DrumBeat: June 14, 2008

Learning From the Oil Shock

The world may have arrived at the equivalent of Peak Oil. Old fields are in decline, while governments limit new oil projects.

We all know that gasoline is at $4 a gallon and oil is at $135 a barrel. But if you think that's the end of the story, don't talk to economist Jeffrey Rubin of CIBC World Markets. By Rubin's reckoning, we've barely passed the halfway point on a steady march upward that will take gasoline to $7 a gallon and oil to $225 by 2012. Though there will be fluctuations, the underlying rise in prices, he says, will have pervasive and often surprising side effects.

Brzezinski: Russia after BTC pipeline

WASHINGTON (UPI) -- Russia's clash with the former Soviet republic of Georgia is a move to control the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Zbigniew Brzezinski told the U.S. Senate.

Brzezinski testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting on Central Asian and European energy issues. The hearing, "Oil, Oligarchs and Opportunity: Energy from Central Asia to Europe," looked into Russian control over oil and gas reserves and pipelines in the region.

We are living in the future shock

Climate change, terrorism, financial instability, peak oil, soaring food and fuel costs... whatever happened to the future?

According to the predictions of my childhood, by now I should be flying to work in an air car and have partially lost the use of my legs due to labour-saving technology rendering physical effort redundant; inter-planetary travel should be routine, and human conflict should have been left behind due to our super-evolved brains and generally more enlightened society.

After the credit boom comes the long and painful squeeze

The age of cheap food and energy is over for Britain as the world’s economic balance shifts. Our Economics Editor explains how bad the pain will be and how long we are likely to feel it.

UN chief, Saudis agree on need to tackle rising oil, food prices

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) - UN chief Ban Ki-moon and Saudi King Abdullah reached common ground here Saturday on the need to tackle rising prices of oil and food, and the problem of climate change, a UN spokesman said.

The UN secretary general flew into this Red Sea city earlier Saturday for a 24-hour visit and met with the king for one hour after being welcomed by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal.

Chavez sees $75 billion in oil revenue in 2008

CARACAS: Top South American oil exporter Venezuela will earn $75 billion in oil revenue in 2008, President Hugo Chavez has predicted as oil prices surge to record levels.

Environmental Skeptics Are Overwhelmingly Politicized, Study Says

A review of environmental skepticism literature from the past 30 years has found that the vast majority of skeptics, often identified as independent, are directly linked to politically oriented, conservative think tanks.

Peter Lynch: What is the Real Cost of Fossil Fuels?

In my opinion, “Energy” is the number one problem facing the U.S and the world as we move forward into the 21st century. In fact, I think that it may be the greatest problem that mankind has ever faced. All the other “problems” we hear about on the evening news – health care, social security, housing crisis, credit crunch etc. are ALL “small change” compared to the looming worldwide energy crisis. The problem facing us is so large that I am really beginning to believe that people, as well as, governments are simply in mass denial and refuse to believe the magnitude of the approaching problem. Keep in mind that reasonably priced, available energy is what gave birth to our mighty industrial revolution and is what separates the U.S. and the rest of the developed world from becoming third world countries.

Saudi oil chief to address reports of oil increase

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia's oil minister on Sunday will address reports that the world's largest oil-producing country is set to raise production by about 500,000 barrels per day, his adviser said.

EIA: US Preliminary April Crude Imports -2.5% Vs Year Ago

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- U.S. crude oil imports in April rose 3% from March, but were 2.5% below a year-ago, preliminary data from the Energy Information Administration released Friday show.

At 9.921 million barrels a day, crude imports were the most in any month since January, but were the lowest in April since 2006.

Ukraine threatens to retaliate if Russia hikes gas prices in 2009

KIEV (Thomson Financial) - Ukraine warned Friday it will raise its fees on Russian gas shipments through its territory and on underground storage services if Russia abruptly hikes gas prices in 2009.

'Be confident that Ukraine will have a strong asymmetric response if there is a question of imposing European price levels and if there is a willingness to introduce them immediately, starting from January 1, 2009,' Olexander Chaly, a deputy assistant in the Ukrainian president's office, told a press conference.

Diesel at a premium as refiners can't meet demand

Diesel is fetching premium prices as a shortage of supply causes China to halt exports, the Middle East boosts imports and power shortages force mines from Australia to Chile to run oil-fed generators.

Refiners will profit by producing more diesel instead of petrol, and the biggest winners will be those that process cheaper, heavy grades of crude.

Fuel strike: Shell drivers threaten more action

Motorists are facing weeks of disruption to fuel supplies after tanker drivers threatened to repeat the strikes which have seen motorists queueing on forecourts in some areas of the country.

U.K. Tanker-Driver Strike Shuts `Few' Fuel Stations, Shell Says

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Europe's biggest oil company, said it stopped selling fuel at some U.K. filling stations as a strike by tanker drivers cut supplies.

Shell has received ``very few'' reports of service stations running out of fuel, Olga Gorodilina, a London-based spokeswoman, said today. ``Sales remain at high, but not extreme, levels.''

Argentina vows to clear roadblocks amid farm row

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Argentine truckers protesting a drawn-out conflict between the government and farmers continued to block roads on Friday, paralyzing cargo traffic and increasing the threat of fuel and food shortages.

Alaska: Nearly 800 Rally To Voice Concerns Over Rising Fuel Costs

What does it take to rouse public action in America? Put the pinch on their pocket books. Fairbanks residents driven by rising energy prices exercised their right to organize as they expressed their views with signs and cries of outrage.

A rally of 800 people met Thursday evening, calling for state legislators to act on the current energy crisis.

Mexicans want to know where oil money has gone

An expected bonanza for Mexico's state-run oil company hasn't happened, and conspiracy theories are rampant.

Thank you, Big Oil

Without the hard work and ingenuity of the men and women who work for the energy companies, we would be living in the 17th century - no electricity, running water, cars, trucks, airplanes, ships, factories, waterproof clothing, soda bottles, safety glass, sterile food and medical containers, air conditioners, televisions, microwave ovens, X-Boxes, I-Pods, or any of the millions of other products made using power generated from the burning of fossil fuels.

Living Off The Land

LOUDOUN CO., Va. (WUSA) -- In an age when food prices are up, and gas prices are soaring, one family in our area isn't complaining. They've figured out how to live efficiently and save money.
(The article is about one of the members of PeakOil.com. He says he tried to explain peak oil to the reporter, but she wasn't interested.)

Residents derail 5 proposed sidewalks

Construction of five sidewalks — part of a larger project intended to provide children with safe pedestrian routes to Medford schools — has been canceled after area residents spoke against it.

The placement of the sidewalks would have created residential parking problems and cut off part of residents' perceived lawns, which are actually public right-of-way, that have been landscaped, said Medford City Council members who unanimously agreed on the changes.

Midwest floods could raise California's gas prices

Devastating floods in the Midwest this month could push California's gasoline prices even higher.

Few drivers realize it, but 6 percent of every gallon of gasoline sold in California is ethanol. Most of it comes from the Midwest, distilled from corn crops that blanket the region.

US government allows oil and gas companies to annoy already threatened polar bears

WASHINGTON: Less than a month after declaring polar bears a threatened species because of global warming, the Bush administration is giving oil companies permission to annoy and potentially harm them in the pursuit of oil and natural gas.

The Fish and Wildlife Service issued regulations this week providing legal protection to seven oil companies planning to search for oil and gas in the Chukchi Sea off the northwestern coast of Alaska if "small numbers" of polar bears or Pacific walruses are incidentally harmed by their activities over the next five years.

Ocean changes may trigger US megadrought

CALIFORNIANS will hope the drought in their state won't last as long as the parched period that afflicted North America from AD 800 to 1250. Even if it passes, global warming may yet hasten another 500-year "megadrought".

Farther, deeper, colder is now the mantra as crude producers scour the globe. But new finds require costly technologies - ones that only a high oil price can sustain

OTTAWA -- If Saudi Aramco's $7-billion (U.S.) Khursaniyah oil project had come on stream at the end of 2007 as scheduled, the world economy might not be staggering under $135 crude prices.

The planned 500,000 barrels a day of Khursaniyah production would have been like a cool drink of water for an oil market thirsting for additional supply.

Instead, the project was stalled by delays in the construction of a processing plant needed to treat the natural gas liquids that Khursaniyah would produce along with the light, relatively sweet crude oil.

Europe Worries About a 1970s-Style Oil Shock

FRANKFURT — In Europe, where the tight credit market has caused less havoc than in the United States, fears are focusing on another economic bogeyman: a 1970s-style oil shock.

I preferred the 70s first time around

Well, blow me down with a bag of Space Dust: an oil crisis, an energy crisis, public sector strikes, unions blackmailing the government, taxation at record levels, inflation taking off, dole queues lengthening, as are queues at petrol stations, and the Ulster Unionists finally managing to re-introduce internment without trial. It's the 1970s, all over again. How are you enjoying them?

I preferred it the first time around. Fuel shortages are fun when you're a kid.

Scientists find bugs that eat waste and excrete petrol

Silicon Valley is experimenting with bacteria that have been genetically altered to provide 'renewable petroleum'.

MIT to help India resolve energy crisis

The prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has agreed to assist India in resolving its energy crisis in the long term by developing technologies, which are affordable and available to all.

The Climate for Climate Change Policy

Advocates for aggressive policies aimed at tackling climate change have quietly applauded as higher energy prices have sent the resale value of SUVs plummeting, jump-started technological competition in Detroit for low-emissions vehicles, and spurred the revival of long-moribund proposals for everything from green building codes to reinstituting a 55 mile-per-hour highway speed limit. Yet the soaring price of energy has combined with rising food prices and a general U.S. economic downturn to sour the environment for climate change legislation.

Changes in China could mean more North American jobs, Home Depot chief says

ATLANTA: The rising value of the Chinese yuan, higher pay for Chinese workers and $136-a-barrel oil may mean more factory jobs in North America, the Home Depot chief executive, Frank Blake, says.

The world's largest home-improvement chain is looking for factories in the United States, Mexico and Canada to build some products that are getting too expensive to make in China, Blake said Thursday in an interview in New York. The Atlanta-based Home Depot imports about 13 percent of the goods it sells, and most of that is made in China, said a spokeswoman.

Fuel prices: Over a barrel

In one crude camp, there are the followers of peak oil theory—like Toronto-based fund manager Eric Sprott, who doesn’t think the market is about to crack. Indeed, according to the Bay Street legend, the world has just seen the beginning of high oil prices. Plenty of industry watchers agree with the peakers. Jeff Rubin, chief economist with CIBC World Markets, thinks oil prices will reach US$200 per barrel sometime in the next half decade. Analysts at Goldman Sachs project a much shorter trip to what is being billed in the media as “Oilmageddon.” Billionaire George Soros is less apocalyptic. “We are currently experiencing the bursting of a housing bubble and, at the same time, a rise in oil and other commodities which has some of the earmarks of a bubble,” he recently told American lawmakers looking to somehow rein in speculators who are being blamed for pushing U.S. oil futures above US$135 a barrel last month. “To be sure, a crash in oil markets is not imminent.”

Market bears, on the other hand, think oil is boiling like a pot of overdone eggs. “Investors,” says a top-tier Toronto hedge fund manager, “are safer betting on Nortel,” because crude prices are bubbling like the telecom’s market capitalization back when commodity plays were considered a poor place to park money.

Oil's future

As oil protests spread, as motorists grimace and groan on each visit to the pumps, as prices jerk upwards, analysts as well as ordinary members of the populace are asking questions.

What and who is to blame for such rapid increases? When will it stop? What will a future with supersonic oil prices look like? As commodity and food costs climb, and as environment degradation spreads, is the golden weather of growth and rising prosperity over?

Potential puncture in the oil bubble

ACCORDING to Shell Oil president John Hofmeister, the “proper” range for oil should be somewhere between US$35 - US$90 a barrel.

Based on that statement and assuming it’s more or less accurate, what do you think we should make of the current oil price of US$130 - US$140 per barrel? How much of the spectacular rise in oil is due to speculation? That is important to determine as excessive speculation could basically drive prices much higher than its real demand-supply equilibrium.

UK: Food and oil prices 'may be high for years'

The Treasury warned that rapid growth in the world economy and population, coupled with supply shortages, will stop commodity prices falling back to previous levels.

This will be a further blow for families who are suffering a painful squeeze on their living standards because of rising borrowing costs, utility costs and shopping bills.

Iran discovers new oilfield in southwest

Tehran: Iran has discovered an oilfield with estimated reserves of 750 million barrels within its southwest Jofeir oilfield, Oil Minister Gholamhossein Nozari said on Saturday.

The Shana news website quoted Nozari as saying that Iran's new discovery would boost Jofeir's oil output to 33,000 barrels per day.

Big Powers Set to Offer Iran ‘Generous’ Deal

TEHRAN — European Union’s top diplomat said he would hand Iran a generous offer today aimed at resolving a deepening dispute over its nuclear ambitions that has helped push up oil prices to record highs.

Why is Capitalism Failing Us?

Our critical human needs are not being met by our capitalist economy that is now pervasive throughout the planet. We humans do not have adequate medical care. A very large percentage of us humans cannot get enough food at a price we can afford, so that millions are dying and millions of others are malnourished. We are spending billions on foreign wars, while billions of people are hungry. It seems obvious that so long as our economic engine is fueled by greed for short term profit, and that the profiteers from this economic engine control our government, we shall never deal with Global Warming or planetary ecological damage. We face the three coinciding crises: Peak Oil, Fragile Economy, and Global Warming. We still have much freedom, but our effective democratic voting power is thwarted. What has gone wrong?

Teetering on the brink of catastrophe

Across the globe, many car owners have taken to the streets to air their discontent with high fuel prices.

Those who have been accustomed to cheap oil are clearly ill-prepared for this.

But according to "The Long Emergency: Surviving the Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century," there has never been a lack of warning signs.

Hydrogen highway is a non-starter

Glance northward on Highway 50 right around the 59th Street overpass, and you’ll glimpse the future. At least that’s what the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Ford Motor Company, Daimler AG, BP and the U.S. Department of Energy would like us to believe. Unfortunately, the shiny new solar-powered hydrogen vehicle fueling station that recently spread its gossamer wings just east of the SMUD yard is anything but the future. It’s the desperate waking fantasy of a casino culture that can’t shake the feeling that the next jackpot is one pull of the lever away.

Plan Would Lift Saudi Oil Output to Highest Ever

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is planning to increase its output next month by about a half-million barrels a day, according to analysts and oil traders who have been briefed by Saudi officials.

The increase could bring Saudi output to a production level of 10 million barrels a day, which, if sustained, would be the kingdom’s highest ever. The move was seen as a sign that the Saudis are becoming increasingly nervous about both the political and economic effect of high oil prices. In recent weeks, soaring fuel costs have incited demonstrations and protests from Italy to Indonesia.

From Indonesia to the US governments stand powerless in face of markets

The slums of Jakarta, Indonesia's giant, sprawling capital, are among the largest in Asia. In their shacks clustered around teeming alleys, millions of people endure grinding hardship of a kind that few in the rich world could imagine.

At the stroke of midnight on May 23, their poverty was suddenly worsened. The rise in global oil prices forced Indonesia's government to punish the poor by increasing the cost of fuel by an average of 28.7pc.

Oil traders fear for London's position

Oil traders on both sides of the Atlantic gave warning that American efforts to extend US regulation to include the London oil market risked simply channelling the trade offshore to Dubai and Singapore.

The protests follow the emergence of a dispute between US and UK regulators over oil market oversight in the City of London, amid claims that speculators are partly to blame for crude prices that have soared to record highs of $139 per barrel.

G8 ministers see oil prices as threat to world stability

The world's most powerful economies will warn tomorrow that the spiralling cost of fuel and food pose a threat to the low inflation and strong growth enjoyed by the west for the past decade and a half.

US airline catastrophe looms under record oil prices: study

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US airline industry is set to crash as record oil prices threaten to push several carriers into bankruptcy, threatening "our American way of life," an industry study said Friday.

"As a consequence of the skyrocketing price of oil, the US commercial aviation industry is in full-blown crisis and heading toward a catastrophe," said a study issued by AirlineForecasts and the Business Travel Coalition.

U.S. cities promote bicycling as gas prices soar

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - U.S. cities that have long promoted bicycle use by commuters are now seeing a steady rise in the popularity of pedal power as gasoline prices soar.

Campaigns originally designed to cut down on traffic and pollution are now paying off for people looking for an option to driving with national gas prices averaging a record $4 per gallon.

Different fuels key to future

By 2012, U.S. automakers plan to roll out large numbers of flexible-fuel vehicles that can handle blends with up to 85% ethanol. Yet at such high levels, corn-based ethanol costs 30 cents a gallon more than regular unleaded gas because of its lower mileage, AAA says.

The answer: cheaper cellulosic ethanol, now being developed, made from switch grass, wood chips and municipal solid waste. Such ethanol, if widely used, could bring back $2-per-gallon gasoline, says David Friedman of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

About.com tackles peak oil - Why Oil and Gas Prices Are So High: Don't Blame OPEC

For now, peak-oil theory is still slightly controversial: Has the world reached the half-way point in oil capacity, beyond which supplies can only decrease? Maybe not yet. Maybe not this year. Maybe not even the next. But if the peak hasn’t been reached yet, it’s about to be.

UAE 2007 inflation hit 10.9 percent: report

ABU DHABI - Inflation in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, where the consumer prices index has sharply increased over the past few years, hit 10.9 percent in 2007, an official study said on Saturday.

...It slammed a UAE central bank policy of copying decisions taken by the US Federal Reserve reducing interest rates instead of tightening the monetary policy in the robust UAE economy. The dirham is pegged to the dollar.

HSBC warns of worse to come for UK economy

The worst is "still to come" for the UK economy as household spending winds down due to credit shortages and more jobs are shed as a result of record oil prices, a top economist warned today.

Karen Ward, UK economist at HSBC, said in an analyst note that spiralling oil prices will lead to a series of knock-on effects for the UK at a time when it is already being rattled by the credit crisis.

Floods send corn, ethanol soaring

Corn futures rose to another record high and ethanol prices surged to a two-year high on Friday as storms lashing the US Midwest raised the specter of a crop that will be too small to satisfy demand for food, feed and biofuel.

Pollution rules may be suspended to allow big expansion of Heathrow

More than 60,000 extra flights will pass low over London each year under a government plan to suspend air pollution limits to allow Heathrow to expand.

Greenpeace threatened with legal action over Spanish coastal resort pictures

Greenpeace has been threatened with legal action over doctored pictures showing a Mediterranean coastal resort submerged under a foot-and-a-half of water.

Property owners and developers in La Manga, Spain, claim the images have forced house prices to fall and are demanding Euro 27 million (£21 million) in damages from the pressure group.

It comes eight months after Greenpeace published a book called Photoclima, featuring photographs of six well-known sites in Spain before and after predicted changes in the climate, in an attempt to shock Spaniards into greater environmental awareness.

on the (dry) ground in des moines:

a levee broke early this morning and a small additional area of business and an hs are flooded. the response this year was a lot better than '93, but we still have a way to go on the learning curve.

saylorville reservoir was built in the late '60's, i believe, for the purpose of flood control. it is not entirely sucessful. imo, too bad they didnt build it for, or at least include, hydroelectric. pop.

correction: saylorville was completed in '77. and i had to access the des moinse rag, a part of the gannet rag, to access that info. ugh

I think as long as FEMA is called Homeland Security, failure is built in.

sandbaging is a spectator sport here. and the national guard, are the players, doing what they do mostly for show,imo.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is planning to increase its output next month by about a half-million barrels a day, according to analysts and oil traders who have been briefed by Saudi officials.

I'm sure many here will "believe it when they see it." Other key points are whether or not net exports will rise as a result, or will this be used for internal use, and if there is anyone around to buy this likely sour heavy oil?

Lastly, is this 500kb uptick sustainable for SA, or a last gasp before going further in to decline?

~Durandal (http://www.wtdwtshtf.com)

Saudi statement at the end of July:

"See, the markets are well supplied. Nobody is buying our tar"

Or if prices come down after the statement, then they don't have to increase production.


"Nobody is buying our tar"

Allow the application w/feathers to elected officials, and I'm sure the tar shelves would be bare.

Too expensive. However, the new corn-based, government-subsidized tar substitute is available. It's just like tar, except that it smells like Vegemite and draws packs of angry badgers...

Is it heavy/sour or light crude? Someone posted a few days ago that it was light crude.

And bloomberg.com had an article stating:
"The project, which will produce and process 500,000 barrels a day of Arabian Light crude and 300 million square cubic feet a day of natural gas, is part of Saudi Arabia plans to increase its output capacity to 12.5 million barrels a day by 2009 to help meet demand for oil. "

The world's crude and financial markets are currently being propped up in mid-air, just off the cliff, by incredible jaw-boning and rainbow promises. The ones making those statements are the only ones that know the truth about both situations, most consider these talking heads in the best positions to make such statements. For many, many years, that was enough...money in the bank.

Slowly, as the future does not quite go the way it's promised, people are starting to actually act like perhaps these guys don't really know the truth or are telling us something besides the truth.

For now, peak-oil theory is still slightly controversial

I wish people would get it out of their heads that "peak-oil theory" necessarily means that we have already peaked. I read an interview yesterday where a guy said "I don't accept peak oil theory." What is that supposed to mean? He doesn't accept that oil production will peak?

Peak oil is an observation, not a theory. The observation is backed up by an oil peak in many individual countries and regions - including the U.S.

That's just another example of the lack of understanding of science among the average person. Joe Sixpack has no clue about so many aspects of the situation we are faced with that it's going to be really tough to sell them on any realistic ways to mitigate the damage as we go forward. Hey, Peak Oil is "theoretical", like Global Warming, so why worry about it? We will just tell the Saudis and the oil companies to give us more...

E. Swanson

"Joe Sixpack has no clue about so many aspects of the situation..."

Joe Sixpack writes for the New York Times????

Today, Jad the joker writes in the NYT that KSA is worried about the threat that oil will be displaced by alternatives as the oil price rises.

Earth to the elite, earth to the elite...come in please...

Last night I was at a party celebrating a young neighbour's convocation and PHD. The new doctor of Psychology understands peak oil. Of course, he has had to contend with me chewing off his ear for a number of years now. But among the crowd of professors and other highly educated professionals the light was dim. It was not a sixpack crowd.

I have yet to see any surveys on the matter, but I would not be surprised to see that cluelessness intensified as education and wealth levels increased.

"I have yet to see any surveys on the matter, but I would not be surprised to see that cluelessness intensified as education and wealth levels increased."

And since it costs $$$ and takes "qualifications", why else is a PHD valuable,
you will not.

As a graduate school survivor myself (Music and Anthropology), I think one of the major problems stopping the educated classes from 'getting it' is that education and academic careers these days are so compartmentalized and segmented. The structure of the academic world discourages generalists in favor of those who focus only on their tiny niche.

Both Tainter and Diamond touch on this, in slightly different ways. Tainter sees it as part of the cost of complexity. A complex society requires specialists...and then specialists to coordinate among the specialists. Diamond sees it as a barrier to sustainability. In a medium or large society, the area is too big and the problems too complex for individuals to understand what's going on until it's too late. You need experts, who report to some sort of central authority that can take action based on the big picture.

As a philosopher and a historian of science, I teach a lot of required general education courses in a small, alternative college in Vermont. These courses tend to focus on helping students learn critical thinking and writing skills and on introducing them to value questions that arise at the intersections of various disciplines (the natural sciences, the humanities, and so on).

A colleague and I taught one of these gen ed classes (a sort of freshman seminar class) on Peak Oil and some of the issues it suggests (alternative and sustainable lifestyles, resource wars, how we might get from here to there) in the spring of 2006.

TODers might be amused to know that vtpeaknik, a physicist, was a guest in an early class to help explain exponential growth. Nate Hagens came to one class and did his thing. Students got to hear Richard Heinberg speak in Burlington (one of our texts was, naturally, THE PARTY'S OVER).

Nonetheless, my colleague and I were seen by most of our colleagues at the college as doomsayers. Recently, some of them have admitted that there's probably a lot more to the concerns we voiced than they'd initially admitted. Unfortunately, there is very little pleasure in their admissions, except, of course, in knowing that there are getting to be more and more PO-aware folks in the Academy.

One happy sign was that my colleague and I did, after all, manage to get our Peak Oil course approved by the curriculum committee as long ago as 2006. But then, I did say that we are a small, alternative college. We are thereby probably a bit more agile than some of the bigger colleges and universities in our area.

Sure,specialization is part of the ignorance problem with a substantial portion of the elite.Possibly also the lack of free time to look at areas outside their field.

But a big factor is that these people are comfortable,they are happy where they are and a lack of empathy means they can't or won't understand problems outside their own little comfort zone ie. human nature

Academics also tend to be believers in credentialism. They have a lot of specialised knowledge in a particular field, they know that it took them a long time to aquire that knowledge, they know from personal experience that amateurs and laymen usually have a pretty poor understanding of their field.

So they attribute the same level of expertise to experts in other fields and dismiss the opinions of those outside the academy. They rely on the consensus opinion of experts in other fields, because using their own field as an example they can see how eaily amateurs can get it wrong.

The problem occurs when a whole field of knowledge loses it way. When the consensus represents an error. Or there isn't really ANY field of study that owns the problem, because it is a new kind of problem.

As an example, I would point to economics. There are some people doing work on how to model environmental impact, but historically it has been considered outside the scope of economics.

Likewise the psychology of human behaviour was ignored in economics for a long time - humans were considered "rational actors". But people are importing concepts from evolutionary biology into economics now and starting to address this.

We still have a long way to go before the implications of evolutionary biology are integrated into the study of medicine (nutrition,hormonal links to dominance behaviour), political science, economics and law. Law hasn't even started to think of itself as a product of evolutionary biology.

So more educated, more intelligent people might think that SOMEONE must be studying X, and have a handle on it. When maybe X is being totally ignored because it does not fit into the standard university power strucure, or is being viewed backwards because it is being studied by Marxists or Keynesians rather than people with a background in evolutionary biology,criminology or game theory.

"Academics also tend to be believers in credentialism"

i dont think it is just academics. if a person has a phd, where are they employed ? academics, research and as a hired gun, or a combination thereof.

who do people tend to believe, an intelligent person with knowledge and experience, or a phd with a pedagree ?

i have encountered some phd's who really knew what was going on, and other's who may or may not have known what was going on but said what they were paid to. look at the current global warming "debate" for examples.

and experts ? yergin is probably an expert by any reasonable definition.

"Academics also tend to be believers in credentialism"
i dont think it is just academics

Its the classic 'appeal to authority' - and many times, authorities have good data.

Now - if one does not trust authority then one must 'do the work themselves' no?
If one does the work themselves, what about the data gathering tool - is that 'trustworthy'?
(and on and on)

and experts ? yergin is probably an expert by any reasonable definition.

He's a fine historian. But his ability to predict the future is shown by history to be wrong.

I think you're both onto something. Peak Oil and Global Warming are in essence multidisciplinary problems, something a specialist isn't really trained for. What we need are more generalists, and less central authority, IMO.

But our complex world is making a generalist hard to be. I'm trained as an engineer and a musician, but I've also built houses. I figure my experience would be worth something in the renewables field, but not in Massachusetts. I'd need a 4-year internship to get a plumber's license to be able to solder a solar thermal system into a house water system, a 4-year internship to be able to act as the electrician to wire a PV array to a house, and who knows what it takes to get to actually build a structure here.

There are few visable means of support for generallists. I would love to be one, but it isn't my daytime job. I suspect many TOD readers are in fact closet generalists, it is nice to learn something of the areas one doesn't do everyday. But clearly, even if you could study sixty hours/week, there are a lot of areas that you have to ignore, or accept a mere passing acquiantance with.

I think you're both onto something. Peak Oil and Global Warming are in essence multidisciplinary problems, something a specialist isn't really trained for. What we need are more generalists, and less central authority, IMO

Totally agree. And it's even tougher in that in both of those areas what we don't know swamps what we do know. I'd love to have data on how much production from NEW fields, say from 2000 onward, makes up our 86 mbpd. In essence I believe the ultra-cheap oil is being mixed with the very expensive new stuff (TOTAL suggests $80 current reserve replacement cost), to still be profitable for oil companies. As the fixed old cheap stuff depletes, the cost structures are going to rise exponentially as new production increases at the margin. But the data just doesn't exist. About all we KNOW is how much oil was produced by each country in the past - the rest is guesswork. Science is about hypothesis testing. Peak Oil and Global Warming have too much guesswork to be scientific until the window of opportunity is largely past.

I was raised in a world of probabilistic thinking and decision making in the face of uncertainty (that my father was a Professor of Statistics and Quantitative Methods probably helped).

On AGW, I believe that a 30% probability is more than enough to justify significant efforts to mitigate. And we passed that threshold about a generation ago IMJ.

With Peak Oil, I decided that the area that needed development was mitigation, enough were doing prediction. And I think I understand how uncertain the future path is, and chose a robust flexible approach that makes things "better than they would otherwise be" for almost all paths (see rail use in Cambodia and Liberia for the doomers).

Instead of using oil more efficiently, create non-oil transportation that has elasticity of supply instead.

Best Hopes,


Georgescu-Roegen's 1971 classic The Entropy Law and the Economic Process has an interesting discussion on elites and what makes them --and keeps them--elite.

The elite class can change ("circulate")--nobles, feudal lords (middle ages), bankers, captains of industry (now)
They are always the "literati"---educated and well-spoken
They are never involved in producing anything directly
They may use myths to convince society that their elite status is warranted
They are necessary
They must live in cities to function

The oil age enabled a huge number of people (a much larger percentage than before) to become elite---to in effect, abandon ELP which was largely and by necessity the way of life before. How many of us have relatives who were "the first to go to college" or "the first to leave the farm for the city". We perhaps never imagined that the process could also work in reverse---ie. the last to go to college or the first to leave the city for the farm.


We perhaps never imagined that the process could also work in reverse---ie. the last to go to college or the first to leave the city for the farm."

My forte.

peak oil is a "theory" in the same way that finite earth resourses is a "theory".

It is pretty pathetic the way the press and the naysayers refer to it as a theory. What are the other theories - oil supply is infinite?

That oil production will reach a peak and decline is a fact, the theoretical part is in estimating when the peak will be reached and how high will it be. Peak Oilers (with capitals) believe we've reached it now.

Hi Robert,

I couldn't agree more.

Saying that they don't 'believe or accept' peak oil is the equivalent of saying they don't accept that the earth is round or that gravity exists.

Peak Oil is geological FACT, production will peak eventually.

PeakTO -

The word 'theory', as most frequently used here at TOD, connotes the scientific definition: "A set of facts, propositions, or principles analyzed in relation to one another and used, especially in science, to explain phenomena." This is what generally comes to mind when the word theory is used in the context of oil supply geology, etc.

However, at the risk of engaging in semantical nitpicking, I should point out that there are other equally valid and commonly used definitions of the word theory, one being: "An idea or belief about something arrived at through speculation and conjecture."

So when somebody skeptically refers to 'peak oil theory', what they are really doing is making an accusation that peak oil is a notion arrived at largely through unproven speculation and conjecture. Though one might disagree with such a position, calling peak oil a theory is still a quite valid use of the word theory.

Engineers (such as myself) often fall into the trap of thinking that the only definition of a word is that which is used in a technical context. Take the two words 'velocity' and 'speed'. An engineer will leap at the opportunity to correct you that velocity is vector (having both magnitude and direction) and that speed is not, having only magnitude. By that strict definition, a 'high muzzle-velocity' rifle should really be called a 'high-speed rifle'. However, in the English language it is quite correct in normal non-technical usage to use the two words interchangably. Ditto for 'mass' vs. 'weight'.

No argument here(well I could nit pick too, but it's sunny outside).

The problem with the system (media) is that if it is considered a "theory" it is immediately discounted as fringe until the event occurs.

Welcome to the event horizon! Too late to educate or as Carolyn
Baker posted...too late for solutions.

What is that supposed to mean? He doesn't accept that oil production will peak?

My guess is "yes." The kind of guy who says, "The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stone." Or even hit "peak stone"...

CERA, ExxonMobil & OPEC on Peak Oil, late 2005 to mid-2006:

"Rather than a 'peak,' we should expect an 'undulating plateau' perhaps three or four decades from now."

Mr. Robert Esser
Senior Consultant and Director, Global Oil and Gas Resources
Cambridge Energy Research Associates
December 7, 2005

"Contrary to the theory, oil production shows no signs of a peak... Oil is a finite resource, but because it is so incredibly large, a peak will not occur this year, next year, or for decades to come"

ExxonMobil Advertisement in New York Times, June 2, 2006

We in Opec do not subscribe to the peak-oil theory.

Acting Secretary General of Opec, Mohammed Barkindo
July 11, 2006


However, peaks happen. The Texas & North Sea (C+C) peaks lined up with each other, different vertical scales. These two regions were developed by private companies, using the best available technology, with virtually no restrictions on drilling. The North Sea case history is especially compelling, since it just recently peaked when it was about 50% depleted, based on the HL plot. Note that the initial declines in both cases corresponded to sharply higher oil prices, and generally increased drilling, especially in Texas.


The peak oil "theory" is that world oil production will follow the Hubbert curve generated by the logistic function. This is usually what journalists cite -- the "theory" says that the world has used up half its recoverable reserves and we are at the top of the bell curve.

I entirely agree that peak oil is a data-driven observation. Looking forward, new oil versus declines tells us that a plateau (followed at some point by a decline) can reasonably be inferred in the near-term. (I will not pick a date, only noting that we have not reached it yet.) However, this observation assumes an OPEC scenario. If you pick one scenario, you get one result, if you pick another, you get a different result.

I use a low OPEC production scenario because they've been saying that this outlook reflects their intentions for years now. Saudi Arabia has said that they do not intend to expand capacity beyond its 2011 level "at least until 2020." Therefore, the lack of investment in new capacity after 2011 indicates a low production scenario for OPEC because Saudi Arabia is the only country (outside of screwed up Iraq) that can substantially boost production. All this indicates a crude oil peak at some time in the near or medium term, depending on the break in other parts of OPEC and outside the cartel.

See my Sleepwalking Toward the Oil Precipice and the PFC Energy presentation Global Liquids Supply Outlook discussed therein.

No matter how many times I say this, people don't seem to "get it", both outside of and within the peak oil community. So when people don't accept this peak oil "theory", some "peaksters" are to blame for that because they are putting it forward.

Even the distinction between "reserves" and "flows" is something I have trouble getting across to the public.

I could repeat Einstein's observation that "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity." That sounds about right.

best to you, Robert,

-- Dave

Dave, thanks for distinguishing what the journalists (and others) mean when they refer to "peak oil theory."

You mention that you think the peak is still (slightly) in the future.

Colin Campbell just moved his date from 2010 to 2007.

Are you able to describe the difference in your thinking such that he now says it's in the past and you are saying it's in the future?

BTW, I'm well aware that quibbling over a few years generally misses the point that given either case we aren't substantially addressing the issue.


I will remind you that the EIA data shows that the new "peak" occurred in February of this year at about 74.6 million barrels per day (b/d). The yearly average for the 1st quarter is about 74.4 million b/d.

Saudi Arabia has (apparently) raised its production 300,000 b/d in June, and are promising an additional 500,000 b/d in July. OK, we'll wait and see. But if all this comes about, we will be near or over 75 million b/d for crude oil + condensate.

Which means that Deffeyes, Campbell and a boatload of other people were wrong! Wrong! Got it?

And by the way, that's just about it for the maximum global oil production at this time, which is very useful to know.

Over and out,

-- Dave

And, I will be writing about these Saudi increases in my ASPO-USA weekly column next week.

I don't think people understand what the repercussions of these Saudi increases are going to be.

Perhaps Jeffrey Brown, or some others I could name who have believed that the Saudis could not raise production would care to comment (i.e. eat some crow) as the new production increase numbers come in.

-- Dave

If I had said that Saudi Arabia could not raise production, perhaps I would "eat some crow." In fact, when Stuart posted his 8% decline article more than a year ago, I specifically predicted a future rebound in Saudi production--to a level below their 2005 rate. Before assuming that 10 mbpd is a done deal, you might also wait to see how the second half of 2008 turns out.

Regarding the 2005 world C+C record, you might want to wait for the 2008 annual data to come in before pronouncing that the 2005 peak is dead.

Finally, Deffeyes was modeling conventional production, if we subtract out unconventional production, it is a near certainty that 2005 will be the 2005 annual C+C peak, no matter what 2008 shows.


From Stuart's March 2, 2007 post on Saudi Arabia (Saudi Arabian Oil Declines 8% in 2006):

Stuart Staniford on March 2, 2007 - 2:37pm

I agree that the hubbert linearization supports the idea that the Saudi's are post peak, but tends to argue for a much smaller decline rate than the 2006 data suggest. However, I'm a bit wary of this linearization since there's such a large deliberate throttling back in the 80s. Also, I am inclined (without certainty since we've never managed to substantiate this theory) to the view that when HL works its because of being a robust estimator for an approximately Gaussian process that arises out of a large number of fields being combined together (since the logistic is clearly a lousy model of individual field profiles). So I'm wary of it again in KSA because Ghawar is so dominant.

A way to reconcile the two views might be to argue that the Saudis have been badly overproducing their fields in recent years, which is why the trend has been above the logistic, and we are now paying the price in a rapid dropoff.

My response:
westexas on March 2, 2007 - 3:45pm

This is why I have been speculating for a while about a future rebound in Saudi production, albeit to a level much lower than their peak.

What we may see is a very sharp decline, because of a crash at Ghawar, followed by a rebound as some smaller fields come on line.

Re: albeit to a level much lower than their peak

This is not a "level much lower than their peak".

Bullshit again.

Two points:

(1) Through omission or commission, you have misrepresented what I have said. I did not say that Saudi Arabia could not raise their production. Perhaps before hurling accusations around you should be more careful?

(2) We don't know--shall I repeat this?--we don't know what the 2008 annual data will look like. The Saudis have a long history of overpromising and underdelivering.

Finally, remember Russia? Following is one of my comments to my original post on the top three net oil exporters, in January, 2006. If I were writing it today, I would use some different terms and numbers, but the thrust of the comment was that Russia should resume its production decline within one to two years.


The following is based on Khebab's excellent work (as noted above, Khebab has some doubts about my conclusions).

The Hubbert Linearization (HL) method--using only data through 1985--predicted that Russia would produce 61 Gb in the 19 years after 1985. In reality, Russia produced 57 Gb. Actual production was 93% of predicted. As I noted above, I think that it is significant that actual production is 4 Gb below the HL prediction, given that everyone is so mesmerized by the recent increase in production.

Can anyone think of any other method that would have been this accurate? Remember, the data cutoff, used to generate the plot, was 1985. Currently, it appears that production is about 5 mbpd above where it should be based on the HL plot, but 5 mbpd is 1.8 Gb per year, so we could actually see a year or two of rising production before production reverts to the curve (assuming that it will). For what's worth, my bet is that Russia will start a steep decline no later than next year. If Russia is going to revert to the curve, if it started right now it would probably require a decline rate of about 11% per year.

Note that if Russia had followed the curve, and if current production was about 4.5 mbpd, total cumulative production would have been 4 Gb higher than current cumulative production. I suggest that you read that again.

I guess my basic question is if the HL method was 93% accurate in predicting the incremental cumulative production from 1985 to 2004, why are we so distrustful of the predicted production in the next couple of decades? The model predicts that production in 20 years will be down to about one mbpd.

IMO, this plot reinforces my concern that we are facing an immediate crisis in net export capacity. What if the Saudi plot is 93% correct?

Nonsense, especially your attempt to change the subject with Russia, which I certainly know more about than anyone else around here.

Jim Kunstler thinks you're the greatest thing since sliced bread, which is only an indication of his ignorance about the technical facts about the world's oil supply.

Many around TOD think you are some kind of "God" telling them the truth about the future.

None of this is true. Jesus wept.

I wish that some of the real truth could get out before and be understood by the public. But that is not, apparently, the way things work.

Perhaps Jeffrey Brown, or some others I could name who have believed that the Saudis could not raise production

So, despite the evidence that I presented to the contrary, you are standing by this false statement? The question is not to what degree Saudi Arabia could rebound; you said that I claimed that Saudi Arabia could not raise their production.

I don't think that I am a fortune teller, but I do believe in using quantitative analysis to study Peak Oil, and I simply go where the quantitative analysis leads me--and that is the common connection between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

BTW, regarding Jim, I consider him to be a friend, and having spent a fair amount of time with him, I think that he does have a pretty good grasp of the global oil situation and especially its impact on the 'burbs.

Then why the hell don't you offer something besides, "Bullshit!" You've said nothing on this thread that disproves anything at all. And your shrill statement about Deffeyes is, frankly, idiotic. There are no significant numbers coming out. None. So the Saudis are going back to what they cut down from in 2007? Big freakin' deal! So there might be a new official peak this year or next? Big freakin' deal! Virtually everyone who posts here would expect so given the projects projected to come on-stream during this period.

Say something useful, eh? You're ranting like a prat, for chrissakes. What the hell good does it do for people who are all in the same general camp - peak oil aware - to tear each other down over whether a statistically irrelevant peak a few hundred thousand or one or two million over the previous one occurs? Even two or three million higher is meaningless if that is the end of the line.

Can you possibly *not* understand this?


> None of this is true. Jesus wept.

You can cover your ears and yell "La La La!" 'til the cows come home, but being stuck so deeply in denial without presenting any kind of case makes your position undefendable and sadly, laughable. Please educate yourself to mitigate further embarrassment to yourself.

Dave, dude...wtf? I'll easily admit that ol' J. Brown drives me a little nuts sometimes, but what's with the snap?

Here's the problem: when you make a big deal out of a small change, like "new peak" being 74.6 mbd while "old peak" is 74.4 mbd, and that we may even see yet another peak of 75 mbd - it doesn't matter, and it detracts from a much larger picture. It's like standing under a dam and arguing over whether the crack grew 2.0 inches or 2.5 inches. Ok, sure 2.5" is worse - but the feckin' dam is cracking!

So if you step back for a moment and take in the view, you'll find oil supply generally stagnant for the past few years under ever-rising prices. That in itself is different from past events that don't have obvious attributable causes (wars, OPEC shenanigans, etc). There is some potential which is off line due to violence and war, but even adding that back in doesn't do much for the grand picture. Oil companies are looking very hard at deep offshore, arctic, tar sands, etc. Things they might not be seriously contemplating if things weren't getting a little rough. Optimistic forecasters are starting to get deflated...going from seeing 130 mbd in 10 years to 100 mbd in the face of rising demand, which I believe is still a dream, is a huge turnaround. Lately also growing demand, which has historically been easily met with increases in supply, has only succeeded in making prices rocket skyward and not bringing on new supply. There are a lot of countries that seem to be in serious decline or about to enter, and not many increasing supply. So stepping back an looking at these things, without concentrating on anything specific leads one to believe that something is afoot. Taken in context of that, 0.2mbd, or even 0.6mbd doesn't really mean feces...male bovine, or otherwise.

And lest I be accused of running away from my predictions, here is our Texas/Saudi graph, from our early 2006 paper. It has been updated with the 2006 and 2007 annual data. As noted above, we do not know what the annual 2008 data will show, but we do know that 27 straight months of EIA data have shown Saudi production to be below their 2005 annual production rate, and I expect that their 2008 annual production rate will be below their 2005 rate.

Dave, why the animosity? Aren't Jeffrey and others allowed to have an opinion different than yours?

Dave, why the animosity?

Very good question. Despite the overriding tone of personal attack, and what I frankly consider a libelous statement, I have tried to remain civil (I deleted some comments without posting them).

I have simply looked at the quantitative analysis, and made some predictions, but there is a screaming double standard here.

The available data basically show two and a half years of the Saudis producing below their annual 2005 rate, but because of their claim that they can produce 10 mbpd, Dave asserts that the quantitative analysis is wrong. I have a suggestion--let's see what the annual 2008 data show, before we conclude that 2005 was not the final peak.

You are the worst sort of demagogue who can't admit even for a moment that you might be wrong. You're pathetic.

Maybe you need some kind of hero worship or something. Maybe all these naive people looking at this blog can say, "Oh, westexas, he's so smart!"


Maybe all these naive people looking at this blog can say, "Oh, westexas, he's so smart!"

I don't know if I would say that, exactly, about westtexas, only because it's inane, not because it's necessarily untrue. But after reading your comments today I will say, right now, that Dave Cohen (the name I most strongly associate with ASPO-USA) sure comes off as a real prick.

Whatever damage you perceive to be done by the existence of TOD, your comments today -- given your high profile in the peak oil world -- don't seem to help the situation. But maybe I'm just naive.

THis is so Mozart and Salieri I can wet myself.

"THis is so Mozart and Salieri I can wet myself."

You hit the nail right on the head.

In fact I read an element of this in just about everyone of DCs comments here, "you people just don't understand what understand and you never will" but to aim that at WT is way over the top.

Shame on you DC

Well, I do seem to recall a certain idea about the export land model, and it seems to be a fairly accurate - at least well supported by current data from various sources.

And let me be the first to say that I was certainly wrong in my insistence that peak production is behind us. However, a certain other individual predicting a 'flood' of new production seems to have been equally mistaken.

Congratulations to the fence sitters - otherwise known as those on a plateau. Well, in production terms - unlike many, I'm not holding my breath for oil to return to, what, 30 dollars a barrel? From another participant in these debates, ca. 2006, whose paycheck, credibility, and influence far exceeds ours.

Not that it makes a bit of difference to what is in the pipeline.

You are the worst sort of demagogue who can't admit even for a moment that you might be wrong. You're pathetic.

Of course I might be wrong about 2005 being their final peak. Following is what I said about Saudi Arabia in our top five paper. My point is that we don't know if I am wrong about 2005 being the final peak. We will need to see an annual rate of 9.6 mbpd or more (C+C) to refute the 2005 peak, and I highly doubt that we will see it in 2008, but time will tell.

But let me repeat my question. Are you going to retract the demonstrably false statement you made about me?

From our January, 2008 top five paper:

In January, 2006, we noted, based on the HL models, that Saudi Arabia was at about the same stage of depletion at which Texas peaked, and we followed that up with our Texas/Lower 48 article published in May, 2006, which made a more detailed quantitative case for a near term Saudi oil production peak. In that article, we showed 2005 Saudi crude + condensate production lined up with Texas 1972 crude + condensate production. Figure 5 shows this graph, updated with the 2006 and 2007 to date production data. While this graph could suggest that Saudi Arabia is in terminal decline, the evidence for a long term decline is not yet conclusive. We do know that annual Texas oil production in the Seventies fell against a backdrop of rising oil prices and a rapid increase in drilling activity, which is the same pattern that we are now seeing in Saudi Arabia, at least on an annual basis. In any case, Saudi Arabia will have to show an annual production rate of about 9.6 mbpd or more (crude + condensate) in order to refute the 2005 peak. We can say that at a minimum the preponderance of the data suggest that the conventional wisdom estimates of remaining recoverable Saudi oil reserves are significantly overstated.


I have no idea what you think to achieve by your diatribes.
Had you chosen to present your case here you would have had a respectful hearing.
As it is I doubt that you have any audience remaining.

I think you are spot on, but you will not gain any favors by saying it!

Jeffrey (and Jim) like to do their Nostradamus/prophet thing, and the followers like to lap it up without questioning the flimsy evidence and dodgy graphs. Let them have their fun, it helps make PO look like the domain of kooks, but the mainstream were probably never going to accept PO anyway.

As I said up and down the thread, I am basing my work on the quantitative HL analysis, and I have precisely explained what my reasoning is. People can judge for themselves whether it has merit. As I also said up and down the thread, we don't have the annual 2008 data yet, so I think that it is too early to say that 2005 was not the final peak. But does it really matter, when there is increasing evidence that the net export decline rate is accelerating? Take a look at that projection for Saudi consumption (using a rate of increase which is less than the current data show).

In any case, on countless occasions, I have repeatedly urged people to take proactive measures to get ready for much higher food & energy prices--via my ELP recommendations. Precisely what have you and Dave contributed to the debate?

ELP Plan (April, 2007)

I'm not saying everything you post is crap. ELP is fine, although mainly just common sense given a fancy name. I guess you can claim credit for that.

However, I don't count posting Nostradamus-like predictions and misleading charts ad nauseum as being "contributing to debate". It just adds to the pile of hype surrounding PO, which is partly why it doesn't get taken seriously by the media. Oh wait - the reason for that is the subject of your silly conspiracy theory isn't it? ;)

I'm not saying everything you post is crap.

Unfortunately, I can't return the compliment.

When I express an opinion about the global peak, or about regional peaks, I prefer to base it on a quantitative analysis.

What are your opinions based on? Goat entrails? Astrology?

I would have been interested in hearing his arguments.
So far he has not presented any, so they are impossible to evaluate.
Shrill imprecations do not cut it.

Shrill imprecations do not cut it.

I agree with you there. That rule should be applied universally of course. Unfortunately shrill imprecations by doomers get the least critical analysis here. We should all be more skeptical of people telling us what we want to hear, it becomes easy to get misled, whether by those with an "agenda" or plain misguided.

Methinks he is protecting his turf and positioning himself as the go to guy and talking head for peak oil expertise, a Daniel Yergin for the peak oil argument. Can’t have people like Jeffery, Campbell, or Deffeyes having credibility.

If "Jeffery, Campbell, or Deffeyes [had] credibility", then I would be wrong. But they don't... obviously (look at the EIA production numbers for 2008)

This is why the Oil Drum sucks -- there is no responsibility. Everybody, including you, Bruce, can say any damn thing they want to regardless of the facts...

Science, said Carl Sagan, is a "Candle in the Dark". Never have these words had more meaning than they do now.

-- Dave

This is why the Oil Drum sucks --

Then why are you here?

Don't make me pull out therapy cat.

"This is why the Oil Drum sucks."

You can be part of the solution, part of the problem, or part of the landscape.

If you aren't going to be part of the solution due to having an adversarial stance, content-free criticisms, and thinly veiled ad hominems, then piss off, and don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.


My experience is apparently completely different from yours, Dave. I have learned a great deal from The Oil Drum and make sure I acknowledge that as often as I can. The people here strike me as committed to getting to the source of what's happening and there have been exceptional conversations in which I've participated.

Occasionally, however, there are people who seem to allow the age of their conversations to descend to that of a six-year old.

Have you noticed that?

Our historical analogues are based on annual data, and that is what defines the peaks. As I have said several times, we don't yet have the annual data for 2008. We do know that the initial Lower 48 annual decline rate was relatively low, -0.8%/year, after two years, versus -0.3%/year for the world, after two years (EIA, C+C, through 2007).

And as I said up the thread, Deffeyes, when he put the peak between 2004 and 2008, most likely in 2005, was modeling conventional production. Subtracting out unconventional would almost certainly show that 2005 was so far the conventional peak, even on a monthly basis. But in any case, we don't yet have the 2008 annual data.

So, I am puzzled as to what the brouhaha is about.

If this guy wants to be the voice of Peak Oil, I hope to god he gets permanent laryngitis. The only people I would have expected to see touting a few hundred thousand barrels as something grandly significant would be a denialist. You see them get excited over every little new oil find, every new near-peak, etc., because they haven't the brains and/or the objectivity to understand how statistically insignificant it is.

I am, frankly, shocked that a supposedly prominent voice could make such an elementary school-level error. I'm not intending to be insulting here. It really is that simple an error. We're talking about new peaks of 1 or 2% higher over a THREE YEAR SPAN. That's not PER YEAR, it's total. Over that same period we have fallen behind to the order of 14,000,000 barrels/day combined decline and new demand. Yet, you think you're saying something of significance?

As for the quality of TOD, it is the only place on the web I have found where professionals DO post and have to put up with being questioned by fellow professionals and lay people. Nobody gets a free pass here, you damned fool. Ask Stuart Staniford.

BTW, I'm a layman and can see you're full of crap. What do you think real professionals must think of your little outburst? Friend, you've got an ego and an inflexible agenda wound up in this. Get your head on straight, or you're going to find yourself a laughingstock.


Leanan, where are you?
If Dave Mart or some other normal mortal starts personal attacks, you're immediately there to stop him. If Dave Cohen does the same, none of the editors intervenes.
To me, this seems quite unfair with respect to WT (one of the heavyweights of this site) who is left all alone to defend not only his numbers and predictions (which is fair), but has also to take on all kinds of personal attacks (which is not ok, IMHO).

These personal attacks have been really puzzling. It does make one wonder what his agenda is.

But the most interesting thing is that Dave apparently refuses to retract a demonstrably false statement--that I believed that Saudi Arabia could not increase its production--and then goes on to accuse me of not being willing to admit that I might be wrong.

Also, if you looked at the totality of what I posted in more than two years, I would have to think that more than half of it was ELP related, i.e., start getting ready ASAP, regardless of when the actual peak is, or was.

In any case, a truly strange series of comments.

Am I correct in thinking that Dave Cohen is a "peak-later" and expects (or expected) the peak closer to 2015 than 2005?

It certainly seems there is something really bothering him right now.

This is why the Oil Drum sucks -- there is no responsibility.

A lack of 'responsibility' is why something sucks?

Best stay away from the Internet. Or many parts of Fed-Gov. Or various corporations.

Care to point at where there *IS* people taking responsibility?

Fear and/or jealousy? I would place more emphasis on fear over the developing situation translated into hostility towards WT who has been unfortunately, remarkably prescient. You expect that kind of dialogue from drifters through TOD but, to repeat a phrase of a diehard cornucopian from a year or two back whose name now escapes me, "Wow ... just wow".

While I disagree with WT over a continued geometric price appreciation, as demand destruction makes a sigmoid curve seem, eventually, likely, hopefully before too much damage, while one could point to countries like Russia which have basically restrained domestic consumption, while growing the economy to argue over ELM, to subject someone like Jeffry who has added so much to the discourse and scientific analysis of PO to such a furious and senseless diatribe, is way, way out of bounds. At this point, Dave, his stature has grown and yours just diminished considerably.

Could you please not be so rude? thank you.

Colin Campbell has just revised his peak again in his June newsletter from 2007 to 2008 at 85.3 mbd (excl biofuels)

My updated forecast, which agrees with Campbell, indicates that the peak total liquids year is also 2008 at 86.6 mbd(incl biofuels). The peak total liquids month is forecast to be Feb 2008 at 87.3 mbd (IEA includes biofuels, which will probably be revised downwards once the full IEA OMR June Report is released later this month).

Peak crude and condensate (C&C) month is forecast to be Feb 2008 at 74.6 mbd (EIA). Peak C&C year is forecast to be 2008 at 74.1 mbd. However, given that there are likely to be supply shortages this year due to above ground and below ground factors, the peak C&C year will probably be 2005 at 73.8 mbd.

The charts below have been updated for the recent IEA and EIA data releases. The forecast to 2012 is based on a bottom up forecast of over 400 projects/regions.

Supply, Demand and Price to 2012 - click to enlarge

Crude and Condensate Production to 2100 - click to enlarge

Crude and Condensate Production to 2012 - click to enlarge

Also shown is an updated world additions chart based on wiki oil megaprojects, showing supply additions, on a delayed peak oil basis. An eight year average of 4 mbd is also shown which is a better indication of actual annual supply additions. CERA estimated a decline rate of 4.5%/yr which when applied to annual C&C&NGL production of 82 mbd means that at least 3.7 mbd must be added just to maintain the same production.

Consequently, world oil production (total liquids incl biofuels) is on a plateau now. The best case scenario is that this plateau is maintained until the end of 2009.

The chart below also shows that capacity additions from 2006 to 2015 are 34 mbd. The underlying projects are those that have been officially sanctioned and those that are likely to be sanctioned. This figure of 34 mbd is more than the figure of 25 mbd quoted by IEA's Fatih Birol in March 2008 as Birol includes only sanctioned projects. If Birol's lower figure of 25 mbd were used, then the world oil production plateau might last only to middle of 2009.
slide 6 of http://www.regjeringen.no/upload/UD/Vedlegg/klima/birol.pdf

It is worth noting that jbunt's comment today
stated that the Oil & Gas Journal, June 2008, estimate of capacity from future upstream projects is 28.5 mbd which is less than the 29.9 mbd future capacity from the chart below. (2007 to 2015)

click to enlarge

Dave, I am guessing you will be at the ASPO Conference in September? I am going to attend for the first time. They have me slated to talk about fertilizer, but I am going to change that to either U.S. Energy Policy, How to be like Brazil (it's not how you think), or the Pain before the Peak (Peak Lite).

Peak Lite, Export Land, and Energy Husbanding seem to need some time in the spotlight.

Robert - Have you already done a presentation on Peak Lite? If you have done so on TOD would you provide a link?

Regards - Joe

No presentation, but I have written several essays on the concept. If you just Google "Peak Lite" you will find them.

Hello R-squared,

Darn! I was hoping a TopTODer would be talking about fertilizer. Obviously, as evidenced by my postings: I think I-NPK & Sulphur pricing and shortages will just crush global food supplies unless we see a huge ramp in O-NPK recycling.

The supply chain logistics are breaking down already due to hoarding, export restrictions, FF/I-NPK latency, skyrocketing transport costs, and corruption. Then, when the seeds and fertilizer are not there for ideal matching with the optimal, natural planting timeslot--harvest yields are subsequently reduced, causing further cascading blowback.

Add in unfortunate weather [drought, flood, frost, etc], depleting aquifers and/or reduced river flow [glacial shrinking, inadequate snowpack] for irrigated acreage-->one can easily visualize that pretty quickly are backs are to the wall.

What are the chances of finding an easily recoverable Ghawar-sized dry batcave of Guano when these critters are experiencing Dieoff from white nose fungal disease?

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

a TopTODer would be talking.....crush global food supplies unless we see a huge ramp in O-NPK recycling.

Nothing stopping you from being the local expert.

Do a bit of research into China and the cultural revolution - point out the tales of stripping the leaves from the trees as a way of getting green manure to the crops. Pitch that vision for a few weeks - naked trees just to get a crop.

Read up on green cover crops, how to take things like borage to make a green manure slush. Dig up the charts of how much cover crops are needed to support an acre.

Hello Eric Blair,

Thxs for responding, but I still consider myself an NPK-newbie. But what I have learned so far shocks me if PostPeak decline is being accurately extrapolated by my derailing thought-train.

If I was the ASPO fertilizer speaker, my podium time would be extremely brief. I would just say, "Oh S**T!, O-NPK!", then retake my seat.

I think ASPO and/or TOD should send an guest speaker invitation to Pete Doyle [POT topdog], or some other expert in NPK, maybe Barry Clarke of Pentasul, too, for postPeak sulfur impacts upon I-NPK. I have no idea if they are Peakers or not.

If they are not up to postPeak speed: some ASPO wizard or TopTODer could tutor them before the Sept. ASPO Conference. Pete, who probably has an army of market analysts & statisticians at his disposal, could then direct them to produce for him a detailed presentation that included various postPeak I-NPK & agricultural decline scenarios, plus mitigative permaculture & O-NPK recycling schemes.

Maybe Gail the Actuary would like to visit Pete in Saskatchewan? She appears to be the default TOD road warrior--good for her :)

That sounds like a fine start for a presentation. Maybe you could flesh it out into a haiku or something...

You know the Webbie awards only allow the winners 5 words for their acceptance speech. Quality, not quantity.

Hello Greenman,

Thxs for responding. If I spoke--NPK and agro-stocks wouldn't move--my initials and credentials are BS.

On the other hand: I would suspect that Pete Doyle attending and presenting at ASPO would immediately make these corporate stockshares jump 25%, and lots of people would be subsequently heading to Home Depot to buy a wheelbarrow full of NPK.

Okay, gotta go.

The Rodale Institute folks could probably supply a good speaker for post peak mitigation, if he could get his head around the peak issue. They know a lot about fertilizer (including synthetic) and permanent agriculture (deliberately avoiding the permaculture buzzword.)
FWIW, their bullet points are:

With sufficient NPK inputs organic and conventional yields are the same (and they can prove it). Organic crops are better on the vitamins and minerals, but getting enough organic nitrogen is a valid issue.

Without external inputs (including no purchased fuel), you're looking at 50% of current yields with best practices.
Subpoint: There is no clear choice between hay and biodiesel as a fuel. Good agricultural areas can produce either and while tractors don't make little tractors, they also don't eat when they're not working.

Clueful farmers will not maximize their yield, but rather their net income. Expensive seed that requires expensive fertilizer to reach its genetic potential may not be a farmer's friend. If this means that the cost of food rises to meet the true cost of production, you've come to the wrong place for sympathy. Where's your community garden?

Hello FrankRichards,

Thxs for responding with good points. Yep, a Rhodale expert sounds good to me, too, if the speaker can get up to Peak-speed by Sept.

Hopefully, maybe the ASPO conference group are monitoring TOD, then will extend an invitation to the Rhodale Institute. To be honest, I need to check the ASPO website soon, as I have no idea what the group's plans/agenda are for the next ASPO conference.

If this upcoming OPEC June22 meeting declares undeniably that we are postPeak downslope soon, then ASPO needs to redesign themselves to remain viable [as the Great FF-Debate will be over]. May I suggest:

ASPO-NPK [Association for the Study of Peak Organic-NPK] :)

The Rodale Institute folks could probably supply a good speaker for post peak mitigation .... but getting enough organic nitrogen is a valid issue.

As I remember - the people at Rodale have a forum on the internet. Perhaps going there and posting 'hey - these people need to wrap their head about re-cycling N and micronutriants'.

We've talked/touched on the upcoming Ag issues - water, PNK, recycling urine/feces to cropland as examples. But exactly how screwed 'we' are is not known.

Darn! I was hoping a TopTODer would be talking about fertilizer.

Bob, it isn't that I don't think it's a very important problem. I do. It's just that I don't have any particular expertise in this area. I would spend a lot of time getting up to speed, and then I still risk not knowing the subject thoroughly enough.

Maybe they could get you in there to discuss the topic?

Seconded. I think we need an article from Bob - he has very kindly pointed me to a few resources, but getting a grip on the problem is not trivial.

Hello R-squared & Davemart,

See my reply to Eric upthread. Besides, I can't leave my mother as I am her primary caregiver. Such is life.

I have no plans to attend, currently. I would like to meet up, but that doesn't look promising at the moment.

Dave I'm not sure I understand what you mean when you say that "...people don't seem to "get it", both outside and within the peak Oil community."

I think that many people do "get it" particularly the readers of TOD. What is discouraging is the overall disconnect that we see in the general population.

"One scholar uses "consensus trance" to explain people's failure to understand the reality of diminishing oil reserves. "Consensus trance" refers to the phenomenon that people do not act because other people do not act either. "

"The peak oil "theory" is that world oil production will follow the Hubbert curve generated by the logistic function..."

i think that is the peak NOW oil theory.

i am hoping the peak doesn't occur for ten years and the decline is real slow. at least we'll have a chance to deal with it.

Yeah me too...then we can remain in denial for another 20 years.

Peak oil is an observation, not a theory. The observation is backed up by an oil peak in many individual countries and regions - including the U.S.

It is even stronger than that. Given that a resource is finite and assuming only the mildest mathematical constraints on the production curve it can be proven mathematically that there will be a peak. In other words, if by "peak oil" all you mean is that production will peak at some point then it is a mathematical certainty.

On the other hand, I have seem awareness is some unsual places as well. Just this week my doctor (without proding from me) started talking about the oil situation and confidently told me it was all "supply and demand". His particular point was that he did not believe it was a conspiracy or speculators. He was particularly concerned about the conspiracy stories because he is Jewish and feels that historically that conspiracy theories have been aimed at the Jewish community.

Isn't it interseting that your Jewish doctor responds to Peak Oil from a limited perspective. Everybody seems to have an agenda.

When people make the leap of faith that the increases in the price of oil is political (which will occur regardless of what this community of TOD does) then look for a very rocky decline down the slope of Hubberts peak.

The notion that society at large will be able to adjust to Peak Oil intelligently is absurd!

Since SA is increasing their production, this would normally be good news for those wishing for prices to come down. However, since the U.S. congress has conclusively proven that high prices are caused by speculators, prices will only come down if the speculators want it that way. SA also blames high prices on speculators, so I guess they are just engaging in a futile gesture.

On a serious note, did SA just discover that record high prices might cause the world economy to flame out?

Due to the shortsighted perspective of our representatives and their sheeple, they will all breathe a sigh of relief with the expected increase of supply. Just when we have indications that some people are changing their consumption behavior, we get these announcements that once again lull us into complacency. Complacency. What we do best.

We need a floor on energy prices and a plan going forward based upon the certainty of high prices. Ain't gonna happen.

Live for the present. The future may never arrive.

From the story in the NYT about Saudi oil production:

Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is planning to increase its output next month by about a half-million barrels a day, according to analysts and oil traders who have been briefed by Saudi officials.

And who are these "analysts and oil traders"? I don't think the world should hold it's breath by delaying construction of alternative energy sources. What if the Saudis can't raise their production? What if this extra production is high sulfur crude for which there already is trouble finding a buyer? What if the Saudis increase their production and damage their fields? Aren't the Saudis already using secondary recovery techniques, which increases the prospect of damage to the fields when pushed too fast?

E. Swanson

Hello Black_Dog,

Thxs for highlighting this 'special insider group' of KSA-briefed traders. This group and their associates are going to make a monumental financial windfall trading off this secret info, that is not being openly shared with the rest of the world.

imo, it is all staging. remember when bush went to sa, twice, to ask for more production ?

it will seem to some, those prone to voting republican, that bush did this through his superior diplomatic skills.

and speaking of diplomatic skills, if the pope was a neoCON or neandrethal diplomat, he would have given bush the finger from the pope window.

However, since the U.S. congress has conclusively proven that high prices are caused by speculators, prices will only come down if the speculators want it that way. SA also blames high prices on speculators, so I guess they are just engaging in a futile gesture.

I LOVE IT! Thank you.

This is nearly as good as SHRUB's Jan 07 speech about Addiction to oil and using BIOFUELS to wean us off of Middle East Oil.

The USA is producing about(or more) 550,000 barrels a day of Ethanol, and has diverted (weaned) ZERO barrels of Middle East Oil!!!!

And for another confirmation of Peak, WE are MINING OIL! Everytime I here someone say we have tons of oil, I just say "REALLY...Why are we MINING it then?!"

Will we be ripping up roads soon to extract tar for other uses?

At $7.50 corn as far as the eye can see, w/ MOL grain stockpile, implosion
could occur at anytime.

My prediction is still that the 2008 annual Saudi production rate will be below their 2005 rate, but as usual, the MSM media are pretty much ignoring consumption.

This is a chart from our top five net exporters paper, in response to a quote from the Economist Magazine that Saudi Arabia could produce at their current rate for 70 years, without finding another drop of oil. We assumed a total liquids production rate of 11 mbpd, and a rate of increase in consumption of +5.7%/year (the initial EIA estimate for 2006). You can see the effect on net oil exports.

The EIA has revised their consumption estimates and they show Saudi consumption in 2007 up at an annual rate of +7.2%/year since 2005. This rate would of course cause consumption to double in 10 years to about 4.6 mbpd, from 2.3 mbpd in 2007, and then to 9.2 mbpd in 2027.

My prediction is still that the 2008 annual Saudi production rate will be below their 2005 rate, but as usual, the MSM media are pretty much ignoring consumption.

It shall be interesting. As I predicted to Darwinian last year, I think 2008 SA production will exceed that of 2005. I especially want to see how Darwinian reconciles his previous comments, like "I repeat, Saudi Arabia is in decline, a decline from which they will never revover! New oil is simply not keeping up with the decline. That is largely because there are no new fields in Saudi Arabia." That was when production was several hundred thousand barrels a day lower than it is now. Those are the kind of dogmatic statements that always made me shudder. But to be honest, "I told you so" isn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

Did you guys ever argue out the average API then vs now vs future? Surely you cannot ignore this factor given the time/money it tales to retool a refinery?


Did you guys ever argue out the average API then vs now vs future?

I showed several times that the crude gravity hadn't changed much in several years:


For the future, I think you can gradually expect the crude to become heavier, but refineries are gradually installing the equipment to cope with that. The only problem is that because margins have collapsed, there isn't as much money for the downstream segments to invest.

I guesst the NOC's will be investing more heavily downstream as they do have the money! or so i thought. Was it not recently that Saudi cancelled/delayed some refinery project, or some other partner pulled out. I can't recall.


As you no doubt recall, our difference of opinion was the magnitude of the rebound.

When Stuart posted his 8% decline article in March, 2007, I predicted a future production rebound--to a level below the 2005 annual rate. Two primary reasons: (1) The initial Texas decline was quite low, rounded off it was 3.4 mbpd for two years, following a peak of 3.5 mbpd; (2) Ghawar accounted for a much higher percentage of total production in 2005 than did the East Texas Field in 1972--I think that the North Ghawar decline took the Saudis by surprise, and it has taken them a while to bring every possible well and field on line, but the decline from their old wells continues, probably at a pretty rapid clip in many cases.

In any case, the Saudis would probably have to average about 10 mbpd for the last half of 2008 to match their 2005 average production rate of 9.6 mbpd (C+C)--while their consumption in 2008 will probably be up by about 500,000 bpd over their 2005 rate. So, even if they were able to match their 2005 total liquids production rate (11.1 mbpd), this would still be a sizable reduction in the volume of oil actually delivered to the market.

So, even if they were able to match their 2005 total liquids production rate (11.1 mbpd), this would still be a sizable reduction in the volume of oil actually delivered to the market.

No doubt, the ELM was a good call. In fact, even as I was criticizing the use of HL to call a Saudi peak, I also said that I thought you were absolutely correct with the ELM.

And ultimately it doesn't matter whether Saudi can bump up production some more. Your ELM also ties into Peak Lite in that both predict that consumption will be a problem. What I projected was that as demand grew faster than supply could grow, all spare capacity would be consumed and we would start to see what the peak looked like - before we actually peaked.

On the topic of Peak Lite, note the graph that I published a year ago, when oil was still around $60:

Figure 3. Oil Prices in the Future?

The original story is here: http://www.theoildrum.com/node/2757

I had all of the pieces to the puzzle there, but the exponential on the oil price increase was much sharper than what I depicted. I need to update that for today's prices.

"...but the exponential on the oil price increase was much sharper than what I depicted"

How much of the gap between predicted and actual can be explained by weakness in the US dollar? It seems fully reasonable for this rise in prices to slow at some point as the economy slows and people realize that the high prices are there to stay and stop spending like it's just a temporary blip. Then again...

By 2031, I expect that a lot of oil exports will be in exchange for food.

Saudi Arabia to grow strategic grains abroad
Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:53am EDT

RIYADH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia plans to grow strategic grains abroad to protect the country from crises in world food supply, a government official said on Saturday. Abdullah al-Obaid, a deputy agriculture minister, said the government was in talks with officials in Sudan, Egypt, Ukraine, Pakistan and Turkey to allow Saudi companies to establish projects for wheat, barley, soya bean, rice and animal fodder.

"The government would like to pave the way for Saudi investors to go abroad to use their experience, know-how and money to invest in such countries in order to bring produce here," he told Reuters. "We have negotiations with these countries and we have received some offers welcoming Saudi investors but we want to be sure such investments are secure and governments will give logistical help to them."

As has been pointed out by others, it is much easier to import food than water. Raising food in another country allows more (very scarce) water resources to be applied to direct human uses (and elaborate swimming pools in marble palaces) in the homeland.

WT, Thanks for your valuable posts. A question that is not being thoroughly addressed (imo) is why countries that are crying out for more Saudi production do not cooperate on building refineries to handle the heavy sour crude that is sitting in tankers in the Persian Gulf and, presumably, in above ground storage in other locations. As Black Dog pointed out above, and yesterday's DB contained articles and discussions about the OPEC countries stating that 'the world is sufficiently supplied with crude', it appears that a big bottle neck is the lack of refining capacity for heavy sour crude. Why raise more heavy sour crude if it is going into storage? I understand that in the short term politicians can say 'we jawboned SA into upping production' and SA can say 'see, we are producing more' but it is a hollow gesture. I also understand that finished product from expensive refineries will have to be priced higher. I do not see how a price mechanisim could be used to insure that new, expensive refineries could be put in place to allow them to compete with refiners that are cracking sweet light. Moe Gamble pointed out that some refineries are coming on line to crack this heavy oil but it seems little effort is being made to build enough refineries in a timely manner and that a combined effort by developed countries might be needed. Perhaps the design and building of the complex refineries needed should be turned over to the engineers, technicians and construction crews that build and operate French nuclear reactors and electrified rail? Ahh...only half joking in that last sentence.

Any light you can shine on this mystery will be appreciated.

There are certainly some refineries in importing countries being upgraded to handle heavy and/or sour crude, but it may be that refiners aren't as confident of future oil supplies as CERA, et al, are. Also, the crack spread is so poor that refiners may have some second thoughts about investing huge amounts of capital in refinery upgrades.

In any case, the utilization rate in the US had been trending down, which is to be expected if refiners are bidding against each other for declining crude exports. If the minimum wholesale price that refiners can charge for refined product per gallon, and stay in business, shows (as a result of bidding for declining crude exports) a geometric progression like this--$2, $4, $8, $16, etc.--what happens to the demand for refined product?


My theory is that this all happened a little to quickly for the refiners to respond to esp. China. I would like to know (from someone who knows refineries) if the Chinese could have started processing more sour crude for the own diesel when the price climbed last year (and ignored the consequences, ie sulfurous diesel), but with the Olympics coming up they have been instructed to go back to the ever dwindling supply of sweet crude in order to clean up their act.

If this theory holds water then their will be a correction post the Olympics. It doesn't mean prices aren't on an exponential rise, in fact if such a small event can distort the market then supply is extremely tight.


They're importing heavy sour from Saudi Arabia for Qingdao, a new refinery set up to process 200,000 barrels a day that just received its first shipment of crude. So, I don't think China's laying off sour.

The clean air rumor is that they're using diesel instead of coal in electric power plants near Beijing. I have no idea whether that's true--the people at Sinopec and Petrochina haven't mentioned anything like that when explaining China's diesel shortages, and I think they would have mentioned it because they've talked about a lot of factors. If it were true, it would mean that demand would lighten up when they returned to coal after the Olympics.

"Live for the present. The future may never arrive."

I like:

"The future is already here - it is just unevenly distributed."-Wm Gibson

Heh, I wonder - did Bernanke get his mortgage from Countrywide's VIP program? Hmmmmm....-Denninger MT

Might as well post it Mac...

'Where's The FBI? (Weekend of 6/14) - MortgageGate!
You're not going to believe this about Countrywide:

"Senators Christopher Dodd, Democrat from Connecticut and chairman of the Banking Committee, and Kent Conrad, Democrat from North Dakota, chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, refinanced properties through Countrywide’s “V.I.P.” program in 2003 and 2004, according to company documents and emails and a former employee familiar with the loans.

Other participants in the V.I.P. program included former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and former U.N. ambassador and assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke. Jackson was deputy H.U.D. secretary in the Bush administration when he received the loans in 2003. Shalala, who received two loans in 2002, had by then left the Clinton administration for her current position as president of the University of Miami. She is scheduled to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 19.'...snip...


My question is:

Why should Saudi Arabia care whether high oil prices cause economic problems in other countries? No matter what happens to the rest of us, there will always be enough world-wide oil-consuming economic activity to keep SA humming for may profitable years. In fact, the lower our economies sink, the longer those years will be. Are they afraid of invasion? Internal militant uprising? Rusting tankers? None of those are likely, so what gives; oil altruism?

"Why should Saudi Arabia care whether high oil prices cause economic problems in other countries?"

.......could it be that they believe in supply and demand ?

All of the above, I would imagine, including what edwoodelmore said.

Everyone is going to be effected in the turmoil coming up, even the oil exporters. They may have oil, but they are part of the whole system and depend on imported goods, too, including goods that allow them to extract their oil.

Sorry, don't believe it. I think they are going to tell us to stop using so much, and start conserving more. Anything else is suicide for them, because the faster they pump, the closer the day comes that their paychecks stop coming in. THAT is supply and demand, with a littlel hard-headed conservation tied in.

Pavel Molchanov at Raymond James and Associates in Houston estimated that average US producers now lose 8 cents for every gallon of ethanol distilled, compared with a profit margin of 20 cents two weeks ago. Besides higher corn prices, margins also have been squeezed by two-year highs for natural gas, which fires most ethanol plants.

This is the definition of a low energy gain system - one little hiccup and its unprofitable. Not to mention large environmental externalities - water restrictions in Iowa. etc.

All been talked about here before. This ethanol mandate has been a terrible socio-economic move for this country.

This is interesting.

So as ethanol production becomes uneconomical (in the monetary sense), the demand for "regular" oil products will increase.

Worse. Ag will never have a chance to rebuild stockpiles.

Agreed. Ethanol, a tax on diesel, natgas, and rail consumers but a subsidiy for gasoline that gives crappy mileage.

The water restrictions in Iowa are modest. They are only temporary due to flooding of water purification plants. Nearby Mason City which I believe received more than the 11 inches I did, is now saying water is drinkable again. There is no shortage of water in Iowa.

I was shocked as were many by the recent run up in corn prices. Generally the mantra rain makes grain is all one hears this time of year. Of course I've sold nearly all of last year's corn and all the soybeans too. Grain markets normally peak about this time of year.

IMO what is going on now is a fight about who will get the corn from the 2008 crop. While ethanol is struggling, as are oil refiners by the way, the competition for corn from animal feeders is even in worse shape.

Meat prices are not moving much as farmers are liquidating animals due to high grain prices. Egg and milk producers are in a little better position since egg and milk prices have gone up. IMO this is all required so that food will be assigned the correct amount of oil in the Post Peak Oil Economy.

Industries like airlines, recreational travel ala Winnebago will have to shrink to make room. Foreign military adventures will have to stop IMO. But these changes can not occur without a fight because everyone wants to survive and hates to give up.

The export markets would also seem to me to be under strain what with high transportation charges. In my opinion we should stop exporting corn and use it for ethanol, since the price of corn even at $7+ is less than its energy value. When I burn it in my corn stove it's worth $11+ compared to the LPG I use to buy.

When corn is exported the energy loss has to be replaced with imported oil at a higher price. The same thing is true when corn is fed to animals. Hog feeding has to be reduced and many hog factories closed. They are the result of ridiculously cheap subsidized corn. I hate them. I still have half a dozen within 3 miles of my place. They are an environmental plague.

Since ethanol's price finally seems to be rising to catch up with gas, it is not clear that all the ethanol plants will shut down. Smaller less efficient ones in poor locations may have to, at least temporarily.

Newer ones that were built with high costs may not make it either.

The Post Peak Oil world is interesting isn't it.

Hi X
my understanding of commodity corn is derived mostly from Michel Polan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemma".
While you hate hogs I hate high fructose corn syrup and Micky Ds. Do you see pain for industries such as coke and pepsie or any industry that adds value to ag. commodities?

I was shocked as were many by the recent run up in corn prices.

I wasn't. I predicted it a year ago:


It was a no-brainer. With the ethanol mandates, we set up a situation in which future corn harvests had to continue to set records. Any hiccup, and prices would run away.

Recall the earlier warning by Pete Doyle, POT's topdog [paraphrased]:

If we don't have record harvests everywhere from now on--> famine sledgehammerblow.

Feeding grain to animals is so inefficient and wasteful. It is beyond belief that the system of food production and distribution is so stupid.The only meat on the market should be that from animals fed on pasture in areas where agriculture is not practical.Environmental factors like overstocking and erosion need to be taken into account with free range grazing.
It looks to me like vegetarianism will be increasingly popular.Either that or starve.

Feeding grain to humans isn't such a good idea either.

I agree there should be no such thing as grain-fed beef - it is a nutritionally inferior product compared to grass-fed. And stocking levels should be sustainable.

But suppose we impose your proviso. That still allows human beings to cut down every last tree in the world and terrace every hillside with rice paddies, plant every piece of land with any rainfall to speak of in wheat and corn.

Vegetarianism will be increasingly popular. It should allow the global population to reach 9 billion before we finally crash.

Grain monoculture isn't good for the planet. For one thing, it tends to result in billions more humans.

Grain monoculture isn't good for the planet. For one thing, it tends to result in billions more humans.

And more beer.

It's not vegetarianism or starve. It's vegetarianism AND starve.

A completely vegetarian world would support a lot more people. Which just means an extra billion or two will die when the crops fail, drought comes and the soil blows away.

agreed. It's baby-farming that needs regulating..

Major Uptream Projects - The Oil & Gas Journal for the week of June 9, 2008 has a listing of major projects. The list contains over 300 oil & gas projects from 47 countries that are projected to have a peak production in 2008 and thereafter. It gives, field name, country location, company developing, projected peak dates, estimated peak production (if available) and the type of project. It states that if all projects peaked in "one single year" world production capacity would increase by 28.5 million b/d and 74.7 bcfd of gas. [The listing also includes a number of projects that have no estimated peak production available at this time.] This may be useful for anyone that is following and/or updating mega project information. Since the projects listed include some that do not come on line for over 10 years, a lot of work would be needed to integrate this information into a Peak Oil scenario (which is not to say that Peak has not already occurred). Incidently, it shows projects in Iraq coming on line with about 2.5 million b/d.

ExxonMobil has previously put the decline rate from existing wells at between 4% and 6% per year. Some sources put it at 8%/year or more. Let's assume -6%/year, and use the Rule of 72 (down by half in 12 years).

From 2005 to 2017, we would lose about 37 mbpd of existing crude production and about 43 mbpd of existing total liquids production.

Just when you thought is was safe to go home...here comes Michael Meyers again!

Call off the Crisis - Oil crisis solved
A Japanese company Genepax has solved the oil crisis...

A Car that runs on water

Good grief. How many of these do we have to sit through?

I'm waiting for the car that runs on air and air only - or maybe on wishful thinking - that'd be even greener as there certainly is an endless amount of wishful thinking available. It's one of the few unlimited renewing resources we humans have.

Someone in a Houston Peak Oil group posted this article. My response was that instead of waiting for a repeal of the laws of thermodynamics, we should focus on what we know works:

Streetcars 100 Years Ago:

Electrification of Transportation

What powers the "energy generator" to isolate the Hydrogen?


It's the "New Physics." A battery pack powers the hydrogen generator. The hydrogen is used to generate electricity, which is used to primarily power the car, with some being used to recharge the battery. It's simple really.

It's very much analogous to the New Physics being used in the Bakken Formation, which some people seem to think will allow us to recover more than 100% of the original oil in place in a virtually zero permeability shale.

And I'm off to perfect my ocean water gold mining project--to be powered by a perpetual motion generator.

And I plan to soon announce that I have found a "Huber/Lynch" oil field--one where the discrete wells peak and decline, but the field production--the sum of the output of discrete wells--increases forever.

I'm waiting for the car that runs on air and air only - or maybe on wishful thinking - that'd be even greener as there certainly is an endless amount of wishful thinking available.

You've forgotten the Einstein quote upthread..."two things that are infinite".

Much better a car that could run on human stupidity.

I'm waiting for the car that runs on air and air only - or maybe on wishful thinking...

Why not both?! My brother sent me this years ago and it still cracks me up: Wind-power transit isn't just hot air

Of course the piece is ten years old and his fantasy hasn't come to fruition. And it was written by a business professor. My favorite quote:

Windmills could be mounted on the chassis to catch and use created flow as the car moves and pushes through air in front of it. That such "wind" exists can be proven easily by observing pennants attached to cars for decorative purposes, or by moving one's hand rapidly through still air.

Regarding the recent article on aiport expansion, it really looks like there is a serious disconnect between what they expect levels of air travel to be in the future and what the price of oil will be in the future.

The current business model of carriers cannot survive oil at much more that $85 given current passenger levels - so I would expect to se a shrinking of the industry over the next 5 years where flying becomes the echeleon of the well off (like it always was before).

What makes it even worse for the carriers is there will be a move by refiners to more heavy crude, with the net effect of there being a lower kerosene cut after refining - double whammy on future air travel.

As far as I can tell it's a downward spiral for the airline industry now. Traffic to 50% levels 5 years from now would not surpirse me. CEO's and execs of all the big airlines, if you are reading this you really are screwed. Get out now while you still have your neck intact. I don't say this with much glee as I will be able to afford far less flights than I currently take!


Some "smart money" is already buying airline industries.

According to them, as soon as the death spiral kills of 50% of the carriers, prices will shoot up and so will profits as the over-capacity has been eliminated from the markets.

Perhaps, but will there be enough fuel and passengers :)

Marco, we have a large contractor in this area that builds roads, bridges, etc, and does repairs to same. His brother is a long time politico. Said contractor has little or no competition. Same everywhere. Peak Nepotisim is not yet in sight.

Obviously air travel is not declining.(sarcasm) Why then would there be such a huge expansion of Heathrow? What are these people thinking?

Behind a paywall, alas...

Saudis See Project Deadlines Slip

As Saudi Aramco struggles to start pumping from the 500,000 barrel per day Khursaniyah project, its next set of oil projects looks likely to miss start-up deadlines too. These include the high-profile 1.2 million b/d Khurais field, which may be facing delays of at least six months, and the smaller Shaybah and Nuayyim projects, which could also be pushed back.

These delays are exactly why we never get the expected higher production. If every single project came online at its originally-scheduled date, we'd see a higher peak and prices stabilized (or rising more slowly). But nothing is coming online on schedule, and energy shortages are part of the reason.

toilforoil on June 14, 2008

Last night I was at a party celebrating a young neighbour's convocation and PHD. The new doctor of Psychology understands peak oil. Of course, he has had to contend with me chewing off his ear for a number of years now. But among the crowd of professors and other highly educated professionals the light was dim. It was not a sixpack crowd.

I have yet to see any surveys on the matter, but I would not be surprised to see that cluelessness intensified as education and wealth levels increased."

I noted on the Russert MSM Memorializing how close all these talking heads are.

Several shots of Russert/Carville and Barnacle/Boston Globe christening.
Al Hunt-I'm a Godfather. Andrea Mitchell-Russert picks the questions to ask.

Just completely incestuous.

And you know that all of these folks rely on XOM et al for their talking

What were the technical difficuilties about producing from Khursaniyah? I'ts been producing oil for 30 years but what are they doing new now to ramp up production so much?


They've never really said, but rumor is that it's shortage of materials, and shortage of skilled labor.

A 30 year shortage? I'm going open up my crusty (3 year old) "Twighlight in the desert" - i'm sure Simmons mentions it.

Sorry, I misunderstood what you were asking.

This site has a brief explanation of what they are doing:

The scope of work includes building a central Gas-Oil Separation Plant (GOSP) and wet crude handling facilities to process crude from the three fields (140 oil and water wells), gas gathering compression facilities, a cogeneration plant, crude stabilisation and water injection. The project will treat 500,000bpd of crude oil and 450,000bpd of injection water.

In addition to the delays at Khursaniyah, the people behind the new Reliance refinery in India (to process 580,000 barrels per day of heavy crude) are now saying (yesterday and today) that it will be 3-6 months before it opens. In late April they were saying they'd be starting test runs in July, with full production in September. Since they're no longer saying July and September, this likely means full production won't start until at least December. This means that even if Khursaniyah opens in July and gets up to speed fast (good luck), we'll be running behind the decline rate again because Reliance will be late.

Khursaniyah's capacity, according to Aramco, is 0.5 mbd. I think that Khursaniyah's actual production will be, at best, 0.30-0.35 mbd. Aramco's head Jumah would admit only to a 0.3 mbd production capability when he said that "Khursaniyah would be producing 0.3 mbd within a month" but would eventually pump 0.5 mbd.

Khursaniyah, including Abu Hadriya and Fadhili (AFK), is a large workover project as these three fields have already produced about 2 billion barrels (IHS, Rand & Simmons). Khursaniyah peaked at 0.21 mbd in 1979 which dropped down to 0.05 mbd in 1995. Abu Hadriyah and Fadhili peaked in 1977 at 0.13 mbd and 0.06 mbd, respectively. I agree with Matt Simmons when he says on page 221 of his book that he is amazed that the AFK project "to rehabilitate old, underperforming oilfields targets a production level of 500,000 barrels a day for a very long period of time. It is even more surprising that so many oil experts then simply accept these aggressive predictions without question or comment, as if predicting high production were tantamount to achieving it".

The ultimate recoverable oil reserves of AFK is probably about 5 Gb. If 2 Gb has been produced then 3 Gb oil remains. Since the easy oil would have been produced first from AFK, a suitable depletion rate of remaining harder to produce oil might be around 4%/yr. Applying 4%/yr to the remaining 3 Gb gives a realistic production rate of 0.33 mbd which is within the range of the previous estimate of 0.30-0.35 mbd.

The chart below shows an update for Saudi Arabia's (including half of Neutral Zone) forecast oil production (excluding NGL). It assumes that the economic URR is 185 Gb which represents an average recovery factor of 32% of an estimated OIIP of 580 Gb. The actual production data is from the EIA. It is interesting that the OPEC OMR June 2008 says that Saudi Arabia (incl half of NZ) produced 9.03 mbd for Mar 08 (excl NGL); 8.98 mbd, Apr 08; and 9.13 mbd, May 08.
http://www.opec.org/home/Monthly%20Oil%20Market%20Reports/2008/pdf/MR062... page 32

click to enlarge

For more info about Saudi Arabia see section 5 of http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3623 and http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3665

Perhaps OPEC and Saudi Arabia will be making a statement on OPEC's real production capability at the June 22 meeting which might resolve the "peak oil" debate.

This meeting is different than other OPEC meetings because OPEC has invited heads of state from importing nations and bank executives. It is worth noting that the OPEC Secretary General said that "The quota is 'irrelevant' under today's market circumstances, el-Badri said today. A meeting of energy ministers from producing and consuming nations at the International Energy Forum in Rome in April achieved 'nothing' to solve high oil prices".

Hello Ace,

Thxs for your excellent work and important reports!

Your Quote:
This meeting is different than other OPEC meetings because OPEC has invited heads of state from importing nations and bank executives.

'Wild & Crazy' thoughts ahead!

Imagine every bank-corp. and/or govt topdog luxo-jet, heading towards this OPEC meeting: full of staffers reading every detail of "Twilight in the Desert", the latest IEA & EIA reports, the ASPO Depletion Protocol [C. Campbell & R. Heinberg], Simmons_International's Powerpoints, and ASPO/TOD files, to try and quickly clue in their respective political topdogs and banking heads.

Or, maybe these people are already up to full Peak Awareness? Maybe they are currently busy studying 'Top Secret' new info from OPEC, plus CIA/NSA, MI-6, Russian KGB & Gazprom info, etc? Usually, the key Heads of State already know what is going to happen before they even board their planes to go to such a big meeting.

I wonder if the IOCs' CEOs are miffed that they also didn't get invited? Maybe they already know what is going to happen June 22 [already briefed by OPEC earlier]?

This OPEC meeting might be the final and ultimate FF-poker game to be MSM-televised to the huddled masses. Will the 'River card' be turned up--KSA's King instructs ARAMCO to go to full audit transparency [other OPEC members to join too]?

Do we know if Matthew R. Simmons is one of the invited bank executives? If so, who else might fly on Matt's jet to the MidEast--Deffeyes, Colin Campbell, others?

If Matt is not invited: I bet his email inbox is just totally jammed with urgent requests for consulting help from the other banking chiefs.

Matt's OPEC attendence might be a key clue on what is going to go down. Imagine the OPEC topdog asking Matt to pull together a global taskforce to verify/audit all of OPEC's oilfields' production history, future ideal depletion-flowrates, reserves, spare capacity, etc, then report the results publicly. Maybe at the UN a couple of months later?

Or will ARAMCO just come right out and say the extra 500,000 barrels per day was just a 'bluff', it will never happen at that volume, along with also admitting their reserves were inflated too; Peak Oil Downslope straight ahead?

Your Quote:
Perhaps OPEC and Saudi Arabia will be making a statement on OPEC's real production capability at the June 22 meeting which might resolve the "peak oil" debate.

Will this week's oil market trading range before June 22, and/or the week after see a $25 or even a $50 pricing swing? Up or Down guesses?

$100 per barrel to the upside?

Or is that just too absolutely 'Wild & Crazy'?

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

"The ultimate recoverable oil reserves of AFK is probably about 5 Gb."

i am wondering where this figure comes from. i reviewed your links, and i couldnt find any reference. i note that you are using an approximate 35% recovery factor in a number of places. and, frankly, i dont support applying that average recovery factor to specific fields. could you shed some light on this ?

Shortage of the materials is not hard to comprehend when you spend a little time working within these large heavy industries. Recently I've been working with a local copper mine and they are getting hammered by diesel prices. (Those big ore hauling trucks are thirsty beasts).

Steel making, lots of energy, both hydrocarbon and electricity. Aluminum, electrical maximus consumer of course. Then there are the increasing transportation costs. It is a self reinforcing cycle that proves the receding horizons theory.

Then there is my favorite rant about the lack of skilled labor. Being an engineer and seeing the job markets expand and contract cyclically over the years as people are used and discarded, it rots my socks to see such short term thinking. Very few organizations put much value in retaining knowledge capital as they have consumed the kool-aid of universal fungible assets.

To quote Leanan (again), less energy means less net energy. This goes for renewable energy sources as well since they require many of the same inputs and capital financing.

To answer BigPatty from yesterday, that is why engineers are pessimistic about the future possibilities for a society that keeps seeking technical solutions to technical problems. We actually understand the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and realize;

Thermodynamics doesn't give a damn what you think.

Scott in biomass Saudi Arabia (blech! I hate that phrase)

For what its worth, you can see a spreadsheet detailing my gasoline expenditure over the past year or so here. I live in northern New Jersey. According to my calculations, if the gas had been at the current price for the entire year, my gasoline expenditure would have been about $640 higher.

I enjoy seeing this kind of data. Thanks for posting. I'll have to update my spreadsheets soon...

Here's my latest photo series of fuel prices:

This station (all the shots are of the same sign) is in Blaine, WA. Gas prices have risen nearly $0.90/gal since the end of February. A really big jump, some $0.40, occurred in the past month or so.


Wolf in YVR, BC

If you were a little more careful to always stand in the exact same place (and probably use a tripod), and kept it up one a month or so for several years, you could then turn those into a pretty good little video.

if the fbi and homeland security are not called in to see why you are doing this.

and it would be interesting to see the type and size of cars change as the price goes up.

This is great, thanks for posting it.

"my gasoline expenditure would have been about $640 higher."

Moo? I read your spreadsheet as Date,Gallons,Price per gallon, Total price...so 640 is the gallons used, $595 the additional expense at current prices. You must drive a lot for a job considering the close dates of some of the fill-ups. Accord, Camry? Do you fill up based on the trip odometer and not the gas gauge?

Still, $600 would be "a stimulus check down the hole," or a two-week paycheck for a lot of people, or 30 "nights out" for a small family - that has to take a bite out of the economy.

Indeed I had made a mistake - I have fixed the spreadsheet. The extra amount I would have to spend is about $600.

I actually have two cars, a 2004 Toyota Camry and a 2001 Toyota Sienna, both with the 3L V6. I realize now that the spreadsheet is a little confusing - it does include all fill up costs for the Camry but only some for the van (which my wife mostly drives).

I should explain that I work in IT and have the luxury of being able to work from home quite often. In fact, as gas prices have risen, I have tried to work from home at every possible opportunity.

The reason I posted this spreadsheet is that I am genuinely interested in real-world numbers for others. If you have numbers, please do post.

"If you have numbers, please do post."

This was probably a general broadcast, but as for me personally, I've thought about keeping gas logs before but it seemed almost pointless. What I'd be more interested in is keeping a destination/mileage log so I could see how many miles were attributed to what. I can say I have a fixed mileage of about 120mi/week (6240/yr) for commuting to work, and as a general rule I only fill up once every two weeks so I'd estimate my other driving to average ~60mi/week (3120mi/yr). Car is a CRX Si and I've been getting around 40mpg (the few records I have of fill-ups are little doodles to spot check fuel mileage).

To Whomever Doeth Surveys:
Can we get a survey asking "How far do you regularly commute to work (one way distance)"

With criteria: 0 mi (telecommute), 0-2mi (walking/biking distance), 2-7 mi (biking distance), 7-15mi (light electric vehicle distance), 15+ (gas/diesel vehicle distance).

(LEV distance based on tea leaf estimation of foreseeable trends)

I live in Montreal. 5 years ago, gas cost me around 25$/wk, now it's in the low forties. The price is currently around US$5.50/gal in Montreal. I drive a subcompact, and do only about 10,000 miles a year.

"The planned 500,000 barrels a day of Khursaniyah production would have been like a cool drink of water for an oil market thirsting for additional supply."

ANWR is projected to have a capacity of 1 million to 1.35 million barrels per day and people constantly say it's not enough to bother with? That's more than double the new Saudi field.

Go sign the petition at the link below. It supports the S.2958 Energy Act. This important act includes ANWR, oil shale, CTL, research for new battery technology, Bio-mass ethanol and high mileage diesel cars.


Could you see if you could add a petition to support this move by a UN group to repeal the Laws of Nature?

Laws of Nature to be Repealed
By Paul V. Cameron
Apr 16, 2007,

As a result of recent disasters and extreme weather, in a move some say will only incite anger and retribution by none other than the Almighty, a UN-led group is planning to repeal most, if not all laws of nature.

"There are four laws we don't like," said UN spokesperson Liam Snugglam. "If it weren't for these laws, we could prevent the deaths of innumerable vulnerable citizens world wide." Drawing on an unconfirmed source, Snugglam noted the laws and the specific problems this UN-led group hopes to eliminate.

Also, could we see about a petition that would demand that major oil companies be given unlimited access to drillsites worldwide--so that they can emulate the long term success that they have had in places like Texas & the North Sea?

It is likely that in the name of "national security" it will be developed. Political middle finger to demonstrating environmentalists etc....who will be banged up in jail and tried as "eco terrorists".

From WIKI:

""In total, the oil deposits in ANWR contain enough oil to solely support U.S. consumption for 7 months (4.3B estimate) to 19 months (12B estimate). If used to completely replace oil imported from the Persian Gulf (775M barrels in 2007[12]), oil from ANWR would last from approximately 5.5 years (4.3B estimate) to 15 years (12B estimate).[13]""

What it doesn't exactly impress upon us is the fact that any real oil is 10 years away if we started drilling there tomorrow - and how depleted will we be in 10 years? you'll be lucky if the stuff above even manages to offset current and futire declines looking 10 years forward.


“Before beginning a Hunt, it is wise to ask someone what you are looking for before you begin looking for it.”

Winnie the Pooh

I like these stories of floods in the American midwest. According to global warming models the US midwest should be drying out. oh well.

AND no body is mentioning the fact that TOTAL GLOBAL ice cover is actaully at mean level with increased ice cover in the antartic almost exactly offsetting delclines in the artic - a seldom pointed out fact the days of AGW worship:



Marco,it's not quite as simple as that.Sea ice loss in the Arctic Ocean has the potential to destabiliize the Greenland icecap and,more importantly and sooner,the global ocean circulation.

Antarctica is a different story as it is a continent with a very thick (up to 4000 metres) ice cap and is relatively stable.I say relatively as there has been some movement in the offshore ice and also things are happening in the ice cap itself which are concerning.

At this stage Antarctica can't be related to the Arctic to any great degree.There is a lot of information on the Web about this whole issue.


We get tired of explaining this over and over. There are tons of answers to your inane blather, but your blather is not worth the time.

It's real, it's happening, and you're a damned fool for letting Exxon and BuCheney brainwash you. You've been had. Period. End of story.

So, I will say this only once:

Ozone hole -> winds -> virtual "wall" around Antarctic -> peninsula outside wall -> peninsula melting.

'05 and '07 Arctic melt -> increased retention of heat -> multi-year ice almost gone -> bigger melts -> resulting warming 100's of kilometers inland -> methane and CO2 release -> greater warming -> good luck with that.

CCPO, stop ranting. I never said anywhere that warming is not occuring. I find myself repeating for people like yourself who havn't bother to read my blather properly: here is the dummies guide to Marco's viewpoints:

1. AGW = not as much importance as IPCC put on it.
2. paleo climate very very, variable make current warming seem like tiny blip.
3. me = bicycle to work 14 mile round trip and reduce CO2 footprint now anyway.
+green shit around home
4. Current computer models are wholly inadequate.
5. weather not = climate. need much more time to assess.
6. earth could be in a state of change anyway.
8. need new world leaders.

Even The Antarctic Winter Cannot Protect Wilkins Ice Shelf

Antarctic Ice Shelves Breaking Up Due To Decades Of Higher Temperatures

Your stance is, at best, ridiculous. Your post is no0t worth more than that. And, friend, you will know when I have started ranting. Believe me when I tell you this is not it.

I could rip every point you have made to shreds. Some of them a 10 year-old could rip to shreds.

You have contradicted yourself. You make yourself look foolish with these ridiculous posts. All you are demonstrating is the ability to be fooled and a nearly total lack of understanding of how science works.

Look at the links.

Please do not respond.

Please do not tell me NOT to respond. I have this right.

Firstly I acknowlege the information on the 2 posts (and had actually read one of them prior to you posting) you have provided but this does NOT refute the satelite data represented on the cryosphere website that I linked to which clearly shows total global ice cover to be at mean level. Click on it if you don't believe me. And if you don't belive the satellite data then it is maybe you that need "ripped apart" liker a "10 year old"!!

Secondly I have no-where contradicted myself.

Thirdly this argument is not about trying to make myself look foolish or for that matter great. More is at stake here than my ego. The only 10 year old behaviour I can see are your stream of insults. As a trained engineer and avid recreational scientist (much of my part time doing astronomy and building telescopes) I have an understanding that I feel comfortable with yet at the same time am trying to improve.


Please do not tell me NOT to respond. I have this right.

You have no rights here. This is not a public forum. Even this you do not understand? It is true I have no control over your actions and cannot sanction you, but that does not equate to you having any "right" to post.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not an AGW denier. I just think that the peer reviewed case of past historic climate change stands more strongly against AGW

That's not contradictory? 30% effect from humanity in the face of small inputs having massive effects (Chaos Theory), which you acknowledged before, does not contradict you saying 30% doesn't mean anything?

If you are comfortable with being a non-denier denier, good for you. But you are still prattling nonsense. And don't whine about being insulted. You've painted AGW advocates as bad or worse. You've called it a religion, which to me is an extreme insult. It tries to imply there is no science, no judgment. This is a blatant and intentional lie.

When the science is 1,000 - 1 against your position and you see nothing wrong with it, you're a fool. When you contradict yourself repeatedly, you're a fool. FYI, the only objective study ever done on the percentage of studies supporting AGW and the percentage disproving it was.... 1,000 to ZERO.


A new study came out just this last week about the affiliations of deniers. Guess what? 92% affiliated with Exxon/conservative think tanks.

Gee, what a surprise.

And you blatantly ignored what I posted regarding Antarctica: The ozone hole is helping create a wall of winds that keeps the interior colder so snow and ice builds up, but does not extend far enough to insulate the peninsula, so it is melting. Get it? So, OF COURSE there's ice building up in Antarctic - just as the models predict.

Finally, it matters not what the total ice balance is. There could be ten miles of ice at the South Pole and NONE anywhere else. To your tortured logic that would mean there's no problem. This is idiocy. Also, I think your claim is full of crap. The total ice balance is equal? Bull. The Arctic has lost 80% of its mass over the last decade or two. Do you get that? do you really think that much ice has been added to Antarctica? Do you think when we consider ice loss in Antarctica itself, in Greenland and in the mountains of the world, there is balance?


The events in the North very, very much outweigh those in the South for reasons posted here and elsewhere in response to you.

I don't care what you claim your credentials are. They are claims, nothing more. Even if true, they do not qualify you on this topic any more than any other person posting here. Further, your use of logic says far more than whatever degrees you carry, and you fail miserably at the application of logic.

I conclude you should chill out and reflect a bit on what was discussed tonight. The thing both of us has not mentioned, and I feel is makes what we were discussing seem rather trivial, is the fact that long before climate change induced strife or die off starts to happen this global community will be deep in the depths of an energy crisis and the AGW debate will be long forgotten. If we muddle through without a huge resource war, then great.

But think on this: man will be burning anthing that looks black to try and keep civilization going to the end.

CCPO until the next time,

regards and I have enjoyed speaking with you and respect what you have to say.


Christ almighty... that image does not support your claim. First, the sea ice area is BELOW the mean. Second,ONE season is WEATHER, a TREND is climate. There is a clear trend DOWN. You are contradicting yourself *again.* You attacked others for supposedly making claims about weather and calling them climate, yet you do the same here!

At the bottom is *anomolies*, not extent or mass. Get it? And they are negative at the end of the graph as well as being negative for the trend. Frick's sake...

Want to make a bet? I guarantee this summer's ice loss in the Arctic will be similar to, or greater than, the ice loss last year. The only caveat is highly unusual weather.

I don't know what graph you are clicking on but when I click the link I get global 10+ years ANOMOLY - that means deviation from mean and if you look to the RHS of the graph it is quite clearly almost 0 anomoly. We are not looking at artic or antartic graph here, this is GLOBAL

Season does not matter as the data is ANOMOLY.

The whole point I was making was that the data had returned to anomoly which it has. I realise there are fluctuations and I do not disagree that the planet as a whole is warming. I never argued that so i've have not at any point contradicted myself. I think your are trying to look for some crack in my argument which would prove I am trying to lie. I am trying to look at the data. Thats what I am trying to do.

Your last point - it is obvious summer trend northern hemisphere is taking a big dive, just as it is obvious southern hemisphere is taking a big leap:


That is why the global anomoly is currently 0. I was not trying to deny the planet warming in my original post and you do not seem to understand this. You just keep telling me I am contradicing myself and I cannot see my contradiction if it indeed exists.

You have to remember that linear correlation between temps at the poles WRT the whole globe is not a given. Classic paleo-climate studies give HUGE disproportionate warming in the artic relative to the rest of the planet.

I do wish you would stop attacking me.


I do wish you would stop attacking me

Why should we ?

Your position has so many facets that you have VERY poorly described, while you attack others with ill founded descriptions.

Your risk analysis is ludicrous.

You are an extreme misanthrope, a hater of humanity.


Alan, correct me if i'm wrong but it sounds like you want someone to blame for climate change?

If your so hell bent on it being mostly AGM then go blame your govenrment and your US compatriates for their blatant misuse of a one off endowment of hydrocarbon. Blame your government for their failed and disaterous energy policy. Blame your local planners for their ridculous selling of the American dream with ther over bloated suburbs. But don't blame me because I am doing my bit to calve my fossil fuel use as it's all we have.


just as it is obvious southern hemisphere is taking a big leap:

Depressing that this has to keep being repeated, but the measurements you refer to are area measurements. What really matters is volume. And that is decreasing in the Antarctic:


And volume in the Arctic is decreasing far faster than the area measurements alone would suggest, as the ice is thinning dramatically as it reduces in area.

Please stop posting this kind of uninformed and misleading comment. Weather is not climate. Your comment makes about as much sense as trying to claim that last week's heat wave in the northeast is proof Al Gore is right.

Leanan, do you not see the irony here? many people (even scientists) accasionally blame weather events on global warming. The classic recently was when researchers decided AGB might reduce hurricane activity only after 2005 decing that hurricane activity would increase due to AGW ("katrina was becasue of global warming" they all espoused) AND only after we've had a quiet 2 years on the hurricane front.

It is well known that La nina/ Elnino strongly influence hurricane activity. But no one has a solid answer on what causes El nino/laNina events / years - hardly a conclusive way to do science, to then start trying to correlate hurricane activity with one factor whilst ignoring another. I am seriously not comfortable with the models they use (even if the do take into account La nina) to base their predictions.

Don't misunderstand me, I am not an AGW denier. I just think that the peer reviewed case of past historic climate change stands more strongly against AGW based on computer models and current warming which is in geoligical time scales puny. My advised opinion on the evidence (not my belief) is that we are experiencing about 30% manmade trend, due to higher CO2 levels than any in 600,000 years and about 70% natural variability - my OPINION I stress.

My cycling to work, energy saving around the home, grow my own veg is on the back of trying to reduce my fossil fuel dependancy - for no other reason than 99% of reasons layed out on this website.


> My advised opinion on the evidence (not my belief)

Who has advised you?

Apologies if you are not a good english reader/speaker, but a quote from my OWN post:

"peer reviewed case of past historic climate change"

There are plenty of studies. I have in my collection, from various sources including nature, new scientist, realclimate, and many other studies about past historic global warming.
I don't discount AGW, just don't put as much weight in it as natural variability.



To see the long term trend of ice cover in the Arctic, go here.


I'm sorry i don't have a similar link for the Antartic, but remember that increased snowfall can also be an indicator of warmer temperatures in polar regions as snow only falls in large amounts relatively close to 0C/32F...

There's been a considerable amount of disinformation regarding historical climate from the denialist camp. Looking back to the glacial periods before the Holocene and claiming that the natural variability then has much to do with today is not supported by the data. The basic question is what natural driving forces at work back then might be applied to today's situation. When I use the word "today", I mean what's been experienced since the run up in CO2 began to takeoff before WW II. Climate changes from 400 of 1000 years ago were clearly driven by natural forces. What we have now can not be explained by what's known about these same forces, as far as I've been able to learn. And, I've read quite a lot, far beyond NATURE and RealClimate, including all 4 of the IPCC science reports.

E. Swanson

I agree 100 percent Leanan

I agree with Marco 200%. Climate is controlled by the Sun and the Oceans - not by less than .05% of the atmosphere. By the way, humans contribute less than 10% of that .05%.

BS !!

not by less than .05% of the atmosphere

Less than .05% of ink will completely change the characteristics of water, so your "logic" is flawed.

humans contribute less than 10% of that .05%




Today CO2 is about 387 ppm and climbing rapidly as people like you BS and condemn a millennium of humanity to an unnaturally forced climate and all the consequences of that.

In 1958 it was about 315 ppm and about 280 ppm a couple of centuries ago.

Before early 1900s, there were no known sources of CFCs (Freon), today they contribute several % of man-made Global Warming.

However, if a complex system is stable with a natural balance and an unnatural forcing changes a significant component by even a few %, there can be major changes. With zero CO2, methane and other Greenhouse Gases, Earth would be an arctic planet, we need a base level (say 270 ppm of CO2) to keep things relatively stable and to have changes occur slowly, over thousands of years (giving us and other life time to adapt). Increasing CO2 by 10%, from 280 to 308 ppm is a HIGHLY risky and unwarranted experiment.

Disgusted with Lies from Deniers,



Just a thought about system stability etc, since we need to draw analogies. A transistor can sit there nice and quite between a potential and nary an electron can flow. Apply just a few microamps to the gate and huge amounts of current can flow.

Or, how many ppm (parts per million) of Ricin would be tolerable?

The point is some systems are stable with large amounts of forcing functions, and some are not. Playing the numbers can have very little significant meaning without understanding the dynamics.

(Comments not directed at you, but observations in general)


The choice of ink was quite deliberate. Pure water is quite clear in the visible spectrum, ink absorbs strongly in the visible spectrum. We can see what a few drops of ink will do to the absorption of 99.999...% pure water.

Oxygen, nitrogen and argon are also quite clear in the infrared spectrum. CO2, methane, CFCs and other (water vapor is weakly absorbing) are not. Adding small % of CO2 and methane are like adding a weak ink to the water.

Best Hopes for Scientific Understanding,


"However, if a complex system is stable with a natural balance and an unnatural forcing changes a significant component by even a few %, there can be major changes."

LOL - the "stability" of the earth's climate system in recent times gives you a couple of ice ages with rapid changes from warm to cold. Without man made intervention chances are that we would be living in a glacial period already... Nature does not stick to "base levels", to the contrary it occaisonaly reverts to "unnatural" forcings (so in anno domini 536 et 1816, and the previous major air pollution events in Indonesia and not to forget Wyoming). While GHG should be contained we should not pretend that we are members of a stable system.

The human impacts appear to be affecting the earth's climate significantly faster and VERY differently than any natural event in the last few 100,000 years.

And the M A J O R difference is that the climatic disaster is preventable !

If one cannot prevent, or even moderate, a volcanic explosion, so be it. An Act of God.

But this is an Act of Man, a man-made disaster that is inconvenient to do anything to even moderate or slow it.

Words fail me to describe the immorality of Global Warming "Accepters"

Gee, I know what I am doing will force the planet's climate to change, but I do not want to see my electric bill go up 12% because of more renewable power, or the costs of new homes by 9% to have super-insulation (even if it pays over the life of the building), so lets just screw up the planet as fast and as much as possible for the next 1,000 years !


Do you think the local pond life cares whether it gets wiped out by a meteorite or human Co2? The pond life has had plenty of practice at being wiped out as mass extinctions have occured to varying degrees literally hundreds of time in geological history.

If you think you are an ambassador to the cause of fighting global warming then I suggest you jump off a cliff!! You and me both know that this planet might be better off if it wasn't for that life sapping plague of locust like predators we call mankind. Maybe we need wiped out?

Humankind is far too arrogant in thinking that we can control this bioshphere. See the bigger picture. Long after mankind is reduced to caveman status through a combination of nuclear war and resource depletion because we never made it off the poor planets suface to go and infest some other solar system (and as long as there are enough idiots to vote in people like GWB and Olmhert this will always be a threat), the Earth will retun to it's old chaotic self.


You and me both know that this planet might be better off if it wasn't for that life sapping plague of locust like predators we call mankind. Maybe we need wiped out?

That you make such a statement about yourself brands you as evil, on a scale that dwarfs any other. That you had the ... to include me leaves me without adequate words to respond.

You have chosen to exclude yourself from the community of humanity.

I would welcome your banning.


Since we are off the topic now of AGW, i feel compelled to answer. I think you miss the philosophy in my post and misconstue it as a personal attatck.

The way humanity behave in general, (given that there are 6.5 billion of us) is sickening. Even the most mature of us who supposedly run the countries of the world can't stop playing their childish games with one another. I simply comclude that mankind is not capable of this level of co-operation, has not learned by his mistakes and ultimately anyone who cares for the well being of this planet cannot miss the obvious conclusion that the planet is better off without us all. You seem to be inferring some grand theological morals on this idea.

We are little different from any other living organism on this planet - with one exception - our actions may ultimately lead to our own doom which is generally contrary to natural selection and the whole foundation by which life evolved in the first place on this planet. Has that cleared things up? Am I still evil/ Do you find Richard Dawkins work abhorrant?


Am I still evil


And I am aghast that you included me in your immoral POV.


No best wishes for not meeting GW, Osama or Mughabe in hell?


I simply comclude that mankind is not capable of this level of co-operation, has not learned by his mistakes and ultimately anyone who cares for the well being of this planet cannot miss the obvious conclusion that the planet is better off without us all.

And you might be right. But I can never understand why someone who holds this viewpoint as an "obvious conclusion" can even get out of bed in the morning.

Further it absolutely terrifies me that some people with power might conclude something similar (original sin, satan and all that) and figure it's time for God (of whatever flavour) to be prompted to step-in.

But I can never understand why someone who holds this viewpoint as an "obvious conclusion" can even get out of bed in the morning.

Because I get tired of holding my piss in.

As to your second point, welcome to the whacky world of dubbya and dick.


If it's any consolation I tend to the belief that mankind is sleep-walking towards disaster. But... this "consensus trance" will break down (and maybe it has already started) if things start falling apart as many predict. What replaces this is something peak-oilers have a chance to ponder or influence. I'd strongly prefer that not to be a complete self-suicide of the human race. I do expect it to be a messy transition though to put it mildly.

Thanks to the prevailing conditions I think I go along with this statement:
"You have never met a truly sane human being"
- Robert Anton Wilson

our actions may ultimately lead to our own doom

A minute ago you were claiming there is no human induced warming, or at least that human actions are so insignificant that they couldn't possible affect the worlds climate, now you seem to admit the opposite, but you don't care (or possibly welcome any disaster?). Make up your mind.

No, upthead I said my opinon was 30% human on C02 AGW forcing. That has nothing to do with my philosophising/rambling on the may man behaves in general - that was what that statement you are referring to is about.

As for making my mind up - will I ever? I hope I take on board new information as it comes in, digest it, weigh it up then re-adjust my opinion - specifically that 30% bit!

Im sorry i just do not find the science conclusive enough. This is stricly my opinion. no Exxon man, no car salesman, no politician helped me form this view.

Ironically one of the biggest problems our new technology in climate monitoring has given us is incredible resolution on the data. It is almost as if it is amplifying the scientists dire views/predictions. Imagine if we had such exact data (like we are collecting now) except going back millions of years. It makes me shudder to think what this "super climate record" would throw up. Going by present proxies on paleoclimatic studies i think the climate would show far greater (past historic) variablitity that we think and therefore it would downplay the current trends.


Im sorry i just do not find the science conclusive enough. This is stricly my opinion. no Exxon man, no car salesman, no politician helped me form this view.

Oh, they most assuredly did. How do we know? Virtually all of the anti-AGW disnformation has come from Exxon and the BuCheney White House. Further, you cannot point to any study that supports your position that has not already been discredited, which is probably why you haven't even tried.

"Earth will retun to it's old chaotic self."

- It still is. it's just that your focus is on you and what you experience in your lifespan. The rise and fall of human population is as natural as any other animal. We just have gained the ability to have bigger impacts, which is just as evolutionary as any other extinct species we dig up from millions of years ago.

That we overshot the hunter/gather phase will be, in geological time, a short amount of time indeed.

Our corpses will be known to come from the "carbon burning" era. Our homes with their little collections of unusual rocks and seashells will be the only clue as to how far we roamed.

Homo erectus erectus petroleus!! I like it.

Jesus wept.I didn't expect to find a bunch of denialists on TOD.

Listen fellas,the scientific evidence is in,been peer reviewed etc,virtually 100% accepted by scientists in the relevant fields worldwide.Conclusion - humans have stuffed up.So what else is new?

Got doubts?Read the f'ing science.Educate yourselves.

People don't cause everything that happens on earth.....
People can't fix every problem on earth.....
When fossil fuels run out, global warming will still be a possibility due to other causes.
We need to accept change in the world and adapt to it or die.
If we think we can control the atmosphere, then we are all delusional.
People once thought the earth was flat, the earth was the center of the universe, etc...
But were found to be wrong. We don't know as much as we think we know.
Take a look from a different angle.
Pollution with toxins like mercury are much more damaging that global warming, yet there is nothing done to stop it. Only so many people are sustainable on earth. The earth can take care of itself. People must learn the ways of the ancients, and listen to the spirit.

Ironicall it was reading the science that made me doubt. virtually 100%? As we say in the UK bollocks. The science has barely satrted. We are in our infancy in uderstanding this and paleo climatologists and climate change researchers are working to build better models and improve on paleoclimate studies.

I studied control theory at university and 2 or 3 inputs could make running the computation a nightmare, destabilise the system or just churn out nonsense if you cocked up. Now you throw in literally hundreds of variables, mix it all uop and no supercomputer this side of 3000AD is going to be able to compute that linearly. Why do you think these models are done on vast scales using grid computing and still take months - here is the jokey bit - these models still only include a fraction of the variables know or unknown and adding variables increases comuting time exponentially. blah blah this is why I have little faith in the models.

So I turn next to paleoclimate studies. This is where the old "man caused it argument" starts to break down rather quickly.

And what do we have left? 0.8C rise of obsevred data where data noise on the temperature proxies have been just as big, sometimes bigger that the current level of global temperature rise.

To end, I am NOT an AGW denier. I am trying very hard to reduce my C02 footprint therefore my fossil fuel usage. Why you might ask - see my earlier post. This fact alone removes any bias I could possibly have. It makes me the perfect person to research the topic as I have no reason to deny to myself or anyone esle. I JUST WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH.


I studied control theory at university and 2 or 3 inputs could make running the computation a nightmare, destabilise the system or just churn out nonsense if you cocked up.

Yet, you claim mankind can have no impact further up thread? You're not a denier like a racist is not a racist because he's got one black friend.

You're a troll. Get lost.

Yes, let's hope that mankind's alteration of "2 or 3 inputs" in a real world experiment doesn't "destabilise the system or just churn out nonsense if you cocked up".

This is the other thing that I think could really muddy the waters (pun linked to below). It's like adding more unknowns to more unknows. Was it talk of seeding the oceans with oxide of some sort to amplify algea growth. I can't remember the details.

I did not say NO impact, qutoe from my OWN post up thread:

""My advised opinion on the evidence (not my belief) is that we are experiencing about 30% manmade trend, due to higher CO2 levels than any in 600,000 years and about 70% natural variability - my OPINION I stress.""

I am not a troll, i'm just someone who is trying to make sense of it all. Also i'm sensing anger from you. Can I not appease some of theat anger my quoting from another of my posts:

""My cycling to work, energy saving around the home, grow my own veg is on the back of trying to reduce my fossil fuel dependancy - for no other reason than 99% of reasons layed out on this website.""

I'm doing my bit man, you can ease off a bit.


Your posts lack any degree of logic, are contradictory and a waste of time.

You said it's not man, then you said it's 30% man. WTF? You said the amount we can affect it is tiny, so not important, but say tiny inputs can make big changes...

Just be quiet already.

i cannot "be quiet all ready" as this is an open forum and have put forward strong arguments. Can you specifically point me to the part where i said "it's not man"? - i can't find that.

I said i thought...my opinion....30% - this is only the 5th time i've written this.

I did not say "the amount we can effect is tiny, so not important" and I did not say "tiny inputs can make big changes".

Which lines are you reading between?


Following your kindly-meant comment in another thread, where you felt I was getting a little hot under the collar and admitted a tendency for yourself to do the same thing when discussing climate change, perhaps it is time to realise that.
After all, Marco has all the qualifications to make an informed judgement, being an engineer with a specialisation in chaotic systems, which exactly describes climate.
Neither you nor I are qualified in any way, and in any case as I read him Marco is not denying man-made climate change, but is unsure of its extent, just as the IPCC is.
Anyways, chilling it a little would probably be good idea.

After all, Marco has all the qualifications to make an informed judgement, being an engineer with a specialisation in chaotic systems, which exactly describes climate.

False. He is in no way qualified to scientifically question this issue. His involvement is personal only. As for his specialization in chaotic systems, since when? He shows no understanding of even basic chaos theory, having contradicted himself on it. I am not the only one who has called him on this.

Neither you nor I are qualified in any way, and in any case as I read him Marco is not denying man-made climate change, but is unsure of its extent,

Incorrect. He is saying the impact of people is insignificant. He has said it clearly. Of course, that doesn't jive with his 30% claim. Anyone who knows Chaos Theory even slightly knows 30% is a freaking HUGE number in a chaotic system. He has no idea what he's rambling on about.

just as the IPCC is.

That is an utterly false statement. The IPCC sees this as 99% sure. It was the interference of politicians that dropped it to 90 - 95%. Scientifically, 99% = certainty. Only fools and madmen question the science on this.

Anyways, chilling it a little would probably be good idea.

We have already paid too dear a price in wasted years. No more.


You seem to find it difficult to follow your own advice :-)

That's what they all said on Venus before they spontaneously combusted.

Roscoe has a simple way to explain it...for those who can't/won't understand science...

Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, a Republican from Maryland and a former scientist, took the opportunity later to teach Mr. Rohrabacher some basic atmospheric chemistry with an analogy. If you have 1,000-pound weights on each side of a seesaw and add 1,000 pounds to one side, it's going to go down, he said. If you have 1,000-pound weights on each side of a seesaw and add 100 pounds to one side, it's still going to go down.

The point Mr. Bartlett was making is that the natural carbon cycle was basically balanced before people started to add billions of tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

the natural carbon cycle was basically balanced before people started to add billions of tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Only if you pick the last 4 glacial/iterglacial cycles. This basically only amounts to 500,000 years of regulary cyclical CO2 levels which only represent a tiny fraction of a percentage of time that life has existed on the face of the planet; so why choose 500K years? ,Why not 1M years, 200M years?

If you pick your timescale arbitrarily like this then it is basically an irrelivant point to make that the CO2 levels were stable during this time.


Leanan, let us not feed the trolls.

Let's just now. I suggest all anti-AGW trolls can gather in one of their own denialist sites, where they can bash each other.

I was not feeding the trolls. I was issuing an official warning.

The rest of you may kindly stop feeding the troll, however. ;-)

Do we agree to stop all discussions on AGW vs other etc..? Would that not also mean stopping all header posts/news about GW?

I ask this becasue it seems to be a gray area where we debate the same things over and over. If you are warning me, consider me warned, but i think we need to lay down the law here a bit more clearly.

Not to sound too inflammatory but I think a lot of AGW people have jumed on the "peak oil thing" as a conduit for their cause.


I was not warning you, I was warning Weatherman. He was trolling, pure and simple. I said pretty clearly in my post what the problem was.


Leanan, lets not feed these AGW zealots who ignore peer reviewd scientific evidence that argues the contrary case of anthropogenic global warming, because it does not fit with their belief system.

Let them gather at their AGW church and be preechad at by Al Gore who reckons we have a right to live in a steady state climate even though the earth has never done so in the past, nor will continue to.

In our puny existence on 2 legs which accounts for about about 0.1% of the geological time that life has sometimes flourished and sometimes been catastrophically wiped out, we dare question the fact that sea levels have fluctuated by over 250m over the last few glacial/interglacials transitions. How dare we question why!! How dare we question why during the the last warm interglacial, sea levels were over 6m higher than they are now.


Your assertion is incorrect. For the climate models that have been used to try and estimate the upper Mississippi valley climate of the future, increased annual rainfall (and very slightly higher temperatures, mostly at night) is a common conclusion. Generally speaking, climate modelers have hesitated to give predictions for any specific locale because the resolution (spatial) in global models is too coarse.

For example, for Iowa, even 10 years ago (with models that are more crude than those used today), rainfall was predicted to increase:

More recent estimations for Iowa:
try to delineate more between seasonal precipitation. In this case, more precip in winter and spring, less in summer. Thus for a place like Iowa, which is used to precipitation year round (more or less, in one form or another) one could see a transition to stronger seasonal precipitation changes.

So, if you want to make claims, try doing some research first. Otherwise you just look foolish.

weatherman: I like these stories of floods in the American midwest. According to global warming models the US midwest should be drying out. oh well.

Seem's a bit off-topic but it also seems wrong.
IPCC AR-4 predicts a dryer SW North America and a moister NE North America.
For the Midwest - a wetter winter and a neutral summer.

Those interested can see for themselves:

Politicians are now actively looking around at ways to cool the commodity boom that involve the minimum cost and inconvenience to themselves. Never mind that the boom is driven by real shortages, short-term expediency and survival are the name of the game.

Even though the end result of their actions will probably be rationing of various commodities and lines at gas stations - for the commodity boom has been and is being driven by real shortages, that are best corrected by the price mechanism.



If as I suspect, most of the increase in oil prices has been due to importers bidding against each other for declining net oil exports, there still has to be a price mechanism in order to distribute the oil to the high bidders (or it is taken by force).

Does anyone think that as we head into the election we might see a price drop in oil. If that were the case how would that be accomplished? The Wall Street gangsters have purchased and leased enormous oil storage tanks, apparently this is something that takes place regularly. Could it be they are storing vast amounts of oil to be flooded into the market come election time for the express purpose of swaying public sentiment toward McCain? Maybe that's too simplistic.

I think a SPR release is more likely in late summer. Wall Street firms don't own enough oil to accomplish that, and I'm not sure they favor McCain necessarily. e.g. most of Obama's largest donors are employees of Wall Street banks.

I am beginning to suspect a triple play effort: (1) The Saudis announce a (C+C) production target of 10 mbpd for the second half of the year (whether they achieve it is another matter); (2) A attempted crackdown on "speculation" in oil trading; (3) A coordinated release of oil from emergency reserves in OECD countries.

As I told my oil trader friend, I knew him before he was tried for international crimes against humanity, i.e., prosecuted for trading oil.

The most probable outcome IMO (which is already in the works) is to impose position limits on WTI contracts on the ICE. This requires coordination between CFTC and the UK's FSA. I don't think a crackdown on funds and individual investors will take place. The unsavory consequence of such action would be to have our oil prices set in Singapore, Shanghai, Dubai, etc.

The sad thing is, that the WT gangsters are going to know exactly, when this (position limits) will take place. This allows them to go short oil massivly and harvesting a bumper crop.

After they took their profits, they go long again. As simple as that.

Interesting thought. Probably more towards conspiracy theory. I am hearing calls to release the SPR to effect gasoline prices. Or simply announcing restrictions on drilling being lifted to effect prices. Now, if the WS gangsters are hoarding for this purpose...I would think that could be found out pretty quickly.

Has anything come from the CFTC investigations yet?

Consider these points about the "blame the speculators" argument:

1. If speculators are driving the price up now, how come the price didn't get driven down a few years ago when the spot price was around $60 a barrel and the forward dated prices where much lower (around $45 from memory).

2. The futures market is insurance for airlines and other big oil users so that they can hedge their future consumption. If it weren't for the futures market, most airlines would be sinking faster than they currently are now.

3. Think of NYMEX as a place where speculators come together to place their bets on the price of oil at various future dates. The placing of the bet does not affect the price that oil is changes hands between a "real" buyer and seller when the date rolls around. When the price surged last week, for instance, there were as many speculators losing on their trades as there were winning.

4. If NYMEX or WTI contracts get regulated, some other enterprising individual will come up with another exchange and another index in which to bet against, faster than you could say "oilfuturetrader.com" (which, by the way, isn't a registered domain at the moment...)

Hi, everyone. Just finished a redo of a graph Chris Nelder used in his book Profit from the Peak. This comes from Graham Zabel's paper Population and Energy. Please use freely with proper attribution.

In JPG (73KB)
In PDF (106KB)
In PNG (139KB)

Use Skim in Mac OS X to crop the PDF if you want a different title but want to keep it in vector form so it resizes well. I'm sure there are equivalent free programs for Windows and Linux.


I'm guessing that "Biomass Population" is just a convenient baseline to use? I'd like to see how "Solar/Wind/Hydro/etc" population would fit into this picture.

Given that the energy from those technologies makes up a vanishingly small amount of the current world primary energy supply, I'm not sure they would even show up on a graph at this scale. (Hydro might, maybe.)

Hmm...at current levels, yes. What I was thinking about was the potential for mainly Solar and Wind to take up some of the space that oil and coal currently occupy. The phrase "Fossil Fuels Allow Higher World Population" just kind of struck me as fatalistic population crash doom-ism.

Perhaps you're bringing doomerism to how you are interpreting it. The graph and the text are just straight science.

With all due respect, you are ignoring all the primary energy in the form of solar energy which is used in agriculture. Think of plants as solar collectors. Even the fish caught in the oceans are the result of solar energy which feeds the phytoplankton the fish eat. Remember, you claim to be presenting WORLD energy supply, not just industrial mankind's consumption. All of civilization is solar powered down at ground level...

E. Swanson

That's a valid way of looking at it, but in this case the second chart is really from the IEA. The title is their choice.

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico's largest utility on Thursday terminated a power purchasing agreement with a proposed biomass electric plant that has been touted as part of the state's push for renewable energy. ...

PNM spokesman Don Brown acknowledged Thursday that the energy market is more expensive today. But he said the utility must focus on finding reliable renewable energy sources to meet the company's diversity goals as well as a state standard that calls for 10 percent of electricity from the state's investor-owned utilities to come from renewable sources by 2011.

"We really need to focus on renewable projects that have a high probability of becoming a reality and this one at this point does not appear to be close to fruition," Brown said. There are too many question marks surrounding this project at this time." ...

It's a pretty graphic, but the data it's based on is meaningless (not your fault). The attribute of population to energy source is arbitrary, it's based on a theory of "energy cycles", which is mostly bunk.

It would be interesting to see population against energy source by percentage, but this chart does not show that.

Hi, Bob.

Can you explain why it's bunk or provide a link? I'm interesting in hearing your thoughts.

I was wondering what everybody thinks that the effect of the extra 500,000 bbl/day of Saudi oil will have on the market if any?

Well, I went outside and asked Mr Everybody and he said it will delay the rise in the price of oil to 200 Euros by two days. I hope this helps.


And Mrs. Everybody says he's a nutter and is lazy. Otherwise, he'd be inside fixing the plumbing.

500k bbl is planned capacity, realistically, it might be 300k bbl on the market. At this stage 0.3 MB/day is a drop in the bucket, given global decline rates. Actually I suspect KSA are announcing this as an "increase" when it will mostly be covering decline in their other fields.

If anything prices are being held in check by the risk of recession. If KSA announced an actual increase of 3 MB/day that would make a difference, but that isn't going to happen.

Perception and reality are often two different things in the oil markets, while I agree that this 500,000 combined with the 300,000 already announced is a drop in the bucket, the price of oil may drop in the short term.

Has anyone got any idea of the EROI of ethanol from sorghum?
I came across this:

The ethanol used to make SwiftFuel can be any type, according to Mary Rusek, president of Swift Enterprises. The pilot plant they are building in Indiana will, interestingly, make ethanol from sorghum, not corn. The Ruseks claim that sorghum, which isn't a typical U.S. crop, can produce six times the ethanol per acre of corn, turning on its head the argument that ethanol production consumes more energy than it produces. China, the third largest producer of ethanol after Brazil and the U.S., is switching entirely to sorghum for its ethanol production.


The SwiftFuel company they are talking about intends to make aircraft fuel:

Airplanes need high octane fuel and the octane rating has until now been achieved by adding tetraethyl lead, but that will be outlawed from 2010. Ethanol achieves the same octane rating boost but is unsuitable for use in aircraft. To solve the riddle, the newly announced SwiftFuel© uses ethanol to produce a designer fuel with a 104 octane rating that has no ethanol in it. It runs fine in any existing plane (or car), and is a low emission, alternative made entirely from biomass that has 15-20% more energy per litre than petrol, so your plane (or car) will get better mpg too. And it costs half as much to make as current petroleum manufacturing cost, selling for $2 a gallon less than gasoline.


Perhaps the Haitians will not starve in vain, but in the worthwhile cause of keeping our oligarch's private planes in the air.
Anyone got any info/comments on these projects and technologies?

I Googled SwiftFuel, and read all I could find and I am far from convinced. I am not a chemist, so I can't speak to that side of it, but all of the information seems to come back to one article, which has the couple making this stuff as it's only source. It may turn out to be real, but right now, this looks more like an advertisement for venture capital to me.

I wouldn't fancy giving SwiftFuel any money either.

Any if any of the statements on sorghum are right?

I ran a google search on the words [milo ethanol EROEI] and this hit came up:


There are some links to studies at the bottom of the page.

Also, one hit was to some discussion on TOD a couple of years back. RR had this post:


E. Swanson

Thanks - sounds pretty unimpressive, although perhaps not as disastrous as ethanol from corn.

Are they talking about using grain sorghum (milo) or cane (sweet) sorghum? If the later, the process is similar to that used for sugar cane. I think I recall somewhere seeing an EROI somewhere in the area of 4.0. That isn't hugely good, but certainly considerably better. This is why I belive that if we reallocate any farmland at all away from food crops for ethanol feedstocks, those feedstock crops should be sweet sorghum rather than corn.

On the other hand, if we are talking about milo, I can't imagine the EROI being significantly better compared to corn; if anything, I would think the EROI is worse.

That's the only thing that makes sense of the information given, although low fertiliser inputs for milo might improve its EROI compared to corn.
I'd never heard of sugar cane sorghum! - I'm not much into plants!

I have been trying to get some friends
to appreciate the significant problems of peak oil,
as I feel that people can definitely mitigate the hardships of economic decay and energy scarcity on a personal and local level, and when people 'get' peak well in advance of society in general there's more time for organising.

So far, most of everybody I know seems to have a boundless faith in our glorious markets and the ability of castes of scientists and politicians to 'fix' it.

I've had most success with visual aids like documentaries and several graphs from TOD, but the idea that this problem could be beyond the power of society to solve is difficult
to process for most, its like attacking a religious faith

I like to think the reason why many people do not 'get' peak oil after being presented with the required information
is an effect of cognitive structuring, or cog. dissonance.

The notion of peak oil is quickly interpreted by the dominant cultural forces living in most of our minds as a direct memetic assault on the dominant ideology of our society, the capitalist mode of production
and its neccesary requirements of constant growth.

The living ideology of capitalism probably requires the belief in inexhaustible and infinite resources, because it has never been shown that capitalism can actually function and remain stable with a perpetually shrinking resource base.

These meme-plexes, ideas and idea-systems have many characteristics in common with biological organisms, packaged and processed by the society of our genes in the form of a 'neutral' or invisible carrier wave of political and socio-economic ideology, which normally remain mostly unquestioned and unavailable for analysis.

I assume that the living memetic structure of capitalism
as a mode of production is like an organism, living in the part of our mind that is somewhat collective, yet competitive, and that it requires propagation, and is symbiotic with certain ideas, and parasitic or preditorial on other ideas.

the entire structure of the dominant ideology is hostile to the idea of peak-anything, and it often seems that when you try to make people 'get' peak oil, ideas of mostly rational depletion origin are actually engaged in combat with the ideas of a far greater system of belief.

The common faith-system of scientific progress and economic growth dislikes any possiblility of natural boundaries, I think this makes it difficult to engage in seeding awareness
before the MSM totally modulates its carrier wave to match the new meme of resource constraints, that may never happen.

You are not going to find much else apart from capitalism which would function and remain stable with a perpetually shrinking resource base!

You seem to be mixing in lots else into the idea that we have reached peak oil, with meme-plexes and goodness knows what else.
It sounds to me as though you are trying to persuade to a certain attitude and set of values loosely built around the idea that we are running out of oil.

No wonder they retreated a bit!

You are not going to find much else apart from capitalism which would function and remain stable with a perpetually shrinking resource base!

DaveMart, please explain. I often see statements like this quoted without any reasoning, as if they were axiomatic.

Do you mean TINA (there is no alternative), so put up with it?

or a Panglossian with capitalism 'everything is for the best in this best of all possible worlds'?

or something else?

How will capitalism 'function and remain stable'? Given the strong attachment of politicians, business leaders, economists and others to continuous 'growth' and the lengths governments and policy makers will go to to avoid recessions and fiddle economic statistics, I have grave reservations about capitalism remaining 'stable' in a post-peak world.

IMO, examining the cultural baggage society has inherited from the Enlightenment is crucial to understanding the belief systems which shape the current thinking of much of the population. Disputing Capitalism is often frowned on as a puerile indulgence, but as I see it, faith in Capitalism is one of the 'unthinking beliefs of thinking people' (to quote John Gray). The problem of Peak Oil is intractably embedded in our societal framework. You cannot meaningfully look at it without considering cultural issues and the deeply held beiefs of our societies. (I'm not too keen on the 'meme' terminology though, but that's probably more to do with my personal dislike of Richard Dawkins!).

Sorry if this is a bit ranty or off-topic (it's nothing personal Dave!) but uncritical faith in capitialism is one of my personal bugbears. :)

(And before anyone asks, here is the obligatory disclaimer: I am not a Communist/Marxist. IMHO Communism and Capitalism are two sides of the same flawed coin.)

Nothing to do with Capitalism vs Marxism or anything - nothing survives remains stable and survives with a perpetually shrinking resource base.
It's like the guy who figures that all he wanted was the work his horse did, and that feeding it was just a wasted expense.
He saved a fortune until the horse died!
The horse was the resource base in this case - it did not survive shrinkage.

Two other considerations:

I would say most US citizens do not read books, newspapers, news magazines, listen to news radio, nor watch nightly TV news. I have several well educated, professional friends and even they either confess their lack of awareness or demonstrate it in conversation and action. They are simply clueless and appear to have no motivation to access information and/or think criticality.

In their sad defense, all the cultural signals which do reach and stimulate them only suggest and reinforce BAU. The auto commercials continue to project Utopian motoring freedom, the plethora of restaurants and supermarket food choices mask the role of distance and oil, they see new store construction and expansion as they commute, Hollywood continues to offer up effective distraction, and just about every other signal has the outward appearance of "all is well". Current economic distress may be of concern, but it is probably viewed as a cyclical "downturn", with recovery coming soon.

Most won't get it until it hits them head-on, and even then the causality may be lost on them. We are after all, reactive creatures, not proactive.

Yes I totally agree with you!

And even further out---when we're all living in villages or straw huts or caves or whatever eventually comes about (or you can imagine something like Kunstler's upstate NY fictional Union Grove from "World Made by Hand")---ie an intensely LOCAL life---most people will still be talking about "growth" and "progress" and not ever really interested in oil or peak oil (they just want to get their hands on some of course, and this will be ever more difficult, but it won't be something they focus on, perhaps the peak oil will be something 99.99% of people never understand and will never need to understand; their "local" problem (ie the local expression of peak oil for them) will be simply finding a way to stay alive and that will take all their time and attention). Peak oil can be seen as a distraction which prevents people from focusing on their survival, I guess.

It's like spending time and energy throwing up one's hands or shreiking---as a species those are wasted efforts......biological fitness and survival includes getting food, reproducing, caring for young etc. not wasting time and energy on "moaning and groaning" in general. But "moaning and groaning" is so interesting IMO! Peak moaning and groaning??

Will people as a general thing ever really accept limits to growth?? The old processes (memes) will always be in effect when population outstrips resources: scapegoating, territorial expansion, war, etc.

'To Be Wrong With Infinite Precision'

'We harbor a crippling dislike for the abstract.'

'One day in Dec 2003 when Saddam Hussein was captured, Bloomberg News flashed the following headline at 13:01: U.S. Treasuries Rise; Hussein Capture May Not Curb Terrorisim.

Whenever there is a market move, the news media feel obligated to give the 'reason'. Half an hour later, they had to issue a new headline. As these US Treasury Bonds fell in price (they fluctuate all day long so there is nothing special about that), Bloomberg News had a new reason for the fall: Saddam's capture (the same Saddam). At 13:31 they issued the next bulletin: US Treasuries Fall; Hussein Capture Boosts Allure Of Risky Assets.'

The Black Swan, N.N. Taleb

Journalists are in the business of creating narrative and they prefer to be wrong with infinite precision. At times they lack precision and seem to rely on pure propoganda or plain old bs. Journalists will go to any lenghts to avoid simply reading facts to a camera for they know that their audience will disappear or go to sleep.

We, all of us, prefer narration to stark facts. The causes of this are many but one of them is that narrative is easier to store and retrieve in the brain than disjointed facts that are not linked by narrative. We sometimes create cause and effect in our brains when in reality none exists because we have converted stark facts into narrative form. BTW, I highly reccommend the book.

To create a narrative about PO that the majority of people can understand seems a simple matter but there are other forces at work in the brain that reject such a narrative.

Then, there are those of us that have accepted the narrative of PO. Why? Is it because some % of the population does not 'harbor a crippling dislike for the abstract'? I have noticed that many on TOD dislike the rambling narrative of financial channels on tv, I detest their stupid explanations which I know are bs. I also dislike the narrative on the weather channel...I want to see the radar and I want to see it NOW...to hell with the stupid forecast which is usually wrong for the area that I live in. Just sayin'...

I agree with all except the weatherperson. We have some damm good ones here (and local news pre-K was better than national, now it is pathetic to go from quite good to occasionally superb local news to national news). The less than handful of the best ones add significant value to the forecast.

Recent half hour special on local geography and how this interacts with weather was quite good.

Best Hopes for Better Weather Forecasters,


Alan, I appreciate your comments. When I had a home in Maryland and listened to local news it was broadcast from Baltimore or DC. The broadcasts were pretty well produced and sometimes they even said something that I believed. Weather in Md was a bit more predictable than weather in Florida...imo.

Moving to Florida was tv culture shock. I had owned property here for a some time but during trips down here I was riding motorcycles, fishing, partying, etc. I didn't start watching local news untill I moved here. I did not watch for long before giving it up.

The commercials are really over the top...You would have to see them to believe them. They are not intended to be funny, but are. In the last 10 years or so they have 'slicked up' their commercials a bit but the old ones should be packaged into segments and syndicated.

Hello TODers,

South Korea has a history of spectacular conflict-resolution methods, even fisticuffs in the governing bodies.

Truckers’ strike more than doubles in size overnight

More than 10,000 truckers nationwide have stopped driving, after a truckers’ union began a general strike on June 13. As a result, the nation’s main logistics hubs in the nation in Busan, Pyeongtaek, and Uiwang have halted their operations, causing a logistics crisis...
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Hello TODers,

Since pricing is determined by demand upon the small marginal supply, it only takes a small degree of hoarding of a commodity to send pricing thru the roof. I wonder how busy outfits, like these linked below, have been over the past few years?

As we start to go into PostPeak Depletion of Everything: will their business boom even more? Or is it just easier to store seeds and I-NPK inside Ft. Knox?



If there is 3 gallons of gasoline equivalent in a 40 lb. bag of I-NPK: mind-boggling amounts of energy transformed into fertilizer can be safely hoarded and/or logistically market-delayed for a long, long time.

Have you hugged your bag of NPK today?

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

Hello Leanan,

I appreciate the Peter Lynch toplink: What is the Real Cost of Fossil Fuels?. I just love his included Quote:

“Socialism collapsed because it did not allow prices to tell the economic truth. Capitalism may collapse because it does not allow prices to tell the ecological truth.”

Oystein Dahle, retired VP of Esso Norway
I sure would like to see this quote included into the top-right rotating quote TODbox, or if space-constrained: just the last sentence would do the trick.

If anyone has any questions about the article "Living off the Land", I'll be happy to answer them.

Hi Will,

That article was timely, because I have been intensely studying this issue lately. I always say that I have a foot in two worlds. One is in the world of technology, in which I am looking for solutions to mitigate the difficult situation I see in front of us. The other foot is back on the farm, where I am getting prepared for survival. I consider that my insurance policy in case things deteriorate rapidly.

Primary question is on making your own flour. Wheat grows well in my area, but I have never attempted to grow any. I wouldn't really know how to turn it into flour. Can you fill me in? Do you just grind the wheat? What do you grind it with?

Also, do you have air conditioning? That is the primary obstacle I see in getting people self-sufficient in energy (beyond the costs). I grew up without AC in SE Oklahoma, and it's not all that much fun. Just wondering whether that's an issue for you in summer.

Edit: I see you addressed the AC question in the comments following the article. Have you ever tried to figure out how much solar it would take for you to run your AC?

Thanks, RR

Super-insulation (with internal thermal mass) can work off a high SEER small heat pump around solar noon and cool for the day. 1,500 watts (real world) and SEER 16 to drive a 2 ton heat pump for 3 hours will do it in a paper design of mine for New Orleans.

On cloudy days, a small window heat pump (fewer watts demand) SEER 12 (my Friedrich) could help and the cooling demand is less on cloudy days. Also dual units gives redundancy.

Also, one might go from a central unit around solar noon to a window unit when the sun is closer to the horizon and solar PV declines. And turn both off when microwaving a meal, running a hand tool, washing clothes or other significant demand.

One should not use a chemical battery IMHO, but thermal mass to power a heat pump. Use batteries for lights, radio, TV (?) and other modest loads.

In the winter, the same strategy with a wood heat source at night. Wood demands for the entire season should drop significantly with a solar power heat pump during the day.

This solution requires more tolerance of temperature swings, but it is a heck of a lot better than no a/c and wood only heat.

Best Hopes,


Grinding wheat to flour is quick and easy. I buy my wheat in 6 gallon pails (wheat = hard red, hard white and soft white) and bake most of my bread in a top of the line bread machine with a whole wheat program. Quick and easy and I have never had a failure.
Most of the time my bread is 50% hard red + 50% hard white. Cookies and cakes are mostly 50% hard white and 50% soft white.
I would never go back to that store bought white bread.
Follow the link for infor on the grain mill I use and also some others:


There are a number of grain mills on the market; powered vs. manual, stone vs burr vs impact, etc. Stay away from the cheap ones, you'll grow tired and frustrated fast. I have the Country Living Mill, which is one of the best, but the Family Grain Mill also did well in the Walton Grain Mill Comparison.

I haven't attempted to calculate A/C as a solar load as I don't plan to run the AC on solar power, though I do have a 2 ton SEER 16 unit. The well and refrigerator are my biggest loads, and we had power to spare when grid power went out last week for 3 days when the storm with high winds blew through. The rest of the time, I'm net-metered, spinning my meter backwards when I'm generating more than I'm consuming at any given moment.

Will, how much electricity is your refrigerator using? Just last night I put a watt meter on mine and will measure it for a week.

Also, I just came across this:

He claims only 100Wh a day. Seems very possible.

My Amana refrig/freezer is rated for 459kWh/yr, or 1.25 kWh/day. I had looked at the RF-19 .77 kWh/day Sunfrost, though it was difficult at the time to get the wife to understand why we would pay $1600 more for a smaller refrigerator/freezer. Such an awareness is much more commonplace these days, especially when one considers the.

The refrigerator you linked does sound like a smart energy efficient choice. Adding a freezer section more than triples the energy requirement.

Hi Robert...Instead of AC you can get in the refrigerator for a few minutes and cool down. Just throw all those left-overs out, remove all the shelves except the ones with beer on them, and get in.

Also, while you are in there you can insure that the light bulb is turning off when the door is shut.

Oh, I almost forgot, drill a hole in the side of the fridge and run a piece of tubing in so you can breathe while cooling down. When not using the tube you can cover the hole with duct tape and paint it to match the fridge.

We used this method during the sequential hurricanes in Florida and it worked fine. One other thing...don't drink too much beer and pass out in the fridge...trust me on this one. :)

This week I listened to a 2006 podcast, in which the insufferable Michael Lynch was interviewed about oil supply. (Democracy Now show, along with Julian Darley). I'm not sure why I put myself through such pain and torture but having listened to Lynch's tedious and repetitive points numerous times over the past 5 years, somehow, listening once again was comical and reassuring.

What a broken record.

"Most people don't understand the very technical nature of the geology."
"We've only used about 1/10th of the resource base."
"When people say all the easy oil is gone, I think of the men who built the old wooden derricks 75 years ago, nothing easy about that."

Let me paraphrase the clown Michael Lynch, in which he has consistently said the following over who knows how many interviews. "What people don't understand is that I'm Michael Lynch, OK? And the problem with the Peak Oil people is that they just don't understand the technical data, alright? I was at M.I.T. for a number of years. And in my career, it's important that YOU provide the data to support YOUR argument. I have earned the right to make my argument unchallenged, OK? I get to use lots of false dilemma arguments and straw man arguments--which miraculously seem to blow right past (today's) moderator here on the (TV, radio, print media) show. Got it? Fun stuff yes? Oh, and before the interview ends, just for old times sake, here's a big fat >>They've been saying we would run out of oil for 30 years--twisty bubble balloon<<, for all you kids at home. So long everyone!"

Oh yes, Micheal. Fun stuff indeed.



"Over the past 35 years every single American President has promised to reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports. What have the results of these “efforts” been to date?"

If it weren't so serious a situation it would be comical the way not only Presidents, but candidates will read a line from their big speeches each and every election year - "And we've got to reduce our dependence on foreign oil". Usually followed by audience applause but not by details about how we are going to do it.

This time they're serious. Obama will give a $1000 to all the poor and middle class. Problem solved. And McCain will accomplish this by reducing our gas taxes. We will, of course, get off foreign oil, just as soon as we enter the next depression, which may be soon, and will make the last one look like a jolly good picnic. Hey, aren't imports down year over year. The problem has been solved and we don't even have a new president yet. I am doing my part today as I alternate between staring out the window at the beautiful day and my wind powered laptop. I live in a tourist area and so can get a pretty good look at year over year discretionary driving. Overall, I'd day traffic was slightly down with a decided decrease in SUVs on the road. Most of the traffic here is "pleasure" driving pure and simple. So, if it is not decreasing here, it probably is not decreasing anywhere. On the other hand, the usual suspects still leave their SUVs or trucks running when going into the post office. I guess they must have tons of gas stored up for a rainy day.

The shit has hit the fan but the vast majority have still not noticed the consequences.

I'm alot more worried about peak cheap oil than I am about global warming.

There was a Fox Business news break during the baseball game today. They covered the volatility of oil prices. The hairdos said that extreme volatility was the sign of a market top. It's what happened at the top of the dot-com boom. They predicted that oil would be back down to $20 by 2010.


Well, if peak volitility is any sort of indicator then the stock market is the poster child...on steroids.

Who cares if they are right, as long as they are HOT! That seems to be the way Fox Financial works.

Didn't you hear? Fox analyst Cody Willard called a top at $119, so the market will surely correct to his liking...

Black Swan Alert:

'Hotline Suicide Calls Jump
The Palm Beach post is reporting Suicide calls jump amid economic woes.

A local hot line has seen a dramatic spike in suicide calls from people in Palm Beach County who are facing foreclosure and can't pay their bills, according to numbers released today.

Since the start of the year, 256 people in the county told operators at the 211 hot line that they were thinking about suicide. Of those, 44 told operators that their main reason was that they had lost a job, were facing foreclosure, couldn't afford to pay their bills or were homeless.

During the same period in 2007, from Jan. 1 to June 10, the hot line received 137 suicide calls from people in Palm Beach County. Only 15 of those gave economic reasons.'...snip...

'Bernanke should ask family members of those who commit suicide if the downturn has faded. Spiking suicides are one thing I did not even think about in Things That Have Not Yet Happened.'


Spiking suicides are one thing I did not even think about in 'Things That Have Not Yet Happened.'

Suicides peaked at 8 times pre-Peak levels for a decade post-Peak and are now down to just twice pre-Peak levels

USA 2034: A Look Back at the 25th Anniversary Year



Didn't suicides also increase after the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Methinks this is one (extreme) aspect of a failure to adapt to rapidly worsening circumstances. Quite aside from stockpiling rice and beans, or installing solar panels, or any other physical preparation we might choose to make, awareness of the general situation we are facing will perhaps allow us to adapt where others may not. And as the song says "...oh, no, they can't take that away from me...". Those who have made it to the other side of the Kübler-Ross stages of grief will have a big head start, which may confer a survival advantage.

Yes, and in New Orleans (x3 post-K).

Worse for the rest of us will be the "walking wounded" amongst us, more than the dead. Dealing with mental health issues, particularly amongst the FWOs (formerly well offs) is an overlooked, and I believe major issue, post-Peak Oil.

I have some unique insight from those "at the point of the spear" here in New Orleans dealing with our mental health crisis.

I was going to start a discussion and series of posts on this a month ago when Leanan deleted it as being "off topic" (but kept the thread on Jeffrey Brown's superb photo).


B.C. Hydro to spend half billion lessening power consumption

Since 2002, energy efficiency programs saved Hydro 1,828 gigawatt hours of power - about three per cent of total annual electricity production in B.C.

The province wants annual savings to jump to 12,000 gigawatt hours by 2020....

And it appears BC_EE's concerns about possible fuel substitution didn't fall on deaf ears after all, although I'm pretty sure electric heat is already competitive with natural gas and a whole lot cheaper than oil):

However, Hydro warns that its forecasts could be compromised by a surge in development, consumer adoption of electric-powered vehicles, and the possibility of fuel-switching if natural gas and heating oil prices are elevated to a level that makes it cheaper to heat homes and hot water with electricity.

Source: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=92f49ffb-e95e-49a0...


Man, they even swiped my terminology!! Feeling like Rodney - no respect.

Thanks Paul.

Now that it's Sunday morning, I can respond more in depth...

First, I am satisfied the notion of fuel switching throwing BC Hydro's demand forecast for a loop means the goal has been met. That is, the substitution of energy sources will be part of their scenario contingencies now, whereas it wasn't in their Long Term Acquisition Plan (LTAP) six months ago. This is evidenced by their hedging statement, and I'm sure this will evolve into a more mainstream part of their data set in the near future.

How do we know this potentially critical omission wasn't in their planning? Simple, their load growth forecast was projected on historical growth data and GDP growth. Plain old straight line projections without consideration for changing market conditions. Perhaps they thought these disruptive events would cancel each other out over time, but that only applies to the traditional up and down market cycles we have become accustomed to.

Perhaps the current NG prices helped sway their opinions also. Here in BC, we may yet see a revision to their NG price forecast as a result of my correspondence. (And many thanks goes out to TOD for the invaluable information, which quite frankly is making me look like a prophet. This is only because to date the others are relying on MSM).

It may be apparently obvious, but the reason for concern with allegedly errant forecasts is this is dangerous thinking. Whether the forecasts are rosy or glooming, it is important to get them accurate as possible. We don't want the weatherperson telling us it is going to be sunny and warm today while we really should have prepared ourselves for rainy and cold.

There is another bit of information to glean from the same article which vindicates my position - new generation at an average rate of $125/MWh. About a month ago I was scoffed at for stating any new NG generation projects on the drawing board would have to charge a rate similar to the rate we are proposing for the biomass generation (mostly beetle kill lodgepole pine, just a few billion tons per year to deal with - now you know why then call us the "Saudi Arabia of biomass"). The energy rate bid to BC Hydro just recently - or under consideration - is in this ballpark. The skeptics in the meeting didn't believe that statement as they said, "Natural gas will always be cheap."

They have opinions while I have the data. (Again at the risk of embarrassment, thanks to TOD).


The following reportonbusiness.com article form the Drumbeat is a must-read:


You get a real understanding of the state of new and upcoming oil fields.

Good webfind--thxs for posting it!