GPM Link Featuring Nate Hagens on "The Reality Report" with Jason Bradford along with Some Other Oldies and Goodies

Global Public Media has links up to Friend of TOD Jason Bradford's interviews with TOD's Nate Hagens discussing many of the common misconceptions about energy supplies (Part 1) and the cognitive, social and psychological factors that make it difficult for societies to agree, even when all the facts are open and transparent (Part 2). Two darned good interviews, in my humble opinion (Nate's height definitely comes through in the interview)--both related to Nate's three part series featured here over the last couple of weeks (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3).

Also, under the fold are links to a few of the perennial pieces of media that you can send to folks to explain the basic arguments regarding peak oil. First is Matt Simmons on CNBC talking about the GAO report (7 mins), then under the fold a link to Jim Kunstler's latest talk on the American car culture, Albert Bartlett's wonderful lecture on exponential growth and how it affects our lives, and then the venerable Boone Pickens on the issue as well.

Please feel free to provide more media links in the comments. As always, I cannot recommend enough going over to Global Public Media and surfing their archives.

"The GAO report found no focussed coordinated government plans to prepare for peak oil or other supply disruptions."
"We are on the verge of replacing the term 'global warming' with the term 'peak oil.'"
"The best new oil basin we will ever find is the one called 'conservation.'"

And then, James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency, speaks to the Commonwealth Club of California (.mp3 warning) about the American car culture and our illusions of maintaining it with alternative fuels. (thanks to Global Public Media). (It's about one hour.)

It has always seemed to me that one of the keys to the peak oil puzzle of why people don't understand the problems we face is innumeracy and/or a lack of understanding spatial/change functions--namely the meaning and implications of constant growth. I recommend heartily this lecture by Dr. Albert Bartlett (housed at Global Public Media)--it remains a mainstay in the peak oil arsenal.

I also found this presentation on the GAO report by ABC Radio International out of Australia on the GAO report and the topic of peak oil (which kindly mentions TOD, thanks!) presented by Paul Barclay featuring Michael Lardelli (5 minutes).

and then Boone Pickens (8-ish minutes):

xburb just posted this message in today's DrumBeat:

Leanan, as promised a while back.

Matt Simmons on UCTV 56 minutes

And an interesting Bloomberg 8 min. bit from the Land of Oz

80 dollar oil in June, Fat Prophets, and the China find


Jeez, people are are known to be long in the futures markets – Simmons and Pickens – are being quoted as gurus. In fact, the real story right now may be "Peak Demand." After the 1979 price shock, world crude demand fell by 11 percent, and did not recover for a full 10 years (when oil was cheap again). This time around, we have much better technologies at the ready, and biofuels. The price shock time go 'round is not as bad (adjusted for inflation), but it may be sustained (for reasons mentioned in this forum).
The real story now is: ""Peak Demand: Has World Fossil Fuel Consumption Crested for Good?"
OECD nations already posting lower, not higher demand. India is cutting fossil consumption, according to BP. The radical increase in oil prices is only now being adjusted to, as demand is inelastic for a year or two, mildly elastic after that, and somewhat elastic after four or five years. The other story is that once demand is reduced, it does not bounce back, It is also inelastic on the upside.
With plug-in hybrids, or just sensible small cars on the way, and OECD nations mandating bio-fuels (and India), we may see this year the all-time crest for fossil oil demand. OPEC knows this, by the way, and they are cutting.
The troubling issue is that the marginal cost of a barrel of oil, worldwide, is probably under $5. If demand falls in response to the five-fold increase in prices (seems likely, no?), we could see a huge round of oil price cuts, leading us back to another era of guzzling and pollution.
If Iraq, Libya and Iran ever get back into the game in a serious way, it is glut time for another 20 years.


Peak Oilers: Another thing: Demand in India, never too important anyway, is going down. Check out BP's website, then look at their statistical review. India's demand for oil fell by more than 3 percent in 2005. Their demand is half that of Japan anyway. So this idea that "Chindia' is insatiable is not all true.
China's demand keeps going up, and that is worrisome. However demand in OECD nations is going down.
The real story: Peak Demand, Has it Been Reached?

I'll keep you posted.

Forbes has been running a series of articles this year on India and in light of what I've read, I would be very surprised if their demand did not continue to rise steadily, long-term. Last month's (2 issues ago I think) installment was on "The Indian people's car," The Tata (just one....), which the company is hoping to roll out for $2500 this fall and the latest issue,hot off the press, has a feature on infrastructure development ,including massive roadbuilding projects, both public and private tolled. Far from plateauing, India and China appear to be really just getting under way in building out western-style national car complexes. Forbes really epitomizes the growth religion in all it's glory. I usually subscribe for a year about every three years and then let it lapse when I can't take it anymore. The same issue which had the people's car pc. had a giant (20 pgs +/-) paid feature on the glorious future of Nigeria, paid for by the Nigerian government. Really over the top.


Warships, Warships Everywhere, and Many a Bomb to Drop

And so, knowing that his "diplomatic" efforts are almost certain to fail, Bush may simply be waiting for the day when he can announce to the American people that he has "tried everything"; that "his patience has run out"; and that he can "no longer risk the security of the American people" by "indulging in further fruitless negotiations," thereby allowing the Iranians "to proceed farther down the path of nuclear bomb-making," and so has taken the perilous but necessary step of ordering American forces to conduct air and missile strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities. At that point, the 80 planes aboard the Nimitz – and those on the Eisenhower and the Stennis as well – will be on their way to targets in Iran, along with hundreds of TLAMs and a host of other weapons now being assembled in the Gulf.

This isn't PO related, but for those of you who have never seen it, someone has posted the famous 50 min 1981 BBC Horizon interview with Richard Feynman on Google Video (bit of flicker for the first few seconds, but then okay).

The pleasure of finding things out

In today's short-attention span, fast-editing world such a documentary would never be made, but personally I could listen to the man speaking for hours on end.

A truly remarkable individual.

As many of you may know, I am a Feynman addict. This is a wonderful video...I also highly recommend the many books on him--probably my favorite is Gleick's Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman.

I'll second that recommendation PG, although 'Genius' is maybe best left unread by those who resent the humbling of one's ego.

Freeman Dyson was in awe of him, and Gleick pretty much sums up the difference between Feynman and Gell-Mann in just a few words:

"Physicists kept finding new ways to describe the contrast between them. Murray makes sure you know what an extraordinary person he is, they would say, while Dick is not a person at all but a more advanced life form pretending to be human to spare your feelings."

I'd love to get his take on the state of the world today.

Thank you very much for that link.

His POV is very, very refreshing. He made
several comments in that link that I find are extremely prescient.

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

Thank you FTX, that was a wonderful start to my day. I arise early, usually around 4:30am, and watch the sunrise and listen to the tropical sounds come alive around me. This morning I also watched "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out" and it fit so well with the sunrise and tropical sounds -- bringing out an additional sense of wonder at the world around me.

The entire film "Crude Impact" is available on YouTube broken into 9 10-minute segments.

Thank you for helping some jackass take money away from the filmmakers. God dammit, they deserve to be in the poorhouse begging for money!!! And let's use TOD as a tool to make sure that happens.

The era of centralized control of information is over, Chimp. They chose the wrong business model.


Any degree of genetic intelligence in your family is also over. You chose the wrong parents.

It was shown on SBS TV in Australia last week (SBS is a bit like PBS, semi Public, semi paid by advertising, strongly into foreign language support - and really the only channel worth watching here).

I thought Crude Impact was very weak - no focus really and it gave no clear idea to me what they were trying to say.


any film maker thinking they are going to make money in the "PO" market may be in for a suprise.

I think people who are in favor of this free posting of "Crude Awakening" are missing the point completely. It's about recouping costs, not making money, which is a whole different beast. Do you want to sell your house for less than you paid for it?

Really, there is no point continuing the IPR debate.

Anyone watching Crude Impact "for free" on YouTube, or indeed on public broadcasting, who would like to help can donate at

To be honest, I didn't think Crude Impact was very good, but YMMV.

Studies have shown that P2P sharing in the music industry may INCREASE sales for lower end productions and only decrese sales for the top 1/4 of albums. If there is a similar form of creating broader awareness in the film industry then YouTube may actually have a positive impact on the film-makers recouping their costs. If it is an enlightening film, there will be many who watch it on YouTube who will recommend it to or take friends/family if they see it is on at the theatre...

I'm sure the film industry is affected in a slightly different way to the music industry by P2P, but the point is, it's not necessarily a negative thing for the film-makers.

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

The Car Culture-
”The road goes on forever and the party never ends...”
Robert Earle Keene

(Since this string hasn’t exactly caught fire, given the number of diggs and replies, I thought I would fill folks in on my recent “accidental” exporsure to some media of the automotive sort, when I recently re-encountered “Road&Track Magazine’s April edition, while waiting in a doctors office. Below are observations from memory that gave me reason to think a bit about where the “car culture” is today, at street level....)

When I first became interested in cars, by which I mean more than interested in just muscle cars and drag racing, in the early 1970’s, I sought out publications that wrote about and photographed more than just heavy American metal. I wanted to learn about the exotic stuff, European cars, road racing as opposed to drag racing, and technical breakthroghs such as fuel injection and all wheel disc brakes. These were pretty rarified tastes for a high school age teen in the South circa 1975. It took a while to find a source for information.

But find one I did, and I became a longtime fan of Road&Track Magazine. They had great photos and articles showing cars I had never or barely heard of, sophisticated smart writers such as Peter Egan, great technical writing on interesting subjects by engineering writer Dennis Simanaitis, and a truly artistic sensibility concerning the history of the automoble in their beautifully photographed “Salon” segment showing great automobiles of the past.
For a fan of the automobile and automotive publishing, it was an intellectual feast.

But, as time went on, life and career led me away from my fascination with exotic cars, automotive history, and great automotive technology. I have never been able to shake my love of these things, but I did not actively pursue information in the way I had in my youth. I had a life to live, and cars became just a simple necessity to move me about, hopefully as cheaply and efficiently as possible. I was, however, no longer a connoisseur of the automobile.

But a couple of days ago, while sitting for too long in a doctor's waiting room, I re-acquinted myself with the car culture, and with “Road&Track”. There for me to read, for free, and with plenty of time on my hands (as is always true when waiting for a doctor), was the April 2007 issue of Road&Track.

What was really going on in the modern world of cars, what were the “auto enthusiast” press, as we used to call it, up to? What had changed? Had the concern about fuel supply and possible Peak Oil, or worries about “global warming” and greenhouse gas release changed anything in the world of automobiles? What did the car, and what Kunstler calls “the car culture” view as important, as news? What did the “car enthusiast” think of the automobile's future, and what were the car companies building to separate said enthusiast from his or her money? What had become of Road&Track since the oil crisis days of the 1970’s, the decade of the birth of “Earth Day”, when environmental concerns changed the car and our perception of it?

Back To The Future, Schizophrenia, Part II

April 2007, Road&Track
The era of limits (?)
The be all car of the magazine was the new Audi sports coupe, the R8

To say the car recieved rave reviews is an understatement. The article opens,
“This is the first car I've desperately wanted since I started working at Road & Track.”, and closes, “The craftsmanship, performance, exoticism and near perfection of this street car, combined with the history of the R8 race car, are going to make this newest Audi a winner, just like the Le Mans-winning race cars with which it shares its name.”

The sentence at the end of the first paragraph says it all... “Of course, with a starting price of just over $100,000, the R8 certainly isn't “affordable.” But is it worth it? Absolutely!”

And why not? 0 to 30 milles per hour in 4.3 seconds, 0 to 100 in 10.5, and almost 1 gravity of cornering power, it will run through a slalom course of cones at 70 plus miles per hour, and tops out at a modest 187 miles per hour. And, 16 miles per gallon in mixed driving. Certainly the car for a fuel concerned, carbon release concerned age. If this is the era of limits, we can only love it.

But, we should admit, this is the rarified world of German exotic cars. Surely this type of automobile will only be available to the well off, and only available from the exotic name labels in the car world? Not so fast,

Yes, Hyundai: “The Korean company is taking a dead shot at Lexus and Infiniti, and if it can mix it up with BMW and Audi, all the better.” Such is introduced the Hyundai Genesis, “Concept Genesis is powered by a newly developed dohc 32-valve 4.6-liter V-8”. Yes, Hyundai, just as Honda , Nissan andToyota did in the 1970’s, is now ready to move up market...bigger, faster, more expensive. They know where the money is.

And such seems to be the case in the whole automotive world: Bigger, faster, more expensive. If there is a limit, the parade of high speed, high priced exotics in April Road&Track did not seem to notice it. The only limit seems to be the lust for more on the part of the customer, worldwide. Surely there must be some example of limits! And indeed....

In a brief one page overview is desribed the ONLY Diesel model passenger car sold new in the United States in 2007. You heard that right. Despite all the hoopla about the “return of the Diesel” and the “coming Diesel age” there is only ONE Diesel car (as opposed to light trucks) in the U.S. market, the Mercedes Benz E320 Bluetec sedan.

There is no link to the test of the car on Road&Track’s website, but you can get a sample here from the Washington Post, and their results mirrored R&T’s

The Mercedes Diesel was met with rave reviews, performing as well as most V-8 gasoline cars, with 36 miles per gallon being returned from a large luxury sedan, and an astonishing 700 mile range on one tank of fuel. Smooth fast and luxurious, the car was entered into the U.S. market with great difficulty, and is still legal for sale in only 45 states, using a complicated “urea” injection catalyst system to make the emissions guidelines. A complex but beautifu piece of work, the car may well be the high point of Diesel engineering in the U.S. market. Europe has a steller arrey of Diesels, including an upcoming triple turbocharged Diesel that gets 35 miles per gallon, and with acceleration matching the Audi supercar at the start of this post, which achieves only 16 miles per gallon.

What does all this say about modern engineering and priorities. Next, much to my happy surprise, I noted that Peter Egan still writes for Road&Track, and his latest column is fascinating: “A Pound Of Feathers”

In this coumn, Egan notes that despite apearances, cars have gotten fatter and fatter with each passing year. He demonstrates this in an ironic way by looking at several vintage cars, and then comparing the weight of the original with the “retro” remake of the same car.
For example, an original VW Beetle, at 1790 pounds, the new retro Beetle at 3020 pounds, the original Mini Cooper at 1480 pounds, the new retro Mini at 2730 pounds, etc.

However, as Egan points out, the newer fatter cars all perform much better, and get better fuel mileage, pointing out the theory that what we have gained in technology (much) we have given up in weight (much). The obesity problem does not apply just to humans.

So, what else? Well, this is the April issue of R&T, and of course, the infamous April Fool roadtest had to be there! These are well known to old fans of the magazine, involving tests of odd and interesting vehicles (in the past, vehicles such as the Mars lander, the M1 Army tank, and the tractor used to carry the space shuttle have been tested) and this year was no exception, but in it was hidden a glimse of the future and a bit of a surprise:

This years April Fool’s test involved three package delivery trucks compared: The UPS “brown van”, a bright yellow DHL delivery van, and a FedEx Hybrid delivery truck.

You heard that right. FedEx already has the first generation of it’s new hybrid delivery trucks on the road. These are Diesel electric hybrids, using lithium ion batteries (GM, check with these guys for batteries for the Volt), and FedEx claims a 40% improvement over the standard delivery truck using Diesel with conventional drive. The system is designed by Eaton Corp. (who is also developing hydraulic hybrid drives with Ford and UPS)

So, when the price of Diesel goes up, it now gives FedEx a competitive advantage.
The future is coming, but it is coming in that quiet revolutionary way it often does, through efficiencies and technologies developed by business to save money and increase return on investment. The public plays. The companies WORK. The difference is huge.

So the schizophrenic world of the car culture marches on. It looks very much like the 1970’s, with much hoopla and howling but not as much change as one would expect, except in the world of business transportation for profit. The major difference between 1975 and today:
Cars are faster, more efficient, more expensive, and much FATTER.
And no one seems to mind one bit.

Oh, and one more thing: After looking at the shiny new world of fantasy the automotive world is able to provide, and being older and tiny bit wiser than in my youthful days, I am more inclined than ever to attempt to restore and keep my old Mercedes Diesel 240D.
We are from the same generation, me and clattery old 240D, getting slower and a bit noiser in places with each passing year. Somehow, it seems to fit me better than the flashy new world of road rockets. In a world of limits, time is a greater limit than fuel.

But I may renew my subscription to Road&Track. Even for an old man, it's fun to dream.

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


It's a pity that a 320 merc is the only available diesel on the US market. 36 mpg sounds nice, but the merc is a big car. 320 means it has a 3.2 liter engine, probably a 6 cylinder. I guess it's rather expensive, too.

The modern diesel in Europe is much smaller, and gets much better milage. An average peugeot diesel does 4.5 l/100km, which is about 55 mpg (*). It's not a big car like the merc, but it's quite comfortable. And it's a diesel, meaning it will run easy for 300.000 miles, if not more.

One thing that puzzles me is that why only such a big car as the merc can get a certification for the US market. I would think a smaller car would have much less trouble, since the fuel consumption is much lower.

(*) This also gives a small clue why hybrids are not a realistic alternative, even in europe where gasprices are skyhigh (7.50 US$/gallon in the Netherlands.) A car like this is about 12.000 US$, has better mileage than a hybrid and no new technology is involved.


Yes, I thought likewise. The problem is that emissions at the tailpipe are measured on a ppm (part per million) basis, so the volume of total fuel consumed does not matter as far as emission regulation goes. If one exceeds the ppm rules at 60 miles per gallon on a smaller quantity of exhaust gas emitted, it is just as just as bad as exceeding the ppm on a larger volume of emmitted gas at say 20 miles per gallon.

For the car makers, the added complexity and cost of the emissions equipment becomes a bigger percentage of the cost of the car on smaller cheaper Diesels. This is why Volkswagen for now has abandoned the American Diesel market. They can sell Diesels in Europe much easier, with a known customer base that is much more supportive of Diesel cars.

As for hybrids, they have that HUGE advantage over Diesels in the U.S. market: The customers in American want clean quiet gasoline cars, and they easily meet and exceed the emissions requirements. It is a very hard advantage for Diesels to overcome, and when they try, they end up as expensive and complex as a hybrid.

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

Great stuff! As a former gear head, I was thinking of writing something similar. This is really the essence of cultural aspect of driving. From a sociological perspective, it is also very much a form of social palliative (the term "drug" is bit strong i think). Many of the "unncessary" car trips which are taken every day are taken for just these reason:Go for a drive,Isolate oneself off,clear the head,feel the movement). THis is a very large component for the inelasticity of demand and will explain inelasticity in "developing nations as well. It does not take long at all to get hooked. BY the time i was 17, my friends and i would have worked all weekend to buy 3 gallons of gas. IF there had been rationing we would have bought 2 gallons on the black market (or stole it) Once they have a car,people will give up many,many other things before they give up gas.


I have been reading this board for a while and I find it quite educational.

What I find odd is how Jim Kunstler is so revered on this sight. I don't get it.

Here's one example. Many people on this board are big supporters of light rail. I am, too. Then we have this article about Kunstler:

He says in the very near future there will not be enough electricity to even run elevators in tall buildings. How can you have enough electricity to run light rail all over a city when you can't even power an elevator? Either the light-rail proponents like Alan are wrong or Kunstler is.

Personally I think some of the eagerness to embrace JHK and whatever he forecasts for suburbia is what many percieve as the unique vulnerability we in America face due to how far 'stuck up the concrete cul de sac without a fill-up' we are.

Perhaps coupled with our high % of world output and % of imports is a glaring lack of awareness of our predicament. As your article points out correctly perhaps other societies will fare better. In light of all the evidence there is no great conservation effort or mitigation happening in the US.

The shock value of an advocate of 'just how bad it could be' seems to be a position that those who have not drunk the kool aid can use to try to awaken consciousness.
There is no doubt we are in serious lifestyle overshoot, here.

Nobody really knows what that is going to mean 20 years from now. A lot depends on timely choices. As sure as we all are that Alan's light rail is one of the right things to do is as uncertain some of us are that it will be done in time. World events can certainly overtake the works-in-progress and the energy/time/direction conundrum moves relentlessly forward. Perhaps for me it's hope (and work) for Alan's (and Roger's) world but prepare for Kunstler's as well.

JHK sees the American way of life as fundamentally perverse. Light Rail and the like are seen as things which will only perpetuate this complex. If you are the sort of person who travels in the sprawl around denver or dallas and see it as the most perverse thing every created by man, then you will love his stuff. LIkewise if you think the worst possible outcome is some skind of boundless source of energy which would allow (Hypothetically) modernity to completely encase the planet. WE all know oil is a one shot deal. Some of us would like to see the shot miss.



How can you have enough electricity to run light rail all over a city when you can't even power an elevator?

You make a very common mistake, sorry to say ;-)

We won't run out of oil or electricity in a long time. We will just have progressively less.

And thus the price of oil & electricity will go up.

Economics dictate that the things that will suffer the most are the things that use the most energy per added value. But there will always be oil & electricity, if you are willing to pay. Same for 3000-mile ceasar salads.

An elevator does not use much energy in total. The cost of a train ticket is not the marginal cost (i.e. the costs to run one extra round), but the whole cost devided by the number of users. Since energy is only a percentage of the total cost, that means if the price of electricity will go up, the price of a ticket will go up only little. Because the number of people using the train will increase rapidly, you can even expect the ticket price to drop a bit at first.

Different ballgame when driving an SUV. The decision to drive the kids to soccer practise depends completely on the price of gas. The car is already paid for, so are the taxes, insurance etc.

The added value of driving the kids to soccer in an SUV is nearly zero, the added value of driving in a toyota to work is very large. So you will drive to work, but not to soccer practise.

Last but not least: Kunster is not very good at math, and he didn' take all the econ 101 classes. It will be a long time before people will give up on a $500.000 home because of gas prices. House prices will be depressed, true, but not abandoned. People will first buy a small toyota which has double the fuel efficiency and if that's not enough, they will start carpooling. Or get a job somewhere local. Or telecommute. We're talking decades down the road by then.

Some more examples.

I live in Japan. I have to commute every day to work about 40 miles, completely by public transport. It costs about 900 yen, about 7 US$ one way.

Do I want to relocate closer to work? You bet. Because of the cost of commuting? No. Because of the time needed. Am I going to abandon my house if the cost of commuting goes up 100%? Don't think so ...

Next question: How long does the average citizen keep it's job? Say it is 7 years, which seems to be normal. Then in 20 years, you have switched 3 times. The last time it will be to a job closer to home.

How long does the average Joe keep his car? About 5 years. So in 20 years, you have changed cars about 4 times. Next time you buy another car, buy a smaller one. Will that cause economic hardship? Not really.

The issue with PO is not the actual decline in oil production. That can be mitigated easily for a very long time.

The issue is that economic growth will stop. You will loose your job. Will you abandon your house then? No, only if the bank forecloses.

When will the economy stop growing? Not directly at peak. I would expect it to reach 'peak economy' about 10-20 years later. Remember, there is no shock like the '70. It's gradual. So that's about the timeframe.