Drumbeat: May 31, 2013

Oil executives tune out the call of the wild Arctic

NY-AALESUND, Norway (Reuters) - The high Arctic, once the irresistible frontier for oil and gas exploration, is quickly losing its appeal as energy firms grow fearful of the financial and public relations risk of working in the pristine icy wilderness.

The Arctic may hold 13 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its gas, but a series of blunders and failures there are making executives fight shy of such a sensitive area and turn their attention back to more conventional resources and the shale revolution.

The turning point likely came on New Year's eve, when Royal Dutch Shell's drillship ran aground in rough waters off Alaska, setting off a public relations storm that inflicted much pain on the firm, made more acute by how little it had to show for the $4.5 billion (3 billion pounds) it has spent on the Arctic since 2005.

WTI Heads for Weekly Drop as Stockpiles Gain Before OPEC Meets

West Texas Intermediate crude headed for a third weekly decline after U.S. stockpiles climbed to the most in more than 80 years. Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said in Vienna that prices are reasonable.

Futures retreated 0.8 percent in New York. U.S. crude inventories rose 3 million barrels last week to 397.6 million, the highest level since at least 1931, government data showed. Supplies were projected to drop in a Bloomberg survey. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said today he’s comfortable with OPEC’s current output target, speaking before the group met to decide its production policy. Kuwait, Venezuela and two other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said they expected the group to keep its output ceiling unchanged.

BP Sells Fourth Forties Lot: Force Majeure Declared on Usan Oil

BP Plc sold its fourth North Sea Forties crude cargo for loading in June at a higher differential than yesterday. Total SA bought Russian Urals in the Mediterranean at a bigger discount to Dated Brent than the previous trade.

Nigeria has stopped shipments of Usan grade today after a force majeure, a legal clause that protects a company from liability if it can’t fulfill a contract for reasons beyond its control, said two people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because they are not authorized to comment publicly.

U.S.-Europe Diesel Cargoes Seen Climbing as Demand Strengthens

Shipments of diesel to Europe from the U.S. Gulf Coast are poised to rise over the next two weeks on stronger demand for the fuel, a Bloomberg News survey showed.

Asia Fuel Oil-June-July spreads hit 3-week high

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asia's fuel oil market strengthened on Friday with the June-July spreads for both 180-cst and 380-cst stretched to their widest backwardation in three weeks.

The market is gaining strength from a bull play sparked off by Glencore's purchase of front-month spreads, traders said, while physical oil supply remains ample amid slow demand. Chinese independent refiners have turned to PetroChina for crude instead of importing the more expensive fuel oil while June premiums for bunker fuel are down from the previous month, reflecting weak demand.

Tanker Seizures Seen Boosting Rates as Oil Companies Vet Owners

Increasing seizures of oil tankers will help rates recover from record lows as oil companies and traders have to avoid struggling owners, according to Frontline Ltd., the company led by billionaire John Fredriksen.

OPEC to Curb Shipments Amid Demand Slump: Oil Movements

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will reduce crude shipments into mid-June as demand growth slows, tanker tracker Oil Movements said.

The group that supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil will ship 23.91 million barrels a day in the four weeks to June 15, compared with 24.12 million in the previous period to May 18, the researcher said in an e-mailed report. The figures exclude two of OPEC’s 12 members, Angola and Ecuador. The organization will meet in Vienna tomorrow to discuss its production target, which is currently 30 million barrels a day.

OPEC Keeps Output Target Unchanged, Content With $100 Oil

OPEC kept its production target unchanged for a third consecutive time, signaling that crude prices at about $100 a barrel are sufficient to buoy members’ revenue as the global economy recovers.

Iraqi Plan to Boost Oil Production Sets Up OPEC Quota Tussle

Iraq is due to start pumping crude from two of its largest oil fields within weeks, creating a possible obstacle to future efforts by OPEC to curb supplies in the event of a drop in prices.

Venezuela Says U.S. Shale Won’t Hurt OPEC’s Heavy Oil

The rising supply of U.S. shale oil doesn’t affect exporters of medium and heavy crudes such as Venezuela, the Latin American country’s oil minister told reporters before an OPEC meeting tomorrow.

“Shale is a production of light crude and that doesn’t affect us as being big producers of medium and heavy crudes,” Rafael Ramirez said in Vienna, where ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are gathering. “We have a big capacity to place our crudes, including the U.S. market.”

Iran Ups Oil Product Export as Sanctions Hurt Crude, Qasemi Says

Iran, holder of the world’s fourth-biggest proven crude reserves, is exporting more oil products as western sanctions reduce the amount of crude it ships overseas, the country’s oil minister said.

Iranian crude exports have fallen by about 20 percent and most of the volumes have been replaced by products, Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi told reporters today in Vienna, where the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is meeting to determining production policy. He didn’t specify a timeframe for the decline in shipments.

Japan's Iran crude imports fall to 9-mth low in April

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's crude imports from Iran fell in April to the lowest in nine months, as refiners cut purchases because of uncertainty over whether sovereign insurance for tankers carrying Iranian oil would be extended beyond March.

The United States and other Western countries slapped tough sanctions on Iran last year to choke off its oil revenue to force Tehran to halt a controversial nuclear programme. As part of those measures, the EU banned insurance coverage for tankers carrying Iranian oil.

Oil Fields Under Olive Groves Offer Italy Economic Boost

Underneath the groves that make southern Italy the world’s second-largest olive oil producer, geologists have found a more lucrative liquid: Europe’s biggest onshore crude oil fields.

Basilicata, a mountainous, sparsely populated province that sits in the arch of Italy’s boot, holds more than 1 billion barrels, offering the country a weapon to fight a two-year recession. Rome-based Eni SpA and France’s Total SA plan to double production raising Italy’s output to almost 200,000 barrels a day, making the country Europe’s third-largest oil producer behind the U.K. and Norway.

Plenty of oil but services are the goldmine

"We have not run out of oil," Garry states, referencing previous market concerns over peak oil. "We've proved... that there is plenty of oil left in the world."

In which case, why not invest in oil companies? According to Garry, the chief problem is that most of the oil is owned by national oil companies who don't have the neccessary skills base to extract the oil efficiently. Enter Oil Services - a sector presented with a unique opportunity for expansion.

PetroVietnam Drilling Forecasts 2013 Profit to Increase 29%

PetroVietnam Drilling & Well Services Joint-Stock Co., the country’s biggest listed oilfield services provider, forecasts profit this year may rise 29 percent as rates for drilling rigs increase.

Canada Economy Grows Fastest Since 2011 on Oil Exports

A surge in Canadian oil exports to the U.S. helped propel the country’s economy in the first quarter to its fastest growth pace since 2011, even as domestic demand expanded at the slowest rate since the 2009 recession.

Pittsburgh becomes expat hot spot

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - Thanks to the shifting nature of the global economy, some once down-and-out cities are seeing an influx of foreign executives and other personnel from international organizations.

Pittsburgh, a former steel powerhouse, has emerged as a hot bed for operations related to the oil and gas boom in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. AIRINC, a provider of cost of living data, put Pittsburgh on its "cities to watch" list in a recent report detailing the top locations requested from the company.

U.S. senator McCain pictured with Syrian rebel kidnapper: paper

BEIRUT (Reuters) - U.S. Senator John McCain was photographed during a trip to Syria with a man implicated in the kidnapping by Syrian rebels of 11 Lebanese Shi'ite pilgrims a year ago, a Lebanese newspaper said on Thursday.

McCain, a Republican, has been an outspoken advocate for U.S. military aid to the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad and made a short, highly publicised trip to meet rebel commanders in Syria three days ago.

He has insisted that the United States could locate the "right people" to help among rebel ranks infiltrated with radicalised Islamists.

Could Canada's Oil Sands Become "Stranded Assets"?

The boom in Alberta's oil sands was initially hailed as a hugely promising development for Canada's economy and energy security.

Recently, though, major threats challenging the economic viability of oil sands projects have begun to emerge. The main culprits are spiraling operating costs, depressed pricing for Western Canadian crude oil, and increased competition from shale plays in the U.S.

Keystone Delay Weighs on Smaller Oil Producers

Growth prospects for smaller oil-sands producers including BlackPearl Resources Inc. and Southern Pacific Resource Corp. are fading as political wrangling over the Keystone XL pipeline and rising U.S. supply slow deals in the Canadian energy industry.

Why we don't need the Keystone Pipeline

We're producing way more gasoline than we need. The gap between supply and demand is so great, in fact, that the only market oil refiners can find for their product is overseas, where demand is growing (and prices are often much higher).

Woe is not us: From one new energy revolution (shale gas) to another (fire ice)

As the shale gas revolution begins to ripple through, reordering the world economy, another fossil fuel revolution is in the offing which will again torpedo most conventional wisdom concerning energy.

So-called “peak oil”, the end of petroleum exhausted by expanding consumption and diminishing discoveries, the love story of environmental fanatics, has now gone a glimmering.

Tesla tripling supercharger network for LA to NY trip

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) = Tesla will be tripling the number of its supercharger stations by the end of June, and by the end of the year, its expansion program will allow Tesla drivers to go from Los Angeles to New York, according to CEO Elon Musk.

Elon Musk's moment

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO takes a victory lap, builds a nationwide charging network, and alludes to a new mind-blowing form of rapid transit.

How Is Honda Sweetening the Deal for its Electric Fit?

Honda Motor Co. is struggling to keep up in the electric car foot race, but it hopes its newest deal will help it recover some much-needed ground. Its newest plan of attack? Drop the down payment and pare the lease price for its electric Fit hatchback.

1930s subway train makes rare uptown trip in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of lucky New York City commuters got a surprise trip back in time when eight 1930s-era subway cars were briefly returned to service offering woven wicker seats, ceiling fans and rusted metal exteriors.

The cars were pulled out of storage for a one-time trip Thursday to commemorate the reopening of a 3.7-mile stretch of subway tracks in Queens that were badly damaged by Superstorm Sandy seven months ago. They were a far cry from the sleek, air conditioned silver trains people hop aboard each day.

Straphangers who just happened to be in the right place at the right time snapped pictures on their iPhones and gawked at the old-timey ads for Clark bars and Levy's Rye Bread adorning the walls of the train running on the A line.

European Wind Energy Association: Europe Losing Money Not Overpaying For Wind

How can paying less for energy cost more? When activists advocating their technology start doing math.

The EU paid 406 billion Euros for oil and gas imports in 2012 (1.1 billion Euros per day), 3.2% of its GDP, notes the European Wind Energy Association. If Europeans simply paid more to increase domestic wind power, it would increase Europe's competitiveness, they say. Cheaper fossil fuels undermine Europe by not being cheap enough, the result of increasing fossil fuel import costs.

Small dams more dangerous to environment than large dams: study

Washington (ANI): Small dams can pose a greater threat to ecosystems and natural landscapes than large dams, a new study has revealed.

Researchers from the Oregon State University in Corvallis who have conducted surveys of habitat loss and damage at several dam sites on the partially protected Nu River in China have found that the environmental harm from small dams was often greater, sometimes by several orders of magnitude than from large dams.

The Long Emergency, Permaculture, and Towns That Food Saved

This post examines the use of Permaculture principles to harness purposefulness for collaborative planning for resilience and regeneration by examining two communities that are surviving and in some cases thriving by building on the "sense of purpose" that occurs after a disaster or downturn.

The USDA’s Latest Report on Energy Use in Agriculture

It has been just shy of two years since the USDA came out with its last report on energy use in agriculture. The title of this month’s new report is, “Agriculture’s Supply and Demand for Energy and Energy Products.” This time they presented the subject by saying that energy inputs no longer have a linear relationship with agriculture since commodities are now used for the production of biofuels, and that farmers adapt in other ways to rising energy costs.

The agriculture sector in the U.S. uses less than 2 percent of total U.S. energy consumption. However, energy and energy-intensive inputs account for a significant share of agricultural production costs. For example, corn, sorghum, and rice farmers allocated over 30 percent of total production expenditures on energy inputs in 2011.

Climate change compounds problems for stressed agriculture sector

Climate change will make it even harder to put locally sourced food on our tables if steps are not taken to strengthen the British Columbia (BC) agriculture sector, according to a new report.

Japan Suspends Some Imports of U.S. Wheat

WASHINGTON — Japan has suspended some imports of wheat from the United States after genetically engineered wheat was found on an Oregon farm.

The Agriculture Department announced the discovery on Wednesday. No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for American farming.

Britain's hunger problem grows

LONDON (CNNMoney) - The U.K. economy may be crawling back to growth, but the number of people relying on food handouts is soaring due to welfare cuts and unemployment.

Charities warned Thursday that as many as 500,000 people may be going hungry as benefits are cut or withheld, food becomes more expensive, jobless rates rise and real incomes are squeezed.

Mt. Everest's filthy secret: It's a dump

Exhausted climbers have left behind a trail of debris — and lots of excrement

The world this week is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first successful effort to reach the top of the world's highest peak. But environmental activists are using the occasion to call attention to the tons and tons of garbage — and human excrement — that have been left on Mt. Everest's slopes in the decades since Sir Edmund Hillary and his Nepalese Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, made their historic climb. And the picture they are painting isn't pretty.

Is ‘No Fun’ Sign Next? California Beach Bonfires May Be Doused

Jefferson Wagner, a former mayor of Malibu known to local residents as Zuma Jay, fondly recalled the days when he would warm up at fire pits all over Southern California after surfing with his friends. They would camp on the beach (now banned), bring their dogs (banned) and set off fireworks on the Fourth of July (banned).

Now 59, Mr. Wagner said that as surfing grew more popular and less countercultural, and beaches grew more crowded, the need to enforce more rules also grew.

China's plastic bag ban saves 6m tons of oil

BEIJING - A plastic bag ban launched five years ago has cut consumption by at least 67 billion bags, saving an equivalent of 6 million tons of oil, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said Friday.

Since the ban was implemented, use of plastic bags has dropped by more than two-thirds, said Li Jing, vice-chief of energy-saving and environmental protection department under the NDRC, China's top economic planner.

European Officials Move to Curb Overfishing

PARIS — The European Union on Thursday agreed to an overhaul of the region’s fisheries policy, a deal intended to make commercial fishing more sustainable.

Massachusetts: State Sues Over Cod Limits

Attorney General Martha Coakley filed a lawsuit on Thursday against the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in an effort to block federal rules that severely limit the amount of cod New England fishermen are allowed to catch annually.

California native fish could disappear with climate change

Climate change could be the final blow for many of California’s native fish species, pushing them to extinction with extended drought, warmer water temperatures and altered stream flow.

The authors of a new study published online in the journal PLOS ONE used 20 metrics -- including species population trends, physiological tolerance to temperature increase and ability to disperse -- to gauge the vulnerability of native fishes to climate change.

The results: 82% of 121 native species were deemed highly vulnerable.

Big firms should report environmental impact - UN panel

UNITED NATIONS/OSLO (Reuters) - Big companies should report their impact on the environment in addition to their earnings under a U.N. plan to boost economic growth and ease poverty by 2030, according to recommendations by a panel of world leaders released on Thursday.

Slowing climate change and protecting the environment should be at the core of global development, said the 27-member panel, led by British Prime Minister David Cameron, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Why shale gas could be the saviour of Britain’s environmental targets

THE debate around shale gas has been dominated by the economic benefits of production and the perceived risks of hydraulic fracturing. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the wider environmental picture. Developing shale gas in this country can benefit the natural world in several ways.

EU: US climate plan could put 2°C goal at risk

A proposal by the US for nations to set their own greenhouse gas reduction targets could put the goal of limiting warming to 2°C at risk.

That was the warning from the EU’s chief climate negotiator Artur Runge-Metzger ahead of a meeting of governments in Bonn starting June 3.

EU greenhouse gas emissions lowest to date

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — The EU's environmental agency says the 27-nation bloc's greenhouse emissions in 2011 were the lowest since it began monitoring them in 1990.

The European Environment Agency says greenhouse gas emissions dropped 3.3 percent compared to 2010, and were 18.4 percent below 1990 levels. It cited a milder winter in 2011 as the main reason for the drop.

Winter's deathly grip slips in Australia

The researchers analysed Australian Bureau of Statistics mortality data across the past 40 years to track seasonal shifts in when older Australians die.

They conclude the influence of climate change is already detectable in the modern Australian mortality record, pointing to results that suggest less people are dying in the Australian winter thanks to the trend toward warmer weather.

Cities not waiting for next superstorm to hit: Column

State and local governments around the country have developed aggressive plans to stem climate change and prepare for its consequences. Hoboken is developing a comprehensive sustainability plan and the four southeast Florida counties of Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Palm Beach joined together four years ago to form a climate compact.

But to make significant progress, we need a partnership with the federal government. We shouldn't have to wait for the next Hurricane Sandy for Congress to take action.

Tokyo Prepares for a Once-in-200-Year Flood to Top Sandy

Tokyo, the world’s most populated metropolis, is building defenses for the possibility of a flood in the next 200 years that could dwarf the damage superstorm Sandy wrought on the U.S. East Coast.

Japan’s capital, flanked by rivers to the east and west, as well as running through it, faces 33 trillion yen ($322 billion) in damages should the banks break on the Arakawa River that bisects Tokyo, according to government estimates. That’s more than five times the $60.2 billion aid package for Sandy that slammed into the U.S. northeast last October.

“Japan hasn’t prepared enough,” said Toru Sueoka, president of the Japanese Geotechnical Society, an organization of engineers, consultants and researchers. “Weather patterns have changed and we are getting unusual conditions. We need upgrades or else our cities won’t be able to cope with floods.”

There have been some who question the value of computers, networks and the complexity associated with them.

It is an old article http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/13/magazine/13anthropology-t.html?pagewan... found when I was hunting for the article about the ISAAC solar ice maker and how cell phones kept the remote poor fishing village (Some would refer to such a place without the cell phones or the imported metal and glass ice maker an Ecovillage) in contact with the fish market so the fish would be taken to market when the price was higher.

More on the benefits of networks and technology http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/themes/documents/LPS/DAIRY/ecs/Comments/co... and

Here is another example of networks and complexity - the sharing of designs for LED lighting for plants

http://sevengens.com/index.html Such sharing just would not happen without the complexity of the tools that gets the information to the users.

No comments on a drumbeat by noon? Wow. Things sure are changing 'round here.

I was just about to write something similar.
Peak oil is over - time to move on - we are officially gagging on fossil fuels so we can burn that stuff cheaply and without consequences.


Personally, I just poured a can of gasoline on the ground out back and lit it,
for no other reason than because I could. Well, and to celebrate the end of that commie Peak Oil Hoax!

;-) ;-)

Burning gasoline?!How retro. Why not go for a little extra pizzaz and blow up some hydrogen for a change? Since everyone's complaining about having nothing to talk about. Rejoice we have all been saved, once again! Scientists Invent Super Clean Hydrogen Fuel Technique That Could Save Us All...

A new study, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, outlines a way to produce hydrogen while also capturing carbon dioxide and producing a base that could be used to offset or neutralize ocean acidification. Hydrogen is an ideal fuel source since its only byproduct is water.


I guess there is nothing new to say because there is no new information. The price of oil is stuck around $100/barrel, the global oil production is stuck on a bumpy plateau, the tight oil production in the US continues to increase but at a slower rate, the global economy continues to slow down, the increased production of NGLs and condensates makes peak oil "manageable" for now, the US stock market continues to grind higher as capital flees Europe and Japan.
It is like watching corn grow in Iowa :-)

Very good and concise summary of what's going on.

Having nothing new to say has never slowed us down before... :-)

Peak that!

I would agree with Suyog, I think people had a lot of expectations after 2008, that this was the final nail in the coffin but things just picked up unexpectedly and it looks like now we're muddling along. This plateau could last for a very long time.

Yeah. Even the housing market seems to be bouncing back. A bunch of articles recently on how sellers can write their own tickets again. People are back to flipping houses.

A couple of years ago, I was passing through upstate NY and saw a sign advertising a new subdivision. It was old and weathered and vandalized, and I assumed that subdivision would never be built.

I happened through that area again recently, and the woodland that had been there was gone. Huge tracts of new houses took its place. Looks like they did build it after all.

There's a lot of inertia in our systems, and need, either real or percieved. The stories we tell ourselves are powerful and enticing. I, for one, refuse to equate this rebound (such as it is) with recovery, as real limits to growth still apply. The catch is that any return to growth exacts a price on an already degrading biosphere (witness your lost woodland). It's global, and can't continue too much longer. The signs are all there; one only needs to pay attention.

More tornados today in OK, but it's just weather. New high in unemployment in the EU, but it's just an economic cycle. Oil companies deciding artic oil may not be profitable, but it could be,,, someday. Nuclear waste still accumulates daily by the tons. Co2.... It's all part of this remarkable monkey trap we've worked so hard to set for ourselves.

We're being smothered in complexity and drowning in our own detritus, of that I'm sure. It's just going to take a while.

"Yeah. Even the housing market seems to be bouncing back."

Low interest rates, houses stuck in foreclosure, and fear-of-loss. The robo-signing scandals and resulting consumer protection legislation is causing a lot of backlogging of foreclosures. With "investment firms" jumping into the housing market and low interest rates enticing some individual buyers this is driving down inventory in many areas - in turn driving up prices. As the prices go up, people on the sidelines that have been waiting for the market to bottom go "Oh s**t - we're going to miss out!" and they jump in, putting even more pressure on the market. Housing prices are going up, wages have been stagnant - this is just another disaster in the making. (though you're likely aware of this)

A friend of mine is having some interesting adventures at the nexus of peak oil and housing.

She makes a lot of money in real estate. She started out buying apartments and renting them. She spent a lot of time fixing them up, and eventually moved into buying lots, having homes built on them, and selling them. She has a large family in the area that can help out with a lot of the labor, so that helps.

She repays them with free gas. She buys thousands of dollars worth of stuff from Lowe's, Home Depot, etc. - paint, lumber, appliances, you name it. She always pays with gift cards, which she buys herself from the local grocery store. She does this to get free gas, which is a grocery store promotion: spend a certain amount of money, and get a discount on gasoline, or even get it free if you spend enough.

She has so much gasoline she doesn't know what to do with it. Thirty gallons is the max per transaction, and no one has cars that take thirty gallons any more, so they always bring red plastic gas cans when they go to fill up, so they can get the maximum amount of free gas. The family gives each other gas cans as gifts for birthdays, Father's Day, etc. She also pays people with free gas, like the guy who services her lawnmower, snowblower, etc.

She's making tons of money...though her latest investment hasn't worked out. She bought a lot, planning to build a house on it and sell it. She knew there was a gas well on it, but figured there was plenty of room to build anyway.

Wrong. The gas company says they need room to put a rig there, in case they want to frack the well later. That means nothing can be built on the lot. There's no easement, nothing official on the deed. It's not likely there will be any fracking in that neighborhood, ever. But she can't build anything on it. She already had the basement dug.

Apparently, others in the neighborhood have had similar issues with the gas company. One fought for years, and finally won the right to build a house, but my friend doesn't want to do that. She'll just take her losses. She's made enough money off the other houses she's built and sold that she can afford it.

Maybe all the money that Japan printed has something to do with this new development.

Yet, the loss in value of the yen and then the huge plunges recently in the Nikkei here mean that something is surely afoot...

It's probably something like Japan becoming the new Greece, sometime in the next two years. Americans will moan and whine "oh! we are stymied again in our quest for perpetual growth!"

But the people in Japan will seriously start being quite hungry, I'm afraid.

Already some shelves of imported food, like black tea and ome chocolate, are constantly empty at one nearby supermarket. The yen is too low.

Americans can afford to be complacent. With the fossil fuel reserves that you have, you can kind of scan the horizon while whistling a tune.

But not me. In other countries we are already getting dizzy and feeling queasy.

How is the inflation in Japan ? I don't trust Govt numbers. I read that all MNC's are raising the prices of their products.

I'm being amazed at how good TPTB really are at kicking the can on down the road.

Quote Heinberg "things will work till they don't"

I was dealing with some intermittent outages with the site. Had the Drupal error page showing here and there when trying to load the page, that may be one of the reasons why. Seems to be running fine now.

Also, WeekendPeak is right all this abundance killed off Peak Oil for good. I'm actually filling up my RV with $1/gal diesel for a road trip this weekend. Going to take the four wheelers on some trail rides. Can't beat this $0.75/gal gasoline. Thanks oil abundance and energy independence....oh wait!! ;-)

A lot of the consistent posters have moved on.

Yeah, I know from contacting them via email that the three most prolific and knowledgable posters exited; Rockman, Darwinian and westexas. Also notable mention losses are Undertow and Ghung. The result is a less active Drumbeat, but I suppose that provides opportunity for others to pick up the mantle.

I think most knew about Rockman, who exited during a week when I was absent myself, apparently over the spam hullabaloo. But the rest of those names having left is new info to me, and very sad indeed.

Why did WestTexas decide to stop contributing?

The new spam filter seemed to be the common bugaboo for most. Ron (Darwinian) says he will be working on his own peak oil blog. If it's ok here on TOD I'll update the situation when that comes online. Although most do not like the format as much, those leaving are now posting on peakoil.com. I haven't gone there yet, just too busy.

Since the [ new] flag has lost some of it's functionality, I have been limiting my reloads to a couple per day.

A waste of time going through a few hundred comments to see what you have missed.


Darwinian moved on? Geez, doom getting hard to find these days... I need my daily fix.

We have another near miss (~3.7 million miles) asteroid today. There has been a flurry of activity in the media that NASA and other groups are calling for more funding to build a better detection system. So great X millions/billions? to tell us we are doomed and not a thing we can do about it. Kinda like being in a car that can warn you you are going to be in a crash, but there is no airbag or seatbelts.

Hope this helped with your doom fix. :)

Spring has finally arrived in Alaska, and there are lots of way way more fun things to do in my spare time than sit behind a computer.

I was aware that Rockman had moved on, but hadn't heard about Darwinian, westexas, Undertow and Ghung. Any cosistant reason they all have left?

There actually is a life besides TOD for some of us (not sure about Ron ;-). Indeed, Spring has sprung. I expect most of us are checking in and lurking a bit, though, as others have mentioned, there's something of a calm-before-the-storm funk in the air.

We harvested another record hay crop over the 'holiday', and my list is too long to bore folks with.

I enjoyed some of the posts trickling in from the Age of Limits Conference. Gail T. was there; maybe she'll report in. Sounds like it was something of an ego-fest this year. Pictures at Club Orlov and at witsendnj.blogspot.com (Gail Zawacki's site,, is that JMG with the tats? Didn't recognize him without his hat ;-)

Sounds like some of the attendees are giving Guy McPhearson's NTE position some real consideration. While my doom-o-meter has been in the red zone for quite some time, I can't see the point in allowing myself to go there. Still too much to live for. We shall never surrender,,, and all that...

Sorry Ghung, you were the only one I added in a post above that I wasn't sure of (and should have specified that), due to not seeing you here much lately. Good to see you posting.

I obviously can't speak for the others but I've been a TOD member for 7 years, 11 weeks and have seen many people come and go. In my case I don't post very much anymore for several reasons:

1. I don't have the time to get into "chain response" posts where they demand post after post typically because the other(s) want to support their views no matter what.

2. TOD has lost quite a bit of its civility. In the past you never saw snarky/ad homs/smart a$$ replies.

3. The admins decided that TOD was going to be the "go to" technical site which eliminated Campfire.

4. New members who show up and hog the DB for days on end.

I now satisfy my need to provide what I think is important information via my little weekly email Update newsletter which covers a variety of topics that would be unacceptable for TOD.


Some of this I can see, but newbies showing up and posting a ton is common at all sites, including this one. I was once that newbie, and probably many of us were. IMO, it actually doesn't happen very much here any more, compared to how it used to be, because peak oil is simply not the hot topic it once was.

Similarly, I think people are actually a lot more civil than they used to be. Not going to name names, but at one point some esteemed posters here were threatening to punch each other in the face, if not shoot each other.

The difference, I suspect, is the signal to noise ratio. If people are insulting each other because they seriously disagree about a major peak oil topic, it's somehow less aggravating than if they're snarking at each other because they're bored and have nothing else to do.

Part of this is technology. A lot of people are accessing the net via smartphones and iPads now, and that is convenient for silly jokes and snark, but not that great for serious discussion. A lot of it is what others have said: there's not much going on peak oil wise, so there's much less to talk about.

If this is the calm before the storm, it's much longer than previous lulls have been (as far as this site is concerned). It's not just us. Other peak oil sites have shut down, merged, or are seeing far less activity than they used to. I think a lot of the "imminent doom" types have moved on to climate change or financial collapse.

After five and a half years, I still consider myself a newbie!!

To be honest (though I usually am), I've probably peaked in my understanding of PO/limits-to-growth/etc... I'd say more from a care factor than anything. My fumbling attempts to have close friends and family (fellow Joes and Janes) take more of an interest in the topics discussed here have largely fallen on deaf ears. So, with a shoulder shrug or two, the hours spent lurking at TOD are replaced with time spent with kids and cutting the mortgage down to zero. Resignation perhaps, or could it be a sense that life is just too damn short?

So for now it's head down, bum up with room for a beer or two with mates. Perhaps in a couple more years - I'll be 50 - I'll find a better voice.

Cheers, Matt
Melbourne, Australia

"To be honest (though I usually am), I've probably peaked in my understanding of PO/limits-to-growth/etc"

I fall into that category as well. Now armed with competing theories (better called hypotheses at this point) now it's on to observation mode to see which ones come true.

And Summer has finally arrived, so other activities now intervene.

I think we need to sort the spam problem! It really kills the sharing of information when people don't post links or anything like that in order to dodge the spam filter.


1. Make posters reset their passwords (Drupal hack)
2. Reset the accounts made after X date.
3. Move the site to a blog platform with better tools.

The irony is that the spam problem could be called a symptom of the problems inherant in the human race. The creators of spam are in effect parasites on the system much other groups which have been described in-depth here.

Don't worry about the Drupal hack. That only affects people who have accounts at Drupal.org. I suspect most of them are IT professionals, and are better able to secure their information than most. Repeat, the reported Drupal hack has nothing to do with your account here at TOD.

As for the rest...it won't be done. We moved TOD from Blogger to Scoop to Drupal because we wanted an active, open source platform. I don't see us changing it again. There's just too much damned content now. (Last Friday's Drumbeat was article number 10,000, if anyone noticed.)

Resetting accounts won't help much, I'm afraid. The spammers are posting from accounts created an average of more than six months ago, and some were created years ago. They plan ahead, constantly create new accounts, and use them as the old ones are blocked. They are still creating new accounts, and unless we block all new people from joining, there's no way to keep them out.

The anti-spam system is actually working pretty well. It's preventing almost all spam from appearing to ordinary viewers, and it seems to be discouraging the spammers. Their comments never appear, so they're posting a lot less. I think this would be quickly reversed if we dropped the spam filter.

I don't see the spam filter as a problem. I can still post blockquotes and web addresses without posting the full links. If it's worth posting, it's worth a copy/paste in another tab. Graphics usually get through moderation pretty quickly, and the format and flow of TOD/Drupal is far superior to other sites, IMO.

That said, the site could use a minor facelift, even a name change to reflect the discussions that are already occuring. "Oildrum" seems a bit dated, especially since the discussion has moved well beyond peak oil; always has. I've never thought "TheOilDrum" does full justice to the meme here. I have a couple of ideas that seem to be available, but if I post them, they may not be for long.

One thing the spammers don't seem to get is that with the nofollow attribute the links are useless for the purposes of search engine optimisation.

The spammers seemed to have made an adjustment however. I saw spam on this page which doesn't include leaks. Is the spammer in question watching?

I've been wondering, since Drupal is an active, open source platform, wouldn't it be possible to develop or request a blacklist/white-list system for members? All new members would be blacklisted and after a "cooling off" period, say two weeks, the system could short-list new members for white-listing. The moderators could then look at the members' posting history to determine if they have been participating in the discussion rather than just posting arbitrary comments, that is, that they have actually been spending time to read and respond to material on the site. After being white-listed, members would then not have their comments checked by the spam filter regardless of whether or not they include links.

To reduce the occurrence of white-listed accounts being hacked, members would be encouraged to use strong passwords and automated password crack attempts frustrated by instituting cooling off periods for an unusual number of incorrect login attempts. The cooling off period would be lengthened each time the "user" tries x times without a successful login and eventually, login attempts from their IP address could be disallowed. White-listed users could also "register" their devices with the site after successfully logging in and attempting to log in with a new device or an incorrect password could trigger a captcha to reduce the chance of white-listed users having to endure cooling off periods because some spammer has been attempting to hack their account.

If by chance, a spammer actually took the time to get them self white-listed, the first time they post spam, they'd be put back on the blacklist and moderators would also have the option of putting them on a permanent blacklist, that is, they would not be eligible for white-listing ever again.

I hope these suggestions make sense and that they could be implemented with a justifiable amount of programming effort. I just think that they would result in less work for the moderators in the long run.

Alan from the islands

If this is the calm before the storm, it's much longer than previous lulls have been (as far as this site is concerned). It's not just us. Other peak oil sites have shut down, merged, or are seeing far less activity than they used to.

First Storm: 1979
Last Storm: 2008
Difference: 29 years
Anticipated next storm: 2014-2016
Difference: 6 - 8 years

For me, at least, it's been surprising that 2008 wasn't more of a wake-up call than it was...it being essentially not at all. Up until that point I'd been giving equal weight to fast-crash scenarios and catabolic collapse scenarios. The intervening years have tipped the scales towards the catabolic scenarios - which does include the "stair-step" declines. Accommodation in probability must always include war, so fast-crash is still not out of the picture by any means.

"That’s catabolic collapse. It’s not quite as straightforward as it sounds, because each burst of catabolism on the way down does lower maintenance costs significantly, and can also free up resources for other uses. The usual result is the stairstep sequence of decline that’s traced by the history of so many declining civilizations—half a century of crisis and disintegration, say, followed by several decades of relative stability and partial recovery, and then a return to crisis; rinse and repeat, and you’ve got the process that turned the Forum of imperial Rome into an early medieval sheep pasture."

There's the possibility that something will delay the next crisis by a few years, but I just don't see things trending that way at the moment.

This relative calm has been brought about by sacrificing a large portion of the population. Consider the number of people that've gone on foodstamps, the rising age of the average car on the road, epic numbers of foreclosures, and epic amount of deferred maintenance that's been happening the past few years. That's just in the US...then there are similar things going on in Europe. This is balanced somewhat by rises in China and India - but this is likely a less than zero sum game. Resources which the US/Europe would have used are being diverted to China/India, which they are making "more efficient use of" (GDP wise)...but I suspect the balance is less than zero sum because of the way China/India's numbers skew things. If TOD and other websites can hold things together for a few more years I believe there will be plenty of storm to go around.

"I think a lot of the "imminent doom" types have moved on to climate change or financial collapse."

I don't doubt that this is happening, but it is incredibly foolish. They're ALL problems at the same time. It's like you're running from a grizzly and you see a cougar so you go "Oh no a cougar!" and forget that you're being chased by a bear. They're both a danger - it's not one or the other. In this particular case it's like you're being chased by a Cougar-Grizzly-Wolf hybrid because they're all interconnected too.

Ghung just posted yesterday, and Westexas posted a few weeks ago. Did he actually say he was no longer showing up, or just not doing so regularly?

Humans are fantastic at exception processing, and as news flow slows down our interest and attention goes down. It makes sense that product specialists after repeating versions of the same message for years either move on or contribute less frequently. How many times can you write the same thing without starting to feel like an idiot or a whiner?

That doesn't mean that the underlying dynamics between finite resources and ever increasing demand has changed. At some point something significant has to change. Either there will be some kind of technological breakthrough (could be incremental, but still would have to happen pretty quickly relatively speaking vs past innovations) with respect to production/generation of inputs or in terms of consumption (think of the leap LEDs are making) or something happens on the demand side.
Never underestimate human ingenuity and stupidity.

Rgds WP

Seems like TOD is dropping below the critical mass of posters it needs to be the stimulating place it was. Of course not everyone will perceive this the same way I do, but the eclectic mix of very-competent posters, combined with the excellent moderation, made a kind of magic happen that I haven't really seen elsewhere. I would have liked to stay in touch with some of those folks, but only a minority put an e-mail contact in their profile.

Kinda feels like the elves are leaving middle earth.

Some Elves stuck around until Mordor was defeated, and in this case, Mordor is us. Many of us don't see much chance for victory along our current path. I think TOD has been a good place for folks to get to, and through, the acceptance phase, but in my case, I'm still not sure which scenario I accept; not that it matters since I've never had a problem with uncertainty. It's an interesting hobby, though not for the faint of heart and mind, this reality thing.

I have to admit that I really only read the DB because there have been some people and discussions that have led me off into side directions I found interesting. Near as I can see PO and the follow on effects of having discovered and exploited this massive store of energy is proceeding apace. The climate chaos part appears to be ahead of schedule, while the Wile E. Coyote industrial economy and society has achieved an amazing hang time but is clearly well off the cliff. But overall what I see fits what I would expect after studying this mess at TOD for "7 years 34 weeks" as of today.

As for the changes at TOD - it is simply part of the end of the internet. The ever increasing scams/viruses/attacks are part of the usual measures/countermeasures cycle of such things, and will drive up the complexity and cost while the utility decreases - until it just isn't worth it anymore.

TOD was an example of the best of the heyday of the internet, but everything changes - if we've learned nothing else we should have learned that. It was a good ride, and it may not be quite done yet - don't mourn it, be glad you were there. The things that matter in life are all just moments of connection with others, and this was a good one.

Peak Oil makes people busy. First, in my case, getting away from a Level 7 nuclear accident and scrambling for work was time-consuming!

Then I decided to become a "producer".(Using the ELP metric of Westexas) I had wondered for a long time what the heck to produce---and suddenly I realized that I could use my academic ideas on Shakespeare to write a novel and sell it.

Writing a novel took time. It is about the "sun/solar energy/solar economy" angle in Shakespeare's plays. ("Juliet is the sun" is the title of my novel).

I've published the ideas as a academic too, but it had always been a dream to be a fiction writer. I also write flash fiction.

I owe TOD a huge debt of gratitude. While my ideas are totally original, I needed a good education in energy and what it provides in order to see Shakespeare's framework, which is excitingly secret.

Thank you, TOD, for existing.

Moved on to where? I know Rockman posts on peakoil.com.

Moved on to where?

Same place as Rockman went.

I don't really get the appeal of peakoil.com. I spent some time there on the forums and it is literally amateur hour over there. Cornucopians and denialists pushing the same old tired arguments. Maybe I'm just missing some of the sub-forums where real civil, informed, fact based discussion and debate takes place.

Peakoil.com is not as easy to survey as TOD is, granted, and it was loading at a ridiculously slow rate up until about two weeks ago but that has now been fixed. What the Rockman likes especially about the site is that he can start his own threads and boy! has he been doing so. The quality of the site has skyrocketed as a result, and that result amounts to a concentration, at peakoil.com, of all the best he was able to do at TOD. In effect, he now has his own website, and the commenters there have realized that they now have a gold mine of quality information.

Not that I'd consider myself a consistent poster but in my own experience a lot of things could contribute to the lack of comments.

A little more than five and a half years ago, I became aware of Peak Oil and really had no problem accepting the logic behind the idea. I visited web sites, watched youtube videos and even entire documentaries and being something of a "news" junkie I eventually became a regular visitor to TOD. Five years ago I signed up to TOD, started posting and promptly had my a$$ handed to me for underestimating the level of education, knowledge and experience of many of the members on this site. This is not your typical blog! I have learned so much over the years that, I would classify the education that can be gained from this site as equivalent to at least a first degree.

At first I was quite alarmed, thinking that the decline would start any time and when the events of 2008 started unfurling, I thought, "Oh boy! this is it". Fortunately for everybody, that was just the warning shot and the ensuing years have given us all time to continue whatever preparations we all see fit. At the same time, normal life has resumed and is continuing for many people. Not to say that there are not people for whom life is different (harder) now. Businesses have failed and a buddy of mine just last week came to talk to me for advice as to what he could do to earn some more income as I think he fears that his job at an advertising agency may not be secure. I felt like a wise old man, reciting the Westexas edict, "Get out of debt and get thee to the non-discretionary side of the economy".

What I can see from my experience and those around me is that, we are experiencing a very, very slow collapse. In these times of 24 hour news cycles, overnight delivery and instant gratification, the pace of Peak Oil developments is excruciatingly slow in comparison. It is only natural that many will loose interest and with no real new "news", what's there to comment on?

Added to that is the fact that, keeping up with the discussion on TOD, much less participating, can take up an enormous amount of time and I suspect that many regulars here are posting during lulls in their work/business schedules and speaking for myself, if there are no lulls, it is literally impossible to keep up.

For me personally there are a couple of things that have happened fairly recently. One is that my current business in the discretionary side of the economy, seems to be plodding along just fine despite it all and the other is that my advising people of my intent to get into the business of energy conservation and renewable energy, has resulted in people starting to contact me about those issues. Just this week I installed a whole house energy monitor for someone who was concerned that his electricity bill had gone up to the equivalent of US$600 for the month and was able to advise him on areas he could look at to try and reduce the consumption of his household. I'm pretty sure if we're successful, word will get around and I might end up having a lot less time to follow TOD!

So until something really significant happens, I'll be busy continuing to prepare myself and those around me that can be persuaded that changes need to be made. At the same time, I have to be careful. During a recent discussion about pensions and retirement funds with a friend of mine, who is working at the her island's embassy in London, she let me know that in her opinion, Peak Oil had sent me off the deep end and that she thought I was/am going quite mad. The only response I could give her was that time would tell who is mad. I think, as I believe most of us here do, it is the world that is going/has gone mad and TOD is one of the few refuges of sanity that we can retreat to every now and again.

AFAICT events are pretty closely, following the Peak Oil script outlined in the web sites and documentaries I viewed more than five years ago. The only difference is that instead of events following one another by seconds, as they do in the documentaries, they are being spaced out over months and years. I just hope a black swan doesn't come along and stop any of my plans in mid air. There's still lots of tools and skills to acquire, lots of work yet to be done and hopefully a fair amount of enjoyment to be had along the way.

Alan from the islands

I still read DB every time it's posted. I just don't post all that much.

Yair . . . As I mentioned on a previous thread, the old 'campfire' style discussions were interesting.


Perhaps someone could see if EB (now Resilience.org) would host it. Nate was going to move his Campfires there, but he's just too busy these days.

But the point of Campfires was the discussion, wasn't it? Surely someone else could step up, if there is genuine interest.

Amazing to me that people here don't beat the drum for the real news re oil:

We must not burn it if we want to keep our biosphere. Period.

Simple fact. Everybody knows it. So why the silence?

And, why the relative silence on the corollary - we know damn well how to get off carbon right now, and have fun doing it, and it DOES NOT cost any more than the silly stuff we do right now that we could quit today and never miss.

There's the tragedy. Ample scope for chatter,

Don't bother to demand references. Tons of 'em available, and you know far better than I how to find them.

Now, that done, I go back to my current fun- putting up 5kW worth of PV to run my heat pump and my electric car, both of which I have amply funded by not going to Europe and not going to fancy restaurants and not---usw.

--usw ??

Had to look that one up. Und so weiter? (and so on?)

,,, we know damn well how to get off carbon right now, and have fun doing it, and it DOES NOT cost any more than the silly stuff we do right now that we could quit today and never miss.

Alright -actually we don't !
Well of course -the very same day- it is demonstrated that a PV manufacturing facility ,somewhere under the sun, is churning out new and fresh PV-panels solely based upon its own Solar-Power WITH energy to spare AND no fossils are involved anywhere in the entire process 'from mining - to finished installed PV farm'- whatsoever - THAT very day you will be proven correct ...
-but not before.

Pardon : I know even hinting about this PV-self-spawn-facility hurts someones feelings. I'm so sorry about that.

Well, now, Paal, is it possible? Sure, real simple logic, we know PV generates far more juice in its life than it took to make it. QED. Do we know how to do it? Sure, anyhow, I think so and so do the people I know who know a lot more than I do about it.

I also offer my standard observation. When theres a will there's a way. I have seen it in many tough cases over my life. But, if no will, no way. I have seen that in many more.

I was amused when i went to England, following my new wife to Cambridge in the'50's, , to find the English houses were flimsy, chilly and damp, just as in New England where we came from. But the Swedish houses were tight and comfortable, just as they were in Minnesota. Why? simple, England has an only slightly miserable climate,and you get by with not much of a house, and Sweden has a climate that can kill you if you don't watch out.

So, you do what you gotta do.

Right now we gotta get off ff, and we can do it. I have started up a local Just-Do-It group, and we are just doing it-- and having a lot of fun.

>> we know PV generates far more juice in its life than it took to make it - this right there is an Urban Legend to me - and I'm not comfortable with the EROEI- calculations telling energy is paid back after a few years ... not at all.

Anyway - with your "if the will is there"-thinking, we can agree that a PV-Self-Spawn-PILOT facility should be build for whatever reason ... it has to be done at some stage anyway - so why not near PeakOil when we still have real fossil juice to run the Globe with ? if my hunch is real PVs will follow fossils all the way to the grave -- give a few more years at that ..
Or do you maybe like to do this transformation 'the day after fossils'? How do you like it, Sir?

I was tempted to comment this morning on the lack of comments but then there would have been a comment. Summertime and the livin' is easy. But we had snow here in Colorado yesterday. Winter started late but hasn't completely let go.

How many are like me - I know the problem, fossil fuel. I know the solution, solar PV & grow your own food. The government and industry will not help. I'm planning on having a good community around me to sing kumbayah together, but I just bought another few boxes of 45 JHP if that doesn't work. So go outside & save your own ass.

How Is Honda Sweetening the Deal for its Electric Fit?

There is a full blown price war with EVs right now.


The leases are big with EVs because that allows the full $7500 tax-credit to be taken advantage of. (Many consumers don't have enough income tax liability to take advantage of the full credit.)

Well its summertime, so obviously people rather spend some time outside rather than checking TOD all the time.

But thats not to say theres not anything exiting happening out there. Malaysia is in and out of being a net exporter, Denmark is soon an importer, leaving Norway as only exporter in Europe (exl. Russia)and of North Sea oil. Theres lots of article to be searched though, and if anything new, I'd like to see an in depth future prediction of individual countries.

Here is an example of pushback on population control.

During a Q&A segment at a science & technology speech given by President Obama's Science Czar, John P. Holdren, Luke Rudkowski asked him about the statements made in his 1977 book, Ecoscience. In this book, Holdren outlined ways to handle "overpopulation" which included forced abortions and sterilization. Despite co-authoring this book and telling Congress that his beliefs in depopulation has changed, Holdren claimed that he never held those beliefs in the first place.

In the end the population problem is self correcting. The population will always meet or be below resources needed to sustain the population. Any "solutions" to the problem including Chinas merely deal with which individuals are allowed to reproduce or die first. Even today when there is not enough water/food/shelter the population reduces until there is enough (even if this is achieved through artificial means). Only difference going forward is when it happens on a global scale and for example crops fail in a particular region, there will be no resources to bring in to artificially fix the local problem.

Problems are self-correcting given enough time. The automatic solutions just are far more undesirable than the ones we could come up with ourselves with sufficient forethought and planning. The issue with describing the problems we face is that we simply aren't smart enough to deal with them intelligently, and our average behaviour is dictated by the primitive parts of our brains which don't like the solutions. If given the choice we will avoid short term pain even with full knowledge that in the long term it will make us miserable.


"By summer 2010, the expansion of bike lanes in NYC exposed a clash of long-standing bad habits — such as pedestrians jaywalking, cyclists running red lights, and motorists plowing through crosswalks.

By focusing on one intersection as a case study, my video aims to show our interconnection and shared role in improving the safety and usability of our streets.

The video is part of a larger campaign I created called '3-Way Street'. Please see blog.ronconcocacola.com for more details."

Crazy video of a NY intersection. Almost a miracle that more aren't killed with the way this looks.

Urgh, pedestrians! Wander into the road before even thinking about looking - if they ever do!


I wonder how many of those pedestrians and drivers are on their cell phones or texting while they are going through that intersection... The bicyclists probably not so much but they are still not demonstrating a whole lot of awareness or respect for their surroundings or other people. The whole scene just shouts ME! ME! ME!

In contrast see this scene from Holland: Amsterdam cyclists during rush hour

yup. Same rights, same rules.
wp Rgds

Maybe a new website similar to this should be created. Call it thewaterbarrel.com. Peak water is coming, if not already here. Here's a well-written summary of the current status of the Great Lakes, which are losing water. California might as well hang up its pipe dream of piping in Great Lakes water to quench its growing thirst. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/05/30/1212676/-The-Climate-Change-Imp...

Germany Population Dips!:


Census Shows New Drop in Germany’s Population
Published: May 31, 2013

BERLIN — It’s as if Leipzig, Hanover and Dresden had all disappeared in the blink of an eye, at least statistically speaking.
Germany, a country already deeply concerned about its rapidly dwindling population, released the results of its first census in nearly a quarter of a century and found 1.5 million fewer inhabitants than previously assumed.

Of course the mainstream pundits instead of cheering this development are ALARMED! Where will Germany's economic growth come from on a finite planet?

Actually this is a good sign for the Great Contraction along with Germany's leadership in Green Transit and renewable energy.

I like the comment up above "the calm before the storm" I think the storm however is going to be an economic one pushing peak oil back a lot as people use less energy because they can't afford it. I was doing some back of the envelope calculations and young people coming out of college have about 60,000 or more of debt and want to buy a house start a family, buy health insurance buy a car, and this is all at record low interest rates; what happens when interest rates rise? I was in a college town and saw three large "crowd control vehicles" roll in on a flat bed and I started to think...it makes sense if you are going to have strife it is going to start with the young people...us old people are too old to get sprayed with pepper spray etc...

Is the price of gas today reflective of the FED actions or supply or demand..I believe if the FED Stopped today oil would fall below $70 a barrel and is that enough for oil companies to make money? It is a very worrisome time anything can happen very fast. These "Titans" we have put our faith in "Obama, Geitner, Bernanke" do they really know what they are doing...? I come here seeking answers or maybe just to see if I really have this right as most people in my circles don't want to talk about this stuff, they just through their hands up and say there is nothing you can do it will all work itself out- I wish I had a tape recorder...

Is the price of gas today reflective of the FED actions or supply or demand..I believe if the FED Stopped today oil would fall below $70 a barrel and is that enough for oil companies to make money? It is a very worrisome time anything can happen very fast. These "Titans" we have put our faith in "Obama, Geitner, Bernanke" do they really know what they are doing...?

I think it speaks volumes when Bernanke suggests scaling back QE, the investment community cries foul and Helicopter Ben immediately backs off and agrees to continue it. There apparently is so much fear from those Titans that our economy could suddenly tank, they are willing to continue on with these radical policies. But as you allude to, if they stop doing anything the economy contracts, oil drops to 70 a barrel, new supply will dwindle and then we will really be looking into the abyss. At the same time if fear grips bond buyers causing interest rates to rise, that's another way we all take another step down, because that nixes QE. It's like musical chairs, as those that can continue the game ignore those that have fallen out, and we will see how long that holds before the disenfranchised organize in revolt.

Well I see it the other way around. The oil producers need more resources to extract oil with diminishing EROEI, and the economy cries foul, we can't handle that. The Fed creates pretend money to continue BAU, and that works as long as the oil extractors believe the pretend money is a real future promise of resource payback. When the game is up hyperinflation occurs. Deflation is a hopeful imagination for those with cash, because inflation is inevitable.

I hope TOD continues. I do not buy all the current "happy talk" as the numbers simply don't add up. Long ago, I decided this energy thing will be a stair step process. We'll get a shock accompanied by a level of concern, people will adjust and all will be well. At each step, a layer of society will get hit and hit hard but the media will blissfully ignore them. But at each step, a new layer of people will get hit. Your turn will come.

On the initial steps there will be wild optimism with a rash of "we've got it solved" talk. In the comments section, I read only comments by people who, very obviously, are all safe and sound. The "lower" levels who are really suffering don't have the time or the interest in all the "happy" chatter. Way too busy making a living. You folks make a comfortable living and really haven't a clue. Untold millions, billions worldwide, will never be able to buy all the quick solutions you all talk about.

Then there will be another shock and concerned talk will return. This process is a long, long way from over. My analogy is the Titanic. While third class was drowning, first class was reassuring themselves all was well and ordering another drink.

yes I agree with you Zeke,...somewhat..except that I think that the people who come to this web site for the most part get it, and don't think they are safe and sound..Although some that get their income through "pensions" tend to think they will be untouchable, looking out the window at the poor souls trying to make a living...we have already started the stair step down.. I keep looking out my window "the internet" to see if it is at my doorstep. Nope! Not yet but I think it is coming and in 4 years it will be so apparent extreme liberals and extreme right wingers will have to admit it we are fu****. It will be that time that the Baa ken is probably drying up and then you will see some fear!!! So drink up! It's going to be a bright sunny shiny day!! Maybe instead of hording gold we should start hording whiskey...might be a more trade able commodity....

My two cents on the slowdown of posting...

Thanks sparky for saying it so well....

For me it has been the increase of snark and the decline of stats. Over the years TOD has educated me. The information (soaked into my consciousness from Ron and W tex...mostly) became a big part of my knowledge base and outlook on the world. I can remember conversing with a couple of oil sands workers one day and recited the current amount of export to the US per day to emphasize a point and they couldn't believe it. One got out their iphone and checked...there it was courtesy of Ron. While I have a very sound technical background being a pilot, carpenter, shop teacher, and now welder, TOD provided impetus for me to bring it together and focus in on developing a practical lifestyle that will work in an oil constrained society....at least it will work better than suddenly waking up to collapse without a clue as to what happened? PO and inevitable decline/change is a given. It is as sure as evolution. And yet I know many in these days of 2013 who don't believe in evolution let alone climate change and peak oil. If someone cannot even realize specialization and evolutionary divergence then how would it be possible for them to view human activity/activities and their influences in an objective way? TOD has shortened our footprint in our family and reaffirmed a lifestyle that attempts to change for the better. Along the way I started receiving email contacts from university students asking about PO. It happens twice per year (semester based) and the last response is as follows....See if you can see the TOD posters in my answers. I should have signed off as "a TOD reader." The questions are part of a presentation assignment for a 3rd year business course and I always take time to respond to their questions.

Dear N......

I appreciate the bulleted list and will reply by interjecting my comments within. Please understand that what I write has been gleaned by 1-3 hours of research and reading per day over the last 4 years. I know what I am talking about.

The main point of this dilemma is not 'peak oil' or that 1/2 of all oil is gone. The problem is that the 'low hanging fruit' has been picked and this needs to be understood by what is called EROEI...energy returned on energy invested. The first oil our society exploited had a return of over 100:1...that is to say it was virtually free. One barrel for discovery, drilling, pumping, marketing etc for every 100 sold. KSA (Saudi Arabia) oil of the 1940s-60s returned at a rate of 40:1. At that time US was the largest world producer and user of petroleum products until the early 70s when US production peaked. From that time forward the US has had to rely on the world market and world price for almost 2/3 of consumption. WTI is still approx. 25 dollars per barrel cheaper than Brent, mainly because the delivery bottleneck at Cushing Okla of Canadian product, which I might add, Canada still remaining the largest supplier of foreign crude to the US market. Deepwater Gulf oil speaks for itself. If one is forced to look for, drill, and pump two miles underwater and another 8-10,000 feet of drilling through sea floor to develop the stuff...well, the logistics speak for themselves as to why. THE EASY and CHEAP STUFF is GONE. Burned. Sorry for the shout but you need to understand that oil companies are in this for a profit and if they can't get a product to market and make a buck, it won't be done. When the EROEI approaches 3:1.....2:1...it's all over and we better be using renewables for most of our energy needs. The supposed Shale revolution of Bakken tight oil is hyped far beyond reality. I suspect it is because the drilling and producing companies are Pubcos, and if the truth got out about decline rates their stocks would toilet. A typical sweet shale oil well declines 65%!!!!!!!! the first year alone and is an inefficient stripper well within 2-3 years. They are called Red Queens because the drilling and fracing has to be relentless and non-stop to simply maintain production and very soon it will go poof and people will be jerking their heads at their tv trying to understand why the US economy has totally tanked on $5.00 gas? Or, the economy will have been mirerd for so long consumption has dropped the price down to historical lows but no one has any money to buy the stuff because the industrial economy has dissappeared!!!!!. whew...all in one ungrammatical sentence!! When Keystone is built, or Canadian oil sands bitumen finds its way to the coast in different ways, the US refineries will all have to pay world price for oil as product will simply go to the highest bidder....probably China. It will happen within 5 years. If LNG plants get built the supposed 200 year supply of NG will also go to the worlds highest bidders and will sell domestically for up to 4X what the current price is. Right now the excess is all being flared and is visible from space.

Can this be true? Well, pipeline companies refuse to increase pipeline capacity for Bakken because they know their lines can never be paid for. They are using railroads to move the oil because the rail lines are already in.

At any rate...KSA oil is now around 12 and15:1 eroei...and Canadian oil sands is anywhere between 15:1 and 4:1, depending on what company is selling as new infrastructure is more expensive than established production. Bakken Shale of ND is simply tight oil trapped within shale layers as opposed to porus sand in most supply areas. As mentioned, it won't last too much longer due to the rapid decline rates.

Now to your list:

Has the moment of "peak oil" already passed or are we still at the peak of oil extraction?

Peak oil/extraction (remember the actual 50% used up doesn't matter, it could be 40-60% who knows?.....it is the cheap stuff that is gone...anyway, PEAK PRODUCTION of crude and condensate with refinery gain appears to have occurred in 2005. We have been on an undulating plateau of production since then....rising a few hundred thousand per day....declining a few hundred...since then. I believe that a slow but sure decline will begin 2014-15 of 1-2 % rising to 3-4% shortly thereafter. Of course this all depends on the economy. If the world economy declines further, or the debt ponzi card houses start to topple oil use will drop, but then so will expensive product production, so who knows? We are on the ride. though. You are living it right now. It just seems slow motion due to our sense of time.

How aware do you believe the general public to be of the actual "truth" of the situation"?

If you include yourself and other bright younger citizens as part of the 'general public' the word is starting to get out. But if you want my cynical appraisal of today's population in NA, and I include Canada with this, most people are simply running flat out trying to get by and survive....if they have kids and financial obligations. As a rule, I believe that with current electronics use and social media people in general are getting stupider by the week and are too distracted to critically appraise much of anything besides what might be on tv. Kuntsler refers to these folks as the 'cheese doodle munching nascar crowd'. Myself, I look at the tatoos, piercings, stupid hats, and baggy pants and ask myself how more basic and dumbed down can we get? In short, no....most folks assume the gravey will flow forever, and furthermore, they deserve full plates because they are 'exceptional'.

Do you believe that the press and media outlets have been giving enough coverage of the oil crisis or not nearly enough?

I do not believe in the conspiracy theory of keeping it all quiet. No, I think that with our tight economy and pandering to a busier and dumber population the press 'won't get it' until it is so obvious they have to reprt on it and then the pundits will be asked to explain why everyone believed Daniel Yergin at face value? The media is a business/industry and have to answer to their advertisors. Fareed Zaharia appears to be even unaware of the actual situation. This may be because the inevitable result of oil decline will have such terrible implications for everyday life we have come to accept as normal. Does anyone want the stock market to tank? It will happen overnight with the right circumstances. If Israel bombs Iran and the Straits get closed....oil shoots to $200 per barrel and the pumps run dry because everyone fills their tank....what do you think will happen to commerce? Scary stuff.

We watched a documentary made in 2004 about how there are no feasible alternatives to oil and natural gas. The video even made fun of hydrogen powered cars. How much has the technological landscape changed since then and is it enough to change the direction of the oil crisis with current technology?

Cars powered by ICE (internal combustion engines) gave people freedom of travel. ICE gave workers machines that can do in one day what 50 people will have to expend for one year to accomplish the same results....I am thinking of excavators and hoes.....graders and cranes. Petroleum has given us plastics, pharmacuticals, fertiliser, increased food production....marvels and wizards of products and production, but sadly has been squandered by turning people into consumers. It has been cheap, relatively easy to find and refine, market and utilize. Renewables are none of the above.

Do you believe that the oil crisis is a legitimate threat or is it just something blown out of proportion?

Life will change as we know it. The carrying capacity of the earth without petroleum is thought to be 1.2 billion. There is 7 billion alive today. Do the math and shudder. Arab springs are just a thought about a first step as to what happens when the price of food increases. (It wasn't about democracy, it was about the price of bread). And that was nothing compared to the implications of 3-4% year over year decline in oil production. I don't know what to say to you? I have lost a job when I had a young family to support and would have done whatever it took to survive. What do you think US cities would be like with 50% unemployment like there is in Spain right now?

N....., this is a serious issue. We need bright minds working hard on all of these ideas because most people will be unable to do anything beyond whine. I hate to say it, but perhaps Global warming is the more serious issue facing us.

I am going to give you some advice and I hope you share it with your friends. Be positive and feed your sense of humour. Watch your debt. Reduce and have no personal debt if you can manage it. Learn some practical skills for a reduced in lifestyle society. Be able to build things and fix things. learn to grow your own food and enjoy doing so. And I would learn to play a musical instrument.

No, I am not a crackpot. I am a grandfather that reads who had parents that lived through the Great Depression. Bob Dylan said it best. The times truly are changing.


Gee, a lot of work! Thanks for being such a good citizen. Now, just out of curiosity and for sure no criticism intended, how come you hardly mentioned climate change from ff? Seems to me this is by far the biggest threat to the next generations and they should be reminded of it constantly.

BTW, I grew up during the depression, had a lot of fun even if no money and lots of sweaty toil, and I remember everybody, nearly, knew how to fix their car and/or shoe their horse. Just normal everyday living. I also remember lots of people dying young, and I was very nearly one of them-several times. Also, just everyday dying.

Unfortunately whilst we have a lot of specialists the average capability of the average citizen is nowhere what it used to be. Sure we can use computers and maybe access a wireless network, but basic knowledge such as how to fix a leaking tap seems sorely absent. Google does not really make up for the general ignorance and skill atrophe when the citizens cannot use the information.

A lot is made of 'digital natives', or in other words children brought up with iPads and things like that; however it isn't exactly useful knowledge to be able to push an imaginary button with your finger. I'm 28 and I learnt how to read/write with DOS. Little Mary may be able to impress her parents with her iPad skills at 3 y/o whilst I was typing C:\Dos\Games\Castle.exe when I was 3-4 years old. People just aren't being challenged enough and what challenges they do face are grossly exagerated.

I grew up in a family where children were not encouraged to do anything mechanical for themselves. I realize that the average person is incapable of doing things that would have been second nature years ago, but personally I have been able to do many things around the house such as fixing my dryer that I would never have attempted several years ago. The reason? The internet. Especially youtube. If you take the time, you can learn to do virtually anything these days with a few clicks of the mouse. And even if you have someone else do the work, you can very quickly get up to speed so that you understand what they are doing and whether what they are doing is really necessary.

With experience you get to see the various techniques that are used to assemble parts of different machines/materials/functions, regardless of if you learn from good instructions or just from doing and failing. Eventually you can make a decent educated guess as to how a given device might be assembled, and once you have it apart then what might be the cause of whatever is wrong with it.

That's very true. I have used the net to find information on everything from basic carpentry to how to use software to repairing cars, dishwashers, and plumbing. I suppose in the old days I would have had to ask a human being to show me how, but the net is much more convenient.

Hi Wimbi,

I would have mentioned climate change but the course assignment is about PO and is actually kick-started by the film...The End Of Suburbia...just to get things rolling and the kids thinking. This is an expensive big school and the kids have to be well fixed to attend and seem to be part of that cohort that slides into university and white collar as an expression of "this is what we do"...."this is what/who we are", and are able to afford it. Being a business course I assume many will become lawyers and MBAers.

I always think of the characters in Risky Business when I get the emails. You know when the kids are sitting in the cafe and Tom Cruise says "he wants to help serve mankind" and they all crack up up in laughter?

I am very concerned about climate change as you are Wimbi. Having said that these kids seem to understand that if the fine-tuned stratified economy tanks, everything they are and hope to be is threatened. For my older siblings (I am 57 and missed the Viet Nam wrenching), it was finding out and realizing the Govt. lied and a whole lot of people were killed that shouldn't have been. When my parents realized the IRS was investigating protestors, at that time they felt their country was no longer what it purported to be and moved north to Canada....my mother's homeland. Both of my folks were WW2 vets (Normandy beach landings for my Dad and a frontline nurse for my mom) and were quite disillusioned by Nixon and the nightly Walter Cronkite news and scrolling body counts. We left and I was lucky to grow up as a Canadian.

It is interesting to see the modern versions of Govt. lies and the recent IRS investigations of Tea Party groups. (How things stay the same).

I grew up with stories of my Dad's Depression childhood in rural Minnesota. "We always had lots to eat, but no money". My Moms life was so poor she never talked about it and sadly I know nothing of that side of my family beyond it began in New Brunswick, the winters were dreadful, and everyone moved away. The stories from my dad's side were fascinating, and when I went through my own tough times in the 80's with a young family I adopted his same outlook on how to get by...filled the woodshed, raised rabbits and chickens, expanded the garden, cash jobs on the side, and eventually had to work away and sent my pay cheques home. For about 3 years our experience mirrored my Dads. That was the early 80s and the forest industry had collapsed. That was when we saw the first food banks which were supposed to only be stop-gap. Of course I was too proud to ever use one. I was also ashamed of my green unemployment cheques and have never used UI beyond that one winter of 81. How was this different from today, or what perhaps lies in the future?

PO awareness seems to be as natural as anything else we are taught or learn through living. Over the years I have learned to to tone it down, especially with young people, because I think it is wrong to affect other people's hope. They will learn about PO soon enough and will have to grasp their own methods of adaptation. The same for climate change or climate chaos. What my wife and I seem to do is demonstrate a different way to live which we share with family and friends. Yes, we have a car but it is a Yaris. We grow most of our own food beyond flour, sugar, and lightbulbs kind of staples. We give a lot of food away. If I lived in a city I would be the relative with no car, used transit, belonged to a co-op, and would eat local. But we live in the country because that is who we are.

Po awareness for me has now been what...7-8 years? I don't know how long it has been. I went through many stages and was very upset about it for a long time. I used to worry about never having plastic bags and how useful they are. Over the years we have adapted our lifestyle to accomodate and I now feel more secure. Being a carpenter I always knew I could build things and have since aquired machining skills, complete welding certification this November, wired houses, wrenched engines and tractors, and built up a solid tool and material inventory. We also have a wide selection of hand tools for felling and working with wood...firewood to furniture and everything in between. For now we use the routers, tablesaw, planers and jointers and are very thankful for the tools and electricity.

PO awareness seems to be a 'duh' thing as does climate change. As I write this I am looking at the river I live on and realize this is the third year in a row that June has arrived and the flow is too high to skid the dock in. We have had big tides last week and rising sea levels are always a concern. However, compared to those wealthy folks who live on the beaches we are probably okay. I wanted to put together a transition group like Todd and others have done through their Grange but this area is pretty red neck and I know how that will go. Instead, we are throwing a party tonight for about 30 people and participate in building our community. There are about 4 of us who do this over the year. We seem to be the spring hosters. It should be fun.

We can't do it all. We have to work within Peak Oil realization with our unique skill sets and personalities. For some it is through research and their computer skills. Sometimes I get made at "The Oil Drum" and vow to not go back. But how can I do this? TOD has really helped me over the years. The information and conversation has been invaluable. This PO business is more than any one of us and when people leave our site we are poorer for it. I think we all have a contribution to make and when the strident go on and on about their pet subjects or attack others with snark or ridicule, many of us can kindly moderate and steer the conversation elsewhere. I wish I were an engineer and could contribute more technical information but I am not. I did the arts thing even though I am blue collar. However, I take solace in remembering how many jobsite engineers I have known who could not drive a nail or figure out a rafter.:-) I have seen blueprints so out of touch they were foolish. Don't get me started on building codes. As the decline sets in I believe that we need simple answers and a reduction in complexity. That is why I have balked at EV and PV. It is a personal viewpoint, only. I think we would do much better at addressing transportation with very simple and fuel efficient cars that are light weight and can be fixed by the owners. Screw the airbags and computer sensors. I met someone this fall who did not know how to check their tire pressure or how to put air in? May this educated person driving her computerized marvel is too dumb to drive or own a car?

So, how do we replace Ron or Rockman? RMG? We can't. I also have gone to PO News and message over the years but have only recently registered but seldom post. It is very slow and hard to post. The articles are very brief and very much like headlines. It does not replace TOD and what I have read in the forums does not replace the expertise on TOD...or at least what used to be here. I hope we don't lose any more contributors. What I have experienced on TOD the last year or so is the feeling that I am shouted down, or disregarded because I don't share a POV. A sense of civility has been lost and replaced with flippancy and one-liners. I think Leanan hit it on the head, it is the smart phones influencing the discourse because it serves that purpose being a rapid means of texting. I know that what I write will make some mad and others will appreciate. But when we disagree we need to do so politely and not attack the person. I think Rocky had enough of Oil Queda or attacks because he works in the industry. If this was a foodie site would you beat up on a chef because he/she cooked for Donald Trump? I would hope not. Plus, the politics. Republicans are not evil. They can't help it if someone like Michlle Bachman carries a card. We need to give these personal attacks a break. My son works in the oil industry up in the Oil Sands. He is a fine young man working where he can make a good living. I get really choked when my friends and family are attacked. Industry people...from drillers to planners share their knowledge and insights about the industry and they should not be driven away by negative reponders.

To close...thanks for reading my stuff and sharing yours. Lets hope for good weather andf a great weekend.


Thank you, Paul. I'm 70 (gettin' real close to 71 now) and have several with whom to share this assessment -- as one man's assessment, of course, but nevertheless an assessment well worth paying attention to. Not only do U.S. representatives continuously campaign for the next election now, but also presidential hopefuls and even senators, who only have to be elected every six years. This, if nothing else, is causing continuous lying and political chaos, and it seems to be a worldwide phenomenon. Time has become so compressed by all this "faster and faster and faster" everything that even those who study "social" matters cannot keep up with the disastrous effects of Ultimate Multi-tasking gone berserk. The economists can't keep up, because computers trade so fast that they don't really have more than a "clue" as to what's going on. The irreversible problems, then, are not only technical, financial, and climate related, but also deeply sociological and philosophical.

Your reference to the Dylan song had me reading the entire lyrics -- and for fun I also clicked on the Wikipedia link to see what was written there about that song/poem. Probably wouldn't have mentioned it here but for the incredible irony contained in the last line of the Wiki entry:

On December 10, 2010, Dylan's hand-written lyrics of the song were sold at auction at Sotheby's, New York, for $422,500. They were purchased by a hedge fund manager.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry.


I'd agree that people from different areas of the world, different social strata will view the changes differently but if we are sinking we're sinking slowly.

I live in Peru and the people here despite being poor by developed world standards are very optimistic. I regularly meet with those who don't have the time or money to indulge in watching the world and discuss if it's really getting any better or worse and from their perspective it's getting better. The people I meet are city dwellers but they also have family who still live in remote areas of the country.

Economic activity is growing well here although slowing. In my opinion climate change is moving along at a steady pace and noticeably so. The 'lower levels' occasionally discuss it (often at my instigation) and although they seem aware that all is not quite right their level of living is improving so it doesn't really chime with them.

Our talk of climate change, economic collapse, peak oil, overpopulation is an intellectual pursuit. I doubt any one of us is in a position where we can effect any real change as an individual although we may be able to do so as a group. People worldwide will carry on with their lives oblivious to most of what we discuss; they are concerned with day to day issues and any changes to their lives won't be attributed to the actions of other countries. If the lower levels sink they sink, they'll at least sink without the knowledge that they could have done something about it which is something quite enviable in my opinion.

Here in Cusco I'm doing a stocktake of tourists visiting the city. I personally feel tourism is noting a serious decline in the past couple of years and the idea to build a new airport destroying the best and only farming land in the region is misguided. Maybe if I can show the decline people will listen, it's unlikely though as the lower levels will always buy in to the idea of the up and up along with everyone else.

Our talk of climate change, economic collapse, peak oil, overpopulation is an intellectual pursuit.

While our discussions of these topics have an undeniable intellectual component, they are all very real phenomena with very real implications for vast numbers of people all over the world.

I'm currently down in Brazil and see much of what you are seeing in Peru here as well. I think that the poorer segments of the Brazilian population also have enjoyed better circumstances in recent times and are therefore quite optimistic about the future. From my perspective, knowing what I know, I'm afraid they are going to be somewhat disappointed. As you imply their ignorance may shield them from the anguish caused by having a deep knowledge of our circumstances. The cliche, ignorance is bliss, may be their blessing in disguise.

I think the flurry of economic activity in Brazil right now due to preparations for the world soccer cup and the Olympics may help raise the general standard of living for the population at large in the near term but it is a bubble I expect will burst shortly thereafter and may bring with it quite a bit of social strife.

Damn Chinese with their interesting times curse!

Do "better circumstances" equate to increased consumption?

Ghung, I say the answer to that is a resounding yes! Unfortunately these people aren't consuming products that will help them to be sustainable in the long run. They are following the same path that is ruining the US.
Not only that but people who never had access to credit before now have gotten more than they will ever be able to repay. The same global banks are here giving out the credit cards. The people are maxing out their credit on things that they don't really need. The advertisers are enticing them with all the manufactured artificial wants. I don't see this ending well in the long run.

ignorance is bliss


News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether

I stopped consuming what passes for news a long time ago. Acquiring knowledge is not the same as consuming news!
The trick is what to do with the knowledge once you have it. Hopefully it can be used to better prepare yourself for developing real survival skills in a very uncertain world. Though knowledge and skills by themselves are not enough, survival also depends on being in the right place at the right time, with the right group of people who also have knowledge and complementary skills, that means a very large dose of good luck...


I personally dislike the news. I don't watch it and I don't read it generally. I am usually ignorant of a lot of things going on, but really they aren't what I would consider 'need-to-know'.

Suerte. Here the local mayor is bemoaning a decline but it is hard to classify it. They built many new resorts but failed to take into account that we are highly seasonal, lots of full rooms in high season but lots of vacancies in low. A big attraction has been the old, un-modernised town, Old Mexico, but each mayor has allowed a lot of corporate, modern development. The main sea front was pedestrianised by the last mayor, a potential huge boon for the town, but the current mayor wants it open to traffic - picture dozens of taxis following you down the street screaming 'Taaxii', not attractive to tourists. Big new resorts, to the north in a different state, are hoovering up tourists who have no need to come to town when in all-inclusive luxury. Lots of condos that remain empty in the summer, displacing old hotels that held... tourists.

Now, try and pick out of that what is caused by external factors... not easy. Fuel costs seem to have hit some cruise lines while unfounded fears of crime are also a contributing factor. Not an easy analysis.


In my neck of the woods, it is customary to blame declines in tourism on lack of advertising by the government. Everybody, from the hotels to the parliamentary opposition will admonish the incumbent administration for cutting costs by not engaging in enough "destination" advertising. It is usually after the fact that the incumbent administration will assign blame to a soft market or poor conditions in the major markets (US, EU, Canada). The most you might hear in advance of a poor season is that, the government expects the situation to be challenging and has stepped up their destination marketing to try and get a bigger piece of the shrinking pie or something to that effect. The assumption is always that, growth will continue and more rooms will have to be built.

On another front, I found myself shouting at the radio in my van last night when I heard the nonsense coming out of the Minister of Industry Investment and Commerce. He was being interviewed about the plans to turn the island into a logistics hub as an expansion of the Kingston transshipment terminal, one of the bright spots in the local economy when the global economy is humming and lots of goods are being shipped globally.

What really upset me is when he used the following as an example of the opportunities to add value to goods passing through the facility. He said that a lot of cars pass through the island that are destined foe various markets. He continued that since the regulatory and marketing conditions in each market are different, operations could be set up to tailor cars for the various markets. He then went on to say that for example, local operations could be set up to tailor cars passing through the "logistics hub" to be either left hand drive or right hand drive, depending on the market for which they are destined. It was at that point I started shouting at the radio. What arrant nonsense! That is not how car manufacturing works! No wonder this island is a basket case if that is the level of thought going on at the highest levels of government!

Having been a member at TOD for 5 years and six days as of the time of this post, has made me a lot more critical of specious arguments and a lot less likely to make them myself.

Alan from the islands

I dont think I saw this discussed (which surprised me). From a Financial Times article (which is proving difficult to link to):
.....Sanford C. Bernstein, the Wall Street research company, calls the rapid increase in production costs “the dark side of the golden age of shale”. In a recent analysis, it estimates that non-Opec marginal cost of production rose last year to $104.5 a barrel, up more than 13 per cent from $92.3 a barrel in 2011.

Effectively the price of oil would seem to have a floor at $100 - which very much seems to have been the case. Interestingly in an FTalphaville article from almost a year ago they almost exactly predicted this would happen - marginal costs then were around $93 I think they claimed.

Once assumes then at the same rate of increase by May 2014 the marginal cost per barrel will be close to $110, in which case the price of oil is likely heading up.

I saw that, but I usually don't link to FT articles, because of that problem with linking to them. Their paywall is a pain in the posterior.

Did a Google search on: ["Financial Times" "Sanford C. Bernstein" May 2013 $104.5]

Found that article dated "May 29, 2013" entitled:

Costs rise for ‘technological barrels’ of oil

At the epicentre of the shale revolution is the US, and it represents a paradigm of the cost of technology. Sanford C. Bernstein found an “unprecedented” spike in the US oil marginal cost last year, jumping to $114 a barrel, up from $89 in 2011.
The IEA forecasts that North America will account for roughly 65 per cent of non-Opec production capacity growth until 2018.
Net income margins in the sector are now at the lowest in a decade,” the firm said after reviewing the economics of the world’s 50-largest listed oil companies. “This is not sustainable. Either prices must rise or costs must fall,” it added. [emphasis added]

Labor costs might be relatively high during the initial phase of the boom as more new workers are "educated" by hands-on training. Labor costs might be expected to decline, if demand for new workers slacks off.

But then, burning fossil fuels on a finite Eaarth isn't sustainable...

E. Swanson

Well an Oil Drum reword like, "The Oil Drum: Discussions About Energy, Resilience and Our Future" might be a simple way to appear more relevant if it feels it needs to.

Uptop Bloomberg, squeeze on smaller CDN oil sands players esp. steam in situ

more info on getting EIA data



I use wget with exclusions to selectively get EIA's.

Does seem to be a slight slow down in applications sent to AB, none in April.

Would be interesting in any input on Cenovus which had some of the most recent applications in.

SIDEBAR: Any info about when the Edmonton refinery went back on line. Any info on why Sunoco had to call in KBR last year to improve maintenance there? Not seeing any more than 20 consecutive steam-heat-capable tankers rolling west anymore, so I guess it is back on line. Still lots of 80-120 strings of tankers going east (and south) from Winnipeg, both CP and CN lines.