DrumBeat: December 8, 2007

Michael T. Klare: Iraq and Climate Change

When our grandchildren and more distant descendants assemble in such classrooms as may be available and ask their teachers, “Why did our ancestors not take effective action to prevent the catastrophic effects of climate change?” one of the answers will surely be, “The war in Iraq.”

Peak Oil And The Vision In The Mirror

If you don't know what peak oil is, then, first of all, you are not alone. Most people don't seem to have a clue about it. And, even some that do, don't seem to get the full implications. Let me lay it out for you as succinctly as I can...

Money is nothing. Energy is everything.

An Oil Story

The story of oil has been the story of America since the Second World War. Cheap fuel and the availability of the automobile has transformed America into a land of sprawling suburbs, large homes, and long commutes. Oil has literally powered American lifestyles and culture in a way that no other single factor has.

The cost of oil has nearly doubled since last year.

Oil production world wide has been essentially flat since January 2005, hovering between 83 and 85 million barrels a day.

Iran’s pragmatic energy policy

In the previous crises, the oil-producing countries were blamed as the major cause of the rise, but this time they were not criticized very much.

Why the New 35-MPG Fuel Economy Standard Is a Bad Idea

The problem is that gasoline is too cheap, and it always has been. Diesel, too. I know, that might sound preposterous to someone who’s just dropped the best part of a day’s pay to fill up the pickup, but hear me out. Really.

The profit margin on one big luxury car or truck is high enough to allow Detroit to sell a half-dozen little econoboxes for little or no profit. The people who buy these huge gas guzzlers haven’t hit the point where the cost of fuel overpowers their need to drive a car big enough and heavy enough that it needs its own zip code. Classic economics theory calls this an elastic marketplace, and it just hasn’t been stretched tight enough—yet.

Alaska: Momentum builds behind energy report

Griffith said Alaska is “like a Third World Country” when it comes to energy consumption.

The state’s rural communities face serious energy related problems and have no easy solutions. Moreover, high energy costs are forcing rural residents to flee the Bush in favor of Alaska’s urban areas, he said.

Texas fortunate to find the silver lining in clouds of high energy costs

The Texas economy has been tied to oil prices since the 1880s, and especially after the "Spindletop" gusher more than a century ago. Historically, the Lone Star State actually faced economic losses with low oil prices and economic benefits with high oil prices. The price of oil had a tremendous impact on the economy in the 1970s and early 1980s when Texas' economy quickly expanded, adding both employment and income growth as the national outlook sputtered. (The "Energy Crisis" in the rest of the U.S. was an "Oil Boom" in Texas.)

A vision of parking and transportation

The future of parking downtown could take some unforeseen U-turns. We are on the cusp of the new era of Peak Oil, when consumption quickly outstrips any demonstrated capacity to pump and refine new petroleum sources. Yes, there is the possibility of refining plentiful oil shale, but not very easily nor inexpensively.

A Colorado Solution to the energy Crisis

Colorado’s investments in wind, solar, biomass, and other renewable resources have created thousands of jobs and returned millions of dollars in new revenue. By diversifying our energy portfolio, we are saving money, reducing the demand for water, cutting carbon emissions, promoting public health, and protecting our national security.

International unions gather in Mexico to fight state-owned oil company's 'corrupt' union

Labor advocates and union organizers from the Americas vowed Friday to transform Mexican state-owned oil company Petroleos Mexicanos' allegedly corrupt and repressive union and replace it with an organization that better represents workers.

UK: Homing In On Domestic Energy Use

Although the HEAT (Home Energy And Technology) Conference focussed on products that could, potentially, reduce the amount of energy used in the home, it was Jeremy Nicholson of the Energy Intensive Users Group (EIUG) who outlined the key problem facing the UK energy industry. According to Nicholson, nearly a third (20 Gigawatts) of the of the UK’s electricity generating capacity is being retired during the next 10 years and it is, in his view, unlikely that the current renewable technologies are going to fill the gap. He sees peak oil as being less of a problem than the stranglehold Iran and Russia could exert on the gas supply industry.

Bangladeshi Dipal Barua receives 'Alternate Nobel'

Dipal Barua from Bangladesh and Christopher Weeramantry from Sri Lanka were among the peace and environment activists from four countries honoured with the annual 'Alternate Nobel prize'.

The Right Livelihood awards were given to the activists Friday for their contribution in the fields of renewable energy, peace and fare market practices.

How to rebuild a reactor

Gutting and rebuilding nuclear reactors is a mix of heavy lifting and cutting-edge robotics. Qualified workers are at a premium. and the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency recently warned of a looming shortage of qualified people to keep nuclear reactors operating, or build new ones. Bruce Power has set up its own training centre for the rebuilding work. Currently, 1,800 people are working on the first phase – rebuilding Bruce A reactors 1 and 2 – of the $5.2 billion renovation project.

Offshore wind key to Euro renewable target

If Europe wants to meet its 20 percent binding target for renewable energy by 2020, it must increase its use of offshore wind, delegates heard at the opening of the Offshore Wind Conference in Berlin, Germany.

Bush Spins Iran's Centrifuges

Back in 1976—with Gerald Ford president, Dick Cheney his chief of staff, Donald Rumsfeld secretary of defense—the Ford administration bought the Shah’s argument that Iran needed a nuclear program to meet its future energy requirements.

That argument, of course, is even more valid today, with the price that can be obtained for oil and the specter of Peak Oil.

Real Action on Climate Change

When I was in Japan last month, I saw real action in action. After a day of meetings at the Foreign Ministry, a young diplomat escorted me to the entrance just after 5:00. We walked through a darkened hallway; I assumed that we were in a part of the building under renovation. Not so – my guide explained to me that all non-essential lights were turned off “to save energy and the environment.” We came to the elevator bank, where 5-6 people were waiting in front of an elevator even though the elevator next to it was there and empty. I gestured toward it, and my guide again explained that after 5:00 only one elevator ran – the others were blocked.

Whither Nigeria on climate change?

As a result of the energy crisis, nearly every business and individual generate own electricty. Consequent on this, hundreds of thousands of generating sets, burning any of kerosene, diesel or petrol are imported annually. The power problem is so bad that many companies do not operate on public electricity at all, instead purchasing many generators and use them to power their operations in shifts, just like workers.

World War III is closer than you think (review of Tom Clancy's Endwar video game)

The story is set in the year 2020 and is focused on three factions. The three factions consist of the United States, Europe, and a newly empowered Russia. However, there are tensions between the United States and its European allies across the waters. Apparently there is a conflict between the two about the United States militarizing space by launching a space station called the Freedom Star. With this newly established space station, the United States can deploy troops anywhere in the world within 90 minutes. So where is Russia within all this? Well, they are laying back and reaping the rewards from the oil supply and gas supply since the rest of the world is in an energy crisis. With this new profit, they are able to re militarize themselves and become a superpower once again.

Frontlines: Fuel of War

With Frontlines, we wanted to do something close to what people know like the peak oil - you've got $100 barrels of oil now - it drops but then it goes up to a hundred again. So we began to research it like hell, asking what the possibilities were if the supply ran out, or came close to running out. In our research we found a lot of scary things; you get all these hypothetical theories that come out and basically a lot of them are very realistic.

What a fossil-fuel free agriculture might look like

So we can envision each NYC-type city being surrounded by 8 million times 6,000 square feet, or 48 billion square feet of farmland, or 1,722 square miles, in other words: about 6 times the area of the 300 square miles of the city. So only about 2 percent of the land area of the continental U.S., theoretically, could feed and house the American population.

The garden of the future?

Imagine a garden that needs no weeding, watering, digging or feeding and can be left to look after itself for weeks, even months, on end. Go further: it's organic, wildlife-friendly, disease resistant, reduces your weekly food bill and brings fashionable foraging to your doorstep.

It might sound too good to be true, but this garden can be a reality for anyone with some outdoor space, whether it's the backyard of an inner-city terrace or the grounds of a country vicarage.

Food Prices: Cheap no more

ONE of the odder features of last weekend's vote in Venezuela was that staple foods were in short supply. Something similar happened in Russia before its parliamentary election. Governments in both oil-rich countries had imposed controls on food prices, with the usual consequences. Such controls have been surprisingly widespread — a knee-jerk response to one of the most remarkable changes that food markets, indeed any markets, have seen for years: the end of cheap food.

We would be fools to banish global business from the great climate battle

One could go further, arguing that it is not just excessive consumerism but capitalism's very nature that makes it incompatible with the survival of our planet. For capitalism requires constant economic growth, yet the Earth's resources are finite. Capitalist logic says we must buy, sell and consume more and more each year. Nature's logic says we can't.

Carbon-taxing the rich

Countries generating emissions must pay the cost, and the fairest and simplest way of forcing them to do so is through tax.

Peak Oil And Global Warming: Inextricably Linked

If we’re running out of oil and natural gas, why should we worry about the global warming triggered by burning these rapidly depleting fuels? Won’t atmospheric carbon dioxide and hence global warming diminish as the fuels themselves dwindle?

Regrettably, things are not that simple. Peak oil doesn’t in and of itself guarantee a sufficiently rapid decline in human carbon dioxide generation, for several reasons.

Solar Energy's Red Queen

It's tempting to imagine that one day soon prices will drop to the point that economic considerations alone allow photovoltaic panels rapidly to displace much of today's fossil-fuel-fired electric-power generation. But the true situation is more complicated. It turns out that the predominant type of solar panel being produced today cannot solve the world's energy problems anytime soon—simply because the device takes too much energy to manufacture. Fortunately, alternative strategies exist for making photovoltaic cells using much less energy, and one promising example is now beginning to be made in significant quantities.

Costa Rica, China to explore for oil

Costa Rica and China announced Friday they have agreed to jointly explore for oil and natural gas in the Central American country.

It wasn't clear if the proposed exploration would be on land or offshore.

Nuclear energy not sustainable yet, says Dutch Minister

The Dutch government believes that nuclear energy is not sustainable as of now; hence it has not included nuclear energy in its clean energy policy.

Commission calls for $357 billion in passenger rail investment

- A federal transportation policy commission is recommending a $357.2 billion investment - or $8.1 billion a year - to significantly expand intercity passenger rail service by 2050.

Developing world must be able to lift emissions: Nobel winner

Developing nations must be allowed to boost carbon emissions to lift millions out of poverty, says the head of the Nobel prize-winning climate change panel slated to formally get the award on Monday.

"If you have the case of India, a half a billion people who do not even have electricity, what mitigation (of carbon emissions) can you carry out?" said Rajendra K. Pachauri, who shared the prize with former US vice-president Al Gore

Peak Oil Passnotes: Where Will Crude Oil Be at Christmas Time?

We might not make it to $66.60. It is true. Do you remember our prediction of the price of crude oil on the Nymex on Christmas Day? Unlike last year where we were on the money with our prediction for Christmas Eve to within a few cents - something we said at the time was very lucky indeed - this year we are unlikely to reach our ordained target of the devils price.

So look, we have gone through all the things we think are distorting the market. The regular readers of this column know what they are, market distortion, markets and ... well ... the market. Markets do not reflect reality; they reflect the reality of power.

Iran drops dollar from oil deals

Major crude producer Iran has completely stopped carrying out its oil transactions in dollars, Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said on Saturday, labelling the greenback an "unreliable" currency.

"At the moment, selling oil in dollars has been completely halted, in line with the policy of selling crude in non-dollar currencies," Nozari was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

Bleak future for Iraqi oil law

Iraq's Oil Minister Hussain Al Shahristani has said 'irreconcilable' differences between various groups in the country's parliament will scupper any chance of the much delayed oil law being passed in the near future, reported Reuters.

Spotlight on cutting oil

THE possibility of Edinburgh becoming one of the first UK cities to actively reduce its dependency on oil will be discussed at a meeting in the Capital tomorrow.

Shortage prompts delay in medical tests

Thousands of patients are facing delays in crucial medical tests because of a shortage of a radioactive substance used in those examinations — all because of the shutdown of one nuclear reactor in Canada.

Europe knows US can mine coal, but can it deliver?

A potential boom in U.S. coal exports to Europe could slow if bottlenecks at U.S. railroads and ports hinder deliveries, sources on both sides of the Atlantic said this week.

"Everybody's talking some very big numbers for U.S. coal exports, but there seem to be be real problems with the logistics - rail and port capacity," said one European trader. "I think it remains to be seen how much can actually find its way to the European market next year."

South Korea's worst oil spill blackens coast

South Korean workers using skimmers and containment fences battled on Saturday to clean up the worst oil spill in the country's history, as the slick washed ashore near a nature preserve on the west coast.

American bummer in Bali

There are signs that the White House's intractable position doesn't represent the American people's. The Bush-Cheney oilmen may be as committed as Saudi Arabia to milking fossil fuels for as long as possible, but delegates are aware that when the new climate treaties get hammered out in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009, a new team will be running the White House. The rest of the world is getting the message that change is on the horizon.

Australia says poor nations must help stop climate change

Both rich and poor nations must commit to slashing greenhouse gas emissions if the world wants to solve global warming, Australia's trade minister said Saturday at a landmark climate change summit.

I normally come to TOD for the oilfield stuff, not the financial apocalypse stuff, but there's a real schadenfreude-inducer over here in Slate about the amplified effects of SubPrime in NYC


Leanan - if we just mail these to you, will you consider them for the DrumBeat story list? How does that work, exactly?

I think it would be better if you post them here like most people do so others can read them. leanan can't add every story she finds to the drumbeats.

Some people do e-mail me stories, and I consider them, but I don't check my e-mail that often. I'm not that good at e-mail, I confess. I usually don't post financial stories up top, anyway.

I would say you should just post new stories as comments. I think they get just as much attention in the comments as they do up top.

If you really want it posted up top, submit it as news at PeakOil.com. I check the queue there a lot more often than I check my e-mail.

Leanan, thanks for the tip. I had not been checking the news at PeakOil.com. Just checked it and found this animated cartoon. It is a keeper.


Ron Patterson

Ron, excellent. Definitely one to pass on to every one you know. Thanks.

Richard Wakefield

Heh. We TOD staffers have been admiring that. I think there will probably be a dedicated post about it.

I wonder if "OilyBoyd" is the guy who posts as OilCanBoyd here?

Note that our link is posted at the end...

That really is a wonderful piece of animation. In two minutes it communicates the whole peak oil concept without saying a word. Brilliant.

Anyone got a few million bucks sitting around so this could be shown during the Super Bowl? :-)

I've been getting my students to SEE IT, because I try to link peak oil and evolution.

Notice the "evolution" of the car on the uphill ride...

Is this supposed to be a literal representation? No. Its a simple and quite brilliant animation conveying an idea.

Some of the greatest teaching in history has been made by the use of illustrations. Has it worked? I think your comment misses the point but it proves this animations ability to make you think! (not you, but you in a wider sense just to clarify that)

Deceptive Cartoon:
I find the near vertical descent of this cartoon very misleading. ASPO's latest charts and graphs show an all liquids peak of 87 Mbpd in 2010. Forty years later, all liquids is down to 41 Mbd. On average this is 1.15 Mbpd or 1.3% per year. Do you think we can handle a 1.3% decline rate?

ASPO's latest charts and graphs show an all liquids peak of 87 Mbpd in 2010. Forty years later, all liquids is down to 41 Mbd. On average this is 1.15 Mbpd or 1.3% per year. Do you think we can handle a 1.3% decline rate?

And the ASPO knows exactly what will happen? All their prognostications are just a best case scenario. Jeffery Brown's Export Land Model indicates we will have a much steeper decline.

I think it is really foolish to expect a gradual slow decline. That is just another form of denial. Producing nations will see an increase in consumption while production declines. Hording will be rampant. And there is the ever possibility of resource wars.

In fact what is happening right now in Nigeria is nothing more than a resource war. Those Nigerians not getting their fair share of the wealth are fighting like hell to get it. And that one particular resource war just took 900,000 bp/d off line.

Nigeria: Country's Production Capacity Drops By 900,000bpd

And as the price of oil climbs higher and higher and people get hungry because of the consequences of peak oil, the violence will get greater and greater.

A slow decline of 1.3% per year, for decades? You are dreaming. I would predict a best case scenario of a drop of about 5% per year. Less than 1% for the next few years, then 2 to 3% for just a few years, then sometime between 2015 and 2020 a drop of at least 5% per year, barring severe resource wars. In that case the drop will be much steeper.

Ron Patterson

Drudge Report headline today (so far there is no story linked):


"Ten years from now, world capacity to produce oil could be 20 percent higher than today," said Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates. "But a lot will depend on how the geopolitics work out."

Well done idiot... No mention of Peak Oil just Geopolitics WOO!!

Yergin et al are not idiots without a cause, the geopolitics he cites is code for Exxon's "just get us access", namely more resource wars. They are not passive in their denial.

Well done. Well done. Well done. What else is there to say to Jeffrey Brown, and his leading edge work on the Declining Exports story? Looks like this theme may now make it to the national edition of the NYT for Sunday, 08 December 2007. Possibly the front page. Ho Ho Ho. Merry Christmas.



I had several discussions with the NYT reporter on the topic of net oil exports. I suppose they felt that they had to include our buddy Yergin for balance.

From the NYT website:

Oil-Rich Nations Use More Energy, Cutting Exports
Several nations that are currently large suppliers may start importing oil within a decade, adding strains to the global market.

Other media outlets are picking up the story:


from the IHT article...

"It is a very serious threat that a lot of major exporters that we count on today for international oil supply are no longer going to be net exporters any more in 5 to 10 years," said Amy Myers Jaffe, an oil analyst at Rice University.

Rice University is just a stone's throw away from WT in Dallas (OK, Rice is located in Houston but Texans can throw stones a long way!) :-) I'll bet Ms Jaffe is familiar with WT's work.

Try this

Posted originally by J Orlin Grabbe.

I was going to ask the same question, but figured if I lurked around a bit, someone else would ask.

I am hard pressed to think after all the work you do researching and moderating the DrumBeats, you would have time to mess with email. A good portion of my day is taken just *reading* the DrumBeat!

I am very thankful for access to this forum and all the work you and the others contribute. Once in a blue moon, I stumble on a gem, but the motherlode of gems is here.


I've been reading the TOD:Canada debt meltdown stuff for a while now, so it's becoming rare for me to encounter an article that makes me even MORE pessimistic about how this stuff is going to unwind, but this little nugget did the trick:


Check out the comments; one mortgage broker after another saying "Yep, he nailed it. I've been trying to tell people this for months". Worrisome indeed.

Ray: IMO, the subprime debacle is a preview of how PO will be addressed in North America. The inherent problems with these totally unregulated (rife with fraud) markets have been known for years, yet financial institutions eagerly threw their shareholders money over the cliff with abandon. Why? Simply because it WASN'T THEIR MONEY. From Mozilla with his $100 million cashout to Chuck Prince, all these guys really focus on is their own personal pocketbook when the SHTF. They continually plead ignorance when it comes to burning these companies, but they are as cunning as anyone when it comes to their own money. Which brings us to PO-for years now anyone that is interested knows the score. What are the elite doing? Some (like Buffett and Gates) are quietly positioning themselves to profit, others are attempting to personally profit by spreading disinformation. When TSHF it will be the same as this subprime trip- "Who knew? This was all unforseen". CERA will be all over the media much like Greenspun is today and from their lifeboats they will rule the passengers still on the Titanic.

Ray, nice catch. Hanson is especially familiar with Cali real estate but I noticed that he used the term 'costal states' several times in his column. I have used his last paragraph summation of possibilities below, from your link.

...snip...'One final thought. How can any of this get repaired unless home values stabilize? And how will that happen? In Northern California, a household income of $90,000 per year could legitimately pay the minimum monthly payment on an Option ARM on a million home for the past several years. Most Option ARMs allowed zero to 5% down. Therefore, given the average income of the Bay Area, most families could buy that million dollar home. A home seller had a vast pool of available buyers.

Now, with all the exotic programs gone, a household income of $175,000 is needed to buy that same home, which is about 10% of the Bay Area households. And, inventories are up 500%. So, in a nutshell we have 90% fewer qualified buyers for five-times the number of homes. To get housing moving again in Northern California, either all the exotic programs must come back, everyone must get a 100% raise or home prices have to fall 50%. None, except the last sound remotely possible.

What I am telling you is not speculation. I sold BILLIONs of these very loans over the past five years. I saw the borrowers we considered ‘prime’. I always wondered ‘what WILL happen when these things adjust is values don’t go up 10% per year’.'

"How can any of this get repaired unless home values stabilize? And how will that happen?..."
Does anyone else see an opportunity here to direct public policy responses to this crisis to advance an agenda of more TOD?
I'm not exactly sure what that agenda should be...my first reaction was...bulldozers, lots and lots of bulldozers. To have gov't buy and bulldoze foreclosed properties so as to destroy some supply and put a floor under house prices. But a bulldozer is such a blunt instrument, there should be more effective ways...
After all it is naive to deny government currently has a huge role in almost all aspects of residential real estate markets. From FHA, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, HUD, tax policies and subsidies, local zoning, you name it...
Government at all levels are going to be called upon to address this crisis at some point, guaranteed.
Should we not insist that any of our tax dollars spent to give any sort of relief to distressed communities be directed towards properties where services and infrastructure are already available, and relatively less relief for property which might have to be abandoned anyway in an era of FF shortages?
Just a thought, as later on in this crisis when policy gets developed in an ad-hoc, panic driven mode, it will be too late.

I saw that when it came out. I didn't post the link because I was under the impression that Stoneleigh had included it.

While TV isn't like being there in person, anyone that has an ability to read body language clearly realizes that Bush, Paulson, Bernanke, el al are really spooked about something.

They know what's coming and they know they can't stop it, they are just trying to buy time to allow the connected and the leeches to cash out at the expense of the silent majority.

If you were pretty sure the crap was going to hit the fan on your watch,you might look a little spooked too..

Rayrick, Musashi,

we did include it in the Finance Round Up.

OK then, an amusing convergence here at ft.com

Oil prices could help beat subprime problem
Moreover, countries in Opec, the oil exporters’ cartel, are likely to invest at least part of their surpluses in US equities, as a proxy for the global market, thus sustaining the US stock market (witness the recent private deal between Citibank and Abu Dhabi). This will mitigate the adjustment in US consumption as lower housing prices are offset by lower interest rates and sustained asset values outside the housing sector.

Unfortunately the author was unable to wedge in a global warming angle, but apart from that it's a perfect DrumBeat story. Full Pollyanna-ish scoop at http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/60e1076a-a1b8-11dc-a13b-0000779fd2ac.html but may be register-walled...

This is a great article, thanks. And reminds me of another article from the NYTimes a week or so ago:



I posted the article in yesterday's Finance Round Up. You can mail finance articles to Stoneleigh.

Losses in tax revenues for all levels of government will be a glowing hot iron in the near future. Maintenance of infrastructure (road, water, etc) will suffer, as will education, health care, and many more fields. Raising taxes is hardly a solution, since people's decreased income and asset values, which cause the losses, won't allow for it.

Substantial losses from public money funds invested in CDO's, ABCP and MBS on top of the tax revenue decreases, are a near certainty for many local government levels.

ilargi, not just local governements. I happen to know an auditor for one of the US states; without any prompting from me she called some of that state's investments "garbage".

Ordinarily, in a recession state and local employment tend to be more stable than private sector and so tend to moderate the impact of the recession. This time around I think we'll see substantial layoffs from state and local government as well.

Thanks to you and Stoneleigh for the great job you do with the Financial Round Up.

Errol in Miami

Wait until next year.

This year the pump monkeys might be able to keep the ball in the air long enough for the wall Street mafia to collect their bonuses.

High stakes at Bruce Power

The $5.2 billion project to fully refurbish four Candu reactors by 2013 at Bruce Power plant is seen as a make-or-break moment for Ontario’s energy grid. But critics who view Candu as a lemon fear a Pickering-style budget fiasco

Fire at Syncrude oilsands upgrader hits output

"Syncrude's situation could have an impact on us," Mr. Provencal said. The Shell upgrader normally processes 155,000 barrels of bitumen a day but continues to operate at minimal rates in the aftermath of the Nov. 19 fire.

Both fires and the resulting decline in Canadian synthetic crude production sent the price of Syncrude's top product soaring, well above benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil, which Canadian synthetic often sells at a premium to.

Re: American bummer in Bali.

Someone needs to tell the delegates and the rest of the world that America's government doesn't respond to the desires of the American people any more, whether it's in regard to global warming, education, health care, foreign wars or...you name it. It doesn't respond now and it won't with a new administration in 2009. America is now controlled by corporate interests, the "military-industrial complex" we know so well. It has been for quite some time, it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, the process is actually accelerating and both political parties prove it nearly every day.


At least wrt global warming, the current administration and the congress as a whole does reflect the US populace. That was true when Clinton decided to not submit the Kyoto treaty to the US Senate (which had indicated unanimously that they weren't interested in it), and it is true today.

Indeed, most of the industrialized countries' citizens don't really want to do what it takes to reduce CO2 output... which is why many countries who signed up to Kyoto will fail to meet the targets.

Leftist activist writers' visions to the contrary, most people lead their lives on a day to day basis, and make decisions on what is best for themselves, which almost always means ways to increase personal energy consumption.

Suggest that the activists put away the Bush-Cheney-Evil-Oilmen teddy bear and rather accept the truth about themselves and fellow homo sapiens.

According to a poll, http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7075759.stm, most people think that action must be taken on Global Warming, so public opinion is not as negative as you suggest.

However, the key question is what actions people will personally take. Invariably people agree with a general principle, but hope that someone else takes the action.

Although necessary, individual actions have limited impacts. Larger steps need to be taken at the level of public policy. Those larger steps will affect all constituents, and this is really where the battle is raging. I am not optimistic given apparent timelines.

As Stephen Harper, minority PM of Canada, so clearly demonstrates, "I agree with AGW, but we need global policy consensus" is effectively the same position as "I disagree with AGW".

I think it is interesting that individual behaviour is mirrored at a national level. A lot of nations agree that action on GW is necessary, but few are willing to take actual and unilateral steps. One commentator noted how polite climate talks are : everyone says "after you!".

People are happy to cooperate where that also coincides with self-improvement (aka greed). This is fine when you have a growing resource base, it's a win-win. The crunch comes when resources are limited, in that case the only acceptable solution is a "fair" distribution of resources. Studies suggest if no fair distribution can be agreed on, people prefer a lose-lose situation rather than accept an unfair lose-win situation. Obviously if you happen to have resources that someone else doesn't, you prefer to maintain the status quo, and those without complain about "fairness".

I'm still of the opinion that a Kyoto agreement will only come about when/if the USA decides that is in their national interest (i.e. their superpower status is threatened), in which case they use their superpower status to persuade/threaten others to agree. I think the USA will decide that GW does not present such a threat, and that a fair allocation of resources is never going to be in their interest. OTOH, PO could neutralise USA's military power, so I expect it to be of more concern.

Does anyone believe the BLS?

Does anyone think that NYMEX isn't part of the PPT's


"So how long will you pay $2,000 a month to "keep your piece of the American Dream" when you can rent the same house for $1,200/month? How many years will that $10,000/year difference be "worth it" if the property value erodes like a half-toppled sand castle buffeted by a rising tide? How about when the gutters need replacing in Year Three of the freeze, and when the water heater blows out in Year Four, and the roof starts leaking in Year Five? How motivated will the beseiged homeowner be to scrape up the money for repairs? "

Once you're lost your job, a $2,000/month mortgage payments suddenly looms like the summit of Mount Everest right as your oxygen runs out. '

Mike Whitney-

" What matters most, is that the system is collapsing. It is being slowly crushed by the accumulated weight of its own corruption. When the system crashes, the flag will be lowered over Guantanamo Bay, the present oligarchy of racketeers will be removed from office, and the troops will come home from Iraq. Sometimes positive results derive from tragedy.

There could be anarchy or tyranny or martial law or detention camps. Who really knows? It's understandable that the public is worried about “what could happen” in the near future. But, consider this: can we continue moving in the same direction that we are now? Can we keep pouring the blood of innocent people all over the planet while claiming to own the world and all of its resources? Can we keep ignoring the species-threatening challenges of global warming, peak oil and nuclear proliferation?


Well, then, is there any chance that the media, the congress, the courts, or the president will come to their senses; chart a different course, restore civil liberties, stop the human rights abuse, and withdrawal the troops?


So tell me, dear reader, what hope is there for change apart from a full-system economic collapse?

Watch Florida. And on the other side, watch Congress.

Does anyone think that NYMEX isn't part of the PPT's objectives?


I Googled it and got:
Putnam Premier Incm.
Power Point
Professional Poker Tour

I even Googled "acronym definitions PPT" and got a firm "Power Point". Power Point, in the context of your post, somehow just does not make any sense.

I do wish that if you guys insist on using acronyms then you would define them. Especially if you use an acronym whose most frequent use stands for something entirely differnt from the meaning you intended.

Ron Patterson

Plunge Protection Team.

PPT, Plunge Protection Team. Oh! Then I think your suggestion is ludicrous. That is the idea that any so-called Plunge Protection Team can control the price of oil is absurd. Oil is a world wide traded commodity. The NYMEX may swing the price on the short term but in the long term, supply and demand determines the price of oil.

I have, in the past, complained that NYMEX traders has too much control over the price of oil. However in the last week I have studied the history of NYMEX price and the world price of oil. And I have come to the conclusion that there is a type of herd mentality that, in the very short time, causes the world price to follow the NYMEX price. But it never follows it over the cliff. In the end, supply and demand always snaps the price back to reality.

It is happening right now. Yesterday Tapis closed UP $3.23 while WTI closed DOWN $1.98. Tapis now sells at a $7.42 premium to WTI. No doubt, Monday that gap will close somewhat. But my point is that Friday, WTI traded on emotion while Tapis spot traded on supply and demand. Sooner or later the WTI price always comes back to the fundamentals of supply and demand. NO, no so-called Plunge Protection controls the price of oil, or even the price of oil on the NYMEX.

But I have a question for you Mcgowanmc, what the hell did your post have to do with either the Plunge Protection Team or the NYMEX? I read your post over and over and it was all about the mortgage collapse, Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, global warming, nuclear proliferation, Congress and a host of other things. But not one other word about the NYMEX or the Plunge Protection Team.

What have you been smoking this morning?

And what the hell is the BLS.

BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics
BLS Bachelor of Liberal Studies
BLS Bachelor of Library Science
BLS Bacterial Leaf Streak
BLS Band-Limited Signal
BLS Bank of Lee's Summit
BLS Banner Linen Service (Bay City, Michigan)
BLS Bare Lymphocyte Syndrome
BLS Basic Life Support
BLS Basic Limousine Service

And about a dozen others from the acronym definition list. But I vote for Basic Limousine Service.

Ron Patterson

"That is the idea that any so-called Plunge Protection Team can control the price of oil is absurd"

No!!! Not this argument again!! Volume of denial is no substitute for reason!!

Fact: Any buying and selling of oil contracts influence the price

Fact: The PPT has unlimited funds available.

Fact: You dont know what they buy and dont buy.

Fact: You are therefore not in a position to call this idea absurd.


Fact: The PPT has unlimited funds available.

WOW! Now that is one hell of a lot of money! What is your source of this information Francois? And an even more pertinent question; what is the source of these unlimited funds? Are you suggesting that the PPT buys or sells oil futures with funds from the US treasury. Surely you know this would be highly illegal and anyone caught doing it would go to jail.

And it would also be highly risky. Tens of billions could be lost. Hell tens of billions are lost, and won, monthly on the oil market. Sooner or later the dastardly PPT villains would lose their ass. How would they explain such a loss to the President?

Oh I know, you believe all this hanky panky goes on covertly. But you can only covertly hide so much money. You can only hide so much money. And you sure as hell cannot hide an unlimited amount of funds.

Ron Patterson

I agree that the so called PPT is a pile of crap. Of course anyone can say that it exists but only evidence can make it convincing. And I've seen no concrete evidence, only irresponsible speculation. Readers beware, some posters on this site are not as rational as they would like you to believe.
(Just like everywhere else I guess...)


I think it exists. The name came from a Washington Post headline.

However, I don't believe it has anything like the kind of power that many seem to think.

PPt Plunge Protection team is the "nickname". The official title is, "The Presidents Working Group on Financial Matters". They exist. Though they have not and will not discuss what they do.

The link is to an article about a reporter that submitted an FOIA request for their minutes. Read the article. Who knows what they do, because they "claim" they don't have minutes to take, and what the reporter received was 150 plus pages of blacked out pages and they keep stalling on the Judges requests.

The PPT was picked as prime candidate by people watching the Stock market during the dot com days and the amazing turn around the markets would do 1 hour before close, all the time (sound familiar). This from what I recall reading the boards was where this was floated.


Deepcaster over at Financial Sense calls them "The Interventionals" and says that intelligent investors must account for their moves when making investment decisions.


Finally, there is the crucially important matter of The Interventionals. For those unfamiliar with “The Interventionals” there is very substantial evidence that the Fed-led Cartel of Central Bankers** regularly intervenes in many markets including the major commodities, precious metals, and equities markets, for the purpose of managing price. Indeed, recent profitable Deepcaster recommendations displayed at www.deepcaster.com have been facilitated by considering The Interventionals as well as The Fundamentals and Technicals.

Crude Oil
Specifically, regarding the Crude Oil market, the Bank for International Settlements (the Central Bankers’ Bank) reports over $7 trillion (June, 2007) in OTC (Over-The-Counter - - i.e. NOT exchange traded) Commodities Derivatives contracts. These contracts are available for controlling the price of commodities (www.bis.org/statistics/derivatives/Table19).

Of course, the key strategic commodity is Crude Oil. Since the largest player in any market makes the market price, and since $7 trillion in commodity derivatives make the Central Bankers Cartel “the largest player” when it chooses to be, one can expect the Crude Oil price to go where The Largest Player takes it.

If one charts the dollar-adjusted value of Crude Oil, the rising trend of the past several months is finally turning down, as reflected in the drop from $100 on the NYMEX to just under $90 as we write.

Since the dollar-adjusted value of Crude Oil has turned down we can expect Crude Oil to lead all the commodities down with two and possibly three exceptions which we expect will be only somewhat “touched” by the general commodities takedown.

By considering the Interventionals, as well as the Fundamentals, we are in a good position to Forecast whether the $88 to $90 range is an interim bottom or not.

the question is if they need the fund in the first place. who controls the clearing house?

markets are largely driven by sentiment. inflation "expectations" are more of concern to someone than real inflation itself. psychological "warfare" is more cost effective. to the people with "unlimited" credit, as they do own the mint, they can certainly turn tides momentarily without laying down a penny and even making lots of money in return. most people on the markets are just blind suckers.


You cannot talk to kooks. Remember in the 60's when the "Rockefellers" controlled 90% of the world's wealth. And, then the "Trilateral Commission" controlled everything. I am sure that it is now well known that the PPT assassinated Kennedy, King, another Kennedy, started the Veitnam war, controls everything in the world with millions of "secret" members who do "their" bidding and when someone like Anna Nicole Smith threatens to release their secrets, she is conveniently done away with. With unlimited funds everything is possible.


You mentioned Rockefellers, I have a great joke told by one of them, I assume it was a joke, he couldn't have been talking the truth.

“We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tie Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to bright lights and publicity during those years. But the work is now much more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto determination practiced in past centuries.”
David Rockefeller (Trilateral Commission Founder) 1991


“The Trilateral Commission is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. …They will rule the future.”
Barry Goldwater U.S. Senator 1964


Hmm. Do I believe JBunt and Darwin or do I believe Barry and David???

Ah, I think I'm going with Barry and David...

Krugman worries that the monumental upward shift of wealth is deny­ing too many North Americans the opportunities that they need, and that real cleavages are forming between the few haves and the legions of have-nots. “The statistical evidence shows, unequal societies tend to be corrupt societies,” he recently wrote. “When there are huge disparities in wealth, the rich have both the motive and the means to corrupt the system on their behalf.” Without significant changes, Krugman envisions history repeating itself, not necessarily with a new Gilded Age, but in the form of Latin American dictatorships of the rich.


There are over 2 million millionaires in the US. I am sure
the rest of the country will experience significant demand destruction long before it has an impact on people of even this insignificant worth. There was a point made earlier that people will pursue their own self interests. I know this to be true for myself, even though I know the horrors to come. I just want to keep everything going as long as possible.(Of course, I don't believe mankind is capable of doing anything to save ourselves, otherwise we already would have. It's just not in our make-up.) We will just keep propping everything up til it all falls down. The other important point made today was that the wealthy and powerful will use that wealth and power to pursue their own self-interests. Seems self-evident to me. No conspiracy theory necessary. The poor and powerless will be the first to suffer and the first to die. That's also pretty self-evident. Those with the power do not have to be EVIL or Conspiring, to pursue policies that benefit themselves without regard to the adversity those policies may bring to the vast majority.


You cannot talk to kooks.

Jbunt, I agree but when the fringe group begins to flood the site with posts, I think someone should be the defender of rationality. Paranoia should not be allowed to completely dominate the list. Give them their due, but do not give them everything. People who visit this site should not get get the impression that we are all kooks.

Is the Trilateral Commission the secret organization that runs the world?

...while it's your constitutional right to be paranoid, you might at least try to be paranoid about something reasonably up-to-date. The TLC-as-world-conspiracy theory peaked during the early 80s, and has now pretty much gone the way of the hula hoop.

Ron Patterson

That says it right there, doesn't it?

You think Google is not censored? You have to really work to find out what the PPT has to do with finance.


I play the game all the time.

You can too! Get a quote from a negative finance/TPTB

Google it. See if the article you're reading comes up.

Ludwig von Mises summed it up like this:

There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought
about by credit expansion. The question is only whether the crisis
should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of
further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe
of the currency system involved. (Thanks to the Daily Reckoning).

You think Google is not censored? You have to really work to find out what the PPT has to do with finance.

This type of crap should be posted over on the “We Are Paranoid” list. Google is a search engine. Google simply searches on keywords and indexes those pages that come up in its search. Google has absolutely nothing to do with, nor any control over, the content of the pages it finds in its search.

Your next comeback would have to be: “Well, the entire internet is censored.” I doubt it since even child pornography can be found on the net. But if the FBI catches you downloading it you are in deep trouble. But I don’t think you have anything to worry about if you download PPT web pages.

NO, Google is not censored, not in the US anyway. The Chinese version of Google may be a different story.

Ron Patterson

Well it might do you good to be a LITTLE more paranoid Ron...after all how do you really know for sure that Google is not screening their search results? Just a little tweak of the algorithms is all it would take...not agreeing with the conspiracy theory but I wouldn't be so sure of Internet transparency.

Was Francois just censored? Twice? You know, just upstream on the page?

Oh the ironies.

As to Google censoring -- since you have obviously heard about Google caving into the Chinese government and imposing censorship at the behest of that despicable fascist state, you can also hardly claim that Google is some force of nature as you do earlier in your post.

Google simply searches on keywords and indexes those pages that come up in its search. Google has absolutely nothing to do with, nor any control over, the content of the pages it finds in its search.

Clearly they have control. They didn't simply build some form of artificial intelligence and tell it to go forth and index.

My suggestion: Please keep your inconsistencies and poor logic spread over several posts. That way, most of the not so bright will never catch you out.

Clearly they have control. They didn't simply build some form of artificial intelligence and tell it to go forth and index.

Yes,that is exactly how a search engine works. Over the entire net, billions of pages are flagged every minute. Peak Oil gets 1,150,000 hits. Searching on other key words gets that many or more. Multiply that by a few million searches each day and....well, you get the idea. Search engines are entirely computer controlled. They do not check the pages for content like "Plunge Protection Team" and censor it. That is absurd.

By the way, Plunge Protection Team gets 153,000 hits. If that term is censored, then the search engine is doing a damn poor job of doing it.

China is neither the US nor the rest of the free world. Google works just as well in England as it does in the US. When China insisted that certain things be blocked from the Chinese Language Google, Google announced to the world that it was doing it and why. But somehow you think the US based Google is much more sinister.

You must think that the US would insist that Google censor some things, some keywords from its search engine and that Google would comply. Not only would they comply but they would keep it a secret that they were in cahoots with the CIA, or whomever. That would make it a conspiracy.

So you are conspiracy theorists and believe that Google is part of this giant conspiracy. Well hell, that ends this debate.

And it is you Cherenkov, that is engaging in poor logic. Logic is something that you can prove. Silly conspiracy theories, like Google and the CIA being in bed together and keeping it all a deep dark secret, is not something you can prove. It is nothing but hearsay. And espousing such a theory is only a sign of paranoia, not logic.

Ron Patterson

China is neither the US nor the rest of the free world. Google works just as well in England as it does in the US. When China insisted that certain things be blocked from the Chinese Language Google, Google announced to the world that it was doing it and why. But somehow you think the US based Google is much more sinister

All your posts on here and all your google searches will be indexed and profiled in a data warehouse (if that's what they're called these days) along with financial transactions, travel details and any other bits of electronic data that's routinely picked up. Every so often it will be searched through by pattern matching software to see if it fits a certain profile that's of interest. That's why the NSA will probably need their very own power plant soon

NSA risking electrical overload

In the UK every car journey that's picked up on special police cameras (normally on motorways) is indexed and stored for three years. You may not think that such things are sinister, but your belief that you're living in the free world is absolutely absurd. Orwell's 1994 more like it.

If the Nazis had survived WW2, what do you think the Gestapo would look like today? You only use torture and fear because you need information and you don't have it. If you know everything about everyone, then such primitive techniques such as torture are not required. The Gestapo today would look very much like the security forces we have got. Incidentally, since the US has had to resort to torture in Iraq, et al. it means they don't know anything. Their entire intelligence apparatus only really works on themselves and their allies which eventually leads them to believe the threats are within, because that's what their systems tell them.

Knock, knock :)

Thank you burgandy

From an informational data base perspective, If you were able (say) to capture the whole "TrunkLine" of the internet, not saying that someone didn't report just that thing, but if you had the input, you just index it, then you just store it away, store it away.

While you are doing this, you can come up with questions to ask of the data base, you build indexes or views of the particular data.

You join like data to other data bases, Street address data to street address data, name data to name data, soc.sec. to soc.sec.

Later on, those who ask the questions will have Trillions of transactions to build a pretty holistic picture. The more "Transactions" a person does with "Society" the more records are able to be indexed.

Remember storage is unlimited. In the midwest I heard someone took Seagates entire year's worth of inventory at one time.

What people have xxx in area xxx and also go to library xxx and....

What ever questions you can ask that may be linked to certain "Transactions" between an individual/group and "Society" at large.

Having designed large data bases as my job, I am very, er, coginzant of the types of data that can and are being "Stored". And I know the types of questions that can be asked of it.

Watch Enemy of the State with Will Smith.

Or read about what is happening RIGHT NOW.

Bush Goes Private to Spy on You
Tuesday 27 November 2007

The Bush administration is launching a new government agency that will rely heavily on private security contractors to conduct surveillance in the US.

They also demanded biweekly updates from Chertoff on the activities and progress of the new organization. Others pointed out the potential danger of allowing U.S. military satellites to be used domestically. "It will terrify you if you really understand the capabilities of satellites," warned Jane Harman, a Democratic member of Congress from California, who represents a coastal area of Los Angeles, where many of the nation's satellites are built.

As Harman well knows, military spy satellites are far more flexible, offer greater resolution, and have considerably more power to observe human activity than commercial satellites. "Even if this program is well-designed and executed, someone somewhere else could hijack it," Harman said during the hearing.


Will Telcos Get Immunity for Domestic Spying?

"What I figured out when I got there," said former AT&T technician Marty Klein, "is that they were copying everything across the Internet cables, the major Internet links between AT&T's network and other companies' networks. It struck me at the time that this is a massively unconstitutional, illegal operation."



Gee is this conspiracy talk or Senate procedings?
Reality has gotten to the point where I can't tell anymore.

Didn't Tom Delay try to get the satelite imaging to find the missing Texas democrats? weird stuff.

Just glad J. Edgar Hoover or someone else unscrupulous aren't around to misuse that type and amount of data.


Was Francois just censored? Twice? You know, just upstream on the page?

No. He deleted his posts himself.

Perhaps you could find a 'We Are Niaeve' site to post on?

Yeah, its certainly wonderful, all the transparencey in our governments and media... nothin' to see here, move along...Go shopping! Fill up that pickemup and go for a ride! Watch Fox, they have the answers...

No conspiracies here...move along...And personally insult anyone that suggests a conspiracy! Call them paranoid or whatever comes to mind...

"I do wish that if you guys insist on using acronyms then you would define them. Especially if you use an acronym whose most frequent use stands for something entirely differnt from the meaning you intended."

You've never heard of the PPT before in connection with finance/economics?

we aren't all so smart as you. I come here to learn things, and I am grateful for the information. Sometimes, I forget things, and I am grateful that others gently remind me without chiding my ignorance.

Really, LNG.

I'm an idiot, and I heard of the PPT long time ago.

Not that I buy it.


I don't think it's implausible that the financial markets could be manipulated. It's happened on grand scales before!I think an open mind is needed here!


So..."we aren't all so smart as you. I come here to learn things,"...

Here's where we are, IMHO (In My Humble Opinion) The following will prove that our POTUS
is nothing more than a bald faced liar and snake oil salesman.

From Keith Olbermann/MSNBC:

Full text here:

You, sir, have no business being president.


And that we have $1000 Trillion in derivatives/debt
that we have absolutely zero intention of repaying.

And that we the people just elected a Congress with the expressed purpose of dismantling the Invasions-worst foreign policy mistakes in US History-and restoring our Civil Rights
and Impeaching the POTUS/VPOTUS, none of which have happened.

And I too am grateful that others gently remind me without chiding my ignorance.

And I can elaborate and prove that the PPT-the The Working Group on Financial Markets (also, President's Working Group on Financial Markets or the Working Group) was created by Executive Order 12631,[1] signed on March 18, 1988 by United States President Ronald Reagan.

The Group was established explicitly in response to events in the financial markets surrounding October 19, 1987 ("Black Monday") to give recommendations for legislative and private sector solutions for "enhancing the integrity, efficiency, orderliness, and competitiveness of [United States] financial markets and maintaining investor confidence".[1]

As established by Executive Order 12631, the Working Group consists of:

* The Secretary of the Treasury, or his designee (as Chairman of the Working Group);
* The Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, or his designee;
* The Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or his designee; and
* The Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, or her designee.

is manipulating the Markets.


long words bothered Pooh only because he hasn't heard the shortened ones yet.

Can Leanan or someone else add a TOD dictionary entry to the sidebar? It will save endless trouble for the new comers.

PPT, BLS are not in there. Someone has to keep it updated or let people make new entries.

In the American Scientist Article on PV..

"The rub is that with an energy payback time of three years, growing the industry at this pace requires more energy than all the existing photovoltaic cells produce. That is, even if you could somehow harvest all the energy produced from every last photovoltaic cell in one year, the total wouldn't be sufficient to produce the next year's crop of panels."

So? Since when do you have to? That would be an issue if those panels produced only WORKED for one year, but as is well known, you will have the cumulative production of some 25 plus years of prior panel production working to justify the appropriateness of the current year's manufacturing.

Energy Payback of 3 years for Panels needs to be seen in contrast with the similar returns for any other piece of equipment that you might invest in. Naturally, anything that burns a fuel would only be fairly counted if all the costs of that fuel were properly included.

I say good luck to those of you working to advance the thin films, the CdTE or Dye-sensitized technology, as it would be great to see the inputs drop and the costs per watt drop, but I remain to be convinced that the existing panels are losers in any sense. The fact that they are being built with FF energy is not so much an irony as it is life in the mudpuddle. Everything has mud on it, and even the things we want to clean up, will for starters be cleaned with mud, too.


'We're all of us Mud, here' said the cat.

What can the lifespan of dye-sensitized panels be? Organic dyes degrade fairly quickly in general.

Also the idea that panels made of ruthenium and titanium dioxide are somehow more energy-efficient and resource-efficient over the life cycle needs to be examined critically.

We have the Sun, the Wind and Water moving towards the sea, this will be our future energy source in large part. Conservation is key, we must reduce the use and extend the remaining fossil fuels far out into the future. The fossil fuels we have left will have to power the transition to renewable energy.

Suntech Power Corporation (STP) in China is on track to manufacture over 1 GW of PV in 2008.

Conservation of resources will require huge personal sacrifice, the average American has to muster the courage to tell the kids, "instead of a bigger big screen we will be insulating the house this year".


It was like opening a flood gate.

Turns out three of the women had been sexually abused on a regular basis growing up, many if not most had a drug or alcohol problem starting as early as 12 years old, nearly all agreed that the parents were simply MIA during these formative years. All had both parents working or single parent.

The point being these are the defining issues for a huge cross section of society. They are for the most part completely overwhelmed with life and their own problems, making it impossible to add something like PO, CC, or financial crisis.

I think it is the rare individual that can overcome all this and dive into the “Terrible Trifecta” and educate themselves enough to begin to come to terms with it and perhaps make a move.

If they do accept any of this into their conciosness they usually just become fatalistic about it. At least in my limited experience.

Meanwhile the parents of us/we are still completely MIA.

I think part of why everyone got into it so much is that they know that discussion at our gatherings WILL get intense. They just decided what the hell I’m going for it.

By the way it is my experience that if you undertake the effort to expose someone to PO you can expect to receive the full brunt of all five stages of grief (Kübler-Ross).

Unless you are just saying like “oh, have you heard about peak oil? You should check it out here are some links”.

Peace out!

It seems as though the only thing you can do pre emptively is start a war. Or print more money.

Four friends (two of them attractive women :-) came to hear me speak at ASPO-Houston. All were somewhat exposed to Peak Oil through me, but ASPO was the full immersion therapy (the recording guys in the back were shaken up).

None of the 4 went through the "5 stages of grief" and I certainly did not.

I understand that many do, but it is not a universal reaction.

And all of us have taken actions (including an educational series of videos).

Best Hopes,


I have generally found that there are pretty much only 2 reactions to PO to the people I talk to. The largest number of responses is " Nah, can't happen(denial)". Ther other is "Oh, Shit!(Immediate acceptance)." John

I'm probably late as hell, but I think attention needs to be drawn to the genius of Reg Morrison, if it hasn't been already.

Thanks, Ed, for lending me The Spirit In the Gene.

I'm trying to get everyone, but everyone, to read Morrison's 7-page essay on the Iraq war, Who's Winning In Iraq?

If verified, it will kill 9/11 conspiracies once and for all. I admit to entertaining them.

No more.

Morrison's view is overwhelmingly tragic and humiliating for Americans (and Briton, and Austalians...).

B3N, thanks for the link. It was absolutely fascinating. It made me mad as hell. What idiots we were. What an idiot Bush is and was. And Clinton was an idiot to, at least as far as Sudan was concerned. But the biggest idiots of all was the CIA, our so-called intelligence unit.

And Al Qaeda came off looking like a genus. We played right into their hands. Most Americans don't realize it but we are right in the middle of a religious war. No, we don't see it as a religious war but Al Qaeda sure as hell does. And for all practical purposes, they are winning.

I read "The Spirit in the Gene" sometime in 2000. The Australian version of the book is called "Plague Species". I thank that a far more appropriate name. I often quote from the book. It is one of the very best I have ever read.

Anyway, thanks for the link. I read Reg's web site but hadn't checked it in a few months. I will email him with the link your TOD article. I am sure he appreciates the publicity. I have communicated with him many times but haven't posted him in over six months. At any rate here is my favorite passage from the book:

- As for pointing to our mental failures with scorn or dismay, we might as well profess disappointment with the mechanics of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, the degree of disillusionment we feel in response to any particular human behavior is the precise measure of our ignorance of its evolutionary and genetic origins.
- Reg Morrison, The Spirit in the Gene

As soon as I read those lines, I knew Reg Morrison was a man after my own heart, I knew he was, like myself, a determinist.

Ron Patterson

I knew you'd like this, "Darwinian"!

And you're right: "Plague Species" is a much better title. I'm still reading and being blown away. It's not often one has an experience like that. Like Wright's "Moral Animal," it's pressing all my "tragedy" buttons.

So here we are, bogged down right where both al Qu'eda and the current administration want us. Their respective aims apparently have coincided all along.

Who'd a thunk?

For a long time now, I haven't been able to let go of the conspiracy theories around 9-11, because they've so forthrightly addressed peak oil. But I haven't been able to fully embrace them, either. Such theories make the most evil people capable of near-omnipotence and places them beyond accountability. I can't stand that idea.

So, thanks to Reg for pointing to a more plausible, tragic view.

B3N, I think I have expressed, on this list and and I know on others, that my three favorite books of all time were "Overshoot" by William Catton, "The Spirit in the Gene" by Reg Morrison and "The Moral Animal" by Robert Wright. Did you read "The Moral Animal" on my recommendation? If not I find it astonishing that we could come to the same conclusion on two different books.

And by the way I also read Wright's "Non Zero". It was very good but not nearly as good as "The Moral Animal". In Non Zero Wright makes an argument that evolution is a non-zero sum process. That is something is gained as evolution progresses and it is not a pure random walk as Stephen Jay Gould had argued. I had already come to the same conclusion before I read the book and therefore found it somewhat boring.

Ron Patterson

No, I read Wright years ago, before I became re-aware of peak oil (I had learned about it in college as "resource depletion").

I think I found out about Wright through a circuitous route, maybe through a footnote in Pinker's "Language Instinct."

I ran riot through the "evolutionary psychology" literature for awhile.

You can imagine what my response was like when I first found DIEOFF.COM

We're just like minds!

Offhand, what might your top 5 or 6 look like?

I'm trying to decide on a couple books for some winter break reading..

In no particular order, other than the three afore mentioned books:

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble savage by Steven A. LeBlanc
Demonic Males by Richard Wrangham and Dale Peterson
Nature via Nurture and The Red Queen by Matt Ridley
Born That Way: Genes, Behavior and Personality by William Wright
The Triumph of Sociobiology by John Alcock
The Ostrich Factor: Our Population Myopia by Garrett Hardin
The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature by Steven Pinker
The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene by Richard Dawkins
All other books by Richard Dawkins

The Blank Slate was the most rewarding. The Ostrich Factor was short and easy to read. Influence was great and fun to read and Constant Battles very good and completely destroys the myth of the noble savage.

Oh, and one more I almost forgot. Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram. That one will shock you. It explains a lot about human behavior, behavior that will shock you to the core.

Ron Patterson


I've just ordered the first three listed. Based on the Amazon synopsis & reviews, I'm really looking forward Constant Battles. It's just so hard to find interesting historical commentary grounded in any sort of biological principles.

I was first got into Pinker, Ridley, and Dawkins through a handful of college courses - the prof would assign one book each seminar. Made for some good class discussions and really blew students' minds if they'd never been exposed to evolutionary psyc before.

Have you run across the TED talk by Pinker on the history of violence?
Pinker Talk

He discusses the declining rate of violence starting in Biblical times - of course the TED audience, by and large, will see this as a thumbs-up to party on; after all, this "moral expansion" we've witnessed is due to technology. Yeah right!!

.... the only group to profit from the Iraq war and its subsequent chaos has been al Qa’eda

Sorry, Benz, but anyone who states this as an obvious truth, and Morrison does just that, should not be taken seriously.

As he knows, and you do, there are way too many other parties that have, and do, and many more that potentially (behind the screens) have and do, profit from the invasion of Iraq that has never been a war, to state the above quote as some sort of inalienable certitude.

It's simply not very smart.

Which happens to be what he accuses the US administration of. Too easy.

Hundreds of billion of public money, for which taxpayers will be on the hook for years to come, are being transferred to entities sympathetic to this White House. At home, civil liberties fade away rapidly behind a veil of anti-terrorism laws, and additional hundreds of billions are spent to protect the no longer free, and no longer rich US citizen.

And Morrison says that a group of faceless arabs are the only ones to profit?

"For a long time now, I haven't been able to let go of the conspiracy theories around 9-11, because they've so forthrightly addressed peak oil. But I haven't been able to fully embrace them, either. Such theories make the most evil people capable of near-omnipotence and places them beyond accountability."

I'm a scholar of "Cheney and the SS had to have been in the center of 911."

Starting with -"Of course the orders still stand. Have you heard anything different?"

An aside here:


Go to that site and see that the ONLY references to the above Cheney quote
are to ridicule the 911Truth Movement.

A foreign nation was involved-Sen Graham-paraphrase

Yes. That makes them evil. No. It doesn't make them omnipotent.

Only Good Men doing nothing would allow that.

The Voice of the White House

Washington, D.C., December 6, 2007: “Some things of interest, perhaps. Is there blame to assess over the failed war in Iraq? Is this futile and destructive struggle the fault of a mentally defective President, egged on by a vicious and unbalance Vice President?

The recent revelation by the U.S. intelligence community that Iran, often put forward by Bush and Cheney as planning to attack everyone with atomic bombs, has been revealed to be utterly false. In spite of these revelations, Bush continues to mumble and rant about his determination to attack Iran. There is an interesting, and frightening, background to all of this non-stop lying and it is not the weak character of George Bush or the manic viciousness of Dick Cheney.

The Pentagon has long been outraged at the piecemeal destruction of both the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps in the meat grinder that Iraq has become. They know who the real culprits are because they have identified them and been reading their top secret messages for two years now.

Are they listening to the White House? No, they are watching Israel like a hawk, reading their top secret diplomatic and military traffic, getting reports almost daily from U.S. intelligence personnel stationed in Israel and they have long ago extended their surveillance to the Israeli diplomatic messaging.

From this, they have built up a massive dossier that shows very clearly that the driving force behind the Iraq invasion and now, the frenzy to attack Iran is purely Israeli.

I've been sifting through the daily drumbeats and similar sites longer than I like to admit. It got kind of overwhelming after a while. Just a daily deluge of disturbing facts and seemingly illogical behavior. After working my way through this book (it took a couple reads), I felt like I had a framework in which to plug everything into. One that finally made sense.

A quick personal story.. About a year ago I approached a college professor/mentor with this book and a heads-up about peak oil. I was graduating and moving back to the mainland for grad school (the university was located on Easter Isl... I mean Oahu).

There was mutual respect between us, and we both had a passion for evolutionary psychology. I don't know what kind of reaction I was expecting, but she looked at me like I was crazy, said she'd take a look at the book, and that was it. Thank goodness she'd already written my letters of rec!

Anyhow, I still worry about this person, but what can you do.

According to the article, al-Qaeda fed the fake Niger yellowcake evidence to the Italians. But it is well-known that neoncon's neocon Michael Ledeen, a man who seems to worship war itself, is cozy with Italian Intelligence and certainly wanted this evidence to appear.

Michael Scheuer explained in "Imperial Hubris" that the intent of al-Qaeda is to awaken Moslems on a broad scale to their duty to defend each other against infidels. It is NOT to impose al-Qaeda itself as the new caliphate. The organization is not cynical; it is willing to sacrifice itself to create conditions that will cause more organizations to form. This decentralism of intent also meant that it encouraged and networked other Islamist armed groups. Yet these different groups were always vulnerable to CIA-Mossad infiltration. Israel helped create Hamas to weaken Fatah, after all. The CIA helped create Bin Laden's network and the FBI seems to have had a hand in every domestic terrorist attack. So he had to be aware that if he helped some strangers in Hamburg and Florida with their wacky hijacking plan, it might have been a Western trap. Bin Laden and Dick Cheney might have both had a stake in the 9/11 attacks, and both recognized that the reward was worth the risk of being set up.

I think the organization known as al-Qaeda (as opposed to "Al-Qaeda In Mesopotamia", an Iraqi insurgent group that changed its name to claim to be a franchise) was indeed trying to provoke a US invasion with its activities. But not of Iraq. Pakistan was the location of the trap all along. Bin Laden and his organization have been described by Michael Scheuer and others as having sincerely believed that the Afghanistan/Pakistan region was destined to be the death of America just as it was the death of the USSR. It had to appear logical to him that the US would seek vengeance on Afghanistan, that it would be deeply unpopular in Pakistan, and that sooner or later an anti-American Islalmist awakening would occur in the country with the Islamic bomb.

What Bin Laden may or may not have known is that Candidate Bush had already confessed to an interviewer that Saddam Hussein needed to be finished off, that as soon as he got into the White House the schemes against Iraq began, and that as soon as 9/11 happened the first order of business was to prepare the invasion of Iraq, not Afghanistan. Saner heads prevailed with the argument that the public wanted that order reversed. The events Bin Laden should have expected in Pakistan were thus delayed until 2007, when a variety of groups (yet again mislabeled as a monolithic "Taliban") have tied up both the Karzai and Musharraf regimes and their armies, discredited them in the eyes of their fractious citizens, and have forced the US into an impossible race between greater intervention and greater unpopularity.

Bin Laden always treated Pakistan as a higher priority than Iraq, because he didn't think we could be lured that easily into an occupation of Arabs, but here we are. He's going to get his Pakistan domino too.

And what if Bin Laden's goal as a Moslem was not to destroy the Saud dynasty, but to awaken it to its responsibility as Protectors of Mecca to defend all Moslems? In 2006 Prince Turki al-Faisal, one-time friend of Bin Laden and a mastermind of the Saudi-Pakistani-CIA war in Afghanistan, suddenly resigned his US ambassadorship and returned home to "spend more time with his family". No kidding, they use that lie too. At that moment, Patrick Cockburn was reporting a great reorganization of Sunni insurgents outside of Baghdad; new groups with new technology. In the following months came several spectacular attacks, like the kidnapping of American soldiers from a security conference in Najaf itself by gunmen in American SUVs. Of course these were blamed on Iran. Then the US suddenly decided the 1920 Revolution Brigades and other Sunni resistance groups weren't really the enemy. We proclaimed them the Anbar Awakening under friendly Bedouin sheikhs. Yeah, like those sheikhs hadn't been fighting the US for the last 3 years. Yeah, like those sheikhs weren't recommended to unindicted Iran-Contra felon Robert Gates by Prince Turki al-Faisal.

We've all been fooled. Anbar Province is now Saudi territory, and the Sauds have conned us into co-paying their proxies. This gives the Sauds a front line against Iran and the Shia. If Iraq is partitioned Anbar will be their West Germany against Mesopotamia's East Germany, but the neocon fantasy war will be prevented. I'm curious if the Sunnis suddenly demand the oil of Kirkuk as the price of peace, backed by Turkey, another disgusted US ally.

At the very same moment, Saudi Arabia let free very conservative Islamist politician Nawaz Sharif to sabotage the US' cozy little scheme to hand Pakistan over to the Islamic Hillary Clinton, Benazhir Bhutto. (She's a secularist if you keep paying her to be.)

In the very two places where al-Qaeda has taken its stand against the US, Pakistan and Iraq, Saudi Arabia now races to clean up Bush's messes and contain Iran without creating a third mess. It is acting like a wealthy sovereign state, using its own resources directly in its interests instead of skulking behind the scenes in Washington and Wall Street. With Pakistan in its pocket, it will be part of a nuclear/oil power bloc.

If Bin Laden hadn't died years ago and had voice-over actors dubbing his old videos with new "news", he might now feel that he's accomplished everything he set out to do.

Try a thought experiment. Imagine that al Qaeda
no longer exists. Or that it exists only when
Zayman al Zawahiri picks up his double secret
super duper invisible cellphone. The one that no
geek, no hacker, no program can ever trace.
Imagine that al Qaeda is merely an idea. And the
idea is little more than hostility to the West
plus opposition to the Bush-Cheney. A perfect
mirror image to Western hostility towards Islam
and the Bush-Cheney rage at any who would
traffic in oil as independent sovereign agents.

Now if you imagine all of the above does that
scenario explain more or less than the scenario
in which al Qaeda exists?

One thing I always find laughable is the fairytale premise of OBL attacking the US on 9/11. Why would such a sophisticated international terrorist organization waste their precious time flying planes into the WTC complex? Since such steel structures have never collapsed before the OBL gang could have never considered the buildings would have fell. So at best all they could hope for was a couple of giant holes in the buildings and several hundred dead Americans. They would also have to assume most of the planes they hijacked would never make it to their target because they would be intercepted. So with all the years of planning all they could hope for was a couple of hundred dead Americans that had just been given a free pass to bomb the ME at will. Rather silly for such sophisticated terrorists group.

It’s been known since the Nixon administration that an attack on SA oil fields would be an attack on America. As Robert Baer says in his “Doomsday Scenario” a relatively simple attack on the Abqaiq extralight crude complex would reduce SA oil output by several mbd for months. Everyone here knows with the swing producer SA taken out of the picture the United States and much of civilization would begin to implode. That is exactly what Wahabi extremist hell bent on destroying the United States would do. After the attacked, which would be an attack on the US, OBL would face an invasion from a crippled US military running on fumes.

The Choices:
1. An extremely complex multi year operation that stands a high probability of failure with little damage to their enemy. In other words a Christmas present for the US military industrial complex.
2. A relatively simple operation in their backyard that would destroy their enemy for good. The “Doomsday Scenario” for the US military industrial complex.

If I was making a James bond movie I would opt for number one because then I could keep making more movies.


The Doomsday Scenario

"I'VE DOLLED UP the details and updated them, but I didn't invent them. They come courtesy of people who studied the Saudi oil industry from the ground up. From the mid-1930s until well into the 1960s, Saudi Arabia was a branch office of America's oil giants -- a Republican internationalist's fantasy. The United States remained secure in the knowledge that Saudi oil would always be there for us, under the sand, cheap, and as safe as if it were locked up in Fort Knox. We built Saudi Arabia's oil business and, for our efforts, got full and easy access to its crude.

The first OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil embargo in 1973 took the bloom off that rose, but anxiety turned into full panic in the early 1980s, during the Iran-Iraq war, especially when it looked as if Iran might take the war to the Arab side of the Gulf, including Saudi Arabia. With the nightmare of an Islamic prairie fire taking down the world's economy, disaster planners in and out of government began to ask uncomfortable questions. What points of the Saudi oil infrastructure were most vulnerable to terrorist attack? And by what means? What sorts of disruptions to the flow of oil, short-term and long-term, could be expected? And with what economic consequences?

Almost to a person, the disaster planners concluded that the Abqaiq extralight crude complex was both the most vulnerable point of the Saudi oil system and its most spectacular target. With a capacity of seven million barrels, Abqaiq is the Godzilla of oil-processing facilities. Generally, the study groups posited a multiprong attack on Abqaiq, with severe damage to storage tanks and the large spheroids used to reduce pressure on oil during the refining process, and moderate damage to the stabilizing towers where petroleum is purged of sulfur.

Restoring the pressure-reducing spheroids would require not much more than the installation of a series of temporary valves, to be replaced eventually by permanent ones. The storage tanks wouldn't be much of a problem, either. A few repairs here and there, and you would have full-production capacity back in no time at all.

The stabilizing towers are another story. Sulfur and oil go hand in hand. The same eons-long processes that make one make the other. But until the sulfur is removed, petroleum is useless. To get from one state to the other -- from sour to sweet -- petroleum goes through a process known as hydrodesulfurization.

At Abqaiq, hydrodesulfurization takes place in ten tall, cylindrical towers. Inside the towers, hydrogen is introduced into the oil in sufficient quantities to convert sulfur into hydrogen sulfide gas, which then rises to the top of the structure, where it is harvested and rendered into harmless, environmentally safe, and usable sulfur.

But hydrogen sulfide is no everyday gas. Familiar to generations of high school chemistry students as the rotten-egg (or "fart") gas, it is highly corrosive and potentially fatal to humans. As long as the gas is confined in the stabilizing towers, everything is fine. Blow the top off a tower, or a wide hole through it, or bring it crashing down by detonating a truck loaded with three thousand pounds of explosives at its base, and all hell breaks loose.

In the atmosphere, hydrogen sulfide reacts with moisture to create the acid sulfur dioxide. Once formed, the acid would rapidly settle on surrounding pipes, valve fittings, flanges, connectors, pump stations, and control boxes, and begin eating its way through everything like some bionic omnivorous termite. But the initial release of hydrogen sulfide would have far more serious effects because of what it does to humans.

The federal Agency for Toxic Substance and Disease Registry (ATSDR), a sister agency of the Centers for Disease Control, classifies hydrogen sulfide as a broad-spectrum poison -- that is, it attacks multiple systems in the body. "Breathing very high levels of hydrogen sulfide can cause death within just a few breaths," ATSDR reports. "There could be loss of consciousness after one or more breaths. Exposure to lower concentrations can result in eye irritation, a sore throat and cough, shortness of breath, and fluid in the lungs. These symptoms usually go away in a few weeks. Long-term, low-level exposure may result in fatigue, loss of appetite, headaches, irritability, poor memory, and dizziness."

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) wing of the U.S. Department of Labor has established an acceptable ceiling concentration of twenty parts per million (ppm) of hydrogen sulfide in the workplace, with a maximum level of fifty ppm allowed for ten minutes "if no other measurable exposure occurs." The more conservative -- and less politically sensitive -- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends a maximum exposure level of ten ppm.

A moderately successful attack on the Abqaiq facility's stabilizing towers would let loose seventeen hundred ppm of hydrogen sulfide into the atmosphere. That strength would dissipate, but not quickly enough to prevent the death of workers in the immediate vicinity and serious injury to others in the general area -- or to stop sulfur dioxide from eating into the metallic heart of the Saudi oil infrastructure. The toxicity also would deter the onset of repairs for months.

At the least, a moderate-to-severe attack on Abqaiq would slow average production there from 6.8 million barrels a day to roughly a million barrels for the first two months postattack, a loss equivalent to approximately one-third of America's current daily consumption of crude oil. Even as long as seven months after an attack, Abqaiq output would still be about 40 percent of preattack output, as much as 4 million barrels below normal -- roughly equal to what all of the OPEC partners collectively took out of production during the devastating 1973 embargo."

Where's Emmanuel Goldstein when you need him?

To the rescue!!

"In our society, those who have the best knowledge of what is happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is. In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion; the more intelligent, the less sane. One clear illustration of this is the fact that war hysteria increases in intensity as one rises in the social scale. Those whose attitude towards the war is most nearly rational are the subject peoples of the disputed territories. To these people the war is simply a continuous calamity which sweeps to and fro over their bodies like a tidal wave. Which side is winning is a matter of complete indifference to them. They are aware that a change of overlordship means simply that they will be doing the same work as before for new masters who treat them in the same manner as the old ones. The slightly more favoured workers whom we call 'the proles' are only intermittently conscious of the war. When it is necessary they can be prodded into frenzies of fear and hatred, but when left to themselves they are capable of forgetting for long periods that the war is happening. It is in the ranks of the Party, and above all of the Inner Party, that the true war enthusiasm is found. World-conquest is believed in most firmly by those who know it to be impossible."
~George Orwell Ignorance is Strength

Reg is more than aware that leaders are more than capable of creating and offering a primal fairy tale to the masses in order to justify the "necessary" mass murder that is a result of our never ending quest for new plunder. Maybe it was just blind luck that their "monster-preferably who speaks an alien tongue, prays to heathen gods" showed up just in time for the arrival of peak oil. But then again maybe it wasn't blind luck. Maybe it was because “God is On Our Side”.

I questioned Reg on this part of his book in Jay Hanson’s dieoff group and he politely assured me that our tribe would never do such a thing. Our DNA is much smarter than that.

“Given the right leadership and sufficient external threat, the primary product of such spirituality may be extraordinary social cohesion.
…Almost every leader of note has, either consciously or unconsciously, fished these murky waters at some time or other.
Their reward is a united people armed with humanity’s shining Excalibur. To unsheathe this magic blade, such visionary leaders must first win over the populace with the primal fairy tale, which invariably contains two ingredients;

1.) A Monster-preferably one who speaks an alien tongue, prays to heathen gods, wears peculiar clothing, and/or has different-colored skin.
2.) A Miracle-earned only by sacrifice, but culminating in triumph for the home team and a nasty end for the Monster.

This tired old routine has worked its magic with astonishing regularity since the dawn of history, and no one with fully functioning DNA seems wholly immune to the lure of it. Its genetic nature shines through the grisly statistics that follow every major conflict, especially those that incorporate genocidal slaughter.”
~Reg Morrison, 1999 “The Spirit in the Gene, Humanity’s Proud Illusion and the Laws of Nature”

I would like to propose an alternative, where the massive effort is internal, to solve our problems with our own sweat. that is, IMO, a viable alternative path.

Villains will still be needed, of course, and GWB and Cheney and neocons in general seem well suited for the role.

Best Hopes for "Other Choices",


Um, that link "Who's Winning In Iraq?" seemed to have the text, then the text vanished and it's a video (invisible to me). The article is still listed on the article index page http://homepage.mac.com/gregalchin/rm/articles.html with the same link. What's up?


dunno. it's still there for me.

It's "flashpaper," whatever that means.

A regular techoncopian extravaganza over at financialsense;

"Freedom From Oil
How the Next President Can End the United States' Oil Addiction"


I highly recommend everyone take the time to read the following article posted up top. It's quite poetic...

Peak Oil And The Vision In The Mirror

Peak oil is not simply an issue of learning to conserve or finding ways to do more with less. It isn't simply about the possibility of economic collapse, war, starvation or global pandemic. It isn't just about changing our behaviors or our beliefs. It is about turning ourselves inside-out, and not only surviving the transformation, but also being and living equal and in harmony with all the rest.

Dragonfly, I agree it's an excellent distillation of Peak Oil thought. I'm thinking of printing it out and using the first half as a hand-out when I roll out PO to people in the future (with full attribution, of course). The second half has philosophy/ethics/religious thought that may cause some Christians to reject all that preceeds it; methinks I will have more sucess with roughly the first half.

Errol in Miami

The second portion is just another plea for Homo Sapiens to voluntarily change their nature. To change what lies primarily in the oldest part of the brain...all the automated bodily functions plus 'flight or fight', et al.

People, this is not going to happen. I continually read these pleas on this site (and others) and wonder when the posters here will understant that people are not going to voluntarily change their nature any more than people are not going to voluntarily stop breathing... People do not like change to their established routine...They hate it. All we can do is attempt to make people aware of PO, GW, and the economic problems facing us...Using a quiet, soothing voice, not sounding hysterical, not sounding like some sort of lunatic...Then, give them time to mull it over, dont push it. Just maybe some of the people that you talk WITH (not TO) will slowly begin to make slight behavorial modifications. Maybe...

Change will require carrots and sticks. Simply as an example look at WW2...People were issurd ration cards for gas...The carrot...The gov told the people to use the cards and if they attempted to cheat the ration system there would be penalties to pay...The Stick. Of course people cheated the ration system from day one but comparitively few were caught and fined or jailed. But, the percentage that cheated was small...So, the system worked but a massive gov bureaucracy was needed to oversee the system and keep fraud to a minimum. The longer rationing is in place the more likely fraud will increase.

I am not advocating gas rationing. I used it as an example of what can work for relatively short periods of time in the US. In the former CCCP rationing was in place for a long time and, eventually, even the dullest citizens learned how to cheat the system.


I have seen how elapsed time and events have helped me with friends and family. Told them about PO 4 years ago and inbetween. The doubters are finding it harder and harder to hide it to themselves.

The point is even if they don't agree at first, they are none the less Sensitized to the term Peak Oil, and related topics. Every time they read a news item or see it on TV, their filters will pick it up and register it. Your mind catalogs it. You find these people saying "Hey, I heard another report on that Peak Oil thing, Hmm"

I told folks when oil was $40 and it was a big deal hitting $50. Now they don't talk about it much at $90. It's a quiet resigning to the fact.

But without a doubt, the term Peak Oil is being impressed upon people's viewpoint.

I've noticed and experienced the same recently.

What happens to the messenger if he or she is eventually proved right? If not shot on sight, will people (non-family) hold a grudge against us further on down the line, as if somehow we are to blame?

They will turn to you for answers to fix the problems. To turn back the clock so they can get out of this now uncomfortable situation. The last thing they will want to hear is 'this is how it's going to be from now on and it's only going to get worse'.
my advice to those who have been verbally active in trying to inform people rather then let them see it for themselves. Make yourself scarce at that time least you find yourself in the mob's lynching eye so to speak. They will want someone to blame, and those who do not fall for the failing government's scapegoat will go looking for others rather then blame themselves.

That's exactly right.

I always went to the back of the book for answers
and then reverse engineered the problem.

Here's how that would work in respect to PO, GW, PopOvershoot.

In 100 years, we'll be lucky to have colonies of humans on Earth.

The best we can hope for is 2 billion.

Exponential increase while running into resource constraints
will do it.


When does the increase of humans stop, much less stabilize and then fall.

Atlanta has until the first week in February.

And four cities in California are rated more severe
than Atlanta.

Even as our $1000 Trillion derivative/debt scheme
turns into the latest Tulip Bulb/South Seas.

Under the stress of even low rpm, a flywheel can explode like a grenade. Unfortunately more than one person has lost some lower appendages to an exploding ...

The coming event will be non linear.

The second portion is just another plea for Homo Sapiens to voluntarily change their nature. - River

I'm not so sure about that. Individual humans can and do continually violate their natural drives. It is simply a matter of rationalizing and then believing in the alternate course of action.

A person can literally starve themselves to death, even when food is present. Take the example of various hunger strikers throughout history.

People could easily rationalize that what they were doing was saving others, their children for example. Examples of people jumping into harms way to save children are strewn throughout history as well.

Scale alert.

Individuals can, will, and do change. The scale is pretty irrelevant to the whole, though, because vast masses don't, won't, and in many instances, can't.

Confusing awareness of peak oil (and associated environmental issues) with meaningful change just because of the awareness is a trap many fall into (and I have in the past too).


May here will have heard me bat on and on about inflation and the concept of wealth extraction.

A week or so ago I told you how a plastic bag of 'stuff' from my local supermarket came out at about 10 quid, been like that for 5 years or so. Average the bag, count the bags, and hey presto 10 bags equals 100 quid... Every time... It used to be a game with kids. A game I always won.

Just count the bags.

Then, a few months ago it started so you could only get 8 bags of stuff for a 100 quid. This is the new rate of inflation.

20 %

Thats for food and fuel

20 %

The telly and the papers and the Gov and other lying sleaze-bags will tell you inflation is 2.8 % or some other BS.

Your salary rises and wages and index linked pensions are based on 2.8 %

But You pay out at 20%.

Welcome to wealth extraction. And all that it encompasses.

So with who and when did the penny drop?

My 18 year old son, today.

For 4 years its been 'dad is on about PO again, yawn...'

Today the penny dropped.

The cover of the Economist helped: 'Is the era of cheap food over?'.

First time he has ever picked up this magazine...

Haha and I know just enough Brit to know what that means ....

for my Fellow Amurrikans, what 'LOGGER means is, the little light bulb lit up over his son's head...

20% food and fuel inflation is probably about what we have over here too.

My experience is that many Americans (and others) don't know what a quid is :-)

- it's one pound sterling -

When it says on our ten quid banknotes 'I promise to pay the bearer 10 pounds' it's ten pounds (in weight) of sterling silver (sterling is a particular grade of silver.)

But, do you believe the Bank of England's promise?

The silver might be more useful than a piece of paper though!

You're right. To us, a "quid" is a chunk of chewing tobacco, more precisely, the chunk in one's mouth at the time. It makes for a delicious mental picture....

Huh? ... chewing tobacco? ... not a British thing 'old boy'!

In Sweden on the other hand ...

Have a good day Fleam.

OK what you guys generally use is "snoose" or what we call snuff, a powdered tobacco.

The real old style chewing tobacco came in a "plug" a sort of brick shaped piece. One bit off, or if one were a pansy one cut off, a piece to chew in the mouth. That piece was the quid. Thus, in old books you'll see references to some backwoods type shifting his quid in his mouth ....

How do I know all of this? When I was a kid we had a paperback book called "Why Did They Name It...? which was all about the origins of various American products and their brand names. I learned about Dixie cups and Gilette razors and all sorts of interesting things. One chapter was about Star tobacco - it was a brand that came with a little tin star stamped into the top of the plug, and if you saved them up you could get prizes, probably mostly commonsense stuff like a pair of boots or a fishing pole.

Have I mentioned though .... chewing tobacco is GROSS lol


I had a similar experience over the weekend with my college age offspring.

We were walking home from the supermarket and she went off about her dad being a Peak Oil whacko.

There were no packages in hand as this was just a health walk.

So I said, if we no longer have gasoline for the family car, how are you going to get those heavy packages (plastic bags) of food back home so you can eat?

Wow. I never thought about that, was her response. I guess we can walk it home.

And how are those big trucks going to bring the food from farm to market without oil? Wow. I never thought about that either. End of conversation about this 'boring' topic. Now back to discussing Britney Spears and her celebrity life style.

P.S. Nate Hagens does an excellent job talking about mental states and driving to the market about 26 minutes into this podcast. Worth a listen.

Wow. What the hell are

Vingean Singularity, Entheogenic Exploration, alternative agriculture and Individual Conscious Autonomy


And what is the "C-Realm"? I'm almost afraid to listen.

Vernor Vinge, a fantastic science fiction author, and arguably the founder of the cyberpunk genre, postulates the existence of a "technological singularity" in his book Across Realtime. The human race somehow "moves on", the details to which we are not privy, and the story is about a band of survivors who are trying to build a society that will be able to somehow "catch up" to those who have left.

Vinge has only written a handful of books but he is very influential. His rigorous approach, fostered by his background as a mathematics and computer science professor at San Diego State University, leads him to telling new stories, rather than digging out medieval romances and tarting them up with laser swords and such.

I am far better able to recall the details of his work than I am the Foundation series ... he speaks a bit about civilization collapse here and there in stories, but it is always a pervasive part of the scheme of things, rather than the core of the story as in the Foundation stories.

Iran isn't the only one down on the dollar. I was at the bank earlier today and a farmer was in front of me.

"I'd like to withdraw $8,000."

"Uhh, we don't have that much on hand, but we can do it for you Monday."

"OK, that'll be fine."

I asked him if he was planning on buying silver with it. He paused for a moment, a bit startled, nodded slowly, and then continued on his way out the door.

The teller provided comic relief after he was gone - "If I had $8,000 to spare I'd have it in a CD earning interest." I said "But the dollar has lost 30% of its value in the last twelve months."

The look of incomprehension surprised me a bit ... I'm glad at least one of the two is preparing for trouble ... and its the one on the right side of the line for production, too.

SCT I think you should um, keep it pretty quiet about who'd buying silver, or the idea of buying silver ...... I'd hate to hear that old farmer got his place invaded and himself tortured to death because of something someone overheard in the bank - could even end up one of the tellers deciding to get a group together to "torture for profit"

Yes, I think things may go that way, hell it's not safe to let people know you're buying, and thus probably hoarding, silver even now.

Dude, this is Iowa - sixteen year olds take guns to school in their pickup trucks so they can go hunting without having to go home first and the Sons of Silence (genuine 1% motorcycle club) will stop and help little ol' ladies change a flat tire. When I was a wee tot there was a stranger kidnapping at the mall here in Spencer. It was instantly on the police scanner, the child's father worked at a factory just a mile up the road, and there were three hundred concerned citizens all over that place before the police could even respond. The perp quite luckily found a police officer to hide behind ...

Rent The Waltons on DVD ... times are changing but a good 50% of the people here would fit right in and if it weren't for the crystal meth effect we'd still be stuck in 1956 in terms of culture. Its only the last ten years people started locking their doors and not leaving keys in vehicles.

OK ok SCT your neighborhood sounds all wright!

All I remember about The Waltons was I thought they were rich - had a big house and a car that ran, and enough to eat. Doing pretty damn good compared to us.

That's good, people watching out for each other - there's some of that here, not like California where it's "all for one and every man for himself" lol, although not like out where you are.

Maybe someday if I become rich I can move out there. It sounds like a great place!

Folks, I found the article by Michael T. Klare on "Iraq and climate change" to be the most important single article I've read in quite a long time.

It is posted up top on drumbeat today, and from "foriegn Policy In Focus."

The gist of the article is that the USA has been needed to provide crucial leadership on Global Climate Change, but has instead engaged in a criminal war which is brutally destructive, geopolitically counterproductive, an energy drain, and deepens US addiction to oil.

But great damage is done in that the war also drains away trillions of dollars of capital that are sorely needed to address climate change.

This damage is worsened because the war is not paid for by increased taxes, but by borrowing from future generations, who will be bound by this debt and so lack resources to mitigate or adapt to global climate change.

And so the USA has failed to live up to its responsibility as a world power.

The only way to right this wrong is an immediate pullout from Iraq, a complete halt to pouring funding into the war, and directing that funding to projects to mitigate global warming.

Powerful stuff.

almost certainly.

klare is as usual, right on the nail.

time to go.

Walk the dog.

And then the 'Right Stuff ' is on : - Once upon a time America had what it took.

dorme bien.

Yeah -- Klare is brilliant at bringing out the key issues in the big picture.

Which is why, it seems to me, that there is a virtual blackout his analysis in the MSM.

"India seeks World Bank rupee loan"


This makes zero sense to me. Why would anyone NOT choose a fixed-rate loan in a currency that's inflating away to nothing right now? UNLESS, of course, somebody over there in India decided that they couldn't put up with unanswered devaluation of the USD any longer, and their own fiat rupees would have to follow the dollar down next year.

A rare December rate cut si in the offing for the Pound Sterling, but still no movement from the ECB on the Euro rate.

Saturday afternoon rumination in ice-covered Mid-America (Kansas City, Missouri):

There are a few cars sliding around and it seems the fast past life has slowed down a bit. I always enjoy natural weather events (non-lethal ones) that force people to break their routine, slow down, and perhaps hole up in the house and entertain themselves for awhile. Perhaps even go out and help the neighbor with a chore or task.

It's what I imagine the good days in a post-peak world would be like....

yeah I like stuff like that too - like the evening when it was snowing in CO, there was no way my car was going to get up this rather slight but very slippery hill, I actually went backwards and slippery-slided onto a side street, exchanging glances with a cop also sliding around in his cop car, and brought it to a perfect stop parked against the curb on the side street, even if pointed the wrong way. Then got out and walked. It was hilarious seeing all the impatient drivers get angry and "gas it' more and get even more messed up, while my own two feet got me where I was going just fine. I really only had to travel about 1.5 miles maybe 2, much better to walk.

Fleam, I apologize for getting short with you a couple of days ago. But I was just so frustrated that people were reading over my posts without grasping what I thought I was making perfectly clear.

Please accept my apologies.

Ron Patterson

No problem Darwin, this is just not the place to "fight the power" not that power anyway. And that's really a minor show compared to the effects of PO which will affect all of us.

Well! Today we got snow! It just ain't Arizona without snow! W00t!

Not sure how much of a covering on the ground there will be in the morning, but my goodness those big fluffy flakes were good to see!

71 F at 7 PM in New Orleans (after high of 79). Dewpoint 69 F (do NOT trust air one cannot chew ! :-)

Cold front next Friday is predicted to drive temperatures down to High 61 F. Low 35 F.

Snow ?


Re the item on the decine rate of oil do these estimates of 5% or more factor in the breakthroughs now happening in developing unconventional oil(THAI CAPRI etc). The rise in unconventional production could cancel out the decine in conventional production. The peak could last a while.

"The peak could last a while."

Sure it could, but at what price and at what rate? That's the kicker.

Overview of today's Drumbeat string of replies....

"Is there a full moon out?"



December 9, 2007: The New York Times finally catches on to the Export Land Model.

Oil Rich Nations Use More Energy, Cutting Exports

Congratulations to Jeffrey Brown for leading the way on this for how long now? At least a year or more, right?

“Ten years from now, world capacity to produce oil could be 20 percent higher than today,” said Daniel Yergin, chairman of Cambridge Energy Research Associates.

OK. Can we start calling Dan a fruitcake yet? Or does that just make us look like the fruitcake?

He might be correct, but he neglects to mention the price tag and the flow rate. Do you think those might be a factor in the future?

Capacity and reality are not always the same thing. We "could" go to Titan and extract the liquid hydrocarbons on this moon, but will we?

By the way, why is there all that hydrocarbon on Titan? Was it caused by all those dead Titanian dinosaurs? :-)


It is all methane Roger. To create abiogenic methane all you need is hydrogen and carbon dioxide. Bring the two together and you automatically get methane. You do not get abiotic methane on earth because there is no free hydrogen on earth. But on most other planets, and even some of their moons, there is plenty of free hydrogen.

"If you put CO2 and hydrogen together, thermodynamics dictates that it has to go to methane," says Horita.

Ron Patterson


I'm sorry, I was enjoying a bit of "satire". I actually wanted to see what kind of wierd responses I would get, but you came along and gave the good answer and ended the quiz early :-)

By the way though, what you mention...."If you put CO2 and hydrogen together, thermodynamics dictates that it has to go to methane," says Horita...should be of interest to those trying to find a way to easily store hybrogen and get rid of CO2 at the same time! :-)



By the way, I went over the Astrobio link you sent and read the whole article....that's some dammed interesting stuff! The thoughts on methane are very thought provoking! :-)



What about the live Titanian flowers (oxygen producers)?

Without oxygen (generated by photosynthesis) all those hydrocarbons up there are just useless stuff --you can't burn them.

So for you space cowboys out there who were planning your round trip excursions to Titan on half a tank; hoping to re-fill up your pickup-style Space Shuttle when they get to the Titan hydrocarbon stations; what are you going to do for O2? There's no free oxygen lunches in outer space. Sorry.

I skimmed this for a quote by Jeffrey. (I guess they didn't.)

Yes congratulations Westexas --your Export Land Model has been validated by the New York Times. Funny how "they" (i.e. Jad Mouawad) neglect to give you the credit you are due.

Moreover the NYT article neglects to mention that there are no more alternative planets from which "we" can import the additional oil:

The trend, though increasingly important, does not necessarily mean there will be oil shortages. More likely, experts say, it will mean big market shifts, with the number of exporting countries shrinking and unconventional sources like Canadian tar sands becoming more important, especially for the United States. And there is likely to be more pressure to open areas now closed to oil production.

Watch Mexico now.

OK many have commented on the ad for Dodge commercial trucks on the left side of this page, but what I find far more disturbing is the "right to work software" ad.

I'm sure that company has implantable RFIDs all ready to go, so only your own slaves can get into the factory.......

Fleam...You might be hauled up on charges for attempting to incite 'class war'...Probably a 'terrorist offense' by now...Or, soon to be. On the other hand...Who cares? Soon those that are supposed to be watching us will be out of jobs. Cant be soon enough!

right to work = All can work here...For starvation wages...And at the beginning of shift we have happy meetings were all the 'associates' cheer for the company...Whee...But if we break the managers jaw 'cause he groped us or called us a bad name then we can never ever in a million years work here again...Whee...So cheer for the company and all come with a smiley face and work here...Whee...Blue light special on aisle 7...Associate 860,272, report to the managers office...Associate 756,791, we saw you steal those socks, 40 lashes...Whee...

union = socialisim

socialisim = communisim

I know 'cause Ronnie told me so :)

It's interesting to actually work in a "secured" facility of that type...

The RFID's are not really needed to be implanted, but simply in the workers badge to make it very tight....you simply tell all employees they must wear their badge in plain view, or they will be terminated....

RFID's are in the badge, and sensors are in the ceiling of the building, as the RFID moves under the sensors, the location of every person in the building is read and recorded.

That don't sound bad, right...? Of course, slipping to the breakroom will be picked immediately, as will too many trips to the bathroom.

But it is actually more interesting...as employees move about the building, exactly who they come in contact with is detected and recorded....and any inter-departmental communication can be seen instantly...Have you been paying that cute little lady in the training department a few "say hi" visits?
Picked up immediately.

Of course, if you are in the finance department, why are you even going into the training department? Send them e-mail, and request a meeting on the monitored Outlook account, or you should not be over in other departments at all....needless to say, this breaks up any risk of organizing opposition to any policy by any employee....

The above is only going to get tighter and tighter with each year. It is not the government that has the most to gain by watching it's people, but the corporation, the employer, the insurance companies.

It is this that I feel most sympathy for the young of the world, the complete lack of freedom to move about and communicate to others without being monitored.

Peak oil? yeah, a pain in the backside, but also great opportunity to do it right. Global warming? We can do what we can do, but many models seem to indicate it's pretty much set into the mix for our lifetimes anyway. Economic collapse? Been there, done that.

But the absolute lack of ability to communicate without being monitored, would soon become so oppressive to me that it would make it hard to function in the culture. It is one of the few things I see on the horizon that make me thankful I am an old man. :-)


Hmmm...note to self...run ID badge "accidentally" through the washer several times this weekend.

I would suggest running the RFID badge through the microwave.

then you'll lose your "right to work." better to have a decoy.

The permit to work software is used to comply with the safety requirements involved the operation of petrochemical plants. For example you have to be careful when and where you do welding with all the potentially flammable chemicals at a plant. A site where oil is discussed seem to be an appropriate place to put the add.

Just a brief reply to solar's Red Queen:

Printing photovoltaic ink onto a semi-conducting substrate provides massive economies of scale for solar. In layman's terms the energy producing medium is printed onto a thin layer of rollable aluminum.

The cost to produce these sheets is approx 33 cents per watt (less than or equal to coal depending on the source).

Furthermore G24 is not the only innovator in this field. Nanosolar of California and Germany has built the largest solar production facility in the world with the capacity to produce 430 MW per year. The facility uses printing press technology to achieve these economies of scale.

For my part, I'm very excited about the potential here. It seems we finally have a solid renewable energy contender that's able to supply markets from retail to wholesale energy producers. With cost barriers removed, the potential now is for everyone from homeowners to utilities to make a substantial play in this market.

In my opinion, these innovations are as significant as those that heralded the dawn of the information age. Yeah, I'm a little excited.