Weekend Open Thread...

Keep it real.

Here's a question that's been bothering me lately: What's up with Amory Lovins? (Pardon me if you've already addressed this issue thoroughly, but I don't always look at the comments to the main posts.) He's I brilliant guy, and I used to have a lot of respect for him. Lately, though, he seems to have painted himself into a corner that he's afraid to walk out of.

Case in point: his article in newsweek, posted on EnergyBulletin.net. In it he says that we can still drive SUVs, make bigger profits, and continue on with "rapid economic growth." His answer to peak oil: "Some experts warn that output will soon peak and prices will reach $100, but nobody really knows for sure." He sounds like George Bush talking about climate change!

I admit that I haven't yet read Winning the Oil Endgame, but I found that Newsweek article offensive coming from a guy like him. If I had any doubts about Kunstler's criticism before, I don't now. Does anyone here know who he's taking money from that makes him say such ridiculous things?


Dr Sol, I don't see Lovins has changed all that much - his Hypercar concept was always SUV, albeit one that got 100mpg. One change though is on carbon composites for vehicle lightweighting - he now sees that as mid-future with the near-future being lightweight foam steel. Also, biofuels feature more in his proposals than previously. I'd recommend reading at least the executive summary of Winning the Oil Endgame:

This segues into an important topic I like to call, "Who are 'they' ?" or "Who are those guys?" (--Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid)

While debating PO with "the wife" the other day, she used the "They"-assure-us-everything-is-OK line.
Who are "they"?
You know, the news.
But who are "they"?

Same thing as when Lovins crops up or CERA.
We got to keep asking who are they? What is their credentials? Who is paying them and why? If they are professional bounty hunters and not doing it out of personal conviction, what is going on here?

I've tried to google Lovins --but there's not much there. Who is this guy? Is he for real or is he flim flamming a bunch of naive investors?

Butch Cassidy wants to know.

Another topic here.

Another week on the road and I can tell you one thing, the sheeple are starting to notice the high cost of gasoline and its a great time for me to introduce them to peak oil.. Now most still don't get it and the news seems to chipping away at the edges for the real cause of high prices, but I can you this, at $2.50 a gallon, sheeple are beginning to awake.. At every gas station I come too, I make it a point to ask strangers paying for gas if they are use to the high cost.. Most don't seem to care when I state that cheap gas is a thing of the past... Makes you wonder..

Truckers are getting pissed too!! Too bad I don't have a CB. Now I have a week's worth of reading to catch up on here..

in your travels, do the "sheeple" (I am Joe, I am Joe) ever question their "trust" in the most trusted names in the news? Exactly who are the them who deliver the assuring news? Who are those guys?




I got 63,300 results from a Google search for Amory Lovins:


He has been among the most prominent thinkers in the energy sector since he was the first to delink energy intensity and economic growth in a famous article in Foriegn Affairs in the 1970s.

More on him and his work is avaiolable at the Rocky Mountain Institute website (www.rmi.org).

Like all "experts" his words should be taken with a grain of salt. In some ways I think he and Kuntsler are similar, they may not be exactly right, but they are seeing something.

Jack --thanks
I downloaded his free "book" from

A quick look at his "substitutes for oil" chapter shows nothing but ethanol and biomass as generalities with no specifics

If he was for real, I would think he would have had some patents under his name by this time

Here's the search results from the US Patnet Office:
Searching 1976-present...

Results of Search in 1976-present db for:
(IN/amory AND IN/lovins): 0 patents.

No patents have matched your query

There is a Terrence Lovins mentioned for patent number 6,296,265, but no amory ... so still, who is amory lovins, who are those guys?

p.s. just found out: amory is the new Adam Smith

As they say ---a lemming who digs, uncovers much dirt (from wisdoms of the ages, in our fifth book of the LemmLord) :-)

Price of gas in europe is now 1.42 euro / liter. That's US $ 6.70 per gallon.

Price of Gas in Europe 1.42 Euro/L
Exchange rate 0.80 Euro/$
Liter per gallon 3.8 L/G

Price of Gas in the US 6.71 $/G

The European economy is not doing fantastic, but it is also not in decline or anything.

My question is: Does this mean that nothing will happen until the price of oil doubles? Only then will the US have comparable prices.

Usually, I get an answer that the US economy is build upon a gas price of 2$ per gallon, and that a strong deviation from that will cause a recession. But I don't know about that. If you can write off $10.000 a year on an SUV, $2000 more on gas won't seem to make much difference. Further, when prices double every 2-3 year or so, people have enough time to react. Hurts though, I agree, but not that much?

I think that for the last few years, gas prices have been too low, even for SUV drivers. Only now are they in line with 'Gas Guzzler Consumption' and it will take quite some raising until people will swap their SUV for a samller hatchback.

I'm surprised by your lack of familiarity with Lovins. He is widely published, a recognized international expert on renewable energy, and someone that everyone interested in peak oil solutions should pay attention to.

Read Winning the Oil Endgame cover to cover and let us know what you think.

“The world consumes two barrels of oil for every barrel discovered.
So is this something you should be worried about?” - Chevro

I bought the latest number of the Economist and fund this ad from Chevron: http://www.willyoujoinus.com/downloads/twobarrels.pdf
Check it out! It’s one of the best statements that the era of peak oil is here I ever have seen. In the ad there is a very interesting diagram showing “world energy demand” for the next 95 years, and they suppose that the demand for oil will go down from now and on. The only reason I can see is that they are calculating a continuously demand destruction caused by peak oil and much higher prices.

Hey step back, I don't ask them who they trust or get into any lenghhly discussions. Most people just seem resigned to the notion that something is up but they don't really know what.

I will have the opportunity to mention something at my home base tomorrow though. This should be interesting..

Reno --good luck. keep a cool detatched head. getting emotional is sure fire way to lose it all. if they reject the message .... well that's it. shut it down. think about what sound bite will penetrate deeper next time. we all suffer from attention deficit disorder (and denial disease when the news is bad)

JLA-- yes I had seen Lovins name many times before. each time I try to dig deeper, I hit "mush". There is no hard substance anywhere. Yes, i fully agree with Lovins proposal that we need to switch to what he calls "soft energy". But where is the business plan? He claims to be a consultant. Would not a professional consultant, after all these years, have a business plan?

Richard-- excellent excellent point. The "numbers" say America is doing great. But who makes up the "numbers"? What are these cookers of the books going to say next when the lack of gas hits the American people between the bulging pants pockets? I'm a democrat, but I will never forgive Bill Clinton for cooking the CPI. How can you take basic necessities out of the Consumer Price Index with a straight face? How can MSM support that kind of outright fraud? "They who fabricate fictitious numbers are frauds" and they who worship those numbers are fools.

Please attack Amory Lovins on facts. I think he has interesting things to say, but that there is a lot you can say in opposition. But it hard to argue that he doesn't have a business plan or any track record. The paragragh below shows he heads a 23 year old, 40 person institute with a pretty big budget. That doesn't mean he is right, but it does mean he has left a lot of evidence of his work for you to disagree with.

Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was established in 1982 by resource analysts L. Hunter Lovins and Amory B. Lovins. What began as a small group of colleagues focusing on energy policy has since grown into a broad-based institution with approximately forty full-time staff, an annual budget of nearly $6 million (over half of it earned through programmatic enterprise), and a global reach.

who ever signed as Stepback | 08.14.05 - 10:54 am | --my alter ego name --please check your sign in line --it was not me

Yes, I saw that RMI is a large enterprise --but "Who are those guys?" what do they actually do ? it is very opaque --do not look there, ignore the man behind the curtain Dorothy

C-Span: Saudi Arabia After the Death of King Fahd
Thomas Lippmann talked about Saudi culture, the succession, the ambassadorial change from Bandar to Turki and that the Saudis do not control the price of Oil. Then mentioned the (Senator Frank) Lautenberg Report: Top Ten Reasons to Change the U.S. - Saudi Relationship


Emphasized that oil is fungible. Said the Saudis make a million barrels a day that no one will buy because of the high sulfur content.

Donal Fagan:
The oil you refer to is the Manifa field (which for that reason is colored black in the maps I have posted on the Saudi fields) - we have also posted before on the problems that it has. The question is always, when Saudi reserves are quoted, as to whether they are counting Manifa. Usually they do, and it is a bit disengenuous since it can't with today's technology, be refined.

The American Enterprise Institute weighs in on Peak Oil:

Closing paragraph of this article which quotes many of the usual suspects (Defeyyes, Simmons, Campbell, Lynch, etc.) in the debate:

"Obviously, none of these options is pain free. But that's the world we live in--a place of limited resources and hard choices. While a Nuclear-Hydrogen Economy certainly has some drawbacks, it also has some enormous advantages. And the alternatives are not so rosy. Within a decade, we Americans may have to make a decision."


Want to keep it real??

I was attending the Iowa state fair today and ran into a MidAmerican Energy booth with some kind of message about going green(whatever that means). I saw two displays of power plants, one natural gas and the other a new one for coal burning(it may have been a coal liquification if that's possible). SO I struck up an conversation with one of the individuals and ask about the high cost of natural gas and that its a finite resource. He state he believed that natural gas prices would hit $10 BTU(I hope that's correct) sometime this winter. He also clearly stated there would be natual gas shortages this winter too, mostly in the northeast. He also claimed that MidAmerican's gas powered plant they built in Des Moines was just a stop gap measure(because it only take two years to build one versus 7years for a coal burning one). He said their direction was one toward coal burning. We also discussed LNG which they tested in the mid 1990's.. I cannot wait for my heating bill this winter.. The sheeple are in for the shock of their lives..

We live in interesting times.

Yosemite Sam,
Thanks for the AEI link. I'm surprised to see this article...this is the same group that provided a forum for those Huber and Mills "Bottomless Well" fruitcakes just a few months ago:


Could they have "found religion" with PO??

JLA: Since the AEI has set the agenda for this country in so many ways in the last fews years, we should be monitoring this site as well for clues as to what will REALLY be happening with regards to PO.