DrumBeat: April 30, 2007

A New Perspective on Climate Change

Recently I joined 10 of my colleagues on a military advisory board to the CNA Corporation in releasing a report that determined climate change presents a national security threat to the United States. One of the key findings in our report was that “climate change, national security and energy dependence are a related set of global challenges.”

I’ve been aware of the relationship between national security and energy for some time as a result of my military experience. The new element for me was the added stress brought about when climate change is added to this mix.

Interior to propose expanding offshore drilling

The Interior Department has put the final touches on a five-year plan to expand oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore from Alaska and Virginia.

U.K.: Gas shortage warning as Government fails to act on storage

The failure leaves Britain’s energy policy looking threadbare and comes only months after Greenpeace successfully challenged the Government over failing to consult on plans for new nuclear power stations.

Gas storage is increasingly crucial to Britain’s energy needs because the country is moving to become dependent on fuel imports as the North Sea becomes exhausted. But the legacy of being able to rely on the North Sea means that the country has very little storage capacity.

Someone at PeakOil.com dug up these clips of gas shortages in Africa:

Ziguinchor - Gas Shortage

Gas shortage in Ilorin Kwara Nigeria

Venture Capital Rushes Into Alternative Energy

Money is flowing into alternative energy companies so fast that “the warning signs of a bubble are appearing,” according to a report on investment in clean technology by a New York research firm, Lux Research.

Analysis: Fight rages over Iraq oil law

Discussions turned contentious among the more than 60 Iraqi oil officials reviewing Iraq's draft hydrocarbons bill last week in the United Arab Emirates.

But the dispute highlighted the need for further negotiations on the proposed law that was stalled in talks for nearly eight months, then pushed through Iraq's Cabinet without most key provisions.

9 freed after Ethiopian oil attack

Seven Chinese oil workers and two Africans kidnapped during a rebel attack on a Chinese oil field near the Somali border were released Sunday.

Employees Threaten to Halt Petrobras Operations in Brazil

Workers at Brazil's state-owned oil and gas company, Petrobras, announced Thursday that they will go on strike halting operations in all of the giant's production units.

Ecuadorian troops win more power to end protests

Ecuador will increase the powers of security forces to break up demonstrations which can shut down output from oil facilities in the Amazon rainforest, leftist President Rafael Correa said on Friday.

Australia - Coal subsidies far outweigh funding for renewables: Greenpeace

Greenpeace has accused the Federal Government of spending billions of dollars on the coal industry and failing to subsidise cleaner energy sources.

ConocoPhillips Draws Attention in Defying Venezuela Over Oil Fields

ConocoPhillips (COP) raised eyebrows in Venezuela this week by skipping an event where it could have signed over the rights to run its local oil operations to state-owned oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PdVSA.

Industry watchers said the slight could mean Conoco is preparing for a legal battle if new contract terms offered in Venezuela's ongoing oil nationalization don't meet the firm's expectations.

U.S.-Chinese Cooperation in the Middle East Should Be Deepened

China isn't comfortable. The country's spectacular growth over the last two decades has made it ever more thirsty for energy, but policymakers are not sure they can secure their energy supply into the future. Rather than gain confidence as the United States has stumbled in the Middle East, many Chinese take U.S. problems in the region as a sign of Chinese vulnerability as well. Some in the United States feared China would soon stand out as a rival to U.S. influence, but in recent months, the Chinese government has shown an interest in being helpful. That cooperation needs to be deepened.

Russia to Get Dividend in Sakhalin-2 Deal

In addition to ceding a controlling stake in their flagship Sakhalin-2 project to the Russian state gas company last week, Royal Dutch Shell PLC and its partners also agreed to pay a substantial annual dividend to the Russian government as part of a deal to salvage the $20 billion venture, according to people familiar with the situation.

Nigerian Oil Production Remains a Wild Card

Nigerian oil production appears to have weathered post election tensions so far, but the tinder box nature of politics in the country suggests that a deterioration, if it comes, will be sudden.

Hydrogen fuel-cell cars in dealer showrooms by 2015, say industry experts

"I think people were a little bit naive then about how long it takes to get a technology into a car and then into the hands of a consumer," says Noordin Nanji, vice-president and chief customer officer at Ballard Power Systems, the Vancouver-based fuel-cell pioneer.

"You can't just put a new technology into a car and start selling it. It takes time."

Indian project shows solar power affordable-U.N.

A solar power project in India supplying electricity to 100,000 people will be widened to other developing nations after showing that clean energy can be cheaper than fossil fuels, a U.N. report said on Sunday.

The heat is on for greenhouse gas methane

Government policies and a U.N.-backed system of emission credits is proving a money-spinner for investors, farmers and big polluters such as power stations wanting to offset their own emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2).

The reason is simple: methane is 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere and it is relatively simple to capture the gas from animal waste, landfills, coal mines or leaky natural gas pipes.

Canadian District Energy Association's 12th Annual Conference & Exhibition

Through the use of renewable fuels and highly efficient generating technologies, district energy is today's clean energy solution for communities across Canada. District Energy plays an important role in extending the benefits of renewable energy, constructing green buildings, urban planning, brownfield reclamation, supporting social housing, and encouraging economic development. For these reasons, more and more communities across Canada, and internationally are choosing district energy to meet their economic, conservation, and energy supply goals.

U.S. and China criticize climate report

The United States and China want to water down a proposed plan for fighting climate change, arguing that action to reduce greenhouse gases will be more costly and time-consuming than scientists claim.

US recognizes warming threat but drags feet on remedies

As the world's largest emitter of carbon-dioxide, the United States has shrugged off blame for global warming and continues to question recommended methods for slowing down the trend.

Qatar Oil Minister: High Price Due To Geopolitics, Not Shortage

Crude oil prices, which have rebounded to September highs, are mostly supported by geopolitics, not tight crude oil inventories, Qatari Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah said Sunday.

"We have no indication of any shortage of supply," Attiyah said in a telephone interview. He added, therefore, there isn't any reason for OPEC to meet soon to review its oil output policy.

Road collapse creates driver nightmare

Transportation officials said they already had added trains to the Bay Area Rapid Transit rail system that takes commuters across San Francisco Bay, and were urging people to telecommute if possible.

In preparation for rush hour, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger authorized funding so that ferries, buses and the rail system could carry commuters free of charge during Monday's commute.

State officials said motorists who try to take alternate routes Monday instead of relying on public transportation would face nightmarish commutes.

Apocalypse later ... maybe: Once-strident commodities letter more subdued about oil

There was a time when I could rely on Outstanding Investments for a resounding apocalyptical quote. How about this, from two years ago: "... For every SIX barrels of oil currently consumed, only one new barrel is discovered. And that number is getting worse there were only 13 major oil finds (over 500 million barrels in reserves) in 2000, six in 2001 and two in 2002. There hasn't been any major oil discovery since then! And when the reality of higher prices hits with full force and I think it's coming very, very soon no one is going to find it more difficult to swallow than the spoiled, overconsuming United States. The crisis is truly devastating in scope and could end life as we know it in the United States."

Slick way to address oil thirst

Oil is the oxygen of our economy. What would happen if oil supplies dried up?

That's the story behind a new computer game launching today, "World Without Oil" at www.worldwithoutoil.org. This game, which can be played for free over the Internet, isn't purely make believe. It's meant to draw attention to the real possibility of an oil shock and what our country and the world have to do to prepare for it. The ideas that people come up with for surviving in a post-oil world in the game could actually pay off in real life if they lead to less consumption and more alternative sources of energy.

Korea: Surging Oil Prices Send Gasoline Up Yet Again

Soaring international oil prices have pushed up local gasoline and diesel prices, as well as city gas and electricity fees. The price of Dubai crude oil jumped to US$63.9 (US$1=W929) per barrel in April from $61.5 last year due to political instability in the Middle East and a shortage of oil reserves in the U.S., the world’s largest oil consumer.

Carolyn Baker: Super-Imperialism: The Shameful Legacy Of Liberal Democrats

When super-imperialism is fully understood, the “mystery” of illegal immigration will immediately be resolved. It is as if the international corporatocracy of world dominance functions like a giant broom sweeping the dispossessed into the United States where they are greeted by the domestic corporatocracy and further exploited as wage-slave laborers with all the accoutrements of “the good life, huaraches exchanged for vinyl sandals made in China and corn tortillas supplanted by “happy meals.” One can only wonder what this government’s policy will be when the dire consequences of Peak Oil and climate-chaos drought hit the fan. What then will be America’s border policy? Today, gorging itself on cheap labor, the corporatocracy sucks up taxpayer money to build meaningless border fences that it knows will not deter the illegal workers it needs, but when Walmarts have weeds growing in their parking lots and thousands of meat packing plants have shut down because only the very wealthy can afford to remain carnivorous, we will see how many new immigrants will be allowed to inhabit the U.S. and consume the last drops of its water and oil.

Pakistan: Drastic energy-saving measures on the cards

The government is set to introduce this week drastic measures for energy conservation, including closure of commercial activities after sunset and possibly two weekly public holidays, to overcome the energy crisis in the country.

Uganda: Uma Singles Out Transport, Energy As Priority for Govt Action

Ugandan manufacturers have singled out the dire transport conditions and the energy crisis as the most daunting to their businesses. They have expressed frustration at the pace of work by the government to rectify the problems. In its proposals to the government for consideration in the 2007/08 budget, the Uganda Manufacturers Association (Uma) has outlined several measures to allow them remain competitive in the country and in the region.

Power Rationing to Continue Today

Costa Rica's energy crisis continued to be felt Friday and Saturday as residents in some parts of country dealt with power outages, and more rolling blackouts are planned for today, according to the Costa Rican Electricity Institute's (ICE) Web site.

Nigerians lose N128bn yearly as power crisis worsens

Over $1-billion (N128-billion) is lost annually by Nigerians and businesses from the crippling power supply crisis, according to data from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

The loss stems from the extra costs incurred in providing alternative sources of power both by corporate organisations and small businesses as well as idle times during blackouts.

Germany to Become World's Most Energy-Efficient Country

The German Environment Ministry this week unveiled a set of highly ambitious proposals that would lead Germany to become the world's most energy-efficient country in the coming years.

Trend could spell trouble for malls

The American mall, with its department store anchors, culinarily challenged food courts, concrete shells and native denizen, "the mall rat," is becoming an endangered species.

One anchor mall is being built in 2007 and none are planned for 2008.

What is being built in massive quantities are "off-the-mall" retail and urban-friendly, largely upscale, open-air lifestyle and mixed-use retail centers.

Developer sees green in Belvedere community

Construction is set to begin on a massive new environmentally friendly development on a 207-acre historic property just north of Charlottesville.

The Belvedere project off East Rio Road in Albemarle County eventually will feature more than 700 energy-efficient homes in a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood.

'Perfect Storm' Brewing for San Diego's Water Supply

San Diego's two largest water sources -- the Colorado River and the Sierra Nevada range -- are at their lowest levels in decades, raising concerns that the arid region may face water shortages as soon as next year.

"At least we knew who the enemy was then," he said. "It's not so simple now."

Reformists prepare to take on Ahmadinejad and his militias

...The legislature, the Majlis, voted last week to trim Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's term and hold the next presidential and parliamentary polls simultaneously next year...

But if elected, the coalition would again seek improved, mutually respectful, "normalised" relations with the west, including a negotiated settlement of the nuclear dispute and greater cooperation over issues such as Lebanon and Iraq.

Inside the struggle for Iran

A grand coalition of anti-government forces is planning a second Iranian revolution via the ballot box to deny President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad another term in office and break the grip of what they call the "militia state" on public life and personal freedom.

Venture Capital Rushes Into Alternative Energy

Matthew M. Nordan, president of Lux, said that the amount of venture capital put into clean energy investments last year was $1.5 billion, up 141 percent from the $623 million of 2005, and that in the same period, initial public offerings by companies in this sector rose to $4.1 billion, from $1.6 billion in 2005.

The WSJ's lead article today is

As Funds Leverage Up,
Fears of Reckoning Rise

Fed and SEC Question
Wall Street on Policies;
'A Mockery' of Margin

A couple of paragraphs:

This leveraging binge has regulators and others worried. In the first place, no one knows how much leverage there is. Much of it is hidden, because investors aren't just juicing returns with borrowed money, but with derivatives, which are harder for regulators to track.

No one is sure what will happen to this complex brew in the event of a serious market downturn. When markets turn bad, leverage can create a snowball effect. Lenders and derivatives dealers demand that investors provide them with more collateral -- the stocks, cash or other assets they pledge to cover potential losses. Sometimes, investors dump stocks and bonds to raise cash. Prices drop more, losses accelerate, and more selling ensues. Some Wall Street analysts have taken to referring to a nightmare version of this scenario as "The Great Unwind."

I'd be interested in when others think the Great Unwind will take place. I worry that it will be quite soon.

Very good question Gail. No man knoweth the day or the hour?

It's Delightful, It's Delovely, It's Deleverage!

Asset Inflation Nation...

...Again, hopefully without sounding overly simplistic, we believe watching equity markets such as Russia, India, Brazil, and even a Mexico (as an example) will be very important in the weeks and months ahead.

If these very popular markets do not recover to their most recent highs and push ever northward, then it's a very good bet that the process of macro deleveraging in the levered global investment community to at least some degree or magnitude has begun and will continue for a period...

It's clear to us that market participants of today are wildly complacent about, or simply do not understand, the potential for risk in structured finance vehicles and the layering of levered investment, especially in the hedge community.

I talk about collapse of the debt market in Our Fiinite World: Is This a Problem?, posted today on TOD. It can also be found on my blog.

My vote is still for the next 8 months. Sometime between NOW and January 2008.

Two main reasons -

1) Housing market meltdown - massive number of resets OCT-DEC 07 (did I say massive!)

2) Oil prices (contingent on KSA response before June) and Hurricane season

You could also add, evaporating USD exchange rate, hidden inflation numbers, stock market bubble records(US, Canada, China, etc) and skyrocketing personal and national debts.

The next few months will be exciting in a terrifying way.

"housing market meltdown"

It hasn't "melted" very much so far. And the softness that we've already seen has not systemically affected anything. Why? I thought this (paraphrased) comment by R. Doll of BlackRock ($400B hedge fund) was interesting: "...exports are up double digits, and exports are larger than housing...". Many people have talked about housing, but few have talked about this larger segment. People have a tendency to focus on the spectacular but fail to keep perspective sometimes.

"oil prices"

This quote from Ritholtz was also interesting: "Earnings trends...energy companies up 64%...financials up 15%...excluding those two sectors, net income has actually fallen 3.59% on a year-over-year basis".

While everyone has focused on housing, energy is preparing to blind-side the market. Wall street is solely focused on "liquidity" driving the market -- they need to be looking at the black "liquidity" that gets pumped out of the ground. And yet today appears to be the day to call alternative energy a "bubble"!

I agree...the wavefront of housing market collapse is not yet publicly apparent...it will be soon enough.

And Oil will trump the deck.

Game, set, match. 2007 will be pivotal.

A orderly declining dollar could keep exports rising and jobs OK, and therefore housing from actually "collapsing". Pimco's Bill Gross calculated that the Fed would need to lower mortgage rates by only 1.2% to re-balance the housing market. So housing "bears" may continue to be frustrated.

This seems sort-of like the Westexas/RR debate -- the bears may be right, but for the wrong reason. :-)

W: How is your orderly declining US dollar going to affect US gasoline prices?

Gas prices will soar based on supply/demand, currency translation will probably have little effect (personally, I think the dollar is going to rise anyway relative to assets).

I'm just saying that the conventional wisdom over the past couple of years was that the housing bub was going to kill the economy. This started with "The Economist" a while back. After being wrong for a long time about that, now (most?) bears, I believe, have shifted to the "liquidity driving the market higher" argument -- which I feel is a "capitulation" at what is now probably a market top.

Anyway, the "earnings trends" quote above clearly flies in the face of the liquidity argument. Is "private equity" going to buy every non-energy non-financial public asset in order to "re-structure" the bottom line with debt? I hardly think so.

W: Can't agree with you on the US dollar, but you might be right re the housing bubble.Few have commented on the effect of dramatically increased immigration to the USA in the next 10-15 years. This will provide a prop to housing, while somewhat countering the boomer retirement bulge. The added benefit for the investor-controlled political system is dramatically lower real wages.

OK now we're loggin'

Gas prices will soar based on supply/demand,

It's a shooting gallery. The US economy is lined up in the crosshairs with several shooters waiting their turn. If US consumers change their habits markedly the companies dependent on that income sector suffer . Hence their employees/economy/housing market and so on. Look at the story on Ford and GM this month. I believe the April sales numbers were termed 'awful'. They need to adapt yesterday.

High gasoline price is the bullet today. Score one hit to the automakers. The refinery bottleneck is taking the pressure off WTI (and the world market) for now. When the refiners improve ultilization then
The tale of Two Crudes
comes back into play. Crude price becomes the bullet. World crude market comes home to America again. Inflation of everything crude is made into. Since the US imports and uses the product high on the per capita list it's currency will have to take a hit. Rinse, repeat and wait for demand destruction. Great.

How hard will America fight to keep things just like they are today? Will the paradigm ever shift in time? Asked another way, how important are those snicker doodles, mutiple daily trips to the mini-mart, and that high speed en masse migration to and from the entertainment event. How much will we be willing to pay of our blood and treasure before we change? B/C however much that is, that is exactly what Peak Oil will extract from us.

I predict (1) the biggest ugliest recession in several generations due to various factors mentioned, (2) followed by a ramp up in solar projects and battery powered vehicles that will essentially fix our energy situation forever. There is some additional risk on the downside, if politicians behave badly, or if the public panics in some unpredictable way.

The battery technology for the cars will be ready (A123 and Altairnano) in a couple of years. Folks are overly-pessimistic about replacing our "oil-consuming capital stock" (i.e. Hirsch Report).

Altairnano is a fraud and VERY bad joke. Expect zero from them. Not enough time to go into the details.

A123 is for real, but it is a MAJOR step from handtools to EVs !

I prefer EVs that can operate indefinitely WITHOUT ANY BATTERIES AT ALL, and are much more mechanically efficient that GMs Volt for example.


Best Hopes,


What makes you say fraud?

Several things. They have changed their name multiple times (gold mining a few times), and they still list their industry as "Drug - Other" in Yahoo financial listing.

Endless money pit for decades.

No real products shipped (some joint PR with other fraud companies), no serious partnerships with real companies (A123 has these).



Couple of points:

* According to investor relations only 1 person from the "old days" is still connected with the company. The company has completely changed from the old mining technology days. I've read every 10-K going back to 1997 to understand Altair's story, and it actually makes sense. The key event was when Altair bought the original nano technology patents from BHP Billiton, and subsequently hired away 18 employees (including PhDs) from BHP's research facility in Reno in 2000.

* Altairnano has partnerships with Alcoa's AFL division, Sherwin Wllliams, AES Corp ($14B utility company, which has a small equity interest in Altairnano, and one of their VPs in on Altairnano's board of directors).

* Altair's CEO, Dr. Gotcher, worked for Avery Dennison and led Avery's teams that created and commercialized the Duracell On-Cell tester battery label.

* Although Altair has only shipped 10 battery packs to Phoenix for their electric truck. Altair plans to ship 200 of them in 2007.

* Yahoo's profile information is extremely misleading. One of Altair's applicatons for their nano Titanium dioxide is medical.

(I do own shares)

Their PR releases are quite misleading (all I have investigated), I REALLY question their technology and what I have seen of partnerships (Sherwin Williams was interested in super small white paint particles, not batteries) pales in comparision to A123.

I do not like the company as an investment and I discount every (misleading) PR release.

I have written the company off as being of any interest. A long history of fraud and fleecing investors under 8 different names.

I would NEVER plan for the future based on promises from them.

Best Hopes for Reality Based Planning,


So far everything that I've investigated has turned out legit. Altairnano is trying to make progress in 4 divisions, each of which involves their nano Ti technology. This makes following the PRs perhaps difficult, but not misleading. I counted 9 analysts on the last conference call (including Cowen & Co., W R Hambrecht, Thomas Weisel, Merriman, LPL Financial, etc). I don't think that they'd waste their time on a fraud.

That old stuff about different names, mining interests, and mining technology was divested and eliminated years ago.

The battery specs are for 30% lower energy density than conventional Li Ion at room temperature, but in all other respects is far superior. In my opinion, it's superior to A123.

*IF* you believe their specs.

I do not.

You apparently do,

Best Hopes that I am wrong,


This seems sort-of like the Westexas/RR debate -- the bears may be right, but for the wrong reason. :-)

I was probably too optimistic regarding remaining Saudi reserves. I argued that Saudi Arabia, in 2006, was at the same stage of depletion that Texas started declining. It now looks like Saudi Arabia, in 2006, was more depleted than Texas was when it started declining, which suggests that the Saudi decline rate will be sharper than the Texas decline rate, which of course will have a highly detrimental effect on net oil exports.

As gasoline and overall energy prices increase, the decline in the market value of outlying suburban areas will accelerate. I would think that areas dependent on discretionary spending will suffer even more, e.g., in the county where Las Vegas is located, one out of every thirty homes is now in foreclosure proceedings.

From the Texas/Lower 48 article we did on year ago: http://static.flickr.com/55/145186318_27a012448e_o.png

A friend went off to Vegas last week with her boyfriend. I joked about her coming back married, which she insisted would not happen. Well, I got an email this morning that they're moving to Vegas and have found a huge house (five bedrooms but they have no kids) to live in and they're going to get married. Even before "haha, I told you that you'd get married in Vegas" popped in my head, the thought "OMG, I can't think of a worse place to move to now, you're going to get screwed (and I'm not talking about in the Honeymoon Suite)" jumped through my head like a frog on a hot plate.

The attraction of Vegas as a place to live full time for those not directly connected with the gambling industry is just beyond me.

Though I have to wonder, when things start to get bad, will Vegas, being built on discretionary income, fold or will people flock there in even greater numbers out of desperation to win big and for some escapism.

I worked in LV last summer, and when we'd drive past the Strip from a distance, it just looked like a (once and future) ghost-town to me. Packed full of people, construction cranes everywhere. I had talked to an electrician who was working on a new billion-dollar hotel.. all I could see was one of those Hollywood Western Towns, all paper-thin Facades, inches away from blowing over with the next good gust.

Job paid great, and bought me a chunk of PV panels and support Hdw. Looks like I'm not on poker this summer.. darn, I could use a few more panels.


Escapism takes many forms though. A nature walk through the woods could be viewed as escapism too.

I agree about Vegas though. What do these two do for a living anyways?

She is a client representative for a pet supply company. It involves lots of travel so she might end up keeping the same job despite moving across the country. Vegas likely has nearly as good domestic air connections as Atlanta does.

I don't know what he does for a living but I know he is big into gambling on just about anything. She believes that he is good at it and his winnings exceed his loses. I suspect his winnings only exceed the loses she knows about but who knows, there are some people who are able to get ahead in gambling but they're an extreme minority. I suspect they only are able to do it because they're going up against people who don't know better rather than casinos. The local poker tournament or sports betting is very different that the big guys who have all the numbers hashed out by actuaries and statisticians. If he is moving there thinking of Vegas as the gambler's paradise, they're probably going to be in a heap of trouble quickly.

It is just such a strange thing to do but she also recently bought a large SUV so it's not like trying to explain why this is a bad idea would do any good.

Your debate with RR is probably the #1 TOD classic. I believe that you will be proven right (after the necessary caveats regarding non-geological restrictions on output and shifts in oil field technology producing one-time gains). Peak Oil timing, like market timing, is very hard to do.

I expect to be amazed at how "generic" suburbia will adjust to gas prices. There is simply so much wasted driving out there. I agree that "discretionary dependent" suburbia will be the canary in the coalmine. Nevada may, though, benefit from gov't mega $$$ poured into CSP solar, PV solar, holy-cow solar, and anything-else-we-can-think-of solar projects. Of course the public or politicians may panic in some unpredictable way anyway.

The typical CERA line about improved recovery techniques seems to me that we've simply engineered better gangplanks on which to perch out on the 'Overshoot' of the curve and marvel at how far down we don't think we are going to fall..

There is an interesting dynamic involved with U.S. exports - as the dollar sinks, they become more attractive. But one of the major categories where U.S. exports are concentrated is aircraft - it is very much open to debate whether aircraft demand will actually be increasing in the next few years.

The 787 is selling INCREDIABLY well ! (and the rival Airbus A350 fairly poorly, in part due to lagging technology).

A main selling point is that the 787 is promised to be 20% more fuel efficient than the 767 it replaces. And Boeing routinely exceeds promises.

And a 737 replacement based on improved 787 technology, is rumored to be waiting only for better engines.

Significantly more fuel efficient a/c will have a large replacement market for decades, even if the total market shrinks some.

After the 787 technology, the last foreseeable boost in fuel economy will be a flying wing. B-2 technology (also made by Boeing).

Best Hopes for Boeing,


And the A380 seems to be slow in getting going. I cannot help but wonder if Airbus made an incredibly bad bet on that thing...

Airbus A380

Poor strategy, poorly executed.

AB was incrediably jealous of the 747 cash cow at Boeing (high margins w/o competition in the sector). Plus AB is not really a commerical company, but a partially gov't owned and heavily subsidized industry.

So they *HAD* to have "bigger & better", with nationalistic pride and grabbing Boeing profits & prestige major factors.

Boeing argued that the market was going "point to point" rather than "hub & spoke", with shorter travel times and fewer miles flown to get from A to B driving this. The residual hub to hub market could not support enough a/c to justify an all new design. And the structural weight issues with a complete double deck a/c would cut performance.

A major design flaw of thh A380 is that they wanted an a/c that could be expanded easily, so they put on an oversized wing. The current A380-800 wing could be easily adapted to a alrger A380-900 (IMHO a apaper airplane that will never fly). Since wing width is limited to 80 m (decades ago, Boeing, McDonald Douglas and Airbus told airports to prepare for a/c that fit inside an 80 m x 80 m box), this meant a relatively stubby and inefficient wing that weighs more than it has to for the A380-800.

Airbus also assumed that major airports could not add runways (hence needing larger a/c) but could add larger terminals and taxiways, etc. LAX (world's largest origination & Destination airport) refused to spend the ~$1 billion to properly adapt to the A380 and spent much less on a "make do" arrangement that will NOT appeal to most pax.

Boeing has come with an improved 747 design that, with the 777F, has captured 100% of the large a/c freighter market (all A380F sales canceled). This market is substantial and still growing. The 747-8F is also more fuel efficient than the 747-400F (15% from memory). Four VVIP passenger versions have been sold in the Middle East and 20 pax 747-8s to Lufthansa. Boeing may end up selling more 747-8s than Airbus does A380-800s !

Airbus also updated the design software in France but not in Germany for the A380 deisgn. This created a MASSIVE snafu with wiring that has delayed some deliveries by two years (and upset customers !).

Add the euro at $1.36 (it was $0.935 when Bush took office), the proposed A350 that is "a day late and a euro short" of the 787 and I would NOT own EADS stock !

Best Hopes for Boeing,


Not that I care about either Boeing or Airbus much, but the Airbus strategy of high capacity passenger aircraft remains very defensible - the number of landing slots at most major airports is not going to increase, for example, so being able to fly more passengers within a slot is a way to increase airline revenue.

Another defensible aspect of the strategy was long range travel - the A380 was essentially seen as point to point transport between Singapore and Frankfurt, for example. Again, one flight with essentially the same costs as a smaller capacity aircraft means more airline revenue with a full aircraft.

Defensible is not quite the same as brilliant, and poor execution ruins even brilliant strategies. It was a gamble, one that Airbus is certainly not winning right now.

On the other hand, I don't think the airline industry has that much of a future anyways, as noted below.

the number of landing slots at most major airports is not going to increase

It is easier/cheaper to create slots by increasing the size of the smaller a/c than the largest. Fly three A320 or A321s instead of four A319s between two cities daily for example.

The most slot constrained airport in the world is Narite, Japan. One long runway when the A380 was launched. A rice farmer died and his heirs FINALLY sold out (Japan has no eminent domain) and a short runway was built with a green painted 250 m segment on the other side of another rice farm.

When that rice farmer dies, they hope to build a long runway, conencting the two segments.

Thus no Japanese sales of the A380.

A380 was essentially seen as point to point transport between Singapore and Frankfurt, for example

Both FRA and SIA are major hubs. Of course, hubs are destinations as well. But which is more appealing if one lives in Berlin or Munich and wants to travel to Singapore (or Manila) ? Direct flights on a 787-8 or commuting to FRA , transfering, flying to Singapore on an A380 (and perhaps transfering again for a flight to Manila) ?

Emirates is built on offering the option of taking a 777 from Berlin to Dubai, transfering, and taking a 777 or A380 from Dubai to Manila or Singapore.

There is a market for A380 size a/c, it is just not a very large market (as Boeing quite publically said long before the launch of the A380).

If world oil production drops 20%, I would expect aviation use to drop by 15% or so (home heating and auto commuting consumption would decline more than 20% IMHO). You expect aviation oil use to decline by more than the global average.

It will take at least till 2030 to replace half of the existing fleet with 787 technology a/c IMHO.

Best Hopes for Boeing exports, we will need them !


I thought that Airbus just had double demonstration flights to JFK/LAX with the A380? Lufthansa managed the JFK and AirBus did the LAX without paxs.

Boeing maybe exporting 787s, and that will be good for the Boeing management's bottom line. However look at the source of the components: Japan, Europe etc. Seattle will "snap" the stuffed sub-assemblies together in around 5 days. The value added is overseas as are the bulk of the jobs.

More OT, the 787 will be 20% more fuel efficient. The sub-assemblies are being flown hither and jon on 747s. At what point will the fuel savings offset the fuel used by the transports? I am not concerned with dollars saved thru speed, those dollar bills can't be stuck in the ground and turn into more crude oil.

It seemed too complex to actually discuss - will the need to wring every last drop of fuel out a plane be balanced by the cost of buying a new plane if the availability of fuel sinks dramatically, or the price increases to the point of truly bankrupting airlines to the point that the airlines no longer function?

Boeing will likely do very well into the near future selling efficient aircraft, but the middle to long term is much harder to predict. In other words, how large will the world's aviation industry be in 10 years, considering climate change/fuel shortfalls?

In my own personal view, the passenger/cargo aviation industry was to a major extent equivalent to the nuclear industry - both creations of the Cold War, true dual purpose technologies. How do you think hundreds of thousands of soldiers were supposed to arrive in Europe before and during WWIII? TWA and Pan Am is the simple answer, along with the other American airlines.

Our world is not as simple as its portrayal in printed words or on TV screens. On the other hand, the Cold War is pretty much over at this point, so this is just history - just like TWA and Pan Am, which seemed to fade away as the Cold War itself did.

Remember that oil exporters also buy a/c (see Emirates).

And the high value of air travel makes it likely that it will see smaller proportional declines than oil for home heating or commuting to work via car.

A 20% (23% when delivered is my guess) savings in fuel per seat-mile plus a 25% contraction in the industry (with air travel being a higher priority use), make for a decent new a/c market when world oil production is down to, say, 65 million b/day from today's ~85 million.

Certainly. the 787 was the right move for Boeing !

Best Hopes,


PS; A "go slow" a/c that cruises at, say, 350 mph, is another possible twist on technology for better fuel economy post-Peak Oil. New engines and wings would be required for such a concept.

My own guess is that the market will be better for smaller planes. A large plane is only economical if you fill all of the seats. If you can only fill half of the seats for a given route, then you lose money bigtime.

With smaller planes, an airline will have more flexibility in running more or fewer flights as the demand changes.

The 350mph type of aircraft is an interesting idea, and would be a natural fit for regional airlines where the flight time isn't that great to begin with in comparison to the time spent on takeoff/approach/taxiing/etc.

Let's just say that I think the number of passengers flying world wide in 10 years will very significantly lower than it is today - 66% or 75% or 90% lower.

Those nations with oil (or access to oil, like Singapore) are much more likely to dominate air traffic - the same way I expect nations with access to natural gas to dominate the fertilizer industry.

Fertilizer is a higher value product than LNG, by many measures.

We are still oriented to keeping our current systems running, hence the massive investment in LNG or in fuel efficient aircraft, and not rail. I don't believe it will be possible to keep such fossil fueled systems functioning at the same scale as today, at peak. This conflict is pretty much at the core of my interest in peak oil. Can we change before circumstances cause change anyways? At least in the case of America, the answer seems to remain no.

British Airways has announced that the propose to invest £2billion (about $4 billion) in renewing an expanding their long haul fleet. As De Gaulle put it when Johnston bombed Hanoi "The worst war to wage is the war on stupidity". Long haul is travel is the most price elastic transport segment. Mainly tourist traffic, it's price elasticity is about 2, I.i.e. a 10% increase in fares causes a 20% drop in traffic. Let's suppose that fuel prices double. That's 25% on fares and -50% on traffic. Sure airlines in oil exporting countriees will compete very aggressively but the likes of the large western airlines face very, very rough times. And the pension funds are already in heavy deficit.

Bring back Propellors which have a fuel efficiency much greater than jets.

from the WSJ, April 28

One puzzling aspect of yesterday's report was exports, which declined 1.2% in the first three months of the year, compared with a rise of 10.6% in the fourth quarter of last year.

The counterbalance to the housing weakness is now itself weakened.

I recommend these two blogs;

Nouriel Roubini


Michael Shedlock

They both have their bias but just like here on TOD a lot of that is worked out in some of the high quality “comments”. Complete with useful links.

One more day or 5 more months. Dollar was at 81.15 or so today.

Same answer as we gave to our kids when, while on a long drive, Are We There Yet?

No, But not much farther

I would really recommend these 4 articles from the past week or so.

Bad News: This Bubble is Worldwide
By Bill Fleckenstein


Andy Xie warns of China crash

What Record High?
by Peter Schiff

Dead Market Walking
by Michael Panzner

Read the last paragraph of this one, remembering Andy Xie's comments
by Bernard Ber
[Link removed at Mr. Ber's request--Super G, 5/9/07]

This is going to end badly for everyone.

Who knows when it will crash.
It will come like a thief in the night so to speak...


It's 4/30/07.

Oil Shocker: Gasoline over $4/gal

The crisis has begun (not really...it's just a game with a War of the Worlds twist to it.)


Although this is a game...it mirrors much of what's going on and uses real news articles.

BTW...cost of gasoline (reg. unleaded) keeps pushing up...it's currently at close to $2.40 (+0.35 this morning.)

When I say "cost", I mean wholesale cost. Retail depends on your area and state/local taxes. In KC metro, it's about $0.50 above cost...so look for $2.90 soon.

Well, the futures price for unleaded gas, (RBOB), could better be described as the price to the wholesaler, with delivery point at the contract seller's facility. No way can a retalile purchase unleaded gas from a wholesaler at NYMEX price which is right now 240.75 cents per gallon.

Ron Patterson

I guess I still don't have a clear idea how much of the content is driven by players of the game and how much of the content is driven by the designers.

They do solicit comments - I guess people need to put themselves in the mindset of 4$/gallon gas and try and imagine what they would do. Many of us here have been doing this for years...

Not that it matters that much - I have more important things that I need to be doing right now...

In an unrelated note, the Hummer dealership down the street from where I live seems to be closing. And they just built the stupid thing too. Good riddance - now what do they do with the goofy shaped building that they put up.

now what do they do with the goofy shaped building that they put up.

On one of my road trips, I saw this farm field with a Hummer Dealership. Driving past 2 years ago, I thought DOOMED. 3 weeks ago, wrecking cranes were tearing it down.

It really is an interesting concept.

It involves the 'players' with blogging/youtubing and will likely create massive amounts of content and discussion on the topic.

In fact, TOD could add a story to their engine everyday(or multiple times a day). Add a Story

It is an interesting way of pushing interest and content around.

Using this game as part of TOD will make TOD look like a fantasy site. How can you suggest such an action? Or is TOD already a fantasy site? Maybe it's a tout sheet?

Oops, there's a troll!

James Gervais
Hope was the last ill to escape Pandora's box.

I do not suggest that we subscribe to it or use it as a major outlet. But I disagree that it is fantasy, they appear to be using the concept to educate. Unless you know better, which I doubt you do.

Stuff your troll crap! I no interest other than its informative value.

Gasoline actually is over $4/gallon in some areas of California.

The stories all seem to be on LiveJournal. That's unfortunate, because LiveJournal is barely connected to rest of the Internet.

Gasoline prices are not going up here in Europe. It is buissness as usual.

It's simply the result of the falling dollar. I'd say it looks like the effect on US gasoline prices is being slowed down, or "phased in".

This is a grave added danger for US prices through the year: gas prices now rise becasue of movement in exchange rates.

Effects of any kind of supply disruption will be added on top of that.

Couldn't agree more. The double whammy of resource price increase and weakening dollar will accelerate the price increase in the US.

And I suspect that the price increases are not as noticeable, due to the high taxes.


20/04/2007 12:46
Global petrol price shock
Chris Baldwin

Motorists around the world have been paying more for their fuel over the past month as falling US stocks of the motor fuel have helped to drive up global oil prices.

On the Rotterdam market, Europe's oil hub, premium unleaded gasoline barges were traded last Friday up to $721 a ton, the highest level since early August last year.

Although prices have eased this week, worries persist over tight fuel supply ahead of the US summer driving season starting in late May after government data issued on Wednesday showed gasoline stocks there down for the 10th week running.

Drivers in the United States may wince over their seemingly high gasoline prices, but American retail fuel costs are positively cheap in light of what motorists elsewhere have to pay.

In the United States last month the average price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline was $2.87, about $0.75 per litre, according to worldwide March fuel price data published on Wednesday by the UK's Automobile Association.

Contrast that to the adjusted $7.35 it costs Norwegians for a gallon of unleaded, or the $8.37 Britons pay for their petrol, and the American costs are tame.

In the Netherlands drivers pay the equivalent of $7.52 per gallon, more than twice the American average.

Of the 26 European countries quoted in the AA data, none paid less per gallon on average than the United States.

According to Reuters data, gasoline prices were lower than in the United States only in countries where government subsidies play a significant part in cutting prices at the pump.

$8.37 per gallon = $352 per barrel

And as i said in another thread some days ago, gasoline is increadibly cheap(even with european pricis) when comparing to how much energy you can get out of it. Try to push your own car yourself a couple of miles, then you understand how cheap it is.

Gasoline prices are not going up here in Europe. It is buissness as usual.

I think I disagree. Back in winter I saw gasoline below ten crowns a liter here in Norway, a couple of weeks ago I saw 12 crowns a liter.
Of course my bicycle doesn't use much gasoline, and I doubt the owners of those vehicles that do are cutting back.

There has been much speculation about the USA losing its ability to acquire crude oil/ petroleum products after peak oil because of oil sales to China, India and others.
I take a different position because I think that there will be increasing food shortages after peak oil kicks in (or before).
Those countries in the Middle East are sitting in large deserts, which are not good for growing the food supply needed for a growing population base. China and India are both major and growing food importers due to growing populations and increased desertification of their farming areas.
If the West sells our food to India and China and gives more to the starving hoards in the third world and uses the money from the food sales to buy oil, that leaves the Saudis and Iranians with hungry populations as the West is the primary place currently with a significant surplus in food production and hungry populations are not docile compliant populations. So, to keep hungry unhappy populations from overthrowing the Middle East governments (tantamount to a death sentence for the existing leaders over there) the Saudis, Iranian and other Middle East governments will make what ever deals are necessary with the “Great Satans of the West” to keep their growing populations well fed and happy by making sure the West has the oil to be able to grow the food.
For China, India and much of the rest of the third world, needing to acquire both oil and food may prove a big negative double whammy post peak oil/post peak food.
So, if the folks in the Middle East want to eat, they will probably have to come to North America and Europe to get those food supplies. And they will make sure we get the oil to grow the food! Oil and petroleum products from the Middle East may very well be sold not for Dollars, Euros or some other national/regional currency, but barrels of petroleum for bushels of corn, wheat, etc…
This scenario could spell a very sudden end to corn/wheat-based ethanol. I would not want to have my money invested in corn ethanol plants in this case.
We in the industrialized West with our advanced agricultural capabilities may fare better than expected by some of the doomers. And if you want to think about it really hard, the oil in the Middle East will run out some day, but the ability to grow food, assuming correct care for the soil, goes on into the future without end. If there are to be last survivors of a collapse then the agricultural areas of North America and Europe may be the last survivors.
Will the Final Solution Wars be fought over agricultural growing land instead of oil or water?
The only real chink in the West’s armor is its growing population problem. If we can stop the population growth and begin a decline in population we might have it made!
Just a little something to think about.

Jon Kutz
Growth in Quality is Good;
Growth in Quantity is Bad!

Saudi Arabia is actually self sufficent in wheat due to massive subsidies and investments going back to the 1980s.

Argentina is a major wheat exporter, as are France and Canada. Australia will be as well as rains are reappearing there (rainfall is back to normal fro last few months, but river flows are not due to low water tables, etc.).

Nice, but unrealistic hope IMHO.


Saudi Arabia is actually self sufficent in wheat due to massive subsidies and investments going back to the 1980s.

Yes, Saudi Arabia produces wheat with the aid of irreplaceable fossil aquifer water and massive government subsidies. It actually costs Saudi Arabia eight times the world price of wheat to produce that wheat. The Saudi wheat program is absolutely insane!

Wheat is grown at eight times world prices and then subsidized for exports. To that extent, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Block once called the Saudi wheat program "crazy".

Ron Patterson

Australia will be as well as rains are reappearing there (rainfall is back to normal fro last few months, but river flows are not due to low water tables, etc.).

Alan, I think that this is a little premature & optimistic...

A quick google... http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/weeklyrain.shtml

"March did produce higher than normal rainfall in some parts of alpine Victoria..."

"The lack of significant rain so far in April has caused rainfall deficits to worsen."

The only places without water restrictions are in far north and parts of coastal NSW.

I doubt that things will pan out exactly as you predict, but you have put your finger on something. Agriculture is one of the few areas where the US has a natural competitive advantage, even when the increasingly arid and soon to become unirrigated southwest is removed from the picture. We are going to have to continue producing food for export, there just isn't much of anything else of value that we have to trade.

Export more food? How in the world will we be able to do that in an energy constricting world? You do know that the US currently uses 10 calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of food, right?

This sort of detached thinking makes me crazy. Your reasoning is disconnected from reality. We cannot stripmine our soil just to keep up economic growth. That spells OVERWHELMING CATASTROPHE!!!

We will not become a net food exporter. IT WILL NOT HAPPEN. Not because I'm just a negative person, but because physics does not care to let Jimminy Cricket thinking get a pass from reality.

This type of specious thinking is what got us into Iraq and which still drives the hydrogen fuel economy hallucination/fantasy.


U.S. a FOOD importer

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service figures from January 2007 show that the United States has become a net food importer. American farmers were told by NAFTA and WTO supporters that as the "breadbasket" of the world they would benefit from the measure. However, the amount of food imports over took exports in August 2006.


You know, that occurred to me when the recent news item hit about the contaminated pet food: WTF are we doing importing food from China, fer chrissakes?

Watch out for the white powder on those imported Chinese donuts — it might not be sugar.

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

Why would Saudi Arabia want to feed all the out of work young men? 7 days without water and most people are dead, a few weeks without food and most people aren't going to be fit enough to fight the Princes over anything.

But then again the whole world will be in a shambles and anything we think about the problem will not be what will happen.

Just look at what one tanker truck burning did to the Bay Area. BART might get a boost that it really needed, though keeping it fair FREE might not be the solution, Paying for the rides is still better than sitting in your car for an hour.

We have to many issues with growing our own food to just think that we will be able to trade a bushel of corn for a bushel of oil( barrel of corn or bushel of oil the conversion factors just don't sound right). Water, Oil supplies, Gas supplies for fertilizers, supply chains and packaging of the food grown.

Look for Chilean grown foods in your local super-market to dry up as well. They don't need our food or our oil really, it is us that liked having the staples in the winter months.

Regarding the Southern California water supply problem, the long term (century) forecast is not good. Those of you who have been following the IPCC reports already know the long term prognosis, but for those of you who don't, the IPCC AR4 final report is finally available online:

While I am unsure about how to personally weigh the importance of climate prediction models, the general consensus appears to be the SW US will get drier over the the century, perhaps notably so.

Climate change and P.O. movements seem, at the moment, to be running concurrently in building awareness that change is needed in our lives. However, I do believe that P.O. mitigation will require choices to be made that global warming activists will not like.

The Great Lakes is one major reason we're staying put in the coal blast air of Chicago- nixxing a Boulder, CO reloc

history shows again and again how nature points out the folly of men

The southwest US will become toastier, and thus toast, according to the latest climate projection models. No water plus no air conditioning equals no Arizonans.

Look for a mass migration over the next couple of decades as people (especially retirees, initially) abandon houses in the southwest that can no longer be sold or even given away. Most of these people are more likely to move to the southeast than to other parts of the country; if they are smarter in their locational choices this time around they will stay away from the coasts, which are sure to be battered by more hurricanes and rising sea levels. The southeast is projected to get a little more precipitation, and can likely support the population increase. Air conditioning will be expensive, eventually prohibitively so, but there are shade trees and porches and fans and loose-fitting lightweight cotton clothes and cold lemonade.

Local governments will acquire the abandonded properties because of unpaid taxes, will be unable to sell them, and will go bankrupt as their tax base goes away.

One very thin silver lining is the business opportunity this will provide for a few people. Creditors will require that the abandonded houses be sold for scrap. There will be companies that bring in teams of workers to dismantle entire subdivisions to salvage building materials. This will be a good work opportunity for some people.

The national parks in the southwest will eventually have to be expanded to take in virtually all of the land that is abandonded. Without water it won't be much good for anything else. This will be good news for some of the endangered desert species that are adapted to hyper-arid conditions.

Much of the fruit & vegetable production in the southwest (especially in S. Calif.) will have to relocate to the southeast US as water supplies dry up and transport costs increase hugely. In parts of the southeast, tobbaco used to be the most valuable crop that could be grown. Will lettuce and broccoli be the replacements?

All homes in the desert should be subterranian. It only makes logical sense. Keeps you cool in the day, keeps you warm at night. People just don't like the idea of their house being underground. Me, I love the idea.

All homes in the desert should be subterranian. It only makes logical sense. Keeps you cool in the day, keeps you warm at night. People just don't like the idea of their house being underground. Me, I love the idea.

People living in the desert should be nocturnal, too, just like most of the other desert mammals.

Kind of a hard sell, though: sleep in a dark underground hole during the day, work outside in the dark at night. Sure recipe for S.A.D.

Quit work about daybreak and enjoy the sunrise and early morning hours :-)


Let's see, I have to choose.
1. I can abandon my 450,000 dollar, three bedroom, 2 bathroom house with the walk in wine cellar, the granite tabletops, the three car garage, the central airconditioning, the all electric kitchen, and the swimming pool, buying a new house in Kentucky or someplace, making my employers build office buildings and my governments build roads, schools, etc, or;
2. I can build concentrating solar thermal power for electricity during the day (high airconditioning demand) and store coldfor night in an ice machine, and use the rest of the power for desalinating water. My electricity bills go up only 20% because while the generated power fraction costs twice as much, the transmission cost stays the same.

As an aside for the same people that think we are going to run out of water, most water in the Southwest is used for agriculture.
So the farmers run out of water and shut down and we have to go back to growing lettuce on the east coast again. I wish to point out that I grew up in New York, on an abandoned truck farm (lettuce, tomatos, etc) that produced garden products in the summer. Winter was for imports from California and Florida.
I guesss we have to roll the agricultural clock back to before the interstates made it possible to move lettuce coast to coast in 72 hours, don't we? And that is the worst case condition. With railroads, the cost of shipping is even less than with tractor trailers.
I just don't see this as an insoluble problem. A pain, but not a paradigm shift.

My first thought regarding the collapsed overpass. Remove the rubble; don't rebuild it. What is the immediate result of this accident? Steps are being taken to increase mass transit.

Keep the free transit fair permanent.

Hmmm. . . That's one possible way to promote more mass transit in a hurry! ;-)

Just letting you know there is a new Peak Oil Review up at the ASPO-USA website.

Tom Whipple puts it together. This week's issue features an article by board members Steve Andrews and Randy Udall called The Peak Oil Tango.

Have a good one,


Re: Germany To Become World's Most Energy Efficient Country

The German Passive House uses about 1/7 the energy for heating and cooling as the average new house built in Minneapolis, .5 btu/sf/hdd vs 3.45 btu/sf/hdd.

I converted the MINIMUM insulation required to get a building permit in Germany. Walls were R-49 per my calcs.

That is the minimum, not the showcase "Passive House".

Best Hopes for more insulation,


That's about 12.5" of the batt insulation you'd buy at the big box hardware store.

I am now considering building walls with 8" 16 gauge vertical steel studs (sheathed in 3/4" plywood as required), with 4" steel studs 18 gauge mounted horizontally with fairly wide spacing (2' perhaps) on the interior. Makes wiring easier as well :-)

The offset studs reduce heat transfer through the studs. It should be extremely strong as well.

Best Hopes,


have you considered concrete construction ? and incidentally, following ww2 there was a company in the business of manufacturing steel houses, lextron, i think it was called. probably not that well insulated.

Concrete is U G L Y !

New Orleans is NOT ugly !

FEMA has required all new construction to be elevated a minimum of 3 feet (even sites that I am considering with +3.2 ft above sea level).

This works against concrete as well.

Our soils have limited weight bearing capacity, and concrete would likely require expensive pilings *IF* they could even be pounded in next to existing buildings.

Cellulose is a bad idea in our highly humid climate I have heard *need to confirm).

Foot thick wall should be acceptable, a bit of waste of lot space, but otherwise OK :-)

I would like a classic form that fits the neighborhood and absorbs the "lessons learned" of the 1800s plus modern improvements. And a cross-hatch of 8" + 4" fiberglass batts should reduce heating requirements to zero and cooling to a small fraction. 10' ceilings at a minimum (I would like 12' or 13') with artfully sited windows and transoms between rooms for ventilation.

Best Hopes,


Check out;

they show elevated construction, trad. design, high r-value.

A friend built this style in New Mexico and loves it.

Traditional post-WW II slab U G L Y construction !

Stucco finish appears to the only option. OK for New Mexico, doesn't work here !

Basically just more U G L Y !

I want efficiency with beauty. I do NOT want to blight the neighborhhod. (and virtually all US post WW II residential construction is visual blight).

I go with Kunstler on this one.

Best Hopes,


Look at SIPS panels. Not very heavy and great R-Value.

I go to Central America every summer for vacation. They build lovely beach homes down there which are solid concrete. The only thing made of wood are the doors, windows and frames. Some are not too pretty, but most are absolutely beautiful.
The guys that build them are artisans; I saw one last year that had winding staircases on each end of the home (3story)with the forms made with nothing but plywood and fence posts. When completed you cannot tell they are concrete standing right next to them.
They continuously pour these houses with maybe fifty guys mixing concrete by hand in wheelbarrows. Visually, these homes are Mediterranean style with tile roofs, like something you would probably see in the southwest USA. Difference is these places routinely withstand 160 mph hurricanes.
Got an email picture of a friend's parents home being rebuilt on the beach in Biloxi, Mississippi. Looks good except for one thing, its a wood frame home! If I built anything on that lot it would be solid concrete.

concrete is UGLY, indeed. however the exterior is typically covered with stucco. the interior with traditional plaster or gypsum (with steel studs, of course). the walls are formed with styrofoam which is left in place. i dont have a solution for the load bearing problem. as far as archetecture, i believe any style is possible.
cellulose is a bad idea everywhere, (imo). they should really find a better use for recycled junk mail (like not printing it in the first place)

and good luck with your plans.

Modern stucco is not appropriate for New Orleans, it would stick out like a sore thumb ! Some Classic stucco exists, but it "looks different" (next door is stucco over brick).

Cypress (today cedar, sometimes Hardiplank) siding and occasionally structural brick (which looks different from the brick facade so popular today) are the dominant themes.

I once asked a quality contractor who does a lot of renovation why everything built after WW II looks like Sh*t. He said "craftmanship". Even 400 sq ft shotguns built for people of modest means in 1910 had touches of quality detail and were well built. Everything built today is engineered for minimum skill in construction and lowest possible cost; even million dollar homes.

Concrete covered styrofoam probably does not have the strength to withstand 185-200 mph winds (I would like to design for worst case, code is I think 145 mph).

A wall consisting of 3/4" marine plywood, 8" 16 gauge (close spacing) vertical steel studs, 4" 18 gauge horizontal studs (wide spacing) and a thin plywood base for plaster (probably not drywall) with reinforced corners and fiberglass insulation should have substantial strength with relatively light weight.

Best Hopes,


BTW, I can save $$ on heating and air conditioning equipment, offsetting much of the added cost for extra thick insulation.

... following ww2 there was a company in the business of manufacturing steel houses, ...


The selling point was that they are durable, low-maintenance, and long-lasting. I wonder what Kunstler thinks of them? Anyhow they weren't worried about insulation 50 years ago. The steel construction would probably about an R-2 at best...

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

There's a movement to build houses out of shipping containers. I know of a couple in Hawaii who built one out of two stacked containers welded together. My rural Northern California county has already banned them. I guess they don't comply with their desire to create a park-like atmosphere throughout the realm.

By the way, that's one hot babe watering her house in high heels, shades and a cinch-waist pink dress.

That was 1950. She doesn't look like that any more, but the house does.

Why not put in 4" studs inside and out with the faces 12" apart, then tie the studs together with 12" plywood squares at third points (usually 32" above floor and below ceiling), as in a plumbing chase wall?

I've done this many times. works well
but if your thinking about 8" studs any way try penciling out r-max inlue of the horizontal furring. if memory serves r-max is 7 r's an inch

At the very minimum you'd have to go with cellulose insulation to fit that insulation into a 6" wall. In order to get really high R values in a small amount of space, spray-foam insulation works the best. (Although it's expensive.) Batt fiberglass insulation is terrible, in my opinion.

There is nothing wrong with fiberglass insulation although the embodied energy is much higher than cellulose. The key to energy efficiency is high R-values, minimal thermal bridging and build very airtight. Window design, placement and shading is also critical. I have had some fabulous energy efficiency with standard density fiberglass and double wall construction.

Anyone willing to pose some predictions for the inventory numbers this week?

Does anyone see any signs of increasing imports or refinery production?

Robert? Any guesses?

IMO, the next couple weeks are critical for refinery and import increases so I am curious on everyone's thoughts.

with the big fire in oklahoma over the weekend, I'm not so optimistic that it will rise. That was a decent size refinery.

I don't remember seeing any reports of predicted down times, but they process close to 55k barrels of oil per day and, that output will hurt for whatever period it is down, especially in the colorado area which the OK refineries partially serve.

Does anybody have updated info on how long the refinery will be shut down because of the fire? The press release from the refinery's website was not very informative on the matter.


Anyone willing to pose some predictions for the inventory numbers this week?

Bloomberg's survey (median of 12 analysts) predicts a drop in gasoline stocks of 1.3 million barrels. Over at peakoil.com pup55 is predicting a drop of 2.1 million barrels (which seems unduly pessimistic to me).

My own guess (which is valueless) is that things may be a little better than expected due to a low demand number. The 4-week average the EIA uses has been disguising the extent of the recent slowing of demand. Ironically, should the report show that gasoline inventories remained static last week, it may been seen as quite positive when in fact it's not particularly good news - we really need to see inventories building.

If the Bloomberg survey is correct gasoline stocks will fall to 192.9 mb. In comparison, stocks were at 191.1 mb at the end of August 2005, just after Katrina. To find a lower figure at the end of April you have to go back over 50 years, when gasoline demand was only about 40% of today's figure.

Remember the EIA's figures are all subject to revision, and last year the numbers were significantly better than they initially appeared once they were revised. In any case, with a big push at the refineries coupled with slowing demand and slightly higher imports this could still turn around quite quickly. However, there are two main dangers in my view:

First is that a perception of shortage begins to permeate and it all becomes self-fulfilling as drivers scramble to top up their tanks and whatever storage cans they can get their hands on. The second problem is that we may still get localised shortages even if the aggregate numbers pick up. At present inventory levels in the Midwest and on the West Coast are looking particularly low. It's not really surprising we've already seen $4 a gallon in parts of California.

I am going to say down 1.5 million.

I havent analysed any data, but drag and dirt racing are getting started back in the midwest. And out here on the west coast Im seeing more burnouts, jackrabbit starts, and packed gas stations than ever before. =D

Thanks FTX,

I look forward to your chart on Wednesday.

First is that a perception of shortage begins to permeate and it all becomes self-fulfilling as drivers scramble to top up their tanks and whatever storage cans they can get their hands on.

A few of the stations around here didn't update their prices fast enough over the weekend. (about a 15cent jump) Needless to say the one that was really low didn't have reg. unleaded very long. A microcosm perhaps. Raise it or we'll drain it. Price wars in reverse.

Look forward again to your chart.

Anyone willing to pose some predictions for the inventory numbers this week?

I think this week reverses the falling trend in gasoline inventories. I will have my reasoning up on my blog some time tomorrow. I will also point out why I believe people are badly misreading the gasoline situation as peak oil evidence.

I will also point out why I believe people are badly misreading the gasoline situation as peak oil evidence.

Appreciate you doing that.... so many people like to jump on any bit of data and extrapolate to their heart's content...

What I am seeing, though, is that even with gasoline averaging around $3.30 on the west coast there is plenty of demand. If the average person uses around 50 gallons per month, a rise of $.50 or so doesn't really add up to all that much money per month additional payout for transporation.

I will also point out why I believe people are badly misreading the gasoline situation as peak oil evidence.

I look forward to your post. It seems that crude stocks are building comfortably. Is it just refinery issues?

If it is, then who is investing in new refinery infrastructure/capacity in the U.S.?

I agree. Refinery utilization is way below the average at this time of the year, it should be around 92%:

Thanks Robert.

FWIW, I hope you are right.

As much as the data seems to indicate one thing or another, it is just impossible to definitely see what is going on using the same data. I find it very frustrating.

On the other side of the coin, how fast could stocks get rebuilt up? Or will we still be behind most of the summer, but just not as tight?

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

For those still unclear on what the housing bubble is the first sign of:

"the notional amount of derivatives traded on regulated exchanges topped a quadrillion dollars last year"

The Grim Reaper Meets the Housing Bubble

The deregulated cross-border flow of funds (via the yen low interest “carry trade” or the $800 billion current account deficit) have played a major role in inflating the US real estate market.

Liu adds, “Since the money financing this housing bubble is sourced globally, a bursting of the US housing bubble will have dire consequences globally.” Since nearly 50% of “securitized” mortgage debt is owned by foreign investors; the subprime meltdown is bound send tremors through the entire global financial system.

The housing decline is further complicated by Wall Street innovations in derivatives trading which has generated trillions of dollars in “virtual” wealth and is affecting the Feds ability to control inflation through interest rate manipulation. As Kenneth Heebner said, “You have hedge funds buying these subprime and Alt-A loans and leveraging them at 10 to 1. They buy a pool of mortgages at 8% and they borrow against it in yen for 3% and then lever it at 10 to 1so you have a lucrative profit.”

In other words, low interest foreign capital has flooded US markets and contributed to distortions in housing prices.
In her recent article “War Drags the Dollar Down”, Ann Berg refers to Wall Street's “swirling galaxy of exotic finance” which has “worked magic for the government and the elite”, but has yet to weather a severe downturn in the economy.

But how will market deal with sudden downturn in the hedge fund industry? Will the dodgy subprimes and shaky collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) trigger a crash or has the risk been wisely dispersed through derivatives trading?

No one really knows.

As Berg says, “Derivatives numbers are staggering. The Bank for International Settlements estimates that the notional amount of derivatives traded on regulated exchanges topped a quadrillion dollars last year and that the outstanding unregulated off-exchange (called over-the-counter – OTC) amount stood at $370 trillion in June 2006. Because the OTC market is composed of endless strings of bilateral transactions – the systemic risk is unknown.”

The comments of the President of the New York Fed, Timothy Geithner, help to clarify the abstruse activities of the modern market:

“Credit market innovations have transformed the financial system from one in which most credit risk is in the form of loans, held to maturity on the balance sheets of banks, to a system in which most credit risk now takes an incredibly diverse array of different forms, much of it held by nonbank financial institutions that mark to market and can take on substantial leverage.

Geither's right. The markets now operate as unregulated banks generating mountains of credit through massively leveraged debt instruments — a monster credit bubble larger than anything in the history of capitalism.

Kind of bizarre interview with T. Boone Pickens in the Los Angeles Times this morning:


Pickens is pushing natural gas as an alternative to gasoline for transportation! Apparently he is a big investor in nat gas these days. And yet he admits that it is a very expensive fuel, and he is not enthusiastic about importing LNG. No mention of the fact that North American gas production is facing peak problems.

Pickens doesn't come off sounding too sharp, although the interviewer is asking some pretty dumb questions.

Although a CNBC report by Rebecca Jarvis a few days ago was *way* over hyped (the refinery fire story). She just reported that...

Energy New Today says that Hugo Chavez is planning to divert 240,000 b/d of Orinoco syncrude in July to non-US markets.

I recently attended a peak oil/energy descent/regional planning meeting here in NZ. One of the speakers (Alan Hart) has worked in the oil industry for some 30 years (now has his own oil consultancy here) and gave a good presentation on peakoil. When asked how many of his colleagues were peakoil aware he stated that this question had recently been broached at a meeting of the industry (a regional Australasian one in Adelaide - geologists, geophysicists, engineers etc, 1500 attendees) and delegates had been asked to show on a vote of hands. Apparently:

20% thought PO was a problem now.

30% thought it would be a problem in the near future (in the next 30 odd years).

50% thought the industry would be able to deal with it (effectively it was not going to be a problem for the forseeable future).

What to make of those figures?

I'm kind of a skeptic on peak oil so those results don't really surprise me. Clearly there is no consensus among oil professionals or oil traders that we are at or near a peak. However equally clearly there is a minority of knowledgeable people who do see us in that position.

What can we conclude from this? I think at a minimum we have to accept that PO is not *obvious*. It may be that the evidence on balance is convincing to you that PO is a near term crisis, but you should understand that not everyone will see it that way. Even some people who know much more about the oil business than you don't see it that way.

I'd also suggest that people not fall into the trap of believing in conspiracy theories. There is no cabal of insiders who know that civilization is about to come to an end and are doing their best to cover it up. Given the inherently uncertain evidence available today, one can disbelieve in Peak Oil in good faith. You don't have to assume that a cover-up is in progress.

I'm not saying that Peak Oil is false or that you should disbelieve in it just because this group is skeptical. However I would say that you should hedge your bets and consider the possibility that you are wrong. Don't take actions which will leave you in bad shape if PO doesn't happen on schedule. Accept that you are only human and are prone to make mistakes. Leave your options open as much as possible, while still taking prudent steps to guard against what you see as the most likely problems. This will put you in the best position to deal with whatever the world throws at you.

I'm not saying that Peak Oil is false or that you should disbelieve in it just because this group is skeptical. However I would say that you should hedge your bets and consider the possibility that you are wrong.

You are absolutely right Hflfin, Peak Oil theory just might be false. Oil may be abiotic and all the reservoirs will keep refilling themselves just as fast as we pump the oil out. All we must do is wait....and wait....and wait..

Ron Patterson

I think the unstated assertion was that near-term PO may be false. It seems that like most people Halfin greatly discounts events 20+ years away... and IMHO he might be at least partially right to do it, at least for PO.

I would not apply the same reasoning for GW though, because the potential "costs" in the very very long run may include the survivability of the whole ecosystem we live in. Not true with PO - in the end we can always take the bus, right?

Well, I follow each country individually. Of the 38 countries covered in the EIA's International Petroleum Monthly, 24 have peaked and 14 have not. (All the other very small countries are covered under "other" so this is all the world's oil.) The 24 that have peaked produce about 60% of the world's oil.

Now there may be some question concerning a couple of the countries on both sides, peaked and not-peaked. But basically countries producing approximately 60% of the world's oil have peaked.

And I am saying unequivocally that we are at peak right now. It may be that the peak month was May of 2005, or it may be July of 2007, but I will declare absolutely that we are at peak right now!

Right now May 2005 was the peak and 2005 was the peak year, C+C. But the point is we are on the peak plateau right now, and there is absolutely no doubt about it. We may spurt above the May 2005 peak for one month or so but the next big move will be down. I think we will remain on this plateau for another year to year and a half, but this is it, we are at peak right now.

Ron Patterson

I will declare absolutely that we are at peak right now!

So Ron, what is your explanation for why all these oil industry professionals don't agree with you? Only 20% thought PO was a problem now; 30% thought it would be a problem within the next 30 years(!); 50% thought it would never be a problem. Do you think it is that they are stupid, or more that they are ignorant? Or both?

Why should they know?

To understand PO you have to gather information from many sources/fields.

Why should a geologist working in Alaska know anything about ethanol production in Iowa?
Why should a chemist in a refinery know anything about the depletion rates in Ghawar?

etc etc

A person needs to know all these things and more to get a decent grasp on PO. Just because you work in the oil industry doesn't mean you are trained to understand the industry as a whole.

The short answer to your question is its ignorance.
A person in the oil industry isn't in a better position to understand PO as a whole than you or me.

Tell me why 90% of the oil industry missed peak in the US in 1970, Halfin. You seem to fail to recall that these guys have lousy track records with their own industry. In fact, many in the oil industry denied peak for 10 years after the peak in the US. Heck, the Texas state geologist still denies peak, 37 years later and after decades of continuously falling production.

They are not stupid but people can be profoundly ignorant. As I asked my geologist niece, when she claimed everything would be fine, whether she knew what the discovery curve looked like? And she did not. She had no idea despite a B.S. and a M.S. degree and working for one of the oil majors. What do you think of that, Halfin?

As a systems architect I routinely see the problem of computer programmers looking too narrowly at a problem and failing to see wider systemic issues in their code base. Only when someone specifically trained to look at wider problems shows them do they believe it and often not then either. Only after serious refactoring and optimization of the code around the problem areas do the narrowly focused programmers finally realize that something bigger was wrong than what they thought.

I attribute this to the fact that most people are trained to focus on small problems and that their livelihood depends on solving many such small problems daily. They just automatically assume that the larger scope takes care of itself but it doesn't.

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

I attribute this to the fact that most people are trained to focus on small problems and that their livelihood depends on solving many such small problems daily. They just automatically assume that the larger scope takes care of itself but it doesn't.

True. This is, as Tainter points out, a natural outgrowth of complexity. No one person can understand the whole picture, so we become a bunch of specialists, with layers of bureaucracy to try and coordinate among the specialists.

I would also add that many fields, including geology and chemistry, tend to self-select for people see the trees, not the forests.

I don't subscribe that much to the theory that oil professionals are less able to see the big picture. I think there are no reasons to distinguish them from the rest of us - some of them are able to see it, some of them don't... it's more a matter of personal choice whether to look for it.

IMO even "big picture" oil professionals do not announce PO, for the same reasons most people here do not claim to know it is happening: there are too many unknowns, there is insufficient information for some regions, sometimes even worse - too much (and contradicting) information on other regions etc. etc.

It is clearly a situation of high uncertainty. And in such situations people that have vested interests in the status quo - like keeping their jobs for example, prefer to keep to that status quo until the tide changes. Hence it is hardly a surprise that many of the warnings for imminent peak are coming from retired geologists or people who are not directly envlolved in the industry like Matt Simmons.


I am considering attending Texas A&M to pursue an undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering.

Can anyone on here who works for an energy company provide any insights into a career as a petroleum engineer or about the future prospects for the job?

It's a big decision for me, so any input would be greatly appreciated!

I am considering attending Texas A&M to pursue an undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering.

It's not off topic. FYI, I graduated from Texas A&M with a master's in chemical engineering. When I was a grad student, I had an office on the 10th floor of the petroleum engineering building.

Right now, petroleum engineers are in huge demand and commanding very big starting salaries. Even if an oil peak is imminent, we will still be using petroleum for a long time, and engineers who can figure out how to more efficiently extract it will be employed. This is the main reason I work for the oil industry. I consider it to be one of the safest industries post-peak, because the products will be in greater demand than ever.

Good luck to you.

Wow, your comment was very helpful to me. Both of my parents graduated from Texas A&M. My dad also graduated there with his undergraduate in chemical engineering, except he got his masters at Berkeley, I believe.

Nonetheless, thank you for the input!

I am mostly worried that I will spend four years, a decent amount of money for someone my age, and a lot of effort to get out with a decent GPA only to find that petroleum engineers are no longer needed or wanted!

By the way, I read your blog every day! With that being said, it means a lot getting a comment from you!

I will point out that UT Austin has a significantly better Petroleum Engineering program (half of the world's Pet E PhDs come from UT) than A&M and Austin is a *MUCH* nicer place to live than College Station :-)

Their Chem E program is better than A&M's as well.

Best Hopes for Quality over Quantity,


Dude, his parents graduated from A&M. At least explain to him that you graduated from UT, so you might have a bias. ;-)

As far as the Chem E program, they are neck and neck. The rankings I usually see will be something like UT at 11 and A&M at 12. I don't know what they are now, but they were both neck and neck and both in the top 20 when I was there.

As far as Austin being a nicer city, it depends on perspective. There is a lot more to do in Austin, and the area is more scenic. What turned me off was the horrible traffic and the cost of housing. Otherwise, I would have accepted UT's offer.

I will point out that UT Austin has a significantly better Petroleum Engineering program (half of the world's Pet E PhDs come from UT)

PhD from tu = BS in Petroleum Engineering from A&M

However, Texas Agricultural and Mechanical University uses several Univeristy of Texas at Austin graduates to teach their students.

I marched in support of Tiananmen Square with Dr. Zhu on the Texas State Capital, chanting "Down with the Communist Party". This meant that she could never return home and (if memory serves correctly) she had to divorce her husband who stayed back in China as "security" for her return. Other Chinese students had a child serving that same function. yet they still marched.

Best Hopes,







I have to say on behalf of us geezers who live in Austin but are not connected with UT: A&M is more respected. The food may be better here than College Station, but the graduates are not.

Maybe it's just 6th street, or the Enron school of business. It does crank out a lot of lawyers and MBAs, but other than a few "trophy laureates", we're not particularly proud of the science level in Austin.

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

I am mostly worried that I will spend four years, a decent amount of money for someone my age, and a lot of effort to get out with a decent GPA only to find that petroleum engineers are no longer needed or wanted!

You will be needed, but "wanted" is relative. As a petroleum engineer, you are bound to face hostility from the public as they view you as part of the problem - the very face of why they are paying $4 or $10 or whatever for gasoline. For me, this attitude is bothersome, which is one of the reasons I write. I want people to understand that I am not the reason they are dependent upon oil, and that I agree that we should be making different arrangements. But for now, we have built a society that needs oil to run. And it will still need petroleum engineers in 20 years. In fact, with the baby boomers retiring soon - and the oil industry top-heavy with baby boomers - demand for engineers in the oil industry will be through the roof in the next few years. We are dealing with manpower shortages in the North Sea right now.

If you want to hedge your bets, though, go chemical engineering instead of petroleum. Petroleum engineers start off at higher salaries, but chemical engineers can go into far more diverse industries. Intel, for instance, recruits chemical engineers. So does PepsiCo. I doubt either is recruiting petroleum engineers.

A dual degree (Chem + Pet E) would likely take an extra two semesters (perhaps summer + fall) due to the overlap and would add to your value and flexability.

Best Hopes,


My father was in the oil business his whole life, starting off as a petroleum engineer. It has traditionally been something of a boom and bust enterprise. Now most people here will tell you that it's nothing but boom from here on out, but keep in mind that this is a site for people whose views are definitely in the minority.

While there is presently a shortage of petroleum engineers, it's not clear that will be the case in five years. Sometimes when there is a lot of publicity about high salaries and worker shortages, people rush into the field and then you graduate as part of a mini-glut of qualified engineers.

I would suggest that any engineering discipline will probably serve you well over the coming decades. Whether Peak Oil plays out as predicted or not, we will undoubtedly face challenges from many directions. Even in a Peak Oil situation it is not just petroleum engineers who will be needed. There will be efforts in all areas to respond to the crisis. Electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, civil engineers, chemical, you name it. If society is going to get through the problems ahead it is our technologists, scientists and engineers who are going to get us there.

So this is a good direction to go, but rather than lock yourself into petroleum engineering at your age you should take some classes and see where your interests and aptitudes lie. Texas A&M is a good school and you should be able to get a degree in any of a wide range of fields that will leave you in a position to make a valuable contribution to society.

My sister got her undergrad degree from A&M. It had the advantage of being pretty cheap. Compared to the other schools she was considering, anyway.

I don't work in the energy industry, but I was speaking to a petroleum engineer in his late 40's a couple of weeks ago, who'd got out of the industry to go into IT procurement. When I asked him why, as I knew there was a high demand, he said that while there was plenty of money in it, all the jobs were in really horrible locations.

Those horrible locations also tend to be home to a lot of fairly horrible people, like Jihadis, MEND, etc...

So if you fancy adventure, it could be a really good choice.

methane burning as an offset

Surely the best result of emissions control is to achieve no emissions whatsoever. It's stupid to reward people to take a diffuse or sequestered source of a GHG and encourage it to produce more. This what happens with
• garbage tips covered in plastic sheet to aid anaerobic decay
• methane digesters at dairy farms instead of soil absorption
• wellhead NG flaring(~80% methane) rather than re-injection
• drilling coal seams that would otherwise have low methane seepage
There would be lower emissions if these man-made interventions had not occurred. Therefore these activities should be penalised, not rewarded.

We shouldn't pay people to reduce a problem they created in the first place. Suppose your neighbours had a stinky outhouse; would you pay them money to bulldoze it or should they just fix it? This is the kind of fuzzy thinking that means carbon schemes cost billions but give poor results.

Hello TODers,

Currently, the US pop. [5% of world] uses 25% of global FF supplies. As the US inevitably reverts back to the postPeak mathematical mean of Bangladeshi FF-usage or less, it is critical that biosolar powerup and environmental stewardship be maximized to help minimize future violence levels for the Bottleneck Squeeze. Nature will do its thing [we can't stop it], but we can all individually do our best to prevent a global machete' moshpit. Thus, I encourage all to continue with their best efforts at Peakoil Outreach.

IMO, the Southwest will be hit particularly hard and early. We have all read postings and links detailing various potential outcomes, with nearly none having happy continuance of the business-as-usual, infinite growth rules as the optimum solution.

In now-archived postings: I have detailed many ideas for radical conservation, political transformation, and infrastructure change in response to what I see coming. I hope some have merit when the SouthWest's crisis finally arrives. Profoundly, it will be up to the aggregate actions of the population totality, yet they are not logging into TOD in the record numbers I would wish to see.

Such is life. Thoughtful mitigation of the Overshoot problem vs. panicked reactions will be a huge challenge going forward as the Thermo/Gene Collision is a tremendous force.

Although I am a fast-crash realist, I think the growing momentum for change may possibly help hundreds, or thousands, in future generations to have a greater survival chance against never-ceasing entropy. IMO, this makes our efforts as 'agents of change' worth the time we invest here.

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

Profoundly, it will be up to the aggregate actions of the population totality, yet they are not logging into TOD in the record numbers I would wish to see.

When looking at the Alexa traffic rankings, we see the reach of TOD pretty much stable. I looked up some of the statistics and compared with a few other sites:

Instapundit, who has been on a bit of an energy kick of late;
doe.gov, an obvious source for energy information;
H. Clinton's official campaign site - as she is a major energy user and one of the odds-maker's favorites for next US president.

The graph is here:

Internet traffic measurement is an entire discussion in itself, but let us assume that Alexa is doing a reasonable job of tracking actual use. We see that:
TOD is holding its own in the ever growing world of web sites, but is not extending its reach significantly (thought it does seem popular in Serbia and Iceland.) Instapundit, which is on a billion bulb march (to replace incadescents with CFL) is showing a gradual decline (there are probably too many contemporary event/politics sites), the DOE is holding its own, and Hillary's site is reaching a few more than TOD.

On the other hand, if you look at sites which, by their nature, are increasing the world's demand for energy, say www.apple.com or http://www.pcpop.com/, you will see reaches a couple of orders of magnitude greater than TOD.

If one of the goals of TOD is to reach a larger audience, something will have to change.

Just looking at the latest UK DTI figures for their North Sea production out 4 days ago.

It seems as though the Buzzard field which came on stream in January has indeed had a beneficial effect. Production (in thous/t) has been lifted from 5778 and 5831 in Nov and Dec to 5989 and 5972 in Jan and Feb respectively.

As a result the UK (at least for the month of Feb!) has regained its status as an oil exporter, after 7 months when it was an importer (it was a net importer for the whole of 2006 for the first time in many many years).

It will be interesting to see how long Buzzard will compensate for the declines elsewhere. The DTI made great claims I recall as to how it would actually LIFT production but their calls have been massively optimistic thusfar.