Four Years

Dear readers, today marks the 4th full of year of the existence of The Oil Drum.

Our durability is because of you, the readers. We wouldn't—couldn’t—do this if we didn't think people were listening, helping us spread the word, and participating in and advancing the conversation. So, I offer you, our readers, a sincere thank you from all of our staff.

A summary and some thoughts lay below the fold.

In our fourth year, we’ve almost doubled our historical number of visits from 9.7M to 17.2M and historical unique views from 23.6M to 39.7M. While the traffic to TOD has waned a bit of late with the decline in the price of oil, the upward traffic trend line still holds.

Much more importantly than traffic, while we have no easy way to measure the quality of those readers’ impacts on policy or their own communities, we cannot but hope that we are a part of positive change.

At TOD, we have always tried to be the bridge between the doomers, the technopians and the cornucopians, to present as many sides of the myriad arguments as we can, so that we do not become too rooted in any mode of thought. This allows us to test raw ideas through your eyes and critical thinking in a way that doesn't happen most places. We don't tell you what to think, we just ask that you actually do so—and do so critically and empirically. As Nate’s post prior to this one points out so eloquently, WE DON’T KNOW, but we can learn. I remain proud of this site for its perspective and willingness to take on these immense topics.

Even with that lack of certitude girding us, most days, it feels to me like we are walking an ever-narrowing knife-edge with icy gusting winds blowing across a shrinking and very loosely anchored tightrope. This is not easy to do, folks. It is not easy at all. I have made mistakes, but in that I am only reassured by the fact that no one gets them all right; in the end, all we can do is try to do what we think is best as our inner spirit dictates. If one thinks about it, SO much has changed since we started: the oil run-up, hurricanes, the economic debacle, the dynamic climate debate all have added even greater complexity to an already overwhelming topic. It is hard to take it all in and digest to any comprehensive conclusion.

These are just some of the many reasons I am thankful for and care deeply for every single person on this staff--they are an amazing collection of people: diverse, intelligent beyond bound, hard-working, personable and engaged. The people of this group may not agree on everything, but we do understand that this site is something special that must be maintained for as long as it can be.

The efforts of Nate, Gail, Leanan, and SuperG should be especially noted, as they are the folks who are here most days, slogging it out, making it work. Without them, this site would not have persevered over the past months.

On a personal note, some may have noted that I have been relatively absent of late. I have been taking a bit of a break, trying to recover from a pretty severe burn out. I still work some behind the scenes, coordinating, helping publicize the site, and a few other things that you’ll be hearing more about in the future. I can’t blame that burnout on any single situation or any single issue—however, I don't think many understand the cumulative toll that these people pay each day to keep this unique space running--and they do so with only the compensation of attempting to do the right thing. So, I am thankful that there have been wonderful people there to pick up the ball when I just couldn’t run with it for a while. We are all fortunate for this. The Oil Drum remains by far the best thing I have contributed to in my life, and it is still something I believe in and hope to contribute more to in the coming days.

On another note, well, there are some cleavages that have developed inside our little energy coven. They are diverse, cross-cutting, and while at one time those different perspectives would have been regarded as an available and persistent strength, sometimes, lately, these cleavages manifest themselves as caustic differences. I regard them as normal among a group of people who have explored difficult subjects together for a while--a natural occurrence that reflects independent thought.

With that being said, I care deeply about all of the people who are involved here. Some of them, many of them, I have never shared anything more than an email conversation with, but they have joined together in this fight—all of them for their own reasons, all of them with their own perspectives. When oil was rising in price, it became a signal that conventional thinking could accept as an indicator of scarcity. Despite different skill sets, ultimate goals, pet concerns, etc., our union of purpose was a shared one. In this period where demand for energy is outpacing geologic depletion, our interests, expertise and worldviews have become more disparate. And that's ok.

In this struggle to discuss energy and our future, the issues are likely to grow even more tense, more vitriolic, and tougher to handle, with all of the situations we face in this world, economic, political, energy, and otherwise. I therefore ask that you, our readers, make every effort to treat each other with respect and understanding when these polemic topics arise.

I am compelled to remind you of one of my favorite quotes from someone I think a lot of, Jerry Michalski; he shared a mantra with me a while back, which he learned from Quaker meeting: "Speak only if it will improve upon the silence." We thank you for continuing to improve upon the silence here at The Oil Drum.

No one knows what the future holds, no one holds all of the keys. All we can do here is try to help educate and make that future a better one for as many people as we can, for as long as we can. It is a unique model, based on social and community capital, and in turn it is itself a social experiment of the highest order—and one we need your help in perpetuating its norms, its impact, and its existence.

I hope that you will continue to join us in that purpose.

Many thanks to all the thoughtful folks on these pages and especially my fellow editors and contributors.
I dare say that we have not only informed many people with good knowledge, we have changed people's way of thinking about energy.

I really don't know what the future holds, but I feel that The Oil Drum has provided me with a way of better interpreting events, understanding the driving forces, figuring out the tough technical and moral issues at stake in energy.

See you around the Campfire!

Oil Price per barrel March 22nd 2005: 48.75$....2009 approx 42.91$

Would not have predicted that...had someone they would be mocked.

BTW one of my profs brought up this site in class.....

Of course, the current Nymex price is about $52, but color me surprised at the extent of the decline in demand. Having said that, the price of oil rose for nine of the 10 years from 1998 to 2008, with 2000, not 2008, showing the fastest rate of increase. The average price in 1998 was $14, and it remains to be seen what the average price in 2009 will be versus the average price of $100 that we saw in 2008.

Hi guys

Congrats on 4 years excellent work. I've only been lurking and then discussing stuff on here for half that time but have found it both enjoyable and educational.

I've emailed you separately but, being aware of how many emails you get, thought I would post a suggestion on here as well. Any chance you could add a feature, if it doesn't already exist (and if it does please tell me how to work it), that allows thread content to be collapsed to authors only? It would make navigation easier, especially now that a lot of the threads are becoming very long.

Thanks and keep up the good work!


Thank you, Despite it's flaws this is a very good site.

The only flaw I can think of is that it is very difficult to find old articles. When I am scrolling through looking for them, I have to remember who they were written by, or else searching is almost futile. And the titles are often cryptic or puns or just make no sense out of context. If there was some way to archive the articles by topic or maybe just make a library of what you think are the best ones, that would be helpful. I was thinking of finding my favorite 20 articles or so and printing them out...

that's what the story tag feature is for...what are you looking for?

Brilliant site and I appreciate all the work you have all done. Do not underestimate the influence the site is having, it is linked from the Financial Times site and the BBC and mention of the oil problem is popping up on a regular basis on TV and newspapers. It is becoming accepted that this is a problem that wider society has to deal with.

Without doubt this site (and the knowledge of peak oil) has changed my life. All my plans going forward from the most basic financial decisions to where I intend to live & work are all heavily influenced by what I now believe the future to be. Thank you for this site and this gift/curse of knowledge.

I don't think people realize all of the work that goes on behind the scenes. I have not been as involved as Kyle, Nate, and Super G. Thanks to all of them, for their work on the site that goes un-noticed, but keeps things together.

Not all may appreciate the work required to maintain such a tremendous resource, but many do.

I can't say where I'd be in life without TOD, but I know where I'm headed because of it. My most sincere thanks to all those who make it possible.

B Smith

Yes, I second this sentiment, thanks to all involved.

Good show!

Let's hear it for the staff..

"Four More Years ... yea yea yea"

Four more years! Four more years!

Thank you all for all of your hard work.

It is greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all of you for your hard work and tireless dedication to this site and all the wonderful, strange and informative lines I've read over the years.


Thanks to the whole team for all your contributions. I run a network of web sites so I know the work it takes. A blog of this size is a herculean effort. I am humbled by it.

I've been coming for about two years. I mostly lurk and sometimes send Leanan articles. I am no longer sure whether it was my own reading of the tea leaves - or ideas I picked up here - but I sold my house, paid off all my credit cards and now live in a nice rental apartment where I sleep through the night debt-free. Given the real estate and financial collapse of the past 18 months, my friends think I'm prescient.

Finally, I still miss OilmanBob.


I think we all miss OilManBob. As I recall, he passed away from complications of diabetes. Rockman gives us insights from an oil man's perspective also, but each contributor has his own special place, and OilManBob was very special.

Hard questions answered with hard facts. That and commentary that really holds your feet to the fire... in a friendly sort of way... has characterized TOD from the start. That's what first attracted me, and it's what keeps me coming back.

The Oil Drum enjoys deep respect, and has earned every bit of it.

Member for 3 years and 13 weeks

Addict for 3 years, 12 weeks, 6 days, 23 hours

Member for
3 years 28 weeks

I hardly ever post, but as someone who has been around for most of the site's life, and who comes here almost every day, I would hate to think how many posts I have read, and how much I have learned.

Great site, thank you very much.

It has changed a lot both in my ways of thinking and in our living
circumstances. Since being introduced to the subject I have read a couple of meters of literature on depletion questions. I convinced my husband as well, we moved to another rental house, sold both of our cars and bought new bicycles for each family member instead. For us life has become calmer, more local and certainly more enjoyable!


A place where I come every day to learn. Thank you to one and all.


Agreed. Even if I don't put them into practice, I learn something new from this site every time I visit. Truly a gem amidst the garbage dump that is the WWW.

Addicted for 1 year, 15 weeks.

Thank you very much for your most inspiring work. I would like to have something like that in Denmark allthough I don't think the problems we are facing are on the same scale.

I'm very impressed and a regular visiter and I use argument from TOD a lot in my own little work on a sustainable future for mankind.

4 more years thank you.

Hi Kyle - as I said to Dave over on his thread its good to have both of you still posting here.

I like your metaphors and quotes:

most days, it feels to me like we are walking an ever-narrowing knife-edge with icy gusting winds blowing across a shrinking and very loosely anchored tightrope.

Some days I feel as though I've been sliced open;-)

You probably won't remember this:

Live within your means

From the Christmas 2006 one sentence challenge. I think this rings even more true today than then, though exactly what it means may be subject to debate. At some point everyone is going to have to comply. There is a feeling of grand larceny at large these days.

burn out

We all need to take care - and I look forward to your promised return.

Speak only if it will improve upon the silence

This is one of my favorites.

I made my mind up long ago that since TOD was voluntary that I would walk away if it ever became too stressful. And I still hold that view. I've wobbled on that tight rope many times, but for so long as I feel there is something to learn or something I can contribute I'll be around.

Right now though I'm morphing into something else and time is very short.

It is the metaphors, and the comparisons that work best. - for now.

The picture is painted. Do we know what we see?

I came here, an arse, a wannabee provocateur, - I read, I read, I read... I stopped posting, kept reading...

Nothing I say is now adequate.

I have been around TOD for over 3 years and have gone from addiction (for about 2 years), worry (for about 1 year), to disgust/burn out (less than 6 months). I am back to occasional posts, but do not like getting caught up in the same arguments over and over and pouncing on those that try to hijack TOD for various reasons. TOD has widened my world and perception appreciably, but has also taught me not to panic. We have potentially been on the precipice for awhile now and have not gone over the edge. TOD has given a head start on preparing and making what I believe to be smart choices. I do not like some decisions and outcomes that transpired (i.e., loss of financial dialogue), but this is not my site and I do not make up the structure and rules. The addition of Gail has picked up that missing piece well. TAE has become a wonderful site in and of itself.

I wish Stuart still did some key posts, but understand if he never does again. The core group is amazing and I thank you all for your perseverance.

I miss Oil CEO. What happened to him?

I'm not sure, but I do remember liking his posts. TOD has had some participants pass away, but not sure it was him. Perhaps the TOD staff can let us know.

IIrc, ceo was the first TODer banned.

More than the first.  He's had a very Hindu existence, reincarnating multiple times.

Eww...must be thinking of the wrong guy.

Only the good die young. Oil CEO was brilliant sober and well banned drunk. He was a philosopher/analyst Dr. Jekyll and a inflammatory troll Mr. Hyde. Anyone remember the one graph he did with the weird pink ovals none of us understood? Seriously that was his only serious post that sucked.

ah yes, i recall OilCEO, what a card, i always enjoyed his stuff. I do recall his infatuation with paris hilton. (perhaps they finally together in total bliss!) but i did like his comments.

The only thing funnier would b if Oil CEO was Paris in cognito.

TAE has become a wonderful site in and of itself.

I had to bar myself from TAE as it just became to depressing. Reading it was paralysing me and I was starting to dwell too much on the problems of the world and not enough on the really good things in life like my family. TOD can be like that sometimes too but I've enjoyed the Campfire as a way taking positive action that helps us to prepare for an uncertain future.

Congrats and a big thank you to the editors, contributors and commenters from whom I have learned a great deal.


I mix TAE with Bloomberg, CNNMoney, Mish, Financial Sense, mortgage implode o meter, and Markt Oracle. I then find my balance somewhere in the middle.

My first post. Been reading the oildrum now for about 3.5 years ever since first learning about PO. Thank you all for presenting such valuable information. I guess I have been a little sheepish about posting since I am no expert on anything just a generalist. However from the thousands of great articles and comments I have read over the years I can honestly say that my understanding on many diverse topics has improved. A big hats off to the regular writers and staff. And to Airdale who understandably wishes to refrain from the DB - thanks for your personal insight and experiences. The has always been my first recommended website for those learning about PO, energy and the future.

As a side note: I agree with those who believe that just writing amongst other believers isn't enough if we want to attempt mitigation. So I have begun recently on a quest of forming a PO group here in Alaska with the ultimate aim of informing a larger audience in my community. If anyone here has personal experience that could help in this endeavor it would be greatly appreciated. Also, if anyone here resides in Alaska I would very much like to chat in person.

Thanks to everyone!

AK Bound - I am with you on informing a broader audience. We need to do much more than preach to the choir.

Here's what we did to help inform a larger audience in Michigan. We did not hold a "peak oil" conference per se, but we did create a "Conference on Michigan's Future: Energy, Economy and Environment." see This conference was held last November and about 200 people attended.

The goal of our conference was to bring together energy and environmental experts, and governmental and business leaders to discuss a broad list of sustainability issues facing our state (including peak oil).

Our sponsors included the major utilities, the state and local chamber's of commerce, major businesses such as Herman Miller and Sysco foods, Dow Corning, Masco, etc. We were also able to get some good coverage on public radio for the next couple of months after the conference as they played the audio conference proceedings weekly. Many people throughout northern lower Michigan learned about all of this.

It was quite the site to watch one of the senior utility executives who was stumping for a new coal plant sitting next to Richard Heinberg answering questions during a panel discussion. This is what we tried to do, put the climate change people next to the coal people and have them discuss the relevant issues in front of 200 people. It is a credit to all parties for being at the table and I feel there is a big need for more of this type of joint dialog.

Hope you can use some of these ideas to inform your community.

AKbound, you lurked for 3.5 years. What's left to learn? Outreach has been ongoing that entire time. Alaska is still complacent. Mitigation ain't happening. As we burn through our Permanent Fund we're tying rockets to the roof of the bus to drive us off the cliff faster. This bus don't fly.

I showed up at a town meeting with Palin's Energy Coordinator, Steve Haagenson. No one else had any significant questions, so I chatted with him and his multiple deputies for nearly an hour. Question after question, they couldn't answer, since I groked the whole deal so much better than all of them combined (thanks to TOD, and I'm no expert either). I suggested things and drew blank stares. He suggested I sign up for a committee. I did, but none of his deputies replied to my several emails. Their report said that my region of Alaska has lots of biomass, significant tidal opportunities, and potential geothermal reserves. Duh. So they suggest and fund interties between maxed out hydro towns and oil based villages. Hmmm. Is that what they wanted to suggest in the first place? They are just pouring out money. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

Alaska is whacked. My city is pouring reserve funds out the wazoo for energy conservation projects that cannot possibly conserve energy while tax revenues are falling through the floor. I crunch numbers. Apparently, that is not a politically popular activity. My city is also whacked. Post-peak, I'd rather be in Detroit. It makes no difference what they do with the money, eventually, we all gotta go.

You will do fine in Alaska, if you don't mind living like Jack London without the flour Energy export will continue, but the infrastructure will not. The highway will be clogged in both directions.

Alaska is full of wonderful people, but they have to be blind to reality to plan on staying here post-peak. Prudhoe Bay is a poster child for what's going to happen to the world, and nobody up here (almost) wants to know. A gas pipeline WILL be built in about 2017 because that's when North Slope oil is kaput and the cap is popped. I know, I know, Gull Island and ANWR will save the day... like h**l they will. Even Westexas, Rockman, and Fractional Flow couldn't make a dime on oil up there after the pipe closes... what are they going to do, fly it out? It works for the remote gold mines....

Because if people groked Alaska and peak oil, they would be building and stocking a Jack London cabin or headed south. We're all on the public teat. Read farfel (Argentina) or Demetri (Russia). The long supply chain is the one that collapses first. Marginal areas become depopulated first.

When collapse happens, Alaska will become a company town to the energy and mining companies. Look what they are trying to do with Palin's pipeline. If you are a big wig in BP, Exxon, COP, Red Dog, etc, then Alaska will be good for you. The rest of us will be treated like diamond miners in the Congo. Smell the (imported) coffee.

But seriously, I wish you luck. I was so excited in 2005 when I read about a Peak Oil seminar in my city, excited and nervous to meet neighbors who shared my third eye. I walk into a hotel conference room and find... wanna be real estate agents. Five of them, two I knew. What followed was a presentation that blew my mind away, by a professor from Anchorage who was teaching ... real estate. He totally understood the danger of Alaska post-peak. He showed a beautiful depletion curve for Cook Inlet gas, pointing out the consequences of extending the LNG and Ammonia plants. Of course they were extended, so now 1/2 the population of Alaska face imminent gas shortages. So during break, my friends turn to me and ask, "So are you looking to get your license too?" No clue. What's the point of outreach when someone much more capable than me resorts to teaching real estate? The professor totally understood the irony. I thanked the professor, went home, and nearly cried.

I know active groups in Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Juneau, none of which have any significant traction. Talk, talk, talk. Ken Deffeyes came through three years ago to packed houses... and no action. Every alternative energy type seminar since has produced overflow audiences, but no cattle. Listen to the questions afterwards. People so want to fix the problem, so want to believe that there is a way out. Ken was exhausted physically and mentally. He did a brilliant presentation, but winced at the questions. Every town, the same concern. The same worry. The same questions. The same answers. It's like he is speaking some frigging code, I get it clear as a bell, but everyone else more concerned with the marginal driving conditions outside. People kept debating X vs. Y while ignoring the four horsemen. The four frigging horsemen. Get it, AKbound?

I've read TOD since the first summer also, but with all the brilliant minds at work here, I've come up with exactly squat to keep Alaska from falling into the crevasse. The only option that might, MIGHT, have a chance is the "Keep Alaska's gas for Alaskans" whisper. Fat chance it will work. Good luck gaining buy-in from the power brokers. Don't fly in small airplanes.

BUT, here's your challenge. Assume your efforts and 'positive thinking' convinces others to act collectively instead of taking personal actions. Then you fail. Their failure to act individually lies on your shoulders. If you really groked the consequences of peak oil for Alaska, you would be looking for a way to escape. Lead through your own actions.

Before you expend too much energy, try visiting a couple of small Midwestern towns and talk to the locals. You will be AMAZED at the response. They may not grok peak oil, but they are planting gardens, stockpiling food, know their neighbors, etc. Plant your seeds in fertile soil.

Good luck, I hope I'm wrong, but I won't be joining you. Stay warm and dry.

Cold Camel

Cold Camel,

A very very good summary of Alaska.

TOD IMO needs more 'on the scene' reality like yours. More evidence of what is happening.

The scientific essays are worthy but what is really happening back on the farm and in the outbacks of Amurkah? We really need to know. Thats why I always posted what I saw here.

Here. A place where water is very plentiful. Was lots of woodlands but disappearing. Very good soil. Not too crowded. Yet , yet its all being used for one purpose. Monoculture. That alone. Good livable land is being destroyed. Ponds are being broken. Fencing bulldozed down. Old barns shoved into a pile and burned. Vast acres of tress being totally cut with zero conservation efforts like replanting. We are doing it to ourselves. We are actually speeding up the process of destruction , as far as I can see.

So I hunker down. What else can one do? Hope that the infrastructure collapses fast enough to stop the raping? That enough bankruptcies will occur to stem the tide?

Your post on Alaska was revealing. Seems no one else is telling it like it is up there.


Glad to see you back! Hope you are doing well.

Yes Gail, doing quite well. Thanks for asking.

The urologist looked at the x-rays and pronounced me clean. 100% clean.

I then went down the hall to see my favorite nurse. Got a full-body hug and best wishes. She has seen everything I own so full body hugs are not something to be reticent about. I hate those little 'air kisses' and neck-only hugs. Contact of any kind goes a long way in my current world.

I rode home in a mixed mood. Six months from now I do the whole thing over except next is a total CT,MRI and everything else in the medicalalphabet soup lexicon. Long as my ex-employer retiree medical plans hold out. Only costs me $38/month for the full monty.

Guess I will have to wait for that next hug as well.


Yes, hugs are always good.

Airdale, I'm glad to have you on board. Read your comments with interest.

Wow!! It's been 4 years for TOD. Some days, it seems like longer. Such are the sentiments of a obsessive peeker (or is that a peaker??):-)

Cheers everyone. And happy birthday, TOD.

Well first thanks for responding. I agree with much of your assessments. I've kept my ear to the ground for anything PO related in AK but have never heard or seen much with exception of renewable energy. I live in the matsu valley area. Very much like to talk with that professor you mentioned although I'm sure there are many in the petro industry up here well aware of PO. I was surprised the first time I saw ADN's energy editorial graph the '87 AK peak. It's fairly easy to become "realist" to the point of giving up on convincing others.

AK's population is well past the point of sustaining itself unless we control our oil and gas (and coal). Also our fish. As long as there is a USA the federal government will still have a vested interest in controling whatever is left (they still "own" the majority of the land) . Alaska unfortunately needs a military force to protects its assets as long as they exist. I suppose Canadian forces could fill that gap better geographically in the future if US disintegrates (hopefully no russians).

I moved up here four years ago (before PO aware) because after travelling much of the country Alaska seemed to me more like home. Also Its one of the most untouched places in the entire world. Not that you could easily survive in those places but the natural beauty here is phenomenal. I am no expert on AK history but I understand the natives here lived sustainably for thousands possibly > 10000 years (plz no comments on the global temps back then). Their ways of living off the land were as diverse as "the people". It depended on their locality. The rivers here are incredibly rich even with the oceans in peril. Inlanders had moose, caribou, bear, foxes, porcupine, hares and fowl to live off of. The SE and SC along with kodiak were presumably the most tolerant area to live but even in the most difficult trying places known to man they lived. Thrived may not be a good description but they lived sustainably as all animals should. I have no illusions that I'm capable of such feats. They had generations of knowledge and skills. Even physiology factors in when comes to surviving extreme cold for half a year. My point is that AK is no worse than other places which while far more survivable lead invariably to overloading carrying capacity.

I also love the NW of US. I've lived in WA and ID. But the population in the entire NW is in my opinion way beyond CC. Same goes for the east coast which is really whacked out. SW is mostly beyond CC. Southern Cali and AZ doesn't stand a chance. So it seems the consensus is that central US stands the best chance. I say that's partly speculative HS. Yes, its survivable. Growing food is the simplest and most reliable way to feed yourself. No, I'm not saying its simple or easy. But there is a huge inherent risk being within driving and walking distance of all those urbanites. It will take awhile (assuming a hard crash) before there is stability. And then there is the problem of militia forces who inevitably will use force to feed themselves. It doesn't matter where you live in the continental US - there will always be better armed people with better vehicles, even if your riding a horse or walking. Agriculture requires that every year you put it all on the line for a single harvest. How good are you at looking over your shoulder while you pick or swing a sickle? Then assuming you have a enough harvest to last you a whole year plus seeds, you have to protect it. Someone will always have more ammo or a burning torch to demand that you share your harvest. It all comes to risk assessment. And the truth is its all just mental masturbation. None of us knows how this is going to go down just that it is. Personally I would prefer a nice isolated tropical island with a sparse population. Know of any? Enough of that rant.

My point is that there is no perfect place and I'd rather have an idea of what I'm in for than always be wondering about all the crazy people around me. If I had a plethora of money I would be searching right now for that perfect spot of land and a wife willing to keep me company and share the work.

I still think attempting mitigation is the best allocation of our effort. Even if doesn't seem possible. I know, its like beating your head against a wall when trying to get people to understand, much less care. I still have yet to really convince one person. But most of it just comes down to necessity. Once the need arises people will start to come around. Not all of them but some. Maybe enough for marginal success, enough to create stability. If everyone in the PO community believes that leaving society is the solution, then what have we accomplished? NOTHING. Because even if everyone of us managed to survive our numbers are insignificant. But what we have done is establish that we are leaders. Leaders of ideas which should be self-evident.

The observation that there are not many open to PO in AK is the same most everywhere. I recently visited the group Seattle Peak Oil Awareness. I thoroughly enjoyed the evening conversing with them. But what amazed me (and not to downplay their efforts) is how out of a city of millions they were a dedicated group of about 20-30. OTOH there are probably 10's of thousands in the enviro movements in that city. So I honestly think its both a matter of timing and a certain critical mass before we can really get people to listen. But we need the ground work first.

One more point, even if AK became a company town those companies would think twice about pissing off the population here. Because all their profits are as fragile as the pipeline.

Thank you Professor Goose, Nate, Gail, Leanan, and SuperG (and all the rest of you, contributors and posters alike). I cannot contribute as you do (I am not a peak oil subject matter expert), but I read and (often save to my digital library) nearly everything you contribute. You are all providing a critical service to society. Thank you sincerely for your time and effort.

Bob Boeri

As another mostly silent reader, I'd like to echo how important TOD has been to my continuing education. I've been visiting for over three and a half years, at some times every day, at others less than once a week. I'm truly humbled that the TOD staff and regular posters care enough about the issues and us, the audience, to invest so much time and effort for an intangible reward. I'm very grateful.

Keep up the good work guys.

The oil drum is a bastion of sanity in the wild west of the internet.

I don't know how you guys manage to keep going like the energizer bunny after all these years.

PS: I'm kind of burnout on all this also.

PPS: I cut the lawn today with a reel mower. Boy is that work. I'm really going to miss fossil fuel.

If you plan on keeping a lawn post-peak you might want to do some research on sentient four legged lawnmowers. They have the added bonus of reproducing and providing food. :-d

Sadly not an option in most urban areas. My problem has been keeping them out of the vegetables!

You can buy electric reel mowers.  Here's one.

kudos Prof Goose; & staff.
i consider this site my education, like i have never had before.

thanks for all the behind the scenes work! noticed u'r absence Prof & HO.

Of late i have cut back reading as i think we are off to the races, soon enough that i have learned enough that i need to Do.

a lot of time is required to attempt to cover for such diverse scenarios-even just the ones that seen inevitable- with some hope of alleviating the pain , & are thankfully discussed here.

& thanks to members for comments.Best wishes to all!

Congrats on another year Prof G.

I learned most of what I needed to know during the first 2 years. It has been interesting to see how things have unfolded since and watch new visitors have their eyes opened.

If I remember correctly there was much speculation in 2005/06 that lack of oil/high prices could crash the economy and there would be plenty of oil at low price in the future, but few would be able to afford it. :-)

So one of the possible scenarios appears to have come true. People can say that it is all Wall Streets fault but I think lack of oil was as big a problem as lack of credit and the two often get co-mingled.

The floating of various hypotheses and concepts has always been TOD's strength. No one can predict the future accurately, all we can do is imagine what could happen as a way to enlighten others and work towards the better options.

Thank you...

Congratulations on your fourth year of TOD! I have been visiting the site for over a year now and it has been extremely informative and thought provoking on energy and related issues. The TOD community is a fantastic asset bringing a huge amount of technical information to us and I hope it can continue well into the future. Special thanks go to the regular hosts such as Gail, Nate, Leanan as well as the other excellent contributers from around the world. Please keep those comments and analyses coming.

Thank you, TOD staff, for your banner work running this most important site.

PO and the other resource crises are of paramount importance to the survival of Humanity and Earth's ecosystem as we know them. Hopefully enough ordinary people will pull their heads out of their TVs and video games an demand the proper Changes from their leadership. Or maybe they will remain mental slaves until it is past too late. How many minutes 'till midnight is it?

Higgins (CIA): It's simple economics. Today it's oil, right? In ten or fifteen years, food. Plutonium. Maybe even sooner. Now, what do you think the people are gonna want us to do then?

Joe Turner(Ex CIA on the lamb): Ask them?

Higgins: Not now - then! Ask 'em when they're running out. Ask 'em when there's no heat in their homes and they're cold. Ask 'em when their engines stop. Ask 'em when people who have never known hunger start going hungry. You wanna know something? They won't want us to ask 'em. They'll just want us to get it for 'em!

from: Three Days of the Condor, 1975
A most prescient movie...a rough sketch of the essence of the vision of the Partnership for a New American Century...

Thank you to all TOD staff, readers, lurkers, and regular writers. I loved it when it was only a blog then this wonderful web site. I have learned much and shared more with friends and colleagues.

You have helped get more thinking about PO and the more people thinking and discussing this the better!

Heartiest congratulations Prof. Goose and other members of the TOD on completion of 4 years of selfless and devoted service to the Oil community world over. My limited knowledge had been greatly enriched by the informative and relevant articles in TOD. Please keep up the good work.

Greetings from the First Talosian.

Four years you say?

The TOD has been an exceptionally good place to read research on energy matters, hear informed opinions, hear (and participate if one likes) in debates on related matters, and keep in touch with things going on all around the world from varying perspective. The debates set an example for the way debates should be conducted, sometimes sharp, but with respect. There's always been a good mix of the technical and the human element.

The editors, staff, contributors, and readers all deserve great credit. Peak oil yes, but may the TOD not peak for a long time yet.

Just a short, simple thank you for providing me an energy education. What, prey tell , will this world be in another 4 years!?

I have been a member here for 3 yrs and 28 weeks. (just before hurricane Katrina). i stumbled on this site, and don't regret it at all. i have enjoyed many of the members comments over the years and look forward to new meat (if it were) to provide us with industry insights, keep those charts and graphs comming! we all have something to share, and thats what i like about being here. some of us are not in the oil and gas industry, myself included. but nonetheless, we all have something to bring to The Oil Drum. I really like the old days of when the comments section started gaining momentum, or perhaps a certain number of replies, "we have a gusher" was mentioned at the top of the article. would really like to see that again. you old time members know what i am talking about.
speaking of old time members, i miss Airdale's comments. I love reading his stuff. Kentucky is really a very beautiful place. I know, i have a place there. and thanks to the haynesville shale, (mailbox money)i have a place in Texas too! Another member I have always enjoyed, and dearly miss is Stuart Sanifold? (think i got the name right) He was so spot on with his information. would really like to see him post more often.
Robert Rapier, always enjoyed his insight. I know he's busy, but i really look forward to his comments and insight.

There are many more members i could mention, but then i'd never get to bed, as it's getting late.

I have noticed over the past month or so that heated arguments between long time members have increased in quantity and flaming (if thats what you call it) seems to be gaining momentum too. which keeps me from dropping by as often as i had and really drives me away, because i seem to expect to see it lately. (thus missing possible good info)

That being said, this is the most and the best informative and trusted oil/gas/energy site I have ever run across. (hands down) and what made me sign up was the civility of those that disagreed with each other and the information provided by the real people in the oil/gas industry.

*note to the lurkers*: get in and post, the only stupid question is the one not asked. give us some insight on what you see or experience. we won't bite. you will be surprised and enlightened!

proud to be a member!

I’m assuming by lurker you mean people like me who read but don’t post.

Well geewiz you’ve convinced me, after a year or so of lurking before signing up as a member around 6 months ago my first post. I have found the site, in no particular order, thought provoking, educational, depressing and inspiring. So first up many thanks to TOD staff and contributors who day in day out source/research/post on what is one of if not the greatest challenge facing us as a civilization and secondly to the eclectic bunch of posters whose comments and collective insight overall strengthen the message of TOD.

Congratulations! Prof. Goose, Nate, Eaun, Luis, Gail, Leanan, Stuart, Robert, Heading Out, Jeff, Joules, Khebab, Jerome, Rembrandt, Ace, Westexas, Darwinian, Fractional Flow, ROCKMAN, Bob Shaw, memmel, Magnus Redin, Jokuhl, and all others I can think of.

The last 4 years have been breathtaking. 1 wild ride of groundbraking insights. PO and TOD changed my life and will do so more in the next 4 years.

I'm ready, thanks to you all.

Best hopes for civilized discussion and respectfull disagreement.

Congrat's as well. I started lurking in 2005. One of the best sites I have ever found.

BTW: maybe it is because I have not had my 4th cup of coffee yet or that I am getting old, but I can't remember what the TAE site several posters referred to is. Can someone clue me in? Thanks.

TAE grew out of the financial coverage Ilargi and I used to do over at TOD:Canada. I very much enjoyed the time I spent here since mid-2005. Congrats on 4 years.

And congrats to you and Ilargi on TAE. Your knowledge is impressive.

Kamsahamnida! Mahn-i paewautsayo!


Thank you all and happy birthday! TOD is my primary Peak (x) source and jump off point to an incredible amount of related info. There's a lot I could yak about but I'll just say one thing: I learn something new and find something to ponder every time I visit here.

Best wishes, keep it up, breathe deeply, and know you are all respected and appreciated.

Thank you all very much for the time and effort you have devoted to this site. It is the first site I ask people to visit when subjects along this line come up. It has indeed helped to open a few eyes. It is hands down the best of its' kind.

Must be a labor of love...

Here's to four more years!

Humble thanks to TOD staff - I really do appreciate how much work this is.

One idea relative to those of us who can't remember everything that has ever been posted (that would be me and most of you), and to those of you who post and may be getting burned out: Why not do what the Wall Street Journal (and others) do: Recycle the older content. WSJ calls this "Encore Editions," where they pick the "best of" earlier published pieces.

This technique would have the added benefit of perspective, showing whether or not earlier projections etc. were prescient, and those from which we can derive "lessons learned."

I second that idea. Plus a link to the original content so we can reread all the screwy predictions. Any volunteers? It would be a big haystack to sort through. However comment numbers or viewership could help weed out the lesser interesting stuff. Is that possible?