DrumBeat: April 8, 2007

Life after oil — A children's book review - Graham Oakley’s Henry’s Quest

Occasionally when I visit my public library, I discover the most unexpected books sitting on the shelves. A few weeks ago, while helping to choose out some picture books, I chanced upon Henry's Quest, a children's book that imagines what life would be like in our world after peak oil.

Saudi Arabia may join nuclear club

"Saudi Arabia will not watch as its neighbors develop nuclear weapons," a Gulf source said. "It's a matter of time until a Saudi nuclear program begins."

Peak oil crisis will require fundamental cultural change

Like addicts, we have our drug of choice, "The American Way of Life," which, by Vice President Dick Cheney's recent statement, "Is not negotiable." However, in this case, there isn't a new dealer on the planet.

Wars For Water?

For years, experts and pundits have predicted that conflicts will increase over an ever scarcer and more valuable commodity: water. The fear has been that as populations grow and development spreads, vicious battles will erupt between water-rich and water-poor nations, particularly in major river basins where upstream nations control the flow of water to those downstream. To the doomsayers, global warming will only make those battles worse by decreasing rainfall and increasing evaporation in critical areas.

The Power is On

The Middle East is synonymous with the booming oil and gas industry. While Saudi Arabia is widely considered the frontrunner of the global oil and gas industry, producing approximately 10 million barrels of oil a day as well as sitting on a reported 25% of the world’s oil reserves, it is easy to overlook the wealth of oil producing countries in its shadow, and even easier to overlook the prominent role IT plays at the front and back end of energy operations.

Kenya: Fuel shortage expected to persist beyond Easter period

Operators in the fuel industry have said that the shortage in the commodity may persist beyond the Easter period.

Shell country chairman Engineer Patrick Obath on Sunday blamed the scarcity on fuel transport capacity hiccups.

Oil prices endure volatile week

World oil prices jumped to almost $70 a barrel during a shortened trading week, owing to heightened tensions over Iran’s capture of 15 British sailors ahead of their release.

But the strong gains were later erased as profit-taking set in ahead of a long holiday weekend to mark Easter. Elsewhere, base metals struck record highs on dwindling stockpiles.

Keep natural gas plan alive

Building Cabrillo Port will give California more control over its energy destiny.

Conserve, don't buy into LNG

No one denies California faces an energy crisis. However, we prefer to see efforts directed toward conservation and the development of alternative sources, instead of continuing our dependency on imported energy.

Iran to build first European ethanol refinery in Bosnia

Iran will establish Europe’s first ethanol refinery in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Managing Director of Mashal Khazar Darya (MKD) Esmaeil Shahmir reported on Sunday.

Corn, which due to shortage of water in Iran cannot be cultivated, gives off ethanol, a cheap fuel, he added.

Danish Energy Plan Boosts Hydrogen

The Danish Government's latest energy plan will accelerate the development and market acceptance of hydrogen vehicles by exempting them from taxes. The plan also calls for $166 million per year to be spent on energy research, with as much as $33 million annually going to hydrogen fuel cell development.

Thanks to heat of the Earth, I’m warm

Deep beneath the surface will lie an invisible skein of black plastic piping, encased (against sharp rocks) in a core of sand. And the piping will converge on two valves beneath a manhole, from which will run two big conduits, leading through the wall of our holiday cottage into the utility room. Here will sit, humming softly, a machine about the size of a fridge-freezer. One conduit will bring “brine” (water laced with antifreeze) from beneath the field where it has been gently warmed by the soil, into the machine. The other will carry away the brine, refrigerated by the machine, to rewarm beneath the field. The machine will provide us with copious hot water for central heating and domestic use.

Iraq claims largest oil reserves in the world

Iraq has oil reserves that are estimated at over 300 billion barrels, making the country the world leader in this sphere, the Iraqi oil minister said Saturday.

Road network to connect China with oil-rich nations

Centuries after it disintegrated with the decline of the Mongol empire and the rise of sea power, the old Silk Road is to be reinvented in a network of highways and arteries linking the remote desert of northwest China with cities in Europe, the Middle East and Russia.

China on Friday unveiled plans to build thousands of kilometers of roads to create a network that would broadly follow the ancient route linking old trading hubs such as Samarkand in Uzbekistan and Merv in Turkmenistan. The vast transport system is a crucial element in Beijing's strategy to tighten trade links with the oil and gas-rich countries of central Asia.

It is all about oil in Somalia-Ethiopia

Nearly two-thirds of Somalia’s land to prospect and exploit oil reserves was allocated to the American oil giants Conoco, Amoco, Chevron and Phillips in the final years before the, at that time, Somalia's pro-U.S. President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown and the nation plunged into chaos in January, 1991. Conoco inc. even kept an office in the capital the next years. This would later become the American Embassy when Bush Sr. tried to secure American interests under the pretext of an humanitarian mission.

Outlook on power, oil & gas and telecom sector for 2007

International crude oil prices have softened considerably from peak levels. This trend is believed to continue, though with temporary spikes stemming from geopolitical uncertainty and weather-related demand.

U.N. report raises pressure on China to cut pollution

Economic growth has brought environmental disaster, but fixing it is complicated by politics, poverty and tradition.

Confusion reigns supreme over biofuel policy

India’s biofuels policy is clearly suffering from a too-many-cooks syndrome, with multiple ministries holding divergent views on the basic contours of the policy.

Ethanol on rise, but moving it is a challenge - The fuel can't go through normal pipelines, giving industry a problem

With U.S. ethanol production on the rise, one major obstacle facing the alternative fuel is getting a closer look: the rather inconvenient system for transporting it around the country.

Unlike gasoline and diesel fuel, which shoot around the nation in pipelines at high speeds and in vast quantities, ethanol travels almost exclusively by rail, truck and river barge.

Chevron exec calls for realism on energy

Politicians who call for U.S. energy independence are engaging in rhetoric and poor leadership, says the vice chairman of the second-largest oil company in the United States.

How Russia and its allies will be able to turn up

They will never admit it, but the nations meeting in Qatar this week want to form an Opec-style cartel, writes former Yukos director Alexander Temerko.

Scientists get last say in climate study

Two distinctly different groups, data-driven scientists and nuanced offend-no-one diplomats, collided and then converged this past week. At stake: a report on the future of the planet and the changes it faces with global warming.

Mountaineers testify to warming's effect

Mountaineers are bringing back firsthand accounts of vanishing glaciers, melting ice routes, crumbling rock formations and flood-prone lakes where glaciers once rose.

Forces dig in for energy battle

A four-year battle to bring liquefied natural gas to California comes to a head beginning this week, as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and two state commissions make key decisions on a project that pits the state's dependence on fossil fuels against the push to boost renewable energy and combat climate change.

Analysis: Global nuclear boom expected

A global "nuclear renaissance," the cliché for a growth in nuclear power plant construction, is not merely talk, according to a new report by the Cambridge Energy Research Associates. New reactors are in various phases, from planning to construction, and even the United States, which hasn't approved a new reactor since 1978, will likely take part.

Special Green Lights for Cyclists in Copenhagen

At signaled intersections in Copenhagen, bicyclists get a green light before motor vehicles. This allows for bicyclists to "clear out of the intersection", so that they're not in the way when the cars want to get moving. It also solves the problem of bicyclists wanting to make left turns from a bicycle lane on the right hand side of the road. A perfect example of a sensible -- all vehicles are NOT created equal -- solution to roadways which have to accommodate 2 classes of vehicles which travel at fundamentally different speeds. Of course I don't need to add that getting the green light first gives a nice little advantage to commuting bicyclists.

Copenhagen, which already enjoys the highest percentage of bicycle commuters in Europe (about 1/3rd), continues to try and create incentives to encourage people bike rather than drive, something we should be doing, too.

Copied from another list, Bike Austin by another poster, Patrick Goetz,

Best Hopes for Growth in Zero Oil Transportation,


Denmark has cut their oil consumption from ~375,000 b/day in 1973 to ~200,000 b/day today. They produce about 350,000 b/day in the North Sea and export their savings.

That's the main reason why I systematically run red lights on a bike. It's just too damn dangerous to wait for green and start in among the cars.
(The other reason I do it is because it's fun.)

Being first into the intersection and early on the light gives traffic a big clear shot to see that bike rider. Some are pissed off by this, so what, if they are pissed it means they saw you.
One big caveat. If you want to play this game, no mistakes allowed. You must be 100.00% observant of all cross traffic. The day you race into an intersection on red and somehow miss that last car late on the yellow there is a big big price to pay and no one will have any sympathy, you will have a hard time forgiving yourself. If you make it.

Thanks for getting up and posting these articles on Easter Sunday! Its beyond the call of duty, Leanan.

West Texas
When will your next Export Land revision be published?

More mortgage fallout:

Housing Slump Pinches States in Pocketbook

State tax revenues around the country are growing far more slowly this year and in some cases falling below projections, a result of the housing market slowdown that has curbed voracious spending on real estate, building materials, furniture and other items.

Nowhere is the downturn more apparent than in Florida, where tax revenue is projected to drop this year for the first time since the energy crisis of the 1970s.

Good one Leanan,

From that link,

lan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman who has expressed worries about the housing market, has said he believes there is a one-in-three chance the economy will slip into recession in 2007.

Considering that we are just over a quarter of the way through 2007 and the housing bubble is really only just becoming publicly apparent, Greenspan may be right; unfortunately after 2007 we get 2008.

I hope someone on TOD will comment on how much time a falling market in home construction (and trading, which seems much akin to taking in each other's washing), will take to work it's way into a primary industries slump in the production of copper, steel, concrete etc. I would imagine it would be related to the speed of meltdown. What percentage of these industries depend on the housing market. I think one could go quite barmy indeed thinking of all the connections that are implied in this problem or should I say fiasco.

When reading the article yesterday, I noticed something missing. What is discussed are sales taxes etc., which will largely be levied at state level. What is not discussed are property taxes, especially the ad valorem ones, which depend on the market value of properties, and are levied at municipal and/or county level, where property taxes are typically the by far biggest source of income.

If the housing bust starts hitting as hard as it can be expected to, the revenue available to these levels of government, used to build and maintain vital infrastructure, roads, water, power etc., will fall so much that these often already stressed structures will begin to crumble.

What is not discussed are property taxes,

Or the system of taxation on any level. What does taxation mean when you have a debt-based system? What is the chance of understanding when the tax code is as big as it is. As of 1999 it (the I.R.S. Manual) is more than 7,000,000 words.By comparison, the King James Bible contains only 773,000 words. (Per link on http://www.whatreallyhappened.com/dearIRS.php )
Will anyone be able to own anything by the time the cheap energy party is over?

Does the nation move back to a weak central government when only the states and locals can deliver goods VS the money they collect in taxes?

What do cities/states cut to keep the mil rate the same when the price of housing drops? OR does an inflating currency take care of the numbers end, while the citizens all end up with less and less in their possession?

Who actually owns property?

"You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created."
Albert Einstein

Who actually owns property?

Most people who have mortgages and loans can be argued that you don't own the items under a loan/mortgage. In a world where the color of law (or just plain old force) can take what you have or restrict what you do via some zoning, the argument of 'nothing' can be made.

In a world where your DNA can be used in a medical product or others can make money off of your corpse while your estate can't sell parts of your corpse, it can be argued that you don't even own yourself.

The date is February 21, 1871 and the Forty-First Congress is in session. On this date in the history of our nation, Congress passed an Act titled: "An Act To Provide A Government for the District of Columbia." This is also known as the "Act of 1871." In essence, this Act formed the corporation known as THE UNITED STATES. The government which was created for the District of Columbia via the Act of 1871 operates under Private International Law, and not Common Law, which was the law of the Constitutional Republic.

The UNITED STATES government is basically a corporate instrument of the international bankers. This means YOU are owned by the corporation from birth to death. The corporate UNITED STATES also holds ownership of all your assets, your property, and even your children. With the Act of 1871 and subsequent legislation such as the purportedly ratified 14th Amendment, our once-great nation of Sovereigns has been subverted from a Republic to a democracy. The Sovereign People have been deceived for hundreds of years into thinking they remain free and independent, when in actuality we continue to be slaves and servants of the corporation.

The United States Isn't a Country - It's a Corporation
Lisa Guliana (www.serendipity.li)

I went to that site...www.serendipity.il

This was one click away from the home page and via a radio button at the top. Also lots apparently on TWA 800 and many other topics. This is sorta on the weird side of things. Not to say they are not interesting but kinda hard to take a whole website devoted to conspiracies. I don't see DC as the head of a enslaving corporation. People in DC are far more scatter brained that the rest of us. My son worked for a long time in DC and I spent some time there, quite a bit and was not too impressed. I noticed most preferred to live in the south(below the MasonDixon line in Virginia so they wouldn't have to put up with the situations in DC. At least they were that smart. I was looking for housing at the time in N. Va and eventually reason prevailed when I observed that this was the most insane place on the face of the earth. Conspiracy to enslave?

Hey they can't even stop spam and they have a big ass law about it. CAN-SPAM.

""Bramley was not interested in UFOs when he started researching the origins of human warfare. However, his research eventually led him to what he shares in this book: evidence that alien visitors have conspired to dominate humankind through violence and chaos since the beginning of time." — Greenleaf Books""

After that I sorta discounted the whole site.

Airdale...their conspiracy to enslave us wont' mean shit once that shit hits the impeller blades.


I must confess I don't know the site. The quote was used in an article posted on Thomas Paine's Corner, a site that I do know and value greatly:

The Big Lie

I wanted to track back to the original, not a quote from a quote.

Your Bramley quote is ... interesting. I saw they had an article on Maria Callas too, and I do want to go back and read that, since I'm a big fan. Now after reading your exploits I wonder if she was an alien too. Thanks, buddy.


First thanks for your posts. Especially the ag based one. My weakest link is my connection to the ground.

"their conspiracy to enslave us won't mean shit once that shit hits the impeller blades."

Actually it will mean 'shit' in the sense that they will be part of the problem and most generally will be getting in the way somehow or other. Most of our freedom is constained. The question becomes do you have enough room to move to accomplish what you want. From reading your posts for about 3 months I suspect you do so far. Some thing are simple.

Regarding conspiracy's in general. If ALL the pieces don't fit in the story, then at minimum there is lying going on and that is essential to a conspiracy.

Specifically about conspiracy's; I had my UFO experience in '71 as an 18 yo. In the '80's I argued with my Dad that Project Blue Book was a coverup. He informed me ADAMANYTLY that it was not, cause he had reviewed files on that project as part of his GS 14 system analyst in the SAC undergound in Bellevue. I never told him abut my experience.

I have butchered my own chicken and rabbit meat.I have a '83 FXSB in the garage waiting for the economic opportunity to get it repaired. That may be soon. Due to a manufacturing plant closing I got layed off. I am going to commute to a tech school 25 miles away for an HVAC/R program. This will be my second AAS. My first was thanks to my 5 year employment at Cushman in Lincoln NE when I got an AAS in electronics/computers.

Where IS that 'Theory of Everything' ?

Like any good and successful crime, the way in which corporations first attained legal recognition as "persons" under our Constitution is a rather astounding story.

It has it roots in the rise of wealthy and powerful railroad interests, and the political corruption that arose in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War. In the same year, 1868, that the 14th Amendment was passed, legally enshrining "equal protection" for all American "persons," corporate lawyer were arguing before the Supreme Court, in Paul v. Virginia, that under the privileges and immunities clause, that corporations should be recognized as *persons/citizens* too. The SC rightly ruled that corporations are not citizens under Article IV, Section 2.

However, this failure didn't stop the corporations (primarily railroad ones) and their lawyers from trying over and over again in courts of law to get their way. Several more SC cases attest to this fact. In order to prevail they just needed the right case and the right set of railroad/corporate friendly judges to rule in their favor.

Well, in 1886, in Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific Railroad, they finally succeeded... sort of. The Chief SC justice presiding over this case, announced:

"The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which forbids a State to deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to corporations. We are of the opinion that it does."

The funny thing is, of which there is a bit of confusion, the statement suggests the Chief Justice made this announcement before oral arguments were taken. Yet, the proceedings of the arguments tell a different story, in that both sides of the case gave vigorous testimony for and against this very same point. What apparently happened is that just prior to handing down their decision in this Santa Clara case is when the above statement was given.

Furthermore, this announcement, despite it's vast implications, had no bearing on how the case was settled. In fact, such an announcement outside of the actual decision in the case did not give it legitimate legal standing. But it opened the floodgates to further court cases which finally did.

The case which did finally establish corporate "person" status via its decision is known as Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad v. Beckwith, in 1889. And the details of this case are worth reviewing. (The actual case decision is a fascinating read but I will briefly outline it only.)

It revolved around a dispute involving the loss of three hogs which were run over by a Minn. & St. Louis Railroad train in Iowa. The farmer tried to get compensated for the value of his loss, to which he was legally entitled, amounting to $12. The railroad was served papers attesting to this claim, but since they didn't pay, further legal proceedings were undertaken, and a judgement was made in favor of the farmer for which the railroad was now required to pay $24.

On its surface its hard to believe this case wended its way through and up the various courts system to where it demanded the attention of the Supreme Court, but it did. (Imagining how many thousands of dollars it cost the railroad in legal fees to fight paying $24 is staggering!) And all along its way it was argued by the railroad lawyers that the fine doubling was an infringement upon their "property without due process of law," and "it denies to the company the equal protection of the laws..." as written in the 14th Amendment.

An amendment passed after the bloodiest conflict in history (over 650,000 humans) to secure the equal protection of the newly freed men, women, and children of slavery, and yet here it is being used to defend a corporation against paying an extra $12!

As if this wasn't enough of an affront, in their decision the SC ruled in favor of the railroad, and they did so by citing Santa Clara, which - apart from the non-binding published 'Head Note' of the Chief Justice's announcement proceeding the actual Santa Clara decision - otherwise offered no such binding legal distinction.

In short, citing Santa Clara as they did in upholding the railroad's status as a "person" was illegitimate. Yet, it worked.

Tragically, since then many other SC decisions have been rendered that only build off this fraud and illegitimacy. The lengths the SC sometimes goes to deal with this fact is often absurdly funny.

One particular reference I am fond of involves the First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti decision from 1978, in which Chief Justice Rehnquist, dissenting wrote:

"This Court decided at an early date, with neither argument nor discussion, that a business corporation is a 'person' entitled to the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific R. Co."

Without coming right out and saying so, he nonetheless seems to acknowledge that something happened way back then, something that probably shouldn't have as it did. It's as if he realizes: Oh brother, look where this has got us now -- tied up in fits and performing unbelievable feats of legal gymnastics!

For he goes on to explain how, while we fudged this, we didn't really change that -- whatever that was. But, ultimately, as it doesn't really change anything here, nevermind.

Don't believe me?

Here's the rest of Rehnquist's dissent continued exactly where I left off above:

"Likewise, it soon became accepted that the property of a corporation was protected under the Due Process Clause of that same Amendment. See, e.g., Smyth v. Ames (1898). Nevertheless, we concluded soon thereafter that the liberty protected by the Amendment 'is the liberty of natural, not artificial persons.' Northwestern Nat. Life Ins. Co. v. Riggs (1906). Before today, our only considered and explicit departures from that holding have been that a corporation engaged in the business of publishing or broadcasting enjoys the same liberty of press as is enjoyed by natural persons, Grosjean v. American Press Co. (1936), and that a nonprofit membership corporation organized for the purpose of 'achieving ... equality of treatment by all government, federal, state and local, for the members of the Negro community' enjoys certain liberties of political expression. NAACP v. Button (1963).
"The question presented today, whether business corporations have a constitutionally protected liberty to engage in political activities, has never been squarely addressed by any previous decision of this Court..."

Basically, he's saying, Damn, this all just stinks to high heaven; and the safest thing is to register my dissent.

So, there you have it. A brief history of how corporations achieved Constitutional status as a "person." Along with proving truth is stranger than fiction, no matter how one slices this hog tale, it is one amazing feat of cold legal calculus.

“Given his distinguished background, and his having worked with James Taylor and Jay Cooke of the railroads in late 1860s, it’s hard to imagine that Davis would insert “corporations are persons” into the record of a Supreme Court proceeding without understanding full well its importance and consequences, even if he was encouraged to do so by Justice Field.

So here is the fourth and final possibility: John Chandler Bancroft Davis undertook to rewrite that part of the United States Constitution himself, for reasons that to this day are still unknown, but probably not inconsistent with his own personal political worldview and affiliation with the railroads, and that he did it with the encouragement of Fields.

Waite was so ill that he missed the entire session of 1885 Court, was very weak and sick in 1886 and 1887, and died in March of 1888: in all probability he never knew what Davis had written in his name.

Regardless how it happened - whether it was a simple error by Davis, or Davis was bending to pressure from Fields, or if Davis simply took it upon himself to use the voice of the Supreme Court to modify the United States Constitution - the fact is that an amendment to the Constitution which had been written by and passed in Congress, voted on and ratified by the states, and signed into law by the president, was radically altered in1886 from the intent of its post-Civil War authors.

And the hand on the pen that did it was that of J. C. Bancroft Davis.”

The Theft of Human Rights http://www.thomhartmann.com/theft.shtml

you can own property, but you still have to pay rent (via property taxes) in the state in which i reside the rate is about 0.02 * of market value per year, meaning that you buy the property from the state (and county) every 50 yrs

* every time i visit the burbs (which is no more often than absolutely necessary) i always remind them that i am getting tired of educating their idiot tax abatement assed kids !!!!!

In a way it doesn't matter what the mil rate is. We can do so much now because of cheap energy. If oil were scarce then some things might not be available at any price. It is reminiscent of how water is alloted from a river. They don't give away fractions of a yearly flow, they (generally) allot a certain number of acre-feet to each owner. If a drought occurs some don't get their allotment of water, regardless of what their piece of paper says.

As property prices collapse, which I think they are going to do in the not too distant future, I would expect local authorities to charge a larger percentage of the property value in tax in order to (attempt to) maintain their revenues. In other words, I would expect property taxes to become a very heavy burden on homeowners simultaneously suffering from a series of financial calamities - negative equity, unpayable debt, much higher unemployment, loss of investments/pensions, loss of entitlements, loss of savings etc.

This is one more reason why selling and renting makes sense for many people - not just those trying to get out from under a large mortgage. Managing to be debt-free and holding on to enough in liquid assets (through a vicious deflationary spiral) to continue to pay taxes is likely to be very challenging, but homeowners not able to do this risk losing their property in the future IMO.

I doubt very much that local authorities will be able to extract enough wealth from their tax base to maintain their infrastructure no matter how much pressure they apply, but that doesn't mean they won't try.

I doubt very much that local authorities will be able to extract enough wealth from their tax base to maintain their infrastructure no matter how much pressure they apply, but that doesn't mean they won't try.

True enough, and there are plenty stories about people losing homes simply because they can't afford the taxes. Also, inevitable, lower taxes will lag lower home prices by a year or more.

At the municipal level, there is an added twist, which makes it more interesting than the federal side of the story. The people who would raise the taxes often live right next door, or very close, to those who'd have to pay the taxes, and lose their homes on account of them. Not a very safe feeling. No doubt this will lead to some juicy tales.

In some parts of the country it will lead to a replay of Shays' Rebellion.

As long as most of the population believes that there is a functioning rule of law, I'd guess not.

Alas, actions of people under the color of law which are in violation help the people who claim a lack of fully functioning rule of law.

A world without functioning law leads to people hanging out in the woods shooting anyone that comes by "because they are survivors."

I don't expect more than temporary hardship. In many areas property taxes are local so the government is very responsive to the citizens. If more than a small number of people start losing their homes due to some bizarre economic problems then something will give quickly.

Michigan is considering a moratorium on tax increases that occur when a home is sold. Michigan is currently suffering economically.

i wonder how many of those public employees will be able to hold on to their jobs. a few years ago we were hearing how public employees had to be paid a competetive wage (which i dont disagree with)
but now with jobs being exported and jobs being done cheaper by those of "questionable citizenship" , are public employees demanding "competetive wages" ?

RE: "Scientists get last say...."

Already it seems to me that the spin in the USA is actually further "softening" the impact of the study.

Thom Hartmann (on Air America Radio) interviewed a staffer from Senator Imhoffe ("Global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind...") who was trying to present the controversy surrounding the latest IPCC report as beleagured scientists trying to tone down the "alarmism" of the report against people who were politically motivated to make the report as alarmist as possible in order to gain political power.

His lie was just the opposite of the truth, but many people will prefer to believe this without checking it out.

"Intentional Ignorance" is further cultivated in the USA.

Anyone else catching any vibes on how the latest report is being handled by media and citizens?

Lies are not going to make global warming and the associated extreme weather go away. The problem is scientifically illiterate journalists who are also whores for the status quo.
They maintain the uncertainty around the subject by giving pulpits to denialist flakes without any context and rebuttal.

Only the ignorant would believe that the extra available potential energy for weather systems (baroclinic eddies and convectively driven ones like hurricanes) will somehow go unused as if they are on a diet. Entropy rules and that extra energy will be dissipated (obviously not by radiative transfer alone). One of the mainfestations of the weather system intensity is the latitudinal meander of the jet streams that give us snow in April and t-shirt weather in January.

In the end the liars and their lies are going to fade away as the hard reality starts to bite. Just like with the peak oil problem. Too bad that any intelligent pre-emptive action will have been nullified rendering us collectively no better than yeast.

Well said, dissident.

One caveat, or reservation, or qualification: life has a way of including suprises. The meek will inherit the earth, and so forth. (And why would a used-up earth be worth having? -- to paraphrase the song.)

The truly unexpected will not only trump the plans of the "Winners" in our corrupt civilization. The suprises will in some sense trump all of our expectations. We are all wrong in terms of our predictions about the future.

So we do the best we can and the best we know how to do. We strive to learn and incorporate that into our lives all along the way. The process is dynamic and demanding in ways. There are no guarantees related to individual or collective survival. Nevertheless, I trust the process. "Preparation" seems to me to be that simple and direct.

One of the mainfestations of the weather system intensity is the latitudinal meander of the jet streams that give us snow in April and t-shirt weather in January.

This entirely correct observation synchs with Airdale's weather related food production anecdotes below.

While the average increases projected for climate change are relatively small, it's the oscillating extremes, increasing in intensity, between the averages that will prove more and more disruptive to this vital necessity.

So far the choice has been for continuation of a oil guzzling economy over continuation of a stable food production ability. This, as well as the ongoing undermining of the scientists in the IPCC report, is what happens when economic ideology continues to prevail over ecologic reality.

Edited to add: Regardless of impending PO and its fallout, one does wonder if the fallout of lagging yet built-in CO2 induced climate change will prove to be the knock-out punch which closes the door on what's left of our PO mitigating civilization efforts.

Alas, as J.R.R.Tolkien wrote, in The Return of the King:

"Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who come after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule."

We could help with this if we could only get our shit together. We'll see.

BTW, Jeff Masters posted good comments on the IPCC report and responses at weather underground.


He included comments from James Lovelock:

In his 2006 book, The Revenge of Gaia, philosopher-scientist James Lovelock writes, "I am old enough to notice a remarkable similarity between attitudes over sixty years ago towards the threat of war and those now towards the threat of global heating. Most of us think that something unpleasant may soon happen, but we are as confused as we were in 1938 over what form it will take and what to do about it. Our response so far is just like that before the Second World War, and attempt to appease. The Kyoto agreement was uncannily like that of Munich, with politicians out to show they do respond but in reality playing for time...Battle will soon be joined, and what we face now is far more deadly than any blitzkrieg."

(Masters again)
The climate change storm is coming, and the wind is already starting to rise.


(This is the latest UN Global Climate change report.)

Your comment: Anyone else catching any vibes on how the latest report is being handled by media and citizens?

I've seen some things on CBC but looks like the usual reaction of "lets go buy some light bulbs honey".

To throw this back to you I've posted the above link yesterday. What do you feel the reaction to this report has been on TOD? Maybe we could do a survey here on site...."have you bought any light bulbs since the UN's 4th report" sort of thing..

Well, some of us have been doing this stuff for a looooong time. In my case, some of it goes back around 37 years.

I'll start with recycling. I was part a small group that started the first recycling center in Dover, DE around 1970. After I moved to the Bay area of California, I was the volunteer manager of a fairly large center for several years before moving to the country.

I put in my first very small (all of 77 watts*) PV system about 25 years ago and our large system (3.6kW) eight years ago. The house I designed and built 25 years ago vastly exceeds all current energy codes and is about 30% passively solar heated which is about the best you can do in my area without installing a very large active system. The house included many tubular florescent fixtures all those years ago. We began to convert to CFLs shortly after they came on the market. What's that? 10-15 years?

And, we heat with wood off of our land. I suppose gas for the chainsaws and splitter comes to 10 gallons of gas a year.

We have grown a lot of our own food too during these years.

So, some of us have actually been doing something.


*77watts and two truck batteries might not sound like much but it allowed us to keep our refrigerator/freezer from thawing when the power went out and to run a 12volt DC pump so we'd have some household water pressure rather than going out and hauling buckets from the storage tanks.

I forgot about solar hot water...put our first system in 25 years ago. This system also incldues a heat exchanger in our wood heater so we get hot water even on sunless days that are cold. It was put in at the same time.

That's two,(so far) and a better turn out then I expected.

BTW If I ever get the new blog attachment for my website going I will show with picures what I am doing.

The Weatherunderground report tends to make one think of slowly rising temperatures. What I believe will be more prevalent is extreme changes. We have already seen quite a bit of this. I am seeing it currently.

Perceptive point airdale, before the earth reachs a new order of stability it will go through a period of chaos (which is just starting), it is something that is rarely mentioned. Just hope the new paradigm will include us, just hang on for the ride. Oops this was suposed to follow yours Airdale, mark it down as 'chaos implicit in the system' okay?

todd, dont get me wrong, i am not criticizing your efforts, however doesnt recycling just ultimately promote consumption (the feel good effect).
if you never buy or consume the product or latest goo gaw , you dont have to recycle anything.

Since I have no photovoltaic nor solar I just intend to run as long as possible on kerosene for lamps. I will be looking for a good wood cookstove at the auctions.

Last year I left 3 very very good ones slip thru my fingers. A large magnificent one and two smaller of the same design. All in extremely good condition. Instead I bidded in a treadle sewing machine. A 'Free' brand. Antique and very robust.

Clothing will be a big issue later IMO.

I can cook as well as heat with a wood range. I intend to fill my propane tank to the top. I currently use it for hot water and cooking in the loghouse. Its very economical.I will then, if still here, take up residence in the basement with all those concrete walls and even temperatures.

Coal oil in a B&H lamp works very well as no mantles to break and it gives decent light.

Airdale-note..seems the extreme weather here has frozen the small fruits on all the fruit trees. No fruit this season. I guess berries are shot as well. Big question is what happens to the wheat and corn crop. It was 28 last nite. Supposed to be colder tonite. Many trees here have frozen leaves and will fall for sure. Don't know about nut trees.

This very very warm March was the culprit. Then the very cold weather right now.

The bees are not pollinating fruit trees(not when blossoms were on)_ and it fell to other pollinators to take up the slack. Its getting very worrisome in the weather dept.

Even Texas had some and freezing temp...according to farmer forums I follow. This can only increase the commodity prices and make food more and more expensive. Tracking this with the ethanol issue? We are seeing it happen right now and before our very eyes. GW will come it with a bang and not just slide in under the door. An average is made up of extremes. Not stable values. 25 degrees for one week followed d by 90s the next week averages out to something pleasant but believe me..it is NOT pleasant. The wise MSM just don't get it and never will. Many here I am afraid think that crops just don't suffer from extremes. All they see are averages.

The Weatherunderground report tends to make one think of slowly rising temperatures. What I believe will be more prevalent is extreme changes. We have already seen quite a bit of this. I am seeing it currently.

I was initially interested in alternate energy for my home in France. But, after all the quotes came in I was put off, the cost was just too high. Also, the maintenance of the high-tech solution was off-putting (ie. problems associated with the technology: battery replacement, pumps, activators, etc.). I've reluctantly come to the conclusion that relying on new-tech is the wrong way to go, new-tech requires a support infrastructure which assumes both a national industrial base (ie. not local) and economies of scale (ie. a corporate solution). I'm now looking at simpler solutions to heating via wood (water and home) and initially relying on France's nuclear electric grid to provide power for lighting and electrical utilities (washing machine, iron, power tools, etc).

Regarding GW, I was scratching away at my vegetable beds today, the clay was already baked hard with the heat and cracking. Daytime temps are 20C-30c in the sun and night time close to 0c (frost up to a couple of days ago). Plums are in blossom and the apple trees should be soon (they seem more responsive to day time temperatures). So far so good, but a return to the cold or a continuation of the heat could both be problems going forward. I agree it's not the averages that are the problem, it's the extremes and the instability of the seasons that cause the real trouble.

It seems to me the real problem we all face in the future is the "Red Queen Syndrome" (having to run faster to stay still). Running faster requires more energy, but the returns are the same. This can now be seen almost everywhere (ie. finance, oil production, farming, business, etc). For example, I understand that McDonald's now relies on its 24 hour outlets for its profitability (more customers working longer hours and throughout the 24 hour period). But what happens if the amount of energy available declines? Perhaps our ability to run faster, as a response, has peaked!

I would also observe that going from a system dependant individual in a city (ie. employment reliant, services reliant, infrastructure reliant, etc) to a more self-sufficient status requires energy. Lots of it initially. How do we go from here to their with less energy? I imagine a return to the land will not be an option post peak for the masses. So what to expect?

Burgundy says "what to expect" and wonders about the possiblities of very labor intensive self-sutainable lifestlyes"

I have lived in the suburbs in the past. Sometimes for long periods. It was a drudge routine of maintaining lawns,putting in useless shrubs and other flora. It was going somewhere just to seek entertainment. Going to eat out was always something we did.We used to just drive for something to do. Get out of the house which was very confining. That lifestyle to me was dead but I worked a fulltime job and that was then The American Dream.

The idea of suburbs was to live a country stlye life not too far from the cities. I found it all a big sham and wasteful as well.

Ok the labor in the other venue. First you don't do a lot in the winter. You live off stored food and probably the most labor would be packing in wood for the cooking and heating(if you go that way..which you indicated). Also you usually lay off on inclement days, like rain where you can't work outside.

Your life is then governed by the seasons and weather and what must be done then. Overall to me its not that labor intensive then. Spring planting is a very busy time and tending the gardens can take a lot of time. You cut your wood supply in the spring and possibly the fall.

Good work is relaxing and brings a sense of contentment. The output is done and you can look at what you have canned and preserved and feel good about it. Your wood is ready to burn.

What might be more labor intensive is trying to maintain a lifestyle that ties you still to modern conveniences and trying to keep those running and functional.

In my opinion living in a small type of shelter and with a very good wood stove is just like perhaps Thoreau or close to it. Forgetting the trappings of modern society that tie us up.

Yes startup can be hard but while there is still fuel is when you must do some land clearing and get ready. Its hard without animal power to till or work the soil if you have a large garden. Hand tools are just borderline.

So you try to use animals. Consider if you went all the way.
You have fresh eggs,very good chickens to eat, a hog maybe and a good ham is hard to beat,fresh milk and butter without the nutrients being pasterurized out of it. Fresh food with incredible energy in it and great taste. IMO in this hightech age we have been sold a bill of goods regarding our supermarket food. Its incredibly awful. Incredibly expensive and now dangerous to your health as well.

Ok. What it takes as well is a mate who will abide with you. Male or female. Kids to help are good. With no taxes,no body to take away your freedom, no traffic to contend with..the list is endless.

I see it as having a very very good VEROEI...virtual because NO MONEY is involved to screw everything up. You barter with your neighbors, to get a new strain of laying hens,to mate your mare with their jackass and so on.

What is wrong with this lifestyle then? I know people who do part of this already. My neighbor just ordered a bunch of chicks and is now raising 50 or so. He intends to supply himself and others with some very good pullets and fryers.
He also makes homesausage. Believe me..the taste is incredible,way way beyond the best storebrought.

What the problem is with the above is very simple. Most have absolutely no comphrension of just how to do it. They might not even know how to milk a cow by hand or gather eggs from under sitting hens. How to can food. How to chop wood. How to build a fire. How to pluck a chicken. How to scrape a hog... This is something you should and will need to have reference material on if you don't know how.


They might not even know how to ...gather eggs from under sitting hens

Excuse my city boy ignorance. But what is wrong with the "reach under chicken and grab egg" technique?

An angry hen can peck hard enough to draw blood!

It's the rooster coming to the rescue of the hen that you should concern yourself over ;)

But no one has told me how to get the egg away from the chicken! :-)

Just to add, my experience with hens and eggs was much more pleasant than what you guys are talking about.
My folks keep a couple of hens. When I visited they told me to go out and get some eggs for breakfast. I went out to the henhouse and the chickens were just walking round clucking. They had laid all their eggs together in one corner and weren't sitting on them. I picked them up and put them in a basket. There was no rooster and the hens didn't seem to care I was even in there.

I never had any problems gathering eggs, either. I used to do it as a toddler. My great-grandmother had a chicken coop in her garden. And a family friend had a pretty large henhouse. I stuck my hand under the hens and swiped their eggs all the time.

The worst thing that ever happened to me was when I put some eggs in my pocket, forgot about them, and sat down. Eggs all down the legs of my pants.

How to get those eggs from the chicken on the nest.

First rule. Never put your eyeballs within striking distance of a chicken. They seem to be fascinated by pupils and just might peck your eye. Ouch.

The hen is on the nest. If you just put you hand out and try to get under her ,,yes I have been pecked doing that. Wont' work always.

What you do is sorta fake it with one hand in front of her to get her attention and with the other hand come over sideways and grab her by the feathers on her back (right in the middle of the back)and lift straight up. Chicken can't do anything about it.

You can then take some of the eggs. We always left some so she would continue laying. Sometimes we put fake wooden eggs under then or in empty nests.

Plucking the hen off her nest means you must be quick. Of course they may wise up to this. Its best to wait til they leave the nest. Maybe scatter some corn on the ground nearby.

Roosters. Going to the outhouse as a child with a mean rooster in the yard was always a test of wills. You tried to get past the dude but he always knew it and came running right straight at you. You had to beat him to the outhouse or get a flogging if not fast enough. Some were mean dudes.

Fun was watching your girl cousins try to outrun a rooster on their tail when they had to go to the outhouse. Girls couldn't run too fast you see and were always scared shitless of roosters. Of course I always told them something else to bullshit them so I could see a good tussle. "That rooster won't hurt you." or "He will rip your leg open."

If they didn't trim the roosters spur he could jab you with it. Pretty nasty to be flogged by a rooster. Humiliating as well. Best thing was to carry a tobacco stick with you and knock the shit out of him as he came at you.

To get even then was the game and taking the eggs was part of getting even. Life on the farm ...always something going on.

What you do is sorta fake it with one hand in front of her to get her attention and with the other hand come over sideways and grab her by the feathers on her back (right in the middle of the back)and lift straight up. Chicken can't do anything about it.

You mean like this?


No nuts either, I would imagine.

Hi Airdale,

Thanks for the updates.

re: "I bidded in a treadle sewing machine. A 'Free' brand. Antique and very robust."

If you don't mind the question, how much did you pay for it?
And have you seen many of them around?

Hey Aniya,

This machine was made before the Singer with the familiar bobbin. This one has a sliding shuttle type of bobbin. It was in very good condition and so I bid it in at $125...Far more than I should have bid but thats the way it goes sometimes.

I stood right beside the 3 wood ranges and should have bid on them but my mind was not in the right place at that time. The 3 wood range cooking stoves went for about $3xx total. Probably easily worth $1000 elsewhere.

Never seen another Free around.
Lots of very old singer treadles though if one gets out in the rural areas where the auctions are held.

Changing lightbulbs is nothing but today's version of the state of denial. Media and politics have pre-empted and hijacked the climate issue, which means it's dead, and will only be used to further existing agenda's.

The predictable result is the inflation/devaluation of terms like green and sustainable. The oxymoron "green cars" has been used so much, nobody questions it anymore. As a society, we will change our ways only if we can make a profit doing so. For that, green cars work miracles. For the climate, they are a disaster.


Late last year, the first news of interference with the IPCC reports surfaced. I then expressed the wish that some of the scientists involved would speak out in public, and be quoted in the media. The LA Times article below may be a start.

The climate is in a much worse state than the IPCC reports claim. Of that we can be sure. Not only has there been interference at the last stages of writing, the reports are strictly based on consensus. A few "denying" scientists can thus water down conclusions a lot, even before the writing begins.

Dire warming report too soft, scientists say

A new global warming report issued Friday by the United Nations paints a near-apocalyptic vision of Earth's future: hundreds of millions of people short of water, extreme food shortages in Africa, a landscape ravaged by floods and millions of species sentenced to extinction.

Despite its harsh vision, the report was quickly criticized by some scientists who said its findings were watered down at the last minute by governments seeking to deflect calls for action.

"The science got hijacked by the political bureaucrats at the late stage of the game," said John Walsh, a climate expert at the University of Alaska Fairbanks who helped write a chapter on the polar regions.

.... the report is also, in a sense, a more pointed indictment of the world's biggest polluters — the industrialized nations — and a more specific identification of those who will suffer.

Thus, some nations lobbied for last-minute changes to the dire predictions. Negotiations led to deleting some timelines for events, as well as some forecasts on how many people would be affected on each continent as global temperatures rose.

An earlier draft, for example, specified that water would become increasingly scarce for up to a billion people in Asia if temperatures rose 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit — a point that previous studies have said is likely to be reached by 2100.

A table outlining how various levels of carbon dioxide emissions corresponded to increasing temperatures and their effects was also removed.

The actions were seen by critics as an attempt to ease the pressure on industrialized nations to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are gradually warming the planet.

Several scientists vowed afterward that they would never participate in the process again because of the interference.

"Once is enough," said Walsh, who was not present during the negotiations in Brussels but was kept abreast of developments with a steady stream of e-mails from colleagues. "I was receiving hourly reports that grew increasingly frustrated."

Changing lightbulbs is nothing but today's version of the state of denial.

Exactly what I meant HeIsSoFly, and thanks for the L.A.Times exerpt.

I also think that if we wait for governments to act, there will be more suffering than warranted. Organs like TOD could be offering more advise about what to do in this, as Kunstler puts it his phrase, 'long emergency'. If MSM shouts no warning and gives no advise it leaves that in the hands of individuals and alternate media.

BTW that is rather mean spirited of you shoving so many capitals into your (I hope) nom de guerre, I am ready to take an axe to my caps lock button.

BTW that is rather mean spirited of you shoving so many capitals into your (I hope) nom de guerre, I am ready to take an axe to my caps lock button.

Yeah, I feel really wasteful with 4 against your 3.

I also think that if we wait for governments to act, there will be more suffering than warranted.

Appealing to politicians and governments is, mildly put, not very smart. Governments can't act, they can only attempt to channel developments into directions most profitable for their financial backers.

Hijacking the climate issue is a prime example, even more so in Europe to date than in North America.

Not only is it a politically wise move, since you get votes, it's also the best way to blunt the issue. If you can make people believe you will take care of the problem, they will back off, content that they have done "good" and democracy works, and content that they can now go on doing what they did.

They will even pay you money (more taxes) to take care of the problem. At various points in the future, you tell them that it's not easy, it takes time, yada yada. Works all the time, not least of all because the media will simply quote whatever you say, no questions asked.

In the meanwhile, you've guaranteed that nothing happens that would hurt your financial backers.

Yeah, I feel really wasteful with 4 against your 3.

And I do let you come up for air twice not like those punk kids who used to hold my head underwater at the beach after kicking sand in my face.

Quite agree with you about politicians, they have become so used to listening to their master's voice, it is only rarely that there is one that avoids giving a Judas kiss to the electorate.

I switched to fluorescents 10 years ago.  Hey, maybe I am an early adopter!

Hate to mention this Engineer-Poet, but you could also end up an early blind guy if you stare at them a lot as they do give off a lot of the ultraviolet which is not good for the old eyeballs. Also if you have any trouble getting to sleep at night, try an old fashioned incandescent as they are more in the nity-nyte light frequency range.

I am stocking up on incandescents before they are banned...this old body needs a full 6 hours every night.

Remember too that good intentions can lead to the blind staggers, as my stewed as a prune Uncle always said. Said it at the top of the basement stairs once too, to everyones subsequent amazement.

I'm a big fan of indirect light, so most everything goes off the wall or ceiling before I see it.  I've noticed some bleaching effects on shade material held within a couple inches of a circle tube, but nothing else so far.  Sunlight would do the same.

Do you need light to sleep?

To reply in a similar vein six; Yes, to sleep lightly.

Engineer Poet, Good of you to mention the indirect use of new lighting. In the future cataract surgery may be not as readily available as now.

FYI, I just checked a lamp which has been running a twist-tube CF (3-way, operated almost entirely on low) for about 10 months so far, operating most evenings on a timer.  No visible degradation of the shade.  I think the UV filtering is better now.

Unlikely. Standard glass has a resonance in near UV, and another one in near IR, which is why it reflects IR and absorbs UV. Glass is only transparent in a very narrow range right around the visible spectrum. Only UV significantly harms your eyes, unless it to so intense as to cause heat based damage, which would be very rare. This is also why you can't get a sunburn indoors, even if you do lie in the sun.

Richard Feinmann was able to look at a nuclear explosion through a truck's windshield with no ill effects. He is commonly thought to be the first person to see a nuclear explosion with the naked eye.

It is unlikely that enough UV escapes from a fluorescent bulb to cause eye damage. I would think that the more pressing danger would be the filament of a transparent incancdescent, which can be VERY bright, and perhaps could cause a spot of retinal burn in with long exposure. A fluorescent by comparison is more of a diffuse glow.

Unnatural coloration is a problem that can't really be helped with any sort of fluorescent lighting. The problem is that it isn't blackbody radiation. Look at an incandescent bulb reflected off the back of a CD, you see one smear of continuous colors, a continuous color curve. Look at a fluorescent and you see around 6 images in discreet colors. No matter how you adjust the balance, it will never look quite right. LED lighting has exactly the same problem, and always will.

Slaphappy. Thanks for the great trick with the CD. I teach kids science stuff and that one missed me. Obvious!-now that you point it out.

BTW, I am still working on super simple ways to get electricity for the oil-deprived versions of me in the future. Here is a short list of ways, most of them repulsively inefficient but easy to do. Feel free to add others.

1) Chimney wind mill- make a chimney, light a fire under it, put a windmill in the incoming updraft. Makes a real nice roar, if nothing else.

2) If that one is just too crude, take the fuel, boil water, squirt it into a water jet ejector, push the water up into a storage tank, take that water and run it thru a water turbine- alternator.

3) Do the same with a put-put boiler, like one of those toy boats I had when I was a kid. Needs check valves for any decent performance- unless you are up on fluid resonance phenomena.

4) Regular old steam engine- But beware of burns, blow ups, wasted lub oil, dirt, smoke, chopped off arms, global warming.

5) jumpin-johnny steam engine- piston bounces up and down, pumps water, etc, etc. No lube. No rotating parts. Does not blow up- but you might have a hard time finding the piston sometimes.

5) free piston hot air engine- my favorite- jumps up and down and pumps water- water goes to sorage, turbine- alternator. Will not blow up. Can be made out of pipes. Can use any heat source. Is even efficient, if you happen to have a computer algorithm, a ton of experience and a good lathe.

All good fun. As bonus, weeds out real morons. And cuts down on rate of population growth, since at end of day, too tired to do anything else.

While I haven't been active as long as some, I've gotten fairly serious about it, well before the original SPM came out. I've posted a list of my actions here on my web site:

One of the first things people ask any activist, especially an environmental activist, is ,"You talk a good game, but what have you done? Have you made any of the sacrifices you are asking others to make? Are you prepared to lead by example?" It's a fair question, and one that deserves a response. Here is what I've done up till now.

1. Prevented population growth: I am deliberately childfree, and have had a socially responsible vasectomy.

2. Downsized my home: Three years ago I sold a 3500 square foot, triple-garage suburban McMansion that I shared with one other person and moved to a 1600 square foot urban bungalow that is half the distance from my work and is shared with three other people.

3. Improved my home heating and cooling system: When we moved in we replaced the existing medium efficiency furnace and A/C with high-efficiency units. We keep the thermostat up two degrees in the summer and down two in the winter.

4. Bought energy efficient appliances: We bought an EnergyStar refrigerator. Every light in our home that is not on a dimmer is a compact fluorescent.

5. Improved home insulation: We had an energy audit done on the house, replaced a bad window, and installed weather stripping. Further attic and wall insulation upgrades are in the plans.

6. Use green electricity: We have changed our electricity supplier from the standard nuclear, coal, hydro and gas supplier to a green energy cooperative (Bullfrog Power) whose generating capacity produces no greenhouse gases at all.

7. Downsized my car: Two years ago I traded in my BMW 540i/6 on a 2001 VW Jetta TDI. diesel. I'd have bought a Smart Car, but I needed the back seat. I didn't buy a hybrid because I'm still unconvinced about their total life cycle cost.

8. Use public transit: I now take the bus to work every day instead of driving. As a result my annual automobile mileage is about a quarter of what it was.

9. Stopped flying: I fly about once every two years.

10. Grow some of our own food: We have turned all our flower beds into vegetable gardens which we water from rain barrels and fertilize with compost. I'm planning on donating half the remaining lawn to the vegetable garden effort next year (more food, less mowing). I don't fertilize my lawn and I mow it with a reel push mower.

11. Eat local food: We eat a lot of local food that doesn't need to be transported long distances.

12. Eat less meat: We eat a third of the meat we used to, and very little fish (the oceans are emptying too...)

13. Repair, re-use, recycle: We are fortunate to have a good curbside recycling program where I live. In addition we save and re-use many items that others simply discard.

14. Got involved in politics: Rather than wait around for our governments to do anything, we're trying to change the governments, by getting involved in politics at the municipal, provincial and federal levels. Progressive parties and candidates only need apply.

These changes have yielded remarkable dividends. In the last three years I have lowered my personal carbon dioxide emissions from 12 tonnes per year to 2.5 tonnes per year. My life is simpler, less expensive, more sustainable, more engaged and much more enjoyable.

Two years ago I traded in my BMW 540i/6 on a 2001 VW Jetta TDI. diesel.

I don't believe you.  Who ever heard of someone selling a VW diesel that's less than 4 years old? ;-)

We eat ... very little fish (the oceans are emptying too...)

I've become a big fan of catfish and tilapia, neither of which come from the oceans.

Thanks so much!

This means me and the 4 demon spawn I intend to sire (as soon as I can find a woman demonic enough to spawn them with) will be able to consume that much MORE!


That loud rap music you hear right now? It's me and my demon-spawn filled Hummer driving right over your bulbous shaped Hybrid. Hey, pick up the glass old man or I'll have to sue if one of my spawn hurts themselves picking through the broken glass . . . And be quick about it too, they've each got another mega-dose of high fructose corn syrup and hormone laden red meat scheduled in 15 minutes!

"4 demon spawn ... will be able to consume that much MORE!"

False Logic. The spawn will consume what they consume, regardless of what I consume. It'll be what they can afford, what is available, and what you teach them to consume. It doesn't 'undo' the fact that Glider and others have:
a) actually used less
b) learned skills by having lived with less
c) encouraged and taught others how to do what they did.

This paranoia based canard that 'THEY' will use what you didn't is playing on the fear that THEY are somehow enjoying 'your' heretofore stuff/energy, etc.. and suggesting to boot that you have altruistically, but stupidly 'given' them your stuff to waste.

1- It wasn't yours to give.
2- If you didn't use it, you didn't BUY it, and they did, if they could. It made them poorer and you NOT poorer.

It's like the often incomplete logic used when applying the Jevon's paradox. While there will probably be cases where adding efficiency allows you to indulge in more usage, it isn't automatically a 'Wash', and any effort you make to improve your consumption will be thoroughly undermined by your powerless and corresponding increase in usage.

It's mainly the 'Snarker's Delight', with which you retain power by taunting anyone who sticks their nose out of the hole. It's lame, Matt. But keep on amusing yourself. We don't have anything better to do with the bandwidth.

Bob Fiske

waste of bandwidth?
why does the easter bunny hide her eggs?
doesn't want anyone to know she's bleepin a chicken.
happy easter all

re: Murdered Bandwidth.
Yeah, I think so.

He seems like a smart guy, but comments like those above are simply pre-teen. Sure, he makes a point. A tired point, mainly about stereotyping his fantasy Bad-boy brood, and playing on our automatic dislike of the charicatures he paints, while snickering along with the same droning nihilism to tell you that anything you do is useless.

Come on, Surprise Me AMPOD.. please.

"Chad's 12 steps to gloom..
Step 4- Forget the power of "Positive Thinking". It doesn't work, and it never will. "


Matt Savinar's previous user ID here was "Alpha Male Prophet of Doom." Hence, AMPOD.

(No, he's not trying to troll using different user IDs. Like several others, he lost his name when we switched over to Drupal.)

Sounds like somebody is upset because they know the basic point I'm making with the "demon-spawn filled hummer on its way to the hormone laden red meat distribution depot" caricature actually hints at a fundamental truth:

It doesn't matter whether you conserve or not as the conservation measures reduce demand on your end, which lowers the price which then elimintates the only thing 99.5% of the population responds to. (high prices.)

My apologies if pointing out this reality conflicts with whatever normative agenda you've hung your hat on.

As Oscar said: "Murray, I don't have time to unravel your logic!" -odd couple

Heaven forbid you strike upon a real fundamental truth.

Who among those that are trying to 'shrink their footprint' actually thinks that their own effect of reducing their dependence on imported fuel, consumer goods or unnecessary services and personal habits is going to 'kill demand', thus crushing prices to FireSale levels, and thereby respurring a fantastic demand with the other 95%, undoing all that they had worked so hard to achieve?

This is about as useful a chain of events as your stabs at Natural History, and trying to discover just what makes a female choose her mate. It has all the sense (and much of the humor, at least) of a Rube Goldberg contraption. Complexity was never more entertaining!

Thanks for the apology. Now feel free to try to point out some reality. My hat is very well hung, thanks!


.. and to reiterate the real points once more,

The point of reducing consumption is

a)to start to learn how much you actually need to live on
b)to learn how to actually DO it
c)to be prepared for a situation where you might HAVE to
d)to take some responsibility for the way you live your life, and to help your neigbors understand how this is possible so they might try it, too.

The Economy and valuation will flop like a stabbed fish, maybe because enough demand has been destroyed, maybe because the trucks can't refuel anymore.. the point is how to live on a realistic amount of food and energy.. it's not about worrying about the Joneses in their Hummer.

"If the chick don't want to know, fuget her" Thin Lizzie(?)
- Where 'The Chick' is your Hummer Brood and their proud and defiant ignorance.


I've been experimenting with light bulbs and gardening and such for years already.

I've been riding cargo trikes and pedicabs with trailers for my main mode of transportation here in Minneapolis, MN, USA for at least 7 years now.

I work off of these HPV's as my work trucks and do a fair share of family and personal errands with them as well.

I've been working on the "community" aspect of preparation as well. Until just recently people have been extremely resistant to change.

Lately it seems that some folks are beginning to listen and consider change, but more related to Global Warming (what the IPCC report is about, of course) than related to Peak Oil.

I sure did not need the IPCC to tell me what my own personal research has been telling me for years. I've not waited to change until validated by the political and economic Establishment.

My guess is that by the time Global Warming and Peak Oil reality "Trickles Down" to the Establishment, it is probably far too late for change, and whatever changes are considered will not be for the benefit of most of us anyway. Quite the opposite, in fact.

But I am willing to be pleasantly suprised.


Do you use a heating cable for your plants? I have been using one for early seed starts also it allows me to use the cold glass covered porch year round here in B.C.

About transport, I have been thinking of trying to make a three wheel pedal power device, but you mention cargo trikes and pedicabs? I will do a Google search there, but if you have a good source of such items would you mind posting it for all?

One TOD member uses cargo trikes (I'm sorry I forget who) so you might do a search here first.

Black B;
Don't know if this will help, but I saw a great book called the 'En-cycle-pedia', with just a fabulous array of different bike/pedal formations, applications, etc. I've been meaning to get me a copy, but here's a link..

Zoiks! Can't find it, but here's a possible substitute..

This is a bike site that came up on this search..

Hope those lengthy links are legal.

Bob Fiske

Hi thanks for the links, I did find this:


which judging by the prices and all the old bikes about, I think maybe it would be a good idea to buy some brazing equipment or electric welder instead and go into the business.


I replaced most all of lightbulbs :-)

Anyway, I grow a good chunk of my food, and am learning more about canning and root cellaring and that sort of thing. In fact, I teach Sustainable Gardening (college course), among other things.

I cut my own firewood on my own woodlot (15 acres), which I skid out to my woodshed with my big draft horse (Percheron mare, for those who are interested in that sort of thing).

I heat with wood, though I would love to find a woodburning cooking range that I could afford.

My personal expenses are very low, but I have a mortgage, and, I'm embarrassed to say, some credit card debt accumulated when I was laid off a few years back. I am trying to claw my way out of debt, but it's slow going. Employment opportunities are not all that good around here.

What else. I live in a sparsely populated area, but such neighbors as we have are wonderful people, very competent, and between the bunch of us probably have every useful tool imaginable and the skill to use it. I try to be good friends with everyone around. We're already pretty helpful to one another, and have the rudiments of a barter economy.

My idea is that everyone doesn't have to be good at everything or have everything. I'll trade my surplus veggies for some of your surplus maple syrup, etc. I'll trade a day of work with my horse for a box of cartridges for my 30-30 :-) That sort of thing.

Plans for the future? Grow more food, plant more fruit trees and berries. Insulate house better. Reduce debt as quickly as I can. Learn more about handling draft horses - I would like to be a valuable local resource.

The most worrisome thing to me is growing older and creakier, which, believe it or not, seems to be happening. This would worry me, PO or no. I wish I was 20 years younger, or 30 years older :-)

Taking a break from putting in a new raised bed today.

I was thrust into "E" mode a few years ago by personal circumstances and am continuing that and implementing L, P and H now.

I work at home as a freelance copy editor, but am diversifying my sources of income -- working part-time at a local restaurant and considering other kinds of work I could do within the community, possibly starting a business.

I live in a 900-sf 102-year-old house on about 1/9 acre in a small community in the eastern part of Arizona. (Moved here three years ago from the Phoenix area for lifestyle and cost-of-living reasons -- prior to learning about PO.) I am a 10-minute walk from the grocery store, health food store, cafe and post office, about 1/2 mile from the hardware store and the restaurant where I work. I know and like my neighbors. I have an extra bedroom I can rent out if necessary.

I do drive down to Phoenix two or three times each month (80 miles one way) but am cutting down as much as I can. I drive a 99 Sentra that gets about 35 mpg.

I had to replace my water heater last month and saved the old tank to make a solar heater. I'm learning plumbing and am purchasing and learning to use tools. I'll be getting a rifle and learning to use it this year (there's quail, dove, rabbit, javalina, and, er, snake). But I am mostly vegetarian. I make my own bread and grind my own wheat. I keep a full pantry. In the winter (it does get cold here, down to 15 F this past winter), I wear sweaters and hats; for the summer I've got a swamp cooler and a hammock.

I bought my vegetables from a CSA farm last year but hope to rely on my own garden this year. I'll be planting mostly desert-adapted plants (beans, cowpeas, sunflowers, squashes, melons, amaranth). I'm considering getting certified in permaculture. I have a rudimentary rainwater harvesting system. I know how to make a cooler out of clay pots and sand! I'll be looking into keeping chickens. I need to make a solar oven.

Oh, yeah, and I don't have kids and I plan to keep it that way.

I recognize the questionable wisdom of living in the desert -- and am considering moving to Oregon -- but I think this might not be the worst place to be.


Congratulations Patricia. Well done.

Take a look at the old Foxfire serious of paperback books. Available via Amazon online. The last two are worthless. All the rest are priceless. There are about 9 or 10 very very worthwhile volumes to read by lamplight at nite or on Sunday.

You might have to worry about water there though. Best to be near a river or good flowing creek or where springs abound.

I too have a steel burr grinder that can be motor driver or cranked by hand. I grind wheat and corn with it. I bake a lot of good european type bread. I also have sourdough,San Francisco style starter. I have been keeping some shelled corn in my basement that is over 3 yrs old. Still good.


Oh, thanks, airdale. Not often someone actually encourages me in this behavior!

The Foxfire books have been on my radar for a while but I haven't picked them up yet. Will do. Ordering sourdough starter is another one of those things to do yet -- I've tried wild yeast but no great luck with that.

We're on well water here, which I think is fractionally better than getting our water from the Salt River. Indeed I am looking around for a better position, water being a primary reason.

Best wishes,


The world's major gas exporting countries will meet next Monday and Tuesday in Qatar to discuss the creation of an OPEC-style cartel for the control of the gas markets, an idea that has caused concern to major gas consumers.
The five principal members of the group -- Russia, Iran, Qatar, Venezuela and Algeria -- control 73 percent of the world's total gas reserves and 42 percent of production.

Oh my, the era of ridiculously cheap natural gas may finally be coming to an end. For example, the current Russian price for natural gas for the EU is 40% cheaper than the price for an equivalent energy amount of oil.

The only thing that can wake up western consumers from their media induced stupor is for strong price signals of the declining fossil fuels. So far the oil price and natural gas price is in the joke range. Of course, there are third world countries which are suffering already but they are not the large consumers that need to change their ways.

Speaking as someone who buys natural gas in Germany, that spread is meaningless - oil and natural gas are coupled at the end user level, to provide 'investment security' for the natural gas infrastructure installation.

In other words, the natural gas companies in Germany have been cleaning up - but the behavior of normal citizens in Germany remains based on increasing energy prices, which means better insulation, and lots more wood being stockpiled - I have never seen so much wood cut and stored before.

In part, this behavior is also encouraged as all energy bills are measured in kilowatt hours - comparison is simple.

The world's largest exporter doesn't have a free market - instead, it knows how to use free market principles to achieve social goals.

Road network to connect China with oil-rich nations

The longest new motorway, Asian Highway One, will stretch more than 5,000km from Urumqi in China's northwest region of Xinjiang to Istanbul in Turkey, Xinhua news agency said. Once completed in 2010, its route will take it through areas rich with untapped resources, including Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, and Mashhad in Iran. Eleven other roads will link Xinjiang to Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Pakistan, the report said, citing the transportation department of Xinjiang.

China is at the heart of the network. In addition to existing roads, it is building more than 15,000km of new highways. The primary motivation is to boost trade with neighboring countries and raise living standards in the far west.

Just like the the primary motive for building the Autobahn and the U.S. interstate system was to "boost trade with neighboring countries."

I suppose the Chinese chose roads rather than rail so that they would create demand for their growing motor vehicle industry. Nice backgrounder here.

Perhaps this reinforces what I wrote, but I received no comments to yesterdays post. Thought i would try again.
There is no subject more likely to be avoided than the effects of peak oil. The OECD mindset is to defer the inevitable problem until it rears it's ugly head and bites us. I have spent countless hours, over the last ten years, musing over the possible scenerios of the peak situation and it is just way too complex. My wife has begrudgingly come to accept the FACT that peak oil will happen and that there will be dire consequences when it does. Some of my friends are there as well. But the practical facts are

1. You can not live any semblance of what we now consider a normal life with the consequences constantly in the forefront of your consciousness. Most of the time it must be out of your mind or you will not have a working mind.I am a relative doomer and I still do this.Doesn't mean you can't prepare, just can't dwell.

2. We do not know when this will occur. I happen to BELIEVE we are there now, but I don't know that as a FACT. This gives us a conscious and unconscious excuse to avoid it. Most of us grab at that excuse, most of the time.

3. There is the distinct possibility that the decline may be gentle enough to allow us to cope. After all we in the U.S, could drop 10 million barrels a day if we dropped to the Barrels per dollar of GDP of Japan.This plateau may last for a while, but I don't THINK a gentle decline is possible after about 5 years from now. I don't know that. No one does. But the possibility gives us hope.

4. Some of the peak forecasts have been wrong. This is a biggy. Maybe the future forecasts are wrong too! The fact that the EIA, IEA, and CERA have consistently been wrong doesn't matter. It will be more comfortable if WE are wrong.

Personally I feel the decline is upon us and it will slowly accelerate over the next few years. The results of that decline will initially be economic, recessionary and will cause ups and downs in the demand for liquid fuels. However five years or so from now, the drop will be gaining momentum and no short term economic approach will be helpful; Then any logic breaks down.
Resource wars? maybe, even likely.
Mad max scenarios? Perhaps in some locations, but not in others. The LA basin comes to mind.
Depression and increased levels of suicide? Absolutely
A push for better technologies and renewable sources of energy? Absolutely.
Chances of those approaches occuring fast enough to affect the declining economy? Very small.
50 year out forecast? Who the hell knows!

Treeman --- I recently began to learn about peak oil. It's shockingly real and probably upon us. I also read the author of The Party's Over 2004 Museletter that discusses the history of money and the dollar's direct relationship to oil. Now, incorporating the two --- and then remembering Bush's recent quote about needing the American people to realize we are running out of oil.... and I see someone else on this thread noting a cartel-type meeting regarding natural gas.... well, it is enough to cause panic.

Yet, after reading Life After The Oil Crash, I find it comforting that something like 75% of preparation is mental. I'm currently wondering how to learn more, assess the situation most accurately and determine what to do.

75% mental?

It had better be more like 75% getting ready.

Everyone wants to see a sllllooooowwwww crisis. Some wish for it in order to 'wake us up'.

I don't see that. When I go to suburban areas near large cities I see mind boggling numbers of automobiles and semi's all over the highways and interstates. From Raleigh,NC to Greensboro during most hours is a mind harrowing experince.

Then try DC and Northern Virginia!!!

Try New York and the huge miles people commute.

Does anyone think this can just slowly subside and become a viable paradigm? What I think is that folks will totally panic once it becomes obvious. They will just go stark mad.

The anger and violence in driving habits shows too clearly the mindset of drivers. If you are going to slowly rob them of their ability to get food,drive to work and all the rest then its going to be chaos and very very fast.

The huge enormous overhang of vehicular traffic and habits are just not going to be easily assimilated by the average dweller in those places. You are speaking of their ONLY lifestyle

Why just not having gas to run their lawnmowers and keep that pretty green carpet and keep up with the neighborhood will mean that most will die of instant shock in one week or less.(humor injected here).

The yuppies are on a binge. Its auto and movement related. They can't live any other way. They will slaughter you on the highways if it comes to that. The angst will out.

And when they run out of fuel a long long way from home? And no stations with gas are convenient? Then it will hit them. They may die from all this. Then they will start to tear the asshole out of all around them and whatever they can grab or steal or take.

It won't be pretty. I saw some of this in '73. We were a much kinder gentler nation back then and yet the anger bubbled out. That was over 30 yrs ago. We have changed and very very significantly since then.

Yes many will sit in their dark houses and wait it out but many will be extremely pissed and just won't sit by. At least they still have a bit of spinal cord left in that area. Our's is a violent culture.

Many say ..oh we are against the war in Iraq. I think different. I think may don't give a rat's ass as long as their current lifestyle rolls on and on.

If they gas goes? They might say instead "time to go nuclear". Wittness the lack of concern for 3rd world countries of late. That was all a politicans game anyway IMO. Its wasn't that most people gave a damn. Some did. Most didn't

Its isn't that fuel will disappear. Its they way their mindset will work when the facts become reality.

Airdale-I've seen the elephant. He is not gentle.

Yes, as in mental preparation ....

Preparing for peak oil can be relatively easy, since the preparation is 75% mental, 15% physical, and 10% fiscal.

...this was stated in the context one need not go out and purchase a lot... it's learning to live and get by on less.

I really don't see how thinking about something 3/4 of your waking time actually gets you anywhere?

Or are you talking about just changing light bulbs? That sorta thing?

Not purchase a lot? What will you eat and where will you get it then? Get by on less? When you do physical work you tend to consume more. I am not talking about nachos and cheesedips.

Mental preparation proceeds the rest but does nothing on its own.

What am I missing here? You either produce your own food or buy it and store it. When the semis stop rolling you start starving. Bottled water can only last just so long. When the municipalities water systems fail then it will become crystal clear. When the sewers stop working it will clearer yet. The suburbs are a death trap. Being crowded up in hives means someone starts TAKING and this means violence.

Airdale-even a soft crash is still a crash


I really don't see how thinking about something 3/4 of your waking time actually gets you anywhere?

That's easy. You think about it while changing lighbulbs or cycling to work.

Multi-tasking, you see.

Just kidding ;-)

i believe paulah's post is not about having an alarmist mental state and thinking doom is upon us 3/4 of the time.

i am sort of a buddhist and 'getting by with less' and being happy to do this is a great way to keep your calm in the face of all the problems we face. so 75% mental preparation is imo on the lower end, many will need a lot more then that.

there are many people who live without bottled water, municipalities water systems and sewers. i believe peak oil is not a problem, it is change, nothing more, nothing less, the only thing u can do is change yourself, hopefully for the better.

Airdale, I think the 75% mental bit seems nuts to you because you've already done 70% of the mental preparation. For you, that part is mostly done and the remainder is money and materials, or maybe just time. Most people need to learn how to grow food, learn how to deal with drought, learn how to live with less, learn how to bike for transportation, learn how to defend themselves, learn how to do something that a poorer world will want to pay for, learn how to live with physical labor, etc. If you think of muscle memory as a form of learning, or the school of hard knocks as a form of learning, it isn't hard to see most of us in the US having quite a bit of learning to do.

If you're right about how bad things will get in the suburbs, you could think of it as 75% of effort will be learning the law of the jungle.

Slooooooow, no, I suspect there will be a threshold to chaos. For it to be slow, it seems there would have to be no elements of the decline with thresholds. [That's hardly mathematically rigorous, only intuitive.] A decline in natural gas, for example, would have all sorts of fun thresholds - think electrical generation, line pressure. The electrical grid has thresholds - think export land model and hydro - who gets the power from the dams, the locals or the wealthy two states away? What might be the social thresholds? Liberalism (blue, red or purple) depends on prosperity.

cfm in Gray, ME

The locals get the power from the dams.  It's too easy to throw something over the high-tension line and cut off the distant folks.

And then the rich folks get the governor to call out the national guard to "protect the infrastructure".

That doesn't work so good even in Iraq, when we have a fully-fueled army.  When you consider that the locals in this case would include the family, friends and neighbors of the people who run the dam, keeping them in the dark while others stay lit doesn't seem likely.


You have to understand that most of us here (including myself) are urban tenderfoots who - deep down in our heart of heartss - DON'T want the party to end. We so badly don't want it to end we are in total denial about how fast it is unraveling.

As far as the nuclear thing well I'm looking into getting the hell off the continent myself. I can't help but worry it's too late though . . .

This is so true.

You see once you see the mushroom cloud in the distance it's probably only a few seconds, perhaps minutes, before your town gets blasted. In that case it's best to get under a desk, put you hands over your head, and kiss your ass goodbye.

Now contrary to popular belief, the ability to kiss one's tukkis good bye is as much mental as it is physical. It requires flexible muscles which are generally tightened due to mental stress. So you must remain calm if you are going to kiss your ass goodbye without pulling a muscle.


As far as what to do: it's pretty simple: #1 Get out of blast zones. #2 learn to live at a stone age level of existance.

Obviously actually putting this into practice takes a bit more work and fanegaling (sp?).

Yup, Matt, your area is probably toast. See http://www.survivalring.org/nuclearsurvival/states/ca.htm

Other states can be viewed at the site.

But people might also be interested in a US fallout map at:

You have said you were looking offshore in another post but I would suggest that you also look at the global fallout maps (although I assume you are looking at NZ). Where I live north of you is one of the safest places there is. Why? Because nukes in the far east will have lost much of their fallout before it reaches my place and there are no targets.

As far as the stone age goes: collapse and dieoff, yes. Stone age, no.


That CA map was from 1990 - quite a lot has changed since then, to whatever extent facts can be extricated from the black box of nuclear war planning.

For example, Dulles Airport in Washington DC was always going to be a target in my opinion, even though the DC evacuation plans called for people to be moved to Leesburg - and building the 'secret' NRO HQ a couple of miles away from Dulles in the early 1990s ensured a twofer - or a warhead upgrade - from any conceivable enemy nation.

An even better example - Cheyenne Mountain is being shut down, according to the Washington Post last summer. Thus ruining much of the 'historical detail' so many SF novels loved to throw in - everything from classics like 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress' to pulp I would never admit to reading.

But try to find out where the replacement facility/s for Cheyenne is/are (and admittedly, maybe the announced closing was a cheap deception - though what value a 1960s facility would have in 2007 is something to keep in mind). Let's just say the maps haven't been updated yet. And these days, keeping information from spreading has a certain legal and technological basis in today's USA that a normal American citizen from 1976 could have only conceived of in a communist nightmare.

And since the Russians don't publish their targeting maps any more publicly than the US does, most of the information available for public discussion is merely informed guessing, with a strong streak of propaganda mixed in. Sort of like how these days, everywhere in America is a potential terrorist target. Not that I disagree that essentially all Navy bases with nuclear armed fleet elements, the Pentagon, various airfields with nuclear capability, missile fields, and various HQs, etc. are obviously on Russian lists.

But to tie-in with peak oil - another of Bartlett's hobbyhorses is EMP - and there were scenarios from the 1980s how the Soviet Union could use 10 EMP producing warheads to essentially end all oil refining in the U.S., thus essentially forcing America to fold unless killing hundreds of millions of humans was seen as a better alternative.

Ah, the long gone days of MAD. I don't really think that the imagined Cold War spasm of total orgasmic destruction is in our future (though still conceivable). The EMP game is open to any mid-size nuclear power that can get a satellite into orbit. And you can get real baroque here if SF/techno-thrillers are your genre - for example, in 3 years, the Chinese use North Korea to cripple an internationally isolated U.S. using 6 prepositioned 'North Korean satellites.' Except a novel that shows America being crippled and presented with the stark alternative of dealing with the fact that the U.S. is no longer No. 1 or killing hundreds of millions of humans and still not being No. 1 is not likely to make a suitable Hollywood script.

You don't need nuclear capability to have EMP weaponry. The most mysterious aspect of the ones the US has, is that they aren't well tested. Simply because there's no way to really do it "safely." I remember back at the beginning of the Iraq war II, they were considering using EMP weapons to knock out communications and whatnot but they were afraid of taking out the European grid.

Not a subject which I've followed much since the 1980s or so, but EMP definitely involves a large amount of energy (even simulating it in a lab by subjecting a plane or tank to it was a major, major effort - at least according to various news sources at the time) - and to the best of my knowledge, the only way to produce the necessary energy to ruin electronics over a quarter of a continent in one go is/are nuclear detonation/s at the right height.

Battlefield technology is something else, and there, I truly have no information.

"Except a novel that shows America being crippled [...] is not likely to make a suitable Hollywood script.

From this and similar comments in recent weeks, it's clear not many on TOD are significant TV watchers: Jericho.

The storyline revolves about the residents of Jericho, a small, rural Kansas town, in the aftermath of a series of nuclear explosions across the contiguous United States. The series begins with a visible nuclear detonation of unknown origin over nearby Denver, Colorado, and a loss of power and modern communications, effectively isolating Jericho. Later, power is restored to Jericho by what is alluded to as the efforts of the U.S. government, but soon after, an EMP disables all electronics. Several themes addressed in the show regularly are the gathering of information, community identity, public order, limited resources, and external and internal threats. The show features several mysteries involving the backgrounds of major characters, the unknown perpetrators of the attack, and the extent of damage to the United States and its government.

“You can not live any semblance of what we now consider a normal life with the consequences constantly in the forefront of your consciousness. Most of the time it must be out of your mind or you will not have a working mind .I am a relative doomer and I still do this.Doesn't mean you can't prepare, just can't dwell.”

Actually I do dwell on it. It overshadows the way think, the way I plan, the way I consume, in short the way I live. I tend to keep it to myself however, as the reaction one receives is dismissive, incredulous, or just “can we move on to another topic now?” When people talk about future events, (status of social security, national debt, our grandchildren’s college plans etc) there is this little voice in my head that says “none of that is going to matter- we will have much different and much larger issues to deal with.”

I had a rather heated “discussion” with my husband recently regarding selling one of our rentals to pay off our home mortgage. Over the years we partially refinanced on three occasions to extract equity for other investments. For most of our 30+ year marriage I have been largely uninterested in such matters; as long as I had enough money to pay the bills, he could invest whatever he wanted.

However, in light of what I see coming, I want our house paid off and selling a rental would do that, even with the tax burden entailed. He is adamant that doing so would just be writing a check to GWB in the form of capital gains.

We talk all the time about the coming economic meltdown and PO. What I see though, is that, despite all the information I show him, he really doesn’t buy it and sees it only as a slim possibility (too much MSNBC viewing I think). I told him if I am wrong we will have paid a lot of taxes but we will still have plenty with which to retire. If he is wrong and we can’t find renters to make mortgage payment and lose our income to make our own house payments all his stocks and investments and empty rentals will do us no good.

Hope for the best - Prepare for the worst.

Klee, I 'd like to repeat WestTexas's mantra about preparation for peak oil:
Economise-learn to get by on half your income
Localise-support your neighborhood merchants and services and farms, so you can get everything you need locally
Produce=learn a trade or get in a business that will support you after TSHTF.
Its good advice, and you will sleep better not being vulnerable to foreclosure even if everything stays the same.

This is very difficult. Left brain says one thing, right says another. I cashed in my small IRA last year. Branch manager at the bank says she saw that very infrequently. So I ran a little experiment: we did the numbers considering inflation and penalties - and it made sense. For her and me. It still *felt* strange doing it. She had no intention doing so. So here's a banker looking at the numbers and the numbers don't work and she keeps throwing good money after bad. Hard to break that training.

My two boys are starting high school. I want them to learn a trade of some sort, something on the non-discretionary side of the ledger. AFTER that they can go back to college. That, of course, flies in the face of everything in current culture.

Yes, it is something that permeates every action every day.

cfm in Gray, ME

HI Dryki,

Thanks and
re: "...AFTER that they can go back to college."
Maybe do both at once? Young men with lots of energy, and perhaps the types of learning can be compatible. (2cents here.)

Klee, I 'd like to repeat WestTexas's mantra about preparation for peak oil:
Economise-learn to get by on half your income
Localise-support your neighborhood merchants and services and farms, so you can get everything you need locally
Produce=learn a trade or get in a business that will support you after TSHTF.
Its good advice, and you will sleep better not being vulnerable to foreclosure even if everything stays the same.

Don't forget "H" for humanize. It makes a nice acronym. I really believe that single individuals or families will have more if a challenge in meeting their needs than those who have community connections.

Hi Klee,

The reality is that making the change in paradigm is almost impossible for many people. I'm one of the best perpared TOD people and have used arguments similar to your when I speak to people about these issues and haven't had any better success.

I think it is comparable to when I decided to leave the chemical industry to move to the boondocks 35 years ago. All my buddies at work said, "Boy, I wish I could do that" and then went on to come up with a bunch of rationales as to why, in their case, it was impossible. What it came down to in many instances was that they had defined who they were by their business card. They didn't want to be just another guy in the middle of nowhere in jeans and work boots with no status.

I retired just before I was 60 (I'm 68 now) and one thing to keep in mind is that things do become more pysically difficult as you get older. I've had the advantage of establishing our infrastructure (garden, orchard, alternative power, etc.) for 28 years at our current place. There is no way in heck that I could pull it off now (although I'd really like to design and build one more house using all the design tricks I know now). Your retiement plans may be to stay where you currently live but if they include moving, age is something to consider.

I wish you the best but don't have any words of wisdom. One thing that just came to mind is that my decisions have been strongly influenced by how the Depression impacted my family. If there are any fmily members still alive who went through it, they might be able to influence your husband.


Hi Todd,

As I recall we are both Northern Californians. My "hobby" of gardening has allowed me to quietly prepare. We live on 2.5 acres with a large garden, orchard, chickens, and bees, solar array, a wood cookstove my husband originally called “Kathy’s Folly but which he has come to appreciate, and our own well and storage tank. I keep slowly planning and spending for self sufficiency, sort of under the radar. Next step is to expand to a battery backup system for our solar inter tie system and a super efficient freezer for garden produce.

We also live in a great neighborhood with lots of skilled people. Its the “H” component of ELP (humanize). I don’t talk to them much about PO but the connections are there for a cooperative response to future crises.

Hi Kathy (nea Klee),

You know if you and your hubby ever want to come up to our place in northern Mendocino County we'd be glad to have you and you'd be welcome to stay over if you wanted. We're on 57 acres. Just email me at detzel (at) MCN.org. It's about 3 1/2 hours north of the GG bridge at legal speeds and only 2 miles off of Hwy 101 (Yea, but it's a dirt and gravel country road and dusty now.).

We really do it all except animals because of the critters. It might give your hubby the idea that one can live well sustainably. In other words, one doesn't have to expect society to collapse as I do to make significant changes.

On the battery thing, we have 32 deep cycle batteries for our PV system ($6k worth of them actually) and there are some tricks you should know if you go that route. In the case of the freezer, think about a Sunfrost...sort of ugly but efficient (we don't have one).

Think about it.


I'd really like to design and build one more house using all the design tricks I know now

So do the next best thing, and share them with the world.

Any mitigation strategy that has a chance of working hinges on a slow decline rate. Both Stuart's and ace's work points to a slow decline, thankfully. However, the great unknown is what really happens to all these massive fields that have been produced with state of the art EOR techniques? If Yibal is the model, then decline will greatly exceed our practical ability to mitigate.

I don't think there is much question left that we are either at or very very near peak. I think right now we need to focus on what is the expected global rate of decline. If it is above the mitigation response rate, then we have a catastrophic emergency on our hands. If it is not, then we have a manageable emergency instead.

Despite Stuart's work, ace's work, and that of many others, I am not yet convinced that a slow decline is the most likely scenario. The recent Ph.D. thesis about giant fields reinforces that worry. The collapse of Cantarell reinforces that worry. The summary data about northern Ghawar reinforces that worry.

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

You are right. A slow decline can only be achieved by sufficient levels of discovery. Since the chances of finding large fields is asymptoting to zero, it is going to have to be many small fields. Perhaps there will be a period when they are found but sooner rather than later they are going ot get scarce too. I do not think the typical depicition of global oil production from the past into the future as a symmetric bell shaped curve is realistic. It will be skewed, with a short future tail compared to a long past tail (even if there is lots of oil left in the ground). For the production curve to be symmetric requires a certain level of discovery that looks to be too optimistic as well as gentle depletion from existing fields totally unlike Yibal and Cantarell.

and dissident you & greyzone are not counting some oil kept in the ground due to war.

The whole of Iraq's alleged reserves (100 billion barrels) are worth three years of global consumption and Iraq is still producing. Unless you expect most of Opec to be "capped" by war in the future this war induced storage effect is going to be a secondary one. If it were to be relied upon as a way of symmetrizing the production peak, without new discovery it can only do this by lowering peak production, which means shortages for the industrialized world. Somehow I doubt that the leaders of those industrialized countries would start wars that produced sustained recessions/depressions. They would rather pretend that there is no problem since the pain is not imminent.

Besides assuming a slow decline in oil, most of the mitigation strategies (increased use of solar, wind, railroads, nuclear, etc.) assume that the monetary system will hold up. I'm not sure this is an assumption we can make, with the amount of debt we have and its dependence on continued growth for payback.

If we have a US monetary crash, it is likely to take quite a lot of the world along. I can imagine a scenario in which much of world trade drops dramatically, at least for a time. When it starts up again, actual goods may be traded, rather than IOUs. I wonder how much oil would continue to be produced under such a scenario, and what share of the total world oil production the US would be able to purchase.

The economic crash will come before the energy crash. It was designed to do so. Purchasing power will come from the barrel of a gun. That's why the US economy was made to evaporate so thoroughly in the past 20 years.

Money will not buy anything of true value anymore. Freely printed currency, especially, but not only, in the US, that has no intrinsic value, was exchanged for weapons and oil supplies, which do have such value.

It's quite a brilliant plan, once you come to understand it. The downside, if you care at all, is the human suffering. But then again, wouldn't that be inevitable anyway? The planners couldn't care one way or the other.

We have cared only in name about suffering in the third world, while stuffing our lives with fast cars and iPods. We are just as guilty, and we fully deserve to be pawns in the upcoming game.

How is the economic crash coming before the energy crash?


I don't know that I understand the "how" question, other than to say "man-made"

As for the "why", 2 things:

  1. Pre-peak: An urgent need and desire for demand destruction, in the face of the inevitable upcoming supply destruction. From the point of view of who controls money, it would be an unacceptable error to wait till energy starts declining.
  2. Post peak: Money will be useless as a medium to purchase oil, especially in the quantities required by armies and corporations. They want it all, and total control over it, for survival reasons. Oil will equal military power, and can be aquired only with military power.

    If a monetized global oil market would be allowed to continue to exist, armies might be bankrupted by escalating prices. That's a risk they can not, and will not, take. Therefore the market must be destroyed.

    This is what we see happening now. The world's financial markets have been deliberately inflated to a point beyond return. The US housing crash can be seen as an initial blast in a sequence of controlled demolition. Once the planted explosives go off in the derivatives market, trading 10x world GDP annually, the end'll be near.

Thanks very much. Of course, I don't understand all that you shared, but I will continue to read and learn. This has been a great thread and I appreciate all the discussion.

"Once the planted explosives go off in the derivatives market, trading 10x world GDP annually, the end'll be near."

Is this imminent, 6 months to a year, a couple of years or longer?

The exact timing is impossible to pinpoint. Otherwise the investment world would look very different.

A sudden increase hike in Japan would likely do the trick, because so many investors borrow cheap yen and would get severe burns. The Fed calling in outstanding loans, like they did in 1929, would work. And of course more armed invasions. In any case, I wouldn't give it more than 18 months.

Post peak: Money will be useless as a medium to purchase oil, especially in the quantities required by armies and corporations. They want it all, and total control over it, for survival reasons. Oil will equal military power, and can be aquired only with military power.

What happens when the amount of oil that can be acquired by military action is only barely more than the military need themselves?

Will they continue to prop up the country they represent, or will they perform a coup d'etat and effectively disassociate themselves?

And how about, what will happen when money becomes worthless, but even the military will want to be paid?

To quote the "magic 8-ball", "Outlook not so good"

Check out Alf Hornborg's "The Power of the Machine", 2001, for discussions of energy, global trade, currency, culture and infrastructure - the "machine". We import order (natural resources in low entropy) and underpay for same with high-entropy military hardware (to maintain hierarchy, favorable export terms, class structure). His argument is that we really are sucking the entropy from the rest of the planet to maintain our infrastructure.

Consider the digitalizing of medical records so that they can be "shared". When we don't have the energy to maintain such a highly ordered infrastructure, what happens to the records? Are we going to print them out and mail them to the owners at their last recorded postal address? Huh?

Or will we make the decision to keep some technology and dump other technologies? Technology is culture, Hornborg notes (and so do the Amish, right?). But it won't be the "free market" that decides we must keep a grid and an internet, but some layer of political control that says medical records yes, TV no. Else it all goes down.

If by 2020 or so we are looking at 55MBD (Bakhtiari) AND increasing climatic chaos (farmers in Maine *now* are altering what they plant because of climate change) what will our culture/technology/society look like? And if not by 2020, soon enough. Will we have the internet, cell phones and computers but not food, cars and roads? Do we back down the development path in reverse or are the steps different? "Clinging on by the bloody fingernails" seems more likely than an elegant descent.

Is there a Defcon 0?

cfm in Gray, ME

Hi Gail
If there is a risk for a monetary crash, should it be wise to invest in gold and silver.


Probably so. It seems reasonable to assume that there will continue to be an economy where bartering with gold and silver will work.

It is probably at least as important to stock up for your own needs - some extra food, water (or a way to collect water), blankets, flashlights, aspirin, etc. People have also suggested stocking up on things to trade - such as small bottles of liquor, razors, shampoo.

Regardless of what one buys, I worry about theft. If people are desperate, and see you have things to trade, they may follow you home and rob you. So there is no really foolproof approach to saving for the future.

Gail, I think that bartering for so-called "precious metals" and such will be limited.

Most people will be far more interested in bartering directly for goods and services they cannot provide for themselves. Many local currencies may be developed based on local measures of wealth.

Some folks might horde precious metals and diamonds and that sort of thing, but be unable to eat them, drink them, make them turn into medicine, or defend them against others who believe in hording precious metals and stones as wealth.

Food, water, clothing, and shelter will be in demand, as will healing arts. I simply do not see what good so-called precious metals will do unless governments big enough to confiscate them and base currency on them exist.

I do not claim to predict in this matter, but the probabilities of our "upside down" values continuing to rule in economics seems low to me.

A "transvaluation" may very well occur: farmers, food preservers, bakers, builders, and people who can provide dental or medical care will be highly esteemed. Bankers and insurance agents and various paper-shufflers may find themselves out of work.

Likewise, the gold coins and such may find their way into useful products -- high-tech or low-tech. "A piece of bread will buy a bag of gold" is the old apocalyptic verse that describes the switch in values: one piece of bread for a bag of gold? Which is more valuable or sought after?

I don't think our current conventional economic assumptions will apply.

Beggar I think you have a solid handle on gold in that it depends upon some sort of stability in the system, though much less stability than does paper currency. During a period of great chaos it would likely be of very little value, but in period leading to and from that point it could be of great value.

During that time of chaos I would rather hold bags of dry white rice than gold.

But this is just a tale to frighten children in the dark and soon mother will come to put us to bed.

The whole PM thing has been argued for years and years on survival forums. PM believers believe they will buy stuff for cents on the dollar. Non-believers like myself who actually have stuff say "You can't be serious."

Here is my argument: Do PMs add someting to my life such as making the work I do easier or make the work I do take less time? No they don't. It's a Ponzi scheme. If I accept your gold for my food I have to find someone who will trade something physical to me to make it worthwhile. Yet, there are many local currency schemes out there that offer better value with no PM backing. For example, I'll work 10 hours bucking hay bales if you repair my truck.

The final argument is that the .gov can confiscate or make PMs illegal at any time by fiat. And, anyone who thinks these kinds of things can't happen has only to look at what is going on with firearms.


Forget firearms. Look at what FDR did to gold directly.

This government (US) can and will confiscate whatever it feels necessary in order to accomplish its current list of goals. Most other governments are no different either. Note that most politicians actually believe their own spew about this being for the "good of the people" but that's just rationalization. Sometimes an action might be good for the greater number of people and sometimes not. But these sorts of actions are always good for government.

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

Gold and silver are a good inflation hedge as long as the government (U.S.) doesn't ban citizens from investing in the metals as they once did in the 1930's.
They should perform well up until the time where they are illegal to hold, and price controls go into effect.

Any mitigation strategy that has a chance of working hinges on a slow decline rate. Both Stuart's and ace's work points to a slow decline, thankfully.

There may or may not be a slow decline in production; for oil available on world markets it makes no difference. Oil after Peak can never be purely a scientific issue, the human factor, the power game, will take center stage.

When any form of decline sets in, oil available will fall off a cliff, and our societies will change beyond recognition.

The world's armies and corporations will secure and monopolize as much supply as they can lay their hands on and feasibly store. That is what makes Iraq and Iran such big prizes: large quantities of oil, that you can leave stored underground.

The fights over remaining supplies will be relentless, since the decline makes clearer than ever that oil is power. If you don't take and secure it by force, somebody else will. It'll be the only game in town.

Of course, the game has already started.

I really like this post treeman. One foot in this world, and One foot in the Next.

"There is no subject more likely to be avoided than the effects of peak oil."

So you've noticed TOD is as much apart of our collective delusion as the of the MSM - the subject is just treated more "academic" here.

I also think the decline is upon us and complacency even among the "awake and aware" is alarmingly high. Many of your points and questions bring to mind the writing of dmitry orlov, and samsam bakhtiari. (especially, "Crude Oil: The Day After Tomorrow").

I too like you're post treeman. & my point about war above is what Heissofly is saying; war will/is going to dominate over geology ; & increase decline at least some. Then as Gail says we are in a different world finance wise; then all bets are speculating IMO; & I worry Chimp is right more serious war i.e. nukes. & yes treeman this stuff will make u crazy if u focus on it 24/7- while still trying to make a living /keep connected in this world which denies all these problems. My pattern is to focus on this a lot; to do preps, then backoff -at least on the heavy stuff. This has been very stressful on our marriage. I have developed one close friendship around preparing- much younger than me & as I was recognising this he said well let's hope I don't have to use u for nourishment. I said ok by me if I decide to euthanise. So it goes with this difficult to think about s$%T.

Put very crudely, as it's late for me, it appears that "ideology" trumps reality every time.

It seems as if we construct a managable, understandable and palatable world in our heads, and then "superimpose" this "model" on the real world outstide. I suppose this is only "natural" as the world is so big and so difficult to understand. We seem to regard this "virtual" world, our own mental construct, as "objective reality", often regardless of emperical evidence.

I've been cosidering this subtle and esoteric view of things because recently I've been remembering the Irish famine in the middle of the nineteenth century. We've recently spent time on TOD chattering about the Titanic disaster and the temptation to see this as a metaphore for our society. The iceberg is Peak Oil and we're about to ram it...

But I was thinking that the famine in Ireland might be a more far more appropriate and disturbing analogy. Here the disaster didn't appear out ot the darkness, but there was ample warning. The was time to mitigate the worst effects, yet nothing was done until it was too late. In 1847, even though millions were starving in Ireland, over six thousand ships left Ireland loaded with food; wheat, barley, pigs, chickens, cows... all bound for Liverpool.

The attitude in London to the starving millions wasn't all that different to that of our leaders to starvation in the third world. In fact, apart from the blatant racism directed towards the Irish, it's stunningly similar.

Basically, the British, nineteenth century version of capitalism didn't see a role for the state, rather the "invisible hand" of the "market" would sort things out eventually. Reading contemporary accounts relating to the political response to the "famine" is chilling, as these voices and attitudes seem so modern. One has a gigantic crisis. Informed experts agree on what kind of remedial action is needed, but do we really take notice? Not really, because to do so means questioning the basic tenets of the ruling social/economic ideology, even when it's obvious that the ideology is inadequate and is leading to disaster. I kept thinking about hurricane Katrina and New Orleans. Over a century has passed but the same lazy, arrogant, pigheaded and incompetent motherfuckers are still in charge! God help us all.

I'm not saying that we are going to exactly copy the same disasterous policies that allowed the potato blight to cripple Ireland for decades, only that there are stricking similarities in the way blinkered ideologues and rigid state systems deal, or don't deal, with certain types of challanges. One is struck by our ability to mobilize society through war; why can't we summon-up the same determination, willingness to co-operate, and strength to deal with other forms of crises? Why are we prepared to waste billions on war yet seem unwilling to invest in alternative sources of energy? Does ideology really trump reality every time?

Why are we prepared to waste billions on war yet seem unwilling to invest in alternative sources of energy?

Ask yourself, "Cui bono?"  (It explains phenomena like this.)  The people in power have numerous ways to benefit from producing and controlling oil, while a devolution of energy production to forests, farms and even individual roofs gives those benefits to a much larger part of the public while destroying that power and control.

Their monopoly will collapse just as the PC destroyed the mainframe model (and forced IBM to reinvent itself), it's only a matter of time.

Re: Does ideology trump reality every time?

Yes. Those smart enough to figure out what's really going on are nearly always in the minority. The majority are high school graduates with a "C" average. They believe what their parents told them, what they learned in high school and in church. They do not question any of it. This has been going on for hundreds and even thousands of years. It ain't nothin' new.

A push for better technologies and renewable sources of energy? Absolutely.
Chances of those approaches occuring fast enough to affect the declining economy? Very small.

This is the reason that I'm frustrated by the political response to 9/11.  Naming the Saudis as the bad guys (they support the Wahhabi doctrine which motivates the worst of the jihadists, including ObL) would have been a great political motivator to get on the alternatives bandwagon before depletion became obvious.

Instead, GWB is all buddy-buddy with them despite their financing the Sunni jihadists killing our troops in Iraq.

Thank you, Leanan.

Where IS that 'Theory of Everything' ?

Leanan -

I want to thank you for working on Easter. Not only do you work seven days a week without pay on non-holidays, you also work on holidays!

We appreciate your hard work!

I notice that all of the media blames the recent volatility in oil prices to the Iran/GB-sailor flap. Hasn't anyone noticed the GAO report on peak oil? I'd like to think that that had an effect on US trading at least as large as the latest "hostage crisis". But then maybe neither oil traders nor mainstream reporters simply can conceive of a real downturn in oil availability

I have for 2,5 years prepared for the coming crisis like WT ELP model, Now i am waiting on the sidelines to se what happens in the years to come. It will be interesting times. I am sort of thrilled of this.


What is the WT ELP model?

Westexas' Export Land Model, which states that oil exported will decline -much- faster than oil produced, due to increasing domestic demand in exporting countries.

That is the WT ELM model :-)

ELP is economize, localize and produce as a strategy to prepare for post-Peak Oil.


Best Hopes,


Darn! Victimized by them little green acronym people again.
Eh.. what Alan said.......

WT is Westexas- geologist , Oil Drum contributor/poster who has advocated Economise - pretend you have to live on 1/2 your current income. Localise -get as close as possibly to work/home etc. Produce be in a position where you produce something, i. e. not financial services for ex. I apply this to home as well as work.

Hello all - I am a long time reader and just have to comment on a couple things if I may.

First off I have spent an enormous amount of time researching on the internet over the last 10 +years, (industrial design/ product development) and I have to say that never have I witnessed a dynamic such as that of TOD. You all are awesome and have reason to feel pride as well as excitement in being involved here. I don’t kid myself that I have much of substance to add but I personally value the general conversation and debate as much as the tech.

Side note: I always come to TOD by googlizing “peak oil”. When I started, got hits in the thousands, now averages around 7 million.

After my children were born, (10 year old daughter and 15yo son) my contemplation of the future kicked into overdrive, 15 years to late perhaps but I got my plumbing shut off now.
Side note: Doc said he had been to China and they do 40 vaz. per hour without local or drugs.

I then began researching the “Trifecta” Global warming, Peak oil, Financial crisis, in ernest and have come to conclusion;
GW is happening, (then most likely G Freezing) and man has little or no ability to mitigate.
Not that we shouldn’t do all we can.

Peak oil is now but system is such that little can/will be done in time. Although I do hold out hope for STEORN but that is problematic too.

Financial crisis or “Peak Dough” the quantity of currency and debt that is being created out of thin air can have only one outcome, crash hard.

A fantastic VIDEO relevant to this and to the social/ political equation of the problem is

“The century of the self”


Basically explains how American consumer was created/ manufactured.

All this has placed me firmly as a card caring member of the doomer camp but not the Jay Hansen kind. Too much of his material serves to support his, “ only reasonable thing to do is get rich, get guns, and get girls” shtick.

IMAO that a greater percentage of the public is beginning to understanding all this, can feel it in the air (and the multitude of blogs and comments I read support this) and the overwhelming response seems to be to hurry up and get theirs before the doors close.

I am so sick of seeing business and financial writings with a title that basically reads
“ Total Global Chaos &Collapse (and how to profit from it)”

I fully understand the desire to hoard and stockpile, to seek advantage as JH would call it. However I also believe that if not for the conditioning we all have received over the last 100 years we would be, and in fact I believe we are still inclined to pull together in order to achieve advantage over the looming situation. That is the greater story of History.

Everyone needs to wake up to the reality that if you are the only house in the area with lights on in times of intense hardship you have to expect small pieces of hot lead to come whizzing through your sitting room as you slurp your bordeaux. Also If your are one of the lucky few SUVs rolling down the street you have to expect the same said hot lead pieces interrupting your cozy cruising reverie. And this reality will start sooner than most upwardly mobile citizen with aspirations of riches wants to believe. Actually it happens now but I won’t get into that. There is no parallel world where money will insulate you from the other 90% when TSHTF. Yes JH not even on a small island out in the middle of the ocean.

The thing to do is to equalize the class standing to a nice, happy medium now Before the lowest common denominator is a flesh eating zombie. I think that we might all be surprised at the quality of life that that compromise represents.

Impossible you say. Well then you are most likely a fairly well off person with what you perceive as a lot to loose and are unwilling to share it with the great unwashed hordes.
Or, perhaps you believe that the world needs a good cleaning out of the attic, then maybe we can talk. BS

The advantage we have here is that this reality is fairly easy to convey. It’s not hard to paint a picture where being closed up in your house in times of scarcity equates to a life of drug addict like paranoia and fear only with real bullets.

It’s simple, when TSHTF we either throw open our doors and become one, or we slink off to our cells and pick each other off one at a time.

This is a message that I intend to perpetuate far and wide.


Your choices seem limited!! Slink off to our cells or throw open the doors and become one.

In the cells or standing in the open doorway..both can get you decimated. You just an easier target in the latter.

There is another option. I see it this way.

You need food to survive.
Land produces food if man tills it.
You need to be on land that can produce.

Much of our land is useless due to weather,soil and moisture.

You find good land, away from the maddening crowd and live thereon and till it.

If you are righteous and can survive you will likely find others of the same ilk and then you can start community and do it right this time around. Forget the gov..thats is the way of death. Local laws and peer pressure in small communities can handle all that needs to be handled.

It worked that way before telephones and 911 callups. The citizens handled it themselves. By this token the verse that speaks about 'honoring your neighbor and not coveting what is his' would apply. Our unwritten moral code. Fashioned on beliefs that have provided for societies and communities for thousands upon thousands of years.

Its when the rulers and dictators come that it all breaks down. Thats when they chop your heads off at the top of the temple mound and roll it down the stairs.

We are witnessing the destruction of one of those nation-states right now. They went awry long ago. They sold out for greed and something called a 'global economy'. Which is another word for thief in the night , or actually broad daylight. We can thank a Saudi asshole living in a dessert cave to bring us eventually to this state. The once most powerful (and still is) nation-state on earth has eaten its offspring and then devoured their seed corn.

So its up to the individual and then after this all subsides the communities that spring up. We will never retain our once exalted technology height. We will have to remain agrarian. That can be good.

Of course that means no automatic dishwashers.


P.S. Very good post. Glad to know there are that many out their lurking. More need to come forward and make statements. If you want real community(of ideas say) then this seems a good place. A good place to time the events properly. I am betting on this summer being an eyeopener , on many fronts. Weather,economy and yes oil. The only fly in the ointment is possible Thermonuclear War.

(QUOTE)"The only fly in the ointment is possible Thermonuclear War."

You are a master of understatement.

More like the forest fire underneathe the dab of ointment, with the fly now sizzling in it.

Fine Post Souperman2,

I think we need more of that sentiment:

The thing to do is to equalize the class standing to a nice, happy medium now Before the lowest common denominator is a flesh eating zombie. I think that we might all be surprised at the quality of life that that compromise represents.

. . . you are most likely a fairly well off person with what you perceive as a lot to loose and are unwilling to share it with the great unwashed hordes.

You goddamned right!

. . . the doomer camp but not the Jay Hansen kind. Too much of his material serves to support his, “ only reasonable thing to do is get rich, get guns, and get girls” shtick.

You got a better idea?

TSHTF we either throw open our doors and become one

Let's say we do that and, more importantly, it actually works. Guess what? We'll start having MORE kids. That's right, we tend to have more of them when we percieve things are getting better and when our stress levels are going down.

This, btw, is the real cause of the falling birthrate in first world countries. It's not birth control and the education of women (not that those aren't good things mind you) it's that stress levels are through the roof and male potency is dropping due to all the crap in the environment other impotency producing lifestyle factors. (which is ironic since we have more material wealth but that's another post)

Point is if we humans look around and see things getting better we'll start fornicating like bunnies.*


. . . and then we'll be right back to where we are now.


Bottom line is this: if we all decide to "just get along" the world will be a much better place. Woohoo! Problem is if the world becomes a much better place we will, in the aggregate, want to bring more children into it. Uh-oh .. .

Great post Souperman.

I am another long time lurker (this is my first post)and I also would like to say that TOD is an outstanding site.

That said, I want to echo your point about "hot lead" flying around with my own personal example. I am in my mid twenties and live in a burb of Chicago. I graduated 3 years back with two nice shiny degree's, no money, no job, and about 35K in loans (actually a small amount compared to many). When I got my job I of course had to move close by so needed a place. This meant that security deposit and 1st month rent went on mastercard.

I got a car from my sister. It is 97 Explorer with a V8 and all wheel drive. I average about 15 MPG (but man is it fun in the snow). It costs a lot in gas BUT no car payment means it is still more economical for me. I've been working for ~2 years now and I think I have a handle on my debts but I have zero savings.

Now, according to the posters upthread here I need to do the following:
1. move to the country
2. buy ~40 acres
3. learn to farm
4. invest in solar, wind, geothermal etc.
5. build a super efficient house
6. change my tranportation options

Right now I am just covering rent. This list will not happen for me. No way. AND I have been working for a little bit. What happens when all the students in the high schools and colleges now a days realize they WILL NOT have the life their parents had. They WILL NOT have the opportunities, the job they trained for, or that nice place and car etc.... Guess what happens when the nations youth get shafted and then get pissed.

So while I really find all the stories of preparation described on this site interesting I have a feeling that these people are going to get screwed anyway. Cuase when I'm a starvin' I'm gonna get my rifle and come a shootin'. Its nothing personal, really. I respect everybody's views here and like Alan wish everyone the best. BUT I cannot due much to prepare and Bullets are cheap. Consider this a preemptive apology.

"No man who owns his own house and lot can be a Communist. He has too much to do." (Bill Levitt - 1948)

Last I heard the world's food reserves have dropped from 116 days to 55 and Bush and his ilk are pushing ethanol production . . . . Hey, Bill, where are you going with that gun in your hand?

BTW a 20 pound bag of rice is likely about 10 bucks -- can you buy bullets cheaper?

Now instead of the above, try this site for some good advice:



Just want to say I know EXACTLY how you feel. (I'm 4 years out of school and age 28.) It's why I stopped going to the local Peak Oil meetings. It was mostly aging hippies with lots of money to do numbers 1-6. I was like "this is great but I'm barely covering my rent and student loans. what am I just suppossed to sit here and die while you assholes put up your solar panels?"

(My personal financial situation has improved a bit since then but essentially not that much different.)

I told them they should arm themselves because people in my shoes (or those without shoes all together) will simply steal their solar panels and vegetables when tshtf. and They can pray to the mother goddess and yap about ghandi all they want as I rip the solar panels off their roofs and their vegetables out of their gardens.

Hey chimp, I was a destitute street hippie during 60's/70's for a lot more than 4 years. Times were better then but even so living on the street and hitch hiking about the country with a last 10 cents for that emergency call could be a bitch. Things do work out. They will work out in the 'new economy' that will emerge especially if you have a way of being needed and don't go kill someone.

As well, I think you must mean boomers or yuppies, not hippies as there really wasn't that many bonafide hippies then, though there were a lot of daytripping party types. Most of those aging and overweight 'boomers' you mention can barely tie their shoelaces now so there is lots you can do to make your way. But if you can't, go ahead and do what you need to do to redistribute the wealth and survive, just try not to make too much of a mess of it.

Thanks for your input today, and welcome to the soup!

I appreciated your comment about the Army guys below, and the Class Issue above. My first level of 'Security' when I get into a neighborhood or a building is to work constantly to make contact with everyone I see in the area. I'm not too worried about the Jr.High fears of being that Dork who says hi to everyone. I don't push too hard, some folks don't want to respond, have their own shyness or dislikes, but I'm pretty forward about it still, asserting that I am a neighbor and I want to have a connection with them. I think it works, and it has me forging friendships despite percieved class differences, race, age, gender, etc.

While I think the way you talked about Cooling off the class differences made it sound a little too easy, I'm sure you don't fool yourself that it's maybe one of our oldest splits, and no easy nut to crack. Still, I agree it has to be done, and it beats trying to control situations with a shotgun, which can easily misfire on you... so at my little, local level, I find ways to spark up conversations, get us knowing each other just as 'regular people' who will keep an eye on each others' homes, and try to work out ways to build our bonds even stronger, and get close enough to know there are folks around to count on and work with, where the first steps are already taken, and the unsureness of 'who are they and what do they want' has already been pierced and demystified.

Best to you and yours!

Bob Fiske

This is why I always put an "H" on "ELP". Humanize. Improve your relationships with the people around you. Bind yourself into as many human networks as you can. People are much less likely to attack, and much more likely to help, people they feel a bond with.

Plus it makes the acronym more mnemonic. "What should I do?" "You should HELP."

I strongly agree with your main point. We need to solve this together or very few of us will survive at all. If you look at the citizenry as a whole there is tremendous opportunity to conserve. I see huge lines of people commuting from Livermore/Tracy to Silicon Valley, all in individual cars. If we find a system of putting five people in a car, even if it is an SUV, that cuts our oil consumption dramatically and almost overnight. If we put in bus lanes and put ( a hundred?) in a bus that cuts fuel even more and gets people to work faster. What if we said that it was against the law to drive on a freeway with only one person in the car. You would be forced to pick up at least one rider somewhere.

This is a simple example and doesn't address the whole problem. But it shows that there is a lot of opportunity for modifying our FF use and doing so very quickly.

Oil production is not going to suddenly disappear. Even if it falls off sharply it will not happen overnight. Things may be very tough but we'll have the chance to work together if we choose.

Right, Neutrino. I'm all over that. The bumper sticker in my head these days, waiting to be made up..

"Double, Triple Even QUADRUPLE your gas mileage overnight- Carpool!"

or maybe

"Seats 4 Comfortably. Give your SUV the exercise it deserves. CARPOOL!"

I don't know.. any suggestions?

Bob Fiske

Re: Peak oil crisis will require fundamental cultural change

I can’t believe I made Drumbeat today! What an honor. Of course everyone here knows 99% of my statistics came from here and folks like James Kunstler - with a bit of my sarcasm stirred in.

Keep the information flowing. I read it every day.

Airdale - thank you for comment. I have read you and your situation and can't help thinking of my Gramps, (no age jab intended). he had 100+ acres in Cal coastal range. Taught me to shoot, draw a knife across the throat after to be certain of demise, skin, tan, butcher, most important how to cure olives. yummmmmmmmmmm.
Hunting one day we came upon old chicken house on property way out back. Hippies had cleaned it up, moved in and were planting garden. (pot he said but all I saw was close rows of greens). He fired a shot in the air from his ought six and yelled at them to leave or else. Next morn I woke to my gramps cussing. All the windows were sprayed with peace signs and on the porch sprayed were usaf ivy4. My uncle said they were army vets. They could have taken us out no prob. I feel you need to reach out to community more maybe no?

i like this "stream of consciousness" style of writing!

born and raised on a subsistence farm, everything needed
to survive and thrive is now dying with my parents generation
as an urban boomer I know we will need this lost art knowledge very soon.....

the loss of knowledge is the thing that freaks me out

Yes, my memory isn't what it used to be either. Sorry but you asked for that.


It is interesting that the one story linked in today’s Drumbeat that went without comment by the TOD readership was the first one concerning the link to the children’s story about a post oil world.

More the pity. The link is interesting for so many reasons, and caused me to think about perceptions and emotions more than facts and figures concerning my belief system about oil. The book, being as it was, a small book, with apparently fascinating illustrations (if one goes by the examples given), caused me to think back to my first childhood ideas about oil, energy, wealth, and the world I lived in, and to ask myself “What are we telling our children and young people today, about oil, energy, wealth, and what ‘modern life’ is really all about?”

The book referenced was written by Graham Oakley

Mr. Oakley, an Englishman, seems to have had one of those charmingly English careers, creative and rewarding if a bit eccentric, as an artist, illustrator, children’s book writer and TV set designer. He is most famous for a series of children's books written over a 30 year period called “The Church Mouse Series”.

The book described in the link above “Henry’s Quest” seems to have been a bit of a one off, out of the ordinary type book for the writer, now out of print and often unmentioned in lists of books by the author. One makes the assumption that the author must have written the book because the issue in particular, a world post oil and gasoline, had somehow became a personal concern, and he wanted to play the topic out in the medium he knew best, a tale in a children’s book.

I will not go to great length in explaining the book, you can read the review in the link given, but will let you know that it involves the quest by a young prince to find the mythical “last remnant of gasoline”, an apparently prized and mythic substance in a world now ruled by monarchy. The illustrations attempt to depict this land post fossil fuel, and the samples given are imaginative and wonderful to look at. This is obviously a topic that the author had given some thought to. But why?

Is the author a "peaker", a closet reader of TOD, Kunstler and Matthew Simmons, who simply had to work out his view of a post peak world?

Perhaps, but this would not explain the writing of a book about a mythical world, where “gasoline” is so unknown that some even doubt it’s existence, and where the royal family lives in a department store surrounded by “shiny objects”, the now parked automobiles that serve as only status decorations somehow portending the families once great wealth, and in fact, the once great wealth of what is now a medieval fairy tale kingdom, in which a wooden fort is built on the ruins of a high voltage electric tower, a whole village lives in the ruins of a jumbo jetliner and “Plying the ruined roads are traders on great flatbed semi trailers. The flatbeds are rigged with a square sail and pulled by a team of horses. They built up like an 16th century sailing ship and guarded to protect the goods from bandits.”

Because the shock comes in when the book was written. Says the reviewer:
“I think there is much to like in Henry's Quest. I find it incredible that Oakley wrote and illustrated this book over 21 years ago in 1986.”

If we take into consideration any gestation time in the forming of the ideas in the book, we can safely assume that the topic was on the mind of the author as early as 1982-84. Thus, roughly a quarter of a century ago, the author of a child's book was thinking through a visualization of a world post “peak” (even though that term did not exist in popular culture as it does today)

Once more, we are confronted with the issue of time. Was Mr. Oakley thinking in terms of the immediate future in his depiction, or further out in the future? Of more importance, what would a child reading the book have made of it? Would they have seen it as a depiction of the world they would know as a grown up? A child reading the book in 1986 would now be in their 30’s. They would have seen, beginning in the mid 1980’s, the greatest expansion of fuel consumption in American and world history, and one of the great periods of wealth expansion as well. Where I work, we employ teenagers. Up until 9/11, we were told as managers to remember when dealing with this generation that “unlike us, they have never known a ‘down’ economy.”

It is also to be noted that Mr. Oakley’s depiction does not depict a science fiction world of alternative fuels and solar powered/nuclear powered wealth. Instead, it reverts back to the Medieval model, of monarchy, and small animal husbandry and farming. Why? The concepts of “EROEI” were virtually unknown in the mid 1980’s. Why did the author not depict an alternative energy world, and in fact, not even see this as an option to provide his child reader? One presumes that the author either does not prefer that future, or that for cultural reasons simply did not see it happening. The use of monarchy is likewise fascinating, a return to a mythical “knights errantry” modeled after King Arthur. It makes one think of Alvin Toffler’s claim, also made in the 1980’s, that many people, overcome by “Future Shock” and a resentment of the higher speed and complexity of modern life, would begin to as he put it “yearn for a new dark age.”

The reviewer of the book closes with the comments: “Henry's Quest was ahead of its time and with our world facing the increasing likelihood of peak oil, I think Oakley's extraordinary book is an excellent way to introduce the concept of life without oil with our children. I highly recommend Henry's Quest.”

The book would be wonderful for the thinking child as a way of introducing interesting and alternative concepts to them. I would ask, however, if we would want to depict it as a soon to be world, the future they would be sure to know.

Imagine that a child had been introduced to the subject this way in 1986, when the book was new. They would have grown up expecting a world completely unlike the one they actually lived what should have been the most productive years of their young lives in. Would they have made decisions based on their perceptions acquired in childhood? How could they have invested in a 401K, or a career in business or financial America, knowing that the collapse to a feudal society was just around the corner?

Time, more valuable than oil. How do we avoid wasting the one life we have here on Earth by basing our whole existence on fear instead of on opportunity and promise? What world do we want? Do we secretly desire the mythical feudal world of kings and knights, with the Esso refineries grown up in weeds and vines, and the highways plied by mules and horses?

I am asking myself some deep questions.

Roger Conner Jr.
Remember, we are only cubic mile from freedom, if freedom is what we want.