DrumBeat: June 28, 2008

Civilization's golden era is teetering on collapse

The period from 1950 to 2000 will be remembered as the Golden Era of modern civilization, the pinnacle reached by humans after a million years of evolution. This brilliant half-century was sponsored largely by fossil fuels, especially oil, which brought unprecedented economic growth, plentiful transportation and a rich and diverse lifestyle.

But the new millennium has brought the end of cheap oil, and civilization is suddenly teetering on the edge of collapse. Even if we manage to scrape through (and it would require heroic efforts), life will change. We're at one of the most important turning points in history, yet we persistently ignore the coming meltdown and just want to party on. Nero would be proud.

Touted US Offshore Oil Drilling Expansion Hinges on High Prices

Energy producers are likely to need years more of high oil prices in order to develop any new reserves opened up by the lifting of offshore drilling restrictions.

Iran NIOC Official: Oil Prices May Go Even Higher

Both oil producers and consumers are worried about a potential shortage of oil in the years ahead as demand outpaces supply growth, and it is likely prices will go even higher unless the problem of excess liquidity in the U.S. economy is resolved, a top official from Iran's national oil company said Friday.

"If there is any panic in production, and it is not due to a shortage today, it is for the future," Hojjatollah Ghanimifard, executive director for international affairs at the National Iranian Oil Co., told Dow Jones Newswires.

Pakistan: Protests against prolonged outages turning violent

PESHAWAR: The unscheduled hours-long loadshedding has made life miserable for the people who are resorting to violent protests to register their anger but the elected government as well as Wapda authorities continue to remain unmoved.

The frequent power breakdowns have fuelled protests, even at late night, resulting in the blockades of roads and disruption of traffic. Traffic signals and road/street lights also remain off, making hazardous roads more dangerous to travel. Dinner parties are often held in candlelight. And air conditioners and fans have been just left for only display purposes.

Bangladesh to buy Kuwait oil at higher premium

Bangladesh will import 1.152 million tonnes of oil from Kuwait for consumption over the July-December period by paying a higher premium, a senior energy official said on Saturday.

Senators ask for Congress - White House energy summit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senators on Friday asked for a national summit between Congress and President George W. Bush to end a partisan stalemate and develop a plan for solving America's ongoing energy crisis.

"We believe it is imperative that Congress work through the entire spectrum of potential solutions and develop policies to improve our national energy security and end our reliance on foreign oil," Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe and fellow Democrat Ben Nelson said in a letter to Senate leaders.

House Rejects 'Use It or Lose It' Drilling Legislation

Rep. Nick J. Rahall won a majority of votes Thursday on his legislation to force companies to use or lose 68 million acres of federal oil and gas leases, but did not get the support needed to pass the bill in an expedited process.

The Mixed-Use Mixed Message

Why is it so hard to get Americans to buy into building up, not out?

We "Deserve" What?

Hey, did you hear? We Americans "deserve" something. Apparently we "deserve relief from high gas and oil prices.

At least that's what a person would figure if they read, listen or watch the news. The papers and airwaves are filled with politicians, in both parties, huffing and puffing and promising Americans they are going to find out who's behind high gas prices and make them stop doing whatever it is they are doing.

Santa Barbara learns to live with offshore drilling

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- As he looks out on the Pacific Ocean in this picturesque coastal enclave, Bobby Torrez can see a ribbon of golden sand that disappears into a rolling surf, pockets of prone sunbathers and frolicking swimmers, and -- off in the hazy distance -- a series of oil platforms.

Nuclear's Tangled Economics

John McCain says new plants can help solve the energy crisis and address climate change. It's not that simple.

Juneau Continues To Conserve

It seems the energy crisis that struck Juneau after the city's hydro dam went off line due to an avalanche, may have had an unexpected and beneficial affect on the city's residents. Despite rates lowering back to a more manageable level, data indicates that the city's populous has continued to conserve energy.

Fuel-efficient rental cars in high demand

As gas prices continue to rise, rental car agencies in Central Texas and across the nation are having trouble meeting consumer requests for more fuel-efficient cars.

"We have a really high demand for small cars, especially with the cost of gas. But we are unable to get them from the dealers because the automakers have no problem selling them from the lot," said Michael Gant, an independent operator for Avis Rent A Car System LLC in Barton Creek Square mall.

Neighbors, city still haggling over rail options

While most issues along a 3.2-mile light-rail line in north central Phoenix have been resolved, there are major concerns involving less than a half-mile at the northern end of the Northwest Extension.

Some Royal Palm neighborhood residents, who live on the east side of 19th Avenue between Butler Drive and Dunlap Avenue, don't want to lose a frontage road and want the city to make changes in the light rail route.

The nuclear option

Gordon Brown has committed Britain to a nuclear future, but can a new generation of reactors shed their murky, costly image in time to solve the looming energy crisis?

Answer may be blowing in the wind

Britain aims to meet an ambitious EU target on renewable power - a huge business opportunity, but also a major cost.

Eco-towns: Britain's brave new worlds?

On Monday, the initial public consultation on 'eco-towns' ends. However, opposition to them is just getting started.

Oil: The Final Warning

Expensive fuel at the pumps is just the start. These battles over the price of oil could be the harbinger of something even scarier. There is a growing realisation that we are teetering on the edge of an economic catastrophe which could be triggered next time there is a glitch in the world's oil supply.
(There's also an interactive graphic here.)

Disaster Capitalism on a Grand Scale

As the cost of food and fuel spirals out of control, and the mortgage and credit crises all strike at a global level, one has to ask if this is a “perfect storm” or a manufactured opportunity - or both. In her book, Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Naomi Klein documents the planned manipulation and creation of disasters as opportunities to advance a corporatized free market environment. While generally operating at a national level, the process has also been utilized at a regional level. For example, the deliberate attack during the Asian market collapse. As I have watched the unraveling of the global economy, I have wondered if the scheme has not moved to a global level.

Market Madness: How Speculators are Manipulating & Profiting from the Global Food and Oil Crisis

Some involved in the debate today, such as Lester Brown and the World Watch Institute, tread close to the Malthusian line in warning of the “population problem” and arguing that it is a major reason why commodity prices are rising. Despite talk of increased food aid-which involves buying more subsidized Western foodstuffs and dumping them in impoverished countries, thereby further undermining their food security by bankrupting small farmers who can’t compete against free foods- there is a willingness to let the poor die en masse in adherence to the neoliberal agenda.

OIL: Prices Won't Be Falling Anytime Soon

UNITED NATIONS (IPS) - Although some policy-makers have blamed producing countries for steadily rising oil prices, many experts say more fundamental factors are a growing demand-supply imbalance, a weak dollar, and market speculation.

"Most members of OPEC are already producing at peak capacity, and Saudi Arabia, which has the greatest spare capacity, has been incrementally increasing its production --with the result that its spare capacity has been plunging to relatively low levels," Dariush Zahedi, a research fellow at the Institute of International Studies in at UC Berkeley, told IPS.

Sri Lanka: Soaring fuel prices and challenges to air travel

Two thousand eight (2008) can only go down in the annals of the world economy as a year in which a plethora of negative factors such as rapidly rising fuel prices, liquidity tightening policies due to the sub prime crisis and inflation control policies of many emerging economies impacted economies adversely.

When all is over and done, this slackening in growth will in all probability have resulted in a slowing of the pace of traffic growth throughout 2008. Yet, it is encouraging that the continuing steps initiated by the airlines in earlier years to keep controllable costs in check have paid rich dividends for the airlines.

Wind: The Power. The Promise. The Business

A partial answer to America's energy crisis is springing up. But the struggle to harness the winds of Kansas shows the difficulty in building an industry that threatens the status quo.

The key to this future is survival

Cory Doctorow, the uber-blogger and award-winning science-fiction writer, says that all science fiction is about the present. That truism shows itself repeatedly in "World Made by Hand," a novel by James Howard Kunstler set in a post-oil, post-climate-change, post-pandemic, and post-holy-war future that's not too far off.

Iran says Gulf oil route at risk if attacked

TEHRAN (Reuters) - The Revolutionary Guards said Iran would impose controls on shipping in the vital Gulf oil route if Iran was attacked and warned regional states of reprisals if they took part, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

..."Naturally every country under attack by an enemy uses all its capacity and opportunities to confront the enemy," Guards commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari told Jam-e Jam newspaper in some of the toughest language Iran has used so far.

Fighting forces get no break on fuel costs

Consumers at the gas pump aren't the only ones suffering sticker shock. Military units in Iraq and elsewhere will see another hike in fuel costs next week, the second increase this budget year because of soaring oil prices.

On July 1, the cost for refined fuel used by troops will jump from $127.68 a barrel to $170.94 — an astounding 34 percent increase in just six months and more than double what the Pentagon was paying three years ago.

What's better -- food or petroleum?

The U.S. government currently has about 700 million barrels of oil in the SPR, but its food cupboard is bare. Both situations -- a full gas tank and an empty cupboard -- are the result of governmental policy and legislation. While not having gasoline is viewed a threat to the economy, not having food seems to be acceptable.

You may be driving up the price of oil

WASHINGTON - All those speculators getting the blame for driving up the price of oil these days — just who are they? For part of the answer, look in the mirror.

The retirement savings of workers across the country, entrusted to pension fund managers, are being plowed into one of the few investments that has delivered phenomenal returns in recent years.

It's the End of the World As We Know It (podcast)

After a YouTube clip on the subject of Peak Oil, we meet journalist Bryandt Urstadt, author of a Harper's story called "Imagine There's No Oil: Scenes from a liberal apocalypse." Urstadt tells Steve Paulson about the grim future the peak oilers are already getting ready for and thinks we should all buy gold.

Flat-earther blind to oil facts

Friedman talks as if he wants the president to be an autocratic dictator. Does Friedman not know that with $4.50 gas and $100 oil, a large number of working people will not be able to make ends meet with their current income, or retirees on social security will not be able to heat their homes this winter? Airlines and other transportation companies would face bankruptcy? Does he not know that in a democracy, sustained $100 oil translates into a serious political problem? The oil problem does not lend itself to simplistic solutions. Yet that is precisely what our flat-earthling proposes.

Peak Scam

There are many problems, of the conceptual and political kind, with the explanations by the proponents of the idea that the current oil prices and the ongoing wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan are the direct results of having reached a peak in the worldwide oil production. In what follows, I will list five fundamental shortcomings of Peak Oil explanations.

Lack of Export Insfrastructure Hinders Kazakhstan's Bid to Become Oil Power

ASTANA, Kazakhstan -- Kazakhstan, with its vast reserves of hydrocarbons, is on a path to become a petro-power on a global scale. That, at least, is the plan of the Kazakh government, oil companies with access to the rich oil fields of Kazakhstan, and those seeking alternatives to OPEC oil. However, as oil production in the landlocked country increases in the years ahead, Kazakhstan could find itself without viable export routes to bring its hydrocarbon wealth to market.

Chavez says Venezuela will not raise gas prices

CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez says Venezuela has no plans to raise state-subsidized gasoline prices anytime soon.

Gasoline is cheaper in Venezuela than almost anywhere in the world, selling for as little as 12 cents a gallon.

Chavez on Friday pledged to maintain fuel subsidies as a matter of "sovereignty" for the oil-producing nation.

Iraq earmarks $8 million for new state oil company

BAGHDAD - Iraq's government says it will allocate about $8 million for a fourth state-run oil company.

Saturday's statement by the government says Maysan Oil Company will manage operations to explore, develop, produce and export oil and gas in the Maysan province.

Nigerian oil union says suspends strike at Chevron

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's senior oil workers' union said on Friday it was suspending all strike action at the local unit of U.S. energy giant Chevron after reaching agreement in a labour dispute with the firm.

LA gas station gets hydrogen fuel pump

While there are few hydrogen powered fuel-cell vehicles on the road now, supporters hope the station will show the public that hydrogen can become a mainstream, eco-friendly alternative to petroleum. State officials see it as part of the "Hydrogen Highway," a developing network of fueling stations to promote commercialization of hydrogen-powered cars.

North America's 1st carbon tax rolls out under fire

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Civic leader Scott Nelson says he is as worried as anyone about global warming, but that does not make him happy to be one of the first North Americans to pay a carbon tax to curb climate change.

Nelson, mayor of Williams Lake, British Columbia, says record high energy prices mean that the levy, for all its good intentions, could not come at a worst time for residents in his community, a lumber and ranching town about 525 km (340 miles) north of Vancouver.

"The last thing they need now is a tax on top of these soaring prices to add insult to injury," said Nelson, predicting that a taxpayer revolt will eventually scuttle the new tax, which takes effect on July 1.

TOD readers may find today's blogginheads.tv "Science Saturday" diavlog of some interest. Carl Zimmer speaks with Paul Ehrlich about his latest book. Among the topics covered are "Redesigning cities around people rather than cars" and "Aiming for a world with five billion fewer people".

Go here:

Great Interview! What Ehrlich said that really cracked me up was he told Zimmer, "...if you want to discover the direction that our life support systems are going go into the bathroom look in the toilet and flush. That's where they're going..."

Drop in revenue strains municipal budgets

Halfway into 2008, sales tax revenue is down in 30 North Texas cities and below projections in many others – further straining municipal budgets already stressed by flattening property values and escalating utility and fuel costs. . .

"This is unique because we're experiencing commodity costs exploding – gas, electricity – and at the same time, revenues are down in both property and sales taxes," Lancaster City Manager Ricky Childers said. He said his city may reduce some operations to four days a week.

Re: Peak Scam (linked uptop)

It's kind of funny. It appears that one thing that many people on the left and many people on the right agree on is that Peak Oil is a scam.

I posted a comment on that blog that is awaiting "moderation". Interested to see if he'll let it through or not.

I posted a comment, also awaiting moderation, after yours, neither of which is up yet.

"An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head."--Eric Hoffer

Perhaps the greatest challenge presented by Peak Oil will not be finding practical solutions to the ensuing energy shortages, but the breakdown in the social and political fabric. (Kuntsler talks about this danger in his video posted today here on The Oil Drum.)

Concerned about the rise of totalitarian governments, especially those of Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, Eric Hoffer tried to find the roots of these "madhouses" in human psychology.

With the coming of Peak Oil there will certainly emerge many demagogues who pander to the public's propensity for wishful thinking. These people are incredibly dangerous.

It still boggles the mind how a country as well educated and technologically advanced as Germany could have succumed to the ravings of a madman.

DownSouth-- do you live in the USA? Just look around you for an explanation, or at least confirmation that "a country as well educated and technologically advanced as Germany could have succumed to the ravings of a madman."

We are not as well educated as the Germans were. And our advanced technology is run by foreigners or super-specialist nerds who obey only money and will believe anything to get more. That's why the day after America's Reichstag fire, our fuehrer called not for personal sacrifice, but continued shopping.

So Germany's problem was that they were too willing to obey an official-looking hierarchy, and our problem is that we're too willing to be whores.

Now an all-whore Fourth Reich offers some entertainment value.

Perhaps I should make it clear from the start that I am NOT an admirer of Adolf Hitler or his politics. But at the start Adolf Hitler wasn't presented as a raving madman at all. This attitude, that he was truly dangerous and a threat was confined to a small number of people on the left of German politics. For many on the right he was seen as something close to a saviour. He was also probably the first truly modern politician.

He was a wartime hero, a straight talkin' kind of guy, a rough-diamond, a bit of a maverick who could talk to ordinary people in style they understood. He was no fancy intellectual. He wasn't afraid to get his hands dirty. He'd seen action and he'd dragged himself up, and in way his life-story seemed to symbolize or personify the history of contemporary Germany. He was a kind of icon.

He had a distinctive way of speaking that apparently appealed to people and made him sound down to earth and honest. He was, after all, an Austrian, and Austrian German sounds kind of 'folksy' compared to high German, well at least I think it does.

Compared to most politicians in Germany Hitler seemed to have a vision, to actually believe in something passionately, a new and better world, a world where everyone pulled together for the common good. It was left or right, rich or poor. It was Germany, a 'volk' united, prosperous and free. He was a breath of fresh air, a new start, the promise of a new beginning, hope one could believe in.

Before television politicians gave long speeches. Hitler gave long speeches. He was good at it. He touched people and moved them. Normally we only hear tiny portions of his speeches, the climaxes, when he's in full flow and reaching the summit of his climb up the rhetorical mountain. The long journey up and onwards is an unknown territory for most non-specialists in German history. Hitler's long speeches are impressive political theatre. Communication is a complex mix of many different types of signals. It isn't just about words and what they mean, but how they sound and how they are used, the gestures one uses, the impression one gives, how one 'plays' the hall like an actor or musician, the ebb and flow of the crowd. Hitler mastered the art of communication in his prime. This made him terribly dangerous as his politics were so extreme, only at the time this was a minority view. The Reds were seen as a bigger threat to society than Hitler.

What's really frightening about what happened in Germany is that it could happen again somewhere else, given similar circumstances. The German experience was extreme, but it would be fatal to imagine it was unique and unrepeatable. Hitler was the leader of a political cult. He was surrounded by a small group of ruthless, highly motivated, determined men, with a secret programme for change, men who wanted to save Germany and restore its greatness. The totalitarian mindset was and is not confined to Germans. There are echoes of totalitarianism and the search for a leader of distinction in our own, troubled societies. The phrase, cometh the time, cometh the man, springs to mind.

Writerman - well said about Hitler's talents, even though peculiarly he was a far from appealing or impressive person in one-to-one situations (he tended too much to intolerant monologue diatribes).

The thing was that the rest of the Nazi gang desperately needed him for his marketing genius. And so he could not be dismissed as the lone ranting nutter he otherwise would have been.

But there's also the myth put about by the politically-correct stilted history propaganda, that Naziism somehow just started in the 1920s, apparently by the personal initiative of nasty Mr Hitler. In reality Hitler's success was because he plugged into the anger of the age. WW1 was caused by the population pressure of the Slavic world against the German lands, and a century of the rich people's embrace of multiculturism profiteering therein. (Just like today.) WW1 was primarily about a dream of driving back the Slavs to make "Lebensraum", and sparked by a Slav assassinating that Archduke in Sarajevo.

When WW1 ended in humiliation for the Germans, massively aggravated by Churchill's stupid reparations policies (opposed by Keynes), the ground was set for the racist hatred which Hitler as an unqualified homeless vagrant could fully connect into. The Jews were a convenient first scapegoat because they were easy to envy and located right there to be attacked. But they weren't what Naziism was primarily inspired by.

There are many differences between USA in 2008 and Germany 1928. For one thing, USA is just now losing the wars, and is not yet destitute.

Still, it is pretty obvious that masses of people will swarm behind the likes of Huey Long, for example-- to get away from present personalities. Who knows where he might have gone with somewhat different circumstances?

All it seems to take is a destitute population and a charismatic leader who gives them hope for a better future. If they can be convinced there is no hope, they will never rise -- the Russian serfs submitted for many generations before a revolution finally was kindled out of WWI.

I believe that Americans will sink into a wallow of useless and helpless self-pity for a long time before any demagogue will have the power to move them. We are going to look more like Albania than Germany.

I don't think it would take much to motivate Americans to support tyranny. You could probably get 40% of the population to support you tomorrow if you promised them that nuking Tehran would deliver $1.50/gallon gas. Imagine where they'll be in 10 years.

More than that would vote for Bush if he ran again, and he's already killed hundreds of thousands of people for little or no gain and has tried pretty hard to turn the US into a police state.

The Nazis never got more than I think about 42% of the vote, and that was with brown-shirts terrorizing the populace at voting time.

Churchill's reparations policy?
Please advise on his position in the British Government in 1919, and how he influenced matters as opposed to how the French influenced the setting of reparations.

For a very interesting view of WWI reparation talks, read "The Economic Consequences of the Peace" by Keynes. It contains a very nerd-friendly view of German coal production capability with TOD-like numbers for why the reparations were stupid.

I have just now looked at the Wiki article, however, and may someday read "The Carthaginian Peace: or the Economic Consequences of Mr. Keynes", by Mantoux, which is a refutation.

I would compare America today more along the lines of
of Russia pre Bolsheviks (1917)
The same ilk of people in power and the use of
subtrafuge then who seized power,also have done the
same today in the USA.
Of course my mere mention of the 800 lb gorrilla at
the table makes me an automatic lunatic.
Quick..someone call the Mossad and alert them.

Not at all, I believe. All Americans are either "rich" (by any historical standard) or "pre-rich", meaning they believe if they work hard and do the right thing, they will become rich. Of course, there are some who could be said to be in the position of the serfs in pre-Bolshevik Russia, and there are large numbers of "invisible" people -- the mentally ill, the destitute aged, the poor blacks (and some whites) in inner cities -- but they are invisible to the New York Times, and therefore, of no consequence (to the ruling class, anyway).

Pre-Bolshevik, I don't believe the serfs and the working classes in the city had any such idea as hop for any better future. They were the downtrodden, and they accepted it as the will of God -- until everything blew up in the first world war.

This will all change when Americans become the Formerly Well Off, and whine about their reduced condition.

Yes, and this article was particularly amazing in the misunderstandings/ misinterpretations of what Peak Oil is.

WT - "one thing many people on the right and the left agree on is that Peak Oil is a scam."

Too True! I listened to the audio presentation from PRI posted by Leanan this morning and heard Brian Urstadt giving a Peak Oil story to be published in Harper's. He makes a comparison of Peak Oilers to groups that believe in "The Rapture". I found it offensive but I realized listening to him that his derisive attitude was based on the snarky notion that "people are very clever and we'll figure it out". (Cornocopian to readers of TOD) A lot of my friends and family think my views are "extreme" and out of the mainstream. Once you are branded with this "stigma" everything you present subsequent is suspect. Who listens to a nut?

IMO Peak Oil is commonsense. Who can realistically assert the earth is infinite in it's resourses? An economist perhaps...

And of course the statements by ExxonMobil, et al, that we don't have to worry--worst case--about Peak OIl for decades have provided fodder for the conspiracy theorists.

My family nicked named me the Doom Master on a recent visit :)

I did get a chance to talk with some family friend who are in their 80's and lived through the depression. They pretty much confirmed most of my arguments and these are smart wealthy people that have dealt with money from the time of the great depression forward.

They flat out told me they where happy that they where in their 80's and probably won't live through what we are going to live through.

Some of my friends call me the "doomster". I've since learned to keep my mouth shut. Let the lemmings run. Not my problem.

That article seemed an example of a tremendously smart and educated person still caught in the Denial phase with regards to peak oil and spinning out refined and fanciful theories why it could not possibly be true...been hearing a lot of these from friends lately...

It appears that one thing that many people on the left and many people on the right agree on is that Peak Oil is a scam.

Yup. This is a good example of how the U.S. media marginalizes relevant discussion about important issues.

The Left (in this case, the democratic party) takes one position on an issue, the Right another, both incorrect. The Kudlow's, O'Reilly's, and NPR's then showcase rigorous debates featuring speakers from both sides. Since both sides are mostly arguing garbage, each can legitimately trash the other.

But it makes for a fantastic spectacle. The debaters rant and rave, shout at each other, and so on, evoking emotion in their audience.

Most people, at least those unfamiliar with the facts about the issue at hand, will passionately latch on to one side or the other. This method is much more effective at minimizing critical thinking and public dissent than is totalitarian censorship.

An example is the Iraq War. The Democrats say that although it was a noble invasion, the Right is running it poorly, spending too much money, etc. Republicans say that the Left is standing in the way of success. What's never mentioned is that the invasion/occupation are fundamentally wrong, illegal, and based on outrageous lies.

A good book on all this is Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent.

Ya...this highlights the major problem living in a country with only a two party system. If your thinking does not coincide with either party, you are marginalized from having much effect on the direction of federal government. Perhaps this is why voter turnout has declined in modern times?

I think so. For many Americans, it's difficult to relate to the positions of either party. There's a general sense of disillusionment with the whole political system. People feel as if they don't have any ability to impact policy, particularly on meaningful economic issues that impact their daily lives. For these people, it's much easier to simply 'drop out' - to not vote, to not participate, to altogether neglect the and important national issues.

This is probably why spectator sports, church, and 'Sex in the City' are so wildly popular. They provide feelings of involvement, meaning, entertainment, something to discuss with peers, etc.

Agreed...it's also why Ron Paul had a pretty strong backing. He connected with a BUNCH of folks. I liked some of his ideas, but not the whole package. There have been some strong Independents in past years that have gotten support by people but not corporations and lobby groups.

And where Hitler got most of his backing - from disillusioned Germans.

Political discussion in the U.S. is currently a circus, and revolves around 'cultural issues' such as same-sex marriage. But with the onset of extreme economic hardship and general disarray, that will change. We'll likely see a magnified 'Ron Paul effect', led by the ambitious politician who connects to the masses by openly discussing relevant economic issues and who promises a cure.

But by that time there will be no cure. Resource depletion and climate change will be in terminal stages. Such extreme social/economic conditions are ripe for the fanatical, extremist leader. Just as Weimar German was ripe for Hitler.

For those of us who see this coming, it will be very painful and frustrating to watch all this unfold.

the "parties" see everything through the lens of keeping or gaining power. They are cutthroat and diligent but mainly battle each other, oblivious of any impending iceburgs

I think the two party system is inherent in our way of representation. More than two parties is unstable. Occasionally America has had three parties, but this doesn't lst for long. Our elections are essentially winner take all, because of that it is better for a voter to support the party which supports his views by 51%-49%, rather than to form/join a third party which he might agree with 80% of the time, but which will never have any power. The parlimentary system allows there to be several parties, and even minor ones, by their ability to form/break a ruling coalition can have a significant impact on governance. It is our curse for being the first modern democracy. We didn't have the experience of others to draw on. And once formed tampering with the system becomes sacrosanct.

Unfortunately two parties tend to drive out independent thinkers, who by nature are unlikely to support all of a given parties agenda.

It is the first past the post voting system which is responsible for the 2 party system.
In countries with proportional representation in the lower house,not just the upper house or senate,smaller parties can get representatives elected.Sometimes they get the balance of power.
This can sometimes mean instability.But look where stability in the 2 party system has got us.
Getting an existing government to change to proportional representation is difficult as it is not in the interests of the 2 major parties.
New Zealand is the only country that I can think of which has done this recently.Not for the first time the Kiwis lead the way.

It appears that one thing that many people on the left and many people on the right agree on is that Peak Oil is a scam

Having been stolen by Gypsies and raised by wolves,
I believe I know a scam when I see one.
Okay the wolves part is a fabrication,but the Gypsy
part is true.
$9 trillion in American debt
Worst trade deficit in American history.
Worst budget deficit in American history.
Weakest dollar in American history.
More home forclosures per capita since great depression.
Neg per capita savings not seen since 1933.
Worst 8 year market performance since great depression.
1 in 6 Americans without healthcare insurance.
Highest bankruptcy rate in American history.
And someone thinks oil is infinite so Iam a kook.
It isnt like Americans need another worry with all
they have on their plate now.
Americans are scared its all true about P.O.
Dont mistake that thousand yard stare as anything but
shell shock.

Seems like Peak Oil theory is where climate science was about ten (or twenty!) years ago. I read the first IPCC report in 1991, and it's taken something like 15 years for the results of climate science to gain widespread public acceptance. For years, I'd bring up the threat of climate change to anyone who would listen, and it was always marching into a strong headwind. Now the winds have changed, and it's an odd sensation to have them at my back.

However you must understand how I feel now. I fight a headwind even when I produce scientific journal documents that say what I am people skoff at me. So I fight a headwind just like you did. I do not believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming however I do believe in Global Warming, Global Cooling and Urban Heat Island that causes skewed results.

There is plenty of data out there that blows IPCC out of the water. I have no idea why people take 1!!! Place as gold standard.. Its like taking the gold standard of the Church back when the earth was the center of the solar system. You were labeled a Heretic for having a differing voice. I have yet to have ANY person give me concrete evidence we are responsible.

I want real proof that we are responsible not some stupid model.. I want real proof that shows WHY in the ice core data CO2 lags Temperature not the other way around. As the Temperatures go up CO2 went up after not the other way around. There was about a 800 year lag! Dreaded lag indeed. I want real proof that shows why Sunspots seem to drop off when there is dramatic lower temperatures and global cooling or little ice ages. I want to know why it just "happens" to happen then if the sun is not responsible. I want to know a multitude of things however I can never get reasonable answers.

What usually makes me irate about all this is that its always the same talking points from Hansen, Gore, IPCC etc.. There is never any independent research done by rabid followers who actually read the journals. In reality all that is spewed by the no longer "Global Warming" crowd but the "Climate Change" crowd so they can say SEE SEE!!! ITS CLIMATE CHANGE!!! we are responsible no matter what happens. Its all work to dupe the retarded into paying tax for energy and a giant scheme for making money. Do some simple research on how much money can be made from Carbon Credits and be horrified by it.

Of course I get negative ratings. No replies just negative ratings. What fun I love this new system btw Leanan honestly it allows me to see people for who they really are that they read what I wrote and do not have a spine to answer.

Hello Slicer -- no, you are getting no replies because the vast majority of people reading this site have already read a lot about climate change and made up their own minds based on the preponderance of evidence that it is anthropogenic in nature. You would need to come up with some pretty amazing new evidence to change people's minds.

I would agree. It's not that they don't have the spine to answer. It's that they're too bored. Heck, for something like this, I'd rather people just hit the rating button than drag out the same old arguments again and again and again. Improves the signal to noise ratio immensely.

It seems strange that you should advocate using the buttons for a totally different purpose to that which they were presented and on which they were voted.
They are ostensibly for noting when a poster is outside of site rules, such as repeatedly calling others idiots, which has apparently gone unremarked and uncensured by moderators.

Personally I am not interested in the GW debate, and am happy to pass over the posts on it.

However, it is perhaps rather dangerous to have someone who is moderating on two different peak oil forums as well as posting numerous comments, ie presenting particular opinions, and determining the information flow into the forum by being the sole draftee of the linked posts, to now be promoting such a strongly normative re-interpretation of the 'ratings' button.

The argument that moderation is now impossible without it is also entirely specious, as far bigger sites than this manage without.
It is perhaps more difficult to control and direct the exchange of information with more postings and a bigger throughput, but if moderation is instead to ensure reasonable compliance with site rules rather than a wish to direct then the problem is fairly trivial.

Your response is why I suggested deleting the down arrow. He stated a view that most disagree with, including me, but he was civil about it and not unduly long about it.

So I repeat - Drop the down arrow. drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow. drop the down arrow. Drop the down arrow....

He was not civil. Posting anti-AGW anything is uncivil. It is, in fact, deadly. This is not child's play and there is not a single - not one, and I mean this literally - anti-AGW "believer" anywhere that can post anything even remotely resembling coherent arguments, let alone valid ones. They have no science to back up their arguments. They recycle the same tired lies over and over, as this poster has further down the thread.

Thus, they know they are full of crap and/or are not able to understand what they read and/or are brainwashed. All are dangerous.

If there was the slightest credibility to the anti- argument, I would fight tooth and nail for anyone to post in that vein. I am a huge believer in the Constitution, but as the Constitution doesn't allow for yelling "fire" in a theater, it also does not allow for NOT doing so when there is. It's called, at minimum, manslaughter. Manslaughter is not polite no matter how you twist it.

We are WAY past the point where we can entertain these kind folk. Their actions are negligent (fill in the blank) at best, and crimes against humanity at worst.

However, Leanan's point is taken and I shall attempt to respond less, or not at all to such tripe.

As for DM, your presentation of the ratings system is incorrect.



It's worth the time to take a look at the graphs on this page. The adjustments made to the dataset are magnitudes greater than what is considered the observed warming.


Quality Control, Homogeneity Testing, and Adjustment Procedures

The data for each station in the USHCN are subjected to the following quality control and homogeneity testing and adjustment procedures.

1. A quality control procedure is performed that uses trimmed means and standard deviations in comparison with surrounding stations to identify suspects (> 3.5 standard deviations away from the mean) and outliers (> 5.0 standard deviations). Until recently these suspects and outliers were hand-verified with the original records. However, with the development at the NCDC of more sophisticated QC procedures this has been found to be unnecessary.

2. Next, the temperature data are adjusted for the time-of-observation bias (Karl, et al. 1986) which occurs when observing times are changed from midnight to some time earlier in the day. The TOB is the first of several adjustments. The ending time of the 24 hour climatological day varies from station to station and/or over a period of years at a given station. The TOB introduces a non climatic bias into the monthly means. The TOB software is an empirical model used to estimate the time of observation biases associated with different observation schedules and the routine computes the TOB with respect to daily readings taken at midnight. Details on the procedure are given in, "A Model to Estimate the Time of Observation Bias Associated with Monthly Mean Maximum, Minimum, and Mean Temperatures." by Karl, Williams, et al.1986, Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 15: 145-160.

3. Temperature data at stations that have the Maximum/Minimum Temperature System (MMTS) are adjusted for the bias introduced when the liquid-in-glass thermometers were replaced with the MMTS (Quayle, et al. 1991). The TOB debiased data are input into the MMTS program and is the second adjustment. The MMTS program debiases the data obtained from stations with MMTS sensors. The NWS has replaced a majority of the liquid-in-glass thermometers in wooden Cotton-Region shelters with thermistor based maximum-minimum temperature systems (MMTS) housed in smaller plastic shelters. This adjustment removes the MMTS bias for stations so equipped with this type of sensor. The adjustment factors are most appropriate for use when time series of states or larger areas are required. Specific details on the procedures used are given in, "Effects of Recent Thermometer Changes in the Cooperative Network" by Quayle, Easterling, et al. 1991, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 72:1718-1724.

4. The homogeneity adjustment scheme described in Karl and Williams (1987) is performed using the station history metadata file to account for time series discontinuities due to random station moves and other station changes. The debiased data from the second adjustment are then entered into the Station History Adjustment Program or SHAP. The SHAP allows a climatological time series of temperature and precipitation adjustment for station inhomogeneities using station history information and is the third adjustment. The adjusted data retains its original scale and is not an anomaly series. The methodology uses the concepts of relative homogeneity and standard parametric (temperature) and non parametric (precipitation) statistics to adjust the data. In addition, this technique provides an estimate of the confidence interval associated with each adjustment. The SHAP program debiases the data with respect to changes other than the MMTS conversion to produced the "adjusted data". Specific details on the procedures used are given in, "An Approach to Adjusting Climatological Time Series for Discontinuous Inhomogeneities" by Karl, and Williams, Jr. 1987, Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology 26:1744-1763.

5. Estimates for missing data are provided using a procedure similar to that used in the homogeneity adjustment scheme in step three. This fourth adjustment uses the debiased data from the third adjustment (SHAP) and fills in missing original data when needed (i.e. calculates estimated data) based on a "network" of the best correlated nearby stations. The FILNET program also completed the data adjustment process for stations that moved too often for the SHAP program to estimate the adjustments needed to debias the data.

Each of the above adjustments is done is a sequential manner. The areal edits are preformed first and then the data are passed through the following programs (TOBS, MMTS, SHAP and FILNET). At the end of each program, a dataset is produced and the graphs below show the annual temperature departures for each of the adjusted values.

6. The final adjustment is for an urban warming bias which uses the regression approach outlined in Karl, et al. (1988). The result of this adjustment is the "final" version of the data. Details on the urban warming adjustment are available in "Urbanization: Its Detection and Effect in the United States Climate Record" by Karl. T.R., et al., 1988, Journal of Climate 1:1099-1123.

Currently all data adjustments in the USHCN are based on the use of metadata. However station histories are often incomplete or changes that can cause a time series discontinuity, such as replacing a broken thermometer with one that is calibrated differently, are not routinely entered into station history files. Because of this we are developing another step in the processing that will apply a time series discontinuity adjustment scheme described in Peterson and Easterling (1994) and Easterling and Peterson (1995). This methodology does not use station histories and identifies discontinuities in a station's time series using a homogeneous reference series developed from surrounding stations.

I want real proof that shows WHY in the ice core data CO2 lags Temperature not the other way around. As the Temperatures go up CO2 went up after not the other way around.


What I really want to know is why the last 10,000 years have been so damn stable: http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/temp/vostok/graphics/tempplot5.gif

There is plenty of data out there that blows IPCC out of the water.

Either post your links or shut the hell up. Right here, right now, post them all. I'll blow every single one of the less than a handful you can even find that are legitimate science and/or have not already been proven to be bullshit or just wrong.

Do it, or shut the hell up. That should be the policy for any climate denialist: produce or perish.


Nobody will listen its quite evident. Look at my negative ratings it shows it already. But for your reading pleasure enjoy. BTW linked cause I do not feel like rewriting it all.


There is one of my many threads there. You can search my name there and come up with all kinds of other information. I have also posted information here as well so its not like its new :)

However I do not expect to be greeted with any kindness. The second link is where I get called everything under the sun.. I have dealt with worse than "shut the hell up" so yeah.

I hope you have access to a University to get the journals and read them before you respond :)

Ohh and I think you will notice by my posts there I am not against stopping what we are doing. I just think we are going about it wrong. I think the entire motive is wrong and if we focused on real problems instead of smoke in mirrors if there was "Climate Change" caused by humans it would be taken care of by simple real acts that devastate our families lives today.

I assume your link was to get me to Christy's work? Figures. The supposed problems with the satellite data? Already adjusted for. His work was wrong.

Gee, what a surprise.

I told you, not one. And next time you want to spread your lies and bullshit, provide links TO THE RESEARCH, not a radio show. AND, not from 2004.


No please don't. I can't stand any more of this anti AGW BS on this site.


I'd be happy to see all discusion of AGW disappear from this site. Every thread seems to be an opportunity to obsess about CO2, no matter what the original topic was.

So you bring up EVs and nuclear power as a replacement for oil - then someone brings in that furphy about nuclear waste, then someone mentions CO2 reduction as a counter argument, then ouila, we've become a climate change discussion web site.

Even worse when you mention CTL. People jump in instantly and denounce it as the work of Satan, so it is impossible to have any rational discussion.

Every path that we take to soften the blow of peak oil will have drawbacks. Pollution/AGW might be one of them, depending on which path we choose, therefore I think it is fair game, and actually important to discuss.

Forget the so-called rating system; it's a pretty unintelligent addition to this site...I agree with your rant about climate change. Climate change is real and has existed for billions of years. Warming and cooling have occurred multiple times. We do not currently have any definitive understanding of the causality. It doesn't really matter, however, what the causes of either cooling or warming happen to be; if either occurs, there will be consequences--and we need to respond appropriately. I think the current orthodoxy to the effect that some 30 years ago the climate was the ideal and we should somehow return to that period by cutting CO2 emissions is simply crazy and based on pseudo-science. Let's adapt as best we can; reversion is a pseudo solution.

I am more concerned about Global Cooling than I ever would be about warming also..

Fact: Medieval Warming Period, Wine was made in UK, Followed by Little Ice Age thus ending UK wine production.
Fact: UK producing wine again.

Fact: Vikings lived in Greenland and were able to do agriculture.
Fact: They were driven out by cold.

There is violent changes in climate and if anything.. Our more modern world is incapable of handling violence.. Prepare for it either way and just move on.. Deal with real problems like umm.. Poisoning the planet? Like Aquifers being damaged by chemicals, Salinity in fields, Damage to forests, Cancer rates, everything else that is fubar... We should deal with those now. If we deal with those problems instead of chasing a problem that would happen for our "great grandchildren" then maybe just maybe we would get something done. Talk about how people are dying from Cancer bring that one up.. Or kids who have Asthma trust me thats awful... My brother had it growing up its very frightening without even having it just seeing someone with it.

Get some real impacts of our heavy carbon society be it causing this crap or not.. We cannot control cyclical weather trends.. or even climate trends.. when you start to read Dr. Richard Alley's ice core studies things get all the sudden very profound and scary.. And it shows how we are not prepared much like the vikings.

If you discount the supposed positive feedback from water vapour (dubious, given our knowledge of climate variations over the last 100 million years) then the IPCC models show a 1 degree rise in temperature over the next century due to the burning of the remaining trillion tonnes of coal.
There's an additional 1 degree rise from deforestation.

In other words, cutting down trees is as much a problem as burning fossil fuels. Why do trees get cut down? Overpopulation, mainly.

That's what I worry about.

I expect there is some human contribution to warming. I expect a large part of it is natural. Either way I'm not too worried about global temperatures going up 1 degree in my lifetime, which is what I think is plausible. Human beings can adapt to that.
Overpopulation and the energy transition are much bigger challanges.

As for species extinction - stop chopping down the damn forests. We've wiped out untold species over the last 100 years using axes and bulldozers. Your average ecosystem can handle a warmer winter better than it can handle being razed to the ground.

"We cannot control cyclical weather trends.. or even climate trends"

Control climate? No, not yet and maybe never, but we can change it by our actions.

So far your links have led me to: debunked work from 2004 from a known denialist, and one who has been connected to the Exxon BS engine; to a non-climate "scientist" who is connected to the Heartland Institute and was part of that bogus "climate conference" where he presented bullshit on solar cycles; and work from 1998.

You keep posting, but post illogical, unscientific opinion based on irrelevant, de-contextualized information.


You have failed the challenge.


We do not currently have any definitive understanding of the causality.

That is a false assertion. I'm sure you can do better than that. Given that humankind flourished only during the current warm period and none before - despite being essentially what we are now for at least the last 100k years - I'd say there's a fair chance the unprecedented length and stability of the current warm period had a little something to do with it.

I've explained this before, but perhaps that was vefore you began reading TOD. I'll only cover the part about the CO2 lagging in the paeoclimate record here:
That was predicted, by none other than James Hansen -before the ice cores were made. Essentially geologic climate change is driven by three major factors:

(1) Changes in insolation as a function of lattitude and seasons. These are driven by slow -and easily predicable changes in the orbit of the earth.

(2) Changes in the albedo (ability to reflect sunlight) of the earth. These are caused mainly by the changing temperature of the planet.

(3) Changes in the concentrations of the primary greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Before the industrial age, these are primarily driven by changes in the climate system (ocean temperature, and amount of ice), but can also be affected by volcanism, ans weathering.

Numerically (2) and (3) are of similar importance, and (1) is much smaller in size. However in geologic time, it is mainly (1) which determines the timing of ice ages. Once (1) kicks in, lets say for a warming phase, then over several hundreds of years the modest temperature change modifies causes (2) and (3), which, with considerable delay raise the temperature still more, leading to yet more (2) and (3). These are refered to as positive feedbacks, and they lag the changes initiated by (1).

No in the present era, humans are changing factor (3) very rapidly. So rather than calling (3) a feedback, it makes more sense to consider it to be the driving force of modern climate change. (3) of course will also affect factors (2) and (3), but these are slow feedbacks, that we won't see for hundreds of years.

The key insight, is that for different timescales, which factors control the system are different. The observations largely confirm the predictions of the models used, not refute them. But there are many players who want to confuse the issue. You probably heard their incomplete arguments, and thought they seemed reasonable. In the real world systems, with feedbacks ocurring among multiple terms, simple intuition often fails. You need to resort to mathematical models in order to gain understanding, and not be led astray by simplistic arguments.


Why they don't get: 600,000 years with never going above about 300 ppm. Now, 387 ppm.



Being an ethanol supporter and seeing many, many posts referring to ethanol as a scam or worse, I'm use to having something I support called a scam. No big deal.

Make my day, call Peak Oil a scam all you want. I will still support it because Peak Oil is true. Name calling is child's play and reflects more on the person doing it than anything else.

X, ethanol is a scam when its based on natural gas and massive government support.
I do however support cane ethanol (Brazil) and a certain level of ethanol from corn and wheat and the development of systems that turn the corn into ethanol with a decent EROI (and preferrably without natural gas imputs).
Does anyone know if gasses such as methane from piggeries or waste treatment plants can substituite for natural gas?

"Does anyone know if gasses such as methane from piggeries or waste treatment plants can substituite for natural gas?"

While it can be substituted on a small scale, the output of these "methane digesters" is generally high in nitrogen and CO2, and as a result, is a low BTU gas so substandard it cannot be mixed with pipeline gas. In fact, the most efficient production is from anaerobic (or however you spell it) digesters operated at high temperature. There are Rube Goldberg methods of removing some of the CO2, but not the nitrogen. In fact, the most common method for removing CO2 is to use iron shavings, like from a machine shop. Using CO2 in a EOR project results, in a fairly short time, in corrosion, casing leaks and the expenditure of massive amounts of money.

Methane digesters were in use in rural India, and probably other places, in the 1970's.

US energy giant Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) has begun running 50,000 homes on cow power.

This week, the company began collecting methane from the manure of 5,000 cattle at Fresno County-based Vintage Farms as part of a deal with Californian firm BioEnergy Solutions. The deal gives PCG&E 3bn cubic feet of methane per year under a long-term contract approved by the California Public Utilities Commission last May.

Is ethanol-from-corn saying to the Saudis, "We can burn our food, can you eat your oil?"

Trying to reach HAFLINGER, regarding a modified Chest Freezer that was talked about in the July 26 drumbeat. I left this note there, but don't expect it to be seen.


I'd love to see what you did for your controller. The article mentioned using a basic DC Thermostat, but I don't see any that go down to freezing temps.

My email is at my profile (click on Jokuhl), if you would be willing to share your circuit design or concept with me. (or links)

Many Thanks,
Bob Fiske

(Sounds like Earldaily would be interested, too.)


Did you not download the .pdf? Why would it need to go to zero when the design is converting a freezer to a refrigerator? (I'm probably missing something here. It is past 1 AM here...) If you are already aware of all this, perhaps you have not seen the continued comments about simply rearranging your compressor to avoid ANY conversion and laying your fridge on its back?


Hey, CCPO; (Probably sleeping now..)

I'll look at the article again. In fact, I had just assumed it was the same article I'd looked at months ago, and didn't even go to it the other day.. The searches I did for T-stats were limited to 'Room Temp' ranges. I'd need to be at Near-freezing temps, around 36-40f.. I just described it in shorthand. Hoping to find cheaper consumer Temp.Switches, not some pricey industrial unit.

I'm not sure about tipping the fridge on its back.. in any case I see people giving away older Chest Freezers on Craig's and our 'UncleHenry's' lists all the time. That way, I don't have to kludge the feet and shelving for it, etc..


Would this work?


Take the guesswork out of the aging process! Easily installed on the outside of your cheese refrigerator, this handy thermostat will give you an accurate reading of the aging temperature without having to open the door. A sturdy, compact thermostat with a visible scale and an adjustable set point knob, with a temperature range of 30-80 F. This thermostat is simple to use: first plug the refrigerator cord into the thermostat and plug that into your outlet. Second. place the probe in the refrigerator and set the refridgerator at the lowest temperature. Then set your desired temperature on the thermostat.

Price: $75.00

It's pricier than I had in mind, but looks like quality.

I'll keep a link. Thanks!

I'm not sure if my design would be good to duplicate. I used some components like a packaged power supply, meter, and solid-state relay that I had sitting around from surplus equipment. Then I threw a bunch of op-amps at it... it was kind of a quick, overkill design. Also, it seems to be drifting higher over time (so I have to turn it down to keep the same temp), though I'm fairly sure it's caused by the LM34 temp sensor or its wiring.

The chest freezer conversions are actually quite popular for beer coolers... so you can find very simple pure-mechanical controllers on Ebay or at home-brew places. I think if I had to do it over I'd just do that.


I'll try to look up the home-brew (that's beer brewing, not electronics, right?) solution.


Yep, the beer brewing/winemaking places. Also cheese-making, or do-it-yourself "kegerators". They basically all sell the same $70 or so mechanical unit. Any sort of refrigerator thermostat with a remote bulb would work. It's probably overkill to make an electronic one.

I've done it using a "Danfoss Refrigerator Thermostat 25T65", a solid-state (no relay) unit which I got on ebay for about $25. No other parts needed, other than some wires and connectors. Converted a standard Kenmore 9 cu ft chest freezer - it now runs as a refrigerator. Uses 0.18 KWH per day when placed in a 55-deg basement.

How many KWH /day does an average kitchen Fridge/Freezer use?
How many KWH /day would your chest freezer use if running as a freezer?


Just to add another fridge to your 'basis'.. and assuming I checked it right, our oldish fridge was on a Kill-a-Watt meter for 30 days this spring, and seemed to show an average of 1.8 kwh/day .. sounds like I could do better. It drew about 250w while running.

While .30/day isn't insane money (US$), if I can improve it, I'd like to. I'd also like a system that I can keep my food in that's safer from outages and could run on my small solar supply, even if only to a limited degree. (~350 watts PV)


We're on the same wavelength, Bob. I've got 360 peak watts PV and trying to set up for reasonable handling of intermittent grid power in the future. I hope to be able to run both a chest freezer and another one used as a refrigerator off the PV/battery/inverter system. At least for a few days (starting with full batteries - I have about 5KWH nominal battery capacity).

I am using a brand new "energy star" freezer officially rated about 0.8 KWH per day. They are not expensive (yet) so seems a better bet than an old and inefficient freezer. As a frig it is using about 1/5 as much, which makes sense as the temperature difference in my use between the inside (34-38 F) and outside (56 F when I measured it) is 1/4 as much as its design point (-5 inside, 75 outside).

Just had my fridge on a meter for the past week.

WIth two people living in the house plus some friends from out of town for three of the seven days, the four year-old Whirlpool used just under 1kWh per day.

Russians offer Jagr $35M deal
Posted: Friday June 27, 2008 05:04AM ET

There are apparently 35 million reasons why impending free agent Jaromir Jagr has not responded to Glen Sather's invitation to meet with him regarding a 2008-09 return to Broadway. A reliable third party source yesterday told The Post that his connections in the Czech Republic believe that Jagr has recently received a three-year contract offer for the equivalent of $35M after-tax US dollars from Omsk of the Russian Super League. The captain is believed to have received the formal offer this week from Omsk GM Anatoly Bardin after months of conversations. Jagr, who will become an unrestricted free agent on Tuesday, has said that his first choice is to sign a new deal with the Rangers. But Sather yesterday told The Post that he has not heard from No. 68 despite repeatedly telling Jagr's North American agent Pat Brisson, that he wants Jagr to return

--Hopefully there are no shieks who are rabid Red Sox fans (there are plenty in upper Manhattan here)

Good catch.

When Russian pro hockey teams have this much revenue to offer, something big is changing. Because the US was never big in soccer, we haven't paid attention to the sports economics of other lands as a sign of shifts in economic power. The Japanese baseball leagues are handicapped by a stagnant population base and the long recession.

Where Americans will start to scream is when we start losing our basketball superstars to Europe. It doesn't take much energy to move a basketball team around by rail. Urban dwellers will demand live entertainment even in bad times. Expect a Rollerball-like league owned by the biggest profiteers off the era of shortages, looking to improve their public image.

In the US, it will be rougher. Corporate ownership is forbidden by the NFL. Leagues are expected to be coast-to-coast, with long trips. Pay-per-view will be embraced, but it's long-term suicide; you restrict viewership to the wealthy adults, and your future fan base of poor kids will find some other form of entertainment.

Envisioning a world of $200-a-barrel oil

As forecasters take that possibility more seriously, they describe fundamental shifts in the way we work, where we live and how we spend our free time.

An image speaks a thousand words. Here at TOD we are obsessed with graphs, yet we forget that most people consider them boring or simply switch off when they see one. What we need is something similar to globalwarmingart.com on Peak Oil.

Perhaps picturesofoil.com could include a section on art and comics as well...

Has anyone come across a picture that crystallizes the concept of peak oil? (that isn't a graph!)

GlobalWarmingArt doesn't actually have global warming art. It's more global warming charts and graphs. Not too different from what we have here, only better organized. ;-)

I agree that actual art would be cool. For awhile, we had So Long, Hydrocarbon Man, which posted peak oil art and poetry, but that site is gone now.

Much of the recent artwork at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston has out of balance themes to it - not labeled as climate warming as such - but the out of kilter aspect to many different artists was a little chilling. (rather than warming)

Have you considered a "Paltalk" venue which you have
total control over?
You open a room,have streaming audio and video and text.
You moderate it as you see fit.
200 person capacity and the ability to open multiple overflow room.
All instantanious and the price is.....grab your chair
I know...I know....that "free" part always sucks me in
Never mind,it was probably a lousy suggestion.

This is an excellent article on how $200 a barrel oil may affect the average person's daily living as well as local, national and world commerce. I was particularly struck by the comments in relation to global trade and the cost of transporting products via tankers from Asia to the US. It now costs nearly $4,000,000 to fill a 5000 container tanker. Amazing. That's up 87% from 2006.

The fee increases on the ferry would be nothing compared with the added cost of transoceanic shipping if oil goes to $200. Some experts say high energy costs are altering global trade and slowing the pace of globalization.

It takes about 7,000 tons of bunker-fuel to fill the tanks of a 5,000-container cargo ship for a trip from Shanghai to Los Angeles. Over the last year and half, the cost of that fuel has jumped 87% to $552 a ton, according to the World Shipping Council, boosting the cost of a fill-up to more than $3.8 million.

"To put things in perspective, today's extra shipping cost from East Asia is the equivalent of imposing a 9% tariff on East Asian goods entering North America," said Rubin of CIBC World Markets. "At $200 per barrel, the tariff equivalent rate will rise to 15%."

If oil continues to rise from current levels, officials at the Port of Los Angeles believe West Coast ports would gain business because they are 10 to 12 days' sailing time from Asia, versus the 18-to-20-day route from Asia to the East Coast through the Panama Canal.

But local ports could lose business if shipping costs get so out of hand that companies begin shifting production back to North America from Asia -- something that's happening in the steel industry, Rubin said.


Ahh I wish I had saved the old links when I first brought up bunker fuel on the TOD.

Vengeance is mine sayest the Master of Doom.

BTW this is important the fact that Bunker fuel prices are spiraling upwards shows that we are not just facing a export land problem but real oil production has dropped dramatically if it was just export land then low value refined products such as bunker fuel would be available from the producing countries.

Bunker fuel has been a problem for awhile now. There were actually shortages in Asia last year. I think because they use it for power plants, not just ships.

Yeah I reposted the comment on the new high price article.

Sooner or later the official production numbers will have to be changed to match reality.

Has anyone been tracking the price of asphalt? I would think that has shot up as well. How in the heck are cities going to maintain roads and such when the cost of maintenance goes up, but funds from property taxes are going down. This is a sleeper issue that is just now starting to show up in a lot of places. I know there's been one city gone bankrupt and a few others in danger. Perhaps besides the housing implode-o-meter, someone needs to set up the municipal implode-o-meter site. Sheesh...scary times.


How in the heck are cities going to maintain roads and such when the cost of maintenance goes up, but funds from property taxes are going down.

don't forget though that americans are driving literally billions of miles less than they did in 2007 and we're taking bulky SUVs, trucks and maybe even big rigs off the road.

That's exactly the problem.

Those billions of miles less means billions of dollars less from road/gas taxes.

Ive read recent articles where municipalities here
in the states have shelved road repair that was scheduled and paid for,because the price of asphalt doubled between times.

Generally aggregate is the biggest material cost of road construction.

Would you mind elaborating on that? This sounds like something we need a KeyPost on.

by all means get rid of the roads and parking lots (a lot of defunct ones now around bankrupt restaurants, bowling alleys and pachinko parlors) and use the land for food and forage for goats and cows.

Someone said burn the asphalt for heat or power..

Asphalt is not really a global market its very regional so you have to check prices for each region which is a real pain. Bunker fuel is more fungible and used in power plants ships and industrial processes and is shipped worldwide so its a better indicator and both behave about the same way from what I can tell.

I'd like both but Bunker fuel is a good one since its a byproduct of all refineries regardless of if the gasoline/diesel is being sold at a subsidy or used in a producing country.

Article Quote: "...boosting the cost of a fill-up to more than $3.8 million."

I would guess it now takes much more than $3.8 million for a wealthy Zimbabwean to just fill-up his SUV. Zim dollars, of course.

Makes one wonder if the same will happen here in the US, circa 2020.

GLT149, the increase in shipping costs causing steel production to head back to the states+ the extra freight costs of shanghai to east coast ports acting as a boost to the west coast ports are not just something that concerns the US alone. Here in Australia the iron ore miners (Rio already plus BHP next) have achieved an extra $7 boost to iron ore prices to China due to the shorter shipping time/cost compared to Vale (Brazil).
$7 may not sound like much but its worth billions/year to Australia.
Probably hundreds of other commodities in a similar boat with rising shipping costs.

similar boat ?


I like the pun.

Yesterday George Soros was interviewed by CBC


GS: I think that there is a bubble in oil prices, and it has two components. There is this foundation in reality, and the interpretation and the bias in the market. Recently, this bias has expressed itself in more of a rise. So there is a froth super-imposed on the fundamental trend. Oil is increasing ... but the recent rise I think has a larger fundamental speculation and really misconception in the way the institutions have piled in on one side of the market buying these commodity indexes.

Perhaps these are questions for Moe_G.

A. I am unclear on how off market OTC index trades affect oil prices. It appears possible to do one sided trades and to roll them over into new trades. Is this a mechanism for price speculation increase?

B. What is the volume of this trading vs NYMEX?

C. When future prices are in Contago how do refineries hedge their future purchases?


Soros is half right--there's a misconception that drives the price of oil away from its proper valuation. The problem is that the real bubble is an undervaluation of oil that results from a popular perception that it is more plentiful than it really is. When this bubble pops, it won't be the price of oil that drops, it will be the price of everything that requires cheap oil. What we're seeing now is the beginning of the deflation of the oil price anti-bubble.

Mark Folsom

Oil is definately a bubble. it's gone undeniably parabolic up more than 100% in about a year or so. the question is is it 1987 or the nasdaq circa march 2000...

Why do you think the rate of movement indicates a bubble? A shortage of any vital commodity would have the same effect on price.

Why do you think the rate of movement indicates a bubble? A shortage of any vital commodity would have the same effect on price.

Having thought tech was bubble in 2000 and housing a bubble in 2005 how could I not think oil is some kind of bubble in 2008? I have to be consistent. it's the highest real price it's ever been. it's a front page story in the news and CNBC puts the oil price at the bottom right of the screen 24/7. it's gone up more than 100% in the last year.

possible shortages don't bother me. we just had land shortage and look how that turned out...

The thing is John15, that there weren't some wells running dry of tech or housing, so the analogy should obviously be suspect. You can type, spell, and construct sentences very well. I'd encourage you to work at raising your critical thinking skills to the same level.

The thing is John15, that there weren't some wells running dry of tech or housing, so the analogy should obviously be suspect.

Just because wells may be running dry doesn't mean that oil isn't a bubble. no matter how dry the wells are there is a limit to what people can pay for oil.

You can type, spell, and construct sentences very well. I'd encourage you to work at raising your critical thinking skills to the same level.

when I type the comment window has very small characters? what is the excuse for the errors you have in your sentences? do you know there is 2 spaces between sentences? it's "can't" no "can." don't worry, it's all in good fun!

"do you know there is 2 spaces between sentences? it's 'can't' no 'can.' don't worry, it's all in good fun!"


Two spaces between sentences is a hold-over from typewriters but it no longer necessary since modern word processing software performs micro-spacing between sentences automatically. I'm forever removing the extra space when I have to edit others' documents.

Just because a price rises at a sharper incline than the historical norm, and just because there have been bubbles in other markets, doesn't mean you can assume that oil is in a bubble.

Oil was in a bit of a bubble in July 2006. The way you could tell it was in a bit of a bubble was that speculators were net long by a large number of contracts (115,000) and inventories were high.

In the housing bubble, speculators were similarly dominant, and inventories were similarly high. In Vegas, for example, huge numbers of houses were owned by speculators. There never was a land shortage--there was a belief among certain people in a land shortage.

The tech stock thing was a bit different, but price/earnings ratios were ridiculous. In many cases, tech companies had virtually no earnings.

The oil situation now is very different. Speculators are now net short. Inventories are very low of the products and types of oil in demand. Check www.energyshortage.org, or drumbeat at TOD, daily. There are shortages of diesel all over the world, and there are power outages right now all over the world.

Perhaps these are questions for Moe_G.

A. I am unclear on how off market OTC index trades affect oil prices. It appears possible to do one sided trades and to roll them over into new trades. Is this a mechanism for price speculation increase?

B. What is the volume of this trading vs NYMEX?

C. When future prices are in Contago how do refineries hedge their future purchases?



OTC index trades get hedged by futures. These futures are included in the totals for commercial traders. And there was definitely an increase in the 1st quarter of 2008 in futures purchased for the purpose of hedging index fund longs in energy.

However, the increase in these longs has been offset by a shift in the rest of the market. Other speculators' longs sharply decreased, and now other speculators are actually net short.

And in the second quarter, over the period when the price went from $100 to $140, index funds actually shed longs in energy. In other words, they took profits. The reason the price kept rising is that commercial traders (oil companies) have been increasingly closing out short positions.

It doesn't really matter who is long by how much and who is short. It doesn't matter if the people hedging the bets of index funds are rolling over their contracts. The market is designed to pay speculators a premium to go short if commercials don't want to, and to pay speculators a premium to go long when producers feel the price is high. In other words, whatever the other participants in the market are doing, speculators get shifted around.

The fact that the near months of WTI contracts are in contango means that producers don't want to sell future production at this price. The market is paying speculators a premium to take the risk of shorting oil at this price. The premium is pretty high. That means that speculators too see a lot of risk of a price move against them if they short.

Regarding question B., the CFTC is going to be breaking out the exact amount of this index fund hedging in future reports, but they don't break it out yet. But you can make some reasonable assumptions about the level of hedging. It used to be that commercials would get about 100,000 to 115,000 contracts net short before you'd see a significant price correction. Now we're seeing those kinds of corrections when commercials get to roughly 70,000 contracts net short. The change is probably due to the number of contracts going toward index fund hedging. In other words, the change in these figures represents these semi-permanent index fund longs.

That matters to a trader, but not to the general public, because it, again, doesn't affect price. Other speculators now get less net long before a correction, that's all.

Regarding question C., refineries hedge their price risk by buying futures contracts, just as they always have done. Part of the reason the market is in contango in near months is because these commercial buyers are now more willing to hedge than they used to be. They're worried about future prices. Of course, if they were smart, they would have hedged back at $85.

Oil: The final warning

This article is awesome!

Oil, at $140 per barrel, is ridiculously inexpensive, as this passage illustrates:

"The secret of oil's success is its portability and extraordinarily high energy density. One barrel of oil contains the energy equivalent of 46 US gallons of gasoline; burn it and it will release more than 6 billion joules of heat energy, equivalent to the amount of energy expended by five agricultural labourers working 12-hour days non-stop for a year."

And I found this from a history book on 15th-century Spain:

"Mule trains and ox-carts moved slowly and ponderously across the meseta, and the costs of transport added terrifyingly to prices: the cost, for instance, of carrying spices from Lisbon to Toledo was greater than the original price paid for the spices in Lisbon." (J.H. Elliot, "Imperial Spain: 1469-1716")

The freight elevator in my storage space broke yesterday while we were in the early stages of moving 3 storage spaces from the 4th and 5th floor to a bigger space on the second (89 degrees and muggy;almost all books as I am a book dealer). I really gained a great appreciation for not only high-voltage (In it's absence) but the wheeled carts we were using to shuttle the stuff from the stairways! I'm definately not renting anything on the upper floors again.


Your story just has me thinking about the work you were required to do, even though your load was 20 to 30 feet higher than its destination. Even with a hand-cranked elevator, you'd have been generally net-positive in moving the stuff.

It's useful to note as well how much wheels and smooth floors contributed to the ability to do a lot of work. These were made with the help of oil, but they can be made without it, too.

Just chewing on which expenditures of energy are really essential, and which can be dropped or substituted.

In 'what if' mode, I think about pairs of elevators slung over pulleys, where they can counter the Upbound loads against the Downbound, and everyone on the task contributes to just cranking out the difference. Some folks either ride along or take the stairs, to fine-tune the balance.


The Amazing Race shows how they move in Amsterdam using pulleys.


Yeah exactly. Both things occurred to me as well. The marginal gain from elevator was probably not as much as the gain from the wheeled cart, although it was probably close as the distance from stairway to space was close to a hundred feet while the traveled distance on the stairs was more like 50, but it was a steep 50! I think there was a good thread on this last year where we discussed how the contribution of the wheel was basically underrated vis a vis the later developments in that area. Nonetheless, the absence of that elevator cost me about 200 extra in labor costs (from something that would have used a few dimes worth of juice), so it is pretty easy to see the potential impact of the absence of these sort of agents of marginal increase and efficiency on the type of econmic growth we have grown used to:)


The Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales has for many years had a pair of funicular rail carriages operating on this gravity-balanced principle.

Similarly, Tainter points out that:

A wagon load of wheat, for example, would double in value with a land journey of only 480 kilometers, a camel load in 600 kilometers. Land transport was so costly and inefficient that it was often impossible to relieve inland famines; local surpluses could not be economically carted to areas of shortage. Ship transport, while risky and seasonally restricted, was much more economical. It was, for example, less costly to ship grain from one end of Mediterranean to the other than to cart it 120 kilometers. Under the Edict on Prices, issued by Diocletian in 301 A.D., transport by road was 28 to 56 times more costly than by sea.
- Tainter, The Collapse of Complex Societies

"We must all become organic farmers or die." (someone said this...)

"Oil, at $140 per barrel, is ridiculously inexpensive"

yeah no.

Comparing raw heat to human physical labor is beyond stupid. It's so stupid, in fact, its more accurate to call it deceit.

I respectfully disagree:


It is from Potosí that most of the silver shipped through the Spanish Main came. According to official records, 45,000 tons of pure silver were mined from Cerro Rico from 1556 to 1783. Of this total, 7,000 tons went to the Spanish monarchy. Indian labour, forced by Francisco de Toledo, Count of Oropesa through the traditional Incan mita institution of contributed labor, came to die by the thousands, not simply from exposure and brutal labor, but by mercury poisoning: in the patio process the silver-ore, having been crushed to powder by hydraulic machinery, was cold-mixed with mercury and trodden to an amalgam by the native workers with their bare feet. [1] The mercury was then driven off by heating, producing deadly vapors.

To compensate for the diminishing indigenous labor force, the colonists made a request in 1608 to the Crown in Madrid to begin allowing for the importation of 1500 to 2000 African slaves per year. An estimated total of 30,000 African slaves were taken to Potosí throughout the colonial era. African slaves were also forced to work in the Casa de la Moneda as acémilas humanas (human mules). Since mules would die after couple of months pushing the mills, the colonists replaced the four mules with twenty African slaves. (Angola Maconde 1999)
As posted before: if energy ever becomes unavailable in Saskatchewan or Morocco--slaves to mine the P & K are inevitable-- as there are No Substitutes to these Elements to leverage crops. I suggest a frenzy of O-NPK recycling as the best method to delay future slavery.

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

The PA coal miners during the 1800's were essentially slaves. One book i saw said that they made about $37.00/mo. and spent $37.60. In this sense the Molly Maguires were essentially a slave rebellion. There is a great section on this in this book:


Great read overall, as well.


And here's part of the editorial from this week's New Scientist (from which the article is taken)

LAST week's meeting in Jeddah of oil producers and consumers, government ministers and oil companies produced little of value. The extra oil Saudi Arabia agreed to pump has been more or less wiped out by production lost through rebel attacks on installations in Nigeria. For the unlucky motorist, that means the price of fuel will stay high.

Get used to it. Today's oil price may have been stoked up by speculators and could even fall for a while, but the long-term trend is clear. Depending on who you talk to we have either passed the point called "peak oil" - after which the rate it can be extracted begins an inexorable fall - or we are close to it (see "Kicking the oil habit" and "Final Warming"). Past that point, the price can only go up, unless demand falls dramatically.

...Preparing for a world without oil is a colossal task, for which we will need a commitment to change and to take bold action

That's pretty direct for an editorial in New Scientist

another quote from the article

So where does this leave us at a time when global oil production is approaching the point when it stops growing and starts to decline? Most industry experts, including geoscientists and economists, who were polled by Samid in 2007 said that peak production will occur by 2010. This contrasted with a similar survey conducted two years earlier, in which respondents were split, with many of the economists opting for a later date. "Now, a real consensus is emerging," says Samid.

(Gideon Samid, head of the Innovation Appraisal Group (IAG) at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio.)

also noteworthy, no quote from CERA, (how dare they write such an unbalanced and biased article)

Interesting accusations regarding "speculators". It seems that the world/MSM has found the scapegoats. It's starting to look like Germany in 1933, just substitute "speculators" for "jews". Wonder if they'll meet the same fate?

Happy witch hunting.

I've told my oil trader friends that I knew them before they were tried for international crimes against humanity--of course the next step is to prosecute food & energy producers for profiteering.

Given the prevalence of energy and ag. mutual funds/ETFs etc., millions of investors could be considered "oil traders" or "food traders". So they would have to go after a lot of people.

There WILL be scapegoats. To the leader/scapegoater the particular variety is incidental. It just about motivating people.


I will admit I've thought about scapegoating the staff of the EIA...but then I stop and realize that until very recently they were in very good company...

Just develop your own sources of energy, and then you can distribute the poetic justice when you set your prices accordingly.

I built my first test VAWT Vertical Savonius Windturbine the other day.. yet to get it out into the wind.. and continue to collect glass and mirrors for numerous collector projects or resale..

It's starting to look like Germany in 1933, just substitute "speculators" for "jews".

Err... not funny.

Obviously if that sort of mass scapegoating occurred here, the victims would be blacks or latinos. I doubt the averge prole would even know where to find a speculator. A financial advisor down at the local Edward Jones office? Quite a stretch.


Does that mean we will have a star of oil drum worn on our chests and a number tatooed on our arm?

It would look good next to one I have of the near term contract:)


Maybe we can force them to put some sort of easily identifiable symbol on their foreheads. A big $$ sign or something :/

Bees' decline could lead to higher food prices

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Food prices could rise even more unless the mysterious decline in honey bees is solved, farmers and businessmen told lawmakers Thursday.

Farmers say their businesses are feeling the sting of the decline of honey bees.

"No bees, no crops," North Carolina grower Robert D. Edwards told a House Agriculture subcommittee. Edwards said he had to cut his cucumber acreage in half because of the lack of bees available to rent.

"No bees, no crops."

We have altered the environment in so many ways that the unintended, unknown consequences will overtake us as we deal with the consequences we are aware of.

Today so many kids have asthma -- my son included. Inhalers and nebulizers are everywhere. Why?

The bees are dying -- sure, we may attribute this to "natural" causes unrelated to our activity.

But haven't we altered soil, air, and water to the point that these and other phenomena are made possible because species are rendered weak and unable to cope with all of the environmental changes?

Even we humans are relatively fragile. We exist only within a vaery narrow range of conditions when one considers the range of conditions that are possible for our own planet.

Temperature, light, composition of atmosphere, of oceans and fresh water, of soil -- all are critical. Add to this the complex web of living creatures that sustain our niche in the biosphere, and we can see that we do indeed have a problem with overshoot which will very likely result in collapse.

Even so, I try to do my little bit. One never knows.... but how many just decide to forget about all of this and demand cheap energy and cheap plastic crap from StuffMart?

Our US politics sure do reflect the popular sentiment. That is what scares me. Is change possible -- other than the Die Off and Kill Off policies we currently pursue?

beggar - "We exist only within a very narrow range of conditions..."

The late great Carl Sagan brought my attention to this years ago when he used the metaphor of our earth atmosphere being about "the depth of a coat of varnish on a globe".

It is interesting that the loss of the vitality of the bees is seen from an economic perspective. It always seems to come down to dollars and cents. What is biodiversity worth?Free markets and greed have brought us to this dystopian precipice and BAU policies will no doubt push us over the edge.

Best Wishes for a gentle decline.

"It always seems to come down to dollars and cents. What is biodiversity worth?Free markets and greed have brought us to this dystopian precipice and BAU policies will no doubt push us over the edge."

This is exactly right and everyone here who is expending much of their efforts to get $, more $, MORE $, and protect the value of their $ is adding to this ultimate problem.

Make Communitys, not money!

Money was propagandized as a medium of exchange, sort of a Universal Solvent that could buy you things in the future which you don't currently know you need. Thus developing one's ability to make money is easier than learning how to farm, develop social skills, be attractive to potential mates, etc. We're stuck with the kinds of humans who flourished in such a system.

I was thinking about this today while I was working for money.

I find that ironic.

The systemic feedbacks are bought and paid for. I am listening to Paul Ehrlich being interviewed as I scan today's DB after working my butt off at the homes of some wealthy clients today. Ehrlich points out that our political syatem -- the current race for POTUS especially -- absolutely ignores the real issues of the day, while the media feeds us nonsense - "which celebrity is wearing her panties today!?!?!?"

We can change -- and we need the kind of huge cultural conference people like Ehrlich and E.O. Wilson and others call for. Science, religion, academics, and common folks need to talk about how to make radical and immediate changes to protect and restore biodiversity.

I don't yet understand how we can really make the changes we need to make. We need to develop more forums (fora? forae?) for this huge conversation.

The references on the thread today to Moyers, Kunstler, et al was encouraging.

Ehrlich's interview was a positive thing -- the Millenium Assessment sounds like a terrific project.

Where I live many people have vegetable gardens many crops like squash need bees and yet bee hives are non existent. Wild bees are vanishing because of the mites and other factors and because of fear of bees, bee keepers hives are banned in the city limits.

Re the notions of impending collapse, I'd be interested in comments on the following ideas.
1. It's not clear to me that we can confidently dismiss a continuation of the oil price rise to 200-300 dollars within the next year.
2. If that happens then in the US many lifestyles would become insolvent, leading to a spiral of secondary dependent lifestyles in turn becoming insolvent. In starker words, lots of jobs not being done, lots of people lacking food to keep them alive.
3. This could result in "demand destruction" of 50% of US oil demand.
4. The disastrous effect would continue to economies such as China which depend on their US markets. Thus producing international demand destruction
5. Is there any chance this could in turn cause a few years' dip in the oil price sufficiently to delay the UK facing such a severe fate as the US?

Unlikely. The UK has the trifecta of a food deficit, a trade deficit, and a net energy deficit. Any countries with only 2 of the above will be better able to pick up slack in demand and grow accordingly.

I'm not sure why you think all this is likely to hit the US before the UK.

Because it looks like it already is hitting the US before the UK. Over here there's a remarkably relaxed atmosphere. Traffic along the ring road looks just as usual. Most amazingly the main supermarkets are just starting a price war, cutting 3000 prices up to 50%.

We don't have anything like the waves of repossessions (=foreclosures?). We don't have the vast exurb sprawl problem. We are less oil-addicted thanks to the tax on auto fuels. We don't need aircon cooling.

On the other hand the US has a load more land per capita (if it isn't all to trashed by chemoculture).

Because it looks like it already is hitting the US before the UK.

Funny, my impression is the exact opposite. Just judging from the headlines.

Economically, we are in the same boat. Housing prices are falling in the UK, too, even in London, where some predicted they would never fall. We have Countrywide, you have Northern Rock. High prices of food and energy are hurting Brits as much as Yanks, at least judging from the frequent articles bemoaning inflation.

What makes it seem worse to me is the strikes by truckers (haulliers), causing shortages and price spikes. We have nothing like that here.

There haven't been what I'd call hauliers strike's in the UK yet. (We've had people driving slowly down motorways or driving into London for an afternoon.) The two strikes that happened were in the companies that operate a refinery/trucks the petrol to Shell petrol stations, a relatively small number of drivers but which had generated a large amount of "news". Both groups were about long-term issues (pensions/pay erosion) rather than in response to short-term price increases. I suspect that if petrol prices hadn't been going up anyway they'd have been seen as more of a temporary nuisance than harbingers of doom.

I'd not be surprised to see more strikes amongst general hauliers in the future as, since UK fuel is much more heavily taxed, truckers could more easily believe they could achieve after-tax-price reductions.

Hmm, I check the headlines whenever I go into Tesco (quite often) and as ever they don't particularly gel with reality! I look down here from top of a council block in the most impoverished ward in the whole of the UK (highest measures of unemployment and so on). Maybe I'm a bit obtuse but evidence of imminent chaos is not at all evident to me. Mind you, most people round here can't afford cars anyway - only 25 cars to 116 flats.

Then again the biggest complaint of the area is a serious excess of commuter motorists using our streets as a park and walk facility (being within cosy walking distance of the city centre). Which hardly suggests an oil price crisis.

The contrast between the apocalyptic ideas in my head and the BAU I see around me is quite unsettling.

Well, it's the same here in the States. Despite the headlines you may see, most people are blissfully unaware. My friends and neighbors are living as they always have. Planning vacations to Disney World with the kids, going on Alaskan cruises, driving five hours every weekend to see the grandkids, buying $2,000 backyard grills, spending thousands to renovate their kitchens or bathrooms.

Well, it's the same here in the States. Despite the headlines you may see, most people are blissfully unaware. My friends and neighbors are living as they always have. Planning vacations to Disney World with the kids, going on Alaskan cruises, driving five hours every weekend to see the grandkids, buying $2,000 backyard grills, spending thousands to renovate their kitchens or bathrooms.

if they have the incomes does it really matter? might as well have fun while you still can.

Because they are not spending that money on fuel efficient vehicles, moving closer to their jobs, insulating their homes etc etc

All the things you said the market would force us to do.

BTW, I think you need a new keyboard. Your shift key seems to be broken.

Because they are not spending that money on fuel efficient vehicles, moving closer to their jobs, insulating their homes etc etc

All the things you said the market would force us to do.

I don't know the people we're talking about so maybe they have already done some of those. maybe they are one of the lucky few who has a good income and won't have to prepare right now. everyone will prepare at their own pace.

Right, and I think maybe I'll ride my unicorn to my job at the rainbow factory tomorrow.

Even at $140, it's not clear to me that the structure can take much more, or for much longer. Either one, Oil Price or more time belabored with the current price-range could see the camel's back give out, considering the other contributors, Food supply, Weather/Climate, Social Stability, International relations..

Personally I'd be surprised to get past $200/$250 before things really started to give, and either we see conscious national policy changes or 'eventualities' that would end up dropping the bottom out of demand, price, and any expectation of BAU.

I'm wondering if anyone has any sort of (rough) calculations that would support such conclusions. Like how much spare budget do the various occupations have? And so how much extra per gallon would send them into hunger territory, or then into too-starved-to-continue-working territory?

re: calculations.. I'm sure they're out there. See the DeutscheBank article from yesterday. But I tend to think that it will be 'incalculables' that throw the balance, whilst the bean counters are focused on their formulas. Looking at the rioting in Pakistan, I have to think Mob Psychology ('Group' Psych?) throws a lot of unmanageable noise into such predictions.

I'm not sure what DeutscheBank article you mean or how to find it - if you could point me towards it I'd be most grateful.
I agree about the importance of incalculables (and unexpectables), but at least calculables can narrow the un/certainty window to greater or lesser extent.

World Economy Would Collapse If Oil Hit $200, Deutsche Says
- http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601072&sid=am42p9xBTXh4&refer=e...

Drumbeat, 2 days ago.. June 26

Thanks for the link.

Hmm - "Next stop after $200 would be global recession".

I just wish there were a standard terminology for societal/economic dysfunction that was anywhere near as precise as price measures are.
There's a world of difference between recession (haven't we got that already?) and "collapse" of the world economy. Recession doesn't mean that cities are going to degenerate into anarchy and starvation. "Collapse" by contrast suggests it.

So I'm still as confused and baffled as I was this morning.

I think the term 'collapse' is often misleading.

I've heard that our galaxy is 'eating' another one right now.. but it's not even on the news.

There are great connections now between most of the places in the world, and yet that frail spiderweb may not be strong enough to pull a 'collapse' of all into a common, homogeneous event worldwide. Some places are far more leveraged out onto pure petroleum dependency than others, and even if a pickup dealership in remotest Idaho is in for a radical change, those people may quickly find enough local fertility and supplies to get by, while some overfished/overgrazed atoll in the pacific may be 'safe' from international conflicts, but find they have simply no way to feed themselves.. Mileages will surely vary.. and so any standard terminology might never do much to capture the wide range of experiences that are pending..


I think it would help if we defined the word "collapse" a little better.

Too often it gets thrown around with a meaning like Mad Max is going to be driving the last of the v8 interceptors down your drive next week.

Its a bit more complicated.

Tainter describes collapse as a proccess that results in a lower level of complexity in a society.

Greer goes a bit further and describes what he calls a catabolic collapse. That could mean a fall into Mad Max within a 50-100 years. Or it could mean a contraction in the economy/society to a simpler level. Sorta like a permanent great depression.

You can read a good explanation from Greer here

"Tainter describes collapse as a proccess that results in a lower level of complexity in a society."

So, the Wii becomes more popular than the PS3, and no one buys blu-ray?

I'm actually serious here. Natural progression leads to more and more complicated systems, until people realize that they don't make sense. So you have ridiculously complicated German coo-coo clocks with too many movements, until things are simplified to become elegant again.

Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. The American legal and prison system seem like a good place to start. The patent system might be another.

My interpretation: catabolic collapse is nature's way of saying "Simplify or Else".

the wii is popular because nintendo constrains supply to generate demand while advertising out their rear.
under the hood of the wii is just a over clocked gamecube system. so much so they could use the same factory's they used to provide the large number of game cubes..

Sure. A simpler and cheaper-to-build system allows them to spend more money on advertising. Where the PS3 and XBox360 cost so much for components that their manufacturers don't have the luxury of following the same approach. Aside: finally saw the Wii in stock at Zeller's yesterday. Looks like they've finally got their supply chain issues settled. I remember vaguely something about them doubling production in the last few weeks or so.

I think you underestimate the amount of slack in the system. Using Europe as an example, I think gas could go to 10 or 12 dollars a gallon without causing excessive problems; I don't know how much that would be per barrel, around 400 I suppose. Even at this level, people (most) would manage: public transit, more walking, car-pooling, planned trips to the store, etc.

There is a great amount of slack and people are adaptable; they may not like it, but they can manage. Instead of a 4 dollar Starbucks, downgrade to a one dollar McDonald's; instead of shopping for new clothes, wear the existing ones a while longer; instead of eating out every other day, do it once a week or once a month (this will, of course, hurt the restaurant industry, but...); instead of ten new movies a week, maybe one, etc. etc. In the matter of food, instead of steaks and prime rib, maybe chicken and fish.

The slack in the system and in available money is so great that I think that 600 dollars a barrel and 20 a gallon would be doable. People can cut back, if necessary. The person who lived in my apartment before me, for example, used three times the electricity I use: probably kept the heat on high all winter, while I prefer open windows and a sweater.

If there is a tipping point to the oil and gas problem, I think it comes not with price but with availability: when food and gas are not available, then we face panic and irrational action.

Dayahka, you are unfortunatly 100% right and 100% wrong at the same time. People CAN trim the fat by not going to restaurants, make do with last seasons clothes and do 101 things to get past $400 oil.
The big problem is that the current economic model requires people to consume restaurant meals and buy more things to create the 75% of the economy that is service industries. When tens of millions of people lose their jobs with the decline then that is many millions of families in the sh*t and the welfare system won't cope.
With a collapse in welfare then even if you personally can cope your neighbours won't and they will do whatever to feed their families.

If oil prices fall significantly after 'demand destruction' I see little benefit as the damage would already have been done. Demand destruction is a permanent state as opposed to a temporary demand suppression.

It may have an even more deleterious effect than if oil prices stayed high, giving a false hope to people and diverting their resources away from applying themselves to a survival strategy.

Our modern society is a globally interconnected, interdependent and interlocking complex of systems. Destruction of any vital part, regardless of its geography, will have severe consequences upon the whole. This cascade failure will have unexpected effects.

Imagine you're on a runaway train heading for disaster, its going too fast to jump off, the best you can hope for is that you've picked out a relatively safe seat.

Our modern society is a globally interconnected, interdependent and interlocking complex of systems. Destruction of any vital part, regardless of its geography, will have severe consequences upon the whole.

Yes, I can believe and understand that as a concept. I just want to tease out some instances where the "will" will definitely be true. If a hairdresser can no longer afford to function that won't cause the rest of society to starve.

There are numerous vital functions such as production of food. It's in the nature of things that prices / the market would be expected to adjust to safeguard such key players. But of course one can guess that this process would likely be faulty and fail to prevent vital parts being destroyed. Already in the UK I expect there is no significant number of traditional cobblers/leatherworkers in existence in the event that shoe factories in china no longer serve us.

The question I'd like an answer to is at what stage will there be a failure of a key part such that it sets in train a rapid collapse rather than just recession/depression).
Sorry - my questions are cheap and answers expensive!

..at what stage will there be a failure of a key part such that it sets in train a rapid collapse

The obvious answer, as you know; when the component fails under price stress, and recent posts / comments indicate 6-12 months for $200 oil. However, its not simply the cost of a barrel it's the rate of change, businesses like hauliers can't pass the cost onto the customer quickly enough because of fixed term contracts.

The systems analysis required to identify when a sector is likely to fail is non-trivial but there is excellent info at TOD that raises red flags.

Instead of looking for absolutes I take a more probabalistic view; how likely is X in the next 6 months?...

Keeping an eye on the large scale trends is informative but what is more important are the trends leading to events on a personal scale. Is your job secure? what events would cause your employer to fail?

A useful thought experiment is this; imagine you (and your family?) are suddenly standing in the street, in the clothes you currently wear, its getting dark, and cold. You are utterly destitute.

WTF do you do?

Next imagine you've been sent back in time 1 year prior to this unfortunate happenstance.

WTF do you do now?

"at what stage will there be a failure of a key part such that it sets in train a rapid collapse rather than just recession/depression"

Perhaps when judges and cops can't live on what they're paid, and even cost-of-living-adjustments can't keep up? At which point, there is a choice 1) economize on something (military, health care, prison system, social security), or 2) fascism first and then anarchy.

The US has a lot of slack, if politicians are willing to make changes. For example, if malpractice lawsuits were limited, medical costs could go down. If non-violent drug users were simply taxed [re tobacco and alcohol], the prison system would be less costly. The military, sigh.

With a functional political system, such changes might be made.

Why do you think $300 oil prices will cause many US lifestyles to become insolvent? Simply replacing 15-20mpg SUV's with 30-40mpg cars will give the 50% fuel savings(demand destruction) and cost the consumer the same to drive( actually less because smaller cars are less expensive and have cheaper tire replacement).
UK motorists are already effectively paying $300 a barrel prices. The problems will occur if this demand destruction doesn't happen. When we start seeing people driving Hummers ridiculed and laughed off the roads, and people too embarrassed to drive the new SUV to church, that's when we will know that a cultural shift has occurred and its going to work out alright.
China can withstand a very big drop in US consumer purchases, its got a 1.3 Billion local market, plus oil producers, Japan, EU, S America!. A drop in US sales may actually help to cool down inflation. Oil prices at $300 a barrel will have more of a direct effect especially if demand continues to increase, but remember China with 20% of worlds population uses 10%oil, versus US with 5% of worlds population uses 24% of worlds oil. High oil prices are a much bigger US problem because the US has such a massive consumption of oil compared with the rest of world.

Simply replacing 15-20mpg SUV's with 30-40mpg cars

Are you an engineer? "Simply" replacing zillions of cars depends on having the spare cash, the time and resources.

Huh - local uk update - below I see a police speed trap which has caught 3 speeders in as many minutes (9 am sunday when no-one needs to rush anywhere), so much for the desperation. Maybe they were desperate to get to church on time hah?


From Key findings;

> Oil is a fungible global commodity. A change in supply or demand anywhere will affect prices everywhere.

> Given today’s precarious balance between oil supply and demand, taking even a small amount of oil off the market could cause prices to rise dramatically. In Oil ShockWave, a roughly 4 percent global shortfall in daily supply results in a 177 percent increase in the price of oil (from $58 to $161 per barrel).

> Oil price shocks of this magnitude could do significant damage to the U.S. economy. In Oil ShockWave, the economy goes into recession and there are millions of fewer jobs as a result of sustained higher oil prices.

On June 23, 2005, a group of nine former White House cabinet and senior national security officials convened to participate in a simulated working group of a White House cabinet. Their task: to advise an American president as the nation grapples with an oil crisis over a seven-month period. As they enter the room, they are unaware of the circumstances or nature of the oil crisis.

That was three years ago.

The oil price now is around US$140/bbl.

And no supply shock. Yet.


Emergency producer/consumer summit in Sudi Arabia, endless hearings on speculators in US congress and a proposed congressional/presidential summit to determine action.

I saw CNBC yesterday morning and they had a guesst anchor who said that if the market does not work for us it has to be stopped, fix prices at 120 USD. Obviously they only believe in the market if it works in their favor and like recently in China and under Nixon in early 70s price fixing will bring shortages and long lines and odd/even days, etc.

I think 10-20$ per barrel higher price and the US /EU governemtns will be making serious price/trading control moves which will just make it worse and the UN will have a summit afterwards similar to the one in Saudi with some sort of internaitonal rationing scheme. Failing that we can expect protectionism, name calling and war.

Is what we are now witnessing the first steps of changing the rules as we know it?

Many PO aware people has predicted and believe that with PO a lot of the rules we have become familiar with will have to change. But for what?

The reference above to CNBC may be tempting for some politicians to pursue.

While we are fixing the price and changing the rules, let's be sure to make sure that if the world price goes belos the price we set, the US consumers will still pay the price we set. Otherwise, this would be simply another swindle.

In addition, it would answer the question of how much of the international market would still sell into that capped market. The NOC's might, for a while, until they wear out our capabilities to retaliate for not being able to get "our" oil. Meanwhile, our friends in Chindia will be quite pleased with our decision making processes.

If only massive net importers had that kind of control over pricing ... not.

Yes..thanks for the reminder. So, what did this study miss in contemplating our current shockwave? It seems the consequences described are currently underway to some degree:

> Oil price shocks of this magnitude could do significant damage to the U.S. economy. In Oil ShockWave, the economy goes into recession and there are millions of fewer jobs as a result of sustained higher oil prices.

But this is not necessarily happening even though the dramatic rise in price or is it?:

> Given today’s precarious balance between oil supply and demand, taking even a small amount of oil off the market could cause prices to rise dramatically. In Oil ShockWave, a roughly 4 percent global shortfall in daily supply results in a 177 percent increase in the price of oil (from $58 to $161 per barrel).

Saturday shopping report:

I was surprised to see at the Aldi store an electrobike (25KM/hour/40 Km range) for €699 this morning.


and from the manufacture

unfortunately all in German. With gas at €1.60/liter it is no surpirse. Bike sale sare up 20-30% from last year.

$350 at Wally World
E-Zip 2008 Trailz Hybrid Electric Bike

I think it uses a Currie motor. Guy at work here has one.

500W chinese electric scooter!

22mph 20-45 mile range



I was about to say "You win" but HOLY F$%^K! - did you calculate shipping? I don't know why express is so much less than "standard."

Shipping Rates
City : ASHEVILLE State : NC
Standard $366.75
Express $107.75
Air $816.75

Here's one for the AD:

Plug-in convention in San Jose, CA on July 22nd:


California is an area with barely enough power lines. (Southern California is much worse than Northern California, where this incident took place.) That is the reason this caught my eye. Sometimes, a little redundancy would be helpful. I hadn't thought about the issue of wildfires affecting power lines.

Wildfire threatens key California power lines

Two of the three 500-kilovolt lines on the California-Oregon Intertie were taken offline automatically when fires and smoke caused them to arch. When they were put back on line, they were flowing at a reduced rate of about 2,200 megawatts late Friday afternoon. The lines have a capacity to carry 4,800 MW, and usually carry a little less than that at peak periods.

At full capacity, the lines can carry enough electricity to power about 3 million homes.

As I noted the other day, there is a wild fire near us that is now many thousands of acres. It's controlled (sort of) on two sides but not in our direction and we may still have to evacuate.

In any case, one of the first things I did was to turn down the fridge and freezers as low as they would go. This buys a little time if the power fails. With the smoke, even our PV system would have a hard time producing much juice. In that case, we'd have to use the back-up generator (assuming we're here) now and then to keep things from thawing and also to keep our water storage tanks full.

Ain't life fun!


Good luck, Todd.

Reminds me of Doug Fir's post, about how climate change would lead to an increase in the number, size and severity of wildfires.

Yikes...living in the smokey air of NorCal all week long...and watching the year ago show on 60 minutes about the "new" Mega fires being caused by climate change...sheesh...More and more it feels like I am living in the present of the predicted futures! It really is becoming a world gone wrong! And that is just one of many things turning in the wrong direction for the world of which I am accustomed!

Hey Peak,

You think it's bad now, wait until there aren't any bucks for helitack, water bombers, CATS and ground crews. The last I heard is that there were about 30k acres burning in Mendocino County where I am. I can assure you that it would be over 100k acres without the bucks and some of the fires would burn into southern counties.


More and more it feels like I am living in the present of the predicted futures!

Because you are. I am probably the most pessimistic person I know with regard to Climate Change, yet the changes of the last year have been shocking. Absolutely shocking. And that is with me having already conceded *at least* one meter of sea level rise by 2100.

I'm thinking more along the lines of 5 meters at this point: global melt, increased albedo effect, increased methane released due to previous, changes coming far too slowly in human activities, etc.


I've discovered peak oil theory over the past year or so, and I recognize the ultimate necessity of protecting myself against peak oil and severe price inflation. I currently live in an apartment in Oklahoma City, and I now can afford to buy a house significantly closer to work. What sort of attributes would be most beneficial to urban housing in an inner-city neighborhood? For this exercise, I will assume that I can keep my present job more or less indefinitely with only stagnant compensation. I have a list of "desires." Should I subtract/add more?

* Small house (~1000 square feet)
* Large lot (for gardening/fruit trees)
* Wood stove or fireplace (for winter heating)
* Older house (predates air conditioning, but what about insulation?)
* Brick exterior (strength and low maintenance)
* Lack of gang graffiti and other markers of criminal activity

I suppose I can put additions onto such a purchase, especially if cheap. And if I own one house, I still can trade it for another. I'm still wondering how to handle a tornado shelter and/or food storage facility, especially if electricity gets increasingly intermittent or unaffordable.

- The house should be well insulated, or if not, then finished with a cheap siding that you can rip off and insulate using Dry-Vit or spray-on foam insulation.

- Zoning laws should allow you to make an apartment in your house. this can help finance any renovations, such as insulating.

- You should be within walking distance of a commuter rail line or tramway, or at least near one planned on paper, or near an abandoned rail line or right of way.

- You should be within walking distance of one of those old-fashioned commercial streets with lots of small stores and businesses. Even if half are vacant now, at least the street is zoned commercial.

When TSHTF there will be a mad scramble to build tramways and commuter trains, and the mega shopping centers and big-box stores will be abandoned in favor of neighbourhoods shops where you can pick up food for supper on your walk home from the commuter rail station or tramway stop. Everyone will want to move to the kind of neighbourhood where this is possible. Look for old working class neighbourhoods built between 1890 and 1930, the heyday of the tramway.

Replace small house with passive solar house of whatever size. That eliminates #'s 3, 4, 5 and 6. Or modify a home to be passive solar. Second best is an extremely efficient house, i.e. one that is so well constructed/insulated that it requires very little energy to heat/cool.









Thanks for the replies. I haven't done too much passive-solar research, but I must keep any house-buying within a strict budget. I decided against new construction because of the lack of available space in close proximity to my workplace. (I'm looking only within 2-3 miles, maximum.)

I'm a bit leery of straw-bale and other improvised construction because of the frequency of severe thunderstorms, hail, gale-force winds, heavy rain, and fire-inducing drought. How do you keep the straw bale walls from drying so much that they catch fire too easily, getting wet and moldy, or simply collapsing in the wind? I wonder about the strength of structural support of some inexpensive housing that your links recommend.

I understand the allure of passive solar construction but prefer to start with an existing house. What characteristics make a house more amenable to passive solar heating? I understand that it gets quite tricky. What happens during prolonged periods of thick clouds, freezing fog, cold wind, snow, blowing snow, and ice, when I want to stay warm? We can get a freezing cold week or more with almost no incoming solar radiation during the winter, and ice storms already can take down the power grid. I don't think passive (or even active) solar alone can provide entirely reliable heating without wood or another supplemental source. And summers can get downright fierce; I don't want a building that turns into a hothouse.

Passive housing does work, but it does need some expertise to get right; Daniel Chiras 'Solar House' is a good place to start. An overinsulated house can get too hot just from the heat byproduct of boiling a kettle.

There has been one multilevel straw bale house built in the UK without a wooden framework, and many more with. The trick is having an external skin and keeping that dry by use of a roof that is kept in good repair. Oh, and keep the footings dry too. Straw bale is on the same lines as wattle-and-daub, or cob housing, which will last forever so long as it's maintained. There are 600-year-old half-timbered houses within walking distance of me, and their roofs (welsh slate) are the only non-biodegradable element of them.

But retrofitting an existing house is likely to be a lot cheaper, so long as it is already structurally worth doing.

In Dildo (Newfoundland), the solution is "in the can".

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n7L013AAhR0&feature=related


I understand the allure of passive solar construction but prefer to start with an existing house.

You've got lots of responses, so I'll just say insulate the hell out of whatever you buy, get multi-pane (glaze?) windows and consider adding a nearly all glass front porch/room (only about a meter wide is fine) on it to act as your passive solar collector.


If you have decent insolation and feel "buildy" it should be possible to make some thermosiphoning (passive) hot air collectors. I'm feeling lazy, so here's the first link I ran across: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Renewable-Energy/2006-02-01/Do-It-Yoursel...

Find a house on or near a bicycle route in which you can ride a bicycle to work. If you can't ride your bike all the way to work, find a bike route that allows you to bike to mass transit.

Talk to the folks in the local bicycle club - they can give you the best advice.

I earn more money every day by riding my bicycle to work. :-)

- Spindifferent

dufekin - I think that staying nimble will be key as the consequences of peak oil unfold. Many of these consequences will be unanticipated, and some regions will be harder hit than others. Continuing to rent would seem to be a better choice, especially given almost universally falling housing prices.

I agree with ztexas I'm a happy renter.

I can easily afford to buy a house, but I think it's way too soon to bet on what region will fare better with AGW and what kind of economic arrangement will be optimal in my situation.

Errol in Miami

I don't know Oklahoma but I checked out the stats in Weatherunderground and checked its Koppen-Geiger classifcation. FYI I am from Australia and sustainable buildings are a bit of a passion for me.

OC is in the Cfa heartland - warm temperperate, fully humid, hot summer. As such any house you design and/or buy should have very little insulation. Insulation and thermal mass are counter productive in hot humid areas. As such brick is generally a no-no.

Also brick doesn't actually give you strength. It is held together by mortar only ie no tensile capacity. If you ever see what happens to a brick house in an earthquake or cyclone you will realise that just because it is heavy it doesn't mean it is strong. If you want strength for a tornado you are better off to have steel tie rods from the roof to the ground.

American houses seem to also include attics and basements as standard. Attics are great in cold environments but are a bad call in a hot humid environment. They create a trapped hot layer which becomes a heat source and causes the house to bake during the day and continue to be hot during the night when you are trying to sleep. Better to have a thin roof with high/raked ceiling to allow the heat to escape through vents or clerestory windows. These can be closed in winter when you want to trap the heat inside. OC seems to have a relatively mild winter with only a week or so of very cold temperates (<0 deg c)

Also try to have a building which is only a room wide - this allows for cross ventilation but also stops heat pockets being trapped inside the house. Combinations of high and low windows also create
natural ventilation paths. If you buy an older house sometimes you can install lower windows and or louvres say 600 mm high on an opposing or adjacent wall to a high window. People tend to think of windows as something you need to look out of. It doesn't occur to them that something that is knee height could be very useful. Ditto for incorporating a high louvred window between internal rooms.

Large eaves and covered walkways/verandahs around the house will shade the walls and prevent insolation (heat created from direct sunlight). Also make the wall colours light whereever you want to reflect the heat - probably every wall in OC.

Basements are probably a decent option due to the potential for tornados however it is a trade off with a house that is highset with the ability for air to ventilate under the floor. I have designed a few houses in cyclonic areas that consist of a light steel frame with thin roofs and walls but with a concrete masonry block strong room in the centre often a storeroom off a kitchen or a laundry. This strong room can store such things as food stuffs flammable items and even a few wall mounted beds if need be.


As such any house you design and/or buy should have very little insulation. Insulation and thermal mass are counter productive in hot humid areas

BS !!

Thermal mass, either inside or outside the insulation, can be a double edged sword, depending upon occupancy patterns and weather patterns.

But insulation and a tight building envelope are clearly "good things" regardless. A whole house fan or other means of large scale ventilation can overcome the situation where the outside temperature is more desirable than the interior temp.

I hope that you are not a professional architect designing energy inefficient homes, claiming that they are energy efficient,


In reading The Land magazine ( a farm publication) from Mankato MN yesterday and came across the following information in a question and answer story talking with Minnesota DFL Federal Congress Representative Collin Peterson:

Finally, the bill (Farm Bill) increases the tax credit for cellulosic ethanol from $0.51 to $1.01 per gallon to jumpstart the industry and provides production incentives for advanced biofuels through the continuation of the bioenergy program

I will be interested to hear your comments.

Bangladesh will import 1.152 million tonnes of oil from Kuwait for consumption over the July-December period by paying a higher premium, a senior energy official said on Saturday.

Let the games begin...


Steven Hatfill pulled it off:


Several of us here have become convinced that he was indeed at the center of the anthrax threat. Whether he acted alone and on his own initiative is an open question.

But settling for $150k a year for 20 years? Who knows, it may be enough for a gallon of gas in 2028.

More than several of us OUT HERE knew he wasn't the one to begin with. A complete Red Herring. But it worked.

The Large Print Giveth, and the Small Print Taketh Away

All Americans will Remember one thing.

They found the guy that did it.
That's what they will remember.

The Media did it's Job to confuse.

Ames strain of anthrax, Weaponized from
Fort Detrick Md. Mailed to Leahy, and Dachle(?) JUST BEFORE they were to vote on the Patriot Act without EVER SEEING IT.


Never was Hatfield.

Do a google on Anthrax, and ZACK.

It is like the late Richard Jewel, he puts his life on the line, positions himself between a bomb and the public, clears the area saving many lives, he was a true hero but the FBI needed to show progress in the case so some profiler clowns in the BAU decided he had a hero complex and he was made "a subject of interest" he won some money from the government as well but until the real bomber was found he had a cloud over his name.

Yes, I thought of Richard Jewell and Wen Ho Lee, but all the fascinating coincidences along the way eventually convinced me otherwise about Mr. Hatfill. I don't have the links, but plenty of backtracking has been done now, and he's a good fit.
If this were really a Lee Harvey Oswald job, Hatfill would be in prison or dead, period.

There's nothing in the decision nor the article that exonerates him. It just chastises the publication for inferring guilt that is not proven. That does not = innocence.

As I said, The media did their job.

At the time, I read every news article written on it. It ain't Hatfield.

Isn't curious that with an admin using every scare tactic in the last 8 years to instill fear of "Terrorism" to the American people that This particular incident has had a virtual news blackout?

WMD used on American Soil, Killed Americans, Shut down parts of the Postal Service for a good time and Hardly EVER used in any speeches about the dangers of Terrorism?

Why, by Whom, For What reason.

I do know that the Patriot Act was put into law shortly after with NObody reading it first.

Too Many questions. Too many unanswered.

Do the research. Have you read 50-200 articles on it? Then You didn't do the research.

All that typing, but nothing stated. Assertion is not proof. For the record, I didn't say he DID. You are making an assumption that I believe he is guilty. I *said* the article cited in no way exonerates him, nor does the legal decision.

It's pretty simple logic.


The period from 1950 to 2000 will be remembered as the Golden Era of modern civilization, the pinnacle reached by humans after a million years of evolution. This brilliant half-century was sponsored largely by fossil fuels, especially oil, which brought unprecedented economic growth, plentiful transportation and a rich and diverse lifestyle.

what is it about oil that makes people so hysterical?

it's almost impossible to talk about oil these days. people blame big oil. they blame speculators. they blame the environmentalists. they blame the fact that we don't build refineries. almost nobody in the media digs for any answers either. it's just one highly charged issue that everyone is emotional about but nobody actually thinks.

it's just one highly charged issue that everyone is emotional about but nobody actually thinks.

Spot on.

This is a part of PO which may return some of the most astonishing and unpredictable effects.

meanwhile car makers are doing everything they can to make driving more oil free.

the first 31 miles are no oil.

VW to join Toyota, GM with 2010 plug-in Hybrid

think about that. if you commute a total of say 20 miles a day you probably will not need gasoline hardly at all! if your car was a TDI like the Golf you could use waste vegetable oil and it may be possible to run a lot of the highway system, disney land and wal-mart on french fry grease.

meanwhile car makers are doing everything they can to make driving more oil free

Good for them. Now they just have to stay in business long enough convert their entire product line over.

Oh, and since we are going into a depression, we need a few tens of millions of Martians to purchase these hybrids because Earthlings certainly won't have the money to.

"The Bank for International Settlements, the world's most prestigious financial body, has warned that years of loose monetary policy has fuelled a dangerous credit bubble, leaving the global economy more vulnerable to another 1930s-style slump than generally understood."

The Royal Bank of Scotland two weeks ago warned of the possibility of a step drop of the stock market in next three months.

"RBS issues global stock and credit crash alert
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, International Business Editor
Last Updated: 5:42pm BST 18/06/2008

The Royal Bank of Scotland has advised clients to brace for a full-fledged crash in global stock and credit markets over the next three months as inflation paralyses the major central banks.

"A very nasty period is soon to be upon us - be prepared," said Bob Janjuah, the bank's credit strategist.

A report by the bank's research team warns that the S&P 500 index of Wall Street equities is likely to fall by more than 300 points to around 1050 by September as "all the chickens come home to roost" from the excesses of the global boom, with contagion spreading across Europe and emerging markets."

As a consequence of the skyrocketing price of oil, the US commercial aviation industry is in full-blown crisis and heading toward a catastrophe," said a study issued by AirlineForecasts and the Business Travel Coalition.
June 14, 2008

Please don't take offense by this, john15, it's really just an observation and I'm sure you are a nice person: I'm just not sure there is someone more dense on The Oil Drum than you have demonstrated yourself to be on this topic. You seem incapable of understanding what is happening to the economy.


This is some real financial doomer porn.

It's in Dutch, but one of the TOD staffers translated it. (And you can kind of figure it out if you run through Babelfish.)

Fortis has been in the news this week. The Dutch article says the reason Fortis had to raise capital is because they are anticipating a complete meltdown of the US banking system. A big part of Fortis' business is insuring banks, and they are expecting huge losses in the US. They say 6,000 US banks will have to declare bankruptcy. I think the timeline is the next 18 months.

Ah, that's some high quality financial doomer porn you bring to the table, Leanan.

U.S. 'meltdown' Imminent says Fortis
June 28 08, 09:10
by our correspondent
BRUSSELS / AMSTERDAM (DFT) - Fortis expects within the next few days to weeks the complete collapse of the U.S. financial markets. That explains the bank insurers € 8 billion intervention Thursday. "We are ready at the last minute. What's happening in the United States is much worse than we thought," said Fortis chairman Maurice Lippens. Fortis expects bankruptcies of 6000 U.S. banks that now lack coverage. "But Citigroup, General Motors, there begins a complete meltdown in the U.S.."

I think to be accurate the "6000 bankruptcies" should probably read "Fortis expects bankruptcies among the 6000 U.S. banks that now lack coverage" rather than what the translation leaves the reader with.

While googling that, I came across this wonderful doomer porn:

US central bank accused of unleashing an inflation shock that will rock financial markets, reports Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

Barclays Capital has advised clients to batten down the hatches for a worldwide financial storm, warning that the US Federal Reserve has allowed the inflation genie out of the bottle and let its credibility fall "below zero".


Excuse me while I go take some money out of my bank account...back in a minute!


Things are tough, but this, IMHO, is hysteria.

And it's truly a hoot that they blame poor Bernanke for an inflation shock. The poor guy's been extracting cash from the system for months, and he can't do diddly about oil prices.

If Bernanke is to blame for anything, it's for going too frequently on tilt. He'll be managing a bad situation pretty well, then all of a sudden he'll panic about some problem or other and overreact. The overreaction will create a new problem, then he'll overreact to that too.

Moe, I agree that Bernanke cannot fix the rise in oil and food prices.

Rising prices of increasingly-scarce but vital commodities does not mean generalized inflation. In fact, as the price of those vital commodities rise, the money paid for those commodities cannot be spent on other things, leading to decreases in prices of those other things (deflation).

I believe that the disappearance of hallucinated wealth due to defaults in residential and comercial real estate, credit card, and car loans is strongly deflationary and is a bigger threat than 'inflation' due to rising oil prices. This is what the BIS is referring to when they say that 'inflation' is paralysing central bankers: BIS fears that a focus on inflation will lead to underestimation of the risk of another deflationary depression.

I'm not so sure that Bernanke is overreacting; the US money center banks are technically insolvent. He has been putting fingers and toes in the dike, stalling for time in the desperate hope that he can stall the unwinding until real estate recovers. That ain't a gonna happen, but everyone is playing along because no one wants to see runs on banks.

Errol in Miami

Things are tough, but this, IMHO, is hysteria.

Would you like to bet on that? There is not one single piece of news that ameliorates the idea that this downturn will be deep, widespread and likely disastrous.

Not one.

Every piece of news that is positive is inconsequential in comparison to the bad news. If you keep in mind the basics of Chaos, Complexity and the utter stupidity of humans operating in large groups... well...

The financial crisis is not even half done. Global warming is just getting started. Peak has yet to arrive, or is just now arriving...


I would point to the German reductions in oil use, -18% from peak and -9% 2006 > 2007 as a hopeful straw in the wind. Major reductions w/o major stress, or even major price increases (in euros).


"...as a hopeful straw in the wind."

As are the year-on-year increases in solar, wind, etc., that are occurring; as are the reduced miles driven; as is the fact that a year ago, when I found this site, it was a Red Letter Day when there was even a hint at Peak Oil in the media, but now you can't read the news without hearing about it.

But that's a long ways from dealing with 4.5 to 8% declines, low EROEI's on all replacements for light, sweet oil, the decline of Russia, which was virtually all of the non-OECD increases of the last few years... etc.

The Perfect Storm that is coming ashore now has no precedent. At least, not on a global scale.


I've occasionally debated with the deflationists whether Peak Oil/Peak Exports was the trigger that started the auto/housing/finance meltdown. Like a forest full dry underbrush, where a fire is inevitable, the meltdown was inevitable, it's just what triggered the fire. But imagine if you will aerial tankers dropping not fire retardent on the forest fire--but napalm. I think that is the effect that declining net oil exports are having on the auto/housing/fiance meltdown--it's acting as an accelerant, especially in regard to the dollar. And I think that the falling dollar is more a response to rising oil prices, rather than vice versa.

Even the deflationists concede that hypefinflation is likely once the US government has difficulty borrowing money, so my thesis is that the net oil export decline is accelerating us toward that point.

I've been thinking lately about "localised demand destruction". US dollar slides due to slumping economy, so the price of oil goes up in US dollars. So the US economy suffers even more as people cut back. So the dollar slides further. The more the dollar slumps, the more expensive all internationally traded items get in the US (Food, oil, imported manufactured goods). An upward spiral in costs reinforces a downward spiral in the value of the currency. Oil is the last thing to be cut back - it becomes a larger slice of a smaller economy.

When things are bad enough there will a substantial drop in US miles driven, which will free up some oil for other countries. The oil price goes up high enough to create massive demand destruction - but this is largely a US (and UK) phenomenon linked to sliding currencies.

Francois of TOD:E has translated the entire article. I posted it at my blog.

Financial Telegraph predicts complete meltdown of US banking system

It's unsurprising that the news should leak out first in smaller markets.
Newspapers are part of large financial conglomerates, with a large vested interest in keeping the system going, and so at all levels susceptible to pressure to 'prevent panic'.
Meetings will have been going on at all levels in an attempt to manage the spin on the news, both internally and with the Government and its agencies.
It's a bit like trying to prevent a leak in the dam by putting your finger in the hole - leakage occurs and bursts out, from a trickle to a flood.
Whole industries are bankrupt at current oil prices, and the financial markets do not reflect that fact.
Once they do, then the housing market goes, as does commercial property, which means that all the banks assets are massively devalued.
Unless oil drops back rapidly, and stays there, the financial system will be swept away.

It's amazing to me the speed at which the drop off occurred - sales just went off a cliff starting about 6 months ago.

I think it's yet another ominous sign of how delusional people were when it came to buying new cars - and how intoxicating the whole car culture has been.

So, according to the graph, a year ago everything was just fine - everybody is out buying new cars (and I'm sure a large portion of those 16 million were gas guzzlers) then all of a sudden things aren't fine anymore.

Seems to be a good indicator that financially many people were (are) on a very precarious footing - and just a (relatively) slight increase to higher gas prices is enough to nudge them over the edge. Approximately 4 million dropped out during the latest run up in oil / gas prices. I can't say that it's very encouraging to extrapolate out to $200 oil and try to project how people are going to be able just go out and buy something new like the Chevy Volt. Unless maybe that's what people are holding out for at this point - limping along with what they have - hoping some techno fix shows up and still allows 400 hp and 80 mph while towing gigantic loads with their next generation all electric SUV.

If it is all due to the problems people are having with cash / credit I can't say it's all that surprising. I remember thinking a few years back that it seemed like EVERYBODY was driving around in some kind of brand new $40,000 vehicle. I just couldn't imagine what all these people did for jobs to allow such an influx of new vehicles - cars older than 5 years were being driven only by high school or college students. Of course I learned a little later on that many of these purchases were "inspired" by the new breed of "thousandaires" livin' it up in HELOC heaven. The plot of auto sales sure seems to have a pretty good correlation with the timing of the housing bubble implosion.

Good for them. Now they just have to stay in business long enough convert their entire product line over.

and what if they don't need to convert their entire product line? then what? VW seems to have their act together and their regular diesel cars are pretty cheap and get good mileage. now will Ford GM might have trouble surviving for their electric and hybrids to survive.

Oh, and since we are going into a depression, we need a few tens of millions of Martians to purchase these hybrids because Earthlings certainly won't have the money to.

we might, and I stress might, go into a depression. is your crystal ball less cloudy than mine? can you tell me who will win the Super Bowl in 2010? we won't need hybrids in a depression because people won't need to get to jobs they don't have.

Please don't take offense by this, john15, it's really just an observation and I'm sure you are a nice person: I'm just not sure there is someone more dense on The Oil Drum than you have demonstrated yourself to be on this topic. You seem incapable of understanding what is happening to the economy.

nope, I am pretty confident I do know what's going on. I've owned gold and silver for years and warned about the housing bubble to family years ago. it's just that I know the economy won't grind to a stop. it will get ugly, but we'll still produce cars and homes and etc. the housing industry is going through a massive depression and they still build a few million homes each year.

I know that they can't keep hybrids on the lots. they can't keep compact cars on the lots. some car companies will go bankrupt, most likely the GMs and Fords of the world who make the big trucks(and finance then a long with the housing bubble), but those that are left will be in a better position to be profitable. same with the airline industry. the airline industry is having financial trouble but the industry will get to a place where airlines are profitable again. ticket prices will most likely rise substantially.

"The Great Depression wasn't so bad if you had money. Problem was, nobody had any money".

GM may end up going bacnkrupt and selling the Volt division to Volkswagon. But it is likely there will still be a growing market for hybrids, EVs and compacts even as truck sales crash.

Unemployment may hit 30%, but the 70% who still have a job will want more fuel efficient vehicles. There will be plenty of work for auditors, liquidators, and bankruptcy lawyers in the years ahead.
And anyone who works for a brewery is likely to have secure employment. Nurses, cops and firefighters will be busy too.

All bets are off when the monetary system collapses. (You didn't think it would go on forever, did you?)

If you haven't yet, I highly recommend watching Money as Debt:

The complex products we make now will be very difficult if not impossible to make soon, in my view. Once the system collapses, it's game over for many products we take for granted now. We will likely make cars but they will be closer to those made at the beginning of the last century than today's modern marvels of technology.


I'm a technologist/physicist and I find it extremely difficult to imagine what sort of products we'll be capable of producing when oil becomes scarce. We won't just roll back the clock 100 years. Energy will be very expensive, it won't be unavailable. Compared to 100 hundred years ago we have gained phenomenal insights into how the world works and how to use that knowledge in engineering.

I think what you are reaching for is to say that products will be less complex. As in we may no longer supply cars that use ultrasonic vibrations to keep our outside rearview mirrors clean. Or that we won't need V12 engines with umpteen valves and superchargers. I'll go along with you there. Engineering journals and other publications are full of novel designs for radios and amplifiers and engines and such that provide useful performance with very few parts or with limited need for exotic materials.

Also, one of the values of the modern technology is that we can do more with less. If we want to, we can make a car that will run 200,000 miles with little need of major maintenance. We can make cars that get 50mpg and perhaps more.

This is the reason that the rate of depletion is so important. Given a few years of concerted effort we have the capacity to make huge changes in our technology.

You must be an optimist to think that unemployment will only get to 30%.
The last depression at least had the US as the world's greatest power with strong gold reserves, no debt, an oil exporter, industrial powerhouse, a large % of the population with farming backgrounds.
The coming super depression won't have any of these advantages. Expect your overseas creditors to take your remaining asets to pay off your debts. The US will have only 4 million barrels/day to run a sick economy on (assuming your new masters don't seize that production as well).
End result: chaos ( and how will bankrupt states even pay for the police to handle the riots).
BTW I'm not even a pessimist like many posters so others may think things could get even worse than this.

But he does face some stiff competition from .... the ..... among others.

I think it's all your fault.

No, it is the workings and conspiracies of the invisible, misanthroposophical, evil-minded gnomes against humanity.

The bodily originator of these gnomes is the “Father of all depressions”.

Anthropologists have for ages searched to nail evidence against these gnomes, but so far not been able to succeed, due to the gnomes being invisible.

Damn those gnomes!

Might be the Martians not buying enough hybrids, too. Y'all keep forgetting that.

Please don't piss off the gnomes...I need them to keep guarding my garden!!

I knew all along it was John15's fault. He must hate America or something...

SubKommander Dred

Wal-mart, at least for now, is thriving(versus the conventional doomer wisdom of it going bankrupt) under peak oil.

Since the Dow reached its record high last October, all but three of the 30 stocks in the index have lost value...Wal-Mart has gained almost 25 percent.


I bought two pairs of sandals in South Carolina at WalMart. Chinese made, well constructed-probably last 10 years. Anyway, I bought two because the price was $8.83 each. I get to the counter and she says these are on sale for $5.00. So each pair is shipped from China, run through WMart at $135 oil and the price is $5.00-I would have gladly paid $25.00 (5X the price). They are not going away tomorrow, and neither is global capitalism/trade.

Brian T- exactly. nobody can beat wal-mart because they are so huge they can ship the cheapest and etc. that's why they generally have the lowest prices. the economies of scale are enormous. mom and pop just can't get the price concessions and ship for the price that wal-mart does.

That's the problem. Walmart if forcing their suppliers to go our of business. Who do you think is eating all these price concessions?

That's the problem. Walmart if forcing their suppliers to go our of business. Who do you think is eating all these price concessions?

US import prices are skyrocketing. no long are we able to keep inflation damped with cheap goods from china. instead of exporting inflation and getting deflationary goods from china we're exporting inflation it's finally coming back in the form of inflating imported goods.

What? I'm sorry I don't understand what you posted or what it has to do with walmart forcing its suppliers to eat their rising costs.

Yes, they've created a whole section for the FWO's (formerly Well-offs) who are giddy about a little bit of 'slumming' and reconnecting with their working-class ancestors.. while not explicitly admitting that they're actually busted flat and upside down.

Wal-Mart is the evil of the entire last 30 years with a logo and a Made In China stamp. He who defends Wal-Mart defends business as usual, the status quo, and the creation of the sort of medieval peasantry who would happily work at such a place and (no coincidence) holds dearly every single belief that works against Peak Oil and Global Warming mitigation.

Winning the race to the bottom.

Wal-Mart is the evil of the entire last 30 years with a logo and a Made In China stamp. He who defends Wal-Mart defends business as usual, the status quo, and the creation of the sort of medieval peasantry who would happily work at such a place and (no coincidence) holds dearly every single belief that works against Peak Oil and Global Warming mitigation.

Winning the race to the bottom.

if you're one of the desperately poor Chinese people who has been pulled out of dire poverty you might have a little different perspective than your comparably comfortable western lifestyle. your computer is probably made by some of those people. thank god wal-mart and capitalism "exploit" people.

btw- wal-mart is going green.

If exploitation is so infallible, then why do revolutions happen?

The Chinese were pulled out of dire poverty because their dictatorship outsmarted the true form of capitalism: American corporate imperialism. Why have the Chinese done so much better than the Mexicans, El Salvadorians, Pakistanis, Filipinos, Egyptians and others around the world who poured into sweatshops for decades and are still there? Because America had programs in place to make sure its corporations and the filthy right-wing exploiters who run those countries would work together to prevent the workers from ever improving their lives. Read Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine for details.

But in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, spreading across Asia to China, there was a model where the government retained the sovereign power to manipulate capitalism and force Yankee exploiters to take nothing more than a reasonable profit, reinvesting the rest in high tech. The US occupation of Japan kept American corporations out of Japan! South Korea built its own corporations by using US military aid. They had more leverage against Washington because of their pleas about the Communist threat. Once the model was established, the Communists themselves adopted it.

When a Latin American leader talks about this stuff, he's denounced as a Communist and sanctioned or assassinated. Everywhere American corporations go, they demand ownership and the political power that goes with it. In Japan and China, they can't operate that way.

Where it pays off is that each of these countries has raised wages to the point where they can move into higher value-added industries. The problem is that raising the wages of a billion Chinese out of sweatshop range will be the death of Wal-mart, if not the entire ecosystem. There are no replacements for China. The pro-American dirt-poor states out there have kept their people poorly educated compared to the Chinese - that's the story of Latin America. Now the people there have rebelled and are no longer attractive to outside exploiters. As for Pakistan, what more needs to be said?

Wal-Mart could not have afforded well-educated Chinese labor so long if China hadn't propped up the dollar with a half-trillion $ in US treasury purchases and other bailouts. They are holding the yuan down compared to the $ to keep their prices competitive. But that's cheating the Chinese people. Most gold owners are vocally opposed to this sort of manipulation, by the way. So now China is either trapped by lending so much money to prop up a US that does nothing to fix its problems, or it dumps its dollars and Wal-Mart will have to hike prices, as will every damn retailer in America.

My beef is not with China. The race to the bottom was by Wal-Mart and pro-business politicians, destroying the jobs of a few people each year to flood America with cheaper goods for everyone else, thus suppressing real wages, outsourcing pollution, and disguising inflation. China had to use suckers like Wal-Mart and then betray them for the good of their citizens. Our government should have recognized the end game and stopped this $800 billion/year current accounts deficit. All the Pollyannish praises you heap on America are the product of that deficit.

This economic model destroyed our fiscal discipline, our personal savings, our conservation efforts, and our job security. Our reward: the insane orgy of consumption that tipped us over peak oil and global warming. Who will bear the punishment?

My beef is not with China. The race to the bottom was by Wal-Mart and pro-business politicians, destroying the jobs of a few people each year to flood America with cheaper goods for everyone else, thus suppressing real wages, outsourcing pollution, and disguising inflation. China had to use suckers like Wal-Mart and then betray them for the good of their citizens. Our government should have recognized the end game and stopped this $800 billion/year current accounts deficit. All the Pollyannish praises you heap on America are the product of that deficit.

while there are definately problems in china, do you have a better system that will cause the abosolutely stunning growth of the economy there? wages for workers have skyrocketed. growth in china and India is happening so fast that it's pulling up world commodity prices.

This economic model destroyed our fiscal discipline, our personal savings, our conservation efforts, and our job security. Our reward: the insane orgy of consumption that tipped us over peak oil and global warming. Who will bear the punishment?

I disagree but ok. the simple fact is that companies didn't do that people did. there is no excuse for people not saving or to overspend no matter what a corporation does or a government does.

I disagree but ok. the simple fact is that companies didn't do that people did. there is no excuse for people not saving or to overspend no matter what a corporation does or a government does.

You are, as souperman said, an idiot. But, you're right... all companies spend money on advertising because it HAS NO EFFECT.



john 1.5 is a freekin idjot.

It's not worth responding to his provocation.

He should be set down in the Middle East with a sling and a rock so he can end this thing once and for all. LOL (with a tear in my eye.)

john 1.5 is a freekin idjot.

It's not worth responding to his provocation.

it's not a provocation, it's simply the way capitalism works. if there wasn't a "race to the bottom" who would employ those desperately poor people? where would the extreme rural poverty of china be if globalism didn't employ them? what other resource do they have if not their cheap labor to give? I know it doesn't sound politically correct but that's the way the world works and it's lifted hundreds of millions out of dire poverty.

even paul krugman said people who are against globalization are in favor of keeping poor people poor.

What you are saying is the epitome of political correctness, almost to the extreme. Lower and lower wages and less benefits as God's work-classic.

Lower and lower wages and less benefits as God's work-classic.

then the burden is on you describe to me an economic system that would produce the stunning GDP and wage growth that have lifted hundreds of millions in China(and even India) out of poverty. the burden is on you to employ these people and produce goods that won't be shipped to the west.

we aren't talking about lower wages, we're talking about increasing wages in china and among the poor.

this article shows wages are up.

In interviews, factory executives across the country complained of being forced to give double-digit raises in order to find and keep young workers at all skill levels. Three or four years ago, said Zhong Yi, vice general manager of a leather-jacket manufacturer in Hangzhou in east-central China, 800 to 1,100 yuan a month ($105 to $145) “was a good salary.”

“Now,” he said, “1,500 is the bottom” ($198).


Both sides are true.

1. Globalisation leads to a dramatic increse in the incomes of people in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, whereever the sweatshop is set up. They pay excellent wages BY LOCAL STANDARDS.
2. Corporations sold out the USA by transfering the nation's productive capacity overseas and encouraging consumers to buy imported products on credit.

Both true.

The use of cheap foreign labour destroys the bargaining power of western workers and in the end lowers their living standards to third world levels.
At the same time, incomes in the developing counties rise towards the world average of $10,000 per capita. For people who used to earn less than $1000 per year, this may represent a substantial improvement.

Of course in the end the real challange will be dealing with overpopulation.

It is scaring me that I am agreeing with much of what John 15 has had to say today. Souperman2, you sound like one of those oregon whackos who believes that stopping bonfires on the beach will actual have an impact on global warming. Meanwhile underground coal fires in China and India continue to put out more CO, yearly, than all the cars and trucks in the US.We can talk about coal fired power plants another day. Unfortunately I think the financial maelstrom will trump it all however.

John15 isn't an idiot and not a troll and I defend his right to his opinions. However I don't agree with 90% of what he says as he is too much of a Pollyanna in my book.

I had about a hundred word comment on this subject but I'll save it for a comment thread that's current. I'll just say here that I completely agree with you, and I disagree with john15 even more than 90% of the time.

Many local gas stations going prepay

In the aftermath of flooding, it seems times are hard back home in Iowa (likely to get worse of course). Guppys on the Go is a nicely ironic name, considering:


CEDAR RAPIDS - Many area convenience stores will require customers to prepay for gasoline, starting next week, in an effort to stem a growing trend of gas drive-offs, Cedar Rapids police said today.

Casey's General Stores, Hawkeye Convenience Stores, Road Ranger, and Guppys on the Go will require the prepayment as of July 1, Police Lt. Ken Washburn said. [...]

I drove through WV, NY,Tenn,SC,NC,Virginia and every gas station was prepay (not like that yet in Toronto).

I already had that bit of culture shock years ago. I had always had pay after fill my whole life, but moved to Cali -and everything has been pre-pay here for a long time. I think the urban culture just can't plave that (minimal) level of trust in people.

I've lived in NM - "third-world usa" - for 10 years - everything has been prepay as far as I can remember.

Wow I left NM for Cali. In NM I only had to prepay when I was in disreputable neighborhoods. In Cali in any neighborhood the assumption is that you are scum who will try to steal their gas. My town in Cali has median income of $85K, and they still think everyone is a thief. At least where I lived and worked in NM that wasn't the case. But there certainly are some parts of the local economy that are well behind the curve. I was lucky to have a tech job when I was there. Tech jobs paid roughly the same in NM and elsewhere, but most other professions paid 25-30% less. I guess that made us few techies into the local elite.

Someone asked this in the Talk section of the Wiki Megaprojects page:

How are the production numbers in the summary derived? They often don't match with those I get by adding up the numbers in the detailed tables. e.g.: Brazil 2011, Two projects: 180 kbd + 100 kbd = 280 kbd. Summary says 780 kbd. Iraq 2010, Three projects: 90+100+250=440; Summary says 340.(Lord Gøn (talk) 19:03, 24 June 2008 (UTC))

I notice the KSA numbers for 2009 are off as well - summary page says 1645 kb/d but 2009 page only shows 3 projects totaling 575 kb/d. Wuzzup? Does this include holdover from 2008 projects?


If the sustainable post-oil-age world population is 1-2 billion (as I've read in various places), and the first world is likely to need to contribute to the downsizing as much, if not more than the third world (as it is the most dependent on fossil fuels for upkeep), how would/should we get there? I suspect we would need to get there in a human lifetime, i.e. around 50-75 years.

I found todays image on Automatic Earth particularly moving, and I'm compelled to post here again, even though I'm likely preaching to the choir here.

Might be a bit more, might be a bit less, hard to say. Here's one take:

From my peak oil primer.

How we should get there is, I think, going to be vastly different than how we are actually going to get there.

How do you think we should get there?


My pie-in-the-sky vision is everybody of child-bearing age and consent (say 16 and above) is sterilized, to allow a generation to be dropped. Only children alive currently would bear children if/when the world seems able to sustain them at that future time. Euthanasia would also be legalized and a Logans-Run style advocacy of assisted suicide above say 60 years would be promoted.

My real-world expectation however is world war (likely nuclear though I pray it never comes to this), famine and disease. The usual 4 horsemen scenario. I'm sad that population management never seems to have made it into the collective western culture. Oh well.

Hmm...I can see the value of making sterilization happen across the board to potentially create less push back from certain quarters about "fairness."

On the other hand, recently some numbers were posted here about birth rate drops during the Great Depression. Less economic activity seems to reduce birth rates dramatically. True, it wouldn't be "skipping a generation" completely because the rate wouldn't descend to 0, but it's a whole lot more politically feasible.


I know that women stop ovulating when their calorie intake drops below a certain level. It is nature's own population management scheme, although it is a rather brutal approach to the problem.

Perhaps the Sterilisation Sub-Committee could invite folk into processing centers or face a heavy fine. Members of the SSC would, of course, be exempt. And their families and friends, and their families, etc.

People who resist would obviously be mentally ill. After all, its for the Common Good isn't it? and the Sterilisation Enforcement Task Force would arrest them. People over 60 would be immediately dispatched, more cost effective.

As for forced euthanasia, they could start with the cripples and retards, yes? and then move into the elderly care homes.

But wait! lets not 'nickel and dime' it. How about a couple of dozen neutron bombs to downsize the population of, oohh, say, Europe? That would have the added bonus of freeing up lots of oil.


NB: Any f%*cker coming round my gaff for such purposes would be pig food in rapid order.

Thanks for underscoring my point for me, MyrddinWen.

In a species as varied as ours, there is always one group of people ready to oppose collaborative action because they perceive it as a threat in some way.

The car companies are threatened by the scientists who say their product is harmful, Big Business is threatened by anyone who wants to put rules around their behavior and the rest of us are each threatened by this thing or the other. Perhaps sterilization isn't required; perhaps a promise not to procreate would be sufficient, but I suspect that people would have just as big a problem with that, too.

In a very real way, our response to threats, real or just perceived, is leading us right to extinction.

Hi Andre,

re: "In a very real way, our response to threats, real or just perceived, is leading us right to extinction."

At the same time, there's a difference between "real" and "just perceived".

That's true.

Humans have a low capacity to distinguish between "real" and "perceived" threats. We are quite emotional creatures.

Allow me to cordially invite other countries to sterilise and euthanise THEIR populations first.

"Let's all commit suicide. You go first."

China is having a good go at it - they have a government-based population policy just now I believe - one child per family.

Since they are soon likely taking over from the USA as the primary global superpower (as the USA took over from the UK in the mid-20th century), maybe there is still hope.

Personally I wouldn't turn them into pig food as eating them directly (flavoured with Soylent Green) gives you more calories (and more satisfaction).
As far as those supporting euthanasia for the retards and unwanted I think a "sweet"little German corporal tried that.

Actually, birthrates in Japan, Europe and the US have been dropping for some time. I believe all three (certainly Japan) have not been producing enough to keep the population growing. The US has seen a large amount of immigration which has resulted in a growing population.

If you drop the 16 to 9, I'd go along; 9 being how young one can be for legal sex according to an Islamic scholar today. I'd also add some sort of pre-qualification testing to weed out psychopathic parents. Also, I'd cut the men but not the women. In China, family planning has worked for a generation now.

I don't really think we need a defined population level. If agriculture and economy are cut back, maybe we'll have fewer births, though in my lifetime, the population in Haiti has gone from a million to nearly 9 million, and the environment is totally devastated, and the people are still adding to the population.

As for the four horsemen, well I hope not, but one or more are probably inevitable, I fear.

On your pretty graph:

What colour are nuclear, solar, hydro, wind, and geothermal?

Nuclear might show up as a tiny dot at the top, but the others wouldn't show up at all:

Most people generally have no idea of the scale of the problem we are facing. We are utterly dependent on fossil fuels currently.

Now that is a picture worth a thousand words.

Consider the power of the exponential growth.

I took the wind & solar % (0.103%) and computed for twenty years at 40% compounded growth. 86% !

Add some geothermal, hydro (mainly outside USA & EU), nuclear and biomass growth plus a lot of "negawatts" and problem solved :-)

Now how to we keep 40% annual growth going for 20 years ?

Best Hopes,


Now how to we keep 40% annual growth going for 20 years ?

If you figure that out, I will gladly vote for you as Emperor of the World. I hear the job is still open.

There have been some papers published on using EROI to estimate maximum growth rates of an energy source. (rate of growth is based on amount of excess energy available for reinvestment).

I made some rough estimates for wind and nuclear power:
I used a nuclear power EROI of 14 based on an update of Hall's estimate (see his post on nuke eroi). Because nuclear power has a long build time (using energy while not providing) it has a maximum growth rate of about 4%.

Using Cleveland's meta study of wind EROI of 18 (which I believe is high) and the rapid construction time of a wind turbine, we could see sustained growth as high as 16% per year In Theory.

These estimates do NOT take into consideration transmission, storage, or the energy expended to convert the automotive fleet to electric (or other conversions). So they will be rather optimistic. It would be very difficult to make up for the fall in a source like oil when building off such a small installed base.

Here is the paper with the clearest equations that takes into account build time and EROI. The paper uses optimistic values for EROI.

"Dynamic energy analysis to assess maximum growth rates in developing power generation capacity: case study of India", J. Mathur et al. Energy Policy 32 (2004) pg 281-287

This is great, thanks Jon. The paper is located here, btw:

Here's one take:

This take is misleading. It appears to show energy share versus population, but in fact the colors on the graph are assigned according to an arbitrary theory of "energy cycles". I hope you realise that?

This is why nuclear doesn't show up, because nuclear never reached 20% of energy consumption, which is deemed the threshold. The real data looks approximately like this:

Here "renewable" means combustible renewables, primarily wood.

Just a thought. Wouldn't it be more illustrative if, the sources with the longer horizons were put lower down in the hierarchy. The combustible renewables are absolutely correctly placed but, I think hydro should be next instead of coal since while coal will someday decline, hydro of some sort will always be an option. Not sure whether nuclear should be above or below coal. Will nuclear still be an option by the time the coal runs out? Of course the already declining Oil and NG would be right there at the top.

Has anybody done any extrapolation with these graphics to show the effcts of the decline in oil and NG along with likely increases in renewables. It would be an interesting graphic to show to people responsible for population planning.

Alan from the islands

the colors on the graph are assigned according to an arbitrary theory of "energy cycles"

Bob, can you say more about what you are thinking? Zabel references the energy cycles of roughly fifty years but certainly doesn't seem wedded to it since his graph shows energy being used for much longer and much shorter periods.

Also, I have no problem with the author's arbitrary cutoff of 20% as for when an energy source represents enough extra energy to lift the population ceiling.

It's clearly not 1% because a complex society like ours can use that just to provide lighting to its residences at night, and it doesn't seem reasonable to me to count that as raising the population ceiling. Lighting at night isn't necessarily frivolous but there are many frivolous ways we use many 1% slices of energy.

On the other end of the bracket, 50% seems to be too high — at that point it would be a stretch to say the energy gained from that source doesn't contribute to the fundamentals of food production and distribution, or to the broader technologies that eventually find their way to food production or distribution (like the better understanding of heritable disease genes, for instance).

So, to me, a cutoff is needed and we can dicker over where you or I would draw the line. The author chose 20%, which seems fine to make the point.

Does your graph include no cutoff whatsoever? If so, I would say it's less valid than Zabel's 20% cutoff but I'm interested in hearing your point of view.


This graph is such bunk. It doesn't take into account the fact that only 15% of the world's population (the 1 billion in the rich industrialised countries) consume over three quarters of the world's energy. So if those 1 billion were to magically disappear overnight, you would still have 5.6 billion people on earth living with very litle fossil fuel use.

The 5-fold increase in the world's population in the past century was not because of cheap oil. However the 10-fold increase in real per capita income in industrial countries over the same period was largely made possible by cheap energy.

People who correlate population growth with the increase in fossil fuel consumption, then assume that peak oil means mass die-off, completely miss the point.

Peasants in Africa will still be living pretty much the way they do today. However middle-class westerner in the suburbs will have to learn to live like their great-grandparents did in 1908.


In 2007 oil consumption dropped -9.0%. German consumption peaked in 1998 at 2.915 million barrels per day. In 2007, consumption was 2.393 million barrels per day, meaning current consumption is -17.9% off peak levels.

What's wrong with these Krauts anyway using less energy every year? Have they lost their fricking minds? Don't they know that increased energy use is the path to Nrivana? Oh well you can never teach an old dog new tricks I suppose. Gotta go rev up the Hummer now and drive down to the 711 to get a snicker's bar.

What was the USA 2007 vs. 2006 oil use ?

I looked in EIA and had trouble finding it (out in the heat most of the day and my scanning functions may be impaired; EXCEPTIONAL "Only in New Orleans Day" :-)

Best Hopes for Streetcars, Art Fairs, Oral History, Jazz Funerals and an Old Man with a cane dancing behind a horse drawn hearse crying out "My Daddy" with a smile on his face,

Alan from where we put the Fun into funeral

Essentially flat. I don't have the chart in front of me, but I'm pretty sure it was up by 0.1%.

I look at a place like NH and I marvel at the sheer idiocy of what was built upon it in recent decades. My father was dropped off in his hometown by a freight train and drove around on paved roads during the 40's. THAT was modernity, albeit on a reasonable scale. Most of what came later was just excess IMO.


I look at a place like NH and I marvel at the sheer idiocy of what was built upon it in recent decades. My father was dropped off in his hometown by a freight train and drove around on paved roads during the 40's. THAT was modernity, albeit on a reasonable scale. Most of what came later was just excess IMO.

I've vacationed in NH each summer for about 25 years...it's not that built up at all. I'm actually wearing my wolfboro, NH t-shirt right now.

Certain segments of the state are getting very CT-ey and NJ-ey. Basically the Seacoast area extending up to Rochester/Farmington area and the s. central area from Manchester down.I think it is is all relevant and the degree of shock depends on what you are used to thinking of as a "normal" built environment.


Hello TODers,

The Ghost of Tom Joad
By James Howard Kunstler

One of the best albums of the 90's IMO.

Report: J.D. Power forecasts plunge in U.S. June sales
J.D. Power and Associates is predicting the June seasonally adjusted annual sales rate will plunge to 12.5 million vehicles, down from 16.3 million last June. That is far below what other analysts have projected for the month’s sales. today cited a leaked report from the firm that says June U.S. sales of light vehicles will plunge 15.4 percent from last year.


J.D. Power on June Sales: GM -26.2% Ford -31.4%, Chrysler -30.1%

I guess that free market stuff works. Whoda thunk?

What is shocking is how the small price increase in gas has produced such a large change in domestic vehicle sales. Things are going to get much worse.

Michigan will become the poster child of Peak Oil....if it already isn't. 8.5% unemployement already.

The beginning and end of combustion driven cars as we know it.

What is shocking is how the small price increase in gas has produced such a large change in domestic vehicle sales. Things are going to get much worse.

it's not gas prices it's the collapsing housing bubble. you can't refi twice a year and take the money and buy a BMW anymore. you actually have to have money to buy a house and a car these days.

Hello TODers,

Local golf communities hurting for players
Hey, Tiger Woods, I hope you are reading here while recuperating from your knee operation. Are you getting ready to drive a tractor for plowing Augusta National? Or do your endorsement contracts prevent that?

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

Hello TODers,

Thousands Cheer as Pakistani Militants Decapitate, Shoot Afghans Accused of Spying for U.S.
..and so it goes. How long till this is common everywhere, for all kinds of silly reasons, as the Thermo/Gene Collision continues?

REQUIEM by Jay Hanson, 02/20/98

...It really will be back to the good old days! Shouts of "BRING ME HIS HEAD" will ring through the land, slaves, scalps, souvenirs and trophies of all sorts, ... exciting possibilities limited only by our ingenuity...
Is a single sword more powerful than the combined might of a postPeak bicycle & wheelbarrow? Time will tell.

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

Congress Vacations While Economy Burns
Lawmakers Go on July 4 Break Without Passing Energy or Housing Relief Bills

..Congress has gone on holiday and told the nation, "See you after July 4th." Nobody here but tourists, who can't understand why Congress would leave with so much undone.

"I can't really say I know what they do in there," a man from Bakersfield, Calif., said outside the Capitol building. "I know what they're not doing."

Civilization does not equal technology. The opening quotation is simply appallingly ignorant--though I know from lurking here for months that several people are of the same opinion. Because of cheap oil, the masses have enjoyed the perils and benefits of combustion and electronic technology--that's all. Civilization existed long before and will exist long after the end of technology. When I was growing up, we had an outhouse, no frig, used coal for cooking, and pumped our own water. We either rode bicycles or horses or ships for transportation. Though a nice, nearly-frozen beer is heavenly, and it is more convenient to freeze the corn rather than walk into the garden and pick them fresh, I don't know that technology has added all that much to civilization. We seem to me to be much more barbaric.

And as far as the pessimistic doomers are concerned, I am similarly appalled by the lack of common sense among them. Every blog on this site seems to begin with legitimate and well-reasoned facts--and invariably a doomer or two will say it's futile, all will soon collapse, anarchy is at hand--sort of like secular religious fundamentalists. Without oil to drive our vehicles I would guess we'd have far fewer obese people. Everything else can be taken care of by electricity and our two feet (or two pedals). Most of our pharmaceuticals could be eradicated with no great loss; most of our so-called medicine is worthless; our food could do with some "natural" feeding (compare a modern chicken to a free-roaming one). We use energy recklessly and without constraint: we could probably cut out 80 percent of our energy uses and still have a viable society.

I sure hope the PO people are correct and we stop our wasteful (mainly in the US) lifestyles. The doomers have no future, and neither do the cornucopians. Sorry if this all offends you, but I've been needing this rant for a few weeks now.

I tend to agree. But anyone who can't even remember VHS tapes has no connection with your rant.

I doubt that many in the rising generations are prepared to use outhouses or grub in kitchen gardens. Non-technology will have to be learned all over again.

As for medicine-- well Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "if the whole materia medica, as now used, could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be so much the better for mankind – and all the worse for the fishes". To some extent, that has changed -- it's nice to have lasix and penicillin and atenolol and oxytocin and cephalosporins and prednisone and perhaps a dozen others -- but the point is well taken.

I really, really hope that the transition from the Era of Cheap Crap to the Era of Permaculture is smooth and peaceful.

That folk wake up from their TV induced zombie state and become civilised.

Problem is, one only has to observe our multiculturally enhanced inner cities to disabuse us of that ideal.

Fare Thee Well.

I am a 'pessimistic doomer'. I also believe there will be a 'viable society'. (I think we need to define this term though, and how long from now until it exists.) However Pharmaceuticals keep my wife alive. Her dying makes things pretty 'futile' to me. Most of my food is shipped to me on a truck run on the "oil to drive our vehicles". I have just started farming and sure as heck can't keep my family alive currently on the food I grow. Chickens are next on my list. A lot of stuff to gather before letting them run free here. Coyote, cougar, bobcat, lynx, raccoons, etc. a plenty.

Electricity is a great thing, and I happen to live where 75%+ is Hydro. However I used to work for a utility company and we used a LOT of diesel keeping things running smoothly. It can take care of a lot of things, if it is available. See Pakistan and Omaha currently. And battery technology isn't currently anywhere near able to run all that heavy equipment for days on end to repair this stuff.

My grandparents and my dad lived as you did. I remember the stories, and wish I had listened closer. Most of them are gone now and took with them gobs of survival skills we will need. "Combustion and electronic technology" doesn't even come close to describing all the things modern technology provides, and I don't believe that every single advancement will disappear either. But when you realize concrete was invented by the Romans and it took until the mid 1800's to 'rediscover' it, you have to know a lot is going to be lost.

My feelings are that in the next 5 to 30 years the population of the planet will be closer to that of 1808 instead of 2008. There is a load of reasons why I believe this. But in 1808 there was a 'viable society'. Some parts of the world will have zero loss, some parts will be devastated, and I am certain that there will be many that have something in between.

I have two teenage children, I feel my job now is to make sure the two of them live to see the 'viable society' that eventually will exist. I think it will be a lot harder then digging an outhouse and learning to live without a fridge.

You are well reasoned in what you say and a little belt tightening in lifestyles back to the better aspects of "the good old days" would do the world some good.
My biggest fear however is the reactions of the FWO's causing catastrophic negative feadback loops (trade embargoes, repudiation of debt, resource wars, ethic cleansing, jihad etc leading up to biochemical/nuclear wars).

To be fair, the article says the golden age of civilization will end, not civilization. You may disagree that this is the golden age, but I suspect the vast majority of readers would not.

I also think it's wrong-headed to think the future will be like the immediate past. Anyone alive today lived while we were on the up slope of Hubbert's peak. When there were far fewer people and far more resources than is the situation now. Even so, the transition to oil was rocky. (A couple of world wars fought, among other things.) I think we can expect the transition from oil to be worse.

No, I don't think that means we'll all be living in caves eating mushrooms next year. But neither do I believe we will smoothly transition to a 19th-century lifestyle. The 19th century lifestyle was supported by the opening up of the New World, and the energy and resources it provided.

A more reasonable template may be Europe or China before Columbus. Those were societies forced to live within Malthusian limits. No doubt they were civilized. But yeah, I think this would be considered a golden age in comparison.

No Apology necessary. Good rant!

"Gordon, you speak a lot of sense for an Oilman" - Local Hero

"Superman, you are one mean drunk!" - Old joke


Hello TODers,

A 'British Bhopal' for their Organic Gardeners? This is the last thing the UK needs as they go postPeak. Yikes!

Home-grown veggies ruined by toxic fertiliser

Gardeners across Britain are reaping a bitter harvest of rotten potatoes, withered salads and deformed tomatoes after an industrial herbicide tainted their soil...

...Shirley Murray, 53, a retired management consultant with an allotment near Bushy Park in Hampton, south-west London, said several of her allotment neighbours had used the same manure bought from a stables and all were affected.

'I am absolutely incensed at what has happened and find it scandalous that a weedkiller sprayed more than one year ago, that has passed through an animal's gut, was kicked around on a stable floor, stored in a muck heap in a field, then on an allotment site and was finally dug into or mulched on to beds last winter is still killing "sensitive" crops and will continue to do so for the next year,' she said.

'It's very toxic, it shouldn't get into the food chain. You try to be as organic as you can and we have poisoned our food....
Also posted on TOD:EUR to help spread the word to others. Does anyone know if this kind of crap is being used here in the US or Canada?

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

Probably ....

Chicken and other manures are used to grow commercial "Organic" food.

Yeah its being used in the states.
Its called (WEED AND FEED)
You can see pallets stacked to the rafters in
Lowes home improvement stores and Home Depot's
And any garden supply or hardware store anywhere USA.
It contains a spectracide that kills anything except
lawn grass.
Unlike (ROUNDUP) Which kills everything...developed
during Vietnam and called (AGENT ORANGE)

Dont bother thanking me.


"Does anyone know if this kind of crap is being used here in the US or Canada?"

ROTFLOL, like much of the crap in the world, it comes from the US, it's made by
Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA,
So I would bet a Euro to a cent it is being used.

It's just like the crapy GM stuff that has been designed to make more profit for the creators rather than actually improve the product.

in the great state of new jerky,where i live, there are 2 million residences. and there are 1 million cars. rush hour in am or pm has roads filled to capacity. even if each car uses 1/2 gallon of gas per day that is 500,000 gallons per day. which is 183,000,000 gallons of gas per year. and just in my driving lifetime of 38 years would be 69,540,000,000 gallons of gas. of course i mean gallons of transportation fuel. and my numbers are ruff estimates. population less then and more now. probable fleet economy going down instead of up. but that is one state in the usa. it stands to reason that lots and lots of fuel is used per day. for the world it is 87 million barrels per day. and it goes on and on and on. everything has a beginning and everything has an end. oil must be used up. but when? soon? or later? and how later? these things can be figgered out. but what is accurate information?
china is going to use many times the amount the usa uses when their population has usa's life style. china already has tremendous pollution problems. peasants have moved out of poverty into pollution. and they will return to poverty as soon as the oil runs out. of course the usa will return to poverty also. not the quaint
type TOD posters dream about but grinding back breaking poverty. work never done, no day off, get sick and die sort of poverty. poverty will be logan's run short life span. short and brutal. things may even out later at "equalibrium".
TOD posters play with words shuffling their bits and bytes about.
sort of like i am doing right now. OH! how we will all long for those
carefree lazy hours and days at the key board! folks garden now growing lettuce and egg plant. but imagine if your life depended on it. and imagine having to harvest and put it all in mason jars. because you have to.
right now the usa is spending trillions of dollars on wars without end, that is till the money runs out. that money could have put 10 KW PV system on every (that is EVERY) residence in the usa. and could have enabled everyone to buy a electric car. it could have given every community a wind farm.
the earth quake in china ,some say, was caused by the three gorges hydro electric dam and all that water shifting the earth's crust. and just as unlikely almost all of china's solar and wind manufacturing facilities were heavily damaged. many engineers and technicians were killed. it is sed that the products will have to be made else where.
all big gov-ments are the same. just as individuals are short sighted, so are gov-ments. oh some folks may have insight and sometimes gov-ments may do intelligent things but often it depends on luck. both good and bad or chance.people are part of nature. people affect nature. nature affects people. change one thing and you change everything.technology is a part of nature. technology must be balanced. over population of any species results in crashes. there is no limit to human greed and folly. the man enslaved to wealth can never be honest.
if time ran backwards we all would eat crap.
i didnt feel like using my shift key much. you can mad max me when the oil runs out.

Humbaba, I liked this line: TOD posters play with words shuffling their bits and bytes about.

Its true that many people on this board are crunching the numbers to the nth degree attempting to get a clearer picture of exactly what the situation is in regard to Peak oil. But that's the nature of this board. I too look at the big picture and fail to disseminate every nuance of detail, but the gist of it is we are all headed towards the days when we will have to put in a lot of labor to put food on the table, i.e. fill jars etc. With less energy to do the work for us, we will have to do the labor ourselves. And yes that will mean less time at the keyboard. Hunger will force one out of the cozy chair and into the garden to try just one more time to get a good harvest.

These are the last years of luxury. At some threshold of price per barrel or juncture in time, it will be apparent that all is not what it once was. The look of dismay at rising oil prices will turn to haggard looks of desperation. Desperate looks will turn to angry ones, and anger will turn into the Mad Max world you mentioned. Enjoy these last moments of the cheap age of oil as we descend to a place no one wants to go - hard labor, and lower living standards.

What exactly was so Golden about the period 1950-2000? I was alive for most of it and have always wished to have been born in the Renaissance or a century or two from now when the current cultureless socio-economic clusterfuck is over.

Just about the only thing that keeps me sane is the hope that post petroleum we'll figure out an enjoyable and peacable way of life. That will be the Golden Age.

I figured out at a very early age (1976, age 6) that the American social experiment was a failure. The buildings we built and the lives we chose to live were (and are) graceless, disposable and without value. There is a better essay about this at www.toomanymeople@blogspot.com.