Answering the Comfortable Questions about Energy

There is an old vaudeville skit that has an actor (Annie) come on stage behind the M.C. and begin visibly searching the floor of the stage. “What are you doing, Annie?” asks the M.C. “Looking for my ring,” she says. So they both start to look over the floor. After a while the M.C. looks at Annie and asks “Where did you lose it?” “Backstage,” says Annie. “Then why are we looking for it out here?” asks the M.C. “Because it is too dark to see backstage,” says Annie.

I was reminded of this skit as I watched a ”panel of experts” on the PBS News Hour with a couple of energy analysts talking about petroleum economics, and the cause of the current price rise. Their reasons (one blaming it in part on the Federal Reserve decision to cut interest rates) related to their areas of expertise and knowledge in the Commodities Markets. It is a common failing. Experts will try and explain events or seek to control events, based on their what they know and are comfortable with discussing (where it is light), rather than necessarily going to the root cause of the problem (where the ring was dropped). It is a fault both of those who select the experts to give an opinion, and the focus of those experts, and where this approach is used extensively it tends to hide the nature of the true problem from the public, in the obfuscations of those who are comfortable only when turning the question to allow answers that relate to subjects they know about.

In the current debate about why the price of oil is going up and what can be done about it, the current cause is often cited as being due to “speculators who play the market out of selfish interests.” And in the PBS discussion there was the suggestion that traders had increased the value of oil perhaps $30 - $50 dollars over the true price. Yet while the analysts concentrate on this “market factor” they ignore the underlying increase in price that has lifted the price the majority of the way to its current level. Because they (and many other analysts) are more comfortable talking about stock market factors, this is where they focus their discussion and the blame for the current rise in prices. And, because they don’t really understand the reality of the current situation, there are comments such as that in the Economist which advises
In theory, the world still has a little more spare capacity, in Saudi Arabia. The latest increase will raise the kingdom’s output to 9.7m b/d, its highest level in decades. But it claims to be able to pump as much 11m b/d, and further expansions to that capacity are supposed to be ready imminently. If King Abdullah really wants to deflate the oil markets, he could try announcing an increase in output of a few million barrels a day.

It is hard to know why Saudi Arabia does not do so. Actually it is not hard at all. As has been discussed here, repeatedly, the excess oil that Saudi Arabia has for sale is heavy and sour and is not desired or usable by the market at the price that it being offered for.

But that is, in a way, a digression from my over-riding concern, which is illustrated by the example I gave at the beginning. Those who are asked about the causes and solutions to the current and increasing gap between demand at a reasonable price and liquid fuel supply tend to give answers based on their past experience and areas of knowledge. Thus, for example, you talk to those with a background in oil production, and they have always in the past been able to find and produce more to meet market demand, and so their answer is along the lines of “increase drilling and exploration.”

In the main folk tend to fall back on these answers since it is more comfortable to anticipate that this situation is a repeat of what has happened in the past, and it is more comfortable assuming that this is just another situation that will work out alright, since supply problems have been resolved in the past (so maybe the Economist quote is relevant). Unfortunately this time the problem is different. Because as we reach peak oil, and start to look at the down-side of that mountain of production, it is the length of the plateau at the top, and the rate of collapse beyond it, that should be recognized. This time around, the problem is sufficiently different that the solutions that have worked in the past are no longer valid.

Time to find new answers, as they say, is a’wasting – as the scale of the problem continues to be ignored by all but a few. But to address the consequences of the upcoming lack of oil is to recognize that the current state of business as usual cannot continue. It is to ask and debate the questions with uncomfortable answers, and where, of most commentators were honest, we don’t really know a lot of the answers. I am not sure that we even know all the questions that we should be seeking to answer.

The real issues of concern relate to such questions as “how long do we have until the situation really starts to deteriorate?” Some would say that it already is, and then there is the issue of “how rapidly will it deteriorate?” There is evidence from a number of fields that where horizontal wells predominate, that the decline in production, when it comes, will exceed 10% in such fields. Yet we accept 4 – 4.5% because that has been the historic number, and it gives us a more comfortable answer to questions like these, even though more and more fields are using horizontal wells and MRC technology. And so we continue, with the MSM really skirting the issues that should be more frequently discussed, because, unlike the movies that have been made on the oil supply situation, it is, in reality unlikely to result in a happy ending, at least in the intermediate term. It is easier and more comfortable to be out in the light, talking about the daily variations in oil prices, than it is groping in the dark trying to see what we are going to have to do to find an adequate supply of liquid fuels to meet the worlds needs – unfortunately it is in that unknown that the answers lie. It is still a relatively lonely place – there are not that many people looking there for answers yet, in fact there are disturbingly few.

Yergin's going to be on Charlie Rose tonight.
He looked flushered in the promo.

How can Yergin, who has consistently got it wrong all the time every time, be a media darling? Maybe because he tells people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. We are on a plateau headed for decline.

I forget where I heard this, so can't attribute it to a source, but:

"To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

I've heard it as "If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail".

A quick google search attributes various forms of the quote to Abraham Maslow (Presumably of Maslow's Heirarchy fame.)

"I have learned the novice can often see things that the expert overlooks. All that is necessary is not to be afraid of making mistakes or of appearing naive."

Abraham Maslow, (1908 - 1970) American Psychologist

The PBS News Hour is a circus of obfuscating the obvious, funded by big oil and big corporations, with nary a bad word about America. Got to up the number of viewers, up the underwriters contributions, and keep the masses ignorant. It is the classic example of "you get the news you want to hear."

You are joking right? PBS News Hour is nothing but left-wing, anti-American polemics that we all have to pay for unfortunately.

Whatever it is, it's boring.

Which means it's useless.

The fact that one of you sees PBS NewsHour as right-wing corporate propaganda, while the other sees it as left-wing commie propaganda, tells me it must be pretty bias-neutral.

How about this: PBS NewsHour is often shallow. Both the corporate right wing and the commie left wing prefer shallowness. A true reckoning of our world, the real news as compared to the predigested glosses, would radically undermine the whole spectrum of truisms, right to left and top to bottom. The whole game of "here's a fragment of fact, and here are two commentators from right and left to play the game of fitting it into their traditional molds" would be over.

Did anyone see Krugman laughing at the fools who believe oil prices are due to "speculators" earlier this week on Keith Olberman? It was delightful precisely because a show or two before Olberman had ranted at length about Enron redux, and mocked all who could doubt that it's all up to speculation. Naturally, Olberman was too chickenshit to invite Krugman to straighten him out, and just let the challenge drop. But as Krugman points out in his column today, there are as many elected Republicans and Democrats on the idiots' bandwagon on this one.

Somehow our brilliant capitalist system has never bothered to educated either politicians nor newscasters about the fundamentals of its essential institutions - such as the exchanges which pretty much define what our economic system is. You'd think businesses would hold summer camps to provide remedial education - except the businesses welcome the shallowness too.

Our brilliant capitalist system has never bothered to educate either politicians or newscasters about the fundamentals of its essential institutions

I doubt that any one person knows how the whole of our system operates.

On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that no one wants to admit they don't know it all.

We're all too vain to admit there is something we don't understand --so vain that we won't admit it even secretly to ourselves.

Do you know how a simple pencil is made?
Milton Friedman (famous economist) used to brag that one of the advantageous "features" of our capitalist system is that no one person knows how to make a complete pencil and yet it gets made.

Well, I think Friedman's description was more complicated than that, and probably not really a good example. Many people know how to make pencils, although they might not know every detail of everything.

Still, to know, one really only need read Henry Petroski's delightful book:
The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance

Petroski is a fine writer of many engineering books, in this case, detailing the history and manufacture of a simple-seeming item we take for granted.

I doubt that any one person knows how the whole of our system operates.

Indeed, that is an advantage, and why the capitalist system is "successful". Distributed or network decision making allows more complexity than could be directed by a smaller group of individuals. I am just reading a book on the history of the Industrial Revolution, and the breakdown of the rigid hierarchy of guilds after the middles ages is what laid the foundation for the Industrial Revolution.

Network systems tend to have emergent properties which are hard to predict, unlike hierarchical systems where those in charge can dictate the shape of events. While some of these unexpected properties are beneficial, some will not be, and will then be hard to "fix" because there is no single point where the decisions are made.

Politicians are really now just observers of the system, but give the illusion that someone is "in control". It's a bit like the illusion that your consciousness controls the actions of your mind.

You're joking right?

PBS News Hour avoids anything that is critical of U.S. public policy, until the public moves in that direction, and then it is very light critique. I've watch that pap for some 30 years, and it is not independent and gets little funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which gets little funding from the federal government.

All general audience news sources give patriotic Americans what they want to hear. It's the same in every nation. Who wants to hear that their nation stinks? PBS News Hour is an exaggerated case. Look at what they've had on Peak Oil, good grief:

Did you really get an education about Peak Oil from the above program?

The same for NPR, their Peak Oil coverage stinks, despite the fact that I have written them and they published my criticism, and then finally after a long gap Diane Rhem interviewed Matt Simmons. Google NPR and Peak Oil and you get some half-baked piece from 2004.

Finally, I don't think it is all a big conspiracy, rather most of the journalists are ignorant and smug there inside the beltway.

Actually, PBS is nothing more than dialectics of the machiavellian order, the right and the left have the very same ideology in the final analysis.Its all about money in the end.As my kids would say - we are being 'gamed' by the media.
I bumped your score back to 31 negative comments.Your statement wasn't that inacurate, the PBS news hour is more anti-Republican to be more specific.

The PBS Newshour is public television, with some grant money from corporations. They are highly independent, and would bristle at any 'steering' of journalistic content. They are rated as the most neutral US news program, and is one news source that normally provides all sides of a subject under discussion in relatively lengthy sessions (for evening news, that is).

This one episode appeared to be one particular slice of 'experts', as I have seen other Newshour segments that delved into supply and demand, and the subject of peaking, albeit with all sides chiming in.

No news sources are independent, in particular the PBS Newshour, for a lack of information about what drives U.S. foreign policy and oil policy. On the Newshour they are all "terrorists," never are they called resource nationalists, or revolutionaries. The U.S. military is shown to be spreading freedom, instead of stealing oil from whom ever it can.

Actually there are issues where there is really only one side to the story and when there are alternate views presented for the sake of balance, a whacko idea is elevated in standing.

We got the whole debate about Iraq that way and the notion of balance distorts the facts more than it provides for context.

The News Hour is corporate driven America first swill.

Yep, I can see Jim there debating whether Peak Oil is fact or theory.
He could have on some nut on representing the abiotic theory of oil and Dan Yergin arguing that oil is biotic, but that there is still plenty down there, so not to worry. And that is all you need to know about Peak Oil. Poor Jim, Peak Oil will really get to him. After all, America can accomplish anything if we just bring our technology, ingenuity, determinism, and cooperative spirit to the task. Poor Jim, he won't know what to do.

"....with some grant money from corporations..."

Independent thinking in corporations...what an oxymoron.

Its all about money...a-moral money.


I've been reading : "The Transition Handbook" by Rob Hopkins.

It attempts to look forward to a future without oil and discusses what is being done currently in places like Totnes (UK).

It approaches this holistically by combining Global Warming and Peak Oil issues to arrive at an answer that may satisfy both...

In a nutshell we have to change the way we do almost everything ASAP.


About 50 people turned up to a transition city birmingham meeting this thursday. I'm not clear how sound a big city can be in the coming years anyway, but I'm going along with this for now because the alternative of de-urbanisation seems too difficult. I don't know of any rural areas in the UK that would welcome people moving out from cities, however talented and virtuous they may be.
I'm currently helping with arranging a followup meeting. r[at]rpcc [dot] info

Hi Robin

I am involved in Transition Coventry and we have meetings on a regular basis. Would you welcome a delegation of people from Coventry to one of your meetings sometime? We will be pretty busy for a week or so preparing our stand at the Godiva festival. Maybe after that. One of my friends is starting Transition Tamworth as well.
Carbon - Coventry, UK

This is an excellent article.

For awareness of peak oil to grow, we need both heat and light, so to speak. Good news -- we don't have to worry too much about the "heat," that will come with events themselves. Ali Samsam Bakhtiari's schema of the periods of peak oil decline of T1, T2, T3, and T4 (going from a plateau or slight decline to a steep decline) is helpful here. I thought that when we hit $100 a barrel, we'll really see some press on peak oil. It's hit $140, and still no insight. This is the "heat" without the "light."

When I think back to my own life, and how I reversed a belief that I had previously held (that I may not have even given any thought to), there was usually something that I already knew or believed in -- that was right -- that helped make the connection to the new way of thinking. Since my friends tend to be liberal environmentalist Democrats, I've been using statements like, "environmentalists have been saying for decades that we cannot continue our consumption of finite fossil fuel resources indefinitely." In short, I've tried to frame peak oil as the vindication, at last, of the ideals that "we" have warned about since the first Earth Day in 1970. This may not be the winning approach, but this is the sort of thing we need.

As the price of oil hit 130$ a barrel there was some mention of PO on CNBC for about a week. But at the same time PO was being brought up some other expert was comming on and dismissing the Peak Oil 'theory' with a false arguement.
As long as this arguement is being fudged were not going to get any light on this subject.

CNBC's tilt was seen by everyone when oil and gold was "crashing"

The CRB Index was put up in orange, right after oil, to show how it was falling.

Didn't see it yesterday.

Bet it closes at it's high today.

Also, up/down volume is ignored.

Going by the experience of the climate change discussion, what we can expect is that it'll take 5-10 years from the first definite signs of it happening for it to reach general acceptance, then those with money to lose from its general acceptance will mount a "scepticism" campaign which muddies the waters another 5-10 years, until basically everyone accepts and then things start to be done, which again takes 5-10 years.

Assuming that shortages or some such occur by 2010, this puts widespread acceptance of peak oil at 2015-20, time wasted from 2020-25, and action starting 2030-35.

The one possible advantage which the peak oil issue has, which the global warming issue did not have and still lacks, is significant "heat." There has never been a significant economic impact of global warming, our only weapon has been "light." During the 1990's, there was no adverse impact, or actually a negative adverse impact (if I may use a double negative) from global warming: as the climate warmed, the economy boomed.

If we had been confronted in the 1990's with crop failures due to global warming which had caused economic damage equivalent to the recent doubling of oil prices, the discussion of global warming would be considerably further along today. It may still not be soon enough, but the discussion of peak oil -- when it does come -- will probably progress quite a bit faster than did the discussion of global warming.


So where in this sequence are we now with respect to climate change? I find TOD rife with skepticism on climate change. The public response curves are totally out of sync with events. The sequence I observe all to often is: denial, denial, denial, oh damn - it's too late to do anything.

The media are as bad, with a complete disconnect between oil consumption and the resulting climate change being the norm.

An editorial in today's Daily Mail whinged about high oil prices, but, as usual, no mention of the effects of consuming oil.

The BBC is blighted by this inability to see more than one dimension of the problem, too, alas.

I've had a feeling for a while that we won't really need to worry about climate change because energy depletion is going to get us first. This is the way with so-called bottlenecks, or the weakest link in the chain. It doesn't matter that link #2 is starting to show some surface rust if link #1 is already pretty near rusted through. Similarly, it doesn't matter that in 50 years crops will fail due to global warming if in 5 years we will lose our ability to perform mechanized agriculture at all, or transport the produce of same.

Utopia in Decay

Kevin Cherkauer

Your feeling is wrong. Unfortunately, we have more than enough fossil fuels, in combination with the other half of things contributing to global warming, to blow through 1,000ppm CO2 by 2100.

What will happen when the oil runs short? Well, if the market's allowed to decide, people will use more natural gas and coal. The Australian government for many years has offered subsidies to convert petrol-driven cars to LNG; expect this sort of thing to happen across the West as oil becomes more expensive.

So we can't look at just the oil, we have to consider coal and natural gas, too.

Already since 2000 we've put about 315Gt CO2e into the atmosphere, and we're putting another 49Gt CO2e annually. Ultimately how much stuff can we burn and put out there? Well, let's take the optimistic but not insane reserves estimates you find here and there. Then let's combine them with the CO2e emissions of each; for the sake of argument we'll assume perfect combustion (5-10% of all methane just leaks out of mines and pipelines).

Oil, 1,317Gbbl @ 450kg CO2e/bbl = 593Gt CO2e
Coal, 998Gt @ 2,350kg CO2e/t = 2,854Gt CO2e
Natural gas, 6,074 trillion cu ft @ 52.2kg CO2e/1,000 cu ft 316Gt CO2e
So the total of burning all fossil fuels is 3,763Gt CO2e

If we just burn the oil, the 315Gt existing emissions this century plus the 593Gt from oil gives us 908Gt CO2e.

Of course if we burn all the oil then people will burn all the natural gas and coal, too. So we hit the 3,763Gt.

The IPCC told us in 2004 that

on current understanding of climate carbon cycle feedback, model studies suggest that to stabilise at 450 ppm carbon dioxide, could require that cumulative emissions over the 21st century be reduced from an average of approximately 670 [630 to 710] GtC (2460 [2310 to 2600] GtCO2) to approximately 490 [375 to 600] GtC (1800 [1370 to 2200] GtCO2). Similarly, to stabilise at 1000 ppm this feedback could require that cumulative emissions be reduced from a model average of approximately 1415 [1340 to 1490] GtC (5190 [4910 to 5460] GtCO2)

What a messy jumble, typical scientists, they should have done some English! Let's put it clearly:

- about 1,800Gt CO2e puts us at 450ppm by 2100
- about 5,200Gt CO2e puts us at 1,000ppm by 2100

Once we've burned all the oil and natural gas, we actually only have to burn 20% of the coal to pass that 1,800Gt threshold. Burning it all takes us to 4,078Gt. That's not far off the threshold that takes us eventually to 1,000ppm.

However, we have 8.6Gt CO2e of deforestation annually. That'd be 791Gt if taken to 2100. Then there's 7.1Gt CO2e from methane, which is partly from livestock and partly from rice paddies, we can't really expect that to drop, people have to eat - though not so much meat, but still - that's 653Gt CO2e by 2100. And 3.9Gt annually come from nitrous oxides, from animal manure and excess artificial fertiliser. Again, people have to eat, so that's another 359Gt CO2e, though of course with better land management this could be reduced.

But then with higher population... so let's be conservative and assume no annual change; better land management in one area is offset by higher population or climate-change induced changes in land use in another area.

So we get 1,803Gt CO2e just from our land use. Yep, even if we stopped burning all fossil fuels tomorrow, the way we use our land would blow us through 450ppm CO2, more than two degrees of warming. Adding fossil fuels to it just takes us into the 1,000ppm range.

Okay, you say, peak oil is all about that we won't be able to get it all out. Of course, that doesn't apply to "proven" reserves over 92 years, those are all coming out, it's more for these "unproven", ie stupidly expensive reserves.

But let's be optimistic - over the next 92 years, we mine just half of it. We still get 1,881Gt, plus the existing 315Gt makes it 2,196Gt CO2e. That's past the 450ppm threshold. Add in the 1,803Gt from the land use and we get 3,999Gt CO2e.

Accepting what you said, that shows that our descendants will have a big problem with GW. But if we look at the next 20 years, it is clearly PO that will be the dominant concern. If the GW situation is as bad as you paint, there is little possibility of effective mitigation, we would have to have net negative emissions, i.e. remove CO2 from the atmosphere. I don't think anyone is seriously proposing that.

The solutions for PO will involve non-fossil fuels, so this will also help with GW. But when it comes to the crunch, people will choose coal burning without CSS.

However you look at it, GW mitigation will take a back seat to PO.

Well, the emissions are those up to 2100, with their effects up to 2100. CO2 is like booze, a little the system can handle, it's just a lot in one go that's a problem.

Whether PO or CC will have the most effects in the next couple of decades we simply don't know. CC could give us a dozen Katrinas or record blizzards or droughts. PO could give us Kunstler's apocalypse. We don't know.

when it comes to the crunch, people will choose coal burning without CSS.

The electricity generation is probably not going to be chosen by "people", but by government and corporations. I've yet to hear of any country or municipality getting to vote on what their power source would be - though one or two have got to vote on excluding nuclear.

What the people would choose we don't know. We don't get asked.

The impacts of the peak oil situation are much more evident to the public already, and although just recently "global warming" was mentioned much more on the Web than "peak oil" I would anticipate that this is in the process of changing fairly rapidly. If there is little evidence of global warming in your neighborhood it is more difficult to get excited about it, than is the case when you go down to the gas station and discover it is costing you double to fill your tank.

Thanks for an interesting post and shared observations.

Let's hope this trend continues, but it (attention about PO) could be thrown off the tracks if there is a full blown recession.

If the recession comes about, in part, because of the rising cost of energy, and that cost is driven by a reduction in the availability of oil and natural gas, then there could be some interesting dynamics in terms of where to make investments to get the world back on its feet.

This is typical rhetoric. "If the recession ...". This automatically give the out that there may not be a recession. If you are living on fixed income with the stated inflation @ 2 1/2% and the real inflation @ more than 10% there is already real recession.

This morning at coffee one fellow was telling about more oil off the coast of Prudhoe Bay than all of Saudi Arabia. He was there and knew it for fact. I didn’t have the heart to tell him. “Oklahoma has thousands of capped oil wells just waiting for the right time.” All this BS will fade when there is the first true shortage.

Right now there is no shortage. You can drive up and buy gas anywhere. You may not like the price, but there is no shortage. In some communities (and countries) there is an “unsatisfied demand” because the price is too high. When that unsatisfied demand grows to be quite significant and affects the ability of workers to go to work, there will be more bad news than the price of gas. We here in this forum are still treating PO abstractly because we are not significantly bothered yet. OTOH me, and my friends on fixed income, are starting to hurt.

I see the depression of the ‘30s as child’s play in comparison to what is coming down the pike like a runaway freight with no brakes. I’m glad I
am 75

First of all I think you are right.

One of the tricky things is that public figures is used to describe a situation.
I am aware that (shadowstats and many other good persons/sites) argue that inflation in the US has for some time been understated. This suggests that the GDP has been overstated suggesting that the money supply is higher than it should have been if things were done according to real inflation figures which in turn would fuel inflation.

If the rise in oil price is due to speculators I think you should look no further than official inflation figures and money supply. And we know who is in charge of those things.


time will show, but hang around for a while and see how things really plays out.

The "if" referred to causes not whether or not we were in one.

Should this be directed by governments, market forces or a combination?

I think we are headed for interesting times - big time.

nrgyman2000- I think your term,"full blown recession" could be replaced by Great Depression 2.In that scenario there would be demand destruction for oil and that would certainly extend the resource.Unlike great Depression 1 there are so many other stressors that the Peak Oil concept could be put on the back burner in order to deal with other matters of more perceived importance.

On the subject of terminology I think that the term Peak Oil is dedundant.I know there is a lot of learned argument here on TOD and elsewhere about whether oil production has already peaked,or we are now on the plateau,or if we are already in the decline.I respect the knowledge of the people concerned.The issue is just a tad academic.One way or the other we are running out of the stuff.
The word "peak" doesn't have the right impact on the psychology of the masses.Peaks tend to be associated with some sort of achievement at first glance.Maybe "Oil Decline" would be more accurate.

Between us, thirra, I share your opinions (I am presently reading Bruusses book about the second great depression)and you are on to something.

I think the word "Peak" was chosen to illustrate that from here it was only one way further, and that was down.

Most people associate "Peak" with something positive or achievement as you phrase it.

In this context "Peak Oil" could be perceived as something positive by many and thus not create the right associations and interests.

A) "We have reached "Peak Oil".
B) "How fabulous." or "Great"

You are right,in priciple,Kiashu.Unlike climate change,which is sneaking up on the unaware,oil/energy shortage is a very pointed instrument.I am inclined to think the mass awareness will be before the end of 2008.
A side "benefit" may be a more general awareness of climate change and the need to change our fundamental attitudes to Planet Earth if we really intend to remain as passengers.
Here's hoping that we can extract something sustainable out of this horrible stew.

Past expereinece while useful is not an accurate indicator of the past. The global Warming meme didn't have the internet to connect the scientists directly to the people the way that The oil Drum and other sites have done. I think that peak oil awareness will follow a similar track to the oil price which at the moment means accelerating. The difference is, unlike the oil price, once youvé lost your peak oil virginity, you will never get it back

An I would expect a few billion dead of starvation by then... :-(

As the price of oil hit 130$ a barrel there was some mention of PO on CNBC for about a week. But at the same time PO was being brought up some other expert was comming on and dismissing the Peak Oil 'theory' with a false arguement.
As long as this arguement is being fudged were not going to get any light on this subject.

whether we are at peak oil or not or whether someone knows we are at peak oil or not is entirely irrelevant.

the only thing that really matters is that every time people fill up or drive by a gas station they know they have to use less oil. Yergin or Senators could say speculation or whatever until they are blue in the face but if gas price are still high in 3 months nobody will care.

Any form of I TOLD YOU SO!!! will make more enemies than friends. IMO this issue is best framed as a stand-alone without any injection of politics which ends up dividing every issue in two camps. Merge it with warming and you close many ears.

If you intend to convince anyone, leave other issues out.Its hard enough getting one's mind around just one issue without adding more.

"I told you so" is sort of a loser. But peak oil doesn't have to be a stand-alone argument; you can combine it with other issues depending on the audience.

Most liberals consider themselves environmentalists, so you could preface your remarks with "environmentalists have warned for years that we couldn't continue to use limited fossil fuels indefinitely, and now it turns out that they're right and the day of reckoning is closer than we thought."

If they are conservatives, you could perhaps invoke Theodore Roosevelt, Roscoe Bartlett or Ron Paul (in some combination depending on the conservative), and say that true conservatives ought to argue for conserving natural resources, and point out that it's the liberal Democrats who are the big deniers of "peak oil." Worse, they're advocating those big government subsidies for corn ethanol, how did they sneak THAT past us?

One of the things that really impresses me, personally, about the viability of peak oil is that it has attracted both liberals and conservatives to its ranks: it is really non-ideological.

"...groping in the dark trying to see what we are going to have to do to find an adequate supply of liquid fuels to meet the worlds needs..."

The reality is that the world's needs are not going to be supplied and that includes our needs. What people are trying to do is maintain BAU via alternatives.

What needs to be done is to take a hard look at our societal paradigms/memes and begin to recognize that what has to happen is a radical change that is vastly different than BAU. There are many books and articles that consider, via fiction, what a new society might look like. There are also many people, including myself, who are at least implementing some of the changes necessary. It seems to me that until society begins to see that change is needed, that all the efforts to find alternative energy sources will be a waste of time.


"There are many books and articles that consider, via fiction, what a new society might look like."

I give you the following one for your amusement:

Utopia in Decay -- The future is coming to get you.

Kevin Cherkauer

I agree with implementing changes necessary to attempt a soft landing, but I'm also prepare to bail out if the landing looks hopeless.

Unfortunately our culture's ingrained and established "Scientific Process" requires that a theory be developed first that is later tested. I think that this causes too much effort to be invested into theory building (and often makes anomalous observations subject to removal) and not enough effort goes into making the uninterpreted facts available.

My opinion is that many "experts" live in a world of their own favorite abstract theory. To admit an error in that theory is to risk loss of prestige and accompanying career security.

I no longer wonder why these "experts" can't agree on why oil prices are going nuts.


Although the idea of the "Anthropocene" - an Earth epoch defined by
the emergence of urban-industrial society as a geological force - has
been long debated, stratigraphers have refused to acknowledge
compelling evidence for its advent.

At least for the London Society, that position has now been revised.

To the question "Are we now living in the Anthropocene?" the 21
members of the Commission unanimously answer "yes." They adduce robust
evidence that the Holocene epoch - the interglacial span of unusually
stable climate that has allowed the rapid evolution of agriculture and
urban civilization - has ended and that the Earth has entered "a
stratigraphic interval without close parallel in the last several
million years." In addition to the buildup of greenhouse gases, the
stratigraphers cite human landscape transformation which "now exceeds
[annual] natural sediment production by an order of magnitude," the
ominous acidification of the oceans, and the relentless destruction of

I think the gist of what the article is leading us to, is; Experts speculate on the causes of something like oil prices spiking based on their experience, not necessarily the true underlying causes of the situation.

Speaking of which, we are now over 140 dollars a barrel on NYMEX, so it would seem the TOD poll asking if oil price will exceed 140 dollars a barrel has been answered, and thus we are ready, willing and able to enjoy another wild guess at an arbitrary future oil price, like 160.

Link on today's price:

Interesting post and thread thx.

One of the main reasons it is proving more difficult to predict and observe global PO than it was for, say the US, is because production has been constrained. This is obvious from even the most casual glance at either saudi or overall OPEC historical production. Hence no nicely defined peak but a potentially long bumpy plateau instead. Overall you get a table mountain rather than a matterhorn. And without knowing what actual reserves are it's hard to know how long the plateau will last.

Mucking about with a few gaussians (as one does) and taking data up to around 1970, which at least looks unconstrained, I estimate that unconstrained production would have resulted in a peak somewhere north of 100mbopd occurring around 2002. If you assume that we have used half the (conventional) oil that will ever be recovered then the plateau could last another 15 years or so before hitting the downslope - which would then be pretty dramatic. Of course this sort of modelling also allows for us to be well past the mid-point wrt amount that will be produced but not see it in production decline for a while. Depending upon how far past we are it could be in 6 months or 6 years. Equally, if we are still short of the mid-point the plateau could last a lot longer. We just don't know. IMO this makes the whole situation dangerously deceptive, especially if the reserve numbers remain shrouded in mystery and are much smaller than being reported. Strengthens the case for a book opening excercise by all producers but I guess the chances of that are as slim as ever!

Apologies for not putting some pics on here which would have made all this waffle a bit clearer.


The problem with this kind of analysis is that it completely misses the point.

The question which needs to be asked (and answered honestly) is how much oil should we be consuming?.

I guess the answer to that would be way too uncomfortable.

Hint: Take a look at Table 2, page xviii, IPCC AR 1, 1990

Jim Hansen argues on the basis of global warming science that any use of oil or coal that raises atmospheric CO2 above 350ppm (*) should be stopped. The current atmospheric CO2 is 385ppm. This is, IMO, an authoritative answer that is available on the web. Is it uncomfortable enough?

(*) The conventional estimate for allowable CO2 has been 450ppm. Hansen now gives reasons for believing that 350ppm fits better with known science. This is not a typo.

So how do we supply heat to the folks in Philadelphia next winter? And how does a farmer plow his fields to plant food for the rest of us?

So how do we supply heat to the folks in Philadelphia?

By harvesting the power of the Singularity.

(Joking here, of course :-)

Hey HO,
I think the future WILL be more than a little uncomfortable. The main reason that JH believes 350ppm is the upper limit is that some millions of years ago, just before the Antartic continent began to be frozen year 'round, the CO2 concentration was about 350ppm and falling. Melting Antarctic glacier will affect population of Bangladesh, Burma, and perhaps Philadelphia. Not this winter, but not many centuries in future, either. I don't think we should build a nuclear power plant near Philadelphia to keep the population warm.

I expect that human population will stablize at between 1_billion and current 6+_billion. It may undershoot substantially on the way to this new stable value. (This is my guess. JH is silent on this kind of doomer talk.) I get the 1_billion from noting that world population was about 1_billion in 1800, just before the use of fossil fuel began to take off. (Google 'world population history' to get this number.)

Sounds like a variant of the old coal miners theme "Let the b*st*rds freeze in the dark." It was not a sentiment that I found particularly appealing back then, and when it is now wielded by their adversaries, I find it no more attractive.

No, he's just saying the nuke plant at philly will just end up under water. . .

We don't.

Or we resign ourselves to dealing with massive climate change. I believe this is inevitable; despite all the talk and bluster about climate change our CO2 emissions keep rising. You aren't going to get enough people to stop using free energy to significantly reverse that. People are still talking about how renewables or nuclear have to be cost-competitive with coal to be used - as long as we're talking like that, massive climate change is going to happen.

Current responses to the "Oil Crises" as seen in discussions on CNBC, always focus on the belief that economic markets will find a solution. Most of the other MSM follow suit, with variations on the need to drill more in protected areas, blame speculators, evil foreign powers who won't let us have 'our' oil or the need to offer a prize for a new battery. Even more thoughtful programs like PBS take an essentially economic view, rarely having engineers or geologists ( I have never seen a discussion with any). Most also are constrained to end on an up note like: but the Bakken oil sands will provide more oil than Saudi Arabia just as soon as we develop it. It would be great if in every discussion they could at least mention world and domestic consumption and production and what future supplies will be needed at current rates. My favorite response was from Stephen Colbert talking to James Kunstler, "There is no oil crises, corn plus magic equals gasoline, problem solved!" Remember, these are the same economic experts who stated that the sub-prime mortgage crises, a purely economic condition, was a short term blip that would amount to less than three billion in losses and not effect the rest of the housing industry.

They are the same economic experts that took the USA, in thirty years, from being the most powerful industrial economy to its present state.

But what about the gains in wealth at the very top? Economy is functioning very well in those terms. Hey guys, it's a game and we're the pawns.

Definitely-most "experts" have to pay the mortgage like everybody else, which means listening to the master's voice.

But ---
It seems to me that the fundamental causes of our current predicament are geological, not economic. Better economist could not have saved use from this situation, except if they had been so wise that they had developed an economic argument that proved that economic theory was irrelevant.

The "better" economists (Georgescu-Roegen, Daly, et al) have always been marginalised by those in power because they tell us unpalatable truths.

Georgescu-Roegen's essay Energy and Economic Myths is a classic:


I think you hit one of the biggest problems with informing the public. I are a petroleum geologist and can therefore slam our inability to communicate on an effective level. Just like engineers we are cursed with too much knowledge. Ask us any technical question and we feel honor bound to give a complete and totally accurate answer. Unfortunatly, unless you are a geologist/engineer we're likely to induce a comma in a matter of minutes. If you don't believe just find a wife or friend and ask.

You can divide the oil exploration into two big groups: those that generate the ideas (geo's and engineers) and those that sell the ideas to whoever has to write the check (manangement/investors). Even with in the industry we technicians are eliminated from the presetation process as quickly as possible. And often for good reason.

I see the same process in the effort to spread info on PO. It is commonly left to the glib and personable to offer insights despite the fact that they may not understand the facts well enough themselves. In the oil bix we phrase it simply: you're selling the sizzle...not the steak. And, unfortunately, the media loves the sizzle.

Come now! You can do better than that!
It should be possible to induce coma in seconds, not minutes! :-)

Hilarious! What a wonderful new rating system we have!
So someone has downrated that remark, unable to understand, apparently, that:
The rating system clearly stated that is was for use as a minus solely against comments which are in contravention of site policy.
And they also don't understand what a smiley is!

And why should an inability to understand even the simplest things impede the ability to pass judgement!
Well done!

Well, Rock, you got that right, Engineers can't sell water in the desert.

As to trying to "educate" everyone, I am reminded of the adage about leading a group of cats. Every one of them is going to go in their own direction.

Trying save humanity when it doesn't want to be saved is quite impossible so why exhaust yourselves trying. Its mindful of England when it got itself in a hopeless situation with Hitler, so the English sought a messiah. Amazingly they found one in the form of Churchill. Yet as soon as he saved their bacon, they tossed ole Winnie overboard.

What will be will be . . . .

I'd say history proves England's situation with Hitler was not hopeless.

I would have been without the US pulling their bacon out of the fire.

This is quite similar to the situation with global warming. The consensus does not keep up with the pace of events. It is conservative to try to stick with what has worked in the past but it turns out that the conservative approach misses reality by a very long way when change is underway.


Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!

The Queen, in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass

The "conservatives" seem to think that by doing nothing things will stand still.

I was thinking more of conservative approaches than conservatives. Science takes a conservative approach in a portion of its opperation. Similarly, as HO points out, the same way of thinking gets applied to oil prices because that is the conservative thing to do. Science is self-correcting because it must confront the fact that arctic sea ice is disappearing faster than expected. TOD will also likely succeed in changing the way people think about oil prices. But, if you want to know how to set policy right now, you should probably mutiply the worst effects of GW described in the IPCC by pi and multiply decline rates for oil production by the same factor. This sets a conservative approach to risk management against a problem of conservative origin I guess.


That skit so clearly describes all the "analysis" we hear on oil. I wrote a post about two years back here about the "explainers" of the oil price climb. I noted that you can neatly divide them into two groups: 1) the economist/market gurus and 2) the science/geology gurus.
In the former group, you have people like Steve Forbes, who has been calling for a return to $35 oil for years now, and most of the talking heads on CNBC who babble on about bubble, bubble, bubble. In the second group, you have people like Deffeyes, Hubbert, Campbell, Simmons - all those who trace the course of oil extraction by the geophysical laws. In sharp contrast to the track record of the first group, the second group was writing books and articles in '97-'01 warning of a crude oil shortage coming soon with a permanent price climb when oil was at $18/bbl and they were the only ones on the planet concerned about prices. These two explainer groups seem to be almost mutually exclusive with a natural antagonism to each other. The first group turns a blind eye (or perhaps lame brain) to Hubbert math and listen to the Saudis or anyone who will lie to them.

You have here plainly two different models of explanation of oil - one that very consistently predicts wrong and the other that very consistently predicts right. Hmmmm - I wonder which model is correct? The next time someone is explaining oil to you, and you are wondering if you should believe them, instead of point/counterpointing them on everything, it might be more instructive to simply ask yourself this question - Which type of explainer are they?

And I remember how I posted last fall on TOD coming from a mixed science/engineeering/business background. I had been reading incessantly about the housing bubble at Roubini and co. and about PO too so I just mixed the two languages together saying finacial illiquidity is like MOL (minimum operating levels) and PO is like financial insolvency(bankruptcy). Lots of people take PO from their own POV, relgion and philosophy, historical analysis, biology, psychology, etc.

TOD and the PO community in general has become quite diverse and rich in its approaches. I think this helps us to get our ideas out to the public. Unfortunately it seems that MSM still treats this as purely economic story for the CNBC types. It needs to be preached about in churches, taught in schools and universities (to engineers, economists, etc. who all seem to not know it) and in the women's magazines and sports columns. This should be such common knowledge that everyone should think about how it effectzs their lives. It is just too broad and funadmetal to be left to any one group or specialty.

The Wall Street Journal had a cover article this morning featuring two prominent oil men from Saudi Aramco. The article actually says peak oil in it, a few different times. Quickly, the article points out that two top oil prognosticators from the world's largest oil-producing nation have completely opposite predictions for the future. One says peak is here, deal with high prices, and the other says technology will save us, and that there are around 11 TRILLION barrels out there. What these tech-boys don't realize is that it will still take years if not decades to scale up any uber-strength recovery techniques, thus not alleviating prices in the short-term one bit. Also, there was another shorter article about the SEC changing the way publicly traded oil companies disclose their reserve information. I am not a market person, but i feel like this is a way to artificially boost reserves to increase confidence and decrease speculation in the futures market. However, anyone with half a brain knows that the recent increase in oil prices were fundamentally driven by supply-demand interactions and not driven by speculation, although it may have added a tiny bit.


I haven't see any reports of the SEC making easier for companies to fudge their reserve numbers up but if they have it would be a complete 180 from the trend over the last 10 to 15 years. And even more so since the Enron mess. But where there's politics which such high stakes involved anything is possible. The best bet these days for keeping the numbers real is that all public company reserves must be audited by outside consulting companies. In the good old bad days you could prod these guys a litle since you were the one paying their invoices. But with the potential of shareholder lawsuits to drive such a consultancy out of business they became much more resistant. I the past I have been one of the guys with the cattle prod.

Send all those people rabbiting on about those vast reserves of oil which are, as far as they are concerned, to be exploited as rapidly as possible, over to , and get them to read and comprehend the IPCC's Scientific Assessment Report 4.

There are none so blinkered as those who choose not to see.

The WSJ article you refer to is online here, free of charge:

Speculation does not have to be a large percentage of a market to make the market price move by a large percentage. Imagine that the world produces 85 MBPD of oil and consumes 84 MBPD. If nobody else was bidding, you would expect prices to head downward because there are 1 MBPD going looking for a buyer.

But if speculators enter the market and add even a few percentage points to the demand side, suddenly the tables turn. In the above example, if speculators increase the demand by just 2%, suddenly demand is now 86 MBPD but supply is only 85 MBPD, so prices go up.

I have seen claims that speculators hold "only" 15% of the oil contracts. That is plenty large enough to drive the market price much, much higher, given that the organic demand is already nearly equal to the available supply, and supply cannot be increased.

When I hear the "experts" pooh-poohing the concept of speculation having anything to do with the price of oil, what I hear is that a lot of big money wants the gambling tables to stay open without the threat of government stepping in to regulate things, which might put a big dent into their potential profits from speculation.

Utopia in Decay

Kevin Cherkauer

A very critical idea that I personally needed time to come to gripes with is that the peak oil problem is one of a race.

On one side you have the natural decline in the flow rate of installed infrastructure (wells, refineries etc). Since the oilfields are constantly aging, this decline accelerates.

On the other side you have the ability of humans to ramp up new infrastructure to bring new production into play. Since know reserves are constantly brought into production and earth is constantly being searched, ramping up new production ges harder and slower over time.

As long as the ramp up can outrace the decline, the peak oil as not been reached. This happens when the ramp up falls behind.

This race is not a new thing. It has been there all along as a part of making sure oil supplies will meet the demand. Therefore the idea of a race is a great answer to "we just need to do more exploration" or "we need to bring the oil sands". This is the production ramp up side of the race. These "solutions" mean we just keep doing what has always been done. If they were to work, then we are still ahead in the race. By definition peak oil is the tipping point were we fall behind in the race.

It is also a great answer to those that think "we can do nuclear" or "ethanol" or . Changing the energy source does not change the fact we have a race on our hands. Alternative energies are hard to bring in production because you have to scrap and replace lots of infrastructure that has been designed to run with oil not only for production, but also for stocking, transport and consumption. The main question is not whether the alternative energy is workable, although this is part of the equation. It is can we ramp it up fast enough to avert a disaster.

"It is can we ramp it up fast enough to avert a disaster."

The answer is "no" because the perceived problem is price, not declining supply. Besides, what alternative are you going to ramp up? Burning farmland or plugging into a decaying 1960s electrical grid that is already at its limit?

As for myself, I opt for steam powered cars burning coal after I read an article about the problems with horse manure.

This is an article about people failing to ask the right questions. I tried to explain how I see the questions should be asked in terms everybody can understand. I think this approach reduces the risk people debate the wrong questions.

Part of the difficulty to explain peak oil is the topic is so replete with technical data and statistics that people have trouble filtering out the underlying story. They tend to see the problem for what it is not and debate it in the wrong frame. The race metaphor is a great way to do the filtering for the interlocutor and force the debate into the right frame.

Providing answers is another step and raises problems of its own. In particular many people won't accept the answers because they feel threatened by them. The Kübler-Moss model for the psychological handling of grief would probably come handy here.

By the way, you don't want to be in a steam powered car after an accident. They can turn into instant pressure cookers.

Besides, what alternative are you going to ramp up? Burning farmland or plugging into a decaying 1960s electrical grid that is already at its limit?

studies show plugging in won't strain the grid. the gird is being upgraded as we speak. companies are asking to raise rates to keep up not just with rising energy costs but also to upgrade the grid.

I think that the mainstream media will simply not take on this issue in an honest way. The situation has already accelerated towards meltdown. Check the inflation rate in either India or China. The Long Emergency is here now. What hasn't the media failed at presenting honestly and in detail?

I saw those two talking heads on the News Hour.

In my opinion they presented very logical technical arguments in terms of why the oil market is overpriced. The first analyst focused on the November interest rate cut and its influence on the dollar crash. I understood the second analyst to say that the November rate cuts created a lot of money in the financial system. (I'm not sure exactly how.) Normally this money would have gone into mortgages, but with the tightened credit situation, the next best place for the money to go was in energy futures. He mentioned hedge funds being involved. He also correlated oil price movements with the actions of the fed, citing it as evidence for his assertions.

Both anaylsts said short term oil prices are a bubble which will burst, back to around $95(?), where they were before the fed opened the money spigot.

I understood the second analyst to say that the November rate cuts created a lot of money in the financial system. (I'm not sure exactly how.)

The way it is supposed to work: By lowering the rate the Fed is encouraging banks to lend out more money. (The banks earnings are based on the spread between how much interest they pay - the fed rate - and how much interest they charge.) When banks lend money they are, in effect, creating money because they are lending money they don't have.

Normally this money would have gone into mortgages, but with the tightened credit situation, the next best place for the money to go was in energy futures. He mentioned hedge funds being involved.

This doesn't seem right to me. Due to the mortgage crisis banks should be pretty cautious about loaning out money to be used in high-risk investing. I would expect banks to be more likely to make capital loans than investment loans at this time. The last I heard, commercial real estate and construction was in fine financial shape. A way to check this would be to try to find out how much and to what sectors the banks have been loaning money and analyze how that has changed with the rate cuts.

JimFive, my understanding was that the Fed sets an interest rate target, and then injects or withdraws funds into the system so that the market clears at or close to the target interest rate. It is also my understanding that the amount of the injected funds, the slosh, is high at the moment, and thus provides excess liquidity for banks to use in the most profitable ways they can find. However I am not a banker, so this explanation might not be totally accurate.

In any case it's probably not a clean either/or PO/speculation choice for reasons behind the current high oil prices. If speculators believe that PO is likely, then oil futures look like a good bet, so the two factors can reinforce each other.

This is my first time posting here, although I have been reading for some time - thanks to all the regulars for a very informative forum.


But by concentrating on the stock market manipulations that cause that final price increment (which seems to have been a topic of conversation since the oil price started to go up) one neglects the fact that even if one accepts that discount (and I don't necessarily) oil is now up to around $100 a barrel. It is the forces driving that (larger) increase that should get more attention than it does.

I'm usually a reader, not a poster, but I've used one analogy that has been somewhat successful. When people who get their opinions from MSM and Rush Limbaugh argue that we have billions of barrels in offshore, shale, the artic, etc, I agree. Then I say, "But unfortunately, that is like saying no one is running out of drinking water or suffering drought because the earth is covered with water. We'll just get all we need from the oceans!" They will look at you like you have two heads, but it does give you an opening to explain that all oil - like water - is not created equal.

" blaming it in part on the Federal Reserve decision to cut interest rates"

Actually, this is not as ridiculous as it may sound. The Fed has been inflating/expanding the supply of USD at an astounding rate, in a desperate attempt to forestall a major collapse in the banking/mortgage credit markets. While Fed-induced dollar-inflation is obviously not the *main* cause of $142/BBL, it definitely is a contributing factor. Remove Fed fiat-inflation/debt-deflation from the mix, and you would probably still have a price in USD above $100, but significantly below the current price.

Ditto on that. My record for clearing a room is about 2 minutes.

What if I am wrong…

In the world of investing I am constantly asking myself “what if I am wrong”. I try to weigh the probability of outcomes and then make a decision. For the people on the side of not believing in Peak Oil they need to ask themselves “What if I am wrong” Do I have more to lose if I am right or wrong. Most people on this board believe they have much more to lose if they don’t start reacting to the situation right now. If they are wrong, they probably improved their lives anyway by reducing their consumption of energy no matter what the cost. If they are right they will have a much better quality of life in the future by accepting this fact now.

For economists, analysts and other paid for professionals…..they have a duty to research the issue before advising clients. I have a hard time believing if most people spent a few hours on the internet they could not come up with the same conclusions that most of us on this board have. To take it a step further and quote Robert Hirsch “the deeper you dig the uglier this situation gets” There is no accountability in the financial world and I don’t expect this to change anytime soon but I do expect more people in general to start to look for answers the higher energy costs go.

Excuse my ranting, I had to get that off my chest..


The best way to make money is when you are right and most others are wrong. So, I welcome "economists, analysts and other paid for professionals" who are WRONG!

This morning I stood in front of my electric meter and watched it run backwards. Our solar PV installation was hooked up for the first time, and it was an amazing feeling to not only generate enough juice to power our house, but feed some back to the grid for others to use.

Congrats on the milestone! Hope that all goes well with the system and that you will make a positive ROI on the system.

Add the doomers and the cornucopians to the list of those giving answers to prior questions rather than current ones. This may be the end of civilization as we've known it. But it's unlikely to be either Planet of the Apes nor some techno utopian singularity. Rather than looking for solutions that shoot straight up or straight down, rocketing us to either heaven or hell, we should be far more open to those that turn off at right angles somehow to our previous course - that aren't just somewhere in between Max Max and The World of Tomorrow, that are neither expectable nor fully comprehensible from our current vantage.

Nor is some prophet with a grand overview brought back from the mountaintop likely to lead the way to our salvation, such as it will be. Instead, it will be billions of us muddling through, finding ways that work locally to extend and adapt our skills, means and knowledge. People are often pretty dumb on the big picture stuff; but are almost universally smart at finding ways to survive, even thrive, where we are.


outside auditing is a great solution. what i meant was that the SEC may require companies to not only report proven, but probable and possible reserves as well. To you an me they mean something very distinct, but to the average reader and the population in general they mean "more gasoline at cheaper prices". In this way, the word "reserve" may mean all proven, probably, and possible, instead of just proven. Although, i am unsure about that. thanks for your comment, and i agree.

Oil now at $143 and the dow down 450+ points in just two days.What difference does it matter what all the spin doctor demagogueries say in the media, the beginning of sorrows is just about to happen.
Today, tommorow...who knows.But the time is near, and this will only be the beginning.

"...And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows..."

The amazing thing is that these words were spoken 2000 years ago by Jesus and they are congruous of the very time period we now find ourselves in.Very accurate indeed.
We can keep on referring to ourselves as yeast, or we can stop making adolescent excuses and take responsibility for our actions before The Most High God right now.

Yeast do not have the capacity to comprehend their creator - we do....right?
Maybe its the athiests who have a similar obtuseness associated with yeast.The yeast have their own reality within the petri dish, and the athiests have their own reality within their narrow intransigent intellect.The fool has said in their heart their is no God.

One negative rating already, and its only been 10 minutes.
Thats OK, Im not going to try and win any popularity contests with the Truth.
The real truth is lying in the streets somewhere right now.

I wish I could formulate a retort your Big Guy in The Sky blathering but this clip from the late, great George Carlin says it better than I ever could.

The reason you cannot formulate a retort is because you have no intellectual reasoning skills to formulate one to begin with, and have to resort to smart mouthed comedians who spout filth and vitriolic maladroits to do your thinking for you.
Hey, if HBO comedians are where you gain erudition from, why should I try and reason with you anyway?
Keep on laughing bro!

Okay, I'll come up with a retort. The quote that you printed from the Bible (King James' I think) could refer to a whole slew of time periods between the time it was supposedly spoken and today. The Hundred Years War, the 30 Years War, the diaspora of Islam from the Arabian Peninsula, the invasion of the Mongols, etc. What makes you think that it applies now as opposed to then or some other time in the future? Additionally, Jesus would have had no concept of 2,000 AD, so it is reasonable to suspect any "prophecies" that reference millennia.

Trying to say that the current situation in the world was fortold 2,000 years ago by the son of a carpenter is, well, silly. Any set of prophecies can be applied to almost any time period. Just look at the tabloids for examples. They love to take Nostrodamus and Revelations and apply them to whatever is going on in the world regardless of when they last used the specific prophecy in regards to some other event. In short, a prophet from 2,000 years ago might have predicted peak iron, but they certainly wouldn't have seen a problem with the oil supply.

Very fair reply with good points and questions.
If I may,let me give you reasons why the events Jesus was referring to in Matthew chapter 24 are to be applied to this generation,and attempt to capsulate what can be a somewhat complicated topic in the Bible.

1. In the original Greek the word used for nation, as in 'nation shall rise against nation', is the Greek word ethnos:This word in the Greek unequivocally is to be understood as a particular ethnic identity.The only other precedence in historiography where such a war could be categorized as bringing sorrows on a plenary scale as this conflict seems to imply would be WW 2.The reasons why this falls short of fulfillment, however, World War 2 was not a truly plenary conflict that brought sorrows to the entire world, and more importantly,it was not drawn across ethnic lines.In World War 2 the the main combatants: i.e. Russia, Germany, America, and England were primarily from the Anglo Saxon - Goth - Western European line.If you remember your history correctly, the progenitors of Russia actually descended from the 'Rus' Nordic tribes of Western Europe.This conflict described by Jesus also seems to be plenary(affecting the entire globe),and WW 2 did not affect many parts of the world, including America, in the same way that the war brought extreme consternation to the Europeans and Russians.When the inevitable resource wars brought on by the onset of peak oil take place, every nation in the world will potentially be affected by this conflict, and the technology to bring sorrows to every coner of the globe is dramatically and existentially possible with the advent of thermonuclear weapons.And of course, the potential of a WW 3 seems to be drawn across ethnicity like no other worldwide conflagration in contemporary history, i.e., Arab Islamic - Anglo Saxon - Sino Chinese.Remember we are talking about the times of the end of this present age, not the past.

2.Jesus never made an issue about a 'millennial' time frame, and warned those who would listen to Him to watch for the signs of the times and the seasons of paradigm shifts, not necessarily particular dates on the calendar.What people fail to comprehend is Jesus, being Jewish of course, did not subscribe to a Roman and or modern Gregorian system of reckoning time.Millennium fever among the religious zealots and tabloid junkies has no basis in critical Biblical exegesis.

3.What Jesus was conveying to the people, then and now, is that this final conflagration between nations would be unpecedented as far as that particular generation is concerned.It would be as if the unthinkable has finally happened.When I first learned of peak oil in 2001, I realized how the linch pin would be pulled by humanity.

4.Nostrodamus is a poor example of comparative research when it comes to Biblical prophecy.He is indeed tabloid material.He wrote in ambiguous French quatrains that can be construed to say just about anything you want them to.The Bible, however, speaks to us very plainly and with great detail.The main reason academia, and so called Christian apologists, cannot make sense of it is for the very reason neither side really likes what it actually has to say.They either treat it as archaic literature or misinterpret it outright to suite their political correctness.Why would a capitalistic so called 'christian' want to forgive a monetary debt anyway?Its not profitable.

5.As I have stated before,peak oil is merely the linch pin to specific events outlined in the Bible, in particular the first 5 trumpets in the Book of Revelation, where the events of warfare prophesied are clearly beyond the comprehension of a 1st century writer to understand. It describes 1/3 of trees worldwide being burned up, 1/3 of all ships being destroyed, 1/3 of all waters being polluted with 'wormwood' (in the Ukrainian dialect wormwood is translated as Chernobyl - coincidence?).These phenomenoms are more congruous to thermonuclear war than to Roman siege machines and hot tar.
This war, however and unfortunately, is predicated in the Bible to be entirely humanities sole responsibility; it is instigated and caused by humanity and humanity alone. If we had only listened to The Most High God in the first place, none of this would have to happen.Unfortunately, it appears to be to late unless there was a paradigm shift of tremendous proportions in the way the nations conduct their business with one another and in their treatment of individuals.This, however, seems unlikely.

6.If you really want to understand the Bible you have to read it for yourself and have a deep desire to understand righteousness.Those who teach it as a means of making money, whether sincere or insincere, the Bible warns, are to be avoided completely; they are more than likely just as blind as those who seek guidance from them. I need not give an example - there is a plethoric of these individuals in America right now.They serve money not God.
The Bible may ostensibly appear to have much violence written through its pages, but God is merely delineating an accurate account of history. What accurate historiography of humanties brutalities and inegalitarianism would not have these facts written within it.God need not give us apologetics, He tells us the truth, whether we like it or not.

7.Indeed, it may appear Jesus led a somewhat ignominious life as a Judean carpenter some 2000 years ago, and what He said is of no importance: But we need to understand, that is how God works.He does not have an ego the way men have, and was not looking to be ruler over this present corrupt world.It was He who said "...whatever is highly honorable among men is an abomination to God..."
Men in general are seeking after glory, He was not.Let God have the glory.He may seem foolish to you, but in reality, He is a litmus test to put in check our pride.God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
I myself, am no better than anyone else in these matters.I am only a man.
Let God be true and all men liars!

You represent a fair percentage of the US population so your assertions have great legitimacy wihin a certain comunity of many millions.

You have discovered PO like all of us here and are trying to fit this uncomfortable fact into your personal worldview. I think a lot of evangelicals will start having the same thoughts when they catch on to PO. It would be a waste of time however to try to convince non-evangelicals PO believers of your particular religious viewpoint.

It would be perhaps better to try to convince your evangelical friends and family of PO. Many of us toy with TEOTWAWKI and what it all means. Some go back to spiritual roots, find philosophy or psychology or just dropping out of the rat race to be of use personally. Real menaing in crisis will be found inside you and from your loving relationshiops with your family and frinds and in building community. Let's hope this ain't the big one and that we all come through intact.

13th century plague, mongol hordes. Lots of comparisons exist. It is no more certain that Nostradamus quatrain XXX applies to Iraq war II just because I said it or the National Enquirer. Of course the Mayan prophetic cycle is clear, 2012 but they don't say waht happens, just a transition. I guess it could all be right, people just see the truth from different sets of eyes, different angles and the end of times looks bad whoever had a VISION of it at whatever time. I presume a vision is not exclusive to St. John the Divine.

Lots of Catholic saints and others have seen angels and what not or had stigmata and Tibetan buddhists have lots of interesting experiences. Like you say, if you are interested with an open mind you would read up on all of that with an open mind. However most people hold on to religious belief quite strongly in that it excludes other religious faiths. My particular form of belief presumes that the one God who spoke to Moses and Jesus spoke to Buddha , etc. and guides all our subconscious selves. We are shadows on a sort of movie screen. Reality is somewhere else. This is all as Shakespeare would say just a play. Open mindedness does not mean lack of faith but daring to doubt is invigorating to faith. The deeper you go and the more trust you have in God and test your faith by doubt the better it gets. There is a simplicity on the other side of complexity.

I agree with some of your sentiments.Moses and and the Apostle John are not the only people God has spoken to, and I would not doubt for a minute that the Almighty influenced the first Buddah.
Zoroaster infact prophesied of the Jewish Messiah that would be the redeemer of mankind 1000 years before Jesus appeared on the earth.How do you think all those Maji were influenced?
(What has become of these religions of late is an entirely different story.I do believe the corruption can be attributed to money and the jockying for influence and power.)

Now if I spoke these words in any 'Evangalical' church they would probably summarily reject me and show me the door.Of a truth religious people do have a propensity do be narrow minded in thought and mutually exclusive because of dogmagtic theology.But you can be rest-assured God will not be defined by any one man or religion.Truth cannot be defined by religion.But this axiom in no way contradicts what is in the Bible.The accuracy of the Biblical prophets, if comprehended correctly, could not have originated from the mind of man: Antithetically speaking, it would be impossible for man to foretell the future after such a long period of time has transpired with 100% accuracy.And these words were written down for a reason.The Bible was written so that you as an individual would not be in the dark about these momentous events and could have hope, knowing that in the end, you do not have to worry about events you cannot possibly change - and that you will indeed have a future in the world to come.

God wants us to think carefully about the future of civilization.Republics that turn to democracies invariably morph into dictatorships.Yes - there will be an Antichrist.That is the reason all of this chaos is being manipulated to come to a nexus and every attempt to solve the dilemma just turns into a Chinese fire drill.

You assumed I was an 'Evangelical'just because I quote scripture from the Bible.That assessment is very inaccurate - I do not go to church - nor do I ever intend to go to church.Why would you try and pigeon-hole me within a religious sect?Does it make it easier for you to ignore what the Bible says if you do so - if you can simply relegate me to an ostensibly dillusional group of people according to this groups way of thinking.
Sometimes I wonder why people cannot see the farrago of dialects they allow themselves to fall prey to.Republican vs. Democrat, Catholic vs. Protestant, Athiest vs.

Its like what I tell my friends who still happen to adhere to certain theological doctrins despite what the Bible actually says - The only thing that will matter to you in the next several years will be the Truth.Yes - there are absolutes that govern the Universe, entropy being one of many.Gods words are the final authority in all matters, whether we believe it or not.

If you want to refer to me as a nutcase I can deal with that, just don't call me Evangelical please.

TEOTWAWKI was great, 1000 words of common sense to be gleaned without a word being spoken.

BTW, why don't you quote that Nostradamus quatrain for me and lets see if we could really make correlation between it and the Gulf War.I'll bet it's ambiguous at best.People should not read the Enquirer or watch the History Channel if they want to understand something as important and multi-layered as Biblical prophecy.For the love of God, they are part of Corporate America.

Sampson: Good comment. As a Christian, I believe that there exists some interpretation of the Bible which is "True". BUT--time after time, people consistently fail to find that interpretation. False interpretations are useful in that they humiliate proud and arrogant people who claim to speak for God. True interpretations seem rare, and are only obvious in retrospect.

I recommend that anyone concerned with Biblical prophesy re-read 2 Peter. "[Paul's] letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort", and offer my personal caution against reading too much into it [isogesis=bad].

We might muddle through the Peak Oil catastrophe with mere megadeaths and find that semi-sustainable practices allow us to continue for several centuries before Peak Indium (or whatever) does us in. In which case, the "be nice to other people" bits, and "don't be greedy" parts of the Bible are the most relevant to us in particular. Not the prophecy.

[hmm, somewhat less doomerish than my standard posts]


sorry for calling you an evangelical, but I know the scene and this is an understandable error.

Regarding certainty:

The more we learn the less we know.

"....The more we learn the less we know...."

Thanks Surfer.

The mainstream religious scene is a sad scene indeed.I think they are referred to as soft targets of propaganda.They will believe everything they are told by their 'pastors' - and that scares the pants off me.The funny thing is every religious site I have posted on has given me the boot and I've been studying the Bible for 23 years, go figure.

I learn alot from this board - it's one of my favorites.Good grassroots stuff.

Long Time Gone-

Sorry for that caustic post.I re-read it and feel ashamed I wrote that to you.If I met you on the street I would never speak that way to you - even if you chided me about big guy in the sky blathering.Thats one thing I hate about message boards - there impersonal, and we have a tendency to become smart ass intellectuals.I indeed feel like an ass.

Regards - sampson

I figure most of the change in nominal oil prices are due to monetary inflation. Simply a decline in the value of the currency, due to mismanagement by the money managers, in this case the Federal Reserve. This was also the case in the 1970s.

I estimate that maybe there's a 2x factor in oil prices due to supply constraints. Thus, if the 1990s price was $25 (give or take), it would be about $50 today without the inflation. With the inflation, we have $140.

i may not know all the pertinent issues here, but since oil is mostly sold in dollars, wouldn't we just need to see how much the dollar has dropped to figure mathematically how much of a role that has played in the increase in price?

that fancy interactive graph shows that the dollar index was around 120 in 2001, and around 72 now. does the dollar index essentially mean the value of the dollar? if so, then the dollar has fallen about 40% from it's 2001 highs.

would that translate into a 166% increase in the price of oil from that time then? in 2001 oil was mostly hovering bellow $30. $30 X 1.66 = $50

if so, the loss of value of the dollar alone as a price factor would put the price now vs. 2001 at $50, a $20 increase. but that's $90 short. if this math i did makes sense, than there must be other factors than currency devaluation at play here. (maybe supply and demand?) is that what you mean by the inflation?

actually, maybe it's how many 2001 dollars would oil cost now? since the dollar was almost twice as valuable then, does that mean the price would be almost half of what it is now? maybe around $80?

That is the general idea. The dollar has actually fallen a bit more than that, in my estimation. The euro and yen, to which the dollar is often compared, have also fallen in value, which is why there are inflation issues in those countries as well.

A little electric car math and energy math:

chevy volt: 8 kilowatt hours per 40 miles or 5 miles per kilowatt hour
average daily us driving april 2008 about 8 billion miles per day
if every car was a volt total charge per day to drive 8 billion miles would be 1.6 billion (1600 million) kilowatt hours per day.
a one billion watt nuke plant running 24 hours is 24 billion watt hours per day or 24 million kilowatt hours per day per nuke. 1600 / 24 = 66.67 one gig nuke plants needed to supply power to an entire US fleet of electric vehicles driving the same distance they drive today.
So in the end peak oil is going to become irrelevant. The world is not coming to an end by a long shot, its just a matter of time and money and on the power side not really a whole lot of money. Current cost for new nuke plant production is right around 1$ per watt, so $70 billion to build the plants in actual construction costs. The car side is going to take maybe 15 years to play out. A nice side benefit will be a fix for green house gas emissions.
Oddly enough it appears that McCain has some adviser that has given him the numbers and this is basically going to be his campaign pitch. If he keeps it simple he just might preside over the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era.
It will be "Midnight in the Desert" much sooner than anyone here thinks but for entirely different reasons.

Those nuclear costs are way off.
I support nuclear power, but in the US a $1/watt it is not.
I don't have US figures but UK government estimates are around £2.8bn for a 1.6GW reactor, that is $5.6bn or $3.50/watt in construction.

"The General Electric ABWR was the first third generation power plant approved. The first two ABWR's were commissioned in Japan in 1996 and 1997. These took just over 3 years to construct and were completed on budget. Their construction costs were around $2000 per KW."

"Westinghouse claims its Advanced PWR reactor, the AP1000, will cost USD $1400 per KW for the first reactor and fall to USD $1000 per KW for subsequent reactors. They also claim these will be ready for electricity production 3 years after first pouring concrete"

"Meanwhile the Chinese Nuclear Power Industry has won contracts to build new plants of their own design at capital costs reported to be $1500 per KW and $1300 per KW at sites in South-East and North-East China. If completed on budget these facilities will be formidable competitors to the Western Nuclear Power Industry."

All these quotes taken from:

Construction costs in the far east are completely different to in the West.
I'd take those Westinghouse estimates with a shovelful of salt too - steel alone has doubled in the last few months.
The Finnish Areva reactor which is being constructed looks like coming in at around $9bn for 1.6GW, although they did make a mess of it.
I don't disagree that reactors are a good option, it is just that I am wary of over-optimistic claims and prefer to be more cautious.
And it is not as bad as it sounds, because the costs of all alternatives have risen greatly too - steel, for instance, hits wind turbines particularly hard.

"Construction costs in the far east are completely different to in the West."
"steel alone has doubled in the last few months."
These are non-sequitors because steel is a globally traded commodity with a global price. I don't know what percentage of nuke plant construction costs are labor which is where i suppose you would get savings in the far east. however, even if we assume that the westinghouse numbers are off by a factor of 2 and that the economies of scale just balance out the material cost inflation over the last 10 years and the costs revert back to $2 per watt as per the japanese plants built 11 years ago that only brings the tab to $140 billion or so, or about 1% of annual US GDP. Sadly we spend more than that in Iraq in six months. It certainly is not a materially large number in the scheme of things when people are talking end of the world.

??Of course it is a non-sequitor, that is why I did not make one argument dependent on the other.

You are then assuming that the difference in construction costs in the far east is attributable to labour.
This is not the whole of the story by a long chalk, and the regulatory environment has a lot to do with it.
Secondly, although steel may be an internationally traded commodity it does not cost the same in all markets - transport costs are high, and many restrictions are placed so that the market is not perfectly transparent.

The rest of your statement is just a series of assumptions.
The fact is that there are no good numbers for construction at the moment, as for a kick-off any proper costing particularly for a project which takes several years is heavily dependent on interest rates - so where are they going to be in 5 years time?
OTOH, carbon costing would make a huge difference in relative costs against other energy sources, as does the rising price of oil and gas. It is relative costs which are the relevant metric in the end.
It is exceptionally difficult to make accurate cost predictions at the moment, but $1/watt has to be out of the ball-park - although it has been to some extent disguised, inflation alone at the moment is high and rules that out.

"A 2005 OECD comparative study showed that nuclear power had increased its competitiveness over the previous seven years. The principal changes since 1998 were increased nuclear plant capacity factors and rising gas prices. The study did not factor in any costs for carbon emissions from fossil fuel generators, and focused on over one hundred plants able to come on line 2010-15, including 13 nuclear plants. Nuclear overnight construction costs ranged from US$ 1000/kW in Czech Republic to $2500/kW in Japan, and averaged $1500/kW. Coal plants were costed at $1000-1500/kW, gas plants $500-1000/kW and wind capacity $1000-1500/kW."

Website for AP1000. There are a lot of reasons for the cost savings in these new plants. A lot of the construction is done offsite at factories and shipped as modular units (kind of like modular housing). In addition because of design and reactor efficiencies the footprint of these plants is 1/3 smaller than current plants producing the same power. At the moment there are 13 of them in the pipeline around the world. The first 4 are being built in China.

The main point of this thread is to get a handle on the costs for the power generation required to fuel a fleet of electric vehicles. It is pretty clear from the studies that construction cost of nuclear plants is not even remotely close to an issue. The current operating costs of nuke plants is under 2 cents a KWH with fuel representing about 25% of the cost or at the moment about 1/2 cent per KWH.

"Oil prices have more than doubled over the past year on concerns about rising demand in fast-growing economies such as China and India, and supply disruptions in the Middle East and Nigeria."

I had to chuckle at this sentence in our local paper today taken from the Associated Press. Notice how it ascribes the cause of oil price rises to "concerns"? Supply and demand take a back seat to what's going on. So if we just stopped worrying our pretty little heads over the whole episode, it would just go away. Adam Smith must be spinning in his grave.

The 1973 Arab-Israeli War created the infamous Arab oil embargo of 1973. Could Obama's promise to abandon the Iraqi war be the catalyst for this new oil crisis? The King of Saudi Arabia certainly does not want to find himself facing the Iranians all alone. And I'm sure Bush would be the first not to want anyone to connect the dots.

I like the idea of electric cars and in some limited applications they may just work for the near to mid term. However, farther out, we run into problems and limitations imposed by declining fossil fuels. Even though the electric cars themselves may run on electricity and that being generated in some cases, though not all cases, from "clean" energy sources such as hydro, nuclear, solar, wind, etc. the ability of companies to manufacture electric cars and almost everything else will be severly curtailed. Roads are made mostly of asphault and that comes from petroleum. In the future, most roads will have to be abandoned as the governments will not be able to maintain them at the ever increasing cost and scarcity of asphault. Also, concrete, steel, plastics, semiconductors and almost everything else will become much, much more expensive and hard to procure. The economy in the USA and much of the world is winding down at this time, toward a deep recession. Few people will have adaquate income or jobs to purchase food, let alone electric cars or many of the "green", "new technology" items being proposed to replace fossil fuel based equipment. The USA is essentially bankrupt and will have to drastically cut back on all federal spending, including the war effort. Airlines are already on the brink of bankruptcy. What seems to be coming is a world drastically "rounder" and more localized with shockingly less "modern conveniences" such as electricity, running water, supermarkets, malls, cars, airplanes, internet and computers and so on. Alternative energy supplies just a fraction of power. So far, it is insufficient to provide the gigawatts necessary to run a highly industrial society. The fabrication of solar panels and wind turbines takes large inputs of oil and other fossil fuels. Even nuclear plants depend heavily on fossil fuels for mining and transport of uranium, construction, maintenance, etc. The country's infrastructure is already in great dis-repair and with the ballooning national debt coupled with the deep recession it is unlikely the billions of dollars can be raised to make the required repairs. The world is being blasted with the effects of global warming on a great scale. Huge mono-culture farming practices are becoming unsustainable right now and food costs are rocketing. Probably in the near term supermarket shelves will start becoming increasingly bare. Truckers who bring the food to market are striking in many parts of the world and increasingly going out of business due to exceedingly high diesel costs. This whole delima is getting worse as the downside of the oil peak approaches. Up until now, each successive generation in the USA and most of the developed world was generally better off than their parents economically, health wise and academically. Now, a reversal has occurred. For the indefinate future, it appears each generation of young people will be decidedly worse off in almost all aspects than their parents. School systems are going broke due to falling tax revenues and community colleges are closing just as student loans are drying up. It is going to be a challenging future. Living in smaller, localized communities and getting to know your neighbors and getting closer to the land has its plus points. The work will be hard but life will go on. It always does.

You know, if you broke this into paragraphs it would be a whole lot easier to read.

If we were discussing whether or not a particular work of art was a good one, a language which reflected our own emotional response to the picture would perhaps be more appropriate than any sort of mathematical model trying to quantify a work of art. In what we are trying to discuss here, I think that the only way to come to some prognosis and then solution is to use the language of mathematics, because it is one we can all understand and there is no ambiguity in its meaning. So with that in mind I like to try to put some numbers on all the things that I write so they can be refuted and refined. As to your first assertion:

"Roads are made mostly of asphault and that comes from petroleum. In the future, most roads will have to be abandoned as the governments will not be able to maintain them at the ever increasing cost and scarcity of asphault."

The best I could come up with on the web is that there is about 1/2 a barrel of crude oil used per ton of asphalt. Last year the US used about 35 million tons of asphalt or about 17 million oil equivalent barrels. This comes out to about 50000 barrels a day. To build a coal to liquids facility that generated this much asphalt (assuming we just don't take the first pass stuff from tar sands which is effectively the same junk) would be trivial to build even if there were zero crude oil left to pump.

Yergin on Charlie Rose,

Says all we can do is to conserve.
Says the world needs 22 trillion dollars of infrastructure to keep running in place.
Supports renewables as a token.
US is in decline as a world power, watch China and Russia(world's largest energy producer). Resource nationalism will control the future of energy.
Agreed that the US has no oil policy.
No 'moon-shot'.
Wants lots of energy investment.
Said Global Warming would be a concern from now on.

The US should be REALLY worried about having to import natural gas from overseas in the next couple years.

Said he thought the oil top would be at $110, what we have now is too damaging.

Charlie tried to get him to attack the 'myth' of peak oil but Yergin didn't bite, but all his optimism on supply is gone due to resource nationalism. Look for opportunities to get off oil. It sounded for a minute like he'd like the US to invade Venezuela.
He was very negative.
For the plebians, you guys are screwed..we're back to 1973-4. Pathetically offers fuel saving tips..inflate tires, drive slow, combine trips, etc.

I thought he sounded reasonable. Isn't this pretty much a complete turnaround from his previous positions? If Yergin is beginning to sound the alarm bells, then we truly are in a world of hurt.

I caught that too. The main thing I noticed aside from your good summary was his hemming and hawing. Also, he seemed to smirk in a familiar way when he urged diplomacy and placating Russia and China. The other thing I noticed was that his facts seemed to be in agreement with most reporting here. I don't know if it is just bias I've picked up here but he seemed to remind me of Uncle Screwtape in his desire to be helpful.


Each thought needs a different paragraph.

Each different item needs a new paragraph

Each change of idea needs a different paragraph

Reading on a screen is hell at the best of times

See the dog.

The dog has four legs.

One on each corner:
d. . . :)