DrumBeat: February 19, 2007

Proposed Dept. of Energy investments in nuclear vs. geothermal

As an energy source, geothermal shows a great deal more promise than nuclear. Yet nuclear is being lavished with government largesse while geothermal goes almost entirely ignored.

Preparing Nigerian cities for expensive oil

IN the next 20 years, the World’s cities will go through a fundamental transformation. Many including Nigeria will expand greatly in size and population, and still have to serve the basic mobility needs of their people in a world of much higher oil prices. In the second half of the 20th century, major cities began to emulate the transportation policies of the United States of America. Countries like Nigeria admired US automobiles and borrowed US highway design methods to reshape their cities around the automobile.

Fuel shortages, stark realities and present challenges (2)

The issue of vehicular pressure, in absolute terms, is very real and worrisome. Today, in Nigeria, the ambition of every young man or woman is to be a car owner. This is a legitimate desire though, as a result of poor development of reliable mass public transportation. The rail system in Nigeria which was developed by the colonial masters mainly for the evacuation of agricultural produce and minerals in the 20s has received unimaginable and scandalous neglect by successive Nigerian governments since independence in 1960. Same goes for the waterways and the airways in which basic and necessary facilities are poorly developed, rendering them ineffective for mass commuting from location to location. As a result, virtually all movements have to rely on land vehicles plying ill-developed roads.

Draft Law on Oil Money Moves to Iraqi Cabinet

A draft version of the long-awaited law that would govern the development of Iraqi oil fields and the distribution of oil revenues has been submitted to Iraq’s cabinet, the first step toward approving the legislation, two members of a senior negotiating committee said this weekend.

And Raed in the Middle has links to the Arabic text and English translations of the Iraqi oil law.

Bangladesh: At the mercy of climate change

It is more exposed than any other country to global warming. And a series of unusual events - from dying trees to freak weather - suggest its impact is already being felt.

The Second Oil Boom: To Avoid Replicating the First Experience

This suggests that the main challenge facing these countries will be maintaining control over public spending, since substantial and consistent increases in financial revenues lead to pressure on governments for more spending.

It is worth noting that certain Gulf oil States, especially the GCC member States have learned valuable lessons from the first oil boom and are now exerting great efforts to control and improve the management of public spending, and direct oil revenues into three basic spending venues.

Rush for Cambodia’s oil begins

Cambodia has huge offshore oil fields whose expected worth far exceeds its current GDP. Experts fear that only the government, one of the most corrupt in the world, might benefit. An agreement with Thailand must still be worked out to develop fields in the Gulf of Thailand.

Consultation on carbon-storage risks to be launched

The Commission is launching an online public consultation on potential risks, particularly environmental, from new technology allowing CO2 emissions from power plants to be stored underground.

Outsourcing emissions

Official greenhouse gas figures hugely underestimate Britain's contribution to climate change, a report concludes.

Christian Aid says adding in emissions from UK-funded operations in other countries would raise the UK's share of the global total from 2% to about 15%.

British companies wanted globalisation, it says, and must take responsibility for the associated emissions.

Expert doubts Pennsylvania can make renewable fuel

Gov. Ed Rendell wants to see Pennsylvania farmers grow enough crops to produce a billion gallons of renewable fuels each year to reduce the state's dependence on foreign oil.

But the plan could die on the vine because there isn't enough farmland to produce grain for energy while also keeping up with agricultural needs, according to a local agriculture expert.

Sri Lanka: Better utilisation of Eppawala deposit for betterment of the country

With the energy crisis in the world, prices of phosphorus fertilisers are steadily increasing over the years resulting in increase in the cost of cultivation adding burdens to farmers and the Government.

Being self sufficient in phosphate fertiliser is the only lasting solution for this.

A New Paradigm for Peace in Iraq

Much of the conflict among Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds in Iraq and the region is about control of oil. As recent analysis of the US-promoted Iraqi oil law has pointed out, the United States has claimed an outsized share of Iraq's oil wealth for US corporations. The factions in Iraq are fighting in effect over the leftovers from the US corporations' table. The United States can make a lucrative proposition to all parties: We will give up our claim on your oil and agree to simply buy it on the same terms as any other consumer if you establish among yourselves a long-term agreement on how to divide it equitably.

Political Heat: an interview with NASA scientist Drew Shindell

Press releases about global warming were watered down to the point where you wondered, Why would this capture anyone’s interest? Once when I issued a report predicting rapid warming in Antarctica, the press release ended up highlighting, in effect, that Antarctica has a climate.

Cooling the Planet

If we can’t adequately reduce or sequester carbon emissions, are more-radical alternatives like orbital mirrors a solution to climate change?

Resource Wars

Even for those as optimistic as Maugeri, the question of who controls the oil cannot be irrelevant. The U.S. state through threat, intimidation, and violence wants its ham fist on the spigot, allowing it to blackmail other countries. U.S. imperialism has exerted control over the Global South through the World Bank, the IMF, and the WTO. During the Cold War it used the threat of communist Russia and China to keep Europe and Japan under its “leadership.” It is now attempting to use terrorism in the same way, not altogether successfully as it is turning out since its invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have failed to produce stable governments. Its actions have produced more terrorists and alienated most of the world. Seeking control over oil for leverage does not seem a far fetched stratagem for the oil soaked Bush-Cheney administration.

Driving towards disaster

"Is individual mobility a good?" If so, it's axiomatic that it ought to be universally available. But if at present 15% of the world's people have 85% of the world's cars, and we're heating up inexorably, will we physically survive 30%, let alone 50% car ownership? Not even Jeremy Clarkson would defend that one. So roll on peak oil?

Northern exposure

As the Arctic melts, vast deposits of oil and gas may be opened up for exploration. Will an Arctic without ice only prolong our dependence on fossil fuels?

Study sees harmful hunt for extra oil

All the world’s extra oil supply is likely to come from expensive and environmentally damaging unconventional sources within 15 years, according to a detailed study.

The two sectors that will prosper even with deflation and economic recession – biotech and aerospace

Biotechnology will finally solve the energy crisis. Crude oil and natural gas will finally be produced through cultivation, undersea assets – the miracle of biotechnology will bring prosperity.

Saudi Arabia's Nominal GDP Reaches SR1.30 Trillion in 2006

A correction in the stock market failed to have a major impact on Saudi Arabia's economic performance last year. Saudi Arabia's economy was in fact exceptionally sound and robust in 2006. After joining the World Trade Organization (WTO), Saudi Arabia embarked on the mammoth projects of economic cities which will have a long-lasting impact on the macro-economic policies and on the fundamental structure of the Saudi economy, according to a report received here from the Kuwait-based Global Investment House (Global) on Saudi Arabia's economic and strategic outlook.

University's prototype uses ocean's energy

A perpetual-motion machine is the stuff of fantasy, but clean, renewable energy sources are within the grasp of societies that marry science, industry and economics.

Fuel for nothing, drive for free

By transforming his $1,900 1984 Mercedes 300D into a greasemobile. Instead of diesel, Kinney's Benz runs on used vegetable oil, which he gets free of charge from a pizza joint and a diner.

3 Croatian workers kidnapped in Nigeria

Gunmen seized three Croatian workers in the latest kidnapping to hit Nigeria's unruly southern oil region, police said Monday.

Expert urges response to looming oil supply problems

An internationally recognised expert in energy market analysis and energy forecasting warns liquid fuel shortages, massive unemployment, high interest rates and severe recession are some of the impacts facing Australian supply chains and the broader community if governments and companies do not prepare now for the peaking and subsequent decline of world oil production.

Iraqi Sunni Lands Show New Oil and Gas Promise

In a remote patch of the Anbar desert just 20 miles from the Syrian border, a single blue pillar of flanges and valves sits atop an enormous deposit of oil and natural gas that would be routine in this petroleum-rich country except for one fact: this is Sunni territory.

Ruble May Gain as Putin Uses Oil, Gas to Lift Exports

The ruble rally shows no sign of abating as President Vladimir Putin continues to exploit Europe's dependence on Russian energy with a policy of ever-rising natural-gas prices.

"Russia has a big weapon in the form of energy," said Lars Rasmussen, an analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen who covers the former Soviet states. "They intend to use it to extract higher revenues from their neighbors. This is very positive for the ruble."

What tortillas tell about energy policy

A surge in U.S. ethanol production has led to a near-doubling of corn prices, so Mexican President Felipe Calderon recently put caps in place on the skyrocketing price of corn tortillas. This is economic nonsense, but it’s not the only economic nonsense involved.

U.S. programs subsidizing ethanol production from corn are money down a rathole.

USAF tests synthetic fuel from coal, gas

With the wind chill making it seem like 40 below zero, Lt. Col. Daniel Millman said the Air Force picked the right place to test a new fuel.

Millman, pilot of a B-52 bomber, helped test a synthetic fuel blend that could be made domestically from coal or natural gas as the Air Force seeks to wean its dependence on foreign crude and defray soaring fuel costs.

Americans Believe Global Warming Is Real, Want Action, But Not As A Priority

Most Americans believe global warming is real but a moderate and distant risk. While they strongly support policies like investing in renewable energy, higher fuel economy standards and international treaties, they strongly oppose carbon taxes on energy sources that put carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Climate change: scientists warn it may be too late to save the ice caps

A critical meltdown of ice sheets and severe sea level rise could be inevitable because of global warming, the world's scientists are preparing to warn their governments. New studies of Greenland and Antarctica have forced a UN expert panel to conclude there is a 50% chance that widespread ice sheet loss "may no longer be avoided" because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Cheap solar power poised to undercut oil and gas by half

Within five years, solar power will be cheap enough to compete with carbon-generated electricity, even in Britain, Scandinavia or upper Siberia. In a decade, the cost may have fallen so dramatically that solar cells could undercut oil, gas, coal and nuclear power by up to half. Technology is leaping ahead of a stale political debate about fossil fuels.

Big oil firms expand in unconventional oil sector

Major oil companies are playing a bigger role in the search for oil and gas from unconventional sources, consultants Wood Mackenzie said on Monday.

Someone at DailyKos is looking for scriptwriters, video editors, and researchers to help out on a peak oil documentary.



Comments have been turned back on. For now.


Call me paranoid, but I don't think that it is a coincidence that when I filtered out three posters from Dave's CERA thread, the number of comments dropped by 149, out of 241 (a 62% reduction).

Same result here. I suspected a very small number of individuals had hijacked this site and Greenman's script proved it. Now the question is what will the mavens at TOD-central do...

Moving on-topic... Leanan's link to the ice-sheet melting is very tough reading. Climate scientists have revised the probability of significant damage to 1 in 2. They are soft pedaling the time dimension for the moment, talking in terms of centuries, but the levels of sea-water rise are ominous. I live in Wisconsin, near Lake Michigan. So far the talk has been about coastal flooding, but it seems to me that the Great Lakes would be significantly impacted as well. Am I wrong?

The Great Lakes vary in level by a few feet over a span of decades (I grew up in Michigan). They are hundreds of feet above sea level, so direct impacts of sea level change should be minimal. There would be some amount of thermal expansion, but that might only be a millimeter or two. Changes in precipitation patterns could have a much larger affect.

As to the time dimension, science is a very conservative field. Nobody wants to risk his/her career on being the first one to predict a 50 foot sea level rise by 2050. So the observed pattern is that someone goes out on a limb and predicts a tiny rise over a century, then some other people agree, then someone says it might be an inch or two more, then someone else publishes a paper saying that it might happen by 2040, etc. The concensus advances and converges over time.

Plus, climate scientists are also people who live on this Earth, and this stuff scares the crap out of them.

Plus, climate scientists are also people who live on this Earth, and this stuff scares the crap out of them.

That's good. It scares the sh*t out of me. I have two children and, tough as it is, I've got them reading about P.O., about the GHG's. They are not happy campers. But somehow, someway, we've got to turn this beast around. Eating low on the food chain and peddling bicycles is good for the soul, (we are soulful) but it's not going to be enough. We've got to kick effort into gear.

By-the-by... thanks for that script. You rocked'em yesterday.

Hi, GreenMan. I have been hacking on your script; I hope you don't mind. You can find my version at http://stalkylittleboy.com/todban.user.js - please feel free to incorporate as many or few of the changes into your branch as you'd like. Changes are

  • Minor bug fix: Cancel on Ban and Unban works.
  • Efficiency: the list of hidden threads is an object, not an array; testing is (threadHref in hiddenThreads) instead of iteration
  • Increased modularity, for easier reading.

I have been hacking on yours too!


* function "Show users" that open a new window containing a table with the list of posters along with their number of posts and their ban status.
* added TOD:Europe and TOD:Canada

Note: I'am not sure the "Manage Posts" function in the GreaseMonkey plugin is working properly. I suggest you to first remove the script and then restart Firefox before installing the new one.

I have kind of suspected that this is the direction that we are moving myself. There is no sense of urgency in the people - don't want to risk screwing up the economy, don't want to give up the car, can't live without the TV or AC, etc, etc.

I suppose it is depressing, but I guess I am resigned to it. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't try and reduce the amount of carbon we stick in the atmosphere - ultimately we have no choice.

The elevation of Lake Ontario is listed as 246 ft (75 m), so it's hard to see direct effects of even a substantial sea level rise. On the other hand, a substantial sea-level rise would change stream gradients and alter drainage behaviors.

IIRC, the Greenland icesheet has enough water to raise sea-levels by 23 feet, the East Anarctic sheet by 17 feet, and the WEST ANARCTIC BY OVER 200 FEET!!!! When you consider that a glacier doesn't actually need to melt, but rather may be "discharged" when enough melt water accumulates below to grease the skids, you have a conceivable scenario for relatively abrupt, catastrophic coastal flooding. I haven't heard any climate types actually model when an ice sheet (more likely segments) may discharge. I'd wager no one has a handle on it.

Aha... so the real threat isn't someone dropping an ICBM on us, they just plant one in the ice...

How did Tom Clancy miss this one???

Good heavens, do I sound THAT doomerish? Does someone need to give me a dope-slap?

FWIW, I don't think a nuke on ice has enough energy to melt enough water to make a difference. (No, I didn't run the numbers).

Your reply makes me a little queasy; after the recent flood of verbiage pollution likely intended to disrupt/misdirect/discredit TOD, such a flippant remark makes me worry about vandalism (of the thread). I'm not party to this level of discourse. I'll assume you were tongue-in-cheek.

No... you don't sound doomerish.

And no... I most definitely wasn't trying to take the thread into la-la land. Or start a sub-thread on WMD's etc... It was a poor joke. I am sorry.

That would make a good Clancy novel! The primitive types of A-bombs Iran and North Korea are striving for are big and heavy. The first H-bomb wasn't even a bomb, it was a building full of equipment. Assembling them in the middle of “Nowhere” Greenland would mean no pesky neighbors.

Of course, in reality moving all those men and equipment to the middle of the hostile environment of the ice sheet would be impractical. The extreme temperatures would adversely affect everything you did.

Now on the other hand, a half dozen hijacked Russian H-bombs.............

(Just kidding!)

"the East Anarctic sheet by 17 feet, and the WEST ANARCTIC BY OVER 200 FEET". I think you have these two the wrong way around. The West Antarctic ice sheet - the only one of the two which is in remote danger in the foreseeable future - is much the smaller of the two. The East sheet is very high, cold and climatically isolated. Just as well as it makes up most of the continent and is up to 3km thick.

Of course the big danger is the recent discoveries on Greenland of how meltwater percolates down and lubricates the flow at the ice/rock boundary. This was not taken into account in the IPCC report. The consequences for acceleration of melting are not understood, but having regard to the recent increases in measured melting rate, they do not look good. I would admit that I'm not a climate scientist, just a "general" environmental scientist, but I suspect from watching most news items and publications on these things that we are quietly passing some minor "tipping points" without even seeing them.

The scene in "An Inconvenient Truth" of the melted glacier water going into "holes in the ice sheet is my outstanding image of the film. It is obviously an opportunity for something very bad to happen very fast.

I think that the great lakes region will be a good place to whether the proverbial storm. Large reservoirs of fresh water, trade can continue with sailing craft and the climate will get nicer over time.

On the other hand, where I live (the deep south) climate change and peak oil may make the place unlivable. It's getting so hot an dry in the summer a garden dies without irrigation. Then there is the problem of the fire ants. Even with chemical pesticides we can barely keep them under control. My house is build on a slap so they keep coming up threw the floor.

Then there is the whole hurricane problem.......

On a positive note, if the icecaps melt, I will have beach front property.

...and the fire ants will drown.

It is just about impossible to drown fire ants. They come from a region that gets periodically flooded so have a natural adaptation to combat high water. If they weren't such deadly pests they would be really facinating. They link together and form a big raft. It's pretty interesting to watch.


I have vivid memories of a childhood visit to nana and grandad's house in Pensacola and crawling under a set of saw-horses to play in a nice sand pile with my Tonka toys. I ended up the tub with all of my clothes on.

I had been away from FL for a few years when some years back, I did some work on a mineral sands mine in North FL. The entire place was a sand pile and I had gotten out of the truck to look at something in the distance, without paying any attention to what I was standing in. BIG mistake.

Double Ouch!

A couple years back, a colony decided to move from the west side of the house, to the east side. They did the move at night, and used my living room as a highway. I always go bare foot inside the house and have insomnia........

I have come to really loath the little buggers. It is a constant battle to keep them out of the house. When peak oil hits everyone else will be hording food and fuel, but I will be hording pesticide!!!

If I remember my early '90s undergrad physical geography correctly we should expect lower levels in the Great Lakes as a result of Climate Change. The lakes are a glacial artifact, holding far more water by volume than the watershed/drainage basin warrants. Warmer overall air temps combined with lessened/sporadic rainfall patterns were cited as the reason for the lower lake levels. My rusty recollection says about 1m decline.

The Climate Change Digest used to have worthwhile information:
but is now quite dated.

The new site is down at present:


Warmer climate means much more evaporation and precipitation of all kinds, rain, snow, etc somewhere. Whether patterns will change, but nobody can guess to what extent.

I was watched an interesting show (PBS?) on global dimming an the slowing of “pan evaporation”. Evaporation rate have been slowing due to pollution.


The climate system is so complex and so interlinked, I'm afraid we are going to be completely blindsided by some obscure mechanism.

I'm afraid that's a bit of a mischaracterisation.

While evaporation rates used to be diminishing due to both upper atmosphere pollution and contrails, things are now changing.

Air is getting cleaner (of dimming pollutants).

If you combine this with the fact that due to PO, air traffic may diminish, that will diminish contrail levels as well.

If both of these happen, we run the risk of "double-whammy" as stated by a climate scientist in the document. It will increase the current global warming even more. Even the highest scenario IPCC calculations may be off by an order of magnitude or more.

I know there are already people out there thinking "sheesh! why don't we just burn the dirty coal and pump the air full of pollutants, to keep the dimming effect in full power."

Well guess what, that's exactly what we run the risk of doing with all the new coal capacity coming online in China, India and USA in the next 20 years.

But is this type of detrimental geoengineering a solution or is it a fix with it's own downsides?

That we already know from history. We need only look back to various places in 19th century Britain, 60's Germany, etc. to find out what the effects of this would be on a small scale.

Do the same on the global scale and all bets are off.

BTW, even though the document is speculative, I do recommend it to those interested in climate phenomena and gw.

I do agree with those who are of the opinion that we don't seem to have a single simple solution to PO+GW+plenty of "cheap & dirty" coal+required economic growth combo-dilemma.

Looking out the window I'd say Lake Michigan already has your one meter decline. Or it seems so. Don't know for sure if we're below '64 but it must be close.
Long term the Great Lakes are warmer, drier. There's little snow on the ground now, even well to the north. Some parts of Northern Wisconsin have bare ground. No Spring melt coming, lake levels certain to drop further. The Birkie seems very doubtful this weekend, That skiable snow is unreliable even up in the Lake Superior snowbelt tells much.

I have just installed greasemonkey and looked at the same thread, with precisely the same numeric results... 149 posts hidden. Interesting. (play spooky music)

And best wishes to the TOD administrative team on choosing/constructing a moderation system. Like some others, I believe the Slashdot moderating system has devolved into an enforcement system for the "group think" that pervades that forum. But Slashdot is a fantastic improvement over the wasteland it would be if unmoderated — with millions of readers, they'd be instantly overrun with trolls.

I'm sure moderation will be an ongoing challenge as readership expands. Being one of the D-listers, I'll shut up now and listen.

I personally think killfiles are best for a few reasons.

  • It's not censorship - there is no authority involved. People choose for themselves who they think wastes their time.
  • Banned trolls will simply register a new account and resume. Killfiling is invisible to the trolls, however - the effect is the same as just ignoring them.
  • There's no administration for the site operators, beyond initial setup (if necessary - it is not with GreenMan's script).

That said, I think killfiles integrated with Drupal would be better than a GreaseMonkey script, again for a few reasons.

  • No need to use Firefox.
  • No need to install GreaseMonkey and a script.
  • The ban list follows a user, not the machine she browses from. This isn't an issue with a ban list of 3 people; it would be with 50. I have 3 "primary" machines - replicating my Adblock preferences and bookmarks is a serious hassle.

Google shows things that claim to be killfile functionality for Drupal, but I haven't investigated much.

I installed the grease monkey filter but did not add names. It comes up when opening TOD with -0- comments blocked but there is no freddy, hothgor, or dmathews...did I miss something and where they included right up front? Thread after this is clean too.
Anyone know what is up? Don't get me wrong I like it very much. It feels like TOD of past. Thank you!


They were banned, and do not appear in today's DrumBeat. Check yesterday's to see the script go.

Hey thanks!

Interesting. Comments went away. Now they are back.

While reading Kelpie Wilson's "Virgin, the dynamo, and the prize" over at Energy Bulletin, I had a bit of an epiphany. One of my pet peeves had always been the predilection of certain techno-fixers to point out that a hunter-gatherer's bow or flint is technology, implying that because the hunter-gatherer uses technology then ALL technology is okay and should be embraced. I realized that it is not technology that is bad, but that certain technologies are far better than other technologies. If we were to rate technology by how much damage it causes, how much energy (particularly fossil sunshine) it uses, how many supplementary technologies which must be employed to clean up after said technology, giving those poorer scores than technologies that foster sustainability, then we would see that primitive technology is not only better technology, it is smarter, more elegant technology.

So, yes, flint-knapping is technology. It just happens to be far more advanced than rocket science.

Heinberg divided technology into 4 buckets based on levels of simplicity and need for external inputs. I don't have Powerdown in front of me, but he worried most about complex machines that required significant fossil fuel inputs and that we should try to lower complexity and the amount of energy inputs into machines and emphasize smart human labor instead. The examples of a power lawnmower versus a handpush mower or automobile versus a bicycle illustrate the point.

I agree but the examples of primitive technology you talk about won't scale. Flint-knapping implies hunting which won't sustain the world's population. In your comparison chart of technologies I would add a column called feasibility or practicality to score technologies in the context of the modern era.


Your point is well taken, re: flint knapping.

OTOH, _nothing_ will sustain the world's (current) human population. Leaving aside PO, there's not enough water, there's not enough land, there's not enough stuff.

If the name of the game is to sustain the world's human population at its current level, well, the game is over.

The real challenge is to figure out how the human species can downsize somewhat gracefully. C'mon people, we're supposed to be smart! Surely we can learn to live within our means?

But currently, we are way overshot.

Flint-knapping implies hunting which won't sustain the world's population

When we have these conversations about technologies that can scale or be sustainable, I think we should all have a footnote as to our assumptions of the base population numbers.

Are we assuming 6 billion or 2 billion or what?

I think the art of jerryrigging things to work is going to be a handy skill. There is SOO much stuff that exists today, I wonder how long we can make some things work?

The things that give me a smile are things like Cuba running 55-57 Chevy's for decades. You want something fixed, they could jerryrig it.

Hate to say this...but I was kinda enjoying the Peace and Quiet. Taking a break to breath deep and clear the head.

For those who are interested:

If you run Firefox (on Linux, Mac, or Windows), I have written a Greasemonkey plugin which implements a killfile function for theoildrum.com. It operates on the client side to hide posts by users you add to your blacklist, and if you are logged into TOD it will also hide sub-threads of those posts.

Details and downloads available here: http://www.hovenweeptrading.com/gm/index.html

My plan is to place this little announcement in Drumbeat daily this week only. If people feel this is spamming or too off-topic, let me know and I will desist.

If people feel this is spamming or too off-topic, let me know and I will desist.

On the contrary, I would be happy to send you a financial contribution.

I should caution that there are security concerns about the greasemonkey extension, and many security experts recommend that people not use it.

I don't know if there are any exploits that try to take advantage of it however.


Mark Pilgrim has reported a vulnerability in the Greasemonkey extension for Firefox, which can be exploited by malicious people to disclose various information.

The vulnerability is caused due to certain functions being insecurely exposed and can be exploited by a malicious web site via e.g. the "GM_xmlhttpRequest()" function to disclose the contents of arbitrary local files and list the contents of arbitrary local directories.

Successful exploitation requires that a Greasemonkey script is configured to run on the malicious web site.

The vulnerability has been reported in versions prior to 0.3.5.

The vulnerability has been fixed in version 0.3.5 by reducing the functionality.

Greasemonkey lets you run arbitrary, potentially insecure code. That can, of course, get you in trouble.

IMHO, you or rather, the webmaster, should place a little annoncement on the top of the main page, so that everybody can be aware of this feature, even if he doesn't read the right drumbeat..

Whoops! I posted a reply to this in the wrong place. Please look up for a post about a patched version of your script.

thank you for contributing to the thin skinned self censorship people here.
they no longer have to endure the pain of *gasp* talking to people who don't share the same view as they do, they no longer need to challenge their own views to to see if they hold water or not.
they can just sit back to do intellectual masturbation to their hearts content.

thank you and have a nice day.

I consider myself to be among the D-list commenters here, but I do spend altogether too much time at TOD.
As a silicon valley electrical engineer, I have no applicable skills to apply to the comment pollution problem, but I can, and do, pledge financial support (I'm thinking $100) should it be required to purchase a commercial commenting system.


I'd kiss you if I could find you. Well, not really. But still that's a very generous offer.

We've thought about asking for contributions, but beyond the tax problems (we need to become a 501(c) or some such for that to be tax free, otherwise it becomes taxable income for those involved, which means about 30 percent of it goes down the rabbit hole), it could change the nature of the site--however, with the recent problems we've witnessed, we may have to revisit the idea.


As I said last year, and as I implied up the thread, IMO, the "recent unpleasantness" was not an accident. I think that it was a case of the "Iron Triangle Empire" striking back at some pesky upstarts who had the temerity to suggest that we can't have an infinite growth rate against a finite resource base.

Link a few of these comments, I didn't see them (honestly).

Are you sure they weren't just random people not believing that canibalism and nuclear war awaits us in the next decade or so?

I'm not entirely sure TOD wants to go the route of severely filtering all the comments, but if you do, then using something like slashcode would get you there for free.

Freddy and Hothgor seem to be intent to spread the don't worry, be happy, keep motoring and shopping because technology will solve all of our problems and the world is awash in oil. I'm not quite sure yet why they propose both "technology will solve the problem" AND "we have no problem."

They seem to get VERY upset if you say negative things about infinite growth versus finite resources, or anything against the federal reserve, our "economic stats," big corporations, or against our neocon govt. In fact, they virtually froth and resort to name-calling--especially Freddy.

Freddy's favorite phrase is "lunatic fringe" and he applies it to anyone who thinks things are not quite as they appear and/or are not going to work out in such a rosy manner. And the tone/tenor definitely changed on TOD when these two appeared. I think Hothgor may be Freddy's S.O.

Then you add in our resident doomer and you have lots of fodder for rude behavior.

Look for Freddy and Hothgor. I don't want to provide links as they are too irritating.

BTW, when I finally lost it and called Freddy some distasteful names in response to his name-calling (I did apologize later for being part of the problem), Freddy informed me that he "doesn't respect my no-value add either." I never thought I added value and realize that he doesn't respect anyone who doesn't toe his party-line. I am just a concerned old lady who is here to learn and ask questions from our excellent posters.

Your tormentor is a bully, no two ways about it.

Yes---to the max.

And to any of those who believe that criticizing America is somehow an awful thing, please remember that free speech and dissent were two of the foundations of our country. Maybe those who criticize do so because of the directions we are heading. That does NOT mean we hate our country. It is even possible that those of us willing to take a critical look at America's behavior are more patriotic than those who are unwilling to question the wisdom of our political class. Has no one here ever questioned the behavior of someone they LOVE????

Show me the data. And by data, I want to see something other than averages of others' prognostications of the future. Give me production numbers, give me import/export numbers, give me something real to chew on.

Frankly, it seems to me that you have been a member here for less than five weeks and post on very little except Freddy Hutter.

I do think Freddy is at times to confrontational and aggressive. However, the wolfpacks piling on after every post by him or Hothgar are much worse.

Please leave this topic alone for a while. While I think you have good intentions, I would have to choose banning you before banning Freddy. Sorry.

Just what we need, another conspiracy theory from westexas.

Organized disruption of dissent in the US is a documented, historic fact. I recommend reading "War at Home: Covert action against U.S. activists and what we can do about it", by Brian Glick, if you really don't know this.

What westexas suspects would be very small potatos.

What is one supposed to do when accused having "another conspiracy theory"? If this isn't an ad hominem attack, it certainly sounds like a remark intended to discredit westexas.

Small potatoes indeed. Throughout history, infiltration has been a huge part of politics and war. Think about agents and double-agents and so on. This is no conspiracy theory, this stuff is done all the time.

BTW, a huge amount of federal law is based on CONSPIRACIES. But somehow, conspiracy theories have gotten a really bad rap, and the term is thrown out as an insult to throw others off the track. How do you think homicide investigators get the guy? They look for evidence, follow the trails, and eventually (hopefully) find out who, what, when, how and where. Conspiracy theories are the exact same thing.

BTW, the US Govt would have you believe that a bunch of novice pilots CONSPIRED TOGETHER to hijack airliners with boxcutters and fly them into buildings. So, it's okay for the govt to propose a conspiracy theory but NOT for anyone else to. How convenient.

BTW, take your choice: you believe the government's conspiracy theory or you don't--and possibly have your own conspiracy theory. Yours or theirs, 6 of one, 1/2 dozen of another.

Weatherglass, I had not read Glick's book so I took a quick peek at Amazon to see what it was about. I had to chuckle at two reviewer's comments:

I bought this book on the mistaken notion that it was a guide for the concerned citizen to combat radical groups in American society. After reading, I've discovered its exactly that; It just happens to be written from the opposite perspective. War At Home is a good guide from which a pro-American individual or group can develop countermeasures to the radical/fringe/hate groups in our midst. That's not what the author intended, but as the book so eloquently demonstrates, information is a weapon.

...and the next reviewer down:

Whether you are a social activist or a person interested in hisory and current events this short book is an important read. It's a little known fact that the federal government, when it is not funding terrorists like Osama bin Laden, uses millions of tax payer dollars each year to surveil, harass, and disrupt legitimate First Ammendment activities of groups it disapproves of here in the United States.

These two guys would have a lot to talk about.

Organized disruption is very much a fact. Been there. It's simply not a necessary hypothesis to explain the sort of static seen at TOD lately.
Jerks alone could do it. Jerks whose thinking is molded by ideology could do it and it would look exactly like organized disruption. If all suspected trolls ne'er appear again you can still expect much background noise created by sincere thoughtful folks expressing dominant ideology. Or competing ideologies that function in tandem with the dominant ideology more than they reflect reality. Finding truth ain't easy.

More proof that infinite conspiracies and finite comments space can not last long!

....I think we're approaching "Peak Conspiracy" faster than we are "Peak Oil"! :-)

(by the way, looking at the other edge of sword, why is always acceptable to believe that the U.S. government, car makers, oil producers, real estate sales people {and they seem like such nice ladies!) and other assorted retailers are conspiring to hush up Peak Oil, but if I come on and say that maybe the oil producers (OPEC, Norway, Venezuala, etc.) might would turn down the taps a little and make us sweat....it is always assumed that they are putting out at max just because they love us, and if anyone doubts it, they are part of the "iron triangle" ?
Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom.

RC, your 'rational optimism' about our techno-fix potential is wonderful. I love it because I think we have way more can-do ability than many of us give ourselves credit for (if global warming doesn't screw us first). That optimism doesn't seem so rational, however, when applied to our current O & G mess. All oil producers turning down the taps a little in concert? No way. Venezuela, because of willfull lack of investment, is a one-off. And hell, I say, better for them anyway. Save that oil for a rainy day or keep it in the ground.

It doesn't seem that a commercial system should be required. TOD switched to Drupal, which has astounding community support (and support for community features. I think they call that "synergy".). I'm sure that was a major factor in their decision.

Really, I think it is a question of deciding how an enhanced comment management system should work, then selecting one of several available open source solutions that implement it. Then you need to test, deploy, educate people on the new features, etc.

Online communities have growing pains. Trolls are a problem that every community has to deal with at some point. There is nothing really unique about TOD in that regard.

We can address this, get past it, and return to the site's mission.

yep, agreed. and it's more that we're having server glitches that have prevented SuperG from implementing any fixes (not SG's fault, more our host, honestly). Things are coming, it's just been slow.

PG, these growing pains will be gotten past. In the meantime, most problems I would have sending a newcomer here would be ameliorated for the time being by putting the comments under a fold, as is done in many other places. Some folks know there may be trolls lurking in a comments section, while others may not yet understand or may not be prepared to cope.

However, there is another issue to cope with, one that simply cannot be 'gotten past' with any reasonable/desirable technical fix. I encountered it long ago, because in addition to a highly technical day job, I also engage in some musical and theatrical activity on the side, occasionally for (modest) pay. And, believe me, there are times when reviewers, letter-writers, and/or audience members, can be very harsh, or, to come back here, troll-ish. (That's despite the fact that they're usually not genuine vandals.) I'm sure that as a professor, you've had similar experiences.

It would be nice to be able to counsel our lead authors to have that universal tautological elixir, patience, but it would be off-base. The reality is harsher, as there is nothing in particular that can be waited out, nothing that will go away. So beyond using best efforts to weed out genuine vandals - which is essential - three options come to mind: (1) cease the activity; (2) ignore the reviews (i.e. here, the comments); (3) grow thicker skins.

With all due respect and the best of goodwill, I would have to counsel that the last option is the least bad. After all, for artists/professors/writers, hiding away is not a genuine option. And one who ignores all feedback is liable, eventually, to wander off some deep end - which, come to think of it, could also serve as an operational definition of a troll.

Enough said.

PaulS, you're absolutely correct that we all need thicker skins to be walking in the water that we are walking in. That will come with time...I know it took me a while to get one in academe, but once there, it rarely goes away.

However, I think we also have to worry about the credibility when new readers come in. That's why the firefox fix/things like that are nice, but what about that 28 year old grad student who just learned about all of this? If you come in to an open thread and see the crap spouted that was spouted here yesterday, you run away...which is of course "their" goal. You're not willing to accept that the crap is there until you've been around this site a while and gotten the feel for it, and the amazing things that it can do.

And it still is pretty freaking amazing, all of those trolls aside.

Good point about the grad student, and that sort of issue is what the technical fixes hopefully can mitigate. Certainly, e.g., it would help if there were a technical method for quashing maliciously duplicate accounts. And maybe open threads should come with some sort of disclaimer...as do letters-to-the-editor columns and forums...

Anyway, I was really responding more WRT main authors. Some, lately, have been suckered by the trolls and/or gone away in disgust, which is the real shame (sorry for any misunderstanding about where I was aiming), as it might eventually mean there's no place to bring that grad student back to. The awful reality is that some folks in this wicked world simply insist on biting just about every hand that feeds them - in a sense, it's not actually personal, and yet in formal appearance it's as personal as can be. So it's really frustrating - and it's one of those things in this life that we can and should ameliorate, but probably can never fully solve. After all, these are deep and shark-infested waters. Sigh.

I would be up for a contribution (modest) as well, if it would help the cause.

Quotes for today!
I think the markets are closed today.

CL M07* 6104 6105 6034 6059 -46
CL Z07* 6265 6281 6265 6277 -46
CL Z08* N/A N/A N/A 6408 -1
CL Z09* N/A N/A N/A 6366 -1
CL Z10* N/A N/A N/A 6310 -1
CL Z11* N/A N/A N/A 6265 -1
CL Z12* N/A N/A N/A 6241 -1

My approach to getting out the message

I am using this site as a foundation to present the information to diverse groups of people for instance I sent an email to the Montgomery County Commissioners (Dayton, Ohio) concerning energy and environment. I did not make any reference to peak oil, but I did get a meeting arranged to discuss energy, environment and development issues. (I am going to use the Dynamic Cities powerpoint information for the discussion). I am hoping to get the Commissioners to embrace the ELP concept posited by WT in away that can avoid the peak oil argument but prepare for the future. I am hoping to get Dayton to at least identify those local assets that would be valuable to save in a post peak environment. If the proposal is worded correctly I think the County could use Homeland Defense Dollars to put together an action plan that identifies the local food, energy and production resources that could be called upon in the time of crisis. (Typical Scenario in Plan – Terrorists disrupt fuel supplies and Dayton has move food from rail spur to electric trolley lines to re supply local populace and designated grocery stores) The planning would involve discussing the issue with these businesses in the guise of a terrorist attack, but this same plan could be implemented as peak oil becomes a reality. I can see that this type of planning could be proposed at all levels of government and the Presidents new executive order on environment, energy and transportation could also be a wedge for more of the marketing and planning for peak oil. To rip off another poster here he stated that as a consultant he was not paid to plan for avoiding disaster, he was paid to implement a plan after the disaster happened. I think we can start making these plans now, have discussions with key post peak industries now and finance it with Homeland Defense Dollars. There has to be people like me in every major town in America, think global, act local. (Caveat – I live in the same town as Megan Quinn of Community Solutions, but I could not get the Environment Committee of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce to invite her as a guest and I have been trying since 2004! Oy!)

For others I do not recommend this site, but I introduce people to it by linking to certain comments by email and again I think the depth of the site allows for different introductions. The problem with turning off all of the comments or its limitation is that you will miss a classic post like this one. For some people this is the ideal way to introduce the site. For others a different approach has to be employed.

When I go to bible study I introduce the topic of peak oil indirectly by continuing to emphasize God’s mandate to man to ensure that all species should multiply and bear fruit, not just humans. In addition I chastise the Christians for embracing the Way of Cain and that Oil is the strength of the Earth that was denied Cain. I am not well liked at Church and at The Oil Drum one is not well liked for bringing up religion. Here again is it trollish to discuss the topic of religion? Yes, but if you get a preacher or a priest to get on the topic, it can have a great deal of impact.

TOD has recently lost Airdale and the internet has lost Billmon (a huge loss IMO), we cannot afford to lose anymore good ones. Please stay.

TOD has recently lost Airdale...

Greg, if you don't mind replying, what exactly do you mean by that?

I think he is here as a lurker but I think this is his last post. He was, IMO, a valuable contributer.

I hadn't seen that. Airdale brought a unique perspective to TOD -- a lot of practical experience + a little crustiness (which comes with the territory). He seemed to be pretty upset with the political talk, but I think it's a bit hard to avoid that subject when speaking of energy. It's going to come up and everyone isn't going to agree. Hopefully, he just needs a little "time off" and he will reappear at some point.

TOD has lost lots of people, both visible and not. Comments by the likes of Robert (yes, I know he's busy) and Dave Cohen are few and far between, and there were other, likely safe to say better, times, not so long ago, when they felt much more inclined to be part of active discussion. For some reason it seems hard for most here to oversee the damage done.

If you're not man enough to tell people to take a hike or to stop self-indulging at the cost of others, life tends to get complicated. It's the same in any facet of life.

This has been going on for two months or more, and it'll take as much time to repair. But don't blame the bad guys, blame yourself. If it takes this long to stand up for the people who made your site what it is today, you might as well have sent out invitations to the very people you're trying to get rid of now. If someone stands on your toes on purpose, you tell them to get off. If you don't, they'll do it again, and othere will too. Pretty simple stuff.

What we see developing now is Tainter in action, complexity in the shape of (admittedly well-intentioned) financial contributions and single-platform plug-ins.

Well, as Tainter would be the first to say: this can only make it worse. Of necessity.

PS I miss Airdale too,

PS2 I think it's "funnily typically American" to think money can solve all problems.

PS3: the argument that banned posters can come back with another alias, and all kinds of smart stuff about IP addresses, it's all nonsense: your bad guys, if they come back, will be instantly recognizable

Don't be too smug on that - not all banned posters are created equal. And some banned people have earned banishment for specific misdeeds, which is not the same as finding them discordant in what they contribute, regardless of how their ideas are received.

As a historical note, one of TOD's more interesting posters was also considered a touch of a problem, which he then dealt with very well.

I think knowing that certain standards are now enforced will likely lead to a better exchange - including the idea of total banishment. This is not the same as saying that TOD has now embraced 'Frieden, Freude, Eierkuchen.'

Peace, Joy and Egg-cooking..

Bitte, aber was meint das?


The translation is closer to 'Peace, Happiness, and Pancakes.'

It is a somewhat sardonic German saying, basically expressing the idea that while we would all enjoy a happy ending, it never really works out that way - the juxtaposition of the lofty abstractions with the concrete mundaneness of the pancakes points that out - who wouldn't enjoy pancakes along with their peace and happiness? And realistically, which of those three are you actually likely to run into while living a normal life? (There is an Italian expression that translation is like a wife - a beautiful one is unfaithful, and a faithful one is ugly. Worse is trying to explain a translation, which I guess means explanation is like the wife's mother.)

Arguments, heated discussions, nastiness, bitter disagreement - these aren't technical problems, they are part of an open forum.

However, the numbers of posts in terms of percent from just a few people surprised me - sometimes, a technical fix is better than letting something break through inaction.

Hi Greg,

Thanks for sharing your work.

Re: "If the proposal is worded correctly I think the County could use Homeland Defense Dollars to put together an action plan that identifies the local food, energy and production resources that could be called upon in the time of crisis."

If I may make a suggestion? (I also have mentioned from time to time...). It's fairly easy (i.e., the trail has been blazed once!) and "doable" to start with an organization that focuses on "Community Emergency Preparedness", and then to build from there.

The funds are, indeed, available for this, via a program called "CitizenCorps" http://www.citizencorps.gov/.

Any community can apply for these funds.

IMHO (and seeing from a great example I'll include below), the first best use of the funding is to hire a community organizer/coordinator - someone who understands and/or is willing to be trained in fundamentals of consensus-building, organizing, and conflict resolution (www.cnvc.org, www.gordontraining.org, www.mediation.com, for examples). This person ideally should be outside of the normal already-existing programs, such as the Fire Dept.

The reason I suggest to start with the emergency preparedness aspect, is:

1) You can begin with something everyone can support. This is: emergency preparedness of all kinds - from weather events specific to your area, to things like tanker spills, etc.

2) This kind of organizing cuts across pretty much all boundaries and fosters a common purpose among what would otherwise be separate interests groups (and individuals). In other words, be it church, tennis club or whatever, everyone wants to be prepared for emergencies. You don't have to have much in common, other than that.

3) I'd suggest to go to this website, and look around for ideas. If you read the back newsletters, you'll see what an amazing thing they've done; how it's growing, and how it provides a basis for a whole lot of other initiatives, such as the sustainability one and transportation infrastructure, etc.

The geothermal paper seems pretty questionable. The commenters to it have some good points though. In particular (and telling, I think) they listed nuclear projects scheduled to come on by 2020, and then listed geothermal projects, showing that there were more. But there was no date for the geothermal, was that intended? Was it also supposed to be by 2020, or are they just BSing to push their favorite hobby horse? They also did things like list the number of states mining Uranium (apparently it's 8), and then the number using geothermal power (25 or something), as if this was a comparison of any validity at all. Yeah, Idaho gets some hot water from a few hotsprings to heat old ladies' homes, no, they do not make (significant) electricity from it, and probably never will.

Geothermal has always been there, but I can count on one hand the countries that get significant power from it. Perhaps it is not a silver bullet. Oh, and apparently it causes earthquakes too.

FYI, a geothermal proposal on public land near Medicine Lake, California was recently shot down in court. This is a fairly scenic, although dry and not particularly well known area. Concerns that I recall were hydrogen sulfide emissions and destruction of forested lands for the wells and infrastructure.
Most of the roads are already built, as are the transmission lines. Main opponents were native americans and NIMBY allies. I'm not sure whether the Forest Service and BLM will try again. Grounds for stopping the project were that the government entered into a contractual relationship with the applicant, CAl-pine, before doing the Environmental Impact Study.

There is a geothermal plant on the Big Island of Hawaii. They had all kinds of grand plans. The Big Island would produce so much geothermal energy that an undersea cable would be run to Oahu (where 80% of the population of the state lives).

The reality, as usual, was not so rosy. It was more expensive than expected, and not as clean. There have been explosions and other problems, resulting in the release of smelly hydrogen sulfide, which annoys the neighbors. And some of the native Hawaiians have objected.

Though the plant does supply almost a quarter of the Big Island's electricity use, plans for building other geothermal plants and exporting electricity to Oahu have been canceled.

Something funny in the news.. The latest attempt to impose order in Baghdad is called "Operation Imposing Law". Which if abbreviated, would be OIL.

This isn't the first time this has happened. The press briefing by Ari Fleischer given on March 24, 2003, referred to "Operation Iraqi liberation".

A real bunch of cards, those Bush people.

Wow! And I thought the "Operation Iraqi Liberation" was just something on the comedy circuit.

Scary. Really Scary.

(Don't know why it double posted. Sorry all)

Hi Folks,

Thanks Leanan for the house cleaning.

I would like to assign Robert Rapier's Peak Oil Primer, "What You Need to Know about Peak Oil" for my students but I can't seem to find a publication date for the citation. Does anyone have this information?


Looks like May 17th, 2006.

Also, are you teaching an energy policy class or is this just a one-off reading?

(by the way, these primers are all available in the right sidebar)

No its for additional reading in my American Government class. Throughout the course I refer to the "threat triad" - climate change, peak oil and debt. I believe that in addition to checks and balances and federal vs. state power, young people need to know about about the concrete threats they will face in the not so distant future.

good idea. (don't forget age politics though!!)

I almost brought this up in my 101 this semester under federalism too, but then I got ill and just didn't have the energy to put something new in.

I am teaching an energy policy senior capstone this fall though, and I'm interested in any syllabi that folks run across out there.

You might consider adding the Fortune article about Richard Rainwater to the list: http://www.energybulletin.net/11695.html

Also, the Simmons/Kunstler interview on 11/1/05: http://www.energybulletin.net/19686.html

You can order a CD of the interview for $10, if you want to play excerpts for your class.

why isn't that on f-ing you tube?

There was no video of the interview (Jim was in the studio and Matt was calling in by phone). We do have a video of their presentations later that night. Perhaps the most interesting part was the Q&A. One of the things I insisted on was an extended Q&A. During this Q&A is when I think that Matt said that if we do nothing to address Peak Oil, "Jim Kunstler will have turned out to be an optimist."

As I have previously described, the sole Dallas/Fort Worth media coverage of this event was the SMU student newspaper. For some reason, no one in the media other than the student newspaper could make it, although people like Boone Pickens and Herbert Hunt somehow found room in the schedules. . .

In retrospect, on 11/1/05 Saudi Arabia was one month into what--so far at least--has been a long slide in crude oil production.

>There was no video of the interview (Jim was in the studio and Matt was calling in by phone).

FWIW: It might be a good idea to bring a friend come with a video camera for non-taped events. These could be later posted on youtube or another website.

>In retrospect, on 11/1/05 Saudi Arabia was one month into what--so far at least--has been a long slide in crude oil production.

Well we may soon be able to confirm that KSA production is in decline. Now that prices have stopped falling, if KSA continues its steady production declines it should be pretty evident that they over the hill. Then the name of the game is to determine what there near-term to mid-term decline curve will be.

Thanks for the suggestions westexas. I get to devote far more time to the topic in my International Relations course but I try to give the basics in every class so at least they'll recognize the topic when they see it reported elsewhere.

Last semester I had a diesel mechanic who was returning to school in the IR course. He ended up doing his research paper on peak oil. He told me than when I first mentioned it he thought, "this lady is wacko." But when he started researching it, he was amazed at the information that was available to support imminent peak. He became a total convert, seeking to inform his co-workers (none of whom had ever heard of peak oil), his family and anyone who would listen.

Klee, I see that Prof. G. found a date for you -- great!

I do not teach at school, but do talk to my kids and their peers about PO and GW.

Some of them are very interested, and wonder why they never talk about this stuff at school.

IMO our school curricula are now targeted to educating students for a future that no longer exists.

I'd like to know if you -- or others here -- have experience talking with primary, middle school, or high school students about PO.

I did 2 presentations to middle schoolers awhile back, and they sure got the idea of "Resource war" real, real fast.

I try to set an example for my kids, but this is tough when they look around and see no one else even aware of the issue.

Peer pressure is a big deal for them. As for many adults, apparently.

I think that K-12 schools would be very reluctant to bring this up as it is likely to bring about that most dreaded event - the parental call to the principal decrying the indoctination of their children with crazy environmental ideas. Remember the recent dust-up in Seattle over teaching about climate change

Unfortunate as it is, it's just easier to avoid controversial topics.

My kids, by the way, call me Debbie Downer. When my 1 year old grandson was crying, my son said, "Oh is grandma scaring you telling you there's not going to be any oil by the time you get your driver's license?"

Hi begger,

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Re: "Peer pressure is a big deal for them. As for many adults, apparently."

It's really so amazing, I'd like to point out again - see my reply to Greg Hunter upthread. re: CERT. http://www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=541

This type of organizing is one where:

1) Anyone in any community can take the initiative.
2) Funds are available (Yes, applying for them is work!)
3) The "program" can involve all age groups. Ashland has involved teenagers, but these are skills all age groups can learn. The skills are exciting enough (and can be fun, too)...
Anyway...check it out. Something to think about. Something positive that is "action".

BTW, Also, the mediation/conflict resolution and those types of skills, too, can only become more important as time goes on. I highly recommend checking out the links.

Thanks to klee and Aniya for the replies.

Work and family responsibilities keep me from coming back to check at times.

Yes, my kids tease me for being "too green!" But they "get it" very much, so far.

I'll check out the resources you've pointed out.


Call me paranoid as well, Where did Dan Ur go? It reverted to my Yahoo Handle Instead of Dan Ur that I have used for ages on end. So what is up about that?

I lose Internet access at home and all hell breaks loose in the real world of the Oil Drum Blog!

Aka Dan Ur

Charles, I think this has happened to others -- I recall "AMPOD" saying that he had mysteriously been reborn as "The Chimp..." -- but maybe Leanan or someone else could explain.

Some very interesting (to me) comment by F. William Engdahl, author of the book, ‘A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order;

The ongoing "quest for US Nuclear Primacy" was a surprise to me. Highly recommended as yet another perspective on how our society is planning to deal with energy scarcity.

The quest for global control of oil and energy pipelines, the quest to establish its military bases across Eurasia, its attempt to modernize and upgrade its nuclear submarine fleet, its Strategic B-52 bomber command, all make sense only when seen through the perspective of the relentless pursuit of US Nuclear Primacy.

So, how much of todays drumbeat is going to wasted by posters complaining about how people who disagree with them are allowed to comment here?

I think the "show all comments by this poster" feature needs to be fixed for GreenMan's killfile script to be really effective. I am faced with the question "is alan having a bad day, or does he have nothing to offer?" Being able to look at past posts would make this easy to answer.

If you need help hacking on Drupal, I could help maybe...

OK I'll admit that that snark was unnecessary, I hadn't yet noticed how quiet it was today. After seeing how much of the drumbeats the last week have been devoted to complaints about other posters I've come to see them as a bigger nuisance than those they were complaining about.

So who has been banned? I assume dmathew1 is gone, its hard to believe he could go more than a couple of hours without posting. Freddy and hothgor too, can't have people who challenge the peak oil is upon us paradigm getting too much space.

GreenMan's greasemonkey script lets people manage their own personal ban lists; there is no server-side banning going on. I personally have banned the 3 you mentioned, not because their views differ from my own, but because after reading posts from any of them, my reaction was often "what a d*ck," and rarely "gee, that's interesting."

I probably wouldn't have noticed your snark, but I have been hacking on GreenMan's script, and it is making me enthusiastic.

As SLB noted, the three prime suspects have not been "banned." People are voluntarily choosing not to view their posts.

However, every time that talk of banishment from the island has come up, I have usually lobbied to be banned. It sure would increase my productivity.

Perhaps I could block my own posts. . .

the three prime suspects have not been "banned."

Yes, they have. That is why comments were turned back on.

What a sad day for TOD. DMathews1 was a most deserving ban, but it is reprehensible that his crimes have been used as an excuse for purging the contrarian viewpoint articulated by Hothgor and Freddy Hutter.

If these two have been banned why haven't many of their detractors also been? They have been singled out because the majority of the posters here disagree with their opinions, not because their behaviour is so much worse than that of many others.

Speaking as someone who rarely contributes, I enjoy the back and forth of many of the Drumbeat comments and feel that I have learned the most where two or more commenters disagree and have a long, often rambling, but also detailed and informed debate. When I first started reading TOD it was around the time that RR and Westexas were starting their epic daily debates, and I feel that I learned more from these (although they could get tediously repetitive) than many of the contributing articles, gaining an insight into the complexity of peak oil and the evidence supporting it. In my very humble opinion, it is this, along with the knowledge and experience of many of the contributors, that makes TOD a cut above all the other peak oil sites.

Freddy and Hothgor, although both could be insulting and crude, added value to TOD by making sure that any newcomers were soon up to speed on the ongoing disagreements over evidence, methodology, predictions of peak, etc. I could add that I believe the same is true of WT and his almost daily posting of the reasons he believes KSA is at or near peak. I have never understood why posters who praised him for this thought Hothgor a troll for merely repeating many of the counterarguments used by RR. Perhaps someone could explain that to me. With the banning of these two dissenters, TOD has taken a step towards becoming a more conventional peak oil site, where backslapping consensus reigns. Personally, I'll take vituperative debate any day of the week: it's not always fun, but it ain't boring.

The upshot of all this baby and bathwater throwing is that I, along with many others, I suspect, will visit TOD less often than before. This is a real shame and the cause - a selective editorial policy - is shameful.

The upshot of all this baby and bathwater throwing is that I, along with many others, I suspect, will visit TOD less often than before.

We realize this. But we cannot continue to be all things to all people. We have to choose. And we've decided if we want to have real influence, we have move toward a more professional atmosphere. Yes, that means there may be fewer people coming here. So be it.

There are lots of other peak oil sites out there. And you can always start your own. (TOD started out on Blogger, which offers free blogs for anyone who wants them.)

I'm sorry to see that they were banned from the site. I understand that you had a situation developing and had to take action.

Fighting trolls with bans is an arms race. It is possible that the parties in question will take the hint and move on. It is possible that they will return with new user names, using proxies to get different IP addresses, etc.

It is certain that new trolls will arrive.

This buys you some time to implement a comment rating system to help contain these problems in the future.

May I suggest that we dedicate a thread to a discussion about a comment rating system? I've seen several people throwing out ideas in recent DrumBeats. It would be good to group them together and see if we can hash this out.

I'm sorry, Leanan, I won't belabour the point, but it really does feel like an ideological purge. There are many people still here who are not in the slightest bit professional or courteous and their accounts are still active. We could literally spend days going back over old comments, pointing out people who have been liberal with both language and insults and, yet, their accounts are still active.

In my opinion, it would have been far better to introduce a new, tough code of conduct, making it clear exactly the level of discourse that was required and explicitly stating what constituted a banning offence. Everyone could have started from a clean slate and no-one who was banned could claim they were unaware it was a possibility.

This action will merely confirm the view of many that peak oil is a fringe viewpoint, frightened of genuine debate. This, I hasten to add, is not the way I feel about things, which is part of the reason I'm so upset. It's just so unnecessary!

There are many people still here who are not in the slightest bit professional or courteous and their accounts are still active.

The sheer volume of posts was an issue as well. That is what convinced many of us: Greenman's script, where blocking the three most complained-about posters resulted in more than half the messages disappearing.

It's human nature. If you're rude and obnoxious, and post a hundred times a day, you will be noticed more than someone who is just as rude but only posts once a week.

We went after the "elephants" first. There may be more bans coming.

And it was not an ideological purge. There are many cornucopian jerks who were not banned.

We simply don't have time to administer and enforce a COC. A COC is bait to trolls. They love to skirt the rules, argue about them, then complain long and loud about how the mods are biased and out to get them. We don't have the time or inclination for that.

Eventually, we may go to a user rating system like Slashdot and dKos have, but it's going to take some time to deal with the technical issues.

It's just so unnecessary!

Wrong.... We are looking into the teeth and jaws of the biggest challenge in humanity's history. The energy deficit to come is orders of magnitude greater than running out of tulips. We simply don't have the luxury of time. Realistic energy reform is necessary now. Pandering to 3 or 4 trolls is not.

We need to pull together, not argue about man's essential selfishness as dmathews1 kept doing.

We are looking into the teeth and jaws of the biggest challenge in humanity's history.

I absolutely agree and part of the reason I do is that I was able to get both sides of the debate and come to my own conclusions. I still couldn't tell you if I believe in a near peak or one further out, but I absolutely believe that we have to start changing things and start changing them now.

The recent purge has had a disproportionate effect on the most articulate dissenters. Whether you agreed or disagreed with Freddy, Hothgor, IP, etc, they gave any newcomer a different perspective. This is important because many people come to the issue of peak oil with closed minds. If they suspect that TOD is just a propaganda site of likeminded people agreeing with each other they are more likely to stay defensive and not open their minds to other possibilities.

As for improving the professional nature of TOD, I note that conspiracy theories are being propogated upthread and that extreme doomer ideology continues to be tacked on to the issue of peak oil. If anyone thinks this aids in convincing most people of the coming scarcity of oil, then they are mistaken, to put it mildly.

I won't continue whinning endlessly about this, but I would urge others like me, who post rarely, to add their voices if you believe that TOD has been sadly diminished.

It seems that DMathews has been the catalyst for this change and - really! - it affords him far more importance than he will ever deserve.

I won't continue whinning endlessly about this

You have had an account for 27 weeks 6 days but you only started posting on Feb 9 and HALF of your posts are on this thread whining about the "censorship" with dubious arguments.
You are obviously from the odograph/Hothgor/IP "school" and the next candidate for Greenman's filter if not banning.
The point is not dissent or rudeness but dishonesty in the arguments, quite recognisable...

P.S. Don't forget that you pretend to technical incompetence, don't start with technical arguments use another Sockpuppet

I disagree MCrab, it was very very far from an "ideological purge."

A select few were banned (3-4 people) who held very differing viewpoints. As Leanan said from doomer to moderate to cornacopian.

I think Greenman's script made it abundantly clear that just those few posters were dominating the threads and causing most of the disruption.

As far as I can tell this had nothing to do with expressing opposing viewpoints.

I hesitated to comment on this because I've been in a dustup or two with one of the bannees, but I wanted to lend my support to Leanan and the other mods. I believe them when they said it was not done lightly. (I shudder to think what behaviour must have gone on to shut down the comments earlier.)

I have to disagree back. The three banned people were two non-doomers and a lunatic-obsessive poster.

The reason that the two contrarians would up generating such a high percentage of the posts is that wolfpacks piled on after each of their comments.

It seems very easy for the doomer gangs to get anyone banned under the new system by just piling on insulting posts on top of any contrarian viewpoint. It then becomes a problem and the author and offending information can be eliminated.

I respect your opinions on this and other topics. I also agree with Leanan that this has reached crisis proportions and that something had to be done, even if it was not ideal.

However, I am sure that a little simple analysis would show that the reason banning Hothgar and Freddy eliminated 30% of comments is not some secret plot as implied by Westtexas at the start of the string, but because their enemies pig pile on every comment.

I have to disagree back.

Thats it! You're banned! :-)

It seems very easy for the doomer gangs to get anyone banned under the new system by just piling on insulting posts on top of any contrarian viewpoint. It then becomes a problem and the author and offending information can be eliminated.

I doubt it. The mods have shown themselves to be very very hesitant to ban.

All of the bannees were very different posters with different viewpoints. But they all shared the following points (stolen from greenman below):
a. low signal to noise
b. large volume of posts
c. a style that induced flamefests

I think you are limiting yourself by grouping people into doomer/non-doomer. IP and Freddy were both non-doomers but very far apart on the positions. I also wouldn't group WT and dmathews together even though they are both "doomers".

Anyway you slice it, TOD is growing and that means its changing. The mods had a tough call to make, and I think they acted in TOD's best interests.

"Anyway you slice it, TOD is growing and that means its changing. The mods had a tough call to make, and I think they acted in TOD's best interests."

I basically agree with you here. I do think the moderators have been very pro-speech and reluctant to ban. As I mentioned before I do think the problem got quite bad and have faith in the TOD PTBs to make the right decisions. My post is not a complaint or criticism of the banning, which if anything was late.

However, I do think that there is cadre of apocolypticons who make it very hard to be positive or to challenge their world view. People can just post "George Bush blew up the WTC" and you get a small chorus of support. If you even hint that the world may not end tomorrow, you are part of the iron triangle or a paid propagandist.

So no matter how rude and nasty someone is, if they are doomers, it is OK. I think Feddy and Hothgar did cause their own problems with aggressiveness and overly frequent postings. However, what made them stand out from people with similar behavior was the storm stirred up afterwards.

My main point is that people should be banned because of their actions, not because a bunch of intolerant commenters pile on and create a problem where one may not have existed before.


What we all experinced in real time was an example of Tainter's Tragedy of the Commons. You mention debate. But in real debates both parties present their positions, rebut their opponents and then shut up. That simply was not the case here.

Regarding rules: As I have mentioned before, I mod on another forum and we have rules. It is a PITA to try to be "fair" when you "know" someone is a problem (or going to be a problem)...trying to draw the line without letting past experience influence a decision. Then there is the reality that we all blow it now and then. Do you cut some slack for old members but none for the new? It is exteremly difficult.

And, how do you draw the line on WOT posts and thread hijacking which happens here quite a bit?

For me, it was the civility of TOD that kept me here in addition to excellent information. My hope is that TPTB will take quick action to warn and then ban people as necessary in the future.

Finally, there is always the argument that losing someone who has a good post now and then is the end of the world. It isn't. There are thousands of other people who can replace the one that is banned.


A rare post from one of the lurkers. I agree with several other lurkers who rarely post in order to avoid increasing the noise to signal ratio.

Ultimately, it's a case of trust in the admins and the moderators of the site to exercise the censor power lightly. I agree that codes of conduct and other modes of controlling comments can be extremely time consuming and hence they're impractical.

The posters exorcised were consistent offenders in terms of their repeated willingness to deposit irrelevant or abusive posts.

I have some reservations re IP and Freddy as both made some pretty useful posts but Freddy in particular was flagrantly abusive and it was a big time distraction from his valuable contrary viewpoints. Consequently I support the action of the admins as the quality of comments had deteriorated so markedly.

RR and WT never stoop to such levels in their disagreements. As an aside, at the moment they're both right anyway. SA could well be in geological peak at a time when they would have reduced production anyway.

Thank you. I agree that TOD needs to return to its origins as a professional level discussion of energy issues if it is to contribute to solutions. Open give and take on any topic is fine, but there are other places for that. I see a vast improvement in the quality of the discussion already.

I'm sorry, I just don't think all the insults were necessary...they seemed to be employed just to get reactions from people. I'm glad these guys were banned...whatever their viewpoints, they were bringing down the discourse here, which was one of the reasons I came over from the "other" PO site. I don't believe it's necessary to insult someone to get a contrarian view across--there have been plenty here who don't adhere to the conventional TOD line, if there is such a thing. I sometimes agreed with what one or more of the banned ones said...it was the way they chose to express themselves that was unacceptable. If they come back, I'll not hesitate to use the script on them.

It seems Infinitepossibilites (Infinte postings to some) has also had his account deleted. The guy was a physicist for God's sake. Do you really think the loss of his perspective is a good thing? Maybe the breadth of his many opinions exceeded his knowledgebase by some way, but I cannot believe that someone who for 99% of the time tried to make an honest and detailed contribution has been banned.

Perhaps, Leanan, TOD could have a disclaimer for all to read when they sign up, making it explicit that if their views deviate too much from the majority then their accounts will be deleted.

Are all those who have been banned, other than DMathews1, people who could stereotypically be called cornucopians?

Are all those who have been banned, other than DMathews1, people who could stereotypically be called cornucopians?

No. They ran the gamut, from doomer to cornucopian to "moderates."

It's not their viewpoints, it's the way they expressed them. Most of TOD staff are not doomers.

this post is because you have long lost your creditability at least to me.
so i ask you this, since i can't take your word for it i ask you to prove it. a account name and the post showing as a example of why they were banned is what i am asking for.
this will be the only time i ask for it, so feel free to ignore me or ban me or put me on the black-list with the wimp out fire-fox plugin.

Leanan and TOD leadership;
I am glad that you took the action you did. In a forum like this, all you have is verbal communication, (OK, and Charts.. lots of charts) and there were and will be again people who hog the mic, are abusive or sometimes just unwilling to engage in a productive dialog, inciting battles and flaming where none needs to happen. I think we have a tendency to fear that ANY leadership is just a trend towards 'Dictatorship', so some will decry any trace of authority. We do need real leadership, and we each need to be able to take it on in some sphere of our lives if we hope to help our world. Anarchy is not the solution to Totalitarianism, just as the problems created from the fruits of intelligence will not be solved with ignorance.

This is a forum, not a society, and these people have not lost their 'right to speak' in their society.. they have been told that they breached the boundaries of what kind of discussion is useful and appropriate in this context, crossing into what ultimately was seen as a waste of all our energy.. (Not to put too fine a point on it..)

I'm not worried at all that this signals some kind of a trend towards an ideological censorship here. Despite one or two claims to the contrary, I've never gotten the sense that someone was roundly dismissed here for their beliefs.. only for their tone, demeanor and extreme persistence with the same. Anyone can get caught up in some snarkiness now and then, but when it just becomes a broken record that is making everyone else nuts, what choice have you got but to pull it? I don't expect every such 'membership' decision to be perfect, and I hope that there will be some mechanism and some willingness to see a mistake or accept an apology and offer another chance, but I am also really encouraged to see some thoughtful action to take some personal responsibility for the caliber of discourse that will be expected here. After that, I can only try to make my own submissions worthy of it.


Bob Fiske

I've never gotten the sense that someone was roundly dismissed here for their beliefs.. only for their tone, demeanor and extreme persistence with the same.

I could not have said it better myself. Today's decisions were not made lightly, nor were they a perspective purge.

And anyway, as Leanan said above: if you don't like TOD folks, go elsewhere.

Didn't Freddy and gang have their own web sites?
If you like their style, I think you can still engage with them "elsewhere" as the Prof says, on their sites.
When it comes to off-topic rantings, I usually vent my noise at my own site rather than boring people here with it.

Roll your own.

"It's not their viewpoints, it's the way they expressed them."



Just about everyone here chose the same three people to killfile. They didn't contribute. They were boring.

My perspective was in regards to signal to noise ratio.

I had always held TOD as having a suprisingly high signal to noise ratio. One of the reasons I usually don't post here, I just drag it down.

The posters in question had:

a. low signal to noise
b. large volume of posts
c. a style that induced flamefests

and a flamefest is nothing but a lot of noise.

In trying to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, those folks were the "low-hanging fruit".

One of the reasons I usually don't post here, I just drag it down.

Me too. I'm painfully aware of my own ignorance on most topics concerning oil and any contribution I might make would be marginal. I think the real problem was those posters who didn't have our self-awareness and act as little more than cheerleaders. It is they who are the low hanging fruit. Take away Freddy, Hothgor and IP's replies to them and they have a very high signal-to-noise ratio. Not many appreciate the signal - that, ultimately, is why they are gone.

The posters in question had:

a. low signal to noise
b. large volume of posts
c. a style that induced flamefests

You could make an argument that all three of those criteria apply to WT. I think it would be ridiculous to ban him, just as it is to ban Freddy, Hothgor and Infinitepossibilities.

Good. I think TOD should allow someone to say, 'that's lunacy', but not call someone a lunatic. And contributors and editors deserve special respect. I know I have said some harsh things particularly about Hutter, but it was in response to a level of rudeness towards others that galled me. Banning them allows me, and pushes me, to swallow my harsh tongue, which I gladly will do now.

This is about maintaining a level of civility, not uniformity.

Easy to be nice, polite and tolerant when there's no-one seriously challenging your point of view.

If there was any fairness in the recent bannings, then you and others who couldn't resist replying to Freddy and Hothgor to tell them what idiots they were should also have been banned. But, hey, strike down a doomer and ten more replace him. Replacing Freddy, Hothgor and (possibly) IP with dissenters as knowledgable and prolific in the advocacy of their viewpoint will not be easy.

you and others who couldn't resist replying to Freddy and Hothgor to tell them what idiots they were should also have been banned.

I agree with this and the other very strong points that you have made on this thread. While I do think Freddy made his own bed with his hostility, he took more than he gave and it is unfair that those who made him into a bigger problem than he was seem to have won.

Hothgar got off on the wrong foot and his main fault at this point is that no one would forgive him. I think it would be hard to look at his posts over the last month and say they were worse than average.

I do think that a large body of commenters, primarily of a doom mentality, treat any dissent like cartoons of the prophet. They were the ones who made this such a big issue. In the future, it should be made clear that heckling others is as bad as being a rude and frequent commenter.

dmatthews was an exception as he started off day one with 10-20 comments a day insulting everyone.

All things being equal it is good to have a friendly discussion, but the risk of banning unpopular topics is very, very high.

Thanks to the TOD-staff for banning these four individuals.

I can not spot anything that supports that this is cencorship on dissenting opinions. None of these four (possible except IP) show any impulse in persuing the matters being discussed, for them it seems to be all about retorics and ad hominem.

IMO they were banned for bad behaveor, not their opinions.


Thanks - the decicion was right.

As noted above, my little script bans noone from the site, it is a filter on the client side that hides threads started by posters you specify. It has no official connection with this site, whatsoever. Each of the users you mentioned still has an account (I presume) and can post at will. They are free to speak. They are not entitled to an audience.

BTW, if I am reading my server log correctly, I've had a massive 102 downloads. Hardly a revolution.

Stalky, I downloaded your changed file and will be having a look.

Trolls have various motivations, but use similar techniques. Once your community has been infested with trolls, the quality of the discussion drops. Whether that is the troll's intent, or a side effect, is hard to say. While I don't discount the conspiracy angle, the world also has a lot of jerks. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. The result is the same.

The troll is trying to "stir stuff up", get people to respond to them and fight among themselves, rather than to stick with the subject at hand. If nobody responds, they lose interest.

The best advice is always "don't feed the trolls". That is hard to do if their posts are scattered through the stuff you want to read, and harder when it contains personal attacks directed at you.

A kill list is a sort of "nuclear option". It allows those of us who primarily lurk to make better use of our time. There are other, gentler, preferable options, but they have to be implemented by the site, not just an anarchistic hacker.

I made a few more changes after posting earlier, the most significant of which is moving the hidden posts count from an alert() into the "XXX comments on DrumBeat" div.

This was my first time playing with GreaseMonkey, and I dig it. Thanks for motivating me to look at it - I have been meaning to for a while.

But not feeding the trolls is at the heart of the problem - though the current round of banning seems motivated to increase civility (and seems to be working), it is also true that at least one of the banned posters did provide data and links to support some of his writing (and other people then pointed out the flaws in the data, which then tended to lead to personal attacks, etc.)

This tension is not possible to resolve, of course, but the issues raised by trolls should not merely be dismissed along with them. This is the reasonable point which needs to be kept in mind, because an echo chamber effect is another aspect of an open forum.

I noticed that when I tried to click on Freddy's and Hothgor's name it said something to the extent that I did not have permission to view those profiles. To me, this ruins the site. Some of their post could be inflammatory, but they also added opposing views with insightful feedback. To me, it always looked like they got flamed more from other people than they had post that could be considered inflammatory. People would flame them for just having opposing views and because it was the popular thing to do. When I read their posts I often felt that they had well thought out and supported arguments (not always). It is easy to overlook their inciting comments (which to them is probably just wit) and accrue insightful views on different subjects.

Why ban these users when people who want to can block them with fire fox? I enjoyed referring back to several of their older post that supported their point of view. It was my tool to look at a problem from two different angles and come up with my own conclusions. Without opposing views, it is not worth reading this forum because I know I can too easily be fed one argument with no one to rebut it.

Who was responsible for banning these people? I am guessing it was one of the admins. I would support banning someone who did not contribute any material, but they both had several post supporting their point of views. I will always consider every side of an argument until I can prove it is incorrect. I hope an avenue of another perspective is not cut off.


Why ban these users when people who want to can block them with fire fox?

Because the point was to maintain a professional environment for the casual visitor - who might not use Firefox, and would not know whom to block even if they did. TOD is being read by far more people than post here, including many in a position to make a difference. It had gotten to the point where people were embarrassed to refer others to TOD.

Who was responsible for banning these people? I am guessing it was one of the admins.

More than one. It was not done lightly.

I am glad that someone took ownership of this site's tone and civility.

I have joined in some heated responses in the past while losing patience, not with dissenters, but with folks that could not show some respect to those that are the major contributors to this site.

There is joking and there is outright attacking. If you invite someone into your house, you have a right to kick out that person out if he/she constantly attacks you personally.

I have many friends that do not think as I do. We have very different political, religious and cultural values. We disagree often. We joke with each other often. BUT, we know each other's limits and we know when to stop. We were starting to lose that fine line.

from my understanding. i don't see why they banned dmathews. sure i did not agree with his religious overtones, but he was civil, even to those who went out of their way to attack him.

Personally, I couldn't stand the guy and my blood pressure went up everytime I saw his name. But you're right that tolerance works both ways. If people you hate get banned then those you value will as well. The most liberal moderation policy that is practical is, thus, almost always the best.

I fear that the logic used against Hothgor, F. Hutter, etc, will now be applied to many other people, and Leanan will have her hands full answering "if that person was banned, why not this one? Here's ten pages worth of quotes."

what i see here is the first step past the point of no return, this place will end up as one where those who only agree with the people in the 'personnel' box on the right hand side of the site will be allowed to post because the editors are really to thin skinned.
this with the obsession to a fault on data and data only excluding the other real life factors gives this place the air of fiddling while rome burns.
the main people i see that were banned were those who did what anyone should do when given enough data. draw conclusions, make a point, and try to act on it.

I must disagree.

First, I have felt on more than one occasion that freddy and hothgor simply added in data that wasn't the intent of the original post or after being called out came up with waves of non-understandable stuff. Dave C. thread was understandable, most of freddies wasn't at least to me.

Second, and I think this has happened more than once between WT and Khebab that these two have come to different conclusions on the timing of PO from data. I might be wrong but if my memory serves me correctly Khebab has a later date for world PO - 2008-2010 using HL, Wt has 2005-2006. I think this is correct and wasn't a huge deal.

Third, there was a lenghty discourse between WT and SS(?) or RR(?) not that long ago and they definately did not agree.


dmathews had some decent posts, but he always condescended, preached, and just kinda spewed his gospel all over the damn place. I think he would have proved his muster much better better without all the "extra" filler he put in EVERY post and responding to everyone that answered him...yikes...my index finger hurts from all that scrolling past his verbage.

The way I see it, rather than worry about missing the comments of the persons banned, worry about all of the potential comments we missed from the good people who were/are driven off by those who were banned.

i don't see why they banned dmathews. sure i did not agree with his religious overtones, but he was civil, even to those who went out of their way to attack him.

Civil? Surely you jest? First, I want to make it clear that I was not consulted on Dave Mathews’ banning. However, if I had been, I would have voted yes. I personally hate bannings, and I have gotten myself banned from more than 1 Creationist-owned board merely for dissent. Dave Mathews did not get banned for dissent. In fact, he expressed views expressed by many others on this board.

Dave Mathews was banned (in my opinion) for persistent personal attacks against a number of posters. For instance, he attacked me repeatedly, even when he held the same opinion. He attacked me for who I am. He did not seem to comprehend that ad hominem arguments are not a viable form of debate. He attacked me for testifying against an ethanol mandate, despite the fact that he agreed with my position! When I criticized his behavior, he tried to drag in comments I made on various other boards and say “Did you say this?” He did this for completely off-topic subject matter (it was mostly Creation/evolution stuff) in an attempt to discredit. He did the same to Engineer-Poet. His behavior indicated someone with mental health issues.

Now, you are entitled to your opinion, but had you been the recipient of the constant personal attacks, I think you would be a bit more understanding. To be clear, I love dissent. I encourage dissent. It makes for good, healthy debate and is a good way to get to the bottom of an issue. But dissent is different than personal attacks. And even though I am not 100% on board with the list of the banned, I don’t think any of the bannings were for mere dissent.

And even though I am not 100% on board with the list of the banned

That's good to know but, respectfully, could I ask you to lay your cards on the table? As far as I have been able to ascertain the list of those banned is:

Freddy (Hutter)

While the ad hominem attacks of the first person on the list were completely unacceptable, do you consider the banning of the bottom three a good thing? Do you really think they deserve lumping in with DMathews1? Although not identical in their views, they represented a wing of opinion on TOD that was hostile to the doomerism and conspiracy theories that frequently take up huge tracts of space. That wing of opinion is now gone and the recent purge seems to have had a completely disproportionate effect and reflects the myopia many seem to have had concerning these three posters (namely, that they were somehow worse than their detractors).

You have often expressed concern about the credibility of the peak oil argument. It is most certainly not aided when those disagreeing with parts of it are banned while those who, arguably, hold more extreme views are tolerated.

I have heard it said that the senior contributors seldom read most of the Drumbeats. As one who has waded in more than most, could you at least make sure that the concern of this representative of the mostly silent majority is taken onboard?

There was a case several months ago, for flagrantly being flagrant, if I understood the reasoning correctly. (Honestly, the idea that bad language would get the site filtered in many parts of American life never occurred to me - talk about free speech in action.)

And the Drumbeats were instituted because senior contributors had their article threads overrun by off-topic posting.

Things change, and this site remains dedicated to its belief that spreading rigorously presented and discussed information is a necessary first step in dealing with peak oil.

It has already been forced to adapt several times, and likely will need to in the future.

That's good to know but, respectfully, could I ask you to lay your cards on the table?

I won't second-guess the decisions, and I shouldn't have even indicated that I wasn't 100% on board with the decisions. I will only say that other than in the very beginning, I had no problem with Hothgar, and I was not personally insulted by either Hothgar or Freddy. I didn't take a big interest in the personal conflicts, but if they were hurling personal insults at people, then I suspect this is the reason they were banned. If IP was banned as well, that's the first I have heard of that. I definitely had my disagreements with him as well, but no personal insults to my recollection.

I have heard it said that the senior contributors seldom read most of the Drumbeats. As one who has waded in more than most, could you at least make sure that the concern of this representative of the mostly silent majority is taken onboard?

This thread is being read and discussed via e-mail by all the staff. Your concerns are being registered. I agree that censorship and bannings should be an absolute last resort. As I said, I have been kicked off of several Creationist boards for no other reason than disputing their position with data. I think the decision on banning was a way to try to reinstill civility that had been lost of late, and as a warning to those who might think about engaging in personal attacks.

I didn't realize that IP has been banned.
So what if he was a cornucopian? I don't recall him being offensive. Believing in infinite possibilities is dreamy but it is not offensive. I hope TPTB reconsider.

Nobody cared whether he was a cornucopian or not. (And I don't think he was, frankly.) The problem was that he was rude and obnoxious.

I think the final straw was when he said about one of our contributors, "Did someone forget to turn the idiot filter on this morning" or something along those lines.

The problem was that he was rude and obnoxious.

The problem created by his banning is that he was interesting, knowledgable and coming from a different perspective than the majority of posters.

The unwillingness to use any other option than the nuclear one of a total ban has deprived TOD of a unique voice forever.

Why weren't temporary bans considered an effective tool again?

From your perspective, perhaps. From ours, no. A decision was made. It was not made lightly.

(and frankly, I don't care what you think about it, as it's obvious to me that you are little more than a sockpuppet.)

But either way, we do not have to justify our decisions to you.

Be civil, be respectful of others (including typing in a manner suitable for someone over the age of four), and you can participate here, whatever your perspective. It is not that hard. It's about producing more light than heat.

As I have said elsewhere, not that we have to justify our decisions, but none of us enjoyed making the decisions we made the other day; however, know that we will do what we need to in order preserve TOD as place where we can talk about ideas in a civil and respectful manner.

It got out of hand, and it was dealt with. It will get out of hand again, and it will be dealt with again.

The people who work hard here every day deserve a place where their ideas are considered. They create the environment, and people who thoughtfully contribute to that environment make it even better.

If folks don't like how we do things around here, oh well. You're always welcome to go elsewhere.

It was not a perspective driven decision.

Many of the editors are not doomers, in fact most are moderates. You know not what you speak of, at all.

And yet you still have a voice here at TOD. Pretty amazing, isn't it?

(and frankly, I don't care what you think about it, as it's obvious to me that you are little more than a sockpuppet.)

As ridiculous as it is to have to make this statement:

1) I am not Hothgar, Infinitepossibilities, Freddy Hutter or (God help me) Dave Mathew.

2) I have never corresponded publicly or privately with any of the above, before or after their banning.

Of course, given that my posting style is completely different and that my IP address and registered email address are both U.K. based (all the banned posters are from N. America, I believe) it should be obvious I'm not a sockpuppet.

And yet you still have a voice here at TOD. Pretty amazing, isn't it?

And yet I find I am unable to access TOD from my usual IP address. Perhaps it is a glitch with my ISP. Truly pathetic if it isn't.

And yet I find I am unable to access TOD from my usual IP address. Perhaps it is a glitch with my ISP. Truly pathetic if it isn't.

Switch to a different anonymizer : http://www.freeproxy.ru/en/free_proxy/cgi-proxy.htm
But you did that already...  

Thanks for the link, Kevembuangga. I posted my last message by connecting through my mobile phone, but the reception is piss poor where I live, so you've done me a favour.

What has happened to TOD to make it suddenly so illiberal that it bans anyone who dares utter any criticism from even viewing the website? Would it not have been simply easier to delete my account?

Once more I reiterate that I am not a sockpuppet (never in my life have I had to claim this before) and I remain ready to prove my identity if challenged. To whoever blocked my IP address: grow up and stop seeing everyone who disagrees with you as part of a conspiracy.

Nobody is blocking you. If we wanted you gone, your account would be blocked.

Take your own advice. Stop seeing a technical difficulty as a conspiracy.

Thank you for replying, Robert. I appreciate that as a senior contributor you have a responsibility not to disagree in public with collective decisions taken by the editors and I apologise for putting you in that position.

To go back to what you said about valuing dissent, I heartily agree. In my view, the main reason for having a comment feature is so people can voice disagreement with the author or the views of other posters, hopefully learning something in the give and take. If you look at today's Drumbeat (Feb 20th), however, there's not much real dissent or disagreement. It's all very chummy, censensual and civilised. But all this has been achieved at a cost.

In my experience, an unfortunate characteristic of most peak oil sites is an tendency for anyone who posts a significantly differing opinion to be marginalised, abused and banned. I'm sure Leanan would say that those who were banned came for the whole gamut of opinion, but other than DMathew1 (who was in a nutty reality of his own making), all the banned posters seem to be the ones who would be on the hitlists of people who could simplistically be called doomers. By banning them outright - while at the same time taking no action against many of their similarly strident critics - the impression given is that a minority have been persecuted because of the majority's intolerance, even if that was not the intention.

Jack's mention above of depictions of the prophet is particularly apposite. Those who shout loudest, with the most extreme views, have been appeased because it is easier to do so than to stand on principle. The site is now undoubtedly easier to moderate, but I would argue that its credibility is diminished.

Um, I suspect you may be talking about perhaps Prof G and I in regard to the comment about reading most of the Drumbeats. While I can't speak for the Prof, I have seen enough comments by him deep in the comments section to know that he does. As for myself, while I do read almost all the comments on almost all the posts it is often 3 or 4 days after they are posted (since I have limited amounts of free time). By that time most of the discussions have moved on, so I just read for information.

I will also confess that if I have scrolled through 3 or 4 screenfulls of comments that are completely off topic, then I rarely have progressed any further down the comments on a particular post. And that was one of the issues that led me to vote as I did.

actually.. i am not going to recommend it anymore now.
too narrow a view for a multi-faceted problem. the editing staff have way too thin of skin's to tolerate opposing viewpoints. while the name calling did go out of hand, it could of been solved in a better way. there is software that can be used to mask or prevent posting of posts that contain such language and words can be added to it. of course any attempt to get around it would demonstrate that banning is needed.
the site while great on data blinds it's self to focus only on data. kind of like a guy who has a gun pointed to his head chanting 'i don't have enough information on this subject to know if the person is going to shoot me' only to get shot a second latter.

This is evolution TK. It's painful. It doesn't always work outright. You make mistakes. You make some good choices. You see what works. This move tonight by the staff is a reaction that will moderate and find an equilibrium. We (TOD) had some new "variables" come into the mix in the last year that threw some constructive debate totally outta whack. It's about survival. Sometimes, survival ain't pretty, but you do what you have to to survive.

Welcome to the future!!

I see plenty of opposing viewpoints here.. and I don't think it's one of those 'false dichotomies' of 'Taste's Great v. Less Filling!'.. You have a few ardent supporters of Ethanol taking on the broader chorus of opposition (Respects, Syntec), and I don't hear the lynch mob gunning for him. I've argued with LevinK about Nuclear, sometimes with some anger and snydeitude, as have others, but neither side there seems to be under the gun. There isn't a right-answer to get accepted for doomers or optimists, we have Liberals and Conservatives (whatever those mean anymore)..

What are they (we) thin-skinned about? I don't think I've ever heard Leanan post a reply in the defensive, at least not in any way unprofessionally or disrespectfully.

No, the problem is not one of dissent, but of verbal diarrhea, of countless, unproductive comments. dmatthew may talk about population, which is certainly tied to energy, but it has only ever really seemed to be a way to get him to his trademark 'deathwish for humanity' signoffs. I am sorry that he feels so bad, but that's legitimately 'off-topic' for a site looking for future solutions to our energy supply, especially once he's repeated this general theme some 30-50 times. He's inspired by the Tao-te-ching, the Bagavad Gita, the Upanishads and the Bible, some of our most beautiful understandings, but he still just hates humanity? Sorry, wrong site.

Your submissions can be pretty cranky, but not always, and I'm happy to see your involvement, since it doesn't seem to be your goal to convince everybody that we're nothing but horrible and should lay down and die now.

For what it's worth, today's posts have been largely back on-topic and following the articles, which is how I would hope it can be.. compared to the nightmare of yesterday.

Bob Fiske


I would suspect that Leanan (probably) initiated the banning process. She has said on several occasions that the other editors/owners? do not read the drumbeats.

The banning is unfortunate but not surprising when there is intolerance to dissent.

Okay, a change of topic:

I just noticed that my current estimate of a 7% decline in net crude oil exports by the top 10 net exporters (11/05 to 11/06) matches my August, 2006 estimate (based on 12/05 to 5/06 data) in this article: http://www.energybulletin.net/19420.html

Another interesting coincidence is that the reported Saudi production rates for 11/06 and 2/07 are both consistent with an 8% per year decline rate in production, since 9/05.

Edit: I should read my stuff more thoroughly. The production decline rate was 7% per annum in the August article. The decline in exports would be higher.

westexas, how much of SA's decline might be explained by the "alternate hypothesis" -- that is, that SA is holding back in order to supply a potential US military operation against Iran (and to compensate for lost Iranian production)? You seem to be committed to the belief that SA are producing all that they can and are holding nothing back.

If you go to www.energybulletin.net and search authors for Jeffrey Brown, you will find 10 articles that I wrote and co-wrote. The Texas/Lower 48 article outlines the quantitative case (based on Khebab's data) that 2006 was the most likely year for Saudi production to start declining.

In that article I described the upcoming Saudi decline as "irreversible." However, IMO, the Ghawar collapse may be so sharp that they may actually, at some point, show a production rebound, albeit to a production level below their 2005 peak. IMO, they will never again have an annual average production rate higher than their 2005 peak of 9.55 mbpd (EIA, crude + condensate).

BTW, the Saudis have now admitted that their 2005 production rate was virtually their maximum capacity.

Hello TODers !

Based on WT assumptions, I made a little math:

Here is the hypothetical decline in KSA CO production following a decline rate of 8% / year since the 9/05:

9/05-(0% decline)---11/06-(9,34%)-------2/07-(11,34%)
9,5 mbpd-------------8,6127 mpd---------8,4227 mbpd

Like WT says, it corresponds more or less to what we are currently seeing (but the EIA numbers for november and february must be estimations, since they give the real numbers only 3 months later, didnt' they?)

And now the future:

8,36 mbpd---8,29635 mbpd---8,2327 mbpd-----8,17 mbpd

8,10635 mbpd---8,0427 mbpd------7,98 mbpd

So, if they are really in this unstoppable decline, (which I really don't know), they should cross the 8 mbpd mark around september 2007, two years after 9/05.

At least, we know what numbers to follow!

(I hope there's nothing wrong with the numbers..)

One thing I have noticed when trying to conduct research on Ghawar – there isn't much available on Ghawar. The Econbrowser said yesterday, well there should be much discussion about Ghawar – since how could you hide this sort of thing? Well not talking about this elephant in the room is exactly what is happening. When have the Saudis given us specific production reports or decline rates on Ghawar? Not recently as far as far as I can tell reviewing TOD and Energy Bulletin.

If I am wrong about this, please advise.

AFAIK, Saudi Aramco stopped giving specific detailed information on their production & reserves in 1982.


Whilst I am not yet fully convinced of Westexas view that the falls in production by SA are a result of them passing peak rather than them deliberately scaling back production (they have done it before, therefor this may yet be the same again), it is probably worth pointing out that this time around the cuts in SA production occurred well before the recent peak in oil prices. Does anyone have the data as to what happened in the early times when SA cut production? It looks to me previously that cuts then followed price falls, not the other way around. the crude data set this time around is:

2005 Barrel$ SA prod (mbd)
J 57 9.6
J 60 9.6
A 64 9.6
S 66 9.6
O 62 9.5
N 58 9.5
D 58 9.5
J 65 9.4
F 64 9.5
M 63 9.35
A 66 9.35
M 71 9.2
J 72 9.1
J 75 9.3
A 72 9.3
S 66 9.0
O 61 8.8
N 59 8.8
D 62 8.6?

Back in July Aug Sept 2005 SA was happy to push out 9.6mbd in response to $60 oil - by Dec last year their response to oil at the same price seems close to 1mbd less. Somewhat odd? Aso note that when the biggest spike thusfar happened in July Aug last year SA production responded somewhat - up to 9.3 - but it never threatened the 9.6 hit seemingly with ease in the previous year when oil was nearly 15$ less on average per month.

As wiser heads than mine have pointed out it will be fascinating to see by how much SA raises its production this summer when peak demand hits us again (and maybe the odd GoM hurricane). If they respond poorly then its another point in Westexas favour........

I’m sorry… but that article reads more like an advertisement to me. (It is CNN…)

I thought we had figured out by now… urban micro-wind generation is a non-starter. Efficient wind generation needs a “clean landscape”… a suburban situation introduces too many wind fluctuations.

Furthermore, it is not very efficient on the small scale.

And then there are the issues of intermittency & grid-connection, noise, vibration (if installed on house) and safety; and finally a planning regulation nightmare… and NIMBYISM…

Wind is great but it works best on a large scale.

I Agree. Micro-wind is a non-starter. In addition to its problems of scale, landscape, inter-grid connection, you have the problem of maintenance. Once the solar installer leaves, the homeowner will be hard-pressed to climb a tower to maintenance it. Also, all your neighbors will hate you for (supposedly) driving down their real estate values.

The best solar install at the homeowner level is a solar hot water heater, either batch or drain-down design. A batch heater has no moving parts and can last 25 years. A drain-down only has a delta temp controller and a couple of pumps. It can be maintained by a DIYer with some solar education.

Funny, same conclusion I came too. Started to build my own collector over the WE. Will post some pictures if I can figure out how.

That said, there are a great, many homes that CAN harvest micro wind, even in some cities, and I'm sure we'll see that market grow tremendously, esp as elec rates get less and less stable. (see Connecticut)

Some suburbs and cities are hilly and coastal or have the advantages they need to get good production, town after town across the plains.. I'm on a hillside facing Casco Bay, in Portland, Maine. Instead of one, tall tower (which you're right, would have permit and acreage limitations that would kill my plan) a few cheaper savonius verticals along my ridgepole (low rpm, minimal vibration, instant access to all wind-directions) would get me a few hundred watts in common conditions around here. ( www.windside.com finnish vertical mill company.. pretty graphics, too!)

Yes, I'm aiming for solar H20 and PV first (Portland is also sunny).. but when those North winds are trying to chill my house, I want to take that monster's fury and use it against him, and I will.. I think a lot of people will be doing this along with me.

- disclosure.. building my own vertical mill with a 90w treadmill motor.. so I'm not looking at shelling out any $13k for mine, yet.

Bob Fiske

When people bring up the earthquake issue around geothermal power I wonder which is a greater hazard to the world: A few more minor earthquakes or continued use of coal? Fossil fuel use is such a huge hazard to the world as to make the short term localized environmental problems (wind turbine noise, toxic substances in hybrid car batteries, even odors from biogas generators) shrink to insignificance. How many people were killed by that little shake up in Basel anyway? How many children died that same day from asthma attacks triggered by being downwind of an out dated dirty coal burner?

I'll keep an open mind on non-volcanic geothermal. Supporters seem to have a visceral opposition to nuclear but at the same time want unlimited public funding. I'm not sure if the equity market can raise enough
but I guess early success will help. However the years seem to be slipping by and that early success is not happening.

Here in NZ geothermal is a small but significant part of the energy mix - it is not without its problems though - productivity has to be carefully managed or from my understanding structural changes to the 'resevoir' can result in permanent declines in output. Nevertheless I am very glad we have it and it contributes to NZ renewables output - which manages to fulfill a very high 65% of our electricity needs.

New Iraqi oil law translated into EN. HT to Juan Cole.

cfm in Gray, ME

Nothing is constant except change. If you think you recall a time when everything was good and constant, it's just your mind playing tricks on you. Whenever you get a good organization that's really working well, it's just a happy accident that brought some good people with just the right skills, attitude, chemistry together at just the right time. And it's always transient.

I first discovered TOD during the hurricanes of 2005. I found it to be an amazing site, with a wealth of knowledge on many subjects that interested me, and a level of discourse that was truly refreshing. There was very little noise compared to the information. I started to comment quite a lot, and enjoyed it immensely. But then I noticed the noise level increasing, and eventually realized that I was noise too. Eventually I gave up most all commenting. I still read, and try to wade my way around the crap from a few of the new posters (I don't read much of it). These people are well aware that they are not wanted, appreciated, or respected, but they post on - some at great length. It makes learning anything painful, but I still know which posters are people I respect, and in the end that is the best way to filter it.

Additionally, like most of the people who've been on this site for some time I've already made up my mind about what I think is coming. It may seem as if nothing is happening, but that is only an illusion born of our addiction to instant gratification - things are happening very fast now. Accordingly, what I want from a site like TOD is changing. Most of the sites I visit now are news reflectors - I'm listening for many things, trying to calibrate my understanding of the world around me (looking for new twists, trying to figure how when, how bad, etc.). To that end, the Drumbeat, technical, and data posts are quite valuable, as are comments from those who have demonstrated their knowledge and earned my respect. Part of earning that respect is being able to communicate in a mature manner - I don't care what you know if you act like a jerk.

There is no point in trying to preserve the TOD that briefly existed a year ago - it is already gone, and the people and the situation has changed - just like the world we knew 10 years ago. Instead, try to evolve it into something that works now, and in my mind that means dealing with the trolls. If the noise level does not decrease, then it matters not how good the signal buried in there is.

I wish you'd post more often...I enjoyed your contributions (not "noise," IMO).

Like Seadragon said, don't assume you're just 'noise'.. cause if you were 'signal' and you dropped out, then the ratio is still the worse for it.

I agree that it's time to be looking forward and not to try to revive a memory.. My skills and my approach has got me working small, on silver BB's.. maybe silver spitballs, even.. but I'm trying to work on Local transportation and home energy problems that can be largely created from recycled and common materials, and can be quickly taught to common working class people to help manage this looming crisis.. (ie, 'WinterFridge', a way to get homes across the 'snow belt' to not have to run refrigerators all winter, by using a heat-exchange and big storage to capture the outdoor 'coolth' and dole it out to the icebox.. Solar Heating, Bike Variants, Self-powered tools etc..) And to build community groups where we can share our knowledge, reinforce those vital, community ties, and work in teams instead of alone to get more motivated, have more fun doing it.

I follow TOD to hear the news and put in 'signal' where I am able, usually at the Do-It-Yourself-Energy level, while it feels pretty insignifigant against all these global players.. but like the Margaret Mead line.. 'Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.' .. it's probably not a small thing at all. At least when it's quickly and broadly disseminated as can be done with the internet, there is some hope that a few, good ideas can get around quickly enough (since it will, in all likelihood BE at the very last-minute, if at all- knowing us.. knowing me) to allow needed changes to spread fairly quickly.. I've got something better to do?


Bob Fiske

While this won't come as a surprise to regular readers here, the Wall Street Journal has presented two in-depth articles on the Iranian oil industry, and also, how it is dealing with rising gasoline consumption at a time of limited gasoline imports.

Soaring Energy Use Puts Oil Squeeze on Iran

How Iran Is Vulnerable To Weakening in Oil Exports

Don't know the rag or the Author by rep, but check out the feedback he got.. I wonder how many months back you could get that kind of information onto a commentary. They just piled up on him like Raptors on an unwelcome T-rex!

.. and sorry if you already linked to this. Worked all weekend. Bob


No easy way out
War | Saturday, February 17th, 2007 | 8:04 am |

"...We didn’t leave the Stone Age because we ran out of stones, and we won’t leave the Oil Age because we’ve run out of oil. Instead, humanity moves progressively “down” the carbon chain (wood to coal to oil to gas to nukes and hydrogen) for the sheer reason that each step we take brings us higher efficiency and less pollution — a total win-win.

That market logic unfolds far too slowly for “peak oil” advocates, who daily decry our global economy’s “looming collapse.” Their prescription brings us to the second great Deus ex machina of our times: a Manhattan Project-like crash program to “get us off our oil addiction!” ... "


#4 Lou Grinzo Says:
February 17th, 2007 at 2:53 pm

...Given all the large, aging oil fields that are near peak or clearly past it (as is Mexico’s Cantarell), why would oil companies spend immense sums to extract such a small amount of oil from ultra deep sea (or Arctic fields or tar sand or oil shale)? Simple: It’s the best source they have left, which proves a basic tenet of peak oi theory, that we’ll use up the easy, cheap oil first. We’ve largely done that, leaving us to make up for those declines in the so-called “super giant” fields with far more expensive to extract and refine oil.

The worldwide peak might not be here, but it’s a lot close than many want to admit–and the proof is there for anyone who cares to see it.

About http://www.capitolhillblue.com/wp/2007/02/17/2128

I tried to leave comment #18 but it is "awaiting moderation", thus for TOD readers I'll reproduce it below.

You mean, basically you disagree with Dick Cheney?
You might learn a few thing about oil, geopolitics, the Cold War and the reasons for the “war against the global jihadist movement”.

Quoting Dick Cheney from

“by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from?”

Don’t believe it?
Just Google the quote above.
Full quote below :

By some estimates there will be an average of two per cent annual growth in global oil demand over the years ahead along with conservatively a three per cent natural decline in production from existing reserves.
That means by 2010 we will need on the order of an additional fifty million barrels a day. So where is the oil going to come from?
Governments and the national oil companies are obviously controlling about ninety per cent of the assets. Oil remains fundamentally a government business.
While many regions of the world offer great oil opportunities, the Middle East with two thirds of the world’s oil and the lowest cost, is still where the prize ultimately lies.
Even though companies are anxious for greater access there, progress continues to be slow. It is true that technology, privatisation and the opening up of a number of countries have created many new opportunities in areas around the world for various oil companies, but looking back to the early 1990’s, expectations were that significant amounts of the world’s new resources would come from such areas as the former Soviet Union and from China.
Of course that didn’t turn out quite as expected. Instead it turned out to be deep water successes that yielded the bonanza of the 1990’s.

Leanan, et. al.,

Thank you for your actions towards restoring/fostering civil discourse.

Dissent is patriotic, diarrhea is less so

Meanwhile back on the demand side even the perma bulls at the WSJ are starting to worry that the US housing tumble could cause recession:


Will be very problematic to pick whats going on if by Q3 US is contracting yet oil is set to rally into July/Aug............

How do the producers respond then?

And some recent news about wave/tidal power generation in the UK: