DrumBeat: April 24, 2007

Hansen: Implications of "peak oil" for atmospheric CO2 and climate

Peaking of global oil production may have a large effect on future atmospheric CO2 amount and climate change, depending upon choices made for subsequent energy sources. We suggest that, if estimates of oil and gas reserves by the Energy Information Administration are realistic, it is feasible to keep atmospheric CO2 from exceeding approximately 450 ppm, provided that future exploitation of the huge reservoirs of coal and unconventional fossil fuels incorporates carbon capture and sequestration. Existing coal-fired power plants, without sequestration, must be phased out before mid-century to achieve this limit on atmospheric CO2. We also suggest that it is important to "stretch" oil reserves via energy efficiency, thus avoiding the need to extract liquid fuels from coal or unconventional fossil fuels. We argue that a rising price on carbon emissions is probably needed to keep CO2 beneath the 450 ppm ceiling.

Oil to Return to $78 a Barrel This Year, Pickens Says

Crude oil will likely return to its all-time high of $78.40 a barrel this year, according Boone Pickens, the Dallas hedge fund manager whose bullish bets on energy prices have earned him a place on the Forbes list of the richest Americans.

Thunder Horse Breaks a Leg

BP executives have waited for the oil and profits to gush forth, yet this behemoth has never produced any oil or gas, and the current plan is that it may begin production in late 2008. It was slapped around by two hurricanes in 2005. This delayed initial production for months, which has now become years.

GAO finds fraud in commuter program: Federal workers selling transit cards

It's a perk of federal employment: a free monthly subsidy that pays for commutes on public transportation. But scores of workers have been taking the government for a ride, selling their benefits on the Internet and pocketing millions in cash each year.

Gazprom steps on the gas

PricewaterhouseCoopers analysts forecast that in 2010, one-third of natural gas traded in the world will be liquefied.

Meanwhile, Gazprom, a Russian monopoly with ambitions to be a global energy producer, is suffering from a bad shortage of liquefied natural gas (LNG) production and export facilities. The feeling at the company is that this shortage is increasingly damaging its prospects, and its management has lately made some major efforts to develop its own production and export infrastructure for LNG. Gazprom is making preparations to win a sizeable part of the market in order to dominate it by 2030.

Russia Hopes to Become Major Oil Supplier

Russia is laying the infrastructure to become a major oil supplier to Asian countries, including an ambitious pipeline being built from Siberia to the Pacific coast, a Russian diplomat said Tuesday.

OPEC March oil demand weaker, cuts 2007 call by 120,000 bpd

Despite an uptick in its view of global economic growth this year, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is now expecting overall lower demand in 2007, the Middle East Economic Survey reported Monday.

BP profits miss

Oil giant BP said its first-quarter net profits fell 17 percent compared with the same period in 2006, and lagged forecasts slightly, as oil prices and production fell.

Embrace efficiency, one watt at a time, as nation's 'fifth fuel'

By the year 2030, demand for electricity in the United States is expected to grow by approximately 40 percent, according to U.S. Department of Energy forecasts. To meet that need, plans to develop new nuclear and advanced cleaner-coal power plants and to retire older, less efficient coal plants, are under way at utilities throughout the nation.

But there is another path that can help us achieve our country's goal of reliable, affordable and clean energy for all - energy efficiency. As the "fifth fuel," it can be as useful in meeting our growing energy needs as are the traditional generation sources of coal, nuclear, natural gas or renewable energy.

Peak Moment: Fossil Free by '33

Tam Hunt outlines a strategy for regional independence from fossil fuels -- and it centers around electricity. Start with efficiency & conservation, add renewables to replace fossil fuels for electricity, then add more renewables to electrify transportation such as plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. The result? A program "to save America's Environment and Economy one region at a time."

GM Exec Touts Renewable Energy Push

A top General Motors Corp. executive said Monday that the nation should accelerate the push toward renewable energy to fuel automobiles and said the conversion to ethanol as a leading contributor is "entirely realistic" in a few years.

Boeing in scheme to develop biofuel

Boeing, the US aerospace giant best known for making the 747 jumbo jet, is working on plans to develop a "biofuel blend" derived from plants or algae that could power conventional jets.

BMW woos support for hydrogen

BMW AG says it is talking with the Chinese government about hydrogen-powered vehicles, trying to win Chinese support to promote hydrogen as a mainstream new energy solution.

Carbon Gas Is Explored as a Source of Ethanol

A New Zealand company said Monday that it had secured financing from an investor in Silicon Valley to produce ethanol from an untapped source — carbon monoxide gas.

Uganda: 'Country to Retain Most Oil Proceeds'

Uganda will retain a larger share of all the money from the sale of the petroleum produced from Western Uganda, according to the State Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Mr Kamanda Bataringaya.

Mr Kamanda's claim is the first revelation of what the country will earn from its newly discovered resource amidst speculation and fears that Uganda might be cheated out of its bounty and its citizens left poor like it has happened in many African countries.

Iraqi, Kurdish officials to iron out oil law

Officials from Iraq's central government and the Kurdistan region will meet this week to iron out last-minute disputes over a draft oil law that will decide control of the world's third largest oil reserves.

Russia and Japan plight to make Energy Relations and Trade Strong

The two ministers talked about two oil and gas projects in Sakhalin Island in Russia and an oil pipeline project in East Siberia, informed a foreign ministry official from Japan on the condition of keeping his identity close.

Predicting Gas Hydrates Location And Quantities Just Got Easier

Given that there's more carbon trapped inside ice-like crystals under the seafloor than in all the world's oil, gas and coal reserves combined, it seems like it would be easy to find. Up to now that hasn't been the case, but thanks to the award-winning research of Rice University graduate student Gaurav Bhatnagar, the search for gas hydrates just got easier.

Environmentally friendly death

Cremation is contributing to global warming, argues an Australian scientist who yesterday called for an end to the age-old tradition.

Daniel Yergin: Energy's Challenges

For starters, I will put three ideas on the table. But, before doing that, let us consider the scale of the enterprise. For it is not just the energy the world consumes today, but how much more it will consume in the future. At Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA), we've developed new energy scenarios out to the year 2030. The implications are daunting.

In a world of good economic growth, even with greater conservation, world energy demand grows by 75%. This reflects, more than anything else, the tremendous increase in automobile ownership and electricity consumption that will come with rising incomes.

Where we live may be to blame for rising obesity

Ever since two studies linked sprawl and obesity in 2003, study upon study has been published suggesting that our environment -- marked by car-oriented, isolated, unwalkable neighborhoods -- is having a deleterious influence on our health. In other words, sprawl is making us unhealthy, unhappy and fat.

Foreign Oil Firms in Libya Must Take Local Names

Large foreign firms working in Libya's oil industry have had to change their names to new ones reflecting the country's history and geography, the National Oil Corporation said on Saturday.

...France's Total has become "Mabruk Oil," the word Mabruk, which means "congratulations" in Arabic, being a popular boy's name in Libya.

Repsol of Spain becomes "Akakoss Petroleum Operations" -- a reference to the Akakoss mountains in the south of the country -- while the Italian natural gas firm ENI has opted for "Mellita Gas," named after the region where it operates west of Tripoli.

Norwegian authorities fear steep crude decline

What is the Norwegian Oil Director actually predicting here?

He is establishing "a slow and gradual decline" as a best case scenario for Norway, concluding that "serious efforts must be made in several areas" to achieve it. The alternative scenario? Steep decline.

Nigerian Election Result Keeps Oil Market on Tenterhooks

Traders of West African crude oil are keeping their eyes firmly fixed on reaction to the result of the Nigerian presidential election to gauge whether oil flow from Africa's biggest producer will be in jeopardy.

Virgin plans to fly 747 on biofuel in 2008

The first commercial aircraft to be powered by biofuel will fly next year in what could be a significant step towards airlines reducing their oil consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

Fill 'er up. But with what?

In the fevered search for the fuel of tomorrow, a team of mit scientists has a surprising solution that just might be the most realistic one of all.

Texas Oil Falters in Performance as Benchmark

The mighty Texas crude-oil benchmark -- the per-barrel price watched obsessively by the markets and quoted by the media -- has diverged so drastically from prices of other grades of crude in recent weeks that some market participants are calling it a "broken benchmark."

Several factors have combined to push the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil -- used as the basis for the world's most widely traded energy contract -- dollars below other desirable, so-called light sweet crudes.

...The disparity, which is partly rooted in structural changes in the energy markets -- including how and where oil is produced and shipped -- means the standard barrel of oil no longer has a straightforward price.

Looking at Enron, the war and the sun

Four outstanding public-affairs shows, including an Oscar-nominated film on the implosion of Enron, highlight this week's PBS lineup.

...Anyone remember solar energy?

"Saved by the Sun," on "Nova," shines a light on an energy source that many people have dismissed.

Timeline: The Frightening Future of Earth - LiveScience has peak oil listed for 2008.

Tapping the $1.42 Trillion Vein

Buildings are the nation’s worst culprits when it comes to energy consumption. In fact, buildings in the U.S. alone account for 9.5% of the world’s total energy consumption. That’s more than three times the annual energy use of the entire African continent!

Peak Oil Review -- April 23, 2007 - ASPO-USA surveys the energy situation.

Incredible shrinking houses

Itty-bitty abodes quietly come back into vogue as the era of McMansions shows signs of peaking.

Stocksplosion - Kunstler

Whenever somebody complains about "the lies that George Bush & Co. told to get us into the Iraq war" (as Frank Rich did in The New York Times on Sunday), I wonder how those lies compare to the lies that the American public tells itself every day — for example, that we could run America without oil from the Middle East, or that hybrid cars will save Happy Motoring, or that we can have an economy without producing anything of value.

Playing with energy: Ghana`s energy crisis

A team of Brigham Young University students has achieved a feat that has eluded soft drink and clothing manufacturers for years. They have found a way to harness the energy of youth.

Six students from BYU’s engineering department unveiled last Tuesday a playground merry-go-round that generates electricity as it spins. The goal is to provide an inexpensive, simple power source for remote school houses in developing nations.

Corporate subsidies that feed sprawl

Are government subsidies to job-promising corporations the waste of taxpayers' money that critics have long claimed — a zero-sum city-to-city and state-to-state shell game?

Or are they worse? Do they foster sprawl, moving jobs out of cities, away from the workers in most need, and into better-off suburbs with little poverty, joblessness or affordable housing?

Norway: Smaller oil fields become important

At start-up in 2001, the Glitne field had four producing wells. Plans called for production to continue until 2003. Recoverable reserves were estimated to be 25 million barrels of oil.

"Everything now indicates that we'll recover twice as much, closer to 50 million barrels," says Rolf Saltkjel, Glitne's operations manager.

High oil prices, more reservoir expertise and increased demand and competition are driving forces behind ever extended production.

Italy Mulls Emergency Moves As River Dries Up

Italy is mulling emergency measures to replenish its biggest river and curb electricity consumption as unusually hot weather raises fears of a prolonged drought and power blackouts during the summer.

An island made by global warming

The map of Greenland will have to be redrawn. A new island has appeared off its coast, suddenly separated from the mainland by the melting of Greenland's enormous ice sheet, a development that is being seen as the most alarming sign of global warming.

Cost slows Mideast refineries

'One of the problems that is happening right now is that construction costs are going up very rapidly. There is also a bottleneck in getting equipment and engineering firms,' said Zeta Rosenberg, an analyst with ICF Consulting and a co-author of the 2005 report, 'The Emerging Oil Refinery Capacity Crunch.'

'(Costs) are going up everywhere. What is happening is that commodity prices, such (as on) steel and cement, they have been going up, partly driven by demand in the Far East. Actually, China, India and the Middle East, all have growing demand,' Rosenberg said.

Capital costs have gone up about 65 percent in the past three or four years, and operating costs have risen by 30 percent, Rosenberg said.

A slippery business

More than three-quarters of the world’s oil is owned and controlled by the State. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have nationalised oil systems and bar foreign control over oil development. Foreign companies are hired only to provide specific services, for limited terms. They are given no direct interest in the oil produced. Iraq’s oil resources are estimated to be the second largest in the world. The draft Iraqi oil law would all but privatise Iraq’s oil industry under the cloak of “production-sharing agreements”.

Global Warming: Limits of Solar and Wind Power

As people across the US poured into Earth Day celebrations, they saw booths and heard speakers extolling the virtues of solar and wind power. What participants were highly unlikely to hear was that renewable energy cannot stop global warming without major social changes that Earth Day organizers rarely discussed.

Keep in mind the difference between the words “necessary” and “sufficient.” Yes, expansion of solar and wind power is absolutely necessary to prevent CO2 levels from rising, coastal cities from being flooded and species from going extinct. But no, by themselves, solar and wind are not sufficient to make the use of energy sustainable.

Abu Dhabi to Keep June Term Crude Sales Steady

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) will maintain crude oil term supply volumes to Asia in June at May levels, lifters said on Tuesday, in line with OPEC's decision last month to keep existing supply curbs.

Mini-review: Energy Crossroads, PO documentary

How do you get your older Midwest relatives to swallow the Red Pill and understand why you're obsessed with peak oil? Or your scientific and engineering friends who wrinkle their noses at the mention of eco-villages and collapse?

Tiroir A Films has just released a DVD for when End of Suburbia just won't do.

GlobalOilWatch.com Expands Content with Alternative Energy News

The online Energy news and research portal GlobalOilWatch.com expanded its real-time news content by adding a page dedicated to Alternative Energies on Earth Day 2007. This new page will include links to breaking news on ethanol, biofuels, and nuclear power as well as headlines on climate change and pollution.

U.N. panel to lay out steps on warming

After two reports predicting a warmer Earth where life is fundamentally changed, a U.N.-sponsored scientific panel next month will issue a third study describing how a united world can avert the worst, by embracing technologies ranging from nuclear power to manure controls.

Under a best-case scenario for heading off severe damage, the global economy might lose as little as 3 percentage points of growth by 2030 in deploying technologies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, says the panel's draft report, obtained by The Associated Press.

But it won't be easy.

The algae bioreactor

A Dutch company has successfully created algae photo-bioreactors for the purpose of producing biodiesel.

The looming oil crisis in Iran

Years of sanctions and lack of investment could impact its production and export by 2015.

Venezuela takeover may harm Orinoco oil projects

Venezuela's upcoming takeover of four large heavy oil projects will likely reduce the long-term efficiency of the OPEC nation's most important crude operations, analysts told Reuters on Monday.

Ford to develop 'sustainability strategy'

Ford Motor has promoted an executive to a top-level environmental remit in another reflection of green issues' elevation to the top of the US car industry's agenda.

Susan Cischke will be responsible for establishing a "long-range sustainability strategy" and environmental and safety policy for the company, reporting to Alan Mulally, Ford's president and chief executive. Ms Cischke formerly reported to Ford's head of corporate affairs as head of Ford's environmental and safety engineering.

GM: Mortgage meltdown will hurt sales

“The market as a whole has been a little weakish. That has come as a result of the housing market problems and the mortgage industry meltdown,” Lutz told Reuters. “A lot of people are finding themselves in a position of reduced affordability and that has had an impact, not just on us, but across the industry.”

Toyota overtakes GM in global vehicle sales

Toyota Motor Corp. became the world’s top auto seller in the first three months of the year, passing rival General Motors Corp. for the first time, the Japanese automaker said Tuesday.

Big Contracts For Big Oil

After a 35 year wait, American and British oil corporations are on the verge of securing control of Iraq's vast oil reserves. Becca Fisher reveals how the unholy alliance of Big Oil, government and the IMF is getting closer to its goal of reconstructing the Iraqi state to gain secure oil supplies.

LiveOffice Earth Day video (It would never even occur to me to print out e-mails, unless it was something like driving instructions I needed in the car, but I guess a lot of people do it.)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Launches Web site on Energy and Environment

Leading up to Earth Day, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched a new website designed to raise conservation consciousness and show the contributions that the business community has made in protecting the environment. The Web site contains conservation tips for the road and home; environmental success stories from member businesses; and stresses that conservation is an important part of a comprehensive National Energy Policy which is vital for economic and national security.

74 dead at Chinese-run Africa oil field

Gunmen raided a Chinese-run oil field in eastern Ethiopia on Tuesday, killing 65 Ethiopians and nine Chinese workers, an official of the Chinese company said.

Seven Chinese workers were kidnapped in the morning attack at the oil installation in a disputed region near the Somali border, Xu Shuang, the general manager of Zhongyuan Petroleum Exploration Bureau, told The Associated Press.

China has increased its presence in Africa in recent years in a hunt for oil and other natural resources to feed its rapidly growing economy. Its forays into areas considered politically unstable, however, has exposed Chinese workers to attacks.

No one claimed responsibility for Tuesday's raid, but an Ethiopian rebel group warned last year that any investment in the Ogden area that also benefited the Ethiopian government "would not be tolerated."

The Truth About EPA Mileage Estimates

For example, the 2007 Avalon has inertia weight of 3875 lbs. At 50 mph, with its 3.5-liter engine turning at 1555 rpm, the Avalon generates 91 pounds of drag. Bottom line: the Avalon achieves 39.6 mpg on the HWFET test– as compared to 31 mpg on the window sticker.

The 2007 Five Hundred has a 4000 lbs. inertia weight. At 50 mph, with its 3.0-liter engine turning at 1520 RPM, the soon-to-be Taurus generates 105 pounds of drag. Bottom line: 37 mpg on the HWFET test– as compared to 29 mpg on the EPA window sticker.

Theoretically, the Five Hundred achieves 35.3 mpg at 55 mph, 30.4 mpg at 65 mph, and 22.6 mpg at 85 mph. The Avalon gets 36.2 mpg at 55 mph, 32.1 mpg at 65 mph, and 24.8 mpg at 85 mph.


IIHS and NHTSA Agree: SUV’s Safer Than Cars

So here we are, trying to convince American motorists to abandon their SUV’s for smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles, to do their bit to reduce global warming and eliminate the need for messy military entanglements. And along comes a scientific study from a reputable independent organization that concludes that you’re safer in an SUV than a passenger car. Nuts.


Saab's Come-On Includes Crashing Around the Arctic Circle

By Jason Harper

Smart car buyers have long taken advantage of European delivery, ... . Buy the car in the U.S. with a sizable chunk off the MSRP, take delivery in Europe, then drive it around on your vacation. Later it'll be sent stateside by sea (most often included in the price).

Swedish carmaker Saab has added an adrenaline option: For a nominal extra fee, buyers can take part in the Saab Ice Experience. This entails flying 200 kilometers (about 124 miles) north of the Arctic Circle and spending three days adventuring around the frosty play land; the highlight is driving 9-3 SportCombis on a frozen lake. On this portion, buyers will be driving not their new cars but ones owned by Saab, which is a good thing, as, er, carnage often ensues.

The driving portion is a mere half-day; other activities include a dogsled ride, a snowmobile trip on the Torne River and a fantastic helicopter flight into the mountains.

Maybe they should call this the Saab Arctic Melting Experience.


Unfortuantely, bigger is usually better, when it comes to crash safety. A lot peak oilers use that to justify buying Explorers and Expeditions.

If you're worried about safety, I think the idea is that one should do everything they can to avoid getting into an accident. I suspect that driving a smaller, nimbler vehicle may have some gains in this area over a big, heavy SUV.

Also... What about SUV-SUV collisions? And I've seen more than one large SUV squished by an 18-wheeler. A Ford Excursion flattened vertically between a truck trailer and a concrete wall was an eye-opener. It seems that semis and busses don't enter into the mental safety equation for many people.

Car safety is a very complicated question. No easy answers.



Oh, I agree. People are not rational when it comes to safety. They worry about their cars being crushed by an SUV, or about pesticides on apples. Then they drive to McDonalds without wearing a seatbelt, while smoking a cigarette.

That said...if the issue is 18-wheelers, you're probably in even more danger in a Corolla or Prius than you are in an Expedition. It's the difference between the weights of the vehicle that counts.

Maybe there is an advantage to a "nimbler" vehicle, but face, it, any "green" car is not going to be nimble. Nimble = high power per weight, which is the opposite of efficient.

Having survived a double collision with an 18 wheeler at highway speeds in a VW Scirocco (wt. ~2,000 lbs), I disagree.

What saved me was the stiffness to weight ratio.

Trucker fell asleep @ the wheel and "merged" into my front door. The car bounced and he hit it again (rear) and then I went into a wild spin.

My injuries were from the seat belt (internal bleeding) and a concussion from the sudden acceleration (explains some of my current behavior :-) And some light scratches from flying glass.

Best Hopes,


Sounds like what saved you is that it was a sideswipe, not head-on collision.

The second collision collapsed the rear bumper & hatchback.

The VW bounced both times rather than a major structural collapse. More weight, less stiffness = no bounce; just collapse.

I would have died in a Hummer.

Best Hopes,


The second collision collapsed the rear bumper & hatchback.

And may have been designed that way. "Crumples zones" are part of passenger vehicle design.

That is one thing people don't consider about SUVs and minivans. Since they are considered light trucks, they are not required to meet the same safety standards that cars are. Also, roads are not designed for them. A high vehicle like an SUV or minivan will vault right over guardrail designed for cars.

However, both SUVs and roads have become a lot safer, simply because they are so popular. Guardrail has been redesigned with SUVs in mind, and SUVs and minivans are increasingly being held to car safety standards.

But if you're driving an older SUV, or on a road that hasn't been rehabbed recently, you are facing hazards car drivers are not.

Simpsons episode "Screaming Yellow Honkers"

Marge: Good Lord. How am I supposed to get in this beast?
[opens the door. A mechanized stepladder unfolds from
the doorsill] Hmm. Well, that's a nice feature. [gets
Not much headroom, though. [the sunroof opens, allowing
her hair to spring out] Ooh! Well, I guess I can drive
it for a little while.
[the patter of little feet is heard, and then the kids
jump into the back seat]
Lisa: But mom, I read that sport-utility vehicles are more
likely to be in fatal accidents.
Bart: Fatal to the people in the other car. Let's roll.


It's twue, it's twue!

SUVs did have a higher rate of fatalities because they were prone to rollovers, with their high center of gravity. But once that became an issue, the manufacturers fixed it.

Fatal to the people in the other car is also true. Particularly "t-bone" collisions. The SUV is so high it comes in over the side-door reinforcement of a car. People get killed even when they are wearing their seatbelts in fairly mild collisions.

They are trying to fix that by changing the design of car doors, but of course, that doesn't do anything for all the older cars on the road.

SUVs did have a higher rate of fatalities because they were prone to rollovers, with their high center of gravity. But once that became an issue, the manufacturers fixed it.

You can't fix physics ;) Active rollover control uses the braking system to attempt to reign in a vehicle that's out of control, but it ain't magic. The types of circumstance where SUVs tend to rollover are where they lose traction and then suddenly regain it while traveling sideways.

Also, Alan is correct above. Race cars are the perfect example of this in that you can have ~1200lb machines (indy, irl, F1) hitting walls at 180mph and the driver steps out with only minor injuries. Similar situation for nascar, ~3000lb machines, with wall and car on car action that would pancake and kill anyone in any 3000lb road car. The biggest problems with road cars are weak restraints and "cabin intrusion." Weak restraints allow you to flop around in the car and bash your head and body on stuff. "Cabin intrusion" is what everyone's always worried about - that is, hitting something, and the car smushing and coming into the passenger compartment. If people were really concerned about safety they'd wear helmets, it would cut deaths in half if not more.

The way to fix it is to force the SUVs to have bumpers at the same height as everything else.  If this means they have to have disproportionately low bumpers and people don't like the look, so much the better.

OK folks, what's this constant attack on SUVs? Surely the major problem preventing our investment in energy alternatives is the low price of oil, and surely SUV drivers are doing us all a favor by burning through the stuff faster, and thus bringing us to the point where it will be economical to invest in alternatives sooner.

Now, you want to say that we need all the time that we can get? But as long as the price is low, do you really believe that private investors or the governments will move toward alternatives?

So, while I bike to work every day, let's all praise the SUVs which are burning through the fuel, and thus through the illusions, that lie a the base of our current economy, and hastening the arrival of economic realities that will make more forward looking investments and policies possible.

Also, from a climate change perspective, we need high fuel prices sooner... not later, so again, let's all praise SUV owners, and in fact let's require all cars to be constructed with heavy armor plating for passenger protection of course... but more importantly to decrease gas mileage and hasten the end of the oil age.

You think I'm kidding?

I'm not sure. I might not be.

Then they drive to McDonalds without wearing a seatbelt, while smoking a cigarette.

What the 'Homo-Americus' branch of the human race is evolving to?

Get a volvo then. They will beat large chunks of metal in the safety stakes.

Or just mandate that all trucks need an iron bar at the back, somewhere around head height for an SUV (but normal cars would go under). Active safety selection.

"Active safety selection."


A recent study by State Farm Insurance showed that children are 50% more likely to be injured in a SUV than in a smaller vehicle.

There's also been a steep rise in children being smushed from backing SUVs, due to the poorer rearward visability.

SUVs have lots of issues and I agree with the view that these are genuine problems. But a "steep rise in children being smushed from backing SUVs"? Cites please. I find that hard to believe. And no, I won't accept any "common sense" argument. As we all have seen, what someone thinks is "common sense" is often defied by the real statistical distribution of events so I'd want real data for this one.

And no, I do not drive an SUV.

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

No, this is true. It's not just SUVs. It's also pickup trucks, which have become insanely popular in the U.S. over the past couple of decades.

People don't realize how bloody huge the blind spot is for some of these vehicles. They did a story on it on CNN, with a row of trucks and SUVs, and a traffic cone behind each one, representing how long the blind spot was. Some of them were just incredible.

Drivers unaware of rear blindspots accidentally backing over more small children, experts say

Some of the trucks and SUVs had blind spots that extended almost 50 feet (15m) from their rear bumpers. Most drivers have no clue that the blind spot is so large.

So where is the statistical data supporting the assertion? How many more children are dying than from cars?

I simply want to see the statistics but somehow I don't think you or anyone else have any real data here, just an assertion based on an observation.

P.S. You might be surprised at how poor rear visibility is in sedans with raised/larger than normal trunk space but I don't see people calling for action against those sedans.

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

So where is the statistical data supporting the assertion? How many more children are dying than from cars?

Study: More Children Dying In Trucks' Blind Spots

Slow-moving front- and backover accidents happen more than 2,400 times a year, according to a Centers for Disease Control study, and most victims aren't more than 1 year old.

More than 60 percent of the accidents involved a larger vehicle, such as an SUV, van or truck, the study reported.

And so far as I know, the only "action" being called for with SUVs is technology to reduce the blind spot. Cameras, mirrors, obstacle detection systems, etc.

One think to note is that the Prius sedan with its raised trunk has a wide-angle TV camera that comes on when the car is put into reverse. The driver watches it on the screen that normally tells you how many MPG you are getting.

IMO people play the odds, no one really cares about the car as much as they care about the cost of personal injuries. If you consider the number of illegals and people in general that drive with no insurance or woefully underinsured it isn't hard to see why people will try to hang on to their tanks as long as possible.
I have no problem riding the bike, but I rather see my daughters in a large vehicle.

As the economy gets worse this condition gets worse and worse, things will have to collapse to quite some degree before they start getting better.

Or you can put a very stiff tax on fuel, this would fix the problem on several levels at the same time.

This is one more reason to have a lot more internal immigration enforcement; just getting rid of all the drunk, uninsured, etc. illegal alien drivers would help fix the perception of SUV's as being necessary for safety.

Currently we see numerous news stories about the high foreclosure rate of subprime mortgages. A recent article titled "Is It Too Late to Get Out?" Housing Bubble Boondoggle by MIKE WHITNEY and published at counterpunch.com contained the following:

"the Federal Reserve and the five other federal agencies that regulate banks issued this statement just last week:

"Prudent workout arrangements that are consistent with safe and sound lending practices are generally in the long-term best interest of both the financial institution and the borrowerInstitutions will not face regulatory penalties if they pursue reasonable workout arrangements with borrowers."

Translation: "Rewrite the loans! Promise them anything! Just make sure they remain shackled to their houses!"

One of the points he makes in the article is that these foreclosures will have really bad consequences affecting most of the economy.

I began to wonder about the number of auto loans and what they are worth. What would happen if we experienced sudden gasoline shortages and the "news" came out that shortages and high prices will become part of the landscape for some time to come if not forever. What would I do if I was a youngster with a $500/month car payment? (Actually I have absolutely no knowledge of what auto's cost and what the monthly pay back would be, but 500 may be close.) What would I do if I had that monthly bill, no gasoline, AND my job is shaky because what won't be if gasoline is really expensive and not always reliably available? I might just say, "take it, it's yours" to the lender.
What would the lenders do with all those bright red BMW's and multi-featured SUV's? Would that be something sort of like the mortgage foreclosure (possibly much smaller though ) phenom?

Giving it back to the lender is what I would do. Bad credit is going to be a non-issue once PO awareness sets in.


Unless you are forcibly drafted into the Halliburton work programs to workoff the debts. =(

Better....insurance fraud. My car got stolen and turned up burned to a crisp on the East Side. Damn...can I have my money now?

A Crude Awakening on CNBC

I just heard that they will have a special on CNBC today at 12 Eastern Time, 1PM Central. It will be about...well, I really don't know what it will be about but I think it will sound the alarm about a possible crude shortage in the near future. Of course they will have rebuttal opinions as well however.

It looks like the oil problem is appearing more and more in the news these days. I think the word is getting out. I just saw this on the web from "Live Science".

Timeline: The Frightening Future of Earth Global oil production peaks sometime between 2008 and 2018, according to a model by one Swedish physicist. Others say this turning point, known as “Hubbert’s Peak,” won’t occur until after 2020. Once Hubbert’s Peak is reached, global oil production will begin an irreversible decline, possibly triggering a global recession, food shortages and conflict between nations over dwindling oil supplies. (doctoral dissertation of Frederik Robelius, University of Uppsala, Sweden; report by Robert Hirsch of the Science Applications International Corporation)

Ron Patterson

Speaking of Robelius, can you or anyone else point me toward data on the distribution of oil field productivity rates? I did a brain-dead calculation yesterday of the average production rate of the giants vs the non-giants (giants average 100,000 bpd, non-giants average 700 bpd) and that got me wondering what the productivity distribution curve looks like.

Mathew Simmonds does a number of assessments on giant oil fileds. This is one of them. Given that most of the giants are old the date should not be an issue! http://www.simmonsco-intl.com/files/giantoilfields.pdf

I just heard that they will have a special on CNBC today at 12 Eastern Time, 1PM Central.

And, dumb ass me, I got this backwards. 12 Eastern would be 11 Central. I missed it.

Ron Patterson


There seems to be a problem with the story about the Ethiopian oil field attack. The quoted text doesn't seem to appear in the linked article.

Sorry. Late-breaking news story. Try it now.

Yet again, an article makes me wonder about just how well informed people are.

Yes, Big Oil is ready to plunder Iraq - except for a couple of pesky details, like the fact that the Iraqis just aren't going along with the plan.

The puppets in the Green Zone (green being the color of Islam, by the way) can say whatever they wish, sign whatever documents they wish, or enact any laws they wish. It doesn't change the fact that those same people can't walk alone throughout Baghdad without being attacked.

Are Americans really that out of touch, even those opposed to Bush? Big oil is no closer to reaching its prize today than it was in 2003.

It is easy to make fun of (neo-)conservatives and their strange distortions of reality, but really, assuming that Big Oil is poised to take over Iraq is pretty far-fetched.

Or to put it into a more reasonable geo-strategic focus - Iran is in a lot better position to claim that prize (though the Kurdish controlled areas may end up as a consolation prize), and the Iranians will then rewrite the laws to their liking - turning at least the Shia regions of Iraq into a true Green Zone.

Bush has masterfully positioned the U.S. into a true lose/lose proposition - stay at high cost for no gain, or leave and let the Iranians inherit a major oil region. But I guess that is too much analysis to expect from people who actually think any Iraqi 'law' coming from the Green Zone means anything in the marketplace - these days, car bombs speak much, much louder in Iraqi ones.

I doubt the oilcos are thinking that far ahead. I suspect that they just want a plausible reason to book some of Iraq's reserves so that their stock price will take a jump.

TJ: Your explanation is the most plausible.

Now that is cynical - and you know, it has a certain internal logic.

And if wasn't on any oil company's mind beforehand, it likely is now.

It even provides an out for people saying oil discoveries have not been matching production - a newly discovered 100 billion barrels in Iraq would certainly put those pesky questions to rest - at least long enough to pump and dump, so to speak.

Expat, what the hell are you talking about? I assume, though you did not make it obvious, that you are referring to this article:
(Big Contracts for Big Oil) This is the opinion of one dumb-ass journalist, not the majority of the American people.

The vast majority of American people, or at least 65% of them, realize what is happening in IRAQ. We know they are in the midst of a civil war and neither Americans nor Big Oil is anywhere close to taking over Iraqi's oil fields.

It would be a vast mistake to look at any article on the web about Iraq and assume that it represents the opinion of American people. Of course there are always a few extremists who will believe any damn thing. Some will even believe that Big Oil is on the verge of taking over the Iranian oil fields. However the vast major of the American people realize this is hogwash, though the author of this silly piece is obviously not among that vast majority.

The American people may have their head in the sand concerning peak oil, but because it is on the news day after day, hour after hour, they know what is happening in Iraq, though our President is among those few dumb-asses who do not.

Ron Patterson

I agree - but generally, Corporate Watch is included in the 65%. And thinking that any piece of paper coming out of Green Zone makes any real difference is just misplaced.

I thought green was The Color of Money.

and I thought the "Green Zone" in Iraq is where we're producing biofuels and making windmills and solar panels...oh well... ( ;-) )

Bush has masterfully positioned the U.S. into a true lose/lose proposition - stay at high cost for no gain, or leave and let the Iranians inherit a major oil region.

I can't imagine what would be a win/win or even a win/lose proposition given the "non-negotiable" parameters.

Seems to me our "Way Of Life - US" (WOLUS) is impoverishing the rest of the world. [Look at the track record, not our lizard brain mythology.] Seems to me there is only so much we can suck out of the rest of the world after which it turns into chaos. That turns US side of the equation to "lose" because our technology (economy/terms of trade) cannot cope with the disrupted systems. WOLUS needs oil in tankers, not in jerry cans.

Mother Africa goes first it seems. Time to stock up on all that wonderful, ever-so-cheap Ethiopean coffee while it's still available. 7 pounds/hubbert, where a "hubbert" is a barrel of oil.

How many hubberts does WOLUS consume every day in coffee?

cfm in Gray, ME

The American Way Of Life? Isn't that AWOL? I recommend this (long, but fascinating) article from 2004.

I believe, that in the end US will impoverish itself. Think outsourced manufacturing, high oil consumption while oilproduction plummets, insane Wall Street speculation in hallucinated welth, crashing realestate market, outstretched military constantly warring around the globe.

Have i forgot something?


Our political process and the thoughtful and insightful social/economic/political discourse that drives our politics ?

Actually it is certain power interests in control in the US that are impoverishing the nation while enriching themselves. Since US educational institutions teach "faith in authority" instead of logic and epistomology, most Americans lack the ability to critically think, making them perfect for fleecing. Their susceptability to sloganism actually has them defending the perogatives of those doing the fleecing. Only in America.

Hello Cid Yama,

Good points. But I think even this will not stop our eventual US regression to the mathematical mean. 5% of the world's pop. using 25% of fossil fuels is unsustainable, besides being unjust.

Once FF-equilibration is achieved worldwide, it will just be a vanishing small % that will enjoy the luxurious convenience and reliability from 'energy slaves'. The rest of us had better hope and work for some modest living standard from Biosolar Powerup if we don't want to revert fully back to swinging thru the trees again.

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

Cid: You said it. The irony is that for all the flag waving and anthem singing, the USA is objectively one of the least patriotic countries on the planet. The managing of the country has effectively been turned over to the most cunning guys on Wall Street, with predictable results for the country as a whole. OTOH, the rubes love their medicine so it must be good for them.

Hello Swede,

Nope, IMO, that is a pretty good summation. Once we have passed the point of no return; where decreasing net energy and best efforts at total resource efficiency is not enough anymore: then every negative barrel thereafter will require an offset input of 25,000 man/hours of labor.

I would argue Zimbabwe and other Third World countries in ELM FF-decline have not adequately planned for this eventuality. In prior posts, I have argued that Mugabe should have looked ahead early, then imported or manufactured locally, the millions of required wheelbarrows and bicycles, along with other essential biosolar tools such as Humanure Recycling and solar-heated community showers. This early leveraging of mutual cooperation and human-powered efforts could have greatly optimized their decline rate and preserved more habitat.

If one carefully examines the latest updated details on Zimbabwe in the CIA Factbook, there is no reason for current 80% unemployment and widespread starvation if proper Peakoil Outreach and relocalized permaculture programs had been instituted shortly after the Rhodesia to Zimbabwe independence.

Will North America [NA] do any better? Not unless we get going on mitigation, otherwise I expect our fast-crash decline to be much faster than Zimbabwe. See Zim's labor force by occupation breakout in the CIA Factbook, the US is far behind Zim in having a significant population dedicated to growing self-sufficient supplies. In summary: NA Overshoot is probably worse than Zimbabwe's Overshoot because we have a total mismatch in infrastructure and skillsets for the looming future.

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

Hello Bob

Your forecast sounds not good for US. I wonder how it will be for Europe? If i take Sweden where i live, i believe we can manage it in a somewhat orderly way, because this is an old small state with an effective governement system. But i wonder how we are going to feed ouerselves? During WWII we had 6 million people and had foodrationing. Now we are 9 million.

Then comes the problem with our overstreched welfarestate, what will happen with that in a constantly contracting economy? Mind you that we have about half a million muslim immigrants in this small country, and they are the poor people in Sweden. This can be a BIG problem for us WTSHTF.

There are certainly moore questions than answers sofare.

And as Henrik Tikkanen Finland said: I have all information, but now i want to know what the hell is it all about?


But i wonder how we are going to feed ouerselves?

Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal springs to mind.


"But I wonder how we are going to feed ouerselves?"

Soylent Green

WE are the largest source of protein on the planet.

Be careful what you wish for, welfare and drug addicts are very dangerous when they don't get their fix. If Bush & Co gets the idea that Iraq is a totally lost cause they will most likely attack Iran, and then we all go down.

I do not wish that TSHTF happens to US, i only believe it will.

The european countrys could fare a little better because they have half the oilconsumption/per capita and not so big military expenditures. But on the other hand they are overextended welfarestates, which propably is not possible to save in a postpeak world, and what will happen when the wellfaresystems collapses?

OT (off topic)

I think you mentioned you live up north in Lappland. Are you familiar with the Kings Trail? I was just reading up on it and it sounds like a great hike. Do you know of any good sites for information (topo maps) that I might not find by a google search?



Klick on the English Flag for your language.
Best is to hike in August or September. Mosquitos dead by then...

Unless you ski ? April would be my choice then.

Good Luck

BTW: It's "Kungsleden" in Swedish.


Who knows?

If you game it out then you come to the difference between a rock and a hard place.

Western mainland Europe has some advantages over the US, demographics, infrastructure, education, etc, etc. However all this will buy them is a little time as i can not see a way that they can survive in their present form without the biggest market and the prospect of losing their investments in it.

Perhaps you can avoid the blood bath, but other then that it's going to affect everyone the same after things stabilize at a much lower level.

The only thing i know for sure is that it will be interesting times ahead.

The WSJ has an article (behind a pay-wall) titled, "Trucking Firms Bemoan
Stricter Emissions Rules". The article points out that the stricter emission standards are resulting in reduced milage. Some excerpts:

WASHINGTON -- A requirement that newly manufactured diesel trucks spew out less soot starting this year is posing a paradox for truck fleets: These new-generation trucks are cleaner than older-generation vehicles, but they get worse mileage.

With emission standards to get even tougher in 2010, truck-fleet owners are seeking changes to other rules, to help improve efficiency. Some are lobbying for the go-ahead to hitch up longer trailers, while others are pushing requirements for manufacturers to make engines offering a certain minimum mileage.

Previous-generation trucks average about nine or 10 miles to each gallon of diesel fuel. New engines designed to meet the more-stringent federal mandate on truck exhaust get about one mile less to the gallon. That may not seem like much, but it all adds up for large fleet owners that operate trucks crisscrossing the country.

Hence the prediction economic growth won't suffer from peak oil, but the environment will...

For the Techno-fix people:

For the first time in almost 27 years, the United Nations General Assembly will be debating the issue of establishing diplomatic relations with advanced Extraterrestrial Civilizations that may now be visiting Earth.


And to tie to drug use:

Could you go to www.un.org and post a link from that site where the word extraterrestrail is mentioned or any other word or sentence that relates to life on other planets. IMO ufodigest.com is somewhat out of place on this site.

omewhat out of place on this site.

Come now, its the techno-fix wet dream. If one has the energy to fling starships about, the ability to replace oil would be trivial, right?

No argument there. Just gives us all some credible sources.

There aren't any "credible sources" on this topic. I think Eric is laughing At you, not with you, on this one.

Actually anyone who thinks that ANY energy fix is trivial, compared to the other messes we have, has a simplistic view of the world. As one poster commented, if a free energy device was engineered, it could be 'catastrophic'. I agree that it could allow us to be around to make more of a mess, if we don't change a whole bunch of other behaviors.

Where IS that 'Theory of Everything' ?
Here it is !

ANY energy fix is trivial,

If a power supply exists to toss starships about exist...I'd argue the energy 'problem' would be fixed.

I'd also argue that 'problems' like cycling of waste streams could be addressed with the application of such energy.

The 'lets not and say we did' reason to not adopt such a technology is I'm betting it would make a fine 'boom' if "mismanaged" (sabotage or weapon)


Anything to avoid addressing real problems as normal. Sometime one can't help feeling that Bolton was right.

Is Bolton working for UFOWatch now? I heard he got mad and threw a shoe at one of the Plasmagurgians and almost got the top ten floors of UFO-HQ in Pittsburg blown off! I'll bet somebody would notice THAT!

From Kunstler's Daily Grunt:

Predictions for the Year 2000 from Dec 1900 Ladies Home Journal

"These prophecies will seem strange, almost impossible. Yet, they have come from ...the wisest and most careful men in our greatest institutions of science and learning..."

#4: There Will Be No Street Cars in Our Large Cities...

#6: Automobiles will be cheaper than horses are today. Farmers will own automobile hay-wagons, automobile truck-wagons, plows, harrows and hay-rakes.

#7: There will be air-ships, but they will not successfully compete with surface cars and water vessels for passenger or freight traffic...

#20: Coal will not be used for heating or cooking...

#11: No Mosquitoes nor Flies. Insect screens will be unnecessary. Mosquitoes, house-flies and roaches will have been practically exterminated...

#23: Ready-cooked meals will be bought from establishments similar to our bakeries of today...

#25: Oranges will grow in Philadelphia...

#28: There will be no wild animals except in menageries. Rats and mice will have been exterminated. The horse will have become practically extinct...

#29: To England in Two Days...

The Ladies' Home Journal piece is truly amazing.

Prediction #10: Man will See Around the World. Persons and things of all kinds will be brought within focus of cameras connected electrically with screens at opposite ends of circuits, thousands of miles at a span. American audiences in their theatres will view upon huge curtains before them the coronations of kings in Europe or the progress of battles in the Orient. The instrument bringing these distant scenes to the very doors of people will be connected with a giant telephone apparatus transmitting each incidental sound in its appropriate place. Thus the guns of a distant battle will be heard to boom when seen to blaze, and thus the lips of a remote actor or singer will be heard to utter words or music when seen to move.

One good piece of forecasting.

Sales of existing homes plunged in March by the largest amount in nearly two decades, reflecting bad weather and increasing problems in the subprime mortgage market, a real estate trade group reported Tuesday.


Subprime bailouts: How they work

"They got themselves into this mess and I don't want my tax dollars used to get them out of it." That's the attitude of many when it comes to bailing out subprime borrowers from bad loans.

Still, many programs to help those facing foreclosure are being launched, with the aim of moving borrowers out of high-interest, variable-rate loans and into lower-rate, fixed ones.

Thank you themouse for the Peak Sound Track posted yesterday - so many great tunes for the times in that thread.

I strongly second PeakTO's nomination of REM's - "It's the End of the World as We Know It" (and I feel fine... Lenny Bruce is not afraid).

I would add:

Tull's "Locamotive Breath" ('godz stole the handle' all right).

Alan Parson's "What Goes Up" ("if all things must fall")

The Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" ("when afterall, it was you and me").

SuperTramp's "Crime of The Century"
("...Who are these men of lust, greed, and glory?
Rip off the masks and let's see.
But that's no right - oh no, what's the story?
There's you and there's me...
- That can't be right !" )

I was going to edit in one last ending song - but replies killed my edit link.

Add in:

Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence.

Either before or after - Return to Innocence.

How about the Young Gods, Gasoline Man?

YouTube (maybe more palatable acoustic?)

The american nation anthem?

You're most welcome. I've been out all week so I haven't had time to respond. All the songs I listed, except for one, was from my cd collection. I now have added Tom Waite and Enigma (?) to a 'look for' list. I also wanted a collection that fits on one 80 minute cd in redbook format. A larger collection could be put on a cd in mp3 or such. I'll work on it. Why I didn't think of REM I'll never know.


Wanted to point something out I just "got." We talk about oil being priced in dollars. Even when countries like Iran, demand payment in Euro's, it's based on exchanging from a dollar. The Chinese Yuan is no different. Anyone with a brain knows the Yuan can only become more fairly valued, that is to say worth more relative to the dollar. Here's the kicker. As the Yuan revalues higher than the dollar, oil becomes less expensive in spite of the price rising.

Now we could argue over the appreciation of the currency versus the oil itself, but my premise is that the purchasing power of the Yuan is increasing, thus making oil cheaper relatively speaking. This will only serve as a catalyst for increased demand. Obviously this works for nearly all commodities since I now hear other commodities are again resuming increasing prices (raw materials). Are they filling their SPR's yet?

Good observation, though I'd stay away from asserting that oil gets less expensive for China, relatively or not.

The clincher is that as oil becomes more expensive, it does so much more for the US than for the rest of the world, or at least China and Europe. A true double whammy. Triple even, when you consider the US uses so much more oil per capita.

Tate:The kicker is that the US (Paulson)"solution" to the structural problems of the economy is to get China to allow the Yuan to increase in value more quickly. Hilarious.

Good point. I forgot about that one. I think HISF, got it right though in that it's the worst possible scenario for American consumers. PO is not figured into future prices even when taking into account forward contango presently in the market. Once the reality sets in, the wheels fly off and that initial shock is what's going to be most painful. I've already made it through the stages of acceptance and I'm at the last stage. I have accepted it. Most around me think I'm absolutely crazy, but they listen nonetheless. Most all of them believe I'm intelligent and have proven myself capable in my short lifetime. When I bring this to their attention it's so far out of left field, they find anything to discredit me yet inside they know I'm on to something.

"They know I'm on to something"

.... but they don't believe it'll happen as fast as I say it well might.....

I'm sure a lot of people here have the same experience. Those around them believe the principle that we'll run out eventually, but not so soon that the future can't be discounted. That's all they need to get some sleep, and buy a new car in the morning.

Americans should reallly try to come to grips with the double inevitability of
1/ rising oil and gas prices
2/ plunging dollar value

Add them up, and you get mich higher gasoline prices in the US, and a huge disadvantage in bidding for oil on the world markets.

".... but they don't believe it'll happen as fast as I say it well might....."

It doesn't matter. It's too late. It's already here. When global reserves become depleted this summer, shortage becomes real. The powers that be will blame it on Iran or Venezuela or wherever they want to invade next, saying they're keeping it from us, justifying additional military ventures. Then they can use global disruption as the new reason. The masses will continue to believe salvation is just around the corner, if they just make additional sacrifices and continue to have faith in their glorious leaders. Makes you want to puke, doesn't it?

The Energy Crossroads movie noted up above looks like a good one.

I think there has been a need for a movie that can be shown to groups that is not an overly-scary introduction, and doesn't focus too heavily on some pet issue. This may be it.

Hamas Fighters end Israeli Truce

The military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement has said a five-month truce with the Israeli army "no longer exists" after it fired dozens of rockets into the Jewish state.

IDF: Rocket attacks were a cover for kidnapping attempt

The barrages of Kassam rockets and mortar shells Hamas fired at Israel on Tuesday morning were meant to provide cover for and distract attention from an attempted infiltration by a terror cell, whose members intended to kidnap IDF soldiers deployed along the Gaza border, IDF sources reported Tuesday afternoon.

Not "kidnap". The right word is "capture".
cfm in Gray, ME

Sorry, but its kidnapping. Hamas does not constitute a standing military organization, and they further do not abide by any of the conventions governing the rules of engagement between nations. They further use kidnapped soldiers as bargaining chips instead of treating them in the conventions that POWs should be treated.

If Hamas wants to have the dignity of being assigned terms such as "capturing" soldiers, then they first need to comply with all international law governing the rules for standing militaries.

But hey if they did that, they would surely be squashed by the Isreali military in very short order as they would no longer be able to hide as civilians, or use civilians as human shields, or target Isreali civilians as military targets in their homocide bombings.

Don't get me wrong, I do fully recognize that Isreal has its own share of issues in how its handled this situation, but I think most of those stem from the fact that they are at least trying to follow the international rules governing military engagements while dealing with an enemy who has a complete disregard for them.

Basically I think the whole effort to "civilize" warfare has got to be the most misguided, stupid, and utterly idiotic notion man kind has ever come up with. Get rid of Geneva, get rid of all the other UN BS that governs war and let the gloves come off and may the mightier force win. The "civilization" of war has done nothing but caused wars to be drug out which ups body counts even further over a longer duration, and worse allows two bit nothing terrorist organizations ham-string lawful and normally civilized nations.

Pull the gloves off Isreal AND Hamas and let them have at it. I bet the problem would be solved in a matter of months for one side or the other.

"Gloves off ?"

Isreal already uses state sanctioned torture, collective punishment, arbitrary imprisonment (The US does at least 2 of these three).

The only step left is fast (as opposed to the current slow) genocide of Arabs by Jews.

I do *NOT* advocate that and would STRONGLY condemn that ! (as would most peoples of the world, including the Jewish community).


So then you favor a lopsided set of rules for countries to fight under?

I'm at least fair... No restrictions on either's actions seems about as fair to me as one can get. After all if there are non rules, then there are no punishments or loop holes to exploit.

The world keeps thinking that everything can be solved peacefully. Sometimes things need to be settled by a good and dirty fist fight.

These two brats in the middle east have been disturbing the whole rest of the neighborhood for decades. Cordon off the area tell them keep it in their space and let em duke it out.

Like I said, I bet the problem would be solved one way or another within months. And frankly I wouldn't even place a bet on one side or the other as I personally think the two would be evenly matched in a no-holds bar war. A lot of Isreali weaponry (like those mystery nukes) become pretty useless when you are having to fight on your own turf.

Yes, I do support "lopsided" rules !!

Reality *IS NOT* a children's playground as your post suggests ! Your mindset and mine are quite literally years apart.

IMO; Israel does not even meet the minimum standards of behavior for US funding.


Yes, I do support "lopsided" rules !!

Especially those that favor the side wanting to wipe Isreal off the face of the map. Right?

Tell you what Alan, lets have your New Orlean Saints play my Houston Texans in Houston. Now I'm big enough to admit the Texans suck. I mean they just don't have a winning bone in their bodies. The Saints on the otherhand are a pretty solid team, putting up some interesting numbers last year.

Now the rules in football are well understood, and usually well enforced. But in this game in Houston, in the first quarter one of the frustrated Texan players(we were losing like normal) pulls a blatant face mask on NOs running back. The Ref saw it, the NO players saw it, the Texan players saw it, and the whole crowd saw it, and moreover, everybody saw that the ref saw it. Everyone waits for the expected call to be made and the penalty to be applied. The ref, with a snide look on his face turns around and sets the ball down to begin the next play.

Now the Texans, pretty desperate to even the odds with New Orleans decide to pull a few more such manuevers, and every time gets away with it with little more than a few boos from the crowd(we have Saints fans here after all too), and usually (because we are in Houston) with a bunch of cheers. Steadily the shots become nastier and nastier and NO players are getting hurt more and more. Eventually NO decides to take a few shots back (everyone has their limits) but immediately the Houston fans cry foul and the refs call New Orleans on it everytime. All NO can do apparently is suck it up and take it, or else be a little more discreet in their cheating.

This goes on for awhile and in the meantime the New Orleans fans in the crowd get more and more irate eventually hurling insults at the ref and the Texans. Now one of the Texans, being a hot head runs over to the side lines and catches a New Orleans fan by complete surprise as he lands a grid iron head butt square on the NO fan's face.

The Houston crowd, a bit shocked at first regain their senses and immediately put up a cheer for the Texan's player. The game continues on in this detoriated state but we break away in the 4th quarter never quite knowing how it will end, but the score as we left was the Texans tied at 24 to 24.

Simply put, New Orleans is Isreal, the Texans are the Palestinians, and NO Fans are Isreali civilians while the Texan's fans are the Arab street. The refs are obivously the UN.

This little make believe contest isn't fair at all, never mind that by allowing one side to ignore the rules it allowed an inferior team to catch up and tie a superior one. But hey since you favor lopsided rules its all ok right? If New Orleans loses(especially to bunch of cheats) who cares right?

And by the way if you think a sporting event can't get this far out of control, might I very kindly point you to the yearly occurance of Soccer (or true football) games in other nations, or hell even the rash of basketball games last season(or was it the one before) where players were taking each other out, and then moved the fighting into the stands.

So my point stands, either the rules get enforced equally, or else there should be no rules.

Israel does not even meet the minimum standards of behavior for US funding.

If that's how you view it, then I would argue neither does New Orleans given their history of corrupt police and government, and high murder and crime rate. Remember that whole board in your own eye before plucking the dust from your brother's and all that.

I briefly scanned your long comment and decided not to bother to read it.

I simply do not see genocide, or retaining civilization and it's values as a game.

I might out that the author of the 10 Commandents had a somewhat similar POV.

Our moral POVs are so different that it is not worth debating the issue.

Best Wishes,


I might out that the author of the 10 Commandents had a somewhat similar POV.

Really? Could've sworn he ordered ancient Isreal to wipe a few nations from existance, down to the last man, woman, child and oxen.

I can also remember a story where God struck down an entire city minus one family whom he safeguarded out, but commanded them not to look back. One woman could not resist, and she turned to a pillar of salt.

I believe also that if you believe in the God of the bible, that come the end times, he will be a divider of families, sending all non-believers to hell. The time of mercy will be passed.

Furthermore I believe that it was author of the Ten commandments who plagued Egypt, even going so far as to send the Angel of Death to wipe out the first born of those who did not comply with passover rituals.

And that same author, of the ten commandments later guided that nation he gave the commandments to, to a land rich with milk and honey and ordered the Isrealites to take the nation from those living there.

Are you so certain He has a similar POV to yours now?

Also you are assuming Genocide will be the end result in a no holds bar contest in modern Isreal. It might turn out that after a few weeks of high destruction that both parties might come to their senses and work out another agreement. Afterall, I doubt either of the sides involved want to be the winner of a broken nation.

I personally don't want to see one side wipe out the other. I think Isreal would be stronger if both sides could put down their differences and work together. But unfortunately, there are just some times in history that warfare becomes the only solution remaining. And right now the rest of the world is holding both sides back, when it might be that they just may need to duke it out to settle the matter.

when it might be that they just may need to duke it out to settle the matter

A childish POV without any understanding of the horrors of war.

1 million dead civilains (very few of them Jewish) would be a reasonable estimate of such US financed genocide that you propose.

And such an episode would poison with even deeper hatred for generations yet to come. And justify (in their minds at least) such acts as, say, the poisoning of the water supply of Tel Aviv.

And yes, the 10 Commandments do have some moral absolutes for us humans. It is a matter of faith if it was the same author who also proposed genocide at a later date.

End of debate. Your moral POV and mine have so little in common that I regret responding here.

I will occasionally contradict you in the future, but I will not debate you again.


And such an episode would poison with even deeper hatred for generations yet to come.

That is pure guess. You have no idea what the future would hold if they were allowed to go at it fully. We do however have over 30 years of experience seeing the current "plan" in action of allowing these two peoples to slowly bleed each other to death.

And justify (in their minds at least) such acts as, say, the poisoning of the water supply of Tel Aviv.

You mean they don't already have this view point? Frankly this is naive of you Alan, and if you want to start calling people childish, start with yourself if you actually believe this rubbish. Given the oppurtunity, there are multiple, sizable and growing groups who would love to poison the water supply, or detonate a nuke on Tel Aviv.

You truly have your head in the sand if you really think the Palestinians don't have bloodlust in their eyes. Their election of Hamas should prove that more than anything.

It is a matter of faith if it was the same author who also proposed genocide at a later date.

No more a matter of faith, that God on high passed down those stone tablets. Its no secret, I've made my faith known on these boards, and I find no conflict with the fact that the God who authored the Ten Commandments also ordered and executed the various acts I listed above. The fact that you are trying to pick and choose which passages are applicable, I think does more to show your moral relativity than mine.

I will occasionally contradict you in the future, but I will not debate you again.

Interesting statement to make, given that you have no idea what I might say at a future date. You have already decided to set your word against me, not my arguments. This shows the total lack of emotional detachment that a good debater should possess.

I however will extend you more courtesy than you apparently are willing to extend me. Despite the fact that I personally think you little better than an anti-semite, I do judge your arguments on their face and find many of your proposals worthy, such as your focus on rail. However on this particular line of argument I find your reasoning colored by racism, and a naivety that pacifism is an answer in a land in which war has ruled for thousands of years.

Some objective facts.

The Arabs still harbor resentment over the Crusaders (note use of the term by al-Queda).

Hamas proposed a plebiscite in Palestine over recognizing Israel's right to exist (expecting a favorable vote). This historic act was meant as a confidence building measure leading to negoiations according to reports. I believe that a plebescite would be the only valid means of confirming this permanently. And then the Likud gov't decided to invade and the plebiscite was called off.

Hamas has publically stated it's "Rules of War". Poisoning Tel Aviv water supplies do not fall under them.

The area controlled by Israel today (Israel + occupied territories) was NOT "ruled by war for thousands of years". It was largely peaceful from the time the last Crusader left until the British arrived.

IMO, this "the Arabs are always killing each other anyway" is a racist excuse for the disruption caused by Western intervention.

If the Ten Commandments were written by a human (as some believe, no comment) that same author could not have also authorized the genocide due to the time factor. Others could also believe that one was divinely inspired and the other used institutional religon for political/military purposes. As I said, it is a matter of faith if the authors are the same.

Two clearly stated opinions, the rest are facts.


IMO, this "the Arabs are always killing each other anyway" is a racist excuse for the disruption caused by Western intervention

I believe sir, your hypocrisy is showing.

On the one hand (If I remember your stance on Iraq properly) we need to withdraw our troops, due to one of the main reasons given by Democrats is that our boys shouldn't be involved in the middle of a civil war. Get our boys out of there so that the Iraqis can work out their own problems, right? I don't suppose the likely Genocide to occur there however really bother's your morals too much.

So why then is the removal of Western intervention in Iraq a good thing, but the removal of Western intervention in Isreal a bad thing? Isreal I would argue is in the middle of a civil war, and we should let them work it out, without interventionalism.

My suspicion is that you really don't give a care about Arab's at all. All you care about is seeing Pro-Western/Democratic powers lose, and since Isreal and the US are Western Democratic powers, you will cherry pick "what's best" for a given situation based on what you believe will cause the most harm to Western Democratic interests.

Hamas has publically stated it's "Rules of War". Poisoning Tel Aviv water supplies do not fall under them.

Btw I'm genuinely interested, could you provide a link or source for this claim, and or the rules of war as written by Hamas?

I'd like to know by how much they've broken their own rules of engagement.

If there's a genocide of Arabs going on, why is the population of the West Bank and Gaza rising so quickly?  Heck, why are there Arab Muslim citizens of Israel, but the entire West Bank is Judenrein?  Including the city of Hebron (think about that name for a moment).

Seriously, Alan.  You've been taken in by the Arab "tu quoque" propaganda.  The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was a guest of Hitler, and all the Holocaust denial from the Arab world just serves to conceal (barely) their opinion that it sure would be a good idea to do it RIGHT.

Spend some time reading the Arabs' declarations and such, from a source which doesn't edit out the un-PC parts.  I suggest starting at Jihad Watch.  If you aren't shocked, you're beyond hope.

It seems to me that the failure of the WTI benchmark price to reflect world oil prices may be partially due to Oklahoma being relatively close to the Midwest where ethanol production is rising rapidly. This morning the NYMEX price for gasoline was 2.21 and CBOT price for ethanol was 2.15 when I checked. This is a change. Usually ethanol's price is higher than gasoline's. If the trend continues, ethanol's price may more accurately reflect its lower energy content. This may make it more popular than ever.

Expat wondered in the drumbeat yesterday about the ever rising gasoline consumption in the US.
Consider the 'auto' climate control button...
The last 3 vehicles I've owned came with this option, where you set the desired temp and the car magically maintains that temperature inside the cabin. It struck me as I drove my car yesterday that the a/c was running, even though the temperature was only around 60 degrees outside. Thanks, auto climate control!
What a waste, and I suspect that this is a standard feature on most late model vehicles.

Our state attorney general has set out find the culprit behind our ever increasing fuel costs.
Should be interesting to see what he comes up with...

PS - love this site! My first post, but I've been reading for a least a year and have learned tons.

I have that too, but I can turn it off, which I do.

Sure, it can be turned off, and it's not a secret that running the air conditioner hurts your mpg.
I'm just observing that inefficiency has been designed into the default behavior of these climate control systems, in the name of 'ease of use', in a way that didn't broadly exist a decade ago.

An interesting point, and considering that A/C impacts a vehicle's fuel use in several ways (the extra weight of the compressor is not exactly trivial, for example), more vehicles using such technology means more fuel use, beyond any doubt.

On the other hand, heat in a car is free, so to speak.

Any system which is essentially on all the time means higher fuel consumption, no question.

However, I have a caveat.

I had a 2001 hyundai tiburon, bought brand new 5 speed four banger. I got 31 mpg on a decent tank in the winter. I sweat I got an average of 32 during the summer months. I've never figured it out, but I talk to people and my step dad said his focus was similar. Here's my point though. I ran the AC during the summer and I experimented with not using it and rolling down windows.

At 60...70 and 80 mph....working against the wind with windows down resulted in such a worse mileage than simply running my AC. I got over the guilt with AC and hypocritically I can say without a doubt AC is my favorite invention that I will die trying to maintain. i've lived through humidity in the 90's and 100's. It sucks and short of moving, my AC is crucial to my comfort. I'm spoiled, I know. At least I can own up to it.

Where do you live?

I get worse mileage in the winter, too, because of the gas wasted heating the car and warming it up in winter.

The fact that turning on the AC is more efficient than driving with the windows down is well-established.

The fact that turning on the AC is more efficient than driving with the windows down is well-established.

Only at highway speeds. Not for around town.


The fact that turning on the AC is more efficient than driving with the windows down is well-established.

Well established by whom? Careful experimentation in my Honda Insight does not bear this out. AC on = lower mileage than AC off with open windows. Possibly has to do with highly aerodynamic design.

I think Mythbusters at Discovery channel busted that myth some years ago...
I.e AC off, window down -> More MPG.

Only if you're driving slower than 40mph. Which probably doesn't apply to the average American commuter. Heck, my commute, when I drive, is "in town," but the speed limit is 45, and most people go a lot faster.

I'm down to 7000 miles a year and spend one to two hours in the car daily. 20mph seems fast, commuting at 40 or 45 an improbable dream. Timewise the bicycle is often faster, just hard to carry everything.

I am under 3,000 miles a year. Basically, I drive to work if the weather's too bad to walk. I drive to the grocery store, and maybe a road trip vacation or two.

But when I do drive, I "keep pace with traffic."

Update on the Ethiopia story:

In a statement sent to the AP, the rebel group said it had launched "military operations against units of the Ethiopian armed forces guarding an oil exploration site," in the east of the country. It also warned international oil companies not to operate in the region. Without offering details, the statement said rebels "wiped out" three Ethiopian military units and destroyed the facility.

High growth rates, the emergence of large middle classes in countries like China and India, the continuing integration of the global economy--all this is powered by energy.
In a world of good economic growth, even with greater conservation, world energy demand grows by 75%. This reflects, more than anything else, the tremendous increase in automobile ownership and electricity consumption that will come with rising incomes.

Oh, Danny Boy!

Once again we get the big circular argument: The growth economy requires lots of energy, and we assume it's just going to be there. Because of rising incomes. Due to increasing energy use. Rinse and repeat.

Once again we get the big circular argument:

Speaking as a sometimes vocal member of the tiny TOD Centrist Party, it really gets on my nerves when CERA does that.

Meanwhile, for the whole OECD (who use most of the world's energy) consumption fell last year.

And world consumption grew by only .9% which is, in fact, less than the low end projections used by a peak oiler such as Fred Robelius in his Phd Thesis on giant oil fields.

It's time to get real on these demand projections. $80 oil for an entire year could stop consumption growth cold. There would still be plenty of hummers putt-putting around, but other more price sensitive consumers (especially oil intensive businesses) find efficiency gains and/or conserve.

Yes - I think all of the possible dislocation that the peak can provide can be reduced to a simple math equation. The smaller the time frame the prices move up and stay up the greater the social/economic dislocation. If slower then adjustments can be made, if faster then far more pain.

The thing I fear the most is a very quick sudden drop at any point.

Asebius: re - demand. You are spot on. I see too many instances of folk willing to accept these massively inflating demand figures stretching out for the next 10 years.There seems to be a trend to dismiss any 'optimistic' supply claims, but to believe any 'pessemistic' demand claims

Yet as you correctly point out OECD demand actually fell last year, and that off the back of good economic growth in almost all constituent countries. How does that square with the too often repeated mantra; growth = excessive oil demand?

I have banged on about it before - as a group we spend far too much time micro-analysing the supply side of things, not enough time looking at demand

Come on. You've almost got it, Asebius... Demand will never outpace supply. Production was up no more than 0.9% last year (and probably less since stocks were used to cover demand shortfalls). Prices have shot up from $50 per barrel to near $70 per barrel (and over in some places). (You can ignore WTI for the moment since even the people at Cushing, OK, now admit this is an aberration.)

Can you see it yet? You've almost got it...

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

Demand will never outpace supply

Then why do we have a Strategic Petroleum Reserve ?

So that politicans can make supplies = demand when Demand Destruction gets serious ?

Best Hopes,


27% of the food produced for humans in the US is thrown out as waste. -link

Some even trumpet 50% -link

So, it is between 10 and 45% depending on where ... what to count, how, how reliable are the measures? Maybe, about 25% of food is tossed - just to settle on an off-the-cuff average.

About 15 to 20 % of fossil fuels used in the US go to food production. (Rough, and import/export not taken into account.)

Landfill gas emissions are a huge source of methane because of food waste.

Agriculture itself is responsible for about 9% of garbage (= Total Municipal Solid Waste) “For every ton of post-consumer waste, there is 20 tons of pre-consumer waste..”-link

According to others, dry matter wastes from farms account for a third of total garbage, eg. manure. -link

In the US, food waste and hunger co-exist.

Obesity, diabetes, are big killers.

A search on The FOA (food and agriculture O, UN), turns up endless articles about the use disposal of waste, about particular kinds of ‘waste’, nuclear waste - the important stuff, salmon waste - the specialised details, etc., but nothing general as far as I could see. Amazing. It is apparently not an issue of interest to them. Actually I’m not surprised.


-- That was about the US, but in much of the West aspects of a similar pattern are to be seen.

In the West, we participate in a culture where excessive use, and waste, are symbols of strength, power, social domination of inferiors. Driving a SUV or a big car, and at a lower level, throwing out leftovers, clothes that are fine, etc. show that one is top of the heap, better than ppl who -gasp!- can’t drive at all, mend clothes, recycle left-over food, or just eat it because it is all they have. It is presented as a ‘way of life’ - the best way to live - the swarthies or darkies can just starve, as they ‘don’t get it,’ are dumb, violent, backward, disorganised, not politically organised, etc.

Not accusing anyone in particular...

And our unwillingness to examine waste (not just unnecessary USE), the outputs - to concetrate on the inputs to the system (more, more, more, different if needs be, but more..or better...) is kinda pathetic.

Re-examine "waste". Our economy takes ordered resources of low entropy and turns them in to disordered "waste". The more the better. 50% of the food being thrown out isn't a problem any more than Raytheon getting paid for two smart bombs to take out a school because the first bomb missed. That's a good thing made better when Halliburton gets to bill for rebuilding the school that it did not rebuild. If less food were thrown out, our economy would be smaller and less profitable.

cfm in Gray, ME

A couple of OT notes re the site:

The graph of oil prices in the right column needs to be updated to the June contract, the May is not trading any more and the graph is out of date. That would be CLM07.

Also, was the op-ed yesterday responding to the NY Times article intended to have comments turned off? That's rather unusual for this site.

Peak Mushroom

Well, sort of. Somewhat OT, but I thought it of interest because of where this 20-ft. tall fossilized fungus was found: Saudi Arabia.


Hello JoulesBurn,

Yeast, like fungi, is classified as neither plant or animal. Perhaps humans fit into this category too.
"It's hard to imagine these things surviving in the modern world," Boyce said.
It will take all of our imagination to survive in a non-fossil fuel world.

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

They better get to work on converting such fossils into oil! ;o)

Facinating stuff, tho...



A new Round-Up has been posted at TOD:Canada.

NYC puts brakes on pedicab industry

The City Council put the brakes on legions of unregulated bicycle taxis, adopting licensing and safety standards that the drivers called unfair and the mayor vetoed last month.

...The regulations would limit the number of pedicabs allowed on city streets to 325, which many drivers said would cause them to lose their jobs. The city estimates 300 to 400 pedicabs are operating.

Pickens and Cornucopian Steve Forbes on CNBC in minutes. S/B interesting as Forbes is totally in the camp that higher prices mean more oil!

IIRC, the SEC requires Oil Company reserves to be stated at a given crude price, eg $60 per barrel. So presumably, reserves would increase dramatically with oil at say $100 per barrel. Does anyone have any graphs on this?

Did Mr. Pickens actually suggest that NG was a viable alternative to using oil for transportation(because it is domestic)?

My respect for him just dropped a notch.

NG is past peak already in the US, Mr. Pickens.

Whew that'd finish off NG in a hurry! The interview, a mix on balance, I thought. Both dissed ethanol, endorsed the G-man from New York, and ,yeah, that domestic gas thing.

Interestingly Maria seemed to place the onus to disprove PEAK on the Conucopians like Tillerson thus giving Boone an opening. "If Rex was here right now ,I'd say ,Rex, turn it on give us a little more oil". At least he put conservation up top too.

Forbes I thought was a bit hedged on boundless frontiers of 'potential'. Do you think both sides are beginning to hang on Boone's '4th quarter' challenge? "The world just can't go past the 85 million barrels per day."

Wood Mackenzie forecasts Saudi Arabia to have capacity of 16 Mb/d in 2025 and prices could go down to $45/barrel early next decade



These capacity and price forecasts, made by the Iron Triangle of ExxonMobil, Saudi Arabia and Wood Mackenzie/CERA(IHS)/Cato Institute/Global Pacific & Partners, are reflecting too much self-interest. Next, CERA will be forecasting Saudi's capacity at 20-25 Mb/d in 2025!

The risks that these forecasts are causing for the creation of government energy policies are becoming exceedingly high. The thesis by Robelius http://energybulletin.net/28320.html has disclosed transparent field by field forecast data. The assumptions and forecast data sets used by CERA/Wood Mackenzie and others should be publicly disclosed as supported by Dr Hirsch in regard to the thesis

In the final remarks Dr Hirsch concluded that the peak oil debate has now reached a new level. The fact that the forecast openly can be studied in detail and that limits are given it’s now up to CERA and others to explain in detail why they end up with other forecasts. If not, the forecast from Uppsala Hydrocarbon Depletion Study Group is the one that the world should use for future planning.
(April 2007)

Unless they are stopped, the Iron Triangle collective will keep paying for these opaque propagandistic forecasts to convince countries to grant favourable fiscal terms to the international oil companies (good for BP, Shell, ExxonMobil etc) and to slow down investment into oil alternatives to keep oil prices high (good for OPEC and other oil producing companies).

(click to enlarge)

Wood Mackenzie forecasts Saudi Arabia capacity of 16 Mb/d in 2025. My 2025 forecast in the chart above is dramatically less at 2 to 3 Mb/d. I obviously don't understand Wood Mackenzie's own definition of the word "capacity".

For more discussion on Saudi's total reserves see

If thats true then I forecast that Saudi Arabia will be
a)Using smaller barrels (15 gallons per barrel)
b) Supplying oil with the water cut still inside since water is getting more precious
c) claim that the bulk of that (read 14 million barrels) is being used domestically to power their camel fleet

How about some good news? Perhaps out of character for this kind of thread, but I think it is "good".

Through http://pajamasmedia.com/ (a website unlikely to be popular with most TOD readers) I followed a link to Civilization Watch (again, a website unlikely to be popular with many TOD readers), and found this:

It is about the need to build cities that don't depend upon the automobile. Indeed, it seems that the writer is very much inspired by Kunstler.

What I think is important here is that there is a broadening of the recognition, and even acceptance of the fact, that things (especially the American lifestyle) must change. Please note that the above article was printed first in a local newspaper (and I am sure many of you could find other examples.)

When you check out the Alexa ratings of theoildrum, pajamasmedia, and kunstler.com you find:
and you see why it is important that ever more popular websites (in this case pajamasmedia, which has about twice the reach of theoildrum, and during election periods even much more) pick up this theme.

So often here I seen laments about our leaders (usually national) and their failure wrt Peak Oil, etc. However, and this is very important IMO, in a representative democracy there can be no real change until the electorate is willing (and hopefully, an informed electorate.) Otherwise you are asking for a statist, dictatorial approach to governance.

Kudos to all of you who do intelligent, thoughtful outreach on Peak Oil and mitigation strategies and tactics.


According to a nationwide online survey released today, 72 percent of the American public does not know that conventional plastic is made from petroleum products, primarily oil.

The polymers I am most familiar with are not produced from oil but from natural gas. Polyethylene is made form NG and so if PETG, which we use a lot of in the medical device company I work for. When NG spiked in price after Katrina our key supplier took a real hit on their costs. But I'm a mechanical engineer with only basic polymer science experience. Can any other engineers confirm this point, I was corrected a few times by other engineers that it is not oil but NG that is the source or most of our plastics. It makes sense to me that the simple carbon monomers are more easily available from NG. Does anyone have data or more knowledge on this???

Most plastics are made from NG now. However, some refinery products, such as the alkenes and the aromatics, are still used as feedstocks for certain polymers.

One for tomorrow:  Lanza Tech bacteria produce ethanol from carbon monoxide.

The efficiency looks lousy, but a cheap bacterial system for turning carbonization gas into liquid fuel could enable all kinds of schemes for turning excess biomass into sequestered carbon plus profits.

It's probably worth noting that if you don't bury that ethanol, you aren't sequestering the carbon. There might be a CO2 byproduct you can sequester, but the CO2 from the ethanol is identical to the CO2 you would get from burning the CO.

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

I wasn't thinking of burying the ethanol, I was thinking of turning biomass into gas+charcoal, burying the charcoal and paying for the whole thing with ethanol made from the gas.

Now for something entirely different.

I'm trying to change lifestyle. I need to get from this:

... to this:

That's all.

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

James Hansen (lead article) has factored in Peak Oil but not Peak Coal by mid-century. He prescribes clean coal which I believe will never get past the demo stage, but ironically would deplete the resource faster due to the energy losses. I wonder if it is possible to estimate when oil, gas and coal will each deplete to an EROEI of say 2 or less so they are just as useless long term as ethanol. Maybe some horror scenarios like 600 ppm atmospheric CO2 are not physically likely. If so we could end up down for the count but not KO'ed.

I had a look at Hansen's paper (didn't study it properly though), and I got the impression that, if we are at peak now, with peak coal and gas following soon, atmospheric carbondioxide will never go above 450 ppm. Did I miss something, or is he actually rather optimistic about that (provided TOD'ers are right and CERA is not)?

The pre-industrial CO2 level was ~285 ppm.  We're now at 380 ppm, with about half the fuels used.

A simplistic addition says that burning the rest would take us to 475 ppm, but that doesn't account for the decreasing ability of the oceans to absorb CO2 as they get warmer (pp. 3-4).  Forests also become net sources as they are stressed by heat and drought (p. 3).  We definitely need to Do Something.

Even our first-generation converted IGCC plants are more efficient (~40%) than the typical coal-fired plant (~32%).  Oxygen-blown IGCC burns coal, steam and oxygen to make a syngas consisting of CO, CO2, H2, H2S and other constituents.  A large fraction of the carbon leaves the gasifier as CO2 and is captured along with the H2S in the sulfur scrubber.  This CO2 could be sequestered at very low energy cost and negative monetary cost (it costs money to separate the H2S and CO2 for other disposal methods).

Efficiency (less fuel required) plus partial sequestration appears to eliminate roughly half of CO2 emissions.  Getting rid of the rest requires more expensive measures (e.g. steam-reforming of CO to CO2 + H2) which also lose energy.

There are probably ways around this.  Solid-oxide fuel cells are coming along very rapidly.  If the gas turbine and heat-recovery steam generator were replaced by pressurized solid-oxide fuel cells with integrated boilers, the entire power block could yield nothing but nearly pure high-pressure CO2 and water, plus heat.  All the liquids can go down wells, and efficiency should easily top 50%.

This isn't ready for production, but all the pieces are out there.  We need to get moving.

In the excerpt given Hansen says carbon constraints are 'probably needed'. We could be saved by the bell, bell curve that is. I guess some persistent feedback effects like methane burps can last well after Peak Burn-Everything. See
I understand the next IPCC report on mitigation strategies is due out soon so I hope they get this kind of thing right; if for example they proclaim Peak Oil will be in 2020 I doubt that would wash with most posters here.

Hansen calls for a moratorium on any new plants and that existing plants be junked. No more coal plants unless there is sequestration of some kind. This beyond "probably needed".

The International Energy Agency last week highylighted coal-fired power stations as a big cause of its latest prediction - that China will become the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter by the end of this year?
True, for reasons for energy security already well-analysed on this site, China needs to make greater use of its coal reserves. But what if it doesn't have the technologies available to do this cleanly, and what if it comes under international pressure to make less use of coal.
See my blog on the chemicals industry - http://www.icis.com/blogs/asian-chemical-connections/

The International Energy Agency is now predicting that China will be the world's biggest greenhouse gas polluter by this year - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/2/story.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10436164
Coal-fired power stations are big cause of rising greenhouse gas emissions in China, says the IEA.
Will this result in a harder approvals process for not only coal-fired power stations, but also coa to fuels and chemicals production. As already discussed on this site, coal to fuels is an important part of China's drive to reduce its oil dependency. This has major global implications as the West is already struggling with crude oil-driven inflation.
And what about the international response to China's growing greenhouse gas threat? Will it become harder to invest in China?
Visit my blog at http://www.icis.com/blogs/asian-chemical-connections/