DrumBeat: July 21, 2007

Peak Oil By Any Other Name

This week, the National Petroleum Council (NPC) finally coughed up a report that we've been awaiting for two years, ever since U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman asked them to determine "what the future holds for global oil and gas supply" and whether "incremental supplies can be brought on-line, on-time and at a reasonable price that does not jeopardize economic growth."

Translation: the Energy Secretary was wise to peak oil, and asked the oil industry to tell him where we really stand. After all, if it goes down on his watch, he's going to have one of the worst jobs on earth.

If he has any idea at all what the truth about global oil supply really is at this point, then I think he'll be as disappointed in the result as the rest of us "walking worried" are.

Developed world 'having second thoughts' about globalisation

The seemingly unstoppable rise of China and India as challengers to the domination of the United States and Europe has started a debate on whether globalisation has gone too far.

In particular, the current economic superpowers are worried about control of oil and other resources being sapped by China's demand.

Accidents dim hopes for green nuclear option

The recent earthquake in Japan and accidents at two German power plants raise questions on the safety of nuclear energy as a cleaner alternative.

Uranium Mining in Niger at Risk

In April, the Tuaregs attacked one of Areva’s uranium mines. Dominique Pin, head of Areva’s uranium mining in Niger, recently admitted, “The attack caused us to stop all our operations for almost a month.” Pin was recently forced to rebut claims that Areva had been financing the Tuareg ‘Movement of Niger People for Justice’ (MNJ). The Areva executive expressed concerns about ‘security and stability in Niger.’

Peak Oil Passnotes: Peak Oil Zombie Attack Redux

It is rare in this column that we take a look back at our previous work. But the client response to last week’s column ‘Zombie Attack’ was so brilliant we cannot help ourselves. For any new readers, we talked about the fact - and we use the word ‘fact’ as such - that many people who believe in ‘peak oil’ are a bit weird.

In fact, many of the people who believe in ‘peak oil’ are so weird they put off anyone else who looks at the subject. Because the subject, at first glance, seems so amazingly simple, it attracts simple views. That is we are about to embark, or already have embarked upon a precipitous decline in the production of oil. When you consider how important oil is to the global economy, notably transport, the effects are unknown and worrisome.

John Michael Greer: Culture death

A few weeks ago, one of the readers of The Archdruid Report posted a comment asking whether I thought the white race would survive the decline and fall of industrial civilization.

New US Natural Gas Projects Seen Boosting Supply, Easing Prices

New supplies of natural gas scheduled to hit the U.S. market over the next several months are expected to beef up already healthy inventories and could result in lower natural gas prices.

U.S. gas stocks are at near-record levels after a warm early winter and a cool early summer have kept gas demand for heating and cooling moderate. New gas supply from the Independence Hub in the deep waters of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and from the Rockies Express Pipeline out West could put downward pressure on gas prices, some analysts predict.

Analysis: Oil from shale could meet need

Technology to draw oil from rock in Rocky Mountain states and other unconventional sources is getting another look from companies and the government as the demand for energy increases and supply tightens, especially in the United States.

Russia to Expand Asian Oil Link after 2015

Russia is on track to open the first 600,000 barrels per day phase of its Asian pipeline next year, but it is unlikely to expand to the full 1.6 million barrels per day capacity before 2015-2017, an official said on Thursday.

ConocoPhillips Chief Urges Cooperation on Energy Policies

The sometimes adversarial relationship between the U.S. government and oil industry should become more collaborative to hammer out an energy policy, the head of Houston-based ConocoPhillips told business leaders Thursday.

President of Shell Oil urges more oil drilling

The United States is living on the "knife's edge of a (energy) shortage," but the country has plenty of energy sources for the future if Congress and other policymakers open more areas to oil drilling and provide incentives for developing other forms of energy.

Shell ordered to suspend Arctic drilling

ANCHORAGE, Alaska - A federal appeals court has ordered Shell Oil to stop its exploratory drilling program off the north coast of Alaska at least until a hearing in August.

The order, issued Thursday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, comes after the federal Minerals Management Service in February approved Shell's offshore exploration plan for the Beaufort Sea.

"Vessels currently located in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas shall cease all operations performed in furtherance of that program, but need not depart the area," the order said.

Oil: OPEC in Charge, $90 on the Way?

With supply flagging, prices could reach exorbitant levels by fall, but experts say the world economy should be able to handle it.

Oil Prices: where now?

On Webdiary we've gone round the the Peak Oil loop more than a few times over the last few years (eg here). A new point of interest has arisen over this week: for the first time in the last few years the oil futures price has come out of its persistent state of contango as it rose back over USD75.

What does this mean? Well, the short answer is, for the first time in a long while, oil futures dealers are not on balance convinced that the next move in the oil price is necessarily up.

Ras Tanura blaze disruption

A fire which broke out in berths undergoing maintenance at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura facility last Thursday has led to the closure of the plant's North Terminal, according to the Dow Jones newswires. Aramco has said operations are continuing from alternative berths and has also stressed that naphtha loading is ongoing.

Lebanese killed in Nigeria's oil region

Gunmen killed a Lebanese businessman in his home early Friday in oil-rich southern Nigeria, police said, while attackers tried to ambush a truck carrying several foreign workers in what appeared to be a kidnapping attempt later in the day.

Chavez inaugurates refinery in Nicaragua

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday inaugurated a 150,000-barrel-a-day refinery the nation is building in Nicaragua as part of the leftist leader's oil-funded battle against U.S. influence in the region.

Japan's nuclear plans affected by quake

Japan's nuclear power industry is among the world's most ambitious. Spurred by fears of global warming, planners envision a rapid expansion of plants, capacity and cutting-edge technologies.

But a series of radioactive leaks at the world's largest atomic plant following a killer earthquake in northwestern Japan this week has given the industry a public relations headache that will be difficult to cure.

Lots of energy, shortage of policy

The U.S. National Petroleum Council's new report on global energy markets, believed to be one of the most extensive studies of its kind, received mixed reviews this week from greens and others whose policy ideas depend on an ever-present looming catastrophe. Especially put out by the 470-page report, titled Facing the Hard Truths About Energy, were the peak-oil theorists, who believe disaster is imminent as the world supply of conventional oil is set to peak, triggering a catastrophic decline.

Motorists getting greyer, greener, thriftier: Nissan's Ghosn

Motorists are getting older, thriftier and more concerned about the planet, sending automakers back to the drawing board to develop cars to meet their needs, industry guru Carlos Ghosn said Friday.

Booming car industry fuels climate crisis

The world’s auto manufacturers produced a record 67 million vehicles in 2006, putting more cars on the road than ever before. While global production grew 4 per cent last year, China increased its production by nearly 30 per cent, overtaking Germany to become the third largest producer.

Adams sees web of streetcars

The Portland Streetcar, long considered a downtown transit and redevelopment tool, could reach disparate parts of the city under a vision described on Friday by City Commissioner Sam Adams in a speech to the Portland City Club. The commissioner oversees the Portland Office of Transportation, which is developing a 30-year rail transit plan for the city, with implications for the metro area.

"What would Portland look like if we implemented solutions to global warming and peak oil?" Adams said. "It would look a lot like Portland circa 1920, a time when the main means of motion were your feet, streetcars and bikes."

Drivers, give cyclists a break

Cyclists should not ever feel afraid to go out on the road, nor should they come across as a threat or a nuisance to drivers. We are willing to share the road with cars, so why are cars so unwilling to share the road with us? I can't help but wonder what these angry, anti-bike drivers will do when peak oil hits and they'll be forced to consider other modes of transportation.

Gotta love Kunstler's Eyesore of the Month. Believe it or not, it's "the world's first sustainable parking garage."

Again, Alan Drake is asking the key question, "How did we move people and stuff around before we really entered the oil age?"

From up top:

"What would Portland look like if we implemented solutions to global warming and peak oil?" Adams said. "It would look a lot like Portland circa 1920, a time when the main means of motion were your feet, streetcars and bikes.

Answer: we didn't move them very far.

Nor, relatively speaking, did we move very many of them. Choosing 1920 as an arbitrary pre-oil date, the US population was only 106M and 49% lived in rural areas (Census data here). We'll be at triple that total in a few more years, and our current split is roughly 25/50/25 urban/suburban/rural.

Instead of looking at just percentages, look at actual population numbers. In 1900, total population was 76.2 million, of which 46 million were rural. In 1950, population was 151.3 of which 61.2 were rural. By 1990, the total was 248.7, while rural was 61.7 million. And that last number reflects a change in the definition of "rural", starting in 1950, which moved lots of folks out of "rural" areas and into "cities" (i.e., expanded metro areas). There's now about 300 million in the U.S. and there's still a large (and growing) number of people living in rural areas.

The conclusion is that those of us that want to move back to the land are going to find out that there's already lots of people living there who will compete for what ever resources are available. As a result, moving back to the "country" isn't likely to be a realistic survival alternative for most city folks, once the S&*t hits the fan.

E. Swanson

Depends on what you mean by 'we' and 'far.' Grain was shipped halfway across the planet in the 1880s - not only from Australia, but also from California and Oregon to Britain. ( http://www.jstor.org/jstor/gifcvtdir/di000128/0161391x/di952316/95p00787... )

And lots of interesting reading in an article at http://www.helsinki.fi/iehc2006/papers2/Singleton.pdf Even more interesting to understand how such shipping worked, for those with a nautical bent is http://www.nps.gov/history/maritime/nhl/falls.htm - with the added tidbit 'In 1907 Falls of Clyde was once again modified when she was converted into a sailing oil tanker.' Fascinating reading of how oil was handled at the birth of the oil age - and yes, biodiesel is very easily imaginable in this configuration.

This is one reason cities like London or New York were so successful in expanding compared to cities like Berlin or Paris - ships docked in the city, and grain was moved a very short distance before being used.

Though localization remains a very valid goal, looking at how the world functioned before WWI swept away an integrated world economy which we have only recently been able to surpass is fascinating. (With the twist that Communist China is the society performing much of the oppressing, while being home to hundred of millions of the oppressed.)

Leaving aside the non-trivial concerns about population, there is absolutely no reason to feel that such long distance trade (Brazil-China, Argentina-India, etc) would be impossible using tools already available - tractors running on biodiesel, ships using sails/sail assistance, and railroads.

What is impossible to imagine is driving 20 miles to get a burger and fries being a daily occurence for hundreds of millions of people. Especially the burgers - cattle raised hundreds or thousands of miles from where they are fattened using grain that also travels hundreds or thousands of miles, after which the meat is then frozen and shipped hundreds or thousands of miles before it is eaten.

Expat, excellent post! The Falls of Clyde is an interesting history of early oil and wheat transport by sail. Sounds as if the rerigging to gaff was as done for reregistry to US as for practical reasons. I once owned the book 'Coasting Captain' by Henry Tawes. The book was written from Captain Tawes logs and spans his career from the 1870s to the 1920s. Captain Tawes owned and captained a large coasting schooner between the islands and the east and southern coasts of the US. Tawes loaded all sorts of cargo from molasses and rum to lumber and guano. Its a fascinating book if you can locate it in a nearby library. I believe that we will once again see cargo and passanger trade under sail. After all, the Egypians were shipping wheat under sail near the beginning of recorded history and they didnt need oil.


These two people are showing us what can be done with a Gaff Rig Schooner That the captian built with other members of his family 30 years ago.

Anyone building the Viking longboats will get good boats for the coast runnings that they did.

Sailing the sport of the rich, is some of the best survivalable learning that can be taught the kids and college aged students of present day.

My dad knows a lot of roping from his days truck driving, that were taught to him by sailors in the family.

Mountain climbing teachs some of those roping skills.

There are so many methods that most people do not think of that can keep us from falling into total chaos. We just don't think about them in our modern world because we have been so used to picking up the cell phone to order a pizza.

You don't have to be rich to learn to sail. For example, I'm a volunteer instructor with SCUM (Sailing Club at the University of Minnesota) where for a $200 annual membership you can get all the sailing lessons you want. (UM student fee is $150) I learned to sail with the Cal Sailing Club in Berkeley, California, and their fees are even lower.

If you can sail and can fix sailboats you then have two very valuable skills. Also, sailors generally are fun and mellow people (except for racing fanatics). Sailing is a lifetime sport--and I know of no activity that is better for building justified self-respect.

The Falls of Clyde is a darned impressive boat. I've rented it for events of hundreds of people at a time, it's a great venue. Great to see a big steel-hulled ship with impressive sailing ability. The wave of the future?

Certainly there's no technical reason that international trade couldn't continue in the fact of depleted oil supplies, but trade did significantly suffer during the 1930's Great Depression. I'd suggest a peak-oil triggered major economic downturn is almost certain to significantly affect international trade. For countries that are extremely dependent on imports for basic needs (which I would guess there are far more of now than in the 1930's) this could definitely have serious consequences.

Urbanization will allow the USA to get by with a lot less oil consumption. Living in an urban centre, you can still use a car as your main mode of transport, but instead of driving 15000 miles a year you are driving 6000 miles a year. Double the fuel efficiency and that is down to an effective 3000 miles per year (20% of current). There is no logical reason why this transition alone necessitates economic collapse- a far bigger problem for the USA at the median is globalization (China and India).

I think we use different ideas of 'urbanization' - I can't imagine a typical urban dweller needing to drive a personal vehicle an 'effective' 3000 miles per year.

As a guess, you don't have much experience of cities where owning a car is often considered a liability, like NYC or Amsterdam, or of living in an area where urban means living space is too valuable to use for parking cars for anyone but the truly rich.

Driving less is not the cause of collapse - collapse (I prefer 'fracturing') comes in an American context because there are few alternatives to using an IC motor for transporting goods, and because people live in arrangements which require personal transportation. The article from the Globe and Mail yesterday was an interesting read. Actually eye opening, in a way - the first generation in history which actually grew up owning mass personal transportation, essentially seeing it as a part of normal human existence, is now discovering old age and the restrictions old age means in terms of driving. And what this means concretely for their own welfare. If there is anything which is absolutely guaranteed to motivate Boomers, at whatever cost to anyone else older or younger, it is their own self-interest. After all, they were the ones that 'rationalized' the previous 'costly' system of local medical care, and are now themselves discovering that driving 20 miles to the nearest clinic doesn't work well when they can't drive - which means that this situation is now a major, major problem, where before, it was just the invisible hand at work for the benefit of all. (I'll stop about Boomers now - they are a major reason for my idea of 'fracturing' though, as they have been plunderers, not caretakers, of their society - while blaming everything but themselves for their own behavior.)

Europe, for example, considers this fact so self-obvious, that writing an article detailing the need for planning work would be almost absurd - of course cities and towns in a country like Germany are structured to be livable for all their inhabitants, not merely fit people capable of driving a car, with the economic means to afford one. We can quibble over German or Dutch or French planning acumen in this regard, but the idea that town planners need to take into account drivers becoming non-drivers would be too self-evident to discuss.

Expat: You make very good points. I live in midtown Toronto and own a car.One could certainly drive less than 6000 miles a year-unless you are leaving the city it would be difficult to drive more than this number of miles (if you live downtown). The main point I was trying to make is that an extremely dramatic decline in US oil consumption in no way makes economic decline a necessity.


You seem to believe that all the commuters out there will simply quit coming to work. There is not enough mass transit to make up for the loss of the automobile in the US.

But, more importantly, you seem to forget how large a part the automobile itself plays in the economic engine. The US was built around the auto. Think of all the businesses that directly and indirectly depend upon the auto. Of course there are the assembly plants. (Thirty years ago, that would have included steel plants and die plants and so on, but there is little left of the old industrial US). There are the mechanics. The gasoline stations. The manufacturer of gasoline pumps. Tire manufacturers. Road builders. Road maintainers. The people who build the machines that build and maintain the roads. There are the insurance companies. The auto glass people. The fluids people. There are drive-ins and after-market geegaws. And each one of those worker's salaries are spent within the community and circulated several times over.

This is a hugely integrated, complex system that needs each one of its parts to function properly. Now, that is not to say that once the shakeout begins it won't eventually settle. But to what?

I dare say it won't be based upon lots of people driving a few thousand miles each year. My guess is the automobile will become an item of extreme luxury. So, in the not so distant future, when you are walking in the cold to buy a loaf of bread from a local baker, that sleek black car that eases by will inspire typical American feelings of envy. It will not be Joe Blow, average American worker at the wheel, unless he is the chauffeur.

Brian T:
To add to Cherenkov points, you live in Ontario and the auto industry here became the largest auto manufacturing jurisdiction in North America a few years ago. Its decline will affect Toronto probably more than many American cities. Also high oil prices are helping push the Canadian dollar higher. This hurts the auto industry and all the rest of the manufacturing industry in Ontario. Without manufacturing we in Ontario will probably become a have not province. I am invovled in a plant that supplies the auto industry and with my work I deal with outside contractors and suppliers. The economic spinoffs from these facilities will be hard to replace.

Guys: The loss of auto manufacturing has nothing at all to do with peak oil. Oil could be $5 a barrel and eventually a lot of these jobs are going. Chrysler just partnered up with Chery in China. There is talk of India putting out a $4000 car soon. You can't blame every single problem in the world or your life on peak oil.

You make a good point. Certainly there are people that commute a fixed distance to work each day. There are also a large number of people that drive indeterminate distances each day. Think of service people traveling around a territory of multiple states repairing fairly expensive equipment. Think of salespeople visiting customers in multiple states. Certainly some of that can be done by phone and computer. However, face to face contact is most effective. The company that takes away the company car and tries to substitute video chats will lose market share to the companies that keep sending sales guys to each customer. The change will happen eventually, but it won't happen quickly.

I'm not sure many people would say it was a necessity - with prudent government policies, and a massive change of attitude change among consumers and corporations, any modern, sophisticated economy should in principle be able to survive rapidly decline oil supplies. But those policies and attitude changes needed to happen yesterday, if significant decline rates are to start in the next 10 years. Not only didn't they happen, but there's no indication that they're likely to any time soon. The only thing I can see staving of significant economic decline is for oil production to be boosted sufficiently to hold off the peak for another 10 years: not impossible, but it's hard to see where all that oil would come from. Oh, and genuine planning for that peak would have to start within the next or so year.

As I've said before - the Selfish generation (or Boomers), children of the Greatest Generation are really the root cause of most of the problems Gen X/Y is picking up today.

When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

In no small part by reproducing and creating your generation.

Ah well, seemed like a good idea at the time.

well, that's very clever

but at the end of the day our problems are long term structures and patterns set over the last decades

i think it is pretty hard to pin the blame on people just coming into positions of any sort of influence... just look who dominates the economy...
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

WEll RA,

Here's your generations chance to show us up, the opportunity is at your door, but, let me guess, nintendo wrist and eye fatigue and your overweight belly from living on the couch just makes it a weeee bit tough to make an effort to do something about your government.

My generation DID RISE UP, and yours is doing what. I know, you complain that we didn't give you chance. Look around RA. Your generation grew up in a time that knowledge and access to knowledge was and still is at all time world high. Yet, you can't look for much less WORK an answer to your problem. Its easier to claim we kept you from it. What a joke you are.

My generation was shot at, killed, murdered, beaten, and treated by the PTB with contempt, but the streets were full and people stood up. MOST of the ones now doing this are the SAME ONES that did it years ago. The congress did its job when the parents saw what was happening and told them to straighten this out.

The day I see you on a street corner protesting with your generation and bringing on those just below you, then you will get my respect.

RIght now your just some whining Xer who thought Punk rock made him tough.

Lets see,.. those before you screwed you and those now after are 'unhirable. Yep, your perrrrfect in your own deluded grandeur of self induced perfection.

What have you done to tweak the PTB RA. What can you lay claim to that shows you tried at the least to prevent what you claim is coming besides whine that some one else isn't doing it for you.

When I read snivel like this from people that grew up thinking that it was supposed to be handed to you, and you bought it. Whose fault is that.

I bet I do more than you to this day, and I can guarantee that I paid and still pay for trying to work for information you need, and its a risk I doubt you would even entertain, and you walk around in blind ignorance.

Makes it tough to want to keep helping your ilk.

Ubi Bene ibi patria

All too true. In the end, it always comes down to population.

The U.S. wants Mongolia to reduce their population growth rate. But a Mongolian family with 12 kids living in a tent and burning wood for fuel has a smaller footprint than an American family with two kids, driving SUVs to McDonald's. Clearly, the best thing the boomers could have done for the planet was not have kids. Ditto the boomers' parents, and their parents.

Obviously, it's not just the boomers' fault. This train wreck was set in motion long before they were born.

Perhaps it has not occured to you that the selfish generation inherited a system that they in no way asked for. Now your generation, the whiners, have inherited a system that they in no way asked for. You can choose to get over it and go on with your life or spend the rest of your life comlaining about your lot and pointing fingers at others. I believe you will find your life much more satisfying if you attempt improve your lot instead of complaining about it.

You see I just don't buy that - and actually the Whiners are the generation below us - the ones in and coming out of college now - completely unhirable.

But your lot - the boomers at any rate - from very early - as early as you could decide things, your massive demographic led every marketer to pander to you. Your decision making ability punched above its weight from the word go.

You shuffled your parents off into retirement so you could piss away what they'd built up over decades based on their experiences during the depression.

As to attempting to improve - last go round the Gen X attempt to start to change things was, as always, stamped down by the Boomers... until you lot start dying off you'll keep doing that... bloody boomers ;-)

(you have a better argument by the way: without us you lot wouldn't be here so quit your bitching)
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

Ah yes, it is the boomers fault---
You must be one of those 80's-90's "me" generation, Ronald Reagan simpletons--
While I admit most of the Boomers took the Blue Pill, your generation didn't even know about the Red Pill. They are on the path, and want nothing to do with reality, and don't want anyone talking about getting off--
All of the survivors (if any) will need to sort it out on the other side---
And, observing the survival skills of your generation, there will not be many of you.
But good luck, sorry you missed the 60's-- it was fun


Boomers were the engine of the Reagan/Thatcher selfishness... you can hardly blame the kids that grew up in it repulsed by it.

I am sure the 60s were fun - having all that wealth, the solid economy built by your parents and shirking responsibility must have been a blast. Then collectively you voted in the Reagan years of selfishness low taxes, crappy education spending and everything else that meant that when my bunch started coming out of college in the early-to-mid nineties we were finding an economy that is sliding to oblivion.

So we set out to change the world with the Internet and your bunch tried to screw that up too... bloody boomers ;-)
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

blame as passive-aggressive behavior:

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

I find it hard to believe that '- and actually the Whiners are the generation below us - the ones in and coming out of college now - completely unhirable.' the generation below you are worse than you personally. In fact, I have three daughters and all are probably of your generation and none of them are whiners comprable to you. They all have college degrees, lives of their own and families of their own. They are all well aware of PO, CC and the incompetence of the current administration...but they have not placed blame on the boomers. We have very frank discussions and I have yet to hear one of them blame my generation for the problems that they inherited. I place far more weight on their opinions than on yours...I know how hard they have worked to get where they are. They dont have time to complain.lol I will decline to use your suggestion about a better arguement. I am very glad my daughters are here. Personally, I have led the life of a contrarian. I began riding motorcycles when I was thirteen and continue to ride bikes. When I started riding Madison Ave was not pushing motorcycles. I never bought into christianity or any other ideology. I have never worn 'plastic clothes' and have chosen cotton and wool. I have never inherited a nickle from anyone. My parents retired when they wanted to retire. See what happens when you try to lump a lot of people under one banner and indict all of them for some wrong that is perceived only by you? Your arguement is full of holes. Each generation will have to find their own way. For the many generations that lived before the industrial age very little change in upward mobility happened. I believe that coming generations will face something like that. Only the very brightest will achieve, the rest will hoe the row. Thats the way it was and thats the way it will be.

Only the brightest will achieve.

Why River, the country is in a very bad situation currently. The world also. Achieve in a world run by people that use your children. They will succeed if they toe the line. That line is getting tight and narrow.

We are in a Constitutional crisis and Constitutional lawyers agree and wonder why nothing is being done.

Not one generation is making the Congress understand the Constitution, not one. With the latest order from King George he proclaims Congress can't over rule him if he says people don't have to respond to orders to appear before congress. Its getting very serious.

Paul Craig Roberts just issued some statements that are astounding. Sounds like he is one of us crazy conspiracy nuts. He warned on Thom Hartman's show that he thought it possible a false flag attack was coming. Astonishing and its no where to be seen except on the net.

The admin just told Congressman Defazio from Oregon, on the Homeland security committee, that he could not view documents "even in the bubble" at the White House. The documents denied him, .. he wanted to see the admins plan on continuity of govt in the case of terrorism or other event. Denial of his request his a first I think. Another instance of King Rule.

Yet no one sees it. Or don;t think it matters or the next guy will straighten it out. No President is going to give back power.

Its the reasoning that Paul Roberts uses for why this is so dangerous, and its correct and obvious. These new powers of the President are powerful. In doing this he is destroying the Republican party. How many see a way for any Republican candidate to "legally" win President. The Senate and Congress could see more Republicans lose and the advantage slip. Does this seem like a man concerned about the Party and its future. Not to me.

So do you think he wishes to hand such power off to a Democrat. That doesn't seem likely.

YET the democrats are aware of the powers etc. So is this the reason they don't wish to impeach. A belief that they will grab the "ring of power" and rule.

I don't like that idea either. The democrats are hoping that no one catches on. Its to late for that and the public is wise. The screams and pleads for action are growing each and every day.

this is all very dangerous, and it is real. If all generations don't learn what the Constitution is and what it REALLY means to their future, then the country you THINK is ahead will not even start. Being bright and a slave, or a dumb and a slave. Tell me which one will be happier.

Also consider what is happening in the Middle East and the communication coming from there, as reflected by Cid Yama's Posts.

Russia has sent aircraft TWICE in to British airspace in the last few days. Violating with jets that are capable of you know what.

Putin is a lacky of Bush, not likely. I loved the picture on the beach in Maine with Bush talking and waving his arms about, and Bush is not looking at Putin. Putin is looking at GW and has such a subtle look and smile, that to read to me, "what an arrogant idiot". Is Putin mistaken, and does he think he (Bush) will not use nukes. No Putin knows they will. They want to use their weapons it appears.

like I said its getting dangerous and time to take back your Constitution is fading.

Quid Clarius Astris
Ubi Bene ibi patria

Prisoner X -

Yes our constitution is currently valued, by the powers that be, about equal to toilet paper.

There are long-term issues and near-term issues but if the current administration is allowed to flout the constitution, tradition, and law, then all those other issues pretty much become secondary.

Want to be an enemy combatant? Want everything of yours stripped away because you've done 'something to undermine the troops in Iraq'?

Where we're at RIGHT NOW is a nasty ugly place. I fear for our future even without peak anything.

The US political system is now hopelessly dysfunctional and in terminal decline. It has been weighed in the balance and found wanting. It's days are numbered, I fear.

(Sigh!) It was good while it lasted.

"What form of government did you give us, Dr. Franklin?"

"A republic, IF YOU CAN KEEP IT!"

if they have families of their own they are unlikely to be the generation after me... i am in my 30's

we are having to work in an economy vastly different to the one the boomers inherited at similar ages

i think it is great you are a contrarian - very healthy - but by that label you acknowledge that your group as a whole has not embraced those smart choices...

but what i do find odd is how it is even a point of debate that the boomers - who have dominated political decision making as a group, for decades now, due to their demographic size... and the group who run EVERYTHING now... are not the group who are perpetuating the problem, and indeed made it as bad as it is...

the argument about individuals is kinda irrelevant when it comes to whether or not society as a broad group has failed for generations to take necessary actions

and i find it interesting that my pointing that out leads to the label of whining - whining is an interesting word from a psychological point of view as it is often used by bullies to distance themselves from their actions by de-legitimizing the complaints of the bullied...
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

I agree- you are screwed-------
And brainless boomers voted for Ronald and Maggie-------
However, if you are in your 30's, you all really drank the kool aid----
I was out on the internet before Netscape 1-- Mosaic was around, but challenging. It took 3 years before the corporate rape and scrapers knew what was happening---
Your generation is selling commodities to each other, and leveraging derativies, and thinking your are revolutionary.
You must realize, there were very few people of the 60's generation who were politically literate, it was mostly a cultural thing--
Few read Fanon or Adorno, let alone could understand the relation between user and exchange value--

I was out on the internet before Netscape 1-

So? I was on the Internet back before there WAS a web.

I figured WAIS was the future...


So much for my Thinking Machines....

You used the word whiner first so I thought you approved of it. Leaving the word whiner or any other out of our conversation makes no difference to me.

My youngest daughter is 32 I also have one age 36 and one that recently turned 41. I understand that the economy is vastly different now and I fully expect that it will grow worse very soon. How could the economy get better when we are facing PO and CC and have an administration (which I voted against two times) that have adopted radical policies. Not the policies of traditional conservative republicans. This administration set out to conquer the world and were dumb enough to be up front about it with the PNAC agreement. I am not implying that the democrats would have been any better, I doubt they would have been. What I am saying is that the guys running the show now are totally out of control and the democrats, if they had the will, do not have the votes to check administrative power. Bush is bent on staying in Iraq and will not even discuss another course of action. Cheney recently declared that he is not part of the administrative branch of government, but later changed his mind. During the worst years of Viet Nam nothing like Bush/Cheney came to the fore. Nixon was bad but the system was then still functioning enough to get rid of him. Now the system is dysfunctional. But it is not only at the federal level...our state legislators are incompetent. I feel that the entire structure of government is continuing to function only because of some residual momentum and that once the bit of momentum is gone the house of cards will collapse. It is not a picture that I am familiar or comfortable with.

There is no such thing as 'society as a broad group,' there are only individuals that make up a society. Each individual must take part in a democracy for it to work. Imo we are in decline as a country because of materialisim but also because of individual ignorance. Ignorant people cannot make sound decisions and Americans of all generations have made really dumb decisions. It is a concious decision for people to take their eye off what their government is doing and retrain it on bread and circus, and that is exactly what has happened in America. It is also a concious decision for individual Americans to say 'oh, what does it matter if I dont check up on the past of the people running for office, my vote doesnt count anyway.' It happens to matter very much that each person in a democracy pay close attention to government. As Franklin said with a bit of irony 'sure, democracy is a fine form of government...if they can keep it.' He knew how difficult it would be to keep a functioning democracy while powerful lunatics were fighting to claw their way to the top and change the system of government. The powerful lunatics have arrived but not entirely on our watch. I believe that Lincoln was the first lunatic because of his destruction of states rights. After states rights were gone tyranny was the only outcome possible for future America. Many in Europe following what was happening in America commented on the inevitability of Lincolns decisions, but few in America said anything. No, I was not around to vote against Lincoln...

It seems to me that you are searching for some form of guarantee of a good life with a sound economy and no threats on the horizon. No generation has ever had such a sweet deal. My generation had a better time to live in almost entirely because of the actions of FDR. Roosevelt was a plotter and had a vision for America post WW2 that perhaps was seen only by his contemporary, Curchill. Your generation needs an FDR but for the present you are stuck with a bunch of turkeys.

I was born in 1951. I spent the 70s and some of the 80's smoking lots of weed, listening to vinyl records, wearing second hand clothes, hitchhiking, or driving old VW vans. Maybe I should have watched more TV, eh? Probably the only marketer to ever pander to me are the ones who made Screaming Yellow Zonkers. I've been downsizing and heading towards ELP since about 1969.

Sorry dude, most of your generation is full of crap. Super materialistic, believers in the unrestrained capitalist system, watchers of MTV and American Idol, who only look out for or think about number one. Didn't you come of age in the Reagan era? That's when the concepts of making the planet better or doing anything for the greater good of humanity really started getting screwed, and the selfish era really began. Reaganbots. The conservatives and rightwing trashed everything about my generation, swiftboating us long before Kerry.

What's so funny about peace love and understanding anyway?

You really know nothing of our generation clearly. Most people of my generation reject the capitalist nightmare the Reagan era - your generation's votes not ours. However are trapped in an economy that is a shell of the one you guys inherited.

Again - don't confuse people in their 30's working with families today, and the teenagers and early twenty-somethings so ADD afflicted that Paris Hilton is about as sophisticated as their thinking gets.

Again - I think it is great to hear personal stories of how great you are - but I don't know how ANYONE can credibly suggest the boomers have left a better situation for their offspring than they inherited.
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

Get a mirror. And while you are at it, take the cotton out of your ears and shove it in your mouth!
Bob Ebersole

okay - now the ad-hominems are out of the way... did you have a point?
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

Yeah, Irresponsible Unaccountable,

Take a look at your own behaviour, rather than scapegoating others. This is the second thread I've seen you do this behaviour, and its neither productive nor honest. If you can't see that we are all responsible, and all in this together, there's no hope for the world.

Bob Ebersole

I tell you what I do see.

I see a lot of bitching on here about how the rest of the country/world doesn't own up to its bad behaviour and change. But I see most of that bitching coming from people who have the mindset "everyone else's fault but not mine - i'm virtuous"

One thing that I find funny about that is that it is undeniable that the generation today in their 30s and starting to take on the responsibilities of running things... roughly the age that sort of thing starts - on average.. that generation - us - we've inherited a complete mess, and I just find it interesting that boomers don't want to accept that they have had the reins for decades and haven't done anything about it as a group - regardless of individual actions.

I don't see how such a statement is irresponsible... and accountability doesn't really have any play here...

Now, it isn't saying that we are not all in this together. But there is a lot of hypocrisy floating around when everyone wants everyone ELSE to accept they have screwed up but doesn't want to take that blame themselves... it isn't about scapegoating... it is about looking out there exasperated at the fact that all those I see posting their "well i won't be here to see this stuff" are right - they won't - they just created the mess and I have to sort out what happens for my kids in a far harsher environment

As to all in this together... I don't see that the majority of your generation sees that... I think they are still the same generation that turned the busted idealism of youth to the greed that drove the Reagan years... and left us with the mess we're in. And I don't see them getting serious about the changes needed... I see most of the drive for that coming from people younger...

The biggest damage has been done in the last 30 years or so... not a lot of denying that.
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

I see a lot of bitching on here about how the rest of the country/world doesn't own up to its bad behaviour and change. But I see most of that bitching coming from people who have the mindset "everyone else's fault but not mine - i'm virtuous"

Oh, the irony...

And if you'd bothered to read the thread before frothing with misplaced indignation you'd see that all I did was lend support and agreement for the prior comment.

That pointed out that the Boomers will only act on very narrow selfish interests... and that they are responsible for creating the inflexible system that we have today... I think his point was valid and is born out by the facts... I am sorry you don't like it - but when you're ready to acknowledge that your generation has to own up to its responsibility for screwing things up and start to pass the baton then there is a sensible debate to be had - and no it doens't absolve anyone else of responsibility for the unsustainable lifestyles they lead... everyone needs to change... but you cannot blame the young for what happened before them.
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

i admit that i didnt read this entire discussion, however i did read enough to conclude what a rediculous waste of time and electricity the whole thing is.

I can't imagine a typical urban dweller needing to drive a personal vehicle an 'effective' 3000 miles per year

I drive about 180 miles/month (in the months I do not evac or drive out of town for other reasons) and I amn hardly alone (although probably in the bottom 10%, perhaps 5%, of miles driven in my neighborhood).

Of course, I got a "walk score" of 77 :-) and the streetcars was 2.5 blocks away (hopefully back in a couple of months).

Other than the airport and a very few other places. every trip is 5 miles or less one way.

Best Hopes for compact, walkable cities,


Heh, my mchouse in the Austin mcburbs got a score of 20 :(

I thought that website would never come back to life.

Hmmm ... maybe need to start cleaning this place up to unload it ...

The history of settlement in the upper midwest at least coincided with the arrival of the railroads, towns incorporated the same year the railroads came. Would traveling by train today from point to point be as fast as driving, no, but it beats walking or horseback. In Minnesota farm country in the days of horse drawn transportation the small towns were spaced about every 7 miles.

I've seen some predictions for a future where nuclear trains run the length of the nation, and people get from the train station to their homes via bike or horse. (Obviously, this would not be for daily commuting, but more like the way trains were used in the 1800s.)

Nuclear trains and horses sound like a weird combination, but the West Bank ended up with a weird mix of donkeys and cars for awhile, with the donkeys to get around Israeli blockades.

A nuclear train still requires tracks. Why put the power plant on wheels if it is going to be electric motor driven, anyway? Just make electric trains, keep the nukes where they belong: buried under the crust of the earth. Some ideas are just too dangerous to use.

Good isn't what benefits the most people. Good is what benefits the most people for the longest time . There just isn't a way to say that digging up radioactive substances can benefit people for a sustainable period of multi-generational time.

There just isn't a way to say that digging up radioactive substances can benefit people for a sustainable period of multi-generational time.

Breeder reactor

Jeffrey, in another thread you recently stated:

I have decided to plant myself on the Alan Drake side of the post-Peak Oil debate (versus Matt Savinar)...

Just as an aside, I'd remind you that in discussions with Alan, even he has admitted having a worst case scenario backup plan. I'd like to suggest that you do likewise. You'll have to forgive me if I say that I'd far prefer persons like yourself getting through the coming bottleneck than the likes of Rupert Murdoch or Dick Cheney. ;)

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Dr. Albert Bartlett
Into the Grey Zone

Again, Alan Drake is asking the key question, "How did we move people and stuff around before we really entered the oil age?"

A big part of the answer is that most of the civilized part of the human population, and almost all significant economic activity (beyond simple "swap you my bushel of apples for your bale of hay"), was in cities along seacoasts, and such goods & people that were transported did so via sailing ships.

Ports that were at the mouth of rivers quite typically became much larger and more important than those that evolved from fishing ports (i.e. a harbor but no navigable river). Of course those with successful armies did quite well as well (Rome).

Later, railroads became substitute rivers. Chicago is an excellent example of this (although later a canal to the Mississippi River system was added). St. Louis is river + railroad, Atlanta railroads only, etc. New Orleans has the N-S Mississippi River and the E-W Intercoastal Canal, 6 of the 7 Class I railroads (all but Canadian Pacific) and a great deep water port (close to the Panama Canal, straight line grazes the tip of Cuba and the Honduras/Nicaragua border).

Phoenix and Las Vegas lack all of these transportation advantages; navigable rivers, deep water ports, and good railroad access/crossroads (Phoenix is on the end of a spur of UP RR).


Hello AlanfromBigEasy,

All good points, and as regarding Phx/Vegas--> no doubt, but the idiots keep moving here despite my best efforts to keep them away for their own sakes. Our leading 'sustainability' research institute [GIOS]:


...proudly trumpets further infinite growth and Overshoot instead of advocating a dead stop to anyone from anywhere moving here and voluntary birth controls to the Arizonans already here. Their homepage motto is "Leading the Way..."

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

Hi Alan,

Your arguments about ports are excellent. Ive spent my life in two port cities, Houston and Galveston. Galveston was larger than Houston until WWI, but lost its position because Houston dredged the ship channel and got water transport by ocean going ships inland enough to meet the east-west railroads. There are some huge marshes on the Texas Gulf Coast with the Intracoastal Canal dredged through them. The area has two big rivers, the Trinity and the San Jacinto, plus Buffalo Bayou, which was dredged to make the port.
Lumber and cotton were the two big exports from Galveston and Houston, but have since been eclipsed by petrochemicals. There's going to be a field trip to the Port of Houston at the ASPO convention this October, and I'm really looking forward to going on it. With the Homeland Security apes, its gotten hard to just go look at the Port and its fascinating-all the petrochemical plants, all the ship and barge traffic, cranes, warehouses, container ship docks, even giant asphalt parking lots full of new imported cars.
Bob Ebersole

Houston had not just the E-W railroads (now UP & NS-SF) but also the formerly Katy RR (now UP) going NW to Dallas and (from memory) the now Kansas City Southern going almost straight north.

The Houston Ship Channel made quite a difference !


I love the comments from the "give cyclists a break" column.

Cyclists should not impede the flow of traffic. I was behind one the other day crawling around the middle of the road. This is after it blew a stop sign, and cut me off.

Cyclists should also obey all traffic laws...I've seen many cyclists that do not stop for traffic lights or stop signs. They blow right through as if they don't exsist!

NY law also states cyclists are supposed to move as far right as safty will allow, not ride the white line 2 up.

Thanks for omitting key details that dont support your side of the claim.

Cycler, give drivers a break.

As badly and as aggressively as I see people drive every day, complaining about cyclists ignoring traffic signals is rather laughable. Speeding, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating and running red lights occurs constantly, all because everyone thinks their time is more valuable than anyone else's.

It's comments like these that put me solidly in the doomer camp. Cars have turned us into a society of pushy, aggressive, impatient babies. If people are so inconvenienced by sharing the road with a few cyclists, how will they feel and act when they have to take public transportation, wait in line for gas, ration, wait in line for food etc.?

Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against the absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. -- Thomas Jefferson

It wouldn't have bothered the author had he been on a bicycle or walking. But on the other hand, I saw a stupid kid cut in front of a car this morning that made the driver jam on his breaks. It was nearly Social Darwinism at work!Bob Ebersole

Yeah I agree phreephallin.

If road sharing and safety is to be improved, a lot of education is needed, both for cyclists and motorists. In my experience as cyclist, pedestrian and motorist, many cyclists DO ignore road rules, probably because they don't consider their bikes proper vehicles.

Many motorists don't understand that (in most jurisdictions) cyclists have as much right as them to be on the road. You could argue that the cyclist has a more fundamental right to the road than the motorist, since the motorist is granted the privilege only after obtaining a licence.

Many cyclists and motorists have a limited understanding of principles to share the road safely. This booklet gives a good outline:

As a cyclist, I blow through stop signs and reds when it is safe to do so. Blowing through, of course, might mean at the blinding speed of 20 km/h. See, that's the difference between obeying the rules as a cyclist and obeying the rules as a motorist. If I run a red in my car, I could kill someone else. I might also kill myself but that's my problem. But if I run a red on my bike unsafely, 99% of the time, the only possibility is that I will hurt myself. So unless and until there are enough roads reprogrammed as non-motorized expressways, I would kindly ask motorists, of which I am also one, to have a little more empathy for cyclists. I see descending the peak mitigating this problem.

Outa: Here in downtown Toronto, the cyclists obey no rules at all. You name it, they do it. Two points: 1. no motorist wants to hurt or kill a cyclist-it is a major hassle(so these crazy risks you take are endangering others also) 2. you cannot be seen by the driver of the car most of the time-sneaking up on the passenger side to blow through a green while the car is trying to make a right turn is a perfect example.

1. no motorist wants to hurt or kill a cyclist-it is a major hassle

Yeah, what a hassle. Killing someone. Jeez. Those thoughtless bastards on their bicycles. Don't they know they might make us late by a few minutes in our mindless drive to consume!!! Then you have to fill out paperwork and talk to a policeman and you may even get blood on your car. Do you know how hard it is to get blood off a car. Harder than you think. Jeez!

Cherenkov: The guy said he should be able to pull any stupid stunt he wants on the road, because if it goes wrong he is only hurting himself. I assume you agree with him- why am I not surprised?

Your attitude is a common one and understandable to a degree.

It is also a serious public relations problem for cycling advocates.

Every time you go through a red light, you help to foster an image of cyclists as irresponsible scofflaws. The real bike-hating motorists are not enraged when you do that-- they are pleased. It reinforces their prejudices.

It is also not true that you can hurt only yourself. Pedestrians should be able to cross the street on a green light without having to worry about being struck by a bicycle. Collisions between two cyclists can also be quite nasty.

First, you are completely correct when you say that an irresponsible cyclist doing weird things is not only a danger to themselves, just because they can cause drivers to have to respond in potentially hazardous ways. It is also true that there are lots of irresponsible cyclists, and that they excite prejudice on the part of some drivers.

But I can't completely agree with you on the scofflaw part.

I don't always know what the right thing to do is, but I believe you have to use common sense when cycling, just like anything else. On my normal commute (I live in exurbia) there are no lights, but there are a few stop signs. If there are no cars around (pedestrians are rarely an issue), I don't stop. If the cars are pretty far away, so I can go through the stop without affecting their trajectory, I also generally do.

The key thing in cycling safety is predictability, and if you are TOO deferential to cars, people don't expect that either and do weird things.

Since I don't live in the city anymore, this doesn't come up so much, but if you cycle much I am sure you have been in the situation where you are in the front of a pack of cars at a red light. The light cycle/traffic conditions are such that you can start before the light changes. It is my belief that it is safer to do so, and makes it easier for the cars behind you to deal with you as well (because they have spread out somewhat before they have to pass you). It is clearly illegal. I do it anyway, if it makes sense under those road conditions. Obviously if there are pedestrians or traffic on the cross street it would be stupid. You need to be attuned to conditions when you cycle (or drive, for that matter.)

Oddly, I had a strange moment riding on the local street this morning, coming home after riding to the next town.

There were a couple of cars coming from the other side, and cars were parked on both sides. The space was quite narrow, but it seemed as if there was enough space for me and a car to fit, moving in opposite directions.

The first car drove past, and the space was a bit tight, but not really a concern - if I had been on a motorcycle, things would have been very squeezed.

The second car stopped, waiting for me to pass. Which really surprised me, as I never expect car drivers to ever act in a civilized manner with people using two wheels. Actually, her stopping made me somewhat nervous.

Until I remembered that in Germany, this is customary (and legally required) behavior, and it was my attitudes and perceptions that were the strange ones, not hers. I found it quite interesting, even after living here for 15 years.

"Cars have turned us into a society of pushy, aggressive, impatient babies."

Road rage shuts down Hwy. 138


Drivers inconvenienced by a road-widening project in a rugged stretch between San Bernardino and Palmdale subjected construction workers to so much abuse - including death threats, BB gun shootings, even a burrito thrown at a road worker - that the state revoked a rush-hour window in which limited traffic was allowed and shut down the highway altogether.

The basic issue, it seems to me, is that many car drivers are made frightened and angry by anyone who challenges the auto-centric paradigm.

There are other facets to this -- for example, various subcultural elements can make it very likely that car drivers will become especially abgry at a walker or biker. Race enters in as well, I've observed in my town.

A car driver who is white, upper-middle class, and unaware of his or her place of rare privelege and concomitant sense of far-reaching entitlement, will often respond with more rage to a biker who looks as if he or she is from another race, class, or who bears any other distinguidhing characteristics that set the biker apart as "other" or "alien."

But the core issue is the fear and anger over the passing of the auto-centric age.

'The basic issue, it seems to me, is that many car drivers are made frightened and angry by anyone who challenges the auto-centric paradigm.'

Just to note - this applies to North American car drivers, beyond question (I put a good 160,000 miles on my BMW bike in about 7 years). It does not apply to car drivers in the land of the autobahn, and the home of the Porsche. Or in any country where bicycle racing is considered among the highest form (when not clearly the highest) of sport - Belgium, France, Italy, etc.

The nastiest fight I've ever seen in Minneapolis was between a Black bicyclist and a White Pedestrian--who walked into the law-abiding bicycle's path. Three policemen were called; injuries were involved, and the bike had its spokes kicked out.

There is one solution only to the 'cyclist vs car sharing the same roadspace' problem. Reduce the speed of the cars drastically, so they move at the same speed as the cyclist. Yes, that would be 10 miles an hour.

Nothing should move faster in residential areas than people can move themselves with their own muscle power.

This exists in Europe, and it gives you streets where people feel free to move around, and even children can play in their "public space". In fact, there are voices in for instance Holland to reduce the speed even further.

Public space is a by now completely distorted term. It's obviously supposed to belong to everyone, but if you allow 4000 pound vehicles to move through it at 30-40 mph or more, it's no longer de facto public space.

A majority of urban streets reserve 70-80% of the surface for moving and parked cars, and maybe 20% for sidewalks. It's a profoundly alienating set-up, that separates people from the space they live in. And that has deeply disturbing psychological consequences. Which are totally ignored.

Superb points, HISF!

Many parents in neighborhoods in Minneapolis buy and place signs on or near streets that look a bit like "Men Working" or construction signs, but say "Children Playing: Slow down."

Nevertheless, people have resisted lowering speed limits in residential neighborhoods.

Perhaps in a short time this will change.


Traffic policies are all, bar none, based on accomodating automobile traffic: making cars move through spaces as fast as possible. This is an utterly self-defeating policy, because more people wil drive, and you get congestion. Then you build more and wider roads, which after a few years just lead to... more congestion.

It's hard to find an area exhibiting more non-functional braincells than traffic policy. To drive your kid to school and soccer practice as fast as possible, you move through their, and other kids', streets, forcing their parents to do the same. Maybe it's the entitlement that comes from watching car ad's, and the amount of money spent buying the car, that leaves no room for actual neuron activity.

Incidentally, there's no more polluted place in a city than inside a car. So driving them around should keep your kids from developing too much brain functionality as well.

Yet, no matter how glaring the failures are by now, and have been for ages, the basic accomodating automobiles policy is still uncontested. Politicians won't even try to bring it up, since it costs far too many votes. I guess in Europe there's more political courage of sorts, though the -even- more limited space in many cities may be a factor as well.

Still, doing the only thing that makes sense, the drastic slow-down of motorized traffic, should be considered and implemented just for the sake of the children. That should be reason enough. Yeah, right.

I've just cancelled delivery of my local newspaper. The new delivery girl, admittedly quite young, is doing her rounds while her mother follows her, idling the car at curbside. Unbelievable.

It is probably easier to accept in dense neighborhoods.

There is one solution only to the 'cyclist vs car sharing the same roadspace' problem. Reduce the speed of the cars drastically, so they move at the same speed as the cyclist. Yes, that would be 10 miles an hour.

There is another solution: drastically reduce the number of cars on the road. Most people are driving to places they don't need to go, to do things that don't need to be done.
Advertising, insurance, most universities, most government jobs, most construction work (especially highways), most landscaping work, most of the things related to these jobs could be eliminated from the world.
Will it be done voluntarily? Probably not, but 'voluntary' is relative to the situation. If you 'voluntarily' only have a choice between starving to death and growing a garden, you will grow a garden. If you 'voluntarily' have a choice between driving at 10 bucks a gallon or riding a bike, then the word 'voluntary' takes on a different meaning.
The current paradigm is one of convincing people that they are "freely choosing" to waste resources which will one day be unavailable. The less available they are going to be in the future, the more money people are willing to pay for them. Unfortunately, making more money uses up the resources faster.
The actions we take out of blind faith in Economics and fear of being 'poor' is making most of us poorer, faster, and a very few very very rich.
"The meek shall inherit." Some wisdom comes very hard when it is suppressed by marketing.

"If you want Change, keep it in your pocket. Your money is your only real vote."

There is another solution: drastically reduce the number of cars on the road.

  1. If the remaining cars still drive through streets at the same speeds, that is no solution at all. It will probably make it worse: if there's more free space, motorists can, and will, go faster.
  2. Slowing down to 10 mph will reduce the number of cars just by itself, because people don't buy cars to go 10 mph.

There is another solution: drastically reduce the number of cars on the road.

I'm counting on peak oil to take care of that. Won't be soon enough in my book, but it will happen.

I live in Marin County, the birth of the Mountain Bike, and the place to ride to the top of Mt. Tam. I drove out to West Marin to have a walk in the Redwoods a few hours ago (I had been in LA, and needed some Redwood Energy---)
Anyway, i will sometime encounter 100+ cyclists on narrow roads, blind turns, no shoulders, cliffs, etc. This is a situation made for death and disaster (and often have to wait on blocked roads for ambulance and police to arrive)--
I suggest having times for cyclists, and times for drivers to use the roads separately.
Public transport would help a bit, but buses or vans would be more of a obsticle than cars on these narrow roads--
Of course my solution would be take out the roads, ban cars and cyclists, and leave the area to heal from human use---

Special times for cyclist and for vehicles would never work.
1- Cars are a dead issue in ___ years.
2- It would require changes in the entire vehicle code, it would be a nightmare, and challenge the rights of cyclist to be on the road at all.
3- It would only apply to 'recreational' cyclists, for packs, tours, team training etc. In the future there will be less 'recreational' cycling, as that energy will be required for transportation when the fuel is scarce or expensive.

The real issue with cars and bikes together is the speed difference that makes them incompatible. Everyone has to drive 10 over to get home 13 seconds early to turn on the TV.

Right of way, ever wonder how it was established? It mimics efficiency. Shipping, and trains have ROW over most everything. Then pedestrians, cyclist, horse/buggy, and then motor vehicles. At least in general.

One of my coworkers spent the first three days of this week complaining to anyone who would listen about what a terrible inconvenience it is that our transit system now requires patrons to tap their fare card on the exit gate. It takes no time at all to do and actually results in a faster exit since the fare gates don't have to use a sensor to detect your presence and determine it isn't just a hand of someone on the other side of the gate trying to make it open for a free ride.

Three days this guys spent complaining. I just kept thinking about men of previous generations who fought in WWII or worked riveting steel beams on high rises and that now here we have people working in air conditioned offices, typing on computers, thinking that their lives are so horrible because of a requirement to tap a fare card on a blue circle on the fare gate.

After a while I had to put on my headphones so I could block out the stupidity.

I would like to propose a WARNING label front and center on the home page of TOD.

I believe that PO awareness is increasing exponentially ( a good exponential growth?) and there are clueless Grannies from Grand Rapids (no offense Gran) landing here smack in the middle of some pretty advanced stages of discussion and being put off or dismissing the “theory”.

Just a warning of the advanced content with a short overview of the issue maybe with a simple line graph with Discovery, Production, and Demand overlay.

Explain that this is not just an elitist issue, a mind puzzle, but an issue relivent to all.

Then maybe a list of resources in order of intensity as a tutorial. Pointing to Gail’s Pamphlet,Tech Talk, etc.

Encourage nubies to search the site for answers to their Q's at first until they have a feel for it then feel free to jump in and comment.

I find I am hesitant to send nubies to TOD for fear of overwhelming them, (they will get there in their own time but you can’t rush these things)

TOD is the best resource their is for gaining as complete an understanding as possible.
Just a thought.

Um...didn't you already post this?

You'd probably be better off e-mailing it to PG, anyway. He's the one who makes decisions like that.


How about posting the source's name on the material that the Drumbeat link's go to? It would sure speed up my looking at the material.
Bob Ebersole

Bob, Hovering my mouse over a link shows the URL in the status bar. You can often tell the source from the URL.

Leanan, don't make it fancier at the expense of the breadth of your reporting. That is, don't burden yourself with more formatting stuff if it causes you to slow down the firehose of info you give us each day.

Don't try to predict the future. Get ready for it.

It isn't about how many will 'believe' in peak oil, but whether a significant number of pivotal people will be aware of it sufficiently ahead of the event. Not believing in it won't delay the inevitable. I wish we had dubbed it Peak Oil Inevitability, but it seems as though the theory of the calculation method has seeped over to include whether or not it will happen at all.

In a sense, the world would be better off if 'we' are a little bit premature because mitigation would get a better head start. I think Jimmy the Sweater had it perfectly back in 1979, but he's been discredited and blamed for whatever the Reagan sycophants could think of or twist.

Imagine that; a sitting President on TV saying we have an energy supply problem and promoting conservation!

How fast this will move from being an 'issue' to a catastrophe may make preemptive mitigation look about thirty years late - which it is. Thanks Jimmy. Carter was the last President that I actually fully respected, an anomaly in a long line of grifters and stooges.

Spot on and quite timely, Petrosaurus.

Which of the presidential candidates for 2,008 will be honest with us about our energy situation?

Which of the candidates for president will be honest with us about global warming?

Which of the presidential candidates for 2,008 will be honest with us about the geopolitics of oil?

which of the presidential candidates will be honest with us about population overshoot?

And so it goes....?

Not to beat a dead horse, but, I am running as a write in candidate for the 2008 election.

And I know what this site is all about, and have known about it from back in the early 80's when I started doing research for several stories I was working on. Back then I had hopes for a brighter future than I do now, but that was youth talking not living experience.

I don't hope for more than a blip on the radar, but picking one of the mainline candidates and slamming them with information for a lot of people might get them thinking.

What bothers me is that it is still a year and 4 months away, and the news of candidate X doing anything positive is just bits of slag by the time the election really rolls around.

We've already got the Peak Oil Primers block, but there might be merit in bumping these up to a more immediately visible spot. Right above where we presently have the contact info box would be good. Expanding it to include Gail's work when completed would be a good idea too.

Re: Shell being forced to exit the Beaufort Sea

This is ridiculous and malicious. The US needs the production.

Shell already has spent $32 million for their lease block,huge amounts of money on seismic and interpretation, office overhead, plus drill ship charter rates-all in all,at least $100 million dollars on a frontier prospect that may be unproduceable because of the expense of shipping the oil and huge pipeline costs. The so-called environmentalists have nothing at stake. I think they should be personaly liable for legal fees and Shell's costs, they didn't object before the company spent the money.

Its the same BS as not drilling the other prospective offshore areas in the US. We've not had a blow out or giant oil spill in 35 years, since Santa Barbara. No wonder we're experiencing "peak Light". Florida and California should't be able to prohibit drilling out of sight of land.

Hi Bob, 'Florida and California should't be able to prohibit drilling out of sight of land.'

Why drill off shore of these two states now when the oil will be wasted in SUVs, unnecessary wars, etc? I believe its a good idea to hold the oil in place untill we have a more oil aware public and more responisble government that will use oil like the finite resource that it is. I would not oppose drilling in these locations if I saw a government in place that was willing to make the difficult and generally unpopular political decisions to bring our waste of oil down. Just one viewpoint.

Because of the the time lag from drilling to producing. If we don't start now, when we need it or want it, we won't be in the position to get it, but will be 5 to 10 years away.

It goes back to the above thread about the powers that be, knowing what we know, and preparing for the end of the oil out of OPEC in a meaningful way.

We are literally at the edge of the Oil Crest. Even if this is an undulating flat spot, we are at the edge, and we need to be doing things that we are not doing. On this site we have a lot of folks that are prepared as best as they can be "for the end of the world as we know it", but we are also the front runners as far as knowledge goes and that gives us a bit of a responibility to let people that make the policy know that there is an edge to World Oil Production and we should be more proactive about it, not less so.

In this case waiting is the wrong thing to do.

So you run on the slogan "Dig a hole, screw a whale".

Yes, that should get some votes.

But does it make you a frontrunner in knowledge?

I hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but the Whales are screwed anyway. Most reports I have been reading have been placing a lot of dead whales on the door step of Sonar, Over fishing, Red Tides, climate change, Ocean temps rising, and dozens of other small but meaningful changes to the whales and how they are adapting to this changing globe.

I'd still go for drilling and securing the Oil off our shores. Stop gap method though it is.

CEOJr1963, yesterday you lost my vote with your anti abortion stand. Today you lost my wifes vote with your stand on drilling and using up the last drop of US oil during a rediculous war and with more rediculous SUVs on the auto dealer floors for sale. Would you care to lose the votes of the remainder of my family? Perhaps you would care to enlighten us...what are the rest of the planks in your campaign platform?

I said drill not drain it. Drilling and getting the wellhead preped for draining is what I want to have happen.

As for your votes. I don't count on winning just making a few points. It all depends on what state you live in, I might have to get oodles of signatures just to become a write in candidate on some ballots.

Survival training for every child in grade school would be something I'd like to see happen. Homelessness of the kind we see today put to an end or at least lessened, using the funds of we spend on road expansion in just 3 months of the year.

You are asking me to tell you what I would do if I were KING, or what what I'd do if I got the President job? They might be two different things. I have written short stories where I pretended to be a KING( First person works best for my writing style).

Lets say I make Alan Drake head of Transportation.

Who gets the Energy czar's job?
And I want to make camp david into a roller coaster fun park( just kidding) Though I would like to have more roller coasters put in somewhere.

This is why I believe that we need to continue to oppose opening up the Arctic Nat'l Wildlife Refuge to exploration & drilling. I doubt that we can hold off forever, but we really should hold something back in reserve for the day that we are truly desparate. Depleting it now just so that Dick Cheney's friends can make a few extra bucks and fill their SUV tanks for a few dollars less doesn't cut it.

oilmanbob wrote:

Its the same BS as not drilling the other prospective offshore areas in the US. ... Florida and California should't be able to prohibit drilling out of sight of land.

On the other hand, this means having these resources in the future when they will be much more needed and hopefully put to better use.

Or perhaps it is best to just keep them in the ground, which is the only way to prevent eventual temperature rise from GHG (greenhouse gases). Please see the groundbreaking article:

The Coal Question and Climate Change by Dave Rutledge (Chair for the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech)

If we wish to reduce the temperature rise, we must bury the CO2 (assuming that it will not leak out for 1,000 years), or establish preserves for fossil fuels that prevent them from being produced. One possibility for fossil-fuel preserves would be US federal lands. One third of US fossil-fuel production is from federal lands, so remaining fossil-fuel production could be reduced substantially simply by letting the current leases run out, without establishing new ones.

See especially Figures 11 and 12 (reproduced below), where Prof. Rutledge shows the that temperature rise is about the same under a "Super-Kyoto" regime of stretching out FF (fossil fuel) usage but still using the same amount of FF. (The temperature rise is more-or-less an integral over the amount of FF that is used, because GHG's are so long-lived.)

Figure 11. Carbon emissions and atmospheric CO2 levels. The atmospheric CO2 levels are calculated from MAGICC simulations.

Figure 12. Simulated temperature rises from MAGICC simulations.

My conclusion from this article is that most of the actions being taken or contemplated to combat global warming are ineffective: they slow down the rate of FF use, but they don't prevent the usage of the FF. (Granted CO2 capture and storage is a way to get the carbon back underground... but no one is doing it today, and the technology is looking expensive not to mention unproven at large scales).

Don't try to predict the future. Get ready for it.

When the crunch comes, we will:

Drill everything just about everywhere. Maybe Malibu and Martha's Vineyard will get a couple miles of buffer.

Use coal at the maximumm rate we can dig it, move it, and burn it.

Lower and/or REMOVE taxes on gasoline to lessen the expense. This started to happen (was proposed by policymakers) during the post-Katrina price spike.

This is based on the thinking that the majority of American people will demand cheap fuel. Politicians will listen (and come up with really bad policy). Protection on federal lands will last about 5 minutes when oil hits $100/barrel

Maybe not... if Hansen's right about the polar ice we won't. The first big chunk that falls off of Greenland will get everybody's attention immediately.

Now... you could argue that the signal will be too late (and I would agree) but... when Greenland's ice moves the fossil fuel age is OVER.


You are right. The selfish monkey that man is will not stop wanting. We will kill ourselves off with as much gusto as we can muster. The drillers, that is the oil people who populate the site and who desire to drill the bejeezus out of our nation and the world, are only doing what they know best. A carpenter has to hammer, a preacher has to preach. I've never met a driller who thought that poking holes in the earth was not a good idea.

With our pushing the planet's thermostat over to "TIPPING POINT," we will still be arguing about these minor peak oil points even as the seas rise and the Amazon becomes a desert and our wheat production moves to the great northwest. The forest of Siberia will shrivel and die and the tundra will release so much methane that we will be shot back to the Eocene in a decade.

Interesting times. I'm starting to believe the 2012 people.

they also seem to completely ignore feedback loops thinking the temp will stop rising after 1.5c.. somewhere between the 1.5 and the 2c mark is supposedly the tripping point where some nasty positive feedback loops in nature will come into full swing taking away any and all hope of control.
though personally i think 'control' here is mostly a illusion.

Or maybe the issue will be more one of nature "controlling" us?

Review of Dreams (Kurosawa)---
"you realize once and for all that Godot is never in fact going to show up and all this waiting around you've been doing was just an excuse to overpopulate the planet with your diseased lies and ever-bloated reflection. And the dogs of war barking from a tunnel and scenes from nuclear winter looking suspiciously like a Macy's Thanksgiving Parade gone awry might cause a lesser man to doubt his sensibilities, but not Kurosawa, by god. For he knows that dying leaf is watching you as it falls and that anguish is measurable only in sines and cosines by this alien race now spying via foliage. "

omb(oilmanbob), yes, the anchorage appeals court ruling has a definite third world quality to it.

Save it for our children and grandchildren.

What can Japan do if they for some time cant build new nuclear powerplants and have to strenghten some of them or even rebuild or move them.

More electricity would be good for replacing fossil fuel for home heating and cooking and they would benefit from EV:s.

Do Japan have electricity intensive industry that can be moved to other countries with surplus electricity or solid bedrock?

Magnus Redin, I dont know if you saw my post of yesterday regarding the plant closure in Japan of Riken Industries? When the Riken plant closed it idled Toyota, Honda, Subaru, et.al., because Riken is the maker of all the transmissions for these vehicles. Riken also makes the transmissions for the Japanese autos that are produced in America. This sort of total auto plant shutdown is brought to us courtesy of a single source producer combined with 'just on time' delivery.

IMO, a classic example of improved efficiency resulting in loss of resiliency.

It would add more shipping but metal cutting is fairly energy intensive. If it nowdays is highly automated it might make sense to move bulk metal cutting from Japan with an aging but dense population and expensive energy to other countries with more avilable electricity.

I am of course selfish and looking for investments that might make sense in Sweden. We got an ok metal cutting industry and a fair supply of electricity although it would be very nice to see groundbreaking for new nuclear powerplants and not only upgrades of old ones.

Perhaps RoRo:s shipping Japanese cars to Sweden could roll on wheeled containers with bulk geartrain parts for cheap return freight?

China is more popular for moves to cheap labour and cheap coal power but they have some growth aces and you can question if they will have enough power in a 10 year time frame.

Concerning the Tuareg's attack on uranium mining in Niger, I'm amazed at the number of companies that have rebranded themselves with some nebulous moniker starting in A. Aviva, Altria, Areva... It's the Kodak syndrome.

Eastman called his company Kodak because it meant absolutely nothing, probably a first, and shortly thereafter a 'Kodak' was a word for camera. Now we have market research idiots, apparently, deciding that names starting with 'a' have first on a list status and a positive sound. So 'big cancer' goes from R J Reynolds to Altria. How altruistic.

Over time... given enough Adelphias and crappy car models called Applause or Acclaim or whatever, the public will see A.... as just more marketing crap. Hopefully we are nearing the end of rebadging companies with meaningful names of character with contrived pablum. How about a morning after pill called Aborta?

Areva missed the boat; they shold have called it Aglow.

Life , Liberty, and the Pusuit of Tackiness.

I'm repeating this in this topic because it probably belongs here.

We need an easy to get to FAQ for TOD. Something that sez "Start Here" or maybe "Read Me First."

TOD is a really, really big honking site now. Anyone who stumbles upon it will be greatly intimidated.

The FAQ needs to be readily identifiable and easily accessed for both TOD and Peak Oil.

There is a good Wiki article on Peak Oil. And there are several other truly great resources. However new readers generally expect a site FAQ to answer their basic questions like why does TOD exist, what is Peak Oil, Why should you care, etc.

This should be easy to accomplish. However the FAQ needs to be written for new readers. A link to the FAQ should be very close to the top and next to the most visible items on the page.

This is a correction to my earlier post.

There is a FAQ for the site. However it's not visible when *individual* topics are linked to. It's not written to the general audience and it focuses on the contributers, procedures and policies of the site. I think TOD can do better.

It needs to address both Peak Oil and TOD and it definitely needs better visibility. Even I as a 2 year reader had difficulty finding it.

Gail has written the near perfect introduction to Peak Oil.

It might be a good thought to give it a more prominent spot here somewhere.

I wanted to mention a book reviewwhich I wrote on Amazon. The book is by the Editors of Scientific American and called Oil and the Future of Energy: Climate Repair * Hydrogen * Nuclear Fuel * Renewable and Green Sources * Energy Efficiency

I call my review "Distant solutions to very current problems - peak oil and climate change." I gave the book three stars, but it was hard to decide what to give it. It many ways it doesn't even deserve that.

The book is an anthology. It starts out with an article by Colin Campbell and Jean LaHerrere called "The End of Cheap Oil". It was written in 1998 and predicts peak oil by 2010. It also has an article by James Hansen from 2004 regarding climate change. So far so good.

The book "balances" the Campbell /LaHerrere article with an article from March 1998 by Roger Anderson headlined "Recent innovations in underground imaging, steerable drilling and deepwater oil production could recover more of what lies below". It next has an article about drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, with no hint about timing or quantity of oil.

Most of the rest of the book is on things like carbon sequestration, hydrogen (I counted 7 articles with this a primary or secondary topic), and nuclear energy. There is virtually nothing on biofuels. Since it is an anthology, there is nothing in the book to give any time or quantity perspective. I would think that the reader might be left with the idea that while some people are concerned about peak oil, there are lots of solutions available. I was hoping my review would add a little perspective.

If people would like to read my review (and even vote on it), the link is

My review is the only one out there. I suspect most people didn't quite know what to make of the anthology. You would think the editors of Scientific American could do a little better.

As scary as it is to now have a "President Cheney", at the same time it's too hilarious for words. While -most- males hate having things stuffed up their behinds, and certainly wouldn't want anyone to know, still, when it happens to Bush, it gets more media coverage than Paris Hilton and Harry Potter entering rehab together.

It's the perfect ultimate humiliation. Roll the camera's and bend over.

It all brings back to mind Kurt Vonnegut complaining about surviving his smoking addiction (despite the industry's promise it would kill him), because:

"Now I’m forced to suffer leaders with names like 'Bush' and 'Dick' and ‘Colon.’"

Has he pardoned Scooter yet?

Bush takes back power after colonoscopy

U.S. President George W. Bush took back presidential power after undergoing a routine colonoscopy Saturday.

The White House made the announcement more than two hours after Bush temporarily ceded power to Vice President Dick Cheney for the procedure at 7:16 a.m.(1116 GMT).

In a letter sent to both Senate and House leaders, Bush reclaimed his presidential power at 9:21 a.m. (1321 GMT).

The colon screening lasted about 31 minutes and five small polyps were removed.

"None of the polyps appeared worrisome," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said, adding that Bush is "in good humor and will resume his normal activities at Camp David."

Right, Scooter...

Libby a Long-Time Mossad Agent

Lewis "Scooter" Libby has been a long-serving intelligence agent for Israel's Mossad, according to a veteran CIA "official cover" officer who spoke to WMR on deep background. The CIA's Clandestine Service has, over the years, gathered a tremendous amount of intelligence on Libby's activities on behalf of Mossad.

Libby served as the lawyer for Switzerland-based American fugitive financier Marc Rich, aka Mark David Reich, who is also known to be an Israeli intelligence asset and someone Israel relies upon for missions that demand "plausible deniability" on the part of the Mossad. Rich heads up a worldwide empire of dummy corporations, foundations, and numbered bank accounts that have been involved in sanctions busting and weapons smuggling. The nations involved include Israel, United States, United Kingdom, Iran, Panama, Colombia, Russia, Iraq (under Saddam Hussein), Cuba, Spain, Nigeria, Singapore, Bolivia, Jamaica, Bermuda, France, Italy, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Australia, Argentina, Peru, Ireland, Zambia, Sweden, Monaco, and apartheid South Africa.

Polyp count increases

Oh man, they took 7 polyps out of the man's rear.

Now I know for sure, and let me embed that in y'all's minds too, that the next time I see him coming across the White House lawn towards the microphones, I think it was Ian McEwan who said when W walks it looks like he's paddling a canoe, that I'll think: that guy has whole families of polyps growing up his ass, that's why he walks like that.


There are just some places other people's finger's shouldn't go. I believe its women and chidren who object to rectal exams and colonoscopy's too.

As far as pardoning Scooter, its not going to happen until January, 2009, after the next election. If someone accepts a pardon, they are not elligable for the fith ammendment right to not incriminate yourself, so a judge or a grand jury can force you to testify.

You might want to wander over to WAPO's (Washington Post) editorial page.

There's an interesting op-ed piece today on by-passing the DOJ (Dept of Justice) and using the Congressional Sergeant at Arms to detain those folks who've been subpoenaed.

Apparently that route has been vetted by the Supreme Court and there is no Presidential privilege... or pardon.

why would libby need to impose the 5th ? wont he just do what he has done in the past ?
and speaking of lying, there was a brief interview on npr this am from a pr expert and his claim is that bush (not unlike tricky dick) does not engage in pr because the 1st rule of pr is DONT LIE. what bush and nixon before him are(were) engaged in is called advertising.

Scooter Libby was tried for Purgery. He has not been indicted for the felony of releasing state secrets, so he can still be tried for that crime.

I know, its convoluted and crazy, but its the same reason we only try serial killers for one or two murders, double jepordy is illegal under the constitution, and the prosecutors want a back up indictment so that they can try the person again if he gets released.

Also, it keeps old Scooter in the corral and may have been specific orders from Alberto Gonzales and Cheney to the Justice Department. They've got a threat to keep Libby from talking to the press, and I imagine he's pretty pissed about being thrown to the wolves.

"Land of the brave, home of the free,
I don't wanna be mistreated by no bourgeoisie"
-Leadbelly, Bourgeois Blues

Bob Ebersole

Confessions of a Peak Oil Wacko

I was more than just a little offended by Edward Tapamor’s article in the Resource Investor this morning. In the article Peak Oil Passnotes: Peak Oil Zombie Attack Redux Tapamor referred to us in the past as “Peak Oil Zombies” and in this column as “Peak Oil Wackos”. He puts in the exact same category, but at the opposite end of the spectrum, as the “free market’ technology-will-save-us brigade”. In other words, we are both nuts and cooler heads should prevail. He says:

….you have to do away with the ideology. You can no longer be a ‘believer’ either in the failed political ideology of neo-liberal markets – such a big hit in the developing world – or a ‘believer’ in the idea that ‘peak oil’ is happening now, and we are all about to run to the hills clutching shotguns.

And that, dear hearts, really pissed me off. We peak oil advocates do not have an ideology other than our powers of observation and the preponderance of scientific evidence supporting our case. And none of us are telling everyone to head for the hills clutching shotguns. We believe that preparations should be made, but reasonable preparations that involve long term planning for the eventual crunch which most of us believe will eventually happen.

We all, well most of us anyway, would like to believe that there will be no collapse of civilization as we know it. But most of us, being relatively well educated observers of human nature, realize that when people are given a choice of believing that something bad is about to happen verses nothing bad is about to happen, the vast majority of us will believe the latter every time.

We “Peak Oil Wackos” are not certain, as Tapamor claims we are, as to how much oil is or is not left in the ground, especially in Saudi Arabia. But we are able, with the help of papers previously filed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, along with the observation of where Saudi is trying to increase production right now, able to make a rough guess based on that evidence as to how they have left. And because the evidence tells us that Saudi probably has somewhere between 60 billion barrels left at worst or 130 billion barrels left at the very best, we are called Wackos or Zombies.

So much of this debate is a macho chest-beating exercise.

And that is the unkindest cut of all. It was not macho chest-beating when we quoted the Petroleum Intelligence Weekly’s estimation that Kuwait has less then half the proven reserves the claim to have. It was not macho chest-beating when the editors of TOD posted, several times, detailed analysis of the papers from the Society of Petroleum Engineers, detailing the deep trouble Ghawar is in. It was not chest-beating when we pointed out that instead of tapping those vast claimed reserves, Saudi is insteag trying to revive very old, tired, depleted fields.

We have presented logical arguments, detailed reports and scientific analysis of existing evidence, arguing that those vast Middle East Reserves are largely mythological, that they probably have, at best, half the reserves they claim. We believe the evidence of this is absolutely overwhelming. And to refer to this argument as a “macho chest-beating exercise” is nothing more than a ghastly display of total ignorance of what our argument actually is. The Resource Investor and Mr. Edward Tapamor owes us an apology.

Ron Patterson

Ron: IMO, the author was referring to the absolute certainty regarding economic collapse that so many "peak oil believers" exhibit. The title- "Peak Oil Zombies" refers to this. No one needs to apologize for pointing out obvious truths. He was also just as critical of guys like Yergin. His point is that no one has a crystal ball-historically estimates of future events are increasingly unreliable the farther out your projection goes.

. No one needs to apologize for pointing out obvious truths. He was also just as critical of guys like Yergin

Oh Really? And what did he call the Yergins and other cornucopians? Wackos? Zombies? No he did not, he reserved those juicy terms only for us Peak Oilers!

As one reviewer posted:

You use over 90% of your article attacking peak oil theorists, calling them whackos ,while claiming neutrality between this camp and your so-called technology-will-save-us camp. Unless you think that all the readers are stupid, why even bother to camouflage your real intention?

The article is clearly slanted toward discrediting those who are trying to get the world to wake up to the very real possibility Peak Oil and the dire consequences it will probably have. We are trying to warn people that sleepwalking into a nightmare and for our efforts we are called Zombies and Wackos.

Daniel Yergin, CERA and that crowd are not even mentioned. They are not among the "technology will save us" crown as they believe oil will peak about a half century from now, followed by an "undulating plateau" for decades. These guys are not even mentioned, let along criticized.

I suggest you re-read the article Bryan. Perhaps then you will get a little truer perspective on what this guy is saying.

Ron Patterson

Ron: I can't speak for the author but it sounds like he feels we are currently at or past peak (but he is not certain). He obviously does not feel that acknowledging that we are past peak obligates one to have a negative view of the future, economically speaking. He doesn't agree with you that the future will be a "nightmare" so he called you a wacko. IMHO, most persons who realize that global oil production is past peak would consider predictions of Beverly Hills turning into Zimbabwe the vision of a "wacko". I realize this isn't your particular vision but he wasn't directing his column at you individually-you wouldn't even qualify as a prime "wacko" on this site.

Not using 'fair and balanced reporting'...I am apalled! It sounds like one more person in denial, regardless of his credentials. I would not let him upset me...read what he has to say, use what you know or can find out to make a rational judgement about what he has said, (in this case) place him on your mental list with other politicians like Yergin, forget him.

Edward Tapamore is trying to sell people gold through manipulating their fears and prejudices. Good,rational investments like oil service companies or royalty trusts compete with him for money, so he's against them.

I'd be a little more willing to listen to the Goldbugs if they wern't such obvious frauds and snake oil salesmen preying on the unthinking and mentally challenged.

One of the half-wits responded in the comments "name one other commodity which has peaked" How about gold? And if its such a good "investment", then why are con artists like Financial Sense willing to sell it for fiat currency?
Bob Ebersole

Yeah, but to be fair, we've got guys like Cherenkov.....

so Tampamor may have a point.

And after I wrote such an impassioned defense of TOD on Tampamor's blog. Tsk tsk.

I can bet that my defense will not be published over there.

And by "guys like Cherenkov," I assume that you mean perspicacious (use a dictionary), witty, willing to look at things from a human standpoint as well as the physical, and one who refuses to be steamrolled. Then, thanks!!

Yeah, poor ole TOD having to listen to someone who refuses to let pollyanna technobabble rule the day. Oh well.

not everyone needs to use a dictionary to source polysyllabic words or their meanings... but well done for letting your thumbs do the walking - made you sound smart :-)
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

I spent a few minutes reviewing your comments and you seem to be an expert of the obvious and a master of the "me too."

If only this site only had more troopers like you. Then they could get some real discussion going!!

Imagine all that lukewarm agreement, the camaraderie of the pat on the back, the hearty "good job again fellow me tooer."

Yeah. Disagreement is soooo inconvenient. Better to toe the party line.

And none of us are telling everyone to head for the hills clutching shotguns.

Hmmm.... but there are people here who indeed do that, and you'll find people also espouse all sorts of fringe ideas and positions. While TOD is better than most PO websites with forums in that regard, and thus TOD is one of the few PO websites I read regularly, on any given day you will find doomer-porn being practiced in the comments.

InJapan, exactly what is "Doomer Porn?" Is doomer porn something that says civilization as we know it will eventually collapse due to the disappearance of our energy slaves? Would Catton's "Overshoot" be doomer porn? How about Reg Morrison's "The Spirit in the Gene"? Or how about David Price's "Energy and Human Evolution"? I would really like to know because I wonder if I have been reading a lot of doomer porn.

And I know of no one who advocates grabbing a shotgun and heading for the hills right now. Lots of people on the other hand advocate having a good defense when they are forced to move into the boonies and fend for themselves. Methinks you, and others, do grossely exaggerate the measures advocated by many peak oilers. But nevertheless, there are people who advocate just about anything and everything. Finding a few nuts does not prove that they are the rule.

By using extrasomatic energy to modify more and more of its environment to suit human needs, the human population effectively expanded its resource base so that for long periods it has exceeded contemporary requirements. This allowed an expansion of population similar to that of species introduced into extremely, propitious new habitats, such as rabbits in Australia or Japanese beetles in the United States. The world's present population of over 5.5 billion is sustained and continues to grow through the use of extrasomatic energy.

But the exhaustion of fossil fuels, which supply three quarters of this energy, is not far off, and no other energy source is abundant and cheap enough to take their place. A collapse of the earth's human population cannot be more than a few years away.
-David Price, Energy and Human Evolution, 1995

Ron Patterson


Are you sure? Have you looked at Matt Savinar's comments on the other thread today where he hijacked the thread, burying a discussion of the Export/Import Land model?

He's got his own blog, and needs to post his stuff there, and probably get some antipsychotic drugs too.
Bob Ebersole


Am I sure of what? Yes, I saw Matt's comments on the other thread but I fail to see what that has to do with my comments above.

Ron Patterson

Maybe he can share your prescription.

You are worryingly keen to just attack people in a personal and mean-spirited way. Suggest you take your own advice.
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

And soon, bicycles on Wall Street too, for the few traders left?

.... the prices of most other mortgage-backed securities are also plummeting - producing billion-dollar losses…and possibly triggering a multi-billion dollar credit-derivative debacle. As these billions of dollars disappear, somebody might miss them.

These people had the worse credit histories, and were mang those least likely to be able to repay their debts ... if it sounds to good to be true, maybe it is false.

Venezuela needs more rigs

This report provides a clue that after Venezuela seized foreign owned and operated rigs on its land it is having difficulties finding people to bring new rigs into the country. This might result in further production declines. In mature areas oil production per well has been dropping and that means more drilling is required to maintain the same or lower output.

And anyone is surprised by this? Just think of all the flak I got for my 'predictions' involving Venezuela. I wonder when more people are going to start watching Venezuela...they are perfectly mimicking the mistakes of Mr. Mugabe from Zimbabwe...

Obvious troll... Try using a bit more subtlety... Thanks.

Exactly how is this a troll? You did read my mini-essay on Zimbabwe and Venezuela, didn't you?


The more you bring up that baseless comparison, the stupider you look. Are you sure you want to go there?

You couldn't have picked a worse example , and that makes abundantly clear that you haven't read dick all on the subject, other than the usual media propaganda.

On the one hand you have a guy who is willing to kill lots of people (and does, daily) just to provide for his own continued luxury.

On the other one who is willing to risk being killed (and does, daily) to provide a somewhat better life for his people, who are what he grew up as: dirt poor, in the face of billions of dollars of profit being channeled out of their country, and these days in the face of ever increasing economic and military intimidation.

One has zero respect for the value of a human life, the other values the lives of his people above his own.

And you think you have some kind of right to disrespect that, and put both in the same basket. Well, for all I know, you may be seen as an educated person where you live and come from, but here you are one of the bottom 1% when it comes to knowledge.

Save yourself, and others, more embarrassment and start reading. You very literally have no idea what you're talking about. It may feel nice and safe to ventilate your ignorance anonymously, but it's still just what it is.

The emotional attack huh? Proudly claiming that you and everyone else has the world figured out completely? Very arrogant of you. You have no idea what my comparisons were in the first place. You just know that since I am comparing Venezuela to something, it must be a right winged attack fueled by media propaganda? Well it's not and it isn't. The only one that is being delusional here is you.

It's a well known fact that Mr. Mugabe confiscated the 'bread basket' of his country and distributed them to the poor. Was this an act to maintain his own luxurious lifestyle? It's a well known fact that he has tried to revolutionize his social system in his country to wrong the injustices of the 'colonial powers'. Does this sound like a man who is out to protect his own luxuries? Of course its not.

Its the same bloody thing that Chavez is doing.

Only now, Chavez is beginning to feel the problems that illegally seizing foreign equipment brings. Only now is he starting to feel the ever so slow and calculated squeeze by the powers that be. You are BLIND if you think he is any different from any other leader. The rest of your post is just self-righteous fluff to make yourself look better in the eyes of your peers.

Good day to you sir.

Yeah, bye girl,

Nothing emotional here. don't worry, other than your reaction. I'm just bored with your presence here, which consists of nothing but unsubstantiated talk. And yes, I do think that Chavez deserves a little support down here in North America, if only just to balance out all the empty nonsense spread out over and about him, now even at this forum.

You just proved all I said: you know not a whiff of what you talk about, and that's the sole well-known fact around here. You know nothing about Mugabe [It's a well known fact that...], or Chavez. Every "fact" you state is off. And something assures me that goes for all you talk about. That's not a shame in itself, but why flaunt it? We all started out as blank slates, and some of us took it somewhere.

Do everyone a favor, don't come back till you get some education.

By all means, prove my statements about Mr. Mugabe are wrong. If you can, then perhaps I am just crazy. But since you cant...

I'll be waiting.

you do your own reading on mugabe

start at wikipedia, not half bad

and do check all the notes

it's not personal man, you just don't know anything about the topic

what do you expect as a reaction?

The thing is, Hothgar here is from the Fox News generation. Any opinion no matter how unhinged gets equal airtime.

Actually mastery of the subject is completly optional. Nor is its lack any hinderance in said debate.

The end result is he can make any outregous claim he likes and you can't just dismiss him as unknowledgeable. But you can't really refute such asinine comments. And he's still completly free to make up more bs completly muddying the whole debate.

That's what got him banned before.

Neh, H was smart 'n pubescently obstinate, and way off, but not boring.
PartyCow is just rapidly filling up my mooh space.
She might be a friendly girl for all I know, but if you have no substance, go to FaceBook, and blab about P. Hilton, the kind of thing where ignorance is not a hindrance but a virtue. There's tons of folks here who spent big chunks of their lives reading, and that's the level of communication, so let her go read. The thinking will follow.

PartyGuy's early posts was how 'the peak was in 2005 and there have been NO effects'

So you already know that partyguy is not grounded in reality.

But I'm sure that 'peak oil (errr end of cheap energy) has nothing at all to do with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. posted its worst monthly same-store sales results in at least 28 years, tallying a 3.5% decline in April due to this year's early Easter as well as generally challenging economic conditions for consumers.


Party: B/S. Venezeula's economy has done pretty well under Chavez. Re foreign investment, don't be surprised to see China move in there in a huge way. China gets along with these evildoers because the Chinese are willing to pay a reasonable price when they want something.

The Chinese are also VERY unlikely to sponsor a coup d' etat.

Did anyone in the Bush Administration consider the results if the coup failed ?


Well, I tried to read it but I started laughing so hard I couldnt finish it.

I would be interested in the feedback of any TODers on my article "Peak Oil By Any Other Name"...how's my analysis look to you? I see that both Dave Cohen and I zeroed in on their chart showing extreme EOR as a weakness. Feel free to write me directly if you wish.
Energy consultant, writer, blogger www.getreallist.com

Chris, the article is an absolute masterpiece. Just reading I could feel Simmons' disgust with the NPC report. Yes, we should be preparing for a world with 40 million barrels per day by 2030, not 120 million barrels per day.

These people, CERA, the NPC, and all the others, think they are doing the world a favor by trying to debunk peak oil. Actually the exact opposite is the case. We could be conserving, we could be preparing for a world when oil supplys are half what they are today. Instead they are saying; "no need to conserve, no need to prepare, no need to do anything but kick back and enjoy the good life, there is plenty of oil and everything will be fine.

Yes, I am pissed just like Matthew Simmons. Everyone should be pissed. But alas ignorance, not reason, rules the world.

Ron Patterson

Hey Chris,

I think that the NPS report is of very little importance. What is much more so, is the recent developments within and outward at the IEA. The NPC report could until a few weeks ago have come from the IEA, but no more, and never again.

If you add up the nterview with Fatih Birol, then the report, and a few days later the Claude Mandil interview (both Le Monde pieces were posted on by Jerome), the result is an enormous shift in the viewpoint of the agancy, which until very recently was nothing more than a cheerleader for the oil industry.

Few people seem to have fully noticed and appreciated it. You came close, but kind of failed to pull the trigger. Mandil can never go back to his comfortable position of mouthpiece for those that in the end pay his salary.Why do that? I still don't fully grasp why the agency made its move, but it's certainly there.

Mandil accused OPEC, between the lines, of lying about world oil supplies, saying that they know the situation very well, and should start upping their production. That's a big one, it's like stabbing your friends in the back.

Of course it's not a full 180, he also remarked that the reason no gaint fields are discovered is that they are in countries that we have no access to. But overall, quite a development. And one that makes Rex Tillerson redundant and uninteresting. It's not about facts, it's about politics. And for some reason, these have changed the past few weeks, though not for everyone, and we will see much more of it soon. That's the only reason I can think of for the IEA turnaround: a prelude to further shifts. Perhaps OPEC themselves can't come out with truth about their real capacity, and use Mandil to prepare the world for what's to come this fall?!

As for you, and we know each other a little, I'd like to see you be much more vehement in your analysis, but that may not be appropriate in your position.

As always, much repsect.

Thanks, and thanks to Ron as well.

Perhaps OPEC themselves can't come out with truth about their real capacity, and use Mandil to prepare the world for what's to come this fall?!

I suspect you're right about that, but I don't want to presume to know. I'd rather let the facts and public statements speak for themselves whenever possible. That's the main reason I try to err on the side of caution in my analysis. I can say pretty much whatever I like in my columns; Angel Publishing hires its editors because they're experts, and it trusts their opinions.

Besides, I don't think the world needs any more vehement peakers. We've got plenty of those already, and they are becoming more of a hindrance than a help IMO because they are easily used to paint a lunatic patina on the whole camp. What we need, and what I try to provide, is a very straight shooting perspective that's rooted in solid data and expert analysis and yet accessible to the layman. I try to bridge the gap between the level of discussion on TOD and that on the street.

As far as I'm concerned, the name of the game right now is educating the public, cutting away all the propaganda and presenting a coherent and scientifically based view of peak oil that anyone can understand. People need guidance in knowing when to jump, and how to undertake the necessary transformation of their lives. As we all know, there is so much misinformation and propaganda out there about this issue, it's very difficult for Bill and Mary Six-Pack to get a clear reading on it.

I believe that if our efforts are to be counted as useful at all, it will be because we managed to convince people to reduce their personal energy consumption. And I think that's best achieved with a calm rational voice and an argument that speaks for itself.

It's not that I'm not just as pissed off and worried as the next guy, for I surely am, but I think we need to focus on results.

Thanks much for the feedback!

Energy consultant, writer, blogger www.getreallist.com

And I think that's best achieved with a calm rational voice and an argument that speaks for itself.

Among the most scary people on the planet are not the people who shout and gesticulate, the most intensely frightening people are those who whisper in hallways, and issue bland statements couched in bureaucratese. Among the people you will see throughout history speaking softly while killing millions are our politicians in Washington. As you may or may not know, the Bush administration published a guideline for its hosts handed out when the administration traveled to political events. These guidelines called for anyone who may have an alternative view to be hustled out of the public forum. Those protesters in this new doublespeak used by the neocons are too "excited" and too "loud," and must be removed to "free speech zones." The neocons would like nothing better than for people who are aggrieved to speak in soft, quiet tones because they know that soft, quiet tones mean that the status quo remains.

The calm rational voice is often found at planning boards, where corporate shills, that is bought and paid for scientists, calmly tell board members that this nuclear waste dump will be just fine. Breath in, breath out. Take your Soma, please.

The calm, rational voice is found in academia where professors who don't toe the line when it comes to doing as their corporate sponsors demand are marginalized.

And, you will see that people who are angry are often characterized as people who can't possibly be right -- they're angry! This bit of sophistry would have served the racists well had they been able to use it during the civil rights movement. Look at those people protesting in loud voices, loud ANGRY voices. They cannot be right!!! They are not calm, they are not rational!!

No, changes in society on a revolutionary scale come from disenfranchised people screaming at the top of their lungs. Look at the labor movement. Thousands of Americans died at the hands of corporate goons because they had to go into the streets to get a little something we call the weekend, to get safe working conditions, to keep children out of the factories, to ensure a living wage.

I am so terribly sorry that people may start yelling and demanding justice in the energy realm. But that is what will happen. If you believe for one second that the powers that be do not know about peak oil, then you must be on drugs. And if you believe that the powers that be are working their little tushies off to create a solution that will result in a fair economic system that saves the environment, then you are hopelessly naive. And if you believe that your calm speeches pitched to Joe and Jane Sixpack will somehow engender a unified push towards some happy go lucky technological Disneyland, then you are sadly mistaken.

It seems that the most active people on this site are retirees who are lonely, who have had their run, and who have consumed their share of cheap energy. The few scientists who work on the site are doing what scientists do and that is to discuss theory and split hairs and to hedge their bets. They are not holistic in their thinking. They are not capable of incorporating all of the factors necessary to make accurate decisions. So, they must negotiate with each other as to how each one of their puzzle-pieces match. There are a few economists here who are laughably clueless, and who spend more time defending their "science" than actually making any sense. There are some wonderful people who ask pointed questions and who often make this site worthwhile, and they are most definitely not the "experts" who roost here. And, finally, there are a few gadflies like myself who have no corner on the truth, but who are not willing to let anyone, no matter what badge of authority they may hold, deny my right to question, to argue and, yes, to be passionate about what is likely the most serious moment in human history.

I will not let the people who are dispensing "Soma" tell me I cannot use impassioned language. (For info about soma: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brave_New_World.")

Cherenkov, I don't know where to begin with that pile of opinions, so I won't. Suffice to say that your straw men don't describe me. I have never advocated a "happy go lucky technological Disneyland," but rather reducing one's personal energy consumption. I challenge you to find even one of my articles that qualifies as "soma." That's not the medicine I dispense.

You reach the ones you can reach with your style, and I'll try to reach the ones I can reach with my style, and hopefully we can get some good coverage on the whole. I think if we can only effect change among the tiny minority of people who are already peak-oil literate, then we're toast. But I would never sell short the ability of the common man to make the necessary changes IF he can see the path and the need.


I hope it suffices to say that the many people who post here who agree with you that it is preferable and more useful to speak/write without unconstrained drama are still out here, but not themselves jumping into what looks to be a potential 'Philosophy of Rage' thread.

Of course Ron is right in the sense that there are a lot of people who are getting very nervous about these developments.. a lot of fear and anger is going to be bursting out, and it should be expected. My solution is not to fight that fire with more of the same, however..

Bob Fiske

Besides, I don't think the world needs any more vehement peakers.

Well, it doesn't matter whether that is what you think or not, you are going to get them. When, perhaps as early as this fall, when the world cries for more oil from OPEC, and OPEC him-haws about and finally confesses that they have no more spare capacity, and it finally dawns on the world that those vast Middle East reserves are a myth you will see vehement peakers coming out of the woodwork.

The fact of peak oil is about to dawn upon the world. Is that a good thing or is that a bad thing? I have my opinion but my opinion really does not matter, it is going to happen.

Ron Patterson

I recall T. Boone Pickens made some right oil price predictions and some wrong ones. If you make enough predictions some of them will come true.


There were a few wildcards in the deck. One is the fact that demand diminishes at some higher price. Two is that there are very high oil inventories in some parts of the world. Three is that while on these boards some traders liked to spread rumors of war, there were also times of peace and increased oil production with the peace. Four, there is capacity to expand auto fuel efficiency and localization amongst oil consumers. These factors only mitigate the effects of diminished supply, they do not increase the supply of gasoline to a population wanting more.

I think more than 50% of blackjack players might tell you about the times they won gambling. A blackjack player had a 42% chance of winning a hand.

United States oil production has continued to decline over 35 years with all the technology money could buy. It might turn up for a time only once again start into decline. So far EOR has not proven its ability to bring the days of 10 dollar a barrel oil back. It is not the same as those bygone days when 25,000 barrel a day wells were more common and cars were fewer.

If the world will go into a 2 percent production decline per year it will be nearly a 20% cut in production in more than a decade of time. Other models showing probable 4%-6% or more declines might result in widespread panic with a landscape of abandoned vehicles. They might have to shovel horse manure off the streets of some towns if it will get much worse than that.

I'm not sure if this article by Benn Steil from The Council on Foreign Relations has already been posted here:


IMO, a very well thought out argument against national currencies, leaving open the possibility that if the U.S. doesn't get its financial house in order (about as much chance of this happening as Leanan posting an article about Prince's new album as the lead story in tomorrow's Drumbeat), "the market may privatize money on its own."

Dude - you can not be serious.

"IMO, a very well thought out argument..."

You sir need to read one hell of alot more internetzzzzzzz.

My god man, remove yourself at once before the total wrath that is the potetial of many here @ TOD decends upon you.

Better yet retract first then run.


Big Uguly Tod Troll

It sounded to me like the article was talking about multinational currencies - smaller countries using the currency of larger ones =, or some group currency.

I'm probably not tuned into this enough to see that it will have any chance of working. I am afraid currency problems are going to be one reason (peak oil is another) why the amount of international trade will decline in years ahead.


The author implies that, "the precariousness of the dollar's position today," has attained, "such a degree of absurdity that no human brain having the power to reason can defend it." (by the way, Souperman, I think most TODers would agree with that one) This is a strong and clear statement from someone at the Council on Foreign Relations dismissing the dollar as a viable global currency. He then turns to the Euro, which he says, "is still fragile -- undermined by the same fiscal concerns that afflict the dollar but with the added angst stemming from concerns about the temptations faced by Italy and others to return to monetary nationalism." So according to the Council on Foreign Relations, the Euro isn't really an option as a global currency either. At this point, we are under the subheading, "Privatizing Money," where the author again dismisses the viability of fiat money systems, questions how much longer the current system, "can endure in the United States," rules out a return to a government controlled, "gold standard," and concludes, "A new gold-based international monetary system surely sounds far-fetched. But so, in 1900, did a monetary system without gold. Modern technology makes a revival of gold money, through private gold banks, possible even without government support." In the final section, "Common Currencies," the author seems to be backing away from the more radical ideas mentioned above, talking instead about, "regional currencies," basically a dollar area, a euro area, and an area where a new Asian currency would be used, but then in the last paragraph he returns to his earlier themes, concluding, "It is the market that made the dollar into global money -- and what the market giveth, the market can taketh away." And finally, the clincher, that, "the market may privatize money on its own."

Keep in mind, this is the Council on Foreign Relations, not some random blog. They don't generally publish things just to publish them. The current global monetary system has become wholly dysfunctional. Sounds like the international bankers, "the market," as they like to call themselves, are preparing to step into the void once the yelling and screaming gets underway.

The Council on Foreign Relations was set up in the wake of JPMorgan's 1917 gathering of all important media people in the US, with the goal of controlling all information these media would "furnish" to the masses. It has functioned as intended ever since, a single talking head behind the curtain for the Iron Quadrant of media, government, defense/industry and special/finance interests.

A list of present and past members is easy to find.

The idea of a global currency has been promoted by them for decades. That's why they publish articles non-stop about how screwed up the present system is. They actively help screw it up too.

No, they're not a random blog, they're one of the most dangerous existing groups when it comes to your life and freedom. Global currency, global government, global power. For their members and financiers. Not you.

Your cheerleading them here, willful or not, is completely out of place and whack. Go check your sources.

I look at it this way. The global monetary system is broken and unsustainable. China, Russia, and the Middle East have accumulated trillions upon trillions of U.S. dollars. This is only going to get worse. The trade deficit is pushing a trillion a year. Americans have run up 56 trillion in household debt. A lot of the people holding all the dollars have rags wrapped around their heads, the rest have slanty eyes. Isn't there someone, somewhere in the world, some power, some group of people, that has the ability to make all those dollars held by the Arabs and the Chinese worthless? Yes, there is. And they're making their intentions pretty clear in this article. What are the Arabs and the Chinese supposed to think when they read this? They're sitting on four or five trillion between them. The author speculates that at some point these two groups of people may no longer be willing to bankroll the U.S., that they may want to dump their dollars out of fear that the U.S. government has lost credibility, that U.S. fiscal policy will lead to a dollar collapse. Well, yeah. If I were them, I'd want to dump my dollars after reading this article.

I was looking at Iran today, just to get up to day on the gasoline rationing.

Putting up the Family Jewels for Sale

Signs that the government may be running out of money have multiplied in recent months. Tens of thousands of civil servants, including school teachers, have not been paid since January. Bills from private contractors working for the government are piling up, threatening the survival of many businesses.

The key oil industry, which accounts for more than 75 per cent of the government’s income, is being starved of cash. Efforts to attract some $15 billion in foreign investments in the oil and gas industries have borne no fruit. Foreign investors are wary of violating United Nations sanctions or running afoul of the US Treasury’s plans to put the financial squeeze on the Islamic Republic.


Open market gasoline supply inevitable: Iran MP

TEHRAN, July 21 (MNA) – The head of parliament’s Energy Committee said here on Saturday that the government has no alternative but to supply open market gasoline to prevent fuel smuggling.

It looks like they are going to try to get rid of subsided fuel??

Export Land at work


Off Grid, Off Mainland, current profession:Beach Bum

Hello TODers,

What is the chance that this will be proudly named, "the Tower of Ozymandias":


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains: round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
If Global Warming desired: please modify the last sentence to: "the raging tempest-tossed seas stretch far away."

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

your line doesn't scan
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

Hello ResponsibleAccountable,

Thxs for responding.

Not sure what you meant: I can open both provided links. Go to Yahoo Most Popular, click to find the original story. Now, as to the modified poetry, if that is what you are actually referring to in your post: I sure as hell don't claim to be an accomplished poet. I was just trying to convey the image of this tower being surrounded by rising sea-levels from Global Warming.

i just meant you had one too many syllables in your proposed replacement line - just being a pedant :-)
When no-one around you understands
start your own revolution
and cut out the middle man

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away

... hmmm ... just take out the word "raging":

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The tempest-tossed seas stretch far away."

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

"Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!

would be a good subtitle for WesTexas' Export Land Model.

Hello TODers,

More evidence Mexico didn't get the Peakoil memo [EDIT: but strong evidence of WT's ExportLand Model or ELM]:

Mexico Inaugurates 1,135-Megawatt Gas-Fueled Power Plant

How long this plant will be used will depend largely on what the electricity is used for in NE Mexico. If the juice is used for extracting aquifer water, then it could run for some time until depletion [fossil water or gas] inevitably rears its ugly head.

But I expect that eventually the wealthier people will subsequently outbid the poor for this juice. They can easily afford to pay much more for A/C than the poor can pay for water. Such is life.

I expect in ten years or less: the remaining natgas will be diverted for fertilizer and other high value needs. It will be too precious to just burn.

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

Maybe this is old news to TOD'ers, but I came across this today. Had that odd feeling I'd seen it somewhere before (or should that be 'somewhere after'?)

[Edit: Was to 2004 - found 2005, so replaced links]



Okay, kinda tacky to respond to my own post - but this peak gold thing intrigued me, so...
In 2006:

Global output was down by just over 3% to 2,471.1 tonnes from 2,550.5 tonnes the previous year, to register the lowest since the 1996 level of 2,375 tonnes

Meanwhile, since the peak in newly-mined gold in 2001, the price has climbed from pretty much it's all-time low at the start of that year, reasonably steadily, pushing towards triple. It seems to me that demand destruction of gold should be much easier to achieve than oil.

Historical gold price chart


Its not just peak oil thats coming its peak everything. gold, copper, steel, any raw material will cost a lot more as it becomes harder to find and more expensive to mine due to increasing energy costs. Hence PO will also make alternatives more expensive until a larger part of our primary energy comes from non FF.

As for transports I reckon everyone needs powerizers and we can migrate in herds, also physically separated car and bike lanes would remove many of the problems spoken about. Making car lanes with maximum vehicles sizes and weights would also allow those people who drive smaller cars, hopefully electric motorbikes and velomobiles to not be at risk from those nutters who drive tanks.

Anyone read Ben Elton's STARK?

The cockroaches will do just fine

Hello TODers,

I hope people start regularly googling Pakistan: the violence is increasing, and other blowback effects are gaining force.

Pakistan storm claims 80 lives
If Peakoil Outreach was universal in this country: I think most would prefer planting trees and other biosolar strategies instead of detonating buses and other vehicles by violent Jihadi action, or burning utility trucks and other businesses every time the lights go out. Their choice: I hope the detritovores choose wisely for optimal mitigation.

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

More Pakistan info:

'Action in tribal areas can split Pak army'

Washington is demanding that Musharraf do more to rein in terrorists, extremists and religious fundamentalists. But in an interview with the magazine, Hamid Gul, former head of ISI, has warned that if Musharraf does take both gloves off in tribal areas, it would just increase the likelihood of a split in army.

"The officer cadres are liberal, secular, they come from the elite classes. But the rank and file of the army were never secular, they were always religious," Gul said.

"If there is a face-off between the army and people, the leadership may lose control of the army. The army does not feel happy. They are from the same streets, the same villages, the same bazaars of the lower and middle classes, and they want the same thing (Islamic law) for their country."
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Interesting article about ethanol:

Business Week's Ed Wallace has thus dubbed ethanol a net energy waste.

I've read somewhere that it might be possible to increase compression ratio for an engine and then ethanol will be about as efficient as gasoline. But then the engine will not be able to use normal gasoline. Ethanol can not replace a significant portion of gasoline even if US will only grow corn (nothing to eat) and converts all of it to ethanol. Which mean that most gas stations will not carry ethanol, which means that ethanol-only car will be of limited use. But even if that's doable, I am not convinced that ethanol will actually add energy.

IMHO only fusion can generate enough energy to replace oil. Bio-whatever, solar, wind all are nice but nowhere near the capacity to meet out energy needs. I've worked with guy who had a Ph.D. from Russia in fusion turbulence. He worked for few years as scientist in San Diego. Then he switched to a programmer job (that pays 3x as much). This shows how much our economy values scientists. It shows that it's very unlikely that we will invent our way out of this energy hole when society is so messed up. NBA player probably makes more in one game then fusion researcher in a year. Show where the priorities are.


I don't want to give you a hard time, but hif, follow your own logic there for a bit....
"MHO only fusion can generate enough energy to replace oil. Bio-whatever, solar, wind all are nice but nowhere near the capacity to meet out energy needs." Now as small as solar/wind are to this point they have actually provided multi megawatts of energy already, and are growing like gangbusters.....uh, exactly how many megawatts has fusion produced to date, after decades of development and billions of dollars...?

I can see it now, as a the bankers say "damm that solar and wind stuff that Honda, Sharp, Panasonic, BP Solar, NanoSolar, GE and those guys are already building by the megawatt, give me some of that thar Russian fusion turbulence!"

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

Sure solar looks great while there is cheap energy that can be used to produce solar panels. Just because somebody made all these generators it does not mean it all makes sense.

Once cheap energy is gone solar will lose most of it's appeal. From what I've seen solar is a net energy positive.

Wind power is way to unpredictable. Somebody posted a link whee it was claimed that during one of recent So Cal heat waves wind generators only produced .6% of their nominal capacity.

I can't image how these wind farms will be replaced once oil runs out. They are not going to last forever and making them, bringing them over, taking old one down and putting a new once in a place can be very expensive. Expensive enough that after all that effort the net generated energy will be far too expensive to mountain anything close to our current level of consumption or even population.