Perhaps we could ask for a little input ?

We are guilty here, on occasion, of being a little insular, in that there is a slow change going on in the world, in regard to the issues of peak fuel supply and public perceptions of it. When I first started writing for this site I would generally glance at three sites (other than the industrial ones) to see what was happening. They were (and are) the Energy Bulletin , the Peak Oil Board ; and (for the Europeans) Powerswitch . Others, such as Rigzone ; < a href=> the Oil and Gas Journal and Schlumberger are for more of the technical issues, (I am not counting the ASPO and similar sites, since they send me newsletters) and from these and others like them we have compiled the list of sites that you see on the left hand side of the page.

Because they each have a different flavor, and each have their own foci of attention, you might want to spend an evening wandering down the list we have compiled, to see how those different folk that we have found, and which we now list, address the different issues. The voices, as you may note, are quite different in focus and you might wish to filter them to your own interests. (That is how I got into blogging – by making my own site, so that I had a list of such sites, from which I could draw, and then comment on what I was seeing).

So what makes this worthy of special comment. Well it is because the MSM, that we all love to moan and groan about, is starting to pick up on the issue of Peak Oil. The first regular journalist that I noted writing on the topic was Tom Whipple of the Falls Church News Press. His columns have always been worth a read. But then, I noticed that the Houston Chronicle now blogs on Energy issues, and just yesterday we were told that The Wall Street Journal has an energy blog. And so it seems an appropriate time to do a quick survey around and see if we can come up with regular columns or blog sites that we have missed on the list which you see down the left and bring it up to date. (And I recognise that I have not given some of the personal websites of some of our contributors, many of whom have much more information, of a focused type, than we do here - I hope they understand what I am looking for, and forgive me).

So for all you detective types out there, why not send us a note where you find folks that are regularly blogging on the subject, and we will see if we can’t update the list. I await your comments and promise to look at almost all of them (depending on how many we get).

And for those of you who note that this is not one of the more informative of weekend posts, I am working on a techie talk on coal, that may pop up tomorrow. However it has required that I build some new 3-D models one of which took most of my afternoon.

So here is another little question – since we established, I guess last Monday, that everybody here is fully aware of what is going on in all sorts of other sites on the Web (save only your humble servant) and since, for example, Renderosity had 1721 visitors on site as I wrote this (while we only had 150 (10:01 pm Saturday night EST). I am modeling my technical objects in Strata since I learned it when they started and it is easy for my small brain to follow. Like everyone else, I suppose, I use Poser for my avatars, including one that . . . well never mind. So any way, here is the question, is it better, when you try and integrate these into a field model to use Bryce or Vue ?


Oh, and while I can't image why I mention this, I watched "The Starry Messenger" in the Ascent of Man series this week. It related to the trial of Galileo.

Hi everyone.

You may not know me. I have posted only on several occasions, heavily during several ethanol discussions. I have my opinions.

I am negotiating a weekly column on energy issues for national syndication in mostly daily U.S. newspapers.

The column will be general-purpose mainstream for average American on energy production, consumption, infrastructure, technology, politics, etc. It will assume near-term severe global warming and peak oil disruptions and will aim to educate and lead for a sustainable reaction and conversion, if still possible?

This is the premier peak oil site with a lively informed if overly technical roundtable. I look here daily (hourly, minutely :)) for ideas and inspiration. Great site!

Hello ANewLand,

Good for you! Please refer your future readers to TOD, and/or help the TopTODers listed on the right [along with the satellite TODsite TopTODers], to get further MSM recognition so Yergin and Lynch don't get all the broadcast airtime. My belief is we need a lot more people than just Simmons, WT, RR, Kunstler, and Deffeyes trying to counter the 'don't worry, be happy, go shopping' CERA & Khosla Iron Triangle message.

WT and RR have what?--maybe an hour total of TV facetime compared to how many hours of Yergin facetime? I wish Simmons or somebody could conceive of a counter-conference to CERAweak that the MSM would cover with the same intensity. He certainly has the connections and political clout.

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

ANewLand wrote:

The column will be general-purpose mainstream for average American....

It will assume near-term severe global warming and peak oil disruptions and will aim to educate and lead for a sustainable reaction and conversion, if still possible?

Hmmm..... mainstream doomerism. Should your negotiations lead to a deal, I would say a threshold has been crossed.

BTW, this is why I seldom read columns. I've always had this image of the wannabee columnist doing the circuit, assumptions in hand, hawking and flogging his concept. He then remains "on message", week after week, delivering sermons to the faithful.

What ever happened to honest intellectual inquiry?

The object of the post was to let everyone know where to look, so can you provide a link? (And to those who follow this, since I forgot to mention it in the main post) Links are good!

Hello HO,

I know it is impossible to stop blog and website creation, but a potential problem with this is that PO + GW newbies can spend alot of time off-track before they find the motherlode, or worse case spend big money on CERA reports. I always make sure to tell newbies: if they only have a few minutes/day, to make sure and check into first. I think Bart & team do a great job of websurfing to pull together critical info [although Leanan is coming on very strong =) ]. From EB, the newbie will find TOD, LATOC, etc.

I think it is only a matter of time until we have to pay by the byte when electricity gets real expensive. My hope is that EB, TOD, LATOC, and Dieoff will be the last ones still functioning. That is why I post here instead of my own blog--I hope the archives are maintained for a longtime postPeak so that late newbies will see how hard we all worked to try and inform them and to help them prepare for what comes next.

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

"I think it is only a matter of time until we have to pay by the byte when electricity gets real expensive."

ummm...why? Oil & gas are only 20% of US electrical production, and generation costs are only about 50% of retail electricity prices, so if it quintuples in price that only increases retail prices by 40%. Even that would be temporary, as gas would be phased out pretty quick. Coal might double in cost for CO2 sequestration (from about 4.5 cents/kwh to as much as 9 cents), or we might just burn it as is, but we'd use it one way or another, don't you think?

Wind could easily be 20% of generation in 15 years, and nuclear at 20% isn't going away. Why would peak oil be a threat to the electrical grid?

I hope that you keep my "10% Reduction in US Oil Use in 10 to 12 Years with Mature Technology" in mind. This is a silver bullet that can be used in addition to other silver bullets.

Happy Mardi Gras ! :-)


Please continue to not include Freddy Hutter's trendline site.

I found this statement on his global warming page rather offensive.

From a global perspective, temp's are up 0.6C in the last 100yrs. That's what all the fuss is about. Just over half a degree. And everything from forest fires to heat waves to tornadoes to janet jackson's lifestyle are being blamed on this minute global warming. No scientist worth their salt believes that. The media and alarmists have taken this anomaly out of context.

I find his technique of PO modeling using an average of models including such sources as CERA, XOM and Armaco to arrive at his "trendline" projection pretty rediculous.

However, I was shocked that he also appears to be a GW denier.

I'm not entirely sure that Freddy is a GW denier. I think his take on the issue is that there is no such thing as a global scientific consensus, and that the earth has been in general warming up for the past 10,000 years. Unless the Geico cavemen were collectively spraying hair spray back there, the temperature has rising 'and fallen' dramatically enough since then to at least concede that a good portion of the warming is from a natural cycle.

My personal opinion on the matter is that GW is indeed happening, though I think it's going to take a bit longer then the IPCC thinks for it to adversely affect man kind in any way that we weren't already affected before.

Denier is not a good choice of words. He's just behind the curve on this one. The time for discussing solar flare and sunspot activity, while downplaying projections - has just passed.

I think his take on the issue is that there is no such thing as a global scientific consensus, and that the earth has been in general warming up for the past 10,000 years. Unless the Geico cavemen were collectively spraying hair spray back there, the temperature has rising 'and fallen' dramatically enough since then to at least concede that a good portion of the warming is from a natural cycle.

Right, that's a pretty common position among deniers. It is also 100% bullshit.

1) Yes, there is such a thing as a global scientific consensus. Take, for example, the global scientific consensus that chemical compounds are made out of atoms on the periodic table.

2) Around 10,000 years ago, the Earth warmed up significantly from a very cold state. Since then it has been fairly stable in climate fluctuating in a band. Recently, the temperature has exceeded that band, concomitant with the greenhouse gases which will soon exceed the natural maximum over the last few hundred thousand years, and a bit after that, that of millions of years.

However, the overwhelming logical error is to look at past natural fluctuations which occurred without human intervention, and then somehow assume that the present supranormal fluctutation must also have the same natural mechanisms, despite the obvious presence of a totally unprecedented physical alteration due to modern civilization.

And direct measurements and physical theory which causally and quantitatively connects the present abnormal observation with the present abnormal alteration---and the lack of any other similarly predictive causal phenomena being sufficient to explain observations.

It is simply breathtakingly silly, and obviously so, in any other context.

Think about it it this way. Suppose somebody looked at natural petroleum and tar seepage into waterways over 10,000 years, showing how it comes and goes over the ages. And then uses that logic of "natural cycles" to assert that oil will always be with us, despite the enormous human effort in global petroleum pumping which didn't start until 120 years ago.

Or how about this other one. Suppose ecological records showed ebbs and surges of lion populations over thousands of years coinciding with weather and prey availability and habitat. And then used that true observation to assert that lions thus have nothing to worry about from hunters in helicopters with night vision scopes and automatic rifles and that the sudden lack of living lions ought not be be attributed to human influence.

The logic behind global warming is not merely from vague paleoclimactic correlations but due to presently observable, experimentally testable and incontrovertible laws of physics combined with direct observation of the greenhouse effect (increased IR emissivity in upper atmosphere) and its change over decades, coinciding with changes in atmospheric chemistry, caused by humans.

Actually Hothgar, over that period we are presently in an upward spike anomoly of a long term cooling era. Ignore the noise. None of the blowhards has read any of the IPCC Reports.

Q - What does it tell ya when u hear that 98% of scientists blame weather events on GW?

A - Only 2% of scientists are climatologists!

Take a good look, Hothgor. It really is feces floating on the pond surface.

toilforoil was discovering the thrills of self gratification in his mom's bathroom when i first studied the phenom of GW.

I have over 200 posts on Climate Change at TOD and i'm confident that not one is in conflict with the findings of the four IPCC Reports. The presentations below illustrate that Earth has been cooling for almost 10,000 years. Within the last millenium this trend has only been disturbed by the Medieval Warm Period and the current GHG-inspired anomalies:

The truly sad thing is that yet another excellent thread is hijacked by the lunatic fringe. Why are we discussing Climate Change? It is because their agenda does not include Peak Oil ...

Hello Everyone,

Toilforoil does his cause no favor by saying:

Take a good look, Hothgor. It really is feces floating on the pond surface.

Freddy returns the favor and denigrates his own viewpoints by saying:

toilforoil was discovering the thrills of self gratification in his mom's bathroom when i first studied the phenom of GW.

Needless to say (if only it were needless, but alas -- it is not), both parties to the argument have destroyed the usefulness of their comments by speaking in the above fashion.

Undoubtedly, there is a calm & rational manner for people to argue about Global Warming even when their viewpoints contradict. Why is this so difficult?

Emotional outbursts and trading of insults does not serve any intellectual purpose at all, it is strictly a form of appealing to (vile) emotions over reason.

There is already enough stress in this world, toilforoil and Freddy ought to discuss this disagreement with respect and civility.

David Mathews

Actually, David, my comment was not an emotional outburst, but an attempt to reveal to Hothgor just what kind of ignoramous he was defending. Hutter is a global warming denier. Hothgor appeared to think differently.

Hutter is not deserving of civil engagement. He is abusive and insulting, without warrant. He misrepresents facts and twists logic. His type is all too common and in a previous era dressed in brownshirts and strutted on the strasse. It is a type frustrated by their personal insignificance who possess an exaggerated notion of their own intelligence, yet who recognize rigorous analysis only by their inability to understand the content. Fundamentally, they hate intellectuals, though they would that the world saw them as thinkers. This is why, in my view, Hutter attacks cogent thinkers like Dave Cohen, Leanan, Westexas and others. Hutter is not interested in civil discussion, though he makes the occasional pretense that he is. He does not want to lose the attention he gets at TOD. He revels in the destruction and degradation he visits upon TOD.

You have recently been attacking TOD as a proxy for the oil industry, David, another agent, you suggest, in the force of environmental degraders and destroyers. But your attack is misdirected. Hutter, the archetypical brownshirt, is your real enemy.

You could be right there Hothgar. NASA says that most of the GW to date has been absorbed by the oceans. The atmosphere is in intimate thermal contact with the water and the oceans have huge thermal inertia. So expect a slow rise of air temperature.

The big risk as far as I can comprehend are changes to the ocean currents leading to climate change effecting food production. I don't think rising sea levels matter a hill of beans. Anybody who can't dodge a rising tide is already dead.

Also, I have yet to read anyone explain to 'the people' how coral islands got to be 3 feet above sea level in the first place. It's not some lucky coincedence! So long as the sea level rise is less that coral growth then the islands will rise along with the oceans. Essentially coral grows to near the low tide mark. Storms break up the coral into sand which is dumped on the island. Coral then regrows.

GW is received truth now. Try getting a science job as a GW sceptic. Ask Galileo what happens to heretics.

The real PO issue here is that the IPCC has made the most optimistic assumptions about the available of oil and gas. It's in the nature of any prediction that you have to keep all other variables fixed. The PO community suffers the from same problem.

Alan: "Anybody who can't dodge a rising tide is already dead."

We really gotta move this to Drumbeat and preserve the integrity of HO's thread. Having said that, thanx 'cuz i had to laff when i read your post. My floating docks in West Vancouver rose and fell thru 16 feet vertical of tide during 24 hours at the bi-monthly peaks. That's over five metres. 500cm. 5000 millimetres in one day. And each year our sea level rose 3mm.

Over the last 10,000 years, the greatest annual sea level surge was 70mm. The fringe has no idea of this subject's context...

I will agree with the Drumbeat part, but in terms of widening sources, it would be good to go beyond the North American debates.

For example, neither the Dutch nor the Northern Germans care much about your experience in Vancouver - but then, as we all know, context is everything.

Of course, some people find the Dutch easy to dismiss - after all, people who reclaim land from the sea obviously have no good idea of what the facts are. As you noted, the 'fringe has no idea of this subject's context.' And I guess we can throw in those people living in Venice, or London - talked to anybody living near the Thames recently? I guess they have just been throwing their money away with those dam systems.

Some good links for other people interested in an overview -
or (British government site)

For those looking at such things in context, the following excerpt might be useful -
'The Thames Estuary is an area where the risk of flooding is particularly high. The Thames region is increasingly at risk from flooding due to higher mean sea levels, increased rainfall and tide ranges, and a greater number and intensity of storm events. The Thames must also contend with the gradual 'sinking' of the southeastern tip of the British Isles (a process occurring as southern England returns to its original level, prior to being lifted by the weight of ice sheets pushing down on northern Britain during the last Ice Age).'

Strangely (without referencing cause), of the 5 main causes for increased flood risk concerning the Thames, three are directly tied to climate change as experienced both recently and over thousands of years. Especially the 'glacier tilt' is pretty surprising - and I bet that is also measured in that utterly trivial mm amount too, maybe even at an absolutely tiny mm per century rate.

Intriguingly, it would be interesting to see the rate of such tilting, and then add that to projections concerning glacier melt in places like Greenland or Antartica, to see whether along with the recently discovered water between ground and glacier, it would have a noticeable impact on how fast the glaciers would move towards sea level.

See, once you start actually looking at the world around you, all sorts of 'unimaginable' things happen. Like methane bubbling in the sea, as discovered recently - and to think, in all the textbooks we used in school, no one ever mentioned such things. Must mean they don't exist, I'm sure - though the article at comes from the American Geophysical Union - 'established in 1919 by the National Research Council and for more than 50 years operated as an unincorporated affiliate of the National Academy of Sciences.' Sounds like more of those alarmists - 'consisting (as of 2006) of over 49,000 members from over 140 countries. AGU's activities are focused on the organization and dissemination of scientific information in the interdisciplinary and international field of geophysics. The geophysical sciences involve four fundamental areas: atmospheric and ocean sciences; solid-Earth sciences; hydrologic sciences; and space sciences.'

Sounds like a bunch of loonies to me, you know, the sorts of loonies that actually wrote that article, having earned something like doctorates or gathered experience over years, and work for such extreme environmental organizations as Natural Resources Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the U.S. Geological Survey.

And a final quote from the British site -
'The area at risk from flooding across the Thames is home to over a million residents and workers, 500,000 properties, 38 Underground and DLR stations, and City Airport, as well as many areas recognised for their ecological importance. An estimated 75% of the property value at risk from tidal floods in England and Wales lies within the Thames tidal flood plain. A large-scale flood event in this area would have disastrous effects, causing millions of pounds worth of damage to businesses, homes and infrastructure, and potentially causing the loss of life for thousands of London's residents.' I guess the British should stop being ninnies, and follow the well tested American methods of dealing with potential problems - ignore them until they go away, for example.

Expat, u are no doubt very passionate about this issue; and are not averse to research, but let me offer u et al some advice when trying to make your point in the future: ask yourself - how much of my complaint or concern would have happened anyway w/o the GHG anomaly?

All the forcings that are mentioned were around in the early 20th Century. I have spoken several times about what climatogists call "unrealized or committed warming".

The temp is going up 0.1C/decade and the water is going up 2cm/decade regardless of recent GHG; due to meltwater events hundreds of years ago. Ocean cirulation models show us that polar melt events are in the system a very long time and eventually terminate as temp rise at the surface and the resultant water expansion.

In your case, London is sinking. Unfortunate. But it's due to events ten millenium ago. And 69% of the sea level rise has nothing to do with the events of the last 30 years.

I will admit that the GHG anomaly is going to accelerate your and other problems. And the forecasts could get worse w/o mitigation. But let's keep it in perspective or your efforts will be deemed as petty screaming and handwaving. Your audience is not stupid and i pass this on from a vantage of four decades association in that sector. Good luck.

Actually, I live in Germany, very comfortably above sea level (though I did grow up near enough the Tidal Basin in Washington DC), but the point remains valid - climate change is unavoidable, regardless of cause, and it is how we deal with it that remains the essential focus in places like London, Hamburg, Venice, Miami, New York City, and most other places on a coast - which tends to cover a good slice of humanity, regardless of how you look at it.

I remain very agnostic on causes - though the amount of CO2 we have injected into the atmosphere on a planetary scale is hopefully beyond any meaningful debate, even if its effects are still unclear in the sense that this is something beyond current experience and research has only begun to understand the scope of complexity, and not understand the complexity itself (yes, I have talked about the Maunder minimum and the Little Ice Age here too, and it got quite a reaction then) - but results are important.

Much of the argument about climate change is silly - whether London or the Netherlands, the people living there are dealing with the future, even if their understanding of it is imperfect. To put it a bit differently - I am pretty sure they would rather be 100mm wrong in terms of having built too high than the reverse.

And the hurricanes here (well, the German definition - they fit on the scale in terms of windspeed, but obviously lack true hurricane/typhoon features) which seem to be happening more often do not make the planners in the 1980s look stupid because they were ignorant of the precise mechanisms of climate change, it makes them look like very reasonable people who deserve to be in charge of making such decisions into the future.

To be honest, it is merely human to hold a position in the face of reality - Greenpeace did that here with Brent Spar, refusing to let it be sunk - when in fact, a realistic and beneficial process would have been cleaning it to essentially bare metal, then sinking it to be a fertile habitat, as has been practiced in other areas over decades - but since Greenpeace based its policy on opposing the sinking, there was no way to allow any realistic and cost effective alternatives to be considered, which was pretty moronic.

On the other hand, the obsolete North Sea oil platforms were sort of an out of sight, out of pocket exercise - the oil companies had hoped to sink many of them without any stringent supervision at all, so sometimes, realizing that perfection is impossible may be the best possible course.

What Greenpeace (who in the case of Brent Spar, lied about toxic sludge) was able to tap into was the fact that anyone throwing any trash into the North Sea - no coke cans from your fishing boat - is subject to fines. When you have pretty well trashed an area, you can either write it off, or at least try to stop making things worse - Europeans, for all their smugness and faults, don't honestly believe that there is another North Sea waiting in the wings to be used after the first has been ruined. Europeans seem to have a grasp on the fact that the world is finite, maybe because their age of empire seems to be firmly in their past. And they are very, very worried about how the weather has been for the last period of time, since it is beyond human/historical experience.

But to say nothing will change, or to simply assume that current understanding is adequate, is taking a risk that other people are not willing to accept - the Dutch will be happy if their pessimistic projections are wrong, but it is very unlikely they will have thought the money spent on such protection to have somehow been 'wasted' - like Europeans and vacation time, money is not the only measure that all humans value, even if North Americans seem blind to this.

As a guess, in another 5 or 10 years, sinking oil platforms, after cleaning them, will become a standard practice in the North Sea, and everyone involved will likely have forgotten about the Brent Spar fiasco.

Maybe in 50 years, people then will find these debates silly - but I will bet that those who prepared for less rosy futures are likely to be in better shape than those who did nothing. And currently, the feedback loops are running in the wrong way - sea ice with high albedo being replaced with open water, or methane releases in Artic regions (Antartica next perhaps, from currently unknown sources, much like seabed methane hydrates were unknown before deep water exploration became possible?), or water underneath glaciers accelerating melt - the natural reaction for caution seems abundantly justified, if imperfect. I have been hearing about the need for more research for at least two decades - the loudest have been those people interested in blocking any research which doesn't fit their preconceptions.

NASA seems to have just published some interesting numbers about January temperatures, but maybe after that Bush appointed 'editor' is in place, we can go back to ignoring the world around us, as such distorting information will no longer pass muster - besides, the U.S. has more important things to do than merely try to understand the world it lives in.

Rather then sinking oil and gas platforms I think it is more likely that their infrastructure will be converted to become offshore wind and wave farms. The pipelines connecting them to the shore can be used for storing and compressing air, which will go along a long way to overcoming the intermittency problems of wind and wave energy. The compressed air will drive turbines onshore to generate power at peak and during demand surges.

From the perspective of oil and gas companies this would be a near-perfect solution as it will allow them to defer billions of dollars in decommissioning costs for a decade or two, possibly longer.

While you are working on coal, look at the possibility of sequestering CO2 (possibly as a solid?) at the processing plant, with hydrogen as non-greenhouse fuel that is sent to the power plant.

That requires

  1. A lot of water, and
  2. Someplace to store the CO2.

That makes it much easier said than done.

I was thinking that if we could find a method of turning the CO2 into a solid, we could use it to backfill the mine. The processing plant would be near the mine site and the fuel could be moved by pipeline from there. Just dreaming? I simply don’t know if there is any kind of chemical process that would be usable for this.

CO2 is not a solid at room temperature.  Even if it was, a cubic foot of coal creates far more than a cubic foot of solid CO2.  There are schemes for chemically combining CO2 with other minerals (e.g. serpentine) to form stable solids, but the increase in bulk is even greater.

Carbon suboxide (C3O2):

A gas that polymerizes to a solid. However, you're going uphill energetically to create C3O2 in the first place.

There is, I believe, a program that started at MIT that uses algae to convert the CO2 to fuel. It is on my list to follow up on.

A comment on matters of site management, rather than subject coverage:

Despite the recent improvements worked upon Drupal, I'm still finding it much harder to manage my activity here than before the switchover.  Much of this is due to a lack of features which were lost in the switch.

A lot of this is unnecessary (the essential features now exist, but are not used) and looks like it could be fixed now.  My list includes:

  • Making a comment reloads the entire comment thread and marks it all "read".  Easy fix:  after making a comment, load the sub-thread beginning with the new comment instead of the entire thread.  From what I can tell, this just needs a small change in the construction of the URL to be loaded.
  • Going to one comment in the user's comment history also loads the entire thread, marks everything read, etc.  If the URL went to the subthread instead, this would also be fixed.
  • The user comment history includes the story author and date... for each comment!  A reply count and/or timestamp of last reply would be far more useful.  (Unlike the other two things, this probably requires non-trivial programming.)

A hard-to-manage system favors people with a lot of time on their hands, e.g. trolls.  Fix the easy stuff and you'll do a lot to shift things back toward your real contributors.

I tend to use other websites as a portal rather than keep a large list of Firefox bookmarks. For example I didn't see Jerome a Paris on the sidebar last time I looked. I might sometimes go to that site via Peak Energy Australia.

I think it's good to read different sites to keep your prejudices under constant review. I'm anticoal, pronuke, lukewarm on biofuels, peak-is-now and think offsets are bogus. I haven't read anything lately to change my mind on these issues.

Actually I think you might already cover either the sites which are worth checking out for their own sake or that have further links.

You may not have known it, but Japan's ministry that overlooks energy (METI) has been mentioning Peak Oil in the annual Energy report. They even acknowledge there are different scenarios that lead to different dates. However most of their web info is in Japanese and while they have an English site it only has a small subset of the ministry output.

There is though a private organization for sustainability that has an English site:
that occasionally has information you might find relevant.

Other than that, as my interests are primarily in more interesting technical stuff, sites such as or appeal to me more than, say, the normal socio-political sites in favor with the Chomsky-ites or the doomers.

I have a personal theory that both Japan and Germany, being the losers of WWII, were essentially thrown out of the oil club - can anybody name a major Japanese or German oil company? - and though both rely on car building as a major component of their economy, they are not actually beholden to the political power of the oil industry. Please note, they are beholden to the products of the oil industry, which is something else - and actually is a subtle threat to that oil industry, as neither country has any major stake in that industry's future - notice who leads the world in solar cell production, for example, or who manufactures high efficiency diesels or hybrids. (Multifuel vehicles - plug-in hybrids using solar panel roofs, with a diesel that can burn a variety of diesel-like fuels, are not something likely to be built in Detroit any time soon.)

In both countries, a certain necessary pragmatic view of the world seems to be easier to sustain. After all, there aren't too many Japanese who believe in milk and honey falling from the sky, as the last major famines they experienced were the mid-1940s, and as for the Germans, they seem to have less problem with ideas concerning sustainability and environmentalism.

As a side note - Die Zeit last week had an article discussing how 'eco-collapse' is a big theme, but that what tends to be missing in that discussion is 'nature' - this applies to the entire climate change debate - the climate has changed and will change - welcome to planet Earth. But green algae were a lot more intelligent - they at least changed the atmosphere to their benefit, while essentially wiping out all their competitors. We seem less intelligent than algae - still open to the question about yeast, though.


I think your theory is not such a bad one. Japan and Germany are also small nations with no military that can match the world powers, so the "imperial" option is not open to them.

Now, I am going to say something controversial, but that is what TOD is here for, right?
It was developments in both Germany and Japan on Solar to hydrogen that first made me return to study of this possibility. While other nations seemed to be big enough to waste time on what I called "death by 1000 conversions (such as coal to liquid, gas to liquid, ethanol, tar sand, oil shale etc, in which one has to build not one industry but 4 or 5 or more to make it doable), Japan and Germany seem to realize the essential axiomatic reality that had to be dealt with:
(a) Only solar and wind are truly renewable for centuries, multiple centuries out into the future
(b) All efforts at fuel production are actually efforts to get at the hydrogen. The carbon is only good for stabilizing the hydrogen, and after that, it becomes a major annoyance.

The result, cut to the chase.....sun to release hydrogen, hydrogen used directly. This cuts out the whole endless "carbon release issue", and goes to the fuel that would have been extracted from any other fuel. The attempt may be futile, as we know about the difficulties and the "efficiency" wall in freeing hydrogen from it's most common carrier, water, but if it can be done effectively (we know it can be done, but at great difficulty and expense if attempted in volume, but it is technically doable), then Japan and Germany could end run the whole fossil fuel, carbon debate, and enter the new "post carbon" era. It is the Holy Grail of energy research.
Roger Conner

Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom.

The fundamental issue remains the amount if energy it takes to produce the hydrogen. Solar, being so expensive, just makes the hydrogen even more expensive. On the other hand, if the pursuit of hydrogen helps make solar more efficient, then the process itself could be beneficial even if the holy grail of reasonably priced hydrogen is never reached. There is also the holy grail of reasonably priced and long lived batteries which may end up trumping further futile efforts to try to maintain our liquid fueled transportation system.

Here's hoping for $1 dollar a watt or less solar.

As you allude to, the fact that Japan and Germany have had to learn to live and prosper without significant indigenous oil sources may turn out to be a blessing and not a curse. The U.S. still acts as if it still has a sustainable oil base and, therefore, will be one of the last to join the reality based community. Those countries still awash in oil are building these "fantastic" societies based on all that wealth. But will they be able to survive when the oil no longer flows in sufficient volume to maintain their pumped up standard of living and luxury. Being mostly in the desert, they should be investing that oil in solar and not ever better shopping centers and luxury seaside highrises.

Ex Pat do you ever get out of the house? Were you formerly doing a stint on SNL? Do you do normal things, date , raise a family or do you just practice mental masturbation all over the Oil Drum each day? Remember you Germans need to start making some babies or your 1.3 population replacement rate will have you along with your Muslim captors bowing towards Mecca every night.

Germany and Japan don't have any oil to speak of in their countries any chance that not starting oil companies in countries with no freaking oil is just a high probablity occurence rather than an excuse for another conspiracy theory? Some with rational thought might deduce that perhaps one of the reasons for starting WWII was partially due to them not having any oil! But no the real reason was that the countries with oil companies needed to prevent the Germans and Japanese from starting a major oil company of their own! Can't wait for the rewrite of
the history books. If I wasn't laughing so hard I would cry.

Also found this story from the Feb 16th, "Daily Reakoning" a bit reflective.

As Dennis Gartman reminded me today, a 1975 Newsweek cover story

"'The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate
so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In
England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks
since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at
up to 100,000 tons annually... Last April, in the most devastating
outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300
people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S.

"To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance
signs of fundamental changes in the world's weather. The central fact is
that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions,
the earth's climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists...are almost
unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity
for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some
of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic."

Actually, I get out of the house quite a lot - on Saturday, I spent about two hours hand cutting more chestnut planted in 1990 in the local forest, after having done the same on Wednesday, listening to the almost symphonic music of all the birds, in the middle of what is normally the coldest and darkest winter days. Last year, when what I was cutting was red oak, the forest was snow filled, and the temperatures generally -10° C. Getting out of the house on a regular basis allows me to experience the world around us - I recommend it thoroughly, as it beats thumbing through old magazines to see what people thought about the future in 1975 - the magazine would have also been full of ads for large 8 cylinder cars without any emission controls either, and we all know how healthy that LA smog was, and what a waste of time and effort it was to replace those V8 10mpg cars with more efficient and clean burning vehicles.

I do have a family, and being American, German demographics seem fine to me - constant growth leads to all kinds of problems. Where I grew up, for example, the watershed is gone, which is just a general indicator of how long term American planning really is.

As for oil companies - well, Total is a French company, though France isn't noted as an oil country, Royal Dutch Shell didn't have large reserves in the Netherlands in the 1920s or in Great Britain.

Maybe a bit of history -
'In oil industry of pre-revolutionary Russia foreign capital dominated the sector. On the eve of the World War One three companies ("Russian General Oil Company", "Royal Dutch Shell" and "Partnership of Nobel Brothers.") held 86% of all share capitals and controlled 60% of oil production. In 1903, 12 English companies with capital equaling to 60 mln. rubles were functioning in Baku region. In 1912, Anglo-Dutch firm "Shell" obtained 80% shares of Caspian-Black Sea Society "Mazut", which had belonged to Rothschild Banking-house. Other British firms purchased oil operations from Hajji Zeynalabdin Taghiyev.

In 1898, the Russian oil industry exceeded the U.S. oil production level. At that time, approximately 8 million tons were being produced (160 thousand barrels of oil per day). By 1901, Baku produced more than half of the world's oil (11 million tons or 212,000 barrels of oil per day), and 95 percent of all Russian oil. Approximately 1.2 million tons of Baku kerosene were also sold abroad.'

Please note that in 1898, Russia was the world's largest oil producer, but much of the 'Russian' oil industry was not controlled by Russians. Also note that the major companies dominating that industry came from countries with no native oil reserves. That is history, and not a rewriting of it.

Why do facts always seem to get twisted into conspiracies? All I noted was that the major losers of WWII don't have major oil companies today, which is a simple fact. As was the fact that both Japan and Germany failed in their attempts to seize enough oil production to fuel their war machines - in the case of the Japanese, directly, since Pearl Harbor was related to the steel and oil embargo of the U.S., and in the case of Germany, more indirectly, as its attempts to seize the Russian oil regions failed.

It is always amusing to read someone write about why the British have an oil industry, for example, while saying that rewriting history is wrong - in your world, I guess the North Sea started production in 1891, as a prestige project of the Victorian era.

As for the climate changing - are you seriously attempting to argue the Earth's climate doesn't change? Notice that I find the argument over warming/cooling pretty much a waste of time, at least in comparison to the fact that change is a given, and I also find that the amount of CO2 we have re-introduced to the Earth's atmosphere on a planetary scale beyond dispute. Its effects are still being determined in a rigorous manner, but its presence is not possible to dispute in the world we share.

Thanks for the mention of Energy Bulletin, totoneila, and Heading Out.

Let me say how much I depend on Leanan for article ideas; Drumbeat is my first stop when I check the web.

A recommendation. Among the many worthy websites, the Oil Depletion Analysis Center (ODAC) might be of special interest to TODers. They have a daily newsletter of headlines with good commentary. The latest newsletter is available by email subscription (free). Back issues are at . I'll bet that if ODAC were to post the newsletter right away, instead of waiting for a day or so, they would attract a lot of traffic.

I like Heading Out's point that each website has its own flavor and point of view. The diversity is striking. I wish we had the time and skills to cover non-English-speaking countries. TOD:Europe is a good start. I continue to wonder about India, China and the rest of the world.

Energy Bulletin

ODAC is a one man charity operation run out of Aberdeen by a guy called Doug Lowe - I've been out with him a couple of times. Skrebowski is a trustee of the charity.

I find ODAC's "daily" news round up to be very helpful, and have suggested to my editors that we could ask Doug to provide regular news updates for TOD E.

I think it comes down to time. But HO, PG, Chris - show me a sign and I'll arrange to meet with Doug this week to discuss.

HO, interesting thought and a fun exercise! As may be noticed in some of my posts, I travel often enough a bit off the beaten path in the virtual world, but below will be a few links that are well known here, but on the other hand, some that are a bit more obscure, but are updated regularly with energy and environmental news, links, stories, etc. See what you think:
Still the best if you accept the depletion/peak debate as important at all, the first place I actually studied this issue, candid, let's be honest, somewhat dark in viewpoint, but backs his talk up with sound logic, knows how to turn a good phrase, and a great place to pull down presentations to show newcomers why there is real concern about energy.
The long standing advisory council to the Secretary of Energy from the oil/gas industry, and while their views normally are considered the industry viewpoint, they have a history of being somewhat candid and independent, as their recent very dim views on U.S. natural gas supply vs. demand. NPC and Simmons by the way seem to agree that the natural gas crisis may be far more threatening than the crude oil crisis, something generally ignored even by most "peak oil" aware types.
The government's principle National Research Laboratory on renewable energy, kicked around like a football, taken for granted, but a great bunch of technicians and thinkers. These folks deserve so much more than they get in praise and recognition (and no, I nor none of my relatives work there, it's just the truth)
Transportation technology alternatives, always a great source for tech ideas (if the idea of transportation by anything other than foot doesn't make you sick to think about)
A bit over the top sometimes, but good place to work outward on community social issues more than technology:
Chevron's discussion board, not a great place for breaking news, but still, sometimes a small bit of somehing informative can be found there.
Where are the think tanks and foundations spending effort? Greal place to work out from on issues of environmental concern. Check it out.
Distributed Energy is real, and it is growing (despite resistance from many utilities and the "centralized solution only" nuclear fans). The best magazine I have seen on the subject, and the archive issues are a fascinating walk into renewable and distributed energy issues.
Solar energy is real, and at the end of the day the only truly renewable, worldwide alternative. It is still surprising to me that every college, tech school, and university does not have at least a small solar development program and some solar power provided on premise (could it be that great a burden?). In the meantime, check out.
Great links page, again, a good place to work outward. On a like note:
The American Solar Energy Society. Yes, there actually is one and despite the often voiced view here that solar and wind (again, the only truly sustainable alternatives) are mere toys and silver bb's, these folks intend to find out!

So there you have it, a mini links page of renewable/energy/environmental sites that may have some news you have not yet heard! :-)

Roger Conner Jr
Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom

Great links! Thanks Roger. BTW, I liked your post the other day regarding the things you learned on TOD that led to a change of heart. Good stuff.

Thanks for the kind words.....and sorry the piece the other day was a bit long...I had a year of discussion and re-evaluation to digest! :-)
Glad to have you with us....:-)

Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom

Hello TODers,

For those interested in learning more on Legal Secession to build large, sustainable biosolar habitats [like the CA Terminator?] here is an interview, books, and websites, "Toward Freedom":

Benjamin Dangl: What is the Second Vermont Republic?

Thomas Naylor: The Second Vermont Republic is a peaceful, democratic, grassroots, libertarian populist movement opposed to the tyranny of the U.S. Government, corporate America, and globalization and committed to the return of Vermont to its rightful status as an independent republic, as it was between 1777 and 1791.

Vermont is smaller, more rural, more democratic, less violent, less commercial, more egalitarian, and more independent than most states. It offers itself as a kinder, gentler metaphor for a nation obsessed with money, power, size, speed, greed, and fear of terrorism.

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

PLEASE can we have a permanent link to The Apostrophe Protection Society so that not only do we alert people to the problems of peak oil, but we teach them how to use the apostrophe!

Thank you. There are a couple here that aren't on my radar scope that I will check out.

Now, something to disagree with. Tom Whipple is great -- writes well and on the mark. But, the Falls Church local paper isn't really MSM. And, Tom is not a "regular journalist". He is a retired CIA analyst affliated with ASPO-USA ( For an interview with him, see: at Peak Oil News & Messages.

Peak oil or PO also means Peak Pollution. We can count the rigs or the barrels or the dollars.Does Peak Poisoning of the Population ever come into the equation? (sarcasm on)I hope to start a column which I will sell to various newspapers detailing the poisoning of the Air,the seas and the Earth in this time of plenty.(sarcasm off) To that end I offer these links.

I can't make a graph, can't afford CERA membership, never been good at watching the pot boil. I think our priorities are a little skewd here. What exactly is the "Mission" of this site?

What is the Mission ?

We all see the petroleum economy as the fundamental linchpin of our present democratic society. As cheap oil/energy/gas quietly fades into history, lives around the world will indeed change.

This real and tangible crisis of supply and demand is now inevitable. Whether the coming crisis arrives in six months or in four years, whether the crisis arrives in a slow, secular fashion or as a cataclysmic "shock," our purpose is the same: we are here to raise awareness of the reality of the current problem and to attempt to address the real issues that are often hidden by political pandering.

We are here to talk about ideas. We're all learning here about ourselves and from each other. No perspective will be punished as long as evidence and logic are present. We want to bring brain power to bear on all of these issues; we may not come up with a solution…but we can at least say we tried.

What can be expected to happen as this crisis develops and unfolds? Stick around, because that's the kind of stuff we're talking about.

To be replaced by a full mission statement sometime soon…

Copied from Mission Statement ... underlining added

Thanks step back. Thanks for underlining the part YOU feel is relevant. I am sure it is only important, this declining energy to LOGICAL people.(if i knew how to underline I wouldn't capitalize things.) I see nowhere in the MISSION STATEMENT is mentioned the fact we are poisoning ourselves and all FUTURE generations. oh well the EVIDENCE just isn't there I guess, it is not logical or as important as who has what, who steals what from whom, who uses what and doesn't export what to whom and when. Is that logical enough? The mission statement should be revised for quotes like this
"As cheap oil/energy/gas quietly fades into history". This quote is ILLOGICAL based on the EVIDENCE. PEAK OIL is the most oil is currently available. Cheap is relative isn't it? Cheap in yesterdays dollars, cheap in US dollars? I have read the value of oil should be somewhere around 500 US, based on what it can DO. So even at 100 dollars, a barrel of oil would still be CHEAP.If this isn't a petroleum promotion site, the poisoning of our planet and the informing of same should be the PRE-EIMINENT MISSION. Now we know at Peak, oil is most plentiful, it will not go quietly into history.

I have to add since the Federal reserve Corporation took over our monetary supply the value of the dollar has dropped considerably. Correct me if I am wrong but despite all kinds of productiveity gains what 13 cents bought in 1913 now takes one dollar. If you multiply 13 cents x 58.00 dollars(apprx current oil price /barrel) you get(drum roll please)
$7.54 cents.

edited for logic and evidence

Doing underlining, bolding and italics is very simple.
Type the "less than symbol" < immediately followed by the "greater than symbol" >. Step back one space to the left and type a "u".

The meta string: <u> is your Begin underlining command.
Use </u> as your End underlining command.

If you have Firefox, try highlighting some effect used by others, right click and then choose View Selection Source. You will see how they did it.

Now you are an HTML programmer. Try it out!

I will have an article coming out soon related to Global Warming and Peak Oil in the Southwest Journal in Minneapolis, MN. This is a little local paper, but has good readership here in town.

A second article more focused on Peak Oil is in the works, and after that we hope to do more.

My goal is to do a modest regular column on the environment that will be good for the community here, and also a resource people might want to link to online.

I'll let you know when the first article comes out -- possibly in the next week or so. Here's the website for the paper.

i think you should link hugg,

for an 'enviro' site, a surprising number of their leads are energy related.

and while i'm giving advice, i think you'll have better leverage trying for rank in a smaller pool like hugg, rather than a large ocean like digg.

Hi Heading Out,

Thanks for suggesting using the side bar links, they've led me to the following links to President Bush and Vice President Cheney's financial declarations for 2004.

Bush --

Cheney --

I wouldn't say they seem very bullish. Are there are any reasons of political rather than self interest here (I am not very familiar with the ins and outs of US politics). If the investments are strictly for monetary gain might that in itself not be a good indicator that Peak Oil is here.

If anyone has any newer figures I would appreciate seeing them.

I sat down, as requested, and went through all of the sites listed.

For something over a year now I have stuck pretty much with The Oildrum, Energy Bulletin and LATOC for all my information on energy related matters. ASPO email me when they produce a new news letter which I also read. Having been through the sites I think my selection is correct: I will stay with the three mentioned.

Policy Pete is one of my oldest energy & peak oil sites in my bookmarks, lots of interesting graphics, and good sense of humor. I like it even he seems to be pro nuclear ;-)

HO - TOD has occasionally republished some of my articles, most often picked up by Leanan. My blog is all about energy and peak oil, with occasional forays into politics, because I believe that it's impossible to talk seriously about energy without also addressing politics. I have stood gratefully on the shoulders of analytical giants like Stuart & RR, and learned much from the writings of other regular contributors like Dave Cohen. I do get technical in some articles, but generally, I try to tie in the larger themes of society, culture, geopolitics, investing opportunities, etc. I am self-employed, & not connected in any way to Big Oil. My articles are published weekly by Wealth Daily, Energy and Capital, Green Chip Stocks, and other investing newsletters.

My blog: GetRealList

Thanks for the great work you all do.


Chris Nelder

I came up against this problem as well -- finding good oil sites -- as if you search Google for "oil research" you or something similiar it is difficult to sort through the hits.

I have compiled some sites (in addition to the excellent work at the Oil Drum):

James Baker Energy Forum:

Apache Corporation is one of the few oil and gas co's (to my knowledge) that does market updates free of charge:

The oil and gas research firm John S. Herold is sponsoring a new blog and the writer would really welcome comments of any sort (he rarely gets any):

McDep -- oil and gas equity research that offers its research reports free of charge:

Oxford Energy, very good general energy opinion site:

Chatham House, similiar to Oxford Energy:

Canadian Energy Research Institute, best source I have found on oil sands:

Jensen Associates, excellent on LNG:

Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, petroleum analysis from Norway (excellent):

Energy Pulse, mainly from a Power Generation (US) perspective:

Petroleum News, weekly concerning Alaskian Oil Production:

Summary of Reports from Henry Groppe's Firm (not updated regularly, and not available in full, but covers macro views):

Energy and Sustainable Development at Stanford University (very good):

Energy Section of,2686,en_2649_37459_1_1_1_1_37459,00.html

The IEA's full oil market report can be found here with a two week delay (large pdf warning):

Oil and Gas Journal (subscription needed, but can see headlines): also Energy Intelligence, links to the articles:

Matt Simmons speeches: