DrumBeat: June 9, 2007

Water Crisis Hits Baghdad - Some resort to digging wells as the capital’s taps run dry.

Muhammad Sa'ad wiped the sweat off his forehead after a hot day spent filling pots and plastic containers with water. It took him so long because there was barely a trickle from his kitchen tap.

For three weeks in a row, the city has suffered severe power shortages, now up to 23 hours a day, causing a water crisis in many areas.

...Some residents draw water from their taps using electric pumps powered by private generators, an illegal practice but one used by many households. But the continuing fuel shortage means that even this option is frequently ruled out.

John Michael Greer: Is History on Anyone's Side?

But then there’s the last paragraph, and the passage that brought me to a dead stop: “[T]he one bright spot in this future is that peak oil and climate change represent the greatest hope for reallocation of wealth and justice in the world.”

That’s an astonishing statement, and the fact that similar statements can be heard all over the peak oil community is one of the more astonishing things about it.

Groups seek answers about oil shale's impact on water

Environmental groups Thursday demanded that companies hoping to develop Colorado's oil shale deposits explain how much water the process could consume and how it would affect water quality and supplies.

Man-made microbe 'to create endless biofuel'

A scientist is poised to create the world's first man-made species, a synthetic microbe that could lead to an endless supply of biofuel.

Craig Venter, an American who cracked the human genome in 2000, has applied for a patent at more than 100 national offices to make a bacterium from laboratory-made DNA.

The growing India-Brazil axis

While their shared ambitions of getting permanent seats on the United Nations Security Council brought India and Brazil together, their common aspirations of becoming global powerhouses has contributed to the two countries joining hands to energize their economies. This was the unambiguous statement that come out of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's three-day visit to India.

Qatar and Netherlands strengthen energy ties

he Netherlands, aiming to become a distribution centre for liquefied natural gas, yesterday signed a memorandum with top LNG producer Qatar to strengthen their energy ties, the Dutch economy ministry said.

'I'm glad I sold the plane'

He gave up a rock'n'roll lifestyle to become an eco-friendly farmer - so just how green is Alex James' home? To find out, he uses a scheme that's open to everyone.

How to get out of your SUV lease

So you've got two years left on the lease for your Lincoln Navigator, but filling the tank is beginning to take its toll.

Breaking the lease is not really an option. Fees can run to thousands of dollars. So more and more people are turning to the Web to find people who can take over the leases.

The Thing About Technology

The thing about technology is that, since the dawn of the human species, every technology we have introduced has ultimately, and inadvertently, made things worse. That statement sounds categorical, so let me explain.

Argentina president threatens oil companies amid diesel shortage reports

Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has again threatened oil companies with a 1974 "supply law" that allows the government to fine companies for allegedly failing to supply the market.

Kirchner's warning, delivered at a provincial public works ceremony Thursday, comes amid complaints by farm groups that diesel shortages have slowed the planting of this year's wheat crop. Previously, farm groups had complained that diesel shortages were slowing this year's record soy and wheat harvests, which are wrapping up.

Debate on farm bill still rages in different era

When President Franklin Roosevelt signed the first farm policy into law in 1933, he promised it would be a temporary measure.

Cotton prices plummeted after the stock market crash. Foreclosures took hundreds of thousands of farms. Droughts and dust storms hurt income and caused an exodus from rural America.

However, more than 70 years later, Roosevelt's plan still spirals - some farmers are dependant on payments to aid their farm income amid a tough farm economy that includes high fertilizer and fuel costs.

Still afloat, no matter the cost - Boaters not deterred by gas prices

Despite rising gas prices, Jim Cook's boats just keep getting bigger. The Hanna City resident is on his eighth and largest boat, called "Fool's Fun."

He knows the bigger the boat gets, the more expensive it costs to run, especially with how high gas prices are - more than $3 for regular gasoline throughout the Tri-County Area.

But that still doesn't stop Cook from pumping $1,500 into a double V-8 engine speedboat that gets one mile per gallon.

Addicted to gasoline -- and unwilling to change

A common sight: green light, punch gas, speed to next red light, hammer brakes, repeat.

Only two parties benefit from this herd mentality: oil companies and brake pad manufacturers.

Schools' moves help curb fuel costs

During the past few years, schools have reorganized morning and afternoon bus routes for efficiency and scheduled multiple sports teams to play in the same place to combine trips, school officials said. Regularly replacing older buses with newer, more fuel-efficient ones also helps, they said.

Stockbridge Valley Superintendent Randy Richards said at the end of June each year, the district tops off all buses and reserve tanks to get the greatest number of gallons at the current rate, before the new year's contract kicks in July 1.

A Tale of Two Charlies

To distinguish the two Charles E. Wilsons, the GM CEO was nicknamed "Engine Charlie" and the GE CEO was named "Electric Charlie."

Fast-forward fifty-some-odd years.

Engine Charlie's company is now the very emblem of what's wrong with the country, just starting to pull out of the worst slump in its history, at war with its shareholders over emissions, lagging behind a market becoming increasingly concerned with fuel economy and emissions, losing market share every year, and desperately trying to turn itself around to refocus on the vehicles of the future.

And his legacy is an albatross around our collective necks: A nation of 210 million cars, desperately hooked on oil, with ever crowded roads, stressed out drivers, befouled air, a fuel supply in decline, an unsustainable topology of communities, and few good options for transition to something else.

Not to mention a permanent military industrial complex that eats half of the country's budget every year . . . in large part, to protect the fuel supply for all those cars.

Meanwhile, Electric Charlie's legacy is helping to lead the way to a future of renewable energy.

Be a good citizen by conserving gasoline

As I expected, the recently designated "do not pump gas day" was ineffective as a protest against rising fuel costs. In fact it did just the opposite and prices went up. Such an action will make no impact unless we are willing to carry it into our daily lives.

Gas prices too high? Some say not even close

Seventeen Democratic governors, including Gov. Ted Strickland, recently sent a letter to President Bush calling on him to work with Congress to lower gas prices, which climbed above $3.20 a gallon for regular unleaded recently in Ohio.

While political leaders strive to placate constituents forking over more of their income at the pump, there's a group of energy experts arguing that gas is too cheap.

Australia - Carbon is the new Black

An emissions trading scheme will bring a bonanza for many - with this year's election determining who the winners might be.

Kucinich is hot over loss at pump - Says fuel expansion aids Big Oil, cheats consumers

If you filled up your gas tank Friday, you probably got ripped off - and you will continue to be, as long as temperatures stay above 60 degrees.

Gasoline Shortage On Cayman Brac

Traffic was backed up for at least 3/4 of a mile in each direction on Wednesday afternoon, with cars trying to get to the fuel tanks at CB Motors, the Cayman Brac’s busiest fuel station. According to Garson Grant, proprietor of the station, he does not know what triggered the alarm that there was a shortage of gas on the Island. He said that he is not aware of that being the case. “This is a very unusual sight in Cayman Brac,” observed a bystander.

‘Deal will make power costlier’

As the 123 agreement trudged into the last stage of negotiations, the Indo-US nuclear deal faced further resistance from the Left. The CPM has alleged that it would only benefit American businesses and escalate power costs.

Wind big part of Oklahoma's past and future

To many a trip to a windmill museum seems about as exciting as fishing in an empty lake, but when such a museum stands in an area where its 100-year existence is grounded in the wind-powered machines, the same museum tends to become as fascinating as it is relevant.

Port city of Sur is recovering

Oman's eastern port city of Sur and adjoining areas in the Sharqiya region, which bore the brunt of tropical cyclone Gonu's fury when it struck the Sultanate soon after midnight on Wednesday, was recovering fast, key officials of the National Committee for Disaster Control (NCDC) said here yesterday.

...The Ministry of Oil and Gas said it was doing its best to produce and supply enough quantities of fuel. A shortage at petrol pumps, it added, was caused not by shortfall in output, but by tankers unable to reach filling stations because of transportation difficulties.

Number Cruncher: An Economic Lab On Food Inflation - Why bees are important to your wallet

Interest rates around the world are on the rise, in a bid to keep inflation under control. This week alone, we saw the European Central Bank hike, and the U.S. Federal Reserve rule out rate cuts. The Bank of Canada has said interest rates may rise soon too.

It's a sign of things to come, says Bank of Montreal's investment guru Don Coxe. He sees global interest rates rising another 200 basis points in the next two years, mainly because of ... bees.

Qatar: Diesel finds way to black market

Diesel is still being sold on the black market despite the fact that Woqod (Qatar Fuel) has taken the necessary steps to end its shortage by augmenting supplies.

India: City roads to see vans running on battery

Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), Chief Executive, Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu has stressed upon the need for effective implementation of energy conservation programme.

Speaking at the launch of a battery-operated electra van in the city on Friday, Sidhu said: “Energy conservation programmes can play a vital role in improving the present dismal scenario of shortage of energy in all sectors including industry, transportation, domestic sector and buildings”, said Sidhu.

Tory will use gas taxes to build highways

His platform also calls for increased investment in public transit to create "alternatives" for commuters across the province and identifies traffic gridlock as a preventable source of global warming. "In too many communities, this gridlock is getting worse," the campaign document says.

"It costs jobs and productivity. It steals time from our lives at home."

"And when cars idle, they are at their worst for creating greenhouse gas emissions," the document says.

Peak Oil Passnotes: What Price Energy Security?

If the quest for energy stability is one that the world’s major economies want to pursue, then things are not going well. If you take a second to stand back and look at the countries that produce large quantities of energy then it seems obvious that we are destined to have some major problems. That is if you like cheap energy. If you like high prices then things look good.

The attempt by right wing fundamentalists in the U.S. and the U.K. to secure energy supply through bombs, tanks and the blood of hundreds of thousands is failing. And failing fast. Just like the state-capitalists of the Soviet Union failed in their own attempt in Afghanistan. Iraq may no longer pose a threat to U.S. power-interests, in as much as it will not be invading any of its neighbours any time soon, but the anticipated stream of cheap energy has distinctly failed to materialise.

ENERGY-CUBA: A Light at the End of the Tunnel

The government announcement that electricity supplies in Cuba now exceed demand during the hours of peak consumption was received with a collective sigh of relief by Cubans, who have not forgotten the frequent and lengthy blackouts that occurred, especially during the summertime, two or three years ago.

Pakistan - Power riots: the saga continues

Protests against power outages continued Friday, and demonstrations were held in many areas against eight-hour-long load shedding cycles. It has been a week since long spells of load shedding and the resultant riots first began.

Ghana: Energy crisis to dampen gold’s shine

“The price of gold is expected to be firm and overall production in 2007 is not expected to be hampered by extraneous factors. On the other hand production costs are expected to rise mainly on account of the relatively high cost the mining companies incur in generating power,” Mr Jurgen Eijgendaal, President of the Chamber told the 79th AGM of members in Accra.

The Philippines: Biofuels Act: Will it Lessen Foreign Firms’ Grip on the Local Energy Sector?

At first glance, the Biofuels Act seems like a promising start on the road towards national energy independence, weaning the country away from dependence on imported energy sources.

It Was Forty Years Ago Today ...

Remember the first day you drove a car by yourself, with nobody supervising? You remember where you went that day, what you listened to on the radio and how completely empowered you felt. All of us have spent the rest of our lives trying to get back the incredible feeling we had on that day. It’s called Freedom and all of us have spent the rest of our lives trying to get back to the way we felt on our first solo drive. For it is our weakness, the magic of car ownership.

Fidel: Reflections on the Real World

US agribusiness, also reined-in by sanctions and red-tape, has nevertheless done business with the island and for more than peanuts. In 2006, Cuba bought around $570 million in food from almost 30 states, in spite of burdensome and expensive regulations imposed by President Bush in 2004.

...On the other hand, as the peak oil-horizon moves closer, Oil Gas Review magazine warns that the struggle for oil would take place in poor countries, where the trend is toward tighter state control over their natural resources.

National oil companies could one day merge: Petronas chief

The growing partnership between newly empowered national oil companies could one day lead to mergers, says the chief executive of Petronas, the Malaysian state oil firm that blazed a trail overseas 15 years ago.

Biofuels, diapers and sails - oh my!

Cargo ships with kite sails. An underground "diaper" that stores irrigation water. Low-cost solar cells made with "dirty" silicon. A biofuel you can drink made from sawdust, railway ties or dead cows.

Ideas like these are coming alive as the planet warms and energy prices rise, propelling the market for green fuels, renewable energy, low-emission technology and the like. This is especially true in Germany, the host of the G8 Summit, where save-the-planet awareness is traditionally high and governments and investors are willing to throw money at ideas ranging from the weird to the workable.

GM wants to drive green, but easy on the rules

"Frankly, it's time to move beyond exclusive reliance on historical regulatory approaches that clearly haven't solved these critical problems ... and move forward to embrace solutions that will yield the results that Americans expect and deserve," [General Motors Corp. chairman Richard] Wagoner said.

"For example, it has become increasingly clear that, of anything we can do over the next decade, biofuels have by far the greatest potential to actually reduce US oil consumption, reduce oil imports, and reduce carbon gas emissions," he added.

Britain tells nationals to leave Nigerian oil delta

Britain on Friday advised all its nationals to leave three states at the heart of Nigeria's southern Niger Delta, Africa's top oil-producing region, where violence against foreigners has become commonplace.

Greens win control of powerful transport committee

THE Green Party yesterday won leadership of the powerful transport committee after a reshuffle of the Scottish Parliament's structure.

There is a quiet revolution afoot, but the Government is not rising to the challenge

People have had enough of cars and planes and are starting to have a good time again without them.

Azerbaijan favors anti-missile idea

Officials in Azerbaijan, a nation with a questionable human rights record and huge oil reserves, on Friday welcomed Moscow's call to use a Russian-leased radar installation in their country as the cornerstone of a proposed U.S. anti-missile system.

Hello TODers,

Zimbabwe: It never rains, but pours for the people of Zimbabwe

However, Zimbabwe’s summer rains no longer bring any joy, but they bring misery to the homeless people of Porta farm and other areas designated for the homeless and destitute people in Zimbabwe. Rains which are normally a symbol of life and hope are ironically now bringing a feeling of gloom and doom to many Zimbabwean farmers who have no farming equipment and fertilizers.

Zimbabwe is now inhibited by some of the poorest people in the world. The country’s former pride as Africa’s bread basket has now gone down the drains. Extreme poverty has turned many Zimbabweans at home into Stone Age scavengers.
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

When Zimbabwe used to be Rhodesia, it was the second most prosperous nation in Africa.
Yes, it was a white ruled (racist?) nation at that time, but even the non-whites back then had a far better life style than they do today.
Even though it is definitely not "Politically Correct" to ask, I have to wonder if Zimbabwe were turned back over to white rule how would it affect it's short and long term prosperity for all the people of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe?
Ie., it it really all energy problems or are most of the problems simply really lousy (lack of ) leadership? Or, along another vein, what would it take to get good "majority rule" leadership comparable to what they had in Rhodesia?
Maybe if we can examine these types of things on an academic level without all the usual name calling, political correctness, flaming, and other counter productive comments we might be able to figure out better ways to help people all around the globe to achive better lives.
Anyone care to comment on positive things from the Rhodesian leadership that could be transfered over successfully to the current majority rule to improve living conditions for all the people in Zimbabwe? And what would be the means to transfer the positive things? How could you eliminate the leanings towards bad governments like they currently have and bring about a government that would be able to significantly improve life in Zimbabwe?
There are a LOT more problems than just high priced oil in Zimbabwe that need to be remedied. Please people, lets hear some positive things that can/could be done.

The reason Zimbabwe has collapsed is entirely because of Robert Mugabe. He confiscated land from white farmers, and gave it to political cronies, as part of a "reallocation" of land. Problem is the recipients have no desire or aptitude to farm the land, and food production has plummeted. Once productive farmland has been left to go wild. Without exports of food, they have no foreign currency, and can't import anything (including oil). The economy has effectively collapsed.

Zimbabwe provides an illustratation of what happens when an economy collapses for those who lack imagination, but none of it has anything to do with Peak Oil.

Hello BobCousins,

Thxs for responding.

Your Quote: "Zimbabwe provides an illustration of what happens when an economy collapses for those who lack imagination, but none of it has anything to do with Peak Oil."

I believe Zimbabwe provides a good example of the long term problems every country will need to solve as we all go postPeak:

1. The decline of Zim under Mugabe is a nerve-wracking parallel to a 25-year postPeak decline in fossil fuels, Olduvai Gorge Theory, and WT's Exportland Model. What will other leaders learn from this disaster? Seek the same policies of corruption and power consolidation, or pursue full-on Peakoil Outreach?

2. Mugabe's term in power is very representative of a long-term drought such as what scientists predict for the SW US and Australia. Law of Diminishing Returns, or Receding Horizons, Liebig's Law, MPP, Tainterian Collapse of carrying-capacity, and other concepts leap to my mind.

3. Mugabe's term in power is very symbolically similar to a 25 year Kunstlerian suburbia campaign. The proficient farmers were driven off the land, the new landowners were inept farmers, but at least they have not paved it over with asphalt, strip malls, and McMansions. Yet.

But it is no different in terms of the loss of productive food-growing lands. Zim can go to relocalized permaculture at a much faster speed and lower energy cost than most of the US. That greatly worries me for the future violence levels that we might see here in the USA. Compare agricultural labor force %'s between US and Zim.

4. Yes, Zim's Mugabe showed a great lack of imagination and understanding of Peakoil. Mitigation, shifting to wise social planning, and not practising Peakoil Outreach was his great failure. Has the US done any better since Pres. Carter's Sweater Speech of 1977? Recall that this was even before Mugabe took the reins of power in 1983.

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

4. Yes, Zim's Mugabe showed a great lack of imagination and understanding of Peakoil. Mitigation, shifting to wise social planning, and not practising Peakoil Outreach was his great failure.

Peak oil is one of this eras big hammers but not every problem is a nail.

As the saying is Africa goes:
"The worse thing that happened is when the white men came--
The second worse is when they left---"
We need to quit killing leaders like Lumumba over economic interests,
or we will end up with leaders like Robert M---
It is tough being at the very end of the exploitation line, as you get screwed the most.

A big problem has been those secret numbered bank accounts in some countries which allow corrupt politicians to raid government treasuries and take long vacations and early retirements in Switzerland or the Carribean. Too much foreign aid has been given to large projects that will turn a profit for the donating countries. Multinational corporations have relied on bribery and a supply of black market arms as the way business is done in Africa. All those dictatorships would never have happened if it wasn't profitable for 1st world business interests. When you get down to the nubs business doesn't like all the rules and regulations that democracies generate. Businesses are run like dictatorships and they prefer governments that operate like businesses.

It may be that the Westphalian nation-state template just doesn't fit for Africa. It does not necessarilly fit all that well anywhere, even in Europe (where it is in the process of being extensively modified), but it is especially ill-suited in Africa.

Absolutely spot on, the crisis in Zimbabwe has next to nothing to do with PO - it is almost exclusively down to the decisions taken by a meglomaniac despot. I might also add that pieces on ' power shortage in X country', 'diesel crisis in Y country' in reference to African countries which are immediately held up as evidence for PO induced disaster have, in all probability more to do with localised and short term mismanagement etc of the supply line. As a consequence you seldom see follow up pieces - for example a month ago or so ago all was supposidly doom and disaster in Senegal with fuel running out etc. So why hasnt Senegal collapsed in the interim? Probably because some corrupt official did the monthly import manifest correctly this time. I contend if folk are looking at Africa for their PO doomer porn they are looking too early - as I pointed out in the most recent UN/OECD survey only 4 African countries had growth rates of 1% or less, and one of them was Zimbabwe. The average growth rate was 5% plus, and even the vast majority of the non oil producing nations were showing growth rates which were higher than those seen in the 1990s. PO will no doubt eventually knock the stuffing out of Africa but there is precious little evidence of it happening yet - unless someone wants to show me African growth figures are contracting?

Remember that economic growth rates include population growth, which is still very high in Africa---and this is certainly a Peak Oil issue.

It's another reason USA GDP rates are persistently higher than Europe's. This isn't a result of some triumph of hypercapitalism over social democratic socialism---it's just more people.

It's why you can go to Old Europe and Japan which despite apparently 'anemic' growth rates in the business press, have obviously widely prosperous and widely shared living standards.

News from Africa is very thinly covered by the MSM, and not much better by the internet. How do we know what's really happening in Senegal? We can't even get reliable news from Iran, a country with several hundred thousand of its emmigrants in the US.

Andy, you've also taken biased reports for the truth in reguards to Zimbabe. I'm not supporting their president or his economic policies, just saying we are not getting the whole story, but instead the story from ex-colonialists who are bitter because they were'nt allowed to keep their stranglehold on the gold and diamonds, sort of like Cuba and their pissed off plantation owners and mafia in Miami.They'd love you to think that things are terrible and anti-capitalist down there, but Canadian and French oil companies and hotels are doing great. A big disconnect.

Bob - there is plenty of news about Zimbabwe in the MSM - outside of the US that is. The BBC regularly cover the situation, as do many of the UK quality dailies, so I am going to have to strongly disagree with your analysis. The Zimababwean crisis didnt just emerge in the last 6 months - its been on-going for the past decade as Mugabe changed from being a relatively benign one party state leader into something rather worse. Whichever way you cut it the correlation bewteen Mugabe's 'land reforms', attack on political opponents etc and the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy is rather tight I would say. I confess to having more than a passing interest in the area having lived for a time in Zambia (next door) and having travelled reasonably extensively in the area.

Just to go back again to Africa in general - I think there is a general misapprehension about how many of these states function, both now (and in the past). Thus as I mentioned above we are now getting any number of reports in the DrumBeat about failures in power supply etc, and these are being held up as evidence for PO collapse. Well they might be - and then again what most dont seem to realise is that Africa has always been like that to some extent. Power outages happened when I was there, and back then PO wasn't even in the frame. To give an example Westexas (and dont get me wrong I think he writes brilliantly) often quotes from a WSJ piece of last year which describes the implosion of Guinea and cites this as evidence of PO induced damage.

Well as this piece from October 2004 makes clear Guinea was already encountering electrical black outs and a host of economic problems as early as 2003:


The piece elaborates on numerous problems the country was facing back then (economic mismanagement again rears its ugly head). Now back in 2003 oil prices were only starting to get motoring, so what was causing the power outages then? Answer - the same things that cause a great many outages elsewhere in Africa.

I have no doubt that PO will do untold damage to Africa (and elsewhere); I just think that so far that damage is nowhere near as obvious (yet) as some folk are trying to make out.

I suspect you're right. Our minds, our intellect always to make connections, especially ones that support a cherished opinion. We operate in a vacuum of real information on African countries and consequently put our own interpretation on the facts, whether reasonable or not.
A good example of this is Senegal as presented on TOD. I did a little research, and the suppliers of crude are unwilling to extend them more credit for oil, they are an economic basket case. Its sort of peak related, prices would be lower and more stable if crude were more plentiful, but the fact is they can't pay their bill and everybody wants cash from a bankrupt nation.
This doen't mean I think that this isn't related to peak oil. but its going to take a couple of dozen countries having similar problems while the rest of the world struggles for crude supplies before I will be convinced their shortages are peak related.
The old saying is "If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, then its a duck". But this assumes that the person making the judgement has observed the hypothetical duck quite a bit, plus several other ducks for comparison. This is the equivalent of a person following the revelation of duckhood concluding that duck must therefore sell insurance for one of Warren Buffet's companies.
Senegal is an economic basket case. With a low per capita income, around $800, how can they expect to get even, let alone ahead? Make investments? Lift themselves up by their bootstraps?
Lets try just one more thought experiment. Go put on your cowboy boots, grab the straps and lift! You'll notice that you aren't getting uplifted, at least in earth's gravity. Its impossible to do by ypurself. And thats the conumdrum that Senegal, Rhodesia, and Guinea all face.

Hello Jon Kutz,

Thxs for responding. If Mugabe had built a bicycle and wheelbarrow, along with other essential biosolar handtools, for every Zimbabwean before his economy collapsed--I think that would have been a good start. Community solar-heated baths and laundry would have been a big help tool. At a bare minimum: he should have established countrywide Humanure Recycling infrastructure to prevent sewage overflows and potable water pollution. I hope other leaders see the wisdom in early Peakoil Outreach and mitigation. Time will tell.

I am trying my best to avert a global machete' moshpit.

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

Do you realy mean that his failure were to not buy the right stuff before collapsing the economy?

Zimbabwes niche in a post pak oil world should be as a prosperous food and biofuel exporter plus various export goods made by the people not needed in farming. There is no reason for peak oil to make them into a basket case.

Mr Kutz
Perhaps the site should get a new masthead motto: Discussions About Our Energy and Our White Future.

If your sort of drivel, and the fact that it is unremarked, makes me not want to be here (I am by the way Swedish/German/Irish American) imagine how it plays for persons of non-white ancestry. Essentially the site is cutting itself off from the bulk of the planet. Fine.

On the other hand, your sarcastic suggestion amounts to saying that no black leadership of Zimbabwe could be as bad as the white leadership was.  In other words, racism is the worst possible thing (even mass eviction and starvation of "human trash" isn't as bad as the rulers' skin tone being too white).

This is what happens when Political Correctness attempts to stamp out Inconvenient Truths.  I'm sure a lot of Zimbabweans would beg to differ with you, and if it takes people with weak or no clan or tribal loyalties to supply the kind of good business administration and government leadership that keep e.g. rampant cronyism and tribal warfare from breaking out, a pale-complected government may be the lesser of evils.  An evil to be replaced as soon as possible, of course, but with something better rather than worse.

My sarcastic suggestion implies no such thing. Political correctness has nothing to do with it. I do not tolerate the PC crowd. They would not be on this site 5 seconds.
If those who have some small insight into the future so far as it relates to Peak Oil are happy to simultaneously wallow in the most egregious racist crapola I wonder if there is a future.

My sarcastic suggestion implies no such thing. Political correctness has nothing to do with it. I do not tolerate the PC crowd. They would not be on this site 5 seconds.
If those who have some small insight into the future so far as it relates to Peak Oil are happy to simultaneously wallow in the most egregious racist crapola I wonder if there is a future.

I think Political Correctness has everything to do with it, though perhaps you don't recognize it as such (too well-internalized).

If someone makes a claim of fact about Zimbabwe, such as "The government, the economy and even many freedoms were better under white rule than they have become under Robert Mugabe", this can be debated on its merits.  It is not racist if it is true, and recognizing its truth opens avenues for debate about ways to prevent the likes of a Robert Mugabe and his cronies from obtaining the power to reduce a country to ruin.

That's exactly what Mr. Kutz did above:

Yes, it was a white ruled (racist?) nation at that time, but even the non-whites back then had a far better life style than they do today.

Your response was to sarcastically suggest that TOD should be subtitled "Discussions About Our Energy and Our White Future."  Accusations of racism (even veiled) are one of the shibboleths of P.C.; it is a tactic to shut down debate and exile people whose questions must be banned because they cannot be answered without breaking out of the thought trap of P.C. dogma.  ("Racist" in this context is actually an accusation of heresy.)

I get the heretic label from those holding to right-wing orthodoxies as well.  I wear "heretic" as a badge of honor, so go ahead, devalue your orthodoxy's main slur until it's meaningless.

Forgetting all the rubbish you impute to me and cutting to the chase, yes, Kutz made that obscene remark about "lifestyles".
Know what a deathstyle is? Blacks had no right to live, no protection for their lives, nothing, under white rule. Rhodesians killed blacks for sport and Kutz wants to talk lifestyle. And you defend him. Screw off.

Blacks had no right to live, no protection for their lives, nothing, under white rule.

Does anyone outside of Mugabe's circle have that now?

Rhodesians killed blacks for sport and Kutz wants to talk lifestyle.

Is the current 80% unemployment and starvation better than that?  Further, was it legal to do so, or just hard to get justice?  (US whites also killed blacks for sport, but it wasn't legally sanctioned even if some got away with it.  We have made much progress in that area without someone like Mugabe rising to power—yet.)

And you defend him.

I defend his right to raise the issue.  Closing down discussion with slurs just guarantees that it will happen again, because no lessons will have been learned.

OTOH...perhaps it is unremarked because ignoring a behavior is the best way to extinguish it.

Or, as I've noticed my liberal aquaintances do, unremarked/ignored behavior/statements are the best way to not think about them.

Just liberals? Be honest.

In any case, I've thought a lot about it...and decided that for the most part, it's not really on-topic for TOD. Especially when the problem is intentionally phrased in a manner that is likely to generate heat, not light.

Anyway, I find stories like Zimbabwe and Pakistan interesting, not because they are necessarily signs of peak oil (though high fuel prices sure haven't helped), but because they give us a glimpse of how we are likely to react when energy grows scarce. That is why I post them, not because I think the problems are peak oil related.

That is why I posted the Canadian story about the area cut off by a flood. Obviously, that was an act of nature, not oil scarcity. But the effects might be a glimpse of our oil-scarce future.

just liberals and neocon clowns......bush, cheney, rummy, condi, wolffy, fieth, etal (et many), oh yeah the puppetmaster kkkarl rove.

Just liberals. They're the only ones who shout me down with tales of oil co.s conspiracies. Conservative types try to convince me benignly, "knowing" they've the upper hand.

Benign neglect as Saint Reagan called it reinforces racism.
Behavior is "extinguished" when those who display it cannot survive.
You, Leanan, are the best of us. It makes me sad that you live amongst the complacent and arrogant who happily proclaim "Me? Racist? You must be a PC liberal." They have nothing - nothing - to contribute. You do. Goodbye.

There is nothing that can be done because the guys that used to run the country are not going back.

Some news notes from sleeplessinmuscat.blogspot.com/ -

From http://www.omantribune.com/index.php?page=news_main_page&id=160 - Saturday, June 9 -

'Also on Friday, Oman Oil announced that oil and gas operations have returned to normal. Shipments began at 11am on Friday.

The company kept producing oil throughout the cyclone period. Although shipping operations were halted as a precautionary measure, the company stored its output in storage tanks at Al Fahl Port. There was no damage at the company’s production facility.'

Please note that Oman's oil production is spread throughout the country, and only a part of Oman suffered from Gonu.

And this tidbit -
'Meanwhile, Oman Air on Friday resumed international flights. The first flight No.607 took off for Dubai, the UAE, at 9.00am. A source at Oman Air said this means that Seeb International Airport has started functioning. The source said Oman Air would resume all its flights scheduled before the cyclone hit the Sultanate.'

And from another article, also June 9 - http://www.omantribune.com/index.php?page=news&id=7745&heading=Oman -
'The airport was flooded. “Parts of the tarmac was flooded during the storm as there is a wadi there. But it is designed in such a way as not to retain water,” said the airport official. There was no damage to the runway lights but some communication equipment was damaged. “We had back up equipment, besides we have repaired the damage and everything is now normal,” the airport official added. Most of the passengers on Oman Air flights on Friday were those who were held up due to the storm. They were accorded priority. “Passengers who were in transit or who came from outside Muscat were provided hotel accommodation,” said an airline official. “The approach road to the airport was damaged and only a single lane was functioning – that led to traffic jams. There was no electricity and it was dark,” said an airline official.'

I keep having this feeling, based on my own experience in Germany in 1999, when an unanticipated hurricane hit, that there are more problems in and around Muscat than are currently being reported - because entire systems no longer function correctly, and the absence of news is considered good news - after all, if there were problems, then people would be reporting them, right?

For example, the airport is functioning - you can't really get to it, there is no electricity, and since the runway was designed to handle flooding, no concerns there either. But otherwise, everything is fine.

As for the gas and oil infrastructure - the export terminal is fairly near Muscat - seriously, there was no pipeline damage? Look at how the roads in that general region look after the storm, and try to seriously imagine that there was no pipeline damage at all. Again, simple speculation based on pictures which reach the Internet, done by an amateur - of course, arguably the people running the storm recovery efforts are beginners, who don't have any way experience in the scale of what has happened. They will afterwards, of course.

As for the LNG - anybody suggesting that things are up and running without problems at the loading facility will need a lot of proof before I believe their words compared to my lying eyes in terms of the geology where part of the facility is sited.

YouTube is now starting to get some post-Gonu videos.


A blog translating a local paper on OmanForum:

...The water crisis was sparked when the pipeline supplying natural gas to the Ghubrah power and desalination plant was damaged by the cyclonic storm. The plant produces 42 million gallons of water per day, which along with the power and desalination facility of AES Barka, meets Muscat's potable water needs. Authorities have since been able to partially restart the Ghubrah plant using diesel as fuel, but water output remains a mere 3 million gallons per day.

According to Said Mohammed al Nabhani, Director General of Water — Ministry of Housing, Electricity and Water (MHEW), water supplies from AES Barka too have been hit because of storm water flooding the switchgear equipment that runs the pumping system. “The people concerned have been working non-stop, round-the-clock to rectify the problem and restore supplies,” he said. In the meantime, authorities have brought into production one of two wellfields in Muscat Governorate that usually serve as standby reserves. The producing wellfield, generating around 5 million gallons per day, which help supply water to Seeb, as well as Bausher, Qurum and Ghubrah.

So a natural gas distribution pipeline (a big one) was damaged. And Omanis still use gallons :-)


A family member of mine is getting regular photos/emails from a co-worker in PDO (Muscat) and it does not look pretty. The infrastructure is essentiallty disconnected. People are queing hours for food and one of my family members who is out there will almost certainly delay their flight back out to Oman.


Hello TODers,

Zimbabwe's terror: How I raped and tortured for Mugabe
I sure hope Peakoil Outreach is successful enough that many countries won't repeat what is happening to these people.

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

"For example, it has become increasingly clear that, of anything we can do over the next decade, biofuels have by far the greatest potential to actually reduce US oil consumption, reduce oil imports, and reduce carbon gas emissions " GM CEO

This would be true in GM's world where any option that would actually increase gas mileage, reduce the size of vehicles, decrease the power of vehicles, and cut VMT is considered inimical to GM's business interests.

These people just simply don't give a damn about the planet and will say or do anything to keep the status quo going. While biofuels may have a role, to put them at the forefront as part of an oil reduction or global warming strategy is absurd.

CNN reran We Were Warned this morning. It was indeed different than the first version. I wonder if they actually went out and filmed new footage, or if this was stuff that ended up on the cutting room floor the first time? If the latter, shame on Frank Sesno for not including the Amy Jaffe interview the first time.

Anyway, they also interviewed a GM executive. I don't remember that part, either, though it's been awhile since I saw the first version. He said that if oil goes to $100 a barrel, it will mean the death of GM. So I guess they're fighting for their lives...by any means necessary.

What did Amy "No Bad News" Jaffe have to say?


Good God! She looks just like an ex-girlfriend of mine!

She had some bad news. She said even if we turned every scrap of organic material we had into biofuel, it wouldn't be enough to keep the happy motoring lifestyle going.

"He said that if oil goes to $100 a barrel, it will mean the death of GM. "

Since that will mean just the bankruptcy of GM the corporation, is this so bad?

Suppose a silicon-valley/parts supplier consortium bought the remainder of the assets and started over?

Funny how GM actually sells reasonably successfully in Europe (Opel/Vauxhall) with fuel prices equivalent to US $120 a barrel or so.


I've opined for some time that bankruptcy, allowing GM to shed its unsustainable labor contracts, is the only way it can put enough money into making vehicles to continue as a corporate entity.

These are all very interesting articles, but how does this relate to Paris Hilton?

On the wild and lighter side:

KPFT FM in Houston is sponsoring through Ray Hill's Prison Show an essay contest "Why Paris Hilton should be my celly (cell mate)", 100 words or less, open to all current residents of the Texas Department of Corrections.

I'm looking forward to hearing the results read.

Is there anyone else who looked at the Paris Hilton debacle and saw a correlary to the response of the clueless to peak oil? " Oh my god, this can't be happening to me! I deserve better and someone better fix this for me." The peak oil outfall will be tough on the Valley Girls.

Treeman: The funniest thing about the Paris thing was her lament: "It isn't fair". I would estimate approx 99% of the USA population would do the 45 days happily if they could come out to 100 million (or whatever she has) waiting for them.In her universe, being handed a fortune at birth is "fair" but this isn't.

More signs of forced energy conservation, at the margin:

Running on Empty
On a Road to Nowhere
An Alaskan village asks a scary question:
What happens when oil is too expensive to use?

June 9, 2007; Page A1


"We have a very fragile economy in most of these villages already and then you add the jolt of high fuel-oil prices. It's my guess that many of these communities will not find themselves viable if fuel prices stay here," says Mike Black, director of community advocacy at Alaska's Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. The villages, he says, "are begging, borrowing and stealing to get enough fuel."

The extreme costs of fuel in rural Alaska have led to numerous energy experiments. But various efforts to reduce rural Alaska's dependence on petroleum-based energy have struggled. Petroleum is easy to store, handle and transport, says Brent Sheets, head of the federal government's Arctic Energy Office in Fairbanks. "It is hard to beat diesel fuel," he says.

A proposal to build a small nuclear power plant for one small town was shelved when a study concluded that the federal security requirements made the project uneconomic. Solar isn't a good fit for Alaska, because fuel demand goes up in the winter when the state gets little sunlight. The Energy Department office even looked at turbines designed to harness river energy, dodging logs and car-sized icebergs, but plans never made it past the theoretical stage.

One alternative-energy success stories is in Kotzebue, the hub community to the west of Shungnak on the Chukchi Sea. On the tundra outside of Kotzebue, where the only sign of life is paw prints from an Arctic fox, are 17 windmills capable of generating one megawatt of electricity. The windmills "are a hedge against rising fuel costs," says Brad Reeve, a Minnesotan who came to the town 30 years ago to run the public-radio station and now heads up the electric cooperative.

As the cost of bringing in diesel has grown, electricity from the windmills has looked better and better. But the windmills have a high upfront cost -- they sit on special pilings with chemicals that ensure the tundra remains frozen to hold the windmills steady. And on a recent morning, as a computer in the coop's offices showed 2.8 megawatts of demand, the wind wasn't blowing. All of the electricity came from distillate-burning generators, a reminder that Kotzebue needs to keep a steady supply of oil.

In Shungnak, Mr. Woods, the tribal-government official, says he expects the oil will keep on flowing. Eskimos are accustomed to adapting to extreme conditions, he says. But there is little effort being made to teach children how to hunt the old way. "Their lifestyle now is so convenient," he says.

Yes, and a front-page story, too. I like this part early in the article:

The U.S. has long enjoyed among the lowest oil prices in the industrialized world -- and until recently, even in remote Alaska, fossil fuel was affordable to the majority of people. Decades of cheap energy prompted Americans to use more and more petroleum, lengthening their commutes in the lower 48 states and trading in dog sleds for snowmobiles in Alaskan villages.

Today, the price of oil and all the products made from it has surged and seem likely to remain high for some time. This has raised the unsettling question: What happens to a community accustomed to cheap energy when the energy is no longer cheap?

Perhaps the readers at TOD could contribute some choice questions to ask the mayor of this town?

Or even better some choice ideas about improving the situation?

#1 Add more turbines! Air is denser up in the cold

(how to transport them up there.... by ship?)

#2 A load levelling system!

Re that "Forty years ago" history of American cars...I've been thinking, and I honestly cannot remember the first time I drove a car by myself. I'm sure I must have felt that sense of freedom, but I don't remember it. (There was no soundtrack, I'm pretty sure. We always bought used cars, and the radios were always broken by the time we got them.)

I was never big on cars (unlike my sister, who had the car she wanted to drive picked out by the time she was five). You could get your learner's permit when you were 14 where I lived, but I didn't get mine until I was 17. It was a small, rural town, and you couldn't get anywhere without driving. OTOH, it was such a small town that there was really nowhere to go even if you did have a car, so there wasn't a lot of incentive.

The first time I drove by myself was probably to my job at a fast food joint. The freedom earning that money gave me made a stronger impression than driving to get there.

I do remember the sense of freedom I got riding the city bus for the first time by myself (when I was much younger, in a different location). Partly because I was so much younger - probably around 10 years old - and partly because there were places to go.

For me it isn't quite 40 yrs, more like 33, but I also felt the freedom of choice more important than the freedom of driving, which was only significant to the degree it could support the former. More relevant about the freedom to drive was the fact I didn't have any money to do anything when I got somewhere, so I usually just drove to the golf course where I could play for free as my job was there.

I spent more on golf clubs than on a car back then :-)


It wasn't 40 years ago for me, either. In fact, I really don't get the Beatles. I'm in the tweener generation. Too young to have been a Beatles fan myself, too old to have parents who liked them. So I don't remember the first time I heard Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band, either. Heck, I'm not sure I've ever heard the original version. I do remember the soundtrack from the movie that came out ca. 1980. My best friend at the time loved it, and played it all the time. (Along with Grease.) We were too young to drive at the time, though, so we were generally sitting in the backseat while her mom drove, begging her to turn up the volume. :)

My favourite song back then (1966, Beatles time) was Daytripper. Not that at age 8 I knew what the lyrics meant :-)

The Byrds "Turn,Turn,Turn"

I don't actually remember the first time I drove unsupervised, but the memories of being forced to learn how to drive are still pretty vivid.

Driver's ed in Fairfax, Va. was 'voluntary,' and the program essentially paid for by the insurance and automotive industries - a fairly standard program, I found out later. The course involved a half quarter of school calendar, and due to the limited number of cars and the special classroom, scheduling was somewhat erratic - one week at one time, the next another, etc.

With zero interest in driving, the first time the 'voluntary' class was scheduled, I didn't even bother with the proforma 'permission' required from my parents - and since attendance in the regular classes was fine, no one noticed for a while.

Then, after skipping a second round, a vice principal scheduled an appointment to meet - and informed me, very bluntly, that 'voluntary' driver's ed meant that I had to attend the course, regardless of my wishes.

He was quite mad, actually, especially since the situation was so absurd - since every American teenager is expected to see driving as a mark of adulthood and freedom, there was never any reason to actually do anything but pretend that driver's ed was optional, thus providing the fig leaf that learning how to drive was not detracting from serious educational goals.

Yes, hard as it might be to imagine, I was actually forced to learn how to drive - but they still couldn't force a 16 year to go to court to get a license, so it was only after turning 18 that a driver's license was something I bothered with.

Though by now, recalling costs isn't possible, and inflation plays in this calculation, my decision 'cost' the insurance industry a few hundred dollars, at least.

High school was something which was a waste of 4 years, but it did clearly teach the difference between what is said and what is done.

Maybe the school was getting money for each student who passed driver's ed?

No driver's ed at my school. Too small and too poor. My dad taught me to drive. He had taught my mom and all her sisters to drive, too, so he was pretty experienced.

Very unlikely - the program was to designed to enhance public safety by training young drivers, was taught by Fairfax Country employees, in vehicles with the county's emblem on the door.

And it was 'voluntary.' The fact is, at least for the insurance industry, the stated goal was actually correct - the hours spent in the classroom and on the road undoubtedly improved driver safety for a class of drivers notorious for their poor safety record (which is why in Germany, for example, 18 is the minimum age for a driver's license - with a 2 year probation period).

But the equally valid fact is that young drivers have a high insurance rate (this at a time when no-fault insurance was becoming law), meaning that each student who received a license was revenue for an insurance company.

Besides, who wouldn't want to drive? After all, it is part of the American Dream, a dream which no reality can be allowed to overcome. A dream so powerful, that everyone wants to live it - or would want to, if they just knew.

Interestingly, this was just before the Shah had to leave his American Dream kingdom - the following oil shock meant very little to me personally.

As a side note - of course roughly 40 year olds are going to be interested in peak oil - they got a good taste of the future when young enough to actually experience life without the blinders we all don later.

Well, I've been told that I have to take a "voluntary" course in emergency response, given by the Dept. of Homeland Security. And apparently, it's because they're getting money from the feds for each employee who completes the course.

Yeah, I've had to take the same course. Online, not too bad if you like accronyms. . .

in Germany, for example, 18 is the minimum age for a driver's license - with a 2 year probation period

Some weeks ago I was quite surprised to read that the Hertz company requires at least 2 years of licensing and at least 21 years of age, otherwise they won't rent you a car.
In case of premium cars it could be up to 30 years of age and at least 3 years licence.

Drivers Ed was _required_ in my high school in Mississippi in 1975. It made sense... you had to have a car to get to your teenager job in most cases (NB: this was a principal method for socialising the Working Class).

Hi expat. I'd like to contrast drivers' ed in a small town in Mississippi: even though I was a good, motivated student, I regarded drivers' ed as a good excuse to get out of rigorous classess. But it got even better; by the middle of the term - classroom instruction completed and time to go driving - all the other students in the class had dropped out of school! So, once a week for several months the instructor and I went for a leisurely drive in the country!

Then I moved to the big city, left turn yields and interstates, and all the fun went out of driving.

Errol in Miami

Although in my case its only 29 years, I still remember how first driving for me was pretty much the same it is today: an unedifying composit of boredom and the need of absolute concentration.

And I cannot get used to sitting one meter lower than on my bicycle. From a bicycle you have a perfect panoramic view into the street - in a car there are all these narrow windows and cross-ties, you need rearview mirrors and all that ..

Thats why I've never owned a car, and I think I won't ever buy one.

In the U.S., this 'command view' is supposed to be one of the major attractions of SUVs and minivans - especially among women.

It makes sense to me.

I read about the female preference for SUVs, with the smaller windows the better. But why does it make sense for you?

Having a clear view of the road, whether on two wheels, or in a vehicle that is high enough, whether truck or SUV, is something most car drivers don't even know exists - and once you are used to it, sitting low in a car with its restricted view seems inadequate.

Of course, the irony is, when enough people drive SUVs, this height advantage disappears in most ways - the same way it disappears in a column of trucks for everyone except the lead one.

Thats why, when I'm Emperor, not only will all h-points be the same height but all bumper heights as well.
Oh yeah, no semis.

I do. I'd been driving the tractor in the fields for quite a while, but hadn't taken Drivers Ed yet. Sometimes my Dad used to pick me up at high school on his way home from work. One day we stopped at the auto repair shop to check on his car, a dark green Olds Toronado. It was ready, so he told me to drive it and follow him home. I was terrified that I was going to wreck his wheels, but the roads were fairly empty in those days and we got home without incident.

They were grooming me to take over the family driver job from my Mom.

There seem to be a lot of articles recently dealing with how poorer countries are struggling with the effects of high oil prices—power outages, riots etc.

Does anyone know of any current charts or maps that summarize this activity?

For example things like GDP and historical power outages correlated on a color coded map.

Here is a useful map. Guess which of the two areas on this map are not represented in OECD oil inventory numbers?


Declaring that oil inventories are fine, by focusing on OECD inventories, is like asserting that there were no hunger problems in the US in the Thirties, by focusing solely on surveys of the top half of income earners.

It appears to me the effects of $ 60.00 a barrel are already settling in worldwide.

When I try to explain this to family and friends they don’t see a problem yet.

How long before the bottom starts mixing with the top? ;)

How long before the bottom starts mixing with the top?

I think that we are seeing progressive forced energy conservation moving up the food chain, compounded by the Export Land Model.

The problems are first appearing in the poorest and/or most remote areas, and among those who are most financially stretched because of too much debt.

The developing Net Export Crisis appeared so obvious to me in January, 2006 that I am amazed that anyone disputed the model.

I liked the model upon first hearing it, it is nice and simple, incorporating localism and typical human survival strategy.


If the needs of the top are taken care of, hurrah! Then the second person can be taken care of, and so on.

Gil: Great heirarchy chart. I sometimes feel that people forget that all of us (especially politicians and government officials) are working off the same chart.

The gov't and politicians work off that list too, but the problem is they don't give a damn past the top three.

look at orgs like the UN

only happened with enough excess $$ from countries!

look for a collapse of the most complicated organizations at the top of the chain for an indication of global economy failure. The collapse will of course be a late warning sign as the troubles will have long been brewing.

I certainly don´t dispute your export land model. What puzzles me, is that you seem to be quit lonely in this.

If you are right, and i believe you are, the whole world is sleepwalking into the abyss. This is VERY strange IMHO.

WT, I've never disputed the reality of the Export Land Model, but I question only a 5% per year drop in exports. Mexican production is off on a 15% per year basis, the north sea at 10%, KSA an estimated 10-15%. What I'm saying is your model provides for a drop to 0 exports about 10 years after the start, but I believe it may be twice as fast as your model projects.
Independent Oil Producers slowed the drop in the USA to about 2% per annum, but they are not present in most countries by law.

What is it they don't see?

If oil was $20 a barrel...

Would Ford and GM be in the death spiral?

Would Chrysler have sold for peanuts to the private equity choppers?

Would ethanol be remotely real?

Would we be fighting in the Middle East?

Would the Canadians be ruining their patrimony for tar?

BTW, the comments area on the Net Exports story appears to be disabled. I sent an e-mail to Super G & Khebab.


Chuck Watson asks:

Does anybody have any solid info on that status of the Mina al Fahal oil terminal (not the refinery, the tanker loading facilities)? As near as I can tell the news reports are based on a single third party source and are conflicting. From a model validation standpoint, I'd like to know when they start moving product at resonably normal levels. That information is surprisingly hard to come by some times. Phrases like "Open" and "undergoing testing" make me suspicious it isn't actually operating normally yet.

I have looked high and low for news on Oman's oil infrastructure, but there seems to be zero – as in none – new articles on this topic today. Yesterday an oil Oman port official stated there was [unspecified] damage, but there were loading a tanker in the afternoon.

While Oman's oil ports were closed, oil production could have continued for a while and even could have given them an opportunity to build up inventories near the loading terminals. The fact that they were loading a tanker Friday afternoon only proves that from the short distance between the storage tanks and the tankers infrastructure was operating ok.

I have seen no statement saying anything about the pipeline system between oil extraction, processing and refining sites. From reading all the previous posts on Gonu, I got the impression all oil was eventually transferred by pipeline to the oil ports. Could pipelines have faired better than the highway system that was severely damaged?

It really would be awesome to collect a little money here at TOD and hire a full-time reporter. Someone to whom we could say, "go to Oman and get some real info for us". Someone we could all push around just a little as we voted on where to send our little peon ... I mean, reporter :-)

I think we already have some pretty good unpaid reporters - many more than most news media have.

Count me out, then.

On the other hand, if we can get people with subject-matter expertise to cover events, we'll have far more accurate, informed coverage than most news outlets.  That would make TOD even more the place to come for solid commentary.

If you ever see any news on something you have knowledge about you quickly realize that most reporters never learned much past punctuation and spelling. I think when the colleges started calling journalism "communications" they even dropped punctuation and spelling from the curriculum.

Saw this link at Energy Bulletin:

What the World Eats

Fascinating photo essay, of families around the world posed with the food they eat in a week.

It seems unbelievable that that fairly large African family can be supported on such a small volume of food. Though part of it is probably that nothing is pre-packaged, and there's not much produce, which adds volume.

The German family looks like they have the most food, and the unhealthiest. I also got a kick out of the way they've arranged it. They are by far the neatest. It looks like they used a rod and transit to lay it out. Which seems very...German. ;-)

Noted the preponderance of bananas throughout the world, right up there with plastic liter bottles of soft drinks. Must assume family size as shown in the picture, which makes cost comparisons difficult. Still, Bhutan, with a little over $5 per week, seems cheap.

As always, 5$ a week in Bhutan may be VERY expensive.

If we had a chart of % of take home wage spent on food it would be much better.

I was reading somewhere that in the 40's it cost over 25% of the household budget to feed a family. Currently the number is below 10% for USA/Canada.


remember kids, i can go buy a bag of potatoe chips for 3$ and have enough calories for 2 days. it's very bad only having salt, carb, and fats but it will keep you alive for a while.

Not necesarily potato chips, but potatoes are one of the most nutritonally complete foods. All vitamins, just a little extra protein needed. Irish lasted nearly 2 generations on potatoes and milk, till blight put a quick stop to that.

And if you are trying gardening, they represent one of the best choices to grow. Relativley easy and fun to grow and harvest, store well, and plenty of calories. Biggest problem usually with the potato beetle.

Commercial ones, in contrast, are ususally started in sterile soil, and lamblasted with fungicides and herbicides. Hard to find another commercial crop hit so hard, so the "organic return" for your efforts is high.

im sure there must be some deficiency in eating only potatoes and milk....

but ya potatoes are cool, you just need fire to cook them.

The nutritonal completeness of spuds(lacking only vit A) and milk has been noted by Michael Pollan.

The Wiki potato entry states a potato will generate up to .8 volts of electricity.

The perfect post peak crop-the best food and a real biofuel.

Germans: by far the most bottled drinks
Italian, Kuwaiti, Japanese: laid out just like a shop :-)
English: they eat even more junk food than we do!

I hope the dog in the English picture was a pet and not food!!


I was very disillusioned to find that hot dogs are the favorite food of the Italian family. Not exactly the stereotype of the Mediterranean diet.

Might have something to do with the average age in that family?

In my experience, Germans, especially older Germans, don't trust any water that comes out of the tap. What is funny (or possibly ironic) is how Germans find the highly chlorinated water now typical in various American destinations (California, Florida, New York, etc.) fairly wretched - while also finding the bottled water boring, as Germans tend to drink carbonated (generally the CO2 is added) mineral water.

And much of the bottled things sold here - water, soda, beer, fruit juice - are in returnable glass bottles, though the proportion of PET and cans has been growing.

At work (Mass) we have a Dasani machine - 75 cents for a bottle of water. I discovered years ago that the water from the tap on the other side of the lunchroom is just fine (as opposed to my home well water). So I save the jugs from my Lite Hawaiian Punch addiction and fill them from the tap at work and bring them home.

Of course, the people I work with cite this as just more evidence of my psychological dysfunction. "I'd never drink tap water". With, I swear, a frightened look on their faces. When I point out that bottled water is seldom tested to be cleaner than properly treated town water they simply don't believe it.

I increasingly get the feeling lately that people will believe anything - EXCEPT the TRUTH!

Oh well.......

Tell me I haven't lost it...

your colleagues would "never drink tap water", and yet they buy Dasani?

United States
Coca-Cola uses water from local municipal water supplies, filters it using the process of reverse osmosis and adds trace amounts of minerals, including Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), Potassium chloride (a sodium-free substitute for table salt), and common salt.

From the wiki article

Aquafina is Pepsi's version, but they don't add salt.


I suppose they're marginally better than tap water.

I mix tap water with fruit juice myself. My stepson has one of those purifier spigots.

In several places in Germany (certainly Munich and Greifswald) the tap water has a funky taste. In Munich filtering is sufficient. In Greifswald it isn't... if you drink tea though it is OK.


ps post-peak we will mostly all go back to drinking natural water and it will make a big difference to educate the people not to pollute or soil it

Fluoride is a Trojan Horse, as I've been reading it. While it combats decay, it also inhibits your body's natural bone and tooth repair system. Many places outside the US do not Fluoridate their water supplies.

"In 1933, when the world's first major air pollution disaster struck Belgium's Meuse Valley. Several thousand people became violently ill and 60 died. Kaj Roholm, the world's leading authority on fluoride hazards, placed the blame on fluoride.

"It was abundantly clear to both industry and government that US industrial expansion would necessitate releasing millions of tons of waste fluoride into the environment. It was equally clear that US industrial expansion would be accompanied by complaints and lawsuits over fluoride damage on an unprecedented scale.

Liability Into Asset

"During the industrial explosion of the 1920s, the US Public Health Service (PHS) was under the jurisdiction of Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon, a founder and major stockholder of the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). In 1931, a PHS dentist named H. Trendley Dean was dispatched to remote towns in the West where drinking-water wells contained high concentrations of natural fluoride. His mission: to determine how much fluoride people could tolerate without sustaining obvious damage to their teeth. Dean found that teeth in these high-fluoride towns were often discolored and eroded, but he also reported that they appeared to have fewer cavities than average.


and from Wiki Chemistry..

"# 1945 Fouridation of Grand Rapids begins despite above ADA warning. The ten-year study is terminated after one one year. The control, Muskegon, has fluoridation imposed and is thus destroyed.
# 1945 fluoride's affinity for magnesium and manganese ions enables it to deplete their availability for vital enzyme functions. (Borei, H., "Inhibition of Cellular Oxidation by Fluoride", Arkiv.Kemi,Mineral,Geol., 20A, No. 8, 1945). (Soviet?)
# 1946-7 Reports from the House Committee on Un-American Activities in the Armed Forces note the dociling effect of fluorides in the water supplies at military bases. (Despite this, and assertions by proponents that fluoride is only useful during the growth of permanent teeth, adult-only military bases remain heavily fluorided.)
# (About this time Oscar Ewing, ALCOA's transplant to the Federal Security Agency, in charge of the Public Health Service, begins having fluoride naysayers painted as "deranged", etc. doesn't that sound familiar.)
# Forrestal opposes using fluoride to keep military men docile. ork Daily Times, Letters to the Editor from former FBI agent Wesley C. Trollope, Omaha, Neb., March 17, 1967).
# 1948 English study correlates fluoride concentration of 1ppm with skeletal defects
# 1950 The 24th edition of the U.S. Dispensatory (pp 1456-1457) defines fluorides as "violent poisons to all living tissue because of their precipitation of calcium...the use of fluoride-containing dentifrices and internal medicants is not justified."
# 1950 fluorides "lower hemoglobin and may cause irreversible loss of potassium from the red cells." C. W. Sheppard, Science


So, Maybe those Germans are onto something..


I guess I should have Signed that last as Jack Ripper.. but I was late to the bell.

" Ripper: Mandrake?
Mandrake: Yes, Jack?
Ripper: Have you ever seen a Commie drink a glass of water?
Mandrake: Well, I can't say I have.
Ripper: Vodka, that's what they drink, isn't it? Never water?
Mandrake: Well, I-I believe that's what they drink, Jack, yes.
Ripper: On no account will a Commie ever drink water, and not without good reason.
Mandrake: Oh, eh, yes. I, uhm, can't quite see what you're getting at, Jack.
Ripper: Water, that's what I'm getting at, water. Mandrake, water is the source of all life. Seven-tenths of this earth's surface is water. Why, do you realize that seventy percent of you is water?
Mandrake: Uh, uh, Good Lord!
Ripper: And as human beings, you and I need fresh, pure water to replenish our precious bodily fluids.
Mandrake: Yes. (he begins to chuckle nervously)
Ripper: Are you beginning to understand?
Mandrake: Yes. (more laughter)
Ripper: Mandrake. Mandrake, have you never wondered why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure-grain alcohol?
Mandrake: Well, it did occur to me, Jack, yes.
Ripper: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation. Fluoridation of water?
Mandrake: Uh? Yes, I-I have heard of that, Jack, yes. Yes.
Ripper: Well, do you know what it is?
Mandrake: No, no I don't know what it is, no.
Ripper: Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

Dr.Strangelove..just saw it again for the Nth time. Still riveting and relevant. Thanks for the dialogue.

A favorite food of the brits is mayonnaise sandwiches? gack.

And hey, my recent posts certainly haven't added much of substance to TOD. But still, mayo sandwiches?

No wonder they'll eat vegemite.

The English are renowned for their culinary ineptitude. And it shows.

Best Hopes for fine Indian cuisine in the UK,


I donning my redcoat here! I've NEVER heard of a mayonnaise sandwich. Prawn/shrimp mayonnaise sandwiches are popular so I think it's a misprint deliberate or otherwise.

I don't know anyone who eats like that family. The MSM went bottom fishing in England on purpose to reinforce stereotypes.

Sandwiches are our fast food much more so than burgers, pizzas or Indian takeouts. 12 billion sandwiches a year versus 100 million Indian meals. Most Indian restaurant food is made from bottled sauces and loaded with clarified butter and cream. It's junk.

Perception is everything. Few of us gets to enter a family home when we go on vacation so we don't really know what the locals eat.

Most Indian restaurant food is made from bottled sauces and loaded with clarified butter and cream. It's junk

Perhaps in English Indian restaurants, but not in New Orleans Indian restaurants :-). Complex use of vegetables and spices in many dishes (although they do offer fried onion pieces, the junkiest item on the menu). Tandoori chicken is one of my favorites there. Goat on Fridays.

I am reminded of the old joke. In Heaven, the bobbies are English, the chefs are French, the mechanics are Italian, the bureaucrats are Swiss ans the lovers are Italina. There are no lawyers in Heaven, for there is no need.

In Hell, thr police are German, the mechanics are Italian, the bureaucrats are French, the "cooks" are English, the lawyers are American and the lovers are Swiss.

Best Hopes for continued fine dining in New Orleans,


It all goes to prove there is good food and bad food. I think that's true in every country.

The unPC variant goes like this - Heaven in an English house, an American salary, a Japanese wife and a Chinese cook. Hell is an English cook, a Japanese house, a Chinese salary and an American wife.

It all goes to prove there is good food and bad food. I think that's true in every country

One of the startling things about New Orleans is the absence of bad food ! We have a very few chains (all bad, 3 McDonald's for example) but if one avoids those (easily done) the local food is all quite good.

Some may not like spicy boiled crawfish, parboiled oysters, Trout Meuniere Amandine, Muffaleta sandwiches or simple red beans and rice but it is all good food (and some is even healthy :-) The people will simply not tolerate mediocrity !

Best Hopes for the Louisiana Seafood Festival & Creole Tomato Festival & Zydeco Music Festival this afternoon,


Reminds me of the Argentinians, for whom a great sandwich is three pieces of the whitest of white bread (crust removed), with the thinnest layers of mayonnaise, ham and cheese possible. The ham and cheese might be 1mm thick combined.

All I could think was, "damn, you people need to come to Rochester and have yourself a Dibella's sub!"

Well, no one in Argentina considers these sandwiches a substitute for a meal either.

One actually eats extremely well down there.

I would hypothesize, that the one universal constant, all over the world is:"Mom always puts out the good china for guest".

If you were to photograph my pantry, you would find tons of things I never eat, but no junk food. Mostly because the junk food gets eaten the within a day or two of purchase.

I wonder what the local selection would look like. Too much variety to tell ! (Other than red beans and rice on Monday :-)

Tomorrow I will go to the combined festival (within yards of each other), 1st Annual Louisiana Seafood + Cajun Zydeco Music + Creole Tomato Festival ;-) (Buy $25 in the French Market, oldest "farmers market" in nation and get 5 lbs of local Creole Tomatoes :-)

I heard that the charbroiled oysters were "don't miss" :-)


Best Hopes,


I also drink filtered Mississippi River water. Not bad tasting :-)

Amazing how much packaged food predominates almost everywhere except in remote, poor places like Chad & Ecuador. Many of those diets looked pretty unhealthy -- many of them had very few fresh fruits & vegetables or whole grain products.

I guess the good news is that there is a lot of scope for demand destruction as far as food is concerned in most rich and even midling countries.

About 3 months ago I purchased National Geographic’s 8th Edition Atlas of the world. It is about 12 X 18 inches and contains 138 pages of maps and ref material, of which 110 pages are maps most cover 2 pages. It also contains a 134-page index in small print, 8 columns/page. So the geographically illiterate can find there way around the world. It was quite useful during the recent storm.
I purchased the cheap soft cover for $99 US, with a free small navy blue throw blanket with N.G. insignia.

The Reality Report: The Myths of Biofuels


David Fridley is part of Lawrence-Berkeley's Energy Analysis Program, Environmental Energies Technology Division. The EAP generates and interprets information to inform governments and international institutions on energy-related issues to assist in the formulation of energy and environmental policies. Fridley is also deputy group leader of Lawrence-Berkeley's China Energy Group, which collaborates with the Chinese on end-use energy efficiency, industrial energy use, government energy management programs, data compilation and analysis, medium and long term energy policy research.

Re: Economic lab-honey bee

Authors include value of bee pollinated alfalfa forage hay, a crop harvested properly (highest protein levels) just at bloom. Pollination is not needed for the forage crop, only seed production. Many fields will go 6-10 years without reseeding, some up to twenty.

Earlier this spring, I was trying to get a beekeeper to place some of his hives on my land, primarily for orchard pollination. Wasn't interested with all the alfalfa, thought the bees might starve. Replied his bees worked my arch nemisis, the introduced exotic weed Spotted Knapweeed, for summer food supply.

But then there’s the last paragraph, and the passage that brought me to a dead stop: “[T]he one bright spot in this future is that peak oil and climate change represent the greatest hope for reallocation of wealth and justice in the world.”

If I may engage in a bit of deconstruction. This guy is just a Marxist trying to find a archetype for peak oil in the dialectical materialism narrative.

Dialectical materialism says that irony will decrease until the un-ironic socialist utopia emerges, barring interference from "reactionary" forces. Anyway, this is just a fairy tale of the marxist religion that people tell themselves in order to have hope for the future and be able to sleep at night. The real world is far more confusing.

Since peak oil is seen as a great change from the author's perspective, the archetype for peak oil is "popular revolt and socialist revolution". After the popular revolution the bourgeoisie are overthrown and the socialist utopia emerges, hence his analysis that peak oil will be a good thing.

Well, I'm an old Marxist. Marx was enthusiastic about technology and material progress and thought that socialism would put these to use for the betterment all. Marx did not take into account peak oil and peak other resources, although he undoubtedly would have thought that a socialist gov't would at least have a chance of being realistic in face such challenges.

In any case, Marx's analysis of capitalism has great power and relevance even though his notion of socialism based on material abundance is not going to pan out.

Going forward, I'm a pragmatist. The issue now is human survival in some sort of civilized condition. But pragmatism (which means trying to be reality-based) does not put profit at the top of the list in making every decision, and therefore is now just as subversive a concept as Marxism was.

I wish they would come up with some fixed definition of subversive -- this way I might have a chance of staying out of trouble. On the other hand, pragmatism does seem to be picking up a lot of steam and I'm reluctant to jump off the bandwagon.

we all know command economies fail because to understand something as complex as supply, demand, and equilibrium price for all goods produced within a country one must be more complex than such a system.

Thats right folks. To understand a system, you must be more complex than it. Systems can be simplified (as typical supply demand price curves which rarely indicate the realities of a true market) but then you lose edge cases and more complex ones.

The world economy is a system of 3 variables * the number of unique products produced. Much too complicated for even the most complex models, many products are also interrelated with dependancies and subsitutes.

None of this implies that profit has to over-ride all all other considerations. Yes, the old Soviet super-centralized system doesn't work. That's where pragmatism comes in. The strictly-for-profit system is not working for the world as a whole and there is every likelihood it is not to work for us (US) much longer. (Some might be excused for thinking it's not working so well even now.)

subversive--observing the obvious...is my offerring.

Hey AL,

This kind of "analysis" is way more impressive if you avoid showing that you haven't even read the articles. Which you very obviously haven't.

Yeah, you didn't even read the article because Greer was very critical of that statement and gave his reasons why.

Care to try again?

See my comments below about Greer.

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

RE: "The Thing About Technology," arguing that every bit of technology humans have ever invented has made things worse. Anthropologist Marvin Harris thought the same thing. However, he did have one exception: birth control.

Right, Leanan. Let me know when Marvin Harris reverts to a hunter-gatherer lifesyle where every is dead at 40.

One, he argues, convincingly, that hunter-gatherers did not die at 40. Heck, even today, that's misleading. Low life expectancy is largely due to high infant mortality rates. Once you make it to adulthood, you have a pretty good chance of making it past 40.

It was agriculture that resulted in people starving, and in the high population density that encourages the spread of disease. The skeletons of prehistoric Europeans are as robust and tall as those of modern Europeans. Many of the "problems" we use technology to cure are caused by technology in the first place.

Two, he also acknowledges that it would be impossible to return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle at our current population levels. There would have to be one hell of a dieoff first, and he never advocated that.

Archeologists have found that some male Australian aboriginies were 6 feet tall during the early period of habitation.

They have also found that Australia was much more forrested when humans arrived than it is now. When I was younger everyone thought it was cool how the aboriginies had learned to "live in harmony with a difficult environment". Turns out humans made the environment difficult. Seems those technologies of stone tools and burning to flush game had some inintended consequences...

Errol in Miami

And I guess sterilized medical instruments, vaccinations, and antibiotics have also worsened the human condition - after all, more people surviving after surgery and disease just means more mouths to feed.

Exactly. That is why Harris says birth control is the only technology that's really been beneficial to mankind.

He also argues that many "fixes" wouldn't be needed if not for the bad side of technology. For example, if you don't eat sugar, you're not likely to suffer tooth decay. If you don't live crowded into villages or towns or cities, infectious disease is much less of a problem. Societies which are not literate suffer far lower rates of myopia than societies where literacy is common.

The obvious extreme is modern medicine, where we spend millions trying to treat diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, when it's far cheaper to prevent them with proper diet and exercise.

The problem is, once you define the problem as 'too many people,' the logical leap to be made is vanishingly small.

Obviously, this is not your argument, to avoid any confusion at all. The logic is hard to refute that anything which allows more humans to live without being balanced by an equal number of humans dying is a tragedy.

Except this leads to evil - and I do not in any sense mean the religious variety.

Africa's problems to a large extent stem from the fact that over the last couple of generations, not enough Africans have died - and only one political organization in the last century was willing to accept the logic behind that statement, and try to follow through on it.

And it seems as if a number of the individuals involved in that enterprise felt they were performing a selfless act for the good of humanity.

I guess by this measure, ultrasound technology is even better than mere birth control - by allowing millions and millions of female infants to be eliminated before birth, it is making a positive contribution to the betterment of the human condition by not only reducing births directly, but also preventing future births.

Personally, I reject such a perspective as evil, even if logically, it seems impossible to refute.

The problem is, once you define the problem as 'too many people,' the logical leap to be made is vanishingly small.

And Harris made it: Birth control is a good technology.

Well, I think of birth control more as knowledge than technology - and one of the fundamental elements of having a culture survive over the long term.

Of course, technology tends to work much better than simply avoiding certain activities at certain times, or breastfeeding over a period of years to reduce pregnancies.

The problem comes when making the next step, beyond choosing merely to have children, to deciding that killing children and adults is a worthy goal, for the good of all.

In a way, you see this contrast between Europe and America - European populations seem to be declining, and many Americans seem obsessed about the arrival of 'Eurabia' because of it. And a number of the reasons for Europe's coming demise among those who believe in 'Eurabia' tend to hinge very much on religious and social ideas concerning sex, morality, and reproduction - and how Europe's laws and mores are leading it to destroy itself.

In my eyes. birth control is not only connected to knowledge, it is also about power, especially in terms of the power women possess in a society. And America seems to be going backwards, at least in terms of the legal framework.

If I've translated it correctly, "technology" means "method knowledge".

This is one of the problems with the entire subject - what is technology in contrast to knowledge.

For example, building a fire to boil water to kill cholera before drinking the water is essentially knowledge - but without a pot, boiling isn't really possible. And without tools for dealing with wood, fire building becomes a bit problematic over the middle term too. Not to mention how to start a fire, which again is merely knowledge - if you happen to find the right stones. And so on.

But at some point, technology does exist in its own right - a MRI scanner is definitely a piece of technology, not merely a collection of ideas, and the MRI scanner relies on other technology.

In some ways, this is a dead-end discussion, because it becomes a matter of subjective taste more than objective reality. To stay concretely on birth control - knowing the basic cycle of fertility for a human female requires no technology at all. To determine it precisely enough to be effective at preventing pregnancies with a high rate of 95%+ compared to not determining it at all, requires technology - a thermometer, for example.

Or even a mini-computer, so to speak. There is an interesting example here - http://www.contracept.info/computers.php
Unfortunately, to finally bring this discussion a bit back to peak oil - 'Manufacturers claim failure rate of less than 1% for perfect users, and 4% for typical users.' To be blunt - typical here means those who know, but for a myriad of reasons I'm sure most (essentially all) of us can grasp, still ignore the future in terms of the present.

I think just about everyone who participates here drives, for example. And we will, until it is no longer possible.

For example, building a fire to boil water to kill cholera before drinking the water is essentially knowledge - but without a pot, boiling isn't really possible.

Almost all cultures have been able to build fires and boil water. Even if it's in vessels made of leaves, or by dropping hot rocks into baskets of water.

Many also seem to have known that washing with hot water was hygienic. The problem was that fuel for fires is often scarce, so heating water for washing becomes something that ordinary folk can't afford.

It always comes back to energy...

I think just about everyone who participates here drives, for example.

I don't think that necessarily means we are ignoring the future for the present. Rather, it's an acknowledgment that as individuals, it really doesn't matter whether we drive or not.

I left out the skin sack idea, and the dropped rocks - in part, for space, and in part, because the boundaries are truly hard to draw.

'Rather, it's an acknowledgment that as individuals, it really doesn't matter whether we drive or not.'

This is my problem, in a sense - it does matter, since every car being driven has an individual driving it - who generally made the decision to drive.

We can talk about the realistic chance (essentially none) that hundreds of millions of people will stop driving because of concerns about the future, but the fact remains, we decide to drive, and then rationalize it - the same way we rationalized poisoning our rivers, until we realized that we were drinking industrial waste - which took a few decades (or in the case of China, is something they have recently started on a scale which puts American practices to shame, as the Chinese should know better). And even then, companies were forced to change their practices due to politics, not because the company's customers stopped buying their products.

Peak oil attracts me because it does not rely on the ethical decisions of human beings - it is merely geology, interconnected to how we live.

And even then, companies were forced to change their practices due to politics, not because the company's customers stopped buying their products.

Exactly. What individuals do does not matter, except to them. Many of us are driving as little as possible, and driving fuel-efficient vehicles, which suggests we are not ignoring the future. But until society as a whole moves in our direction, and provides the changes in infrastructure, etc., that going car-free requires, there's a limit to what individuals can do.

Which is a slightly different point, and a valid one - that individuals are forced to participate - which ties into that driver's ed story too, actually.

I question how much forcing is involved, but it certainly exists - there was no way to walk or bicycle between Fairfax City and Fair Oaks Mall, which meant if I wanted to shop there, I had to drive.

Or just not shop there, of course.

'What individuals do does not matter, except to them.' However, I just can't disconnect the individual from the aggregate - in part, this is a lesson which is considered plain in Germany, where the attempt to evade repsonsiblity for society's evil acts by simply pointing out that everyone was involved is not considered sufficient moral justification - regardless of how true it may be in practice. Or even if a pope tries to use it as an excuse (he argued that it was the criminals at the top that were the reason good Germans went along with doing bad things).

a lesson which is considered plain in Germany, where the attempt to evade repsonsiblity for society's evil acts by simply pointing out that everyone was involved is not considered sufficient moral justification

Yes, Germany is the country in which the 'Categorical Imperative' was created.
In common language the KI today appears as the famous sentence "Wenn alle das täten..!" (which has even become a song title of Georg Kreisler.)

The Categorical Imperative should/could have served to keep Germans away from such terrible misdeeds as happened in the Nazi era, but obviously it did not work.

If you want to argue that this is the tragedy of the commons in action, I will not argue. However, that is not the same thing as ignoring the future.

I have a car, but I gave serious consideration to going car-free. I live just outside a small city, and have remained here, when many of my peers have bought ever-larger McMansions in the 'burbs. I am only two miles from my workplace, and walk when the weather permits.

I really wanted to go car-free, not least because of the financial benefits. But I decided it simply wasn't feasible, for safety reasons. The sidewalks are buried by five foot high plow drifts here during winter (when said drifts don't turn into mountains of ice). Large SUVs skid all over the place (their drivers convinced that they don't need to worry about slick roads, because hey, they have four wheel drive). And it's just insane to walk or bike after dark.

So I bought a Toyota Corolla. It's cheap - cheaper than a Prius. Given how little I drive, it wasn't worth it to me to pay more for a Prius. And I expect it to last 20 years or more. And if the gas stations run dry next month, well, at least I didn't pay too much for a car.

Is my decision selfish? Hell, yes. Does it discount the future? Hell, no.

Technology is the application of knowledge toward a useful end.

The rhythm method and the condom are both examples of technology. Karate is another example. Music is technology. Language is technology.

Physical tools are significant and important in regards to technology, but knowledge is the critical stop. Of course, you could also consider the brain and the body to be tools, but there must still be the knowledge of how to effectively use your hands and your brain.

Well, I think of birth control more as knowledge than technology - and one of the fundamental elements of having a culture survive over the long term.

I think that's incorrect. People know what makes babies. Yet birth control is still a problem.

The problem comes when making the next step, beyond choosing merely to have children, to deciding that killing children and adults is a worthy goal, for the good of all.

Is anyone doing that? Has anyone ever done that? There has been genocide, and perhaps the underlying reason was too many people, not enough resources, but the stated explanation is always something else.

The Nazis were very upfront about their plans, though how they carried them out was cloaked in some discretion - after all, killing a few hundred thousand 'defectives' was for the general good - more resources for the worthy. And the Nazis 'educated' Germans for years about the 'scientific' background of their goals, often using 'science' from American sources.

The killing of these 'defectives' was not genocide - it was eugenics. And I have noticed, for whatever reason, it has faded into the background of Nazi crimes, where in sources from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, it was considered among the most evil of Nazi crimes. Improving humanity through mass murder was seen as depraved, far beyond the slaughter of one ethnic group or another - after all, slaughtering ethnic groups is not exactly something new in human affairs.

I just don't see much of a connection between eugenics and seeing overpopulation as a problem. The underlying dynamics are entirely different.

This is not a cesspool any of us wish to swim in, but many of the propopents of eugenics were very, very concerned about too many of the wrong sort of human taking any resources from the right sort. The Nazis, for example, had nice posters showing how one 'useless' person would consume the resources better used for one happy normal family - impeccable logic.

This is starting to stray, and I think we aren't really discussing the same things. For example, the Nazis were very opposed to birth control, at least for the women they approved of - they were focussed on producing the right kind of people, after all.

Birth control is not really a recent invention - societies which can tolerate it, however, seem rare in general. And that is a real problem.

The whole idea of equating concerns over population growth with eugenics and followed by the invitation to take personal initiative to remove oneself from the problem is merely the double-edged right wing shibboleth created to deflect such concern, if not to discredit it entirely. We shouldn't even entertain it.

If the US doesn't want to face the issue of overpopulation, it will just be among the next group of societies which succumb to it.


I once read the argument that the greatest invention of the last millenium was eyeglasses like the pair I am wearing now. Eyeglasses allowed older skilled craftsmen to work longer and try new innovations which required precision wood and metal working. Without the experience of older skilled workers clocks would not have developed in the 16th century and steam engines in the 18th century. Science as we know it required the existence of precision instruments such as microscopes, bifilar scales, and the slide rule.

Good clock were essential for navigation an the industrial revolution.

I always found it interesting how the littlest technical invention changes the course of the world.

Sterlizing medical instruments is not technology. Neither is washing your hands, and that has saved far more lives.

Antibiotics are the number 1 on the list, I'd say. But what do we do? We feed them to animals, so they can get fatter sooner. Of all the things we have managed to scr•w up, that one is big, and will start to bite something awful soon. One of these days we'll see the first major outbreak of MRSA or C. diff. in a city.

But while it lasted, yes, great technology, that was.

Not to be too picky, but I said 'sterilized medical instruments' - a non-sterilized scalpel isn't that useful, and we often forget how long humans have practiced surgery without sterilization.

Which would lead to a fascinating discussion about the difference between technology and knowledge, but not this time.

The other thing to point out, though - in Europe, feeding antibiotics (and hormones) to livestock is illegal - and various American governments have called this a 'trade barrier' to selling American meat in Europe. Which it is, of course - but instead of American companies discontinuing the use of antibiotices, the assumption is that it is the American Way - and the highway, of course - or nothing.

It seems to me that part of the need for sterilization is the fact that we have so greatly diminished our bodies' immune systems and basic robustness, that we have far less to fight off disease with.

A truly competent immune system is the first best defense against cancer, for example, and it will destroy cancer cells all the time, but we have introduced SO many carcinogens into our daily environment, and removed so many of the nutritional and lifestyle components that support a truly functional immune system, that we are simply overloaded with pathogens to defend against, and great numbers of us lose that fight.

I'm sure our epoch will be justly remembered as being 'Nasty, Brutish and Short', like all the others.


What is true is that every technological advance has a downside, and in some cases the upside is not necessarily worth it. But overall, few us would want to give up all of it.

No matter -- the key thing is that we are now at a crossroads in history. Much if not most of our technology is no longer appropriate -- it is based on abundant supplies of hydrocarbons, metals, and other underground non-renewable resources, as well as a growing human population where there was always room for more.

Things are no longer like that. We now need technology that will allow us to survive on above-ground renewable resources. We absolutely need to hang on to as much as we can of the science and technology developed in the oil age.

But above all, we need a species unity and consciousness and will to act, else we will be thrown back into a dark ages where science, civilization and people are obliterated, or much diminished. Right now it looks like we might have to do a little of the dark ages thing before we wake up and get it together.

Two things of interest: Cuba has been forced to retrench and explore low-tech solutions. The other is a book, 1491 by Mann, describing some of the pre-Columbian techologies that are more or less sustainable.

Regarding "The Thing About Technology", IMO that fruitloop Craig Ventor bioengineering E coli to produce biofuels is arrogance bordering on insanity. E coli stains are commonly human pathogens.

Ventor's work "Is part of an effort to manufacture hydrogen and biofuels, as well as absorb carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases."

Earth to Mr Ventor: evolutional has already produced organisms that produce biofuels (wood pellets, anyone?), while simultaneously removing CO2 from the atmosphere!

Humanity needs to learn to be happy with what photosynthesis provides, plus a little hydro and wind. As Pollard said in "The Thing About Technology", humanity's problem is "It's Never Enough."


Yes. That is the point of the article (and was Marvin Harris', too, IMO). They aren't arguing that we should go back to the Stone Age, or kill off the population so we can all live as hunter-gatherers. They are warning about the hazards of relying on technology to solve all our problems.

I'm not sure if this has been posted. It looked interesting.

can't see the right side of the pic
post it this way next time:
img src width=99% src=......

Except that makes it look awful for those who have large displays.

I say post it as is, and include a URL for those who need it.


So it looks good on large displays, and awful on everything else? Need we guess what size your display is?

You can always:

  • Right-click on the image
  • Select "Copy image location"
  • Open a new tab or window
  • Paste the location into the address bar

Nope, Apples don't right click.

Buy yourself a real mouse.  Even the scroll-wheels will work, IIUC.

Apparently nobody ever informed my MacBook. It right clicks like a champ ;-)

Umhh, my Apple Mac Mini does. I hooked up a Logitech mouse to the USB port and I left & right click.


Even if you still use a 1-button mouse, you can control-click. In fact any time you see "right click" you should just read "control click."

Apart from "they do" (OK, so it's Ctrl+click if you don't have a two button mouse, or two-finger tap+click on a trackpad), you can drag the image into the tab bar (on Safari, anyway - Firefox is probably similar), and it will open in a new tab.

However, when you start to drag the image, you get to see it all, which is sometimes enough to see the important stuff, without having to drag it to a new tab.

Actually, my screen is probably smaller than average, judging from the most recent stats I've seen.

The thing is, web graphics are generally designed to display at the size they are, and forcing them to display at different sizes with HTML code is a very inefficient and clumsy way of doing it. A clickable thumbnail would be the ideal solution, but that's kind of a hassle if it's not your graphic. A text link is probably the second-best solution.

On the user's side, Firefox makes it really easy to deal with graphics that are too large.

Another problem is that not only is it inefficient, which is not a big issue with newer computers, but scaling forces pixel resampling. That's usually OK for photographs, but it often renders chart legends and scales illegible, so the viewer ends up having to right-click or whatever anyhow. (I.e. "false resolution" doesn't scale well, or sometimes at all.) Probably best to just learn how to view graphics with one's own computer and browser...

And anyway, the graphic is viewable on 1024x768, I just tried it. And there can't be too many people using 800x600 any more, can there?

Exactly. It's the text that really suffers. A serious problem if you're posting charts or graphs.

That is what I meant when I said it was inefficient. (Well, that and it's downright crazy to make people download the full-size image but force it to display much smaller.)

sometimes it is easier (in windows) to just print the image. however that is (usually) a waste of paper and ink.

and i heard on the radio that recycling ink cartridges saves 1/2 gallon of oil, but i dont believe it. a half gallon of oil in that little tiny plastic container?????? keeerist the burbs around here must have a prudoe bay worth of vinyl siding.

and another thing, you may save some oil by recycling ink cartridges but you probably wont save any money. they just dont fill them as full as the original. weigh one sometime.

How much do these people get paid to make these forecasts? It looks like they just cut and pasted the data from July 2002 to April 2004 onto the end. Anyone could do that.

Getting back to the graph:

It is interesting that the eternally optimistic EIA is predicting what looks like very low stocks.

If this is what the optimists thinks....

Yeah. It looks to me like they are predicting another round of the bidding war. Stocks will drop, prices will rise to prevent shortage, and someone will lose out.

What a chart! And such a significant comment.

It looks like the normally rosy outlooked EIA is supporting Export Land and the Mayan calendar in one stroke :)

(Love to see what they do forecast on out to that 2012 mark) Probably predict a repeat of 2005-6 (price induced)increase ala tar sands, polar oil and oven scapings. Only on my chart it doesn't recover.

Yesterday, in the mail, we received our "Outside" magazine. Included inside, was a 9 minute DVD from "Shell Films Production" entitled "Eureka, the best ideas come from the most unlikely places". A small portion of it, I believe is being used on tv as a commercial. I watched it and it seems to have a two-fold message, 1) easy oil is gone and we have reached a supply/demand problem stage, and 2) feel-good PR promo for big oil. It has been posted to youtube here if anyone's interested. As always, I apologize if someone has previously made a post on this.

Shell also distributed this in Germany - can't quite remember if it was in Die Zeit or Der Spiegel.

Shell's propaganda offensive is really disgusting. All over the place. Even on previously more independent senders like EuroNews. It gets like watching Communist TV. In the US only the military hagiography stuff is worse.


Its a good story, but I don't believe they will suddenly be strongly supportive of/good natured about alternatives. At least until prices are completely out of control (5$/cup to 'quote-drop').

Water Crisis Hits Baghdad

Think how much worse it would be if 2.5+ million Iraqis had not fled the country. Although some civil engineers, plumbers and related technical people that worked at the water works were surely among those that left.


Oil companies must justify price hikes

Minister wants to get their reasons in writing

Oil refineries and gas stations across Quebec will have to advise the provincial energy board in writing why their prices are going up, Natural Resources Minister Claude Bechard said yesterday.

Bechard's tough new stance came only two days after he said he would rely on the "goodwill" of oil companies not to pass on to consumers the province's new carbon tax.

Bechard now says Quebec's energy board, the Regie de l'energie, will set a daily minimum price for gasoline before gas stations add their costs and profit margin. The process will allow the government to see whether the 0.8-cents-a-litre carbon tax is being passed on.

Once the Regie establishes the price, the oil refineries will have to justify any increases, in writing, to the Regie.

"It's not really complicated," Bechard said.

Carol Montreuil, spokesperson for the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute representing the major oil companies, said the industry is willing to work with Bechard and that informing consumers of reasons for the price fluctuations makes sense.

"There is danger, though, of having a too-heavy administrative burden that is too big, too onerous, that doesn't exist elsewhere, and which would essentially be a cost of doing business in Quebec that would be higher than elsewhere," Montreuil added.

"We are convinced that the Quebec market is one of the most competitive.

"There are fluctuations, but not because of what is happening in Quebec or Canada," he said, explaining that price changes are related to global markets or North American factors.

"When we compare our prices with other countries, Quebec and Canada are doing very, very well," the oil company spokesperson said.

Charles Tanguay of the Union des consommateurs called Bechard's announcement "a step in the right direction," saying it would help consumers understand that oil companies are enjoying "indecent profits," because pump prices "are artificially high because of artificial shortages in refining capacity."

holy crap is Quebec dumb

taxes have to be passed onto the consumer.

friggin hell the company cannot just adsorb all these taxes an operate at a loss forever.

and lol on justifications, i would just write 'higher demand, lower supply' on every single page, i'd even print them out as sticky notes to put on this guys forhead and back so everyone can see.

The Atlantic provinces are already doing this. The state of Hawaii tried it.

As always, the price-control board has two basic choices. The first is to set the price pretty much at what would have been charged anyway, and incur the wrath of The Great Shiftless Moron Mass - excuse me, of les consommateurs. The second is to set the price artificially low and incur shortages and disinvestment, leading sooner or later to long lines, leading to missed meetings, people fired from their jobs, etc., leading to even more wrath from les consommateurs.

The Atlantic provinces have basically taken the first choice. Hawaii took it in a different way by stealthily backing off from the idea. But consommateurs on the whole are probably too blinkered, irrational

and stupid to comprehend a multistage chain of reasoning, especially when the adverse consequences may be delayed. So, depending on Québec politics, perhaps the second choice will be taken this time.

So the Régie will have the thankless job of all such foolishly conceived organizations.

How accurately does this portray reality in your universe?

Children of Jihad vs. Children of the West

And how are we preparing the children of the West to defend themselves against these little soldiers of Allah? ...

I return to the video of the Hamas kindergarten class. Their "emotional barometers" break through the roof as one toddler with plenty of self-esteem leads the rest in a bloodthirsty call and refrain:

"What is your path? Jihad!"

"What is your path? Jihad!"

Change the location and names here and there over time and place but it all starts to sound the same after awhile.

Running with the fascist crowd now? It gets worse by the day... Next thing you post is Ann Coulter? How about Russ Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly? They'd like you.

but then you already knew that

It's only fascist if the charges are fabricated.

And per Godwin's Law, you just lost the argument.

Engineer: Why do the evildoer boogeymen five year old kindygarten kids hate you so much? Because they hate your freedom. What a bummer so many of them are sitting on top of our oil.

Nobody's opinion is going to be changed in a shoutfest, guys.

What I see here is a common conceit: the selective use of information, in this case political, not geologic. We can go with the most inflammatory actions of our adversaries to justify our own actions and intentions, but it's hardly "true."

Those brainwashed kindergarteners surely exist, but they're merely the visible tumor on a wholly more complex social organism. I could point out all the good done on behalf of strangers by people in that same society, or I could rise to the bait and link you to the words of rabbi Yousef Falay. Either way, it's a tale of the blind men and the elephant, only in this case we've all chosen our form of blindness.

This is kind of stuff seems to be getting out of hand again.

I'm all for a good joke thread. Nor do I think the occasional partisan rant is a bad thing. After all, peakoil is a political football.


Constant trolling about how Muslims or Zionist are plotting to take over the world belongs on other forums. Kos or Free Republic, take your pick.

It makes everyone here look crazy and that does not help the sites mission.

"Constant trolling about how Muslims or Zionist are plotting to take over the world belongs on other forums. "

I disagree. It doesn't matter if it's zionism, islam or MEND in the Niger Delta. The geopolitics of oil and the growth of fanatasism are a critical part of Peak Oil for Homo Sap. Cultural ignorance and bigotry, and fear of reality, seems to make some people uneasy with this part of the Peak Oil equation.

How each party views the world, the history, religious and cultural differences are absolutely essential to understand what is happening in the world around us and why.

Some people only know the politically correct, culturally sheltered western life. They obviously know nothing about life in the middle east, but that doesn't stop them from holding very strong - and wrong - preconceptions based on their own westerner point of view.

Because of their ignorance, they blindly attack as propaganda anything and everything that goes against their fragile delusions.

Your delusions, OTOH, are not so fragile and are quite firmly embedded.


"Constant trolling about how Muslims or Zionist are plotting to take over the world belongs on other forums. "

Sendoilplease says:
I disagree.

Ok then. How is trolling good? Defend why you are tolling.

But you are not informing, you are just starting flame wars.

The world is full of crazy people all wanting to force everyone else to live like they do, and all willing to lie, bully and kill to get their way.

There are crazy Christian fundamentalist, Muslim fundamentalist, Hindu fundamentalist, Jewish fundamentalist, anarchist, communists, socialists, fascists, racists, eco-nuts and a never ending list of others.

If your goal is to create hatred and discord that lowers the intellectual level of the site you have done well.

On the other hand, if your goal is to inform people, then you might want to reconsider your approach. Maybe try balancing your posts with the oil related activities of the other crazy fundamentalist Christians, Jews, Hindus.......

The people on this site tend to be intelligent, and well informed on all these subjects. Constantly harping on how one particular group is worse than another is unhelpful.

All it does is create flame wars. And flame wars make this site unsuitable for referring students, professional, or the ordinary Joe who could actually make a difference about the subject of peak oil.

"They hate us because of our freedom" is an entirely western fabrication. If they hated freedom then they would have crashed airliners into the skyscrapers of Copenhagen and Stockholm. They hate us for our support of dictators like the Saudi royalty, Mubarak in Egypt, and Musharaf in Pakistan. The American elite won't admit to the true cause of terrorism so they appeal to jingoistic patriotism to continue the cycle of revenge.

First, EP, which charges are you talking about? Mine that Ann Coulter is a fascist, or Michelle The Idiot Malkin's charge that all Muslim kids are dangerous? Don't teach your kids nursery rhymes, it'll kill them. Tell them about bombs bursting in air instead She sends her 2-year old to boot camp. I'm just guessing here.

Sure, you can discuss if these fine well-meaning people are fascist, or perhaps merely moronic, or craving attention. You can discuss what fascism means.

What I find important, and believe me, I'd leave this shebang alone if I didn't, is first that TOD should never be a political forum, and second that the likes of Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin should never be given equal footing with more balanced minds. Sendoilplease is on a neverending quest to show people that sand monkeys are out to get us all, and he doesn't care where the info comes from that proves that. Since TOD editors don't react to it, some one has to, or readers will think those views are endorsed here.

Fascism, I think, does not necessarily include fabrication. Fabrication and propaganda can be used, and useful, to greater ends, sure, but they're not integral elements.

If you go back to Mussolini's definitions of the term (and he invented it), it'd be hard to deny that the US is a fascist country. Your claim that fabrication makes for fascism reinforces that assertion more than i could ever do. The stranglehold politics and media have on Americans is based solely on fabrication. But that is your point, not mine, I stay away from conspiracy stuff.

And Godwin's law, a pretty stale and shaky and uninteresting idea to start with, is about Nazi's and Hitler, far as I know, not fascism.

That makes you what, 0 for 2? Or was that 3?

Excuse me?  Someone (even if it is Michelle Malkin) documents that at least some Muslim children in the West Bank and Gaza are systematically trained to make war on non-Muslims from the time they can walk (by the official PA television stations, no less), and you
  1. Generalize this to all Muslim children (which the article did not do), and
  2. Completely ignore the reprehensible manipulation of those children in order to
  3. Aim blame at the messenger (for having the gall to bring unpleasant facts to the discussion) rather than condemn the persons responsible for pushing the jihad ideology.
I think your agenda is clear.
If you go back to Mussolini's definitions of the term (and he invented it), it'd be hard to deny that the US is a fascist country.
Even if true (and I have my own laundry list of complaints about what the US government has become), it neither refutes nor excuses the evidence of jihadist indoctrination.  If you want to condemn the USA while giving the rest of the world a pass on far worse crimes which have been going on for a thousand years longer than the USA has existed, expect to be called on it.

These are the Energy Wars. It's all about the oil. Period.

The Mideast has been "all about the oil" for 100 years. The "West" has done everything it can to create and maintain instability in the region because we've known for a long time that there will be conflict over that oil when the non-Mideast oil starts to seriously deplete. If we had left them alone they would have joined together long ago, and by now the countries of the Mideast would be controlling the world, at least economically.

An author of about a century ago would beg to differ with you.

The fractious and often murderous divisions between Sunni and Shi'a existed a thousand years ago, and wouldn't be eliminated by oil money any more than middle-class success makes Muslims less likely to become suicide bombers (given the preponderance of the affluent and educated among suicide attackers, it makes them MORE likely).

Engineer Poet,

Michelle Malkin as a source, you have got to be kidding me.

Michelle Malkin is nothing more than a highly trained dis-info expert ahemmm IMO of course.

Michelle Malkin and others you site only use selective information to prove a point. She conveniently forgets that Osama B L was a US CIA asset. That after the US abandoned him in Afghanistan, that this is when he turned. Or was it he was smart and using the US. Or was it some other group that controls all.

Michell Malkin calls for internment camps for the general Muslim population because she claims we are at risk. Yes, michelles Goal is to make you afraid very afraid of others, just as you seem to imply in your post EP.

Jihadist indoctrination, how about a certain cults "indoctrination of people in this country that wants to destroy your freedoms just as much. Would you be interested in going up against such a cult in the US. Would you EP.

Want to put your money where your mouth is.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Michelle Malkin is a commentator, not a source.  The sources are things like the Palestinian Authority, translated and cited by organizations like The Middle East Media Research Institute.  If you think that a claim is false because Michelle Malkin said it, you're worse than she is.

TOD has engaged a fascist as a contributor:

Aim blame at the messenger (for having the gall to bring unpleasant facts to the discussion) rather than condemn the persons responsible for pushing the jihad ideology.

I think your agenda is clear.

Michelle Malkin/Ann Coulter, as per Engineer Poet, merely "has the gall to bring unpleasant facts to the discussion". She has no opinion, let alone a right wing one, right? And that in turn is my agenda? And it's clear? Not to me it ain't.

If you want to condemn the USA while giving the rest of the world a pass on far worse crimes....

Now he gets personal, in a way that he'll regret if he doesn't take that back. I promise, I'll seek him out. I never said anything remotely resembling that, and he knows it. He just invented it, out of thin air. Not one word of mine points to that. And that's fine, we all have our Hothgors, but this specimen is a contributor here at TOD.

I can but hope that enough people understand that TOD has now de facto become, with the addition of EP as a contributor, a right wing website. Just read his comments so far on this Drumbeat. Stunning. TOD was hurt bad enough when Dave Cohen left, but this is far worse than that even.

I find it hard to believe that the site will stand for that, but it's what it is. EP is here, and can spout his garbage for now. Here's someone defending right wing propaganda, and distorting things other people say while at it and on top of it all, adding whatever suits him. Unbelievable.

I have to give him this: he did say that fascism connects with fabrication. Just never had an idea that he was the one to practice it. Here. A contributor at TOD. A deeply dark blemish on the work of the people who have made this forum what it is.

HeIsSoFly said:

'I can but hope that enough people understand that TOD has now de facto become, with the addition of EP as a contributor, a right wing website'.

Eh? Give us all a break..........

I'm not sure which is funnier:

  • The inability to distinguish between opinions and the facts used in support of that opinion.
  • The faulty reading of the "agenda" phrase (which is, however, consistent with psychological projection).
  • The projection of fascist tendencies onto others.  You can't get any clearer than "I'll seek him out" and "TOD has now de facto become, with the addition of EP as a contributor, a right wing website".  He's trying to close down contributors with threats both personal and to the site.  Don't you just love "tu quoque" fallacies?

Others have observed that the crypto-Marxist PC contingent is essentially fascist, because it routinely tries to shut down speech it doesn't like using campus speech codes, abusive "investigations" and direct interference.  This looks like the same thing, adapted for the medium.

How accurately does this portray reality in your universe?

Not at all. Because in a world of 6 billion, you can always find a few religious nutters to "prove your position".

Fun game. Jewish girls putting insulting messages on bombs where the pick of the day a few months ago. Charter voucher schools - you can find 'military discipline salute the flag and talk about killing the enemies of the US of A'. The circle that buys Prussian Blue albums

But keep posting the bogon religion crap and you'll be suck'n site-ban.

Before you get banned, be sure to post the site where you want to continue your "discussions" so we can all go read your wise words.

Not very accurately.
and yes, it does start to sound the same after a while. (Your posts)

Lots of kids all over the place are 'carefully taught to hate and fear'. You seem to buy into the premise that you should teach yours the same thing, to create an equillibrium..? The only purpose of a story like this is to suggest that it is the rule throughout Islam. Sadly, as with our more militant 'homeschoolers' here, the self-righteous rage classes have had their attendance boosted by this thoughtless war, and by such weak-minded rhetoric.

I'm sorry that someone helped you become so afraid of 'them', a 'them' that is largely manufactured and imagined from an extreme subset of the people you paint so broadly.

"Teach your children well, their parents' hell will slowly go by; Feed them on your dreams.." -NOT on your nightmares.

Bob Fiske

Change the location and names here and there over time and place but it all starts to sound the same after awhile.

You are absolutely right... check out "Jesus Camp" sometime.

John Waggoner in the USA Today money section on Friday had an article on what would be a good investment for 50 years. It seems a lot of those in the know are sounding outright survivalist (I'm guessing TOD isn't the only one noticing were burning up our natural resources fast) one suggested midwestern farmland and urban real estate (and chinese art but that probably wouldn't be that useful unless you planned on using it as kindling once Nat Gas got scarce). Also what was suggested was gold and water especially out west (since you can't speculate on it they suggest getting property w/water on it.)
a few snippets

..A booming population is enough to make farmland valuable in 50 years. But corn, used for producing ethanol, may become increasingly valuable as oil supplies dwindle in the next half-century...

Water was a major theme for many of the people we talked to....
Water has been a good investment in the past... An acre-foot of water from the Colorado Big Thompson project cost about a dollar in the 1950s, O'Brien says. It's worth about $10,000 today. (An acre-foot is one acre of water, 12 inches deep, or 325,851 gallons.) "Water runs uphill to money," he says.

That last quote sickens me. But anyways its somewhat frightening that since the 90's what many think will be valuable in 50 years has changed dramatically. At least I think it has changed dramatically.
P.S. is that too much to quote I don't wanna put too much in and scrolling a pain.
....there you stood on the edge of your feather expecting to fly.
-Buffalo Springfield

So the price of water has risen to the dizzying height of 3 cents per gallon in some places.

I should have been more clear the last sentence.


Essential for all life, it is a crime to have to pay for water, to have water owned. Numerous rioters in opposition to the corporatization and privitization of water sources and water rights, would agree.

That's why they always try such stuff in a poor country first, as a trial balloon. If it screws everything up, no one back home needs to care. At least that's how these guys think.

Except for rare pristine locations some form of capital investment is needed to supply clean water. While everyone ought to be provided a minimum amount free of charge someone somewhere will need to pay the pumper.

Obviously, since water is maintained by the society for the society it should remain as part of the social infrastructure.

Toilet paper, without a doubt.

Gadgets, not so much. It'll be hard to run 'em without the infrastructure.

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

A good piece on the inter-relationships between food price, oil and general inflation:


Totally irrelevant, and off-topic, but this one gave me the best laugh I've had in a while:


Currently #1 at Reddit.

A beautiful thing, even if it isn't true...or is it??

John Michael Greer's piece above, Is History on Anyone's Side needs to be read, especially by lots of Americans.

History chooses her own course, and those who insist that history is necessarily on their side are likely to find out the hard way that if she helps anyone at all – which she does not always do – it is most often those who help themselves.

Those of you waiting for the "magic" of the market and the "miracles" of technology are about to be crushed by reality as it rolls on by, completely oblivious to you and your dreams. If you are going to change the future then you had better get cracking on it right now. I suggest you start with helping yourself.

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

The old-time american protestants had a saying "praying for corn works better if you have a hoe in your hands".

Greer had some excellent points! Thanks for the link! Its frightening to note that he may be correct that right-wing groups are positioning themselves to be at the top of the heap after the peak and that many groups with their own agenda are gleefully awaiting the future with the history is on my side arguement.

But I'd also note that Druids are, in fact a cult, and take their leader's prognostications with a grain of salt.
Or even a few shovelfulls of salt if you'd like to stand around naked and conjure spirits.

Its frightening to note that he may be correct that right-wing groups are positioning themselves to be at the top of the heap after the peak

If by right-wing groups you mean the 'well off asset-wise' or the 'politically connected' they are already at the top. What makes anyone think they will not be near the top when the dust settles?

The people who see 'living of the land' "survivalists" will always find a reason. Like finding the religious nutters, you can always find a few to prove your point.

It'll be something to see what does get reshuffled, though. How many of the well-off have their assets leaning too heavily on the market, and will reenact 1929? How many are living with expenses and lifestyles commensurate with their wealth, and could see the surplus drain out in a flash of bad luck? and then, who amongst the 'politically connected', no matter how well stocked and buffered will discover their future has tar, feathers, exile or angry mobs written over it?

Ok, I should go read some Dickens and get this out of my system.

I'm off to the woods to waltz with Blackflies today!


Say hi to the Culicomorphae for me. I'll be along, maybe, next year or so.

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


I know YOU mean the best by this but there are other ways of meaning it that are really just greed warmed over. I think most of the posters on this site are well meaning and even if deluded I would rather live in their deluded world than the worlds some have made of that overworked "The lord helps them who help themselves". It is most often just another way of justifying one's bad act.

Another of those is The road to hell is paved with good intentions. What a plague are all these trite homilies.

(sigh) :-(

says GreyZone,
"Those of you waiting for the "magic" of the market and the "miracles" of technology are about to be crushed by reality as it rolls on by, completely oblivious to you and your dreams"

This is what TOD has come to. No evidence needed, nothing but "scream in thier face, scream in thier face.....

How did you come to hate the human race and existance in the modern world SO MUCH, what possibly could have happened to you, in fact, to us as a nation?

We have become a nation of screamers, cryers and tantrum throwers, "you wait, you'll see, you just wait, you'll all pay for being able to enjoy life!!!"
"You thought you were happy? You deserve to be punished!!"

"I suggest you start with helping yourself."

Gee, and folks working hard on technology and in the markets thought that's what they were doing every day. But no, they are the ones that are to be screamed down, "you'll get yours!!"

(sigh) :-(
It is just so damm sad, what happened to us, where did our willingness to try, to learn, to design and build interesting things for the sheer art of it, the joy of it?

What is so, so much more depressing than the possibility of impending peak oil is what we have become as a nation. Peak oil really cannot do much more to us than we have already done to ourselves.

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


I see we are eyeball to eyeball on this:

(sigh) :-(
It is just so damm sad, what happened to us, where did our willingness to try, to learn, to design and build interesting things for the sheer art of it, the joy of it?

I think that we found that we could get fed well for doing and getting fed well for doing became more important than joy of doing. We have become corporatized encapseled rather than communicative peoples. Science, Arts, Religion, Joy, Humour, Fellowship all bow to Market, servant is master.

I'm deluded , I must be to be on this site. So must you. If personal survival is the only criteria for living we shouldn't be wasting time here, there are markets to be conquered, fortunes to be made, Empires to build, peasantry to intimidate and so little time before the big Woof.

One thing though Thatsit, I think the thing about nation is that it like the market has become another god to be worshiped at the expense of fellowship. Nation should serve it's people not visa versa. Who is served by our nationalisms, seldom 'the people' usually an elite.

But then there’s the last paragraph, and the passage that brought me to a dead stop: “[T]he one bright spot in this future is that peak oil and climate change represent the greatest hope for reallocation of wealth and justice in the world.”

Yea, right.

How did the low energy past have 'justice' under the 'laws'?
How well are the 'laws' and 'justice' being done now?

How exactly will the government shrink in proportion to the shrinking energy inputs?

http://www.globalincidentmap.com/home.php adds a new incident category called "Oil Gas Infrastructure - Incidents/Threats/News" located at the bottom of their web page.