DrumBeat: March 17, 2007

Author points out signs at energy crossroads
The majority of Paul Roberts' presentation at Washington State University's All Extension Conference addressed America's role in responding to the world's energy crisis, but he acknowledged something more important than fueling cars or industry.

"All these other things we are trying to hold onto are secondary," he said. "If we lose food security, we have lost the whole game."

KNOC, Other South Korean Companies to Jointly Develop Canada Oil Sands

State-run Korea National Oil Corp. said Friday it has signed an initial agreement with 13 other South Korean companies to jointly develop blocks in Canada's oil sands.

The companies will seek opportunities to secure other downstream projects such as building oil refining facilities and pipelines, KNOC said in a statement.

Gazprom tours Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar

A Gazprom delegation recently toured Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar to discuss the progress and prospects to develop joint projects.

A solution to fuel shortage: Consume less

I'm glad President Bush recognizes that Americans must do something about our "addiction to oil" and is gung-ho about the prospect of ethanol.

I just hope those biofuel fumes aren't blinding him.

Gas guzzling must go before biofuels come in

"We've got to stop the addiction from growing," said Peter Tertzakian, author of the book "A Thousand Barrels."

Biofuels are not a miracle solution to tight fuel supply issues, he said.

"Are they going to completely replace or even make a meaningful dent in the overall consumption of gasoline? I would say not any time soon, that's for sure."

Alternative energy needs to focus on waste recycling

The giddy-eyed proponents of alternative energy bio fuels derived from agricultural commodities received a bit of a wake up call recently when prices of almost all major raw materials such as corn, oil palm, sugarcane, wheat, soya, peanuts and even cassava shot up sharply causing widespread jitters.

Oil Workers Disappear in Northeast Colombia

Four oil company technicians working on a project in northeastern Colombia have been missing for two days, Caracol Radio reported Wednesday.

...The Gibraltar project is operating in a part of the territory of the U'wa Indian tribe, whose members oppose petroleum exploration and exploitation because they believe that crude oil is the blood of the Earth.

French Hostage Released in Southeastern Nigeria

A Frenchman kidnapped in Nigeria's oil-rich Niger Delta last month was released on Friday, reports reaching Lagos said.

Canada greenhouse gas 'violators' would pay under Liberal plan

Polluters releasing more than their share of the so-called greenhouse gases responsible for global warming would be slapped with fines under a plan unveiled Friday by opposition Liberals.

Russia: Pipeline Deal Raises Energy Dependence Concerns

Russia, Greece, and Bulgaria have signed a long-awaited deal to build a trans-Balkan pipeline that will boost oil supplies to Western markets.

The pipeline will ship Russian oil from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, avoiding the overcrowded Bosphorus Strait.

But there are fears the project will increase Europe’s reliance on Russian energy supplies.

China's Hu Hopes Row with Japan Over Gas Field is Resolved Soon

Chinese President Hu Jintao, in a meeting with Japanese lawmakers, expressed hope Friday for an early resolution of a dispute with Japan over gas exploration rights in the East China Sea, Japanese officials said.

China's Wen hedges on climate change response

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Friday promised a national plan to address climate change but avoided offering emissions caps, speaking after a parliament session where global warming barely scraped on to the agenda.

Easy Solutions to Energy Problems

How do we assure ourselves of a reliable supply of energy at a reasonable cost without doing more damage to the planet? It's actually pretty easy.

What's truly in short supply is not energy, but political will.

Analysts: $3 gasoline unlikely in summer

Elementary school principal Randy Busscher of Holland, Mich. is braced for gasoline prices of $3 a gallon or more by summer break. Analysts say Busscher and other U.S. motorists may be more worried than necessary, however. Absent a major Gulf Coast hurricane, unexpected international strife or a wave of refinery woes, average U.S. gasoline prices are not expected to rise to the $3-a-gallon psychological threshold this summer — a good sign as well for the broader economy, which is under pressure from a weakening housing market.

Gas going up, up, up!

So why can't the West Coast catch a break with gas prices?

For Oregon, it may be the source of the crude oil refined for Oregonians' gasoline: the north slope of Alaska.

Imperial Oil Nanticoke Refinery Back To Full Production

A month after a massive blaze forced the shutdown of Imperial Oil's Nanticoke refinery and caused gas shortages and price hikes across the GTA, the facility is fully operational once again.

New US view on climate change to impact Asia

That rapidly growing economies such as China and India were not obligated to take similar steps toward emissions curbs under the Tokyo Protocol, only served to allow the U.S. and others to ignore the agreement.

Regulator's New Focus on Emissions Rankles Offshore Energy

The Minerals Management Service is exploring whether to increase the scope of its regulation of greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas industry, a move that has producers worried their actions could be linked to global warming.

Winds of change

The business case for local power gets stronger as the cost of oil or natural gas rises. At the same time the environmental case for renewable energy has gained support from public concern about global warming and the role oil, gas and coal-fired generation may play in adding to the greenhouse effect.

Harvesting energy from the sun

Though India has an enormous renewable energy potential, the current installed capacity of around 8100-MW derived from renewable energy sources including sun, wind and biomass constitute about 7% of the total installed power generation capacity in the country, even though India is one of the pioneers in utilizing a part of its huge reserve of renewable energy sources.

A New Day Dawns for Solar

Last week, Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman announced the selection of 13 joint R&D projects with various partners in the solar industry, for a total commitment of $168 million through 2009.

Another fireplace firm extinguishes its flame

Another stress on the industry was a nearly yearlong shortage of fuel for pellet-burning stoves, says Glenn Strom, sales manager for Custom Fireside on Auburn Boulevard.

Mexican national oil monopoly in crisis on 69th anniversary of expropriation

Despite steady drops in production and myriad threats to the company's long-term stability, high oil prices pushed Pemex's sales revenue in 2006 to a record 1 trillion pesos (US$98 billion; €74.1 billion) — 10 percent more than 2005.

If those revenues were significantly threatened — by suddenly falling oil prices, drastic production drops or problems in the troubled refining sector — Congress could be compelled to take action next fall when the new budget is drafted, Shields said.

In the meantime, "if the money's coming in, people are not going to be too worried and they're not going to make changes.

Peak Oil Passnotes: Return to the OPEC Corral

It was that time of year again when Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) like to get together and convince us they are in control of the oil markets. But they are not.

Can Peak Oil Save Us?

Occasionally I run into someone who has heard about Peak Oil, but doesn't think it will matter much. Usually they are convinced that the peak is at least 30 years off. Or that we have copious amounts of alternative sources of energy (tar sands, oil shale, methane hydrates, etc.) that we can tap into as soon as the market signals. They may have read somewhere that people have been warning about the depletion of oil ever since it was first discovered. Or they may dismiss Peak Oil as the rantings of a doomsday cult, much like the Y2K prophesies of societal collapse.

Energy efficiency and economic growth?

A hopeful Friday note: a significant downloadable report (PDF) from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. It was just brought to my attention, but it's from 2004. Its message bears repeating: energy efficiency/technologies have the potential to dramatically reduce energy use while supporting economic growth.

Green Energy Enthusiasts Are Also Betting on Fossil Fuels

For all the boasting in the region about investing in clean technologies, there have also been a smaller number of bets in companies set up to promote the development of fossil fuels — the source of many of the problems their other investments are meant to fix.

Students get a glimpse of future without oil

Local high school students are on the road to breaking the oil addiction they’re inheriting from their parents’ generation.

There are two new presentations on Matt Simmon's page: "Sunrise In Coal Fields: Coal’s Role In A Peak Oil World" and "Is The World’s Energy Supply Sustainable? Is America's? Is The Rocky Mountain's?"

Movie Review: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

...Cuba has not produced anything nearly resembling adequate food supplies. As an October 2006 WaPo article makes clear, shortages of food remain widespread, leading to a thriving black market. This suggests that while Cuba's sustainable ag practices have averted widespread famine, fundamental problems remain.

A peak oil comedian? One-man humor show tackles serious issues

"It's a comedy show but it has a lot to say," [Richard] Brenne said on Friday. "Comedy and humor is the hook to get people to discuss serious issues."

The talk will center on global warming and peak oil, but will touch on various international issues that the U.S. is involved in.

Peak Oil Task Force recommends Portland cut fossil fuel use

The Portland Peak Oil Task Force, a twelve member citizen committee appointed by Portland's City Council in May 2006, today delivered a strongly worded report advising that the City accelerate efforts to curb the use of oil and natural gas

Study: Warming Causing Decline in Global Crop Production

Over a span of two decades, warming temperatures have caused annual losses of roughly $5 billion for major food crops, according to a new study by researchers at the Carnegie Institution and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

    Happy St. Patrick's Day! The Annual International ASPO Conference is in Ireland this year.

I have a question for the doomers on this site.

I'm at a point where I'm young enough and have enough financial means that I could make preparations such buying solar photovoltaic panels and a farm and I could learn the appropriate skills, yet part of me just won't take this leap. Part of it is that I'm just not convinced yet that we'll necessarily have a huge die-off as opposed to a slow economic and population contraction, but there's also a part of me that thinks if we do have a catastrophic die-off, I'm not sure I want to be one of the ones that survive.

If the doomers are right:

-Many if not most of the people I care about will die.
-I will need to work my a-s off for a subsistence existence.
-I'll need to be willing to shoot and kill those who were less prepared and try to steal my food, solar panels, etc.
-Many of the things I care about like art, literature, good food, education will cease to exist in a way that is meaningful to me.

So my question is, why would I want to survive if this is what life on earth will be like? I think I shall prefer to die with the unprepared.

You'll enjoy this article:

I Cannot Yet Skin A Deer
Are you prepared for the Big Collapse? Peak Oil? Rural life? Can you pickle meat and eat bark?

I am not at all ready for the big return to the agrarian life, as predicted by the most dire Peak Oil prognosticators. I am not at all ready to have the devastated cities plowed under, so that we may plant crops in the ravaged landscape in a desperate attempt to survive the onslaught of a world without home pizza delivery and without drive-thru dry cleaning and without instant and immediate access to supermarkets with their 47 kinds of pasta and 138 different brands of vodka, not to mention the meaty edible flesh of nearly any animal I wish to custom order from the Williams-Sonoma catalog and have FedExed to me within 24 hours in pretty decorated tins. Mmm, prosciutto.

I am not at all ready for the big return to the agrarian life, as predicted by the most dire Peak Oil prognosticators. I am not at all ready to have the devastated cities plowed under, so that we may plant crops in the ravaged landscape in a desperate attempt to survive the onslaught of a world without home pizza delivery and without drive-thru dry cleaning and without instant and immediate access to supermarkets with their 47 kinds of pasta and 138 different brands of vodka, not to mention the meaty edible flesh of nearly any animal I wish to custom order from the Williams-Sonoma catalog and have FedExed to me within 24 hours in pretty decorated tins. Mmm, prosciutto.

Well Pick up a Talking Heads CD.
They wrote a song for you.

Nothing But Flowers

Here we stand, Like an Adam and an Eve
Waterfalls, The Garden of Eden

Two fools in love, So beautiful and strong
The birds in the trees, Are smiling upon them

From the age of the dinosaurs, Cars have run on gasoline
Where, where have they gone?, Now, it's nothing but flowers

There was a factory, Now there are mountains and rivers
you got it, you got it, We caught a rattlesnake
Now we got something for dinner, we got it, we got it
There was a shopping mall, Now it's all covered with flowers
you've got it, you've got it

If this is paradise, I wish I had a lawnmower
you've got it, you've got it

Years ago, I was an angry young man
I'd pretend, That I was a billboard
Standing tall, By the side of the road
I fell in love, With a beautiful highway

This used to be real estate, Now it's only fields and trees
Where, where is the town, Now, it's nothing but flowers
The highways and cars, Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we'd start over, But I guess I was wrong

Once there were parking lots, Now it's a peaceful oasis
you got it, you got it, This was a Pizza Hut
Now it's all covered with daisies, you got it, you got it
I miss the honky tonks, Dairy Queens, and 7-Elevens
you got it, you got it, And as things fell apart
Nobody paid much attention, you got it, you got it

I dream of cherry pies,Candy bars, and chocolate chip cookies
you got it, you got it
We used to microwave, Now we just eat nuts and berries
you got it, you got it

This was a discount store,Now it's turned into a cornfield
you got it, you got it

Don't leave me stranded here, I can't get used to this lifestyle

So my question is, why would I want to survive if this is what life on earth will be like? I think I shall prefer to die with the unprepared.

I predict many, many will chose this alternative. Many will take a left turn off that bridge.

Everyone will chose their own way to... er... "Adjust" (or not) to the new reality.


I predict many, many will chose this alternative. Many will take a left turn off that bridge.

It's a pity that they'll also be filled with toxins and pharmaceuticals from modern life when they decide to give up... they would have made great sources of protein for those who choose to try to survive.

Seriously though, it is impossible to know how much a complex system as our modern world will react to the decrease in energy inputs that runs the show. If we want to look at movies for some possibilities, all three Mad Max movies showed different shades of a post-collapse civilization. There were shops and tourists in Road Warrior, pretty much all chaos in Thunderdome. Both were set in a time that appeared to be past some sort of collapse point.

If we don't end up with some technology miracle, my guess is things will slowly get more and more uncomfortable for a while, eventually reaching a snapping point when all hell breaks loose, and after a relatively short period (perhaps a decade), the survivors will be fatigued and try to settle into the new realities of life, building a civilization that isn't as easy as our current one [is for industrial nations] but much better than Thunderdome.

This is provided that no one decides to release the demons of NBC weapons which really could screw things up for centuries without doing much good for those who used them. If we can avoid that, it may be that current third world type cultures, especially the most primative ones, end up fareing the best.

"it may be that current third world type cultures, especially the most primative ones, end up fareing the best."

I recall reading somewhere one time, a rather shocking assertion that went "the meek shall inherit the earth."

...but not the mineral rights.

I think you mean in Mad Max there were shops/tourists and in the Road Warrior all was chaos. In Beyond Thunderdome, there was Bartertown, a first faltering step toward reestablishing civilization, at least until Max came and fixed that. ;-)

What a great song. There's a recent cover version by Gaetano Veloso you would like. On CD "A Foreign Sound"

Interesting perspective. Don't get me wrong, my interest in PO started out as a distaste for the modern american suburban, hyperconsumption culture. I grew up as a cul-de-sac imprisoned kid in suburban Columbus, OH.

I live in a small community of 15000 which I think is more sustainable than most PO.
I live on 1/2 my income.
I walk to work.
My 14 year old bike is in perfect working condition.
I'll be debt free at the end of the year (barring TEOTWAWKI before then) with only student loans left.
I buy as much as I can from the local farmer's market.
I average 1000 miles/ year on my truck.

My hope is that we can slowly transition to a more sustainable society that looks more like the 19th century than the 20th or 12th.

My hope is that we can slowly transition to a more sustainable society that looks more like the 19th century than the 20th or 12th.

That was my hope too. But then I started thinking (practically) about the effect of positive feedback loops:

Falling energy production due to depletion -> economic fall -> social chaos -> war and terrorism -> further disruptions in energy supply

Unfortnately you're small community, assumming it has a shot of being sustainable, will simply fall prey to the "law of attraction" which means it will attract people from less well-off areas. That is unless it is extremely geographically isolated.

All a "slow return" does is give radical ideologies a chance to spread/germinate. Witness America's slow-motion collpase the last 35 years and how it has coincided with the spread of radical militant Christianty. I doubt that to be a coincidence.

I Cannot Yet Skin A Deer

An ex-poacher suggested using the engine hoist to 'peel' the skin offa your deer.

Cut 'round the neck skin and pull down 6-12 inches of skin.
Place 3/4 inch nut on fur side and trap nut so you can create a bulge on the flesh side.
wrap robe 'bout the budge
Anchor rope to base of engine hoist
Jack up hoist and the deer peels right outta its skin.

You get a mostly hairless corpse in bout 15 mins.

I think a far better living in post PO would be learning how to grow food organically. Food will be wealth in a post-peak society and if you're an expert organic gardener you'll be the goose that lays the golden eggs that what's left of society will want to protect from being eaten.

So my question is, why would I want to survive if this is what life on earth will be like? I think I shall prefer to die with the unprepared.

Well, you will always have that option later. That may not be the case for other things, like buying solar panels now. (And FWIW...I think you'd find that life is still worth living without the kind of art, literature, food, and education you now enjoy. Most of the world lives quite happily without them. Heck, most of the world is happier than we are, though they have a lot less.)

IMO, the type of "doomer" preparations you describe are more suited for the "slow squeeze" scenario. The "Grand Depression" scenario. They won't be much help in a Mad Max or global warming catastrophe-type scenario.

And preparations may give you the ability to help the friends and family you fear losing. During the Great Depression, many people fled the cities to live with relatives who owned farms. While the farmers didn't have a lot of money, they did have food and fuel.

Good points.

Of course where I live it's too cloudy for solar and not windy enough for wind, not to mention I would have to battle city council to change code (at least in the case of wind). The one option I do consider seriously is buying a farm or land. Probably not to farm it myself, but I could lease it out, or could manage land for timber without a lot of work which will probably be a good investment for the post-peak world.

Leanan, don't you live in a big city? I assume you have no garden or farm and no solar panels or wind turbines to safeguard against future collapse.

I do not live in a big city. I live just outside a very small city. It's along a rail line and a major waterway, so it might be a decent place to live in the post-carbon age.

I am a renter, so no, I don't have a garden, farm, or solar panels. I might consider acquiring them, but not now. For one thing, real estate prices have nowhere to go but down in this area.

Perhaps more importantly, I haven't decided that I want to stay here. I like the area, but I don't have deep roots here. My family is all in Hawaii. I don't particularly want to move to Hawaii. I love the place, but it's insanely expensive now, and will be completely unsustainable in the post-carbon age (never mind what will happen if sea levels rise by as much as Jim Hanson fears, or hurricanes get worse).

And yet...several generations of my family are there. If TSHTF, I may go home to be with them. Or at least move closer to the west coast, in hopes of convincing them to join me. I'm also giving serious consideration to moving to Canada.

Thanks for your perspective. About the big city thing- I think I was confusing you with the previous editor, Yankee.

Speaking of diverse opinions, I live in HI and think it will be a good place. The islands were pretty much self-sustaining until the US really took over in the 30's and 40's. Talk about getting back in touch with GAIA, the natives lived here for centuries with none of our modern conveniences.

Of course, if you live on the coast, all bets are off. But if you live in the low mountains, I think you have an excellent chance. The climate is very mild in the low mountains and requires no heat or cooling. A fan is nice, but you could manage without one. The growing climate, year round, is astounding. In the mountains, you get lots of rain since the water condenses as the air currents move up the mountains. It is also very remote, so it will be hard for many people to migrate here. If you grow your own food and minimize your need for electricity (or produce your own), it is very cheap to live here if you don't feel the need to be in a ritzy area. Property taxes are extremely low, and it's pretty easy to pick up a small but decent house on an acre of ag land for about $150-200K. And the prices are going down as the "for sale" signs linger...

But it does have some major negatives. Medical care is already a problem. I expect many people with medical problems will leave, and if you have any medical problems that require continuous medication, you may not get it here --let alone emergency care. As it is, even some routine tests require a trip to Honolulu.

The other negative is that same remoteness that is a plus. In the event of a natural disaster (hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, etc), HI will possibly be ignored by the government and will be left to totally fend for itself -- just like New Orleans. It also affects medical and other supplies as mentioned above.

One of the biggest negatives I see in the early years, assuming the crash is as bad as I think it might be, will be the "cockaroaches." When you get away from the resorts, you find that a lot of bums live here (over 10+ of the population is on govt assistance and many of them are just bums, not struggling families). Most of them just hang out and cause problems. I expect that they will be a HUGE problem and that anyone who tries to survive here should be ready to deal with theft and violence. These people have nothing to lose, and the problem is even worse than San Francisco. They are camped out everywhere in makeshift shelters and will even inhabit your house if you aren't there. Builders can't leave anything unsecured--you truly can't turn your back on your property for a moment. Lately, they've been stealing catchment tanks. If you live on catchment, it's a big problem to come home and find out you have NO water.

HI could also end up being a military target for those that hate us. But then, militarily, HI is strategic...it's one of the few outposts in the middle of the Pacific between the continents. So that could mean most of the islands would become a base. Several islands are already essentially military enclaves. That could mean that HI would continue to receive fuel and medicine AHEAD of other areas. If this happens, all bets are off on everything related to HI.

Another interesting thing is electricity where I live on the Big Island. We have an interesting mix of wind, geothermal (volcanoes), fuel oil, etc. In 2006, 23% of the Big Island's electricity came from renewable sources. I think this is one of the highest in the nation --- if not the highest. They are about to bring another wind farm on board to supply another 20.4MW of renewable energy. There is also a lot of work going on regarding the use of tides and waves to generate electricity.

Bear in mind that I'm not talking about HI as a whole, I'm talking about one island in particular. Please, do not all come here. The other reason I came here is that if I'm going to die, it might as well be in paradise. It's stunningly beautiful here in the rain forest--why die in a hellhole???

The islands were pretty much self-sustaining until the US really took over in the 30's and 40's.

Not really. Food was imported. There's a reason why Hawaii eats more Spam per capita than any other place in the world.

My family is also on the Big Island. What you see there now (especially on the Kona side) is nothing like it originally looked like. Clearing the trees for farming caused terrible erosion problems. There used to be rivers, but without the trees, the rivers dried up (though there are flooding problems now when it rains heavily).

King Kamehameha was from the Big Island. It's not a coincidence. Kamehameha conquered the other islands for Malthusian reasons: there was no longer enough fertile soil to support the population. The population back then was less than half the current population of the Big Island.

I don't live on the Kona side and consider it a total death trap. The traffic is horrible, there isn't any soil as you say, and there isn't enough water. Many folks who live in Kona hate my side of the island because of the constant rain. Fine by me.

I know a lot of retirees in my area that will leave when TSHTF. Many people only stay here because it's easy to fly back and forth, when that is no longer easy, they will leave. In fact, some are starting to leave now because the real estate bubble is popping. They didn't save enough to live here without their house as an ATM.

The history museums say that the islands were mostly self-sustaining before the US "took over," so I disagree with that. We brought the spam at that time.

Kona used to be Sticksville. I'm really astonished at how the population has grown. There was only one traffic light in town when I learned to drive.

But I don't think it's realistic to expect the residents of Kona to stay out of Hilo if things get bad.

And I don't think enough people will leave the island to bring the population down to pre-contact levels.

You might find this article of interest. It's about a study of soils on the Big Island, and what that revealed about agriculture. Very clever, really. They compared samples of open ground with samples of earth from under ancient walls, to see how exhausted the ancient fields were.

"Clearly, the Hawaiians were pushing agriculture to its limits," said Patrick V. Kirch, a professor of anthropology at the University of California-Berkeley and co-author of the Science study. "We can see that the fields on Hawai'i were getting smaller and smaller, and that there was no place for them to expand geographically."

According to Vitousek, the shortage of arable land probably played a role in the rise of aggressive chiefdoms on Maui and Hawaii in the 18th century.

"The Hawaiian Islands had a true class system led by chiefs who enjoyed elite privileges," Kirch noted. "To maintain the social order at the level they were accustomed to, the chiefs had to go into a mode of aggressive action. It's interesting that the really aggressive chiefdoms came from the highly intensified dryland systems on Maui and Hawai'i, where per capita yields were declining. They probably looked up the chain of islands toward Moloka'i and O'ahu and said, 'I'd love to get hold of those taro paddies.'"

That is interesting reading.

I have heard lots of folks say they will leave if TSHTF, so it remains to be seen seen what will really happen. If tourism crashes because of peak oil, the economy here will totally crash because it is mostly tourism. That in itself might change a bunch of minds. Since we are old and retired, it's different for us. If we get 10 semi-decent years here, we'll be happy to die here. We already lost several neighbors who went back to the continent. Several went back for medical reasons, a few others took their real estate profits and moved to cheap places in Ohio/Michigan, and a few others left after deciding it was too far from family and friends. We don't have a lot of ties to the mainland, so unless forced, we won't go back.

We came here knowing it would get hard, but couldn't stand CA anymore. Speaking of CA, Kona reminds me of San Francisco all crammed into the little side of a mountain. The first time we came here, Kona was a nice little quiet town with few tourists and we loved it. Those days are long gone -- the transition has been complete. I grew up all over CA, and I can no longer imagine living out peak oil there as it has become an overall awful place. The only nice places are way too expensive, and you can't just pitch a tent. We lived in OR for 12 years and loved OR. But the winters are cold and nasty, and if fuel will be at a premium, I don't want to be retired there. We don't want to have to worry about growing food and chopping wood at our age. We were also just plain tired of the miserable winters with the ice storms and freezing spells, so we left OR. I lived in AK for 2 years and it was just stunning. But there you have long, cold, DARK winters that are really depressing for some people.

What I do know is that we planted a lot fruit trees in the past year, and many are already producing. These were the little 5-gallon trees, not the ones that were almost ready to produce. My husband started a bunch of papayas from seed, and we had papayas within 6 months. It was/is astounding. But then we live in the rain forest, not on the dry side, in a rather remote area. At this point tractors and other heavy equipment are still available, and we have taken major advantage, while we can, and hired them numerous times to help with digging holes and removing dead trees.

Community is actually forming with like-minded folks, and we have several in our group that have their "master-gardener" rating from the University of Hilo, and the group has also been working with the local government to try and prepare for peak oil. We are mostly retired and ages run from about 50 up to 72. Of course, most local politicians are still in denial about peak oil. But we love it here and plan to die here, the biggest question being when.

This appears to be a a perfect breed for small scale livestock raising.


I love the baby dolls! They are saving my county's ass (or they should be if people were smart):


How did a sheep so ugly get a name of baby doll?

Look at the pictures from my post. The ones in the video did not appear to be true babydolls.

My young niece in CT is a major breeder of these things. She makes pots of money selling the lambs...

Just out of curiosity, I assume you hve discussed peak oil with your family. What do they plan on doing?

My family is mostly in denial.


I think my parents are around your age. They aren't that concerned about the future, and I guess I can't really blame them.

Weirdly, it was my dad who taught me about Malthus, and told me that oil wouldn't last forever. (He's a UH agronomist, and chose the field because of concern about Malthus' Doom.) But now...he admits oil is a limited resource, and he's the one who always told me alternative energy wouldn't be enough to replace it. But now he thinks the worst that will happen is that he'll have to trade in his Explorer for a Prius.

Humans are fascinating. They probably feel somewhat like I do...that they've had a pretty good life and this is as good a place as any to bite the dust. Besides, Pele could get us long before peak oil does. She rumbles....

same here.
my mother thinks it's just going to be 70's redux and over with just as fast..

Oahu is toast but the Big Island might be okay.


Most of the fallout will fall on the Hilo side, at least according to Jay.

Hi Chimp,

So, is Jay on the other side?

These people have nothing to lose and the problem is even worse than San Francisco . . .

I think we tend to compare locations in their CURRENT conditions as compared to what their FUTURE reasonably-likely conditions will be. The most useful question is not "Is place A better/worse than place B?" It's "Will place A be better/worse than place B?" once the proverbial shit has hit the fan.

Once the stockbrokers, IP attorneys, and dot-com wankers in SF lose all their paper wealth they won't have anything left to lose either. Psychologically, I think they may get more desperate than the typical Hilo-hobo since the reality of their situatinon will so greatly conflict with their personal life narrative ("I'm a financial success because I'm smart and I work hard!") and model of the world ("Progress and technology solve problems!")

Yep, likely to get ugly. I spent my last 12 years prior to HI as an engineering manager at Intel Corp. It never ceased to amaze me how many smart people did nothing but their jobs with those smarts. No matter what went wrong with their house, cars, or even their finances, they paid someone else to do it. Probably another reason I saved a lot of money -- I've always done it all myself. I just hate to have to hire someone to fix something for me. My husband is the same way, so we're actually pretty good candidates for trying to ride out peak in a remote, 3rd world type location...except for our ages. Oh well.

And trust me, it is very 3rd world like. When you can't get in to see the dentist, or it takes 2 months to get that permanent crown placed, or the grocery store is out of something common, you begin to understand the 3rd world aspects. You quickly find out that when one store is out of something, all of them are since they use the same suppliers. Cottage cheese was the last item missing from the shelves. You should see my stock of toilet paper! I guess the toilet paper scare in the early 70's left quite an impression, and it's definitely one thing I don't want to live without. The last leaf I tried gave me quite a rash.... And then there's HI time which is much like Mexican siesta time. "I'll be there tomorrow" could mean anytime next month.

We did check out Central America and were considering South American, New Zealand, and Australia too. When it came to our southern neighbors, I was concerned that TPTB might start something -- especially with Venezuela or Bolivia, and I wasn't too sure I wanted to be a pukie white skinned redhead that sticks out like a sore thumb in the darker populations. That said, we had a wonderful time and hung out with the local poor people picking tamarind seeds, fishing, and making tea. Communication was a little tough, especially in Nicaragua, because some of the dialects are really different. But the people were very sweet and gracious and loved the fact that we were willing to engage in what they were doing.

Now those populations have it tough...we are so spoiled. They live in mud/adobe houses, no glass windows, dirt floors, outdoor wood stoves for cooking, hammocks for sleeping, and no indoor plumbing, etc. Yet they are kind and sweet and don't seem unhappy, but with our different cultures it might be hard to tell. They are already living peak oil. I read that the state has cut way back on electricity to about 2 hours per day in Nic. It all goes back to what Jeffery says about the export problem and poor countries already being priced out of the energy market.

I even considered the midwest, but after growing up on the west coast I probably would have been miserable. Gary loves the ocean and undoubtedly he would have absolutely hated the midwest. NZ and Aus -- there were just too many hurdles.

You might want to think twice about Hawaii as a post-peak refuge. I just got back from the big island where I met with Jay Hanson. He thinks that island is the best place in America to ride out the collapse. Hard to argue with him: it's got a mild tropical climate so no need for heating or AC, relatively small population (147,000), adequate rainfall, and excellent food growing potential. There is food growing all over the place, mac nuts, avocados, citrus, bananas, papayas. Jay thinks a lot of the population will leave when the shit hits the fan. And best of all you have 2,000 miles of ocean between you and the starving mobs on the mainland.

Insanely expensive, yes. Land there is way out of my price range. I'm stuck here freezing my ass off in overcrowded New England. But if I had family there I'd definitely consider the big island. The other islands, forget it. Oahu is probably going to get nuked.

And best of all you have 2,000 miles of ocean between you and the starving mobs on the mainland.

I always thought that this was the primary reason that Jay chose the Big Island.

I agree with Matt about nukes, but not the scale. I think that we are more likely to see one or more tactical nukes and/or dirty bombs, rather than a full blown strategic weapon exchange.


the Big Island is going to be sacked by aggressive homosexual pirates* with a taste for former mainlanders once the shit hits the fan.



*"not that there's anything wrong with that"

Will there be any lesbian pirates that might like an old lady who can fix their car? Pound a nail? Solder plumbing? I'm useful, hope they don't shoot me.

Oh, and I hope my husband won't mind....after all, it's about survival.

Oh, and I hope my husband won't mind....after all, it's about survival.

Geez, there goes that 3rd world internet connection again...ARGH!!!

Like I said, I haven't completely ruled it out. But I think it could be quite risky. That kind of isolation can be a trap. If you study the history of ancient Hawaii, starvation was a huge issue. There are accounts of battles where most of the deaths came not from fighting, but from starvation afterwards, because the land could not support both the inhabitants and the enemy warriors. And look at all the restrictive food taboos (kapu). A sign of scarcity, I strongly suspect.

Personally, I think if Jay is right about what's coming, he's made a big mistake, choosing Kona to make his stand. It's overpopulated and not sustainable. And he's moved from a place where his ethnic group was in the clear and overwhelming majority to a place where that is not the case. (Sadly, I think that will be an issue, even in Hawaii, the melting pot of the nation.)

It's overpopulated and not sustainable.

North America has the same problems plus lots of nuclear targets.

he's moved from a place where his ethnic group was in the clear and overwhelming majority to a place where that is not the case.

In places like California the population will be majority Mexican once Mexico's oil production drops and we get the "emergency influx of immigrants" that Halliburton/KBR are prepping for.

I supposse the appropriate question is not "What are good places to make your stand?" I think the correct question is "What areas are likely to be the least horrific?"

As I was quoted in that Salon piece "the world is going to hell in a handbasket, I'm just trying to figure out which parts will be least hot."

Los Angeles, for instance, is going to be akin to the seventh level of hell. If Jay's location is akin to only the second or third level of hell than maybe it's a good choice. Ultimately the only thing I've been able to conclude for myself is this:

#1: If I DON'T want to live, move to the center of a high value military target thereby ensuring I'm dead before I know what hit me once the nuclear exchange is initiated.

#2.: If I do want to live, then move away from the nuclear targets and fallout patterns.

Of course just doing #2 does not ensure one's long term survival let alone a life worth living. But it is the first step and the only one I've been able to conclude for myself.

I supposse the appropriate question is not "What are good places to make your stand?" I think the correct question is "What areas are likely to be the least horrific?"

A lot of people, peak oilers and otherwise, seem to be moving to Costa Rica.

For me, I'm not sure I want to "make a stand" anywhere. The future being as uncertain as it is, I sort of want to keep my options open. Especially in the light of climate change. Your once-ideal homestead may end up a dust bowl, or underwater, or hit by a Katrina (or an Iniki) every year. I want to be able to leave if it turns out I've picked wrong.

I can still remember when most of my large extended family had never been further off the island than they could swim...


I tend to assumme that most folks on these boards are Testicular Cacau-zoids. Of course, you are one of the few Ovarologicals. Mind if I inquire as to your racial classification? Are you of the Hawai-zoid or Cacau-zoid persuasions? Or perhaps some new emmerging persuasion?

(He never asks me these questions.)

Okay, I will. Fess up!

Okay here goes: are you off the testicular or ovarological persuasion(s)? Or perhaps some new emmerging classification not widely known yet.

Hi Chimp,

It looks to me like you changed the questions (left one out). Anyway, just :)).

Those are all the reasons we chose it. But I sure wouldn't chose Kona. Too many people, not enough good soil, and not enough water. Hilo is better for all of those reasons even if it is more likely to get fallout. Besides, if it comes to that, I'm not sure I want to go on.

You'd be surprised as to how far your money will go here, especially if you are currently living in any of the coastal states of the continental US.

For one thing, real estate prices have nowhere to go but down in this area.

A collapse of population would drive prices down.

If you believe in a 'all powerful and knowing' "the powers that be" who have some bio-toxin at the ready, awaiting civil strive or just as a way to reduce oil demand....the price should drop "soon". If you believe that pandemics are natures way of showing her love...having a poor diet should make said person more easily, well, dead...you have a longer timeframe. In the diet case, the poor will die in a larger %age than the well off.

Ignoring population changes:
A deflationary depression would lower land prices in rural locations, and if hyper inflation comes into play, being able to obtain a loan and paying off with hyper-inflated dollars works to your advantage.

place your bets.

Via Ckaupp Of course, if you live on the coast, all bets are off.

80% or so of the population is within 100 miles of the coast. (or so I have been told) The ability to transport in goods and pull in food from the sea would be good historic reasons.


I think the point of preperation is to make the decent more tolerable.

Do not underestimate your will (or anybody elses) to survive. You will not simply give up and go to the grave.

What happens is impossible to predict. However, I tend to agree with Mr. Greer's theory of catabolic collapse. That being said, reading the essays of the people that survived the financial crisis in Argentina and the collapse of the Soviet Union (Orlov) can shed some light on what to expect.

Both accounts are full of violence.

My father has told me many stories about his survival following the collapse of Budapest in 1956, and it will leave you with an uneasy fealing. He still has nightmares, if that is any indication of the magnitude of the events surrounding a crisis.

For my personal plan.

Paid for house.
Absolutely debt free.
Expanding the garden yearly.
Chickens this year.
Constantly expanding my useful skills.
Compost pile.
.357 Mag, shotgun, and .17 rifle with ammo.
Month full of drygoods/cangoods on hand.
3 Seasons of firewood on hand.
Solar water heater.

Obviously, this is not nearly good enough to survive a long and worsening crisis. But may "bridge the gap" during short term chaos.

I think the most important part is to prepare mentally and become comfortable that you will deal with a crisis in a controlled and logical manner.

One thing is for sure: Only the strong will survive.

P.S. Make work lists, not wish lists.

Join or start an affinity group.

cfm in Gray, ME

The whole idea of forecasting a post peak oil world is fascinating. We know that the amount of fossil fuel available will not meet current demand. We do not know how demand destruction will occur.

While it can't hurt to prepare one's own family (agriculture, solar panels, etc.) it seems to me that the best way to prepare for this is to involve our local government as well as state and federal officials. The best scenario for surviving in a post peak world is that we cooperate and help each other through this.

Remember, we are not talking about the tap being suddenly shut off. We are talking about a gradual decline in the supply. The doomer aspect of this is the feeling that our institutions are somehow interlocked such that if they don't continually grow there will be a collapse. This is not to say that there wont' be wrenching changes. But we can face this problem if we work together. The old will die off and the young will grow up in a new world. In fifty years there may be a generation that thinks of automobiles the way I think of horse drawn carriages. I can't imagine what their world will be like, but I hope it is safe and secure.

Hi neutrino,

Thanks for mentioning the efforts to engage the larger populace. I thought I'd once again mention something I've seen as quite successfully amazing, and alternative, in it's own special way. http://www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=541.

It seems to be a good organizing tool, because people only have to be "sold" on the idea of emergency preparedness, or "neighbors helping neighbors", which cuts across many lines otherwise not breached.

If I were anticipating civilizational collapse from peak oil, I would sell up and move back to New Zealand. I would buy into a group which owns land on an offshore island there -- ready-made community and a good range of skills, good agricultural land. The offer was open to me a couple of years ago, with a bit of arm-twisting I think they'd still let me in.

However, I would have to walk away from my two French daughters. No way.

In any case, I anticipate slow decline and contraction. In which case, I think rural France is one of the better places to be.
In practice, I have on-grid PV, and to replace my fuel-oil heating, I'm torn between wood pellets and geothermal. Neither of these makes any sense in a post-collapse world. If I were entirely coherent in my thinking, I would move to town in order to lower my energy use radically. But community is better here, and the prospects of semi-subsistence and barter are pretty good if things degenerate more than I anticipate.

Neutrino, it is apparent that your view leans on the optimistic side. There is reason for your sentiment.

Last week my first post addressed the Colin Campbell telescope. Today he sees a mid century globe using 40 mbpd. In 1998 his estimate for 2050 was only 15 mbpd. Just as Hubbert's estimate for 2000 flow rates was only one third of eventua reality, modern day Peak Oil proponents have similar failings in their calculations when looking five decades outward.

I repeat. Exactly the same margin of error. Hubbert was as shy in 1956 as Campbell was in 1998 on their 50 year projections. There is a lesson in this.

my sig: When is the Peak?

Only the strong will survive?

Maybe only the lucky ... or the unlucky?

senior citizen

If by strong you mean best-adapted to a changing environmnet, then I agree. Strong can mean different things in different situations.

The world will change, but how we just can't know.

Why would art, literature, good food,... cease to exist?

I don't know how many times I hear this thought...we are NOT going back to the StoneAge...even in the event of all out nuclear war. Dark Ages maybe(worst case), but not the Stone Age. So we don't need to learn how to eat bark (see post above). I personally believe our lifestyles will return to the mid 19th century...for what's its worth(and perhaps the same population).

Learning skills like hunting, farming(growing things), passive solar living, certainly would be useful to have in any outcome.

My drive to push through is provided by my 2 yr old and 4 yr old...there is no option. I can't give up...but I guess everyone's drive is different.

It's all about population!

My drive to push through is provided by my 2 yr old and 4 yr old...there is no option. I can't give up...but I guess everyone's drive is different.

I do what I can to prepare for an uncertain future because of my children too. Only those with no ties to others can really choose to lie down and die without effectively making the same choice for others as well.

Where are you located in Canada?

I am in Toronto (not literally anymore).

It's all about population!

I'm in rural eastern Ontario raising sheep, alpacas, chickens, sled dogs and children :)

Is life only worth living at our current standard of living? Millions of people manage to have a healthy, happy and meaningful life even in the face of adversity, and certainly without a standard of living the kings of old would have envied.

Given that there is a large range of possible outcomes, some of which would be far more pleasant to live through with some prior preparation, and that modest preparations are not necessarily expensive, why not try to gain at least some control over the necessities of your own existence?

You are a doctor, if memory serves, which means that your continued existence may contribute to the continued existence of others as well, including those you care about. Even if life does become very difficult for a time, your knowledge and effort could make a difference for a community - a community which would probably be happy to feed you in return, thereby sparing you a considerable amount of arduous labour. Most challenging times are far less bleak if faced with others.

"Is life only worth living at our current standard of living?"

I'm willing to accept a much lower standard of living. Already I live far below my means. What I'm not willing to do is kill someone else to ensure my survival or move to the hinterland and forsake everything I hold dear in terms of culture and city-life as some of the doomers have done.

"You are a doctor, if memory serves, which means that your continued existence may contribute to the continued existence of others as well, including those you care about."

Your memory is correct, and I hope to do just as you say for patients for a few more decades. I'm willing to be stripped of the technology I currently depend on, but if society functions at the level where I still contribute my learned skills, I will still be happy. If it collapses to the point (as the extreme doomers suppose) where my skills are useless, then I will despair.

If it collapses to the point (as the extreme doomers suppose) where my skills are useless, then I will despair.

I can't imagine any circumstances, no matter how dire, where medical knowledge and skills would be useless. Even if access to fancy medical equipment and complex therapies were no longer possible, much mortality and morbidity could still be prevented.

Guys: Recorded depression is at all-time highs in the USA, along with use of anti-depressants. My some measures America is currently one of the unhappiest societies in history. You guys are all worked up about this unhappy,Prozac popping society changing. It might be a lot of fun, who knows? Sometimes a change is as good as a rest.

a lot of fun

A big die-off would be a horrible disaster. If billions died, world wide military conflict would be unavoidable. The survivors would not escape without horrible trauma. The environment would be ravished world wide.

There is no way such a transition could play out without becoming the worst disaster in human history, by orders of magnitude. It is not something to wish for or help along.

Sterling: As Totoneila points out, people are dying off every minute. OTOH, lots of people on this planet, right now, are living the dream. Living a life 10 times better than they ever dreamt their life could be. There is a huge variety of human experience. I can guarantee few things but I can guarantee you that some people will be having fun in the future no matter what happens.


You make a good point.

Learning all of this stuff has made me appreciate every day. I am living a dream.

I will go down positive until the last day, and continue to prepare to the best of my ability.

But hey, I live by the Chesapeake Bay. Work when I want to. Boat, fish, lay on the beach. And seriously, have sex about 3 times a week.

If you think about this issue too hard, it WILL depress you. Do the best you can and make the best of whatever situation you are in.

And I do agree with Ron Patterson. The deck is stacked against us and I give collapse a 100 percent chance. I really can't believe the Ponzi scheme has lasted this long, but there are many cracks in the levy. To use the cliche, a "Perfect Storm" is upon us. I also agree with AMPOD, the economic side is going to nail us, and much oil will be left in the ground, forever.

Yes, shit happens.

And after a big die-off, a world with a lot fewer people would leave more resources for those who survive, if the world was not destroyed in the transition.

In World War II, some 50+ million people were killed in six years, some 8+ million a year above the normal death rate. Let’s say we had a big die-off, where the population went from 6.7 billion to 2 billion in 40 years. That's 118 million per year or about 15 times the additional deaths that happened in WWII for every year for two generations. That is different than the kind of tragedies that people face today.

Living through that kind of event would drive people to take desperate measures. The doomed would try to take over those parts of the world that still had resources. Everyone would suffer. The world would be ruined by wars, environmental despoliation and other desperate measures on a scale that has never occurred before.

I think some people are too indifferent about a big die-off. If we can avoid a die-off, we should do everything we can to do so. Even if we are not sure we can avoid it.

Yes, it would be great to figure out a way to avoid it...Mr. Fusion anyone.

But as my brother often says, "What don't you understand about 'Non-renewable finite resource'?!", and I like to add "What don't you understand about 'Overshoot'?!".


It's all about population!

The oil is in decline. Fish stocks in the ocean are nearly depleted. Supporting 7 billion people is destroying the planet and will soon make it unihabitable. Without oil the planet, at tops can support 1 billion sustainably(a better figure is probably about 250 million).As the supply/demand gap increases, we will experience financial collapse worldwide. We will see disruptions in the transportation of food and other essentials. Not enough food will be able to be grown. People will begin to starve. Social unrest is inevitable threatening whatever infrastructure remains. Scavengers will dismantle the power grid to obtain "scrap" to sell to feed themselves and their family. The total irrevocable erosion of everything will commence. Then we will experience FAMINE on a scale larger than ever seen in the history of mankind. Pandemics will ensue as starving people have weakened immune systems. Wars, large and small, will continue over remaining resources. Without intervention, Coal will be burned in it's entirety just to stave off the inevitable a little longer. Planetary thresholds are passed and we enter runaway global warming. Temperatures exceed survivable limits. GAME OVER. OR... Informed Heads of State with the power to act reduce the population in the near term to sustainable levels and avoid the end of mankind and the destruction of the planet. Take the action before the action takes itself with the dire consequences detailed above.

Just posting the thread from yesterday.

It might happen that way and that would be game over.

Or we could build a few thousand fission reactors and develop an electricity based transportation system with a fleet of ultra light, battery powered or hybrids vehicles that get hundreds of miles to a gallon of fuel synthesized from oil shale.

We could develop software and networks that let people work collaboratively without ever leaving home.

We could build chemical and fertilizer industries using fission power and low grade hydrocarbons to make the materials needed to sustain modern life.

Global warming from oil and gas will decline as these resources do. Coal is the big problem, but we have thousands to hundreds of thousands of years of Uranium and Thorium which have minimal carbon footprints.

We have plenty of energy and plenty of the other resource needed to operate a clean, modern world. We just need to make a large transformation away from one set of energy and raw material resources to another that is at hand.

Do we have the time and the will? I do not know.

Can we slow and reverse the overpopulation? We probably can if we can rebuild the energy and materials infrastructure to use the plentiful resources.

Who needs fusion, an unproven technology that may never be viable, when we have a trillion tons of recoverable Uranium? In the long run, wind and solar may also scale to make very significant energy contributions as well.

There are still abundant supplies of low grade hydrocarbons. With fission power, those can be transformed into chemical feed stocks, fertilizer and transportation fuel. It goes without saying that we also need to conserve, travel less and develop more efficient technologies.

So are you looking at peak oil as a good opportunity for a "final solution" to overshoot?

I think that the world population should come down. But it would best come down slowly, as it is in developed countries already. We do not need a horrible holocaust.

Peak oil and gas is a different problem than overpopulation. We are not facing peak energy. In time, we have the energy resources to switch to other power sources, preserve civilization and avoiding a big die-off that would wreck the world. I do not know if we can make the switch fast enough but I think we have the responsibility to try. We have to make a choice. To avoid the catastrophe, we have to go on a war footing to totally mobilize society to switch energy sources. I think it is the depths of evil to contemplate letting or helping the world slip into a big short term die-off.

All i could think about while reading that was how much "fertilizer" would be good for the soil...

Technology aside, I'm sure your skills are still light years ahead of the rest of us. Perhaps the thing to do is try to hone those diagnostic and healing skills to be less technology dependent.
Whether or not that is possible, I've always found my greatest confidence in physicians with bedside manners, who begin their consult with a thorough physical examination rather than a battery of tests. That confidence and ease on the patient's part travels far in healing.

To the extent that you can do useful practice without dependance on the existing high tech support system you have a "crash proof" set of marketable skills.

Babies will continue to be born, bones will continue to get broken, and sadly, people will continue to get shot from time to time.

PV panels would not be at the top of my list if I was a Doc. until after I was at a point where i could do basic practice "from home / out of a black bag" i.e.:

- A set of basic reuseable surgical instruments

- A low tech lab i.e. light microscope, raw mat'ls for stains and other reagents, small incubator, basic glassware, mechanical balances, small centrifuge.

- Decent References on pre-industrial pharmacology

etc. etc.

You sir, post collapse in any form, will be one of the most valuable people as a doctor.

It's all about population!

Please come to the Big Island. There are no where near enough doctors and dentists here. PLEASE.

I could never talk my wife into it. Couldn't even get her to move to Oregon. But I'm surprised to here about the shortage of physicians in HI. Beautiful place, lots of retirees needing medical care. What gives?

I think they hate the 3rd world aspect of it and lack of city life. Even Hilo is a small town.

Many doctors and dentists fly over a few times a week or a few times a month from Honolulu. My dentist does that and he told me that his wife hates it here and wants to live in San Francisco, so Honolulu was a compromise. There is no big city life here, but city life is exactly what we didn't want.

Hi Phineas,

I'm glad for you that you have such a useful set of skills; this must be very satisfying. I posted this link above, just wanted to call it to your attention, perhaps it may be something you want to look into. If you do, my suggestion is to contact the Coordinators of this program.

I'm willing to accept a much lower standard of living.

While you might be willing to, and many here would be willing to...there are plenty who won't.

Some have nothing more for power than a knife, others have a gun, some have words and others have 'the force of law'

From this weeks 'mongumbo guru'
here in Pinellas Park, not only do all the employees make more in salary than the average household income, but they also get astonishingly generous benefit plans, exemplified by the City's employee pension plan, which GUARANTEES at least a 9.5% return on their invested pension money! Any shortfall suffered by the fund by a market downturn is to be collected, by law, from the taxpayers! A guaranteed minimum return of 9.5%! Double what the historical return of the stock market, even given generous assumptions, has been! Double!

There are plenty of people who have such sweet deals....what will be the reactions of the people who've been on the short brown end of sticks like this?

PG I agree with sandor. Make a list that is practical, revise it as you go. Get fruit trees planted, start small and watch things as they unfold. Be prepared to change, lots of folks aren't nor will they ever be, for the "Iron Triangle" is very powerful. Make improvement to your house and surroundings now while you can afford it and materials are still reasonably priced. We have good friends in the Texas Hill Country whose grandparents did not have electricity until the early 1940's. They survived quite well and its still amazing to reflect back on some of the times they survived and stories they shared. And yes we will all have to work a little harder than we are use to. Buy good books about home survival. There are lots of them mentioned on this website as well LATOC run by Matt Savinar. John Seth

Your kickback is on the way. =)

Hey Chimp. I liked your old name better. But it's a good idea to change names like some of the Indian tribes did, fitted to life's turnings. As for me, wimbi is nice and nothing sounding, which is fine, since I make hard sounds in public meetings; don't want to get noticed any more than necessary.

Phineas- It is really easy to skin a deer. Takes me and my wife no more than a day to put a year's venison in the freezer, including the no time it takes to shoot two from my workshop window. Secret to success- find some boondock that nobody wants and live there for 40 years--way way off to the left of any missile crosshairs.

If you consider what prisoners of war managed to survive in south east asia during the second world war you will realize that we can survive very harsh conditions. There are still sufficient resources in north america to avoid a massive die off.

From an outsider's perspective, the greatest threat to Americans is thier "I got to get mine" ethos. The free market will solve everything attitude.

In a future more constrained America people will have to be more cooperative, more socially and communally concious.

If groups and regions decide to use the guns that are so readilly available to fight for relative advantage, it will be a sad time for all. However, I think those inclined to fighting and lawlessness will be in the minority. And for those who are lawless, penalties will likely be far harsher than they have ever been in the past.

2007 is shaping up to be a very tough year for a lot of people. If those with resources fall on those who falter like a pack of wolves we may get a glimpse of what the future holds for America.

I don't know of any other industrialized government that has allowed so many of its citizens to get into such a tight jam as the American people are in right now, all for the sake of the illusion of growth. We don't have mortgage tax deductibility and subprime housing loans in Canada. From this side of the housing bubble, that's looking like a good thing.

Something the average citizen probably doesn't know about defaulting on a mortgage when the housing market goes down. The difference between what is owed and the house is sold for by the bank is income in the hands of the defaulter. The lender submits documentation to the IRS writing off the loss. The IRS sends the defaulter a tax bill.

This insult to injury will be devastating to people who have lost their homes. It is a tax on "income" that never existed, money that never existed. Corporations write off loses as a normal course of business all the time. I know of no other circumstance where the writeoff is returned to the citizen.

This is one area where the IRS can "bail out" the defaulter without laying the full consequences on those who have been more prudent or fortunate, simply by not trying to collect what are uncollectible taxes in the first place.

This would be a clear indication of a gentler, more cooperative America. Unfortunately, with all the fraud surrounding speculators and the subprime market, I fear retribution will be the prevailing sentiment which will sweep up the honest poor in its vortex.

This would be a clear indication of a gentler, more cooperative America. Unfortunately, with all the fraud surrounding speculators and the subprime market, I fear retribution will be the prevailing sentiment which will sweep up the honest poor in its vortex.

I urge everyone to read this one by Michael this weekend.

Three Bears, No Goldilocks Part III
When the Levees Broke - A Requiem in Four Acts
Michael Nystrom

Here's a couple of snippets.

...I realize that it is difficult to even begin to even imagine what life would be like after a complete financial collapse and everything that would entail. But there is no need to imagine it: You can see it with your own eyes in Spike Lee's incredible documentary on Hurricane Katrina, When the Levees Broke, A Requiem in Four Acts.

Unlike Schiff and Panzner, Lee is not a financial writer; he is a storyteller, and the story he tells is the spellbinding, horrifying tale of government incompetence, (financial) collapse and the breakdown of society.

I was left time and again shaking my head incredulously, wondering how this tragedy could have occurred in the United States, but realizing at the same time that this is most likely just a small preview of what the rest of America will face after the perfect financial storm.

When historians look back at the history of America, Katrina and the government's response -- or more accurately, its complete lack of response -- will surely figure prominently as a sign that the nation was already well along its steep moral and economic decline.

Striking is not only the complete lack of preparation - by the citizenry and at all levels of government -- but the complete breakdown of civilization for days, weeks -- in some ways to this day -- that followed the storm. As I watched, transfixed, I realized that this is what life would be like during America's second great depression.

For those of you willing to see a preview of the depression - rather than just reading about it (and learning how to "profit" from it) - this documentary is required viewing. Katrina is both a metaphor for, and a microcosm of the global financial storm that is brewing and how it may affect you on a very personal level.

Like with Katrina, everyone knows that the perfect financial storm is coming - it is only a matter of time before it hits. And like Katrina, most people are woefully unprepared for its arrival.

As one piece of graffiti scrawled on a demolished New Orleans home put it,

"Hope is not a plan."


Let me reiterate that.

"Hope is not a plan."

That is the thing to learn from this.

Also remember,

I'm from the Federal Gov. and I'm here to help you.


Post-Katrina. Those people sat down and waited for help to arrive. What if no help came? We witnessed the violence and looting on our TVs. We have already seen what will happen. When the whole world is like Post-Katrina, no one will come. Death will be upon people before they come to that conclusion. Happy Trails to You!

Cid: It didn't start with Katrina. Of all the rich countries,the USA has always treated their poor citizens the worst. OTOH, America treats its rich citizens the best, so I guess it depends which side of the fence you are on.

I believe you missed the point. No matter who you are, no one will be coming to rescue you. It is up to you and you alone.

Hi Cid,

re: "It is up to you and you alone."

Well, if WT can say "ELP" three times in one day, perhaps I can add something that works and people build on for other things, including post-peak: http://www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=541

Quote ""The key to a community's survival during and in the aftermath of a disaster is found in the resilience of the community. Participation in the CERT program creates resilient individuals and families, and resilient individuals and families create resilient communities." Keith E. Woodley, Fire Chief

Hey Phineas Gage
You must really be young if you believe all of that stuff.

I feel 95% confident that the extreme doomers have it wrong.

I'm also old enough to know that ethanol is not going to usher in a new era of abundance and that life will be very different for my children than it was for my parents and me.

I feel 95% confident that the extreme doomers have it wrong.

Phineas, I am 100% confident that the doomers have it right. The idea that we can keep things on an even keel as our energy slaves start to die off is just totally absurd. We are a plague species and are doomed to collapse even if we never ran out of fossil fuel.

I have just finished reading "When the Rivers Run Dry".
It is one of the scariest books I ever read. No one who understands the water situation on this planet can truly believe that everything will be okay. But water is just one story. The rain forest is another, desertification is another, extinction is another, global warming is another, overpopulation is another, the declining world food production is another, salinization of irrigated lands is another, washing and blowing away of the topsoil is another, and peak oil is another.

As Lester Brown put it, it is the simultaneity of all these things that is disheartening. And many people say: “Nah, the doomers are wrong, everything will turn out just fine.” Such ignorance would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad. Standing back and looking at the very big picture, which is something that few can do, you see things in a clearer perspective. And it is truly frightening.

But I cannot advise you, or anyone else as to what to do. I do not know how, when, how fast or in what form the collapse will take place. It may start next year and take thirty years, or it may start in ten or twenty years and take two years to play out. In my opinion there is just no way of knowing these things this early in the game. Everything except the final outcome is just a guess. And by final outcome I am only speaking of the approximate population level. It will be a fraction of today’s population level. How large a fraction? Hell, I haven’t a clue.

Ron Patterson

Ron, thanks for your response. So far I really hadn't gotten any doomer responses. You seem to take thirty years as the upper limit. That's well within my expected lifespan, and certainly well within those of my children. Perhaps I'm not being as objective as I should be, but if you're right, what difference would objectivity make? I look at the situation in the county where I live. THere's incredible amounts of untapped fresh water. The riverways and train tracks still exist and were major tranportation routes until 50 years ago (now only coal travels these routes). The majority of land that was farmed 100 years ago in this county, sits idle, is a recreational horse "farm" or has converted to forest. Some other former farms have been converted to very low density exurban neighborhoods with 1 home per 5 to 20 acres.

And again, if the extreme doomers are right and 90+% of all humans will die off in my expected lifetime, why would I not prefer that I and my family die early in the process rather than live miserably for ten years, see everyone we love die, and then die ourselves?

I think the best idea is to get over the idea that 90% of north americans are going to die off, unless it is from bird flu and that is unlikely.

There are many extremely overpopulated places in this world, but north america isn't one of them. Life may not be all lattes and Audis, but it won't be that bad. You may have to learn to play an instrument to enjoy music, but then again, you may have time to learn.

Agreed, John. We aren't hearing anything from the doomers that we haven't heard for the last fifteen years. Models being upward revised again.

I am hearing from insiders that we've just broke the quarterly production record set last summer. Oh well, maybe the doomers can start on calls for 2008. Better yet, how bout a coinciding with the Mayan calendar?

my sig: When is the Peak?

Freddy, I see you have a new handle. For the record the quarterly record was set in the second quarter of 2005 at 73,962,000 million barrels per day average. Third quarter of 2006, of which you are referring to produced 73,776,000 barrels barrels per day average. All this is C+C of course as oil does not include ethanol or bottled gas.

My model has never changed. So far the peak was 2005, peak quarter, second quarter of 2005, peak month, May 2005. But as I have said before this does not matter. We are at peak right now. That is we are on the peak plateau and a million barrels per day up or down is really insignificant. What really matters is which way we go when we come off this plateau.

Ron Patterson

John McFadden is correct. The population in the developed areas will likely survive longer than many second world and third world areas simply because, for the time being, we have the money to outbid them for energy. In effect, we will be outsourcing the Malthusian correction.

Phineas I have several times in the past, on this list and others, expressed my opinion of what I would do if I were younger. (I am 68.) I would get together with several like minded families and form a defensive farming community. Buy a large tract of land and construct a small community right in the center.

Ideally you would have a medical person, yourself in this case, a blacksmith, people trained in animal husbandry, and so on. That is, people trained in the arts and trades necessary for survival. And of course, arm yourselves to the teeth.

This would not guarantee your survival but it would greatly enhance your chances.

I talked to my children and grandchildren about this. They all think I am crazy. That causes me great grief but there is nothing else I can do.

Ron Patterson


I agree 1001%.

The problem is finding partner families who are:

1. realistic about this
2. not insane or looking to push an agenda
3. have some money to finance the thing
4. can agree on a suitable locaition

I have all four, although I'm certain #4 would be debatable. I have several houses in the Texas Hill Country (west of and between Austin and San Antonio). All have wells, septics and a river is nearby. My next step is some pv solar and gardens. One house is on 20 wooded acres. I know it will be hot - I was born and raised close by and not till 1969 did we get a/c.

I currently live in SF and can't imagine being in any large city when it all goes down. The sheer magnitude of the collective experience of hundreds of thousands of people who will come to realize, with each unfolding event down the slope, how truely dependent they are on each other. And so many with little or nothing to offer.

As the Berliners were fond of saying in early 1945:

''Better an end in Hell than a Hell without end''.

Will the next few decades be impacted by one catastrophic event? Who knows, but I suspect a sequence of declines over a number of decades as options to mitigate the situation shut down. This may possibly start with a financial collapse due to the USA's current situation, a long period of depression, followed then by another unspecified event: a war, loss of access to oil, a series of crop failures etc.

Each collapse will be followed by a reactionary period where governments and peoples attempt to normalise the situation at that current level of civil society. Neither Governments or Peoples will really grasp what is happening and will endeavour to attain the previous levels without realising that it will not be achievable.

So: a decades long transition, no true understanding that previous levels cannot ever be retrieved, and no understanding or will or public consensus on how to successfully power down to a final, stable level.

Delusional thinking will post date collapse for a long time.
It may switch to anger resentment and retribution of scapegoats on local regional or national levels


An immediate and total catastrophic failure would require Man as a controlling mind and intentionally imposing a failure with the desired outcome being massive die off and selective extermination of all but their own peers, clans and henchmen.

Maybe the wargamers have sussed this out already...

Good point Phineas. You aren't going to need your money and house then, better give those things to me.

Imagine this. George Bush and Tony Blair discuss the need to reduce the population to less than 1 billion people in order for anyone to survive. Would anyone ever hear about this discussion let alone get a vote on it? Everything we are learning seems to point to the need for this massive reduction in population. If we see it, they see it too. Probably much more clearly with the intelligence assets and research scientists they have at their disposal. Would they see the death of 6 billion people as evil or neccessary? They see their roles as being the ones responsible for making the tough decisions. Even ones as tough as this one. If it is true, what choice do they have? Their decision is being made with what is best for man's survival as a species and the survival of the planet. I'm sure the culling will be as selective as possible with regards to the state of current technology and the need for absolute secrecy until "the deed is done." I would think that, faced with this knowledge, if I were in their position, I would see that I had no choice.
It is unfortunate that we have come to this. Like when Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact told the world that not everyone could be saved but that mankind would continue. Nothing like that speech would ever happen in the real world, of course. It will just happen. It is probably best that those who it will happen to never know, that their lives carry on as they always have up til the end.


re: This post was also on yesterday's drumbeat, yes?

My reply http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2375#comment-170027

re: "if I were in their position, I would see that I had no choice."

This is essentially a series of false dichotomies, as I attempted to outline. To posit a rationale whereby someone can justify the killing of others (esp. on this scale in this manner), as the outcome of some kind of cost/benefit analysis, is a way of thinking we need to question.

From the depletion of the fish stocks in the seas, to oil, to natural gas, to any resource you can name it is obvious that extreme overpopulation is the cause. It is not just a matter of finding a replacement energy source. It was the versatility of oil that made this explosion in population possible. THIS is the real problem. We could have addressed this 40 years ago but we did not. Abortion was immoral, birth control was immoral, limiting the number of births was immoral, euthanasia was immoral, death in any way, means or form was immoral. Our use of fossil fuels have pushed the climate beyond its ability to maintain homeostatic equilibrium. Beyond a given threshold we will force the climate either into runaway greenhouse or a new homeostasis outside the range conducive to life as we know it.(Although the little sea creatures living near the thermal vents on the ocean floor might like it.) Now you reap what you have sown. I know you see my argument as immoral and that there must be another way. Your not liking the solution does not make it invalid. From my perspective it is the ONLY viable solution. If mankind as a species, and the planet as a whole is to survive, the population must be dramatically reduced in the near future. What I am proposing is that those in power also see this and have the means to act upon it. If they will... I think they will. You are free to disagree with me, but what I am saying is neither false nor invalid.

Hello Cid,

re: "You are free to disagree with me, but what I am saying is neither false nor invalid."

What you said in your original post is that if you were in their position, (i.e., the position of those with the means to use weapons of mass destruction to kill large numbers of people), you would do the same thing.

"If mankind as a species, and the planet as a whole is to survive, the population must be dramatically reduced in the near future."

This (together with your last posts on the same topic) is a rationalization for mass killing.

What I said was invalid is the logic you used to come up with the rationalization. I outlined the problem with your logic in my original reply.

In terms of the morality, I said it's unethical. To deliberately and willfully engage in the mass killing of human beings (to "reduce...dramatically...in the near future..." the world population) is invalid from a logical point of view, and it's also unethical.

What I said was,

"Imagine this. George Bush and Tony Blair discuss the need to reduce the population to less than 1 billion people in order for anyone to survive. Would anyone ever hear about this discussion let alone get a vote on it? Everything we are learning seems to point to the need for this massive reduction in population. If we see it, they see it too. Probably much more clearly with the intelligence assets and research scientists they have at their disposal. Would they see the death of 6 billion people as evil or neccessary? They see their roles as being the ones responsible for making the tough decisions. Even ones as tough as this one. If it is true, what choice do they have? Their decision is being made with what is best for man's survival as a species and the survival of the planet. I'm sure the culling will be as selective as possible with regards to the state of current technology and the need for absolute secrecy until "the deed is done." I would think that, faced with this knowledge, if I were in their position, I would see that I had no choice.
It is unfortunate that we have come to this. Like when Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact told the world that not everyone could be saved but that mankind would continue. Nothing like that speech would ever happen in the real world, of course. It will just happen. It is probably best that those who it will happen to never know, that their lives carry on as they always have up til the end."

Not quite the same as you said.

Faced with total extinction, an action that saved some, and preserved the planet, WOULD be the ethical choice. Your abhorence to the idea has no bearing on the argument. You talk about logic, but engage in emotional ranting.

PG ,

Perhaps I am very selfish but I would encourage you to believe the Doomers a wrong! You should make no preparations! When TSHTF you should be among the those who don't want to continue and can not imagine wanting to struggle to survive. You are young and seem like a bright guy. Frankly I don't need the competition.


Estamos Jodidos

"Perhaps I am very selfish but ..."

Actually EJ this seems like the logical doomer approach. Why go online and try to convince strangers to do likewise if you think the earth can only sustain 600 million people?

Why go online and try to convince strangers to do likewise if you think the earth can only sustain 600 million people?

It is a form of selection. I have no interest to "convince" anyone. It is a matter of putting the info out there so that the intelligent ones can recognize it's import and save themselves if at all possible. The stupid ones that just want everyone to shut up because they don't want to believe and it's extremely depressing, I could care less about. They'll be the first to go. The debunkers who are spreading disinformation SHOULD be the first to go.

I can respect that. It was Jesus' approach too:

"He who has ears, let him hear."

I really like that. I just used it in a post.

Hi Phin,

Could you please specify which part of Cid's post you're referring to?

Cid did use this quote to reply to me yesterday, after I replied to his posts, which BTW, he re-posted and said again, today.


I'm upset with the line of thinking about who "should" or should not be "the first" to go. It doesn't seem to me to be something ethical, nor an approach a religious figure would condone.

Also, with the line of thinking whereby a small group of powerful people rationalize (by virtue of false dichotomies) the mass killing of other human beings. (As I explained yesterday.)

If the doomers are right:

-Many if not most of the people I care about will die.
-I will need to work my a-s off for a subsistence existence.
-I'll need to be willing to shoot and kill those who were less prepared and try to steal my food, solar panels, etc.
-Many of the things I care about like art, literature, good food, education will cease to exist in a way that is meaningful to me.

So my question is, why would I want to survive if this is what life on earth will be like? I think I shall prefer to die with the unprepared.

Poignant comments.

I'm reminded of the Iraqi family I heard interviewed the other day. Each night they decide "do we all sleep in the same room tonight or separte rooms?" If they all sleep in separate rooms and the house is bombed then there is at least a chance some will live. But as they can't stand the thought of living without each other they usually decide to sleep in the same room. That why if they get bombed they all die together.

I think we're heading towards a full-blown nuclear exchange. I've debated aboute explaining why in explicit detail either on LATOC or in other venues because, to be quite frank, I think it might leave people so depressed they will just say "why bother?" And to be perfectly honest that is an entirely resaonable response on some levels. If I explain myself lucidly it will be hard to poke too many holes in the logic and maybe keeping such information open to being denied away is actually best given the psycho-somatic reactions it's likely to provoke.

If you do decide to die with the unprepared I would suggest moving to Seattle or San Diego. These will be the first cities taken out in the coming nuclear exchange due to their high military value. This reduces the chance of you surviving to see the real horrors that await us.

Hello the Chimp Who Can Drive,

I am Not a weapons expert, either nuclear or biological.

But it seems obvious to me that if the topdogs deem that a quick cull should proceed: ebola-pox and/or some other bioagents would be less costly, less initially obvious [compared to a sky full of ICBMs passing each other], and could be more carefully targeted than radioactive effects being spread upon all species. Bioweapons are better than a neutron bomb-- leaves infrastructure mostly intact and won't hurt the birds and bees-- but does a hell of a job on humans.

The topdogs can innoculate themselves and desired others, then they are essentially supermen. Just need to hideout for awhile [Yucca Mountain?], then they are basically free to restart civilization while the biolife rapidly regrows too. Compare to the much lower restart level from a nuclear exchange with biomutations, scorched infrastructure and forests, and further extinction amounts.

I am certainly not advocating this, BTW. But if this is the chosen decline path-- it creates an impetus and hope for human dispersal, isolationism, and relocalized permaculture to help weather the biostorm versus the true hopelessness of a nuclear firestorm.

Using the nuke fuel for electricity makes more sense than brief fireworks. Time will tell.

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


Good points.

Perhaps race-based weapons would be used? There have been some articles on this by people I do not consider total whackjobs:


The only solution to this is to have as much inter-racial sex as possible thus maximizing the possibility that some children will be born with a natural genetic immunity to the weapons.



To you microbiologists, geneticists, etc. on the board: don't bother attempting to debunk my above stated agenda here. I've already made up my mind on this issue.

"The only solution to this is to have as much inter-racial sex as possible thus maximizing the possibility that some children will be born with a natural genetic immunity to the weapons.



To you microbiologists, geneticists, etc. on the board: don't bother attempting to debunk my above stated agenda here. I've already made up my mind on this issue."

To have as much interracial sex as possible?


I already have trouble sleeping...don't help. I prefer nuclear exchange thank you.

It's all about population!

"I think we're heading towards a full-blown nuclear exchange."

Matt, help me understand this. IN this scenario 99+% of all people will likely die. If you survive the initial blast and irradiation, and whether or not a nuclear winter ensues, you will have a very hard life. Have you convinced the people you care about to go with you? Even if you are among the best prepared on earth, you may still end up dying from disease, crop failure, who knows. Heck, even a basic case of appendicitis would revert to the historic norms of 30+% fatality rate. So help me understand why you would want to survive under these terms.

Matt, help me understand this. IN this scenario 99+% of all people will likely die.

Actually that is a myth. Lots will survive. That's whats so scary. It would be less disturbing if I figured I'd be assurre of dying quickly and painlessly.

If you survive the initial blast and irradiation, and whether or not a nuclear winter ensues, you will have a very hard life. Heck, even a basic case of appendicitis would revert to the historic norms of 30+% fatality rate. So help me understand why you would want to survive under these terms.

I'm not sure I do. That's why one option I've considered is moving to the center of a high value nuclear target city: Seattle, San Diego, San Francisco. That why I'll be dead before I know what hit me.

I think deep down you know that some variation of the extreme PO-GW "doomer" perspective is the most accurate model of reality. If it weren't Baghdad and New Orleans wouldn't look the way they do right now even though the "bad times" aren't even getting started in earnest yet)in the early days. If you didn't feel this way you wouldn't be asking the questions you're asking. Unfortunatley there are no real answers to those questions even from the poster formerly known as the "alpha male prophet of doom"

Reference the Iraqi family I mentioned elsewhere in this thread. There is no answer to their dillemma. As this thing unravels more and more of us will have to face similar dillemmas. As the saying goes "the future is here, it's just not widely distributed yet." Sorry.

"I think deep down you know that some variation of the extreme PO-GW "doomer" perspective is the most accurate model of reality."

No I really don't. But even if you are right, I think about Todd, wish he had posted some here today. He's in his late 60's and started preparing in the 1970's. Spent half his life preparing for TEOTWAWKI. What if it comes in the next few years, he'll be in his early 70's by then. How long can he live post peak? He spent half his life, and his most productive years preparing to live at best a few years after TSHTF.

I've seen a lot of people die. I've also seen a lot of people live with misery- debilitating strokes, quadriplegia, dementia, or people dying a very slow death from diabetes and it's multi-organ involvement. Death doesn't really scare me. Most people I've seen die did not die in misery. It's the living in misery that I'd rather avoid if you turn out to be right.


Something about the "extreme doomer" scenario is rattling around the depths of your subconscious even if consciously can't admit it. YOu wouldn't be asking these questions if you that were not the case. Nor would you have to continually proclaim that "I really am NOT concerned that the extreme dooomer scenario is accuarate! Really I'm not!!!"

I have two daughters, a son-in-law, and my grandson lving in San Diego. One of my daughters is planning to move to Seattle. They all think I'm a bit wacky baout this peak oil business. Its a rather grim Drum Beat today.

Almost all of my friends, family, and former co-workers think I'm whacky. At first it bothered me a lot because I really wanted them to think about PO and at least prepare a little bit. It's called caring. But I've decided that I can't save someone who isn't willing to look at the data. Heck, we could be wrong....but I doubt it. There are just too many awful things going on everywhere and all of the geopolitical jockeying all of the world tells a story. But I am amazed that the US economy, which is basically a huge ponzi scheme, has managed to keep from collapsing for this long. So who knows, maybe our timing is really off. I hope it is as I would like a nice, peaceful, comfortable retirement. But the data tells me it is not to be.

Yes, the idiocy is in full bloom today, isn't it? Must be spring brings them out!

At work I'm considered a mega-doomer, but here it almost seems I'm a raving optimist. I think that real doom is a possibility, but not necessarily the most likely scenario. I agree that times will get very hard for many people, and the suffering, as always, will not be spread equally. However, I also think people underestimate the power of a population mobilized by necessity. We have such tremendous waste (eg a buffer against the initial 20-30% decline by doing little else but changing habits) that I believe we have the current technology to cut our oil use in half without the cataclysm predicted, and that moderate further advances in technology will carry us further. Oil will not end abruptly, and oil is not our sole source of energy. MeanwhiIe we are building wind power resources, PV and solar water heating capacities, probably nuclear, possibly cleaner coal, etc as oil and gas supplies decline.

I saw people in California during drought years in the late 70s stop flushing toilets, allowing their landscaping to die, saving grey dishwater to water houseplants and select garden plants. In the Arab embargo, people quickly abandoned gas hogs, drove less, carpooled, etc resulting in very large savings in a very short period of time. I know this pales before the enduring challenge ahead, but it gives me hope I wouldn't have if I hadn't seen it before, and I think that when the reality of peak oil becomes clear, you will see an effort you can't concieve of today. I could be wrong, but I think it's worth hanging around to see what happens.

All that being said, I remain frightened about how it will play out, and the many people, including myself and my family, who might have to suffer though a very painful change if things don't get managed at least marginally well.

Thanks peakearl,
Your comments above are exactly where I'm at with this. In fact I've read some of your comments before and thought that we probably have a lot in common. Among other things both of us believe that although PO will mean TEOTWAWKI, it does not necessarily mean The End Of The World.

And like you I don't know whether to consider myself an optimist or a pessimist.

Thanks. I do hope that I am right. But I also think some of the people here have never seen people really challenged and seen what they can do. It takes pain and hard reality, but then people can be suprising.

I also think some of the people here have never seen people really challenged and seen what they can do.

I have and I do:

People in the Weimar Republic were challenged. . . that gave rise to Hitler and the horrors that followed.

People in the U.S. were challenged as well . . . that resulted in a global oil war (WW II) that ended with two nuclear detonations.

Fast forward to the oil shocks of the 1970s. Americans were challenged and we responded by electing a warmonger to office who proceeded to flirt with the idea we could win a nuclear war.

Not sure how realistic it is to think these challenges won't be dealt with similarly. I'm not sure that isn't how they're already being dealt with. Reference the "global war for oil" commonly known as the "global war on terror" which "will not end in our lifetimes" and has support from the Dems too.

We're building an entire new generation of hydrogen bombs:


Turn off the soundtrack and watch the actions. They're not being built for shits and giggles.

I think that when the reality of peak oil becomes clear, you will see an effort you can't concieve of today

You are correct but not in the way you think.

You cite the "positive" things people did as a result of the 1970s mini-shocks but left out the single most lasting effect: the election of Ronald Regan and further militarization of our foreign (oil) policy.

If we turn off the soundtracks and observe the action, here is what we see:

1979 oil shock -> economic malaise -> people toss out the conservation leader in favor of warmonger -> warmonger ups the war budget and flirts with the idea of a "winnable" nuclear war.

Here's the kicker: the conservation measures Earl mentioned have long since been forgotten. But the warmongering policies have only gotten worse since then.

Ultimately, you are right in that we will see an effort we can't concieve of today but that effort is likely be to a continuation of what we did in response to the oil shocks of the 70s: installing warmongers, upping the war budget, and flirting with nuclear annihalition. In other words all things we did in response to the 1979 oil shock but just on a much bigger scale.

To PG and others:

This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Earl, in an effort to maintain his sense of optimsim, completely deleted or at least severely minimized the scope and impact of the long lasting increases in the nation's war footing while enlarging and overstimating the scope and impact of the nation's (very temporary) conservation measures.

Now multiply the severity of the 1979 oil shock by 10 and what do you get:

On the positive side you get a much greater willingness to conserve energy . . . but you get an even greater willingess to "nuke their ass and take their gas."

I'm a doomer agnostic, so I don't know if I should be responding :-) Honestly, if there is to be a "catastrophic die-off" I would expect doctors to be among the last to go. Population crashes seem to be associated with one of war, famine, or disease. I suppose no one is particularly valuable in famine, but otherwise you'll be quite important. You might need an MD badge of some sort in the unlikely event that civilization falls off a cliff.

Honestly, at first it seems as though things won't be any worse in the developed world than during the Depression, the 70s, or Weimar Germany. We could end up with a much worse version of the 70s stagflation, which is kind of a combination of the Depression and German inflation. I doubt doctors or their families had many problems in those periods unless they crossed the powers-that-be.

IMHO, the things you need to watch out for are mobs and criminals. Having a place to go away from the city for a while might be pretty valuable.

Survival as an individual will only happen as part of a community that survives. Groups of less than a few hundred cannot contain a wide enough variety of skills to carry persons through the temporary crises we all encounter. An accident chopping wood could mean you freeze to death before healing up. That is if a staph infection doesn't kill you first. As someone with useful knowledge that benefits the community means the community will take care of you during a personal crisis. As part of a community means you will be less vulnerable to bands of thugs roaming the countryside.
I have a neighbor who ran a successful swine production operation for decades. I looked through one of his supply catalogs and found that raising farm animals requires skills few of us have. Growing crops require another set of skills. If you don't have a farrior nearby then having a horse will be less than useless. Can you understand psychrometric tables? Do you know which herbs will heal and which will kill you quickly? How about mushrooms? How about composting? How about running a tractor with gasified wood or corncobs? Moonshining skills can make you quite influentual.
We either hang together and live a good enough life or we eventually freeze in the dark all alone.

I cannot tell whether you are speaking of networked groups of local individuals with multiple skill sets or are talking a TOWN with a GOVERNMENT. A TOWN will make you more visible and suseptible to "bands of thugs". It is egalitarian networks of individuals who will be most flexible and capable of surviving. A Government in scarcity quickly turns into it's own "band of thugs". Self-Government is an oxymoron. Avoid "LOCAL AUTHORITIES" at all costs.

a few thoughts:
BTW great responses from many posters, & not sure
I will say anything new.
You have children I see from down thread.
Your will to survive will kick in when the chips
are down; the question will likely be ways to do so.
Read Viktor Frankel's Man's Search for Meaning;
or Mcarthney's(sp?) The Road- father saving his son
after a holocaust scenario(warning worse case).
-you have one of the best survival skill set for most any bad circumstances, med skills.
-if we get major leadership or luck/incompetence
(I can hope)& don't set off lots of nukes a place that is sustainable months to a
couple of years would be my bet- along with others
& ways to protect.
-if we don't get the leadership, or some other
default position for major nukes then location
will be very ,very important.
-likely there will be some warnings for most bad
things with some lead time; again mobility & preps
very important; however now is not later re available preps.

Attitude, connecting, skills are more important
than things. An axe, hoe, & rifle was minimum for most on the frontier.Being calm to consider/evaluate,
get the news & not fighting in lines for basics
will make all the difference in the world. You children will need that as fright will be all around.

Good Luck.

I'm at a point where I'm young enough and have enough financial means that I could make preparations such buying solar photovoltaic panels and a farm and I could learn the appropriate skills, yet part of me just won't take this leap.

Ok so you magically have enough 'money' to set up a homestead. How do you plan on covering the government imposed year to year costs in taxation? Via force of "law", you can be stripped of that homestead and tools you have on this homestead.

For US citizens, the money system based on economic growth tied to ever increasing energy consumption. What happens when the energy flow is cut off?

Caution urged on climate 'risks'

Two leading UK climate researchers have criticised those among their peers who they say are "overplaying" the global warming message.

They say some researchers make claims about possible future impacts that cannot be justified by the science.

The pair believe this damages the credibility of all climate scientists.

They think catastrophism and the "Hollywoodisation" of weather and climate only work to create confusion in the public mind.


Right. I saw the following remark posted the other day, can't remember what forum it was, but it's worth paraphrasing:

Scientists have determined that there's only a 90% chance that the limb we are sawing off this giant tree is actually the one we're sitting on.

Therefore, the recommended course of action is to keep on sawing.

well it turned up on slashdot too.

I'm not sure if this has been posted, apologies if so. The flip side of the above, that the "just the facts, mam" line is lacking. It is perhaps also applicable to peak oil.


The WAPO article on Cuban black market actvity is not exactly construing that the Cubans are starving; on the contrary, most footage I've seen and Cubans I've met would indicate that they are seemingly teetering on the overfed side. Obesity would be a more likely 'issue' than starvation, and the grim spectre of anorexia does not loom large.

Speaking of 'issues', what has happened to the P word - as in problem? When was this common noun Newspeaked into the catch all of 'issue'. I might expect the media or government to add it to its list of euphemisms, but personally I'm ready for return to having good old problems. Have we solved our problems by converting them to isssssues? I'm going to stick with problems until they are solved.

I think the point is not that they are starving, but that they are not independent in food production. They've done a lot of things right, they have some advantages we don't - but it still wasn't enough.

I've come across several reviews of this movie at liberal sites such as dKos, and interestingly, they tend to be far more critical of it than you usually see at peak oil sites. Even though many of the reviewers, being lefties, are somewhat sympathetic to socialism and the Cuban government.

It wasn't peak oil. Only an embargo. Cuba had to undertake this change over while the rest of the world was still ok. In essence, Cuba had it easier. Still, my understanding is the average weight loss was about 20pounds.

What struck me most about the Cuban approach was how they framed it as a "public health" issue. That's not at all like waiting for the invisible hand of the reaper.

cfm in Gray, ME

The first time I heard the expression "You got issues!" in an American film, I was somewhat puzzled: had I missed something, what the hell was this person talking about? Like, "You've got important subjects of debate!" just does not make sense as an irate comment.

I can come up with two SWAGs as to the origin of this way of using the word. First, the expression "take issue", which means "disagree" or "have a problem", must have something to do with the semantic shift in question. Second, more of a WAG than a SWAG really, is that the upper middle class in America has seen it fit to indulge in therapy for the past decades, and excessive psychobabble tends to turn every issue imaginable into a problem... ;-)

i think the term has been around the psycological/relationship/self help arena since at least the mid '80's.

the one that kills me is when a mechanic says "that car has "issues". i suppose it is sarcasim but sometimes i wonder if that is how he thinks.

Permaculture is great and stuff and I am a big organic gardening fan but all the numbers don't work out when it comes to the Cuba story.


Oil - consumption: 204,000 bbl/day (2004 est.)

I debunked Cuba's peak oil success on an earlier thread. They use about as much oil per capita as Mexico and more than the Dominican Republic. Per dollar of GDP per capita they are far less efficient than the U.S. Sure it was tough in the early 90's but now they get oil from Hugo and their foreign exchange earnings catering to foreign tourists.

Good article about a specific cellulose ethanol plant being built in Iowa:

Emmetsburg ethanol plant gets $80 million federal grant

The project is expected to produce 11 percent more ethanol from a bushel of corn and 27 percent more from an acre of corn, while consuming 24 percent less water and using 83 percent fewer fossil fuels than what is needed to operate a corn to ethanol plant.

Hey editors... these reviews from around the net are great, but how about including the source blog or newspaper along with the title?

As a reader I like to know where a link is going to take me before I click.

You could argue, I suppose, that it might discourage people from clicking on otherwise interesting articles from obscure blogs and journals... but I think on balance truth in hyperlinking is the best policy.

Hold your mouse over the link, and the URL will appear at the bottom of your screen.

I do appreciate the summaries you provide ... it was just intended as a supportive suggestion.

Yes, I know I can inspect the link by rolling over...

Yes, I understand it is slightly more work for the compiler person or editor...


Your top story, "Energy crossroads" brings me to a subsription site for Capitol Press. Going into the site, I can't find the article.

Dang it. I hate it when they do that. Go in this way instead:


Then click on the first link.

Thanks for the effort, but that still brought me to the paywall. Maybe a problem with my cache. At the paywall, I searched "Paul Roberts" in their site search, and got it.

"It is hard to imagine a single fuel to replace oil," he said, noting how adaptable the fuel is. Furthermore, putting all of society's energy eggs in a one-solution basket is foolhardy.

"If we get behind a single technology and invest time and money and heart in it and realize it doesn't work because it's not cost-effective or too dangerous, then we have committed all this time and resource to one technology and we're back to square one," he said. "We need to make multiple bets, and we haven't had to do that in 60 years."

Also interesting to hear peak oil at an extension agent's conference, along with throwing cold water on ethanol.

But it worked for me. ??

I fixed the link up top. I, er, liberated the article.

The article is quite amazing, for a number of reasons. First, the audience of the speaker. Agricultural extension agents. These are the folks on the frontlines of ag, the ones with a lot of influence and contact with a wide variety of farmers, ranchers, and other rural landowners. Right in the trenches so to speak. Combine that with the content of the speech, and I am surprized that his talk was allowed. It would be instructive to learn of at least the attendance at Robert's talk. Not only does he speak of peak oil, he goes on to state its ultimate arrival doesn't matter-now is the time for solution.

In throwing cold water on ethanol in an ag forum, Roberts also states:

"he is concerned the rush to corn-based ethanol will give biofuels such a black eye politically that it will tar more-sustainable crop-based technologies of the future."

One other thing that caught my eye tooling around. The site, Capitol Press, has a major section on climate change, prodominately local in scope. This is not the Capitol Press I recall. It is a major western ag publication, on sale at numerous feed, implement, cafes, and other rural locations. Usually I go straight to the classifieds, online or paper, and hadn't noticed the online climate change section. To me this is quite a change for Capitol Press. I think it represents more evidence that the message of climate change and peak is quickly filtering down to all levels of our society.

I noticed this while reading one of Simmons's presentations:

January 29, 1969: A day of energy infamy:
– A blowout in Santa Barbara Channel created the first significant offshore oil spill for drilling or producing oilin 22 years of offshore drilling.
– Reactions to this “Tragedy” led to Earth Day, drilling bans and 7-year delay in Prudhoe Bay oil use.

I wonder how the oil shocks of the 70's would have played out without this delay.

The article "Analysts: $3 gasoline unlikely in summer", which states we only need avoid a major Gulf Coast hurricane, unexpected international strife or a wave of refinery woes to get lower gasoline prices (as if that were quite possible).

But assuming their unlikely cornucopian scenario comes to pass, why do energy 'analysts' continue to ignore the explosive growth in US demand this year (2007)? For the first ten weeks of the year, US oil/product demand has averaged more than 900,000 barrels per day higher than compared to 2006 (per the EIA). From various economic reports issued by China and India, we can safely assume that there energy demands are also growing there about 1,000,000 bpd over last year. So where do these analysts think the oil to meet the extra 2 million bpd growth in demand is going to come from?

It doesn't even appear those quoted have given any thought to that question - yet day after day the Wall Street Journal and other media sources tell us worldwide energy demands are slowing down.

Good point. Didn't realize us consumption was up that much... I heard gasoline was up 3.3%, fuel oil too, everything else flat...

However, since world crude production is flat, and increasing consumption is pretty much limited to china, us, and the greedy producing countries, then wsj et al are correct - most of the planet, say 3/4, is, indeed, reducing consumption.

I have not seen any evidence that the world, ex-China, India, and the US, has been reducing oil demand.

It's seems more likely that world demand exceeding supply is explained by the ongoing decline in world inventories that started about October 1, 2006.

Hello Phineas Gage and other TODers,

27,000 children under 5 die each day of starvation and dehydration-- they are not causing violence, but exit peacefully. This is optimal decline, purely the forces of Nature at work [but sure piss-poor planning on the parents part]. Old people dying of heart attacks, stroke, renal failure, etc --again, exit by Nature.

This is no different than us adults dying in auto accidents, plane crashes, industrial accidents, rockslides, floods, single suicides, or self-induced Darwin Award stupid acts, etc--again, the forces of physics at work-- optimal decline.

Suboptimal decline is human-caused violence, murder, war, nuclear gift exchange: the willful act of inflicting pain and bio-exit upon others versus choosing cooperation. Hans Selye's GAS, inclusive fitness, choosing scapegoats, creation of machete' moshpits, terrorist suicide bombers, genetic legacy, anarchy--the Full-on Thermo/Gene Collision.

Optimal decline through cooperation maximizes the squeeze through the Dieoff Bottleneck and also brings the maximum amount of other biota to the other side; we prevent the extinction of the polar bears, carrots, salmon, bananas, yaks, birds, dogs, cattle, deer, elk, dolphins, etc.

Optimal decline cooperation accepts the social need for very low birth rates to prevent as much as possible high death rates from violence; Nature is preferred to reduce the remaining Overshoot component, not the hand of Man.

Cooperation forces mitigation planning; the building of large biosolar habitat Arks for humans and biota to survive as best as possible.

Earthmarines will be the highest expression of cooperation; protecting trees, raspberries, hummingbirds, honeybees, etc, from being decimated by human Overshoot. The mutual admiration of our natural connectedness to all life and how the Humanimal Ecosystem and the Natural Ecosystem must meld together.

Suboptimal decline is continuation of business as usual; 'I will profitably take what I want now, screw tomorrow and you too buddy'; the Easter Island mindset, eating the last rat and cat on the planet instead of protecting natural foodchain flows. Blackwater Mercs fighting a losing, uphill battle against Detritus Entropy for elites' continued satisfaction of concentrated detritus MPP.

Consider Tiger&Woods and Justin Timber&lake controlling mis-applied resources with accumulated monetary wealth to avoid the entirely natural work of Biosolar re-integration; preferring wasted time in non-essential pursuits versus helping jumpstart cooperation by leadership example to others.

When will Tiger start plowing a golf course for his fellow man? Will he ever convert a golf course to help prevent the big cat's extinction? Is Justin Timberlake going to live his Biosolar name, or does he instead seek to maximize Detritus MPP with private jets and Lamborghinis? Will Justin ever break a sweat, bust a biosolar dance-move, and get his hands dirty and calloused by planting hundreds of trees around a body of water?

Or will they incentivise their burly bodyguards to take the last bag of wheat from your children's grasp?

EDIT: Will Tiger use a Nike brand 3-wood to club a little tigercub into a tender meal for his family? How tragically ironic would that be?

Optimal decline seeks to make our air clean, soil rich, and water naturally pure to maximize all lifeforms future viability; our items need natural biodegradeability--think of all packaging serving the same function as the cone that holds your ice cream, or else no packaging at all. Think Humanure recycling versus flush toilets, PV panels versus coal genplants, bicycles versus SUVs, relocalized permaculture versus the 8,000 mile Red Lobster fish dinner from Chile, enjoying natural starlight versus staring into a TV, local acoustic music versus massive electrified rock concerts.

Optimal decline seeks maximum paradigm shift rates from detritovore to biosolar; cooperation for low birth rates seek to minimize violence and maximize biosolar benefits/capita-- to make sure there is more than enough food and water to keep people content.

People just need to look ahead and decide if they want to cooperate on birth control, Detritus Powerdown and Biosolar Powerup. The alternative is to choose to have your neighbor's bullets or his/her machete' rip into your ribcage.

Harness the power of our reptilian brainstem's 'fight or flight' tendency to make the future we want. We have no place to flee from human-induced violence on this tiny orb, so we better work and strive [the slow fight] for as much peaceful change as we can get.

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

Leanan, I really appreciate your untiring efforts. You often uncover links to pages of great interest to me.

Your input for ideas for today's thread had a variety of issues, but virtually all comments are doomer discussions. WOuldn't it be possible to have one thread focused on hydrocarbons and another for everything else?

I don't think they want too many open threads. Takes up real estate, when they'd rather highlight the contributor articles.

Untiring efforts is almost an understatement. You could take a day off sometime, we'd let you.
Or do you have a secret twin> Do you have a 'droid? You've programmed an AI Leanan that does this for you?
Always thanks.

I thought this excerpt from the Housing Bubble Blog was pretty revealing--and a sign of things to come. If everyone is being bailed out, who is paying for it? The "Printing Press?"

BTW, if the markets are so good at predicting future trends, why were stock prices of sub-prime mortgage companies doing okay until very recently?

From USA Today. “Andy Sobel is selling his San Diego condo for $60,000 less than he owes on his mortgage. He’s six months behind on his payments, but it’s all he can do to avoid foreclosure. He’s also writing to Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.”

“‘Please don’t let this happen to anyone else,’ Sobel says he’s writing, and will explain how he was ‘duped’ into buying his first home in 2004 with an adjustable-rate mortgage designed for him to pay only the interest each month, no principal.”

“‘I know there are a lot of people like me, families — this ruins some people,’ Sobel says. ‘If there is going to be any kind of bailout, we should be part of it.’”

If I heard the intro correctly, Jim Kunstler will be interviewed on Bob Brinker's show today. You can listen to him right now (5:07 P.M. Central time) on XM Radio (Channel 124), or you can listen to it online for a nominal fee at www.bobbrinker.com.

Bob talked about Cantarell crashing--and the possibility that Saudi Arabia is past its peak.

Note that Bob has a stellar stock market record. He advised everyone to get out of stocks in the spring of 2000 and then back into stocks in the spring of 2003.

As coal figures more prominently in contemporary minds (e.g., see Simmons' latest presentations), I thought it would be interesting to find out more about how life with coal is handled around the world. Here is an article on the poor in one of China's biggest coal towns:


BTW, here is a satellite view of the Fushan area discussed. You can see the huge open pits, the longest a couple of miles across:

Discussion of where to live in the US during the Post Peak Period:

I'm staying where I'm at...the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri...


1 - Middle of the country (coasts will be chaotic for many reasons).
2 - Not far from farming and people that still know how to farm.
3 - Many local freshwater resources.
4 - Never extremely hot or cold.
5 - Is not a target of anyone (foreign or domestic).
6 - Lots of crafty folk around that can still make things with their hands.
7 - Not totally backwoods...there are some intelligent academics close by, artists, scientists (especially medical).
8 - Still tied intimately to the railroad industry.
9 - Large rivers close by good for navigation.
10 - Cost of living has always been moderate.

Late night news worth looking at over at Bloomberg:

China Raises Rates to Slow Inflation and Investment


Treasuries Rise This Week on Stock Losses, Mortgage Concern


Pimco Says Subprime Woes May Spread to Alt-A, Jumbo


"5 - Is not a target of anyone (foreign or domestic)."



Whiteman AFB would be a Strategic Target in a war with either China or Russia

There are probably ICBM's still targeted there since the Cold War

Whiteman is a bit of a distance from where I'm at...say 40 miles or so. I also don't think any foreign attackers could get to it easily going over so many miles on continental US soil.

For an ICBM Attack with a nuclear warhead, 40 miles is Ground Zero. ICBM's drop from the fringes of space onto the target. We, as yet, do not have an effective means to stop them. At least you'll die instantly.(I am right about that, that 40 miles is in the die instantly zone and not the don't die instantly but die a lingering horribly painful agonizing death zone, right?)

You are not correct.

Typical Russian warheads are in the 300 kiloton range. At 40 miles, the warhead would be a bright flash of light and no more. Now subsequent radiation might kill you but that is not a swift painless death.

The range of a nuclear warhead increases as the cube root of the power, consequently there is an "optimal" yield for nuclear weapons when you consider what the throw weight of your rocket is.

At 10 miles, the max overpressure is a trifling 0.28 PSI and the wind speed is less than 10 miles per hour.

At 5 miles, we get to wind speeds of 35 miles per hour and a maximum overpressure of 2.4. Hmmm... this is still not much in the way of damage, is it? And you are still outside the burn radius.

So let's get a bit closer in here, at, say 2 miles. At 2 miles, with the typical 300 kiloton nuclear warhead, we finally start to see some effects that are worth noting. Overpressure is 9 PSI and wind speed is about 150 mph. You might get 3rd degree burns and you are still outside the radius of serious initial radiation damage. Houses collapse around 5 PSI so this is fairly important. By the way, the 5 PSI line is 2.85 miles.

Also, where do you come up with this notion of a "horribly painful agonizing death" from anyway? This will be the fate of anyone who gets in the way of nuclear fallout with no shelter but sheltering against nuclear fallout is trivial. Plus fallout generally obeys the "rule of seven". This states that once fallout reaches its peak, 7 hours later it will have half its radioactive value. In 7 time that, or 49 hours, it has lost half its radiation again. In 7 times that value, or roughly 2 weeks, if has lost half its radiation again.

Please inform yourself with regards to nuclear weapons before you go off making wild eyed assumptions.

P.S. To Matt - most people in the blast zone do not die an instant death in a bright fireball. Most of them die from collision injuries while being hurled through the air at 300 to 2000 miles per hours.

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

Actually the SS-27 ICBM carries a 550 kiloton warhead. This is the current ICBM in service at this time. The point is the number of warheads targeted in the vicinity as well as immediately west of his location makes his survival doubtful.

The range of the weapon increases as the cube root of the power! Did you miss that comment last time?

For a 550 kt warhead, the effect at 40 miles is a bright flash. Whoopdeedooo.

At 20 miles the effect is 0.17 PSI and 7 mph winds.

At 10 miles the effect is 1.1 PSI and 17 mph winds.

At 5 miles the effect is 3.0 PSI and 45+ mph winds.

At 3 miles is 6.5 PSI and 105 mph winds.

The 5 PSI line is at 3.6 miles. Gee, we've moved outwards a whole 0.8 miles.

Also you assume that the Russians can't adequately target. They choose the size warhead for the same reason that we do - choose the minimum size warhead necessary to breach the target within the CEP of your targeting system.

No, the point is NOT that his survival is doubtful. The point is that you claimed this was the instant death kablooie zone for nukes. It's not. It's not even close. His primary problem is fallout. If he can hole up until the radiation drops, his fallout problem becomes moot.

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

Is not a target of anyone (foreign or domestic).


Your neck of the woods looks like it'll be glass. But the western half of the state will still exist.


I thought there was a whole lot more there. That place is toast in the eventuality of a Strategic War with either Russia or China.

Ha...you guys have all been affected by "The Day After"...c'mon...you think anything will make it that far inland in the continental US? I guess someone could try suicide bombing the facilities, but that's a stretch.

Easiest targets will be on the coasts...especially the West coastline. I really don't see how any country could successfully make an isolated hit into the heart of the country unless they are simultaneously targetting multiple areas around the country. If that's the case, it don't matter where you are holed up.

You must be very young. Perhaps you should look up ICBM's.

I think you meant eastern half.

5 - Is not a target of anyone (foreign or domestic)

Wasn't the 1980's nuclear holocaust television movie "The Day After" about Kansas City being bombed?

And a fictional movie makes it a fact...read my above comments.

Can the younger generation really be so ill informed regarding ICBM's. A nuclear warhead can be delivered to any spot on the face of the planet and the chances of shooting it down are nil. You are living practically next door to the largest B-2 Stealth Bomber Base(including repair facilities for it). You might as well have a target painted on the top of your house. If I am not mistaken you also have operational ICBM missile silos at Whiteman which means multiple targets for multiple nuclear warheads.

hmm icbm's look pretty real.

I think you forgot 'very powerful', such as 10 megaton? The lesser bombs would be used only for single, easily destroyed targets. Missile silos would be hardened so would likely attract much more powerful bombs. And an important military site like the B2 bomber base would be a prime target, so vast overkill would be the order of the day.

By the way there is a relatively easy to find online site that describes the destruction in Hiroshima and another for Nagasaki. These 25/30 kiloton bombs had substantial effects much further out than GZ's description above.

Wow...you all were in a caustic mood last night. I'll answer you all instead of replying individually.

No I'm not young...turn 43 on March 23rd. I grew up in KC so I know about all the wonderful military crap within fallout radius of the KC metro area. I know what ICBMs are.

When I said that I don't think KC is a target, I meant that I don't think KC is going to be the first target in a foreign or domestic attack and here's why:

- To believe that we are a target of an ICBM attack you have to accept that we are in all out war with Russian and/or China (there really are no other countries that have the capability and gumption to try it). I don't think this will happen unless we directly piss them off some how and they have no other choice. I don't think they would attack the heart of the Midwest in a first strike. There are much easier and more impactful targets for a first strike.

- Many of our missle silos have been retired and sold off as domestic properties (http://www.missilebases.com/ , http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/Central/08/02/silo.sweet.silo/)

- Whiteman Air Force base is the home of the 509th Bomb Wing, which operates and maintains the Air Force's premier weapon system, the B-2 bomber. Now, do you think a foreign attacker would try bombing Whiteman knowing we could scramble all the aircraft on a moment's notice?

- There are much more appealing targets for a first strike, like NORAD in Colorado Springs, Norfolk, VA, anywhere in the NE USA. KC may be a target in subsequent strikes, but if we are in an all out ICBM attack across the country, tell me who is safe and where.

My thoughts in liking the KC area are that I'm close to a urban center that is NOT one of the top urban areas in the USA so we don't draw alot of international attention, but close enough to rural countryside and cultural to benefit from what they can offer.

That's exactly what I'd be telling myself if I was in your shoes. ;)

No need to worry about it, my guess is you've already invested enough in your current location that moving is not a pragmatic option at this point. So why worry?

If they were to launch a surprise attack, they would undoubtedly use overkill for such a high-priority target. Perhaps a dozen powerful bombs, mostly air bursts, downing any planes that did succeed in taking off.

Of course, NASA is predicting global warming may bring back the dust bowl....

And I don't think I'd fit in culturally there. I'm an atheist, born and bred, and hence probably not a great candidate for the Bible Belt.

Haa...thanks one and all...Dust Bowl II, nuclear holocaust, ummm oh ya...hicks as well.

Thank God we at least have the Jayhawks this year.

Stay away...one and all...more BBQ for us.

JK...KC's not so bad if you find the right people and places.