DrumBeat: October 19, 2007

Boone Pickens says oil on its way to $100 a barrel

HOUSTON — Legendary Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens sees the price of oil hitting $100 a barrel perhaps as soon as the fourth quarter but certainly sometime next year, a consequence of daily global production reaching its peak.

The 79-year-old former wildcatter, who now heads the Dallas-based hedge fund BP Capital Management LP, said Friday afternoon he has no doubt worldwide demand has topped the current global output of roughly 85 million barrels a day. As such, he said, prices have nowhere to go but up.

"I think you'll reach $100 (a barrel) before you go back to $80," Pickens said before speaking at a gathering of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas at a downtown hotel. "It could happen in the fourth quarter, but you'll see it within a year."

Saudi Aramco may miss production goals, says Simmons

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest state oil company, probably isn't on target to meet its oil production goals, said Matthew Simmons, Chairman of Simmons & Co International.

"I'm dubious they can hit their targets," Simmons said today at a Houston conference sponsored by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas, a non-profit think tank. "If they had hit their targets, they would be more forthcoming."

The Oil Drain

If the market thinks $88 for a barrel of oil is high, it should wait a little longer. By year-end 2008, some economists say that it will hit $100 a barrel as global demand surges ahead of available supplies. When boiled down, the basic choices involve conservation, drilling for more oil or identifying and deploying more alternative fuels.

Week in Petroleum: Fundamentals vs. speculation

EIA has developed models that demonstrate the ability of fundamental market factors to account for historical variation in crude oil prices during both low- and high-price periods since 1992. Our results, however, do not “prove” that the hypothesis that speculators have played a role in the run-up of crude oil prices is false. All we can say is that fundamental factors alone can explain recent price developments, and that general principles favor a focus on fundamentals, rather than consideration of alternative price drivers, when the explanatory power of fundamentals is high.

The Costs of War for Oil

"We have to decide, as a nation, whether our need for Middle Eastern oil is more important to our future than our conduct as a moral and ethical people." Which brave presidential candidate would lay it on the line so clearly? None yet. And that's the problem with the national debate on the war in Iraq, and possibly, our foray into Iran as well.

The Logic of Nuclear Proliferation

It is well known that the world’s population has been increasing at an exponential rate for centuries. If we have six billion people today, we will have 12 billion in another decade or two, and 24 billion a decade after that. Some observers, noting the approach of peak oil, doubt we will ever see such population increases. The student of mass destruction weaponry, with an eye to World War II and the holocaust, would not be surprised at a large and sudden decrease in the world’s population. In fact, a sudden turn toward decimation and global impoverishment is much more likely than 12 billion human beings living in peace and plenty. Such a view, of course, goes against a longstanding belief in progress. The believers in progress imagine that each generation will be smarter, wealthier, more peaceful, more democratic and freer than those immediately before them. They forget that progress brought us the atom bomb, and the atom bomb must inevitably fall into the hands of madmen.

Nigerian militants preparing oil attacks: U.S.

Militant group MEND is preparing attacks on Nigerian oil facilities that could be preceded by hostage-taking, the U.S. embassy said in a security notice on Friday.

It was unclear why the embassy issued the notice to its citizens almost four weeks after the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) itself made the same threat. A spokesman for the embassy declined to comment.

Activist: Rich get parks, poor get pollution

The Marroquin family lives in the Manchester area of Houston, next to the Houston ship channel, the largest petrochemical complex in the United States. Day after day, oil refineries and petrochemical companies pump hazardous pollutants, including known cancer-causing chemicals like benzene and 1-3 butadiene, into the air.

...No one can say for certain that Valentin's illness was caused by the air he breathed, but earlier this year, the University of Texas released a study showing that children who live within two miles of the ship channel have a 56 percent greater chance of getting leukemia than kids living elsewhere.

Carbon catastrophe

Four environmental catastrophes loom large, all due to sweeping changes to the world economy in the wake of the Kyoto Treaty.

Victims of the ethanol rush: Loss of the native prairie

he Great Plains of Kansas are being transformed by America's thirst for alternative fuels. Some are calling it an ecological disaster.

Claiming Antarctica: Oil, Water And Environmental Risks

Australia and other owners of the Antarctic territories may be ill-prepared to face a major environmental challenge to the continent, according to a Queensland University of Technology academic.

Japan urges China to be 'practical' on gas fields

Japan on Friday regretted it would unlikely agree with China any time soon on their claims to the energy-rich East China Sea and urged Beijing to be more "practical" to break the impasse.

ANALYSIS-Oil takes back seat to economy in U.S. election

Despite record-high oil prices near $90 a barrel, energy issues will likely take a back seat in the 2008 U.S. presidential election to more pressing pocketbook concerns like plummeting home values, experts say.

EU Wants to Make Freight Smoother, Greener

The European Union should overhaul its freight transport system by reducing bureaucracy and promoting rail and river networks to make the industry more environmentally friendly, the EU executive said on Thursday.

Thai Auto Sector Pins Hopes on Little Green Cars

Thailand, the world's biggest maker of one-tonne trucks, is learning that small is beautiful.

Plans by Toyota and Honda to make fuel efficient "eco" cars in Thailand and a new small car plant announced by Ford and Mazda last week suggest government incentives to diversify the sector are finally paying off.

PetroChina Parent's Third-Quarter Fuel Sales Rise 17%

China National Petroleum Corp., the nation's largest oil company, increased fuel sales by 17 percent in the third quarter to meet rising domestic demand.

Global warming could threaten U.S. oil output

Global warming may produce stronger hurricanes that could disrupt U.S. oil production in the Gulf of Mexico and damage ports and pipelines along the coast that move fuel supplies, a new government report said on Thursday.

The report from a team of climate change experts and scientists at seven Energy Department laboratories is the first to provide details on the impact global warming could have on the U.S. energy sector.

Dems Urge Bodman to Suspend SPR Adds Until Prices Fall

Several Democrats including Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) yesterday urged the Energy Department to suspend deliveries to the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, claiming the additions are making oil price spikes worse.

India: Power, fertiliser units get priority in coal policy

Power and fertiliser sectors have been accorded top priority in a new coal distribution policy, which also does away with the earlier classification of consumers into core and non-core sectors.

Rising grain prices put a dent in fuel revolution

Turkey's determination to go after Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq spooked markets and saw the global oil price reach record highs of nearly $US90 ($101) a barrel.

That's more than twice the price at which an ethanol industry was supposed to be a viable concern in Australia.

But this week Oaklands, Coleambally and Condobolin in NSW, and Swan Hill just over the Murray River in Victoria, were dealing with news that proposed Agri Energy ethanol plants had been put indefinitely on hold.

Energy boost may come a cropper

There is mounting concern that the biofuel industry's burgeoning demand for food crops will create profound shifts in world agricultural markets. The food v fuel debate, as it is known, is gaining momentum in Australia, as governments move to regulate the ethanol content in petrol at a time when the prolonged drought has already pushed crop prices to record highs.

Idaho water director sending early warning about next summer

The state's top water official is sending an early message to thousands of southern Idaho groundwater users that their pumps may be shut down next summer if the state logs another winter of low mountain snowpack.

Southeast drought hits crisis point

The Southeast's worst drought in more than a century is forcing parched states and communities into crisis measures to conserve water and fight for access to more.

The Amazon burns once again

With ranchers now looking to cash in on rising prices, Marcelo Marquesini, a former inspector for Ibama (Brazilian ministry of the environment's enforcement agency) who now works for Greenpeace, says the outlook for the rainforest is bleak. "Brazilian society has to celebrate the reduction of deforestation over these three years. It genuinely did fall," said Mr Marquesini, whose organisation will next month launch a report criticising the government's failure to control this notoriously lawless region.

But, he added, "everything now leads us to believe that deforestation is going to rise again".

How green is my car?

Look at any opinion poll of important public issues in Canada and the environment is at or near the top.

...Yet this concern is not reflected in the type of vehicles Canadians buy. Figures released by Statistics Canada this week for sales of motor vehicles in August show that purchases of trucks, a category that includes minivans, SUVs and pickups, grew almost 5 per cent that month, while car sales rose a mere 0.8 per cent.

Sticker shock: Why cars appear to have become thirstier

NEW cars in American showrooms this autumn are more fuel-efficient than they’ve been in 20 years. On average, they get nearly 2% more miles per gallon than new cars did in 2004—America’s worst year for gas guzzling since the country’s fuel-economy figures peaked in 1987. Even large trucks and sports-utility vehicles (SUVs) are sipping less. This year’s models achieve 6% better mileage than their equivalents in 2004.

You wouldn’t know it. In fact, you would be forgiven for thinking precisely the opposite. That’s because the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has finally changed how it measures the fuel consumption of new vehicles.

Trucker sees 99% plunge in profit

USA Truck Inc. said Thursday a $ 3 million accident settlement along with sluggish freight conditions and higher fuel prices contributed to a 99 percent dip in third-quarter profit.

Virgin may order fleet of fuel-efficient planes

Virgin Atlantic is considering buying 10 long-haul aircraft worth about $3 billion (U.S.) to enter service around 2012.

"Virgin Atlantic is in talks with Boeing and Airbus about ordering next-generation, fuel-efficient aircraft to operate Virgin Atlantic services from (London) Gatwick airport," a company spokesperson said yesterday.

Recycling the Whole House

The place was crying out for a wrecking ball, but Ms. Keller, a 63-year-old retired teacher of English as a second language, who has an environmentally aware conscience, didn’t want to scrap the building materials only to buy new ones. Instead of having her 1,300-square-foot house bulldozed, she hired Jon Alexander, a contractor who shared her environmentalism and was willing to dismantle the home shingle by beam, and build a replacement with the same two-by-fours.

UK: Road-pricing plans 'to be shelved'

A national road-pricing scheme that would have cost motorists up to £1.30 a mile is to be shelved, it was claimed today.

Shortages May Prompt Gas Price Hikes

Market participants on Thursday played down fears that a gasoline shortage in Moscow and the Moscow region could contribute to a sharp price rise at the pumps in the near future.

A source inside the Moscow Interregional Oil Union said Wednesday that local fuel reserves were down to three to four days' worth, Interfax reported.

Scorching oil prices not our fault: Opec

Officials from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries yesterday insisted that scorching oil prices had little to do with the group’s policy, and that it was doing enough to meet demand for their product.

Mexico Willing to Reexplore Abandoned Oil Fields

Mexico is willing to reexplore some 15 oil fields that were abandoned over 20 years ago, the state-owned company Petroleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) announced on Thursday.

Weekly Offshore Rig Review: Newbuild Contracts

In this week's offshore rig review, we'll be examining the newbuild fleet again, this time looking at the rigs that do and do not have contracts already lined up when they leave the shipyard.

Why food prices have risen in Saudi Arabia

roduction of crops for use as a feedstock for ethanol production (mainly corn, wheat and sugarcane) has reduced the area planted with food crops (particularly in the US) and sharply pushed up prices.

Ethanol Conspiracy Theories Ignore Fuel's Legitimate Shortcomings

Despite Dineen's accusation of an "insidious campaign" by the fossil fuels industry against biofuels, there are a myriad of legitimate concerns about ethanol. Those concerns include, but are not limited to, ethanol's effect on food prices, its huge water demands, and its overall financial cost. (For more on this see the recent Wall Street Journal editorial, "Ethanol's Water Shortage".)

Corporations Won’t Lead the Way on Solving Global Warming

Companies are going green because they can save money that way. By using new cleaner technologies, for example, Dow Chemical lowers its energy costs and reduces carbon emissions. By packaging its fresh produce in plastics made from corn sugar instead of petroleum, Wal-Mart also cuts costs. Alcoa saves some hundred million dollars a year by reducing its energy use, thereby helping the environment. I think it’s great these and other companies are cutting their costs and increasing profits, but this is what companies are supposed to do. It’s called good management.

How can you predict global warming if you can't predict rain?

To those of us who are not climate scientists, it may come down to this: How can we be so certain what the climate will be like a century from now if you can't get a decent weather forecast more than two weeks ahead? In the end, isn't climate change just too complex?

Pakistan: Rail failures

PR is a classic example where workshops have turned into junkyards. Unscrupulous staff has already sold the infrastructural assets in the name of scrap. Huge pieces of wood, once used in laying down the tracks, were extensively misused by the employees as fuel for their stoves.

Peak oil means peak economy - Hirsch (podcast)

When global oil production peaks, the economy is likely to shrink in direct proportion to dwindling fuel supplies, says Dr Robert Hirsch of the thinktank SAIC.

Speaking at the Association for the Study of Peak Oil conference in Houston, he also warned that as peak approaches, producer countries including OPEC and Russia are likely to husband their reserves for future generations and limit exports, potentially sharpening the decline in oil available to importing nations.

Dr Hirsch is the author of a groundbreaking report for the US Department of Energy which highlighted the long lead-times and other limitations of purely supply-side responses to peak oil. In an interview with lastoilshock.com on the sidelines of the Houston conference, he went on to argue that fuel rationing will be an essential part of any policy response, and predicted that such measures would be introduced even in the United States.

Tight Global Oil Market May Send Prices Higher

Global crude prices are treading unchartered waters - having almost tripled from around $30 in 2003. OPEC seems resigned to the emerging situation, saying it was doing all it could. Forces pushing up the prices show no sign of abetting. $90 is now very much in sight and the $100 a barrel era could be just around the corner.

Labor of Lovins

Amory Lovins might not be a household name, but the ideas he’s put forth for the past 30 years have affected virtually every household in America. Increasing energy efficiency, supporting small and local power generation from renewable sources, and building smart rather than big are just a few of the concepts he’s promoted.

Protest at Ecuador Oil Field Ends

A protest that shut down the Block 15 oil field in the northeastern Ecuadorian province of Sucumbios ended, state-owned Petroecuador said.

The company said the action by the residents of the Shushufindi district cost Ecuador nearly $2 million in lost revenue from oil exports.

Eliminating global warming requires bold actions

The director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James Hansen, said “We have at most 10 years — not 10 years to decide upon action, but 10 years to alter fundamentally the trajectory of global greenhouse emissions.”

Seismic surveys to check for oil resources

The Government will conduct two dimensional seismic surveys costing US$ 6.5 million to test the availability of petroleum and natural gas deposits in the Southern, South Western, South Eastern and Eastern offshore areas of Sri Lanka.

U.S.-India Nuclear Pact Runs Into (Surprise!) Politics

The United States-India nuclear deal may be in trouble, but it is not dead yet.

Multi-core’s mainstream

The massive influx of technologies is creating a complex data center that is costly to manage, consumes more power, and is putting a strain on the infrastructure. As per the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which observed that data centers consumed 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006; that’s roughly 1.6 percent of total US electricity consumption, or about $4.5 billion in electricity costs. Some large data centers draw as much energy as a small town. Assuming the trend continues, by 2011, the energy consumption by servers and data centers is expected to nearly double.

China's rising living standard cranks up resource competition

Hu Jintao wants to make every Chinese twice as rich by 2020. He has done it once - in just five years, per capita income doubled to $US2000 ($2250)- and the only obstacle in the Chinese President's path is the fuel needed to stoke the boiler of China's locomotive.

The president needs more copper, iron ore, zinc and natural gas. Above all, he needs more coal to keep the power stations humming and more oil for Chinese cars and lorries. China accounts for more than a third of world demand for coal and the price in Australia soared this year as the People's Republic switched from exporter to importer.

If Mr Hu had a message for the world in his address to the Communist Party National Congress, it was this: we will burn our coal and, if we have to, we will burn yours, too.

Global Oil Trends

Saudis have dismissed demands by Simmons and others to open up their books. “Our record...is to understate rather than overstate our reserves,” said Prince Saud al-Faisal, foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, in a September 2005 Council on Foreign Relations meeting. “When you want to believe or disbelieve somebody, you look at his record. You don’t go and audit his books.”

China’s coming shift to regional trade

China realises how vulnerable its export-driven economy has become, and is setting itself up as the powerhouse in a post-peak oil regional economy.

The government understands that companies will reduce their orders for products from far-away lands during times of painfully high oil prices, and that the global economy will constrict as a result. So policy-makers are doing everything they can to implement an energy production system independent of forces outside China.

Matt Simmons: Can “We” End Our Addiction To Oil? (Do We Need To?) (PDF)

● Increased vehicle fuel efficiency takes decades:

● Time needed to invent more efficient cars

● Time needed to replace current fleet

● Electrical cars have distance limits.

● Some liquid fuel is the only means to keep demand high while gasoline volumes decline.

● In 2007, agricultural biofuels are only technologies that work

The defining issue for transport planning is peak oil, not traffic congestion

While the current debate revolves around efforts to address traffic congestion, the underlying assumption here is that car travel will continue to be inexpensive. The peak and subsequent decline in world oil production, or “peak oil”, is invalidating this assumption, hence affordability, not traffic congestion, will soon become the defining issue for transport planning in South East Queensland. The only question is whether or not our policy makers recognise this reality before it’s too late to avoid a public infrastructure crisis that will make the water grid look like child’s play.

'Post-Fossil Fuel America' Survey: Bipartisan Support Seen For Coal-Fired Power Plant Moratorium, Stepped-Up Focus on Renewables, Higher Vehicle MPG Standard and More Green Building

Dr. James E. Hansen, director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, The Earth Institute at Columbia University, said: "I support a moratorium on construction of coal-fired power plants. This is, by far, the most important thing that must be done to stop global warming. Can we solve the global warming problem? Yes! Indeed, this problem presents great opportunities, as new clean energies will create many high-pay jobs. But we must recognize the problem, understand it, and address it sensibly. It will not be easy, because there are powerful special interests that would prefer not to act. They don't care much about the planet we leave for our children and grandchildren. They care more about their six month profits. And they have sway in Washington ... The public must lead in the solution of the global warming problem. Special interests may have wounded our democracy, but it is still alive and well enough."

Organizers plan for second big climate change protest

...Jones has been “ringing the alarm bell” about the rapidly-approaching expiration date of cheap oil, and that’s what drew him to Step It Up 2, the sequel to last April’s nationwide day of climate change demonstrations led by Ripton author Bill McKibben and a group of Middlebury College graduates.

“What we have to do for one, if we do it right, will help the other,” Jones said of global warming and peak oil, the time when half the world’s total oil reserves has been pumped out of the ground and people begin to face a scarcity of petroleum.

Oil prices hit record high $90.07

Oil prices soared to another record high above 90 dollars per barrel amid global supply jitters and tensions between Turkey and crude producer Iraq, dealers said Friday.

New York's main futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in November, touched 90.07 dollars per barrel in early afternoon deals. That beat the previous high of 90.02 dollars set late on Thursday.

Peak oil production 'decades away' - Lukoil chief

Peak oil production is still decades away, according to Lukoil's top executive. According to Vagit Alekperov, the president of Russia's Lukoil petroleum company, the production peak "is unlikely to take place in the next few decades."

Why oil isn't so expensive after all

The price of oil has to increase otherwise it would be betraying the laws of economics. I bet that in 10 year’s time after the Asian population has boomed and gentrified and peak oil has hit home hard, you will have to agree with me that oil at $87 a barrel was cheap, cheap, cheap…

Record Oil Price May Stunt Asia's Growth and Stoke Inflation

Record oil prices risk stoking inflation and stunting economic growth in Asian economies, officials said.

Q&A: Driving gasoline and oil prices

I've been looking for these prices for a long time. I try not to put out too much alarm, but maybe we need to know the situation we're in so maybe we can speed up conservation measures. Last year we had a lot of spike-ups based on geopolitical issues. The spike-ups this year have been slow and steady, which is usually indicative of a very strong trend upward.

How High For Oil?

Global demand for oil is expected to rise at around 1.5% to 2% annually over the next few decades (even allowing for alternatives and energy efficiencies). If per capita oil consumption in China and India were to rise to just half of Australian and Japanese levels it would imply an extra 39 million barrels per day in global oil demand (which is currently 85.9 million barrels a day). Global oil production is still rising, belying the alarmist "Peak Oil" predictions of an imminent peak, but supply is constrained by years of low exploration, diminishing returns and the rising cost of extracting new oil. Strong long term growth in demand but constrained supply implies the long term trend in the oil price will remain up. In this environment anything that may threaten the supply of oil will have a disproportionate positive impact on the oil price, as we have seen in the last few days. Our assessment remains that an oil price above $US100 a barrel is likely some time in the next few years. This will take the oil price back to the levels it reached in the early 1980s in today's dollars.

Compressed Natural Gas: Monetizing Stranded Gas

Although natural gas is abundant, more than one-third of global reserves are classified as stranded. To monetize this resource, economic ways to transport the gas must be found. Options, including marine and terrestrial pipelines, and volume reduction alternatives such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG), can be considered. For offshore transportation of natural gas, pipelines become challenging with increasing water depth, difficult underwater terrain, and transportation distance.

US coal plants scrapped, delayed due to costs, climate concerns

At least 16 coal-fired power plant proposals nationwide have been scrapped in recent months and more than three dozen have been delayed as utilities face increasing pressure due to concerns over global warming and rising construction costs.

Expand nuclear power, says US oil and gas group

All economic energy sources, including nuclear, will be needed in the period to 2030, according to a committee representing the US oil and natural gas industries.

Seeing Sugar’s Future in Fuel

Taking a cue from Midwestern farmers who have improved their lot by selling corn to ethanol distilleries, sugar cane and sugar beet farmers want an ethanol deal of their own, paid for by American taxpayers.

Wind turbine on your roof? Not so fast

Wind energy carries the promise of tapping into a free, seemingly endless supply of energy. But those thinking to capture the breeze in their backyard with a personal windmill might be surprised how much the wind actually costs.

"Small wind doesn't make economic sense," says Paul Gipe, who has written several books and commentaries on wind energy.

BT wind farms to supply green energy

BT plans to develop a series of wind farms in the biggest expansion of renewable energy outside the power generation sector.

...The farms would be built at some of BT's many sites and when finished in 2016 should meet about a quarter of BT's current electricity needs, or enough to power a city the size of Coventry.

Cylinder deactivation more widespread

Cylinder deactivation systems have been available on some sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and minivans for the last few years, and now the technology is becoming more widespread on passenger cars.

They can help people get more miles per gallon while keeping horsepower they crave. Honda Motor Co., General Motors Corp., and Chrysler LLC are bringing the systems to V8 and V6 engines.

An Inconvenient Truth: Team Gore responds

Last Friday, shortly after Vice President Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on global warming, we posted an item on a recently concluded court case in Britain that questioned some of the facts in his movie, An Inconvenient Truth. We are now giving Gore's spokeswoman, Kalee Kreider, the opportunity to respond to the criticisms of the British judge.

Swiss vote goes green with climate change

Landslides, floods and storms have taken their toll on Switzerland's political climate, turning the Greens into the fastest growing force in the Alpine nation ahead of Sunday's general election.

"We were taken for a bunch of eccentrics just a few years back," Swiss Green Party Vice President Ueli Leuenberger told AFP.

Nobel-winning climate chief warns Asia at risk

The head of a UN climate panel that shared the Nobel Peace Prize warned that Asia was particularly vulnerable to global warming, with the continent set for more disasters unless action is taken.

Lawmakers propose bill on global warming

A Senate blueprint for tackling global warming would require power plants and vehicles to reduce their greenhouse gases by 70 percent. A chief sponsor said President Bush's approach of voluntary action will not meet the goal.

WSJ's Heard On the Street mentions ASPO-Houston. As usual, you have to go in through Google.

Most bears see $45 to $65 a barrel as a more realistic price for oil. But even many of the most bearish bears say oil might not start to retreat until it first rises high enough to force a significant shift in demand -- for instance, by changing people's driving habits.

That price could be as high as $120 a barrel, according to Thomas Petrie, energy banker and Merrill Lynch & Co. vice chairman, speaking yesterday at the Houston conference of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas-USA, a group that contends oil production could peak between now and 2015.

"The End As I Know It" (fiction book review)

Just finished a newly published book called http://www.randomhouse.com/knopf/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780307276728 ">The End As I Know It by http://www.kshay.com/teaiki/ ">Kevin Shay
It is set in 1998 and is about a guy who stumbles across Y2K info, becomes convinced that it will be TEOTWAWKI, and sets out on a road trip to alert his family and friends. The book has great perspectives on being an ‘aware’ person, and it is really funny in spots.

It is a good read – not because any of the old Y2K stuff – but because it looks at what it is like being concerned about something that the public is oblivious to, how bizarre it can be to share that info with friends and family, and what sort of effects it can have on a person and their relationships.

Now before you blast me about the differences between Peak Oil and Y2K – rest assured that I am aware of those differences (I’ve been on TOD almost 2 years now). But PO and Y2K do share some similarities in the way that the information is disseminated and discussed primarily online, and in the general public’s non-awareness of the potential dangerous effects.

You are likely to recognize glimpses of yourself or your friends somewhere in this book. That’s NOT a bad thing. I found it gave me some valuable insights into the way I feel about the situation, and why some friends have reacted the way they have.

Anybody else here read it yet ???

Greg in MO

Y2K was perceived as a real threath in advance and consequently a huge effort was made to avert negative consequences. Who knows' what would have happened if nothing had been done?

Now, if this was the case with PO...

The mitigation of it also apparently caused the Internet Bubble by flooding the enterprise software market with cash. It is no coincidence that the bubble began to burst in 2Q2000.

If I recall, they had tons of 'old' computers that were made from the late 70's to late 90's that were NOT upgraded and allowed to pass through y2k naturally.

Nothing happened.

Y2K affected lots and lots of Cobol code and similar, archaic languages that use actual text to represent dates.

Unix, Linux, FreeBSD, etc all have an epoch, too. The world ends on January 19th, 2038, at 3:14:07, when 2^31 - 1 seconds have elapsed since 1/1/1970.

AOL has been bit by this already - some of their programs use a billion seconds as infinity and in the spring of 2006 the end of the world got closer than a billion seconds which broke some things.

If I recall, they had tons of 'old' computers that were made from the late 70's to late 90's that were NOT upgraded and allowed to pass through y2k naturally.

No, that is simply not true. I worked at NASA, as a CSC contractor, during the years running up to Y2K. We upgraded every computer on our site and made them Y2K compatable. A similar effort was made in all government sites as well as all banking and financial institutions.

There were no very old computers in use during those years. Those old mainframes were obsolete and cost more electricity to operate for a couple of months than a new computer cost. Plus they were much slower and had only a tiny fraction of the storage space. Remember computer technology, in speed and storage space, in those days was doubling about every 18 months. And the price of these new computers was tiny compared to the millions those old giant dinosaurs cost. There were simply no old computers in use in those days because of that very reason.

Any computer that still used two digit year codes, and there were a few of them, had serious problems. But the vast majority of them, at least 99%, had been upgraded to use four digit year codes.

Ron Patterson

I didn't worry about Y2K one bit.

I have dissassemblers (WDASM, IDA) and a debuggers (SoftIce, HView, etc. ). If my machines did ANYTHING I did not like, I would just open the program and find out why - and patch it.

This was in the era where a lot of kids were out there reversing software to remove registration codes. I figured our computing infrastructure was extremely robust and resilent when you factor in how many people out there knew assembler and exactly how the processor and kernel code works.

Today, though, I am not nearly as confident of the resilence of commercial software, albeit I still have a very high confidence of open-source software.

I have no doubt that breaches of Linux kernels would be highly discussed in tech forums and solutions explained and freely shared. I do not have this confidence for proprietary software, which relies on salesmanship, not technical understanding, for its adoption.

Leanan gave a beautiful distinction a few drumbeats ago when she discussed how resilence differs from efficiency.

IMHO, proprietary software is more efficient due to central control, but - like having all your corn all one strain - - its not very resistant to a blight that could take out the entire crop. Open Source software is more robust, providing one hires/trains/retains the skills to know it.

Its not the Y2K type stuff that I fear - rather its our own ignorance on how our systems work that would enable hostile entities to plant unseen rootkits in the commercial stuff, using botnets and snooping scripts to make google-like databases of everything companies thought was private.

My fear is also based on the suspected cooperation between our supposed antivirus vendors and the government regarding non-reporting of "approved" system intrusions, and the likelihood of hostile entities using this backdoor much like they used the famous Sony rootkit to violate systems that had played a Sony disk.

All these "hold harmless" clauses in the EULAs destroy my confidence of "trusted computing". All this lawmaking concerning the enforcement of ignorance of how our own computing infrastructure works scares the hell out of me.

Basically, I fear we are selling the resilence of our computational infrastructure for a song. Literally. Just so that knowledge can be monopolized.

When I have anything to do with proprietary OS, it seems to me like going to the the car dealership for a car, then immediately trucking it over to the Norton garage to have the wheels welded on so they don't fall off. I feel so stupid allowing the car dealership to force me into their EULA denying any guarantee the car will work, but the businessman who sent me demands that car, and I must fulfill his funded desire, not mine.

If I do not know what my own system is doing, I am wide open for someone else to control it - and I won't know who they are or what they are doing.

Geez, Monsters under the Bed all over again.


All these "hold harmless" clauses in the EULAs destroy my confidence of "trusted computing".

Software hold harmless clause did you say?

. The Oerlikon GDF-005 antiaircraft gun suddenly began uncontrollably shooting as it swung back and forth, spraying hundreds of high-explosive 35mm cannon shells all over the place. The crazed robot's handlers are still trying to figure out what sort of software bug would cause such mayhem.

have dissassemblers (WDASM, IDA) and a debuggers (SoftIce, HView, etc. ). If my machines did ANYTHING I did not like, I would just open the program and find out why - and patch it.

This was in the era where a lot of kids were out there reversing software to remove registration codes. I figured our computing infrastructure was extremely robust and resilent when you factor in how many people out there knew assembler and exactly how the processor and kernel code works.

hardhat, you don't sound like you have worked in a corporate software environment. Typically there are many software systems dependent on each other and it simply is not possible for one geek to patch a piece of software if it fails since the patch might screw up a whole lot of inter-dependencies. Not to mention that much, if not most of the software is under someone else's control and the lone geek doesn't have the authority to fix and replace the main source and object code.

In my own experience, Y2K software work was not at all straightforward and one often had to follow a 'trail' of dependency of different software systems and the data that was dealt with. In these conversations, people seem to ignore that it was not only a software problem but a data problem as well.

There were many situations where things probably would have been ok had nothing been done, but I remain convinced that Y2K would have been a much larger problem than it was. It remains one of those situations where you can't prove that the problem that was avoided would have happened if a lot of people hadn't paid attention to it.

Ron, there was no need to change computers. The problem was one of software in which dates had benn coded for storage with two digits for the year, Dec. 31, 1999 was stored as 991231 and Jan 1. 2000 would be 000101. When the two dates were compared, Jan 1, 2000 would be less than Dec 31, 1999 and therefore earlier. Mostly it was a matter of inserting code around the comparison to handle the situation.

No computer in use on Dec. 31, 1999 had an internal clock problem. If I remember correctly, there was an obscure computer model that would roll over its internal clock in 2008, but it was being phased out because of the obsolence you identified. However, several major OS's have still to reach the limits of their internal clock buffers; these include IBM's MVS and descendants, all Microsoft systems, the original Apple, and all Unix.

However, I believe the question will be moot because we'll be deep into collapse by that time.

James Gervais

Well, there were two approaches to Y2K:

1. Well financed enterprises and those having applicable regulation tested and fixed all software in advance. In the late 1990's I worked at FPL in Miami (a nuclear utility) where the expenses exceeded 50 million $US

2. The rest of the world simply let systems fail and fixed them afterwards, as is commonly done with software that runs annually such as year-end bookkeeping programs. Its far cheaper to fix it afterwards if you don't mind the consequences too much.

I hope that our Y2K experience does not harm us when trying to prepare for the downside of Peak Oil.

What a ringing endorsement! By a credible source!

As a retired banker my knowledge of computer systems could
be written on the back of a small postcard.
However my younger brother was at one time employed as a
'senior consultant lecturer' by a (the ?) major US computer
company. He travelled the World extensively in the course of his work, and lived in the States for 3 years.
He was adamant that the whole year 2K scare was a giant scam
that was milked for all it was worth by computer software
consultants, etc., for very large fees.
The date registers in the computers manufactured by his own
company were already programmed up to the year 2012 ( IIRC),
and he said that extending this date was a comparatively
simple matter that required no great programming skills.
As he was fond of pointing out, countries such as Italy and
Russia that took very little preventative action, suffered
no ill consequences.
Some of the nonsense in the MSM about microwave cookers
blowing-up, and pocket calculators not working after year
2K was absolutely laughable, and well illustrates the deep-
seated ignorance in the media regarding technical matters.
Is it any wonder that these same media-types are having
difficulty grasping the concept of oil (and other resources)

I was working for Nortel at the time of the Y2K worries. From actually having worked with a lot of the code, I can tell you that there would have been major problems if nothing had been done to mitigate the date problem. The problem was recognized and largely fixed.

Small sidenote: In Feb. 2000 I received a water bill that billed me for a whole year's worth of water, followed by an apologetic letter. Some things didn't get fixed.

I was at the data center for the company I was contracted out to, when the Y2K rollover happened. The only failure was my watch.
We didn't have Y2K failures because it was so easy to test the software for Y2K failure, and once you tested it, it was obvious that you had to fix it. As in, the board of directors will fire you if you don't. So we just threw out the old computers and software and advanced the IT turnover cycle a little bit.
What we were really worried about was the software for infrastructure. That's the one where the electricity turns off for a few weeks, or the water, or the natural gas, or the sewage, or the oil, or anything with connections to some kind of network and dependent on that network. Some of that stuff gets replaced on a twenty or thirty year cycle and dated from before people started putting Y2K compatible into the contract specifications.
Banks and personal computers were never in doubt as to whether they would work. Anybody that failed would just make a short trip to bankruptcy court and have it's assets taken over by somebody who did have Y2K compliant software. No major problems for the rest of the world. Even that New Zealand company that had it's ATMs fail was not significant to anybody that wasn't an employee or a customer.

People,People,,,it was not the computer handling the year funtion as so much as it was all the massive archived data that had 2 digit dates....no company that I know of went back and changed all those records to 4 digits EXCEPT the Social Security Administration....

What they did was put 'sliding window ' code in the applications , such as those written in CICS,IMS and so forth.

The computers ran the Operating Systems(and needed a tad of patching like when the app asks for the timer/date function), and the applications needed a huge amount of patching.

What I did was run the TOD(time of day) clock forward to past the 1999 date into 2000 and then the input folks tested it with test cases..and plenty of them fell right on the floor.

But of course most just used the old date by appending 19 to the front...so therefore 'windowing'.

And the reason for sliding the window is each year to move that window forward...

If you access a record and it has 02 in the date..then is it going to be consider 2002 or 1902? Simple example but many many more abound.

Take tape expiration dates..written in the 'scrtch' tape header as a two digit field...presto then on 2000 all tapes are likely expired...another example.

And so it was a hell of a bloodbath but of course out of view of Joe Sixpack so he just assumed 'Nahhhh all bulshit'
but the dummy never seen the programmers and testers behind the scenes..

Yes Cobol and Fortran code but also BAL and many many apps written in all kinds of languages, Clipper,DB2 and on and on and on...but mostly big mainframe application that very large businesses used...the server farms were just getting started you see.

So all the old date fields are still 2 digit..the code doesn't 'abend' but may put out erroneous dates..and that is strickly up to the data ops people and the maintenance programmers to ensure the 'sliding window ' code updates keep being used appropiately.

I had an acct that died on the rollover..it employed about 150 workers and they were without jobs..the mgmt didn't follow IBMs advice to update the mircocode in the minicomputer they used for accounting.

I ended up with it in my basement and later threw it in the dumpster.

I worked two years in contract consulting on mainframes testing and preparation. Everybody who had any sense in data operations and data centers were scared shitless.

Did I make a lot of money? Not that much..$37/hour and $8/hour perdiem...and I worked many 60/70 hour weeks..then later they wanted me to extend my contract and I told them $45 /hr..they bitched but that was really chicken feed...Today IBM IGS contractors can pull down $200 / hr..of course they don't get all of that.

So the problem of 2 digit date fields still exists but has had a bandage applied...I think in areas of stock keeping and many older records the problems still occur with getting the date wrong..but

Someone up line said all the old mainframes were gone then.

That is absolutely untrue. A vivid example was air traffic control systems and the FFA...they were still using IBM mainframes with thermocouple modules and still be cooled by water chillers. I know for many retired guys were called in to fix them since all the new folks hired didn't know shit about them.

airdale-check my bio if you wish

PS. All this time and still many get it wrong!!!
Don't believe me? Google this : y2k window sliding code

Haven't read it but I just ordered it. Sounds like a good one.

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your comment. I think it's interesting how the discussion turned to Y2K - and it's very informative (of course).

I'd be really interested to hear more about:

re: "I found it gave me some valuable insights into the way I feel about the situation, and why some friends have reacted the way they have."

Is there any chance you might share more about this?

Perhaps you could give some eg. (and appropriate disguises for the identities of your friends, of course :)).

A new article by Libelle - Canadian Gas: Decline Sets in - has been posted at TOD:Canada.

From The Economist

$7.75 per gallon! Local gas prices today are highest I've ever seen them in the UK, 99.9p per liter. This is $7.75 per US gallon.

Out here in the Seattle area the prices have started rising quickly. We're at about $3 and it's gone up about $.10 in the past week. That's still less than half of yours though with no shortages so I don't foresee it causing major grief around here anytime soon. Our highest was $3.45 average this past May.

Aerospace Engineer
Everett, Washington - Cascadia

I just went to town for the first time this week, and whoa!, the price signal is there. My diesel was at 3.70 gal., the highest this year for our area.

Attendant at station said it's been jumping 15-20 cents a day. (Gas was 3.10. We'd hit 3.45 before)

>$7.75 per gallon! Local gas prices today are highest I've ever seen them in the UK, 99.9p per liter. This is $7.75 per US gallon.

What is the cost minus the taxes? I suspect it's probably in the neighborhood of about 5.00 USD per US gallon. Do you feel you get 5.00 of services per gallon? Been to a dentist lately (ie the UK extreme dentist shortage). Where does all that tax money go in England? Certainly not its Healthcare system.

Its rather sad to think, that US consumers consume oil produced from the north sea, at the expense of consumers living in the UK. In a way, US oil consumption is subsidized by your nation since we don't have to pay taxes to your gov't in order to consume your oil. US buys your oil at a substantial discount to UK consumers.

According to bloomberg, your oil is cheaper than our domestically produced oil:

Cost minus taxes? Excise duty is 51p and VAT is about 15p so 66p or 2/3 in taxes? -> approx $3.40 per US gallon before taxes.

I agree that Europe's high taxation of gasoline reduces European consumption and hence makes more available to US consumers.

I lived in California for 10 years but I much prefer the UK health system. Locally, the dentist shortage has been fixed by importing them from Poland and Portugal!


Really puts into perspective the US exposure to ELM.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about WT's presentation at ASPO re: ELM.

To put U.S. oil consumption in perspective:

1. The USA is the third most populous country in the world behind China and India.

2. The USA is the third largest petroleum producer in the world behind Russia and Saudi Arabia.

3. The USA is the largest ethanol producer in the world now, even ahead of Brazil.

4. The USA is the second largest biodiesel producer behind the European Union.

Japan produces non of its own petroleum, yet has one of the highest incomes per capita in the world and also one of the highest personal savings rates and the lowest interest rates. Japan in a model for Post Peak Oil USA and is readily available for analysis. Japan shows it can be done.

@1. Maybe in number of inhabitants; absolutely not in density.

Sorry I cannot quickly furnish you with a credible reference, but to my knowlegde, per square mile, the most densily populated countries in the world ranke as:
1. Bangladesh
2. India
3. China
4. The Netherlands

Wikipedia says this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_population_density

Edit: and of course, low density is part of the problem in the US

Practical: The USA becomes Japan? Maybe when TOD is running the USA. Maybe when corrupt CEOs and politicos commit hari-kari in shame rather than laugh all the way to the bank. Good luck with the Japanization of the USA.

Considering that the Japanese Shinkansen trains are electric (and fast!), I think you could get away with:

Best hopes for the Japanization of the USA.

Kjm: Sure. Then Mexico will turn into Japan.

To put U.S. oil consumption in perspective:

In the case of crude oil and refined products, seems to me that absolute numbers are what matters here. Demand is still pushing hard against supply regardless of rates per-capita or how much crude or 'all liquids' the US produces relative to other producers.

What would that chart look like for diesel instead of gasoline? Just measuring gasoline use without considering diesel will make the US look more gluttonous than European nations (although Japan also uses mostly gasoline for light vehicles). Ditto for jet fuel.

Very good point.

LOL! CNN article states that current oil prices are above the inflation-adjusted prices of early 1980s.

First, though, let's face up to the bad news. The current oil price is high enough to threaten the economy. During the oil crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s, the price of a barrel of crude peaked at between $75 and $80 in today's dollars. So we're well past that now.

$90 oil won't kill the bull

My rough calculations suggest that to equal the peak price in per capita GDP terms, oil would have to rise to $131 a barrel.

Of course lots of factors come in to when pain is felt; inequalities, disposable income, general inflation. However the suggest is that there is plenty of room on the upside of the price before real demand destruction will set in (say circa $110 a barrel). At the current steady rate of progress, that's in time for the driving season next year.

in your rough calculation, do you include the +10 MMBPD reversal in net imports.... US production decline versus increase in imports.

It seems that the US oil business should be considered as part of GDP...

Thanks in advance.


Nope, I did say rough !

Just putting the point that although the inflation corrected figure maybe near, in that time personal weath has gone up faster and so its not as simple as just taking headline inflation.

Actually, the real key question for demand destruction is the distribution on 'slack' income and when that will get used up and result in people feeling the pain. Its not until that happens that demand destruction occurs and things are bought into balance.

The declining dollar means that everything else being equal, its likely to be the US that feels that pain before other western countries.

PS if the current US GDP is ~$14tn, what is the US oil earnings for 10Mbpd? $330bn? That would be ~2% contribution to GDP.

I don't think price is going to affect demand nor
change peoples' habits without a viable alternative
that one can readily shift over to ( doesn't exist )

We'll bitch about the price, but we'll pay it ..
No choice .. The crunch comes with supply disruption ..
Lack of product, either gasoline, diesel or home heating
oil; will be the only thing to cause folks to wake up and
transition to something else ...

Other than 'electrics' I don't see the 'something else'
we'll be transitioning to ..

So it's full speed ahead until we face supply constraints ..

Triff ..

Then price keeps on going up until it DOES change peoples habits and demand.

Short of supply allocation its the only mechanism that brings supply and demand into balance. At least at the beginning the answer to the question "how high will it go" is "when does it hurt you?".

"price keeps on going up..."

"answer to...'how high will it go' is 'when does it hurt you"
No, higher. Perhaps much higher.

It goes up until it hurts more than the best alternative. The best alternative may be very painful indeed, such as taking three hours to get to work by bus instead of 40 minutes by car. Or taking a job closer to home but finding it pays a lot less. Which is why the long-sought and ever-increasing magic multiple of $10 where consumption drops sharply in developed countries never seems to be reached.

My own speculation is that the price of oil could go FAR higher than is generally discussed even on TOD, and will. Interesting times a-comin'

I'm with you greenish, Matt Simmonds makes this point very well.

Yep. If oil at $89/bl equals about $0.12 a cup, then oil at $890/bl equals about $1.20 a cup. Still cheap, relatively speaking. Four-digit oil anyone?



Has anyone figured the current price of crude relative to the 1980s price using ShadowStats measure of inflation? My guess is we need to get to $130 or so and this might be why demand still seems inelastic or at least more inelastic than in the early 80s.

What I thought was an interesting little story from theInquirer, in their inimitable style:

No-one gives a toss about green

"Saving the planet is a very low priority"

Re: Moscow shortages

MOL, sound familiar? except...Russia! #1 producer in the world.

I wonder what their utilization numbers are like. Aging refineries pushed to the limit.

Check out the expectation of a need to import in the near future.

edit-Thanks Leanan

Cape Cod panel denies permit for wind farm

BARNSTABLE - A proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm that has garnered international attention went before its toughest arbiter yesterday - the locals - and lost, as a commission charged with protecting Cape Cod's natural resources denied the project a permit.

This latest snag has to do with the permitting for the cables and transmission lines required to get the power from the wind farm, which is located in federal waters, on to the Massachusetts shore, which is state-controlled. The overall project has been going on for six years, with another draft report due out from the Minerals and Management Service next month and MMS's final decision due next year.

There ought to be a law that any place that prohibits the development of renewable energy within their territory goes to the end of the queue when it comes to restoring power after blackouts.

I would very much like to see this put in place, but those with the will to resist construction have the will to resist legislation, too :-(

Unless, of course, they get besieged and burned out by the disgruntled masses.

I third your motion and would add that the AE NIMBYS also move to the end of the line for any local or regional future upgrades power generation and infrastructure. Let their community rot.

Agreed 100%

And to the front of the line
for rolling blackouts ..

Start with the commissioner's personal
residences and businesses ..

Triff ..

This is interesting. Sounds like they can build the turbines since they would be in federal waters, but can't transmit the power. Since when do underwater cables and transmission lines affect the pristine view? NIMBY has good sides and bad, this IMO is definitely a bad side.

NIMBY is just a reality that we must live with.

The most beautiful places are usually the most expensive places which means that the richest, most "connected", people tend to live there.

None of us want our personal environment messed up but few of us have the political power of billionaires.

Wind power companies in England have experienced a breakthrough in tower placement. They're sticking them in "brownfields" where stuff is already messed up. Much easier to permit than on the edge of Lord What's-his-name estate.

The cables and transmission lines will be above ground and above water.

Underwater/ground cables cost in the order of 5-7 times as much as aboveground, because of higher insulation and maintenance costs.

Well, the "ants" might just win out over the "grasshoppers" should capital equipment costs soar post-peak. Right now Texas, my home state in the US, is full speed forwards with offshore and onshore wind farms. Texas has special rights over its offshore that enable it to move along without Federal interferrence. When the brownouts and power allocation eventually hit the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) areas, they might find that wind turbines are suddenly much more expensive .

Notes of the day:

Checked Google News for "ASPO" at 10:15 this morning. No MSM reports of the Houston ASPO conference, or what is being conveyed there.

My wife tells me yesterday on NPR while discussing the high oil prices, someone actually said it was about supply. On NPR!

Ran across Ira Flatow's Science Friday audio from last week (Oct 12) on peak helium (I know, an off-topic discussion here a month back).

I recommend listening to the whole 11 minutes, you'd think it was a SNL parody, but definitely minutes 9:00 to 11:00. We are really going to be in trouble when natural gas peaks because....we'll hit peak helium!

When will Ira do a show on peak oil production? Ira?

This looks like a short term problem with the plants that extract He from natural gas. Far from all extracted NG goes through those plants, and after more are built the problem will be solved.

I would not call peak helium yet.

Sorry for not being clear.

My point was that in the discussion of 'peak helium', the broader significance of peak gas (and peak oil is mentioned in a half a breath) never seemed to dawn on Ira or his guest.

There have been several, actually, including the WSJ. Try Association for the Study of Peak Oil instead.

Thanks. Search Google News with "Association for the Study of Peak Oil", at 11:51 am and I get two MSM links for the USofA:

The Houston Chronicle from 4 days ago noting the upcoming conference.

And The Wall Street Journal:

Bears Smell Oil Bubble as Price Soars
By Ann Davis and Neil King

The higher oil soars, the louder the cries of bears that it can't be justified.

Crude-oil prices hit an exchange record $89.47 a barrel yesterday in New York Mercantile Exchange trading -- gaining more than $10 in 10 days. Some contrarians are starting to declare these price levels unsustainable and even a "bubble."

Stephen Schork, energy trader and author of the Schork Report on oil and gas, called the rise merely a distraction on the way to a big correction. He says prices could fall to $65 to $68 a barrel.

The conference must be in there somewhere, but that's not what the story is about.

The subscription-only oil industry sites have mentioned it as well. PIW and its ilk. I was surprised, actually. I didn't expect ASPO to get any attention from them.

I don't know. At a time of record oil prices, with discussions of why they are so high, someone out there besides the oil news industry might knock on some doors and talk of this peak oil conference.

I do note, as others have pointed out, that 'peak oil' has been mentioned briefly several times on CNBC this week.

Power Plant Rejected Over Carbon Dioxide For First Time

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment yesterday became the first government agency in the United States to cite carbon dioxide emissions as the reason for rejecting an air permit for a proposed coal-fired electricity generating plant, saying that the greenhouse gas threatens public health and the environment.

Folks, you should listen to the link above:
Peak oil means peak economy - Hirsch (podcast)

Hirsch is saying what I have been saying for years, that once nations become aware of peak oil they will husband their resources. But I cannot claim that I came up with the idea myself, I got it from M. King Hubbard:

Were we a rational society, a virtue of which we have rarely been accused, we would husband our oil and gas resources.
- M. King Hubbert

Hirsch points out that nations will be able to do this because there will be a dramatic rise in the price of oil when the world becomes peak oil aware. This higher price will enable them to cut back on exports without cutting their export income.

Ron Patterson

There are some other countries, third world ones I'm sure 'Japan', that have dealt with declining oil consumption while GDP has increased. I suppose its just a matter of perspective.

For starters Japan is not a third world country. And anything is possible in the short term. It would be possible for a country to increase its GDP for one year in a year which its oil consumption went down. There are so many variables, like inventory, imports, exports and such as to allow this to happen. But it could not possibly happen over the long term and especially over the long term for the entire world.

In the long run if the oil supply continued to decline, industrial production, agricultural production, transportation, jobs and so fourth would decline also.

Ron Patterson

And most importantly...many countries have "reduced oil consumption" by offshoring heavy industry. If the fossil fuels are burned in other countries, they don't count...even if the steel rebar, plastic bags, aluminum, DVDs, bags of fertilizer, etc., that result are imported and consumed at home.


It was a joke, Darwinian. Get real!!!

That true, but only if you can outsource dirty production to somewhere else. The problem is that Peak Oil is not an issue for just few countries. It not a problem that can be outsourced. It's a global problem, so the only way to deal with it is to restrict consumption. Most economies are build on the basis of high and ever increasing level of consumption so shrinking consumption would result in a shrinking economy.

>I'm sure 'Japan', that have dealt with declining oil consumption while GDP has increased.

Not so:

Consumption has been rising. The reason why Japan consumption growth was lower then the US and other regions was its 19-years of deflation. However, the reckless policies of the BoJ and enormous public debt leaves Japan in a very vulerable position. Japan is bankrupt. Japan would not be a idea Post Peak Oil place to live, especially since it lacks resources. Japan imports nearly everything, including lumber.

I'm banking on parts of Japan being a very good place post peak. They import their lumber but only so they don't have to damage their own forests which cover 70% of the land. They import a lot of food but produce all the (expensive) rice they use thanks to government policies that encourage and support farmers. They have great public transport, low crime, strong sense of social obligation and they are used to living in homes with only one small heater in one room.

I'm rather enchanted with the idea of the "kotatsu". Little table with a curtain around it and a heater under it. Great for warming up the feet. Are they still common, or are they one of those vestiges of the past that shows up in anime only because they used to be popular?

Kotatsu are still very popular. Most homes still have them and all the furniture stores sell them. Up here in Hokkaido the temperature can fall as low as -30 C and there is typically snow on the ground for 4 or 5 months of the year but central heating is still quite rare. It's surprising how warm you can stay with minimal heating. Most Japanese houses aren't that well insulated unfortunately and double glazing is not common but that is changing as the newer houses are built.

The kotatsu is a great addition to a home. I practically lived under one during the first four winters I lived in Japan. Later I moved to an apartment with vastly better insulation and a real heater.

An interesting thing about the kotatsu is how it changes family life. Having one warm place in the center of the room forced everyone to be together at least part of the year.

Great clip.

I've met Mr Hirsch a few times, and he is a very down to earth and lucid man with a hugely impressive CV. Which is why these kinds of clips scare the shit out of me.


Why not ration by price, just like we do today?

Would that be impossible in the US due to the humongous differences in income between classes?

(As in the richest 1 % capturing 46 % of all income and the fact that only 10 % of university students are from the poorer half of the population.)

Why not ration by price, just like we do today?
Would that be impossible in the US due to the humongous differences in income between classes?

If one rations by price:

1) What is the effect on tax roles for fuel for police, trash, fire supression, and even the military
2) What happens to firms like Mal-Wort if their workers can not arrive to tend to the consumer
3) What will the non-rich do if the poor opt to riot over the lack of fuel

Government rationing would be just another 'free market distortion'....

Recently heard one of the "minimum wage" companies advertising for employees. As part of the salary package they were including a monthly bus pass.


We you not around for the late '70s gas crunch?

If you were then you know how poor and working class people adapted. They'll do the same sorts of things this time.

Difference is, between then and now, is that cheap oil is very unlikely to reappear and we have to get busy and build a transportation system that is not so oil dependent.

The optimists and problem solvers are working on the problem.

The pessimists are wringing their hands and will be pissin' and moaning about how much money the problem solvers make down the road.

And they'll be looking for another Chicken Little event in which to wallow. ;o)

HI Eric,

Thanks and

re: "Government rationing would be just another 'free market distortion"

Could you please explain this a little more?

Also, what is your idea of a best policy, then? (Apologies if I'm missed it elsewhere.)

If rationing is necessary to keep the military in fuel, then we'll have rationing. Count on it.

While I'm not sure of the exact mechanism, I am sure that the military will get all the fuel they need.

We can hope that farmers, police, and emergency services get all that they need.

What's left over will get allocated to the general public by their ability to pay. Teresa Heinz-Kerry will still fly her private jet to environmental conferences, and professional sports teams will fly to games. The rest of us will be riding bicycles.

Does anyone know how much oil/gas a fire engine company uses?

1. Dude, just raise taxes, or cut funding for government services.

2. Eliminate payroll taxes, financing it by higher fuel taxes and taxes on the rich (remember, the richest 1 % take in 46 % of all income as the US has become a feudal society).

3. Institue some progressive taxation. A fair sharing of burdens.

Rationing by rations is a great way to create queues, black markets and economi inefficiency.

The only positive thing with them is that they are somehow more acceptable to the deranged American public.

Hi Starvid,

If I heard the podcast correctly (the sound was not that great on my version of it), Robert Hirsch was recommending rationing.

Q: If you raise taxes, how do you ensure the proceeds are spent on project we believe will help? (My list would include PV/solar thermal build-out incentives, ditto for wind, conversion to organic ag, etc. etc.) (?)

I mean, it's not enough just to have more tax revenue in the coffers, is it? Because that will also be spent, hence more oil/energy used in the spending and not directed toward putting in place - something useful.

Of course, I'm probably leaving out the true picture, which is massive war spending and deficit. Just asking hypothetically.

CNN counts coup on its competitors with a "First Post!" regarding breaking the inflation adjusted peak of the early 1980s, and thusly the chart for televised foolishness will shift from fandango to forwardation.


CNBC just said something like "we already pumped out half the oil in the world, the peak is in the next ten years."

"peak oil pranksters" indeed!

I think the last week has been hard on the CNBC hosts...

Jeff Rubin, Boone Pickens...skyrocketing prices.

The Boone Pickens video yesterday was amusing. He couldn't help but to smirk but wouldn't say why...you could see it under his brow...Peak Oil! (after all he is speaking at ASPO this week)

I think he came close to saying a couple times in the interview...but hedged with his "we have 88 MMBPD demand in 4Q and ONLY 85 MMBPD SUPPLY" comment. Close enough!

And, as the other times...just stunned/irrevelant responses from the hosts.

It may be starting to sink in...but if oil price retreats...they will forget it just as fast. Media memory is about 3-13 seconds. :P

However, it may not retreat this quarter. Until we starve every third world country of crude...then maybe it will retreat a bit.

Everyone kinda missed PEAK OIL being said on CNBC this week, (3 days ago).

Watch this short video clip. Ron was kind enough to find the link after I posted the news earlier this week.

PEAK OIL on CNBC as a Reason for High Oil Prices


I think we should save this link as a mile stone.

I enjoy CNBC as a rather intelligent and informative business news service, as compared to the otherwise depressing news alternatives. I expect that when, hopefully soon, that Peak Oil gets the mainstream media attention that it deserves, that CNBC will be the first video media to tout it.

Peak oil comments and insinuations have been appearing on CNBC for the past several weeks now. I am of the opinion that CNBC, instead of running away from the issue, may be laying the foundation and prepping its viewers for an introduction to the peak oil concept as part of a serious discussion into the future.

GLT: My guess is they will attempt to replay the dot-com era, this time pumping alternative energy. First they have to lay the groundwork.

I agree with...

"My guess is they will attempt to replay the dot-com era, this time pumping alternative energy. First they have to lay the groundwork."

... but first I think we can expect the Ann Colter types to drag out the old, "peak oil theory is a scam dreamed up by liberials to get us to stop using gas in order to save the planet" story.

Ann Colter can choke and die on my.....
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

Perhaps your web site needs work if others are choking on it?

I've often wondered how the global warming controversy would have played out if the recommended solution was to burn coal and buy bigger cars. I suspect those who now question the science would have been die-hard believers.

Think of how it would have played out had it been identified by fundamentalist preachers rather than pinko hippies. ;o)

Let's combine the two solutions -

Dick Cheney proclaims that the American Way of Life requires that we all go out and buy coal-powered land locomotives! These "land leviathans" will be about the size of a 19th century steam engine, pulling a luxurious Pullman car like the ones owned by evil robber barons and secret agent James West (hey, if we can use "24" as a policy-making tool...). They will use tires from those giant Australian dump trucks used in open-pit coal mines. The white stripes in parking lots will have to be repurposed - that's one line per tire.

Shoveling - done by Mexicans, of course.

On political forums where I participate I find an equal amount of resistance from the left, although their position is usually that peak oil is a conspiracy by big oil and their government stooges to increase to cost of gas.

'CNBC just said something like "we already pumped out half the oil in the world, the peak is in the next ten years."'

To be fair to CNBC as the herald of optimism, the quote was from Cypress Semi's CEO, and CY has significant exposure to solar.

Al Gore got a Nobel Peace Prize ... is it a case of 'fat cats' looking after 'fat cats'?



It's not entirely true that the parliament decides on the winner: but they do appoint the commitee. It's true that it's a political decision, in the sense that they try to maximise the attention gained, but I doubt they are quite as corrupt as claimed on the linked site.

In 1936, in connection with the award of the Peace Prize to Carl von Ossietzky, there was a change of practice: since then, no members of the government have served on the committee. In 1977 a rule was adopted barring members of the Storting from election to the Nobel Committee, the name of which was changed from the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Storting to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.


Re: Dems Urge Bodman to Suspend SPR Adds Until Prices Fall

They should be saying FILL IT NOW!

Blaming the SPR filling on prices is about as bad as blaming it on "speculators".

Makes me want to scream!

Primal scream therapy anyone...one collective scream at 9:30AM Monday morning as the market open :P

Sure, great thinkin'....

We're in a price spike so let's make it go even higher by using our tax money to buy lots and lots more overpriced oil so that we can store it away and then use it when prices fall.

(Ever remember how tightly this administration is tied to the folks who make money hand over fist when oil prices get high?)

So the oil is "overpriced" at the moment?

Are the prices a going back to a single YERGIN(38$) again?

Or maybe, we are lucky a DOUBLE YERGIN ($76)?

Plus, I think filling your SPR would possibly the BEST use of US budget in the last couple years. Sorry if you think your tax-payer dollars could be better spent elsewhere.

The SPR is about keeping your country going when the times get tough, I would be grateful for one in Canada(we have no energy policy at all).

How about a "dekaYergin per decade" as a rolling estimate of future oil prices? That would be $380/bbl in 2017.

We're in a price spike so let's make it go even higher by using our tax money to buy lots and lots more overpriced oil so that we can store it away and then use it when prices fall.

Aside from the purpose of the oil purchased for the SPR, one could argue SPR purchases are a good thing for the same reason more taxes on energy would be a good thing: It will drive up prices further, which will discourage consumption.

Your post seems to imply that low cost oil is desirable. It is of course on the personal financial level. But in the big picture reducing our dependence on oil level, it's quite the opposite. We want high prices to reduce consumption and allow the oil remaining to be used for the most critical purposes, rather than being quickly squandered mindlessly.

And ...
As the EIA reports, SPR has increased by a bit less than 3 million barrels in 6 weeks that is a fantastic 72000 b/d addition to the SPR. 0.002% of worlds C+C production, now this is a huge factor which can explain the price increase. Now, at one point the oil price will go down, only to increase later ... Will the coming decrease of price increase the popularity of those calling for it ?

72000 b/d taken from the market is not likely to have a significant impact on price. Currently the Strategic Petroleum reserve is being filled using a royalty in kind program: the oil companies operating in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico pay their royalties in petroleum which is added into the SPR instead of the money going to the treasury. This, at current prices, amounts to over $2 billion per year not available as part of the budget. The Honorable Jeff Bingaman probably wants that money for some pet project.

I am inclined to take these things with a grain of salt. Some times its politician's self interest, but other times they're trying to flush their quarry from the other side of the aisle into the open. You have to look at the contributions to the legislative sausage once the end is tied off to really understand who stands for what.

Do you really think the Democrats will be blamed for big oil's conduct?

Someone over at PO.com noted that the government has been rather inept at this. They postponed filling the SPR due to high prices...at $50, $60, $70. Now, when it's $80-90, they buy.

Which, when the price goes to $250, will make them look very clever indeed.

Unless of course you want to wait for prices to drop to $25. But then it will be obvious that no SPR is needed at all, since supplies are abundant and always will be.

Thus we have once again proved that using government to help the citizens is evil and wrong. It should restrict itself to its primary functions: invading other countries for profit, and helping the wealthy to privatize benefits and socialize costs.

One would have to make the assumption that the current spike in oil is due to "peak oil". Which is obviously baloney.

Back to $25? I doubt that.

But let things settle down a bit in the Middle East and demand drop a bit and we'll see....

In the meantime it would be in our best interests to keep working on the problem of post-petroleum transportation. We'll have to deal with that on a serious level in a decade or so. Best to get going now rather than later.

But let things settle down a bit in the Middle East..

In which future decade will this occur...any guesses?

When the next species becomes dominant on the planet.

Dogerectus doggyium.

Personally I'm guessing that things will settle down in the near future. Especially once we get the "We gotta invade Iran" crap behind us with a change of administration.

Israel and Palestine may continue to be stupid for a while longer, but they're not part of the oil mix.

Seems to me that the Islamic extremists have pretty much worn out their welcome. The folks with real power (and money) don't want some mullah running their business.

I think GM was being facetious.

And it is certainly baloney to say that the peaking of oil has nothing to do with oil's current price. Is is the only factor? No. Is it definitely one of the many factors? Yes.

Trying to be amusing, but not very successfully, I suppose.

The minimum cost approach to filling your SPR (to whatever level you consider "full") is to add to it when oil is cheap and it looks like you will never need it. Supplies are ample (hence the low price), so that whatever you spend seems like a waste of money.

The other approach is to add to it when supplies look tight and that having some extra in the SPR is a good idea. That is when prices are up.

So, either you have an SPR and you look like a fool for either paying too much or filling it when there is "clearly" no need, or you don't have an SPR and leave yourself more exposed to supply disruptions.

Good argument GreenMan, I think we should fill it now using the in-kind Gulf of Mexico oil lease royalties.

Howzzat? "Peak oil" is not a factor, but yet we need to work on "post-petroleum transportation"?

Now, of course the market is volatile, no particular short-term price can be attributed to "peak oil". So maybe the price will eventually drop sharply enough to allow us to look in the rear view mirror and see this as just a silly spike. But if it's a short spike, then little money is lost anyhow, and if it's a long spike, maybe the long-term ramp catches up to it and it's not experienced as a spike at all. But no matter, we don't know, one way or the other. Since we don't know, steady purchasing is probably better than trying to time market volatility. Unless, just maybe, one is an absolute genius.

But really, the grandstanding Congresscritters playing this mug's game aren't geniuses. They're just trying to make the Administration look bad. And that's a wholly superfluous accomplishment, isn't it? So it's scarcely worth any risk of leaving the SPR insufficient to cover the next big hurricane.

Something tells me this someone hasn't been paying attention over the past few decades. Why would the government try to buy the cheapest oil? Try and defend that logic. The government's source of income is not the same as yours.

If the Pentagon were in charge of SPR procurement they would be buying oil for $1845.87 per barrel.

Not so much inept as much as ... being imperfect and human.

They postponed filling the SPR because they were told by their experts and lobbyists that the oil price would fall, or that the price wouldn't rise so quickly.

Only now does it dawn on them that their experts and lobbyists are, by design after all, nothing more than paid whores who play both sides.

And further realizing that the oil price may not be coming back down in any significant way.

If only there was some way they could manipulate the market to cause the price to fall significantly, then they could replenish the SPR at a reduced price.

No, they postponed filling the SPR because they were told by their experts and lobbyists that oil price would rise. The longer they held off, the more profit their cronies made.

The social compact has been destroyed.

cfm in Gray, ME

I agree with you and will join you in the Monday scream.

There is one fact all of us must consider when thinking about the future - our government is made up of dangerously incompetent representatives.

As Orlov says, "Don't pay any attention to national politicians, it only encourages them. They are a colossal waste of time..." (paraphrase).

These federal parasites will do more damage than good and won't stop until we get rid of the federal government entirely, or reduce it's powers until it is as impotent as the UN.

The SPR is not, and never has been, about controlling prices. The whole reason for the SPR is to guard against shortages. So it's reasonable to assume that the renewed interest in topping off the SPR stems from concerns about shortages. And "buying" oil at these high prices could certainly indicate two things: they don't think prices will go down anytime soon, and they think the possibility of shortages soon is increasing.

re: Orlov's quote above - I wish I had the courage to display a bumper sticker saying "Don't Vote! - It just encourages them". But I'd die in a fiery wreck in no time...

And "buying" oil at these high prices could certainly indicate two things: they don't think prices will go down anytime soon, and they think the possibility of shortages soon is increasing.

Three .. there's a political hack running the SPR

Triff ..

Bodman worked to jawbone the price down when it first approached $80 back in August. He said he was very concerned and that he had called OPEC and asked for an increase in production.

He's not saying things like that now. He's saying there's a problem with supply.

Ya...I keep wondering who took off his leash and let him speak the truth.

The United States initiated an unlawful war on pretense in an effort to seize Iraq's oil. This being said, lets take a look at Mexico.

There are eleven million "visitors" here from Mexico on extended stay and a bipartisan group of working class white males would like them gone. Not quite as intensely as the disloyal Christian Right wants to burn sodomites at the stake, but unemployment will fuel that greatly.

Mexico's oil production has peaked and will decline relentlessly. Also and much less discussed is the fact that we've just passed peak remittance - as the housing market deflates and pressure goes up on guest workers what they send home goes down. Mexico will be a failed state; this is a "when" and not an "if". You just can't rip the underpinnings from the people and the government at the same time and not get chaos.

Mexico allows no direct investment in their petroleum production and hasn't since the Great Depression. If the state lets go ... which it was going to do anyway based on fundamentals ... suddenly we have another cache of petroleum nearby that is essentially defenseless. Defenseless and there is strong domestic antipathy from a portion of the population for the natives of the failed state who rightfully owns the fields.

Suddenly the "foolish" policy of turning corn to ethanol and contributing to Mexico's destabilization makes a good deal of sense, at least neocon style.


Why do you make comments like:

the disloyal Christian Right wants to burn sodomites at the stake

Of course nobody wants to do that. Are you trying to be deliberately offensive? I am a Christian who has usually tended more right than left politically, so am I being disloyal to somebody?

NASA: I'm not religious, but it is my understanding that the iconic figure of Christianity, Jesus, was very far to the left. The often repeated stories are of him throwing the money changers from the temple and having sympathy for the poor (even prostitutes). Why don't you consider "Christian" and "right-wing" a conflict?


I think it would be incorrect to pigeonhole Jesus, Christianity or even the Bible overall into a modern American political category of either right or left. Certainly, the Bible's sympathy for the poor, the stranger (which sounds suspiciously like illegal immigrants) and so on sounds like a left wing sort of position. On the other hand, the Bible's standard for sexuality can be summarized as in singleness: chastity, in marriage: fidelity, with marriage defined as being one man and one woman for life. That would be considered more of a right wing position today. And who can even say what Jesus position would be on something like tax cuts? I think it would be a mistake to try.

Right, that is the strength of the Bible, it can be all things to all people. No matter what you believe, or wish to believe, you can find it in the bible.

Doing theology is like doing a jigsaw puzzle in which the verses of Scripture are the pieces: the finished picture is prescribed by each denomination, with a certain latitude allowed. What makes the game so pointless is that you do not have to use all the pieces, and that pieces which do not fit may be reshaped after pronouncing the words "this means."
- Walter Kaufmann: Critique of Religion and Philosophy.

Ron Patterson

I don't approve of a jigsaw puzzle approach to understanding the Bible. The Bible says "Judas...went away and hanged himself." It also says "Go and do likewise." (Matt 27:3-5, Luke 10:37) But anyone who puts verses together like that out of context is not making a serious effort to understand it.

The Bible tells me some things I have to believe though I would rather not, and it should have the same affect on other honest readers.

So your life is something like this guy?

Following the Bible was more than time-consuming. With the help of a spiritual advisory board of rabbis, priests and ministers, Jacobs tried to live every facet of his life based on strict interpretations of Scripture.

This led him to:

•Wear white. "It was like always being dressed for the semifinals at Wimbledon or a P. Diddy party."

•Wear a robe and sandals. "Reactions varied from raised eyebrows, to people crossing to the other side of the street, to those who thought I was a tourist attraction and took pictures."

•Herd sheep. "It's very good for the ego. Sheep live up to stereotype — they're sheepish. It was a good entry-level job for patriarchs. First they were shepherds, and then they led people out of Israel."

•Eat crickets. "I chose to eat the chocolate-covered ones. They were crunchy."

I apologize for the snarkiness of this post, but I'm a recovering Christian myself (if Mormons count as Christians).

I'm a recovering Christian myself (if Mormons count as Christians).

Naw, more like recovering Masons....

Mhhh I think conventional wisdom is that they DO NOT.(count)

I never figured Missouri for the Garden of Eden...

Or Pardes or the Orchard..Joseph Smith et.al.

But I have been to Salt Lake City and it was the cleanest nicest city I had been to ,ever. The women and children were well behaved. They have great genealogical archives.

Yet that multiple wife thing....


"it can be all things to all people"

I believe that is because they take the parts they wish and those they don't wish they discard.

And really they read the Old Testament portions that apply ONLY to the Jews and take it to mean it applies to them when they are really gentiles.

Then of course there is a part where GOD spoke to mankind, then to the tribes of Israel,then to the prophets of Israel, and then came Jesus Christ who spoke to only the jews(the lost sheep of the tribe of Israel) and told them very clearly to NOT go to the gentiles...and of course there were those who were with him(disciples) and they wrote part of the bible and THEN there were those who wrote very very much of the bible BUT did not know Jesus Christ...and so you get people very confused..about the whole thing...

So to me its simple..a hierarchy and when I find confusion or contradictions I simply go first to what
1.God said
2.Jesus said
3.What his disciples said
4 WHat others said

and I take the topmost first and discard all the rest as I parse it out...

The Big Guy,the Other Guy,his Buddies,and the rest(Paul).

No problemo.

Now biggie here...God ,as far as I can find, never put Eternal Life on the table...Never...oh you can find some offshots of intrepertaions but such a big event as eternal life???He never put it out there...That was Jesus Christ who did that and he made it a 'very very' big time deal and laid it right on the table.

But God? Nope..not exactly..oh yes Lazarus and some parables..but everlasting life? Nope.

So here are all these zealots who say "We Jesus is my buddy and He is going deer hunting with me and He will help me slaughter(for pure sport) this nice big buck" "He is my buddy"..or different words for different folks..like bizmen..and execos and so forth..they just smaltz it up more.

Yet we all know that man was charged with 'keeping' the garden and 'tilling' the garden and over the animals and surely not to wantonly slaughter them for ego.

And so we have done the opposite..we have destroyed the earth He gave us to live on..and yet some Christians are the worst sinners not 5 minutes out the Churchhouse doors on Sunday..as they zip away at a high rate of speed giving others the finger and using God name in vain as they do so..and believe that they have their 'Fire Insurance' all paid up and the rest of us are doomed to hell, just cause they threw some money in a basket when the whole new Testament says not a word about 'tithing'..

But we all know that its become almost a corporate rakeoff..for the preachers and the congregation..but mostly the blowdried , coiffed , televangelists...and who thinks God would pick them to deliver his ultimate message to earthlings?

So do I believe that Bush and Co. have a single clue? No..think 'Lake of Fire'.

airdale-just my opinion..my ref is the Bible..My take..yours is surely different ..for real insight one could try the Kaballah? Or Dead Sea Scrolls or Nag Hamadi or ?? I gave up on the Corpo/Execo/Politico/Sluggo regime long long ago. The bible surely makes more sense that that schtick,,at least to me.You will hardly ever find me in a church,but I spent nigh unto 30 or 40 years finally discovering what that racket was all about...and heard the word 'awesome' about 20,000 more times than I ever cared to.

The reality is, there is no organized movement on the Left to create a Christian dictatorship. There is an organized movement that hides behind the cover of countless Christian movements to create a state exactly as cruel, unequal and violent as the state that "God" "ordered" the Patriarchs to create in "His" "Word". (All quotation marks represent skepticism from actual historians) Here are some websites trying to keep up with this rapidly growing and mutating movement:





These sites will lead you to narratives on how far back the connections go between Old Testament literalism and far-right capitalism. From them I found the history of the Scofield Reference Bible, which seems to be the mother lode for understanding the nature of the modern Christian Right:


What I've learned is that the Scofield Bible is *amendable*. It's all in the footnotes, which are controlled by a mysterious board that for some reason is selected by the Oxford University Press. The changes in the footnotes reflect the changes in the agenda of the Christian Right - or seem to lead those changes. For instance: ever greater support for the State of Israel. Why did the Oxford University Press in the Edwardian British Empire choose to publish a bizarre revised Bible by a fire & brimstone hustler from Texas?

But the Scofield Bible is what holds the entire, gigantic Millenialist movement together. It is the book whose footnotes were used to indoctrinate countless evangelicals into the idea that the end times were soon and would involve both the State of Israel and the USA against the entire rest of the world. Which means, NASAguy, that this extremist theology is connected to what are now the beliefs of the plurality of American Protestants - and the President.

Millenialism>Christian Zionism>Bushism>Endless War for Oil. They all supported each other into power.

I should hardly need to point out that if Dick Cheney knew about the possibility of Peak Oil in 1999 (the speech he gave while at Halliburton), then he knew his imperialist Project for a New American Century had to get into the White House quickly, and could only do it with a Christian ally. His Likud allies & Abramoff redoubled their efforts to tie themselves to Millenialist-Dominionists, and were rewarded with the power that now threatens our liberties and our planet. But wouldn't a shrewd man have covered his ass in case of failure? The beauty of Christian Millenialism is that no matter how badly its favored policies mess up the lives of its lower-income followers, they will accept it as part of the Tribulation.

So either Cheney's PNAC succeeds and enslaves the world, in which case his Christian allies will be too powerful to challenge, or it fails and America must retreat from the evil world, into an age of oil shortages and humiliation... and martial law can be declared, elections canceled, or candidates for revenge promoted. Who will enforce the dictatorship then? Blackwater, owned and operated by Christian extremists. A military that the Christian Right has moved aggressively to infiltrate for years now, especially the still-powerful Air Force. Police forces and prison guards, disproportionately receptive to these messages of hate and violence.

And if the Earth is only 6000 years old, then oil must be abiotic. Prepare the Dominionist movement for its next pack of lies.

Although I have a number of points of disagreement with this post, at this hour of the night I'll settle for replying to the one point which is closest to being on topic. All the main young-earth creationist organizations believe in a biological origin for oil, and not abiotic oil. Here is one reference: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n1/origin-of-oil.

Although I have a number of points of disagreement with this note, at this hour of the night I'll settle for addressing only the one that is closest to being on topic. All the main young-earth creation organizations believe in a biological origin for oil, as opposed to abiotic oil. Here is one reference: http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/am/v2/n1/origin-of-oil.

I see the teachings of Yeshua of Nazareth (AKA Jesus) as transcending our political constructs of left and right. I don't see how anyone that can claim to be a serious and sincere follower of him can also be able to be totally uncritical in their acceptance of the agenda of either the right or the left.

It should also be noted that there are a great many people who call themselves "Christian" but who give very little notice of what the Gospels report that he actually taught, or are very selective in picking and choosing what they want to heed.

"It is not that the Christian way has been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." - GK Chesterton

A Christian follows the teachings of Jesus, tries to obey the ten commandments, and so forth. They make good friends and neighbors. The disloyal Christian Right are a collection of fascist doomsday cults with the trappings of Christianity. While the symbols are the same it takes only a few minutes of conversation to separate one from the other ...

I care not one bit if I should offend warmongering religious fanatics. They want a "holy" war against all Muslims as a warm up to the end of the world and at the moment they're getting their way with Bush in office.

You appear to not be one of those nutcases and I am sorry if my attempt to wear out the phrase "disloyal Christian Right" bothers you, but as a society we have to deal with them and I do mean we, which includes Christians not of the disloyal Right flavor along with everyone else.

What have you done to differentiate yourself from them? I'm not trying to be inflammatory here, I just want to know what is really happening within your church, because I see the occasional article (heart warming) about Christian leaders denouncing the disloyal Christian Right.

heh, just follow Guliani's lead and use the term 'Christo-Fascists' in place of 'Islamo-Fascists'

Let us above all, make sure everyone is wearing their proper label.....:o

"Christian" is not equivalent to the Christian Right, the "God hates fags" brigade.


People cringe at Fred Phelps' behavior but I think his outsides pretty much mirror what is inside the minds of a lot of the leaders of the disloyal Christian Right. Peace and love ... but only for white people ... belonging to certain "saved" sects.

I think you are mostly attacking a straw man. I didn't know who Fred Phelps was until a minute ago, when I googled his name. He apparently leads a whopping big church with 71 members. His group believes a lot of off the wall things and even pickets military funerals. A strange and unpleasant bunch, no doubt, but not exactly a threat to the Republic, and certainly not representative of even right wing American Christians.

Oh, the God Hates Fags people are quite well known by anyone who is friends with anyone in the GLT community. They were in Little Rock, AR picketting on numerous occasions. I feel free to give them the bird any time I drive by them @ the state capital. They're expressing themselves, and I'm expressing myself. :)

It's all the more heart-warming when you see children holding up "God Hates Fags" signs. (sarcanol)
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

This person did some great reference work in this area.

Excerpts from the New Messiahs

Editor’s note: The New Messiahs by Katherine Yurica is based on 1,300 pages of actual transcripts of Pat Robertson’s television show, The 700 Club recorded for several years in the early 1980’s. Most of the excerpts came from shows broadcast in 1984-86. In 1987 the author conducted a study in response to informal inquiries from the staff of the Subcommittee on Oversight of the House Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representives, which was investigating whether television and radio ministries were violating their tax-exempt status by conducting grass roots political appeals, endorsing candidates, and making political expenditures as defined under Section 527 of the IRS code. The Subcommittee on Oversight published the author’s study in Federal Tax Rules Applicable to Tax-Exempt Organizations Involving Television Ministries on October 6, 1987, Serial 100-43. (Published in 1988.)



While the comments may have been over the top, when I was in college, a new student group was started up. "Students with Alternative Lifestyles" (SAL) which was obviously started up as a student group primarily composed of gay, lesbian, and transgender students.

I was friends with two of the founding members of the group. I happen to be straight, but after the first meeting, the founding members had to round up me and a large group of other friends to attend as straight "supporters" to essentially back these guys up. Threats of violence were commonplace, and fortunately nobody was dragged behind a pickup truck like has happened elsewhere.

Bigots who happen to call themselves Christian are not representative to Christianity any more than "Islamic Extremists" are representative of Islam. However, they DO leave an impression on one's mind.

I have no doubt that many of the people who specifically showed up OUTSIDE the meeting place of the SAL meeting would have gladly committed some form of assault or worse if they believed they could get away with it.
~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com/)

When I see US Christian organizations taking an active stand against the hateful reactionary wing of their religion, I'll stop holding it against them.

If you live in Houston and you've never heard a good ol' boy calling for the murder of homosexuals, you must not get out much.

The first time I ever had a job with a group of working class Houston males, at the tech support room of an air conditioning factory, I heard the most blood-curdling remarks about exterminating all gays. I was only there a few weeks. Also remarks about Hitler's only mistake being the part against Jews (as opposed to liberals and gays, presumably). They all talked that way except the black guy.

Personally, I was amused by an elderly caretaker in The Heights who said that all queers should be "strangled like chickens".

The Rocky Mountain states were known for their libertarian attitude towards gays and abortion - until the Southern Christian fundamentalist churches invaded. It's very different, and occasionally lethal, now.

These are the constituency of Reagan's and Bush Junior's revolution, so closely tied to the Christian right that in the documentary "Jesus Camp" children are encouraged at a campfire to pray to God in front of a cardboard cutout of Bush. If you say that's extreme, I'll say that for every 1 serious Nazi in Germany, there were 10 Germans who were willing to follow them because of shared prejudices and lust for power, and 100 Germans who were willing to follow them out of fear once Hitler had proclaimed the Patriot Act-like Enabling Act.

Super 390

The biggest irony is this:

Q: If Jesus were walking amongst us today, and met up with some homosexuals, what would he do?

A: He would probably meet with them for supper, and have a good, long, friendly talk. The accounts of him that we have in the Gospels have him always doing those sorts of things with people that were considered "sinners".

Of course, he would probably get around to saying something pithy that would challenge them to re-examine their way of thinking and whole way of life. He had a way of doing that sort of thing too -- with everybody, not just those that were considered the "sinners".

The only time we see any hint of Jesus using hateful language against anyone is in his invective against the self-righteous hyper-pious hypocrites of his day. Isn't that interesting?

And I'll bet that some of the people that you encountered in your story went around with "WWJD" ("What would Jesus do?") bracelets.


Wasn't he that guy who never had a girl friend or got married and hung around with a lot of other guys?

I'm a bit hazy on my biblical history.... ;o)

Actually, we don't really know if he was ever married or not. Some people think that Mary Magdalene was actually his wife. Absence of information doesn't prove anything one way or another. It doesn't really matter that much, there is nothing in Christian doctrine that hangs on Jesus being married or unmarried - except for Roman Catholic insistance on their priests remaining unmarried, and even that doesn't depend upon Jesus being unmarried as its main prop.

Actually WNC I believe that celibacy for priests is rather new, in the longer history of the RCC. I do believe that Martin Luther was married,,I believe to a nun or ex-nun.
Some of this I may have wrong but if I recall correctly marriage for priests used to be allowable.

As well as the dogma(as given by a pope in the 13 or 14 century) that believers would NOW be immediately translated to heaven,after death, instead of 'sleeping' in their graves until He returned. (I did have a reference on this but can't find it right now)

In other words the concept of heaven was changed after the RCC realized that it might be a very very long time before Christ returned to earth for his sheep(the Second Coming).

And I have also read that heaven was a Greek concept and also rather new. Gheena and Sheol were Jewish words that described where the dead bodies were thrown and burned(of those who were not buried more properly).


Coming very late back to this discussion...

The Catholic Church forbade its priests from getting married quite well along in its history.

Seems like too many priests were giving "church property" to their heirs.

Celibate priests, just like institutionalized marriage, have to do with the retention of property/wealth. Not religious beliefs.

(Probably best that my joke went over your head. ;o)

Have you read any of Ann Coulter's books?

I think you're looking in the right place, but the beauty of this crime will be in the details.

There are too many Mexicans for us to fight, so we must get them to fight each other, and then choose the side which will be more pro-American. However, there is a danger that our policies will put too many Mexicans on the other side for even such an alliance to prevail.

The other reason the US must divide and conquer is the Mexican American population. Hell, the Marines could hardly have fought in Iraq without all those macho-tribal Hispanic teens in Los Angeles and Houston obsessed with the ultimate gang colors. But we blew it with this stupid war; their parents wised up and soon Mexicans will turn against military service the way blacks have. Whites, and to put it bluntly, blacks now rely on recent Mexican and Central American immigrants to do all the dirty work - how will we wage a trillion $ war in Mexico without their help?

Oh, Halliburton camps. I forgot. Sorry.

It seems that Mexico is already failing. If you Google Mexico and "failed state" you get over 40,000 hits.

This has me very concerned. I can see our difficulties with immigration escalating dramatically in the next few years when the government loses this funding source.

Isn't most of Mexico's oil in the GOM and not on land? If there is anything left mightn't the US dispatch their war ships to control it? It would be easier to defend if the oil never had to go to land in Mexico. I'm not advocating this, just wondering out loud if this could happen.

We haven't discussed the propane supply much on this forum. In This Week in Petroleum, http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/oog/info/twip/twip.asp, propane is the petroleum product that is below the lower end of the average range, and nearly 20% below last year's level. Last week, it dropped slightly while gas, crude oil and distillates all rose.

Do we have any feel for a minimum operating level for propane?

NASAguy, as you note, the propane in storage is low compared with last winter. For what it's worth, I've been trying to get a delivery of propane for the past 3 weeks or so. Also, our local propane supplier usually offers a fixed contract for the winter, but they have not set a price yet, thus no contracts. The futures price of propane has gone up from about $1.18 to $1.47 per gallon since the middle of August. This makes one wonder if the supplier isn't holding out for a higher price. It's been suggested that part of the run up in oil prices has been due to speculation, which might also be impacting propane prices as well. For the past 3 months, the graphs of NMEX futures data for oil and propane appear highly correlated.

There's also a rather low amount of heating oil in storage, so a cold winter will be rough for those folks who heat with oil. I feel sorry for everybody who will need fill ups during the height of winter's cold. My game plan is to get enough propane to last thru the winter, then try and buy a year's supply in summer. That's a bit like the response of the PU drivers in the 1970's, who added an extra gasoline tank to their trucks, so that they didn't need to look for gasoline as often. Once PO kicks in, both ideas may not work very well.

E. Swanson

My father just recieved 300 gals @ 2.69 gal. We live upstate NY.

This puzzles me - someone said a while back that propane in NY was $2.50 or so and I called to check here(Iowa) - $1.70 back then and it had been $1.65 the week prior.

We never did get a good explanation as to why it is different. Things back east are consistently higher, but a 40% difference on a commodity seems to be a very big difference to me.

I recall a Vermont state fish hatchery being built in the early 90's. It was to pipe its water from Lake Champlain at mid depth, to avoid freeze up problems, and potential elevated temp concerns for salmonids in the summer(mixing water from different depths to get near 55 degrees year round) Due to the volumes of water required, the project flew on a special Canadian contract of around $0.25/gal propane for winter water heating. Local prices were in the 70's at the time.

Vt F&G webpage shows it's still going-any local information on the effects of this high propane?

Someday it would be nice for one of the heavy hitters (who are all proccupied in Houston right now, unfortunately) to expound upon the relationship between propane, LNG, and "other liquids" or "condensates". I am not totally clear to what extent propane is or is not being included when these are being discussed. I understand that some propane comes from crude oil as a very high fraction distillate, and some from NG as a condensate; thus, if one were to construct a Venn diagram, propane could be represented as the intersection of the crude oil and NG sets, perhaps?

There is an important issue here: To what extent is there flexibility in terms of shifting production between propane and distillates such as gasoline/jet fuel/etc., or between propane and LNG?

Here is another way to look at it, and this is a bit disturbing. Propane is currently down 11.6 million barrels from last year, at 60.4 million barrels. Now this time of year, continuing for the next few weeks, is the annual high, and the 60.4 million figure is 55 days of supply. The seasonal low comes at the end of winter. This last winter we bottomed out at 16.6 days of supply. We started last winter above the high end of the average range, and now by comparison we are starting this coming winter below the low end of the average range.

Hopefully there's a good chance for a mild winter - most of them have been mild lately. Seems like a problem otherwise.

Why has warmer weather DECREASED hurricanes?

"One of the world's foremost meteorologists has called the theory that helped Al Gore share the Nobel Peace Prize "ridiculous" and the product of "people who don't understand how the atmosphere works". . . .

“We’ll look back on all of this in 10 or 15 years and realise how foolish it was,” Dr Gray said.

During his speech to a crowd of about 300 that included meteorology students and a host of professional meteorologists, Dr Gray also said those who had linked global warming to the increased number of hurricanes in recent years were in error.

He cited statistics showing there were 101 hurricanes from 1900 to 1949, in a period of cooler global temperatures, compared to 83 from 1957 to 2006 when the earth warmed.

“The human impact on the atmosphere is simply too small to have a major effect on global temperatures,” Dr Gray said."


Many moons ago, Stuart wrote a post where he touched a bit on William Gray, his resistance to anthropogenic climate change, and his place in the field.

"Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference"

Basically, Gray is not a climatologist. And he's kind of old and set in his ways. He's still widely respected for his past accomplishments, but he's sort in the position Einstein was in, unable to wrap his mind around this new-fangled quantum physics stuff.

"If you think you understand quantum theory...you don't understand quantum theory." -- Richard Feynman

You rightfully point out that Gray is out of his depth, but he doesn't deserve to be in the flotsam of Einstein's wake, much less to be put in the same boat.

Easily refuted denialist claptrap. Thanks for pointing out a fat, soft target for me :-)



One of the thoughts, haven't checked to see how the data turned out, was that the severe droughts in western Africa were putting a lot of dust into the air which was cooling the ocean water off Africa.

Might be true. At least it points out a system by which global warming doesn't mean that everything gets warm at the same time.

That said, look at what's been happening when a 'modest' hurricane gets into the warmer than usual Gulf of Mexico.

We got one "instant" hurricane this year that hit the Yucatan.

Dr. Gray's statements, if reported accurately, reflect a common fallacy among global warming deniers: an implicit assumption that the proposed effects of global warming only matter if they are found to be occurring in or near the USA.

To the extent that global warming supporters propose links between global warming and hurricanes, those links are expected to be "GLOBAL," as one might expect when dealing with "global warming." But, look at the numbers quoted by Dr. Gray. He claimed that for the 1957 to 2006 period there were only 83 hurricanes.

That number is wrong on two counts. First, according to NOAA, the official keeper of hurricane records for the Atlantic and Caribbean basins, 83 hurricanes from 1957 to 2006 hit the United States. There were more than 300 total Atlantic and Caribbean hurricanes during that time frame. Of those, about 120 became "major" hurricanes, which for Atlantic storms means they reached category 3, 4 or 5.

Second, Dr. Gray obviously failed to include the hurricanes of the Pacific and Indian Oceans in his numbers. This 2006 research article shows that in just the 30 year period form 1974 to 2004 there were about 1000 hurricanes and typhoons, of which over 300 became major storms. For Pacific and Indian Ocean storms that means they reached category 4 or 5 status.

Taken together, the total number of hurricanes world wide has not declined. In fact, the numbers have increased in the Pacific and Indian Oceans while holding steady or declining slightly in the Atlantic and Carribbean.

The results from both reports above are consistent with this 2007 NOAA report that proposes that global warming will increase wind shear in the Atlantic and Carribbean, making hurricane formation more difficult, while decreasing wind shear in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, making hurricane formation easier. Further, it suggests that hurricanes in the Pacific, Indian Ocean and Caribbean will tend to be stronger due to increased sea surface temps while those in Atlantic will tend to be only marginally enhanced.

Bottom line: the whole premise of your headline, Why has warmer weather DECREASED hurricanes?" is wrong. Remember, "global warming" means GLOBAL.

grrr... That is, the effects will global, though not necessarily uniform. Entirely possible for there to be increased drought in some areas and increased rainfall in others. Same for storms, winds, humidity, etc.

The plan for Big Business all along was the denial that there is an outside world that is suffering due to American corporate greed. Which applies to Global Warming, Peak Oil, Neoliberalization, Privatization, Blackwaterization, the Project for a New American Century, the effects of Petrodollars, the buying up of 3rd World water resources, the construction of interstate networks of neocons to get each other elected and betraying the voters, etc.

So, entirely consistent.

Another day, another data point for the NH sea-ice anomaly that is off-scale.

Almost every day's a new record. Should we worry??? Nahhh

Ironically, reminds me of the scene in "Titanic" where they've seen the iceberg, they've hit the rudder, they've reversed the props, and the damn thing keeps getting closer.

Uh oh. I hope that the theft of diesel tanker trucks isn't a sign of things to come!


How about this?

70-year-old accused of stealing gas — regularly

Gibson outfitted a stolen box trailer with tanks able to hold 3,250 gallons and with a trap door underneath, police said. He would pull over near the underground storage tank at a gas station, pop the trailer's hood and pretend to fix a problem, as the trap door obscured the view of gas being pumped into the tanks.

But of course it will be.

When fuel is rationed, when prices are 2-3x times higher for what you are allowed to get, tankers will be viewed in much the same way as armoured vans are today.

How long would it take to decant 7,100 gallons? Not long is my guess. A police escort is probably not going to be enough to prevent a growth trade in hijacked fuel.

Let's just hope the fashions are better than Mad Max...

I disagree: The fashions in Mad Max and Road Warrior are GREAT!

It just goes to show that even if you live in a lawless post-Peak distopian world, you don't have to look boring. The 'Humongous' character in Road Warrior had the perfect ensemble for the fashion-savvy tribal warlord.

I say: Better to go out as a Ghengis Khan wannabe than as a grubby downtrodden peasant.

It should not go unnoticed that Road Warrior was 'all about oil'.

Chasing the homeless away by placing goats to eat the brush that screens their camps. This would be another one of those signs of things to come.


Like the denizens of any city, San Franciscans really don't like greenery anway. It's not nice and tame and predicable like concrete and asphalt. Plus, the homeless only remind them of how they may be living in a few years.

Personally, I think goats will drink radiator fluid with something mixed in it to taste better (it already tastes sweet on its own) so that's on approach, and the other approach is that well-fed goat ought to taste good. I am really on the side of the scruffy, the once-decent, the failed, and disposessed, the rendered jobless, etc.

You'd not believe how many SF area homeless know about computers, networks, machine shop stuff, etc. It's just that illegals and Chindians are cheaper. Many of the homeless have mental and physical problems and it's cheaper for the owning class to let 'em die on the streets, so there's that factor too.

I haven't spent enough time in SF to verify if the homeless actually crap in the front doorways of the well-to-do, but if they actually do this, I'm finding it easier to understand why they'd do so.

" ....The vagabond who's standing at your door,

He's standing in the clothes that you once wore...."

- Bob Dylan

Actually people from the Bay Area love greenery. Most residents of the Bay Area have yards and plants and other "greenery." SF has quite a few parks, including the huge Golden Gate Park and the Presidio, for a large city. The streets are also generally lined with quite a few trees. Surprise. I used to live there and I visit quite frequently. In fact, I was there a couple of weeks ago on business and recall seeing some plazas downtown that looked pretty green. I asked a guy about that and he said that people there just prefer green things in their plazas as opposed to just plain cement. Couldn't quarrel with that.

I received my BA from San Francisco State, an urban campus with lots of trees and green stuff, too. Big trees, ocean view.

As for the homeless, it's nothing compared to LA and probably not much different that any large city. What are "Chindians?" I can verify for you that I haven't seen crap on people's front porches there. Homeless must be using toilets or the bushes.

I just left there 3 months ago, I lived in Sunnyvale. The trend was increasingly to turn the area into something like Totoneila's "Asphalt Wonderland". Even up in the City, the trend is for green to disappear and concrete to appear. As mentioned I have not seen the legendary human poop on doorsteps up there, just said if it happens, I'm beginning to understand why.

Yes it's greener than Southern California, where I've also lived. Partially a matter of environment (it's greener and wetter naturally once you're in Santa Barbara and parts north) and partially a very commendable esteem for greenery by small, active groups who have managed to preserve parks etc. For now.

When I was there large new housing developments were being planned and being built, a large green area in Sunnyvale could be a farm or could be condos, I'm guessing it will be condos. I saw fields that were empty or largely so, often with nice big old trees, turned into McHousing.

Yeah potted plants are greenery, they do qualify but......

What I'm saying is it's a Western city, the trend is always to gradually pave and pave....

OK so what were we talking about? Oh yeah, unruly GREENERY being eliminated because it was committing the crime of helping the proletariat....

Well, South of Market is quite "gray." I am not all that familiar with the Sunnyvale area as I spent most of my time in the City and Oakland/Berkeley. In any event, pave and pave, as you put it, is quite a problem and depressing - Exhibit "A", my hometown - Fresno. I prefer East Coast cities (lived in rural Mass for awhile) and European Cities that were built for walking, not for cars and trucks ala Zurich, Lucerne, Bern and Salsburg.


When things get tough...this will be the FREE lunch.

Goat stew...yum.

Sorry...couldn't resist. :P

Living paycheck to paycheck gets harder

"Her husband's check from his job at a grocery store used to last four days. "Now, it lasts only two," she said.

To make up the difference, Grassia buys one gallon of milk a week instead of three. She sometimes skips breakfast and lunch to make sure there's enough food for her children. She cooks with a hot plate because gas is too expensive. And she depends more than ever on the bags of free vegetables and powdered milk from a local food pantry."


Don't misunderstand me...I was making fun of the people who were "deploying goats" to harass the homeless.

I understand. It was the free lunch in your post and the fact that I'd just read that piece of so many unable to buy lunch now.

I did wonder if many could butcher anymore, or if they even have a decent knife. Most knives are of terrible quality, and people forgo the few good ones for an unsharpenable serrated variety.


from the "DUH" Department:

“What I really learned is you actually have to go into nature to report on the environment, which is sort of annoying because I really don’t like nature very much,”

Fox Anchorman Anderson Cooper on filming Planet in Peril


Re: butcher and knives

I imagine the will to eat would over come. However, I do wonder if people could hunt...this is more unlikely for the non-hunters(even some hunters/fishers who rely on so much technology to "attract")

Re: Anderson Copper

Amazing...but I have seen many others like this. Plus there is the love of the lawn...have I ever mentioned I hate grass(of the front/back lawn variety) for so many reasons.

Love it! Cooper Annoys the hell out of me..

I just got stuck in the Atlanta Airport for a long overnight, and had to watch the CNN 'tough guys' repeat their four stories over and over and over..

Blitzer's show should change its name to 'The Romper Room'.. it's all this Jr High School fantasy role-playing crap.

'I love nature. It's like one big Toilet.'
Jeff Goldblum in the Big Chill


James Hansen says above...

"I support a moratorium on construction of coal-fired power plants... But we must recognize the problem, understand it, and address it sensibly... It will not be easy, because there are powerful special interests that would prefer not to act. They don't care much about the planet we leave for our children and grandchildren.

Yes, address the energy issues and cLiMAte cHange sensibly Mr. Hansen.

And in the process, please do not limit your considerations to your cute but pathetic little strawmen who " do not care about the planet and who eat children for breakfast."

Please include Peak Oilers among your "powerful special interests" who prefer not to act like an idiot like yourself, but who care about the planet and it's current inhabitants and also recognize that the current inhabitants will want to eat and stay warm and that in order to do this will require more coal-burning plants...

Your climate change crusade is very popular with the public for now Mr Hansen.

But lets see how popular your crusade is in a few years when the public has to chose between staying warm and eating, or following some half-assed protocols dreamed up by ivory tower wizards and assorted politician celebrities who do not practice what they preach and who are playing with something (climate) they do not understand.

SOP - these people understand the climate very well. Clearly, you don't.

First off, what's LMAH stand for?

Second, why is it inaccurate to say that, given we all inhabit the planet Earth, and we all depend on a healthy biosphere, which the actions of special interests are continually harming and making sicker for the future, that the special interests do not functionally care about the future?

Third, do you understand that it isn't them playing with things they don't understand, that it's all of our collective actions that are fucking things up, that it is 6+ billion individuals having effects they don't individually understand?

Fourth, do you realize that you, too, are contributing to these vast problems?


What a bunch of self serving clap trap. Real science, is what you used to prove your point? It all personal opinion and BS wrapped up in a sanctimonious wrapper of righteous indignation.

That the govt's of the world (military) are not trying to and increase their ability to effect the weather is erroneous on its face. For you to claim you know the extent of that manipulation, please, linky.

Claiming that special interests have a gold heart. Well tell me 710 when does a corporation have a heart. It doesn't and the people that run them have one sole purpose. To generate revenue and the corporation will not do things that will cause its existence to cease.

As everyone being part of the problem. JEESh learn that in strawman school.


here is a link to an experiment,

Experimental Psychology: Human Perception

by Jeff Sickles

In pyschology and the cognitive sciences, perception is the process of acquiring, interpreting, selecting, and organizing sensory information. (At least, that’s how wikipedia defines it)

As a small experiment of perception I want show you a brief video during which you will count the number of times a basketball is passed - seems easy enough, right? Okay, follow these short steps and then we’ll discuss it..

1. While watching the following video, ignore the team in black - they are trying to confuse the situation. Count only the number of passes made by the team in white t-shirts.
2. When you are done, click the back button to return to this page with the answers and follow up discussion.
3. Alright, go Watch the Video by clicking here


Don't cheat, be ready to start counting as soon as the video pops in. How many passes were made, did you pass the test.

Your post went right over my head. What are you trying to say?

Self-serving? Real science? Sanctimonious? Righteous? I, like triphop, lost the point of your post. I was asking questions to address the hostility regarding the apparent futility of addressing climate change.

Your video on visual cognition: 12 standard passes, 2 bounce passes, total 14 passes among white T-shirts, a guy in a gorilla suit walks through, and there are two S's painted on the walls, the one on the left is lower than the one on the right. The problem with presenting this video is that it blatantly states that it's about visual cognition. Since I was only one class short of a psych minor in college, I knew from the beginning to pay attention to more than what you told me to do. What was your point, again? That people are sometimes / occasionally / frequently fallible, maybe? Are you aware that this fallibility is accounted for by having numerous, independent researchers apply the Scientific Method?

To answer one of the few salient points that meandered through your hazy post, when does a corporation have a heart? Well, despite the illusion which the law has draped over your own eyes about what a corporation is: a corporation is a group of individual people. A corporation, in reality, has many hearts. Protected by the limited liability that law grants the corporate form, the many hearts of a corporation become isolated from community and real human interaction, and the only real feedback received is in the form of money. It is not at all surprising that corporate hearts tend to turn black.

I never even implied that special interests had a gold heart, I have no idea where you got that from.

Everyone of us does contribute to the problems we face, and failing to realize how much of the flood is driven by your raindrop's actions means that there will be no solutions. Please do explain how "everyone is part of the problem" is a strawman, so that I may rip the explanation to shreds.

Governments are not only trying to manipulate the general public's perception of the weather and climate, actual attempts at modifying the weather or weather control date back in the US to at least the 1960s. From James Gleick's "Chaos: Making A New Science", p. 21:

Even for experienced meteorologists, all this runs against intuition. One of Lorenz's oldest friends was Robert White, a fellow meteorologist at M.I.T. who later became head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Lorenz told him about the Butterfly Effect and what he felt it meant for long range prediction. White gave Von Newmann's answer. "Prediction, nothing," he said. "This is weather control." His thought was that small modifications, well within human capability, could cause desired large-scale changes.

No linky. Buy the book or go to the library.

A corporation is a tool for extracting profits and shirking costs and responsibility. It has no heart(s). Skip the fancy wrap.

cfm in Gray, ME

Maybe the wrap is too fancy, but Milton Friedman himself said in The Corporation,

Can a building have moral opinions? Can a building have social responsibility? If a building can't have social responsibility, what does it mean to say that a corporation can? A corporation is simply an artificial legal structure. But the people who are engaged in it, whether the stockholders, whether the executives in it, whether the employees, they all have moral responsibilities.

People are moral beings in response to and interaction with their environments. And the very determination of whether an act is moral or immoral depends on the environment in which the act is committed.

Inside the corporate shell, with no real connection to the living world in which actions and processes ultimately unfold, cut off from the real world impacts, it becomes much easier to produce more copper, produce more nuclear waste, or spew greenhouse gases from the smokestack, or develop suicide genes for seeds.

But all of these decisions are made by people. Capital cannot make decisions. The corporation does not exist without people whose continued, concerted actions make the corporate model concrete.

Let's see now - where does Jeff Skilling, et al, fit into this model?

It seems to me, after replying to the author of an oil and gas association newsletter article who says that there is not yet enough evidence about Climate Change to warrant altering our economic system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, that not everybody doing business under a corporate veil, whether in ownership, management, or through common-law employment, does have a conscience or even morals. It seems to me that nowhere does survival of the fittest respond to morality but rather to the rule of law, like when they get caught or maybe the fear of getting caught. The singular corporation may not exist without morals but when used in a global sense, the corporation will continue to pursue profits in any manner they can, and occasionally one will get caught and therefore taint the existence the rest of the individual corporations.

When I said that people are moral beings, that was an inexact statement. What I meant to indicate was that people have beliefs and behaviors that are driven by considerations on a spectrum from moral to immoral, on a continuum from "good" to "bad".

On the surface, from the outside, Jeff Skilling of Enron would be considered immoral or "bad". Unless he was actually a psychopath whose thoughts were devoid of moral consideration, in which case he would be amoral. Unless his nervous breakdown on the streets of New York indicates an emotional disturbance, in which case his capacity for distinction between moral and immoral behavior may be compromised.

There is no need for a false dichotomy here. We must address both PO & GW using the same comprehensive solution. I think that you are simply putting words into his mouth ("Including Peak Oilers"...). The answer is a combination of nuclear, renewables and efficiency - not simply CTL and wasteful biofuel iniatives.

Trihop, the dichotomy is real - there are two distinct issues with sometimes opposing solutions.

In this case burning coal contributes to one problem (cLiMAte cHAnGe) but is also likely an essential part of the solution to the other problem (peak oil/energy).

I was not putting words into Hansen's mouth. I was simply saying his baby-hating foes might exist, but that he would be better off considering the concerns of the peak energy constituency instead of baiting strawmen.

And yes, I agree we will be forced to use a combination of power sources but I would include coal. It's not realistic or practical to try to exclude coal from our own energy mix.

You are unfair.

Hansen also advocates conservation, nuclear and renewables and some combination of them is definitely a viable alternative for keeping the people warm & fed.

Nature is not fair.

We will need coal whether you or I like it or not.

Either we use coal or we can start passing out the little bag of black stones (one white) and keep passing it around until you determine whose children are to suffer today for the sake of your galactic climate change thingy and some projected future children.

(a child in hand is worth two in the projected and proverbial bushes... maybe?)

A thought from an above thread...got me thinking HOW LONG to the TRIPLE YERGIN($114).

If you bet against this guy, you would be rich!

I put a 50% prob on the TRIPLE YERGIN before JAN 31/2008.

Here is a nice new conceptcar from Sweden (pdf warning!):


Hybrid pellet and a stirling/electric engine, I like it!

And 'we' can buy low cost, well built stirling engines where?

The thing that is amazing today on the NY Stock Exchange is that even with the DOW currently down well over 200 points, NYM crude has still hung on to over $88.


This site provides pricing but I am curious about volume sold each day by type - is there a nice, neat way to see that in one link, too?

This is something that I'm curious about, too.

Daily data on oil spot prices and future prices are instantly available from many different sources. But the thing that I have absolutely no feel for is what is the distribution of prices that real oil destined for real refineries actually changes hand at. In other words, even though oil maybe have hit $90 today, how does that spot price compare with the volume-weight average price of oil that actually entered the US today (or had been loaded on a tanker bound for the the US)?

Then we have the question of what I'd call 'captive oil'. If say Exxon Mobil supplies the required oil to some of its refineries from its own wells, then what does that refinery 'pay' for that oil? Do these corporate internal transactions follow the oil markets, or is there another dynamic at work? Then we have the question of long-term contracts. Does a large entity like Valero even participate in the spot markets?

I suppose this question boils down to a comparision of the prices of speculative transactions versus the prices of transaction involving final delivery of oil from supplier to user.

These questions probably show my lack of knowledge of how the oil buyer/seller system works, but I must admit to near total ignorance on the subject.

Joule, everyone participates in spot markets. That is where 99% of all oil is traded. (Actually I just guessed at that number but I am sure it is pretty close.) Most oil is traded by contract. That is a contract is made between the buyer and seller for a tanker load of a certain grade of crude oil. The estimated crude oil contract prices can be found here


Oh, the contract market IS the spot market. There is no real spot market where bidders stand around and yell out their spot bids for oil. The spot market is the price you pay for oil when you contract for a load by tanker or a given amount of oil to be delivered by pipeline.

Ron Patterson

Darwinian -

Thanks for the information.

Well, if that is the way it works, then how do the oil speculators work: buy a share of one of these large contracts and then sell it before delivery is due? Or are you comments restricted to the spot market rather than the oil futures market?

I was always under the impression that only a small fraction of the volume of oil futures contracts trading hands (as is the case with many commodities) actually results in the delivery of oil from supplier to user.

Hello TODers,

A copy of my recent flog on the Yahoo POT message forum:
Recession & Biosolar Mission-Critical Progression

Comments on today's market decline:

If we are entering a global recession: I think it will be fascinating to see the interim gyrations in POT's stock value until people finally become postPeak cognizant of POT's products being absolutely essential to biosolar & biodiverse sustainability.

I suggest that all fundamental, long-term, biosolar mission-critical investors ride out the short-term, cash-out tendencies that will expressed by those traders that have not yet been informed to 'Peak Everything'. IMO, this is the best way to avoid missing the POT upside tsunami that will inevitably occur.

If you can: buy More POT shares during this adjustment time-frame to reap larger profits later as suggested by the famous investment quotes of Warren Buffet's investing strategies and tactics.
In short: we all like to eat. If a severe Recession [never-ending Depression?] depresses FF-prices somewhat, I especially hope that my speculative proposal for legislation to mandate fertilizer stockpiling can be key in sending a 'Peakoil Outreach' signal to the masses, plus establish a natgas pricing minimum to avoid a bottoming natgas MOL and/or natgas infrastructure Liebig Minimum in regional locales.

Failing this idea's implementation: my next suggestion is for POT to issue 'real value' dividends in the form of 'fertilizer certificates' to establish long-term investing to help sustain postPeak distributive networks and relocalized permaculture. Paraphrased: if you are an owner of a 'POT chicken', you can count on being entitled to 'POT eggs'. Time will tell.

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

I keep a eye on POT, and we all need to eat--
CF Industries is also a major player in the same market, but not as yet as well managed.
Basic physics and biology are going to supersede superstition based economic models and desires (capitalism).

CNN is interviewing a member of the IPCC who disagrees with Gore. A guy named John Christy. He says energy is the essence of human society, and seems to think it's immoral to ask people not use more and more of it. He says there's a lot of pent up demand for energy, especially in the Third World, and they're going keep increasing their consumption. And that there's no alternative to fossil fuels that will "make a dent."

Nary a word about whether there's enough fossil fuels for a billion Chinese to drive SUVs and live in McMansions like Americans do...

Leanan -- do you know when we might hear how the ASPO Conference is going?

You mean a TOD article? I think there's one in the queue.

Great! Yes, any report would be appreciated -- even a few comments -- just curious about it. Thanks for your work at TOD.

After that, they brought on political correspondent Bill Schneider to talk about poll results. Only 35% of the American public think global warming is "an immediate threat." Scheider said that's a problem, because the US government was designed to be weak. It won't be able to do anything if the threat is not immediate, and it was designed to be that way.

"CNN is interviewing a member of the IPCC who disagrees with Gore. A guy named John Christy. He says energy is the essence of human society, and seems to think it's immoral to ask people not use more and more of it. He says there's a lot of pent up demand for energy, especially in the Third World, and they're going keep increasing their consumption. And that there's no alternative to fossil fuels that will "make a dent.""

Well, now we know that there's one guy in the IPCC who speaks poop.

It's "immoral" to ask people to live a under-developed life style so that we can live in huge houses and drive huge cars. But it's not "immoral" to ask them to live comfortable lives while using reasonable amounts of energy. Just as the "moral" thing would be for us to live with reasonable amounts of energy.

As for an alternative - this post is being sent your way via PV produced power stored in lead acid batteries. And there are better storage systems.

The IPCC guy might know something about climate and climate change but he's lagging behind on energy issues.

Dr. John Christy is a rather strange scientist. He began as a Baptist missionary and preacher, then went back to university to study math, then went to work doing satellite data analysis. He's been saying that there's no global warming since 1992, when he and Roy Spencer first presented their revised analysis of MSU satellite data. His work has been proven wrong several times and he has been forced to "fix" his analysis, yet, he is still in charge of NASA's analytical effort at UAH. He still teaches sunday school at a Baptist church.

His missionary background apparently makes him advocate continued use of fossil fuels to bring the world's poor to a higher standard of living. Of course, he says nothing about Peak Oil, or the fact that the world's poor have been poor for centuries and are likely to continue to be so after Peak Oil. I would ask him, which is worse, being poor and living life as your ancestors did for centuries or being uplifted for a couple of generations, then dumped back to real poverty after being allowed to "develop", only by that time the climate will have changed and maybe for the worse?

E. Swanson

There's an excellent op-ed in the LA Times today re deteriorating relations between Turkey and the US that also touches on the geopolitics of oil and natural gas and how US policy actually works against Turkey's interests.

Turkish-American relations have been deteriorating for years, and the root explanation is simple and harsh: Washington's policies are broadly and fundamentally incompatible with Turkish foreign policy interests in multiple arenas. No amount of diplomat-speak can conceal or change that reality.

Iran: Iran is Turkey's most powerful neighbor and a vital source of oil and gas -- second only to Russia -- in meeting Turkey's energy needs. Washington heavy-handedly pressures Turkey to end its extensive and deepening relations with Iran in order to press a U.S. sanctions regime there. Though there is little affection between Turkey and Iran, there has been virtually no serious armed conflict between the two nations for centuries. Ankara sees U.S. policies as radicalizing and isolating Tehran further, which is undesirable for Turkey.


"Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests". - Lord Palmerston

That line always sounds more universal than it plays out.

If only nations were really able to manage their relationships with an eye to their best interests, but favoritism abounds, and we shoot ourselves in the feet by cozying up to warlords, and then wonder at how they 'turned bad' like the Taliban or Hussein..

Just because nations have permanent interests, that doesn't mean that their governments are always competent enough to perceive them and protect them.

For exhibit A, I give you "The Decider".

Leanan...I know you posted this up top from a different source, but for crying out loud...BLOOMBERG RAN THIS...(you listed the Bloomberg reference on peakoil.com.)

Bloomberg: Global Oil Output Has Already Peaked, Pickens Says

They even used the PO words...multiple times...WOW!!

[Of course, this got posted after the bell on Friday again...what's new there...it will be gone from the pages come tomorrow]

Can anybody help.

I'm looking for a charity (preferably US based) to contribute to that is primarily engaged in providing birth control to citizens of third world countries.

Amazingly I can't find one

witty signature here

Try the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

The believers in progress imagine that each generation will be smarter, wealthier, more peaceful, more democratic and freer than those immediately before them.

That's a straw man argument. It's enough to believe in the possibility of progress as something that's sometimes realized. That progress rarely comes easy doesn't mean it's not essential to engage in the struggle for it.

If progress were inevitable: no need to struggle. If progress were impossible: no need to struggle. Those opposed to progress don't care which of those two views we accept, as long as we a dissuaded from struggling for progress.

A little Off Topic but this is a site that may interest some TODers.


You list books you no longer want. People ask for your books and you mail them to them for free. You get points for this and you can then "spend" your points by asking others to mail you books that they have and you want.

Seems like a good way to be green and educate yourself.

Hmm. The publishers will love this one!

Good idea though.


A suggestion from Tod Brilliant to me tonight was to have a worldwide series of Grand Oil "Parties" when we cross the $100/barrel threshold. It may appeal to those who have some sense of dark humor left.


Nero fiddeling while the last of the oil burns, thing is it will crash will a lot of christmas parties :
Oil to shoot up this November when the world see that OPEC can't or won't increase the tap flow.
Memorial gifts