Thanks to the TOD Staff, and to the TOD Community. (Social Capital is Alive and Well...)

As a tumultuous year draws to a close, both from an energy perspective and just in general, I wanted to thank the staff of this website, as well as TOD's readers and community who raise our level of discussion and potential impact by adding links, references, graphs and ideas, and by effecting local and individual change. I'd particularly like to thank our (sole) technician, Super G, and Drumbeat editor, Leanan, who have both tirelessly put in another year of volunteering their skills towards making the site run smoothly, and in the case of Leanan, continuing to find, organize and disseminate energy and resource depletion based news items every day of the year! (outside spring baseball training)

We are into our 4th year of's existence. The staff has grown considerably since 2005, though the core founding group of Prof. Goose, Heading Out and SuperG remain. We have satellites in Canada, Australia and Europe. Libelle and Khebab hail from Canada: Big Gav, Phil Hart, Ace, and Aeldric from Oz: Chris Vernon, Euan Mearns, Luis de Sousa, Rembrandt Koppelaar, Ugo Bardi, Rune Likvern, Jerome a Paris and Francois Cellier from Europe: and Gail the Actuary, Robert Rapier, Glenn McAnanama, Jason Bradford, Jeff Vail, JoulesBurn, and Leanan stateside. Also not to be forgotten were the stellar foundational contribution by emeritus contributors Stuart Staniford, Stoneleigh, and Dave Cohen.

In many ways, this site, (as well as the thousands of emails exchanged between staff behind the scenes), represents a microcosm of post-peak oil social interaction. It is not always smooth and there are occasionally sharp disagreements and personality clashes, but the community at large, over time, pares away the informational chaff and furrows closer to the truth on the issues discussed, while maintaining strong reciprocity within the tribe. None of us (staff or readers) are compensated by the measure which currently drives society - money. Though there are probably many explanations why we volunteer our time here, prominent among them is hope for a better future: an altruistic vision that what is discussed and learned here will raise the bar of both national energy/resource discussions and their implementations. Thus we are being 'paid', but by social and human capital.*** Perhaps this in itself is an important model to attempt.

In any case, after discovering that Super G has been up until 2 am for much of the last few weeks working on the Drupal upgrade and associated bugs, I wanted to give a public acknowledgement to his and others continued efforts behind the scenes. He, like most on staff, knows that what we are doing has no blueprint, and has no material reward, but that sharing analysis on a topic that appears to have institutionally gaping holes and blindspots - energy - is a worthwhile use of ones time.

In my opinion, the events of the world in finance, energy and the environment are happening too fast for the slow and percolating peer review process of the academy to have timely impact. The governmental and corporate institutions that wield the power in our world cannot easily hold open and transparent discussions regarding resource depletion and overshoot that by definition may threaten their own charters. Also, even if more people connect the disparate dots between ecology, energy, finance, and human behaviour, the aircraft carrier which is global energy (consumption and production) policy may in the end change it's direction too slowly. Discussions on this site thus also provide opportunity for local and regional 'captains' to chart their own future courses perhaps somewhat independent of the global ship. In sum, though we have little proof that what has been posted here over the years has made a difference (continued mandate on corn ethanol being one example), we hope that the efforts on TOD have improved peoples understanding of the biophysical (and biological) limits we are faced with and thus increase the odds of better decisions (collectively and individually) being made going forward. We will keep it going as long as we can.

(Though not as active recently due to personal obligations (e.g. job), I would also like to thank Prof Goose, without whose passion and drive behind the scenes would have left TOD rudderless long ago.)

Thanks to all. 2009 is going to be an important and trying year. Best to all who visit here.

***(As an aside, I think the Capital Asset Pricing Model that is taught along with Modern Portfolio Theory in all the business schools around the world is grossly erroneous - we DO achieve risk/reward benefits by diversification, but in the long run this diversification comes outside of financial assets, which are only a marker - the true efficient frontier is thus diversification between social capital, natural capital, human capital and built capital).

I would like to extend my sincere thanks for your collective efforts as well; it's greatly appreciated.


Ditto that.

Ditto ditto. And know that many others thank you, now and in the future.

I would like to say that TOD has performed a valuable service to the peoples of this world.

If any one thing will save us it will have been in large part to those who have performed tasks utilizing a communications vehicle whose 'time has come'. Such as the net is though folly may be its other name.

When I flew many many long hours in Navy Reconnaissance aircraft protecting the borders and shores of this nation , my squadron had a motto that fits well in this area.

It was "Raise the Hue and Cry"...IMO TOD has fitted this model quite well. They have surely tried to raise the hue and cry about our future.

I have seen and been part of many internet ventures and websites.
None has had the devotion and guidance that I have seen displayed here.

Its remarkable and I hope it succeeds in raising that cry so that enough may hear and take the message further. As far as it needs to go so that our lives and prayers might not have been in vain.

Failing that I hope they provide a site where survival information can help those who wish to survive a knowledge of what is involved or at least help them with that passage to different lifestyle.

Another motto we had was 'Forewarned is Forearmed'. It was sewn on the patches our squadrons wore on our flight suits.

I did a google on that motto to find its source and instead located this piece:
" "Forewarned is forearmed" Knowledge of imminent danger can prepare us to overcome it. But what is it that we should be prepared for? That my friend is the million dollar question, we are hurtling towards economic meltdown, our streets aren’t safe, the food we eat is altered, the planet is choking on carbon and the icecaps are melting. All of this is a lot to take in. Some people are doing their utmost while some are just biding time until everything falls to pieces."

at this website:

Airdale-I didn't spend my time(5 yrs) protecting this nation to see it self-destruct but it seems that is exactly what is happening

Thank-you one and all, TOD staffers, but especially SuperG and Leanan.

Between hugs of your bag of NPK, SuperG, I hope you are enjoying long long hugs with your baby.

I'll second that. Leanan is simply awesome in her collection of valuable and interesting articles.

My only frustration with the drumbeat is that the discussions only tend to focus on one or two of the articles or spin into completely unrelated (yet still often interesting) areas. Of course, this is no reflection on Leanan, just the way discussions go on open forums like this, I guess.

Thanks for all the great work everyone does on this site...the best compliment I can give it is that I do my best to get the valuable information I've learned here to more people who don't know about Energy Descent in general and The Oil Drum specifically. And in every presentation I give I always include a slide at the end that points people to The Oil Drum to learn more.

The conversation is growing (too slowly for my taste, but growing nonetheless) and a huge part of that is due to the work being done here.

TOD is a great site. Thanks to all who make it happen.

None of us (staff or readers) are compensated by the measure which currently drives society - money. Though there are probably many explanation why we volunteer our time here, prominent among them is hope for a better future: an altruistic vision that what is discussed and learned here will raise the bar of both national energy/resource discussions and their implementations. Thus we are being 'paid', but by social and human capital***. Perhaps this in itself is an important model to attempt.

My thanks to all TOD staff for their time, persistence and hard work. No question in my mind that it has made a difference -- The Oil Drum website is one of the essential underpinnings of a "green" movement that is well-intentioned, but often poorly informed, badly led, and easily co-opted and hijacked by the same industries and forces the movement would like to change or replace. For example, I just finished reading Van Jones' "The Green Collar Economy". Some great ideas, and tries very hard to be inclusive and reject the "eco-elite" notion that troubles us all. And reading through it, there are traces of the TOD correctives to the current green political narrative that will be necessary if it is to function effectively.

I sincerely hope you all are being paid, in whatever currency you value. Perhaps "social capital" is the correct formulation, though it is hard to pay the rent with that! Certainly we have seen that "money", as defined by the current worldwide financial establishment, is largely a mirage and a vast con game--TOD knew that long ago, but Bernie Madoff just put the icing on the cake. However, it is what we are stuck with until "social capital" becomes legitimate again (once it was -- traditional societies knew little else), and not rejected as "communist". It takes a certain amount of the "legal tender" to survive -- but beyond that, it only contributes to the problem.

In any event, "money" is a verb, not so much a noun. I have faith that if an intelligent and hard working group keep themselves focused on what is really important, and above all, what is morally defensible (that is, improving where you live, not tearing it down) that "it will money." Imagination and perseverance are the most important attributes of success -- and TOD has demonstrated that in great abundance.

I'd just like to say thanks for all the work people put into this site, which, as we move into dark and uncharted waters, reminds me increasingly of a lifeboat named 'hope'.

Special shout out to Leanan for carrying the Drumbeat everyday!

See everyone around the campfire!

Ditto pretty much everything and anything anyone can, has or will say in thanks.

But if I get an ulcer, I'm telling my doctor it's all your fault!


*sigh* I wonder if there are times when ignorance truly is bliss?


And I ditto both those first two lines. Plus of course mega-thanks to Nate himself!
ToD is a unique site without equal. I think what unites us is a wish to discover and demonstrate the truths of these important matters against which personal pecking-orders don't really rate by comparison. (And hopefully when I've learnt how to clone myself I'll have time to keep up with half of it.)

Heartfelt thanks to all who work keeping this site going. A thousand of them. Thanks that is.

And Happy New Year to all, all the posters. And to the readers, too.

thanks especially to all tod staff!!!

& i include tod commenters in my thanks as many are why i get a smile sometimes when i get to logon[& there is lots not to smile about these days]. thanks again!

I know of no site like The Oil Drum where so much is given for no financial reward.

From the in-depth articles that must take an inordinate amount of time, to Leanan's Drumbeats that she unflaggingly puts out day after day to the posters regular and rare with their admonitions (ELP) and nuggets, this site is packed with insights and practical information. And of course Super G keeps it all running - thanks.

While I have not been able to retire to a mini-farm, I have made what changes I can to weather whatever may await because of what I have learned at The Oil Drum (got lots of cookies!).

Best of luck to everyone in the coming tumultuous times.

I add my thanks to all. Leanan you are a unique, special and very curious individual, special thanks. Also thanks to many of the big thinkers that comment here making it what it is.

TOD is like a floating dock for me. I can occasionally swim back to it and flop down to catch my breath in order to strike back out again into the dark waters.


Yes, thank you to everyone involved. TOD is such a unique and valuable place in so many different ways. I think it is worthwhile to list a few:

Official reports audited and rereported via the oil drum (such as Rembrandts oil watch).

Enough information to know where to start looking in the academic literature.

Independent forecasts (such as Mearns and Aces) to balance the official ones.

Duplication of forecasts by several independent authors to help verify when a technique works and when it does not (special thanks to Robert, Stuart, Khebab and Jeffery).

Excellent articles on the economy as well as energy.

The Drum Beat of news (which makes finding evidence of one trend or another very quick to find).

The host of blogs, links and posts which have grown up because TOD provides a central hub. Guilder Gliders excellent work on future energy forecasting would never have reached as many eyes.

Thanks again for all the work! It is an impossible task we face, but by God, those Windmills are gonna get such a kicking!

My thanks to the TOD "staff" and to all those spending the time to make insightful comments.

In return, I would like to offer you all a present of sorts:

From my perspective, you are making a difference. From you, through me, there are at least a dozen people that are peak oil aware. I have only been able to counter their protestations by being informed and learning the facts. Kudos.

Not everyone has been able to integrate the magnitude of our situation but several are getting rid of credit cards, and I convinced others not to buy anything at Christmas except food, useful clothes and tools (and maybe a jug of rum or two).

Not perhaps world changing, yet, but the word is getting out.

Many thanks to the indefatigable TOD staff and all those who comment.

Best wishes for 2009 from the Land Down Under.

Thirra, One of my daughters just went down under for a 6 month walk about. She is starting off in Byron Bay. Take good care of her.

Thank you for a great web site and wonderfully intelligent discussions. Best wishes for 2009.

TOD is a class of its own. Thanks to all of you.

As someone who has been thinking about peak oil for forty years, I want to thank all concerned with the Oil Drum, the familiar names like Leanan, Nate Hagens, Prof Goose, all of you who post and comment and the rest of you who work so hard to make it happen.
As an observer it is often hard to know to believe. Journalist have their deadlines and their editors, companies have their shareholders, market consultants have their clients, politicians have their voters, ideologues have their prejudices. The Oil Drum gives knowledgeable and responsible people the chance to tell it as they think it really is and the rest of us a chance to develop our own better-informed views.
Many thanks and all the best for 2009


Thanks to all on TOD, you have changed my views of the world dramatically ... I think finally we are getting to the 'interesting' bit, the 'post-peak net-exports' economic downslope.

I don't have good feelings about the situation as it is going to affect the UK! ... but I think I am as prepared as I can be.

Dear Oil Drum Team,
Thank you so much for the wonderful work you do in maintaining and contributing to The Oil Drum. It is both a fruitful resource and an encouregment in our collective endevour.
My best wishes for all for all of you in 2009, whatever it brings....

Yes, thanks all, and keep up the good work.

TOD is not a political site. TOD is not a green site. TOD in fact is truth site. Considering the importance of the topic of energy, I am continually amazed by how little any powers-that-be pay heed to any ruminations that pass through here. Oil honchos, politicos, economos, all basically ignore the dark stirrings that agitate the backwaters of polite discussion. When some relevant mass media eventually does an 'expose' on the inner workings of TOD, color me completely surprised. I guarantee that they lack motivation so completely, that they could care less who we actually are. In Atrios' words, we fall into the category of a bunch of dirty hippies. A dirty hippie truth site, that's the ticket. Twenty years ago the contents could have just as easily been passed out as a fanzine in the form of a leaflet. The grownups still haven't been clued in, and worse, do not want to be. It adversely effects their oh-so-vital BAU.

I previously hated all the threads about sustainable living.. but in hindsight it's an invaluable reference.

The importance of TOD and the urgency of the discourse has never been more relevant than it is now and going forward. What we're witnessing is a perfect storm of factors: economic, political, social, and energy. I don't know where the price of a barrel is going, but I can imagine that where we're heading isn't good. As bad as the worldwide economic problems seem, they may be a blessing in disguise. For those who have awakened in time, there is extra time to prepare better and make some tough choices.

I'm past the point of hopelessness and at the stage of acceptance. It took a few years to get to this point. Nobody knows what the future will bring, but at least I think we can be better prepared because of TOD.

I began reading The Oil Drum nearly three years ago and have gained a lot of knowledge on current energy issues. The staff here has done a great job of getting reliable information to the readers - thank you all, especially Leanan.

My interest in energy production and consumption began in 1980 while I was studying engineering at the University of Missouri. The chairman of the Nuclear Engineering Department taught a class on energy sources and energy use and one chapter of the textbook had the topic of peak oil as described by M King Hubbert. From that time on my perspective on the world changed. Although that concept was forever imbedded in my psyche, I made few attempts to convince others of our impending energy supply problems until I started regularly reading the Oil Drum. This site has defintely had a positive impact on my life. It moved me to action by contacting elected officials, commenting on newspaper articles, growing a small garden, reducing debt, buying a higher mpg vehicle and telling friends and family to "be prepared". I know my future will be better for it.

If only we had the internets in 1980....;-)

Of course, each of us has his/her 'a-ha' moments, and if something like TOD existed in 1980, 1990 or even 2000, I would have likely opted to watch Gilligans island reruns instead...

This all must be especially frustrating to those in energy/ecology who warned of it during the dry run of the '70's.)

It wasn't a "dry run." People just weren't ready to listen, but a tremendous amount of spadework was done-- which made TOD possible

True enough. And I think many did listen, and changed their entire lifestyles which they continue today. Charlie Hall often tells the story that when he learned from Howard Odum and others about resource depletion, etc. he decided not to have children (in the early 1970s). Many of the folks at the Renewable Energy Fair here in Wisconsin are 50-60 somethings that have been 'listening' for a generation..

Nate, it wasn't called the internet, but we did have Fidonet and then usenet. Galacticom and Wildcat BBSs.

Very active with back to the land info. I had a personal computer before I had an indoor toilet. it's all about priorities. I loved the dirty hippie wierdo comment.

But TOD is the creme of the crop. Crown of Creation!

Thank you, each and everyone for being here.


Don in Maine

I would like to add my gratitude and thanks to all who help make this a wonderful community. May it last longer than the resource in the title.

Thank you, TOD. I love the Drumbeat and all the comments - thank you Leanan for all you do and I love your comments too.


Yes thanks to Super G, Leanan, the editors, contributors, and fellow members.

Here's hoping there is a Spring Training 2009.


Here's hoping there is a Spring Training 2009.

One of my hoped-for outcomes of decline is an even bigger decline in professional sports. In my opinion they have been one of the major causes of decline in Americans' physical activity. (I'm not being hypocritical: guilty as charged.) Some of my happiest memories from childhood were of playing football and baseball w/ brothers, cousins and friends in the dirt fields around us. Yes, someone always ended up angry, all of us a little bloody and bumped and bruised, but, ah... those were the days.

Best Hopes for more Sandlot Football, etc.


Dear Oil Drum Team,

You know the old hypothetical, "if you could take *one* book to a desert island . . ."? In the updated version, if I could have access to one site, it would be The Oil Drum. No other site contributes so mightily to the possibility, however slim, of a tolerable future for humankind. Thanks for all you do.

It has been a great experience working with all of the fine people on The Oil Drum. Besides what readers see everyday, the staff have a group e-mail account where we work together and share ideas. There is a huge amount that goes on behind the scenes. Nate is great for providing new ideas, and copies of material he has access to that is not yet on the web. Prof. Goose (Kyle Saunders) is especially helpful in providing direction. Others provide a lot of input as well.

In many ways, The Oil Drum is more than the sum of the work of the individual contributors, since we are able to work together and add value in that way.

Thank you all. We have so many things to be thankful for, and TOD is certainly one of them. My best to all the staff. I hope the perspective of an cynical old conservative guy hasn’t offended too many here.

During my 20 years of service I (and thousands of others) sat on alert in B-47s and B-52s in hopes to win a cold war with Russia. I don’t know exactly how it happened, but it worked. Both the US and Russia knew that it was a matter of mutual annihilation. The present is strategically so much worse because then most everyone (on either side) could identify the enemy but now, who (what) is the enemy? I didn’t understand it then, but Pogo was right. It's all of us.

Thanks TOD team and fellow TODer's as well. I have learned much from TOD and want to pass on my best wishes and warmest regards to the team and keep spreading the message!

A hearty thanks to all those mentioned above, and also to regular posters in the comment section, particularly Bob Shaw for his very creative speculations on paths forward, Alan Drake for his less creative but very practical speculations on paths forward, Sacred Cow Tipper for his delving into the energy/nitrogen/food nexus (both here and at The Daily Kos), and Don Sailorman for his learned and honest (but now occasional) comments on economics.

In memoriam: Oilman Bob - glad he didn't have to see Galveston get devastated by hurricane Ike.

< snark > Finally, special thanks to the eight-member crew of junior officers and the one senior officer at the National Security Agency, Bureau of Digital Communications, Directorate of Social Engineering, who work tirelessly around the clock, 365 days a year, as "Leanan." < /snark >


Whatever happened to Baby Peanut and his (her?) plan to render obese Americans' adipose tissue into biofuels using solar energy? Or greywulffe's Lego(tm) depictions of the Peak Oil master battle room? Some of that stuff was probably too silly for the respectability of the site, but...I do appreciate the Dada - ist sense of humor that lightens these o-so-weighty topics.

There are two characteristics to this on-line community that stand out. The first is the richness of content provided by the editors, contributors, guest posters, and members. The second, working off of Nate's introduction, is the community's ability to peer-review each others' posts in real time, always moving the conversation toward a deeper understanding of these most interesting times.

Though I often think of the Internet as this giant unruly commons, The Oil Drum is something else entirely: a rare and noteworthy example of successful commons management. IMO this is happening because the people who take the time to post and/or read each others' posts value TOD's unique mission and want to keep it going as long as we have the energy to do so.

"To plain speaking and clear understanding"
Caspar Gutman, The Maltese Falcon

Thank you all for a most valuable site. The effort and dedication of all who are involved make this my most recommended site to anyone who will listen - it's been a slog but at least now when I mention peak oil and resourse depletion, the blank stares are somewhat fewer. Thanks again and hang on for the new year. Gig-em

Ditto all, I'm not here at this point in time but THANYOU all is in order.

My vegie patch is unmanagabley productive and it would not even exist were it not for TOD.

Sorry for being an arsehole on many occasions but it's the way I do business.

May we all make some progress in 2009 is probably a realistic new years greeting to extend.

I often complain about pages not loading until I've hit the refresh button half a dozen times, and switched browsers twice, and on many occasions actually had to get here through a proxy. lol. But I guess I should be happy it works at all.

Thank you all for your tireless work. It really is quite unbelievable how much you achieve every day. You ARE making a difference, I guarantee it.

Thanks indeed for a unique, useful, marvelous, simply marvelous website.

Words do not suffice!

Happy New Year

The internet is a garbage dump. Full of trash and filth and various unsavoury things. But for those willing to search through the piles of unwanted refuse, there are gems to be found. TOD is one of those gems, and I amd glad it's here, and that I found it.

Three cheers to all those who make it what it is, be they staff, contributers, or regular members like me (some quite a bit more knowledgeable than others).

No one has all the answers, but it's places like this where we can all get a bit smarter, if we come with an open mind.

A little over 3 years ago, while going through through the "end of the world that I knew" in post-Katrina New Orleans, I decided that it was now time to do something about the coming oil crisis.

I had been waiting and following events for three decades, and mulling a variety of plans to deal with the coming "end of the world as we know it"; Climate Change plus Peak Oil.

I had no platform to work from, no establishment or credentials, but I believed in the power of a good idea(s). And I gave myself a 2% to 3% change of having any significant effect. But even that small chance was well worth the considerable effort.

I realized that I could not establish a presence everywhere on the web and must find one pivotal spot and leverage from that point. I chose The Oil Drum.

I pointed this out several times in the early days (could not find quote in archive).

I will likely be speaking three times in Washington DC next month, and quoted (supposedly extensively) in the January 20th issue of Washington Monthly, talking to five congressmen, etc.

Not enough, but my odds have significantly improved !

All of this is directly related to contacts developed on The Oil Drum !

Best Hopes for the Power of a Good Idea,