DrumBeat: April 9, 2007

Answer Desk’s do-it-yourself oil price forecast
Also: How come no one is building new gasoline refineries?

How much oil is under the ground in Saudi Arabia? Can Saudi producers make good on their claims to be able to continue to provide enough extra supply to meet global demand growth for the foreseeable future? Or, as some industry watchers suspect, are they hiding serious problems with existing reserves that could soon bring a production decline?

Lester R. Brown: Plan B Budget for Restoring the Earth

The health of an economy cannot be separated from that of its natural support systems. More than half the world’s people depend directly on croplands, rangelands, forests, and fisheries for their livelihoods. Many more depend on forest product industries, leather goods industries, cotton and woolen textile industries, and food processing for their jobs.

Passing the buck on fuel economy

But rather than change their behavior or make any sacrifices to actually accomplish this, Americans would rather shift the responsibility onto somebody else. In this case, it's the auto companies - and it's a mistake.

Stop shopping ... or the planet will go pop

According to Porritt, the most senior adviser to the government on sustainability, we have become a generation of shopaholics. We are bombarded by advertising from every medium which persuades us that the more we consume, the better our lives will be. Shopping is equated with fun, fulfilment and self-identity. It is also, Porritt warns, killing the planet. He argues, in an interview with The Observer, that merely switching to 'ethical' shopping is not enough. We must shop less.

Gas crunch likely as Mideast races to meet local needs

Regional demand growth of up to 10 per cent per year is eating into export potential. Widening supply deficits are forcing governments to emphasise meeting domestic needs.

Leaders to discuss CentAm integration

President Felipe Calderón will meet with presidents of Central America and Colombia Monday to discuss and evaluate a plan that aims to integrate the region´s economy through infrastructure and energy projects.

EU Overlooks Pitfalls Of Central Asian Strategy

In the future, the EU will have to contribute substantially to the settlement of border conflicts in the region, particularly between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, if it wishes to have long-term partners and law-governed states in Central Asia. Shots along the Kazakh-Uzbek border are almost daily occurrences.

What Does Iraq's New Oil Law Say About an Invasion?

Iraq's new oil-hydrocarbon law, and the push to see it quickly passed, has begun to raise serious questions among observers and critics.

Saudi LPG Prices Up After Iran Standoff Boosts Crude Prices

Saudi Aramco and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) raised their common April contract prices for liquid petroleum gas (LPG) for propane by 24 dollars a ton to 530 dollars a ton and for butane by 39 dollars a ton to 545 dollars a ton, the Middle East Economic Survey reported Monday.

The Cyprus-based weekly publication said that the increase was due to the recent sharp rises in crude oil prices to above 60 dollars a barrel for benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) because of increasing tension between Tehran and London over the capture of 15 British naval personnel, and the move to tougher sanctions against Iran over the nuclear issue.

Whatever happened to oil sands takeovers?

There have been lots of rumours but no big energy deals during the past year.

The jolly green bubble

There's a new bubble in Silicon Valley, and I'm in the office of John Doerr, watching it expand. Doerr, of course, is the legendary venture capitalist and inflator-in-chief of the last glorious investment craze. (Remember "The Internet is the greatest legal creation of wealth in history"? That was him.) So what's his take on green technology? "This could be the biggest economic opportunity of the 21st century."

Vermont: Gas-guzzler fee on inefficient cars facing hurdles at Statehouse

A legislative proposal to impose a "gas guzzler" fee on inefficient cars is moving forward in the House, but may run into roadblocks if and when it arrives for consideration in the Senate.

Colorado: Jump-starting jobs? Think local, retrain

While Colorado supports alternative energy of all kinds - from fuel cells to wind turbines, solar panels to fuel-making algae - it must also find a way to fund public education and train the kinds of workers required to develop it.

Ethanol to debut in Phoenix area

Initially the output of the plant will be used mostly in 10 percent blends to increase the oxygen content of gasoline and make that fuel cleaner burning. But some of the output also will go toward production of E85, a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline that is coming into its own as a separate fuel.

Will green play in Peoria?

This heartland city is betting its future on ethanol, wind and other environmental industries.

The New Silk Road

When Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the oil giant Saudi Aramco last year, he didn't need a translator. Plenty of Chinese-speaking Saudis were on hand. A few years earlier, Saudi Aramco had sent dozens of employees to study in Beijing. After all, China, not the United States, represents the future growth for Saudi oil exports.

Thailand: Persian Gulf tensions shift focus to NGV

The Energy Ministry will encourage more use of natural gas for vehicles (NGV) to ease the impact of any oil shortage that could result from renewed tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Salvadorian president hails controversial U.S.-Brazil biofuel plan

El Salvadorian President Elias Antonio Saca on Sunday hailed the U.S.-Brazil plan to set up an ethanol plant in El Salvador, despite criticism of the scheme in the region.

European Ethanol Production Climbs 71% in 2006

European ethanol production rose 71% in 2006 to around 1.56 billion liters (412 million gallons US), according to data published by eBio, the European Bioethanol Fuel Association.

A Plastic Wrapper Today Could Be Fuel Tomorrow

Scientists worldwide are struggling to make motor fuel from waste, but Richard Gross has taken an unusual approach: making a “fuel-latent plastic,” designed for conversion. It can be used like ordinary plastic, for packaging or other purposes, but when it is waste, can easily be turned into a substitute diesel fuel.

The power of trash

An energy-hungry nation is turning to an alternative source of power: the methane gas building up under dumps across the country.

Eco-anxiety: Something else to worry about

Concerns generated by her own research led Colborn, 80, to make lifestyle changes. The environmental health analyst and co-author of the 1996 book Our Stolen Future avoids Tupperware and Saran Wrap; leftovers go in mason jars and empty peanut butter containers. In 1987, fearing a coming energy crisis, she bought a 900-square-foot cottage, no air-conditioning, within walking distance of the small town of Paonia, Colo.

While scientists like Colborn are making environmentally sound lifestyle choices based on their own study, a growing number of people have literally worried themselves sick over a range of doomsday scenarios.

Their worry has a name: eco-anxiety.

A Sneak Peek at Blackstone's Kailix Advisors Hedge Fund

"It's like they got off the phone with T. Boone Pickens and said, 'Help us out here. We're starting up a hedge fund. What should we buy?,'" said StockPickr Chief Executive Officer James Altucher, who has written about the fund.

He speculated that the diversity of energy bets is really Blackstone's way of wagering on so-called peak oil theory, which holds that the globe's oil supplies are slowly diminishing.

Price of gas up 18 cents in the past two weeks

The average cost of self-serve regular gasoline rose about 18 cents per gallon nationwide over the past two weeks, according to a survey released Sunday.

That translated to an average price of $2.78 a gallon, according to the latest Lundberg Survey of 7,000 gas stations across the country.

Russia: Oil and Gas Reserves Shrinking

The country's oil reserves shrank by 7.3 billion barrels from 1994 to 2005 as the country failed to replace dwindling West Siberian reserves with new discoveries in East Siberia and other regions, an official said Friday.

Royal Dutch Shell may lose management control of Sakhalin Energy

Royal Dutch Shell PLC could lose management control of Sakhalin Energy, the Russian company which runs the giant Sakhalin project in eastern Siberia, according to The Sunday Telegraph.

The newspaper did not name its source, but said under an agreement signed last year a Gazprom appointee could end up running the project.

Gazprom Seeking $1 Trillion Value, Double Exxon's

OAO Gazprom, Russia's natural gas export monopoly, aims to quadruple its market value to $1 trillion within a decade and become the world's biggest company.

Energy Policy: A Norwegian Perspective

Greater transparency and data accuracy is also required with regard to oil reserves. In several, major oil-producing countries there are uncertainties about the true size of oil reserves. For long term planning, relevant and reliable information on oil reserves is essential. In its support to JODI, the G8 Summit also called for the development of a global standard for reporting oil and energy reserves.

Possibility of natural gas cartel isn’t likely

Unlike oil, which is traded on an exchange that constantly updates the market price based on supply and demand, most gas is sold under tight contracts that allow buyers to lock in prices for up to 25 years.

Officials deny plans to form gas cartel

"I hate the name cartel. We are not a cartel," al-Attiyah told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting's opening ceremony. "We're just here to consider our interests."

Fear and Loathing in Energy Coverage

It’s bad enough that this country is forced to endure Criminal Narrators Boosting Crude and their 24-hour sponsored pump-fest. Bad enough that they choose to give a forum to oil extortionists and peak-oil fanatics while delighting in this plague of high prices that has cost the American people $240Bn a year in windfall profits.

Russian general says U.S. continues preparations for military action against Iran

The release of the 15 British sailors and marines captured by Iran has robbed the U.S. of a pretext to attack Iran, but the U.S. has not given up plans to attack Iran militarily, said Col. Gen. Leonid Ivashov, president of the Academy for Geopolitical Problems, a Russian think tank.

"Preparations to strike Iran's strategic facilities continue. Three major groups of U.S. forces are still in the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. Altogether, they have up to 450 cruise missiles on alert," the general told Interfax-AVN.

Was Rationality Banned From American Politics?

Yet the debate in Washington (in Tallahassee, in Sacramento, in Richmond) goes on as if there’s no connection between what they do there and the future. It goes on as if there’s some kind of magic pill that some great worldwide dictator can force down somebody else’s throats to solve Peak Oil and Global Warming at the last minute.

Hu Returns Home From Russia Empty-Handed on Energy

The Year of China in Russia got off to a top-level handshaking start in Moscow this week, ensuring that whatever else might go amiss, visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao would have something to smile about, for the TV stations back home at least.

But after three days of political pledges and promises with President Vladimir Putin and other Russian leaders, the Chinese president has returned home without any progress on the one issue that hexes Beijing now -- energy security.

Fidel Castro: Where Have All the Bees Gone?

No one at Camp David answered the fundamental question. Where are the more than 500 million tons of corn and other cereals which the United States, Europe and wealthy nations require to produce the gallons of ethanol that big companies in the United States and other countries demand in exchange for their voluminous investments going to be produced and who is going to supply them? Where are the soy, sunflower and rape seeds, whose essential oils these same, wealthy nations are to turn into fuel, going to be produced and who will produce them?

Commodity Markets Analysis, Meat, Gold, Corn and Peak Oil

At some point, high natural gas prices looming in the background will make the cost of fertilizer too expensive which will cause lower applications which will result in lower crop yields. This will in turn drive the price of grains and meat even higher, which is one reason many should consider buying some arable land with access to an available water source. Note that the price increases from peak natural gas have not even been factored into the higher prices of meat or grains. Food will become so expensive that the ethanol boom will absolutely collapse due to public demand for “Food instead of Fuel”.

Global warming: future looks bleak for Cape of Good Hope

The lush vineyards, rare plant species and breathtaking scenery that have turned the Cape peninsula into a tourist magnet are in danger of withering away within decades if the doomsday predictions of a growing number of scientists come true.

Vermont bid to curb emissions heads to court

A week after the U.S. Supreme Court said vehicle carbon dioxide emissions can be regulated like other pollutants, an effort by several states to do that is about to get its first court test.

Nuclear power enters global warming debate

Legislation to cut greenhouse gas emissions creates new alliances and opens old wounds on Capitol Hill.

The 90 Percent Solution - Newsweek interviews George Monbiot

When it comes to the need to reduce carbon emissions, how far is far enough?

John Kerry: Conservation’s convenient truth

Enough talk already. We have spent the past decade debating a scientific consensus on global warming instead of moving to fix it.

In these lost years, we could have created millions of jobs, opened up vast new markets, improved the health of our citizens, slowed global warming, saved the taxpayers’ money, earned the respect of the world and strengthened our long-term security. Instead, America’s climate change strategy has been rhetorical, not real.

He was too loud, too, Souza says. Then she looks down at her rag, sniffs. She hates to say anything positive about these damned musicians, but: "He was pretty good, that guy. It was the first time I didn't call the police."

Souza was surprised to learn he was a famous musician, but not that people rushed blindly by him. That, she said, was predictable. "If something like this happened in Brazil, everyone would stand around to see. Not here."


This is probably behind a registration wall and probably OT, but it was a good read.

I bought the book, Internal Combustion, by Edwin Black on Friday, and am into the chapter called, Batteries and Bicycles. The basic theme seems to be that any useful source of energy will be fought over by profiteers and eventually controlled by a ruthless cartel. Chapter 1, a deleted Chapter 1 and an expanded Chapter 2 are available on the companion website:


I am reminded of something I saw years ago in the Boston T. I was on a station platform, and there was someone there playing classical pieces on the violin, and really doing a very good job of it. A train rumbled in on the other track - the violinist stopped as the music couldn't be heard over the sound of the train, but then on the opposite side of the platform, someone with a saxophone got off the train and started to play the theme song from the Flintstones. The poor violinist gave up and just got on the train to find a more quiet station in which they could play.

Someone told me that Joan Armatrading used to play on the T before she was discovered.

Reading the rumors below reminded me: I called to wish my Dad a Happy Easter and he started telling me that there was proof that Saddam had moved all the WMDs into Syria just before we invaded, but that China wouldn't let Bush say anything about it or they would stop buying our T-Bills, and we're so far in debt that they really have us over a barrel. William of Ockham must be rolling in his grave, but I found it interesting that some right wing source was using the debt crisis to prove the WMDs existed.

From the Baltimore Sun, one of today's most emailed stories:

Foreclosures on the rise in suburbs of Baltimore

The new wave of mortgage defaults hitting the region, part of a nationwide spike, is not primarily a city problem. Foreclosure filings rose four times faster last year in Baltimore's suburbs than in Baltimore - up 15 percent versus less than 4 percent in the city, court records show. To the south in Montgomery, one of the nation's wealthiest counties, filings were up more than 30 percent.

Suburban Baltimore foreclosure cases are increasing even more quickly this year, and local housing advocates fear a worsening as more "exotic" mortgages reset to higher payments. Already, real estate agents and auctioneers say, some homeowners are desperately trying to sell before they are overwhelmed.


I can't speak for the Boston saxophonist's talent, but it's not unusual for serious jazz players to quote the Flinstones theme in their improvisations. That's because the Flintstones theme was written over the chord changes of Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm," and all jazz players know "I Got Rhythm."

You gotta work the room. Playing the subway you can't play like you're in a concert hall.
Classical musicians are the worst for not understanding that they are entertainers first. Article doesn't say plainly, but I got the feeling Joshua Bell never looked his audience in the face once. And what's this thing quitting after 40 minutes? That the guy knows concert violinism don't mean squat. He's the new kid and should spend 40 or 60 hours a week learning street craft.
Could there be a worse audience than D.C. bureaucrats in the morning rush?
Mostly this is an article about how remote elites are from reality.

Every time a child passed the musician, it wanted to stop and listen, and every time a parent dragged it on. What a world.

while he is spot on that many of the technology's touted in the media as 'new' arn't. they existed before gasoline much in the same way they do now only slightly improved.
the rest of the book just prattles on about how they, in this instance the corporations. prevented the stuff from being used.
this is not true, any corporation that got their hand's on anything like that would put them in the exact same position as ford was with his model t. the name ford in the beginning became married to the word car in the popular mind. you cannot /buy/ that kind of mind share and the profits that come with it.
The most likely situation is that there is /no/ working alternative better then what we have now that doesn't in turn rely on what we have now for it's existence.

Warren Buffett knows

Just heard on CNBC that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is buyint a 10% stake in three different railroads. Burlington Northern was one of them and the other two is still a mystery. All railroads are up this morning on the news.

It would be pure speculation of course but it just may be that Buffett realizes that peak oil is upon us and he realizes that moving stuff by rail is far more economical than moving the same stuff by truck.

Ron Patterson

Whats scary is his record of being right. I think we should all take note. He has made more money betting on more changes than anyone. Bill monopolized one thing. I work at UPRR and it would be stupid to ignore them. If you want to move anything west you have the UP and BNSF and UP controls nearly 2/3 of the lines, so who has the sustainable competetive advantage that Buffet touts in his philosophy?

I wonder if Buffet and Simmons ever have converstations together about all this stuff?

I would not be surprised if they did.


I used to do a lot of work at Missouri Pacific. Later I think UP brought it up. MoPac was one fine hellva railroad.They wrote some very very good code. I started there when paper tape and teletypes were the normal communications tools.
Took forever to get a 'consist' in.

On 12th and Olive(maybe Locust) in Downtown St. Louis.

Spent many a nite up on Dago Hill drinking like fish with the programmers from MoPac.

UP was based in Omaha? No?

Do you work in Clayton?


I guess Warren finally read my posts :). Railroads are so obviously the place to be. Although you do have to be a bit of an optimist that some commerce and normalcy will continue post-peak and then moving to rail makes energy sense for goods movement - not to mention the coal shipments that have been increasing. Good news that Buffet is in, I think he is a class act.

I don't think it is a bet on 'peak oil', rather it is a bet on increased coal consumption.

Warren owns many things and he appears to be diversifying properly as owns Mid American Energy which is

MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., a unit of Buffett's Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc., plans to start building in Iowa the world's biggest wind farm as soon as this year. The $323 million project, on leased farmland, calls for generating as much as 310 megawatts from as many as 200 wind turbines.

However Berkshire also owns NetJets which implies that he gets the nuance of the energy business. The middle class will not fly anymore, but we will get heat and rail, while the elite will still "need" to fly to ensure that the profits are maximized and so deals can be done.

New York City thinks about starting 22% of one of the two most important Urban Rail projects in the US

Free Registration with New York Times required

The Lexington Avenue subway is operating over capacity @ 600,000 riders/day# and over crowding is discouraging ridership. The 2nd Avenue subway (when completed, not just this first quarter step) will parallel Lexington and take most of those riders of Lexington coming from the east and since it is closer and the stations offset a bit from Lexington, attract new riders.

And Lexington, once ridership backs down to a more manageable 450,000 or so, will again attrect more riders.

Lexington is a 4 track subway, offering local and express service. Because of limited federal funding (only 1/3rd and not the Clinton 80%) 2nd Avenue will be just 2 tracks. Two tracks limits it's capacity and express service for centuries to come.

Please note that this first section is just ~22% of the total line. The most badly needed quarter, but it leaves the remaining 3/4 for future generations.

*IF* NYC could get 80% federal funding, their 2/3rds local match ($2.5 billion) would cover completion of the 2nd Avenue subway from Harlem to Chinatown and funding for the last two stations would be found. With 90% Federal funding (the same % as the Interstate highways got while being built) the 2nd Avenue subway could be built with 4 tracks.

The 2nd Avenue subway is one of my two highest priority large rail projects in the US IMO. The other is the Los Angeles Red Line subway extension (one day to the sea; but just past UCLA at first).

Best Hopes for the Highest Priority Rail Projects,


# To put this in perspective, I was told that this one subway line of a few miles carries about as many pax miles as Amtrak does. A completed 2nd Avenue subway (4 tracks ?) plus Lexington Avenue subway should carry more pax-miles than Amtrak.

The New York subway fare is only $1.80 per ride using a Metrocard. When I was visiting Tokyo, similar fares ranged from about $1.30 (but for just two stops) to about $4.50 (for a few miles), i.e. 160 to 540 yen depending on distance. And London Underground fares are pretty steep too. And the New York system covers far greater distances, which makes providing the rides more expensive, so longer-distance fares should be higher still. To travel the number of miles from the downtown or midtown business districts of Manhattan to many subway stops in Queens or even Brooklyn and the Bronx, you need a "suburban train" - RER, JR, etc. - in almost any other major world city.

If this subway is needed so badly - and it is, as the Lexington has been dangerously overcrowded for decades - how about New Yorkers pay an honest distance-based fare for the service they need, instead of waiting around untold years for Uncle Sucker to give them their nearly-free ride? This seems to be a big problem in the USA, that somehow we must never, ever ask people to pay for what they use, which ultimately means the service is deservedly of whatever abysmal quality they do pay for, if indeed it's there at all.

Raising fares results in more people driving (and walking/bicycling) and lower ridership overall. This causes higher unit costs.

Extracting enough extra fares for major capital projects would drive ridership down with bad overall social effects AND fail to raise billions more for new subways. Not an option IMO.

Perhaps if the externals were changed ($6/gallon gasoline, congestion charges, parking taxes) the elasticity of demand for NYC subways would change.

OTOH, most knowledgeable transit advocates like zone fares, cheap for short hops, more expensive for longer distances. $1 to $3 range (half price on weekends) might work well for NYC.

Best Hopes for Reality Based Planning,


I agree that fares should not be raised; in fact, I think rides should be free. But what about all the multimillionaires and billionaires in New York, especially in the financial district. How about all those $25 million bonues? Or would taxing those people drive them out of New York. Of course we could raise or restore income taxes on the rich and pay for all this stuff. But then, would they just move out of the country?

I think rides should be free.

And I "think" gasoline should be free. So what? Besides, they have free rides on the Staten Island Railway as long as you don't get on or off at the ferry. The unintended consequence is that the trains and stations are an ideal gang hangout, too dangerous to use except maybe at the height of the rush hour. Not a good idea.

In the end you get what you pay for - or more precisely you rarely get more than you pay for.

Or would taxing those people drive them out of New York.

Since the City taxes everything that moves, at confiscatory rates, I speculate that the City figures they would find a way to leave if it taxed them more. And certainly if you taxed them more at the national level they would leave the country - as they have always done in Europe. Why do you suppose so many famous writers and other well-to-do folks reside in "tax havens" like the Channel Islands, the Cayman Islands, etc. etc.? I guess the problem about overpaid 'stars' of all sorts is that while ordinary folks strongly resent them, ordinary folks are too stupid unprepared to do without them, even for five minutes.

I don't think it makes sense to equate free gasoline with free or subsidized rides on mass transit, that is, unless, you think it makes sense to encourage even more automobile use.

The overwhelming proporation of mass transit fares are paid for the government. Have it your way, though. Let's not make the fares free but let's make gasoline so expensive that mass transit will seem free by comparison.

Free rides appear to have been a disaster (or at least "not good") everywhere tried except the Miami Metrobus AFAIK.

OTOH, time of day pricing seems to work well, drawing discretionary travel (shopping, doctors appointments, museum, etc.) into mid-day and weekend transit service.

Half price seems to work as a discount (revenue drops but not by 50%, ridership shows substantial increase).

Maximum revenue is rarely the ultimate goal of fares.

Best Hopes,



In what way were free rides a disaster? All University of Colorado students in Boulder ride free throughout Boulder and Denver metro area. Have not heard any reports of a problem or a disaster. So, what is the goal of fares? Now, of course, if there were a capacity problem, I could see how free rides could be a problem. But aren't most public transit systems underutilized? I am not disputing your statement; just want to understand the problem.

Define "free". CU-Boulder students pay a fee that goes to RTD to cover those free rides. A large fraction of the student body never even jumps one of the shuttles, despite the fact that they're paying for it. If RTD were losing money on the deal, "students ride free" would end quickly.

grok here,
We have free buses in chapel-hill/carrboro where UNC student live. It is well used by students, personel of UNC and hospital employees. Many buslines tying the outter cities to the center. If every student tried to drive to the University it would be auto-traffic-chaos. They have devices on the bus to hold 2 bikes.

Free buses work here, alan.

Would like to have an electric streetcar run between the university to central carrboro!

"over crowding is discouraging ridership"
Didn't Yogi Berra once say, "No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

Ahmadinejad: Iran now capable of making nuclear fuel on 'industrial scale'

Iran's nuclear fuel production has reached the "industrial phase," the country's atomic chief said on Monday ahead of a major speech by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

"We have gathered, thanking Almighty God for the introduction of the uranium enrichment program to the industrial phase, and once again we thank Almighty God for allowing us to attain industrial enrichment plans," said Iran's Atomic Energy Organization head, Gholamreza Aghazadeh, addressing an audience at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran.

"We have gathered, thanking Almighty God for the introduction of the uranium enrichment program to the industrial phase." Are you sure this wasn't taken from The Onion :)

Two issues from above:
The Russians seem to be using the internet for intelligence gathering on the USA intentions in the gulf. They may be right in their conclusions but they aren't revealing any extra insight into the facts. Personally I think that if the attack doesn't come before August we will not have one during this administration as long as nothing new happens. Perhaps some people in the Pentegon will risk their careers by arguing against an attack. Perhaps Dick V.P. has lost his control of the Whitehouse and can't force it through. I am holding my breath for the next few months.
Secondly has everyone noticed the growing number of personal attacks on Al Gore and other climate change personallities? It is a common trait of the staus quo folks to attack people when they have no real way to attack the facts. Too bad Al Gore isn't squeaky clean on energy but none of us are. While Manbiot sends a great wake up call, I am disappointed that he was sucked into the Gore bashing.

IMHO, We have to be very concerned about the next 8 months (remainder of this year).

Far too many nail biting issues that could explode (let's hope not literally):

1) PO, Oil shocks - late summer/Fall? Using the megaprojects database as a conservative reference.

2) KSA not being able to ramp up for summer - June/July?

3) Hurricane season - eek!

4) Natural Gas prices with summer spike and potential fall stockpile minimums?

5) Housing collapse underway - with a massive number of resets this fall thru December (500 billion+)

6) Iran/Israel/US - war potential - oil grab - consumer distraction

7) The US dollar and economy - anyones guess how long this will hold up - but in light of the above items - it is very shakey.

Did I miss anything?

Ice Age beginning?? ;-) (Maybe it just seems that way looking at the snow on my lawn...)

Or this thought could be because I just started vol 3 of Kim Stanley Robinson's Global Warming trilogy (fiction - or is it...?). A great read, highly recommended!

I was going to add a bit at the end about GW (GF?), but thought it wasn't necessarily near term. But I think Georgia and other states would argue today.

Best hopes for earth tilting just enough on its axis to reverse global warming. I believe that is our only hope.

Hmmmmm... if we got everyone on one side of the planet to drive north, and everyone on the other side drives south, maybe we could straighten out the earth's tilt! Of course, if we overdid it we'd start tumbling end-for-end, which might be a problem...

Yes we could become a Sunspot. ;-)

Stuart Saniford is obviously Sax Russell.

Why stop with the next 8 months? Is there any reason to think the following year will see a change in direction? Or the next decade?

The global economy is an unimaginably massive ship, and there is so much inertia that changing course is exceptionally difficult, even if the guy at the helm tries to change course.

And, of course, there is no guy at the helm. Or rather, there are hundreds of millions of hands on the helm.

One can only try to change the direction of your own little skiff, even though it seems pathetically insignificant in relationship to the Mother Ship.

That ship's wake is incredibly powerful, but until it hits the iceberg you can use it to some advantage.

I don't...but I believe the next 8 months may be historic in nature. Too many balls in the air, one(or more) may fumble.

Near term problems are appear very real.

However, the prospects for months 9 to 21 (2008) are not any better; and neither are months 22 to 33 (2009).

Not only will the ball(s) fall, they will "bounce" in interesting but destructive ways as well.

As one example, the odds of a major oil & natural gas supply interruption on the US Gulf Coast in 2007 is much less than 50%. But if the time horizon is expanded to 2007-2012, then the odds heavily favor such an event.

And KSA may respond with higher production this May/June; but what of future May/Junes ?

Best Hopes for Reality Based Planning,


No argument, sure I/we could entend the horizon to 2020...but that isn't my point. It appears something may give in the next 8 months.

My post was not definitive or certain, but recognizing some of the major trouble on the NEAR TERM horizon.

The farther out we look, the guarantees becomes more solid. From my point of view, 50% is ugly.

As far as Megaprojects 2006, he has not factored Canatrell's new decline, or any new potential KSA shortfall, which just eyeballing the graph looks like everything after OCT08 would be downhill if KSA can't ramp (with a decline greater than 600kbpd/yr). So, the near term is definitely more critical.

If they can, well oil will get pricey(100+ thru 2008/09) with some price shocks, but if may be BAU, but if KSA or Canatrell go further south....HOUSTON we have a DISASTER.

So, here's hoping, maybe even praying, that KSA is just toying with us and can ramp production at whim.

Situations 5) and 7) occuring, I think are mutually exclusive with 1),2) and 4) occuring.

I would disagree, however, we can't know for sure. I don't personally believe that the current recession horizon or housing deflation will affect NG or Crude demand enough to slow down the train.

PO is still the elephant in the room, IMHO.

If, we had some kind of overnight catastrophic collapse of the economy in the US, this may affect the demand side more significantly.

I see the _economic_ woes being more of a catabolic (slow painful) collapse, recession after recession, which means - slow demand destruction. But this doesn't mean it isn't still a disaster in the making.

The effect of economic trouble or WAR on the PO wavefront is just too hard to tell, but those troubles on their own are frightening.

Either way, you could be right, it is truely disturbing how uncertain the future is.

What you have to remember though is that the US consumes 25% of the worlds oil given 4.6% of the worlds population.

Thats an awful lot of free oil onto the market should the US'd demand be reduced.

I agree with you partly because we are talking about a LOT of unknowns here!


But what event would cause even the 10% reduction over night...other than total collapse.

Nothing I can see. Maybe 2% per year, but if the economy is still churging then the remainder of the world will probably *slurp* up 2% in rounding error.

But, I can't disagree totally either, to many unknowns and one of the reasons I think the next 8 months will be telling (if not down right frightening).

Cross your fingers.

At a 2% reduction, the world gets 1.69MBD C+C + other back onto the market. But the story doesn't end here. Chinese production of goods and therefore demand for oil is also reduced. What hits the Amreican economy would reverberate around the world. I am arguing myself into unchartered territory here!

But, only for the sake of argument, then the price of oil drops, and China and India buy it up STILL to feed there restless masses...PO still on track. *SLURP*

Heck...if the price falls far enough, maybe even Africa will buy some oil again...*SLURP*.

Interesting times ahead indeed.

In the face of uncertainty, we should create policies that increase certainty. Instead of wondering about or debating about or speculating about or denying the existence and time frame of peak oil, we should engineer the decline of oil consumption on purpose. By taxing it and, perhaps, even rationing it in order to purposely decrease its consumption in a planned way, we create a climate of certainty where all the actors can take action and plan based upon those assumptions.

If peak oil is scary, it is primarily scary because it will sneak upon us in the night; its impact will be all that greater because we haven't planned for it. But because we cannot predict with sufficicient certainty to have a political consensus about its rate of decline, we are better off by creating a guaranteed rate of decline of, say, 2% per year for the next couple of decades.

The same policy should apply to all fossil fuels. If you create your own future, you will be better prepared for it.

But noooooo; we will simply wait for the inevitable, wishing and hoping it won't be so, that we are God's chosen people, that he wouldn't let us down.

Sounds like Heinberg - Oil depletion protocol. And one of the main reasons I am a doomer (I can admit it). I don't believe people in the individual and societal sense are willing to give up what they have in such a way.

I am an optimist in general, but when it comes to human nature, I guess I am not.

On a separate point, will we ever CALL 'Peak Oil' - cause near as I can tell - it's in the past - now we are working on Peak ALL LIQUIDS, and soon PEAK COW POO CONVERTED TO LIQUID SOMETHING TO BURN...

So Peak OIL came in the night already.

Hi t,

Thanks and I'm wondering if you might fill in some specifics here,

re: "By taxing it and, perhaps, even rationing it in order to purposely decrease its consumption in a planned way,"

How does the tax work, exactly? Who is taxed? Corps? Oil cos?
(who?), manufacturers? Who levies the tax and who collects it?
What is done with the proceeds, once collected? Who determines what is done? And how does this result in decreased consumption? And what are the possible problems with this approach (and how might they be anticipated)?

I just had a chance to take a close look at the Cantarell chart in the recent WSJ article. It looks like actual production is pretty closely tracking the worst case decline rate, which basically suggests that production will drop from about 2.0 mbpd in mid-2005 to about 1.0 mbpd in late 2008.

Given all the recent data analysis, I don't see how anyone can now deny that the two largest producing fields in the world, Ghawar and Cantarell, which until fairly recently accounted for about 10% of world crude oil production, are both in terminal decline.

The yahoo article
(where the author is frothing at the mouth about cantarell) about us "peak oil fanatics" causing cantarell to crash was little short of hilarious.

His rant I think is NOT Spin. I truly believe that this is the way that dwindling liquids will be percieved and explained away in an ever incresing cacophony of angry voices over the cost of running their vehicles. This guy really believed what he was saying.

I really worry that the mass will never really know the truth.


Hysterical! Here's a great line from the article:

"The Cantarell oil field is producing 1.6Mbd and is predicted to go down to 1.4Mbd in 2008, down from a peak of 2.1Mbd, according to Mexico’s Pemex, the company that has the drilling rights. Is this is due to declining production or just doing their share of the overall OPEC cutback?"

Why didn't I think of that? Canterell is not declining, Mexico is just following the OPEC cutbacks!!!

Yeah...I was just about to post that...did Mexico join OPEC over Easter?

Did I have a prolonged PO depression induced blackout? Nope...Current OPEC Countries

Perhaps high gasoline prices cause irrational hysteria in journalists.

What is sad about this is, as a journalist, he gets to publish his rant, without reasonable oversight. The media is so dysfunctional.

That was a good laugh. Especially the part about Burgan and Cantarell being giant cracks in the ground spewing abiotic oil.

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

I'm supposed to do a Net Oil Export article for the ASPO meeting in Houston, although my personal view is that events are moving so fast that declining oil exports won't be news by this fall, but I could be wrong.

In any case, Khebab and I are going to collaborate on the ASPO article.

In the short term, PG wants us to do something too. The key problem is getting some 2006 consumption numbers. Assuming that consumption by the top 10 net oil exporters went up from 2005 to 2006 at the same rate that it went up from 2004 to 2005, I have estimated that net crude oil exports by the top 10 net oil exporters declined by 8%, from 12/05 to 12/06 (on an average annual basis, the decline rate would be lower).

I noticed that the most recent monthly EIA data showed the cumulative shortfall--between what the world would have produced at the 5/05 production rate and what we actually produced has grown to about 420 million barrels of crude + condensate.

BTW, more evidence that Saudi Arabia "can't find buyers" for its crude oil:


Business News
Saudi Arabia, Gulf producers, Libya raise crude price formulas

Apr 9, 2007, 9:59 GMT

Nicosia- Saudi Arabia has raised its monthly crude oil price formulas for May by between 15 cents a barrel and a dollar a barrel for customers in the Far East and Europe, but kept its highest increase of about 4 dollars a barrel for its US customers, the Middle East Economic Survey reported Monday.

If Russian crude oil production declines this year or next year, do I get some kind of reward? Perhaps a bigger food ration?


Monday, April 9, 2007. Issue 3632. Page 6.
Oil and Gas Reserves Shrinking

The country's oil reserves shrank by 7.3 billion barrels from 1994 to 2005 as the country failed to replace dwindling West Siberian reserves with new discoveries in East Siberia and other regions, an official said Friday.

"The proportion of reserves that can be extracted has fallen from 42 percent at the start of the 1990s to 27 percent," Sergei Fyodorov, head of subsoil policy at the Natural Resources Ministry, told a conference.

Russia's energy reserves are classified information, but BP's statistical review of world energy has put them at 74.4 billion barrels.

"At the current rate of growth in oil production, there won't be enough reserves to keep up," Fyodorov said.

Industry experts say that in Soviet times, state-run oil producers rushed to pump as much oil from each field as possible, damaging the chances of making the most of the available reserves in the long term. Many fields that were harvested hastily now produce much more water than oil.

Merrill Lynch, for one, sees a problem in export-land, though they don't discuss it as such. Last week they released their view of OPEC demand growth for 2007 (no link, for-pay report). They summarize as:

"Projected OPEC demand growth of 430k b/d in 2007 outstrips its average capacity growth for the year. While we expect 2007 gross additions to capacity of 1.36m b/d, most of this comes on in 3Q07 and 4Q07 and assumes a return of Nigerian capacity to 2.5m b/d by year-end. With little y-o-y growth before year-end, average capacity growth should equal only 380k b/d. In a tightening 2007 market – with forecast global demand growth of 1.7m b/d to exceed forecast non-OPEC supply growth of 800k b/d – OPEC is reversing its traditional role. Rather than providing a much-needed supply cushion, it has become a major source of demand and of 2007 market tightening."

Which means lower net exports this year.

They expect OPEC to account for 25% of world demand growth this year (to a total 8 million b/d), second only to China.

Posted to this question downthread as the difference between the U.S. market and the rest of the world is becoming huge. KSA had to do something to narrow the basis and according to this they have. Thanks for the links

It looks like the primary reason for the spread between WTI and Brent is the number of refineries that are down in the US, which may however start causing some gasoline problems.

On a Days of Supply basis, we are down to 22.1 days gasoline supplies, which appears to be the lowest ever for late March (the EIA data go back to 1991, when we had 30.4 days supply in late March, 1991).

BTW, note that Gulf Coast crude oil inventories continue to decline (the Cantarell effect?), even with some refineries down.

I remain convinced that the Bush administration will not act directly in regards to Iran unless there is an open revolt in the southwestern provinces. Note that psyops have been ongoing in that area anyway but Bush will neither blindly attack Iran nor invade without provocation. However, in the event of an open revolt, he can diplomatically recognize the new state, shift troops into the new state to help defend it, and take countermeasures against Iran if they attack the new state.

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

Perhaps. But I think that setting a precedent of ignoring existing national borders is something even Bushco may want to avoid. After that, who knows, the Kurds may create a state, even Vermont may secede...

China uses more fertilizers and pesticides than I expected. According to "Who's Monitoring Chinese Food Exports?" in today's WSJ,

China's contamination problems stem in large part from its loose regulations and highly fragmented food production. Hundreds of millions of small farmers grow its food, and they rely heavily on chemicals to coax production out of intensively cultivated soils and to fight pests.

The result: "China has one of the world's highest rates of chemical fertilizer use per hectare, and Chinese farmers use many highly toxic pesticides, including some that are banned in the United States," according to a report published last November by the economic-research service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

It looks like the Chinese are fairly vulnerable to a reduction in amount of chemicals available for agriculture. I looked up an article on irrigation , and it looks like they are also very dependent on irrigation. If the chemicals used in food production are mostly from natural gas and the irrigation pumps depend on oil (my suppositions), the irrigation issue may be closer than the chemical issue.

(By the way, the answer to the WSJ title question is basically "No one, very much", so we might do well to watch for food imported from China.)

Definitely. According to the UN, China uses four times the global average of synthetic fertilizer per hectare. The idea that they're farming with sharpened sticks and "night soil" is a myth. For most of their history, they struggled to support even 100 million people. Their current population is courtesy of the Green Revolution.

The idea that they're farming with sharpened sticks and "night soil" is a myth.

One can see the importance of using fueled powered tractors in the works of Lenin...why would China be different, other than having less oil/gas within its boarders than the CCCP?

I'm sure you can find sticks and night soil in play today...if one looks hard enough.

It looks like the Chinese are fairly vulnerable to a reduction in amount of chemicals available for agriculture.

There is a 'fringe' theory that goes something like this:

Mao was propped up by the oil-consuming west's intelligence apparatus because an industrialized China would out compete the west for energy resources. Throw in a bit how the agricultural class needed to be expanded and how anything green that was not food was turned into compost for the cropland and you have a hum-dinger of a 'grand theory of a conspiracy'.

Interesting way to look at the past, with the energy-bleak tinted glasses no?

it looks like they are also very dependent on irrigation.

Err, EVERYONE needs fresh water and there does not seem to be enough to go around. Areas that have water for transport and fresh water for drinking are likely to do better than areas that do not for regional trading.

Weakened, underfed populations should lead to a fine-quality global pandemic and because of the history of government/corporate transparency...another round of "conspiracy theories". Remember as you ride the downside, be sure to put your hands in the air and go "Wheee!"

Good point! Within the next 3 years all the grain stocks in China will be gone. that will have huge consequences to the international grain and farmland market. Prices of nearly all grain will then go through the roof, that's for sure.

Im at a loss why the Cato institute would try and pursue this, but they are claiming PO is all bunk! The only thing I can think of, is that they are trying to push the whole political route of involvement with oil rich countries. They are just trying to put it out there that we are fighting for oil? Check it out...


"Each of (the) fears about oil supplies is exaggerated, and none should be a focus of U.S. foreign or military policy," write professors Eugene Gholz and Daryl G. Press in the policy analysis from the libertarian Cato Institute in Washington."

Im at a loss why the Cato institute would try and pursue this

We discussed this a few days ago when the report first came out. The reason is obvious. The Cato Institute is libertarian. They hate the idea of government involvement in anything. From ethanol subsidies to carbon taxes to "oil wars."

They think the invisible hand will fix everything, if the government just stays out of it.

"They think the invisible hand will fix everything, if the government just stays out of it."

Naivete runs river-deep in the land of "freedom." It is quite a feat of cognitive dissonance that libertarians can ignore the entire sordid history of corporations and big business, which is has blistered the human and environmental landscape with with towering corruption, uncaring rape, and destruction on the greatest scale humans can manage! The stark contrast of individual rights held up high, while simultaneously getting on ones knees to blow the corporate pillagers (who would only enslave these supposed "freedom lovers" even more) - ah what a lasting tribute to the doubly-wise ape! :)

Veg: That's only half of it. The right wing in the USA is the main support for US military spending, and according to this link US military spending takes up an unbelieveable 40% of all tax dollars http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/22108/

These "freedom lovers" conveniently neglect to explain who is going to pay for this gigantic war machine they worship.

Ah, if only we could power a sustainable civilization with the forceful, streaming currents of human delusion - this is one natural resource we can count on!

Military spending and Peak Energy - NOT something many want to talk about much because it's pretty clear bombs and high-tech murder will get priority over people - and as the energy pie shrinks, somebody gonna get hurt real bad... I'm with comedian David Cross - I too am bitterly awaiting the next U.S. move - Operation "Rest Of The Brown Ones."

The U.S. Defense budget for 2007 is 439.3 billion. Total tax receipts are anticipated to be 2540 billion, so defense spending is a little over 17%. The 40% number in the link may have been calculated using only Federal income tax receipts, but there is also FICA, corporate tax, etc.


U.S. GDP is about $13 trillion, so defense spending as a percentage of GDP is less than 4%. This is not an historically high number. It was much higher, for example, during the Kennedy administration.

NASA: In 1962 the USA could afford its military.

Good point. The debt situation is a serious problem.

Sure. It's just that such a huge chunk of the Defense budget is off-books. The real Defense budget is much, much higher. Whether you accept everything in Higg's $1 trillion version or only some of it, it's still much, much higher. The $439 billion number is absurd, meant only to promote the public line.

My guess is the $13T is equally absurd, based as it is on financial "services" now being the largest sector of the economy. No doubt FlimFlamInc selling $1T sub-sub-prime notes to FlamFlimInc, cashing in their percentage and going belly up counts in that $13T. At least in the Kennedy administration the bombs were Made In USA.

And then there are the war-by-other-means mechanisms, like arms exports often locked into trade/aid agreements, etc....

cfm in Gray, ME

Don't forget the "Dept Of Energy" budget which encompasses all of the DoD's nuclear weapons activities. It's about 23-24 billion IIRC; I understand that the breakdown between civilian vs military components of this budget is not public. Also, there is reportedly a lot "black" defence money that is not transparently accounted for.

Taken as an isolated number, the military outlays don't seem that bad. But the overall level of indebtedness is unprecedented.

If you tally: Credit card debt, mortage debt, other personal debt, corporate and other business debt, muninciple+county debt, state debt, Federal debt, trade debt,
-then you come up with an aggregate US indebtedness around $250,000 per capita (not per employed person). This figure is from memory.

This doesn't include indebtedness associated with leveraged investments or derivatives.

Does anyone believe this can ever be paid back? If we don't "grow" the economy, or inflate this away, something's gotta give.

My sense is that "Financial Gravity" is like gravity for Wile E Coyote after he runs off the cliff (from the Warner Bro's "Road Runner" cartoons): it doesn't make you fall until just the right moment, when it's far too late.

"These "freedom lovers" conveniently neglect to explain who is going to pay for this gigantic war machine they worship."

- recently my eyes have opened to the realization that these "freedom lovers" are the ones profiteering on the "defense spending", and the rest of us (and our descendents) are supposed to (i.e. coerced to) pay for it. It's a form of enslavement. Not too different from the background of Shay's rebellion that was mentioned here recently.

The rebellion was led by Daniel P. Shays, a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. The war's debt ultimately trickled down to individuals, in large part to small farmers. In addition, the tax system at the time — a direct capitation (poll tax) — was highly regressive, especially given the fact that there was a dichotomy in eighteenth century Massachusetts economy. Much of the western and central parts of the Commonwealth had a barter economy, as opposed to the monetary economy that existed in the eastern part of the Commonwealth. ... As a result, to meet their debts, many small farmers were forced to sell their land, often at less than one-third of fair market price to eastern Massachusetts speculators. Loss of such property could reduce families to extreme poverty. It also often meant that such men might lose their right to vote since suffrage was often tied to property ownership.

I'm not a liberterian by any means, but I think they could also argue that we never would have gotten into the mess with cars/ oil dependence if the gov't hadn't subsidized the freeway system and pandered to the Detroit automakers and suburban developers. If people actually paid the cost of their use of roads, bridges and freeways rather than having their money disappear into their taxes where they don't really feel the cost of driving. Further, what if suburban home owners actually paid for what it cost to handle their sewer, water, phone lines, etc. I've always thought we should increase gasoline and diesel taxes to the point that they covered 100% of the cost of building and mainting roads, bridges and freeways. I have heard it estimated that an additional .50 to 1.00 dollars/ gallon would do exactly that, and people would actually pay for what they use.

Along a similar line, there's a guy in my area who comes to every city council meeting to complain about how (supposedly) all the city tax money is spent downtown and the outlying neighborhoods are ignored. His neighborhood of roughly 50 homes on 50 acres or so desperately needs their sewer updated and he wants the city to foot the bill. They're 5 miles further from the treatment plant than downtown meaning an additional 5 miles of underground pipes are needed and with 1 home per acre, there's a lot more work to set it up per home than there is in town where there are 6 to 12 homes per acre. Yet in the end the city will spend a ton of money for his neighborhood and he'll pay $35 a month for sewer just like the rest of us. If suburbanites actually had to cover the true cost of the extra asphalt & phone lines & sewer lines & water lines, etc. etc. than it would be a much less viable option.

I think they could also argue that we never would have gotten into the mess with cars/ oil dependence if the gov't hadn't subsidized the freeway system

Depends on your filter.

If you have a filter on that views the world in terms of the model of 'mobility means you have less need of garrison posts' - having a vast road system means you can move the bits of the war machine about and have a better war machine. Historic Rome is an example.

If you have a filter of commerce on - having mobility means your goods have access to wider markets and local high-production costs can be pushed down by substituting fuel and moving in cheaper goods.

If you have a humanitarian filter - having mobility means food can be brought from areas of plenty to areas of scarcity from areas of plenty.

Remember too that the tax load of a non connected VS connected area is different. So another reason to 'bring in the roads' - when someone else is footing the bill. For security, ya know.

The "invisible hand" will fix it, Leanan, though perhaps not in the way they envision...

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

Invisible hand? More likely were about to get a good swift kick from the "invisible foot"


I'm so stealing that line :-)

Hey fellow TODers, I finally got an article published in a paper here in Minneapolis, MN.

The article is broadly about our need to change our behaviour with relationship with the environment. It is written for a particular paper and a particular audience, and is my first effort to communicate through writing an article for such a newspaper.

The paper's link:


If you go there, just click on "opinion" in the tiny-lettered navigation bar just under the header. There you will see "Redesigning a Lifestyle to be in tune with nature" by Gary Hoover (that's me).

***Leanan*** -- would it be possible or appropriate to include this article in the drumbeat listing of articles?

Or could it be a post to TOD? It'd be a nice, short one!

I am passionate to get the message out about how many of us can make immediate changes for the better. I'd love to "get more eyeballs" on this article, as Prof Goose might say.

It took a fair amount of work to pare the article down to the size that the paper wanted, and to maybe de-radicalize it enough to keep many readers reading, while still maintaining the core integrity of the message.

Thanks for that cool direct link, Leanan!

Nice article. You set a good example for others!

Yes, ditto ! And Kudos as well :-)

Thank you, and thank you -- Gail and Allen!

I'm off to do some more writing today!

That was really well written. Thanks for the example! I like the way you allowed the message to be welcoming to both secular and religous folk. Anything we can do to erect some bridges across these cultural gulfs, in areas where our unity improves the chance to get people working together on common issues, this is so key.

I videotaped a Cable Access show with Dennis Kucinich recently, when he did his first Campaign Tour, I guess, and in the Q&A, I asked him about the 'Rift between the Dems and the Greens, and what he wanted to do to help these groups work together.', wisely, he reframed the question to a much broader scale and said he focused on the projects that we all need to be in a 'big tent' together on. Don't get too hung up on which 'Club' you belong to. You are human, you need clean air and water, you need community, your kids need to be educated, you need a functional government.. etc etc.

Thanks again for clear and unifying writing/thinking.

Bob Fiske

Good article. I ordered The Creation from my local library. If the weather ever warms up, I promise to pick it up with my bike. :-)


Thanks to both Bob and Rick. The encouragement helps!

I grew up in a far-right-wing-USA-Christian-Protestant-Fundamentalist preachers household.

My parents and siblings tend to be fatalistic somehow about the bigger issues. The range is from my parents "Jesus is coming Any Minute Now" to the more agnostic "leave those things too big for me with my Higher Power" (not totally foolish advice in itself!) to the simple "What? I'm so busy with my life how would I have time to really think about all that stuff?"

E. O. Wilson sees a terrible fusion of religious and secular ideology in the USA that together are militantly anti-environmental. The "intentional ignorance" I've mentioned being aware of at times. He wrote:

“Dear Pastor, what I fear most is the pervasive combination of religious and secular ideology of a kind that sees little or no harm in the destruction of the Creation.”

I find the guy to be very, very profound. He occasionally wanders into his most beloved areas of expertise, but always with a point!

Lately I an very interested in what deeply committed elder scientists like Wilson and Lovelock have to say.

Really nice, Gary. Thanks.

[w]ithin decades if the doomsday predictions of a growing number of scientists come true.

Global Warming and Nature's Thermostat

That link doesn't work.

This article is an article by a scientist who believes the recent temperature changes are likely not caused by man's activities. I notice that "His research has been entirely supported by U.S. government agencies: NASA, NOAA, and DOE" and that he has won an award from NASA for his work.

I can tell my son about man made climate change as he grows up. But one day when he comes to me with the question: But daddy, why has abrupt climate change been happening for hundreds of thousands of years? How do I answer?

I will tell you how I will answer him as no scientist(s) can presently agree on this matter; Son, we don't know!

All I am saying Gail is that althought scientists are now 95% sure that CURRENT climate change is through anthropogenic forcing, don't be so quick to scoff the 'flat earthers' who are still fighting nail and tooth to debunk (albeit for the wrong reasons) manmade global warming. Climate science is very much in it's infancy and we have a LOT to learn. The public is so brainwashed by man made global warming propoganda that every man and hid dog is now a climate expert and we are all doomed soon. Even the experts are treading new water.

Meanwhile for other reasons, many of us (myself included) are trying and succeeding in lowering our carbon footprint. Rant off:-)


Your son might more greatly appreciate an err on the side of caution WRT current anthropogenic climate change, and our ignorance of the history of climate change vs. ignorance of current IPCC findings and an explanation of climate history.
Anyways, thanks for reducing your footprint.

PS: Beggar, nice bit of publishing

Answer him honestly. Abrupt climate change occurs anyway. The problem is not abrupt climate change, which can occur naturally. The problem is more complex than that. The problem is that we are forcing the climate in a particular direction without having any idea of the consequences of that forcing. It would be just as bad if we were too rapidly cooling the planet. We have nearly 7 billion people dependent on an advanced technological society whose agricultural systems are stretched to the limit. Will those agricultural systems still produce as much food when the climate changes? If not, shouldn't we be planning for that? Yet we do nothing.

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

There is a huge red herring in the Climate Issue, I think. We have framed this around it being Humanity's 'Fault', in accordance with our own sense of both duty and our tendency towards blame and punishment. I think the deniers of this, not at all unlike the 'Smoking is Addictive' deniers are frequently working from a position of defending against yet another bit of Global-Scale Guilt, like with Vietnam, Smoking, 'The Bomb and Hiroshima/Nagasaki', Slavery, Child-labor and Worker abuse in the Industrial Revolution, Colonial Oppression, Genocide, Pollution, etc etc etc. It's not that this is always the same Demographic or Nation that is being 'blamed' for one crime after another.. (though it's often close) but that the level of indictment that these WorldClass F-Ups represent seem to all invite the same Nurenburg-type conclusion. It ends up being far less about the fix and the cleanup, than it is about 'Who's gonna pay for all this?' Who do we bill, and then hang? Maybe it's justified, but it's a great way to create a class of professional liars and deniers, too.

The fact that we strongly suspect, or can even prove that it was our own damn 'Fault' is ultimately pretty much academic next to the fact that we are stuck on this argument, and not running like hell to 'build some levees', as it were. If there are some great changes in climate coming at us, we'd better be doing what we can to grow and store food in the kind of adverse conditions that we can see might be coming about.. ditto for energy, community cohesion, water supply, species protection (any one of which might be a critical link in a complex chain that ultimately keeps US alive.. ie, Honeybees)

We have all sorts of issues with 'taking responsibility', from Corporate Megafund cleanups (US Tax$), Clergy Child-Abuse, Government Accountability .. and the anger at unanswered crimes is so high, that the guilty parties will run and hide (cough, cough, Gonzales, cough, cough) if they possibly can. The protestant part of US culture lost the symbolic, but possibly important, tool of 'Confession' as a mechanism for expressing grief and guilt at wrongdoing, but ideally not letting that weight keep you from moving on and trying to make better decisions next time. Some Catholics will tell you this is not a perfect or even a very good mechanism these days, but for me, it is at least something to look at as a tool for getting past the mistake and getting moving on the Solution. Anyone got a take on how much the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) worked or didn't work in South Africa?

OK, out of time.. gotta cook some dinnah for the girls..

Courage, and Compassion..

Hi Bob,

This seems really important - the idea of fault and blame. (Just as an aside, samples of response to a letter I sent to friends about "peak" - 1) expressions of guilt, or 2) that they were glad I was "working on this problem", or 3) reports on their vacations. It seems I utterly failed to convey what I'd intended.)

Learning (from mistakes/tragedies) is also an important idea here.

Hi Aniya;
Yeah, I don't think we can underestimate this factor, which gets generalized into other Social and Political aspects of our inaction/denials over Climate and Energy, (or our Diets and Food Industry mores for that matter)

When someone is being leveled with a huge and heavy accusation, and you give them nowhere to go, no chance to redeem, to try to survive beyond the condemnation, then you can only expect the cornered beast (in this case, the whole, energy consuming human race) to skulk, hide, lie, lash-out, or shut down in response.

We have to have places to channel our energies into. I look at Shackleton's military purposefulness in getting his crew playing soccer and repairing/building gear, doing drills, just to keep them alive for 18mos in Antarctica.. not one of them died down there. ("South" is his account of the journey)

Bob Fiske

One fact not discussed on TOD is that by being fully aware of the implications of Global Warming,the United States Government is currently engaged in high altitude aerosol spraying as a way of providing shade to the easily over heated continent.One main reason this past winter was so robust was the promotion of cold nothern air down thru the widwest by the use of "Chemtrial Spraying " programs conducted by our Air Force or black ops contractors.

So Global Warming and Peak Oil situations have advanced to such extremes that they are kept secret and quiet.Mum is the word

Hi L. T. Luddite.

I wouldn't put it past the US gummint to at least try to engage in these sorts of schemes.

But can you cite evidence for this claim?

I have personally observed hundreds of high altitude overflights in the few past years since I became aware of these flight patterns in the sky.Giant crosses or x's , multiple parallel patterns.At first the trail from the jet is a slim contrail type leftover, then is gently speads wider and thinner,and then with enough flights a glaze forms and the air temps do drop off.Some days it will not work in high speed prevailing upper altitude winds.But here recently we had no bright sun on North Texas for 10 days or so.I am sure the man behind the curtain was working overtime to keep this cool system in place with much overcast!

Think of the benefits to "Society" if we could stay cool in the south during spring and summer.It has been happening for some time.

Remember a few years back when the Govmint wanted 100 new 757? tanker jets?I wonder if they got them?

I can't believe something this stupid is being discussed on TOD. Talk about fucking retarded. Next larry the lunatic will bring up aliens living among us and "faked" moon landings.

Who appointed you as the arbiter of what is stupid and what isn't on this site?

Did I attempt to "arbitrate" ??? I apologize, in this particular case I meant only to disparage.

Go ahead Phil, contrails, aliens and moon landing conspiracies. Maybe you can add something about your favorite godz and his planz for divine intervention while you're at it.

Between you, larry and prisonerX this site will rensed of reason.

Hey S-O-P, I have no beef with your sentiment but P L E A S E leave the language issue clean. Some of us would like the local high schools to be able to read this board.

My apologies for the language Will. Maybe I've been reading too much Kunstler and Joe Bageant.

Truth be told, I think most high schoolers are quite familiar with that kind of language, although I suppose it isn't necessary to encourage it.

Opinions like yours sendoilplease are full of fear. What scares you so much when people mention the "chemtrail" issue. The lawsuit is real, the patents are real, the activity is obvious. Your claims that the planes leave a normal "contrail" are not valid from numerous observations from around the world. The cloud formations that occur are also not normal.

also note I don't use rense as a source. I referenced someone that offers plenty of photographed evidence and scientific evidence of what he observes. Google 'chemtrail" and you tell me why so many people are saying that people like you that claim what we are watching is "normal" lists a number of hits it would take you a lifetime to work through.

This issue, I have noted, when brought out on a 100 percent of the time has someone on the board reply with an immediate response that is as hysterical as your post in an attempt to say this issue is some loony conspiracy theory, and that makes the subject irresponsible. Your opinion and verbal technique are worthless in the debate. You fear that a loony web site about peak oil, might be found more loony because other things the govt is doing are not valid. LOL.

I, my neighbors and countless others watch the planes do their thing on a regular basis, and watch and wonder what the heck is going on, what is the purpose or "purposes" behind this program. I bring facts and clear ground and above ground based visual observations, you bring hysterics.

FYI the govt, in response to the legal action brought asking what this program was, and specifically what was in the "material" came this response, which is more than lacking in what was asked for.

paraphrased it goes something like: its pilots practicing avoidance techniques, sometimes they release "chaff" and other material to train for combat situations.

The material gathered for this inquiry was tested by private labs as to the content. I will not publish what was in it. If its correct, be afraid, be very afraid. This inquiry is going forward in the courts.

The patent(s) for the technique witnessed in the sky is claimed as a way to stop warming from the sun. However it is noted in the patent application that this is only presumed, that the artificial cloud cover could have the opposite effect and cause warming from the blanket of material.

You accuse me of something else also. I take strong disagreement with your representation. Its your locked in belief system that you wish to hold on to. When someone shows you a different answer you don't pay attention to see if it has value. You worship the God of Einstein. Even Einstein was advised by others to "stop telling God what to do".

Perhaps you could explain the Hexagon storm around Saturn's pole. Thats a puzzle and a problem for your physics model based on Einstein. For other models based on the work of Maxwell and ALL his work, its not. But go ahead and take those 4 equations that Heaviside published and the other scientist "allowed" to be publish to "keep the peace", so to speak.

Do you even know of the story I write of above. Do you not think this matters. You automatically reject the theory of what Maxwell called "the ether. You, because your instructors did not take part of his work and reject the latter with what reasoning.

I think its much better to investigate all sides. Right now I see your side losing the battle in my opinion. The Hexagon storm on Saturn , do you not question why Nasa didn't release this info when photographed 15 years ago.

your claims of whacky theories etc, are fear based sendmoreoil. you should work on that imo. fear is the mindkiller.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Mr WeatherGlass,

Although I disagree with Mr Luddite on purpose only I believe it is to speed up the process of GW to access the oil in the Artic. I understand it is 25% of world reserves untouched at this time. Just a thought. Unfortunately this Weather Modification also has multiple and varied uses and purposes. Imagine if you will...

Mr WeatherGlass,

Although I disagree with Mr Luddite on purpose only I believe it is to speed up the process of GW to access the oil in the Artic. I understand it is 25% of world reserves untouched at this time. Just a thought. Unfortunately this Weather Modification also has multiple and varied uses and purposes. Imagine if you will...

You could be right on that idea.If you will check the past winter in Europe most Northern Lattitudes were seriously warm.Seems that a lot of Russia was red or orange in IR Sat pics.If our (I think it is worldwide)aerial spraying program is designed to draw cold air down from the artic region then that air would have had to be replaced with more air.Logical source would be Northern Russia.Most of that part of the world was unnaturally warm this winter.So that warm Russian air hits the ice in the Artic.The Midwest gets a"Winter" and the Artic gets a thaw!

That claim deserves a link, Larry. It sounds extremely pricey, enough so that I'm hard-pressed to believe UncleSam would invest in it unless it were actually an equally dubious-albeit Defense-related System/Pork Project.

Bob Fiske

www.rense.com covers this topic with a vengeance.


Scott has some great photos and info on this discussion.

Rense, hmm, yea he has stuff on his site, but he like, so many other conspiracy sites all believe in many things, except they all seem to agree on something else. Peak Oil is not real. Rense, and the main man of Prison Planet, think its "oil company" conspiracy, there is plenty of oil. Funny that.

Want prove. just start looking up. Then start trying to see what pattern is happening . Some places are repeats some aren't. Depends on were you live for the frequency. What is it, who knows, but one thing for sure, they are not all commercial. How do you know. Watch and find out. Commercials don't make some of these maneuvers, and the precision of the intersects, . I watch one fly north to south and stop the "spraying". Then one flying west to east hit the spot where he stopped spraying in his north south flight. Nice T. Lots of X's and triangle shapes. Like an artist filling in background using x's in a way.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

What you're really seeing is regions of differing humidities. When an AC reaches a region of supersaturation a contrail forms. Different air parcels can have widely varying humidities, so it looks like contrails are turned on and off.


You're completely wrong in what the observations are and the reality is. This is normal crap got old long ago. To much geometry in the sky.

Scotts site has many photos, and there are as many on other sites by individuals around the nation. I have a very nice collection also.

Also there is a lawsuit, Ruling just came back, and the case is now moving forward, though the gov is fighting of course, I mean since there is nothing to hide..

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

That was really funny!

Seriously, it would be a bit more convincing if the chemtrail proponents would provide some good hard data. What I see are government conspiracies, unsubstantiated claims about contrail behavior (I've seen all sorts of contrails: donut chains, figure 8's, ladders, contrails lasting days -- many of them more exotic than claimed on the chemtrail websites, and all of them perfectly normal), unexceptional claims about composition (contains particles -- well, yes; contains biologicals -- well, yes); claims that the USAF and other parties have studied geoengineering (well, yes); claims about things it would be too dangerous to make public; but nothing particularly compelling. Extraordinary claims and all that ...

Davet, these people are beyond hope. Trying to explain anything to them will only encourage them.

Get off my line.

When Troy Aikman was still Quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys the Eagles came to town on a September Sunday in 2000.They were drinking pickle juice prior to a 3:00 pm kickoff.That Sunday the temperature of Texas Stadium was 173 deg f at game time.The whole state was boiling and Texas Stadium was frying

The Eagles beat the Cowboys 44-0 ,not to mention that the Cowboys were practicing in Wichita Falls ,Tx in generally 110df afternoon temps that camp.

Wake up Dumb Ass

Okay larry. I certainly cannot argue with that kind of evidence in reason.

We know the atmosphere and oceans are nonlinear dynamical systems which have multiple equilibria for a given energy level. We know that the weather, aka single realization, is sensitive to initial conditions and that small perturbations can lead to large amplitude changes in the system. We know that perturbing the system by adding CO2 can trigger regime changes and oscillations.

People who claim that adding CO2 to the atmosphere has no or negligible effect do not know what they are talking about. All variability in the system is not the same. Changing the energetics of the system is also changing the variability. Society cannot be properly governed if the only type of decision making is based on absolute demonstrable proof. When the final demonstration arrives it is too late. If we had large transitions in the past do not expect the future ones to be weaker. So doing nothing because there were state changes in the past is dimwitted.


Does CO2 make the weather. Is this your claim. Read the above link. This is a simple version of why many don't agree with the headstrong and non scientific claims made by the CO2 by man is the cause.

Tell him he doens't know what he is talking about. Moisture content, H2O, is not driven by CO2, if so prove it. You imply it, this website and scientist says WRONG>

tell us why he is.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

"This is because the Earth's natural greenhouse effect is mostly under the control of weather systems: specifically, precipitation systems. Either directly or indirectly, these systems determine the moisture (water vapor and cloud) characteristics for most of the rest of the atmosphere."

It's half right, but misleading. Of course atmospheric water vapor is very important, but it is all taken into account in the modeling. The "natural" greenhouse effect can't be separated into parts which somehow exclude CO2.

I recommend www.realclimate.org for reasonably good information as the articles are written by practicing climatologists.


The scientific claims that CO2 is important in climate are overwhelmingly verified, and human-CO2 and natural-CO2 are identical in their effect, of course.

Spencer has been debunked multiple times. Spencer is the guy who couldn't keep his sign right in a simple multiplication and then rather than admit he was wrong chose instead to argue about it. You are placing your faith in Spencer?


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

Lets see two posts that attack character, but do not attempt to challenge his point about the relationship of what causes weather, water vapor or CO2, Explain how CO2 increases water vapor.

Explain why the ground bsed measurements for the temp increases are from unreliable ground based sources near city and other heatsinks.

That Spencer and many others use satellite based data that is reliable. That Satellite data has shown that the earth is not warming in the way the climate by man claim.

That your theory has to be plunged, pulled, shaped, reframed on a constant basis.

and on.

Again, why is the sea warming at depths that sea water should not warm. What is the deepest part of the sea warming. Why are the seas warming. Why is the ice you see melting all sea ice.

You believe CO2 controls the weather ,.. HAHHAAHAHAHA


Allegre shared his recant in l'Express, the French weekly, in an article he wrote entitled, The Snows of Kilimanjaro. Citing in the piece that Antarctica is actually gaining ice and that the melting of Kilimanjaro's snow caps is due to natural causes, Allegre says, "The cause of this climate change is unknown," and that others should beware of stating so emphatically that "science is settled.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

The satellite data issue has been resolved. There is consensus on that, except for Spencer who multiplied by a negative and forgot to carry the sign. And no, this is NOT an attack on his character. This is LITERALLY what he did. If you are so ignorant as to be unaware of this entire discussion within climate circles then there is little hope of even having an intelligent conversation with you.

Please read Et Tu LT?. That should clarify the issue for you, unless you have a biased prejudged agenda.

In the first Science Express paper, Mears et al produce a new assessment of the MSU 2LT record and show that one of the corrections applied to the UAH MSU 2LT record had been applied incorrectly, significantly underplaying the trend in the data. This mistake has been acknowledged by the UAH team who have already updated their data (version 5.2) so that it includes the fix. This correction (related to the drift in crossing times at the equator) mainly affects the tropics, and was most important for one particular satellite (NOAA-11). Interestingly, Fu and Johansen (2005) singled out this same satellite and this same correction as being the source of divergence between the different records, though without being able to say exactly what the problem was. The fix leads to an increase of about 50% in the UAH global mean trend (0.086 to 0.12 deg/decade). The new RSS version of the 2LT record still shows a higher trend (0.19 deg/decade), with the difference being due to the methodology used to splice the different satellites.

The UAH team is Spencer and his group. They are the ones that literally got the sign on a multiplication wrong. And when the sign is corrected, voila! The data agrees with reality.

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

I think my comment was which is more reliable the bad data set from temps around ground based heat sinks,.. or satellite data. Who used what. Mistakes happen, and I will see what you are referring to. Though I think this is the site of the person with the Hockey stick graph. If so, better look in the mirror. His graph was recently dismissed as at the best "partially" right< to be kind. HAs he released his data inputs for how he came to those numbers yet...???

Here is what doesn't fit your model.

Why does the satellite data from this past year show a slight downtick in overall global warming.

Does water vapor drive the climate of the planet or CO2. You claim CO2 is the culprit. Does this mean you claim CO2 drives the atmosphere/weather/climate.

How can you claim Sea level rise when its falling in many oceans. Its falling in the Antarctic Ocean, you know the one with all the melting "sea ice", not surface ice. Want to see a picture of a crane thats almost covered to the top from extra snow and ice in only a few years. Colder too, but I have to double check that.

Why is the water at depths where no surface factor can warm it, why is its temp increasing.

Glaciers around the world and the US are growing.

Those factors and many more do not fit your model. I'm not here to debate and convince you, but to show that this is far from settled science. Its PR run amuck.

Water vapor is the culprit not CO2 for the atmosphere. What is causing more water vapor. Not CO2, more heat from the core of the earth perhaps, from the sun, perhaps, the biggest weather maker of them all.

Volcanic and tectonic activity lately to knock your socks off. Magma on the move everywhere. Lots of sunspot activity/hotter. less sunspots/cooler. The nile river cores just showed the exact same thing, go figure, huh.

guess what. Sunspot activity has been strong even in the last "low" cycle. Now we are headed into a strong cycle, one of the strongest on record. Seems there might be a correlation between the sunspots, weather, and volcanic activity.

Well play along with disaster central in Budapest


please scroll down and take notice of all the volcano's active and the alerts. Note that only 20 percent are above ground the rest are beneath the sea. Wonder what all that magma is doing to the sea, maybe even raising the temps. Go on you say. OK.

This is what your theory discounts and refuses to look at or answer.

Co2. does not control the weather.

Explain the heating of the oceans, and explain why the deepest parts of the oceans are warming, where no warming should be able to take place, at least not from "surface" factors, however volcanic/tectonic activity may cause such warming.

Conversation,.. you wish to dictate the direction and not explain what your theory can not explain,.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Glaciers growing in specific locations does fit the model. Increased ice cap in central Greenland and deeper Antarctica does fit the model. It was predicted, for gosh sakes. You are the one cherry picking what you want to hear. Precipitation is UP because of warming, because of more water vapor being added to the atmosphere via warming.

And you did not even read the article. SPENCER WAS WRONG. The rest of his team have admitted they were wrong. Got that yet? Got it? The satellite data are in agreement with the model and even Spencer admits that now.

Your blathering is on the level of creationism, picking and choosing what facts support your non-existent model while trying to trash a working model.

If you want me to take your claims seriously, provide valid references. And no, Spencer does not qualify as a valid reference.

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

latest research on sunspot/ historic climate forcing:


If you want in-depth discussion of validity of Spencer
have a search at http://realclimate.org. Just type Roy Spencer
into the google search box.

Roy: "We are not saying that we don't believe that there can be significant global warming. As John [Christy] said, if you add CO2, something has to change. But things are changing all the time anyway. The big question is: So what? How much is it going to change, compared to other things? And what can you do about it?"

If I read that right, in the final analysis, Spencer is taking the line that we can't/won't do anything anyway, so why bother to worry about it. I'm not sure I disagree with that intellectually. In the end, we are all dead, even Gaia.

Which is pretty much exactly what Spencer writes: "As for me, I'll blissfully continue on with my life, too blind in my ignorance to recognize the suicidal path we are on. None of us are getting out of this alive, anyway, so I'll pop open another beer, kick back, and watch a rerun of "The Day After Tomorrow." After all, I do love science fiction.

That's not really a debunking, merely the authoritarian response that this is the way it's supposed to be. Cloaked in false humor/ridicule.

cfm in Gray, ME

A comment on the "Stop Shopping" article:

I think this is another example of the CATCH 22 we all are in.

1) Stop Shopping or the planet will die, but stop shopping and the economy will die.

2) Stop burning hydrocarbons or the planet will die, but stop burning hydrocarbons and we die of starvation.

You can keep going...stop overfishing, stop over logging, stop destroying the rainforest.

Not to beat the point to death, but IT'S ALL ABOUT POPULATION!

This train is not going to stop until it gets stopped.

Yeah, and the biggest problem of all is that those who are either ignorant or just plain of low intelligence don't know how to use birth control or don't care enough to use it, while those that are educated/intelligent enough to see the benefits in birth control aren't having as many children because they use it! The end result is stupid/ignorant people populating the place. Of course, in the past this was controlled via plagues and wars.

The wars still are happening, which is why we have our voluntary armies where the poor join the military for that signing bonus, pulling larger numbers of high school drop-outs for instance. The plagues have been held at bay for a while, but I think that Mother Nature will be inciting a "purging" of the population soon via some new contagion. AIDS kills large numbers each year, but I'm thinking something along the lines of a flu pandemic or possibly some other yet to be seen nasty.

The proplem IS overpopulation. As opposed to a free-market economy, the balance of supply/demand (our supply currently being boosted by fossil fuels) in nature is very real, and quite brutal. We'll have plenty of "demand destruction" coming up pretty soon in the form of wars, starvation, and plagues, I have no doubt. Balance will eventually be restored, whether we like it or not.

The problem IS overpopulation.

That's such a popular statement. But if those who make it really thought about it, they wouldn't be around to make the statement.

Yup. The same goes for those who complain about the way the previous generations treated the earth. If they'd done the ecologically correct thing, most of us wouldn't be here.

Of course, that does bring the Rule of Holes to mind. "If You Are in One, Stop Digging."

Larry the Luddite: Wake up Dumb Ass

Leanan - HELP!

Once again it is time for a few strategic bannings. The drumbeat has been invaded by boors again.

Ha...Catch 22...hehe.

Can't feed my kids because the world is over populated, I should kill myself, but then who feeds my kids.

ok, ok, so there are less catch 22ish variants, and more ugly ones...but really.

I think this is where we will see less focus on the plight of 3rd world countries in the near future(as mentioned by others here). We will become more deaf to horrible plight of others around the world as it isn't OUR problem to solve, it is always someone else's.

Well of course you're not going to kill yourself or your kids. That's why you kill other people and their kids. Not only do you conquer someone else's resources in a war, you reduce the enemy's demand and your demand for said resources through the reduction in population.

Mind you, I'm not advocating wars as a means for population reduction, I'm just saying that's one of the ways we'll get there.

Yes, I'm the product of my parents having intercourse, which resulted in my birth and the birth of my brother, but somehow they managed to stop having kids after the two of us. I figure that 1+1=2 is much better than others who might have 1+1=6, for instance. In fact, for everyone in my family, 2 or less children is the norm. (After my grandparents, which had 4 on one side and 5 on the other.)

If I were back in my grandparent's generation, I'd likely have 4 kids by my age now, as opposed to the zero I have. My brother who's 10 years my senior has one child.

Mind you, I want to have a child or two one day, but the reason I haven't had any up until this point is because either my partner or myself have both understood how to properly use birth control. It's something others, including some of my friends, haven't seemed to master, as all of my friend's children have been named "Uh-oh", "oops" and "Not again."

Ha...Catch 22...hehe.

No Catch 22 as far as I can see, they have no solutions. And I presume those who state that overpopulation is the problem are looking for a solution.
Well, it's easy when you think about it:

If you think overpopulation is a, or the, problem, ask yourself who's doing the "overpopulating".

Or alternatively: If you think overpopulation is the problem, you are saying that you are the problem. That's the bit that is apparently hard to understand.

Put yet another way: if you think it's the others who are doing the overpopulating, it may indeed be indeed a catch-22, for the others can claim the same.

However, if you conclude that you are overpopulating, the solution is so evident that it should make you wonder if perhaps you approached the problem from the wrong angle.

Moreover: if we can agree on the principle that no individual nor group has the right to decide who has the right to live, there is only one possible conclusion.

Those who make the statement are their own problem. Luckily for them, they are also their own solution.

100% useless. How many glasses did drink before writing this bullshit?

"Moreover: if we can agree on the principle that no individual nor group has the right to decide who has the right to live, there is only one possible conclusion."

Those choosing to continue high reproduction rates may, in fact, be taking away other people's right to live, by the obvious fact of increasing the load on diminishing and strained resources. Decisions need not be limited to voice or writing--actions count, too. That old saying: Actions speak louder than words.

The Earth is a closed system. Actions taken one place can have prfound impact on the lives of people living elsewhere. I'd say your principle is perhaps impossible to achieve in practice. Especially in the modern world.

The ideas you are presenting, though interesting from a philosophical bent, strike me as another form of cognitive dissonance.

What's it matter, anyway? The population problem will solve itself. Just not in a nice way. (Thanks CY)

Best of hopes that we're not all shot, burned, drawn-and-quartered and hung when food starts getting scarce,


I had to re-read this too many times, and it still bewildering.

All I get is that, you clearly:

1) Don't think Overpopulation is a problem

If you think overpopulation is the problem, you are saying that you are the problem.

2) You are not part of the problem. Because if you even thought(above) it was, you would, and...

Those who make the statement are their own problem. Luckily for them, they are also their own solution.

While I won't argue that I am part of the problem, the high horse that you rode in on must have wings since clearly you don't think you are.

Plus I will never contend that anyone should decide how this should/could be fixed. I openly suspect that Mother Nature will...as I have said many times before. Does she have that right, or is she part of the problem too?


You contradict yourself, maybe that's why you are bewildered.

  1. [you] Don't think Overpopulation is a problem
  2. You are not part of the problem

    If I don't think overpopulation is a problem, how could I possibly be "part of the problem"? Which one?

  3. While I won't argue that I am part of the problem, the high horse that you rode in on must have wings since clearly you don't think you are.

    No, clearly not, as you already said under 1/. Which makes the high horse comment look stupid, don't you think? I'm on a high horse because I don't think I'm part of the problem that you just said I don't think exists. That logic bewilders me.

  4. Does she have that right, or is she part of the problem too?

    And there we go once more. I don't think overpopulation is a problem, we established that early on, but you keep on asking questions sbout "the problem".

Whether Gaia will solve the problem you perceive (or is part of it) has nothing to do with how this started, namely my saying that those who state that overpopulation is the problem, invariably fail to draw the logical conclusion, and just as invariably rely on others to solve it for them.

"if only people had less babies" is so overly simplistic. Driving up the average age in our population by 10 or 20 years has consequences that few people have ever considered. Wanting to proclaim that people half a world away obey orders that you give from your nice home, what use is that?

No, I didn't contradict myself. But, my response may have been more convoluted due to the confusing nature of your initial post.

Let me recap. And you have clarified what I was trying to extract from your post.

You don't think there is an overpopulation problem, and since there is no 'problem' in your mind, you therefore are outside the solution set.

Glad you have a happy place to run to.

I brought up Gaia as a reference, again, to the fact, that I am not preaching to anyone about how THEY should fix the situation.

The last paragraph boggle the mind, I said nothing about other people solving anything, and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about anyone having less babies, or giving orders to anyone...so what are you talking about? If you are speaking in general terms (not directed at my post) then make that clear.

So? What is your point? What a semantically null and useless statement. Plus, it's logically bogus. I think about "it" all the time. Oh well - I'm here for the time being, and makin' the statement.

If your parents had never met, you wouldn't be around to talk about it. If this or that happened, you wouldn't be around to talk about it. What does it have to do with anything?

Overpopulation is THE problem. "Popular" or not, it's so clearly and obviously true. All the mitigations and alternative this'n'that's and whatnot that people talk about are simply so much pissing up a rope until we (as a species) recognize that.

Of course, I doubt that we (as a species) will ever recognize that, so the prognosis is somewhat ugly.

Hi sgage,

It's also about the "success of the machine species".

According to Porritt, the most senior adviser to the government on sustainability, we have become a generation of shopaholics. We are bombarded by advertising from every medium which persuades us that the more we consume, the better our lives will be. Shopping is equated with fun, fulfilment and self-identity. It is also, Porritt warns, killing the planet. He argues, in an interview with The Observer, that merely switching to 'ethical' shopping is not enough. We must shop less.

I have this conversation a lot with people I know. We just had a houseguest from overseas who is a shopaholic. She just ran from store to store to buy crap of one sort or another.

I try and explain the issue, and they just say that this is their form of entertainment. Buying useless crap and building up debt as a form of entertainment? Sigh. It isn't just women either - men are the ones that seem to want to buy all kinds of electronic stuff.

My girlfriend is slowly starting to see my way of thinking though. She still goes on and on about how much fun Las Vegas is. I would rather have root canal than go to the place myself, but she keeps saying that there are other things to do besides gamble, but I have trouble getting anyone to ever say what that might be. She mentioned those fountains at the Bellagio, my response is that this is an idiotic use of water for a city the desert. Then the other day there was a good article in the NYT that talked about water problems out there, and how lake Mead is down something like 80 feet from the peak, and how they are starting to have battles over water out there, and the things that I was talking about started to make more sense to her.

My girlfriend and I were just in Vegas last month to watch the Stardust come down. There were so many people there for a Tuesday night, but I wouldnt know if it is usually that busy since I havent been to Vegas in years. We walked up and down the strip taking in the smell of raw sewage, stepping on mounds of stripper ads, and watching the lil trucks that drive up and down the strip not hauling any goods but advertising for strip clubs. We are both PO-aware and we were disgusted with that city and its wasteful ways. That city has got to be the armpit of the Earth.

I keep telling my girlfriend that once peak oil really takes hold, that Vegas will be toast, and most of those big casinos will be abandoned. Her latest response is that that won't be in our lifetimes. I told her I thought it could be a lot sooner than that....

What is even stranger is that we have a friend who just retired and moved to Vegas. I think primarily because the climate reminded her of home in Australia - OK, I can see the appeal in that, I guess, but she bought her house at the peak of the bubble out there.

The hardest thing about all of this seems to be to get people to see what the possible repercussions of all of this would be. They just think "oh, I guess gasoline is going to be expensive", without thinking through that lots of other things are going to get expensive too.

"Not in our lifetime!!"

Oh man I love that response, because they open the door for you to make them feel like a piece of $h17...

Possible responses:

"Yea, its better we leave it up to our children to solve the problem."

"Tell that to your grandkids."

Or if they are much older than you, which in my case is typically true:

"Sure, I wont mind cleaning up your mess." =/

I've been to some "armpit[s] of the Earth" and Vegas isn't one of them. Per your description it's more accurate to say 'Vegas is the a$$hole of America.' A place where folks make (and others give away freely in losing it) tons of money out of shit.

The most unbelievable aspect of Vegas has got to be the suburban sprawl... Im racking my brain trying to figure out how they are sustaining it now, let alone how they are going to do it in the future!

They are planning a 280-mile pipeline to pillage water from Northern Nevada, just like Los Angeles pillaged water from the Owens Valley with its pipeline.

Maybe the unfolding financial trainwreck from the sub-prime disaster will derail this plan. That seems to be the only silver lining we might hope for.

Does Northern Nevada really have all that much water to spare though? Or were they going to try and suck up all of the groundwater?

California has approved the construction of nearly a dozen of these (desalinization) plants, and Las Vegas water officials agree that Nevada could supplement its supply by building such plants, then trading the water to California for a share of water from the Colorado River. But, they say, that's far off in the future, perhaps 75 years away. Bird disagrees and says similar plants are being built now.

HAHAHA 75 years!!! There aint gonna be a Las Vegas in 75 years...

Another idea - and one supported by Governor Kenny Guinn - is cloud seeding programs to generate more snowfall in the Rocky Mountains, which would put more water into Lake Mead. If that seems like pie in the sky, Bird says, there's another idea that's been proven to work---water conservation. Las Vegas got a late start at conservation and still has a long way to go, he says, although political leaders seem reluctant to discuss anything that sounds like a control on growth.

Mr. Bird best get out of Dodge before they hang him.

Vegas is there only because our local governments (in their infinite wisdom) made it the only place where one could legally gamble and whore (the later in proximity of the city only, though). Think about it -- would anyone go to the middle of the desert without those draws? In August? If there were local, alternate sites offering the same diversions, I'm sure many would stay home. In any case it doesn't matter. One more decade of resource depletion and global warming and Vegas is gone anyhow.

Yeah, Eric, use it as a sociological experiment...try to figure out why Kunstler called it "the place where America's spirit crawled off to die." Just watching the other diners while eating out the other night in my hometown was plenty entertaining, so Las Vegas should be a hoot. See if you can get the girlfriend to tour a suburban development.

try to figure out why Kunstler called it "the place where America's spirit crawled off to die."

Love the quote as I totally appreciate Kunstler's comments on Vegas, the something for nothing mentality and hate the Vegas hellhole I call it Sodom and Gommorah. Unfortunately I have to visit it every couple of years on business and always marvel at the reaction of the people that visit there. More than half the time I can't tell the hookers from the vacationers as the women that visit think the desperate hooker look is the appropriate dress response.

My boyfriend and I went to Vegas several years ago to see our baseball teams face off in spring training (Cubs/Mariners, who rarely meet during the regular season). We managed to avoid most of the horrors of Vegas and instead watched two baseball games, went horseback riding and hiked around Red Rock Canyon, which is lovely. Still, to get to the canyon we had to drive through an hour's worth of demoralizing sprawl, burning gasoline...(sigh). We enjoyed our activities but found the Strip so depressing.

Red Rock Canyon is a rock scramblers dream! We spent a few hours there during our Stardust Implosion trip. The sprawl is really expanding out in that direction though... =(

Hi eric,

You know...I'm kind of curious (or would be)...did she grow up watching TV? And has she always thought Vegas was fun? i.e., What kind of fun did she have as a kid? (maybe this all relates).

I note from one of Leanan's posts that General Ivashov of the Russian ruling elite is still making loud public pronouncements of an impending US attack on Iran. I commented on his previous pronouncements on Good Friday, because he had been loudly predicting a Good Friday attack that did not in fact come to pass that day (Ivashov's predictions had been receiving considerable play at the website www.globalresearch.ca).

Now, Good Friday has passed, yet the unfulfilled "rumors of war" continue unabated. My question is as follows: Is this some sort of Russian psy-op, as at least one poster the other day suggested? Or is there, on the contrary, any reason why I should begin to relinquish my long-running skepticism regarding such rumors?

Of course one possibility is that the attack was planned for Good Friday but it was called off, or postponed. Last week was a busy one with the release of the British soldiers, and there was a one-day burst of good feelings for Iran for releasing them. Then the barrage began anew with the stories of how cruelly the Brits were treated - blindfolded and kept in isolation, oh the horror... The MSM is clearly back into the "blame Iran for everything" mode, so it seems to be just a matter of time.

Rumors of impending attac on Iran --> Higer prices for oil --> More money for Russia.

Interesting theory - but does the oil-price-determining part of the world really pay enough attention to the likes of Ivashov - whether directly or indirectly mediated by other sources - for this type of psyop to make a difference?

The reason I believe an attack is still on the table is this: where else does it all go? I mean with the carriers in the Gulf, the formerly "bad" but now "good" terrorists funded to destabilize Iran, the sanctions, the media beating the drums -- where does it all go -- if not to war? "Oh, well, it didn't work -- we'll just back off." If you go to all that trouble, you want something. If you don't get it, what do you do? Saddam's last minute pleas were ignored. Iran knows all this history. So even if the intent were only to intimidate, the Iraq story blocks Iran from believing that concessions will work.

Those who believe war is not coming need to explain to me how all this works? That it's infinitely wreckless and criminal is certainly not an argument either, not after all that has already happened.

I don't think a U.S. attack on Iran is imminent. I'll list some reasons why:
1. Three carriers is not an unusually high number in the gulf vicinity. We had six at the beginning of Gulf War 1, and our current land based air presence in the Middle East is much smaller still.
2. The media beating the drums? It seems to me like the great weight of the media is against any war with Iran.
3. The sanctions against Iran are pretty mild. They still trade freely with most of the world.
4. An attack on Iran would be a grave proposition, requiring congressional support, and no such support is forthcoming.
5. Partly because of #4, an attack on Iran would lead eventually to Bush's impeachment, and he probably knows that.
6. Most Republican voters would oppose an attack on Iran.
7. As everyone at TOD knows, an attack on Iran would send oil prices through the roof and crumple the global economy.

The U.S. and Iran have some seriously conflicting interests, and I'm not ruling out a war at some point in the future over some matter. It's just that I can't see it as being imminent.

In a pre-peak world you reasoning might be valid. But we are not POST PEAK. As Bakhtari says, during the Transition, the old "rules" no longer apply and the unexpected is more likely to become The Rules.

Iran w/o nuclear weapons would be a helpless sitting duck for a limited attack. Iran with nuclear weapons (even if no more than dozens of dirty bombs) will likely come close to their stated goal of wiping Israel off the Map. And maybe the House of Saud too.

Iran with nuclear weapons (even if no more than dozens of dirty bombs) will likely come close to their stated goal of wiping Israel off the Map. And maybe the House of Saud too.

Its funny how a mistranslation by a reporter of a toothless president has had such a life of its own. The president of iran never said that Irans goal is to wipe Israel off the map, or anything remotely similar.

The translation is more accurately: 'It would be nice if the regime occupying Jerusalem would be eliminated.'

Interesting article on cotton: Off Topic? go figure!


I say stop whining about subsidies on glut products and produce something that the world does want: some biofuel.
(no sermons please on bioethanol - I am well aware of the situation) I'm just suggesting this from an economic viewpoint whereby they might make some money. The infrastructure change required to move to producing different crop may be too great though.


From the article Gas crunch likely as Mideast races to meet local needs, we get the following lovely quote:

"We need the gas," Qatar's Energy Minister Abdullah Al Attiyah has said. "The country is one big workshop. We cannot just export gas when we need it ourselves. We have to give domestic supply priority."


But domestic and regional demand will likely be the focus of any later Qatari output increase, experts say. "There will still be export projects," said Giacomo Luciani, senior consultant at the Gulf Research Centre. "But the regional gas market makes much more sense than say exporting LNG to the US."

We are watching "Exportland" play out under our very noses.

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

We are definately seeing some unusual actions in oil market as the NYMEX price for WTI is now approaching a $6.00 discount to Brent. As WT sez we have entered a bidding war for the next level of oil supply and while Europe is upping the ante we are bumping along trying to buy high grade Light at a discount of $6 compared to the Europeans. Will we be able to cover our demand with this strategy or will shortages result from underbidding? I saw prices in Asia are well over $70 why would the KSA and other continue to prefer our underbid market as a home for their crude? Could someone with a better understanding of the markets and premiums comment. I have heard anecdotally that U.S. companies are currently bidding over the WTI for raw material. Is a positive basis for WTI a common relationship for the market at this time of year? This seems highly profitable to the refiners/integrated as gas prices are strong but does not seem to be favoring the E&P companies that have already had to assume big input cost inreases.

KansasCrude, where do you get quotes for WTI, Brent and the Asian market? Since WTI is a market for N.American crude, why is KSA able to influence it?


Suyog, West Texas used this link up thread to show how the Saudi's are pricing their crude to us by placing "differentials" to our base market the WTI. I thought it was an informative article


As you can see they are setting a price diffential to Europe, the U.S. and Asia markets. By setting this pricing of their market against each regions pricing mechanism they can somewhat manage demand from that region or force some pricing equilbrium on those markets. In effect they are stating that for May customers wanting to price against the WTI market are going to have to pay WTI plus a premium of $$3.5-$3.65. They only slightly raised the differentials to Europe and lowered them to Asia which is currently paying the higest prices. Both markets are currently pricing oil at higher prices than the U.S.. My read is if you want KSA oil be prepared to pay the going rate which is now at a premium to your WTI market. In effect telling the U.S. raise your bid or do without.
The WTI and Brent quotes are available from the WSJ, on CNBC or in the U.S. (WTI) exchange where the futures are traded. Try this link to CNBC markets


Saudis are no dummies.WTI(Cushing delivery) is a land-locked grade of oil.McKee ref(Valero) is out(180m bl/da).Storage tanks full at Cushing OK.No where else to go.Prod cuts next.
WTI normally trades at a prem to Brent.St James(LA) a better marker.

Perhaps the libertarians are right, but just haven't contemplated that what they may be about to receive is the back of the invisible hand. Probably, PO will manifest itself as a much more immediate problem than GW, with the latter making us feel better about what will need to be done on the former.

CONVERGENCE. This is what comes to mind when I read in today's WSJ about the rise in food prices caused by growing ethanol production. Peak oil is leading to many other peakings. It certainly is going to speed up peak gas and peak coal. It is also influencing peak metals as well as peak water. Peak land and peak soil are also becoming big issues, not to mention peak temperatures.

I'm playing with words, but I am serious about there being a convergence of catastrophes. They are intertwining and mutually re-iniforcing. It's the inverse of the virtuous cycles of progress that operated on the way up into the oil age. Trouble is, convergence means that descent could turn out to be much more rapid and nasty that the trip up.

Maybe someone here with energy and smarts will take it up as a research topic. Were it not for the pre-requisites, I'd do it myself.

Less energy will make it that much harder to pull ore out of the rocks, fish out of the sea and corn from the fields. Don't think about it in terms of prices, because that implies a solution at a higher price and your brain will loop. Instead think in terms of emergy. When there is less energy to go around, there will be less ore, fish and corn no matter what the price. All sorts of things will "peak" because we won't be able to produce them.

Our technology requires a certain mix of raw materials to produce a next-stage product. Where the energy factor is limited, there will be less product. There is no scenario where going to a lower EROEI energy form is going to produce as well; if there were, society would not have moved up the energy chain. It's not only that there won't be enough energy to go around; EROEI won't be high enough. (Sorry if that's still a bit unformed.)

cfm in Gray, ME

American Home Mortgage slashes outlook

American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. shares sank as much as 18.2 percent Monday after the company slashed its dividend and 2007 profit forecasts, and several analysts downgraded its stock.

The real estate investment trust cited a lack of buyers for its loans, as well as rising delinquencies, for its lowered forecast.

Ready for the Worst: Here Come the Bears

THE bears burst out of hibernation on Feb. 27, erasing the stock markets’ year-to-date gains and raising investors’ fears that the road ahead would be rough.

“I’m very pessimistic and very convinced that there will be very hard times — equal to the 1930s,” said David W. Tice, perhaps the most prominent bear fund manager. “This has been an incredibly long bull market,” he said, one fueled by a “credit-induced boom.”

He describes the current problems in the subprime mortgage market as the “first chink in the armor” and foresees a long bear market ahead.
Mr. Tice forecasts a 50 percent to 60 percent decline in the market over the next two years. “What we have is gross credit excess” on both the personal and national levels, he said, and credit excesses fuel the speculative manias of classic boom-bust cycles.

When the credit bubble bursts, both real estate and stock prices will fall, as will consumer spending, and jobs will be lost, he said.

Bush at his best. He is orchestrating some demand destruction for us. Thanks Bushie:


I wonder if he is remembering about that $1,000,000,000,000 debt that the Chinese govenrmnet holds for the US:-)


The chairman of the Recording Industry Association of America, said his industry welcomed the administration's decision to file the WTO cases. "The theft of music is pervasive in China and takes place virtually without meaningful consequence."

In reciprocal altruism, "The consumption of non-essential (oft Chinese) goods is pervasive in the U.S. and takes place virtually without meaningful consequence."

I just have to mention this: What do you suppose CNN just blamed the high gas prices on? Take a wild guess, this is a new one...

After mentioning the refinery fire, and the switchover to summer blends, they said a major factor was our changing to daylight savings time early! "It's lighter out and everyone's out driving". Hey CNN, guess you haven't noticed that it's also been cloudy and SNOWING all over the place, which tends to make people stay home.

The MSM just loves to ignore the fact that gas prices are going up ALL OVER THE WORLD. But to Americans we are the whole world...

Fear and Loathing in Energy Coverage

It’s bad enough that this country is forced to endure Criminal Narrators Boosting Crude and their 24-hour sponsored pump-fest. Bad enough that they choose to give a forum to oil extortionists and peak-oil fanatics while delighting in this plague of high prices that has cost the American people $240Bn a year in windfall profits

Someone please make this dodo shut-up. He is seriously get on my last nerve.

Profit margins for Exxon are far lower than margins for Microsoft. Exxon just ships more product. But for your reference, M$ made over $9 billion profit on about $12 billion in M$ Office sales, and over $7 billion in profit on $11 billion in operating system sales. Microsoft's profit margin is over 60%!! And Exxon's is about 10% on gross sales. But I don't see you whining about Microsoft. Odd that, eh?

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

Amen! Oil has been a steal compared to crap Billy G pumps out of the hole in Redmond.

Phil davis continues to write a lot of crap on this.The idiot is really spreading a lot of misinformation on a chronic basis. He needs to shut up.

The numbers I quoted earlier were for a prior year, taken from memory. And I don't know nor care who Phil Davis is. So to get to the bottom of this, let's review MSFT's January 25, 2007 10Q filing with the SEC, shall we?

In here we can see that for the six months ending Dec. 31, 2006, MSFT had $23.353 billion in income. MSFT report $15.407 billion in operating expenses. Net income was thus $8.846 billion. This is a profit ratio of 37.9%. Exxon was down around 10%.

Stop your whining. MSFT makes money far more easily ripping people off than Exxon does doing actual hard work in producing and refining oil.

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

Just so there's no misunderstanding...

Fireangel's initial comment is misleading. I think he/she meant to post it like this:


Fear and Loathing in Energy Coverage

It’s bad enough that this country is forced to endure Criminal Narrators Boosting Crude and their 24-hour sponsored pump-fest. Bad enough that they choose to give a forum to oil extortionists and peak-oil fanatics while delighting in this plague of high prices that has cost the American people $240Bn a year in windfall profits.

Someone please make this dodo shut-up. He is seriously get on my last nerve.


The article linked to is a shockingly misinformed SeekingAlpha article by Phil Davis, and Fireangel was venting steam about it. Without a link and quotation marks it appeared Fireangel was holding Davis' viewpoint.

[GreyZone's counter-argument is of course quite valid.]

Thanks for coming to my defense. Youa re right in the interpretation. I have read a lot of his stuff and I think he does a lot of damage as many people ( i dont know why) read his stuff. this is the 4th negative article on peakists I think.
I am sorry for venting here.No offense taken GreyZone.

My apologies. Without the quotation marks it looked like your own comment and I interpreted it as such.

And my remarks still apply to the original author. :)

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


You forget that ratios are a subject so vast and complicated that ordinary mortals should not even attempt to understand; suffice it to say that oil companies make "lots of money", and therefore are "bad".

My older brother was trying to spread an email newsletter trying to orchestrate a boycott of specific gas stations because of the high gas prices (now! just wait...he is denial).

I had to send a scathing email back for just the above reason. While I won't say that the oil companies are our best friends, but punishing them for high prices is like boycotting farmers for high food prices...and like we are going to do that...not a good idea.

On a more amusing side, when I put Unleaded v7.0 in my tank, it as a rule works and doesn't cause the blue screen of death. Can't say the same for other companies.

Oil is still around 10 cents a cup.

When I hear people talk about not buying gas to 'drive down the price', I say the best (only) way to send the price down is to create a recession - don't buy anything. They shut up.

You know it's bad when you can't even afford to die...

Haiti faces high cost of dying

Deforestation has inflated the price of coffin wood, and hundreds — possibly thousands — of deaths in street violence are pushing up the price of funerals. Robbers plunder graves for coffins to resell, and families try to thwart them by smashing the coffin before it is covered with earth.

I guess that's a form of recycling that I hadn't anticipated...

I remember reading the chapter in "Collapse" about Haiti. It sounds absolutely dreadful, and I got the impression that nobody seems to see a way to fix the situation.

Now THIS has got to be from the Onion...
Sometimes you really can't tell...

It doesn't surprise me at all. Overpopulation has led to deforestation, which leads to erosion. Attempts to replant forests have failed because the locals cut down the saplings to burn them for firewood.

To make a coffin, you need wood - the one thing in very short supply.

I'll never understand why people think they have to be put into a box in the ground. Just dig a hole and plop the body in for crying out loud.

Gee, isn't this the point where the market is supposed to step in and provide a cost-effective substitute? Like steel or a resin-composite, for instance?

Wonder why that hasn't happened?

It did. You can probably hire the grave robbers for cheap.

Behold the majesty of the invisible hand.

Japan publishes monthly oil inventory figures, much like the weekly EIA figures cited often here. Their web site was updated today:

Their crude oil stocks in February dropped about 6% from January and are lower than at any time in 2006. Their February petroleum product stocks dropped about 9% from January. I believe these are end of month figures. Looking at their tables, it seems like February is usually their lowest point each year, so it will be interesting to see if they can increase their stocks going forward.

They also have a table of imports by country, and I noticed that for both January and February, imports from Saudi Arabia were below anything in 2006.

It should be noted that Japan, with very little oil production of their own, keeps very high stockpiles - nearly a six month supply of crude + product.

I noted up the thread that US gasoline inventories, in terms of Days of Supply at 22.1 days, are the lowest ever for late March, at least as far back as 1991, when we had 30.4 days of supply.

The spread between WTI and Brent is probably due to the number of US refineries that are down, which is of course leading to the gasoline problem.


Relationship Between Gasoline Inventories and Prices:



Thanks for that link. A treasure trove of info, in English no less.

I think that first spreadsheet epaj-1 (supply and demand of crude oil) is labeled a bit funny. I think "end stocks" are not crude oil but refined products. And those seem to be down as you described.

But if you look at epaj-9 (oil stockpiling) you will see that total oil stocks are at a historic high, 177 days, and have been rising steadily all through 06.

epaj-1 seems to show that refinery utilization is down from feb-06 92.2% to feb-07 87.8%. Perhaps the discrepancy between oil and refined stocks is caused there.

Also their imports seem to be down feb 06 vs feb 07 but feb 07 is not far off of the average monthly imports for 06

Hello TODers,

I found a terrific, recently updated Powerpoint Presentation on Peak Everything here, this is especially good for newbies as it has lots of charts and graphs poached from EB & TOD [kudos to the author!]:


I got a kick out of the first and last photos!

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

Some of the slides were messed up in my view... jumbled text, text overlapping graphics, and text trailing off the page bottoms.

But that Krupp earthmover is something, eh! If not for TOD, I wouldn't have the picture of that thing with a bulldozer stuck in its teeth :^)

The problem will solve itself.
But not in a nice way.

Thanks for linking to this presentation. It is definitely worth looking at (despite the overlapping wording issues on some slides).

Besides some entertaining slides, the presentation has quite a collection of slides from various sources on everything from how oil is formed to peak oil to peak gas to nuclear to peak coal to global warming. Quite a few are from TOD and are familiar. There are also some text explanation slides.

Some of the slides that aren't familiar could use some explanation (easily handled when this presentation is made in person). There are quite a few citations, so one can go back to the original sources to learn more.

Pretty cool photo on the front page of LA times, above the fold: Texan cowboy herding his cows while riding his ATV. Hope horses don't go extinct during the age of oil...

I've herd hehe that cattlemen still have the right to drive cattle thru la on rodao(sp)? drive. that would be a cool picture.