DrumBeat: October 22, 2007

A terrifying prospect - sooner or later

The dearth of peer-reviewed scientific work from the peak oil theorists is frustrating to the layperson trying to form an opinion on the subject - particularly when reputable organisations such as the US Department of Energy don't predict peak oil until after 2030. For some readers, this frustration will be compounded by Professor Heinberg's books, which, although packed with fascinating information, are astonishingly light on references.

ENERGY MATTERS: Adaptation To High Prices Enables Oil Boom

When Goldman Sachs analysts made their controversial call in 2005 that oil prices would hit $105 a barrel, they predicted such a spike would cut energy consumption globally and lead to the development of a greater oil supply cushion.

While the price forecast doesn't seem half as far-fetched now with oil futures trading near $90, the consumption and supply aspects of their argument haven't materialized. If anything, the surge in the price of oil this decade has exposed the tortoise-like effect of efforts to grow energy production, whether from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries or the major oil companies, or their would-be successors in venture capital and renewable energy.

Hostage oil workers released in Nigeria

All seven foreign hostages seized by gunmen from an offshore Nigerian oil field were released on Monday after two days in captivity, a state government spokesman said.

Rice tells Russia not to use energy as weapon

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice lambasted Moscow on Monday for using its oil and gas wealth as a "political weapon" and said democratic reforms would strengthen Russia's ties with Washington.

...Russia is a key energy supplier in Europe but it has reduced or even cut supplies over a range of disputes with neighboring countries. For example, this month, it threatened to reduce supplies in a dispute with Kiev over payments.

"We respect Russia's interests, but no interest is served if Russia uses its great wealth, its oil and gas wealth, as a political weapon or that treats its independent neighbors as part of some old sphere of influence," said Rice, an expert on the Soviet Union.

Zambia to import 90,000 T emergency crude oil

Zambia has asked Russia's LUKOIL to procure 90,000 tonnes of emergency crude oil supplies worth $65 million to avert imminent fuel shortages, Finance Minister Ng'andu Magande said on Monday.

Magande said the government had contracted the company's trading arm, Swiss-based LUKOIL International Trading and Supply Company (Litasco), to purchase the oil following a dispute with France's Total over fuel pricing.

Analysis: Turkey-Iraq fight won't harm oil

As Turkey's military bares its teeth across the border with Iraq, oil prices sit comfortably above the $80-per-barrel mark. Any incursion will likely not affect the work of Iraq's oil sector today, but could stifle investment, especially in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and put Turkey's oil sector - a vital transit route for the world's oil supply - at risk.

U.S. sanctions against Iran could threaten LUKoil project

Russia's largest independent crude producer LUKoil said on Monday that possible U.S. sanctions against Iran could threaten the company's Anaran oil project in the Islamic Republic.

Kuwait's KOC, Exxon sign heavy oil production deal

Kuwait said on Monday it had reached a preliminary deal with Exxon Mobil Corp to produce heavy oil in the north of the Gulf Arab state and aimed to boost production to 900,000 barrels per day by 2020.

A catastrophic loss of 3.9 trillion Dollars in Iran's oil reservoirs

Professor Saeedi said: If gas is injected into our oil reservoirs, the volume of Iran's fossil energy resources would become more than Saudi Arabia in the long run and Iran can gain the first place in the world.

He warned: Non-injection of gas would diminish Iran's oil production by two million barrels per day and we would be forced to import oil.

South Dakota at crossroads of Canadian crude oil projects

Two major oil projects in South Dakota are among several nationwide that would help tap into the world's second-largest oil reserve in Canada.

Peak oil means peak economy - Hirsch

Robert Hirsch: When oil goes into decline yes. World GDP will decline, I am perfectly convinced of that. In talking to economists, they believe very much in their models and their models are econometric so they don’t deal directly with shortage, they deal with oil price and their models can handle oil prices changing relatively slowly but to a person, economist that I have talked to and I have talked to a number of very significant economists, they admit that their models cannot handle significant changes, rapid changes, shock changes, and that is what peak oil is likely to be.
(A transcript of this podcast from DavidStrahan.com)

Carolyn Baker: Stop Calling Me a "Doomer"

Last week a review of the documentary "What A Way To Go: Life At The End Of Empire" was posted on Energy Bulletin and sub-titled "a review of a new doomer cult classic." While the review was favorable, I must state that as someone who has seen the documentary dozens of times, who consistently shows it to my history classes, and who is a personal friend of the film makers, I was appalled at the use of the word "doomer" to describe the film. The reviewer's use of the term was the culmination for me of the inappropriate use of "doomer" to label individuals who have rejected the soporific of "hope" with respect to the terminal state of planet earth. I am equally unnerved by those who consistently describe me as "negative" and obsessively attempt-almost beg me-to offer them "something positive." Hence, the inspiration to write this article.

Oil & Housing: A Volatile Combination

For the U.S. economy, already staggering from the housing bust, oil at nearly $90 a barrel comes like the second half of a one-two punch. On Oct. 17 oil for November delivery closed at $87.50 on the New York Mercantile Exchange after peaking during the day at an astonishing $89. The impetus, on top of soaring global demand and paltry supply growth, was a fresh threat of conflict in the oil-rich Middle East, where Turkish lawmakers voted to allow the use of military force against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq.

Kunstler: Peak Universe

So, while the price of oil ratcheted up hour by hour, the ASPO conference members heard from an impressive range of experts who have been leading the public conversation on the Peak Oil story – with no help from the mainstream media or the political sector. Among them were Robert Hirsch, co-author of the now-famous 2005 Hirsch Report, commissioned by the US Department of Energy, which, much to the consternation of its sponsor, first told the nation in no uncertain terms that it was heading for a catastrophic set of disruptions in “normal” American life if we heedlessly continued energy business-as-usual. Hirsch went a little further now, two years on, than he had in his famous report, predicting a future of “oil export withholding,” panicked markets, and allocation disturbances that would make the 1973 OPEC embargo look like a golden age.

Soaring oil prices

In 2006, ARAMCO, the state-owned national oil company of Saudi Arabia, announced an $ 18 billion plan to increase its capacity to 12.5 mbd by 2009 and 15 million by 2020. However, its capacity has not increased significantly since 1980-81 when it produced 10.2 mbd and has not made any significant discoveries.

Fears over rural filling stations

Rural Scotland could end up running on empty with large areas of the Highlands and Islands becoming "petrol deserts," according to industry experts.

New figures show that almost half of remote filling stations now survive on handouts from taxpayers through the rural petrol stations grant scheme, with payments trebling in the past three years.

Independent garages have been hit hardest by closures as supermarkets tighten their grip on the market.

The latest Scottish Household Survey reveals that people in rural communities now shell out an average £100 a month - almost 25% more than townsfolk - to top up their vehicles.

Pakistan to import 5b cubic feet gas per day under $3.6b project

Islamabad has communicated to Teheran that Pakistan is ready to import 5 billion cubic feet gas per day under the proposed $3.6 billion Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas line to make the project more economically viable in the backdrop that India was currently pursuing a wait and see policy, a senior government official said.

India: Nuclear plants shut down for want of fuel

Five of the 17 nuclear power plants in the country had been shut down and the remaining are operating at an average of less than 50 per cent capacity for want of fuel, a top official of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited said.

An aviation global warming tax could prove very useful

There no evidence to indicate that an aviation tax will have any impact on travel volumes. On the contrary, if well used, a tax can be extremely beneficial for the purpose it is intended to serve.

Edible oil should not be used for bio-fuel production: SEA

Concerned over the rising price of edible oil in domestic market, an industry body on Monday said use of edible vegetable oil overseas for non-food purposes like making bio-fuel needs to be discouraged.

Energy solution sought formulating a plan to lower power bills for businesses

Having heard cries of pain and anguish from local companies staggering under the weight of their power bills, having watched prospective companies move to locations where the cost of power is cheaper, and having seen three local paper mills announce closings and hundreds of layoffs largely because of the cost of power, local economic development officials are moving to change the future.

America's efforts to add more corn-based ethanol to the nation's gas tanks will fuel little more than inflation: CIBC World Markets

The report states that to meet the policy goal of significantly increasing U.S. production of ethanol to reduce dependence on imported oil, federal and state governments are extending huge subsidies to ethanol producers to expand capacity and to corn farmers to supply the crops needed to make the fuel. This diversion of an ever-increasing share of the American corn crop from human consumption and livestock feed to energy production is putting steady and unrelenting pressure on food prices.

Hydrogen's role in a nuclear renaissance

Nuclear energy is key to establishing a hydrogen-powered rail corridor in Toronto, says Greg Naterer, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

S Korea to allow hikes in airline fuel surcharges

South Korean officials said today that the government plans to allow domestic airlines and freight companies to increase their fuel surcharges due to the rapidly increasing international oil prices.

Taiwanese may drive less amid high oil prices

A total of 62 percent of adults in Taiwan say they will consider driving less in the face of skyrocketing oil prices, according to the results of a public opinion poll conducted by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) released yesterday.

Taiwan - Most motorists still prefer their cars to public transport: poll

Despite soaring gas prices, close to 80 percent of motorists said they still prefer to commute by driving and will not consider taking advantage of public transportation, a survey by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said this week.

Australia: Shut up and drive

Consumer demand has driven motor vehicle sales comfortably above the million mark, but while cars are cheaper consumers still feel that petrol prices are taking them for a ride.

In spite of this, on the latest vehicle sales data, petrol guzzling SUV’s have again been a particular favourite.

Beijing fuel oil prices may rise 3% next year

Fuel oil prices in Beijing may rise 3%, from the current RMB 5, 000 per ton to RMB 5,190 in January next year, forecasted Wang Yongjian, president of Sinopec Beijing Yanshan Corp, a subsidiary of the nation's largest oil refiner, China Petroleum and Chemical Corp (Sinopec).

The price increase will take effect as Beijing introduces the Euro IV emission standard to cut pollutant emission before 2008 Olympic Games. It will help the company to counter rising crude oil costs in oil processing, as crude oil futures hit a record high of RMB 669 per barrel recently.

Climate change is a war that we must fight

With the global population heading from 6.5 billion today towards 9 billion by 2050, we are already exceeding the ability of the planet to absorb the impact of human activity. The immediate sustainability priorities are water, climate change and the peaking of global oil supply. But our leaders, having supposedly crossed the threshold of accepting that sustainability, in particular climate change, is a serious issue, seem to believe it can be solved by minor tweaking of business as usual. That is demonstrably not the case.

Hopes for coal gasification ride on one project

Much talked-about U.S. efforts to build a coal-fired power plant with near zero emissions are now concentrated in a single project, as the costs and difficulties of the endeavor have mounted and the stakes have risen.

Venezuela's PDVSA to increase workforce as oil production levels increase

Venezuela's state oil company PDVSA has committed to gradually increase its workforce, to cope with the predicted increase in production levels.

Solar Power Edges Towards Boom Time

Solar power could be the world's number one electricity source by the end of the century, but until now its role has been negligible as producers wait for price parity with fossil fuels, industry leaders say.

Carbon capture plea from energy firms

A group of energy companies angered by a Government U-turn on carbon capture technology are pressing for assurances that there will be no similar back-tracking when ministers hold the next round of emissions trading talks with the European Union.

Platts Report from ASPO: Dark clouds, no silver linings

It is difficult to walk out of the peak oil meeting here in Houston and not feel miserable.

Yes, there are some attendees who might be considered a bit offbeat, ex-hippie types who see their long-held dreams of "the end of oil" nearing reality.

But the majority of the 500+ attendees at the US meeting of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil are not in that category. They are geologists, economists, professors, consultants, economists. And no matter who steps up to the podium to make a presentation, the forecast is grim.

Is OPEC the New Fed?

At least for now, our civilization and most of the widgets produced require oil’s bounty in one way or another. Our productivity is intimately tied to oil’s price and ultimately its availability. Yet, we continue to pretend that oil is just another economic variable, never to approach the sacred cost of, or supply of money. Isn’t it obvious that oil is becoming the global currency, far more important than anyone’s fiat money?

Oil and Iran

The prospect of Turkish tanks rolling into northern Iraq – current oil exports: virtually zero – was enough to send crude prices soaring. So what would happen if bombs started dropping on Iran, the world’s fourth largest exporter?

Rocketing oil prices won’t last – Kudrin

The rocketing oil prices won’t last, Russian Vice-Premier and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told the media on Sunday.

...“An average long-term price will stand at $50 per barrel [in comparable prices] and slightly enlarge because of the inflation to about $60 per barrel in a decade,” Kudrin said.

Oil prices to remain high this winter; calls on OPEC to raise production - CGES

The Centre For Global Energy Studies has said that oil prices will remain high this winter due to lack of supply in the market, and has called on OPEC to increase production.

Kashagan oil dispute a step closer to resolution

An oil group led by Italy’s Eni is believed to have taken a first step towards resolution of a dispute with Kazakhstan over the development of Kashagan, the giant oilfield in the Caspian Sea area, according to media reports.

Citgo Carries Out Three-Day Maintenance at Corpus Christi Plant

Citgo Petroleum Corp., the U.S. refining subsidiary of Venezuela's state oil company, is carrying out three days of maintenance at its Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery, according to a Texas Web site.

U.K. oil and gas companies hit by refining despite strong crude prices

U.K. large oil and gas oil companies will post either a sharp drop or a slower growth in profits in the third quarter as lower gas prices and refining margins offset higher crude prices.

Marathon To Buy 4 Ohio Terminals, Pipeline Stake From Citgo

The Houston energy giant said the transaction, which will increase its flexibility in supplying transportation fuels to the Midwest, is slated to close in the fourth quarter.

Indonesia to extend LNG export contract to Japan

Indonesia will extend the period of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports of 25 million tons to Japan for another 10 years after the current contract expires in 2010-2011, a spokesman said Monday.

Sasol, union say strike talks stalled

Talks have stalled to end a pay strike at coal mines owned by South Africa's Sasol, the world's biggest maker of fuel from coal, the company and the workers' union said on Monday.

Worldwide solutions are needed to deal with the effects of climate change

Nothing annoys scientists who study climate change more than the question of whether it is really happening. Nothing, that is, with the possible exception of the related question of whether climate change is a man-made phenomenon.

They get annoyed because the scientific consensus is that the world is getting warmer, that the climate is changing in dangerous ways we can't fully comprehend and that change is being triggered by gases that humans are pumping into the atmosphere. The debate over "whether" is over, they insist. The urgent question now is how we should respond.

Canada can assume a leadership role in deciding how to tackle global warming

The protocol on climate change initialed a decade ago in Kyoto represented the best deal negotiators could achieve at the time to address a threat that could only be tackled through international cooperation. Yet it was deeply flawed. It did nothing to curb the growth of emissions from the two most populous countries in the world, India and China, and the world's largest emitter, the United States, refused to agree to its terms.

Hardly 'junk' science: Royal Society examines climate change

In the wake of the Nobel Prize awarded Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, skeptics have once again been fussing, fuming and fulminating. Assertions are flying that the evidence for climate change is either bunkum spun by charlatans, a gigantic anti-capitalist hoax or alarmist "junk" science.

So let's give one of the world's most prestigious science academies an opportunity to address some of the counterclaims presented as fact by climate change deniers.

Japanese carmakers vie to be greenest

Despite the success of the Prius, automakers are still hedging their bets on green technologies, with electricity, biofuels, clean diesel and fuel cells also seen as potential alternative power sources.

Steep decline in oil production brings risk of war and unrest, says new study

World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown.

The German-based Energy Watch Group will release its study in London today saying that global oil production peaked in 2006 - much earlier than most experts had expected. The report, which predicts that production will now fall by 7% a year, comes after oil prices set new records almost every day last week, on Friday hitting more than $90 (£44) a barrel.

The complete report is here.

Energy industry can do little as oil rises

The energy industry can do little to counter the factors beyond market fundamentals that have driven oil prices to record levels, a senior executive at Saudi Aramco said.

Liebscher Says Oil Prices Pose `Significant' Inflation Risks

European Central Bank governing council member Klaus Liebscher said rising oil prices are creating ``significant upside risks'' to price stability, suggesting he will back further increases in borrowing costs.

Weak Mexican Peso Shows Oil Threatens Growth, Surplus

Mexican President Felipe Calderon is delivering a grim message: The largest oil producer in Latin America is running out of crude.

``Our oil reserves have been consistently falling,'' and the decline is ``severely threatening'' government finances, Calderon told a nationwide television audience in an address last month at the National Palace. That's the same place where seven decades earlier Lazaro Cardenas cemented the anti-American legacy of his presidency by nationalizing the petroleum industry.

OPEC's agreed crude output hike from Nov 1 could cut oil price - Kuwait

Kuwait's acting oil minister said OPEC's agreed production output increase of 500,000 barrels per day from Nov 1 could bring down the price of crude oil.

'We believe supply and demand will be influenced positively once OPEC production is increased by 500,000 barrels a day' to cut the price of a barrel of crude, said Mohammad al-Olaim to journalists.

British Energy shuts reactors on safety fears

Shares in British Energy plunged by nearly 9 per cent in early trading as the beleaguered group revealed fresh safety concerns at one of its ageing nuclear power plants.

Global Warming Delusions: The popular imagination has been captured by beliefs that have little scientific basis

Global warming doesn't matter except to the extent that it will affect life--ours and that of all living things on Earth. And contrary to the latest news, the evidence that global warming will have serious effects on life is thin. Most evidence suggests the contrary.

Foot-Dragger? No, a Fighter.

The scientist who shared the Nobel with Al Gore says the tide is turning on global warming.

RE: Global Warming Delusions

The link for this loops back to TOD.

E. Swanson

Thanks - fixed it.

Global warming won't destroy life. Very perspicacious of Mr. Botkin. http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110010763

Global Warming Delusions
The popular imagination has been captured by beliefs that have little scientific basis.

Sunday, October 21, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Global warming doesn't matter except to the extent that it will affect life--ours and that of all living things on Earth. And contrary to the latest news, the evidence that global warming will have serious effects on life is thin. Most evidence suggests the contrary.

It will merely re-arrange a few things. Such as Manhattan might be under water. No matter. Move to Denver or Kalispel.

We move from denial to panic to indignance to resignation. Move along now -- nothing to see here.

I agree with his call for a reasoned approach to the problem, but his Olympian view that "it doesn't matter" is not helpful in dealing with real human beings who will really be suffering and afraid as things inevitably change more rapidly than individuals can cope with. Of course, in the end, we will all be dead, and things will sort themselves out some other way-- but that isn't my understanding of the purpose of human life. (If anyone wonders, the purpose of life is to create beauty right where you are.)

It will take two days to flood NYC's Subways, once electricity

And I'm waiting to find out who funds Botkin.

Noticably absent from Google searches.

I googled Botkin and CO2. Not one match. Not one.

Tennesse Now Rationing Water

Three years into the harshest drought anybody can remember,
something new has been added to these timeless rural routines
—- something that could portend metro Atlanta's worst water
shortage nightmare.

LATOC's on fire. Just like the SW US.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

And why does the MSM do this?

"...harshest drought anybody can remember.

same with floods. Don't they have access to records?

Or maybe if they post the records, they'll have to say
"this "X" has never happened before".

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Western writer Elmer Kelton observed years ago that "West Texas is in a state of permanent drought, broken occasionally by rain." It's probably a good description for most of the US going forward.

Back in the Fifties, there were parts of Texas that were abandoned because of a lack of water, and this occurred when the population density was vastly lower than today.

Oddly enough, in Texas we are in a wet area between the droughts to the west and east. But as Mr. Kelton noted, it's probably just a wet phase in a long term drought.

My view for a long time has been that we need to ban outdoor watering on lawns.

Yes. My cousins live in West Texas and joke that if E Arkansas doesn't get rain every other week we think we're in a drought.

The WA wheat harvest is underway:

Monday, 22/10/2007

The harvest in the drought-stricken midwest region of Western Australia has begun, but yield is expected to be just a quarter of an average year.

Retired CSIRO researcher, John Ive, who is also a wool grower near Yass, says there has been virtually no rain for three months, and evaporation rates are double the October average.

"We've already had about 170mm of evaporation which in average terms is running at about 8mm per day but normally we're at this time of year around about 4mm per day," he says.

"As a direct consequence of the high evaporation rates, soil moisture profiles are as dry as what they were at this time last year. We might remember last year was the driest since about 1944-45".

1/4 of 24 (generous) million tons.

6 million tons. Domestic consumption is over 5.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

My understanding is that the normal state of affairs geologically for the last several million years is one of ice dominating the northern hemisphere for 80,000 to 140,000 years at a time, broken by stretches of warm periods that run from 10,000 to 40,000 years in length. During these periods, both during the ice ages and during the warm ages, the geologic record tends to favor desert conditions throughout large swaths of North America. We have built civilization in North America upon a climatic outlier, because we didn't know any better. But ignorance on our account won't stop nature's return to its most common state.

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

GreyZone, you have touched a key issue. Interglacials like the one we are now (Holocene) have been very brief spikes in the Earth's thermal history during the last 450 Ky.

I show my point in the following graph:

This graph - where time goes from right to left - is based on the first in Stuart Staniford's post "Living in the Eemian" at http://www.theoildrum.com/story/2006/2/3/0394/97545

I took the Holocene's last 12 Ky and superimposed it onto the corresponding period of the Eemian (the previous interglacial), 121 Ky ago. This is exactly what Stuart did in the second and third graphs of his post, only that here I show it within the bigger picture.

Thus, it becomes clear that, if there were no human-caused rise in CO2 levels, the astronomical forcings that drive climate change ("Milankovitch cycles") would have the world temperature start to drop very soon (in about 3 Ky) and be 6 Celsius lower than today in about 15 Ky.

This can be further validated by looking at the temperature record of the last 450 Ky, derived from ice core readings at the Vostok and Epica sites in Antarctica, at

There it is clearly seen that interglacial periods are very brief spikes, and that most of the time during the last 450 Ky has been spent in ice ages with temperatures around 6 C lower than today's.

It is clear then that, *IF* we want to break out of this glaciation cycle, the only way to do it is to drive temperatures HIGHER than those in the Eemian (which were about 2 C warmer than today's). Which means correspondingly higher sea levels than those in the Eemian (which, from paper http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v404/n6778/abs/404591a0.html were "at least three metres, and probably more than five metres, higher than at present.")

The tough choice for mankind is, then:

- warmer temperatures with a sea level rise (*), or

- 6 C colder temperatures with a sea level drop of 50 meters in a few milennia, as from

(*) The amount of the warming and rise depends on whether there is a destabilization of methane hydrates (clathrates), as explained in http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/null/lang/en/page2617.html

The potential for sea level rise, from

and given that the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum was 55 Mya, is 100 meters in the Hallam estimation and 200 meters in the Exxon estimation.

Beach Boy, we have the proven ability to warm the world rapidly if we need to (i.e. burn lots of coal) but cooling the globe will be exceedingly difficult. This is yet another reason to keep the coal in the ground. The world is cleary warming now, so lets cut back on our carbon emissions, but when and if the interglacial ends we might need that coal to warm the globe. So lets save it for a rainy (and cold) day.

I had heard this about the NY subways:
Some were built back when the city was pumping groundwater to drink, so the tunnels inadvertently went into the depression cones in the water table. When the groundwater started to salinate and they had to switch to the aqueducts (still in use today), they found that if they stopped pumping the wells, the tunnels were quickly swamped.
So the salty groundwater is pumped and disposed of to this day in NYC, in order to keep from swamping their subway.

“I had a fascinating time talking to engineers and maintenance people in New York City about what it takes to hold off nature…The name ‘Manhattan’ comes from an Indian term referring to hills. It used to be a very hilly island. Of course, the region was eventually flattened to have a grid of streets imposed on it. Around those hills there used to flow about 40 different streams, and there were numerous springs all over Manhattan island. What happened to all that water? There’s still just as much rainfall as ever on Manhattan, but the water has now been suppressed. It’s underground. Some of it runs through the sewage system, but a sewage system is never as efficient as nature in wicking away water. So there is a lot of groundwater rushing around underneath, trying to get out. Even on a clear, sunny day, the people who keep the subway going have to pump 13 million gallons of water away. Otherwise the tunnels will start to flood.”

That it would take only 2 days for the subway to flood indicates how contemporary civilisation is a mutable and organic construct which must fend constantly to maintain itself.

Within 7 days nuclear power plants would be ablaze. Within 2 years roads would have cracked open and within 10 years buildings would be pitted and scarred from the elements. As soon as 20 years after the disappearance of humanity the buried waterways would reassert themselves overground and Manhatten would become many islands with rivers taking on the rectangular grid pattern of the city. At the end of a 100 years almost all roofs would have collapsed. Within 300 years suspension bridges would have collapses. WIthin 5,000 years nuclear weapons would have corroded releasing radioactive plutonium...."


Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

All of this is why I think we have to retreat big-time: we cannot continue deploying vast amounts of energy and material in a war to forcibly reshape nature to our liking: we cannot afford to continue the assault and maintain the conquest, much less widen it. (That's my argument against nuclear, BTW, not safety.)

We are going to have to become a lot more adaptable and cooperative, both with each other and nature. We are going to have to learn, again, how to garden and thatch. A different kind of technology is going to be needed, a green technology that is somewhat akin to some of the stuff found in various pre-Columbian American civilizations, but enhanced with the still-usable parts of what we learned in the oil-age. The problem we face is the nature we have bequeathed ourselves is much impoverished compared to that of the pre-Columbian era and our population is much bigger.

"...we cannot continue deploying vast amounts of energy and material in a war to forcibly reshape nature to our liking..."


This is exactly where we need to be redirecting our energy - away from forcing things to fit to our desire, and instead working with our ecosystem. It is like someone fighting against a rip at a surf beach - they eventually get tired and swept out. Typical modern thinking. If they just swam with the rip, or across it - instead of fighting against it - they would have enough energy to redirect their route back to shore. Eastern martial artists have understood this for centuries, along with plenty of other smart individuals, but why is our normal group think so far removed from reality? Why is our modern instinct to fight against the rip? Dumb.

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

The World Without Us

Without us on the Earth, what traces of us would linger? What would disappear?

Even on a clear, sunny day, the people who keep the subway going have to pump 13 million gallons of water away. Otherwise the tunnels will start to flood.

How come the subway didn't flood during the power cut in 2003 or 1977?

Or were the pumps connected to a separate supply (much like I remember the phone would still work during 1970s power cuts in the UK)?


Critical systems have backup power. Really critical ones will have an NG generator on one side of the building and a diesel unit on the other.

When Omaha had the big snow storm in 1996 that whacked power all over the city for three days First Data, a large credit card processor, just kept trucking - lots and lots of diesel in underground tanks. People came to work by snowmobile, but the work got done.

9/11 gave the folks in NYC an education. Generators? Check. Fuel? Check. Spare air filters for generators? Bueller? Bueller? ... So after twenty four hours or so the filters clogged and the generators died.

NYC tunnels definitely have multiple pumps and generator backup for them. Fuel delivery by an armored column if things got ugly would be totally expected.

Really critical ones will have an NG generator on one side of the building and a diesel unit on the other.

One of those 'obvious-in-retrospect' concepts that had never occurred to me 'till now. I've worked at a couple of sites with redundant generators, but always both using the same fuel (diesel) - then again, they wern't 'really' critical.

Of course, in the past and present diesel can be bought everywhere. I'm intriguied what sites people might have come across with different fueled off-grid power supplies?

I also wonder whether really REALLY critical sites shouldn't be looking at (1) diesel (2) steam-engine :-)

Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

I have designed power plants for telcom, Katrina proved out a few things even with dual genetators with NG and diesel each, after a few days the power will go down, then the batteries run down...etc. Re-supply was the biggest logistic. NG may not be there if the head-end is down and diesel requires the 'system' to function for delivery.

On a side note, the sites with solar back-up never lost power. But there were only 3 solar out of 56 main sites that lost comercial power.

We had power back up (generator) in some sites in 2-3 days but without government help, it wasnt there. You would figure getting communication up would be near the top of the list??? That was very much a watershed for me as I see that lack of leadership on peak-oil as well. We had diesel tank trucks turned away by government as we explained what they were for...

Botkins' article is interesting, but where does he get his data on the lack of extinctions. According to this: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/homs/typespec.html
there are about 15 extinct species just in the genus Homo.

That thought occurred to me, ranging from Neandertal to Homo Habilus.

Union Pacific Railroad Increases Profits by Increasing Efficiency and Reduced Bottlenecks


Union Pacific reported third quarter earnings of $2 per share, vs. $1.54 a year ago. According to Reuters Estimates, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.77 per share.

The railroad carried only slightly more freight, so its big profits came from price increases and especially an increase in productivity.

The railroad planned well, deploying its trains better to meet demand, Standard & Poor's equity analyst Kevin Kirkeby says. Trains moved faster, and the railroad improved safety and fuel efficiency.

Union Pacific execs said the third quarter result wasn't a result of a stronger economy. The total volume carried by the railroad was up 1% despite the weakness in demand railroads have seen all year

I spoke at length with an UP locomotive engineer on-board Amtrak during my trip to ASPO-Houston. Mainly small, steady improvements plus double tracking Los Angeles to El Paso (almost 80% complete).

Track quality is definitely improving (UP has gone from concrete ties to composite (recycled plastic) ties in high humidity locations), better switches, more powerful and more efficient locos, etc.

Best Hopes for Increased RR Profits via Reduced Bottlenecks and increased capacity,


Best hopes for the Coast Starlight to be less than 6 hours late!

Wouldn't trains be great if you could actually count on them arriving somewhere near the time they advertise? Right now, taking the train from Seattle to Los Angeles is like taking a cruise. It's really enjoyable, and if you have a big project you want to work on without any interruptions, then it's great. But it can scarcely be called "transportation" in any modern sense. Still, it's way better than stage coaches, and any improvement is welcome.

The schedule for the Coast Starlight is some of the greatest of American Fiction writing.
It is a great trip, but you must suspend any reference to time, or time relationship with anyone outside of the Coast Starlight----
You have entered a different time space.

Wouldn't trains be great if you could actually count on them arriving somewhere near the time they advertise?

Well it happens all the time in countries like Japan, Switzerland, Germany, France, .... All of them have spend tens of billions of dollars on passenger rail infrastucture.

My sister and my brother in law and the kids travel by rail from the east coast to the west coast several times per year. They got here on time twice in the last five years.

Hi Alan,

What is the cost per mile/km to electrify a line?

Easy country (no issues, bridges, problems) is about $2 to $2.5 million/mile for single track with $0.5 to $0.7 million extra for double track. Triple track gets "more complex".

In Denver electrifying 18 miles of proposed commuter rail would cost an extra $58 million.


This is suburban & urban (vs. rural) and done with Federal procedures (designed to "Ration by Queue"), but $3.2 million/mile for mainly single track (some passing sidings).

Best Hopes,



I've been looking around at our transit stuff and thinking about rail electrification. Please check my thinking ...

I focused on the four county area within half an hour of my house:

Quad County Area Rail Map

The red lines on this map are U.P. rail, the blue is a local road that spans much of the state, and the beige stuff is a ghost - two hundred yards of that thirty seven miles remain. I think the rest was taken up and shipped to China.

This, of course, makes little sense without the context of the larger system:

Iowa Rail Service Map

I checked population numbers against rail service. We have 52,000 total spread over about 1,750,000 acres - a 49 x 56 mile patch. 12,000 of those are rural and the rest live in one of thirty eight towns in the area. 33,000 have direct rail service. 5,300 of the 7,200 who don't have rail service are in the Okoboji area - a tourist destination full of summer homes that is going to take it hard as the economy deflates. The Union Pacific lines already run daily service through much of the territory - a six to eight car train passes through here every evening.

Most of those without service who are outside the tourist area are in three towns of about 400, two of about 200, and three of less than a 100. You can practically tell by looking which towns don't have rail - they're still in the midday, with everyone gone to work elsewhere, and the main street will sport shuttered and abandoned buildings.

When I was a young man Graettinger and Terril had roughly the same population. Graettinger has gained three hundred on the backs of two manufacturing businesses that have to have rail access for raw material delivery, while Terril has withered away to just four hundred people, twelve miles from the nearest rail stop. (They started at about 700 each for those not fond of mathematical story problems).

Iowa towns universally have a grain elevator where bulk grains are sold and finished feed products for animals are purchased. I find only three small regional collection points in the whole four county area that are not serviced by rail. We already have transit oriented development in Iowa.


So the next step is to make it sustainable. We've got the wind to push stuff around:

Iowa wind map

We've got a community college system with a wind energy program, complete with their own training turbine. We're not yet to the point where you can always have a wind farm in sight while driving but they do seem headed that direction around here - one always sees convoys of semis bearing new shafts and blades in this area.

Iowa Lakes Community College wind turbine

Long term it would seem sensible that we have wind turbine powered trains with onboard biodiesel backup for local delivery and a return to the passenger service we had up until the late 1940s. We'll still have a lot of driving of some sorts - people here genuinely need large trucks for pulling and hauling and many of those 12,000 living outside of towns are needed where they are or VMT here would actually increase.

If you're interested in all of the research required for a presentation on TOD & rail electrification in rural areas just give me the word - I would like it very much if this study could be of more use than my own personal edification.

Yes, I am interested, I am also overloaded ATM back from ASPO-Houston.

Could you get back to me next week.

Good work !


On the other hand, the Okoboji area is some of the finest farmland in the world, with excellent wind resources. They might see the tourist industry disappear, but much higher crop and electricity prices should make up for quite a bit of that.

Here is how you do it if there is no other way:



Using NYMEX futures crack spread this morning is down to $1.90 oops its up to $2.06

You kind of figured this would happen. They're worried that the economy will tank.

The exec. summary of the Energy Watch Group spells it out very clearly.Peak is now.That summary might be one of the best peak primers for a student...excellent graphics.Dark message.

Indeed. If this isn't going to scare the s**t out of you, what is?

During the ASPO workshop in Berlin a couple of years ago I was sitting (now later regarded by chance) beside Mr. Schindler. It was really interesting because he and his colleague Dr. Zittel really know what they are talking an writing about.

A -7% decline in the years ahead. On saturday the president of the german federal bank was cited who telling that the high oil prices are only a temporary price. Another economic expert said the high oil prices will dissapear afther the winter.

No comment. I feel really save for my future with such capable people being cited in the Frankfurter Allgemein Zeitung, which is really known as a serious paper.

If there is one thing I learned in the last years reading TOD, then it is important to evaluate statements in de MSM very carefully.

A -7% decline in the years ahead

Hi Mariotti, I reacted quite negatively to that rate of decline when I saw it..and I believe such a progressive claim is already dismissed , even before it is really out.. (is it a misprint from the newspaper ..or?)

I now read the executive summary of the German Energy Watch Group. Whilst I remain sceptical about some of the detail and conclusions in the report, I believe the authors are more or less on the right track. Peak Oil is round about now, give or take a few years. In the great scheme of things it is of minor sigificance.

The 7% decline rate is rather worrying though. I wouldn't like that to be too accurate! However, apart from them claiming that we've hit the peak, it's the belief that the rate of decline after peak could be far steeper than most of us would feel comfortable with. It's this steep rate of decline that regard as the most important part of their report, and indeed it is!

Here there is no gentle downward slope giving us decades to adjust and take appropriate mitigating measures - while not exactly a cliff, it sure looks steep to me! They've looked at regions and how they have declined and especially Great Britain and the North Sea, they appear to think this could provide a 'model' for larger areas. This, if true, would be rather unfortunate for us to say the least!

The report is also aware that such a steep and quick decline is going to provide our civilization with quite a challange because our civilization is an oil civilization. Take away the oil and not only do we say goodbye to growth, we could be saying goodbye to luxury and even comfort for most of us, and the social and political ramifications of such a fundamental change in our economic system also have to be addressed. Whether our current political institutions are really up to this challange is another story entirely, personally looking around at the quality of the leaders we've got at the moment and the class/power interests they represent, almost makes one want to dispair and join the survivalists!

However, being an optimist and a romantic, I think I'll work for the Revolution instead.

I've now read the whole report, and they don't mention a 7% decline rate after peak. That would be really drastic. They talk about several percent around 3% on average, on world basis. The Guardian article confused me with their reference to 7% which is a massive figure for decline post peak. However, the graphs in the report still look pretty damn steep on the downside and 3%, if accurate, is still a real challange.

thx writerman - good that common sense still works ... and sure 3% is a serious number, although I guess we'll have to wait and see. At least this report is a warning signal for governments - comming from another source and thought-base.

I still have trouble with IAE and EIA reports as they are presented. Those outlooks should have more RED lines and BOLDED letters “giving some real-time warning signals....". Those folks are still more or less on the same pages as CERA , which freak me out, woahaha

The Bloomberg article on the Mexican peso seems, surprisingly for a financial publication, to overlook the fact that the price of oil has risen by multiples in the last decade, yet they attribute the deficit and currency slump is a result of a drop in production and export of rather meager proportions - as yet. I can see the future value of the currency being impacted by the ability to maintain production, but the actual government deficit should be way down or in surplus given that what has happened to export prices in the last five years.

I can forgive Bloomberg for not knowing much about the geological mechanics of oil, but this is an add subtract multiply type of goof. Sure, they may have some economic 'issues', but what would it look like if oil were back at $23?

Or are they not getting the world price for it?

Or has the money gone to Bermuda and Switzerland?

The money does not go to Bermuda and Switzerland. The money passes through there on the way to US treasury bills, British SIV (subprime mortgage equivalents), Mexican bonds, and Chinese stocks.

You are assuming government expenses have remained constant. I would suggest that given the windfall from the Pemex taxation they have been tempted to increase expenses much faster... and we know how bottomless the government expense well could be.

Appetite comes with eating - a French proverb.

Selling the up side

"New Book Claims Clean Energy Industries Create New Jobs"


Two committed environmentalists, including Democratic Party Congressman Jay Inslee of Washington state, are urging the country to create a clean energy economy. They make their case in a new book that cites numerous examples of environmentally friendly businesses already operating successfully in the United States. Producer Zulima Palacio talked to the writers. Jeffrey Young narrates the story.

Could this be the next New Deal? I understand that there are alot of things stacked against us (understatement) but I for one am salivating at the prospect of something to get behind.

So far after 5 years of looking very hard all I can come up with is making soup for hundreds of people every day using more and more local ingreeds, supporting and even underwriting local production.

Whew. Had to re-read that carefully, the first time through I got 'soap' instead of 'soup' and was treated to a post-peak vision too dark even for The Chimp.

"Soup for" comes first; "soap from" will arrive in time.

You're not raiding lipo clinic toxic waste bins now, are you? ;-)

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

The Best Economic Policy is the Best Environmental Policy (and vica versa)

The Millennium Institute runs of their T21 model show that the BEST results, by 3 metrics, came from a combination of a push for Renewable Energy combined with Electrified Rail (no time for effects of more bicycles, but surely better yet).

ASPO_Ireland (Colin Campbell, Peak 2011) oil #s.

Oil Use -62%
Greenhouse Gases -50%
GDP +50%

Best Hopes,


"Liebscher Says Oil Prices Pose `Significant' Inflation Risks "

Of course, we've been led to believe that food and fuel should not be incorporated into "Core" Inflation indexes, as they tend to 'skew' the results.

I was watching CSPAN Book world this morning call-in show and this guy Vijay Vaitheeswaran was on who is the Energy/Enviro columnist for the Economist. Anyone have thoughts on him ? I am seeing mixed levels of reality coming from him. He's got this on huffington


On one had, he recognized that cheap oil is at an end, but he does seem to be overly optimistic about alternatives and maintaining current lifestyle. He implied expensive, enviro-damaging fossil fuels can be produced in volumes that would allow us to continue as we are but at a high cost (and that is why we must migrate to "other fuels"). He used the phrase - "we are not running out of oil, we are running in to it". I guess that can be taken multiple ways.

Took me less than 30 seconds to fugure that out.

He mentioned "cars" and "future" and was smiling.

I clicked to Bloomberg to watch the Fed buying up the Market.

Must've cost 'em more than $10 billion to do that. Wonder where they got the money?

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

All it takes it a quick click of a few computer keys and suddenly "we're in the money". John

How pissed will the rest of the world be, when they finally figure out that , by chaining their wealth to the US dollar, then "turning on our presses", we stole all their money??


Were you being facetious or does the fed actually "buy up the market"? How would we know that it is the fed that is doing that (why would they tell anyone if they were?)

They actually tell us every morning how much they are going to buy (but not what).

Today they added $10.5 billion to their "REPO" pool, causing the overall pool to rise slightly. (Some earlier contributions expired).

See http://www.newyorkfed.org/aboutthefed/fedpoint/fed04.html

Look at the history of Fed interventions. Since the beginning of September, every Thursday has been "massive pump" day. Look at the numbers for successive Thursdays and you will see $20 billion to $40 billion per Thursday, created out of Helicopter Ben's rear end and tossed to his banking buddies. Yes, the Fed intervenes in the economy. This is not a free market economy, as Alan Greenspan himself noted not too many weeks ago.

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

{Nevermind - already Posted by Leanan}

I will take a shot at picking a date when the SHTF

1st quarter of 2009, in the USA & Europe


The OECD imports have been at about 27 mbpd for the last year (May 2007)
China is importing about 3.3 mbpd (May 2007est)
India is importing about 2.2 mbpd (May 2007est)

Total so far 32.5 mbpd imported

Total exports from the top 16 exports 37.7 mbpd (Aug 2007)

That leave 5.2 mbpd for the rest of the worlds imports.

I see demand in the OECD + 2 as being flat to increasing by 2 mbpd for the next year. Growing is Asia and declining elsewhere.

I see demand increasing in Oil Exporting countries per the Export Land Model.

I not see enough new production coming on-line in the next year to offset the increase in demand and the decline in production from older fields.

Exports in January 2009 I think will be down to about 32.5 mbpd

Above ground factors can move this up by 6 months if anyone cut's exports for whatever reason.

Good luck everyone it's going to be an E-ticket ride.


Off Grid, Off Mainland, current profession:Beach Bum

One more thing - The US presidential elections will be in November 2008. No candidate is going to want to speak to this prior to the election. (And if recent history repeats - only a candidate who promises two hulking SUVs with full tanks in the McMansion driveway -- paid for with tax cuts -- will win.*)

"I love the smell of sarcinol in the morning - it smells like reality."

Can we really tread water for another thirteen months without people noticing oil production has peaked? Perhaps as the mortgage scam unwinds we'll see a drop in consumption that will let this happen ... but there are so many above ground issues half a degree from boiling over.

The efficacy of tax cuts presumes revenues that might be taxed in the first place ...

Yes we can. It's a little off-Broadway production called "War with Iran". It will provide propaganda cover for oil shortfalls for years to come. The 2012 election will be all about how the lingering effects of the Iran War will finally be removed (if you just vote for XXX), and prosperity will be just around the corner.

War with Iran? Yes, it seems shrub and vader are really pounding the ol war drums loudly. Shrub even mentioned WW3 in connection with Irans work with atomic energy.

On the one hand the US will be finished as a power in the Mid East, and perhaps the world, and will lose control of the oil spigot, if Iran becomes THE power in the ME.

On the other hand if we try to stop Irans nuclear research by force we might trigger WW3.

The questions are: If we attack Iran what will China do? What will Russia do? What will Iran do?...And India plus Pakistan both need Iranian gas. We have little intelligence on Iran, same with China, almost the same with Russia. China has already stated that they do not buy the MAD theory and believe that they can win an all out nuclear exchange with the US. China went so far as to say that they had every Americn city with a population of over 10,000 targeted with a nuke. If true, that would turn over a whole lot of real estate in the US and would probably solve the sub prime loan housing mess. What houses?

Of course, WW3 could go a long way tword solving the overpopulation of the earth...But I doubt that anyone left alive would consider themselves winners.

The problem with these pesky nuclear weapons stockpiles is that sooner or later some lunatic is going to use the things...And unfortunately, I believe we have elected the two lunatics that would like to outdo Mao, Stalin and Hitler as the greatest mass murderers of all time...One way to insure a legacy.

Bit of a sticky wicket, eh?

This is my fear in a nutshell.The rest of our problems are not in a vacuum.Your "blame game"is on the money.....start a war...declare shrub pres.for life...martial law,ect. ect.ect.And I get to spend my retirement living in a bad scifi movie aka "the postman"

China has already stated that they do not buy the MAD theory and believe that they can win an all out nuclear exchange with the US.

I'd like to see a credible reference for this statement. The Federation of American Scientists seems to think they have about twenty missiles capable of hitting us. So they might have the geographic coordinates for every town of 10,000 or larger, but they can only hit the NFL cities in the western half of the United States.


I think China has at least one nuclear ballistic missile sub.
If they managed to gain Russia as an ally, things could get difficult.

I would be very surprised if that boat got 1 bird off before a 688 fast attack put it to sleep.We are very ,very good at that sort of thing.{I used to work on them many many moons ago}

I would certainly agree with that but China has many attack subs as well to defend their missile sub.
Then again one boat is useless anyway, how often could it be in service?
I think all opposing ballistic missile subs are tracked anyway but it would only take one of those multiple warhead subs to get away to pose a very serious threat.
Overall I understand what you are saying.

Snuffy, I was aircrew ASW Navy. We might be 'very, very good at that sort of thing'...in the movies. My real world experience was totally different. Tracking conventional subs is difficult over extended time frames. Tracking nuke subs over long time frames is nigh on to impossible. Been there, done that...for years.

Perhaps you did not see the recent article about the Chinese conventional sub that surfaced in the middle of our Pacific Fleet totally undetected...untill it surfaced?...and within torpedo range of the Kitty Hawk?

Chinas Nuclear Arsenal-2350 nukes-550 tactical-1800 strategic

Washington Times: Chinese sub secretly stalked US Fleet (surprisingly within firing range)

What to make of all this bally-hoo regarding war with Iran? Personally I believe that the days when a country could decide to become an empire, bully other countries with threats of nuclear attacks, attempt to force its will upon others by military means alone, are finished. There are too many countries that could/will counter a US attack on Iran, where both Russia and China (to mention only two) have invested enormous sums in oil, gas and nuke power infrastructure. I do not believe that Russia and China will sit idly by while the US carries out a war on Iran. Even if China and Russia did not respond directly to a US attack on Iran, the US would be destroyed economically in the aftermath. Perhaps this is just what shrub and the evangelicals waiting on the rapture are hoping for? One more desperate roll of the dice by shrub with the certain knowledge that if we lose the rapture will begin? Does it sound a bit like Hitler...'If the German people lose this war then they deserve to die.' There is no shortage of lunatics in the world.

I was unaware of those incidence.I'll bet many stripes were lost,and careers ruined by that sub.Long term your prob right,but the guys I knew who rode 688's seemed to be of the opinion that there wasn' anything on the ocean that wasn't their meat,when push came to shove...

I agree that the administrations move smacks of desperation.I see this as a sign of the limits of the power of the corp.model as well,the indigenous people of the world starting to say"not so fast"and making it stick.Takes energy for force projection...

Of the total exports. How much oil is coming out of Iraq and realistically how long before it stops coming out all together?

A peak oil admission?

· Output peaked in 2006 and will fall 7% a year
· Decline in gas, coal and uranium also predicted

It's a rather disturbing report and the author is really sticking his neck out saying that peak oil production is now, and we're never going to get above 81 million barrels a day. Not only that production is going to decline by 7% a year, so in about twenty-five years we'll be down to 38 million barrels a day.

This is serious stuff, if accurate, because our current economic model, 'free market capitalism' is assuming we'll be producing around 120 million barrels a day - there's a big gap between 38 million barrels and 81 million barrels, let alone the projected 120 million we'll need to find if the economic growth dogma/paradigm is going to survive.

It appears we're going to see a historic challange to our civilization in the coming decades. We'll need to change the fundamental structure of the economy and society. These are tall orders at the best of times, but in a time of scarcity? I used to believe that when things got so bad that it was impossible to hide the true nature of the problem, then people would be open to new ideas and solutions, I mean, what do we have to lose? But now I'm not so sure. Rather than confronting reality and embracing alternatives, we seem to be going in the opposite direction and clinging to old-fashioned ideas that got us into this mess in the first place!

Personally I believe we need a clear out, from the top to the bottom, but mostly at the top. Something like what happened in eastern europe when mass popular demonstrations swept away the old older. That's what I think America needs today and the sooner the better. We have take a real stand and remove the right-wing from political and economic power, a position they've occupied for a quarter of a century, and introduce fundamental reforms of our political/economic/social system. One has to break the ghastly stranglehold the military/industrial/state complex has over the country and divert the vast resources they waste on empire building and weapons and war, towards more productive areas. Areas like education, transport, urban regeneration, healthcare, or we can do nothing and kiss civilization goodbye.

Unfortunately, the ruling elite have other plans for the future. They have never been richer or more pampered and they like things just as they are! And they have even found a way to make the rest of us support their rule, the curse of patriotism, the delusion that ordinary people actually have an interest in defending a profoundly unjust and unfair society as if it were their own. It isn't. We are all bought and sold in the market-place almost like slaves, only we've been duped into thinking we're 'free' and we live in a 'democracy'. Hogwash! Real democracy would mean a equitable sharing and distribution of power, not just a 'vote' but real power, economic power. So we need a fundamental redistribution of power in society if we are to have real democracy and then go forward and solve the challanges we face together.

So, on very fundamental level, I don't believe we'll ever really be able to deal with peak oil or climate change or the other problems we face, before we create a truly democratic society and overturn the existing social order. Reform won't do it. It'll be too little way too late, and nothing will really change and certainly not fast enough. What we need, now more than ever, is, something close to a Revolution.

"Real democracy would mean a equitable sharing and distribution of power, not just a 'vote' but real power, economic power. So we need a fundamental redistribution of power in society if we are to have real democracy and then go forward and solve the challanges we face together. "

writerman, are you sure about your definition of a democracy? What you described above sounds pretty close to socialism. I’m assuming you’re talking about US of A? Which is a republic.

Which I’m sure most agree a change is needed in DC and will happen this next election. But I always thought one aspect of freedom is that someone could not take my wealth and redistribute to make all equal.

not that old saw about how the US is "not a Democracy, it's a Republic"

all a republic means, really, is that it isn't a monarchy...

sadly Americans use this fact to lull themselves into this false belief that class distinction has been eliminated, the aristocracy just melted away, and that we're all somehow equal... humbug

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

Dear Sailsunfurled,

I've been rather crude and basic in my remarks, partly intentionally and party due to time and space restraints.

This is a giant theoretical subject to wade into - the nature of 'democracy' and how to impliment it. One can seem close to insane trying to write a 'constitution' on the back of an envelope, which is what I might have been doing, sorry.

I'm really sceptical about the nature of the version of democracy we have in most western countries. I don't believe one can have democracy without a democratic population. That is, among other things, that the majority are actively engaged in the democractic process. I'm not all that enamoured with representative democracy as it's practiced. I didn't mention 'socialism' you did. I'm not sure democracy is really possible in a society with vast disparities in wealth and power. Indeed this problem occupied the minds of the elite minorities who had real wealth and power, and one can hardly blame them. I've been poor and I've been rich. I'd rather be rich. On the other hand I do have a problem with the poor, who unfortunately make me feel rather guilty when I lived in luxury. So now I've chosen to walk away from excessive wealth and comfort.

Historically democracy was always seen as a terrible threat by the aristocracy. If one had democracy surely the poor who were after all in the majority would get together and redistribute the wealth they didn't have, take it from the aristocracy who had a disproportionate ammount of it. That's why the 'aristocracy' wrote 'constitutions' and devised 'institutions' that would protect their control of wealth and power at the same time as society nominally became 'democratic'.

This is a rather theoretical subject. I'm not talking about a 'socicalist society' with a absolutely fair distribution of all wealth. On the other hand the vast differences in wealth in the United States are unhealthy for the very nature of the Republic and Democracy. Recently I read a report that stated that the gap between the rich and the poor had exploded in the US. That had returned to levels not seen since the the 1920's. The rich now live in an different world to most ordinary people and the gap is getting wider and wider faster and faster.

I suppose I think modern 'democracy' is a myth, to put it very bluntly. We have a type of democracy, not, the democracy, but a version, a version which is not only failing, but which is being systematically undermined, and something else is emerging, something which is strong, authoritarian and not based on laws and constitutions, but on men who excercise power without real constraint. Here endeth the lesson!


I have to agree, our democracy seems to be democracy mostly in name and barely in reality. I don't know how you have a "real" democracy, or even if such a thing is possible.

My concern revolves around this: Having everyone involved in the democratic process is only worthwhile if everyone has similar access to information and education - otherwise information, or rather, limiting or controlling it, becomes a tool for directing popular thought. That isn't really democratic. How do we have freedom of information and equal dissemination of information? The internet, oddly, seems like the most democratic thing we have at the moment...

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

i'd also be interested to hear where 'your' wealth came from and whether or not there are those in society that believe the structure of society they are part of in some way assisted in your accumulating that wealth and that this merits you contributing some portion of 'your' wealth to maintaining that very society
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Thanks for the reply writerman, I am with you on most points.

As for the multiple ‘your’ references RA. Up above I mentioned the word equal as in I would have no wealth if all was equal…at least that’s how I define it. You mentioned ‘portion’, was that to mean equal?

got it - i understand what you are saying

you are referring to a total redistribution of wealth...

that confused me because you just said socialism, and most of Europe's democracies have maintained large periods of socialism since the war, and successfully had redistributive models that have worked and created a good standard of living...

but none of them aim at a complete - all equal - level of redistribution, but i don't think that is what is being suggested... a progressive tax system aimed at narrowing the gap between rich and poor - or at least not stretching it

you wrote as though you were saying socialism and democracy were incompatible - which i don't think you are right on

and i was trying to point out that talking about "my wealth" leaves out the fact that the society as a whole contributed to that and this is why a redistributive system takes some portion of your wealth to pay for its costs - more so from those that gain more out of the system than those at the bottom... i think that makes for a pretty free society

but taking all wealth to literally equalize is likely to be problematic - i get what you are saying
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

I'll take a Republic over the mob rule of Democracy.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb

voting on what to have for lunch.

Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!"-Ben Franklin

I have a gut feeling writerman,that all the plans of the elite will be swept away...no plan survives first contact with the enemy.In this case,the enemy is the rest of the whole frikin world...by allowing these savage fools to run our country in the ground,while using economic power to cut and gut every other society with resources our corps. wanted, we have NO friends in this world.Only competitors.And our population is so fat and drugged and dimmed by television,that we be easy pick'ins for the Chinese,or any other hungry,Mean nation.Don't get me wrong...we have the most deadly armed forces at our command that the world has ever seen,but the last 30 years our
society has lived in a haze of commercial sex,drugs,and rock and roll....and some of the most careful,insightful,thoughtful, political propaganda that has ever been force-fed to a population.This will be our downfall I think

We will hit the wall full speed with no warning outside a few thousand folks sharing info on some edgy websites.My fear is that shrub and vader have a deathwish : they want to drag us along down with them to some smoky hell of their imagining.....and not a blessed thing any of us may do,except prep like its the last time you can/will/are able to stock up,on every thing....

How much longer will we have supply lines,food,fuel,...how much longer do we have is the question,before the boy-king smashes the world,and destroys my country?

Writerman,you don't have to worry about the revolution...it wont be long in coming.My job requires I speak with many people daily...And I hear the mood of folks like you cant believe. The people are ANGRY.And all it will take is missing a few meals,and watching their kids miss a few meals,and this country will blow like a pressure cooker full of gasoline
What TPTB don't understand,is that due to the net,everyone is hip to the reasons for this disaster.Since they have figured out that these M.F. lied us into a war for oil,they got no credibility at all,and the little bird on the net fills ears all over the world FAST.

I don't know how its going to shake out,but mother nature can be a real bitch.

The Guardian got the 7% wrong!

From page 13 of executive summary of EWG report

"Production will start to decline at a rate of several percent per year"

Page 68 of the full report is more realistic decline rate

"According to the scenario calculations, oil production will decline by about 50% until 2030.

This is equivalent to an average annual decline rate of 3%, well in line with the US experience where oil production from the lower 48 states declined by 2-3% per year."

This is the Gruniard after all... :)

Dear Ace,

Thanks for mentioning this. 7% is a lot. If it were true we'd be falling off a cliff.

The Marathon purchase from Citgo draws my eyes. Several weeks back I started looking at the pipeline network and promptly gave up - too big, too flexible, public information is not sufficient for analysis, etc.

I was curious to know how much of the 185 mbbl component of the MOL was storage and how much was "in flight". Once the pipeline volume is known, how much is duplication due to competition? Presumably there is some amount there which can be drawn down as both consumption and supplies shrink.

Katrina masked the peak itself and now the housing scam unwinding will mask the beginnings of us sliding down the backside of the hill. It is good, because any implosion gets pushed off a bit, but bad because there will be immense political pressure to maintain our lifestyle and specifically the nonsensical suburb build out.

The end of the month nears and I remain an unfunded internet prognosticator ... this is, for me, Not Very Awesome :-(

In the Berkshire article..

"..many local companies have gone to the trouble and expense of installing energy saving technologies, only to have the anticipated savings in electricity cost wiped away by rising rates.."

Which is to suggest that the energy-saving investment was somehow a waste of money, yet it sounds like it's clearly paying for itself in avoided costs, just that the customer had rosier expectations.. are they looking at how much more they WOULD have been paying, spending the funds again and again that they wisely have used to conserve these X-KWH's?


This is so @ss backwards. If rates have gone up, that means they've saved MORE by installing energy saving utilities. If government and the media can't even get that right...well lets just say it's gonna be a rough ride down.

"Energy industry can do little as oil rises" (above) is an interview Khalid al-Falih, executive vice president of Aramco operations. He says:

"Our reserves speak to the fact that we could go beyond 12.5 million bpd. There should be no doubt in the industry about Aramco's ability to implement programmes that would increase our capacity. They will be scheduled, funded and announced when the time is right." he said.

But then he says:

The next large project, the 900,000 bpd Moneefa field due online in 2011, would not boost Aramco's capacity but instead would compensate for declines from other fields, he added.

Ummm....so, they have plenty of oil, they just don't feel like pumping it.

Surely they know what happens to countries that have plenty of oil but don't feel like pumping it.

Hint: They get a lesson in "freedom and democracy."

So is Moneefa the same as Manifa? The nearly 1mbd field in mothballs for its metal content?

Yes. They are building a special refinery for it.

Maybe what they are saying is that:

We have plenty of oil and will pump at a rate that generates sufficient revenue for us. However, let us warn competing energy sources that may be tempted to use current high prices to steal marketshare from us, that we have the ability and the will to flood the market with oil if we choose to do so.


ChemeE: Which competing sources are you referring to? I was not aware that there were any competing sources for oil at $90 a barrel.

I merely paraphrased a possible scenario for Saudi comments.

Alternate propulsion systems have been thrashed out many times on TOD and there are always opposing points of view.

I am personally partial to very light, mechanized personal transport, protected from the elements (canvas is fine) and having power assist provided by an electric motor. Energy storage via Ultracapacitor or battery. I also like the compressed air engine developed by former race car driver from France. Minor (IMO) kWh needs of either option to be provided by PV, Wind, or Nuc. and Coal in the near term.

Will personally not use either until pick-ups, SUVs, large trucks and cars heavier than 1000 pounds are off the road.

From the "Platts Report" link above:

David Hughes of the Canadian Geological Survey, echoed Matt Simmons, peak oil's best known proselytizer and the day's luncheon speaker, in saying that...

there will be a coming conflict between the world's desire to cut carbon emissions against sustainability of energy supplies, and that the latter will win out...

He called it "the elephant that is going to be sitting on our chest."

The Galactic Climate Change crowd and the MSM have a lot in common. Both helped distract the public and politicians long enough to prevent any coherent action on the peak energy front.

Go scream at your thunderstorms fools - you do not understand the climate well enough to do anything about your climate change boogyman.

Your comment regarding Climate Change ignores the fact that the big problem of climate change is what would happen as oil peaks out and we really need to switch to some other source of primary energy. Going to coal will make the climate problem much more difficult to address, as we are seeing today in China. Not only that, but coal will run out very soon if it becomes the next fuel of choice. while we are at it, you missed the comment from the retired Navy captain, who was said to point out that: "in order to run all vehicles on hydrogen or nuclear fuel, and assuming we use nuclear power to extract the hydrogen, the world would need to build 10 plants per year for 100 years".

As for the Politicians, they are the ones who have ignored the growing problem of oil supply ever since Jimmy Carter's attempts to sound the alert, thus the Public has no clue about how serious this situation is likely to become. You probably weren't around back in 1975 when there were claims that the U.S. would build 1000 nuclear plants by the year 2000. Not long after that, the Three Mile Island event left 20 tons of damaged fuel rods sitting in the core. That's 40,000 pounds or radioactive fuel and it took 8 years to dig down deep enough to find out...

E. Swanson

Re: Nuclear plants shut down for want of fuel

Gee, you don't think the collapse of the world's nuclear power system has begun, do you? I thought nukes would give us a self-sustaining energy millennium.

"There was a time before reason and science when my ancestors believed in all manner of nonsense." Narim on Stargate SG-1.

There is no shortage of nuclear fuel worldwide just in India.

India was shut out of the global market for nuclear fuel after it developed nuclear weapons. The "nuclear deal" that Bush signed with them was supposed to allow US companies to supply nuclear fuel for India, but whether this deal will come to life is questionable.

Indian govt sets talks with U.S. on nuclear deal:



Could this news be somehow linked with the India's reported fuel shortage? Nah... sounds like a conspiracy to have them in the same day :)

K A T R I N A 2.0

250,000 evacuees, thousands of homes in danger, and they say the wind behind these will blow for another four days. The water tankers can't get up and there are vocal complaints about the lack of National Guard and no spare marines at Camp Pendleton to handle the problems.



Won't kill as many as Katrina, won't leave as much long term damage, and the burn ensures there won't be an instant replay in the specific burn areas any time soon, but there are twenty million people right in the middle of this one ... and rich people are losing their homes(!)

Some are arson ... anyone want to bet at least some of these are mortgage lifter fires?

The news just keeps getting worse. Now they're saying it will burn all the way to the sea.

Hello Leanan,

Just wait til this happens in the SE: it will make Gen. Sherman's Civil War flaming march to the sea be compared to holding up a dinky BIC-lighter.

Recall my earlier postings on a Phx firestorm dwarfing the Pestigo and Chicago firestorms of yore. Once the SuperBlaze gets going: No ocean beaches, nor urban and suburban rivers to safely dunk in either. How long can obese people footrace outrun flames covering miles and miles of ground?

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

Bob, What historical evidence do you have for claiming this type of firestorm would ever happen in the SE? Just curious.

If by Black Swan you mean such a scenario is Ridiculously Unlikely, then I agree.

I'm not sure about a conflagration of the proportion Bob describes, but drought conditions in the SE bring wildfires as a matter of consequence. I know that Florida experiences wildfires whenever there is a lack of rain in the spring. The drier it is the worse they become.

Florida & Georgia Wildfires,

Smoke Over Takes Florida


Posted by Jeff Gammons on 12 May 2007 at 9:32 am
Tagged as: Florida Weather, Drought
The Southern Georgia and northern Florida wildfires have made the last 48 hours over Florida extremely Smokey. As seen in the included visible satellite image, you can see how bad the smoke was on Friday coming down the Gulf coast side of the state and then turning into South Florida. The smoke plume from the Georgia wildfires is huge, and only added to the smoke and haze issues over the southern part of the state where smoke was already in place from wildfires in Lee county, outside of Ft Myers.

The very large wildfires near Starke and Lake City Florida, have grown into massive wildfires out of control. Over 350 sq miles have burned now, and the fires have cause evacuations of 100s in the area, and is affecting parts of I-10 and I-75. Several homes in the area of Little Lake Sante Fe west of Keystone Heights were evacuated as officials continued to fight windswept wildfires in nearby Bradford and Alachua counties.

Here is a list of the large fires that are ongoing as of last nights report:
• Bugaboo Fire located in Baker County, FL. Acres Burned: 82,000 / 0-10% contained.
• Dairy Road Fire located in Bradford County, FL. Acres Burned: 15,906 / 35% contained.
• Balsa Fire located in Collier County, FL. Acres Burned: 18,027 / 90% contained.
• WF Airport Road Fire Flagler County, FL. Acres Burned: 6,800 / 60% contained.
• Red Oak Fire located in Lake County, FL. Acres Burned: 881 / 95% contained.
• Lee Fire located in Lake County, FL. Acres Burned: 2,551 / 50% contained.
• Blackcreek Command Fire Walton County, FL. Acres Burned: 1,035 / 80% contained.
• Middle of Nowhere Fire, located in Charlotte County, FL. Acres Burned: 4,000 / 65% contained.

From the Florida Department of Forestry…
The Bugaboo Fire originated on Bugaboo Island in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. The fire ran south to the Florida state line on Tuesday morning (5/8/2007) and crossed in to Florida in the Baker County area. The fire has been burning on the Osceola National Forest and the John Bethea State Forest and tripled in size overnight (May 10th) as it moved toward Highway 441 and Interstate Highway 10. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered along both sides of Highway 441 from Interstate Highway 10 to the Florida state line. Bugaboo is being managed in unified command with the U.S Forest Service Blue Incident Management Team.


Florida wildfires threaten all of Flagler County

July 3, 1998 posted at: 12:07 p.m. EDT

"Firefighters, weary after weeks of fighting wildfires, marshaled new resources Friday to fight the walls of flame that continue to sweep across portions of north-central and northeast Florida.

A total of 85 fire engines were due to arrive on C-130 cargo planes from California Friday to help battle blazes that have charred 322,511 acres since late May.

To date, the wildfires have damaged or destroyed 141 homes as well as an uncounted number of business and other structures"

In the fragile reality of Discworld, and with the gods who like to play games, a million-to-one chance succeeds nine times out of ten.


which means that according to the Flat-Earther / abiotic oil crowd, weare in the Discworld [/sarconol]


Check out CNN.com. They have a link to a live video cam at 12000 feet. It's just horrific what's going on. As of 4:30 EDT, the chopper was down for fueling, but it should be back shortly.


Check out the notorious scumbag, Glenn Beck, on CNN:

[A] handful of people who hate America ... are losing their homes in a forest fire today


Funny thing is the fires are burning in a heavily Republican district represented by another scumbag named Brian Bilbray.


I don't even think Glen Beck is human. And you're right. The fires are generally in Repulican strongholds such as San Diego County, Santa Clarita, and the Eastern outskirts of the metro area. (Remember that the LA/Orange Co/San Diego metroplex is over 20,000,000.) The only area that could be considered liberal that has been hit is Malibu. I'm sitting in my office in Glendale and it's business as usual here. I can see a huge swath of smoke and haze to the South of me from the Eastern fires and there is smoke billowing to the North of me over the mountains in the Santa Clarita Valley. I hear that things are quite horrendous in San Diego. It brings back memories of the torching San Diego got in 2003. I love the weather in LA, but I dread those Santa Ana winds. Area freeways are a mess.

liberal in that Hollywood sense

i.e. they are responsible for churning out the media, movies and tv shows that perpetuate all sorts of harmful right wing memes, with the occasional touchy-feely message thrown in

then spend the money they make from this on lefty causes that make them feel better but never go far enough to undo the harm done

(yeah a bit cranky today)
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

the guy is just pathetic

but most of these right wing talking heads are

which is one of those markers i think - those canaries in the coal mine... these guys have some sort of constituency... this is why we'll NEVER find a way out of the crises facing us today

we'll never be able to pull together

he's an idiot
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

It's the Santa Anna winds that are driving this fire storm. I don't think it likely that those conditions will be replicated in many other areas of the country.


Correct - the Southeast is generally deficient in wind except when hurricanes and tropical storms come through, which of course are accompanied by lots of rain.

But at least the water won't burn - right?

Check out the Financial Sense website--they are closed down due to their offices & homes being evacuated. www.financialsense.com

A few weeks ago, Jim Puplava commented that he had a diesel VE Jetta because it had the greatest range on one tank of all cars on the market. He wanted to be able to get in the car and drive for several hundred miles without refueling, if he had to.

This Google earth fire map is excellent - the whole U.S. and one can zoom to areas of interest. The one they're calling the Witch fire is huge - burning all the way to the coast unless they get a sudden, unexpected tropical depression or something ...


Regarding the Russian article up top, I don't know if the following article has been linked, but there is a key nugget of data in the article. If, as Alfa Bank warned, older Russian oil fields are in rapid decline because of rising water cuts, the underlying decline rate in older fields will probably be quite rapid.

RenCap again cuts Russian oil output forecast
Thu Oct 18, 2007

MOSCOW, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Renaissance Capital brokerage said on Thursday it had cut its Russian oil output forecast for 2007 for a second time this year and saw minimal growth in 2008.

The brokerage, which had in the past issued aggressive forecasts for Russian oil production, said growth would amount to 2.5 percent this year, down from the previously forecast 3.2 percent and the initial 3.7 percent. . .

. . Excluding the Exxon Mobil's (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Sakhalin-1, daily crude output in Russia, the world's second biggest crude exporter after Saudi Arabia, has been down year-on-year since May, it said. . .

Monday, June 18, 2007
In Defense of the Hubbert Linearization Method
By: Jeffrey J. Brown

At my request, Khebab generated a post-1970 production profile for the Lower 48 and a post-1984 production profile for Russia, using only production data through 1970 for the Lower 48 and through 1984 for Russia to generate the models.

The post-1970 cumulative Lower 48 production, through 2004, was 99% of what the model predicted it would be, see Figure One, Hubbert Linearization technique applied to the Lower-48. Only the data between 1942 and 1970 (green points) are used to perform the fit (red curve).

The post-1984 cumulative Russian production, through 2004, was 95% of what the model predicted it would be. In other words, Russia was "underproduced" through 2004, see Figure Two, Hubbert Linearization technique applied to Russia. Only the data through 1984 (green points) are used to perform the fit (red curve).

In 2006, Russia "caught up" to where it should be. Now, as Russia has approached the 100% mark (100% of what it should have produced based on the HL model), its year over year increase in production has been slowing appreciably, and since October, 2006, the EIA has been showing basically flat
production for Russia.

Ok...so if Russian production if flattening out and lets assume that trend eventually turns into a decline. In short, where does that leave us worldwide in terms of the countries that can lift production in a significant appreciable manner to meet growing demand?

Is it as simple as seeking to understand what Saudi Arabia is capable of producing. Wasn't last year that the Saudis' pronounced that that would pump 15 billion into developing increased production capacity (i.e. 12.5 billion by 2010)?

A hedge fund consultant I know told me Russia had nothing coming on line for a few years to grow their production and Nigeria was not going to move the needle much. His advice to clients was assuming worldwide decline rates do not accelerate beyond expectations and there are no significnt "above ground" factors that eat into production, its a matter of watching what happens with the Saudis' efforts the remainder of this year and 2008.

Between now and 2010, where else might more production come from to stem the tide of the small, but detectable declining worldwide production and more serious oil export decline rate.

Appreciate some insights as I want to ensure i have my eye on the "ball". Again, just for the 2007-2010 period.

Global Warming Delusions: The popular imagination has been captured by beliefs that have little scientific basis

The Climate Change Charade will be remembered as the greatest Mass Delusion we've ever played on ourselves.

Unfortunately, the attention-seeking, grant-chasing charlatans in science who created this Red Herring also destroyed the credibility of science now when we need that credibility most - as we enter the post-oil age of energy and resource scarcity.

Now the Nobel Prize is as meaningless at the Emmy or Oscar awards - just another tricket for some narcisistic entertainers to put on display in one of their Mansions. Just another fraud among frauds.

Even TOD got caught up in the hysteria. How many times did TODers wonder aloud about when TOD would become more of a "climate change site." How much time did the Dave Cohens etc here gnash their teeth over garbage-in/garbage-out computer model ProJEcTIons and anecdotal distactions they considered "evidence" ?

It is hard to imagine so much time and resources wasted by so many well intentioned governments and individuals over such a load of rubbish...

Thank you James Hansen and Al Gore. I think you've done enough damage. Please put your egos aside and exit before the mob realizes what you've done.

Aw, relax - think what a wonderful opportunity this is for you - soon you can make a killing buying up houses in places like the Outer Banks. I only wish I had one I could sell to those, like you, who see the real truth. You do have a snorkel don't you?

Naw, the titbabies have his snorkel

And what is the added value of your rant? You did not say anything that supports your point (whatever it is):

If your point is that climate change is not happening please go visit the melting glaciers or the thawing tundra.

If your point is that it is happening but we are not the cause, then please explain what is the cause and how is it "incidently" happening exactly at the time humans are spewing CO2 like there's no tomorrow?

If your point is that it is happening and we are the cause, but you don't care - then please go to hell.

Read the article retard.

Climate change is a constant. Even during periods of what appear to be stasis, it is happening. It is something we should be studying all of the time and something we should take seriously.

But the "James Hansens" in the scientific community hijacked the real science and changed it into their own personal religious crusade. They were more than happy to mislead the MSM and the millions of gullible junior high school students because their End justified their Means.

Now Climate Science has been polluted so much that it has become a Red Herring of such proportions that it has distracted the world from the Very REAL and Immediate dangers of Peak Energy/Resources.

And in the process has done enormous damage to the credibility of REAL science and REAL scientists (as opposed to attention-seeking egotistical frauds with degrees or political ambitions).

"Climate change is constant". Suits exactly for a title of this graph:

How "constant" does climate change look in the past 20 years compared to the past 2000 years? BTW do they have a name for a guy that calls others "retards"? Retard-caller?

Levin suggested that you provide some BASIS for your assertions.

Putting 'REAL' into all-caps doesn't actually make your preferred Scientific results any more real. What is your reason for suggesting that Hansen isn't using real science to reach his conclusions? And if YOU are, please do show us how, where, and by whom this science was conducted.


Bob we'd never settle the issue here in a drumbeat. Read the article for a start. If you only knew how often the "real" scientists were ignored by the press because the crusaders had a louder mouth and more juicy bullshit to spread for their cause...

just sickening and pathetic...

Yikes, man, what part of realclimate.org don't you get?
I surely had no particular point of view before looking at the data, and I fervently hope that I'll have reason to change my mind soon. But this year's climatic data show that once again the models' predictions have been uniformly over-optimistic.
The rants remind me of Fundies and Bushies, who seem to revel in contramanding logic, reason, data, and the scientific method. The more the world disagrees with their pet notions, the more firm their resolve, as some twisted demonstration of their purity of purpose. The same could be said of Muslim or other kinds of fundamentalist religious zealots: They're positively proud of their ability to shut out so much objective data from their surroundings, through their discipline and faith. They'd make good soldiers, no doubt. No sarcasm intended: It really does take exceptional discipline to remain true to a debunked ideology.

SOP is just like my father. He sends me the same clippings and links week after week from the same core group of skeptics. I don't even get annoyed by it anymore. One of his friends is even Tim Ball, the famous denier from Victoria BC.


I think my dad even contributes to the 'Friends of Science' and such.

SOP - if you you have somewhat of an open mind - which I believe you do because you are spending time at TOD.

Watch this doc from the CBC. Watch the body language of the American government officials. This new program is very well done.


you can pop up the video on the right side of the page.

I do admit that my climate crisis alarm volume was decreased after I was broadsided by the PO debate about 6 months ago. It's my hope that PO will somehow get us on a path to a sustainable future.

Recipient of AA, Alberta Advantage

But this year's climatic data show that once again the models' predictions have been uniformly over-optimistic.

Are you saying that the models have no predictive ability?
This would suggest to me that what they are assuming in their models as the main drivers aren't in fact the main drivers.
Earlier this year I successfully predicted the August stock market correction, unfortunately I went further to predict that the market would trend downwards and end the year not far above 5000 ( Australian All Ords). Was my prediction too doomerish or was my model wrong, was I lacking knowledge of the possible inputs?

Settle it? You haven't even jumped in, yet. Say something that raises you above Jr High.. please. The world is watching..

"The Royal Society of the United Kingdom was founded in 1660 and consists of 1,400 of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the U.K. and the Commonwealth. Its list of present and former members reads like the Who's Who of western science. Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Ernest Rutherford, Christian Huygens, Lord Kelvin, Thomas Huxley, Edward Jenner, William Herschel, Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Fred Hoyle, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and so on. These are not "junk" scientists.

Here is what the Royal Society says about the eight most common claims by skeptics: ( I just included the first..)

1. Climate change is nothing to do with humans: "Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are now 35 per cent greater than they have been for 650,000 years. From the radioactivity and chemical composition of the gas we know that this is mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels, as well as the production of cement and the widespread burning of the world's forests."

(Edited to include link from Top Thread.. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=3bfd5526... )


Here's a snip from the article..

"You might think I must be one of those know-nothing naysayers who believes global warming is a liberal plot. On the contrary, I am a biologist and ecologist who has worked on global warming, and been concerned about its effects, since 1968. I've developed the computer model of forest growth that has been used widely to forecast possible effects of global warming on life--I've used the model for that purpose myself, and to forecast likely effects on specific endangered species."

His main point is to work at this rationally, and not fly in fear to either extreme. I don't agree with all of his contentions, but who could argue with that? You jump right into the hand-waving and shrillness he is decrying with statements like this..

"The Climate Change Charade will be remembered as the greatest Mass Delusion we've ever played on ourselves.

"Unfortunately, the attention-seeking, grant-chasing charlatans in science who created this Red Herring also destroyed the credibility of science now when we need that credibility most - as we enter the post-oil age of energy and resource scarcity.

His own sanguinity over Extinction is either disturbing or mis-emphasized, considering the number of extinctions we are seeing now. While he correctly points to habitat loss as a current champion in this die-off, with pollution and water-mismanagement as other contributors, the idea that he would downplay the effects of ~Possible~ coming spikes/alterations in Global Temperatures, Weather Patterns, Ground Water and Desertification effects or Sea Level on countless sensitive ecologies is baffling.

"First appearance of corals on the IUCN Red List

Corals have been assessed and added to the IUCN Red List for the very first time. Ten Galápagos species have entered the list, with two in the Critically Endangered category and one in the Vulnerable category. Wellington’s Solitary Coral (Rhizopsammia wellingtoni) has been listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct). The main threats to these species are the effects of El Niño and climate change.

In addition, 74 seaweeds have been added to the IUCN Red List from the Galápagos Islands. Ten species are listed as Critically Endangered, with six of those highlighted as Possibly Extinct. The cold water species are threatened by climate change and the rise in sea temperature that characterizes El Niño. The seaweeds are also indirectly affected by overfishing, which removes predators from the food chain, resulting in an increase of sea urchins and other herbivores that overgraze these algae.

Yangtze River Dolphin listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)

After an intensive, but fruitless, search for the Yangtze River Dolphin, or Baiji, (Lipotes vexillifer) last November and December, it has been listed as Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct). The dolphin has not been placed in a higher category as further surveys are needed before it can be definitively classified as Extinct. A possible sighting reported in late August 2007 is currently being investigated by Chinese scientists. The main threats to the species include fishing, river traffic, pollution and degradation of habitat.

India and Nepal’s crocodile, the Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is also facing threats from habitat degradation and has moved from Endangered to Critically Endangered. Its population has recently declined by 58%, from 436 breeding adults in 1997 to just 182 in 2006. Dams, irrigation projects, sand mining and artificial embankments have all encroached on its habitat, reducing its domain to 2% of its former range.

Vulture crisis

This year the total number of birds on the IUCN Red List is 9,956 with 1,217 listed as threatened. Vultures in Africa and Asia have declined, with five species reclassified on the IUCN Red List. In Asia, the Red-headed Vulture (Sarcogyps calvus) moved from Near Threatened to Critically Endangered while the Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) moved from Least Concern to Endangered. The rapid decline in the birds over the last eight years has been driven by the drug diclofenac, used to treat livestock.

In Africa, three species of vulture have been reclassified, including the White-headed Vulture (Trigonoceps occipitalis), which moved from Least Concern to Vulnerable, the White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) and Rüppell’s Griffon (Gyps rueppellii), both moved from Least Concern to Near Threatened. The birds’ decline has been due to a lack of food, with a reduction in wild grazing mammals, habitat loss and collision with power lines. They have also been poisoned by carcasses deliberately laced with insecticide. The bait is intended to kill livestock predators, such as hyenas, jackals and big cats, but it also kills vultures.

North American reptiles added to IUCN Red List ... "

Themesong for this thread..

WE DO! (Stonecutter's Song from the Simpsons)

All: Who controls the British crown?
Who keeps the metric system down?
We do! We do!

Karl: Who leaves Atlantis off the maps?
Lenny: Who keeps the Martians under wraps?
Alien: We do! We do!

All: Who holds back the electric car?
Who makes Steve Gutenberg a star?
We do! We do!

Skinner: Who robs cavefish of their sight?
Homer: Who rigs every Oscar night?
All: We do! We do!

Hunted and harvested to extinction levels:
Atlantic Cod and others
Sharks (100 million a year killed for fins)
Sea Otter
Chinook salmon
Asian Elephant
Bengal Tiger and others
Hawaiian Goose

The list goes on and on........

You know, religious people believe God flooded the earth because we were bad.
How bad could we have been compared to the present day? He obviously couldn't see the future because he wouldn't have allowed anyone live.

Most real scientist who spend their days doing real science, myself included, have no problem with the physics behind climate change. Do you really think that the IR spectrum of CO2 has been continuously faked for the past 100 years??

We understand the scientific basis for global warming better than we understand gravity.

The public has never been rational about science.

They loved scientists when they said the things they wanted to hear. When real changes in the quality of people's lives, the first vaccines and phones and refrigerators and radios, were credited not to the benevolence of a corporate aristocracy bestowed on us undeserving peasants, but with the general pursuit of "knowledge" shared by scientists and engineers. When that pursuit translated into the ability to rape more resources faster. When scientists biased by the right-wing racism of their societies put out false evidence for white supremacy. Our grandparents loved that.

It began to change when the bad side of technology manifested in the great wars and depressions. You see the Mad Scientist meme appear in movies and pulp fiction. But that was the shifting of blame away from the state and big business for these messes. Then came the a-bomb and the environmental movement. Schizophrenia rules. We hate the sci-tech crowd for the bombs but our patriotism demands we love the bombs. Our desire for easy living demands that we love DDT and smog and thalidomide but individual scientists begin to find that everything causes cancer. And worse, that non-whites are the victims of conditions we support, that there should be enough food for everyone (market failure?), and finally two flavors of ultimate doom.

For the last 30 years scientists have not told us anything we want to hear about the consequences of what the corporate hero-engineers accomplish. Is it a surprise that people are turning back to religion, which has embraced the "theology of prosperity" that says we can have our goodies without knowing a damn thing about how they function or what they're doing to our bodies and minds?

Of course, that's how you can tell science is actually getting more accurate.

Thanks - That seems correct and I would contend the housing boom and sprawl are the direct result of the rise of accountants and realtors into the local governments and the corporate boardrooms, replacing the scientists that were running large corporations and public utilities until the mid 1970's.

I think we're moving away from science and towards superstition in a big way. A friend of mine recently wrote a report about some of the possible consequences of climate change. A government minister then went through the report with a red pen removing sections in the published summary which he didn't like and said he didn't think it was necessary to frighten people without good cause! I think we all have tendency to bend the data to fit the ideology, though science was supposed to buck this tendency and for a while it worked. On balance the enlightenment was a good thing, only I fear we're moving into a post-enlightenment world, which isn't a comforting thought at all.

Actually, it was 15 years of hearing discussion about Global Warming that prepared me by 2004 to accept the essential and necessary premise of Peak Oil:

That markets can fail catastrophically when exploiting a non-renewable common good.

But that means accepting that the rich are to blame for having sucked us into their game. Many people have a psychotic refusal to accept that, perhaps fearing the same result that the far right feared when the system failed in 1914 and 1929: the politics of redistribution.

I don't know; how many people here think that Global Warming "softened" them up to consider other mega-catastrophic possibilities like Peak Oil, Peak Water, or the collapse of the financial system?


(points 1-4)

Seconded enthusiasticly

Unfortunately for you, and fortunately for the planet, THE BEST ECONOMIC POLICY IS THE BEST ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY !

The USA ends up with a larger GDP, and lower oil use and GHG emissions with a rush to renewable energy AND my electrification of rail scenarios than any "boil the planet" strategies per the Millennium Institute T21 model.

The path to economic growth is the green path, NOT coal-to-liquids and tar sands.

Best Hopes,


Yeah allan, just heap a pile of straw on me and make me into one of your own personal bogeymen.

just a heads up, sop... you're raving.

LMAO... sorry sgage. I'll try to compose myself.

Have a good day all.

That would be DE-compose, if you please.

Perhaps you would feel a little more organized if you stopped posting for a bit and looked at some nice pictures of cows. Start with this one, then follow the link to Cowtography, and you will find plenty of bovine calmness to soothe you.

longhorn twins

It's good to be mainstream again.

Thanks for helping us to rejoin the flow and the glow of the herd.

There's nothing like the smell of fresh estrogen in the morning.

Hard to decide who's more separated from reality: the climate change denier SAP or Alan, who prppagates economic growth as the solution to our problems. Growth kills, Alan. You have to rethink your words on that. What you say is not true. We cannot grow our way out of the mess that growth has made. We need a smaller GDP, not a larger one. That is delusional.

Don't confuse growth itself, and our desire to build workable tools and systems to correct for previous misdirections.. with the Mantra of 'The Infinite Growth Paradigm' that some of the Market Advocates blindly bow towards.

'Growth Kills'? That sounds pretty backwards to me. Life IS growth, and growth is hardly the enemy of life.. but Yin just has to be balanced with Yang, breathe in, breathe out. Rise and Fall..

Building a sensible rail system is hardly advocating for an eternal boosting of the GDP.. in fact, to me it seems to reflect the exhaling of our overinflated transportation empire.


that's semantics - Ilargi clearly means Economic growth - not "any use of the word growth you can find to challenge what i am saying"

and as far as i can see economic growth is purely based on resource exploitation... and as we know - that ain't working out for us
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

'economic growth is purely based on resource exploitation - that ain't working out for us.'

We are in a situation of extreme over-exploitation, which is clearly devastating.. but inasmuch as 'The environment IS the economy', we should not shun environmentally positive developments and encourage them to grow. I know Alan did say the GDP would grow, which assumes overall growth, but I will take the liberty of interpreting that as saying that developing green and clean technologies like electric rail will represent growing 'parts' of the economy, providing jobs, markets and energy substitutes to todays waning sources.

The comparison of economic to natural growth is not random or arbitrary, and we will have to be growing all sorts of new branches in our economy, most of them direct offshoots of the nature that feeds and sustains our lives.. these areas of growth will be replacing the branches that are now withering, rotting or shearing off as this energy story unfolds. Having a nihilistic attitude towards growth as sweeping as Ilargi presented it up there seems to me a handicap in our ability to move forward and heal over these old wounds.

Bob Fiske

I made a comment/joke to Dr. Heinberg that GDP would re-orientate from consumption to long lived infrastructure. That "holes in the ground" would replace Made in China consumer kitsch.

Holes for ground loop heat pumps driven by wind turbines and pumped storage for heating and cooling, holes for subways, holes for railroad tunnels under mountains, holes for earth sheltered homes.

Obviously "holes in the ground" are just a small part of the long lived, high efficiency, renewable orientated infrastructure that I would like to see develop. Just how much long lived GDP investment is required to drive oil use down by 62% and GHG by half ?

And many other GDP activities are clearly sustainable and can grow. Music and software, high quality wooden furniture, good quality clothing from natural fibers, ditto shoes, medical care can be reformed to high quality, low resource demand, education can be expanded and grow and even $3,500 bicycles and well built super-insulated homes in TOD can be sustainable expansions of the consumption GDP.

Shrinking the GDP will bring with it high levels of human suffering and such an approach simply will not sell in getting people to sign onto any mitigation strategy. My vision is much more of a re-orientation of GDP with a changed, but not a lower, quality of life.

And yes, you may well roll your eyes as the former Hummer owner shows off his new e-bike recumbent (with fairings and awning and every gizmo imaginable, including surround sound), but it will be an improvement ! Good taste may not come with a low-GHG, high energy efficiency world :-)

Best Hopes,


Shrinking the GDP will bring with it high levels of human suffering and such an approach simply will not sell in getting people to sign onto any mitigation strategy.

Sure, but "holes in the ground" won't sell either even though it's closer to the "right approach".

Good view Allan,

GDP doesn't care what we produce, we can produce disposable cups or porcelain ones that last for years. The earth doesn't care about what we produce either as long as it is within the economy of the planet.

Hahaha. And you love coal too.

FIRE CHIEF: Speaking of that--the bald soprano?

MRS. SMITH: She always wears her hair in the same style.

I can understand how there are whole segments of society that cannot accept the possibility of large scale threats. Their mental models are so tied up with continued growth and aspiration that they cannot conceive of a different worldview. Cue cognitive meltdown and the shutters coming down if anything like that is mentioned.

However, by definition anyone here has to have accepted the concept of peak oil, with all that entails. So how can such a person accept peak oil, but not accept climate change? The evidence is extremely strong, sufficiently that for most of the world the debate was over 15 years ago. Yet seemingly there is a unique american disease that can be caught to disavow all the evidence, all the modelling etc. and claim that actually black is white and there is no CO2 problem.

I can't be a love affair with the car, and they have already understood that peaking in oil means the end of growth as usual. So what is it that gets 'caught' in the US; where does it come from, and what are the behavioural drivers that can be addressed to get these laggards onboard?

I see opinions but not much in the way of facts here. I'd love to find out I was all wrong about AGW, but unfortunately the peer reviewed science on these matters does not support this.


Hello TODers,

Living as I do in a parched Asphalt Wonderland in the middle of a huge desert--I am always concerned about my region's senseless waste of H20 [as the carwash's overspray and the golf courses' sprinklers create long-lasting rainbows of instant evaporation while I type].

How can we make people not take this life-giving resource for granted before it is too late? Why do they unnaturally assume that their toilets will flush, the refrig's ice-dispenser will be happily full, and the oh-so-nice, practically endless hot shower is their birthright?

Imagine the iconic photo of the poor African woman carrying an earthen pot of water on her head for a considerable distance-- should we require our schoolchildren to do the same when they postPeak walk to school, if they later wish to later quench a raging thirst?

Should we require employees to heft the waterjugs into work that they daily need to use for drinking and toilet flushing? Can a woman in high heels, and with an exquisite outfit and manicure: remove two five gallon water jugs from her car's trunk, then carry these across her employer's huge parking lot to her desk?

Should an avid golfer be required to pre-deliver his water portion before teeing off on an 18-hole course? Can his Hummer even pull a 20,000 lb. 2,000 gallon watertank-trailer to help upkeep the carefully groomed greens?

Will the proud, new owner of a BMW convertible happily fill his trunk and passenger seat with the necessary amount of water jugs to have his 'chrome penis' mechanically lotioned, then carefully stroked by soft & moist sweeping cloths to achieve the climax of a gleaming, preening pea-cock shine? Or will this water-weight requirement so compress his car's suspension that the oh-so-carefully factored-tuned, testicular-roaring muffler and exhaust will be terribly castrated during his first attempt at backing off the driveway curb?

Should we require our tapwater to have the chemical components created to provide such easy and thoughtless accessability?

Should our tapwater constantly bubble, like a just-opened soda can, by including the CO2, the lethal carbon monoxide, the heavy metals, and the toxic radioactive wastes created to electrically pump this water unbelievably spiderweb long-distances from reservoirs, aquifers, desalination plants, etc?

Or would it be more sensible to continue the clean flow of water from our faucets and showers, but add frequent and random high-voltage electrical shocks to make us conserve-- as we would then seek to avoid severe spasms of pain?

Better yet, if 10-15% of all electricity generated is used for water and sewage handling: let's make an electri-city where any water using device has a skin-crawling 10-15 volt constant shock. How long a shower can you stand to get the much advertised 'sparkingly clean'? After brushing your teeth: your rinsing will then really give your mouth a 'tingling clean sensation'!

Can this muscle-puckering voltage also be electrically applied to our senseless, flushing thrones? Or will we assininely avoid this voiding-voltage by adopting a bowl-hovering Sen. Craig 'wide stance' and accept blood-flushed cheeks as the less painful alternative?

Or would Municipal Humanure Recycling and the imposition of very high water prices to force sensible, electro-generated water-use practices in drought areas be more logical? I am fascinated [horrified?] by what might happen in the US SE & SW if the rains really go away.

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


I've been thinking for a while that a suitable solution to political corruption would be corporal punishment. You serve at our pleasure, big boy. What is it, 720 signing statements? Even 5 cane rod whacks each, he'd never sit down again.

Fake turf watered as supplies dry up

It's not even real grass.

But in the midst of what may be the worst drought ever in North Carolina, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are watering the synthetic turfs used by their field hockey teams.

That its--we Americans have truly lost our way. I am simply stunned that anyone would water a fake lawn.

Oh wait--maybe this is the new high tech version of the old Indian rain dance prayer to bring forth thunderclouds.

If we wash our vehicles constantly--it will rain!!!

Yep, we are saved by Cornucopianism and Cargoism yet again.

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

A wellwritten post Bob, good brainstorming. Hearing about water scarcity always fascinates me as I'm used to water being more than plentiful in this rainy part of the world. Here it's considered highly abnormal if it hasn't rained in a week, and after 2 weeks people start talking about a drought :)

This begs the questions. Why are you still there? What are you doing about your own water usage? Why is your focus on other peoples behaviour, a thing which you have no right, authority, or power to control?

When things get a little scary, it's always good to do a little puzzle or two to help the mind relax.

Here's a puzzle. Using back of envelope only, and schoolchild arithmetic only, make a guess on how many years of auto production would be required to change USA completely to solar electricity.

So here's my entry.

1) 12M cars and light trucks presently produced/yr in USA

2) Each car has maybe 1000kg of metal (rude crude approximation)

3) It takes maybe 25kg of metal to make 1kW of SOLAR THERMAL POWER (please, please, note that I am NOT talking about PV, but instead things like steam coming from a line focus, or a stirling engine or some other HEAT ENGINE, NOT A PHOTOVOLTAIC PANEL)

4) The sun shines only about 1/4 the time, even in the desert.

5) each person in the USA uses about 2kw electricity steady state, all the time.

6) From above, using 6th grade arithmetic, a pencil and my feeble head, I come up with years worth of diverted car production needed to set in place enouth solar thermal electricity capability to replace ALL present sources of electricity.

7) My answer is 5

Could we do it? of course not, for all the beautifully logical scientific, technical, economic, psychological reasons you have in your head right this very instant.

But, y'know, I remember when we did! When we switched more-or less instantly from cars to tanks, bombers, ships and cannons. I had to keep my lousy old family car running for 4 years. What suffering! what depravation! How did I and 150 million other worthy folk stand it?

Could we do it again? Nah!

Besides, it would cost too much. And new cars smell so nice. And besdes that, I made a stupid mistake and the answer is 8. So fuhgeddaboudit and back to the party.

A while ago we did some footwork and I want to say each SUV built annually was about 88' of perfectly good steel rail going to waste. It was something like nine years of production just of SUVs canceled and redirected to rail to completely build the network Alan Drake proposes.

Using your numbers I also got 5, sharp.

But I think you are too low on the kgs of metal per thermal power. Stirling Energy's solar dish is rated 25KW and it costs $150,000 (they claim it could go down to $50,000). Here it is:

By your calculation it should weight 500kg. which as you can see can not be the case. 5,000 kg. would be a better guess - making the years 50, rather than 5.

Of course the calculation does not include building all the transmission infrastructure from desert places and all the batteries that would be needed for storing the solar energy at night.

Thanks, fellas, for replying at all. I didn't expect anything.

As for the mass of thermal system/kw, I have some experience on that one. Whatever you might guess from that photo, and that particular design, the number is something like what I said. Remember, that concentrator is thin, and those support grids are too.

Example. For one kw electric out of a concentrating dish + stirling, the engine/alternator will be maybe 15kg, and the concentrator is less than 2.5 meters in diameter. I, a feeble old geezer, can pick it up pretty easy. Believe me, I cannot pick up 200kg.

Batteries? Why use batteries when you have pumped hydro?

AAAAAAaanyhow, the point is not any exact number, or any usual cost analysis, or any design particular. We are ruining the world with what we are doing now and we gotta do something different, and making more plushy cars ain't it.

In the bad old days, we had to beat Hitler, and we did what we needed to do and did beat him (or anyhow, the Russians did with a little help from us). Now we have something even far more threatening to beat. What do we do about it?

I agree that we are ruining the planet but then it becomes even more important what realistically we could do about it.

With what we have we could not build that much pumped hydro or pull wires from Arizona to power the snow-covered Maine in winter... these are dream projects which may be theoretically possible, but it is not realistic to expect them to ever happen.

The 1 KW solar dish may indeed be 25kgs but I expect the bigger ones to be heavier per kW - the smaller ones should have a weak supporting structure if they need that at all. I found no info, but IMO there is no way the one on the picture weights only 500kgs... it would fall apart on the first wind gust.

Overall I join what you said, but I don't think it is as easy as you make it look like.

Breaking news from Los Angeles: DWP finds walking creates congestion. Take that, alanfrombigeasy - all those walkers heading for your train stations would only tie up traffic!

I was tempted to roll my eyes and say "only in California", but then I remembered, having just been there, that Pennsylvania bans pedestrians broadly by forbidding them to cross at most suburban intersections with traffic lights, and even at some of the smaller ones without, and has done so for decades without attracting the slightest notice or opprobrium.

The item on the going-nowhere Futuregen project links to another item headed Clean coal to qualify for Kyoto carbon offsets. This is stupid. The idea seems to be if if you don't use your full entitlement it can be sold to someone else. The net result is no change. A better idea is that producers of clean coal pay little or no carbon tax. They don't get both a tax break and selling credits on the side. That's if clean coal actually worked.

The UN is too muddled in their thinking to co-ordinate worldwide carbon abatement. Fire those dillberries and put an ex-general in charge.

Adherents of the "peak oil" theory say high oil prices themselves will ultimately deliver that hit to demand, though there's debate over what that level is.

Hmm... really? I thought that adherents of Peak Oil "theory" say that supply constraints will prevent rising demand due to the fact that there isn't the extra oil there to demand...

Yet another article that throws a poke at Peak Oil without actually bothering to read even the most basic of primers.

Or am I wrong here?
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

Lou Dobbs mentioned peak oil tonight. He did a short bit about the Energy Watch report.

the guy may be an idiot but he sure knows how to create a stir... be nice if he turned out to be a believer... and even better a realist
All these memories will be lost in time
like tears in rain

From Zambia to import 90,000 T emergency crude oil above

He said Total, which owns half of the Indeni Oil Refinery, with the balance held by government, has been purchasing oil for Zambia since 2002. ....

"What happened was unexpected... in May Total wanted to increase the price of fuel by 25 percent but we (the government) refused. Then they just told us that they (would) no longer buy crude oil for us and we were in a crisis," he told a news conference.

I think it's going to cost them much more the 25 percent that Total wanted to get themselves out of this.

I feel sorry for the 149 countries of the world that have to fight over the leftover 5.2 mbpd of oil exports. Having been in a large number of 3rd world countries over the years I don't think they will be able to outbid us.

(OECD + 2 (china & india) and the top 16 exporters is 44 countries. The UN has 192 countries + Taiwan (I don't think Vatican City imports much crude oil))


Off Grid, Off Mainland, current profession:Beach Bum

You know what? Those 145 countries just need to sit tight for a few decennia; after that let us see how well a country like Saudi-Arabia is fit to feed it's booming population. Those 145 at least will have figured that out long time before that.

Off-topic, but allow me to introduce TOD readers (especially the photography buffs among us) to TOP, which stands for TheOnlinePhotographer. Mike Johnston's excellent site is an addiction for me, just like TOD is ;-)

Anyway, why I mention this here is that there has been some extensive comments on a weblog posting by Mike. It is fascinating to read the spectrum of opinions, but more importantly, there are references to TOD, energybulletin.net, lifeaftertheoilcrash.net etc.!!! Here is the link:


(Don't know whether there is a strong correlation between interest in photography and awareness of fossil fuel issues!)

A comment in your link states as low or lower heating bills by heating the basement of a smaller 1 story ranch, in MI. I've always kept basement cut off.

It makes a little sense-heat differential much less for earth to basement, floors warm and heat loss recaptured on main.

Anybody have same results?

Doesn't make sense to me. You're going to loose some heat to basement wall absorption.

Better to view the basement as a 'buffer'. Insulate off from it. That portion (the floor) of your house is going to be living in a ~55F environment while the walls are going to be living in a, whew, MICHIGAN WINTER.

(I'm 35+ years escaped from Kalamazoo and the thought still gives me chills.... ;o)

(Mike Johnson sometimes gives strange advice. Including photography advice.)

I first became aware of peak oil trough a link from the dpreview.com fora (excellent site for info on cameras and such) to lifeaftertheoilcrash.net. I'd like to think a photographer needs to be a bit perceptive and openminded to do a good job :) Taking good pictures afterall requires one to seek out the things that are interesting and different.