DrumBeat: October 7, 2007

The coming oil crunch

When the peak-oil theory was publicized in Kenneth Deffeyes’ Hubbert’s Peak, Richard Heinberg’s The Party’s Over, David Goodstein’s Out of Gas and Paul Roberts’ The End of Oil earlier this decade, energy industry officials and their government friends quickly ridiculed the notion. The idea of an imminent peak — and subsequent decline — in global petroleum output was derided as crackpot science with little geological foundation.

“Based on [our] analysis,” the U.S. Department of Energy confidently asserted in 2004, “[we] would expect conventional oil to peak closer to the middle than to the beginning of the 21st century.”

Recently, however, high-level government and industry reports have begun to suggest that the peak-oil theorists were far closer to the grim reality of global oil availability than industry analysts were willing to admit. Industry optimism regarding long-term energy supply prospects, these official reports indicate, has now given way to a deep-seated pessimism, even in the biggest of Big Oil corporate headquarters.

Kuwait to start producing natural gas in December

Oil-rich Kuwait will begin producing free natural gas for the first time ever in December, but it will be for local consumption only, a senior official told the Kuwait News Agency on Sunday.

Iraqi Kurdish leader defends oil deals

Iraq's Kurdish regional government on Sunday defended its adoption of an energy law and the clinching of global deals, saying the moves were aimed at making oil "work for the people of Iraq."

Permian Basin's oil and gas riches nearly went unharvested

The United States draws approximately a quarter of its daily domestic oil production from the Permian Basin.

But this major source of crude was nearly overlooked.

"If you start with 1918-1920, the best-informed geologists really didn't think there was anything here," said Dr. Diana Hinton, J. Conrad Dunagan chairwoman in Business and Regional History and professor of history at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. "There had been some experimenting earlier around Toyah where they got some small amounts of oil. Then Spindletop came and why bother with small amounts when you had Spindletop?"

Oil prices barrel ahead toward 100 dollars: analysts

Oil traders appear to have cast aside concerns that high prices will lead to a global recession, and some analysts say the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has done little to bring prices down.

"It seems like the world is willing to pay more money for oil, it does not seem like it is slowing down growth," Tsocanos said. "OPEC does not have really a lot of capacities and so they could not increase production if they wanted to."

Of doomers, realists, powerdowners and fantasists

Reverend Norton says that what he is not persuaded of is “that human civilisation is about to come to an abrupt end.” Neither am I. I have argued elsewhere, however, that it is much more logical for one’s plan for the future at least to entertain that possibility. I will not repeat those arguments here. I simply would like to make the point that we realists (Oh fine, “we doomers”) think what we do because of our logical analysis of the facts, not because we like bombs, hurricanes, or death, or because we have a problem with the police, the Man, or whatever status quo. To imply otherwise, especially when one admits to hope (a synonym for “wishcasting” if ever there were one), is vaguely offensive, though I hardly think the Reverend Norton meant it that way.

Garrison Keillor: Finding St. Paul on the road

Those of us brought up on the Bible remember the parable of the rich man in hell and the beggar Lazarus in paradise, and yet we still do enjoy fine restaurants and four-star hotels -- though we see flames licking at the windows -- because it takes a hardscrabble upbringing to truly appreciate the home beautiful, the exquisite salad, the bison rib-eye in mushroom sauce, the braised tomatoes. As Emily Dickinson said, "To comprehend a nectar requires sorest need."

More than hotels and restaurants, I love the Sunday real estate ads, my favorite pornography -- the big frame house overlooking Puget Sound, the penthouse at 72nd and Broadway, the beach cottage on Antigua, the stone house on the Isle of Harris -- I look at them and imagine how happy at last I would be, if I could only take one more leap.

ASPO Newsletter, October 2007 (PDF)

867. Polar Oil
868. Peak Oil hits a political manifesto
869. Peak Oil and Geology
870. Discovery in 2006
871. Oil Price and Financial Chaos
872. World Energy Council reports Peak Oil
873. 6th International ASPO Conference
874. Two New Books
875. Conflict in Myanmar
876. IEA Medium Term Oil Market Report

Fuel rationing saves Iran $1bn

Iran said on Saturday it had saved $1 billion in the first hundred days since the world's fourth largest oil producer began rationing gasoline for drivers, the official Iranian news agency IRNA reported.

China’s net oil imports up 18 percent

China’s net imports of crude oil rose 18.1 percent in the first eight months of the year as the booming country’s voracious energy demands continued to grow, state media reported on Sunday.

Energy Investments in the Middle East Fall Due to Rising Costs and the Capital Markets Crisis

"Despite higher capital budgets, MENA energy investments appear to be losing momentum." This new and important conclusion has been reached by Apicorp, which was established by members of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) in 1975 in Saudi Arabia, and appears in Apicorp's most recent monthly economic bulletin.

Iraq To Seek Term Contracts To Sell Kirkuk Crude

Iraq is planning to ask international oil companies to buy its crude oil produced from its Kirkuk northern oil fields through term contracts rather than the current auction system, the country's Oil Minister said Friday.

Clinton Says She Would Shield Science From Politics

In a stinging critique of Bush administration science policy, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York said yesterday that if she were elected president she would require agency directors to show they were protecting science research from “political pressure” and that she would lift federal limits on stem cell research.

Wallace Stegner and Big Oil Oil drillers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, circa 1939 - review of Wallace Stegner's Discovery!

Even when Stegner wrote it in the mid-1950s, it was clear that, as he says on the final pages of his book, "the American involvement in Middle Eastern economic, cultural, and political life . . . would grow deeper, more complicated, and more sobering. Not inconceivably, this thing they all thought of as 'progress' and 'development' would blow them all up, and their world with it."

Sleepwalking into danger

But what if we faced a problem which is even more widespread and insidious, but for which we had much less data? What if the predictive tools that we had, like the data, were partial and flawed? What if we kept producing grandiose environmental policy goals that were impossible to achieve and programs that were doomed to failure? What if investment programs designed to fix the problem had misconceived goals and, anyway, produced very few demonstrable outcomes because we have no adequate performance measures? What if, in lieu of outcomes, we merely measured progress by money spent and anecdotal evidence? What if market based instruments were problematical? Well, yes, we do face such a problem. It is the destruction of the fabric of the global biosphere caused by the impact of the growing human population.

'Water is running out'

Water isn't the only endangered resource. Forests were chopped down long ago, and the roots were dug up for firewood. Thousands of displaced families are living atop prime agricultural land, preventing farmers from growing food.

As the Darfur conflict approaches its fifth year, the environmental strain of the world's largest displacement crisis is quickly depleting western Sudan's already-scarce natural resources. Experts say the situation is exacerbating chronic shortages of land and water that contributed to the fighting in the first place.

Hot wheels: Economy cars in vogue

With high gas prices, Shear says, the kind of older Escorts, Neons, Accords, Saturns, Sunfires, Cavaliers and Camrys he buys and sells are among the hottest things on wheels.

“My most frequent customers now are looking for fuel-economy cars,” he says. “When gas hit three bucks, people started really thinking about mileage.”

Sri Lanka: Sharp drop in bread consumption following price hike

Bread consumption has dropped sharply following the increase in wheat flour prices, market sources said. The drop in demand is clearly seen in rural areas and traders and bakery owners said that the sale of bread has declined by nearly 50%.

When it’s metal, even scrap is precious

The high prices have paid off for legitimate junk peddlers but have contributed to an increase in copper and metal theft. In the South Sound, thieves have stolen wiring from local parks, sports fields and construction sites, and even pilfered a copper gong from a Federal Way yoga studio. The rash of crime led 20 states, including Washington, to pass laws this year aimed at cracking down on shady scrap-metal sales, according to stateline.org.

Frito-Lay 'Flips Switch' on Solar Power at Phoenix Facility

Frito-Lay employees dedicated the new solar electric power system that has been installed on the roof of their Arizona Service Center, the company's largest distribution center in the country. The 201-kilowatt system, made up of more than 1,000 Kyocera high output 200-watt photovoltaic (PV) modules, is the largest business-owned PV system in Arizona. The system will produce roughly 350,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

Region not warmed up to solar

Ohio and Kentucky have lagged behind California and other Sun Belt states, where solar power is far more common. And for years, the Cincinnati area has been less interested in solar energy than the rest of Ohio - fewer than 1 percent of households here use solar energy, according to state reports.

But that's starting to change.

Fuming over city gas prices

Reported gas price differentials of nearly 20 cents per gallon have many locals fuming, questioning why recent history has shifted and Columbus has become more expensive than surrounding communities.

Businessman miles ahead of taxman on green initiatives

For example, we tax incomes, profits, sales, payrolls and savings — which suppresses jobs, savings, new investment and business formation. The tax system encourages everyone to cheat, and it is ferociously inefficient. The cost of accounting, administration, paperwork and waste may amount to 65 cents for every dollar collected.

But, says Hawken, look what would happen if we shifted our focus to products and processes, and placed heavy taxes on pollution, waste, energy consumption and the use of non-renewable resources. Instead of taxing things we value, like initiative and entrepreneurship, we would be taxing things we wanted to discourage. The tax would induce people and companies to make environmentally sound choices.

Global Warming, Western Ranching, and the Bovine Curtain

In the summer 2007 report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, UN researchers concluded that livestock production is one of the … most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global.” According to the UN, livestock contributes to “problems of land degradation, climate change and air pollution, water shortage and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity.” But few environmental groups mention this report or its findings, particularly if they are located in the cowboy West behind the Bovine Curtain. They would have to admit that the findings conclusions apply equally as well to the western U.S.

The last green taboo: engineering the planet

"Geo-engineering" sounds like a bland and technical term but it is actually a Messianic movement to save the world from global warming, through dust and iron and thousands of tiny mirrors in space. It is also the last green taboo.

Grim Outlook for Polar Bears

Two biologists who measure field time with polar bears in decades sat in a federal building here, envisioning two possible fates for this denizen of ice in a warming world — and neither future looked bright.

Melting ice pack displaces Alaska walrus

Thousands of walrus have appeared on Alaska's northwest coast in what conservationists are calling a dramatic consequence of global warming melting the Arctic sea ice.

Alaska's walrus, especially breeding females, in summer and fall are usually found on the Arctic ice pack. But the lowest summer ice cap on record put sea ice far north of the outer continental shelf, the shallow, life-rich shelf of ocean bottom in the Bering and Chukchi seas.

There is a long article in the Washington Post this morning by Bjorn Lomborg:


I wouldn't have even mentioned it were it not for the story that HO did where he compared global warming denailism and peak oil denialism.

The article itself sound like just a distillation of the arguments that he made in the book..

I suppose the most important -- perhaps the only -- reason to pay attention to Lomborg is that he is an articulate and immaculately groomed exponent of a very influential line of thought: "everything in the world has a price. Everything is measurable, tradeable, fungible and above all, everything is for sale."

Of course, that is just a peculiar human conceit -- but taught to us from the cradle -- "replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth" -- in the version I learned, but I imagine the Chinese have their own scripture.

I just finished reading an account of a voyage of the Glomar Explorer which recounts the discovery that the Mediterranean Sea dried up about 6 million years ago and the whole region turned into a 3000 ft below sea level desert salt flat.

It isn't that Lomborg is wrong, so much as that he is essentially irrelevant.

In theory Lomborg is right. But it's a really bad theory.

Lomborg isn't giving us a theory -- it isn't testable or falsifiiable. He is asserting what he considers to be "facts" which are self-evident to anyone who sees the world through his eyes.

And a lot of people do -- and they are currently the ones who rule the world. Hence, a completely vapid article, produced as an exemplar of "reason" on the 1st page of the second section of what is arguably the most influential newspaper in the country. Who else gets to spout such drivel in such an important place?

Now that I think of it, you're absolutely right, and my comment about it being a bad theory was unwarranted. It's not a theory, it's a fixed idea.

Lomborg needs to go have a chat with the Arctic ice.

Then maybe he could say a word or two to the Polar Bears.

I've been reading Tim Flannery's "The Weather Makers" and he seems to have thought through any argument I've heard associated with Lomborg and others of Lomborg's ilk already.

If one is going to use Lomborg as a source for argument, it might be wise to direct them to Flannery's work. It is only one book, not too long, and is emminently readable for a scientific overview of Global Warming.

Lomborg's writing provides and excellent example of Thomas Homer-Dixon's description of denial. The Skeptical Environmentalist was "Existential denial" (the problem does not exist). Now that the evidence has become overwhelming, he has written Cool It and moved to "consequential denial" (the problem exists but its not really going to affect us or be that bad). Hopefully he won't move on to "fatalistic denial" (There's nothing we can do, we are doomed so I might as well use as much energy as I can get my hands on).

I find it disturbing that the media sucks up to someone like him.. He's been on scads of talk shows promoting his book, even The Daily Show. No actual GW researcher would ever get this much media exposure - I'm sure Richard Alley would have liked to go on a book tour for a while. And Tim Flannery, while he is "person of the year" in Australia, is hardly a household name in the US.
So while the media seems to embrace the problem of GW, they still jump on any opportunity to present the case that, yes, it's a problem, but not really a very big one.

I find it equally disturbing that the media, as well as countless individuals, suck up to Flannery and Gore.

What both these guys are propagating is some kind of idea of a "soft landing", suggesting a shift in the economy towards creating tons of jobs that are supposedly green will solve the problems they talk about, but steering clear of changes to the economic model itself.

And since that model is firmly based on ongoing and never-ending growth, it shouldn't be hard to figure out where it will eventually lead, whether industries and employment are painted with a veneer of green or not.

Both Gore and Flannery actively promote growth models, they just add words like green and sustainable to the repertoire. Well, there is still no such thing as sustainable growth.

Friday, the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded, and we can only pray it's handed to someone more deserving than Gore.

Hey,no 'negatism' allowed. This country demands happy endings!

I find it equally disturbing that the media, as well as countless individuals, suck up to Flannery and Gore.

The reason Lomborg is on all the talk shows is simply that people like good news. The reason the Lomborg book makes money for TOD is that it gives people an easy way to reconcile cognitive dissonance - soothing relief just a click away from those depressing facts.

The media is easy to manipulate: it makes Pavlov's dog seem nuanced. As it now exists, it's incapable of not carrying certain stories. This avenue is available to anyone with sufficient hubris or salesmanship. There are many who contribute to this forum whose credentials would give them a free pass to sell any sort of bullshit. That so few do is to their credit.

So saying, the media and zeitgeist are what they are, and it could be that Gore is doing the best that he thinks can be done. If you lead with a doomer message, you don't get out of the starting gate.

You make it sound as if its a good thing that people have faith in, and follow, someone who offers no solution whtasoever to their problems, simply becuase the message is too hard to swallow. Got to give you this: At least that paints Gore for what he truly is: A snakeoil salesman, as is Flannery.

In the meantime, though, any chance of finding something that could work recedes ever further into the distance, since these nutcases take up all the media space.. And that is not exactly an innocent little feat. Think they don't know that?

Whups, didn't mean to start a longer thread, just waking up... but:

My guess is that Gore does more good than harm. Mind you, I don't like the guy much but that's for other conservation issues he has mucked up.

As a lifelong activist - and if I do say so a very effective one - I find it daunting to know just what to tell people to do now. That being the case, I don't throw stones at those who are just telling half the story or whitewashing it. (I reserve the right to throw stones at meatweasels like Lomborg). Similarly, I can hope for Alan Drake's success even if I suspect it will be too little too late, and would do much to see him succeed.

So far, I've seen no solutions which will allow the earth's current population to be sustained indefinitely, nor do I see that as in any way desirable. So I can either be insincere or make a documentary nobody will watch. Talk about your inconvenient truths...

It's ridiculous to characterise Tim Flannery (and probably Al Gore) as snake oil salesmen and nut cases. Or Bjorn Lomborg for that matter, but that's for a lot of different reasons.

Dr Flannery has a very good track record of writing popular and accessible science on difficult and contentious issues, and he also wrestled long and hard about accepting the "Australian of the Year" award, if there were any chance it would hinder his on-going and harsh criticism of government policies.

You sound like the Old Left, bickering and fighting among themselves, splitting very fine ideological hairs, while the real enemy ignores their sensitive self-righteousness. Flannery and Gore are better than nothing - far better - and their appearing on or in the MSM is no reason to condemn them at all - it is both naive and poor strategy.


Have you read their climate books?

As I said, they both promote growth models, and these models are the problem, certainly not the solution. Isn't that enough said? We're better off being led by the blind, just because they're better than nothing, and we're in such dire need of a leader?

If that's the best we can come up with, throw the towel. Their message is a sure way to damnation. That is not an opinion, but a fact. Perpetual growth of any kind leads to only one outcome. Yet, when you read their books, that is their message.

The Old Left, if we can assume we have the same understanding what that means, has, to my knowledge, a sordid history of not being able to look past those same exact growth models.

And we are now supposed to keep on doing that, according to you? Because it's "better than nothing"? When does that misguided notion stop, you think? My idea is that it only will when it's too late. But it is all Flannery and Gore have to offer. Those retarded Live Earth concerts have given the world one loud and clear message: saving the planet can and will be done through consumption.

Only, it will not.

I certainly share the skepticism about Al Gore and other MSM mavens. Even our own local Arctic-explorer hero in MN is indebted to biofuels folks for underwriting some of his work, and so shills for them.

Here's the Will Steger Foundation website:


Every writer, lecturer, and media persona has flaws and strengths. Yes, our media and culture is a strong filter which shuts down messages which oppose the dominant forces and premises of our culture.

The problem is essentially about bondage of the imagination. Walter Breuggemann wrote"The Prophetic Imagination" which does an admirable job of breaking down the ways in which cultures can be blind to their own oppressiveness or brutality, how radical prophetic critique from figures such as Moses, Micah, Jesus -- and Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and others can bring about change only with great difficulty.

When we are comfortable, we do not want the boat rocked. When we are not comfortable, we can be manipulated to support the status quo even when that works against us. Fear and anger can be channeled for the benefit of those who maintain the status quo. The seduction of promised or immediate rewards helps as well.

It is pretty hard for people to step outside of our immediate experiences and analyze the way things are, and then to work from that basis. Especially when our culture makes doing that "swimming upstream."

So, yes, I am often disappointed by what Main Stream representation of PO and GW are out there, but not surprised.

Hope may be scarcer than oil in a few years and I am trying to pre-position myself for that.

Recent runs at the Millennium Institute give me greater hope and certitude. I am unsure if they want to wait till their Wednesday 1.5 hours at Houston-ASPO to release the exact #s BUT "Electrification of Transportation" certainly minimizes the post-Peak Oil pain :-)

Best Hopes for avoiding immobilizing Despair,


Best hopes for more immobilization. I, unfortunately, went to Estes Park, Colorado yesterday for a meeting. Well past the usual tourist season, the main road through town was completely gridlocked, the city fathers not having the wisdom to shut down the traffic before it gets to town. But the town has figured out a way to become immobilized and seems proud of it. All these cars stuck in traffic emitting not just emissions but the smell of money. If only, all those vehicles's engines would at least shut down when stopped, like the Prius. At least, then, there would be some benefit to autotonia.

We have a choice, at least. Go extinct, or change radically. Thus far, my bet is on extinction but yet I process as if there is hope. Either way, the planet benefits eventually.

What you are describing is called a "mild hybrid".


this gives new meaning to the term tourist trap.

I think a more precise way of putting it, as if it really makes any difference, is that "you can only sell positive things to people."

People like to hear negative news as well. Our current catastrophe and fear driven media is a testament to this.

However, it is very difficult as such, to _sell_ things like reduction of consumption, powerdown, hardship and a not so positive future outlook.

People might listen to that, they might even emotionally respond for a while, but you can't _sell_ it to them in the sense that they want to start preparing for it and carrying it out.

And why would they? Nobody wants to works towards a less positive future outlook (that's how they see it).

The easier way out is just to discard the even more negative alternative. Problem solved!

This way one doesn't have to look at the data and to really think hard through all the ramifications.

Just believe, damn the data.

And sometimes, funnily enough, it actually works. Even if only for a while.

Then maybe he could say a word or two to the Polar Bears.

Why? Polar bear meat isn't exactly a commodity with high volume on the market. The question is simply whats the cost-benifit of climate change mitigation.

The conversation I had in mind was Lomborg vs. a couple of polar bears on one of the remaining ice floes.  Give them a couple of days alone, then come back to receive the conclusion.

This villification of Lomborg doesn't make any sense. What's valuable to society? It sure isn't polar bears.

From the top article:

"It seems like the world is willing to pay more money for oil, it does not seem like it is slowing down growth," Tsocanos said.

Another example of how "the world" means the few rich countries. Poor countries in Africa and Asia are struggling with acute fuel crises, but why would the financial community notice? If you're poor, you don't make any difference.

Leanan posted a lot of great links today. Thanks. The link on Water is Running Out is vert revealing.

As Darfur becomes drier, it also is getting browner. Forests that once lined the edges of Abu Shouk and El Fasher began disappearing before the camp opened. Now women must walk miles across barren land to find branches for kindling.

That hasn't stopped the camp from devouring vast quantities of wood. Having exhausted the local supplies, some residents began importing truckloads of freshly cut trees from hundreds of miles away.

Africa, along with everywhere else, is becoming dryer and its forests are disappearing. Wood is the fuel people can get cheap and they do. As the article points out, even the roots are dug up for fuel. And geuss what, it's going to get worse, a lot worse.

As fossil fuels dwindle people depend more and more upon natural fuels such as wood or dung. But that fuel will disappear also. As the water and grasslands dry up, fewer cows can graze. And soon there will be no trees to crop either.

And the cornucopians believe that we will just find some other source of fuel to keep the world humming right along. Well hell, it is about damn time they got started. After all, the trees and water will be gone soon, and if we expect to keep the population of human beings booming upward, some "new kind of energy" needs to be found soon or disaster will be upon the world. As if it isn't already.

Ron Patterson, an unapologetic doomer.

Let's see. And it doesn't help when the Media is
doing Cover Up.

Khaleej Times Online - Poland’s ambassador to Iraq in serious ...
WARSAW, Poland - Poland’s ambassador to Iraq was being kept in an artificial ... The ambassador, Gen. Edward Pietrzyk, was wounded when his three-car convoy ...
www.khaleejtimes.com/.../theworld/2007/October/theworld_October215.xml&s... - 23 hours ago - Similar pages

Poland's Iraq envoy wounded - Yahoo! News
Poland's ambassador to Iraq was lightly wounded in a triple bomb attack ... Our ambassador, Gen. Edward Pietrzyk scrambled out (of the wreckage) on his own. ...
news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071003/ts_nm/iraq_dc - 41k - Cached - Similar pages

Arctic Melt:

Center reported that Arctic ice shrink may be 30 years ahead of worst-case.

1 October 2007
Arctic Sea Ice Shatters All Previous Record Lows
Diminished summer sea ice leads to opening of the fabled Northwest Passage

This is a press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), which is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

When the authors analyzed the IPCC computer model runs, they found that, on average, the models simulated a loss in September ice cover of 2.5 percent per decade from 1953 to 2006. The fastest rate of September retreat in any individual model simulation was 5.4 percent per decade. September marks the yearly minimum of sea ice in the Arctic. But newly available data sets, blending early aircraft and ship reports with more recent satellite measurements, show that the September ice actually declined at a rate of about 7.8 percent per decade during the 1953 to 2006 period.

"Because of this disparity, the shrinking of summertime ice is about thirty years ahead of the climate model projections," said NSIDC scientist and co-author Ted Scambos. This suggests that the Arctic could be seasonally free of sea ice earlier than the IPCC projected range of 2050 to well beyond 2100.

Australia wheat crop 'to double'

Australian farmer overlooks land impacted by drought
Australia's drought is deemed the worst on record
Australia is set to see its winter wheat crop more than double, as heavy rains offset a record drought, according to official forecasts.

The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics forecasts that wheat crops will hit 26 million tonnes in 2007, up from 10 million in 2006.

That's 9.8 in 06, not ten and this year's will be, maybe 6.

But you won't find out until...

Australia's Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE) Sep Outlook STILL has outrageous info.


South America chokes as Amazon burns
By Daniel Howden and Jules Steven in La Paz
Published: 05 October 2007

Roberto Smeraldi, head of Friends of the Earth Brazil, said the situation was out of control: "We have a strong concentration of fires, corresponding to more than 10,000 points of fire across a large area of about two million sq km in the southern Brazilian Amazon and Bolivia."

Good luck on when the MSM fills you in on this.

The Tipping Point is past.

Once the Amazon goes up in flames and the Arctic goes ice free as Australia is forced to import wheat.

And then Mexico has to cut the US off as the US "experts" think Alberta can fill the void...

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Is is time to get into KOOLAID futures?

Approximately two thirds of the global wood harvest goes for fuel. Those who think that lumber producers and pulp mills are the big worry need to look into this factor. The most vulnerable are the forests at the margin of agricultural and grazing land.

Meanwhile, vast stands of pine in the boreal forest of Canada are going through a massive die off due to the mountain pine beetle pestilence. Like a plague of locusts, these things create a background hum as they go about their business. It's natural, I suppose, but the lack of sufficiently cold winters has led to an opportunity for them to have a party, much like our petroleum party.

One would expect that the standing dead carcasses would pose a fire risk, but perhaps the lack of needles and such makes it more difficult to get going. There is a huge patch of red forest covering much of the interior of BC that will either rot or burn as there is no market for the timber, especially considering the housing market.

I've often wondered whether there is more energy to be had by burning the wood or corn directly than in converting it to methanol first. Quite where the extra energy 'wood' come from is a mystery to me? Am I missing something? Does a ton of corn make more than a ton of ethanol? Does a ton of ethanol have more energy than a ton of carbon/wood? Or is it just that you can't pour wood?

Does a ton of corn make more than a ton of ethanol?

One bushel (56 lb) of corn makes perhaps 2.8 gallons (18.5 lb) of ethanol.

Does a ton of ethanol have more energy than a ton of carbon/wood? Or is it just that you can't pour wood?

A short ton of biomass has roughly 16 million BTU of energy.  A short ton of ethanol (~303 gallons @ 78000 BTU/gal) has about 24 million BTU of energy.

So if you dryed the corn and burned it like wood you'd get 56/37ths as much energy as you'd get from the ethahol product discounting whatever was short or left over from burning the dryed for free bagasse.

Seems as tho you'd be better off just burning biomass if freezing to death was the big 'issue'.

I'm still looking for more than pourability to make me love the ethanol lobby.

Now THIS is what I call accounting!

Corn is about 392,000 BTU/bushel, but given the natural gas inputs for distillation you'd be roughly twice as far ahead to just burn both the corn and the natural gas instead of making ethanol.

Thanks EP, for the useful numbers.

Everybody should keep in mind that gasifiers are easy to make and work just fine, and the resulting gas, from any biomass, can be stored in a tank, frm which it can be taken and used to drive any IC engine, like on a tractor or truck. Needs a compressor to push the gas into a pressure tank on the vehicle.

Search for FEMA wood gas generator for vehicles

Here in Iowa you can get a stove that will burn corn or wood pellets. I've lived here pretty much my whole life and I just noticed these things on sale for the first time this year ...

They have been for sale for many years, I remember my Dad wanting me to buy one over 20 years ago.

They have an auger that continuously feeds kernels from the hopper. Much more convenient than wood.

I have heard that there were shortages of wood pellets last year. I suppose corn would be easier to come by.

I suggested that corn be used to stretch the thin (and expensive) supplies of wood pellets in Maine post-Katrina (pure corn might have clogged systems designed for pellets only).  Someone with the money to move a barge-load from Milwaukee or Chicago down the St. Lawrence could have made a tidy profit.

Ron Patterson, an unapologetic doomer.

Give me a break, you should move to the Sudan or Dafur, its already doomerville there. Meanwhile the rest of us will do something useful to keep society trucking.

Ron's thoughts are based on serious study and reflection. You appear optimistic without any particular reason. I'm with Ron here.

Uh whatever, obviously TOD is the only site you read. I read across the internet and are well versed and educated myself on a variety of alternative energy resources being developed. TOD is a fun site, but I recommend reading some alt energy sites/blogs as well and get a balanced perspective.

"I are well versed and edumacated!"

Queue banjo solo

I are educated too! :)

"I read across the internet and are well versed and educated myself on a variety of alternative energy resources being developed."

Judging from the way you uncritically praise any and all alternative energy scams, no matter how obviously bunk and physically impossible, I would say you are neither particularly well versed nor well educated. And you certainly aren't balanced. You are an unapologetic technocornucopian, and that's fine, and we all know it. But don't claim some sort of objective highground - that's just silly.

Ron's comments are, as usual, right on.

alt energy for balanced perspective? If you understand thermodynamics and scalability, and read a bit on the behavior of complexity, it's hard not to see Ron as a clear voice.

I say this with all due respect to cars powered by laptop batteries, microwave seawater-burning schemes, zilch-point energy, Steorn, and other alt reality schemes.

I heard Steorn has reworked the device.

Their now called Sterno and I hear that you can use it to heat up some coffee WTSHTF.

Sterno & Sarconoltini anyone?

I'm with you Greenish. I would categorize myself as being a "Doomer" on the chances for 6.6 billion(and growing) people. Growth(Even "Sustainable Growth") on that scale with climates changing as discussed in other threads is impossible. We are in overshoot zone like the reindeer on ST. M. Island.

However I would give good chances to individuals and individual communities. Problem is we don't have a clue as to which of us it will be.

I am a medium/fast collapse person on the large scale. I work on large application systems, and the JITness of our supply chain where cargo ships bounce off from continents like pinballs, spending only a day or so unloading/loading cargo doesn't downscale very well.

A good exaple is the "How that made" show on one of the cable shows. I have watched Twinkies, to Soda, to Totsie rolls to Celstrial Gardens teas.

These and others run huge production runs. Hundreds of thousands a week levels with 4 people in the factory.

Now how do you down scale that for an order of 100lbs?

That factory, and it's production machines are of little/no value. It is optimized for HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS per month.

So, when we talk of things that have to replaced or re-thought out remember those points as well.

But, I still visit http://www.fieldlines.com/ and have the kit to make a windturbine from old brake rotors and front axle, reading farming books and mags, cutting back on most things, etc. So I have to carry myself optimistically hoping myself and family and community have a winning lottery number for our chances.


While it is true the world urgently needs alternative energy sources, and you have suggested many possibilities, sadly so far not one is anywhere near adequate.

In total if your suggestions were all used they are still nowhere near adequate.

But keep the ideas coming - just maybe you will eventually give us one which will do the job.

However please don't waste our time with something that is unproven or 'going to work at sometime in the future' or 'all we need is a little more money and time and we'll have a fix' or violates well known laws of physics.

Blind optimism isn't enough, the situation gets more serious by the day.


True enough Xeroid. But if you're an "unapologetic doomer" why waste your last bit of time on earth or advanced civilization posting how bad it is to some website? If you think the end is near then go out and enjoy some things before you think the party is going to end. Or move out to the middle of nowhere and set up a survival spot. Meanwhile those like Alan Drake that want to do something about it can discuss solutions. Crying about the end is near does nothing for anyone.

Anti, I have never advocated not doing anything. Quite the opposite, I have always said you should plan to save yourself and your family rather than make granddiose plans to save the entire world.

If you make plans to save yourself there is no gurantee that you will be successful. But if you do you will have a far better chance of surviving than if you spend all your time, energy and resources trying to save the whole world. If you spend everything trying to save the world then your efforts will be totally wasted because the world will not be saved.

Ron Patterson

You may well be educated, but it doesn't put your arguments in a good light, if you use ethos/pathos as your main vehicles of argument and mostly do not even reveal your argument, just state the conclusion.

Start with the basics next time:

My assumptions are:
The facts as I see them are:
Based on the assumptions and the facts, I logically conclude the following:

It makes for much more understandable reading.

And this same advice could be given to a lot of others around here (myself included).

The problem with discussion or *gasp* argumentation is that if we are not aware of our own backing arguments, it is very difficult for others to understand us.

So, why are you optimistic? What is this specific data and how do you deduce from that your current stance?

BTW, I'm on the fence myself. Various pointers are quite negative, but there are positive pointers as well (and now I mean real hard evidence from the field, not political pointification on the subject).

It is really interesting how age and maturity affects ones perspective.

I've been following alternate energy since the last energy crisis in the 70's. There was so much to see. Breakthroughs were being announced on a daily basis. I subscribed to Popular Science and other more serious journals. Science News was one of my favorites, because it was a weekly view of the great leap forward.

But over the decades all the great discoveries just never worked out, or turned out to be outright fraud.

Then I got a job as a physicist, and was put in charge of my own cutting edge projects. At that point I found out why the the alternate energy projects never made it to prime time.

1) Technology is not like a comic book or MSM science article. It is so complex and so resource intensive it takes a superhuman effort to bring something new online.

2) Reality doesn't care what your opinion is, nor does it care what you want.

3) Never under estimate the politics! Your may be trying to bring a project to successful completion, but someone will always profit by your failure.

4) Don't expect a society drunk on cheap power to make any significant investment in more expensive but long-term and reliable sources.. That would require 'Sober' decision-making, alas!

- unless that's what you meant by 3)..


There are many reasons that alternative energy didn't catch on after the 1980's. Perhaps the biggest reason was that the Saudis flooded the world oil markets, pushing the price down in 1986 to below $10 per bbl. That was way below the cost of the alternatives, but, we now know that to have been temporary.

Another reason was that Old Ronnie RayGun killed the subsidies for solar and overnight almost all solar energy companies selling to the market just shutdown. That may have been a good thing, as there were many con artists selling crap just to take advantage of the tax breaks. I went to a meeting which was billed as a seminar for prospective solar salesmen. The pitch was that you were supposed to buy one of their simple box air heaters, then go out and sell more of them to your neighbors. The upfront cost was way above the cost of the panels and there was no storage in the system, thus, the new "salesman" would not be technically meet the standards for the tax break. But, the con men would make a bundle just by selling to the "salesmen". Another company advertised for a solar engineer and I traveled to their "factory" for an interview. The company president spent the entire time I was there talking on the phone about his impending IPO. I think those guys eventually went out of business after taking lots of orders without delivering anything. That crew later went to jail for fraud.

The really sad thing is that all the scams gave solar a bad name. Worse yet, it's cheaper to build a solar heated house than it is to burn oil in today's market, if the cost is amortized over the lifetime of the house. But, the banks don't look at the cost of the energy to heat a house when they write a mortgage, only the first cost. The energy companies can borrow over 30-40 years by issuing bonds at prime rate, thus the cost of the capital can be spread over all the energy produced, so it's lower than that which the home owner can receive and the energy companies get tax breaks too. It's not a level playing field, so solar continues to lose to FFs.

E. Swanson

Thank You for the Sane post E. Swanson.


Ah Men Brother.

(Where's my electric plane?

For all those doomers out there, take a look at http://www.realtor.com.

It has a really nice interface, and a ton of listing of acreage and farms.

Using that, link and google earth I have been shopping for farm land all up and down the east coast.

There is a big difference in price between where my dad lives in Pennsylvanian and where I live in Alabama. Land is much cheaper down here.

The site is how I found my place a little over a year ago. The good parcels go very fast, and I looked at a lot of bad ones that were real turkeys. I bought my ten acre property a day after it was listed. The agent told me he had about fifty calls on the place after I made the deposit for the asking price. I really lucked out - good soil with great drainage with mature hickory, black walnut, beech, sassafras, and oak trees and next to about eighty acres of virgin hardwood forest that has been placed in trust to the University of Illinois as a preserve. Bumper crop of lack walnuts and hickories this year. I got to get an ice cream machine to make some black walnut ice cream.

And what do you do Antidoomer to keep society trucking besides jumping on the sidelines with your pom poms and cheering for every half baked claim that comes down the pike? We doomers realize that we havelittle effect on either personally or collectively solving society’s problems and instead concentrate on making our own personal preparations for the post peak period. What you might call selfish is what I call good sense. If the worst does not occur I guess I’m doomed to eat fresh veggies, poultry, fruits, and nuts in a limited energy lifestyle. I don’t even want to speculate on your fate if your optimism is unfounded.

He'll just come and steal your fresh veggies, poultry, fruits and nuts, and your limited energy.

If you don't take care of the world, the world will take care of you.

I think you are overly pessimistic. That´s a problem for Darfur and other overpopulated southern areas. Their problem will be solved: They will have a die-off to a more sustainable population.

Other areas like around the arctic circle have an over abundance of water and wood, and there(here, where i live) it get´s only better, as our climat is improving year after year.
In the 60-ties and 70-ties it was now and then -40 degree Celsius in the winters. Nowadays we seldom have -30 degrees.

So as i se it everything looks just better, as long as we and other northern countrys can defend our borders and stop a mass immigration of the southerners.

Besides theese climat changes has happened before, so why make this a problem. We can´t do anything about it anyway.

Volkswagon is planning to offer a hybrid option with all its vehicles, including diesel cars.

The diesel engine was generally more fuel efficient than the gasoline engine.


Cool Article. It's only a matter of time before VW makes a TDI Hybrid, would imagine it would get extremely good gas mileage.

Indeed. Several prototypes were on display @ Bochum 2005 challenge.

However, the fastest big car mfg in the world, Toyota, has a product cycle of 7 years.

It might still be some time off before we see a working highly-efficient low-consumption diesel-electric hybrid (perhaps even a plug-in version).

But once we do, based on the data from Bochum, we are likely to get several at the same time, from various manufacturers.

The bottleneck here is that car replacement speed is well below 2% of the total car fleet / year. That would mean total fleet replacement in 36 years or so, IF everybody switched for a new one and not just the rich people (reality check: everybody doesn't). The trickle down effect of car replacement really slows down the fleet makeover speed.

On the climate side we probably don't have 50+ years. We are estimated to need a 90% cut in CO2 emissions before 2050.

On the oil supply side (even accounting for heavier diesel, which is going to deplete slower) we certainly do not have 50 years. Biofuels have no way of accounting more than 10-20% by 2050, so no fix there either.

So, my take is, based on the data roughly summarized above, that we need much more drastic measures than just diesel-PHEV-car fleet makeover.

We need lots of mini-revolutions going on a the same time: PHEVs, certain type of biofuels, rail revolution, super-high efficiency planes, overhaul of the ocean fleet efficiency, revolution in air travel (e.g. 90% reduction?), petrochemical industry materials revolution, farming transformation and huge increases in efficiency (process and tech) that actually stick over time. And that's just a quick list of the top of my head.

The way to get there, using BAU method, is to get a lot of new regulation & have the greedy businessmen smell the opportunities within and hope that not all of them are just in it to turn a quick buck, but actually try to sell something that sticks.

Agree with all of your comments except on vehicle replacement rate.

For US, new vehicle sales and leases was 17 Million in 2005. Total US vehicles registered is 240 Million. Replacement rate more like 7%, so it'll take on order 15 years to replace half the US fleet.

That's under BAU. When oil and gas become highly expensive and scarce, the transition rate to plug-in vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) will be (my guess) significantly higher than current new car purchase rate. Plug-in vehicles will come online 2009-2011, with some available now.

Not to say there won't be a significant downward trend in vehicle-miles per capita in the next decade. Travel will become an economic decision for individuals, unlike now.

*edit* fixed link

I disagree on the pace of change to PHEVs.

The 2009 model year will not suddenly start with nothing but hybrids in the showrooms. For a variety of reasons, including manufacturing capacity for specialty items, it will take a number of years for PHEVs to reach 1/2, 2/3rds, etc of the new car sales.

I also think that post-Peak Oil will bring a recession/depression with it and significantly lower annual car sales.

Combine the two, and 2% may be closer than 7% for at least the next half decade.



Perhaps. I read somewhere that rate of new Prius' sold is 75% per year (I know, starting on a base near zero).

So this is the battle that's raging. Can any alternative be brought on line sufficiently fast to offset the worst of possible effects due to peak oil.

A recession is inevitable, and a depression (or greater depression) may be quite likely. Certainly that would dampen the demand on oil.

My 2 cents on the next 2 decades: a world economy focused on and based on energy and climate change.

And as bad a prospect as I think it is, the steamroller of nuke-based energy looks to be in the mix, because the voices against it won't be there:

Nuclear Power Primed for Comeback
Demand, Subsidies Spur U.S. Utilities

By Steven Mufson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 8, 2007; Page A01

Can any alternative be brought on line sufficiently fast to offset the worst of possible effects due to peak oil

Yes. Actually a combination of alternatives, of which PHEVs are not the largest single effect.



So far I have only verbal reports of Millennium Institute runs, but there *IS* hope for nothing worse than a prolonged severe recession post-Peak Oil for the USA !

Significant changes in public policy required.

Best Hopes,


So far I have only verbal reports of Millennium Institute runs, but there *IS* hope for nothing worse than a prolonged severe recession post-Peak Oil for the USA !

Would that come at the expense of non-US and/or developing countries? Would look forward to seeing their inputs and conclusions.

Significant changes in public policy required.

Amen. A House policy advisor on the conferencing of the Senate and House energy bills said recently if the american people starting calling their representatives the way they did when the immigration bill came up, energy policy (and peak oil probably) would be all over the news and lawmakers would have to show some action. Although I doubt people can get sufficiently emotional about energy just yet.

BTW, she understood the need for early mitigation. She said most lawmakers do. But how strong are the lobbyists for the public interest? (sighs, sips more coffee...continues clean energy advocacy with State policymakers...)

*edit* I should have said excellent write-up, I fully support your efforts and will pass on to urban planners here.

When oil and gas become highly expensive and scarce, the transition rate to plug-in vehicles (EVs and PHEVs) will be (my guess) significantly higher than current new car purchase rate

No, the replacement rate will go down because of the recession triggered by peak oil. Some car manufacturers may even go broke

We'll see.

My bet: The illusion of neverending economic growth will be reset, and soon, and we're all going to live with a whole lot less. And 'spend' a lot of time on very basic needs.

That's not inconsistent with a world based on electrification of transportation.

I wonder how plug in hybrid diesels will fare in cold weather. Having driven a 20 year old diesel in winter I can say they can get uncomfortably cold if you're going downhill using the engine for braking for 5-10 minutes. The new diesels are even more efficient, so there's even less waste heat to keep the passengers warm. If you are in rush hour traffic at well below freezing in a diesel you better dress well, or else you will be shivering from cold. Very uncomfortable, especially if you're in a 16 seat minibus on your way to work, dead tired, but unable to get any sleep because you're freezing. I think most people would run the airconditioner in heating mode in these situations, thereby negating some (much?) of the savings from the hybrid drivetrain. I assume that on a high end car as a hybrid is there will usually be airconditioning even in countries where you only suffer from too much heat a couple of days every 3rd summer or so :)

Marine diesels are extremely efficient as it is. It would take a paradigm shift like starting to use wind power when available to increase it much I suspect.

Regarding the article above about scrap recycling.

It seems to me this makes america look like a 3rd world resource exporter:

Phil Simon has his eye on the weakening dollar, something that bodes well for his industry, as overseas customers can pay more for scrap metal, but not so much for Americans, who rely heavily on imported goods.

The physical resources go overseas to build infrastructure, while the local currency is devalued so less manufactured goods can be imported.

Two men arrested for theft at PG&E substation

Two San Leandro men have been arrested for allegedly attempting to steal copper ground wiring at a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. substation Wednesday night, according to Menlo Park police.

A PG&E truck containing around 2,000 pounds of copper wiring was stolen in Petaluma on Tuesday, according to local police. No arrests have been made in connection with the robbery.

According to PG&E officials, the company has lost around $3.2 million since 2005 because of copper wire theft. Thieves usually take stolen wire to local recycling plants to exchange for cash.


Palo alto story but handled by the Menlo Park police tells me it actually happened in Menlo Park, one of the few areas richer than Palo Alto.

That is life in a rich part of the Empire.

Jaha that is what the US is becoming.

Until my small biz basically imploded, as Ebay is doing, I was selling electronic surplus on Ebay. I sold componants, instruments, probes, stuff like that. As things went downhill, I joked that things would get where the stuff was worth only what it's worth in scrap metals, which we'd just strip and sell (probably to the chinese).

Well, then my biz imploded, ebay tanked, etc., and I headed out here literally a step or two ahead of eviction for nonpayment of rent (I paid the last month, but had to get someone to take over the lease, so I didn't stiff 'em, I just got out.)

And lo and behold, one of the minor industries out here is a certain amount of processing electronic "stuff" for its metals. Nothing illegal, but there's a certain amount of casual work available disassembling, sometimes with hammer, equipment and assemblies that cost someone a fortune when bought and are now only worth their silver, gold, palladium, etc. Then the scrap is sold.

(There's also a fair amount of work if you know horses, even slopping out stalls pays far better than any high tech job I've had or heard of.)

Sorry to hear about your financial troubles, good luck on future enterprises. Reuse and recycling are two things I like, nothing worse than landfilling or burning things that are of value.

Perhaps, when the dollar drops sufficiently, the american manufacturing industry can get back on it's feet, and the United States of America will be very similar to the People's Republic of China? The USA has more coal than the PRC, more oil, and I would think more of most other natural resources as well, and a fairly large population. This outcome is not inconceivable imo, but I suppose there will be an uncomfortable transition.

Perhaps in some alternate reality where Americans are willing to live in company dormitories and eat at company cafeterias, America will again become a manufacturing power.

People who've had to default on mortgages and have lost most of what they own might be willing to do this today.

Perhaps in some alternate reality where Americans are willing to live in company dormitories and eat at company cafeterias, America will again become a manufacturing power.

funny you should mention it..

I watched this documentary the other day you see, and I was thinking about those workers when I wrote the comment. They didn't have a cafeteria though, these girls had to eat in their rooms :/

Here's an english language version.

it's called prison overcrowding
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain


Does anyone happen to know why US gasoline stocks rise through what appears to be September, and fall in October before beginning to rise again in November?

And I look forward to seeing how the EIA reports on the
still down 300k per day Wilmington refineries.

As of 15 hours ago KCAL says they're still down.

Anybody out there depending on dependable electricity?

And you gotta love this. Even though the refineries are still down:


An oil industry analyst says because the shutdowns were short-lived and relatively brief they will have little impact on overall gasoline prices, especially since pump prices have been dropping nationwide because of reduced demand.


“They are looking at the whole scope. Everything is under investigation right now.”

A Wilmington oil refinery has been shut down since Wednesday because of complications resulting from a power outage that the Department of Water and Power has been unable to explain, it was reported Friday.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

This guy's not worried:

Shoppers to get the lead out

Things that used to lead to crises and recessions somehow don't anymore. And no matter what the economic news brings, consumers keep right on spending, particularly at Christmas.

...The federation expects sales to rise 4 percent over last year to nearly $475 billion. That's below the 10-year average of 4.8 percent growth, but not as bad as Christmas 2002, when sales grew by only 1.3 percent.

What is it about retailers that they sound the alarm whenever their sales don't grow as rapidly as the year before? What are they going to do if there's ever an actual decline in sales? Jump out their one-story store windows?

One last Christmas shopping season, brought to you by the usual suspects.
NB: the average interest rate paid on US credit card debt is 13.4%.

Consumer Borrowing Up Sharply in August

Consumer Borrowing Jumps at Fastest Pace in 3 Months, Led by Higher Use of Credit Cards

Consumers have boosted their borrowing at the fastest pace in three months, turning increasingly to their credit cards to replace home equity loans as a source of ready cash. The Federal Reserve reported that consumer credit rose at an annual rate of 5.9 percent in August, the biggest increase since a 7.9 percent jump in May.

The increase was led by an 8.1 percent leap in revolving credit, the category that includes credit card loans. Consumers have been using their credit cards more to finance purchases now that home equity lines of credit are becoming harder to obtain.

In total, consumer credit rose by $12.2 billion to a record $2.469 trillion. The increase was bigger than the $9.5 billion gain analysts had been expecting.

Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody's Economy.com, said that the healthy increase provided "further evidence that consumers did not pack it in" after the financial market turbulence hit in August.

U.S. credit card pitches surge

Mintel International Group, a Chicago-based consumer, media and market research firm, said in a recent survey that direct mail credit card offers to subprime customers in the United States soared 41% in the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2006.

London-based HSBC Holdings more than doubled its subprime credit card offers during the period, followed by Washington Mutual with a 35% increase and Capital One Financial with 18%. A subprime household is one with a low credit score of around 600 compared to the best possible rating is 850.

Yet during the same period, credit card offers to American consumers who have good credit slipped more than 13%.

The timing appears odd because the number of foreclosures across the country was just beginning to rise. According to Foreclosures.com, there are about 1.6 million homes across the country in the pre-foreclosure stage and nearly 1 million already at auction.

And there is no sign of change for at least 18 months, notes Edward Delgado, a senior vice president with Wells Fargo & Co. at a Federal Reserve Bank conference in Kansas City this week.

Other forecasters are even gloomier.

One group, called the Housing Predictor, said that home prices in some markets have fallen by 40% and that it will only get worse with some 5 million adjustable rate mortgages to reset by 2009.

NOTE: we should realize that a lot of this new debt is not for exuberant holiday purchases, but for people trying to keep their heads above water, paying medical bills, holding on to the roof above their heads.

>One last Christmas shopping season, brought to you by the usual suspects.

>NOTE: we should realize that a lot of this new debt is not for exuberant holiday purchases, but for people trying to keep their heads above water, paying medical bills, holding on to the roof above their heads.

Consumers are no longer able to tap home equity loans, so they are likely turning to credit card debt. I would suspect that your right, credit cards are being used to pay bills and probably the "back to school" expenses too. A fellow at work told me he bought three new laptops for his two kids (one was already drop and is unrepairable)

There is a good chance that the credit cards will be maxed out before christmas arrives, or at least consumers will be more concerned about tapping their last remaining line of credit on christmas gifts.

With the rising number of ARMS resetting to much higher rates, consumers are forking over much more of their paychecks to pay the mortgage, and likely are using credit cards to financial everyday expenses (ie fuel, food, etc). Obviously this is a losing strategy. The smart folks with no equity in their homes are simply walking away. It makes no sense what so ever to hang on to a home with more debt then its worth. Of course many have an emotional attachment that prevents them from letting go, and will suffer heavily for it.

Sooner or later states or the federal gov't might prevent people from walking away, and let the debt hang on them like a dead albatross, in order to slow the flood of foreclosures (further depressing prices). Probably just about everyone that bought a new home or upgraded in the last few years will end up owing more than their home will be worth.

I think during next year that housing inventories will double to about 10 million on the market. Unlike much of experts, I don't think we will see a turn around in 2009. The last real estate boom (in the 1980's) took about seven years to recover (and the bubble wasn't as bad). I don't understand why any expert would go on record and declare that a turn around in in the next couple of years. Considering, PO and retiring boomers, I doubt I will ever see a housing recovery in my lifetime.

FWIW: I think between the first of year and spring layoffs will soar, as consumer and corporate spending drops this fall. Its likely that employers are going to wait and see how the credit mess sorts out and hope that consumers keep on spending into christmas. After the first of year, they'll be working on planning job cuts, when they realize that boom days aren't return anytime soon.

I've read that a lot of residential construction jobs lost have been picked up by commerical contruction. At least in my region, I have noticed an awful lot of commerical construction underway. Lots of new strip malls, and office space construction. Since consumers tapped out, its unlikely that all this new retail buildings will ever be fully occupied. It wouldn't surprise me if in a few years we see some of them bulldozed so they owner does have to pay property taxes on buildings that can't be rented or sold.

Finally I would like to suggest that folks, evaluate their job security in a credit crunched recession. How does your company make money? Is it dependant on credit expansion? Its a good idea to have a plan B if your employer gets hit by the credit crunch. The best policy I can suggest is not to become overly specialized in your skill set. The more flexiable your skill sent the more opportunities you have open. Employeers usually keep employes that have skills for multiple jobs than specialists. Its also a good idea to have your personal finances in order. A lot of employers are now doing background credit checks before hiring new employees.

The people with balances on their cards are about to get a real rude awakening. I just received several letters from credit card co's modifying the terms.

The things are in real small print and the first few pages refer to all sorts of fluff. Only reason I read them is because of the insight one might gain from what they actually are doing.
Once one gets into the final pages there are major changes to default pricing penalties and default modes as well as major changes to balance transfer fees. And these are from major mainstream banks, not the sub prime stuff like Capital One el al.

How many people read this far? The liability for some of the people that play the typical balance transfer games is huge as the fees are now straight percentages with no cap on the fee. Good bye teaser rates.

This is people putting gas, groceries, the electric bill, etc on their cards.

This is also people like me who can't make any payments due to no money, but on paper are still "borrowing" like crazy because at 30% that interest stacks up - it shows up as more borrowing.

Somewhere, all that debt of mine that I'll never be able to pay even if someone gave me a $100k/year job tomorrow, has been sliced, diced, repackages, garnished with parsley, and is considered "dollars" and it part of someone's investment portfolio. The debt of deadbeats. That's what our economy is resting on.

Funds co. to turn microorganisms into petroleum


If LS9 can find a way to mass-produce the biotech fuels, it could be a “breakthrough” energy product that wouldn’t require an entirely new infrastructure for storing and delivering petroleum products across the country. “I’m very optimistic about the company,” said the Cambridge-based Berry, who played a crucial role in helping to find a way to alter microorganisms so they could effectively become little petroleum factories. If everything works, LS9 could conceivably commercialize some of its products by 2010, he said.

If everything works, LS9 could....

Desperate Optimism ?

Not that I don't want it to work...

“I’m very optimistic about the company,” said the Cambridge-based Berry"

All those who understand how and why to write a puffed press release take one step forward. Now all those who don't, put a bag over your head.

So lets see, this guy, whose income is based on people investing, thinks it's conceivable that by 2010 he might have product. OK, but it is also 'conceivable' that he will be eaten by his cannibalistic neighbors out of general annoyance. Yet does that make the Boston Herald? Not until after it happens, and not even then if the neighbors keep it to themselves.

Isn't it nice to live in a world where happy happy press releases make instant news, and the paper never runs stories on the 'breakthroughs' from 3 years ago which have quietly failed?

Oh alt energy, how I love you so. Tonite I shall dream of little petroleum factories in lieu of sugarplums.


Yet they work with many reputable companies such as bristol myers squibb (on the NYSE)......

They work with reputable companies? Well why didn't you say so.

And seriously, where does the energy come from? Presumably solar, which means photosynthesis, which presumably means biodiesel from algae, which is hardly a new idea.

I used to have a bunch of Harvard/Cambridge geneticists working for me. They often write a heck of a press release, but then they wander off and do something else. Short attention span, and once they make the news they get other offers for tenure elsewhere. Academia nuts.

I'm just saying...

If LS9 can find a way to mass-produce the biotech fuels, it could be a “breakthrough” energy product...

And if I can find a way to do practical, cheap tabletop fusion, it could be a breakthrough...

And if I can find a way to make 50%-efficient solar cells as cheap and easy to apply as paint, it could be a breakthrough...

And if I can find a way to make a warp engine that harvests the karma of the universe and converts it to cheap electricity, it could be a breakthrough...

And if I can find a way to make wishes automatically become accomplishments, it could be a breakthrough...

You know, I don't much like the hard-doomer view, because I think there's a good chance we can do better. But when all you can give me are wishful if only could's, you aren't helping...

The first thing that makes me highly skeptical of this whole thing is that it is being touting by some Harvard/Cambridge people. Based on my direct experience with this bunch, it is the kiss of death for any practical, economically viable innovation.

These are high-powered academics, whose main goal is to promote new technology for its own sake and thus advance their own academic status.

Generally, their measure of success is in terms of more government grants, more graduate students to keep occupied, and more papers to present at important international conferences where they and their ilk can wank each other. If they had to build something with their own investment and try to make it succeed in the real world, they would be scared silly.

I have seen more effort wasted on what were clearly and intuitively obvious futile efforts doomed from the start due to unfixable fatal flaws merely for the sake of appearing to be 'at the cutting edge of technology' and thus garner status amongst one's academic peers.

I would put many of these carbon dioxide sequestration proposals smack in the middle of this category of nowhere projects. Since the mid 1970s I have seen perhaps a hundred news releases of incredible technological breaktrhoughs using 'all manner of superbugs' that might work fine in the test tube but then get mugged once introduced into the real world.

Ha, I love it. And I can tell that indeed you HAVE had experience with this bunch. I couldn't believe how shallow these folks could be. You take some unknown schlubs and make 'em famous by hiring them onto a hot project, get them in Nature, Newsweek, Time, etc; and then they undercut you for grant money and put out feelers to other universities while ignoring the work that got them in the papers to begin with, so you have to hire different ones. Rinse. Repeat. Then for the next ten years you have to deal with confidential inquiries from wealthy foundations considering giving them awards for the project they screwed up.

Be very afraid.....

Yes, you appear to have a very good feel for how this whole process works. Concrete, real-world results don't matter, but what does is the perception that all these super intelligent people are doing all these super creative things.

And if you should think that I am being far too curmudgeonly about the whole thing, then I invite you or anyone else, to go back about a decade or so to the popular magazines and observe those articles to the effect: Twenty young people who are on the road to make a big difference. And then just track what became of those Twenty Young Hot Shits. In general, the answer is.... usuallly nothing.

Unfortunately, real innovation usually comes not from some well-publicized academic super-star, but rather from the compuslive, socially inept nerd with a near psychotic drive to keep on going, even when any sane person tells him it's futile.

The first person to come to mind is Chester Carlson, the father of Xerography. He had kept at it for well over twenty years before there was even a slim hope of success. And when success and fabulous wealth came his way, he was very humble about it and lived way below his means. However he did leave huge endowments to worthy causes. Truly a person to admire.

Unfortunately, real innovation usually comes not from some well-publicized academic super-star, but rather from the compulsive, socially inept nerd with a near psychotic drive to keep on going, even when any sane person tells him it's futile.

Yep, that's me.

Look upon my works, ye mighty...

Sad but true. My obsessive nature just won't let me give up on a problem. At night or during the weekend, I just can't turn off my mind, it keeps going back to work on the problem of the moment. I often wake up the next morning with the solution.

My employer has gotten so much more from me, than they ever paid for.

Well bless you, and continue to do your thing with full vigor, whatever the hell it may be.

As someone famous once said (perhaps Salvador Dali?), no lazy artist ever made a a masterpiece.

Bringing forth something new and something that will TAKE, requires an extraordinary amount of drive and unshakeable faith that it WILL come to pass.

I am an amateur student of the history of technology, and I've observed again and again that some of these people who've made the important innovatons may have been literally crazy.

But if such is true for art, why shouldn't it be for technology?

When you get right down to it, large bureaucratic entities seldom innovate ANYTHING. In fact, they tend to be anti-innovative.

So, let us not look to Ivy League academia to find 'the solution', but rather to those on the fringes who have a genuine gut feel for the problem and are willing to grunt out a solution, even if it takes years of poverty to do so.

There was a fascinating book a few years ago. I can't remember the exact title or who wrote it. It something like "The Origins of Genius," and was written by a Harvard academic. I believe he was a winner of a MacArthur Genius Award himself, and he studied other 20th century "geniuses" with an eye to what makes a genius.

He found that geniuses don't come from the elite. The elite wants to preserve the status quo, and have no incentive to think outside the box. Geniuses generally don't come from the very poor or the hinterlands, either. There may be geniuses there, but they don't have access to the resources needed to manifest their genius.

Instead, he found geniuses often hail from the middle class in large cities. They are often on the fringes, socially. (From minority groups, etc.) They have incentive to shake up the current social order, and also have access to education and other resources, and to the people in power who can make things happen.

Call it the "Avis effect." They're not quite on top, so they try harder. ;-)

While you're out, bring me a few trillion cubic meters of methane from Triton, woulja?

Just don't spill any of it in the atmosphere. It's a worse GHG than CO2 or so I've heard.

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

Hello everyone:

This is my first time to post at the Oil drum. I have
been reading the articles and comments since the
summer of 2004 at the beginning of the larger increases in oil prices.

First, I would like to thank all the contributers & and
those who post comments at the oil drum because my
family is more prepared for the crises of peak oil and
all it's ramifications.

I have been speaking occasionally at several Christian
business meetings, mission groups, and churches about
peak oil. All small gatherings. Of these groups only
a few people have listened and have started to make
appropriate changes for the future, but I keep
soldiering on. I have noticed the changes in my family
have come very slowly, but it appears to be sufficient,
such as getting out of debt, gathering the tools to
survive, and developing a support group.

It appears to me that our society in the US is not
preparing for all the ramifications for peak oil, and
that a worst case scenario is imminent. Prior to the
oil age in the United States, a lot of our wild game
and forests were disappearing, there was not sufficient
grazing land in most areas for horses and cattle. The
oil age provided the alternate fuel to mitigate the
shortages. Now, with the end of the oil age, and our
much larger population, & the lack of preparation I
must realize that these facts tell us that wood, energy,
food, wild game, and all manner of things will become
very scarce and that die off will occur in US too.
Already, wars, riots, and famine are occurring in the
third world with the respect to peak oil. It is only a matter of time, once the oil supply diminishes to the
west, that it too will be visited upon the western
nations. It appears that the US and some other nations
are going to take the last man standing option. It
would have been so much better to educate the public
and develope the depletion protocol, but politicians
and people in general do not seem to want this bad
news. Misplaced hope and unatainable promises
(or lies)is what the electorate wants.

But, out of this mess we can build a future society.
So, my hope is for goodness to eventually prevail.

Put me in the doomer camp, but don't leave me there.

As a casual lurker/skimmer/kibitzer I welcome you!

Misplaced hope and unatainable promises
(or lies)is what the electorate wants.

Yes - but we must not let that become a reason for unproductive non action. Have you asked business persons what would happen with the companies they own or work with found gas went to 8 bucks a gallon or higher?

Just getting the thought in peoples heads make stir up something.

In Reply to redcoltken:

Many of the businessmen I talk to have become aware that oil could go very high to bring gas to $8 dollars per gal. and higher. The group is getting out of debt and getting ready for tough times. Some are in the oil business and now believe peak oil because I have been speaking on this
since December 2004. Some are stubborn hold outs believing that there is plenty of oil. Tulsa Oklahoma, where I live in the suburb of Broken Arrow, is a different city. Many very wealthy people and very interested in money and power. Also, there is a large group of missionaries who have become peak oil aware that I talked to. Preperation is just beginning with some of these missionaries and new work is starting in many foreign countries.

So yes, I am doing some things, and finally getting involved in todays discussion is an encouragement.

What I need is a pamphlet with some graphs and simple explanations to hand out at some of the meetings I speak at.
Any ideas?

Also, I have been invited to Ghana to speak at a national ministers conference which would include peak oil.

Start with the ASPO October 07 newsletter linked at the top of today's DrumBeat (pdf file).

Best Hopes on Spreading the Word,


I think the "Peak Oil Primer" at Energy Bulletin is a good starting place. http://www.energybulletin.net/primer.php

And I would give them that URL if they have email. Also find a good print out of Roscoe Bartlett's speeches in front of congress. Get the ones with color graphs. That has a two fold use.

First they learn about Peak Oil and second they should see (or ask them) "Now if that was done on the congressional record, and the energy departments and committees have seen it, why is it never referenced once by ANY talking head, or other congressional person?

They Are Scared Of You All Knowing. because They know the game is up as soon as we all collectively acknowledge it.

There's this:


There's also this, from the USGS which I believe was intended to be a pamphlet:

Are We Running Out of Oil? (PDF)

And this, from ASPO-Australia:

Are we running out of oil? (A MS Word document. It's a 2-page brochure based on the USGS pamphlet, which can be modified to suit your purposes)

Greetings from another Okie! The only response I've gotten when I bring this up is that "Yes, the damn Yankee's will have to freeze in the dark" and "I have tons of bullets" I think Oklahoma and Texas will get along finally and become the "Two Star" Republic.

It may be better to be a live jackal than a dead lion, but it is better still to be a live lion. And usually easier. - Heinlein
To Ride, Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth - Col Cooper

The latest ASPO-Ireland newsletter linked above includes the latest revised oil production forcast (yes revised again after only two months)
Some changes:
peak date revised from 2011 to 2010
estimated URR lowered to 2500 from 2600; mainly due to a change in gas liquids
peak production lowered to 87 mmb/d from 90 mmb/d
2006 production raised to 82 mmb/d from 80 mmb/d

Nice to see that last correction, because of the difference between his 2006 estimate and the IEA's estimate I have been reading his peak prediction as 94 mmb/d when comparing it to current production.

This most significant impact of these revisions I see is that the difference between his estimates of peak and current production has dropped from 10 to 5 mmb/d.

His? You mean Colin Campbell?

I was just looking at my Oil Poster today, and it seemed ASPO's prediction was a peak for conventional in 2005. Some unconventional was predicted to come online after that, and therefore the peak in 2010 or thereabouts, total liquids. No big change then really, but obviously the per-day figures are not what we expected a few years back. :)

Has ASPO-Ireland revised their forecast ? If so, does anyone know when ? Just as of the most recent newsletter ?



PS: Millennium Institute ran their T21 model with my scenario and ASPO-Ireland #s, so I would like to double check that data input (ASPO world oil production #s)

IIRC this is their third revision this year, previous revisions in were in the March and August newsletters. I think this is the only recent revision that has reduced the estimated URR.

Paradigm shifts require too much abstract reasoning for the general population to respond. Only a few people actually see the danger, and fewer still are speaking out. Fewer yet are listened to. The oil companies are perking up--Chevron, for example. Unfortunately the level and depth of change we are expecting from a society is unrealistic. Which doesn't mean that aware people give up and stop trying. It's just that the Titanic is a good metaphor for societies about to run into icebergs while they shout "this ship is unsinkable." For most it will be too late to turn; perhaps because of folks like Alan, RR and others, some will survive.

For a paradigm-shifty thing, see Waste to energy-maker when it goes live (I don't have a date from the editors yet, but it's finished and ready when they are).

Peak Oiler Mike Dabrowski's modified Honda Insight is written up at Autosavant.net today.

His web site is: http://www.99mpg.com

A very good interview about his car and his views on PO can be watched here:


I, like the poster above, have been lurking since August 05. Have learned a great many things thanks to all of the wonderful work done here.

I live in western Oregon and am a member of the Grange organization. I just gave a presentation on peak oil at a leadership gathering and how the Grange is uniquely qualified to respond. I have committed to doing it again for anyone that can set it up. That was terrifying.

Anyway, one attendee said he had just returned from Indiana where the newspaper was saying there was 200 years of oil in the ground under the urban areas and they weren't sure how they were going to get it out. Now I've tried googling for this article but found nothing. I tried to explain the importance of flow rates, but would like more information. I did find some information on estimated remaining reserves in the Illinois Basin. If anyone has some input that would be great.

Another comment was from a woman who was traveling around the western states in the mid 70s bumping into teams of geologists. They explained they were drilling and capping. I suggested to her that they were probably doing exploration wells.

The belief by several in attendance is that the US is sitting on large reserves and just waiting for everyone else to run out before we go back to ours. I explained that this was very unlikely, at $80/barrel they'd be out there pumping like crazy.

Has anyone had a chance to read and review David Blume's book 'Alcohols a Gas'?

Thanks for everyone's hard work, it's a daily dose of reality.


One mental image to use is that the world is using 1,000 barrels of oil PER SECOND. Not per minute, but per second. And the USA is using 1/4th of that.

Missed fields may add some oil, but more like 1 or maybe 10 barrels/second.

Another point is that the East Texas Oil Field (the one that won WW II) still pumps 1 million barrels/day. Unfortunately it is 99% water.

Best Hopes for Getting People to Think,


Alan said,
"One mental image to use is that the world is using 1,000 barrels of oil PER SECOND. Not per minute, but per second. And the USA is using 1/4th of that."

Sounds astounding don't it?

Try this stat I got at Wikipedia.... "More than 133 billion liters (35 billion gallons) are sold per year — producing total global revenues of $294.5 billion (£147.7 billion) in 2006.[7]"

What product you think is being referred to?


Interesting how anything can be made to sound horrendous if you just stack the numbers right. I thought about this the other day, when I got behind one after the other 4 various brands of beer transporters. How much Diesel fuel do we use hauling beer in the U.S.? I can't even remember the last time I got hung behind a gasoline tanker. (To be fair, they often deliver at night....outta sight, outta mind!)


What's yer point, Roger?

I had some great beer today. Humanity does not depend on it. Wet-hopped NW good stuff.

Try brewing your own gasoline at home.

A cubic mile of beer would be a great thing.

Don't drink and post.

got2surf asked,
What's yer point, Roger?

My post was meant pretty much in jest actually, but it just fascinated me in some way...
I mean, if somebody gave you the raw number, 35 billion gallons a year...and then suppose they started in hammering everyday, everyday, THINK about that volume, think about what resources must be needed to produce that, to bottle or can or barrel it, think about the number, think about the fuel the trucks needed to move it, to get it to the customer, HOW can you believe that could be sustainable as an industry, the hops, the barley, the land space used to grow the crops, the fertilizer, this could be ground used for raising food! The infrastructure and costs to move the crops to the brewer, the brass that must be used in making the stills, THIS CANNOT be a sustainable industry! Now, hammer on that, every day, every day, IT'S 35 BILLION GALLONS A YEAR! Can you even picture a number like that? Now, break it down by the consumption per day, per hour, per minute, per second....and stay on this issue every day. I can make a very compelling case, just by constant hammering, and staying on those numbers that we are in a BEER EMERGENCY NOW and just don't it!

Yet, with the beer industry having to deliver 35 billion gallons of beer to the world market every year, I have heard of no beer panics lately!

My point is that when we see these staggering numbers of the oil industry, we have to put it in some perspective, and be careful about using raw numbers just to awe, and ask ourselves WHAT point we are trying to make.

I recently saw a story that felt it proved beyond a doubt that solar would never happen, simply because it would require dozens of million of solar panels. WHO can believe that many solar panels can actually be built? They were constructing an argument based on scale with no context. Who can believe the number of automobiles, trucks, refrigerators, television sets, computers, on and on, that we already build?

My point: Scale alone does not prove a point.


Yeah well, I don't know of organic beer yet but it will be necessary when oil is scarce and wheat, yeast and hops are also scarce. Beer then in billions of gallons won't be an issue.
How many solar panels per home do you think is required to reproduce the power consumed by other means....scale that up.
Then scale up the amount of solar panels required to run a blast furnace or power The Empire State Building.
Then there is the night............

Now tell me scale can't prove a point.

35 billion barrels on the wall

35 billion barrels

take 1 billion pass it around

34 billion barrels on the wall

whats this about? Peak beer? Oh the horror. Oh well, I know how to make it. No sweat! put the rest of the domesticated brewing back in the horse!

Homebrewers unite!

World moves into the ecological red

Ecological Debt Day this year is three days earlier than in 2006 which itself was three days earlier than in 2005. NEF said the date had moved steadily backwards every year since humanity began living beyond its environmental means in the 1980s.

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

Chertoff Defends Border Fence

Meanwhile, our biggest environmental problem is banana peels and discarded water bottles.

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

I cannot help but wonder if they are anticipating a catabolic collapse in Mexico, and the real purpose of the fence is to keep the hordes out.

Yeah right.

That's why ABC News led off with a story on it's nightly news tonight, Sunday, making the case that without a liberated system to allow Mexican workers into the U.S., we are not able to harvest the food crop that has been grown.

They claimed this is a crisis as soon as this harvesting season, (NOW), and will only get worse, allowing food to rot in the fields and driving up food prices unless we allow much liberalized immigrant regulation for migrant workers.

We buy poison slop from China and consider it good business while berate our border neigbors endlessly. The whole thing smacks of anti Latino racism.

Opps, did I say that out loud....

You know, there are some jobs that 'Murrikans just won't do...

The opening link on todays Oil Drum quoted the following line...

"Industry optimism regarding long-term energy supply prospects, these official reports indicate, has now given way to a deep-seated pessimism, even in the biggest of Big Oil corporate headquarters."

Energy supply in general is of no concern to "Big Oil corporate headquarters".
BIG OIL supply and sales is the concern, and they have reason to be pessimistic.

The world is indeed changing. They now face huge challenges in getting the raw material they sell, peak oil now or peak oil in 20 years. The oil is difficult to exttact in a way it had not earlier been, and in all the wrong places.

Big Oil now faces a new set of challenges. They will soon face challenges for the fuel in the transportation market they have not seen since the birth of the industry.

Allow me to suggest two excellent links I have recently found very informative:

Excellent Lithium Ion battery link:


Sollar House Tour
(PDF warning)

Those who have read my prior posts know my conviction that the grid based automobile is
the most likely way to achieve large scale drops in the consumption of gasoline in the
United States.

These are very much along the lines of the recent "Volt" by GM as shown in concept at car
shows, or the Volvo plug in, shown more frequently in Europe.

Do actually read the 3 page report on Lithium Ion batteries, and the A123 firm. Despite hysterical rantings often spread here and in other forums, thes batteries can be produced and are actually very efficient using such materials as iron and carbon. The industry is already advancing beyond the use of rare Earth minerals. It is interesting stuff.

The two pressing questions have been of course where the power to charge these vehicles
will come from, given that we do not want to create more coal fired electric consumption, and how soon will the batteries be ready.

Thus, the related nature of the technology of advanced batteries and advanced PV solar
become obvious.

Developments in both industries are moving rapidly, and show signs of even greater
acceleration of advance very soon. I have said on prior occasions that I feel this is the
reason that OPEC and other world oil producers are reluctant to commit to major
investment in increased oil producton.

We now seem to be in a transition period, between an oil based transportation technology,
and one that is decidedly much more diverse. Hard times to decide how to invest!

I will leave the links above to tell the rest of the story. Enjoy, the reading is actually very
interesting for information gained at no costs. One can tell the stakes are increasing in
the alternative energy trade, as most information online now costs money.


Thank You RC, I could not agree with you more, please post more often.

A reasonable conclusion to Climate Change etc.


Regrettably, I think the average Joe Sixpack is feeling pretty pretty darn lucky. Look at the rising towers of worship in Las Vegas.

So Joe is still picking column "B" (the no Plan B column).

Found this on Energybulletin website

Secessionists meeting in Tennessee

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - In an unlikely marriage of desire to secede from the United States, two advocacy groups from opposite political traditions — New England and the South — are sitting down to talk.


I think Texas could pull it off. But Then I live here. We have illegal immigrants, oil & gas, fishing, oil & gas, cattle, oil & gas, farming, oil & gas, medical and lords knows we get plenty of rain in Houston. We could export our labor to other states. For a price you understand! Nothings free. haha!

Did I mention Texas has oil and gas?

Texas has oil, but not enough to supply it's own demand. Texas is a net oil importer.

All those cars driving around Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, Ft. Worth, Austin and those rural folk burn more than you produce.

Much of your natural gas production is used within the state, but you are still net exporters there.


Texas seceding would save us from any more presidents from Texas. LBJ, Bush I and Bush II are enough punishment. Good riddance. Iowa would survive nicely on ethanol, biodiesel and wind. Oil comes from Canada now.

I don't believe I've seen this news posted here yet:

Fertilizer maker Agrium Inc (AGU.TO: Quote) will shut its Kenai nitrogen plant in Alaska after failing to secure needed natural has supplies, the company said on Tuesday.

More at Reuters Canada.