When do you think peak oil was/will be here?

2008 (or earlier)
73% (2132 votes)
After 2008, if economy turns around soon
10% (291 votes)
After 2008, even if economy doesn't turn around soon
17% (484 votes)
Total votes: 2907

To make my guess more transparent (I voted for a 2008 peak): Production peak: 2008. Geological peak: 2009-2010. Though we probably won't see higher production numbers than in 2008.


I think West Texas is for 2005 as the peak. Maybe I shouldn’t take your namesake too seriously.

Depends on how you define the peak: Crude oil production or world liquid production. I referred to the latter one. But you are right, you shouldn't take my name too seriously ;)

Or light sweet crude peak production.

I agree "Geological peak: 2009-2010" or much later because we can not make discovery efficiently. What are we doing in petroleum exploration? One commercial discovery in four wildcats, isn’t it? Why?
There is a new technology for oil/gas detection providing above three discoveries in four wildcats. See: http://binaryseismoem.weebly.com .
With new technology (patented invention US 7,330,790) you could make up to three times more oil and gas discoveries than when using conventional technology. And the fact that new technology won't need more investments is also very important. I disclosed the technology, designed it and successfully tested in the Barents and the Black Seas, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico.
Thanks for attention
A.Berg, Ph.D.
Elkin, Ltd

While there is no doubt that tecnology advances there also isn't any doubt that new discoveries are smaller in extent than older ones. Each year new discoveries and new wells have to compensate depletion at a size of millons of barrels. I personally doubt - but leave the verdict to people with profounder knowledge - that it is possible to offset depletion and create a stable plateau with new discoveries.

Oh No!
I went to your site.

If we find more oil is that not going to create even more population growth?
Is it not oil that has got us up this blind alley?
Should we be releasing the carbon into the atmosphere?
Perhaps it is a better idea to leave it in the ground until after the demographic transition.
Our decendants might want a few beautiful long chain carbon molecules of their own.

Do you prefer waste taxpayers (not Oil Co) billions for ignorance of fact where accumulations are? I do not understand it.

Knowledge is good.

Find the oil and leave it in the ground.

After we observe the effects of climate change, the burning of carbon might be a capital offence.

If not, then we will have left a little oil for our decendants.

Presently we are operating in ignorance. We have only a hazy notion of the results of our actions.

Knowledge is good.

Robey, your points are good. They are _ideal_.

But there is one problem: Our species has used energy for its own reproductive advantage (like any other species). Natural Selection is a game of mere numbers. If you're going to see a reduction in population to 5% of the original levels after a malthusian catastrophe, it still pays to keep multiplying at the cost of everybody/everything else because when 5% is reached, those who multiplied more will be more in numbers. It is not about forethought.

For argument's sake, let's assume US turns into a very benevolent nation and starts living very ideally. It just takes someone to create the demand by desiring an unsustainable life-style... and voila, all the stuff you talk about - climate change, resource wars, etc., will still happen.

IOW: If you don't, someone else will.

That said, I completely agree with you on every bit. However, I'm not sure if these things will materialize. I still like to stick to ideologies myself.

I know :-(

Too much Limbic, not enough cortex.
I am hoping Mr. Darwin can help us out there.

Even better.
Persuade the girls not to breed with Limbo's.

(I was going to suggest eugenetics, but it has got bad press. Besides, the girls don't like us stepping on their turf.)

It would be so good. I completely agree with you.

I voted for 2008 based on the info on TOD and other websites. Separating the peaks into production and geological does not make any sense to me. Ther id only one peak that we discuss here and it is the production peak. It's not the size of the tank or howfull it is that matters, it is the size of the tap. Speculating about a theoretical outcome of what production might have been if this or that had happened is IMHO a pointless exercise.

I would agree if it wasn't for the worldwide recession that is distorting the numbers due to voluntary production cuts. Until a few months ago the production peak and the geological peak were more or less the same thing.

Now a double peak - a bit like the one the former Soviet Union experienced - could lead to wrong conclusions, especially in the case of people that are not really aware of PO. The peak could happen in the next two years but production might be going up from the "crisis bottom" until 2012, 2013, 2014 and too many people for too much time could think that endless production growth was possible - which could lead to desastrous decisions.

"Until a few months ago the production peak and the geological peak were more or less the same thing."

From the day I discovered TOD and posted here the first time, to this moment, I have argued the case that the above statement is one of the single biggest logical errors in the peak oil community. I will continue to do so until I am chased away.

A geological peak and a production peak are nothing like the same thing and virtually completely unrelated.

A production "peak" is relatively easy to prove, and we see them all the time, the most massive one by far being in the 1970's.

A geological peak is almost impossible to define, impossible to prove, and absolutely impossible to predict. A world geological peak is a one time event, and it signals the absolute end of the growth of fossil fuels, and essentially would be the end of the fossil fuel age (although there would be fossil fuel production for decades, perhaps even centuries afterward in small volumes.

We cannot define the absolute occurance of "peak oil" because we would then have to absolutely define oil, and we cannot possibly define the occurance of peak liquids, because then we would have to define the absolute nature of liquids (including complex possibilities such as methanol from methane, coal to liquids, gas to liquids, biofuels and methanol from renewable hydrogen and carbon combinations that may not be economically viable today, but it cannot be proven that they never will be)

But back to the essential point: A geological peak and a production peak have virtually nothing in common with one another.


Let me give you my definition of a geological peak: If you implement all the tecnology available, all the riggs, all the manpower you need to boost production, all the money you can get for your oil on the market (it is, after all, a business) and yet the production is going down, THEN yo are at the geological peak. (contrary to a mere production peak, that could be caused by a war or an economical crisis)

Everything else would be rather mysticism - there always must be a real world relation for terms like "geological peak".

Brutal engineering criteria: It either works or it doesn't.

The issue is when did we see a peak in supplies.
We might have all sorts of excuses why it is not available, but it is either there to use or it is not.

What could possibly go wrong?


I also am a Westexas fan, and I think the definition you give is pretty good (not perfect, but then no definition will ever be).

So let us just take one component of your definition, "all the money you can get for your oil on the market".

So can we all agree on a number?
Would it be in nominal dollars or in real inflation and currency adjusted dollars?
Would it be in dollars at all? Not Euros, or Yen, some basket mix of currencies?
What would be the level of world income to insure this price?
Are we considering only light oil, or would heavy oil and bitumin be in the mix, or maybe oil from shale driven by nuclear plants? At what price would that oil be competitive with the easily extracted light oil?

I will stop there, the variables become so many as to be incomprehensible, and they change everyday.

Now if we set a definition for easy discussion, we can define peak BY THOSE DEFINITIONS, but we are having to accept the definitions to structure the discussion. I will give you an example, the strongest case example often given by Westexes: Texas and the North Sea. It is Westexas' use of these examples that made "geological peak" real to me.

Westexas makes the case, and I think it is easily the strongest argument in the peak oil canon, that Texas and the North Sea have peaked. These are two oil producing regions that have had the best technology available used for exploration and extraction, have had ready access to the best talent, access to investment capital, and been relatively unfettered by political manipulation, and produce in regions that are free of war or social upheaval.

The two regions of Texas and the North Sea have seemed unable, year in and year out, to increase production back to their prior highest levels. This is not a one or two year thing, but in the case of Texax in particular, a decade after decade pattern. It can be safely said they are at peak, if we are defining oil as easily flowable liquid crude oil. Note I say safely said, not proven. There is stil a lot of oil in Texas. The problem is that even if we were to be able to extract it, the cost would be very high to extract it any volume comparable to the peak, and would probably break the bank of the state if not the nation. The oil would cost more than the work it could possibly do at current prices. But at say $200 per barrel, or $600, who knows?

What about Texas all liquids? Would we consider coal to liqiud? Texas has a fair amount of coal reserves. We are leaving out the carbon issue for the moment and saying can it be produced? At what cost? How much fresh water consumed? What would it sell for once produced? Again the variables get unmanagable. What about GTL or gas to liquid? How much gas does Texas still have and at what price is it extractable? Can we agree on a number? How much could be converted to gas to liquid? Oil is still so cheap, the discussion is pointless.

What about Texas wind and solar? Huge state, huge amount of sun and wind, Texas being one of largest producers of wind energy in the nation already. We know it is possible to produce hydrogen with wind, and combine it with carbon producing methanol. The costs would be astronomical, but that is in comparison with todays oil and nat gas prices, but we know it is possible. In how much volume? At what efficiency? Could enough be made at any price to match prior fossil fuel liquid peaks? The technology and economics changes daily. We cannot even forecast a quarter year into the future, much less decades. Can we all agree that it cannot be done? Could we all agree that it could? Of course not. Again, the variables become almost infinite.

We have not even touched on demand. The only keypost I have ever had published on TOD concerned the possibility that lack of oil demand was a greater threat to the oil industry and to OPEC in particular than lack of oil supply. This was posted in Sept 2007:


The discussion in the post centered around two speeches given by OPEC officials, and to them the threat of lack of oil demand (and consequently, investment capital in the industry) was very seriously considered. At the time the lack of demand was considered by most people in the West to be a non-issue, or even a red herring thrown out by OPEC as an excuse for lack of investment. Who has been right so far? Who can know what demand will be 5 or 10 years from now? What will the "post economic crash" picture of oil demand look like, with or without peak? With more efficient vehicles, should they ever be built, with plug hybrid autos and trucks, should they ever be built? The Chinese, by the way, are already building them, and their program of battery development is accelerating rapidly. In 10 years we will be living in a different world.

I am not dismissing peak oil as a threat, I never have and never will. But we must scale the threat to the other changes and threats that are already occuring. The so called "economic crisis" is already impoverishing us far more than oil production constraints. More technology is being advanced to reduce oil consumption because of legal issues involving carbon release than has ever been advanced due to an acceptence of the idea of near term peak oil. Oil may in many ways be essentially illegal for many purposes in the future. Then of course production would drop, with no real geological peak having to occur. Or demand may become so low due to technical changes that oil production descends down a slope, gradually shrinking as part of the energy production picture with geological peak worldwide never having played an important role. It may not happen, but then it may. Can you predict? Can we all, or even most of us agree on the answer?

So we are back where we started: Worldwide production peak can easily occur without geological peak, it happens all the time and has happened throughout the history of the fossil fuel age. Geological peak of easily flowable liquid oil could occur without a production peak of liquid oil, if the definition of marketable oil or liquid energy is changed (if we say "all liquids" the variables go off the charts)

Peak oil production and Peak geological oil are essentially unralated. Does that mean peak oil is not a threat? I do not believe that or I would not be here. Energy is central to all living existence and humans are no exception. This means that the assured flow of energy will ALWAYS be a crucial issue. NOT the only issue, cultures and societies can die without any threat to their energy supply, but it is a crucial issue.

Does it mean that "peak oil" however you define "oil" or "peak" assures the end of the modern technical age or the assured death of modern world commerce and economies (as if we have ever seen a truly "modern" economy)? I find that to be an almost idiotic assumption based on the facts (but one that is often made). Now will somebody save this post somewhere so I do not have to remake this same argument again and again, year after year? :-)


back to the essential point: A geological peak and a production peak have virtually nothing in common with one another.

I get your position and agree with the gist of it apart from this final statement which is stretching your argument.

the production peak will be a function of this unknown geological potential even if acted upon by all sorts of political, economic and social modifiers

Although I think this discussion becomes increasingly close to counting angels on the head of a pin, the way I see it the true geological peak is undefinable, and unobtainable. There will always be one more puddle of oil somewhere on this big planet. There are far more puddles of oil than we can drill at one time. If we had infinite amounts of human and physical resources and energy we could drill every last puddle of oil at once and get a colossal spike of production for a month or a day, but we don't. We are always going to hit the limits of 'economic' drilling long before we hit the end of oil puddles to drill . What the economic limits are depend on the overall performance of the economy. That is why the credit crisis has hastened production peak, it has curtailed developments of marginal fields just as the necessary investment to maintain production was going exponential. That is why I expect to see the decline of oil production steeper on the downslope than growth was on the upslope. As the global economy contracts to match the available net energy, development of the small, isolated or difficult fields remaining will be stranded by an economic receding horizon. Demand will contract faster (albeit in a staircase boom and collapse process) than the geological supply because the supply will be too expensive to sustain the economy.

May I refer you to geolog above?
He has the means to increase the EROEI.
And thereby potentialy shorten the tail.

We may have seen the production peak already. If the economy stays tanked for an extended period this is more likely for the following reason: We're still using most of what we had been using, only paying less for it, and not developing new sources of oil.

When the economy and demand for oil recovers, more existing wells will have been pumped dry. Once new wells come online, they will be some of the only sources for oil instead of pumping in tandem with the current oil infrastructure we have today.

I voted for a"<= 2008" production peak. I didn't grok the other two choices at first: "> 2008 if economy sucks" and "> 2008 if economy rocks". If the peak doesn't come prior to 2009, it must occur after 2008 regardless of the economy. I guess the other options might be interpreted as "> 2008 and the economy will suck" and "> 2008 and the economy will rock" however, which is how I interpret them.

The economy sucking for some time when the peak would have been prior to, equal to or slightly after 2008 if economic activity had stayed constant would produce the less than or equal to 2008 scenario. This scenario encompassing so many possibilities is why I voted for it.

The economy recovering immediately or very soon to produce another price spike as well as a new short lived high in production could also happen. It's also possible that alternative energy sources are able to sustain this for quite a while. ( by alternative, I mean coal to liquids in large part ). There is some very recent news of possible imminent economic recovery. This would mean in the US, either inflation or the Fed selling lots of Treasury Securities probably driving up yeilds as demand for those securities fell. To roll this debt over would mean huge economy-killing tax increases to pay the interest, even more taxes to pay it down. More likely inflation is allowed to some extent at least, though in a global recovery, monetary inflation combined with a price spike in oil would be nasty to many, especially if it were a somewhat muted recovery in the developed world. The window for this would be 2009 to 2015ish as new oil would be developed quickly if prices spiked, coming online 2015ish. Existing supplies are more likely to be still online sooner rather than later, so I don't see peaks in production possible much after 2015.

I would say "> 2008 and the economy will suck" is the least likely option given the fact that a peak may already have occurred, together with the fact that the longer it goes with a sucky economy the less likely we are to see any production peak greater than the production levels prior to 2009. The window for such a peak is 2010 through 2012ish I would say. The economy would have to recover almost immediately for this to be the case but not so much that the economy would lose the distinction of sucking. The peak would have to happen before the existing oil wells have been depleted significantly or a new peak would be geologically impossible. The economy would likely suck 'from now on' or at least until alternative energy sources were developed in that case.

The possibility of an uneven economic recovery that would qualify as non sucky in many areas, yet still easily retain the sucky designation in other areas means that the second two options may be hard to distinguish from each other. Depending on where you live it may seem like one or the other, though global demand for oil will follow aggregate global economic conditions resolving the issue.

The poll's questions deserve more thought. Question 2 seems to be a subset of question 3. Am I missing something?

(2) means, "after 2008 if the economy turns around soon, otherwise 2008" (though in that case "soon" would have to be defined), while (3) means later no matter what happens with the economy.

I voted (1).

I agree, if (1) is excluded then it has to be after 2008. The results (2) & (3) should be counted together.

To be certain you need to say which definition of 'oil' you're talking about.

Personally I'd push the peak date back a bit (say 2012), on the assumption that investment will not be allowed to fall too far and headline production numbers will spike as the world comes out of depression.

If you were talking about simple crude though, I'd say we were past.

Yeah, I assumed light sweet crude, and I have seen nothing to suggest that we are not past peak there.

Of course, the deeper issue is when peak in total available energy from oil happened. Presumably this was a number of years ago, probably around 2000.

All new oil will take significantly more energy to produce, more and more so as time goes by.

But every new find that can be considered even somewhat "major" will be touted as the answer to all our problems.

I also think we passed the peak in reliable numbers quite a while back. It will be harder and harder to determine what are and are not real numbers as TPTB will become more and more frantic to hide the true nature of the situation.

We are past Peak Reliable Numbers--YES!

Peak Reliable Economic Data occurred at the end of the 1990s.

Peak Relaiable Oil Data seems to have occurred in the mid 00s.

It will be fun drawing out correct data from the increaing lies and garbage. Fortunately, the overall, big picture has already been made clear, and we do not have to be deceived by off-the-map-amazing, delusional "numbers".

We should also keep in mind population growth. Every year 80 million people get added to the worlds population. This is just 1% but still it shouldn't be ignored. If peak was in 2005 that means that by now the population has grown by 4% which in equal barrels per capita means oil production should have grown by 4%

It was rather at 1,2% and is now slowly closing in to 1% due to higher world population and a lower growth rate. I belive population growth is said to be at 1% in 2012 (and below 1% from then on). The world population then reaches 7 billion and the yearly growth is estimated to slow down to 70 million. Economical stress will have a huge effect on pregnancy and the birth rate will go down fast when Peak Oil hits.

"Economical stress will have a huge effect on pregnancy..."

"...and the birth rate will go down fast when Peak Oil hits."
There is an inverse relationship between fucundity and wealth.
They breed like bunnies when stressed.

I believe we have passed through the peak. One test of this will come later this year: I expect spot supply issues by late summer. This is due to population/demand growth coupled with sopping up the current slack and the lack of investment now being experienced.

The "peak" isn't a particular point in time. Rather it's several years of roughly similar production capacity while growth in demand continues. It is finally experienced when supply starts to fall off, as the excess delivery capability has steadily been absorbed in handling growth.

As our refining capacity is geared toward lighter crudes, heavy crudes require (re)investment that is not taking place as they become a larger part of the global mix.

The timing of that survey is very bad. We've just had an article stating that peak oil was at 2008, that can skew the result.

I guess the idea was to find if the article was convincing. However, an article with a contrary opinion is due to be published soon, so, perhaps the poll should have waited until both articles were on the site?

So here I voted for after 2008 if economy turns around soon.

With production capacity close to 88 mmbpd, if demand is there, production should exceed 2008 in the next few years.

What was the production CAPACITY in 2008? There will always be a hurricane, a war, an accident, a strike. So capacity will never be produced at 100%

These kinds of capacity limiters are automatically built into the calculation and are therefore already discounted in future assessment.

define few years? less than 5?

if it doesn't turn round do you think this headroom capacity will effectively plateau production in a long depression?

I believe that, had there not been the current economic problems, ingenuity would of won out to increase the production a small amount from here, at the cost of the shape of the tail, however with the reduction in long term investment commensurate with these times of financial hardship i believe that the decline of existing fields will begin to overtake the onlining of new fields.

see the difference between http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:OilMegaProjForecast.png http://www.theoildrum.com/files/PeakOil1.png -- the first assumes all planned mega projects go ahead and come online as originally announced, where as the second is a slightly more pessimistic view.

Also the price of oil has been beginning to creep back up, even though there have been significant reductions in both supply and demand, if demand comes back quickly, i'm not sure the supply will be there.

if its not clear, i believe in a 2008 peak, but the possibility that it could of gone a little higher had there not been economic problems.

I suppose it would have been politically incorrect on TOD to put in a fourth option:

*Frankly, no one knows and almost no one cares.

The recent economic "crisis" has shown us that in the short term peak money is far more dangerous to our health and well being than peak oil, and this is probably true in the longer term as well. The OECD nations have done nothing more than token programs (mostly token talk) at reducing fossil fuel consumption, and yet fossil fuel consumption is already easily dropping below production rates in the OECD nations. Imagine what would happen if we seriously limited consumption!

And I don't mean limited it with high techno toys, or starving masses, I mean for example if the average displacement of auto engines were sliced down to say 1.2 litres (more than is needed by far for most comfortable transportation), or the weight of vehicles was reduced back to anywhere near levels of sanity. There is so much waste in the system that a simple diet of fuel brought on by a recession can crash demand.

If anyone has been following such news items as the AIG bonus scandel, the Madoff case, the Stanford case, one would think we would now realize that the waste (and theft) of money is even greater than the waste of energy (who would believe we could waste anything more than we do energy!? One cannot even imagine the abuse of th financial system that MUST be going on every second behind the scenes, the horrific financial time bombs of deceit in the computers of the hedge funds and "blind pools" worldwide.

If the system is allowed to continue on with the current banking and hedge fund oligarchs at the top, we have nothing, NOTHING to fear from peak oil, the system will be sheared to bits by the financial corruption, and energy consumption will indeed decline by massive amounts, but this will not be caused by any geological constraint.

The astounding part is, most Americans (and in fact most of the citizens of the world) may well blame the loss of the greatest culture in world history on resource constraints. This will make the bankers and overlords of the financial community very happy, as they will still be living like overlords, and avoid the blame for the greatest robbery of the mass population in world history, a history altering theft so great it would have been considered almost incomprehensible only a few years ago.

As far as peak oil, bring it on...our poverty is increasing so fast as we are being robbed blind we will never even notice it.


Take this with a good portion of cynism: The banks, the government, the military did exactly the right thing. Peak Oil was forseeable since Hubbard and the US peak. 9/11, the credit bubble, the restrictions of civil rights (How far did Obama really go to abolish those restrictions?) all this was a concerted action to concentrate power and money in fewer hands while the sistem still was permitting growth (and therefore enormous redistribution of wealth).

Now the developed world experiences something I call the "argentinization" of their societies: A small elite that controls economy and political power, a small and reduced middle class that is willing to colaborate at any means, and a vast lower class, fracturated and impoverished, without political power. Blaming this situation on Peak Oil will help the elites to stay in power without being called to account for the situation. (Peak Oil IS a fact)

Blaming this situation on Peak Oil will help the elites to stay in power without being called to account for the situation

I can't see this.. thou i can see how you can come to think it

not sure they ever needed some sort of excuse and blaming the end of the world on the end of the world will not stabilise their position.. if you get my drift.

Are you sure resource constraint is a path they wish to illuminate. more worrying is the co-option of peak oil by extreme political elements. fascists for want of a better term.

"we need to guard what is ours" stop "enemy ideologies/races/countries from controlling"

Really? Not exactly oil depletion related, but exactly how much money do you think will be made off carbon credit trading, who will make it and where will this money come from?

well that is my point ...they are going to address the issue from the save the furry animals side of the equation long before we get to BTW we have burnt everything.

More like buy some more fur coats for the AIG grifters bimbo wives.

The astounding part is, most Americans (and in fact most of the citizens of the world) may well blame the loss of the greatest culture in world history on resource constraints. This will make the bankers and overlords of the financial community very happy, as they will still be living like overlords, and avoid the blame for the greatest robbery of the mass population in world history, a history altering theft so great it would have been considered almost incomprehensible only a few years ago.

this seems all backwards to me.. if energy was cheap IE geologically not constrained then this ponzi scheme (i hate that expression)would have gone on.. you could have gone on inventing money in you computer database for ever because there is a infinite pool of energy to grow the economy with?

to me we found out these guys because the whole thing stalled... physically stalled. The amount of energy couldn't increase so new wealth creation never materialised QUICK ENOUGH.

if there hadn't been some production limiting factor and I agree a lot of it is above ground factors, they would have carried on getting away with it..

..most Americans (and in fact most of the citizens of the world) may well blame the loss of the greatest culture in world history on resource constraints.

Which was the "greatest culture in world history"? Your own, by any chance?

Which was the "greatest culture in world history"?

Yeast ;)

The balck stuff you pump out of the ground seems to have peaked in 2005.

Were the DFG's Right?

If anyone quotes these results, they should add the votes for the last two choices to compare with the first. Because the two choices really are 2008 or before, vs. after 2008 which are currently running at 74% and 26% respectively. Having two choices for one side is kind of like running a third candidate in an election.

But I must say that this website sure seems to attract pessimists.

But I must say that this website sure seems to attract pessimists.

It's much worse than that: this site creates pessimists. In fact, not just this site, the whole peak oil genre, Campbell, Deffeyes, Simmons, and many others going back to MK Hubbert. The problem is that these people looked at data and numbers and stuff like that. They have been extremely biased by involvement in the petroleum industry, proving once again that if a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, then a lot is absolutely lethal.

Of course, these are not the real pessimists. These guys are fake pessimists, crypto-optimists disguised as pessimists. They think that a lot of suffering could be averted if the coming decline were recognized, and we cut back on oil consumption.

The real pessimists are those who believe that the fake-pessimists will be ignored, and that TPTB will continue on the present course of trying to revive growth, and thereby cause untold suffering. And these real pessimists base their beliefs on the most superficial of things: what they see TPTB actually doing, totally disregarding the fact that they may in fact be doing something entirely different from what they are seen to be doing. Which is, again, very unimaginative on their (the real pessimists) part.

Best to just ignore -ists of any ilk.

P.S. Now I'm feeling guilt pangs and include this: :)

I do not mind pessimists. Theirs is a valid viewpoint, in that they are saying "things could be much worse than we had assumed" as opposed to the optimists who are essentially saying "things will be better". Either position can be hard to prove, but both are valid positions and can be planned around to varying degrees.

What I cannot abide are the defeatists, who take the position "it's going to be horrific, there is nothing you can do to change it, and even if you could, you shouldn't." I find the defeatist position to be completely useless, and beside, who the hell gave them the right to decide for the rest of us?

If we are going to collapse, and I cannot prove that we are not (any more than they can prove that we are) then we can make the choice for ourselves whether we should go down without a fight, or whether we want to do it in style. We must each decide for ourselves what we consider fighting for, what type of life we decide we will struggle to aspire to. Neo-primitivism isn't my bag.

If I were a real believer in assured collapse, I would be down at the Porsche store trying to buy the fastest set of wheels I could put on credit! Why not? My money would be worth nothing in the future, and I would be getting one last wild time with an art form (the truly high performance automobile) that no human would see or experience again in history! It would be like getting to ride a great luxury airship in the 1930's, or a flying boat to South America, knowing that the age of these beautiful machines was almost over. And since the collapse of the fossil fuel age was assured, I would feel no guilt, as no matter what I did the outcome was already decided. Carbon release? It would be soon to end anyway as we declined back into the dark ages. If I were a believer in collapse, my motto would be "LET'S PAAAARTY DUDE!!!" ;-O


Here's another way to pose it. Farmers Smith and Johnson are standing in the middle of the tracks at a rail crossing. Smith says, I see a train coming. Johnson replies, you always see things coming, you're always worrying about things. Smith replies, I do not, I'm very positive person, etc. This goes on for several rounds until finally, SPLAT!

An alternative scenario is this. Smith again sees the train coming, but this time Johnson replies, that's not a train, that's Murphy's bull. Smith counters that the bull seems to be puffing smoke and is getting larger. Johnson says the bull is just snorting, and that it will almost certainly veer off. And so forth.

I maintain that the second scenario is more likely to lead the farmers ultimately getting off the tracks. That's because they are at least looking down the tracks and not wrapped up in discussing psychology.

...and yet another scenario. Smith knows the train schedule and says so as he and Johnson approach the railroad bridge on foot. Johnson says "You rotten pessimist! You always expect the worst." Smith says "Yeah... I guess you're right. You go on ahead, I'll be along shortly."


Except that we are all "on the track" and there IS no "off the track."

(Is that pessimistic enough for ya?)

Now you're getting it. I was briefly hopeful when Obama was elected, but that didn't last. There is something fundamentally wrong with the economic model. It demands eternal exponential growth where corporations grind up natural resources to produce garbage. And worse, you have to play. There is no tolerance of alternatives. You have to play and playing leads to the destruction of the planet, mass starvation, and periodic culling by the ruthless, when we bump up against one resource limitation or another. And even if the lowing masses could come together to put pressure on Washington, it is evident that they don't care and feel very free about putting their hands into our pockets. But they don't worry about a cohesive purposeful citizenry. This is the most divided and conquered nation on the face of the earth. If the peasants do revolt, they will turn against each other: white against black, liberal against conservative, and on and on for each of the ways a wedge issue has divided us, and we'll never even get the chance to discuss matters that are enslaving and ultimately killing our children. So yeah "we are all on the track".

GailTheActuary is often saying how credit will become much more scarce post-peak and perhaps you have identified another reason why -if/when people believe the 'end is nigh' what's to stop them loading up, enjoying one last fling and defaulting on the debt?...

We might see some very strange things in the decades ahead.


what's to stop them loading up, enjoying one last fling and defaulting on the debt?

Seems to have worked for all the world's big banks. They even get a taxpayer bailout in place of having to default.

when people believe the 'end is nigh' what's to stop them loading up, enjoying one last fling and defaulting on the debt?...

They did that.

Dash it all.
We seem to be back to personalities again.
It doesn't take long.

I was trying to formulate an optimistic view, and then I realised that it is covered in the report to the Club of Rome 2000 update.

The 10th scenario where we impliment wide ranging changes in 1982.

One of the crucial changes was a restriction on per capita industrial output.
Gotta tell my boss!!

Don't worry, once the banks and hedge funds get done with ya', you'll have all the "per capita restrictions" you can stomach.


You are on a roll Roger. Just remember, as one TOD poster put it-"these are the people that really make things happen" so they deserve every last one of your dollars.

Yep, if Roger decides that wants to roll really 'fast and clean' as he parties on into collapse:

Electric Motorcycles Race Towards the Future With FIM Sanction and New Battery Technology on Horizon [Cool photos,too]

..The drumming is starting to bring the teams out of the woodwork. Mission Motors, a new electric-motorcycle startup company in San Francisco, CA, has announced its Yves Behar-designed (Behar designed the One-Laptop-Per-Child Initiative XO Laptop) bike, the Mission One, will race the Isle. The Mission One is notable for a couple of reasons. It offers impressive performance claims: 150 mph and a 150-mile range. It's also wicked expensive, at $68,995...

I love it, I think motorcycles are the way into the electric age in transportation...they are light, so the amount of expensive battery needed is much smaller than cars. This means we test and perfect battery arrangements such as li-on and nano tech much less expensively than in cars, and then transfer from bikes to cars. Bikes are also under far less regulation so the expense of getting them legal on the road is less. It should be a kick!


Um.. that in the 1st, business as usual, scenario.
It impresses me no end.

The term is realist. I find it interesting that the person who labels most of the readers pessimists failed to logically interpret the poll numbers. The second group believes we have peaked if the economy does not turn around quickly so you cannot add them to the group that believes we will not peak until after 2008 since we do not know what the economy is going to do.

It seems like the diesel issue is passed over as if it didn't occur.

Diesel prices started to climb, went higher than gas here in US, then shortages popped up here and there.

Then diesel shortages world wide.

Diesel the life blood of the world economy.

Sounds like production not meeting demand and in fact it looked like this couldn't be 100% explained by increase in demand. ???

I'll stick with 2005 and I will bet my Big Ugly TOD Troll A$$ on it.

I ideally wanted to vote post 2020 for peak production of oil, but post 2008 will have to do.

More information please.
Can you support you belief?