DrumBeat: September 20, 2007

Oil hits high over $84

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil surged to $84 a barrel on Thursday in the seventh straight record-breaking session as companies shut Gulf of Mexico output on forecasts a tropical depression churning through the region would become a storm.

U.S. crude settled up $1.39 at $83.32 a barrel after touching an all time high of $84.10 earlier. London Brent settled up 62 cents at $79.09 a barrel.

The debate behind $80 oil

Industry executives say there's no reason crude prices should be anywhere near current levels. Others say the fundamentals are there, and Big Oil is playing politics.

Fight for the Top of the World

The Arctic ice cap's loss through melting this year was 10 times the recent annual average, amounting to an area greater than that of Texas and New Mexico combined. The Arctic has never been immune from politics; during the cold war, U.S. and Soviet submarines navigated its frigid waters. But now that global warming has rendered the Arctic more accessible than ever — and yet at the same time more fragile — a new frenzy has broken out for control of the trade routes at the top of the world and the riches that nations hope and believe may lie beneath the ice. Just as 150 years ago, when Russia and Britain fought for control of central Asia, it is tempting to think that — not on the steppe or dusty mountains but in the icy wastes of the frozen north — a new Great Game is afoot.

Oil companies shut Gulf of Mexico output on storm

Oil companies airlifted hundreds of workers from offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday due to a gathering storm, slashing more than a quarter of the region's oil production and nearly a fifth of natural gas output.

Putin opposes creation of a state energy "monster"

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he is against the creation of state energy "monster" that would straddle the entire economy, sucking away banking and other resources, the Kremlin reported on Thursday.

World Energy Council predicts oil peak in 10-20 years (podcast)

In a sign of just how rapidly peak oil is moving into the mainstream, a report from the World Energy Council has forecast that conventional oil production will peak in the next ten to twenty years. But in an interview with Lastoilshock.com, WEC Secretary General Gerald Doucet insisted that the transition would be “managable” and that total world energy supply would nevertheless double by 2030.

Iran OPEC Gov: High Oil Price Unsustainable,Could Hit $100/Bbl

Iran would benefit from rising international crude oil prices that could even hit $100 a barrel, but high oil prices aren't sustainable in the long run, said Iran's Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries governor, Hussein Kazempour Ardebili, in remarks aired by state radio Thursday.

Saudi riyal at 7-month peak

The Saudi Arabian riyal hit a near seven-month peak against the US dollar on Thursday after the Saudi central bank governor said the oil producer would not match a US interest rate cut.

EU's energy plans prompt Moscow fears

Gazprom and other non-European Union businesses will be able to control energy network assets in the EU only if they meet tough conditions under proposals set out on Wednesday.

The move by the European Commission drew a sharp reaction in Moscow, amid concerns that Gazprom, the Russian-state controlled energy company and the leading gas supplier to the union, could face restrictions on its EU expansion plans.

Venezuela's National Oil Company's Vision for Social Development

National oil companies (NOCs) are in the ascendancy throughout the world, and the traditional oil and natural gas model relating to international energy development and markets must be revised accordingly.

Until recently, international oil companies (IOCs) managed the world’s oil and natural gas markets, essentially solely for the profitability of their shareholders. Invariably, this model worked to the detriment of the countries whose natural resources were being exploited. This approach could never be justified; new realities no longer make it tenable.

Interview: Top Iraq oilman Thamir Ghadhban

Thamir Ghadhban has served in several political and technical capacities in Iraq’s oil sector. He’s been oil minister twice since 2003, has sat as a politician crafting Iraq’s constitution and is now Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s top energy adviser.

He sat down with United Press International on the sidelines of the Iraq Oil, Gas, Petrochemical and Electricity Summit organized by the Iraq Development Program in Dubai earlier this month to talk about issues facing his country’s energy sector.

Russia affirms it has proof to support Arctic claims

Russian minister for natural resources says the country has the necessary scientific proof to support its claim for a part of the Arctic rich in oil and gas.

Nigeria: Militants Threaten to Attack Oil Installations Unless FG Repeals Land Use Act

A militant group, the Grand Alliance of the Niger Delta has threatened to attack oil installations in the country...if the federal government fails to repeal the Land Use Decree and some other laws that entirely withhold ownership of natural resources from the people of the Niger Delta.

Oil Warriors: From Greenspan to Kissinger

Alan Greenspan had acknowledged what is blindingly obvious to those who live in the reality-based world: The Iraq War was largely about oil.

Meanwhile, Henry Kissinger says in an op-ed in Sunday's Washington Post that control over oil is the key issue that should determine whether the U.S. undertakes military action against Iran.

These statements would not be remarkable, but for the effort of a broad swath of the U.S. political establishment to deny the central role of oil in U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

Burma protests gather momentum

It was the third consecutive day of marches by monks in Rangoon, and similar protests were reported in the cities of Sittwe and Mandalay. Witnesses reported seeing several separate protests involving more than 1,000 monks in total.

The protests began last month after the ruling junta pushed through significant increases in fuel prices. Observers and diplomats in the country say, however, that support for the marches reflects more general frustrations with the regime.

Soaring Prices Bite Jordanians

Thousands of villagers across Jordan, who solely depend on domestic animals, a cow or two and a few goats, have been forced to part with their animals. Many more herders are desperate to sell their animals, but there are no buyers.

Latest figures show prices of livestock have plummeted by 18% as hundreds of herders try to sell their animals.

The fuel merchants of Zimbabwe

“I buy a tanker-full of fuel in Botswana and sit tight on it until Harare runs dry and the prices go up,” said the fuel merchant of Harare, kicking one expensively shod leg over the other.

Hyperion: Canadian oil a key

The Elk Point area is being considered for an oil refinery because of its proximity to crude oil from Canada, according to the chief executive officer of Hyperion Resources.

China steel mills may face freight slug

AUSTRALIA'S iron ore giants are considering charging Chinese steel makers a premium to take account of differences in shipping costs, on top of huge expected price increases, as the annual contractual "mating dance" begins.

BP Set to Shut down North Sea Field

Oil giant BP looks set to receive the go-ahead to shut down its Miller field.

But it is understood the firm will have to shut down in a way which would keep open hope of a carbon capture plant in the North-east.

Carbon Trading: the limits of free-market logic

Carbon trading, its backers claim, brings emissions reductions and supports sustainable development in the global south. But, argues Kevin Smith, it may do neither, and is harming efforts to create a low-carbon economy.

Australian airlines go green

Qantas and Jetstar are the latest airlines to join the rush to improve their green credentials — launching a program offering passengers the opportunity to offset carbon dioxide emissions their flights cause.

NASA researchers find snowmelt in Antarctica creeping inland

In a new NASA study, researchers using 20 years of data from space-based sensors have confirmed that Antarctic snow is melting farther inland from the coast over time, melting at higher altitudes than ever and increasingly melting on Antarctica's largest ice shelf.

Some Gulf oil crews evacuated ahead of storm

Gulf Coast residents were on watch and oil companies evacuated hundreds of nonessential workers as forecasters said Thursday that a storm system now off Florida could strengthen as it moves west.

All weather models project the storm, which was located in the Gulf of Mexico off southwest Florida, would make landfall between southeastern Louisiana and the western Florida Panhandle during the next few days after crossing the warm Gulf waters where it should gain strength.

$50 or $100? Experts mull next big oil milestone

Analysts are debating whether oil prices have much upside left after quadrupling since 2002, with bulls arguing that strong economic growth means a supply squeeze is imminent and bears saying a seasonal demand drop will deflate prices.

New Queensland Sustainability Minister on the future with less oil (podcast)

"There's no question whatsoever that community driven local solutions will be essential. That's where government will certainly have a role to play in assisting and encouraging local networks, who can assist with local supplies of food and fuel and water and jobs and the things we need from shops. It was one of my contentions in the first speech I made on this issue in February of 2005... that we will see a relocalisation of the way in which we live that will remind us of not last century, but the one before that. And that's not a bad thing. Undoubtedly one of the cheaper responses that will be very effective is promoting local consumption, local production, local distribution. And there are positive spinoffs to that in terms of getting to know our communities better. There are human and community benefits from local networks that I look forward to seeing grow."

Mexican senator wants talks with pipeline bombers

A senator from Mexico's ruling party on Wednesday proposed talks with the leftist rebel group Popular Revolutionary Army, or EPR, which bombed fuel pipelines last week.

Guerrilla band wages war in Mexico

Edmundo Reyes is a slight, unassuming man of 55 who loves baseball and children's literature. Until recently, he sold candy and soft drinks from his family's corner grocery store in this city's Nezahualcoyotl district.

In May, he left to visit relatives in the state of Oaxaca and never returned. His disappearance might have gone unnoticed but for the fact that it has set off a small war that has twice shut down a sizable chunk of the Mexican economy.

Nepal: Petrol to be sold through private pumps only

As the queue for petrol continued to grow in the heart of the capital city, the government has instructed Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) to supply petroleum products to the people through private dealers and not through the institutional refilling stations.

In a decision, which officials said was taken to manage the crowds, the government Wednesday asked NOC to mobilize refilling stations of police, army, armed-police force and Sajha cooperatives to distribute petrol to government vehicles and coupon holders only.

Agrofuels - Another Scramble for Africa?

Africa appears to plunge from one corporate nightmare to another. Just as we begin to come to terms with the colonially-sponsored corporate conquest of our oil resources, along comes a new wave of ‘green’ companies turning fertile African lands to Northern ‘gold’. Senegalese president and agrofuel promoter Abdoulaye Wade has called this ‘a new revolution in Africa’. Others have likened it to ‘the new scramble for Africa’.

Soaring Prices Add to Afghan Misery

As the residents of Kabul prepare to break their fast at the end of the day, the street markets in the centre of the city are as busy as ever. But this year, during the holy month of Ramadan, there is a real struggle to make ends meet.

The price of basic food and fuel has soared in recent months, putting enormous strain on consumers.

Freight railroads continue to take heat on pricing issues

A study released last week commissioned by the American Chemistry Council found that five major freight railroads overcharged rail shippers by more than $6.5 billion between 2005 and the first quarter of 2007 through the use of fuel surcharges.

Alberta squeezes oil - but fairly

Alberta's long-anticipated petroleum royalty review, ominously titled Our Fair Share, has raised a predictable firestorm. The review panel's report recommends a sharp increase in the province's oilsands take from 47% to 64%, with smaller increased shares from conventional oil and natural gas.

John Michael Greer: Solving Fermi's Paradox

On another level, though, Fermi’s Paradox can be restated in another and far more threatening way. The logic of the paradox depends on the assumption that unlimited technological progress is possible, and it can be turned without too much difficulty into a logical refutation of the assumption. If unlimited technological progress is possible, then there should be clear evidence of technologically advanced species in the cosmos; there is no such evidence; therefore unlimited technological progress is impossible. Crashingly unpopular though this latter idea may be, I suggest that it is correct – and a close examination of the issues involved casts a useful light on the present crisis of industrial civilization.

Saipem inks $700mn Saudi offshore deal

The seven year agreement, worth $700 million, is aimed at maintaining the country’s oil production capacity. It includes two three-year options, and encompasses engineering, procurement, construction, transport and installation of offshore platforms and pipelines.

Wind farm generates political tempest

A National Park Service official who oversees the Appalachian Trail is scheduled to testify this morning that a proposed wind farm near Sugarloaf Mountain would have a dramatic effect on one of the most remote and scenic sections of the 2,175-mile hiking path.

US Biofuel Production and Global Hunger: Is there a Connection?

While U.S. ethanol production will likely not cause people to go hungry in other countries, structural changes in global agriculture and trade systems are badly needed, according to a new paper by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP).

Energy farming worsens global warming

The rush of the world's largest corporations to squeeze car fuel out of food is an effort to force industrialization on the tropics and end small family farming in the industrialized North.

EasyJet sceptical over current-generation biofuel

UK budget operator EasyJet is sceptical about the value of the current generation of biofuels, suggesting that further research and development is necessary before a genuinely useful product is likely to emerge.

The Right to Dry: A Green Movement Is Roiling America

The battle of Awbrey Butte is an unanticipated consequence of increasing environmental consciousness, pitting the burgeoning right-to-dry movement against community standards across the country.

The clothesline was once a ubiquitous part of the residential landscape. But as postwar Americans embraced labor-saving appliances, clotheslines came to be associated with people who couldn't afford a dryer. Now they are a rarity, purged from the suburban landscape by legally enforceable development restrictions.

Climate change worse than feared: Australian expert

"In the six years since then, we've collected enough data to (check) whether those projections are valid or not," he said.

"It turns out they're not valid, but in the most horrible way -- because for the key performance indicators about climate, change is occurring far in advance of the worst-case scenario," he said.

"Carbon dioxide's increasing more rapidly, sea levels are rising more rapidly (and) the Arctic ice cap is melting away more quickly than were projected in 2001."

Grim outlook for poor countries in climate report

Professor Martin Parry, a climate scientist with the Met Office, said destructive changes in temperature, rainfall and agriculture were now forecast to occur several decades earlier than thought.

He said vulnerable people such as the old and poor would be the worst affected, and that world leaders had not yet accepted their countries would have to adapt to the likely consequences.

Oil companies to reap handsome profits

The average extraction cost of crude oil has risen as much as 50% to about US$15 per barrel compared with US$10 two or three years ago.

However, with crude oil prices at US$82 a barrel in New York trading yesterday, the O&G sector would still remain profitable, said an analyst with a local brokerage.

Truly, the United States is more a menace to its friends today than to its foes...

The dimensions of the crisis are not clearly understood here even by the anti-corporate, anti-war opposition. This writer chose not to attend this weekend's anti-war rally in Washington, giving his attention instead to a conference at George Washington University organized by the Institute for Policy Studies on the trifecta of crises now engaging all of the world: The conjunction between peak oil, global warming, and the reality of world war for resources.

Let’s focus on control of coal

A University of Utah study showed that annual world consumption of carbon from oil, gas and coal is 400 times the carbon sequestered by all the world’s annual plant growth. Coal replaced wood as our dominant energy source in the mid-1880s. It remained the leader until after World War II when oil and natural gas consumption began its sharp rise.

But now, the energy wheel is bringing cheap, dirty and plentiful coal back into view. Coal also can be converted into synthetic oil and gas. All this suggests that research into coal emissions control and capture should have priority over programs that attempt to substitute food for fuel.

The High Costs of Ethanol

Backed by the White House, corn-state governors and solid blocks on both sides of Congress’s partisan divide, the politics of biofuels could hardly look sunnier. The economics of the American drive to increase ethanol in the energy supply are more discouraging.

The Peak Oil Crisis: Virginia’s Energy Plan

It has been a busy week on the peak oil front. On Monday, former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Defense, James Schlesinger told the world peak oil meeting in Ireland that, indeed, imminent peak oil is for real and we should get on with doing something about it. On Tuesday, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates by half a percent, thereby driving oil prices to an all-time high above $82 a barrel. On Wednesday, the stocks report disclosed an unexpectedly large drop in U.S. crude inventories and, finally, a tropical storm may thrash around in the Gulf oil fields this weekend.

Oil demand unsated, even at $82

Sharply higher oil prices - which hit another record yesterday - have failed to drive down demand or encourage new sources of supply, leaving global consumers increasingly dependent on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

Renewable Energy conference: peak oil and climate change

"The success of our societies has been built on cheap oil. That in turn - in terms of the consumption of fossil fuel, and not just oil but coal and gas and so on - has led to the climate change we're currently experiencing. It's led to the water shortages, the whole thing is linked."

We're at a crossroads, he says; climate always changes, but humans are now pushing the change, rather than reacting to it, and changes are starting to speed up. We're facing a choke-point in oil production where we can't increase supply to meet growing demand any more.

Oxy, Zarubezhneft bid for Bahrain oil search: report

Bahrain has received bids from U.S. firm Occidental (OXY.N) and Russian state-owned Zarubezhneft to explore for oil in the kingdom's waters, the Gulf Daily News reported on Thursday.

Estonia won't allow survey for pipeline

Estonia decided Thursday it will not allow a German-Russian consortium to conduct a survey of its exclusive economic zone in the Baltic Sea for a planned underwater gas pipeline.

Aramco Celebrates 75th Anniversary

Saudi Aramco on Tuesday announced a year-long program of exciting celebrations throughout Saudi Arabia and various countries around the world to mark the company’s 75th Anniversary in 2008 under the theme “Energy for Generations”.

ND fuel dealers claim pipeline company misled them

Eastern North Dakota fuel dealers allege a pipeline company's alleged deception about unleaded gasoline supplies forced them to buy fuel from other, costlier sources.

Groups Urge New Drive to Fight Oil-Climate Crisis

Activists and foreign policy experts held a public forum this weekend to launch what they hope will be "a combined international movement" to respond to the threats of climate change and the depletion of oil and other cheap energy sources.

They said no less than "planetary survival" is at stake.

Nuclear industry stirs with plans for new plants

The current turmoil in credit markets is unlikely to derail plans by power companies to begin ordering the first new nuclear plants since cost overruns and public opposition virtually killed the industry three decades ago.

San Francisco to go dark, save energy

The Golden Gate Bridge, City Hall, Alcatraz and other parts of the city will go almost completely dark for an hour next month as part of a campaign to conserve energy and fight global warming.

Greenhouse Earth: Methane powered runaway global warming

Methane released from wetlands turned the Earth into a hothouse 55 million years ago, according to research released Wednesday that could shed light on a worrying aspect of today's climate-change crisis.

Bob Breck, the best weatherman in New Orleans IMO (and better than NWS people) had two scenarios if things do develop (good chance that they may not) as of last night.

80% is a curve close to coast and Mississippi impact. Water not so hot right next to the coast (seasonal coolign and recent cold front), New Orleans is on the "good side" of that path.

20% is straighter, further south, over hotter water and impact somewhere around Barataria. New Orleans on the bad side of a stronger hurricane and water will be forced into Lake Pontchartrain.

This morning two potential centers remain, with two very different paths.

Best Hopes,


*MASSIVE* uncertainty ATM. Know much more late this evening.

Not a Major Hurricane for sure !

Bob Breck @ 9 PM news. "I expect very slow development"

Path also looks good for New Orleans, with a small chance of the worst path, going south of the city. (Direct hit just means lots of rain). Rain and flooding are the major risk from this tropical depression.

Good weather forecasters need some courage and not always covering their tail.

Best Hopes,


I am really happy to see this Alan. :) Let's hope it doesn't surprise anyone.

Bob Breck is GOOD and has guts ! Willing to go out on a limb.

His analysis appeals to my technical analysis side.

The Saturday night before Katrina he rolled up his sleeves and showed where to write one's social security # in indelible ink if someone chose not to evacuate. Make it easier to ID the body.

Local TV news in New Orleans is better than National & Cable news.


All the stories about $82 oil miss the reality that oil prices are very low right now when factoring in the ELM and global oil depletion. If the greenback had held its high value reached against the Cdn dollar in 2002, oil would be $50 right now. The Yuan is so extremely undervalued that China has absolutely nothing to fear from higher prices (at least in the short to medium term the Chinese price for a barrel is whatever they want it to be). The price rise in Euros has been negligible. So few of the stories mention the reality- a US dollar in freefall. Simmons might hit his predictions (with a little help from Bernanke and George).

You have to think about cause and effect. The massive infusion of debt ala M3 and the fact that Opec is dollar pegged has worked to keep oil prices relatively low. But with the latest shenanigans the US has signaled that its willing to trash the dollar. So expect OPEC to unpeg and expect oil in dollar terms to skyrocket as OPEC effectively fights to retain the real value of its currency holdings. Its very much a petrodollar game. This says to me that the US is confident that OPEC cannot significantly increase production so we are in end game mode now.

At a personal level you should have plans in place to react quickly to events starting next summer. WT ELP recommendation is important.

One thing you may want to consider is a safe hideout if you live in a large city like Los Angeles.
This means not going on vacation and saving your vacation days working with your employer to work remotely etc.
You need to be able to leave the city quickly if rioting
breaks out.

With the way things are going the combination of financial games and peak oil could easily lead to rioting in many of our larger cities this summer. I expected some shortages and limited disturbances but now I think things have a good chance to fall apart as the costs of food and gasoline skyrockets and the economy slumps into the first stages of a deep recession.

This means of course that the stage is set for Bush to impose martial law and postpone the national elections if he wishes.

Why are you still here memmel? Take what money you have get to a remote warm island and live out your days peacfuly there. See ya dude, we'll miss ya ;)

The price of gasoline today is only about 3/4 of what it was in 1979-80(edit; adjusted for inflation). If I recall correctly, there was no rioting at that time. Just how high do you think the price of gas needs to go to get people rioting?

Do persons on Prozac or Zoloft riot? In 1980, anti-depressant use in the USA wasn't what it is today (IMO suicide might be chosen over rioting in 2007).

Are you counting Britney, OJ, the World Series, Kid Nation, and so on as Prozac and Zoloft?

Shaman: Weren't there rumours of a riot if OJ was found guilty (last time)? Somehow I don't think he carries the same weight this time around. I haven't seen Kid Nation- I thought the reality show trip reached its low point with the show where midget guys had to chose between midget chicks or supermodels.

Jon Stewart did a nice thing with the tasering incident by highlighting the reaction to the incident in the surrounding audience. Basically, no reaction at all! They looked really bored by the whole thing! So much for rising to the defense of your fellow student. Stewart's comment was spot-on: "I guess they want it all to be over so they can go home and watch the video on youtube"

the reaction to the incident in the surrounding audience. Basically, no reaction at all!

What are the by-standards supposed to do? Throw themselves on the police? Point and say "Help! Help! He's being oppressed! See the oppression inherent in the system!"

"Excuse me, Officer. May I have your name and badge number? Thank you. And you, yes, you with the taser. Name and badge number, please? Thank you."

I was wondering where to put this article I stumbled across this morning, so thank you for giving it a proper home, memmel!

Fears of dollar collapse as Saudis take fright

Edited to remove the long excerpt, since this article was discussed at length yesterday.

Well, I wouldn't have called it a "lengthy" excerpt, but thanks for the pruning anyway. :)

Most of my reading happens during the daytime, so I must've missed that discussion yesterday. Sorry 'bout that.

Your excerpt was fine, except that that article had already gotten so much attention. I only pruned it because the open threads have been so long recently.

I agree with you about undervalued, but I think that Simmons' bet was that oil prices in 2010 would be at or above $200 in constant inflation adjusted 2005 dollars.

Since the dollar is rapidly becoming not terribly welcome in polite society overseas, I wonder when we will see an implicit, or explicit, threat of US military force, in order to keep the oil coming to the US.

WT: he still might make it- the US guv is reporting an extremely low inflation rate (LOL) since 2005.

The scary thing to contemplate is to assume, for the sake of argument, that we had to exchange things of value for imported oil, rather than rapidly depreciating currency, which you can of course take to its logical conclusion down to the microeconomic level, which is a question I have posed several times:

The question to ask yourself is what essential goods and/or services do you have to offer food and energy producers, in exchange for food and energy.

One advantage that oil patch types have is that we have been through a collapse. We don't have to imagine what it is like to see about 80% of your industry's net cash flow vanish in a few days (early 1986)--been there, done that.

You didn't have to be in the oil patch to get economically blown apart.

The inflation numbers posted by in the CPI seem more bogus every month, totally out of connection with what a middle class guy like me experiences. The "core" rate of 2-3% is utterly ridiculous, and most of the folks I hang out with agree that there is a serious disconnect.

This site has alternative numbers supposedly based on the way the inflation rate was calculated back in the early nineties. It shows current inflation for the last few years in the 5-7% range, which I find much more believable. Do any other TOD'ers know anything about this site?


You must be new- shadowstats is debated on TOD a lot.

Went down to CV_ Pharmacy to stock up on generic brand antihistimes (this IS Florida). Last time I restocked, about 2 months ago, generic brand was $1.99 for 24 non-drowsy pills. This trip the price was $10.99 for the same generic brand, same box, same 24 pills. But there is no inflation. Didnt buy any and later today will check out the Dollar Store...sometimes they have the same thing for a buck!

I think there is a lot of "hidden" inflation going on. That's why I posted the Bloomberg article the other day about boxes/packages getting smaller or less product in the same size box, but charging same price. You would have to track historic price per ounce in that case to detect the inflation.

It's a bit sneaky if you ask me.

It could be called 'disinflation'..

Haaa...a new economic term...so inflation could be called "undeflation"?


The only difference between 1.99 and 10.99 is a zero, so inflation is zero. Come on, not a tough concept if you work for the fed.

I find the use of the term "core rate", which excludes food and energy, to be government new-speak at its worst. Food and energy are the core of the economy not the remainder. I spend more money on food and energy than anything else. Where I live the most common stores are gas stations and grocery stores or a mixture of the two. Whole states and regions of the country are mainly food or energy producers. Iowa in the Midwest and Texas in the South are examples. To marginalize this part of the economy by excluding it in inflation data is obviously fraudulent. In the black is white and white is black world these fools live in, they probably think it's clever, but few are being fooled in the real world IMO.

Every time I hear "core rate of inflation" I know I'm listening to a lie.

I just want to say "hear hear". What an execrable joke to _remove_ food and energy, and call that the "core rate" of inflation.

But if we've learned anything in the last 6-7 years, it's that up is down, good is bad, and black is white.

I weep for my country.

My new favorite word is "Jabberwocky" to explain the world. Nonesense, bordering on the absurd.

I find economics to be just slightly less obtuse than my wife but I think there is a justification for removing food and fuel:

Since food and fuel are woven into the price of everythng and they are the most volatile commodities if you leave them out you remove the volatility yet keep the EFFECT of those components in the overall numbers.

I'm pretty sure that's the official explanation.

Do we have a real economist here abouts?

does your wife know that you think she is obtuse?

she thinks he's cute which makes them both almost right
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

I suppose that's an equilateral angle to take!

Perhaps some needs to create a food and energy index that tracks JUST food and energy. I think that figure would prove to be extremely useful.

Another truth respecting the vigilance with which a free people should guard their liberty, that deserves to be carefully observed, is this--that a real tyranny may prevail in a state, while the forms of a free constitution remain.

Hi WT / BrianT

I’m having trouble with this 200 $ in the (relatively) short term. A short time ago (june/july) – before it broke through the 80$ barrier this week, the markets where crawling in their skins to avoid this 80-level, and that was before the financial shocks ..

If the market is gonne behave like this every time it has to pass another accumulated “ten” – I see demand destructions and rationings as solutions to the challenge.

OR … a big OR, unless the $-value goes to “nothing”. The ELM is there though, under all circumstances, doing its thing.

How did the market behave? When oil first got near $80, the news was the credit crunch and oil was being almost entirely ignored. Since then, oil has gone over $82, and the markets haven't really seemed to care (the equities markets have bounced back). Why do you describe them as "crawling in their skins to avoid this 80-level"?

My main point speek is that I don’t believe in the 200$ barrel – for a set of reasons – short, such money doesn’t exist in the world IMO, other measures will se daylight before...(magnitude, ability, consequences)

In following the headlines news – they’re always focused on the”next ten” – What will happen then (?) – speculations up-down-sideways --- and the Magic Markets doesn’t like all those scary possibilities… What’s “IN” today is the shit ready for us at 100$ (heading-sample-link-norwegian )

From memory I have a feeling that crude tend to hover for “a long time just under tens” (60, 70, 80 $) … than just above as in 81..82 $ range – and my hard facts to this is simply in a box labeled psychology ;-), disappointed?

I don't disagree that $200/barrel is unlikely because we simply won't afford it - demand destruction will happen first. I was just wondering what you were seeing that makes you think the market was reacting particularly to oil's currently high price. From where I sit, the mainstream reaction to oil's highs seems pretty ho-hum. Just taking it in stride.

To me it is all further example of the huge cognitive dissonance people like myself go through as we read TOD side-by-side with MSM news sources.

$200/barrel is unlikely because we simply won't afford it

There are places in Europe where fuel costs are equivalent to $400 a bbl. A good chunk of that is tax but they can manage to operate society at that price level. Doubt that the same could be said for North America so your point is still valid.

Yeah, that tax bit is crucial though. When Europeans buy a gallon (or liter) of gas, they aren't just buying gas, they are buying health care and roads and infrastructure, etc. In the US, we still pay for those things too, but separately.

Speek: Oil has gone from $10 in 1998 to a current $82 with zero demand destruction in the USA (usage has increased). Hard to say how much demand destruction at $200, but my guess is it won't be as much as expected.

Well, I wasn't assuming the DD necessarily happens in the US first, and also we do seem headed for a recession. So, I do find $200/barrel in 2005 inflation adjusted dollars by 2010 to be unlikely. If it happened, it would indicate to me our economy was stronger than I thought!

Speek: I don't know what you are thinking. The US economy is struggling right now and gasoline usage shows no sign of declining. It is up from when oil was at $10. Your thesis that $200 oil rules out a recession is nonsensical.

Yergin was just on CNBC, although I don't think that he made a price projection this time. In any case, for the benefit of trader types, I issued the following "Red Alert" on 6/28/07. WTI is up about $13 since 6/28.

WTI is trading at about 2.2 Yergins, Brent at about 2.1 Yergins. (One Yergin = $38/barrel).

June 28, 2007

To: Interested Parties

From: Jeffrey J. Brown


CNBC just quoted Daniel Yergin as saying that, without the "fear premium," oil prices next year should be down to $60.

Most of you probably recall Daniel Yergin's previous predictions for lower oil prices. Based on prior experience, once Yergin issues a prediction for lower prices, one should expect oil prices to be 100% or more higher than his predicted price, within one to two years of his prediction--think $120 or more within one to two years.

Regarding his $38 prediction, do a Google search for Daniel Yergin and click on "Daniel Yergin Day"

From "Daniel Yergin Day":

In my opinion, Mr. Yergin serves as an excellent symbol of the major oil company/major oil exporter/energy analyst group. And since oil prices are now trading at close to $76 per barrel--twice Mr. Yergin's prediction--I hereby designate July 13, 2006 as "Daniel Yergin Day," in honor of Mr. Yergin's continued efforts to, in effect, persuade Americans to continue driving large debt financed vehicles, on long commutes to and from large mortgages.

If I heard CNBC correctly, WTI closed just shy of $84, up about $15 since the Daniel Yergin "Red Alert."

It shot up $2 in about 5 minutes. Pretty crazy.

Was there some news story? I thought prices generally don't spike like that without some kind of story, but I haven't seen anything.

IMO, the news story is this:

The U.S. Minerals Management Service said that by midday Thursday some 360,169 barrels per day of oil production, or 27.7 percent of the Gulf's output, and 1.288 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, or 16.7 percent of its gas production, was shut down.

Back to 81.90 after hours. A clear case of 'panic buying'

You are looking at the November contract after closing. It also lept up considerably during the day and was showing even more gyrations than the last day of the OCtober contract.

Could also have something to do with closing out the October contracts.

Gee whiz folks, it's called the OIL drum. I think a minimum requirement for membership should be knowing what day the front month oil contract expires!

It's the end of the third business day prior to the 25th of the month. Or as my calendar calls it, today. Now you're all qualified to be members.

That's why the prices went crazy and that's why oil when from 83.5 to 81.5, down 13 cents, after hours. And just a second tidbit of info, the front month is now November.


Hope this helps.

As for my impression of today's action, well let's just say the price rarely goes up on expiration day. In fact, is usually goes down smartly, then the next day the front month drops smartly, then I buy around noon and make lots of money. I'd have to look to see the last time it was up anywhere remotely near this level. This is very strange in my opinion. Most of the ships are already loaded or en route for October, so there really can't be a shortage in October, especially with US crude supplies at the high end.

Very strange behavior and frankly I don't know what to make of it. I think I'll sit out a month and see if things either get back to normal or if all the above conspiracies come true.

Good luck.

Yep. CLX07 is now the current contract. There was speculation on CNBC today that there was a big buy up because of the uncertainty of shut in production next week.

When the Yahoo charts come back up in the right sidebar (if they ever get it fixed), you'll notice the contract month goes:

CL.X07 Nov 2007
CL.Z07 Dec 2007
CL.F08 Jan 2008
CL.G08 Feb 2008
CL.H08 Mar 2008
CL.J08 Apr 2008
CL.K08 May 2008
CL.M08 Jun 2008
CL.N08 Jul 2008
CL.Q08 Aug 2008
CL.U08 Sep 2008
CL.V08 Oct 2008
CL.X08 Nov 2008
CL.Z08 Dec 2008

why they chose those letters I have no idea.

WT...I forget...how many drinks do we take for 1 "Yergin"?

Hilarious! Your invention of the Yergin Unit made me laugh so hard I almost fell off the chair!

Just want to let SuperG know that the hosting account change has resulted in a major improvement to the site. Pages load immediately, even pages with 200+ comments.

Much appreciated!!! Thanks!

Thanks to SuperG - and the rest of the staff for their efforts.

These Drumbeats are getting extreme these days - before I was able to consume most of them, but today I’d need a whole new and additional brain to do so..

Even TOD is succumbing to increasingly unmanageable complexity. >:(

The new EIA International Petroleum Monthly is out, over two weeks late:

There has been a dramatic revision upward in the May numbers, from 73,063,000 barrels per day reported last month to 74,033,000 barrels per day for May reported this month. However June is way down to 72,813,000 barrels per day. That is a drop of 1,220,000 barrels per day from the newely revised figures for May.

I haven't figured out which country had major revisions yet but I will go over the numbers and have more to say later.

Ron Patterson

Ron: Interesting. All liquids for June is almost exactly the same as July 2004. So now we have exports back to 2003 levels, production back to 2004.

Darwinian wrote :
"I haven't figured out which country had major revisions yet but I will go over the numbers and have more to say later."

Canada ?

January 2 578
February 2 618
March 2 694
April 2 634
May 3 585
June 2 580

Thanks Mathieu, I had also found the error and posted it before checking the list to see any replies to my post.

Did not mean to steal your thunder. Sorry.

At any rate I am going to assume, until notified otherwise, that this is a gross error on the part of the EIA. I am going to use 2,585 thousand barrels per day for Canada.

I have emailed Patricia Smith, editor of The International Petroleum Monthly, and asked her to clarify this matter.

Ron Patterson

I just received a reply from Patricia Smith of the EIA:

I'll take a look, but it's probably an error. I made so many revisions this month.


If she gets back to me with further information I will post it immediately.

Ron Patterson

Just received a clarification from Patrica Smith of the EIA:

Definite typo...should be 2585. I am in the process of reprocessing the tables.

Thanks again.


I don't know if this means the existing tables will be revised or whether it will have to wait until next month, but I suppose she means it will be done as soon as possible.

Ron Patterson

Very good job man. I am going to have a deeper look to these numbers tonight. (very soon, it is 6pm here in france)

I found the discrepency, it is Canada!

Canadaian production

Did Canadian production suddenly jump by 951,000 barrels per day in May, then drop off by 1,005,000 barrels per day in June?

There is something very strange with those numbers. Can anyone on this list shed any light on these figures. Did Canadian production suddenly jump by that great amount in May, then suddenly drop off by a million barrels per day in June?

Help! Who has a source for Canadian oil production in May? Is this correct or is this simply a typo on the part of the EIA.

Ron Patterson

I never did trust those shifty Canucks with all their alien culture (EVERYTHING published in French & English !) and desperate need to deceive, mislead and manipulate their friendly Superpower to the South !

Best Hopes for Sarcanol,


Yes, Yes.

Our superplan is working...

Finally...the CAD$ is at PARITY....mwhahahaha!


I'm pretty sure it's a typo, it should be 2,585 for May, 1 mbpd cannot just appear and disappear like that.

I spotted that as well.

In general, oil production numbers increased (revisions all the way to 1997). I guess we'll have to wait for the MER to determine what countries revised back through 97 (and whether they are revised even further back) since that goes back to 1973.

Yemen, Egypt and a few others were changed.

Also fairly significant were changes to NGLs. These resulted in mostly decreases that mostly offset the increases to oil production. I wonder if there was some refinement (no pun intended) of the distinction between crude condensates and NGL's. It looks like the net effect is to close the gap somewhat between C+C and total liquids.

I kept a pre-9/20 copy of my working spreadsheets for comparison purposes.

All the way back to 1997? What information would they base that on, that wasn't known before?

The MER is now up and updated. I'll take a look.

Amazing. The EIA had just done a major revision of their numbers but nonetheless there is a really long thread talking about some crashed spy satellite. This revision has a major impact on some forecasts and assumptions that have been made around here.

Will wonders never cease? No, I guess not...

Anyway, for those who actually know and care about the oil supply, this revision requires careful analysis.

No offense intended, Dave, but obsessing about production numbers from month to month is kind of like tracking the barometer readings as a hurricane passes over your house. Might be interesting and tell you some about the comparison of this hurricane with others, but it doesn't tell you whether the roof is going to stay on or not.

No offense intended to you Shaman, but the month to month numbers are very useful. For instance we can track OPEC producers and tell which ones are cheating on their quota. (All of them that are able to except possibly Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.)

Monthly numbers give us the trend and the the yearly averages up to this point. Monthly trends tell us what is likely happening to a country's production. Is the trend down, as in Venezuela or Malaysia? If so this means that they are likely in terminal decline, or they have some very serious problems with production.

At any rate, you don't have to pay any attention to them if you desire but Matt Simmons says he is watching them "like a hawk" and so am I.

Ron Patterson

I don't disagree, Ron. But monthly production numbers remain a "technical" detail. And a risky one at that as one only has the advantage of the historical numbers. Any projection into the future is going to reflect any number of assumptions or biases on the part of the prognosticator. (Not a criticism, just an observation.)

And frankly, I don't know that it matters all that much whether Venezuelan production peaked last month or will peak next year. What does matter is what is happening to the people in Venezuela and to the people who wish to import Venezuelan oil. The month (or even year) that we reach peak is not nearly so important as, for example, the loss of the first 100,000 jobs directly related to a declining energy regime.

Technical posts are way too few and far between here... please don't criticize people for actually doing the hard work.

Any of us can futurecast and skim the news for social stories.

who was criticizing? And besides, I thought that the Drumbeat was for skimming the news and talking about it? Usually the technical posts have their own headline and discussion. Not that the numbers shouldn't be discussed in the Drumbeat, I just don't find it surprising that it doesn't generate that much discussion.

I think most of us know that Venezuela is no where near a 'terminal decline'. Just terminal mental retardation (like changing the clocks half an hour back and giving your country 5 days notice).

I think some of us believe the hurricane is still not upon us... it may be just distant thunders we hear yet. If the storm is still some years away tracking the barometer would be critical.

I look forward to your analysis.

More months go by and we are still stuck on this production plateau. Yet day after day energy analysts say they can't understand why energy prices are so high.

I don't know Dave, the stories seem equally fictitious.

National Inquirer reports, based on recently declassified military documents, that the EIA, using bat boy's sonic powers, discovered a hidden million barrels of oil a day in May in Canada's remote provinces. Presumably additional finds will be reported when June's numbers are declassified.

Re: stories seem equally fictitious

That is not true. Yes, I am not happy with the quality of the data I have to work with, but it is the best we have. All of us who do data-driven analysis share this frustration.

Regarding Pravda's spy satellite, look at this crazy quote from the story and see my remarks further down the thread.

This incident further fuels the intrigue involving the United States War Leaders plans to attack Iran in their attempt to engulf the entire Middle East in Total War, but, against which, according to Russian Military Intelligence Analysts, a 'high ranking and significant' faction of the American Military Establishment is opposed to.

We went into Iraq for the oil and predictably things didn't work out. I don't think it was Stage 1 of a plan to "engulf the entire Middle East in Total War." No sane person would think that.

There are zillions of websites on the internet where people can talk about this weird Pravda story. I would have hoped The Oil Drum is not one of them.

What do new people coming to this website for the first time think? See what I mean?

No sane person would have launched the invasion of Iraq.

You got me there!

Oh...c'mon Dave...where is your sense of humor at the Diner looking over the "End of the Universe"?

We, the TOD, that sweat and toil with the reality of current day truths...need a release once in awhile.

No harm...no foul.

Yeah, you're right. The Human Comedy is looking good today!

I get tired of myself sometimes, too...

Bussard Fusion Prototype -- Why Worry?

[That is not true].

I know (hence the rather flippant nature of my post). Clearly the EIA data is not intended to be fictitious; however, it is disturbing to me that a 1 mbpd error (which it seems obviously to be) is passed along without raising any eyebrows and causing any staffer to double check the numbers. Considering how many people rely on this data, there must be someone there who can say 'that doesn't seem right' before they publish.


Dave: Possibly a nuclear attack on Iran would affect global oil supply. It might also have an affect on oil prices (maybe).

Re: Possibly a nuclear attack on Iran

No doubt. And when I wrote stories about Iran for The Oil Drum dealing with these kinds of issues, there was a tepid response. I never did understand why. You can find those stories if you do a search. Also, why would anyone believe a story about an American spy satellite reported in Pravda? I looked at that story--it's ridiculous.

I don't expect everyone to pour over the EIA numbers. What I DO expect is some respect for the process that people who do peak oil analysis and communication must go through to solidify a position on the oil supply that the vast majority of people do not believe or have not heard of.

This is an historical moment. The oil price is $83.90 and rising. OPEC doesn't have the ability to pump enough to alleviate the situation. Any disruption will send prices much higher. So, at such a critical time I believe I am justified in saying maybe we all ought to keep our eye on the ball. No spy satellites. This is The Oil Drum, is it not?

I am sorry if my remark was mean-spirited. That was just some frustration on part. I've been feeling like getting a few things off my chest lately.

Dave: I didn't think your remark was out of line. Re record prices, people should realize that oil prices didn't increase at all today in Cdn dollars (I expect the same in Euros). What we are witnessing is an unprecedented run on the greenback which is causing oil prices to spike. IMO, one could make the argument that the US dollar has ceded the position of safe haven currency (recipient of "flights to quality") to the Euro.

Yes, this crashing dollar is definitely in the mix vis-a-vis oil prices, which are straining to keep up. However, this inflationary spiral is just gravy--the market fundamentals are the mashed potatoes accounting for the oil price.

The merde is hitting the air conditioner. My advice to everybody: Duck!

We are certainly blessed by the historical times we live in , are we not? Have a good one.

Dave, your post was spot on. I get so aggrivated when people discuss so many things that are not remotely related to oil. And often when you one does post something on oil or oil futures, we get flamed by people who would rather throw stones than do good analysis.

By the way, the October contract closed today at $83.39 up $1.39. This was the last day of trading for that contract. The November contract closed at $81.78 up $.93 and if it were to open unchanged, that is where the near term contract would open tomorrow.

Ron Patterson

And Ron, thanks for past comments here on options and stuff, that's what got me seriously looking into them.

It's a shame, and I get a queasy feeling, seeing the dollar melt down, but it certainly is putting the options I bought more in the money. A crude option is a play on the US dollar as well...

Keep it up.

Dave - your comments are spot on. Its vastly annoying to have to go half way down a Drumbeat before coming across anything of substance. As you rightly point out what an earth are new readers going to make of the OilDrum if they log in and are faced with a torrent of irrelevant gobblygook. Unfortunately Cid seems to have the knack of getting the first post in under the Drumbeat folds and almost invariably this results in white noise for 30-50 posts below. Its a form of non too subtle hi-jacking.

I agree. I should have deleted it as soon as he posted it. Sorry, I had no idea what it would turn into.

>I agree. I should have deleted it as soon as he posted it. Sorry, I had no idea what it would turn into.

I am not sure if this is possible, but can you move these lengthy far off topics into a seperate thread or article?? I wasn't interested in this discussion either. Rather than be draconian by deleting, relocation might be a better solution.


It's not possible. I wish it was.

Sorry about the response to the post being 'overwhelming'.
Seems a lot of Drumbeat people wanted to comment about it.
I am at the end of my day when the new Drumbeat comes up. I have many times had a story I wanted to post and "waited up" for the new Drumbeat to be posted so I could post before going to bed. My posting on the new Drumbeat is not some conspiracy to hijack the thread. (There DOES seem to be a conspiracy afoot to paint me as some evil manipulator on The Drumbeat.) A story posted on the old Drumbeat an hour before the new one comes out is rarely seen or commented on. Sure, Pravda may not be the most reliable source, but sometimes gems of truth may be contained within.(Do you think a behind-the-scenes power struggle would be reported in the MSM?) If elements in the US ARE trying to instigate a broader Mid-East war, would this NOT have an impact on oil production and export and thus be HIGHLY relevant to the Oil Drum? Seems my post is either 'bad' because a lot of people wanted to comment on it or 'bad' because it was posted by me. I admit, my view of the current state of the world is 'darker' than others and makes some uncomfortable. So far my view has been supported by subsequent developments in the most part. There also appears to be a push on TOD towards 'political correctness' in terms of contrarian views being 'shouted down' by certain elements that appear to support Bush Adminstration 'spin' on topics. That should be 'disconcerting' rather than listened to.

P.S. To make everyone more comfortable, I will refrain from posting potentially off-topic or "speculative" posts in the future.

I have taken the complete set of spreadsheets for this month, consolidated them into a single spreadsheet where each sheet is named after the file from which it came, uploaded it to Google Docs, and published it via Google docs here. Feel free to browse the data or directly copy and paste back into your spreadsheet of choice.

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

Canada's production has been revised up to nearly 3.6 mbpd in May from the 2.6 mbpd previously reported. In June it is back down to 2.6 mbpd.

Surely the 3.6 mbpd has to be a mistake?

Data Error Email on Canadian Production Just Recieved from EIA Washington:

We have just discovered a data error in the August 2007 International
Petroleum Monthly that was released earlier this morning. Crude oil
production (including lease condensate) for Canada in May 2007, which
was reported in Table 1.1a as 3,585 thousand barrels per day, should be
2,585 thousand barrels per day. We are revising Tables 1.1a, 1.1d, 1.4,
2.1, and 2.2 to correct this error. We will notify you as soon as the
revised tables have been posted to the EIA web site. Please accept our
apologies for this error.

Wow Ron,

Do you feel the glory?

Seriously, nice catch guys!

Imagine if they had credited the source who found the error! :)

"Fire at Japan's quake-hit plant"


So...interesting day...wonder what Bush will talk about at 10:45am at his press conference?

The EIA Washington International Petroleum Monthly is just out. There were small revisions upward to every yearly average going all the way back to 2000. In fact, going back to 1997. None struck me as that significant. But others may disagree. Certainly the scope of revising so many years will make for some fun number crunching, however.

Revisions in 2007 however while also small feel a bit more timely, however, as each month was revised slightly lower, except one. And then this: June global oil production tanked below 73 mb/day, when all months for at least 2.5 years have been at least 73 mb/day, or better.

Meanwhile, some things did NOT change. MAY 2005 still stands as the high water mark for Crude Oil only production, at 74,298 mb/day. Echoed only by July 2006, at 74,124 mb/day.



The dollar is 1.4085 to euro now, rapidly approaching 1.41. Down almost 2% in just two days. It looks we are turning into a third-world country in front of our eyes.

One of my absolutely favorite books of all time is 'This Perfect Day' by Ira K Levin. Any relation?


Another truth respecting the vigilance with which a free people should guard their liberty, that deserves to be carefully observed, is this--that a real tyranny may prevail in a state, while the forms of a free constitution remain.

Nope... but you could try Russian literature.

The book looks worthed reading, I'll check it out.

Konstantin, good to see you back after all these years!!

Got me :)

Christ, Marx, Wood, and Wei, led us to this perfect day.

One of my favorites, also.

I highly doubt that we are turning into a third-world country. The dollar has been on a pretty steady decline now for the past 7 years or so. When looked at from that perspective, and the obvious economic prosperity we have experienced since, something tells me things aren't quite as bad as you suppose :P

Then again...

Dollar decline = economic "prosperity". Where have I heard that before? Oh Yeah, from every MSM "economist". Eventually all USA goods will be so cheap industry will flow back to the USA from China, IT from India. Should be fun. The Hollywood Hills will be purchased outright by refugees from Canada.

The dollar has been on a pretty steady decline now for the past 7 years or so

I date the decline from about January 20, 2001.

Best Hopes for the next US President,


Right. So were 4 months short of a full 7 years...

Only 16 months to go!!!!

OMG...Alan...the next president?

Didn't you listen to The Who?

"Meet the new boss...same as the old boss."

We are on our own pal.

"Meet the new boss...same as the old boss."

I think the United States, and the world, would be somewhat better place today if Al Gore had been sworn in 6 years and 8 months ago.

*NOT* perfect, but better.


Well...yes...I agree...but he is not, and no one like him, going to run this time around. (edited)

Real hourly wages.

Not how much debt we got away with.

Not how much the housing bubble inflated our soon-to-be repossessed assets.

Not how much a tiny minority got in capital gains.

Not how much income we got by raising our hours of work, or having more two-wage or three-wage families.

Real hourly wages have been going down since 2000. If we hadn't borrowed so much to artificially stimulate the economy (see Greenspan, Alan) to pay for the war, it would have been far worse. Now we have to start repaying our debts.

Prosperity? Bush called the people at his fund-raising dinner "the haves and the have-mores". They have all betrayed America. They live in an enemy country now that holds my America under occupation. Their country is very prosperous.

Adjusted for inflation (all BLS data) non-supervisory wages in the US peaked in 1970. There was a small, sustained increase during the presidency of the wicked Clinton but back down since.

...something tells me things aren't quite as bad as you suppose :P

Then you are only listening to CNBC/Kudlow and the Gov. stats on things.

The people IN the markets(who work at the banks etc) ARE worried. They ARE SCARED $HITLESS right now.
The Dollar's decline right now IS OF MAJOR concern to anyone with a brain.

Read some OTHER sites besides MSM.










Yesterday, or was it the day before, there was mention of the fact that most Americans don't notice the dollar weakness, because we're so insular.

It's twue, it's twue. I have been aware of the weakness of the dollar, because I'm a news junkie, and because I love England, but haven't been there in years because the exchange rate is so terrible. But none of my friends care. (Except the one who usually goes with me to England.)

One of my mom's friends inherited a lot of money and decided to retire to England about three years ago. I already saw the handwriting on the wall, and told her to put a chunk of her money into pounds. She didn't. Today I heard that she has to move back here, because her money is running out too fast, due to the exchange rate. Another of my friends told me yesterday that she's taking a long vacation in Europe. Basically quitting her job and biking around Europe for months, until she runs out of money. She's been planning this for months, but only noticed the exchange rate today. And completely freaked out. I was really surprised that she hadn't noticed before, because she works in one of those international think tanks, specializing in Europe and the Middle East. How could she have not noticed?

I think the news will hit home if/when the Chinese drop their peg to the dollar and those Wal-Mart toys double in price. Funny that this is exactly what our administration demands from them... be careful for what you wish?

Probably your friend didn't notice because in her job she never needed to. It is sad how many people live in an isolated... almost unreal world.

Sadly, I disagree. It'll come out more like rising oil prices - ie "why oh why are oil prices so high? Must be those evil oil companies." In other words, people will blame evil greedy walmart and still not be aware of the dollar weakness problem.

Lots of people get caught behind the 8 ball because they can't think several moves ahead or fail to cover them.

All the carnie barkers that adore the fed now not only fail to realize the implications of the dollira devaluation, but they also fail to realize that the long term interest rate, mortgage rate and credit card rates WENT UP.

Heli Ben blinked, went all in with a pair of deuces and now is being called. Not good.

Economy O-T, but relevant to recent discussion..and amusing.

From: The pinecone currency of Camptown

"While on a camping vacation this summer," he begins, "my son and two other friends started playing an interesting game. They all set up 'shops' to sell things - basically anything that wasn't tied down or in use in the campsite. The real interesting thing was they used pinecones for money.

"So it starts out that a pre-enjoyed pop can goes for 5 pinecones. Sniffing the empty red wine bottle, a couple of pinecones. As the game progressed, the kids found that the supply of pinecones was virtually unlimited as they scrambled in the adjacent woods to gather up the money. I watched this unfolding demonstration economy with fascination!

"Suddenly the prices of things started going up. That pre-enjoyed pop can - well, that'll cost you 10 pinecones now! There were so many pinecones in circulation that soon buckets of them were being offered for some of the more prized pop cans. My son, who now had declared himself the bank, was now running a lottery!! More bucket loads of pine cones came flooding in."

Beyond the humor ("This was just too funny to watch" he says), the lesson was that "it proved that even kids playing a simple game can show us the ways of inflation. Monetary inflation begets price inflation. Pinecones or your favorite paper currency, the fate will be the same."

The German Hyperinflation, 1923
Excerpt from Paper Money by "Adam Smith," (George J.W. Goodman), pp. 57-62.

Why did the German government not act to halt the inflation? It was a shaky, fragile government, especially after the assassination. The vengeful French sent their army into the Ruhr to enforce their demands for reparations, and the Germans were powerless to resist. More than inflation, the Germans feared unemployment. In 1919 Communists had tried to take over, and severe unemployment might give the Communists another chance. The great German industrial combines -- Krupp, Thyssen, Farben, Stinnes -- condoned the inflation and survived it well. A cheaper Mark, they reasoned, would make German goods cheap and easy to export, and they needed the export earnings to buy raw materials abroad. Inflation kept everyone working.

So the printing presses ran, and once they began to run, they were hard to stop. The price increases began to be dizzying. Menus in cafes could not be revised quickly enough. A student at Freiburg University ordered a cup of coffee at a cafe. The price on the menu was 5,000 Marks. He had two cups. When the bill came, it was for 14,000 Marks."If you want to save money," he was told, "and you want two cups of coffee, you should order them both at the same time."

However destructive inflation was to German society, and it was very destructive, the fact that Germany had lost a major war while being slowly starved (estimates are of hundreds of thousands of deaths among civilians due to hunger) was another factor in creating the circumstances which brought the Nazis to power.

To wit - deflation. The German government of the early 1930s, after finally having gotten past hyperinflation in the preceding years, responded to the Great Depression by cutting expenditures in an attempt to keep its budget, and thus inflation, in line with declining economic activity.

Ironically, this first German attempt to deal with the Great Depression was based on the virtue of trying to prevent inflation, and even more ironically, proves that Keynes might have been on to something when talking about keeping an economy functioning by printing money in such a situation, and having people occupied.

Of course, we all know how the Great Depression finally ended - about the time World War II was in full swing. Unfortunately, for just about everybody but the Americans, World War II was actually worse than the Great Depression, but it certainly ended the economic problems which the Great Depression was responsible for.

This is one reason for European social welfare states, something which most Americans seem unable to grasp - like just about everything in Europe, the social welfare state was also born in a sea of blood. And like most things in Europe, it will likely end that way - a truth which most Europeans are far too aware of.

And though we talk about inflation as a primary evil to be fought in an economy, the sad truth remains that the Nazis swept to power on a wave of deflation. Inflation certainly contributed to middle class society being torn away after the death of millions in the trenches of France, but this was essentially tilling the soil for the seeds of totalitarianism.

And so goes the debate: between deflation and inflation and between the Matt Savinar approach (looking for a place to live upwind from probable fallout zones) and the Alan Drake approach (dense urban housing along electrified mass transit lines).

My prediction: deflationary effects in auto/housing/finance sectors with inflationary food and energy prices, and I lean toward the Alan Drake camp.

There are, IMHO, 2.5 types of rural residents.

1) Farmers and ranchers - Their numbers may see the first increase in about a century post-Peak Oil. The old tradition was going to town every other Friday if the weather was good. Modern farming and living may require more trips, but I can see a drop in VMT (and three vehicles, a high economy car, a pick-up and a larger truck depending upon need).

2) Exurban commuters - Work in town or the nearest city and commute long distances to their "toy farm". They can "get by" on their small farms for a year or two with some savings, but otherwise they will have to move out or work as farm laborers for real farmers if young enough. Mortgages and debt will prevent even that option.

If they live close enough to work (say a dozen miles from a small town) they may well adjust and save enough on food/grow enough surplus to justify the fuel.

2.5) Retired 1 & 2 - With enough savings (assume not inflated away) they can exist with minimal VMT for an extended period, until they need home healthcare, etc.

In many rural areas, exurban commuters are a majority of the rural population.

All in all, I can see a reduction in the rural population post-Peak Oil (but not as much as Suburbia) unless cities fall apart. Exurbanites will likely be the hardest hit.

Best Hopes for Social & Economic Cohesion,


I think farming numbers will increase as the agribusiness model collapses due to energy costs. In VT there are many people who used to farm but were forced out as agribus took over. But the knowledge is still there and the land is still there (and will become available as the giant dairies fail), so the opportunity will come that they can get back into farming on the smaller, diversified scale it once operated on and which will be necessary as we relocalize food production. But I still fail to see how places like LA, Vegas, Seattle, etc. will be able to feed their populations so I am not sure how the population centers will maintain their numbers.

I wonder if Westexas' export land model will apply to farming communities--will they ship less food out to population centers so they can feed people in their own communities? This may hold especially true as farming by machine becomes prohibitively expensive and people rely on their neighbors to help get crops in. Share the work, share the crop, but overall there will be less to send elsewhere.

But the knowledge is still there and the land is still there

You've got to be kidding. I live in Vermont too and where I live while there are a few serious gardeners but the vast majority are urban transplants who have absolutely no knowledge of food production. 99% or more would starve to death if they had to feed themselves. And the ag land is mostly owned by wealthy second home owners who maybe have a few horses. A lot of people live on the side of the mountain or in the forest with no access to land at all.

Where I am, much of the ag land (i.e. the valley floors) is owned by locals but they don't farm it because their time is taken trying to make a living doing something other than farming. Much of the area around me is cropped by agribusiness dairy farmers who probably wouldn't be able to stay in business without free use of someone else's land for hay and corn (especially since those someone elses pay the taxes and mortgage interest on that land). And a lot of people around here do garden and many put roadside stands out and sell a limited amount of produce that way. But I recently moved here from Seattle and was in San Diego before that and I would take VT's chances on making it through what's coming any day over those places.

pretty good analysis for the most part, but I don't think you give enough weight to a couple additional factors-1)there already is a program that allows for subsidized fuel for agricultural uses (red diesel). It would seem safe to assume that WTSHTF gov't will be crippled by debt and paralyzed by indecision, so a program like this that is already in place, with a constituency and enforcement mechanisms, would be likely to be beefed up & expanded. And absurdly open to abuse, of the kind that Americans seem to enjoy. Also, 2) we can assume that most oil companies will see it in their interest to attempt to maintain current distribution system as long as possible, therefore even remote locations along interstates will remain supplied, even as shortages develop in urban areas. Rural residents could have better access to fuel if they are within range of an interstate, especially as more of them are flexible as to their schedule, as well as more used to storing fuel.

I don't think red diesel is subsidized; it merely doesn't have road taxes added to it. But it is not allowed to be used on the roads either so taking out the taxes seems pretty reasonable.

No question that the inflation/deflation debate makes one long for the clarity of the oil industry, which at least has geology as its backstop, but I think that sometimes, the inflation camp misses the point.

If there is less oil available in the market, the price goes up - this according to the 'law' of supply and demand which most economists believe rules the universe. Some people may think a human centered universe went out with Copernicus, Keppler, and Galileo - obviously, they haven't met an economist who will attempt to explain that the higher the price, the more oil must exist on Earth.

But sometimes, there is truly less of something - as is happening with food. As the amount declines, the price goes up - whether on a gold standard, or paper money, or anything to measure value. Less means more, to be dead serious - less food means more money is required to buy it.

This is inflation, regardless of your position concerning Mises or Friedman. This inflation seems to be coming towards us at a rapid rate, and has little to do with central banks or credit bubbles. Less means more.

I think this is a good time to stop. Deflation seems easier to explain, but it too has some serious complications - try using the PC as an example. On the one hand, technical progress has been responsible for a vast increase in its capabilities, thus 'lowering' the price. On the other hand, the price has been somewhat static for years. On yet another hand, the number of factories which can create the components and assemble them is rising, and when demand for PCs decline, will likely engage in a classic deflationary battle to retain market share.

I agree about "less is more": there will be less food and energy available, thus more competition for it. And when the dust settles, less to each person on the average. How violent that competition will get depends in part on how unequally that "average" is spread around.

But regarding monetary and price inflation, it seems to me that it is in part an arbitrary choice (by those who have power over monetary policy). And this week the cat is out of the bag: the Fed chose inflation.

From Drudge:

China Freezes Prices in Inflation Move
Wednesday September 19, 11:53 pm ET
By Joe Mcdonald, AP Business Writer
China Freezes Some Prices in Move to Contain Inflation

BEIJING (AP) -- China's government has ordered some prices frozen and told officials to closely monitor others in its most drastic step yet to contain a surge in inflation.

The order, issued late Wednesday, came after inflation rose to 6.5 percent in August -- its highest monthly rate in 11 years -- propelled by a double-digit rise in politically sensitive food prices.

I thought they were smarter than that. Freezing the price will cause shortages and a black market will soon come into existence.

There's some doubt that China's government has the power to effect that.

Listening to an account by some of the NYT reporters on the lead paint story, they suggest that the Chinese federal government has limited powers with the factory owner. Their release was via negotiation between the owners and the gov, the local police were essentially powerless. They kept stressing the negotiation as the method for relations between factory owner and the federal government.

This action would seem to be one step toward uncoupling the Yuan from the US Dollar.

Probably a good development from a Dollar stand point. If the Yuan were to no longer be pegged but allowed to float, they would export far less as prices would rise dramatically. Sucks for the Wal-Mart people though...

Which brings us to one of the main issues in why America seems to "get away with it."

If American capitalism does a better job of indoctrinating its masses to accept the inequities required for wider profit margins without turning to leftist rebellion or inflationary practices, then is that a good thing or a bad thing?

Before I learned of Peak Oil, all I could say to that is that it is a bad thing, because the wider profit margins and submissive American working class means hyper-concentration of wealth in an elite that will eventually deform every aspect of law, government, and religion - as we have seen in recent years.

But with Peak Oil, it seems that a more extreme capitalism just heads us into a brick wall faster. Which may turn out to be a good thing.

Churchill said that the bad kings of England helped bring democracy faster, and the good kings delayed it. If you believe that monarchy is a bad thing, then that's good news. If you believe that empires are bad, as I do, then the worst empire is the most durable one, the one that most successfully seduces the conquered into easy exploitation and gives the longest, most lucrative awards to its elite (Britain, the US), and the best empire is one so cruel that everyone quickly turns against it, destroys it and then works to create international law to prevent anyone from copying it (the Third Reich).

Someone looking at the United States today might have very contradictory ideas about our current trends vis a vis capitalism, monarchism and imperialism, but he's not thinking the trends are towards their sustainability.

A similar philosophy is embodied in eastern marshal arts - if your opponent is stronger you must use his strength against himself.

Unfortunately I don't see the goods of it in this case. If capitalism is to fail, then there must be something better that competes to replace it. What is going to replace it? Communism? As far as I am concerned what was called socialism was a failed state capitalism. Who is going to replace US? China & Russia look like even worse alternatives, aren't they? And their capitalism is even more destructive than ours...

So, unfortunately I can not join your statement. I don't see what happens now as a good thing. In the absence of alternatives, what will replace capitalism will be chaos and total destruction... not automatically "something better" than it.

The problem is our belief that bigger is better.

If you believe that kingdoms, empires, and other big concentrations of power are bad, then you have to look at what actually replaced those things in practice.

The fall of kings was often a messy process, but seemed less bad when it transitioned to consitutional rule. The fall of empires was often a catastrophic process, but in the long run the smaller, more internally representative states that replaced them were a net improvement, I think, over the cost of holding an empire together against growing popular resistance. You could say, as often is said at the Oil Drum, that what occurred was a reduction of complexity.

If there is going to be violent resistance to the brand of capitalism that America has foisted on the world, we must judge that brand not by what benefits it would have brought if we'd all been submissive little peons, but by the fact that some of us have had it up to here and are bound to fight. And if the earth's crust and atmosphere begin to violently resist our corporations' activities as well, it is a fact that weighs down their benefits.

This complexity may not be replaced by communism, but degrade back into the culturally distinctive national brands of capitalism that preceded globalization. At least voters had some voice in that. Maybe like constitutional monarchy, we need some constitutional capitalism in our individual nations. Once national markets are reestablished, consumption simply cannot continue as we have known it this last quarter century.

And I can't say America's capitalism isn't destructive when we simply export the dirty work and spread it over a poisoned world - including Russia and China.

The binary capitalism/communism pair of options is just nonsense...

Plenty of other options.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

On ‘the high costs of ethanol’ NYT, and the discussion about grain in the previous drumbeat.

The grain (includes rice) ‘shortage’ is chronic. Grain consumption rises every year - population, human, and livestock. The ‘shortage’ is expressed by the amount of reserves, extremely low, but not unprecedented (early 70’s. Note.) Recent crop ‘failures’; poor yields, shrinking acreage, climate disasters, water problems, etc. all contribute. ‘Tight’ market and ‘high’ prices are the order of the day. > Tortilla riots.

Diversion (mostly from animal feed?) to ethanol production, or not, that depends to whom one listens. Only about 3% (or ‘under 3%’) of the world grain harvest is used for fuel, so even if that rises to say 4%....the impact is not, on the face of it, tremendous.

About 36% goes to animal feed. During about the last 50 years, production of meat products *per capita* has doubled, and the trend is ever upward, as the Chinese and others take to chomping big Macs instead of, or as well as, chop-sticking rice with a few scraps of fish in it or half an egg.

In the US about one fifth of the *corn* produced will go to fuel (next year or thereabouts), matching almost exactly the amount exported. (US is biggest producer and exporter of corn, or maize.)

A ha! If the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, others, give up chopsticks we might save some forests! :) (This belongs in the it-is-all-connected section.)

The Chinese use 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks every year, which adds up to 1.7 million cubic metres of timber or 25 million full-grown trees, which means badly depleted forests. China is the world's largest maker of disposable chopsticks, with more than 300 plants employing about 60,000 workers. Since the start of the decade, the country has exported nearly 165,000 tonnes of chopsticks, with 15 billion pairs finding their way to dinner tables in Japan and South Korea. (Goes on to discuss a tax on chopsticks.) link

Note. The numbers are from my summaries following reading USDA tables, articles. Other numbers are hanging around, cherry picking is rife.

Oh, so the Chinese company that was selling USED chopsticks was probably just trying to help the environment!


Ha! Mr Wu found a way to make money. Those chopsticks would require washing, absolutely disgusting in the eyes chopstick users. :)

25 million trees for chop sticks? Each full grown tree has only 0.068 cubic meters of wood? This is baloney! Unless they are trying to harvest Bonzai tree.

If average tree is 0.02 meters in diameter (8 inches average) and the trunk is 12 meters tall (39 feet) then the tree has 0.376 cubic meters in the trunk alone. Counting larger branches the usable wood is more like 0.41 cubic meters, so the number of trees needed is more like 4 million not 25 million.

Don't always take gov numbers to be accurate. Just look at EIA estimate in spring of 2004 that said by 2025 oil would climb to $35-40 per barrel.

Baloney agreed. Chopsticks are most commonly made from bamboo, a grass. Once established, it is often a weed. Maybe the pandas think different about chopstick use.

8 inches is 8*25 mm = 200 mm = 0.2 metres, not 0.02 m. Your calculation is wrong by the factor of 10. Not learned metric yet? It's so easy actually. It's all decimal.

Nice link from naked capitalist - http://www.itnews.com.au/News/61620,americans-giving-up-friends-sex-for-...

'Surfing the net has become an obsession for many Americans with the majority of U.S. adults feeling they cannot go for a week without going online and one in three giving up friends and sex for the Web.'

I spent a couple of week in France, and wasn't online at any time, nor felt any need to be. This has been true for years - days, weeks, or a month and a half (like in 2000) offline don't bother me in the least..

Just curious how some of the other people here find this.

Expat: IMO, the internet will do to TV what TV did to radio. The heavy TV users are mostly older at this point. TV has lost the next generation of heavy users.

As someone who is only 33, I have to agree. I watch very little TV. Mostly sports (Tennis, football, and the occasional Red Sox game) with the assorted odd ball show from a smaller cable network (TLC, Discovery, Food Network)

I haven't watched a prime time TV show in several years.

I'm on and off the internet all day at work, and usually spend an hour or two online in the evenings reading various sites.

I'm not about to give up sex for it - but it's far more entertaining then the boob-tube.


I spend too much time online. It's odd to take a vacation for a week or two and then to come back to it- most times amazingly little actually changes in such a period, and it's hard to imagine how I manage to stay occupied online day to day.

I spend too much time online, but I watch no TV nor read the newspaper. When on vacation this summer, I did not miss it much. On the other hand, there is an awful lot happening in the world right now, and I find it fascinating.

I can state categorically that access to that information via the internet has fundamentally changed my life, and that of my family. We've used it to find answers to serious health issues, and to understand what is happening in our world with regard to PO, CC, pending economic chaos, and the profound geopolitical problems we face. There is a laptop online at all times on our kitchen counter, and has been so for 7 years. The old saw that information is power is true - and of course that is why there is no important information available in any of the mainstream media outlets.

I sometimes think of what it will be like when I no longer have access to the information I do now - and I have no doubt that this will happen. I really need to build a library of useful texts, but just like all the other preparation projects I know I need to address, it is a struggle to find the time and money to accomplish. I do not know if in the end I will have made sufficient progress in my physical preparations compared to the average ignorant Joe. However, I will at least be mentally prepared for what is coming, and I believe that this may in fact be the most important preparation of all. That would be impossible without the hours of internet surfing, of which TOD is a big part.

Anything can be, become, an ‘addiction.’ Giving up sex to go on the internet? I don’t think so, rather ppl seek new sexual connections....

The same was said about TV in the 50’s I have read. So hubby comes home rustles the newspaper and then is glued to the TV and Ms. has a headache. On farms in 1930 other excuses were current.

It is the ‘global villlage’ (MacLuhan), ppl need the internet because it replaces the phone and discussions in the village square, the newspaper, the train time table (that is in Switzerland, not the US), the catalogue from the seed company, the recipe book, part of one’s library, the encyclopedia, the atlas, etc.

More pointedly, many ppl do not have a Gvmt./ authorities / local potentates they trust, an extended family nearby, a harmonious laid-down life in some stable community, news that is credible or makes sense, and that pushes them to seek other connections. So between practicality and cheapness, and the opportunity to create new relations - to a political party for ex, an esteemed blogger, to a source of new info, a like minded group, etc. etc. - the internet wins.

There are indeed more important things to do than surf the web. Even more important things to do than surf TOD!!

Gotta go, am building raised beds for next year's garden.

I have an inner need and desire to know as much about the world around me as possible as my life tunnels through it. So I'm somewhat of a news addict when I have access, which is most days. When I'm off at my house in the woods I don't have tv or internet access but I still listen to public radio for news and weather.
Also, in my daily life I don't encounter many people who have similar outlooks or interests. So I find TOD to be a source of sober information and opinion for the most part, (civil wars from crashing satellites story types aside).


As for Greer's musings this week - he may want to pick up mid-80s SF from Norman Spinrad, a book called 'The Void Captain's Tale.'

In that story, one of the more intriguing twists is that humanity's practical FTL star drive, derived from 'Those Who Have Gone Before,' is actually a grotesque misuse of what its inventors used it for. It also provides an answer to Fermi's Paradox, mainly by pointing out that a truly advanced race is unlikely to be interested in remaining mired in maya when the entire cosmos is available to those who have gone before.

I think this is a paradox roughly on the level of walking a mile but only moving two feet - one of the frame of reference, and not some underlying truth. Unfortunately, the metric system using and non-English speakers of TOD are unlikely to make the connection between feet and miles, thus proving my point about frames of reference.

"Fermi’s Paradox can be restated in another and far more threatening way. The logic of the paradox depends on the assumption that unlimited technological progress is possible, and it can be turned without too much difficulty into a logical refutation of the assumption. If unlimited technological progress is possible, then there should be clear evidence of technologically advanced species in the cosmos; there is no such evidence; therefore unlimited technological progress is impossible."

Another and IMHO better response to the Fermi Paradox:

Technological civilizations have a "window of opportunity" for when they can transition from a single planet natural resource base to an interplanetary natural resource base. Any civilization that fails to transition before its planet-of-origin's resource base (fossil fuel, etc.) is exhausted is doomed to extinction on their planet-of-origin. Based upon this explanation, I define two types of technological civilizations:

Type-A: Civilizations that eventually survive beyond their planet-of-origin.

Type-B: Civilizations that become extinct without expanding beyond their planet-of-origin.

I suspect for every Type-A civilization in the galaxy there are hundreds if not thousands of Type-B civilizations. Also I suspect for every star system with a Type-B civilization, there are many star systems that never harbored any sort of technological civilization (no inhabitable planets). It's an analog of a thousand acorns produced to yield only one oak tree.

Any Type-A civilization with interstellar capability would have a very grim time exploring the galaxy, sifting through the ash heaps of failed Type-B civilizations and sterile worlds. How long would they continue this process before they stopped expanding outwards and began looking inwards, trying to understand why they are so special?

By the way, I suspect we're a Type-B civilization. Our window of opportunity opened when Neal Armstrong stepped on the moon and closed when the Apollo Program along with the Saturn-V was scrapped. Here's a "happy" thought: Our failure to become a Type-A civilization happened during our generation's tenure on Earth. Our ancestors out in Valhalla are shaking their fists at us and shouting their curses.

I propose different categorization:

Type-A: Civilizations that learned to live within their means without destroying the environment
Type-B: Civilizations that eventually exhausted their resource base and self-destroyed with or without destroying their whole ecosystem

I think we are a Type-B civilization. Type-A civilizations may be nice to theoretize about, but I don't think there is a single one in our galaxy - or else we would have detected at least some radio signal from it by now.

My reasoning goes as follows. The sole purpose and driving force of a civilization is growth. Now there are two types of growth:
1) Qualitative growth - in which technological advancements and other intellectual products are leading to life improvements without more resources being consumed
2) Quantitative growth - the result of population growth and waste of resources

IMO qualitative growth is subject to diminishing marginal returns. After some time it becomes increasingly difficult to grow like that. Then the source of growth left becomes quantitative growth - which leads to exhaustion of resources and civilization die-off.

Expansion on other planets is not an option and I don't see anything else to it than a science fiction fantasy. Even if a civ get the technology to reach them, other planets will inevitably be with different ecosystems and thus unsuitable for living. We have to assume that a civilization would obtain the ability to "teraform" other planets in reasonable timeframe. Which at least for me is too much of a stretch... interstellar traveling is imaginable, but geo-engineering is already way too much.

Eggplant, LevinK...

If you pick up a copy of Fred Hoyles 'The Intelligent Universe' you will find that you are discussing his theories...Except: Dr. Hoyle proposed that intelligent life had sent viruses on the galactic missions, for they knew it was impossible for 'them' to make the trip. Viruses have spread 'life' to every corner of the universe and continue to do so.

Hoyle was also the first to state that any civilization 'has about 200 years to work with available resources before the resources are consumed.' (paraphrased). My respect for the genius of Dr Hoyle is what brought me to this site, the Olduvai site, and others.


I am familiar with Fred Hoyles' work. I believe the notion that viruses could be sent unprotected to other star systems is not feasible due to galactic cosmic radiation (GCR). GCRs are so energetic that they would tear up the genetic structure of any DNA based virus before it completed the centuries required to travel from one star system to another. The best way to get from one star system to another is with a self repairing machine that has artificial intelligence. Such a machine could have the genetic structure of humans (or any other animal) stored in memory with check sums. Upon reaching the target star system, the machine could reconstruct biological life based upon its memory and local materials.

LevinK said "Expansion on other planets is not an option and I don't see anything else to it than a science fiction fantasy".

A serious proposal to establish a base on Mars was made by Werner von Braun to Vice President Spiro Agnew in 4 August 1969, refer to http://www.astronautix.com/craft/vonn1969.htm . This proposal was technically viable since in 1969 we still had the engineering expertise from the Apollo Program and the Saturn-V launch capability. Von Braun's over-all plan called for a permanent settlement on Mars by the early part of this century. Although Agnew liked von Braun's proposal, it was rejected by the political establishment. Von Braun was later transferred to a do-nothing job at NASA Headquarters. With his grand scheme rejected, Von Braun left NASA to work for Fairchild Industries and then died from cancer in 1977.

Nazi scientists and discredited politicians have no place making decisions about how our science budget should be spent. Agnew should have gotten major time at the crossbar hotel for his crimes. Ditto Von Braun at the Nuremburg war crimes trials.

Believe what you want about viruses being destroyed by radiation, I happen to believe Hoyle was right. The most efficient way for life to reach other stars is that proposed by Hoyle...no machines involved.

Eggplant, Werner von Braunn did not have a "do nothing job" at Nasa, he was one of the chief architects Apollo Space Program. Von Braun was no idiot, he knew we had to get to the moon before we could ever get to Mars. And without von Braun we would have never have gotten to the moon.

Von Braun was director at Marshall Space Flight Center and was the chief architect of the Saturn V Launch vehicle, the vehicle that powered us to the moon.

Von Braun was a former member of Hitler's army but later became an American Hero. Without him it would likely have taken us ten years longer to get to the moon. To quote Winkipedia: "He is generally regarded as the father of the United States space program." And indeed he was.

Warner von Braun never had a do-nothing job.

Ron Patterson

Darwinian said:

Werner von Braunn did not have a "do nothing job" at Nasa, he was one of the chief architects Apollo Space Program. Von Braun was no idiot, he knew we had to get to the moon before we could ever get to Mars. And without von Braun we would have never have gotten to the moon.

Darwinian, refer to your own reference at Wikipedia and you'll see the following:

on March 1, 1970, von Braun and his family relocated to Washington, D.C., when he was assigned the post of NASA's Deputy Associate Administrator for Planning at NASA Headquarters. After a series of conflicts associated with the truncation of the Apollo program, and facing severe budget constraints, von Braun retired from NASA on May 26, 1972. Not only had it became evident by this time that his and NASA's visions for future U.S. space flight projects were incompatible; it was perhaps even more frustrating for him to see popular support for a continued presence of man in space wane dramatically once the goal to reach the moon had been accomplished.

Von Braun's position as Deputy Associate Administrator for Planning at NASA Headquarters was a do-nothing job. This is a well known tactic within NASA to "promote" inconvenient people to a do-nothing job in the hope that they will resign.

I agree with Darwinian that von Braun was no idiot and would add that von Braun was a billiant aeronautical engineer and one of mankind's greatest space visionaries. We probably could have gotten to the Moon without von Braun but it would have been much more difficult and costly.

123 comments as I write this and no one noticed the lifestock prices in Jordan. When you see plummeting livestock prices in sub-Saharan Africa that is an immediate indicator that famine is right around the corner. The economics of that region are much different - presumably the government of Jordan won't let a large swath of the country starve, but add that one to the library of signs of food stress and make the link in a big, bold font. That is one to watch.

OK, now I understand having taken the time to read. TOD comment value today is pretty much approaching zero - sure, an intentional grounding of a spysat is quite interesting, but not 100 of 125 posts interesting.

I'm going away now, for at least a couple of days, in hopes that this is merely a bump rather than a long term trend here.

OK, you're a newbie...I can tell. There is a cycle here at TOD. You will be back, they always come back.

There are always bumps at TOD, as in life. You obviously were not here when Hothgar was around.

Now...those days were challenging.

Jordan? SubSaharan? Africa?

Nitpicks aside I see your point.

Interesting that CNN is giving so many live, updated reports on the Jena-6 demonstrations today, yet the more frequent and much larger demonstrations against the war that have been going on for years never recieve this kind of coverage, if they are even mentioned at all.

Not to suggest the media is anything but "fair and balanced", of course... (wink, wink)

I wonder how much ruckus theres gonna be when Invest 93L makes landfall and wipes out all them demonstrators...

My prediction: Jesse Jackson and Kanye West appear on tv and tell the nation that Barack Obama doesnt care about black people.

Jesse Jackson: Obama needs to bring more attention to Jena 6

not trying to draw more attention to the story, just trying to help those that cant make the jesse/kanye/barack connection

Pemex has published the Mexican oil production statistics.

Crude oil production in August was down to 2.843 mbpd, compared with 3.166 mbpd in July.

Wow, the graph on that site looks like a one month cliff there at the end. However, I see a similar dip in July 2005 that turned out to be a one month aberation. Perhaps it is hurricane season related?

Production will vary, but Cantarell is crashing.

This is because of Hurricane Dean.

Meaning that the hurricane, which caused no damage, reduced world production 10Mb that month, more if effects lingered, and at least partly explaining US stock drawdowns.

Mexico shut down all production at Cantarell in advance of Hurricane Dean, then it took a little while to restart afterward. Yes, the hit was around 10 million barrels.

Can a High-Fat Diet Beat Cancer?

Seyfried has long called for clinical trials of low-carb, high-fat diets against cancer, and has been trying to push research in the field with animal studies: His results suggest that mice survive cancers, including brain cancer, much longer when put on high-fat diets, even longer when the diets are also calorie-restricted. "Clinical studies are highly warranted," he says, attributing the lack of human studies to the medical establishment, which he feels is single-minded in its approach to treatment, and opposition from the pharmaceutical industry, which doesn't stand to profit much from a dietetic treatment for cancer.

Gee, maybe Dr. Atkins was right after all. There's an implication that carbohydrates might cause cancer.

Of course, if this turns out to be true, it won't do good things for sustainability.

I sent this story to my wife, daughter, mother and mother-in-law.

My mother-in-law replied that I could have her chocolate when I pried it loose from her cold dead hands.

There's an implication that carbohydrates might cause cancer.

That is not what the article, or research, indicated. Rather, existing cancer cells rely on glycolysis (outside of the mitochondria) for metabolism. Thus, eating lots of fats cramps their style. This is related to the recent interest in Trichloroacetate (TCA) as an anti-cancer drug, as research suggests that it reactivates the mitochondrial metabolic pathway, which in turn allows apoptosis (programmed cell death) to occur in cancer cells. (This is one of a body's natural mechanisms for weeding out cancerous cells.

That's why I used the word imply, not indicate.

And it was implied by the article.

To the two researchers in Würzburg, the theoretical debate about what is now known as the Warburg effect — whether it is the primary cause of cancer or a mere metabolic side effect — is irrelevant.

You are misunderstanding, Leanan. The Warburg effect is cancer cells switching off their mitochondria and using a different metabolic pathway. The debate is whether or not the Warburg effect is a cause or a side effect of cancer.

Carbohydrates only come into play if you have cancer and maybe you can starve it by cutting back. The article never vaguely implys that carbs could cause the Warburg effect or cancer.

And for those of you curious about the relevance to peak oil, without mitochondria, there would be no oil and hence no problem.

You are correct---
Without Eukoryatic Cells, oil would not exist---
It's mitochondria and cellular complexity that is our doom!


For those Canadian's out there,

CAD$ just traded 1-1.

I wasn't expecting this for months...wow!

We will see if it holds for long...but still neat to see...I was in grade 2 or 3 last time it was at par.

Today, the euro, beating its swelling breast, rose above $1.40 (U.S.) for the first time. Some economists predicted it would hit $1.45 before the end of the year because of the distinct possibility of more U.S. interest rate cuts…. That's the thing about Europeans. They love to hate the the Americans until they realize its in their best interest to have a strong American economy. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070920.WBwreguly200...

Problem is, American officials and businessmen keep using the wealth from that strong economy to strongarm elected European governments into disobeying their citizens. Is real democracy a best interest or a nuisance? I guess we're about to find out.

I don't think it will hold at par for long... Soon a CAD$ will be worth MORE than a US$.

Agree...but alas it didn't close at Par.

Still I enjoyed watching it at those levels today.

I wonder where it will be next year? 1.10 or more...hmmm.

Hello TODers,

I wonder how many Wall Street types read TOD?

Market currently down, but Saskatchewan Potash [symbol: POT] going the opposite direction.

If the dollar is losing value, plus more recognition of FF-depletion, plus more awareness that our civilization is truly dependent upon topsoil-health to avoid Liebig Minimums, then recall my post yesterday on human-slave/energy-slave ratios and $50,000/ton retail NPK.

This is still far cheaper than potash circa 1700s. Forty pounds of potash would buy an acre of land back then. Adjusted forward to 2007 prices: does that approximate $1,000,000/ton??? The supply/demand equation for trees & land back then was dramatically lower than the Overshoot today?

Will North Americans choose to pick & shovel 3300 ft underground, or will they instead choose to chop & burn trees on the surface instead for the Hubbert Downslope?

I sure wish Congress would consider my speculative proposal to start stockpiling NPK fertilizers to help Peakoil Outreach percolate into the huddled masses.

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

Toto: Don't know about Wall Street, but I can pretty well guarantee you Jeff Rubin has some lackey on here every day.

I guess the next thing that Rubin will "discover" is that the net export decline rate will accelerate with time (of course, I was building on other people's work too).

Hi Jeffrey,

I really appreciate the fact you credit the contribution of others. To acknowledge others (including the hypothetical instance when/if the discoveries are independent) is a sign of strength.

So is this the sort of thing it's worth a private individual stockpiling... sounds like it would be a valuable trade commodity.

How much is it and where do you get it from if you want to buy it today?

Just out of interest.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Just had 20 cubic yards of potash delivered by several large dump trucks. It is an impressive pile in my back yard. The cats have already found a use for it.

EIA Washington is very busy today. Now they are out with the MER

They still have not corrected the global totals for MAY 2007, to correct the error for Canada. But they have said that's coming later today. More broadly, they are woefully behind time-wise in their data, compared to OPEC and IEA Paris. Gosh, they are only giving us June today. Sheesh.

The MER allows us to see, however, that their Yearly Revisions are not only for every year back to 1997--but--back as far as 1995.



The word I would use to describe it is "Clusterf*ck". It's the same word JK uses (appropriately) and the same word I use to describe my IT programmers contracted out from Infosy* (last letter removed to protect the innocent)!

The metal bleachers vibrate from the stomping of feet and the crowd rages on...


Hello TODers,

Latest Drought monitor not looking any better. I sure hope Hurrican Ivo down Mexico way can bring some moisture to AZ,CA, but I think it mostly will get steered by the jetstream to bring more flooding to TX,OK.

Also for any parents & grandparents having offspring not brushing and flossing daily, read them this story on 'Waterloo teeth' plus make them study the photo:

In 18th century Europe and America, grave-robbers made a brisk business digging up corpses and prying out their remaining teeth, no matter how old or decrepit. Executed criminals' teeth often found their way to the market too, as did those of the desperately poor: Some, in fact, willingly had their molars and incisors extracted in exchange for a few pence. [YIKES!!-BS]

Symbols of status

Good, strong human teeth, devoid of decay, were much easier to come by after the Battle of Waterloo.

When Napoleon Bonaparte's troops faced off against British and Prussian forces at Waterloo, Belgium, in 1815, nearly 50,000 young and healthy soldiers died. Their teeth, however, lived on. Scavenged and imported by the barrelful to England, they found new homes in the mouths of thousands of Brits.

These "Waterloo teeth" were so popular they became status symbols, and the market for slain soldiers' teeth stayed hot right through the U.S. Civil War.
Tell your kids to imagine having a tooth extracted without a novacaine-shot. Stock up on toothbrushes and dental floss while they are still cheap so your offspring can later chew bark from trees if required.

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

Hi Bob,

I'm not too worried about my teeth since I brush twice a day and avoid sweets, but I am getting pretty worried about my eyes! I wear contacts from morning till midnight, and I'm loathe to wear glasses of any sort. I am contemplating eye surgery, but I'm worried about losing my night vision...

These are unfortunately interesting times that we live in!

Not oil-related, but definitely downslope-related:
I was in North Sichuan province last week, at the East edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and had the opportunity to dine with some locals. They all had perfect teeth-all of them. These Tibetan people are as distict from the majority Han in China as I am - The Tibetans I saw look more like Native Americans than any other people I've ever seen.
Point two: When my partner became disgusted with the cost and complexity of Western dentistry a couple decades ago, she returned to China to have her wisdom teeth removed: one yuan and one minute each, without anesthetic. According to her, the China docs "just know how to do it," and so can yank teeth with minimal fuss and discomfort. Four wisdom teeth out, for fifty cents US.

"The diets of the healthy "primitives" Price studied were all very different: In the Swiss village where Price began his investigations, the inhabitants lived on rich dairy products--unpasteurized milk, butter, cream and cheese--dense rye bread, meat occasionally, bone broth soups and the few vegetables they could cultivate during the short summer months. The children never brushed their teeth--in fact their teeth were covered in green slime--but Price found that only about one percent of the teeth had any decay at all. The children went barefoot in frigid streams during weather that forced Dr. Price and his wife to wear heavy wool coats; nevertheless childhood illnesses were virtually nonexistent and there had never been a single case of TB in the village."

Some aspects of the next 'Stone Age' might have their benefits, if we figure out what we should eat and how to eat it again. My wife was just at a "Weston Price Potluck Dinner" the other night, and there was a visitor from Kenya, I think it was. He said they didn't have dentists where he was from.. not because of poverty or educational 'privation', but that nobody needed them. Then, when he came to the US, he started getting cavities. We are doing a whole bunch of things really poorly, and it's costing us dear!


You all will note that Cid Yama's initial post and the subsequent comment thread was deleted.

Thanks to SuperG and the move to the new server, we hope to soon be initiating other quality control mechanisms in our comment sections. These enhancements have been planned for a very long time, but have needed to wait for other infrastructural concerns to be addressed before implementation. (Still, I am not really sure when the changes will be instituted, but they are now much closer to reality than they were.)

Also, Leanan and I have agreed that the Drumbeats have gotten out of hand in the last two weeks. I have given Leanan the green light to delete any comment deemed off topic, derisive, or ad hominem.

Hello Prof. Goose,

Okay, no problem from me for deleting any of my posts if required. But perhaps some clarification for us TODers might be helpful to keep us on the desired track and reduce Leanan's workload. Should we keep our postings strictly FF-related? A link in every post to buttress our position?

For example: is my just upthread posting on drought and teeth too far from what is optimally desired? My fertilizer & Liebig Minimum series? Or should TOD go to an automatic everyday duality of a monitored FF-DrumBeat and an anything-goes DrumThump? DrumDump?

It is all a TOD community learning process. I think TODers have already gotten pretty good about staying on-topic and minimizing thread drift in the keyposts by the TopToders.

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


The only way we can delete a comment is to delete the entire thread that stems from it--that is why we rarely do it. I am always hesitant to do so, because the free exchange of ideas is important--however in this case, the topic was deemed to be too far off the reservation--as was the ensuing discussion.

Hello Prof. Goose,

Thxs for responding. No Problemo--I can accept that.

Hi Prof Goose,

Would there be too much effort or even be feasible that, if instead of deleting the offending comment, it be noted and deposited into a bin called 'Trash', or if you want to be kind 'Off Topic'? Link it from the main topic so that it would be up to the viewer to decide if they wished to pursue that 'off topic' comment and thread? Would that 'clean up' the Drumbeat and satisfy both Leanan and Airdale, both which seem to be right in their own ways of regarding TOD.

Hmm, I think maybe in writing this I have just signed my own 'Off to the Trash' warrant.

Good call.

Goose,,can you enlighten me then as to just how THIS post by Leanan is ON TOPIC?????

"Can a low fat diet prevent cancer"

I really really would like to know the answer to that question but if you prefer to DUCK IT then I will also understand..."elitism" rules?

Come on man...check the frigging posts..she does as she pretty well pleases but bashes others.

Granted Cid's post was sensationalism BUT BUT ...everyone seems to acknowledge here on TOD that the MSM is a lot of lying pack of fools ...YET what is the Drumbeat lady doing but posting huge articles from the danged MSM?????

In fact once upon a time the first post out to the gate on Drumbeats was ....

"And now a word from our readers"....yet she, Leanan , stated that this was now no longer the case....and that SURVIVALISM was embarassing ...yet not long ago on of the EDITORS posted a key post on what???raising heirloom tomatoes!!!!!!

Ok....I don't expect and apology but I do think that playing the game in this fashion is disingenuous in the extreme...I expected more from a college prof...Dave.....

Come on..be fair.

Airdale-calling it like I see it and expecting to see , just like most of few meager posts..almost dead silence...and the games then continue on with toes being stepped on and other raised on pedestals....sheeesh

I will remind you that Leanan is kind enough to give this community her time--without compensation mind you--to put together these drumbeats.

I support her, as I do every member of this team, with all of my effort.

Discussing if a B52 with nukes/spy satellite/blah blah - while "interesting" and perhaps enlighting - falls into the category of "And you are gonna do exactly WHAT about it?!?!" and "with whatever I do - how does that change the endpoint?"

Discussing Waterloo teeth, eating more fats (like say shots of flax seed oil) to attempt to reduce cancer, or PKN fertilizers are things that one can do now/remember later and WOULD have an effect in your local life.

Or in the case of teeth - an expression of regret over past inaction.

Geopolitical and economic issues will somehow interact with PO and determine how it all plays out.
Leaving them out of general threads when trying to forecast IMO makes no sense.

"Discussing if a B52 with nukes/spy satellite/blah blah - while "interesting" and perhaps enlighting - falls into the category of "And you are gonna do exactly WHAT about it?!?!" and "with whatever I do - how does that change the endpoint?"

What you're going to do is hold it up to the light and expose it.

By your argument, had we had the opportunity, should we have ignored the news item below, because there'd be nothing we could do about it...

September 8, 2002
New York Times
U.S. Says Hussein Intensifies Quest for A-Bomb Parts
By Michael R. Gordon and Judith Miller

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 - More than a decade after Saddam Hussein agreed to give up weapons of mass destruction, Iraq has stepped up its quest for nuclear weapons and has embarked on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb, Bush administration officials said today.

In the last 14 months, Iraq has sought to buy thousands of specially designed aluminum tubes, which American officials believe were intended as components of centrifuges to enrich uranium. American officials said several efforts to arrange the shipment of the aluminum tubes were blocked or intercepted but declined to say, citing the sensitivity of the intelligence, where they came from or how they were stopped.

The diameter, thickness and other technical specifications of the aluminum tubes had persuaded American intelligence experts that they were meant for Iraq's nuclear program, officials said, and that the latest attempt to ship the material had taken place in recent months.

Iraqi defectors [curveball - my inset] who once worked for the nuclear weapons establishment have told American officials that acquiring nuclear arms is again a top Iraqi priority. American intelligence agencies are also monitoring construction at nuclear sites.

While Cid's link and lead-in was over the top, the B52 carrying 5 or 6 cruise missiles in launch mode armed with nuclear warheads is really important, whether it was an accident or a message. I state the obvious that gets forgotten:

1. The Politics of oil is critical to understanding how PO will play out (see Michael Klare's articles at http://pawss.hampshire.edu/klare/, as one of a great many sources)

2. Any administration, but this one in particular will lie, steal, and kill to execute a policy about which most of the public were and remain duped, with help from the MSM. Everything that points Bush & co to claim, or events that may relate to, an attack on Iran, needs to be vetted and vetted again. Due diligence.

And that is what this site does pretty well. Mainly on oil and energy, but also across a spectrum of related issues.

John: I agree. IMO, if TOD stuck tightly to nothing but the analysis and debate of global oil supply numbers, the site would be a lot less popular. At this point, if ANYTHING happens on the planet that in any way could be tied to future oil supply, it tends to hit this site fast.

And it should. And this can be a rough crowd, which is very good for analysis.

Discussing the B-52 flight with nukes is extremely important. Other discussions I've looked into point out that the security around nuclear weapons is extremely tight and that there is accountability for every move of a weapon. That this event could have happened accidently is so far from belief that it would appear to have been deliberate. If it was to be part of a "false flag" event, it shows how really dangerous the White House has become. There may be some other explanation, but the lack of information available to the public because of the system of secrecy in this country leaves only speculation. Thus, we are left with an explanation which points to a covert attempt to start a war.

The crater in Peru may have been caused by an impact of an object from outer space. However, the crater also looks similar to that of a "bunker buster" bomb. So, one could speculate that the crater was a bunker buster delivered from space. If a chemical signature from an explosive device were found at the site, one could conclude that the crater was truly a "message" to the world.

E. Swanson

The nuke move can hardly be anything but saber rattling. It was a way to remind folks that we've got nuclear weapons ... I just can't tell if it was for Iran's benefit or for the people here. I suspect the whole flight and leak is kabuki, but we will probably never know.

Are you an expert at looking at bomb craters? That one looks like subsidence to me - there isn't enough in the way of ejecta around it for there to have been even a small blast. Volcanic sinkhole seems a most likely story ...

What you're going to do is hold it up to the light and expose it.

I retract my previous position - but I must say with all the various things needing to be held 'up to the light' and have been held up to the light - does it not seem like a loss of ground to darkness?

eric - I don't disagree. I wish I had a witty answer. There's a lot of work to do.

First up IMO, awaken the sleepwalking American public: Terrorist attacks may, no will, happen. Stop F'ing cowering.

This criminal administration will stop at nothing to 'secure' democracy in the ME, whilst keeping us all drugged on Fear, Fed bailouts, and more ethanol.

Last call Jan 20 2009. Then peak oil in all its glory.

We are losers. I'm gonna watch Ken Burns' new work, and heck, maybe catch a little Band of Brothers if its still available ON DEMAND. Then have a bit more ethanol.

I'm sorry you don't like the DrumBeats, but you don't have to read them.

And it's not like I snuck in here and took over the DrumBeats without anyone noticing. I post news stories because that's my job. That is what they asked me to do when they made me a staff member.

Sorry, Airdale, I think you're offbase. And you're shouting.

The point wasn't just 'off-topic', but Abusive and Ad-hom, which seems a reasonable set of expectations to keep a firm line on if you don't want to let the thing spiral into typical internet snarkdom. They seem to administer it rarely, and when something or someone has clearly gone too far.

Your posts on Farming practises and perspectives have been well recieved, it seems to me, and they should be, since right now we are still eating mostly oil.. so where our food comes from is of great importance. ..And these drumbeats were created to have a 'broader appeal', and not have a hard-line on the content, since so many aspects of our lives are affected by energy questions. But I've never read anything by Leanan that was abusive. She'll tell you she disagrees.. or REALLY Disagrees, but she clearly isn't prone to juvenile tantrums or smarmy indignation, would that more of us could keep it as cool!

This is their Baby, and I'm glad that they take it seriously and are eager to keep the bar up. Too much of our culture is affronted by Good Leadership, because we have been confusing any leadership with Dictatorship.. and that's too bad.

Best hopes for cooler heads and a little benefit of the doubt,
Bob Fiske

Thanks for the kind words, Bob. We do what we can. :)

Some seem to think this is an easy endeavor; instead I would choose to call it a worthwhile endeavor.

I agree with all of the above jokuhl.
It's like obscenity, you know it when you see it. I'm comfortable with Leanan making the call.


I always thought (and said once) that Leanan would make an excellent moderator. BTW, kudos to her and those who administer the site; I've no doubt it is hard work.

Hello, PG.

I'm wondering what the useful content of Drumbeat will be if there is only oil/peak oil related comments allowed. Personally, I find all the 'here is something that can be done to cope with the period after peak' ridiculous as such comments presume that there's going to be a major breakdown of society, that the individual is going to be able to manage on his own, and that any reasonable number of people care about either. I read the Drumbeat for the more esoteric pieces of information provided, and intelligent commentary on them. So deleting whole threads that deal with an event not related to peak oil but that could be related to a post disaster scenario reduces this section to almost pointlessness, as most commentary is wrong, trivial, or redundant.

Sorry if I'm offending anyone but I think the problem is not the existence of threads but the inability of lectors to refrain from spouting.

James Gervais

We never said only oil-related content is allowed. Clearly, peak oil has political, environmental, and economic connections that can't be ignored.

Personally, I find all the 'here is something that can be done to cope with the period after peak' ridiculous as such comments presume that there's going to be a major breakdown of society, that the individual is going to be able to manage on his own, and that any reasonable number of people care about either.

Ironically, Airdale's beef, if I understand him correctly, is that there isn't enough emphasis on that.

I've often wondered how you and the other contributers find the time and energy to create all this content, and ride herd over all the “diverse content”.

Wherever there is a public forum, there is always going to be some attention junkie, willing to grab the microphone and talk about aliens, black helicopter, perpetual motion machines and government conspiracies. If anything you (and the oil drum staff) are much more tolerant of such behavior than I would be.

Don't let a couple of screamers discourage you. You are doing the right thing.

Ok..high fat...still off topic and you apparently will not admit it.Why can't you just say the words "I was off topic and chided someone else for the same.I was wrong."

A beef? Your putting words in my mouth.
If you read the posters post,,that you are quoting you will find that he states both sides of the debate..pro and con..

You can certainly run the DBs as you see fit and yes,,no one has to read them..and yet I do sometimes and skip many posts..yours included as I find them lacking in what I am interested in.

To be more precise I am looking for 'indicators'..things that some people/posters observe but that most are simply not aware of. There are plenty of them on this site but if you are persistent you just might eliminate most of them.

For instance barge traffic on the Mississippi...
What is in them..how many are deadheaded..how many tied up...
The weather and its effects....
The basis on crop commodities....
There is a plentitude of this by the Key Posters...and its very very good. I applaud them..yet there is a time and place for the rest of us to speak...if the bandwidth is limited or the code is not amenable to alteration or configuration to allow better and finer control.then perhaps its not the fault of us poor posters. There is huge numbers of images that totally bog my dialup down...yet for those who I read...I will use my very poor bandwidth to better understand the important issues about petroleum and its side issues.

My perspective is from a childhood that many here can't understand nor deal with which reaches back to wood heating,then kerosene,then coal and so on.....I also lived and worked in the high tech world,,back when railroad companies fostered in the early technology for expanding communications...believe it or not..and that was just starting for me......so I have observed a great deal of water that passed under the bridge and there are others here who are making good observations...for the Eric Blairs...toast....
(and Eric in the immortal words of an animated donkey...."No one likes a suck-up")...

For the ones who care about the future...enough..you either get it or you don't...and will stand a good chance of surviving it or you won't and high fat or low fat won't matter in the least...what will matter is dry corn,,and a few other items.

We are storing that corn right now.here in the embattled heartland..btw. I have my own personal harvest dry and stored. Not that it matters to most.

One can bitch about corn all they wish but the facts are its easy to store, keeps very well, is healthy to eat,easy to grow,..makes excellent whiskey but is poor for fuel....

Now back to your regular standard MSM mashup.
Airdale will try to stay out of it...

so...go ahead ...have the last word....

Why can't you just say the words "I was off topic and chided someone else for the same.I was wrong."

Because neither is true. I didn't chide anyone for being off-topic. Though I might in the future.

And I am very careful to stay on topic. "On-topic" is not only about oil. (And that goes for everyone, not just me.)

Boring question about site mechanics, probably for Leanan.

I vastly like the fact that there are "new" tags that show up when you return to a previously-visited section which identify new posts.

However, I note that this feature is a bit "iffy"; it usually works right for me, but sometimes the "total posts" will have risen by 60 but the number of posts flagged as 'new' may only be a dozen or so, and scanning them it's clear that some 'new' ones weren't flagged.

And sometimes there are posts flagged as 'new' which aren't.

It ain't a perfect world and I'm not complaining, I just wonder whether there are specific browsers, or techniques, which can optimize viewing TOD.


The problem is on our end. There's a bug, where if you reply to a thread, it clears all the "new" flags. So if you go back to the thread, you see only the messages posted since your post. This is a pain, since when you reply, only your message appears, not the whole thread.

I think they did that intentionally, because the dial-up users were complaining about having the whole thread load every time they posted. But the cure, IMO, is worse than the disease, because now you miss posts.

As for old posts appearing as new...that's because when someone edits their post, it gets another "new" flag. Very annoying.

"Reply in a new window" solves this problem, does it not?

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

No. Because you'll still miss the posts that are posted while you are typing and posting your response.

What does fix it is replying in a new window, and remembering to refresh the old window just before posting in the one. Though I'd call that a workaround rather than a fix, and one I rarely bother with.

Just reply in a new window, then keep reading the NEW threads in the old window you came from. I don't care to read a bunch of back and forth between posters anyhow. I like each post on the drum (especially the drumbeat) to contain some sort of elaboration or new information concerning energy and our future.

Recipient of AA, Alberta Advantage

poof - deleted

This appears to be an interesting book about the early days in the Saudi oil fields: http://www.saudi-us-relations.org/articles/2007/ioi/070920-discovery-int...

Hello TODers,

Last post on fertilizer today, I promise. =)

Ideal 3.5 million/year immigration in 1800s Britain?
Farmers have known for centuries that soil doesn't necessarily contain all of the nutrients that plants need. The ancient Greeks and Romans knew that manure spread on fields helped crop production immensely. Arab civilizations collected the written knowledge about farming. Somewhere along the line, farmers realized that ground up bones provided nutrients. By 1815, England was importing so many bones for bone meal that people on the Continent starting complaining:

"England is robbing all other countries of their fertility. Already in her eagerness for bones, she has turned up the battlefields of Leipsic, and Waterloo, and of Crimea; already from the catacombs of Sicily she has carried away skeletons of many successive generations. Annually she removes from the shores of other countries to her own the manorial equivalent of three million and a half of men...

...like a vampire she hangs from the neck of Europe."

I wonder if the marine terms: 'dead-ahead', 'dead-heading', and 'dead-reckoning' arose from these ships of ghouls sailing back and forth to ferry the next load of 'immigrants'?

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

So in a large-scale die-off as some doomers (like me) expect over the next few decades, which will lead to a lot of bones, does this mean that harvesting such bones will provide a useful exercise for soil fertility for the lifeboat communities?

Sounds somewhat macabre, but seems to be that it'd be sensible from what you are saying.
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

harvesting such bones will provide a useful exercise for soil fertility for the lifeboat communities?

If one reads the history of ebonex it would seem that past might be prologue

As settlers followed the trail west to establish homesteads and farms in the great American Heartland, they found the prairies littered with bones of the slaughtered buffalo or American Bison. Most settlers found the bones to be a nuisance, clearing them from their land, stock piling them and then destroying them. That is until fertilizer plants back East expressed interest in them.

Thxs for the fascinating link! As mentioned before: we should be willing to go to great effort to restore topsoil vitality for future generations [even sitting in the natural darkness]--I am not aware of any shortcuts to topnotch photosynthesis harvest yields.

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

I saw a post somewhere that claimed there was enough nitrogen in urine to handle our farming needs. But this other article: http://www.geogrowersinc.com/howfertilizerworks.htm
it pointed out that urea is not an organic fertilzer despite its organic origins, because it doesn't help in the creation of humus, and its use can lead to a leaching of the soils to the detriment of local waterways. There are of course other problems with it in that it is acidic and therefore not good for plants that don't like acidic soils. Also it can burn plants and is usually diluted 10:1.

Peak Nitrogen is an interesting idea like Peak Renewables or the Fermi Paradox in that limiting factor is not material scarcity but limits to physical processes. It seems to me we can either develop fabulous new sources of energy to replace fossil based Haber processes, or we can pee in a bucket.

While it may 'burn' by contact urea doesn’t evaporate and stink like aqueous ammonia. In row seeders the seed lines should be slightly apart from the urea pellets to let soil moisture bring them in gradual contact. Then there’s the hope that charcoal and rhyzobial inoculant will lessen the need for synthetic nitrogen. Maybe it won’t be enough.

Came across this article - The Oil Scam Driving Crude Over $80

Let’s talk about the nonsense going on over at the NYMEX.

It’s not just the activity at the NYMEX that’s disturbing but the way the press, who used to be the kind of people who would check out a story, simply publishes whatever spin the wealthy sponsors and their PR firms feed them.

You can’t blame the media. The only word they love more than "crisis" is "scandal", but not when the scandal involves one of their advertisers. So, given the choice, they go with "energy crisis" over "oil scam" but let’s dig a little deeper than the average reporter….

The story you’ll hear for Monday is that oil rose $1.10 to $80 on tight supply concerns that drove prices higher.

The truth is that 257M barrels of oil for October delivery were bought AND sold on the NYMEX, which started the day with 197,270,000 barrels yet, strangely, suspiciously even, at the end of the day orders for oil to be delivered in October dropped to 171,442,000 barrels. How can the price of something go up while the demand for it goes down? COLLUSION. Collusion is "a secret understanding, esp. for a fraudulent purpose." Yep, that pretty much describes it in a nutshell.

If it were just the one day, we could brush it off as a fluke and consider our evidence circumstantial but here’s how trading went for the past 4 days since Tuesday, when I predicted that NYMEX traders had no intention of accepting the 289M barrels they had ordered for October: