DrumBeat: May 25, 2008

Credit crisis was crude compared with this oil price surge
Where the banking meltdown has largely been confined to the paper-based hinterlands of structured debt products and banking writedowns, the ongoing surge in the oil price is very much a real-economy issue.

Whether you subscribe to the view that the world has sufficient oil for another 50 or 200 years is immaterial. Amid surging demand from emerging economies - and undoubtedly an element of the froth that speculation has brought to the party - there is little reason to suspect that crude prices are going to experience a serious correction anytime soon.

Pemex Says April Oil Output Drop Biggest in 12 Years
May 23 (Bloomberg) -- Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil company, said April crude production fell the most in more than 12 years as output at its largest field declined faster than the company forecast. Output at Cantarell, Pemex's biggest field, fell 33 percent to 1.07 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Ministry. That was the lowest output since March 1996 at the field, which peaked at 2.192 million barrels a day in December 2003 and once accounted for about 60 percent of the company's output.

Australia: Labor to review GST on petrol

FURTHER ways to cut the price of petrol at the bowser are under scrutiny after the Federal Government said it would look at revenues from petrol in its planned tax review.

The tax review was announced in this month's Federal Budget, but ministers Jenny Macklin and Chris Bowen confirmed today the review also would investigate whether GST charged on top of the petrol excise should be scrapped.

Cheap oil is history. But why?

Shortly before dawn on the morning of May 26 1908, it came gushing out of the sands of Persia in quantities that would transform not just the region’s fortunes but the entire world.

A century on, the global gushing noise is being replaced with something else. There’s plenty of the black stuff still down there, but it sounds more like someone slurping at a straw, poking around the bottom of a glass in among the ice cubes.

Ben Stein: Running Out of Fuel, but Not Out of Ideas

Gasoline is unimaginably important in our lives in the United States. Without gas in virtually limitless supply, and at prices we could afford, American life would change. We could no longer afford to live so far from one another and from our jobs. We could no longer afford to cruise in cars incomparably larger than those of our counterparts in Europe and Asia. In a way, we would stop being America as we know it.

Maybe this would be a good thing. After all, do we really need to have a 6,000-pound S.U.V. take a 100-pound high school student across town to buy a Diet Coke? Do we really need cars so big that they have flat-screen televisions for the children in the back? Do we really need to pour so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere? And it’s certainly not great to belch out immense quanta of carbon monoxide, a deadly poison. . . . So, what to do? First, we do not kill the geese — the big oil companies — that lay the golden eggs. We encourage them and cheer them on to get more oil. They need incentives, not hammer blows.

London's new mayor says oil deal struck with Venezuela will be scrapped

LONDON: The British capital's new mayor, Boris Johnson, said Sunday he was ending a controversial deal that has provided cheap Venezuelan fuel for London's transport network.

The agreement, signed last year by the Conservative Johnson's predecessor and Labour Party rival, Ken Livingstone, provided discounted oil for London's iconic red buses in exchange for advice on urban planning in Caracas, the Venezuelan capital.

Iran to boost oil production

Tehran, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Iran's deputy oil minister said that Iran will boost its oil output to 4.3 million barrels per day by the end of March 2009, local daily Kayhan International reported on Sunday.

Such a rise of oil production owes to some major projects implemented by the oil ministry this year, said Seifollah Jashnsaz at a press conference.

Mexico's big oil source

Oil has long been crucial to Mexico's economy. While it is less important today than in the past, oil still accounts for about 40 percent of government revenues. However, Cantarell, the world’s third-largest oil field, is facing an uncertain future.

The well hasn't run dry: deal makers set sail for North Sea

It was dubbed the "Hallowe'en massacre". But Canada's decision to impose swingeing new taxes on its oil and gas trusts could see millions of dollars heading towards the North Sea.

T. Boone Pickens' prediction: Oil production is reaching its peak

Mr. Pickens is one of several Texans who are pushing the Peak Oil theory of oil scarcity into the mainstream. He believes humans will soon use up half the oil they can extract, and oil production rates will drop, never to recover.

The controversial theory gives oil investors reason to bid prices to record levels and has prompted some local officials to create contingency plans.

Ceilings Come Down to Earth

The cathedral-ceilinged "great room" -- a defining feature of big suburban houses for the past 15 years -- is losing favor. Owners say these double-height rooms are expensive to heat and cool. They can be drafty and reverberate noise. Cobwebs are hard to reach, painting requires long ladders and washing the second-story windows can be a nightmare. Moreover, growing numbers of home buyers think these soaring rooms waste space.

OPEC chief promises to help Ecuador increase oil production

Visiting OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri Friday promised to help Ecuador solve "technical problems" in improving its oil production capacity.

Ecuador's national oil company has witnessed a drop in output in recent years due to aging equipment and a lack of investment. Its current production remains at 170,000 barrels per day, one third of the country's total output.

Iran to boost oil production

Iran's deputy oil minister said that Iran will boost its oil output to 4.3 million barrels per day by the end of March 2009, local daily Kayhan International reported on Sunday. . . .

Iran's current oil output is 4.207 million barrels per day, and the increased output will be supplied from Darkhovein, Shademargan and Hengam oil fields in southwestern Khuzestan province, Jashnsaz said.

Rebuilding America Special Report: How to Fix U.S. Infrastructure
American infrastructure is in trouble, from collapsed bridges to leaking dams. In a yearlong investigation, Popular Mechanics uncovered the fresh ideas, smart engineering and new technology we need to fix it. Here’s the plan.
Caution Urged in Signing Leases for Tapping Natural Gas
With more than 900 oil and gas well permits expected in New York State this year and booming interest in the Marcellus shale deposit extending across West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York's Southern Tier, local landowners could soon be talking like Texas oil men. But minerals experts signal caution and urge landowners to get educated, learn how to negotiate and think about forming a cooperative of landowners before signing the first lease offered by a natural gas company.

Energy fears looming, new survivalists prepare

My worst fears are wrapped up in that story. Not my expectations, but my worst fears. But one has to take the worst case scenario into account when preparing - lest they be caught in the hurricane with no supplies on hand.

Robert - The idea of survivalism is no new passion. My best friend in High School was Mormon and they have been encouraged by the church to prepare for bad times ahead going back decades. He still works a regular job (Security Mgr. for a Casino)but from what I understand they are beginning now to prepare for the worst. Globilization cannot survive in it's present form with $10.00 gas.

Perhaps people should be frightened. No?

Rumor you can dispel, maybe.

Safeway Supermarket came out of Mormon stockpiling.

Far out, PeakOil.com picked up by the AP. Maybe that's why the site's down at the moment...

We're much leaner now on survivalists than a couple years ago. Surprising we never had a form your own militia thread.

What bothered you about the story, Robert? In lean times you'll get a segment of the populace locking and loading, sure, but the story also talks about people learning how to make soap and herbal medicines.

Hmm, what's this, "peakoil.com hits MSNBC.COM"? Now that'll do a job on your site traffic!

Yes, PO.com is being hammered, ever since the story came out yesterday. It's even worse today.

I agree - the peakoil.com site is sloooooow. I posted a request for questions for James Howard Kunstler there but the site is not responding.

Very good to see links to these sites on mainstream media!

Can you help me out? Here is my request:

Mr. Kunstler commented on my show in a recent podcast. I provided a video response/request and he has agreed to an interview. I would like to hear the thoughts of this community: what questions do you have for Mr. Kunstler?

I know this oil drum may not be the site for such a request so feel free to comment at http://www.kriscan.com or wait for peakoil.com to come back online.

Thanks for all you do!


Nice web site. You remind me of Obama girl for some reason. Go Peak Oil Girl!

Ya...are you the woman that did the PO video/strip dance thing not too long ago? Good PR stunt I thought.

LOL, the peak oil strip video was my favorite, I didn't understand a single word she was saying... lol, just kidding, it is nice to see women so passionate about a subject like this.. All the college women my age are too into getting wasted at frat parties to consider, much less understand, such issues. Good work though


I run a Peak Oil website (http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net) and am starting a cult . . . excuse me - "post oil sustainable commune" - in the woods here in Northern California. Perhaps you'd be interested in being the cult's . . . excuse me "community's" Alpha-Female. If so, feel free to contact me via the website.





You have no scruples whatsoever. I think she's a bit too intelligent for your band of monkeys!!

Attn Kris & Matt:

I think you two would make an excellent match--just an opinion from an older guy--hope you two can somehow meet & greet in person.

Why, you dirty old man. Wish I had thoght of that.

I'm 29.

If I was 29, I'd be a dirty old man, too. Now, at 63, I'm just old and dirty.

Dude, you are true visionary!!

Until now, I've been concerning myself with oil supplies and boring stuff like that. The real solution is for the "enlightened" to form cults and let the vast majority of people die.

New Cult Checklist
1) need a name (Calgary Cargo Cult?)
2) some land (shouldn't be a problem)
3) cult vision (repopulating the planet)
4) supreme leader (I was just elected)
5) female/male ratio (10:1, 20:1, 50:1 ?)
6) financing (I'll think of something)

Great time to be starting a cult.
After all, somebody has to do it. :))

From page 311 of The Entropy Law and the Economic Process by Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen:

"..only in the late twilight ofthe human species, when human society will very likely disintegrate into small packs of humans, will the social factors which produce the circulation of elites fade away, too."

Is NOW the "late twilight" that G-R means?

Anyone else read this book? I found it haunting, interesting, prescient. It was published in 1971, by the way!

I thing you are going to need more than a website and some land.

The culture hasn't yet made the shift to: sustainable lifestyle = superior mate.

During this transition period, you are probably going to have to spice up your offer with some of the more traditional attractants. Diamonds and gold make good bait, especially in an inflationary environment.

Now you just hold on one minute, Matt Savinar! I'm the one that's gonna be puttin' together the post apocalyptic peak oil cult! I'm gonna call it "The Church of Unlimited Credit," and I'm the "All Knowing, All Seeing One Of Great Vision."

Just so we have that understood...

SubKommander Dred

Well, now you've done it!

As a good looking intelligent women in a room full of nerds, it is only a mater of time before the marriage proposals start.

Hey Kris;
Thanks for posting here. Sorry to see that noone really tried to give you any Kunstler Questions.

I don't know what to ask him myself. I don't really find his tone useful.. while he does get a lot of attention with it. There's something to be said for that, I guess.

I've heard him say he lives in, if not suburbia, then a populated area. Aside from his writing, what does he do to get his household AND his community more prepared for what might be coming?

Good luck with the interview.
Many Thanks for your efforts to get the word out.


What bothered you about the story, Robert?

My fear has always been that the Doomers are right. This story gives a taste of the world in case they are. The suffering will be unbelievable, and I have to try to navigate my family through this. That's why I pay close attention to stories like this. I want to know what people are doing; how they are preparing.

My hope is different. My hope is that we will muddle through this, and while we no doubt have some difficult times ahead of us, we have a massive amount of fat to cut.

In fact, I just posted a thought experiment on my blog:

Coping with Gas at $100 a Gallon

The purpose of the thought experiment is quite simple. I want to find out - in desperate times - just how much people can cut. Interested in your thoughts on that if you want to post them. For me, it's a window into whether the Doomer view is more or less likely. When people say "I just don't have much room to cut", then I am more pessimistic. But in my own life - and I have already made major cuts - I still have a ways to go before I have cut out all the fat.

Robert, lots of people can cut lots of spending and lots of driving. The problem is that lots of people will then no longer have a job. I fear that anything other than exponential growth in energy usage and spending will almost immediately result in a depression or worse in the United States. This country will not cope well with a economic collapse.

i think an additional issue is that people will have lost their financial ability to put alternatives in place to allow themselves to maintain some features of their current standards of living. In other words, most alternatives aren't free. Further, time is of the essence. You can't immediately install a PV system or solar hot water or start to grow a large proportion of your food, much less, preserve it.

To me, the word "doomer" prevents/puts off many people from taking needed action from a risk management perspective. It biases discussions in much the same way that "peak oil theory" is used to deflect the serious issues raised by reduced energy supplies. I feel self-reliant is a better word without the baggage that doomer carries.


"i think an additional issue is that people will have lost their financial ability to put alternatives in place "

I think this is a hugely important point that the technocornucopians seem to willfully ignore.

And not just on an individual homeowner basis...

I think this is a hugely important point that the technocornucopians seem to willfully ignore.

nobody ignores it. if anything the doomers ignore the fact that you need peak oil to make these new energy sources viable.

there will always be people with money. think how many cars and homes will be bought this year even though there are high gas prices and the worst housing market in forever.

there is always the old technologies of conservation, car pooling, cutting back and etc.

If they are not able to replace fossil fuels now, they will be even less viable once the full effects hit.

In my 2006 Net Oil Exports Revisited article, I talked about "tiny houses," as small as 100 square feet, along mass transit lines, as huge swaths of the 'burbs are basically written off:

I propose a sort of triage operation: "tiny" homes and multifamily housing along electric mass transit lines. In my opinion, it is the only way that we can preserve some semblance of a civilized society. The suburbs are, by and large, a lost cause.


I see the future for Mr. and Mrs. Westexas:


That was pretty much the response when I first raised the subject in 2006, but I somehow suspect that super efficient small, low cost, houses are looking more and more attractive now.

Having said that, what is preventing us from downsizing is what the commercial showed--SNS, Spousal Nesting Syndrome. The cost of admission to a New Urbanism community, where I could walk to my office is a townhouse which costs twice what our current abode costs, so we have a stalemate.

I was recently chatting with a senior petrochemical executive and his wife, who live in Detroit. They bought a McMansion in 2005. When I suggested that they sell now for whatever they can get, the wife almost screamed (I am not exaggerating) "House prices will recover!" Cognitive Dissonance in full force. Two problems: they would have to take a huge loss and it would be a loss of social standing, to move a smaller house than their peers.

Yeah, we can all live in tiny super efficient housing and mine oil shale/sands for a living just like 1750's London when coal mining/burning was the trendy thing to do. I think when people look at the tech fixes such as super efficient housing ect they underestimate the amount of people that are going to be unemployed in the future. I know people can't predict the future, but I wouldn't think it too much of a stretch to say that. Think of all those people working at the hordes of restaurants, spa's/salons, coffee shops, car dealerships, advertising, retail sales and a plethora of service/luxury jobs that encompasses the entire American economy. With the Fed building up the debt and altering interest rates and keeping economic downturns since the 1930's rather small by comparison, we have taken out the natural selection of the economy, meaning the businesses that shouldn't be there have been aloud to prosper because of a huge debt build-up. The economy works a lot like an ecosystem when hard times happen those that are most fit to survive will and keep the population lean and smart, but all our businesses have fattened up just like our people. When the inevitable down-turn starts like it has, recession, much more businesses are going to be weeded out and more people laid-off, because their are too many restaurants and coffee shops. People are not going to live in ultra efficient housing because they can't afford any housing cause they don't have jobs. They won't be able to afford PHEV's either, so those won't be saving the day anytime soon. I think perhaps a government CCC or something might help where people can work decent probably hard jobs building new energy infrastructure and can live in government small ultra-efficient housing. I don't know if I like that proposition but that's better than nothing. I wasn't directing anything towards you westexas, just speaking in general.

What do you guys think?

No, ultra efficient housing will not be stopped by a weak economy-a weak economy will kill large, energy inefficient houses of low property value, i.e. once the cost to heat and/or cool a dwelling exceeds a certain % of the dwellings value the dwelling value quickly spirals to zero (Detroit has more than a few of these buildings).

Maybe there is a good employment opportunity in converting all of those wasteful "cathedral ceiling" spaces into accessory apartments.

I think you don't make enough allowances for human ingenuity.

You don't need to insulate the whole darn house - if money is tight then people will live in single rooms, and insulating those will not cost a fortune.

So there is a job - insulating properties.

If EV cars are not affordable then electric bikes and scooters will lead the way.

There are jobs there.

So there is some chance that not everything will be kaput, and so maybe we can move on form humble beginnings to EV cars and efficient houses.

We had massive unemployment in the UK in the 80s - on the whole people cope better with adversity than prosperity.

I think that last sentence is profound and very true. It's the waiting thats killing me....

You had massive unemployment in the UK in the 1980s while at the same time global oil prices were collapsing and oil availability was increasing. Given the incredible reliance our entire civilization has upon oil, you might want to ponder that fact a bit longer.

I don't believe that I indicated in any way that the high unemployment in the UK was caused by oil.
The reference was simply that people are quite ingenious at getting by, and that some of the thought processes of an informal economy took root at that time, and may be helpful in any depression caused on this occasion by peak oil.
So you might want to ponder a bit longer on making your post relevant to the discussion at hand.

And you miss the point entirely. The unemployment was not caused by oil but the entire scenario was softened by a rising global energy profile. Will the ingenuity you saw be possible in a world of shrinking energy availability?

The key question is "What is the decline rate?" And we do not know. A very low decline rate and the world has time to adapt. Above some threshold though, adaptation cannot occur rapidly enough and the result is disaster. You cannot simply assume that everything will be ok, which is exactly what you are doing. You are whistling as you stroll past the graveyard, hoping, praying, believing any belief-based thing you can grasp that it will all turn out fine.

That's not exactly a heartening prescription for adaptation now, is it?

If you would address what is actually written rather than continually re-interpreting my statements into something else then the discussion might be more productive.

In no way did I imply that anything would be easy, and in no way do I predict outcomes, as they are dependent on a lot of choices which we don't know how they will be made in the future.
In fact we don't even know for sure such basic parameters as how expensive or cheap solar energy is likely to be in five years time or what price great new insulation materials such as aerogel will sell for.

I am at a loss to understand why you conceive that ingenuity will not be important whatever the future holds.

In five minutes in the local pub I got more sensible responses - an older couple when I said that their pensions might not be worth very much and heating might be dear said that in that case they would have to wrap themselves in their duvets in the evening, and do more on their allotment.

I did not say that oil caused previous unemployment nor am I saying that adjustment will be easy or predicting how successful it will be.

If you actually want to address what I did say, fine, but please don't simply invent things I haven't said.

I never once claimed that you said that the unemployment was caused by oil. That is your interpretation of what I said and how you are getting that I have no idea. What I have said twice is that the unemployment of that era occurred during a period of rising global energy, not during a period of declining global energy. That is a very different situation, one in which simply ingenuity may not be sufficient. The general assumption that we can just tighten our belts a bit and all will be fine is one that should be challenged. Without active mitigation, including the adoption of new energy sources at least close to the quality and volume of fossil fuels, just tightening out belts may not be sufficient at all.

However, it appears that we're not communicating here, for whatever reason. And rather than waste your or my time further, I'll leave you to your assumptions.

Hmm, you certainly said:

You cannot simply assume that everything will be ok, which is exactly what you are doing. You are whistling as you stroll past the graveyard, hoping, praying, believing any belief-based thing you can grasp that it will all turn out fine.

and that was based on nothing at all that I said in my post, merely your interpretation of where you thought I might be coming from.

In actual fact I make no predictions on whether we will successfully adapt, I do however think that there is scope for actions which will mitigate whatever is coming down the track.

I'll leave you to your assumptions, unless they involve entirely misrepresenting what I have said.

Another website I comment at is CommonDreams.org, and they've started to pick up more items about Peak Oil as more are published. I view these as an opportunity to educate and direct others here for more data and discussion. This and this are the two most recent articles and associated comment threads. There's also a very important, IMO, speech transcript by David Korten, author of The Great Turning and When Corporations Rule the World that references Peak Oil as a catalytic event for change. I wholy agree with that point-of-view and elaborate on how it could be used politically in the second link's comment thread:

"When will folks storm the castle? I expect the oil/energy/economy crisis to continue escalating as we get ever closer to November and await its being linked to the Iraqi Holocaust during the debates between Obama and McCain, if not outright in the Democratic Platform. Obama certainly will be pushed by activists to articulate how he proposes to Change our way out of what is the USA’s Achilles’s Heel. My advice to Obama, posted elsewhere already, is for him to come clean to the country about Peak Oil, its challenge, and how it can be mitigated, as it cannot be solved since oil is finite and will eventually become uneconomical for most usage.

"Peak Oil can best be mitigated by electrifying rail-goods transport, rapidly building up rail-based public transit, and the associated electrical generating capacity comprising wind, solar-thermal, wave, tidal, and geothermal; by legislating the internal combustion engine out of existence for personal use and replacing it with electric cars; and by redirecting human and animal waste streams to replace fossil fuel produced fertilizers with Organic-NPK (one of the most hidden/forgotten aspects of Peak Oil is the unsustainable dependence of farming on what is being termed Industrial-NPK [nitrogen, phospate, potassium, I-NPK], generated soley from Natgas and rapidly depleting, mined natural feedstocks). The only feasible method of financing such a massive and absolutely needed project given our over-extended deficit-depleted financial condition is to comepletely rollback the US Empire and use the Trillion dollars in annual savings while reinstating the progressive tax structure put in place by FDR during WW2. Such an endeavor will also drasticly reduce CO2 and other greehouse gases, which also must be done. The third benefit from would be the establishment of world peace as the main driver of war–the US Empire–will cease to exist. The fourth benefit would be to promote greater equity both in the US and worldwide as the culture change needed to fuel the Great Turning envisioned by David Korten, and called paradigm change by myself and others, would gain traction as the forces of reaction and Empire are put in their place–under the collective heel of the world’s people.

"Is this idealistic? Yes, but it is also pragmatic. It also provides a comprehensive answer for the ~80% of Americans who want Change in the country’s direction. Furthermore, it MUST happen if we want any sort of viable future for ourselves and our children. Such honesty and vision would ensure Obama’s election and re-election. And it would provide a start at removing the dark stain on us as Americans responsible for our country’s Imperial depredations that have gone on for far too long."

Other things unmentioned but related to energy consumption and climate change are the need for greater population density/smaller housing spaces. But in returning to the fear at the head of this thread, I must really insist that folks read Korten's speech. IMO, which RR seems to share, is that Doomers only point to one possible future scenario, but there are too many variables and thus many potential scenarios containing hope exist. Yes, I agree that our current lifestyles must be sacrificed, as I've posted on before, but that also opens up vast new opportunities.

As I imply above, we are writing our future now more than ever before. The timeline between our present actions and future outcomes is quickly shrinking. Change must happen ASAP for any hope of a smooth mitigation of Peak Oil to occur.

Since America doesn't make its own stuff anymore, the big challenge with quick economic restructuring is finding secure suppliers for the tools. Can we realistically import wind turbines from China if we don't know if the ships will keep bringing spare parts?

Another thing is that while I would rather just cut the military budget 90% tomorrow, doing so would put the US into a depression and wipe out many of our remaining manufacturers overnight. We know what Americans would do with such a big tax cut; they'd just try to get more imported gasoline and keep making mortgage payments to the Wall Street parasites.

However, I don't think most Americans trust the government to do anything except kill; they won't reroute the defense budget into a central coordinating agency for economic reconstruction. They will feel different once unemployment hits 30%, but if we wait that long we will face other obstacles to organized reconstruction.

There was a concept I have been working on for many years for a novel I wanted to write, but it is a dire alternative since I intended for it to be the prelude for a civil war. The idea was that African-American militants, unable to stop the white majority's drift into privatization and right-wing extremism, would pretend to cooperate with the religious right's crusade to stamp out public schools by starting their own schools under the cover of local radical black churches. But these schools would be military academies. This cleverly exploits the culture of the white Southerners who dominate the far right; military schools are revered in their culture for slavery-related reasons that have officially been forgotten, now defined as instilling "discipline" and "honor" into their own yahoo spawn. How could they say no to the same for blacks?

But these New Schools would not operate like any military academy seen by man. They would function as vocational schools by actually running stores, repair shops, radio stations, etc. Business writes off inner-city locations as being too big a security cost. The New Schools would have the advantage of their own unified militia to defend all their properties at once, while the capitalist enemy pays private guards to defend only their own scattered properties.

In recent years I've expanded the idea of where this militia/industrial complex might go to include energy and food production. So I've tried to find out about energy sources that might be available in cities like Chicago and New York, like wind and dry-rock geothermal. Also I've read up on aeroponics. On the political side, since I started working on the project we've seen the extraordinary rise of militias in Lebanon and Iraq, which indeed are the only organizations willing to govern the poor while the regimes of the rich become irrelevant American toadies.

Now who do you think is going to care about sustainability, conservation and localization; a surrounded ghetto militia or a regime floating on Saudi loans? That's getting to be what our future choices are narrowing to.

Anyway my urban energy bet is on a network of tethered flying wind turbines which also perform air defense functions; by the time the American mainstream is willing to hand over its cities to militias just to save on taxes I don't think anyone will be worried about the disruption of commercial air travel by arrays of barrage balloons.

You should be envisioning our remaining manufacturers, who are almost entirely in defense, retooling to make wind turbines, various solar gadgets, and so forth.

Wouldn't it be sweet if we saw major defense contractors turning out wind power gear and floating platforms so we could "mine" the Arctic for ammonia while simultaneously replacing the sea ice cover?

We'll have to go on a war footing eventually, the question is if it happens at a national level, or if we wait until it's regional post serious collapse. Sooner rather than later is better.

"We'll have to go on a war footing eventually"

i think we are supposed to be on a war footing now and if we were paying for it with real hard earned tax dollars instead of running up the credit card, we could call it an actual war footing.

imo, major defense contractors will continue what they are doing now - looting the treasury.

Since America doesn't make its own stuff anymore


2007 U.S. Exports Reach Record Levels

A raw dollar figure is irrelevant unless it is adjusted for inflation and also addresses per capita production versus consumption. Pulling a number out of your ass like that is about what we've come to expect from you, john15. And it's why no one here takes you seriously.

Tell me, what percentage of goods sold in the US are made in the US today versus 1950? Do you even know? What percent of GDP does manufacturing represent today versus 1950? Yet we consume more now than we did then, thus all that has occurred is that we've offshored the heavy industries and the pollution which they produce to poorer nations where corporations have sufficient money to run roughshod over local authorities (usually via bribes).

Yep, lots of unemployed people will become employed in government programs and live in camps or dorms. Maybe they will work on salvage crews, tearing down all of the vacant, gutted and maybe torched suburban McMansions and converting the suburbs back into farmland.

The suburbs are, by and large, a lost cause.

really? so where is 40% of the population going to live. you've got to be kidding me.

Many/most will move.

Build-up TOD, increase density in existing housing, convert existing commercial space to housing, etc.

And some would sleep in their cars as our economy contracts.


If most people move, then the suburbs will be "out in the country" again, and the peak oil cults being formed above will move out to the new country in such numbers that it will begin to look like some kind of sub-urban community.

Then they'll have to move all over again.

Don't you think the math involved with doubling the size of the cities will essentially eat up even move oil than just staying put and telecommuting? Won't one need a job in one of those commercial spaces in order to pay for this exciting new home in the city?

Lastly, where are all those electric rails going to go if there is no other place.

I guess it's not last after all. Why would anyone sleep in a car when there are two million empty houses? I've always assumed anarchy included trespassing.

The suburbs will become housing for sharecroppers. Houses abutting the agricultural fields they were built on will certainly be used.

Don't you think the math involved with doubling the size of the cities will essentially eat up even move oil than just staying put and telecommuting?

No. Not even close.


I suspect that many of those RVs and Airstream trailers are going to be finding permanent homes in the parking lots of major employers, and will become housing for workers that can no longer afford to commute to work.

That is an excellent interim suggestion!

So where is 40% of the population going to live.

The same place where 80% of the population will live as seawater rises. Or get their fresh water as the water tables shift.

Famine killed 7 million people in US Great Depression

Another online scandal has been gathering pace recently. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, deleted an article by a Russian researcher, who wrote about the USA’s losses in the Great Depression of 1932-1933. Indignant bloggers began to actively distribute the article on the Russian part of a popular blog service known as Livejournal. The above-mentioned article triggered a heated debate.

The researcher touched upon quite a hot topic in the article – the estimation of the number of victims of the Great Depression in the USA. The material presented in the article apparently made Wikipedia’s moderators delete the piece from the database of the online encyclopedia.

The researcher, Boris Borisov, in his article titled “The American Famine” estimated the victims of the financial crisis in the US at over seven million people. The researcher also directly compared the US events of 1932-1933 with Holodomor, or Famine, in the USSR during 1932-1933.

In the article, Borisov used the official data of the US Census Bureau. Having revised the number of the US population, birth and date rates, immigration and emigration, the researcher came to conclusion that the United States lost over seven million people during the famine of 1932-1933.

“According to the US statistics, the US lost not less than 8 million 553 thousand people from 1931 to 1940. Afterwards, population growth indices change twice instantly exactly between 1930-1931: the indices drop and stay on the same level for ten years. There can no explanation to this phenomenon found in the extensive text of the report by the US Department of Commerce “Statistical Abstract of the United States,” the author wrote.

Analyzing the period of the Great Depression in the USA, the author notes a remarkable similarity with events taking place in the USSR during the 1930s. He even introduced a new term for the USA – defarming – an analogue to dispossession of wealthy farmers in the Soviet Union. “Few people know about five million American farmers (about a million families) whom banks ousted from them lands because of debts.

The US government did not provide them with land, work, social aid, pension – nothing,” the article says. “Every sixth American farmer was affected by famine. People were forced to leave their homes and go to nowhere without any money and any property. They found themselves in the middle of nowhere enveloped in massive unemployment, famine and gangsterism.”

The then state of affairs in the US society can be seen in Peter Jackson’s movie King Kong. The movie starts with scenes of the Great Depression and tells the story of an actress who did not eat for three days and tried to steal an apple from a street vendor. There is food in the city, but many people had no money to buy it in unemployment-paralyzed New York. People starve in the streets against the background of stores selling a variety of foodstuffs.

At the same time, the US government tried to get rid of redundant foodstuffs, which vendors could not sell. Market rules were observed strictly: unsold goods should always be categorized as redundant and they could not be given away to the poor because it could cause damage to businesses. A variety of methods was used to destroy redundant food. They burnt crops, drowned them in the ocean or plowed 10 million hectares of harvesting fields. “About 6.5 million pigs were killed at that time,” the researcher wrote.


Mother F****rs, you know it's true too. It's exactly what they would do - did - will do.

I have no reason to expect the political classes here in the UK/EU would treat the dispossessed any differently. The MSM is gagged and would be told to spin out faster its daily mindwash.

Bad as the agricultural policies were, I think it's a bit too much of a conspiracy theory that they managed to sneak away 7 million people from the historians.

Read John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath which was required reading in my U.S. public high school.

Pravda = truth = propaganda.

A lot of those "tiny houses" could actually be accessory apartments in garages or attics or basements.

Or "just trying to cope" might be even better.

To some extent, yes. It might also mean though, that people will just have to apply more brain power and muscle power. Instead of buying a shiny new GEM NEV, they might have to team up with the neighborhood shade tree mechanic and convert the old Honda Civic into an Electric car. Instead of a shiny new manufactured solar oven or solar space or water heating panels, they might need to make their own with cardboard and wood and metal and glass and aluminum foil and insulation, all scrounged and recycled. Instead of replacing their old inefficient windows, they might need to build their own storm windows and insulating shades or shutters out of whatever materials they can find.

And some of it might just be a matter of adjusting their expectations. The person who hoped that they could replace their car with a PHEV might have to settle for an NEV instead. The person who wanted an NEV might need to settle for an electric bike. The person who wanted an electric bike might just need to walk.

Much of it though, is just going to have to be curtailments - doing with less, doing without. Instead of heating at 65 or 62F, you might have to live with indoor temps down in the 50s. Instead of bumping the air conditioner up to 78 or 80 or even 85F, air condition might just be something past tense, with open windows and fans being all you have in the summer time. Instead of lighting the whole house with CFLs instad of incandescents, you might have to live in a house that is mostly dark at night, except for one bulb in the one room that you are in at the moment. Instead of drying clothes in an energy-efficient dryer, you might just be using a clothes line. Instead of switching vacation travel from air or car to Amtrak, you might just have to skip the vacations and stay home.

Somehow, in millions of little ways, people will figure out how to cope, whining all the way.

Part of the answer is that we are going to have to take a page out of FDR's book, and redirect that idle productive capacity into producing public goods rather than unwanted private goods. We'll need to revive the CCC for a start, and put people to work on a wide range of conservation projects. There will be lots of bike paths and walking trails to be built. We can also put them to work helping on energy retrofits of older buildings, especially for those too poor to afford to do it themselves. We're also going to need to employ a lot of idle manpower in a massive ramp-up of renewable energy production. The list of things that could be done and need to be done is almost endless.

It is still not clear to me what you mean by "the Doomers are right". Is it:

A) that declining oil production must of necessity cause the industrial revolution to unwind, meaning people must either starve to death (due to declining food production) or freeze to death. Or,

B) that human mass psychology will lead to societal failure as fear grips large groups of people (regardless whether their homes can still technically be heated, or food delivered to them) and the resulting chaos leads to collapse of governments?

On the $100/gal mind experiment:

Afraid I may not help your mood much here, as I've already eliminated virtually all automobile use (thus reduced my gasoline consumption to a few gallons per month.) Plus, since I live in California now I do not do any cooling in my abode, thus my electricity consumption is not very large. Part of this is purely choice of lifestyle (and being single allows such), part is due to force frugality in order to plan my future better.

If gasoline be $100/gal I'd be much more concerned about the social fabric around me falling apart enough to greatly increase crime. Also that commerce around me would fail. For example, I don't live too far from a small produce market owned by a farmer who hauls in the produce three times a week, from his farm some 30 miles away. I doubt he could continue to do that if gasoline rises to $100.

A) that declining oil production must of necessity cause the industrial revolution to unwind, meaning people must either starve to death (due to declining food production) or freeze to death.

Yes. I am inclined to the view, though, that economic collapse is probable.

It is possible to separate out the clauses above. 1. That declining oil ability will make the industrial revolution unwind


2. That many people will then freeze or starve

Can be seperated from one another - 1 does not inevitably lead to 2. That is, it is possible to conceive and to create a non-industrial, non starving and freezing scenario. IMHO, part of the danger of mass death is created by the fact that we have yet to really sit down and fully explore the degree to which 2 is not an inevitable consequence of 1. As long as we imagine that we have to keep industrial society going in the face of lots of energy infrastructure, we can't really get into the mitigation scenarios for 2 - or to asking ourselves *really* how far we can cut. The answer, I think is very, very, very far. But that goes much better if we get to work on making it easier earlier - but it is difficult to keep a two pronged solution going, with most of our efforts directed at keeping industrial society going. Thus, the direct mitigation of suffering gets short shrift.


I was going to add a PS to my entry, but unfortunately the editor would not allow.

What I would have added is that if I were still living in Japan I would have greater confidence in the "muddle through" part, as the Japanese have had to work out over the centuries many times how to "muddle through."

I agree with you that starvation and freezing don't have to necessarily follow from a decrease in oil, but I was trying to flush out RR on whether his fears were due to the physical requirement for energy or due to the social instability due to human self-centered-ness (of which I see "survivalism" being one form.)

If I have any doomer tendencies they tend to arise out of my belief that humans have a difficult time living along side each other without killing each other. Our base nature is to be strongly territorial and moderately aggressive primates.

However, all is not so bad, I think. If I might share an observation from the gym this weekend: I overhead two guys (in their 30's) talking about gasoline prices, and evidently they saw the newsclips showing the executives from the oil companies being grilled by Congress. The two weightlifters didn't express any sympathy for the execs; however, they both agreed that the two of them would be subject to the high prices (in their view mainly the responsibility of the oil co's) until they were able to buy electric cars or somehow get off of gasoline.

I guess I was encouraged that both of them realized that they needed to find a transportation method that didn't really on liquid fuel from oil.

Absolutely, but the mindset in the average first world consumer has to change, the traffic on Peak oil dot com is a good start, but just a start.

If industrial society gradually slows down and there is a soft landing per say then adjustments can be made in mindset and in human activity. 1 does not equal 2

If the mindset is not changed what will happen is that economies will go all out using up natural resources in general and energy in particular until there energy availability falls off a cliff, and perhaps this is what is happening. this will result in a hard landing.

The outcome of a hard landing, i.e. energy crash will be that 1 leads to 2.

I would argue that the outcome is not certain, but that the longer that mitigation is put off the greater the possibility that the worse case scenario will result.

Currently the efforts are concentrated on keeping things going BAU. And the longer and harder to keep things going BAU will result in an outcome where we are further away from BAU than if we would mitigate and cut because there will be a hard crash and then society itself will unwind like a watch spring, where if society mitigated its economy, life would be different, likely far different but perhaps our social fabric would stay intact.

As time goes by I feel less and less sanguine.


While it would be nice if the majority of humanity could plan ahead and cooperate, history doesn't seem to favor that outcome.

American 'doomers' didn't build the walls around Jerico, Troy, Celtic villages, or London. Nor did they influence the Anasazi to build their dwellings in a location that required a terrifying, dangerous commute.

When something (drought, AGW, PO, take your pick) disrupts food supplies for a large population, any community that wishes to survive had better have walls. I'm thinking interstate highway slabs, tilted up, might be the quick way to accomplish this.

Errol in Miami

I'm thinking interstate highway slabs, tilted up, might be the quick way to accomplish this.

Yes. Brings to mind the guy that was moving huge blocks of rock around in his back yard to demonstrate it could be done with just block and tackle.

There is a popular tourist site in Miami called "Coral Castle"; it was built by a lovesick man, working alone with simple machines. While coral rock is pretty porous, I would guess some of the blocks weigh a couple of tons.

Errol in Miami

The International Harvestor/McCormack Magnate.

While it would be nice if the majority of humanity could plan ahead and cooperate, history doesn't seem to favor that outcome.

Don't we believe in Darwinism when it predicts something we don't like ? If energy crashes massive numbers of people will die. About 40% (there's a cool theorem about that with the nice name the "birthday problem"). It won't be pretty and it will involve a lot of wars, and you won't know in advance who will survive and who will die.

And it won't be a war for dominion, or for territory, it will be thousand little wars to extermination. People will fight, not for land, not for money, not for islam, hitler, stalin or communism (althoug some certainly will) like they do today, but they will fight to kill, fight to remain alive by killing enough others. Fight like they did a long time ago.

Moreover, if even small problems start manifesting, all the rulemaking, all the UN tries to do, will be for naught. Once the choice becomes "the law or my TV", it will be the TV, even if they have to steal the electricity. Once it becomes "the law or children", or "the law or a wife" (or in the xor interpretation), what do you think will happen ?

If you don't like this way of history, go to the church. And work to maintain the status-quo even against your own intrests. Vote for Bush, McCain, or whoever you think will maintain the status-quo until fusion works. Economy says that just *might* work. It will work, to be exact, if enough people do that, and if they stick to it, or if they manage to isolate themselves. It is truly remarkable what some communities have achieved this way.

Obviously the second option requires belief in the goodness of God, or of the world if you will, a willingness to make sacrifices. Today not that many. Tomorrow maybe more. If you don't have the faith for that, it is doomed to failure.

The population curve of homo sapiens, from its hunter-gatherer origins to now, is so extreme that comparing it with any other mammalian species which has seen similar population overshoots, you find an extreme bias towards massive dieoff in the 97%-99% range.

yeast is the model.

Sharon, sorry for the late reply - it's a West Coast thing.

It is my projection that we will see the first of the starving and freezing this winter as diesel and furnace oil climbs above $5/gal in the U.S. The N.E. U.S. is far removed from the food sources on a mass scale and approx. 40% use furnace oil for heating.

Compounded misery. Watch the fuel supply stocks leading up to October and that will tell all.

Will we as nations (U.S. and Canada) stop and rethink this thing? That is the interesting question.

A lot of it comes down to rate of change. $100/gal by 2025 is one thing, by 2010 is quite another.

Right now, too many people still think that the recent increases are temporary. We are still waiting for the paradigm shift to become widespread, for the majority of people to "get it" that rising gasoline prices are not something temporary, but are the new normal. Once that change of mindset happens, people will begin making adaptive changes in earnest, and will begin actually anticipating future increases and acting accordingly. If they have enough time, that is. The real trouble starts when the rate of change overwhelms these adaptive changes. That's what we really need to worry about.

At $100 per gallon, gas powered chain saws might not make much sense. Or maybe one will use the big gas powered saw to fell the tree and finish up with an electric saw running off PV panels like John Howe has on his golf cart. PV array, inverter, winch, saw and log splitter. Doesn't work all that well deep in the trees, though.

cfm in Gray, ME

I don't think a hundred dollar a gallon gas an diesel would slow those with wood lots down - the alternative is using nothing but $100/gallon fuel for heating ...

Further to my comment to Robert below (PDT is a disadvantage), don't worry about $100 gas. It will all be over by then. And I'm not even a doomer. This is self-apparent.

All the food systems - kaput!

All the petroleum energy expansion - kaput!

Nuclear power plant construction - kaput!

Just the uncertainty of the price of transportation fuels is enough to kibosh these these systems and projects. How do I know? I'm dealing with it right now.

I just bought a big one-person crosscut saw this weekend. I probably ought to get a two-person saw as well.

People DID cut wood before chain saws, you know.

My hope is that we will muddle through this, and while we no doubt have some difficult times ahead of us, we have a massive amount of fat to cut.

I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "muddle through," but one of my greatest fears is that we do just that, muddle through. For me that implies doing just enough to get through without actually collapsing. But that would imply that fossil fuels continue to be burned and that CO2 keeps rising, even if more slowly.

And that is a recipe for disaster if the new thoughts on climate sensitivity are correct. We'd be looking at a world minimally 3C warmer than pre-industrial days. And that would look like this:

3C Warmer

What people need to realize is that we really don't have a choice, even if you discount Peak Oil completely. No matter what, we have to transform the world economy, and that almost certainly means eventually arriving at a new paradigm not driven by growth. And *that* means an end to fractional banking, conglomerates, etc.

I do think we can downsize and keep connections alive, thus avoiding a New Dark Age, but it will require cooperation.

And that thought sends me into waves of despair. I don't see it happening if it must rely on human cooperation on massive scales.


What "muddle through" means to me is that a) no one knows just how things are going to shake out and b) therefore there is no way to develop some sort of master plan to make it all happy and easy.

Muddling through to me means a decentralized approach, different solutions making sense in different places. Taking advantage of opportunities and technologies as regionally appropriate.

It is the opposite of believing that some top-down government "energy policy", or one-size-fits-all techno-fairy, is going to shield us from reality.

I agree with RR. Best hopes for muddling through!

Wow. Someone must have taken a LONG damn time to write this. This is worthy of being over here in full.

Anonymous post over at R^2's blog in response to $100/gal gas

Anonymous said...

I would move south. Living north of roughly 40° would be untenable energy wise. A reasonable assumption would be that the Canadian border would probably move south to the Mason-Dixon line. Because transportation costs would be extremely high, I would sell or abandon all personal property.

I believe that I would not be the only one moving south. It's highly likely that the authorities would respond to this migration by encouraging the development of 250 sq ft flat projects. Note, they're now doing this in LA today and this tiny square footage living space is becoming more common in other urban areas as well. The big question is would be more like college dorm or more of a slum. I suspect slums would be more common. Because this tiny space is something I would not be able to share (hell, I found 850 sq ft tough to share), I would either have a partner in a different one somewhere else or become single again...

[edited by Leanan. Please don't post other people's work in entirety without permission.]

cheery future rr
May 25, 2008 1:52 PM


I think the bit about bicycle seats harming 50% of males is a strawman. I have one of those bike seats that consists of two hinged pads that rest under each buttbone, completely open in the center.

If this guy can't find or figure out a technofix for something so simple, his entire output is questionable.

Errol in Miami

[edited by Leanan. Please don't post other people's work in entirety without permission.]

How do you get permission from Anonymous?

If you can't get permission, don't post it. Post a link.

I wonder how far down the energy depletion curve we have to go before we realize that if you don't want your information shared, then it must begin with the person possessing that information in the first place.

Or, in other words, there is no such thing as intellectual property once you open your big fat mouth.

A person who posts anonymously, say like a person with a number for a moniker, retains no rights to that information, regardless of what is proffered by a system of laws which rests on a foundation which has been broken since its inception 4,000 years ago.

Yeah, well, in the mean time, we want our intellectual property rights respected, so it's only fair that we extend the same courtesy to others.

The right, excuse me, the privilege to anonymity negates the privilege of "ownership" of what was said anonymously.

Be sure to tell Joe Klein that he needn't have been paid royalties from his publisher for the first year or so Primary Colors was available, as well as many other works with obvious pun nom-de-plume's that they are obviously anonymous.

Well, Mr/Ms "710", your indignation at being caught stealing is doubly ironic.

The "no one owns it, so I'll take it" attitude is a big reason why we are in such a mess. People here normally understand that better than most.

The poster who had the insight and information owned it when it was in his/her head, and then voluntarily gave it up to the online public in a voluntary anonymous post.

Did I miss where the information was plagiarized or unlinked?

What worries me from a UK perspective is the casual violence and vandalism that is virtually endemic in our society. When this is happening in the 'good' times what the hell are things going to be like when times get tough?

As an example of the mindless society we now have, in this city on Friday night in one area thirty youths went on a rampage and slashed one hundred cars tyres. Just another typical nightly 'monor' incident in England.

The analysis I read a few years ago by MI5 that the UK is 3 meals from anarchy I believe is very true. I think it is inevitable that things will get bad.

"...things will get bad"

Things are already bad and getting worse, even inside the ultimate bubble, the "Belt Way" of D.C.

Firefighters Find Water Gushing From Vacant House

E. Swanson

In similar vein, my mother rang the other night to warn that one are of our city had over eighty man hole covers stolen and to take care when walking. (Ironically a lot of UK manhole covers are supplied by a local company that now has them manufactured in China - guess where the scrap is probably going!)

Since last December the local news has reported three incidents where whole villages have been cut off the telephone network as thieves have stolen hundreds of metres of copper underground cable.

And this is only the tip of an iceberg when times are supposedly still good.

Interesting about the manhole covers. Dmitry Orlov writes about the disappearance of these in Russia during their collapse:

" Post-Soviet Lessons, Part II: Differences Between the Superpowers

One summer I arrived in St. Petersburg and found that a new scourge had descended on the land while I was gone: a lot of manhole covers were mysteriously missing. Nobody knew where they went or who profited from their removal. One guess was that the municipal workers, who hadn't been paid in months, took them home with them, to be returned once they got paid. They did eventually reappear, so there may be some merit to this theory.

That's not very PC, it has to be personhole covers.

Nope. "Personnel access shaft." I kid you not.

Coins of the future?

On the island of Yap, the coins were even bigger than that.

Yap Money

Here in the Bay Area of California we have approximately 3 1/2 to 4 days of food, according to our disaster preparation officials. Very likely most areas of the country are in a similar situation.

More interestingly, we apparently have just one day of fuel. The earthquake recovery plans spend a great deal of time on moving fuel into the Bay Area after The Big One. I'm not very confident the fuel will be available.

(I recently completed the Neighborhood Emergency Response Training and am a registered volunteer FEMA worker.)


Pandemics, even a middling serious flu outbreak will put society to the test. What will you do, go to the supermarket to stock up? Supermarkets will be vectors for the spread of the flu; bad place to be.

cfm in Gray, ME

I couldn't agree more. Your worries are also shared by a large proportion of my farming neighbours in West Wales. We may take comfort in the forty or so miles of road that separate us from the nearest city with known large numbers of potential thugs (Swansea), but one can envisage circumstances in which even that safety zone might not be enough. Although most of the pessimists on TOD seem to hale from the USA, I think the likelihood of complete social breakdown is probably higher for the UK, given our much greater overpopulation and dependence upon international trade (in a weakening currency) for our staple necessities.

Oh, I don't know! I once had a night out in Swansea, it was all very civilised until the mini-buses arrived from the valleys :)

I agree about the UK though. When I assessed my own plans for our peak oil/economic collapse/climate change future back in 2003, it was obvious that the UK was not the place to be. I sold everything and left (and haven't been back since).

Regarding security issues, I think people should be more afraid of the State, rather than specific social groups. When it comes to causing physical harm and problems for the majority, the State wins hands down.

As for planning for the future, its really quite simple. The less reliance one has on the System (especially economic) and its services, the better chances of surviving its collapse. My conclusion was that to do such a thing in the UK was/is almost impossible. Also, the first thing that people will lose as the collapse commences is choice.

Gernos, Sut Da chi?

I live in North Gwynedd and hope to create a more or less self sufficient lifestyle somewhere in the hills, away from large populations.

I would appreciate any thoughts and conclusions of you and your farming friends regarding this. How do you see events unfolding in Wales? What are your thoughts on, ahem, defensive measures?


It's good to know the numbers, and TOD certainly provides that. The only relevant facts are those which can effect us personally, and a large detailed scenario driven map allows us to plan more effectively.

The worst case scenario for me and my family is to become homeless and destitute. Of course we don't need PO to cause that, but that scenario firms up 2 - 3 years ahead.

So the issues of population, industry, and national energy tend to pass beyond my horizon when one accepts that; people will kill you for no reason, let alone a bite of food; industry is virtually non-existent; and the electricity and gas is off. WTF do you do then?

My current endeavours are totally geared toward making enough money to be able to afford to buy a smallholding and become as self-sufficient as possible, I admit to a twinge of jealousy of those who have that lifestyle already, and I wish them fair fortune, they'll need it.

My view is powerdown voluntarily before being powered off in-voluntarily.


The suffering will be unbelievable

I think people are overestimating how difficult it would be to remove 90% of their energy consumption.

I use no gasoline, no air conditioning, no heating, and no incandescents, and yet I could reduce my energy needs by 90% without much trouble. If I, who already have a low-energy lifestyle, can do that, almost anyone can by accepting similar levels of inconvenience. Here's how it works:

First, about 1/4 of my raw btu usage is due to flying; in this scenario, teleconferencing and local vacations would take that to zero.

The rest of my energy use is overwhelmingly electricity. The major components (including work) are:
1) Refrigerator
2) Washer/dryer
3) Hot water heater
4) Cooking
5) Computers

What would I need to do?

1) Switch to non-perishable foods and turn off the refrigerator. Canned meat instead of frozen, canned or fresh vegetables instead of frozen, water instead of milk, olive oil instead of butter, etc.

2) Handwash clothes in cold water.

3) Heat water as I need it, and only for 3-minute showers.

4) Lots of healthy, tasty recipes can be prepared in a short time on a single burner. I'd miss tea, though.

5) One laptop instead of multiple desktops.

Given those five changes - none of which would be all that painful - my electricity use would go down by around 90%. It'd be a sacrifice, certainly - there's a reason I haven't made those changes already - but I think people enormously underestimate the scope of relatively painless changes that are possible (or maybe people trivialize what "suffering" actually is). The six changes above would leave me much, much closer to a modern lifestyle than to how my grandparents grew up, and they didn't do that badly.

Using drastically less energy would be a hassle, but it just wouldn't be as big of a deal as a lot of people are making it out to be.

Anyone who says people wouldn't make the above changes and also move to a small apartment close to work or spend twice as long to bike/transit/carpool, give up most of their hobbies, stop travelling, and deal with almost all temperature by sweaters or sweating in order to survive a serious energy crisis is simply fantasizing that they're somehow better and more knowledgeable and more noble than "those people" are. They're not.

The thing is, it's not even a matter of whether people will want to make these changes or not; they wouldn't be able to afford not to, if energy prices started rising to $100/gal. The massive amount of merely-inconvenient demand destruction that would ensue from these measures would keep plenty of energy for truly necessary parts of society, and would hugely accelerate the buildout of alternative energy sources. $100/gal-level prices simply aren't sustainable, not when current technology can give us wind/solar/hydro baseload at 20c/kWh.

In the West, at least, enough alternative energy sources already exist and enough demand can be removed without real pain that there's no plausible scenario where critical functions like agriculture wouldn't be able to get energy. Moreover, fossil fuels are currently abundant, and their production is large enough that their availability has a limit to how quickly it can decline; getting down to 25% of current availability for the West will be a period of decades, not years, and it's again fantasy to think people won't spend those decades building replacements.

A near and rapid peak wouldn't be much fun, but even tiny apartments and no cars or AC isn't "unbelievable suffering". The worst plausible scenario is a return to the economic malaise of the 70s.

But hopefully not bellbottoms. *shudder*

The worst plausible scenario is a return to the economic malaise of the 70s.


Jeebus. The worst plausible scenario, given that we are a biological organism in severe planetary overshoot, is a 99+% reduction in our population.

An implausible, though not impossible, scenario is near-term extinction.

I'm not worried about the extinction of the human race.

I'm more trying to avoid the breadlines.

The UK manages to effectively kill the incentive to economise, preferring to go for high cost and fancy prestige projects with urban wind turbines and so forth.

The kill it by the simple expedient of allowing the energy companies to charge low users differentially more,often much more, as they are incentivised to sell energy not conserve it, and low users still cost them connection fees and so forth.

Obstacles to economy here are political rather than technical and a result of totally uncordinated Government policies.

2) Washer/dryer

Dry on clothesline. Washer - top loading Sauber (see my profile for link) 8 gals of water, 300 watts max (if my memory is correct.) A really big pully on the drum end. Should be adaptable to a bike pedal if you got really energy starved.

3) Hot water heater

Evacuated glass tube hot water heater

4) Cooking

Solar oven - see my profile for a shaffer dish style.

5) Computers


The worst plausible scenario is a return to the economic malaise of the 70s

I'd say the Jay Hanson/Chimp who drives global thermonuclear war. But if you want to worry about malaise....

Well Robert, I won't partake in your exercise for gas at $100 per gallon because it is a non-sequiter. We should be focusing on gas at $10/gal or $15/gal, or more importantly in N. American anyway, diesel at $8/gal.

After all, for many parts of the country diesel = food.

(Hope some journalist picks this up, it is simple and poignant)

I can't imagine for all of you that live in densely populated areas how you must feel? It must be disheartening to take a look around in your every day life and ask yourself, "Just how is this going to continue?"

Do you feel like you are watching the build up scene in a horror movie? "Don't go into the room innocent and attractive young lady!!"

So PO hits the mainstream and we find out we are not delegates for the short bus anymore - now what?

P.S. I hate being on the West Coast because by the time I get involved the cocktail party is long disbanded. Makes for some tragic artsy film construct really...

P.S. I hate being on the West Coast because by the time I get involved the cocktail party is long disbanded. Makes for some tragic artsy film construct really...

You are three hours late to the party. Try being 13, then you can complain.

Siwmae Robert,

If you and spouse are carrying small children, can I suggest that the Archdruid is very comforting for people's Worst Fears.

JM certainly thinks that industrial civilisation is probably doomed, but that we will by declining in a series a steps, with respites, and even rallies, in between.

Dmitri Orlov is quite comforting too about the chances of holding the decline at not worse than the third stage of collapse -- though I have to say that my intuition has been for some time that the US's collapse will be quite a bit worse than the SU's, and might go deeper down the five stages.

My only dependents are my dear dogs, so I sympathise with younger people caught in this mess with small children. Best wishes.

Too bad they didn't mention TOD since it is a better and more informative site than peakoil.com.

Yeah, we spell better on our LOLcats.

I think it's just as well they linked to PeakOil.com instead of there. The traffic is killing PO.com. There's a flood of newbies asking things like what kind of gun to buy to hold off the zombie hordes, or saying peak oil is nothing to worry about, we just need to buy Priuses or stop drinking bottled water.

And there's a truly unbelievable amount of spam today. Fairly on-topic spam, like ads for wood stoves, renewable energy stock tips, and perpetual motion machines, but still...holy crap.

Oh the irony!

Years 1996 - 2008 :Why dont the MSM pick up on Peak Oil!

Years 2008+ : I wish they had not published our Web address, they have brought it crashing down.

Time to start another site:

www. i told you so but you wouldnt bloody listen would you? dot org.


Surprising we never had a form your own militia thread.

Naw, there have been. Shouted down or deleted.

That story was run in the Kansas City Star front page section, page 3 and includes the web address to peakoil.com. The front page had this story: With gas prices soaring, would-be travelers think ‘staycations’

My jaw just about dropped off my face. It is now NOT a taboo to run this stuff in MSM.

How many other metro papers ran the story today?

How many other metro papers ran the story today?

Probably a lot. It's an AP story, and I've seen it all over the place on the net the past couple of days.

Yikes...is SuperG ready for the onslaught here at TOD? If peakoil.com is down, folks are going to start Google-ing and wind up here!!

It is not too far off that TOD, Peakoil.com, etc...will no longer be needed...as we all migrate to survivalist.com, http://frugalfolks.com/, etc.

But here's the story on the US that the World
is reading now:

Famine killed 7 million people in USA - Pravda.Ru
Famine killed 7 million people in USA. Famine killed 7 million people in USA ... “Few people know about five million American farmers (about a million ...

There is a plaque at the Frnaklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in Washington D.C. quoting the late president:

"I see one third of a nation ill housed, ill clad, and ill nourished."

Rampant real estate speculation with the use of interest only loans (balloon notes) coupled with rampant stock speculation, followed by bank failures, and a terrible drought on the plains led to the Great Depression. Oil production was increasing as the nation emerged from the Depression in the late thirties.

Currently there are forecasts for an above average wheat harvest in Kansas and the United States this year. Some have speculated that it may take four years to rebuild grain stocks. On the other hand the future of corn is not certain as fewer acres were planted this year and more ethanol distilleries were being built. Some areas such as parts of Australia, the Texas Panhandle, and Pakistan were reporting drought if not emminent disaster.

Man, thats a lot of firewood under his deck. Looks like I have a lot of catching up to do. Guess I should start with a wood burning fire place.

I remember reading some of these stories close to Y2k (not to compare PO to Y2k because I know its not the same, not even close) but I would say many people will read this story and specifically think of Y2k and classify these survivalists as nutcases since they are so convinced that "there there is enough fuel if we would just drill in ANWR, damnit!"

That is not a lot of wood. When you burn wood for heat, you very quickly realize you need a mountain of wood to heat your house.

Maybe enviro attny lives in a big energy guzzling house that takes a lot of energy to heat regardless of the source. The basics of surviving is to adapt to one's surroundings, but cheap fossil fuels made it possible for many of us to ignore the environment. One could build a well insulated house that has at least some amount of solar heating, which would greatly reduce the energy needed to stay warm. I've built a solar heated house which has made it thru the past 2 winters using about 150 gallons of propane each winter in western NC and that includes running the cook stove. I am still working on the system and expect that things will be even better in future years, even if the weather gets colder. And, I will have a wood stove as backup, having used that to keep the building warm before the solar system was up and running. I think I could heat the entire house thru the winter with as little as a cord of hardwood.

Besides, the size of the wood pile does not show how much is used during a particular winter. That home owner might really be preparing for a difficult future and cutting the wood now before the rush makes it hard to find more wood. There are likely to be many more people heating with wood as the price of heating oil, propane, natural gas and electricity all increase in concert as Peak Oil progresses. The price of firewood can be expected to increase as well, if one does not already own a wood lot.

E. Swanson

My own opinion is that the survivalist strategy is fatally flawed (literally) for two different reasons. The first is the collection of letters my uncle has accumulated that were written by our ancestors in SE Iowa at the time that area was first being settled: the death rate was staggering. Farming is a dangerous business, and absent antibiotics and other aspects of contemporary medical care, many accidents that can commonly occur have a good chance of killing you. The second is that, unless you are part of a substantial community, your chances are slim against the hungry well-armed mob that will eventually be at the gate.

I think a more modest, more efficient, electrified version of our current structure is possible in several regions of the US. I'll spend my efforts working towards that goal.

Ok, this article is moronic. I was actually interviewed by the author, Samantha Gross, for this article, and thankfully, they didn't quote me. She told me the article would be about "people making sustainable life changes because of peak oil" - if she'd told me that she was planning this bit of idiocy, I would have turned her down.

The idea that Kathy Breault (who I hooked Gross up with for this interview) is a survivalist is one of the stupidest things I've ever heard. She's a midwife and grandmother who is working her butt off to make sure her little corner of the world (Washington County NY - where Kunstler's novel takes place) doesn't end up like a Kunstler novel. Even in the article, the people interviewed are talking as much about community solutions as personal ones - emergency services, community midwifing, etc...

The problem here is that the media don't fully get peak oil - they want to shoehorn it into easily recognizable categories for one of two reasons - either they don't understand it, and can only look at it as another species of "survivalism" or they want to display it as a fringe movement. Either way, the article fails to get it - but it shouldn't be seen as revealing anything about anything important, except the way media distort our discussions.


Shannymara, former admin at peakoil.com, had this to say about the reporter:

She (I think it was a she) PMed a bunch of us a couple of months ago asking for interviews. I declined, but obviously some didn't. I still have her name and phone number. She wasn't being secretive.

Who she sought out I don't know; I agree that she put far too much of a sensationalist emphasis on these "survivalists" who are by and large not around anymore, although to be sure the pessimists still reign supreme.

I took advantage of the publicity to illustrate some basic facts for newcomers: peakoil.com hits MSNBC.COM

The US consumes 20.70 million barrels of oil daily, thus 7,555.5 billion barrels a year. Estimates of the recoverable oil in ANWR range from 7.7 to 10.4; thus if we could extract it all at once it would represent a year to a year and a half of US consumption.

Threw in the list of primers from the TOD front page, too.

Best Hopes for Educating the Public about Peak Oil!

Excellent thought experiment, Robert, but I think my response would be to buy a tenth of a gallon and set myself on fire...Free Smiley Face Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org

7.555 billion barrels or 7,555 million barrels a year

(not 7,555 billion barrels!! That would be ~equivalent to about 2 Lake Eries of Oil being used every year!)

"except the way media distort our discussions."

The media always distorts these types of things, next thing you know gardening will be a "survivalist" paranoia about the super markets being empty.

Survivalists aren't any different than the Boy Scouts, they just have a few more merit badges.

What's wrong with having extra food? Hoarding.....BUT good idea.

Having firearms and the knowledge to use them? Paranoid delusions of grandeur.....BUT most shooters have the same camaderie as veterans and to shoot well requires the same disicpline as martial arts.

Hunting and fishing? Killing cute animals is WRONG...BUT animals will have no problem eating YOU, given a chance. Never mind that it is the oldest tradition and practical too.

Extra medical training besides CPR? This means you might go to the doctor less, and spend less money....VERY EVIL, you must be a "survivalist".

Growing your own food? The stuff at the grocery store isn't good enough for you huh? You must be one of those "paranoid delusion" people, time to lock you up.

Maybe this will open everyone's eyes to painting with such wide brush, eventually it will hit you too. Most survivalists are more worried about the "Jew in 1930s Germany" or Katrina situation than anything else. Y2k was alot of work for alot of people on the prevention side, and just because "nothing" happened doesn't mean it wasn't a problem.
Those here who rant about "survivalist fantasies" are just going off what they read in the media and really have no clue what they are talking about, except their own fears of self motivated and confident individuals.

But "survivalism" does mean something specific - it means solutions that are primarily about personal protection, rather than community oriented strategies. My claim is not that survivalists are bad, but that this is a very inaccurate way to describe what at least two of the people interviewed are doing.

The writer is making the same error you actually are - they are assuming that "survivalism" is about specific practices, not about approach, and assuming that because some people engage in certain practices, that means they have a particular approach.

I don't agree, generally speaking that the survivalist approach is the one most likely to be successful, but I don't find it objectionable in many of its permutations (and I find some community building approaches objectionable too) - I find stupid, inaccurate reporting objectionable.


But "survivalism" does mean something specific - it means solutions that are primarily about personal protection, rather than community oriented strategies.

I don't think that is necessarily true. At least, Wikipedia leaves room for the more community-oriented definition.

Well, it leaves room for the idea that it can be done in small groups - but generally in isolation from the community at large. Given the number of accuracy issues with the article, though, I'm not sure I'd take their definition as gospel anyway.



I think you should back-off a minute and recognize that the first "survivalists" were not in "community" situations. In fact, most selected places where there was no community as such.

There are also many current situations that those of us in the boondocks experience where the only community are the people who share the road. In my case, the "town" is 15 miles away and I certainly don't feel part of a town community nor they part of mine. I should add that I have lived in this area for 34 years so it isn't that I'm a new-comer. My real community is the four families within a mile and a half drive of our house. And, in fact, we have had discussions on how we plan to deal with the future.


Well,if the strategy is to select an area where there aren't any other people intentionally, as a survival strategy, that would pretty much prove my point, wouldn't it? That is, survivalists are working on primarily a personal level, to the extent that they often choose quite isolated areas.

I live in a rural area as well - and like you, my community is the people on my road, a comparatively small number. But I do have community relationships with them, and I don't see building existing community ties, whatever the population, as the same as "getting together a group of people, intentionally moving to extreme isolation, and maintaining a focus on the survival of the group alone."

But again, I don't think survivalism is bad, or that survivalists are bad people. I don't think it is an optimal strategy in most circumstances - no matter how far out you move, you always have to deal with the people around you. Whether your community is big or small (if it is big, subgroups like neighborhoods are mandatory), the future depends on us having relationships not just with the people who share every bit of our ideology, but with others.

Even the most ardent hermits, assuming they do not forgo sexual relationships, are going to want to come out once in a while and trade, and maybe introduce their kids to someone besides their siblings.


I don't think anyone in their right mind would want to be called a "survivalist" since the word has such a negative connotation. This is about like calling all Jewish farmers "Zionists". My Israeli friends tell me the kabutzes have more firepower than any PD in the states and are self sufficent in most things, so that would make them "survivalists" even though there is a high degree of community involvment, such as shared cars etc.

Don't mean to pick a fight with you, but the "labels" get a little ridiculous at times. An organic gardener seems to be above reproach, but an organic gardener with a 22 is a survivalist.

Bottom line is that everyone has the same philosophy for peak oil, "be prepared" but some are using history more as a user's manual than others. No difference in philosophy that I can see, just a wider range of scenarios like an armed neighborhood watch over the community garden.

Does being 50 pounds overweight count as hoarding food?
If so many Americans have already started preparing.

From George Ure's UrbanSurvival 3/9


Talking about how MSM will "Use" the term Survivalist to label people.

The piece last weekend in the NY Times
("Duck and Cover: It's the New Survivalism" http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/06/fashion/06survival.html , in which a Dallas-area exec and US reader was interviewed, has, in my view, missed the point.


The question pops up: Is it correct to label people who are actively constructing work-arounds to keep their own lives independent and free as "survivalists"?

True, a person with a few acres, a well with a hand pump, and a garden or greenhouse and a way to survive heat and cold without relying on Hugo Chavez's country sending us oil might indeed may have higher odds of survival when TSHTF, but "Survivalism" has been morphed by the mainstream into a pejorative term. It's not a compliment.

Farmer NOT Survivalist

The way to avoid the labeling as a 'survivalist' is to actually do something in agriculture which make you a 'farmer'. With headlines like "Rice shortage may continue until August" and "When wheat shortage hurts bakers, it hurts everyone" being a "farmer" will no doubt be a much more acceptable label going forward than being a "survivalist."

I bet if you were to ask someone "What is a survivalist?" they'd answer with things like "People who store guns, food, medicines, and what have you and expect the world to end."

On the other hand, if youi were to ask "What is a farmer?" the answer might be "Oh, they're people that grow some crop or raise some animals, I guess." But, upon closer inspection, you'd find that most farmers and ranchers have a gun (or three) to keep down the local populations of rats, coyotes, and other vermin, and they're also know for canning and storing foods. Independent in thought and deed in the main, too.

Yet MainStreamMedia doesn't attack farmers with the same vigor that survivalists are cast and paranoid people who worry about the theft of the Constitution and other such issues, widely trivialized. Nope. Farmers are level-headed, common sense endowed people.

I was at one of my neighbours last night for a drink. They're not "survivalists" in any sense of the word, nor are they aware of what's coming. They were very proud to show me their cold room (root cellar), stocked with homemade preserves, wines and home grown vegetables. When I left they gave me a box of potatoes and beetroot from last years crop, plus a bottle of walnut oil they'd made.

They're in no way unusual for this area. The reason we had a drink was because I'd just bought an old belt driven grain mill from them (in working condition) and a work bench (made from 4" solid oak timbers). 50€ well spent.

That is the kind of neighbors we all need to have and the kind of relationship with our neighbors. Thanks for being a role model, Burgundy!

From Robert Rapier's link:

Breault cut her driving time in half. She switched to a diet of locally grown foods near her upstate New York home and lost 70 pounds. She sliced up her credit cards, banished her television and swore off plane travel. She began relying on a wood-burning stove.

Even if we were to live an economic bonanza for the next century and peak oil did not exist I would consider those options. I grow my own veggies basically for fun. I have never owned a creditcard, and TV is only stuffing my head with dumb stuff: I most certainly could do without. At the moment I drive an hour to my work and an hour back. Frankly, I hate it and I am harrassing my boss for a job far more local. I used go to work on a bicycle. We used to only use the car for vacations and family visit. I would like to see it that way again even if it weren't for gasoline prices.

The worst case scenarios probably aren't survivable no matter what one does. They are also low probability events. There are a whole range of bad and very bad scenarios that are much more likely to happen, and there are a lot of things one can do that will make a difference on how well one can cope, or maybe even survive.

Rebuilding America

Oil: A global crisis

The Iraq War means oil costs three times more than it should, says a leading expert. How are our lives going to change as we struggle to cope with the $200 barrel? Geoffrey Lean reports

Welsh energy drive turns the valleys green again

Wind turbines are replacing pitheads in providing Wales with power, as its valleys turn green again. With energy prices scaling record heights, the principality is preparing to lead Britain out of the carbon age.

Wales will this week become the first country in the world formally to report on the growth of its "ecological footprint" – the measure of its impact on the planet's resources.

Eco-farming ditched as food prices soar

Soaring food prices are threatening to inflict widespread ecological damage on the countryside, as farmers abandon environmentally friendly schemes that have improved much of the landscape.

Dave, in light of your link "Oil: A global crisis" http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/oil-a-global-crisi...

The Iraq War means oil costs three times more than it should, says a leading expert. How are our lives going to change as we struggle to cope with the $200 barrel? Geoffrey Lean reports

EIA $57 per barrel in 2016

I feel this EIA prognosis for 2016 didn't get the attention it deserved (the other day)

Annual Energy Outlook 2008 (Early Release)(at http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/prices.html) states:

"EIA raised the reference case path for world oil prices....

The real world crude oil price (which for the purposes of AEO2008 is defined as the price of light, low-sulfur crude oil delivered in Cushing, Oklahoma, in 2006 dollars) declines gradually from current levels to $57 per barrel in 2016

($68 per barrel in nominal dollars), as expanded investment in exploration and development brings new supplies to world markets. After 2016, real prices begin to rise (Figure 1), as demand continues to grow and higher cost supplies are brought to market. In 2030, the average real price of crude oil is $70 per barrel in 2006 dollars, or about $113 per barrel in nominal dollars."

Sounds as though they are planning on drilling on Titan.....:-)

true enough, but can they get the equipments out there in time ?

Could be a problem. I understand most of it is on lease to PetroBras and unavailable for the Titan mission.

This was on the main Yahoo page


Talks about peaking of oil production and increase in survivalists

I am hoping that the IEA upcoming report calls enough of the prevailing assumptions into question that the EIA can no longer continue BAU. They will hopefully be challenged to support their projections in a more substantial way.

My theory, the IEA would like to see Obama win over Clinton or McCain. They will unleash a somewhat more "realistic" report just prior to the prez elections.

"LONDON: The British capital's new mayor, Boris Johnson, said Sunday he was ending a controversial deal that has provided cheap Venezuelan fuel for London's transport network."

See. This is what we want. The worst in power when the worst happens.

... it's a little bit like taking handouts from Fidel Castro, the cigar is getting an ugly smell.

Don't bite the hand that feeds you, eh?

A hungry person doesn't care who is providing?

Only the Masters of the country in question.

Myanmar is not the only, or first, to refuse
aid from the outside. ;}

GWB turned down $2 billion in foreign aid for New Orleans.

Useful and quicker than his FEMA in almost every case.

I was annoyed at Laura Bush appealing to Myanmar to allow foreign aid in when GWB excluded foreign aid for New Orleans.


If memory serves and I think it does; Sri Lanka raised $25 00o or $250 000 (pick one) … to help the Katharina victims. I’m not sure whether the dollars were received though.

But the lesson is clear; strange things happen in emergency situations. The poor suddenly rise to help the rich? Is this embedded in our genes? :-)

The poor (at least those above the level of desperation) are consistently more charitable than the wealthy (especially those that were not poor when they were young).

I think it is called empathy.


Well, that's exactly what is going on in London. The new Mayor says so many people are upset by a rich city (London) taking advantage of a poor country (VZ) that they are ending the program. The subsidized fares the program supported will end; I think that is a very noble example of empathy - solidarity almost, of the poor in London with the poor in Venezuela.

I wonder if the Mayor will be handing out AKs to all the inhabitants of London anytime soon. You know, for defensive purposes.

cfm in Gray, ME

I guess it's a case of idiots voting for idiots out of empathy :)

I don't know why, but your post made the following thought come to mind. From a systematic perspective, it would be better to have a breed of domesticated humans, that would operate within the system without problems (to adapt humans to life in intimate association with and to the advantage of a system). So, from a systemic perspective, are wars simply the systematic removal of unwanted male breeding stock?

Homo domesticus?

The stupidest story I heard about that disgrace was them turning down thousands of ration packs provided by the UK because they hadn't been approved by the FDA (fears of vCJD!). They contained everything that the average UK soldier eats on tours of duty.


Greece offered two cruise ships for temporary housing.

And MANY offers of medical help, field hospitals, etc. that could have set up at New Orleans airport or the Convention Center no later than Tuesday.

I know one surgeon who stayed on @ Tulane Hospital# till Thursday evening. All liquids went to patients, staff took IVs for hydration to keep going.

Meanwhile the USS Bataan with 600 hospital beds, many tons of MREs and the ability to desalinate 100,000 liters of water/day was assigned to Mississippi where she "underutilized" per her commander.

And much more.


Fema and da Rat...

(scroll down to 9/16)

Skip was my doc. I'm one of "the other gentlemen, who were wearing VFP (Vets for Peace) T-shirts". Skip, altho an incredibly talented musician, is not the best judge of character.

"annoyed" is such a nice word.

Like shooing a fly. I like it.


"...as farmers abandon environmentally friendly schemes that have improved much of the landscape."

As America discovered the Dust Bowl, they also discovered that
stewardship of the land is not an elective.

Poulsen hybrid conversions

Converts any new or used car into a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle, PHEV.
The system will be available in kit form and can be installed by individuals in a day's time. Conversions will also be offered through a planned network of trained, authorized installers.


At this point the projected price of the basic kit is app.: $3,500
Deep cycle lead acid batteries (not included): $400-450
72V 15 A charger for lead acid. (optional): $300
Installation: $500-600
4.3 KWh Lithium Ion battery pack with battery management system and dedicated 25A charger: App. $4,500


There is quite a lot of additional info in the FAQs section - perhaps the mechanically knowledgeable could comment.

Any calculations possible on performance figures and so on?

Yeah I posted this yesterday late too. The regen is tied into the brake light circut. Self install liability issues pending. It provides up to 7hp ea. at 60mph a mild cruise boost or maybe power for a small aero trike.

I think the interesting part of all this is how many ideas will be pursued in the quest for relief from high fuel costs in order to maintain BAU. A tecno-fix approach like the new Hypermotion kits http://www.evworld.com/news.cfm?newsid=18105 could be helpful but I hope they don't obscure the need for lifestyle changes.

A 10% savings at $15 a gallon is $1000 on an average small car but still leaves you with a $9k fuel bill if you commute actively. First the job has to be there. Second you need enough to cover the fuel increase plus the food increases, plus the other energy costs. It's rapidly not adding up for many of us.

These techno-fixes all seem to add more and more layers of complexity, which means more things to go wrong, for minimal return. I'm not "against" any of this stuff, I just think that these types of "solutions", and the infrastructure to support them, are going to prove fragile.

Yeah the answer as to 'what to do' is indeed 'less' in so many cases.

The answer for me (based on the speed of recent events) has been to jump on the bike and knock out some long rides. Very liberating. There still are a few simple technologies that will work well into the downslope. (Trek starts first crank every morning) That and some good local O-NPK the best 'to do' I can come up with ATM.

I couldn't remember where I saw this - it was obviously in your post!
Apologies - I would have cross-referenced had I remembered.

I agree it is not going to solve everything.
It does mean though that we have another string to our bows, and points the way to a reasonable way to mitigate petrol costs.

It would also increase the market for batteries, and hopefully help to accelerate the switch to advanced lead acid batteries combined with super capacitors, which would do a far better job and at reasonable costs:

The CSIRO in australia [national science agency] has developed the UltraBattery, which combines a supercapacitor and a lead acid battery in a single unit, creating a hybrid car battery that lasts longer, costs less and is more powerful than current technologies used in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs). The UltraBattery has a life cycle that is at least four times longer and produces 50 per cent more power than conventional battery systems. It’s also about 70 per cent cheaper than the batteries currently used in HEVs


All of this increases the chances of improving the economics of pure EV vehicles, which could be a transport solution.

So it would seem to me to be a step in the right direction.

Dave thanks for your reply.
It seems to me that the economies that are 'sucessfully' coping with these accellerating fuel costs will be those that didn't grow up with the dependency in the first place. Localization has been the norm not an adaptation. If you have been producing food and doing commerce at say 2 and 1/2 barrels per person per year all along a semblence of BAU may be a possibility. Life is already a lot of hard work.

I like battery powered vehicles on a personal level like my EV bikes. In the long run probably the big news for americans is that anything like BAU isn't possible even with EV's.
There is no question they will polute much less even powered by coal, that they are a ton more efficient, and that they will help with the process of prioitizing what travel is necessary.

I just see that if indeed americans have to go from 1/2 fuel rations to 1/4 and so on we will inevitably be working more at food production and not travel. Many of the jobs that we currently commute to do not make sense anymore. Second mass transit is going to be way more efficient. That said small EV's (bike sized) for personal transport look real good. The family car concept probably a lot more selective.

This UltraBattery technology is probably more important for mass transit, specifically the electric bus. The battery has just the right characteristics for charging at stops. The battery will have sufficient range between stops, while having a rapid recharge.

Rube Goldberg.

Too much extra weight as well.

Just install electric trolley buses if streetcars (x5 as efficient, longer life) are not suitable for some reason.

*WHY* do people want some new tech solution when 100 year old proven tech works better ?


Best Hopes for Proven technology,


A standalone bus can be implemented basically anywhere, now, by building a bus.

An electric trolley bus would require a lot of expensive electric lines to be put in, requiring permitting and building, fighting public opinion of being a "blight", etc.

An electric streetcar can be implemented by building a trolley, building track, building overhead lines, fighting for years for right-of-ways, spending months to years in legal battles over things to be torn down or moved, spending months to years blocking off sections while the track is put down...

Sometimes 100 year old proven tech can't battle 100 year new Jetson mentality and societal constraints.

France plans to build 1,500 of new tram lines in the next decade. Adjust for population and workweek and that is 5,000 miles of Light Rail for the USA. And not a "crisis mode" build-out.

And buses require roads in decent shape, a "hidden cost".

Best Hopes for the French "Can Do, Get it Done" attitude vs. the American bureaucratic mindset of delay and "we can't do it".


This is the real zinger and it's why Alan's stuff is going to get done.

People who are big fans of PHEVs tend to put their hands over their ears, purse their lips, and blow raspberries when it's time to talk about the diesel required for road maintenance, the bitumen required for road material, and what it means to have those costs going up up up while the property tax base is fundamentally destroyed.

I have a high efficiency Japanese sedan, which the bank would like back, and I'm truly thinking of giving it to them in favor of a battered Ford Explorer, a battered Honda Civic, and a brand new motorcycle. I can have to two four wheelers for the price of repair and a two wheeler will do well on decaying roads. We're seeing it in Iowa, it's definitely in effect here in New England, and it'll only get worse - Potholes-R-Us will be a national franchise in another two years.

Oh, and this change is facilitated by my kids living ten miles from an Amtrak station and my new digs being just an hour from one. If gas goes up just a tiny bit more, say another $0.25, then the Amtrak/drive number balances for me, and I get a day of sleeping, reading, and writing, instead of a day of sitting in one posture while trying to not get killed by my inattentive fellow travelers.

Don't forget my earlier weblink that Putin & Russia is spending $550 billion on upgrading their RR & TOD too. I think this amount is just the initial kickoff.

Meanwhile, my Asphalt Wonderland MSM is still parading with joy commercials for asteroid orbit housing, with the obligatory swimming pool and 3-car garage, country club nestled next to the 18-hole golf course.

Hi Bob.

I almost always read your posts, even if I do not comment.

I am aware of a large number of infrastructure projects in Russia, many of which will reduce Russian oil consumption. A recent energy price increase in Russia was justified as needed to pay for some of these projects.

But I missed your link.

Could you post it again.

Best Hopes for Intelligent Yeast :-P


Just my feeble analysis: I think Putin [who I believe is Peak Aware] is just promoting all these future miles of roads and airports as the 'carrot' to get the required funding. I expect when Russia conclusively starts its Hubbert Downslope: Putin and his Boyz will drastically shift the funding ratio to much more building of RR & TOD. Time will tell when Putin gives his Russian version of Carter's Sweater Speech.

Pretty aggressive Metro expansion plans in St. Petersburg (Putin's home town). Also steady electrification of their railroads.

Several new cities that did not get Metros under USSR are scheduled now (Putin seems to like Metros more than trams). Some more expansion of Moscow Metro, but they are massive already. etc.

Best Hopes for reduced ELM in Russia,


To paraphrase the old saw, best hopes spring eternal.

You keep mentioning a putative French attitude, but a core problem has not improved one iota since the last time you mentioned it, a day or three ago.

The USA remains cursed with a system where any petty two-bit NIMBY with a fantasized grudge against life can, on sheer whim, get a shyster and singlehandedly delay indefinitely the construction of any public infrastructure, no matter how vital. A massive tangle of contradictory laws ensures that any grandstanding judge can always find grounds for delay.

The French, on the other hand, have a tradition of dirigisme that mitigates this sort of thing somewhat. But in the USA, legislative bodies are dominated by trial lawyers who, as a profession, profit obscenely from endless obstructionism. And courts seem well-stuffed with grandstanding judges only too happy to play along. Deadlock.

So who's going to install the dirigisme indispensable to getting anything whatsoever done? How can the logjam ever be cleared when the logjammers themselves run the whole show?

The French take very little private property to build their trams (a few exceptions).

Stereotype is take a busy bus line in a French town (100k + or more) and take two lanes from the rubber tires.

If the rubber tires absolutely NEED those lanes, pave them with cobblestones or rough concrete to keep them out except at the busiest times. Most of the time, convert the lanes to grass with two steel rails.

Often a negotiated purchase on where to put the tram barn (if no good public land available).

Some buildings on corners may have to be knocked down, or a station may require private land, but these are relatively rare.

The sacrilege is taking space from rubber tires, VERY hard to do in the USA. Very easy in France.

Best Hopes for using public ROW,


If a major obstacle in the US is reluctance to make road into railway track, then the coming very high prices for oil should have a very beneficial effect on making expansion of rail possible.

This might be further encouraged since paying for road upkeep is likely to get a lot harder with fewer vehicles, so giving over a lane or two to railways should encounter much less opposition.

Here in the UK closing lanes to cars and making them bus only does not seem to lead to significant opposition. I am more concerned that we won't be able to raise the rather high initial costs of light rail systems.

The French are budgeting 22 billion euros for 1,500 km of trams.

There is a common French design for new systems (different noses & cosmetic differences, but mechanically and electrically interchangeable), so some efficiency of scale.

And French design engineers are really getting pretty good after the last 15+ years of building new tram systems.

Best Hopes for Reasonably Priced Trams,


It's not just the private property, it's also the rails, and the 'unsightly' wires, and the notion, as seen with the L.A. Gold Line, that the rubber-tire drivers can't be expected to look where they're going, and in some cases the notion that adding to public transit in any way will bring more riff-raff into the neighborhood.

The city of Toronto never abandoned streetcars and has a very extensive system. Very comfortable to ride, BTW. The city of Montreal has started putting streetcar lines back in service after the mayor spent some time in Paris and saw what they were doing. Montreal has a tradition of using French technology - for example, the subway system runs on rubber wheels like the Paris Metro.

Toronto Streetcars

Montreal Transit

There seem to be problems, including the small size of the electric motors. The Honda Civic hybrid has a 20 hp motor, which provides the traction power by itself only under very narrow conditions which Honda admits seldom happen in real-world driving. The Civic hybrid also gets some of its mileage boost by auto start/stopping the gasoline engine when the vehicle stops, a feature that seems unlikely to be included in a package intended for consumer installation on a wide variety of cars. Finally, the drawings on the site appear to show the torque bar attached to the exterior sheet metal of the car body; it seems to me that that arrangement will be subject to fairly early mechanical failure.

Thanks for the analysis.
Us non-engineer types are dependent on folk like yourselves input to get any sort of handle on technologies.
Is the problem with the rather exotic location of the electric motors>
Is the engineering way simpler is you do an adaption by mounting the electric motor somewhere else?
I believe that it is possible to do some sort of conversion on almost all ICC cars - is this correct?

Davemart -

I fully agree with some of the above comments in that any aftermarket hybrid conversion involving the original internal combustion engine with an electric motor tacked on somewhere in the system is going to be highly problematic and fraught with all sorts of reliability and durability issues. In simpler terms, it is going inherently half-assed.

These hybrid systems have so much complexity that the only way to do it right is to design one from scratch so that the internal combustion engine, the electric drive, and battery pack are fully integrated and complement each other. Toyota, et al, have spent hundred of millions of dollars developing a practical and reliable hybrid car.

So my view on such aftermarket conversions is: 'do not try this at home'.

I agree. This needs to be engineered from the beginning to be worthwhile. To save gas drive slower, drive less, keep the tires properly inflated. Share the ride by giving your neighbor a ride. The other thing to do would be to aggressively turn off the engine when not in use. Even at signal lights. If you are stopping for 30 seconds or a minute turn off the engine. I suspect that once a car warms up it should be easy to restart without adding much wear and tear to the car. You'll have to educate yourself to start the car without gunning the engine.

Thanks for posting this, I am taking care of my 2000 Mazda until I can get a conversion like this...

Venezuela-OPEC oil output dispute to be resolved

Venezuela and OPEC differ on how to monitor oil production by the group’s members. OPEC uses outside consultants to estimate output. Venezuelan Energy and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said his country wants the group to accept self-reported figures from members because outside estimates are politicized.

Ramirez and El-Badri discussed the situation when El-Badri was in Venezuela May 20, Ramirez said in a statement.

“We showed the secretary where our numbers come from,” Ramirez said. “The secondary source that’s often cited to show our production has a political appearance. It’s always been marked by a position that’s anti-OPEC and opposed to the exporting countries.”

Ramirez said Jan. 31 Venezuela produces 3.3 million barrels a day. Bloomberg estimates the figure at 2.32 million. OPEC put output at 2.34 million barrels a day in its May report on the oil market.

So magically OPEC official production is about to rise 1 million barrels per day thanks to Venezuela.

Maybe the OPEC plan is to continue to increase reported output all the way up to 100million bpd and blame the increase in oil price to $10,000 per barrel on speculators.

Ha!Ha! "Outside estimates are politicized." Well, thank goodness their inside estimates won't be. After all, the Venezuelan government wouldn't have any reason to lie about their oil production...

"After all, the Venezuelan government wouldn't have any reason to lie about their oil production..."

Why would any producer tell the truth about oil?

Or what incentive do consumers have to power down?

Because petrochemicals are key components to much more than just the gas in your car. As of the year 2002, approximately 10 calories of fossil fuels are required to produce every 1 calorie of food eaten in the US. Source The size of this ratio stems from the fact that every step of modern food production is fossil fuel and petrochemical powered: "

source LATOC

You can tell exactly where we are, IMHO, by looking
at anecdotal economy info.

Like the lumber mills in Arkansas scaled back/shut down
in the Summer 05.

And now our airline industry is collapsing.

"A second wave of post-Sept. 11, 2001 misery is beginning to hit airlines, their employees and travelers — the result of record-high fuel prices and the financially fragile condition of the industry.

The growing disarray was felt by tens of thousands of travelers Wednesday, as American Airlines canceled 1,094 flights to make sure some wiring on its fleet of 300 MD-80 jetliners was secured correctly inside wheel wells."

""The airlines and FAA have spent too much time talking about how safe the system is without trying to ensure the continued safety,'' James Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, said in an interview yesterday.

``What we've found out, thanks to some whistleblowers down in Dallas, is that the system is broken, that the job has not been done, former NTSB chief Hall said. ``It will take some time to get the system back up again."

When the 2007 EIA data come out, they will probably show that Venezuelan net oil exports will have dropped by about one-third since 1997. Even our other great white hope for unconventional oil, Canada, showed a slight net export decline in 2007:



BTW, from the article linked uptop:

However, Cantarell, the world’s third-largest oil field, is facing an uncertain future.

I don't think that there is anything at all uncertain about Cantarell's future.

Overall, the outlook for the sum of the net oil exports from our three closest foreign oil sources doesn't look too good.

Is the export decline from Canada a result of ELM, or from the decline of conventional fields or perhaps both?

Their consumption in 2007 increased slightly more than their total liquids production increased. In the past five years, they have shown about a +2.5%/year rate of increase in consumption. At this rate of increase in consumption, in 10 years they would need about 700,000 bpd of additional total liquids production in order to meet domestic demand. This is approximately the increase that they have shown in total liquids production in the past 10 years. IMO, it's hard to make a case for Canada really making a material difference in the world net oil exports picture.

Also, it would be helpful to look at total net energy exports, on a BTU basis, which would include net natural gas exports.

Output at Cantarell, Pemex's biggest field, fell 33 percent to 1.07 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Ministry.

How many geologists are predicting similarly steep declines for Middle Eastern oil fields?

The Cantarell news is REALLY bad. If the ME declines like that, as Matt Simmons has implied it will, then "A World Made By Hand" is a lot closer than most of us think.

Output at Cantarell, Pemex's biggest field, fell 33 percent to 1.07 million barrels a day, according to the Energy Ministry.


Interesting Undertow – what’s in a number anyway? (just some philosophy)

If Venezuela claimed to produce the imaginary number of “100 billion barrels per day”, what difference would that make? IMO none at all ! Real countries would under any circumstance only have access to the 2-3 million b/d we know of, which really make it to the market. The rest is for what we know, sold to a “funny farm in the jungle”….

Imagine, if all oil nations and oil companies just ended the reporting of their production and reserves … but continued just as today producing and exporting ……. what would happen?
IF the so-called speculation segment (of the oil price) was *contained* nothing would happen – IMO – Because greed in oil nations/companies would assure maximum of possible production at any given point in time … remember greed went on even at $10 per barrel in 1999. None said : we will stop producing at this silly price!

(Surely the PO reality will churn on, but thats another cup of tea)

OPEC needs a "Baghdad Bob" kind of guy for their PR.

"In an age of spin, al-Sahaf offers feeling and authenticity. His message is consistent -- unshakeable, in fact, no matter the evidence -- but he commands daily attention by his on-the-spot, invective-rich variations on the theme. His lunatic counterfactual art is more appealing than the banal awfulness of the Reliable Sources. He is a Method actor in a production that will close in a couple of days. He stands superior to truth."

-- Jean-Pierre McGarrigle

Baghdad Bob

Summary report of the Global Renewable Energy Forum - 18-21 May 2008

The Global Renewable Energy Forum was held at the Bourbon Cataratas Hotel, in Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil, from 18-21 May 2008. The Forum, which was jointly organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Brazilian Ministry of Mines and Energy, Eletrobras and Itaipu Binacional, brought together over 1000 participants and 80 accredited media from more than 50 countries, including high-level representatives and experts in energy and industry from Latin American, African and other countries, as well as representatives from UN agencies, bilateral organizations, the private sector, academia and regional and international non-governmental organizations.

And nary a mention of "peak oil".

I think the Ben Stein article in the NY Times is pretty big stuff. Even though I don't like the fact that he's taking the "we can drill more in the US" stance and the "alt energy" stance, he is getting the discussion out there and relaying some key background information to the readers.

Ben Stein has a pretty big following of conservatives that are turned off by Limbaugh and Co. He is viewed as having more intelligence than most. Interesting that he notes Glenn Beck as a buddy as well.

He pretty much is accepting Peak Oil and giving his own take on it. That is fine. We all have to come to terms. More and more, PO is being accepted in the MSM and political "experts" arena.

Ben Stein was just on CBS's "Sunday Morning" talking about oil and the price of oil. He said a lot of very intelligent things about oil and a couple of very stupid things. Paraphrasing, from memory: "Oil is a commodity and commodities usually, but not always, go up and down. This is looking very much like a bubble but it is a bubble that could last for a long time."

Ron Patterson

Bill Gieste (sp?) also talked about the joys of a stay at home vacation this summer.

And I could believe that oil is "ahead of itself".

1/2/08 -$100
5/23/08 - $131
12/31/08 - $150 (T Boone Pickens)

Is that a bubble ? A small one perhaps.

Mr. Stein also advocated buying a more fuel efficient car and taking mass transit, and was quite clear that the US Gov't can do nothing about oil prices.

Best Hopes,


This is looking very much like a bubble...

Actually, human civilization is the biggest bubble of all, and it, like all bubbles, is bound to burst, or at least deflate, at some point.

Hmmm...growth...carrying capacity...declining resources...overshoot....O-O-pop!!

Actually, human civilization is the biggest bubble of all


I'm not sure why one would consider oil in a "bubble" at $140/bbl though. Its intrinsic worth would be closer to $10,000, to pick a random number more commensurate with what it can do. Once the world realizes that it undergirds most of what we take for granted, why should its price be determined by the cost of getting it out of the ground, refining, storing, and transporting? It'll be a sellers' market, and increasingly the sellers will figure out selling it is stupid. To the extent a "spot market" survives at all, there would not seem to be a theoretical upper end to the price. This is in marked contrast to every other "bubble".

The human population bubble will burst; the oil price will be volatile but will keep heading up until the price is (probably) nationalized in one nation after another at different prices/rations. My guess, anyhow.

Re: Mexico

However, Cantarell, the world’s third-largest oil field, is facing an uncertain future.

Actually, I would say that Cantarell is facing a rather certain future.

(Edit: Oh well, so WT and I think alike on this point)

If you are much under 40 years of age, you have no direct knowledge of conditions like the present. One of the advantages of being an old codger.

Great graph from Calculated Risk Blog:


I became a little more doomerish yesterday. I was splitting wood, getting ready for next year when my indestructible maul destructed. I took it back to Home Dept to find out the lifetime guarantee printed on the side was really 90 days with receipt. While I was out, I couldn't help but notice the massive, massive traffic on the roads and in the stores.

I expect that the VMT drop is going to be a one month event. I also think that the Bush's stimulus payment is going to work (at least for one month). This country is so dependent on more, more, more, that we will be unable to do anything right up to the point that everything falls apart. And then everything is going to fall apart.

While they still exist, some companies really do honor lifetime warranties. I recently had a 20+ year old Taurus handgun develop some trigger issues. Since Taurus provides a lifetime warranty, I sent it back to the factory. I fully expected nothing and to be given some doublespeak but imagine my surprise when Taurus not only fixed the trigger assembly but practically rebuilt the gun, adding a new barrel, new slide/trigger mechanism, and replacing the magazine release mechanism as well! I now have a 20 year old almost brand new handgun in my collection and I will continue to tell people to give Taurus a look if you are shopping for such.

That leaves me wondering about the state of the venerable Craftsman warranty from Sears. Has anyone had a chance to check it lately?

Quality may become more important than price soon.

Last year, the switch failed on my old Patton floor fan. I called them up, they asked for the serial # and told me the fan was 27 years old and had only a 25 year warranty.

They did sell me a new switch for a few $.

New Orleans homeowners have been told that the "Life time" warranty for Hunter fans (certain models) does not include immersion in salt water for one week.

Best Hopes for Solid Warranties,


That leaves me wondering about the state of the venerable Craftsman warranty from Sears. Has anyone had a chance to check it lately?

Ha! Used to be on 'moving' things - drills as an example.

Now - not so much.

Otherwise on Sears:

"I expect that the VMT drop is going to be a one month event."

I wonder how differences in general weather conditions between Mar 2007 and Mar 2008 may have played a role in the noted change in VMT?


Wolf in YVR BC

For the academically inclined --

Economist and peak oiler, James Hamilton, has a new research paper out:

Understanding crude oil prices

Just an observation about this Memorial Day weekend here at TOD. In the past, the # of posts were miniscule due to almost all of us going on trips or playing/working outside. This weekend, the posts are flying. Partly due to all the news, partly because people stayed home this weekend. I ended up going to a drive-in, a local music festival, and today will be family gathering.

I'm on a trip. I drove over a thousand miles at least. But I'm here, anyway. :-)

I meant to ask you why you were in Pittsburgh a few days ago.

I am recently single again, have been cruising two online dating sites, and have made a sociological observation I would like to share.

In my age group (50's) essentially ALL of the women are seeking a travel companion/provider. Many of the profile photos have some exotic local in the backround; when not in the profile photo, they are in their album. More of their 'life experience' listings are about travel or vacation spots than about who they are or what they have achieved in their lives. Today, the profile that inspired me to write this had the handle TRAVELADDICT. That's her handle!

Whoa Lordy, as the dollar continues to devalue and travel becomes more expensive, there are going to be a lot of depressed middle-aged women out there!

Errol in Miami

This sounds like a nice relief from late thirties/earlier forties, in which they're all crazy.

I'm going through a divorce, and have been using a couple of online dating sites, and have noticed exactly the same thing about women and travel. Also, the obesity epidemic rages on (I'm sure it does so for the men as well). "Voluptous" or "Curvy" usually means obese, while "Average" often as not means overweight.

Yep, I have posted before that we need Peak Everything dating websites:

Wanted: true lover of composting by day, star-gazing by night

Hate travel except by scooter or bicycle, love gardening with my wheelbarrow, no kids, looking for roommate to share expenses of living in my spacious 75 sq foot pickup truck/cabover camper combo [now proudly without tires and engine to eliminate theft worries].

Must have own tools plus proof of sex-sterilization. Please send photo of yourself standing in front of your hoarded stockpile of food, toilet paper, seeds, and I-NPK bags. Bonus consideration to those that have lived in Olduvai long enough to now identify 100 constellations.

At one point, I got so aggravated about the whole process that I posted a snarky ad stating that when I'm not building radios and such from salvaged junk electronics, I enjoy gloomy conversations on the state of the world that trail off into despairing silences. Some of the women thought I was serious...

Perhaps I should try a new tact - ladies, go on a date with me and I'll let you run your hands over my NPK stockpile and ride in my wheelbarrel.

Brother: If you can build a radio from junk, you might not need chicks http://ca.geocities.com/xxxtoytech/sensual.html

Yep, the following Youtube videolink of likely postPeak dating shows why we need plenty of bicycles [and wheelbarrows] to impress the ladies:

"Raindrops keep falling on my head"


You should give preference to those weighing at least 180lbs - better genes to survive low food intakes!
An ability to fight would also be a great advantage.
Wrestlers would be ideal!

Post divorce in 2002 I met a mix of perfect size sixes and ones who said curvy. The curvy weren't kidding - curvaceous with perfect china doll skin ... but, alas, all but one of them were cuckoo for cocoa puffs and the one that wasn't got scooped up and sent to Iraq after already doing a year in Afghanistan. Oh, and the only one of the bunch that would have a second bite at the apple was the large bottomed soccer mom I almost passed by :-)

My own health has been less than perfect this last year and given the tidal wave of change that is coming I've abandoned all hope of any romantic involvement until some of the dust settles. If things keep going the way they are I'm going to have an ongoing role in a quite successful wood gasifier business in New England, which will hopefully lead to a house, and then perhaps someone with whom to share it ...


The EXACT same thing seems to be a trend in my age range (I'm 29). So many mention how much they LOVE to travel. I look mostly for ones who mention things like how important their family is to them as opposed to how much they like traveling or dining out. Pics are important too, but not necesarily for looks. What or who else is in the pic tells you a lot about what is important to them.

My best guess is many really aren't as into traveling as they make it out to seem but are simply trying to look like they live oh-so-exciting and when they're usually stuck in spirit-killing 9-to-5 office jobs. This is similar to the way the guys all seem to be trying to look oh-so-succesfull or oh-such-the-badass even when they're usually in debt and getting pudgy. The gals are under the pressure created by the images and storylines on shows like "Sex in the City" while the guys think they're all supposed to be business moguls, world-adventurers, or professional athletes because hey that's what all the people on TV are and what the corporate motivational speaker told them. (It's all pretty funny actually when you know what the reality is for most people in your own age range.)

Matt, don't you have groupies yet?

I think one of the best bellwethers of energy collapse will be when chicks start seeking you out at the rate of several dozen per week and trying their best to seduce you. Please post developments along these lines as a public service. No tawdy details necessary, just the average number of seduction attempts per week.

That's how I found a wife, just picked from among the groupies, selecting for sense of humor and pulchritude. You think I'm kiddin', but just you wait. And it won't be a long wait; over $150/bbl you'll be having them take numbers.

Oh, do please post the tawdry details.

Hmm, I thought that they were down. I'm just anxious to see if oil can sustain above $130/bbl this week.

Every Memorial Day Weekend is Open House for Oregon's small producer wineries, and we always go at least one day, which was yesterday. We used about 7 gallons of gas in our Prius, and overall activity was about the same as previous weekends, as observed by me and as reported by those at the wineries visited. Traffic to-and-from the coast seemed quite normal, although diesel is just under $5--4.999 was the most I saw, 4.6999 the least, and gas varied from 3.999 to 3.689. Wine prices are up, reflecting increased costs of production, and quality was up also, reflecting increasing skill at the art and maturity of vineyards.

On a somewhat related note, the weatherchannel.com has a blog entry showing the very deep and slow moving gyre over the western US that's quite interesting and certainly related to climate change, IMO.

Folks, just a reminder or two...

1. TOD is on twitter now with our RSS feed: http://twitter.com/theoildrum. If you are a tweeter, erm twitterer, erm, give us a follow...and tweet your friends about our posts now and again.

2. If you have a blog, or are a member of a messageboard, or play at a link farm like metafilter or anything else, the more you plant links to our stuff, the more eyes it gets...it's that simple. Every little bit helps.

3. Tell your friends, tell the people you don't like. :) We're all doing this for free, and we really do need and appreciate your support. That and "doing good" is what keeps us all going.

Thanks muchly.

I found this from a link PG posted yesterday: Oil: One Last Head-Fake?.

What I am suggesting is a gigantic head-fake in which global recession causes oil demand and price to plummet for a brief period. This will feed a resurgent complacency about Peak Oil, setting the world up for an unprecedented shock when the global economy and demand recovers.

I don't think this scenario is anything new to readers here, but he spells out the argument in some detail. I think the argument against it is that the demand destruction might lag a recession by years at which point production might have already started to erode.

Except that net oil exports, IMO, will fall much faster than total production falls, and net export decline rates tend to accelerate with time.

(: I believe it WT, at least for awhile post-peak. I think after declines start all sorts of non-linearity and chaos might ensue meaning maybe the ELM holds up or maybe it doesn't or who the hell the knows. But if production hasn't started declining and we see demand destruction from a recession then prices could fall and we could see that "head-fake".

Westexas, I respect the analyses I've seen from you. I assume from all I've read that you obviously don't put much stock in the notion that the rise in oil price is simply a speculative bubble. Do you think it's possible, however, that a bubble might be forming over a long-term depletion problem? I mean, is it conceivable that bubble pricing might collapse by, say, 50% before beginning to climb again for long-term PO reasons? Thanks.

Cantarell's future is NOT uncertain. The field is almost done and then it'll be capped. Our dependence on it makes our future uncertain, but these are two different things.

No Heating or Cooling required

but it sure is nice.

This January 1st, I set the goal of using less than 60 gallons of diesel (hurricane evacs excepted) and 3,000 kWh of electricity (no natural gas).

In the spirit of "do it before you have to", I went without air conditioning for 20 days last August (when my upstairs neighbor was gone, otherwise I can coast along with her a/c). After about 10 to 12 miserable days, I acclimated. Fan required. Open the door and window when going to bed and close @ dawn. Lower productivity, but livable.

And I have become convinced that I can get by without heating in the winter (average winter at least) in New Orleans. On coldest night in winter (29 F) I kept bedroom at 48 F at dawn with no extra heat. Common wall neighbors helped of course. Two layers of socks, T shirt under sweat tops and pants. No stocking caps for sale in New Orleans.

So far, I am looking to refuel in a few days (last refuel in late January) and the first 5 months I used 773 kWh *BUT* the last billing period only included 2 days since I broke down and turned on my a/c.

Best Hopes,


Hi Allen,

I, too, use the summertime practice of opening all the windows after 7:00 PM and then closing before I leave the house for work in the morning. With no A/C and not being home all that much, my yearly electric use is just about 3000 kWh*hr. Considering I have a girlfriend who stays over every weekend and another friend who is using my spare room nearly every night, I'm doing pretty well.

As for winter heating, my biggest problem (and waste) is that I have no insulation and my windows don't close very well. Instead, I set the programmable thermostat for 65 degrees just for the few hours in the evening that I'm home and not asleep. From 11:00 PM to 6:30 PM (the next day) the thermostat is set to a frosty 53 degrees. I chug through about $150 of natural gas per year (including hot water).

On the automotive front, the best I can say is that I don't drive much and won't cry too much if I ditch my 10-year-old car for something more efficient. I drive about 6000 miles per year at 20 MPG.

I fully believe that I could afford my current energy needs if prices went up by 5x from current prices. However, at that point, I fear that the energy hogs of the country will figure out how to allow the government take my money to help pay for their piggish ways.

-- Peter

When the overnight low is 82 F, one does not have much cooling to carry forward. A certain heat and humidity tolerance is required (took me about two weeks to acquire, an interesting experiment).


I just came across the approach of using dessicants for a/c - should use a lot less energy, but it needs further development:
NREL: Distributed Thermal Energy Technologies - Thermally Driven Air Conditioning

Thermally driven cooling technology is required to achieve the target 70% or better source energy efficiency in integrated cooling, heating, and power systems. Desiccant and absorption components can be powered by waste heat from a local onsite producer of electricity such as a fuel cell, micro-turbine, internal combustion engine, or other prime mover. In addition, high-performance desiccant systems can improve the energy performance of comfort cooling systems.

This would be a good fit for some of the Japanese developments of fuel cell technology for the home:

But here in Japan, Kiminobu Kimura, an architect, says he has not felt the pinch. In fact, his monthly energy bill is lower than a year ago.

A reason is his new home fuel cell, a machine as large and quiet as a filing cabinet that sits in front of his house and turns hydrogen into electricity and cold water into hot — at a fraction of regular utility costs. But even with the futuristic device, which is available for now only in Japan, Mr. Kimura has not let up on the other shortcuts that leave him unscathed by last year’s oil squeeze.

It will be a while before the high-tech cavalry is ready to ride to the rescue though, and perhaps for the foreseeable future some of the other comment about energy saving in Japan in this article is more relevant - it includes only heating one room in the house, and re-using bath water by each of the people in the house.

Said by SunnyvaleCA

As for winter heating, my biggest problem (and waste) is that I have no insulation and my windows don't close very well.

Here are some ideas to insulate windows without buying new ones:

1. Make hinged insulated shutters for your windows. If they are located inside and you do not have enough wall space to open them, the shutter could hinge upward and latch to the ceiling.

2. Hardware stores (Home Depot) sell styrofoam in 4 feet x 8 feet (1.22 m x 2.43 m) sheets with different thicknesses. Buy a few with a thickness of 1.5 inches (3.8 cm), cut them to size and insert them into your windows.

3. Get some shallow cardboard boxes such as the ones that hold 24 aluminum soda pop cans. Staple them together, cut and refold the ends to make them fit in you windows. Put paper shopping bags or cardboard inside them to serve as insulation. Make cardboard lids to seal them. Using a dark color, paint the edges and side that faces toward the outside of the window to prevent deterioration from sunlight.

Put the insulated inserts into your windows in the evening and remove them in the morning. If a window faces north in the northern hemisphere, leave the insert in the window all winter. These suggestion will not work for sliding glass doors nor for bay windows. A windowsill is needed to hold the inserts in place.

I was wondering what you thought of using lots of glass bottles filled with water/veg oil to act as thermal mass inside a house. When you wanted heat gain you could put them on a window sill, then during the winter when you needed cooling they could be near the open window at night, then placed inside the house during the day.

I though of expanding this to having larger tanks for farming fish with a heat pump inside the water. With passivhaus airflow and insulation standards in the rest of the house, it should maintain the temperature. You would have a good CoP as the heat pump wouldn't be raising the temperature much. You could feed fish on all the worms you are using to compost or raise mealworms specifically for the task.

Would be useful to have a store of rain water for the garden, and you would benefit from the thermal mass in the house.

On coldest night in winter (29 F) I kept bedroom at 48 F at dawn with no extra heat. Common wall neighbors helped of course. Two layers of socks, T shirt under sweat tops and pants.

Take a trip to the store. Buy a sleeping bag. Buy a bed-sheet or 2, sew into a tube and insert into sleeping bag.

No stocking caps for sale in New Orleans.

Perhaps someone will send ya one. Or perhaps you could go on-line and buy one. REI is in Texas.

Don't Trade in Gas Guzzler for Efficient Car


"wait out high gas prices".


Well... the longer one waits, the smarter that electric bicycle is going to look. (or gasp! the old fashioned pedal variety)

Buying a hybrid is still denial. It's still 2500 pounds of machine to move a 160 pound payload. What works is the machine that weighs LESS than the payload, not MORE.

Stories like the one above are all too common. Don't trade it in because you will not get the return on investment now. So they never take the first step.

But the article also basis it's numbers on trading in a 3 year 'gas guzzler' for a new car. Why not trade in the Ford 500 for a 2005 Ford Focus? I go from 21 mpg to 33 with no additional capital cost. Or maybe I sell my Ford 500 directly and find an older Ford Escort for about 1/2 the price. I walk away with a net $4000 in cash and it is like free gas for 3 years!! Maybe my Escort doesn't cost anywhere near the $6000/year for the 500 so I am acutally making money!

The same arguments are made about insulation, mass transportation, moving closer to work, or making other lifestyle changes. For any one item somebody can create a scenario where it doesn't pay to do it, or the impact is minimized. 'You'll only save $3 a day. Would you give up you give up all that freedom for $3 a day?' Yeah, but if I take the $3 here, the 2.50 there, the few bucks of this, the reduced stress, the extra free time. . .and all of a sudden several little things have really added up.

Although it seems the prices are starting to rise faster and spread farther more recently, the past several years have been the slow grind upward. Very few have made radical changes, and have instead slowly coped with the added cost. If we never make that first step, the first change in direction, then we will go off the cliff with the rest of them.

"wait out high gas prices" - in the mean time. . .

Eco-farming ditched as food prices soar -- link

The major investors, pension funds, sovereign funds, the small as well, have slowly, since when, 03?, partly switched from investing in stocks, bonds, housing, and such like, as profits slow and diminish, boom and exuberance are over, and went to what everyone needs and wants and so will always pay for - energy: oil, fossil fuels generally, and food.

The stock market represents a small biz. compared to commodities and the now dying debt bubble. (I think?) Yes, the rise in gas prices and food prices do represent a sort of ‘speculation’ - people, institutions, putting their money where they think they can get returns. On economic boards, you see on one page, that the rising prices of oil are due to supply/demand crunches caused by refinery problems, OPEC manipulations, etc. and the next poster says he bought oil futures and sold all his stock in blue chip companies. Comical and telling.

Agri. in the 60s was generalized, in a ‘green revolution’, ‘post colonialist way’ - prices dropped and sank because poor peasants far off labored to provide. Better practices, water management, tractors, pesticides, fertilizer, seeds, etc. all powered by fossil fuels.

The ‘food hegemony’ and ‘food as weapon’ was heavily subsidized ‘at home’ (EU, US.)

When the US no longer had ample fuel it exported manufacturing to slave labor places, e.g. China.

Paying ‘local’, ‘green’ farmers is more expensive than importing, for now. So, paradoxically, higher food prices don’t help local farmers to produce more, better, sell, etc.

Hard to fit all these things together .. bit opaque...some thoughts.

I posted this in yesterday's Drumbeat but it was very, very late (AM in the US).

Time to do something about oil

To avoid this dreadful fate, what should we do? There are a number of possibilities:

We could invade somewhere. Considered as an oil acquisition exercise, Operation Iraqi Freedom has been a smashing success, and only appalling Wilsonian wimpiness in the US government has prevented the United States from taking full advantage of it. Iraq’s known oil reserves have been increased by about 100 billion barrels since the invasion, as competent US oil companies have been free to explore for new oil employing techniques more advanced than the 40-year-old dowsing sticks used by Saddam’s oil operation. At today’s oil price of $130, less a generous $20 for drilling and extraction, those additional reserves have a value of $11 trillion – approximately 10 times the most alarmist estimate of the cost of the war to date.


The obvious place to invade is Venezuela (even if current estimates of Venezuelan and Saudi reserves are wrong and there is in reality more oil in Saudi Arabia that could be unlocked if ExxonMobil and the boys were given free rein, the Saudis are nominally our allies, so an invasion would be considered unsporting by world opinion.)

So there it is, the call for the US to use military force to take "our" oil from other nations, even KSA, an ally, as well as Venezuela. And it is all couched in terms of being "sporting" or not.

Disgusting. This is the "free market" at work and Prudent Bear is one of the more laissez-faire "free market" advocates out there.

You couldn't make some of this lunacy up.

If you mention controlling demand its 'eco-fascism' but going to war for supply is BAU.

"Road rage morons won't give up SUV's by law lets make you the first draftees, go get your own god damn oil it aint up to us to protect your lifestyle"

How utterly gauche to be so frank. Shocking bad taste!

Chalmers Johnson ("Sorrows of Empire") is one of the most articulate commentators on the subject. Has some great video interviews/lectures as well.

Chalmers Johnson
Chalmers Johnson Videos

i don't think we will invade there due to the proximity of the panama canal. i think this administration is probably preparing another cia backed coup or assassination.

Perhaps you missed his point altogether. What he really wants is the Fed to stop playing the inflation game, and raise the interest rate significantly. That is his plan A. In order to show what happens if the Fed ignores Plan A he proposes the alternate plan.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&add... Jeffery is mentioned here!

Then last night on MSNBC


I see peak popping everywhere now! Seriously I do not know what to say.. I knew things were going to roll like a snowball once they started its just startling to see it all starting to fall together :/ Least I am prepared :)

Hopefully the kitty humor will help people cheer up a bit :) I think things are going to go awful bad real quick.. People unable to afford to go to work, losing their houses, losing their jobs and straight to recession/depression.

Hopefully the kitty humor will help people cheer up a bit :)

It cheers me up. If the end of the world means the end of Lolcats, then it's not all bad.

Mmmm...peak oil LOLCats. Sign number 3 of the oil apocalypse. (Yergin's calling a near term supply-peak is #1, peakoil.com being mentioned in the MSM was #2.) #4? A hardcore downturn in demand followed by the price drop followed by the aboveground factors to jack them up again.

Go on over to icanhascheezeburger (they have a tool where you can make some) and submit them...there and here. It'll be fun!

Then again, don't. Leanan may have an aneurysm.

For example:

funny pictures
moar funny pictures.

Leanan, plz 4give mez.

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

MOAR OIL PLZ!! Can I haz a crude?

Ok seriously I wont post anymore LOLCats.. Although This one above does show people and their obsession with cats? and ICE!

Hello Prof Goose,

Terrific photo of Obama w/beer: Does anybody know if he did the half-glass Peakoil Shoutout?

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

As anyone can plainly see, Obama does not have his pinky raised. Ergo he is not an 'elitist' (besides which, an elitist would be drinking Chateau Lafitte, not beer).

Thats great Prof. Goose. I do not make the lolcats myself however I do find some of them fitting.. The faces of the cats are the faces of what I consider the sheeple will be when they wake up sadly. There is no LOLcats related to peak oil created yet so I have to deal with the ones that are semi-related.

I love the signs :) I do not know if the downturn in supply however is going to make a difference? I figure the way its working out we are running at what 82% capacity on refinery? Robert care to comment? I know that Europe is using by far more diesel and exporting their superfluous gasoline to USA as far as I know. The downturn in demand would just do demand destruction on imports from Europe would it not? This would lead to Europe being stuck with Gasoline they have no use for.

Sign #4 Downturn in demand causes Europe to have so much gasoline they have no idea what to do with it. :)

Note: Sorry I wont post LOLCats anymore we must have Leanan.

And to keep it bipartisan...

funny pictures
moar funny pictures

Hope Leanan's brain hangs together. ;o)


Wolf in YVR BC

The cats will continue, but the documentation of their great wisdom will cease, much to the detriment of mankind.

p34k l0l c4tz?

I guess when your nation consumes 25% of the worlds supply and your dollar is devaluing to beat the band, it will look more like peak oil than ever before. Not to mention the resistance that the US has had in recent years to conserve when other nations have been trying to cope in a more realistic fashion. One just has to look at the US car industry to realize how out of touch one can be, monster SUV's and all, and now Toyota is #1 in sales. It seems the US just climbed to high on that ladder and now has much further to fall and the screaming will continue until they hit the pond!

Happy swimming from your poorer cousin up here in Canada

I was just browsing around the internet, I thought that you guys would enjoy this:


I especially enjoyed this part:

But Agbeli Ameko, a managing partner at Enercast.com, an energy-forecasting firm, cautioned traders. "Oil prices at this level are really overbought on speculation," he said. "Next week we should expect [choppy trading] as profit-takers will be looking for the exits."

"The fundamentals don't really support prices at this high level for long," Ameko added. "This market is really near its top right now, and traders are going to look for the first opportunity to sell."

Sound Familiar?

Hello TODers,

I hope everyone has considered the impact of arable land shrinking back to Liebig Minimum productivity levels due to NPK logistics as explained in my "No greenhouses on Mt. Everest" posting. Also recall the basis for this as explained in my posting on Jeff Vail's last thread.

Have you hugged your bag of NPK today?

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

Salinity is another issue there... That is a big issue actually.

No, but I handled my chickenshit as I dug it into my vegetable rows this morning.

Oil Earnings Camouflage U.S. Profit Weakness

Take away Exxon Mobil, Chevron and ConocoPhillips, and profits at U.S. companies are the worst in at least a decade.

..."It's kind of a Catch-22," said Joseph Quinlan, 49, New York-based chief market strategist for the investment management unit at Bank of America. "The better energy does, the weaker the rest of the S&P. It masks some of the weakness."

I wonder if the Implod-O-Meter will start to cover things like this?


The next wave of option-ARM resets begins next year. Meanwhile commercial real estate lending is imploding as well. Many banks are trying to get the government to change the accounting rules to allow them to carry "assets" at "historical values" rather than current market value, because those values are so depressed. At the same time, the banks are in worse shape now than in 2007 when this began, and by a large margin.

is leanan on a break or is she no longer in charge of drumbeats?

she's traveling. she's sticking her head in now and again...and will be back full-time soon.

Even though my name is at the top, authorship of Drumbeats has been shared the last few days. I have put a few articles in and various folks with the title of "editor" have added others.

But Gail has done a lion's share of the work...and is deserving of many thank-yous. :)

Yep, I consider Leanan & Gail as PRICELESS to Peak Outreach. HUGE THXS, Ladies--for all you do!

Many thanks to both Gail and Leanan.

Good moderation makes this site much more fun and informative than many others. Also, I am constantly amazed by the quality of your research. Wonderful job that you are doing.

I had resigned myself to not posting anymore, as the situation, I think, is beyond hope, and email forums are among the most ephemeral of the world's ephemera, so why bother.

Yet I can't resist sharing an email exchange with a member of the "skeptics" club.

Someone once warned me that the "skeptics" society types are among "the most dogmatic people" he had ever met. Now I think I understand why.

I noticed a peak oil article posted at No Beliefs, a favorite skeptics site of mine. It takes us to our friend F. William Engdahl.

So I dashed off a letter to the site's owner. The following exchange sort of reveals why I choose to spend my days planting onions rather than commenting on websites.

(Mike) You should investigate Engdahl and peak oil a little more: you might find he's an embarrassment.

Engdahl espouses the so-called "abiotic" theory of oil formation, that oil is not formed from the remains of algae over millions of years but that the earth's methane-filled mantle "renews" oilfields periodically.

Also, Engdahl's conspiratorial tone is way out of wack for your website: you always studiously avoid such points of view, so it's a disappointment to see it published here.

He also completely neglects to mention the underlying decline rates in the world's giant oilfields: the current crop of fields coming online do not compensate for these decline rates. It's like walking up the down escalator.

My own geology professor at the University of Toledo was a follower of King Hubbert, the original peak oil theorist. Read my interview with him here:


Here is an updated overview of this issues Engdahl simply ignores:


(NoBeliefs) The Peak Oil fanatics haven't a clue as to what they're talking about. There's not the slightest evidence that the earth is running out of oil.

As for the abiogenic theory of oil formation, Engdahl didn't invent it. Kudryavtsev, Gold, and others proposed the theory long before Engdhl.

There's also some evidence for its support. They've even discovered methane atmospheres on lifeless planets!

(Mike)Thank you for responding. If you truly knew about peak oil, you wouldn't cite the straw man argument of "running out," which is decidedly not what peaking means.



(NoBeliefs)Peak Oil, for your information, means the point at which the rate of maximum global petroleum production is reached. From then on the rate of production begins to decline. In other words, when the oil will begin to run out.

Of course the peak oil fanatics claim to predict this peak WITHOUT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE. Think about it. To know the maximum production would require knowledge of the available petroleum in the earth AND, the practices of oil company productions. Horoscopes anyone? How about tarot reading.

The peak-oil theory is about as ridiculous as young-earth creationism, or the flat-earth theory.

But any silly theory can be broken (I hope) by education. Even William Engdahl was once an peak oil believer, did you know that?

Since it appears, it's you who needs to be educated (one among lots of other peak-oil believers), you will begin to seen articles to address this scam. It will begin tonight.

So, thanks for letting me know that there is so much ignorance about this subject.

(Mike) The tone of your response is quite revealing. You obviously have not studied the subject very deeply. You come at it with an angry attitude. You haven't read any of the links I sent you, either, or you wouldn't claim there "wasn't a shred of evidence" that the maximum flow rate of petroleum from the earth is a quantity that can be predicted, albeit imprecisely (as Hubbert did for the lower 48 US in 1956).

As for your snide comments: Professor Hatfield's articles, which were first published in the 80s, are not "horoscopes." In fact, one was published in Nature magazine in 1999. Others appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Washington Post.

He also gave a talk at the Gordon Research conferences that year to a crowd of industry types and CEOs.

Of course, you've made it clear that you have no intention of being swayed from your belief in the Russia oil creationism theory, so I'll leave it at that.

Good luck in your campaign to overthrow the fossil theory of oil's formation.


Bring on the dieoff.

Mike, someday I will tell some stories or even perhaps write a book about the shit I wade through in the TOD eds box. Some of it, absolutely wonderful...and insightful...and interesting.

The balance? Pretty much summed up in your conversation with "NoBeliefs."

"Mike, someday I will tell some stories or even perhaps write a book about the shit I wade through in the TOD eds box."

Anything to give us all a good laugh!

I can just imagine....
On the other hand I don't really need to. I've been wandering around the finance websites trying to get a handle on what's been happening to the finance system.

There are a surprising number of peak oil posts and references to the oildrum.

There is also a tsunami of anger and hate about peakoil and anyone who talks about it. People are really angry and more than willing to shoot the messenger.

That is why we have tried to emphasize the empirical...facts from an independent source of reasoning may do a better job of convincing and/or assuaging anger.

I've been called a lot of things already, I fully expect to be called much worse. I think we all do.

Pretty much the approach I take. Show them where the data is an let them make their own conclusions.

Unfortunately, illiteracy in math and science, combined with the normal human trait to look for a scapegoats, always means an ugly ending.

IHMO if this pricing run up doesn't reverse soon, we are going to get riots.

People are being pressed on to many fronts, gas, food, credit... If you add in the heat of summer, or toss in some blackouts things are going to blow.


Family finances are pushed in the UK, personal debt is higher than GDP. We have some of the most expensive petrol in the world, and lots of really angry people. Going to be interesting.


Let them eat bytes - Tony Blair, Davos 2000

In thinking about the potential impact of the new economy, it is interesting to start by recalling the sad experience of the 1970s. A decade or more of economic failure was driven by one simple phenomenon - a quintupling in the price of oil, which at the time was by far the most important commodity in the world system.

Higher inflation, rising interest rates, deteriorating government budget deficits, declining productivity growth, and rising unemployment - all of these disasters stemmed directly from the shock in the oil market.

Twenty years on from the oil shock of the 70s, most economists would agree that oil is no longer the most important commodity in the world economy. Now, that commodity is information.

In quick succession - starting from the mainframe, passing through the PC and now reaching mobile telephony and the internet - new digital products have exploded on to the scene. As a result, the price of acquiring and processing information has been declining by about 30 per cent per annum for much of the past decade.

And this favourable "information shock" - rather like a reverse oil shock - has had profound effects throughout the global economy.

Insane, Insane, Insane.

My car doesn't run on broadband Mr. Blair.

As I think about this a bit more.....
The anger toward environmentalist, seems to come from the perception, that environmentalist want everyone to give up "the American lifestyle" (v-8 pickup and plasma TV).

When you talk about peak oil, Joe Six Pack figures it is just a conspiracy to give the environmentalist what they want. During his weekly gas fill up the absurdity of his beliefs get smacked in the face by reality, hence the anger.

The other thing that stands out trying to understand these sort of sites is that people want to believe one thing with 100% certainty, so that either peak oil is definitely happening or it definitely isn't. I've never understood this: if you try and run a business plan past investors which doesn't look at a spectrum of business environment possibilities but just picks one vision of what'll happen in your business environment you'll get laughed out of the room. I'm most interested in what changes make sense if peak oil is happening but are also reasonable measures to take even if it isn't, but that kind of thought process just seems alien to most people (although Westexas often mentions in connection with ELP).

I've been wandering around the finance websites ... There is a tsunami of anger and hate about peakoil and anyone who talks about it.

The anger is understandable given that finance is mostly about "the promise".
Peak oil exposes the lie underlying the promise.
No one likes to have their shorts pulled out from under them.

Maybe you accidentally sent him the link to the EIA website (he is just stating their view in rougher language).

I hope your bank isn't on this list:

I ran across a web site that claims to do independent forensic analysis on a bunch of banks. Read it and judge for yourself.
He lists about 32 in trouble. (about the third paragraph down)

I think this was getting some play over at http://theautomaticearth.blogspot.com the other day. I suspected we'd see the failures start 4/1 but it looks like they'll hold the line until 7/1 before the high visibility trouble gets rolling.

I'm eager to see how they'll pitch the bailout ...

a friend of mine living outside Nashville, TN said that pretty soon if you can't grow it or kill it, your gonna be in real hurting status.
I tend to think the govt will seieze the moment to gain complete control of this country.
freedom? what freedom?

"I tend to think the govt will seieze the moment to gain complete control of this country."

Given their competence level so far, I think you're safe from that. Screw it up, sure, but control it? Not a chance.

Great bunch of posts today. More people staying home...and thinking? TOD leads the way!!

As to how I would deal with $100 gasoline. Top off the tank before it hits $105 next week. Then park it. :-(

Hello TODers,

Obviously this is not scientific, but googling brings these #'s in descending order:

Britney Spears [the gold standard, unfortunately]= 92.5 million hits
gasoline = 50.7
crude oil = 17.3
Tiger Woods = 17.0
national football league = 7.6
Peak Oil = 4.17
Oildrum = 3.78
Hoarding = 3.07
Dieoff = 1.8
Overshoot = 1.53
Survivalist = 890,000
Oil crash = 653,000
Export Land Model = 493,000
Cambridge Energy Research Associates = 283,000
Jay Hanson = 263,000
Olduvai Gorge Theory = 20,400

"Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?" gets 4,370 google hits, and Thermo/Gene Collision tallies just 296 hits. :(

Do we seem to be making Peak Outreach Progress?

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

"The Prize" = 11,100,000
Matt Simmons = 315,000
Daniel Yergin = 165,000
"Twilight in the Desert" = 57,500
Representative Roscoe Bartlett = 37,400
James Kunstler = 483,000
Pres. Carter's Sweater Speech = 141,000
Ghawar = 110,000
PEMEX = 4,100,000

love = 2,290,000,000
kill = 300,000,000

Whew--That's a good sign!

totoneila = 2,720

Do we seem to be making Peak Outreach Progress?

No, but your Jay Hanson influence is noted. (Thermo/Gene Collision)

Hello Eric Blair,

Thxs for responding. I wonder if we now have a noticeable liftoff:


It will be interesting to see how much traction this gets going forward.

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

NASA's Mars Phoenix lander comfirmed landed and telemetry received. Just waiting for solar arrays to deploy but looking good.

Starts drilling for oil tomorrow :-)

[Edit: Starting to look like telemetry has not been regained on next orbiter pass. NASA tv not saying much - maybe nothing important though. Project Manager still seems happy enough]

Nah, the Martians burned off all the oil, creating all that CO2 in their atmosphere.

In a failed attempt to avert global cooling? :-)

Post-deploy downlink now acquired ok and the pictures look amazing. First landing post peak-oil perhaps...

Looks like the Martians missed, someone's gonna get canned for this.

Nah...the sandworms are just waiting for the claw to come out and start thumping on the ground.

Forget the oil drilling for now... we will need to live on Mars so building a dormitory and cafeteria should be the first step. There will be plenty of solar energy when we start building from scratch, the right way... holding my breath.