DrumBeat: October 16, 2007

Supply concerns propel oil to new record

Light, sweet crude for November delivery rose $1.48 to settle at $87.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices reached a new record trading high of $88.20 earlier in the session and eclipsed the record close of $86.13 a barrel set on Monday.
And this is one reason why:

PKK's Armed Wing Reiterates Threat To BTC Pipeline

A rebel Kurdish group Tuesday reiterated a threat to attack the BP PLC (BP)-led Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, a day before Turkey's Parliament is expected to approve a motion allowing the government to attack Kurdish separatists in Iraq.

A Three Way For The Real Third Way

My favourite line concerning the reams of “Is peak oil just a theory?” literature was actually told to me by a climate scientist. U of T's very own dr. Danny Harvey, a lead author of the IPCC's AR4. What he said was: "Peak Oil is a just theory in the same sense that Round Earth is just a theory."

Home-grown demand driving OPEC growth

OPEC members in the Middle East are becoming their own best customers for crude, as the booming region's growing demand for oil offsets weakness in the developed world to keep supplies tight and prices under pressure.

...Edward Walker, a former U.S. state department official and now a scholar with the Washington-based Middle East Institute, said much of the growth in demand for crude oil in the Middle East is the result of the producers' efforts to process the raw material before exporting it.

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran in particular are investing billions to expand their refining and petrochemical capacity. In Iran, the government is imposing rationing in a so-far unsuccessful effort to reduce the consumption of heavily subsidized gasoline and diesel, which the country must import.

"As these countries start to build up their own economic capacity and standards of living start to increase, then the demand for petroleum product starts to go up in the Middle East, just as everywhere else, Mr. Walker said.

Will a New Phenomenon, The ‘ASPO Effect,’ Send Oil Prices Higher This Week?

Starting Wednesday the U.S. branch of a global group of oil experts who believe the world is at or very near “peak oil” production will hold a four-day meeting that could unleash an important new phenomenon impacting the price of oil.

Call it the “ASPO Effect,” after the group that will be holding the meeting, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas, commonly known as ASPO.

Venezuelan oil output fell 26,700 bpd

The performance of the Venezuelan oil industry last month was no good news, as domestic output tumbled 26,700 bpd and the country lost five rigs, while the other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) heightened production.

Russia promises stable energy supply to EU

Russia will maintain stable energy supplies to the European Union (EU) despite rising oil prices, Russian Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said here Tuesday.

Little Oil at Risk From Turkey-Kurdish Tension

Only a fraction of global oil supply could be immediately threatened by a Turkish incursion into northern Iraq, but crude prices have surged on concern any conflict may escalate and disrupt the flow from the Middle East.

Climate scientists paint grim coastal picture

Around the world, oceanographers, glaciologists and climate modellers are trying to get a handle on how much ice is likely to disappear from Greenland and Antarctica by 2100, and what the likely effect will be on our oceans, including on sea levels.

Senior NASA climatologist James Hansen estimates this effect could raise our oceans by 5m over the next century. Most sea-level research, however, including that by three respected Tasmanian scientists, projects a 100-year rise of around 1m.

Fundamentals could brake oil before it hits $100

"It looks to us like oil is a $70-$80 commodity," said Adam Robinson, analyst at Lehman Brothers.

"We would expect additional oil from OPEC, Brazil and the Gulf of Mexico, combined with lower refinery demand for crude as the maintenance season deepens, to restrain crude oil price strength going forward."

Iran needs billions more dollars for fuel import

Iran needs to request an extra two billion dollars to import petrol after its original budget allocation ran out half way through the year, the Isna news agency reported yesterday.

The shortfall comes despite a rationing plan imposed in June that aimed to curb Iran’s massive imports of refined oil products made necessary by its frenzied consumption and lack of refineries.

Iran fuel imports could drop to $4bn

Iran is expected to import about $4 billion worth of gasoline during the Iranian year ending in March 2008, a senior official said on Monday, suggesting a decline of at least 20% from the previous year.

Increases in corn prices causes difficulties for developing nations

"We're exporting less and have less surplus to send to these developing countries." Gregory McIsaac, professor of environmental science at the University of Illinois, said.

Although we are not directly taking resources from these countries, the more the demand for corn rises, the less likely they will be able to purchase it.

Thailand: Pressure to lift fuel fees

Thai airlines are under strong pressure to raise fuel surcharges to respond to higher jet fuel prices, which are approaching US$100 per barrel.

Thailand: Bus riders to have a say on future fare increases

Last week, the central land transport committee decided to allow private bus operators to raise their fares, beginning yesterday, to cope with rising diesel fuel prices.

Fares went up by 50 satang for regular city buses, one baht for air-conditioned city buses and by three satang per kilometre for inter-provincial buses.

However, Transport Minister Theera Haocharoen ordered the two state-run bus agencies, Bangkok Mass Transit Authority and the Transport Co, which operates inter-provincial buses, to freeze their fares for three months.

UK: Fuel duty increase has implications for all areas of life

Almost everything the nation consumes is the product of a lorry journey and the Government has now increased the cost of all of those journeys.

Greens seek plans to oil-proof Australia

Senator Milne said Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd needed to commit to a national target to oil-proof Australia.

"Let's replace 90 per cent of petrol demand by 2050 by electrifying both the public and the private transport fleet and let's move to a major injection into second generation biofuels," Senator Milne told reporters.

"The world is running out of cheap easily accessible oil."

A Call to Arms

The world is at an energy crossroads, and the decisions made about cars and oil in America and China over the next decade or so will set the course for the coming century. That is because energy infrastructure, be that automobile factories or petrochemical refineries, can last for decades, and the greenhouse gases emitted can last even longer. If we are to set our energy system on the right course before real crisis hits in a decade or two, we need to start that transition now.

Ports seek cost-effective energy

All this oil-generated market chaos makes what the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles are engaged in right now that much more relevant and timely.

Flush with cash and eager to clean up the environment, port authorities are pouring tens of millions into the research, development and implementation of alternative fuels and energy options for the goods-movement industry.

Oil users brace for costly winter

Add another discouraging reality to an economic picture that already includes record home foreclosures, massive federal deficits and depressed consumer confidence: The cost of heating a home with oil will probably set another record this winter.

Venezuela: Energy profile

Venezuela contains some of the largest oil and natural gas reserves in the world. It consistently ranks as one the top suppliers of U.S. oil imports and is among the top ten crude oil producers in the world.

Demand for uranium strengthens, says ERA

URANIUM producer Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) says long term demand for the nuclear fuel remains strong after delivering a dip in output for the third quarter of 2007.

Australia: Riches in energy harvesting, farmers told

Farmers could be almost $3 billion a year richer if they invested in clean energy measures such as wind and carbon farming, according to a report by the nation's top science agency.

Sales strong at Winnebago

Winnebago Industries Inc.’s fourth-quarter earnings surged 59 percent, a reflection of increased sales of its larger and higher-profit motor homes.

Gathering takes on state of supply

The state of the world's oil resources will take center stage at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil's four-day conference in Houston this week.

Speeches, round-table discussions and question-and-answer sessions will dominate the gathering at the downtown Hilton Hotel. Speakers will include Texas oilman and private equity firm head T. Boone Pickens; Matthew Simmons, CEO of Simmons & Company International; and U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md., co-chairman of the Congressional Peak Oil Caucus.

Libya sees no reason for further OPEC oil supply boost

OPEC member Libya does not see a need for the exporter group to raise oil output further to lower record oil prices and called on consumer countries to cut fuel taxes, the country's top oil official said on Tuesday.

Azarov: Ukraine is ready to refuse gas mediators

Ukraine’s government supports possible change to direct relations between “Gasprom” and “Naftogas Ukraine” under condition on acceptable gas price preservation. Finance Minister of Ukraine Mykola Azarov said that.

Indian Prime Minister calls off nuclear deal with the United States

India has officially informed the United States that it has frozen a bilateral nuclear deal that was supposed to herald a new strategic alliance between the biggest democracy in the world and the richest.

High uranium prices boost exploration: IAEA

igh uranium prices will spur exploration that could more than triple known global deposits, avoiding a shortage as China ramps up its nuclear capacity, a top executive with the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

No easy options on renewable energy sources

Sunlight, which is plentiful in South Africa, will not, like uranium and coal, become depleted.

Yet Eskom, the national power utility, plans to invest far more on coal-fired and nuclear power than on solar or wind energy. Of the additional 40 000 megawatts (MW) Eskom plans to build, about 20 000MW will be generated from nuclear.

ANALYSIS-Biofuel industry fights the critics

Biofuel supporters are fighting criticism that the "green", alternative transport fuel has raised food prices and harms the environment, amid mounting evidence that the debate is harming the industry.

Cost of food aid soars as need rises

A "perfect storm" of drought, conflict and rising costs has increased the ranks of the chronically hungry by millions of people, and forced aid workers to find and fund longer-term solutions to the food crisis.

The United Nations says the number of chronically hungry people worldwide rises by an average of 4 million each year.

At the same time global fuel prices have soared, pushing up road transport costs and global maritime shipping rates.

Thailand: Local fuel prices set to rise on global oil price surge

To ease a hardship of people, he suggested, the Energy Ministry reduce a contribution to the State Oil Fund temporarily and the people turn to consume gasohol because costs are lower.

Skybus cuts 3 of 5 West Coast flights

The announcement comes as oil prices have hit record highs, leading some airlines to raise ticket prices and shed fuel-guzzling long-haul flights in favor of shorter, more-profitable ones.

South Africa's Sasol coal mine strike affects output

South Africa's Sasol, the world's biggest maker of fuel from coal, said a strike over wages by some 2,000 workers at coal mines owned by entered its third day on Tuesday, affecting output.

Platts Says Daily Production May Fall

Platts Chief Economist Larry Chorn foresees tighter supply/demand balance in oil within three years. He bases this analysis on a significant under investment in global field development activities during 2005. Major oil fields require a minimum of three years of engineering and construction and often an additional year or more to reach peak production rates after start-up.

"The fact that the industry fell behind in 2005 investment, the most recent year that complete data is available, means there will likely be a continued tight supply demand balance in and beyond 2010, in spite of a 70 percent investment increase in 2005 over 2000."

The Platts study shows that the shortfall in 2005 could lead to a 0.8 million barrel per day reduction in anticipated spare capacity within three years, if the International Energy Agency (IEA) demand forecast is correct. This shortfall could grow to 4 million barrels per day in 2011 as existing fields continue to decline and demand rises.

OPEC says has done enough to cool record oil price

OPEC has done its utmost to satisfy the world's demand for fuel and pumping even more crude will do little to halt oil's rally towards $88 a barrel, officials said on Tuesday.

OPEC daily average oil prices hit record high

Daily average oil prices of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose by 0.51 U.S. dollars to a record 77.46 dollars per barrel last Friday, 0.03 dollars higher than the previous high on Sept. 28, the cartel said Monday.

Angola oil output set to rise above 2 mln bpd

Angola's crude oil production is expected to rise above 2 million barrels per day for the first time in December as new fields come online and others ramp up output, trade sources said on Tuesday.

Venezuela Will Avert Devaluation as Oil Soars, Citigroup Says

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's government will be able to avert a devaluation of the currency this year and next as a surge in the price of oil swells the nation's reserves, according to a report by Citigroup Inc.

Climate change: no more 'wait and see'

It was 1988 when NASA scientist James Hansen first testified before Congress about the human contribution to climate change and its potentially disastrous consequences. Early on, decision-makers and scientists each responded to research on global warming with a “wait and see” attitude. While many Americans remain skeptical, last week’s award is another sign that it’s time to make up our minds: global warming is real.

At its first meeting in 1990, the IPCC wrote that observed increases in temperature “could be largely due to...natural variability.”

Since then, climate change research has matured, producing a strong body of evidence backed by robust statistics. Successive IPCC congresses have issued ever-grimmer reports about potential environmental consequences.

Change the message to save the planet

Once again, telling people they have to give something up is an unproductive way to change their behaviour. Advertisers, those experts in motivation, never use the word save. Even if a product saves time or money they still avoid the word and highlight the wonderful things you could do with that extra money or time.

But people are not told about the wonderful things they could do with this planet if they save it. They are told, endlessly, of the appalling things that will happen if they don't. This is blackmail and it simply doesn't work.

But the biggest problem with "save the planet" lies with the underlying concept that people can be motivated to make personal changes by a gentle appeal to a vast collective goal. Why should anyone be told that it is their personal responsibility to save the planet any more than it is their responsibility to end global poverty or stop war?

Oil sprints towards $88

Oil thundered towards $88 a barrel on Tuesday, hitting a new record and extending a rally that has added eight dollars in a week on tight supplies, strong demand and tension in northern Iraq.

Oil is closing in on the inflation-adjusted high of $90.46 seen in 1980, the year after the Iranian revolution and at the start of the Iran-Iraq war. Prices this year have averaged $67.

At 7:08 a.m., U.S. crude was up $1.33 at $87.46, off a high of $87.97. London Brent was up $1.22 at $83.97.

Oil surges to record; gas prices don't follow suit

Veteran oil analyst Tom Kloza at consultant Oil Price Information Service called this "the last inning of the 2007 crude-oil (price) rally" in an analysis written Friday. He doesn't think the price will break $91.

Brown says recent data show, "In general, expectations were that prices would stay below $95." He thinks that $10 of the current price is "froth" driven by speculators rather than true supply-and-demand issues. That means prices could tumble if investors decide oil is too expensive and start selling their holdings.

Kloza says additional refining capacity coming soon could help hold down prices. Reliance Industries in India is adding a 580,000-barrel-per-day refinery, bigger than the biggest U.S. refinery, as soon as a year from now. Reliance says the new unit is specifically meant to produce fuels for export and should have low costs because it can handle less costly low-quality crude oil.

Kloza also cites a 325,000-barrel-per-day expansion by Shell Oil at Port Arthur, Texas.

No talk of further OPEC oil output boost: delegates

Delegates from two OPEC countries in the Middle East said on Tuesday they were not aware of any discussion about boosting the group's output beyond the 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) increase already in train.

China Daqing oilfield to hold back decline in '07

China's biggest oilfield, Daqing, will produce oil and gas equivalent to some 45 million tonnes of crude in 2007, roughly the same amount as last year, the company's chairman Wang Yupu said on Monday.

Cnooc Aims for Bohai Bay to be China's 2nd Largest Oil Field

Chinese offshore oil producer Cnooc Ltd. (CEO) aims to increase production at Bohai Bay to make it the country's second-largest oil field in terms of output within five years, company officials said.

Putin visits Iran, sends warnings to US

Russian leader Vladimir Putin met his Iranian counterpart Tuesday and implicitly warned the U.S. not to use a former Soviet republic to stage an attack on Iran. He also said nations shouldn't pursue oil pipeline projects in the area if they weren't backed by regional powers.

Chevron-led Russia venture faces challenges: report

An energy development consortium led by U.S. oil producer Chevron Corp. (CVX.N) in Kazakhstan is facing challenges from the Russian government over a pipeline that runs through Russian territory, the Wall Street Journal reported.

...The Russian government, which holds a 24 percent stake in the venture through its state-owned pipeline monopoly OAO Transneft, has blocked the expansion, arguing that Russia should receive more revenue, the paper said.

Gazpromneft Ups Stake in Chevron JV to 75%

Russia's OAO Gazpromneft, the listed oil-producing subsidiary of OAO Gazprom, Monday said it increased to 75% its stake the joint venture with Chevron's subsidiary Chevron Neftegaz.

Facing the looming energy crisis

It's not rocket science: we are nearing the point of peak oil production, the data suggests, and when that happens, oil will start running out. That's when oil prices will really soar...

The Mogambo Guru: Jobs fight to the death

And another thing that is unbelievable concerning inflation in prices is the mental disconnect about oil. Kevin Capp, in the Rude Awakening newsletter, writes that the latest report from the International Energy Agency shows that Peak Oil is here, we are all freaking doomed, and we should be running down the street screaming our guts out in mortal fear, completely nude if you want, but wearing some good footwear since scuffing up your bare feet would be just adding insult to injury.

Although they did not use those words exactly, he reports that the agency did say that, "the global production of liquids dropped by 854,000 barrels per day from August 2006-August 2007".

Looking back

IT'S FALL 2008.

Most outdoor events at the Beijing Olympics were canceled this August due to stifling heat and abysmal air. Populations the world over spilled onto sun-sered streets this summer, escaping baking hovels and failing farms, demanding swift action on climate change. Looking back, it's been a tumultuous year.

Extremes and volatility have become the new norm, as unwieldy winds whipped up over warming seas and lands usher in rapidly shifting fronts.

Brazil's leader calls on Africa to embrace biofuels production

Brazil's President Luiz Ignacio Lula Da Silva called Monday on Africa to join a biofuels "revolution" to democratize access to energy across the continent.

"Brazil invites Burkina Faso and all of Africa to join the biofuels revolution. With biofuels we can democratize access to energy in Africa," Lula said.

World events work against grain buyers

"We can only (boost prices) so much until the customer sees the pinch," says Richardson, who uses organic ingredients but hasn't touted it in her advertising. That gives her more latitude to switch to conventional flour, which now costs about $10 a bag less than organic, though it's experienced similar price jumps this year. It also means she must rework baking formulas to ensure the product her customers expect and, she says, lower her "laurels on flavor and sustainability."

The tightest world grain stocks in about 30 years are contributing to rising food inflation, fueling worries about food shortages in some countries and straining international aid budgets. Russia recently imposed taxes on barley and grain exports to control domestic food prices before pending presidential elections.

Virgin Atlantic 747 to test biofuel in early 2008

British billionaire Richard Branson said on Monday his Virgin Group hopes to produce clean biofuels by around the start of the next decade and early next year will test a jet plane on renewable fuel.

Virgin hopes to provide clean fuel for buses, trains and cars within three or four years, Branson told a Mortgage Bankers Association meeting in Boston.

Monsanto increases investment in Mendel

Monsanto Co said on Monday that it had increased its investment in Mendel Biotechnology Inc in a deal that will boost the privately held company's work in cellulosic biofuels like grasses and food crop waste.

Al Gore, provocateur

Whether you think global warming is a hoax or an impending catastrophe, the fact is you do think about it. You have an opinion; you've debated it with friends and family. Maybe you've stopped driving a gas guzzler, dialed back the thermostat or adjusted your lifestyle in countless other ways to save energy.

And chances are, that is happening largely because of Al Gore. Whether you peg him as a visionary or a scaremonger, he has introduced the potential dangers of global warming to mainstream America, via his writing, speeches and an Academy Award-winning movie.

Killer cow emissions

All told, livestock are responsible for 18% of greenhouse-gas emissions worldwide, according to the U.N. -- more than all the planes, trains and automobiles on the planet. And it's going to get a lot worse. As living standards rise in the developing world, so does its fondness for meat and dairy. Annual per-capita meat consumption in developing countries doubled from 31 pounds in 1980 to 62 pounds in 2002, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, which expects global meat production to more than double by 2050. That means the environmental damage of ranching would have to be cut in half just to keep emissions at their current, dangerous level.

Austria to host global warming meeting

Innsbruck — home to two Winter Olympics — is hosting a conference on how to cope with the warm winters and lackluster snowfall caused by global warming.

Some 400 people from 20 countries are in the Austrian winter sports mecca for three days of discussions on the future of the Alps. Discussions will focus on eight core themes related to mountains, including ecology, natural hazards, health and spatial planning and development.

Kyoto approach on climate is "bad policy": Bush

President George W. Bush said on Monday his administration's approach of emphasizing voluntary approaches to address climate change was working and he denounced Kyoto-style mandatory caps as "bad policy."

Bush's comments were the latest sign that his opposition to binding emissions caps remains firmly entrenched, even as he has made efforts to show he wants to be more engaged in the global debate on climate change amid sharp criticism from other countries.

Sorry to be hogging this but i really had to post this.
Emailed Joe Kernen this morning who kept blaming speculators. Really had to vent.
Here was my email to him

To Joe Moronic Kernen,

Please wake up to the reality of peak oil. Stop blaming speculators. You
are misleading your viewers. Here are some f***ing facts you and your
band of merry idiots can check out.

1) The world will use 88 million barrels per day (mbpd)in the 4th
quarter and produce only 84.5 mbpd. Did they teach you demand and supply
at MIT or did you get a degree in brain farts?

2) the total oil controlled by the net long position of speculators can
be found at cftc.gov and is less than a couple of days of world usage at
best. And because it is a commodity it is matched by a net short
position by commericals. If those words challenge your chimp vocabulary
I suggest you take time to acquaint yourself with them.

3)In days of coverage the world oil inventories are at the lowest level
in the last 15 years.

How can you have exposure to the wisdom of Matt Simmons and still
display that high level of completely unjustified arrogance? Your
flippant dealing of the most important issue facing mankind will have
your going down as the Typhoid Mary of this optimistic disease of
wishing upon a star.
Hey you ask Boone pickens for predictions right? Here are a few for you
in his style.

$150 before $200 a barrel
$250 before $500 a barrel
Joe kernen being declared a moron before being declared a complete
Hows that?

Here was his reply.

I'll bet you're an academic

Rarely do we get mail from such a pompous blowhard... but when we do
it's usually

from someone that couldn't get a real job

and finally mine back to him
You figured that all by yourself seeing my @edu address or did your co chimps help you?
Dispute one fact written below Joe I dare you.
As for a real job I have an MD and I am working on my PhD.
I truly regret not getting a "real" job like yours but they werent handing our free lobectomies anymore.


bang bang!

did the shooting already started?

he replied
Ahhh an md!! That’s where the pompousity comes in… also

well known on wall street as the worst investors.. combined with the biggest ego!…

God complex I guess

I’ve seen this movie before.. let me guess.. are you even 30? To

be so sure of things… that passes with age

Next recession oil goes back to 35… hopefully with you’re phd you’ll

stay in the lab and not use your great people skills on actual patient

And my reply,
As expected you did not dispute a single fact posted.
I would send you my tax returns if want to see how much I made in investing but that would be beside the point.
Sure oil will go down in a recession, but from what point? You have had Steve Forbes saying " Oil will go down to $15...little later oil will go down to $20 and now he says $45." His "down" point is higher than what oil was when he started his stupid predictions. The point is not the price , the point is that peak production has been reached. GDP cannot grow without increasing oil consumption. Prices may go down to $60 or $65 but you are hallucinating if you are thinking about $35. World GDP will have to contract by 2-3% to align supply and demand in 2008.

I'll tell you what how about a public bet?
Prices in 2010 ? If it is less than $150 you win. If it is more than $150 I win.

And BTW you are proving my point. You could not invalidate a single point I made and went after my profession. Come on Joe . Show that there is a neuron still hanging on there with its last breath. Dispute the facts.

We're always "adjusting for inflation".

How about adjusting for deflation.

Because if oil drops to $45, a bottle of beer will cost a quarter.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Sure. That ave family health insurance bill of 12 grand is going to drop to 3 grand any day now.

highly Unlikely as I am sure you implied but deflation is possible in such a high debt laden economy. Unlikely poltically but possible.

Fire: You cannot have deflation in all sectors of the economy as many sectors are not competitive (free market). Will surgeons currently charging $600 thou drop their price to $200 thou? Are insurance companies planning to slash rates? Is Goldman planning to slash their fees by 2/3 is some looming price war for business? How likely is is that your local government is planning to slash your property tax mill rate by 2/3 in some sort of "deflationary" environment? More likely that as property values fall, they will increase the mill rate to hold their revenue together. For all the free market BS, huge portions of the USA economy are anything but which makes deflation more difficult to achieve.

Again you illustrate beautifully deflation's affect.

How about a definition of deflation.

"Money disappears faster than it can be created."

See Housing Price Collapse $1.2 Trillion
and $45 Trillion in SIV Derivatives for details.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

I agree. Totally unlikely but I still maintain its possible. If we had someone at the fed acknowledge that inflation was running at 7% and he raised interest rates to 12% we would wipe out a lot of wealth to the point where surgeons and insurance companies will have to lower prices. Maybe not as much as your example but they would have to lower rates.

Surgeons very well could slash their fees by 2/3rds if all of a sudden no one has the money for surgery.

I would say it's very unlikely, but possible.


GGG: Both Hillary and the musclehead leading California have proposed taxpayers funding health insurance for those who cannot afford it-so you are right, it is very unlikely.

Health Care will increase, just like Oil Discovery/Production.

That doesn't preclude deflation.

Like oil (just like oil AAMOF) the poorest will drop out.

And an ever smaller circle will contain the last of the Empire's Citizens/EC.

How do you know if you've made the cut and are still
an EC?

You can afford Health Care/Insurance.

Asimov's Foundation keeps intruding/coming to mind here. ;}

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Asimov's Foundation keeps intruding/coming to mind here. ;}

Doesn't it? :)

Sounds like I'd better find Asimov's Foundation and read it.

Around here, the retired ppl have health insurance etc., but anyone under 50, fuhgeddabouddit.

As for car insurance etc. I'll just state that in this land of plentiful goathead weeds, lethal to bike tires and even thin car tires, there are an awful lot of people biking on old beaters, walking, and hitchhiking.

The basic trappings of being an Empire Citizen, such as car ownership, house ownership, health care, dental care, even in many cases adequate nutrition, are only enjoyed by a smaller and smaller group, and most of that group old and obtained those trappings 20 or more years ago and have been coasting ever since.

Read the Original Foundation book - then one written in the 1940's

i know

i have been thinking this for some time - those books i read so long ago but were so memorable for me... it's funny going back and seeing how simplistic and unsophisticated Asimov's writing style is (you don't notice that reading them in early teens) yet how rich and prescient his ideas are

i certainly think a smart lifeboat strategy based on a Foundation approach is going to be the end result - either planned or not... it won't be two either - it'll be a whole bunch of them... but a set of common rules and principles will align lifeboats loosely for a post fall world...

but i don't think it is just waiting out the die off - it is also waiting out the hunker down with guns hoarding brigade... the Bush to Paraguay lot - they'll survive a while in an unsustainable way by hoarding lots and running small manageable fascist-run enclaves... but ultimately they'll run out of hoards and stockpiles... all the time fantasizing about how they are surviving with enough guns to take over the world again
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Given all this talk about Foundation I've not read them in maybe twenty five years, so I walked to the local library. No Foundation, but Prelude to Foundation was there, so I've started ...

prelude to foundation is like Star Wars episodes i-iii i.e. written after the original

but definitely read them - the core three books are the best and the original story arc, but there is then a periphery of additional foundation books that are secondary
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Hello Fleam,

Suggestion: I think your time could be better spent by using an advanced google search of my numerous Foundation postings of predictive collapse and directed decline for optimal paradigm shifting. Use TheOilDrum.com as a limiting website constraint. For broader search strategies, if you analyze the found text with a Peak Everything mindset: there are also excellent web summaries of Asimov's Foundation and Wikilinks to help quickly ramp up your understanding of optimal decline.

I am certainly not an expert on this subject, but I hope TODers can really help add more expertise and analysis over time. Now if we could only get a huge supercomputing cluster to further flog the data-dog.....

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


You're back! I tried to email you but it bounced back. I thought maybe Dick Cheney had dispatched a UAV predator drone to your neck of Asphaltistan.

Hello The Chimp Who Can Drive,

Yep--Just got my old computer and big screen resusitated back onto the WWW. I was tired of borrowing someone else's laptop and connection because the dinky screen was a PITA to read.

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

"Now if we could only get a huge supercomputing cluster..."

Bob, IMHO this site is the biocomputer from "Hitchhiker's Guide"; you're participating in reaching the conclusions.

Errol in Miami

Yup - I wonder if we have a Salvor Hardin busy being born right now....

Good point. Like steve forbes always keeps saying that the fed needs to get Gold under $400. If they did that NAsdaq would be below a 1000.


Well, at least you were polite... ;^)

I've met more than one doctor whose idea of a business letter starts like this:

Dear Mr. So and So:

You damned son of a bitch. Strongly worded letter to follow.

Heard it FIRST this morning. On CNBC !!!

As Oil hit $87 they Joe asked a guest why prices are so high, and the guy said,.... Blah blah, and you have to give some credence to the Peak Oil Theory.... blah blah.

I almost spit out my coffee.... Got to work and a person who I recently just informed and also just lent EndOfSububia to came up to me and said.. Did you hear CNBC this morning??

PEAK OIL on CNBC as a Reason for High Oil Prices

That is a watershed. Only a matter of time until one of the (corporate backed) presidential candiadates mentions it.

It can't be mentioned on the MSM.

PANIC is the word.

And we're at MOL.

If everyone fills up their tank at the same time the system will go down.

But there will be a Greatest Event happening.

Whether it's Socio Economic, Military, or "Natural",
something is slouching this way.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

If everyone fills up their tank at the same time the system will go down.

That reminds me, I'd better fill up on the way home tonight.


Gasoline in eastern Ontario is the cheapest it's been in months, about 0.82 CDN/litre today.

Gas in the metro Boston area is @ $2.59/gallon at the cheaper stations.

There's a disconnect between the price of oil and the price of gas. I wish I could figure it out - there's gotta be a way to arbitrage that difference and make some money.


Five gallon gas cans are $5 - $8 depending on where you purchase them.

1 gallon gas cans started appearing in the 7-11s here a couple months ago. Never seen that before.

They're common at interstate stations - for those who run out of gas a few miles either side of the station. That'll become a more common ritual as supplies get tight.

Hello Ggg71,

I would much prefer my earlier proposal of Hell's Angels Gas-stations versus the extreme fire hazard and/or brutal home invasion potential of storing gas in containers on housing property. Then, I could easily lockup 500 gallons of gasoline to store for personal price arbitrage and/or profitable localized selling, or have for my later use in an emergency.

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


I have no intention of stockpiling 40 gallon drums of gasoline in my basement. I was looking for some sort of market arbitrage.



Well, if we are at Peak, then arguably we will have excess refining capacity going forward: too many refineries, not enough oil. Didn't the recent stats show gasoline consumption declining marginally in the US over the past 12 months? Excess capacity will cut margins to the bone, maybe even cause refiners to operate at a loss until they start going under one by one.

Is anything left of the crack?

I almost wrote something like this in my post... But I'm not really sure how it plays out...

The refiners are constrained by the amount of crude they can get (assume the amount they can get is less then their capacity)... We are basically at MOL (Minimum operating levels) ... So shouldn't the gas stations and distributers be bidding up the gas price and INCREASING the crack spread?


That's an image I can do without.

I've only recently started reading TOD and am not yet well versed in a lot of matters pertaining to oil so please forgive if I ask some rather basic questions ... but I was listening to Marketplace (on an NPR station) this evening .... they were discussing the oil price increases and underlying reasons. One item mentioned was that the government (Defense Dept) is daily siphoning off about 100,000 barrels of the highest grade oil into the strategic reserves.

Could it be the reserves are being built up in preparation for some event? Or is this normal?



We have something called the strategic petroleum reserve and its quite a bit of oil - about seven hundred million barrels. There is very detailed information on U.S. petroleum use posted here periodically - it used to be in something called This Week In Petroleum but I don't see one of those over the last several weeks. I'd normally remain silent but you're here late in the day as well as late in the thread and I didn't want your question to go begging.



Note that the CNBC guys had no response to the Peak Oil comment. If you discuss it, you have to acknowledge it. But they have Boone on for an hour tomorrow. Should be interesting.

I'm watching Operation TopOff. And Turkey.

Remember Rumsfeld acknowledging $2.3 Trillion
had disappeared from the Pentagon/DoD on 091001.

And look over to the left of this site and see Pelosi.

John Stewart says to Snow last nite (A Comedy Satire)
that they're spineless. Snow laughs and does not disagree.

But Pelosi is pushing the Armenian Genocide Bill
which could start the Meltdown of the ME.

Soemthing happening there.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Pelosi's recent comments have to be some of the most irresponsible comments ever made by any public official (at least since Bush/Cheney got us into Iraq in the first place).

By making any Turkish opponents of an incursion appear to be American puppets, she all but assured a Turkish incursion into Iraq. I suspect that the Turks feel that it is a point of national honor now. I would not be surprised to see the Kurdish fighters blow up the oil pipelines leading into Turkey.

Exactly. And she had to know.

Why the Display of Bravado all of a sudden.

FDR-“In politics, nothing happens by accident. ...

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Per Juan Cole, Turkey's beef with U.S. policy goes beyond the Armenian genocide resolution. See http://www.juancole.com/2007/10/who-lost-turkey.html

Many ironies of this 'Genocide resolution' and the threat of Turkey to invade Iraq to kick Kurdish butt. As I understand the history of the Armenian genocide, the Turks used Kurds as henchmen in the grisly process.

It's all insanity. I totally disagree with the FDR comment
“In politics, nothing happens by accident"
I would say that in politics decisions are made for the stupidest reasons and then the consequences are beyond what anyone could possibly anticipate.

Insanity rules.

i'd modify your statement to:

...the consequences are exactly what a rational thinking person would expect, but beyond what any politician seems able to anticipate

All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Something happening there.

I've been trying to think of any sensible reason for this quite deliberate act to antagonize Turkey.

The only thing I've been able to come up with is: the US (not just Congress) wants Turkey to invade Iraq/Kurdistan. This will provide some serious propaganda to encourage the Turkish parliament to approve military action.

The only reasons that I can think of for wanting Turkey to invade Iraq is that it a) stabilizes the PKK situation, so that the Turkish military is free to act and b) it places more Turkish troops along the Iran border (there are Kurds in Iran also, so it might provide a pretext for an incursion). When the fireworks start in Iran, many of the boots on the ground may be Turkish.

Either that, or quagmires are so much fun that Turkey wants one of its own...

Good Analysis:

But Israel is trying to squelch this.

And 4GW can be applied to Turkey as well as anybody else.

But once "We" attack Iran, we won't be worrying about what Turkish Troops are doing. IMHO

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Or perhaps the reality of Peak Oil will soon be blindingly obvious without another war in the ME? Just a horrible thought. I mean, what if most people will never hear about PO, they will just think that everything is going to the dogs because of Muslims who hate us because we're free?

George Ure's (Urban Survival) take on the issue:

The problem has several dimensions to it. First, a big chunk of US Iraq war supplies come through Turkey. Then there's what I call "Want of Addicting Resources" - WAR for short, which is the phenomena whereby an occupying military force is not likely to leave as long as the booty and plunder is still in situ. Put less delicately, once Turkey goes in, what's to make anyone think they would ever come out. Take, er, US for example.
Critics of the war are continuing to wonder in amazement what happened to the democrats who were elected on the promise of "change" - which has so far been as rare as mercy from a Tax Court. The answer is corporate influence.

Objectively, the People's Economist asks "What would keep the fragile economy going without the War on Terror?" Answer: Nothing. The war keeps millions of people employed, directly and indirectly, we can bully global markets into buying liar's paper, which in turn keeps the stock market up, and people accepting of ever higher levels of government/corporate intrusion into their private affairs, higher taxes and a lowering of the American standard of living.

Give me another shot of the "we must all make sacrifices" speech. Besides, having all that military horsepower back inside US territory might actually be able to secure our borders - something that is very much against the corpgov agenda, which is why behind the scenes corpgov funnels money into....but wait, let's not go there.

Drudge Report headline: Putin Visits Iran, Sends Warning to US

I guess it's appropriate that we are talking about actions by the Ottoman Empire in the First World War. As we discussed last year, this whole thing has a certain "Guns of August" feeling to it.

This whole recent Turkey/Armenian genocide flap continues to be a mystery to me.

It is no secret that there are many affluent and influential Armenians in California who have for decades been calling for resolutions condemning Turkey for its WW I slaughter of its Armenian population. This is nothing surprising or new. But what is surprising and new is for this issue to be coming to the fore at this particularly delicate period in US/Turkish relations. Thus, the question that begs to be answered is: Why now?

I can come up with only one conjecture, albeit a somewhat dubious one. And that is: to ensure their clean sweep in the 2008 elections the Democrats feel they need i) to keep their hands off any direct Iraq policy so that it is unmistakably clear that Iraq is Bush's war and not theirs, and ii) to have the situation in Iraq not only not improve but to actually get worse.

Having relations with Turkey deteriorate to the point where they deny the US logistical support for the ongoing Iraq occupation would certainly make the US position worse, which would work toward reason ii above.

Admittedly, this is reach, but I'm at a lose to come up with anything else.

I'm at a lose to come up with anything else.

How about just more chaos via armed violence? Such has to be profitable for someone, no?

Yes, there are some interesting theories in this thread, but I'm still not seeing an explanation that "feels" like it fits. It is clear to me that there is something driving this, but I just don't see it yet. Who is pushing Turkey to do what, and why?

Ya...I started wondering more about this. Turkey fighting Kurds could theoretically draw the Iranians further into Iraq. Perhaps, BushCo is looking for an event like this for their own purposes.

AIPAC wants war with Iran, US generals object.

Pelosi and most everyone in CONgress as well as the Neocons are fully owned subsidiaries of AIPAC.

So? they piss the Turks off and Iraq supply lines are cut from the N, supply lines from the S are real long, either Sunni irregulars cut them off or the pols pretend that they do.

They sell US troops in Iraq down the river and have their case to attack Iran, the generals are boxed in and have to reluctantly go along with it.

Right now the pol crowd are jacking off in a love triangle with AQ and the Sunni's while the Kurds in the N and the Sunni's in the S control the oil our oil.

Why would they all of a sudden give a sh*t about Armenians when no one heard from them in 30 years?

The British have 5,000 troops in the relatively quiet South of Iraq, but they're withdrawing half of them very shortly. That is purely Iranian territory waiting to happen as its all Shi'a.

I believe only four U.S. soldiers have been killed in the area that ought to be Kurdistan, were there any justice in the world. Losing access to this due to a Turk vs. Kurd shootout coupled with the British drawn down pretty much means we have an instant replay of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, where our troops are going to have to take the port they need to escape, most likely driving south under cover of the carrier based aircraft in the region.

The political game being played is a backdoor ploy to force the US out of Iraq by making our position there untenable. Make Turkey so mad at us that they shut down Incirlik and deny overflight rights. Being unable to resupply, we are left with no alternative but to withdraw. Or that's the thinking, anyway.

Pissing off the Turks also ties the US/Israli's hands on Iran. We need the Turks for bases, logistics and overflights for a real fight with Iran. The Armenian genocide resolution pushes the Turks towards an alliance with Iran to fight the PKK, which has an Iranian chapter that is allegedly recieving support from the US.

If that's the plan, it may be brilliant. Turkey torching a corner of Kurdistan is less a threat to world peace than the US torching Iran. If the Turks leave NATO and go nuclear, not so much.

Make the pie higher.

It would be brilliant, but I can't believe the admin would be that smart.

It's not the administration taking these actions; it's the opposition party.

canpro -

By George, I think you might have it!

This may indeed be a very devious way for the Democrats to greatly compromise the Bush regime's ability to attack Iran. Without Incirlik or the ability to use Turkey for overflights and logisical support, and attack on Iran becomes much more risky.

While the US would still maintain total air superiority, the possibilities of what could happen when Iran retaliates the 'day after' even a very successful air attack become much more ugly if we have an antagonist rather than a friend on Iraq's northern flank.

Then if you throw in the possibility of a nascent Turkish-Iranian-Russian loose alliance, the potential for things to go very bad for the US vastly increases.

This whole thing is like a four-dimensional chess game, the outcome of which is completely indeterminate at this point. The only thing I'm willing to predict is that it's not going to have a happy ending.

It's the other way around, Israel doesn't want 4GW warfare in Iran. They want Iran off the map and unable to come back because US protection will evaporate with PO and Fed bubble bursts.

They don't give a sh*t what the cost to US is.

Now why would Turkey allow the US and Israel to use their bases for an attack on Iran. Other than in Oceania, Iran is not considred a threat, and to the Turks is a friend. They didn't allow the use of their bases in the attack on Iraq, so why now on Iran, considering that it is even more transparently unjustified?
You guys need to get a life and stop fantasizing about world events, and motives.

James Gervais

Good points.

The question remains why now for Pelosi's resolution. Say what you will, politically she's smart. Couldn't get to where she is on a 2 yr election rotation without it. She had to know the consequences of the action, and that the resolution has been floundering for decades.

I don't buy Armenian political favors. She was either forced to advance the resolution, or backed into the corner of a pulled bluff and had to make her threat. The dems have been so weak and ineffectual since taking Congress that it wouldn't surprise me that all they have for a threat is the resolution.


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the parliament will approve plans for an incursion into northern Iraq to attack Kurdish militants, defying a U.S. demand to show restraint.

That'll show those darned Americans! How dare they bring up Armenia!

There is a "common will" among lawmakers to sanction a cross-border assault when they vote on the proposal tomorrow, Erdogan told a televised meeting of his party in Ankara. He said a military strike would come under international laws governing self-defense.


Parliament will convene at 3 p.m. tomorrow for the vote.

Turkey, with the second-largest army in NATO...

...which would come in darned handy in any invasion of Iran. I'm just sayin'...

I'm glad to see that so many others here find the congressional machinations over the Armenian-genocide resolution as fascinating as I do. The many theories posited here seem credible, so doesn't Occam's Razor require that they must ALL be true? To some extent, at least:
Chaos as a cover for PO, and continued US occupation.
Demos making the war go even worse, if that's possible.
Trigger for the Khuzestan invasion.

Is it a coincidence that Putin is in Iran today, warning the former Soviet states against cooperating with an invasion of Iran?

On the other hand, Clinton begged his Congress to not pass a similar Armenian-genocide resolution during his tenure, barely prevailing. Maybe this is just evidence of a fatally weakened lame-duck administration that poses no credible threat to anybody anymore.

Barring another 9/11, of course.

Barring another 9/11, of course"

Yes, indeed...
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

The role of ‘recognition’ of the Armenian ‘genocide’ (the commas not because genocide didn’t happen but because the term is fraught with legal and other implications, as is the status of ‘recognition’...) is perhaps not terribly relevant.

What are the diaspora and other Armenians wanting to accomplish? What has changed in their relations with countries that did? - see link, which shows amongst others that US ‘recognition’ is not new. France made such a resolution, and subsequently economic exchanges rose (I have read..) One can guess that demands for reparations and maybe even territory will follow eventually. (?)

In Switzerland, you can be locked up for denying the Holocaust, or the Armenian ‘genocide’ for that matter (even though the Federal Council has NOT recognized it, contrary to what one can read all over, as in the linked site. The last two cases about the Armenian genocide were found in favor of the complainants as the judges based themselves on ‘what is generally known’ and not on official recognition. All that is not an issue in the US, but it is in Europe.) In Turkey, locked up for affirming another genocide. It is nuts, global identity politics gone haywire.. See the Jurist link, one pov.

Karekin II the Supreme Patriarch lead the prayers in the House on Wed 10 oct, at the invite of Pelosi I read. (??) My goodness!

The ADL changed its policy on this matter very recently - the Israelis seem divided... The White House, realist Republicans and Turkish leadership are disappointed: don’t want to offend an ally (Iraq, air fields, arms sales, etc. etc.) -- for the Turks, break ties with a powerful patron.

Turks are now seeing all this as a US-Israeli plot - from a quick look at Turkish press and the ranting of a neighbor! So the Turks are furious, how long will that fury last? Not long I should think.

Some things just happen. They have a momentum of their own, in the sense that there are many different motives.

Of course one can interpet here a plot to undermine the US role (to put it very gently!) in Iraq - the breaking or weakening of relations with Turkey; or, conversely, see it as an underground plot to accelerate the break up of Iraq into powerless statelets (a la Yugoslavia) and strife, which in the eyes of some was the US/Israel aim all along.

It looks very much like an easy symbolic win for the Democrats; a sharp inroad, as well, on Israeli/Jewish control of the ‘genocide’ label. Maybe those are the most important aspects.

armenian site, on recognition of...


The US could destroy the Turkish invasion over a period of several days by using it's overwhelming technological lead.
Will it?
The only reason the Iraqi resistance has been able to avoid defeat is that they can hide in the Iraqi population. Turkish troops can't hide in the Kurdish population. The idea that they could defeat the American armed forces is simply ridiculous. Nor could they defeat the Kurdish forces after the Americans peel off the Turkish air force, the Turkish armor, and the Turkish logistical support.
So will the US defend Iraq against Turkey? Will it defend Iraq against Iran? India? Pakistan? Russia? China?

When has one NATO member attacked another? This is the only bulwark against the reforming Russian empire in Europe and we can less afford to harm that than we could afford an adventure in Iraq.

The Turks attacking the Kurds is not a simple walk in the park for them - the Kurdish peshmerga(literal: those who face death) will grind them just like the Iraqis are grinding our troops and Turkey has a Kurdish population to consider. This would be the equivalent of the U.S. attacking Mexico, only the nicest Kurdish lil' ol' lady is about as tough as your average Mexican Mara Salvatrucha member.

I worked with some Kurds when I was in college and they told me terrible things about the Iraqi government. I hope those guys play their cards right and end up with another powerful ally in the region after the United States is spent. If ever a people deserved close air support it is them.

Actually, if the Turks were smarter than the current US administration (not much of a stretch!), then what they would do is claim that they are under attack from Iraqi Kurdistan, and invoke the NATO treaty to demand that all members, including the US, come to their defense.

THAT would sure put the US between a rock and a hard place! (Or maybe I should say, between Iraq & a hard place!)

And they'd have to declare the peshmerga to be terrorists, just like we've done with the Revolutionary Guard in Iran.

The Bush administration's behavior is often too stupid for words ...

I think you're advancing your premises with a little too much confidence. Granted 2007 is not 1917, but Turks stunned Allies at Gallipoli. US military is arguably currently overstretched and exhausted. Kurdistan is not Kuwait.

I suspect that the third and final domino that was described in the run-up to the war is about to fall - the Turkish attempt to grab the Northern Iraq oil fields; I doubt that it has anything to do with the Senate resolution - it's an oil grab.

The most likely answer to 'Why now?' is that Pelosi needs funding and votes for her coming re-election campaign and is looking to appease her Armenian constituents.
James Gervais

Hello Mcgowanmc,

Regarding Operation Topoff: perhaps we should start an email suggestion campaign to David Letterman and Jay Leno to start mentioning Peakoil Jokes to flog the rumor mill into a frenzy. Recall Johnny Carson and the toilet paper frenzy back in the 70s:

It all actually started as a joke. Johnny Carson was doing his typical NBC Tonight Show monologue on December 19, 1973.

His writers decided to include a joke based on Wisconsin congressman Harold Froelich's quote, they had heard earlier that day. Froelich claimed that the federal government was falling behind in getting bids to supply toilet paper and "The United States may face a serious shortage of toilet tissue within a few months".

Johnny Carson's quote: "You know what's disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper. There's an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States."

The next morning, many of the 20 million television viewers ran to the supermarket and bought all of the toilet paper they could find. By noon, most of the stores were out of stock!
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

I only show up on weekends, so please excuse my late post.

I live in the D.C. area. I was at a party with lots of journalists last weekend and the Armenian idiocy came up.

I asked a long-time friend whose judgment I trust whether Pelosi is smart and nasty enough to use the Armenian issue as a way to force the Turks to force us out of Iraq.

He said that Pelosi isn't smart enough.

Folks, this may just be stupid people trying to pay back long-time contributors.

Personally, I find it reprehensible to push a measure or allow oneself to be pushed into a measure that is unnecessary at worst and untimely at best that would get so many people killed, including a lot of U.S. servicemen and women that has absolutely nothing to do with the U.S. or has ever had anything to do with the U.S.

Any and all congresscritters who supported this thing and anyone calling for it now should be ashamed of themselves.

"PEAK OIL on CNBC as a Reason for High Oil Prices"

Yep, here it is on video:


Ron Patterson

I had a similar reaction last night, nearly falling out of my chair, when the over-collagenated Maria Bartiroma responded to Bryan Williams question about the price movement in oil.

"The move was really triggerred on news that oil production is actually slowing around the world even though demand is rising everywhere."

And this was on the NBC nightly news.

There is more then just PO to the puzzle.

Lots of people here are missing how fast and at what rate money is leaving anything associated with US paper.

The money has to go somewhere, and a bunch of it is going into commodities.
Much will depend on what the fed does on the 30th and on the reaction to it.


Of possible interest to Oil Drum readers, I posted a piece Better cars are not the answer to the personal finance blog Wise Bread.

Of course, we will get better cars. Cars will become more efficient and there'll be new fuels and new technologies--hybrid, hydrogen, and plug-in electric cars; cars burning ethanol, bio-diesel, coal-to-liquid, and other even more exotic fuels. But none of that will preserve our car-driving way of life.

Among other things, I introduce the concept of peak oil without actually using the term.

Quick question:

Which is more acceptable to the general public, telling them they have do drive more fuel efficient cars, such that average mpg doubles in 5 years.


Telling them they aren't allowed to drive half as much as they currently do, and that you are going to tax them hard and force ride sharing.

I'd suggest that the first is the more acceptable option to most. While in the long term both, and more, are going to be needed - at present you are likely to get further promoting the first than you ever will with the second. Serious action on transportation consumption could shift 3-4Mbpd off the US usage - its not to be sniffed at.


Telling them that speculators are driving up the price of oil. Terrorism and rouge nations are causing disruptions which have reduced the supply of oil. The turnaround is just around the corner and prices will fall, supply will rise if we could just open up more places to drill...but those damned environmentalists just won't give up. They don't want you to have a good life...want you to give up your truck, want your wife to drive an unsafe little deathtrap car, want you to turn your thermostat down and freeze. All of those illegal Mexicans are driving down your wages, you know, and the gays want you to be gay with them.


Cellulosic ethanol, which is just around the corner, will team up with genetic engineering of fuel crops to save us all. Except the Mexicans and the Gays -- and it's beginning to look as though the Chinese might be added to the list of undesirables, and the Russians better watch out.

They're Rioting in Africa (The Merry Minuet)
(Sheldon Harnick)

There are days in my life when everything is dreary
I grow pessimistic, sad and world weary.
But when I'm tearful and fearfully upset
I always sing this merry little minuet:

They're rioting in Africa
They're starving in Spain
There's hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain.

The whole world is festering
With unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans,
The Germans hate the Poles

Italians hate Yugoslavs
South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don't like anybody very much

But we can be grateful
And thankful and proud
That man's been endowed
With a mushroom shaped cloud

And we know for certain
That some happy day
Someone will set the spark off
And we will all be blown away

They're rioting in Africa
There's strife in Iran
What nature doesn't do to us
Will be done by our fellow man.

Ooh, ooh, wait I know that one.....

There is ignorance aplenty, but there is also plenty of willful ignorance. People will believe what they want to hear, or perhaps disbelieve what they don't want to hear. And who wants to be told that the things you've been working for your whole life are in jeopardy, or misguided to begin with?

Well, Wise Bread is a personal finance blog with a frugality bent. All the writers there are trying to help people arrange their finances (income, investment, spending, lifestyle choices) to keep them "Living large on a small budget" (our tagline).

So, I'm not trying to tell them what to do. I'm trying to tell them how things work and tell them about what I see coming down the pike--things such as much higher energy prices.

Limited supply will hold energy consumption down to energy production, and the main mechanism by which that will happen is higher prices. That's going to suck for everybody, but it will suck very hard indeed for poor people. My article is primarily to give readers a little extra time to arrange their life so as to minimize their own personal suckage.

Switching to more fuel-efficient cars will help, but it's not a solution. Driving much less is very nearly a solution, both for individuals and for communities.

Problem is, if you are the only one without the car then in a society that hasn't made the change, you are disadvantaged.

At present I'm saying to people to get rid of SUVs and the gas guzzlers before the bottom really drops out of the market. Buy something that has 50mpg with the proceeds. You are then mobile for the next 2-3 years as things get sticky and you will have an asset that will probably appreciate before you sell it for what is hopefully then a working market in public transport alternatives.

Oh, and look seriously at electric bikes.

Go with that on the Macro Nation/State Scale and you'll
see why there is no incentive to be husbanding resources.

And why we only have 2-3 years before a "Turkey Invades"
Scenario happens.



Here's USA Today on wheat.

They say 30 year when we've got the lowest World Stockpile
since May 43.

Probably in 100 years.

"Forget 2025, we’ll never make it that far before total collapse sets in.

Maybe this blog is just too doom and gloom, too scary and cognitive dissonance has hardened into concrete minds, I don’t know, but there has been zero support and exceedingly little interest, (most) everyone keeps trying to pretend things are going to get better, while they keep getting worse and worse. Sorry, but I don’t make the news and the facts are the facts.

We are in global collapse, period. Worldwide systems are falling apart all around us, while fascism and terrorism by government is rising in leaps and bounds. Don’t like it? Do something about it. But blogging about it is proving to be huge, gigantic waste of my time no matter what is posted, it’s just not getting through."

From SurvivalAcres. His last post yesterday.

Why you may ask. His answer-


LATOC's my first stop now. TOD second.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

The problem is that people see driving less as an imposition, not an opportunity. Why would anyone want to drive more if given the chance to drive less. We must create the conditions where people don't have to drive. Simply telling the3m they must drive less will never work unless we bring out the whips and chains.

But "saving" gas or oil without an global cap on consumption will just transfer the oil and gas from our country to some other country like China.

"Why would anyone want to drive more if given the chance to drive less"

Probably because of the astounding efficacy of automobiles as personal transport.

A car allows you to go to the end of the street and buy a newspaper, or go 300 miles to see your friends in another city, quickly, almost effortlessly, without getting cold or wet, listening to your favourite CD on the pumpin' stereo, etc etc.

It's a phenomenally attractive device, giving a sense of personal empowerment and freedom that no other consumer product approaches. It's even got fetishistic power, as a status symbol, a thing of beauty, even a deliverer of intense sensual pleasure as you feel the tyres squirm under the effect of a 300HP engine. We worship automobiles for very good and material reasons.

No wonder that many people, especially young people, are willing to pour huge portions of their disposable incomes into cars - they are truly fantastic devices. To an 19th century worker, a car woul;d seem like a kind of Star Trek beam-me-up device, almost supernaturally effective at delivering the desired results.

Cars have some unfortunate consequences, but claiming that we shouldn't want to drive them seems to me a bit blinkered.

Regards Chris

There is going to be an immense psychological break when driving goes out of reach, especially for the young. It is quite disempowering for those used to driving to be without a vehicle for even a few hours, even if they have no where to go. I fear this more than any actual structural change we must make, for the young and restless do funny things when their desires are thwarted.

The entire debate is about CAFE standards; there is no debate about driving less. CAFE standards are perceived as a threat by the auto companies. What about driving less?

Apropos of the article about focusing about the positive aspects of saving the planet, I recently signed up for a door to door service for delivery of organic vegetables and fruits. All those people not having to drive the store. Even if I wasn't a fan of organic food and saving gas, this will save me the hassle of driving to the store and save money even if the vegetables are more expensive (which I haven't confirmed yet).

Having food delivered to your door is a luxury and I get to drive less as well. Talk about a win win.

Gear heads are needed for helping the earth, but not sufficient.

Home delivery is vastly more efficient than having each household make their own trip to the grocery store. It's something that's going to take off as fuel gets more expensive.

Leanne disagreed strongly with this premise on a couple of threads within the past year.

It seems to make sense to me, provided the home delivery service is efficiently run.

If you mean me, it depends on what kind of home delivery. I was talking about the Amazon/eBay model. I think that's doomed.

If you're talking about the kind of vegetable seller that went door to door in my grandma's day, that might work out.

You are correct that Ebay is doomed.

The US Postal Service doubled the cost of shipping small packages, increased rates on shipping Priority stuff to a "zoned" model that often results in a doubling of shipping cost, and while their Flat Rate Package is nice, it's still 10 bucks.

Listings are way down at Ebay, and the only reason their stock is doing OK for now is that they're pulling out of auctions, keeping "Stores" (where things are sold for a fixed price and higher Ebay fees) steady, and expanding PayPal, a usury outfit one is required to use to use Ebay and which a lot of dolts have been conned into getting into bed with in their online operations.

Example: I can't give a donation to Ran Prieur even if I want to, which I do, because he's in bed with PayPal. So he'll never get one from me. I'd worry about the guy except so far he's into living with as little money as possible, so there's little for PayPal to steal and it won't hurt him as bad as most people are when PayPal cleans him out.

The only future for internet businesses is stuff like usury, scams, etc that don't involve transporting actual stuff.

Door-to-door vegetable selling, yeah, that's got a future.

Paypal definitely adds cost, but I can think of no better way to thwart the confiscatory behavior of the state in terms of child support, sales tax fraud committed by their staff, etc. It isn't perfect, but its a tool everyone should have as a hedge ...

What are you saying, that everyone should sign up for PayPal? WTF??

Let me try to tell how it works with small words.

Pay Pal will clean out your bank account. They do it to a lot of folks. They track your bucks and tell the Feds. They make people poor - as in live in a tent. You will lose your job. You will lose your friends. Don't trust me - look this up.

Pay Pal Is Not Your Friend.

Silly goose, you don't give them access to everything :-) Banks are plentiful - partition your personal and business accounts, and if you suspect trouble firewall it off.

I have four accounts right now. Paypal can get at one of them. I don't keep my life savings in there and they can't get at everything.

When you can trust the system you are the system ... it just takes a little effort on the front end.

PayPal has access to only one of my accounts, and I never keep more than a few dollars in it (or in my PayPal account). PayPal is evil. A necessary evil these days, but evil.

Paypal for me can have up to $2,000, as this is the preferred payment vehicle for one of my customers. This is a transient affair, as I promptly spend what comes. I do try to keep enough in there for a nice, long road trip in case something happens on my other accounts.

Hello Leanan,

I hope that we soon develop an entrepenurial model whereby a door to door seller of fertilizers becomes commonplace. Imagine the Fuller Brush person being renamed the Fuller Garden person.

Ideally, the salesperson would quickly test your soil [PV powered chemlab on the truck?], then his equipment would custom mix all the essential elements to maximize your garden plot's photosynthesis efficiency. Composting and mulching is up to each relocalized permaculturist.

This would be much more effective than the present system of gardening newbies going to Home Depot, then wasting precious and depleting NPK, and other nutrients, by wildly over-fertilizing. We already have enough pollution and algae blooms from excessive chemical runoff.

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

You know, this is a wonderful idea and I was contemplating it myself the other day. I'm reading How To Grow More Vegetables. The simple soil test for NPK can be done with a mail order kit, but the more complex assay for micronutrients requires just a wee bit of training. It would be nice to learn how to do this and then roam the countryside on my bicycle, offering soil tests in exchange for fruits and vegetables. Oh, I'd have to net enough to pay for bike tires and such, but it would be great exercise ...

Farmers routinely sample their soil and send the samples to laboratories, then get a fertilizer plan sent back to them. A gardener would probably only need to take 1 or 2 samples to get a good idea of how his soil is doing: perhaps a neighbourhood could pool their samples and send as 1 shipment to save on shipping and any per-batch fees. You would have to specify wich sample(s) are from wich parcel.

I used to do soil sampling and most farmers do a really lousy job. They will walk to the middle of a 20 acre field and pull one sample. Send it off and somehow expect that this will tell them what they need.

They are not capable, for the most part, do not actually use a GPS grid sample method and don't want to pay the nearby university for any more samples than they 'think' they need.

And BTW what the university sends back in the way of recommendations is pretty much generic and mostly worthless UNLESS the samples have been pulled 'properly' and over a good grid and if you speak to one of the soil profs and ask him so leading questions..he will likely tell you that there is things going on in the soil that they really don't understand...underwater movement of moisture and much more..of course they won't admit this publicly.

If they think they(the farmer) can buy some smucky soil test kit and do it themselves ..then they get what they deserve for its just not possible without some good lab equipment.

OK..home gardeners can tell pH..and not much else..there are a huge array of tests that many are just no familiar with..I posted a sample soil test on WTDWTSHTF in the past..got rave reviews-NOT..

The farmer who is serious will have a ATV setup with a pole mounted GPS of good manufacture, have plenty of the right type of containers, pull the samples at the right season and when the ground is ready and proper..they will then use a good farming program that has all their fields 'geo-referenced' and that program needs to have the functionality to integrate the sample data into the fields by color and other manners to make it easy to assimilate. They then use that software to 'burn' a PC Card so that the 'VRT' spreaded guy can load it on his system and apply just exactly what is needed and no more at the right locations and nowhere else.

How many farmers are capable of this and are doing it?

IMO where I live only one guy,and years ago I built him a desktop that had enough power to do that. He is quite sucessful but even his own uncle bashes his work and the uncle knows shit about farming.

airdale-if you wish to disagree then give me some good replies instead of schtick and googleBS, otherwise take it for what its worth or don't...but please no garbage replies..I see enough trash as it is...farming and sampling is something I do and know very well..most here don't know farming from a donkeys ass.


I know a bit about GPS and I have an associate who did mobile GPS on combine integration a while back. I would like to know more about this stuff. Can you drop me a note at

gwbush @AT@ dumbfuck DAWT org?

Interesting, I didn't know there was that much to it, but then again things are usually not as simple as they seem at first glance :/

I once saw a recommendation from a laboratory sent to a farmer I know. I did get the feeling it wasn't excactly tailored to his needs, only silage from grass was produced on the farm but the testresults were compared to what barley would need. I suppose you would need to know how to interpret the results yourself to get the most of it. One thing is certain: it was a very good year for that particular farmer as far as the crop was concerned, if it was because of the right amount or type of fertilizer, or the right amount of rain at the right time, or enough heat and light, or all of the above, who knows.

When I was a kid in the Far East (Singapore and Hong Kong), groceries were delivered by the Store Boy... it was a great way to shop and provided a good service - and I suspect energy efficient...

...the Milk Man delivered in England until the 90s - though it started to slow down in the 80s...

these models worked in a previously low-energy environment and I think it'll be that model again.

and I can still vaguely remember when I was young in the seventies having the rag and bone man come around with his horse and cart to collect/buy scrap
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

I suspect the model only works efficiently if the volume is high enough. In a shrinking market, home delivery would probably dry up fast.

Hi ET,

In other words, someone has to be at home.

Pretty funny, In the '30's, my mother always got her groceries from the delivery man, who knew what she would accept and brought it to her, and to all the other wives on his route. She never learned to drive and didn't need to. Groceries just a phone call away. No traffic jams, no cussing other drivers, no wasted time, no repair bills.

And us young folks got to jump a ride around the block in the delivery man's model T pickup. Bangedebangbangbang.

Same thing with big blocks of ice for the ice box. My job was to keep Peggy from biting the ice man when he had the ice on his shoulder and couldn't see to defend himself. We got to swipe fist sized hunks of ice to jam down the back of a sibling's shirt.

And a few years ago I noticed a couple of MIT undergrads got big prize for suggesting the very same phone-in delivery thing as a brilliant idea for a new business. HA!

Right, somebody had to be home, and they were.

And when we wanted to go somewhere, we either rode a bike or hitch-hiked. Fast, cheap, and got to meet people. Easy on the gas. Nobody got murdered.

Hitch hiking is a highly underrated activity in this day and age. I've picked up hundreds and hundreds of those folks you see along the side of the road and I've never had a lick of trouble from any of them. Here are a few of the more visually interesting ones I've met ...

Malice, but not malicious

Joel, Dusty, and Amanda

I think this model would work fine:



I have been hunting for a vendor that makes a trailer suitable for moving my kayak around with a scooter or motorcycle rather than lugging my entire car and 4'x7' trailer - this is precisely what I've been wanting.

The first link offers a grocery getter trailer. I'd like to see one the right size and shape so that it could be detached from the bike, pushed into the store for shopping, then reattached when full for the trip home.

Thanks! Another little piece of the puzzle solved ...

I wonder how all of this transportation oriented development will play out in rural America.

The street in this town is lined with pickup trucks. They're generally a bit dented, muddy this time of year, and instead of a ball hitch for a boat trailer they're sporting big bolts through the hole in the bumper, which are the type of connector needed for grain wagons. I would say a good half of such vehicles here are actually used for work as well as personal transport. Take these away and you're taking production away. I predict farm diesel goes into farm trucks before too long as part of a policy change ...

I went to the dentist this morning. Fifteen miles, thirteen of which are through a rural area where the population density is on the order of one person/square mile. The area has been consolidating for generations - towns used to be six miles apart when horses were the norm, then that collapsed to twelve mile spacing when gas powered tractors eased the delivery of the harvest. Perhaps that trend will continue ... unless we get an influx of refugees from the southwest ...

There is a train run every other day through the region, which starts in Estherville and ends in Eagle Grove. Thats ninety five miles of driving and the track is probably best used at speed of not more than thirty miles an hour. Perhaps someone will resurrect cars from the Ghost Train for passenger service in the area?

Pharmacies deliver. There is a doctor's office here and a traveling dentist who alternates his time between three towns. I couldn't wait for him ... root canal stuff, and the fifteen mile drive will save me about $1k on some stuff I need done. The grocery store here has gone under twice. The business community always picks it up, fluffs it up, and finds someone to keep it operating. I suspect things get better for that operation as fuel prices climb.

Its an interesting little puzzle. I'm hoping for a gentle, nonlinear curve in which our business community will draw in the type of manufacturing we'll need to thrive in a world with very pricey oil.

I'm not sure Turkey-Kurdistan issues are enough to significantly push up the price of oil. Next to any belief in a US or Israeli attack on Iran it's strictly second or third division.

In fact if you look at risk factors at the moment, its quite benevolent. Hurricane's have gone away and nobody is looking that likely to attack anyone else.

As such the rising price is troubling, since it seems to be driven by supply concerns almost entirely. How much worse it would be if we had an obvious war in the starting blocks. From memory there are no significant megaprojects due within the year (can anyone remember any?)

Price rises until it drives demand out of the market. However as yet I don't see much reaction that will depress demand significantly - meaning the price will have to continue to rise to find a level at which someone hurts. Unless the dollar makes a sustained recovery, that would look to be the US in the firing line. Will $100 be enough of a psychological barrier to force action?

Apparently, this was one reason for the jump in prices:

US missile fired 'by accident' in Qatar

A Patriot missile was launched accidentally from a US military base in the Gulf state of Qatar, landing in a farm but causing no casualties, Al-Jazeera television reported on Tuesday.

"A Patriot missile landed on a farm belonging to a Qatari national after being fired by accident from the As-Sailiyah camp," the Doha-based satellite channel said.

Doing some very rough numbers, if the market continues on this linear trend its been on since Feb this year, we will first cross $90 late Oct to mid November. We first cross $100 sometime late January, although sentiment may push that back some to Feb/Mar.

All that is excepting anyone bombing anyone else.

If I had to guess, I'd say peak oil will go mainstream within the next six months, to a media level to rival pandemic flu at least.

Again. Once PO goes "Mainstream", the US System goes non linear.

Understanding PO will be the equivalent of Lucifer's Hammer/

When the wealthy amateur astronomer Tim Hamner discovers a new comet, dubbed Hamner-Brown, it comes to the attention of documentary producer Harvey Randall, who does a television series on the subject. Political lobbying by California Senator Arthur Jellison eventually gets a joint Apollo-Soyuz (docking with the second flight worthy Skylab) mission into space to study the comet, dubbed "The Hammer" by popular media, which is expected to pass close to the earth. Despite assurances by the scientific community that a collision with Earth is extremely unlikely, the public, fueled by religious fervor by the evangelist Henry Armitage, begins to hoard food and supplies in anticipation.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Hi garyp and mcgowanmc,

re:; "Once PO goes "Mainstream", the US System goes non linear."

Well, it depends (doesn't it?) I used to wonder more about this, but experience over the last few years has led me to believe that PO is something people find hard to "get", even if they get it. (Or, seem to get it.)

It seems to me like it depends on a couple of things. Who are the actors who are in a position to undertake the actions that would produce this non linear result? (And, what, more specifically, would those actions be? eg. no more loans? or what?)

Who would you say these actors are? Executives? CFOs? Investment bankers? Politicians? Members of certain income categories? Or...?

And, do we have some of them in the oil/finance communities already? If so, why have we not seen more action or reaction thus far? (Which is not a good argument, I realize. I'm only wondering...?) It seems to me that many people are in a position "to know" and yet - they somehow don't know.

At the same time, it may be that if its the case there is a collection of particular actors for whom the knowledge will lead them to behave differently (and not in a way we might like) - is this "the mainstream" we're talking about?- well, then, yes, (for the sake of argument). In that case, to what extent does the stability of their position depend on the understanding of their clients, consumers or others? So, even if they "get it", it may not matter to them unless their "base" gets it?

And, who are the "consumers" of "mainstream"? And what is it they take away from any particular "narrative" put forward in the mainstream?

I'm just not so sure.

Lots of people may not know what to do in the face of particular or specific events (i.e., things that occur, as opposed to ideas or concepts) - however, that's true in any case.


In my June estimate, I put the probability of $100 oil before the end of Jan 2008 at 66%, however I now have more confidence (based on a laundry list of factors) and put it at 90%(I would do more, but those pesky "above grounds" are too hard to factor).

ATM, WTI is at 86.65, and Nymex at 87.10.

But, TAPIS could cross $90/barrel THIS WEEK. Currently $89.39 overnite numbers! Frankly, so could WTI, but TAPIS is within a day of $90.


The 4th quarter of 2007 will be pivotal. The shortfall is too HUGE (nearly 2 MMBPD), so the next bidding war HAS begun.

And, the fallout in the third world could be ugly.

Strap in! It's going to get volatile for a few months.

The "value" of oil hasn't been changing. Looking at gold as a surrogate of value, it's moving in lockstep to the price of oil.

The dollar price runup of oil is simply due to Bernanke's dropping the fed funds rate by 9%. If they do that again, which I'm expecting, the dollar price of oil (and gold) will skyrocket past $100 on it's way to $150, no sweat.

Only us saps the deal in dollars will be screwed.

Its not all dollar devaluation. Even accounting for it, oil has been going up noticeably against other currencies. Not as fast, but its a real effect.

Oh...this is a great time for "missle accidents". People...keep your guns holstered now.

I wonder how much the top Reuters story has to do with it.

"Caspian states show united front on Putin's Iran visit"


At first glance, it would seem to promote peace and lower prices, ala increased balance and stability in the region. Makes a shot fired at Iran a little harder.

But then, maybe some read it as increasingly impossible to get Iranian oil.

Last month we "accidentally" loaded nuke-armed cruise missiles and "accidentally" transported them to another base, and "accidentally" lost one. Now we "accidentally" let a Patriot fly and "accidentally" blew up some hapless Arab's farm. Excuse my language, but WTF is going on?

Excuse my language, but WTF is going on?

In the past accidents were not reported on, and now they are?

It's called "saber rattling."

You recall, probably, the meaning of the acronym SNAFU?
Recall as well this acronym came from the military.

Next new headline...

Nuclear missile accidentally loaded into Patriot Missile System and launched

Hello Leanan,

Thxs for the info. But my take on this article is that it is most likely dis-information: the real truth is probably that the missle was intentionally launched to get the Iranians to hopefully light-up their anti-missle and anti-aircraft defense network so our airborne and satellite sensing systems could get a good look/download for later military analysis for future plans. My feeble two cents.

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

A former employee of mine (gone, demand destruction at work?) was an air force intel guy. He was in Turkey during the 1960s and they had constant tests. If I recall correctly they'd charge across the Black Sea as if it was an attack, and the Russians would do the same thing to us. It was a constant game of chicken and they got their best info the time they flew two pairs of fighters in a formation so close it looked like just a pair, then they split as they closed in with one of each pair accelerating ... just like a missile fired. They were amazed at the amount of stuff that lit up from the Russian side in response ...

Another day older and deeper in DOD debt.

I'm having a heck of a time finding out anything at all about when exactly that Qatar Patriot launch happened.

When did Mr. Putin's plane approach Iranian airspace, anyway?

Those Pats sure are fast - Mach 5+, according to Wiki - I bet they must look just like long-range antiaircraft SAM's from a distance. Of course the errant one couldn't reach as far as Iran, but it'd sure give you pause if you were downrange.

A Russian/Iranian/Turkish defacto alliance would rearrange the chessboard considerably. Not quite a checkmate, but it would surely put the US in a much worse position.

Turkey want in to the EU too much.

In fact they are unlikely to do anything to derail that, including bombing kurds. Russia would have to offer something serious to turn their heads.

Turkey gave up on EU entry about eighteen months ago - too much grief over the division of Cyprus between them and Greece.

Everything we know, well, its wrong. And don't underestimate the world's view of the Bush administration - they're completely bat guano crazy and everyone knows it. We here hope we can recover from their behavior in 2008, but the rest of the world isn't banking on it.

The Ottoman Empire was the "sick man of Europe" before World War I and the United States now fills that role; corrupted, perhaps beyond repair, financially ruined, and destined for decline.

They did want in the EU, but I think they are waking up to the reality that the EU doesn't want THEM. It's just not going to happen. The EU already has enlargement fatigue, and Islamophobia is growing by leaps and bounds. The reality is that the EU needs Turkey a lot less than Turkey needs the EU.

Turkey has a growing commonality of interests with Iran & Syria: They all have Kurdish minorities, and all are feeling very threatened by the prospect of an independent Kurdistan. I can guarantee you that this is looming a lot larger in Turkish minds than is any consideration of future EU membership or continuing membership in NATO. They will gladly sacrifice both for the assurance of a continuation in the partition of the Kurdish nation and the prevention of Kurdish independence.

Russia has ALWAYS longed for a strategic rapproachement with Turkey & Iran. Preventing this from occuring was always a primary foreign policy objective, first of the British, and then of the Americans - up until now. As "The Decider" can hardly even find these places on the map, let alone appreciate their historic and strategic significance, nor is he able to think more than one step ahead, it should be little surprise that we're about to blow it big time.

The first time the newly minted word "assclown" ever appears in CFR.org's Foreign Affairs its a foregone conclusion it'll be in conjunction with George W. Bush's name. Neocons + religious fanatics make foreign policy decisions the way speed freaks make parenting decisions. I just don't understand why they're not being arrested and shipped off to the Hague for some of that due process they've denied so many others.

I prefer "ignoranus."

Had to read it twice, unfortunately I took a drink between first and second reading :-)

As the normally anti-American Asia Times repeatedly points out, the sticking point between Iran and Russia is that they want to drive each other out of certain regional energy markets. Since access to most of those markets seems to involve pipelines going through Turkey, I guess the question is whether these states can agree to share the profits. It would be the Iranian clerics who would decide, not Ahmadinejad.

If Iran is ever offered membership in the SCO, I guess you can consider the dispute over.

Were the past oil peaks caused by the same causes as the present peak?

I apologize for bring up a post from yesterday but in my defense I would point out that this is an entirely different subject than the subject of that thread. Roger Connor brought up the fact that this has all happened before. Roger wrote (very late last night):

Want to see a peak? look at the 1978 through 1983 period:
Now in 1981-82, who in their right mind would not have said, "This is it. It's peak.

Well Roger, anyone in their right mind knew exactly what happened in the early 1980s. (The actual peak was in 1979.) We had what was known as the Iran-Iraq War. That war was fought during the years of 1980 to 1988. World oil peaked in 1979 at 62,674,000 barrels per day, C+C and dropped to a low of 53,966,000 bp/d in 1985 before starting its recovery. OPEC nations peaked at 30,581,000 bp/d in 1979 before dropping to 16,181,000 bp/d in 1985.

The Iran-Iraq war spilled over into the Persian Gulf and with Iran threatening to attack and sink tankers in the Straits of Hormuz. Saudi, Kuwait and all the Gulf oil producers cut back dramatically because of this threat. Other OPEC nations also cut back during, some say because of the US stance with Israel.

After the glut of 1999 OPEC again cut back in 99, 01 and 02, but nothing like the drop caused by the Iran-Iraq War. Non-OPEC production, during these years, just kept on increasing.

During the Iran-Iraq war Non-OPEC production, just kept right on ticking upward, from 31,946,000 bp/d in 1979 to 37,554,000 bp/d in 1985. Non-OPEC production did drop every year from 1989 thru 1993 due to the collapse of the Soviet Union. World oil production, less FSR, just kept on ticking upward during those years. Currently Non-OPEC production is on a four year plateau and now appears to be headed down.

So there have been drops in production before. But the cause of these drops has been quite obvious. There was the Iran-Iraq war, there was the collapse of the Soviet Union, then there was the cutbacks by OPEC in 99, 01 and 02 when oil prices were near or at an all time low! OPEC peaked in September of 2005 when oil prices were at an all time high!

But people, you have all heard this story before. I, and many others on this list, have gone over this over and over and over again. So why the hell am I dragging all this out again? Because some people just don’t want to get the point. They simply wish to point out past peaks and say, this has all happened before. No it has not! Oil has peaked, then dropped, unless there was a war, a collapse of the FSU or an OPEC cut because of dramatically low prices. Never before has there been a peak when prices were at an all time high.

But as I said, we have been over this before, many, many times. And no doubt we will have to do it all over again when some bright person says: “But lookie here, this has all happened before.” And we will be forced to go over it again, and again, and again.

Ron Patterson


Every month and week you faithfully tabulate the oil supply numbers, study it, and discern the dwindling production.

For all you know, someone somewhere with a bigger agenda is faithfully creating and publishing those very same numbers, making them up to manipulate the oil markets and the global political situation.

The central banks have a 6 TRILLION DOLLAR derivative position in the oil markets. (See BIS website). In my book, that counts for at least something.

Roger's point is - you dont know. You did not actualy count the barrels being produced and consumed - instead taking other's word for it.

I happen to agree with you.

But we dont know.


And the fact that we don't know is more reason to be concerned, not less.

For all you know, someone somewhere with a bigger agenda is faithfully creating and publishing those very same numbers, making them up to manipulate the oil markets and the global political situation.

Of course this would be possible if we had a one world government with one "someone somewhere" doling out the numbers for all the rest of the world to consume. But surely Francois, you have enough understanding of things, that if you just sat down and thought about it, you would understand why this is impossible.

No, there are about 60 oil producing nations, with about half that number counted as major producers, and they each have their own numbers. In addition to all all these nations reporting their numbers we have Middle East Experts, Platts, Rigzone, IEA, EIA, Tanker Trackers, Import Talliers, and dozens of other experts trying to glean the true production numbers from all the producing nations.

Of course these numbers are far from perfect. But I would wager that they are far better now than they were in 1979. But if we know anything Francois, we know that there is no "someone somewhere" doling out world production numbers for every nation in the world to report as their own.

And please forgive me for my sarcasm, but I think that was a rather silly suggestion on your part. And I believe that if you think about it hard enough, you will agree with me.

Ron Patterson


You still dont know.

There is certainly a lot more "cooperation" in the world than a theory of independent autonomous countries all working for their individual benefit would suggest.

When Australia jumps into the war in Iraq, DESPITE knowing the true story, who made that phonecall?

Today, the dollar is magically rallying against practically all currencies, with a simultaneous takedown of gold and oil futures - who coordinated that one in the absence of any earthshaking news?

Things are not as they seem, and we dont know.


Oh right Francois! I completely forgot. It is all one giant, multi-nation conspiracy involving thousands of international co-conspirators. And directing this gigantic conspiracy is Dick Cheney, right? Yes, it was Dick Cheney who made that phone call. Hell everyone knows that.

And Dick made the call to several hundred FOREX member banks and instructed them to rally the dollar. How they do that I really don't know but I suppose they all simultaniously fudge the numbers in their computers.

Yes, things are not what they seem. There is this giant conspiracy to cause the dollar, first to fall then to rise, to cause oil prices to rise by demanding that all oil producing nations cut back on production. Well, either that or instructing them to lie about their production numbers.

It is all one gigantic conspiracy, how could I be so stupid as to think otherwise. We do have a one world government and the king of that government is Dick Cheney. Or is it George W. Bush?

Ron Patterson

P.S. Sorry for the sarcasm, but I just wanted to show that when you get completely silly I can get even sillier.

Oh well,

You certainly beat me in sillyness.

What is so "conspiratorial" to think that central banks co-ordinate currency movements? What is so "conspiritorial" to think that big money controls politicians and that it spans international boundaries? Who are the owners of the Federal Reserve Bank, and if they are European, why would they necessarily be loyal to your and my interests?

Why is globalism such a great idea for Americans, and if not, why are our politicians not against it?

I am tired of running into this reflexive non-thinking "go home, you damn conspiracist" claptrap whenever these questions are raised.

I dont know all that is going on. Roger says he does not know. Leanan says we should be worried if we dont know.

Lets drop this thread.


If Roger is arguing that the data is all useless then what data is good? All data is produced by someone else except for the tiny bit that you produce, if you are even a producer of data at all! In other words, at some level we have to trust one another to some degree. We all recognize that there may be small statistical issues with these very large aggregate numbers but Roger's insinuation borders on calling the entire rest of the world a massive conspiracy. Sorry, I don't buy that.

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

GreyZone, I don't think it is Roger who is arguing that all the data is useless, that is Francios' argument. He is saying that "someone somewhere" is just making up all the production data and instructing all the nations and all the data gathering instutions of the world to use this "made up data." And that same "someone somewhere" is also pulling all the strings concerning everything else. That "someone somewhere" is deciding whether the dollar will rise or fall, who will go to war against whom, and every other major decision in the world.

In my opinion such suggestions should simply be ignored, not argued with.

Roger's position on the other hand is that the data is valid but because there have been decreases in production before, that what is happening right now is nothing new. That is, because oil production has declined before, it is simply happening again, and as before, oil production will rebound as it did before.

That was what my post was intended to refute. On the other hand Francios' position was that none of the data is valid because it is all being dictated by TPTB and all the nations of the world and all the institutions of the world are obliged to yield to their dictates. I don't buy a damn word of it. But mind you an awful lot of people do. They even have their own mailing list. It is called "Alasbabylon". There all the conspiracy theoryists gather and explain how we fools don't understand that "things are not necessarily as they seem to be." That is, all news reports, all oil production data, and all the world's currencies are really being controlled by TPTB rather than as they seem to be, by supply and demand.

Ron Patterson

Take the discussion in the press about Putin's "visit" to Iran. Well it wasn't a visit to just be with Iran, well one would think so from the reports. But it was not just Iran and Russia. There were three other Caspian sea countries there also. The term Summit was used.


Oil, boundaries of sea territory, Pipelines, who could use countries for military use in the future.

Anyone know who the other three countries were that were part of this Summit meeting in Iran.

Now, if one had just been reading and watching the nightly news,.. in the US, one would have the perception this was just ol Rootin Tootin Puti palling it up with Amadenijiadsky,... well Putin just up and decided to give ol Iran al little ol HELLO, been a while. Nothing like a Summit was why he went there.

People knowing the facts, and the history, sometimes come to completely different conclusions when deciding about a course of action. Putting labels on a person can be thought of as a weak mind, trying to overcome their own weaknesses, in many cases. Labels instead of facts or ideas are the trademarks of trolls on most forums. Sometimes using labels and other forms of manipulation on others is termed "cointelpro". but thats not real either is it? Is that what you think?

Dick Cheney making the Phone calls. No, I don't think so. Phone calls, no I don't think so,/

now, the idea or perception that the people who control the banking system are somehow using a method of communication, yea, I think that is a possibility. What that method is, well I doubt you could trace it, or even prove it, unless you were given the "key".

I think if you were to ask the common man. Do you think the banking and financial system is manipulated. You really think they will say NO. How one gets to that perception is based on their own perceptions, and direct experience and how they interpret that. Their ideas are all valid until proven otherwise, proven by data and facts and absolute certainty. Not consensus or group think.

I've never seen so many know it alls, on what is claimed to be a scientific forum.

Now relax and come listen to a story about a man named Jeb, a poor mountaineer, but he kept his family feed, but one day, while he was out huntin sum food, well, up from the ground came a bubbling crude, black gold, texas tea, millionaires, swimming pools..

and so it began.

sleep tight chillins, next up, bad moon rising, or is it that moon will be at its Perigee and full end of the month. Full bright moon. Perfect for night time activities.

But that is just plain silly, nobody is planning nothin.


CORRECTION. I have seen so many know it alls at another forum. Badastronomy. com run by Phil and his band of merry yes men. So its actually pretty common on many. :)

Of course the holy of holies, run by a one James H, well of course its sacred isn't it. All right all the time. the eight wonder of the world.

As for Conspiracy and can't keep a secret. Sure, compartmentalized is such a hard thing to do.

Knights Templar win reprieve after 700 years- Documents released by Vatican

The Knights Templar, the medieval Christian military order accused of heresy and sexual misconduct, will soon be partly rehabilitated when the Vatican publishes trial documents it had closely guarded for 700 years.

You started this morning by complaining that Roger is an idiot for not seeing the peak the same way you do:

"Well Roger, anyone in their right mind knew exactly what happened in the early 1980s"

I said you dont know for sure, and I dont either, and I gave you some what ifs.

Now I read that I am one of the great conspiracy theorists.

Give me a break.


You started this morning by complaining that Roger is an idiot for not seeing the peak the same way you do: "Well Roger, anyone in their right mind knew exactly what happened in the early 1980s"

Francios, you owe me an apology. I did not call Roger an idiot and I never have. Actually I was paraphrasing Roger himself who said:

Now in 1981-82, who in their right mind would not have said, "This is it. It's peak.

And I quoted that line in my original post this morning, so it was quite clear I was replying to Roger's "right mind" comment. I am entitled to use the same language Roger used in replying to me when I reply back to him.

I am awaiting your apology and if you are a gentleman it will be forthcoming.

Ron Patterson

There are only two infinite things. The Universe and the Petro... I mean, the stupidity of Man.

I know! I know!

You meant the Petrosaurus - the dinosaur species single handedly responsible for the large deposits of fossil fuel and which people say still lives underground in large numbers!

Rumour has it their capital city is called Abiotica.


OPEC has done its utmost to satisfy the world's demand for fuel and pumping even more crude will do little to halt oil's rally towards $88 a barrel, officials said on Tuesday.

So, an additional 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 mbpd would have little effect?

An interesting new rationalization: Even if we pump more oil, it would have little effect, so why pump more oil?

Net Oil Exports and the "Iron Triangle"
Posted by Khebab on July 13, 2007 - 8:00am
This is a post by Jeffrey J. Brown, an independent petroleum geologist in the Dallas, Texas area.

If one resides in the oil industry leg of the Iron Triangle, and if one has concluded that Peak Oil is upon us, or extremely close, does one say, "We cannot increase our production," and thereby encourage massive conservation and alternative energy efforts, or does one say "We choose not to increase production and/or we are temporarily unable to increase production for the following reasons (fill in the blank)?"

I am going to tell you one last time Westexas it is the speculators as my converation with Joe kernen written above will show.
And of course it is also the lack of refineries (who BTW are making less money than almost anytime in the last year).

Pretty soon, we will see a new Axis of (Peak Oil) Evil: The Speculators; ASPO and The Oil Drum.

Who did the famous painting of "The Scream?"

When the talking heads at CNBC touch upon the possibility that we can't have an infinite rate of increase in our consumption of a finite energy resource base, you can almost see a primal scream response developing: Nooooooooo!

Speculators and Hoarders.

Stalin had great success with this.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens


Didn't KSA flood the market with oil in the mid 80s to reclaim market share by driving the price of oil to $8/bbl, thereby shutting down all of Midland-Odessa?

I remember it well, although the low was about $10, and it really didn't stay there for that long, but the sustained drop was about 50% from recent oil prices.

It's interesting that the pain from the low oil prices in 1986 (and 1998 and 1999) was highly concentrated, while the benefits were very diffuse. Today, it's the opposite. The benefits from higher oil prices are highly concentrated, while pain is very widespread.

In any case, my ELP recommendations are largely based on my "Been there, done that" experiences in the Eighties. When we were wiped out in 1986, we didn't waste time mourning for what had been lost (which was a lot). We adjusted to the new reality and got on with our lives (as we moved from a lavishly remodeled Victorian house to a small apartment).

I agree with your suggestions as to how to move forward. I was really asking the question in response to OPEC's claim that there is nothing they can do to lower prices. If they are telling the truth this time, it would mean they cannot raise production to lower prices, ie, they have peaked.

Didn't KSA flood the market with oil in the mid 80s to reclaim market share by driving the price of oil to $8/bbl, thereby shutting down all of Midland-Odessa

On the US front at that time, How to deal with Russia. Where do they get their hard currencies? Gold, Oil on international stage.

Reagan visits Canadian Head on St. Pats day. Canada dumps their gold on the market depressing Gold prices. Dampens Russia's cash flow.

Saudi Arabia dropped their oil price and flooded the market at production costs of what? $3-10 a barrel? USSR cost I heard $19 to pump. At $18 on the market, they were bleeding money.

In the end the USSR went bankrupt.

I believe That was when ex-CIA head George Bush Sr was VP.

coincidences abound in human nature.

Platts apparently wants people to believe there is a linear relationship between investment and production levels.
In other news, a 580tbpd refinery producing fuels for export in India, which only extracts about 700tbpd of crude in total? Something wrong here.

Yep. I saw that also.

Like money trumps energy.

The price of these projects doubling (and Conoco
pulled out of Yanbu Refinery Project) is the fullest
expression of EROEI.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

The question really is, "why wasn't that investment made"? It wasn't like the oil companies suddenly ran out of money. Or that they didn't know they needed to discover more and produce more.

I continue to believe that the Navy-Arctic/Polaris program has known about Climate Change for at least 3 decades and that we've known (via Simmons and the '79 Church Committee that Ghawar peaks in 2003.

And you can easily find Dr K's (intimately involved in the "Great Grain Robbery") pronouncement on Population Control.

If you were TPTB what would you do?

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Yes, the Navy logs ice data for purely practical
reasons. Subs prefer to surface thru thinner ice.
And need to avoid the really thick stuff.

OK, that's a given. Do you think the data ever
travels to policymakers? Do you think anyone
sits and ponders the dataset? I really don't have
an answer to that. Anyway for public consumption
it's still classified. And probably will remain
so even after a uniform ice thickness of zero
makes the matter moot.

You didn't see the movie an inconvenient truth? Al Gore shows exactly that graph in the film. Go see it. Daunting graph.

Saw it 3 weeks before general release.
Probably should get a new copy.
What could he show besides the "Gore
Box"? Still. does anyone pay attention?
I was responding to post about how TPTB
have known all these things all along.
Who knows what TPTB know?

EPR, Euopean's First Generation III+ Nuclear Reactor


It is designed for a 60-year service life, life (compared to the reactors currently in operation, designed for a 40-year service life),

The EPR offers economic generation of electricity. They are estimated as being 10 percent lower, than those of the most modern nuclear units currently in operation

Converting 5.4 ounces (0.34 lb) of Uranium to fission products will release enough heat to generate an 80 year lifetime supply of electricity for an average American with no CO2 emissions. Our primitive first generation nuclear plants split less than 1% of the Uranium mined to fuel them. In order to produce 5.4 ounces of fission products we mine 58 lb of Uranium.

We need to start building new tech nuke reactors ASAP. Uranimum is plentiful and this produces 0 co2 emissions.

If you're going to build them, just don't let Areva-Siemens come anywhere close. I'm losing hope with their building Olkiluoto-3 in Finland, the project is two years late already and I'm 100% certain it'll be much more late when (if ever) they finally finish it.


Unfortunately the labor pool that has institutional memory on building enough reactors to handle future demand is in short supply. How long has it been since a reactor has been built in the US? And how old would anyone be that has actual experience in building reactors? Betcha they are almost all retired. So now you have to train a completely new workforce. Add a big push to really build these things fast and just imagine how quality control and oversight will go right out the window. Multiply the “big dig” fiasco by ten.

Totally baseless. The US has scores of engineers with nuclear knowhow. While no completely new nuclear facilities have been built, individual reactors are going up as we speak.

Who is talking just about engineers? Your comment really shows the bias towards desk jockeys on this site.

A squad sent in to do a company sized job makes a good story line in a heroic war movie but its no way to run a railroad.

I see this every day in telecom. There aren't enough people with IP.clue to make all the new stuff fit, so companies stagger forward by fits and starts, until something catches fire, and then an old school telecom engineering firm is paid for five hundred hours doing what would be for me a night's work and maybe gets it right.

I would prefer to not have nuke plants staggering. There are two classes of folks - those who already are nuclear plant engineers and they're too far into their career to retrain, and those who have the aptitude but not the schooling. I worry how many people who are just scraping by will go pay for four years of college in the face of very uncertain times.

Skills will become worth much less, but will have greater value. Does that make sense?


What one should really be worried about is the enormous amount of extremely talented people downsized and outsourced out of jobs by high tech corporations.

As I was near leaving I was supposed to train some newbie college grad programmers...I couldn't do it for the main one I had to work with could not spell and each day took a few 'dumb' pills before coming to work..he was later let go for selling real estate as his desk. He was great in his nice shiny new suit and wingtips but he couldn't install a single program product.Not one...He just had spent too much time shining on the prof at college. Then he played his 'race card' as he realized he was incompetent and part of a ratio.

All the very best of my peers in diverse locations in my company 'walked'. The company is still slowly dying and now Eastern Indians are all that is pretty much left and they talk from 'scripts'. Scripts never fixed a network outage.

I was there as all my Rexx based 'tools' were shitcanned as I was walking out the portals. My divison morphed to contract worker in the range of hundreds per hour ..for your basic simpleton.

airdale-and we wonder why it is that we are the loser of the world instead of that shining city on a hill,,our lights have all gone out and for a mess of red porridge and some quickie bucks for golden parachutes and trophy wives

I agree.

The other thing often overlooked is the fact that much of the engineering and construction of a nuclear power plant has little if anything to do with actual reactor itself and is more or less just a variation of large-scale power plant
engineering and construction.

Thus, a large conventional engineering and construction firm should have little problem in adapting to the building of nuclear power plants. Furthermore, nuclear power technology is relatively mature and well-known, so the building of a new nuclear power plant (in spite of the fact that one hasn't been built in the US for about 30 years) is hardly the venture into unchartered territory that some here seem to think.

If there is money to be made, the expertise will follow in short order. It always works that way.

And what about the nuclear subs and aircraft carriers? The US still builds them.

"...and this produces 0 co2 emission"

Marketing/PR 101. This is misleading rubbish...

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

Paulson says homes crisis presents 'significant risk' to economy

“Let me be clear, despite strong economic fundamentals, the housing decline is still unfolding and I view it as the most significant current risk to our economy,” Paulson said in a speech delivered at Georgetown University’s law school. “The longer housing prices remain stagnant or fall, the greater the penalty to our future economic growth.”

In his most somber assessment of the crisis to date, Paulson said that the housing correction is “not ending as quickly” as it had appeared it would and that “it now looks like it will continue to adversely impact our economy, our capital markets and many homeowners for some time yet.”

Sounds like they're priming for another rate cut.

The Fed follows the market.

For those who wonder how serious the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are -


I'm not going to go into any detail, but yes, those were the people responsible since the mid-1990s for American energy policy, along with a number of other things. What they are making fun of is a government program to help children's families pay for medical care.

Yes, yes, I know, people making fun of a program which provides health care for children seems in truly poor taste (it certainly does in Germany), but remember, these are the same Republicans involved in energy policy.

Just more evidence of why America is really going to face a difficult future.

I get a range of nasty emails, including one today built around this link:


Anyone, esp UK, know who this "new party" is? Another front org? It's been 30 years of research and study. When will these nuts learn?

Revealed: the man behind court attack on Gore film

Dimmock credited the little-known New Party with supporting him in the test case but did not elaborate on its involvement. The obscure Scotland-based party calls itself 'centre right' and campaigns for lower taxes and expanding nuclear power.

Records filed at the Electoral Commission show the New Party has received nearly all of its money - almost £1m between 2004 and 2006 - from Cloburn Quarry Limited, based in Lanarkshire.

The company's owner and chairman of the New Party, Robert Durward, is a long-time critic of environmentalists. With Mark Adams, a former private secretary to Tony Blair, he set up the Scientific Alliance, a not-for-profit body comprising scientists and non-scientists, which aims to challenge many of the claims about global warming.

The alliance issued a press release welcoming last week's court ruling and helped publicise Dimmock's case on its website. It also advised Channel 4 on the Great Global Warming Swindle, a controversial documentary screened earlier this year that attempted to challenge claims made about climate change.

In 2004 the alliance co-authored a report with the George C Marshall Institute, a US body funded by Exxon Mobil, that attacked climate change claims. 'Climate change science has fallen victim to heated political and media rhetoric ... the result is extensive misunderstanding,' the report's authors said.

From the New Party
Wind energy is now the biggest component of the UK government’s renewable energy programme and many new wind farms are being built solely because of the large subsidies available. On the face of it wind turbines would appear to make sense as the wind is free, it is everlasting and the turbines themselves do not emit greenhouse gasses - but it is not that simple.

Known Facts:

1. To generate just 1,000MW of electricity by wind power would require turbines covering an area the size of Dartmoor (368 square miles) and we would need at least 55 “Dartmoors” to power the UK.
2. Wind turbines cannot operate when the wind level is too high or too low and only generate electricity for about 25% of the time. This means that conventional power stations need to kept running on variable loadings, as a back up, this is highly inefficient.
3. The amount of power consumed by manufacturing, transporting and erecting the giant turbines is said to be more than the machines are capable of generating throughout their entire lifespan.
4. A great deal of environmental damage is caused by bulldozing roads onto hilltops, transporting the raw materials and components from all around the world and using high volumes of concrete.
5. There are also problems with noise, bird strikes, visual intrusion and adjoining property values.

1. Using 2MW turbines (82m blade diameter with 5x3 spacing between turbines), an area about 515km (320 miles) squared can be instaleld with 2 GW of capacity, with 5MW turbines this will be about 316km squared (200 miles) With the turbines taking up only a fraction of the available space. The space required for mining and supplying the fuel to traditional power stations isnt taken into account.

2. Turbines operate about 80% of the time but deliver around 25-30% of the output they would if they where operating at full capacity for the full length of time.

3. Total BS wind has one of the highest EROEI of energy generating technologies, and no fuel cost, risk

4. Moot, turbines can be installed offshore and local damage can be minimised with sensible construction practices. Decommisioning a wind farm is much cheaper and easier than a nuclear or coal plant.

5. Noise is overrated and can be overcome, and other impact of a turbine is insignificant compared to climate change, the main effect of rising energy prices caused by increasing fuel costs will be a destruction of tourism and economic slowdown casuing property value loss.

Any power grid is variable, and spinnign reserve is used to backup any plant connected. Wind could never power the entire grid, but could supply 10-20% of a grid requirements.

515 km^2 is not 320 square miles. It's about 202 square miles. While bigger turbines will allow denser MW/area the effect is not very big. Usually one would rather get more distance between turbines to decrease turbulence and increase production. If area is restricted one might see 10 MW/km^2 from modern turbines. If the area is not really restricted then 5 MW/km^2 is probably more likely. In any case a very small fraction of UK land area would be needed to power UK. Personally I think they should export wind power to central Europe as well. It would be much better idea than to expect ever increasing natural gas imports from Russia.

Spinning reserve is used to back up the biggest fast change that might occur in the system. That's usually the tripping of biggest power plant or biggest transmission line. Wind power won't affect spinning reserve, because fast changes don't take place with aggregated wind production. If you put a very large windfarm behind one transmission connection, then you would need to account for that.

What you need with large amounts of wind is more capacity in the regulation market. This market takes care of deviations that happen after unit commitment decisions have been made usually 12-36 hours before the actual hour of operation. This is normally provided by regular power plants who didn't get committed in the spot market (in case there is need for more power).

Wind is by no means not restricted to 10-20% of electricity in the system. This is a misconception based on the fact that most wind integration studies have not looked beyond 20%. In reality these studies only claim additional costs that are around 5-10% of the wind production costs at 20% penetration. There is no reason why 20% cannot be crossed, integration costs do increase but not dramatically. Here's a brand new state-of-the-art report on the issue:


"campaigns for lower taxes and expanding nuclear power."

lower taxes, but raking in the subsidies for nuclear.

Hmmm, I thought this won't happen until a later stage in the decline...

Falling numbers of state dentists in England has led to some people taking extreme measures, including extracting their own teeth, according to a new study released Monday.

Others have used superglue to stick crowns back on, rather than stumping up for private treatment...

I wonder how often that happens in the USA, where there is no national health system in the first place.

It's common enough that all kinds of fix-your-tooth things are for sale in any drugstore, and that people often brag about doing their own extractions etc.

I've been thinking a bit lately about how hard it might be to defect to Cuba.

Probably about as hard as getting to an airport that has flights to Cuba: I understand the US don't.. Or they do, but those flights are for a place called Guantanamo :)

It's illegal, and would get me life in prison or the firing squad. Probably a "hit" (assination) order against me even in Cuba, unless I kept a very low profile.

Depending on the conditions at sea, I might not be that hard to sail a small boat right on over. Gotta bring water, food, radio, and know how to friggin' sail, but it would be do-able. Probably the hardest part would be getting past US shore defenses on the way out - which is why a small boat, we're talking about something just a bit larger than a Laser, would be the ticket.

Hehe now that I think of it, if they're using Lasers in the olympics, I could sail over in one and it would be my gift to the Cuban olympic team.

Very very very difficult for Americans to get to Cuba. Cuba is set up on an anti-consumerism system, so of course to the US gov't it's the ultimate evil.

It's NOT very very difficult to get to Cuba for Americans. I have several people I know that have visited there. You need to first get out of US, then make travel arrangements once in Latin America. Most of these folks are pretty extreme activists (Pacifica Radio listeners) who could care less if they got in political/legal trouble once back in the US.

"First you have to get out of the US...." which means money and the passport to go elsewhere, even mexico or canada.

Yes, folks, you heard it here first, listening to Pacifica Radio makes you a dangerous radical in the Evil Empire. (I think Pacifica is great, it just says something about the Evil Empire that merely listening to it can get you in deep doodoo.)

I certainly could not care less what kind of trouble I'm in in the Empire once out of it. The Empire takes great pleasure in killing the homeless, starving its own children, and firing people if they get breast cancer (see today's news) so I certainly know there'd be a death sentence on my head if I left it. I mean that's just obvious, just ask anyone who defected from Nazi Germany to the US all those years ago.

Readers here outside the US have got to realize that getting the required money and papers to leave the US is becoming an impossible wish for most of the US's subjects.

Hello Vtpeaknik,

Thxs for the info. Recall my earlier postings on the barrels of teeth scavenged from the dead youngsters at the Battle of Waterloo--Waterloo dentures were a very expensive and high status item right up til the American Civil War.

My guess is currently that Zimbabwean young adults are the most sugar-deprived, therefore might have excellent, non-decayed teeth for a postPeak Dieoff harvest in the future.

Never forget that Britain was once so desperate for fertilizers that sailing ships imported the bones of 3.5 million dead Eurpoeans annually back in the olden days, plus they laboriously extracted guano from the western coasts and islands of South America, then sailed them around the Horn back to London and other ports.

Did the maritime terms: "dead-heading, dead reckoning, dead weight, and dead ahead" come into being from these ships hauling the bones of multi-millions? Priced guano lately?

Perhaps we should stop the destruction of old tankers so that we can later use them postPeak to haul bones, some guano, and also store NPK fertilizers. My earlier proposal for Govt legislation to make us stockpile fertilizers seems to have fallen upon deaf ears.

If one considers my earlier posting on POT & mission-critical investing: perhaps the next best thing to keep fertilizer availabilty high is that POT stockholders would be postPeak issued their dividends in 'fertilizer certificates' that could only be redeemed for the 'real value' of NPK locally. I think that just the announcement of such a plan would triple the POT price in one market day.

Do you remember 'silver certificates' issued by the US Mint?

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

"Do you remember 'silver certificates' issued by the US Mint?"

Quite well. Used to collect them, till my younger brothers cashed in my collection for cigarette vending machines.

Never heard of importing 3.5 million corpse a year. Do you have a link?

No link, but my old school US geography book stated Hoboken, NJ as the guano import center for the US. Never did forget that.

Hello Doug Fir,


or the original link source:

By 1815, England was importing so many bones for bone meal that people on the Continent starting complaining:

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

...Like a vampire she hangs from the neck of Europe.
Makes one wonder if machete' moshpit graveyards will be the ultimately very sad well-spring for jumpstarting biosolar paradigm shift? I would prefer we build bird & bat guano shelters, compost pits, Humanure Recycling, and keep POT mining and refining for as long as possible.

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


I've been looking at stockpiling a bit of fertilizer after reading so many of your posts. I don't think I'll need much for a garden - reading How To Grow More Vegetables from http://seedsavers.org and the soil around here is wonderful. I don't yet have a good sense for how much might be needed. Any thoughts on the matter? I'm thinking in terms of kick starting gardens for others and a little will go a looonnnnngggg way around here.


Hello SCT,

I am a hopeless city-boy. =(

Perhaps Airdale or Todd might respond as they have much more growing experience than me. I would also check if your city/state has any laws limiting storage quantities of certain chem-fertilizers so you aren't accused of being the next Timothy McVey.

I would imagine multi-mineral guanos could be stored in unlimited quantities because they would require much pre-processing to become chem-seperated into explosives, but the little microbial buggers in the soil will be thrilled to break it down to the basic elements for the plant roots.

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

We're not real big on that whole terror thing here. Ethnic diversity means we've got both types of people - German and Norwegian. A large fertilizer purchase would be enough to do several square miles ... and you could order a thousand gallons of diesel for your storage tank at the same time without raising any eyebrows.

I'm gonna figure things up for what a house sized (four person) garden will take and then maybe start storing in those increments. I'm having visions of being the fertilizer godfather ...

SCT: Why did you go to the garden store? Why didn't you come to me first?

Gardener: What do you want of me? Tell me anything, but do what I beg you to do. I will give you anything you ask.

SCT: We've known each other many years, but this is the first time you ever came to me for phosphorus or potassium. I can't remember the last time that you invited me to your house for a cup of coffee. But let's be frank here. You never wanted my friendship. And uh, you were afraid to be in my debt.

Gardener: I don't want my yields to drop ...

SCT: I understand. Take this (handing a fertilizer bag) and bring that (pointing to small wagon) back full ...

We all shit (and piss) really nice fertilizer, we just have to make sure pathogens don't get through, so that means cooking it, maybe the Humanure system does this, etc.

There are other things that can be done, I've not rejuvenated much land but I've done some. Basically I took a bag of steer manure and sprinkled it all around (then washed myself and the motorcycle I took the stuff home on) and other things I did was dump beer dregs, rinsings from dishes, swishings from sardine cans (Lutefisk may kill your garden though!) and so on. Anything organic.

Around here we have bad, sandy, soil and little water. We also have, for some reason, a holyshitload of grasshoppers. If I were here alone, I'd work on a way to capture, dry, and grind up those stupid little hoppers and they'd make great fertilizer I'm sure. You can also take old wood, chip it, and use that, take the bones from your game kills, etc.

Around here I can't see us buying that evil petro-based fertilizer anyway, since it costs money.


Within reason (and with a couple of caveats), no town is going to worry about how much fertilizer an individual stores for their home garden whether it's guano or synthetic. The only time people will get hasseled is if they want ammonium nitrate.

I'm in the boondocks and usually have 1,000-1,200# of fertilizer on hand (compared to a real farmer, this is a joke). Mine consist of 15-15-15 prilled, soluble 20-20-20 with trace minerals since I like fertigation and it also offers the possibility of using it for hydroponic food production and calcium nitrate. I also stock non-nitrate fertilizers such as rock phosphate, oystershell flour, greensand and gypsum.

All the synthetic stuff drives friends nuts since I was the first certified organic "farmer" in the area. But, it's late and I don't want to spend a lot of time discussing it right now.

As I've posted before, I'm also big on Terra Preta which has little to do with your question. I'm also not big on John Jevons but I've posted about that before, too.


Hello Todd,

Thxs for responding. I am always glad when you, Airdale, and other longtime gardeners/farmers chip-in to help backstop my writings.

I wonder if the 'true photosynthesis roots' of the beginning of the industrial age was grown upon this massive British dead-immigration? If this never happened: perhaps Britain would never had sufficient agricultural surpluses to allow an adequate number of scientists, inventors, and engineers to harness coal to steam engines, and the other crucial first-birthing of mechanical FF-energy slaves. Thus, I think the contribution by Justis Liebig is vastly underated in history. Could be a very interesting Phd thesis for some youngster to compile and analyze.

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

The consumer buying binge is over

It's been said many times, but now consumers are truly tapped out.

It would be nice if we had a nonpartisan way of figuring out how much consumers have seemingly kept the binge going via non-sustainable behavior:

1. taking 2nd jobs
2. having the other spouse go to work
3. substitution by inferior goods
4. of course, maxing out credit cards

Finally, we need to get real inflation numbers. If inflation is as high as many on this site fear, then we've really had zero growth for some time, and increased spending is mostly an artifact of higher prices and the need for survival.

In other words, right now is exactly like the 1970s, except the government is lying inflation down by 3-4%. That lie makes all the difference in how we've perceived conditions.

By the way, when saying "taking 2nd jobs" and "other spouse working" being non-sustainable, I just mean that you can only get a one-time boost from each.

plus, as has been discussed on here a lot - a loss in resilience which ultimately is likely to lead to other crises later down the line...
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

More evidence for the ELM? I wonder what will be the tipping point in world exports? That point where declines in net exports causes fundamental changes in the economy? 10% 25% 50%?

Flavius Aetius

The Middle East, which now represents 4.8 per cent of global consumption, accounts for 24 per cent of that forecast growth in demand, with an increase of 310,000 barrels a day. That's a bigger increase than is expected in the world's largest oil consumer, the United States.

In percentage terms, the Middle East countries will see their oil demand grow by 4.9 per cent, second only to China's 6.3-per-cent pace, the Vienna-based cartel said. North America demand, by contrast, will climb a meagre 1.3 per cent this year, while western Europe will see an actual decline of 1.25 per cent. UNQUOTE

Oil prices spikes above $88 to new high

Light, sweet crude for November delivery rose $1.74 to $87.86 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil prices reached a new record trading high of 88.20 earlier in the session after settling at a record close of $86.13 a barrel on Monday.

Couple of articles from today's NY Times:

Drought-Stricken South Facing Tough Choices

ATLANTA, Oct. 15 — For the first time in more than 100 years, much of the Southeast has reached the most severe category of drought, climatologists said Monday, creating an emergency so serious that some cities are just months away from running out of water.

Hurricane Fears Cost Homeowners Coverage in East

GARDEN CITY, N.Y., Oct. 15 — It is 1,200 miles from the coastline where Hurricane Katrina touched land two years ago to the neat colonial-style home here where James Gray, a retired public relations consultant, and his wife, Ann, live. But this summer, Katrina reached them, too, in the form of a cancellation letter from their home-insurance company.

The letter said that “hurricane events over the past two years” had forced the company to limit its exposure to further losses; and that because the Grays’ home on Long Island was near the Atlantic Ocean — it is 12 miles from the coast and has been touched by rampaging waters only once, when the upstairs bathtub overflowed — their 30-year-old policy was “nonrenewed,” or canceled.

Last week, Mayor Charles L. Turner of Siler City declared a water shortage emergency and ordered each “household, business and industry” to reduce water use by 50 percent. Penalties for not complying range from stiff fines to the termination of water service.

That seems rather unfair. People have been wasteful with water will be able to cut back easily, while those who have been conserving all along will have a hard time cutting back more.

Yup. It's not wise to voluntarily conserve anything that's easily tracked, because that lowers your "baseline" in a crunch. Better to have a swimming pool and fill it regularly.

This is something to keep in mind also with respect to electricity, which is also easily tracked. If you put in compact fluorescents now, then when the time comes, you will have it much harder than your neighbor who doesn't.

The problem is that anything else would be harder to administer - imagine the terrible strain that factoring in a lifeline quantity would impose on shiftless government officials and their feckless minions. All that arithmetic, a whole extra line of code in the billing program, it just boggles the mind. And of course those officials would never want to introduce economics by charging more per gallon. After all, holding onto power is the thing, so no red-blooded American voter should ever be asked to pay for what he or she uses.

Creating perverse incentives is soooooo typical of how governments, with their characteristic sloth, ineptitude, and lust for power, handle this sort of thing. And what's really scary is that there are folks around here who want to greatly expand the arbitrary powers that governments exercise so badly and even cruelly. Yikes.

That's because they see the alternative as worse. And I'm not sure they're wrong.

It's simply the Tragedy of the Commons, in all its shining glory. Garrett Hardin saw this coming, 40 years ago.

We'll now see increasing calls for water from the Great Lakes being pumped south. But water levels in Lake Superior have already dropped by at least 1 foot in the past few years.

The cruel irony is that the alternative is privatization, which is easily as evil.

Hardin sees no way out of the dilemma. Neither does Beryl Crowe in Revisiting the Tragedy of the Commons.

The Great Lakes states have a compact - no use of their water outside the watershed that feeds the lakes themselves. There is one town that has to have a split system as one side is in the watershed and the other side is not.


Or you could apply maximum rates per person in household.

Water, like Oil is vastly under-priced. It is NOT infinite in supply. To really cut comsumption in half, why not raise the price 10X?

Atlanta is getting frightful water restrictions for Christmas and Athens' goose will be cooked in time for Thanksgiving. Both will be functionally out of water and the twin blows of housing slowdown and no water are wiping out the landscaping companies in the area. There are more stories than this but these are two names that are recognizable on a national level ...

AP wire:
"At the end of September about 43 percent of the contiguous United States was in moderate to extreme drought, the National Climate Data Center said Tuesday.

Worldwide, meanwhile, the agency said the year to date has been the warmest on record for land."

"Killer Cow Emissions"-
It's likely that we're vastly understating the methane production from the warming Arctic, which of course stokes a positive-feedback loop.
But then the residence time of methane in the atmosphere is much shorter than CO2, so mitigation could give results quickly, if it were possible.
But as others have observed, the Arctic may already be past the tipping point.

But then the residence time of methane in the atmosphere is much shorter than CO2, so mitigation could give results quickly, if it were possible.

If I'm not mistaken, one of the by products of methane breakdown is CO2 which lasts apparently many thousands of years.

But CH4 is 20x more "potent" as a GHG than CO2, thus once it is converted it is much less of a problem. That is why flaring NG, as silly as it is, is far better than simply releasing it.

Without ever thinking about it I sort of assumed they flared it for safety reasons, or something like that, rather than to reduce the potency of GHGs. What's the truth, anyone?

Safety reasons is right. Look what happened at Texas City: vented gas was ignited by a spark from a running truck engine and exploded, killed 15 people. BP was severely criticised for using vent stacks rather than flares.

You will normally keep your flare burning at low level, continuously, because (a) there is always a small amount of acid gas that it isn't economical to recover for processing, and (b) it acts as a pilot light in case you have an emergency shutdown and have to get rid of the entire gas content of the plant to depressurize it in a hurry.

Flares are normally sized to burn the entire gas throughput of the related plant in a blowdown situation. This can be spectacular when it happens, albeit only for a short while. The rating of the flare system may well be the design criterion that sets the overall capacity of the plant.



Re: Sales Strong at Winnebago.

I regularly drive by Winnebago's main plant at Forest City. There has been a marked slow down since a couple of years ago. Sales of $870 million are down from about $1 billion back then if I recall. Back then several new buildings were erected and a vendor's paint shop that does the fancy paint jobs on the big ones was finished. The lots were so packed with motor homes that there was hardly room to move them. Now the lots are nearly empty and most of the chassis waiting to be built are of the Dodge Sprinter type which are used for small motor homes. I have watched Winnebago's fortunes rise and fall for nearly forty years. Fuel prices and interest rates have a large effect on the company. They have survived because of the work ethic of North Iowans (non-union labor at about $10.00/hr.) and the company's refusal to take on much debt. This has enabled it to survive albeit with reduced sales and earnings until the next cycle. However with Peak Oil knocking at the door, I'm expecting more tough times for Winnebago Industries.

The question is this - "How quickly can Winnebago retool from producing motor coaches to producing emergency housing for mobs of refugees from the southwest?

Motor coaches are emergency housing when they run out of gas :-)

The ASPO effect link is taking me to the Venezuelan article, just FYI
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Thanks. Should be fixed now.

It looks to us like oil is a $70-$80 commodity," said Adam Robinson, analyst at Lehman Brothers."

An "analyst" is apparently someone good at predicting what already happened.

" May 16 (Reuters) - Lehman Brothers on Wednesday raised its West Texas Intermediate (CLc1: Quote, Profile, Research) crude oil price forecast for 2007 and 2008, and said it currently believes that oil prices have more upside than natural gas.

The brokerage said gas prices are likely to be capped by residual fuel oil prices throughout the refill season.

Lehman raised its 2007 WTI oil price estimate to $63 from $60, and 2008 estimate to $60 from $55."



For three decades Vice President Dick Cheney conducted a secretive, behind-closed-doors campaign to give the president virtually unlimited wartime power. Finally, in the aftermath of 9/11, the Justice Department and the White House made a number of controversial legal decisions. Orchestrated by Cheney and his lawyer David Addington, the department interpreted executive power in an expansive and extraordinary way, granting President George W. Bush the power to detain, interrogate, torture, wiretap and spy -- without congressional approval or judicial review.

Now, as the White House appears ready to ignore subpoenas in the wiretapping and U.S. attorneys' cases, FRONTLINE's season premiere, Cheney's Law, airing Oct. 16, 2007, at 9 P.M. ET on PBS (check local listings), examines the battle over the power of the presidency and Cheney's way of looking at the Constitution.

"The vice president believes that Congress has very few powers to actually constrain the president and the executive branch," former Justice Department attorney Marty Lederman tells FRONTLINE. "He believes the president should have the final word, indeed the only word on all matters within the executive branch."

U.S. looks at alternative Iraq supply routes

The U.S. military is preparing alternatives to a strategically important air base in Turkey in case that country halts access to the facility, two senior U.S. military officials said Tuesday.

CNN is reporting that memos have been sent out telling military staff to get ready to move, if necessary.

Right, sure, alternatives:
Strike Camp Damascus, or are we gonna start tunnelling?

The Big Picture:

Khebab repeated one of the most perception altering posts ever on TOD:


Matthew Simmons discusses the oceans:


One cubic mile of oil is consumed per year. 70% of it is used in transportation alone, which is 98% dependent on oil.

Less than 1% of oceans deeper than 50 feet have been truly explored, per Simmons.

70% of the Earth is covered in ocean.

Hard to panic, when you think about it, and for those who discount the value of offshore, remember Canterell, remember the North Sea, remember that Saudi Arabia now produces as much or more oil off shore as on shore all fields combined...kind of breaks the stereotype of the "rig out in the barren desert", doesn't it.

This game is FAR from over folks.
Hedge, be careful.


"Perception-altering"? It only reinforced my perceptions.

Leanan said,
"Perception-altering"? It only reinforced my perceptions."

But your naturally clever. I was dumb. The first time I saw the statistic, I was absolutely dumbfounded. :-)

If I had been asked to guess before seeing, I would have said, "Consume a year in cubic miles?" "I don't know, it's got to be around 50, maybe more."

I polled a middle aged, middle class group of business men and women I work with, not in the energy industry, and many of them guessed it would 100 or more cubic miles!

I began to wonder, where did their mis-perception come from? Then I realized that they, like me, recall the 1970's crisis, and how we were told again and again and again about the horrid wastefulness of Americans.

While true, it created the perception that the amount of oil we consume is almost infinite. It's a lot, but not infinite. It can be substitued, or at least a large part of it can be. It will be. But it surely won't be easy. The challenge will be huge, but the opportunities great.


i think it is much simpler than that

you are talking miles and people think Gallons and people haven't a clue how many gallons in a cubic mile

or a cubic meter or a cubic anything really... it is not a measure they deal with in real life so it has no perception value... just like my being in the US for 8 years has made me think in pounds and feet and miles again, so i have difficulty when people talk about a 70kilo person who is 1 meter 80 tall and travels 30 kilometers to work, back in Europe... i lack the everyday connection with the quantities...
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Exactly. It's just not a metric people are used to dealing with. Heck, most people are shocked at how much cubic yard of topsoil is.

However, when it came to filling in a dip in the back garden, as part of an expansion to the vegetable patch, one thing I did notice was just how small a cubic yard of topsoil is. Countless wheel barrow loads later, I was very disappointed to have to ring up and double the previous order. :)

One minute to midnite...it's a little late to start the exploration of the moon (aka the ocean depths).

Pick your number, anything less than 10 years and we have run out of time.

And, Oil isn't the only game in town.

The game isn't over, but we are in the 7th inning and down 8 runs. Stand up and stretch, and pray for extra innings.

Here's hoping you are right!

I thought that the ocean crust is too thin to have pushed organic matter throught the "oil window", and there is therefore no oil under the deep ocean. The only "deep sea" oil that has been found so far is at the edges of continental crusts.

Matt Simmons' "Ocean Energy" presentation is not about deepwater oil. It's about tidal power and things like that.

Leanan said:
"Matt Simmons' "Ocean Energy" presentation is not about deepwater oil. It's about tidal power and things like that."

But why would we even have think about deep ocean being only 1% explored if it is only wave power he was referring to? He also mentioned several other things, including ocean venting, algae capture in the oceans...I think he was speaking much more broadly than just tidal power...I will look at it again, though.


Yes, he was also talking about ocean geothermal, ocean thermal, biodiesel from algae, etc. He was NOT talking about oil and gas, though. He made that clear.

remember that Saudi Arabia now produces as much or more oil off shore as on shore all fields combined...

Citation please. You may want to look here... http://www.theoildrum.com/files/6MissingFields.jpg

Less than 1% of oceans deeper than 50 feet have been truly explored, per Simmons.

Just because there are some offshore oilfields doesn't mean the whole offshore is uniformly prospective, any more than the fact that there are many oilfields in Texas means the whole USA is equally prospective. To a first approximation, it works like this: the further you go away from land, the less the chance of finding the unaltered high-porosity high-permeability sedimentary (river channel, delta or outer delta fan) or limestone (e.g. coral reef) rocks you need for a decent reservoir, or the thermally mature organic source rocks you need to fill the reservoirs with oil or gas. Mid-ocean spreading centers are worst of all - nothing but igneous rock overlain by black (good) but uncooked (bad) shale.

See any good textbook on petroleum geology for additional enlightenment.



Edited after posting for minor typo

Of Saudi's major fields, Ghawar, Abqaiq, Shaybah and half of Berri is onshore. These fields account for about 70% of Saudi's production. Ghawar alone is over half of Saudi's production.

All of Saudi's offshore production is in very shallow water. All rigs rest on the seafloor. They have no tethered offshore platforms and all offshore wells are drilled with jackup rigs. I have been on all of Safaniya's offshore platforms. On most of them you can see the seafloor. Zuluf is a little deeper but not much. Manifa and the part of Berri that is offshore is so shallow it is almost a shoal.

What I am saying is that offshore Saudi is not like offshore Gulf of Mexico. The water in the Persian Gulf is very shallow and very calm.

Ron Patterson

Going back to my orignial remark, about half or more of Saudi production being off shore, I actually read that in a powerpoint presentation here on TOD some time ago, and was very surprised, but it has been a long time, so I will have to go back and search for awhile to find the link....but for now, I will concede that I either may have misread it, or am now "mis-recollecting" (as we would say in the country) it, and I will certainly yield to the floor until I can back up what I said, given you guys superior knowledge of oil geology...and yes, to quote Ron Patterson,
"What I am saying is that offshore Saudi is not like offshore Gulf of Mexico. The water in the Persian Gulf is very shallow and very calm".

That has to be fascinating...at least it is to me....what a freakin' dream place for oil drilling if the oil is there! We know at least some is, but I have to this day not been able to find any reliable sources that say whether the Saudi's have surveyed it well or not....does anyone here have any information on that, that has real numbers? Given the long history of relatively easy oil onshore in KSA, why would they?

Folks, what I am trying to say is often misunderstood...it is NOT a attempt to refute "peak now" which may very well be happening....it's more of an intuitive thing...I felt it several years ago when the U.S. invaded Iraq....whether you were for or against the invasion on moral grounds, or political grounds, I just kept thinking....this is trap, baited and set....you can just feel it.

This time...I don't know, the picture is just too damm good....too perfect. It almost plays to a script...just now, alternatives, real technical breakthroughs are just getting underway, just starting to get the financing they need....people are really taking serious the ideas behind the need to consume less...all the competitors outside OPEC are being placed out on the table...
And just at the right time, they "peak".

This smells like a trap. Who knows, this time it could be the real thing. Or it could be 1982. And now, on cue, the mainstream media starts to get onboard. The speculators are in a full state of frenzy. Everyone wants to buy, oil, oil, get in while it's cheap, even though it's at historic highs, they scream in ads and e-mail spam and chintzy yellow "newsletters". It's almost like kabuki theatre.

Something just DON'T feel right about this "crisis", it smells like a trap.


… just now, alternatives, real technical breakthroughs are just getting underway, just starting to get the financing they need....people are really taking serious the ideas behind the need to consume less...

Ah yes, the old “real technical breakthroughs are just getting underway” trick. You spend far too much time watching “Get Smart” repeats. Yes, the pun is intended. No, wait, the pun is the point.

And the old “just starting to get the financing they need” ploy. But wait, isn’t there an ongoing credit crunch? Aren’t even banks unwilling to lend to each other? Hasn’t Citicorp just said that some of its investment banking business had shrunk permanently? What about commercial paper? What about commercial real estate? Fuck those stupid home owners, they’ve got what they deserve. Idiots. Maybe you and your mates have a few bob to lend, but at this point in the proceedings I don’t see those with investment funds available to lend actually being ready to lend. I could be wrong, but then, as I always like to say, I’m only one cubic mile from Armageddon.

As for a reduction in consumption, since you’ve got readies to spare, pop on over and spend a few days with me here in sunny Surrey. I sincerely doubt you’ll find people here getting serious behind the idea they need to consume less. That’s not to say lots aren’t. Just that it isn’t that one cubic mile to freedom that’s got them so motivated. More like static wages and rising prices. Nothing like a decline in purchasing power to put a damper on consumption. Although, it makes surviving more of a worthwhile challenge.

This smells like a trap. Who knows, this time it could be the real thing. Or it could be 1982. And now, on cue, the mainstream media starts to get onboard. The speculators are in a full state of frenzy. Everyone wants to buy, oil, oil, get in while it's cheap, even though it's at historic highs, they scream in ads and e-mail spam and chintzy yellow "newsletters". It's almost like kabuki theatre.
Something just DON'T feel right about this "crisis", it smells like a trap.

What part of reality do you find difficult? The part where you connect with trends as they continue to develop? The part where you recognise the limits you’re access to information places on your analysis of those trends while recognising that not knowing is the same as not reaching a conclusion? The part whereby you finally come to accept that “one cubic mile from freedom,” whatever the fuck that means, is just another Madison Avenue slogan? You can deny your part in the problem for ever, as far as I’m concerned. But stop denying the rest of us the chance to engage with reality in exchange for the drone of your Rumsfeld brain-freeze “we don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know.” Sometimes you do sound like something out of The Wizard of Oz. No slur on Australia intended.

Whatever doesn’t feel right about this crisis to you, let me assure you there’s a lot that doesn’t feel right to the rest of us too. As for your ever backward-looking looking-glass, whatever the seventies and early eighties were like, the late noughties are looking an awful lot more compelling, at least on the one mile to Armageddon front. While we may have seen production peaks before, one thing we haven’t seen is a return to oil at 10 bucks a barrel. Let alone the Economists cover prediction of 5 bucks. We have seen some pretty damn impressive rises in price, though. We have see some pretty damned impressive rises in production, too. Hell, we’ve even seen those rises in production being pretty much consumed as they were being produced. And still, we’re only one cubic mile from freedom. Wait, isn’t that Armageddon? Never mind, I hate stupid Madison Avenue slogans anyway. Propaganda. Marketing. Marketing. Propaganda. Just synonyms, if you ask me. If you want something far more scathing, ask Bill Hicks. Oh wait, you can’t, he’s dead, and you’re dial-up is too slow to access YouTube. Damn. Guess you’ll just have to remain ignorant. Wilfully ignorant. Sorry, got that wrong. You’re just wilfully one cubic mile from freedom. Or is that Argageddon.

Finally, stop with the techo-finance-we’ll-save-our-asses-as-we’re-only-one-cubic-mile-from-freedom bullshit, would ya? The complexities alone of the changing social arrangements Peak Oil implies are enough of a burden already, without moronic sloganeering. The alterations to our transport logistics are burden enough too. Why do you seem so hell bent on pretending they’re not? What part of mitigation don’t you understand. I’ll put it like this, say we have twenty years to make mitigation work. While we ponder and procrastinate because we don’t know and we’re only one cubic mile from freedom, those twenty years pass and, bloody fucking buggeration, oil production has indeed peaked. While during all that time all we mitigated was our belly buttons. Now the future’s not so bright. Guess I won’t have to wear shades. Or, maybe, while we mitigate our arses off, turns out oil hasn’t peaked, or maybe it has, or maybe we’ve just found another dozen super giants in shallow water off the coasts of the various countries in South West Asia. But, it won’t matter. Thanks to mitigation, we no longer need bay incessantly that wonder slogan that held us together during all those difficult years, one cubic mile to freedom. Or was that Armageddon?


Ahhh, but that one cubic mile is now stuck in you head, isn't it? It's gnawing at ya', making you think, making you.....doubt? ;-)

One cubic mile in consumption for the world per year. 70% of that for transportation alone.

Grasp it, put your head around around it!! We are being dragged though the mud, loosing our mind, our sleep, our integrity bowing, scrapping and eating shiit for that!!

One cubic mile in consumption for the world per year. 70% of that for transportation alone.

Think about it for even an hour. It will not turn you loose, now will it?
You begin to think....that means less that one quarter of a cubic mile consumed in the U.S. It is for that that we grovel, that we make our selves slaves.

I see that it has gotten in your head. I am proud of you little grasshopper, that it bothers you. But soon it will guide you! You are indeed wise! :-)


Quote of the day:

The frenzied search for alternative sources of energy now being pursued by the largest multinational energy corporations makes it clear they also believe a crisis is fast approaching.

British National Party

Ron Patterson

as usual the fascists are ahead of the curve
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

That is a total mischaracterisation of the BNP. They are nothing than xenophobes of the highest order. They still believe in parliamentary democracy and the will of the “people.” They simply don’t want to see “Britishness” diluted in favour of the incoming hordes. It is that simple. They want to retain British jobs for British people. They want policies to prevent immigration. They would love to repatriate as many non-British as possible. They believe in the vote. They believe in national sovereignty, and as result want to renounce EU membership yesterday.

They do not want the unification of the state and the corporation. They do not want the imposition of “papers, please.” They do not want the end of representative democracy. They simply want to end the role of “foreigners” in the life of the “ordinary” Britain. They want continued universal healthcare and universal education. They believe in a strong national defence and want to stop foreign aide in favour of that aide money being spent in Britain for Britains.

Now, I am not a BNP supporter by any means. I think their position on race is an impediment to building a better Britain, and a better world for that matter. But the important fact is, most of the BNP position is simply the traditional Conservative Party position overlaid with the issue of race. They espouse “traditional family values” and want wages that put men at work and women in the home, putting an end to the need for the two income family. So, all and all, I don’t think they’re that far from the Conservative Party. At least until the arrival of David Cameron. Who knows what he’s all about.

If the stigma of racism we’re removed and a vote in every constituency was taken today with a member of the BNP running in every constituency, I think you’d see tomorrow’s Prime Minister being the leader of the BNP and a majority of at least 500.

It is true that BNP party members have been involved in all manner of racially denominated violence. It is also true I don’t know if the stated position of the party hides an underbelly of proactive violence and terror against ethnicities that do not meet the BNP’s criteria of British. If one remembers that fascism is being unable to determine the division between the state and the corporation, then one thing I can say with certainty is the BNP is not fascist by any measure, at least if you believe their stated positions.

Strangely this links different topics on this thread. Brits are emigrating because 'it's not like the old days' yet they are moving to places (Spain, Australia) with severe water restrictions and housing bubbles. The relocation option may be closing up.

They still believe in parliamentary democracy and the will of the “people.”

Only until they win their first election. Then the true face will be revealed. Other than the fact that the BNP doesn't have an expansionist agenda, they are no different from the Nazis.

They would love to repatriate as many non-British as possible.

By non-British you mean non-white. And what if the "non-British" - many of whom were born in Britain - don't want to be repatriated? The BNP - whose goal is to create an all white society - will not be able to implement their agenda without creating a police state. I can't imagine them giving up power once they have it.

Only until they win their first election. Then the true face will be revealed.

Like I said, I don’t know anything other than their stated position. With the exception of the issue of race, you’d have a hard time getting gold foil between the BNP and the “traditional” member of the Conservative Party. (Having said that, I accept there is some difference between the working class and the middle class here. In any case, it always surprises me to find lifelong Conservative working class supporters.) If you’re really being truthful, even on the issue of being British, many of the associations of the Conservative Party might not be too far off the BNP position. From personal experience, I can say I’ve seen and heard such positions expressed. I do accept my anecdotal evidence is just that, anecdotal.

Other than the fact that the BNP doesn't have an expansionist agenda, they are no different from the Nazis.

Unless they harbour some deep dark policy to commit genocide, then I don’t think we can come to that conclusion. At least not at this point in the proceedings.

By non-British you mean non-white. And what if the "non-British" - many of whom were born in Britain - don't want to be repatriated?

No, by non-British I meant exactly what I said. It’s whatever the BNP position on non-British is. I wasn’t able to find a definition on their web site, and would probably agree with your assertion, but don’t make me responsible. I didn’t say non-white. You did. If you meant to say “By non-British you mean whatever the BNP define as non-British,” then we’d be in perfect agreement. They may very well have a position on “Britishness” that applies to those who’ve been born and raised in the UK. I don’t know. I couldn’t find any. As I said, I’m not a BNP supporter. In fact, I’m not a supporter of any UK political party.

The BNP - whose goal is to create an all white society - will not be able to implement their agenda without creating a police state. I can't imagine them giving up power once they have it.

As I said, the point is this, the BNP cannot be, currently at least, described as fascist. They do not support the integration of the state and the corporation. That is the description of fascism. Even if the BNP did win a majority and formed a government; even if the BNP did implement a police state, it does not follow it would be a fascist state. I simply asserted the BNP is not a fascist organisation. This was the point I was making.

As for power, I cannot imagine Labour or Conservative giving up power. It’s always something that is wrenched from their cold and dying hands. Why would the BNP be any different?

Considering Greens did acknowledge this more than 1.5 years before in UK and even conservatives before BNP, I think that would made BNP laggards, not ahead of the curve.

OPEC has done its utmost to satisfy the world's demand for fuel...

Does this mean that OPEC is now pumping at capacity?

I think they are. And I think the market believes they are, too. You see the talking heads on CNBC now saying that OPEC, including Saudi Arabia, can't increase production.

If they could, they would. They used to cheat like heck on their quotas. Almost $90/barrel should be enough to get them to cheat again...if they could.

That doesn't mean the talking heads believe we're at peak oil. They still say, "If they allowed IOCs in" and "They're afraid to invest in case the price goes down." They may think that it's possible to raise production, given a few years and a few zillion dollars.

But right now, I think it's pretty obvious they can't.

Hello TODers,

I am not a lawn freak, but this organic lawn website says a forty lb. bag of chem fertilizer is equal to three gallons of gasoline. I wish they showed their calculations:


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

Hello TODers,

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization is calling for a renewed commitment to guarantee the right to food for the 850 million hungry people in the world.

"Nearly 40,000 children die every day throughout the world due to malnutrition and related diseases," Kikwete said.
Will 'Peak Everything' take half of these people out in 2008? The mind reels......

As ASPO-Houston gets underway tomorrow--I really hope that the participants remember these poor children by honoring them with my Peakoil shoutout when their yeasty drinking mugs reach half-empty.

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

What is what with you men? My God, just stop one moment, turn to that woman you love, and tell her that. Everything will be okay, don't ya know?

When doing a site search here with drupal, is there any way to specify only Leanan's toplinks on drumbeats?

Hello TODers,

Now that the Fox Business Network is launched: can TOD use the Fox competition with CNBC to further leverage the Peak Everything message?

Bart of EB--can you comment with your previous public relations experience?

I noticed that a TOD poster mentioned upthread that CNBC will have T. Boone Pickens on for an hour tomorrow. Should we encourage CNBC to seek Peak leadership coverage, or would a better strategy be to target market the new Fox channel? Or can we get both business networks to heavily cover Peak Everything? I have no expertise in how this should be done.

Perhaps ASPO should encourage both channels to heavily cover the ASPO conference.

Can Fox Win Its Frontal Assault Against CNBC?

CNBC’s president, Mark Hoffman, acknowledged that the game is on, one that he said had played out in similar fashion when Fox News took on CNN. The tactics, he said, are the same: go after the competitor hard, with what he charged was incorrect information.

Mr. Hoffman acknowledged that he has been on the phone almost incessantly in recent weeks, taking calls responding to information being put out by Fox Business.

CNBC, like other business news channels, has never been a ratings powerhouse, but it has made the argument to advertisers that its strong point is daytime out-of-home viewing by professionals in offices. It also emphasizes that its viewers are largely affluent and highly educated. Although NBC Universal does not break out earnings for CNBC, media analysts have estimated the network’s annual profit at about $300 million a year.
Could one of these networks feature lots of Peak Everything news as its basic strategy to crush its competition?

Imagine if CNBC heavily covered energy investments, trends, and energy mutual funds, and then the viewers really started to make some money from emulating this Peak investing theme. Fox would never get started on the path to the ratings they seek.

Alternatively, if the Fox strategy is to cover Main Street and energy shortages become prevalent soon [gasoline queues, brownouts, blackouts, falling markets, high unemployment, etc] then a Peak Everything strategy could almost overnight catapult Fox to the top in viewer ratings.

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

Just some more info on Fox:


It appears that they have a lot of empty late morning timeslots, plus late afternoon timeslots. I would love to see a televised hour program of TheOilDrum, even if it was just some pretty heads taking turns reading our postings. Sounds like the very Main Street News that Fox is targeting.

Perhaps an 'ASPO-TOD Energy Bulletin' hour hosted by Bart from EB would be a great success if we can convince Roger Ailes to give it a try. Who knows?

I can't find the link but I was just reading where Murdoch was saying the reason for the launch of Fox Business News was because with in the next 30 years there was going to be 3 billion more consumers on the planet doing business and there is a need for an additional business news source. So I don't think he would sign off on the strategy due to his infinate growth core values. However, I'm sure he would sign off on a Peak Oil slander campaign.

That would be a great strategy for CNBC though...

Hello Arraya,

Thxs for responding. Yep, maybe CNBC for the ASPO/TOD/EB newshour and Fox will counterprogram the same timeslot with "Daniel Yergin's Techno-Cornucopia & the Iron Triangle's Painfree Solutions Newshour". I would expect Exxon to be a huge Fox sponsor.

My very good local library has asked me to recommend magazines related to sustainable energy. They don't know it but I am gonna fund these subscriptions for them.

What are your recommendations for such mags? Please.

Here's a few to get them started...

Here’s a great one, and it’s free! You just register at the site:

Great coverage of wind, solar, waste to energy, and distributed natural gas as well as CHP (Combined Heat and Power) installations.

This one is great for small scale and home solar, wind, hydro and other installations:

Wind only:
There is a print edition, but also interesting for schools and libraries is the online electronic edition, free, with more general interest stuff. Check out the site.

Solar only:
Has some samples of what’s in the newest issue, and a place to subscribe at the site.

And the old standby, “The Original Guide To Living Wisely”:

Wind, solar, gardening, organic farming, holistic health, home employment, the whole bucket of was, it goes back to the 1970's oil and economic crisis, and covers so much stuff that folks think is new news,
many home sized projects for experimenters, tinkers and students.

So there's a few to get them started, and all fascinating to read, whether your really wanting to build something, or are just curious! :-)


Thanks Much! Considering the people I am getting to, I will just stick with the old ones- Homepower, and Mother Earth News.

Appreciate it. Wimbi.

PS. Dang, maybe I had better write one of my own. "Simple Power" comes to mind.

First edition

" Super simple windmills for places where the wind is driving you nuts."

"Super simple solar power for places where the sun is frying your brains out"

"Super simple hydro power for places where the water is washing you away"

" World's lowest efficiency heat engine- a runaway chimney fire."

"The dipping duck, a heat engine that works and works and works and even sometimes can do something if you are lucky."


Hi wimbi,

I just discovered "Solar Today" recently and it's quite good.