DrumBeat: November 25, 2007

Demand, and high oil prices, are here to stay

Hundred-dollar oil is one of those psychological thresholds in the market that we note with fanfare. But $100 a barrel isn't significantly different from the mid-$90s we've faced for several weeks. It's not the price that matters so much as the trend.

Just a few weeks ago, we wrote stories about $90 oil. A couple of months before that, it was $80. So far this year, oil prices have almost doubled. Pick your marker. They all bear the same message: The oil market is changing.

Oil economists and geologists debate whether world oil supplies have peaked. In the markets, though, the debate is over.

Report on the Implications of Peak Oil

We are concerned enough by the prospects of oil production falling or remaining level having unacceptable impacts on our people to start the dialog in the state. We don't know when Peak Oil will happen - or if it has happened - our when or if technology will mitigate the impacts -- we don't care to debate that --we have all been around politics far long enough to know it moves at glacial pace. Even if we take the most optimistic of views like that of EIA or CERA --it's not that long of a lead time considering the work that needs to be done and the slow pace of government. The economist, oil men, business folks all have a different duty than we do. Of course we will need them to make the change happen but we need to pick the destination or they will just do more of the same.

Huckabee: America Enslaved to Saudi Oil

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee says America has become "enslaved" to oil from Saudi Arabia, muting its response to human rights issues in the Middle East country.

Enbridge Sees Big Wind Farm Running in a Year

Enbridge Inc aims to have Canada's second-biggest wind farm up and running in a year, a spokeswoman for the company said Friday, adding that project delays have caused "significant" cost overruns.

Oil prices to keep rising as demand grows

With world oil prices nearly touching $100 a barrel in the past week, we are living through the third great energy shock of the post-war era. But this time, demand from India and China means that prices are unlikely ever to go down again.

Nigerian military reports clash with militants near Shell gas plant

Nigerian troops clashed early on Sunday with armed militants in the Niger Delta oil region near a natural gas facility run by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, a military official said.

The latest encounter between troops and militants in rising violence in the troubled region occurred in Soku, in the southern swamps of Rivers state, where Shell runs a natural gas gathering facility, military spokesman Maj. Sagir Musa said. No details were yet available on casualties or the impact of the clash on oil and gas operations, he said.

Honduras seeks to resume oil imports from Venezuela

Honduras is seeking to resume oil imports from Venezuela after 15 years in a move that would further strengthen President Hugo Chavez's influence in Central America.

The administration of President Manuel Zelaya, burdened by the surge of international oil prices, will start talks with Caracas next week and the idea is to make all of its fuel oil imports from Venezuela.

Fuel oil is used for electric generation.

Subsidised fuel weighs on India's budget

This is India's problem. People out on the streets depend on the lower price of essential fuels like kerosene and petrol to survive. But India buys 70% of its oil from international markets - and pays global prices for it.

Selling fuel to its citizens at an artificially low cost is taking its toll on the country's economy. India sells gasoline, diesel and other consumer fuels at below cost - and is now starting to feel the heat as oil prices head towards $100 a barrel.

Pakistan: Increase in gas price to badly hit common man

The proposed 6.56 per cent increase in gas price will not only hit the common man but have adverse effect on transport, power generation, fertiliser, and cement prices.

"The government must not go for this unjustified raise as it will bring price-hike in the country, leaving the poor to commit suicides and rendering industrial sector uncompetitive," observed various trade bodies, business organisations and a group of common people.

Diesel costs trickle down

Skyrocketing diesel prices are biting into the profits of transportation companies and other firms that rely heavily on diesel-powered trucks, buses and other vehicles to deliver goods.

Road to the White House: Energy rises as primary issue

Oil prices flirting with $100 a barrel, warnings of climate change and holiday road trips fueled by gas topping $3 a gallon are combining to give energy issues unprecedented prominence in the presidential campaign.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson: Congress is drilling a dry hole

The only way to address our crisis is to increase the supply of energy. However, legislation proposed in Congress would actually lead to reductions in energy supply and target the oil and gas industry with $16 billion in new taxes.

What went wrong in offering Texans a choice?

Starting in the 1990s, 19 states took at least some steps toward rolling back electricity regulations that had stood for six decades. The idea was sold on promises that competition would lower prices. However, electricity rates went up in every case.

In fact, while electricity prices have increased by a little more than 16 percent on average since 2002 in states that are still regulated, they’ve gone up by an average 29 percent in those that deregulated.

Far From Beijing’s Reach, Officials Bend Energy Rules

When the central government in Beijing announced an ambitious nationwide campaign to reduce energy consumption two years ago, officials in this western regional capital got right to work: not to comply, but to engineer creative schemes to evade the requirements.

The Philippines: Why oil prices are rising

LAST TIME we saw petroleum prices rise rapidly (in 2005), our economy slowed down, overall prices shot up, and joblessness rose. World crude oil prices had shot up then from around $30 per barrel to above $60.

Another round of petroleum product price increases is now upon us. After hovering around $50-60 in the last two years, crude oil prices are now above $90, and expected to breach $100 soon. The domestic oil industry has already raised fuel prices by around 50 centavos a liter, and Filipinos are bracing themselves for another round of difficulties that are expected to arise from these recent developments. Why are oil prices rising so rapidly?

Still out to sea

Rising costs in fuel have Manatee boaters, anglers shortening trips, but not docking their vessels entirely.

Power struggle

At age 56, the Salem Harbor Power Station is in its dotage by some industry standards. How much longer can it last?

After a boiler pipe explosion killed three workers at the huge plant along Fort Avenue in Salem earlier this month, critical decisions loom: Next year, New England energy officials must decide if the plant is essential to the regional power grid. And owner Dominion power company must determine what investments to make to keep the facility running within state guidelines.

Debating the Merits of Energy From Air

THE tiny Greek island of Serifos, a popular tourist destination, depends on its postcard views of sandy beaches, Cycladic homes and sunsets that blend sea and sky into a clean wash of color. So when a mining and energy company floated a plan earlier this year to build 87 industrial wind turbines on more than a third of the island, the Serifos mayor, Angeliki Synodinou, called it her “worst nightmare.”

'Charge 'er up, Jacko': why electric cars look set to accelerate

Electric cars are small, slow, uncomfortable and dangerous. At least that is what most people used to think. The reality is changing fast as major manufacturers shift up a few gears: within a few years we will see electric vehicles on the road that look like their petrol equivalents, but with running costs of a couple of pence per mile.

Can a bold new "eco-city" clear the air in China?

Called Dongtan, or East Beach, the project attempts to channel China's voracious demand for housing and energy into a radical new model: a city that eventually supports half a million residents, recycles almost all of its waste, produces its electricity from wind turbines, solar panels and biofuel, and ferries people around in hydrogen fuel-cell buses and solar-powered water taxis.

Top US engineer in piss-off-everybody car fuel solution

In essence, Zubrin says that the OPEC oil cartel - and in particular its heaviest hitters, the Saudi royal house - are no friends of the wealthy liberal West, nor the downtrodden poor of the Third World. He argues that OPEC's production quotas keep the price of oil far higher than the free-market price and far and away higher than the costs of production. This channels colossal sums of hard currency into the hands of inimical governments...

Railroad stakes claim to its right of way

The N.C. Railroad has become more active about policing its right of way, citing safety and the need to preserve the corridor for future uses such as a commuter rail. Since 2004, the line has secured about 127 license agreements governing how encroaching property owners can use the buffer zone. That is more agreements than the railroad has from negotiations the previous 150 years.

Some property owners have been eager to comply with agreements, but others are balking. In many cases, the property owners have been mowing the grass and paying taxes on land that they thought was theirs.

Fresh from the Woods: Fuel from the forest

"The time will come, in two or three decades, when we will look at the days of only sawing boards and making paper as the Dark Ages," says Robert G. Wagner, professor of forestry at the University of Maine. "The chemical versatility of wood is so great, we will cringe at the idea we were once wasting it."

Ethanol proves to be the big letdown of 2007

Ethanol, the centerpiece of President Bush's plan to wean the U.S. from oil, is 2007's worst energy investment.

The corn-based fuel tumbled 57 percent from last year's record of $4.33 a gallon and drove crop prices to a 10-year high. Production in the U.S. tripled after Morgan Stanley, hedge fund firm D.E. Shaw & Co. and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla helped finance a building boom.

Through Genetics, Tapping a Tree’s Potential as a Source of Energy

Aiming to turn trees into new energy sources, scientists are using a controversial genetic engineering process to change the composition of the wood. A major goal is to reduce the amount of lignin, a chemical compound that interferes with efforts to turn the tree’s cellulose into biofuels like ethanol.

Small producers don’t fit into the pipe

Call it evolution, or being a victim of your own success. Either way, Wyoming is steadily losing its small mom-and-pop oil and gas producers to big corporations whose headquarters and shareholders are far outside the state’s borders.

"I don’t have any hope the small guy is going to be around for much longer," said John Kennedy, long-time owner of Gillette-based Kennedy Oil.

Maine Truckers Protest High Fuel Prices

Larry Sidelinger, who owns Yankee Pride Transport in Damariscotta, organized next Saturday's meeting in Damariscotta. Sidelinger said that with high prices, truckers are barely making a living hauling pulp, logs and lumber.

Others plan to suggest remedies, such as temporarily waiving state taxes on diesel fuel and replacement automotive parts like tires and brakes.

Higher diesel fuel costs have area truckers hurting

If Tony Zawojski didn't have his truck paid off, he's not sure he'd still be an owner/operator.

"It's tough, I'm barely getting by," the Egg Harbor resident said after filling up at Country Express in Bellevue. "If I had to make truck payments, I think I'd be out of business."

Ethanol industry see future in pipeline

Dennis McCoy can get part of his corn crop to the bellies of hogs without a hiccup. But the North Dakota farmer believes ethanol made from his other corn acres is hamstrung by traditional truck and rail shipping.

India: Power crisis looms large as winter nears

There could be dark days and nights ahead as Kashmir is facing severe power deficit which amounts to half the actual requirement. Officials say the crisis may worsen in the coming harsh winter months when the local power generation and the imports suffer the largely, alike, each year.

Climate change science hard to ignore

Dr. Gerald Dickens of Rice University notes that the cold, deep ocean contains more than 10 times as much carbon as the atmosphere, trapped in frozen gas hydrates. These gas hydrates are sensitive to relatively small changes in deep-ocean temperature. Scientists believe four times in the distant past, 250, 183, 120, and 55 million years ago gradual warming of the planet caused the ocean to warm enough to release these gas hydrates into the atmosphere resulting in abrupt, runaway climate change.

The needle and the damage done

The hastening end of the Petroleum Age, a scenario that always has been confidently rejected by the global oil industry, is becoming harder to ignore.

This has little if anything to do with a world crude oil price poised to cross the $100 (U.S.) per barrel threshold. Oil, which closed last week at $98.18, is still below its all-time inflation-adjusted high of $102 per barrel set in April 1980. Which means it has taken 27 years for oil to recover to its previous peak price – six years longer than it took for stock prices to regain their losses during the Great Depression.

Reaching our peak oil supply

Though some dismiss them as crude-oil Cassandras, the peak-oilers are not wild-eyed pessimists. Their number includes men like T. Boone Pickens, the Dallas oil tycoon, and Houston's Matt Simmons, who founded the world's largest energy investment banking company. They point to hard data indicating that the world is quite simply running out of oil and doing so quickly (www.theoildrum.com and www.energybulletin.net are two good Web sites compiling peak-oil news, analysis and information).

Don't be fuelled...

Remember when we were told by some wise observers that the Iraq war might be justified because it would help stabilise oil at about Û20 a barrel? Most of the experts now agree we have passed the "peak oil point" and it's all downhill from now on - or, rather, uphill as far as the price is concerned. And remember, it's not just filling a petrol tank where we shall feel the pain... it's everywhere.

Oil platform catches fire in North Sea

LONDON - An oil platform in the North Sea caught fire Sunday, and helicopters were fighting strong winds to rescue the 159 workers aboard it, the Royal Air Force said.

At least 44 of the workers were quickly removed from the Thistle Alpha platform about 120 miles northwest of Britain's Shetland Islands, and seven rescue helicopters were trying to save the others, said RAF spokesman Michael Mulford.

US scales back goals for unity

With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.

OPEC And Producer States' Policies

The opening ceremony of the Third OPEC Summit was marked by two important speeches, clearly expressing two different schools and methods in the region. However, despite the fundamental differences between OPEC member states (the Saudi and Venezuelan oil ministers played a key role in establishing OPEC in 1960), the organization was able to overcome them and achieve the goals articulated in its by-laws.

Iraqi Kurds Brush Off Baghdad Government Nullifying Oil Deals

The Kurdistan Regional Government Sunday brushed off a statement by Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani in which he declared all oil contracts signed by the Kurdish regional authorities with foreign companies null and void.

"By stating that, al-Shahristani has gone beyond his powers and size," KRG spokesman Jamal Abdullah said in statement published on the KRG Web site.

Environmentalism and the future of coal: Part 1 and Part 2

Australia's new PM Rudd acts swiftly on climate

Australia's new prime minister, Kevin Rudd, made climate change his top priority on Sunday, seeking advice on ratifying the Kyoto pact and telling Indonesia he will go to December's UN climate summit in Bali.

Rudd, who swept aside 11 years of conservative rule by John Howard in Saturday elections, also spoke to U.S. President George W. Bush by phone, but would not say when he planned to start a promised withdrawal of 500 Australian combat troops from Iraq.

One of the source videos that Life after the oil crash drew upon:
In this corporate-sponsored cartoon, Martian dissidents learn that oil and competition are the two things that make America great.

Good light entertainment for a Sunday. Enjoy.

Oh, so *that's* where Crude Awakening got those sweet graphics. Absolutely hilarious. Especially the oil+competition part at the end.

It's encouraging to read the article Reaching our peak oil supply. Another shot at the folks who live in suburban sprawl luxury, thinking it will last forever.

The author even asks the obvious question:

What would life after peak oil mean for Dallas and its surrounding suburbs, a metropolis created by the availability of cheap energy?

That note followed the statement:

The modern industrial world cannot function in any recognizable form without cheap and plentiful oil.

Those of us who have been involved in the energy mess for more than 30 years, as I have, can be happy now that our worst fears are being brought out into the light of day. But, is there enough time, money and energy to stop the train and back up toward a sustainable society? TPTB didn't listen during the 1970's and 1980's, so what will it take to get their attention this time?

E. Swanson

TPTB didn't listen during the 1970's and 1980's, so what will it take to get their attention this time?

See Edward's Energy Plan below.


Couldn't get the link to work. Where is this?

He screwed up the HTML. I fixed it.

Also, it's posted up top.

"He screwed up the HTML. I fixed it."

If only PO were so easy... ;)

Congratulations to Jeffrey Brown ! WELL DONE !

Best Hopes for Persistence,


This was one of two MSM print interviews I did in the past couple of weeks. We will see what happens with the other one.

In any case, I think that Rod Dreher did a very good job. He really didn't pull any punches. It's one of the hardest hitting MSM articles I have seen on Peak OIl.

BTW, Rod was the one who asked me to write the "Yes, we have peaked" side of a Peak Oil debate for the Dallas Morning News, which was published in June, 2006 (with contributions from Alan Drake and Bart from the EB): http://www.energybulletin.net/17009.html

I have to admit that, to some extent, the "Iron Triangle" is beginning to crack, although I assume that the cornucopian articles still vastly outnumber the Peak Oil acceptance articles.

Thank you and congrats Mr Browne for putting reality up against the wall in a fairly balanced manner!

One thing that annoys me is that the MSM consequently still is referring to Hubberts peak as “a theory” …(!!)
That was fairly ok some decades ago, but NO more. Because when people read/hear about theories they tend to respond more ignorant … “so what if”… “then what ?” … you know. Next time you should make an emphasis that PO is NOT A THEORY – it is reality, the question is ONLY when …. And so forth. 

One more thing, if memory serves, the IEA actually downscaled the 2030 production forecast in a very flexible manner – saying it probably will hover in the range of between 102.3 mb/d and 116 mb/d that is significant (!)

I believe IEA is spotting the text on the wall, next year IMO they will flirt with “90 mb/d”. It would look too stupid from their side to just jump from 130 mb/d to 87 mb/d … in the space of only 2 – 3 years ;-)

Obviously if PO is round about now – the 2030 numbers will be something completely different from any number we can guesstimate about … and that includes IEA, EIA and others …. CERA , will they still be around in 2030 ?

One thing that annoys me is that the MSM consequently still is referring to Hubberts peak as “a theory” …(!!)
That was fairly ok some decades ago, but NO more. Because when people read/hear about theories they tend to respond more ignorant … “so what if”… “then what ?” … you know. Next time you should make an emphasis that PO is NOT A THEORY – it is reality, the question is ONLY when …. And so forth.

I was going to reply to this. That Hubbert's theory is that, a scientific theory. There are bits of data that support the theory and predictions that are now coming true, but just like evolutionary theory with its facts, Oil Depletion is a theory in how it describes what is going on, and how oil fields generally follow a profile. But since no one believes anything I say any more, that I'm deluded by others, then I won't bother...

Richard Wakefield

Gravity is also "just a theory", but I wouldn't advise jumping off of something tall without a parachute to test it.

It seems even more difficult to get people's attention today.

What will it take? Well, since so much of the "wealth that controls the purse strings" is tied up in economic and financial services, it will take the demise/meltdown of the underpinning financial system.

Every other Western power worth noting over the past 500 years falls in much the same way. They become the dominant (technological/economic/military) powers of their time and then begin to depend upon their financial success as the basis for their power. But each made fundamental economic mistakes that were sometimes exascerbated by military adventurism (sound familiar) and down tumbled the system.

Bye, bye, American Pie.

Who will pick up the pieces?

This is Sunday, so... I think it's a mistake to imagine that the fall or decline of an empire will be pleasant or managable. Most, if not all empires, didn't so much fade away as drown, drown in blood.

Unpleasant as it is to think about this, empires, from their peak, create probably as much destruction as they did on their way upwards towards the apex of their power.

Also the idea that there will be pieces to pick up may be way to begign a metaphore. Often there are people ready and waiting to carve and slice off huge chunks of the empire as it grows weaker, thereby hastening its decline.

Gibbon who wrote the classic work on the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, was also writing about his own time, as most historians do. Being an enlightenment intellectual, he was sceptical of organised religion, Christianity, which he thought could weaken the nacsent British Empire, so he put a lot of the blame for the decline of the Rome at the door of Christianity.

Which brings me neatly to the head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who is critical of imperialism, both the British and American varities. He thinks all this violence and the belief in the effecacy of violence is overated. He believes the United States is going down the wrong path, creating an empire of brutality even worse than the British at its hight. He also thinks our culture has become sickeningly materialist, consumerist, and hollow. If our hearts are hollow, where has our humanity gone? if our humanity has gone, what have we become?

The question is; is it too late for the United States to turn its back on the temptation to forge an Empire? Looking at American history the answer is emphatically - Yes, it is too late. The United States has been the dominant world empire for over half a century.

Only since the disintegration of the Soviet Eurasian empire, a crazed dream of creating a hyper-empire which ruled the world, has arisen in Washington. An empire of unrivalled size and power. It's this crazed idea that is really dangerous and ultimately hugely destructive and counter-productive. But maybe this is just the way of empires. They are either expanding, or contracting, there is no imbetween.

So do we, as a species, have the intellectual and social aptitude and fortitude to see the inevitable downside to perpetual empire-building or are we doomed to repeat and rinse this scenario over and over throughout our history?

In other words, can we force ourselves to stop being greedy in all facets of our lives? We have an instinctive nature that compels us, but we also have the brains to act against our instinctive nature. This is what supposedly separates our species from all others, so why do we appear to not capitalize on this advantage, but in the end fall back on instinctive nature.

Ah...Sunday ponderings.

As a species? I fear you generalise just a little too strongly. We are not all the same - all human beings are not the same as Americans - surprising as this may seem. Americans are currently 'exceptional' in their zest for empire, and lust for supremacy over the world's resources, compared to a lot of other societies.

And most importantly, the US is well placed to make some rational decisions to mitigate disaster. No-one 'needed' to travel vast distances for Thanksgiving, or indeed to go shopping on Friday. Most of the world's population has never flown, or even used a telephone. Many don't have clean drinking water. A little perspective would be useful.

I fear you generalise just a little too strongly. We are not all the same - all human beings are not the same as Americans

Um, Pot/Kettle?

Severe sarcanol alert.

Yes please don't lump the rest of the world into the same category as the evil energy using Americans that never do anything to help the world and yet burn all the worlds resources giving not a *#@( about anyone else.


FYI, a lot of the US population falls under the category of 'Most of the worlds population' according to you.

I personally would prefer to bring EVERY American soldier, peace core worker, UN dollar, etc. etc. home. Secure our own borders for real, shoot tresspassers on sight, and tell the rest off the world where to stuff it. However the US has never been allowed to do that as countries knowing where to get a handout come here hat in hand asking for help.

The only empire I care about is my home, which by the way I stayed in this thanksgiving and went no where.

Thank you. I think you made my point for me very nicely. Carry on.

When exactly was the time and place where society was cultured and humane, and did not indulge in violence and consumption?

The Archbishop repeats the "Descent from the Golden Age" myth. It's been a recurring theme for millennia. The Greeks, Romans wrote about the same thing.


You're right. The Archbishop, being an Archbishop is part of long tradition going back millenia. This could be seen as a strength and a weakness. Depends on ones perspective.

I don't believe in the Golden Age either. I don't think Rowan Williams does either. However, he does seem to believe that the direction we're going in isn't particularly pleasant. I think he's more concerned about the future, than the past.

I must admit I rather like the Archbishop. He's a concientious and serious Christian. One of his biggest regrets is that he didn't actively put himself forward as a potential leader and focus of the opposition to the attack on Iraq. He feels he could have done more to prevent it. As such he is regarded with deep suspicion by the war-party.

I've also heard that he's somewhat sceptical of Tony Blair's professed "Christianity". There's a rumour that Blair is going convert and become a Catholic very soon, perhaps on his next visit to Rome. Clearly joining the Catholics doesn't make him super-popular with the Archbiship!


I thought he's always been a Catholic. Remember the hoo-haa about him sending his kids to a Catholic school rather than the local London comprehensive?

I don't believe in the Golden Age either. I don't think Rowan Williams does either

All Christians believe in the Golden Age (they call it Eden), it's a fundamental principle of their religion. The Fall of Man is the descent into sin etc. The purpose of Christians is to restore that Golden Age.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to achieve a better world, I think we can all agree with that. Christianity has had over 2000 years to achieve the goal of a harmonious Earth, it has not done very well. Unfortunately the Archbishops benign form of religion is overshadowed by the fundamentalist sort.

Not sure that empires always end in a big bang. History seems to indicate that they quite often they morph into something new and just cease to be the center of discussion. The Roman Empire morphed into the Byzantine Empire and the British Empire did a very good job of climbing down off the pedestal of empiredom, while still retaining significant power.

This is Big subject. I'm not trying to be definitive, just wondering. I would question the use of the word "morphed" though. Whilst one can argue that Rome declined over centuries and Byzantium continued for hundreds of years; one can also argue that the socalled "Byzantine Empire" was a very different kind of empire than Rome, and was really not an empire at all, but rather an important trading centre. A city-state where Roman values and culture survived behind virtually impregnable walls and not much else, but it's a huge subject to get into.

I'm also sceptical about the widespread idea that somehow the British Empire declined gracefully and is a model worthy of emulation. I heard the other day that Britain has the second largest military budget in the world, way lower than the United States, which is supreme, but spends more than Russia or China!

I think one can argue that Britain, in reality, destroyed itself and its empire by fighting two massive wars with the rising power of Germany for domination of Europe. At the end of WW2 it was a broken country, bankrupt, and so weakened economically, militarily, and politically, that it more or less became an American client-state, losing the real sovereignty it had supposedly fought Germany to preserve.

This kind of thinking is speculative and highly controversial, but I think worth considering. It's also a taboo subject in Britain. The British believe they won WW2. I'm not so sure. It seems they paid a collosal price for refusing the peace Germany was offering them. The deal they cut with the United States was arguably worse.

About 1904 Halford Mackinder, a Brit, put forth the 'Heartland Theory' that influenced not only GB but the US as well in the two wars that were to follow. Mackinder said that the 'heartland' of Western Europe and Eastern Europe/Eurasia, if united, could not be defeated by the rest of the worlds sea power. Mackinder was probably right at the time but he did not invision the rise of air power or nuclear weapons. The Brits and the US worked very hard to keep Russia or Germany from conquering and uniting Europe/Asia from the Channel to the Pacific.

By the time Hitler had come to power in Germany and was in the process of conquering the surrounding states GB was in very poor financial shape and had let their army decline. Chamberlain, often criticized for appeasing Hitler, had little choice for he had little in the way of an army to oppose Germany. Italy was also a great threat to GB for it sat aside GBs Mediteranian sea route to its economic mainstay, India. See: 'The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich'. I do not think that you will like what Hitler had planned for GB if they had accepted his surrender terms.

I would be more inclined to say that GB followed the path that they did to attempt to protect their empire. GB would have lost their empire if they had allowed the 'heartland' to form and they were gambling that by stopping a 'heartland' formation that they could maintain their empire. GB could not know beforehand that their empire would be lost in any case. I do suspect that Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin knew what was going to happen, especially after it became evident that Russia was going to defeat Germany with or without any outside help...It would have taken a couple of more years. Once that the US and GB realized that Stalin would not stop at Berlin they became very anxious to get the Normandy Invasion under way. Of course there are some very interesting theories about why certain US banks were allowed to finance Hitlers rebuilding war machine and why certain US companies were allowed to lend technical help to Germany. I would say that the intentions of some US politicians and corporations were suspect both before and during WW2. Hitler had a lot of supporters both in GB and the US.


'The doctrine of Geopolitics gained attention largely through the work of Sir Halford Mackinder in England and his formulation of the Heartland Theory in 1904. The doctrine involved concepts diametrically opposed to the notion of Alfred Thayer Mahan about the significance of navies (he coined the term sea power) in world conflict. The Heartland theory hypothesized the possibility for a huge empire being brought into existence in the Heartland, which wouldn't need to use coastal or transoceanic transport to supply its military industrial complex but would instead use railways, and that this empire couldn't be defeated by all the rest of the world against it.'

i'd disagree with your suggestion this is a taboo subject in the UK...

to the contrary post-colonial guilt was a huge part of the culture during my upbringing, and discussing the decline of empire and what Britain has become and will become is probably the most talked about dinner conversation of the chattering classes outside of sex and pop culture nonsense

indeed what becomes of Britain and its sovereign status is probably one of the biggest political themes for decades

in/out of Europe
keep/lose the pound

what is the relationship to the commonwealth... etc.

Reading the comments section of the Times article about what the Archbishop said is, shall we say, educational.

US is‘worst’ imperialist: archbishop

Democracy is meaningless when the minds of people can be easily tweaked to support whatever TPTB want. The one thing that comes across from reading the comments attached to that article is the singularity of the mindset. Talk about singing from the same hymn sheet.

If TPTB want empire then they will have little problem taking the population with them in their grand designs. Who's going to stop them? Except some other group of TPTB with their own zombified citizens to back them up.


I went back and had a look at the comments section you so kindly pasted. Now the comments seem not to be based on reading the Archbishop's full interview, as far as I can tell, but rather on very selective and shortened version of what he said presented by the Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times makes Rowan Williams seem like a loony, trendy, vicar. I think he's a serious, thinking, rational, Christian. His job is, after all, to think about Christianity and the role of the Anglican Church in the modern world.

A lot of the comments about his views seem very emotional indeed, especially many from the United States. Whereas Rowan Williams seems considered and thoughtful, lots of the comments are startlingly agressive and extraordinarilly vicious. It's like reading stuff the Nazi's said about people who disagreed with them, or Stalin's apologists, or Mao's followers. Whatever happened to civilized discourse! Are we all going mad! Can't we even discuss ideas now?

It seems like the core of Rowan William's argument is this whole idea that violence is an effective solution to complecated problems. He questions this profoundly. I think it's good that Christian leader has the courage to do this. It's just rather scary that so many people react with such violent rhetoric to a man who, after all, is only asking us to stop, think, and consider; whether violence and war, are really the answer.

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is irrelevant.

If the best the guy can do is to draw erroneous parallels with imperial history then the guy has nothing useful or insightful to say.

Empires made money off of their imperial holdings. Control of distant lands once was profitable. We are way past that point. The idea that the US has some sort of profitable empire to lose is a myth.

The US will rise or fall based chiefly on what happens within our own borders. Do we build wind farms, nukes, and more energy efficient cars and houses? Do we develop cheaper photovoltaics? Lighter and longer lasting batteries? Or not? Do we make our houses way more insulated and switch to geothermal heat pumps or not? Do we move closer to our jobs or not? Do we change our zoning ordinances to allow closer intermixing of commercial and residential so that people can walk to work? Or not?

We have all sorts of things we can do to adapt to Peak Oil. Empires are a distraction from doing those adaptations.

If it was up to me I'd stop wasting $3 billion per week on Iraq and spend it on energy efficiency and new forms of energy. Empire is a drain. Our solutions are close to home.

The day after 9/11, I sent an e-mail to some friends arguing that, in fact, the British empire ceased to be profitable long before it ceased to exist, or even ceased to grow. Before 1857 India was actually controlled by a private corporation, the East India Company, which crapped in its own nest a few times too many and had to deal with a large rebellion by calling in the ultimate government bailout. This is a fantastic example of privatizing profits while socializing costs. The old system was profitable because the Company wasn't held responsible for the welfare of the various Indian publics. But as a governmentally-organized occupier, the British crown got stuck with the cost of welfare instead of the defeated princes. Private firms that could exploit the new system could profit, and ordinary Britons were bribed with the most seductive of opiates, the idea that a poor white man could move to a colony and exploit many non-whites for his fortune. Perhaps the Crown prized both these motivations all along. In any case, Britain got away with it for 90 years before withdrawing.

So we shouldn't assume the American public will see the holistic unprofitability of our current project as long as Halliburton is selling stock and hiring truck drivers with 6-figure salaries. Or as long as the empire serves as a cornerstone for certain ideologies that are much more important to America's cohesive identity than the current costs.

The question is; is it too late for the United States to turn its back on the temptation to forge an Empire? Looking at American history the answer is emphatically - Yes, it is too late. The United States has been the dominant world empire for over half a century.

Who will replace (and soon) the US as the big bully of the world? Throwing it's weight around the world to form an empire of its own? China! And when that happens people will look back and wish for things to be like they once were. Grass is always greener.

Richard Wakefield

Then so mote it be.

'drove my chevy to the levee but the levee was dry..'

"...And outside in the distance, four riders were approaching, and the wind began to howl..."

"...And outside in the distance, [a wildcat did growl], four two riders were approaching, and the wind began to howl..."

from John Wesley Harding, 1967

Guys, if you're going to quote, at least quote correctly:

"Outside in the cold distance
A wild cat did growl
Two riders were approachin
And the wind began to howl"

Well, you're correct of course, and I stand corrected. I had a feeling my brain was pulling me off the well-troden path. Wow - now I may be screwing with Robert Plant's lyrics! Anyway I kind of prefer four riders as opposed to just two. I was kind of thinking of the four riders of the apocalypse, it being Sunday, and we're in such a cheerful mood and all!

One of the worlds most precious metals, Led, now has its' own radio station on XM satellite, lol.

"All Along the Watchtower" was written by Bob Dylan

John Wesley Harding is the name of the album


Jimi Hendrix's cover of the song is probably the best known


On or off topic ... its late ... where I sit !
Brace yourself – I went into the lyrical corner for some “fifteen minutes…” hehe – (Blowing in the wind , is flexile …)

How many pipes must a man lay down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, 'n' how many rigs can be raised to the sky
Before they’ll come crumblin’ down?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a president shout GO?
Before he’s forever banned n’ gone?
The answer, my friend, is fadin' in the fumes,
The answer is fadin' in the fumes….

How many times can a man scream “moe’ oil”?
Before his sole’ brain cell kicks in?
Yes, 'n' how many cars can one street hold?
Before there’s a bus there instead?
Yes, 'n' how many cats can one dog eat
Before It can see there’s no moe’?
The answer, my friend, is fadin' in the fumes,
The answer is fadin' in the fumes….

How many years can an oil-peak exist
Before it’s just washed through a drum?
Yes, 'n' how many people like TODers must exist
Before they're allowed to be heard ?
Yes, 'n' how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn't see?
The answer, my friend, is fadin' in the fumes,
The answer is fadin' in the fumes….

I like the Dave Mason version, followed by Jimi Hedrix version.

Here you go, River. "All Along the Watchtower" Dave Mason Live


Boy, are we getting old.

Robert Plant?

Didn't Bob Dylan write it? And Hendrix did the best version of course :P

And actually that should have been the first verse.

Edward's Energy Plan - For New Hampshire ?


...the former North Carolina senator is calling on Congress to release some of the nation's home heating oil and crude oil reserves as a way to bring down prices by increasing supply. He also is urging Congress to fully fund the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program...

Edwards said he would double the budget of a program that helps people weatherize their homes to $500 million a year.

His plan for longer-term relief from high home heating prices involves asking the Justice Department to investigate the massive mergers of oil companies in recent decades and modernizing antitrust laws to target oil and gas companies that take unilateral action to withhold supplies in order to raise prices


Most likely the future will bring a "merger" of the consumers as well as the producers and marketers. Consumer mergers will take the form of more people per big house as they are converted into apartment houses, more carpooling and bus runs, and so on. It seems unlikely that a legal attack on corporate mergers will help much. Any more than economists will produce more oil through the magic of the market place.

For a really gloomy look at what could be coming, in the Jay Hanson school of the future, here is one entitled Peak Oil, Total Collapse and the Road to the Olduvai by Perry Arnett who some will recognize as a poster on the Yahoo Energy Resources forum.


One section I particularly liked was: "Consider this little observation also: that from this point on, NOTHING is going to get any better! That's right, nothing in your material life surely, and most things in the rest of your life will get better than they are right now!"


Back to Olduvai, back to the stone age. They never ran out of rocks, you know -- they just saw greener grass across the gorge. True survivalists will stake out obsidian and flint supplies.

Hello Todd,

Thxs for reposting this for any TOD newbies: I think it can greatly help them do the necessary mind-warp to further prepare. I especially like this Perry Arnett quote:

"The worse it gets, the worse it WILL get!"

I hope that most will choose wheelbarrows and bicycles vs SUVs--we can get much further to Ultimate Olduvai with human power [and less total machete' moshpit violence]:


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

'NOTHING is going to get any better!'


And yes, that is a serious question.

You won't find love? You won't experience the soft falling of snow, or the warm rain? You will never eat or drink anything satisfying ever again? Or is that covered in the idea of non-material?

Even in your material life, why assume that having less is bad? Or that wearing comfortable clothes for 10 years is somehow 'worse?' Or that actually having to walk is worse than driving?

This list could go on, but it is very arbitrary. Maybe a simple way to frame it - people living in places most Americans would consider abjectly poor seem to actually enjoy about as much of their lives as those Americans who can't imagine living that way except as punishment.

Expat, methinks you have a strange idea of what things will be like when declining oil causes a total collapse of the world's economies. The idea that most people will simply move down to where most poor people live now is nice to believe, but I don't think it represents reality.

Having less is a far cry from having virtually nothing. I mean when the world's industrial base shuts down, the vast majority of people will have no income whatsoever. Farmers will produce much less food and most of what they do produce they will consume themselves. Anarchy and chaos will reign everywher. It will be many times worse than the days of the great depression.

Yes, you will experience the soft falling snow, and you will be freezing your ass off while doing it. You will be very hungry. Your kids will be crying and begging for food. There will be hungry people everywhere and some of them will get violent.

But you still can experience love, soft falling snow, warm rain and if you are very, very lucky you can drink something satisfying, like clean water.

But not to worry expat, I am sure "science will think of something". Someone will find "some other form of energy". And almost seven billion people will continue to eat, drink and be merry, but they will be just a little poorer than they are today.

Yeah Right!

Ron Patterson

What is often interesting is how hard it is for some people to remember that the scenario you describe is not fiction in Germany - it happened here 60 years ago. And in East Germany, there wasn't any Marshall Plan, either. The Russians may have been fraternal socialist comrades, but they weren't exactly in great shape themselves at the end of WWII.

No one wants to return to that time, but sometimes, I truly wonder if people think that what they imagine is somehow beyond human experience because it has not happened to them.

The ability of people in the U.S. to truly imagine living in any way but the one they grew up with seems limited beyond normal bounds, and if they can, they either imagine overflowing riches or grinding poverty.

This is not to discuss the future, and what it holds, exactly, but to point out that much of what Americans seem to feel is a nightmare is just daily life for most people living on this planet. This doesn't make it good, but essentially none of those people are planning on ending their lives because things will only go downhill from here in material terms.

As for hunger, pain, disease, suffering and death - they are already very well acquainted with those parts of human existence. Often, it seems like the only people that aren't acquainted live in North America.

Truly, the future is unknown, and vast suffering may be around the corner - but that too has been true as long as humans have existed.

"from this point on, NOTHING is going to get any better!"

That's the most popular, scented centerfold in the Doomerporn Monthly, 'DIEOFF!'

It might be true from an average point of view, but not from an individual one. And that, I believe, is another reason so many people will resist the idea of PO and mitigation - because they will think that even if things get harder they will somehow rise above the average masses and still do well for themselves.

Hell, even most people here have that kind of thinking.

I wouldn't say most people here think that way. Some, definitely.

Yeah, it was a very sweeping comment, but I wouldn't be surprised if more than half the people here thought that the information they have about PO and the possible consequences of it puts them in a better position than Joe Average.

A poll would be interesting to ask that and other PO related questions...

Anybody remember Howard Ruff and "Ruff Times" from the late 1970s?

My own material life: I'm hoping the housing market collapses so far that I can afford to buy a huge mansion for cheap.

Look, some people are going to be winners as the overall economy contracts. They'll find ways to fill needs and fulfill desires of others for a profit. They'll keep their rules of acquisition in focus and prosper.

Edwards is advocating a foolish and short-sighted policy. Surely we are going to need the Strategic Petroleum Reserve far more when oil exports are declining at 5%-8% per year.

Weatherizing homes is a good idea. But should the federal government do this? I suspect prices are getting high enough to motivate home owners.

"Weatherizing homes is a good idea. But should the federal government do this? I suspect prices are getting high enough to motivate home owners."

Yes. And the state governments too. Homeowners may be motivated by higher prices, but that does not mean that they have the means to undertake the weatherization/insulation projects. In Canada, these type of programs involve government assistance with part of the cost. They also involve certified contractors evaluating the required work and verifying the quality of the work done.

Homes waste a lot of energy. While the homeowner may be the principal beneficiary of the program, all of society also reaps some benefit, in much the same way as car drivers benefit everytime space is created on the road system by one more person taking to (usually) subsidized public transit.

Well worth the public expenditure, unlike the trillions wasted on military offence by your government.

I agree that weatherizing homes is a lot more useful than the Iraq war. But the Iraq war is useless. So buying skateboards is more useful. :>

I would like to see a big tax credit for switching to geothermal heat pumps. Probably one for insulation makes sense too.

I'd also like to see the US government systematically replace all oil furnaces in its own buildings with geothermal heat pumps. Once they've done that they should then do the same with their natural gas furnaces. Shift as much toward electric power as possible.

Better to turn down the heat and wear a wool hat. Sealing up homes means breathing all kinds of stuff like radon gas, formaldehyde etc.

When you build airtight housing, mechanical ventilation is used, the air quality in a properly constructed or retrofitted home is exceptional.

RE: residential mechanical ventilation

Google returns some hits. Is there anyone in particular that you would suggest a look at ?


Check out the Ultimate Air, this is an ERV (energy recovery ventilator) and they have been using them in Passive Houses in the U.S. The units are more expensive than other air exchangers but the efficiency is superb, this unit may not be appropriate for the very coldest climates, zone 7 and higher, this would be a good question for the manufacturer, does it have a defrost cycle.


Geothermal heat pumps are far too expensive, better to spend the money on a quality energy retrofit and cut heating fuel usage to a fraction of what is currently used. Someone proposed spending 25k for a geothermal heat pump the other day, I spent 7k for my energy improvement, 3k for insulation and 4k for a 95% natural gas furnace. My heating bill for the year is now about $500, interest on the 18k I saved over the geothermal heat pump at 5% is $900 dollars a year. Insulate first, then install a very small and energy efficient HVAC system.

Furnace efficiency: Did you compare prices on natural gas furnaces at different efficiency levels? I would be very curious to know how quickly costs go up as a function of higher efficiency.

Natural gas: In some parts of the country it is not an option. The cost of oil is about 3 times as much per BTU. My guess is that most people who have oil furnaces do not have natural gas service available. Hence my suggestion to switch to a geothermal heat pump.

Also, natural gas's cost per million BTU will probably double and double again. I argue that electricity prices won't go up as much as natural gas prices and hence geothermal heat pumps insulate you better from peak oil and peak natural gas.

As for better insulation: Yes, that's probably the best first step regardless of which method is chosen for heating.

My guess is that most people who have oil furnaces do not have natural gas service available

Certainly true in many areas (then the choice is between oil, propane. electricity (hopefully ground loop heat pumps), wood and, in some cases, solar space heating).

In recent years, the percentage of USA households using oil heat has declined from 9% to 7%, which represents significant switching (even with population shifts).

Last year, at ASPO-Boston, I spent some time afterwards with a transit advocate in a transit suburb north of Boston (she commutes by train & bicycle every day to Boston). According to her about half the homes used natural gas and half oil, and almost every home could get natural gas.

So fuel switching is certainly possible. If a significant amount of natural gas (or coal) is burned to generate electricity in the winter, the gain from ground loop heat pumps vs. 95% efficient natural gas heat is complex, and questionable.


If a significant amount of natural gas (or coal) is burned to generate electricity in the winter, the gain from ground loop heat pumps vs. 95% efficient natural gas heat is complex, and questionable.

A while back on the energyresources list I brought up this issue. Roger Arnold, whose opinion I respect a great deal, argued that it may indeed be more efficient to create electricity with gas and drive a ground-loop heat pump to heat a house rather than burning the gas directly. I would love to see someone run figures on this along with explaining the assumptions involving costs of infrastructure, etc. My suspicion is that the 'laboratory clean' figures might show this but that the 'real world dirty' circumstances would not allow it to pan out this way. In any case, working toward an 'electric future' it makes more sense to put personal capital into something that depends on the energy system that is the most flexible and likely to be around the longest.

One of the issues is ground water temperature, which varies by location. The COP ratio depends heavily upon that.

In New Orleans, with our 72 F ground water, the efficiency is outstanding (5.x to 1 from memory of an analysis I did) but our need for heating is low here (below 32 F/ 0 C two out of 3 years). OTOH, ground source cooling was not more efficient than air source air conditioners.

Extracting heat from 10 or 11 C water is more difficult, and more expensive than from warmer water. The COP suffers.

From a personal and social perspective, when ground loop heat pumps are marginally more efficient, what is teh best solution ?

For a friend north of Boston, with an old NG furnace, I suggested the following.

1) A ground loop heat pump sized to fill summer a/c demand (very high efficiency in the summer but not big enough for mid-winter load).

2) A small, high AFUE natural gas furnace for the colder days, to supplement the heat pump on colder days.

3) A good small wooden stove in the basement (exterior air combustion) for back-up and supplement. If wood is cheap and available, use this a lot, but keep several weeks worth of wood on hand at all times.

Sized so that any two of the three can get her quite comfortable in the worst winter weather, and any one can keep the pipes from freezing and "tolerable".

A further step would be enough PV to run the gas furnace fan during the day.

Best Hopes for Redundant Sources of Heat,


From a personal and social perspective, when ground loop heat pumps are marginally more efficient, what is the best solution ?

Ground loop. It will continue to function when natural gas is cut off due to shortages.

And maybe a wood stove...

In any area that has NG fired electricity (i.e. almost all of the USA), NG for electrical generation will be cut off long before residential NG supplies are cut.

Many NG electrical plants have oil stored on-site for back-up, but that is limited in quantity (and ability to replace perhaps).

An on the wall natural gas heater can burn NG without electricity.

When NG supplies are cut off to residences, it is an enormous technical challenge to restore service. I went through the first winter after Katrina w/o NG for that reason. So residences will get the last NG available.

Residential NG should be more reliable than residential electrical service.

Best Hopes for Diversity,


Hi ET,

Towards the upper end, GE's MS7001H combined cycle gas turbine (400 MW) has a heat rate of 5,690 BTU/kWh, which puts its conversion efficiency at 60 per cent. For most simple cycle turbines, the numbers fall in the low to mid 30s and for our purposes, we'll assume simple cycle and that T&D losses drop the final figure to 30 per cent.

An air source heat pump with a HSPF of 8.5 (Zone 4) will provide, on average, two and a half kWh of heat for every one kWh of electricity consumed, so its primary fuel consumption would be similar to that of a standard, mid-efficiency gas furnace with an AFUE of 75 per cent (the current federal minimum standard is 78 per cent).

A high efficiency heat pump with a HSPF of 10.2 would supply an average of three kWh of heat for every one kWh of electricity used, so its results would be on par with that of a high efficiency condensing gas furnace with an AFUE of 90 per cent.

I understand most ground source heat pumps have a COP of 4 or 5, which makes them 1.5 to 2.0 times more energy efficient than a conventional air source unit, and that being the case, a GSHP is the clear winner [under optimal conditions, a GSHP might use as little as one-third as much natural gas as a high efficiency condensing furnace].



The furnace I used is the top of the line Lennox with a variable speed fan (ECM motor), the ECM option adds $500 but uses about 1/3 the electricity of a conventional fan motor so you save when using AC too. I also installed a matched 16 SEER AC and estimate my AC bill for 2007 to be 250 kwh or about $25. I agree with you, if natural gas is not available a heat pump is an attractive option, check out the following link for the Hallowell 2 stage air source heat pump. According to the manufacturer, this unit rivals the efficiency of geothermal for about 1/3 to 1/2 the price. I have a friend who is doing a case study on these two stage heat pumps in WI and will post some results when they become available.


I put in the same unit in sept 06 would have went to the 21 seer but my basement was to short.Also painted the 10x27 room and 8ft hall with a nanopaint nansulate.We dropped our monthly bills from 150 low to 240 high to 90-98 ave 123 highest month and that was cooling an extra 450 sq ft we hadn't cooled before unless we had company.You could tell no difference from upstairs to down and this is a 1927 house with no insulation in side walls.

here are the results!

2 stages cost more than 1 stage, but move more heat because of second effect.

1 stage is more Watt/$ efficient for heating and cooling

As the outdoor temp drops the heating efficiency drops (fyi average year round temp is something like 15C so use that as a baseline measurement)

as it cools the cooling efficiency is less.

but the overall COP was only something like 2-4, which is not fantastic at all.

Pretty much the only thing to understand about electrical power is NOT TO USE IT FOR HEATING, use it to PUMP heat out of your house, or into your house. The capital is higher, but the ROI should be 5 years or less.

if you have the right microcontroller set it up to move heat from your house when it is coolest outside, and heat your house when it is warmest outside, then keep it off for the rest of the day. You will save big dollars, because the machinery gets minimal wear, and you save the biggest dollars.

BTU, thanks for the link! The Hallowell unit looks pretty interesting.

Hello AlanfromBigEasy,

Quote:"...the former North Carolina senator is calling on Congress to release some of the nation's home heating oil and crude oil reserves as a way to bring down prices by increasing supply."

That is trying to ride a dying FF-horsehead! A non-starter IMO.

Now weatherizing homes makes sense, but I would also make population controls contingent upon receiving aid. Snip the nuts--for insulation bucks! Also, if the SE drought continues to gets worse: birth-controlled families get FEMA preferential relocation treatment to TOD-rehabbed and relocalized permaculture areas in the Great Lakes regions of Detroit, Cleveland, etc. My feeble two cents.

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

Hi Alan,

What's your take on this?

Edward's does not have a clue, and is pandering to NH voters.

Helping the poor (and local gov't) weatherize is worthwhile, but Edwards just stumbled on to that.

My take on Edward's Energy Plan,


From those doomers at AP:

Mortgage Failures Could Create Nightmare

The worst-case scenario is anyone's guess, but some believe it could become very bad.

"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.

Yale economist Robert Shiller, who co-created the Case-Shiller housing price index, thinks the housing bear market could last for years and go down as much as happened in the 1930s. I figure the guy isn't even factoring in peak oil.

Oh, and hearing these sorts of statements from Bill Gross means mainstream highly successful big money managers are worried.

This is one of those articles that at first 'appear' to be doomer, but actually is intended to put across a message "the worst-case senario is 0 growth". Yeah, 0 growth is worse than positive growth, but the point of the article appears to be to put across the message of 'no decline'.

For those outside of the UK the article in the Sunday Mirror today in the drumbeat maybe worth noting. Not only has PO made it into the MSM it has now made it into tabloids. This is one of the major Daily's here in terms of circulation.


Next, it will make it to "Entertainment Tonight"!

This link does not seem to work. I looked in the online paper but could not find the article either!

The link is not clickable but if you copy and paste it, it works fine. At least it worked for me, and I tried it again and it worked....again.

Ron Patterson


A while during an 'all-liquids - conventional oil' discussion, I believe you indicated that synthetic crude originating in the tar pits, to quote Global-Warmer Bush, is counted in the CO column. Is this the case? And could you again post the current all liquids breakdown, if it is easy for you to do so?

Many thanks.

Yes, tar sands oil is included in the EIA’s definition of Crude + Condensate. Oil found here, under “Canada” includes tar sands oil. Eia Crude + Condensate, spreadsheet 1.1a

Table 1.1a World Crude Oil Production (Including Lease Condensate), 1997-Present

World Oil Supply is a lot of other stuff:

1 "Oil Supply" is defined as the production of crude oil (including lease condensate), natural gas plant liquids, and other liquids, and
refinery processing gain (loss). For definitions of these terms see:
EIA glossary of terms
Crude Oil: A mixture of hydrocarbons that exists in liquid phase in natural underground reservoirs and remains liquid at atmospheric pressure after passing through surface separating facilities. Depending upon the characterics of the crude stream, it may also include:
3.Drip gases, and liquid hydrocarbons produced from tar sands, oil sands, gilsonite, and oil shale.

Notice that “tar sands oil is counted as “Crude oil”

Ron Patterson

Thanks, Ron,

re: "Notice that “tar sands oil is counted as “Crude oil”"

Do you happen to know if this was always the case, (i.e., from the beginning of 'tar sands' production - which probably has a relatively recent beginning, my guess) - or was it a change put into place at some particular time?

There's a clickable link up top. It's "Don't be fuelled..."

Gulf Times has a photo of the Mexican rig fire:

Hello Leanan,

Thxs for the photo. This combined with the fire in the North Sea makes me wonder if we are going to start accidently burning these rigs faster than we can build them; the cascading blowback phenomena. The FF-workers must be terrified.

If one considers how many offshore platforms there are globally, their age, the lack of sufficient maintenance and repair, the tendency to putoff safety upgrades and safety training, all combined with the management tendency to extract as fast as possible with the least amount of investment-- it does not paint a happy picture.

Of course, I am just repeating what Matt Simmons has said before: the peeling paint is all that is holding the rusted steel together.

If one adds the total global deaths from all coal, natgas, and crude oil process flows: it suggests that billion$$$ need to be invested for greater worker health & safety.

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

the cascading blowback phenomena

I suppose you could say that the resources spent to repair and secure production facility "A" are therefore unavailable for production facility "B", and the industry is short of engineers and skilled trades: but it's a pretty weak causal chain. Hardly a "cascading blowback" like the 9/11 structural collapses. Unlike what happens in the movies (or wannabe terrorists' imagination), detonations do not propagate along subsea flowlines.

It's true that a lot of North Sea facilities were designed and built to minimize costs, within the regulations, during the lean years of the late 80s and early 90s. AKA "CRINE" - Cost Reduction Initiative In the New Era. What would you have done in the same situation? $100 oil means that these things will be kept running a lot longer than anyone ever intended when they were designed.


Thistle was built two decades before CRINE, of course.

seriously here people, everything is to minimize costs.

you can optimizee 2 of the following three:

so you can get a quality good for cheap if you wait, or a cheap good fast that is low quality/unsafe, or get something fast and good quality for big dollars.

It's the engineering triangle. The only way to break it is with new and fantastic devices that innovate beyond traditional bounds.

Hi Gil,

Like all good cliches (no accents on this keyboard) there's an element of truth in that, but most of the cost of an offshore well is rig time and "spread" time (sets of equipment, e.g. logging and cementing, that have to have the rental paid while they're sitting around on the rig). So the slow/cheap corner (edge?) of the triangle is in fact the null set, and a lot of money gets spent on speed for the sake of speed (e.g. the double derricks on the latest heavyweight deepwater rigs & drillships).



In France's Saint Pierre sur Dives , the school bus now looks like this ...

I like that school bus! Has a certain equine beauty.

And the horse carriage is, IMHO, a much better direction than the J6P "dream bus" depicted here:



graywulffe in CVO, OR

Speaking of which...does anyone else find is odd that Dodge decided to run an ad featuring a giant truck on TOD?

Maybe this truck can pull twenty trailers at 10-15 mph for my speculative bicycle peloton hitch-hiking idea for Dodging super-crowded urban bus congestion? Recall my earlier posting where Zimbabwe passengers packed atop a fuel transport truck were burned beyond recognition.

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

I noticed that too. Could be an error, but then I thought just maybe they assumed that a lot of rich oil magnates also check stuff out here.

Lotta rich oil-industry lurkers here? I'd be surprised if not. Those folks buy trucks.

I'm not throwing stones, I used to work for the oil industry at one point too.

Interesting photo. Here's a variation on the theme:

When it comes to peak oil, you gotta have faith.

Wonder what kind of gas mileage this thing gets?


runs on faith I'm sure

Color saturation and clarity indicate with a high degree of certainty that this a photoshop jobbie...however, I wouldn't be surprised if something like it actually existed.

i've seen some 'shopped pixels in my day, this is not 'shopped.

Hi. I have some seaside property in Nevada I could sell you really cheap...you see, I could make a lot of money on it, but it'd just be too much of a hassle so I'll make you a real deal.





I know the guy who owned the "bus". He lives near me.


Given what you've said about your home, I wondered if you might be familiar with that "bus." :o)



What a beautiful town! French Provincial buildings so pretty they melt your heart, pretty little streets....

I kept looking for the "English, click here" tab, then I remembered....this is the FRENCH we are dealing with, what was I thinking! :-)

Beautiful site though....


Interesting article about China needing an early warning system for fuel supplies.

Re: Environmentalism and The Future of Coal.

I hope people read this as it is a critique of the whole idea of cutting back on coal to cut back on carbon emissions. The short version is that it ain't gonna happen so we should just work to make coal "cleaner". Among other problems, is that there is not way that China and India are going to forego this abundant and cheap source of power as they develop.

Accepting this reality means, in short, we are so f*****d and so we might as well party on.

What is the counter to the view expressed by the offer? First, of course, the United States needs to be turned around and we need a moratorium on new coal plants that are not sequestering CO2. Second, the issue of global warming is so critical that we need to throw the WTO out the window and impose heavy carbon taxes on all products entering this country. In fact, there is a current bill in congress that does cap and trade within the U.S. plus carbon taxes on imports. The free traders are heavily opposed to this bill. I say global warming trumps free trade and if other countries can't live with this, they are just going to have to get on board or their exports will suffer.

A ton of coal produces about three tons of CO2. Uncompressed, this occupies a vast volume equivalent to that of three tons of air. Compressed, it becomes a liquid or solid equivalent to that of a ton of coal plus two tons of oxygen. Yes, folks, it takes two tons of oxygen to burn a ton of coal, or ten tons of air which is one fifth oxygen. This is the stoichiometric ratio. For gasoline it is around 15 to 1. Matter doesn't just go away, it seems, much as there are times when we would wish so.

This is what prompted the physicist parliamentarian in Australia to deem carbon sequestration a 'furfy' or tall tale. Do I sense a bit of a retreat on the part of clean coal advocates recently? Like hydrogen, it was going to solve the problem but the concept is losing it's, pobably unjustified, luster.

Using CO2 to pressurize wells is a valid concept; expecting powerplant emissions to find a home underground seems logistically daunting to impossible. A little dribble of gasoline produces a lot of invisible smoke; just check the relative sizes of fuel line and air intake or the size of the carburetor jet to the venturi. Now put a few hundred miles of exhaust back in your gas tank and then we'll talk about clean coal.

Hi Petro,

Thank you, this is useful information. Any chance you could expand upon it and write it up (unless you can direct me to a better source?)

So, what is your take on the carbon tax idea and other alternative ideas?

I have a totally dweebish and uninformed question. What happens to the oil that is recovered from an oil spill? Is is just toxic waste or is it recycled in some way. Where can I link (industry or academia) to find out?

I don't have the knowledge about the effectiveness but I've thought a ship with intakes to pump oil/water mix thru filters and dump cleaner water out the back and salvage oil might be a solution.Get to keep the oil plus charge the oil transporter for the clean up.Priceless!!

If there is one available, it is taken to a local reclaimer with a centrifuge who can end up with oil completely cleaned from the soil and other debris that it contaminated which likewise contaminates it. The reclaimer typically gets one-half of the oil or value thereof for their service and the rest goes for the benefit of the owner. Occasionally it pays for the cost of hauling and picking it up, but not normally. For huge spills, there are mobil units.

I don't know of any references, but if you are in oil country, you might call the local vac/tank truck service and they could tell you who they use.

Myself, I don't have spills, just heard about this through the grapevine.

Typically, very little oil is recovered from even a large oil spill in the form of usable material.

While oil floats on water, the action of wind and wave often causes the two to be mixed together to form of an oil-water emulsion, which tends to take on the appearance and consistency of a chocolate milkshake. Then once the oil reaches land it gets mixed with sand and soil and becomes a tarry semi-solid waste. When all this stuff is collected, it theoretically might be possible to recover some small fraction of the oil, but in most cases the stuff is shipped off to a licensed hazardous waste disposal facility, where it is usually burned in a high-temperature incinerator along with other hazardous wastes. This oily waste adds heating value to the incinerator, so in a very roundabout sense, some of
the energy content of the spilled oil is recovered as heat.

Hi joule,

re: "Then once the oil reaches land it gets mixed with sand and soil and becomes a tarry semi-solid waste."

I'm wondering how the recovery compares (perhaps in terms of profitability?) to, say, extraction from the Alberta tar sands...?

Hello TODers,

Meat, poultry, vegetables feel heat from global warming

.."In some ways, the time for doing things is already past," said John McDermott, deputy director of research at the Nairobi-based International Livestock Research Institute. "The changes are already happening."

Scientists are also concerned about the potential effect of climate change on potato blight, a weather-driven disease that takes a heavy toll on potato crops.

The pathogen that causes the blight is an "incredibly fast breeder," said Dyno Keatinge, deputy research head of the International Crops Research Institute here.

"So I am worried, you don't see me smiling in complacency," said Keatinge, who comes from Ireland where the disease caused a great famine in the 1840s.
Could future french fries be considered a rare delicacy reserved only for the rich in fine french-cuisine restaurants? I guess McDonald's will feature a quarter-pounder of grass sandwich. Will Ronald McDonald be able to turn that clown-frown upside down???

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

Bob, the potatoes hit by blight become very soggy so they cannot become French Fries. On the other hand from the prior blight came the wonderful discovery, mashed potato. One can hardly travel anywhere today in the British Isles without finding 'mashies and bangers' on the menu. Sometimes its listed as 'bangers and mash'...Blimey, bit of a regional thing.
Stiff upper lip and all that, eh, what? The French resisted conversion to growing potatoes prefering bread instead. It is possible that the French Fry was as close as the French could get to converting the potato into bread. Of course today we have the potato pancake but this requires some flour if using my favorite recipe.

potatoes with blight can still be dried and sold as flakes.

instant mash potatoes for everyone.

(FYI the thermal processing and low water activity will prevent any growth, the thermal processing will do a 12D reduction, and the low water activity will reduce the growth kinetics to a sliver of the optimum)

Yesterday I went into town to get new tires on my pickup truck (1993 Toyota T100, 3.0 V6) and while waiting for the tires to be installed listened to an amusing conversation between the store owner and another customer who was waiting after I baited them commenting about the price of gas and diesel. Many of the points raised by the pair:

There is a conspiracy by the oil companies to buy up all of the patents of energy saving technologies so they won’t be available.

There are actually cars that run on water but the car companies are in a conspiracy with the oil companies.

A story about how a 3/4 ton truck was accidentally purchased by a consumer that got 34 miles to the gallon, and this mileage was actually possible with the simple turn of a secret screw which is on every new vehicle. The customer was forced to return the vehicle to GM.

Many oil wells are capped in the US to bring the price up, and uncapping them would solve the problem.

Once the technology is released, the price of gas will come back down to $.90 gallon.

Some points I do not recall. I just stood back, kept my mouth shut, and listened amused at the beliefs that are held by the general public. I hear this nonsense all of the time in the workplace and learned not to debate on these issues. It is really sad. So what solutions will be grasped by these people when the shit starts to hit the fan? I’m guessing the wrong ones. And these people are probably in the majority. Be very afraid.

I was part of a very similar conversation during the summer. The originator was very animated and very angry when he repeated those points.

Although he was quite rich and well connected, he was also very much of the Fox News mindset.

The conversation you overheard is in part fuelled by the misstatements by the MSM, big oil disinformation machines, and the good old government folks. You don't imagine that they will be upset when they can't sell any tires since a)the raw materials to make them are in short supply like all other products made from petroleum products and b) because nobody can drive like they have in the past, so they just don't need to replace them as before, do you? I see the reaction to the lies everybody has been fed to be quite possibility the worst impact of the Peak, whether a plateau or a cliff.

Articles like the one from the Dallas Morning News may let them off the hook, but what about the rest of the MSM ?

In defense of the conspiracy theorists, as you pointed out, the oil leg of the "Iron Triangle" has, at least until very recently, been promising us that we don't have to worry about Peak Oil for decades. So, to some extent, especially based on pronouncements by ExxonMobil, an assertion that high oil prices are the result of a conspiracy to withhold oil off the market is semi-reasonable.

So, to some extent, especially based on pronouncements by ExxonMobil, an assertion that high oil prices are the result of a conspiracy to withhold oil off the market is semi-reasonable.

XOM: "The Earth is conspiring against us to prevent us from extracting oil any faster"

I firmly believe Exxon and some of the other large oil companies want to keep the lid on "Peak Oil" because they risk getting kicked out of more nations with oil and gas reserves. Surely more nations would enact conservation laws and nationalize oil and gas assets to protect the future of their own economcies, once PO is fully understood.

We are in a catch-22: Publically discuss PO to begin Mitigation programs, and the rest of world does the same cutting production significantly to extend remaining reserves. With out abundant supplies of Oil and gas, we cannot make a sucessful transistion away from Oil and gas. We will crash no matter if we go public or not, but keeping a lid on it buys more time. Personally, I can use all the extra time to finish my personal mitigation program. If you all want to cause a crash now, by going public now, you're all insane!

TG, I would much rather trigger a crash now than be stoned because others simply lied to the American public, and get stoned later. (stoned as in with big rocks.) Reality beats all other versions of existence. If we get the panic over with while there are still acceptable levels of supply, we might well have a reasonable slide down this slippery slope. If we wait until that is a cliff the other side of the hill, and then say, "I could have told you so", well, that is not where I want to be. I am not an absolute moralist, but the longer until the whole durn world accepts PO and the limitations it will bring, the worse the response by the general public will be. And I may be insane, but I have a friend who can prove he's sane - they let him go home, and they couldn't have if he was still crazy.

'Only a fool would seek reason within the confines of the human heart'...and as far as I can tell, most people do their thinking with their heart, not their head.

Hi Tech,

re: "XOM: "The Earth is conspiring against us to prevent us from extracting oil any faster" Nice. :)

re: "Personally, I can use all the extra time to finish my personal mitigation program."

Well, there is the question of how useful personal mitigation can be if there is zero public mitigation.

The idea is to start mitigation and have it be effective, whatever the means - yes? or...? Do you disagree?

re: "If you all want to cause a crash now, by going public now, you're all insane!"

Well, the thing is: information in itself may or may not cause a crash. We could get a crash from only certain actors understanding "peak" - it depends. And certainly the information is available to those potential actors -(whether they can integrate it is another issue - the difficult issue for everyone. So, even "they" may not be motivated to act. Who knows.)

OTOH, we could (possibly) avoid a crash if "the public" has some idea there are positive and concrete things they could do.

Well, there is the question of how useful personal mitigation can be if there is zero public mitigation.

Very much. I am using the remaining time to become 100% self sufficient. I can't finish it, if Energy use is restricted to civilians or its simple not obtainable.

OTOH, we could (possibly) avoid a crash if "the public" has some idea there are positive and concrete things they could do.

I have to disagree. We use oil and natural gas for everything. No positive thinking or techno fix is going to save the day. Food, Water, Medicine, energy is all provided by liquid and gas fossil fuels. Take away the punch bowl and you will see a crash.

Reality beats all other versions of existence.

Reality is that if you take way the punch bowl you will suffer greatly, unless your already living in a Cave and hunt and gather your own food.

Try this: live for a entire week without using any energy or products that use Fossil Fuels, or are transported by fossil fuels:

1. All food grown in the industrialize world is produced (petro fertializers/Pesticides), harvested, transported using natural gas.

2. Every good that you purchased is transported using fossile fuels and probably made with them (plastics).

3. 70% of your electricity comes for Natural Gas or Coal, and the rest indirectly comes from fossil fuels (Cement in Hydro dams, Plastics, and refined metals in Wind, Solar, and Nuclear). The only way you can do with out, is to enjoy the wonderful living standards of the poorest third world nations.

I am not an absolute moralist, but the longer until the whole durn world accepts PO and the limitations it will bring, the worse the response by the general public will be.

I very much disagree. The only outcome will be war, famine, and pestilence. All you can do is postpone the pending date.

Hi Tech,

Thanks for your reply.

re: "I have to disagree. We use oil and natural gas for everything. No positive thinking or techno fix is going to save the day."

WRT sentences two and three, I'm in the choir.

My qualification was "possibly" - perhaps I should have qualified it further. (Next to impossible/but not logically impossible.) My thinking is as follows:

1) Immediate large-scale conservation. (Details?)
2) Address economic organization. (The growth model, to a large extent - not completely perhaps - will stop. Can it be replaced? If so, how? Can this change be helped along, the negative impacts lessened to any degree?)
3) Address population growth. (Answer: a combination of things, some of which, in a sense, do exist as "ideas" or "practices" - as opposed to purely material considerations. Culture change and support of the legal rights of women.) (I should probably add a separate point on human rights.)
4) Put large sums of energy/money into national and international investment of solar/wind/renewables, infrastructure, distributed energy and etc. (Design, retrofits, electrification of rail, solar ovens.) and research into same.

re: "The only outcome will be war, famine, and pestilence."

Most likely. However, war is *not* inevitable.

This, too, is something amenable to being addressed by means not directly material. (www.combatantsforpeace.org, www.cnvc.org, www.aiusa.org).

Famine and pestilence already exist, as do efforts to lessen them and lessen the suffering that results. It's a matter of doing our best.

Most likely. However, war is *not* inevitable.

The US is currently in Iraq today, mostly because of Oil. I would say the war has already begun. The US is also building new strategic miltary bases in other regions rich in oil, such as Africa, in Uzbekistan and even in South America.

1) Immediate large-scale conservation. (Details?)

The would help but virtually unachievable. If the west cut consumption, any oil freed up would just end up in India, China, or other developing countries. Just like China and india refuse Kyoto, they will refuse to cut their consumption. The world will continue to consume at the maximum production rate until something breaks (maybe war, hording, or other geopolitical events). The poorest nations have already been priced out of the market, but as production declines, it will work its way up and eventually reach the rich industrialize nations.

3) Address population growth. (Answer: a combination of things, some of which, in a sense, do exist as "ideas" or "practices" - as opposed to purely material considerations. Culture change and support of the legal rights of women.) (I should probably add a separate point on human rights.)

This might of worked if the globe implemented strict population controls about 50 years ago. Today we are simply in overshoot by about 4 Billion people (ie Population levels prior to Oil and Gas development was about 2 Billion). That is the lives of 4 billion depend on Oil and Gas to survive.

4) Put large sums of energy/money into national and international investment of solar/wind/renewables, infrastructure, distributed energy and etc. (Design, retrofits, electrification of rail, solar ovens.) and research into same.

In order to begin this, it would require public announcement of Peak Oil, This would result in oil exporters cutting back production to save it for their own future use (ie hording). Then there wouldn't been enough oil to make the transistion. Hence, my original message, damned it we do, damned if we don't. But doing nothing delays the crisis.

Still, even if this was possible, and there would be no hording, the planet's population is still in overshoot. You would need to reduce the population fairly quickly to get the planet back to a sustainable level.

2) Address economic organization. (The growth model, to a large extent - not completely perhaps - will stop. Can it be replaced? If so, how? Can this change be helped along, the negative impacts lessened to any degree?)

I have a small solution that I discussed that everyone here hates. That is raise interest rates up to double digit to kill global economic growth. It seems that no body wants this because they are all up to their eyeballs in debt and they don't want to change their own standard of living (just everyone elses). That said, this isn't a perminent solution but would buy maybe a decade. I doubt that you ever see this pushed through by the politicians anyway.

Famine and pestilence already exist, as do efforts to lessen them and lessen the suffering that results. It's a matter of doing our best.

Its virtually non-existent in western nations consuming mbpd of oil, but its coming. Its going to take a lot more than "doing our best".

Ultimately, I think disease will begin to cull the global population, Already Africa is having troubles with sanitation in their large cities. Sooner or later, this will lead to a pandemic. Refugees fleeing, will spread disease to other regions. Lack of cheap energy limits the amount of medical supplies and other measures (ie sanitation, clean water) needed to control and contain disease outbreaks. This is one of the reasons its a good idea to avoid relocating to cities in the future.

Yeah, given that at least half the folks out there on the road think the Bible is literal truth and don't have a clue about physics and thermodynamics (or evolutionary biology), it's really difficult to raise these issues with the Man on the Street. You know the type well, the basic Working Man who drives as big a pickup as he can get a loan for. Now that I'm getting gray around the edges, I just tell them they don't know jack shit, only I try to do it in a nice way. I was long ago branded as a Doomer and am generally ignored by the folks in these parts. Maybe when the price of gasoline kicks up to $5/gal U.S., they might begin to take notice. Or, maybe they will begin to listen if the TV networks run daily news stories and weekly specials about the global impacts of declining oil supply. One can only hope...

I think that a lot of us are overripe teenagers, still trying to live out those youthful dreams while trapped in dead end jobs. When the oil powered hot air balloon called The American Way of Life finally pops, there will be lots of "surplus" people out there whose experience and skills won't be needed in the New Reality. As the multinational corporations continue to "write off" their livelihood, these folks can be expected to grasp at whatever life raft is within easy reach as the Titanic slides below the waves. It's easy to look at the world thru the bottom of a beer glass while chain smoking cigarettes and then blame someone else for one's own troubles. But, we know that the bumper sticker motto of the Working Man is "GOD, Guns and Guts", otherwise written as "Ass, Grass or Gas; Nobody Rides for Free".

As you write, Be Very Afraid.

E. Swanson

Right on Black Dog. We are the last to be listened to and we will be the first to be blamed.

After all, someone has to be at fault and it certainly is not Joe Sixpack driving his/her FoChevOdge V-16 w/turbo boost 4X4. Heck, everyone knows that its a conspiracy between the aliens in Area 51 and Texronbpex that are controlling the minds of the tree huggers and making them hate dog while they throwing a another likeness of Hesus on the bar-b-que. Gotta get those that are doing the devils work and spreading tales of PO, GW, Depression. Get 'em!

Another round of witch hunts is not out of the realm of possibility.

Human nature has not changed. Only technology...Now they have Bics and Zippos.

Do not discount the Bible yet as it can easily be interpreted to predict the decline of oil as well as civilization. The main problems are with the Abrahamic religions and finding a solution to the resource wars will require using a religious argument palatable to all faiths.

Take the path of least resistance as we all benefit.

Do not discount the Bible yet as it can easily be interpreted to predict the decline of oil.

It doesn't need interpretation, it's as simple as 1+1=2.

Woody Allen:
"There is no proof for a god.
You just have to have faith".

L. Sprague de Camp:
"It doe not pay a prophet to be too specific".

Jesus Christ:
"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth; I came not to send peace but a sword". - Matthew 10:34

And as Fox News has reminded us, there is enough oil in ANWR to supply the USA for 1000 years. Of course, the environmentalists - led by Al Gore - won't let us drill there.

To last the USA, at current consumption, for 1000 years would require 7.3 trillion barrels of oil. Does Fox really believe that there is that much oil in ANWR?

I never watch Fox News because they are mostly all right wing nut cases. But I really would like to know what they say about Peak Oil, or how much oil they say the US really has.

I would really like to know, but I just don't want to know bad enough to watch them. That, for me, would be a torture worse than water boarding. ;-) (I always try to use a smiley face when I am being sarcastic, otherwise some people may take me seriously.)

Ron Patterson


When I really need to know what happened on FOX I turn to "News Hounds"


News Hounds We watch FOX so you don't have to.

Sometimes I watch Rupert Murdock's grease trap channel just to see what's Thumpin. You know, it never hurts to know which country we are going to invade before it actually happens.


Of course, the environmentalists - led by Al Gore - won't let us drill there.

Honestly, I think 'environmentalists' perhaps are being set up as the patsies to take the fall in the future, something like the way the jews were used as a consolidating force by Hitler's reich.

During the GWB administration, I've heard it said that "eco-terrorists" are considered more dangerous than even militant islamic fundamentalists. That's interesting, because by and large (aside from the odd individual here and there) there's no such thing as eco-terrorists. Rather, there is a large vein of annoyance at "environmentalists" in the populace at large, fanned by modern-day Goebbels' like Limbaugh and his ilk. I won't be surprised if in the coming decade those professing 'radical' environmental ethics aren't required to wear green stars on their clothes. (Where 'radical' mean sane).

Not yet... but wait until people go cold a few winters and can't get food. Pissed-off people don't really care who dies, and they don't like complex answers or being told they're part of the problem.

Just think of the MASSIVE oil and natural gas field that the GWB administration just blew off!

You don't ?

New Bush Administration Furnace Standards do Nothing

Minimum AFUE for gas furnaces raised from 78% to 80% in 2015.

Minimum AFUE for oil furnaces raised from 78% to 82% in 2015..

Most furnaces already exceed these standards, many (about 1/3rd) are 90+% AFUE.


Best Hopes for Intelligent consumers and state efficiency standards,


If they has set the standard at, say, 90% AFUE in July, 2009 and 93% (or 94%) AFUE for 1/1/2011 (this gives adequate time to ramp up production of existing models), how much oil and gas would be saved over the lifetime of these furnaces ?

Best Hopes for 1/20/2009,


99% of the oil furnaces currently sold already meet the new standard. And I argue that we ought to be moving to geothermal heat pumps anyway.

So the new standard improves the performance of a whole 1% of new oil furnaces. But, again, oil furnaces should all be replaced with geothermal heat pumps.

Standard mandates do nothing in reality, the best option is to tax the crap out of fuel. What happens when the mid range marginal cost curve becomes exponential around 96-97%, decreasing gains folks. You can increase the efficiency of heating, but neglecting what is done to conserve heat within the house even more retarded.

(the reason why standards do nothing, from environmental economics and the study of externality correction is because that if a company cannot meet the standard, it will go out of business or violate the standard and pay fines to produce something more profitable. It will only introduce technology to meet the standard that it can procure at minimal cost(nearly free), and many gov. grants exist for this purpose.)

tax on the otherhand is even handed. It punches the worst fuel abusers in the face. (combining fuel tax increases with subsidies for better insulated homes is the optimal for reducing energy usage the fastest, giving the subsidy first to the poor, and working your way up.)

Hi Gilgamesh,

Do you see a problem with the rebound effect of having tax funds available for spending? ie.., do you think there's a relatively foolproof way to:

1) direct those funds towards something positive and

2) if so, what might that be, exactly?
(I'm sincere in wondering if you've thought about more details on this.)

Although I am sympathetic to the environmental movement, and I agree that right-wing fundamentalists have unfairly vilified environmentalists, I feel that the comparison of theoretical future environmentalist persecution to that against WWII era Jews is strained at best.

While a large minority of Americans would consider themselves environmentalist or at least sympathetic to the environmental cause in one degree or another, only a relatively few can be proved to be an environmentalist absent a blatant admission. Therefore, perhaps 1% of the environmentalists would be subject to the hypothetical persecution you describe while nearly all Jews were subject to the persecution of the Third Reich, as they were born Jewish. And while that 1% of environmentalists may be treated poorly and possibly sent to jail on trumped up charges, I doubt seriously that they or any admitted environmentalists would be sent en mass to the gas chambers or similar extermination facilities.

General principal for any discussion: whenever anyone invokes NAZIism in a debate that doesn't involve historical Europe, they're using hyperbole. I guarantee this is the case 110% of the time.

It's not a slight against anyone - just slightly unsophisticated :-)

It's not a law. It is a retarded label like "conspiracy theorist" designed to fob an argument off. As if it is not possible for Nazi-like behaviour to exist anywhere in time and space other than Nazi Germany of the 1930s and 40s. Perhaps no comparisons should ever be made since everything is unique.

Wow. Here I am wise of Faraday's law, Beer's Law, etc, etc. And now there's... Godwin's law.

But, but, "As of July 2007 he is general counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation."

Now I see. I'm retreating to Fermi's Golden Rule, but expect that too will degenerate.

So never, kids, never, make analogies to Hitler, the Holocaust, or the groupthink that elected one and didn't 'know' about the other. Jeez. People will buy anything that is offered for sale.

Heh, I appreciate the 110%

Yet notwithstanding Godwin's Law, which is as true as it is uselessly obvious (the odds of ANYthing being mentioned approaches certainty as any discussion approaches infinite length):

I don't go around mentioning Hitler or Nazis often, and I agree it's annoying to see people who do it as a knee-jerk. It's so overdone it's cliche. However, those who reflexively snigger when "that" is mentioned are still attempting to exert peer pressure to shut up about it.

Unfortunately, sometimes a reasonable comparison can be made between the dynamics of pre-WWII germany and stuff that's happening in real time. The fact that the nazi's went "over the top" should not prevent comparisons of such dynamics.

For that matter, the WWII germans killed what, 10-12 million? That's from memory so is probably off a bit. But the upcoming energy/resource/climate dieoff may do in 6 billion, with a B. Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin et al are all just the warm-up acts. In retrospect they'll amount to statistical rounding errors.

If we're wildly lucky maybe the death toll of the coming 50 years will only be 3 billion.

Hyperbole, my unsophisticated arse.

Oh, and to give Godwin his props: from the link: "Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact." I agree.

And while that 1% of environmentalists may be treated poorly and possibly sent to jail on trumped up charges, I doubt seriously that they or any admitted environmentalists would be sent en mass to the gas chambers or similar extermination facilities.

I don't expect extermination camps, but I won't be surprised by lynchings. Social activism of all sorts is tromped down as a state moves toward totalitarianism, and that will be a practical necessity. Sending 1% of 'environmentists' to gulags would accomplish a lot for those who need to try ensuring survival of a nation year-to-year. I guarantee you we won't be hearing about endangered polar bears once the greater depression hits. And it won't just be 'environmentalists', it'll be anyone who disagrees with any public policies, I think. Hope I'm wrong.

The suppression of environmentalists may very well occur in some form approaching your hypothetical. I just think that a comparison to Hitler's treatment of the Jews is over the top. After all, Hitler also persecuted other sectors of German society, including liberals during the 1930's and into the 1940's. Perhaps that would have been a closer comparison.

I also do not believe that every comparison to Hitler in the context of current events is hyperbole as Jaymax suggested above. I see many similarities to the rise of the Bush regime to the rise of the Third Reich. Maybe Jaymax should give Noami Wolfe's book, The End of America, a read. And then try reading the first half of William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich published in 1959.

I see many similarities to the rise of the Bush regime to the rise of the Third Reich.

[rolls eyes] Let me know when you have your night of the long knives.

Yes, there are some tightly qualified comparisons that can be made - but the qualifications are never expressed - and you would find many more appropriate and accurately compared regimes which slipped into totalitarianism with which to draw parallels to Bush. How about Franco's Spain?

Anyway - this is a bit too semantic and impassioned for an online debate, so I think I'll leave it here - I'll read the replies though.

Radical environmentalists being made to wear green stars wasn't hyperbole though? ;-)

After all, Hitler also persecuted other sectors of German society, including liberals during the 1930's and into the 1940's. Perhaps that would have been a closer comparison.

technicly yea. As for the jewish angle, from what i see it's been over used from the start. zionist(used as the name of the sect of both religions) christians and jews from the end of ww2 have been using their persicution as a way to jusitfy what they have done and demand what they want to get. so much so that it's become popular mythology that the conentration camps were merely for the jews alone, when in actuality they were the regime's gulags/prision system. I am not taking lightly what they went through, it was a terrible time if you were not liked by the powers that be there. I just consider it a GREAT slap in the face for the other non-jewish survivers and their surviving family memebers to have their suffering ignored because they do not belive in the same sky gods.

As for the jewish angle, from what i see it's been over used from the start. zionist(used as the name of the sect of both religions) christians and jews from the end of ww2 have been using their persicution as a way to jusitfy what they have done and demand what they want to get.

That'd be those who survived? Over used from the start? Can we put numbers on this?

so much so that it's become popular mythology that the conentration camps were merely for the jews alone, when in actuality they were the regime's gulags/prision system. I am not taking lightly what they went through, it was a terrible time if you were not liked by the powers that be there.

Your words speak for you: popular mythology...merely...jews alone...terrible time...not liked...there.

not liked? Man, are you lucky you're alive.

I just think that a comparison to Hitler's treatment of the Jews is over the top. After all, Hitler also persecuted other sectors of German society, including liberals during the 1930's and into the 1940's.

I'll buy that as a valid criticism, and I agree. There are more apt comparisons I could have made, but they are more obscure. When writing to a general audience, one tends to use well-known comparisons.

As for the wearing of green stars, I meant that as over the top, I was in a bit of a mood. Take it as valid metaphor: there will indeed be a national ID system, and it will be linked to our known profiles. Tech has made green stars unnecessary, just as RFID's may make tattoos unnecessary.

And here's something for those who may think they know my thoughts: I don't think the government will have any choice but to do so; I just think it's a shame that 'environmentalists' have been pre-chosen by the current administration to be the scapegoats, because that would mostly remove any legitimacy to environmental planning. Cultural Revolution, anyone?

As for me, I plan to find jesus when the market tanks and become a corrupt preacher. When in Rome, shoot roman candles.

The people who have delayed the ANWR drilling have done us a big favor. That oil will still be there when we really need it.

The environmentalists haven't totally prevented drilling. They've only delayed it. Once gasoline hits $5 per gallon I predict big public support for offshore drilling and ANWR drilling.

I am sure there is a well thought out propaganda blitz ready for the moment {as soon as its apparent} that the crunch starts,be it from the operations in Iran,or other trigger events that bring out the true state of affairs.That will be the time to start keeping the head down,and eyes open....

And these people are probably in the majority. Be very afraid.

With a past of secrecy and deception by corporations and government for the purpose of power/lining pockets with cash at the expense of the customers/citizens - what reaction are you expecting?

If you don't like the above kinds of talk from 'these people', push for open government/open record laws.

So far all I've heard round here is complaints about theories of conspiracy. How about pushing for solutions to 'em?

During the first oil shock the theory of oil company conspiracy seemed to be followed by "so I won't conserve". Perhaps the financial drain of high prices will force a different response this time around?

People conserved even if they denied doing it. People respond to prices. They might complain and moan. But they respond.

In the United States watch the sales of diesels, hybrids, and smaller cars to take off when gasoline hits $3.50 and $4 per gallon. The higher the prices the more people will do to save. They'll have no other choice.

A coworker mentioned he was interested in a new SUV, and I asked him if $5 gas would affect his decision. He said no - he has a small mortgage because he bought his house before the boom.

Another factor is small business tax deductions - it was $100k and I believe it was rolled back to $25k for SUVs. As the price of vehicles and gas goes up, the IRS simply increases the tax deduction amount. And there are tons of small businesses out there - a former coworker had a "mango juice" business (lol) on the side and bought a giant SUV (and placed a business sign on it). Presto - huge tax writeoff.

From the IRS website:
"Beginning Jan. 1, 2007, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (including vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

48.5 cents per mile for business miles driven;
20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes; and
14 cents per mile driven in service to a charitable organization.
The new rate for business miles compares to a rate of 44.5 cents per mile for 2006. The new rate for medical and moving purposes compares to 18 cents in 2006. The primary reasons for the higher rates were higher prices for vehicles and fuel during the year ending in October.

We're screwed.

Regarding people like your co-worker: There is a price at which each person will alter their behavior. The price will go as high as needed to alter the behavior of enough people to make demand get down to supply.

Once the reality of declining oil production sinks in at some point people thinking about what car to buy will know that the price of gasoline they pay at the time they buy the car will be less than it will be 3 months later which will be less than it will be 6 months later and so on. That knowledge will cause people to start taking extreme measures to cut their energy consumption.

Another thing that will cut gasoline purchases: Unemployment. We'll have layoffs that will be just like the 1970s.

Also: better batteries.

"Regarding people like your co-worker: There is a price at which each person will alter their behavior."

What you don't get is that price has already altered his behavior. You can't write a car off like you can a 6000lb GVWR truck/suv. They put the loophole in to "help farmers" because they "need" the bigger trucks on their farm to haul equipment or whatnot. So you can write SUVs off on your taxes but not small cars. Thus the thousands upon thousands of $$ he saves from tax writoffs over buying the car buys as much fuel as he could possibly want - and he gets the chrome penis as a bonus.

funny thing is that if everyone had an SUV the tax becomes internalized. As it stands it is a free rider problem, unsolvable due to current gov stupdidity

The article by David Olive in the Toronto Star, "The Needle and the Damage Done", is one of the best articles to yet appear in the mainstream media. Olive is a longtime business writer for the Star, which is Canada's largest circulation newspaper, though not widely read outside of the greater Toronto area. I invite others to do as I'm doing this morning and send it to as many people as you have on your e-mail lists.

Whomever it was who commented that the WSJ article, while weak, would nonetheless open the media floodgate should take a bow for his/her prescience.

And a tip of the hat for Westexas with respect to the Dallas Morning News opinion piece. Jeffrey, your credibility grows by the day, but you have to keep hammering away. Some regulars may tire of the repetition, but it is a necessary part of effective communication. I have no doubt that increasing numbers of journalists, editors and the like are visiting this site, many for the first time. They will not go back through the reams of postings, so you have to keep at it. Hopefully, the rest of us will allow the signals to be heard over the noise.

I want to add that there are many others also deserving of a heartfelt thank-you, not the least of which is the wonderful Leanan.

I think that a lot of journalists are in the "Peak Oil Closet," waiting for the right time to come out of the closet.

Having said that, I have made sure that the editorial board of the Dallas Morning News (DMN) is very Peak Oil aware. They did a sit down interview with Jim Kunstler that I arranged two years ago in Dallas.

If my other interview with a MSM outlet results in a published article, it will have a lot bigger impact. The writer wants to break the Net Oil Export story in the MSM.

Now that'll be something hard to mince words about.

Hello John Macklin,

LOL-that's fer sure! Maximum Power Principle [MPP] plus ELM would seem to indicate that it will eventually be impossible for the US [5% of global pop.] to continually burn 25% of the FFs--the long-term trend is our 5% approx. burning 5% of the depleting FFs. IMO, FF-equality will be tough unless we can really ramp biosolar lifestyles early.

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

Hello Bob -

Now don't get me started. I'm still chasing down links and or sources for op-ed you posted yesterday from UN Sec Gen Ki-moon :-)

Turns out only one other paper has published these comments so far, the Khaleej Times, on Nov 21.

Hey John Macklin,

Please see bottom of Drumbeat. Gotta go--seeya

in terms of links - i kicked off the Wikipedia entry a while back for Export Land Model - and others have started to tweak it a little...

one could do worse than going there and fleshing it out - as it is becoming the de facto validator for many people

Hi Jeffrey,

I'm curious...

re: "The writer wants to break the Net Oil Export story in the MSM."

Does he/she/(they?) have plans for any follow up? eg.: in-depth articles on different conservation plans (say, to consider pros and cons of each one?) and/or The Oil Depletion protocol, interviews with the stalwart Congressman Barlett and his ideas about effective government action?

ie., It would be nice if this (above) were just the beginning of the public conversation.

Agreed. That Toronto Star article is one of the best I've seen in the MSM.

This is the second article the Star has published in a week about peak oil. the Toronto papers seem to be split with The Star and The Sun seeming to take the peak as real and near, The Globe and Mail pushing the CERA line and the neo-con National Post not commenting lately that I am aware of.
I am pessemistic though in that once people get afraid of the peak they will first sieze upon the fascist solutions and anything to avoid personal responsibility.

This seems to be a shift for the Globe and Mail. The Globe was one of the first mainstream papers anywhere to publish articles on peak oil. Back in June 2005, they published a 7 day multi-article feature series in their Report on Business section covering peak oil, with a nice photo of Hubbert to start it off. Columnists Eric Reguly and Jeff Rubin used to write regularly about peak oil (again in the business section). Things seem to have changed.

Will this turn into "Let's do America a Favor" by restricting tar sands production so price can go up further, while Canada makes money on the rising price of oil and Natural Gas. ELM + Nationalism + FOX is a fine mess!

It was an excellent article. I added it to my Stumbleupon links and was really surprised that I was the first one to "discover" it.

After all the recommendations, I was somewhat disappointed by it. Perhaps not bad for MSM, but "the best"? On the other hand, reading in an older TOD thread that was sitting around in my browser, I found this which I think is really good. (But is "Four Corners" truly MSM?)

transcript of Jonathan Holmes' report, "Peak Oil?", broadcast July 10, 2006 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

4 Corners is the oldest and most reputable current affairs TV show in Australia. A lot of the opinion leaders watch it. That doesn't mean they paid attention to this particular episode, but it's definitely MSM.


2008: Net Exports -5%
2009: Net Exports -10%

1) USA starts to escort tankers from Gulf and elsewhere to US ports. China, etc. lose out. Non US economy tanks. Happy motoring continues in USA.

2) A big tanker plus accompanying US escort are sunk by torpedoe from unknown submarines. USA sends Russian and Chinese ambassadors home.

3) Finlandization of Western Europe by Russian occurs. Threat of turning off gas/oil pipelines made clear and shutdown of UK oil platforms enforced by submarine power. Chinese send friendly troops to all mainland Southeast Asian countries to "protecct" them. Japan, Philippines, Indonesia and UK/Ireland become US protected and supplied allies. In esssence a continental system in Napoleonic style against a seapower is installed with smuggle and corruption rife. Rationing in all countries is universal and control of sales/production of petroleum/natural gas resources. Command economy in Allies and Axis powers with strict police controls. All Production goes completely towards military and solar/wind power and consumer economy is dead worldwide. A single currency respectively in Euro/Russian continental zone and in Asian continental zones and in Allied zone come into being (UK/Ireland abandon EU for example). Axis continental powers move in direction of the Persian Gulf to expel the Allies. Dunkirk style the Allies evacuate and there is a multiyear standoff. North America/South America becomes an economic unit with the Allies. Africa is like Spain/Ireland in WWII, neutral and full of spies and traitors(See film Casablanca).

After some years of adjustment to an alterate energy reality of little or no FFs(Powerdown, Permaculture,etc. through centralized command economies, rationing,etc.) the Allied/Axis standoff is overcome and peace returns as the new reality sinks in and a new generation takes the reigns of power(20-40 years later) and a sort of decentralized democracy is restored.

and then our troubles begin.

Fine - my idea is that "the cold war" will slowly be lifted. Democracy is just an idea. Such a scenario as above is a way of sqaring the circle, or finding a way to Powerdown and fit Realpoitik in one boat without causing Armageddon or TEOTWAWKI. Most get off on one of several lines of thought:

1) Local Chaos-Mutant Zombie Bikers, holing up in a cave with a rifle and food stores.
2) International WWIII with Nukes, ABC weaposn or 4th Generation Warfare and terrorism.
3) Massive Die Off accompanying points 1 and 2.
4) A peaceful transition into powerdwown age ignoring the international political situation at all.

None of the above are at all realistic. My above scenario takes Realpolitik in terms of the energy situation into account and a wartime economy being put into effect regionally to salvage what is left and control and stop any chaos and permit a redirection and buildup in terms of Powerdown, which all countries will see as critical for survival, in military and economic sense.

So what I am saying combines realism and idealism to find a way beyond a dilemma. As this is a basically English speaking site, Russian and Chinese interests are not guaged with any sort of sympathy or accuracy but viewed in terms of the MSM which is a great mistake. The protests by Kasparov and others today were a very small phenomenon where 1/4 of participants(300 people) were invited journalists. Football fans were paid 1000 rubel if they fought with police as demonstrators according to Internet Russian news reports(my wife read this today). Kasparov is a jerk. Don't think that because you know your own US or British or Canadian or Australian interests that from this you can judge the global situation("people will of course do everything to serve Anglosaxon interests and if not we will kick ass"). Get real = Realpolitik.

What will really go down?

Hi galactic,

I like the way you end with a restoration of democracy.

re: "Football fans were paid 1000 rubel if they fought with police as demonstrators according..."

Could you possibly explain this further? I don't really get it, and I'd like to (at least I'm trying...).

re: "Russian and Chinese interests are not guaged with any sort of sympathy or accuracy..."

Perhaps you could expand upon this?

Football fans get cash for clashing with cops from Kasparov who gets cash from his western backers to stage "events"(stunts) which get heavily covered as real protests by the population by western media(First spot on German TV with really bad impression of Putin's semidictatorship). Russina newspapers published just like Western ones in the internet and accessible to those exile Russians(like my wife) tell it like it is. Said Exile Russians get pissed off and tell their husbands what a load of sh*t this all is and how biased western media is and controlled by the rich who want take over Russia for its oil and would just love to use such a stunt as an excuse to invade Russian evil dictatorship. Maybe you are not so stuzpid but Joe Six pack and 99% of people in "the west" buy this crap and want to invade(remember Iraq and WMD?).

I think that calling such BS a conspiracy is not blown up. However it is just the water we swim in every day. People just don't like French say or Russians if they haven't gotten particularly acclimatized to them personally(as I have the last 11 years at home (or with Chinese colleague in the office at work) or were growing up in the cold war so their reporting(for reporters) or reading of those reports is totally biased and unfair regardless of what happens there(in excommunist countries East bloc/East asia). It is like racism in earlier times in deep South. "Once a N*gger always a N*gger". Attitudes to the "Krauts" in the pre WWI and pre WWII also got whipped up so people could be manipulated into fighting a foreign war, far abroad for large industrial and financial interests of military industrial complex.

Obviously if we look at the global situation purely from the view of a US citizen in terms of his own interests, As I am an American, who happens to live abroad, then we could make a lot of mistakes as to judging why someone is doing what they are doing and as to who is our "enemy" or not. Actually somebody is always telling us what to think and who to hate and like and what to buy and sell for whatever reasons for their profit.

This is why educated self interest is very important. Most people don't get PO for instance and believe that price increases are a conspiracy by somebody. Truth is power.

Putin is playing a masterful chess game and Bush is walking into a trap.

Hi galactic,

Thanks for your response.

re: "Maybe you are not so stuzpid".

I have a lot to learn, that's one reason I'm here. Something interesting, I was just thinking about, to hold a slight hope of counter-example, to what I agree (generally) as the US public absorbing a lot of media bias, with not much public discussion...In any case...many current college-age people in the US live in a very diversified personal, cultural and social milieu.

re: "Putin is playing a masterful chess game and Bush is walking into a trap."

Could you please possibly expand upon this? Perhaps even post it on a new "Drumbeat"?

What kind of democracy?
The modern definition in which every person is supposed to have a equal vote? Or the old Athens one where every citizen* has a vote?

*Contrary to popular belief the Athens's form of democracy was limited to a small group of people, they were the only ones that were considered citizens by the city sate. there were no women in this group and your average day to day worker was not included either. They were more or less in modern terms the top 10% to 15% of the population in wealth standards. So if you mean the former your just deluding yourself. If you mean the latter then there is a slight possibility.

From the film 'Network'...A dark drama released in 1976. Without pleantiful fossil fuels the world will not return to what we loosly term 'a democracy'...As Arthur Jensen points out below to Howard, democracy is an illusion. This film won 4 Academy Awards and many more AA nominations plus tons of other awards. I doubt any studio would make and release a similar film today. American audiences of 1976 understood this film...Would an American audience of today? If you have not seen Network (it is seldom if ever shown on cable tv today, wonder why?) you can buy a cheap, used, VHS or DVD copy at Half.com (Ebay). It would be well worth your time to watch it.

'Arthur Jensen (Ned Beatty): [to Howard (Peter Finch)] They say I can sell anything; I'd like to try to sell something to you.

Arthur Jensen: It is the international system of currency which determines the vitality of life on this planet. THAT is the natural order of things today. THAT is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today. And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature. And YOU WILL ATONE. Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale? You get up on your little 21-inch screen and howl about America, and democracy. There is no America; there is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today.

Arthur Jensen: You have meddled with the primal forces of nature, Mr. Beale, and I won't have it. Is that clear? You think you've merely stopped a business deal? That is not the case. The Arabs have taken billions of dollars out of this country, and now they must put it back. It is ebb and flow, tidal gravity. It is ecological balance. You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations; there are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems; one vast, interwoven, interacting, multivaried, multinational dominion of dollars.

Arthur Jensen: The world is a business, Mr. Beale; it has been since man crawled out of the slime. Our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that perfect world in which there's no war or famine, oppression or brutality - one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock - all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And I have chosen you, Mr. Beale, to preach this evangel.
Howard Beale: Why me?
Arthur Jensen: Because you're on television, dummy. Sixty million people watch you every night of the week, Monday through Friday.
Howard Beale: I have seen the face of God.
Arthur Jensen: You just might be right, Mr. Beale.'

You can find the pertinent parts of "Network" on Youtube.

Avoid Ebay!

Fleam, I know that you have commented that you used to sell on Ebay and had some bad experiences. I sold on Ebay from 1998 till the 9-11 event. I was netting 140K working Sept 1 till Mar 1. Ebay was never the same after 9-11. In the late 90s I made very good money selling on Ebay and now I still buy books and videos there. Nothing else. I have not attempted to sell on Ebay since 2002 and found that it was totally changed. I tried selling for about 6 weeks and said 'forget it'.

Given the speech to Mr. Beale, The question becomes, How would those forces Play the End of More?

How would the PTB in that movie play Peak Oil, Food, Water, etc?

That is where the discussion is. That's where we're at.

One only has to look at what they are doing now. muddy the waters of the not so obvious, reluctantly admit but mis-represent the time frame of the obvious. ignore the rest, and try to capture the feel good feelings of the consumers by saying 'you want to help buy these 'green' products instead' do absolutely nothing to wake the happy docile consumers.

"Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia/Eastasia"

Is there an equivalent to TOD for electricity supplies, particularly with a US focus? By equivalent, I mean the same emphasis on reasoned debate and supply modeling? Just my personal opinion, but I'm more concerned about collapse from electricity shortages than from oil shortages.

TOD does cover electricity from time to time. The general thinking is that electricity supply is not as serious a problem as fuel supply. The general thinking is that renewables (solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, etc) will kick in as the cheap non-renewables (oil, coal, natural gas) decline in supply and consequently become more expensive.

The problem is transportation. Efficient reliable transportation requires liquid fuel, and the only renewable sources (biodiesel) cannot be produced in quantities needed to keep our cars going without destroying the world food supply. That's why oil shortages are a bigger concern than electricity right now.

Hello TODers,

Is Russia cracking down on internal detritovores wishing to express their rights? Is Putin trying to blunt the huddled masses' natural desire to consume with freedom?

Politician dies after attack in Dagestan

We think it's a vivid example of the atmosphere around the election in Dagestan in particular and in Russia in general,” he said.
Russian Police Detain 100 Opposition Protesters in St. Petersburg

Boris Nemtsov, a leader of the Union of Rights Forces party and likely contender in Russia's coming presidential election, was taken into custody. Riot police used batons to stop protesters from marching to the center of Russia's second largest city Sunday.

Activists holding white flowers started marching towards the city center despite the government ban. Some of them unfurled banners of the banned National-Bolshevik Party. The march was organized by The Other Russia coalition, a wide movement of Kremlin opponents who accuse President Vladimir Putin of cracking down on freedoms.

The arrests came a day after police in Moscow arrested opposition leader Garry Kasparov and several other protesters in Moscow. Kasparov is to remain in custody for five days.

Opinion polls indicate President Putin is Russia's most popular politician.
From Insider to Fighting the Machine

Mikhail Kasyanov says he is the target of a vast, pro-Kremlin conspiracy to undermine his goal of shaking up an authoritarian political system. Alternatively, the former prime minister might just be the unluckiest presidential candidate on Earth.

"Look around you," he said. "Just a few years ago, did anyone expect that there would be no independent media left in Russia? That authorities would be fighting 'non-native inhabitants'? That the main enemies would become Estonia and Georgia? That political killings and wars between the secret services would become customary?"
The Qatar Gulf Times opinion page seems to argue that this model is ideal for exporting to other areas:

Putinism could be the next Russian export

...Upwards of 80% of Russians firmly expect Putin will continue as chief guide and arbiter of the nation’s fate. More than 50% would make him president-for-life.
So well managed is Putin’s “managed democracy” (aka “sovereign democracy”) that political opponents wonder aloud whether there is any point in having elections at all. That may be the next step....

...More often than not, instinctively undemocratic, oligarchic and corrupt national elites find that an appearance of democracy, with parliamentary trappings and a pretence of pluralism, is much more attractive, and manageable, than the real thing.
IMO, Putinism, as described, sounds remarkably similar to what we already have here in the US, but our version is less violent [at least so far].

Speculation ahead: Seems like the 'Rise of the Mercs' is a done deal as we go postPeak: I am still trying to figure out when energy and ecosystem levels decrease to the point whereby DNA-driven territorial protection instincts kick in to cause the 'Rise of the Earthmarines'.

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

... trying to figure out when energy and ecosystem levels decrease to the point whereby DNA-driven territorial protection instincts kick in ...

I think the DNA-driven response is "hole up in your cabin and take potshots at passersby" or something like that. Whatever the heck "Earthmarines" are, it will require more than a primal impulse to organize them.

The VOA didn't give the crackdown by Georgia's western-approved tyrant against 100,000 demonstrators as much attention as the small group of professional troublemakers in Russia. In the USA, you need a permit to have a rally and march. If you violate the terms of the permit, e.g. block major streets, then the police will get involved. Only in the surreal 1984-style western media coverage of Russia do you have what is normal in the USA used as "evidence" of repression in Russia. Kasparov's 5-day jail term that he will never serve is a slap on the wrist. He and his fellow organizers got a permit to stage a demonstration but they are clearly not interested in peaceful demonstrations, based on this and their previous riot attempts. Kasparov is a neocon working for the US Center for Strategic Studies. He regularly attempts to stage riots in Russia. Don't expect Russia and Russians to accept this foreign financed agent provocateur as a legitimate politician. BTW, eleven parties are going to partake in the ballot for the Duma elections including SPS and Yabloko (foaming at the mouth rabid pro-west parties the likes of which you cannot find in the west). How many parties are there in Congress? How about the fact that Ralph Nader could not get on the presidential ballot in a vast number of districts in 2004.

>>How about the fact that Ralph Nader could not get on the presidential ballot in a vast number of districts in 2004.<<

Because the Democratic party used its vast financial resources to use the courts to block Ralph Nader on the ballot in many many states. Ralph Nader and his supporters just did not have the resources to respond.

It does not matter which party. The point is that the VOA and the State Department should not be lecturing Russia about democracy standards when those standards are not being upheld in the USA. Kasparov should bugger off back to the west and enjoy the good life. That he is not being rounded up and shipped off to his utopia exposes the inane anti-Russian propaganda permiating the western media for what it is. But then it is not surprising considering that the western media is dominated by the likes of Ruppert Murdoch who ordered his papers and TV outlets to spread the attack on Iraq hysteria in 2003. Now apparently, the opinion makers have decided to launch a cold war on Russia. I guess they are hoping for a quick and glorious victory like all the insane idiots before them.

Agree. Except, that you ascribe blame to the wrong people. It is the MSM that is after Russia. But GWB sure as hell does not control the MSM. The MSM (eg David Gregory & pretty much the rest of the crowd) has done everything in its power to make GWB look bad. Condi Rice (Sec of State) and GWB have almost never said negative things about Russia.

The MSM media does not speak for the adminstration, rather it usually works to Thwart the administration.

And the favourite whipping boys of the US MSM are Bush and Putin.

Ruppert Murdoch shares the same political views as GWB otherwise he would not of repeatedly donated large sums of money to his past two campains.

Rupert's money is going to Hillary. His latest wife (Wendi Deng) runs the show.

Today is the last day to submit a question on youtube for the Republican debates. Get rolling!

I recorded two versions of my question on Peak Oil:

23 seconds:

35 seconds:

Wow. 30 seconds isn't a lot of time when your trying to provide context for an issue to the general public.

Good questions - let's hope they admit to knowing what Peak Oil is and don't immediately start their response by telling everybody how big the world reserves of oil are ... if they do, you know for sure we are probably all doomed if they are voted into power!

Perhaps you should have somehow included the message that Peak Oil is about the size of the 'tap', not the size of the 'barrel'?

I really wanted to put in more facts, I wanted to do the crystal of salt on a basketball thing - but the 30 second rule makes it really hard introduce an unfamiliar topic.

It's easy to ask a question about Global Warming, or medical care, or prayer in schools - everyone knows what you're talking about.

Aw well, I don't expect to be picked, but I had to try. You can't win the lottery without buying the ticket.

Thanks for trying.

Problems with the first one - 1) introduces a concept (Peak Oil) that most viewers will not understand, and 2) raises this as an issue for a President without there being an obvious problem.

Second one - better in that it explains what Peak Oil is, but still fails to couch the problem in presidential politics terms.

More effective would be to keep the first 2/3rds of the second video, but then ask "What will you do as President when Americans will not be able to buy the gasoline they need to go to work, and heat their homes in the winter with fuel oil?"

The other approach is to presuppose the problem and ask for concurrence with your proposed solution. E.g. "Oil production has peaked, and many experts are saying oil imports into the US will decline in the coming years. Would you support a national level effort for the electrification of transportation as a means of mitigating the loss of gasoline and diesel? Examples of electrification of transport are trains and light rail for urban commutes, and plug-in hybrid automobiles. What policies would you have to support such developments?"

This would be a great independent thread.

Kind of like the "elevator pitch:" How to provoke Peak Oil intrigue in 30 seconds or less.

RE: Sen Kay Bailey Hutchinson - Congress Is Drilling A Dry Hole

The senator from Texas believes that the only way out of the current oil supply/demand imbalance (read high prices) is to produce more domestic oil and build more refinery capacity with tax incentives. New taxes on FF are not needed and wrong according to her. Not once does she mention of conservation and the only mention of alternative fuels is about the pointlessness of ethanol from corn and switch grass (partially correct on these).

The fact that she quotes Daniel Yergin clearly indicates that she is quite mislead. Too bad she speaks for the benefit of only the oil Cos. and their shareholders, not the average person from Texas. Hopefully the US Congress remains Democratically controlled. Should Rebublicans with this attitude win next Nov., buy some rural land that can produce food/wood fuel and is near like minded people, buy some guns/ammo, and get your wealth into tangible assets.

Yes, but I hear she used to be a great cheerleader. No kidding. These congress people and Senators from Texas are damn scary, in my humble opinion. I know there are a lot of good people in Texas, but, unfortunately, this is what we get from the majority.

Now, let me show you a chart that will really scare the bejeezus out of you...



Harkan, that chart ends at about the first week in October when the OPEC basket price was around $75. For the week ending, November 16, one week ago, the OPEC average contract price, according to the EIA's This Week in Petroleum was $88.29. That was five trading days ago. Since then the WTI price has increased has increased $3.27 so I assume that the OPEC price has kept pace. That would put the OPEC price today at about $91.50 ore over $16 above what is shown on your chart.

A current chart would show the current price at about $35.00 above the 2006 price for the same week.

Ron Patterson

Anyone see this article on nanosolar yet?

Wondering if anyone knows more or has a strong opinion about this line of development.

Nanosolar has been discussed often on TOD. I am optimistic about their technology and would like to be a customer. As Tom Petty says, the waiting is the hardest part.

These numbers are curious:

Note the rather optimistic energy payback times -- even for Si wafer technology. What do they mean 3 years? I guarantee that you won't recoup your investment in that time, so if that number is accurate, why are they so expensive?

apparently demand, they produce the cells for .3$/watt, but sell for 2$/watt or more.

This should actually allow them to RAPIDLY scale up production, and in a good way, because if they are making margins of even 100% they should be able to attract significant potential to maximize ROE.

Payback for them is <1 mo because of low material requirements and moderate efficiencies. Continuous processes are also more economical if the downtime is minimized.

I do food work, and scheduling cleaning really cuts into processing time with only 2 main shifts. Even though we do use HTST which helps maximize throughput.

I'm probably going to send away for a package from them at some point.

sorry for raining on your parade but how is that ill defined term 'energy payback' calculated. looks like to me they did the same old trick of calculating money as the equivilant of energy.

Hello Leanan,

Thxs for the toplink: 'Pakistan: Increase in gas price to badly hit common man'

They said, "Fertiliser will be the most affected sector by the proposed gas price hike as fertiliser companies use gas both as a raw-material as well as fuel will feedstock being the major cost component."

As most TODers know: until recently, I had been posting on the POT message board about biosolar mission-critical investing and stockholder ownership rights to the NPK "hen and eggs'. Instead of just NPK subsidies, I would suggest that Pakistan could also be better postPeak served by buying huge blocks of POT shares, and other fertilizer stocks, so that they could later demand shipments of NPK based upon their relative % of ownership.

If they snooze--they postPeak lose! If I was Pervez Mushariff: I would be looking to immediately trade my fifty nuke missle warheads for a huge pile of NPK stock certificates--He would later be postPeak considered a national hero for taking this 'real value' action.

As posted before:

A exporter trading one-time use energy for biosolar goods will enjoy a long-term advantage postPeak.

IMO, as long as the fundamental concept of property rights holds: this right to demand NPK will be crucial postPeak as there is no substitutes to these elements if we continue to mine our topsoil.

It will be fascinating to watch when Sovereign Investment Funds [SIFs], with their trillions of dollars, decide to make this massive financial move--it should setoff quite a bidding war--if it hasn't already if one examines the rapid multi-year price rise. I suggest the Pakistani leadership makes this nukes-for-[NPK, PV panels, wheelbarrows and bicycles, etc] tradeoff before the rising stock prices make the deal impossible.

What will North Americans do if global NPK stock ownership is basically in the hands of the Chinese, Russians, and the Saudis? Could this be the trigger for WWIII? Don't forget that Germany cutoff our potash imports in 1914 causing prices to go to $10,500/ton[2007 $$$]--was this a trigger for WWI?

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

Huckabee is just another clueless politician. From the article Leanane linked to:

Huckabee says he would make the U.S. energy independent within 10 years if elected. He offered no specifics on how he'd do that.

This article in the Rolling Stone might give you a clue into the inner workings of Huckabee's mind:

Matt Taibbi on Mike Huckabee, Our Favorite Right-Wing Nut Job

From that article:

Huckabee, who in recent years has lost 100 pounds, has the roundish, half-deflated physique of an ex-fatty. With his button nose and never-waning smile, he looks slightly unreal, like an oversize Muppet.

What a hack job that article is...

None of the individuals running for President really know about energy (from a physical or engineering sense) - they've been politicians for too long and what they know is how to get elected. A couple of them appear to have a clue (Richardson and Guiliani) but still, its not their job to know these things. There job is how to build constituencies. They hire people who know about energy.

I saw him interviewed on PBS's newshour. The article is pretty accurate.

Very charming, very likable. He is such a nice guy that you have to smack yourself to realize he is completely insane.

I would not want him to have the finger on the button.

Hello TODers,

Pakistani troops have begun a major ground offensive against pro-Taleban militants in a former tourist resort in the North West Frontier province.

Food supplies to militant-held villages have also been cut.
Is this an example of Asimov's Foundation concepts of predictive collapse and directed decline? Applying the societal Liebig Minimum of starvation should quickly take the fight out of the opposition. Hard to lift and aim a rifle if you are quivering from nutritional weakness.

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

ATTN: John Macklin,

Hope this helps: A partial repost of a much longer and earlier posting on a Yahoo forum [hopefully Leanan will not delete as it is a slow weekend, and it is at the thread end]. Of course, Wild & Crazy Speculation on my part

This link discusses the Antarctic plate tectonics and rift system:



My comments: you can read the jargon below, or you can scroll past to my quick and dirty synopsis beneath.

The West Antarctic rift system dominates the lithospheric structure of the Ross Sea sector of West Antarctica. A suite of aerogeophysical data has been used to compile a complete Bouguer anomaly map and to reveal the crustal architecture of a major portion of the rift system between Marie Byrd Land and the Whitmore Mountains. Three major crustal segments are proposed. The Whitmore Mountains crustal block, a segment of transitional crust between the Whitmore Mountains and the Bentley Subglacial Trench, and a unit of stretched crust towards the rift center. The crustal thickness has been estimated from power spectral analysis and forward modeling of the gravity data. Beneath the Whitmore Mountains a crustal thickness of 34 km has been estimated, which thins to 26 km beneath the Bentley Subglacial Trench. The distinct changes in Bouguer gravity from the transitional crust, the Bentley Subglacial Trench, and the stretched crust possibly represent the differential crustal extension during the Mesozoic. The lower boundary for the amount of extension has been estimated as beta = 1.3. The influence of rifting for the crustal evolution seems to be weaker in the region between Marie Byrd Land and the Whitmore Mountains than in the Ross Sea. Similarities in the signature of the gravity anomalies and models between the Ross Sea and our study area suggest a possible early rift origin for the Bentley Subglacial Trench. The narrow basins along the rift shoulder close to the Whitmore Mountains block might have been reactivated during regional Cenozoic right-lateral strike-slip movements as well as a proposed en echelon sedimentary basin near Siple Dome.


My comments: Basically, the tectonic plates are pulling apart in this area of the Bentley Subglacial Trench as evidenced by the very thin crust, and the very high mountains nearby are the result of previous upthrust and/or volcanic activity. 34km-26km = 8 km of crustal thinning, and 1 kilometer = 0.621371192 miles, so 8 x .62 = 4.96 miles, call it five miles even. That is roughly 26,000 ft-- our drill rigs do not even go this deep looking for oil and gas. That is a lot of missing crust--hot lava cannot be too much further down in an area as big as all of Mexico.



Again, read or skip to my next synopsis.

The present-day West Antarctic Ice Sheet rests over the West Antarctic rift system, a complex lithospheric structure, characterized by numerous linear fault-bounded sedimentary basins. This region was also subdued well below sea level prior to the Cenozoic glaciation.

We use aerogeophysical data to estimate the distribution of marine subglacial sediments and fault-bounded sedimentary basins beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. We find that significant ice flow occurs exclusively in regions covered by subglacial sediments. We estimated the distribution of marine sediments by isostatically rebounding the present-day subglacial topography. The paleo-shoreline, the approximate limit of widespread marine sediments, coincides with the lateral margins of ice streams and the location of the ice stream onsets. The paleo-shoreline is linked to the lateral margin of ice flow along the edge of the Bentley Subglacial Trench and the onset of several small tributaries of ice streams B and C. Fault-bounded basins are consistently linked with the lateral margins of ice streams while the correlation of basins to onset regions remains poorly constrained. We predict that the widespread availability of marine sediments at the base of ice stream C2 and D in the Bentley Subglacial Trench will enable rapid ice flow and onset migration towards the ice divide. In contrast, the inland migration of the onsets of ice streams B and C1 towards the ice divide outside the region covered by marine or rift sediments is unlikely. The subglacial geology has the potential to modulate the dynamic evolution of the Siple Coast ice streams and the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.


My comments: This geography has been pulling apart even before Antarctica migrated to the South Pole and the cold weather! The author is saying the soft underlying sedimentary layers are key determinants in the flow rates of the ice sheets. He calls them streams: but they are actually moving rivers of frozen water hundreds or even thousands of feet high and miles wide!


Why is the South Pole colder than the North Pole?

The two poles are complete opposites in that the North Pole is an area of sea surrounded by land, whereas the South Pole is an area of land surrounded by sea.

The first reason that the North Pole is warmer is that the presence of the sea has a large effect on the temperature in the vicinity. Sea water freezes at about -2°C, so whenever sea is not frozen, the temperature of the sea cannot be any lower than this. This still has an effect even when the sea is covered with a thick layer of ice and keeps Arctic temperatures (although still incredibly cold) above those of the Antarctic.

My comments: this means that global warming and rising sea levels will make it easier for the warming seawater to break off the floating ice shelfs, then to start melting underneath the ice on land as sea levels start to rise.

The second reason is due to the thickness of the Antarctic ice sheet. The South Pole is 2385m above sea level, the average elevation of Antarctica is 2300m and the highest point is about 4000m. With every 100m you climb, the air temperature drops by 1°C which puts the average temperature of Antarctica 23°C below the already cold coastal temperature. The North Pole by comparison is at a maximum altitude of just a few metres above sea level - and that's when a large lump of ice is passing by. [ The inverse of this means that for every 100m of ice that melts off, the next 100m will melt off 1 degree faster yet, and so on--BS]

The third reason is due to the isolation of Antarctica far from the other landmasses on earth. It is isolated in the main from the rest of the world's weather in a way that the Arctic isn't. It doesn't get any warm air spilling from nearby continents as does the Arctic from Canada and Russia. Warm air from the tropics that finds its way northwards finds it much more difficult to do the same southwards. Antarctica generally has its own weather systems that rush round and round the continent having nothing to do with the rest of the world.

My comments: imagine huge quantities of ejected volcanic ash and pumice like Krakatoa. These circumpolar and katabatic winds would confine these ash laden winds to Antarctica until everything white was coated black or grey drastically raising the albedo quotient [it's heat-absorbing ability]. Once the air was cleared, the intense sunlight beaming on this dark matter would accelerate the melting process. Remember how ships encountered hundreds of square miles of floating pumice around Krakatoa? The circumpolar currents would tend to keep these very abrasive floating rocks grinding away against any ice floating or at the ocean's edge, speeding the melting process. The very little average annual snowfall would take a long time to cover this ash. Remember this little note for later on when I start discussing Antarctic volcanism. Hint, hint!

4/ What is the Antarctic convergence?

The Antarctic Convergence (also known as the Antarctic Polar Front) marks the true outer edge of Antarctica. It is a circumpolar strip of sea around the southern most reaches of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans varying between about 45° and 60° South. It's exact position is somewhat variable, but it is a very real and permanent feature. The surface temperature changes by 2-3°C from one side of the convergence (polar front) to the other, there are also changes in the chemical composition of the water.

There is sufficient difference across the convergence that the seas around Antarctica are known as a distinct "Southern" or "Antarctic" ocean, rather than simply being the most southerly parts of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans.

The strip of water that comprises the Antarctic convergence is around 40km wide and it has been in existence for about 20 million years, during which time there has been little exchange of marine life from one side to the other. For instance, there are no Decapod Crustaceans (crabs, lobsters etc.) in Antarctica, despite their being found in quantity elsewhere in the world's oceans including the Arctic.

The convergence is a complex and turbulent area. Sea water that has cooled dramatically around the Antarctic continent and so become heavier, starts to flow northwards along the sea bed. It meets deep, warmer south-flowing water from equatorial regions at the Antarctic convergence which results in an upwelling of the deep waters to the surface. This upwelling brings a great many dissolved nutrients with it which acts like fertiliser for the southern ocean and is the reason that the seas around Antarctica are so surprisingly productive despite the cold temperatures.

In the winter Antarctica doubles in size due to the sea ice that forms around the coasts. The true boundary of Antarctica is not the coastline of the continent itself or the outlying islands, but the Antarctic Convergence. When the Antarctic sea-ice begins to expand at the beginning of winter, it advances by around 40000 square miles (100000 square kilometres) per day, and eventually doubles the size of Antarctica, adding up to an extra 20 million square kilometres of ice around the land mass.

That's one and a half USA's, two Australia's or 50 UK's worth of ice area that forms, then breaks up and melts on an annual basis. One of the biggest icebergs ever (possibly the biggest iceberg ever) broke free from the Ross ice shelf in Antarctica in 2000.

It was 295km (183 miles) long and 37km (23 miles) wide, with a surface area of 11,000 sq km (4,250 square miles) - similar in size to The Gambia, Qatar, The Bahamas, or Connecticut - above water - and 10 times bigger below.

My comments: Ice is a crystal lattice structure, it gains strength and size by its inherent bonding process. Imagine if huge quantities of ash and pumice were effective in suppressing this annual winter ice growth due to lattice interference, albedo effects, and frictional grinding as the pumice grinds away by normal tide and current action. If the ice shelves cannot grow, then the next summer it will be that much easier for the rising ocean to work at the shrinking ice shelfs or the land based glaciers' leading edges. As the top of an iceberg will be melted and/or ground off first, this will raise the iceberg ever higher out of the water resulting in a faster melt rate than if there was no ash or pumice on it. Also, at some future global warming inflection point, this circumpolar weather and current isolationism will break down allowing huge amounts of warm air intrusion to further accelerate the melting process in Antarctica.

1/ If Antarctica's ice sheets melted, the worlds oceans would rise by 60 to 65 metres (200 - 210ft) - everywhere.

My comments: Imagine if global warming could find some natural mechanism whereby the sea level would rise just an inch a day. At first thought, that does not seem like a very big concern until you do the math: 210 ft x 12 inches/ft = 2,520 inches divided by 365 days/yr = 6.9 years to raise sea levels the 210 ft maximum. Oh Crap! Even if you reduced the ocean level rise by half, it would only take 14 years for the Antarctic ice to melt, and don't forget the huge Greenland ice sheet either, it will be melting too. Now add the Hubbert Downslope into this equation, you could get half the world's people to higher ground easily enough, but we would not have the energy to move the cities and towns to higher ground! Dieoff par excellence! Decimation Maximus! So hopefully, I can build upon this dire theme in the rest of this essay. Keep reading!

I am sure all you members have read about the shrinking of the North Polar ice cap and the drowning of polar bears, etc. Now imagine when the key global warming inflection point for Antarctica is reached and large amounts of the floating ice shelves break off and melt, further raising sea levels. This will break off the remaining ice shelves making it easier for the glacial ice sheets to pick up their flowrates and start scouring off the soft sedimentary layers underneath. The faster a glacier moves, the more frictional heat it generates, enabling it to pickup additional speed and ever more heat, and so on. The ice is so thick in some places that the compressive weight alone has generated sufficient heat [combined with geothermal venting under the ice] to create under-ice lakes. These lakes will be the ideal 'lubricant' to speed glacial flow. Here is a short quote to back up my assertion: "This modelled variability is a consequence of the interaction between ice flow and the thermal regime, whereby fast-flowing ice generates more heat that softens the ice and promotes even faster flow (here the model assumes a local balance between gravitation driving stress and vertical shear stresses on spatial scales of 20 km). This interaction is prompted by bedrock topography. In the case of Whillans Ice Stream and Ice Stream C, there are several, closely-spaced subglacial troughs that encourage this enhanced ice flow."

So far scientists have identified 145 sub-glacial lakes in Antarctica. The effect of these 'slippery spots' extend much further than the size of the lake itself because the relative rigidity of the overhead ice uses this encountered slipperyness to accelerate the ice over a much larger area. Here is an instructive link:


The largest sub-glacial lake identified so far is Lake Vostok having an area of 14,000 sq. km or 5,404 square miles, 73.5 x 73.5 mile lake.

An erupting volcano, or even worse, a large caldera, similar in size to the Yellowstone Caldera, erupting would start melting enormous quantities of ice adding ever more lubricant to speed up glacial flow rates. What evidence is there that volcanic activity is increasing along the edges of tectonic plates or rift belts of the South Polar regions? What evidence is there of a hidden, but huge volcanic caldera beneath the ice? Keep reading as I build my case that there is a volcanic caldera inside the Bently Subglacial Trench!


Red-hot filling adds acres to a Sandwich island
By Roger Highfield, Science Editor
(Filed: 24/11/2005)

British territory is expanding rapidly in the South Atlantic, thanks to this eruption on Mount Belinda.

Belinda can be seen as a red eye staring into space in satellite images of Montagu Island, in the South Sandwich Islands, which has grown by 50 acres in a month.

Belinda billows smoke and spews virgin lava onto Montagu Island
Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology have been studying satellite data showing lava pouring into the sea like a huge waterfall.

Mount Belinda, the island's most notable feature, rising 4,494ft above sea level, had been thought to be inactive prior to the sighting by the survey of low-level ash emission and volcanic activity late in 2001.

Researchers believed that the activity was winding down until they were alerted to the new satellite pictures showing the large, fast-moving lava flow. It is the first eruption observed on the island.

Dr John Smellie, a BAS authority on volcanoes, said: "Red hot lava has formed a molten river 90 metres wide that is moving fast, possibly several metres per second and extending the shoreline on the north side of the island. This event is special because Montagu Island is mostly ice-covered and it is very rare that we get to make direct observations of eruptions under ice sheets.

"My work usually involves studying Antarctic rock formations to find out how past eruptions affected the growth and retreat of ice sheets over the last 30 million years," Dr Smellie said. "This opportunity to monitor a live eruption and see how it affects ice cover is priceless."

He plans to fly over the volcano in the New Year to get more close-up views for his research.

"It will be the highlight of my career," he said.

The South Sandwich Islands form a volcanic arc of 11 islands in the Weddell Sea that may erupt.

They are important to researchers because of their remoteness from any continental landmass making the lavas "pristine" - unaffected by continental contamination.

The island was first sighted by James Cook in 1775, and named after John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who is best remembered for the bread and beef food which took his name.

Previous story: Cut-throat competition is a razor for only 80p

Eruption update: Island in British Overseas Territory is growing in size [23 ov '05] - British Antarctic Survey

Researchers believed that volcanic activity on Montagu Island, which started in 2001, was winding down until they were alerted to the new satellite pictures showing the large, fast-moving lava flow. It is the first eruption observed on the island.

The South Sandwich Islands are a volcanic arc. Each of its eleven islands may erupt. They are important to researchers because of their remoteness from any continental landmass making the lavas ‘pristine’ - unaffected by continental contamination. This reveals how the Earth’s crust was formed and how it will evolve over time. Large sections of the steep flanks of oceanic volcanoes commonly collapse causing tsunamis.

The South Sandwich Islands are approximately 14,500 km from the UK and 2000 km from mainland Antarctica. Antarctica itself has only two obviously active volcanoes (Deception Island and Erebus) with another three or four dormant volcanoes that are still potentially active. [ Hopefully, no tsunamis send waves of water to break up any Antarctic ice sheets, but one never knows. The other key point is that this eruption is a tectonic rift volcano, and maybe the other eleven islands may or may not erupt. Could this possibly happen in Antarctica too?--BS]



The presence of active volcanism beneath

the West Antarctic Ice Sheet could possibly trigger its collapse

due to enhanced basal melting (Blankenship et al., 1993), resulting in

as much as 6 m of sea-level rise.


The thin, isostatically compensated crust observed throughout

much of the West Antarctic rift system is consistent with previous

interpretations that West Antarctica underwent a prominent phase of

extension from the Cretaceous to middle Cenozoic. However, several

important features have been documented in the present study: (1) The

thin crust and extreme topography associated with the Bentley subglacial

trench suggest that this region (possibly including the Byrd subglacial

basin to the north) represents a distinct tectonic regime that has

undergone locally extreme extension. (2) The thin crust observed on

the flank of the Marie Byrd Land dome suggests that the region has

undergone significant crustal thinning and is a continuation of the West

Antarctic rift system province, not the northern boundary (Fig. 3B). If

this is the case, the high topography observed in the region most likely

reflects thin, extended crust currently underlain by a low-density upper

mantle, consistent with the interpretation of a large intraplate hotspot.


2/ Antarctica is pushed into the earth by the weight of its ice sheets. If they melted, it would "spring back" about 500m (1,625 ft). It would do this v...e...r...y s...l...o...w...l...y taking about 10000 years to do so. Scotland and Scandinavia are still rebounding today after the last ice age - at the rate of half a meter a century in the Northern Baltic - the fastest place.

My comments: Who says it has to rebound slowly? Imagine if the ice was melting and rolling off land into the sea. This reduced pressure would cause earthquakes as the ice thinned, which would cause the ice to accelerate, which would cause more earthquakes and uplift, which makes the ice move faster and faster causing more earthquakes and more uplift, and so on. Can a bell curve of earthquake activity apply to Antarctica as trillions of tons of ice are shook off its back? Could all these earthquakes and uplift motions tear open the thin crust in the very deep Bentley Subglacial Trench making a massive caldera open up to massively increase melting, creating a monstrous subglacial lake to lubricate glacier flow, then reaching the surface to eject cubic kilometers of pumice and ash ejecta onto the remaining entirety of Antarctic ice to increase sea level rise even more? Will the cross-cascading and interplay of all these effects cause a 210 foot rise in sea level in 14 years? Can such a rapid rise in sea level and rapid global warming cause weather effects similar to what we saw in the movie, "The Day after Tomorrow"? Keep reading as I build my case in Iceland [another tectonic rift structure], and what an astounding force of nature causes a very common "jokulhlaup" which can release water equal to 20 times the flow of the Amazon river. If your mind is capable of grasping it, imagine seawater trying to fill the incredibly huge Bentley Subglacial Trench, but the caldera is relentlessly heating the water, or even worse, has sufficient heat to turn most of it to steam and ejecta!



The spatial correlation between the location of distinct, small scale onsets of the ice streams C1, C2 and B2 with a significant change in Bouguer anomaly and underlying sedimentary basins suggest that the onset of fast moving ice for these ice streams is influenced by a regional change in crustal structure and the local presence of sedimentary basins beneath the onsets. The underlying crustal structure and bedrock geology seems to influence the type of ice stream onset. Drainage and stability of the West Antarctic ice sheet are linked strongly to the dynamic behavior of the ice stream onsets. The underlying geology has the potential to influence the location and type of West Antarctic ice stream onsets. Predictions of the future of the West Antarctic ice sheet have to include the influence of the geological structures of the underlying bedrock. The subglacial geology plays an important role in the dynamic behavior of the entire West Antarctic ice sheet and can modulate the dynamic evolution of the ice sheet due to global climate change.




The nearcircular pattern of highs located under the ice divide is hypothesized by Behrendt and others (1998) to be a large volcanic caldera, possibly mid to late Cenozoic in age. Primary objectives for ice coring in West Antarctica include establishment of the northsouth hemisphere timing relationships for initiation of the last deglaciation, and for millennial-scale climate events, such as Dansgaard-Oeschger events, the Younger Dryas, and the Antarctic Cold Reversal, as well as their timing with respect to changes in greenhouse gas concentrations. This objective requires good temporal resolution in ice-age ice. [Could smaller versions of my wild theme have occured in the past, for example, the Younger Dryas period?--BS]



antarctic caldera pictures



jokulhlaup (glacial outburst flood)

Iceland is one of the most active volcanic regions on Earth. Thorarinsson (1967) estimated that one-third of the lava erupted since 1500 A.D. was produced in Iceland. Iceland has 35 volcanoes that have erupted in the last 10,000 years. On average, a volcano erupts about every 5 years. Eleven volcanoes have erupted between 1900 and 1998: Krafla, Askja, Grimsvotn, Loki-Fogrufjoll, Bardarbunga, Kverkfjoll, Esjufjoll, Hekla, Katla, Surtsey, and Heimaey. Most of the eruptions were from fissures or shield volcanoes and involve the effusion of basaltic lava. Map based on Simkin and Siebert (1994).

Iceland was buried under ice in the last Ice Age and all eruptions were subglacial. Remnants of the ice caps remain and Iceland continues to have numerous subglacial eruptions. Of the world's known subglacial eruptions, 83% are in Iceland. The most recent eruption, at Grimsvotn, is an example. Subglacial eruptions produce a special type of volcano, called a table mountain or a moberg mountain. Great volumes of meltwater, generated by subglacial eruptions, can burst out from beneath glaciers to produce enormous floods called jokulhlaup. The discharge can be as much as 20 times greater than the flow rate of the Amazon River.

Grímsvötn is a large depression in the west-central portion of Vatnajökull--see Fig. 7-1. It is about 35 km² in area and up to 500 m deep. Grímsvötn is an ice-dammed lake within a volcanic caldera. Prior to 1934, Grímsvötn drained nearly every tenth year via jökulhlaups that flooded Skeidarársandur. Maximum discharge is estimated at 50,000 m³/sec (Bárdarson 1991). Following a volcanic eruption in 1934, the draining of Grímsvötn has been less regular, often at intervals of about 5 years. On Sept. 30, 1996, a major volcanic eruption began at Bardarbunga volcanic center under Vatnajökull. Melt water generated by the eruption drained into Grímsvötn and collected throughout the month of October. As much as 3 km³ of melt water was trapped. A jökulhlaup began on Nov. 5; it quickly increased in magnitude reaching a peak discharge of 45,000 m³/s about 15 hours after starting. This was one of the largest jökulhlaups of this century in Iceland. Bridges, roads, electric lines and communication cables were washed away. Total damage is estimated at $10-15 million.

The Laki eruption derives its name from a mountain (Laki) which was split by a fissure from which a large volume of lava and gas emanated. ... The Laki eruption produced the largest lava flow on Earth observed in historic times, 2.9 cubic miles of lava which inundated 218 square miles.

My Comments: So now we know that rift eruptions are very common, very long lasting, and release tremendous amounts of lava and ejecta. A key distinction to be made here is that the aforementioned Icelandic eruptions all occurred high above sea level only after the magma worked its way through long magmatic spouts or cracks in the underlying mantle. Now imagine how easily, how much longer, and how much more lava could potentially erupt from the Bentley Subglacial Trench which has a much thinner mantle to punch through, it is 8,362 feet BELOW SEALEVEL, and could create a huge lava lake nearly as big as all of Mexico with lots of earthquakes too stoke the fires and shake the glaciers off its back! Okay, we know the Sandwich Islands are erupting, is there any evidence of eruptions in Antarctica currently? Surprisingly, a ocean floor volcano has been erupting for some time in Antarctica, but it was only recently discovered. Maybe the ocean warming caused by this undersea volcano was responsible for the recent collapse of the Larsen ice shelf and the birth of the largest iceberg seen in modern history.


Domack said the volcano stands 2,300 feet (700 meters) above the seafloor and extends to within roughly 900 feet (275 meters) of the ocean surface.

No previous activity noted
The volcano is in an area known as Antarctic Sound, at the northernmost tip of Antarctica. There is no previous scientific record of active volcanoes in the region where the new peak was discovered. The volcano is located on the continental shelf, in the vicinity of a deep trough carved out by glaciers passing across the seafloor. [Notice a key point here in that the scouring action of previous glaciers were thought to help initiate the birth of this volcano.--BS]



good pictures of Antacrtica and two volcanoes


It's a remarkable volcano," said Philip Kyle, an ex-Kiwi who's spent nearly three decades studying Erebus and now works through the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. "The fact that it's in Antarctica is a red herring."

The most unique thing about it is the circulating lava lake in its crater.

"It's one of the few volcanoes in the world that doesn't plug itself up on a regular basis," said fellow researcher Rick Aster.

Most volcanoes erupt, then cool, offering scientists little glimpse of their inner workings. Erebus has a natural convection that continually brings new lava to the surface. This steady circulation provides not only a fresh supply of magma, but allows gases to escape, another attribute of the volcano that makes it ideal to study.

My comments: Holy Shit, I never heard of this before either. Just imagine if a volcanic caldera in the Bentley Subglacial Trench erupted and was kept going for years like Mount Erebus. Remember the earlier statement about how the land would uplift 1,625 feet with no ice? If Antarctica was constantly shuddering from earthquake activity like Mt. Erebus is already, you might get all kinds of long-lasting rift volcanic activity, and possibly the other volcanoes that violently explode like Krakatoa or Mt. Pinatubo would become active spewing billions of tons of ejecta to coat the surrounding ice and speed the ice melting and glacier flow process. We could see jökulhlaups thousands of times bigger than than the flow of the Amazon river! This next link speculates that most of the subglacial lakes are tectonic in origin, that is Antarctica is coming aparts at the seams all over the place. Something is bound to give sooner or later causing eruptions, my speculation is that it will occur in the Bentley Subglacial Trench totally clearing the Antarctic Icecap in roughly twenty years causing massive world sealevel rise and drastic weather changes around the globe. Wild shit --if you can mentally gasp this idea! Try to imagine a flowing glacier miles wide scouring along about 10 mph as huge quantities of water are lubricating its flow over all that soft sedimentary base geology. Next mental step-- now add hundreds of these glaciers sloughing off the land into the sea! Imagine the Bently Subglacial Trench being a huge bubbling pot of mud until the caldera reached the surface of the ice then sending streamers of lava for miles to melt the surrounding ice. Imagine nearly constant earthquakes and uplift causing all kinds of geothermal driven subglacial lakes to form and create even more slippery spots to speed the ice flows. Can you see, in your mind's eye, this scenario of Antarctica becoming free of ice. Can you mentally grasp how dire this could be for us humans-- it would be like a relatively slow motion Toba event!


Source: The Earth Institute at Columbia University

Posted: January 30, 2006

Two New Lakes Found Beneath Antarctic Ice Sheet
The Earth Institute at Columbia University--Lying beneath more than two miles of Antarctic ice, Lake Vostok may be the best-known and largest subglacial lake in the world, but it is not alone down there. Scientists have identified more than 145 other lakes trapped under the ice. Until now, however, none have approached Vostok's size or depth.

MODIS satellite image showing location of Sovetskaya Antarctic research station and 90ºE Lake in relation to Lake Vostok. (Image courtesy of The Earth Institute at Columbia University)
In the February 2006 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, scientists from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a member of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, describe for the first time the size, depth and origin of Vostok's two largest neighbors. The two ice-bound lakes are referred to as 90ºE and Sovetskaya for the longitude of one and the Russian research station coincidentally built above the other. The scientists' findings also indicate that, as suspected with Lake Vostok, an exotic ecosystem may still be thriving in the icy waters 35 million years after being sealed off from the surface.

Geophysicists Robin Bell and Michael Studinger of Lamont-Doherty combined data from ice-penetrating radar, gravity surveys, satellite images, laser altimetry and records of a Soviet Antarctic Expedition that unknowingly traversed the lakes in 1958-1959. The shorelines of the lakes appeared in satellite images of the region as perturbations in the surface of the East Antarctic ice sheet. In addition, because the ice is effectively floating on the surface of the lakes, the ice sheet exhibits slight depressions over the lakes that appear in radar and laser elevations.

Bell and Studinger, along with colleagues from the University of New Hampshire and NASA, report that the 90ºE Lake has a surface area of 2,000km2, which is about the size of Rhode Island, and is second only to Lake Vostok's 14,000km2 surface area. Sovetskaya Lake was calculated to be about 1,600 km2. Both are sealed beneath more than two miles of ice.

The lake depths, estimated to be at least 900 meters, were calculated from gravity data taken during aerial surveys in 2000 and 2001. Because gravitational force is directly related to mass, a decrease in gravitational pull over the ice sheet corresponds to a decrease in mass beneath the ice. "Over the lakes, the pull of gravity is much weaker, so we know there must be a big hole down there," said Bell.

Their depth, along with the fact that they are parallel to each other and Lake Vostok, indicate that the lake system is tectonic in origin, the authors conclude.

Shallow lakes scooped out by glaciers or a meteorite impact can quickly fill with sediment, and thus are short lived. Lakes created by faulted blocks of the Earth's crust, however, are deeper and don't fill in as rapidly. Many of the smaller sub-glacial lakes scientists have identified so far are believed to be shallow "ephemeral" lakes that were suddenly sealed off by the ice.

The combination of heat from below and a thick layer of insulating ice above keeps the water temperature at the top of 90ºE and Sovetskaya at a balmy -2 degrees Celsius, despite temperatures on the surface that can drop to -80 degrees Celsius in winter. Since the lakes are bounded by faults, Bell said it is likely the lakes receive flows of nutrients that could support unique ecosystems. Moreover, laser mapping of the ice sheet surface by NASA's Ice Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) revealed that this water-ice boundary, or ceiling, is tilted.

"Since the surface is tilted, we know that the ice sheet changes thickness over the lake and that will drive circulation in the lake," said Bell. "This will provide mixing and distribute whatever nutrients are in the lake, which is an important component of subglacial ecosystems."

This, along with the tectonic origin of the lakes, supports the idea that despite climate changes on the surface over the last 10 million to 35 million years, the volume of the lakes have remained remarkably constant, providing a stable, if inhospitable, environment that may harbor an ancient and alien ecosystem adapted to life beneath the ice sheet. However, just how, when or even whether scientists will risk the possibility of contaminating the lakes to confirm their suspicions remains the subject of an ongoing international debate.

The study was supported by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the Palisades Geophysical Institute, NASA, and the National Science Foundation.

The Earth Institute at Columbia University is the world's leading academic center for the integrated study of the Earth, its environment and society. The Earth Institute builds upon excellence in the core disciplines--earth sciences, biological sciences, engineering sciences, social sciences and health sciences--and stresses cross-disciplinary approaches to complex problems. Through research, training and global partnerships, The Earth Institute mobilizes science and technology to advance sustainable development, while placing special emphasis on the needs of the world's poor. For more information, visit www.earth.columbia.edu.

The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, a member of The Earth Institute at Columbia University, is one of the world's leading research centers seeking fundamental knowledge about the origin, evolution and future of the natural world. More than 200 research scientists study the planet from its deepest interior to the outer reaches of its atmosphere, on every continent and in every ocean. From global climate change to earthquakes, volcanoes, nonrenewable resources, environmental hazards and beyond, Observatory scientists provide a rational basis for the difficult choices facing humankind in the planet's stewardship. For more information, visit www.ldeo.columbia.edu.

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


Have you ever considered a career as a writer of science fiction? Your post makes a rather long winded case, but you are ignoring some basics, I think. Comparing the events in Iceland, where the sub-glacial volcano eruptions are above sea level with an Antarctic sub-glacial caldera that is below sea-level misses a basic point. If there were such an eruption, wouldn't it be just as likely that the melt water would reach the surface before it cut under the glacier and migrated upwards toward the ocean? With all that concentrated hot lava, I would expect lots of steam and hot water to blast straight thru to the surface, releasing the water and steam into the air. During the 1996 eruption in Iceland, the melting from the volcano reached the surface. This would preclude the melting and the rapid migration of the ice sheet into the ocean which you postulate, IMHO.

As a counter example, there are already several large sub-glacial lakes, which you mentioned. That they exist while the ice sheet above remains relatively stable suggests to me that the presence of such sub-glacial lakes does not tend to greatly speed the flow of the glacier(s), in areas where the lakes can not drain.

While we are on the subject, I think you could calculate an approximation of the volume of melt water, given some assumption of the mass of magma ejected from the caldera. Don't forget to allow for losses due to steam. You could have lots of fun with that one...

Thanks, Bob, maybe next time just send me the link to the Yahoo group or just email me all this info. There's a lot of cut and paste here, where links/references could be inserted to support your hypothesis.

I know I know far too little about Antarctica, and volcanology or glacial geology to have any sensible comment to what you hypothesize, i.e. that thin mantle in the Bentley subglacial trench could lead to volcanic eruptions that lead to breakup of the antarctic ice sheet which floods the world with 200 m sea rise, occuring over some brief (20 year?) period of time.

You cite the volcanic activity in the Sandwich Islands, activity of Mt Erebus volcano located in Antarctica, and recent discoveries of undersea volcanic eruptions in the region (this one has been discussed here before as regards alternative explanation to GW) as evidence for this possibility, and suggest warming ocean water from volcanic activity may have led to the collapse of the Larsen iceshelf. You got me.

Given the potential devastation if some fraction of the antarctic ice sheet is lost to sea rise, a lot more research focus should be put into it's study. Heck, most obsevations are only from the last decade or two, so there's not much of a baseline. But that's why I'm interested to find the source for Ki-moon's comments (or lack of source as the case may be) you linked to the other day. But as others noted, we're likely not there yet to put probabilities on events like loss of western antarctic ice sheet.

BTW a coupla links fail to go the their targets. Also, a very cool site you listed is http://www.gdargaud.net/Antarctica/RadarSat.html, which along with great images has a good FAQ on weather and climate.

Hello John,

I was running short of time, so I did a quick cut and paste with no checking to see if the links would work. I was just trying to shorten your research efforts. My effort was originally from Jan. '06 so it is somewhat dated now.

If even a small volcanic eruption in Antartica, but in the worst possible location, causes world sea levels to rise 2 feet quickly--it would setoff a global catastrophe. My speculation was obviously geared more towards a worst case scenario [more unlikely, but I hope it makes for more interesting reading].

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

Well I appreciate you passing on this information. And yes I think a more probable event is some fraction of the ice sheet to raise sea levels. As I read somewhere in one of you links, ice has covered (all or some of) the land mass of Antarctica for 10's of million of years, so loss of the entire sheet seems highly unlikely.

What you are speculating, though, is weakly dependent on GW. OTOH, recent or slowly increasing low-level volcanic activity will likely push effects of GW faster.

I'm still, at this point, without a source for the alarmist statements of Ki-moon. I'll call the UN.

* Called the UN, spoke with Alex in the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Told him of the article by the Sec. Gen, and asked for the source for the statement:

"It [6m sea rise] may not happen for 100 years – or it could happen in 10. We simply do not know. But when it happens, it could occur quickly, almost overnight."

Alex said he will find the source and get back with the info in a day or so. Stay tuned.

People are catching on, I think. The reporting has been steady and intense. The latest twist -- on an oil plateau -- in The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine are particularly compelling.

Steve LeVine, author
The Oil and the Glory


You have a book.
The Oil and the Glory by Steve LeVine

And you've been a member of TOD for four weeks, which is not long enough to have written a book in that time. Have you been lurking for much, much longer perhaps? Or do you just wish you had?

You also have a long history in journalism, and not just journalism, but you were one of "They" - the MSM, which is greatly adored here. You probably have some good insights into the workings, ne?

You got me Substrate. A long-time practitioner of the craft. I do feel I've come late to TOD.

Welcome aboard !

The Oil Drum has evolved a bit over the two years I have been here, and even more from the beginning (per my perview of the archives).

I think a bit of the intellectual sharpness of the meatgrinder analysis has been lost, but we still have our moments.

The serial analysis of North Ghawar was the best I have ever seen on any subject, anywhere !

Best Hopes for Intellectual Analysis,


One capsule of my own thoughts


There is good stuff here, I think. A committed crowd to be sure. I liked the thread you sent. Thanks bigeasy

Any comments on the recent oil spills in the Caspian Sea? Will enough pipelines be built to send the oil east & west, as this is one of the few large oil finds of the last thirty years.

I do think those lines will be built. I think that Turkmenistan will finally get behind a cross-Caspian line, and then Kazakhstan will use it for political cover and climb aboard, too. For the reasons you suggest, I see the Caspian as sort of a last heyday of Big Oil.

Steve oilandglory.com


I'm just putting this link here to provide easy access to info for those who would like to know more about pipeline issues...


Nice to see the Toronto Star's The needle and the damage done in today's paper. Looks like the Genie is starting to get out of the bottle for PO. With now a second major newspaper covering, it won't be long, I think, before many more are PO aware. Searches on Google for it have increased lately.

Also in the Star today

After 27 years, a farewell to farms

When even a relatively successful operator has had it, you know that agriculture in Ontario is in big trouble

Though this should change as food needs goes more local. If they can just hang on a bit longer.

Richard Wakefield

Just curious. With oil close to $100.00 per barrel, why is the price per gallon in the Denver area only $2.95 per gallon?

I drove from Southern California to Colorado today. Fuel price dropped - $3.65 in Long Beach, $3.49 in Las Vegas, $3.17 in Grand Junction, and $3.07 on the Western Slope.

If I continued to Denver you say it would have been $2.95.

I would guess it has to do with local supply / demand issues more than anything else.


Petrol prices here have been rising steadily in the last few months - up to about NZ$1.80/litre - about US$5.18/US gallon...

Oil is $98.82 and moving up. Will tomorrow be the day it hits $100?

no, it will hit around xmas during the holiday travel. The collatary to occams razor, "everything will go wrong at the worst possible time".

Basically when it cant get any worse, it will get horrible.

same in reverse as well. Seems like economics and economies like to overshoot rapidly.

Tapis is up $2.23 tonight to $100.68. Anyone have any idea why the sudden jump?


WTI is up about 61 cents to 98.79 right now. Has been a few cents higher but just pulled back a few minutes ago. We could break $100 as early as tomorrow but likely it will be later in the week.


Ron Patterson

While the media (and yes, sometimes TOD, sorry) attempt to fan the flames of hysteria, the vultures are already stepping in....

They may be a bit early, as rate re-adjustments are still coming, or they may have sharp analysts who know the real big wolves will soon descend in, when they realize they have bled the property owners for all the land and homes they can grab...expect more of these kind of stories as soon, hedge funds, LLP's, and other self funded partnerships (or those connected tightly to wealthy banks, Chinese investors, Saudi investors, etc.) pick off America for billions, bought at pennies on the dollar.



Roger, you're an idiot.

Maybe, but I don't have a mortgage....hee, hee,



One waits for these opportunities :-)

Watch the PIMCO fellow.


Profit, if you have the flexibility to act.


First, that's a very good column by Gross overall, although I gave him a hard time yesterday for his remark "We haven't seen a downturn like this since the Great Depression."

I asked, "Is Bill Gross old enough to remember "The Great Depression, or for that matter, even the 1970's?"

Going by the photo of him, I would guess he is about my age, late 40's early 50's...meaning he remembers the 1970's as a boy growing up....

That doesn't change the value of his commentary overall though.
(DISCLAIMER: We must recall that Gross works for PIMCO, a bond company. It is to their advantage to paint as dark a picture as possible, and sell bonds instead of those hated, risky stocks...but I will have more about that in a follow on post in the next couple of day, when I review of the book "Bonds, The Unbeaten Path to Secure Investment Growth" by Hildy Richelson & Stan Richelson, also associated with PIMCO.)

What Gross is referring to in his column was accurately discussed 35 years ago by Alvin Toffler in his book "The Third Wave" in which he discussed what he called "Kabuki Currency" and the rise of non bank financing, lending and borrowing, international non-government regulated finance, and even the introduction of "narco" currency and "narco-terrorism".

This is not new stuff, it is simply now beginning to expose the friut it bears yet again, for those who have forgotten the S&L collapse, the Asian bond collapse, the Japanese bust of the 1990's, the dot.com bubble, the Enron and power brokers collapse of 2001, on and on and on.....)

The other issue is information technology. Rumors and dis-information can now be sown with a few keystrokes, and "news" is no longer subject to any kind of review or vetting, meaning that panics and manias can occur in a matter of hours or days, and dissapear just as fast.

Toffler made the observation that the ability of regulators, much less investors to move with almost inhuman movement of funds and information would become almost impossible for many even in the finanical community to stay up with, an accelerative pace that mean that the system could possibly overspeed, like an engine at full throttle, and explode from the sheer speed of the system.

He talked about this in 1980, when people hurled billions into fuel and energy futures, alternative energy projects, and commodities, particularly precious metals, only to wiped out when all of the above collapsed in price only a few years later.

Ahhhh, seems like old times, don't it? :-)


>>...We must recall that Gross works for PIMCO, a bond company. It is to their advantage to paint as dark a picture as possible, and sell bonds...<<

That is why I disregard anything he says.

Tapis over $100!!


Down to 99.90 again.

Re gepolitics.
It is nonscence to say Russia could have won the war on its own. Germany had a large part of its army and practically all its airforce engaged in the west. Plus 15,000 heavy guns defending its city's against allied bombers. If all these were transferd east they wold have made a decisive difference.
Not forgetting the Soviets were dependent on American trucks for transport.

Weatherman, as you know when you're in the region the Azeris and Russias will bend your ear on the topic at the slightest pretext. And they have a point. A lot of historians do think there could have been a huge difference -- perhaps a crucial difference -- if Germany had captured the Baku oilfields (and Stalin had not ordered the wells sealed with cement). Russia could not have won the war alone, but I think you would agree were crucial. Best Steve

The Oil and the Glory

I agree that the Russians bore the main brunt of the war effort. The thing is that the previous poster put foreward a conspiricy theory where the allies launched D-day because the Soviets would have rolled past Berlin unaided. Just setting the record straight.