The Oil Drum Turns Three Today

Yeesh, three years (as of 22 MAR). 9.7-plus million unique visits to the main site (5.4 million in the past year alone) and 23.6-plus million unique page views, and many more at the continental sites. 2.3-plus million absolute unique visitors (according to google analytics and sitemeter) to TOD:Main. A 501c3 in gestation. A lot of smart people just trying to get smarter. There's a lot going on around here.

Mostly, all of that is because of you, the readers. We wouldn't do this if we didn't think people were listening and helping us spread the word, even as oil gets bearish for a while. Thank you from all of our staff.

Even more importantly, there are now more websites (most of them in our blogroll, but there are others) and more smart people talking and thinking about energy and our future than there were when we started this thing three years ago, and that's a good thing. We need to have as many informed discussions as we can.

At TOD, we try to be the bridge between the doomers, the technopians and the cornucopians, to present as many sides of the myriad arguments as we can, so that we do not become too rooted in any mode of thought. This allows us to test raw ideas through your eyes and critical thinking in a way that doesn't happen most places. We don't tell you what to think, we just ask that you think critically and empirically. Most days, it feels like we are walking an ever-narrowing knife-edge with icy gusting winds blowing across a shrinking and very loosely anchored tightrope (nice Goosey, way to mix a few metaphors there...). Anyway, you get the point: this is not easy.

It is still quite rewarding to be a part of helping the world realize that we need to be having these discussions now more than ever. This (sometimes dauntingly and overwhelmingly) complex topic continues to fascinate and grow in salience and importance--we will do everything we can to ensure that The Oil Drum continues to be a medium where these high quality discussions take place without cutting into folks' ability to speak freely.

I am surrounded by an amazing set of people with mind-blowing talents, all part of a diverse community respectfully presenting evidence and argument. I learn from all of you, and I am thankful every day for each one of you and what you bring. Thank you dear people for doing what you do.

Please remember that it is all of you who create and reinforce the norms that shape the environs here. You make this space; without you, it's just blown bandwidth.

Somebody I think a lot of, Jerry Michalski, shared a concept with me a while back, which he learned from Quaker meeting: "Speak only if it will improve upon the silence."

We thank you for continuing to improve upon the silence here at The Oil Drum.

Who knows what the future holds other than that change will occur and time will pass. We have informed guesses, and some of them will be right, some will be wrong. Either way, we will be here while we have the means to keep the lights on and the will to persevere.

Happy Birthday, TODers. Happy Birthday indeed! May the next year continue to bring all of you community, happiness, insight, and understanding.

Happy birthday, TOD!

May I offer a birthday present in the form of a fat, sassy, and growing NGO that is starting to kick out investment opportunities ... and one that got started right here with a couple of nudges from oilmanbob, Alan Drake, and NH3? The first LLC to come out of this beastie was formed a few days ago and there is plenty more where that came from - lots of local activists are looking to implement renewable goodness for their home turf and none of it would have happened without me getting my Peak Oil Awareness Certificate right here ...

I love the name, "stranded wind", now that's an interesting way to think of it...makes me think in interesting terms, "stranded sunlight"?

Like stranded gas, it's out there, we just have to develop a way to get it! RC

We own and the associated .com and .net domains, just picked up a crew to develop them ... things are really popping in renewables right now, despite the overall financial malaise out there.

Happy Birthday to TOD!

My thanks to the staff and guest authors - and the important contributions of the many who post here. I've learned a great deal.

Interview with a solar pv firm next week - "P" side of ELP for me - the need for energy just doesn't ever go out of style

Congrats to TOD! May the Peak Outreach continue to spread!

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

Happy Birthday!
Viva la TOD!


Well, happy 3rd TOD...time flies when you're having fun!! My 44th birthday is tomorrow...the first time in my life on Easter. Perhaps, it's signalling a new beginning for me. We shall see.

It is odd to see us in the midst of some of the things discussed 3 years ago. Here we are bumping along the plateau wondering if the latest "peak" is the real peak or not. We have settled into a sort of inevitability, an acceptance of it all. Bring it on, prepare yourself, find your community, start your garden, keep one foot in "normal" world, and one in the "truthful" world...the schizophrenia that defines us TODers.

There is a great book somewhere in all the entries of the last 3 years at who has the hutzpah to put it all together and get it out there...not me...I'm just another cheerleader.

Thanks for all you do, TOD staff, and enjoy the first Sunday after the first full moon of Spring.

A very VERY happy birfday to each and all associated with this invaluable site. I count this place as one of my regular visits, especially Drumbeat Leanan, to keep me informed about the macro trends that get little or no coverage in the mainline infotainment machine. The value for all that you do for us worldwide is HUGE. Many congratulations and increased karma to you.

PS- a new page I'm reading is broaching the very believable idea of a major commodities correction oncoming. Since the page is new I can't even make my own evaluation, but I do hope it's close enough to wreck the ethanol monster before the food chain is totally distorted.



Thanks for all of your work in keeping TOD going.


Illegitimus non Carbarundum

Happy Birthday :-)


Oil Drum has been instrumental in educating me on energy issues. I'm sure I would have learned all the same via some other venue, but it would have taken a hell of a long time. Anyone who's read my comments knows I think time is of the essence. Bifurcations don't come on a schedule, and they don't care that you're life may be turned upside down by the anomaly.

The Fates willing, I and my family will find a way to get through all this and be part of what comes of it all decades from now. If so, The Oil Drum will be owed a debt of gratitude that cannot be repaid.


...debt of gratitude that cannot be repaid.

I already owe the contributors to and the people running The Oil Drum an enormous debt of gratitude. I am working hard to share what I have learned, which I suspect is what you wanted when you started the site. So please take credit for expanding the peak oil conversation: you deserve it.

Best wishes for the coming year!


Happy Birthday TOD.

And one birthday wish:  "Make our opposition ridiculous."  Because there is nothing that this bunch would probably like more than for the deniers of peak oil to be seen as about as sane as platygeans, so we can all go home and work on solutions instead of mere awareness of the problem.

so we can all go home and work on solutions

How true those words....

Happy Birthday! May we weave a balloon of Compassion and Intellect that carries us to safety.

Happy Birthday TOD! Many thanks to all of you who have so generously contributed your time and creative efforts to make this happen.

May you - may WE - never Peak in this undertaking to inform the people's discretion.

Hans Noeldner

P.S. When birthdays roll around, I am always very interested in who gets spanked, how many times, and who does the administering/administressing. Not sure whether this could apply in any mutually-satisfying way to a non-material abstraction like a discussion forum. Oh well, we can hoist frothing mugs of local microbrews and ejaculate three cheers instead.

On this Oil Drum anniversary, thanks for the courage in providing a great website, that's informative, interesting, provacative, interactive and at the leading edge of a controversial topic, Peak Oil.

I am a very new member.

I am tremendously impressed by the high quality of the information changing hands here.

I do not think that "They" can hide for very long from the brainpower evident on this site.

Hopefully, those who listen, will be warned well in advance of coming events.

Happy Birthday TOD
Filling an entertainment gap since demise of West Wing.

Happy birthday, TOD!
Peak outreach is spreading, with a lot of help from TOD, its staff and its excellent commenters.
An example from Holland: (popular Dutch blog featuring a peak oil theme weekend)

Happy Birthday.
And a very Merry Unbirthday to everybody else.


Happy birthday, TOD!

Cudos to you and may the spirit prevail !

It is an honor to walk among giants....


Dear Todders!

I like to say congratulations and good luck to everybody on TOD and the vast majority of the contributors who make the site a joy to read.

I am starved of intellectual stimulation as I work at home and irritate a lot of people, so TOD has almost become a lifeline for me.

What pleases and impresses me is the quality of the collective 'group mind' that TOD expresses. The accumulated brainpower here is gratifying and a thing of rare beauty in an increasingly crass and debased world.

The 'dissident' views on TOD will, unfortunately, never make it into the mainstream, for a number of complex reasons that is not the way the mainstream media is designed to perform. TOD will remain an island of intelligence, knowledge, capable analysis, and intellectual elegance, and we should be profoundly thankful for such small and valuable mercies.

Happy Birthday ... VERY well done ... peaking of crude production wan't actually obviously happening more than three years ago when you were setting the site up, so how did you know it was so imminent?

We live in interesting, unsustainable, times - thanks for making me think, HARD!

Happy Birthday TOD and well done to everyone who contributes to the excellent work that it does.

i credit tod with more educating than any other web resource & all the formal ed i've had.

the major credit i think is the reasonable civility & evidence based reasoning that is maintained; no small feat.

Professor Goose re ;'At TOD, we try to be the bridge between the doomers and the cornucopians, to present as many sides of the myriad arguments as we can, so that we do not become too rooted in any mode of thought.' & the mission of 'to facilitate civil, evidence-based discussions about energy and its impact on our future.' i don't think these are compatible; and this brings to me the recognition that these terms are becoming more & more pejorative & divisive. my concern is that attempting to 'bridge' , while well intended, waters down the mission & may reinforce the camps. Agreed we need the 'many sides of the myriad arguments'.

i feel you strive for the discussion of specifics & evidence of why someone believes what & do a grand job of such.

BTW i love the silence analogy; elevates our lurking.

happy bday tod! what tremendous work!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday Dear Oil Drum
Happy Birthday to You
And Many more...

Well done TOD. I'm a down under addict who has been following your site for nearly 2 years now. It's great as a scientist to see mostly logical debate happening here. The MSM in Australia is almost as bad as the US in it's indifference to peak everything; with a couple of exceptions.
For what it's worth I think it will remain catabolic for a while. We see first hand the insatiable appetite that China has for all raw materials as she races time and various material peaks to industrialise half a billion people in a matter of a few decades. She might keep the global financial webs going for a while yet.

Congrats & keep the drums rolling

Happy Birthday! I used to be a moderator on another forum and what amazes me about TOD is how well it operates with just a little help from Leanan now and then. Great people all around and a good mix of fact-based essays and conjecture.


Congrats to everyone at The Oil Drum. You've made a difference by enabling a whole range of views to be critically evaluated.

Excellent stuff!

Happy birthday, TOD. Thanks to the organizers, posters, mods, Leanan for the Drumbeat, everyone involved.
Hadn’t realized there were so many readers. Excellent news.

Happy Birthday

And if the Bday is 23 March instead of 22 March (post date) then it's a bit of a coincidence ;-)


Hippo Birdy Two Ewe TOD

From the Big Uguly Tod Troll

(tear rolling down cheek)

You like fambly to us. (sniff sniff)

"Speak only if it will improve upon the silence.

You don't suppose some of the regulars here have verbal diarrhea?

Keep on trucking, TOD (only at a lower speed to conserve diesel).

Happy Birthday.

It was three years ago Good Friday that we took delivery of wonderful adopted daughters. That always makes this Friday good for us. It also makes an extra excuse to eat chocolate eggs.

In Memorium




He announced that he had terminal cancer and would stop spending time on TOD. Hopefully still with us in life, but ...

That is why I included him.

Best Hopes for a VERY Long Goodbye for Airdale,


I didn't know about Airdale (don't read enough of the threads).

Sad news.  Thanks for posting it.

Edit:  His announcement is here.

Congrats on an amazing achievement in creating one of the top-tier energy sites. The interweb's a fickle beast. This site's phenomenal growth has everything to do with the consistent quality it serves up day after day. As always with a site this good, the staff makes it look effortless, even though we all know how far that is from being the case.

PG - this is one of the greatest teams I've ever had the priviledge of being part of.

There are icy winds blowing through the UK right now, and its about to get a lot, lot colder.

RIP OilmanBob.

Cry Wolf

PS I sitll can't *f spell:-)
PPS - I just remembered, Heading Out - the wisest member of our team.

The UK situation bears watching closely. They seem to be the "canary in mine" as to how a developed,advanced, relatively high population island nation can manage to survive with very little home energy production.

It's fascinating, and here's why: Until the development of the North Sea, which is much more recent than most folks realize, Britain was a nation without oil or gas resources Coal was the mainstay until halfway through this century, and from then until the 1980's the UK was a major net importer of oil. So in one way, for the UK, it's back to the future.

The other interesting comparison to make is with another high population very advanced developed island nation, but one that is "cursed" with no home oil or natural gas resources, that being Japan. How have they grown and prospered over the last 3 decades?
Japan is interesting and instructive, being in effect a Britain that never found a North Sea. Fascinating comparison.

On it's third birthday, The Oil Drum continues to draw those of us fascinated by the sheer complexity of the human energy structure, and has provided again and again essays and ideas that simply cannot be found elsewhere. I have found priceless information here, and it has opened up a far more complex view of the energy world to my mind than I originally came here with. It has been from my first discovery of this cyber college of energy an educational and enjoyable experience.

Best hopes for many more! :-)

Roger, when you stay in the UK its less fascinating - more scary. The curse of indigenous oil and gas is one that not many people or nations understand. Closer to home, France provides another interesting comparison - sitting pretty with all those nuclear reactors - and of course a not trivial amount of nuclear waste.

The UK of course is now less united than before, and Scotland's situation is more close to Norway while England lies closer to France (without all the nukes). There is a growing sense in the UK that we will face a nat gas crisis before very long. I think we can expect more than a little tension between Scotland and England at that point.

Hmmmm unintended consequences... Being half Irish by descent, the mind turns to wondering whither goest Scotland, thither goest the NE portion of the Emerald Isle? If things get dicey, that is.


The problem with the comparison is the fact that they have survived in an industrial age during a period of relatively free movement of resources around the globe. When and/or if exporters can no longer/choose to no longer do so, Japan, Ireland, Korea, et al. are very potentially screwed.

Korea Vulnerable

Bring back the Turtle Boats!


Feliz cumpleanos.

It's better to know than not to know.

Happy Birthday !!! From a long time kibitzer

Many happy returns, TOD! Keep up the good work.

Happy Birthday, TOD!

Longtime (almost daily) reader, occasional commentator (in an earlier life as Vermont Agatha Zoe, I think it was). Have learned and continue to learn a lot from TOD. Although I've been Peak Oil aware since 2005 and even taught (with a much more knowledgeable colleague) an introductory college course on PO in the spring of 2006, I haven't felt I had much to contribute to the TOD discussions.

What I most appreciate about TOD, apart from the technical expertise of the various contributors, is the self-correcting character of the dialogue at the site. This is, of course, the nature of principled and respectful dialogue that we all need to honor and preserve; and TOD, over time, does do exactly that. Congratulations and thank you!

I might add that, although I am by profession an historian of early modern philosophy and science, not a scientist per se, I feel a special kin with many folks at TOD; because my father was a petroleum engineer, working for ARAMCO just after WW II, then Socony Vacuum in Nigeria and Angola. I remember living in Nigeria and Angola (which I left for good in 1953!), but not Egypt, where I was born. My father is no longer alive, but I do wonder what he would have made of Peak Oil.

Anyway, thanks again for all the hard work you do and all the valuable, fascinating, and often chilling conversations that result.

One final little comment: as a gift of appreciation to the colleague with whom I team taught the freshman-seminar-like course on Peak Oil, I gave her a little enamel refrigerator magnet of Cicero's wonderful remark, "Dum spiro spero" ("While I breathe, I hope!").


Happy Birthday and С днем рождения!

I appreciate greatly TOD and have used it in my teaching of geophysics. It combines and integrates experts in energy, policy, production, exploration and visionaries in a broadly inclusive and wide ranging discussion of the critical issues that we all face. The site is greatly needed!

Bravo and well done!

Happy birthday oil drum



=> Oil Barrel Pyramid Model

Happy birthday TOD!

I have been reading articles on this site for almost three years now.

This site and the wonderful people who contribute have brought many hours of joy and sorrow to my life! ;)

This is easily the best most DETAILED source of IMPORTANT engergy information in the world.

Standing on the shoulders of the giants who contribute, I have learnt so much, my only hope is that one day I will have the courage to return some part of the great wealth of knowlage that I have gained.

happy birthday and Best wishes to all,

Happy birthday TOD!! I've been with you almost from the start (though just lurking for a long time) and you've been - and continue to be - both an education and an inspiration. It's an honour to be counted among those who have contributed articles :)

Before you and Energy Bulletin got going it was a heck of a lot harder to find information and informed discussion out there.