DrumBeat: December 29, 2007

Peak Oil And Dunbar's Number

Within modern capitalism there is no solution to the problem of oil depletion. Oil energy cannot be replaced with the equivalent amount of "alternative" energy in the required time, so the consequences of oil depletion will be disastrous. Those disastrous consequences are beyond the range of the normal or acceptable issues of political debate. No political contender can win votes by saying that the world is coming to an end. The "end" may be real, but there is no political mechanism to deal with it in the over-crowded and overly complex modern state.

Bin Laden says U.S. seeks to exploit Iraqi oil

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden accused Washington of plotting to take control of Iraq's oil and urged Iraqis to reject efforts to rebuild a U.S.-backed national unity government there.

... The Saudi-born militant said the envisaged Iraqi government was also meant to help Washington "fully dominate" the region with help from allies such as Saudi Arabia.

"The government of Riyadh is still playing its wicked roles," he said, describing Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah as the United States' "chief agent".

Shell plans to outsource 3,600 jobs

Royal Dutch Shell is to shed thousands of jobs as Europe's largest oil company joins rival BP in trying to cut costs and simplify its structure. Shell is looking to agree one of the largest ever outsourcing deals in the next couple of months, and plans to reorganise other departments, including finance operations.

The company has said previously that it wants to cut costs, but the scale of some of the proposed changes has surprised insiders and led to the leaking of information to an anti-Shell website by disillusioned staff. The biggest change will be in the information technology division, where around 3,600 staff may be affected by a plan to farm out operations to three companies.

Eni May Cancel 9% of Its Stock; Sees Kashagan Settlement Soon

Eni SpA, Italy's biggest oil company, may cancel 9 percent of its own stock and begin a new share buyback program, Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni said.

Scaroni also said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev called a Jan. 11 meeting with executives of Eni and the heads of five other foreign oil companies, signaling a potential breakthrough in the dispute over development of the Kashagan oil field. Eni spokesman Gianni di Giovanni confirmed to Bloomberg News today the comments Scaroni made in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

Iraq aims to boost Kirkuk oil sales

Iraq plans to boost sales of Kirkuk oil by at least 100,000 barrels per day starting in January and is offering incentives to win back and retain customers, an Iraqi official said on Friday.

Is The UK Set To Be The Saudi Arabia of Europe?

“Eliminating fossil fuels is scientifically urgent, economically inescapable and technically possible,” CAT Development Director Paul Allen said. “With its good match to the demand profile across the year, offshore wind could make Britain the Saudi Arabia of green electricity in a zero carbon Europe.”

The report states that a zero carbon Britain could “deliver a higher quality of life, along with a sense of collective purpose not felt in Britain for many decades.”

The trouble with shale gas: Huge reserves come with huge obstacles

According to Mr. Faraj, this country holds so much shale gas that it stretches the bounds of believability.

He has estimated that Canada's depths could contain as much as 15,000 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of gas -- a staggering number nearly triple the proven gas reserves for the entire world. But shale gas is anything but proven, and experience has shown that very little of the gas in place can actually be extracted.

$100 oil a near certainty, say analysts

Oil prices of near $100 per barrel caused alarm in consuming countries in 2007 and analysts forecast another tense crude market next year with triple-figure records a real prospect.

Despite a murky outlook for the world economy, crude prices are seen settling at elevated levels, spelling more pain for consumers and a steady flow of petrodollars for the world’s oil exporters.

Pakistan: Petrol, CNG stations owners observe complete strike

Owners of filling stations observed a complete strike in the provincial metropolis on Friday to condemn brutal killing of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Petrol pumps and CNG stations were giving a deserted look throughout the day. Covered with tents, these filling stations were not selling petrol, diesel, gas and other oil products. However, taking advantage of the situation, employees of some of the filling stations sold a litre plastic bottle of petrol for Rs 100. Private petrol shops also sold petrol at same rates.

Pakistan cities shut down after Bhutto death

Daily life for tens of millions of Pakistanis was on hold Saturday, with major cities virtually shut down as the nation mourned the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

On the second day of official mourning for the slain opposition leader, most people were unable to buy food or petrol, with all shops, fuel stations, banks and offices closed down.

Papua New Guinea trucking operators say fuel prices could put them out of business

The National Transport Association says if any operator is forced out it would greatly affect the freight of supplies into the Highlands and the national economy.

Association President, John Lacey, says there is already a big shortage of trucks operating between Lae and the Highlands and the country cannot afford to have more pulled off the road.

Kazakhstan Signals Possible Kashagan Breakthrough

The government of Kazakhstan has signaled what could be a breakthrough in its long-running standoff with foreign oil companies developing the massive Kashagan oil field in the northern Caspian Sea.

Karluk fuel pinch dire

Short was informed the village had been out of heating fuel for some time and had only two days worth of fuel left for the generator. Without fuel for the generator, the village would be without electricity.

Burning food charcoals witness

A man with no business experience envied his friend who bought hats for two dollars and sold them for four. The novice opened his own hat store but to gain market share sold his hats for $1.50.

His more experienced friend asked how he intended to stay in business, selling hats for less than they cost him.

"Volume," said the new businessman.

There are many reasons to abandon ethanol as a fuel source before that bad idea becomes a curse that even volume cannot redeem.

A Christmas Present - Something You Can Do For Your Kids

Christmas is for kids. Give your kids the present they really need this year: Promise them you will do whatever you can to help turn the corner on climate change. It's life and death for your kids, for your grandchildren. Promise them you will work hard so that they will have a safe future.

What control does Opec have now?

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) declared last month it had lost control of the world market, but energy experts say the group has wrested much of the control back since.

"Opec now has more control than it had a month ago. But it's not quite there yet," Ann-Louise Hittle, a Boston-based oil analyst with global consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie, told Gulf News.

Not so gushing for oil firms

The forecast of soaring crude oil prices could boost handsome returns for China's oil producers in 2008, despite concerns of higher resource taxes.

Still, the nation's refineries, represented by China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec, may again suffer hefty losses in the oil processing business as state control of refined oil prices is not likely to be relaxed given the high and rising inflation rate.

The Gulf's Financial Tidal Wave

Gulf countries now hold more than $1.5 trillion in foreign assets. Fed by insatiable oil demand combined counterintuitively with record oil prices, their accounts are forecasted to swell to $2 trillion in 2009. What happens when the world's largest pool of investable capital links with the world's largest population and fastest-growing large economy? Nothing less than a tectonic shift in global power. All economic players, especially American and European companies, will need to adapt to the nexus of the Gulf and China.

Mankind is on the brink...but I'm optimistic

Whatever the true figure, almost all the biggest challenges in the world are directly connected to those astonishing projections of human growth. Nature is not mocked - and the symptoms of a dying world are there for all to see.

So we have the energy crisis as the world scrabbles for deposits of carbon; the disappearance of species as the rainforests are destroyed to grow food; the rise of Islamist militancy in parts of the world where the population of young men is growing far faster than jobs and resources; water wars; the coming pandemics. . . and of course, the lurches in temperature and wind speed as the planet hots up.

Joint venture to supply nitrogen to Mexico

Air Products said a joint venture company with its Grupo Infra partner will supply 90 MMscfd of nitrogen to Petroleos Mexicanos Exploracion y Produccion (PEP).

Nitrogen from the gas turbine and steam-driven facility is supplied for injection and enhanced oil and gas recovery from PEP's Jujo-Tecominoacan oil fields near Villahermosa in Tabasco, Mexico.

Demand rising for OSVs in Latin America

Offshore support vessel (OSV) owners active in the region continue to sing praises for Central and South America. With as many as 238 offshore support vessels, of 254 total in the region, on term charter, why wouldn't they be pleased?

We are what we eat. Or, the corn maze

Pay particular attention to talk about ethanol; the feel-good sound of the corn-based fuel as opposed to its hidden costs; the diversion of corn into subsidized fuel creating a shortage that already is driving up the prices of other food products for consumers and farmers -- especially those feeding corn to pigs and chickens. Pollan also points out ingesting corn really isn't good for cattle.

In "The Omnivore's Dilemma," he makes the point that the government's 51-cents-a-gallon subsidy for ethanol has only encouraged farmers to grow more and more corn for the sake of growing more corn -- all of it requiring more fuel and fertilizer.

Is the Hydrogen Age Just Around the Corner?

You may think hydrogen power is some futuristic fantasy, fit only for science-fiction writers. Or, at best, you might consider it a promising technology that won't be ready for prime time for another 40 to 50 years. If so, think again. In a special edition on "Best Inventions 2006," Time magazine praises the decision by Shanghai-based Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies "to design and market the H-racer, a 6-inch-long toy car that does what Detroit still can't. It runs on hydrogen extracted from plain tap water, using the solar-powered hydrogen station."

Hydrogen vehicles are not mere toys. More than 500 are on the road today.

Land for Biofuel

In a city of 100,000 people, at a population density of 5,000 people per square mile (what used to be a high density suburb, but what the smart growth people now call eggregious sprawl), the city itself would consume 20 square miles. The land necessary to provide the inhabitants with 100% of their automotive fuel would consume an additional 190 square miles, a ratio of 9.5 to 1.0.

January 1st 2008: The Day Brazil Goes Biodiesel

The scene of petroleum gushing out of an accidental hole in arid land, as shown in Hollywood movies illustrating the time when the fossil fuel was discovered in United States ground, is not part of the Brazilian scenario. In Brazil, petroleum lies offshore.

However, cities such as Caarapó, in the midwestern Brazilian state of Mato Grosso Sul, and Alto Araguaia, in the state of Mato Grosso (also in the Midwest), not widely known to Brazilians, will soon have biodiesel pouring out like rain.

Somalia: Africa Oil Demands President's Signature for Puntland Project

A Canadian exploration firm with rights in Somalia's northern Puntland enclave has demanded the signature of interim President Abdullahi Yusuf before the exploration project can move forward, inside sources told Garowe Online.

Gambia: Oil Discovery for the Gambia is Another Hoax

The oil that never was. Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh has been lying about an oil discovery in the sores of the Gambia, but in reality there is no oil in this country. Mr. Jammeh should give up his unfinished lies for the sake of preserving the reputation of the Presidency. Gambians have long been treated as dummies by Jammeh. We can bet that come 2009, there wouldn't be any oil mining in The Gambia. Jammeh is just buying time. He has failed miserably as a leader.

Cash-Strapped Consumers

During the holiday shopping season, Americans bought fewer gifts while paying more for necessities. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, spending rose only 3.6 percent over the same period last year, the weakest performance in at least four years, according to early tallies from MasterCard Advisors, a unit of the credit card company. One-third of that increase was for gas purchases.

The Diminishing Demand For Dollars (Part I)

The value of a currency—if not clearly defined and maintained by a credible authority in what is called a fixed exchange rate regime — is determined by the relationship between the supply of that currency (in the case of the America dollar, determined by the Federal Reserve’s control over the ‘printing’ of money or creation of currency) and the demand for that currency (in the case of the American dollar, determined by how often the dollar is used in transactions for goods and services by individuals and institutions).

Because oil is denominated or officially priced in dollars, that important commodity has represented a significant demand for the dollar.

Soaring oil bills put pressure on Africa's fragile economies

When prices rise, it is the poor who suffer most. This year's surge in the oil price towards $100 a barrel has been no exception: it is a concern for rich countries but its greatest threat is to the poorest.

The oil shocks of the 1970s were one of the roots of the developing-country debt crisis of the 1980s. Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency, argues that as soaring oil import bills put pressure on fragile economies, there is a danger the pattern will be repeated.

He calculates that the additional cost of oil imports for his sample of 13 countries since 2004 is $10.6bn: equal to 3 per cent of their gross domestic product over that period. "It is a worrying trend," he said.

Playing That '70s Funk Again, but Not in a Good Way

Like fundamentalists forced to keep pushing back the date of the Rapture, environmental activists remain convinced of the current crisis; they're just not sure which will get us first, "peak oil" or global warming. Former oil analyst turned environmental zealot Jan Lundberg predicts the coming of a "final energy crisis" that rivals the most chilling denouements since the Book of Revelations. Once the price of oil reaches astronomic levels, he predicts, we'll see "End time for USA" and "the swiftest empire collapse in history."

Is there anything good to be drawn from this analogy? Sure. After all, the '70s didn't last forever. In the two decades that followed, minus a brief break in the early 1990s, the United States experienced pretty consistent economic growth. The scariest bogeymen of the 1970s -- Japan, the European Union, the Soviet Union -- all fared much worse.

Opening Your Energy Mailbag

By 2030, global demand will reach the equivalent of 115 million-120 million barrels of crude per day, but the world may not be able to produce more than 100 million barrels a day. The result likely will be disruptions and confrontations on a global scale. The term for this shortfall is "peak oil," and for too long it's been considered a concern of the lunatic fringe.

Slow down — to save both fuel and money

Engineers say the most efficient speed for a motor is somewhere between 30 and 55 mph. Beyond 60 mph, the fuel economy drops off substantially. The cost is only pennies per mile, but that amounts to a couple of bucks for an hour’s drive. Several studies show about a 12 percent reduction in gas consumption for those who slow from 75 mph to 60 mph.

Solar energy 'revolution' brings green power closer

The holy grail of renewable energy came a step closer yesterday as thousands of mass-produced wafer-thin solar cells printed on aluminium film rolled off a production line in California, heralding what British scientists called "a revolution" in generating electricity.

Solar's time to shine

In a place that calls itself the Sunshine State, you'd think everybody would be using solar energy. You'd think high utility costs would be an incentive to turn to a source that's free. But in a state with a population exceeding 18 million, only about 15,000 homeowners heat their swimming pools with solar, and there are several thousand domestic solar water heaters, according to the Florida Solar Energy Center.

Chevron shuts Australian oil fields due to cyclone

Oil major Chevron said on Saturday it has shut down operations at two of its oil fields off northwest Australia due to an approaching cyclone.

A Chevron spokesman said the evacuation of non-essential personnel was well-advanced and operations on Barrow and Thevenard Islands were being shut. The fields have a combined production of about 8,000 barrels per day.

'Indonesia to issues incentives for boosting oil output'

Indonesia's Finance Ministry announced new fiscal incentives on Saturday to boost the country's oil production, which is likely to be below this year's target.

Indonesia is expected to produce 899,000 barrels per day this year, below the target of 950,000 bpd in the 2007 budget.

China National Petroleum subsidiaries to pay billions for Central Asia gas pipeline

China's biggest oil company, China National Petroleum Corp., will spend US$2.2 billion (euro1.5 billion) to help build a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan that will eventually supply energy for booming cities such as Shanghai, a state news agency reported.

China's energy demands have soared, driven by annual economic growth that has exceeded 10 percent the past four years. Energy companies have signed a flurry of deals to explore for and develop oil and gas in former Soviet republics, Africa and elsewhere.

Russia Soon to Export Fuel Oil to North Korea

Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Alexander Losyukov announced that Russia is soon to export fuel oil to North Korea in exchange for the latter's actions on deactivation of nuclear objects.

BP refinery nears end of repairs

BP PLC’s Texas City refinery should be near full capacity in another four to six weeks, a company spokesman said Friday.

The refinery has been operating at about half its capacity of 470,000 barrels a day since March 2005, when a series of explosions killed 15 workers and injured almost 200 more. The end of repairs will have consequences not only for the company and industry as a whole, but also for Texas City, which will reach another milestone in a long and painful recovery from the disaster.

Detroit Considers Sale of City’s Small Parks

The Recreation Department’s master plan calls the proposal “park repositioning,” which officials promote as a clear-eyed way to look at necessary downsizing, a way to align park space with the significant demographic shifts over the last half-century in Detroit, which has lost about a million people since 1950.

But critics say it could further hurt downtrodden areas where parks are equally appreciated, and that green space is too precious to be bartered for money.

Fuel of War

"There is no doubt about our absolute and complete dependence upon oil. We have passed from the stone age, to bronze, to iron, to the industrial age, and now to an age of oil. Without oil, American civilization as we know it could not exist."
~Harold Ickes, America's first energy "czar" under Franklin Roosevelt

Life in Amerika's going to be tough without that cheap energy.

E. Swanson

very true. American civilization is an extensive meditation on the varieties and permutations of the hydrocarbon bond.

That may not be the best the Earth can come up with, and in the fullness of time, it is bound to be transient.

My question for 2008 -- can human intelligence come up with something better?

"My question for 2008 -- can human intelligence come up with something better?"

We function best in small groups and "something better" will need to incorporate that part of our psyche. If we do succeed in establishing something better, the trick would be to keep it from devolving back to globalism and corporatism.


I suspect lack of cheap, abundant energy will take care of that.

Complex societies have a lot of overhead. It's fossil fuels that have allowed our current complexity. I think we'll be hard-pressed to maintain globalism in the face of declining net energy.

The Romans did, after a fashion, for many centuries. However, they did it on the back of their forests, which in the lifetime of a human being is more or less fossil fuel.

A global elite will still be able to function well after "peak oil" and "peak forest" and the rest -- and they may continue to have the power to enslave the rest of us, though that is the stuff of science fiction.

But will anyone survive "peak air?"

I've no doubt other empires will arise. Temporarily, at least. But the kind of globalism we have now...I really doubt it.

any ideas?

There are plenty of ideas, but as long as the energy companies are making huge profits off of the status quo, there will be little money available to implement those new ideas.

Speaking of Plenty of Ideas, it seems many of the contributors to this blog represent a vast cross section of industries. It seems that every energy intensive industry, or ones that manufacture energy comsuming products, are in fact focusing a great deal of ingenuity on efficiency and cutting demand. Many fronts are advancing simultaneously, and perhaps a thread, or a string of posts can touch on some of these in order to shed some hope on softening the blow from demand outstripping supply.
I have some examples I've come across in my line of work I can share if there is an interest.


I heard there's this weird kind of element which makes a whole bunch of energy if you hit it really hard.

"We function best in small groups"
Probably, maybe.....depending on what level of complexity the groups agree to live.

We arrived at where we are now because "small groups", became provinces, countries and empires.

That we will probably devolve into small groups again to my mind is quite frightening, given the current populations and limited resources.

The lines along which the small groups decide to form themselves, will establish the battle lines in conflicts over everything that has been thus far suppressed by enforcible laws, higher education, high employment and free trade among others.

That small groups will form along lines of ethnicity, religion and other beliefs and that they will be perceived by other groups as being "a threat", due to what they control with resources and their practices, can only lead to conflicts on a scale we have read about in history books.

The bigger the small group you have and the bigger the amount of resources you control and can protect, will be the safest survival strategy.

I know there are utopian views of how the world will look and behave as populations decline due to the affects of peak oil, I don't mind hearing them, I just find them hard to believe considering human nature.

Thinking of existing groups in the U.S. as models for future survival bands, cults and 'organizations' which might form.

Ex Military
Apocryphal religious groups
Ethnic and non ethnic Gangs

Yeah I'm not too Utopian either.

The first two have a huge overlap, and the first four would surely find a way to work together.

Yes we seem to go to a lot of trouble to be sure that nearly everyone in U.S. society has an opportunity to familiarize themselves with weapons and become skilled in their use. The video game thing too.
And we musn't forget WT's FWOs (formerly well offs)suburbanites who generally have hunting (or paintball) skills.

Yes, the first two have a huge overlap. Maybe the first four would work together somewhere...Not around here. Bikers around here dont hold cops in general in high regard. Some individual cops are well thought of...because they are seen as fair and they are as contemptous of some stupid laws as most bikers. The militias are wannabe cops attempting to gain control of their individual little fiefdoms via anarchy. The bikers would eradicate them.

Human intelligence has already come up with many things that if implemented would give us 'something better.' Intelligence is not the limiting factor. What does limit us are political institutions and deeply embedded economic systems that give free reign to out natural instincts toward greed, selfishness, domination and the lust for power. Basically, our very natue is working against us.

I've heard it said that it remains to be seen whether man's superior intelligence over the long run will turn out to be a successful survival trait. If we destroy all civilization in a nuclear holocaust or wreck the earth's life support structure, then the answer would be NO.

Roaches, rats, and sharks have over millions of years already proven their success as species. Humans have been at the survival game for only a small fraction of that time and appear to be exhibiting some increasingly self-destructive tendencies. The prognosis is not encouraging.

Maybe a massive die-off and collapse of human civilization will be nature's way of 'resetting the timers', so to speak. However, responsible men and women of good will have no choice but to keep bailing even though the ship appears to be sinking. One thing that is NOT in human nature is to give up.

part of the concept of "intelligence" has got to be the creation of political and economic systems.

The individual intelligence which is so strikingly apparent in small groups and among isolated geniuses has to be extended to a wider sphere. Evidence for that is regrettably hard to find "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" -- but I guess as you say, we have to keep looking. Human beings are mostly not quitters, but sometimes I wonder if tenacity and intelligence are somehow inversely proportional in the human psyche. It sometimes seems like the most perceptive among us are the first to become depressed and withdraw from the fray.

joule, evolutionary psychologists suggest that psychological depression evolved as a way of getting animals to conserve energy when confronted with an unwinnable situation.

My point: maybe Americans need to 'give up'. IMO Americans are 'human doings', not 'human beings'. They need to do a lot less mindless activity, which would cut fossil fuel consumption deeply and quickly.

I'll also suggest the invention and widespread use of antij-depressants is one part of the machine that has enslaved most Americans. If they weren't medicated up the wazoo, they would experience depression appropriate to the situation we find ourselves in. If we do get a fast crash, one of the positive feedbacks that will turn it runaway will be unavailability/inability to afford psychoactive meds.

Just an idea...

Errol in Miami

edit: Maybe investing in booze and cigarettes would be a good crash stategy.

I tend to agree with much of what you've said.

Being bummed out is a perfectly sane reaction to a hopeless situation. On the other hand, being cheerful and smiley when you have absolutely no reason to is a sign that you either don't understand the situation or are psychotic.

Most people don't take radical action until they've become so pissed off and/or desperate that they no longer care about the consequences. There is often greater value in negative thinking than in 'positive thinking', as the positive thinker often deludes himself that things will work out when he has absolutely no rational reason for believing so. For example, in Germany during the mid-1930s it was the Jews who were negative thinkers that fled Germany and thus escaped the Holocaust, whereas the positive thinkers figured that Hitler wouldn't last and thus perished.

Having people tranquilized 24/7 helps them tolerate situations they should not have to tolerate and thus prevents radical action. I find the current US practice of heavily medicating school-age children for totally normal childhood behavioral 'problems' to be a very evil thing indeed and an indication of how bankrupt the US public education system is and how grotesque modern American society has become. The thing I find surprising is not that there have been a number Columbine High incidents but that there are not a lot more of them.

''...The best way to take control over a people and control them utterly is to take a little of their freedom at a time, to erode rights by a thousand tiny and almost imperceptible reductions. In this way the people will not see those rights and freedoms being removed until past the point at which these changes cannot be reversed''...

- Adolf Hitler

This was certainly true in Germany in the 30's. For all, but first of all, for the Jews.

The Polish branch of my Wife's family had this choice in the 30's.

Stay or leave.

Two young, enterprising Poles left. One , a lecturer in metallurgy, the other a concert grade pianist.

The first was happy to clerk in the Sheffield steel industry. The second was happy to carve a living as a jobbing piano tutor.

Both ultimately carved a serious business for themselves.

My wife's Grandmother entertained General Sikorsky and his staff on an illegally reared and roasted pig in 1943

The others (100+) that remained in Poland 'disappeared'...

Some by Germans, Some by Russians.

No matter...'Scratched by a cat or bitten by a dog - the pain is the same'...

My daughter did a recital of Chopin after Christmas Lunch this year.

At least as good as her Grandmother or even perhaps her
Great - Grandmother

Success is (always) the best revenge.

Dont ever take it lying down.

Vote if you can, shoot if you cant, run if you can do neither.

By 1939 there were very few Jews left in Germany whether positive thinker or negative thinker. The main impediment to Jewish emmigration in the 30's was finding a country that would let them in.

I think USSR was open for them (most of USSR political elite at that time was Jewish I believe). My wife's grand-grand father came to USSR from Poland back them.

USSR political elite was not Jewish. I haven't studied their immigration policy. I suppose people fled Poland in any direction they could.

USSR was a pretty anti-semitic place but so was Poland, and Germany, and Romania, and etc.

They were not Jews.

They were middle class Poles.

They were targets by both sides.

I'd normalcy pass over this kind $%/#. But I've allwas thought you to be one of our better posters. So.
"There is often greater value in negative thinking than in 'positive thinking', as the positive thinker often deludes himself that things will work out when he has absolutely no rational reason for believing so'."
Don't confuse 'positive thinking' with stupidity. I hate stupid people and get depressed when I think about them. much ancient thought revolves around positive thought. Hell, Buddha sat for seven years in a cave and found the ultimate positive thought. Hows that for a carbon foot print.
I don't think Hitler was a positive thinker but think MLK Jr. was.
If you want to be bummed out go ahead, what ever makes you happy.
I've found the key to being happy is just being happy.
Nelson Mandela used this in one of his speeches.
I'd like yo end my sermon with this
Out of positive thought comes positive action and we desperately need that. I don't think the Black Water solution is a positive one.


In his book "Authentic Happiness", Dr Martin E P Seligman writes of research indicating that while pessimists tend to be less happy than optimists, the pessimists have a more accurate perception of reality. In other words, as a generality positive thinkers do indeed delude themselves.

Also, as I understand it, Buddha's big insights were:
1 Life is suffering
2 The cause of suffering is attachment to things, people, and outcomes
Quite the happy-face, that Mr Buddha!

The pessimists of a society have their purpose; our time is now.

Errol in Miami

I think the big insights were:

1. there is suffering
2. the causes of suffering are attachment
3. there can be an end to suffering
4. the steps one takes to end suffering

Great response
I'm not optimistic about our societies future at all. The whole thing is real messed up. ( that's as politely as I can put it)
This is a tricky subject, bordering on the theological. I personally think we can be pessimistic and still try to do the right thing. Are you familiar with the stories of people coming across villages wiped out by famine but upon entering houses they found the stores of seed grain intact? That's the situation I think we are facing. I'd like to work toward something better after all this bleep goes down and I think that will take positive thought/action.
As far as Dr. Seligman goes. Well, is this book worth reading? Because I think I have happiness figured out, if you want to be happy then be happy

I've heard it said that it remains to be seen whether man's superior intelligence over the long run will turn out to be a successful survival trait.

what is man's superior intelligence? is that the inventiveness in tool and gadget making? or the long range thinking and the ability to act against man's own instinct and desire? only if people could understand these few letters that have around for 2500 years: 绝学无忧

Nh3, your four words did not come through so I have no idea what they are. But it seems that you do not understand the term "man's superior intelligence".

Here is how it works. Every species have survival techniques, or something that gives them an advantage. The eagle has flight and telescopic vision. The vulture has flight and a superior sense of smell. The tiger has speed, fangs, strength and so on.

Homo sapiens have one main survival mechanism, their wits. Homo sapiens cannot run very fast, little strength and being the only primate without an opposing big toe, cannot even climb very well. Homo sapiens are the only non-arboreal ape. We have only our wits to aid us in survival.

As a species we compete with every other species on earth for territory and resources. And we are winning….big time! We are the most successful species ever to evolve. We are taking territory and resources from every other species on earth.

But our wits gear us only for individual or tribal survival. Of course, as all species do, we must compete with those of our own species. Now that our resources are about to go into decline, that battle will likely become very bloody. We will no longer be matching wits with other species, but matching wits with our own species in our battle for survival. It will be nasty, very nasty.

Ron Patterson

I quite agree.

Having given up hope for meaningful societal cooperation on the "triumvarate of collapse", I visit this site for information that might give me a comparative advantage. The matching of wits you describe has already started, and I intend to use my intelligence for the purpose it evolved.

Errol in Miami

Now that our resources are about to go into decline, that battle will likely become very bloody.

The problem with that argument, is that humans have always fought over resources, in the form of territory. According to your theory, now that most areas of the world are occupied, and there is maximum pressure for space, we should be in the midst of very bloody global warfare, but we are not.

One significant feature of humans, perhaps brought by having intelligence, is the remarkable ability to cooperate and live in dense populations with non-kin neighbours. In most species this would be a recipe for intense conflict, but not in humans. Only in some cases do ethnic rivalries flare up into conflict, for the most part people see the benefit of cooperating instead of fighting.

In addition, war requires resources. Studies have shown that guerilla warfare occurs where a resource is available to fund it, eg. diamonds. Without resources, countries simply cannot afford to fight. Any major wars that are likely to occur (i.e. with the US involved) are likely to be quick and one sided.

I would argue the exact opposite is equally likely, i.e. that we could see unprecedented global cooperation. In practice, I expect a similar level of warfare and cooperation that we have now.

HI Bob,

This is really interesting.

re: "I would argue the exact opposite is equally likely, i.e. that we could see unprecedented global cooperation."

It would take some time to dig up references on relative levels of violence throughout history, and I'm not familiar with them (just know they exist).

It's a great idea to turn the assumptions around - to look at the high levels of cooperation that do exist, and, as something I think about - the number of non-profits in the US, for eg.

We saw the unprecedented demonstrations worldwide prior to the US invasion of Iraq, as an example of people wishing to cooperate and avoid bloodshed.


Looks like an awesome game ... with references to "Peak Oil" and the "Long Emergency" it seems the developers did their homework.

It's this type of media that has the potential to reach an audience that doesn't normally read blogs or view documentaries.

I'll have to get the game.

I've been thinking about getting it, too. Haven't gotten around to downloading the demo yet, but I've been meaning to. If it's any good, I will buy the full game.

As far as I can tell, PO provides the backstory for the game, but I can't see anywhere in the write ups where this affects the gameplay. It appears to be about the shooting. There is a suggestion that advancing the frontline gives access to bonuses, but this is rather trivial.

A lot of RTS games have the concept of a resource that you must gain access to to win, e.g. Command Conquer, but in these it is pretty simplistic, and generally assumes there to be an unlimited supply of the resource.

Sid Meiers Alpha Centauri was interesting and much more advanced in many ways, in the way it handled gaining resources and impacts in terms of environmental damage. It is disappointing that since SMAC there really hasn't been anything similar, if there was I missed it.

S'okay, I love first-person shooter games anyway. I've played them ever since the original DOOM. (Which also had a peak oil basis. The gate to hell was accidentally opened by a corporation searching for a replacement for Earth's exhausted hydrocarbons.)

So I might buy it even if it wasn't peak oil related. And who knows, maybe there are some peak oil-related easter eggs, etc.

My personal favorite was "Redneck Rampage." No mention of Peak Oil or societal collapse, but lots of moonshine, stuff blowin' up "real good" and mutant rednecks turned into zombies by an alien takeover of Arkansas.
Not to be confused with the Huckabee campaign.

SubKommander Dred

You sit here and read TOD and you picture the people on the other side of these handles, and.....well, I never pictured you, Leanan, to be a first-person-shooter game enthusiast. ya just never know.

I lean towards Half-Life myself, but haven't played in years.


I don't play them as much as I used to. Partly because I have more important things to do, partly because my computer is not quite up to it any more.

Five years ago, my computer was a gamer's dream. Now, it's not really adequate for new games like BioShock. Before peak oil reared its ugly head, I would have long since headed to Alienware and bought a new system (preferably with three monitors). Now, that just doesn't seem prudent - financially or environmentally. The computer I have is perfectly adequate for anything but games (including some pretty high-end engineering applications), so I can't really justify buying a new one yet.

Endwar also features the looming energy crunch and a resurgent Russia as major plot points:


The trailer alone is well worth the download. It has stuck with me despite the fact the energy situation will never allow a truly effective ICBM shield, put the "Rods from God" into service, dust off the Commanche helicopter, or get the Osprey to work reliably enough for a combat environment.

There has been some discussion lately about decline rates. I did a quick calculation of North Sea decline rates according to the EIA’s International Petroleum Monthly, spreadsheet 1.1d and found these decline rates.

2003 decline rate 4.67 percent
2004 decline rate 5.71 percent
2005 decline rate 9.01 percent
2006 decline rate 8.39 percent

But keep in mind that this was the rate for the entire North Sea even though some new production was coming on line every year. So the decline rate for only the mature fields was far greater, probably in the range of 12% to 15%. In 2007 the UK had the Buzzard field come on line and Norway recently had five new fields come on line. (Though production from three of them has been reported as “disappointing”.) When the average for 2007 is posted in early March, the North Sea will still show a decline but due to these new fields it will not likely be as great.

A 2004 report showed that for the past six years Oman’s Yibal field had been declining at a rate of 12% per year.

According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Assurance Daily of December 28, Cantrell is declining at 23% per year.

Mexico’s November Crude Oil Production Down 8.2 Percent as Cantrell Oilfield Continues Decline
According to a report on the website of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the state-owned company’s oil production fell 8.2 percent in November from the same month last year. November output fell to 2.9 million b/d, down from 3.16 million b/d a year earlier. The fall has been attributed to the company’s inability to stem or replace declining output from the Cantrell oil field, the country’s largest field. According to Mexico’s Energy Information Agency, the Cantrell field’s November production fell 23 percent from a year earlier to 1.28 million barrels a day.

I recently read a report that said Alaska’s oil was declining at a rate of 6% though I cannot pull up that report right now.

In conclusion it seems to me that the average decline rate for mature offshore fields is in the range of 12 to 23% while onshore mature fields decline at an average rate of 6% to 12%. However this is only during the “collapse” phase of their decline. After their collapse they seem to have a long tail where very little oil is produced but the decline rate is in the range of 1% to 5% per year.

Ron Patterson

Matt Simmons defines the gross decline rate as the decline rate from existing production. The net decline rate is after new wells, enhanced recovery techniques, etc. The net decline rate for the Lower 48, about -2%/year year, is probably the best case for the world, since we had intensive drilling and enhanced recovery efforts in the Lower 48.

In addition, as Memmel and others have pointed out, MRC (horizontal) wells to some extent have probably had the effect of "borrowing" oil that would normally be produced a later date, which would result in a steeper decline rate.

Offsetting all of the above, we do have the contributions from nonconventional production, but like many others, I anticipate that it will just lower the net decline rate.

This is an amazing article about Natural gas and Oil prices

"In a world where oil and gas prices have decoupled in the way I have described, it makes economic sense to bail out of gas producers like Rider Resources. Put your money into companies developing pollution-intense resources like the oil sands. And let the global environment absorb the cost."

This guy isn't serious, is he? I mean, is this some kind a sick joke? If not, I hope he has a long and miserable life. When he dies as a resident of an increasingly polluted and toxic planet, he can use that quote for his epitaph. Whatever humans are left can use it as a guide to find his grave, so they can all breakdance on it...

SubKommander Dred

I dont think you have read the article. He was implying that was what is likely to happen given the current pricing situation. he was not advocating it. He implied that investment in NG was suffering for a variety of reasons.

This is huge.

"November output fell to 2.9 million b/d, down from 3.16 million b/d a year earlier. The fall has been attributed to the company’s inability to stem or replace declining output from the Cantrell oil field, the country’s largest field. According to Mexico’s Energy Information Agency, the Cantrell field’s November production fell 23 percent from a year earlier to 1.28 million barrels a day."

Mexico has 4 years left.

But that's a linear scenario. Less considering
positive feedback loops.

A Non linear scenario becomes more likely.

Such as Mexico has to decide between the US
and its domestic market even as it's deal
with the US calls for it to import its gasoline from US.

It works like this. IF Cantrell continued to decline at 23% then the output would be, in millions of barrels per day:

2007 1.28
2008 0.99
2009 0.76
2010 0.58
2011 0.45
2012 0.35
2013 0.27
2014 0.21

Of course there is no rule that says that a 23% decline rate must be maintained. It could be 15% or it could go to 30%.

Ron Patterson

Still 4 years left.
Notice as, you stated, fields never go to zero.

There's always an indefinite "tail".

At 2010 and 580 k bpd, the damage is done.

Cantarell is no longer a King.

700 000 bpd will have to be replaced.

15% only comes from pulling out the oil faster which means
the decline after 4 years will be more severe.

Thanx for the clarification on the 23% decline rate.

buzzard, always buzzard...

Buzzard is a piss-ant, tiny little field.


Think in terms of the Northern North Sea complex , or the Central North Sea Complex.

Look at the geology of the Viking Graben.

Then bear in mind this phrase:

'Flogging a dead horse'.

This is just the usual cherry-picking exercise. The North Sea, Yibal and Cantarell constitute a miniscule fraction of the total number of wells currently producing. You can't extrapolate from such a small, highly-biased sample to the performance of larger groups and the aggregate.

I know a few people who are in a rapid terminal decline. That doesn't imply that everyone will decline rapidly, or that someday everyone will decline rapidly and simultaneously, or that the aggregate will decline rapidly.

" the usual cherry-picking exercise" ..........ok, how bout you cherry pick a few new fields that will replace the decline in these giants.............report back here.

Those new fields are listed here:

Playing That '70s Funk Again, but Not in a Good Way
By Joel Kotkin
Sunday, December 30, 2007; Page B05


"Finally, the United States, alone among the major advanced industrial countries, continues to produce children: Our fertility rate is the highest in the advanced industrial world."

Right, and he thinks this is a good thing and it is a sign that we will continue to prosper and be able to solve our problems?

At what point will the universities that hand out degrees to such obviously undeserving candidates start taking them back?

Joel Kotkin is a presidential fellow at Chapman University and the author of "The City: A Global History."

"our" fertility rate?

Just exactly who is producing all those children?

The demographics of the USA are undergoing a striking evolution. This place will never be the same!

Yeah, I can picture an Amerindian blogger posting just the same message back in the 1700's...

And they would have been 100% correct, would they not?

Yes, that was my point: NeverLNG's "people" have about as much claim to your country as the latest wave of immigrants do.

It has occurred to me that the US is as much as "artificial nation" as Pakistan or Iraq.

as an outsider I have thought this for many years - i remember in 2000 recognizing the US as a rogue nation contained by the international community - shackles broken post 9/11

but in debate with friends, back then, we came to the conclusion that the strength of the US compared to many countries is the non-regional nature of the military making the fault lines for a fragmentation slightly less easy to exploit...

...but even without Peak Oil i don't see the US having a long term future as the nation it was when i came here in 1999

I hope this is not a repost..


Shortly after midnight on Nov. 8, four armed men broke into the Pelindaba nuclear facility 18 miles west of Pretoria, a site where hundreds of kilograms of weapons-grade uranium are stored. According to the South African Nuclear Energy Corp., the state-owned entity that runs the Pelindaba facility, these four "technically sophisticated criminals" deactivated several layers of security, including a 10,000-volt electrical fence, suggesting insider knowledge of the system. Though their images were captured on closed-circuit television, they were not detected by security officers because nobody was monitoring the cameras at the time.

That is pretty unnerving. The attack was foiled by a guy who was keeping his girlfriend company, hanging around when he wasn't supposed to be there. Sounds more like something that would happen on a night shift at McDonald's than at a nuclear power plant.

It is not clear that it is a power plant even though the site is run by the South African Nuclear Energy Corp. There would not be any weapons grade Uranium at a power plant (90+% compared to 2-3% for fuel). Seems to be where they store material from the countries now discontinued weapons program. An operating power plant would harder to break into than a storage site.

They do lots of stuff there: reactor fuel fabrication and storage, weapons grade nuclear materials storage, intermediate level waste storage, nuclear research and fabrication of various sorts, isotope production, and the "Safari 1", a 20MW swimming pool type reactor. Prior to disarming it was the production, and apparently storage site, for S. Africa's bombs.

Very much not the place for uninvited "guests" :(

Say these words..
'An operating power plant would harder to break into than a storage site.'

then click your heels together three times, and it'll be true!

"these four "technically sophisticated criminals" deactivated several layers of security, including a 10,000-volt electrical fence, suggesting insider knowledge of the system."

With high rewards undoubtedly available, and great, worldwide desire for weapons grade Uranium .. With America's arsenal and our hypocrisy rejuvenating the greatest 'Armament Incentive Program' the world has ever seen, I don't see any great guarantees that the shape our country increasingly is in today will hold the required security systems together.

I like this graphic of powering cars by electricity vs hydrogen. Any thoughts?


It's missing capital costs of battery materials and hydrogen storage and sources of raw materials (water vs. LIon). All the copper(creation costs) for electric engines vs. repurposing internal combustion engines with H. In the end though, it's going to be tough to convince me personal auto transport is anything but a pipe dream.

As I have pointed out before the Hydrogen Economy is a huge hoax. This certainly shows it cannot be a viable alternative to hydrocarbon liquid fuels. Direct electric cars might have some potential, but so far the big problem to engineer, if possible, is the batteries in mass production.

Either one, though, only tries to give the appearance that the current party can continue as is, almost uninterupted, by going to one of these two alternatives. That's the biggest con job.

The graphic ignores the question of "Can a marketable battery or fuel cell vehicle be built?" in terms of range, performance, space available for occupants, price, etc.

While I agree that hydrogen is less efficient, I have some real questions as to whether or not battery vehicles can provide what the consumer wants at a price the consumer is willing to pay. I think hydrogen powered vehicles can provide the type of vehicle desired, the question of price to be determined.

Please keep in mind that the energy consumed while traveling is only a portion of the cost of operating a vehicle.

Even today it is cheaper to buy electricity instead of gasoline to power your vehicle. When deciding on a new technology to power vehicles you need to look at more than just the well to wheel efficiency.

It's a great graph. This is what I alway think when I hear hydrogen. Hydrogen might work with coal, but with renewable EROEI has to be negative.

As far a battery, the problem is durability. Battery will last about one year (I think) and after that will have to be replaced. Right now these batteries are very expensive.

Pardon the intrusion.

Please review the Best Of TheOilDrum.com Index and reply with articles I've missed:


P.S. I know articles on hydrogen are missing...
Peak Oil, Climate Change and Business
Free, Bi-Weekly Executive Briefing

Stuart's articles on climate change. Engineer-Poet's bit on biomass electricity. And many more!

One of my favorite unsung TOD articles is Mike Hearn's Interesting Economics. It explains, among other things, why usury (charging interest on a loan) was considered a sin as bad as murder in the steady-state economies of the ancient world, and explores some alternate ideas.

We're so accustomed to usury now that we can't imagine life without it. People seem to assume it's a natural law of the universe or something. It's not.

And yes, this whole topic is very much related to sustainability.

Hi, Leanan.

Perfect...I'm not sure I would have found that without your help. It's an excellent article. There is now an economics headings in the index.


You placed my USA -2034 article under transportation but it is more than that. It is a comprehensive overview of what we could do and how society could react, so "Energy Overview" seems more appropriate.

Best Hopes,


Agreed...I moved it.

U.S. new-home sales plunge, prices slide

The United States housing market plunged deeper into despair last month, with sales of new homes plummeting to the lowest level in more than 12 years.

The slump worsened even more than most analysts expected, heightening fears that the country might be thrust into a recession.

New-home sales tumbled 9 per cent in November from October to a seasonally adjusted annual sales pace of 647,000, the commerce department said yesterday. That was the worst sales pace since April 1995.

"It was ugly," said Richard Yamarone, an economist at Argus Research. "It is the one sector of the economy that doesn't show any signs of life. It doesn't look like there is any resuscitation in store for housing over the next year."

"The slump worsened even more than most analysts expected"

going non linear.

Housing has only just begun to crash ....

The amount of empty housing around here is amazing, this place is well over 2000 sq ft and there are two of us, could easily put in 2 more without too much trouble. Lots of empty places around here, prices going down, down, down....

So many 2nd houses, so many people living with 1000 sq ft living space each.

In the late 80s recession I saw regular ol' non-immigrant people living 2 and 3 to a studio apartment, and it worked out OK.

In fact if the dieoff goes as planned, we have now more housing stock than we'll need ever.

In the future people will be mining these vacant homes for raw materials.

RE: Solars Time To Shine...

An interesting read about why all in Florida should run out and purchase solar hot water systems...As usual, no thought or comment was given to the state of finances of the homeowners and renters nor to those owning rental properties that have recently been slammed by large increases in property taxes, new fees on services, and huge increases in insurance premiums...Not to mention inflation in fuel, food, etc. Many home owners and renters in Florida are retirees that are living on fixed incomes and some are barely making ends meet month to month. Below I have included a link to all counties in Florida that illustrates, among other things, how much occupants are paying for housing as a % of their incomes...It is an eye opener for those touting sales of solar to all. One other little matter must be considered when thinking of adding roof panels to homes in Florida...hurricanes. If one adds solar to ones roof they must be insured because they will, in time, be blown away...This will add to the already heavy insurance burden of occupants. So in conclusion, solar will be available to those that need the energy savings least.


I have broken out Volusia County and Orange County. In Volusia you can see that > 25% of the population are paying 30% to > 50% of their income for just housing. In Orange County (Orlando) the situation is worse, with > 1/3 of dwellers paying 30% to > 50% for just housing.

Households by Cost Burden, Volusia County, 2005

Amount of Income Paid for Housing
0-30% 30-50% 50% or more
Total 149345 32044 25343
Note: Housing Needs Assessment - Population and Household Projection Methodology User Guide.
Click here to get household projections by tenure, age of householder, income, and cost burden.
Source: Not Available.

Household Income
In the following table, household income is measured as a percentage of the median income for the county or area, adjusted for family size. In Volusia and the surrounding metro area, the HUD-estimated median income for a family of four is $49900 in 2007.
Households by Income and Cost Burden, Volusia, 2005

Household Income as Percentage of Area Median Income Amount of Income Paid for Housing
0-30% 30-50% 50% or more
<=30% AMI 4575 2574 11062
30.01-50% AMI 6684 6381 8149
50.01-80% AMI 20197 11966 4028
80.01+% AMI 117889 11123 2104
Total 149345 32044 25343
Note: Housing Needs Assessment - Population and Household Projection Methodology User Guide.
Click here to get household projections by tenure, age of householder, income, and cost burden.
Source: Not Available.

Households by Cost Burden, Orange County, 2005

Amount of Income Paid for Housing
0-30% 30-50% 50% or more
Total 271494 70333 47962
Note: Housing Needs Assessment - Population and Household Projection Methodology User Guide.
Click here to get household projections by tenure, age of householder, income, and cost burden.
Source: Not Available.

Household Income
In the following table, household income is measured as a percentage of the median income for the county or area, adjusted for family size. In Orange and the surrounding metro area, the HUD-estimated median income for a family of four is $54900 in 2007.
Households by Income and Cost Burden, Orange, 2005

Household Income as Percentage of Area Median Income Amount of Income Paid for Housing
0-30% 30-50% 50% or more
<=30% AMI 9442 3728 22696
30.01-50% AMI 9001 14997 16073
50.01-80% AMI 34876 29136 6600
80.01+% AMI 218175 22472 2593
Total 271494 70333 47962
Note: Housing Needs Assessment - Population and Household Projection Methodology User Guide.
Click here to get household projections by tenure, age of householder, income, and cost burden.
Source: Not Available.

Greetings from Florida, River.

As one who is about to throw down on a 5.2kW PV system to capitalize on the 4 $/W (up to $20,000) rebate offered by the State of Florida, I would like to comment on your post.

Firstly, one of the things that was not mentioned in that article, is that the rebate is for a fixed amount (currently about 1.5 Million dollars left in the fund for the PV) and a fixed time frame (expires in June, 2008). This in itself would prevent "everybody" from running out and purchasing a system. In fact, when I recently told a friend about what I was about to do, her comment was, "why isn't Florida going broke?"...then I told her about the restrictions. So, regardless of the bias of the article, the rebate system itself is not touting “solar for everybody”, otherwise it would have a budget of billions instead of millions.

Secondly, in conversations with co-workers, my wife, and local PV installers, I came to the conclusion that if a hurricane comes, I will simply remove the panels from my roof. People often forget that hurricanes aren't exactly sudden. One sees them coming for days. I would be more nervous about a tornado taking them out....or hail...neither of which is confined to Florida. Hurricanes are the least of my worries.

Thirdly, I am not retired.

Fourthly, I need the energy savings just as much as the next guy. From that comment, I'm guessing that what you are saying is that the poor need energy savings more than the well off? I’d like you to clarify that one? Because from my perspective, if the guy down the street produces his own electricity…..we all benefit, regardless of how much money we make, or whether or not we benefit monetarily from the electricity being produced.

Lastly, on a personal note, ...I'm just thinking that when the time comes for people to realize that they need a PV system....there might be a 2 year waiting list. I'm just trying to be proactive. I'm hoping that the program will get renewed next year (rumor is it will), and I'm hoping that there will not be communication between this year’s program and next year's program so that I can buy another 5kW system with another rebate.

EntropyBrain. Thanks for your response. It is nice to know what others in Fl are doing. Congrats that you are not retired.

My post was not intended primarily for individuals that are taking advantage of the help that the State of Fl is offering with installation of solar.

The object of my post was to point out how many people in Fl cannot take advantage of the solar help that the state is offering because of their financial circumstances. Once again, it is the problem of socializing costs (in this case rebates to solar users, who are well off enough to afford the system). Of course the money for the rebates to people such as yourself will be born by all taxpayers, even though all taxpayers cannot afford the solar systems...And, yes, the poor need to save money on energy more than you do for a greater % of their income goes to energy than does that of the wealthy. To be fair the state should have constructed they rebates on a sliding scale that would level the playing field for all.

I do not intend to attempt to make you feel guilty for taking advantage of the help that the state is offering. More power to you, full steam ahead. I could afford to have the solar systems installed if I chose to do so but I am not going to.

One item of you're post that intrigued me was your casual approach to hurricanes and the statement that 'I will simply take down the system if a hurricane approaches'...Well, it isnt that simple. If you have a shingled roof in Florida and you walk around on it in the heat of summer it will soon begin to leak. If you have a tile roof and walk on it you will probably break some tiles...and it will leak. A flat tar and chip roof will take more walking than any other in Fl. When we have another busy hurricane season you are going to be a busy beaver and risk roof damage that will probably cost more to repair than the solar will save you.

“Solar energy 'revolution' brings green power closer”

This article brings up something that I have thinking about and studying …will this be a driving factor in pressure to lower traditional silicon PV pricing?

I work in the solar energy field and see wholesale prices and some insider technologies, one thing bothers me is the secrecy with Nanosolar. Most of the thin film technologies are starting to be available at the distributor levels as they come online or directly from the manufacture for large projects. I get 3 to 4 press releases and requests for bids/proposals for solar projects in my email per day. If Nanosolar’s manufactured output stock is spoken for through ’09 and it is the mass volumes they are touting, I don’t see that chatter from within. This makes me skittish as I am hopeful they do as they say.

Demand for solar electric panel stock is screaming right now and the trend is to be more in the near future. Just to be assured of supplies some manufactures are requiring signed purchase agreements just to get your hands on PV panels for our customers. The supply is tight and is driving prices at the wholesale level big time. On a percentage bases the touted production levels of Nanosolar would make an impact of available PV panels to draw from at the wholesale level for planned projects and retail demand you would think. I don’t see it as of yet. It may show to ease supply bottlenecks in ’08 and ease pricing. Right now in a ‘big picture point of view’ I don’t see this making a big impact of lowering the cost of solar. The demand is bigger than the supply across the board. If I was a silicon based manufacture of PV you would think they might be worried because of their overhead, but I don’t see that either. Evergreen Solar has yet to turn a profit on their hybrid silicon process.

Just thinking out loud, trying to figure out grid parity pricing for solar in our engineering and biz models, budget meetings all week.

As far as I can tell, there are numerous ventures going on worldwide in order to increase silicon grade ouptput in large scales. The silicon based solar cell is as well still on the way to become cheaper (i.e. making it thinner and producing it in larger autmated factories).

The technology is developing, but I don't think there are some revolutionary inventions on the way which will suddenly make PV electricity very cheap (even so, the market has been seller's market and will sustain to be so for quite a long time).

For me, the PV is probably one of the key industrial products of this century. It is scalable, can be applied without mechanic (less maintenance), makes no noise an can be placed on many surfaces, especially on roofs.

Certainly, the PV will not solve any problems caused by Peak Energy in the near and medium prospect, however it is on a very good way to reclaim - at least a little bit - energy independence from the big utilities and from the energy exporting nations like Russia.

The really intersting times will start with grid parity. And this will be achieved next decade.

As with batteries, I can suspect that there will be new PV discoveries, but I wouldn't take Nanosolar's claims at face value for some time yet. 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is..'

The big worry I have with these 'vapor-thin' PV solutions, is that their durability will run hand-in-hand with their gauge. Again, it's going to be 'Wait and See'..

as my sister said to me in the just-completed home.. "It'll be a long time before this is an old house.."

Some PV Chemistries (and their laminates/sealants) have already proved themselves. Expensive, but worth it in simplicity, durability, reliability.


FWIW, Another POV on the biofuels vs. food issue:

The Renewable Fuels Foundation (“RFF”) commissioned Informa Economics, Inc. (“Informa”) to conduct such an assessment, and the results are contained in this report.

Analysis of Potential Causes of Consumer Food Price Inflation (pdf)

Selected key points from the executive summary:

An analysis was performed to quantify the historical price relationships between corn prices and livestock, poultry, egg, and milk prices, and the results showed weak correlations. With these low correlations, it is statistically unsupported to suggest that high and/or rising corn prices are the causative reason behind high and rising
retail meat, egg and milk product prices. Moreover, the upward trend in cattle, hog and poultry prices began in the late 1990s, well before the corn price began to increase significantly. Notably, dairy and egg prices have been driven higher mainly by strong export demand.

More generally, there has historically been very little relationship between corn prices and consumer food prices. Statistical relationships are weak even when corn price data are lagged to allow time for them to work their way through the food supply chain. The corn price would be considered a statistically insignificant variable in determining what drives the food CPI.

Sub-indices of the food CPI are reported for the major food product categories. It was investigated whether the price of corn has a greater influence on these subindices than the overall food CPI. However, similar to the case with the overall food CPI, the relationship with the product sub-indices is generally weak.

Given the weak correlation between corn prices and consumer food prices, it can be hypothesized that a considerable proportion of the impact of corn price changes is absorbed by participants in the value chains for meats, poultry and other corn-based food products. This does not necessarily mean that margins within the value chain are low or negative, but rather that they are lower than they would be in the absence of higher corn prices.

In summary, the statistical evidence does not support a conclusion that the growth in the ethanol industry is driving consumer food prices higher. This is demonstrated by
the fact that the R-squared statistic between nearby corn futures prices on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and the food CPI is only 0.04, which means that only 4% of the change in the food CPI is “explained” by fluctuations in nearby corn futures prices. Even when the corn price is lagged to allow for the effects to work their way through the food supply chain, the statistical results do not improve. It can be concluded that no single factor is the driver of consumer food prices over time – or the moderately higher-than-average inflation during the first three quarters of 2007 – but rather there is a complex and interrelated set of factors that contribute to food prices.

Interesting piece by Matthew Parris in The Times about the collective feeling that something apocalyptic is in the offing.
He concludes not, at least not in 2008 but worth reading anyway

"To atone for our mistakes — wars, global warming, whatever - we subconsciously long for catastrophic punishment"


I wonder if some of our dark feelings about PO are intensified by this?

I am constantly questioning myself on this issue.

I frequently find that I WISH for collapse, any collapse, coming from any direction, just so those who deserve it will be slapped down.

I believe that there is such an unlimited amount of info on the nets that it would be possible to compile support for just about anything.

That said, I am pretty confidant that I can and do cross check enough that I get as close to whats going on as is possible.

I am amazed at how comfortable I have become with being both an ultimate doomer and a highly active, dare I say optimist, in preparing for all the different scenarios via ELP.


I frequently find that I WISH for collapse, any collapse, coming from any direction, just so those who deserve it will be slapped down.

Make no mistake, everyone will be slapped down, not just those that deserve it, whomever you take them to be. I have very mixed emotions about peak oil. It tears my heart out to think of the world my grandchildren will face. But if there were no peak oil, the situation would be much worse. We are destroying the world at an alarming rate and before we are finished virtually all megafauna will be extinct, and most of smaller species. We are turning the world into a desert.

There will be great misery caused by peak oil. But there would be even more misery and much more of the world would be destroyed if peak oil never arrived. The only thing that could possibly be worse than peak oil would be no peak oil.

Garrett Hardin said "The choice is never between good and evil. The choice is always between the greater evil and the lesser evil." True indeed, if we had any choice in the matter at all. Which we don't. To say that we have a choice would be to believe that we, with our argument, can change the world's behavior. Absurd!

Ron Patterson


PO will cause misery so we must not talk lightly, but I agree with you that if it can jolt us out of current trends that are simply unsustainable, our children may in fact be better off.

The sooner we change course, the better for later generations.

So, like others here, I am afraid PO is the knock on the head we need to start turning things around.

No fun, very stiff medecine, but overdue.


This desire for spankdown is because even in good times, our way of life, the modern industrial way of life, is hell.

Longer and longer work hours, less and less real socializing, families all but destroyed, more and more uncertainty, it's a classic case of diminishing returns.

I think there's also an impatience that grows in a society that has been at peace for too long. It seems very strange to me that Europeans in 1914 hungered for war, when their peacetime institutions appeared to be functioning very well. Sure, their particular desire for interstate war was the product of the propaganda they'd been fed by those institutions as a strategy for obtaining obedience and taxes, but then those institutions also wanted to divert a growing groundswell for revolution among anarchists and Marxists who saw through the lies covering the injustice and repression around them.

Unlike Ben Franklin, I think there is often bad peace. If the normal mode of peace is economic competition between nations, then perhaps the competition is inherently biased in favor of the nation that can maldistribute resources away from workers towards investors most successfully, by force or ideology. If the investors then invest this bounty in real technological improvements, the decision must be made as to how to distribute the rewards, and by then the workers have wised up and started getting restless. If German workers before 1914 worked harder and longer, self-disciplined themselves better, and got nothing for it but a demand from their rulers to keep that going forever for an ever-expanding Reich, there had to be a certain frustration gnawing at them. The British worker had plenty more reasons to feel frustrated.

So where does that frustration go? In 2007 our leaders seem to want to divert it into endless wars in the Middle East so that we can get more oil and print more debt to keep everything ever so much more so. Our alternative route is to turn on each other and crash the system. Maybe if you're frustrated by the machinery but you love the idea of power too much, you start hoping for a crisis, a deus stomp machina, to sweep you out of your normal life and moral restraints into a barbaric struggle, ironically justified by the defense of the very morality you've gotten sick of. That's how you become a fascist. The ones who instead choose to denounce the machine and the goal of power become the anarchists. Traitors, enemies, wars, survival - suddenly life has meaning again!

I corresponded with Parris a couple of years ago.

I informed him of the concept of PO and all that it may encompass.

Parris is a bright guy. His next article was about sustainable living, geothermal heat pumps, etc.

But, I have stopped bothering journalists from the Sunday Times. Like Parris and David Smith.

Waste of time.

They are bought people.

Let them peddle nonsense.

Re: Slowing Down to Save Fuel and Money

It's been my observation that the exact opposite is occurring for the most part.

High gas prices are just another stress added to a person on the treadmill of the Amerikan dream - $3/gallon increasing to $4/gallon will be just like turning up the speed on the treadmill another notch - you have to run that much harder to keep up.

Higher prices make them angry and there's no better way to take out that anger than directly thru the gas pedal (which uses more fuel, which causes higher prices, which causes more anger, repeat etc.)

I have noticed more small cars on I-87 lately - but many of those are being driven at 80 mph + so I'm not sure what they're really saving (unless they used to drive SUVs).

The marketing of cars and the resurgence of the "attitude" and "pimp my ride" behind driving is fascinating to me. I'll never understand how stomping on a gas pedal - an act that requires virtually no skill - has come to be such a symbol of power and bullshit machismo.

/slight rant off

Apparently, irate carpoolers in California are accusing Prius owners of driving slowly in the HOV lanes to improve their mileage, and thus holding up traffic.

Yeah, I find a big drop in MPG at speeds higher than 70, and if grades are involved, MPG is an additional 5% worse than on level at 75-80. My Prius gets its best MPG, about 75, at about 45 on uninterrupted, level hwy, of which there's a lot of here in Oregon. Having become accustomed to the slow life, the chaos of city interstates and HOV lane NASCAR wannabes is quite appalling: The public's brazen lawlessness on the roadways is an excellent marker for the actions of the USG and US corporations.

I have a Toyota Avensis 1.8 litre which also has a trip computer. I have experimented by cruising the inside lane at 55-60mph and have found on long journeys that I can squeeze 50mpg out of a conventional, large(by european standards) petrol vehicle

* 50mpg is imperial, I believe that by the US gallon standard its about 40mpg.

This is one thing I'm finding I really like about Arizona, the driving is much slower. In fact I got a speeding ticket promptly after moving up here, and got to sit through traffic school, lol!

If I go into town by the "back way" I don't have to go faster than 50, and while I know people regularly ride the model of bike I have faster, I don't like to push this little 250cc that hard if I can avoid it. And the back way's pretty, goes by the foot of Granite Mountain.

On long trips I never had any difficulty getting 40+ mpg in a '92 Nissan Sentra. I typically drove about 70mph with it.

I'll testify that at 55-60 mph in the far right (slower traffic) expressway lane, people are still impatient with me. Similarly, they whip aroung me as I back off the gas approaching a red light; they achieve being in front of me while stopped instead of behind me.

I guess I AM looking forward to peak oil, so people no longer have the means to act like impatient fools.

But after, they probably will be no more patient or wise.

Errol in Miami

Catskill, motorcycles and cars are personal power amplifiers. Power is intoxicating and corrupting.

Errol in Miami

i think that trucks have slowed down. watch them sometime. they used to blow by at about 80. now "most" are doing about 65 in 70 mph zones ("most" , excluding livestock and grain haulers).

The article Peak Oil-Joining the Dots is really a fantastic article. My favorite passage from the article:

Within a decade the ‘Global Energy Crisis’ will replace ‘Global Warming’ as the single biggest threat to mankind’s future –and the vast majority of people don’t even know it’s coming yet… Exiting times no?

I could not agree more. People who think that Global Warming will still be the biggest story around 2012 are blind optimists. I don't give a damn how fast the water rises, the decline in food supply will be what pushes people's panic button.

And this line:

We have been living in an age of plenty that is drawing to a close with frightening speed, it is now time to face up to this reality and begin the hard work of transition to something that future generations can live within.

The “Speculative Time Line” on the last page is very interesting. Between 2010 and 2015 it speculates; “Mexico bankrupt: food riots break out. US border sealed shut.”

Ron Patterson

Ron, you sound elated and filled with joy that you have uncovered 'evidence' that PO is going to do us in before GW. Does it really make a difference to you? Have you placed a bet on one or the other? :)

FOMALOL...about the comment 'People who think that GW will still be the biggest story around 2012 are blind optimists'. A blind optimist would be one that thought BAU was going to continue indefinitely...And, there are plenty of such people around. Stop and think about what you are saying. This isnt some sort of contest, a fb game or such nonsense. We all know that we are Freakin' Doomed but can we discuss our demise with a bit of dignity?

BTW, The borders with Mexico will be sealed when Americans are desperate enough to work for the same wages as Mexicans.

River: I agree that the sealing of the Mexican border is a long way off (if it happens at all). What is just as likely is a further integration of Mexico and the USA. I'm not following the US presidential race but from what I hear it sounds like neither Hillary, Obama, Giuliani or McCain feel that Mexico is even an issue. In fact, Rudy stands to make big money from further integration.

River, with all due respect you get it all wrong with your post. I am not filled with joy, I am really pissed! I am really pissed that people preach about global warming and totally ignore the real crisis that will befall us in less than one decade.

The planet is not going to "flip" in the next ten years. But peak oil will "flip" our economy into the garbage bin.

Compared to the consequences of peak oil, all other events in human history will shrink to insignificance. DAMN! When will that fact start to sink in? When will people, even on this list, start to understand that their lives are about to change dramatically!

And in response to your BTW comment; Most Americans will be willing to work for food and little else when the energy crises closes down most of American industry. River, you just don’t seem to grasp the gravity of the situation, thinking that there will still be a wage disparity debate in after peak oil. There will be a food disparity debate between those with food and those without food. And the debate will be with clubs, knives and guns, not talking heads on television.

Ron Patterson


I always read and enjoy your commentary, but I think you have it wrong in this case. There are many scientists who think that GW will "flip" real soon now (and some who believe it already has).

"Flip" that is, into a state where positive feedback loops take over, methane hydrates decompose, blah blah, and result in out-of-control escalation of GW that cannot possibly be arrested in any achievable way. Hansen is probably the most prominent scientist arguing the case.

Regards Chris

Chris, I understand where you are coming from. And this may shock you but I agree with you. But you are describing a much slower "flip" than most people believe the term means. After all you said: (and some who believe it already has.) Well hell, if that be the case then why haven't the ice caps melted.

My point is, even a flip will not cause the ice caps to melt in just a few years. A few decades perhaps, the blink of an eye in geological times, but even a flip cannot cause the world population to decline by 90% in the next half century. Even Hansen does not believe that. But that is exactly what the disappearance of crude oil would cause.

Now many would argue that oil will not decline that fast. But exports will decline that fast. Hoarding and resource wars will cause exactly that. Japan, South Korea as well as many other massivly populated nations have little or no oil at all. The sudden disappearance of oil from their docks would cause untold misery in those nations. And that misery would spread.

Ron Patterson

As you are well aware, most people will never have any idea what it was that hit them, even well after the fact. I think climate change will be a very big issue, but I do agree it may be just a bit longer before it hits hard. But between peak oil, and political and economic crisis, it's a bit hard to tell which one is going to cause the big hurt first, or even if it will be possible (or meaningful) to distinguish.

On the other hand, I can see a mass migration out of Atlanta as a possibility in the very near term.

I am really pissed that people preach about global warming and totally ignore the real crisis that will befall us in less than one decade.

The planet is not going to "flip" in the next ten years. But peak oil will "flip" our economy into the garbage bin.

Compared to the consequences of peak oil, all other events in human history will shrink to insignificance.

Ron, I'm a big fan of your posts and you aren't wrong.

There is one difference, though: GW is a primarily a crisis for the planet, while peak oil is primarily a crisis for humans in overshoot. If global PO had occurred 50 years ago, it might well have been for the best.

PO will be bad; its absence would probably, in the long run, be much worse. The real crises are for millions of species and they're human overpopulation and GW.

This is key! Solutions to PO will be made under the conditions imposed by GW. This means that those ethanol crops will need to be planned with GW in mind. Is this happening? As long as the chorus of denial is taking place, GW will be ignored and PO will be addressed (in some fashion). PO will be the long emergency for humans and GW will be the longer emergency for the planets species.

Climate change may make it hard to grow enough food, let alone fuel crops.

Climate change may make it hard to grow enough food, let alone fuel crops

You don't need climate change for that. Exponential population increase on an essentially static amount of agricultural land will do it pretty quick too.

I was in a similar situation. I wrote a post several weeks ago about the dangers of disease post-crash, and initially received a few snarky comments about how pleasantly excited I seemed at the prospect of multiple worldwide pandemics accelerating a dieoff.

It's a problem of the medium in relaying devastating information, and of my limited human experience in dealing with actually understanding the forces at work to reduce the population of my species and likely take me along with it. Despite my quintessential human wish that I will be special and among those spared.

Is it possible the current credit meltdown will be enough of a financial shock in 2008 to start a systemic collapse?

Um, Mexicans get paid pretty well! I'd happily work for the same wage as "mexicans' myself.

Thanks Ron. Nick Outram's article would make a good primer for those who are just starting to notice the PO Tsunami on the horizon.

Much of the debate about which Tsunami, PO or GW, will affect people first is a bit academic. I suspect that as oil export supplies tighten up and fuel costs zoar, fewer will worry about GW, but the fact remains the future doesn't look too rosey by any scenario.

I suspect, too, that if credit dries up, the US dollar continues to sag, houses go to full-scale fire-sale prices, and a bank or two folds, most of John Q. Public will be oblivious to either GW or PO. Running out of money may mask quite nicely any knowledge of the root causes of fuel or food shortages.

If doomers are right, then many things will contribute to TEOTWAWKI. Catastrophies on a biblical scale may be in the offing, but I doubt the receding shoreline will prompt many to run to find cover. The sad point is that there may not be much higher ground on which to find safety.

On that note, a Happy New Year to everyone :-)


I have not been able to figure out TEOTWAWKI.

Could you please fill me in?

Thank you.


The End Of The World As We Know It.

However I prefer TEOCAWKI.

The End Of Civilization As We Know It.

Ron Patterson

you can thank REM for making TEOTWAWKI popular on the internet.

I would think that the climatic changes will adversely effect the food supply. We can't adjust our agricultural systems fast enough to keep up with or get ahead of the change. So I think that AGW and the decline in the food supply would be one in the same, aside from any decline in FF inputs to the system.

Regarding the "Cash Strapped Consumers" article from the NY Times, I found no mention of the 3.6% increase in Christmas Spending as being inflation adjusted. If it wasn't inflation adjusted, and 1/3 of that 'increase' was gasoline purchases, it appears that Christmas spending decreased this year in real terms.

Of course, the MSM is still debating whether or not we'll have a recession in '08...

Errol in Miami

Gasoline usage in the USA is up YOY while the overall economy has slid quite a bit from Dec 06-lends credence to the theory that oil demand will not decrease as much as expected during a deep recession/depression.

It will come down as soon as credit is withdrawn from individuals.

A significant amount of what is being consumed now will probably not be paid for.

Maybe this is how the FED uses the helicopters, there is no way that a bank not asleep at the wheel would not eliminate lines of credit in view of the current default numbers and trends.

I think in the long run, GW will kill more people than PO. Long run being 100 years. In the next 30 years, PO will dominate, cause wars, will result in a peaking and decline of food supplies. But GW will cause a crashing of food supplies and a spike in disease, and a refugee problem beyond comprehension.

Speek, it all depends on how soon and how severe the GW problem is. If the climate "flips" in the next decade and temperatures rise 20 degrees, the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps melt and the sea rises 20 meters, you would be right. The odds of that happening are slim to none.

True, we are already seeing climate change but the problems due to climate change will only be exacerbated by peak oil. A lack of oil to keep the agricultural community thriving will have a greater effect on production than GW>

The effect of peak oil will start to be felt in less than one decade and the full devestating effects will likely hit us within three decades. By the time Global Warming starts causing the population to decline, there will simply not be much of a population left to decline.

Of course all this is just speculation. But if you can do third grade math then you can figure out that crude oil will decline many times faster than the temperature of the earth will rise. And the thing that the vast majority of people fail to realize is that crude oil is the life blood of all transportation and food production as well as at least half the energy for industry.

Ron Patterson

There are many things that can be done to reduce oil consumption and by itself PO could be managed for many decades in a power down. The same could be said of Climate Change if it was the only problem. But these are not isolated problems.

The disorganisation following financial meltdown, will leave us helpless in the face of increasingly destructive climate change, aggravated by energy shortages. It's the combination of the three which pose a dire and immediate threat which will be magnified by incompetent governments and out-of-control corporate enterprises.

Running out of fuel while in your car is not too great a problem. Running out during a snowstorm when emergency service aren't running because of a lack of money is. The combination of factors is the real threat, not the individual factors by themselves.

Financial failure, Climate Change and PO are with us now and their combined destructiveness is going to intensify for years and decades into the future from today. Ice caps don't need to melt, Saudi Arabia doesn't need to run dry before we face serious and debilitating consequences. We could be into the cascading failure phase of collapse within a decade.

If PO were all we faced, then I don't think we'd see a 90% population reduction as you mention elsewhere. We can grow more food than that even with dwindling oil supplies. I don't think our oil supply is going to fall below 10 mbpd in the next 50 years, and that much oil makes more than enough fertilizer. Power to run the equipment can be gotten via electricity-producing sources.

There will be wars and horrible economic affects and massive famines. Not 90% massive though.

Climate change may not raise sea levels by 20m by the end of the century, but it is very likely to turn a lot of current farmland in to desert - and there is no amount of fertilizer that's going to help with that. PO will constrain food supply, but GW can crash it.

i think the counter argument, that i find compelling, is that the structures of our society at all levels, are such that they won't accommodate any sort of serious decline without collapsing, and that such a collapse would mean that society itself would have fallen apart at any level of organization above the most local...

...which means that the market mechanisms for producing and getting-to-market would no longer be there

this is a vicious spiral downwards at a rapid pace

In the next 30 years, PO will dominate, cause wars, will result in a peaking and decline of food supplies.

A full Global Nuclear war Triggered Energy Depletionwould wipe out more than 5 Billion in a mere month or two.

Energy Depletion will likely have a much larger and quicker impact on the Human population that Global Warming

1. Food production will take a nose dive as more and more exports dramatically reduce exports (ie hoarding). This results in less fuel to run agraculture equipment, transportation for food to the cities and lack of fertializers and pesticides required to maintain high crop yields.

2. Malnutriention, impromper sanitation, and lack of money for medical services will lead to pandemics. Today there are several nasty bugs that have mutated into drug resistant strains. Sooner or later one of these bugs will mutate into a high contagious strain. Mutation rates will increase as more and more people lose access to healthcare (via higher unemployment). People will become more vulerable to disease as the malnutretion, unable to stay warm during the winters. I suspect that diseases will kill nearly two-thirds of the global population. Another 20% may perish in war, genocide, and other man-made created disasters. Lack of fuel will prevent gov't from containing pandemics. Generally when people hear about diseases, they tend to flee into other regions in an attempt to escape the threat. This of course accelerates the spread of the disease.

3. Nations will go to war in an attempt to secure energy resources from regions that have reserves. Use of Nuclear and Biological weapons is definately a possiblity.


are you guys always this cheary? PO doesn't have to be a complete disaster. There are some very good technologies comming to market right now that may mitigate PO and stave off GW.

companies like first solar and evergreen solar are ramping up pv manufacture. By 2012 first solar will have a capacity of 700-800 megawatts pv moduals per year and evergreen will have 500 megawatts pv moduals per year.
considering that first solar had less than 50 megawatts of power producing panel made in 2006 and evergreen was a blip it's been quite an achievement.

Not to mention that by 2012 ausra, a solarthermal equipment maker, is planing to be able to make 700MW of power generation equipment per year.

Even though these projects will produce 2GW of additional power generation per year (all of which are clean) I realize that this won't even come close to meet our growth in demand, it still represents a significant leap forward, let alone if CIGS solar takes off well (I'm a little dubious of nanosolars claims) but still companies like nanosolar, mia sola, and heliovolt ARE working on CIGS solar which has the potential to bring an additional 2-3 GW of PV panels by 2012 as well.

Right now if enough people put there energies toward investment instead of 'hunkerin down' then we may enter a new golden age of american invention and discovery. (not to mention being good for ones bottom line)

I don't want to sound overly optomistic. I understand the seriousness of PO and GW, it's just that history repeats and many times in our history, when many people were expecting immenant doom(for often good reason) it was the rescourcefulness of investors and inventors that averted disaster and brought about great leaps in human progress..........

Just a thought.

There are two times, Danny - right now and never. 2012 is pretty much a "never" in my book. Sitting and waiting for something that might happen is as good as slipping the noose around your own neck. We need to move hard and right now


These companies are moving as fast and hard as they can right now with current funding and investment. First solar is building 4 new factories right on the heels of their ramp up in their german plant, and evergreen is ramping up their new england plant. heliovolt is breaking grownd in texas and nanosolar has just completed their first lines in san Jose.

To go faster more investors need to pony up cash for plants and equipment. also ausra is breaking ground near las vegas.

Rubicon just completed their IPO and it was lackluster.(they produce for the LED market)

2012 could bring even more capacity in pv generation if people invest when some of these IPO out.

PO is either here or near but like I said earlier it doesn't have to be a disaster. It'll only be so if gov't and investors/inventors do nothing, while people 'in the know' wring their hand. I'm just a proactive kind of guy.

ooops also forgot to mention, I'm not doing nothing, I'm investing. I picked up first solar, evrgreen, and rubicon during thier IPO's so my dollars went into expanding pv production.

also anxiously awaiting nanosolar,heliovolt,ausra,nanodynamics, and unidym to IPO, to 'help' do my part for society ;)

You've won me over Danny.
Thank goodness you have the planet and society at heart.

Of course I understand full employment will remain, in fact there will be vast new employment, manufacturing solar panels their accessories and installing them.

There is no chance of the current debt, housing bubble and PO affecting the economic climate, there will be plenty of consumer money and finance to purchase solar systems and there will be plenty for all.
I have great faith the grid will be well maintained and adjusted to accept the newly installed energy supply.
Faith can move mountains I've been told.

I think I'll sell my house and invest all my money in the stocks you recommend, they sure look like a sure fire winner.

Sometimes I wonder why we ever worried about PO, there was always a techno fix just waiting to save us.

I have nothing but respect for those who play with their own money, even if I at times disagree with their assumptions and direction.

StrandedWind.org is named thusly to make that phrase as well recognized as "tar sands" but it doesn't mean we're at all prejudice about the type of renewable energy that gets covered - in fact I am so unprejudice that I just registered strandedsun.org and the associated .com and .net domains, created a DailyKos user Stranded Sun, and a YouTube ID StrandedSun, just as were done for Stranded Wind.

The Stranded Wind IT team will provide the same level of support to solar efforts, but someone else is going to have to project lead that side as wind has got me quite busy. Are you the one to do this, or is there someone else here amongst the Drum Beat regulars who has a lot of great solar ideas but lacks a vehicle to get them out into the public eye?

I'll insist that the sites have commonality - a similar look, a drive to make "stranded sun" a well recognized meme, and a focus on relocalization and economic development in areas where renewable energy is easily available. We should be able to share policy & procedures between the two areas of interest without any trouble ...

Good luck.

My point being.............
IMO expecting a single fix like solar panels for the consequences of peak oil is manifestly naive.
I guess that sort of thinking can't hurt the individual though.
I think many people are still progressing through the stages of grief, especially denial and bargaining.

This is often on my mind but I have little idea what to do about it. I wasted several months after I grasped what was coming as I wallowed in situational depression.

We have a good body of people interested in Stranded Wind now and half the reason I keep talking about it here is to demonstrate to demoralized lurkers that there are things one can do to prep and that even a small effort can have huge benefit at this time.

We're trying to set up structures and memes to direct the political energy that will come when people panic as much as we are trying to instigate real world projects, although concrete results will do much to accomplish the first goal.

Thus far there has been an endless flood of over the horizon technocornucopia items that sound great but mean nothing as one can not purchase them right now. Hybrids recharged by inexpensive PV cells? Utter nonsense.

We've had all of the components of renewable electrified rail( windmills(antiquity), trains(1804), and generators(1832)) for 175 years and the components of the Haber-Bosch process (electrolysis(1832) and the process itself(1910)) for a century. I'm not suggesting we invent anything, I'm just suggesting we make what we need where we need it instead of zipping bits of this or that all over the world.

The leadership for this will come from the local and state level. The federal level of our government is bought and sold by large corporations; what I suggest is an anathema to these organizational sociopaths but I care little for their opinion as I believe most of them simply cease to exist as peak oil increases the energy cost involved in getting from point A to point B.

By 2012 first solar will have a capacity of 700-800 megawatts pv moduals per year and evergreen will have 500 megawatts pv moduals per year.
considering that first solar had less than 50 megawatts of power producing panel made in 2006 and evergreen was a blip it's been quite an achievement.

This is way too little to late. We would need to gave global PV production in the Terawatt range to mitigate oil. As I've stated numerous times every 1 Watt of Fossil/Hydro/Nuclear needs between 4 or 5 watts PV to balance out. Most electricity is produced using baseload power planets that crank out Gigawatts 24/7/365. PV does produce when the sun isn't shining or on a fraction during overcast conditions. In addition to PV panels, replacement plants need to include energy storage to address low PV output conditions.

In addition to replacing Electricity we also need to address the petrochemical industrial, transportation, Residental Heating and domestic hot water. There is a huge list of items than need to be addressed besides the electricity.

when many people were expecting immenant doom(for often good reason) it was the rescourcefulness of investors and inventors that averted disaster and brought about great leaps in human progress..........

Such as?!? The last time humanity faced such a crisis was during the period of the black death. I don't think to many people living then were very optimistic. It wasn't until after the plague killed off 2/3's of the European population did it begin to recover. There is a chance the civilization will experience another revitalization, but it will not occur until after the big die off is completed and civilization becomes sustainable. Perhaps within a couple of hundred years. Certainly not in my lifetime.

Good write up explaining how Bhutto allowed herself to be forced to return to Pakistan in order to avoid criminal charges in the west.

Most definitely not the "angel" the "Fox-Likud" channel portrays her to be.


Absolutely brilliant article, Musashi! Yes, certainly not the Fox News version of events.

In that milieu the only wonder is that she lived
so long.

Great find

Clear explination of a complex subject

Geez, she had more ties to Saddam Hussein than the Taliban does. Yet we were trying to put her in power.

Funny about that.

Yes, Tariq Ali is a great writer. There's another very interesting article by him on that site about the secular history of Islam:


and one on Saudi oil history:


Re: Matt Simmons co-chairs VP Cheney's Energy Task Force

I first heard about Peak Oil while I was at Penn State a decade ago, but I didn't truly realize the short, medium, and long term implications of PO on our economy, military, and society until a year and a half ago.

I was surprised to learn that Matt Simmons was the co-chair of Cheney's secret energy task force back in 2001 (http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2007/7/17/225239/940/#comment4). My initial impression of Matt, through his interviews on CNBC and in A Crude Awakening, was that he is a great spokesman for bringing both awareness and change to the Peak Oil reality.

After reading news items such as http://www.energybulletin.net/2782.html, it's apparent that both Bush and Cheney were very aware of Peak Oil before the 2001 Energy Task Force meetings, and there has been an ongoing misinformation campaign by the fossil fuel industry to convince the government that Peak Oil is a non-issue. I was not surprised to see Daniel Yergin (CERA) on the list of Cheney advisors.

In the 7 years since the secret energy task force, it is apparent to me that the Bush Administration did the following:

1. Cheney's/PNAC's top priority to address Peak Oil was to occupy the Middle East.

2. Instead of immediately scaling the renewable electricity infrastructure to mitigate the national security impacts of Peak Oil, the Administration continued to subsidize fossil fuel burning through industry tax breaks and other renewable energy industry suppressing legislation. The Administration calls the withdrawal of the tax breaks, "tax increases," and lobbies that the effect will be that low and middle income citizens will not be able to heat their homes or put gas in their cars to get to work.

3. Instead of leading the United States into energy independence, the Bush Administration deepened our economy's dependence on oil by saying that we were addicted to "foreign oil," that we need to drill in ANWR and off our coasts to become energy independent, and that we need more refineries and equipment to meet demand.

How complicit has Matt Simmons been in the Bush Administration's energy policy for the past 7 years, and is his advocacy for Peak Oil awareness his way of redemption for his role in what has happened?

I think that your comments read more into Simmons power than his involvement in that "Task Force." I do not see the conflict unless you are able to provide something on his ability to control/constrain the policies of GWB/Cheney. BTW, the military has adopted, and I know not when, actions which make military bases greener than most greenies. As far as I can tell by way of discussions with others in the sustainability arena, it has been going on for about three years, so it must have been adopted well before that, and I would think might have been an outcome of that task force.

Regarding Military Bases Greening up, This is very true. The person who taught my Geothermal Heating and Cooling Ground Loop Certification course makes his living installing these heating and cooling systems primarily on military bases throughout the nation. As far as I can tell, he has been working on these projects for over 10 years. They will go in and retrofit ALL of the living space, as well as office space. I guess I should say any conditioned space. It is my understanding that the energy savings have been immense. GWB has one on his ranch in Texas, and Al Gore just installed one in his house.

Will you explain simply what this retrofit is, how expensive it is, etc.? ---I did a basic google search and am reading --- so does this work for cooling (A/C) and heating?

A new Market Ticker from KD, on how the economy will play out and shooting down those that think the FED can do anything about it.



There's a lot of analysis on this site. Which is why I spend hours on it everyday and use it as a valuable and trustworthy source.

I have a question to put out to people.

Do you have a plan? Personally? What are you going to do? Are you guys just taking notes on the way down with the Titanic? Or are you actually doing stuff now? Financial and otherwise?

I read so much about community and how important it is. Working together. To create awareness, mass action, or merely to survive and look out for each other. We're clearly an intelligent and educated group.

I don't see the obvious linkages taking place. Each one of us has something to contribute. I know I do.

The problem we've run into is that no one here agrees on what peak oil means for the future (and therefore what we should do about it). We do sometimes talk about what we're doing, but it's often of limited appeal, because only people who have the same basic vision of the future are interested. The others find it boring, or even stupid. We end up arguing over what the future holds, rather than talking about what to do about it. (It's gotten to the point that another peak oil site is considering separating the doomers and the corncopians.)

PeakOil.com has a Planning For the Future forum, including a thread where people are supposed to post about what they did today to prepare for peak oil. However, it tends toward the doomer side of the spectrum, with information on how to spin wool into yarn, how to de-horn goats, whether leaving the US is a good idea, etc. If you're one of those who thinks the future will mean more public transportation and a lot of wind turbines, it's probably not for you.

A lot of the comments I read on here also rank as what I see as doomerisms. The true peak is not the absolute end of oil. As WT and others have pointed out via the impact of ELM, although I first saw his musing on it and therefore tend to attribute it to him, ecomonies will slide downhill quickly from PO. BUT, the decline may be steep, and the Chinese may well be able to out bid us for the available oil since they have all our money, but there will still be oil out there. something like 35% +/- comes from domestic sources, albeit offshore, and once the RV's are parked, that will decrease the demand there and so on. I realize that there will be great pain and a realignment of our society such as it is, but there will be oil and gas and wood and other resources, like the few, but growing, number of solar panels I have installed even though their cost was not justifiable in today's market. As long as I can afford to have lights and a fridge, it is MY business if I paid too much. Besides, the updating of our refineries to handle heavy sour crude (HSC) will assure us of a transitional supply as most refineries still require, as in they cannot handle HSC without damage to the refinery itself.

The real problem will be the hoarders when the world realizes that we have hit PO. They will create the first crisis, maybe with enough impact to bring the US to our collective senses in time for us to react to the eventual impacts of PO, complicated with ELM, restrained production by exporters, and all of the other negative impact stuff we talk, write, read, and hear about on this site and others.

So, prepare for the worst, hope for the best and hold on. We will probably get a taste of the worst, have a chance to adjust, and then either deal with it or try to find something to hold on to something when the toilet we have created is flushed.

Hi Escape;
People do talk pretty regularly about their preps, but I suspect it sounds pretty obvious and melts into the din.

There are a number of people working regularly on national public policy proposals (LightRailNow as one of the more recognizable ones) or Local community outreach, some people working on their food supply, their transportation options or their career strategies, investing choices, household energy usage or production, educational opportunities.

While much of this progress might seem extremely sporadic from the info available at this site, I think this is a place for thinking out loud, 'Theorizing' and sharing experiences and views, and will not be much of a reflection on the actions that posters are actually taking. Some of these areas I am actively working on, others I'm just ingesting ideas, or preparing for a jump to a different 'solution' when an opportunity presents itself. (Electric Bike/Trike, when I can manage it.) It's great that we DO have a spectrum from optimists to pessimists here, with some insistence on backing up your claims, so that you can really see a range of takes on what values various fuels may or may not have behind them, on what are all the 'yeah, buts' for the movements in current energy news, so you can place these stories into a bit of a broader continuum.

So where theory turns into action is where you turn the Oil Drum OFF, and figure out some steps you will start to make real. Then report back and inspire everyone else, while the traumatized and the despondant toss lit matches at your pants!

Bob Fiske

I did a good bit of personal planning, at least what was within reach to me, and then I started on a project that I hope will have a wider range of effect than just my household.


Just finally got a look at your site. Good work!
I flew back from DesMoines today, and am getting my head together for '08. One thing I'll keep in mind is to get some emails of the wife's Family in Iowa who I could introduce to strandedwind.org . A few are still in AG, others in the sciences. I'll try to send 'em over..

Hope you're feeling better.

One of the cousins runs/manages a 4-H camp along the DesMoines river, I think.. and has been hoping to find a way to install some windpower. Might be a good place for a showpiece.


A minor quibble - I saw that a better organizational method was needed than our sketchy flood of email, but StrandedWind.org is not so much mine as it is mine to promote.

I'd just be a crazy person shouting in the wilderness if it were not for the assistance I've received from Jerome a Paris, NH3, Alan Drake, several other lurkers here who are free to chime in if they so choose, and about a dozen other people who do not read TOD at all.

Renewable energy interest is a supersaturated solution right at the moment and I'm hoping the seed crystal meme of "stranded wind" truly takes off. Big headism just flat kills startup companies dead, and while this is purely a volunteer effort, the dynamic is definitely that of a technology startup. It will be a complete and utter failure unless we see major portions of the overall responsibility for content and direction wrestled away from me by interested parties over the next thirty days or so.

I'm hoping my meeting with Alan Drake last week is going to lead to him putting his shoulder to the wheel on a wind/rail concept for a class 2 road here in Iowa and NH3's existing work on ammonia as a fuel will fit right in ... not to put those two on the spot or anything :-) but we are burning daylight here ...

And which piece of this thing did you have your eye on? :-)

SCT, relentless recruiter

To answer your questions in order:

1) Yes.
2) Yes.
3) Fashion a terrestrial "Ark"--my attempt at rural relocalization in central-coastal Oregon
4) Yes.
5) Yes.
6) Yes.

Most of our plans are expressed in snippets that grow in aggregate as we write and read. Some, like myself, have been posting here for over two years and no longer repeat our stories, excepting the rare occassion. I see you've had your profile for 7 weeks and 4 days; so unless you were lurking a long time, you're a relative newbie--welcome--and in time will become well versed.

escapeartist, firstly, independent action is the easiest to achieve. Too many people seem to be locked into the idea of persuading other people to do something about the problem. They'll probably fail, so first priority is to get yourself and family into a situation that improves your ability to deal with what's coming. Westexas's ELP for example.

In my case I started preparing back in 2003, I sold my business (it wouldn't survive a severe economic downturn), I sold my house (it was overvalued, no land and in a city centre) and I moved to a different country with better prospects (from the UK to France). I bought a small holding in a village with 12 acres, comprising of house & barn, stream, fields and woodland. In the process all debt was eliminated and fixed living costs (eg. property taxes) were reduced as much as practical. I'm now working to make a sustainable living locally and reduce dependence on the national economy and its institutions.

Overall planning took into account the impacts of financial meltdown, Climate Change and Peak Oil. Security was another major issue. Regarding technology, every effort is made to avoid it, with simple solutions sought rather than complex ones. Wind, solar, etc. were ruled out as too complex and expensive, I'm looking to use wood for space & water heating (plus conventional insulation). France derives most of its electricity (70%) from nuclear power and is relatively inexpensive (so no need to compete against it at the moment).

Location is probably the most important decision that has to be made. Sustainability, security and financial independence can be greatly enhanced by simply moving to the correct location. On the other hand, trying to make the wrong location sustainable, secure and provide a living would probably be costly and ultimately futile.

I'm not saying what I've done is the only solution or even the right one, but it is working out so far. No solutions are going to be easy or full proof and the learning curve is immense. The trouble is that we are already into financial meltdown, climate change is already impacting food supplies & habitat, and oil supplies are tight forcing up the cost of energy. The time for planning and preparation is over, those not acting right now are going to be locked in their current situation with little choice or chance of dealing with the collapse. Panic really is called for at this time IMO, the first to the exit will be the ones that survive and the devil will take the hindmost.


stunning look in 95 mpg Civic

Hear ye, hear ye! All hail basjoos and his highly-modified "Aerocivic" for proving that it is totally possible to make a 1992 Honda Civic CX get 95 (or more) miles per gallon. How much did our trusty eco-knight toil and spend to achieve this miracle? How 'bout around 250 hours and $400. No one will mistake this for a professional job - or a normal Civic - but did you hear what I said about 95 mpg?

There is room for keep skepticism about China seriousness toward challenging Russia and building a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan. The report that Leanan posts talks of a pledge of $2.2 billion in spending. But the estimated cost of the pipeline is $26 billion. It doesn't look quite credible.

Steve LeVine, author
The Oil and the Glory

Someone just posted this link over at PO.com:

Crisis may make 1929 look a 'walk in the park'

Quietly, insiders are perusing an obscure paper by Fed staffers David Small and Jim Clouse. It explores what can be done under the Federal Reserve Act when all else fails.

Section 13 (3) allows the Fed to take emergency action when banks become "unwilling or very reluctant to provide credit". A vote by five governors can - in "exigent circumstances" - authorise the bank to lend money to anybody, and take upon itself the credit risk. This clause has not been evoked since the Slump.

Yet still the central banks shrink from seriously grasping the rate-cut nettle. Understandably so. They are caught between the Scylla of the debt crunch and the Charybdis of inflation. It is not yet certain which is the more powerful force.

The London Times has an article looking back on the economy. Number #10 on the list (via reader response) is peak oil. I have a feeling peak oil wouldn't have cracked the list in a US-based paper. Oil prices, yes, peak oil, no.

We ran that story in the Dec 24 (Yuletide) Finance Round-Up. Then Jeffrey posted it again the 25th or 26th. Good to see peakoil.com reads theoildrum, and that it reads itself.

That story's been going around and around, all the PO and financial sites, for a couple of weeks. Around and around and around.... in this case it's a good one to have going around, but it's a good example of the USA Hologram, where every part refers to itself.

This clause has not been evoked since the Slump.

Any idea what they mean by "the Slump?"

There's one true candidate only, long as you're not talking Hank Aaron:

From: Federal Reserve Bulletin | Date: 11/1/1994 |

Recent developments in discount window policy

In addition to authorizing loans to "eligible" depository institutions, the Federal Reserve Act--in sections 13(3) and 13(13)--authorizes the System to act in emergency circumstances as "lender of last resort" to individuals, partnerships, and corporations. Enacted in 1932, section 13(3) was intended to enable the Federal Reserve to provide credit in the form of discounts for borrowers unable to obtain adequate credit accommodations from other banking institutions; its use was limited to periods of unusual and exigent circumstances, as determined by the affirmative vote of at least five members of the Board of Governors.(2)

The Congress enacted section 13(13) in 1933 to authorize the Federal Reserve to make advances to individuals, partnerships, and corporations on the security of U.S. Treasury and federal agency obligations. Although this provision, unlike section 13(3), carries no statutory restrictions on its use, the Federal Reserve has always regarded its applicability as being limited to unusual or exceptional circumstances.[..]

Section 473

The bulk of the provisions in FDICIA pertaining to the discount window are contained in section 142, but section 473 effects a technical change in the emergency lending powers of the Federal Reserve under section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act. Section 473 removes a restriction on the "kinds and maturities" of notes, drafts, and bills of exchange that can be discounted for individuals, partnerships, and corporations under the authority of section 13(3). In those extremely unlikely circumstances in which section 13(3) lending authority might be invoked, this change provides greater flexibility to the Federal Reserve in managing a financial crisis.

aka: In the extremely unlikely circumstances that there will be a crisis despite the fact that Ben B. had studied Da Slump all his adult life, he can feed dough to anybody he wants (yes, Ben has friends!), and you will pay the interest.

ilargi (or anyone) please correct me if I've got this wrong. But it's my understanding that:

1) The clarification above discusses what collateral the Fed can accept for loans. That is, they can only offer more debt.

2) The Fed is actually a GSE, that is, an enterprise with shareholders. If that is true, they cannot just drop money from hellicopters. Like any other business, if they give away their product (Federal Reserve Notes), they will end up insolvent.

These two things seem to limit the power the Fed has in a money contraction situation.

It also seems to me that the Bush admin has already used up it's strongest Keynesian stimulants: it cut taxes and started a war (to sop up excess production and keep reservists off the unemployment statistics).

What tools are left for the Fed and Treasury to halt a credit implosion?

Errol in Miami

Like any other business, if they give away their product (Federal Reserve Notes), they will end up insolvent.


1) Whom do they have to pay back?

2) Who will cut them off from credit?


1) nobody
2) nobody

"What tools are left for the Fed and Treasury to halt a credit implosion?"

Monetization of public and private debt:

1) Fed creates FRN's, buys Treasuries, turns principal or interest back over to Treasury department for no compensation. Debt is extinguished.

2) Fed buys private non-performing debt for above market value. Doesn't care about losses, since the money (FRN's) was free.

In general, Permanent Open Market Operations.

Then, also,

3) Direct lending to industrial concerns (commercial paper) if banks are too insolvent.

I doubt whoever posted it got it from TOD. The dates on the stories are Dec. 29 and Dec. 30, so it probably just popped up in the search engines and news aggregate sites.

I wondered why you post it again.

Obviously, because I never saw it before. It's dated today, and looked like a new article to me.

In any case, it's impossible to read everything posted on TOD. At least it is for me. I try not to duplicate things posted to the DrumBeat, but I don't see everything. And I don't read the satellite "baby drums" very often.

Anyways, we duplicate stuff posted in other sections all the time. In fact, it's very common for an article or comment posted in the DrumBeat to be pulled out into a thread of its own later.

Sometimes Stoneleigh leads off with an article previously posted in a DrumBeat...and posts it in the very same DrumBeat. I don't go over to TOD:Canada and gripe about it. I think of the "baby drums" as separate sites, really.

Leanan for some reason that article's been floating around for about 2 weeks, but is also showing up as more recent because of a more recent "last modified" or "last edited" date.

It was on Matt Savinar's site much earlier than the last couple of days.

Keep up the good work!

Hi Leanan and Ilargi

Please don't get into strife. We peasants need both of you to keep us informed of what the hell is going on in this crazy world.

I cannot find enough time to keep up with the TOD/ASPO reports, so I can't imagine how either of you can manage to find all the myriad of reports that you provide.

Although I am an infrequent poster, I try to check in at least once a day, and I really do appreciate the fantastic amount of work that is involved in accessing and consolidating the vast amount of relevant information that is generated about this topic. The last thing we partially aware people need is conflict between those who aim to help us.

Might I recommend a wee bit of time out for Hogmanay: when the Scots concentrate on singing and dancing and Uisquebagh (water of life), and the hope for a better life in the year ahead.

Hear's lookin'up your kilt


I read Ilargi's comments with great interest. Which is why it's such a disappointment that so many of them these days are along the lines of "we already posted this at TOD:C, why are you posting it here?" If there was an interesting discussion of it previously, by all means, post a link. But don't imply that just because it's been posted at TOD:C, it can't be posted here, too.

There have been instances where I have pointed out that articles have appeared in Finance Round-Ups. But so far that has only been to tell readers that this was the case in Round-Ups of the same day, or the day before, never to ask why you posted them here. The reason why I did that now is that this article is old, TOD:Europe first mentioned it on Dec. 21. That has nothing to do with implying that you can't post what we do, but with the character of the Drumbeat as a provider of recent news articles. Articles that have been posted on TOD:E, TOD:C (specifically about finance), as well as in an earlier Drumbeat, and have been discussed on umpteen other news- and finance sites, don't seem to fit that description. I was just wondering about that, and yes, also about who reads what. But I don't think there's much reason to drag that down into something negative.


A powerful lure: Electric cars are shockingly cheap to drive

The conversion costs from $8,000 to $15,000, including batteries and other parts, Verfaillie said. That might seem expensive, but the expense is recouped through fuel savings.
If a car travels 20 miles on a gallon of gas that sells for $3, the fuel expense of driving 30,000 miles is $4,500, according to GrassrootsEV.By contrast, a typical electric vehicle can travel about 30 miles on a 60-cent battery charge. To cover the same distance costs about $600, the company says.

"Within modern capitalism there is no solution to the problem of oil depletion. Oil energy cannot be replaced with the equivalent amount of "alternative" energy in the required time, so the consequences of oil depletion will be disastrous."

This is pure and utter crap. Surface transportation can be switched to crud oil derivitives to electricity within the next twenty years. Cars of the future will be plug in EVs, as will be local delivery trucks. Inter urban trucking can be replaced by electrical rail. Short and intermediate pasenger traffic can be moved by high spped electrical trains. While long range air traffic can be by energy efficient planes. Oil use can be cut by 80% with no significant negative impact on our way of life. Electrical power can be produced by mass produced reactors, constructed on assembly lines and built on barges, that will be floated to its home site.

Oil is highly dispensable.