bubble economy" we have been living in. Going to war has always been a panacea for the economy - and they are looking for any way to keep this economy going. Influence our position in the oil markets was actually secondary, IMO.

Never forget - follow the money.

The best thing King George can do for oil companies is exactly what he is doing - nada.

Wouldn't you guys love to see the stock portfolios of our congressmen and women?

It makes you wonder if they would pass legislation to quash any technology that threatens oil.