DrumBeat: November 23, 2007

Oil prices end over $98 in light trading

Oil futures resumed their march toward $100 a barrel Friday, rising to a new record close in light holiday trading on concerns about tight heating oil supplies while also drawing support from a buoyant stock market.

...Light, sweet crude for January delivery rose 89 cents to settle at $98.18 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, besting the previous settlement record by 15 cents, while December heating oil futures rose 1.68 cents to settle at $2.7042 a gallon after earlier setting a new trading record of $2.7181 a gallon.

Price of oil approaching $100 per barrel

In Russia export tariffs and a severance tax are directly linked to oil prices. If the cost of exported oil is over $27 per barrel, about 90% of the revenues received in excess of this price, are channeled into the Stabilization Fund. In 2004, it was set up "for a rainy day" - to ward off a potential drop in oil prices. But they have continued growing and since 2005, the government has been using some of this money to pay off the foreign debt ahead of time and to finance the Pension Fund. Despite these expenses, a 60% jump in oil prices has increased the fund to $147 billion. This year, the government has channeled an additional sum of $12 billion into the Russian institutions of development (they received $10 billion from the federal budget).

Shell cancels purchase of Regal's Ukraine fields

Royal Dutch Shell Plc has pulled out of a deal, announced only two days ago, to buy a 51 percent stake in the Ukrainian gas assets of UK oil explorer Regal Petroleum, following Regal's surprise appointment of a new chief executive.

Regal shares dropped sharply after news the memorandum of understanding had been cancelled, closing down 14 percent at 140 pence.

Pdvsa overcomes emergency; 141 oilrigs are operational

Venezuelan state oil firm Pdvsa in the middle of the year had to instruct newly created Pdvsa Services to procure oilrigs abroad, as the holding had only 112 operational oilrigs to meet an estimated production of 3.6 million bpd, which led the firm to declare a state of operational emergency.

Pemex mulls permanent closure of leaking Kab 121 well

Mexican state oil company Pemex`s E&P subsidiary (PEP) is studying the possibility of permanently closing the Kab 121 well in the Sonda de Campeche that has been leaking since October 23, local press quoted company executive Mariano Ruíz-Funes Macedo as saying.

U.N.: Greenhouse gases hit high in 2006

Two of the most important Greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere reached a record high in 2006, and measurements show that one — carbon dioxide — is playing an increasingly important role in global warming, the U.N. weather agency said Friday.

Rising fuel costs increase fares and reduce flights

Fare increases will continue, because "people keep wanting to fly, even at these much higher prices," says analyst Terry Trippler of travel website TerryTrippler.com.

Ironically, Trippler says, high oil prices are at least partially responsible for the continued strong demand for airline seats.

"With gasoline prices rising, there're lots more people who decide they're not going to gas up the Navigator and drive to New York to visit Granny, and decide to go by air," he says.

Business: What Would Jesus Buy?

And what, exactly, is that message? Actually, he has many, and they're detailed in "What Would Jesus Buy?," a new documentary by director Rob VanAlkemade and producer Morgan "Supersize Me" Spurlock. The new film is Reverend Billy's tour de farce—a ferociously satirical and cynical take on consumer culture, pegged to America's most sacred spending season. Dolled up in High Evangelical style (equal parts Jimmy Swaggart and Reverend Lovejoy), the blond pompadoured Reverend Billy crosses the country with his Church of Stop Shopping, from New York City to Disneyland, breathing brimstone about America's impending "shopocalypse." If the messenger is charismatic and funny, his message is deadly serious.

Oregon experiment tries out the idea of per-mile road taxes

A yearlong Oregon test of gadgets installed in volunteers’ vehicles has concluded it’s feasible to pay for American roads and bridges by charging drivers for each mile they travel rather than each gallon they burn.

Feasible, but not likely soon.

High food prices: Africa shows first signs of trouble

Recent violent unrest over soaring food prices in several West African nations points to new signs of trouble on a continent where nearly half the people live on a dollar a day, experts warn.

After Mauritania and Morocco, Senegal this week was the latest country hit by violent protests.

Higher German biofuel blend will raise imports

Germany's new plan to raise biofuel blending levels in fossil fuels will not help the country's crisis-hit biodiesel industry and will probably increase biofuel imports, an industry leader said on Thursday.

Is the palm oil industry misleading the public?

Members of the Indonesian Palm Oil Commission are distributing materials that misrepresent the carbon balance of oil-palm plantations, according to accounts from people who have seen presentations by commission members.

These officials are apparently arguing that oil-palm plantations many times the amount of CO2 as natural forests, and therefore that converting forests for plantations is the best way to fight climate change.

Some ‘green’ options could create more problems

THE Western Mail, during its excellent Environment Month, has featured many articles, essays and stories urging action on climate change. There have been tips on reducing our carbon footprint, arguments for new legislation and explanations of renewable energy solutions.

But there has been less discussion about the need to protect our natural support systems, and to allow them to adapt, so they continue to provide us with economic benefits. These issues are every bit as important as the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and yet politicians and decision-makers routinely ignore them.

The Kerch Catastrophe

Reports of soaring oil prices nearing $100 per barrel were recently countered with grotesque images of seabirds lying on the seashore drenched in fuel oil, unable to move let alone fly. These most visible victims of the November 11 oil spill in the narrow Kerch Strait, which links the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov, became vivid symbols of negligence triggered by the increasing gains from exporting the “black gold.”

Sweden Turns to a Promising Power Source, With Flaws

The park, in a shallow sound between Sweden and Denmark, testifies to the remarkable rise of wind energy — no longer a quirky alternative favored by environmentalists in Denmark and Germany, but a mainstream power source used in 26 nations, including the United States.

Yet Sweden’s gleaming wind park is entering service at a time when wind energy is coming under sharper scrutiny, not just from hostile neighbors, who complain that the towers are a blot on the landscape, but from energy experts who question its reliability as a source of power.

Back to the well

Oddly enough, though, the biggest discovery of conventional oil this year went largely ignored - notwithstanding the fact that it took place in the continental U.S., where such things are not supposed to happen. The U.S. National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) made the relevant announcement earlier this year as follows: "Researchers at Texas A&M [University] and the Department of Energy have produced a new computer tool that will increase recovery of as much as 218 billion barrels of bypassed oil remaining in mature domestic fields."

No lunch? Blame the oil price

Soaring oil prices are making an impact in an unlikely place - in school lunches in Japan.

A school in Yokohama near Tokyo has cited the spike in oil costs as a reason to cancel lunches for two days in early January, a report and an official said.

Nepal: Oil transporters warn of strike

Petroleum transporters have extended solidarity to agitating petroleum dealers and have warned of joining the strike from Sunday if the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) did not fulfill the demands of the dealers soon.

Petroleum dealers of the eastern region went on strike from Sunday demanding that the NOC provide them adequate stocks of petroleum products, among other demands. They have announced a series of protest programs.

Tapping Sakhalin's Energy Resources

Braving a new frontier of oil exploration around Russia's remote Sakhalin Island means conquering ice-locked seas, frequent earthquakes and muddy swamps fed by melting snow in the rapid springtime thaw.

Executives at the world's largest oil and gas project, known as Sakhalin-2, say they are nearing the finish line as they aim to open up a vast new energy source for the nearby Asian economic powerhouses of Japan and South Korea along with the U.S. and others.

Brazil: Pray, Cheer, and Do the Rain Dance to Stave Off Crisis

An energy crisis will hit Brazil in 2009 or 2010, and not even the discovery of vast undersea oil and gas reserves with "enormous potential yields," as announced by the government, can stave it off, warn experts.

Technology alone will not solve energy crisis

If the lessons of the 1970s had been properly heeded, even though the risk of human-induced climate change was unsuspected at the time, we would be in a much better position to meet the threat it poses today.

UK's first 'sugar fuel' plant opens

The UK's first bioethanol plant, which will produce millions of litres of fuel from sugar each year, is to be officially opened by Environment Secretary Hilary Benn.

The £20 million plant, situated next to British Sugar's processing factory at Wissington, Norfolk, began producing bioethanol for the UK transport market in September.

US Navy steps up fuel deliveries to Gulf forces

The US military has stepped up chartering of tankers and requests for extra fuel in the US Central Command area, which includes the Gulf, shipping and oil industry sources say.

A Gulf oil industry source said the charters suggested there would be high naval activity, possibly including a demonstration to Iran that the US Navy will protect the Strait of Hormuz oil shipping route during tensions over Teheran’s nuclear programme.

Man behind the streak (interview with Bill Miller)

You're still a skeptic on the peak-oil theory?

I'm not a skeptic on the fact that ultimately, production of oil and gas will peak and will go down. I'm a decided skeptic on the notion that we're close to that. This is one of those things you have in energy markets, certainly, and in gold, certainly where you have people who are believers. And they'll get an idea like Hubbert's peak in their heads and then any evidence which is against it, they'll throw out and any evidence which supports it, they are in favour of it.

Cambridge Energy Research just published another field-by-field analysis globally, where they're still making the point that production is going to keep increasing, and you're probably at the earliest 10 years away from a peak.

Path to preservation

Meanwhile, international oil prices have been rising for some time, apparently as a genuine result -- for the first time in years -- of the supply and demand dynamic. To a much lesser degree, this is also due to political unrest. Some experts believe in the theory of peak oil, which speculates that the world is about to reach the peak production rate of 95 million barrels oil per day (BOPD) by the end of this decade. This theory was conceived after a rapid decline in production which began to occur in most major oil fields around the world, and the slow replenishment of world reserves.

Australia - Beyond belief: Turnbull overturns scientific consensus.

Exactly why did Turnbull decide to overturn a decision recommended by an expert scientific panel? This time, the political motive seems even more transparent. The Canberra Times reports that the recommendation was over-turned after pressure from the Prime Minister John Howard to support a rival bid led by Griffith University (Queensland), in order to bolster support for a Liberal electoral candidate (Steven Ciobo) in a key seat on Queensland’s Gold Coast (link).

Western oil companies doomed to become 'niche players' - IEA economist

Western oil companies are doomed to become minor players in the sector, the head economist of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Fatih Birol, predicted.

...'Enormous reserves still exist but mainly in the Middle East. And they do not have access to them,' she said.

The Peak Oil Theory

In short, it is not sufficient to say that an exhaustible resource will be eventually exhausted and that its production will decline until extinction after reaching a peak. These are not predictions. Such statements are of no interest whatsoever unless we are told the dates at which the peak will be reached, and the likely shape of the production curve before and after the peak.

Petrologistics: OPEC-12 Nov Oil Exports +0.324 Million B/D

November oil exports from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will rise by 324,000 barrels a day, fueled by a sharp surge in Iraq's oil production, according to data from Geneva-based Petrologistics.

Watch Out: A Correction in Oil is Coming

The nature of business is cyclical. No matter what.

Take the oil sector for example. Despite the hype and fear being promoted by peak oil theorists, the sector is correcting. The price of crude oil is surging to new highs while many oil companies in the DJIA and S&P 500 have not experienced the same type of explosive price action. This lack of investor enthusiasm to boost oil companies to new highs demonstrates the correction is already under way.

Turkmenistan eyes price hike in gas sold to Russia - Gazprom CEO

Turkmenistan is seeking a hike of at least 30 pct in the price of gas sold to Russia, Interfax news agency reported, citing Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.

Refining hub will be largest in world

Reliance Industries and Essar Oil, India's largest private sector oil refiners, are set to create the world's biggest petroleum refining hub as part of plans to expand their plants in Jamnagar, western India.

South Korean city to focus on climate change in Expo bid

Backed by a 30 million dollar pledge from the South Korean government, the city of Yeosu promises an international campaign on climate change as the centrepiece of its bid to host the 2012 World Expo.

Indonesia's forests, a precious resource in climate change fight?

Indonesia's vast forests have long been seen by governments and businesses alike as a resource to be exploited for massive profit.

But as worldwide climate negotiations approach in Bali next month, keeping the nation's forests just as they are could become a new multi-billion-dollar industry.

Scientists warn of agrarian crisis from climate change

An agrarian crisis is brewing because of climate change that could jeopardise global food supplies and increase the risk of hunger for a billion poorest of the poor, scientists have warned.

South Asia and Africa would be hardest hit by the crisis, which would shift the world's priorities away from boosting food output year after year to bolstering the resilience of crops to cope with warm weather, they said Thursday.

A new Finance Round-Up by ilargi has been posted at TOD:Canada.


'What I haven't been transported to a fantasy world where we still have a functional Yen Carry Trade! Crap!'

EUR - giving back some today...profit maybe, and reaction to YEN !!!

YEN continues to strengthen.

I can't stress enough how bad this is, for everyone...not just the USA.

So now it's the Japanese who are the supermen, "YEN continues to strenthen"YEN CARRY TRADE! YEN CARRY TRADE! YEN CARRY TRADE!

Damm funny ain't it....The Japanese, a nation that has to import EVERY drop of oil and every foot of natural gas it uses, are suddenly the bad azz on the block...gee, you would have thought that peak thing would have affected them...

Meanwhile, the mainstream media attempts to fan the flames of hysteria...

""We haven't faced a downturn like this since the Depression," said Bill Gross, chief investment officer of PIMCO, the world's biggest bond fund."

Wonder if Bill Goss is old enough to remember the Depression...or even the 1970's for that matter...

So just how bad is this little catastrophe? Well, let's listen to the "experts" (sarcasm intended)...

"Meanwhile, the number of U.S. homes in foreclosure is expected to keep soaring after more than doubling during the third quarter from a year earlier, to 446,726 homes nationwide, according to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac Inc. That's one foreclosure filing for every 196 households in the nation, a 34 percent jump from just three months earlier."

So, one home foreclosure in every 196...and the end of the Western World!!

I live in a town of 1200...that would be some 300 houses if every house had 4 people (they don't, but let's make it easy to count), so that comes out to, what, let's guess to the high side, some 3 or 4 houses in town in foreclosure, let's double that and say 6 houses in town, just to go to the highside and give the benefit of the doubt.

Now there probably are that many houses in town that are in foreclosure....but in truth, there probably has always been at least that many.

Granted, certain markets are in much worse shape...California, Florida, some parts of Arizona....

But the pictures of hoards of Vikings coming through and wiping out the copper plumbing in whole neighborhoods based on the "Mortgage collapse" as being somehow a nationwide problem exceed the realm of probability if we look at the real numbers...and if peak oil is the cause of a cascading catastrophe in America, one would have thought the Japanese would have noticed first....to repeat, they are married to the world oil and natural gas market in a way the Americans even today are not....

This whole thing stinks of a whipped up hysteria....I would suggest we ask outselves who stands to benefit from creating fear and panic, and trying to sink the U.S. economy with these idiotic rumors....

There are those of course who believe that home and auto ownership for the masses was a mistake from the start. I always love to read Kunstler, who's whole philosophy could be distilled down...."the serf's think they have the right to a house and a car?! The nerve of them filthy prols, what in the helll gives them the right??? How dare them, put them back in the worker slums riding the bus where they belong.

The U.S. and the world does, absolutely does, face serious energy and environmental concerns. It has for for many years, whether it was noticed or not.

But tying the idea of "peak oil" to every whipped up hysteria created by a bunch of elitist garbage and assisting the banks in what is a money and home grab of historical proportions reduces the credibility of those who speak seriously about the very serious energy issues we face.

And that is what this is about....the homes are still there, the land is still there, and the money is still in the country, although concentrated in fewer hands in the hedge funds and the Limited Liability Partnerships (the prols don't only want to own houses and cars, the actually think they can own stock in our companies? The nerve of the swine!!)

Folks, we need to get our head back on straight, and look at real numbers, and ask some real "back to the basics questions. We are becoming hysterical sheep, being herded about by every hysteria that comes down the pike.


This is terrible news...

I have just heard from his brother the sad news that

Samsam Bakhtiari has died.

A great man and a great loss.

I wondered that he had stopped his comments

Bakhtiari was a prophet.

Dr. Bakhtiari:

Dear Barbara,

First and foremost, thank you for your best wishes for the future of Iran and the very brave Iranian people. They deserve it.

Secondly, allow me to correct a misconception: I am not an eminent NIOC personality. The present company officials simply detest me (all of 'them') and are doing their utmost to have me quit (after 33 years of service, mainly not to pay me my final bonus and retirement); they certainly couldn't care less about 'peak oil' --- and this is as far I can go in a public forum. I leave it to your imagination to envision the rest...

1) I really don't know how it came about that I am the only OPEC (and Middle Eastern) expert on
'peak oil'. Certainly neither political leaders nor company officials ever guided or encouraged me unto this path (to the contrary). I kind of stumbled on Dr. Campbell's work in 1995 (his days at PetroConsultants) and since ... I have come all this long way (thanks mainly to the Internet). I still have to take from my personal yearly leave of absence and find a sponsor in order to be able attend international conferences. I finance part of my research out of "Letter from Tehran" income.

2) I really don't know why I am so singular within OPEC (although I am not a very common individual, with a eventful past). Maybe the others are told to shut up and do so for their own good (and benefits). I will always speak out.

Well, I hope you were able to read between the lines, because although none of 'them' speaks or reads English, someone (among the Western puppet-masters) might call 'them' to attention. Now, the seemingly apparent contradictions might be beginning to make some sense.."

Full Q&A circa 2004 here:


My two-cent tribute.

I simply adored his style.

Remember in the story of 'The Emperor's new Clothes', that the people mostly were willing to tell the Big Jefe that his outfits were astonishing.. (not from obedience, but from fear of ridicule)

Will the new 'fairly tale' be
"The emperor has no reserves." ?


"Many years ago, there lived an emperor who was quite an average fairy tale ruler, with one exception: he cared much about his clothes. One day he heard from two swindlers named Guido and Luigi Farabutto that they could make the finest suit of clothes from the most beautiful cloth. This cloth, they said, also had the special capability that it was invisible to anyone who was either stupid or not fit for his position.

Being a bit nervous about whether he himself would be able to see the cloth, the emperor first sent two of his trusted men to see it. Of course, neither would admit that they could not see the cloth and so praised it. All the townspeople had also heard of the cloth and were interested to learn how stupid their neighbors were.

The emperor then allowed himself to be dressed in the clothes for a procession through town, never admitting that he was too unfit and stupid to see what he was wearing. He was afraid that the other people would think that he was stupid.

Of course, all the townspeople wildly praised the magnificent clothes of the emperor, afraid to admit that they could not see them, until a small child said:

"But he has nothing on!"

This was whispered from person to person until everyone in the crowd was shouting that the emperor had nothing on. The emperor heard it and felt that they were correct, but held his head high and finished the procession. "

I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Bakhtiari. Like every good scientist I have ever known, he did everything in his power to lead the rest of us to better pasture.

I am afraid of what this implies.

The people of this world have lost one of our best. I pray God welcome him home and say "well done".


I understand he is one of the more pessimistic PO-alarmbell-ringers. I also understand that all his predictions so far were spot on.

With his track record, this is indeed a major loss. For the entire world. His 4 phases of transition (see Substrates link) can be taken as a guide for the future. Read it.

Yes, his prediction is still one of the best, in Khebab's "spaghetti" production graphs. Pretty impressive, considering his is one of the older forecasts.

There is one line in that graph I really don't get. I've inquired before but still don't understand.

It's that light green line going in to orbit, never to come back. If it is Koppelaars'as indicated in the legenda, why is it not coming down? Rembrandt say PO in 2012-2015. It looks more like IEA's or CERA's to me.

I would guess that that forecase simply stopped before it came down, not that it's never coming down.

Then why is it included in this graph?

Why not? It's a forecast of future production.

Well, it doesn't come down in the graphs' timeframe. Who's forecast is it? And it is really not much of a forecast anyway. This green line runs out of sight in 2010

I think the forecast was just "no peak before 2012." That is a forecast that is of interest, and it doesn't mean Koppelaar thought there would never be a peak.

Sad, sad news!

Yes, his style was wonderful. I found his essay "A Century of Roots" to be prticularly perceptive and moving.

He will be missed.


It has been posted on his web site:

Dear friends and associates,

Regrettably we inform you that Dr. Ali Morteza Samsam Bakhtiari passed away in October month 2007.

Dr. Samsam-Bakhtiari's funeral and burial ceremony took place in Tehran, Iran.

We thank you in advance for supporting our father's objectives during his career. All inquiries may be directed to *****.


Golbenaz & Amir Bahman Samsam Bakhtiari
Vancouver B.C. 2007

He will be sorely missed. He was one of my favorites, and one of the best. Any info on cause of death...or why it took 3+ weeks for the news to reach us?

...To add my voice to the many here, and extend heartfelt sympathy to Samsam Bakhtiari's family. I found his work to reflect an integrity and sense of care I admired.

I just sat down with my two oldest kids (ages 11 and 13) and watched Oil Apocalypse. They are now terrified, but much more understanding of why I do some of the things I do. I plan to have a difficult conversation on this topic with my extended family (brother, sister, parents, in-laws) over Christmas. We have a fair amount of farmland in a sparsely populated area. We have a lot of game in the area, and most of us hunt and fish. I think that puts us in better shape than most.

Please note that this is not to imply that I think all is lost. It's just that as I have noted before, it's better to be prepared. All may in fact be lost. But the future is hard to predict. My philosophy for a long time has been to look to, and try to shape a better future - while keeping my hand on the escape hatch.

I have not yet seen it, but I searched for a replay of it. Saturday, December 8 at 2PM on the History Channel.



I haven't seen this, but have seen "A Crude Awakening", which I thought was very well done. How would you compare the two?

I haven't seen "A Crude Awakening." But "Oil Apocalypse" certainly held my kids' attention. They are informed now, which eases my job. Too often I have to repeat to them why it is important to conserve energy, and why I drive a Nissan Micra instead of an Expedition.

I did what your planning to do yesterday at Thanksgiving.I proposed change not in terms of peak oil but from history that in the 73 oil embargo that we had a 5% reduction and the results were even odd buying no Sunday sales 55mph and some places limits.And now we get 12% or so from Mexico and they say in less than 5 yrs they will be an importer.I got this glazed look almost a turning away like looking at a car wreck with the driver lying in the road.You have to remember half the USA population now wasn't even born in 1973 and another good portion was riding in the back seat.The only comment I got was we haven't built any refineries in 20 yrs.my comment back was why would you build a refinery if you didn't have the oil or know you wouldn't have enough to run it.Most people need to hear 3 good things to one bad to feel secure my wife tells me my dna is messed up.Looking back I might be getting coal in my sock for Christmas,

Looking back I might be getting coal in my sock for Christmas,

Looking past peak oil, that'll be a damm good gift!

Incidentally, all my friends think I am loony too - foregoing all the pleasures of capitalistic binges for loser investments like education and solar panels - when I could have bought a night on the town.

This forum attracts those of us who take great comfort in knowing what is likely coming our way and being prepared to deal with it. I don't have to worry about the car failing to start when I know exactly how the car works, nor do I find myself at the mercy of those that do. Nor do I intend to worry about being fed, freezing, or whatever Nature throws at me.

The only thing I fear is authority figures who confiscate - instead of building - what they want.


Regarding what we tell the kids, weirdly enough in an about face, typical of me, after months of telling my kid about TEOTWAWKI in a matter of fact way, a few days ago as I walked him to school I told him optimistically and enthusiastically that we two(my son and I) together would find a way to stop the pollution and save the planet from GW, putting my arm around his shoulder (he is 8) and he said by evening he would have a plan to take all the gases from the air etc. to stop GW(by evening all forgotten of course). On the same day I posted on TOD Europe the following:


You have to do both at the same time for it to work. For instance earth is a command economy with a total energy or FF allocation in Joules or CO2 output. We divide that amount by the number of people and get a certain ration amount for free. You can sell your ration to someone richer and live off the income so he can drive his Mercedes or fly.

Meantime the UN climate/PO board can decide the annual total quota for earth to reduce or maintain climate targets. Maybe depletion/peak FFs will make that a mute topic but it is an idea.

To make this actually work all energy sources would become international property to avoid energy nationalism/ELM effect.

Draconian conservation measures, etc. would be imposed to maintain this regimen to avoid energy wars.

To sum up my current attitude, I have no use for pessimism as I have everything to lose when I just freeze in panic staring down the barrel of a gun.

“Without a video the people perish”-Is. 13:24

For me the oposite is true.

Optimism breeds complacency.

Pessimism gets my ass in gear.

P.S. My 10yo daughter gets "it" and is plugging into community, gardening, holistic health (she is our herbologist), etc.

My 16yo son still believes globalization will address everything. I'm working on him.

Hey, souperman, thanks. I've never understood why, if everything is peaches and cream, anybody would do anything either.

Pessimism gets my ass in gear.

Pessimism, anger over lack of action, etc. They all work for me.

Well, get going!

Yep, that's my life for 3 years. Sometimes maybe in circles but that's no different than what I see here often in spades. :)

You walked your son to school? Walked? OMG I didn't think that was possible anymore. Where do you live? Where I live nobody even walks their kid to the bus stop and they live just a few houses away. They fire up their Yukons, minivans and trucks and leave the engines running while they wait for the bus. If you drive your kid to school you will sit in your car wasting gas waiting for 15 min or more to drop your kid off. Here's to $10 a gallon gas, which probably still won't change any of these lazy habits

The car lanes of today are the bike lanes of tomorrow.

I am in Hamburg Germany.

And quite right you are too. I never owned a car yet.

I walked him halfway to the corner of the large street and saw that he got over the traffic. My wife watched this week from the window how one of our neighbours in our apartment house drove out of the underground park house with their kid to same school just a few minutes away by foot. She complains that since the number of police have been reduced due to budget cuts that they don't patrol in front of the school and the people park on top of each other on the dead end little street to the school so it is almost impossible even by foot to come pick them up or bring them to school.

“Without a video the people perish”-Is. 13:24

from the 2004 Bakhtiari Q&A:

"Un homme averti en vaut deux"
- "An aware individual is worth twice an unaware one"

Well in contrast, I just had my 4 year old in my lap, and we trolled YouTube for funny cat videos. Don't I feel like a schmuck.. not really, but I'm glad you are breaching the topic with your family. Lorelei and I did just run up the stairs to turn on the Solar Charging Station, which is still in a bit of 'Testing Mode', so I'm not leaving it engaged day and night.. and the Sun did come out, so we've got a whopping 2.6 amps (about 31watts) drizzling into batteries, until I get the rest of the panels attached..

We drove to the Boston area for Thanksgiving yesterday, where my Cousin's wife is a Bond-trader, and was a little ominous about the likelihood of recession, and not to make any big purchases at the moment, or incur debt.. Her dad is a retired Electrical Engineer who consults on NE infrastructure issues, and I've asked him to have a conversation with me about HVDC grids, and the issues he sees in the Northeast's Grid right now.. I'd love to know how to get a discussion going between the foresight that his daughter has in Bond Trading and he in Power Infrastructure.

It seems that the art of devising a series of interdisciplinary conversations would be really useful, as we look at the 'gridlock potential' of each of these systems on one another, and the corresponding tunnel-vision required for those who specialize in their respective fields..

I saw this article concerned with 'PO Gridlock' yesterday, and don't remember whether it was ever posted here, or if the author is a TOD regular. Here is a segment where he outlines the layers of petrol-dependent activity that could gridlock with fuel shortages, just in the energy production sector..

"Interdependence in the Production of Energy

The production of each type of energy is highly dependent on other types of energy. Shortages or high energy prices for one type of energy will limit the production of other energies. Oil is critically important in the production of all forms of energy. Shortages in oil will mean shortages in gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. Thus oil rig workers won’t be able to travel to the oil fields and off-shore platforms; coal won’t be mined or transported; electric power won’t be generated in some plants; roads and bridges won’t be maintained; and spare parts won’t be delivered for oil drilling and refining, electric power generation, and for natural gas production. Shortages of natural gas will constrain oil production from Canada’s oil sands."
author: Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D.

It seems like a decent PO overview, with probably the right amount of 'direness' to spur some to action, and to paralyze the rest back into denial, alas! and sorry if it's a repeat, tho' I don't think that it hurts to review things a couple times. IE, If we don't learn from 'Been there, done that..' We're just going to 'go there and do it' again anyway!

On our trip back from my Cousin's house, we were given a few hefty armloads of green, split Apple-wood, which is very dense and supposedly ideal as firewood.. it smells great! It's cozying up around the furnace now, to see if I can't speed-cure it to become a christmas gift for my Mom's woodstove.

Bob Fiske (edited for grammatical correction)

Thanks for this link, Jokuhl.
This is easily the best overview article on peak oil and its ramifications, I've yet read.
Ideal for trying to influence intelligent, but skeptical contacts.

Certainly puts the hydrogen myth and ethanol myth to bed.

Richard Wakefield
London, Ont.

The more complex society becomes, the more myth and fantasy people invent to explain it.

Which leads me to wonder whatever became of Robert Rapier's challenge "A Debate Proposal for the Ethanol Lobby - Let's Get It On" to the pro-ethanol folks on 15 Aug 07?

No takers.

Right now, they are too busy trying to stave off bankruptcy for their members, as this is playing out just as I thought it would: Overbuilding ethanol plants led to oversupply and crashing prices, while all those plants demanded more corn and drove corn prices up. Result? Crashing margins, and many producers struggling to keep their heads above water. Look at Pacific Ethanol now. Does anyone remember when it was $40 and "Keithster" was on here saying what a great investment it was? That's around the time I wrote this, in which I said Pacific Ethanol had a terrible business model:


Price of Pacific Ethanol today? $4.22! I knew people who kept buying all the way down. I did see that Bill Gates cashed out last week - taking a 60% or so loss.

Thanks for the comments on my article which is a good overview, as you say. Also it uses government and scientific studies that show that alternatives to oil will not do provide much energy to replace declining oil production. As you note, it also examines the future and concludes that a gridlock of problems will cripple the nation as oil supplies dwindle. Because it uses good sources, it is a very credible warning to policymakers that we need risk management. If the article gets circulation, it could save lives.

TOD has refused twice to post this article.

Email me if you want the correspondence on this: clifford.wirth at yahoo . com

Thanks, Clifford.
I will drop you an email.

Some of the Gov't info I found most useful to remember is the NAS/NAE studies in '77 that agreed with Hubbert's conclusions. Of course it can also reignite the distracting hailstorms of "When Exactly?" predictions/debates that waterlog this issue, but I still think that the knowledge of those studies would carry weight with policymakers, if they can be simultaneously kept away from the 'Fantasy Reassurances' by CERA and other such imagineers, and so to revive this conclusion that we must be acting on this YESTERDAY to be in any way prepared for the storm.

As I did a search for your article the other day, I ran across a couple by Kunstler that were in Atlantic Free Pr this summer, and did get some play here at TOD. Well you know what they say.. 'Not only Nixon could go to hell..' lotta seats on that boat.

If TOD folks really have some objection to this piece, I'm sure they'll be happy to tell us why it didn't make the grade. (Tap, tap, this thing on?..)

Bob Fiske

I think your position is on the money.

Even thou I might feel things are not promising to say the least.

I have done as you have.

1) Prepared personally, and continue to improve as the opportunity and time (grateful) allow.

2) Remain very optimistic on solutions - where I have reorganized my business to work on new solutions. (electrical engineering design - electric is the way to go)

It works out pretty good, time wise. I am optimistic and enthusiastic about 90% of the time, the other 10% I prepare and then I feel better.

I think you sleep better if you do both, I do.

If we all did a little of both, we could make a difference, maybe a small bit.

Best of luck at Christmas! (I did the same last xmas, to mixed reviews...I suspect this christmas would have been better)


It seems you've turned survivalist. What was the straw that broke the camel's back?

I pretty much grew up survivalist. And there has never been a time - since I became Peak Oil aware in the early 90's - that I have not cast one eye toward a better future and improvements in technology, while the other was looking at the escape hatch.

Regardless of whether we peaked last year or are peaking in 10 years, it looks like this situation is not going to end well. It's time for some planning with the family. With oil prices where they are, I think they are going to be more receptive to the message than they would have been before.

"I pretty much grew up survivalist."

This background and your current expertise may make you the source to give an energy analysis of the survivalist lifestyle.

Here's the issue:

Are not wild meats way past peak?

With habitat loss and the rise of a huge number of hunters with advanced weapons, we have had strict laws governing their harvest for some time. I fish and have hunted in the past. And my own experience is that if it wasn't for the fact that limits and seasons are vigorously enforced, the resource would disappear overnight. In fact, that's why we have such detailed enforcement apparatus in the first place. The seasons for the animals currently with the most abundant meat (those with hooves) are especially restrictive. Just a few weeks. And individual hunters are in most cases allowed to harvest only one per season. Often they have no guaranteed chance at all and have to win a tag in a lottery.

Of course, in North America, buffalo herds were the Ghawar of the wild meat world and they were wiped out over a century ago. All that's left is the little stuff.

In addition, if poachers become determined enough, it seems very difficult to protect the resource as the Sheriff of Nottingham discovered. From what I've seen most rural regions contain some low-income highly skilled hunters and fisherman with expert knowledge of the local wild herds and fish stocks who could easily wipe out the resource if they got hungry. Some of those guys have a rather irregular relationship with law enforcement even in the best of times!

Is there a published energy analysis of the wild biomass necessary to support the survivalist lifestyle?

My own inexpert calculations aren't very optimistic. Even the tiny communities near areas with good hunting are several orders of magnitude too large to support themselves, especially when one realizes that a vigorous trade in black market game with nearby larger towns is guaranteed to develop if food became scarce.

Are not wild meats way past peak?

Depends on which ones. Whitetail population, for instance, is much higher than it was 100 years ago. I think the same is true for turkeys, but I can't find a source. Where my family lives, both are abundant. Here is a picture of a whitetail my younger brother killed this year. Believe it or not, that's not all that unusual. Between him, my brother-in-law, and me we have probably killed a dozen that size or larger.

The key is to be in a sparsely populated area. I have read that during the depression, game disappeared around larger population centers. I doubt that will be the case around the family farm.

Can you run some numbers?

For instance:

To make a meaningful contribution to one's diet, we are maybe looking at a pound and change of venison per person per week on average. This is meaningful as far as protein intake is concerned. As far as calories go, it's nothing at all. Starvation ensues.

Going from this chart here....


...it looks like it would be generous to say that the average edible yield from a buck might be 120lbs.

Very roughly a buck will make a decent annual protein contribution for 2 people in tough times. But it represents only a tiny fraction of necessary food supply.

So, how many people are in the area surrounding your farm?

Nationally, of course, the number of hunters now is far greater than in the '30s. And their equipment is better. In addition organized poaching is now highly sophisticated.

Furthermore, the current abundance (where it is found) exists because of highly restrictive hunting laws. Poaching quickly eliminates the abundance.

Obviously if one is going to switch from oil to wild game, the same level of detailed analysis is required. I'm keen to see it.

From this source ...


...venison contains 700 calories per pound (ground venison which might be the high calorie portion).

So, a buck represents 700 * 120 = 84000 calories.

On a 2000 calorie/day diet, that gives 42 days for one person.

An alternative model. The urban gardening article that I frequently post:

Published on 22 Jul 2004 by San Francisco Chronicle. Archived on 25 Apr 2005.
Berkeley: Urban farmers produce nearly all their food with a sustainable garden in their backyard

Jeff, that model is more promising but we still have to develop an energy analysis. We have to quantify things. My suspicion is that backyards are not capable of producing close to 'most' of our food when measured in calories. I'd guess not even a quarter of annual intake. But, it could definitely enhance quality and variety significantly. We can agree on that.

We don't generally get our calories from salads. They aren't energy-dense enough. Instead our calories come mostly from mass produced grain and grain-like foods such as potatoes. It has been this way for millennia.

If we want to develop worse case scenarios and escape hatches we have to analyze grain production and the world trade thereof.

Obviously any 'survivalist' plan that is not obsessed about grain is several removes from reality. Even an elementary energy analysis will show this.

Survivalism should be all about trading tips on growing grains or grain substitutes in less than optimal conditions.

The numbers I have in my head are the following:

A physically active human needs about 2500 calories per day.

A pound of grain is about 1500 calories (corn is 1700). Dry beans are about the same.

Expect to need about a pound of grain per person per day. The other 1000 calories can come from other items on the menu.

When studying grain yields, I have looked at historic records, pre massive irrigation, pre herbicide treatment before planting, pre artificial nitrogen application during spring bolting, pre precision drill seeding...and find about 1000 to 1500 lbs of grain per acre.

Today's yields are 2-4 times that typically.

With old-time yields, a family of 3-4 would need 1 acre to meet their grain needs alone.

Modern yields can feed a dozen people/acre, but still, a third of an acre for a modest family is beyond the scale of most back yard, urban gardens.

Grain can be readily stored without spoiling, and is light relative to its caloric density. Huge advantages over other crops in those ways, but not easy to process and clean in large volumes without really nifty machinery.

Do my numbers appear reasonable to others?

They appear reasonable to me, after converting back lbs to bu.

25 bu wheat per ac was a great harvest, depending on precip. Could easily go lower.

Need to look at the spud. About 330 cal/lb, I get well over lb/sq ft in large garden with water. Over double the calories/ac. Easy to process, store up to 6 mos. w/o significant loss. Storage makes grain king.

"The potato, provided it did not fail, enabled great quantities of food to be produced at a trifling cost from a small plot of ground. Sub-division [of the land] could never have taken place without the potato: an acre and a half would provide a family of four to six with food for twelve months, while to grow the equivalent grain required an acreage four to six times as large and some knowledge of tillage as well"

C. Woodham-Smith. The Great Hunger. E. P. Dutton, New York, 1980.

I live in a small town on a 1/4 acre parcel; that is not particularly large, many people have larger parcels. The house and out buildings take up a little less than half of that land. Nevertheless, I figure that I and my wife can grow at least 75% (and maybe 100% in a stretch) of our vegetables, 25-50% of our fruit, 100%+ of our honey (and in a few more years, maple syrup), and at least 50-75% of our meat. We could also produce most of our dairy if we got a goat. We would still be dependent upon other sources for a vew vegies & fruits, especially in the winter and spring, for all of our grains and dried legumes (including animal feed), vegetable oils, granulated sugar, and some meats. If times got really hard, I could probably negotiate a share-cropping arrangement with some of my non-gardening neighbors to put their land into production as well, thus making us virtually 100% self sufficient in food, and providing the neighbors with enough from their own land so that they don't view my own production with envious eyes.

Of course, all of this assumes that we're able to hold things together sufficiently so that the entire society does not descend into total "Mad Max" anarchy. If that happens, all plans are off, and most lives are probably forfeit.

So, a buck represents 700 * 120 = 84000 calories.

On a 2000 calorie/day diet, that gives 42 days for one person.

But don't forget, I am on a farm. We aren't just eating deer. We raise corn and potatoes and tomatoes and beans. We also have pecan orchards that provide several thousand pounds a year. We have a well. We have cattle and pigs. Feeding ourselves is not going to be a problem. It's a lot of other issues that are problematic (medicine, fuel, theft, defense, etc.). Society as a whole may be falling apart around us. But it's not like we would be a bunch of survivalists living like hunter-gatherers. We would be living as the Amish do now.

"US Navy steps up fuel deliveries to Gulf forces"
Link in aboves drumbeat.
All bets are off once the nukes come out.

We would be living as the Amish do now.

That's the point. Hunting and fishing are really not realistically central to your plan at all. If you didn't know how to hunt or fish or had no opportunities twould make little difference.

Your escape hatch is subsistence agriculture.

[At some point, I'm going to have to dig into this. How realistic is subsistence agriculture in depression conditions? During the Great Depression, there was often crushing poverty in the countryside.]

Source on that claim? Preliminary analysis of about 90 oral interviews my students have done over the past year and a half strongly suggest that farmers did OK during the 1930s Depression, at least here in the Pacific NW.

See below:


That's for Canada.

There was devastation in the US also. But I have to hunt up the references. If TOD will publish it, I'm going work up a complete article.

In the meantime, here is a low quality source...

From this wikipedia article on the Great Depression in the US:


In euros terms, American exports declined from about US$5.2 billion in 1929 to US$1.7 billion in 1933; but prices also fell, so the physical volume of exports only fell by half. Hardest hit were farm commodities such as wheat, cotton, tobacco, and lumber. According to this theory, the collapse of farm exports caused many American farmers to default on their loans leading to the bank runs on small rural banks that characterized the early years of the Great Depression

Conditions were worst in farming areas where commodity prices plunged, and in mining and logging areas where unemployment was high and there were few alternative jobs.

The article notes that the New Deal....

...[cut] farm production so as to raise prices and make it possible to earn a living in farming (done by the AAA and successor farm programs).

In the Further Reading section it contains the source:

Grant, Michael Johnston. Down and Out on the Family Farm: Rural Rehabilitation in the Great Plains, 1929-1945 (2002)

We would be living as the Amish do now.

I remember someone saying the Amish are less independent then generally thought. Don't the Amish use diesel generators?

Different Amish groups have different rules. Many do use propane appliances, farm equipment, etc. And they may rent tractors, cars, etc., though they don't own them. They will go to modern doctors and hospitals when they are sick.

One reason they are moving away from the farming model is that they are simply growing too fast. They have large families, and there's not enough farmland for them all.

Clearly, we can't all do what Robert is doing, even if we all had the money. There are just too many of us now.

Leanan wrote: "Clearly, we can't all do what Robert is doing, even if we all had the money. There are just too many of us now."

I'm not sure we want to even if we can. Let's assume Robert intends to go beyond subsistence farming and sell crops for the many other things that make life easier. i.e. Not live in dire poverty.

During the Great Depression, you stood an extremely good chance of getting clobbered.

From a Canadian Government website:

While all of Canada suffered greatly, the regions and communities hit hardest were those dependent on primary industries such as farming, mining and logging, because commodity prices plummeted around the globe. Thus, the three Prairie provinces, where the wheat economy collapsed, and the municipalities where mining and logging were a mainstay saw the greatest decrease in per capita income between 1928 and 1933.


They had drought and low prices.

In Saskatchewan, plagued by crop failures and the lowest price for wheat in recorded history, total provincial income plummeted by 90% within 2 years, forcing 66% of the rural population onto relief.


Maybe not a bad as this, but I know for a fact the same dynamic was found in the US.

If I do a full fledged piece arguing against farming as a personal escape hatch from peak oil, do you think Prof Goose would publish it? :-)

After reading your post I am now pondering the amount of corn and wheat we eat.

We eat much more than we need (hence the fat epidemic), but during a depression you only eat the minimum to survive. So the commodities prices may fall.

I remember read a report by a graduate student studying in Poland, while the iron curtain was still in place. The locals were stunned that he would go jogging. Every calorie was so precious that they were horrified that he would waste them like that.

Not only do humans eat less, but in depressions the demand for crops not eaten by humans collapses. i.e. There is much less meat consumption and, for another instance, demand for cotton collapses. If human-edible crops still command reasonable prices, that land formerly devoted to those other crops will be put in service to grow what we eat, further depressing prices.

Besides, if we have a depression current shakey demand for biofuels will tank. That land, too, will pressure on food prices for direct human consumption.

On the other hand this depression would not be like the last one. If peak oil is the cause, then the means of producing food (tractors and such) may not be available.

This all comes back to how the dynamic between oil shortage and economic slowdown will manifest. In the race to the bottom which one will win.

"On the other hand this depression would not be like the last one. "

Agreed. To get any sort of handle on this, we need to do more than simply research the historical case.

The way I put it, the next decade won't be like the 1970s, but it will remind us of them. The following decade won't be like the 1930s, but it will remind us of them even more.

I've done some of that research, and it doesn't look good (pages 16 to 40): http://www.peakoilassociates.com/POAnalysis.html

See also "Surviving the Oil Crash" by Peter Goodchild (it should be called "Dying in the Oil Crash." : http://energybulletin.net/19485.html

That's the thing: reserve all of the marginal grazing lands just for dairy cattle and goats, kill off all the beef cattle for one final big feast, and devote almost 100% of the prime ag land to raising grains and legumes and oilseeds. We could feed a LOT of people with that.

If I do a full fledged piece arguing against farming as a personal escape hatch from peak oil, do you think Prof Goose would publish it? :-)

I would (you being Canadian and all). I'd be interested to read what you'd come up with, partly because I live on a farm and partly because I'm very interested in the history of the Great Depression.

Deflation (which we saw then are and about to see again IMO) does indeed decrease prices dramatically, even in the face of need for what is being produced, because need and economic demand are not the same thing. Economic demand presupposes purchasing power - remove that and there is no demand, so prices fall.

During the Depression, milk that could not be sold - because no one had any money to buy it - was thrown away even though people went hungry. Animals were slaughtered and discarded because farmers didn't have the money to buy feed and wouldn't give away what they had paid to produce. Money is the lubricant in the global economic engine - if the credit crunch morphs into a severe lack of liquidity (as I think it will), then the global economic engine will seize up IMO.

I'll see what I can come up with.

Fascinating that produce was discarded during the GD. I do know of large-scale deliberate spoilage during the 70s but didn't know it occurred in the 30s when there was so much need.

I asked my grandfather about the depression maybe 35 years ago. His farm in MN is now our farm and he was born in 1889. He said they survived quite well on the farm as they had livestock of all types, he did not say this but I know the farm had no debt as I have a good historical record. In those days, the farms were mostly self sufficient, feed was grown for the livestock, and if there was an excess this may have been sold or stored on the farm for future use. During years of excess grain production, the profit from the sale was used to buy more land.

Peter Goodchild concludes that we are going to be back to the stone age, not back to the 1890s. http://energybulletin.net/19485.html Imagine all of the implements in a Sears catalog of 1890 that made an agricultural economy possible: apple peelers, Mason jars, wash tubs, animal medicines, all kinds of gadgets for farm animals, wood stoves, saws, pruners, seed spreaders, plows, and thousands of things to make a farm a farm. None of those will exist after the crash and there will be no transportation to move things around, and no communications either. There won't be a local hardware store with hardware, fencing, and seed and stuff from all over the U.S., and there will be no pharmacy with basic medicines. I visited a farm in August and all of the hundreds of items I saw that were made of petroleum will not exist. And most of the best farmland is depleted or buried under our glorious homes, roads and shopping centers. There is little agricultural economy and little interest in developing this. Few wagons, horses, barns, hand saws etc. People won't even be able to cut and move firewood in quantities.

Which is why we need funding to be plowed (pun intended) into such things now and not wasted on carbon sequestering.

Though I'm not sure I agree we will go that far down, but we might, and later recover. The 1700 and 1800's used little in the way of FF, though it thrived because of expansion into new lands.

I can see a time where slavery returns as a form of cheep energy. But there is no way of knowing what will pan out. What ever does will suprise everyone, as that's normally what happens.

Richard Wakefield
(I see our signatures have been removed)

How were you adding sigs? Signatures were supposed to be disabled all along. SuperG said some had found a loophole, and I guess he blocked it. What was it? (Just curious.)

I guess, just today it stopped for me. But there is always copy-paste

Richard Wakefield

At least in the US, some of the deliberate destruction of milk, etc. was a federal New Deal program to prop up prices for farmers. The idea was to make it possible for farm families to pull through and stay on the farm, rather than having to pack up and add to the unemployed, homeless, hungry masses in the cities.

Subsistence farming can be viable, IF you are doing it on fertile, well-watered land with a decent growing season, IF you own the property free and clear, and IF you have some means of earning some cash to pay taxes and buy stuff you can't make or grow yourself. That means should ideally be something other than agriculture, so that you are diversified and not 100% dependent upon the productivity of the land.

What government? Government will be people who band together for self-defense. With no cars, no communications, no horses, no tax revenues, there will be no government.

If that buck is as common as alluded, it says as much about the fertility of your farm area's soil as any other yardstick.

"game disappeared around large population areas" It will be the farel cats today a CNN special report "Planet in Peril" I can't remember the country but all the cats were gone.

Hi Robert, George, and others,

Interesting discussion.

I wanted to mention diseases in wild game,(not to put a total damper on one's food ideas) - to point to the number of organizations and people with specialized training who serve to support the farmer, (eg. soil scientists, integrated pest management specialists, botanists)...and even the hunter.
Also, as a cautionary note.



"The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) will host the 3rd International Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Symposium in the summer of 2009, reports the Wildlife Management Institute. It will be held July 22-24, 2009, at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Park City, Utah. Utah is the westernmost state to discover CWD in its free-ranging mule deer population."

My own inexpert calculations aren't very optimistic. Even the tiny communities near areas with good hunting are several orders of magnitude too large to support themselves, especially when one realizes that a vigorous trade in black market game with nearby larger towns is guaranteed to develop if food became scarce.

Maybe Soilent Green wont have been a science fiction movie after all.

Richard Wakefield
London, Ont.

The more complex society becomes, the more myth and fantasy people invent to explain it.

Around here deer and turkey are common in town where it is illegal to discharge a firearm. I think they would disappear quickly from the forest if their harvest was not controlled both by the state and the hunters themselves. That said, deer, bear, turkey and grouse are hunted primarily by 'sport' hunters but those hunters who are supplying meat for a family are hunting wild boar/pigs. Despite the fact that nobody much cares how many of them get shot or when, their population seems to stay pretty even to actually increasing a bit. Nobody (including environmentalists) other than the meat hunters would care if they disappeared entirely. The reason is they are non-native, very destructive and have large litters of 10-12 once or twice a year.

When it comes to wild boar, people need to hunt them with a huge helping of caution. They are mean as snot and damn dangerous.

(So of course people near my home town hunt them with bow and spears for sport. Takes all kinds.......)

In my parts, they hunt them with dogs and knives. Don't even take a gun.

And they eat them.

I did inhale.

The bow and spear are for the "sport" part, but they are always eaten afterward.

I can see hunting them with dogs (as long as you don't mind loosing a couple of dogs), but what do you with the knife? Pick your teeth while the dogs do all the work?

Dear Robert,

Well done. It's necessary. I fish a lot too, but no hunting here (The Netherlands). My (almost) 5 year old son proclaims in school that when he's a grown up we have run out of fuel. And I'm proud of it, though he is unaware of the implications. He also tells me he wants to be a farmer, and that when we run out of food, we can eat with him. Maybe he is smarter then I think :-)

But what I wanted to say: why spoil Christmas over it? Or let your kids do the talking. It's a very sensitive subject as you know. Isn't there another occasion you can discuss it?

You know, I informed my mother, my brother, and they agree, sort of. But still my brother thinks that we have plenty Euro's and that will solve it. My mother(70) wants to buy a new car(while her present one is still fine), because she doesn't want to be immobilised a few years from now. I mean, I did get the message accross, but it is not understood.

So why spoil Christmas on it?

I fish a lot too, but no hunting here (The Netherlands).

Where at? (Did I ask you that once before?) I may soon be spending a lot of time in Arnhem. I have been through there a number of times, but I have a chance to move there if I want.

I mean, I did get the message accross, but it is not understood. So why spoil Christmas on it?

First thing, I think I can get it across and have it understood. Second, why Christmas? Because I will be home at Christmas, and that's the only time I will see everyone together for a while.

That's what I asked. When Christmas is the only time you see them all, tell them. But don't expect any flowers for liberating them.

I'm in Den Helder. I think there is a direct train. 2 hours. But you're invited for diner. E-mail behind username

Robert some of us wish for the hatch that leads to a potential exit. Most of the time its a crash course of skills learning and hoping you can hold your breath long enough to surface on the other side of the breaking wave along with those you love.

All the best your input is always read with interest.

We have a fair amount of farmland in a sparsely populated area. We have a lot of game in the area, and most of us hunt and fish. I think that puts us in better shape than most.

It seems quite a lot of people here on TOD are well off professionals. I'm not envious, and they probably earned what they've got doing hard work and enduring sacrifice. Still, they can organize a retreat to the farmlands. Solar panel powered estates well stocked with fuel, food, weapons, tools and whatever. Fields to grow food on, cows and goats and pigs. Hopes for a chance to ride the future.

Nothing of that for me, and I'm pretty sure there are others in the same situation here on TOD. What about us, the lower middle class?
We can't even afford home mortgage, we rent. We don't drive SUVs. We struggle from paycheck to paycheck. We are maybe more informed or even more intelligent than the average mass out there, but adverse life circumstances forced us down on a low paying job. We will probably end up in misery like any happy cornucopian Joe Sixpack, or worse, even if WE KNOW that the storm is coming. What kind of preparations are we supposed to start here? What can we do? What will it be of us?

A life boat would be nice, but reliable friends are more important (IMHO). In times of unrest, an individual is easy prey, while a community is a force to be reckoned with.

As times get bad, people will start having multiple families live in a single home. Gather a community together now, it doesn't take money to do that. Nor does it take a lot of money to plant a simple garden.

We will probably end up in misery like any happy cornucopian Joe Sixpack, or worse, even if WE KNOW that the storm is coming. What kind of preparations are we supposed to start here? What can we do? What will it be of us?

Would it be possible to start a community, then when others here need to excape they can head there?

Personally, I would rather have people from TOD come and form a community together than rely on disparate masses that are forced into that mode. At least the people here are more mentally prepared if nothing else. That's a good start to rebuild from just on its own.

Richard Wakefield
London, Ont.

The more complex society becomes, the more myth and fantasy people invent to explain it.

There was some discussion of this at PeakOil.com awhile back. In particular, some towns in rural Plains states are suffering depopulation, and are offering free houses and help finding jobs to young families who agree to move there. There was an idea that a bunch of peak oilers could pick one town and create a peak oil aware community.

Nothing came of it, though. Most people don't really want to relocate, or didn't want to relocate to the Great Plains, at least.

I think we should pick a designated meeting place, somewhere centralized, if/when things get chaotic, the "net" goes down, those of us that want to go...go and take it from there. Sacred Cow's territory sounds as good as any. Not that we all would settle there, just so we don't lose connection and knowledge.

PeakOil.com has designated an alternate forum where the staff can communicate if the web site goes down for some reason. Though they were thinking "massive traffic" more than the net going down.

I was thinking more of regional "centers", meeting points...5 regional areas set up by volunteers in the continental US...someone acts as the organizer for each region...

Guess I need to stop reading Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, huh?

I have been thinking on this point myself Dragonfly, but unsure of how to proceed when I can't do more than plant the seed with family members. I did talk briefly with a fellow doing this north of San Francisco but I wasn't going to go that far away from family and into an area I perceive as being less survivable.

Homes in small towns in my area sell for less than $10k at times and they're generally needing a good cleaning, a coat of paint, and then PO style energy efficiency. Large lots of land are selling for $6,500/acre (crazy high) but the small lots are often near give away pricing if they're contaminated - with contamination being outbuildings and trees(!) I recently toured a two acre site with house and garage ... again less than $10k when it changed hands a few months back.

Can I make a business for myself the next few years as a PO aware real estate broker, locating, arranging purchase, and maintaining failsafe homes on the Iowa/Minnesota border? I think about this as I'm wandering our back roads ...

There are lots of abandoned farms all over the area. Two to ten acres partially wooded lots with tear down houses and serviceable outbuildings. We have Energy Panel Systems in Graettinger - originally a heated hog building place, but I think given their markets and temperament it will take about seventy two hours after funds become available for them to have something in the way of an instant cottage designed and ready to start production. So maybe all of these are future small holdings ...


I would be grateful if there were a way I could make myself useful as an advance base out here in the hinterlands.

Large lots of land are selling for $6,500/acre (crazy high)...

Here in Northern Italy, where I live, buying an acre of agricultural land would set you back $ 600,000. EUR 100 for a square meter , or $ 149 if you prefer, no kidding...

Sorry to hear of your problems with the thiefs on "evilBay". We all know there are lots of them out there and they tend to swarm wherever there is money to be grabbed.

In your location, the land prices seem rather high, but that's because I paid less than that for my 2 acres 10 years back at an auction. Now days of course, land prices have gone up around here, as lots of boomers think they want to retire in the country and Florida no longer has the attraction it once did after Andrew, etc. I'm glad I decided to move early, although watching the mad rush to build McMansions is rather sickening. Lots of energy guzzler log homes with cathedral ceilings and lots of glass on the view side have been put up, which both wastes energy and wood.

I suppose that many of these retiree types started out as country folk who followed the money to work in cities until retirement, but now want to get back to their country roots. Trouble is, they aren't going to move all the way back to Iowa, or wherever they came from, since all that flat ground with lots of winter snow in the Great Plains was one reason they left in the first place. One would think that there would be lots of incentive for folks to move back to the mid-west, once Peak Oil makes life in the cities intolerable, as may well happen. But, we have the opposite situation, where people become caught in the easy life of the cities and forget how to make it in the country. Living in a cardboard box under a bridge becomes the ultimate end for many. The scary thought is that we may see so many people trying to live under the bridges that there won't be enough space for them. Will they drift back to Iowa, I wonder...

The really sad thing is that the choice could have been so different. It's been 30 years since Amory Lovins (among others) warned about the direction we were headed. After Carter left the White House, the "Soft Energy Path" was not taken, so now we all must pay for those mistakes.

E. Swanson

Can I make a business for myself the next few years as a PO aware real estate broker, locating, arranging purchase, and maintaining failsafe homes on the Iowa/Minnesota border? I think about this as I'm wandering our back roads ...

Unlikely, since virtually everyone needs a mortgage to buy land and a home. The mortgage market is collapsing. This week the last open gate for mortgages, the GSES (freddie and Fanny) posted billions in losses. It won't take very long for the last open gate to slam shut.

It should also be interesting to see what shakes out of the Money Market funds (ie Bank Savings) as bits and pieces of news is coming out, hinting that a significant portion of money in Money Market Bank accounts was invested in Real Estate. Real Estate can be very difficult to liquidate in a bear market.

But if what he claims is right, and the properties he's considering are under $10,000....a lot of people would not need a mortgage. They could buy it outright.

But if what he claims is right, and the properties he's considering are under $10,000....a lot of people would not need a mortgage. They could buy it outright.

I doubt that. First few will have the courage to make the leap. If the property are only selling for $10K that as pretty good indicator that there are few jobs available. Real estate is usually the most expensive in regions will abundant jobs, and dirt cheap where there are none.

Second, if you buy a piece of property for 10K, I bet that the owner probably needs to invest an additional 50K to 150K to make the land livable and self-sufficient (Here comes the mortgage!)

IIRC, Leanan, you meantion somewhere that you did want to move the boonies because you had concerns about the risks of failure. I think you find that the majority of folks also feel the same.

FWIW: I think the practical solution is to find a spot a few hours drive from your existing location, this way you can work on your homestead during weekends, holidays, etc, and still keep your day job, When you ready to commit, you can rent a dirt cheap apartment (with room mates) so you can keep your job, and go home on the weekends. If your lucky, perhaps you can make agreements with your employeer to work four days 10 or 11 hours a day (or what ever deemed apporpriate) so you can enjoy a three day weekend on your estate. When the crisis hits and your unemployeed, you just hang at your homestead. I would also add, that the spot you choose should have very low property tax. It does make sense to choose a spot that has high property taxes since if your unemployeed, you may have difficult paying it year after year.

First few will have the courage to make the leap.

For some, it won't take much courage. It's not that much money. They blow that on yearly vacations, parties, and crap like that.

If the property are only selling for $10K that as pretty good indicator that there are few jobs available. Real estate is usually the most expensive in regions will abundant jobs, and dirt cheap where there are none.

Yes, I think the people who would be buying would be retirees and others who are not planning to get a job for some reason.

IIRC, Leanan, you meantion somewhere that you did want to move the boonies because you had concerns about the risks of failure. I think you find that the majority of folks also feel the same.

I wouldn't sink my life savings into it. But less than $10,000? I might do it. I spent more than that on my car.

FWIW: I think the practical solution is to find a spot a few hours drive from your existing location

This would be completely unaffordable for me. I might be willing to risk $6,500 (as SCT mentioned upthread) on a plan like this, but not the kind of money I would have to to do it here.

For some, it won't take much courage. It's not that much money. They blow that on yearly vacations, parties, and crap like that.

Its a lot more than slapping 10K down, and expecting your mitigition planning is complete. Expect to spend another $50 to $150K to make it sustainable, and also going to take a lot of hard labor too boot. That is why people won't do it. What are you going to do, buy a piece of land and live in a tent? Are you going to build a house, purchase tools and equipment for farming, Raising livestock. Farming is hard work, and just because you own a piece of land, doesn't guarentee you produce enough food to be self-sufficient. BTW: Did you ever see the PBS special on the Frontier house: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/project/index.html

I wouldn't sink my life savings into it. But less than $10,000? I might do it. I spent more than that on my car.

I'll bet $50 that you won't make a purchase on any of the properties that are only ~$10K that he has found. He might find a few people that take him up, but I very much doubt that he can build a business with enough income to replace a full time day job. Especially now that mortgage lending is drying up do to the credit crunch.

Yes, I think the people who would be buying would be retirees and others who are not planning to get a job for some reason.

99% of retirees aren't going to pick up a labor intesive project by going homesteading. Most like Darwinian, Bob from AZ, etc that are older have no plans to relocate. They accept their fate because they know setting up a homestead is a young folks game. The only older person go Homesteading on TOD that I know is Todd, who did it 35+ years ago.

I'm out in flyover country right now, and I'd say I'm low-income since for now my only income is $150-odd a month in Food Stamps.

Real friends are EXTREMELY hard to find in the US! I knew a ton of people out in California and several in Hawaii, and the basic attitude was "f*ck you" once they discovered I was suddenly poor (small biz crashed). And old friend who's both old, and also known him a long time, has given me a landing place here in Red State Heaven. Big pickup trucks, Future Farmers Of America, a real network of looking out for each other and favors, God-Fearing Christians who really do walk the walk. More of these folks taking the little "quad" into town instead of the huge truck than I see coastal yuppies taking a scooter or the bus to work. At least there's a nodding acquaintance with the concept of growing food or raising it or hunting it out here.

We're just getting into some cold weather, it's about 50 this afternoon but WINDY. Not weather a Californian would consider fun. It will continue to get colder over the next few days.

Out here there are plenty of things that need doing so another person is an asset. Out on the coast I'd be just another skinbag in the other skinbags' way.

Part of my decision to come back out here was, I noticed that the happiest among the Ebay sellers I knew were all in the Midwest. Sure the winters are hard and all that, but there's so much less overcrowding and financial pressure that they're actually *not* piss-miserable like coastal Ebayers always seemed to be, myself included.

Funny you should mentioned Evil-bay. I got worked for $567 last week by a costal purchaser. I shipped a new boxed item, he appears to have pirated the controller card out of the machine, and then Paypal handed back the payment. What a nightmare ... half a tank of gas and no money available halfway to my brother's house. I went debit card by debit card - I habitually leave $20 - $40 in each of the several I have as mad money and one was still loaded.

I am ... humbled by this. I got to spend many hours on the road contemplating what life will be like for those who end up where I was but without a home they were driving from, a relative they were driving to, and a little mad money stashed away. It was ... painful. I think I'm going to be just a little less flippant about the financial culling that is about to befall many of us over these next two quarters.

Olive Oil similar boat but the point is not to despair. Rich or poor I dont believe anyone can forsee how this will play.

From a personal point of view I wish I could turn the clock back and know what I know now. That said I just take advantage of what time there is to learn new skills that may come in useful some day. In the UK we have allotments, small area's of land that can be rented annually to grow food. Okay in time of trouble it will be raided but I have learnt from others and brought food to table this year.
Sangiovese comes from the grape type that I have been making wine from.

Little I know but the hope is that taking things back to basics I'm learning skills that may one day be tradeable.

In my opinion communities of like minded people working together will be far stronger and have more hope of success than any riches or advantage that are currently held.

"What will it be of US" everyone does what it thinks will work for them no matter where you live and your location will have it's own set of problems.Look back 100 yrs if you lived on farms most had large families "to do many chores" imo it will be an evolving process.Families/friends may condense in the largest homes.There are millions of homes owned and being lived in by one or two elderly that would open to families for added help and safety.IMO cities will have advantages as if fuel gets short it will be diverted to food production the suburbs would keep contracting and the burbs of 40 yrs ago would be new again.We all look the same standing in line.

What can you do?

I'd say your first priority is to make sure that your employment situation is as secure as it can be. Right now, security trumps $$$. No job is 100% secure, but some are better bets than others. For example, the municipal water departments are going to be one of the very last things that shut down -- when they go, everything will have gone. As long as you have income, you have some options open. As westtexas says: "Get thee to the non-discretionary side of the economy."

Next, get involved in your local community garden. If there is no community garden, then help start one. You are not going to be able to produce 100% of your own food, but it will help, and you'll be starting to equip yourself with the tools and know-how needed in the future. Maybe your landlord will let you use some of the yard to grow some vegies - at least ask; if not, you can at least grow a few things like tomatoes in containers. You might also start looking around for homeowners that are not presently gardening, but might be interested in negotiating a share-cropping arrangement. I would think that elderly retirees that are on fixed incomes that are getting pinched, but are too infirm to garden themselves, might be very receptive to such a deal. You can also use U-pick farms and farmers markets to buy in bulk, and learn how to can and dry to put up your own food. It is possible to buy grain in bulk, buy a small grinder, make your own flour, and bake your own bread. In general, obtaining whole foods and learning to fix your own meals with them is an essential skill, and will actually save you quite a bit of money. Contact your county extension office - they have massive FREE resources to help you out with all of this stuff and more. Your public library also has free info at your disposal.

Renting is not an altogether bad thing right now. If you can possibly scrape up some savings and put them in secure inflation-proofed investments, then you might find it possible to eventually pick up a distressed property for pennies on the dollar. In the meantime, if you live farther than walking distance from work, you have the option of relocating to someplace closer; a lot of homeowners won't have that freedom, so that is one thing where you have an edge over them.

Residential energy use: If your place has a thermostat, ask the landlord if you can change it out with a programmable unit - most landlords would probably be OK with that. Don't pay for heat when you don't need it. You can also make removable insulating shutters to put up on all the windows at night, that will save an amazing amount of energy. "Draft dogs" work well on the base of exterior doors. Stock up on warm clothes at the thrift stores, and invest in some warm bedding so that you can keep the temps down at night. You can change out all of the incandescent bulbs with CFLs. Your landlord should be OK with your putting an insulating wrap around the water tank (if done properly), and setting the water temp no higher than 115F. If the landlord provides the appliances, talk to them about the refrigerator if it is not a fairly new Energy-Star model. You might be able to work out some arrangement to change it out. Ask, too, if they'll let you put up a clothes line to use instead of the dryer; if not, those fold-up wooden clothes dryers are not too expensive and work pretty well.

Transport: be glad you are not driving that SUV. My advice to anyone is that to the extent that they need a car at all, buy only cheap, used, fuel-efficient cars in good condition, with cash if possible, and drive them until they drop. If you have a regular income (see above) you should be able to swing that. The day may come when they are all being sold off for the scrap metal because there is no fuel for them, so why invest much in them anyway? If you really need reliable transportation for a long trip and Amtrak is not an option, then rent. We've always found that to be the best strategy. Somewhere along the way, it would probably be a good idea to get a bicycle; there are good deals on used ones if you look hard enough.

Will the decline be so steep that people will panic?

What percentage rate of decline will be enough to cause a destructive response?

One more puzzle. Matt Simmons suggested recently that the downslope could be very bumpy. When supplies become tight and people get the idea supplies are tight then it takes just a few people getting the idea that they'd better top off the gas tank to start a run on supplies. All those people running out to top off a half full tank will add an extra demand that will cause shortages. Eventually the shortages will go away as this is just a temporary spike in demand. Still, it will be a huge shock to the public at large.

But shortages should push up prices which should ration demand. So I do not buy the shortage argument.

Re: Western Oil companies becoming minor players

I talked to my dad and my brother yesterday. A World Bank tribunal (can't remember the name of the body, but it is part of the world bank) decided in City Oriente's favor in the arbitration between City Oriente and Ecuador. So, what does this mean?

More than likely it means City Oriente will get kicked out of the country before years end.

Of course City Oriente is a tiny player whose entire holdings exist in Ecuador, but the writing is on the wall.

It will be interesting to see if and how City collects should a judgement be rendered.

Oddly enough, the tribunal voted unanimously in favor of City, including the arbitor designated by the Ecuadorian government.

I did inhale.

The World Bank is literally persona non grata in Ecuador.

Ecuador's position:

1) Give us 1/2 the projected income from this field and we keep the oil
in the ground.

2) Let us have a military base in Miami and you can keep yours here.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

That (50%) was Ecuador's first breach of contract and when that didn't work they demanded 99% of all income above the price per barrel at the time the contracts were signed--in the case of City Oriente, oil was twenty-some odd dollars a barrel (1995).

So Ecuador doesn't want half of projected income, they want all of it and more.

I did inhale.

Marbro Man, Like all Sophists, puts words in PO community's mouth

In his deductum absurdum piece of philosophical logic, Peak Oil Theory Has Harmful Impact, the Marbro Man puts words in PO community's mouth by proclaiming that we hail it as inescapable logic that mankind will "exhaust" all the oil out of the Earth's bountiful "reserves".

To quote the Marboro Man more meticulously, here are his exact words:

To say that an exhaustible resource will be exhausted is not a prediction but, under certain conditions, a tautology. The only qualification is that an exhaustible resource will not be exhausted if, for some reason, production ceases while reserves are still available.

(He also mentions Socrates name so as to bolster his own stature by casting a giant shadow on the cave walls.)

Then by means of escapeless logic, the Marboro Man reaches these brilliant QEDs:

The peak oil theory, as defined above, has a harmful impact because it focuses on the wrong problem and in doing so it shifts attention away from more vital issues.

There is no ‘physical’ problem in the long run. There are, however, investment problems on the transition path from the oil to the ‘other liquids’ era. The ride is likely to be bumpy. And what we need to worry about now, and seek solutions to, are the investment and technical progress issues.

Bumpy ride or just a whole lot of smoke?

The author states that if Socrates new the exact time and method of his death that it would be helpful. And likewise if Peak Oil theory would predict the exact date and and method of oil decline, it would make a contribution.

I disagree completely. Knowing the exact date of your death would be terrible. Knowing the method ahead of time would make the rest of your life absolutely miserable. You can be sure that if Peak Oil could predict exact dates and methods that there would be those who would try to game the system thereby rendering the predictions futile.

The author is an moron.

I think the author's agruments includes some shaky assumptions, but the part about knowing the date of oil decline would be helpful.
Most people have not really processed that they are going to die some day. They know it at a certain level, but certainly a majority have not accepted the fact and altered their lifestyle to accomodate it. Our society is the same way with Peak Oil, except that we really haven't even accepted the fact of it at all.
Knowing the date of your death can be terrible for people who are not ready to accept they are going to die. However, for those who have accepted, I think that knowledge would bring life into focus and bring motivation to live responsibly and to the fullest. Our society needs to learn two things: first that the oil is going to decline, and second that the foundations of our lifestyle mostly float on this diminishing pool of oil, and that responses to the decline of oil are not going to be business as usual.
If we had a fairly solid and widely accepted date for the decline of oil, people would be more likely to start planning for a real future, and not for some dream where the world continues business as usual.

Indeed. Look at Y2K. The date of the event was known exactly. And people responded to mitigate the problem. Of course, it helped that the effects of Y2K could be gleaned in detail by changing the clocks on computers beforehand, but the exact nature of the event-date also provided a motivating factor. Responses generally needed to be complete within a specific timeframe--or else.


graywulffe in CVO, OR

"I'm a decided skeptic that we're not that close to peak. Experts ay ten more years before peak..."

Meaning the car you buy today...

Damn people are complacent.

I did inhale.

cowboy, you are too correct, 10 yrs ago is yesterday for me, I work and live at a church here in Toledo, OH. We serve ever increasing no.s of people with emergency food and clothing, each month the numbers grow, and yet, the folks who give their time and $(good to the bone each and every one) arrive in their gonzo suvs to help out, god bless em, how do they do it...at some point, you're spending more to get to the place you're giving from, when does the realization kick in?

I never exhaled

Has this one been discussed?


The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will load 24.5 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Dec. 8, compared with 23.8 million barrels in the month ended Nov. 10, Oil Movements said. It will be OPEC's 14th consecutive increase and the biggest this year, according to the company.

There was much ado made about Oil Movements' reports last month that shipments were lower than expected (i.e., there wasn't actually going to be any OPEC increase because of maintenance in the UAE). Looks like OPEC is doing what they said they would do.

I haven't seen anything on the Oil Movements report, aside from that brief blurb. I'll ask Dante if he has the full report.

Petrologistics is also reporting an increase...but it's almost all from Iraq.

Maybe some of that oil is going here?


So, maybe the demand will rise as well?


It appears Oil Movements is anticipating the UAE coming back online, and a big jump from Saudi. We'll see if it actually materializes.

LONDON, Nov 22, 2007 (Dow Jones Commodities News via Comtex) -- Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries are expected to boost oil production by a hefty 720,000 barrels a day in the four weeks to Dec. 8 as Saudi Arabia steps up deliveries to the U.S., U.K. tanker tracker Oil Movements said Thursday.

"Much of this is coming from the Saudis, I believe," Roy Mason, head of the consultancy, said. "(They're) the only ones that have the real additional capacity within OPEC to do this and the deliveries are headed west."

OPEC shipments are seen totaling 24.54 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Dec. 1, up from 23.82 million barrels a day in the four weeks to Nov. 10.

Mason said additional barrels could come into the market in coming weeks as maintenance work ends in the United Arab Emirates. That work has shut 600,000 barrels a day of production in the past month.

"We may see more into the market, it depends on how the Emirates handle this output returning to service," Mason said, noting tanker market activity looked healthy going into next week's Oil Movements report.

...Oil Movements forecasts future OPEC exports based on spot and term chartering of crude oil from OPEC member countries. OPEC production meets almost 40% of the 86 million barrels a day consumed globally.

It appears Oil Movements is anticipating the UAE coming back online, and a big jump from Saudi. We'll see if it actually materializes.

To be clear, though, that is not the source for the jump they reported. Remember, they are actually counting tankers (otherwise, they would have reported the expected 500,000 bbl/day jump in last month's report, instead of the actually observed 50,000 bbl/day increase). The way I read that is that they are saying that the jump is due to Saudi bumping up production, NOT that Saudi is expected to bump production, therefore there is expected to be a jump in shipments.

As the UAE comes back, that will be an extra 600,000 bbl/day on top of this (although someone else may back production down as they come on).

As I understand it, they don't actually count tankers. They keep track of the oil tanker equivalent of reservations to project future shipments.

As I understand it, they don't actually count tankers. They keep track of the oil tanker equivalent of reservations to project future shipments.

That's splitting hairs, but they actually do both. What they are NOT doing is presuming Saudi or UAE production is going to come up, and then basing a forecast on it. They are basing it on actual tanker needs.

I see this as strong evidence that OPEC will be able to increase production by 500,000 b/day. (I was a bit puzzled why people suggested that OPEC would announce production increases that they knew could not be meet).

The other issue is what impact that this increase will have. It may well save Robert $1,000 and make him another $1,000 for one direct effect :-)

I wonder that OPEC only agreed to a 500K b/day increase. To forestall a likely recession, triple that seems to be needed.

Best Hopes for "Not Today" for post-Peak Oil starting to really bite,


The other issue is what impact that this increase will have. It may well save Robert $1,000 and make him another $1,000 for one direct effect :-)

Prices should ease as a result, but traders are now betting on another interest rate cut at the December 11th meeting. OPEC meets on December 8th, and I think they will announce another production increase (with Iran and Venezuela continuing to dissent). But with crude setting where it is, the dollar crashing, and the potential for that interest rate cut, I think the probability of $100 before the OPEC meeting in 2 weeks is pretty high. All it will take is one spike from here.

It has been known for a year that sa had a new project coming on line end 07, silly to doubt that their capacity would rise at least by the announced new prod. But, not clear that total opec will rise immediately on account of also announced uae 600k down for maint. IMO world prod down next year, price very unclear because recent runup is causing dd that has not had time to occur, plus the world wide 2008 recession. On balance, price overall just holds its own 08/07, meaning maybe 80/b.

Yes, the question was November, not December. If only because the maintenance on that UAE field was supposed to be over. It's supposed to be finished any day now.

Oil's climbing again. Supposedly on worries over heating oil shortages.

Well, that would be great. It is definitely needed to ease pressure on the market.

The hard part is waiting.

Yes, it would. December is traditionally a month when we build inventory. If they're right, we should see it soon.

Over at PO.com, someone asked if people were hoping peak oil was now. I never really thought about it, but watching prices head for $100 and peak oil discussed in Time magazine...well, it's like when you flip a coin to make a decision, and as it's spinning through the air, you suddenly know what side you're hoping will come up. I'm not ready for peak oil. I want the happy motoring to go on, if only for a little longer.

I'm not ready for peak oil. I want the happy motoring to go on, if only for a little longer.

My family and I have been spending the holiday at our lifeboat and have had the distinct unpleasure of spending most of yesterday without power. (we're at the end of the line here and yesterdays temps were in the 20's F, while I have wood backup heat, I can't get water w/out electricity)
From this little glimpse, Powerdown, Peak Oil, collapse etc... when they come are going to suck so bad that even those preparing for them are going to be knocked for a loop.
For those unaware/unprepared it will simply be devastating.
When the power did return I spent the evening watching Zeitgeist.
It meshes well with Money as Debt
Now I have better understanding of why TPTB are crashing the dollar.


Do you have any refining insight to why Propane production and inventory is about 7% lower than other types?

ie. Distillates down (top of head) 7% from 2006, but PROPANE is down 13.6%, IIRC.

Refining cause?

Thanks in advance.

I can't say for sure. Propane supply comes partially as a by-product of gasoline production. But it is also used as a motor fuel, and some (like my Dad, who uses propane) will shift when the price is right. That may be a factor. But it also looks like (from the EIA site) that demand is down.

Things have also changed with refining over the past year. The ULSD and ULSG specs that have kicked in have changed refining operations somewhat. I know how this impacted my former refinery, but I don't know how it netted out nationwide.

RE: Propane - spot price check. Just refilled my tank here in WNC for $2.639/gal.


In these parts, residential customers pay an average of $1.05 per litre or $3.95/gallon ($4.50 with HST).

Source: http://www.mjervin.com/WPPS_Public.htm

To further add to the pain, my provider charges a $9.00 "transportation fee" with each delivery, plus an additional $6.95 "hazardous mat handling fee" ($18.18 with HST).

On a happier note, I use 75 litres/20 gallons a year for cooking, clothes drying, BBQ and fireplaces.


The only increase is (per Leanan's lead story today)
the US Navy:

“Bahrain, for example, has confirmed that there are additional volumes being requested by the US Defense Energy Support Center, including JP5,” the Gulf source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

One of the largest commercial tanker hires is on a time-charter basis, the length of time a ship is sought, stipulating a period of 90 days to carry a range of fuels between locations in the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

The time charter, which begins in early December and allows for multiple journeys in Gulf waters, is to carry a minimum of 310,000 barrels of jet and marine fuel, some of it JP5.

“What’s most interesting is the time-charter in the Gulf. It’s a big ship and here we have a commitment for a lot of movement of fuels, backwards and forwards down to the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman,” the Gulf source said.

“This confirms there is going to be a lot of activity, possibly a serious demonstration to Iran that the military means to protect the Hormuz Strait,” he said.

So who's replacing Mexico's 15% + declines?

New Fire at Leaking PEMEX Oil Platform; Heavy Damage Reported


That's 150k pd offline since Oct 23.

Which won't be coming back online anytime soon.

Rumor 9 people died in this latest fire.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

I remember seeing something the other day about the US going to train Pakistani paramilitaries. I also remember something, a month or so ago, about the US preparing for a strike on targets inside Pakistan. Then, in Afghanistan the Taliban are gaining control over ever greater swathes of the Country and have close links with Pakistan.

Nothing concrete, but Iran may not be the immediate target. Britain has also distanced itself from Pakistan today by suspended it from the Commonwealth. Not to mention the fact that Pakistan is a nuclear power and is disintegrating as a nation state.

I also saw opinion piece in nytimes about US 'expedition' into Pakistan. What puzzled me about this is that piece used the word 'India' only once in passing. Can US invade Pakistan without even a thought about India's interests? India has nearly 7x the population of Pakistan. Both have nuclear bombs.

U.S. advisors will be in a non-combat role. Anyone else hearing an echo in here?

I think next to the ticking bomb of the Bush administration what is happening in Pakistan is the most scary. Parts of it have flaked off and become al Queda strongholds and their most recent move involved positioned all of the way at the other end of the country, right next to Iran.

Al Queda is ready. If we destabilize Iran they're going to peel off the bits closets to Afghanistan and create another Waziristan style emirate.

‘US ready to face any Iranian threat’

Mcgowanmc, There is the odd chance that your dot (posted by you and Leanan) might connect to the dots represented by the two stories and links below. Admiral Keating seems to be a busy man.


'Friday, November 23, 2007
MANAMA: The United States military machine is undiminished after four years of fighting in Iraq and is more prepared than ever to face any threat from Iran, one of the US military’s most senior officials said. Admiral Timothy Keating, head of US military operations in 41 countries, was speaking in Bahrain days after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad labelled the US army “shabby”, and said his Western foes had “rusty and disabled weapons”.'...snip...

'“I don’t think our capability has diminished at all,” said Keating, Commander of US Pacific Command and former head of navy operations in the Gulf. Bahrain, an island close to Iran, is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Working with British and Australian ships, the fleet is tasked with maintaining stability in the region, and often conducts exercises on Iran’s doorstep.'...snip...


After snub by China, U.S. carrier battle group sails home

Associated Press

November 23, 2007 at 1:46 AM EST


'TOKYO — Thousands of sailors aboard the USS Kitty Hawk and its carrier battle group had to mark the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday at sea after they were denied entry to Hong Kong for a port call that had been planned months in advance, navy officials said Friday.

China turned the ships away when they neared the port for the planned four-day stop. Beijing later reversed its decision but by that time the aircraft carrier, along with four warships and a nuclear submarine, were already leaving the area under heavy weather.

China has given no reason why it refused the ships entry.

The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific said he's “perplexed and concerned” by China's move.

“It's hard to put any kind of positive spin on this,” Adm. Timothy Keating told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday while flying back to the U.S. after visiting troops in Iraq.

“The crew members were disappointed but that did not deter them from celebrating Thanksgiving on the ships with meals and movies,” said Lt.-Cmdr. Steven Curry, a spokesman for the 7th Fleet, which has its home port in Yokosuka, Japan, just south of Tokyo'...snip...

'Hundreds of sailors' families had flown to Hong Kong to spend the holiday with their loved ones, while dozens of Americans living in Hong Kong had prepared turkey dinners for those without relatives.'...snip...

That's 150k pd offline since Oct 23.

Mcgowanmc, I could not find that 150 kb/d figure anywhere. And it was most definitely not found in page your URL lead to. Could you please post the URL from which you got that figure.

This is very important because I have been trying for days to figure out just how much oil is off line because of this leak and fire.

Ron Patterson

This is the only article I've seen that puts a number on it:

Mexico oil platform fire cuts 422 bpd oil output

This article


states the following

Production from Kab 101 and Kab 121 prior to the accident averaged 5,800boe/d.

From both articles it looks like 5,800 bp/d were originally off line. Now however only Kab 121 is still off line and 422 barrels per day is shut down, perhaps permanently. 422 barrels is, as the article states, is about .01 percent of Pemex production.

The article posted by Leanan also states that it is costing them about #30,000 per day. That comes to $71 a barrel if we divide $30,000 by 422. About right I guess.

All this is a far cry from 150,000 barrels per day. We should not exaggerate if we expect to be taken seriously. Constant exaggeration causes us to lose our credibility.

Ron Patterson


PEMEX October liquids production down significantly.

Es una lata.

I think that is about where it has to be anyway, if predictions for their net exports to be finished in 5 years or so are correct.


Alright. Too much time on this, which should be just punishment for me (He said hopefully to the judge-:)-


Pemex resuming full output after 1.1Mb cut - Mexico
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2007 18:32 (GMT -0400)

Mexican state oil company Pemex's E&P unit (PEP) was due to reestablish full oil production Wednesday after cutting output by 1.1Mb on Tuesday (Oct 30) as a result of poor weather conditions.

The company initially reduced oil production by 600,000b/d Sunday (Oct 28), Pemex CEO Jesús Reyes Heroles said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.


That's 500 k over any previous number I've seen.

Now to the KAB 101 Sea Pony manufactured by SLP Engineering LMT UK.

(KAB 101 and 121 are seemingly part of the same unit)

KAB 101 overarching.


"MEXICO: Perforadora Central jackup Usumacinta, under contract to PEMEX Exploration and Production, yesterday struck the Sea Pony Kab 101 platform while preparing equipment to drill the Kab 103 well
At 2:20 p.m., PEMEX staff attempted to close the safety valves on the Kab 101 and Kab 121 wells, as well as the master valve. Despite the attempt, the staff observed a lack of tightness that continued to allow small quantities of oil and gas to escape.

In accordance with security procedures, 81 personnel were evacuated from the jackup using lifeboats and assistance from the firefighting boat Morrison Tide. Additionally, three other vessels in the area assisted in securing the well.

81 people on a light sea pony min facilities platform.

And it does not produce 150kbp/d evidently.

My mistake. Again. Apologies to all.

Three Points Regarding OPEC:

(1) In order to just match 2005 average crude oil production, the OPEC 12 would have to increase 2007 Sept-Dec. production (inclusive) by about 3.6 mbpd (EIA), versus year to date for 2007 (through August). Because of rising consumption, note that flat production relative to 2005 would mean declining net exports.

(2) Unless I am mistaken, the tanker trackers only count gross, not net, exports. Countries with refineries down for maintenance would be boosting both crude exports and product imports. Also, product demand in excess of their domestic refining capacity would show up as increased product imports. And one of the OPEC 12 is a net importer.

(3) Regarding increasing consumption, I estimate that the top five net exporters alone will increase their total liquids consumption by about 500,000 bpd in 2007.

If I were truly paranoid (uhh..), I would interpret this report as a sign that Gee Dubya is expecting an interesting winter. It's no fun fighting in the deserts of the Gulf during summer, besides, the Dubya Boys aren't supposed to be in power much longer. State of Emergency, anyone? If General Musharraf can get away with it, why not here in our "democratic" U.S.A.?

Maybe I shouldn't have watched Bruce Willis' latest, "Live Free or Die Hard" for Turkey Day. What are all those Black Water Cowboys going to do after the shooting ends in Iraq, "Wag the Dog"?

E. Swanson

The shooting won't/hasn't ended in Iraq.

That's AgitProp.

See SAS Puma crash killing 2 wounding 12 Salmon Pak.

See twenty shells hit the Green Zone Thanksgiving Day.

Arkansaw of Samuel L Clemens

Yes. It's all over the news, how the troop surge has worked and violence is down. And it's been good for oil production.

But we've seen this before. (Remember the elections, with everyone holding up their purple fingers?) It's the way the insurgency works. I would bet this (relative) lull in violence is as temporary as all the ones before.

It strikes me that maybe the OPEC projected increase, the increased tanker chartering by the US Navy, and the threat of conflict with Iran are all related. It is well known that the KSA is close to the Bushes and has supported them in the past.

Is it not reasonable that GWB has asked KSA to bump up production to minimize an oil supply shock in case he decides to engage in reckless attack on Iran? (And, maybe not coincidentally, lower oil prices would help GWB and his party to gain a few points in the polls prior to the election.)

Yawn. Record high temperatures reported in the Washington D.C. area for Thanksgiving, 2007. Nothing to see here, move along, keep shopping.

Where I live just south of the VA border, it's been near freezing all day today, the 23rd of Nov. One site on one day doesn't mean much. However, if you go back a bit and look at the record high daily maximum temperatures for the U.S., 18 Nov had 86, 19 Nov had 186, 20 Nov had 296, 21 Nov had 124 and 22 Nov had 90. By Thursday, things were getting back within historical bounds, with some record cold temperatures as well as the highs. On the other days, there were rather few low temperature records set.

I think these record events are important and there do seem to be more of the record warmth sort. There's been some studies that confirm this trend, so one could expect to see more of this as the Earth continues to warm.

E. Swanson

Hello TODers,

Like the Titanic, a cruise ship struck an iceberg again, but the lifeboat process went smoothly. As we go postPeak: will our efforts go smoothly too?

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina - A Canadian cruise ship struck ice off Antarctica and began taking on water, but all 100 passengers and crew took to lifeboats and were rescued safely Friday by a passing Norwegian liner, officials said.

Seas were calm and winds light at the time, what Panichini called "optimal conditions for carrying out the evacuation."
My hope is that sequential building of biosolar habitats, Peak Outreach, and Foundation plans and controls will allow us to create: "optimal conditions for carrying out the evacuation." It is the best plan I can think of to minimize the machete' moshpit.

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

I have a question about this Globeandmail "back to the well" link.

It more or less states that 218 Gb of oil, onshore US, can be harvested by improved EOR techniques. I buy into the improvement of sensors to find pockets of oil, but is there anyone who can shed a light on the actual technological improvements of known and applicated EOR to get this left behind oil out? IOW, will it be economically and/or energetically a positive equation? Except for better techniques of finding oil(better sensors), the article does not give any info on improvements of EOR. OTOH, may be 218 Gb of extra oil can be extracted, though over a timespan of a millenium? I'm no techy, so would appreciate feedback from the specialists.

"is there anyone who can shed a light on the actual technological improvements of known and applicated EOR "

Apparently not..

Dollar hits new low against euro

The dollar hit a new low against the euro in thin trading Friday as speculation continued that the American credit crisis will lead to another cut in interest rates in the U.S.

The shared 13-nation currency spiked early to hit $1.4966, breaking the previous record of $1.4873, set the day before.

"Once again the message that is coming through is that with further rate cuts expected from the Fed, the dollar is struggling to find any serious supporters," said James Hughes, an analyst at CMC Markets.

Ya...this and the rise in oil prices is a bit overshadowed by the masses out shopping on "Black Friday".

Notice that the DOW, crude, and gold are rising lockstep as the USD takes a hit. This is a familiar pattern seen recently.

Re; UK's first 'sugar fuel' plant opens.

Farmers' chat down the local pub is that the sugar beet harvest is not a good one this year. Beet are smaller due to our lacklustre summer.

Local talk is also that biofuel production was to have started last year but delays in finishing the plant meant that biofuels had to be imported from China in order to meet existing orders. (The article talks 'bioethanol', I thought it was to be 'biobutanol'.)

The environmental effect of the plant on the local area is less than desirable. Heavy trucks moving through small villages on totally unsuitable roads, starting before dawn and continuing throughout the day.

Repeated root crop growth is having an effect on topsoil, which is largely peat with a clay base. The clay base is in some places being exposed, but continuing to be farmed with chemicals.

Pedal your car in Toronto, get arrested.

I am less than sympathetic to their apparent blocking of streetcar tracks with their performance art.

I was, however, impressed by the back-up peloton of six cops on bikes !

How much oil do they save daily ?

Best Hopes for RATIONAL Non-Oil Transportation,


Also from Toronto, Kensington Market hosts the ultimate green vehicle:

Robert...good luck with the "conversation" over Xmas. The time is indeed ripe for the reception of such ideas.

Case in point, my wife is a sociology professor and recently took over teaching a globalization class for another professor that had to quit suddenly. This is her second semester teaching it and decided she wanted to show some films dealing with the problems of globalization. She chose "Inconvenient Truth" and "Addicted to Oil". I tried to steer her towards an oil film that discussed the subject matter more realistically, but she didn't want to freak her students out...and she's not 100% convinced that technology and alternatives won't save the day...BUT she is no longer a denier as she was two years ago.

Baby steps...baby steps convincing the world.

..BUT she is no longer a denier as she was two years ago.


Yesterday we had a sumptuous feast with family and friends to give thanks to the bounties of hot turkey and other goodies that graced our table, to give thanks to the natural gas furnace that was keeping us warm inside, to give thanks to the electric plant miles away that was pumping electricity into our well lit home ...

OK, I didn't say most of that as we raised our wine glasses in cheerful toast. No need to put a damper on one happy evening together.

I hope that all (USA) TODders who could, did enjoy their Thanksgiving holiday. I pray that we have many more before TSHTF.

My family knows that I'm a PO nut. But really, whom are they going to believe: me, or their lying eyes?

All is good.

Greenspan: Home prices haven’t bottomed

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Friday that U.S. house prices have not bottomed out after a crisis in the subprime mortgage market.

“The markets are becoming aware that the decline in U.S. housing prices is not stopping. It is at an unprecedented pace compared to the last 50 years,” Greenspan told a financial audience in the Norwegian capital.

He said the housing bubble had burst and the market was “a good deal away” from its selling climax — a point at which sellers ultimately lower their prices to match lower bids.

"Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said on Friday that U.S. house prices have not bottomed out after a crisis in the subprime mortgage market."

Well, I sure as helll hope they haven't....in my part of the country, (central KY) we never went as wild on the upside as many areas, but houses that were trying to sell for $180 grand are now being "new priced" at $140 grand....when they were never worth above $80 grand to begin with!

Many folks here are willing to invest in "sweat equity" and build their own, in which they can do the whole damm house for $40 grand, and add in some personal touches!


France may cut tax advantages for biofuels

France may cut tax advantages for biofuels by around a third as part of a review of its 2008 budget, a move which could deal a heavy blow to the sector, a French politician said on Thursday.

NETL, your tax dollars at work. as early as the '90's (at least) the doe was issuing contracts to study ways of enhancing oil recovery. there were a lot of reports written and a lot of consulting fees paid by the doe for reports that said the same thing " better engineering, geology and geophysics and the synergism thereof or words to that effect will result in bypassed oil being recovered" but afict this bypassed oil is still all on paper and potential, always potential.

At "Brazil: Pray, Cheer, and Do the Rain Dance to Stave Off Crisis"

"In the longer term, Greenpeace considers that by 2050 an energy supply consisting of 88 percent renewable energy sources and 12 percent natural gas, as a transitional source, would be possible."

That is just below a enumeration that puts hydroeletricity + biomass at 88.5% of brazilian production (there is also some wind, that didn't make it to the article), on an article that talks about a shrtage of naturl gas. One gets to love Greenpeace...

Gasoline here is starting to rise. 105/ltr today. Just 2 weeks ago I filled up for 95.

Richard Wakefield
London, Ont.

The more complex society becomes, the more myth and fantasy people invent to explain it.

105/ltr here too. But that's UK pence not Canadian cents. Equivalent to US$8.18 per US gallon at today's exchange rates.

Re the UK sugar to biofuel plant.
In a nearby town a sugar beat processing plant has just been closed. A good example of corporate far sightedness?

Having a read of all these posts and realising that probably most of the people on this site have kids, and therefore are concerned about their futures, I wanted to ask for an opinion.

I only just found out about the existence of peak oil around 6 months ago, by watching A Crude Awakening, and immediately started devouring as much information I possibly good.

I realise in hindsight that going to University and studying electrical engineering, agriculture, geology, or petroleum engineering might have been a better idea than Economics/Finance. Like many people in our society, I had no idea of the coming hardships, and thoroughly believed that I could make a good living in the finance sector.

Now, I'm looking at graduating in early 2009, and everyday I think about the extreme impact peak oil is going to have on job markets, especially in industries unrelated to production of real goods (most North American jobs)

My question is this; if you were a 20 year old university student with no kids and no wife, a soon to be completed degree that will be as valuable as the paper it will be printed on, what would be your plan?

Is it too late to change your major?

With just 3 semesters left, I think I'll have to just finish the degree.

Finish the degree. Try to get yourself a high-paying job, and start working on your Plan B as soon as possible. That's been my plan - to maintain a good job and use that as an enabler to potential options. Let's be honest here. While the financial situation looks dire at the momeny, you may have another 5 years before things become really intolerable. Use that time - as much as you have - to earn some money and get a plan together.

...and concentrate on energy-related finance!

Or you could change degree programs and take an extra year of college (depending on your finances).

Either way, you need to ask yourself some questions before you do anything.

1) What do YOU believe the effect of peak oil will be? Apocalypse, depression, recession, or gateway to ecological eutopia?

2) What skill will help in that particular future?

On a different note: Don't throw your degree away, hybridize it. A person with a background in finance and agriculture might end up a asset.

Or you could stay in your degree program but audit a bunch of science courses, especially physics and thermodynamics.

This is the only time in your life that you have access to all this good education. Most teachers don't care if you audit their course. It's no skin off their back. There's no extra tests to grade cause you stuck your face in their class room.

Besides, ask yourself, in the long run what does it matter if you got the "credit" for a course or not, if you got an official grade for the course of not?

The religion of business, money, accounting, finance is not going to disappear overnight. We humans still need to devise ways of valuing what we do. So all is far from lost. Don't despair. Your edge-ucation is still capable of repair.

There are as many answers to your question as there are posters on TOD.

For starters I would buy several pair of good boots with sturdy soles and a couple of identical bicycles with plenty of spare parts including tires/tubes/baskets/patchkits. Get these items before the dollar completely tanks. Nothing stylish, just very sturdy.

Buy enough jeans, shirts, socks, underware, coats, etc, to last a very long time.

Begin stashing food that is nutritious but has a good shelf life. Store lots of water.

Learn some practical skills that will be usefull and uncommon when lots of people will be unemployed. Farming/gardening skills might be usefull.

Some sort of weapon might be usefull...if you learn how to use it effectively.

Imo, this is not the time for a young couple to start a family.

Remain flexible.

Patches dry out - no shelf life.
Tubes mostly flat at the valve.
Just get lotsa tubes.

If I were in your shoes:

Stick with it, finish your degree in finance, find as good a job as possible & make as much money as you can. Get rid of debt ASAP. Defer family. Consider where you want to live, and consider moving if necessary. Have a party, laugh a lot.

Use your intuition for the rest.

Land of Childhood Dreams
Hedged in by enormous seas
Butterfly Alights


Chenry, not all of us who post here are doomers, some of us believe a peaceful transition to other energy sources can be made with minimal pain, and in such a scenario economist will be around just like they always have been.

My motto is live your life sensibly, but don't live it in fear.

Agreed, I don't think that peak oil will be the end of the world, but I do think it will mark the beginning of economic contraction that could rival that of the Great Depression, and with it will go many of the same jobs that the rise in oil created. Just a thought.

You might consider reading a couple good books on the Great Depression then, to understand how people who didn't even think they were vulnerable found their particular worlds WERE ending, and they either succeeded or did not in hitching a ride over to another one. edit>> Some family cultures are still reacting to 1929.. don't underestimate how much of a terror that time was for MANY MANY people. <<

I agree with Antidoomer that it's important to avoid letting fear get the best of you.. but I look at electricity in a similar way as all this. I know a number of ways that it could surprise, and maim or kill me in an instant, but I work with it constantly. It is really vital to understand (and to somehow gauge for yourself) just how precarious our situation is at this point.

It's not about making an accurate prediction, which is impossible with the variables that abound, but being able to see where you, your community, or our species is the most vulnerable, and trying to find some positions that don't leave you/us optionless at a critical juncture..

Make sure you have a marketable skill, and if possible a few handy fallbacks (Housepainting, Roof Repair, Cooking..) that you can jump to when the professional career is 'momentarily offline'.. And there are those moments, even during normal times.

Bob Fiske

Somewhat related - has any list been compiled of regions/cities in North America that are most friendly to a lifestyle after PO? Population density, year round climate, water availablity and other factors vary greatly, and it would be nice to see a list.

SustainLane has posted lists of "sustainable cities." But they weren't necessarily peak oil and climate change aware. IIRC, they put a lot of emphasis on things like public transportation.

Chenry, a great question . . . .

I have two kids in college and neither one is headed toward energy or geology or anything like that (one is in biochemistry, which is promising in the current environment, and one is undeclared).

I happen to be a petroleum engineer, not by good foresight, but more by dumb luck. I entered the profession in 1983 when things were going south fast in oil and gas.

I would argue that economics/finance is not bad thing to be in, if it is focussed on energy. I think nearly anyone associated with the energy industry probably has good future, because energy demand of all types will exceed supply for the foreseeable future. I know of one investment firm in Denver that is peak oil aware, and they are trying to convert their clients over. They seem to be one of the few that are using Peak Oil as part of their investment strategy. One savvy investor I talked to from the East Coast told me that after he became Peak Oil aware, he looked all over Wall Street, and could not find a single investment adviser that "gets it" WRT peak oil. As the price of oil, other types of energy, and commodities goes up, there will always be a demand for energy related financing and investment savvy.

Like Matthew Simmons, I believe also that Peak Oil is a more immediate and serious threat than global warming. However, I cannot side with the doomer/survivalists that want to buy guns and hide out in the woods. The US has a long transition to go through, but it will survive better than many other countries that have fewer resources. What is needed in this country is for it to become PATRIOTIC to save energy and conserve, rather than buy SUV's and go deeper into debt. We overcame huge obstacles in the depression and WWII. All it takes is national will. It will also take politicians that have more foresight and common sense than do the current ones, and especially the current deceptive and immoral guys in control of the White House.

An alternative to the economics/finance of energy would be that for sustainability. The economics of sustainability are poorly understood in our society. How better to survive in the coming challenges than to become an expert on the only real future for the earth -sustainability. Anything you can contribute in this regard would be a benefit to yourself, not to mention the rest of the world. . . . . .

I personally wouldn't be so pessimistic about our future if I would see evidence that people are willing to change. However, that isn't the case. I live in a rural area where we certainly could be producing most or all of our own food. But the people around me, with a few exceptions, are NOT putting in gardens, root cellars, etc. and preparing for this. Even when I confront them with the realities they choose to ignore it.

Therefore, I would if I was you seek out a like minded group of people to lease or purchase a farm somewhere away from large populations and prepare to live like our ancestors did 200 years ago. And I would get a vasectomy because you don't want to bring another human being in the world right now.

Except for a few of us that were fortunate enough to learn about peak oil early on, the vast majority of people will not change unless something hits them hard in the form of

a) higher prices for a necessity, e.g. $5/gal gas.

b) hunger

c) other suffering such as being cold in the winter because of higher fuel prices

To a lesser extent, I believe some people can be changed by a patriotic or religious appeal, e.g. It is your duty as an American or as a Christian/Jew/etc. to live more sustainably and conserve energy. I also believe that the both government and the free market can play constructive roles in this.

"a) higher prices for a necessity, e.g. $5/gal gas"

I don't know if that price will have a real bearing. As the article below points out, $3 gas was thought the end all just a few short years ago.

I'm thinking that with fuel, shortages are the only thing which will change national behavior.


A vasectomy? No matter how bad it gets thats not an option.

Welcome to Eccentrics r'us.

Well, you did ask a pretty wide open question.

Leanan, are you deleting my reply to this poster?

Spaceman, I saw your reply.

I didn't respond to it, because I care about TOD. PLEASE don't bring that debate here - nothing constructive will be achieved by doing so. Let the external link stand as it does, and each who reads it take their own from it.
Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)


This is a great thread so far. Please don't ruin it by making inflammatory comments about things aren't on topic and have been argued to death elsewhere.

Before you post, ask yourself if you are adding to the usefulness of the thread...or if you're just generating heat, not light.

Then you should remove the link to the original article.

The article itself is not off-topic. But I am going to ask anyone who wants to argue about it to take it to the article's link. There's a comment section there.

"The Oil Drum
Discussions about Energy and our Future"

Apparently those of us concerned with our future are no longer welcome here.

No sense being pessimistic...Human nature is going to change...All will be sweetness and light...There will never be another depression, resource war or just a war for the hell of it.

We need more economists and lawyers. After all, they are what made our country what it is today!

"No sense being pessimistic...Human nature is going to change...All will be sweetness and light...There will never be another depression, resource war or just a war for the hell of it."

River, you REALLY made my day! I was sort of starting to get a bit worried, but now I know I was just being silly. Thanks! ;-)

Sgage, I am glad that I could raise your spirits.

After giving it a bit more thought I may have come up with a solution for out of work economists. They could become regular thieves, you know, like the ones that rob banks with real guns...instead of ledgers, and advanced accounting techniques.

I make occasional snide comments about "mortgage grifters" but this is a real genuine concern.

I am a total mutant by 21st century standards, farm raised by depression babies and occasionally kayaking past the site where the login cabin in which my father was born stood until the flood of '53 swept it away, but what are those with a normal background going to do?

My ex wife is the perfect model - the baby from a wealthy Jewish family, advanced degree in business administration, she ritually tortures three tomato plants in the back yard every summer, and roughing it is staying at a Marriott without room service. I've considered her utility suspect for a number of years now but it would appear that PO will cause the whole world is going to share my view of her ... and extend that to most everyone else with her sort of educational background.

I've had months now to mentally prepare for Something Unpleasant and at the first little hint this week of what such things would be like I was a mess.

So ... many, many formerly well off people are going to be very hungry, and disempowered, and likely not very busy, and perhaps very, very angry. This is not a recipe for singing Kum Ba Yah while building raised beds in community gardens.

We will still need people who know how to finance engineering, agriculture, and renewable projects. The folks with all the good ideas don't have enough bucks and the folks with the bucks don't have enough good ideas.

My quick take, just another POV.

Basic premise:

"The future always arrives late and in really peculiar ways." - Paul Saffo

i.e. we cannot fully know the future. Every futurist knows this, usually by having been wrong too many times to count.

As such it is perhaps not optimal to base your major life decisions on one scenario unfolding, esp. if it's very drastic and different from other potential scenarios.

With that in mind, please consider:

1) In a energy and economics starved world needing of big long term re-organizations, there might be an unexpected need for quantitative big-picture people who can think rationally and economically (but are not slaves to any one school of particular economic theory)

2) I'm way older than early-20ies, two degrees behind and still working towards my third. It may turn out to be a folly in the light of things unfolding. Or not. What I know that even the small changes within will be beneficial for me professionally and mitigation-wise.

3) You can never be sure in any job market, but what helps is now what you know, but WHO you know. An old adage, but so true. Not to say that I don't value expertise (esp. the fluid/dynamic type, but it's important to spread the knowledge and get connected.

4) Do not fall into thinking that a scenario in one movie/book is how things will play out or that the speed of things unraveling will be as it now is foretold (this is reiteration of basic premise). Work through scenarios where your major decisions work fairly well in a wide range of scenarios.

5) Being realist about the challenges ahead, does not require being pessimist about the future. On the other hand being an optimist is a mental state of mind, but does not require you to deny reality and the facts at hand. Try hard to combine both. It takes effort, but is worth it.

6) Enjoy life also today. We can't only be living for the future.

I'd finish the degree, if your heart is even partially still in it, but think seriously about how you are going to position yourself in the market.

You are still within the first mover advantage in regards to PO. Make the most of it.

Probably the type of major/type of job you do will be less important than the type of industry it will be done in. While I usually agree with Robert Rapier, this is one point in which I am not in complete agreement. Instead of just going for max $$$ now, I think that you will be better off going for as much security as you can get. The problem with the max $$$ now approach is that we really can't know for sure if we are going to be in an inflationary or deflationary environment, and it is not possible to invest those extra dollars in something that is going to preserve its value equally well under both scenarios; plus, there is also the security issue. Your extra dollars might end up not doing you any good at all.

You thus want to be in the non-discretionary sector, working for an organization that is likely to still be operating even when a lot of the discretionary crap has shut down. For example, electric utilities do need a few people with econ/finance backgrounds, and I suspect that they will still be in operation long after the exotic derivatives traders have closed up shop. Get in now, and you'll have the advantage of having racked up several years of INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC experience, which is a very important thing.

Whatever you do, try to live within walking distance of work, live cheap, and pay off those student debts. If you can find a suitable job in a small town, then go for it.

Lebanon is going to heck.

CNN's breaking news banner reads Lebanon's President Emile Lahoud declares a state of emergency and orders the army to take over, hours before his terms ends.

Just when things couldn't get any uglier something like this happens.

Too many things in motion in the world and the ME is a vortex. One wrong move and what smolders now bursts into flames ... and we can count on the Bush administration for wrong moves - sticking one thumb in its behind, its foot in its mouth, entangle a rifle barrel in its shoelaces, and then getting all cocky about having superior firepower.

Iraq, Zimbabwe, Soviet Georgia, Lebanon ... who's next to start collapsing?

In case this has not been posted yet, I'd recommend this FT.com interactive map. I especially like the "Oil Movements" button.

That is a good map, but there is something wrong with the units for "Proved Reserves." I think it should be billions of barrels, rather than thousands barrels/day.

Yes, I don't understand that column. Also, on the "Oil Movements" page it looks like they messed up Middle East exports to the US, which says 2.708mbd on the map, but in the column below that number is assigned to "South and Central America."

I'm a little embarrassed for the FT, they're better than this.

Collapse of Rail, Subway Strike Is a First Success for Sarkozy

Yesterday, the strike of rail and subway workers that has crippled France for nine days was clearly crumbling, as workers began returning to work in large numbers and union branches conceded that support for the dispute is collapsing.

Union leaders began to concede defeat yesterday. "We have to face reality. Since yesterday's negotiations, things have changed. The strike is no longer the solution. The strike strategy is no longer winning," a leader of the Sud union representing Paris underground railway workers, Philippe Touzet, said in an interview with Bloomberg News.


Admiral 'perplexed' by snub at Hong Kong

The top U.S. military commander in the Pacific said he's "perplexed and concerned" by China's last-minute decision to deny a U.S. aircraft carrier entry to Hong Kong for a previously scheduled port visit.

The USS Kitty Hawk and its escort ships were due to dock there for a four-day visit Wednesday until they were refused access. Hundreds of family members had flown to Hong Kong to spend Thanksgiving with their sailors.

"It's hard to put any kind of positive spin on this," Adm. Timothy Keating told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Thursday while flying back to the U.S. after visiting troops in Iraq. "I'm perplexed and concerned."

...It was the second time in a week that China refused to let U.S. Navy ships into the port.

I've previously described my conversation with a French investment banker at ASPO-USA, who suggested that Western Europe would be a partner, perhaps a "silent partner," in an attempt to control oil from the Persian Gulf, to direct it to the US and Western Europe and presumably to other OECD countries, and away from China.

While China does not yet have a blue water navy, crude oil tankers make big, fat targets, and China could respond with threats to use submarines to sinks tankers off the coasts of Europe and the US.

The western European investment bankers all are neoliberal, pretty rich and know which side their bread is buttered on and are ideologically pro Washington(in comparison to say pro-Russia or pro-china or pro-India) whether they are French, German or British so your French friend is not a lower class democrat(small d) or union member but part of an elite looking in Bush's direction to maintain a certain status quo of privilege, like British upper class 1920s.

When it comes down to this French banker saying that the oil flow will be forcefully controlled, escorted, by NATO forces due to shortages,(or perhaps "persuaded") in the direction of NATO/North American ports and away from Asian ports, where shortages and riots therefore occur, then we have a simmering war scenario with obvious implications as pre WWII in East Asia where the US hindered Japanese access to Indonesian oil(correct my history if it is foggy).

So basically your conclusion is correct. This could be WWIII hair trigger situation. The Russians have enough for themselves so they won't start a war over that. The Chinese middle class is huge and growing and young and could be very angry. The Russians are patient and incredibly used to hardship and making ends meet.

With your ELM I think we could be facing some very nervous political years regardless of how I currently love to hate the right(in a 10 yearly cyclical sort of political way) I believe I might not prefer an angry Chinese soldier to a suddenly impoverished French banker as a flat mate or help in my garden patch.

“Without a video the people perish”-Is. 13:24

The official line is a tit for tat about Taiwan.

However, china has been having fuel shortages lately. Kitty Hawk is nuclear, but the planes and escort ships are not. Maybe they don't want the U.S. Navy drinking all the go juice.

On the other hand, only approved fuel supplies go into military vehicles, so they may not use local supplies at all. Any ex-navy types out there who know about this?

Kitty Hawk is diesel actually. Tanks hold 2,000,000 gal.

  • http://www.kittyhawk.navy.mil/command/stats.html
  • We are still running a diesel aircraft carrier?
    I had though they were all retired.
    Kind of gives the fuel shortage idea more weight.

    We are still running a diesel aircraft carrier?

    We never ran diesel aircraft carriers. They were, and still are, steam powered turbines, including the Kitty Hawk. Before the boilers were fueled with fuel oil or sometimes called bunker oil, it looks almost exactly like crude oil but blacker and thicker. Now many boilers are powered with nuclear power but there are still a lot of bunker oil boilers around, including the Kitty Hawk.

    Check here and you will find they all are steam powered turbines:

    Kitty Hawk class attack aircraft carriers

    Displacement: 80,945 tons full load
    Dimensions: 990 x 129 x 35.5 feet/301.75 x 39 x 10.8 meters
    Extreme Dimensions: 1046 x 251 x 35.5 feet/318.8 x 76.5 x 10.8 meters
    Propulsion: Steam turbines, 8 1200 psi boilers, 4 shafts, 280,000 shp, 30+ knots

    There has never been a diesel powered aircraft carrier in the US Navy.

    Ron Patterson

    I recall from memory that we have ten nuclear carriers and three turbine powered ships. If memory serves the turbine ships are actually cheaper to operate ... or they were at 1990s oil prices.

    Sacred Cow, they are ALL turbine ships. That was the point of my post. You must boil water to power the turbine. Some of them use bunker oil to boil water and some use nuclear energy to boil water.

    Ron Patterson

    Leanan, I posted the Admiral Keating story waaay upthread. Seems the good admiral is quite busy now.

    Can you believe this subsidy plan for fuel guzzlers?

    A yearlong Oregon test of gadgets installed in volunteers’ vehicles has concluded it’s feasible to pay for American roads and bridges by charging drivers for each mile they travel rather than each gallon they burn.

    I think it's an attempt to keep the happy motoring going. They're afraid that everyone will switch to electric cars, and then they won't have any fuel taxes to build and maintain the roads.

    Or, horrors!! Carpool! Or ride a bike! Or walk! Or not go!

    In truth I don't think a serious bicyclist would mind paying $35 a year or so road tax, owning and operating a car costs the average American something like $13k pre-tax. A bike is practically a 'free ride".

    Or, in keeping with the spirit of the more dire posts here, "go right now, while you still can" ??!

    Is there any evidence that transportation planners are even thinking that electric vehicles have any future off the golf course? Road pricing is usually advanced as a solution to congestion issues.

    Maybe they're thinking that after GPS tracking is mandatory on every vehicle, they'll have more power - the power to decide who can go where when. Political officials always lust for more power, the better to turn former rights into 'privileges' they can sell under the table...

    I assure you, transportation planners know what side their bread is buttered. They are keenly aware that fuel efficiency, combined with higher oil prices, is cutting off their oxygen. While they may not be thinking about electric cars per se, they are thinking about a future where not as much gasoline is consumed, and how that will affect infrastructure. It's already starting to bite. Asphalt, concrete, steel, etc., has doubled or tripled in price in the last few years, while gas tax and toll revenue have not grown as fast as expected.

    The investment banker was on to something. We need to secure a source of supply that the Chinese can't drink dry. If we don't we are wasting time conserving. Perhaps rather than war we can share it out, secure our supply and leave the rest to the Asians. That way we can buy some time to tackle the crisis.

    What about spending our time, money and energy on creating an alternative Non-Oil Transportation system ?

    Electrify and expand our freight railroad system.

    Build out Urban Rail at a furious pace Build no more roads).

    Electrify busy bus routes that are not good candidates for rail fro Electric Trolley Buses.

    Make a LARGE number of accommodation's for bicyclists, including taking some two lane, two way streets and turning them into one ways for cars and use the other lane for two bicycle lanes.

    Encourage (via zoning and other means) Transit Orientated Development and walkable communities around Urban Rail.

    A *FAR* better moral AND economic choice !

    Best Hopes for Fewer Military "solutions",


    Nah, that would be too easy. WWIII is preferable.

    A *FAR* better moral AND economic choice !

    I disagree. It's a far better moral and economic choice, true, but it's also a far better environmental and health choice.

    Environmental because electric-powered transportation is so much more efficient than fossil-fueled transportation that emissions will be much lower.

    Health choice not only because of reduced emissions, but because of the increased walkability that a solid public transit system offers to cities, and a whole lot of Americans need a little more walking.

    So, as I see it, there are even more benefits to your proposal than you suggest. Which is not such a bad situation to be in, really.

    I concede my error :-)

    Best Hopes for the Best Moral, Economic, Environmental and Public Health Policy Choices, (War is Quite Bad for Public Health)


    The Best Economic Policy is the Best Environmental Policy

    Environmental because electric-powered transportation is so much more efficient than fossil-fueled transportation that emissions will be much lower.

    half of US electricity is produced from coal. I doubt the emissions of electric vehicles are any less than gasoline power vehicles. Lets not for get about all of the toxic chemicals in the batteries.

    If you are talking about EVs as replacement for ICE cars in Suburbia, you may have a point.

    But for mass transit, e-Bicycles, electrified freight railroads vs. 18 wheel trucks, not so. The gain in efficiency is just too great.

    And only e-Bikes have batteries (significantly smaller than ICE batteries).


    And only e-Bikes have batteries (significantly smaller than ICE batteries).

    Very small ICE for bicycles makes more sense that e-bikes. Consider the transmission losses, battery charging losses, and battery replacment cycle. Plus it requires less changes to in the infrastructure, since we all ready have a system set up to delivery liquid fuels for transport. And Long distance bikers (ie visiting relates days away on bike) can fill up in seconds, rather than have to wait hours for a full recharge. What happens to e-bike if there is a power outage that prevent people from recharging over night?

    Another issue with bicycles is transportation for very young, disabled and elderly folks, Biking in the north during cold rainy, snowing, or bitter cold is more than just unpleasant.

    An then there are the suburbs. There are now tens of millions living in the suburbes and exburbs. You can't simply pile all these people into cities. How do you transport a weeks worth of grocies on an e-bike?

    electrified freight railroads vs. 18 wheel trucks, not so. The gain in efficiency is just too great.

    Once the age of mass consumerism is gone, the amount of good transported will be siginificantly less. People won't be buying any where near the amount of crap they consume today.

    That said, The fact remains, I don't see any changes yet to a mitigation program with the US mobilization on the scale of WW2. I think we continue as we are drifting until its too late. Its probably already too late now. For the most part this discussion is a pipe dream. I think that from some of your more recent posts you would tend to agree with this assesment. Too many changes need to happen and time is running short.

    Best hopes that more people take action in their own hands rather than waiting for gov't action!

    AFAIK, very small ICEs have poor efficiency. Most scooters, for example, get only 100 mpg or so per reports I have read. (there is a scooter dealership 3 blocks away, I should stop by and ask). Electric motors also decline in efficiency, but not as much (98+% for 100 MW to around 80% for 0.1 kW)

    IMHO, e-Bikes are not yet a mature technology (the pieces are mature, but how to put them together to meet different needs are not). The most common e-Bike still relies primarily on human power with an electric assist.

    Properly done, a depleted battery e-Bike should be like a basic bicycle (not the fancy versions) with an extra 15 lbs or so dead weight. Still quite usable.

    A good bicycle (with or without electric assist) can carry the better part of 100 lbs in cargo (more for a very fit rider). Two side baskets and front basket, not to mention a possible trailer.

    A trend towards less packaging and less manufactured food would make it easier to haul "a week's groceries". (Of course I visit Zara's Grocery 4 to 5 times/week since they are 2.5 blocks away). Perhaps a half weeks grocery for a family of 4 via bicycle ?

    The "infrastructure" to deliver liquid fuels is already shrinking and cannot sustain itself with 9/10s gallon sales. OTOH, electrical supply is likely to be more robust IMHO (although not perfect, thus the pedal option or a quality non-e bicycle).

    A minimal pedal (mainly e-) tricycle (or NEV or segway) should be good or an elderly or disabled person going a few miles on low speed city streets. Circumstances may force most of them in closer to city services. Young children already bicycle LOTS of places (if their parents let them). Not a problem in my estimation for ages 6 and up. For younger, they make kid trailers.

    The USA has a MASSIVE overbuild in both housing (new SFR x2.5 sq ft vs. 1950) and retail (x10/capita vs. 1950). This will allow lots of shuffling and population movements for the cost of a remodel (remodeling is high labor/low material & low energy usually).

    I do foresee a very rough time ahead (my Terrible Tens (not Teens because things are likely to get rough before 2013)) but, with proper policies and national will we can pull out of it to a decent life on the other end.


    Best Hopes for 2020,


    From discussions with dedicated bicyclists (up to their 60s), high winds are the ultimate bike stopper. Cold (-15 F), snow (up to almost a foot), ice can be biked through WITH PROPER EQUIPMENT. Add gusts to 50 mph and even they stay home or drive.

    AFAIK, very small ICEs have poor efficiency. Most scooters, for example, get only 100 mpg or so per reports I have read. (there is a scooter dealership 3 blocks away, I should stop by and ask). Electric motors also decline in efficiency, but not as much (98+% for 100 MW to around 80% for 0.1 kW)

    But your not counting it versus complete energy consumption. How much BTUs go up a chimmey in a coal or gas fired plant. Other forms (except perhaps Hydro) are even worse converting work into electricity. FWIW: Utimate efficiency isn't required for transportant. It just needs to be made far more efficient than today's SUVs and other fuel inefficient vehicles that are on the road today.

    From discussions with dedicated bicyclists...

    The Key phrase is "Dedicated bicyclist" which represents thousand in a nation of 300 Million. Could you see yourself biking everyday if you lived much further North (no matter rain, snow, sleet)? How many of the 300 Million will choose to become dedicated bicyclist? What about the disabled?

    Properly done, a depleted battery e-Bike should be like a basic bicycle (not the fancy versions) with an extra 15 lbs or so dead weight. Still quite usable.

    Why bother with the batteries at all then?

    A trend towards less packaging and less manufactured food would make it easier to haul "a week's groceries". (Of course I visit Zara's Grocery 4 to 5 times/week since they are 2.5 blocks away). Perhaps a half weeks grocery for a family of 4 via bicycle ?

    Because You may live near a grocery store doesn't mean the rest of the countries population does too. What happens if you break a leg or have some other aliment that prevents you from riding a bike?

    I do foresee a very rough time ahead (my Terrible Tens (not Teens because things are likely to get rough before 2013)) but, with proper policies and national will we can pull out of it to a decent life on the other end.

    War, Famine, Pestilence. What is happening or about to happen in the poorest third world nations that have been out-priced of fossil fuels will spread the the industrialize world. See Africa as a reference. Do we see the Middle east Exporters (practically a stones throw away from Africa) helping them make a transition? When it happens to us, do you think they will act any different, and suddenly become generious?

    'Perhaps rather than war we can share it out, secure our supply and leave the rest to the Asians.'

    In order to conclude a 'sharing' arrangement real diplomacy and negotiation has to take place. Diplomacy requires a real State Department staffed with intelligent people with a shared goal of reaching decisions that satifies all without resort to hostilities...Lets see...Korea? No, Viet Nam? No, Iraq? No, the cold war? Sort of...because both sides were armed to the teeth with nukes. First and foremost nations have a monopoly on violence, and they tend to use violence, before making serious attempts at diplomacy, if they think that they can 'win' a war.

    I dont believe 'Bring Em On', 'WMD', 'mission accomplished', 'If world leaders want to prevent WW3 they should stop Iran from getting nukler teknogy', will lead to a 'sharing arrangement.'

    'we are wasting time conserving'...Now you are on to something! Lets use the fossil fuels as fast as possible so no one, even those pesky Chinese, will have any!

    Today in the online version of the SF Chronicle Jon Carroll discusses economist jokes, if anyone is looking for potential new batch to explain the world.

    Surely many lawyer jokes can be re-purposed as economist jokes:

    What do you have if you've got 10 economists buried up to their necks in sand?

    ... not enough sand!

    funny: "How many conservative economists does it take to change a lightbulb? None. The darkness will force the lightbulb to change by itself."

    I can imagine a world in which no light fixture is left behind.

    BitterOldCoot, I may have stumbled onto an cheap and easy source of power. This lake in China rises and falls three times per day. One could simply make an oversize toilet bowl float on a long arm and as the lake water rose and fell the arm and float would rise and fall. The float arm could be attached to a generator through a flywheel and crank arrangement and presto...free electricty. There is the small problem that the lake is full of snakes but a bit of C4 should get rid of those pests. I believe that toilet bowl floats, even large ones, would find easier acceptance than wind turbines among the general population. After all, people that are not used to seeing wind generators usually have at least a passing aquaintance with toilet bowl floats. Heck, I once knew a lady that told me that she had been abducted by a UFO that was shaped like a toilet bowl float. Imagine that.

    Mysterious lake swells and shrinks 3 times a day


    'Longchao Lake, a mysterious lake located in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality, swells and shrinks three times a day!

    Mysterious Longchao Lake located in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality. [CRI]

    With no ditch or other lakes nearby, how does the lake come up with three regular one-hour swells-and-shrinks at 8 am, 12 am and 4 pm respectively every day?

    Chongqing Economic Times reported that the lake's mysterious moves have finally prompted a latest scientific investigation of the lake organized by Chongqing Exploitation Association and local hydrology and geology experts. The two-day investigation starts on Friday.

    The report says the team will take a boat to the centre of the lake where three obvious "water holes" are pumping up waters everyday from the lake's underground. The team will also investigate a tree-leaf-covered deep pit that lies in the mount cliff about 20 meters away from the lake centre, as they suspect it might account the major reason for the strange siphon phenomenon of the lake.'...snip...

    'Dating back to 1982, a severe drought hit the area but the three "water holes" in the lake still pumped out waters for three days. And tens of thousands of snakes also came out of the holes.'...snip...

    I've got your Toilet Float for you.

    Take a retired Tanker or Battleship, etc.. and leverage its rising and falling with Tides or mysterious 'Swelling Lake Effects '- against the Ocean/Lake bed with a 'cage' of anchored beams. You'd be extracting power from a VERY slow action, however..


    Bob, the battleship idea is great! What does it matter if the action is 'very slow'? A giant transmission (reduction gearing) should take care of the slowness of movement.

    Finally someone has found a use for all those sitting duck surface ships! America will have the most expensive toilet floats in the world, as it should, and our 'power stations' are unlikely to be attacked by terrorists since they will be well armed. I think you should apply for intellectual property rights for your concept.

    And whether it's tankers or Destroyers, talk about beating swords into ploughshares, huh?

    As far as Patents.. I'm giving that one away. I have hundreds of notions, and won't have time to try them all out. Someone go out there and get rich, OK? Show that there's tons of money to be made in new energy projects and in clunky, beautiful old Leviathans.. You could even offer tours of the ship, high priced coffee-shops aboard, movie theaters whatever.. a few tons more or less will hardly affect the energy capture of such a thing. (Imagine a gently rocking Screening Theater, specializing in 'Ocean Movies'.. "Run Silent, Run Deep" , "Captains Courageous", and "Titanic" and "Waterworld" as midnight shows for your local Apocalypse-lovers 'Doomer-graphic'. (You can see how tired my brain gets.. I have to let a lot of it out..)

    If it's on the choppy Maine Coast somewhere, you could have all the lifeboats and some old Torpedo Boats deployed around the Ship's perimeter using that many more 'Toilet Refill Valve Arms', capturing Swell, Wave and Ripple energy, too, not to mention the wave-motions of the ship within its moorings.. ALL that motion will have so much force behind it.. both the ship's mass and the moving water.. that there will be plenty to catch and use.. (I have to think so, anyway..)


    'The only things you can take to Heaven are the things you gave away.'

    Here's a truly stupid idea to tap vast amounts of theoretically available energy...

    There are places in the world where the tectonic plates move relative to each other at fairly fixed rates of say 3cm / year.

    With enough gearing, and a couple of really big anchors, it ought to be possible to run some pretty big generators off that.

    Of course, there might be a bit off energy loss gearing up by a factor of 10 billion or so to give a usable meters per second...
    Jaymax (cornucomer-doomopian)

    If you ask four economists a question, you'll get four different answers. Five, if one of them went to Harvard.

    If you lined up all the economists in the world, you still would not reach a conclusion.

    Robert Fisk: Darkness falls on the Middle East
    In Beirut, people are moving out of their homes, just as they have in Baghdad

    "So what can a Middle East correspondent write on a Saturday morning except that the world in the Middle East is growing darker and darker by the hour. Pakistan. Afghanistan. Iraq. "Palestine". Lebanon. From the borders of Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean, we – we Westerners that is – are creating (as I have said before) a hell disaster. Next week, we are supposed to believe in peace in Annapolis, between the colourless American apparatchik and Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister who has no more interest in a Palestinian state than his predecessor Ariel Sharon."


    Bob, but not that Bob

    Kucinich on Peak Oil:


    A minute ore two into it...