DrumBeat: March 6, 2007

Can the military go green?

Can militaries the world over go green? Yes, in facilities and buildings. And No, not in platforms (war machines). Instead of wishful thinking we should face the bitter realities.

This sounds like something Homer-Dixon would say: Food sector vulnerable to emergencies, says study

Being lean and mean in the food and drink manufacturing sector might pay off in terms of profits, but the practice has left the supply chain vulnerable to a crisis, according to a UK government report.

The government-commissioned report concludes that the drive for efficiency and the just-in-time philosophy used by the industry has progressively reduced stock levels throughout the supply chain -- with the resulting damage to its resilience when an emergency occurs.

The Philippines: Another energy crisis?

Fifteen years ago, the country reeled from the consequences of neglecting the power sector. People in Metro Manila and much of the rest of Luzon didn’t know what hit them: one day the lights went out, and stayed out for up to 12 hours every day. Household appliances broke down, water could not be pumped for distribution, and office workers sweltered in buildings designed for air-conditioning. Investors who endured the discomfort both in their workplace and at home couldn’t wait too long for the crisis to end; many fled the country, taking their money with them.

China about to pass U.S. as world's top generator of greenhouse gases

Far more than previously acknowledged, the battle against global warming will be won or lost in China, even more so than in the West, new data show.

A report released last week by Beijing authorities indicated that as its economy continues to expand at a red-hot pace, China is highly likely to overtake the United States this year or in 2008 as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

Russian Court Sentences Former Yukos Execs to Prison Sentences

A Moscow court on Monday sentenced two former executives of one-time Russian oil major Yukos to prison for embezzlement and money laundering, Russian news agencies reported.

Kurt Cobb: A question of scale

So it follows that the way back to sustainability is to break the stranglehold of the globalized economy on our local economies. Herein lies the problem of scale for organizations seeking to act as midwives in this process. In the United States and probably many other countries serious regulatory and legal obstacles can get in the way of any relocalization project. State and federal rules may frustrate and even prevent wise sustainability practices and rules.

Chávez's oil largesse winning fans abroad

London is the latest city to get a fuel deal as part of the Venezuelan leader's '21st century socialism.'

Expert calls for tapping solar energy

Qatar, which gets abundant sunshine, should tap solar energy and reduce the use of fossil fuels, noted environmentalist and a world leader in sustainable ecology Dr David Suzuki has suggested.

Analysis: Nile Basin energy future

Plans to coordinate the energy resources of the Nile River basin countries are attracting international support, but some critics argue the plan's reliance on large dams and electricity grids are inefficient and will distract from more effective energy alternatives.

Venture capitalists explore replacing crude oil with algae

The idea of replacing crude oil with algae may seem like a harebrained way to clean up the planet and bolster national security.

But Lissa Morgenthaler-Jones and her husband, David Jones, are betting their careers and personal fortunes on the prospect that they can raise the slimy plant and utilize its natural photosynthesis process to produce a plentiful supply of biofuel.

Dems' Big Chance

Energy: The new Democrat-led Congress can, with a few bold strokes, help win the war on terror while slashing America's dependence on foreign energy. Will it have the vision and courage to do so?

Japan finds 40 trillion cubic feet of gas hydrate reserves

Japan's government said an offshore field in the Pacific Ocean holds an estimated 40 trillion cubic feet of frozen natural gas, equivalent to the country's gas demand for about 14 years.

Greenhouse gas credit-trading beckons investors

The United States might have turned its back on the Kyoto Protocol but U.S. investors have not, tapping the roughly $25 billion in carbon emissions trading that's a direct result of the global environmental agreement.

GCC pushes for atomic programme

Saudi Arabia said yesterday Iran’s nuclear programme was an extra burden for the Middle East, but Gulf Arab allies had the right to their own atomic ambitions.

Asian pollution affects Pacific storms

Pollution from Asia is helping generate stronger storms over the North Pacific, according to new research. Changes in the North Pacific storm track could have an impact on weather across the Northern Hemisphere. Satellite measurements have shown an increase in tiny particles generated from coal burning in China and India in recent decades, researchers report in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

GM targets 2010 production for electric car

Lutz said the major uncertainty facing the Chevrolet Volt, a concept vehicle GM unveiled in January, was whether lithium-ion batteries can be developed to power it economically and safely.

Challenges, Threats, and Opportunities for Sustainable Agriculture, Part I

In summary, as agricultural modernization progressed, political and economic forces allowed the agricultural structure to become dominated by large corporations who took advantage of existing policies that favored large farm size, specialized production, crop monocultures, mechanization and agrochemical dependency. The result has been the setting in motion of a process of economic devastation with grave consequences for the nation’s family farmers and rural communities. The current dominant system does not provide farmers with an adequate income, does not ensure regional self-reliance, promotes production methods that do not meet key environmental and animal welfare standards, does not produce healthy food, and does not lead towards the renewal of rural communities. This affects the poor in the rest of the world, as the excess US production results in the subsidized dumping of surpluses in developing countries, with disastrous results for the livelihoods of poor farmers in the South.

U.S. Inflation Rate: Time to Sack Some Bankers and Govt. Officials

If you are tired of my constant, irritating harangue to buy oil stocks, in one way or another, based solely on my Stupid Mogambo Say So (SMSS), then I proudly present John Loeffler, appearing with James J. Puplava on the Financial Sense Newshour, who buttresses the “Peak Oil” case by saying that, when looking at oil production, “If we look at the number of countries that have peaked versus remaining, so far 64 countries have peaked in oil production; 36 remain.”

Russia ready to expand ties with Chile, build nuclear plants

Chile, which meets 90% of its demand for natural gas with imports from Argentina and is facing an energy crisis, is considering the possibility of building nuclear power plants.

The New Great Game: Opportunities for Trans-Atlantic Cooperation in the Caspian Region

Natural resources in the Caspian region are vital to the European Union's future energy policy. Though the United States has been focusing on the region since the 1990s, European decision-makers have largely neglected its strategic importance.

Korean Air-led group in oil deal

Korean Air Lines, the country's largest carrier, and its affiliates have agreed to buy 28.4 percent of oil refiner S-Oil for 2.4 trillion won (HK$19.92 billion) to secure a stable supply of jet fuel.

UK plans to cut CO2 doomed to fail - scientists

An independent scientific audit of the UK's climate change policies predicts that the government will fall well below its target of a 30% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 - which means that the country will not reach its 2020 milestone until 2050.

Industry closes anti-coal website

The website's hosts were forced to remove it within 24 hours of its launch, after the Minerals Council issued a notice under the Copyright Regulations 1969 complaining the content and layout infringed copyright.

Rising Tide remade the website, using its own photographs and layout. However, the council lodged a second complaint.

"They are trying to silence us," said a Rising Tide member, Steve Phillips.

The anti-Crichton: Kim Stanley Robinson

Kim Stanley Robinson is [ticked] about what humans have done to the world, and he's not mincing words. But he also believes deeply in our capacity for change and rebirth. He thinks we can do better.

How to change the world in 10 easy steps

So I offer 10 strategies for how to win the peak oil and climate change PR battle and change our society and the world. This is not something I can do by myself - so some of you had better get to work on this stuff. I will point out that I have ethical issues with lying here, so that somewhat limits the possibilities for me, but not all that much. I recommend against lying, because it can come back to haunt you. Besides, we're unlikely to be better at it than Karl Rove. Better we spend our time making him, and the rest of the voices look stupid. That's not so hard.

Wisdom of the land

Apples shipped from New Zealand. Pears grown in Chile. Spinach picked in Mexico. A stroll through your local grocer’s produce section is like attending a United Nations meeting. But time is running out for this model of oil-based agriculture, Colorado farmer David Lynch said.

“Every bean, every carrot travels an average of 1,000 miles to get to your grocery store,” Lynch said. “We have created this industrial food system that hinges on cheap oil, and cheap oil is a thing of the past.”

Jeff Vail: Why the Free Market Fails Consumers in Sustainable Energy Innovation

The free market will ignore solutions that can’t turn a profit. Any firm that fails to follow this simple maxim won’t be in business for long. The corollary to this maxim is that the free market will ignore any solution that cannot be controlled, either through property interests (enforceable intellectual property, monopoly licenses, etc.) or because economies of scale demand centralized operation. This means that free market innovation is structurally incompatible with a huge portion of the universe of possible energy solutions.

Iraq Oil Law Details Untouched Fields, Blocks - Document

Iraq's draft hydrocarbon law, the centerpiece in the development of the country's shaky oil industry, details dozens of untouched oil fields loaded with proven reserves and scores of exploration blocks that may prove a magnet to international oil companies, according to a document seen by Dow Jones Newswires.

Imperial poised to reveal huge oil reserves in Russia

One of the biggest oil explorers on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) is poised to disclose that it is sitting on reserves of more than three billion barrels in Russia, The Times has learnt.

Canadian Oil Sands Nuclear Plant Seen for 2016

The first in a series of nuclear power plants planned for the oil-rich tar sands of Western Canada should be operating by 2016, the head of the project said Thursday.

Exploring away from oil

The plan, officials say, is to build on reforms and leverage the state's competitive advantages - targeting energy-intensive industries, such as aluminium, steel and plastics, and utilising its location on the Red Sea.

Venezuela makes deals on oil projects

Several major oil companies reached agreements Monday with the leftist government of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela over his plan to nationalize multibillion dollar projects in the Orinoco belt.

East Africa: Uganda Oil Can Feed EA Region

"Uganda is very poor. As I flew to this area I noticed that everywhere there are grass thatched houses. I ask Heritage company to speed up to ensure that we also ran faster and assist our people out of poverty."

The Political Economy of Alternative Energy

Al Gore is trying to say that by investing in alternative forms of energy, he is "offsetting" the heavy use of conventional electricity for his home. This is like saying that eating salad entitles a dieter to enjoy cake for dessert.

Citizens and business split on future EU energy supply

While Europe's citizens feel that the way to tackle climate change and energy security is to increase the share of renewable energy, business says that the future is nuclear.

Indonesia's biofuel drive not fully thought through

The current craze for the breakneck development of biofuels ignores the fact that biofuels by themselves cannot fully replace fossil fuels, such as gasoline and diesel, but always have to be used as a blend (e.g. ethanol blended with gasoline or "gasohol", or palm oil blended with diesel), and that to the extent edible products like palm oil are diverted for use as fuel, their price for human consumption may go up with corresponding adverse economic effects. What is burned as a source of energy is not as important as how efficiently it is burned since any waste heat added to the atmospheric gases is as bad as the greenhouse gases themselves.

Economy worries may slow gas price rise

U.S. consumers will pay more for gasoline in the weeks ahead as fuel demand picks up going into the spring driving season, but a slowing economy may keep pump prices from rising as much as normal, energy experts said on Monday.

Smart car weakness drags down Mercedes-Benz

Sales of the Mercedes brand alone were up 2.6 percent at 78,000 units, while Smart sales slumped by 48.1 percent to 4,000 units, largely as a result of the imminent model changeover, the car maker explained.

Swiss resorts ponder snow decline

Some of Switzerland's most famous ski resorts have published a report looking at the consequences of global warming on their winter tourist business.

Dethroning King Coal

WITH PRESIDENT BUSH finally acknowledging climate change but still opposing mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions, environmentalists have to content themselves with limited victories in the effort to curb global warming. There were two such signs of progress recently.

Iran Still Enriching Uranium...and Looking for Higher Oil Prices

Iran's economy is set to collapse under the weight of its energy situation. Despite holding the third-largest global oil reserves, Iran's rising consumer appetite is driving its energy exports down.

Al-Qaeda Claims Deadly Attack on Russians in Algeria

Al-Qaeda's branch in North Africa claimed responsibility for a attack on Russian gas workers in Algeria, in an internet message, saying it was to avenge Russia's actions in Chechnya.

Latest EIA Data:
Ethanol production Thousands Brl’s/d and Thousands Brl’s/month

Jan 241 7,471
Feb 245 6,860
Mar 243 7,533
Apr 238 7,140
May 237 7,347
Jun 249 7,470
Jul 258 7,998
Aug 260 8,060
Sep 261 7,830
Oct 269 8,339
Nov 275 8,250
Dec 280 8,680

2005 255 92,978 thousands of Brl’s/A
3.905 Billion Gal’s

Jan 288 8,928
Feb 302 8,456
Mar 301 9,338
Apr 289 8,656
May 293 9,093
Jun 318 9,532
July 316 9,804
Aug 329 10,185
Sep 333 9,992
Oct 333 10,308
Nov 343 10,279
Dec 356 11,023

2006 317 115,604 thousands of Brl’s/A
4.855 Billion Gal’s

356*365*42=5.457 Billion gallons
Another 25% increase this year is 6.785 Billion gallons for 07
Or 2.6 billion bu’s of corn About 25 % of the crop.

US-Iran: Raid on nuclear fuel market http://www.courtfool.info/en_Raid%20on%20Nuclear%20Fuel%20Market.htm

In the background of the political joust about Iran, a few countries are reshaping the world. They are taking possession of the global nuclear fuel market. New IAEA regulations should keep newcomers away. The US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and Japan will become the world’s nuclear filling stations. Under the auspices of the IAEA these suppliers will dictate the rules, the prices and the currencies they want to get paid in. Iran has become the pretext and test case for their plans. The problems of tomorrow’s world economy are being shaped today.

This may have been discussed here before, in which case I missed it. In any case, I think the article is very interesting indeed.

Is the the beginning of a Nuke Cartel? Radioactive OPEC?


It is interesting how demure little Canada never gets mentioned. We are such a quiet, friendly corner of the world.

Canada will be out competing for reactor sales on the world market, just as Westinghouse will be competing to sell reactors to Canada.

An ex-Iron Curtain nuclear engineer once told me that our CANDU plants are of a terrible design - no different than what was used in Chernobyl.

If he was a nuclear engineer, Chernobyl was no surprise.

CANDU's are good designs that are stable, with full containment domes. They have negative void coefficients, excellent neutron economy, and can be run on natural uranium fuel.

The old RBMK however had a positive void coefficient. The advantage of the RBMK was you didn't have to do any isotope separation to run on natural uranium fuel, but it was unstable. In addition, it was an excercise in everything to do wrong when constructing a reactor. No containment vessel, scram rods that make the core explode, graphite tips on the control rods that increase the reactivity when they're first inserted into the core untill the neutron poison is all the way in. It could only be marginally worse designed if they mandated sticking a giant tank of nerve gas on the roof.


Yes and the shear number of Uranium Companies trading on the Toronto exchange as well as large Canadian uranium deposits will position Canada nicely.

Russian journalist who died in fall reportedly probed weapons deals

A journalist who fell to his death from a fifth-storey window had received threats while preparing a report claiming Russia planned to provide sophisticated weapons to Syria and Iran, his newspaper said Tuesday....

....Kommersant said Safronov recently told colleagues he had been warned he would face a criminal investigation on charges of revealing state secrets if he reported allegations that Russia had struck a deal to supply advanced Iskander missiles to Syria. Such a contract would upset the balance of forces in the Mideast and likely anger Israel and the United States.

Safronov did not say where the warning came from, according to Kommersant, but he had repeatedly been questioned in the past by the Federal Security Service or FSB, which suspected him of divulging state secrets in his reports. The FSB is the main successor agency to the KGB.

Sounds like the cold war all over again. Can't say I'm suprised with Putin's tone over the past few months. His soul ain't looking so good anymore.

re: Journalists disappearing, getting shot at, etc.



Iraqi Newspaper Editor Found Dead
The body of an Iraqi journalist who disappeared last week has been found in the Amal district of Baghdad. Jamal al-Zubaidi was the managing editor of Baghdad's al-Safir newspaper.

Russian Critic Shot In Maryland Days After Appearing on NBC
Meanwhile here in this country, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin named Paul Joyal was shot and injured Thursday outside his home in Maryland. The shooting occurred four days after Joyal appeared on Dateline NBC and accused Russian agents of being involved in the radiation poisoning of the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko. On the program Joyal said a ""message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the Kremlin: "If you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we will find you and we will silence you in the most horrible way possible."" Another person who appeared on the same Dateline NBC program, the journalist Daniel McGrory of The Times of London, died in London two weeks ago. At the time, MSNBC reported that the cause of death was a heart attack.

More on Joyal: Paul M. Joyal is a Vice President at National Strategies, Inc. and directs the Law Enforcement and Public Safety division of the company.

More at link above.

A link to an attack on Al Gore's energy usage? Jeesh. I suppose it is just to generate comments. Let's move beyond that. Somehow, I think we burn through more energy and emit moe carbon on one routine patrol in Baghdad, or on one Bush fundraising trip on Air Force One, than Gore has for the past six years.

Ole: It is funny how the MSM never bothers to report on the energy requirements of that big white mansion Chimpy resides in.

Most of this whole discussion below misses the point of the linked article... it's not about Gore.

It's about carbon credits and emissions trading, and the deep problem with the idea that, at this late stage in the climate change game, it's OK for ANYONE to go on emitting carbon into the atmosphere based on (1) the idea that they will pay someone else to build additional capacity somewhere else that will emit at a lower rate, or (2) the idea that you should be able to buy a credit to keep on emitting at a high rate to force someone else to emit at a lower rate.

The fraud lies at the level of the proposed fix. Gore's only culpability exists to the extent that he or any of his allies promote the idea that carbon credits and emissions trading and similar fraud schemes are doing any good.

He's not alone in that delusion.

But what should the one man who has done more to change US awareness of climate change than any other have done? Had he not emitted untold tons of carbon traveling around spreading the word, he might not have succeeded in getting the message out. The problem is that EVERYONE thinks he or she has a good reason for that next airplane flight. Most of us probably don't have as good a reason as Al Gore did.

And he doesn't have any more justification for his energy hog house than the next person.... or President.

The problem with Al Gore's Inconvenient Truth flick is how it ends... in a call to take small personal half measures... buy a hybrid, whatever. It was ridiculous. A classic delusional American message, to the effect of "The planet is almost dead! Shop wisely!" It almost reminds me of what King George said when after the terrorist attacks.... "Don't do anything differently... go shopping!"

No Al, and no George, we've got to move a lot faster than that. Shopping won't save us this time.

We need a large and increasing carbon tax that begins to move every incentive in every corner of the global economy away from carbon emissions. It's going to hurt, but atmospheric CO2 emissions are going to hurt a lot worse pretty soon.

Yeah the ending was dumb. I saw the movie at pre-release screening with Dem politicos, environmentalists , and media types in attendance. At bar afterwards (where else do politicos hang) the one thing all agreed on, even those who had been personal friends of the Gore family many years, the ending was dumb.

I think Gore's energy usage is completely legitimate issue. It brings up the question of off-sets, which are bullshit, carbon trading and all the rest.

America must cut our energy consumption period. If your traveling around the world claiming climate change is going to be a historical disaster and we have ten years, and then you've done nothing to cut your personal energy use, I think it's completely legitimate to shine a light on, using an efficient bulb hooked to pv of course.

Right, in order to have any credibility Gore should move into a one room shack with a wood stove.

Christ, some people will seize on any issue in an attempt to smear Gore. Get a life!

Ron Patterson

Abraham Lincoln has a lot of credibility -- maybe because he lived in a one-room cabin with no electricity and learned his alphabet by writing on a fire shovel?

Ron: Good one. Then if he actually did this, the MSM would say "Don't listen to this guy, he's a "wierdo".

If you're worried about what the corporate media is going to do with you, then you're a fool to be talking about these issues. If you think your going to co-opt the corporate media by talking out of both-sides of your mouth, you're even a bigger fool.

Gee did i say that? How about offering some personal leadership to a country that's going to have change its lifestyle in order to do anything about both climate change and peak oil. Walk the walk, and if you don't it's legititmate criticism. Let's see Al lead now, I'd like really like to see it.

It all comes back to ELP. Conservation has to start AT HOME first. Standing on the soapbox and screaming to the masses while you consume prolifically IS hypocritical. "Do what I say, not as I do" is a crappy argument.

And this whole idea that because Al Gore is a former VP and has to entertain people to a certain standard is crap too. If he's got the money to buy a big estate, he's got the money to make it green.

You people are so damn disconnected from reality. Ted Turner has also came out and said we need something like the effort Roosevelt gave to win WWII if we are to have any effect on global warming.

Does that make Turner a hypocrite because he has the audacity to warn us about global warming while being rich? If we looked at Turner’s electric bill and found it a bit excessive, should disqualify him from saying anything about global warming? Should we turn to him and say na-nana-na-na, while giving him a raspberry?

If you have a problem with the people who are trying to warn us about global warming you should find some other dirt to smear around, their electric bill is a non issue.

As I said before, get a life!

Ron Patterson

Yes, we're going to have an effort like Roosevelt's save us, when all the corporations empowered by fossil fuels control DC, and our democratic system in pieces, all we have to do is elect Al Gore! Don't worry about your SUV, your air conditioning your hundred inch television screen. DC is going to save us!

Excuse me if some of us in fantasyland don't find that too realistic and simply mentioning the former VP might have to now start broaching the real changes necessary to do anything about the problem and that is in fact exponentially more difficult than acknowledging them, is unjustified attack.

So because Ted Turner is rich he doesn't have to participate in the massive effort he's calling for?

Because he's rich he gets a free pass on the amount of carbon he spews?


Would it be ok if Al Gore spoke out against animal furs while wearing a Mink coat? You can't preach what don't embody.


We're apes. All apes do is talk.

If we were ducks, we'd be shitting in the water to solve our problems because that's what we ducks do, constantly shitting in the water and constantly congratulating ourselves about how much we shit in the water.

No one is going to do anything for anyone else. You have to do it for yourself. It has nothing to do with "virtue" but survival.

I care not one wit for Gore.

So because Ted Turner is rich he doesn't have to participate in the massive effort he's calling for?

As I said before, you are totally disconnected from reality. Can people raise the alarm about peak oil and still drive a car. I have seen, on this list, people bitching about technology while using their computers. We all drive, heat our homes in the winter and cool them in the summer with air conditioning. We all eat food shipped from halfway around the world. Every American, Canadian or European consumes far more energy than our fair share! Dues that make us all hypocrites?

Every calorie of food we all eat took about 10 calories to produce. Hell, why are not we walking that walk while talking that talk? Should not we all clean up our own house? And that includes all you Gore bashers!

You just do not understand the momentum our lifestyle has. Neither Gore nor Turner can move into a tiny shack anymore than you can grow all your own food our give up riding in gasoline powered vehicles.

None of us who are talking that talk are really walking that walk!

You Gore bashers make me sick. You will grasp at any straw to make him look bad. Perhaps you think that will make Bush look better. Well, I don't think so.

Ron Patterson

We all eat food shipped from halfway around the world. Every American, Canadian or European consumes far more energy than our fair share! Dues that make us all hypocrites?

In a word, yes.

A lot of people who've taken the former VP to task haven't bashed him at all. You are the one who does the real disservice:

Neither Gore nor Turner can move into a tiny shack

So, that's the choice ehh? Either spend 30 grand a year on electricity or stack wood. We all need to begin cutting back our energy use, all can show others how.


I'm not saying Gore can't use energy. He's entitled just like the rest of us. But if he stands on a soapbox and starts preaching that we need to change our (that would be yours, mine, AND his) ways it rings hollow if he is burning energy at the rate of 18x that of an ordinary American.

I have zero problem with Gore having a 10,000 square foot house. But A $1200/month electric bill? Come on! Turn of the flood lights already.

If the average American consumes more then his fair share, what does that say about Gore then?

I'm working hard to reduce my carbon footprint. I take the train to work. I had cellulose installation blown in in my house last year. And I'm planning on adding more this year along with an instant hot water heater. My electric bill is $40.

If you want to be the nation's conscience, you have to be doing cleaner and better then the next guy.


PS - This isn't political - I can't stand Bush.

We all air condition? Speak for yourself.

Al Gore is not a hypocrite. He would be IF his message was for individuals to go home and use less energy. But that's not his message. His message is that we, as a society, need to recognize how the use of fossil fuels are damaging the environment. His message is that we need inform, educate and implement legislation to change consumption habits. And that is exactly what he is doing.

If you think the solution to global warming is for individuals to reduce their consumption volunterily, you are very naive.

Well lets pass a bill to get Al start first - that should be easy. If you think you're going to simply "implement legislation" to radically change individual lifestyles, without the active buy-in of a significant segment of the public, send me the drugs you're on, i could use them.

While I think that there is a possibly valid way to argue that Gore is not a hypocrite, the reality is that most people don't have time to ferret out the subtleties in Gore's stance on global warming. I think the issue is not so much that Gore is a hypocrite, it is that he seems to be blind to the fact that his massive electricity use will make it that much harder to get his message across.

I am tempted to be satisfied with the fact that Gore uses offsets which is more than most people do in his class, wealth, and station. I find it difficult, however, to comphrehend how he can be using so much energy, even given the size of his house, the climate, and his need to entertain and keep a staff in his house.

The other thing I think that Gore preaches is that we can have it all. We can have the big house, the big Lexus, and we do not have to care one wit about our historical patterns of consumption. Technology and offsets will fix it all. I would like to believe that but I don't. We can do a lot of conservation and we can improve efficiency without significantly affecting our so called standard of living. At some point, howerver, some people are going to be inconvenienced and we might even see some groups of people see their income and lifestyle impacted.

In sum, I think the unfortunate message that Gore sends out is that we just buy our way out of the problem. The wealthy and profligate can continue business as usual. Want that monster SUV. Just buy some offsets. I just don't think that is going to work; that attitude is not going to have much impact on our carbon emissions.

Al Gore is not a hypocrite. He would be IF his message was for individuals to go home and use less energy. But that's not his message.

Really? What about this? http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction

Al Gore is a hypocrite. That doesn't mean he's not right about climate change. It doesn't mean he's not a nice guy. But he's telling people that they need to reduce their energy usage while not doing much about it himself. I've never seen a confirmation of the numbers published by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, but if Al Gore does use over 200,000 kilowatt hours per year, then there's no way that is acceptable. That's an enormous amount of electricity.

Now I realize that many people don't like Al Gore and will take any opportunity to bash him. But that doesn't change the fact that he's unwilling to change the way he lives for something he claims to believe in. Here's a quote from climatecrisis.net:

Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced.

If the situation is that dire, then why isn't Gore making more changes in his personal life? Why isn't he willing to lead by example?

Hahahahah... it's on the internet so it must be true? I suggest you research this "Tennessee Center for Policy Research" and see just what a joke and a sham it is. Then, if you follow the NY Times blog where the story first broke, you might discover an MIT professor lecturing TCPR on their fundamental misunderstandings of kilowatts versus kilowatt hours. Finally, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann ripped this entire story to shreds. You'd think Fox News might not want to get their faces associated with this sort of reporting but I guess they do not care.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Doesn't Tennesee have a high percentage of its electricity from nukes and hydro which are extremely low in fossil carbon compared to the high use of coal elsewhere? How much carbon from electricity is mostly a matter of geography. I mean if the rite-wing media's biggest complaint is Gore's electric bill then they are scraping the bottom of the septic tank.

It does. The TVA is one of the oldest hydro 'deals' in existence. So this has little or nothing to do with Gore's "carbon footprint".

And, yes, that would be the septic tank they've been living in for the last 20 years or so...

How about offering some personal leadership to a country that's going to have change its lifestyle in order to do anything about both climate change and peak oil.

Perhaps he's decided that's not the most energy-efficient thing he can do.

If Al Gore increases his personal energy consumption to 10x that of a normal person, but by so doing convinces 1M people to reduce their energy consumption by even just 1%, then he's getting a thousand-fold return on that energy.

Leading by example is one way to lead; it is not the only way, and sometimes is not the best way.


Al is not great in many respects, but he is the best you've got.

How many do you know that can get a documentary on GW onto video shop and supermarket bookshelves.

And of course, MSM will pick up on his carbon foot print:

Just another form of swift-boating.

Leading by example is one way to lead; it is not the only way, and sometimes is not the best way.

I couldn't disagree more, especially when you'r talking about an issue which is going to take the personal initiative of millions to solve.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence while owning slaves. Forgive me, but his talk enabled others to walk the walk.

Gore is putting solar panels on his house. Are you? He is trying to offset all of his GHG emissions. Are you? Unless you are a complete vegetarian, growing your own food and powering your house and your business through your own bicycle generator, you can't measure up to Al Gore.

Everyone on this board knows the dire straits we are in with regard to peak oil and catastrophic climate change as much as Al Gore does. Only when you are without carbon emissions may you stoop to pick up a stone.

Well offsets are bullshit. I haven't had a car for ten years now. I specifically moved to a city with good public transit. My electricity bill has been about $25 a month for last three years. So if your asking me if over the past ten years, have I significantly cut my energy footprint the answer is yes.

I said and still maintain it was a justifiable whack against poor Al, just as Jefferson's slave ownership was a legitimate whack. Jefferson did not go out an lead the abolitionist movement after he was president though either. Will Al have an impact on energy as large as Jefferson's on liberty? History will judge.

We all need to cut our energy use and yes, I think those speaking the loudest should also be leading by example.

E tu?

The Christians would love you! They are always trying to vote for Jesus!

christians use energy too

I think that I can "out do" Al Gore.

I have a plan that reduces both GHG & US oil consumption using overlooked mature technologies.


I am the only non-Icelandic member of their "Tree Growing Club" and have introduced for trials two new species. Reforesting Iceland can offset world carbon emissions by a year (with small trees like the natives) or more with larger trees,

I just helped an elderly gentleman fix his hurrican damaged home (485 sq ft), insulated it and added a tankless water heater & CFLs. Hopefully cut his utility bills by 2/3rds.

I use (level billing) $35/month on electricity & natural gas.

I use about 6 gallons/month in my old M-B 240D.

I have been promoting more streetcar lines in New Orleans for years, with some innovative approaches.

Al Gore can do MUCH better; I will have to struggle to do slightly better.

Best Hopes,


Yes...Al Gore CAN do better, but he is a private citizen. The person I would REALLY like to see do better is sitting in the White House.

Although I realize that right-wing nutjobs are trying to smear Gore in order to divert attention from the real issue, I nevertheless think that Gore could set a better example by being more frugal with his personal energy usage. Just because he made a great movie about global warming doesn't give him a free pass to waste energy heating his 10,000 square foot mansion, while telling the rest of us to conserve. And I simply don't believe in "carbon offsets" - that's a bad joke, and needs to be exposed as such.

all the best,

LOL Gore is the worst kind of moralizing hypocrite a typical limo liberal that wants everyone else to do whats right while he makes boatloads of cash and carries on living an extravagent lifestyle that any self respecting person would be embarrassed to claim. So now that he has been exposed for what he is a gluttonus energy hog he decides to throw up a few solar panels what a freaking joke.
Do you think he will pay for them with it with the money he got selling the family lands to the coal strip miners? Gore is a pathetic joke always has been and always will be.

Interesting you bring up mining. A big part of the Gore family's wealth is the germanium deposits on their land. It is an important ingredient in most electronic devices and especially computers. Not only did he help create the Internet he also supplies some of the raw materials.

How about a reality TV show where Al's mansion gets a green makeover.

Why is a one room shack the only alternative to a 10,000 square foot house? The guy doesn't practice what he preaches. Why can't people just admit that? The way some people defend Al Gore beyond all reason just amazes me.

If you want a spot in the circus, you have to put up a show. Gore could indeed have bought himself into a sustainable lifestyle years ago. If he did, his film wouldn't even be started to be made, and the situation would be worse. It's like the finale of reservoir dogs: a bunch of guys pointing guns at each other: put your gun down, and you lose. Don't put your gun down, and you're not a step further. The only way to get out is for everyone to put their guns down simultaneously. Gore is now spreading the meme that avoiding a shooting match might actually be a possibility.
And this is where the movie analogy ends, because the whole problem will not - NOT - be solved in a single session of 110 minutes.

If we believe either party is going to do anything substancial to change our course, well....

Joe had another good article showing how much difference there is between them.

In the Reign of the One-nutted King

Democracy American style means we get free speech for trivial matters but not for life-and-death issues. When an election is stolen, the very party from whom it was stolen refuses to protest the theft because well, "Nobody likes sour grapes, do they? thereby assuring future electoral thefts. When America supplies Israel with cluster bombs to kill Palestinian children and grandmothers, you don't see rallies against Israel or American arms cartels. You see yet another exercise of free speech on behalf those things the politicians and corporations could care less about, and thus grant us permission to "dissent" upon. Issues such as gender and identity, or just about anything related to sexual freedom: "Go ahead, parade and rant about your own penises and vulvas. Just don't challenge the banks, the war machine or the fraudulent democratic process by which we manage the people. Remember, fucking with these things is called terrorism. So stick to your own narrow "issues" like sexual freedom and nobody will get hurt. Got it punk?"

Well hell. Now that the Bush administration has played all the fear cards available -- at least until he can bring a swarm if self-exploding Iranians down upon us -- the 2008 Democratic presidential hopefuls are left to hoof the boards peddling the moldiest of platitudes. They don't seem one bit embarrassed. Here you have candidates for leadership of the most powerful -- and clearly dangerous -- country in the world and they have absolutely nothing of substance to say on real issues domestic or foreign. On domestic issues, they set their jaws for the cameras, and with a steely glint in their eyes hinting of gravitas, deliver meaningless speeches in threadbare language about health care, taxes and Social Security to millions of Europeans and Middle Easterners on CNN and Aljazeera. I say that because absolutely no one in America is listening except the blogosphere and the congenital political junkies television seems to have produced, along with the millions of sports fans and shopping channel addicts. The record shows that neither party has done shit for over forty years about any of those things, and probably never will, especially given that the country is (A-) broke (shhhh, the mooks in the voting booths still think we are the richest nation in the world), and (B-) so far in the hole we are a net debtor nation to countries such as Mexico; if the Empire manages to survive a bit longer, may yet grovel before Yemen and Bolivia for a few bucks for a pint of gasoline for the Hummer and a cup of French roast.

At any rate, noble causes and party politics are antithetical these days. Beyond that, you must be the rich, or at least very useful to the rich -- like the Bush family was to the oil companies during its rise -- to be a player in either party, both of which are faces of the only real party in this country, the party of business. Without a class base made up of real people there can be no genuine political party. Without people from different classes defending their class interests, there can be no politics. Americans have been sold the idea that they are all somehow "middle class," whether they be shoveling chicken shit for Tysons, a seven buck an hour "dietary technician" at the local hospital, or hawking credit card applications out of a telemarketing center in Nebraska, they are all now in the great middle class. Consequently, there are no politics to our political system, just business transactions taking place behind the curtain of a fraudulent democracy.

After forty years of having their natural base absorbed by the amorphous middle class that isn't, and the meat of politics removed from the table, Spider plant liberals are left to find sustenance in the most minuscule nourishment. There are just enough tiny differences in the two parties to sustain ever hopeful liberal voters, who have long accepted thin gruel served by the Democratic political elite as the prelude to a promised feast. Of course the feast never comes because no Democrat is ever going to do more than "address" a problem, rather than solve it. In fact, for one of the Democratic elites to even acknowledge the existence of the most glaring sort of inequity sends good liberals into political insulin shock, so accustomed have their systems become to calorie free ideas and "reality lite." Al Gore makes a film about global warming, but dares not name the corporations that not only refuse to seek remedy, but insist on escalating the problem, and who just happen to fund both parties. Instead he tells the audience that they are personally to blame and must start sacrificing, hanging their clothes on lines and so forth. Movies being reality in this country, and documentaries liberal America hails it as a turning point in our ravenous energy consumption, drives the six blocks home from the Cineplex wondering where the hell one buys wooden clothespins, having never seen one in entire suburban their lives. Al Gore gets an Academy Award at the annual swarming of very rich swans living in a paradise wherein they never even see their own laundry from the moment it drops from their gilded bodies.


I just wrote Joe the other day too!

Samsara I think you pointed me his way a long time ago and I've kind of taken my own stab at jotting my attitudes to the blogosphere. I wont be able to really do it justice until I finish school, but hey - got to start somewhere.


He even mentions that the only thing going to change it Peak Oil and GW. He even has one on OLDUVAI GORGE.

Gotta read it.

Back to the Ancient Future

Oh, and this one too...
Madmen and Sedatives: Inside the Iron Theater
The iron theater is us being in our cars in traffic. +/-

I just love his prose. Kinda like a Kerouac of our time.
Like the NASCAR Kunstler. His prose and topics reminds me of some of my old favorite poetry/music.

Advertising signs that con,
You into thinking you're the one,
That can do what's never been done,
That can win what's never been won,
Meantime life outside goes on all around you.

(It's alright ma, I just bleeding - Dylan)

Someone pointed him out to me a while back. I've emailed with him and was gonna have a drink with him one time. He used to live just north of me about 60-80 miles in winchester va.

Read some of the essays on the left side of his site.

I checked out Joe's work via your link. While he's certainly a decent writer, his rant reminds me of the 60's cliche of the "angry young man": If you try to point out the (many) flaws in his reasoning, or solutions to the few substantive problems he does describe, people like Joe just get mad at *you*--because they don't *want* to solve the problems!

The problems are their reason for living--who they are. They want to be mad about *something*, and the more serious the problem the better.

Is Peak Oil a problem? Certainly. But as most of the rational folks here know, most of the problems arising from PO actually hinge on energy--which can be supplied from lots of other sources. Will it be easy and cheap? Probably not, but that hardly makes it impossible to find a solution.

From the comments, it seems clear that a big portion of PO fans are really mad at America, capitalism, conservatives and George Bush--in which case no solution is acceptable.

Looky here. Resource Investor links to Stuart's Saudi oil production article.

Stuart's article used figures from January 2006 to January 2007. Now there is a Bloomberg article saying the Saudis cut production by a further 150,000 barrels per day in February 2007:

From that Bloomberg link there is this...

Iraqi exports averaged 1.54 million barrels a day in February, up 240,000 barrels a day from January.

Could it be the Saudis are reducing share to accommodate Iraqi increases without depressing price?

Extended OPEC restrictions came into effect Feb 1st. Iraq was not bound. Your point is well taken, Will.

Tonight I saw at Memmel's link that prices are still really only $52/barrel and the EIA has increased their spare capacity for 2007 and especially 2008.

Can we imagine for a moment what oil prices would be today if KSA was producing at 9.5 mb/d for that past six months? Less than forty bucks, I'm sure!

Perhaps Bloomberg is simply the canary in the coalmine and this is simply noise generated to delay the obvious.


Resource Investor gets the attribution wrong, claiming that Stuart wrote it for Rigzone rather than TOD. I've left a comment but we'll see if they correct it or not.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

For all of you who want to be blown awy with exponential functions how about this site....


The one that got me was we could ship EVERY job in America to China and they would still have a labor surplus. Even though that's obivous based on raw numbers, I never stopped to think it through. WOW! And the one about 3K new books printed every day!


How about the number of Engineers graduated by the US vs China. Something like tens of thousands vs hundreds of thousands.

I think that Duke University did a study on this that showed a lot of China's "engineers" were what we would call technical college grads -- i.e. technicians. (No reference, just neurons recalling, FWIW).

I heard about that on NPR. Typical result of central planners trying to report good numbers.

Stuart's Saudi Arabia Production Decline story has just been referenced by the WSJ energy blog, http://blogs.wsj.com/energy. Lou Grinzo was mentioned by name for discussing the same subject on his site, http://www.grinzo.com/energy.

The free market will ignore solutions that can’t turn a profit. Any firm that fails to follow this simple maxim won’t be in business for long. The corollary to this maxim is that the free market will ignore any solution that cannot be controlled, either through property interests (enforceable intellectual property, monopoly licenses, etc.) or because economies of scale demand centralized operation. This means that free market innovation is structurally incompatible with a huge portion of the universe of possible energy solutions.

This same could be said of medical care, transportation infrastructure, water and sewer and waste infrastructure, etc., etc.

The free market benefits "consumers." It does not build anything towards a "commons" -- which is the source of all wealth. How did Weyerhauser get rich? By cutting down the common forest. Peabody? By privatizing common coal. Rockefeller? By privatizing the common oil supply.

Profits are good for a relative few for a while, but ultimately the system is unsustainable, because there is no reciprocity. No one puts anything back.

"Capitalism is a pyramid scheme" - Herman Daly

The infrastructure we do have was built via government action, i.e., via a shared not-for-private-profit investment (even if the work was done by profiteering companies raking in the government subsidies). If we are to build new infrastructure, it'll have to be done the same way. And to pay for it we'll need to raise taxes, and the way to raise taxes is to go to "where the money is". I.e. the apex of said pyramid scheme.

Talking about "isms", here's a quote from Michael Pollan (writing about "Nutritionism" in the NYT, article titled "Unhappy Meals", Jan. 28, 2007):

As the "ism" suggests, it is not a scientific subject but an ideology. Ideologies are ways of organizing large swaths of life and experience under a set of shared but unexamined assumptions. This quality makes an ideology particularly hard to see, at least while it is exerting its hold on your culture. A reigning ideology is a little like the weather, all pervasive and virtually inescapeable. Still, we can try.

The US military is the biggest purchaser of oil in the world.
That's not about to change.

if we speak and live as though what we value is courage and honor, we will see much more of it.
2. We need to make fun of the stupid people. When Exxon puts out an ad saying that they are our clean air experts, deface the fucking thing! Make fun of it. Tell us how much methane comes out of their asses

And yet she wonders why her group's marginalized and not taken seriously...

Quick question: who do you find more persuasive, the clownishly-ranting preacher of doom on the street corner, or the calm and articulate guy with the hard numbers to answer your questions?

pay no attention to the man behind the screen, or the calm articulate guy with the hard numbers. It's the same thing.

Eventually the Wizard of Oz will be dethroned. It's only a matter of time.

However, it is interesting to try to make a difference. Personally, I enjoy the guy ranting on the streetcorner.

pay no attention to the man behind the screen, or the calm articulate guy with the hard numbers. It's the same thing.

Which means what, exactly?

Personally, I enjoy the guy ranting on the streetcorner.

"Enjoy" and "believe" are not the same thing.

Right on.

"belief" is a tricky thing, and certainly not the result of paying attention to calm guys with hard numbers.

Some people "believe" in anthropogenic global warming, some don't. The reality will not be established either by ranting or by statistical manipulation. But ranting is sometimes more entertaining.

Pitt wrote:

And yet she wonders why her group's marginalized and not taken seriously...

Pitt I could not find the source of your blockquote. I assume it was a female because you used the pronoun "her". I did a search on a line in in your blockquote but it matched nothing but your post.

It would help greatly if people would not assume we we are mind readers and let us know from whom or from what article they are quoting.

Ron Patterson

It was from this keypost:

How to change the world in 10 easy steps

So I offer 10 strategies for how to win the peak oil and climate change PR battle and change our society and the world. This is not something I can do by myself - so some of you had better get to work ...


Can you or another editor take care of this?



Done. Thanks for the heads-up.

Re: Agi Part 1,

Having no great scientific or scholarly expertise but born with two ears and two eyes in my head (one of each would have served in these times) I wrote the following about a year ago.


When the English were in the heyday of their empire, when they were building plantations and offering work to the natives, these local characters would only work if it suited them; otherwise they would just go about having a fine time with each other and enjoying life. The remedy to this involved the evolution of the trade bead. The upgrading of the trade bead has resulted in consumer goods and the work ethic. Other products of this evolution were set work hours and the wage slave, commuting and daycare, empty freedoms and pseudo-democracy, globalism and the World Bank, as well as a penchant for creative bookkeeping. On the positive side Blue Mondays, also a factor in this evolution, gave birth to the Blues and Twinkies. Twinkies while not in the same class as the Blues were a pretty good effort for the human race all the same and much consolation was gained from this beneficent comestible. (2/06)

I understand that the Mayan people were able to feed and cloth themselves working about 65 days a year, the rest of their time being taken up with religious ceremony, building of civic conveniences, roads and temples (partially on the assumption that the devil has work for idle hands) and in family pursuits. (Additions or corrections to this statement welcomed)

By the way could we make that last bit an acronym (actsw)and as well make one for 'Just Joking'. I will likely use both often as my memory especially for specific details references url's etc. tends to overwhelm me at times.

It's pretty much a matter of population density and access to resources. The later Maya weren't so well off when the population increased and the administrative/religious/warfare economy destroyed their resource base

I guess it all comes down to the question, will peak oil get us before peak rubber production saves us? No bets will be taken for that especially since even China which had very definite population control policies, seems to have thrown up its hands in defeat. Maybe the answer to population control really is greed and capitalism gone wild. It does seem to be good for reducing potency in men and fertility in women. Just like this site seems to do . . . maybe that's an answer as well, so let's get everyone drumming for population control, eh!

The EIA has just released its Short Term energy report.

Table 3a gives us the estimated OPEC production numbers for January and February.

I always keep a copy of last month's report so I can compare them and see where the EIA is revising its numbers. They revised January down from 8,800 kb/d to 8,750 kb/d and have SA February production at 8,600 kb/d. Total OPEC production for January, C+C, has been revised downward from 30,010 kb/d to 29,880 kb/d. February production was listed at 29,945 kb/d, primarily on the recovery of Iraq which had their export terminal shut down for part of January.

But by far the most significant change was in the other liquids catagory. Last month they listed total OPEC "other liquids" at 4,290 kb/d for December and 4,305 kb/d for January. However the new report revises January OPEC "other liquids" upward to 4,568 kb/d, a revision of 263 kb/d. February "other liquids" is listed at 4,590 kb/d.

If OPEC can continue increasing their "other liquids" at that rate they will increase production dramatically.

Ron Patterson

Check out the Days of Supply of OECD Commercial Oil Stocks. We should be testing KSA's excess capacity pretty soon.

WHere do I check this out?

Try this:


Still not bad but dropping for now.

It's a link in the short term energy outlook report linked above. Specifically it is:

Despite Robert's comments otherwise, the data above indicates that world oil inventories are no longer anywhere near record highs and instead are steadily trending towards record lows. Yes, they reached record highs in July '06 but have been rapidly falling ever since. This makes the Saudi increase in the middle of '06 even more curious!! If Robert's argument is correct, that they adjust production purely based on demand, then WHY would they have bumped UP production during the absolute peak of OECD inventories?!?!

And in addition to this I can only conclude that Robert also failed to even read Stuart's article in detail since Stuart himself quotes SaudiAramco directly stating that Haradh II would come fully onstream in the second quarter of 2006!! Let me quote SaudiAramco directly once again.

HARADH, February 08, 2006 -- In a record 21 months from approval of funding, oil started flowing through the new Haradh gas-oil separation plant (GOSP) from several of 32 new wells that will feed the facility.

Initially, oil and its associated gas began pulsing through the new Haradh GOSP-3 through more than 160 kilometers of oil and gas pipeline to Abqaiq Stabilization Plant and 'Uthmaniyah Gas Plant for further processing. Once fully on-stream, the facility will crank out 300,000 barrels of oil and 140 million standard cubic feet of gas per day.

Full production will be attained by the new plant within the second quarter of 2006. It is the first plant in Southern Area Oil Operations (SAOO) to have completely automated well control and monitoring.

Further, we have this additional statement from SaudiAramco:

Haradh, March 22, 2006 -- Ali I. Al-Naimi, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, today participated in the 300,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Haradh crude increment III opening ceremony held at the plant.

In addition to its maximum production capacity of 300,000 bpd of Arabian Light crude, the facility has a gas processing capacity of 140 million standard cubic feet (scf) per day of associated gas.

Now note that this announcement is for the opening of the Haradh III production. It clearly does NOT state that immediate and full production started on this day. Instead, the article from just one month earlier should be taken at face value and that full production would occur later in the 2nd quarter of 2006 (April-June), which more closely corresponds to the bump seen in Stuart's graph.

In short, the above OECD invetories chart coupled with SaudiAramco's own statements on Haradh III plus Stuart's earlier article this week seem to me to significantly weaken Robert's arguments that the Saudi decline is purely economic and voluntary.

As goinggreen notes, we are rapidly approaching the point where the inventories will be crossing into record low territory putting a severe strain on OECD oil supplies. We should very shortly get to see if KSA can do what it claims or whether they will blow more hot air, just as they did in 2004, 2005, and 2006.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

How do you think they can forecast storage? Does this mean they think production will not meet demand at least thru 08? Even if this is what they mean to say, it seems to me that low stocks would result in high prices and reduced demand.

I do not think the above graph demonstrates a drop toward record lows. From January 07 forward it is forecasting and at the forecasting line the data still show the days' supply to be well within average. I'm actually surprised they show such a pessimistic prediction about days' supply unless they are assuming growth in oil supply and demand without a concurrent increase in holding tanks. If this is the case then the days' suppply holding capacity going forward would decrease over time.

Having said that I'm torn between the Robert/Euan and Stuart assessments of what is going on in SA. The statement you found on Aramco's website is rather supportive of Stuart's position, but as has been said ad naseuam, we really don't know what is going on over there.

While the EIA acknowledges that US consumption is running an incredible 1.2 million bpd this February over last, it expects US demand to eventually only gain slightly in 2007 over last year - while at the same time they are optimistic about supply growth.

I hate to think what that revised inventory chart will look like if they are wrong about supply and demand in 2007.

crank out

Saudi Aramco said "crank out"?

The press release was quoted directly from the SaudiAramco website. Yes, that is the language used. You cannot give valid URLs to the SaudiAramco site because they tie everything to your session, use URL rewriting, and invalidate the session in fairly short order. But you can find the same stories if you go to there directly and search for "Haradh III" and then take the relevant stories.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

Am I seeing mirages, or does "feed the facility", "began pulsing through" and "crank out" mean that Aramco has a skateboard dude doing their translations?

many of sa's best educated graduated from us schools so they assimilated the same slang as some of us. i dont find the metaphor "crank out" all that unusual, although not high brow.
some well respected engineering schools in the usa became diploma mills in the '70's and 80's for foreigners of the opec persuasion.

I find it a little shocking that the EIA would put out such a pessimistic forecast. Don't they usually make optimistic assumptions and then revise them later?

Despite Robert's comments otherwise, the data above indicates that world oil inventories are no longer anywhere near record highs and instead are steadily trending towards record lows.

OECD stocks have in fact risen from the time Saudi began making cuts through November 2006, when the last data are available. You can see for yourself:


OECD stocks are in fact higher than at any point in 2005 - despite the Saudi cuts.

Now note that this announcement is for the opening of the Haradh III production. It clearly does NOT state that immediate and full production started on this day. Instead, the article from just one month earlier should be taken at face value and that full production would occur later in the 2nd quarter of 2006 (April-June), which more closely corresponds to the bump seen in Stuart's graph.

The graph Stuart showed gave no production bump at all - just a smooth decline - and then a bump up in June or July (it varied from source to source). So, despite the fact that the plant started up in March and was producing and given that we have no evidence that the plant was down, Stuart's graph does not represent what we should have seen - which is some kind of increase starting in April (if his assumptions were correct).

In short, the above OECD invetories chart coupled with SaudiAramco's own statements on Haradh III plus Stuart's earlier article this week seem to me to significantly weaken Robert's arguments that the Saudi decline is purely economic and voluntary.

Your assumptions were wrong though, so my argument stands intact.

So Aramco just flipped the switch on Haradh III, and there were absolutely no problems, and the output was immediately counted as exports?

When IS oil "produced" -- out of the wellhead? out of the GOSP? out of the storage tank? when the check clears?

So Aramco just flipped the switch on Haradh III, and there were absolutely no problems, and the output was immediately counted as exports?

The plant was finished in January. What we have to believe in order to accept Stuart's explanation is that after the plant was commissioned - which should have happened after all the problems had been sorted out between the completion of construction and commissioning - no production showed up at all in the following 2-3 months, and then it all showed up suddenly at once. I think that is highly unlikely. There should have been at least a gradual ramp-up from April that should have shown up in Stuart's graph. That's why I think the bump he recorded was not due to Haradh.

And the production numbers that are reported are not just the exports. That is supposed to reflect production in a given month.

Hi Ron
would you care to expand on your comments a wee bit? I assume by other liquids they are talking about lease condensate ? Since my understanding is that these are 'by products' of oil wells how can these figures be going up when crude oil figures are going down? Surely there should be a relationship one with the other?
You'll have to excuse my ignorance but can such 'by products' be fed into the system (ie making petrol) in the same way as crude oil. Because if they can why arent they included in the OPEC quota's? If I understand you correctly OPEC could be thus nominally reducing crude production, but still torpedoing their own quota cuts by producing more condensate etc?

I'm not positive, but I believe that "other liquids" includes such items as biofuels. Also, possibly the syncrude that comes from oilsands.

Andyh, no, lease condensate, in this case, is included in "crude oil". And Nobeagle while there are some syncrude from Venezuela, it is not enough to make much a difference. And Venezuela has not started to mine their oilsands for crude yet, only syncrude.

What "other liquids" means here is mostly natural gas liquids, at least in Middle East countries. The Middle East does not produce much ethanol or biodiesel, if any at all.

It is my understanding that only crude oil is covered under the OPEC quota. And of course condensate is simply mixed with the crude so that is counted also, I think. Understand that they are concerned with the price of crude oil, not the price of NGLs, ethanol or biodiesel. Tanker counters tell us who is cheating and who is not. They count only crude oil. NGLs simply do not matter in this case. That is another reason we should only be concerned with C+C and not all liquids.

Ron Patterson

Here is one new way to look at the U.S. natural gas situation. The ability to add natural gas to storage after the end of winter is important to maintain adequate supply. Normally, natural gas storage bottoms out at the end of March and peaks at the end of October. Here is the net amount of gas added to storage in that period for the last five years:
2002 1672 Bcf
2003 2425 Bcf
2004 2235 Bcf
2005 1929 Bcf
2006 1747 Bcf

If we set aside 2002 for a moment, we can see that the net amount of natural gas added to storage dropped each year by an average of about 225 Bcf. If we project that decrease into 2007, that would give us a figure of 1522 Bcf added to storage by November 1 of this year. As of last week's figures, we had 1733 Bcf in storage and we will probably bottom out at the end of this month around 1400 Bcf. Adding 1400 and 1522 would get us to 2922 Bcf. Since 2000, we have never started the winter with less than 3100 Bcf in storage, so that would be a bit tight.

Now the real question is whether or not it is correct to extrapolate the trends in this way. Obviously, if we go back to 2002 and the years before, no such trend is evident. However, we might say that those years were before there was any danger of a shortfall, and before the era of peak natural gas. The earlier years may not be relevant. Time will tell.

I follow Natural Gas Supplies at this site:


Lets look at the peak and trough numbers for the last few years. We generally bottom out in Week 14, and peak in storage in Week 46.

2002 1491 3172
2003 642 3187
2004 1014 3327
2005 1239 3282
2006 1695 3450

This year we're looking at bottoming around 1300.

Total storage every year is still growing. I don't see an immediate crisis. The winter of 2002-2003 was EXCEPTIONALLY cold, and we got real close to running out. Prices went ballistic, but the crisis was still managed.

The bottom line is: You can't look at how much is added, as their is only so much storage available. If we have a mild winter, they can only stuff so much into the Salt Caverns.

On average we are using around 2/3 of our storage. Seems reasonable to me.

I realize there are long term resource issues, but so far it looks like we're doing ok.


Actually, we are so used to record warm winters that the winter of 2002-2003, which was actually slightly above the historical average winter temperature, is remembered as being extra cold. (It was colder than average in the East by a marginal amount.)


If it had actually been anywhere close to record cold, the Natl gas supplies would in fact have been inadequate.

US peaked in 01, canada in 01/02. US now down 5% from peak. US needs around 10% more rigs each year to minimize decline, canada recently sent us 160 rigs (1/4 of their rig fleet) to help out, so 07 likely flat. However, canadian production probably down 10%, tar sands up 300k/d, so canadian exports imo down 1000bcf, or 4% of us consumption, and accelerating into next winter.

I agree we will have maybe 1400bcf end mar, down 300bcf yoy, and a fairly normal level. This means we consumed 300bcf more than production over the past year, and winter was fairly mild overall. Meanwhile all new electrical peaking plants are gas fired, so this demand grows every summer. May be short next winter...

Annual NG used for Electrical Gen has increased by 1.1 trillion Cu ft since 2003, However residential, commercial, and Industrial use has decreased by about the same amount. That has been a lifesaver so far, but now imports and production may start declining. We will see this summer if storage build can keep up with increased electrical consumption.
IMO this is THE most serious problem for the US, all other problems will be later. I believe NeverLNG has the most reality based and pragmatic handle of anyone here at the TOD.

Speaking of LNG and US gas supply:

"In an effort to obtain higher prices for its LNG exported from Tangguh in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said the country wants to renegotiate LNG contract terms with South Korean buyers and is seeking to divert to Japan supplies contracted for the US West Coast."


Those Japanese are just snatching up the energy supplies, aren't they? Would make you think there might be a shortage, wouldn't it?

There seems to be a lot of hand wringing with regard to the development of battery technology to power plug in hybrids. Why is not compressed air used to store the energy normally stored in heavy, expensive batteries as in the Prius?


I know air tanks can explode under very high pressures, but it seems that safety relief valves and cages for the tank or tanks could solve that problem. Air isn't very heavy, even when highly compressed. There would be no cold weather problems which I understand is a significant holdup in the development of plug in electric hybrids. I can imagine a car that has a small bio-fuel engine hooked up to an air compressor. During the night the car would be plugged in to fill the tanks. On short trips, the tanks would supply most of the energy. On longer trips the small engine would kick in. Why is this rejected in favor of battery storage with all the expense and sophisticated electronics?

Compressed air as an energy storage medium has piss-poor efficiency compared to battery storage. Commercial air compressors waste about 90% of their energy. A best case scenario for air cars would probably be about 50% efficiency on going from electricity to compressed air storage.

I can't imagine a scenario where air cars would be better than battery powered cars. Compressed air energy storage does make sense for large fixed systems, such as windmills. You could optimize efficiency, and utilize energy generation which would otherwise simply be wasted.

US military uses some 20% of total UK consumption - wow.

Place it in perspective though - the US itself produces over 7,000,000 barrels per day and consumes 21+ mbpd while against that backdrop the US military uses 0.395 mbpd. If (huge if) the US converted to an electric transportation infrastructure and only consumed oil where absolutely necessary, total US consumption would likely be so low that even in its far depleted state the US would be self-sufficient in petroleum. Further, it would seem highly feasible to produce biofuels amounting to 0.395 mbpd for military purposes.

Now the reality is that in a different world, we would not need that much military either so the total needed would drop as well. But I can easily see existing US hydrocarbons supplying all US military needs for a few centuries at least if the rest of the US switched to renewables with US military consumption slowly converting over to biofuels (or electric if/when storage issues get resolved).

In short, while it is a large number, it is very small for a country the size of the US. For more perspective, US military consumption is only 1.5% of total US consumption. And even if US consumption contracted by 75% with no change in military consumption, it would still be less than 8% of the total.

There are far bigger targets to focus upon in the US economy than the military, plus, the military itself is moving towards renewables and will see that petroleum number decline anyway. It's the rest of us that need to do likewise.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

I just like to meditate on the irony.... I mean the primary post-Soviet purpose of the U.S. military is to ensure the oil supplies... that are necessary more than anything to enable U.S. military power projection.... whose primary purpose is to... ensure the oil supplies... whose primary purpose is to enable the military to project power....

OK, so those foreign oil supplies have other domestic uses besides the military... but lots of domestic uses have potential alternatives.... no sector needs oil and liquid fuels quite the way the military does.

Maybe we just go set up the military in the middle east and let it control the oil it needs to do its military stuff over there... take it off the U.S. budget altogether.... Oh wait, that's been the conservative plan ever since Iran-Contra hasn't it? There are probably all sorts of off the books Saudi oil financed unCongressionally supervised military ops going on right now...

It's almost as if the economy of oil is inherently militarist... enabling power projection... and making it essential at the same time.

I kid... I kid... but only a little.

Hi GreyZone,

re: "If (huge if) the US converted to an electric transportation infrastructure and only consumed oil where absolutely necessary, total US consumption would likely be so low that even in its far depleted state the US would be self-sufficient in petroleum."

This is an interesting way to look at it.

Q: What is the feasibility of this conversion? (Or, have we already been over this?) (...In a comprehensive way?) Could the electric input come from renewable sources? (really?)

re: "There are far bigger targets to focus upon in the US economy than the military"

(Interesting word, "targets".) Q: What do you consider the prime targets to be and could you describe a "goal" for your targets? (i.e., what do you want them to do?)

Q: Which reminds me - does anyone know offhand a nice way to describe the (hypothetical) gasoline savings (US) of 55mph speed limit?

Alan (our electric rail guru), Robert, and Engineer Poet as well as others have all commented extensively at various points on electric conversion - what it would take, time frames, etc. It is doable but it's not going to happen before we reach a market crisis without external intervention. It's been demonstrated before that the market's ability to accurately predict the future oil situation extends out only about 6 months. Beyond that the market gets increasing wrong about what is going to happen with regards to oil. Yet the Hirsch Report has stated that we need a 20 year lead time to safely migrate from where we are to a new social structure/infrastructure that is not dependent on oil.

Thus my conclusion is that this is doable but will not occur without government intervention. And, since there is lack of consensus on the problem and unwillingness of politicians to address problems that far removed from today, I expect no useful action to occur until it is too late.

This is not to say that we cannot do this. Rather, this is to say that we lack the political and psychological willpower to do this before it becomes a crisis. We have the technology but we lack the political will to impose a switch to the appropriate technologies. The same problem exists with climate change - by the time the market decides to react in sufficient volume to matter, it will probably be too late.

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

New story from NASA - Antarctic Ice Sheet's Hidden Lakes Speed Ice Flow Into Ocean, May Disrupt Climate

Ghawar Is Dying
The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function. - Dr. Albert Bartlett

I knew it! The solution to peak oil is to lower taxes.

Lowering taxes is the answer to everything. Dubya told me so!

I knew it! The solution to peak oil is to lower taxes.
Lowering taxes is the answer to everything. Dubya told me so!

Very cute. For those who haven't already done so, you need to read the article just before Leanan's, which reported that after the UK government added what amounted to a Windfall Profits tax on NS oil, investment in new NS drilling dropped precipitously.

So if I infer correctly from your comment, Leanan, you support the UK govt's tax action. This implies that you believe companies should continue to put forth max exploration effort even if governments jack the tax rate up to the point where projects become either unprofitable or just barely profitable. Would this be correct?

Not trying to be snarky here (seeing as how you're the editor of this place), but this sounds like Keynes's view of businessmen--that they were internally compelled to invest and work themselves senseless *regardless* of how high governments taxed them, simply because they were (ick!) businessmen. Sort of a "fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly" model.

That sounds pretty innocuous, but actually it's hard to imagine a more woefully wrong theory--as proven again and again in communist countries. Why would any rational being work himself silly if there's no possibility of being commensurately rewarded for that effort?

Apparently most of your readers believe that anything supported by Bush must (by definition) be wrong. But the notion that people will work harder if they get to keep more of their money seems to be pretty solid.

Or have I completely misunderstood your position?

Kim Stanley Robinson

"Damage from carbon dioxide emission costs about $35 a ton, but in your model no one pays it. The carbon that British Petroleum burns per year, by sale and operation, runs up a damage bill of fifty billion dollars. BP reported a profit of twenty billion, so actually it's thirty billion in the red, every year. Shell reported a profit of twenty-three billion, but if you added the damage cost it would be eight billion in the red. These companies should be bankrupt. You support their exteriorizing of costs, so your accounting is bullshit. You're helping to bring on the biggest catastrophe in human history. If the oil companies burn the five hundred gigatons of carbon that you are describing as inevitable because of your financial shell games, then two-thirds of the species on the planet will be endangered including humans. But you keep talking about fiscal discipline and competitive edges in profit differentials. It's the stupidest head-in-the-sand response possible."

The World Bank guys flinched at this. "Well," one of them said, "we don't see it that way."

Charlie said, "That's the trouble. You see it the way the banking industry sees it, and they make money by manipulating money irrespective of effects in the real world. You've spent a trillion dollars of American taxpayers' money over the lifetime of the Bank, and there's nothing to show for it. You go into poor countries and force them to sell their assets to foreign investors and to switch from subsistence agriculture to cash crops, then when the prices of those crops collapse you call this nicely competitive on the world market. The local populations starve and you then insist on austerity measures even though your actions have shattered their economy. You order them to cut their social services so they can pay off their debts to you and to your financial community investors, and you devalue their real assets and then buy them on the cheap and sell them elsewhere for more. The assets of that country have been strip-mined and now belong to international finance. That's your idea of development. You were intended to be the Marshall Plan, and instead, you've been the United Fruit Company."

Le Voila!

I have just done a very simple calculation on new US drivers and the fuel they use. Each year about 4 million youths can start driving. Assuming they drive 6,000 miles per year (making an assumption they drive a lot less than an experienced driver) and get say 20 miles to the gallon (heavy right foot). Four million drivers using 7 barrels of gasoline per year equates to an extra 76,000 barrels of gasoline per day. This increase of a potential 4 million new drivers each year is guaranteed for the next 16 years (or whatever the state legal driving age is).

I was just curious to see how much impact new drivers had on gasoline consumption every year. Having said that, there will be a number of deaths of motorists each year as well, thereby reducing the 4 million new drivers by an amount, so 76 Kbpd is an upper number.

These figures are approximations, just to give me some idea of the size to see the effect of new drivers on USA gasoline consumption. And it seems that driving habits/gasoline price are more important in consumption than new drivers being added.

Young people do indeed drive less per capita than the average. Off the top of my head, drivers over 55 drive about 50% more per capita than drivers under 25. Drivers in the 25 to 54 years cohort account for more per capita mileage than any other. Rather then new licence holders, you might want to look at the number of licence holders entering and exiting the middle cohert. Also, as drivers get older, the incidence of licence holding decreases. So it is not just deaths which determine the number of drivers.

One thing which I recall from a study I saw a few years back is the high percentage of total miles driven by those older than 55 that is spent shopping. Almost 25% of their vehicle kilometres spent going from mall to mall, store to store. Pretty sad really.

Your point on the middle cohort was about what I expecting. One thing that did surprise me was your comment on the decrease in older drivers. In the UK, you drive until 70 without any medical or driving tests what so ever once you have passed your driving test. After 70, you only have to say you can drive and you get another 5 years (I think). So you can carry on driving until you die, regardless of your ability to do so. If you can see lightning, hear thunder and stand up unaided 2 out of three times, you can drive on UK roads after you pass your 70th birthday, provided you don't admit it on your driving application.

The UK newspapers often feature old people driving the wrong way up motorways or being involved in really bad accidents (as minor ones won't make the papers), when everyone around the person knows that they should not be driving, but can't or won't do anything about it.

Of course the downside is that if they can't drive, who then will help them? It is much easier to drive to the shops than walk there and carry a heavy shopping bag back afterwards.

An oft-encountered mindset with regards to Global Warming (or Peak Oil) is that it is "haughty to think that mere humans could be changing something as vast as the Earth". Never mind that Texas-sized island of plastic in the Pacific.

For more from the It's a smaller world than you think department, we have:

Is Asia's bad air stirring storms in West?

Asia's growing air pollution -- billowing million-ton plumes of soot, smog and wood smoke -- is making the Pacific region cloudier and stormier, disrupting winter-weather patterns along the West Coast and into the Arctic, researchers reported Monday.

Carried on prevailing winds, the industrial outpouring of dust, sulfur, carbon grit and trace metals from booming Asian economies is having an intercontinental cloud-seeding effect, the scientists reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Trace metals? For free? Well, I guess we sort of subsidize its transport.

Here's story that might make AlanFromBigEasy's heart flutter a bit. But it's not in the US:


Canada's largest city received close to a $1-billion boost for its transit system on Tuesday, as the federal government announced funds to expand Toronto's subway system and improve transit in the city’s surrounding municipalities.

“Bumper to bumper traffic also saps some of the strength from the GTA's economy," Harper said.
"According to the Toronto Board of Trade for instance, congestion is responsible for $2-billion a year in lost productivity. This represents a huge loss for the city, the province and, indeed, for the country.”

Even more important, Harper added, is the damage done to the environment by the highways crammed with cars and trucks emitting greenhouse gases.

I'm spent much of my adult life in Toronto and have never owned a car and have never been tempted to. Sometimes we Canadians get it right.

Same discussion's happening out West but note the comparison:

"Rock said transit's share of travel in Greater Vancouver will have to increase from 11.5 per cent now to 25 to 30 per cent over 13 years to meet the province's goals.

That's "a phenomenal increase," he said, and would put Vancouver in the same league as transit-oriented European cities such as Helsinki and Amsterdam."

Whenever I read the comment that "rapid transit will have to increase to" some higher percentage, or "biofuels as a percentage of total fuels will increase" to some higher percentage of total fuels, what comes to my mind is that increase can come in two ways:

1. By increasing the numerator of the fraction. I am sure that is what the authors nearly always mean.

2. By decreasing the denominator - that is, by lessening the amount of the non-rapid transit, or the non-biofuels. This is the interpretation that jumps to my mind.

Of course, the changes can be a combination of the two impacts. If they do occur, I expect they, in fact, will be a combination of 1 and 2 above.

Stuart's Saudi Arabia piece has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal:

Blog Roll — Pondering Saudi Arabia’s Falling Production

Writing on his blog, The Cost of Energy, Lou Grinzo ponders the reasons for Saudi Arabia’s falling oil production last year, according to OPEC data (discussed at length in this Oil Drum [hyperlink] post on Friday). “Clearly Saudi Arabian oil production is lower. The magic question is: Why?” he asks. “Have they hit peak production on enough of their fields that they’re…at their all-time peak? Or are they ‘merely’ at a local peak that can be overcome via enhanced oil recovery techniques…? Or is it simply that they really are telling the truth, and they’ve voluntarily cut production for one or more reasons?” He warns against jumping to conclusions about the development, which he sees many doing. “No self-congratulatory doomerism here,” he writes. “I’d rather stick with militant agnosticism, even if it’s more than a bit frustrating at times.”


Blogs We’re Reading:

* The Cost of Energy
* The Energy Blog
* DeSmogBlog
* Rigzone
* Joel Makower

– Mark Gongloff
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If George is expecting to secure some ethanol supply while in Brazil, it appears he is arriving two days late and a dollar short.

"The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to provide Brazil's state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) with $8 billion to help it export ethanol to Japan.

As a result of the aid, annual shipments to Japan by Petrobras are expected to rocket to 3 billion l., with the Asian country taking nearly 90% of Brazil's available exports. In 2006, Brazil exported 3.4 billion l. of ethanol, of which less than 7%, or 225.4 million l., went to Japan." http://www.ogj.com/articles/article_display.cfm?article_id=286332

Let me get this straight -- JBIC signed an MOU saying GWB is SOL.

Let me get this straight -- JBIC signed an MOU saying GWB is SOL.

Too Funny!

GM has apparently turned the corner...

GM Truck Sales

A sampling of the words of wisdom:

“One thing that has been very consistent about Americans — they love big vehicles,” Bragman said. “It’s not necessarily the high price of gas that deters them from buying big SUVs and trucks — it’s the volatility in the price of gas that we saw last year. So if gas prices are stabilizing where they are now, Americans can plan for that and buy the vehicle they are compatible with.”

Roscoe Bartlett is currently on CSPAN


Where do Edwards, Clinton, and Obama stand on Peak Oil? Global Warming?

Hi Conrad,

Here's a Q: Do they know what "Peak Oil" is? (If so, what do they understand?) (Have any of them ever had a conversation about same w. Roscoe Bartlett?)

We have an article talking about the 'Reigns of Power' in the world shifting from Oil to Uranium(because of Oil Depletion?) and all you people can talk about is Al Gore.
I don't know about you but I've already moved everything into Uranium MINING(exploration is way overpriced).(Just bought 27,794 shares of Cameco(CCJ)NYSE.)

CCJ Cameco C... 36.79 0.71 1.97% 27794 $36.79 $1022541.31

Didn't copy too well from the portfolio.

There are significantly better Peak Oil & post-Peak Oil investments.


Such as? I'm curious. It seems most of the resource stocks are still following the markets (down). I'd like to get in at the bottom, but given the shaky state of things, I really don't know what that means. Where's the bottom. Trying to predict when the markets will get bad enough and/or the time when peak oil driving price will kick in and boost the rescource stocks past everything else is for my novice skills like looking into a crystal ball smeared with Vaseline. I could just go and put all my money into physical gold, but that doesn't seem to be the most diversified approach. Thoughts?

Look at the last 2 days of Cameco - I just made a bundle. There was profit taking at the end of the day today, but you can bet it it will go right back up in the morning. Cameco is the largest producer of Uranium in the world. Can you name a safer investment in the current markets?

CCJ Cameco C... 37.51 0.72 1.96% 27874 $37.51 $1045553.69

Can you name a safer investment in the current markets?

The SAFEST long term investment in a post-Peak Oil world would be a Swiss hydroelectric utility. Not highest return, or even a positive return, but one that will have residual value under just about any scenario. Brazilian hydroelectric utiltities (CIG, CPL on NYSE) add geographic diversification. TrustPower in NZ. Great Lakes Hydro & Innergex in Canada. Verbund in Austria (90% hydro domestically, but buying FF in the EU for merchant power).

As others have noted, active prospecting for uranium has been VERY limited (perhaps 30 years of all history, unlike, say, copper, gold or tin; or oil). Cameco has the significant risk of someone finding another U "Ghawar", low cost and VERY large.

Two days is not worth even commenting on and that is what you appear to "hang your hat on".