DrumBeat: July 27, 2008

Police: rising fuel costs are ‘major public safety issue’

Patrol cars pose a major fuel-savings obstacle for law enforcement. Most departments use an 8-cylinder Ford Crown Victoria, which has high-speed emergency breaking capacity and gear ratios suitable for police pursuits.

So far, hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars are not powerful nor big enough for police equipment or to sustain the wear and tear of patrol. “Hybrid vehicles will not be a replacement for front-line cruisers,” said Fall River police Sgt. Thomas Mauretti.

Pakistanis go hungry as economic troubles bite

ISLAMABAD (AFP) — Until this year Fakharuz Zaman's Pakistani government salary was enough to get by on but now his weary wife lets their two-year-old son scrabble in the dirt for pieces of mouldy fruit.

A wave of economic woes has plunged millions of families like Zaman's below the poverty line, posing a new challenge for the fragile coalition government and even overshadowing the threat of Islamic militancy.

Spiralling food and fuel prices, power outages lasting at least six hours a day, a plummeting stock market and soaring inflation have all caused mounting anger in the unstable nuclear-armed nation of 160 million people.

UK: 100,000 Jobs to go in crisis

UP to 100,000 factory jobs will be lost unless more is done to tackle Britain’s energy crisis, MPs will warn this week.

The stark message will add misery to families already struggling to keep up with the high cost of living, as the credit crunch risks becoming a full-blown recession.

Finding and Fixing a Home’s Power Hogs

WHILE we all worry about where we’re going to get more energy in an increasingly energy-obsessed world, there’s also another alternative: Use less power. That may soon be simpler, thanks to the introduction of a bevy of inexpensive devices that let homeowners monitor how much energy appliances, TVs, PCs, and heating and cooling systems actually use.

Wood becoming more attractive heating option

Josh Vavra wants a cord of hardwood firewood so badly, he's offering tickets to a Red Sox-Yankees game to get it.

Vavra has used oil to heat his home in the past, but the 30-year-old Derry resident switched to using a wood stove last winter because of rising oil costs.

So far this year, he has found local dealers couldn't supply him with the dry hardwood he needs, which prompted him to turn to the online classifieds Web site Craigslist to trade what he calls one precious commodity for another.

A Modest Proposal: Eco-Friendly Stimulus

ECONOMISTS and members of Congress are now on the prowl for new ways to stimulate spending in our dreary economy. Here’s my humble suggestion: “Cash for Clunkers,” the best stimulus idea you’ve never heard of.

Wind power: A reality check

Plans are afoot to prod the nation into using much more renewable energy. Can it be done, and what's the cost?

Ice Free

Greenland’s ice sheet represents one of global warming’s most disturbing threats. The vast expanses of glaciers — massed, on average, 1.6 miles deep — contain enough water to raise sea levels worldwide by 23 feet. Should they melt or otherwise slip into the ocean, they would flood coastal capitals, submerge tropical islands and generally redraw the world’s atlases. The infusion of fresh water could slow or shut down the ocean’s currents, plunging Europe into bitter winter.

Yet for the residents of the frozen island, the early stages of climate change promise more good, in at least one important sense, than bad. A Danish protectorate since 1721, Greenland has long sought to cut its ties with its colonizer. But while proponents of complete independence face little opposition at home or in Copenhagen, they haven’t been able to overcome one crucial calculation: the country depends on Danish assistance for more than 40 percent of its gross domestic product. “The independence wish has always been there,” says Aleqa Hammond, Greenland’s minister for finance and foreign affairs. “The reason we have never realized it is because of the economics.”

Oil could be McCain’s issue

"I think this issue, the whole energy issue, offers (McCain) an enormous opportunity," said Peter Brown of the Quinnipiac University poll, whose surveys released Thursday found sizable support in Wisconsin and two other Midwestern battlegrounds, Minnesota and Michigan, for new coastal drilling.

"People are much more open to drilling," Brown said.

"I don't think I've ever seen an issue turn around so dramatically," said House Republican Paul Ryan of Janesville. "I've always voted for drilling, and it's always been a political liability for me. My mail used to run 10-to-1 against it. . . . Now it's 13-to-1 in favor."

Sen. Bernard Sanders: Oil costs causing an emergency

Vermonters are especially hard hit by rising gas and oil prices. In our rural state, many people have to drive a long way to get to work or to a supermarket. In our cold-weather state, when winter comes the cost of heating homes will likely be double what it was last year. Refilling an oil tank is costing many families a thousand dollars – or more. Hundreds and hundreds of people have written or told me how the huge increases in the price of gasoline and fuel oil have made life exceedingly difficult for them and their families.

As a member of both the Senate environment and energy committees, here are four main proposals I am working on to address the energy crisis.

Ireland: Food crisis plan on the menu

"There's probably not a week's supply of food here for everyone in Dublin, let alone the country. The shelves would empty of food very quickly in the event of an emergency. We've seen food riots around the world, but it could easily happen here" said Bruce Darrell, an expert with Feasta.

Community gardens growing in popularity amid rising food prices, health scares

Community gardens are full for the first time in years, seed sales are up and memberships in home gardening groups are gaining -- part of a movement among Americans concerned with food prices, the environment and food safety.

In a growth spurt compared by some industry experts to the organic gardening movement spurred by the 1970s energy crisis, more people are raising their own fruits and vegetables.

Russia’s new Great Game

Employing strategies redolent of a new Great Game, Russia has stepped up its diplomatic and trade activities in the Middle East and North Africa in a bid to enhance its geopolitical clout and gain access to, and at least partial control over, the region’s oil and gas reserves.

Among the former global superpower’s tactics: linking arms deals and debt-forgiveness to energy deals.

Cuban President Warns of Tough Times Ahead

Citing the global economic downturn and the rising cost of oil, Raúl Castro said Cuba and other countries in the developing world face severe challenges that would require belt-tightening and patience.

James Kunstler insists suburbs are done for

A lot of people (Realtors, builders, bankers) are waiting for the “bottom” of the housing crash, with the idea that we’ll re-enter an up-cycle. I see it differently. There won’t be a resumption of “growth” as we’ve known it, certainly not in suburban residential and commercial real estate. The suburban project is over. We’re done with that. (I know people find this unbelievable.) The existing stuff will represent a huge liability for us for decades to come as it loses value and utility and falls apart.

However, I also believe our big cities will contract. They are simply not scaled to the energy realities of the future. The successful places, in my opinion, will be the smaller cities and towns that 1.) have walkable neighborhoods, 2.) have proximity to water for power, transport and drinking, and 3.) have a meaningful relationship with a productive agricultural hinterland. Some places you can forget about completely: Phoenix . . . Las Vegas . . . they’re toast.

Point of Contact: James Howard Kunstler

What kind of place will the Dallas area be to live in the Long Emergency?

As you probably know from reading TLE, I think the Sun Belt generally is in for tough times. We're going to rediscover why the territory between Charleston and the Pecos was an agricultural backwater before 1945, with few cities of any size. You can't overestimate the importance of cheap air conditioning – and the prospect for that is looking pretty grim in years ahead.

Gulf oil producers stance appears vindicated

OPEC countries, which supply about 40 per cent of world crude production, have already responded by increasing oil production by 350,000 bpd to 32.4 million bpd, with Saudi supply rising to 9.45 million bpd. Exports from offshore storage have also lifted Iranian supply to 3.8 million bpd.

Following Goldman Sachs' prediction that crude prices could hit $200 a barrel before the end of 2008, analysts at Lehman Brothers are now saying they believe oil prices have reached 'a tipping point', with forecasts that the price per barrel will ease to $110 by the fourth quarter and decline further to $90 early in 2009.

Jordan plans regional railway, oil link with Iraq

AMMAN - Jordan is seeking six billion dollars from international donors to build a railway link with its neighbours and plans to import Iraqi crude oil by rail, the transport ministry said on Sunday.

Iraq's oil exports decline in June

BAGHDAD - The Iraqi Oil Ministry says oil exports in June amounted to 58.1 million barrels, a 4.3 percent decline from the previous month.

Sunday's statement says it sold for $123 a barrel and yielded $7.141 billion.

It adds that 43.6 million barrels were exported through the south and 14.5 million from Turkey's port of Ceyhan.

No reason was given a reason, but exports through Basra's ports were suspended for a few days last month because of sandstorms.

Now it's war at BP-TNK

The oil giant's dispute with its Russian partners has erupted into open hostilities with the stage set for a long battle in the international courts.

Troubles fail to drive down Hummer owners' passion

Maybe mega-SUVs are going the way of dinosaurs. Hummer sales have dropped 40 percent this year. But these beasts and the men and women who love them certainly don't behave like endangered species.

"I told my wife when we bought this, 'Honey, we're investing in steel and rubber,' says William Welch, a Philadelphia surgeon who, cigar clenched between his teeth, offers a guided tour of his lovingly tended jet-black H1.

"If it was $10 a gallon," he says, "we'd still be out there."

Customers getting pinched as oil profits go to investors

HOUSTON - As giant oil companies such as Exxon Mobil get set to report what will probably be another round of eye-popping quarterly profits, just where is all that money going?

Companies insist they're trying to find new oil that might help bring down gas prices, but the money they spend on exploration is nothing compared with what they spend on stock buybacks and dividends.

Stagflation and Peak Oil: How Related Are They? (Part I)

Two terms that definitely scare investors (at least those who don't know what implications both have on their portfolio) are Stagflation and Peak Oil. One (Stagflation) might be happening soon but could be avoided, while the other (Peak Oil) might not happen soon, but cannot be avoided.

What Is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve?

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a backup supply of crude oil that's pumped into deep underground salt caverns more than a half-mile deep along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast. The complex, run by the Department of Energy (DOE), can hold a maximum of 727 million barrels of crude oil. The United States imports about 12 million barrels a day.

Life after oil

Humanity is sitting on a railroad track, and a train is speeding toward us. The name of that train is global oil shortages.

Carbon credits' dirty secret

First, buying and selling carbon credits doesn't remove one molecule of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Second, carbon credits weren't designed to lower emissions. They were designed to shift emissions around. Practically speaking, they will delay the day when we start lowering them.

Firefighting costs soar

As wildfire seasons have grown lengthier from year to year, the cost of fighting off the threat has skyrocketed -- and the funding situation is becoming dire.

WASHINGTON -- The Forest Service has struggled for years to pay for fighting fires that last year alone scorched almost 10 million acres. As fire seasons grow longer and the blazes more intense in forests stressed by global warming, the agency's funding woes mount.

In fact, the Forest Service has already spent roughly $900 million this year, almost 75 percent of its fire-suppression budget, and the season is just nearing its peak.

Nevada brothel entices visitors with free petrol

In an era of economic uncertainty and sky-rocketing fuel prices, America's long-distance lorry drivers can finally offset some of the increased cost of life on the open road – by filling up with what headline writers are calling "whore-star" petrol.

Nevada's legalised brothels, for years a favourite pit-stop for lonely truckers and travelling salesmen, have started offering free fuel vouchers to customers who are prepared to continue paying for sex, despite the wallet-sapping effects of the global oil crisis. At the Shady Lady Ranch, 30 miles north of the desert town of Beatty, visitors who mention the "July special" are being given cards that entitle them to anything from $50 to $150 worth of petrol at any Arco filling station.

New York Times: Expert Says Arctic Ocean Will Soon Be an Open Sea


Ah, nice head fake jbunt.

Here is a simple global warming intro guide from the Royal Academy, for those who would like a little science to wash out the bad taste of that denialist propaganda.

I take it you do not subscribe to the notion that if a person or entity was mistaken about any single thing in the past -they must be wrong about every single thing in the future? :)

People need to get their head out of the sand about what the arctic really is. It is an extremely cold environment, dark almost the entire year, waves of huge porportions and massive ice bergs regularly drifting around. It's as hostile environment as you can possibly get, it will take a massive amount of effort to get things going up there at "the end of the world".

Uh, where did you study pop science? In summer, the North Pole experiences sunlight all day long between the Equinoxes, that is, 6 months of the year. There aren't many of those "giant icebergs", as the source of most of these is the glaciers of Greenland and almost all of those dump bergs into either the Nordic Seas or the Baffin Bay/Davis Strait/Labrador Sea. Sea-ice is not the same as an iceberg. When there was lots of multi-year sea-ice, the winds could not produce waves. Things were calm enough for people to camp out on the sea-ice over winter, which Russian scientists have done for many years.

E. Swanson

This site is just amazing!! 14 negatives for a NY Times Article, hardly propaganda, and not one word of comment by me. And, can we save the word "denialist" for the Holocost crowd, use sceptic. You would think that since the editor posts things on global warming, some alternative views would be acceptable. The earth's surface is mostly water. The oceans are a huge part of the climate. If people think that CO2 (.04% of the atmosphere, and the atmosphere is .37% of the mass of the oceans, and man's contribution to CO2 is 7%) is the main cause of warming the oceans, I suggest that you should try boiling water with a hair dryer.

All good scientists are skeptics, but they must live with the data as it pertains to their field. Denialist, even those with science degrees, often ignore the data and cherry pick bits and pieces which they think will support their denial of the other findings. The mass of the ocean has nothing to do with whether or not there is global warming underway. Do learn some physics, won't you?

E. Swanson

Well, the gulf stream warms all of Northern Europe, and I guess that involves no physics. Good God, what has happened to the education system?

Is the education system a mess? My thoughts exactly.

Recall that the Gulf Stream is not the same as the Thermohaine Circulation (THC). The Gulf Stream spreads out as it leaves the U.S. coast and becomes the North Atlantic Drift Current. Only a fraction of the waters of the Gulf Stream move toward Northern Europe, the majority turns back towards the south and circulates around the sub-tropical gyre. It's the THC branch of the Gulf Stream water which does keep Northern Europe somewhat warmer than the coastal regions at a similar latitude on the North Pacific coast. Both locations are warmer than land areas at similar latitudes on the western side of the respective ocean basins.

But, to get back to reality, Global Warming is an atmospheric problem. The oceans can be expected to warm eventually, but the large mass will mean that the warming of the oceans will lag the warming in the atmosphere. The fact that the oceans are stratified implies that the warming of the deep oceans will be slow. What I was attempting to point to was the physics of the energy flows thru the atmosphere, with the solar input being balanced by the IR leaving. The physics says the balance point is changing, thus increasing the global temperature at the surface.

E. Swanson

Your reputation precedes you !

If you think that CO2 is not warming the biosphere because it is such a small %, add .04% of a strong dye (say india ink) to a very deep, very clear pool. A VERY good analogy to the impact of CO2 at infrared wavelengths.

You ARE a denier IMO.


While one experiment showed a glass enclosure filled with CO2 will warm more rapidly in sunlight than a glass enclosure filled with air; how might one account for glaciers receding from near the Indiana-Kentucky state line to above the Arctic Circle since the end of the Ice Age? Manhattan was once covered by a continental ice sheet that began to recede about 11,000 years ago. The ice sheet was there year round.

There was some other factor involved with this pre-industrial period of global warming that may not be plotted on CO2 density charts.

What caused the Ice Ages in the first place? Is there evidence one might reoccur? Will a change in the earth's orbit bring about another Ice Age? Will this cause a massive relocation of habitation?

By asking these questions you are proving one of two things: you don't understand what is or is not relveant in the science of global climate, or you have never bothered to do ANY research whatsoever becuase those are the most basic of questions and have the most basic of answers. If neither A nor B are true, then you are a troll on this topic for you are asking unimportant questions for questionable reasons.

You see, since none of those questions are really relevant anymore, having been fully accounted for and being fully understood in terms of their roles in the science of global climate, there can be only one reason to ask them (keeping in mind what I stated in the first paragraph): obfuscation. You wish to mislead those not well-versed in the topic to believe there is some doubt. There is not.

I present the same challenge to you I present to ALL denialists (And given that we know the vast majority are politicized, are paid off and don't do any perr reviewed science, I am completely comfortable with labeling them to almost certainly be criminals spreading disinformation in such a manner as to undermine the future security of humanity on this planet. That is, you are almost certainly committing crimes against humanity. Given that scale, if you are either A or B are true, then you are wasting everyone's time and deserve any vitriol that comes your way.): Present some peer-reviewed science that has stood the critiques or shut the hell up. (Hint: there isn't any.)

Let's be charitable for a nano-second and assume you are just gullible:



You can also search on any topic related to climate change at RealScience.

There will be no further charity from me. If you can honestly look at the science then return here and honestly remain a sceptic, then you are just lacking in objectivity and/or intelligence or are on the take.


And you CCPO, have you ever considered that maybe being polite and semi respectful is a virtue? Your insistance on being rude and showing your a$$ reminds me of why on the survialist blogs their first global warming action is "shoot the f*cking environmentalists" then reduce fossil fuel use.

Lovely attitude....People like you are a hell of alot more dangerous than peak oil or global warming combined.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go load some more bullets.

And you CCPO, have you ever considered that maybe being polite and semi respectful is a virtue?

First, did I label the poster? I did not. I listed several possibilities, but the possibilities ARE limited. I then provided infomation for the poster to review. I then invited them back to state their opposition or understanding of the science.

How is any of that impolite? If we accept your characterization of my post, let me then ask: Are you polite to the guy raping your wife and murdering your kids?

I see no difference between bought off denialists and the above. We are talking civilization here. Pray tell, what need be at risk before you hit back? Is civilization not enough?

Beyond that, your post is ridiculous. I'm "dangerous" for calling a spade a spade? I'm dangerous for stating that a crime against humanity is *gasp!* a crime against humanity?

FACT: the denialist machine is the primary reason for people believing there is a serious debate about AGW. There is virtually no science backing up the claim. This being the case, there is no legiimate claim that AGW is not happening. (Not that scientists should not continue researching and going where the facts lead.)

THUS: virtually anyone advocating that agenda is corrupt or brainwashed.

THUS: the former are criminals and the latter lacking in intelligence, objectivity or knowledge. (Saying so cannot be called rude.)

You care to point out the flaw in the argument? Further, you need to defend your stance that I said anything impolite. If truth and logic are impolite, then we are well and truly screwed.



Thanks for your vigorous defense of science and GW. We've been too passive for too long, and only aggressive push back will produce results.

My (dis)pleasure. It's hard to believe it's even necessary. There's a guy on YouTube, a science teacher, who's done a great set of vids on the denialists' arguments. Great stuff. One of the people he'd been sparring with in his comments turned out to be a paid lackey. We have seen the same sort of organized disinformation campaigns from Big Oil and the Bush Admin for years. It would, in fac, be stupid not to assume people working so ahrd with so little evidence are anything but paid hacks. To do otherwise is to be forced to assume they are monumentally stupid. Which is worse to say about someone?

Frankly, I assume anyone posting anti-AGW tripe to be just that, a paid lackey, so I give no quarter.


Yes, this chap should be tried for his crimes against humanity;

fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering.


was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement.

and even

the world needed to care for the environment but not to the point where the welfare of animals and plants was given a greater priority than that of mankind.

Perphaps he should learn some physics, and he is one of those ..

criminals spreading disinformation in such a manner as to undermine the future security of humanity on this planet

and he must be ..

lacking in objectivity and/or intelligence or [is] on the take

Whatever you or I think of the man, many millions of folk believe he is Christs' Envoy on Earth.

You would be the criminal, if anyone, for you have misrepresented what the Pope said in order to... what? Taking quotes and science out of context is the domain of the denialists. Until otherwise shown, I shall assume you are such.

In the Pope's case, his religious "belief" (ignorance) may be clouding his judgment as to the extent of the problem, but he is not denying AGW. It is a far cry from saying AGW is bull for a $10,000 check and saying let's not let ideology drive our understanding of the science. The latter is closer to what the Pope said, so no, he could not be considered to be committing a crime against humanity.

But thanks for adding nothing but bull crap to the thread. We should all be practicing spreading manure, after all.


I suggest that you should try boiling water with a hair dryer.

Alternatively I suggest you take a nice ice cold beverage and try to keep it cool with wishful thinking.

Actually, I think much recent warming of oceans is due to greater undersea volcanism, magma flows and general crustal heating.

Likewise, many of the world's ice sheets, permafrost etc. seem to be melting from the bottom up -- due to crustal warming.

Any decent theories on this?

Yep it is pretty sad. This site will never accomplish very much if the readers are incapable of understanding even a simple rating system, let alone the global climate system.


Please learn a little something about the planet you live on before pretending to know-it-all about climate change!

Then they will drill!

USGS Estimates the Arctic Holds About 22% of Global Undiscovered, Technically Recoverable Oil, Gas and NGLs

The area north of the Arctic Circle has an estimated 90 billion barrels of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil, 1,670 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable natural gas, and 44 billion barrels of technically recoverable natural gas liquids (NGLs) in 25 geologically defined areas thought to have potential for petroleum, according to an assessment by the US Geological Survey (USGS). The assessment from the USGS Circum-Arctic Resource Appraisal (earlier post) is the first publicly available petroleum resource estimate of the entire area north of the Arctic Circle.

These resources account for about 22% of the undiscovered, technically recoverable resources in the world. The Arctic accounts for about 13% of the undiscovered oil, 30% of the undiscovered natural gas, and 20% of the undiscovered natural gas liquids in the world. About 84% of the estimated resources are expected to occur offshore.

Of the estimated totals, more than half of the undiscovered oil resources are estimated to occur in just three geologic provinces: Arctic Alaska, the Amerasia Basin, and the East Greenland Rift Basins. On an oil-equivalency basis, undiscovered natural gas is estimated to be three times more abundant than oil in the Arctic. More than 70% of the undiscovered natural gas is estimated to occur in three provinces: the West Siberian Basin, the East Barents Basins, and Arctic Alaska.


The article, as seen above, was published February 20th, 1969


Werd on the Street: There are so many people now riding their bikes to work here that the existing racks have been overwhelmed. That's not saying a whole hell of a lot, though, considering that there was space for maybe 8 bikes in the existing racks and I'd estimate that there are now about 15 bikes on a good day. A few years ago a good day would only fetch about 4-6 bikes though. Make of it what you will.

Recently took up riding a motorbike (Melbourne, Australia). Ratio of motorbikes to cars... Hmmm, 100 to 1? Cars will be around for a while yet, as long as the fuel remains "affordable".

Regards Matt B
PS. I'm still thinking $200 oil is years away; we'll bump around $130, $140 (folks'll simply use less, reduce demand a bit). So, BAU for the time being and PO awareness on the back-burner for now. Gut feeling, that's all.

On the back-burner? 200 dollar oil is far from years away. Expect a major spike when the IEA releases their findings about the oil fields in a few months time. People all over the world uses more and more oil, The recession needs to be deeper for people to really start conserving massively. You have to keep in mind that in Russia, auto sales are up 40% this year. That's a massive increase. And also keep in mind the extremely energy guzzling diversification plans of the GCC oil exporting countries going on at the moment. It's all about cheap energy over there, so the energy-guzzling activities locates there. Oil consumption is up 5-6% annually and total energy even more. In 12-18 months, expect oil to pass 300 dollar.

$200 to $300 oil... Sorry, don't see it. Oil prices have dropped quite a bit over the past weeks. Why? Because it was getting a little too expensive and demand was dropping off. As with anything, people WILL pay only so much (yes, there's exceptions)... Even "debt" has limits, doesn't it?

Regards, Matt B

But the American demand slowdown is small. The rest of the world is still seeing a big increase in demand. So the demand pressure is on, and every month it gets stronger. 40% increase in vehicle sales in Russia so far, Brazil up 30%, China up 17%. That's massive. And you don't seem to fully recognize the huge demand pressure coming from the GCC countries at the moment. Their diversification is based on cheap energy to attract the energy guzzling activities. The demand is on the march, a relentless march, and supply of conventional crude is flat.

Yes I understand demand (that is, countries "wanting more") is trending forever up. But how many of us will keep buying fuel from a $300 oil drum? Consistantly? It'll be too much! The "flat" 86mbpd will simply fall away. Will the Oil Guys and their shareholders be happy with that? Will the profits stack up?

Not that I'm against less oil consumption, BTW - or $300 for that matter. I just don't think it'll happen.

Regards, Matt B

The conventional crude supply is on a 74 mbpd plataeu. It is flat. NGLs, biofuels, gas-to-liquids, coal-to-liquids and similar non-crude liquids make up the rest. But it is the crude that is the golden goose. You have to keep in mind first of all that there is 350 dollar a barrel equivalent gas in Europe already. So 300 dollar is not much. And in the GCC countries, gas is cheaper than anything you can buy, heavily subsidized, same with Iran. Demand there is on a steep uphill climb, as the divirsification process accelerates.

In China, the economy is bound to consume much much more energy and crude regardless of the price hitting 300 dollars. The momentum there is enormous, there's still big subsidies and it will continue. China uses a paltry 2 barrels per person, while the american uses 25. China wants to double and triple those barrels per person in the years ahead, as the country is preparing for the internal consumption boom and becoming less reliant on external demand. And even if China triples its consumption, china will still use less barrels per person than Mexico or Malaysia! Keep that in mind! China basically didn't use any oil previously compared to the rest of the world, and that made oil very artificially cheap for the rest of the world. But times have changed and the chinese are adding 500 GW power generation to the electricity grid in 5 years (2005-2010) and passing the 50 million vehicles mark, up from 2 million in 1990, and will add another 100 million by 2015.

It is exponential growth we're talking about, and that's what the chinese are used to. The small, but rapidly growing middle class in China (growing tens of millions each year) will be very angry if they dont get their will, and the government knows this, and with huge cash to burn (tax revenue increase has been up 30% year after year in China), they have the ability to please the middle classes and dont rock the boat.

The demand is on the march also in other countries of course, like Thailand, India etc, and now the Tata Nano (people's car) is about to be sold, a car that can be reached to hundreds of millions of Indians in the next few years, if only Tata starts to ramp up production immensely, and there's no reason why they wouldn't do that in the coming years.

You have to keep in mind first of all that there is 350 dollar a barrel equivalent gas in Europe already. So 300 dollar is not much.

That's not an equal comparison, taxation in Europe helps pay for things like free health care.

China uses a paltry 2 barrels per person, while the american uses 25.

Per day? Per week? Per Year? What percentage of that 2 barrels in china go towards the production of plastic goods exported to the OECD and rest of the world? What percentage of the American 25 barrels go towards the production of silicon chips used all over the world? Do the gallons of diesel used to bus Indian call centre workers to their work count as Indian consumption or whichever country is calling the call centre?

The world is too interconnected to use figures on national scales. We need to focus on world consumption as a whole.

That said I have nothing to add to the party. Going for a walk in the woods while they're still there.

When comparing USA w/ Europe, it helps see the whole picture to factor in the worthless yankee$.

In France, e.g., gasoline rose only 20-25% since last summer. But with the $-vs-Euro sinking heavily since then you see the difference between +25% and + 100%.

Of course national oil consumption is relevant. The world might be interdependent, but you're not going to see a collapse in oil consumption even if trade slows down some. It's a myth that India or China are simply growing because India has call-centers and China makes stuff for the rich western world. They have massive internal demand, that's where the bulk of the growth is coming from, investment and internal consumption and that will be the case also in the foreseeable future.

Of course a total depression like collapse of world trade will cause oil consumption to contractGlobal trade is up 7% so far this year from last year, even though oil prices are much higher, and the boom continues strongly in the non-western world, only slightly lower growth there. China uses less oil per head than even Guatemala, the consumption in China basically hasn't even started yet and we see the pressure from China already making this effect. Keep in mind that if the average Chinese were to consume the same amount as the average Korean, we would have to add 6 new Saudi Arabias to the world supply...

It's a myth that India or China are simply growing because India has call-centers and China makes stuff for the rich western world.

I didn't suggest that this was the case. I'm not disagreeing with your conclusion just how you make the argument

Keep in mind that if the average Chinese were to consume the same amount as the average Korean, we would have to add 6 new Saudi Arabias to the world supply...

North or South? ;) Pointless anyway because there isn't the flow rate for that to happen without someone else going without.

As far as the US is concerned, its actually quite bad news.

Prices have dropped back because US demand has dropped back, because US consumers can't afford to drive as much with the price rises we've seen to date.

However the same cannot be said of many other 'western' countries. The rises are annoying, but the impact on food prices is more important there.

Therefore as supply becomes more and more constrained its the US that will feel the pain first. Demand destruction will preferentially fall on the US consumers, particularly as the dollar continues to depreciate.

I have to say, I thought the US could sustain higher prices in the short term. The lack of resilience is noticeable. For those that have paid attention to my previous statements, this would be one of the plateaus I talked about, a breathing space on the way up. We sit at $120-$150 as the pain eats through a whole class of consumption; then continue upwards.

$200-$300 oil is still there to happen, although by that point oil probably won't be sold in dollars at all.

Yes, I liked that phrase you just said. "For those that have paid attention to my previous statements, this would be one of the plateaus I talked about, a breathing space on the way up. We sit at $120-$150 as the pain eats through a whole class of consumption; then continue upwards."

It is very describing garyp. The demand is on the march no question about it.

We sit at $120-$150 as the pain eats through a whole class of consumption; then continue upwards... $200-$300 oil is still there to happen...

Exactly. As Mr. Brown tells us, the price is set in the export market, which appears to me to have effectively peaked. Today we are watching some amount of discretionary driving disappear in the US, and a good deal of electric generation in poorer countries around the world (eg, Bangladesh). Absent all of the above-ground stuff, my own estimate remains $120/bbl at the end of 2008. Then increases of about $40/yr for the next few years in order to kill off enough additional demand to match the available supply. I say $200/bbl crude and $6/gal gasoline in the US at the end of 2010.

I keep reading in the newspapers that some of the folks over there in the Middle East are tired of others (including some of their affluent nationals) getting most of that oil, and that they are trying to shut down the flow of oil to us (:

Wasn't it that guy Murphy who said that if something can go wrong it will.

Yikes alive.

Why I could envision oil at $500 per barrel if and when that guy Murphy is right.

In real terms, maybe so. Given that the US$ could very well free fall, however, in nominal terms it could indeed go much higher.

Peak oil just means we get our energy elsewhere. So what if that energy costs more? Higher priced energy isn't the end of the world. $4 a gallon gasoline proved that. The sun provides over 1000X the world's energy needs. Whether it's solar farms,biofuel,or a combination of dozens of available fuel sources,the world will somehow trudge on. That doomer shiite is for the birds.


Many here can't believe that, with trillions of dollars at stake, businesses are working on many good alt energy solutions. My concern is that the world will go through a depression before getting to the next energy cycle. The other side of oil addiction is survivalist addiction. ( I'm glad I got this message posted before the power grid collapses.)

Many here can't believe that, with trillions of dollars at stake, businesses are working on many good alt energy solutions

So, in a business climate which only rewards CEO’s for thinking ahead only to the next quarter and this year’s profits and dividends for shareholders, what corporate executive going to put her neck on the block by investing millions in a project which might not pay off, if ever, for many years?

No, it is much better than 'rewards CEO’s for thinking ahead only to the next quarter and this year’s profits and dividends.' it has been a system where CEOs have been getting bonuses as their companies are run into the ground. Profits have seemingly become meaningless.

I'd agree about this for most corporations. But there are still numerous small, nimble start up companies and still Venture Capitalists that are looking for the next Google or Microsoft. Think of Silicon Valley or Bangalore (Indian IT) or indeed numerous places in Asia.
Doesn't mean the worlds not facing rec/depression (especially the US). Even in the last depression technology was developed and fortunes made.

It is not that no businesses are working on alternative energy solutions, just that there efforts are so small and the size of the problem is so large. PG&E in California is pushing (being pushed) to use 20% renewables by 2010. That is good as it goes. We need a coordinated effort to change not just our source of energy but our use of energy and that won't happen under this administration. Maybe not even the next.

Hi Perry, I think the concept your missing is Energy Return on Energy Invested. I recommend reading this article to get a grasp of why dropping EROI will cause economic contraction. http://www.theoildrum.com/node/3412

If EROI drops low enough, then it will be impossible to support an industrial civilization. The easiest way to understand the issue is to consider a company that makes zero profits (expenses = revenue). Such a company has not profits to invest in new growth, or aquisition, or R&D. Same issue with society. A large energy profit is needed to have an economy that is not made up entirely of energy producers.

And the other concept is rate of change. It is not possible to change a large industrial economy from one energy source to another overnight. Change takes energy (investment) and rates of change are limited. I would recommend reading the Hirsch Report to get an understanding of rates of change. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hirsch_report

EROEI is important. AND there is trouble enough even just looking at the numbers of alternative fuel availability.

Total liquids is roughly 87 mb/d. Being generous, here is the status of the alternatives to liquid fuels today:

A few points:

  • It will be difficult (and will take time we don't have) to get tar sands production up to even 3 mb/d
  • eventually (hopefully) the Canadians will stop the environmental damage the tar sands operation is causing (for an interesting home video that shows the lay of the land and some of the massive equipment being used, see here (<5 min))
  • as energy inputs increase in cost, there is a good chance that shale oil will never be energy profitable (EROEI > 1)
  • even if we had electric cars (years away from widespread availability -- by 2011 we may have a few tens of thousands of highway capable cars on the road), we don't have electric bulldozers, airplanes and other equipment that currently are able to harness the incredible amount of energy in a gallon of oil-derived fuel

The most important thing we can do, in my view, is rush to build as much electric generation infrastructure and rail (local and cross country) as we can before petrocollapse occurs. There is no way (that I can see) to prevent collapse at this point.


by 2011 we may have a few tens of thousands of highway capable cars on the road

Yes, which is why I believe that the future of privately-owned motor cars on the road is increasingly going to be non-highway capable vehicles. It will take a while for the manufacturing capacity for NEVs to ramp up and for economies of scale to drive their prices down, so a lot of compact and subcompact cars will end up being converted into electrics, with enough lead-acid batteries scrounged up and placed in the trunk to at least enable the owners to drive to the grocery store and back. If they want to travel farther, they had better hope that there is mass transit available. I don't see any other scenario that is realistic, and even this one is a tad on the optimistic side.

we don't have electric bulldozers, airplanes and other equipment that currently are able to harness the incredible amount of energy in a gallon of oil-derived fuel

Which is why I believe that we have to forget about ethanol, and concentrate on biodiesel production to the limited extent that is possible without taking too much acreage out of food production. All of that biodiesel needs to be earmarked for agriculture, heavy equipment, public service vehicles, etc.

Peak Oil means that we will find out that getting liquid fuels is not so easy as it sounds.

According to energy investment banker Matthew Simmons, global oil production is now declining, from 85 million barrels per day to 60 million barrels per day by 2015. During the same time demand will increase 14%.

This is like a 45% drop in 7 years. No one can reverse this trend, nor can we conserve our way out of this catastrophe. Because the demand for oil is so high, it will always be higher than production; thus the depletion rate will continue until all recoverable oil is extracted.

My research reveals that alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment. And the costs for solar and infrastructure will soon become stratospheric.

We are facing the collapse of the highways that depend on diesel trucks for maintenance of bridges, cleaning culverts to avoid road washouts, snow plowing, roadbed and surface repair. When the highways fail, so will the power grid, as highways carry the parts, transformers, steel for pylons, and high tension cables, all from far away. With the highways out, there will be no food coming in from "outside," and without the power grid virtually nothing works, including home heating, pumping of gasoline and diesel, airports, communications, and automated systems.

Clifford J. Wirth

85m to 60m by 2015? Can't be. You're confusing conventional crude with total liquids. we're at the 74mbdp crude plateau at the moment, and that might drop steeply in the years ahead but the total liquids from 85 to 60??

Simmons actually said 60 m, possibly 40 m by 2015. If he's right ....ouch. Here is the source http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/natural_...

It was the author of the piece who stated "present levels of about 85 million barrels per day", not Simmons. Simmons usually only talks about crude oil, not total liquids. I have heard him mention our present level of 74 mb/d several times. So I believe he meant from 74 to 65, not 85. That is not that great of a drop in 7 years if several nations begin to hoard.

Ron Patterson

Yes, I think that clears things up. The journalist was having a go. If the 74 mbpd plateau starts to decline in 2010, it is a 4% decline rate annually to 60 mbpd by 2015. It could be steeper of course. But one thing: Are offshore fields more likely to witness steep declines than onshore fields? Or is that irrelevant compared to for example whether there has been use of nitrogen injection in the field or other oil ehanced oil recovery techniques?

Thank you for that catch. The author is not very clear ... it appears open for interpretation. Assuming you are correct, Simmons would then be predicting a drop from 74mbd to 60mbd and possibly down to 40mbd by 2015. Earth-shattering prediction. Below is the paragraph in its original context.

Matt Simmons, chief executive of Simmons & Company, a Houston energy consultancy, said that global oil production had peaked in 2005 and was set for a steep decline from present levels of about 85 million barrels per day. “By 2015, I think we would be lucky to be producing 60 million barrels and we should worry about producing only 40 million,” he told The Times.

Simmons' forecast is 60 mbd crude and condensate (C&C) for 2015. My forecast for 2015 is similar at 60.4 mbd. If Colin Campbell's total URR of 2.2 trillion barrels is assumed then my forecast C&C for 2015 is increased to 62.2 mbd (see green line below).

Forecast C&C of 40 mbd might be reached by 2028.

click to enlarge

I've got my trusty Decline and Demand Excel spreadheet handy, and these are some numbers:

Needed New Production

@ 74mb/d, decline begins 2008, decline at 5.2 (Recent IEA, I believe, so that is our new floor, not 4%.), demand at 1.3 (I believe recent numbers have been below 1.5)

25,728,000 (world production at 48,272,000)

Those numbers show that the article maybe was correct. To get to only 60 million production, as opposed to the far greater loss at 48mb/d, you have to use 86,500,000 as your starting number, use 4% as your decline rate (which I am certain Simmons scoffs at, as he does in every interview and presentation), or assume decline begins in 2010.

Some other parameters:

@ 74mb/d, decline begins 2010, decline at 5.2 (Recent IEA, I believe, so that is our new floor, not 4%.), demand at 1.3 (I believe recent numbers have been below 1.5)

20,287,000 (world production at 53,713,000)


@ 86.5 mb/d, decline begins 2008, decline at 5.2 (Recent IEA, I believe, so that is our new floor, not 4%.), demand at 1.3 (I believe recent numbes have been below 1.5)

30,074,000 (world production at 56,426,000)


@ 86.5 mb/d, decline begins 2010, decline at 5.2 (Recent IEA, I believe, so that is our new floor, not 4%.), demand at 1.3 (I believe recent numbes have been below 1.5)

23,714,000 (world production at 62,786,000)


Now for something REALLY scary:

@ 86.5 mb/d, decline begins 2010, decline at 8.0 (There are those who think this is accurate. Keep in mind Russia jsut started to decline, and if it continues should accelerate in the next few years before stabilizing at some N%), demand at 1.3 (Unchanged for consistency.)

34,051,000 (world production at 52,449,000)


Now for something of a Happy Ending:

@ 86.5 mb/d, decline begins 2012, decline at 4.0 (New supplies miraculously spurt forth from the Earth), demand at -1.0.

13,032,000 (world production at 73,468,000)

Now, don't you all feel better?

But, seriously, a realisitc best case scenario still leave us needing 26 mb/d by 2015. How do the Megaprojects stack up against that?



@ 86.5 mb/d, decline begins 2008, decline at 5.2 (Recent IEA, I believe, so that is our new floor, not 4%.), demand at 1.3 (I believe recent numbes have been below 1.5)

30,074,000 (world production at 56,426,000)


Your scenario above appears reasonable and requires new project capacity of 30.1 mbd (30,074,000 rounded up) to offset decline losses.

Wiki Oil Megaprojects has a total of 25.7 mbd of new project capacity from 2008 to 2015, excluding biofuels. Add about another 1 mbd for new biofuels capacity and that gives a total of 26.7 mbd which is still short of the required 30.1 mbd to offset natural decline. This indicates that total liquids production is in decline.

The IEA also has its own megaproject list which indicates 25 mbd of new project capacities to offset decline losses of 24 mbd (37.5-13.6), but this was from a 2006 base year. This implies that the IEA is forecasting a short term total liquids peak plateau. See slide 6 of Dr. Fatih Birol's March 2008 presentation http://www.regjeringen.no/upload/UD/Vedlegg/klima/birol.pdf

Global Oil Supply Prospects to 2015

* Oil supply/demand balance is set to remain tight

* In total, 37.5 mb/d of gross capacity additions
needed in 2006-2015
13.6 mb/d to meet demand & rest to replace decline in
existing fields

* OPEC & non-OPEC producers have announced
plans to add 25 mb/d through to 2015

* Thus, a further 12.5 mb/d of gross capacity would
need to be added or demand growth curbed

* Otherwise, a supply crunch cannot be ruled out

The chart below is derived from the annual tables of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_Megaprojects

click to enlarge

The total liquid forecast below shows a peak in 2008 at 86.6 mbd, including biofuels, followed by a slow decline due mainly to insufficient new project capacities.

click to enlarge

Thanks for the response. (I've never been to Megaprojects and didn't want to try to wade through unfamiliar "stuff.")

Two things come to mind:

1. I know I've seen references to the Russian decline recently in the IEA's information, but do we know if that is actually included in the 5.2 decline? Seems that number would have been being rendered from data prior to all the hubbub over Russia. Or is it realistic they've got it fully included?

2. None of the above includes ELM. It is becoming increasingly preposterous to discuss production without automatically accounting for ELM. That is, the numbers I generated and your analysis above change drastically if filtered through ELM. My eyeball estimates of various posts by WT leads to a ratio 1:2 or 1:3 of decline:ELM decline. E.g., if decline in a country is 4%, then their export decline is maybe going to be between 8 and 12%.

IOW, there appears to be zero chance of avoiding acute shortages without acute changes in consumption.


I wonder if WT would do a quick post on some of the ratios from various exporters and see whether an average ratio would be valid?


My research reveals that alternatives will not even begin to fill the gap. And most alternatives yield electric power, but we need liquid fuels for tractors/combines, 18 wheel trucks, trains, ships, and mining equipment.

If we forget about ethanol and just focus on biodiesel production to the extent possible without taking too much land away from food production, we can probably produce just enough biodiesel to keep essential equipment like the above running - or the most vital subset of it at least. I don't worry about this too much, because I know that we CAN do it, and that if we have no other alternatives left (which I suspect that we won't), then we will have no other choice and we WILL do it.

Perry, I'm with you. The Homo Apocalyptus feeding on this website suffer a particular malady called "I know." As if the future has not ever failed to surprise, which surprise "I know" excludes.

Of course, the future may hold bad surprises, as well as good ones. IOW, the reality could be far worse than even the doomers imagine.

Yes, exactly, the point being we don't know. FWIW, I can also imagine a future where needles are threaded without serious economic, not to mention civilizational, dislocation at all. One need only admit but a few upside surprises (= things not now known or foreseeable) to get there.

Yes, but I think we should prepare for the worst. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Also, I think bad surprises are more likely than good ones. Humans (heck, mammals in general) have a natural "optimism bias." We tend to forget the bad and remember the good. (Or no woman would have more than one child. ;-) Even when we should know better due to past experience, we tend to overestimate the control we have over a situation.

Leanan, how do you square "optimism bias" with the ubiquitous human capacity for worry, not to mention the similarly ubiquitous human faculty to expect and predict The End of the World?

As to bad surprises, may I assume a "bad surprise" basically = decay of organized structure? How do you square such notion of decay with the observable evolutionary trend toward ever higher levels of organization?

Leanan, how do you square "optimism bias" with the ubiquitous human capacity for worry, not to mention the similarly ubiquitous human faculty to expect and predict The End of the World?

Easy. We aren't worrying enough, and even doomers are being too optimistic.

As to bad surprises, my I assume a "bad surprise" basically = decay of organized structure?

Not necessarily. Just anything unanticipated. Ghawar collapses tomorrow. Nuclear war breaks out between India and Pakistan. Everyone in the world starts hoarding oil, and suddenly it can't be had for any price. That kind of thing.

Cascading effects, as it were.

This is my fear, too. Highly dependent systems, like what we have created on our planet, are tremendously efficient when they work. When there is a failure in the system, though, the impact can ripple quite quickly. I've seen it up close in business many times. The result is that it just feels like "one can't catch a break."

The ripples in the outlook of the people involved in the system need to be included because people are just as much a part of the system as the machines and the energy that runs the machines. When their outlook sours, that's another form of the system beginning to get inefficient and ineffective for its stated (or assumed) purpose.


Exactly. Have you seen the movie "Threads" from 1984 about the effect of a nuclear attack on Britain? Worth checking out: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2023790698427111488

I find it fascinating that someone using the appellation "Serengeti Plains," the where the boom and bust of the natural cycles is readily observable, would essentially be denying human beings need worry about such things, particularly given the human collapses that are documented throughout history.

And here we are at the only period in the known history of mankind that global economic meltdown, global environmental meltdown, global energy depletion are happening at the same time with ALL major systems connected globally for the first time in history... providing a unique degree of complexity... and thus an incredibly high chance of cascading collapse.

Yes, some great new technology could be created tomorrow and miraculously made cheap enough for 6.7 billion people the next day and distributed on the third day, with four days to rest after creating this miracle... but I ain't holding my breath.

BTW, did anybody here know that telegraphs in the US and Europe were powered by Earth batteries???? That little nugget has set me off on a whole new line of inquiry... don't matter if a gadget is inefficient if the inputs are free and renewable...

I just might have a gadget for ya...


In the meantime, keep an eye on the energy ball... till the climate change ball knocks you on your ass. Then you can keep an eye on that one half the time and the energy crisis the other half... till the teetering economy ball knocks you on your ass. At which time you can split your attention between the three... until the food production ball.... well... I think you see where this ends up.

I suggest a pillow for your ass.


Nicholas Nassim Taleb's book, The Black Swan has a section detailing the psychological basis for the optimism bias and studies to confirm such bias. Indeed, a google search would provide additional confirmation.

As I understand entropy theory, the only way that some objects can achieve higher levels of organization is by consuming energy, which in turn causes their fuels/victims to be broken down into a lower level of organization. Thus entropy increases. It happens when we digest food; we grow more cells by breaking down a lot more cells from plants and animals. Any chemical fuel source is a molecule organized in such a way that it has potential energy; once it's been used, the resulting products have less energy.

So life on earth has organized itself using energy that ultimately comes from the Sun, but the Sun is slowly using up its fuel supply. The net entropy gain of the Sun overwhelms any organizational successes on our part.

"Sun is slowly using up its fuel supply," Some recent theories have the sun expanding and frying the earth to a crisp in a rather long run. A few decades from now that prediction may be reversed. Never trust the scientists, they'll keep changing their views as new data comes in.

Yup! Objective people who do science right SUCK I always say!



People with so-called normal/healthy cognition are biologically and systemically biased towards over-optimism, EVEN after having been told so.

This is a well known psychological research fact that has been found out in various experimental tests. It's a cognitive bias.

What does it imply?

That when we make estimates, we err statistically almost always on the high side when measuring our chances or future performance, regardless of how good the data. In fact, other research suggests that the more people are confident in their data, the more they are likely to over-estimate their own positive progress.

Further research finding on this is that people with clinical depression are far more accurate at estimation, but they are deemed "pessimistic", because they deviate from the norm so much.

As for worry, yes it may cause mental health loss to some, but does not negate the effect of over-optimism in estimates about the future (unless it develops into a clinical depression).

So, based on this purely, optimistic faith in a positive swan is far more likely to be wrong that of 'pessimistic' faith (which is in fact more often accurate and not pessimistic at all).

If you want references, try a quick search for "optimistic bias" or "optimism bias" on any of the psychology research paper DBs or try a more popular psychology article like:

Delusions of Success - How Optimism Undermines
Executives’ Decisions, Dan Lovallo and Daniel Kahneman, Harvard Business Review • July 2003

Las Vegas is toast?! We've been there on business and snoozed our way through a recent two day stay at the Aladdin. Went up that scale model of the Eiffel Tower, rode on NY NY, and lost a little dough playing blackjack and the slots. For us it's far too superficial and thus a bore, but millions of others love the place. It's nirvana for them, and as such I'm sure Vegas will never be allowed to die out. Sure, it might not make sense from a standpoint of how much energy it takes to light all those bulbs and activate all those electronic sounds, but a certain throng of Americans will do whatever is necessary to keep that place hopping. Saving Vegas might even be enough reason to initiate a Marshall (energy) Plan. In a Kunstler envisioned world, people might even employ a huge labor force to ride bicycles connected to generators to keep it going 24/7. The richest 1% will gamble with organic carrots.

There was some troll on a housing bubble blog that I read who started talking about high speed rail from LA to Las Vegas. I wasn't even aware that this was even being considered. Hmm, yeah, that's would be really good allocation of resources...

From what I have read it will be a Mag-Lev train that runs at 300+ mph. Problem is the energy consumption required to go that fast and maintain levitation. I understand US Congress has already funded several million dollars for feasibility study and engineering work.

Only hope for Vegas is concentrated solar thermal power plants to provide energy for this place, but as usual the storage of that power is the problem. Heat energy can be stored (in liquid salts or sodium) but that makes for very expensive electrical power. I think the place will contract to its former size of 1960 era. This will be a playground for a few wealthy people seeking high stakes gambling & sex.

"I think the place will contract to its former size of 1960 era. This will be a playground for a few wealthy people seeking high stakes gambling & sex."---
I liked it better that way. It is now a bland statement to desperation, and tackiness, with overweight tourists from Iowa wandering through the lobbies of hideous fantasies of opulence, The most closed and controlled situation a human could put themselves in, other that a concentration camp.
1950's Vegas had a decadent charm, even a small town feel.
Tahoe was even better.

It's possible, I suppose, but I don't see it as likely. I don't think contraction to 1960s size will be enough, given shrinking water supplies and rising energy costs.

Also, the attraction of Vegas to the rich and powerful was the legal gambling. There's lots of other places you can do that now.

I agree, Vegas is toast. I was just pointing out how it's bland and shallow nature it's current configuration has morphed into.
It will probably contract into a small outpost for desert camel caravans, and Dune Sand Worms will be the economic driver for spice harvesting.

I think Las Vegas is toast. They're currently freaking out because the airlines have cut nearly half the flights to Las Vegas, and are planning to cut more. They depend on tourism...airline-driven tourism.

They are unsustainable, not only when it comes to energy and the economy, but when it comes to something far more important: water. Vanity Fair's article about it is no longer free, but here's their prediction:

By the late 2020s, something had to give, and it ended up being Las Vegas. With rainfall and snowpack in the Rockies steadily dwindling in a drying climate, the Lake Mead reservoir was no longer filling—meaning that turbines weren’t spinning, electricity wasn’t generating, and some 25 million downstream users in places like California were howling for what little precious water remained trapped behind the lower sections of the Hoover Dam. Nevada’s last gasp was a plea for Denver’s Colorado River allotment: Denver, it was argued, in turn could take the Nebraska and Kansas share of the Platte River, because those states could recharge their depleted Ogallala Aquifer by siphoning water from the Mississippi, and so on ever eastward. But this grand cascade scheme collapsed under dire predictions of astronomical engineering costs and threats of internecine, even armed, water warfare among various states jealously guarding whichever of the nation’s great drainage basins lay beneath them.

So the Hoover’s spillways were opened, and what remained of the Colorado trickled off to Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, and Mexico (which had sworn to cut off tributaries to the Rio Grande if it didn’t receive a share). The glittering southern Nevada town named for its vegas—meadows of sacaton grass that once grew around artesian springs burbling up from surrounding mountains, until they were pumped dry—had also tried piping in water from ranches as far as 250 miles to the north. But those wells, too, succumbed to deepening drought. Finally, by the mid-2030s, what had been America’s fastest-growing city at the turn of the 21st century just gave up.

I remember when T Boone and Lubbock wanted to
pipe Arkansas water.

The last I heard was "Texas can send a barrel of oil this way and then we'll send a barrel of water back."

Seriously, the cost of pushing water uphill was insurmountable.

We can't even get it from the White River to
Stuttgart( Riceland Foods HQ).

This is deja vu all over again. Marc Reisner (rest his soul) described in his classic, "Cadillac Desert," plans to pump Mississippi River water over 1000 miles and 4000 feet upwards to the headwaters of the Pecos. Discussing the problems of pushing water uphill, he quotes an unnamed politician from an unnamed neighboring state: "If those Texans can suck as hard as they can blow, they'll probably build it."

I generally think Vegas is toast, too, and water is most definitely a part of it, but at least into the early 1990s, Vegas was basically forbidden from using any of Lake Mead's water - my source being a BLM manager and his co-workers in Boulder City, by the way. Of course, things might have changed since then.

And not all of Vegas is likely to simply sink into the sand - there is a fair amount of black budget stuff hiding in the region, too. Not to mention rocket fuel manufacture - who cares if a facility goes boom with plumes of toxic materials - it is nothing but miles and miles of empty rocks and sand for miles and miles. Again, at least in the early 1990s.

What struck me about Vegas (Boulder City, Henderson, etc.) though, was that the soil in that entire region is utterly dead - pour as much water as you want into it, it still won't grow anything of value. Food production is essentially impossible, and water is just a part of the picture.

Vegas is probably situated in one of the most utterly worthless areas of North America, and only a few other areas (Gobi, anyone?) match it in its wasteland glory. This fact is also why it was a nuclear test zone, of course.

However, Kunstler wishes Vegas dead for another reason - for him, it represents a something for nothing mentality that completely enrages him. And unlike Atlantic City, he can at least make a convincing case for why it will be left to rot in the sun in the future.

The area is good for solar, I suppose. I imagine that they will build like crazy there in an effort to prop things up out there too. I suppose you could retrain the out-of-work blackjack dealers to do solar construction and maintenance.

But in reality it is miles from nowhere, so transmission lines would need to be built. I suppose it all depends on how small a city Las Vegas ultimately contracts to.

Um, the transmission lines are already there - they are connected to a certain dam with the same name as a Republican president famous for his handling of economic challenges. That dam is also unlikely to be abandoned any time soon, either.

But now, we are talking about Boulder City, where gambling is not permitted, and the federal government is the major employer.

Totally aside but give Hoover his due.

The dam was not named for him because of the job he did as President, but because of his exemplary work on other things. The relief of post-war Europe for one. Good man, great engineer and planner, decent president, bad timing. He would have been Hoover the Great had he come along in the 1870's (or 2000). Consider Hoover's work on the great Mississippi flood of 1927 and compare that to Bush's response to Katrina.

Bad luck that, having a depression during your presidency...watch out Obama!

He wouldn't do for America what he did for Europe. Because it was beneath our dignity, or because the Depression couldn't be blamed on "big government" war, or because it signalled the failure of the church of big business?

PBS ran a documentary about the 1927 flood and the suffering of thousands of black sharecroppers who had to live on top of levies because the plantation owners feared if they were evacuated they would never come back. Hoover was implicated as accepting this "necessity". By 2005, New Orleans blacks no longer were making themselves useful to the big property owners, who were glad to see them evacuated as far away as possible, never to return. So Hoover and Bush both carried out their orders.

But in 2005 they had the complicit help of the black "leaders" who promote welfare-supported self-indulgent high-sexuality lifestyles which decimate the concept of nuclear families and hand off the resulting children to various institutions and substitute parents.

I've heard black women say about deadbeat husbands/dads "Who need them? Bad I can do all by myself". And they do.....


Haven't read that kind of racist, sexist, classist, Rush-inspired drivel since, well... since I last visited FreeRepublic, which was... NEVER!

Good lord. I know we've got lots of academic-freedom types here, but where's a moderator when you need one!!

Oh, and in case you think you actually deserve a rebuttal, I'll start:

"welfare-supported self-indulgent high-sexuality lifestyles"

Yes, that would be the newly-uber-uber-rich (corporate welfare having dwarfed welfare for the poor since, well, FOREVER), spending their ever-increasing share of the nations wealth on more playthings for themselves (more wifes, husbands, girlfriends, boyfriends, McMansions, McYachts, McImplants, McSexDrugs, etc., etc.).

"which decimate the concept of nuclear families"

I hear business is booming for high-paid, high-stakes divorce lawyers...

"and hand off the resulting children to various institutions and substitute parents."

Prep schools, boarding schools, and the finest college educations money can buy.

Oh, but that's right, I forgot. You must be living in the alternate Ronald Reagan universe, where the welfare queens, affirmative action and big government are the reasons that Joe SixPack isn't doing so well these days. Stagflation was all that limp-wristed Jimmy Carter's fault. All we need to do is cut taxes and raise military spending and everything will work out great... (But, just to be sure, let's fight the Commies with the money we get selling drugs to the black folks and weapons to Iran, while we arm the Islamic fanatics in Afghanistan to the teeth. And shrink the parts of government we don't like so small we can "drown it in the bathtub," while we inflate the parts of government that make us and our friends rich and powerful until that's all government is--a giant vacuum that sucks the wealth from everyone and everything that works and gives it to us!)

Haven't read that kind of racist, sexist, classist, Rush-inspired drivel since, well... since I last visited FreeRepublic, which was... NEVER!

I spy on them on rare occasions.

Unfortunately we get much the same instead cloaked in more "acceptable" terminology. Code words. There's drivel, and there's the intellectual means of hiding the same damned isms. It's sort of a pecking order rationalization syndrome...

Always a mistake, I think, to judge the past through the lens of the present. White America's attitude towards blacks in the first half of the twentieth century was rather different, what with large-scale lynching and a de facto apartheid state.

Anyway, you are assuming that "imperfect" is equivalent to "bad". That just is not so. If you expect people to be perfect, I expect you will be frequently disappointed...and unmarried...and hypocritical.

"I suppose it all depends on how small a city Las Vegas ultimately contracts to."

Las Vegas prior to annexation in 1855 had a small tribe of Paiute Indians, as well as some desperate outlaws and murderers who called it home. Las Vegas then had deep artesian wells which were left over from receding glaciers 14,000 years ago.

Those wells are now all but dry and Vegas is wholly dependent on the colorado River for quenching it's deep thirst. To say that the current water crises in Vegas is a crises assumes that there is an answer to the problem. It is a disaster in the making.

The Clark County Metropolitan Water Authority is trying to negotiate with Colorado, Utah and Arizona for a larger share of a quickly shrinking pie. That isn't going to happen. They did approve the Great Basin Aqueduct stealing water from the north (300 miles) which will be dry in 7 years once they start pumping. There is however no funds for it's construction estimated in the tens of billions.

The stubborn fact is: You cannot create water. What is Vegas doing to conserve water. They are offering residents $1 a s.f. to replace lawns with dry landscape. If the population was less than 100,000 that might have worked. With almost 2,000,000 residents and 39 golf courses they will be unable to keep the toilets flushing for much longer.

How many people after the crash? I would guess less than 50,000 perhaps much less.

Yes, water will be (is already?) an issue and the airlines are cutting off the money for each flight they cancel.

Interestingly, here is what I discovered about their power situation (from a previous post of mine in June):

re: Las Vegas, just returned from there with my wife as I wanted to visit it before it went away (have never been). We had a great trip; it's outrageous and fun — and I wouldn't want to live there.
On a trip to Hoover Dam, I learned that:

  • they sell their electricity at cost, which currently is 1.7 cents per kWh
  • over 50% goes to Southern California
  • only 4% goes to Las Vegas, but to the residential areas only
  • the strip purchases its power from anywhere it can get it, as far away as Canada. The contracts with Hoover Dam were put in place before the strip really started needing huge amounts of power
  • the current contracts end in 2017
  • the water reservoir is currently far below normals due to the drought


Heck, if we sqeezed 28 more years out of the old whore that would be quite an achievement. To most Americans 28 years is forever.

Cslater8, I'm assuming your post is sarcasm.

"I'm sure Vegas will never be allowed to die out."

"Never underestimate the power of denial." Only somebody who looks at the imposing infrastructure of Las Vegas and ignores the unimaginable resources required to keep it going could make such a statement.

I grew up in Vegas when it was a sleepy town with two story resorts and a local population of 47,000. In the 70's Vegas was dying on the vine after the oil embargoes. Hughes money saved Vegas then.

It now has a local population approaching 2 million and a hotel inventory approaching 150,000 rooms. All resources: food energy and water are imported cheaply. McCarren Airport brings in millions of visitors a month. What happens when airlines have to charge people what it costs to get to Vegas? Recently the Tropicana Hotel is in Bankruptcy protection, one of the largest developers has failed to make payments on a $750,000,000 loan and is in foreclosure. Las Vegas is suffering from the recession worse than any other locality and that includes Detroit.

The business model that has spurred investment for the last 25 years in Las Vegas is that vacancy rates have been YOY 10 to 15%. For the Hotel industry this is gold. The gambling profits have risen dramatically. The problem is with a drop in business of as little as 10% Vegas could easily unravel.

But the real 800 pound gorrilla is Las Vegas will run out of water before they run out of money.

Start by hooking up generators to the slot machines and the roulette wheels. Haven't been there. Are all the slot machines electronic? If so, bring back the one armed bandits; they could push more than cherries.


This article from Power Engineering magazing I believe talks about solar thermal power just outside of Las Vegas. I recall reading it at work. You can register for free to view.

I'm going to go out on a limb ans say Kunsler is wrong. I think I have a really cool new invention that would save the suburbs, reduce peoples carbon footprint and improve productivity at work amongst other befitits.

I have called it a 'Bus'. These large vehicles could carry many occupants and the occupants could work from their phones/laptops whilst they travel. I propose a combustion engine for these vehicles.

Also I have another cool invention. It is called internet shopping and people do not have to leave their houses. In fact 1 delivery van could do 50 peoples shopping trips for them - saving fuel, time amongst other benefits.

Dear people if you find my humour distasteful and sarcastic, this is why: I was at an airshow yesterday and the commentator was talking about one of the aircraft flying - the Hawker Hurricane. He said from pencils hitting the drawing board to a flying aircraft was 103 days. I couldn't get this fact out of my head and then the obvious struck me. In times of crisis we humans have an incredible ability to pull together and achive amazing results. So this is my non-doomerish post for the day. You may think the worst about what is transpiring in todays energy circles but none of us really know how it's going to pan out eventually and the inherent doomerism in us may be unwarranted.

Feel free to try and rip my argument apart!!


what argument?
You are entitled to your faith if it gives you comfort.
Stick with it.

As an engineer I rely very little on faith to get me through the day!!

Then why didn't you post an argument Marco? You posted, in effect, your belief that human ingenuity will fix everything. Do you not recognize that this is a statement of faith? Blind faith would be the proper term.

Ron Patterson

This was my opening line:

I'm going to go out on a limb ans say Kunsler is wrong

If this does not meet your criteria for an argument, let me re-phrase:

"I'm going to go out on a limb ans say Kunsler is wrong. Would you agree or disagree?"


But didn't Kunstler go crazy because of the Y2k situation? I've heard something along those lines...Could any of you guys fill me in?

Do you think it could be possible to massively start to deploy nuclear power plants, wind energy and perhaps solar and switch to electric and plug-in based motorization, and keep the suburbs intact? Of course it will take 15 years minimum, so there will be massive pain as the peak comes too soon for people to be prepared, but after 15-20 years when the transition is complete, the suburbs can keep on going no?

Crash programmes of electrical generation are risky because it would be a very difficuilt thing to steadily repalace cars in the US with electric ones - the mammoth engineering task of doing this would be greater than the building of the electrical power stations themselves.

Thats why I like the low-tech fixes.


Well Marco, every dog has his day. We actually agree on something.

Cheers to low tech solutions and no goverment parasites taking their cut.

no goverment parasites taking their cut.

Yea, let me know how that works out.

But didn't Kunstler go crazy because of the Y2k situation? I've heard something along those lines...Could any of you guys fill me in?But didn't Kunstler go crazy because of the Y2k situation? I've heard something along those lines...Could any of you guys fill me in?

Amazingly, you seem to have access to something called "The Internet". And this 'Internet' thing has search engines. Thus YOU can go dig things up, if you want.

switch to electric and plug-in based motorization, and keep the suburbs intact?

And such has been covered here on TOD. In the past. All you have to do is go read the past 3 years of TOD. Its called 'research'.

But here's the short version - No.

The slightly longer version has to do with the economic model of suburbs (cheap energy built 'em) and the amount of raw material of metals to do what you are proposing.

And such has been covered here on TOD. In the past. All you have to do is go read the past 3 years of TOD. Its called 'research'.

But here's the short version - No.

Actually some of the best research at The Oil Drum is quite optimistic.

For instance:

Powering Civilization to 2050

Four Billion Cars in 2050?

If this does not meet your criteria for an argument, let me re-phrase: "I'm going to go out on a limb ans say Kunsler is wrong. Would you agree or disagree?"

Marco, for goodness sake, no, that is not an argument! That is a statement of belief. And you are asking for my opinion, my belief. If I simply said "no, I do not agree", that would also be a statement of belief, not an argument.

An argument would be if I explained why I disagree with you. Also an argument would be if you explained why you disagree with Kunstler.

You have made a statement of faith, nothing more. Why is that so hard for you to understand? There is nothing wrong with stating your belief. But don't confuse that with logical argument. You presented no logic whatsoever.

What is an Argument?
A good argument will have, at the very least:

* a thesis that declares the writer's position on the problem at hand;
* an acknowledgment of the opposition that nods to, or quibbles with other points of view;
* a set of clearly defined premises that illustrate the argument's line of reasoning;
* evidence that validates the argument's premises;
* a conclusion that convinces the reader that the argument has been soundly and persuasively made.

Ron Patterson

Sorry Ron, I mis-understood your question. Kunsler is wrong becasue there are many low tech fixes (such as buses, bicycles, telecommuting, internet shopping) that could be implemented at very little cost and change to the current infrastructure. It would only take a mindset shift. I don't think I am making a faith base statement here.

So why do you think these things will not work? I'd say they are fairly proven if we just implement them more.


Personally, I think Internet shopping is a disaster, at least as currently practiced. Sending trucks from the seller's door to the buyer's door (as with an eBay purchase) is much less efficient than having a central shopping district. Also, the residential streets were not designed for truck traffic. It's already a problem (when it comes to wear and tear on the road).

The only way Internet shopping makes sense, energy-wise, is with a product that can be delivered via the Internet. Music files, software downloads, pr0n, etc.

yes, internet shopping need to evolve sligtly. If more people are using it the van will have to be co-ordinated to do multi deliveries to one area. I don't think this would be difficult.

I would disagree with you on the wear and tear because of the far fewer car trips there would be.

a member of my family that has an oudoor shop says internet sales are expanding exponentially whilst shop sales are declining. i can only envisage a continuing trend.

we get grocery shopping on-line and it is a very good service.


If more people are using it the van will have to be co-ordinated to do multi deliveries to one area. I don't think this would be difficult.

I think less people will be using it. Simply because less people will be buying stuff, period.

In any case, fuel costs are killing shippers, so they're already about as efficient as they can get. They use computers to map out routes (including avoiding left-hand turns whenever possible).

I would disagree with you on the wear and tear because of the far fewer car trips there would be.

That doesn't matter. The residential streets were designed for lots of car trips. They weren't designed for truck traffic. So reducing car traffic doesn't make up for increased truck traffic.

a member of my family that has an oudoor shop says internet sales are expanding exponentially whilst shop sales are declining. i can only envisage a continuing trend.

Well, I can envisage something else entirely. Yes, Internet sales are booming now...but only because customers aren't yet paying the full price for delivery. Retailers and shippers are still acting like the high fuel prices are temporary. They are trying not to raise prices, for fear of losing market share. Amazon.com is still offering free shipping.

I think they have to. They've done a lot of research on this, and it takes very little to make an Internet customer bail out on a purchase. Unexpectedly high shipping costs, sales tax, etc. - and they're gone.

we get grocery shopping on-line and it is a very good service.

If that were available in my area, I would try it. I hate shopping. But it's only available in a few areas in the US, mostly in large cities. Most of us live in areas where there's too much sprawl to make that kind of thing feasible.

I think less people will be using it. Simply because less people will be buying stuff, period.

There has to be a critical-mass issue with parcel delivery services like UPS and FedEx. If the overall number of packages drops below whatever this critical mass is, UPS and FedEx will quickly go belly-up, even though there may still be a demand for that type of service.


Our local supermarkets here in the UK deliver to the door for about 10usd, I know for a fact that a minimum of 20 households in this rural area get deliveries on the same day as us from the same store in the same van,

I may be missing somthing. but to me that looks like 20 cars not making the journey into the nearest town.

Surely that has to be a fuel saving?

Of course it does, but so may Americans are hard wired to ther way of life that they cannot envisage that change - regardless of how perfectly feasible it is.

They use 24% of the worlds oil even though their population accounts for only 5% or so of the world population.

While us Europeans are not perfect (coughs in an embarresed way!) we have are ahead of the public transport game compared with the US.

You will now see ensueing arguments about who is going to collapse the worst WTSHTF!!


I'll disagree. Yes, many of us are rather clueless as long as times are good. However, when TSHTF people can be remarkably adaptable. It may be too late but at some point they will certainly try to adapt.

This is the crux of the issue. If the world were run by wise philosopher-kings we wouldn't be in this mess. They would be managing the world for sustainability, not short term gain.

The difference between the US and the UK is that in the US, a hundred years in a long time, and in the UK, a hundred miles is a long distance.

Leanan: Is there so much sprawl that you can't order and receive a pizza? My daughter and her family can get a pizza any time day or night and they live about 15 miles out of town. If the pizza is really good it might be worth the FF expenditure but most of the time, NOT.

Back to a previous subject. About 3000 indians lived in the greater Reno area (about 200 square miles) before they were discovered (huh?). And lets face it, counting 3000 indians sneaking around in 200 square miles is really tough but that's what is published. IMHO about 3000 of us will be able to live here after 297,000 all leave. The high desert is really tough, nothing much grows easy, winters are bad and summers are hot and dry. Fortunately, a river runs through it from Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. There are indian hieroglyphs all over the place. Now that the silver has run out in Virginia City and gold is mined by the tenth ounce per ton, really not much sustainable here. We have a well, setting up a solar pump, lots of land for a garden, working compost into the soil, 250-3000 lever action and lots of ammo, I have a gill net to catch some trout (illegal now but the other indians won't care if I share) so all in all we are about set to give it a try in a few years.

About Las Vegas: There was no body except some desert animals in Las Vegas before they were discovered and run off. There won't be anyone there except desert animals after all the people leave. An indian wouldn't be caught out in the desert that way ... maybe a few along the river. I hope the last guy out leaves a gate open in that dam.

Via Con Dios

Please keep posting, Lynford. My Mom lives in Vegas but is 72 years old and clueless about Peak Oil. I need objective scouts in the region so I know when to evacuate her.

Reno and Vegas are rather different...and a good eight hours apart by car. Unfortunately for Vegas, there is no equivalent to the Truckee Meadows/Truckee river.

*Vaya* con Dios

Is there so much sprawl that you can't order and receive a pizza?

That's a good question. I'm not sure. You used to be able to, but with fuel prices the way they are, many pizza places have stopped delivering, or have very strict rules about where they'll deliver.

I don't order much pizza these days, so I honestly don't know.

I think less people will be using it. Simply because less people will be buying stuff, period.

Good! That takes care of the non-discretioary spending - freeing the roads for the important stuff.

In any case, fuel costs are killing shippers, so they're already about as efficient as they can get.

They will just have to charge more for shipping the goods then. If people simply can't get to the shops due to fuel costs then the on-line companies will not lose the custom to the shopping malls.

The residential streets were designed for lots of car trips

Our delivery vans in the UK are quite small. Some of them are kitted out really well inside so stuff is well stacked.

Also you are saying it's not available to you. Quite simply it would NEED to be available to everyone. Do you have 50 neighbours within 2-3 miles of you? if so then it is still a vialble proposition for the delivery company.


When I was a kid, I lived on a farm outside of a smallish town. We didn't have much in the way of department stores, but we did have a little storefront for Sears&Roebuck. For the most part, it was a place where one could go to collect catalog orders that were trucked in. When we placed an order for something, it could take a week or two before it would show up - I imagine they would wait until they had enough to fill a truck before they brought it out.

In theory, one could have something somewhat similar. UPS could deliver to a neighborhood site, and then you go and pick it up yourself. And ultimately UPS could offer far more attractive shipping rates for those who choose this type of delivery instead of the direct-to-door delivery.

In a sense, we already have neighborhood packaging stores that can be used to help ship stuff out. They can just as easily help to serve the opposite purpose (delivery) as well..

That's how it was for me, too. Sears had a little office in town, and people would get a phone call when their package came in. They'd go get it (or have a neighbor go get it, if they were going into town). It wasn't even a storefront. It was literally a hole in the wall.

However, the delivery service was not their own trucks, but the US postal service. UPS and others did not deliver to my town. It was too small to be worth their while.

The only reason the USPS delivered is because they had to. Your taxes at work...

"UPS could deliver to a neighborhood site, and then you go and pick it up yourself."

It works for me. My driver leaves packages at the auto parts store, and calls me up to tell me it is there. Sometimes with a follow-up note in the mail. My guess is that Todd does that, too.

Well Rat,

It's late so you might not see this...but UPS comes up to our house 15 miles out of town!!!

I remember the day that UPS asked about starting service to our house. I was bare-assed naked pruning our fruit trees, like, maybe, 20 years ago and and Jerry, the first UPS driver, comes storming up the hill and asks me, yup he asked me, would you like UPS to come to your house? Nirvana!!!!

Now, when it snows they do leave packages at the auto parts - but they do call.

However, it's a different thing when it comes to Airborne (they suck) and it eventually gets passed on to someone else since they come out of Redding, CA. We've had stuff shipped in CA via AB take 2 weeks to get here. Fed Ex also leaves stuff at the auto parts unless it's one day delivery.

FWIW, we can also get UPS via Garberville since our mailbox on the road (which we stopped using years ago) has a Garberville address. But that's another story.


Personally, I think Internet shopping is a disaster, at least as currently practiced.

I'll disagree.

Only via Internet shopping are many items buy-able. Petramax lanterns and multi-fuel cookers - never seen 'em in stores. Or in the old paper catalogs.

Not a single bike shop carries the electic hub motors in a town of 1/4 a million. I could find BoB trailers - but not the Ibex. And that trailer was covered in dust and 1.5X list price. (it had to be stored and that storage costs $ - which gets tacked onto the price.)

Marco, your solutions are vastly oversimplified and makes the assumption that the problem is not really that great. Homes are spread over the vast countryside. If you consider the diesel required for a bus to cover the entire map there would probably still yield some savings but not enough to make a huge dent in the world's oil situation. And biking to the bus station in a driving rainstorm or snowstorm is not something we can expect everyone to do.

However I cannot, in a short post do justice to Kunstler with a rebuttal. So I will just leave it at that. That is, without a rebuttal argument. After all, we have thrashed this same straw since this list has existed, and on other lists well before that. I am not, right now, in a mood to restate those arguments again. Thanks for the exchange.

Ron Patterson

I think it is going to come as a great shock to us when we truly realize just how energy and capital intensive all of these suggested "low tech" fixes actually are.

It takes the equivalent of about 42 barrels of oil to manufacture a car; a bus, with a weight 7 to 8 times that of a car would be roughly 250 barrels.

I also think that we are holding onto a false belief that the roadways these additional buses will travel on will be in the same maintained condition that they are today. As gasoline consumption drops off, so will the supportive fuel taxes required to keep these roads usable. Weather, weeds, and low to no maintenance will quickly make for a crumbling infrastructure. This phenomenon is happening in my community already.

The internet, the requirement for telecommuting, is incredibly energy intensive. How long will it be viable as we scramble to find the energy to keep it running? I would say 30 years, tops.

Agreed. The Internet takes more energy than most people realize. I think it might last longer than 30 years, but not in any form we would recognize.

Don't forget server farms

It takes the equivalent of about 42 barrels of oil to manufacture a car; a bus, with a weight 7 to 8 times that of a car would be roughly 250 barrels.

What cars? You didn't manufacture any. You made Buses instead. Since one bus can carry 50+ passengers you have used far less oil.

Telecommuting is far less energy intensive than powering an entire office block as oppsed to a few floors and that doesn't even take into account the energy used travelling on mass transit vs personal motor car.

Look people, I think you all have a mind block. You are all trying to imagine how your life could continue the same way (or society collapses) and i'm trying to explain to you how it could still function, but in a different way. If we were all FORCED to use mass transit and FORCED to shop online then this WILL cut fossil fuel usage. Of cource the democratic people of America will not stand for being told how to shop or travel so they will drive over a cliff. The solutions I present are oversimplified becase they are simple and they will only work with a mind set change. Who is going to drive that though? Some hapless politician who knows it will be political suicide to "tell" the American (or any other nation for that matter) how to live their lives in a low carbon future.

You are all right - society will collapse if it doesn't start to get serious about the solutions - simple ones such as I have presented here.


They will, Marco; When the "Price" Equation is Right.

The internet, the requirement for telecommuting, is incredibly energy intensive.

This is a myth. The internet consumes very little energy.

Research Finds Computer-Related Electricity Use To Be Overestimated

Researchers conclude that office and network equipment consume about three percent of the total U.S. electricity use. Their findings challenge widely reported claims that this equipment uses 13 percent of the total.

That survey was taken in 1999 and includes ALL office equipment, including laser printers, copiers and faxes. It also was taken while most terminals used huge energy hog displays. Modern displays consume much less energy. The internet's share of all this, (computers are used for things other than the internet), would likely be less than half. Energy use for the internet alone today would likely be less than 1.5 percent of all electricity used.

But even that is an overestimation. The internet uses existing communications equipment. Equipment that would be used for telephone and other types of communications anyway, in most cases. Some servers are dedicated to the internet of course but blade servers used only for the internet would be a tiny fraction of the total office equipment.

Note: Some people claim that modern LED displays consume more energy than Cathode Ray Tubes. This simply is not so. You can judge how much energy a display uses by the amount of heat it generates. Modern displays generate very little heat.

Ron Patterson

Hi Ron,

Just with respect to LCD monitors, some of the original ground we gained may have been lost as we move to ever larger screen sizes. Going back two previous generations, my 15-inch SONY CRT averaged about 75-watts in active use. I replaced that with a 17-inch NEC LCD that dropped that to approximately 40-watts. Earlier this year, I upgraded to a new 24-inch LCD widescreen that reportedly consumes something in the range of 100-watts. Sadly, another case of one-step forward and two-steps back.


I don't think they meant office equipment. At least, that's not what I mean when I say it the Internet takes a lot of energy.

I mean the server farms that support sites like eBay and Amazon. And the air-conditioning that becomes necessary when an office automates. And the energy it takes to manufacture computers.

Thirty years is an enormous time period in electronics development. The limited amount of stuff I'm privy to that will come out in the next five years or so boggles my mind. I can't even imagine thirty years. Intel is publicly talking about 30 nm products by 2010. There is much discussion in the press of 15 nm products sometime after that. IBM has suggested that they will start producing devices using carbon nanotubes fairly soon. If it became a priority the industry could probably reduce the energy consumed per unit of calculation performed quite a bit. In addition, server farms use electricity and could potentially be powered by wind and solar. I understand that they are not totally free of fossil fuel needs, but that dependency is not strong as it is in transportation.

Kunsler is wrong becasue there are many low tech fixes...

Good point. But don't leave out the high tech!!

Another point to remember is that although there may be hardship coming down the pipe for many suburbs, much of it may be from temporary factors. A neighborhood is not destroyed by foreclosures. Instead current owners lose money as prices fall, but new owners in coming years will have paid less and own vehicles that are incredibly efficient.

Depending on how quickly new tech arrives, suburbia may become lean and contract a bit, but it won't disappear.

Depending on how quickly new tech arrives, suburbia may become lean and contract a bit, but it won't disappear.

And with what cheap energy will this "new tech" be created? Or will we all, globally, collectively, "wake up" and realize we need to invest NOW, while we still have access to "cheap" energy?

I wouldn't count on it.

And that's the problem. By the time "market forces" create enough demand for alternative energy sources, or alternative development patterns that use less energy, the conventional energy to develop the alternatives will be too expensive and scarce to develop much of anything.

Its kind of like rolling downhill in a soapbox-derby car if you've never done it before: By the time you realize you need to start braking, you don't have enough strength in your legs (or rubber on your shoes) to slow you down enough, so you lose control, and crash.

Now multiply the number of occupants by 6.5 billion...

By the time "market forces" create enough demand for alternative energy sources, or alternative development patterns that use less energy, the conventional energy to develop the alternatives will be too expensive and scarce to develop much of anything.

I have to quibble with that on the following grounds:

The energy required to develop alt energy is very small compared to the total energy we consume or will consume. Take a look at the ASPO's base case for oil production. It's probably the lower bound as the author has been systematically pessimistic and sometimes wrong in past forecasts for quite a few years.

But let's accept it anyway.

If it is correct, very high prices will hit us harder than they are now quite soon. And yet more than half the recoverable oil and gas remains. Truth is the market forces are already doing their thing.

I think the most important thing is to increase wind power generation enourmously and put our bets on a plug-in hybrid future, with flex-fuel capabilities including cellulosic ethanol. Remember that China will add 500 000 MW of power generation in the 2005-2010 period, that's more power generation than will be needed if all autos in the US switched to plug-in hybrids. The question is whether the auto industry can produce 20-30 million plug-ins with flex-fuel annually within the next, say 5-6 years?

You do know that coal is a finite resource as well, right?

You do know that China is importing coal to make up for shortfalls?

You do know that your logic is flawed at best and at worst it is magical thinking?

i dont know why they wont work. let me tell you about a conversation i overheard today.

this lady drives up to my neighbor's 4 plex apartment house in a newer suv. there is a bus stop across the street and a bike path within easy distance. there is a one bdr apt for rent sign in the front yard. the neighbor tells her that he will have to rent to someone without a car because all of his parking spaces are taken. she tells him that he isnt going to be able to rent the apt to anybody without a car. he says he has rented it on that basis in the past. she asks how much for the apt. he says $550/mo with heat paid. she says she cant afford that and drives away in her suv.

It's an interesting phenomenon faith. It definitely has its purposes. In fact, effective leadership sometimes means standing for something for which all the evidence is against and for which there is no agreement.

When the result arrives, sometimes the faith bears fruit and sometimes it doesn't. But faith definitely is a useful tool to get things done and shouldn't be removed from the toolbox, in my view.

My eight-year-old attended a party today, at a big indoor playground. All the kids (about 15 of them) live in the one area; the centre was a forty-minute round trip to get to (twice, in fact - for drop-off and pickup). No carpooling organised. No public transport.

People aren't aware that crude oil is finite. If they do, they don't care. BAU until Britney Spears gets off the front page and is replaced with the doomerish headline, "The World Is Running Out Of Affordable Oil".

For now, who's going to spend the trillions on "alternatives"? No-one.

Regards, Matt B
Still living in MS.

Well would the sensible thing not be to have the party close to home? God forbid these poor children have to demean themselves with simple games like pass the parcel or musical chairs.

Trillions? The Iraq war budget alone could have payed for a few buses!


Yes, my little lady's having her party at home for sure (that's been the case for years for all three kids BTW). I sigh and shrug my shoulders at these unnecessary commutes.

And like I said, who's going to spend the trillions? Obviously not the US goverment!

Regards, Matt B
Don't forget, I'm new to this "awareness" thing. Forty-plus years of MS and BS.

Looks like this DB has turned into BAU
has returned.

Nothing unusual about that.

Desperate people do desperate things.

EROEI has killed BAU.

Everything has been monetized and debt leveraged
to the hilt. And financed by the full faith and
credit of the US gov't.

Meaning all taxes produced from now on out
have been sequestered.

There will be no more lending/borrowing.

The vast majority don't have pensions.
See NAB writing down 90% of the value of it's US housing related paper for details.

With the "collapse" of the oil market we can now
watch with fascination as the EIA inventory
gets skewed to Hell and back.

Less and less oil will be coming into the US.

china/japan/russia/arab emirates are our lenders.

You don't attack your lenders.

more on request.

"Just like these gas guzzlers are WORTHLESS, so will the houses built far from work also become WORTHLESS. If energy is expensive, big houses become tombs! Cathedral ceilings are fatal. Great views make for grief. 90% of the housing built this decade was built with no idea about being energy efficient. The way they were designed, the orientation vis a vis the sun, ignored. These things were built with the assumption we can use an enclosed climate system and if the sun heats up the house too much, so what? If the cold pours in, who cared?

A house can become worthless very fast if it is an economic dead end. This is why the US made a historic mistake when we spent all our future wealth by going into debt to build acres of useless housing that is inappropriate in an energy-intensive world where energy is suddenly very expensive."-Elaine Supkis

Looks like this DB has turned into BAU
has returned.

Naaa, just looking for quick, cheap non techno fixes, plus the good mood i'm in today!!

EROEI has killed BAU.

Yes...BUT... I wouldn't say a switch en-masse to mass transit is BAU (nor cycling for that matter)
It's about a mind set change and a respose to crisis.

Sorry to keep pestering, but there won't be a "crisis" until MS media says there's one. And that'll be a while off as long as the Big Oiler's keep feeding us "affordable" juice.

After generations now of relatively blissful middle-class existence, the change in mindset may still be decades away.

Regards, Matt B
Speaking of cycling, the Tour de France is about to finish. Gotta go!

There is a crisis and many families are starting to feel the pain now.

The big oilers have already stopped feeding us the affordable juice. A large percentage of people are complaing about the cost of gas.

The mindset change is months if not only a few years away.

That blissful middle-class existance is where much of the complaining is coming from!


"Naaa, just looking for quick, cheap non techno fixes, plus the good mood i'm in today!!"

That's better! 8D

Of course the quickest, cheapest techno fix is collapse.

Like untangling a garden hose, it takes some energy to do it.

And first the recognition has to take place that the hose can't be used in it's current condition.

We will do the ...

wait. We won't do anything until we realize that the 80 year old
folks who knew the pain of Depression are gone.

That we can't bus kids to school, they can't have phones, or
any techno toys.

All sports/games/anti drug socializing activiites are over.

That instead the kids will have to work ASAP.

While the parents are dealing with Ma/Pa in home.

The entire elder care system will disappear.

And that's just the very start, like in September, of what's coming.

"That structural deficit can only be resolved by complete bankruptcy of government at all levels. You can't fund $60 trillion with tax increases, or hope that some Oil Exporting Nation's sovereign investment fund will loan us $60 trillion (the Medicare shortfall alone is $43 trillion, but let's not forget all those other promises to pay pensions and healthcare made by Federal, local and state governments)." Charles Hughes Smith

You're still talking BAU, Marco. The problem is you are isolating this one aspect of the perfect storm that cometh. Reconsider your arguments with resource depletion - not oil, other resources - and see which items you think are so simple to change to actually need some of those things we are running out of. The consider how AGW affects everything from blowing down oil wells to destroying crops to salting aquifers to storm damage to etc., etc. Then figure out how all this exacerbates the economic spiral and how that exacerbates all the other issues. Then consider what happens if we manage to back up on consumption and burning fossil fuels, but don't stop the population from growing. Now extrapolate two hundred years into the future (Unless, of course, you could give a damn about humanity continuing on.)

Where are you?

(Hint: if not parboiled by the new 130F summers, then just plain extinct.)


The problem is you are isolating this one aspect of the perfect storm that cometh. Reconsider your arguments with resource depletion

I realise there are many knock on effects. That is why I think there are just too many uncertainties to write off mankind/society at this stage - we just do not know what will happen. I get the impression that most people who have responded to my post expect socitey to collapse in some manner. None of you know this and cannot prove it! However the people who have responded to say why my ideas will not work - i have tried to counter.

I am in the UK - we here do not have allergies to bicycles/car-share or buses! Even the middle class like me who cycles to get fit and takes the bus often now because my local service has been stepped up from every 30mins to every 12 mins!


Yes, I'd say many expect collapse, but that doesn't equal extinction. Much depends on what you define as collapse. Personally, I think collapse will happen. I will define collapse as:

1. A lot of people dying due to (fill in your various aspects of The Perfect Storm That Cometh).

2. Breakdowns in communications and movement of goods and people, but not absolutely. Particularly, some regions may be abl to carry on as normal for quite a while, but the ranges from total breakdown to near BAU *will* be various by country, state, city, neighborhood, region, area.

3. Breakdowns in governmental structures and devolution to fascist/militaristic/State of Emergency structures. Again, various by country, state, city, neighborhood, region, area.

4. Naturally, breakdowns in the financial systems underpinning, well, everything.

5. Civil unrest due to 1, 2, 3 and 4.


6. Devolution to localized populations reaching for sustainability (this is positive) providing the foundation for both rejecting BAU and GAU (Gov't As Usual.) This, of course, is a bit of a fantasy, but the only way to long-term survival in anything like an organized societal structure.

If #6 is allowed to happen, or people simply assert their rights to fair and effective government, then we can have a managed "de-evolution" that is actually a step forward in human development. Technology maintained, i.e., preserved and probably redistributed, core systems can be maintained or rebuilt/reconfigured, and we can do all this at a pace and in a way that is sustainable.

There is no reason we can't live in harmony with our environment AND ascend to the stars. Technology can give us wonderful things, but the haphazard and profit-motivated production and application of it must end.

We don't **need** profit. We do need food, shelter, clothing and community of some sort (and to each his own to the extent it does not use and abuse others or our shared resource heritage.)


..........and by May 1934, the plans had been completed in detail....... .....The first prototype, K5083, began construction in August 1935 incorporating the PV-12 Merlin engine. The completed sections of the aircraft were taken to Brooklands, where Hawkers had an assembly shed, and re-assembled on 23 October 1935......

In many ways, the Hurricane represent an evolved version of the Fury biplane in monoplane form.



Take of this what you will.

ceiii2000 -

Well, I would take it to mean that it is but one example of how people can do things far more rapidly than ever thought possible when a truly compelling need exists.

WW II is full of examples of amazing crash programs and production records, e.g., coal-derived liquid fuels in Germany, Liberty Ships being cranked out at a rate as high as one a day in the US, the USSR moving entire major factories east of the Urals to escape the German advance.

One of my favorite examples is synthetic rubber production in the US at the onset of WW II. The US had been doing much R & D work on synthetic rubber and had a several large pilot plants in operation. Rather than go through all the engineering and scale-up problems and delays associated with building a full-scale production facility, the first synthetic rubber facility consisted of about 20 identical copies of the existing pilot plant. They just sent the pilot plant construction drawings to the selected site with instructions to build 20 of these. Of course it was highly inefficient and hardly cost-effective, but it produced what was needed in a time of emergency.

I would like to see more of this mentality at work regarding alternative energy projects.

Guess I should have spelled it out:
1. The plane didn't go from first pencil to flying in 103 days.
2. It wasn't a new invention, or even a new type. It was pieced together using existing technology, tools already in place, and design principles that were well understood and tested.

I like the synthetic rubber thing, but who paid for all the plants, raw materials, labor, and output? My guess would be the government on all counts. The US government took on a HUGE amount of debt during WWII and the prosperity and return to capitalism afterwords allowed them to pay it back. Printing money and borrowing it got us through that war. We do not have that option this time. Somebody has to pay for all the grand ideas that are being thrown around. I don't think an american middle class wage earner that hasn't had a real raise in many years is up to it.

I like the synthetic rubber thing, but who paid for all the plants, raw materials, labor, and output?

It was paid for by war bonds, bought by US citizens, who basically donated their savings and excess income to the effort. We couldn't finance a fraction of our current deficit spending internally now, much less pay for any big new effort.

I like your optimism and do believe we (humans) can do amazing things when required, but...concerning buses, sometimes the reality and the ideology are very different things...

Missouri-side officials propose expanded area bus service

Light rail is trendy, but it would take years to build.

So Missouri-side county and suburban leaders Friday began promoting some quicker relief for gas prices: More buses.

Leaders of Jackson, Clay and Platte counties offered an early glimpse of a plan, which would require voter approval, to provide expanded bus service for suburban commuters.

There’s a hitch, though — even buses cannot be added quickly. Throughout the country now, orders for new buses are increasingly backed up and stretching out to two years, thanks, in part, to gas prices. So even if Missouri-side counties came up with a final plan and got voter approval next year, the expanded bus service still would not start until probably 2011.

“To get the whole thing up and running, it’s going to take 18 to 24 months from an election,” said Clay County Commissioner Craig Porter. “Even if it takes two years, it’s still years earlier than they can get light rail going.”


Transit agencies like the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority do not just buy a bus off a lot. They place orders with a manufacturer based on what they want.

Some manufacturers say a backlog of orders is increasing delivery time, while other manufacturers are increasing production to keep up. Either way, it’s typically taking from 10 to 20 months to fill orders for new buses.

“Definitely, the industry is seeing a lot of orders,” said Glenn Asham, chief financial officer for New Flyer, which bills itself as the largest manufacturer of heavy-duty transit vehicles in North America.

The lag time can be seen locally, where the ATA ordered 11 vehicles for the Troost Avenue bus rapid transit line in June, but will not get them until November 2009.

So, I agree, buses are going to try to save the suburbs and get people to work in the big city cheaper. However, with everyone in the country needing the same thing all at once...there is going to be a big lag time to get all the buses to where they're needed.

Put that in the context of what the job market will be like in big cities in two years and when the bus orders finally arrive to help the suburb commuter. The buses may not be needed by that time.

but...concerning buses, sometimes the reality and the ideology are very different things...

I took my bike into Portland this past Friday for a lunch-time discussion of bicycle commuting at a regional transportation planning agency. The meeting was 4th floor in the AAA building just off Marginal Way. [Everyone knows what any Marginal Way is like.] Next to no way to get there on a bike without dismounting and carrying it. Not even complete sidewalks. One tiny bike rack.

On the way out I asked who I talk to about buses - thinking it way way way past time that we restart the Portland - Gray - Lewiston route the Interurban once followed. As it happened, the staff person who does that sort of thing was away discussing a bus route around Gray and Windham areas and I learned that it will not happen.

What has to happen will not happen. And when the time comes, there will be no money for buses, no buses to be had, and probably less and less point in taking them. Jobs and shopping options will be much reduced.

I'm going to talk with the owner of a local mall about putting in a small non-profit movie theater in one of his long-vacant spaces. And bicycle racks. Seems the State of Maine has a program to pay for half the cost of new bick racks.

cfm in Gray, ME

'These large vehicles could carry many occupants and the occupants could work from their phones/laptops whilst they travel.'

Work at what? You invited criticism, so this seems the time.

When did 'work' become something done at a keyboard? Butchers don't work by phoning it in, so to speak. Neither do bakers.

Or roofers. Or sawmill workers. Or even those putting together and repairing buses.

This level of abstraction is disturbing - the idea that 'work' is no longer something connected to anything physical, or if it is, it tends to be seen as the proper province of the globalized economy, and thus in the hands of those too unlucky too sit in a bus while typing.

Oddly, in Germany, which does have a fair number of buses and trains, it is understood that only a certain class will be using keyboards and phones while riding with others - and that this class is a fairly small, if obviously influential and well paid, part of society.

When did 'work' become something done at a keyboard? Butchers don't work by phoning it in, so to speak. Neither do bakers.

I laughed a little at this because I cannot do my work on a bus eitehr!!

You have to understand the bigger picture. We are looking for ANY gains here. if only 20% of people can do their work on a bus and if that 20% previosly took their car then we are still better positioned to weather the strom. very few people realise that only small demand reductions in the use of fossil fuel can have a huge inpact on both the price and availability.

Even if we only see 10% of the populace move to mass transport then we will se a big difference campared to before.


We need HUGE savings in fossil fuel use (oil & nat. gas) to meet the coming reductions caused by ELM effects. US imports 65% of its oil and oil products, so when the net world exports decline by half in the next 10 or 15 years, the US will likely have only 1/2 of its liquid energy available after accounting for coninued domestic oil declines.

First priority for this oil energy will be food production, second will be the military, third will be municipal services like police, fire protection, emergency services, fourth will be most efficient transportation (RR's), industrial production, & medical/health systems. Last to get fuel will be the private automobile fleet, which may have to operate with only 1/4 of the current amount of oil. So how do we accomodate most people not having access to cheap oil for personal transportation? Electric cars and busses would help but where does all the KW hours come from, more coal burned?

I think radical change is in the near future, but a lot of pain will come with it. Many people with good paying desk jobs will find themselves lost in the new economy where physical work is required to actually produce something that clothes, houses, feeds or transports our society. I too am an engineer (BS-ME, 1980), but I am also a certified welder that can fabricate all kinds of metal assemblies. I think in the "new world order" even engineers should have some hands on experience in making the things they design.

We need HUGE savings in fossil fuel use (oil & nat. gas) to meet the coming reductions caused by ELM effects. US imports 65% of its oil and oil products, so when the net world exports decline by half in the next 10 or 15 years, the US will likely have only 1/2 of its liquid energy available after accounting for coninued domestic oil declines.

OTOH, Texas "exports" large quantities of oil and natural gas. The Rocky Mountain region "exports" large amounts of natural gas and coal. Dallas and Denver can run their air conditioners for a long time if they keep their energy resources for themselves.

In both areas there has been, for decades, a local meme that they are either neglected or exploited by the people back east in general and the federal government in particular. There will be significant resentment if "solutions" to the growing energy problems look like they (a) require the West to adopt practices that do not consider Western realities and (b) increase those exports.

Anyone want to help write a novel set 25 years in the future with the western half of the US seceding over energy policy?

Texas "exports" large quantities of oil

Texas is a net oil importer, by a good margin. They do not produce enough to feed the 14 lane freeways of Houston, 10 lane freeways of Dallas and the massive sprawl all over the state.

I think that Texas is nearing break-even on natural gas as well.


Texas, according to the Rail Road Commission of Texas, Texas produced 934,000 barrels per day in 2006 and 921,000 barrels per day in 2007. According to the EIA’s Petroleum Basis Statistics Texas produced 1,088,000 barrels of oil in 2006, no data for 2007. At any rate both Texas and the EIA say Texas is producing almost one million barrels per day. I could find no data on Texas oil consumption. All these figures are crude oil, not all liquids.

However the U.S. consumes just over 20 million barrels per day, total liquids. That includes about one million barrels per day of process gain and over 2 million barrels per day of NGLs. The U.S. consumes about 17 million barrels per day of crude+condensate and Texas produces one seventeenth of that or 5.9%. Okay, does Texas consume one seventeenth or 5.9 percent of all the oil consumed in the US?

Okay, Texas, according to the U.S. Census Beauro has 7.85 percent of the U.S. Population. So it appears that you are correct Alan, Texas consumes a lot more oil than it produces.

Ron Patterson

Texas consumes more than it produces, but if you nix imports Texas would have to export a LOT to use only its "fair share".

Except this game is about unfair shares, and the point at which the US plays against itself we'll all have lost.

Texas per capita oil consumption is significantly higher than the US average as well, particularly for gasoline and diesel.

AFAIK, only Alaska, Oklahoma (barely) and Louisiana are oil "exporters".

Some Western states (Wyoming) were close a few years ago.


This Marcos guy is a former troll playing head games with people here.

Ignore him.

If you really think this then you have missed the vital point of the debate - not that my ideas are anything new and can/cannot easily work. It's the fact that the greater difficulty comes from persuading peolple to live defferently, change habits of a lifetime.

As you see by clicking my name i've been posting here for over 2 years. I'm not a troll today, i'm playing devils advocate with the possibilities of how we get ourselves out of this huge mess.

I'm well aware off all aspect oil energy depletion from farming right throug to air-travel to you name it - our global society has ascended on cheap energy. But unfortunately the model we have built society on is INCREDIBLY inneficient with that energy and could streach out our remaining FF's far into the future if we just took that small mental leap required.


Errr, Marcos has been here 2 years.

So what 'former troll' is he?

(Yea, you *ARE* being asked to prove your claim)

All of this has to be seen in light of having 60% unemployment soon and then it gets worse.

Be careful about reading that crystal ball, otherwise Ron might accuse you of making a faith based statement.

Marco, was that snide remark necessary. After all, I was not the one who first informed you that you were simply making a faith based statement, it was Jografy. And there is, as I stated, absolutely nothing wrong with stating your belief just as long as you don't confuse it with logic.

I have often stated my belief, my guesses. And when I do I try to remind everyone that it is just a guess. And I try to never get snide about it.

You made a statement about Kunstler being wrong and then seemed to get upset when Jografy, then I, reminded you that you were only making a statement of faith. And if you were not upset you would not have made the snide remark above. What is your problem anyway?

Ron Patterson

Chill Ron, it was a joke. If you do not think this guy stating 60% unemployment is a faith based statement then you are operating double standards.


Of course it is a belief and a belief I share I might add. I just don't think he would deny that this is a belief, a guess, if questioned. Would he say something like?

As an engineer I rely very little on faith to get me through the day!!

Implying, of course, that a logical argument had been made.

I doubt it.

Yes, Ron, please chill. You may be exactly correct in what you are saying but it strikes me as argumentative. Cut people some slack, please.

Sorry aangel, but I had already closed the debate, saying that I could not do Kunstler justice in such a short post. Them Marco popped up with a snide remark that really pissed me off. Then I am told to chill! But if you think I such remarks are acceptable then so be it.

And, I might add, the debate had been closed for the second time until your post. So please, everyone just shut up and drop it. No more chill posts PLEASE!

Rather than getting personal here, we are having yet another doomer versus new commenter argument. The newbe sees that there are many ways in which a rational society could mitigate the effects of PO. So technically, its not that big a problem. The problem comes about trying to get our society to actually start making these changes proactively. So it's really an excercise in politics and sociology, not engineering. Many of us here on TOD, have been attempting to do this, I think thats why most of us are here. So what Marco should do is choose ten people at random, and try to persuade them to each make at least one substantial mitigatory change to their lifestyle. Then report back on his success rate.


I'm one of those newbies. As a 40-yr-old dad of three, concerned deeply for their future, my single FIRST WISH is that MS media starts exploring the geological constraints of cheap liquid energy with as much vigor as it seems it does with so-called man-assisted global warming.

I see this as the CRUCIAL first step, because very few of we Average Joes and Janes will buy the argument that we have only a few years left. In the past year, I haven't convinced anyone that we may be in for quite a bumpy ride. Even NASA still talks about getting folk to Mars twenty years down the track, for Pete's sake!

Until the front page headline reads, "The World Is Running Out Of Affordable Oil", I'll just keep sitting somewhere in between the doomers and optimists; I've changed over all the lightbulbs and bought a motorbike, but there's still bills to pay, personal debt to pay off and hungry mouths to feed (the latter, for at least another two decades!). So sadly, BAU for now.

I hope MS gets "on-board" before it's too late. I fear though, it won't (oh right, that's doomerish! Sorry)...

Regards, Matt B

Thanks enenmy.

Personally, so far, i've managed to persuade 4/5 people to cycle to work. We have 2500 (some rotating on shift) staff here with around 8% cycling.

We have a cycling "group" at work where we send cycling news out to employees to try and encourage this mode of transport. It will get intersting next year when 400 parking spaces are being taken away from us - no netotiating as the local council are taking the land back to build part of the new tram line that is being built.

Our car share sceme at work is very active. Car share members recieve priority places close to the doors.

I am designing/building a semi-faired recumbent bicycle with a retro fitted 49cc engine that should be good for 250mpg+. I plan to start building it in the winter, ready for next summer. If it goes OK i'm sure I can get others to try and copy me, even stick my designs on the web. (I design/build ultralight telescopes and have my own web page)

I'm trying to be proactive in getting my mesage out to others. You are spot on it is about persuading people to change their lifestyle.


I did a similar project back in '84. It produced 235 mpg during one run at 55 mph and others have achieved better results since. Add your e-mail address to your profile and I'll send you a picture.

E. Swanson

I would very much like to see that. I'll add my e-mail address to my profile.

Mine unfortunately (because of the motor kit) will be limited to 30mph!

Quick question - have you kept it for a rainy day? A 5 gal jerry can could go a long


I too feel that persuading people is a good idea. Sadly, though, I have found that simply talking to people without invitation, has a very low return on investment. What seems to work is to attempt to lead the curve, demonstrate by example, and then respond positively when people ask.

Two years ago, expecting a future run up in petroleum prices, I shopped around for a Volkswagen TDI (turbo diesel injection) car, added extra instrumentation, worked on improving the fuel economy by changing driving habits. I wrote 59.9 MPG on the back of the car. About twice a month, people approach me and we have a discussion about gentle driving styles. Interestingly, some drivers are dropping back in line and following for 5 or 10 miles -- perhaps to see how it's done.

Put up solar panels and have an off-grid house with an energy budget of 3.5 KWH/day. Modern construction with all the creature comforts. When folk ask, we have a discussion about ground water cooling, shade trees, solar chimney, shade porch, vampire electrical loads, and so on. Oh, and interestingly enough, the house cost less than average to build and it costs less to run than the average house.

Plant a vegetable garden, when distributing the surplus, invite the neighbors to come along to the local farmers market.

The funny part is that when people intimate that I must belong to the granola-crunching, eco-freak community, the answer is, "no, it's economics." Energy has always carried a cost (very few people, though, ever want to see the spreadsheets). But, there is a message that reduction of waste equates to reduced cash flow. That point usually gets through.

My understanding is that as long as people have discretionary income, they seem to prefer optimizing comfort and satisfying personal desire sooner rather than later. They guy driving the Hummer does so because he wants to do so. The person with the air conditioner set at 68 and a plate glass window with no shades wants it because they enjoy the view. Those type of folk have the discretionary income to satisfy their desires.

It is the people who lack the discretionary income and are having difficulty adapting to a new world with high priced energy that may need some help. Oft times they do not have the resources to be forward looking. They may be struggling to deal with an inefficient life-style or are already as efficient as can be (some poor folk are amazing at living efficiently on very little money). What can be done for the folk who are facing a winter heating bill that will be at least twice what it was last year?

It is impossible to guess how high it could get. Yet I agree that whatever figure it is (20%-99%) it will be far higher than most people (or the government) could imagine or endure.
If millions lose their jobs in the next few months then millions more will fear for their future.Once that happens then down goes the consumer spending and the service economy in ever deepening rounds of belt tightening, job losses, corporate collapses and forclosures.
It guarantees the government will go bust (declining tax base plus rising welfare) and then the SHTF. We live in interesting times.

Your example of the Hawker Hurricane is seriously off base. That craft was a follow on to an earlier biplane and used similar construction techniques. Here's a brief history.

The Hurricane was the work of Sydney Camm, who began its design in 1934. The prototype first took to the air on November 6,1935, at Brooklands, and the initial production Hurricane I entered RAF service in December 1937, with No 111 Squadron. Powered by the famous Rolls-Royce Merlin engine, it became the first RAF monoplane fighter with an enclosed cockpit and retractable undercarriage and was the first RAF fighter monoplane capable of exceeding 300 mph in level flight...

Please note the dates, early 1934 to production in 1937. And, just when did WW II officially start? Also, note that the design used engine technology which existed at the time.

Are you really an engineer? If so, you apparently haven't learned the need to check your facts before starting a rant.

E. Swanson

Read my post again dog:

He said from pencils hitting the drawing board to a flying aircraft was 103 days. I couldn't get this fact out of my head and then the obvious struck me. In times of crisis we humans have an incredible ability to pull together and achive amazing results

They were not my facts. I did not check him up on the timescale he stated 9the commentator at the airshow) This doesn't make me less of an engineer and I wasn't ranting, I was thowing down the gauntlet for a debate which has clearly been taken up!

The point is we can achieve incredible results when put under real pressure and in times of need (which by the way the public do not realise is now). Now we don't know how mankind will react when the shit really hits the fan but I can say with some surety that it will not be as you expect.


As an engineer, who has studied and worked with renewable energy since the 1970's, I agree that much could be done. However, I also think that would involve undoing much of what's already been done for the last 60 years. The war time analogy would seem fitting, except that energy is basic to the functioning of the economy, as in the means for production. Once oil production peaks out and begins to decline, all manner of efforts might be undertaken. The installed base of energy using systems would need to be replaced, a gigantic proposition, given the need to change the entire energy consuming structure while operating much of the existing infrastructure at the same time. Given that there's not yet anything like a consensus on the problem, let alone agreement as to which way to approach the problem, I do tend toward doomerism.

For example, I think most SUV's and other large gas guzzlers should be rapidly junked, not traded and sold down market. The same would likely be needed for excessively large houses, which have become popular here in the U.S. But, much of our economy is based on the continually building more of these and to stop doing so would of necessity disrupt almost everybody's notion of the future. There's a massive resistance to such changes and that's been true since the 1970's. No politician in the U.S. is going to get elected in peace time by promising to increase taxes and cut subsidies, while taking away those things that the average person has come to think as central to their life. A war time change in the economy would require some sort of enemy as was experienced during WW II, i.e., a gut wrenching fight to the finish. But, there's no such enemy on the horizon, as in this situation, We are our OWN ENEMY! Worse yet, this is a global problem and, just like Global Warming, the solution(s) must involve all the developed nations.

So, how do you propose to mobilize the peoples of the Earth to "attack" this situation?

E. Swanson

"For example, I think most SUV's and other large gas guzzlers should be rapidly junked, not traded and sold down market. "

No! I want an SUV. I have a Hyundai Accent. I'd be happy to trade one-for-one. I drive < 10 000 km / year, and I walk to work most days (except in blizzardy winter). The comfort might be nice for me on the weekly trip-to-the-mall, and I have hopes that some 100km each way commuter will soon be happy to make the trade.

Re-allocation of inappropriately allocated resources could buy us some time.

Your use of first-half twentieth century war time technology developments is invalid and as an 'engineer' you should know why.

To wit: technology developed before and during World War Two was by modern standards incredibly primitive and thus easy to advance. For example, compare the internal combustion engine then, with that of today. Today's engine is developed using computers that model the flow of the gases as they pass through the valves and combust. Laser Spectroscopy is used to ensure optimum combustion and on and on.

Great leaps were made during World War Two, not solely because of necessity, but also because they were comparatively easy to make.

Today's challenges are orders of magnitude greater with the exact opposite potential to leap to solutions. We are so doomed!

technology developed before and during World War Two was by modern standards incredibly primitive

I routinely use streetcars built in 1923 or 1924. 1/4" lash on gears, DC motors, old motor controllers. Rebuilt 1989-1992, light bulbs are now rough duty 120 V in parallel (modern inverter), before then were DC in series (and expensive). Safety glass now, aluminum roof replaced canvas in 1940s. Some wooden structure replaced with aluminum forgings.

Best Hopes,


You're missing the gist of his point.

Our advanced technology is like that 'bright kid' who is pushing on the PULL door at the School for Gifted Children in the FarSide Cartoon. We have enormous numbers of SIMPLE energy shaving choices we could make in an eyeblink if the need for it became clear to a critical mass of people.

Even if all those SUV's were driving with 4 to 6 passengers every day, we'd be starting to make an improvement. No CAD/CAM required.

Why do all the households in the Northern half of the country have their Fridge Compressors running all winter? How many KWH does that one represent?

I don't claim this will save suburbia.. just that it would save energy and money, I'll leave the repercussions to sort themselves out. But I think the example of the Hurricane makes a clear point that when people are motivated, they can make significant things happen.


We do have an incredible capacity for doing stuff right (and I would recommend the book Wartime Britain by Juliet Gardiner along those lines). However, we're stuck with some cultural detritus relating to the 1970's (the ME decade). We're also entering an ecological capacity overshoot.

We still have to try our darndest, though. And did I mention the book Wartime Britain? Large parts of it are truly inspiring.

I have a problem with carbon credits. A poluting utility can buy carbon credits and then pass the cost along to it's customers. Just like fuel surcharges. Their customers have no choice but to pay the extra charge.

Why shouldn't they pass the cost along to customers? It's not an "extra charge", it's an attempt to de-externalize the cost of carbon emissions. We have been paying artificially low prices for years due to various externalities, but the chickens are coming home to roost.

There's not much focus on chickens, but I think it is an important issue you bring up, chickens are much more environmentally sound than beef and pork, it's a good alternative in a peak-oil world, in addition to fish. It's more healthier than beef as well.

Chickens, yum!

I have a flock of laying hens - meat birds next year...

Customers DO have a choice. If the price goes up then the customer can cut back, substituite or do without. For example higher electricity tariffs due to carbon credits on electricity = turn a light off, get solar HWS, scrap the A/Conditioner.

Sorry, but THE customer doesn't exist. There are many. And some of them don't have a choice. Well, they do, and it's to die. Which happens. And will some more.

If you're Down with Darwin, then let the chips fall where they may, but this "the customer has choices" is only partially true, thus a false statement.


THE customer is referring to ME. I can do all the above and therefore the statement is true. As far as the other 99.999% of customers in my city (or yours) they almost all have this choice to economize unless they are legally required to pay for something they may not use (like electric powered public trains) and in that case they still have a choice (vote, emigrate, commit suicide).

You said customers. Dying isn't really a choice, is it? It's a consequence. But my pint is that you are painting this very lightly, as if millions dying (billions?) won't have any effect on those remaining. This is simplistic.


I agree that m/billions possibly dying WTSHTF won't have much choice, but if my (or my neighbours) face higher utility bills from carbon emission charges then I (and my neighbours) will have to cut our usage of power to keep our bills under control. Result? less power used (and less coal mined)plus alternatives (solar, wind) become more cost competitive.
Less coal, oil etc burned means the FF peak is lowered (and a less severe economic disruption post peak) plus climate change problems delayed/reduced.
win win

"I don't think I've ever seen an issue turn around so dramatically," said House Republican Paul Ryan of Janesville. "I've always voted for drilling, and it's always been a political liability for me. My mail used to run 10-to-1 against it. . . . Now it's 13-to-1 in favor."

With those odds it's obvious Americans will do anything to keep the oil flowing. Since drilling offshore and in the Arctic won't produce tangible results for many years, you can expect the public to support more wars to get their hands on the currently available oil. Expect to see lists of the names of more red-bleeding Americans in the near future.

"Expect to see lists of the names of more red-bleeding Americans in the near future."

Except that we won't be able to because
the places we're attacking for oil are now
in deals with China/Russia/Japan/Arab Emirates.

And those folks not only own our debt, they are the only
ones that can finance our war machine.

There's no places to really invade to get the oil needed. Where would that be? You thinking of Iran and Venezuela? It won't make much difference to invade these countries. They are probably both close to peak, if we dont count the bitumen in Venezuela that for some reason they still havent really started digging up at any quantities.

Why do we need to invade, Stephen Colbert believes that we can find 100% of the worlds oil reserves in ANWR :)

Probably. I especially liked:

whose surveys released Thursday found sizable support in Wisconsin and two other Midwestern battlegrounds, Minnesota and Michigan, for new coastal drilling.

How far from the coast are these people? I mentioned this snippet to my brother; his response: "who's ox is being gore"

Unfortunately, the Republicans have a winning issue in the Drill, Drill, Drill vs. don't debate.

"Democracy" in the United States exists under the greatest propaganda system of all time. Simplistic, stupid issues determine who controls the (open to election) levers of power. Drill vs. don't could sweep Republicans to power in the Fall.

Think about it: Gay marriage?? Swift Boats? It ridiculously simple because of the system we have in place to influence what people think. Right Now significant #'s of people think Obama is a Muslim. And it happens year after year after year.

Humans are not rational. Human are rationalizers.

I can't even articulate the Dem's position in opposition to drilling. Something about 'make them drill on the leases they have...' Does ANYONE think that's a winning position? Even if they synthesized the best of Alan Drake and West Texas and Bob Shaw into an incredibly prescient policy proposal, they would be beaten like Guantanamite's by slick ads on the idiot box come election season.

We're not doomed because we don't have solutions...

We're doomed because of human nature and the choices we make!

Took my 8 year old to the Demo Derby at the County Fair last night.

My investment conclusion- Short the US market.



SKF for an Indy Jones - type rollercoaster ride! There are others...

I agree completely! Is the evolution of self-awareness a trait which increases a species long-term fitness? I wonder.

Right Now significant #'s of people think Obama is a Muslim.

The source of the mischief of course coming from the assumption that there is anything necessarily wrong with being a Muslim. Even if a generality about Muslims were true, it doesn't work to apply generalities to any individual in particular.


Of course there's nothing inherently wrong with being Muslim.

This proves my point.

ANY one can be labeled and that label dragged thru the dirt and discredited

That's one of the ways our propaganda system works..

'Liberal' for example.

I'm in rant mode!

John McCain killed women and children from 10's of thousands of feet in the air. Then he got captured. Then he collaborated with the enemy. Now he supports torture. And he's the 'HERO" candidate.

i think that if the dems are to gain much in future elections, they will have to learn to play hard ball. moveon.org just doesnt seem to be getting the message out. the dems will need as a minimum:

1) a kkkarl rove like strategist totally lacking morals

2) an army of "swift boat" organizations to assassinate the character of any republican anytime.

3) the backing of the cia and the oil industry

then and only then, imo, can they compete

Puhleeze! Liberals had the 90's, which they used to run up expenditures just like neocons, only with different justifications. Is there any real difference between "drill, drill, drill" and "tap the SPR"? Oh, and there's always the "somebodie's gotta pay" so let's sock it to big, bad, oil.

Like it or not, Atlas is going to shrug. Who is John Galt? He is oil..........

Come now, we all liked Ayn Rand when we were 16---
When you are 16, being a hero for being a azzhole is really cool!
Plus, the simple economics makes sense after a few tokes.
But agreed, just different emphasis---
The dems were into venture capital, media, tech and bio research.
The rethugs were into extraction, tobacco, defense (although the dems fed on this also), and traditional banking, financial instruments.

We can see who capital rewarded. I think "Old Money" got a bit uneasy when 30 year old punks from Palo Alto started to have more money than they had--
A end was quickly put to that!

"Liberals had the 90's, which they used to run up expenditures just like neocons..."

well not really. bill clinton was president for most of the decade and the non liberals had control of the congress. i dont recall the spending being run up that much, but perhaps you can fill me in on that, references please.

the debt in clintons last full year increased by $21 billion.

by contrast with george bush during the last 8 yrs and the non liberals in control of congress for 6 of those years, the debt went up by well over $ 4 trillion, $21 billion in one day(november 23, 2004). the debt now stands at over $ 9 trillion.

"Is there any real difference between "drill, drill, drill" and "tap the SPR"? "

probably not much.

"Oh, and there's always the "somebodie's gotta pay" so let's sock it to big, bad, oil."

as opposed to bush's: "somebody's gotta owe"

tax and spend is a lot more responsible than borrow and waste.

oh, did i say waste ? sorry, i really didnt mean to bring up that search for wmds.

edit:and i forgot to add, you are a fountainhead of misinformation.

John Galt is Alan Greenspan.

A tangent, begging everyone's indulgence:

"I don't think I've ever seen an issue turn around so dramatically," said House Republican Paul Ryan of Janesville. "I've always voted for drilling, and it's always been a political liability for me. My mail used to run 10-to-1 against it. . . . Now it's 13-to-1 in favor."

Proof positive Americans are not only fat, but absurdly stupid.

(Fat American, but not stupid.)

Which is why I started this line. I think this issue, plus the "success" of the surge (ignore the $15 billion a month, 5 years of war, and tens of thousands of deaths -- which Americans find it easy to do), plus complaints about Obama leaving the country for a world tour (ignoring McCain's leaving the country for an earlier tour of the mideast), constant hammering by the Repubs about national security ("we own the issue") religion ("we own God") and the economy ("those Dems are dangerous isolationists) just about guarantees a victory for the Repubs in November. Happy future, USA, and for the rest of you inhabitants of the globe, get ready to be steamrolled!

If McCain wins in November you will learn a few things:

1. Our elections are fixed. (Yes, many realize this already, but this will be unequivocal proof.)

2. America has become King George.

3. America is dead.

4. There is zero possibility of avoiding collapse.

5. Collapse will be faster than many hope.

6. Halliburton and it's subsidiaries will be busy going all Manzanar on our sorry asses.


Caveat: it should be noted it won't be drastically different under Obama, but his election should leave a **possibility** of devolution as described in a post upthread.

This story is getting ugly:

After Iowa Raid, Immigrants Fuel Labor Inquiries

Sounds like that kosher meatpacking plant was a sweatshop. One that used child labor, no less. When the workers complained, management threatened them with deportation.

Illegal workers (and in this case, it is truly the perfect term, since employing such workers has been illegal for employers since the Reagan era) are attractive for a number of reasons, and wages is only a part.

One should never, ever underestimate just how much illegal workers were used to destroy almost all the last vestiges of union labor in any number of industries - meatpacking being a prominent one, along with construction.

At what point of production do we see them limiting how much gas for transportation we use. Like if the world production of crude is 75 MPD. What happens If it goes to 65 MPD. At what production level does it start hurting us. We need to be able to have some Idea of when and what to watch for. Any thoughts?? Or what is the tell tale of a all out energy crises ?

"Cash for Clunkers"

I like this idea, but with a few additions. The offer should include any car, not just "clunkers", with a substantial extra reward for surrendering the drivers license as well. Payment could be in the form of cash, or an increased amount were it in the form of vouchers for public transportation.


Let's hype Demolition Derby on TV and at local events and get some more fun out of those old clunkers, SUVs, and expensive luxury cars as they head for the graveyard :)


Hi Chris,

Perhaps they could start with the police vehicles referenced in the Boston Herald article noted above:

"Most departments use an 8-cylinder Ford Crown Victoria, which has high-speed emergency breaking capacity..."


Ford and GM have had this problem for years...

I always wondered about the Crown Vics. What's up with that?

Anyway, how about if Ford and GM are nationalized, then converted into "reverse" builders, i.e. deconstruct the turned-in vehicles, hopefully in an environmentally friendly way. Then use as much of the salvage as possible for building a decent rail system.


What is with the Crown Vics?

My sister has one and it gets 29 MPG driving 60 to 65 MPH, not bad for a V8, and you are not riding in a tin can death trap :)

Compare this to 4 x 4s, "mini-vans," SUVs, pick ups, and cross overs. Interesting that some of the old station wagons were not half bad on gas and safer from roll overs than much of the above. BUT the old station wagon did not have the image that BIG MEN (often with little equipment :) ) and soccer moms needed to have, so they could pretend not to be suburban, although they worked as hard as they could to get a castle in the most affluent suburbs.

Since when have the police needed a V8 in order to catch criminals?

UK police go round in perfectly normal sized family cars (small by US standards I'm sure)

they even use these on occasion:

Its usually better for the police to use cunning, radios, and helicopters than muscle cars - less civilians get killed when they don't think they are in some high speed cop chase drama.

Haven't you heard the news?

In America, it's not about what is practical?, but about who's got the biggest :)

I'm a Chryco guy so I'm rather biased, but I'm pleased to see Dodge shaking things up.


Earlier versions had issues with fast brake wear, but apparently that's been addressed in the '08 models.


I have a HO 3.5-litre V6 and a 5.7-litre HEMI in my garage. The 3.5 is an excellent all-around performer, but the 5.7 is an incredible pleasure to drive and with MDS, the numbers are not unreasonable if you keep your speed in check.


Throughout Europe law enforcement uses 4 cylinder cop cars. The US doesn't because of Ford and GM lobbyists, and the lobbyists from the FAP. Their 250 to 300 pound officers couldn't fit into a four cylinder car. It has nothing to do with the cars size; rather it has everything to do with graft and the officers' size.

My redneck neighbor has begun to make some money by recycling cars. He mentioned that he gets more than $10 per hundred pounds for his vehicles at the scrap yard. For a truck or big SUV weighing about 4,000 pounds, that's about $400 per vehicle. He plans to do this on his 1 acre lot...

A "recycle charge" of some form could be added to the price of a new car, similar to a bottle deposit which is the required in some states. In my state, there is already such a charge on batteries and tires.

E. Swanson

We often hear reports of drivers who are getting high MPG in vehicles you would not expect them to. We also hear reports from drivers of fuel efficient vehicles who are getting higher MPG than what you would expect. Are they exaggerating? Probably not. There can be a huge variation in MPG simply because of driving habits. The following website is the best I've seen to date.


Pay particular attention to the Driving Habits and On the Road sections.

There are a couple of points I disagree with (time of day makes no difference in fuel density, it is a seasonal issue and only applies in the northern climates) or are outdated (you will be hard pressed to find a non steel belted radial tire), but you won't find a more comprehensive list of actions you can take to improve your vehicle's MPG.

I'm likely preaching to the choir. Those who read TOD already know how to drive efficiently. But, the next time you are out on the road notice how many drivers are clueless. If they simply changed their driving habits they could, in effect, see their fuel expense go back to $3.00/gal.

oil may be mccain's issue.

well, maybe. but i would expect that if the price of gasoline drops, then the fickle public may have less support for drilling. imo, mccain would get more support from a lower gas price.

this is exactly what i foresee happening(and is happening to an extent): the administration anounces a meaningless agreement with iran on their nukes, gas prices fall and republican votes rise.

the democrats have so many issues they could use if they were not such inept politicians. but that would require educating voters. good luck with that.

A diary on the Daily Kos written by an EIA analyst - nothing folks here don't already know, but good nonetheless:


So...has that diarist ever offered any explanation for the EIA's goofily cornucopian forecasts?

Yes, he has reflected upon it here:


One more point: in my 17 years at EIA, I found essentially no support for the idea of "peak oil." Heck, I didn't support it either, given that all of my mentors and friends essentially thought it was based on ignorance and/or lunacy. To the contrary, the underlying assumption behind long-term energy models was simply that there would always be enough oil to meet demand. At one point, EIA even projected Saudi production capacity reaching 22.5 million bbl/d by 2025 or so. Obviously, this was absurd, and I tried to argue against it (along with one or two other colleagues) but never got anywhere. The problem was that if Saudi production capacity was capped at 10 or 12 million bbl/d, the world oil equation simply didn't add up at prices that analysts or their political appointee bosses were willing to stomach. It was the same thing with the idea that the world's environment couldn't absorb the carbon emissions from all this oil consumption -- almost complete denial. Now, I'm not meaning to bash my former colleagues on this; they were overwhelmingly good, smart, dedicated people doing the best they could given the constraints they were operating under. However, I am meaning to bash the Bush "politicals," as well as a few clueless political butt-kissers in management (hint) who preferred to say "yes, minister" (or the equivalent), to "kiss up/kick down," to denigrate some of their best peoples' warnings, to believe the Saudis' patently ridiculous (and essentially unverifiable) claims -- pretty much anything to avoid the dire price and econoimc implications that would have flowed from an assumption of "peak oil" in any way, shape, or form. But that's a story for another diary, another day...

And my understanding is that he is a former analyst for the EIA.

I have an idea. Drop the guy a note and see if he wants to do a guest post here to describe his experiences.

That's a great idea.

I think you're right, he's no longer with the EIA. That fact wasn't too clear in the first diary I linked to.

...as well as a few clueless political butt-kissers in management (hint) who preferred to say "yes, minister" (or the equivalent), to "kiss up/kick down," to denigrate some of their best peoples' warnings, to believe the Saudis' patently ridiculous (and essentially unverifiable) claims...

But, in that case they knew they would eventually be proved wrong by events, and they knew that delay in developing solutions could be fatal to society. That would be malfeasance. Are there any lawyers in the house? Can we sue? Can we ha...no, that WOULD be too extreme!

According to this diary, he was part of a minority within the EIA:


The EIA's reference case is definitely still goofy. Their high price case, however, is another matter. They got religion sometime in 2005 (Katrina? Simmons?).

The projections in the graph below are for conventional liquids. i.e. "oil" is used loosely. Liquids includes both crude oil and natural gas plant liquids and refinery gain.

I should add that the tick marks for the years are not placed correctly. They should be centered over the numbers. The data for 2010, for instance, is plotted centered directly above the number "2010".

Very worthwhile graph, thanks. It clearly shows their systematic bias and that at least they are trying to re-calibrate their estimates, based on reality.

There was an item in the DrumBeat yesterday about this story in the Washington Post:

This Time, It's Different.
Global Pressures Have Converged to Forge a New Oil Reality

This is is actually just the first in a 5-part series of articles.

for an energy source of the future.

  • PART 1: The Market Squeeze
    World oil supplies are stagnating as demand, primarily from developing countries, is accelerating, propelling global oil prices upward.
  • Coming Monday: The Demand for Oil
    America's love affair with the car has gone global, creating a clamor for oil even as industrialized countries tame their consumption.
  • Coming Tuesday: Supply
    Old oil fields are running dry and, despite new technology, there may not be enough new ones within reach to meet surging demand.
  • PART 4: Legacy
    The American ideal of large homes, big cars and distant suburbs was underwritten by cheap gas, but those days are gone.
  • PART 5: Alternatives
    The search is underway for new technologies, like electric cars powered by solar plants, that could change the game.

Ya...I noticed msnbc.com ran it on their front page this morning as well. Decent write up in major MSM. Good sign.

  • PART 5: Alternatives
    The search is underway for new technologies, like electric cars powered by solar plants, that could change the game.

Ah, the happy ending chapter.

This doesn't come as a surprise to you, does it? They have to sell all kinds of useless crap to consumers all over the place, and if they leave everyone in a foul mood, then the advertisers will be unhappy..

I figure sometime in the next hour or two that part II will be available..

This does not come as a surprise to me, no.

Part II is now up.

China's Cars, Accelerating A Global Demand for Fuel

SONGJIANG, China Nodding his head to the disco music blaring out of his car's nine speakers, Zhang Linsen swings the shiny, black Hummer H2 out of his company's gates and on to the spacious four-lane road.

Part One quotes Daniel Yergin!!!!!

Thanks Leanan for this article.
Charcoal, agriculture and climate change

I know this is a couple of days old in posting my reply but its my first chance.

Dr.Haards' experience with adding charcoal to the compost pile mirrors my own.

My only minor quibble is that perhaps in the interest of encouraging others to try it, Dr. Haard was a bit light on details of the composting method he used.
Some info on the ratios he used would've been helpful (for instance I used 200lbs of both from softwood and hardwood charcoal to about 1700lbs of compostable material).

For those of us TODers who are in the practice of making and using bio-char, composting it before incorporating it into the soil will be a valuable, necessary first step IMO.

In my experience, no composting is necessary. I soak my charcoal in a bucket of water for a week instead. Occasionally I add a couple cups of fertilizer to the water I soak the charcoal in, and that works well too. The charcoal seems to absorb most/all of the fertilizer in a week's time. I usually add a five-gallon bucket of charcoal per ten/fifteen feet of raised bed, about three feet wide. More would probably work better.

I live in the Deep South where the summers are very hot, so most of the compost (which I still need, imho) that I do add to my soil tends to decay away in a year. Making the charcoal is worth the time and effort for my soil/climate, especially since there isn't much topsoil in my garden. It was probably trucked away and sold when they built this place!

If you read the article the idea behind composting char was two fold, to break down the hydrophobic quality of fresh charcoal AND to encourage the colonization of it by beneficial microbial life.

Soaking the charcoal the way you describe is a method I have tried previously as well.
Even using an organic based fertilizer, this method does not expose the char to the myriad lifeforms that inhabit an active, aerobic compost pile.

Field experiments by Steiner indicate otherwise as well.

What made me experiment with composting char was the fact that Steiner, Lehman, Glaser, et al., have not been able to replicate TPp, Terra Preta prehistoric the way you suggest.
Dr. Haards experiments with TPn, Terra Preta nova, prove to me the value composting char has in reducing the very need of fertilizers.

After all isn't that the magic of Terra Preta?
The ability to remain fertile for thousands of years without added fertilization?
If you have been reading the NPK posts by totoneila you would understand the importance of reducing our dependance on them.

Please try not to diminish the importance of the work done by others with casual anecdotal observations.

There is a lot of talk of saving energy, but most of the time it is small potatoes. Switch to a CFL from an incadescent bulb and such.
The real main energy hog we all have to contend with is the heating/cooling of our homes, businesses, schools, government buildings, etc.....
There is a lot of talk about coming up with large amounts of money to help poor people pay for this years heating fuel. Well, what about the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, ad naseum. If the government is going to continue to spend our money (it has none of its own!) then they should be doing it wisely by spending it to super-insulate (R-50 walls & R-70 ceilings) these poor peoples homes so that they will be able to afford to pay to heat their houses themselves in the future by virtue of dramatically reducing the amount of heat it takes to heat the buildings.
Super-insulated schools with a thermal mass on the inside of the insulation would permit the schools to recieve most of their heating via the warm bodies, electric lights, etc.. and would need very little fossile fuel derived heat. The same goes for public buildings, businesses and shopping malls. Prisons and jails with the occupants there 24/7 would be able to heat them entirely with the body heat from the occupants.
If the government keeps dropping a dollar bill on the sidewalk every time they bend over to pickup a penny we are never going to have the finances to help significantly mitigate the problems from Peak Oil and similar problems.

Hi Jon,

I'm working on a project to upgrade the lighting in two of the more than one-hundred schools operated by our local school board. The problem is that we require over 2,000 0.77 BF electronic ballasts to start this job and we can't get them because there's an acute shortage of these products all across North America. Get me the ballasts and I'll give you the savings.


Large thermal mass inside insulation seems counterproductive for schools in cold climates (never a winner in New Orleans).

Empty all weekend, then a massive amount of energy at 5 AM Monday to warm up all that cold thermal mass.

Better a "start the day" warm up of minimal thermal mass, and then let sunlight and bodies keep it warm. Let it cool overnight to a bit above freezing (below in areas w/o water).


I disagree. As you note, many schools have begun to use automated controls on their HVAC, so the heat is switched on in the mornings a few hours before people show up. The first post mentioned very high levels of insulation, aka, super insulation. With lots of insulation, the amount of heat loss will be reduced, thus the building will cool less than you suggest. And, if there is any solar gain, it is just as likely to happen on a weekend day as during the week.

The reason for added thermal mass is to take advantage of solar heat gain, while minimizing the problem of overheating. A well designed solar system needs some sort of energy storage to smooth the energy flow. If the system is designed with too little storage but with enough solar gain for the colder days, it will overheat on days when it is not so cold, such as late Autumn. Overheating might be OK in a home, where the occupants can shed layers of clothing, but, in a school environment, such would not be permitted. Were an overheating to occur, the HVAC system would likely switch to an A/C mode, which would waste electricity. And, the thermal mass would keep the building warmer overnight between school days, as well as in late afternoon or evening after regular school hours.

E. Swanson

Hi BD,

I recall my junior high having wide temperature swings through the day and temperatures on one side of the building being several degrees warmer (or colder) depending upon the position and intensity of the sun. The only way to control these temperature swings was to open or close windows as required, resulting in a huge waste of energy.

It makes much more sense to have a series of interconnected heat pumps to heat and cool individual classrooms. A common supply loop would allow excess heat in one area to be removed and reused elsewhere, with any excess to immediate needs stored in holding tanks for later use overnight and/or applied to domestic hot water production (i.e., washrooms and school cafeteria).

Mitsubishi's CITY MULTI systems are an example of this approach; see:


Heat recovery from ventilation is another often overlooked measure. Based on the recommended practice of providing 3-litres of fresh air per second, per pupil, a school with 2,000 students would require 6,000-litres of outside air per second (science labs and kitchen exhaust hoods would add significantly to this total). A good heat recovery ventilation system can recapture 75 to 80 per cent of the heat that would be normally lost and over the course of the school year that can add up to be several tens of thousands of dollars.


Yes, a well insulated structure is likely to benefit from some sort of energy recovery device. One of the main goals of super insulation is to seal the air leaks which allow warm air to exit and cold air to flow in. Schools and other public buildings tend to be poorly designed from an energy efficiency point of view, as they are usually built as cheaply as possible. As always, much can be done, but it costs extra money to make improvements, money which always seems to be in short supply at the local level.

E. Swanson

Hi BD,

Agreed. In some cases it's easier to simply tear down what we have and start over again. In many of our schools, we can't remove a light fixture or run new conduit because the ceiling tiles contain asbestos and the school board doesn't want to open that particular can of worms. In theory, we could insulate walls and ceilings to reduce heat loss and install more advanced HVAC systems, but these other environmental considerations have given rise to a "do not touch" policy.


The New Orleans School Board has made a commitment to making new schools green (and rebuilt ones better). First one was LEED Silver.

Best Hopes for Good Public Investments,


I received this last night as an email. Thought you might be interested.

My apologies for intruding on your email space. I have enjoyed TOD for several years. But I am afraid I don't possess the skills or courage to post; I have never joined.
I appreciate your comments on hydrogen. And I wish there were more clear heads and intelligent discussion about electric cars. Everyone buys into the hype handed out by the major auto manufacturers. They think they are golf carts.
I own one.
I can drive 80 mph. I can go 120 to 150 miles per charge.
I haul a trailer. My car seats 5. It has AC, heat and CD player.
Yes, it takes me 4-5 hours to recharge, while I sleep, but I have old technology.
New cars can get 225 - 300 miles per charge. They can fast charge in TEN minutes, and have been demonstrated to do so in public, not a lab. Lithium batteries are not heavy. Certainly a car with LiIon batteries is not as heavy as some of the SUVs and trucks I see driving everywhere. Certainly not as heavy as a hydrogen fuel cell and tanks.
And they are being built. 20 Auto manufacturers have plans to get EVs out to the public in 2009 or 2010.
When there is no oil for tooling around to soccer practice and the mall, you might still need to get to work. I work in a hospital. Hard to telecommute. My EV costs me a couple cents a mile in electricity, which by the way, I generate from my house roof on solar panels that "won't pay for themselves", only they have.

If for no other reason, I would join just to refute the silliness I read about electric cars every week.
For some reason, you folk require that people cite references about oil issues, but not electric cars.
I just wanted to tell someone, and I appreciate that you are a listed listener. I would recommend that people that submit to TOD should be required to have an email address so lurkers like me can respond to them.
Rob in the Lab

OK, that's nice, but there is nothing that meets these specs that is commercially available today. In the lab - that's nice. How much is the thing going to cost when it becomes available to the public? How large is the production run going to be? Who is the battery supplier, and how will the batteries hold up over the long term? If the batteries die a premature death, how much will it cost to replace?

I suppose part of it is being impatient, but there have been so many vaporware announcements over the years, that it becomes sort of a reflex action to become cynical. There seem to always be inevitable delays as they work the kinks out. Or the price point keeps climbing as the various costs keep rising. You get the idea...

Once these things are out of the lab it will be easier to point to these things as something that average people can use..


Can you ask Rob in the Lab for more info like where did he get his EV, and how much it or the conversion cost?


Yes, thanks for posting this. I do hope Rob will choose to join this conversation and share some of the pros and cons of his experience. I'm sure he's aware of the requirement many will have for some kind of links and further data. I have not heard of any offered EV's getting 225-300 miles/chg, but I'd be glad to know of even prototypes that are looking at such ranges.

PV to EV might be a heavy investment, but in many ways sounds like it could be some very durable and cheap-running equipment. (Not speaking for the batts, of course)

Bob Fiske

Some more affordable highway speed EVs are approaching the production stage. The first will be the Green Vehicles Triac, available in July 2008. At a cost of just $20,000 the Traic will have a top speed of 80 mph and range of 100 miles per charge. In October 2008 the Aptera typ-1e is scheduled for release. At a price of $26,900, the typ-1e will have a top speed of 85 mph and range of 120 miles per charge. In 2009 the CityZENN, ZAP Alias, and Miles XS500 are planned for release. The Alias will have a top speed of 156 mph and range of 100 miles at a cost of around $32,000. The CityZENN projects a top speed of 80 mph and impressive range of 250 miles per charge, at a price in the $25-30,000 range. The XS500 will have a top speed of 80 mph and a range of 120 miles at a cost of around $37,000.


At issue are the awesome power levels required. To charge a 35-kWh battery in 10 minutes requires 250 kilowatts of power—five times as much as the average office building consumes at its peak.


Iran-Iraq-Syria Rail Links

In 2005, plans were announced for two Iran-Iraq rail links. One to Basra for regional service and a longer one to Baghdad that would link to a revived Mosul Iraq-Syria rail line.


The USA was not pleased.

Word is some work on Iranian side, a little around Basra (once the Brits moved out), none between Baghdad & Iranian border.

Add Jordan plans (linked today), Saudi plans that stop just short of Jordanian border, and Chinese plans for both a northern standard rail line to the EU via Kazakhstan-Russia-Poland and southern via Kazakhstan-Iran-Turkey-Bulgaria and an interesting network develops.

Separately, Iran signed a MOU with Russia for 400 km of electrification a few months ago.

Best Hopes for Energy Efficient Transportation in Oil Exporters (more left for us),


These potential rail routes, of course, have a long history.
Steaming East by Sarah Searight (1991) is a good read on the history of railways (and steamships) in 'the Great Game' of nineteenth century middle eastern politics.


Lots of lessons for today.


The article, Finding and Fixing a Home’s Power Hogs, see : link treats electricity coming into the home and states, correctly, "Power companies themselves also don’t know how much energy individual household devices use" and then goes on about home power management with gizmos.

No mention of external, distant, use.

A recent article in Swiss daily paper, Le Temps, no link because of pay wall, states:

Rolf Kersten, from Sun systems, calculated that a search on Google comes to 8 watt hour by search, equivalent to the production of 6.8 grams of CO2, or 57 meters driven in a Toyota Prius.

A character on Second Life, if they were active 24/24/365/365 (N: so divide by the hours of presence or use) emits 332 kilos of CO2, or the equivalent of 2,734 kms. driven in the Toyota Prius (over a year.)

It is estimated, the article added, that the energy used by data centers serving the internet (google, yahoo, etc. in the US) has doubled between 2000 and 2006; and that these centers today, account for 6% of energy use in the US.

These nos. are ??

Just throwing it out there - turning your TV off when not used is all proper and conventional but what about the rest?

How is this external, distant and pretty invisible use totted up or accounted for in US or other devp. countries stats?

--light relief, about chicken, etc. see:

Communist era Estonian meat commercial:

smashing telly

I think this site needs a little more information about what is happening in the oil producing parts of the world. We all now know by now that high oil prices are bad for oil consumers.

I have just returned from two weeks in the West of Russia. I made 3 long train overnight journeys in sleeper wagons - one of 15 hours. I had never been in a sleeper before although I have been on trains many times. I am sure they can be made more comfortable with little effort.

I really liked their public transport system - especially their ubiquitous trolley buses. I spent around a week in a provincial city of 400,000 inhabitants that had a really good functioning bus, mini bus and trolley bus system. The fare was fixed at 7 Roubles (30 US cents) irrespective of the distance travelled. I never waited more than 10 minutes at a stop.

On the other hand, in Saint Petersburg, the trolley buses were fighting a losing battle against the private car. I believe that Russians can now get no proof of income/self certified loans to buy cars and property. I expect a lot of Russian bankers got their MBA's in the West. In fact, I met some people who had bought a house that seems to have had 3 overlapping mortgages - the person who took out the mortgages has disappeared and the banks might reclaim the house. I think that would have been difficult to do in the USA even during the boom.

I can vouch that they are having a terrific time with their oil money. The traffic in Saint Petersburg is worse at 3 AM than it is at midday - all that partying I guess. In the UK, some commentators believe in a link between hemlines and the economy. Perhaps that is why there were so many micro skirts and hot-pants to be seen on the pavements.

At least their young are not overweight - yet!

You don't need a Ford Crown Victoria 8 cylinder for a cruiser. A VW Rabbit will do just fine.

Seems to me another example of people who cannot imagine life without big cars.

Hi Richard,

Back in the early '80s the then mayor of Halifax drove a Volvo and many of the Volvos sold into the North American market were assembled in this city. I don't know what strong-arming took place behind the scenes, if any, but the city police department replaced their fleet of full-side Dodge St. Regis and Monacos with Volvo 240s. Some of these guys are big lads and there was huge outcry over the lack of room for them and their equipment. I'm also told repair and maintenance costs went through the roof because the 240 just couldn't handle the day-to-day abuse. It wasn't too long thereafter that these Volvos were shown the door and the force returned to Dodge.

Today, with all of the additional computer and communications gear sharing the front seat, occupant space even in some of these bigger cars is still rather tight.


Too many donuts. We need peak donuts to cut down the vehicle space required.

*chuckle* Maybe so. Law enforcement, as I expect most of us appreciate, is one of the most mentally and physically stressful professions imaginable, and as much as I would like to see a move to toward more efficient fleets, the comfort, safety and operational performance of these men and women should always be our first priority. I don't expect them to tool around in Escalades and Expeditions, but neither do I want them contorting themselves into Ford Escorts.


Comment of the day! A spewed coffee all over my desk! :D

I rode in the Pass Side of a few Crown Vic's this spring with the State Troopers, following DUI arrests, and it was TIGHT! I had winter clothes on, and a Video Cam with Accessories, but their accessories took up a lot more space than mine. Laptop and Radios, Radars, etc..

For the moment, I'd have to really agree that you couldn't do this in an 'Efficient' car. Big problem though, clearly.

Good experience overall. But boy, they drive fast a lot. Glad I didn't get impaled on my Handheld braces!


European police departments use their vehicles in a different fashion than American PD's and hence have different (lesser) requirements for them.

Now if America looked like Europe, then we'd be able to use similar cars in similar roles.

You're comparing apples to oranges.

Love to Hate the Hummer

Has the Hummer lost its street cred? To find out, NEWSWEEK tooled around the fashionable avenues of Los Angeles in one, just like the boys from Queens who drive a yellow H2 chick magnet in HBO's "Entourage." It wasn't pretty. We had a tough time finding a lot that rents Hummers anymore, and when we finally landed a big black H2, it already bore battle scars—long key marks scored along the side. After burning a gallon of gas every eight miles, our intrepid car reviewer Tara Weingarten and Business Editor David Jefferson stopped at an outdoor café in the trendy Silver Lake neighborhood, just down the block from an auto shop that converts cars to run on vegetable oil (Lovecraft Biofuels said it couldn't help us with our Hummer). Parallel-parking the beast caused a commotion: David had to hop out to direct Tara, an expert driver who wound up cutting off a biker, blocking two lanes of traffic and rear-ending a bush before pulling into the space. The disgusted diners had had enough. Three flipped us off, and one even dropped trou and mooned our Hummer.

Good article on MSNBC. I think it is from today. Talking about China's love for large cars. Very interesting. SUV sales are up and climbing.


Hmmm...I wonder how many other little islands are in this situation:


The Marshall Islands said Friday electrical power in the small Pacific nation may be switched off in September when its fuel supplies are expected to run out, as high food and energy prices have begun to hit hard some developing countries, particularly small islands isolated from the rest of the world.
'Unless urgent international action is taken, the Marshall Islands will exhaust its present fuel supplies this September,' said Rina Targo, a representative of the islands at the United Nations. 'This is a dire situation in which we may be left without electricity for the foreseeable future.'

I had to look this up..

http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/chp3.html (Near bottom, under "PACIFIC ISLANDS")

The Marshall Islands lie in a belt of strong ocean winds and possess the best wind power potential of the major Pacific Islands groups. Ship wind power densities reach class 7 in the northern Marshalls and class 4 in the south. With the exception of Enewetak and Kwajalein, island wind power densities differ drastically from the ship values.

Map 3-66 http://rredc.nrel.gov/wind/pubs/atlas/maps/chap3/3-66m.html

US Insular Areas Energy Assessment Report: Marshall Islands

Solar Photovoltaics
Using solar PV for outer island electrification is the most cost-effective use of solar PV at this time. In general, individual solar home systems are more cost effective than solar powered mini-grids due to the high cost of the interconnecting grid, the losses in the grid and the losses in the conversion to AC from the DC supplied by the PV panels and the storage battery. Solar home systems to provide lighting and basic entertainment power are proposed by MEC as the most cost effective approach for outer islands with too dispersed or too small a load to justify a diesel generator and mini-grid. MEC now manages two PV electrification projects with over 200 households participating...

... Wind
No wind energy conversion systems for electricity generation or water pumping have survived more than a few years in the Marshall Islands. However, NASA estimates of the wind resource using satellite data indicates that though the southern islands do not have a good wind regime, there may be sufficient wind in the north to make wind generation economically practical. It is recommended that a basic wind resource survey be undertaken on Kwajalein and if there is a reasonable resource available, a feasibility study should be carried out to determine if it is physically and economically.

Wave energy also is not commercially proven and cannot be recommended for the Marshall Islands until its cost effectiveness and reliability are proven in commercial service.

Tidal flows between the open sea and lagoons are large and if funneled through a passage in the reef can be a source of energy for power generation using a propeller type low head hydro generator. Units of that type for use in the sea are nearing commercial testing and could be considered for trial if there is a suitable site on one of the islands served by MEC or KAJUR.

- US Department of the Interior, Insular Areas

One last bit,


The primary goal of the Outer Islands Solar Electrification Program is to provide basic lighting and power source to every household in the outer islands. Since the inception of the program in 2003, close to 200 stand-alone solar home systems (SHS) have been installed and operating in two outer islands, Namdrik atoll and Mejit island. It is anticipated that by the end of 2006, seventy SHS will be installed and operating on two outer island communities.

Why Iran aren't allowed even 1 nuke

"Several potential adversaries have the capability to attack the United States with a high-altitude nuclear weapon-generated electromagnetic pulse, and others appear to be pursuing efforts to obtain that capability," said Graham. "A determined adversary can achieve an EMP attack capability without having a high level of sophistication. For example, an adversary would not have to have long-range ballistic missiles to conduct an EMP attack against the United States. Such an attack could be launched from a freighter off the U.S. coast using a short- or medium-range missile to loft a nuclear warhead to high altitude. Terrorists sponsored by a rogue state could attempt to execute such an attack without revealing the identity of the perpetrators. Iran, the world's leading sponsor of international terrorism, has practiced launching a mobile ballistic missile from a vessel in the Caspian Sea. Iran has also tested high-altitude explosions of the Shahab-III, a test mode consistent with EMP attack, and described the tests as successful. Iranian military writings explicitly discuss a nuclear EMP attack that would gravely harm the United States. While the commission does not know the intention of Iran in conducting these activities, we are disturbed by the capability that emerges when we connect the dots."

The committee's report analyzes the impact of an attack on electrical supplies, telecommunications, banking and finance, petroleum and natural gas, transportation, food, water, emergency services, space systems and government.

The news was dire throughout. The electrical grid, for example, is needed to distribute water, food, fuel, communications, transport, financial transactions, emergency services and government services.
"Should significant parts of the electrical power infrastructure be lost for any substantial period of time, the commission believes that the consequences are likely to be catastrophic, and many people may ultimately die for lack of the basic elements necessary to sustain life in dense urban and suburban communities," the report said.


EMP attacks are vastly overrated, but I wouldn't trust anything written on "Wing Nut Daily".

If an EMP attack is effective enough to destroy all the TV's and satellite dishes, we're doomed. All those zombies who spend their nights in front of The Tube will have nothing to do and they will start wandering around out in the dark. Not only that, but most cars wouldn't run, since the electronic fuel injection systems would likely die as well. Even the diesels wouldn't be running very long, as the alternators include diodes to rectify the AC current and also have solid state regulators built in. Such would make a great "scary story".

E. Swanson

I think it is Saudi Arabia that is the leading sponsor of terrorism and extremism, but let's just brush that under the carpet...

UPDATE 3-Nigeria militants say attacked two oil pipelines
Mon Jul 28, 2008

The main militant group in Nigeria's oil-producing Niger Delta said on Monday it had attacked two major crude oil pipelines belonging to Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research), helping push world oil prices higher.

"In keeping with our pledge to resume pipeline attacks within the next thirty days, detonation engineers backed by heavily armed fighters ... sabotaged two major pipelines in Rivers state of Nigeria," it said in an e-mailed statement.

Industry sources said about 130,000 barrels per day of crude oil flows through the pipeline to the Bonny export terminal.

Ha American Police cars.
V8 Ford Crown Victoria.
It is a joke, why could not the American Police drive around in small cars like the Police in Europe?
Ever heard of Ford Focus or other smaller solutions. That Police chief has probably never been abroad,
Nope in the male dominant society you have humungus cars for the Police as well as for the fire dept (Specially made trucks no other country can afford) At the same time all kids are driven around in dirt cheap buses designed like a T-ford with a cast iron front axle and horse buggy style leaf springs.
When will they get around to this century?

Shame that the first entry "Police: rising fuel costs are 'major public safety issue'" wasnt more widely discussed.

The policemans attitude that a "big, powerful vehicle" is the only thing up to handling police cruising is way misguided.

The CVPI is highly overrated IMPE. The plastic intake manifolds leak, the ball joints and front suspension are weak, the rear wheel bearings and axles are weak, the steel wheels break, the fuel-tanks are Pinto-like, rear-drive makes them uncontrolable in wet, snowy, or icy conditions. Their huge turning radius makes quick U-turns difficult. Oh, and they suck two tanks of gas a day. Surely a doubling or tripling of fuel economy is possible. V8's were great when chasing Bonnie & Clyde. Now they just seem like an albatross on the PDs, municars, other security ops, taxi-drivers, and the taxpayers and pension funds that need to be funded.

Hi dzlsabe,

I was never a fan of the CV, given the many limitations you note above, but it's one of the few vehicles that can accommodate these folks and all of their equipment; as Bob mentioned, once you start adding all of the hardware, space is tight. The Impala seems to be gaining ground and Dodge (finally) has an alternative that seems to be well suited for this market (if you're agreeable, I'd appreciate your impressions of the Charger). Whether this video provides an accurate and complete picture, I can't tell:


Edit: I see you're a SAAB guy. I once owned a SAAB 900 Turbo, aka "The Ugly Duckling" -- I loved the car but, sadly, it didn't love me. :-(

BTW, in case you haven't already seen this: http://www.dailymotion.com/tag/humour/video/xe7ww_as-du-volant