DrumBeat: November 1, 2008

Where Have All the Peak Oil Believers Gone?

Physical peak oil, which I have no reason to accept as a valid statement either on theoretical, scientific or ideological grounds, would be insensitive to prices. …In fact the whole hypothesis of peak oil – which is that there is a certain amount of oil in the ground, consumed at a certain rate, and then it’s finished – does not react to anything…. (Climate change) is likely to be more of a natural limit than all these peak oil theories combined. … Peak oil has been predicted for 150 years. It has never happened, and it will stay this way. - Dr. Rühl, chief economist of BP

Crude oil is down more than 50% from its high of $147 a barrel. Where are the peak oil believers? the breathless analysts and cheerleaders of the commodity that warned of a Mad Max armageddon?

Gulf petrodollars help UK go green

The fight against climate change will get an unexpected boost today from oil-rich Gulf states which will pledge to invest some of their petrodollar profits in British green energy projects.

The surging oil price over the past year has left parts of the Middle East awash with cash as the rest of the world is squeezed by the credit crunch, making Arab royals some of the few active investors worldwide. The Gulf states have enjoyed a $1.4 trillion windfall from higher oil prices since 2003.

What's the future hold for Canadian oil sands? - interview with Alberta Minister of Finance and Enterprise Iris Evans

Three major concerns that Alberta has relative to the development of the oil sands includes the perception by some that we should be doing more environmentally, the cost and availability of labor, and the cost overall for major projects. Because we are the only ones that appear to be developing major projects of this kind, comparables are not easily discernable so you have to make sure the estimates are appropriate identifying costs correctly and making sure that we can live within those costs, especially with markets the way they are right now.

Oil reserve expert claims world faces ‘oversupply of energy’ problem

ABU DHABI // The world now faces an oversupply, not a shortage of energy, and a peak in oil production is out of sight, according to Nansen Saleri, an oil reserve expert who will bring the contentious peak oil debate to Abu Dhabi this week.

“There’s plenty of energy sources,” he said. “We don’t have an energy shortage problem, we have an energy allocation problem.”

B.C. pipeline still leaking after latest attack

The natural gas wellhead in northern British Columbia damaged in an apparent attack early Friday morning as yet to be repaired, an EnCana official said Saturday.

Alan Boras, a spokesman for the Calgary-based oil and gas company, said crews were looking for the best ways to seal the leak, caused by a small explosion outside Dawson Creek, B.C.

Russia cuts oil duty but exporters disappointed

MOSCOW, Nov 1 (Reuters) - The Russian government cut oil export duties on Saturday, responding to the concerns of top producers who feared making losses on overseas shipments.

However, the cut was far less than oil companies had wanted and it remained unclear whether they would proceed with November export plans or redirect their oil to the domestic market to avoid the duty.

"It was the minimum reduction and it does not significantly raise the appeal of exports," a source at one of Russia's oil companies said.

Drilling caused Indonesian mudslide, petroleum geologists say

LOS ANGELES - Petroleum geologists, polled on the cause of the mudslides from Indonesia's Lusi volcano, say they were caused by oil and gas company Lapindo Brantas, which drilled the Banjar-Panji-1 exploration well.

ASPO November 2008 Newsletter (PDF)

1093. Hubbert’s Line

1094. Is it deliberate ?

1095. Some encouragement

1096. USA Re-evaluated

1097. A King’s Response

1098. ASPO-7 Conference in Barcelona

1099. Oil Depletion Database

Can the U.S. military move to renewable fuels?

In a 1906 planning document, the U.S. War Department imagined, "In 1950, the U.S. military [will be] a highly effective, mobile, and mutually supporting force, protecting all required American interests through dominant air, land, and sea operations powered by a petroleum energy standard that is reliably and economically produced from domestic sources."

That vision came true except regarding the last two words. Oil production in the United States, the largest producer in the world at the beginning of the 20th century, reached its peak in 1970. Today, the United States is the world's largest oil importer, and the U.S. military is the single largest consumer of oil in the world. (For more detail see War Without Oil: A Catalyst For True Transformation.)

Robert Bryce: Paying the price for cheap oil

Falling oil prices may seem good to anyone suffering from the economic crisis. But it will actually hurt our long-term interests.

US refineries still hurting Mexico oil output-Pemex

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Ongoing problems at U.S. refineries continue to force Mexico's state oil monopoly Pemex to periodically cut small amounts of production, the company's chief executive said on Friday. "We have been fluctuating between 2.8 million and 2.7 million barrels per day, depending on the capacity of the ports to load ships mainly because of the refinery problems in the United States," Pemex chief Jesus Reyes Heroles told reporters.

Pemex Training Faulted in Accident That Killed 22

(Bloomberg) -- Petroleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil company, needs better training for offshore workers and improved weather forecasts to prevent accidents such as the one that killed 22 production platform workers last year, according to an independent report.

Panic and disorder led to the death of the workers as they evacuated the Usumacinta platform in the Gulf of Mexico, Mario Molina said today at a press conference in Mexico City. Molina, a Nobel Prize-winning chemist, was hired by the company, known as Pemex, to study the Gulf's deadliest offshore oil accident.

China's Coal Crunch

China’s coal industry operates in a different world. One day the government says there will be a major coal surplus. Another day it warns of a serious deficit, with stocks at many thermal power plants sufficient to manage only seven days of operation. For years, the government has bragged about its efforts to close small coalmines due to inefficiency and unsafe operations. However, this year the government has been asking owners to reopen those same mines.

What went wrong? Some blame the poor forecasting of supply and demand by governmentowned thinktanks, which the government relies on to make industry policy decisions. The government has already expressed dissatisfaction with some research institutes that always take a conservative approach when forecasting energy prices and supplies.

Ahmadinejad Renews Offer for Regional N. Fuel Bank

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad again put forth its proposal for the establishment of a regional nuclear fuel bank when he met with Persian Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdulrahman Attiyah on Wednesday.

Ahmadinejad who received Attiyah in the western city of Khorramabad, Lorestan Province, said, "We can join hands to create a nuclear fuel common market so that the region's nation can benefit from it."

Local diesel shortages likely until mid-November

EDMONTON - The shortage of diesel fuel, which has forced some truckers to make several stops at various stations to fill their tanks, could last into mid-November.

Petro-Canada said Friday it will restart operations at its 125,000 barrel-a-day Edmonton refinery on Sunday, but it could take a month before the facility is fully operational.

Uganda runs out of fuel: Oil tanks stranded

MORE than 100 oil-transporting trucks remained stuck at Malaba border yesterday while Kampala suffered a major fuel shortage.

City motorists were forced into panic buying as some filling stations ran out of fuel for the last two days, causing queues. In some stations, attendants waved ‘move on’ to motorists as they ran out of fuel. Petrol prices shot up from sh2,500 to sh2,800 per litre in a little more than a week.

Set up regional fuel reserves

THE current fuel shortage has again exposed Uganda’s vulnerability in terms of oil supply. For the last two days, vehicles have been lining up for petrol. Some oil companies ran out of fuel altogether! This is not the first time.

VeraSun Preps for Bankruptcy

VeraSun Energy Corp. (NYSE: VSE), a cash-strapped ethanol company that lost big in hedging corn prices, is preparing to file for bankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday afternoon.

Gas falls to $2.46 a gallon

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Gas prices lost more than 4 cents to sell near $2.46 a gallon on average, according to a nationwide survey of filling station credit card swipes.

Food pantry in great need

Brazil said a combination of factors has led to the bare shelves — cost of food, higher fuel prices and an increased need.

“Demand has gone up,” Brazil said. “We used to do 80 families a month, and now we are doing 200 or more.”

That increased demand, along with increased food prices and uncertain economic times, has led to the current shortage.

Economics in crisis: a scientific solution

With stock markets at decadal lows, money markets frozen and recession looming, economics is in the dock. In an Essay this week, Jean-Philippe Bouchaud argues that the economic sciences that failed to predict these events need to up their game. The critical approach to axioms and models that is characteristic of the natural sciences has been suspended, with notions such as the primacy of the marketplace untested, raised to the status of dogma. A revolution in economics is overdue, based on new economic models that give a more realistic representation of the financial markets.

A Last Push To Deregulate

The White House is working to enact a wide array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken government rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.

The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.

Saturn moon oil can solve fuel crisis

MOSCOW: Scientists from the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh have said that judging by the chemical composition of stars in the Milky Way, our galaxy could contain anywhere between 300 and 38,000 highly developed extraterrestrial civilizations potentially capable of contacting planet earth. And that future fuel could come from some distant star.

African experts seek measures to bolster geothermal exploration

Naivasha, Kenya - African energy experts gathered here Friday to discuss the exploration of geothermal gas as a source of clean renewable energy, have decried the slow rate at which most African countries have moved to utilise the resource despite its abundant availability around the continent.

Why Transportation Matters

Facing $10 trillion in public debt and mounting fears of a long-term recession, the next administration’s overriding goal will be to figure out what its priorities are—and which of them it is willing to sacrifice—before laying out a domestic and international agenda.

But for whoever takes office in January, one thing should be abundantly obvious: Our aging infrastructure and outdated transportation policies are desperately in need of repair and reform. If we seriously hope to create more jobs, lower costs for families and workers, and push our economy toward a greener future, we’re going to need some big ideas and bigger action.

The Green Supply Chain Needs an Apollo Program

Dr. John Ehrenfeld, the Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology, offers a more holistic definition of sustainability. “Real sustainability is a vision both more positive and less simplistic: Not merely the opposite of unsustainability, it embraces the possibility that humans and other life will flourish on the planet forever.” At its core, I believe the adoption of true sustainable practices by business and society requires new, progressive leadership.

Dr. H. Thomas Johnson, a professor of Business Administration at Portland State University agrees with Dr. Ehrenfeld that current efforts at "greening" the supply chain are often efforts to become less unsustainable rather than setting a course toward true sustainability. Business is just attempting to tweak the current economic model instead of looking to create a new sustainable paradigm. Dr. Johnson would like to see the promotion of local economic development coupled with holistic management philosophies that apply natural systems to sustainable business practices.

Oil Sands on Front Line in Energy Sector's Battle with Costs

Across the energy spectrum, company executives are pointing the finger at costs, hinting that they will need to fall significantly as oil prices have more than halved from July's all-time highs above $145 a barrel. Natural gas and crude oil producers are targeting their contractors, who didn't hesitate to raise prices when labor markets were tight and costs of materials were skyrocketing.

And costs may already be easing. Last week, ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Jim Mulva noted that costs for the industry were already starting to moderate on the slide in oil prices, including "softness" in rig utilization costs. The company, along with ExxonMobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., has indicated it is sticking to existing spending plans.

Global hegemony and the victims

Washington foreign policy strategists also believe that, if you were to spin the globe and look for real estate for building an American empire, your first stop should have to be the Persian Gulf. Because the dessert sands of this region hold two of every three barrels of oil in the world (Iraq's reserves alone are equal, by some estimates, to those of Russia, the United States, China and Mexico combined!). Apparently, the United States is driven by this theory. Though risk remains high, the main answer is there: to establish unparallel global dominance, seize control of the Persian Gulf first.

Switch off, save electricity

THE Fiji Electricity Authority (FEA) has again reiterated that Viti Levu faces a critical energy crisis with the falling water level of the Monsavu Dam, lack of adequate rainfall to feed the dam and the high cost of back-up diesel generation. The low to average intermittent rainfall over the past three months has made the situation worse.

Alberta oilmen California dreamin'

Sacramento, Calif. -- Canadian oil sands representatives have become regular visitors to this government city in California's Central Valley, where northern Alberta's oil has become a hot topic of discussion.

The reason is not what you may expect. In a state so hungry for energy it's the world's third-largest consumer of gasoline, behind the rest of the United States and China, celebrity governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is waging an aggressive assault on greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

Judge gives red light to green cabs in NYC

NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge blocked the city Friday from requiring all new taxicabs to be fuel-efficient hybrids, hampering Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ambitious goal to make all yellow cabs green by 2012.

The preliminary ruling, released a day before a Saturday deadline, decided the regulations were pre-empted by federal law.

Stealing Gas

After her tank was mysteriously depleted, the author arrived at the only solution: ditching her car. (Sort of.)

Iraq earmarks $15B for reconstruction

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq has earmarked some $15 billion — nearly 25% of its 2009 draft budget — to help rebuild the country's crumbling infrastructure, energy and oil facilities, the finance minister said Saturday.

But Bayan Jabr stressed those funds fall far short of the hundreds of billions of dollars Iraq needs to put its shattered economy back on its feet and appealed to foreign investors to help bridge the gap.

Speaking at a U.S-Iraqi investment conference in Baghdad, Jabr said a government study determined Iraq needs some $400 billion to upgrade its existing infrastructure and build new facilities.

"That is why we have to resort to investment in Iraq ... in many sectors including electricity, oil, oil byproducts, refineries, housing, infrastructure and banks," he said.

West African rebels say no longer want to kill hostages

The leader of West African rebels holding 10 oil workers, including six French nationals, in the Bakassi region of Cameroon said Saturday his group had "changed its mind" about plans to kill them.

"We are not going to kill them. We have changed our mind after a meeting," Ebi Dari, the chief of the Bakassi Freedom Fighters, told AFP.

Russia starts drilling for Venezuelan gas

MEXICO (RIA Novosti) - A Russian drilling platform has started extracting natural gas in the Gulf of Venezuela, the Latin American country's communications ministry said on Friday.

The work is being carried out by Russia's state-owned gas giant Gazprom, which won a tender for the development of Urumaco 1 and Urumaco 2 gas fields under the Rafael Urdaneta project.

The Future of Petroleum: With an unpredictable Middle East, Venezuela becomes a wise alternative

Today there are evidently two major geographical areas with enough reserves to cover the demand of a world increasingly thirsty for energy, as long as proper investments are made to develop their productive potential. These two areas are the Persian Gulf and Venezuela.

Kuwait cuts Asian oil supply

Opec member Kuwait has notified at least two-term customers in Asia that it would cut their crude oil supplies by 5% from November, Reuters has cited industry sources.

Iran tells Total about oil cut sales

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's oil minister said on Saturday France's Total, which buys Iranian crude, had been informed it would receive less oil in line with an OPEC decision to cut output starting November 1, a news agency reported.

Why crude oil prices should not collapse

The recent fall in oil prices have warmed the hearts of many a market watcher. While the immediate sense of relief is undeniable, I foresee a bigger and far-reaching problem in the future as a result of declining crude prices.

Financial crisis has churches worried

With the economy in crisis, congregations around the country are cutting expenses at the very moment many members need help with food, heating bills and gasoline.

Oil notches record monthly drop on US downturn

NEW YORK – Oil prices ended the week with a modest rally Friday but couldn't erase one ugly October: Crude capped its biggest monthly drop since futures trading began 25 years ago, weighed down as a deflated U.S. economy crushes demand for fuel.

Oil's huge collapse — prices fell 32 percent for the month — has stunned oil-producing countries while giving cash-strapped U.S. consumers a rare dose of relief. Pump prices have fallen by about 40 percent since their summer peak above $4 a gallon, a drop that's expected to result in staggering annual savings for American households — well in excess of $100 billion.

"That's a pretty powerful stimulus to consumers," said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank Global Markets in Washington.

Libya's Kadhafi touts energy ties in talks with Russian leader

MOSCOW (AFP) – Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi focused on oil and gas ties in a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Saturday, starting talks which are also expected to touch on arms purchases and nuclear energy.

"Cooperation in the gas and oil sphere is extremely important now. We have common approaches to gas and oil policies," the leader of energy-rich Libya told Medvedev, speaking through a Russian translator.

Brown: Gulf states key to tackling credit crisis

LONDON, England (AP) -- British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Saturday that the oil-rich Middle East has a key role to play in tackling the world economic downturn.

How U.S. policy made oil go up. Then down

Mr. Pickens and plenty of other like-minded investors became convinced that oil had nowhere to go but up, even after it passed the $100 threshold. They trotted out all kinds of charts to make their case that demand was so strong, we would never see cheap energy prices again. Peak oil and overwhelming Chinese demand became their twin mantras. Some analysts, ever eager to get in front of a trend, even started talking up $200 oil.

Too bad they weren't paying attention to a veteran energy economist named Philip Verleger Jr., who insists oil never should have gone much above $70 a barrel; that it did so only because of "a perfect storm" of U.S. policy mistakes, European economic developments and currency shifts; and that it could well end up back in the low $20s before the global economy gets back on its feet.

UAE- ADIPEC to debate Changing Face of Petrodollar among its agenda

The conference is also scheduled to have a session on the "Peak oil debate" with the renowned experts like Christophe Ruehl of BP, Rick Vierbuchen of ExxonMobil, Waleed Al Mulhim of Saudi Aramco and Yoshikazu Kobayashi of the Institute for Energy Economics participating in it.

The session will take up the much-debated questions like whether the world has already reached the peak hydrocarbon production or when will it be reached. The discussions are expected to give an insight into the strategies to be adopted for achieving a correct balance between accelerating production in the short term and supporting production in the long run.

Peak oil apocalyptoids eating crow yet?

We have always argued that the price of oil is at present determined by geopolitics, not geology. But try explaining that to the apocalyptoids...

The limits to growth: The real case for a green new deal

The significance of peak oil and climate change is that the economy can no longer grow - or grow non destructively - because the energy system cannot sustain growth any more. One half of the demand for energy in the economy is the result of the growth process - it is used to build infrastructure, buildings and machinery. But it is increasingly costly to get hold of fresh carbon energy. Even with new technologies of extraction the energy cost for acquiring oil and gas is rising.

Athabasca's woes

It seems like just yesterday -- well, maybe three or four months ago -- that the Athabasca oil sands were being touted as the engine of the Canadian economy, even as they were being castigated for their alleged impact on climate change (which is approximately zero). Still, you'd expect a fall of US$80 in the price of oil to make a bit of a difference, particularly when you're talking about some of the most capital intensive and expensive oil on earth.

This week, Canadian Oil Sands Trust cut its quarterly distribution by 40%. Shell announced that it was slowing expansion plans, thus joining major Canadian-owned players such as Suncor, Nexen and Petro-Canada. TransCanada Corp., meanwhile, has announced that it might delay its Keystone pipeline expansion, which was intended to take oil sands oil to the U.S. Gulf coast.

Oil price fall, crisis may delay US climate, energy policy

The financial crisis and falling oil prices risk setting back attempts by the next US president and Congress to promote renewable energy and the fight against climate change, analysts say.

Australia: Police arrest 25 protesters

POLICE arrested 25 climate-change protesters at one of Australia's largest coal-fired power stations yesterday.

Another four remained chained to machinery yesterday afternoon at the NSW Government-operated Bayswater power station near Muswellbrook in the Hunter Valley, halting electricity production.

Global Warming and Predictions of an Impending Ice Age – Part 4

This is the fourth and final post in a series on the connection between the sun, sunspots, and climate.

re Athabasban woe above, this quote, Where the heck do they get that from?

'even as they were being castigated for their alleged impact on climate change (which is approximately zero).'

Re: Peak oil apocalyptoids eating crow yet? (linked uptop)

No worries. Oil prices have crashed to a level more than three times higher than the nominal price that prevailed from 1986 to 1999 (and a few dollars below the average price for 2007, which was $72), so this is definitive evidence that we can have an infinite rate of increase in our consumption of a finite fossil fuel resource base.

It has put a crimp in my plans for an infinite increase in the price of our fossil fuel resource base. However, I'm still hanging onto those royalty trusts. They continue to send, perhaps a somewhat smaller, check every month.

Of course, Peak Oil isn't really about prices, it's about production. To the extent this site or its contributors, or (most likely) its readers linked the price rise to Peak Oil, we have brought upon ourselves these questions as the price of crude drops.

The temptation to say I told you so was great, and I said to my Board of Directors that I didn't expect energy prices to go down this Summer. But the lesson to learn here is to steadfastly emphasize the production numbers. They make the point, though not in a way that works in a 8-second sound byte.

Of course, Peak Oil isn't really about prices

Not so fast Round Tripper.

The "production" (or more correctly the "locating and extraction") of oil is a costly thing. Unless you're Jed Clampett and happen to own a piece of land from which crude comes a bubbling up in response to a single BB shot, there are big moneys to be paid for exploring, drilling and development. Price does affect production (asymmetrically though --higher prices don't guarantee more oil). We talk about low hanging fruit. What we're really talking about is cheap-to-get-at oil versus expensive-to-get-at oil.

It's a complicated world.
We need to run complicated models in our heads (ELM, etc.).
Global oil production may drop exactly because prices are low (temporarily).
And if that happens, we may very well have seen the peak of global production of conventional oil.

apocalyptoids ? have doomers moved into a new, more prestegious realm ?

No, that is what they are calling anyone who visits these sites. Including you.

apocalyptoids? Sounds to me like the next marketing brand name for a new and improved Altoids{Tm} breathmint.

I will consider it Real Progress when they finally call us 'Hemorrhoids'!

That is when the energy shortages become such an obvious pain in the global collective ass that we can no longer be ignored or denied. Then the world will finally get serious about paradigm shift and Optimal Overshoot Decline. :)

Polaroids: what Eskimo truck drivers get.

Apocalyptoid = extreme Altoid. Far more powerful, and much more fun!

Apocalyptoids: bite 'em for a burst of flavor.

from above link; "Peak oil has been predicted for 150 years. It has never happened, and it will stay this way. - Dr. Rühl, chief economist of BP"


Dr. Ruhl will never die. He has not died yet and therefore he never will.

I think last year we were called "peak oil pranksters," so apocalyptoids must be an improvement...it does sound like a really bad-tasting mint, though.

lyptoids has a meaning in german, i know not what.

The dictionary states that the origin of the word is one word not a root+suffix construction. Interestingly, the meaning of the root is to reveal, not the colloquial/religious "end of the world."

[Origin: 1125–75; ME LL apocalypsis Gk apokálypsis revelation, equiv. to apokalýp(tein) to uncover, reveal (apo- apo- + kalýptein to cover, conceal) + -sis

Literally an Apocalyptiod would be "resembling one who reveals or uncovers."

That works...nicely.

i belive wiki says (about apocalypse)something to do with persons endowed with special knowledge about the end of the world.

Amazing, these people who live in the past--in a world of yesterday that was largely controlled by the United States and other developed countries. The arrogance, the self-centered myopia is beyond comprehension.

Another person still living in the world of yesterday is the one cited in How U.S. policy made oil go up. Then down.: Mr. Verleger said "The problem is that most of the people doing the analysis failed to really understand the market."

Denailists like these make it very difficult for people, like Gordon Brown, who must live in the real world. The world he lives in is revealed in Brown: Gulf states key to tackling credit crisis

Once upon a time the U.S. had the capital and the Gulf countries had the oil, almost an unlimited sea of oil. In that bygone era, as Argentine economist Raul Prebisch pointed out, there were deep structural inequalities that divided the global economy between the developed and the undeveloped world. Volatile commodity prices and capital investment reinforced first world advantage over third world disadvantage.

But low and behold, a new era has dawned. Now the Gulf countries have both the oil and the capital. That gives genesis to statements like this: "Ultimately, power will transfer from the West to the East. The Middle East understands that they have the whip hand and they need to be wooed," said Jeremy Batstone-Carr, head of research at the Charles Stanley investment firm in London.

In the past, when it was the U.S. that had the capital, and some oil producing country got into financial trouble, the U.S. could cut off credit to make it "scream," as Nixon put it, in order to gain favorable economic or political concessions.

Now that the U.S. has neither capital nor oil, and it is the United States that is in financial trouble, it will be interesting to see if the Gulf countries make the United States "scream."

This statement pretty much says it all: "money will only be forthcoming if regional leaders get more power in any new world economic order."

Yes, we can increase consumption but no infinitely.

So, new seismo-electromegnetic (SEM) phenomenon in hydrocarbon deposits (www.phenemenon-in-oil-accummulation.weebly.com )can increase oil field discoveries in three times every year.

Some of us understood there has been recessionary pressure on the economy since fourth quarter of 2007 and suspected the financial crisis might restrain demand. I now think the U.S. has essentially been in a recession since fourth quarter of 2007 irrespective of the reported GDP statistics.

Will Oil Hit $150 / bbl? post on page 4, BBR, May 11, 2008 (you have to be a logged-in member to access the link)

When I posted this thread, I was considering whether I should set the peak at $150 or $200 by the end of year. I chose $150 because the U.S. is heading into recession which will reduce demand in this country in addition to a rising price causing demand destruction. A recession in the U.S. would likely cause a worldwide recession except in oil exporting countries further reducing demand. I was thinking these factors would prevent a doubling of the price in less than a year.

I think the price of crude oil is currently undershooting and will rise to something between $70 and $100 / barrel where it will plateau for a while. See the price and depletion graph posted somewhere on TOD in support of volatility with overshoot followed by undershoot. With OECD countries outputting crude oil at their maximum rate, OPEC has the power to restrict production to set the price to what they want. I also think the strengthening of the U.S. dollar is a temporary consequence of the financial crisis and will resume declining (causing the price of oil to rise) after the worst part passes, that is, after fourth quarter of 2008. The world will eventually try to come out of recession (or depression) and, as long as we remain dependent, our crude oil consumption will rise until we bump into the global production limit causing the price of crude oil to skyrocket above $150 / barrel. The price will continue to rise until demand destruction (or other related economic maladies) sends it down to a new lower bound and us back into recession/depression. This cycle will continue with an ever declining ceiling for oil production and rising price peaks as long as the policies of politicians and businessmen cling to a dogmatic vision of business-as-usual. Suing OPEC, gas tax holidays, suspending additions to or releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and "drill, drill, drill" will not work. This prediction assumes a major war does not occur within its time frame.

There, I have put my prediction on TOD's servers for all to see. Will I eat crow?

Hello TODers,

Is the warming of Antarctica responsible for the bat dieoff? Or was it just some far-ranging eco-tourist that is responsible?

Fungus May Be Culprit In Deadly Bat Epidemic

..Now, researchers have identified the mold they consider a possible cause of the disease, reporting their findings Thursday in the online edition of the journal Science. It's a fragile, unusual form of Geomyces fungi, which usually live in cold places such as Antarctica, says David Blehert, lead author of the study.

..The fungus — found on the noses, ears, wings and skin of the infected bats — flourishes at temperatures between 41 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Seeking Clues To Syndrome's Source

Now that scientists have a sample of the fungus's genetic code, they can test for it in other places. They want to know its source, because that might provide a clue to how the epidemic started. Right now, they think something — maybe a person, maybe an animal — carried a trace of this fungus into Howes Cave in upstate New York, 30 miles west of Albany...
Bob Shaw in Phx,Az Are Humans Smarter than Yeast?

Those filthy eco-tourists!

Ecotourism will probably decline over the next few years. Not that anything will be safe, since we'll be in the middle of catabolic collapse and people will be eating the bats.

Hello DIYer,

AFAIK, they have never positively identified the source of the Ebola virus. If the African Overshoot really gets into eating all bushmeat [the last gorillas in the Congo?]--then someone may accidentally find, then subsequently spread a 'white-nose fungi' through the Global Overshoot.

IMO, Mother Nature is pretty proud of her wonderful evolutionary process that gave sonar targeting and navigation to bats, dolphins, etc. I don't think she will treat us kindly when they go extinct. Death from a million mosquito bites won't be much fun. :(

I didn't mean that as a recommendation for Chez Roadkill. Just that we are headed for catabolic collapse. Africa is so far into overshoot they'll probably just starve.

There was an excellent documentary on this a while back - the answer is bats - and the increased pressure on habitats makes for some dire outcomes for increasing urban fringe populations.


Volatility, crashes, contradictions, instability, surges, flows etc. are clearly a big part of our econimic system, along with extraordinary rates of production, wealth creation and change; yet massive destructiveness, collosal waste and misallocation of resources sacrificed for short-term, narrow gain, lack of longterm strategic planning, are also characteristic.

Is the fall in the price of oil a good or a bad thing, and over what timescale, and for whom? Does this signal and indicate that we are entering a long and deep depression or something else? We sometimes talk about a U-shaped recession or a V-shaped one, yet Joe Stiglitz has talked about the L-shaped recession as well.

It's not just oil that's crashing. It's virtually all metals, minerals and even food prices. The costs of shipping are way down as the economy and world trade contracts and orders fall. It's only an anecdote, but my neighbour who runs an enormous home and building supply super-store, told me yesterday that his place had seen a 60% fall in sales over the last month, far below what one would expect for this time of year.

At the rate things are going, over the medium term, a second Great Depression, will alter the world far more than we think and push concern for peak oil to one side for years to come.

Expansion of culitvated land and use of pesticides to increase food production may have contributed to a die off of insects that were the source of food for the bats. The loss of habitat and increasing human populations encroaching on wooded margins outside of towns and cities has resulted in the loss of habitat of woodland species. Lawn and garden applications may have eliminated a substantial parts of the bat food chain. One of the culprits blamed for the loss of bee populations were pesticides. Without pesticides the bugs might inherit our food supply.

push concern for peak oil to one side for years to come.

Such as it was, of course.

Personally, I'm happy to get a few more months to prepare. Unless the world economy really drop outs (possible), we won't get much more than a few months, though. Mexico's net export decline rate alone is a big factor. Add all the other countries whose net exports are declining and events should unfold more or less per the ASPO projection. (Tip of the hat to westexas for the decline rates shown below.)

Net Oil Mexico Decline 2007

Given Mexico's erratic history of oil production (it will take a hell of a creaming curve to smooth Mexican oil production into a 'bell curve' if you use the chart shown as an starting place!), I am not surprised by their current decline, what I am most surprised by is that we ever came to rely on them at all for anything.

Westexas's strongest cases are still the two that he uses frequently...U.S. Texas production and British North Sea. Here you had two reliable producers with the best tools money could buy, political and economic stability, and a history of producing what was possible and letting the market do the rest. Once Texas declined, no amount of money or effort could bring it back and Britain now looks set on the same course. The strongest arguments for true geological peak worldwide in the Hubbert sense (not bulletproof arguments, but by far the strongest) are still the cases of Texas and North Sea.


Of course, the primary contributor to Mexico's production decline and net export crash is the natural decline of their largest oil field, the second largest producing field in the world.

As you noted, peaks happen, even in the best of circumstances--in regions managed by private companies, using the best available technology, with virtually no restrictions on drilling. Since the prevailing conventional wisdom is that producing regions never decline because of natural depletion, I have suggested alternative reasons for the Texas and North Sea declines (Communist takeovers and Tofu Wielding Vegan terrorist takeovers respectively).

Minor note, the North Sea data consists of the UK + Norway, in addition to some smaller countries.

An L-shaped recession? Does that mean splat with no recovery? There will probably be some kind of recovery. Which letter of the alphabet it resembles is anyone's guess.

I think the stock market may be just now entering an unprecedented phase of it's life where recessions and recoveries don't matter like they did. If you look at what has led us into the bull, retail and small caps, and also led the turn into the bear, you see something interesting.

The small caps and retail were ahead of the broad market in seeing this recession, the RLX retail index peaking clear back in February '07 and the small caps in June whereas the broad market didn't peak untill October. Both the RLX and Russell small cap index began a clear turn upward just two months ago, apparently operating per the usual market cycles and seeing a conventional recession recovery out about 6 to 12 months:

The broader market didn't start to turn up, but the leading edge did. But then the market seemed to take on a new behavior. Instead of the normal recession/recovery cycle, the market now seems to be concerned with the much more mammoth global debt buildup and resolution cycle. Forced debt liquidation, credit flow, and the state of the debt world in general may have hijacked stock behavior away from recessions and all the usual stuff. Despite the debt problem being around for years, this morph has only happened in the last month or so.

This would fly in the face of the view that the bear market is over. It may have just entered a more dangerous phase controlled more by the falling dominos in the debt world. If you view the multi-year support line in the above chart as the boundary for "normal", we've not strayed very far from it (650 to about 550) suggesting that, despite all the turmoil we've seen already, there may be more to go.

"There will probably be some kind of recovery. Which letter of the alphabet it resembles is anyone's guess."

I'm guessing "q".

This recovery has been brought to you by the number '7'.

If you view the multi-year support line in the above chart as the boundary for "normal", we've not strayed very far from it (650 to about 550) suggesting that, despite all the turmoil we've seen already, there may be more to go.

Talk about an understatement. Virtually all those who have been calling this thing all along are saying the bottom isn't in sight (Roubini, Schiff, Denninger, Rogers, et al.). I agree.

1. Many, many more mortgage defaults to come over the next two years. I think we go back to, at minimum, 2002 prices in the US.

2. Short-term, trade is dying, at least according to the oft-quoted dry whatever index.(Sorry, bad with names.) Down over 90%? Half of the toy factories in China shut down... ALREADY?

3. Is there any way on god's green earth #2 doesn't start resulting in shortages in the very near future? Are cascading shortages/failures far away? I think not.

4. Banks taking the bailout funds and....putting them in the bank, i.e. their vaults. That's going to get loans moving!

5. It's global in a way that has never, ever been seen before. If everybody is sick, who plays the doctor?

6. By the time this major downturn of 5 to 10 years is over, we'll be well into the downside of Hubbert's for crude oil. Even with a conservative net decline rate of 5.7 and a negative demand curve of 1% we'd need between 17 and 20 mb/d of new oil by 2012/13. That's 33 or 34 mb/d by 2020. That's a new OPEC. Ain't gonna happen. In the meantime, we've used up between 55% and 65% of the 2 trillion barrels of crude available, which would indicate terminal decline will be obvious and pervasive by then. In general, reduced oil production = reduced GDP.

So, whence the recovery?

7. Where are the funds for development of either renewables OR the dirty stuff? They're already drying up.

Etc., etc.

This is the beginning of the end of BAU.


For me, a frightening thing is that me - and many others like me - had our retirement savings invested in the oil exploration sector.

We thought we had a wise investment. We were wrong. It is not only my retirement that has been decimated, its also the careers of many oil workers dismissed from cancelled contracts.

Next time we have to go to the Middle East, hat in hand, over the next run-up in price - most likely as a result of lines at the pump and cancelled deliveries to business, will anyone over there pay attention?

Or will they remember what happened the last time they put an all out effort into a production surge? Would they want to invest? Me, I no longer have anything TO invest!

As for Helicopter Ben, may he hover over the financial world ablaze with financial problems with his bucket of water and his half-percent teaspoon.

The one bright spot in all my dissappointment is that I will probably not pay a dime in income tax for the next five years due to capital losses.

I wonder how the government, in consideration of drops in market value being reflected in capital losses against taxes, will pay for this humongous mess?

Its not like they can cut out restaurant meals and full price new stuff like I can.

hardhat, you said,
"For me, a frightening thing is that me - and many others like me - had our retirement savings invested in the oil exploration sector."

O.K., O.K., let's just stop right there for a second...does that not confuse anybody but me? ;=?

Here we are saying that oil is going to be in such short supply that the whole Western world is on the edge of collapse...that oil will be so valuable very soon that it is very possible that bloody wars may be fought over it...that oil is such a valuable commodity that the economies of whole nations, including the rapidly rising superstar China will DIE without it....

Now, bear with me here, bear with me here...then we say that when the bankers, who are sitting on at least nigh on a trillion bucks just given to them by Unc' Sam, plus whatever they were hoarding before, and the Chinese and the Saudi's who are sitting on PILES AND PILES of U.S. dollars, and when some comes to them and says "we can invest some of that in oil exploration and development, you know to develop that oil that the world is DYING for, that oil that is so valuable that whole cultures will pay almost anything to get it to salvage their existance, these banks and countries with piles of U.S. paper will say..."naw, I think we'll just leave it in the vault...to...?" DO WHAT, ROT?

rot's the word, what a bunch of rot...people need to think these things through a bit...


Thanks for the reply, Roger.

Its an honor to get a reply from you, as I have a great respect for you having read your posts.

I guess I am still miffed with myself for not selling ( like everyone else seemed to ) back at the end of June, as I kept reading the depletion, inventories, and production status. I had deluded myself into thinking we were in one helluva paradigm shift. I have read Twilight in the Desert ( Matt Simmons )and The Coming Oil Collapse ( Stephen Leeb ) and verified Oil was the best place to be in the 70's during the last economic downturn.

I had no idea that we were about to be swamped with a tsunami of surplus oil related to the economic crisis. I figured this mortage-backed-security thing was pretty minor and would be confined to a bunch of gullible investors led on by the same type of people who got homebuyers to agree to flakey loan terms. Even I knew those things were financial toxic waste - I certainly did not figure professional bankers would take them seriously. Neither did I have the foggiest idea that the world financial systems would buy them either.

I kept seeing the dollar losing value, and rooting it along. I figured this was just the way the world had of forcing America to do something useful instead of all this service sector that seems to provide nothing of value to the world. As a 58 year old unemployed electrical engineer, I was hoping this would make American work more affordable to the world, and maybe work for me would open up. I am so bored waiting around living off savings until I get onto Social Security, then waiting for the grave. I wanna do something useful. But working as a greeter at Wal Mart is not my cup of tea.

Business in America sees a loan originator worth a couple hundred thousand dollars a year... why don't they even want an engineer interested in building evap-cooler icebank-based HVAC systems that are specifically designed for off-peak energy usage? Or interested in alternative refrigerants ? ( plain old barbeque gas, propane, makes a great refrigerant! You just wanna keep the refrigeration loop outside just in case of a refrigerant leak, hence the ice bank with its chilled water loop ).

Nobody seems to want to do any research on building things better when we can just import it from China. It makes me sick to see us importing everything while our own people do such useless stuff.

I don't know if this is too late for you to read, and normally I would not post such a diatribe on TOD, but by now the thread is stale.


i listened to them talk about it on science Friday, the expert they had on danced around saying what you just suggested. Frankly i think your right, and i think we will see more of it in the future as nasty's such as this move from one area to a another due to changing climate and new, or should i say old, ones are released from hibernation after being frozen in permafrost for century's.

More evidence of the "Cheap is the new chic" trend, in the New York Times, regarding holiday parties:


BTW, another story from the front lines of the credit contraction. We just a got a credit card notice that our single digit interest rate was being raised to over 20% (we have no balance), and if we objected, they would just cancel the card.

I think a big reason for that is impending legislation that would not allow them to change the interest rate on you like that. The current credit card model is built on fees and penalty interest rates. That's how they make up for the increased defaults in bad times. But Congress had taken notice, and are cutting off that source of profits. So they are raising interest rates now, while they can, especially on customers they see as being "risky." What makes you risky? The neighborhood you live in (lots of foreclosures is bad, even if you're in good shape), the industry you work in, the stores you shop in (Target is apparently a target).

I wonder if sub-20% interest rates will virtually disappear.

Maybe, but I'm still being offered 0% for the first year, no balance transfer fee.

The basic pattern seems to be that extraordinary teaser rates are being offered to people who don't need or want credit.

I get the same offers every month, and they all go into the shredder.

PS: Interesting anecdote. If you rip up the application, then tape it back together and send it in, it will be approved. Read about some guy who tired it a while back.

All I can say is read the fine print on the back.

Credit card companies have grown very clever in their accounting methods, which monies are assessed which rate, and their right to "change the terms of this agreement at any time for any reason". Yes, I have found that exact phrase in the fine print of every credit card offer I have received for the past year.

I have ditched all of my cards, sans one I have had for years, as I felt so insecure agreeing to their legalese.

Grab it with both hands. I would never turn down a 0% with no fee offer, although I don't get them anymore. Put the money in a CD and pay off the whole thing after a year. It's easy money. I've done it several times.

I'm waiting for 3.9% until paid off (with a modest fee) to come back. Might be a very long wait for me because I've got a lot borrowed at that rate.

I'm not sorry I did it either. It'll take 25 years to pay it off and I'll be dead by then.

I've taken the "free money" occasionally, but only if I was prepared to pay it off immediately if necessary. Just in case.

It's a little easier now, with automatic online billpaying, but I really hate the hassle of being in debt. You just know they're waiting for any mistake, so they can jack the interest rate up, start charging fees, etc.

" What makes you risky? "

i think it is because he is a geologist!

Definition of a successful geologist--one who has a spouse with a good job.

I think that was a 'drummer' joke. (Not 'oil drummer', however)

I got a similar notice the other day for a credit card (also no balance). I called and canceled it. I enjoyed telling them it was because of the interest rate, as if it matters.

I suspect it's a big fat bluff. I've canceled two credit cards in my life, both times because of a "stealth" rate increase. Both times letters failed and I had to go sit down with the banker at the local branch and have them do it for me. The first time I had to go twice! They love you and will never let you go on purpose.

I also agree that they're zapping you to beat the legislation.

Hello TODers,

If scientists can ever figure out how to safely extract methane hydrates without setting off huge tsunamis and/or gigantic methane releases, then we could have huge legal battles [or wars?] over undersea property rights.

Japan is about to more than double in size [see graphic in link]:

Government to make larger continental shelf claim

..If approved by the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, Japan's seabed resources development claims would grow by about 740,000 square kilometers, nearly double the country's entire land area.

The seabed around the Japanese archipelago contains a bounty of methane hydrate, which could be used as an alternative to petroleum, and various mineral resources in hydrothermal deposits. If the planned enlargement of the claim on developing seabed resources is approved, Japan could tap this vast wealth as part of the nation's natural resources development rights.

I would rather they don't. the world is straining at 6.5 billion. any higher and any crash might mean total death of anything bigger then a mouse, if that big.

According to a previous thread in THD methane hydrates will never be viable as a fuel source. Who is right?

Ah the old "we simply need to kill half of the people", or "let's outlaw babies". Personally I, and I think many others, would go to war over that. Does it really need to be explained why this is ?

Because you think war is a more efficient way to reduce population?

(Sorry, that one was just to easy to pass up.)

Show me a young woman with any education who wants to have more than one baby (if that many) and who doesn't know how to use birth control in any developed country, and I will worry more about population. The two best things to control population are female education and prosperity. Everywhere these two things are achieved the population rate flattens fast, and soon will begin to drop when the biggest population bulge in history begins to pass through. The boomers see the world through the boomer lense. It would help if they looked at the bigger picture now and then.


Lots and lots of women want more than one child. I know many women with 1, 2 or 3 who really WANT more, but just don't think they can afford them. Pretty much all are college graduates, and many have jobs. Most are upper middle class -- $100K+ households. People LIKE having kids.

Every form of existing birth control fails, except sterilization, in my experience. I have living proof in my household, four times over (some adopted). Note than 99% effectiveness of the Pill, which is on the high-side once you take drug interactions and other effectiveness-compromising conditions such into account, still yields about a 50/50 chance of pregnancy for every woman eventually. Add human error and it's probably more like 80-90% over a reproductive life.

If you're not an abortion supporter, your options are limited. Getting snipped is the only solution until better chemical control is available (if it ever is).

First of all, recognise that two births per woman is below replacement levels.

The grandparent said:
"Show me a young woman with any education who wants to have more than one baby (if that many) and who doesn't know how to use birth control in any developed country, and I will worry more about population."

This praphrases to:

Population is not a concern for me, unless young women exist who
Have any education AND
want multiple children AND
don't know how to use birth control AND
live in a developed country.

The arguemnt is badly worded and overqualified. Being education and ignorant in this context is mutually exclusive, and having an intent of multiple children renders the knowledge of birth control irrelevant.

I can show you Australia, a country with growing net oil imports, crises in soil and water and a generally acknowleded carrying capacity below current population, in which the previous Government instituted and expanded special lump sum payments to almost all mothers and urged families to have "one for mum, one for dad and one for Australia".

These policies remain, in spite of a change in Government.

Paleocon your argument is also a bit vague; in your second sentence you claim that you know many women who choose not to have children, thus supporting the GP! I am confident that your 99% chance is not per cycle but per woman, and that it already takes into account the conditions you mention. The pill has significant shortcomings, but to suggest that it doesn't have a significant effect on population growth seems bizarre. By claiming that all birth control fails, you're ignoring the thousands of successes per failure! As a tool to lower population growth in a society overall, it's a great success.

I'm not sure that 0 births per year is a target we should be aiming for.

RE: Economics in crisis: a scientific solution


Also see: Charlie Hall's work - http://www.esf.edu/EFB/hall/

yesterday datamunger stated the following:

"In addition, this past August we used only 3.3% more oil than we did in August of 1978 exactly 3 decades before."

well, i did some digging and as you might guess, things are a little different in '08, than they were in '78 (and i'm not talking about liesure suits either)

in the late 70's more crude oil was used for heating and electricity generation. as an illustration, in recent history august has typically been the peak month for crude oil consumption and in the late 70's the peak month was always a winter month.

in the last yr(ending august '08) we are using about a quarter trillion cubic feet more natural gas per month than we did in the year ended 8'78. on an energy equivalent basis, this amounts to about 1.5 million barrels per day. taking into account the increased ng usage, instead of a 3.3% increase i estimate a 15% increase in '08 vs '78.
my estimate includes a 6.5% increase in crude oil. this is on an annual average, (not the august peak).


Your exactly right, but I am not sure your proving the point you intended to, in fact, I am not sure what point your trying to prove...but the changeover to natural gas and the change in the energy consuming environment in the last 30 years is an interesting point of history to learn from...

Note that datamunger did not say that "energy consumption" had grown only 3.3%, but said, factually correctly, that oil consumption had grown only that much. This site is called "The Oil Drum" after all, and I hear people make the case that oil consumption has gone up by huge amounts over the last 20 plus years with the use of automobiles and especially Sport Utility Trucks. Overall, total U.S. oil consumption has not gone up that much, BUT, and this is big, the percent of American oil consumed that goes to transportation has increased greatly as a percent of the total consumed, while oil consumption in industry and electrical power production has almost disappeared and oil consumption to heat homes and buildings has dropped greatly.

In other words, and I know folks here come off the rails when someone says this, but it is the truth, Peak Oil is esentially a transportation problem. If you can remove or greatly reduce the amount of oil used in transportation, then peak oil becomes nothing more than a minor annoyance.

That's why there are folks who accept the core idea of peak oil(such as me :-) (finite resource, which by definition will run out if you keep using it) and even accept the real possibility that peak may (not certain) but may occur soon, or, depending on how you define peak, may have already occured BUT do not accept the hysterical catastrophist theories and most certainly do not accept the need to return to some kind of primitive fantasyland.

I remember in the 1970's, when Northerners complained of the pain caused by the extreme high oil prices that the Texans had bumper stickers saying "let the bastards freeze in the dark!" We have not forgotten how arrogant the oil producing states were in those days (the OPEC gang has certainly been no harsher than our own American brethren could be) Of course that threat sounds silly now, since oil no longer provides light or much heat, and what heat it does provide can be replaced by propane, natural gas or electricity if the price of oil gets too high.

But transportation, that's a different matter. Oil can be replaced in transportation and it will be, but it is not an easy task. It requires more engineering, more willingness on the part of the customer because it is not "transparent" i.e., unlike electric power which feels the same to the customer no matter where it comes from, in transportation, the change away from oil may call for some changes in habit on the part of the buyer. It will also cost money.

What most people have not seemed to notice however is that oil as the "driving force" or the developed economies of the world has essentially been driven out over the last 30 years, with the huge exception of transportation. That will certainly be fixed, but we are waiting very late to do it. And every time we get started on the path to alternatives, the oil producers yank the price back down to break the momentum (gasoline today in Lexington KY, $1.87...no one is going to sacrifice any convenience or habit to change if gasoline is that cheap). But the change will come. We can do it with relatively little pain if we start now and move fast, but if we wait, it could be very disruptive (although I now believe that the change away from oil in transportation will be no more disruptive, and probably less than the recent "banking crisis/credit crisis/real estate/Housing crisis has been)

Each and everyday I am more certain that "peak oil" will absolutely not be the primary cause of economic collapse, starvation, power blackouts, culture collapse or world wars. These things may or may not happen in the future, but peak oil won't be the primary cause. No one is going to allow the destruction of the whole modern western culture simply over a liquid fuel for transportation problem. They may just decide to do the right thing and change fuel and or vehicles, but this is not the issue that will end the modern world as we know it, and people who claim it will only make themselves look like silly hysterical cultists. Sorry, that's just the way it is. (oh, and trying to link the recent economic crisis to "peak oil" comes across as just as silly. Peak oil is real, oil depletion is real. We may not know when, but they are real.) It's these wild hysterical scenarios that are very dubious, and I am putting that politely)


So we've used less oil in things like home heating and electricity production... and we've replaced it with natural gas. What do the North American natural gas discovery and production curves look like? I mean, we can't possibly be facing peak natural gas, can we...?

Well, maybe we are. And what does it mean if oil and natural gas peak? We do like we've done in the past: we substitute. At the end of the day we can go heat and cool our houses with electricity, and cook food with electricity... Transportation is going to be tough, but I figure that we'll see alot more electified rail and more electric/hyprid vehicles. Look at the following below to see where we are at with electricity generation:

Note the very small use of oil. Natural gas is here, but if that peaks it's a small piece of the pie we can fill in with nukes, coal, or renewables.

Coal is fun here too... There are already grumblings of Peak Coal. This is half of our electricity production, folks.

So this is 3/4 of our electricity production that is nonrenewable and therefore will peak. These nonrenewables are also the feedstocks for industries that produce steel, fertilzers and plastics. They are indrectly responsible for virtually everything we see, do, or touch... There are bound to be discontinuities beyond transportation.


You ask, "I mean, we can't possibly be facing peak natural gas, can we...?"

Matthew Simmons once said that peak natural gas could be a far more serious problem than peak oil, and I think he may be right. Gas is hard to measure, flow rates seem to vary widely depending on source, and it depletes faster when extracted hard than oil, so it is very unpredictable. I have heard projections of "we are in deep doo doo" to "we have decades, maybe a century of clean abundent natural gas" and everything in between. It's very hard to know how much gas we have and very hard to price it.

The chart you use shows the interconnected nature of energy use in todays world. If we can reduce waste of natural gas in heating and other uses, we free up a great deal of energy. As technology makes it more possbile to use the grid to power transportation, the ability to switch between fuel sources increases, but at some considerable expense.

Coal is a real bear to deal with. Even if you look away from the carbon release issue (and the world is not likely to do that) it is extremely destructive in it's extraction (mountaintop removal blasting destroying whole ecosystems, water pollution issues, etc.) and requires a lot of infrastructure to move about. There are already strains between the coal industry and the rail industry regarding pricing of transport, and a big increase in coal use will mean the need for a big increase in rail infrastructure. Peak coal, at least for the rest of our natural lives, is essentailly a logistical problem, not a shortage of resources problem, and an environmental issue.

IF we make the choice to use natural gas and propane in transportation, we MUST at the same time greatly increase the efficiency of most of the vehicles it will go in (i.e., plug hybrid cars and electric rail). It would be a crime to waste our endowment of the cleanest and most chemically useful fuel we have by just burning it away in the type of cars we now have. To me, the Pickens Plan, while an excellent starting place, needs to really stress the need for huge gains in vehicle efficiency before natural gas is even considered for use in transportation.

Either way, using natural gas, wind and solar directly are still better uses than using it to try pull sunshine out of a corncob to create ethanol.


"I mean, we can't possibly be facing peak natural gas, can we...?"
I just reply with a popular slogan: YES WE CAN!

According to BP data US natural gas production had its highest peak in 1971, North American gas production peaked in 2001 and European natural gas production had its last peak in 2006 (and probably won't rise any more even in Russia, according to a IEA WEO 2008 draft).
So let's pray for a merciful gas-OPEC.

For the USA Colin Campbell has more details:

Gas production commenced in the 1930’s as a market developed. It depletes differently from oil, with production being generally capped below capacity by the pipeline infrastructure. The resulting plateau of production is now coming to an end, giving rise to higher prices, which has prompted a new drilling boom. But the new wells are produced at maximum rate and, as a result, are depleted within a matter of months. Some extra late-stage gas is being obtained by the tapping of the gas caps of oilfields during their dying days. Gas production reached a peak of 22 Tcf/a in 1973 since when it has followed a plateau in the 15 to 20 Tcf/a range. Some 85% of the total endowment has now been produced, suggesting that production will decline steeply at about 9% a year into the future. The production of natural gas liquids, now running at about 1.9 Mb/d, will fall in parallel with the gas. There are, in addition, large amounts of non-conventional gas in the form of coal-bed methane, and in so-called tight reservoirs, contributing about 10% of total supply. Electricity demand is growing, with many gas-fired generators under construction. As a result, the United States will have an increasingly desperate need to tap Arctic gas, possibly draining Canada in the process.

"Note that datamunger did not say that "energy consumption" had grown only 3.3%, but said, factually correctly, that oil consumption had grown only that much."

well, not really, datamunger compared august '08 with august '78.... and as i explained: in the late '70's august was never the peak month for oil consumption. and as i further explained, using an annual average ending 8'78 and 8'08, respectively, consumption has increased by 6.5%.

february '08 consumption was 5.3% less than february '78 consumption. now would it be factually correct to say that oil consumption is 5.3% less in '08 than '78 ?

and i dont know that i am trying to prove anything. i read datamunger's post, his figures didn't sound right, i checked facts(based on government statistics) and reported what i found.

yes, this is the oil drum and you will see all sorts of misleading data and statistics herein.

and i dont think you have ever heard me forecast doom, although i dont think we are in for easy street either.


Point well taken, and thanks for the clarification. And I agree absolutely. It will not be easy street. In fact, it is already showing signs of not being easy street. We survived the 1970's energy crisis and recession but it was no fun. Young people today have no idea what a real recession looks like. They will be shocked.



This is WOT but it's Saturday. Some time in the last week I looked at a site that had some links to "Gulching", i.e., people who were trying to imitate Galt's Gulch from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I forgot to bookmark the site so I could check it out later. So...anyone have any links to "Gulching" sites? Thanks.


I'm looking at this one, just to see what you're talking about.


I have a mildly morbid fascination with Rand.. but have never felt any attraction to her themes.

It's protected by a high-tech invisibility screen, which is designed to prevent the place from being found.

It's a "retreat for the rational", a place to reenergise and spend time with like-minded people.

... is that a retreat FOR the rational, or an appealing fantasy, ie, occasionally retreating FROM rationality? I don't have a problem with Fantasy, as long as it is understood AS Fantasy, and not as some wish for how a perfect world could be.. She sure knew how to bake some fine Libertarian Candy, eh?


Thanks Bob,

It wasn't the freeper post but the original one at The Automist that they linked to.


One of my favorite headlines in recent news cycles has been "Alan Shrugged". A bit of ironic dark humor.

Re: ASPO November 2008 Newsletter

The large Canadian lakes drain into the Atlantic ocean via the Saint Lawrence river, not the Hudson river in New York state.

Yeah, whoever wrote that piece knows less about the US than he thinks he does. Aside from the opinion passed as fact which is a feature of all of the ASPO country assessments, this one seemed to have a lot of statements made from unchecked memory.

i though it offered an honest and unique perspective on the history of the us.

that one about the king of sa causing the stock market bubble is a little out there.

It's hard to believe this film and its companion book is 60-years old, but it suggests achieving good fuel economy was as much of a concern in 1948 as it is today.




Global Recession

One Russian was suffering grief over the economic recession in Moscow. There was a time when money was flowing and consumption was easy. Now there is time for some to try to regain what was so easily squandered.


In the United States some have watched as the value of their real estate declined by a third, their retirement stock market accounts lost a third of their value, and they lost their jobs. California is in another drought and the nations largest food producing state might be producing less as the cities reached out to grab the waters that was used by the rural communities.

The situation is worse in North Korea where there is a shortage of rice and beans and an acute hunger sweeping areas of the country.


I wonder if there is some way that US government could be simply tricked into a sensible energy policy?

Of course there are those that think that is what global warming is all about... a conspiracy.

But our leaders are often more gullible than we think.

Quebec comedy duo prank call Palin

MONTREAL — A Quebec comedy duo notorious for prank calls to celebrities and heads of state has reached Sarah Palin, convincing the Republican vice-presidential nominee she was speaking with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

In the interview, which lasts about six minutes, Ms. Palin and the pranksters discuss politics, pundits, and the dangers of hunting with Vice-President Dick Cheney.

RE: Why Transportation Matters (above)

The article is a good recitation of the current federal transportation policy debate, but it leaves out the earmark issue (to earmark or not to earmark).

It also, though, falls into the trap of thinking there are only two modes: Cars and Transit. Feet and feet aided by bicycles need to be considered also. The next TEA law needs to make it clear that the Feds will not fund a project that does not accommodate all users (bikes and pedestrians, autos, buses, transit riders, including the disabled, and freight).

Land use and urban design should be a factor, too. The local cost share should be lowest for projects in the urban areas, slightly higher for rural land uses and highest for suburban land use types (if they agree to fund project there at all).

"The next TEA law needs to make it clear that the Feds will not fund a project that does not accommodate all users (bikes and pedestrians, autos, buses, transit riders, including the disabled, and freight)."

Cyclists are accommodated just fine by the present public road system, thank you very much! No special funding needed.

Cyclists get along best when they act and are treated as drivers of vehicles. For detailed info: http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/index.htm

Right and wrong. Even though a bicycle is a vehicle, see how far you get on your bicycle on any interstate. Case closed on how well the most heavily funded public roads accomodate cyclists. Even minor roads with sensors don't accomodate cyclists. Nor does the culture of drivers' training, usage and enforcement accomodate cyclists. Still, it's not clear that EVERY road needs to accomodate all users - a truck bypass seems an obvious example where that would not be necessary, but the default situation, where a turnpike exit lands on a major roadway and bicycles are excluded by the *turnpike* planners, no, those planners should be forced to ride back and forth endlessly through such an intersection on their bicycles.

cfm in Gray, ME

Debt Rattle, November 1 2008: Cold Turkey

And if you were thinking about coming up with arguments about free market capitalism, you need to realize that it no longer exists, it is a dead economic model, certainly in the US. It will never come back either. For that matter, the entire growth model is dead. Let's celebrate that. Perpetual growth is a dumb principle to use as a foundation on which to organize your society. It's not even an economic model, it's a ridiculous form of fringe religion. A sect. And all its proponents should be forced to answer the question whether they think the laws of their religion trump the laws of physics.

Any religion based on the hope of a better life tomorrow, no matter how contorted, will attract followers, and speaking out against growth is a blasphemy in the eyes of the priests and flock of the world's largest congregation, far bigger than Christianity.

...All this nonsense is directed at one simple goal: to prop up a hugely inflated market toiling at levels that defy gravity. And that goal can best be compared with a hopeless crack slave carrying a machete and threatening to kill his own mother if she doesn’t pay up yet another time for his next fix. And she knows her son will be back for more tomorrow. It takes a lot of courage for that mom to say no, even as she knows the inevitability of the outcome. Religions based on hope for a better tomorrow are hard to get rid of. When it comes to Bernanke and the perverted delusions he preaches, you, the taxpayer, are no different from a junkie's mom.

i really enjoy reading debt rattles, on a daily basis. so much insight! i wish more people would read it. very enlightning. if there is one song i could dedicate for Paulson, that would be: High Hopes, Frank Sinatra.

"Just what makes that little ole ant, think he'll move move that rubber tree plant, anyone knows an ant can't move a rubber tree plant, but he's got high hopes"

From the ASPO November Newsletter:

There are even signs that the country is successfully exporting the financial crisis, leading to a surprise recent strengthening of the dollar.

May be the only thing in the current economy with increasing net exports.

that and massively destructive weapons.

Hello TODers,

I-NPK producers slamming the factory doors shut in an effort to keep prices high:

Weekly Fertilizer Review for Oct. 31, 2008

Fertilizer prices plummet as inventories build and manufacturers close plants
scroll down to see graphics

Is this just a side effect of the oil price drop, or is it combined with the expense of phosphates?
(the latter something they might not want to admit too)

Hello WHT,

Thxs for responding. I agree with many TODers that the Hubbert plateau over the past years is what caused the credit crisis too.

My guess is that the inventory build is credit crisis induced; this is globally reducing the farmers' ability to afford and/or prepay for all the inputs he needs to fully 'refuel' his topsoil to get maximum harvest yields. There is a big harvest yield window between a Liebig Minimum and a Liebscher Optimum.

Most African farmers can't even afford 1/6th the I-NPK that a typical American farmer applies to his topsoil, thus suffering a non-optimal yield, but not a Liebig disaster. It seems that many First World farmers are now dialing back their I-NPK amounts: hoping that the reduced yields [but higher selling price] will more than offset the cost savings in reduced I-NPK volume inputs. This can be a workable strategy for only a limited time; the farmer increasingly runs the risk of a Liebig Minimum, and/or the crops suffering from poor nutrient levels so that pests or disease can cause havoc among the sickly plants.

As energy prices decrease, the I-NPK companies can pass that cost savings on to the farmer yet still have the same profit and volume level. But that is not what we are seeing as evidenced by this inventory build. Ideally, you would like to see a Moore's Law effect of cheaper costs, greater profits, and ever-larger volumes--but we know that is not possible. Thus, the reduction in I-NPK manufacturing to more closely match the actual quantity demanded.

So what we end up seeing first are the canaries in the coal mine, i.e. the ones most sensitive to the effects of the credit crunch.

Yes, but I think a better example for postPeak farming affordability is more like an aging cheetah trying to catch ever smaller, less frequent, and ever faster gazelles. That is why more farmers are looking into O-NPK recycling--it is getting easier to catch these fat and slow gazelles, but limited by local hauling costs.

Another example to help illustrate the farming harvest yield spectrum [assuming no bad weather or climate effects screwing things up]: think of those V-8 cars that can shutdown cylinders, but still keep moving.

All eight firing away is equivalent to the best topsoil health and mulchiness obtainable; maximum harvest results--Liebscher's Law of the Optimum-- pouring more I-NPK into the soil won't make the plants grow any better, in fact you now run the risk of undesired toxicity and bad soil-PH.

The opposite is zero cylinders, which is like severely depleted hardpan that won't grow hardly anything--Liebig's Law of the Minimum-- whichever Element is the least determines your yield, and the crop will be pitiful and weak plus highly susceptible to pests and disease. Think of Haitian clay or sand after the recents hurricane storm surges and heavy rainfall flooding.

Running on four cylinders may be like the typical subsistence third World farmer. A lot of effort to get modest yields; hard to get sufficient profits so he can try to fire up the other 4 cylinders with more I-NPK. His best bet is to get the local O-NPK on his land, plus whatever additional I-NPK he can afford.

First World Farmers run mostly 5,6,7 cylinders on I-NPK. Might get to the V-8 level, every now and then, if they do lots of soil testing and apply lots of O-NPK for max mulchiness, worms, micro-organisms, best attainable PH, soil drainage and retention, etc. Easier said than done, of course.

Hello Totoneila,

Your posts about NPK are intriguing however I know little about the bigger picture. Where can I go to learn about food, fertilizer and energy at the macro level so I can better understand your posts and their implications?

I-NPK / O-NPK... Inorganic vs Organic?


A rough sketch, based on my own superficial knowledge, goes like this:

  • I-N: Nitrogen comes from the air around us, which is 80% nitrogen. Pure N2 is almost an inert gas, and cannot be absorbed by most plants. The N is separated at some energy cost, and forced together with H from natural gas. Product is NH3, ammonia, which can be absorbed directly by plants. Various other N compounds may be made from the NH3 such as melamine, urea, or ammonium sulfate. Counts as inorganic because the nitrogen is 'fixed' by artificial technology.
  • I-P: Phosphorus is found in certain sedimentary deposits scattered about the earth, sometimes remote islands where birds have congregated depositing organic-phosphorus over the millennia. Also from ancient coral reefs, where the coral organisms laboriously extracted phosphorus from seawater to create their mineral skeletons. Counts as inorganic because 1) the phosphate is extracted and marketed in purified form; 2) the extraction/purification is performed with mineral acids, involving human technology.
  • I-K: Potassium (Latin name: Kalium) is a natural water soluble mineral, a component of seawater (0.04% per wikipedia). In plant and animal life it is an essential electrolyte. The inorganic sources of it are found in ancient salt beds, places where salt water dried up (currently happening in Utah and Israel for example) and became buried. Since potassium is more soluble than sodium it is found in the last little puddles of 'bitters' to dry up, so there are streaks of more or less pure KCl in salt deposits. "Inorganic" because it is a mineral found in scattered natural deposits.

So the "Inorganic" appellation refers to the fact that these fertilizer components were mined or manufactured. The deposits are finite, and energy is required, so you have the potential for peak phenomena related to them.

  • O-NPK:I'll just clump all the organic fertilizers into one item, since the 'organic' idea means that we utilize the same recycling process employed by nature, and allow our garden plants to absorb nutrients from the decaying byproducts of life.

    One notable exception to this natural recycling process is nitrogen. There are soil bacteria which will reduce nitrates or nitrites, and others which will oxidize amines or ammonia, returning the nitrogen to air as a relatively inert gas. This process is opposed in nature by legumes, which have symbiotic bacteria living in nodules on their roots. These symbiotes are nitrogen fixers, taking N2 from the air and producing amines and such in return for protection/nourishment by the host legume.

As always, the Wikipedia also has an informative article...


Thank you! I've copied your explanation and saved it to my files. I'll do some more reading at wiki and elsewhere, too. I looked at the link in toto's post and found what is essentially a specialized farmer's language. It's a wake up call when us city folks realize how far we're separated from the sources of our food. The more I learn the less I know.

Thanks again...

From the ASPO newsletter:

1093. Hubbert’s Line
Mortals have difficulty in grasping the meaning of such arcane concepts as logistic, derivative logistic, or Gaussian curves, but without understanding the mathematics behind it one can readily observe a clear trend in what is now popularly referred to as Hubbert‟s Line. It plots annual production as a percent of cumulative production against cumulative production, a concept which is by all means hard to fathom. The result is, however, convincing for the World profile.

Hard to fathom because the way it is derived, as a differential equation, it is simply a heuristic. The Verhulst differential equation does not describe oil production, it only happens to match the behavior of a model such as Dispersive Discovery under a specific growth regime.

The problem with heuristics is that neither mortals nor non-mortals can understand them. They can only be understood in terms of a BETTER non-heuristic model that comes along.

Again from the ASPO newsletter:

Exploration and Discovery The United States is almost unique in that its mineral rights generally belong to the landowner, based on legal principles inherited from the Spanish Empire of Latin America. As a result, oil operations were highly diversified with individual fields being subdivided amongst many owners. Reserve reporting was subject to strict Stock Exchange rules, based primarily on what individual wells were expected to yield.

Is this partly why the USA and Canada reports upwards more than 30,000 fields, while the rest of the world TOTALS about a 1/3 of this amount? The naturally occurring field size gets sub-divided by ownership rules?

From Robelius http://www.diva-portal.org/diva/getDocument?urn_nbn_se_uu_diva-7625-1__f...

An article by Ivanhoe and Leckie (1993) in Oil & Gas Journal reported the total amount of oil fields in the world to almost 42000, of which 31385 are in the USA. According to the latest Oil & Gas Journal worldwide production survey, the total number of oil fields in the USA is 34969 (Radler, 2006). The number of fields outside the USA is estimated to 12500, which is in good accordance with the number 12465 given by IHS Energy (Chew, 2005). Thus, the total number of oil fields in the world is estimated to 47 500.

The reason that this interests me is that the USA does not follow the same field size distribution as the rest of the world. The characteristic constant is off by a factor of 40 from the world average.

Either of these has to hold true: (1) the USA has much, much different geology, (2) US oil producers will go after much smaller fields, or (3) the fields get reported as political units according to landowner. I did not think of the last one until I read the ASPO report.

Has anyone seen a field size distribution for the USA? It would be interesting if they clump around 40 acres :) Unfortunately, I have found size distributions for virtually every other part of the world, but not for here :( Too many to count?

i dont have an answer either, but the us is about 36 years past peak production and about 78 years past peak discovery, this has to be a factor.
the economics of drilling in the us are different. for example, in the '90's when prices were very low, there was a drilling boom going on in eastern colorado. very marginal wells, long pay-out but easy drilling, infastructure mostly in place.

the wal-mart model ?

Editorial: Chrysler Suicide Watch 41: R.I.P.

Chrysler is dead. Look for a Chapter 7 filing soon; that’s a liquidation plan, not reorganization. The judge will part-out and sell ChryCo’s few valuable assets to the highest bidders. There will be no “Hail Mary” pass to General Motors, no government rescue, no money from Cerberus to keep its corpse from the grave.


Remember when the US bailed out Chrysler?


I am changing my name to Chrysler
I am going down to Washington D.C.
I will tell some power broker
What they did for Iacocca
Will be perfectly acceptable to me
I am changing my name to Chrysler
I am headed for that great receiving line
So when they hand a million grand out
I'll be standing with my hand out
Yes sire I'll get mine

I so wanted to have the option of buying an Escalade Hybrid with a Hemi.

This is America, we can do that, ya know!

Hi Ben,

You won't find a Hemi Hybrid Escalade unless, God forbid, GM and Chrysler do merge, but you can find one in one of these: http://www.allpar.com/cars/chrysler/aspen.html

Personally, I find this Aspen even more revolting than the original (http://www.allpar.com/model/aspen.html), but I love my Hemi-powered Magnum R/T.

For a more promising alternative, see: https://www.chryslerllc.com/en/innovation/envi/specs/chrysler_vehicles.php


I also drive a Magnum R/T and love every minute of it!



Peak oil was the cause; the financial disaster was an effect.

K. Deffeyes


what about nat gas? i would like to see nat gas prices go back up,at least over $10. and hopefully more.
(kissing dice: come on baby, don't let me down now"

Hello TODers,

Should Hawaii Rewrite Its Constitution - Again?

..Hawaii is one of three states (the others being Illinois and Connecticut) with the issue of rewriting its constitution on the ballot. And it is also the object lesson for all who'd like to do so. Hawaii has convened what locals call "ConCons" twice since 1968, both with far reaching consequences. Now several influential groups are calling for a third. "You have no idea what can happen," says veteran Honolulu journalist Jerry Burris, who covered the hot and humid ConCon in the summer of 1978 that convened in downtown Honolulu's old federal building, directly across from Iolani Palace, the seat of the former Kingdom of Hawaii.

Now, I have never been to the islands, and I am certainly not an expert on Hawaiian culture, but I think it would be fascinating if any Hawaiian TODers/ASPOites plus Leanan could put forth what they would like to see in a new Constitution for a postPeak Hawaii.

Some simple ideas from me:

1. Peak Everything Outreach is mandatory at all schools and colleges.

2. School playgrounds and golf courses are ripped up, then converted to gardens.

3. Everyone has a right to a wheelbarrow, bicycle, and SpiderWebRiding bike. You have no right to own a car, plane, yacht, etc, in fact, these will provide the materials for the three items listed in the first sentence.

4. You have a right to vital 'needs', but no right to pointless 'wants'.

5. Protecting the ecosystem will always precede any other considerations: No ifs, ands, or buts. 'Counting down the digits' is required if extinctions continue [this is better than throwing people into a volcano].

6. Having more than one child is forbidden until the population reaches a much lower level. Vasectomy mandatory for all males after birth of child. No selective abortions of female fetuses, like China, is allowed.

7. Tourists are no longer allowed, but trading fresh water and food to ships in exchange for vital 'needs' is permitted.

8. No fiat currency, no interest charging, no debt financing is allowed.

9. The leaders are rewarded with 'respect tokens' made of seashells, not material wealth. Top net worth is limited to only five times the net worth of the poorest person on the island.

10. Anybody not willing to follow these rules is immediately shipped off to the US mainland.

Hawaii must be aware of Easter Island type effects: you would think that they would jump at the chance to avert this dire outcome and protect these islands; to get an early start on mitigation plus planning for Optimal Overshoot Decline.

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

Allow me to present a counter-proposal.

1. Peak Everything Outreach is mandatory at all schools and colleges.

Innoculation against silly Peak-everything hysteria is mandatory at all schools.

2. School playgrounds and golf courses are ripped up, then converted to gardens.

Organic gardens and other wastes of space, energy and irrigation get leveled and turned into cheap housing and proper, intensive agriculture.

3. Everyone has a right to a wheelbarrow, bicycle, and SpiderWebRiding bike. You have no right to own a car, plane, yacht, etc, in fact, these will provide the materials for the three items listed in the first sentence.

4. You have a right to vital 'needs', but no right to pointless 'wants'.

7. Tourists are no longer allowed, but trading fresh water and food to ships in exchange for vital 'needs' is permitted.

9. The leaders are rewarded with 'respect tokens' made of seashells, not material wealth. Top net worth is limited to only five times the net worth of the poorest person on the island.

10. Anybody not willing to follow these rules is immediately shipped off to the US mainland.

Negotiate a deal with Cuba to deport eco-fascists and subsistence-farmer wannabes for work in the fields on sugar cane plantations.

5. Protecting the ecosystem will always precede any other considerations: No ifs, ands, or buts. 'Counting down the digits' is required if extinctions continue [this is better than throwing people into a volcano].

Annexing more land for human use will always take precedent over the irrational wants of the eco-tards.

6. Having more than one child is forbidden until the population reaches a much lower level. Vasectomy mandatory for all males after birth of child. No selective abortions of female fetuses, like China, is allowed.

Negotiate a deal with China to take custody of birth-control facists who are too thick to understand that the total fertillity rate is already very close to the replacement rate.

8. No fiat currency, no interest charging, no debt financing is allowed.

Commandeer disused oil rigs and allow libertarians and other nut-jobs to try out their economic policies where it is safely compartmentalized from the real economy.

Hawaii must be aware of Easter Island type effects: you would think that they would jump at the chance to avert this dire outcome and protect these islands; to get an early start on mitigation plus planning for Optimal Overshoot Decline.

If the Easter island is a warning example of something it is not of "overshoot" and "eco-collapse", it is of the dangers of being invaded by aliens bearing strange new diseases and the dangers of massive disruption to religions and other irrational belief structures leading to violent conflict.

Deforrestation increased the carrying capacity of the harsh and barely fertile land of the island and provided a hedge against crop failure by allowing planting in numerous soil and irrigation conditions.

The Texas constitution, at one time, had prohibitions against using one's house as collateral in any kind of loan other than the primary mortgage, and against banks from other states opening branches in Texas.

These depression-era restrictions were removed back in the '80s as part of the Reagan-era "deregulation" which culminated in the S&L crisis. Remember that?

Wake up!!! Obama wants to take away our electricity by bankrupting the number one energy provider and the most abundant and cheapest energy source: the coal industry!!! We cannot let him do this. His energy believes are a clear and present danger. Check his own quotes!!! The media has hidden the true Obama!!!!


Except the interview from nearly a year ago has been available to everyone!


And Newsbusters has a history of distorting things!

A final note: the shoddy Newsbusters blog has been caught in the past simply fabricating news regarding the Chronicle's coverage. Our paper has demanded corrections for their fiction, but to no avail.

We contacted Bill Riggs, regional press secretary of the Republican National Committee tonight on his emailing of this erroneous report suggesting a ''hidden'' Chronicle audiotape to political reporters. His response: he didn't confirm it, or write the headline. He just sent it out.

He got taken. And so did the rest.

And why so many exclamation points!!!!???? It doesn't make your comment any more believable!!!!!

Ben -- I'm not familiar with Newsbusters. Are you saying they had someone imitate Sen. Obama's voice and that wasn't him I heard on the TV this morning saying he specificly planned to try to bankrupt anyone building a new coal-fired electric plant?

No, he did an interview back in January with SF Chron.

At the time they publicized it, etc. It has always been available on their web site. Of course this is before Obama had the nomination, just another candidate.

This weekend Palin et. al. are taking a tiny bit of the interview out of context and then also saying that the SF Chron has "hidden" this interview in order to help Obama.

Twisting facts. Trying to create a sound bite for their campaign that will play to the coal miners in Virginia and nearby areas, knowing full well that they will be working and not surfing the internet to check the accuracy of the claim.

Here's the transcript:

“I voted against the Clear Skies Bill. In fact, I was the deciding vote -- despite the fact that I’m a coal state and that half my state thought that I had thoroughly betrayed them. Because I think clean air is critical and global warming is critical.

“But this notion of no coal, I think, is an illusion. Because the fact of the matter is, is that right now we are getting a lot of our energy from coal. And China is building a coal-powered plant once a week. So what we have to do then is figure out how can we use coal without emitting greenhouse gases and carbon. And how can we sequester that carbon and capture it. If we can’t, then we’re gonna still be working on alternatives.

“But ... let me sort of describe my overall policy. What I’ve said is that we would put a cap and trade policy in place that is as aggressive if not more aggressive than anyone out there. I was the first call for 100 percent auction on the cap and trade system. Which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases that was emitted would be charged to the polluter. That will create a market in which whatever technologies are out there that are being presented, whatever power plants are being built, they would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted-down caps that are imposed every year.

“So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted. That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel, and other alternative energy approaches. The only thing that I’ve said with respect to coal -- I haven’t been some coal booster. What I have said is that for us to take coal off the table as an ideological matter, as opposed to saying if technology allows us to use coal in a clean way, we should."

The full interview has always been available, and since it is 45 minutes, I bet fewer than 1 person in 20 will actually listen to it and make up their mind. Of course, Newsbusters has a history of taking selective facts to push their agenda and ignoring / hiding things that don't help.

As for Newsbusters, it is an arm of the Media Research Center, started / run by ultra right wing conservative columnist Brent Bozell, the self-proclaimed "watchdog" group that like to try and knock down anything at all they deem liberal. They make Fox News look like a bunch of liberals.

Interestingly enough, just 8 short years ago Bozell was absolutely against McCain and behind George Bush, but they've cleared most of his writings of that time from their archives. Luckily the internets don't forget.

Clearly, our alleged accuracy-loving press corps aren’t monitoring campaigns they favor. If they cared about reporting all accuracy and negativity in politics, McCain’s so-called "Straight Talk Express" would be redubbed the Trash Talk Express.