DrumBeat: November 20, 2007

Senior Adnoc official urges efficient use of hydrocarbon resources

"The Middle East is currently recording some of the fastest-growing energy consumption rates in the world and, increasingly, we need to think like consumers as much as producers. Put simply, domestic consumption of oil and gas is absorbing an increasing proportion of our production.

"By developing renewable energy resources side by side with hydrocarbons, Arabian Gulf countries will be able to diversify their sources of energy. Likewise, we must examine ways of curbing consumption growth by focusing on energy efficiency. Oil is simply too precious a commodity to waste," Al Muhairi added.

Jim Rodgers on CNBC (video)

Now more than ever is the time to sell the dollar, says Jim Rogers, chairman of Beeland Interests.

Oil makes fresh run at $100, hits record high

Oil prices rose sharply Tuesday, closing at a new record high and once again approaching $100 a barrel, as futures drew strength from a declining dollar, news of refinery problems and speculation that the Federal Reserve will again cut interest rates next month.

Light, sweet crude for January delivery surged $3.21 to settle at $98.03 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, surpassing the previous closing record of $96.70 set Nov. 6. Crude rose as high as $98.30 earlier, just 32 cents shy of oil's all time trading high of $98.62, set Nov. 7.

As dollar weakens, Gulf nations look at currency pegs

When central bank officials in the Middle East say they have no plans to end their fixed exchange rates to the dollar, the currency market hears the opposite.

Merrill Lynch predicts that either the United Arab Emirates or Qatar will cut their dollar peg within six months. Standard Chartered says the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations need to raise the value of their currencies 20 percent. And currency traders are betting that Saudi Arabia will sever its 21-year link to the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Is oil's profit gush ending?

Are record oil profits at an end? Maybe. Although revenues are still rising thanks to record crude prices - FYI, oil's inflation-adjusted record high was $101 in 1980 - profits are down. Earnings for Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips, and BP are all lower through the first three quarters of this year vs. last year.

Houston Channel May Reopen to Tankers This Morning

The Houston Ship Channel, which serves the largest U.S. petroleum port, may reopen to inbound oil tankers and other vessels this morning after being closed more than 31 hours because of fog.

Forty-four inbound and 18 departing vessels remain idled, T.J. Nelson, spokesman for the Houston Pilots Organization, said today in a telephone interview. When the channel reopens, he said, five inbound tankers will be brought in first. One of those ships is carrying liquefied natural gas.

Nigeria seeks domestic oil control

For decades, Nigerian governments were content to let international oil companies do the pumping, merely taking taxes, royalties and a cut of profits.

Now with global oil prices surging near $100 a barrel, Africa's leading oil exporter wants to review agreements allowing oil companies to recoup their costs before sharing profits from deep water exploration, and consolidate all its joint venture oil assets into one potentially powerful company with a global reach.

Gas guzzlers get new lives -- as tire-smoking hybrids

On a beautiful, crisp late fall afternoon, rock icon Neil Young took his 1959 Lincoln Continental for one last spin before a team of mechanics ripped out its gas-guzzling engine to make way for an electric motor.

Car buffs may think it's sacrilege to tear apart an automotive classic, but Young wants it to have a new life as a fuel-efficient hybrid.

Beyond the Barrel: From Warming to Peaking, Reasons to Use Less Oil

Two days after the IPCC report, the front page of the Wall Street Journal says the idea that the current 85 million barrels a day of oil that the world produces is about as much as it ever will be able to produce has moved well beyond the so-called peak oil theorists. Citing top executives of France's Total and ConocoPhillips, as well as a former Saudi oil chief, the Journal says, "Some predict that, despite the world's fast-growing thirst for oil, producers could hit that ceiling as soon as 2012. This rough limit — which two senior industry officials recently pegged at about 100 million barrels a day—is well short of global demand projections over the next few decades."

What better day for the peakers, who have been sounding alarms long before the Wall Street Journal, to post their latest analyses? On the Oil Drum, they try to discern not if worldwide oil production is peaking but how quick the decline rate is.

Farm Diesel in Short Supply Around Sioux Falls Area

Mel Norhdurft had plenty of work to do Monday, and not under the hood of his tractor. He's been farming around here since 1956 and knows there won't be many nice days like this to fertilizes before the ground freezes. But it's tough to get in the field if you can't fill up the tank. "I've been farming for all these years, this is the first time I've had trouble getting diesel."

By this afternoon, Mel was able to get his hands on some diesel and fill up the tractor, but then getting ahold of anhydrous ammonia to put on the fields was a whole other issue." His supplier, across the boarder in iowa was out, but expected a shipment by late afternoon. "I didn't know there was a shortage. I didn't know anything about it until this morning when I called the supplier. He said this none here, I can't get any."

Increased Domestic Production Won't Make US Self-sufficient In Natural Gas

A new report by the Energy Forum at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy finds that the United States will continue to rely on imported natural gas even if areas that are currently restricted are opened up to drilling.

Russia: Skyrocketing Fuel Prices Drive Up Airfare

The price of airplane fuel has risen 30 percent in Russia in the last month to nearly $1000 per ton. That will drive up the fuel expenses for the 15 largest Russian airlines by at least 10 billion rubles per year. Fueling companies say that the cause of the price rise is higher prices for the fuel when it comes from oil companies, although others say that oil companies have redirected their resources toward the more profitable diesel fuel, leaving a shortage on the aircraft kerosene market.

Malawi diesel shortage hits airport

Increasing fuel shortages in Malawi rendered an ugly head at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) at the weekend, as standby power generators could not switch on to power during a blackout due to unavailability of diesel, forcing an airline to cancel its flight.

Pennsylvania: Continental to cut flights temporarily

The cutbacks are a result of high jet-fuel prices and a shortage of flight crews, said Christopher Rodgers, Erie International Airport's director of strategic development.

Nepal: Fuel Dealers, Cops Discuss Petrol Pump Security

Keeping in mind the continuing shortage of petroleum products in the Kathmandu valley, possibility of attacks on petrol pumps and other criminal activities, representatives of the Petroleum Dealers' Association (PDA) and the Metropolitan Police on Monday discussed ways to beef up security around the pumps.

South Korea Abandons Talks for China Coal Supplies

South Korean utilities abandoned talks to buy coal from China this year after failing to agree on prices, said three officials involved in the discussions.

Commodities Roundup: Crude Oil

Crude Oil, however, is a different animal. With billions of new dollars pouring into commodities each year, commodity and hedge funds need a place to put it. Funds tend to be trend followers and they tend to favor the long side of the market (commodity index funds are always long the market). Thus, a solid uptrend with a good fundamental demand story and massive open interest makes a perfect market for funds to “place” equity. Any bullish tidbit of news becomes an excuse to buy. This is why oil markets have been hypersensitive to any type of bullish news story in recent weeks. These waves of capital flowing into energy markets create more buyers than sellers. If oil producers were eager to lock in profits at these levels, hedge selling would have curbed price gains weeks or even months ago. But at this point, producers seem content to let prices go where they may.

Diaper power

AMEC, a Quebec engineering and project management company, is looking to build a facility near Montreal to turn soiled diapers into synthetic diesel fuel. It may not be up to snuff to fuel automobiles, but should be just fine for industrial applications.

AMEC says a process known as pyrolysis can convert diapers to diesel.

Hydrogen, the wave of the future, but how far down the road?

"I think in a century hydrogen could fill a role like that, but not in 20 years," Wilkins told AFP, adding that the Bush administration was no longer as vocal about the plan as it used to be.

"To produce it like the gasoline scale, to get it in the vehicle fleet, fully integrated in the vehicle fleet and the infrastructure the fueling, stations ... it will take one century," he said.

Four Ways to Solve the Energy Crisis - Which also happen to be four reasons why Gal Luft is the most hated man in Riyadh, Detroit, and Des Moines.

We've got to reduce our dependence on foreign oil; it's a matter of homeland security. Fine. Nobody's arguing. But the solutions that get offered -- drilling in ANWR, mandating better automobile fuel efficiency, pushing ethanol -- don't really solve anything. They're politically impossible, or too expensive, or contrary to free-market forces. They're losers.

Energy-independence advocate Gal Luft looks for winners. The former lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces and counterterrorism expert fervently believes that the only way to make America safe is to make it energy independent. And so as executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security and cofounder of the Set America Free Coalition, he has set out to do just that.

Cantarell and Ku Maloob Zaap production falling

Production of crude oil in Mexico's main oilfields — Cantarell and Ku Maloob Zaap, in the Gulf of Mexico Campeche Sound — is falling due to water and salt seepage into the reservoirs, official documents reveal.

According to documents of state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos, the seepage is causing a reduction in production equivalent to 84,300 b/d of oil. Pemex said the loss of production due to water and salt dates back to 2004, and is a natural result of the maturing of these fields.

Sierra Leone fuel freeze sparks chaos as price rise seen

Filling stations halted sales in Sierra Leone on Monday in anticipation of a rise in prices, leaving taxi drivers short of fuel, public buildings without power and commuters stranded by the roadside.

Tanzania: Govt to Revive Oil Import Monopoly

Tanzania is to float an international tender for a single firm to take over the importation of all petroleum products into the country, in a bid to end price fluctuations that distort the market and hamper economic growth.

French strikes escalate, economic toll mounts - Other sectors join in rail strikes that have stalled France for the past week

French commuters have banded together in their efforts to get to work on foot, by bicycle or even roller-blades, as the economic toll from the strikes begins to mount.

The government on Monday said the transport strike is costing France at least $440 million a day.

Is coal about to make a comeback?

The vast majority of people accept that carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is warming up the Earth, but what are we actually going to do about it?

A looming energy crisis is going to test our politicians' resolve.

Four Tips to Optimize IT Energy Use

Reducing energy use clearly is about more than being environmentally responsible. To ensure their long-term viability, organizations must begin now to find and implement solutions that help decrease power consumption.

We'll fight you all the way, airlines warn EU over carbon-trading plans

British and other European governments face a long diplomatic battle if they push ahead with plans to include airlines in a European emissions trading scheme, the global aviation body has warned.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) said 170 countries opposed a proposal, approved last week by MEPs, to make all airlines flying in and out of the European Union subscribe to the EU emissions trading scheme. Non-EU airlines are lobbying their governments to reject the move, arguing that it will impose billions in extra costs on an industry that makes a global profit of just $5.6bn (£2.7bn).

Curtis Bay Coast Guard Yard renovates America’s Tall Ship

Mr. Raisch said he fell in love with tall ships such as the Eagle some three decades ago. “Being an old guy,” he said with a laugh, “I remember the energy crisis from the early 1970s and when people started looking at other means of traveling around the water.”

With all the emphasis on green living today, Mr. Raisch hopes to see a renaissance of “the age of sail.”

Peak Opportunities - an oil industry insider (whose dad hung out with Hubbert!) blogs about peak oil

● The peak in oil production might have occurred in late 2005, and most in this group believe it will certainly happen prior to 2011 - 2012. If it hasn't occurred, my bet would be 2008, as I have believed since 2001 or so.

● It sure looks like Saudi has produced about half of its recoverable oil, meaning it is at or near peak, in turn meaning the world is at or near peak.

Connecticut: Peak Oil Report to the Legislature and Governor (PDF)

Global oil production appears to have stagnated and may soon be headed toward terminal decline. International demand is increasing at a compounding rate yearly. Escalating oil cost is evident and supply shortage and disruption have occurred both in the US and internationally. Rising cost for oil has and will continue to affect every product, every citizen, every business and every function of Government. Contraction in the state’s economy is likely at current and possible higher oil prices. The state is unprepared for this permanent shift in the international energy regimes. Our society has only once ever faced a contraction of affordable and plentiful oil—during World War II. – Today we have no simple model to remedy the rising situation. There is no short-term fix.

Experiencing the Earth's glories and stings, all in 1 ride

The town of Blacksburg, in conjunction with Virginia Tech, was organizing a Sustainability Week. I had offered to present a lecture about the threat of peak oil, the point where the world's wells can no longer keep pace with our insatiable demand and go into permanent decline.

After being repeatedly told I would provide a valuable addition to the mix of viewpoints, I had been informed there was no slot available for me. My friend Dave Roper attended the meeting where this was decided. His e-mail said, "The feeling was that we are trying to get people to do what they can do to reduce global warming and that the peak oil truth might discourage them from trying."

Death Toll From Aramco Pipeline Blast Jumps to 38

The death toll from Sunday’s natural gas pipeline explosion in the Eastern Province rose to 38 as a special technical panel set up by Saudi Aramco continued its probe yesterday to determine the reason for the blast and the subsequent fire, informed sources said.

Saudi Oil Min: Saudi Gas Line Explosion Won't Hit Oil Output

A gas pipeline blast in eastern Saudi Arabia that killed 28 workers won't affect oil production, Saudi Arabia Oil Minister Ali Naimi said Sunday.

Burning Well to Keep Louisiana Highway Closed

A 55-mile stretch of Interstate 10 likely will be closed until at least Wednesday because of a natural gas well that leaked and caught fire, state police said.

Oil prices close in on 96 dollars

World oil prices rose strongly Tuesday, nearing 96 dollars a barrel on lingering supply concerns and as the US unit tumbled against major rivals.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for January delivery, climbed 97 cents to 95.61 dollars per barrel.

In London, Brent North Sea crude for January delivery rallied 98 cents to 93.26 dollars per barrel.

US bent on capturing entire oil rich region by blaming Iran: Indian MP

USA is bent on capturing entire oil rich region of mideast by blaming the Islamic Republic of Iran on different pretexts and excuses, Member of Parliament of India, Rajya Sabha (Upper House) Captain Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad said while talking to IRNA in an exclusive interview.

Shell Canada Reports Fire at Scotford Oil-Sands Unit

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's biggest oil company, said its Canadian unit reported a fire at a plant that processes bitumen from Alberta's oil sands into synthetic crude oil.

U.S. Energy Sec: not worried by OPEC dollar debate

U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman said on Tuesday the United States was not concerned about the debate within OPEC on whether it should seek an alternative to the dollar in pricing oil.

Bodman also told reporters that OPEC should increase output at its next meeting in Abu Dhabi in December.

'Cut off' Myanmar: rights group

Human Rights Watch called on Monday for the international community to halt new investment in Myanmar's oil and gas sector to punish the regime for its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters.

Global Warming: China says: Et Tu?

For example, according to The Wall Street Journal, most MP3 players are made in China. The production of each one of those slick little numbers (think of your tiny, shiny ubiquitous iPod) releases 17 pounds of carbon dioxide. As world leaders prepare to meet in Bali next month to shape the next international treaty to fight global warming (the Kyoto Protocol will expire in 2012), it seems imperative that the market forces driving pollution are also considered, not just the location of where they're produced.

Our appetite for cheap luxury and the need for high profits drive us to take advantage of cheap labor overseas, and so we can't look the other way when it comes time to face the environmental consequences that accompany financial gains.

Global Warming, Or Global Con?

A U.N. that can't save the world from war, famine, disease and pestilence now releases a report saying global warming will cause all of the above -- and it's your SUV that's doing it.

The fourth and final assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reads like the Bible, but gospel it is not.

Developed countries must 'show some spine' on climate change

Australia's Prime Minister John Howard has moved to play down the concerns, promising the Coalition has a balanced approach to combating global warming.

But one Australian scientist who co-authored the IPCC reports says the only balanced approach is to cut emissions now.

Scientists agree global warming is killing the world

The latest international update on climate change says global warming is turning oceans acidic and threatening marine life but offers new hope - the cost of tackling carbon emissions is modest and the means to do it are already available.

Climate change driving 'fourth tech revolution': Brown

Climate change is driving the need for a "fourth technological revolution" to cut pollution and save the planet, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday.

McCartney's estranged wife gets steamed up over milk

Paul McCartney's estranged wife Heather Mills Monday accused consumers of meat and dairy products of fueling global warming, as she launched a vegan campaign at London's famous Speaker's Corner.

Gore Challenged Over Warming

There were some questions following the talk, and Lindzen was asked if it wouldn't be better to sign Kyoto and follow-on agreements just to be on the safe side. Lindzen said no.

Combating a hypothetical problem would waste resources, human more than material, which could be much better devoted to other ends, such as improving public health.

But the further problem with making global warming the object of a huge and highly political international project may be that every action has an equal and opposite reaction; that when the theory is inevitably discredited and dismissed, possibly after a few bad snowstorms, the whole package of environmentalism will be discredited too, along with all the worthy parts involving the reduction of harmful pollutants and preservation of wildlife habitat.

Carbon pollution from industrialised countries rises again

Emissions of greenhouse gases by industrialised countries are surging anew after a long decline, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) said on Tuesday ahead of a crucial forum on tackling global warming.

It blamed continued growth in Western economies and a revival of growth in former East Bloc nations, with pollution from transport the biggest culprit by sector.

I notice at least 2 articles posted here with doubts,question marks on GW.

Even as “The frightening models we didn’t even dare to talk about before are now proving to be true,” Fortier told CanWest News Service, referring to computer models that take into account the thinning of the sea ice and the warming from the albedo effect — the Earth is absorbing more energy as the sea ice melts.

According to these models, there will be no sea ice left in the summer in the Arctic Ocean somewhere between 2010 and 2015."


And the attempt to bring the WSJ into the conversation, BTW,
(Rupert Murdoch anyone?) will be a Caged Death Match here at TOD.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

TOD seems to take the view that "there is only room for one global crisis in this town". As PO is TOD's crisis, it must play down the threat of global warming.

Either that or it's the Law of Universal Conservation - for every smart thing that happens something stupid happens to compensate. TOD is very smart in PO, so to compensate is stupid on GW.

Whatever the reason, it doesn't help credibility. Shortly Leanan will appear to explain that TOD should be "balanced".

It is just a news story. Surely you are not saying that Leanan should filter out stories/blogs/.. that disagree with your view.

That would make her the MSM!


Oops! My idle snark missed it's target and instead kicked up a hornet's nest.

I didn't mean to criticise Leanan for her tireless efforts (sorry!), I was having a tweak at the few GW "doubters" here, at least I was trying to.

No, TOD is not "balanced," nor should it be. And climate change is very much intertwined with peak oil, and is considered "on topic" both here and at peakoil.com (where they are much stricter about keeping the discussion energy-related).

However, I see the DrumBeat as a sort of survey of the MSM. Not to be "balanced," but to keep an eye on what we're up against. Consider it "Know thy enemy."

That's why I occasionally post Corsi's abiotic oil stories, the BNP's peak oil stuff, CERA, etc.

In the case of today's climate change stories, I didn't go looking for them. They popped up on a site I check every day (Yahoo's climate change page). Perhaps a sign of a backlash building? Or a sign of panic, because they're losing?

"In the case of today's climate change stories, I didn't go looking for them. They popped up on a site I check every day (Yahoo's climate change page). Perhaps a sign of a backlash building? Or a sign of panic, because they're losing?"

You've just acknowledeged censorship by the
Search engines as a matter of course.

The corollary being that they, TPTB, understand full well
what is happening, because they're going out of their
way to broadcast/censor POV's.


"The news was an injection of hope for Lakeview, where a canal breach after Katrina hit washed homes off their foundations and flooded the neighborhood with up to 15 feet (4.6 meters) of water.

On Friday, though, that hope was dashed when the director of a Corps-commissioned team of engineers responsible for the projections said the previous estimates were wrong, and the flood risk had been reduced just 6 inches (15 centimeters).

"The conflicting information on the flood data raised new questions about the Corps' ability to police itself.

"It's so bizarre and unreal," said Al Petrie, vice president of the Lakeview Civic Improvement Association. "The people responsible for our safety cannot even get the issues straight with the numbers they're using."

You've just acknowledeged censorship by the
Search engines as a matter of course.

Not sure what you mean by that?

I don't think it's censorship, in the sense that certain POVs are favored. Rather, they give weight to certain sites over others. Investor's Business Daily is a rightwing site, but a pretty respected one, in their capitalist wingnut way. Naturally, their stuff gets picked up.

And it's not a human doing the searching. Every once in awhile you get a story that obviously fooled the software. (An article about a new line of moisturizers, or a press release about a new antacid medication appearing on the "oil and gas" page, for example.)

Maybe you should try some scotch on your cornflakes.

I do not think that Global Warming is a priority here due to many factors. One we will naturally reduce greenhouse gasses through PO, two there is no reason to think that in short period "100 years" that we will be impacted severely by global warming however peak oil is in the nearterm. Focusing on global warming is like focusing on the man behind the curtain. Peak Oil will solve most of the Global Warming issues I think.

However I have been wrong before.

In terms of "doing something" about global warming, you may be right. Heck, it may already be too late to do anything about it.

But, IMO, it's still an important factor to consider. If Hansen is right and climate change goes nonlinear, and sea level rises 2' per decade...that will affect our infrastructure. Building light rail in New Orleans or Miami is folly in that case.

If drought means the southwest dries up, well, we better think twice about building nuclear power plants there that require water for cooling.

Even worse, if climate change means we can't grow food where we are currently growing it...that has a huge effect on both our attempts to wean ourselves off fossil fuels, and our hopes for growing biofuels.

Speaking of which, Georgia cut off water
release to Florida and Alabama.

I wonder how the nuke and coal fired plants downstream

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- Florida backed away on Friday from a temporary truce brokered by the Bush administration in a long-standing water war, aggravated by drought, among Florida, Georgia and Alabama."

"MONTGOMERY -- In a letter sent Wednesday to the governors of Alabama, Florida and Georgia, the chairman and president of the Atlanta-based Southern Company confirms that the current flow of water in the Chattahoochee River is the minimum needed for the Farley Nuclear Plant in Alabama to operate, and that any reduction in flow could impact plant operations.

That’s the same argument Alabama Governor Bob Riley has been making as he tries to stop an effort by Georgia’s political leaders to take control of water releases from Lake Lanier to communities and areas downstream -- including the Farley Nuclear Plant in Houston County, Alabama."

Again. I think folks here are being lulled into
the 2050 and later scenario when Atlanta's
5 million are under the gun now and they're #5
on the list of water dearth areas.

CA's 4 cities are higher.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

CNN had a story about that. The oyster fishermen down in Florida were pretty ticked off. The higher salt levels (due to the drop in fresh water) were killing off cattails. The oysters were okay, but the higher salt levels meant marine predators were coming in to prey on them. They fear it will mean the end of their way of life.

You think maybe people are beginning to get hints that it is all interconnected? Simple concept, as articulated by a humble shepherd.

LAW 1 - Everything is Connected to Everything Else

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” — John Muir

from Commoner's Laws of Ecology

Everything is connected to everything else.

Everything has to go somewhere or there is no such place as away.

Everything is always changing.

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Everything has limits.


Don't blame me; I voted for Barry in '80


You think maybe people are beginning to get hints that it is all interconnected?

Nope. Not a chance.

It's clear that Peak Oil and Global Warming are intimately connected. For example, the models that have been used to study future climate change were based on emission scenarios dating from 1992. IPCC TAR (2000) used the IPCC Special Report on Emission Scenarios from 1992, long before there was anything like an awareness of Peak Oil. For the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), the same emissions scenarios are used, but there is a note in the Technical Summary which says:

This Working Group I assessment does not evaluate the plausibility or likelihood of any specific emission scenario.

One conclusion from all of this is that after Peak Oil becomes obvious, there will likely be great pressure from all directions to supply present (or increasing) amounts of energy by greatly increasing the use of coal. Without any attempt to sequester the CO2 produced by burning/converting the coal to meet our energy needs, the rate of emissions of CO2 may actually turn out to be GREATER than that of the IPCC scenarios. Thus, the GW problems may arrive sooner than the model projections presented in the AR4. Then too, it's already looking like the IPCC projections are too optimistic, as the decline of Arctic sea-ice is happening considerably faster than the models have suggested.

Most people, I think, would just keep partying on, assuming they don't live in a flood zone and still have enough income to pay for what they need, until there is either no liquid fuel or no food. But that may be an optimistic scenario, as it assumes no WW III nuclear meltdown of the Earth's major cities. When things get down to serious demand destruction, I'm afraid that killing lots of people may become the preferred option for TPTB. We know they've done it before...

E. Swanson

Then too, it's already looking like the IPCC projections are too optimistic, as the decline of Arctic sea-ice is happening considerably faster than the models have suggested.

That might be true in the short run but according to Dave Rutledge at CalTech (Hubbert's Peak, The Coal Question, and Climate Change) previously posted on TOD, none of the IPCC scenarios adequately takes account of expected fossil fuels resource declines. "Our projection has lower emissions than any of the 40 IPCC scenarios" and stays below the critical 500 ppm threshhold. They attribute less than 1 degree future warming to burning the remaining fossil fuels. I think it is a pretty credible analysis.

Thanks for the link to an interesting paper. I notice that they show the IPCC emissions for carbon and that perhaps 10 of the 40 scenarios peaking at slightly above or at present carbon levels around 2050 and decline to a level at or less than present emissions (slide 3). It would be difficult for one to argue with these scenarios if a business as usual scenario were possible, but we think Peak Oil is here, so what happens were there to be a big switch to coal? Wouldn't the emissions rate go up rather sharply before 2050? Just a guess on my part, having no data.

Also, the comment you give about the impact being less that that of double CO2 does not include what happens as natural gas is included. Burning CH4 results in CO2 emissions, which the authors ignore in their blanket statement of ultimate CO2 levels. And, as warming progresses, it is expected that more emissions of methane would result from the thermal decomposition of clathrates in permafrost. While methane is a strong greenhouse, it eventually degrades to CO2, adding to the long term buildup. Furthermore, the releases of other industrial greenhouse gases isn't mentioned, thus the warming could well exceed that of the equivalent of a doubling of the preindustrial CO2 level.

E. Swanson

what happens were there to be a big switch to coal?

Rutledge looks at actual coal production trends (HL) and determines that there are only 1.6 tboe (trillion barrels of oil equivalent) of coal left (page 34 in Rutledge's presentation). That's only a little more than the 1.2 tboe of oil that is believed to be left. Therefore it is not possible to have a big switch to coal. The UN IPCC scenarios assume there are 18 tboe of coal left (a factor of 11.25 times as much).

what happens as natural gas is included?

I am pretty sure natural gas has been included. Total hydrocarbons left are only 4.7 tboe and the point of 50% consumption will be reached in 2022 (page 35), or only 15 years from now, not 2050 or 43 years from now of the lower of the IPCC scenarios. That's why Rutledge's projection is significantly lower than ANY of the IPCC models (see page 40).

I think his analysis is the most credible that I have seen. It suggests that there is almost nothing that we could conceivable sell politically that could have us reducing emissions any faster than we will have to because the resources are just not there. The only possible exception is in coal. There we could do better by the one alternate source that really displaces coal in the current power grid. That source, of course, is nuclear power.

A "big switch to coal" may be a big ask.

Earlier this year the queue of coal ships waiting to load off Newcastle reached 70 - the port infrastructure simply wasn't there to handle the demand. And bulk carriers themselves are in high demand, with shipping rates going through the roof.
The lag time to build the port and shipping infrastructure to ship millions of BOE per day of coal would be years or decades. If you are going to ship by rail, the situation is even worse.
You are suggesting that we duplicate the enormous infrastructure that has been built up to ship oil, basically building something on the same scale to ship oil instead.
1 tonne of coal is roughly equivalent to 5 barrels of oil. So to replace 10 million barrels per day of oil, you need to ship 2 million tonnes of coal per day. If one ship can handle 20,000 tonnes, then you need 1000 ships for one day's requirement. If you have a 6 week turn around time on a voyage, you'll need 42,000 bulk carriers. And the port capacity to unload 1000 ships per day at each end.

Does this sound like something that could be built over a ten year period?

Bear in mind that the total seaborne coal trade is currently about 200 million tonnes per year. How long do you think it would take to ramp up to 900 million tonnes per year? ( the addition of coal equal to 10 million barrels per day of oil).

Don't forget you also have to build power plants or CTL plants to use this coal. Which will use lots of steel and concrete, for which you will need more coal...

By the way, a CTL plant that can produce 20,000 barrels of oil per day is estimate to cost $1 billion to build.
So to replace 10 million barrels of oil per day, you need 500 plants at a cost of $500 billion. Probably a trillion dollars when you factor in the cost over-runs and material shortages.

So the idea that a decline in oil supplies will lead to a rapid increase in coal use is a fantasy.
It will lead to a rapid increase in demand for coal energy. But building the infrastructure to supply that demand is another matter.

My point? You have to dig it up before you can burn it.
The Chinese will likely tap into all the "easy coal" in the next few years - after that bottlenecks will restrict growth in carbon emissions from coal, and once oil depletion really sets in emissions are likely to be flat.

Of course if some idiot burns down all the forests to plant biofuels we'll still be screwed...

If we are to believe in things we cannot see or touch, how do we tell the true belief from the false belief?

Correct. Notice the coal mine disasters?

We've never dug deeper or used more energy to pull up less.

Peak Everything.

The UK is decommissioning nukes as fast as possible.

And we've exceeded 450 ppm already.

Man the lifeboats.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

A "big switch to coal" may be a big ask.

Too bad you did not read my post. What I said was that a big switch to coal is not possible because the coal does not exist. Read my post and look at the presentation. The conclusions Rutledge points to are very interesting and astounding.

Of course I read your post. My comments were supporting your comments.

Come in from the cold and have a cup of tea, soldier.

If we are to believe in things we cannot see or touch, how do we tell the true belief from the false belief?

I'm on the fence about this. A lot of the "peak coal" claims are based on the current market, where some fairly accessible coal is undesirable because it's too dirty. The environmental rules will be the first thing tossed overboard when TSHTF.

It's true that infrastructure will be expensive in the post-carbon age - more expensive than most realize. For that reason, I don't think there will be CTL to run our cars. But there may be a lot of peasants with pickaxes burning dirty coal for heat and cooking.

One might wonder how industrialization even started when there was far less infrastructure, knowledge, and energy was far more expensive than it is today...

No, it wasn't. The low-hanging fruit is picked first.

Hence Fred Hoyle's worry that if we get it wrong, and fail to make the jump into space, no other civilization will ever achieve our level of technology again.

A lot of the "peak coal" claims are based on the current market

Perhaps but that is not what Rutledge does. He just does good old Hubbert Linerizations on actual production and concludes that there is just a little more remaining coal than there is conventional oil. That's one eleventh of what the UN IPCC scenarios assume.

NASA climatologist James Hansen:
Implications of "peak oil" for atmospheric CO2 and climate

We are motivated by the conclusion of Hansen et al. (2007a,b) that “dangerous” climatic consequences are likely at an atmospheric CO2 level of 450 ppm and possibly at even lower levels. Thus we investigate whether the atmospheric CO2 amount can be kept to 450 ppm or less via constraints on the use of coal and unconventional fossil fuel resources



I for one welcome closter bodies of water in New Mexico!

There is ocean front property in Arizona! From my front portch you can see the sea!

We prefer to go with what worked before. We've had two world wars, and zero successful attempts at long-term conservation. Which one sounds like a better gamble for those who give orders but never have to fight?


The words "If Hansen's right" may come to haunt us. I read something he said the other day which sounded rather ominous. He mentioned that the last time the world heated up like it's, apparently, doing now, sea levels were around 25 metres higher than they are a present! Does this mean that sea levels might possibly rise by this staggering amount over a century? Clealy this would result in substantial and multiple challanges for our civilization, to put it mildly!

This is of course a very controversial area to go into. If climate change does go nonlinear we may be in for some very nasty surprises indeed. The problem with forecasting nonlinear is that nonlinear change is so incredibly difficult to calculate and model, linear change is a piece of cake in comparison, that's why we like it, it's managable. The problem for us is that so much of the physical world doesn't follow a nice linear path, but has a disturbing tendancy to tease us by suddenly going nonlinear! This is one of nature's characteristics sent to try us.

One of the big problems with climate change is that we've been influencing the climate for around two hundred years, in a small way at first, but things have really taken off in the last fifty years or so. Even if we could magically stop our carbon emmisions today, the effects we've already induced would continue for several centuries and we're not really sure what these will be, it's doubtful they will be especially positive. This long time-scale has serious implications. For example if sea levels rise slowly, but surely over two or three hundred years. In the great scheme of things, this is still, rapid.

One of my chums, who shall remain nameless, works on the periphery of the IPCC. There's something close to a war going on inside. The Whitehouse is and has been putting intense pressure on the IPCC to water-down its findings and especially press releases. As one aide said, "What's the point in frightening people unnecessarily?". They were arguing with the Whitehouse about the use of individual words in their interim report.

Words like "imminent" "irreversable" "rapid" and lots of others. There's a group inside the IPCC that thinks things are far worse than the public statements imply, that in reality we are facing a climate emergency and we have to take action now, and they've got the numbers and observations to back up their claims, but the Whitehouse simply won't buy it, or simply doesn't get it.

He [Hansen] mentioned that the last time the world heated up like it's, apparently, doing now, sea levels were around 25 metres higher than they are a present! Does this mean that sea levels might possibly rise by this staggering amount over a century?

This is what he is saying:

KERRY O'BRIEN [ABC-TV-Australia]: What are your particular fears with regard to the melting of the polar ice caps?

JAMES HANSEN: Well, the problem is that the climate system in general has a lot of inertia and that means that it takes time for the changes to begin to occur but then, once they do get under way, it becomes very difficult to stop them and that is true in spades for the ice sheets. If we once begin to disintegrate it will become very difficult, if not impossible, to stop them and we are beginning to see now on both Greenland and west Antarctica disintegration of those ice sheets. They're both losing ice at a rate of about 150 cubic kilometres per year and that's still not a huge sea level rise. Sea level rise is now going up about 3.5 centimetres per decade. So that's more than double what it was 50 years ago. But it's still not disastrous; it's a problem, but it's not disastrous. But the potential is for a much larger sea level rise. If we get warming of two or three degrees Celsius, then I would expect that both West Antarctica and parts of Greenland would end up in the ocean, and the last time we had an ice sheet disintegrate, sea level went up at a rate of 5 metres in a century, or one metre every 20 years. That is a real disaster, and that's what we have to avoid.

KERRY O'BRIEN: What is the most recent evidence of what's really going on with the ice caps, the Arctic and the Antarctic?

JAMES HANSEN: There are two things that are cause of concern. First of all, if we look at the history of the Earth, we know that at the warmest interglacial periods, which were probably less than 1 degree Celsius warmer than today, it was still basically the same planet. Sea level was perhaps a few metres higher. But if we go back to the time when the Earth was two or three degrees Celsius warmer, that's about three million years ago, sea level was about 25 metres higher, so that tells us we had better keep additional warming less than about one degree. And the other piece of evidence is not from the history of the Earth but from looking at the ice sheets themselves, and what we see is that the disintegration of ice sheets is a wet process and it can proceed quite rapidly. We see that the ice streams have doubled in their speed on Greenland in the last few years and even more concern is west Antarctica because it's now losing mass at about the same rate as Greenland, and west Antarctica, the ice sheet is sitting on rock that is below sea level. So it is potentially much more in danger of collapsing and so we have both the evidence on the ice sheets and from the history of the Earth and it tells us that we're pretty close to a tipping point, so we've got to be very concerned about the ice sheets.


I very good question and answer session can be found in Hansen's testimony submitted re coal-fired power plant in Iowa:

The Oil Drum has become my primary source of global warming news and opinions, because I know people here will argue about them, and because of the all-important relationship between global warming and peak oil mitigation, both positive and negative (coal).

I think Leanan is right that a barometer is needed to detect signs of backlash versus any developing consensus that happens to be anti-growth. Especially a backlash organized from high up. The Pentagon has been recruiting pro-war bloggers, and much of the GOP's efforts to intimidate black voters relied on grass roots henchmen. I've seen waves of trolls hit certain environmental websites while sparing others, as if they were directed to certain ones. We must expect a Lincoln Group to appear to coordinate denial of global warming and peak oil.

IMO, peak oil will make global warming worse as we frantically turn to gasified coal and possibly even steam power. As Hansen as said, there is not enough oil to cause a GW tipping point, but there is enough coal.

Also, while I haven't been hanging out at TOD for all that long, it never occurred to me that TOD played down AGW in favor of PO. Maybe it's a projection of my personal take that AGW & PO are intimately related, but I was surprised by the comments today about GW.

Peak Oil will solve most of the Global Warming issues I think.

SD, depends what you believe the FF decline rates to be. ASPO's all liquids is about 2%/year (fixed amount) from 2010 to 2050. Coal's peak is a decade or so away and production in 2050 will be no less than today, so decline rate there is zero. Then you have to decide whose CO2 targets you want to believe: George Monbiot = 100% by 2030 (approx 4% per year), or UK government target = 50% by 2050 (approx 2% per year), for example.

Personally, I think GW is more of an issue than Peak Oil. Hopefully the rapidly declining availability of oil to the OECD due to Westexas' ELM will escalate the price to make renewables even more competitive.

'Coal's peak is a decade or so away ..' When the price factor of oil exceeds the inconvenience factor of coal, we will see the beginnings of the second era of coal. And, yes, carbon sequestration is a 'furfy'. So, inadvertently, I agree with you except that we have to survive PO first. There's plenty of carbon out there but just not in the most convenient form.

There are six barrels of oil equivalent in a ton of coal. Coal should be $500 a ton but the last price I saw was $36. If I need 200 gallons a year to heat my house and there are six barrels in a ton... I only need a ton a year! The famed measure of sixteen tons is equal to a decade and a half of thermal bliss. Maybe it's time to build a coal shed. Pssst, nudge nudge, wink wink, ' know of any coal for sale???'

How much coal is there out there at $500 a ton? A pound of carbon is a pound of carbon.

My Dad heats part of his house with coal, upstate NY. Small sellers who go to the mines themselves sell for 5.00 40lb bag for stove coal, about the size of a tennis ball. Bigger stores sell for 6.25 to 7.00 40lb bag for chestnut coal.

Hello SlicerDicer,

It is not sure that PO will naturally reduce GHG. What when we will massively turn to coal, for example.

Also, when we finally reduce emissions, especially of particals, we may find ourself toast, quite literally. Burning of FF now causes Global Dimming, and when this disappears GW is going to come into play in full earnest.

For now, we do not know which of the the two is the biggest problem on the short term, though I would certainly agree PO is the best candidate. Actually, I expect PO to hit home first, and when the situation gets worse and worse, for GW to enforce PO misery.

Bingo forgot about that... Look at 9/11 and the lack of air travel causing brighter days and difference in temps.. I totally forgot about this. Actually now that you mention it I remember reading a report that the dimming caused by burning oil actually saves us from true heat... Gaia theory dude wrote it that we be screwed if we stop burning...

Damned if you do Damned if you dont...

Peak oil will not solve the global warming problem. If increased coal use becomes a substitute for lack of oil, then the global warming problem will become worse. The region where I live (French Riviera) is severely threatened by global warming through a combination of rising sea levels and lack of rainfall. To me, global warming deniers are worse than "terrorists". And here it is not computer models we depend upon. In 2003, temperatures in summer were 2°C above average and we saw forest fires, lower agricultural production and thousands of old people dying prematurally. Peak oil requires economic and life style adjustments. Global warming even more so.

unfortunately PO does not solve GW, humans wil just move on to ever dirtier (Tar Sands, Coal) ever lower EROEI (ethanol) sources. On balance I think it is likely PO will make GW worse not better.

On the other hand - if PO means that we turn to coal for our energy needs, it may actually worsen GW.

Your view that PO will solve global warming is wishful thinking. There's more than enough coal to go around to sink several islands with the resulting melting caused by increased co2 emissions.

Increased temperatures may be a much shorter term problem than you realize. To think that we can just sit back because it's all going to happen 100 years from now is also wishful thinking.

To the extent that we see PO as one element in a larger problem,the overconsumption of energy, and to the extent that we deal accordingly with the problem in a holistic manner, then the awareness of PO is a useful thing. Otherwise, I don't see PO as a problem but simply as an unavoidable reality which can be turned into an opportunity to make a more livable and healthy planet for all species, not the human one.

Cut our oil in half please. But just tell us when it's going to happen so we can plan accordingly. In the mean time, prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

And, above all, use the precautionary principle on both PO and global warming. But nooooo. Most of the populous and the politicians will continue to engage in wishful thinking and magical solutions without any thought we should skip one beat in our overconsuming lifestyles. That would be fine, but it is the planet that will pay the price.

Cut our oil in half please. But just tell us when it's going to happen so we can plan accordingly

That will happen by 2030 according to this study from the German based Energy Watch Group:
EWG Outlook 2007

Peak oil will complicate our efforts to phase out coal. Because all construction projects for renewable energies will need diesel. We should now set aside enough oil for all these jobs.

I think that PO will speed up climate change, when we start digging for coal like its going out of fashion and converting to liquids... I heard a Shell bigwig on BBC World mention that they are already starting this in China, and are proud of it.

Leanan's comment that PO and GW are interconnected is spot on. It would be stupid to deal with one without considering the effect on the other from a systemic point of view and it is possible to do it right and kill two proverbial birds with one stone (i.e. BIG cuts in fossil fuel use NOW), or go down the BAU route in which case we might as well make the most of the few remaining good years we have left, and go out with a bang ;-) It appears as though this is the choice our so-called "leaders" have made on our behalf.

(though I'm not sure my kids would agree with the latter choice, they unfortunately don't have much say in the matter, being 15 months and -1 month old..)

BobCousins...Speaking of 'something stupid', I think the Times Of India has taken the cake for belaboring one of the obvious outcomes of GW/CC, and backed up by studies, no less...It must be nice to have a study grant to scan ancedotal evidence from the past and conclude that CC/GW 'might lead to global conflicts'...Really tough call!

Global warming may lead to war: study

'LONDON: A new study has for the first time suggested that global warming might lead to war like situations in the world.

The study points out that current and future climate change may result in widespread global unrest and conflict.'...snip...

'For the new study, Peter Brecke of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, US, and colleagues in Hong Kong, China, and the UK scanned worldwide historical records on food prices, population levels and conflicts dating back to 1400 and compared this data with long-term temperature records.

"We found that anecdotes of climate changes leading to conflict seem to fit a broader pattern," said Brecke.

"Our basic model is that deviations in temperature can hamper crop production, which in turn, has three effects: increasing food prices, a greater risk of death from starvation, and increased social tension, which leads to violent conflict," said Peter Brecke of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, US.'...snip...

'"If other problems emerge that impede our ability to address food shortages, we may well see warfare erupt, and it should not be that big a surprise," New Scientist quoted Brecke as saying.'


I really appreciate all the unpaid hours that Leanan puts in on The Oil Drum and her consistently fair and even-handed approach. I often disagree with her opinions, but as long as I am allowed to post with no censorship I don't have a problem.

She works at Drumbeat 7 days a week and it seems at least 50 or 60 hours a week. But, you get what you pay for, Bob Cousins. If you don't like it, find another blog. Bob Ebersole

I agree with that as well. Why argue over small things, it's not like we are trying to sell something here. If message gets deleted, then there was a reason for it. Let's move on.

I disagree strongly. There been many many hijacked threads discussing everything from GW to overshoot.

The people that contribute and read here seem to have a good grasp of MANY of the troubles facing us in the next decade or so.

However, the focus is about Oil and its impact in decline. There are dozens of sites that discuss GW in a TOTAL vacuum.

At least we have a few different perspectives to add.

BTW, today Leanan put up a couple of 'naysayers' on GW, I am sure if you flip back a couple days...gee...say yesterday, you will find articles of the 'supporters' of GW.

To everyone else who participate, or even lurk and listen, I appreciate all of the differing opinions and perspectives. It has kept me focused on the important things and changed my viewpoint more than a couple of times. Cheers to you all!

And thanks Leanan for all your hard work each and every day.

We've put up dedicated threads about global warming. Stuart, in particular, did a series of them awhile back, covering everything from why William Gray is wrong to whether global warming means more hurricanes.

Yes, Yes...forgot about those.

To look at just PO in a void is missing the point which caused all this.

Leanan, Happy Early Thanksgiving (I will be at the Turkey Rod Run on Turkey Day) and thanks for your contributions, intelligence and tireless devotion to TOD. We need this forum, probably more than many realize, as an outlet and for an exchange of ideas. Meanwhile shrub has this to offer on this Thanksgiving...Does this mean we are supposed to stop shopping?

In Thanksgiving Speech, Bush Urges Americans to Give Back


'CHARLES CITY, Va., Nov. 19 — In a reflective mood as he looks toward his final year in office, President Bush delivered his first official Thanksgiving speech Monday, urging Americans to “show their thanks by giving back” and to remember that “our nation’s greatest strength is the decency and compassion of our people.”...snip...

'It was a call to action, in a sense, from a president whose first instinct after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was to ask the public for “continued participation and confidence in the American economy,” a request that has been widely interpreted as advice to go shopping.

By contrast, Mr. Bush on Monday asked Americans to consider the “many ways to spread hope this holiday: volunteer in a shelter, mentor a child, help an elderly neighbor, say thanks to one who wears the nation’s uniform.”

Afterwards, stop here. You can get almost anything you want.

Arctic summer sea ice gone by 2013:

Causes of Changes in Arctic Sea Ice; by Wieslaw Maslowski (Naval Postgraduate School)



Perfectly stated Twilight. (until it was deleted)

If it is getting out, Then They must see it as inevitable so, acknowledge it, control it to their purpose.

I recommend these articles about the MSM.
(First is Joe because I love his Prose)

The Great American Media Mind Warp
Joe Bageant

All Americans, regardless of caste, live in a culture woven of self-referential illusions. Like a holographic simulation, each part refers exclusively back to the whole, and the whole refers exclusively back to the parts. All else is excluded by this simulated reality. Consequently, social realism in this country is a television commercial for America, a simulated republic of eagles and big box stores, a good place to live so long as we never stray outside the hologram. The corporate simulacrum of life has penetrated us so deeply it now dominates the mind's interior landscape with its celebrities and commercial images. Within the hologram sparkles the culture-generating industry, spinning out our unreality like cotton candy.


The American media hologram forms our subconscious opinions immediately and without our rational participation.


Watch television in countries with supposedly primitive media, and after a while you will be shocked at the technologically mediated and shape-shifted image of the world presented to Americans -- how the hologram makes incongruous parts suddenly fit together and make sense in its own parallel universe.

For instance, a while back I saw a video clip of an ethanol-fueled automobile driving past waves of grain with the Rockies in the background and a rippling American flag ghosted into the sky. These four elements of the clip, food grain fields, the automotive industry, the natural beauty of the Rockies and the national emblem have not much to do with each in the natural world, but they have everything to do with one another in the context of corporate empire.

Together, they indicate the national ethos. We accept such an image as naturally as the baby accepts the tit, and the idea of burning the earth's food to create gasses that will turn the snowcapped mountains into desertified mountains is greeted happily as something newer and better than the old system of destroying the atmosphere and environment.

Mentally we can identify separate elements, isolate things into categories. But the hologram nevertheless remains seamless in its interconnection of all things that benefit the corporate state generating it. Parsed, divided and isolated, any part contains the entire logic (or governing illogic) of the whole -- consuming.


Also this is a must to understand things. Just skim over this list of the "Owners"

Who Owns the Media

And one more. When ever reading the MSM (or any article/blog) it would be good remember these 25 techniques.

A couple of versions of this on the web.

25 Rules of Disinformation
Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation

1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil
2. Become incredulous and indignant
3. Create rumor mongers
4. Use a straw man
5. Sidetrack opponents w name calling, ridicule
6. Hit and Run
7. Question motives
8. Invoke authority
9. Play Dumb
10. Associate opponent charges with old news
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions
12. Enigmas have no solution
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic
14. Demand complete solutions
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions
16. Vanish evidence and witnesses
17. Change the subject
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad
19. Ignore facts, demand impossible proofs
20. False evidence
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor
22. Manufacture a new truth
23. Create bigger distractions
24. Silence critics
25. Vanish


Well, since you replied, I'll put it back up:

Regarding the recent flurry of PO stories in the MSM: Recently I had commented on my concerns as to why this is happening now. After thinking about it further, I realize that it must be about money and power (as always).

From the money angle, there is a need for a new bubble. In a society of consumers all problems can be solved by shopping, and there are a host of new energy efficient things to make and sell. There are energy-sector companies to invest in, and of course large amounts of public money can be funneled to the well-placed wealthy through scams like biofuels, etc.
On the power front, PO is an excellent tool for creating that most useful of commodities: Fear. And as we have seen fear will enable just about anything when properly directed.

So before you get too excited about finally “getting the message out”, recognize that the message that is going to be put out may not be one that you will recognize if you spend much time reading here. Nor will it be used to incite the kinds of positive responses that are often discussed here.

In short, the PO message will be co-opted, repackaged, and redirected so that it can more properly serve those who are also served by the MSM.

I deleted it because it crossed the line into things that are inadvisable to post on a public forum in 2007.

BTW, I've enjoyed Joe Bageant for some time as well - but I don't think I can bring myself to click on a freeper link!.

Does it ever occur to you that the MSM usually post news stories because they are news? Some people see a conspiracy behind every bush. To say that the MSM posts now, but not earlier, about peak oil because of money and power is just silly. It reflects a mindset bordering on paranoia.

Before it was a conspiracy that MSM did not post about peak oil. Now it is a conspiracy because they do! Make up your mind.

In short, the PO message will be co-opted, repackaged, and redirected so that it can more properly serve those who are also served by the MSM.

Bullcrap! What will be reported is the stories people write and the editor thinks is news. We saw, in the Washington Post, two years ago, articles debunking peak oil by CERA. Now we see articles in the Wall Street Journal saying peak oil might be today or it might be here by 2040. And I will guarantee you that as soon as more data comes in confirming it, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times and every other MSM outlet will say peak oil is here now.

They will say it because it will be news!

Ron Patterson

Yes, there is paranoia, but there is also spin. Part of the Karl Rove artistry was to turn everything that might have looked like bad news and defeat into some kind of argument stating it was just the opposite.. I heard Newt Gingrich do an opinion piece on NPR some months ago saying that spending your money at WalMart was great because you were supporting struggling families in China.

'You provide the Headlines, I'll provide the war!'
'It's not news unless I say it's news!'


Jokuhl, I understand your point. With individuals, what you see and the front they put up, is often quite different from their true motives. But this is less so when two people are doing the planning. And even less so when three or more are writing the message. But when thousands are involved....

When thousands are involved if reporting the news, and there are many thousands in the business, then ther is no such thing as managing the news. There are 55 major news corporations and thousands of much smaller ones. If one gets a scoop, it is soon reported on all of them. News is news is news. One reporter may write a story with a particular slant, a slant that may be a total lie. But such reporters are soon exposed and are usually discreited and their career usually suffers greatly.

And your last line is just plain incorrect. No one person on earth has the power to dictate what is news and what is not news. Not that a lot of people do not try, but they are never successful. Well, not for very long anyway.

Ron Patterson

Well of course the last line is 'Incorrect', but are you really willing to rest on a line like 'News is News is News'?

Your math that divides the ability to retransmit a false story by the number of people involved is strange to hear from a devoted Agnostic.. I'm not anti-religion, but I don't confuse it with scientific fact, either, as so many do.

A lot of people on Earth ARE constantly wielding their power in order to restrict uncomfortable stories, put lipstick onto pigs, to doctor the science, fabricate News Releases for company or gov't motives.. they try and they are frequently successful.

""Yes sir, I mean, yes, you are right, I WANT to make a difference and, yeah, n-n-n-nobody in this city cares about the homeless and it IS my job to change that."

The editor leaned back in his chair, satisfied with the kid's response.

"Son, let me fill you in on a couple of facts. It ain't news unless I say it's news and if I say it's news then it IS news no matter how many times we've written about it in the past year! Are we clear?"






Ron, while I agree with you on most points - not here. Your concept of how the MSM works fails to explain how consistent, almost verbatim BS gets pumped through huge numbers of media outlets in this country, while other stories that are clearly major news items are consistently absent. There have been people reporting about PO for some time now, but only at small, marginalized NEWS outlets. The big Wurlitzer studiously ignored it, so it gained no traction. The MSM is not news, it is media and infotainment and propaganda.

What you are disparaging as a "conspiracy" I see as just people pursuing their own interests. With no oversight, no limits, no rules, then anything goes and major media outlets are co-opted to serve other purposes. They are simply too valuable for any other outcome, which is why people have paid so much money to buy them.

I certainly do not believe there is some star chamber that is directing ALL reports, but this is not necessary. A few well placed plants in the majors, and many other outlets will just pick it up and repeat it. It's not like they have any actual reporters of their own. Surprisingly, most people really don't need to be told how to behave in their own interests (short term ones anyway). Is that the definition of a conspiracy?

So call me paranoid, I don't care - what I see happening matches my expectations better than what you are describing.

Does it ever occur to you that the MSM usually post news stories because they are news?

To be blunt: No, not anymore. This has clearly not been true for some time now, based on the observable reality.

Well Ron, what I want to know is just what is your experience with the media. What news organizations have you worked for. What media outlets. Any other sources. How long etc.

You sure do make a lot of claims.

So where have your worked that is different than where I have worked, because Jokulh's story about the editor deciding what is news is true as far as I have seen.

I would also like to hear your definition of "news", and what the purpose of a news service is supposed to be.

The news I used to know, is not the news that is now.

You love to claim the highground, and yell conspiracy theorist at people to argue your point.

So tell us, what is your news background to make such claims.

Or are you just saying this because you watch television and you know what TV is and how its done.

If you want to know what rich people in America think, read and American newspaper. If you want to know what rich people in Europe think, read a European newspaper.
Then there are different sources, like this one. Not better, necessarily, but different.

To stick a comment in somewhere - metafilter.com has a link to Rep. Bartlett's presentation ( http://www.metafilter.com/66738/%E2%80%9CIts-one-minute-before-12%E2%80%9D ).

The comments are typical MeFi - and metafilter.com is one of those sites that shows how well the Internet can work - on its own terms. And Metafilter is pretty much what it seems - a community having a broad ranging discussion about whatever interests it. (With its roots back in the day when spiders ruled, before the age of the bot.)

We are in a period of transitions, watching or about to watch various structures crumble, and some of these debates are somewhat beside the point.

Take Bob Woodward - read about his past, his involvement in any number of power games as expressed through his reporting at the Post and his books, and then you might get a clearer view of what 'journalism' means in DC.

But simply because various groups use various techniques to acquire as much power and/or profit (trust someone from Northern Virginia - power and money are two different addictions) as possible doesn't mean that the world is a conspiracy.

Which is why the suggestion about reading different sources is correct. And to recognize that though a belief in an objective reality is reasonable, a belief in an objective truth is simply a matter of upbringing.

The media is as flawed as any other human enterprise.

"News is news is news."

I guess that was always true of Pravda, eh?

There is some deep seated faith in the west that the media is some stochastic truth engine and not an opinion factory. I am not sure what this faith is based on since every article I read and every TV report I see includes a lot of opinion, interpretation and spin. Information is not presented in a detached scientific manner. You can infer the extreme concentration of decision making in the allegedly multi-independent-source media by the simultaneous dispersal of the exact same take on many stories. For example, tycoon Khodorkovsky was being painted as a democratic martyr from moment of his arrest. This oligarch had a trail of dead bodies behind him and was brazen in his transfer pricing scams and other efforts to siphon the revenues of Yukos into offshore banks wthout tax payment. So he gave 3 million US to opposition parties, but he gave 300 million US to the Carlyle Group. As if throwing some money to the opposition proves what a democratic hero you are.
This sort of propaganda shows that the notion of western media independence and objectivity is a myth.


You might want to put your rose colored glasses away and check out Project Censored, an annual roundup of the top ten news stories not reported by the main stream media.

The main stream media reports press releases and manufactured news with little or no depth or background. We are in Iraq because they didn't do their jobs and because they jumped on the propaganda wagon early regurgitating what the administration fed them. It is totally manipulated crap and pablum, everything from the TV majors to NPR to MOST newspapers.

The days of a free and honest and in depth media are largely over in the USA. The more time I spend overseas, the more apparent this becomes.


Plenty of news is manufactured. Just take VNRs as an example.


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

Seems to me the most important bit of PO news is the FACT that worldwide crude oil production PEAKED in May 2005. A most simple fact confirmed by looking at the IEA/EIA data. But this is barely mentioned in the MSM. Mentioned, hell, it should be front page news in banner headlines in every newspaper in the world. It's NEWS, NOW!

Sunspot, I agree 100%. However a huge majority of the people would disagree. I have made this very same point several times before on this very list. And almost every time I received a rebuttal. And that rebuttal often came from peak oil believers.

They pointed out that we have had peaks and declines before, only to have a subsequent thrust upward in supply. Then I would always point out that the peaks before always had another cause, other than geological depletion. First there was the OPEC embargo, which hardly made a dent. But then there was the Iran-Iraqi war and the subsequent tanker wars which caused a huge decline. Then there was the collapse of the FSU, and then there was the OPEC squeeze when oil prices approached $10 a barrel.

And then I would point out that this is the very first time we have had a peak or decline in oil production when oil prices were at an all time high. And my rebuttal, to their rebuttal, was usually met with total silence.

But you see how complicated it is. It is not an open and shut case. Few people, and especially few people in the MSM, really believe we are at peak right now. There are just too many people, like CERA and some major oil company CEOs, arguing the opposite side. They are telling the MSM that there is nothing to worry about. And most are listening. A few are beginning to worry however. And that is the reason we are seeing more and more news stories about peak oil...... But not nearly as many as you will soon be seeing.

Ron Patterson

hmm looks like you don't know either.
upthread you said there was no media manipulation and now your saying there is media manipulation to prevent people from seeing the reality of peak /now/.

upthread you said there was no media manipulation and now your saying there is media manipulation to prevent people from seeing the reality of peak /now/.

No, I never said the news media are manipulating anything. You just made that crap up. In absolutely no way can it be gleaned from my above post that I believe the media is deliberately manipulating the news. CERA is a think tank, they are not a news organization. News organizations print what CERA says because it is news. They print what geologists say about peak oil because it is news. News organizations print what they think is news.

Peak oil will be reported in the news when it becomes news, end of story. The news organizations will not, as a whole, slant the news one way or another. They will not do so because the news organizations never act as one whole! They are all in competition with each other for a news scoop.

That is not to say that ONE orginization, or another, may not slant the news. Fox, for instance, always puts a rightward slant on everything. And others like Keith Olbermann delight in calling the Fox reporters fools. And I believe they are indeed fools, most of them anyway. ;-)

And if you must try to twist what I say into something I never said, or even implied, then please stop replying to any of my posts.

Ron Patterson

Yeah, like the bombing of Laos and Cambodia after Nixon lied his way into office on a 'stop the war' platform. The bombings became news...well after the bombings had taken place. How about the almost total lack of news about the genocide that took place in East Timor? News organizations (supposedly on the left and right) had no problem lining up behind shrub/vader while touting the WMD in Iraq prior to the invasion. Newspapers had no problem reporting the Spaniards had sunk the Battleship Maine in Havana Harbor...but we now know that story was fabricated from whole cloth by a very wealthy news paper magnate. Newspapers and radio had no problem suppressing the uncovered assination coup against FDR after FDR requested the news be suppressed. I could continue but sitting here thinking of your indefensible position is making me ill. You are an intelligent person and I agree with and appreciate most of your posts...But not about the so called independence of MSM. Our moronic government is now beginning to realize that the internet is a place for a free exchange of ideas...something that they really fear...So, the Gov is in the process of bringing the internet under 'control'...Bills now working their way through congress and the senate are aimed at making freedom of expression a terrorist offense (see link below)...One more example of the suppression of freedom of expression.

Ron, I dont believe in conspiracy theories...I believe in conspiracies. And I would appreciate an explanation to the question posed to you up thread...Do you have a present or former connection to media?

'Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act Raises Fears of New Government Crackdown on Dissent

A little-noticed anti-terrorism bill quietly making its through Congress is raising fears of a new affront on activism and constitutional rights. The Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act was passed in an overwhelming 400 to six House vote last month. Critics say it could herald a new government crackdown on dissident activity under the guise of fighting terrorism. [includes rush transcript]'


Ron: News? My estimate is that probably 1% of North Americans are aware that global oil supply, after increasing for decades, has been on a three year plateau, with strong evidence that it peaked in 2005. I have mentioned this fact to humans who responded in the manner I would expect if I told them I had been abducted and sexually molested by space aliens.The response is always "if this was true it would be all over the media", which is exactly your line. News? Whoever owns the media determines what is "news".

The response is always "if this was true it would be all over the media", which is exactly your line. News? Whoever owns the media determines what is "news".

Brian, that is not my line! And I challange you to find one post where I even implied any such thing. I was one of the very first on this list to state that it is true, that I believe we are at peak oil right now. That has been my line for two years!

It is not all over the media for the exact reasons you stated, only 1% of the people believe a damn word of it. And what you do not seem to understand is that the news media are just people. Only perhaps one percent of the people (news media) are aware that oil has actually peaked. And that one percent are definitely getting their word in. But the other 99% are drowning them out.

And you are dead wrong. The media does not determin the what is news. The media are all in competition with each other. How many times must I repeat that line? Or, is it that you just do not believe it. If one media outlet thinks peak oil is news and another does not, then each media outlet will report on what they think is news. They may be right or they may be wrong, but they are reporting on what they think will interest their readers, listeners or watchers. And the one who is more correct, most of the time, will increase in readership or in the Neilson ratings.

That is not to say that the news media do not often get it wrong because they are ofteh horribly incorrect. But with the possible exception of The National Enquirer, and other such rags, the news media reports what they think is true and what they think their readers, listeners or watchers want to read, hear or watch.

It is quite obvious why peak oil is not all over the news. People, news people included, just don't believe a damn word of it. And when they do believe it, it will be all over the news.

Ron Patterson

"And when they do believe it, it will be all over the news."

And how do you suppose that "people" come to "believe it"? Does not the "news" media have something to do with that?

News is a subset of the entertainment industry in this country (USA), and is paid for by advertising. I don't believe in some top-down conspiracy, but I do believe that the news outlets are influenced by their advertisers.

In addition, look at who owns the major news outlets.

I think you are over-stating your case.

And how do you suppose that "people" come to "believe it"? Does not the "news" media have something to do with that?

Well, if I had to guess, and we are all just guessing, it would go something like this. Oil hits $150 a barrel, inventories drop to a five year low in the US and much lower worldwide. Everyone ask "WHY"? And someone says "Production is way down from last year." Then someone else says "Peak Oil!" And suddenly just a whole lot more people come to believe it than before. Well, actually it will not likely be that sudden. It will be a gradual growing of awareness. In fact that is exactly what IS happening. Many more people are aware of peak oil now than were aware this time last year. And it will continue, gradually, until Peak Oil is a much bigger and scarier Headline than global warming.

I do believe that the news outlets are influenced by their advertisers.

But all news outlets do not have the same advertisers. The idea that corporations can get away with bloody murder because they advertise in the major news outlets is just totally absurd. But a lot of people believe that with a religious fervor. Therefore I will not seek to change your belief system.

In addition, look at who owns the major news outlets.

There are 55 major owners and thousands of small independent owners. And they are all in competition with each other. So what's your point?

I think you are over-stating your case.

My case is that there is no giant conspiracy, by thousands upon thousands of people in the news industry, to say that we are not at peak oil, or that we are at peak oil, or anything else about peak oil. Okay, okay, it doesn't even have to be a conspiracy. There is no wholesale desire by the thousands and thousands or reporters and editors in the news media to even slant the news away from or toward peak oil. Every reporter and every editor has different motives and ideas on what they think is newsworthy.

And you are incorrect when you make a blanket statement like: "News is a subset of the entertainment industry." In some cases this is true but in most cases it is not. In TV even in TV it is not always true and very seldom is it true in newspapers and news magazines. CNN started out, and still is, primarily a news orginization.

Anyway, enough of this crap. You may be aggrivated because the news orginizations are not screaming "PEAK OIL" at the top of their lungs, but I take it as a matter of course. No conspiracy and not even advertisers are controllin the shots here. It is just not that big a news story....yet.

This is my last post on this thread. And I know a lot of people are glad. ;-)

Ron Patterson

Hey, we had plateau oil on the front page of the Wall Street Journal yesterday accepted as no longer a fringe view. Although dissed as it always is, out'n out peak oil was given a better shake than ever before.

George: Accepted as no longer a "fringe" view? That is like someone congratulating you for no longer beating your wife. The global oil production plateau of 3 years and counting is a FACT-labelling it "no longer a fringe view" is ridiculous.

SGAGE says:

"News is a subset of the entertainment industry in this country (USA), and is paid for by advertising. I don't believe in some top-down conspiracy, but I do believe that the news outlets are influenced by their advertisers"


step right up and watch the poster win the prize.

And what the topic starter was pointing out was because of that. the normal media outlets will not show peak oil related information unless they can use it to sell stuff or earn money from advertisers.

normal media outlets will not show peak oil related information unless they can use it to sell stuff [and] earn money from advertisers.

Which means that, unless the sheeple gather round the tube to gaze at it, it ain't going to happen.

I tried showing the WSJ article to some family members.

Guess what happened?


Their eyes glazed over.

Unless you are PO-aware and tuned into this stuff, it is totally B-O-R-I-N-G. It's not Linseed Lohan or Mike Tyson doing some serious jail time. It's B-O-R-I-N-G.

Now when Joe Sixcylinder American can't afford a drive to the Beers & Beverages shop anymore, that's when you are going to catch his attention.

We ain't there yet folks. Wait till gasoline hits $4/gallon.

I received a rebuttal. And that rebuttal often came from peak oil believers.

$100 USD oil is a mere $1.12 away. Some PO believers that think May 2005 isn't the peak, just might have $1000 less in their pocket.

If the Rumor of an emergency fed cut is true, we'll probably see $100 before November is over. In all fairness, I doubt think RR considered the Dollar tanking as a factor for $100 USD oil.

Personally, Its extremely unlikely that production will exceed May 2005.

The Next phase of the game includes:

1. Phasing out the USD dollar as the reserve currency. If the Oil exporters stop excepting US dollars, its means the USD is no longer the reserve currency. The US, dependant on foriegn investment is in deep-fried crap, without the USD as the world's reserve currency.

2. Exporters begin husbanding remain reserves (at $100 USD, they only need to pump 1/10 to earn the same revenue as $10 oil). Without excess production (above demand) its a sellers market. Even if there is a economic recession, they can cut back production to maintain high prices.

I think its very likely that both events are in our future, the question is when. It might be months away or years away. If the FED keeps cutting interest rates at their current rate, its possible that dollar will collapse during the second half of 2008. The FED needs to raise rates to support the USD, and none of the rate cuts are helping the credit crisis. Even if the FED cuts to zero, no investor is going to put money back into Mortgage back securities.

So can you provide proof that the media doesn't skew the news in favor of what they want? or what their parent companies want? or to what the companies buying ad space want so that they will continue to buy ad space? Face reality the media has not been free since the time of the colony news letter.

because of this they will not tell the whole story on peak oil which does mean the death of the consumer socity. they will though use it, and skew it now to try to keep things going since it has become too obvious to ignore for the public

Kaiser, which news media are you talking about? Of course some skews the news and some do not. Those who do are swiftly discredited by others who wish to point out that their competitors are printing lies. It happens all the time with competing newspapers.

And you are the one who needs to face reality. There is no ONE MSM. I posted a URL a few months ago listing the 55 major news organizations but I cannot locate it right now. But there is no one voice in the news media, there are thousands of voices!

And newspapers, radio and television often report things that damage their advertisers. Drug companies are one of the largest advertisers on television. Yet when the Vioxx scandal broke the every TV network was all over it like ugly on a monkey. Did they hold back because they thought Merck might quit advertising? Of course not!

The idea that all news media are not reporting the Peak Oil story because of advertisers, or for whatever reason, is just silly. Absurd! When peak oil becomes a scoop it will be all over the news. And notice this thread started about why Peak Oil is suddenly all over the news, not why it is being suppressed. You guys just are never satisfied. ;-)

Ron Patterson

Kaiser, which news media are you talking about? Of course some skews the news and some do not. Those who do are swiftly discredited by others who wish to point out that their competitors are printing lies. It happens all the time with competing newspapers.

And you are the one who needs to face reality. There is no ONE MSM. I posted a URL a few months ago listing the 55 major news organizations but I cannot locate it right now. But there is no one voice in the news media, there are thousands of voices!

read this for a good starting point. http://la.indymedia.org/news/2003/04/47530.php
it's not how many there are but who own's who. some might have competing interests which cause what you state but that doesn't disprove they are not told from their owners what is acceptable and what is not. Though you also have to realize that ownership is not the main means of control, unless the magizine/newspaper/news channel is completely and utterly funded by the viewers it won't show a non-skewed truthful view. By doing that though they limit their reach and thus effectiveness to the rest of the population.

A News magizine with only a few thousand reader who pay a higher price for it so that it won't have ad's or junk leaflets in it will be considered a lunatic fringe or just plain dumb if they debunk something said by another magizine who has readership in the millions.

And newspapers, radio and television often report things that damage their advertisers. Drug companies are one of the largest advertisers on television. Yet when the Vioxx scandal broke the every TV network was all over it like ugly on a monkey. Did they hold back because they thought Merck might quit advertising? Of course not!

you assume perfection when perfection doesn't exist, nor did i claim it to be perfect. then claim i am wrong because of that. Nice straw man. to put it bluntly the deaths were so obvious that it could not of been covered up. just like it will be obvious that just buying somthing labeled green won't save the planet, reduce oil usage, floss your teeth, improve your sex life. when that doesn't happen.

though you probibly did not realize that they did know about this ahead of time. they knew for years that vioxx could do that. compared to all the coverage of the drug actually doing that when it became obvious, they only shortly mentioned the possibility that the company might of known the drug was dangerious before selling it. then it was NEVER mentioned again.

And newspapers, radio and television often report things that damage their advertisers. Drug companies are one of the largest advertisers on television. Yet when the Vioxx scandal broke the every TV network was all over it like ugly on a monkey. Did they hold back because they thought Merck might quit advertising? Of course not!

In the case for vioxx they shifted the ad funding to pay for scientists to say to the media that the threat was overblown and the risks were minor.

in your other examples you again use the perfection strawman when i never said the system was perfect, it's just good enough to get the point across that one should not upset the boat. Or to put it more bluntly, evey car company which puts ad's in a magizine or newspaper that posts detailed, verifiable, and realistic peak oil information(the same information you claim that says peak is now and they are not saying that) would pull there ad's simple because it would say that it doesn't matter what fuel the vehical runs on it would be better for you to use it less let alone buy a new one.

The idea that all news media are not reporting the Peak Oil story because of advertisers, or for whatever reason, is just silly. Absurd! When peak oil becomes a scoop it will be all over the news. And notice this thread started about why Peak Oil is suddenly all over the news, not why it is being suppressed. You guys just are never satisfied. ;-)

Again with the straw man and assumptions. your also ignoring the other two factors. Ownership and self views.

for example GE owns nbc, and thus nbc will more likely then not do the following. end a peak oil segment on a happy note by saying such and such a thing might help. the such and such just so happens to be somehing ge sells like hybrids etc(with the examples shown on screen being ge products first then the rest if at all)or they downplay problems with 'such and such' products with language like 'the /current/ generation of such and such face such and such problems' implying that the problem is fixed with a newer generation of products.

Kaiser, what's your point?

I think that you are now arguing with Ron because you don't want to concede. Nothing you've said in this post is new, nor is much of it any more than an opinion.

I simply don't understand why so many posters here want there to be a big conspiracy and why so many cannot accept that maybe what they see is basically an honest expression of what the corporation thinks. They're entitled to their opinion and to the expression of it on their medium. I think that they don't deliberately lie. They probably do ac t like the proverbial three monkeys; there is no fault in this.

The major point of freedom of speech and of the press is to not squelch vigorous debate since such vigorous debate can uncover the truth - a very slippery object.

I also fully agree with Ron's posts in this debate.

James Gervais

I think there IS something wrong with 'See no Evil, Hear no Evil'.. but I do think Ron has also sucked up enough abuse in this thread. I don't really suspect that many of the people on this site are actually drinking the koolaid.

But as far as vigorous debate is concerned, it is generally now confused with 'Raucous Sniping' on any Mainstream forum I've witnessed in recent years. (C-span excepted) The kinds of conditions and prerequisites that our Candidates are shielded with in their TV debates should put to rest the idea that there is a free flow of lively ideas available in these orchestrated PR Operas. Or as my Italian and Jewish pals in NY would tell me.. "Yeah, our families might be more 'communicative, engaged and lively' than you tight-lipped WASPs, but that doesn't guarantee that anything more is actually being said or shared.. often it's just louder."

There is some news being reported.. and a lot that is being Studiously NOT reported.


The point that I tried to make is that I do NOT believe it's a conspiracy - just various entities trying to maximize their income. The very system is self-steering in this way - no conspiracies required!

Ron basically says that when it becomes news, it will become news. In our society today, the grassroots do not make the news, they believe what they're told by the news. The news outlets present a story when it suits their advertisers and ratings.

if people would read what i type they would see i agree with that. ron though seems to think that since it sounds like a conspiracy it must be false.

the clearest example i can give is this. Would game informer post a scathing review pointing out every flaw, every bug, and every problem with a game that was made by a company that just paid them money to have a full or multi page ad for that game? or any game they make?

I do think, though, one still might draw a distinction between a trade rag and the better broadly based newspapers or even TV news shows, even if the distinction has become more fuzzy lately. It might be surprising how often The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, and the Guardian agree on relatively ascertainable facts, even when all three differ sharply from each other about political or social interpretation of said facts.

Trade rags usually exist rather explicitly for promotional purposes so one should not expect too much from them. But even they will often try for some vague semblance of 'balance', if only to avoid having their readership plummet to zero. So you won't learn of every flaw in one rag - that's almost a straw man - you'll have to piece the truth together from several. It still gets out, just rather slowly and inefficiently.

OTOH, the more conspiratorially-oriented blog sites are no help either, because everything gets a harsh put-down, and there's little information in that. So here's hoping the TOD editors go on steering neither the trade-rag course, nor the conspiracy-under-every-rock course.

My example was not a straw man it is what good reporting should be for a game magizine that is indipendent.

I do NOT believe it's a conspiracy

Bingo. I think Molly Ivins vigorously pointed out in one of her books that newspapers, even partisan ones, don't sit on the news. Oh, everything can't go on page 1, so they put some things on page 4, but those things still get out. Scoops are too hard to resist.

I doubt that even the less numerous TV folks could all get together in some secret forum and say, heh, heh, here's what we're going to cover up - and actually make it stick for long. However, the short news program (or cycle on the news channels), stuffed to bursting with commercials, ensures that functionally, there's only a page 1, no page 4.

And it can't be otherwise - audio/video is excruciatingly slow. Listening to somebody drone through a full Wall Street Journal or New York Times every day would leave no time for anything else in life. And it's logistically difficult to back up and run through something again if one misses it the first time - one loses track of the whole thing that way. So television is a medium that washes over one slowly but willy-nilly, a medium ideally suited to propaganda, not to teaching.

Stories like PO or AGW that 'seep and creep' are especially problematical for TV. There's nothing 'dynamic' to see, or if there is, it takes too much explaining. Worse still, anything that 'seeps and creeps' is not so much news as it is old news. Now, this inconvenient truth may be abhorred by some upthread, but that doesn't make it a conspiracy.

Now, as to:

the grassroots do not make the news

Well, it was ever thus, and it seems like too much to expect otherwise. Recall the 'Lila Lamont' character in Singin' in the Rain, who says (of entertainers), "If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as if our hard work ain’t been in vain for nothing."

The humdrum hardly ever turn up in the news or even in history except en masse. They are simply too numerous; one could never live long enough to treat them as individuals. So no member of the mass will be newsworthy unless he or she is a 'leader'. Thus, everybody remembers Robespierre, who was newsworthy in his evil way - but nobody remembers François the carriage driver, for he is legion and his numberless humdrum existences are merely banal.

I think Molly Ivins vigorously pointed out in one of her books that newspapers, even partisan ones, don't sit on the news

The news media are, collectively, a pretty simple beast. Getting into the news on any subject is not particularly difficult, it falls somewhere between rat-training and dog training as a skill.

The media as a whole doesn't reflect on stories any more than Pavlov's dog reflected upon the nature of drool.

Getting PO out there as a shallow story with a high recognition factor - which is the current standard for any story - would not be difficult. I have yet to really apprehend a tight rationale for doing so, and would enjoy seeing it discussed here. To wit: how exactly would it change things for the better to have a majority of the populace having a halfassed idea what will happen? That's a legitimate discussion I seldom see. Our default mode is to try to educate the world - mine too - but what's the rationale?

Doesn't this POV go against WT "iron triangle"?

I was struck early this morning by the same thought. On the radio came an ad. It started of with a warning that natural gas prices were projected to rise 7% this winter. Then the sales pitch from the company wanting to sell you a "tune up" for your heating system. The cost only 72.00, and WAIT there was a GUARANTEE, that if you didn't save the 72.00 in fuel savings then you would get your money back. WOW what a bargain, something for nothing.

Of course the fine print on how you qualify for the rebate, and how THEY determine the savings, and the hoops and bills and data you would need to request your 72.00 back would be time consuming and a pain.

Oil is climbing today. about 96.5. The market jumped for whatever reason, and the Euro is almost what a Pound was not very long ago.

The French are in the streets in a massive way and many are SUPPORTING the transportation workers and striking with them from other professions. The govts attempt at no negotiation, unless they worked,.. FELL FLAT ON ITS FACE in France.

France started the revolt against the machine when they threw their shoes into the gears of the industrial machine (literally) and have a history of standing up to the govt since the people kicked the monarch out for good. Sabot (shoe) became saboteur.

Trouble is. Look what happened last time the French allowed a vertically challenged foreigner to take control of the Republic. History doesn't repeat, but rhymes.

I don't fancy a long walk back from Moscow in the middle of winter :(

But this time it only took weeks for the citizens to realize their mistake.

Next time you order a super size 'Freedom Fries', consider the following bit of history...


'Battle of Yorktown
Admiral de Grasse sailed his (French) fleet of twenty-eight warships north toward Virginia. Simultaneously, on 21 August 1781, Washington began moving his army south. As they marched south, Admiral de Grasse’s fleet arrived at the Chesapeake Bay. De Grasse defeated Admiral Thomas Graves’s fleet in the Battle of the Chesapeake, also known as the “Battle of the Capes,” and won control of the bay, thereby sealing its entrance and stranding Cornwallis from supply by sea. The defeat in Chesapeake Bay was the only major naval defeat suffered by the Royal Navy of Great Britain in two hundred years of empire building in the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the late summer of 1781 when George Washington and Rochambeau heard of Lord Cornwallis’s encampment in Yorktown, they raced southward from New York to link up with the French fleet under de Grasse in Chesapeake Bay. Washington arrived just in time to bottle-up the British, who were anticipating reinforcements that never came from either General Clinton or the British fleet.

On September 28, 1781, Washington and Rochambeau, along with La Fayette’s troops and 3,000 of de Grasse’s men, arrived at Yorktown. With them was the 2nd Canadian Regiment lead by Brigadier General Moses Hazen. In all, there were approximately 17,000 men converging on the camp established by Cornwallis. With the arrival of these troops, the stranded British forces in Yorktown were outnumbered by a two-to-one margin and they were then subjected to heavy fire as work began on a siege line. Offshore, the French fleet effectively blocked aid from Cornwallis while Washington made life unbearable for the British troops with three weeks of shelling.'...snip...

'The morning following the battle a formal surrender ceremony took place. Although absent at the surrender ceremony, due to malaria, Cornwallis observed to George Washington, “This is a great victory for you, but your brightest laurels will be writ upon the banks of the Delaware.” According to legend, the British forces marched to the fife tune of “The World Turned Upside Down,” though no real evidence of this exists. Cornwallis’ deputy, General O’Hara, at first attempted to surrender to the French General Rochambeau, but Rochambeau’s aide-de-camp, Mathieu Dumas, is reputed to have said, “Vous vous trompez, le général en chef de notre armée est à la droite.” [4] (“You are mistaken, the commander-in-chief of our army is to the right.”) and then took him to Washington. O’Hara then attempted to surrender to Washington, who refused because it was not Cornwallis himself, and indicated that the subordinate should surrender to General Benjamin Lincoln, field commander of the American forces. O’Hara ceremonially offered his sword to Lincoln, who finally accepted.'...snip...

The French stood with the Americans when the need was greatest...and were too intelligent to follow shrub into Iraq.

But will the French be intelligent enough not to follow Bush into Iran?

Yes, this is true about the French standing with us. They didn't like the British, but the French were not in it for just "the cause".

The French were hoping to strike some very nice deals after the war was over, and they had helped the victorious American colony's. And they almost did cut some very good deals. In fact John Adams was sent to France with Benjamin Franklin and only by Adams good sense and the help of one other person (can't recall his name at the moment) stopped Franklin from basically giving the colony's over to France with some very sweet trade deals etc. Adams prevented it, and was outraged at Franklin.

Franklin had spent most of his time in bathtubs playing "chess" with the ladies of Paris and going to social events, and not doing his job according to the bio I read on Adams by David McCullough if memory serves correct.

A couple of centuries later...

Yes, this is true about the Americans standing with us. They didn't like Saddam Hussein, but the Americans were not in it for just "the cause".

The Americans were hoping to strike some very nice deals after the war was over, and they had helped the victorious Iraqis. And they almost did cut some very good deals. In fact Ahmed the Puppet was made president by George Bush and only Bush's numerous mistakes and those of one other person (Dick Whats-his-name) stopped Ahmed from basically giving the country over to America with some very sweet (oops) trade deals etc. Ahmed prevented it, and became outraged with Bush.

Bush had spent most of his time with his old Commodore 64 playing Ikari Warrior and going to social events, and not doing his job according to the bio I read on Whitehouse.gov.



hmmm, maybe history repeats itself.

The one with the upper hand always tries to have the sweetest honey pot

Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

I'd be far more optimistic about the future if the Americans took to the streets like the French do. But maybe the US is just too damn big for that? The French have tradition and the Revolution of 1789 behind them, a culture of direct action which the US sadly lacks. If the US had remained the same size it was at the time of the American War of Independence, perhaps things would be very different today. Maybe the explosive expansion of the US across a continent and the creation of a world-stradling Empire inevitably meant that the democratic republic was doomed in the long run?

In this thread about news, news control, news control conspiracy, etc. why no comments about group think?

I'm sure news organizations have various conscious criteria for evaluating what they are going to print. Some of these criteria actually have to do with whether the potential news is true or not. With something like Peak Oil, the truth is not at all clear cut and the criteria are more unconscious or sub-conscious. In these situations, a news organization will tend to act like an individual in a group where decisions are being made, that is, the individual will look at what others are deciding and their decision will be influenced by the group's decisions.

A small newspaper/TV station will come across a PO story and decide not to run it because it is a little to 'fringe' and this is because nobody else, especially the big news outlets aren't running stories like this, or are running stories featuring CERA calling PO a 'debased' theory.

I believe a number of commentators on the list have been correct in the assessment that when WSJ or the NY Times start running PO stories, the floodgates will begin to open. It will become a 'respectable' subject to write on. No need for conspiracies, just group-think. And advertisers are the biggest victims/perpetrators of group think in the world. They are professional BSers and because they are good at it, believe in their own BS.

OMG its on Free Republic, the second biggest vein of wingnuts on the internet behind RedState ...

Heheheh. I finally visited FreeRepublic for the thread about the Liberty dollar raid. Redstate seems saner.

Just boggled my mind......

Redstate is saner. But Little Green Footballs makes Free Republic look moderate and sensible.

Regarding the oil insider comments above, I have known "MP" for several years; he's a very good petroleum engineer, and we have been talking about Peak Oil for quite a while. Like him, I am a second generation Oil Patch guy.

I have a "One degree of separation theory" regarding the Oil Patch these days. I think that we know virtually everyone in the Oil Patch, at least in North America, through no more than one intermediary.

Just a trip down 2005's memory lane -


Best quote is the conclusion -
'But at least for the next several years, the growing production capacity will take the air out of the fear of imminent shortage. And that in turn will provide us the breathing space to address the investment needs and the full panoply of technologies and approaches -- from development to conservation -- that will be required to fuel a growing world economy, ensure energy security and meet the needs of what is becoming the global middle class.'

Second best is this -
'Our new, field-by-field analysis of production capacity, led by my colleagues Peter Jackson and Robert Esser, is quite at odds with the current view and leads to a strikingly different conclusion: There will be a large, unprecedented buildup of oil supply in the next few years. Between 2004 and 2010, capacity to produce oil (not actual production) could grow by 16 million barrels a day -- from 85 million barrels per day to 101 million barrels a day -- a 20 percent increase. Such growth over the next few years would relieve the current pressure on supply and demand.'

But give Yergin et al credit - the capacity to produce isn't the same as actual production. That insight was likely worth all the money spent on producing, marketing, and selling that analysis. And that insight has stood the test of time fairly well over the last 2 years.

That is only 2 years ago! Great reminder, expat.

BTW, from your link, how about this quote "with development in the deep-water areas of the Gulf of Mexico compensating for declines elsewhere."

I'm not sure of the accuracy of the source, but if its true, the French have beat us to the Peak Oil punch:

The French beat us again!
Category: climate
Posted on: October 4, 2007 10:54 AM, by James Hrynyshyn

Look what the French are up to on the climate change front. According to Nature, a wide coalition of government, business, labor and environmental advocates have agreed on the following:

All newly built homes to produce more energy than they consume by 2020. Renovate all existing buildings to save energy. Ban incandescent light bulbs by 2010. Reduce greenhouse-gas emission by 20% by 2020.
Increase renewable energy from 9% to 20-25% of total energy consumption by 2020.

Bring transport emissions back to 1990 levels. Reduce vehicle speed limits by 10 kilometres per hour. Taxes and incentives to favour clean cars. Shift half of haulage by road to rail and water within 15 years. Develop rail and public transport.

Reduce air pollutants quantitatively.

Create a national network of 'green' corridors and nature reserves.

Increase organic farming from 2% to 6% of total acreage production by 2010 and to 20% by 2020.

Ecological groups to be stakeholders, like trade unions, in government negotiations.

Create a body to review planting of genetically modified crops on a case-by-case basis.

That first point is truly remarkable. Why don't we ever hear anyone, let alone a presidential candidate, calling for such things? We have the technology, just not the will, imagination or courage, it would seem.

Of course, this being France, there are some caveats:

But despite the wide consensus on many areas, two major issues, the future of nuclear power -- which meets nearly 80% of France's electricity needs -- and the planting of genetically modified crops, eluded agreement. The meetings were too short to overcome existing entrenched positions here, Guillou says regretfully. Sarkozy has made it clear that there will be no scaling back of nuclear power. The government's final position on genetically modified crops is less clear. Although these seem set to face tighter restrictions with the proposed creation of a separate body to consider approvals on a case-by-case basis, a moratorium cannot be ruled out.
The groups' conclusions, released on 27 September, include 60 pages of recommendations, and more than 1,000 pages of conclusions from some 300 participants in 8 working groups. They are now open to public consultation on the Internet, with the government deciding on its final actions at the October summit.

Plus, I'd still like to hear a sincere apology for blowing up the Rainbow Warrior and killing one of Greenpeace's photographers ....

If it is true, it reads like a list of peak oil recommendations straight from Matt Simmons mouth. It is interesting that it is being done under the guise of "climate change", while it is exactly the things that need to be done for peak oil.


A proposed plan of action !=((means does not) real action.

Our new President chose to celebrate his election by escaping from Paris with his rich friends and cronies to Corsica on a collection of private jets. There is some hypocrisy about. As for apologies for attacking the Rainbow Warrier, economic pressure was exerted on New Zealand to transfer the convicted French secret agents to the French prison system to serve out their sentences. Then the French prison system acquired nice apartments in Paris where the killers lived out their sentences. There were no street protests.

Luckily there wasn't a "War on Terror" in the 80s, or France would have been invaded by the US - perhaps to secure their strategic nuclear resources :)

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

As for apologies for attacking the Rainbow Warrier, economic pressure was exerted on New Zealand to transfer the convicted French secret agents to the French prison system to serve out their sentences. Then the French prison system acquired nice apartments in Paris where the killers lived out their sentences. There were no street protests.

I knew Fernando Pereira - nice guy - the photog who was murdered by French agents. That has been my closest experience with terrorists. I think the killers all got promotions. Indeed, if a meeting onboard hadn't broken up earlier than expected, there would probably have been a lot more deaths.

I'm glad to see it mentioned here. Murder doesn't get more heinous or premeditated than that. And it's surreal having your friends blown up, the killers captured, and seeing them get to laugh it off.

Russia could start using rubles in oil trade in five years


If we run out of US$ for oil, we could always ask Zimbabwe for a loan......


This seems like the right spot for this tidbit:


"Mugabe: 'Diesel mystic's beauty blinded ministers'
New Zimbabwe
By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 11/17/2007 11:24:17
SEVERAL senior Zimbabwe government officials investigating claims by a
'diesel mystic' that she had discovered diesel oozing from a rock were
blinded by her beauty and endorsed her phoney story, President Robert Mugabe said Thursday.

Senior police officers snubbed an order to arrest the self-styled spirit
medium, Rotina Mavhunga, convinced that she had supernatural powers and was "untouchable", Mugabe said at the commissioning of a bio-diesel plant at Mount Hampden."

Painful to read, but informative:
The abiotic-oil crowd has a new proponent!
Mugabe debunked her at, of all places, his doomed jatropha-to-oil plant.
Conditions continue to worsen, so the answer must be - mysticism?
At least they say she's cute - That's still worth something, I suppose.

And BTW, the officials gave her a car, land, and Z$5 billion, which might be enough cash to fill the tank, if she can find the gas.

That's not funny. And I think you know that. Such denigration and stereotyping is inappropriate for this forum.

There are sensible leaders in Africa. Mugabe is not one of them. A learned discourse on what works and does not work could be found, perhaps in one of those annual ratings things The Economist does, but sometimes a boot to the head is what is needed.

If ridiculing Mugabe in that fashion leads to some slight reduction in suffering for the people of Zimbabwe I'm in favor of it ... but I think that no power on earth can help them now :-(

Ridicule Mugabe all you want - but make it about Mugabe, not ill informed stereotypes

What the hell are you talking about?

What stereotype? Ill-advised, isolated national leaders, maybe? How much more delusional is Robert Mugabe than George W. Bush? The latter simply has more capital to squander before his country crashes.
Do you think the Hydrogen Economy represents any less mystical a belief system than oil from rocks?

The spelling errors in the "bill" and the picture of bananas are an obvious smear of black people as illiterates or apes, two hardy perennials.

THe spelling errors seem pretty obvious as a slam on the incompetence of the regime, and the bananas are a nice little illustration of what sort of republic Zimbabwe is.

Its not about dumb blacks its about dumb autocrats, but hey if you want to see racism on every corner, whatever.

Clearly you've never heard the phrase 'banana republic' a phrase which originates from (American) fruit company funded coups in some nations in order to protect their interests which led to corrupt and incompetant regimes, not from comparisons of black people with apes.

Richard C

Not sure how to submit this other than posting here - Hyperion wishes to build a 400k bpd refinery in the south east corner of South Dakota, but they're beset by NIMBYs ...


It was posted here previously. It was pretty big news, back in June when the article was first published.

Oh, sorry, its just getting to be big news here - on the Tee Vee and so forth ...

They don't want a pipeline from Canada's tar sands, either. Despite the shortages.

Guess the Bakken Shale has some potential after all ..

Triff ..

Freddie Mac scrambles for cash

Freddie Mac, a government-sponsored firm designed to help provide financing to the mortgage market, announced Tuesday that it is looking to raise cash itself after a larger-than-expected loss cut its capital close to the bone.

The news whacked the company's shares nearly 25% in morning trade.

Wow! I guess that Tezcatlipoca fella has really taken over the reins then :)


Joking aside, if Freddie Mac implodes so will the entire US financial system. Time to put money in a very conservative safe bank or better still keep it in hard cash. Things (economy, climate and energy) are deteriorating very fast and 2008 will likely be when the public become aware of the real future.

Looks like time for mitigation is drawing quickly to a close.

Wall St. doesn't seem to be worried. Dow is up over 100 points. And oil is over $97.

Yeah! But they're all on prozac and morphine for the pain :)

Dow's down 50 now and Homeland Suckurity won't let me have a bank account.

F(_)ck 'em.....

Whats up with the no bank account stuff? It had been a while for me and I had to dig up my SSN card but once I did it was no big deal.

I have to give them a physical address so they know where to send the jackbooted thugs. I can't just put my money there for safekeeping, they have to know where I sleep at night so they know where to send the SWAT team for something, I'm thinking it's a way to know which people to loot when TSHTF.

And I'm not about to tell them.

Your driver's license has your actual address on it? Sucker ...

Is there a doctor in the house?

ANY address will do silly. Just put an e-mail down that you can reach. The jackbooted ones aren't nearly as smart as you think. If you want to disappear it can be done, but not easily in today's computerized commerce. Unless you are a big wheel or major trouble maker, they will have bigger nuisances to chase...

Be like the Tao and dissolve into the dust of the earth...

OTOH, if Stoneleigh is correct, you may be better off keeping your money in the Bank of Serta.

The Bank of Sentry(R) is a little better than the Bank of Serta...I'm guessing you've never seen "It Takes a Thief."

A close below 12,845 on the Dow would trigger a Dow Theory sell signal. Thought I'd mention it as the market has reversed or should that be plunged.

Not sure whether this has been posted before, but it shows a graph of the reconstructed M3 (money supply) for the US$ which was growing at 17.9% (your eyeballs should have now popped out their sockets). No wonder the Fed stopped publishing the M3 data, banana republics would be concerned at such recklessness.

US Dollar Devaluation is a Supply and Demand Problem

Burgundy: The scary thing is that an M3 growth rate of this magnitude would be expected to cause (temporarily)strong economic growth. The USA economy is like a speed freak that needs larger injections each year just to stay awake. If M3 slows to normal growth rates the economy will be in a depression (IMO).

Did that peice of paper just turn into a razor?

Global warming and CO2 sequestering:

More of a question than a comment. We see calls for sequestering CO2 when we burn evil coal. I do not recall a call for sequestering CO2 when we burn natural gas for electricity. Is not sauce for the goose sauce for the gander? (Or have I missed the demand for sequestering CO2 from the evil natural gas generation stations?)

According to the University of Illinois (http://www.news.uiuc.edu/scitips/02/0703fuels.html):

"The carbon content of natural gas is only 60 percent that of coal per unit of primary energy content. The higher efficiency of state-of-the-art natural gas turbines over older, coal-fired power plants could reduce emissions by an additional 30 percent."

Paulah, that is the spot price. Right now, WTI spot is $98.00 and $1.35 above the January contract price.

Well, not right now as this Bloomberg site is delayed 30 minutes. That may change in the next few minutes however. I wonder what is driving the spot so high? Is Robert's bet in jepordy?

ron Patterson

The fire in the Canadian refinery, maybe? And the Houston Ship Channel being closed due to fog.

Gold prices are up 2.5%, too.

I haven't done any analysis but other comments have lead me to believe that the price of Au and the price of Oil are correlated. Perhaps, it is just a coincidence that Au is at peak at the same time?

The link between oil and gold price is very interesting.

Have a look at


in particular the chart near the bottom of the page.

"When viewed in terms of gold, the price of oil has barely changed over the 62-years in this chart."

Louisiana Sweet $99.12/bbl at 17:40 GMT.


Canadian refinery fire, Houston ship channel closure, and a spike in usage due to the Thanksgiving holiday all coming together? Louisiana Sweet was $99.12 at one point today and a dollar above Tapis.


At 20:00 GMT:

Louisiana Sweet $99.92/bbl.
WTI $99.03/bbl.



Louisiana Sweet $100.26/bbl at 20:20 GMT. Change +$3.29 on the day.


I got a screen shot of UpstreamOnline right before Louisiana Sweet went over the century mark ...

The End of the Oil Age

Yes... This makes me wish I had captured the $100.26 via screenshot. Looks like prices are topping $100/bbl one crude type at a time...


Oil is now at $98.

Dante thinks this is the reason:

Gulf States Will Discuss Revaluing Their Currencies

Gulf Arab heads of state, most of whose currencies are pegged to the U.S. dollar, will jointly discuss a proposal to revalue their currencies in December, the secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council said.

Though Bloomberg reported it Sunday, it may have attracted new notice today, when the WSJ ran a front page story on it.

Yes. To reinforce this, YEN is mildly lower, not supporting the move. However, the EUR is up to 1.4806, suggesting a Currency swap. As the CAD, and AUD are non-movers as well.

Check out the live forex charts here: (select EUR/USD). http://www.fxstreet.com/rates-charts/forex-charts/

Definitely looks like a swap.

1.41(98.59) away from $100 oil, again.

Not shaping up to be a *good* holiday week.

Not shaping up to be a *good* holiday week.

Happy TANKSgiving?

It's around $98.50 in after hours trading.

If it doesn't break $100 tonight, the inventory report tomorrow is going to be interesting....

And, the EUR keeps on climbing as well...new petro currency...hmmm...or just safe haven.

1.4840 after hours (trades 24hrs of course) (16:56 EST)

Additionally perhaps Monday's pg 1 'peak-plateau' story in the WSJ is seeping into the markets. A limited resource for which there is excess demand and no substitute on the horizon. hmmm.

Hello TODers,

The French rail transport strike posted in Leanan's toplink offers a perfect opportunity for some entrepeneurs to try out my speculative bicycle peloton hitch-hiking idea.

For any TOD newbies:

It basically involves a pickup truck pulling a bunch of trailers at a slow 10-15 mph pace and bicyclists can pedal up, then hold on to the side of the trailers for an easy commute.

They are free to latch-on or latch-off in random fashion because no dedicated transit stations or bus-stops are required. This optimizes the distance/time ratio compared to a bus--which of course has to completely stop to allow passengers to enter, then find a seat or safety strap, or allow exit time. In many cities: while the bus is stopped, other vehicles are traffic-trapped behind it, which only slows commutes and adds further urban congestion.

Obviously, custom-built trailers, that could allow the rider to [un]latch-at-speed the front wheel and/or handlebars off the ground, to free the rider effort of merely holding on, is the better solution.

But in this French commuting emergency: many low-siderail trailers, such as those used for lawn care service, could be instantly pressed into service to ease the bicycling commuting logjam and efforts. A low, flatbed trailer could also be used for rollerblading transport, but it would have to stop to allow the 'blader to climb on/off--but still much faster than a bus.

It would be fascinating if the French try these ideas to see if they can work. Recall my earlier email asking for small, $50,000 funding from the Arizona Dept. of Transportation to try this idea in a large parking lot or airport runway with volunteer cyclists--they couldn't even consider it enough to send me a decent email rejection from an official person--all I got was an autobot rejection.

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

Your idea would work wonders in theory. However in practice, the danger to the cyclists involved are too high for any offical agency to consider it. This sort of thing may happen organically as the need for solutions becomes desperate enough that people are willing to take some risks. I tailgate buses on my bike when the opportunity presents itself but it's certainly not something I would encorage anyone else to do.

Bob Shaw keeps on thinkin'!

The one I've been considering is an ultralight Electric Car (more of a Golf Cart, probably) with four seats (or maybe Two), and both Pedals and Handles at each passenger position, to be able to input a balance of power from more of the body.. all of this to supplement the range of the electric motor. EDIT > No reason to expect to be carried without helping, right? < There would be PV on the roof and regenerative braking, of course, and I think it would be set up to easily modify the battery-pack, depending on the level of use needed.. fewer batteries are less weight to pull around for the pedaler(s), and draw less from the motor, while more might be appropriate for a trip out of town.

Anything to keep on truckin'~

I posted this late the other day, but it's worth a looksee..
http://www.youtube.com/user/newfarmerfilms (Electric Tractor, Sports Car and 'Club Car with Chainsaw PTO'.. up in Rural Maine where they just don't seem to 'get' that resourcefulness is passe')

Bob Fiske

(ps, Turning my modular Wheelbarrow wheels temporarily into an Electric ChittyChitty BangBang for next year's Halloween parade.. if there IS a next year!)

I would like to get one of these surrey bicycles , retrofit it with hub motors , powered from a small lithium ion battey pack charged by solar panels on the roof of the surrey.

I figure I would have little trouble making a pretty good control system from a few AVR microcontrollers and the parts from a half-dozen or so discarded PC power supplies.

The SurreyCo is a great site! Galveston, huh? Isn't that Oilman Bob's town?

Thanks for the links!

Currently, my Salvaged Electric Horsepower (This one, I think.. http://www.bizrate.com/scooters_accessories/oid631648217.html ) is from an abandoned 36v Razor EV DirtBike, with a beefy Sealed Lead Acid Battery. I suspect the supplied Motor Controller is not going to prove too durable, so I'm keeping an eye out for other sources..


Glad you liked the links.

One day, I may contact the surrey bicycle company and see if they will build me one with the hub motors preinstalled on the wheels, have appropriate trays for the battery installed under the seats, and proper mounting for the solar cell arrays for the roof.

I hope its possible to keep the sprocket drive intact, as I would like to use it as a velocity control input to the processor as well as letting me help or provide all mechanical power if need be. I could program the processor to interpret how much boost or braking I want by how much tension or backforce I put on the chain.

Main thing I would need is a spring-loaded idler on the chain to sense tension differential between the top and bottom run and a pair of magnetic pickups to "see" the links of the chain passing by so they can tell the processor just how hard to brake. If the processor doesn't stop me, the mechanical bendix in the rear hubs will.

It wouldn't be too hard for me to design a full ABS style braking controller which would electrically load the motors with "boost" mode switchers, so they act like generators and recharge the battery bank.

I envy you for getting an abandoned dirt bike to disassemble. Lotta good parts in there. Its amazing how much good stuff I get out of other people's junk.

There's a helluva lot of good parts in old PC power supplies, no matter what condition they are in. Just the ferrite in them can be extremely useful. If I am lucky, I get a nice pair of 400V high current switching transistors too, along with a good assortment of diodes, transistors, capacitors, magnetics, and usually a TL-494 style switching regulator IC.

The Twike is pretty close to what you're looking for.

Thanks, Liz! That one is pretty sweet, too!

I don't know if you had tried to put a link in there, but here's what I found. I think the others will be interested.


Bob Fiske

Sorry for the slightly off-topic question (DrumBeat-wise), but I reckon this crowd will know the answer. Suppose Bush et al do one of their trademark stupidities and bomb Iran. In the ensuing chaos there's a run to the petrol stations, and petrol runs out (locally and temporarily). I was thinking of the best way to ensure a small supply for this sort of situation (say, enough for a 10km trip to the nearest hospital and back). So, for how long can one safely store petrol and in what sort of container/conditions? (not inside the house, of course)

Hello Cultural_sublimation,

In years past: I had good over-winter* storage results using STA-BIL in pure gasoline. My guess is that a stored ethanol/gasoline blend would not work as well over the same length of time because ethanol LOVES absorbing H20, and most storage containers have crude pressure ventilation methods to remove the chance of container rupture and greatly increased fire explosivity.

* Of course, a Phx winter is nothing compared to a winter in a different location.

IMO, the best and safest solution is my speculative Hell's Angels' Gas-Stations, but I can't seem to get any area motorcycle dealerships interested. Too bad, because with the recent rapid rise in gasoline prices--I, and many others could have personally arbitraged our fuel supplies and saved money.

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

Sheeut man, talk to the Angels, they're around here. North end of PHX up by where the Beadman moved, their HQ is there.

me, I personally want to see "bike messenger chic" come back, guys/gals can pedal all day, carryin' stuff, now that kix azz.

Hello Fleam,

Thxs for responding. I forgot to include the link to my original posting:


I also have other postings in the archives further extrapolating this idea.

The basic idea was to have rough looking dudes at these stations to help keep the cagers from getting any ideas of looting the fuels when times got tough. But the basic concept of safe, local storage could be enlarged to 4-wheeled vehicle too.

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

Why not ask someone like Chevron? They actually have bulletins on how to prepare gasoline for longer term storage.

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

It's funny, the Chevron website points out:
"A 60-gallon metal drum is the only container approved by the Uniform Fire Code for the storage of more than five gallons of gasoline."

If you search on Yahoo, two of the first 5 hits for "60 gallon gasoline drum" are pages on The Oil Drum. Another one is at Econbrowser. The top hit is the Chevron page that points it out, and the second hit is a story about the use of 55 gallon gasoline drums in the Korean war. Google has some potentially more on-topic hits.

You can legally buy specialty gasoline in several different size barrels or mini barrels.
Motorcycle shops usually have them around.


I've been able to find very little useful info on storing gasoline in more than 5 gallon containers. If anyone has in-depth knowledge of suppliers and how to's it would make a great post for this site.


Received this in response to an email I sent regarding what was going on the last couple of weeks in congress regarding energy policy.

Thank you for contacting me regarding our nation's energy policy. I welcome your thoughts and comments on this issue.

We are increasingly dependent on foreign sources of energy - importing over sixty percent of the oil we use. Preliminary research data suggests there may be as much as 10.7 billion barrels of oil located in designated production areas of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Further, the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) is composed of substantial amounts of oil and gas reserves and resources. It is estimated that 94.5 billion barrels of oil and 449 trillion cubic feet of natural gas yet to be discovered in the United States are located in the OCS. Providing access to America's domestic energy supply, including that in the ANWR and the OCS, is essential to energy independence and, in turn, our national security.

In the 109th Congress, I cosponsored two key pieces of legislation that would have done much to increase our domestic energy resources. In July of 2005, I cosponsored S. 2253, which authorized the Secretary of the Interior to offer the 181 Area of the OCS in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas leasing. Additionally, I cosponsored S. 3711 on July 20, 2005. This bill expanded S. 2253 by offering both the 181 Area and the 181 South Area for oil and gas leasing. According to the Minerals Management Service of the Department of the Interior, these areas in the OCS of the Gulf of Mexico are estimated to have 1.26 billion barrels of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. S. 2253 was not considered prior to the adjournment of the 109th Congress. However, S. 3711 was added to the Tax Extender Package, H.R. 6111, that was signed into law on December 20, 2006. Exploration and drilling will be done with the newest and safest technology in order to protect the integrity and tranquility of America's wilderness.

I have supported numerous initiatives to encourage alternative energy use through market- and incentive-based approaches. For example, I voted in favor of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which the President signed into law on August 8, 2005. This legislation provides tax incentives to encourage the design and improvement of energy-efficient homes and vehicles. Tax incentives are also included to promote alternative energy use such as solar, wind, ethanol and bio-mass. In July of this year, Texas became the nation's leading producer of wind energy, illustrating our state's commitment to alternative energy production. Additionally, I sent a letter to the President last year requesting that he extend the renewable energy production tax credit which is a tax credit for electricity produced from renewable energy facilities.

You may be certain I will keep your views in mind regarding any energy legislation offered in the 110th Congress. I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will continue to keep in touch on any issue of concern to you.

Kay Bailey Hutchison

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

It's a good reminder that we all need to be WORKING on our own mitigation strategies. Pretty much Everything I see on TOD gets channeled into my 'Keep working on your plans. DO SOMETHING CONCRETE TODAY, BOB.' inbox slot.

Today's actions;
Insulated with fiberglass in a recently hollowed Chimney Shaft, and Drilled Holes into plaster walls to prep for blowing in Cellulose Insulation. (Taped over holes until I rent the Insul Blower. Maybe that'll be tomorrow as I keep an eye on the oil price.. like my Dad and Brother sit perched over the odometer as it rolls over some inevitable-yet-compelling number arrangement.


This was sort of interesting but it is becoming clear that we need more than alternative energy. We need to rethink our entire technological approach to life.

Suppose we did find a new energy source that was carbon free such as cold fusion of free energy from the vacuum. We would merely use it to exploit the world even further till we ran up against the next problem.

We need to find a way to be compatible with our surroundings, not exploitative. For example, growing hemp or cotton to generate fibers rather than spinning fibers out of oil and then being sure to use them for compost when finished with them.

I don't see this happening, just wanted to get my two cents out there.

imho your surger coating what would happen if we did find stuff like that. the vision in people's minds when it comes to that kind of technology is star trek, and to a lesser extent star wars. The vision they should have in there minds if we did find that should be more along the lines of the aliens in the movie independence day. locusts traveling from one world to the next sucking each one dry.

I dont know if you get this in the USA, But:

Showing now and later on at 23:00 UK Time.


Business Channel (in the Documentaries) on Ch 547:

' High Risk Barrel'

An in depth look at oil.

Interviewed at length: MATT SIMMONS , COLIN CAMPBELL.

Serious , cold analysis. KSA Reserves secrecy comes up.

It comes up here as well:



Record it for us and put it on YouTube. :-)

So far, this film is astonishingly good (though it's old hat for TODers).

There's lots of footage on rigs and in chem labs, to give those of us who have never seen raw oil a look at the technical side of things.

Just writing to recommend it to all.

This came out in 2005???

I'm ready to call this the best film on peak oil I've seen. It's intelligent, serious, interesting. No self-styled experts and glib hyperbole here. This is the real thing.

here it is for people without windows or browsers and os's that don't have a available real player plugin.

mplayer and xine can play this if they are compiled with real player support.

thanks paulah, one of them better PO alert movies around ... I learnt some new from this.

Interesting to know that these tankers just venture "into the blue" ... waiting for a phone ...!!

I dont have the smarts or the kit. :-(

S'okay, looks like someone has already put it online.

I just read all summarized links off the drumbeat. Shortages, competition, economic woes. TSIATHTF.

NYMEX on the rise:
$98.40 up 37 cents

I like this link. I think it's live, while most are delayed 30 minutes.

Another reason for the rise:


A Valero Energy Corp. refinery in Memphis, Tenn., that processes 180,000 barrels of crude a day shut down for 10 days of unplanned maintenance.

The mother of invention:

Toyota was rumored to be working on a 110 mpg Prius hybrid car.


Hello Rainsong,

....or any TOD member that has gone car-shopping lately.

I was wondering if a car salesperson's salespitch to an interested shopper for high MPG vehicles can now include Peak Outreach as an additional inducement to help close the deal.

Scene opens at a Toyota Prius Dealership:

Young Male Customer: I sure like the looks and power of my 'Chrome Penis 1500', but filling the gastank now costs a lot more than what I can spend on the babes I attract with my blinged-out, chick-magnet. Hell, now I can barely afford to buy my own beer in a bar, much less have some extra cash to buy a drink for a hottie.

Salesman: Dude, we can help you bigtime. I see it all the time among young studs like you--technically, it's called Peak Oil, but you kids are now calling it 'Crotch Rot' because you cannot afford the gas and drinks to pursue the young wenches. Yep, absolutely no fun sitting at home with your parents on a friday & saturday night because you can't scrape up the cash for a mobil ride and a few beers for a night out on the town.

We can take your vehicle in trade, then get you back on the road, and back into the 'action', if you catch my drift, in one of our high MPG vehicles--so that you can still chase and date the women around--while your buddies will be reduced to riding their dates atop their bicycle handlebars, or trying to make out on a crowded bus next to an old wino barfing up his latest dumpster-diving Happy Meal. You don't want that to happen to you--now do you?

Just look at a few charts & graphs in this 110 mpg Prius brochure. These rapidly rising gasoline price factoids were taken directly from TheOilDrum, ASPO, and EB--you can verify them for yourself, or, dare I say it-- in the company of your parents for countless hours on a lot of future friday & saturday nights-- as your crotch rots away if you don't buy this Prius, but keep burning all your cash in gasoline just trying to go back and forth to work.

Precisely because they denied Peakoil: your buddies will be so badly upside down on their car loans, and then they will be stuck with worthless, low MPG vehicles that they have to keep pumping in huge amounts of cash for just their work commutes.

You are obviously smarter than that, aren't you?--of course you are--I immediately pegged you as part of the new breed of young men who will go the high MPG distance to avoid 'crotch rot'!

You can buy this sweet ride now, then just cruise past the pumps to continually pursue the women 'much longer and harder' than the other guys with their limp chimps rotting away at home.

If you want 'Peak Action' in your future--Just sign here on this dotted line...

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

I think every car now sold should come with a hitch for a team of horses on the front bumper. ;)

Just a tad crude there.

Why not quote actual data:

as the Prius was voted the best car to have sex in by Japanese Penthouse

I guess a translation is necessary.

If 102 Japanese MPG translates into 53 US MPG (That's what mine gets over the first 20,000), then 113 JMPG is just a 10% improvement to 58 USMPG.

This is clearly not the Plug-in Hybrid, which I find very disappointing. If this is their priority for 2009, I guess we can forget about the PiHy coming any time soon.

I'm happy with 53, but it's still a guzzler compared to my bicycles I use to run errands and go to the gym. My motorhome on the other hand takes hundreds to fill! Zoinks Scoobs!

Cool design though.

No, the next Prius will not be plug-in. Toyota has made it clear they think that plug-in are not viable. They have been testing a plugin on the roads here in Tokyo for a while. But it uses the old Niclke metal hydride batteries. They have yet to find a litium ion battery they want to stick the Toyota nameplate on.

Don't ask me what that Japanese MPG is about.

Feeding the engine of consumerism:


I'll take three of those LG HDTV Refridgerators. Can you airlift them to me from Seoul?

Hmmm...less than a buck away folks:

Bloomberg: Oil Surges Above $99 as Weaker Dollar Spurs Commodity Demand

If tomorrow's report is the least part down it could breach the $100 mark.

They are expecting 750 K barrels up.

So, anything less could move it that last 50 cents.

Yen movements and EUR rise aren't helping.

Have we posted this yet?

Falls Church News - The Peak Oil Crisis: Wall Street Comes To Reality

Tom once again says it best....

I wonder if it was the WSJ story that caused today's run up to over $99/barrel for certain crude grades.

It may be have been the other WSJ story: the front page story about the weakness of the dollar, and how OPEC is likely to abandon the dollar peg.

The US dollar. Plummeting, like sheep that roost in trees:


Do you sleep?


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