Drumbeat: June 17, 2013

Clashes erupt at Indonesia demos against fuel hike

JAKARTA — Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at stone-throwing protesters in Indonesia on Monday, as thousands demonstrated nationwide against the government's plan to increase fuel prices.

Several people were injured in the clashes which came as lawmakers at the national parliament in the capital Jakarta were set to approve budget amendments that will pave the way for the first fuel hike since 2008.

Indonesia expected to approve fuel hike

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesia's parliament was expected to approve a budget Monday that will slash government fuel subsidies, a move that will save billions of dollars but has sparked protests by those opposing higher gasoline prices.

The measure, which would hike gasoline prices an average of 33 percent, also includes around $900 million for cash handouts to help cushion the effects on the country's 15.5 million families who live in poverty.

Street protests erupted in major cities and clashes with police were reported. More than 18,000 police and soldiers were deployed to secure the capital, Jakarta. Thousands of police also guarded gas stations across the country.

America enjoys oil rush as world switches to other energy sources

The peak oil theory, which states that we have passed the moment of maximum global oil production, was described 40 years ago by Marion Hubbert, a former Royal Dutch Shell geophysicist. However, once again, human innovation has saved the day.

The case for shale gas is growing

Energy policy has rarely been so topical and so political. Debates have raged recently about renewables versus fossil fuels, the cost of new nuclear, concerns over onshore wind, the 2030 decarbonisation target and, of course, shale gas. One of the problems caused by the increasing politicisation of energy policy is the tendency for people to see the debate in terms of competing extremes, rather than the need for a diverse and complex mix. There is nothing simple about energy policy. Anyone who offers you a simplistic view probably doesn't understand it.

To start with, there should be no real argument about whether we need to choose between gas or renewables. We need both and will do for some time. We routinely generate over 75% of our current electricity needs from a mix of gas and coal, and 83% of our homes are heated by gas. Even a speedy increase in developing new renewable generation will take a long time to cut into that, and it should start by displacing the coal rather than the gas. According to the Department for Energy and Climate Change's central forecast, gas demand by 2030 will be broadly the same as it is today. The question is not 'do we need gas?', it is 'where will that gas come from?'

WTI Crude Trades at Nine-Month High on Mideast Unrest

West Texas Intermediate crude traded at the highest price in more than nine months because of renewed speculation that unrest in Syria will spread to other parts of the Middle East and disrupt supplies.

Futures gained as much as 0.8 percent after rising the most in five days on June 14, capping a second weekly gain. U.S. President Barack Obama was said to authorize arming Syrian rebel groups. Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani’s vow to improve ties with the world carried him to a surprise first-round election win. Stronger summer demand and supply risks continue to support the market, Morgan Stanley said in a research note.

Barclays Sees Brent Crude Capped at $107.60: Technical Analysis

Brent crude’s two-week rally may halt at about $107.60 a barrel as futures reach the top of an upward-sloping trading channel, according to technical analysis by Barclays Plc.

Brent’s August contract traded above the 200-day moving average on June 14 before it capped a two-week, 2.3 percent advance to $105.93 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. It also settled above a previous resistance level of $105.15, signaling further gains are possible within a new range, the bank said in an e-mailed report.

"Turkey will invest 100 billion liras in energy in next decade", energy minister

Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz has said Turkey would invest 100 billion liras in energy within the next 10 years.

Speaking to the state-run television channel on Monday, Yildiz said, "The ministry is set to invest over one billion liras in coal plants in the frame of environmental investment. We don't work against the nature but we work with it."

South Korea: Firms join power saving campaign

Companies have joined government-led power saving campaigns because the nation faces a possible blackout ahead of the peak summer season.

The government, which has unveiled a package of power saving measures, is “forcibly” encouraging the public and companies to save as much energy as possible, promising incentives.

Australia to boost offshore oil exploration

Canberra (IANS) Australia has announced the grant of 13 new offshore petroleum exploration permits as part of round one of the 2012 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release, Resources and Energy Minister Gary Gray said in a statement Monday.

The award of these permits will see an estimated 180 million AU dollars ($172.2 million) in new investment in waters off Western Australia and Tasmania over the next three years, reported Xinhua.

Friendships Die Hard for Hezbollah Angering Gulf Over Syria

Allegiances are proving costly for Islamic militant group Hezbollah as the war in Syria deepens the sectarian divide in the Middle East.

Days after the town of al-Qusair fell to President Bashar al-Assad’s forces this month with help from Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah, the group was shunned by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. The oil-rich, mainly Sunni GCC labeled it a terrorist group and threatened unprecedented measures against its loyalists and their financial transactions. The U.S. said last week it will help arm the Syrian opposition.

Analyst: Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria now best-equipped of the group

(CNN) -- Al Qaeda's affiliate inside Syria is now the best-equipped arm of the terror group in existence today, according to informal assessments by U.S. and Middle East intelligence agencies, a private sector analyst directly familiar with the information told CNN.

Concern about the Syrian al Qaeda-affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front, is at an all-time high, according to the analyst, with as many as 10,000 fighters and supporters inside Syria. The United States has designated al-Nusra Front as a terrorist group with links to al Qaeda in Iraq.

India cuts Iran oil imports 42 percent, takes Venezuelan, other crudes

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India cut its Iranian oil imports by more than 40 percent in the first five months of the year, replacing the crude with shipments from Venezuela, Iraq and Oman, and pushing Iran down four places to seventh among its suppliers.

India's imports of Iranian oil for May dropped 12.2 percent from a year ago to 213,500 barrels per day (bpd), tanker arrival data compiled by Reuters from trade sources shows.

Iranians Celebrate Surprise Rohani Win as Reason for Hope

Hassan Rohani, who criticized government intervention in Iranian lives and pledged dialogue with the world, won the nation’s presidency with enough backing to avoid a second-round vote.

Residents of Tehran celebrated into the night after it was announced yesterday that Rohani won 50.7 percent of the 37 million votes counted. Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf was second with 16.6 percent. Nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili and former Revolutionary Guards commander Mohsen Rezai followed.

Rohani Victory May Undermine Support for Israeli Attack on Iran

Iranian President-elect Hassan Rohani’s vow to improve ties with the world carried him to a surprise first-round win. It may have also rewound the clock on a potential military strike against his country over its nuclear program.

“Those advocating an attack on Iran have been dealt a setback,” said Suzanne Maloney, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington. “The chances of an attack on Iran are even more remote than they have been in many years.”

Turkey Police Escalate Crackdown as Erdogan Rallies Support

Police in Istanbul stepped up their attacks on protesters, detaining hundreds amid some of the worst violence this month, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a mass rally a few kilometers away that those behind the unrest will be made to pay.

Libyan crude oil output partly recovers after protests

TRIPOLI: Libya's oil output has climbed to 1.3 million barrels per day from less than 1 million bpd last week as operations normalise following several disruptions due to protests at fields and ports, a senior Libyan industry source said.

"Production was 1.3 million bpd yesterday," the source said on Monday, "Things have started to stabilise."

Georgian Energy Minister: Trans-Caucasian corridor should be strategic for entire region

"The plan provides both economic and social provision for the country and all this must be done in the shortest possible time. Both energy and railway are strategic spheres for us and we must do everything to make our corridor strategically important for the entire region," the minister said.

Saudi Aramco-Dow JV raises funding for $19 billion project

Sadara Chemical Co, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical, has signed a fundraising package for the $19.3 billion petrochemical complex it is building in the east of the kingdom, three banking sources said on Sunday.

5 fastest-growing states

GDP growth rate: 13.4%

The energy boom once again made North Dakota the fastest-growing state in the country, according to a recent report from the Commerce Department.

Attracted by six-figure salaries and an unemployment rate below 3%, workers from across the country continue to flock to the Bakken Shale region in the northwest part of the state.

On the brink, Detroit halts debt payments, plans pension cuts

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) Detroit will immediately stop payments on about $2 billion in debt, the city's emergency manager announced Friday, an effort to conserve cash.

The manager, Kevyn Orr, also said Detroit will need to cut pay and pension and health benefits for city workers.

Debt holders are likely to get only pennies on the dollar.

Statoil shuts field centre in N. Sea after incident

(Reuters) - Production at the Oseberg field centre in the Norwegian section of the North Sea is shut after an incident early on Monday, and it is unclear when it will restart, operator Statoil said.

Who'll pay for San Onofre?

The decision to decommission the San Onofre nuclear power plant doesn't end its saga, which instead promises to drag on for decades. There are long-term uncertainties about where to find replacement power for Southern California Edison customers and how long to allow the plant to take up beach space in Camp Pendleton before demolishing it. Before that, though, the state's Public Utilities Commission will have to decide who should pay for the fiasco that led to San Onofre's early retirement.

Nuclear Decommissioning Surge Is Investor Guessing Game

Nuclear utilities thrust into the spotlight after the Fukushima meltdowns have ordered 20 reactors shut, the most in a three-year span since Chernobyl’s aftermath, saddling the industry with a possible $26 billion in costs.

Bloomberg Plan Aims to Require Food Composting

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has tried to curb soda consumption, ban smoking in parks and encourage bike riding, is taking on a new cause: requiring New Yorkers to separate their food scraps for composting.

China Sets New Rules Aimed at Curbing Air Pollution

HONG KONG — China’s cabinet has adopted 10 measures to improve air quality in the latest move aimed at responding to the dense smog that has repeatedly enveloped Beijing and other major Chinese cities in recent years.

Why Dwindling Snow—Thanks Largely to Climate Change—Might Dry Out Los Angeles

The City of Angels has struggled with the basic fact that it is a desert metropolis since its founding. (Just watch Chinatown.) The first three months of 2013 were the driest for California on record, and there’s no relief in sight. Now a new study from the University of California-Los Angeles suggests that the local mountain snowfall—vital for water supplies—could fall 30 to 40% below 2000 levels by midcentury, thanks to global warming. And if emissions don’t decline and warming is worse than we expect, more snow will vanish, even as greater L.A. continues to grow.

An Arid Arizona City Manages Its Thirst

PHOENIX — The hiss of sprinklers serenades improbably green neighborhoods early in the morning and late at night, the moisture guarding against the oppressive heat. This is the time of year when temperatures soar, water consumption spikes and water bills skyrocket in this city, particularly for those whose idea of desert living includes cultivating a healthy expanse of grass.

Half of the water consumed in homes here is used to irrigate lawns, but there is a certain curiosity about the way water is used in Phoenix, which gets barely eight inches of rain a year but is not necessarily parched.

The per capita consumption here, 108 gallons a day, is less than in Los Angeles, where residents average 123 gallons a day. And though humid Southeastern cities like Atlanta have grappled with recurrent water shortages, there is no limit here to how many times someone can wash a car or water flowers in a yard.

Insulating your house could boost its value by £25,000

Energy saving improvements are boosting house prices by 14-38% according to a study from the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The report’s findings, based on 300,000 sales from 1995-2011, suggest energy efficiency is now a major factor in influencing the sale of residential houses in England.

Al Gore says Obama must veto 'atrocity' of Keystone XL tar sands pipeline

Al Gore has called on Barack Obama to veto the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, describing it as "an atrocity".

The former vice-president said in an interview on Friday that he hoped Obama would follow the example of British Columbia, which last week rejected a similar pipeline project, and shut down the Keystone XL.

Obama’s Keystone Silence Is Driving Green-Activists Away

“I was really depressed,” Abrams, who has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Obama and the Democrats, said in a telephone interview. “People who had hoped he would do really great things walk away feeling that he’s not standing up against the fossil fuel industry.”

Obama leaves climate change-fighting tool on shelf for now

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama has vowed to tackle climate change in his second term, but so far has not acted to strengthen a tool that does not require backing from Congress - the National Environmental Policy Act.

NEPA, a statute that dates to the Nixon administration, calls on officials to weigh whether projects such as highways, dams or oil drilling could harm the environment.

Most coal must stay in ground to save climate

SYDNEY (AFP) - Most fossil fuels must remain in the ground because burning them will unleash changes that will "challenge the existence of our society", a new Australian government agency report warned Monday.

The Climate Commission study found that the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, a key Australian export, represented the most significant contributor to climate change.

Climate science debate has cost precious time, expert warns

Floods, bushfires and this year's scorching summer heatwave have raised awareness of the dangers of climate change, but an "infantile" debate over the validity of the science has cost Australia precious time, according to a key Climate Commission expert.

Oil, gas have central role in British economy

LONDON (UPI) -- The British government will continue to rely on oil and natural gas reserves despite a push to advance a low-carbon economy, the British energy minister said.

Vulnerable states decry slow progress at Bonn climate talks

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Two weeks of U.N.-led climate talks in Bonn ended on Friday in an atmosphere of frustration, with participants bemoaning insufficient progress on everything from securing financial support for vulnerable poor countries to protecting forests.

Beyond NYC: Other places adapting to climate, too

From Bangkok to Miami, cities and coastal areas across the globe are already building or planning defenses to protect millions of people and key infrastructure from more powerful storm surges and other effects of global warming.

Coastal Cities And Climate Change: You're Going To Get Wet

Even as seas have risen over the past century, Americans have rushed to build homes near the beach. Storms that lash the modern American coastline cause more economic damage than their predecessors because there is more to destroy. The Great Miami Hurricane of 1926, a Category 4 storm, caused $1 billion-worth of damage in current dollars. Were it to strike today the insured losses would be $125 billion, reckons AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe-modelling firm. In 1992 Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm, caused $23 billion in damage; today it would be twice that.

UN drought chief: ‘famine dehumanizes us, but it is not a fate’

The most affected communities are not standing by but are leading the way to drought resilience and water security.

While we pondered and planned the actions to take in the Sahel, for instance, affected communities in Niger and Burkina Faso invested in agroforestry and protected over 5 million hectares of farmland from 1975.

In the latter half of this period, villagers in the Tahoua region of Niger saw a dramatic rise in the water table by as much as 14 metres, and were less vulnerable to the most recent droughts in the region.

Climate change overseas likely to affect UK food supplies

Climate change abroad will have a more immediate effect on the UK than climate change at home, a report says.

Research by consultants PWC for Defra says the UK is likely to be hit by increasingly volatile prices of many commodities as the climate is disrupted.

It warns that global production of some foodstuffs is concentrated in a few countries.

Solar will be going to the dogs. Rover and Spot to automate Utility scale
ground mount installation and maintenence.
Solar 2.0: The Rise Of The Robots

After the ground is prepared, a mixing truck and concrete slip extruder fill pre-designed molds to form a non-penetrating, ballasted foundation-rack that eliminates metals, bolting, and clips.
Then comes Rover, laying out the panels it carries. Construction adhesives affix the panels to the concrete racks, further eliminating bolting and the labor it necessitates.

After the project is wired and online, Spot takes over.

Powered by its solar-charged battery, Spot rolls along concrete tracks that keep its weight off the panels. Spot can be programmed for wet or dry cleaning at selected intervals and activated from a smart phone.

Another reason why I think large utility plants are going to be a big part of our solar future, cost per watt can be driven down.

(concrete concrete concrete)

I wonder what the energy input difference would be between concrete and not concrete methods?

Now if the land under the arrays can have utility - in dry desert conditions allow the panels to use the nighttime temp differential and have the dew collect as a point source for critters/plants.

The manufacture of concrete is also extremely energy intensive.

True. And releases CO2. Although there are some proposals for types of cement that have negative longterm CO2 footprint (the concrete gradually absorbs atmospheric CO2).

IIRC, production of steel requires about 600 kg of coal per ton, while production of cement (not concrete) requires about 200 kg per ton. Concrete therefore appears to be the winner, but then you use more of it, and large concrete structures are always reinforced with steel anyway...

1) Primary steel production from ore or "recycle"?
2) Basalt rebar looks to be the better product.

Primary steel production. Seraph is right to mention that decarbonization adds to the carbon cost of cement, in addition to the energy required by the process.

A large potion of the CO2 generated by cement is due to the decarbonization of limestone - from CaCO3 to CaO

Great spelling fruedian slip, "potion" for "portion" LOL.
Does the cement eventually change back to limestone, thus reabsorbing that CO2.
I think the main issue at this point, is will the concrete mounts last as long as the panels?

It doesn't have to be. There are new cements that absorb CO2. We need to get those used as standard.


Yes. All it takes is **extra energy** to get this endothermic reaction to take place.

1) Are you sure that the reaction of carbon dioxide with bases in cement is endothermic?

2) Even if, the thermal energy would be provided by the enviroment (sun).

Now imagine if the support structures were made of bamboo grown in carbon sequestration forests... I can dream can't I?

A PV array that is mounted low to the ground is buried in snow easily and mud splashes up on it during heavy rain. Livestock can not graze beneath the panels. Spot shades the PV panel that it is cleaning which would reduce the power output of a series connected array. Cleaning would be best scheduled at night making the PV panel that it is carrying useless.

I see this system as a very simple way to build a large array very quickly, and at low cost. As far as using, “a lot of concrete”, typical ground mount systems use one to two yards of concrete per kW to anchor the steel supports. Then you have several hundred pounds of steel in the racking. This system looks like it has no more concrete than typical systems, no drilling, or trenching, and a lot less steel.

As far as the green space between the rows, a modified SPOT could be made that rides the “rails” on two adjacent rows of panels, and mow, cultivate, or crop the vegetation in the about nine feet between panel rows. No one needs to walk, or drive in the crop area for any reason. This would be an excellent system for land that could grow low crops like strawberries, or lettuce.

I would think SPOTs would be run mostly at night, or after system shutdown, however if it is used during the day solar panels could allow longer run times, and not do any more shading than the SPOT its self.

Re above link: 80% of fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground


The Australian Climate Commission report can be found here:


That one politician like many cries that Coal is really important to the economy. Maybe the economy at this point in time. But I don't see how destroying the climate and all this will entail will be good for the economy in the long run.

Yet they worry about Social Security running out of money in a few decades, and they worry about the Post Office not having enough to fund the retirements of postal workers who have yet to be born - enough so that they hope to eliminate both programs as the best solution apparently.

Its frustrating when people in charge of things shoot their own feet and everyone else's in the process. Idiots.

There's also double standards and hints of colonialism and delusion when Australian politicians say coal exports are needed to keep the lights on in poor countries like India. Meanwhile they say developed countries will eliminate coal by means of wind and solar. Why can't the undeveloped countries do that as well?

Of course it's simply not true that developed countries will eliminate coal. Germany has built new coal fired power stations, the excuse being the new ones are nice and the old ones were nasty. Coal is coal whatever the packaging.

This could be dynamite ... what we're seeing is population blackmail. Some countries simply have too many people for their resource base and need other countries to bail them out with cheap coal. Result we're all going down.


60 Million People in the U.S. Negatively Affected By Someone Else's Pathology (Think Sociopaths and Psychopaths) A psychiatrist once remarked, "I consider pathology to be the country's number one public health issue." And with good reason--these 60 million people are negatively (and sometimes criminally) impacted by someone else's extreme pathology (Otto Kernberg called this pathology 'Severe Personality Disorder').

As we have both political & economic systems that greatly reward psychopathy, I'd say we're all pretty well affected by the folks with said afflictions...

Exactly. 314 million sounds a lot more likely than a mere 60 million.

Well America's a psychopathic country, along with North Korea. These are the last two psychopathic places remaining on the planet (treat Israel for a moment as an American protectorate).

North Korea's psychopathic but in a very direct, totalitarian way. America is a country with "inverted totalitarianism" in which the corporations convince everyone they can live forever and become billionaires, if only they work hard enough and any pesky foreigners that stand in their way are bombed. Surely this means the culture is psychopathic at the core and is destined for collapse.

The situation with fuel prices and protests in Indonesia, reminds me of the situation in Jamaica some time ago. We have had fuel price protests (riots) in 1979, 1985 and 1999 which, may have been instigated by the parties in opposition at the time but, were not short of popular support.

Fuel price protests are the price governments pay when they create in the minds of the governed, the idea that fuel prices can be kept low by government mandate. You see the results anywhere an attempt is made to bring subsidised fuel prices in line with world market prices. Unless something is done to dispel this idea, all countries that subsidise fuel will eventually experience these protests, wait and see.

Alan from the islands

Fuel price protests are the price governments pay when they create in the minds of the governed...

Alan, is the fuel price in Jamaica still subsidized or has that been completely removed?

Best hopes for Indonesia to lift their fuel subsidies.

I found a site which listed Kingston, Jamaica price for gas in the range of US$1.20 to $1.25 per liter. That's roughly what we are paying in Canada for gas, which suggests that not only is gasoline not subsidized in Jamaica but there is also a substantial amount of tax on gasoline.

Considering Jamaica --unlike Canada-- does not produce (much less export) any oil, which has to be expensively shipped in from afar, it's quite possible US$1.20 to $1.25 per liter is below full market price.

This is the result of an oil producer now being a net oil importer


How many other countries are stuck in a position where they are subsidizing fuel? I guess Venezuela and many gulf states but they can afford to do it because they are pumping out oil. But how many other countries that don't produce much oil? Egypt, India(?), Indonesia, China(?), . . ?

It doesn't help when the government wants to increase the price by an average 33% in one go as mentioned in the article.

Well, I wonder if these governments are smartening up and doing these price increases like a negotiations. Increase by 33% but then get inevitable riots and then compromise at 17% or something.

Yes, the subsidies were removed and replaced with a tax. The 1999 protest were due to the imposition of a 30% tax on fuel which was subsequently rolled back to 15%. Apparently the 1985 protests were as a result of a price increase spurred by a sudden devaluation of the Jamaica dollar (see AP article with headline "Riots Over Gas Price Increases In Jamaica URGENT" available using internet search). This is supported by an excerpt from the book "Free Markets and Food Riots: The Politics of Global Adjustment" by John K. Walton, David Seddon (found by using Google to search for 'jamaica gas price increase "1979"') that reads:

Prime Minister Edward Seaga explained that the 21 percent increase in petroleum (gasoline, propane,kerosene) prices was necessary to offset partially the 50 percent devaluation of the Jamaican dollar and that the devaluation was strongly urged by the International monetary Fund as a condition for new foreign credits.

I am not sure what exactly caused the 1979 price increases. I tried some searches that ended up at newspaperarchive dot com but not having a paid membership, all I could gather from the Jan. 6, 1979 edition of The Daily Gleaner is that the price increases were announced in anticipation of OPEC price increases.

It has proven extremely difficult using the Google, to determine when exactly the mechanism was introduced that changes prices weekly to reflect changes in the "US Gulf reference oil price" but since that has been the case, there have been no riots for routine price increases even when oil prices hit their record in July 2008.

Note that the 1999 protests were in response to a tax increase so the current pricing mechanism could have bee introduced any time between 1979 and now, more likely some time after 1985. The gasoline retail sector was deregulated in 1991 which coincides with the period during which a friend of mine was contracted to provide price signs that facilitate frequent (weekly?) price changes.

Alan from the islands

I remember the fuel TAX protests in the UK in ? 2000 when a very small number of truck drivers effectively held the government to ransom by blockading oil refineries. They undoubtedly had widespread popular support, but I am certain they would have got nowhere if a lot of cooperate interests had not privately backed their cause to the government of the day. (as in, cut taxes or the supermarkets will be out of food in 48 hours. We will NOT instruct our drivers to cross unofficial and illegal picket lines, as in ... instruct our drivers to NOT ... )

At the time fuel was about £1.00/litre. Now it is nearer £1.50/litre.

The current government knows better than to repeat the error. Now fuel tax increases are routinely
proposed and then dropped, so that the percentage of the fuel price that is tax is falling steadily.

Unless something is done to dispel this idea, all countries that subsidise fuel will eventually experience these protests, wait and see.

Here on the ground in Sao Paulo there were massive protests in the streets today. Ostensibly the reason was a price increase in bus, train and subway fare. Even now I can hear the helicopters and hear people shouting chants in the street while I type this... In a way those fares had been subsidized and now the people won't accept a price increase. Like everywhere else in the world very few are able to connect the dots to overpopulation and resource depletion. All it takes is a small spark such as a fare increase and the whole powder keg can blow up and suddenly you have massive civil unrest. Things are sure getting interesting.

The marches began this month with a small protest in Sao Paulo against a small increase in bus and subway fares. The demonstrations initially drew the scorn of many middle-class Brazilians after protesters vandalized storefronts, subway stations and buses on one of the city's main avenues.

But the movement quickly gained support and spread to other cities as police used heavy-handed tactics to try to quell the demonstrations. The biggest crackdown happened on Thursday in Sao Paulo when police fired rubber bullets and tear gas in clashes that injured more than 100 people, including 15 journalists, some of whom said they were deliberately targeted.

Britain's New 'Peasants' Down On the Farm

... "People have to be pretty creative to move to the land," says Fernandes, who has long campaigned to change planning laws so that making a living off the land is easier. "People who have a lot of money and want to live in the countryside with a farmhouse can outcompete at an auction any day people who want to do a land-based farming industry. The countryside isn't just this picture-perfect place for people to go and retire to. It needs to be a living, working countryside."

"There hasn't really been an effective organisation in Britain representing small farmers – and there is a need for it. Agricultural extension facilities were abolished under Thatcher, and today there's no acknowledgement in government that there are people doing this and that they could use support. Large-scale farming can produce the food, but so can small-scale farming, but with less machinery and more human interaction. And there are people who want that lifestyle."

As members of La Via Campesina (literally "the peasants' way"), people in the new alliance share the idea of "food sovereignty", which insists on the right of people to produce for themselves and their communities and rejects corporate control of the food system. They say this has growing resonance in the UK, where less than 1% of people work on the land but increasing numbers of young people say they want to farm. "It might be for political reasons, or it might just be that they don't want to sit behind a computer all day. It might be people who were disenfranchised in school. Whatever it is, they're going into agriculture because they believe in it," says Fernandes. "Food is really becoming an issue at the front of public consciousness.

Wow, that's a tremendous shame that the UK's Ag extensions were abolished, I had no idea. That seems like it could be a huge obstacle to broadening the transition movement and getting more people to feel they have enough support to join the transition movement.

Cornell Cooperative Extension has been a great resource for me as I got my sheep/duck farm going. They have a lot of advice geared toward "industrial farming" but if you keep up with the latest permaculture thought, you can filter through it for the useful advice. I mainly go to them for help with soil and water tests and veterinary stuff.

Local, Self-Sufficient, Optimistic: Are Transition Towns The Way Forward?

Late last year, Rob Hopkins went to a conference. Most of the delegates were chief executive officers at local authorities, but it was not a public event. Speaking in confidence, three-quarters of these officials admitted that – despite what they say publicly – they could not foresee a return to growth in the near future.

"One said: 'If we ever get out of this recession, nothing will be as it was in the past,'" Hopkins recalls. "Another said: 'Every generation has had things better than its parents. Not any more.' But the one that stunned me said: 'No civilisation has lasted for ever. There is a very real chance of collapse.'"

"There is no cavalry coming to the rescue," "But what happens when ordinary people decide that they are the cavalry? ... sweeping changes in history are made not only by "big" people doing big things but by groups of "ordinary" people doing smaller things together. And that it's a mistake to overlook those small steps.

Hey ho,

re: Farm return by young people

"They say this has growing resonance in the UK, where less than 1% of people work on the land but increasing numbers of young people say they want to farm."

Excuse my cynicism but as a small scale home farmer I find it hard to accept that many will actually return to the land and make a go of it...and that is if the land was free for the taking. I did the town thing for years raising rabbits and chickens with a large kitchen garden until we finally pitched it for 16 acres. We grow our own food and do our firewood etc, but it is extremely hard work. It is either in you to do so or it isn't....and if it is you will find a way. Wrestling a big Katahdin ram I learned that anything bigger and tougher would be beyond me and I am a pretty big guy. Killing chickens, which we did last Thursday, isn't a whole lot of fun nor is cleaning out the coop to make the smell bearable. I had scads of folks asking to buy my chickens, but there is just not enough money in it to make the hassles worthwhile. My point is that as a small scale home producer you can easy enough grow most of your food and sell a bit excess, but it is impossible to compete with Costco meat prices.....impossible. We don't even try. My relatives are dairy farmers and grow corn, but they always had a mail route or town job for any cash needed. As do we.

This urge to 'farm' reminds me of the scene in Easy Rider where they visit the commune (Taos area?) and watch the 'young people' sowing seed in the desert. Yeah, like that would work for sustenance.

The reason why I am writing this is that I have read for years and years about the evils of industrial farming. And yes, many of the points are valid and that is why we grow our food. But these facilities exist due to economy of scale and cost effectiveness. The system presently works and provides a huge amount of food for relatively few inputs, ff and fertilizers, pesticides, irrigation, notwithstanding. I know the industrial farming situation is crappy...with suspect food quality, animal care, environmental degradation, etc. However, an example I would like to use is our flea beetle problem. We have a couple of really big greenhouses and we have flea beetles. We don't use chemicals so we have to get the suckers using all manner of tricks, the most effective is tanglefoot on cards around the plants and waving a sticky card around the plant so they jump on to it. (Nematodes...the jury is still out on that one) It takes time and patience. You can't make a living doing it. If there is a food production decline that involves a real step down in commercial food production due to fossil fuel constraints it will not be made up by small scale farming that support the kind of diets people expect or think they need to live on. There will be whole lot of beans and not too much meat or fancy greenhouse peppers and cukes.

If young people want to get into farming and make a living doing it they need to be highly capitalized with lots of support. It isn't something that can be achieved simply because "they believe in it".


I agree. My father in 1946 purchased his 80 acre farm and tried for two years to make a living, then he gave up and went to work in a machine shop. Most of my relatives who had farms also had a day job. It was difficult to make a living farming even back in the late forties and early fifties and that was before industrial farming really got started. During that period only a few general purpose farmers still made a living. They would typically have a small dairy (20-30 head) and farm wheat, corn, and soy beans, cut, bail, and store hay in barns for the cows. Everyone else would have a day job and farm on the side or sharecrop the land to neighbor. In the same area today the general purpose farmer is gone. It has been replace with industrial scale chicken and turkey production or with large scale industrial grain production. Fences, fence rows, and roads have been removed to allow for more efficient grain production using $500,000 500 hp tractors with a 20,000 pound draw bar.

Today farming is industrial and finance based. A strawberry farmer told me that he needed to borrow $300,000 to $400,000 each year to buy necessary supplies and to buy new plants each year (started in Canada, propagated in California, and then shipped to his farm in Florida). Only after the harvest could he pay off the loan and then start over for the next year. Without fossil fuels, fertilizers, pesticides, plastic row covers, plastic mulch and specialized farm equipment his strawberry farm would not exist. The marketing and distribution of his strawberries also added requirements for insurance. Working the land in the traditional manner did not exist. It was just manufacturing with modern industrial methods.

Um, our method is a little different. In the spring I watch my wife weed the strawberry patch. I then watch them grow and get red. The birds get some. Then for a couple of weeks we pick them in the morning and eat them at breakfast and supper. Good! Then they quit bearing and we go somewhere else in the garden to eat something else till next spring.

and not one teaspoon of ff.

BTW, don't bother to tell me that all that is well and good but I have not mentioned that every breath of life I take has got to use gobs of ff to bring it to me, and that I'm not supporting anybody with all this berry nibbling, and besides we are doomed and I am responsible.

I know all that. but I remind y'all that if you had just listened to me and took my advice which I have delivered free in big hunks for all these years, we would have been saved.

And have you bought any more PV recently?

To add to the 'rag-tag' harvest, my wife just planted some guerilla squash in Portland this week.

It might be less impossible if we went out and tried a few of these things, eh?

(Our house is tightly packed in.. not a lot of yardspace or sun hitting it for planting.. she wants me to staple some grow-boxes up on the roof, which I think is a good idea.. even BETTER, might be to reroof the whole A-Frame Peak as a greenhouse and have LOTS of enclosed growspace.)

I tried putting some self watering planters (Earthbox) on the roof several years ago. Watering was from a faucet at ground level. The winter squash grew great until the vines started touching the roof. The roof got too hot and killed whatever touched it. Perhaps plants like peppers would do well.

The roof got too hot and killed whatever touched it. Perhaps plants like peppers would do well.

Or maybe you could paint the roof a nice reflective shade of white...

These days the roof is covered with PV and hot water solar systems. More productive than squash by a long shot. Pre PV I was having the roof re-shingled and looked at the more reflective shades of shingles. My research showed a slight negative energy cost to the lighter shades for homes in Connecticut.

I was talking about making a living farming and industrial farming. Not what can/should be done.

Personally we are using the same method you describe on our small farm and we did get a few bowls of fresh strawberries. And they were very good. Much better than the ones from the industrial farm shipped thousand of miles.

But we are not farming for a living. We will not even begin to break even given the cost of the land. And in fact, it would have been cheaper to just buy the store strawberries given just the cost of the bare root plants alone for this year. Of course we will continue to get strawberries in the future from our plants and new ones from the runners, so that is not really a fair comparison.

Still I find it scary to think if we have to depend upon what we can grow, a lot of people are going to starve, even people with some land.

It simply takes a lot of effort and time to go back to earlier technology and methods.

Note: I have not yet invested in PV (yet) because we live near Seattle.

We had the first certified organic "farm" in our rural area 30 years ago. Farm is in quotes because we were very small scale. Our main crops were strawberries and tomatoes. Although we could make day wages, we shut down after a few years. We either had to greatly expand which meant more greenhouse area for the tomatoes and hiring people to pick our crops or do what we did, shut down. We couldn't justify the capital cost of expanding much less the added cost and liability of hiring people.

Another example from my county was a apple grower I knew. John had 40 acres of certified organic apples yet he went bust after a few years. Again, the problem was one of scale. Although 40 acres sounds like a lot of apples, the chain stores to which he hoped to sell required truck load shipments which his farm couldn't produce on a regular basis.

Forget about the articles you read about someone making $222k per acre selling baby spinach to up-scale restaurants because the reality for most people in Ag is far, far, far less than that.

One last thing; non-Ag people forget what a crap shoot growing stuff is. You invest time and money but the number of factors that can't be controlled is huge and they all impact your bottom line. It's not an activity for the risk adverse.


I was interested in PV and started looking in to it. Then here in France we had the cloudiest Autumn, Winter, Spring in over 100 years due to the crazy Jet Stream and increasingly severe Arctic amplification. Even the solar powered road signs didn't work for months on end.

It seems that climate and weather variability is the real killer. How can you effectively plan ahead when it's impossible to know what conditions to expect. Yesterday it was 32C, by the end of the week we're expecting 16C. A couple of years ago we had droughts and our river ran dry, now it never stops raining (the adjoining department had 70,000 acres under water last month).

I don't believe there is any simple solutions to what faces us and much of what we do will be neutralised and made inoperable by climate change, financial collapse and peak everything. But as we don't know what will and won't work, I guess we have to do everything until we find out. Luck seems to play an inordinate amount in any future success we may have. Right place, right time and with the right resources.

What do the vineyards look like???
Are you anywhere near DRC - can you score me a couple of bottles?


In this region it's vineyards, cereals and grazing because they're robust forms of agriculture. So the vines are ok for the moment, although come August things may change depending upon what the climate throws at us.

DRC. Expensive tastes. Unfortunately its in the next department (which suffered severe flooding) to where I am. So sorry no cheap bottles of DRC around here :)

I've only had DRC at wine tastings and dinners - I have been so lucky to have been to a couple of vertical ones as well.
DRC is great but at my income/wealth level a poor value.

I apologize to all you good people for that smartass remark I made about watching strawberries. Everything you say fits my own observations perfectly. I was feeling guilty about it just now while working on that bike transmission idea- a huge amount of fun.

When my father told me, a kidslave working on his farm, that I had three choices- mud, blood or grease, I knew immediately that grease was best for me, and let the other kids take care of the mud (plants) , blood (animals) and I would have a good time out of the rain and sun working on the grease (machinery).

That has worked great for me all my life, but I know I have been hugely and improbably lucky, since
"The race is not to the swift, nor yet the battle to to the strong, -nor riches to men of understanding,- but time and chance governeth all."

My own game at the moment is to try to pass along to the younger folk (that is, everybody) some hardware and processes that might help them to get by.

But, alas, they are all gonna find out what overshoot means.

We planted around 300 square feet of strawberries last year. (4 varieties, bought online, delivered by UPS or Fedex.)

I rototilled the area to plant them and prepare the soil.
I also used some fertilizer and lime as soil amendments from the big box store.
No spraying this year and we harvested around 20 gallons worth before losing another 20-40 gallons to birds, bugs and mold (too much rain)
We bought mason jars to make jam which we made on our electric stove and/or a bread machine. (PV powered at least from our solar array).
We bought a foodsaver to freeze some because our old vacuum sealer died and we want them to last. Plus rolls of plastic bags to seal.
We drove to friends and gave some away.
We ate a ton and froze a ton in our electric power chest freezer.
We'll make smoothies later in the year with an electric blender.
I'll probably spray next year with a fungicide and/or insecticide.
I should 'renovate' the bed to get a good harvest next year and using the tiller would probably be the easiest technique after cutting the plants with the lawnmower.

I enjoy growing food but I have found it resource intensive including petroleum derived products. I can't imagine trying to live on a harvest with no FF inputs at all. And a 10 acre wood lot is just not feasible for everyone.

Yes, we are immersed in fossil fuels up to the eyeballs. Everything you say applies as well to us and our garden, to greater or less degree.

I have set myself a goal of reducing ff use, in accordance with the pleas of climate scientists. In the garden:

no fertilizer but plant and animal waste
no IC machines, some PV electric ones
fridge and freezer on PV
no ff-based weapons against the bugs and voles. Trying to think of some sort of anti-vole missile, so far nothing more than transplanting those big black snakes that eat our hen eggs.
Electric car- have not yet decided on one. Smart EV not available here, but would be good choice for my purpose of advertising PV transport because of its appearance. EV's look too much like their IC twins.

FYI- we got this land 50 years ago- 400 acres of wasted hills for $6K. Now it is back to forest. This experience convinces me of merits of low density human populations-Nearest human one klick down the road, strong, friendly, hard working. And I get my year's meat with a couple of shots out of the shop window at the right time of year.

Canada's Tar Sands Companies Fail To Clean Up Toxic Waste, Report Finds

None of the companies operating in Canada's tar sands have met a commitment to clean up the vast and expanding sprawl of toxic waste ponds, an official report has found.

The report, from Alberta's Energy Resources Conservation Board, further challenges the Canadian government's claims to responsible mining of the tar sands.

The report focuses on the provincial government's promise to clean up and eventually eliminate a vast network of open ponds storing mining waste from the tar sands along the Athabasca river.

None of the seven companies operating in the tar sands met the original performance standard, set in 2009, during the last two years, the ECRB said in its report.

The finding was quietly published last week, without a press release.

The report: 2012 Tailings Management Assessment Report: Oil Sands Mining Industry is being well hidden by the ECRB

This call into question RMG's claim that the tar sands operations will return the land to it's productive use.

Yeah, I'm surprised RMG hasn't already showed up to denounce you and your link. I'm sure he'll stop by.

Seraph annd Tjim,

This isn't true.

My son is currently working on a barge and land based facility designed to clean up the settling pond waste much faster than the current 'settling out' process. The barge is huge and both facilities are costing millions. At least one company is trying to improve practice and to simply state that none are doing so because it is in the Oil Sands is simply misleading and quite biased. The information is either dated or wrong.

Furthermore, comments like "Yeah, I'm surprised RMG hasn't already showed up to denounce you and your link. I'm sure he'll stop by." is pretty snide and does not repsect the hours RMG has spent sharing knowledge that only an insider could provide.

This is a prime example of why so many have left this site.


"This is a prime example of why so many have left this site."

Hah! It works both ways. I almost left the site because of people like RMG's sometimes aggressive and out of control pontificating. He may know a lot about tar sands, but when he talked about stuff I know a lot about, he often seemed to just make stuff up that supported his position/values/politics and delivered it with great authority. Even though he was just plain wrong.

And while I don't say he was a paid shill for the industry or anything like that, I didn't find Tjim's comment snide at all - I thought it was right on the mark.

Agreed. There was a clear and I dare say contrived pattern of misinformation and misrepresentation, and I'll leave it at that.


The likely fact is that they can't return the area to its original nearly-pristine state because that would destroy their EROEI.

Think in terms of West Virginia's mountain-top removal coal mining approach. Does anybody think that WV coal miners would seriously consider recovering the mountain-tops? They remove the mountain-tops because they rely on gravity to do all the work to reveal the coal. Put the stuff back and you lose all that energy. Work = mgh

That is probably why oil shale will never be a success. Too much work required to lift and move the shale for meager returns.

We were blessed with crude oil. And now we are cursed with sludge. All the wasted energy used in processing will cook the planet.

Let's work smart, not hard.

Let's work smart, not hard.
We don't do smart.

Having been a hard worker, and a smart worker, and employed with many of the same, I strongly believe this is not sufficient.
I'm not quite sure what the magical mix is, but it involves wisdom, strategy, discipline, diligence, planning, leadership, and maybe a bit of luck.

>This isn't true.

What isn't true? The findings of the ERCB? The Guardian article?

It's great if some companies are trying to improve, but the article stated that none of seven companies have met their performance standards. Are you saying some of them have?

I agree that snide comments don't help; we need informed, factual reporting.

This is a prime example of why so many have left this site.

A lot of TOD's most knowledgeable and prolific commentators (Darwinian, Westexas, RMG, Undertow, etc) have left at the same time. I don't think it is because of snide remarks or anything like that (we have always had snide remarks). I suspect it is because they were told to leave or somehow made to feel unwelcome. I am not sure why anyone would do that.

Seraph: it started with Rockman. I have heard from several of them that it was, "made to feel unwelcome" more than anything.

You can read their posting on peakoil.com from time to time. I am sure they also post elsewhere as well.


"Made to feel unwelcome" by whom? Most of those guys were treated with great respect here, it seemed to me. I really valued Rockman's contributions (and writing skills and humor), and told him so on several occasions. Darwinian was sometimes cranky and a bit brittle, but we loved having him here. As for westexas, he was never anything but helpful and clear, and if he seemed repetitive to some folks, well, it bore repeating.

Did the staff get on their case? Why? I can't imagine why. Maybe someone has the insight - I sure don't. And I'm not going to peakoil.com - I'm in consolidation mode, Internet-wise ;-)

But I'd love to know the inside story, if there is one.

Supposedly staff treated posts poorly... it may have had to do with the new anti-spam efforts by TOD (it happened at the same time). Like you, I do miss their input. They were some of the best educated, experienced and most knowledgeable on the site.

So far I would say that the result has been a bit more noise and less signal on TOD.

Maybe human misunderstanding was involved, or hypersensitivity? Whatever, it was and is a shame, and like many I would like to see them back here. How that might happen, well... that's entirely unclear. I have told them that they are missed and most want to see them resume their posting. So far they have not responded.

To me it has a 'political' feeling to it. In any event, we do what we can and move along. Enjoy the site!


I'd like to hear from some staff :-)

Hyper-sensitivity doesn't seem to work for me as an explanation - nothing had really changed with regard to how these regulars were responded to and joked with and rebuked and cajoled. The fact that there was this mass exodus strikes me as strange. Did they all get tired of TOD at the same time? And very different people and styles and agendas.

Political? How so? I do miss the old gang...

The very way they left strikes me as a political statement. Different people; different styles; different agendas. They do not move together without some outside force involved, and that sounds political to me.

Just my opinion, of course. Leannan and staff are welcome to join in. If we can prevent further defections, or retrieve some lost comrades, that would be a good result.


I see what you're driving at. I would like to hear from the staff. Leanan, can you shed some light?

I recall that there was extensive explanation and discussion of the massive spam problem.

I'm not going to comment on individual cases, not least because I don't know why specific people choose to post or not. (Keep in mind that some people routinely take weeks or even months off from this place. I believe someone said RMG is retired and takes long sailing trips.)

However, I will say that several of the people mentioned have "felt unwelcome" in the past, some more than once, and temporarily left in a huff. A couple have even posted public "Goodbye, cruel TOD" posts, only to come back later. Typically, this is because they are upset their posts were removed - for being off-topic in a key post, for personal attacks, for conspiracy theories, etc. Basically, violating the rules we've had here for years.

The difference this time may be that there's nothing here that's compelling enough to get them to come back. Perhaps they are no longer as interested in peak oil. Or perhaps the content here is not as interesting. As I'm sure you have all noticed, we are not publishing as many key posts as we used to; some of you have complained about that here.

I see it as part of the overall falling interest in peak oil. We are having a hard time finding content we wish to post about, and people are less interested when we do.

Good point about content. I have noticed that peakoil.com has many off topic postings, and in general is not as interesting or informative as TOD. Also, the general media coverage, as you noted, is not very good today. Mostly it seems to be hype of the carbon fuel industries. The articles written by and for TOD-ers are far more cogent and of greater interest... strangely drawing far fewer comments than drumbeat.

I think you do a pretty good job... and that the users today are contributing more articles than used to be the case (especially seraph).


Having been a reader of The Oil Drum since 2005, I have seen many posters come and go over the years, for various reasons. At this point, we appear to be at or close to a peak and there is not much news on peak oil because oil is abundant at the present moment and has become more so over the last few years. Most of us did not anticipate how things have unfolded. Depending on how long the plateau lasts, or whether there are other peaks, news may be hard to come by for a peak oil site. It may not be until a decline starts that we will have something to talk about.

While I generally agree with the gist of what you say, I disagree that oil is abundant at present. Supply has been essentially flat, globally, for several years. Yes, a tiny bit of incremental growth, but much of that the less energy dense NGLs and their ilk. Yet population grows by 75 million a year. More mouths to feed from the same petro driven ag system. More workers entering the middle class - esp. in Asia, of course - clamoring for their first car. Supply is at best straining to keep up. What has happened is that in the US, primarily, and in other OECD countries, we have been sold the illusion of abundance by the MSM yammering on about the fracking boom. Which, thanks to Rune, Art, dcoyne & others, those who do bother to come here to TOD know will prove to have been a brief bubble in the end. The more the world as a whole is deluded by the mirage of abundance, the more painful will be the reality that sets in when the smoke & mirrors clear.

Also want to note the absence of Charles Maxwell for some time now...

Yes, it seems our attention span is really short - I see the obvious results of peak oil all around me. We used the easiest to get, highest quality stuff first, then we peaked in the US - along with our per capita income.

After that we invested even more heavily in a massive militaristic empire to keep the oil flowing from foreign sources. While the nominal price in $ per barrel was low, the real cost was much higher and we ran up a huge debt doing it. Then the world peaked which drove up prices.

Now that the supply is constrained there isn't enough, so some are denied access to oil through various means, and now some sources that were not economical to produce are coming on line. But these are inferior sources in terms of flow rate and longevity of that flow rate, and besides we really cannot afford the price of it anyway so the economy, and our society, is collapsing.

I can't see how it could be any more obvious what is happening, but apparently if it doesn't play out in 3 acts and get neatly wrapped up by bedtime we just can't follow it that long.

Two words. Fight Club.

I'm sorry, I don't get the meaning.

"I'm sorry, I don't get the meaning."

There is stuff that you aren't suppose to discuss here, ever. People know what I am talking about.

Well, I don't know about that, but the funny thing about reality is it doesn't matter if you believe in it or not, or if you discuss it or not. It just keeps on happening anyway.

I've been reading here every day since 2/'08.During that timeframe I've asked dozens of people I come across in the real world;family, friends,even total strangers who look intelligent, two simple questions.
1)What year did the US produce the most oil,the peak ?
2)What year was the most light sweet crude oil discovered,the peak ?
Not one person knew the answer to either or seemed to give a crap when I told them the answer. No intrest,nada. I've often thought about getting a clipboard,dressing nice and do surveys at major public locations like malls,grocery stores,busy parks,community colleges etc to ask a larger number of people with the same two questions.
What percent might know the answer ? 10%,40% ? If nothing else, at that point they would know,, I'd tell them the answer. Would they care ? They should !!
A few years ago I attended a PO lecture here in Seattle given by the esteemed Jonathan Callahan as mentioned here on TOD. It was in an upscale,trendy neighborhood at the public library and I got there early because I thought it would be packed,standing room only.
Nope,, Jon had two friends there, J B was there and another guest speaker (who's name has slipped my mind but he was great;),I was the only Joe public that showed,except later a gal showed and was asking about getting energy from dilithium crystals or some such . It was a great lecture and I wish it was packed,,standing room only.
So my point is,, so far PO seems to be a big secret to most people I've talked to and they could care less. That is a BIG problem,as I see it.
As far as oil being abundant and PO is dead,at this time I have to bring up one of my favorite subjects of POD,DPB. Debt Per Barrel.
What keeps the economy going, the oil flowing ? DPB. In the US,in 2012, for every barrel consumed $189.00 of debt was created to keep the economy going. Globally, it was $90.00.
The cost of $100.00 per barrel just didn't cover all the bases,(most) people just can't seem to live within their means. What if all the gasoline you could afford was $500.00 a year but you wrote bad checks for another $1000.00 worth? And then you just keep doing it for multiple years,who's gonna pay the tab? Is that even logical or justifiable ? I don't see how.
IMHO peak affordable oil was in '08 and it's all been pixie dust and fantasty land since then. It's been all,, Fracking will save us, we'll be the new Saudi,, pfffffffffffffft, as if.
New production is just barely out pacing the decline in the GOM,AK, and other old fields. Just try it all without $190.00 DPB,aint gonna happen,cut off Uncle Sugar and the whole thang goes right off the ol' Wiley Coyote cliff. beep beep ;-)

What percent might know the answer ? 10%,40% ? I'd say <<1%

If nothing else, at that point they would know,, I'd tell them the answer. Would they care ? No...

They should !! Agreed, but in their view, that's somebody else's problem. Doesn't effect them...

How is it even posible that <<1% of people don't know;care,or think it doesn't effect them that US oil production peaked 42 years ago and Global light sweet crude discovery peaked 51 years ago ? How ?
How is that possible ? WTF do they teach kids in school ? 99% of kids couldn't have missed that day.Why is it such a secret ?
HOw can PO be dead if (almost) no one even knew about it? In order to solve a problem, there has to be an awareness that there IS a problem !! If you burn more oil every day than is discovered, it runs out, it's not some myth. erk.
Excuse me, have you heard the word of POD today ? POD has a plan for you..

If you burn more oil every day than is discovered, it runs out, it's not some myth

I can show you any number of articles with the phrase "myth of peak oil" in the title. Written by "professionals" dontchaknow.

f - in a way, it's possible because of itself. FF have made things so easy for us, it has allowed us to disconnect from the real world. Since FF - oil in particular - took over the task of providing us (industrial civilization) with the energy we need (and a huge surplus, at that) we no longer grow up on farms, or otherwise in close contact with the landbase that sustains us. We are inculcated into a world in which food comes from the store, and work is accomplished by flipping a switch. Gratification comes immediately, at no discernable cost, save a few dollars, which are easily gotten by manipulating a few pixels around on a computer. The educational system (at least/especially in the US) is geared toward producing drones who can write code, click mouses and 'make' more of those dollars via financial shenanigans.

In short, we have raised ourselves for several generations now to believe in magic pixie dust, having divorced ourselves from the real blood/sweat/tears cost of things via the incredible leverage of the FF energy surplus.

Oh the irony...

What is the purpose of the few of us knowing? Will we stop it? Will we prevent the collapse of our civilization?

There is always the possibility that opportunities may arise to influence things in some direction that would be of benefit, and the knowledge could be important then. But maybe the chief role of the small percentage that understand what is happening is simply to tell the story and to squirrel away some important bits from the world that is ending, in the hope that they may be useful to someone someday.

Yes, knowledge is power, but it will not hold back the tide of history. The accumulated weight of our 7 billion fellow travelers, combined with the choices and actions of our ancestors over the last several hundred years is not a force that can be easily resisted.

Not one person knew the answer to either or seemed to give a crap when I told them the answer. No intrest,nada.

I saw this posted on Yahoo News this morning and made a comment on it.

We Will Not Run Out of Fossil Fuels (Op-Ed)
Jeffrey Rissman, policy analyst at Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology, contributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.

Fossil fuels are formed from the remains of plants and animals that died hundreds of millions of years ago, buried and transformed by heat and pressure. Since these fuels require millions of years to form, for human purposes, the supply of fossil fuels on Earth is effectively fixed. This has led to predictions — such as those based on the "peak oil" theory first proposed by geologist M. King Hubbert in 1956 — that the world will experience an economically damaging scarcity of fossil fuels, particularly oil.

However, new technologies for oil and gas exploration and extraction have upended the notion of fossil fuel scarcity: The limiting factor on humans' fossil fuel use will not be the exhaustion of economically recoverable fossil fuels, but the exhaustion of the Earth's capacity to withstand the harmful byproducts of fossil fuel combustion .

Still I found it interesting that I received a 2 to 1 positive response on my comment in which I basically corrected Mr. Rissman on what Peak Oil actually means and I agreed with his position on climate change being the limiting factor in how we continue to use energy.

Just playing basketball with a young kid(he didn't even know who was on the Detroit pistons when they were playing the bulls) but anyway he is working in the Baakan as a backflow guy and tells me that they have just discovered more oil below the initial finding of oil,,, describing it "as another giant pool larger than the first" "that means it will last another 50 years" I just shook my head if I didn't come to this site I might believe it..

There very well may be several factors at work. The "popularity" of peak oil is probably waning.
Oil is one of, but far from the only, inputs into the economy (think real economy, not financial economy) and although the quantity of oil going into the system in general, and the quantity of energy provided by that oil is important there are many other factors which play a role. Depending on your point of view, background and focus different factors may seem more relevant or urgent at different times and right now, from the very short human perspective nothing exciting has been happening. There has been relatively little change in the quantity of oil produced, the total amount of energy produced and prices have been range bound in a relatively narrow range.
We humans are programmed to look out for and react to change, not status quo so it makes sense that our collective attention is focused somewhere else. As this is a PO site, and not a agriculture, climate rare earth or human rights site it is only natural that the constraints of the stated mission bump into the current reality (which could change at a moment's notice of course).

As newsflow abates there often will be a bi-modal reaction: some people will become apathetic and tune out but others become hyper sensitive to the most irrelevant of datapoints, comments, reactions or lack of reactions.
During the Deepwater Horizon episode I am quite certain that a number of not so smart or relevant comments were made here but in the excitement of the day that was ok. Now, during a period where not much seems to be happening that sentiment / attitude has changed significantly and nits are there to be picked. Invariably when some nits are picked some people will be POd (yes, that was intentional) and voila, Exit left (or right, in the case of RMG).

There are tons of energy related issues to be discussed and dissected but they take time, and have multiple angles and pathways. When a post goes up and is only open for comments for a few days it may not be worth the time and effort of subject experts to write thoughtful responses and do the research and data/reference collection which would support said response(s).

The question then for a site like this is how far, and in which direction a deviation from its primary mission is necessary/required to remain relevant, and how that would be managed. Perhaps one way to go is to introduce in addition to the current format a forum like structure where specific topics, narrowly defined by the OP can be fleshed out over a longer period of time. Who/how that would be managed/moderated is a tough one.


I see it as part of the overall falling interest in peak oil.

I noticed today a nice post about the oil meta browser.

Perhaps each time a country's data shows it has switched from being an exporter to importer, a TOD article can mention it.

It is my hope that such can help keep awareness of how things are unfolding, however slowly.

I'm not totally gone, I'm just lurking. I read the articles but I've mostly given up on reading the comments on the Drumbeat because, with the departure of Rockman et al, the signal-to-noise ratio has fallen to the point where it's not worthwhile. At least Rockman provided some useful information on what was happening in the oil patch in Texas and the Gulf of Mexico, and he understood most of what I was saying. The rest of you, not so much.

It is true that Leanan has criticized me privately for being too snarky, which is true. I tend to get snarky when people tell me things that I know are not true. However, that is just water under the bridge.

The ad hominem attacks, though, are something I don't appreciate. People resort to them when they don't have a good debating position, and it is not good debating style. It is true that I am a card-carrying Conservative, and in fact one of my relatives is a member of the Canadian Conservative Cabinet, but that has nothing to do with the argument. I think everyone knows what my POV is, but that is not a debating point. OTOH, I know some things coming down the Conservative political pipeline that I can't tell you about, because then I would have to kill you. The same applies to the oil industry.

However, since it is not worth my while to debate anything on the Drumbeat anymore, I won't. I might respond elsewhere on TOD when some technical info on oil sands or something else is needed, but not here. There is some heavy-duty flak coming at you over the next few years, but I'll let it come as a complete surprise to you.

Your assumption that it will be a surprise is not a surprise to me.

One of the dynamics at play here at TOD may be that to discussion get muddled in terms of timeframe.
It is fairly clear (to me) that you can't have infinite growth on a finite planet and that anything which is extracted from the earth be definition has to be finite. What is required to make those observations into something useful though is timeframe.
EVENTUALLY, if growth and consumption trajectories don't change there is going to be issues which will require significant adjustments.
However, that doesn't mean that human ingenuity in the meanwhile can accomplish some pretty amazing things which can move, but not eliminate limits and barriers.
What I see happening here is that the difference in horizons is almost never explicitly mentioned and that makes it hard to prevent a discussion which starts out rationally from devolving into a mudslinging fest (where mods then feel the need to step in) virtually inevitable.
A careful framing of questions/points is really necessary but rarely done (not just on TOD btw)
RMG: I learn a lot from you and hope you keep contributing whenever you deem it worth your while.


At least we know your clock is still ticking. That's better than nuthin' ;-)

RMG, I have always acknowledged and appreciated your comments ,so I am pro you . Since you and Rockman have worked in the oil patch it is but natural that your viewpoint maybe different(maybe even above our heads) from the other comments posted here .But to say "it is not worth my while" sounds egoistic . In Zen " if the Master will not teach ,then how will the student learn " . It is like a professor saying
" I will not teach because all you students are dumb or have no knowledge " . By the way I am in the same age group (60+) as you and now when we are playing our last innings it does not make sense to sweat the small stuff . What if you(or Rockman etc) were queued up for moderation? Was (is)it the end of the world ? Is a 5 minute or maybe even a 10 minute delay so heavy ? How can one preach what one does not practice ? My request to all the prodigal sons of TOD "don't sweat the small stuff and restart
posting here" . I can assure you on behalf of the moderators(I do not know them personally) that there is no "ill will " towards you .Back home (India) they say " In the kitchen with steel utensils there always will be a klang ". Hope you and others accede to my request .

I would pay to read Rockman's stuff and, to be frank, that other web site on peak oil is a mess. Rockman is a self proclaimed conservative but a conservative of the old school who doesn't let ideology get in the way of facts. I felt like I could trust him even though we have very different political views. He is one of the few people I have "known" who actually was able to change my mind with his powerful grasp of the facts.

I wonder if Rockman understands how truly valued he was here and how much he is missed. Besides, he has a sense of humor.

I second that.

I'm not surprised at the shakeup, though. I think it's more than just the Spam-bot thing.. I think the earth is on the move somehow. Who knows, maybe I'm just thinking that way so I can stay perched and somewhat ready for change.

I am not a Zen Master, nor am I a professor. I am not here to teach. I came here for a rational discussion, not an argument or abuse. (Cut to Monty Python:)

M: Yes, but I came here for an argument!!

A: OH! Oh! I'm sorry! This is abuse!

M: Oh! Oh I see!

A: Aha! No, you want room 12A, next door.

My profession before I retired was Business Analyst, and my main addiction is that I cannot stop analyzing things. That being the case, I tend to analyze things and then put the results out there for people to mull over. I don't really want to hear their Theory of the Universe because I have my own. My theory is that entropy will get us all in the end, and eventually bring the Universe to a halt, so why worry? When you're dead it doesn't matter to you any more.

The immediate prospect of people's lives becoming much worse because they cannot get enough petroleum to drive around is a more immediate concern. The Heat Death of the Universe, not so much.

I'm still contemplating the "I would have to kill you" admission with regards to knowing "some things coming down the Conservative political pipeline". Hmm, will I be cut-down in a hail of bullets? A poison tipped umbrella jabbed into the back of my leg as I take my morning stroll? Locked-up in a cell and forced to listen to Slim Whitman's greatest hits album over and over again until I beat my head to a pulp or my body shuts down in self defence? Oh, that diabolical Stephen Harper and his tribe of ruthless, card-carrying Conservative killers have probably hatched a million different ways to do me in (beyond simply destroying our environment). Oh, got to run... someone's knocking at my door.


You will be forced to listen to Celine Dion until you go completely crazy.

Noooooooooo, not Celine Dion ! Hand grips chest... twirls... **thunk**....


"I would have to kill you"

It's a trope, Paul, a figure of speech, and an old one at that.

Doctor: Oh, Mr. Holmes, I would love to tell you, but then, of course, I'd have to kill you.

Sherlock: That would be tremendously ambitious of you.

— Sherlock, "The Hounds of Baskerville"

I'm sure he knows that. He's joking.


I hope you continue to occasionally post. Even if I disagree with you (which I don't recall doing) I would like to know what your thoughts were. Insider information seems more useful than what the government & industry PR dept are feeding us.

Frankly, I would like to know what 'heavy-duty flak' implies (I would also like to know which particular 'fight club' topics are not allowed, WHT; having been here for a few years I guess I'm not privy...)

The rest of you, not so much.

I think Paulo & I can still impart some useful aviation information when that topic comes up (rarely,indeed). I don't expect anyone else to know that it's hard to land on glassy water, but that doesn't mean we're superior - that is just useless information for everyone else!

I'm indebted to the statistics guys like Darwinian & West Texas as they find information I don't even know to look for. And those who know that gasoline does not come out of a hose at the Chevron station (like RMG, Rockman, Toolpush) have been amazing sharing what they know.

I sure hope we haven't lost people because to the spam issue, especially when that might have been the intent.


You are a conservative??!! I would have guessed libertarian.......shows you what I know...I choose not to pick sides that way I don't get disappointed and angry as much. Is the info you are talking about that we are going to have a deep financial crash, making hard to reach oil worthless?

I am a card-carrying Alberta Progressive Conservative. This doesn't really fit me into the American political spectrum, or even the ROC one, very well. (ROC stands for Rest of Canada. Alberta has always marched to the beat of a different drummer). The US has its very own political spectrum, which doesn't really translate well into other countries' terms. The Canadian political spectrum sits distinctly to the left of the American political spectrum.

If you wanted to fit me into a political philosophy, it might be economic neoliberalism. But that's just an approximation. The current Canadian Conservative government might be described as economic neoliberals, although that might baffle a lot of Canadians because they are the "Conservative Party" and the two main opposing parties might be described as liberal socialists. But this is not the place to discuss Canadian political philosophy, since it might get very abstruse and incomprehensible to others.

I'm not anticipating a major financial crash, although minor ones are always possible. Canada more or less missed out on the 2008 "global" financial crisis, experiencing a minor downturn instead because it was running different economic policies than either the US or the Europe. It all depends on how the people in charge manage the situation.

My main concern is that the main Anglo-Saxon countries (The US and UK) have become completely delusional about the oil supply situation. Canada has enough oil of its own that it will get by regardless of global supply fubars, possibly requiring internal pipeline extensions already in planning. Other countries, not so well. The UK in particular is apt to get rather cold and dark.

i've been reading TOD since about 2005 as well, and i find myself catching up every couple of weeks instead of checking daily- one of the things i found most valuable here was the shared experience of people working on their own solutions to the situation... over time, i think these people have spent more time on those solutions, and less time reading or posting here.. i'd like to think that many of these people are doing less taking and more doing about transitioning to a post-oil life.
the basics of depletion and resource crunch were obvious twenty years ago and painfully obvious a decade ago.. but a community of sensible scientifically minded people talking about what's going on and what they're doing about it is a valuable thing. there is an inevitable evolution of the readers here though, as people move on to other things or have less time to read things online in general.

Supposedly staff treated posts poorly...

Having had that happen to Me yesterday, it does leave a bad taste in one's mouth.

I guess what I want to know is what does "staff treating posts poorly" actually mean? All I hear is innuendo and hints and so forth. What do you mean? Was it "staff"? Was it the spam filter? I have not heard one simple straight account of this stuff, just hints and vague insinuations. What is going on? I'm really fed up with all this intrigue. Can we have some straight talk?...

I had a very long and thought out post deleted that I intended to post on my blog last year because it was the 7th or 20th reply to someone who suggested their opinion of Obama was less than stellar - so what? They weren't being particularly mean about it, I've seen far worse go by from the other end of the spectrum. The hardware, if you will, isn't helping any, and I think the editorializing is rather heavy-handed. Once you've had something you spent a couple hours on go away permanently, it does make you question things. And we see that complaint every few months. Figure either ditch drupal, or/and quit deleting posts for politics alone - why bother? The SNR is already toast with *negligible PO news, *rather vanilla key posts (thanks for the effort by all though), and *wholesale defection of any commenters with the time, brains, and info to present some comments worth thinking about. My readership has been plummeting too. Death of a site / community. TOD has Collapsed. lol. Now is it a fast crash, or catabolic collapse? Guess we'll all have to lurk a few more years if we have the attention span and see...

To boot, all my friends and family that recently seemed pretty sold on what I was gleaning here have definitely been swallowing all the shale excitement this year. Even my dad, who's a devoted cynic.

"When I was your age, TOD was *the* place to hang out online" ;)


The problem was not whether your opinion of Obama was positive or negative, nor how politely it was expressed. It's that we don't want that kind of discussion going on here at all. There are millions of other sites on the web where you can argue about whether Obama (or Bush) is a savior, the anti-christ, or somewhere in between. We don't want to be like Yahoo, where you can't post a chocolate chip cookie recipe without the comment section lighting up with claims that Michelle Obama is going to take your cookies away from you.

You feel we are too heavy-handed, but only a few days ago, someone else posted and said he thought the reason people were leaving is because we're too lenient and allow too much off-topic posting. Can't please everyone.

As for Drupal...the limitations of our platform are only a small part of it. It is technically possible to remove a post without removing all replies, but it is our policy not to do that. It's just too confusing to have replies to posts that no longer exist. Also, if it's partisan flamebait people can't resist replying to, even if they know they shouldn't, it's removed. I'm not going to spend a lot of time repeatedly pruning a thread on a topic we don't even want here in the first place.

And please do not trust Internet forums to be an archive. This site or any other could be gone tomorrow. If it's important to you, save it locally...preferably in more than one place.

Never hit "save" without copying the text first - there are so many ways to lose your text, even without moderation.

Really long posts should be edited in a wordprocessor with auto-backup, and then copied here.

They were made to feel unwelcome by having their posts queued for moderation. Others then left because commenters who posted information they found useful had left.

This used to be a birch forrest with woodland caribou:

Looks like the opening shot in Blade Runner, sorta.

We have of course been shown the pix of 'reclaimed and restored land', too.. but those are just as easily being delivered to us all as photo-ops (partial truths) as much as they are any sort of whole truth, (so help me god... )

I apologize for nothing. My comment was quite tame by the standards of internet snark. If RMG objects he can say so, and if the moderators object they can delete my post. Also, if anyone wants to challenge the substance of the Guardian article, I would be happy to examine any provided links.



Yeah, I posted on June 12 of 4 other web pages about things going on in AB, but for the fifth - the 2012 Tailings Management Assessment Report - one would have had to google it to get to it. I got lazy and did not give the link.

I do miss RMG. I was trying to get a basic grasp of some of the aspects of tar sands via reading the EIAs (and also some of the coal mining up around Edson, etc. via EIA's) and then branched out into some of the studies of the coal site reclamations.

I remember from reading in EF! back in the 80's a phrase "strip coal mine reclamation is like lipstick on a corpse". My recent reading of journal articles made me consider that it did appear to me that the reclaimed mines in the Edson area were orders of magnitude more biologically diverse and leaking less acids than anything in the Appalachians. And RMG's comment that there was a big difference between CDN companies (in Canada albeit) and US companies for strip mine reclamation seems to be quite probable to me. (Albeit - some Canadian mining companies can be quite hideous in operations outside of Canada.)

If I can learn from someone, well for me knowledge is neutral.

My physics prof at college stated to the class once that the main reason he selected that text for physics with calculas that it had no militrary applications in the problems to be done at the end of the chapters. He was very into solar energy in the 70's and until he died. He knew and saw that many of his graduates would find jobs in the military-industrial area, but that did not stop him from teaching and to the best of my knowledge he never belittled anyone going that route. I would say that he was more into attraction than promotion. True knowledge is neutral or maybe positive.

That said, yes the 2012 Tailings Management Assessment Report does seem to indicate an Achilles heel to
both strip and in situ oil sands extraction. To me this would especially strongly contraindicate any expansion whatsoever of the overall extraction rates.

But I really would not mind going deeper and finding out what projects are the worst for their tailing ponds for siting and settling and which projects are closer to staying with their stated original plans at tailing pond reclamation. And that is where individuals like RMG can aid me in my learning curve. I hope he is getting in some good bicycling.

I'm intimately familiar with coal mine reclamation because I live in an old coal mining town and there is an abandoned coal mine out behind my house. In fact, nobody can build behind my place because there are underground shafts there, and the tunnels collapse every so often. It looks like a natural meadow, though, except for the fences around the old air shafts.

It's not really that hard to reclaim an old coal mine, given a few decades. After the mines shut down here, the townsfolk did a bit of landscaping, put in a couple of semi-artificial lakes, planted wildflowers, added picnic tables, and otherwise prettied it up. Now newbies think it is just a natural meadow with lakes and walking paths that was always there. The dog-walking park is particularly popular, although people have to respect the off-leash rules. If a dog runs off into the woods, it might be eaten by predators. That happened to a friend of our's dog a few weeks ago, and they had to listen to its screams as it was torn apart by a pack of coyotes. Sad.

The fundamental difference between coal mines in the Appalachians and coal mines in Alberta is that Alberta has low-sulfur coal and tough environmental regulations. The mines don't fill up with acid because there's no sulfur in the coal. Also, companies have to restore to nearly original conditions. The standard is, "as good as or better than", and I guess a dog walking park is better than virgin forest, at least inside a town. It's not that virgin, historically it used to burn down once or twice a century, and all the trees are less than 100 years old.

The main problem with the oil sands mines is their sheer size (thousands of square kilometres), and the time scale of the development process (centuries). Other than that, it's the same thing. Once the oil is gone and the mines shut down, in a century or two, people will think they were always natural meadows with picnic tables, small ponds, walking paths, and off-leash areas. They will have to watch their dogs, though, because the problem will be wolves rather than coyotes.

By the way, what the Vancouver Sun says about the report is as follows:

Missed tailings reduction 'overly optimistic' energy board

Oilsands companies have failed to comply with regulations requiring them to clean up their tailings ponds, however, Alberta's energy regulator says it will not impose penalties because it now believes the standards it set in 2009 were "overly optimistic."

In a new report, the Energy Resources Conservation Board says from 2010 to 2012, not a single oilsands company was able to meet the tailings reductions targets set out in Directive 074. Abel said since all the companies have committed significant resources to tailings management and appear to be doing what they can to try to meet the directive, the ERCB has no plans to impose any enforcement actions.

"We really feel, based on the progress they have made and what they are doing, that we realistically couldn't expect much more from them than what they've done at this point," he said.

The site needs to be a place where people feel that they can post comments, even if not at the "correct" end of the political spectrum. Otherwise, it just becomes a group of friends patting each other on their backs.

Thanks for the link Gail, I'm feeding this information to an important blogger here in Montréal.

The irony is the question of whether or not these companies are meeting their legal environmental obligations while liberating gigatons of fossil carbon for all of us to enjoy.

Choose your poisons while you can ~:-0

So basically, it was never really possible to exploit this stored energy without massive negative environmental impacts, so the companies doing the work should not be held responsible for agreeing to meet those rules. Ahh yes, the lies we tell ourselves - we can maintain our present lifestyle of material wealth and comfort without hurting our world.

Jet Stream Changes Cause Climatically Exceptional Greenland Ice Sheet Melt

Research from the University of Sheffield has shown that unusual changes in atmospheric jet stream circulation caused the exceptional surface melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS) in summer 2012.

The research, published today in the International Journal of Climatology, clearly demonstrates that the record surface melting of the GrIS was mainly caused by highly unusual atmospheric circulation and jet stream changes, which were also responsible for last summer's unusually wet weather in England.

"The next five-10 years will reveal whether or not 2012 was a rare event resulting from the natural variability of the NAO or part of an emerging pattern of new extreme high melt years. Because such atmospheric, and resulting GrIS surface climate, changes are not well projected by the current generation of global climate models, it is currently very hard to predict future changes in Greenland climate. Yet it is crucial to understand such changes much better if we are to have any hope of reliably predicting future changes in GrIS mass balance, which is likely to be a dominant contributor to global sea-level change over the next 100-1000 years."

Nanoparticles Helping To Recover More Oil

The petroleum industry and research community have been working for decades on various solutions to increase recovery rates. One group of researchers at the Centre for Integrated Petroleum Research (CIPR) in Bergen, collaborating with researchers in China, has developed a new method for recovering more oil from wells – and not just more, far more.

The Chinese scientists had already succeeded in recovering a sensational 15 per cent of the residual oil in their test reservoir when they formed a collaboration with the CIPR researchers to find out what had actually taken place down in the reservoir. Now the Norwegian partner in the collaboration has succeeded in recovering up to 50 per cent of the oil remaining in North Sea rock samples.

... Success could have far-reaching impacts. The state-owned petroleum company, Statoil, is seeking to increase current recovery rates, which range from under 50 per cent, to roughly 60 per cent.

“We are working hard to understand why the particles work well in some rock types and more marginally in others,” says Kristine Spildo, project manager at CIPR. “This is critical for determining which North Sea fields are best suited to the method.”


Producers use a calculation called the recycle ratio as a measure of profitability, dividing profit per barrel of production by the cost of discovery and extraction. A ratio greater than one indicates profit.

QEP’s recycle ratio was 0.69 in 2012
Chesapeake: 0.97
Exxon: 4.5
Total SA had a ratio of 3.3.
Chevron Corp: 2.5
BP Plc: 2.8

Nice, from these number we could estimate the EROI using an EIO-LCA analysis. Very much back of the envelope calculation would give, assumind a J/J = 5*$/$:

QEP’s recycle ratio was 0.69 in 2012= 3.5
Chesapeake: 0.97= 4.9
Exxon: 4.5= 22.5
Total SA had a ratio of 3.3.= 16.5
Chevron Corp: 2.5= 7.5
BP Plc: 2.8= 14

From these numbers, it is no surprise that some wealth is destroyed.

How Useful Is Fracking Anyway? Study Explores Return of Investment

The value of a fuel's long-term usefulness and viability is judged through its energy return on investment; the comparison between the eventual fuel and the energy invested to create it. The energy return on investment (EROI) study published in the Journal of Industrial Ecology finds that shale gas has a return value which is close to coal. ... The study compares the total input energy with the energy expected to be made available to end users.

The analysis indicates that the EROI ratio of a typical well is likely between 64:1 and 112:1, with a mean of approximately 85:1. This range assumes an estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) of 3.0 billion cubic feet per well. This is similar to the EUR of coal, which falls between 50:1 and 85:1.

More information: Michael L. Aucott and Jacqueline M. Melillo, A Preliminary Energy Return on Investment Analysis of Natural Gas from the Marcellus Shale, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Wiley

First Risk Assessment of Shale Gas Fracking to Biodiversity

... "This study indicated a wide range of potential impacts, some of which could be severe, including salinization of soils and surface waters and fragmentation of forests. The degree of industrialization of shale gas landscapes, and the 285,000 km² extent of the Marcellus and Utica shale gas region alone, should require great caution regarding impacts on biodiversity."


Automakers race to make tiniest, peppiest engines

Lately, the attention is going to those who are making the smallest engines of them all — a new breed of 1-liter, three-cylinder power plants.

"There has been a cultural shift," says Mike Omotoso, senior manager of global powertrain for analysts LMC Automotive. "Automakers have gone from bragging about big V-8s to (promoting) gas mileage on the highway."

It is good to see some positive effects from the higher gas prices.

Best hopes for smaller more fuel-efficient engines.

Sound like they could be great range-extenders engines for PHEVs.

BMW has an interesting concept. With their i3, it is mostly an EV. But if you are going to go a long distance, you start up the gas engine as soon as you start your journey. It is not powerful enough to drive the car alone, but it generates electricity to supplement the battery in order to length the range. So it is kinda like an EV with built-in weak electric generator.

Back in '07 GM had penciled in a yet-to-be-designed 3-cylinder 1.0L turbocharged engine as the range extender for the concept version of the Chevy Volt. Time and budgetary constraints forced them to go with their already-existing Family 0 4-cylinder 1.4 L naturally-aspirated engine. Speculation for the Gen 2 Volt range extender covers the spectrum - from something compact/complex/efficient like the 1.0 L turbo to a larger/simpler/also-efficient 2.0 L Atkinson cycle engine (similar to the Prius).

Edit- just remembered that Frank Weber, former lead engineer for the Volt, was hired away by BMW a couple of years ago. Now BMW will be using a 1 L, 3 cyl. engine in their i3 EREV. Coincidence?

Last that I was aware, the i3 was going to use a twin-cylinder in the neighborhood of 500cc.

"Time and budgetary constraints forced them to go with their already-existing Family 0 4-cylinder 1.4 L naturally-aspirated engine."

That's one of the things that has continually perplexed me - because they actually did have a three-cylinder on the shelf to use and it was based off of that 1.4L four-cylinder. They're both Atkinson cycle engines. The best engine to use would be a naturally aspirated 1L twin, of which none exist, the closest is the 875cc Fiat TwinAir.

It's hardly a big deal to make a small 2, 3 or 4 cyl engine. With balance shafts there isn't even much of a vibration issue anymore. The big difference now is direct cylinder gasoline injection, which works very well with a small turbo as the injected fuel cools the charge. Combined with variable valve timing they can get significant increases in efficiency. The 1L Ford at 123hp is still about 33% too big, but it is a step in the right direction.

GM's Metro uses a 3 cyl 1L engine, it is made by Suzuki. It’s 153 lb. fan to flywheel, very compact, and smooth.

Britain 'should not rely on French for new nuclear power plants'

Helmut Engelbrecht said that he was disappointed to see a country that had made a commitment to nuclear power in the 1950s fail to have developed a skilled industry of its own.

"It's just unfortunate that countries who have had the best experience, like the UK, are relying on foreign technology," said Mr Engelbrecht, a German national.

Canada is another country that has thrown away the ability to design and construct its own nuclear reactors. Last year, 56% of the electricity in Ontario, Canada's most populous province, was generated by nuclear plants.

When Hydro-Québec started working on the Gentilly-2 reactor renovation project, none of its engineers had any knowledge of nuclear technology and of how this reactor was actually designed and built. The company had to hire some retired engineers who had actually worked on the reactor in the 1970's - my dad, 73 years old when the project was finally dropped, was one of the younger experts. They tried to transfer some of their knowledge to some young engineers, but I don't know how much they actually managed to teach.

The expertise to refurbish Candu reactors must exist as a number of Candu units in Ontario and abroad have been refurbished. The first refurbishment project of the Point Lepreau reactor in New Brunswick was a disaster -- years behind schedule and significantly over budget. AECL had been designing a new reactor -- the ACR-1000. SNC-Lavalin who purchased the AECL reactor division were not interested in developing a new reactor design and presumably have terminated employees not directly involved in the work of maintaining and refurbishing existing Candu reactors.

As I understand the story the refurbishement at Pointe Lepreau was a disaster precisely because much of the expertise had been lost - they underestimated the difficulty of this major overhaul. Same thing at Hydro-Québec, the expertise was basically lost there. What happened with the nuclear division of Lavalin is a good question, though. I understand that most engineers over there were pretty old - pretty much a leftover of the heydays of the Candu program, in the late 1970's, early 1980's. Most of them were probably forcibly retired, but I don't know for sure. My dad (ex-Lavalin)would probably know more, I'll try to ask him next time I see him.

New York Wholesale Electricity Surges on Canadian Imports Halt

Spot wholesale power across the New York state grid surged after imports from Canada were halted.

Manhattan prices climbed to a 19-day high after the New York Independent System Operator Inc., the state grid operator, reported an unplanned outage of the 765-kilovolt Chateauguay-Massena transmission line at 11:50 a.m. Imports of hydropower from Quebec fell to zero from 1,314 megawatts.

New York City power jumped as high as $1,534.80 at 12:15 p.m. after averaging $47.46 a megawatt-hour from 7 a.m. until noon, grid data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Source: Bloomberg News

The Great Energy Challenge: Who Will Swelter This Summer? The Pressures on the Nation’s Power Grid

When it comes to keeping the lights and air conditioning on this summer, how much of a safety margin do we need?

After all, summertime is when electricity demand surges, as an entire nation reaches for the thermostat in the midst of a heat wave. Overall, our grid is getting older, and the demands are getting higher.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, the agency that’s paid to worry about the power grid in the United States and Canada, says we’re reasonably good shape for the summer—except for Texas and maybe California. Of course, given how large Texas and California are, a worst case scenario could leave some 60 million Americans sweltering in the summer heat.

Source: National Geographic


Haywired: How the huge and fragile network of wires intertwined into our very existence may determine whether we can kick our carbon habit.

Source: High Country News May 27,2013 www.hcn.org

Good description of the Western Grid with emphasis on the San Diego power failure two years ago. The grid collapsed because a technician at the North Gila substation outside of Yuma missed a critical step and the Hassayampa-North Gila power line shut down. That triggered a chain reaction which darkened much of Southern California.


The question about CaO in concrete. The Cao rects with the sand-SiO2 to form the silicate of calcium. No reabsorbtion of CO2.

Apparently CO2 does react , but over a longer time scale.

"In around 4 weeks, typically over 90% of the final strength is reached, though strengthening may continue for decades.[43] The conversion of calcium hydroxide in the concrete into calcium carbonate from absorption of CO2 over several decades further strengthen the concrete and make it more resilient to damage."


The next sentence of the Wiki-article is more important: "However, this reaction, called carbonation, lowers the pH of the cement pore solution and can cause the reinforcement bars to corrode." So carbonatation of concrete is a really bad thing, but at the same time the very existance of reinforced concrete structures, as we know them: lasting for decades, shows the carbonatation proces is very slow and can have no significant impact on whatever CO2 balance considered outside the structure.
At your service, B. Verwimp, Civil engineer.

Any thoughts about the recent research into Roman concrete (which lasts for millenia); and new forms of cement designed to reduce CO2 emissions?

Second Atlantic season tropical depression forms

The center of the depression will move inland over southern Belize this afternoon where no change in strength is expected as it moves over land. The depression could emerge into the Bay of Campeche on Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). NHC noted that an increase in strength is possible on Tuesday if the center emerges into the Bay of Campeche. If that happens, Tropical Depression 2 could become Tropical Storm Barry.

Iran to deploy '4,000-strong force’ to Syria as US military set to stay in Jordan
http:// on.rt.com/487o1c

Iran will deploy 4,000 Revolutionary Guards to Syria to bolster Damascus against a mostly Sunni-led insurgency, media reported. Meanwhile, US F-16s and Patriots will stay in Jordan – speculatively, to help establish a no-fly zone to aid Syrian rebels.

The deployment of the first several-thousand strong military contingent was reported by The Independent on Sunday who quoted Iranian sources tied to the state’s security apparatus. The sources said the move signals Iran’s intention to drastically step up its efforts to preserve the government of President Bashar Assad.

Not a good development...


So basically we go to war with Iran or walk away. Walk away. Let the Sunni gulf states fund that proxy war against Iran if they are so inclined.

The stage is set for the U.S. to attack Iran in Syria.

That's great. We can look forward to repeating the success we have had in Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam keeping the bad guys out of power, generating an era of peace and making new friends.

"Iran to deploy '4,000-strong force’ to Syria as US military set to stay in Jordan"

Iran's getting a new President: Iran elections could be a game-changer: experts -

The election of the moderate Hassan Rowhani as Iran's new president is a game-changer which could set a new tone and soothe tensions with the West over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, analysts said....

...Dubbed a "sheikh diplomat" for his negotiating skills in tortuous nuclear talks, the moderate cleric raised hopes internationally after he emerged as the victor of the key polls on Saturday.

Rowhani has vowed to end the nuclear stalemate which has led to crushing Western sanctions on Iran. His policies under reformist president Mohammad Khatami were abandoned in 2005 when President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected and Rowhani quit his post over differences.

"Rowhani's victory is not regime change in Iran -- but it is a game changer," said Foreign Policy magazine.

He's been noncomittal on Syria, but he tends to be pro-KSA who've been backing the rebels. I doubt he'll want to piss off the House of Saud at this point. The Ayatollah? This may get interesting...

So we are getting substantial "foreign" involvement. Revolutionary guards plus Hezbollah on one side, some Al Qaeda types on the others. Lovely. Worse it is stroking sectarian strife among the different communities in the middle east who favor different sides.

GM still talking about 300-mile EVs with high energy density batteries

We have to assume Smyth was talking about batteries made by Envia, which announced it had developed just such batteries last year (and sent along the nifty cartoon image you see above). GM invested $7 million in the company in 2011 and also made a separate licensing deal to use those advanced packs in its vehicles. While we don't know the details of what kinds of vehicles are being tested with the 400 wh/kg packs in – Smyth would not even mention the brand – but we have previously calculated that that kind of power could mean 300-mile EVs. And earlier estimates put the cost of such a car with Envia's technology at just $20,000, giving more heft to Smyth's statement to Vander Doelen that, "Innovation is exploding right now. The industry is in a period of rapid transformation."

The source is an article in The Windsor Star:

Vander Doelen: Sex, Cars and Hybrids

I don't know what to make of this. The implication is that the advances people like speculawyer and I (EV fans) are looking forward too have already been baked into the cake as it were. The Envia batteries for example, are not vaporware and whoever estimated "the cost of such a car with Envia's technology at just $20,000" must either be incredibly dishonest, incredibly incompetent or really believe that these batteries will one day see the of day in an affordable electric car.

In a previous DB I posted the following about a similar "miracle" battery from Germany:


The post above was the last in a very long thread at


We've already seen the price of the Nissan Leaf go down 6 grand in anticipation of the 2014 model and with the start of production at Smyrna, Tennessee. How low can they go?

I have been expecting electric drive trains to take off in the commercial vehicle space, where the savings will appeal more to the operators and the constraints less of an issue in many cases. To date one manufacturer, Smith Electric seems to be doing well but most others have appeared to have flopped. What's going on?

Alan from the islands

Seems to be a strange sort of false post hit euphoria in the media and energy industry about all this shale gas and oil we are 'awash with'

I might have taken notice if

A/ Oil wasn't still hovering around the $90-100 mark. Hmmm wheres that $40 oil gone?
B/ World economy wasn't still tanking EVEN WITH a debt bubble inflated. Again. (because of A/??)
C/ Civil unrest becoming rather common.
D/ Household energy prices still rising inexorably.

None of it in my mind points towards a return to the good old times and no-one ses it. I think conventional C+C will have started to tank badly before the ground is plundered for shale oil/ga etc..and we are just running to stand still.......

Oh well. I'll just have to put up with watching everyone nodding ferverously at the Emporer with no clothes on. What a joke. It' as I've always said....we'll never know that peak oil happened as we'll be so far down the road blaming everything else.


To power up or power down? That is the question

Recently I read that our challenge in the twenty-first century is to triple global energy demand “so that the world’s poorest can enjoy modern living standards, while reducing our carbon emissions from energy production to zero”. While I greatly admire the writings of Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger of the Breakthrough Institute, I would have been appreciative if, in the article in question, they could have shared a link to some relevant reference that would explain how we might begin to overcome that challenge.

While this article asks a few of the hard questions, it's yet one more exersise in bargaining with a reality that won't be bargained with: Overshoot. "Power up or power down" aren't the choices we face, though how the power down will proceed is certainly an open question.

This is something I think about a lot. I live in a house from the 1830's, which is newer than our last place and the house in which I grew up. When I think about investing in new energy sources and on further measures to seal, insulate and weatherproof, I cannot help but think instead that such things cannot really be necessary. There is another choice, and it is clearly proven and viable. There is an issue of wood use, but my modern wood stoves are so much more efficient than what they had then that I can heat exclusively with windfall.

The investment required to live with less energy is an investment in knowledge and skills, which is of a different nature than the investment required for modern green technologies.

This one surprises me (as much as I get surprised by anything these days). So much for ELMv2?

China Oil Contraction Sinks Industry’s Biggest Tankers: Freight

China’s oil imports are contracting for the first time since 2009, reducing the biggest source of demand for crude tankers at a time when U.S. purchases are slowing and owners face the worst capacity glut in three decades.

Interesting. Looks like China might be headed for a slowdown.

This may be related; though, how they're going to power the new society isn't mentioned. Coal? ...

China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 Million Into Cities

BEIJING — China is pushing ahead with a sweeping plan to move 250 million rural residents into newly constructed towns and cities over the next dozen years — a transformative event that could set off a new wave of growth or saddle the country with problems for generations to come.

The primary motivation for the urbanization push is to change China’s economic structure, with growth based on domestic demand for products instead of relying so much on export. In theory, new urbanites mean vast new opportunities for construction companies, public transportation, utilities and appliance makers, and a break from the cycle of farmers consuming only what they produce. “If half of China’s population starts consuming, growth is inevitable,” said Li Xiangyang, vice director of the Institute of World Economics and Politics, part of a government research institute. “Right now they are living in rural areas where they do not consume.”

Aggressive state spending is planned on new roads, hospitals, schools, community centers — which could cost upward of $600 billion a year, according to economists’ estimates. In addition, vast sums will be needed to pay for the education, health care and pensions of the ex-farmers.

The shift is occurring so quickly, and the potential costs are so high, that some fear rural China is once again the site of radical social engineering. Over the past decades, the Communist Party has flip-flopped on peasants’ rights to use land: giving small plots to farm during 1950s land reform, collectivizing a few years later, restoring rights at the start of the reform era and now trying to obliterate small landholders.

Top-down efforts to quickly transform entire societies have often come to grief, and urbanization has already proven one of the most wrenching changes in China’s 35 years of economic transition. Land disputes account for thousands of protests each year, including dozens of cases in recent years in which people have set themselves aflame rather than relocate. ... Instead of creating wealth, urbanization could result in a permanent underclass in big Chinese cities and the destruction of a rural culture and religion.

Aggressive state spending is planned on new roads, hospitals, schools, community centers — which could cost upward of $600 billion a year, according to economists’ estimates.

Note that this is about what the US is currently spending on the military (down from $1 trillion). I think the Chinese will get a better value out of their $600 Billion/yr.

And short-term rates are potentially also indicative of problems (ahead?):


So why is Oil price still hovering around $95-100 in the face of reduced demand in other countries? It makes no sense whatsoever. There has been a distinct marked global downturn yet oil is still up there. How can this be?

I know is't not because of peak oil as we are 'awash' with shale oil and gas. /sarcanol.


MOL Comfort Breaks In Two Off Yemen, Still Afloat.

Massive 5 year old container ship, still afloat in 2 pieces almost a day later, that's what I call "unsinkable".

Link to follow:

“Sorrow floats.”

― John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire

Met Office Experts Meet to Analyze 'Unusual' Weather Patterns

Puzzled by these events, scientists from across the UK are meeting at the Met Office in Exeter to try to understand the reasons behind this run of what they term, "unusual seasons".

Much has been made of the jet stream and how changes in these strong winds affect our weather. "The thing to remember with the jet stream is that, much like our weather, it is a symptom of other drivers rather than a cause," said the Met Office's Dan Williams.

The scientists will examine the reduction in Arctic sea ice and how it might be affecting Europe's weather.

Another factor that the scientists will be considering are changes in long term ocean cycles such as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a system of deep currents that transport heat around the world. "The ocean circulation has been stuck in a rather strange pattern for the past 10 years or so, which in fact has given the unusual weather patterns in many parts of the world," ...

Arctic amplification and its many feedbacks seem to be a game changer and one that's hitting us far sooner than anyone was expecting.

A NASA science team has observed “amazing and potentially troubling” levels of methane and CO2 from the rapidly warming Arctic. Given the staggering amount of carbon trapped in the permafrost — and the fact that methane is a very potent heat-trapping gas — the space agency is now asking: “Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?”...

...“Permafrost soils are warming even faster than Arctic air temperatures — as much as 2.7 to 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 2.5 degrees Celsius) in just the past 30 years,”...

...Over hundreds of millennia, Arctic permafrost soils have accumulated vast stores of organic carbon – an estimated 1,400 to 1,850 petagrams of it (a petagram is 2.2 trillion pounds, or 1 billion metric tons). That’s about half of all the estimated organic carbon stored in Earth’s soils. In comparison, about 350 petagrams of carbon have been emitted from all fossil-fuel combustion and human activities since 1850. Most of this carbon is located in thaw-vulnerable topsoils within 10 feet (3 meters) of the surface...

...“Some of the methane and carbon dioxide concentrations we’ve measured have been large, and we’re seeing very different patterns from what models suggest,” Miller said.

We're already seeing devastating affects in the Northern Hemisphere and we're only at the thin edge of the wedge.

"Alaskan Temperatures Soar to the 90s, Challenge Record"


Seismic Gap Outside Of Istanbul: Is This Where The Expected Marmara Earthquake Will Originate From?

Earthquake researchers have now identified a 30 kilometers long and ten kilometers deep area along the North Anatolian fault zone just south of Istanbul that could be the starting point for a strong earthquake.

The Istanbul-Marmara region of northwestern Turkey with a population of more than 15 million faces a high probability of being exposed to an earthquake of magnitude 7 or more.

Mexico City has it's own problem Popocatepetl volcano has registered a massive explosion

Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: [listening to people screaming and panicking] I know this music... [plants a bomb] Let's change the beat.

How the I.R.S. Encourages Oil and Gas Spinoffs

... To protect the integrity of the corporate tax base, Congress passed section 7704, which provides the general rule that publicly traded entities should be taxed as corporations regardless of how they are organized under state law.

There is an exception to this general rule, however, for energy M.L.P.’s, defined as companies that derive at least 90 percent of their income “from the exploration, development, mining or production, processing, refining, transportation … or the marketing of any mineral or natural resource.” In other words, for the energy sector, paying the corporate tax is optional.

The origin of this M.L.P. loophole is shadowy. The legislative history states only that in the case of the energy sector, “special considerations apply.” As I teach my students, that is code for “effective lobbying.”

As with real estate investment trusts, the I.R.S. has made matters worse by carving the original loophole, brick by brick, into an opening big enough to drive an oil tanker through.

Taxing non-renrewables is the exact opposite of what Herman Daly thinks we should do. Nate posted some of his writing here a couple of years ago.

European car sales hit 20-year low in May

European car sales and registrations are down as the economy struggles with a debt crisis.

Best hopes for future headlines that might say "China car sales hit 20-year low".

From the same statistics: anyone any idea how the UK manages to increase their car sales with ~10%?

I think becuase the credit here in the UK hasn't dried up quite so quickly. If anything it has increased. People are rolling over hire purchases and taking offers on many good finance deals by the car finance companies. I know very few people that actually own their car outright.

Also because we have such high fuel costs in the UK theere is a greater incentive to trade up to a new more fuel efficient model - although the same could be said of Europe to some extent so this part doesn't neccessarily explain any divergence between the UK adn mainland EU.


The people I am buying my 'new' house (actually 300+ years old) from are selling because they need more room for their cars. They are a childless couple with FOUR large cars. There is a huge and growing social divide in this country, between the austerity hit majority and 'doing very nicely, thank you' minority. The UK mostly builds larger, luxury cars for export. Business is booming.

What do people think about this?

"Landfarming, also known as land spreading, land disposal or land treatment, is the oil and gas companies' solution to the disposal of waste produced by drilling.

This waste is made up of drilling cuttings, which is ground-up rock and drilling mud, a mixture used as a lubricant for the drilling mechanism.

Down to a depth of about 1000m, this drilling mud is a water-based mixture (WBM) which has no toxicity.

Deeper down, an oil-based lubricant is required and operators switch to synthetic based muds (SBM), essentially manufactured oils.

In the past, diesel or crude oil-based muds were used but their use has declined since the 1980s due to their toxicity to ecosystems, and they have been replaced by SBM, which is synthesised from diesel.

These synthetics can include hydrocarbons such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, naphthalene, pyrene and benzo(a)pyrene.

Taranaki Regional Council environmental quality director Gary Bedford says it is helpful to imagine this as the light oil used to grease a sewing machine.

"The beauty is you can control the characteristics of them [SBM] so easily so you don't have the very nasty hydrocarbons which get people concerned."

These synthetic substances break down very quickly and have low toxicity, he says.

"You have to use them to drill through clays to minimise the environmental impact.

Despite the vigorous testing, a 2011 TRC report noted a lack of information on safe concentrations and practices for land spreading in relation to soil ecosystems and biodiversity.

Quoting a MAF report which said there was little known in New Zealand about the influence of waste spreading on ecosystems, the TRC report concluded local authorities' decisions regarding issuing resource consents were limited by the lack of information. "

Applying drilling wastes to the land is a form of bioremediation - it allows the soil's naturally occurring microbial population to break down the waste (particularly hydrocarbons, other organic compounds and nitrogen) that drilling cuttings and muds contain."


The peak oil theory, which states that we have passed the moment of maximum global oil production, was described 40 years ago by Marion Hubbert, a former Royal Dutch Shell geophysicist. However, once again, human innovation has saved the day.

Wow. Get to that strawman in the 2nd clause. Amazing.

I'm just left wondering if they are that stupid or if they are just knowingly misleading people. I guess I think both happen at different times.

It is unclear whether we are at the final peak before decline, but it seems likely. Being at peak is a time of false reassurance. It is like being on the Titanic before hitting the iceberg. "This ship is unsinkable." In the minds of most people, there is no oil problem. It's just speculators who are driving the price up. I use analogies because it is hard to find the right language. Another one is that being at peak is like being in the eye of a hurricane. There is turbulence all around, but if I'm in the eye, I don't feel it. Many of us here at TOD can point to ways that the supply is slowing in growth, etc, but those of a very optimistic bent can say that everything is fine, there is no supply problem. When the world is at peak, supply is the most abundant it will ever be, even if it is inadequate to meet need. Demand and need may be quite different. But to many observers, it makes sense to be bullish on oil. Until it doesn't.

**Weather Update**
Severe Weather down here, after monsoon hit us 2 weeks early, it literally poured here with rainfall higher by up to 2-3 times the average in some regions. Flooding, landslides and massive loss of lives, meanwhile some regions(adjacent to surplus rainfall areas) have deficient rainfall of up to 50 percent. Meteorologists are saying that this kind of weather is unprecedented.

Thx for the update, WI. That last sentence seems to be uttered ever more frequently, no?