DrumBeat: August 3, 2008

ASPO Newsletter - August 2008 (PDF)

1067. Ireland’s Response to Peak Oil
1068. New Books
1069. ASPO-6 Presentations
1070. ASPO-7 International Conference, Barcelona, Spain
1071. Nigeria re-examined
1072. Nationalism
1073. Signs of the Times
1074. Turkey’s Renewed Importance
1075. News from ASPO Australia
1076. An Atlas of Oil and Gas Depletion

No deal on election bill, bomb kills 12 in Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Despite intense U.S. pressure, Iraqi leaders failed Sunday to resolve differences over how to govern the oil-rich city of Kirkuk - a dispute that is blocking provincial elections and stoking tension in the volatile north.

Also Sunday, a truck bomb exploded in a Sunni area of northern Baghdad, killing 12 people, wounding 23 and raising concern about a revival of sectarian conflict.

Krugman: Can This Planet Be Saved?

It’s true that scientists don’t know exactly how much world temperatures will rise if we persist with business as usual. But that uncertainty is actually what makes action so urgent. While there’s a chance that we’ll act against global warming only to find that the danger was overstated, there’s also a chance that we’ll fail to act only to find that the results of inaction were catastrophic. Which risk would you rather run?

Rising food prices strain family budgets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report Thursday saying that rising costs for fuel, feed and fertilizer propelled grain prices to all-time highs in June, raising the overall price of crops and livestock by 16 percent compared with last year.

...With fresh produce and meats becoming more and more like luxury items, the outer shelves that ring the grocery store are being shopped less by marketers, and boxed, canned and preserved goods are filling their carts. Price is taking precedence, and health and quality are taking a back seat.

The Nuclear Future That Never Arrived

Understanding how the great hopes of early nuclear power advocates eventually turned into great disappointment may shed some light on nuclear power's future.

SemGroup woes have ripple effect

Numerous Wichita-area and Kansas companies are on the 900-page list of creditors that SemGroup filed with U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Company officials said it owes at least $2.52 billion just to its lenders.

"I think the greatest fear out there is that this is not an anomaly; that it might be the first of more to come," said Ed Cross, executive vice president of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association.

Bank Tries to Allay Fears of Instability in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela — The central bank sought on Friday to calm fears of faltering banks a day after President Hugo Chávez unexpectedly announced the nationalization of a large Spanish-owned bank, his latest effort to intensify state control over the economy through takeovers of private companies.

The nationalization of the bank would extend to the financial sector a series of takeovers, which Mr. Chávez initiated last year, in industries including oil, telecommunications, electricity and steel-making.

Blended fuels may spike the price at the pump

Record crude oil costs are largely responsible for today's $4 gas prices, but regulators continue to study another factor blamed for regional price spikes in the past — the high number of unique fuel blends used to fight air pollution.

Energy Boom in West Threatens Indian Artifacts

The consequences of energy exploration for wildlife and air quality have long been contentious in unspoiled corners of the West. But now with the urgent push for even more energy, there are new worries that history and prehistory — much of it still unexplored or unknown — could be lost.

At Nine Mile Canyon in central Utah, truck exhaust on a road to the gas fields is posing a threat, environmentalists and Indian tribes say, to 2,000 years of rock art and imagery. In Montana, a coal-fired power plant has been proposed near Great Falls on one of the last wild sections of the Lewis and Clark trail. In New Mexico, a mining company has proposed reopening a uranium mine on Mount Taylor, a national forest site sacred to numerous Indian tribes.

Weaker oil price won't erode Gulf growth-economists

Kuwait - DUBAI (Reuters) - Recent weakness in oil prices will not dent economic growth in the Gulf Arab states, experiencing both record expansion and inflation as the energy exporters reap windfall profits, economists say.

Militant turf war kills three in Nigerian oil city

PORT HARCOURT (Reuters) - A turf war between rival gangs in Nigeria's Niger Delta has spread to the main oil city of Port Harcourt, with sporadic gunbattles in its waterfront slums killing at least three people, witnesses said on Saturday.

Pakistan: Spiralling LPG prices expose govt’s authority

LAHORE: Fresh increases in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has once again exposed the loose grip of the Petroleum Ministry and sole regulator on fuel commodity, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), with the rates of gas increased by Rs 5 per kg, Domestic Rs 55 and commercial cylinder Rs 220.

Disturbingly, producers continue to refute such claims, the LPG marketing companies claim provision of gas at a fixed price while gas distributors point out that they have been supplying gas as per the price given to them by the relevant authority.

Water woes galore as taps dry up

LAHORE: Non-availability of potable water owing to unscheduled power outages has paralysed daily routine of life in the provincial metropolis, The Post learnt Saturday.

Cord wood becoming premium in NH

LEBANON, N.H. - Rising energy prices is driving up demand for cord wood and creating a shortage in some areas of northern New England.

Will Americans Accept Greener Hotel Rooms?

SEAN MacPHERSON, the New York hotelier, has been to Europe dozens of times. And he knows that across the Continent, many hotel rooms have master switches that help reduce power use.

Usually, a guest inserts a card into a slot when entering the room to turn on the electricity. Removing the card (which doubles as the room key) on the way out the door shuts off the power.

It is an easy way to conserve energy. Yet it is almost never seen in the United States. Guests who are in a hurry — or simply don’t care about saving electricity — leave TVs, air-conditioners and lights on when there is no one in the room.

Gas costs, environmental worries lead more bike riders

Bicycling for reasons other than health and recreation is one way more and more people are responding to the arrival of gasoline prices that remain near $4 a gallon. The idea is to leave that car, truck or SUV in the garage more often.

The increase in bicycling is evident at area bike shops, which are having a hard time keeping pace with a surge in sales that operators think is fueled by higher gas prices. Stripped of 2008 inventories, some well-known bicycle brand names are rolling out their 2009 models several months earlier than usual, said Bernie Camp, sales manager at Russell’s Cycling in Washington.

Stinging Tentacles Offer Hint of Oceans’ Decline

From Spain to New York, to Australia, Japan and Hawaii, jellyfish are becoming more numerous and more widespread, and they are showing up in places where they have rarely been seen before, scientists say. The faceless marauders are stinging children blithely bathing on summer vacations, forcing beaches to close and clogging fishing nets.

But while jellyfish invasions are a nuisance to tourists and a hardship to fishermen, for scientists they are a source of more profound alarm, a signal of the declining health of the world’s oceans.

A Push to Wrest More Oil From Land, but Most New Wells Are for Natural Gas

With the advent of $4-a-gallon gasoline has come a bruising debate in Congress over whether to intensify efforts to drill on federal lands, including part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. But while those hoping to lower prices at the pump are clamoring for new oil, most of the new onshore drilling of the past seven years has produced natural gas, not oil.

Britain's energy crisis: Twisting in the wind

Rocketing gas prices — up 35% last week — have put the spotlight on Britain’s looming energy crisis. With North Sea oil and gas running out, we are becoming dependent on imports and risk being left at the mercy of world prices.

The government hopes two new sources of power, wind and nuclear, will bolster Britain’s supply and at the same time help to meet ambitious targets to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

In the Air: Questions for T. Boone Pickens

Why do you think your energy plan is superior to others’ plans?

My dad once said to me, “Son, a fool with a plan can beat a genius with no plan.” I’ve used that here in this plan that I have — I’m the only one with a plan. Nobody else has a plan.

The Wind Farmers of East 11th Street

FIVE years ago this month, the lights of the city that never sleeps winked out. It was the kind of situation that would have been tailor-made for a group of young architects who, in the 70s, took over a five-story tenement that didn’t rely on the city’s electrical grid. They lived at 519 East 11th Street, and they got their power from the wind.

Reducing oil use 'our survival challange'

Heinberg’s lecture, titled “Kiss Your Gas Goodbye,” was largely an update, a sort of “I told you so” of a lecture he gave at the same site three years ago that predicted a decline in global oil production and intensifying competition and chaos by nations to get it.

Heinberg said things have changed since then. “Most of what we talked about then is now history,” he told the audience.

Paying the price for energy myopia

For years now, as the end of cheap gas became an inevitability, there have been any number of predictions about what higher prices would mean for people, for society, for the economy, for the environment, for cities, suburbs and neighborhoods.

While gas was under $2 a gallon, and Hummers roamed I-64, such talk was speculation and theory. No matter how obvious those effects might be, how predictable - there were vast herds of politicians and other oil industry leaders who made fortunes by denying them.

Experts warned that such short-sightedness was a bad idea, but the alternatives were unpopular, and therefore ignored. And so the nation enters this energy crisis entirely unprepared for it.

At the Dacha: Consumers in Flower

Rolling in revenue from oil and gas, and driven by the national penchant for exaggeration, an ever-growing number of Russians are in eager pursuit of consumer plenty. Land, homes, furniture, holidays, cars, food, fashion, sports, anything signifying success and choice are avidly devoured.

Harry Reid: Renewable energy will shape future of state, world

The future of Nevada and of our planet depends on realizing the full potential of clean, renewable energy. Nevada’s position as a world leader in the coming global clean energy revolution awaits only our action and commitment. We cannot afford to pass by this door of opportunity without bursting through it.

1988 fires in Yellowstone and the West were harbingers of things to come

Only the snows of November would put out the fires after they had burned through 1 million acres in and around Yellowstone. You might call the 1988 fires in Yellowstone and across the Northern Rockies "signal fires."

They signaled that we would live in a different world in the American West at the beginning of the 21st century. The fires and ecological processes we assumed were natural had already fallen under the influence of our civilization's dependence on fossil fuels. The 1988 fires also signaled that our world was getting drier and hotter. The drought that year across North America was the worst since the 1930s.

Australia: Six reasons to phase out coal exports

The export of coal is an important issue for climate campaigners to consider. Australia exports more carbon dioxide in the form of coal than its entire domestic emissions of the gas.

Saudis prepare for post-petroleum era

Cities-from-scratch are the most ambitious projects to date launched by a kingdom enriched almost entirely by oil since its disparate regions were unified more than seven decades ago. In beginning to construct an economy to survive the end of its natural resources, the Saudi government is drawing on lessons learned during a previous oil boom when profits were squandered in part by spendthrift princes and short-term planning that emphasized infrastructure over education.

"The ruling dynasty is under pressure to show its population that the oil money is being reinvested for the good of the people. The al-Sauds have suffered from the image of a ruling family as corrupt and spending lavishly," said Rochdi Younsi, an analyst with the Eurasia Group, a consulting firm that provides political risk analysis of countries around the world.

With oil prices peaking above $145 a barrel in recent weeks, the kingdom is reaping an unprecedented windfall from its vast reservoirs, which represent a quarter of the world's proven reserves. Saudi Arabia reported oil income of $200 billion last year and projects $700 billion in revenue over the next two years. The kingdom earned an average of $43 billion annually throughout the 1990s.

But Saudi officials have long feared that oil prices too high would push the world toward alternative fuels, a concern captured by one former oil minister's tart reminder that "the Stone Age did not end for lack of stone."

To meet rising demand, as well as to slow the world's rush to develop alternative energy sources, Saudi officials have raised oil production by 500,000 barrels a day since May.

Though increased production means the Saudi reserves will be depleted faster, the government is using a burst of additional capital to develop an economy it hopes eventually will be untethered from the price of oil.

Indonesia warns oil output to finish in 10 years’ time

JAKARTA: Indonesia’s oil watchdog, BPMIGAS, warned on Friday that the country’s dwindling oil reserves could be exhausted in 10 years’ time if no new reserves are found.

Indonesia has struggled to develop its rich energy resources, turning into a net importer of crude oil in recent years.

...“The declining rate in production is between 8 to 10 percent per year. That means production will finish in 10 years’ time if we have not found new reserves,” Edi Purwanto, deputy chief of watchdog, BPMIGAS, told reporters.

Kuwait official sees oil staying above $100: report

KUWAIT (Reuters) - Oil was unlikely to fall below $100 per barrel as strong demand from emerging economies such as China and India put a floor under prices, a member of Kuwait's top oil council said in remarks published on Sunday.

Herding and lack of market information distort oil prices

Dubai: Momentum chasing and lack of investor efforts in diversifying their portfolios amidst market turmoil have led to the big surge in investments in commodities and their prices, Lehman Brothers, a leading Wall Street Bank said in a special report on Saturday.

Nigerian military: 2 foreign workers kidnapped

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria: A Nigerian military spokesman says gunmen have kidnapped two more foreign workers in the country's southern oil region.

Oil, the Dollar and the Media

The battle goes on today – as oil runs out and the US dollar steadily loses value, together driving the price of fuel, and survival itself, through the roof. Today a woebegone global economic system arrives at the point of asphyxiation. Where we do we go from here? There’s no helpful answer without the counsel of more history.

Sounding alarm when pipelines are threatened

A technology used to detect the location of sniper fire in war zones is helping prevent damage to natural gas pipelines.

Shell's new president planning for future

The new head of Shell Oil Co. sees heightened oil and gas production, increased reliance on alternative forms of energy and conservation as ways of resolving the nation's energy crisis.

Exxon Mobil says it's not behind Twitter account

According to the online bio, "Janet" at ExxonMobilCorp in Irving was "Taking on the world's toughest energy challenges."

In the brief, 140-character snippets Twitter allows, she points out the oil giant's philanthropic efforts, answers questions about the company's policies and even laments a shortage of caramel apple sugar babies at one Exxon retail outlet.

This foray into the new media frontier for one of corporate America's blue chip companies might seem ground-breaking if it wasn't for one thing:

"That's not us," said Alan Jeffers, spokesman for Exxon Mobil.

ANR's clamp-down on composting operation inexplicable

Why is the Douglas administration trying to shut down Vermont Compost? The Montpelier small business provides jobs, low-cost processing of food waste, more than 1,000 dozen eggs every month, and high-quality compost and soil products that are in demand both in state and as far away as the Midwest.

South Africa's ambitious climate change strategy may include carbon tax

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - South Africa's government has set out an ambitious proposal to deal with climate change in the coming years, including slapping a possible carbon tax on carbon dioxide-spewing industries.

Global warming shows itself as trees die out, flowers, glaciers fade

No longer is climate change a distant drama of shrinking polar ice caps. As year-round ice fades from the saw-toothed summits of the Sierra Nevada, as Klieforth and others watch a world change in their lifetimes, it's clear an unwelcome reality is at our doorstep: Global warming is local warming.

Just as rising worldwide temperatures are sowing problems in the far north and parts of Antarctica, so, too, are they bringing big changes to our own northern exposure in the Sierra and other mountain regions.


I think the best thing you can do to minimize your carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels is to decide never to have (more) children.

Now is a time for celebration of our achievements and preparation for an ever increasingly austere and difficult future. Your burdens will become much heavier in future years so I recommend being careful about what you take on now.

Many of us said the same thing 40 years ago. Obviously, no one was listening and those who were, scoffed. Those now having children despite the overwhelming evidence of a grim future, are condemning their children to that future.

I was listening. Had a vasectomy.

So your solution for something that may kill the next generation is to kill the next generation yourself ... well I guess it speeds things up.

There is no point to have an earth if you don't have good people to live on it.

I wonder about your sanity. The policy of personally not having children will not do shit. The worst people imagineable tend to have 7-8 children, then dump them on the street (they have a tendency to have a certain religion, but let's not go there). Just look at the nature of the middle east if you want to know how enviromentally friendly these idiots are.

Then again, people with ideas like this are filtered out of the gene pool, probably with good reason. So why am I fighting about this ? You will die alone, and that will be the end of it. I doubt anybody will regret that.

You didn't have children because you didn't want to do what's necessary to care for them. That's all. Don't kid yourself, and don't take others for idiots. Don't depict yourself as a hero for not doing anything. If you think dieing is the solution, then just die, and leave the rest of us alone.

Coincidentally, Strange News item one day last week: 44 year old woman has 18th child. She and her husband live in Canada, having emigrated there from Romania in 1990...

Comments from her do seem to indicate that she is utterly oblivious to the weight that she has added to the upside down population pyramid.

But if we don't have kids, who will clean up the nuclear waste?

I wonder if the down votes missed the sarcanol, or were because of it.

Boy, this topic always takes the cake, doesn't it?

My next foray into the 'Population-Thread Darkside' is the suggestion that we start to learn and relearn what wiser societies have figured out in how to maintain a healthy population with reasonable birthrates.. AND to model reasonable consumption habits.

Clearly neither of the extreme opinions, either 'Blame the Birthrate' or 'Blame the overconsumption' is enough on it's own.. and both often end up with similar degrees of Puritanical Self-loathing (and 'Other' Loathing in the same breath), an attitude which has an amazing ability to foster denial, addictive overreactions, and more division and emnity. Coming up with angry, Latin Binomials to add some kind of academic validity to how horrible we must be is a fine monument to the efforts of John Calvin, but it still paralyzes us from looking potential solutions in the eye. Instead, it leaves us darkly fantasizing about who will be the despot to orchestrate the newest 'Final Solution'..

"You" refers to Strobiusmip -- one level up. I mis-posted.

What you advocate won't work, even though it's quite true that population world-wide must be brought under control, i.e. reduced.

This will require global agreement between countries. China's early policies were directionally correct, if not always done in the best way. It can't be left to individuals to choose how many children they have anymore than conservation can be left to individual whim. You conserve, I whoop it up. No.

But the direness of the situation has to be made clear to people, arrangements made for their care in old age, the opportunity for people who love lots of children to be around them, and so on. Then they will accept, however grudgingly, necessity. But this hasn't happened in any area yet. We don't have leadership, just profiteering.

Disease, energy shortages, wars... these are the things that will cull the population. Try to tell rice farmers in southeast asia, who don't have the benefits of things like social security, pensions, health care, etc. that they can only have one child. People aren't going to do this stuff willingly. Furthermore, the earth can easily support 10-15 billion people. Of course not everybody will be able to eat meat, but I don't think that's a loss.

I wonder... 1 person = 1 acre is a common ratio bandied about, often more like 1 person = 2 acres, but I think one is doable. Under that assumption it should be true that there is enough space for all. But that implies space. It also implies planned and organized distribution. To everyone. I think it's a safe assumption that unless there is a massive and near-universal move to a sustainable paradigm, we won't be able to handle 15 billion people since the earth does not now sustainably handle 6.7 billion.

You are reccomending this shit to the wrong audience. Most developed countries birth rates are way down. it's the developing countriess (those least likely to be sitting infront aof a computer right now) who have ridiculously high birth rates. Ironically the very countries that will likely be hit hardest by climate change, peak oil, political insatbility, and resource depletion. So what do they all do to guarantee survival - they have more children!

Really this sort of propoganda for reducing you family numbers is an absolute waste of time.

(No I don't have 10 children and yes I do know what a condom is!!)


And yet...one American child has a greater environmental impact than 12 Mongolian children. So who should cut back?

Good point Leanan, but you are talking about a VERY sensitive issue here. In fact you are bordering on what your average joe might call "goddam commie shit".

The freedom to give birth would be the last right "prised out of their cold dead hands".

I can't see John Jimminy and his wife from texas giving concession for the sake of some Mongoilian kids!


Can I ask you to please clean up your language a little? I understand that sometimes you have to either curse or cry, but a little restraint would be appreciated. Some schools, libraries, and workplaces automatically filter sites with profanity. I'd like to keep TOD off the blacklist.

As for what John Jimminy would do...who cares? Every little bit helps. He's probably not going to conserve energy, either, so should we not bother to talk about conservation?

When you say my language do you mean the bit I put in quotes? That was meant to be average Joes retort, not me swearing!

Hey, even the Guardian paper here in the UK no quotes the "F" word. But as you kindly request I will moderate.



That was meant to be average Joes retort, not me swearing!

I know, but the net filters are just software. They don't do nuance. And neither do kids' parents, really.

Appreciate your cooperation.

just a heads up, you link to a blog called clusterf*** nation on the home page link section.

I can't see John Jimminy and his wife from texas giving concession for the sake of some Mongoilian kids!

And in a nutshell you have captured an element of the human psyche and why I think there is no way for us to avoid a hard landing.

The Chinese say "the West got to develop first, then install pollution controls, why should we do any different for the sake of the planet?" (Never mind that they share the same planet as we do.)

Wherever one turns, it's "let the other person sacrifice/conserve/be responsible. I want to keep doing what I'm doing."

It's not impossible to have people think along different lines, but it takes work (i.e. education) and mostly a type of education that is far from common despite decades of committed people trying to introduce it. The existing long-lived conversations that fight back are extremely resilient.


And in the spirit of education I was taken by the quality of David Holmgren's new web site www.futurescenarios.org I haven't seen it discussed here, but haven't been checking TOD so regularly this summer so may have missed it.

Would like to give it more attention as it is one of the most elegant analysis of the state of confusion and cross currents I have seen. I interviewed him recently, but checked in and the number of hits to that interview are far below what is deserved:


I agree with Andre that a hard landing appears ever more likely the further along we go without quality leadership or inspired grass roots uprising. Not to discount the efforts of all the activists out there (such as myself), but the scale of the myopia is so grand relative to our "visionary" work thus far. I will keep at it patiently and hope to be pleasantly surprised someday.

I agree with Andre that a hard landing appears ever more likely

Landing? I see a SPLAT@#$ up against the wall, then there's the slip and peel off the wall, but landing, no, I don't see no steenkin' landing; the repercussions are endless.

Is part 2 of that interview somewhere?

cfm in Gray, ME


Part 2 is on a computer somewhere. Posted to GPM in another week or so.

Hi, Jason. I just listened to the interview; it's very good.

The part where he points out that we have been living in a period of expecting change (for perhaps a couple centuries now) reminds me of the work of Foucault, which I've mentioned on the db before.

As is common, Wikipedia has a good entry on the topic:

Here is a worthwhile quote:

While Kuhn's paradigm shifts are a consequence of a series of conscious decisions made by scientists to pursue a neglected set of questions, Foucault's epistèmes are something like the 'epistemological unconscious' of an era; the configuration of knowledge in a particular epistème is based on a set of fundamental assumptions that are so basic to that epistème so as to be invisible to people operating within it.

In the earlier conversation about this, someone pointed out that Foucault focusses on the set of more properly scientific assumptions that distinguish an epistème.

I assert that the fact that our current epistème references science at all is part of the episteme we are in. A few centuries earlier and one couldn't write about taking a walk in the park without referencing their notion of God in some way. ("The brilliance of the sun and flowers demonstrates the glory and power of God" etc., etc.)

The set of conversations that formed that epistème have not, in fact, actually completely gone away. You can still hear it today when people reference their God(s) in some adulating or reverential way. And the commonness of fundamentalist religions the world over demonstrates that we haven't left that set of conversations behind by any stretch of the imagination.

One of the features of the current epistème seems to have the flavor of "there is something better coming" or the general feeling of "progress." This has been with us for at least a few centuries and has its roots in the Enlightenment but could more fully be seen around the time the public started attending public science lectures in England in the 1800s.

Off the top of my head, I can distinguish a few conversations that demonstrate the epistème we are in, some of which David mentioned in the interview:

  • "Humans are ingenious. We'll solve this problem, too."
  • "Some new technology will save us. It always does."
  • "Now that you've outlined the problem, what's the solution?" (I heard this one from a friend the other day. Implicit in the question is that there is a solution.)

There are many variations of the above people here have undoubtedly heard.

These conversations are very old and very long-lived and were being spoken even before we all arrived on the scene. To me it seems likely that they originated early when we gained speech as a species and only became commonly spoken during the Enlightenment.

Some of us picked them up uncritically and started repeating them. (We all have picked up many conversations uncritically. It's easy to do and starts the moment we pop out of the womb.)

Other people heard these conversations and chose not to repeat them without further investigation on their own.

In any case, at this point not nearly enough people have learned that they are repeating very old, very entrenched conversations that need to be used more judiciously than they are now. This is the education to which I was referring in my previous comment.

Being aware of the conversations that are "running us" is a level of self-awareness that is not common and, unfortunately, looks like will not become common in time to prevent ecosystem/human collapse.


Thanks Andre, I am glad you found it interesting.

I am wondering if you go over (and demolish to some extent) the internal conversations "running us" in your presentations. If so, I'd like to see how you do that since it is tricky to do so and keep friends. Few people like to be disillusioned, but it is crucial to get to the point where we unmask these operating assumptions. Even if it only serves to help us know who to trust most deeply.

So many times now I have thought that I was working with someone "on the same page" only to realize later that in subtle ways they are lacking some crucial level of agreement with me based on what you describe above. Once I bump into this problem it them becomes difficult to overcome because I can't readily dissuade them of an entrenched mindset reinforced by the culture.

I currently don't discuss conversations in my public presentations. In my one-on-one work with people I use them heavily because it's sometimes the only way to get people unstuck.

There is a group that brings them up in their presentations called the Pachamama Alliance. Their presentation is called Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream and you can find out more here: http://awakeningthedreamer.org

Discussing internal conversations is definitely tricky business because it's so easy to elicit a reaction before the person has gotten the point that their reaction is just another conversation running them and they have a choice not to speak it.

I still want to introduce conversations somehow because it would give many people freedom from the suffering that comes from contemplating our future. Personally, I am constantly managing the conversations I'm having with myself in the face of peak oil and it makes a big difference. I can only imagine how aweful it is for people who don't have distance from their internal conversations.

This reminds me of the power of story, as described in The Science of Discworld - The Globe...


I didn't listen to the GPM interview but I did look at his site. His approach is a loss leader because he is too "complex" in his approach. To me, there are, essentially, three possible future scenarios:

1. BAU/BAU lite
2. Financial collapse/Greatest Depression
3. Overthrow of existing paradigms/renewal


Funny, I was going to say he was not nearly detailed enough to support his scenarios. Anyone can grouse and expound like a bunch of freshman in a dorm lobby, but these sorts of things are not going to go anywhere without proper support behind them.

This is not a criticism of Holmgren, just an observation that his work needs greater support from data/analysis to give others the means to parse it and actually apply it.

BTW, I see your list not as different scenarios but the likely sequence.


P.S. One child; hoping to keep it that way, though the wife is yet of another mind. You know the old saying, she who holds the purse strings... so to speak.

This may be the hardest thing for all people of the world to do, but it will be critical if we have one iota of a chance to get through the upcoming transition with the minimum possible damage. That one thing will be to forget and forgive the past.

We are at where we are at...we have the situation and infrastructure that we have. Are we going to waste time blaming who got us here and why we are here, or are we going to take what we have and get on with what we need to do (dang...I sound like Rumsfeld..."you go to war with the army you got"...). If we go the blaming route for whatever precursor event occurred or lifestyle was lived, then we will be faced with a heaping helping of chaos. If we can say "today is a different day"...no one thing has got us to this one day, but we cannot act as we did in the past, then maybe people will lose some guilt and blame and decide we can work together and get going on solutions.

Ah...it was a good daydream!

The set of conversations that use the concept "blame" are very entrenched, indeed. It's an interesting discussion to examine why they are so hard to dislodge and replace with more generous conversations.

but we cannot act as we did in the past

yeah, okay. does that mean we stop not holding people accountable? a lot of people want to move forward... things is, some feel justified firing a few shots backwards as they go.

I just said that is what needs to happen, not necessarily what's going to happen.

It is the developed world that can make the most difference however. A child born today in the developed world can use the resources over its life of up to 8 children born in the developing world. Also, I'd say the developed world will have the toughest time in an oil-deprived future since it has become the most dependent on oil for upkeep and has the most to lose as supply falls. Below-replacement birth levels are not low enough I fear, I suspect there needs to be a massive drop in world population over the next 50 or so years somehow or another.

Your point is similar to Leanans. Just remember though it is supposedly the devleoped world that will give aid and help support refugees etc...

If for example there is a mass exodus of people leaving the developing countries then that population becomes everybody's problem. I don't think you can just "us and them" this argument because in the long run it is the entire globe that has to support the entire population.


You are reccomending this shit to the wrong audience. Most developed countries birth rates are way down. it's the developing countriess (those least likely to be sitting infront aof a computer right now) who have ridiculously high birth rates.

Few of whom - despite their mean existence putting food on our table and swimming in our trash and environmental degradation - use more than a tiny percentage of what we do in the developed countries. I suspect it is one of Odum's "concentrators", where all these poor worldwide are required to support one wealthy member of the modern globalized elite.

This is absolutely an issue for developing and never-to-develop countries. It is also one where the developed countries hold most of the keys.

You are not entirely wrong - the developing countries do have a responsibility - and that is why the myth that it's their fault is so powerful and convenient. Our share of the responsibility - those of us plunking at keyboards - is something along the lines of an order-of-magnitude reduction in resource use.

Framing it as a country issue might not be most helpful. Consider framing it as a matter of species survival. And not only our species - because our human insapiens can only survive together with a functioning biosphere.

cfm, chainsawing in Gray, ME

Again Leanan made the resource useage point - see my reply above to the other guy who also made the same point as Leanan.

Unfortunately the urge in us to procreate is genetic - we are here as proof. I'm sure you will counter with "well our sensibilities for what is best for the planet will surely win through" - go ahead and try and tell people in the developed world (democracic states with people believing they have free will and free choice) to recuce family sizes, everyone knowing fine well that birth rates are already so low.

We have a problem in Scotland right now! According to politicians borth rates are too low!

(too low for what? you might ask!!)


Yes, the urge to procreate is genetic, however there are more than 40,000 vasectomies carried out every year in the UK, so there are more than just genetic factors in deciding birth rates. I believe immigration is a big issue just now in the UK also so I don't think population levels should be a great concern. Politicians are concerned about future tax revenues mostly, but this will change as more pressing issues come to the fore in the next year or 2.

you mean factors like traditions and precedent spanning back through all of human history? Genetically and culturally, raising the total population has always been a priority. The trend you are try to fight started at the dawn of man. Good luck stopping that momentum.

Right. Those that are concerned for the future of the planet get vasectomies. Those that don't give a damn or those who think that it's God's plan to fry the planet, anyway, go on procreating like rabbits.

Do you see where this is going?

based on the trends about caring about and doing things for the future of the planet, sounds like it's going nowhere.

No. The decision to have or not have kids is generally a logical reaction to socioeconomic conditions, not a question of intelligence or morals. IOW, it's not hereditary.

Just look at the typical pattern of immigrants to the US. People come over, have huge families, then each generation, the family size shrinks until it's the same as the norm for long-established US families. If it was just "Marching Morons" syndrome, you would not expect to see that pattern. Nor would you expect to find falling birthrates in countries like Japan. (Don't they have any dumb, short-sighted people there?)

Unfortunately the urge in us to procreate is genetic - we are here as proof.

I don't think that's quite accurate. The urge for sex is genetic, and so is the urge to care for the helpless. But they need not be connected. For example, adoption is common, not only among humans, but throughout the animal kingdom.

IMO, this is not a trivial distinction. We have to work with our biology, not against it. And it's possible.

Adoption still requires procreation. On top of that, it's mostly babies that get adopted, not some wayward adult that can't figure out how to survive on their own. I'd say that the desire for babies seems to be the genetic picture here.

Adoption is not the only option, though. You can care for children without adopting them. You can care for animals. In both Europe and the US, people seem to substitute pets for children. In Japan, they're even building robotic pets for lonely people who cannot care for real ones. Which is kind of sad, really. In a more natural structure (the extended family/small village), it wouldn't be necessary. There would be children in the community to care for.

I'll say that you may be right, but the pet argument sure as hell doesn't convince me. I mean, most pets are trained (or manufactured, in the case of robots) to exhibit a lot of the codependent behavior of children. Pets may be a good friend for lonely people, but I'd say that they are no real substitute to real kids. eg. give a dog to a hungry person, and they might eat it. Give them a baby and they'd likely sacrifice for it.

Edit: I realized i didn't address the main argument. Basically, if pets worked as a good replacement for babies, there wouldn't be a problem.

I don't think pets are a long-term solution. Indeed, it might be considered downright immoral to keep pets when there's not enough resources for humans.

I think NZSanctuary has the right idea. "It takes a village to raise a child."

And I don't think the desire to have one's own children is as strong as you think. The fact is, the population is falling naturally in Japan and some European countries...by choice, not by government edict or Malthusian forces. Yes, some people really want kids. That's fine. Some of us have to have kids if the human race is to continue.

Leanan, I don't know if you saw this but it's the must have for this years christmas.
Talk about a generation of kids not having a real meaningful loving contact with life, devastatingly sad.
This news item just made me feel sick to the stomach.

Interesting (in, yes, a tragically shallow way)..

Reminds me of my reaction to Spielberg and Kubrick's movie 'AI', where the little boy robot replaced the couple's terminally ill human son, and was programmed to LOVE them and be devoted, etc... after the right combination of keywords was spoken to him.

I thought the filmmakers' error was that they programmed the boy with 'WUV' instead. Outward Affectations/behaviours, without the actual social, physical and emotional needs and connections that living individuals develop with one another. Alas.

Just think of the money they will make when they get a full scale Keira Knightley version rolling of the deliveries ramp...

"It takes a whole village to raise a child"

Perhaps it's time we start contemplating the meaning of this saying more fully.

For example, newly dominant male lions often will kill cubs in the pride that were not sired by them. This behavior is adaptive in evolutionary terms because killing the cubs eliminates competition for their own offspring and causes the nursing females to come into heat faster, thus allowing more of his genes to enter into the population.


This type of behavior goes way beyond just the "urge for sex".

Not really. As long as the female lion is nursing, she won't go into heat. If the male lion wants sex, he has to get rid of the cubs.

thank you, i think the term homo-insapiens is a better term for our current species since we lack the long term capacity as a whole to deserve the name thinking man. better hopes for the next in the line of sapien's to have that name.

Awesome, writing off all of human achievement for some current short-sightedness.

What achievement?

So far we are in the list of "ephemeral" species, with minimal chance of increasing our grade to "shortlived."

just because we may live fast, die young doesn't mean we didn't achieve along the way.

One American child will consume more than ten 3rd world children. And one upper middle class child more than thirty.

Think of the SUVs justified for "safety" to shuttle children to the stereotypical soccer practice et al.

Advocating fewer American children to the internet reading audience is NOT addressing the "wrong demographic".

Best Hopes for Fewer Children,


One American child will consume more than ten 3rd world children

Here is a passing thought/question:

Will the resource per capatia ratio always be this high if we enter a period of sustained conservation?

Advocating fewer American children to the internet reading

I would love to know what % of hits on this site are by kids and what percentage of you allow/encourage your kids read this website? My wife would beat the crap out of me if I introduced my ONLY son to this doomer porn!! He is only 3!.


Wait till he is 7 :-)


One American child will consume more than ten 3rd world children. And one upper middle class child more than thirty.

I think there is a serious flaw in this argument. That one American child will not beget ten grandchildren. At least the populations of the advanaced countries are no longer participating in the rapid exponential growth of the population.

Two responses yesterday to your question about window heat pumps if you did not see them.

American children beget another type of growth. I look at the resources devoted to my six nieces & nephews and compare those used by my siblings and I and then compare what we used to my parents, and a Kenyan family of six does not look so bad.

Biggest factor in our favor is the # of years between generations vs. the Kenyans.


Unfortunately Alan, the US birth statistics are skewed toward the lower end of the socio-economic ladder, while that stated cost is primarily shared by the upper end. To slow procreation in America we have to up the effective education and employment security of the lower tiers AND reduce the incentives for unlimited procreation.

Again, population on both the world and national level is the elephant in the peak-oil room and we are loath to discuss the obvious -- we will NEED to have purposeful population control in order to prevent inevitable natural population control consequences. We will eventually need to be draconian in our immigration control as well if we are to prevent the same local consequences regardless, and doing so would help the birthrate issue also.

Who knew that cheap energy is a favored soporific of the Four Horsemen? Once they sleep off this oil bender they're going to be hung-over and looking to make up for lost time.

So it is alright for us rich white people to have kids ? Kids that we can drive to soccer practice in SUVs ?

The issue of population is like oil consumption, there are NO # exceptions !


# A strong argument could be made for responsible, low consumption parents having one child. See China ?? (responsible ....)

And yet, here I sit in the heart of the United States with so few people that we can barely maintain our social infrastructure. By that I mean enough people to even sit on a school board, run the soil and water conservation district, the county public health board, etc... To say nothing of teaching Sunday school and organizing a blood drive.

We are nearly at frontier level populations. We've lost 50% of the population in the last 30 years. And yet, when our county emergency preparation committee meets (required since 9/11) we are preparing for a doubling of population when the next unexpected crisis hits. We are more than one gas tank away from a major metro area and so we aren't planning on the 3 fold increase that counties closer to the Metro are preparing for.

And the reason we are depopulated is not because of lack of resources-- we have deep, rich soils, rain-fed agriculture, our county is one of the most important stepping stones for migratory waterfowl across the North American continent. 10% of our surface area is fresh water in this county. We are on the ridge of a major wind belt and I see the ananometer from my garden.

Not sure where this lead except those places where we could have made a honest, sustainable livings have been stripped of the human capital to make it happen.

The stripping of human capital - those willing to contribute to the community - doesn't seem to be directly related to population. If you simply doubled your population, you'd not necessarily fill positions on the blood drive or school board. That people seem helpless w/r/t the machine is a much bigger part of the picture. See "Bowling Alone" for more of the gory details.

cfm in Gray, ME

Data and analysis from our landgrant university showed that 1 of every 3 people in our region are needed to serve on the elected and appointed position. That's a high percentage that doesn't even include important social infrastructure like church, girl scouts, and meal on wheels, for example. So there is an element of population needed to serve on these positions.

Granted you could make a case that we have too many boards and commitees. I haven't seen many that are not needed myself- planning and zoning, public health, emergency preparedness, county commission, soil and water, school board (we don't have PTA). We have community coherence because we have a number of men and women who serve on the civic club, community service club, etc..

Unfortunately for us, evolution selects for those who ignore the overshoot problem. I suspect there are quite a few Oil Drum readers who went out and got vasectomies a long time ago, myself included. But we are a very select minority. I have an employee who is a regular church goer whose daughter just pumped out grandbaby number four. Her only comment on the oil problem is that "they can make oil out of garbage now". The human brain did not evolve to solve the overshoot problem (except through the Four Horsemen).

SolarDude, you seem to be one of the very few people on this list who actually "gets it". This is a world problem, not a national problem. Every nation will suffer. Some third world nations will suffer because in recent years their population has multiplied several times due to inputs of fertilizer, technology and energy from other nations.

Some oil producing nations will be in terrible shape. Oil producing nations of the Middle east have seen the greatest population explosion of all. Kuwait had a population of 191,000 in 1957. They now have a population of almost 2.6 million. I cannot find Saudi Arabia's historical population but they probably had a population of around one to two million people before their oil was discovered. They now have a population of over 22 million without even counting their foreign nationals. These previous population numbers represent the absolute maximum those desert sands would support without imported food.

Japan, Taiwan and South Korea will be in just as bad a shape without oil. They have no oil, virtually no coal or anything else. They will suffer tremendously. China and India will suffer also but at least they have a little land for farming. Their populations will be devastated but not to the extent of Kuwait, Saudi, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.

And no one is to fault dammit! Given human nature, that is just the way things worked out. No one saw this coming fifty years ago. And, trying to make our lives and the lives of our children better was just human nature. Pointing the crooked finger of blame at this nation or that culture is simply dumb. It is just in our nature to behave the way we all behave.

- As for pointing to our mental failures with scorn or dismay, we might as well profess disappointment with the mechanics of gravity or the laws of thermodynamics. In other words, the degree of disillusionment we feel in response to any particular human behavior is the precise measure of our ignorance of its evolutionary and genetic origins.
- Reg Morrison, The Spirit in the Gene

Ron Patterson

they can also make oil from corpses these days through "thermal depolymerization" (although its promoters don't talk about the Energy Return on Energy Invested)

"soylent oil is people!"


they say that you are what you eat.

coca-cola is made of corn syrup, and hamburger is made from corn-fed cows. an american's body is, therefore, made of corn.

the corn energy returned by thermal depolymerization of americans can be no more than the energy in the corn eaten by the american, minus all the energy it took to grow the body, keep it alive, and move it around during its lifetime.

so, yeah thermal depolymerization of americans is likely to have a lower EROEI than corn ethanol.

E-85 is people!

Unless a worldwide policy is adopted, this is totally USELESS.

I would disagree. Like so many solutions, they begin and end with individual choices.

Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.

-Mahatma Gandhi
Indian political and spiritual leader (1869 - 1948)

Buckminster Fuller agreed very much with this assessment as well. He liked to give the example of a trim tab on the rudder of a large ship. Just a small change in the trim tab could change the direction of the ship. His life, to him, was an experiment on what one individual could do to change things globally.

I had a look at the childfree website but it doesn't mention the big picture of human population vs. finite planet. It just seems to promote not having children as a lifestyle choice and celebrate life without children for those that don't have them. In my own circle, it is my childless friends who do the most international travel for leisure, but perhaps that's not typical.

Though population control advocates are quick to point out overpopulation as "an elephant in the room" type problem for human society, I feel they have their own "elephant in the room" in that the other main driver of overpopulation, i.e., people living longer, is almost never addressed. The irony here is that while people can choose to be childless, people cannot legally choose to terminate their own lives or lives of aged loved ones who are clearly in pain and will not recover. Regarding the finite planet issue, prolonging the life of someone who may be unwilling to live further can also consume a significant amount of resources. Unlike someone having a child, for example, such resource use does not further human happiness. According to this article, up to half the health care you receive will be just before you die.


While this is no demand for killing off the oldies as in Logan's Run, the right to end one's life in a dignified manner needs to be recognized, both from a moral and resource-use perspective. It is both cruel and ultimately pointless for doctors to keep people alive against their will when their quality of life does not warrant it.

As an aside, if the financial system collapses in the Western world, birth rates could well increase again because pensions would disappear and the most reliable or possibly only form of elderly care would again be the extended family. Talk of people popping out kids with merry abandon in poor countries often ignores such simple dynamics of family life and family economics.

Re. Suicide

Yes, it is possible to chose to die when one wishes. However, I do grant that it takes the support of many people.

The easiest way is to simply stop taking fluids. Clearly, someone choosing this path is doing it because they want to die since in the early days one is thirsty. It takes about 5-7 days. After the thirst passes, the person lapses into semi-consciousness. And, eventually becomes comatose. They die peacefully.

My wife's aunt chose this course with the support of her doctor, the
"acceptance" of the nursing home personnel (they had the hardest time dealing with it) and, of course, we family members. "Mary's" only complaint during the process is that she'd have lucid moments and be distraught that she hadn't died. A family member was there at the end. "Mary" took a deep breath was gone peacefully.

We've had a few friends who shot themselves. This created trauma for everyone involved.


For those who aren't married yet, and want to find a partner who shares their view that a childless marriage is the best way to go, check out:

Dinklink: A child-free dating service -- Married No Kids!

My girlfriend and I are united in our desire not to have children. However, she does already have two kids: a pair of Staffies. :D

Local weather news states that the disturbance (Invest 91) is positioned for favorable development if it moves to the SouthWest, as it is likely to do. But it has winds associated with thunderstorms and nothing more. Any development will be towards Texas and nothing to worry about (this is local news). Weekend boaters are warned and some local coastal flooding is possible.


This went from a TD to Tropical Storm Edouard very rapidly.

NHC has noted that latest GFDL has this reaching Cat 1 strength, but they're not officially recognising this intensity yet.

5 mb drop in an hour and a half. NHC now expecting close to hurricane strength at landfall.

From the offbeat department:

Giant kites to tap power of the high wind

A traditional childhood pastime could provide a breakthrough in renewable energy, after successful experiments in flying a giant kite at one of Europe's top research centres.

Scientists from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands harnessed energy from the wind by flying a 10-sq metre kite tethered to a generator, producing 10 kilowatts of power.

The experiment generated enough electricity to power 10 family homes, and the researchers have plans to test a 50kW version of their invention, called Laddermill, eventually building up to a proposed version with multiple kites that they claim could generate 100 megawatts, enough for 100,000 homes.

Got a link for the kite article? The one provided didn't work. I've kitesurfed using kites bigger than 10 square meters.

Dang! scooped again. Ah, well, just as good an idea no matter from who. I was thinking of two really big flying wings, while one is at a high lift angle, pulling out a cable wound around a windlass, the other is a a low angle of attack and being pulled back by the other side of the same windlass, so what we are doing here is pumping water (of course) to a big storage tank by strong high altitude winds. All day, every day. Tremendous, steady, power/mass--fantastic.

I was toying with trying this right here in appalachia, where the wind don't blow and the sun don't shine, but decided not to spread my diminishing powers too thin, and just stick to biomass/solar/pumpedhydro.

But I keep getting back to the same old bother- why the hell save us homosapiens. We have proven to be not worth saving. Best go on to the next step, whatever that is, by letting HS kill itself off big time, which is what it's fixin' to do right quick.

It looks like Indonesia may be the founding member of OFPEC--Organization of Formerly Petroleum Exporting Countries

From the article linked uptop on Indonesia:

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy said earlier this year that it would quit the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) because as a net oil importer it is not happy with high global crude prices.

The USA is used to export petroleum before 1970. I wonder if we would be allowed to join. Would we want to?

It won't stay this good, but here's what the big picture looks like now. This is chart to keep an eye on in the future. Real GDP and oil consumption are moving in opposite directions.

[But of course there was an economic stimulus package thrown into the mix and the GDP numbers are only preliminary.]

Real GDP and oil consumption are moving in opposite directions

The more likely relationship (especially with the current public policy choices) is a time lag. Past momentum is carrying the economy along.

It is possible to expand GDP while shrinking oil consumption for sustained time periods, but an emphasis on Non-Oil Transportation is required.


Of course, this immediately brings up the "what is GDP" debate.

Under our present system, if two economists sell each other a pile of dog doo for $20K each, we have captured $40K of GDP.

If we make fertilizer and buy the input oil/gas from a local supplier, and sell it locally for $1.00 we have added $1.00 to GDP + the cost of the oil/gas. If we instead import the fertilizer from a supplier and sell it locally for $1.00 we have added $1.00 to GDP plus the cost of the imported fertlizer.

In the latter case we produced the GDP without oil being counted.

I have no real idea, but I would not be surprised if the $29 Billion the Feds paid for Bear Stearns added to GDP as well.

I say this is a meaningless statistic. Any country that exports its primary manufacturing will see an improvement in GDP/barrel.


I have a couple problems with real GDP.

The first is the deflater used. I believe it is the same fictitious number used to adjust Social Security benefits and such. With hedonistic adjustments and substitutions it does not reflect the real world.

Friday I bought some glyphosate (generic Round-Up) to spray my soybeans. The local co-op charged me $27 a gallon at the being of July. On August 1st I was charged $40 per gallon for the same stuff. That is about a 50% increase in one month. Put that into real GDP and we are clearly experiencing a declining not increasing real GDP.

The second problem I have with real GDP is how dis products and disservices are counted as an increase in GDP. For example, an increase in cigarette production which I consider a dis product would add to GDP even though in the long term the cancer from smoking reduces real GDP when the smoker dies.

When the smoker gets lung cancer and needs an operation it adds to GDP. When the cancer metastasizes into a brain tumor more is added to GDP for surgery and chemotherapy. When the smoker dies yet more is added to GDP for the funeral.

Another example of disservices that add to GDP are mandatory expenditures that produce no real benefit for most who buy them like car insurance.

The real GDP number is not believable and even if it were it includes things that are of little, no or even negative benefit.

Good point !


Gambling counts toward GDP - one of our few growth industries.

For real data:


I remember fondly the fireside chats with Jimmy Carter, a nuclear engineer, in case you didn't know. One of his more infamous fireside chats dealt with the fact that the world will be out of oil by the year 2000, zero, all gone, so get your sweaters now and avoid the rush.

And since Jimmy was a nuclear engineer, he knew for sure, we were told.

Someday ...

It's amazing how the 'next ice age' is coming of the 1970s, has morphed into we are all going to roast. During the 1970s the alarmist loons were suggesting we cover the poles with carbon black to hasten melting. Yes, Hansen and his very same climate models were predicting the frozen, the models now predicts we are going to roast. The words and hype were the same, the only thing that changed was the sign. Weird, don't you think?

Computer models are not science, they are make believe.

I would like to see some references to back up your claims.

Especially the claim that the current generation of climate computer models were operational back in the 70's.

[Edit: Found a link]

Here is a bit of advice. If your going to lie, try to do it in a manner that does not get disproven with a 30 second google search.

Here is Hansen's list of publications (quite impressive). Here is the first paper he has listed on climate. He is not the lead author.

Wang et al. 1976

Wang, W.-C., Y.L. Yung, A.A. Lacis, T. Mo, and J.E. Hansen, 1976: Greenhouse effects due to man-made perturbation of trace gases. Science, 194, 685-690, doi:10.1126/science.194.4266.685.

Anthropogenic gases may alter our climate by plugging an atmospheric window for escaping thermal radiation.

So there you have it. Heat trapping (global warming) not global cooling. You lead your fellow humans into a death trap.


Nobody, absolutely nobody believes that PO means the oil is "zero, all gone" - The projection's were, and are, for a peak in production and Carter began a 20 year plan to transition away from oil before a possible peak in 2000. That was exactly the right thing to do at the right time in my opinion.

Reagan's "supply side economics" - ie get the oil from suppliers by whatever means necessary and to hell with what happens 20-30 years later, is what screwed us.

As to climate, it's true the earth was likely (left alone) to enter a cooling phase again at some point in the distant (on human timescale) future - but, you know what, we've pumped so much CO2 out that we've almost certainly (nothing's 100% certain I agree) overridden that possibility and made further warming a near certainty.

As to your belief that computer models are "make belief" but your internal models are factual... Well, enough said.

We went into a Glaciation at the end of the Carbonaceous (sp?) period. What was the CO2 level then? 2,600 ppm?

We do not know how long the transition period was to those elevated levels, but millennium seems reasonable given our knowledge of ice ages (much smaller permutations of climate than the Carbonaceous epoch).

We are doing our DAMMED best to release all that sequestered carbon in a few decades.


Sir, I respect the differing views of posters and have defended the unpopular views of people like John15. BUT:
Hansens model in the '71 issue of Science (Rasool) was about CO2 and aerosols. This paper that postulated a possible ice age was based on the aerosols (NOT the CO2). The CO2 was identified with raising and not lowering the earths temp.
Is it any wonder that you already have minus 5 after just 9 posters? Now just piss off to the sewer you crawled out of.
(end rant)

Grey Horse

Supposing you produce some references for your tedious slanders ?

That worn-out bullshit about an ice-age being predicted was a classic propagandist's distortion;
what was proven in the seventies was that we were roughly halfway into the 20,000-year period that has separated recent ice ages.
Thus we were, in all probability, starting the ten millenia transit toward an ice age.

So do you get paid as a propagandist, or are you just a dupe who serves to distract attention from the genocide-by-famine that fossil fuel pollution has begun to cause ?

If you are merely a dupe, I suggest you look up the increasing incidence of rains failing around the world,
as evidenced by the increasing failure of hydro-electric plants to maintain power supplies.
This intensifying phenomenon is already having cascade effects on the oil market,
not only through increased IIIW deisel demand to fuel generators during hydro-power cuts,
but also now in Iran which has declared [ http://www.dawn.com/2008/08/03/ebr6.htm ]
that it is having to cut fuel-oil exports to replace droughted hydro-plants' electricity output.

If you're paid as a propagandist, (which I doubt as you lack their usual competence)
I suggest that you recognize that you're paid out of the profits of genocide.

Go figure.

I was around at the time, and we were told that intervals between ice ages were approx 10,000 years. Since it was 10,000 years since the last one panic set in. Nobody in the media mentioned aerosols or anything. It was a case of get out the snowmobiles.

you mean statements like these?

>>The continued rapid cooling of the earth since WWII is in accord with the increase in global air pollution associated with industrialisation, mechanisation, urbanisation and exploding population."
- Reid Bryson, "Global Ecology; Readings towards a rational strategy for Man", 1971

The rapid cooling of the earth since World War II is also in accord with the increased air pollution associated with industrialization, and an exploding population.
- Reid Bryson, "Environmental Roulette", 1971

An increase by only a factor of 4 in the global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 deg. K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age. - S.I Rasool and S.H. Schneider
Science, v173, p138, 9/7/1971.

"This [cooling] trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century"
- Peter Gwynne, Newsweek 1976

"This cooling has already killed hundreds of thousands of people. If it continues and no strong action is taken, it will cause world famine, world chaos and world war, and this could all come about before the year 2000."
- Lowell Ponte "The Cooling", 1976<<


Pollution does act as a coolant. Google "global dimming" to learn about it. The PBS series Nova did a pretty good show on it a few years ago.

The good news is we've cleaned up the atmosphere considerably. The bad news is we've cleaned up the atmosphere considerably. It turns out that aerosol pollution was masking global warming, which is why it took so long to pick out the warming signal from the noise of natural variation.


I know about global dimming.

I did a 2nd year extended essay on it in 1974. Got a nice graph out of it: Atmospheric warming agents were offset by particulates and aerosols. Had to spend a lot of time on the G and G block roof.

So much for the Clean Air Act...

BTW : See that big yeller firey ball thingy in the sky? - That thing controls our climate - more than anything else we will ever meet.

Not a bunch of monkeys who smoke stuff.

The secret is to bang the photons into water guys.

IMO the jury is still out on what the deuce is happening with our climate.
Personally, I think adding C to the atmosphere is a bad practice, hence my unwavering support for bio-char.
Yet while YOY data can be misleading, I'm happy to report that regionally, Great Lake water levels are up this year.

The amount and regularity that most of Michigan has recieved rainfall this year has been a wonderful departure from the last 15 years or so.
Just because this weather happens to coincide with a pronounced solar minimum(which you had posted of before), I'll leave for others to debate.

take a look at this:


Lord Nelson and Captain Cook's shiplogs question climate change theories
The ships' logs of great maritime figures such as Lord Nelson and Captain Cook have cast new light on climate change by suggesting that global warming may not be an entirely man-made phenomenon.

By Tom Peterkin
Last Updated: 11:56AM BST 04 Aug 2008

A paper by Dennis Wheeler, a geographer based at Sunderland University, recounts an increasing number of summer storms over Britain in the late 17th century Photo: AP
Scientists have uncovered a treasure trove of meteorological information contained in the detailed logs kept by those on board the vessels that established Britain's great seafaring traditition including those on Nelsons' Victory and Cook's Endeavour.

Rasool and Schneider were pioneers in using models of climate change. Their point, as in the quote, was about a major increase in aerosols, which has not happened. We've learned quite a bit about climate and computer modeling since 1971, just as we've learned how to use computers to find oil.

If you didn't know, Lowell Ponte was not a scientist, but the science writer for Reader's Digest. And, Newsweek is not a scientific publication.

Want more rebuttal? Try this.

E. Swanson

I was around at the time too. Interglacial periods vary between 10,000 on the low end and 100,000 on the high end. There was uncertainty about when the next ice age will start, but it made sense to start to think about it because of the 10,000 year lower range. The current consensus, I believe, is that the current interglacial will be rather on the longer side. In any case, none of that has anything to do with global warming -- different scientists, different calculations. They could both be right.

I would also like to note that virtually nothing the original poster wrote is actually true.

Nobody ever told us that. It wouldn't have sold many papers.

Great post. You have brilliantly demonstrated that if someone was wrong about something in the past, everyone must be wrong about everything in the future. Apply your philosophy to everything you do in life and enjoy your many successes to come.

Pico, your point is well taken. However Grey Horse's post had absolutely nothing to do with anyone being wrong in the past because nothing in his post was true. It is all just a big lie.

After a while you will learn to recognize when a person is just making up crap. People with little intellectual capacity do this often because this is simply the best they can do.

One very good thing about TOD is when these people pop up from time to time, their bluff is immediately called, they are shown to be the bull $hitters they truly are, and then they usually disappear forever. I do hope that is what will be the case for Grey Horse also.

Ron Patterson

I see. So what we have here is a double crappy post. A terrible argument which is supported by two fallacious statements. Kudos to Grey Horse.

"After a while you will learn to recognize when a person is just making up crap."

i doubt he made it up him(her)self, probably heard it on mush limpjaw.

I'm so happy Grey Horse you've come to TOD eight weeks ago to set us all straight. Mission accomplished. You can go back to Freerepublic now.

Hmmm...is it just me or has there been a larger than usual horde of trolls lately on TOD. Historically on TOD, this usually means we are getting too close to something unnerving to those in which TOD poses a threat.

Perhaps, I am just a smidge paranoid, but look for some price spikes in the coming weeks.

Be flattered Dragonfly! At least the Trolls have enough intelligence to realise their way of life SHOULD feel threatened.

In the main people I speak to are just so damned apathtetic to the issue(s) that they can't even be bothered being trolls! As long as the beer and Amy Winehouse news keeps flowing........


The predictive properties of TOD Trolls.

I think you might be on to something there.


There seems to be more focus on peak oil denial in the press. (See: http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/editorial/story.html?id=4cd2141a... )

It seems to follow climate change denial tactics of building strawmen, knocking them down with a bit of childish namecalling thrown in for effect. I wouldn't be surprised if these voices became stronger as the economic crisis gets worse.

I hope the voices that are raising awareness of peak oil can stay on target and not let the waters get muddied in the same way climate change seems to be. At the same I suppose the effects of peak oil are more apparent than climate change.

It is akin to westexas' use of the Yergin-O-meter to predict spikes in the price of crude. If Yergin says prices will fall, better bet they will rise.

Dragonfly41 asks,
"Hmmm...is it just me or has there been a larger than usual horde of trolls lately on TOD."

One has to be cautious however. It could simply be a question of nomenclature. Are there really more “trolls” or is it simply that due to a wider variety of opinions and posts and individuals now at TOD, more people are being declared “trolls” by the old guard? Oops, did I say that out loud… :-)


Wouldn't a troll on TOD be like a troll anywhere else? Having diverse voices willing to debate their p.o.v. in good faith is one thing. Having voices that misquote, mischaracterize, etc be the behaviour of a troll on any message board?

Well, going back to my paranoia, I guess paid, misinformation specialists aren't really true "Trolls" in the classic internet sense. There must be a new term that more fits these individuals.

I suspect it is just the general increase in the perception that some really bad things are going on, and that "something wicked this way comes". Some react by striking out in anger at the messengers.

So Grey Horse, what's in your tank? How those Credit Card bills doing? If you're still in the money, how are your high-school classmates and their families holding on? Right side up, upside down?

You still faithfully sending your hard-earned dollars into foreign oil producers' hands as part of your 'Model' for a great and free America? That's one of the funniest things about the big 'Buy American' mantra of the 80's, was that you could use a big American Truck as the hypodermic needle in our arms, sending our lifeblood overseas.

Hey, there's a new Sea forming up North, where the waterlogged bodies of nine reindeer and a few Exiled Magical Elves still bob among the shrinking remains of the old deep ice sheets. You could take a cruise up there! Have a blast! Don't trip over all the dead Canaries.. they mean nothing. Nothing.

One of his more infamous fireside chats dealt with the fact that the world will be out of oil by the year 2000, zero, all gone, so get your sweaters now and avoid the rush.

Grey Horse, you need to post a source for this assertion. People hear a lot of things on the internet, or from other sources, that are simply not true. And people who repeat these wild assertions are simply repeating what they wish to believe.

So please post your source for the above Carter statement or stop making that claim.

Ron Patterson

Funny what I heard Carter say was different than what you heard.

Carter was mostly concerned that the growth rate in demand would outstrip growth in available supplies within a relatively short time frame - thereby causing shortages and high energy prices.

The growth in demand did not continue, which would have been impossible anyway since OPEC resticted supplies.

Basically we still face the same problem - growth in demand outstripping growth (if any now) in available supplies.

Yes. Carter’s televised speech, fireside or cathode, can be read here. And top class it was too.


‘J C was right’ comes back again and again, the latest out on 1 August, see here:


Incredibly I correspond with people almost daily who feel that THAT speech, had it been taken to heart by America, would have led to our destruction as a Nation.

I thought hindsight was always 20/20.

Then there's the later 1979 speech by which time Carter's plan had been fleshed out a bit more.
Full text at

Here's a short extract.

What I have to say to you now about energy is simple and vitally important.

Point one: I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States. Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 -- never. From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980s, for I am tonight setting the further goal of cutting our dependence on foreign oil by one-half by the end of the next decade -- a saving of over 4-1/2 million barrels of imported oil per day.

...Just as a similar synthetic rubber corporation helped us win World War II, so will we mobilize American determination and ability to win the energy war. Moreover, I will soon submit legislation to Congress calling for the creation of this nation's first solar bank, which will help us achieve the crucial goal of 20 percent of our energy coming from solar power by the year 2000.

Video clip short extract (worth watching just to see how deadly serious Carter was) at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwzyvkc1tb4

The additional radiative forcing in the atmosphere due to carbon dioxide has been known for over a hundred years. The potential impact for climate was a fringe theory for a long time, very much like plate tectonics. So I've always been surprised that someone must have told LBJ about it.

Air pollution is no longer confined to isolated places. This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through radioactive materials and a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. Entire regional airsheds, crop plant environments, and river basins are heavy with noxious materials. Motor vehicles and home heating plants, municipal dumps and factories continually hurl pollutants into the air we breathe. Each day almost 50,000 tons of unpleasant, and sometimes poisonous, sulfur dioxide are added to the atmosphere, and our automobiles produce almost 300,000 tons of other pollutants.

"No one could have foreseen..."

Grey Horse: I was thinking about your post here as I
sat in a bathroom stall at the Minneapolis airport.
I began tapping my foot and couldnt help but remember
about how the "oil revenue would pay for the Iraq war"
Afterwards while washing my hands a Rep U.S. Sen. Larry Craig came and stood next too me and chatted me
up. He was very friendly and offered without solicitation his views of global warming. He went on and
on about how evolution was a hoax and explained to me
in vivid detail about creationism and when I objected and mentioned dinosaurs....he said they were actually
Jesus horses and not dinosaurs at all.
He was quite serious and went on to say that scientists are the spawn of Lucifer and that Albert
Einstien used his unruley hair to hide the mark of the beast,which was burned into his forehead.
I would have discussed these matters at length with him but oddly enough he was arrested by Airport security for lewd behaviour and escorted away.
Heres the whole thing caught on tape in case you doubt


The good Senator should hire better speech writers unless, of course, he writes his own material in which case.... Paging Doctor Freud!... Doctor Freud, please pick up the courtesy phone...




Here is a link to one of Jimmy Carter's speeches on energy. If only we had listened then.


Nowhere in this speech did he indicate we'd be out of oil by 2000, only that the problems would be worse.

You will probably get shot to bits for even thinking that AGW is a load of bollix around this site, It tends to attract the kind of hysterical reaction found in fundamentalist religious sects.

But no matter.

Still you go Carter' speeches a tad wrong.

For more on Global warming mythology:


How the Hadley Centre spins the data on non-warming
Paul MacRae, July 11, 2008

Mystification is the process of explaining away what might otherwise be evident.

– John Berger, Ways of Seeing

Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research is in a spot of bother at the moment.
On the one hand, the Hadley Centre is a firm believer in the hypothesis that humans are the main cause of global warming and that we’re heading toward catastrophe. It even devotes several of its web pages to waving a nagging finger at those foolish enough or unprincipled enough to believe otherwise.
On the other hand, the Hadley Centre, as part of the British Meteorological Office and one of the world’s foremost climate-monitoring sites, is also churning out data showing that the planet isn’t warming at the moment, and hasn’t for the past 10 years or so. Clearly, increasing human carbon emissions aren’t causing the warming that was expected.
What to do?
As principled scientists, the Hadley staff can’t cook the books so the temperature figures fit the hypothesis, although at least one other major climate centre is doing its best to keep its figures matching the hypothesis.1 On the other hand, if the general public got the idea that maybe the planet wasn’t warming after all, despite what it’s been told so often, the people might rebel against punitive carbon taxes and go back to their materialist-loving ways.
The Hadley Centre’s solution is a combination of spin-doctoring and let’s hope nobody notices.
You find the spin in its finger-wagging admonitions that we mustn’t take this non-warming trend at all seriously. Just temporary. Planet’s still warming. Move along; nothing to see here.
So, in its webpage on Climate Facts #1, it says: “There is indisputable evidence from observations that the Earth is warming.” 2 This is hardly controversial; even the pesky warming skeptics who annoy the Hadley Centre so much agree on the earth is, overall, on a warming trend. But, just to make sure we’re clear so far: the earth is in an overall warming trend (interglacial) right now and would be whether humans were a factor or not.

Why are Geologists (myself included) more sceptical of the new religion.


Why do geologists tend to be skeptics? Is it because they are, as Gore and the “consensus” charge, in the pay of the oil industry? Perhaps, but there may be other, more scientific reasons. As Peter Sciaky, a retired geologist, writes:

A geologist has a much longer perspective. There are several salient points about our earth that the greenhouse theorists overlook (or are not aware of). The first of these is that the planet has never been this cool. There is abundant fossil evidence to support this — from plants of the monocot order (such as palm trees) in the rocks of Cretaceous Age in Greenland and warm water fossils in sedimentary rocks of the far north. This is hardly the first warming period in the earth’s history. The present global warming is hardly unique. It is arriving pretty much “on schedule.”

Data selection of the worst sort !

There was a VERY warm year a decade ago (1997 ?). So for 12 months one can make that statement about "ten years" ago. Not true for 9 or 11 years ago. But the calender slips by and I think your statement sends to be amended to 11 years now. It HAS been warming up for the last ten years (July 2008 vs. July 1998) !

Above from memory,



Think in terms of millions of years, Orbital changes, M-Cycles, solar activity.

See second link.

GW exists.

It existed before, It will exist again as will Global Cooling.

Now I must go and abase myself in front of a piece of the True Gore.

Do you know that there are now so many pieces of the True Gore in shrines that the real Gore must weigh close to 7 tonnes?...

Byee. - Still got my holiday brain in...

Human caused Global Warming is occurring on a VERY short time scale (see our chemical experiment with our atmosphere) of decades and a single century, not on a 10,000 year or millions of years time scale.

The rest of your post is not worth responding to.


I don't think any of us hysterical anthropogenic GW fundamentalists would deny that the mean temperature at the earth's surface has varied greatly over the last few billion years. What does concern us is the rate at which it appears to be changing at present. Your cited authority on the subject, Paul Macrae, uses the well known graph of estimated temperature variation over the last few Milankovitch cycles, to try to argue that the typical warming trend at the end of each glaciation is comparable with the warming trend of the past few decades. If you actually look at this graph this is clearly far from true: the post-glaciation warming is typically of the order of 5 degrees over maybe 20,000 years, whereas the IPCC is predicting this sort of change in just 100 years. The former variation is one that our civilisation could probably cope with fairly comfortably, while the latter is, I think even you might agree, a great deal more problematic.

That said, I guess you could still appeal to the long view, and point to the Permian Warming about 250 million years ago, which does indeed appear to have been a similarly sudden event to the IPCC's predicted temperature change, and had devastating consequences for life on earth. But you seem to be suggesting that because Nature can visit such freak catastrophes upon us there's no point in our attempting to avoid inflicitng them ourselves - a counsel of despair if ever there was one.

(Warning: the above post may contain traces of irony, or as it known in N. America, sarcasm).


I thought North Americans had all undergone triple Irony Bypass surgery.

The IPCC cannot seriously 'predict' anything worth a damn.

But dont worry about it. AGW is a symptom of an overly rich and pampered society. Pretty much like the fussy, rich 'Worried Well' as marked up on Doctors notes.

A few bad winters and cold deaths of the poor and old will soon put AGW back in its box: Try lecturing a freezing Chinese peasant on AGW as he cuts down his nearby forest.

As I write this, there is a picture on my left side : 'Al Gore just issued a challange for America' . Perhaps you see it too.

Notice how the image of the fat saint has been slimmed down. (too many burgers upsets the sandal wearing bearded ones...)


The argument is pointless anyway.

Peak Oil trumps all cards (I speak as an evil oilfield geologist).

Mudlogger is correct, we (meaning the Earth) are in an Ice Age. It began about 3.3 million years ago, perhaps the result of the rise of the Isthmus of Panama and the stoppage of direct flows between the tropical Atlantic and Pacific. Lately (about the last 10,000 years or so) the Earth has been in the midst of an Interglacial. The number of years for an Interglacial is roughly 10,000 years, but that apparently isn't a fixed time period. Some researchers think this interglacial may last longer than the last one, known as the Eemian. But, there's still the possibility that humans may do something which will trigger the return to Ice Age conditions, previous versions of which have lasted upwards of 110,000 years.

One thing to consider Mudlogger is that the warmth over the Arctic appears to be unprecedented. Sediment cores from the Arctic Ocean show no period without sea-ice since 800,000 years (or more) BP. If you are going to blame last summer's remarkable loss in sea-ice on the sun, please explain how this might occur when the sunspot cycle was near minimum number.

I would not be surprised if this Winter were colder than usual in parts of the NH, since I think all of that sea-ice and surface water which has exited the Arctic lately will dampen the THC in the Nordic and Labrador Seas. Do a search on "The Great Salinity Anomaly" if you really care about science. I'm afraid that you skeptics need to take notice of the smoking gun pointed in our general direction.

E. Swanson

First you claim that you are a geologist only looking at Orbital Changes and M-Cycles.

Then you go on to quote an English professor from Canada as your main source of climate change refutation.

Then you hand pick a single dissenting ice age paper from 70s (while almost every other paper was in favor of warming due to CO2 at that time!), distort the climate temp data from the past 10 years and throw around Newsweek and pop-scare books from the 70s are additional 'sources'.

Then you confuse a geological time scale long term temp trend (a few thousand millennia) with a shorter cycle climatological temp trend (a couple of hundred years). On purpose I assume - as as a geologist you clearly should know better.

Further, you use really powerful argumentative vehicles like:

"there are now so many pieces of the True Gore in shrines that the real Gore must weigh close to 7 tonnes?"

AGW is a symptom of an overly rich and pampered society.

Notice how the image of the fat saint has been slimmed down. (too many burgers upsets the sandal wearing bearded ones...)

Do you really think we should ever waste more time on your silly arguments, when you can't site proper scientific resources, can't stop name calling, resort to childish political flame baits and ranting.

The most royally funny thing is that you call others hysterical and having a religion. Good grief, take a long look in the mirror, please.

Please come back to the topic, when you can site multiple agreeing peer-reviewed current papers, not-cherry-picked data and tone down your anti-gore, anti-environmentalist and anti-whatever rhetoric, that is hardly scientific.

If not, just go away, because what you are doing amounts to nothing more than plain old trolling.

If you know Usenet, then you probably also know this sound:


I have read that the sun has been somewhat dimmer for the last several years and has offset the GHG effects.
BTW Dallas has had only one day out of the last 16 that has not reached 100F+.
The world that H Sapiens has evolved in over the past 200,000 years has been a generally cold place. Interglacial periods are the exception to the world we are adapted for.

I believe there has been a very slight downward trend in solar output in the past several years. I don't think it has been enough to be noticeable.

The laws of thermodynamics say the earth should be warming. However, the predicted warming is pretty small compared to natural variation. For example, where I live the temperature can vary by over 100 degrees fahrenheit within a 6-8 month period. It is pretty hard to pick out a rise of a fraction of a degree per year against natural variation, especially when the same process that was increasing CO2 concentrations was simultaneously increasing the earth's albedo. In fact, it wasn't until after we started cleaning up the atmospheric aerosols in the 70s & 80s that the warming signal became clear.

I believe there has been a very slight downward trend in solar output in the past several years.

Lovelock argues that insolation over the long term (geologic time spans) has been slowly rising and that the Gaia's feeback mechanisms will likely not be able to return the earth to a previous local maxima/minima - with dinosaurs or glaciers all over the continets - but that the planet will move to a new point of stability. Hot rocks, he suggests, because Gaia is close to being maxed out in terms of what it can regulate. [I've no idea how to know that myself.]

People keep talking about cycles, about how the pendulum swings and everything will be righted. That is a sort of blind faith that doesn't seem to have any basis in fact and certainly doesn't work for the turkey.

cfm in Gray, ME

The world that H Sapiens has evolved in over the past 200,000 years has been a generally cold place.

Yes, which is why we didn't see this incredible rise of society until this last interglacial. It takes time, dumb chance and good conditions to allow societies to develop. Without the warmth, there's not enough food, for example. No farming, that is. Without farming, there's no rise in population and few, if any, large settlements. Without those, there's not enough leisure time nor enough non-laborers to develop science, etc.

We cannot sustain these numbers in either a very warm or very cold place, so we either learn to micro-manage the environment or learn to create environments that can withstand ice ages and hot house worlds.

One of the strange, but true stories of this Age/Era may well be that we figured out how to terraform the planet because our carelessness almost killed us.


As mudlogger hints, it appears that scepticism to what is in fact mainstream science both in the area of peak oil and global warming (I dislike the expression climate change, let's at least use descriptive labels) goes thru shifts and changes. Peak oil (I know that packs in a lot concepts and questions) denialism, or scepticism, or simply naive technotopism and muddle through-ism, and these are different attitudes though they naturally meld in fragmented argumentation, are pretty much discredited today, except, of course, for the hope that its effects can be compensated for in one way or another, which is legitimate - solar, conservation, etc. - that is another topic, which can’t be divorced from the science, or society for that matter, nevertheless one can make the distinction between naive technotopism and the rest (or one should attempt to anyway.)

For global warming, the issue is really far less clear, the science is much more complicated, the concepts much harder to understand, the questions, or moot points, scientific quarrels are far more troubling. Personally, I believe the standard science but have a lot of questions, and as someone not in the field, I don’t have a fleshed out overview, and that’s it, unless there is some tiny part or parcel I can easily study up (albedo in conditions that are very set and specific, say) - so my take will be useless in my own opinion. Not so for peak oil, for many reasons, but the first is complexity.

So, because climate science is difficult, and concerns the whole earth, and is in a way uncertain, it has become a repository for both moralistic attitudes (bad humans spitting CO2 into pristine air), as a general behavior divorced from finance, exploitation etc, perhaps as a substitute, a stand-in, the other side of the coin, of energy consumption, a topic easier to handle. After all Kyoto is about emissions and not consumption - a result rather than the behavior or events that caused it. That’s enough to make any systemicist suspicious. For all these reasons, climate science, or even global warming as a certain fact, will be subject to greater degrees of scepticism, denialism, scorn, etc. Understandable.

For global warming, the issue is really far less clear...

Incorrect. Some people are working very, very hard to make you think this is true when it is not. There is very little true debate on this issue. This falsehood has been debunked again and again, but it is very difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.

For all these reasons, climate science, or even global warming as a certain fact, will be subject to greater degrees of scepticism, denialism, scorn, etc. Understandable.

As stated above, none of the "reasons" you state are reasons, they are obfuscations intentionally set out by a very small group of people, not least of which is the Bush Administration.

I was trying to find an article I read very recently that dealt with the fact that the scientists have little or no doubt, but can't locate a link. But here is a piece on the issue that does even better.


A recent debunking:

The one and only objective lit review on this point (2004, I believe) found exactly ZERO out of 1,000 randomly chosen scientific papers that clearly supported a non-AGW view of the climate issue.

Stop listening to BS and start listening to legit science. When you look at it even momentarily with the light of day, there is virtually no clear or convincing argument against AGW. Period.


This is the kind of post that just invites a smackdown. First you start out by declaring that anyone who disgrees with you as "hysterical". Then you declare that a strongly-supported scientific theory is a "new religion". Finally, you throw in a quote by a couple unknown supposed geologists, coupled with some anecdotal factoids that don't prove or disprove anything.

The first of these is that the planet has never been this cool.

You mean, it has never been this cool except during ice ages. And except during the "snowball earth" period. I guess he pretty much means it has never been this cool, except when it wasn't.

plants of the monocot order (such as palm trees) in the rocks of Cretaceous Age in Greenland and warm water fossils in sedimentary rocks of the far north.

Funny that a geologist never heard of plate tectonics and the fact that continents move. In any case, even if the fossilized plants were in polar regions during the Cretaceous period, it would only prove that the polar regions were warm during the Cretaceous, not that it had always been warmer than it is now. But there I go getting all "religious", at least in denialist usage, where religious means "logical" and "scientific" (hysterical too, I suppose).

Yeah, Laddie.

I have heard of plate tectonics.

I was taught by the GeoPhys Prof that got it going mainstream back in the early 70's.

PT is taken into account. Try rain forests at the poles....

Try rain forests at the poles....

You clearly have not taken Plate Tectonics into account. Antarctica, while still at the South Pole, used to be connected to South America and Australia. This forced the ocean current near Antartica to divert North. As the three continents seperated, the current was able to flow completely around Antartica without a northerly diversion. This current, without the benefit of warm returning water, cut Antartica off from the rest of the Thermohaline, and thusly, it cooled.
If Plate Tectonics were to close the gap between Patagonia and Antarctica again (it doesn't even need to be a full closing), Antartica would (totally naturally) warm again as the Antarctic Circumpolar Current was diverted North, and returned with warmed water.

A geologist has a much longer perspective.

Hi MUDLOGGER. First, let me say how much I appreciate you insights on gas drilling and the industry in general. However, I am a geologist too and I have the opposite read on GCC. We probably look a different data. :)

I'm not skeptical of the "New Religion" because I don't think it is a religion at all...granted, once a scientific hypothesis is picked up by the population at large it rapidly takes on decidedly non-scientific aspects.

My observation has been that the politically conservative geologists I know dismiss the possibility of human-caused climate change out-of-hand. Several are close friends, and when challenged to actually read a sample of the relevant papers they develop a more nuanced view. Some even allow that human-caused GCC may be possible. Geos closer to my "radical liberal" veiws generally accept GCC as human caused.

I don't mean this as an attack, but is you opposition purely scientific or has politics affected your analysis of the data. Have you carefully assessed the data which contradicts your position as thouroughly as that which supports it? Remember Chamberlin's Multiple Working Hypotheses.


I had one course in Cenozoic Paleoclimatology back in the early eighties, so I am no expert, but despite being outside my area expertise I can say that some of these studies and papers have merit and should be evaluated objectively.

Over time, I have become increasingly sceptical regarding AGW - as opposed to GW.(with which I wholeheartedly concur)

Call it a religion (seems that way to me) call it an 'Industry' - it certainly is that - what with so many Warmists salaries depending upon AGW. And so many ex-Marxists looking for a home to tell everybody to 'stop doing whatever it is your doing' - I suppose they were the types that also banned May Poles and Christmas in the 17th Century.

A lot more Geologists in Academic spheres are highly sceptical, but in this corrosively politically correct atmosphere they are reluctant to voice any contrarian opinion. Of course Evil Oilfield Geologists are in the pay of the devil and are thereby exempt from swimming with the tide, but are regarded as contaminated as 'scientists'

I was lucky to read a recent PhD thesis regarding non-warming theory prior to peer review. It looked to me like sound science. He covered most of the last 750 million years.

He will be lucky if he gets a job in this 'climate' ('scuse the pun).

Geography teachers in the UK have to accept and abide by the Warmist Cult - if they want to work.

Time will tell.

And if nothing else, Geology is the study of Time on this planet.

The ego of the human race knows no bounds. We need a slight up tick in Vulcanicity to show us what real CO2 looks like.

I think we are talking past each other.

My main question was whether you think you are giving a "fair shake" to the peer-reviewed papers you've read which support AGW? Do you really find fault with their data and analysis? Forget the blather in the MSM; what about the published papers?

I think it was Puritans, not Marxists, who tried to ban Xmas and the May pole. :)

Blue-green algae changed the climate; I've met several(trillion) of them, and I found them to be without ego - completely humble.

I have tried to read as many papers on both sides of AGW / GW as time permits.

I am of the opinion (not belief - mind) that GW is a fact. AGW is merely a theory, but since it is now almost completely religionised, if not industrialised, it is itself completely contaminated as a 'science'. All possible counter arguments are now shut down, it is politicised and counter arguments are formally regarded as a heresy or anathema.

Yes Puritans and Marxists have a lot in common.

'In Russia, the personal life is dead'.

- Dr. Zhivago

GW, and the associated CO2 increases, are happening on human lifetime scales, not geological scales. Certainly faster that the other climate changes we have the best (but still limited) data for, alternating Ice Ages and interglacial periods.

The speed of change and clear link between human CO2 releases and warming make any other explanation highly suspect. What natural forces would be causing this RAPID warming ?

I am EXTREMELY skeptical of any explanation except human activity for GW. To onus is on the deniers to PROVE a non-human mechanism is causing the warming. They have failed miserably.


since it is now almost completely religionised

This and your blather in a post further up in response to the geologist's question, which you did not answer, even in the above, prove beyond any doubt it is you who are treating the subject as religion.

Post some science, if you dare. (Oh, I know, there's a conspiracy to shut them all down!! Even in this period of the Bush Denialist White House! That's right: the only **known** and factually proven conspiracies? Exxon and the Bush White House. Now ain't that curious?)

You're a paid troll, blinded or a not very bright. I care not which.


Nobody pays me to be a troll.

But if any out there want to, I will take the current market rate for Wellsite Geologists at $1400 / day :-)

Why would anyone want to pay that much to someone who shows no interest in the science? Or, do they hire clowns like Bob Carter from Australia, who testified before Congress using the wrong satellite data set? So, how many of the reports from the IPCC do you have on your book shelf?

E. Swanson

Isn’t it rather slumming it for a shill to be touting for trade as a troll,
especially when asking exorbitant rates,
and being without that much of a following ?

Getting a little worried are we ?

So how about a career change ?

Say - as under-janitor for a Honduran orphanage
that houses some of that country's child-victims
of both fearsome tropical storms and grinding impoverishment ?


give your brain a chance.

I know how you Warmists get hysterical regarding apostasy and heresy, but you see, the planet's temperature aint rising and hasnt since 1998.

There has been several periods of cooling and warming in recorded history.

Roman Warm
Dark Age Cool
Medieval Warm
Little Ice Age

And now this current warm/cooling trend.

But you guys go ahead: Spend billions wrecking your economy in fighting AGW so that you cannot afford to do useful things to mitigate Peak Oil.

BTW: The above rate is not exhorbitant. Thats the GMR in 2008 pal...

the planet's temperature aint rising and hasnt since 1998.

As explained upthread, 1998 was a particularly warm year. All part of the backgound climate noise.

what with so many Warmists salaries depending upon AGW.

With so much industry invested with so much sunk cost in a high-CO2-output economy, there would be astronomical amounts of funds going in the direction of the first person to show that AGCC is bunk. Since this hasn't happened, and since there is no Model of any sort which predicts the current climate shift when excluding CO2 Forcing, one much conclude that AGCC is a real phenomena, and must be dealt with in some way.

My observation has been that the politically conservative geologists I know dismiss the possibility of human-caused climate change out-of-hand. Several are close friends, and when challenged to actually read a sample of the relevant papers they develop a more nuanced view. Some even allow that human-caused GCC may be possible. Geos closer to my "radical liberal" veiws generally accept GCC as human caused.

I don't mean this as an attack, but is your opposition purely scientific or has politics affected your analysis of the data?

Entirely possible, and even probable:


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


Some more paid trolls and slaves to Sauron and the evil oil empire:

So much for consensus…


>>The petition was reissued last year by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, an independent research group, partly in response to Al Gore’s film on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth.
Its president, Arthur Robinson, said: "If this many American scientists will sign this petition, you certainly can’t continue to contend that there is a consensus on this subject."
One of the signatories, Frank Nuttall, a professor of medicine, said he believed the Earth was becoming warmer, despite his signature.
"This issue is whether the major reason for this is from human activities. I consider that inconclusive at the present time," he said. <<

Here's some comments about the Oregon Petition, as the earlier piece from OISM was called.

Covering letter and attached article

The petition had a covering letter from Frederick Seitz, who is a former president of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A. and an attached article supporting the petition....

The article was written in the style and format of a contribution to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a scientific journal. Raymond Pierrehumbert, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Chicago, said that it was "designed to be deceptive by giving people the impression that the article...is a reprint and has passed peer review." Pierrehumbert also said the article was full of "half-truths". F. Sherwood Rowland, who was at the time foreign secretary of the National Academy of Sciences, said that the Academy received numerous inquiries from researchers who "are wondering if someone is trying to hoodwink them."

After the petition appeared, the National Academy of Sciences said in news release that "The NAS Council would like to make it clear that this petition has nothing to do with the National Academy of Sciences and that the manuscript was not published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or in any other peer-reviewed journal." It also said "The petition does not reflect the conclusions of expert reports of the Academy." The NAS further noted that its own prior published study had shown that "even given the considerable uncertainties in our knowledge of the relevant phenomena, greenhouse warming poses a potential threat sufficient to merit prompt responses. Investment in mitigation measures acts as insurance protection against the great uncertainties and the possibility of dramatic surprises."

That early petition drive was clearly a denialist disinformation campaign. For example, few of the signatories had any evidence of expertise in the climate sciences. The latest petition drive is just another round from the denialist camp. It's just more disinformation, (as if mudlogger didn't know)?

E. Swanson


And just EXACTLY how many members of the IPCC are actually Professional Climate Scientists?

Thanks for fixing my spelling error ccpo!

but is your opposition purely scientific

Maybe things are different amongst vocational geologists, but I can assure you that amongst academic geologists AGW sceptics are very much in the minority. I know a couple of them, Bob Carter being the most notable example and the only person I've ever seen arguing against AGW at a scientific conference rather than just in the popular media.

So maybe you could respond with an allegation of groupthink, that we corrupt ivory tower types somehow suppress "the truth." But stop and think about that for a minute - how many scientists would put up with that? Science by its very nature attracts competitive people who wish to push the boundaries of established knowledge and indeed to destablise each others' theories where possible. Not one of us would respond well to being told what to say.

In the (geological) field of Quaternary paleoclimatology we have ongoing and often heated debate about many different aspects of the workings of past global climate. But I have to say that we almost universally accept that a massive, geologically instantaneous increase in CO2 forcing is going to do some significant, absolutely fascinating things to global climate for the next little while.


In the mining business, most geos are politically conservative and I expect that is true in the oil "bidness" as well.

I have always found it interesting that men(and women) trained as analytical scientists can leave their scientific judgement "at the door" when it comes to politically-charged scientific topics.

"The Black Swan" by Nicholas Nasim Taleb, has an interesting section concerning the inability of trained statisticians to detect statistical fallacies outside of the classroom environment. The analytical part of the brain appears to be available under certain circumstances, but not in others. Emotionally charged topics probably reduce the chances that the situation will be evaluated analytically.

My, THAT was certainly a Popular Opinion; wasn't it?

At least you can take comfort in being "Right."

WaPo is starting a new series:

Hovering Above Poverty, Grasping for Middle Class

Over the coming weeks, the Washington Post will examine the lives of low-wage Americans. The stories will explore how they juggle their finances and bolster their spirits to cope with their economic struggles; how they adapt when the dream of a middle-class life fades; the factors that propel the optimism of others in the face of increasingly tall odds, and why, more often than not, they believe their fortunes are unaffected by the policies crafted by politicians in Washington.

The American dream is alive and well. People still believe they can get ahead, and that their children will be better off than they are.

There are still 2 parts of the oilshock series that they haven't printed yet. I thought it might come this weekend, but nothing happened..

The American dream is a pyramid scheme. Suckers.

As our friend George Carlin would say,

"Y'know why they call it the American Dream?

Because you'd have to be ASLEEP to believe in it!"

What is going on with all this "truthiness" at the WaPo? I'm almost inclined to file them under my "Alternative News" folder of bookmarks on my browser instead of "MSM".

Several studies on intergenerational social mobility, in the last 15 years, in the ‘western’ world or developed countries, or the OECD, have shown that the US is the bottom (or next to last, after Britain). This is just one article, from the World socialist Website, on the LSE study, it is not specially slanted, I link for those who are not aware,


common dreams hits harder:


It is important to relate these facts to economic organization (just one off the top of google):


this is actually quite interesting because it blames the US for the same thing that the US blames, say, France for: structural rigidities - and energy use, of course.

Anyway the eds. of the Wa Po are perfectly well aware of this state of affairs, I am sure. The news that America ‘aint’ what it used to be’ is leaked slowly, matching, or keeping abreast with, reader’s perceptions from their daily lives; it is not news, but confirmation, or re-affirmation, pandering. The ‘new’ data itself is at least 20 years old and was of course obfuscated (see peak oil..)

In any case the WaPo is a far better paper than the NYT (from my EU pov.)

I predict that if the social mobility data ever, ever gets much play in the mainstream, an author whose expertise consists entirely of right-wing foundation work will "prove" that the reason that the children of the rich are getting more and more likely to be rich themselves, and vice versa, is because the market is accurately rewarding the growing genetic superiority of the rich over the poor. Since the rich inherently make better decisions, they should have less of their income stolen by the government than the poor. Why, the poor should just give up their right to vote now and pick cotton and eat watermelons on the plantation.

Immediately, every talk radio host will trumpet his work, until Newt Gingrich creates a foundation to promote the rich as a master race.

Or maybe 100 such authors will point out that the welfare lifestyle is as self-reinforcing as a wealthy one. You can't get rich through borrowing, and the combination of social structuring, taxation, and overspending is a ponzi scheme from which few winners will emerge.

We have probably already passed Peak Optimism.

What happened to American optimism?

However, his hope that we would eventually harness "Our Friend, the Atom" was not to be. A half-century later, amid "peak oil" concern and global warming hype and histrionics, we are still in thrall to the old fossil fuels.

As a kid, Disney's "Tomorrowland" was one of my favorite shows, especially when Werner von Braun talked about space travel. Here is a site showing what became of many of these predictions:

Tales of Future Past

Some of my favorites are:
Ford Atomic Car
Hiller Aerial Sedan
Rocket Train

When I was 12 years old, my dream was to become an astronaut and go to Mars. Then life got in the way - marriage, kids, several interesting jobs, many wonderful people. I think Douglas Adams summed it up the best:

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

As a society, we need to grow up and find our real values before it is too late.

I had a interesting discussion with a group of Profs. (engineering, chem. Math. & others) at a dinner party last night (one that I actually didn't cook but was excellent).

I was able to squeeze in the concept of finite resources although that is perceived as just a temporary stumbling block.

The whole group still believes that space colonization is the inevitable future for mankind.

I no longer hold that belief though I did up until 5 or 6 years ago.

I would be surprised if any or your discussion group had actual experience in the space flight business. We all grew up watching Star Trek, Star Wars and the other space fantasies, but those few of us who have hands on work experience quickly learned how hollow these dreams were. I used to think the Space Shuttle and manned space flight was a real waste of resources. Going to Mars? What the hell for? Sounds like the perfect prison, with escape being impossible, assuming the radiation dose received during the 6 months to get there didn't kill...

E. Swanson

Space colonization?
And these were professors, as in tenured Ph D's in engineering, chemistry, & math?

I'm gonna comfort myself with the thought that a fine Oregon Pinot Noir was over-served and after dinner several guests went out for a little 'stroll' and enjoyed a bowl. Someone saw a shooting star and they were all joined in a moment of adolescent reverie before their wives showed up jingling the car keys.

I was working in high tech electronics, in a top research group. The lunch table consensus was that space colonization is inevitable. These are all PhDs from top universities.

Too crazy for me, I left. Cabbage, zucchini, tomatoes, corn... I doubt I will have time to learn to garden well, but I have to put my money where my vision is.

The lunch table consensus was that space colonization is inevitable.

The Colonisation of Space has to happen, or we'll be forever stuck on this rock until some cataclysm happens to us (I'd be placing bets on a Supervolcano like Yellowstone, or another dinosaur-killer). If we don't leave, we're a dead-end (and I suspect we're the only 'intelligent' life in this entire Galaxy).

We're not going to be doing it anytime soon, however. :(

In a way, i agree with your professors. An answer to finite resources is to find new resources else where in the cosmos. Also, in the grand scheme of human history, peak oil is just a temporary stumbling block. I will say that space colonization is not inevitable though, and finite resources may beat us to the punch.

The problem people have with these things are time scales. I have to admit this kinda confuses me here, because peak oil is all about timing and perspective across long time scales. The likelihood of my kids (assuming they exist some day) living on mars colony is probably pretty low. That does not rule out the possibility of future societies colonizing extraterrestrial bodies.

It is absolutely within the realm of possibility that the superintelligent cockroaches which will replace extinct humanity will solve the problem of space colonization, what with their compressed, g-force resistant bodies and immunity to strong radiation.

Doesn't that just make you feel warm inside?

Unfortunately, your dream of space colonization by sentient cockroaches is unlikely, for the simple reason that humans already consumed all the easy resources that exist on Earth.

Humanity already consumed all the easy metal ores and all the easy hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons were formed during special times in Earth's history that may never return. Plate tectonics may replenish some of the good metal ores, however?

Unlike primates, cockroaches are a long-lived family of species. They can afford to wait a few hundred million years until more fossil fuels have formed and more mineral deposits have become mineable.

If the cockroaches don't make it, though, time will have run out.

the difference is that cockroaches haven't even come close to going to another planet by their own technology. I mean, it seems like our problems are more logistical than technological. We could build mars colonies piecemeal with lots of robots and supply ships, but we can't do it quickly (within a generation) or economically. We could create heavy lead lined ships in a space dock. The problem with ideas like these is not that we have no idea how to do them, it's the time and money. How long did it take an army of slaves to build a pyramid? 50-100 years? How long does it take to build a skyscraper that dwarfs the pyramids? Like a decade? It took us a few eons, but we kick those technological masters of their day ass!

Scientifically, super cockroaches have the chance, but fruit bats have about an equal chance. We, on the other have been to space, we've taken a lot of big steps. In the 1800's, going to the moon was the crazed dream of eccentric rich people, in the 1960's it was a reality. I'll predict space colonies by the end of next century, at least in our solar system.

I no longer hold that belief though I did up until 5 or 6 years ago.

That is a sad thing. We don't really know what the future holds. If we don't colonize space, we are already doomed to extinction. I am more optimistic despite being a very pessimistic person in general.

If we can't be responsible for our own home (i.e. earth), what makes you think we would do better elsewhere? The kind of reckless thinking we've demonstrated here won't just magically disappear.

If I were the Guardian of the Galaxy, I would say to us, "First prove that you know how to take care of the world you inherited given before I give you another one."

So far I don't think we merit another planet.

From the article up top Herding and lack of market information distort oil prices.

"We argue that while prices must reflect fundamentals in the long run, they can deviate considerably in the short run because of price inelasticity, informational imperfections, and behavioural herding," the report said.

Exactly! I have argued this point for years. But the question is; how short is "the short run" and how many days or weeks does it take to equal "the long run"? I suspect that prices can be out of balance with the fundamentals for only a short time, a couple of weeks at the most. Larger swings in both price and supply can actually be caused by the fundamentals.

A dearth in supply can lead to a run up in prices. This in turn causes a lot of demand destruction. This in turn leads to a small glut in supply, which leads to a downturn in prices and so on. There is always a lag time between cause and effect and this causes wild long term swings in the market. Shorter term swings are caused by panic buying and selling as well as panic covering of wrong positions. But the long term trend, even the long term very large swings in the market is caused by the fundamentals. And that includes the last run up in prices to forty seven dollars as well as this latest drop in prices to the mid twenties.

And prices may go even lower, depending on the severity of the current demand destruction.

Ron Patterson

Hello Leanan,

Thxs for the toplink article: "ANR's clamp-down on composting operation inexplicable"

I sure hope they can get this situation cleared up fast. IMO, any legal obstacle that prevents O-NPK recycling will only prod postPeak I-NPK prices higher, plus cause just that much more enviro-degredation blowback. I hope JHKunstler, Jason Bradford, Sharon Astyk, and other prominent relocalized permaculturist bloggers can help spread the word to others. Quite the brainfart to me--somehow I had envisioned New England as the govt. leader in encouraging O-NPK recycling---I assumed wrong.

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

At first I'd suspected something like "New England Organics" [my understanding is they spread municipal sludge]. But it looks like the clash between farms and suburban property values. The wealthy developer class is devasting Maine where they own the State House. Probably having a similar effect on VT. VT needs something like the "Right to Farm" ordinance in DB from a couple of days ago.

In my POV, New England has lost ground over the past several decades on the environmental front. Largely due to that developer class - Klein calls them "piranhas", Ehrlich (I think) calls them "ankle-biters". The population of Maine has gone up something like 30% in the couple of decades I've been here.

The classic example of big steps backward is the conversion of highly successful recycling centers to single-stream - where an energy intensive whiz-bang operation does the sorting. What does't get sorted is by definition "not-recyclable" so it gets incinerated to generate electricity. So now the munis that share ownership of that facility find themselves in the position of encouraging increased waste.

cfm in Gray, ME

My goodness what a state we are in. I am such a newbie to the agriculture scene it is embarrassing I get any attention. What it points to is the nearly total lack of press given to people with long term staying power and credentials in the fields of agronomy, sustainable agriculture, food science, and soil science.

Look into publications like Touch the Soil or Acres for leadership, and the Rodale Institute affiliates. Might be some regional organic farming network newsletters, or local CSA farmers to talk to.

There are often claims that higher prices will bring on greater supply (the latest claimant was Trader_2 in Gail's last post).

The US post peak is a good counter example. The peak and decline happened despite record high prices and an enormous increase in drilling effort.

Here is a series of charts that tell the story. Perhaps these could be worked into the peak oil FAQ page.

First, here is the history of US oil production showing the peak and decline of the lower 48 states.


And we can see in this inflation corrected oil price chart the increase in oil price that followed the peak. Interruptions in the flow of imported oil caused prices to hit highs that were unmatched until very recently.


These high prices brought on a huge increase in investment into drilling. This drilling rig count and utilization chart shows that every availiable rig was put into operation to take advantage of the higher prices. But oil production still fell.


And actually, the industry way over invested in drilling. Look at the number of rigs availiable and how rapidly they declined. A shame all that lost investment had not been directed into insulation, or 3 mega watt wind turbines (they didn't exist yet, sigh) instead of being lost as scrap.

Personally, I feel this is one reason we should support a windfall profits tax. We (as a society) need to make sure that high oil profits get invested in alternate energy sources and insulation, etc. And not just sequester more high energy density casing pipe underground forever and ever.

Source links




Here is a more detailed rig census for last year. (But the graphics are not as pretty).


Iam guessing here,but did the high demand for life
boats on the Titanic result in a larger supply of
life boats?
How about the potato famine in Ireland? did the market
not respond with instantaniously larger amounts of
Why people like Trader_2 think they know something
about economics and supply and demand confuses me.
The fact that the world was once saturated with oil and now isnt,doesnt seem to enter these peoples skull
When the Dom Pérignon 1958 is all gone....its all gone.No amount of boisterous rhetorical semantics is
gonna produce one drop more.
Any fake ,French accented sommelier at the local Brown Derby can tell ya that.

Hehe. But there will be no shortage of hucksters putting some other crappy vintage into bottles and calling it 1958 Dom.

Too true, Just read yesterday that a bunch of Egyptian farmers got swindled on cheap potash fertilizer (turns out to have been mostly ceramic dust).
As prices jump for everything I expect more desperate and dispicable acts of substituition to occur (like diluting fuel with ethanol).

The interesting thing about the Texas & North Sea case histories is that there is no place for the POD (Peak Oil Denier) People to hide. Both regions peaked, despite the fact that they were developed by private companies, using the best available technology, with virtually no restrictions on drilling. So what happened as Saudi Arabia and the world arrived at the same stage of depletion at which Texas & the North Sea peaked? Despite a 2008 rebound, Saudi Arabia will almost certainly show three years of annual production below their 2005 rate, and I suspect that the world will do the same, having already shown two years of slight crude oil declines (EIA).

There are of course the bitumen deposits, but Canada and Venezuela both showed declining net oil exports last year.

I agree completely with the PODenier statement. However 90% of Americans think the drilling issue boils down to this: We should drill immeadiately to produce more domestic oil or we should delay drilling in environmentally sensitive areas, even though there is oil to be found there. Maybe 9% believe maybe there is not so much oil there, so let's find out first if it's worth it, and maybe 1% like myself who think whatever small amount of oil is left should be left in the ground for future generations.

Hi Charles,

The "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less" campaign (or what I call the "No SUV left behind") is telling. Environmental considerations aside, the general populace has no real sense of how difficult and costly it would be to bring these resources to market assuming, of course, they exist in any significant quantities; the level of ignorance is mind numbing.



I was wondering if you would contact me at: bryant at icehouse dot net. I wanted to ask you some heat pump questions without cluttering up the Drumbeat. Consulting fees ok!

Hi Bryant,

By all means. There should be an e-mail waiting in your inbox now.


I wonder how many times the Easter Island citizenry was bludgeoned by calls for increased quarrying as a solution for all problems? Maybe we really are trapped in a cultural Catch-22.

In the election of 1068, Bark Moai Bama promised more jobs for all wood cutters and change in the way Moai heads would be taxed. John Outhouse McClan argued that Easter Islanders should cut their dependence on foreign quarrying and should let the domestic free markets do their thing.

The Easter Islanders ultimately elected one from column A or one from column B. But it didn't really make a difference.

Click on image for in depth economic analysis

Even here on The Oil Drum, almost nobody mentions that America's Offshore Continental Shelf (OCS) has 18 billion barrels of off-limits oil, according to the USGS.

America burns one billion barrels a month. 18 billion barrels is 18 months. Even if all the offshore oil were to magically teleport into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve today, it would add only 18 months to America's supply.

Why, then, are we debatng whether the OCS will "save us" or not? Even here on TOD, I very rarely hear this argument.

No, America doesn't quite burn a billion barrels a month. I think it is something like 7.5 billion barrels/year. This doesn't really change the argument, of course - really just a nit. But when you argue with nitwits, it helps to have the basics right. Otherwise they will just seize upon the error and make a big deal about it.

the level of ignorance is mind numbing

Not really.

If you understood the fundamental tenet of capitalism (specialization) it would not be so surprising or mind numbing.

We are all taught and encouraged to become extremely well versed in one tiny niche (burrow hole) or another of our economy. We stick to our knitting. But in doing so we become ignorant in everything else.

We are taught to believe in magical fairy tales about "common sense" and about "the wisdom of the crowd". Somehow all these small minded brains, when gathered together as a collective, will add up to something much bigger.

So when the leadership in our crowd proclaims that they have put their wise heads together and have consulted with the high priests of economics and have concluded that the market entrails tell us to drill here after we finish drilling there, it all makes "common sense". We can dig it. It feels right because evolution has fashioned us to be social creatures and to go with the flow of the wise crowd.

Drilling after all is a natural response. Lemmings do it all the time. Burrow here and burrow there. Burrow your way to prosperity even though the thesis rests on hollow ground. When in doubt, do as the lemmings do. Dig and drill some more. Run with the crowd.

Click on image to learn more about lemming behavior

I know that being pro windfall profits tax is a controversial position, so I would like to back up that position with data. Here is a paper discussing how EROI of oil falls under high rates of drilling.


While published in 1981, some of the quotes would seem to be written about our time now:

Production and reserves of U.S. liquid and gaseous petroleum peaked in the early 1970's and generally have declined since then despite considerable increases in drilling effort. Continued increases in effort are likely in the near future because imports carry a heavy economic and political price and because recent increases in oil prices have given petroleum corporations considerable quantities of new working capital.

But the Carter Administration and Congress have imposed a large "windfall profits tax" on petroleum corporations, which will decrease the capital available for additional exploratory effort. On the other hand, oil industry advertisements and some politicians have promised large new exploratory efforts and oil supplies if government decreases regulation and taxation of the industry.

Finally, some geologists have been telling us for years that not very much new oil will be found no matter who does or does not regulate what. Clearly, an important question for this nation is to what degree we should increase drilling effort and to what degree such an increase would achieve the
goal of finding additional new oil.

Here is the conclusion

The results of our analysis indicate that the current trend of increasing conventional exploration effort by the oil industry may not be in the best interest of the nation as a whole because of the lower efficiency with which the industry delivers petroleum to society at higher rates of drilling, and also because such efforts appear to offer a "solution" to the decline in domestic conventional production. In fact, it appears that no genuine long-term solution exists unless there is a dramatic change in the way that we go about finding petroleum.

I'm pretty much against WPT, and, for Drilling. However, I think I am much more realistic and pragmatic than those who typically hold these same positions. I gather you are for WPT because you think it will raise capital and that the government will use that capital for alternatives. I'm not so sure that WPT will raise enough capital to do what we need to do.

My goal: tons of new light rail, commuter rail, and then new sources of energy to feed the grid. My vision is more expansive than that, but that's good enough for now. My transport and grid vision alone will cost much more than could be raised with a WPT. In addition, WPT revenues will go into decline soon after they are initiated.

The reason I am against WPT is not only because of the operational clamp they place on exploration and production. But more importantly, because of what economists call externalities. In other words, I am fairly confident that a regime of WPT degrades valuations of oil and gas companies, and depresses the industry. Also, perhaps worst of all, it levels the well run companies to the same tier as the poorly run companies. You see, the poorly run companies with failed business models like Exxon already behave as though a WPT regime exists. Exxon is slow, plodding, keeps hitting its head against the wall, keeps trying the old model of value creation but is too large, and so it blows billions and gets little in return, and then lets cash build up on its balance sheet. It goes nowhere. It buys back shares. It operates as though a WPT were already in place. So the problem with a WPT regime is not the impact it will have on XOM.

Rather, in a new WPT regime, the well run companies who are small but who are creating more supply will be dragged in the same direction. Right now, the United States has a number of brilliantly run E+P's many of whom are creating a larger resource base of Natural Gas. A WPT would unleash externalities that would serve to neutralize these higher quality companies. In addition, investors would pull even more capital from all energy companies, thus depriving them of currency in the form of a decent share price with which to expand. These are not trivial considerations. Again, we are already living in a paradigm of failure, in a country where the financial community took no interest in energy, energy companies, or energy investment opportunities. Let me put it more plainly: our financial system and our political system spent the last 8 years investing in consumer goods, consumer consumption, and housing. Neither government nor the free market worked. The free market depends on informed and interested individuals. I have tried to explain the current generation on The Street to others. Let me put it this way: all the investors and analysts and traders, and investment bankers who understand oil and gas very deeply, are now dead. Or retired. They left The Street 30 years ago. They are old men. Any time you see someone on TV from the financial world who is seriously interested in energy, you are looking at either someone very old, or, one of the oddballs. I'm generalizing here but my point is that there was once a whole generation on the street involved in energy. My larger point is that yes, it's different this time and there's a gaping hole of expertise that runs through the whole complex.

We're already working therefore from a position of failure, in energy. A WPT would only compound the problem. The free market has done an exceedingly poor job of allocating capital so far, in this decade. The government would do at least as badly.

I think there's a better way. In fact, I'm pretty sure of it.

BTW, I have absolutely loved and found very helpful all your posts on EROEI. Especially on NG, and shale NG. Thanks so much.

Thanks for the kind words.

I agree, there are many perspective on WPT. I am not certain what a good solution would be. But we have this huge transfer of wealth that normally would bring on new supply. But in this case, it cannot. So we need some mechanism for transferring that wealth into new energy systems.

I can see your point about penalizing those oil companies that have found ways to be more productive. It will be a tricky narrow path to walk, this transformation away from oil.

An EROEI calculation for the 1970s would be pretty ugly.

Because I'm sensitive to the argument that a windfall profits tax is discriminatory, I'm wondering if a carbon tax can do the job instead by somehow going extra-hard on the energy industries with poor EROEI - which otherwise would keep at their wasteful drilling by exploiting the ever-rocketing price of the ever-smaller marginal energy gain they produce.

Hello TODers,

CROP REPORT: High inputs strip away windfalls

..."Fuel costs are not our problem," said Lansford producer Paul Smetana. "They're not helpful, but they're not the problem."

According to Smetana, it's the cost of fertilizer that has gone through the roof and is digging into the pocketbooks of just about every farmer in North Dakota.

"The fertilizer situation is insane," Smetana said. "I prebought for this spring, which was helpful, but what happens next spring?"

...Producers have been watching the cost of anhydrous ammonia pushing upward since 2000 when it cost about $170 a ton. The last time Smetana checked, it was selling for $1,050 a ton.

"That's a real killer," he said. "Fuel hurts, but it's not the same death knoll as fertilizer.
5 gallons of gasoline energy-embedded per forty pound bag.

Nobel Prize Winner Norman Borlaug: Without I-NPK, it is game over.

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

School me. What is I-NPK?

It is a small company specialising in bamboo furniture with 5-10 employees.


They make the furniture, burn it then sprinkle the ash over their vegetable patches.


I-NPK is Inorganic Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium (K=Potassium in chemistry). The inorganic part means it is chemical fertilizer.

O-NPK is Organic Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium. The organic part means it is "natural" fertilizer like manure, rock powders, compost.

Farmers would be smart to dramatically lower their input costs by taking areas out of production for intensely cultivated crops such as corn and soybeans and wheat and putting them back into pasture. Gene Lodson has some great discussion of this:

Farmers might also consider experimenting with no till methods of soil building and weed suppression using new "roller" techniques. See this page at New Farm site:

Our food system is so mind-boggling wasteful right now I am not sure it is theoretically "over" without I-NPK, but the social issues surrounding food and agriculture are more troublesome. I think it is more a matter of promoting the "acceptance" that an environment of cheap I-NPK and cheap transportation fuels is going to be over, and that all farming needs to transition to O-NPK reliant methods for primarily local distribution.

We're converting 100 acres of conventional corn into pasture next year. A radical step in high grain priced markets. We plan to convert sunlight into grass and into meat and manure. Crossing our fingers we can make farm payments with this plan...

Looks like things are getting worse in Venezuela on basically every front ... I wouldn't expect any additional output from them for some time. I'm not entirely sure which countries will go along with the technology transfer provisions--a pretty good sign that the dismantling of PdVSA resulted in a serious lack of technological capacity--maybe a few national oil companies, but I'm guessing they'll wait until they see more of a bottom in the Venezuelan scene ... I'm guessing the currency is going to be positively destroyed next week if these decrees go through. (Last set of decrees--required cooperation with internal surveillance measures--were pushed back.)

Iran's behavior looks more and more like outright manipulation. Given that the fuel oil market is getting tighter with new refinery capacity additions coming on line, news that Iran is going to stop selling altogether may put a little fear into that market. (Kinda similar to just storing all that heavy crude in tankers in the Gulf.) Add to that recent refusal to make any concessions in the nuclear negotiations and the talk of "enforcing" OPEC "rationing" ... and I guess it is just plain that they are deliberately messing with the market. (Not that war is the solution to this problem ... just that it might have an effect on the market next week

Net oil exports from Venezuela have been declining at an average rate of about 100,000 bpd per year for about 10 years. At this rate, they would approach zero in about 20 years. Chavez hasn't helped matters, but the decline started before he came to power. An expanded bitumen program would probably help, but despite the intensive bitumen program in Canada, their net oil exports also fell last year.


High likelihood of formation. Should scare some people this evening when Crude and NG markets open. I dont think it will gain a lot of strength but if it runs all the way across the heart of the GOM rigs it could inflict some damage towards the end.
Any thoughts?

A week shut-in production at worst. Texas side of GoM is the smaller producer.


I dunno, but it does seem like only a matter of time before the GOM gets another round of severe hurricanes. As Alan Drake has pointed out the surface waters are, for the time being at least, cooler, but I assume that this is gradually changing.

The tropical heat potential in the area is plenty to support a major hurricane http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/dataphod1/work/HHP/NEW/2008215at.jpg. What is more the shear in the area is dropping to zero http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8sht.html, very positive for development. In this case shear is more important than heat. Recon has already registered tropical force winds, if a closed circulation is found you will have Edouard this evening. Here is a time sensitive loop.

All of the paths take it close to shore.


Unless it is a VERY tight, small hurricane, the drag/friction of the shore will keep wind speeds down. Maybe 30 hours to landfall. Not much time early in the season.

One VERY good thing is that it will stir up our massive dead zone and reduce the fish, oyster, shrimp, etc. kill :-)

Cat 1 I can believe, but even Cat 2 seems quite unlikely.

Local station (at least one) is carrying hourly updates about the "Area of Interest". I am not bothering to listen.


To me the GDFL is the best bet, it comes in at a cat 1. BTW: Just upgraded to TD so they can call it TD5. I guess NHC took the >35 knot winds as unrepresentative.

Thanks for the input all of you.

Crap, the recon just registered a 1002.6mb down from 1007.2mb earlier today, and registered a 52 knot flight level wind. You should see a tropical storm upgrade soon. They already have TS warnings from the mouth of the Mississippi to Intercoastal City.

Chavez was elected President in 1998, and sworn in in 1999. Net exports peaked in 1997. The oil strikes were in 2002--production and as of 2007 (EIA est.) is barely 100 kb/d above trough production due to strike. Net exports are flat (the difference mainly being increased consumption.)

Heavy oil production was projected to reach about 700 kb/d from the Cerro Negro and other Orinoco projects by 2007. All of those projects are currently in crisis--Orimulsion has been basically suspended.

Not saying peak don't apply; simply pointing out that the current situation re: Venezuelan production and exports clearly made much much worse by Chavez.

Venezuelan total liquids production has fallen about 800,000 bpd since 1997, and here is the (EIA) chart showing the net export decline:

right, that's what i said ... trough of production 2003 due to 2002 strike. production 100 kb/d more than 2003 trough, net exports about the same as 2003 trough.

Schlumberger, Halliburton, Global Marine et al will sell expertise to anyone whose checks don't bounce (Since Halliburton is a Dubai and not American company anymore, do Iran sanctions apply ?)


I dont know about sanctions, but American Tax doesnt apply in Dubai.

But there has always been ways around sanctions. - ask your Vice President...

Halliburton announced on March 12, 2007, that "it would open a corporate headquarters in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai and move its chairman and chief executive, David J. Lesar, there." [1] "Halliburton will remain a US company subject to US laws, but Dubai has no extradition agreement with the United States, meaning that Mr. Lesar could not be compelled to return to the US to testify, stand trial or serve any sentence related to any Halliburton activities under investigation."

Source: http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Halliburton

Looks like we're going right back in to a global oil market led by Diesel. I watch the GASOIL contract on ICE every day to see if it confirms down moves and up moves in NYMEX light sweet. In general, I would characterize the action of the GASOIL contract (this is the global diesel/distillate contract) as follows: it traded in a tighter band as measured by percentage than the wider band that NYMEX light sweet made, in its move up to 147 and move down to 120. In other words, beneath all the headlines and fireworks in the senior contracts for oil, global demand for diesel has been humming along.

I like the GASOIL contract as a tell, because I feel it's closer to real world, real time demand for product. I just think of it as being on the front lines. In addition, part of the reason NYMEX is bouncing around alot right now is that Open Interest has crashed. So there will be more volatility ahead as less speculators who have exited the market are there to provide liquidity. Yes, we are in a higher dollar value range, so moves of 5 dollars at 120 are like moves of 2.50 when you're at 60.00. That said, we're gonna be more volatile, imo.

Governments and the societies that they reflect, especially our governments here in the West, have utterly failed on the energy situation, and now they are going to compound their failure with attacks on oil trading and it looks like soon to be WPT on energy companies, in the UK.

It's so depressing. I'd also like to add that the oil producers have also failed miserably, in their own special ways. Iran? What a pathetic joke. They're all using diesel for power generation, and they have barely even thought about investing in solar, or wind. Oil usage efficiencies and behavior in OPEC countries is stuck in a time-capsule, like something out of the 1960's



Iran? What a pathetic joke. They're all using diesel for power generation

Because they've had a drought and their hydro is at low levels anyway aren't they trying to establish a Nuclear Power Generation Capacity? Solar and Wind? why should they do that if they have uranium?

The point is having sucked out their oil, manipulated their governance, sabotaged the economic development, why shouldn't they trust the west (via the UN) to act in their best interest


Iran? What a pathetic joke

I disagree. They have the most active hydroelectric development program in the world ATM (China & Brazil have slacked off). Over 100 dams (close to 200) at one time !

They are trying to finish their first nuclear reactor and want to build more.

They built their first wind farm (local design/components due to sanctions) and first geothermal power plant.

Plus gasoline rationing. Due to popular backlash, this could be considered a joke :-(


In the context of doing some good things, however, does it not reflect on overall energy policy the extent to which they are importing petroleum products? Iran's import of product has been quite a notable characteristic, for some time. That trend is not going to reverse any time soon, it would appear. Also, why can't we be critical of countries on an absolute basis. Why must we cut countries slack, because they look good on a relative basis? Besides, my knives are not out for Iran, per se. In my post above, I am lashing out at the entire GCC--in addition to the West/OECD. Domestic energy policy is suddenly looking quite unsustainable, in the GCC. Issues with NG supply and power generation are moving much more quickly than I think many have anticipated. Suddenly, to me, it looks like energy policy in oil exporting nations is just a different kind of mess. Oh, and then there's Russia.


Iranian gasoline imports expected to cease in 2012 due to considerable increases in refining capacity and upgrading capacity.

Iran has made strong efforts to conserve their prime export, including a massive effort to support a CNG vehicle fleet and gasoline rationing which brought down consumption by over 100 kb/d--or about 25%. Primary reasons they aren't exporting more NG is need to reinject NG into oil fields to increase pressure and lack of financing.

Their nuclear ambitions need to seen through the perspective that they'd rather sell the oil than burn it.

Here is the graph from the ASPO newsletter, but in color:

Tip of the hat to Chris Nelder who used the graph in his book and pointed me to the source.

I have it in PDF format if anyone wants to use it in a presentation. Just drop me a note.

I've just watched the BBC/Global drama "Burn Up" (shown recently in the UK and Canada) and I'm absolutely amazed it hasn't been discussed here. A search shows that Leanan posted a link to a review of part 1 in DrumBeat: July 25, 2008 but attracted no comments.

I won't give too many spoilers but what starts out to be a movie ostensibly about climate change turns, in part 2, into one hell of an explicit peak oil thriller. Anyone else see it? It's expired from BBC iPlayer but anyone who really wants to see it can find it.

Burn Up (on Wikipedia)

Hi Undertow,

I saw it and I have to say it left me a little disappointed. For a joint BBC production, it had a bit of "Can West Global/ABC Movie of the Week" feel to it and would have been more credible if they had dialled-back some of the anti-Americanism which, as a Canadian, I found rather offensive.


I wouldn't say it was anti-American but certainly anti specific Americans (and of other nationalities for that matter). But there's also the hero/anti-hero element presumably intended to stir things up as the plot progresses and lead to some important plot twists at the end.

Hi Undertow, yeap we watched it, and I tend to agree with Paul above.
But you always know when something has ruffled the feathers of the corporate's over here if the online "Libertarian Marxist????" magazine 'Spiked' bother to get their claws out to rubbish it.
Anything Spiked has a pop at you know is on the right lines. :)
It has the same effect on me as exxon mobil publishing full page ads to say there is plenty more oil, ahay yeah right!!!!!


Anyway this is what spiked made of burn up-

And heres what Jeremy Leggett made of burn up- http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jul/26/climatechange.scienc...

oh BTW for anyone interested this is what George Monbiot makes of Spiked http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2003/dec/09/highereducation.uk2

I was really only interested in reading Monbiot's article, and I'm glad I did.

The story of this LM group sounds like a microcosmic version of the story of the American neoconservative movement. The difference being, the ex-Trotskyite faction of the US was able to get their tentacles on someone who had more genuine military power than the entirety of Great Britain: Senator Henry Jackson. The scumbags incubated inside his office and infected Washington, with their goal always military force. Not much point for a US colony like Britain to bother with that, so the LM went after science policy instead.

Are these two stories an illustration of parallel devolution, or both part of a bigger conspiracy?

Hi Rebecca,

Wow, many thanks for the links. George Monboit's article could form the basis of a truly fascinating (and frightening) docudrama. It's a mighty strange world we live in.


Don't know if this has been worked out before (apologies if it has) but I've been trying to visualize global oil consumption.
If I'm correct the global rate of oil production/consumption works out at about 160 cubic meters per second (please correct me if I'm wrong)
A quick search on the net gave up this comparison - Huka Falls in NZ
Maybe some of you will find this handy for PO talks to the uninitiated.
Certainly helped me put "crude from algae" production rates into perspective.


best wishes


My back of the envelope calculations put it at 156 cubic meters per sec for consumption and 150 for production using data from the BP Statistical Review 2008.

Quoting from the review.

Differences between these world consumption figures and world production statistics are accounted for by stock changes, consumption of non-petroleum additives

Hope this helps.

Given your location in the UK you might be interested that the helicopter day at Weston Super Mare last week had 18 helicopters attending. In 2007 they had 68.

Any predictions for the balloon fiesta this week?

best wishes

thanks Kafka

Only 18! As for the balloon fest well they could always ask Bristol City Farm for a couple of these :)


On a serious note, (seeing it sounds like you're in the Bristol area, perhaps you can shed some light on this)
Last week when we drove over the Avonmouth bridge we noticed a huge stock pile of coal beside where you see all the thousands of imported cars.
We've driven over that bridge a thousand times and never noticed such a huge amount of coal before, is it just us not paying attention or is that new?

The Portbury stockyard has a capacity of 600,000 tonnes. Up to ten trains per day can be loaded in the stockyard, supplementing the capacity of the existing Avonmouth rail terminal which is connected to Portbury by a conveyor tunnel.

Bristol Port Company

If you look at the images you'll see the size of the coal stocks. Can't say if they have increased recently or if car space has been given to coal stocks.

Australia's coal exports.

I have to agree with the commies that it is hypocritical for Australia to concern itself with domestic emissions (565 Mt net in 2006) while ignoring emissions from exported coal. At 250 megatonnes per year of coal exports that's about 600 Mt of CO2. LNG exports are now about 16 Mt but may increase. Note this is way out of proportion to Australia's small population.

If the long awaited emissions trading scheme gets going in 2010 it should plan for annual cap reductions of at least 2%. I think coal and LNG exports should be capped as well ie negative growth. Think of it as putting the customer on a diet. Some problems however
1) the US might fill the coal export gap
2) Australian east coast coking coal helps sell west coast iron ore, a double whammy
3) exports have no mechanism for offsets and exemptions like Big Biz is lobbying for.

There could be sweeteners for coal cutbacks, such as more uranium. Big price increases (eg coking coal up 70% in 2007) don't seem to be cutting demand so physical quotas seem like the next step.

A really big problem you forgot to mention:-

4) In Australian politics, coal is king. Neither major party will do anything to hurt the profitability of the coal sector. For Australia's coal emissions they'll continue to throw bucketloads of taxpayer dollars at the "clean coal" fantasy, while doing very little to assist solar, wind and geothermal (coal's competitors). I can't see them doing anything at all to reduce coal exports, in fact they'd rather that topic wasn't even debated.

Several hours of reading all posts on the current
TOD comment blog and then the subsequent study of
all the links saved to favorites...and I have had
some views challenged and some views changed.
The convincing arguments and heart felt sentiments
expressed here are truely stimulating.
This kind of education is usually costly from a monetary stand point.
I used to pay for the wall street journal to tell me
what the market did yesterday and I still pay for 500
channels that have nothing on.
Yet this site is free!!!....go figure.

Fascinating comparison of the charts and tables from ASPO.
Anyone care to discuss? What's the mathematical take on any changing views by ASPO using these statistics?

Newsletter No. 24, December 2002:

Newsletter No. 92, August 2008

Thanks for any assistance in reading complex numbers!


Looks pretty standard to me, but then again I'm not an oil industry expert.

Both show total liquids (sans bio & unconventionals) peaking at c. 30 Gb/a in roughly 2010.

2002 Regular oil peak was c. 60 Mb/d in 2010
2008 Regular oil peak was c. 66 Mb/d in 2010

Then again, polar & NGL figures have been revised downwards for 2010 (since 2002).

The total production rate for all liquids has gone up from 83 Mb/d (2002) to 85 Mb/d in 2010 (2008). That's a 2% rise. Probably well within margin of error, considering the inaccuracy of some of the data sources and the fact that the real world can surprise a bit.

Did you catch something else in the ASPO newsletters that I missed?

Greg Jeffers funny--and pretty accurate--comments on my recent presentation at Sandia Labs of our (mostly Khebab's) work on net oil exports:


Thanks, Jeff. Good job.
Finally got a chance to watch it at work. My partner watched it too, and then wanted me to e-mail him the link.

Great presentation WesTexas.
Very much liked the online linkage between the audio and the slides ..
It would be great to see a few of Matt Simmons' slide shows with
accompanying audio/video presented in the same way.