The Oil Drum is Terribly Two Today

Two freaking years. 4.3-plus million unique visits. March has been our best month ever--and it's not even close to over yet (did I mention to keep hitting those reddit and digg buttons? *laugh* But seriously, everything you can do in that regard helps our writers get exposure for their ideas and gets more people involved in these important conversations...).

More importantly, there are now more websites (most of them in our blogroll, but there are others) and more smart people talking and thinking about energy and our future than there were when we started this thing two years ago, and that's a good thing. The petroleum supply has plateaued--to this point--and there is even more uncertainty about the future and how this is all going to play out. We need to have as many informed discussions as we can.

It is rewarding to be a part of helping the world realize that we need to be having these discussions now more than ever. This (sometimes dauntingly and overwhelmingly) complex topic continues to fascinate and grow in salience and importance--we will do everything we can to ensure that The Oil Drum continues to be a medium where these high quality discussions take place.

I am surrounded by an amazing set of people with mind-blowing talents, all part of a diverse community respectfully presenting evidence and argument. I learn from all of you, and I am thankful every day for each one of you and what you bring. Thank you dear people for doing what you do.

So, we thank you all for making this work. Please remember that you create and reinforce the norms that shape the environs here. You make this space; without you, it's just blown bandwidth. Thank you for improving on the silence.

Who knows what the future holds other than that change will occur and time will pass. We have informed guesses, and some of them will be right, some will be wrong. Either way, we will be here while we have the means to keep the lights on and the will to persevere.

Happy Birthday, TODers. Happy Birthday indeed! May the next year bring all of you community, happiness, insight, and understanding.


Let celebrate by sending a get well card to Daniel Yergin. He must be getting sick of getting every prediction wrong.

First belly-laugh of my day.

(It's 1:32 AM here.  Must not've been a very good day.)

Yes, congratulations indeed.

And much thanks for giving me the idea to take google adwords and advertisements on LATOC. That has helped so much and I don't know if I would have thought of it had I not seen the ads here.

Part of the reason I'm so happy about the advertisements is I have enough saved to take a scouting trip to a corner of the world I think has a shot of missing the worst of what I see coming. (I could be wrong of course.) Heck I just got glasses yesterday as I will be doing a good bit of driving during my visit and those cost $500!

Should I decide to relocate I am thinking of using LATOC as a way to finance something akin to a walled, off-grid biosolar community compound with "citizen Earth Marines". By "Citizen Earth Marines" I'm thinking something along the lines of the Founding Father's idea of citizen-soldier-militias but with solar panels and six-shooters.

Unfortunately I only have about $15,000 at my disposal which only enough to build a yurt in an unincorporated/outlaw part of where I'm considering going, buy a 100 watt solar panel, and put up a lifesize cardboard cutout of The Terminator as my "compound's" defense grid. Maybe get a trusty dog too.

Then I figured "well perhaps I should sell LATOC . . ." and use that money to finance my biosolar community compound. A site like LATOC is worth its most in the 2-to-5 years prior to real chaos and economic collapse taking place, a time I think we're entering. The time where fuel and food is available for most westerners just at increasingly high prices. The period where intelligent and informed people can still perform enough mental gymnastics to be able to say with a straight face "it's still too early to see how this will play out . . . after all a magical fleet of hybrid cars piloted by venture capitalists may ride to our rescue . . ." But even in the best case scenario I don't know that I could get enough for it so I've dismissed that idea for now.

So then I figured "well why not tap into my readership?" I mean there must be a few well-to-do people who might be willing to finance the place in exchange for a spot in such a community. In other words I don't have the money to do what I'd like to do but I may be able to leverage my site as a tool to get what I really want which is an off-grid biosolar compound with Citizen Earth Marines. Thus far that is the best idea I've been able to come up with.

I'm curious if the proprietors of TOD have considered doing likewise? As great as TOD is, it is (like all PO Blogs) wholly dependent on an underlying functioning petroluem and electricity based economy. (the irony of this I'm sure is not lost) Once it comes undone, this blog will disappear into the night like most of the non-essential internet.

At the very least the readership would severly contract as more and more of us upper middle class types have to get theri hands dirty in the game of survival. Will Stuart, for instance, have time to dig through reports of KSA's production when he and/or his wife loose their non-essential jobs? Similarly, would I have time to read his analysis of the reports should I no longer be able to procure my food and energy with FRNs people give me in exchange for copies of "The End of Suburbia" and "Crude Impact", products which are excellent but in the big picture completely non-essential?

So I guess my question to the TOD Overlords is: do you folks have any plans in the works for your own survival? And do you forsee leveraging TOD be it for financing, contacts, whatever, to implement your lifeboat strategy?

So I guess my question to the TOD Overlords is: do you folks have any plans in the works for your own survival? And do you forsee leveraging TOD be it for financing, contacts, whatever, to implement your lifeboat strategy?

Few if any of us on TOD staff are as doomerish as you are. Everyone has their own view, of course, but I would say on average TOD staff tends towards believing the right political and techno-fixes will save us.

Ahhh. . . the trusty hybrid calvary.

Hopefully a series of technological solutions will be as successfull at mitigating oil shortages and economic unraveling here at home as they have been at preventing oil wars abroad!

I'm in the "catabolic collapse" camp myself, and am probably more pessimistic than most.

I'm not a regular commenter here, mainly because while I'm a big fish in a small pond energy-wise in my own life, at'm utterly totally outranked.

But here I can make a bona fide comment.

Just as TOD is two years into this thing, I'm almost exactly two years into discovering the Big P.O. and having my entire worldview turned upside down upon that discovery.

I flip and turn and read and read and read. I have felt powerless and empowered at turns. Have felt optimistic at certain things I read here...and then have days when I want to rip out my thinning hair and think the world is headed down the drain. It is an enormous struggle for me, and really it should be for anybody, anyone with a critical mind.

All I can say is...The Oil Drum approaches this subject in the most rational, intelligent, factual way I have seen on this subject. At its core, this is NOT a doomer site, as Leanan said.

Now...if nothing is done about the subjects talked about here? Well...this COULD in retrospect BE a doomer site, but TOD writers do not and should not resign themselves to that, even as they do honest journalism and acknowledge that possibility as one possible outcome.

I think the crux of why this is such a valuable site is that you have energy experts with degrees longer than my arm (and indeed every limb on my body) that are not afraid to acknowledge what NO politician today, no major media outlet could ever acknowledge - we are in REAL trouble. And a few tweaks to the system will absolutely NOT be enough to maintain status quo for the long term, or perhaps even the mediumterm.

Whether we can meet these challenges or not, at least The Oil Drum is asking the right questions instead of the horribly, at times criminally misguided ones of the MSM. Which makes this site absolutely essential reading.

Thank you, and see you next year and beyond!

I'm no big fish either.  I'm just a guy with a sharp pencil, a little physics and subject-matter expertise (which anyone could get by reading the right stuff and doing exercises — my degree sure didn't give me specific grounding for this) and a hard head.

Oh, and a little optimism.  Like the doomers, I'm sure we've got troubles ahead.  Unlike the doomers, I think they're both fixable and worth fixing.

I'm happy to see GliderGuider sharpening his pencil, and I'd like to see a lot more people doing it.  We need more hard-headed optimists.

I can't believe it, I have been coming here over half of TOD's lifetime?

It looked so pro a year ago, I thought it had been here since the birh of the web! :-)

Congrats is the word, I have read some absolutely veiwpoint altering and widening stuff since I have been here...and more links than I can find time to follow, many of them with promise of fascinating new developments and technologies...

Of course, with a bigger and bigger voice comes bigger responsibility. I will say that most folks here (compared to the broader standard of behavior on the web) take the responsibility seriously. TOD and it's writers now influence peoples thinking and perceptions and is seen by many newcomers as the "educated class" of old timers on these energy issues. But, and I know, I have sang this tune before with little effect, but we should always keep in mind how our words affect the more vulnerable among us. I read a post here by a father of an autistic little girl. It brought tears to my eyes, actually. He was deeply concerned about medication and care for the child should we face "the worst case" scenario. What was moving was the sincerity of his words, he was not greatly worried about himself, but about his very vulnerable child.

On another site, I read a post by a college girl, living alone for the first time in her life, who had come upon one of the, shall we say, "darker" sites concernign energy depletion and the great crash. She was beside herself with fear, unable to concentrate, and thinking of dropping out of college (what good would it do in a world in catastrophic collapse, on the edge of a new dark age?

So please, if you can, think about the effect words have on often lonely, non-technical and vulnerable people. It seems this is one of the first little services that we can perform for humanity.

I know that most folks here care about people. How do I know that? Because the greedy thing to do would be to be silent, not givel others warning of the danger, and hoard and protect ourselves.

But most folks at TOD are at heart "community builders", either on the web or in the real world. It is a community that bring real information to many, act as a trading board of technical information and available options, and perhaps cause someone who has never had any interest in energy and energy solutions to jump in the puzzle solving fun, and accidently stumble into a really big breakthrough. Remember, the home computer was born from the cross chatter of hobbyists, and created a revolution. We can only hope for so much!

Again, congratulations on a fascinating and informative place on the web, and great to meet all the extremely bright folks I have met here, at least in the virtual sense! :-)

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

Roger, I have a friend who faces the same dilemma with a blind child who requires expensive medications, which in an EOTWAWKI scenario could be tragic.
He is peak oil aware and has been spreading the word for over 5 years. Many people get very depressed as the peak oil scenario breaks through the resistive fog of day to day, but most get over it and look to solutions. We need to keep spreading the word and hope that the weaker among us work through the negative thoughts that are initially inevitable.
Congratulations to TOD for a job, so far, well done indeed.

On another site, I read a post by a college girl, living alone for the first time in her life, who had come upon one of the, shall we say, "darker" sites concernign energy depletion and the great crash. She was beside herself with fear, unable to concentrate, and thinking of dropping out of college (what good would it do in a world in catastrophic collapse, on the edge of a new dark age?


Why don't you reference what you're referring to? It is so obvious you are reffering to the following discussion, don't try to bs me that it's not the one you're reffering to. If it is then I challenge you to post the link proving me wrong;,2264.0.html

For the record, she got some damn good advice from my forum members.

Why not just reference it? Are you afraid the Chimp Who Can Drive formerly known as the AMPOD will intellecutally take you you to the mat like a true primate?


Well, actually, the post I was thinking of must have been from some where else, as it was at least 4 or 5 months ago.....that's why I didn't reference the source, because I couldn't possibly remember it (it was from something with an "out of the wilderness or preparing for peak type title", but was not nearly as recent as the one your referencing.
(and no b.s., what would it gain me by not saying it if the post your referencing was the one, I could care less exactly where I first read the post....I am certain there are now many similiar cases out there...

And I do not have time at this moment to read the whole string, but you provided the link, so yes, anyone can reference the one at www.peakstore, and see what they think of the advice given, from the quick scan I did it didn't look bad...

Another source for and showing some of the reactions of folks to what they read and see on the web is
sometimes the traffic is light, but some of the archived stories, which sound very sincere are pretty informative of the power the peak movement has over peoples perceptions, and sometimes emotions.

My post at the front of this string was not intended "to find fault", but just to remind folks that the "science" of peak oil, such as it is and the perceptions that can be created and scenarios that can be visualized are two diffferent things....I am convinced that peak oil will occur (I don't know when, it may already be behind us and we are on downside, or it may be a decade plus out in front) but that many of the scenarios seen in many books and on many websites are pure conjecture, some very, very fanciful based on the numbers given even by "peak authorities" such as Campbell, ASPO and others.

And hey, I would be fool to take a chimp who can drive on in an intellectual contest, I know to pick my fights more carefully than that! :-)

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


You do not want to dance with the Chimp on this fine spring morning? Very well. Perhaps we will meet in battle another day.

My own user data says "Member for 1 year 30 weeks", so I've been here since TOD was about 5 months old.  The Ergosphere is only a tad over 3 itself.

I think we can get past this without even giving up suburbia.  Transportation is the big problem for oil depletion, but that looks fixable.  Cars like the Tesla Roadster are far too costly for the average driver, but the announcement of the Chevy Volt and now the Venture Vehicles VentureOne (coming 2008) shows that we can go oil-free for most of that too.  Climate change is the other problem, but if it's possible to deal with it using biofuels and high-efficiency converters alone (a la "Sustainability") then a fix using the above plus our full complement of wind, solar, nuclear and cogeneration should make it even easier.

We know how to do this.  It's just engineering (says the engineer), a bit of architecture, that sort of thing.  What we need is a way to get people to actually do what we know how to do.

Thank you, Prof. Goose, for all of your hard work and effort!

Just think, one year from now, when TOD is three, the world's energy environment could be completely different...

This seven seater vehicle has zero emissions and could make the US energy independent.

Octopus Bike

Now that's a beast. My dealer in Mt Airy was renting one of those out for parades.

Happy Birthday to The Oil Drum

Commuters give weeks to the ride

BALTIMORE (Map) - You know you’re from Maryland if one hour is an easy commute to work.

Crashes and congestion permitting, that’s about the time it takes to travel 25 miles Beltway-to-Beltway between Baltimore and Washington, two centers that have spread steadily, as more workers take jobs in the suburbs and commute from adjacent counties. That’s two hours a day commuting time. Or about 500 hours a year of dodging unsafe drivers and sitting in endless lines of fume-spewing stop-and-go traffic.

“I used to drive,” said Gallaudet University employee Dierdre Mullervy, who takes the MARC commuter train from Baltimore to Washington. “It was horribly congested. Now I take the train.”

“I take the train because of the bad traffic, the cost of gas, and because the service is easier and cheaper,” said Zarica Whalen, who takes the MARC from Baltimore to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Hyattsville.

Then there’s the reliability of rails. Riders feel like they’re going to get to work on time.

“Ninety percent of the time it is great — on time and everything,” said Richard Greenlee, who has taken the MARC for the last four months while his girlfriend drives their shared car. “Only about 10 percent of the time do we experience delays.”

Johns Hopkins, Flexcar embark on automobile-sharing program

BALTIMORE - Baltimore’s first car-sharing program hit the road this week at Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus.

The university and Flexcar, a national chain, hope to set a new standard on how businesses and individuals can take an active role in reducing global warming and greenhouse gases that contribute to climate changes.

Hopkins is providing parking spaces for Flexcar and helping with the maintenance of the vehicles. The cars can be rented by anyone in the Baltimore region.

It costs $35 to join the Flexcar program. Rental rates are $9 per hour, which includes free gas, insurance and 150 free miles. The daily rate is $60 and vehicles can be rented for up to three days.

Let's hope for another two years of the Oil Drum. Each year of broadband internet connection inside my electricity-powered home is getting more and more precious as we head into the peak oil era.

Congratulation TOD!

And thanks to everyone with the specialized knowledge,skills and patient analytic minds, that makes TOD so special, for contributing.

Moved to Drumbeat

Congrats Prof G.

It has been a struggle at times but you have successfully maintained the tenor and Science based discussion for two years.

I, like you, have learned a ton by being here and am honored to have listened in on the debates from the beginning and have even stirred the pot once in awhile! I trully hope there will be a third birthday party to celebrate.

I'm truly awed by the breadth of knowlege in both the contributors and editors of this blog. I never visit without learning new information. I really appreciate everyone's efforts.

I remember when, if there were three comments, we would get the message, "It's a gusher!" I've been mostly lurking since April, 2005 and have been spreading the word ever since.

Happy Birthday, TOD

Prof G. ,
You have indeed performed a very good work here.

I am betting my very life and lifestyle on the information I glean on this website. I am betting my future in fact. I daily make decisions based upon the encroaching crisis that appears to be heading our way as depicted by many views of the members on this site.

Whilst in N. Carolina for the last 4 weeks I found my wife's next door neighbor to be an ag prof who was head of his dept at the university. I spoke to him on the subject of ethanol and was quite suprised when he was suprised that I was very much informed on the subject. He was in fact going before congress shortly on the issue of Food vs Ethanol. I felt that suddenly the small part of the world had suddendly started to awaken to what the impending future holds.

So my accolades to you and your staff for the very fine work being done here.

So much more pleasant after the trolls disappeared. I even disabled my GreaseMonkey script.

You should be proud that you are making a difference.

Airdale--back home in Ky and fixing tractors once more

Just checked my account, and discovered that I have been reading posts, and comments for almost the whole time it's been out here. Would just say that I have learned a lot about oil that I never knew before. Also glad to have you back airdale. As for the rest of the gang here keep up the good work, and lets all hope we get to see a third year of TOD. Being one of it's senior citisons does somewhat challenge my plans for the future. The best I can hope for is my time will be up before the steep dive into collapse comes about. However I am always hoping for the slow squeeze that stewart is always talking about. For the record it's one of the first places I visit after reading my morning paper.
ps: I too remember when it was "we have a gusher" -:)

Everyone has their own view, of course, but I would say on average TOD staff tends towards believing the right political and techno-fixes will save us.

Politicians? on their short terms they live for, long term goals can easily be dismantled by the future governments. However, you hit the nail on the head with techno fixes, considering moving away from natural gas heat to a new breed of heat pumps for A/c and heat, thus reducing my part. but that is what Prof G I believe started this community all about, analysis work. I struggle understanding the tech terms with charting but do appreciate the high quality this site has of articles and commentary,. Thanks. This site has made me personally aware of our energy needs/wants more than ever.

In the words of chief executive Angus Reid said recently in his just released poll,.."People who are wealthier and well educated often have the most to give up. They're also able to rationalize this thing away. But all those things that have come to be considered part of an affluent lifestyle are threatened.

Parents send their kids to university to obtain a degree in something of interest to them, getting that degree requires research, and verifiable sources to write the thesis to get the book/degree approved by the professor. Yet the parents(older generations or politicians if you will) brush off their work.

Prof G, well done!

Thanks OC. I love that quote by Reid.

Going backwards is going to be a bitch, however quickly it occurs, especially for the privileged.

"Going backwards is going to be a bitch, however quickly it occurs, especially for the privileged."

Why would that be so? To me, it seems to follow that the poor would suffer first, worst and longest. I remember the last real oil shock we had in the 1970's, and I also remember the select group in my smal hometown who rode right through it in Lincoln Continentals (then the equal fo the status SUV type vehicle today) while the poor traded down to Diesel Chevettes and Rabbits....and many still stayed home except for absolute nessisity trips....once more, I am betting that the only thing as good as fuel will be money.

Remember, we are only one cubic mile from freedom

I think the middle class will raise more of a stink and fight harder to preserve their lifestyle/be harder to reign in. They'll have to be forced to conserve. The poor just don't have that far to fall--and don't get me wrong, they will be the more desperate and sad cases. It's about how far you have to fall though...and how much something like this can change your lifestyle...

Thanks to Prof G, all of the contributors to TOD and to those who work behind the scenes to keep this site afloat.

I have been alert to Peak Oil since it became obvious that Iraq was going to be invaded. I've read Richard Heinberg's books and Twilight In The Desert, but this site has taught me more than any other single source. Keep up the good work, please.