DrumBeat: May 31, 2009

Deffeyes Update: May 29th, 2009

My apologies for not posting a Current Events item earlier; I'm in the late stages of writing a third book on oil.

Bloomberg News reports that a high-level commission may be appointed to explore the roots of the present economic crisis. Bloomberg quotes Charles Geisst, a professor of finance at Manhattan College, who says that the commission would have to "dig way below the surface and get to the bottom of what caused all of the problems." It seems blatantly obvious that the crisis was caused by the end of growth in the world oil supply. Suggested people for the panel are Sandra Day O'Connor, Paul Volker, and Arthur Levitt. None of them could find peak oil using both hands and a flashlight. How about appointing a geologist like T. Boone Pickens to the commission? O'Connor, Volker, and Levitt will come out with recommendations for armor-plating the banking system, but the crisis could have had different effects from the same cause. Other countries could have stopped reinvesting our trade deficit back in the USA, or oil could have switched from pricing in dollars to pricing in Euros.

Ecuador Saves $252 Mln Swapping Oil for Products With Venezuela

(Bloomberg) -- Ecuador has saved about $252 million by swapping crude oil for refined products with Venezuela, President Rafael Correa said.

“That alone justifies all the agreements with this country,” Correa said on his weekly radio-and-television address, according to a statement on his Web site.

Not Mixing With Rest of Economy, Oil Floats Higher

Edward Morse, chief economist of LCM Commodities, said: "The main determinant of oil prices over the past two months have been expectations. We are in an 'expeculation' frenzy."

He said that investors were looking to oil as a way to protect themselves from inflation and predicted that a sluggish economy, a weak driving season and contained inflation would bump oil prices back down again in the coming weeks.

Other analysts said there were signs that U.S. motorists and truck drivers, who consume more than one in every eight barrels of oil produced worldwide, were not reverting to earlier driving habits even though U.S. pump prices for regular gasoline average $2.45 a gallon, a full $1.50 lower than they were last year at this time, according to the auto club AAA.

Abundant Energy Supplies Ease Hurricane Season Concerns

Hurricane season isn't as threatening as it used to be, at least for energy markets mired in a recession.

The 2009 Atlantic Hurricane season, which officially starts on June 1 and lasts through Nov. 30, comes amid a global slump in oil and gas demand. Although well-aimed storms -- should they hit major refining center -- could still cause gasoline prices to spike, analysts say the threat to natural gas prices has softened, and crude oil prices are unlikely to move much on storm-related outages.

That's because the U.S. has come to rely less on the Gulf of Mexico's natural gas production, and crude output from the region is just a small piece of a relatively depressed global market -- representing less than 2% of worldwide demand.

Shell to Cut 350 - 450 Senior Managers

LONDON (Reuters) - Royal Dutch Shell plans to cut 350-450 senior management roles as it restructures to cut costs and improve operational performance, according to a website to which Shell employees post internal information.

The cuts represent almost 30 percent of Shell's "Senior Executive Group" layer of management, John Donovan, the operator of the Royaldutchshellplc.com website said. Earlier this week Shell announced a major restructuring but gave no targets for job or cost cuts.

Horizontal Drilling Raises Questions about Changes to State Regulations

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has called a special meeting for June 30 to discuss whether regulatory changes are needed to accommodate increased horizontal drilling in the state.

Among the issues likely to be discussed is whether spacing and unitization regulations that govern the drilling of oil and natural gas wells need to be changed, Corporation Commissioner Dana Murphy said. "With all the technological advances on horizontal drilling and conventional and unconventional units, we just want to make sure our staff is keeping up with technology and see if there are rules and processes that we need to change, modify or improve," she said.

Western world is faced with the crude reality of rising oil prices

Cheaper crude has delivered the world's oil-importers – not least the major Western economies – an annualised windfall saving of $1,600bn (£1,000bn). That's more than all the heralded fiscal stimulus packages announced by the US, UK and eurozone for both this year and next.

The current situation is bad, but how bad would it be if Western firms and consumers faced rocketing energy prices?

Pipelineistan goes Iran-Pak

The earth has been shaking for a few days now all across Pipelineistan - with massive repercussions for all the big players in the New Great Game in Eurasia. United States President Barack Obama's AfPak strategists didn't even see it coming.

A silent, reptilian war had been going on for years between the US-favored Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline and its rival, the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, also known as the "peace pipeline". This past weekend, a winner emerged. And it's none of the above: instead, it's the 2,100-kilometer, US$7.5 billion IP (the Iran-Pakistan pipeline), with no India attached.

‘Gas imported from Iran to generate 5000MW’

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan will use gas imported from Iran to generate 5,000 mega watts of electricity, the Pakistani prime minister’s advisor on petroleum and natural resources said.

Asim Hussain said that natural gas imported from Iran will be exclusively used to generate 5,000 megawatts of electricity, ISNA wrote.

He said that Pakistan needs 8 to 10 billion cubic feet of gas while the supply is only four billion cubic feet. To a question, he said that Iranian gas is not expensive in comparison with natural gas, which is going to be even costlier than petrol due to high caloric value and environment-friendly nature.

Aramco renegotiates contracts on US$12bn refinery

State-owned hydrocarbons giant Saudi Aramco is looking to renegotiate a number of contracts for the construction of the Saudi Aramco Total Refining Co (Satorp) refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

News agency Reuters reported that six out of the 13 contracts for the 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery, a joint venture with French oil company Total, are up for renegotiation as Aramco look to take advantage of the sharp drop in prices for raw materials that has occurred in the last few months.

Shell execs accused of 'collaboration' over hanging of Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa

"If you call off the campaign, maybe we can do something for your brother." A New York court will claims this week that Brian Anderson, Shell's former top official in Nigeria, used those words when asked to intercede with the country's military regime to save activist and writer Ken Saro-Wiwa from being executed.

No respite to power cut

HYDERABAD: With the monsoons round the corner and no end to power cuts, Transco officials said despite improved generation, there will be no respite to power cuts as the faulty distribution system is leading to frequent tripping all across the state.

Till Saturday, the Greater Hyderabad region was experiencing power cuts of about two to three hours per day which is even more in the rural areas. And farmers, for whom the kharif season begins as soon as the monsoon sets in, are a worried lot in view of the erratic free power supply.

Oil contracts still a hot topic

June lies at our doorstep, and the promise of summer helps diminish memories of ice storms, shoveling the steps and cranking up the thermostat.

But oil heat retailers say now is the time to start shopping around for a heating oil plan, and while some consumers who locked into fixed price contracts last summer felt betrayed by prices that dropped steeply during the heating season, some companies said they will continue to offer them as a hedge against rising prices.

Worried book industry gathers for convention

Except for e-books, sales are down throughout the publishing industry and the numbers have looked even steeper for audio. The Association of American Publishers has seen a 47 percent drop in audio revenue this year: Just 14 publishers reported, but they include Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and virtually all the major New York companies.

...The shrinking economy has had a very direct impact. The fewer people who work, the fewer people who drive to work. And many audio customers listen in their cars, more than half, according to Chris Lynch, executive vice president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Audio, which just released "America's March to Socialism," an audio-only book by Glenn Beck.

"We got hit pretty badly last summer when gasoline prices were so high," Lynch says. "And then the stock market crashed in the fall and we got hit again."

How To Send Energy Across a Continent

Remember the Woodstock of physics? Probably not. Back in the spring of 1987, though, headlines were trumpeting it as the most exciting scientific meeting in history. Three thousand physicists crammed into a ballroom at the New York Hilton to talk about superconductivity—the transmission of electricity with literally zero resistance. The technology was suddenly within reach of being economical. So it appeared, anyway, and that could mean anything from superfast computers to tiny, powerful electric motors to power lines that could carry current with no loss of energy.

In the more than two decades since, superconductors haven't grabbed many headlines. That's partly because the new materials discovered in the late '80s proved to be a lot harder to work with than anyone expected, and partly because their energy-saving wizardry wasn't in high demand during most of the 1990s. But nowadays, using less energy is a key strategy in the fight against climate change—and a lot of the technical problems that have dogged superconductor technology have been solved. "Five years ago, I'd have been skeptical," says Robert Cava, a Princeton materials scientist who was in on the original Woodstock of Physics. "But after years and years and years of people beating their heads against the wall, they've finally got it."

UK won’t hit its target for renewables

BRITAIN is failing to green its economy, according to previously unpublished reports from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The internal forecasts show that by 2020 the UK will be sourcing only 5% of its energy from renewables, far short of the 15% target we signed up to with the European Commission.

Is the Nuclear Renaissance Fizzling?

Nuclear power may be making a comeback, but long-standing problems with the technology still could lead to canceled orders and renewed public opposition.

Tidal Power Keeps on Truckin’

Ocean power has suffered some setbacks recently, such as Pelamis’ bellyflop in Portugal and the UK’s WaveHub losing a developer, but the industry isn’t slowing down — in fact, it’s been a busy month for tidal technology. While there are only a small number of wave or tidal power projects in oceans and rivers right now, and large-scale projects remain a few years away, the race is on for companies hoping to get a first-mover’s advantage.

'Smart Turbine Blades' To Improve Wind Power

Researchers have developed a technique that uses sensors and computational software to constantly monitor forces exerted on wind turbine blades, a step toward improving efficiency by adjusting for rapidly changing wind conditions.

The research by engineers at Purdue University and Sandia National Laboratories is part of an effort to develop a smarter wind turbine structure

The Ethanol Lobby: Profits vs. Food

If you had two customers for the same product and one paid more than the other, which customer would you choose? That's the situation in which ethanol producers in the U.S. find themselves. They could grow corn and other crops for food and get one price, or produce the same crops for biofuel and get a higher price and tax credits. The problem is that by focusing on more profitable biofuels, farmers not only deplete the food supply, they are also producing an alternative fuel whose usefulness is still hotly debated.

Landfill methane gas now powering UNH

At the Waste Management facility, there are two power generating plants that take the landfill gas and convert it into 9 megawatts of power, used to power the whole facility with some left over that is sold to the New England power grid.

But according to Davis, "we still had extra gas" being harvested from some 300 wells over 200 acres of landfill. And 40 more acres are permitted and ready to go into use.

"We started looking for someone who might want to take it," Davis said. The excess gas would otherwise be burned, a "waste of a usable energy source," he said.

Meanwhile, UNH had built a co-generation plant in 2006, which produces both heat and electricity for the campus. Recognized nationwide for its sustainability work, the university was intrigued when Davis approached officials with his idea of using landfill gas to power its buildings.

Electric Motorcycles Gain Traction

Get ready for an American motorcycle revolution. That deep Harley rumble and the siren call of the Suzuki whine will soon be sharing the road with silent bikes. A slew of sleek, lightweight machines, either fully electric or hybrid, is making its debut and signaling a paradigm shift in both motorcycle culture and green transportation.

'Earth 2100': the Final Century of Civilization? - Planet at Risk: Experts Warn Population Growth, Resource Depletion, Climate Change Could Bring Catastrophe in Next Century

It's an idea that most of us would rather not face -- that within the next century, life as we know it could come to an end. Our civilization could crumble, leaving only traces of modern human existence behind.

It seems outlandish, extreme -- even impossible. But according to cutting edge scientific research, it is a very real possibility. And unless we make drastic changes now, it could very well happen.

Experts have a stark warning: that unless we change course, the "perfect storm" of population growth, dwindling resources and climate change has the potential to converge in the next century with catastrophic results.

The Context of 'Low Product': How designers can help articulate a new social language

Will "no product" become the new brand? John Hockenberry provocatively suggests that given the global economic crisis, "no product" is now plausible. But how plausible given our society organized around economic growth? I'm talking here about consumerism as both the primary purpose of growth, and its principal driver—the high product context.

How Obama Made Energy Platform 'Pop': President Has Gained Support by Framing Issues in Terms of Jobs, Security

Now, four months into his presidency, Obama has elevated energy and climate issues to near the top of his agenda; he has made them pop by packaging them as ways to create "green" jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on imports of foreign oil. Favoring pragmatism over moral suasion, the president is attempting to make a sharp shift in national policy on an issue that many voters have yet to embrace as a priority, advisers and lawmakers say.

His efforts, combined with those of congressional Democrats, have already pushed forward groundbreaking initiatives. February's stimulus act lavished money on projects for renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy research. This month, the White House announced that it had negotiated corporate, state and environmentalist support for higher fuel-efficiency and tailpipe-emissions standards that would clamp the first nationwide limits on greenhouse gases.

Climate change bill still in doubt

WASHINGTON -- Environmentalists celebrated earlier this month when a key House committee approved a contentious proposal to combat climate change after months of often-bitter public deliberations and intense closed-door negotiations.

But for congressional supporters of the bill, the really hard part is just beginning.

Ten reasons why population control can’t stop climate change

In Australia, a discussion has surfaced about whether population control measures should be a key plank in the climate action movement’s campaign arsenal. Here are 10 reasons why such a decision would hinder, rather than help, the necessary task of building a movement that can win.

Climate Change Now 'Biggest Global Health Threat'

WASHINGTON (OneWorld.net) - Climate change is currently the biggest global health threat, a leading medical journal has said, noting that water scarcity, shifting food resources, and extreme weather will drastically affect the world's poor unless development efforts are stepped up.

New Solar Cycle Prediction

Right now, the solar cycle is in a valley - the deepest of the past century. In 2008 and 2009, the sun set Space Age records for low sunspot counts, weak solar wind, and low solar irradiance. The sun has gone more than two years without a significant solar flare.

"In our professional careers, we've never seen anything quite like it," says Pesnell. "Solar minimum has lasted far beyond the date we predicted in 2007."

In recent months, however, the sun has begun to show timorous signs of life. Small sunspots and "proto-sunspots" are popping up with increasing frequency. Enormous currents of plasma on the sun’s surface ("zonal flows") are gaining strength and slowly drifting toward the sun’s equator. Radio astronomers have detected a tiny but significant uptick in solar radio emissions. All these things are precursors of an awakening Solar Cycle 24 and form the basis for the panel's new, almost unanimous forecast.

Reading Western world is faced with the crude reality of rising oil prices reminds me of discussions we've had at TOD in the past where we "bump into the ceiling" of price of crude and demand as we glide along the plateau or slight downside of production.

We may be in the oscillation of price as it strives to find the magic medium; where the price of crude can be the highest to support current production costs without annihilating the purchasing power of the consumer. Last summer, price overreached sustainability for consumers and recently the price was too low for producers. It feels like now we are retesting the higher prices to see where the price may land for that "middle ground".

How high will it push this time before the twisted arm of the world economy crys "Uncle" again?

Re: New Solar Cycle Prediction

The 1859 storm--known as the "Carrington Event" after astronomer Richard Carrington who witnessed the instigating solar flare--electrified transmission cables, set fires in telegraph offices, and produced Northern Lights so bright that people could read newspapers by their red and green glow. A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences found that if a similar storm occurred today, it could cause $1 to 2 trillion in damages to society's high-tech infrastructure and require four to ten years for complete recovery. For comparison, Hurricane Katrina caused "only" $80 to 125 billion in damage.

I wonder how something like this might effect the proposed national smart grid if one were already in operation? What measures might need to be taken to protect against possible damage to such a system. Or is this one more thing that can be added to our ever growing list of doomer porn?

It seems like the perfect storm is growing ever more perfect...

Fortunately, postPeak text messaging by flag semaphore is not affected by the next Carrington Event. But the effective transmission distance might be visually limited by the countless fires set off by the giant solar flares and the rioting, looting mobs. :(

EDIT: I would imagine those that know the American Sign Language [ASL]** could name their price/hour to provide additional distance military and gov communication to ASL readers equipped with binoculars.


For those who wish to know more about how extensive and vital semaphore was:

Semaphore lines were a precursor of the electrical telegraph. They were far faster than post riders for bringing a message over long distances..

..The first achieved optical telegraph arrived only in 1792 from the French engineer Claude Chappe and his brothers, who succeeded in covering France with a network of 556 stations stretching a total distance of 4,800 kilometres. It was used for military and national communications until the 1850s.

..It was used to carry dispatches for the war between France and Austria. In 1794, it brought news of a French capture of Condé-sur-l'Escaut from the Austrians less than an hour after it occurred.

..To speed up transmission and to provide some semblance of security a code book was developed for use with semaphore lines. The Chappes' corporation used a code that took 92 of the basic symbols two at a time to yield 8,464 coded words and phrases.

It would be easy to forsee the postPeak govt mounting lights on the blade tips of giant windturbines for easy night-time coded-semaphore signaling. By flashing the lights in various rotating blade positions: messages could be sent very far, very fast throughout the night.

I am not the sharpest pencil in the box [therefore, I might be wrong], but my SWAG guess is that the Pentagon and/or CIA-NSA has long ago anticipated and prepared a semaphore system that could be quickly implemented across the continent if TSHTF.

My guess is that the Pentagon would take an hour to FIND a pencil, and then need to call in an expert for review training before using the thing.

I'm holding out hope for shortwave, but failing that, codes on lit towers and hilltops sounds good to me!

Bob Fiske,
-still overly attached to the 64 color crayon box!

Hello Jokuhl,

If the Pentagon were to suddenly announce that they need lots of people for SEXTING***, I think they could get this up pretty quickly. It could greatly help firm up our shrinking national resilience.

*** SEmaphore teXTING

I get a lot of email offering to do just that: firm up my shrinking, um, resilience.

If they can't make a powerpoint presentation with the lights - no one will care.

“The PowerPoint Ranger Creed,” author unknown:

“Without my PowerPoint, I am useless. I must format my slides true. I must brief them better than the other staff sections who are trying to outbrief me.

“My PowerPoint and myself know that what counts in this war is not the information. We know that it is the number of slides, the color of the highlights, and the format of the bullets that counts.

“My PowerPoint and myself are defenders of my country. We are masters of our subject. We are the saviors of my career.”

For a detailed history of the players and events leading up to our current economic crisis see Fool's Gold by Gillian Tett.


Racing Electric Motorcycles is going big time too.

TTXGP is the world's first zero carbon, clean emission grand prix. Held on June 12th 2009 during the Isle of Man TT on the prestigious Mountain Course, the event promises to be the start of great change as we step into the future. 19 bikes from 17 teams, travelling from 6 different countries, will tackle one of the most challenging circuits in the world. This is a race designed to stretch the cutting edge of technology, married with the excitement and speed of open competition, and an ultimate goal of providing alternative, greener transport.


No man is an island.

But all rules have exceptions, therefore the Isle of Man.

Sweet, I haven't ridden a bike for many years almost makes me want to do it again on one of these. But I have no doubt I'd kill myself doing it... However I'd love to have access to the technology and adapt it to electric speed boats Like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yNu2_LlO9s&feature=related

Three dollar gasoline will drive the stake in the heart of the burbs the last run-up in gasoline was offset for a time by the heloc reserves.IMO the next hot real estate areas will be the innerbelt of cities those 50-60 burbs and older.The cost advantage of commuting to work fuel wise and time wise even business will benefit from being equal distances from customers and employees.With employees changes jobs and careers several times in a life time spending hrs commuting is not a quality of life that most people strive for.

"Three dollar gasoline will drive the stake in the heart of the burbs"

While not disputing the rest of your statement, Canadian fuel prices before the crisis ranged at about 85 to 90 cents per litre, or about $4 per gallon (depending on what part of Canada and the then-currency exchange rate). This never slowed down urban sprawl in our cities.

Gasoline in Calgary today is in the high 90 cents range per litre.

I can't understand why everyone thinks that the peak oil means the end of suburbs. What about streetcars?

Here is how it was done in the twilight period between the beginnings of electrification and the appearance of automobiles.


These are not the best photos available, but the information is very good. Notice the absence of cars, lots of streetcars and a few horse drawn wagons and buggies.

Please excuse New Orleans as an example, I lived there and was more familiar with it. The light rail system of the Northeast to Chicago was much more extensive.

Around 1900 our economy had very little wealth (capital) compared to today, yet cities were able to build an amazing electric rail systems. In fact, they were not even fully wired for electricity and electrical generation was very inefficient compared to today.

Unfortunately, cars and streetcars cannot peacefully coexist. Getting the cars out of the way will be a blessing. Whole swaths of suburbia need to be cleaned out to make room for tracks, and cars need to be restricted and traffic redirected.

Hello Paul_the_Engineer,

It is always good to have more weblinks on this topic for any Newbies, as Alan Drake [TODer AlanfromBigEasy] has extensively covered much of this before here on TOD. I hope that Alan and Ed Tennyson are now so busy consulting on standard gauge RR & TODevelopment that they have very little time to post on TOD.

I hope you have seen this link on a hand-dug, narrow gauge SpiderWeb in 1899:

This website tells the story about a 60-mile, two-foot gauge electric railroad that operated 149 locomotives and over 3000 freight cars in small tunnels forty feet below the streets of downtown Chicago.
The surface streets were so crowded that they had no choice but to build a SpiderWeb underground. If you have been following my SpiderWebRiding posting series: there is no reason to see this eventually progress to pedaled railbikes/draisines as energy moves to Unobtainium. Timing uncertain, of course, but IMO, Anything is better than quickly reverting back to the Nuhautl Tlameme backpacking scheme.

I just wonder how many people want to use their heads in more productive ways than this?

You would think the woman in this photo, as she surveys the vast emptiness and desolation around here, would get a clue to things getting much worse.
Will 'Murkans be any smarter than this poor soul?

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

I’ve only read AlanfromBigEasy posts for the few months I’ve been viewing this site so I’m sure I missed a lot. Also, I only read enough about the early US rail system to know that it was extensive and served the country well.

I rediscovered the early rail system recently by doing some historical investigation and from viewing the old photographs. I also have been investigating the transition from steam to electricity and internal combustion. Part of my interest was from reading Ayres-Warr and other productivity miracle writings.

I’m searching for practical solutions and seeing how well the rail system worked in the past tells me that it can work again. And I’ve ridden passenger rail around Europe and know that works well too.

If we were able to build a sophisticated streetcar system in a couple of decades using 1900 era technology, human and animal labor, then this has to be the cheapest and fastest solution to P.O. It will also solve another economic problem-declining real income. People are less able to afford the automobile lifestyle, but no one seems to have recognized this even though it has been happening for over two decades. Globalization will continue to erode incomes and there is no home equity left to finance the former lifestyle.

I just read Alan Drake from:


The United States built subways in the larger cities and streetcar lines in 500 cities and towns (as small as 18,000) from 1897 to 1916. The US had about 90 million people, 3% of today's GNP and primitive technology (coal, mules and sweat). Can we do one fourth as much today with x30 the GNP and modern technology ?

It is amazing that we are saying almost exactly the same thing.

Hi Paul;
I read about the rail connections throughout Maine, and look forward to a resurgence here as well..

"In the year 1908 Mr. Libbey became interested in the project of building an electric railroad from Lewiston to Portland. At first he took a. block of stock in the road, but eventually purchased all stock, underwrote the bonds, and built the line which was practically completed at the time of his death. This is one of the finest interurban lines in the country and had been the hobby of Mr. Libbey since he first became interested in it." http://www.archive.org/stream/mainehistory04mainuoft/mainehistory04mainu...

I know there are more colorful accounts, but my search time is LTD today..


Earth 2100': the Final Century of Civilization?

...population growth, dwindling resources and climate change has the potential to converge in the next century with catastrophic results.

...In order to plan for the worst, we must anticipate it.

Veeeeery interesting. These folks are anticipating that dwindling resources, (fossil fuels), will converge with population growth and global warming in about 100 years and could lead to TEOTWAWKI.

I think they are off by about a factor of 10. I expect everything will hit the fan in less than one decade. At any rate I am not going to miss this two hour special on ABC. I want to see why they believe that we have 100 years before anything serious happens.

Ron P.

Here's another quote from that article that suggests trouble just ahead:

But will it be enough? In 2015, global demand for fossil fuels could be massive and growing, but experts say oil will be harder to find and far more expensive to consume.

"We have no new source of energy on the horizon that's currently capable of being developed on a large enough scale to replace the supply of oil in any near- term framework," says Michael Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College.

If the cost of gasoline skyrockets, few may be able to afford to maintain the lifestyles to which we've grown accustomed. There may be a mass exodus from the suburbs, as driving gas-fueled cars becomes nearly impossible economically. But will that convince us to change our ways?

We've gone from 2001: A Space Odyssey to Earth 2100: The Final Century to Civilization 2010: The Final Chapter.

In a different post someone is busy claiming that in the bright new future it'll all be OK and we are just not being positive.


Why our 'amazing' science fiction future fizzled

And one that ties to Earth 2100

The robust international trade in illegally mined, quota-busting rare-earth metals highlights China's near monopoly on the raw materials for environmental technology - a 95 per cent dominance of world supply that is likely to become more widely noticed as China tightens its grip.

There are moments in life writ large on our memories, that are turning points, bifurcations... inflection points.

They are the rearrangements of the atomic structure of your reality.

That China controls 95% of rare earth metals is a game changer. It's a cascading failure. It's the straw and the proverbial camel.

When one stops to add to this little shock to the chaotic system that China also holds so much of US debt... well... one shudders. The latter was bad enough on its own, but to know China holds the oil card and the electricity card? That's.. bad.

That's like your rival and pusher being one and the same.


Re the blue ribbon economics panel mentioned by Deffeyes, here is a perfect example of the economic illiteracy of the USA-today they mention that the accumulated debt and unfunded liabilities total 63.8 trillion (about $515,000 per household)-any discussion of this monster focuses around the necessity of increased taxation going forward (a VAT is the latest proposal). The median household net worth in the USA is about $50000 at last glance-you can take ALL OF IT and it wouldn't make any difference at all. NOT ONE renowned economics voice has pointed out this simple fact (guys on the fringe of the mainstream do). These "leaders" are the same guys who will address oil depletion in a reasonably competent manner?

I figured that the USA can raise the liability money by selling every piece of federally owned land for $100,000 per acre.

Will anybody make any sense of this at all?

Along these lines, Deffeyes books are good for understanding resource depletion yet I get the feeling that we still don't have the quantitative skills to pin this down any better. In particular, look at how much hand-waving Deffeyes does in explaining the mathematical concepts such as HL in his books. We definitely do need something better than this and in terms of practical economic understanding.

One problem is the chasm that occurs between the mathematical wizardy of the quantitative finance people and the basic pragmatic math you would find that engineers use. Paul Wilmott talks about this and he is convinced that many of the quants are infatuated with the elegance of their math and haven't a clue and don't really care if it ever matches reality.

So it really comes down to having someone with competence in putting the concepts of resource depletion, wall street wheeling/dealing, and trust in free-market capitalism together, and not completely freaking out the population as a whole.

The problem as I see it is that the world is a tremendously complicated thing, and there are many different feedbacks - both positive and negative, and few of them are really well understood. We have some influence on how things play out, but odds are that we will still be surprised in some way or another, and it is usually only in hindsight that it becomes clearer what the important factors were.

To say that the financial crisis was caused by an end of growth of the world oil supply to me seems like a gross oversimplification. You could argue that the suburban sprawl in the U.S. was a direct result of cheap oil, but the housing bubble proper was a different beast entirely - if we had a chance to roll back the clock and change the regulations such that the bubble never happened, then much of the pain would have been avoided. Even in such a world, a price spike for oil would have eventually caused a recession of some sort, and then perhaps the focus would have been more on oil and less on banking..

The housing bubble was also a result of the end of cheap oil. After the US peaked, oil cost us more. Maybe not directly, as the cost of oil crashed, but indirectly through the high cost of maintaining an empire. So we built a culture of debt to keep the party going. Once that inevitably ran out of steam, then it was necessary to con the average citizen into taking on even more debt. The housing bubble provided the means. The only remaining store of value is in people's retirement funds, and once those are pilfered the game is done. At that point we will begin to live on the amount of energy we really have access to in real-time. It won't be enough.

Was it all planned in advance? Probably not in detail - it's more about taking advantage of the situations that come along.

And "if we had a chance to roll back the clock and change the regulations such that the bubble never happened" then the party would have ended sooner. There is no way out of the trap - there are too many of us and our entire world is structured on massive amounts of virtually free energy. When we cannot have that anymore, or borrow the money for it, then things must change, and we've made no preparations for such an eventuality.

Arthur Levitt appointed Bernie Madoff to a special committee to advise the SEC on stock trading. Madoff actually appeared before Congress (at least once in 2005) concerning the SEC due to Levitt's backing.

Based upon Levitt's record of putting the Madoff fox in charge of the SEC hen house, the usefullness of this 'blue ribbon panel' is highly questionable - at best.


Freddy Hutter has this interesting chart on his scenarios page:

The TrendLines Prediction Scoreboard

Practitioner Study 2008 Forecast (Actual 85.5-mbd)
2009 Forecast (Actual 83.4-mbd)
2010 Forecast (Actual 84.2-mbd) URR (Gb)

Jean Laherrère 1997 85 85.5 86 2700
IEA 1996 84 86 88 2300
Michael Lynch 1996 88 90 92 2273
EIA 1997 81 83 85 2273
World Bank 1995 76 79 82 -
Colin Campbell 1999 92 93 92 2500
Colin Campbell 1989 51 50 49 1578

I bolded the "winners" that FH has emphasized in bright lime green. How the EIA "wins" in '09/'10 is up to FH's methodology, probably accurate enough in the short term. Congrats to Jean on winning a brass ring, or whatever it is they hand out in the Yukon.

TrendLines Peak Oil Depletion Scenarios Chart

Freddy's still bitter about getting the boot, I think:

Worst Case Scenario (WCS)

This hypothetical projection was introduced to put in perspective the ludicrous & persistent "running out of oil" comments by the lunatic fringe! Using the lowest recognized estimate of All Liquids URR (2024-Gb by EWG/LBST 2008), and assuming 2008 (85.5-mbd) as Peak Year, it depicts the Avg Decline Rate of 4.5% required mathematically to exhaust its URR. The significance is that half of this year's volume will still be available in 2035 and flow won't dip below 10-mbd until 2053 AD. At worse, All Liquids exhausts in 2082. A decline rate higher than 4.5% "strands URR" ... and that phrase is an oxymoron. Ignore all pundits that suggest a Post-Peak Avg Decline Rate of over 4.5% in their musings. And please read their TEOTWAWKI forecasts with these hard numbers in mind...

The IEA and CERA are lunatics? Must be missing something here.

Dude, you can use the [pre] and [/pre] and avoid the formatting mess that usually comes with copying and pasting. (Replace the brackets above with chevrons of course.) Example:

                        2008      2009     2010
                      Forecast  Foercast  Forecast  UUR
Practioner     Study  (Actual   (Actual   (Actual   (GB)
                     85.5-mbd)  83.4-mbd) 84.2-mbd)
Jean Laherrère 	1997  	85 	  85.5 	    86 	    2700
IEA 	        1996 	84 	  86 	    88 	    2300
Michael Lynch 	1996 	88 	  90 	    92 	    2273
EIA 	        1997 	81 	  83 	    85 	    2273
World Bank 	1995 	76 	  79 	    82 	    -
Colin Campbell 	1999 	92 	  93 	    92 	    2500
Colin Campbell 	1989 	51 	  50 	    49 	    1578

I had to do some formatting of my own with the headers above the barrels columns because copying and pasting them still messed up. But once I had it correct then the "pre" tags kept them exactly as I corrected them.

I don't understand how Freddy knew the 2009 actual production, not to mention the actual 2010 production.

Ron P.

Hey, thanks for the tip Ron. If you're a Firefox user are you aware of the Text Formating Toolbar? One click and you've got the most popular HTML codes installed - quotes, images, links, bold, italic, underscore, etc. Doesn't handle the [pre] tag unfortunately, although I know there are ways to do that with macros and the like.

I guess Freddy's keying off the STEO and the like. Nothing very dramatic there, although it's amusing that he labels it as "actual."

Yeah, I wondered about that as well.
Wandered over to his historical graphs.
He is an atrocious charter.
Here is a Feb 2008 chart where he claims "today" (aka 2008) is 87 mbd.
So there you go. He knows 2010 just like he knew 2008.

I'm also looking at the "Invalidated" chart here:
But I can't figure out why the "Worst Case" 4.5% decline is "invalidated."
Maybe it's just a "reference" case in which anything "worse" is invalidated?
That makes some sense.
But if that is the case, then why is Duncan-Youngquist "invalidated?"
"Duncan Youngquist 2003 - Erred by a 2006 Peak of 88-mbd."
Doesn't sound invalidated to me.

This hypothetical projection was introduced to put in perspective the ludicrous & persistent "running out of oil" comments by the lunatic fringe! Using the lowest recognized estimate of All Liquids URR (2024-Gb by EWG/LBST 2008), and assuming 2008 (85.5-mbd) as Peak Year, it depicts the Avg Decline Rate of 4.5% required mathematically to exhaust its URR. The significance is that half of this year's volume will still be available in 2035 and flow won't dip below 10-mbd until 2053 AD. At worse, All Liquids exhausts in 2082. A decline rate higher than 4.5% "strands URR" ... and that phrase is an oxymoron. Ignore all pundits that suggest a Post-Peak Avg Decline Rate of over 4.5% in their musings. And please read their TEOTWAWKI forecasts with these hard numbers in mind...

Keep digging - he used to have projections for the second half of the 22nd century, too.

His used to be oblivious to the issue of page width as well - you'd spend all day scrolling around to figure out what you were looking at. Whereas now it's just grim/hard to discern fine details. Odd guy, Freddy. When he was making himself heard at peakoil.com his projection for the peak year would change weekly - 2009 on Monday, 2018 on Friday. I tried my best not to be sarcastic about this...didn't really succeed.

Looks like China might be in control of any future green economy.

The robust international trade in illegally mined, quota-busting rare-earth metals highlights China's near monopoly on the raw materials for environmental technology - a 95 per cent dominance of world supply that is likely to become more widely noticed as China tightens its grip.

The weight and magnetic properties of rare-earth metals have made them important for wind turbines, essential to hybrid cars, and indispensable if the world ever hopes to covert to fully electric vehicles.

One mining company president told The Times that governments that had promised a way out of economic turmoil with bold schemes to subsidise green cars, solar panels and other environmental technology had "spoken without understanding the upstream of modern products".

Don Burbar, the chief executive of Avalon Rare Metals, said: "The crux of the matter is that there are now a lot of technologies that can't work without rare earths, and China is currently in effective control of the global supply. China has positioned itself to retain control, and meanwhile politicians around the world do not appreciate how the supply side of green technology works."


Didn't get to watch CNBC's 1 hr. "Special Reports - Ending the Oil Addiction" on Wednesday night (May 27, 8 pm. ET). Was hoping something would pop up on youtube. Well, today I see this six minute excerpt CNBC Breaking the Oil Addiction. No surprise really. How do you say...."clueless"? While renewable industry insiders are predicting grid parity within the next decade, Kevin Book of ClearView Energy Partners towards the end of the excerpt states that "I don't think we'll be done with fossil fuels in twenty five years."

That depends on who "we" are. If world oil production declines to between less than 40mbpd(Ace) and less than 50mbpd (ASPO), while population is rising towards more than 8 billion in 2034, there are going to be a lot of "we"s that ARE going to "be done with fossil fuels in 25 years". From reading drumbeats every day, I gather there are a growing number of people who are close to, if not already at this point. They are not very well represented on this web site.

Of course, the EIA forecasts of over 120mbpd by 2034 could be spot on, in which case, ignore everything I just said.

Alan from the islands

ABC News ... 2050 Population - water- etc


Wow, James Howard Kunstler and Jared Diamond being quoted in prime time! This should be quite interesting, if anybody actually watches it!

Alan from the islands

I caught it on Tivo. I think it can be summed up as:

"Getting energy news from CNBC is like going to cheer-leading camp to learn about gymnasium construction."

Not to worry folks! Oil prices are rising so the recession must be ending...

By CARLO PIOVANO, Associated Press Writer Carlo Piovano, Associated Press Writer – 2 hrs 5 mins ago

LONDON – Oil prices rose to near $68 a barrel Monday, hitting a new high for the year as world stock markets rallied and investors banked on hopes that the global recession is easing.

Fantastic! I'm running out to buy me a spanking new Cadillac Escalade... Oh, wait GM just declared bankruptcy and they closed the dealership... running down the street to Chrysler dealership to see what they have to offer...shit that's closed too...WTF?! Damn I'll just have to settle for one of those Lincoln Navigators.

I was studying rare earths in the 80's when they wewe introduced to replace calcium tungstate in xray intensifying screens. They had the potential to decrease radiation exposure, improve image quality add/or conserve silver. I did learn that the rare earths - at least the ones that I was studying - were not particularly rare.

George Mobus posted yesterday about being interviewed by Zapata George. I see that he's in the company of Savinar, Simmons, Nate, JHK. Will have to check these out.

Old Zapata George has a crap website that forces you to stream content. You cannot download a podcast to listen to on your mp3 player.

Just a quick comment on Deffeyes 'Beyond Oil'. Sure I agree with him because he agrees with his old working buddy Hubbert, but his writing ability is suspect at best. Many paragraphs start with an idea, then trail off subject ending without concluding anything. An 8th grade english teacher would mark red all over it. But don't get me wrong, I still think of him as a good source of information regarding peak oil, and enjoyed this piece.

You can get a decent impression of Deffeyes by reading John McPhee's book "Basin & Range", which is an interesting book about geology and the characters that study geology. Deffeyes has the knack of being a great teacher even though he shoots from the hip as far as formality goes. McPhee notes the first part, and I make the second claim from reading his books.

I dare say that McPhee may have influenced Deffeyes a bit. For example, "Hubbert's Peak" has much of the conversational style of McPhee's non-fiction works. In the section that Deffeyes discusses simulating reservoir sizes he has some fun passages, like "Bloomfield was my kind of statistician. On his office desk was a notebook labelled 'CBS Election Night Manual' ...."

Its this mixture of off-handedness and casual science that makes it perhaps not the authoritative book -- readable perhaps -- but, alas, that is all we have.

Now, if we had someone of Richard Feynman who wrote both entertaining accounts as well as serious formal tomes on his area of expertise, I would be very appreciative.

Thanks for the pointer - ordered a copy for the princely sum of 1¢+shipping.

Ed Wallace (up top) is up to his usual stupidity again. He says farmers get a higher price for corn that is sold for ethanol than sold for food. Total garbage. There is one price for corn and the farmer takes it. It is set on the CBOT minus the basis. The rest of article is more nonsense shooting forth from the Texas hideout of the anti ethanol jihad.

He wants to limit ethanol to use in states that produce it. Fine, so long as oil is limited to use in the states that produce it. The guy is an idiot.

The other articles up top about the price of oil and its supply seem to be just about as lost in the dark. The inventories and demand in the American market are just one factor that goes into determining the oil price. Oil is an international market. It makes no difference if there is a large inventory in the U.S. and if demand is down. Supplies elsewhere may be down and demand up, as in China.

But the big factor which few seem to recognize is the falling dollar. The dollar is the defacto oil currency, since dollars are what are needed to buy most oil. Since dollars are hemorrhaging from the Fed and the Government is busy making huge jumbo jet dollar air drops on things like war in far away places, bank bailouts and auto bankruptcies, faith in its value is eroding big time. Oil prices reflect this lack of confidence. So do the prices of soybeans and other commodities that are going up.

So, do you believe we can simply grow all our fuel?

Why not? As long as I have an acre of land I can drive my flexfuel Impala 9,000 miles/yr, and have 2,500 lbs of livestock feed left over.

Sure, as long as you had 600 gallons of fossil fuel to make your corn crop and convert it into ethanol. Or you could simply use the 600 gallons of gas to drive your car.

You're off by a factor of 100. I can farm that acre on 6 gallons of ethanol.

Those DDGS that are left, also, have about 8,400 BTU/lb. So, 1,350 lbs of the DDGS will provide the energy for the still (less, if I utilize some solar techniques.)

And, if I don't want to feed cattle I can put the rest of the DDGS out for fertilizer. It's a great fertilizer, rich in phosphorous, and has strong "insecticidal" properties.

You are delusional if you think that you can provide the fertilizers, tractor fuel, pesticides, herbicides, and then the process of conversion to ethanol sufficient for 9000 miles in your Impala for 6 gallons of ethanol. Simply delusional.

Since you already have your 1 acre of land, I 'm willing to buy you your needed 6 gallons of ethanol to get you started.
My only demand for this 6-gallons-of-ethanol-gift is that you send me a monthly report on your progress. So, how can we arrange for the formalities ?
I for one , and the whole wide world I assume- are eager to see you instantly starting up in your "yet to be proven" endavour - Mr Chu and Prez. Obama will like to hear form you - cuz' these are unknown tecniques - I can tell you. And you are a Billionaire within the year.. Good luck liar.

So it's a 1:1 ratio that'll take care of all our needs? We have almost 250 million vehicles in the US. There are only 153 million acres devoted to corn and soybeans at the moment; would we displace other grain crops as well?

Average MT depends on the class of vehicle, too, mean is 12,896.5 miles, not 9k. Table NHTS-7.3.2 - Highway Statistics 2007 - FHWA

I'm getting 240.7 gallons per acre for 2005, using EIA data. At 20 MPG that'd only get you 4,814.9 miles, so even as pure personal use you'd come up short.

kdolliso's calculation is simple - he is stuffing whole corn cobs onto his tank and therein is his flaw(s).


Average corn yield in 2008 was 154 bushels/acre. 2.8 gal per bushel. 154 X 2.8 = 431.2. 21 mpg = 9,055 miles. I don't drive much. That'll do for me.

Actually, I wouldn't need a tractor for an Acre of corn; but if I decided I did I could easily grow an acre of corn with 6 gallons of fuel.

As I stated, I could substitute the DDGS for I-PK. I'm sure I could trade the rest of my DDGS for enough cow manure to finish the job.

You might have missed the part about DDGS having strong "Insecticidal" properties.

We've got about 1.5 arable acres of land per person on the planet. HTF you gonna use the same acreage for ethanol AND food? We get .5 acres to feed ourselves (and we're not even counting acreage used to grow textiles, etc.) and use 1.0 for fuel?

Fer cryin' out loud...


This borders on the obscene. How many times must this same topic be discussed? There are shills here. Why respond to this nonsense except to berate the text as useless drivel?


You own a still and it cost you nothing. Not even the energy to use it.
You pay nothing for the crop of corn.
You have a vehicle and tractor that can achieve all this.
You live in a make-believe world.
The people on TOD are stupid and gullible and know nothing.


Dude, the cut-off for "Corn" ethanol is 15 Billion gal/yr. We're doing 10.9 billion gal/yr, now.

After that it will all be cellulosic, cane, Mun. Solid Waste, ag waste, forestry waste, etc.

If you're paying attention to what is happening with the New engines like the Ford Ecoboost, and Chevy's advanced Ecotechs, it's easy to envision a day in the not too distant future when these engines, combined with hybrids, EVs, etc, will cut our use of fuel down to 100 Billion, or so, gallons.

The whole plan is to, perhaps, have corn ethanol supply 15 billion gal/yr of that. Add in another 30, or so, Billion gal/yr from cellulosic, etc. and we're starting to get the oil deal down to where we can handle it.

What's so hard to accept about that?

p.s. In a few years most of the plant energy will NOT be fossil fuels. It will mostly be corn cobs, it seems. Some biogas.

Nothing is ever "simple". And why would we have to grow ALL our fuel? This is just an emotional trap question.
Biofuels are perhaps the least costly and most immediate and fastest relief to reasonably substitute part of the transportation fuels from fossil fuels. It can be readily used in most of our vehicles without expensive changes like for EV's or Natgas vehicles. It can be distributed without much change in our current distribution system. Of course some of you may not like so much BAU, but would rather see the Earth turn from East to West and complete populations wiped out and the left over people living in caves and riding horses.... But until then reason may still prevail.

Biofuels are perhaps the least costly and most immediate and fastest relief to reasonably substitute part of the transportation fuels from fossil fuels.

Guess you've never heard of things called:

Electric cars

???? Bicycles don't use transportation fuel as far as I know. (at least not directly). So, why bring that one up???? Or can't you read what I said?

Rail. I don't think rail is a fast relief. Not in the US and not in Europe. More infrastructure will have to be built. And building out is very costly. (that's why it hasn't happened)

Electric cars. When do you think the US fleet of say 250 million vehicles will be converted to electric? And at what cost?

In the mean time, ethanol can be blended with gasoline without much additional costs at all.

Bicycles are good for folks like me with short commutes, but I couldn't replace all my current transportation obligations with them. Additionally, there are many folks for whom enforced bicycling would be a "cure 'em or kill 'em" situation (not that that is all bad, but do you think that they will just meekly pedal away?)

Rail needs infrastructure built, which takes time.

Electric cars need to be built, which also takes time.

So, while rail and electric get built, how do we fuel transportation obligations that bicycles are insufficient for?

Biofuel isn't perfect, but it is useful for where we are right now.

'There is just one price for corn and the farmer takes it.'(cbot etc)

Actually not true. You haul your corn to a Big Ag Biz grain bins. There are close to rail and water. They post on a board, as you pick up your load tickets, the days prices so all can see. This is called SPOT.Basis can vary everywhere depending on many factors. There is also the supports and various programs but currently many do not go there. Many are now 'wildcatting' to a larger degree and even sodbusting.

Unless a farmer deals in the commodities market he takes spot. Of course minus the basis (which is what the bin folks charge).Or stores his own.

Now he may not even get spot depending on the condition of his corn as its tested at the 'probe station'. He may have infestations,dirt and other aspects that will lower his price. Varies by which fields even since some may be muddy , infested etc.

And if he stores his own then later delivers again the status of his corn as to the above tests will determine price.

Then even if he plays the markets the prices vary. Also he may store his corn in his own bins and so at that point he doesn't know what price he will get.

You have reduced a complex marketing situation to what appears to be a simplistic toy. Its not. Farmers livelhoods can depend on how well they contract. And there are varieties of dealing with the storage at the Big Ag Bins(ADM,Bunge,et al) since as storage without pricing,etc.

I haul grain to bins. I have for several years. I don't anymore since I hate the dirt, dust and lousy work environment. I used to do it because my friends needed help when harvest time came and they were behind.

We don't do ethanol but if one were close then the farmers may save hauling costs and take differing prices. Its just not as simple as you try to make it.

Did you think I would not call you on this? Why do you fellas who dabble in the farm world spread such nonsense? Or do you really dabble at all?

If you know so much then please tell us all what the corn market is going to do and what this years crop is looking like. Please , there are farmers who do this for a living and have no idea as yet.

All they know is what their crops look like. The rest is guesswork. Please.

And one more aspect. There are several varieties of corn not to mention white vs yellow and even popcorn. White is hard to deal at the markets. Ask some who grow it. Its crazy.

And and and then there is differing prices for GMO vs Non-GMO...

Airdale-why can't the truth be spoken here? Why?

A question.

Most oil production numbers are 'total liquids' which includes ethanol.
Is the oil used to produce the ethanol subtracted from the 'total liquids'?
If not, is this a case of 'double counting' the barrels available?

Yes, Ron, it is. But, it's not a "biggie." As I stated above, it takes about 6, in many cases, less, gallons of liquid fuel (usually diesel) to grow an acre of corn which produces between 430 and 450 gallons of ethanol.

(If you allow for the fact that you get 40% of your cattle-feeding usefulness back in the form of DDGS you really get around 430/.6 or 714 gallons of ethanol for every extra acre of corn you plant.)

The major Fossil Fuel input, at present, is Nat Gas. If you include the nat gas used in the manufacture of the fertilizer, and the nat gas used in the distilling, you're getting up to 30,000 btu/+-, depending on age, efficiency of the refinery, type of system, yield of farm, etc. As I said, this starts going away over the next few years. The rate at which this happens depends on the direction, and velocity of the price of nat gas.

This is one advantage ethanol has over gasoline. The ethanol refineries can (some already do) use biomass for energy. The oil refineries are pretty much stuck with natural gas.

Again , lies - lies and damned poems !
(kdolliso, you are the only TODer I feel I can call a liar, without beeing scared of being banned - just in case you didn't know)

    kdolliso the Joker

- just for once , just this time - since your lie is so grandiose - provide a link to EIA, IEA or those crackpots over at Cera or any other source for that matter - that provide PROOF that you claim is TRUE - so help you God ???!!! Can you ?

What the heck is yer motive man - you are notorious lose on facts - did you EVER provide a link to any of your silly talks ?

Link and proof here ( this thumb of rule is generally accepted all over the world ) EROEI for Ethanol (corn) : 1,3 ONLY

This means that it takes 1 UNIT of other energies to get 1.3 UNITS of ethanol .. so the math goes something like this -

(1.3 U ethanol) MINUS (1 U oil/electricity/nat.gas, combined) = 0.3 U gained energy
- this "miniscule amount of gained" energy is so obscured that many sources claim it is a hoax - IT ,ethanol form corn, is an energy looser - NEGATIVE ENERGY. Can this be the reason why the US-Ethanol-business is going belly-up, as we speak ? Hmmmmm, now what is it kdolloiso?
Obviously the future will never be able to run this scheme- that is already proven IMO.

Anyway - when oil , nat.gas and electricity get more scarce, how much ethanol will then hit Reality ?
My guess : Nothing at all (!)for scalable prone applications, I think moonshine is a winner ..

kdolliso: Yes, Ron, it is. But, it's not a "biggie." As I stated above, it takes about 6, in many cases, less, gallons of liquid fuel (usually diesel) to grow an acre of corn which produces between 430 and 450 gallons of ethanol.

paal myrtvedt : Link and proof here ( this thumb of rule is generally accepted all over the world ) EROEI for Ethanol (corn) : 1,3 ONLY
This means that it takes 1 UNIT of other energies to get 1.3 UNITS of ethanol .. so the math goes something like this -
(1.3 U ethanol) MINUS (1 U oil/electricity/nat.gas, combined) = 0.3 U gained energy

Ethanol for a Sustainable Energy Future: José Goldemberg, 2007

Feedstock 	  	  	Cost               Energy balance
                               (US$ per gallon)   (renewable output to fossil input)
Sugarcane, Brazil 		10.2 (18)
    2006, without import tax 	0.81 (17) 	
    2006, with U.S. import tax 	1.35 (9, 17) 	
Sugar beet, Europe, 2003 	2.89 (17) 	   2.1 (19)
Corn, U.S., 2006 	        1.03 (17) 	   1.4 (9, 11)
Cellulose ethanol, U.S. 	10.0 (11)
    Achieved in 2006 	        2.25 (11) 	
    Target for 2012 	        1.07 (11) 	

Estimating the Net Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol: USDA, 1995

We conclude that the NEV of corn ethanol is positive when fertilizers are produced by modern processing plants, corn is converted in modern ethanol facilities, farmers achieve normal corn yields, and energy credits are allocated to coproducts. Our NEV estimate of 16,193 Btu/gal can be considered conservative, since it was derived using the replacement method for valuing coproducts, and it does not include energy credits for plants that sell carbon dioxide. Corn ethanol is energy efficient, as indicated by an energy ratio of 1.24, that is, for every Btu dedicated to producing ethanol, there is a 24-percent energy gain. Moreover, producing ethanol from domestic corn stocks achieves a net gain in a more desirable form of energy. Ethanol production utilizes abundant domestic energy supplies of coal and natural gas to convert corn into a premium liquid fuel that can extend petroleum imports by a factor of 7 to 1.

Balls in your court, kdolliso. I'd be happy to see info on EROEI for ethanol.

But to get back to my question. So only about 25% of the ethanol reported in "all liquids" is "new energy." Does that sound about right? But none of the major oil production numbers adjust for this, do they? I'm not asking leading questions, I really don't know. But after noting that the 'conventional crude' peak occurred in 2005, I'm curious if an 'all liquids' peak is being masked by double counting ethanol.

Ron, Read what I said. Almost all of the "fossil fuels" are nat gas, or coal. I gave all the figures in my previous posts.

It takes approx. 6 gal of diesel to grow an acre of corn. An acre of corn will return approx 430 to 450 gal of ethanol, depending on the efficiency of the farmer, the land, the refinery, etc.

Ron your Q about double-counting of energy in all-liquids is spot on. It has been discussed several times - and from top-of my head it is actually being booked twice.

But - since Willem is around I have to specify : I am not sure.

Prove your claim that "ethanol form corn, is an energy looser - NEGATIVE ENERGY" in the face of your other claim: "Link and proof here ( this thumb of rule is generally accepted all over the world ) EROEI for Ethanol (corn) : 1,3 ONLY"

A typical feature of liars is that they contradict themselves at some point. You are contradicting yourself right here.

And the low energy return of corn ethanol is not the reason of some ethanol businesses going belly up. Low oil price/gasoline price is.

"Only" 30% of gained energy on fossil inputs is not bad. If we could achieve that for all transportation fuel it would be enormous. Especially, when as you say "oil gets scarce" it will be more important than ever to make more of it.

Ask and you shall have your answer -
Google is jam-packed with Energy negativity for Ethanol, didn't you know Willy?
Here you go :

Opponents of corn ethanol production in the U.S. often quote the 2005 paper [3] of David Pimentel, a retired Entomologist, and Tadeusz Patzek, a Geological Engineer from UC Berkeley. Both have been exceptionally critical of ethanol and other biofuels. Their studies contend that ethanol, and biofuels in general, are "energy negative", meaning they take more energy to produce than is contained in the final product.

..... The study, published in the March issue of Natural Resources Research but not released by Cornell University until earlier this month,found that it takes 29% more energy to produce corn-based ethanol than it saves , the same figure Pimentel calculated in a 2003 study (see RFN, 8/11/03, p1)

For what I know - Pimentel is correct - and if so Willy, what then ? I'm after the truth Willy - what are you after ?

Willy : "Only" 30% of gained energy on fossil inputs is not bad

This is very bad - there are other issues with this bastard (ethanol) - land, water ,food, dwindling resourses (guess what's on my mind here) used as input for the bastard ( ... I could fill the DB with more - but all needed info should by now be up and presented in broad daylight. You have to learn more Willem. A lot more.

You know that Pimentel is correct? And you still show the wiki link that has corn at 1.3???? And you said earlier: "proof" and "generally accepted all over the world" that it was 1.3. Which is it now?

Make up your mind. You keep contradicting yourself: a sign of liars.

Oh yeah. There are a lot of issues with all kinds of things. What kind of argument is that? But if you want talk about dwindling resources Ethanol is part of the solution, because it is a renewable.

Am I a liar b/c I provide links to two different external sources , expressing bad and ugly views on ethanol ? Don't shoot the messenger.You are a very naugthy and bad lawyer Willy ,but the kind that I feel kdolliso is comfy with ... man !

1- ...willy, did you get your link ?

2- ...and since you are kdolliso's Selfproclamed-Web-Solicitor , can "maybe" you provide links for any of your clients cartoon-claims ?

Just one time Willy - one link will do - or maybe Willy is kdolliso, perhaps? Your stands are equal and you "two" pop up at the same time with the same sort of vague connection to reality and links. Just a bounch of mamo-jambo.

You're not new in expressing bad and ugly facts about ethanol. I wish you were: then we would have something original.

But you gave links in support of your claim that "I know Pimentel is correct" i.e. a negative energy balance for corn ethanol, that precisely contradict what you said.

And no, I have no links to corn ethanol nor kdolliso (I don't know who it is), but I can't stand lies and misrepresentations of the truth....

I write this . go up and see for yourself

For what I know - Pimentel is correct - and if so Willy, what then ?

Do you know what "For what I know" - in this context means ?
It means that I don't know myself - but I can't rule out that it is not true whatever Pimentel claims.

and then you come up with this BS.

But you gave links in support of your claim that "I know Pimentel is correct"

Willy your English understanding is below par, you should go somewhere else , bring kdolliso with you !

Now let me ask you a more direct Q , before you leave, since you claim I am a lier .... Where exactly do I lie?

Funny: now you say "I don't know" and yet call others liars. Which is it Paal? If you call someone a liar, you must know the truth.... What is the energy balance of corn ethanol?

And please do read carefully. Where did I call you a liar? I just said that contradictory statements are a sign of liars. Or is that not true?

And do you understand what "i.e." means? Look it up in your dictionary. There is definitely something for you to learn.

Willy ....ahhhh, never mind.
You suffer not only from understanding English , but your arguments are based on a range of logical flaws , does this run in your family?

If I refer to two quotes from the web, are those two statments suddenly MINE, and since they deviate -or are contradictory statements- are those signs of MY lies ?

*do you understand where I am heading here ? no wonder this planet always have some wars to tackle , sssssssh

Hello TODers,

I guess when bats and birds become extinct in my Asphaltistan, the city leaders must expect a giant, but illuminated and artistic, $2.5 million dollar airborne net to take up the slack in keeping the bug count down:

[see image on left sidebar] The sculpture received the 2008 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award from the Arizona Structural Engineers Association (ASEA)

..The Phoenix sculpture is suspended approximately 40 feet above the ground on a structural steel armature. It rises to a height of about 100 feet and will be about 100 feet in diameter across the top.

.. In addition to the rings, the sculpture features light-weight netting that billows and moves with the wind, capturing the dynamic beauty of desert light and the movement of gusts and breezes. Specialized lighting will give the work and the park a landmark presence at night. The net will be made of durable polyester twine with integral colors in blue and violet. The stamen-like core of the sculpture will be yellow.
I would have preferred that the money was spent on finding a cure for White Nose Syndrome [WSN] or controlling the Pine Bark Beetle. We are so screwed. :(

I would have preferred that the money was spent on finding a cure for White Nose Syndrome [WSN] or controlling the Pine Bark Beetle.

The 'cure' might be anti-biotics for the bats. Or perhaps engineered locations. Both of which are going to be very expensive.

Because cleaning up the low level pollution is just not happening.

As for the beetles - the 'cure' is invasive monitoring - and that will go "poof" as the system looses cheap energy.