Your Favorite Post of the Year...

I ask you all to take a minute and reflect on the keypost that made the most impact on you this year, and I would ask that you link to it in the comments...please try to link to only one. (if you need your memory jogged, go to this link of the top 50 commented articles and then follow this link to upmod this list at reddit and digg. (thanks stiffpicken), use the search or archive function above...or the t-rati or google search functions in the right bar, or use the tag function too. Also, there's no need for voting for your favorite at this time, that may come later, depending on how this goes. I just want to accumulate nominees in one place.)

Nate Hagen's Net Energy Parable post:

A fantastic overview of the big picture plus a great story to hammer home the concepts.

I cannot limit my nomination to a single post, because it was the several Robert Rapier posts on ethanol and Khosla that made the biggest impression on me. If I had to list one single post I'd be in a tough spot, because there were about ten or a dozen tied for first place, and from all of the editors, contributors and senior contributors on on the list. Probably of all the contributors, Khebab most influenced my thinking, but that is just edging by a hair others from first place. Where would we be without Stuart's posts?

Darn it all, just picking one posting does not work for me.

Leanan made large numbers of the best comments; I rate her input as A++.

posts on ethanol

Would that be the ones where ethonal powered cars get better milage per gallon than gas fueled cars?

Certainly--when you're right, you're right:-)

Here is Figure 2 from "Methanol: A Versatile Fuel for Immediate Use" by T. B. Reed and R. M. Lerner; Science, December 28, 1973, Volume 182, page 1301:
graph showing an increase in fuel economy of over 5% as methanol concentration increases from 0% to 15%
Sometimes 2 + 1 = 4. I don't know if anyone ever found similar results for ethanol, if so, they were never published in Science.

I normally have reservations over these sort of "best of" votes because, as in film or book lists, contemporary candidates have a huge advantage over older ones.

However, for me there's one post that stands out amongst all others, and that's Dave Cohen's Does the Peak Oil "Myth" Just Fall Down? -- Our Response to CERA

Not only was this an exceptionally well-crafted response to CERA's disparaging dismissal of any near-term peak in oil production (even more so when you consider the time constraints Dave was under) but the post was also symbolic -- it defined the differences between the so-called 'cornucopians' and those who believe peak oil is an issue that will have a major impact on global economic and geopolitical stability in the near or medium term.

This was the moment when for me (though perhaps not for others who fully understood this a long time ago) the argument became one of flow rates rather than just reserves, and one where the issue of net energy became a critical consideration.

I'm actually delighted that CERA released that report. I think it has narrowed everyone's focus and will make future analysis far more incisive.

Kudos to Dave Cohen for his efforts.

That would be the post where the problems of the end of cheap energy is solved.

(there is no one post, to me, that stands above many of the other fine posts. Many posts are suck-tacular for various reasons. And a few shoudl be mocked.)

I did like the sasquash story....

Not a post but a graph I believe it was Stuarts graph of KSA oil production and rig count priceless.

I'll cast my vote for that one, too. It was one of those classic "Oh shit" moments for me this year.
Hard data like that give coments like Heinberg's "well connected insider" quote the weight they deserve.

That was a good one. Also vivid in my mind was the graph at the top of the "natural gas cliff" post. (I can't seem to get the current TOD search function to find it.) (Ah, here is it - found in a comment below. Direct link to the chart.)

Thanks to all the posters for their hard work. Engineer-Poets energy-scheme post stands in my mind as a monumental effort, even if I disagree with the conclusions... And the Sasquatch parable was good - I wish Nate would fix the minor flaws in the numbers and re-post it in a more permanent place.

Wish list for future posts:
* Inflation vs. deflation (not that we'll ever wrap up that debate),
* other topics in how money works in the international scene, and the interaction between that and peak oil
* current trends in EROI of fossil fuels, if anybody can find good data - I think that this is critical in evaluating the current apparent "plateau",
* more on the impact of low EROIs on economy and society. Why worry about whether ethanol is 0.9 vs. 1.3 if anything less than 4 is potentially useless?

Excellent wish list vtpeaknik.

"* Inflation vs. deflation (not that we'll ever wrap up that debate),
* other topics in how money works in the international scene, and the interaction between that and peak oil"

I would recommend Penniless Billionaires by Max Shapiro, and The Great Wave, Price revolutions and the rhythms of history by David Fischer.

If there is a TOD Santa I would be interested in knowing what effect a shortage of diesel fuel would have on coal production (by region/type of coal mine. And what effect that might have on the US grid (by region).

Santa gave me some coal but I might hold on too it and see if it appreciates more than gold does.

i have put together a list of the top 50 TOD posts (sans drumbeat or open thread) from 2006 based on cumulative number of comments. might help some locate favorite posts.

here's the list

here's the reddit link for stiffpicken's top 50 list here. (it has a few upmods already...)

and here's the digg link for the list here.

(create an account if you don't have one and vote these up...good exposure for all of those authors.)

I'd have to go with Why peak oil is probably about now

This was one of the first articles I read on TOD and it really brought the idea of PO home for me. I always recommend it to friends and family when I bring up the idea of PO.

I would second the nomination for Stuart's posting. It is a good summary of the best evidence available for a near-term peak. I don't find it 100% convincing, but I don't think anyone here has done a better job of marshalling all the pro-peak evidence in one place.

Is Ghawar Crashing?

Heinberg: Middle East at a Crossroads


At the ASPO conference a well-connected industry insider who wishes not to be directly quoted told me that his own sources inside Saudi Arabia insist that production from Ghawar is now down to less than three million barrels per day, and that the Saudis are maintaining total production at only slowly dwindling levels by producing other fields at maximum rates.

Hello WT and fellow TODers,

Yep, if I had to pick just one KEYPOST for the past year--Heinberg's Bombshell did it for me too--too bad we couldn't find a second source to positively corroborate this 'fact'. If true: it sure would answer a lot of questions. If false: sure would be interesting to know the insiders who banked bigbuck$$$ by deliberately using Heinberg to spread a rumor.

To me: the best thread discussion on the whole WWWeb is the WT--RR debate with all the other expert TODers weighing-in with their comments pro & con. I hope it continues into 2007 as more data is uncovered.

Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

There was one golden post

... where everyone was civil to one another,
... backed their positions with citations to facts,
... no ad hominem attacks,
... stayed on topic, and gave
... total respect for people with opposing views.

It's just that the search function isn't working now and refuses to find it for me.

Hi Step,

It's coming up in the New Year...2006 was practice. (BTW,Nice list.)

I nominate westexas' net export model. Unfortunately, the only post I could find was the "debate":

That post, and Robert's rebuttal, were not, IMO, all that great. However, I found westexas' core thesis that net exports would fall faster and earlier than world production to be self-evidently true, and at the same time profound in consequence.

If there exists an earlier post of his export model, without all the argument over whether current statistics "prove" it, and whether or not it proves a specific date for PO, then I would like to change my nomination to such other post.

To the best of my recollection, Westexas devoloped and presented his export model over several--even many posts. Once again, I am frustrated by having the requirement to pick one key post. I would certainly put these posts of Westexas in the A+ category.

I don't have to think very hard to answer this one, it is westexas' endless ELP. It is actual advice that I can apply to myself and regardless of who's predictions turn out to be in the ballpark it has changed my lifestyle for the better. Now that I have made the necessary changes I can relax and watch the show.

Dave's Running With The Red Queen post on the North American Natural Gas is vivid in my memory. I stand in absolute awe of Khebab's graphs, and his Loglets post made me think more about math than I ever have, Stuart's recent post challenging our assumptions about transportation fuel-heck guys, its all great.
I loved Robert's influential book post, even though its not strictly a peak oil post, I love seeing what others are reading.
Prof, this is the best site on the internet! Now if you just posted porn links too...

Gazprom to cut off Belarus Jan. 1. Belarus to cut off pipeline to Europe in retaliation.

There have been some real zingers, but on average I'd have to say Leanan's posts are the best.

Stuart was the first to grab my attention, to explain 3 in 1, but then he left for awhile and then it was Khebab, Leanan, WT, David Cohen, Rembrant, Heading Out, Prof G, and please forgive any omittances, who took over.

I never saw one great post, but one great site. For me that has been the draw.

Thanks All.

There was a comment that 2 cars loaded with explosives couldn't do it, but they've already shown they can fly and crash an airliner. Such a disruption would be catastrophic.

Outside of TOD, what was the Peak Oil "event" of 2006?

1. KSA announcing they are "voluntarily" cutting back production?
2. CERA predicting a peak composed of undulations?
3. Yergin promising we are going back to $38/bl real soon?
4. CNN airing "We Were Warned"?
5. ExxonMobil going green?
6. Thomas Freidman finding the new Red, White & Blue?
7. ______ (your nomination)

Outside of TOD, what was the Peak Oil "event" of 2006?

7. ______ (your nomination), here's one, but folks here are not going to like it:
The DOE Energy Outlook report that famously predicted oil prices per barrel out to the year 2030 averaging lower than prices we have already seen (some $75 a barrel)

It was a catastrophic blow to the heart of the Peak oil argument, and despite all the rhetoric by the government, undercut any real chance, in fact, undercut the very idea of a need for change to "business as usual" in energy production and use.

That report, coming from an authoritative source, combined with ExxonMobil's assertions of "no peak in sight", CERA's "undulating plateau" no earlier than 2030, Saudi Arabia's repeated assertions that they have more than enough oil to go to mid century without a problem, all combine to reduce the Peak Oil debate to a game for insiders who already accept the premises.

For bankers, policy makers, managers, purchasing managers, and college age technicians choosing a career, it makes the choice for energy change seem to be a labor of love, not a matter of national security, survival and prosperity.
To the mainstream decision makers, Peak Oil and energy alternatives now seem to be an interesting bit of esoterica, and nothing more. The above reports are already being thrown in the face of entrepreneurs and alternative energy researchers. They are given the fantastically unrealistic numbers as put forth by the DOE, and asked by investors, venture capitalists and bankers, "can your alternative compete with these oil prices?"

A very dark period indeed. The goverment and vested interests have taken sides, and it is with the status quo. It will be much to their own detriment in the coming decades. And to ours.
The other "event", but it goes back earlier than 2006: The continuing work of Felix Kramer and

It is great to know we still live with pioneers and giants: Karl Benz, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates were unknowns at one time, and only the insiders of their industries knew they were to join the rank of great pioneers. So it is with Felix Kramer. Those of us who have studied alternative energy, alternative transportation, and the barriers to real progress in efficiency were astounded by the breakthrough of the thinking pioneering the plug hybrid movement, as done by Kramer and his small band.
The paradigm is now moving VERY FAST, and even the oil producers are becoming afraid that it cannot now be stopped.

Roger Conner known to you as ThatsItImout

Figure 7 of page 11 seems to indicate that Coal shall be King real soon.

The PDF report is here.

The EIA outlook web page is here.

Thanks for the pointer to this info.

The most fantastic chart I have ever seen:

This can now be displayed by the status quo crowd as an official government forecast! astounding.

Roger Conner known to you as ThatsItImout


That chart is truly amazing. There is absolutly no recognition of any of the current trends. According to the DOE all of our energy problems are just going to melt away over the next couple of years. There's no need to do anything!

Talk about cornucopian!

Meanwhile my property tax is up 8.5% for 2007 even though my house value is down. My commuter rail pass is up 27% (used to be $128/month - now $163). Yet inflation is hovering at 2-3%.

Nothing like government figures and projections.


Roger and ggg:

The noises that government critters or other humans make about "price" are totally irrelevant. Mother Nature does not hear the "price" signal. "Price" is the way we capitalist humans negotiate about who is going to die first.

Don't have enough to pay for the doctor? Guess what? You get to "go" first. Don't have enough to pay for heating oil? Guess what? You get to "go" first. Bye bye. Yes, we are "compassionate". But first and foremost we are "conservative" (about preserving number one's left behind and right behind.)

The sycophants who serve TPTB are just hoping their masters will be kind enough to not make them one of the left behinds.

Our state transporation agency, Caltrans, uses an internal inflation rate of 4.1% per year for highway construction project estimates.

Meanwhile, in the real world, prices for highway construction are rising at about 14% per year in the U.S. Our local project, the Willits bypass, is increasing in cost at a 18% per year clip (2002-2006).

So much for the value of prop 1b funds (a recent giant bond passed in CA).

This is a very interesting report about construction inflation, with some revealing graphics:

Ken Simonson, Chief Economist for The Associated General Contractors of America

Another big story of the year that seems to have been missed a bit, is the extreme inflation rate for large infrastructure projects. Around here at least, many folks are complaining that they are finding their projects underfunded because all the RFPs returned are well outside the budget.

I believe that a look at the historic accuracy of EIA price predictions would be a good way to undermine their credibility. Heinberg does this effectively for natural gas pricing, for example.

I think the biggest PO event was NO increased crude production in 2006.

The most significant occurrence in 2006 was the draw of NG storage during the peak of the AC season this summer. This had not ever occurred in any other year to date. Also it seems that current NG draw is excessive for the current warm temperatures this winter. This does not correlate with current warm temps or the current NG prices. Stand by for Friday’s report. There seems to be insufficient new production to address new customers and construction.

This was posted before I saw the EIA price chart. There is now no doubt that EIA has an agenda that overrides their better judgement. Independent my Foot.

$24 per Million Btu's equals about 8 cents per Kwh.

"The Auto Efficiency Wedge", by Stuart Staniford

A great work of statistical research and scholarship, useful charts both in and out of the context of that discussion, I raved about it at the time, and still think it should be required reading for anyone who somehow has been convinced (and there seem to be a surprising number of people convinced such) that increasing fuel efficiency of cars somehow has no effect on oil consumption! Staniford's work proves that we actually know exactly where to start with mitigation efforts, we just refuse to start there...

Roger Conner known to you as ThatsItImout

has the fat lady sung ? i am still waiting for rembrandt's final post on reserve growth

Off topic, but...

In about two weeks I'm going to be visiting with Black Light Power. Since quantum theory is not a personal strong point, could those in the know give me a list of why Black Light's hydrogen claims are (most likely) bogus? Thanks

I think it was Bohr who said,"Anyoke who says they understand quantum theory doesn't.

If that was an easy energy source, we'd see it operating in nature. Instead, stars seem to function on plain old fusion.

Hi chainsaw4wood.

I'm not a physicist or an expert. I claim to have a BSEE and an MD, and to be active in medical research.

FWIW, I was curious and checked out the Black Light Power site in a cursory manner, and have formed an impression:

1) I saw no patents.

2) I came across no evidence of any working examples.

3) They claim to have discovered a new "ground state" of the hydrogen atom below the long recognized minimum energy level. They further claim that an electron can be made to transition to this new, low energy state, releasing copious energy in the process. This is the source of energy they hope to harvest.

4) Links to their scientific paper(s) in PDF form are on their web site. They look impressive, and I can't evaluate them. But the paper (the first in the PDF file) that describes this "discovery" is NOT published in ANY peer-reviewed journal. It is only "submitted", as are the bulk of the 114 references they cite. IOW, any potential investor is in the position of having to independantly evaluate a paper (at minimum) purporting a major new developement in quantum electrodynamics. Can you say "sucker"?.

5) The site states that free hydrogen is "easily and cheaply obtained through electrolysis" with no mention of the conversion loss, and no discussion of EROEI. 'nuther red flag.

I lost further interest in reading the site.

Personally, I would wouldn't risk a postage stamp on Black Light Power.

That's my humble opinion chainsaw4wood, you got what you paid for.

My favorite post occurs each day, when I have an opportunity to increase my knowledge of peak oil and stay current, thanks to All the Contributors and comments.

I nominate khebab's post on the Periodicity Transform applied to oil prices over time. Significant if it pans out.

I realise that I should probably join the ranks of a handful of wise posters above who recognise that it is both impossible and unwise to select any single "favourite post" here's three which I will continue to refer to in future:

Khebab - The Loglet Analysis

Luis de Sousa - World Oil Exports: A Comprehensive projection

Chris Skrebowski - Open letter to Peter Jackson of CERA

Favorite post of the year? Engineer Poet's treatise on energy, carbon and agriculture. Magnificent big picture thinking. Link here .

I'd pick Stuart's post on the link between VMT and GDP. It is a mark of genius to percieve the connections between disparate phenomenon. Whodah thunk that VMT is a leading economic indicater?

I was going to sit out this one, for the reason others have already said: it's near impossible to pick just one post. But after thinking about it awhile, I came up with one: Mike Hearn's Interesting Economics. As Matt Savinar, our favorite AlphaMaleProphetofDoom put it: "This is one of the best posts EVER in the peak oil blogosphere."

I like it because the biggest problem I see in the peak oil issue is the economic one. Our entire economic system is built on infinite growth, and we're so inured to it that many of us cannot even see it. We take our monetary system for granted. As Mike put it:

... based on my own experiences money is largely some Matrix like thing that people just accept as part of reality, and don't realise that some of its rules can be bent, and others can be broken.

Hello All,

There have been many great posts and posters who deserve thanks for tackling the big issues.

However I would like to thank Westexas on a personel level. I was trying to get a new job and getting nowhere. Westexas took the time to encourage me. Since then I have got a job in a new mine and will be starting in February.

Thank you for taking the time to say some encouraging words.

All the best to everyone for the coming year


Glad I could offer some encouragement, but of course you got the job not me!

In regard to my continuing ELP recommendations (Economize; Localize & Produce), as I have said before, I am speaking of what I know. I know what happens when about 75% of the net cash flow in your industry vanishes in about a week.

The biggest problem I see in the peak oil issue is the economic one. Our entire economic system is built on infinite growth, and we're so inured to it that many of us cannot even see it. We take our monetary system for granted.

I'll second that.

The one item that draws the greatest attention is the "The Price Signal".

Talk about the price of gasoline at the retail pump, or talk about the price of a barrel on the futures market and everybody goes gah gah.

We are pre-programmed to believe unquestionably that "the system" (the market, the invisbile appendage, etc.) will always come through for us and provide a solution.

Interest and everlasting growth are inherent parts of "the system". It is sheer blasphemy to question the sustainabilty of such a system.

i cannot pick a post or thread, there have been too many great ones. however, there is one concept, in my opinion, that has become the rock on which this site is standing, namely hubbert linearization.... starting with deffeyes, flowing through WT and stuart to khebab, this one idea crystallizes graphically the peak oil concept in my mind.

Here's your chance everyone. This is the year of YOU as Time mag said. All you posters and lurkers should respond to this one.

As a theme I think it should be "Peak Oil'
or whatever you thought.

Overlooked stories of 2006

Which news stories were left behind this year? Veteran journalist Leslie Stahl wants your take.;_ylc=X3oDMTFtMXI2N3ZvBF9TAzI3MTY...

Already on january, 30th:

The graph which shows the cement production world wide...

The chinese bar is jaw-dropping. I've shown this graph many friends...

Not just one favorite, I store many of the posts as links to go back to later. The post by Euan Mearns on October 3, titled EU oil imports set to grow by 29% by 2012 on TOD: Europe is one that everyone that wants to know about the EU production and consumption should note: