DrumBeat: June 12, 2009

‘Unprecedented oversupply’ of natural gas coming this summer, says Marshall Adkins

OGFJ: Let me ask you to speculate. Do you see crude and natural gas prices going up enough this year to make a difference in project economics?

ADKINS: Well first, let’s separate out into crude versus gas. Gas – no. We have too big of a problem both in terms of supply and demand. Everyone pretty much knew by early 2008 that with all the shale gas coming on stream, we were going to have a supply problem. What was not evident at all was the demand problem. Either one is a big enough problem to cause gas prices to fall, but now we’ve layered on an economy-driven demand problem. This summer that’s going to create an unprecedented oversupply of gas. The way you solve that is to take the rig count down, let the decline rates kick in, and have supply fall enough to counteract and rebalance. That’s going to happen, but it’s going to take some time. Certainly the average gas price for the year is going to be pretty ugly. As far as recovery in 2010 is concerned, the jury is still out. I talk to a lot of really smart people, and there doesn’t seem to be a consensus yet on any direction on the global economy. An economic recovery in 2010 is critical to the performance of the industry. If the economy doesn’t perform better, I’m not sure we do get a bounce in gas prices.

Crude is almost just the opposite. Short term, very difficult to determine. It all hinges on global demand and OPEC’s ability to cut production. By the way, OPEC has done much better than any of us felt like they would do. So those are wild cards that, short term, could lead crude anywhere. Plus, some of the other wild cards would be geopolitical events, such as wars and acts of terrorism. These events could turn prices on a dime. Longer term though, I’m very confident in crude. Crude supplies are going to fall, and the economy will rebound and new demand will kick in at about the same time that supplies are falling. So when I look at crude in two, three, or four years, I think prices will be meaningfully higher. In the next six months, who knows? My gut says it’s probably going to drift higher, but my confidence level in that is very low.

US natgas rig count below 700, first time since '02

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the United States fell 15 to 685 this week, the first time below the 700 benchmark since late November 2002, according to a report on Friday by oil services firm Baker Hughes in Houston.

U.S. natural gas drilling rigs have been in a steady decline since peaking above 1,600 in September, and now stand at about 819 rigs, or 54 percent, below the same week last year, the lowest level since late November 2002, when there were 679 gas rigs operating.

Cuba's energy woes in focus at oil partners meet

Venezuela aims to expand its sales of oil to Cuba and other nations on highly preferential terms, putting politics over economics as it meets Friday with neighbors looking for more cheap fuel.

Cuba especially needs the help.

Dueling 'Clunker Car' Bills

Congress is halfway home on passing a bill President Barack Obama asked for more than two months ago to give consumers thousands of dollars to trade in an old inefficient car, sport-utility vehicle, or truck for a less gas-thirsty one. The hang-up is between two versions in the Senate. One would require consumers to make more of a leap in fuel efficiency. Another Senate bill, similar to the one passed by the House last week, is less concerned with providing "green" incentives than clearing dealer lots of SUVs and pickups and giving a helping hand to Detroit automakers.

FutureGen ‘Clean Coal’ Plant Gets Federal Backing

(Bloomberg) -- The stalled FutureGen “clean coal” project in Mattoon, Illinois, won the tentative backing of the Obama administration, setting the stage for engineers to begin designing a near zero-emission coal-fired power plant.

The U.S. Energy Department reached a provisional agreement for the government to provide $1.1 billion in funding, and industry sources to contribute as much as $600 million. The project must still clear cost and design reviews as well as fundraising goals before construction could start, according to a department statement today outlining a project timetable.

Norway output drops

Norway's oil production fell to a preliminary 1.79 million barrels per day on average in May from 1.99 million in April, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said today.

OPEC says worst is over for the oil market

Alistair Darling today sought to dampen hopes of an early end to the recession, arguing that high oil prices could hold back recovery. In an interview with the Financial Times the Chancellor said the volatile oil price, which hit a record high of $147 a barrel last July before plummeting amid the recession, had “the potential to be a huge problem as far as the recovery is concerned”.

OPEC said it believed its efforts to curb excess supply had helped turn the market around and would reduce global oil inventories.

Valero shuts Corpus coker for economic reasons

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Valero Energy Corp said Friday it was shutting down the 20,000 barrel-per-day coking unit for planned work at the east plant of its Corpus Christi, Texas refinery for economic reasons.

"The unit is being shut down for economic reasons due to low margins and narrow light-heavy crude differentials, as well as to decoke the unit," said Bill Day, a spokesman for the refinery.

Q+A-Analysis on Russia's oil, mining sector

LONDON (Reuters) - The slump in oil and commodity prices accompanying the global financial crisis has pressured Russian oil and mineral firms, and even the recent price recovery has not been enough to entirely resolve worries over their debt obligations.

Below, Exclusive Analysis regional specialists Teymur Huseynov and Joanna Gorska answer questions on what investors can expect in the volatile sector.

China suspends 'illegal' hydropower projects for environmental reasons

China's environment ministry has suspended construction of two ambitious hydropower dams in the upper Yangtze river region, saying the projects were illegal because they were started without necessary environmental assessments.

The announcement, carried widely in state media today, is an unusually aggressive move by the ministry of environmental protection, whose local bureaus answer to local governments despite it being upgraded to a full ministry last year.

US will exempt China from binding greenhouse gas targets

The US will not demand that developing countries such as China take on binding targets to cut pollution under a new treaty to fight global warming, a senior official in the Obama administration confirmed today.

Jonathan Pershing, head of the US delegation at UN climate talks in Bonn, said developing nations would instead be asked to take certain actions, such as to improve take-up of renewable energy and to boost energy efficiency standards.

Australia - Beachfront residents on own against sea rise

OWNERS of beachfront homes will get little protection or compensation from the State Government if their properties are threatened by rising sea levels caused by climate change or coastal erosion, under a plan in the course of being developed.

Anger is mounting among councils and coastal communities that the Government priority will be to protect public works and public safety, creating the prospect of lengthy legal battles between councils and beachfront residents.

Michael Pollan, Garden Fresh

"One of the reasons we need to nurture several different ways of feeding ourselves -- local, organic, pasture-based meats, and so on – is that we don't know what we're going to need and we don't know what is going to work. To the extent that we diversify the food economy, we will be that much more resilient. Because there will be shocks. We know that. We saw that last summer with the shock of high oil prices. There will be other shocks. We may have the shock of the collapsing honey bee population. We may have the shock of epidemic diseases coming off of feed lots. We're going to need alternatives around.

"When we say the food system is unsustainable we mean that there is something about it, an internal contradiction, that means it can't go on the way it is without it breaking up. And I firmly believe there will be a breakdown."

Pakistan: Low economic activity reduces energy demand

ISLAMABAD: Energy consumption declined in the 2008-9 fiscal year because of reduced economic activities and the circular debt issue arising out of high prices of petroleum products.

However, according to the Economic Survey released on Thursday, Pakistan is at present the largest CNG user country.

Pertamina not to import more oil following refinery incident

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina will not increase its oil imports following a disturbance that forced its Cilacap refinery to stop operatimg, a Pertamina spokesman said.

Nuclear industry to add 10,000 jobs in future

Almost 10,000 new jobs will emerge in the nuclear field in the coming decade, but many of the workers destined to fill them are still in middle or high school, according to a new study commissioned by an economic development group.

How a trip to the laundry averted nuclear disaster

A chance decision to wash some clothes narrowly averted a nuclear disaster, a safety report has found.

While using the laundry room at Sizewell A power station, a contract worker spotted a leak from a cooling tank.

By the time he raised the alarm more than 40,000 gallons of radioactive fluid had spilled out from a 15ft long crack in a pipe. Some of it reached the North Sea.

Chinese cities to be lit up by LEDs

A new project is being developed to light up ten cities across China with LED street lights, according to reports.

Chinese officials have asked leading LED makers from Taiwan to participate in the project and provide their cities with energy-saving bulbs.

The coming U.S.-Saudi fight over "energy independence"

Are the United States and Saudi Arabia on the verge of serious tensions? They might be … if the Saudis continue to worry that U.S. energy policy could undermine their economy over the long-term.

Saudi officials are beginning to realize that the Obama administration is serious about gradual diversification away from U.S. dependence on oil and fossil fuels -- a direct threat to Saudi Arabia’s “demand security.” That explains, at least in part, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al Naimi’s uncharacteristically hawkish comments on crude oil prices at the most recent OPEC meeting held late last month -- comments that amounted to a warning shot directed at the U.S. ahead of President Obama’s visit.

Despite serious recent Saudi efforts to diversify its economy away from dependence on crude oil exports, the certainty that large-scale use of hydrocarbon alternatives remains years away, and conservative budgeting that ensures the Saudis are hurt less than most energy exporters by lower prices, the Saudis fear that substantial U.S. investment in ideas like plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles could undermine demand growth in oil, which they had assumed would remain strong, at least in the developing world. The fear is that if they continue investing in oil production capacity, they could end up overshooting demand.

EU To Agree To Strengthen Emergency Oil Stocks Rules

BRUSSELS -(Dow Jones)- The European Union is expected to agree Friday to strengthen rules on emergency oil stocks and to publish data on commercial stocks every month, in an effort to increase both its readiness for any potential energy crisis and transparency in the commodities market.

Fair price issue continues to haunt Obama even after Riyadh visit

When Barack Hussain Obama, the president of the world’s largest gas guzzler, landed in Riyadh, the world’s largest gas station, last week, it would have really been naïve to expect that the continuing global oil saga-with prices firming up to the highest points in the year-would not be on his mind.

His cards were already out in open.

Price Of Oil - Drawing The Line

The problem is that no oil producer is making money at $40 per barrel. I've heard estimates that the break-even point is now $60 to $80 per barrel, so producers are hurting. Why doesn't a producer simply stop producing if it loses money on every barrel? That question is answered when you realize that most of our oil now comes from national entities (Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran, etc.) rather than companies like Exxon or Shell. These countries do indeed work with companies, but the basic decisions there are governmental. These governments are dependent on oil revenue for infrastructure, social programs, military spending and all the rest. For them, if revenue stops, the government stops.

Vale Purchases Saudi Supertankers to Convert, TradeWinds Says

(Bloomberg) -- Vale SA bought two Saudi Arabian- owned supertankers that it will convert to haul iron ore, TradeWinds reported, citing shipbrokers it didn’t identify.

Single currency: UAE pulls out of currency union

The United Arab Emirates has informed the secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council that it is pulling out of the proposed GCC monetary union, according to a report by the country’s official news agency.

The move came less than three weeks after Gulf leaders agreed that the headquarters of the central bank for the region would be located in Saudi Arabia.

Video: Meeting the Transmission Challenge at Power-Gen Europe

If there's one thing that unites the conventional and renewable energy industries, it's the need to upgrade and expand the transmission and distribution infrastructure. Global investment in new power plants has fallen because of the dearth of capital for projects. But investments in transmission and distribution systems have been relatively stable.

OPEC producers' resolve weakening on quotas

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said oil production rose for a second month in May, weakening compliance with quotas, as the group lowered its forecast for global oil demand in 2009.

The 11 OPEC members bound by production quotas, which exclude Iraq, pumped 25.903 million barrels a day in May, an increase of 118,800 barrels a day from April, the Vienna-based organization said in its monthly oil report today, citing secondary sources that include estimates from analysts and news organizations.

Oil price surge sends gasoline higher

Gasoline prices are blowing past recent estimates, saddling consumers with higher costs just as the summer driving season shifts into high gear.

Pump prices are following the rise in crude oil, which set an 8-month high Thursday on a falling dollar and brighter economic outlook.

Pemex says Ku Maloob Zaap field producing at peak

VERACRUZ, Mexico (Reuters) - Mexico's Ku Maloob Zaap oil field is currently producing at a peak 830,000 bpd and will continue to produce at that level for the next seven years, Hector Salgado, an engineer at the state-run oil company Pemex, told reporters on Thursday.

Pemex officials said earlier this year the field, which is now Mexico's single largest producer of oil, could begin to decline in 2010.

Police fire tear gas in Peru protests

LIMA, Peru – Riot police used tear gas to turn student protesters away from Peru's Congress on Thursday as thousands marched to back Amazon Indians resisting oil and natural gas exploration on their land.

At least 20,000 students, labor union members and indigenous Peruvians from the country's Andean highlands to its jungle lowlands joined the mostly peaceful nationwide protests.

Jack Cafferty: How will your life change if oil reaches $250 a barrel?

Experts predict the price of oil could soon hit $250 a barrel. Already, a barrel of crude is trading at almost $73 dollars — which is up from the lows of $30 a barrel only four months ago.

Financial crisis: high noon on the high street

While it is clear that Totnes is hardly the typical British town, something is stirring there that could have a profound influence on the shape of every high street in the future. Totnes is the birthplace of the Transition movement, which aims to strengthen local communities and develop resilience (a favourite Transition word) in the face of climate change and the looming crisis occasioned by Peak Oil. This refers to the widely held theory that the world’s production of oil is now at or close to its peak, and that we face a future of inexorably dwindling supplies, with all the potentially catastrophic consequences that implies, unless we can reduce our energy usage and find alternative forms of energy.

Peak Oil: Good Things Could Happen to Us

Once deemed unthinkable, peak oil is now the subject of very serious consideration, partly because global consumption is rising faster than supply, and partly because the predicted rebound of our depressed economy is expected to increase demand and thus price. Furthermore, the worldwide recession and the subsequent fall in the price of oil has reduced exploration and development, further jeopardizing the immediate supply should the economy recover. The implications for the short term are worrying. If we are brave enough to think about the long-term, implications are staggering. A world of expensive and scarce oil would be radically different than the one in which we live today.

Transition Culture: Pushing Back to a Greener Future

When Becky Prelitz started perusing some of her husband's books with titles such as "Power Down," "Peak Everything," "The Party's Over" and "The Final Energy Crisis," she got depressed. So depressed, in fact, about a future without endless inexpensive gasoline, electricity and water that she slept for six months. "It was too much doom and gloom so I literally took a six-month nap," she claimed.

When she woke up from her Rip-Van-Winkle reaction to what she dubbed post petroleum stress disorder, she found another book on her doorstep, "The Transition Handbook: From Oil Dependency to Local Resiliency" by Rob Hopkins and Richard Heinberg. The book replicates the original transition town movement in culturally eclectic Totnes, England, in 2006. She decided to read it.

Peak Oil & Mainstream Attention Reveals A New Economic Pattern

Look out everybody. Suddenly, the mainstream media is talking about peak oil, as if they've been just as concerned all along. This spells trouble for the world economy as it is a significant change in behavior from the mainstream outlets.

Rural Life off Target

People are moderating their economic behaviour in pursuit of sustainable development goals as a response to peak oil fears and global warming. Income maximisation is giving way to the other satisfactions of rural living. Economic linkages are more local than multinational. As one recent piece of research for DEFRA puts it, people are beginning to have fun. But this is not part of government policy, so it attracts no funding. While RDAs offer the rhetoric of pursuing both wealth and sustainable development, it is hard to see how these are anything other than opposed.

Immigration and overpopulation: you can eat too much and grow too fat

Liberals, usually more educated and enlightened than conservatives, join ecological clubs to save the environment from further damage—caused by excessive human numbers. Liberals fill the rolls of the Population Connection (formerly ZPG), Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society and Green Peace. Liberals understand that overpopulation, while most of them remain too afraid to speak out, creates an ominous future for the United States as well as all life around the planet.

Conservatives usually deeply religious, however, must be pulled—kicking and screaming—toward any kind of care for the environment. They object to or deny climate destabilization, consequences of species extinctions and most of them think that “Peak Oil” or the depletion of oil—remains a hoax.

How much have you lost in the great recession?

Peak oil is just a fact of geology: that the world has used up half of this one-time gift; it will use up much of the remainder much faster than it did the first half. The question is when it happens -- did it happen in 2007 or will it be 20 years out (hardly much transition time). The remaining oil will be harder to get and more costly to refine -- and no magic hydrogen car will be dropped off by benevolent aliens.

Demand will continue to rise fast as the developing world industrializes and wants to live the car-centric American dream. Meanwhile, many of the big "elephant fields" are at or near peak -- Mexico's Cantarell being one example. It's not for nothing that the Saudi's guard their actual oil numbers as a state secret. Watch production, not reserves that can be squishy or outright fraudulent.

After 50 years, Honda confronts new challenges

The turmoil wracking the auto industry presents a paradox for Honda. On the one hand, Honda has weathered the crisis because it hasn't depended on once-profitable gas-thirsty vehicles as much as its Detroit rivals. On the other hand, its competitors now have little choice but to muscle in on Honda's turf.

GM cancels Malibu hybrid, works on new system

DETROIT (AP) - General Motors Corp. will stop making Chevrolet Malibus and Saturn Auras with an early generation gas-electric hybrid engine system, but engineers are working on a more efficient version of the system, a company spokesman said Thursday.

"Mild" hybrid versions of the midsize cars aren't selling well because they cost about $4,000 more than base models but only get four more miles per gallon of gasoline.

Storing energy for when needed

The plant will house an array of massive flywheels spinning at up to 16,000 revolutions per minute. They're designed to store excess power from the electrical grid, releasing it as needed to match the ebb and flow of statewide demand for electricity to avoid brownouts and blackouts.

Spain facing key decision on use of nuclear power

MADRID (AFP) – The Spanish government will have to take a clear stand for or against nuclear power in the coming weeks when it decides whether to renew the operating licence of the oldest of the country's six nuclear plants.

Nation's largest solar plant to be built in NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Utility officials announced plans Thursday to build a giant solar energy plant in the New Mexico desert in what is believed to be the largest such project in the nation.

The 92-megawatt solar thermal plant could produce enough electricity to power 74,000 homes, far exceeding the size of other solar plants in the United States. The largest solar thermal plant in operation now is about 70 megawatts, said Dave Knox, a spokesman for New Jersey-based NRG Energy, the company building and running the facility.

India plans much solar power, slower emissions rise

BONN (Reuters) – India will submit plans within weeks to slow its rise in carbon emissions significantly and to generate more solar power by 2020 than the whole world generates now, a senior climate official said on Thursday.

But the world's fourth biggest emitter of greenhouse gases cannot say when its emissions will peak and start to decline, said Shyam Saran, special climate envoy to Prime Minster Manmohan Singh.

Reindeer & Caribou Populations Plunge

Reindeer and caribou numbers worldwide have plunged nearly 60 percent in the last three decades due to climate change and habitat disturbance caused by humans, a new study finds.

Global warming and industrial development are driving the dramatic decline, said Liv Vors, a Ph.D. student at the University of Alberta who did the study with university biologist Mark Boyce.

German Bogs, New Zealand Firs Offer a CO2 ‘Free Pass’

(Bloomberg) -- Peat bogs in Germany, New Zealand firs and North American forests will likely allow industrialized countries to lower carbon emissions while still burning coal and oil, according to a draft United Nations document.

Negotiators at climate-change talks in Bonn are proposing that carbon stored and absorbed by forests, soil and peat bogs in richer nations be included as part of national targets for cutting CO2, a document obtained by Bloomberg News showed. American Electric Power Co. and Germany’s RWE AG are among the utilities that may benefit by paying less for emissions permits.

US climate envoy: China seeks top US technology

BONN, Germany – China wants the United States to deliver top of the line technology as part of a new global warming agreement, the chief U.S. climate negotiator said Thursday.

Little progress seen as climate talks head for wrap

BONN (AFP) – A fresh round of talks on forging a new agreement to tackle climate change headed for a close on Friday after amassing hundreds of proposals but little sign of consensus emerging.

UN sketches countries with climate risk profile

BONN, Germany (AFP) – Disasters caused by climate change will inflict the highest losses in poor countries with weak governments that have dashed for growth and failed to shield populations which settle in exposed areas, a UN report said on Thursday.

"Disaster risk is not evenly distributed," said the report, released on the sidelines of the world climate talks in Bonn, as it urged countries to shore up protection for their citizens.

From 1990 to 2007, loss of life and property from weather-related disasters rose significantly, with floods the biggest single cause, it said.

I saw this very early yesterday (5:34am my time) on CNBC but I had to leave immediately and did not get a chance to post it.

Peter Buetel talks about gas prices and peak oil.

Pumped Up Gas Prices

Buetel says he thinks oil is setting up to make a double bottom. He says he does not think we will take out the last bottom but there is a very good chance we will see a $39.80 print or a $40 print. He says: we will stabilize at some point then build a longer term bottom then start heading into that whole peak oil phenomenon which I think is still 6,7,8 years away. He says later: Somewhere between 2015 and 2018 we do have peak oil coming. We need to be ready for that, we really do. He also said that the rise in oil prices the last eight years, as opposed to the previous eight years, cost our economy 1.5 trillion dollars.

That left me with mixed emotions. The man says we need to get ready for peak oil which is still 6 to 8 years away. Anyway all the other talking heads completely ignored his reference to peak oil except for a reference about Chevron saying that we should be running all our industrial systems on natural gas.

In my opinion that was simply Chevron saying get ready for peak oil.

Ron P.

Well Ron, of course there is this Chevron initiative http://www.willyoujoinus.com/

With the economy in shambles leading to cancellation of new projects it's very hard for me to see how the world can exceed the 2008 production peak.

Beutel is an interesting case. He used to a rabid cornucopian. Somewhere along the line, he became a peak oiler.

He had his own thread at PO.com, where we posted links to his predictions and laughed at them. Until he became a peak oiler in October 2008.

Another one for the Corncucopian Cemetery, I guess.

Beutel was an oil price bear but not an epitomical cornucopian as per the quote below.

But before you start cheering Beutel's prediction, understand that part of his forecast is based on the belief that oil is high enough now to spark a global recession, which will significantly cut demand. He also believes that recent oil price records have spurred plans to increase global oil production, which he sees feeding the decline in oil prices.

Given we are in a global recession I don't see whats left to spark.

This has been covered here before but basically given the government will do anything to prevent a financial meltdown regardless of the long term consequences I expect the next leg down to be driven by peak oil.
This means high prices slowing the economy.

I find it a bit amazing that so many people assume if the economy starts to slow down then oil prices will fall.
However this is like having a famine and assume that the price of food falls because the famine has caused economic activity to slow.

We are so used to popping ponzi scheme bubbles we have forgotten about real economic constraints.

I find it a bit amazing that so many people assume if the economy starts to slow down then oil prices will fall.

Then you must be truly amazed by history. It has happened four times in recent years. In the early 80s oil prices dropped dramatically at the same time oil production was dropping also. And it all happened because the economy was slowing down. And most recently oil prices dropped in the last 5 months of 2008 at the same time oil production was dropping. And it happened because the economy was slowing down. Normally this is called a recession.

However this is like having a famine and assume that the price of food falls because the famine has caused economic activity to slow.

This is not a valid example at all. Famines are caused, they don't just happen. Very high food prices could cause a famine just as very high oil prices could cause a recession. If the population kept growing but the food supply did not, then there could be a famine. Consequently if the population, and the economy, kept growing but the fuel supply did not, then this could cause the economy to start to collapse, which is exactly what happened.

What truly amazes me is that some people expect oil prices to go through the roof in the teeth of the worst recession in over half a century. People are losing their jobs, industry is shutting down, people with jobs are cutting back dramatically on consumption of about everything. The recession is causing demand to drop like a rock but amazingly some people continue to believe oil prices will continue to rise as demand continues to drop.

In the USA, petroleum products supplied, (consumption of all petroleum products), has dropped by 10 percent since 2005. Petroleum Overview That is called demand destruction. And it was caused by higher petroleum prices. And that caused a recession! And that caused prices to plunge.

And that is called history. Isn't that amazing?

Ron P.

What truly amazes me is that some people expect oil prices to go through the roof in the teeth of the worst recession in over half a century. People are losing their jobs, industry is shutting down, people with jobs are cutting back dramatically on consumption of about everything. The recession is causing demand to drop like a rock but amazingly some people continue to believe oil prices will continue to rise as demand continues to drop.

Yep fully expect prices to continue to rise and for people to continue to expect a "recession" any day now causing them to fall and fully expect this to never happen.

The problem is everyone is claiming we will have another recession. Well we won't in fact we have every indication that our current recession is probably close to technically over. Its yet another jobless recovery but still probably close to technically over.

We will never have another recession again they are over.

Now its time for something much worse a peak oil lead depression.
Financial games will have no effect. I'm surprised your trying to prove me wrong using recessions as and example when they have no bearing on a resource lead economic collapse.

A famine is exactly the correct description of whats coming. I'm saying that the end game has started forget about piddly recessions they are irrelevant.

Found this article cool peak on how Americans view oil.


Plenty believe we will have a recession and prices will drop. Generally its a safe bet the popular opinion is wrong.

Some direct peak oil posts also.

Memmel, as I explained to Euro below, from 1979 to 1985 oil production dropped a full 15 percent. So far since the peak in July it is down only about 3 percent. But if production drops further, and I expect it will, then this means the recession will deepen, perhaps a depression as you say.

Three forces are at work here Memmel, lower oil production forcing prices up and lower oil production forcing economic production down. These two forces work against each other but there is a third factor to consider, the effect of higher oil prices on people's pocketbook. This third force is the one that actually causes, or at least several times in the past, causeed prices to drop.

I see absolutely no reason to think it will be different this time. In fact if we do have a depression then hardly anyone will be buying oil products.

I'm surprised your trying to prove me wrong using recessions as and example when they have no bearing on a resource lead economic collapse.

Absurd! They have every bearing on a resource led collapse. A resource led collapse means people are lose their jobs. People can no longer afford to buy anything including gasoline. Everything is tied together Memmel. You cannot possibly separate a resource led economic collapse from people's ability to buy petroleum products. A collapse is a collapse is a collapse. As more and more people lose their jobs, and they are, then consumption of everything drops! This includes all petroleum products. This causes prices to drop, or at least keep them low. All oil price spikes will be knocked down by the people's inability to buy petroleum products.

Ron P.

All oil price spikes will be knocked down by the people's inability to buy petroleum products.

Your dead wrong here.

Again its like saying all food prices will be knocked down by your inability to buy food.
No if you can't buy food you starve.
If you can't buy oil you walk.


I'd guess at least 10% of the US population would be reduced to third world poverty if oil reach 500 a barrel.
I'm I'm talking facing starvation. And obviously the oil usage by this group would be a lot lower.
Other than this for the most part everyone will simply use what they can afford at a given price point.

Given that the US uses 25% of the worlds oil I'd argue the price has to rise high enough to force a significant precentage of the US population into deep poverty before we balance supply and demand.

The problem of course is the bulk of the worlds oil is used by the wealthiest countries the only way to get any sort of significant change in demand is to truly impoverish a precentage of the citizens in these countries. We probably will see a lot of problems in poorer countries also but again a lot of the oil demand in these countries is from the wealthiest layer which is equal in spending power to the wealthier classes of the rich countries.

Lets say for example the worlds oil supply declined by 4mbd and the US was forced to decline by its fair share of 1mbd. It uses 25 mbd so thats and additional 4% decline. Guessing on prices I'd say probably around 150 to cause this and probably and additional say 4% unemployment.

The next 1 mbd is a lot harder its 1/24 or a 4.2% decline worse though is we would have already eliminated a lot of excess usage at this point. I'd argue to get the next decline we would need go a lot higher in price probably more like 300 a barrel to get the additional decline. With this level not only are you causing conservation with increasing unemployment but your also starting to produce a true impoverished class i.e third world style poverty. I'd guess your looking at 4% of the population falling into third world levels.

From here on out I'd argue that further price increases are primarly increasing the number of people that are truly impoverished. Those that can afford oil will of course continue to reduce usage somewhat but now we are probably talking about a fairly stable economy but with simply more and more people falling out the bottom.

This is pretty close to the depression as long as you kept your job even if you pay was lowered you where orders of magnitude better off than those that lost their jobs.

As the price of oil increases you simply don't need that many consumers assuming they manage to stay alive your going to have to have the economy alter itself to ensure that they have no financial means to buy very much oil. Of course given the chance these people will often choose transportation when they do have a bit of money. Many will be very willing to spend a little bit of money if they make it on transport to some other region in hopes of jobs. I think one of the important aspects of the situation that your missing is even as people are forced to give up middle class lifestyles and default on all of their debt they will still spend a significant amount of the money they do manage to make on transportation. Primarily in looking for work.
A lot will probably take over seasonal migrant work from illegal immigrants. Given many of the illegal immigrants are themselves trying to escape third world poverty I'd have to imagine many will end up back in it but in the US however their own home countries will probably be worse off.

To give you some idea about this latent demand for oil you can look at the sharp increase in gasoline theft as the price rises. And of course normal theft of gasoline in poor areas. There is plenty of demand for gasoline in the US even from segments of the population that can't actually afford it.

I absolutely don't see any reason for the price to decline. There is plenty of latent demand even from the deeply impoverished the demand destructed will do anything they can not to stay in that class.

This of course applies world wide the amount of potential demand increases dramatically even as the price of oil increases as you get more people who have fallen economically willing to use oil given the chance to better their circumstances. As supplies decline they price must of course increase to force more people into poverty.

I think maybe you should look at oil demand in third world countries to understand this a bit better. They generally are dealing with shortages and no oil at any price on a fairly routine basis.

This should give you a feel for how important gasoline is even in a impoverished nation.


Or better.


HARARE, Zimbabwe — Reeling from the highest inflation rate in the world, barred by the government from using U.S. dollars for purchases, Zimbabweans turned to a new money source Wednesday: gasoline coupons.

The move reflected the complete chaos of Zimbabwe's financial system, where prices are openly quoted in the American currency, in Zimbabwe's own new currency that came out Friday, and in its old denominations, which have 10 more zeros than the new bills.

It will be interesting to see how Americans used to popping bubbles causing economic contraction and lower prices respond when that have to deal with a real depression/hyper-inflation economic destruction.

I don't know of a single economy thats derailed that has not also had very high fuel prices and effectively insane ones vs the new economic level. They become painful even for the wealthy and beyond reach for the new poor.

Time will tell but its sad to see so many Americans so badly mistaken but this belief that prices will crash soon and you just need to hold out for a bit is actually one of the driving forces for preventing a price crash. In any case we have plenty of examples of economic collapse and high oil prices. If anything its past US recessions that are and anomaly and probably because economic policy and bubble blowing where more of a factor not intrinsic economic contraction.

Memmel, your post was simply way too long. I did not read it. Thanks for the exchange anyway.

Ron P.


Thats one way to deal with this. You should read it. Your not the only one that does not understand real economics beyond fiat money and popping ponzi scheme bubbles. We have lived a fairy tale world for so long most people don't really understand limits. At least try and understand what I'm trying to say. I will say this expectation of a recession is not the biggest problem we face I think far worse is the expectation that we can simply convert to renewables and go along living in our dream world.

A whole lot of people are going to be in for a rude surprise when they found out the truth is that they are neither needed nor wanted and even feeding them is a burden because its a waste of oil. Esp the former middle class.

Okay I can reduce it to one line.

There is no such thing as a scarce resource just and excess of people.
Once you figure this out then you understand post peak economics.

There is no such thing as a scarce resource just and excess of people.
Once you figure this out then you understand post peak economics.

That's two lines. However it's absurd. Of course there is an excess of people but that does not change the fact that the oil supply will get very scarce. What your analogy proves however is that you don't understand that there are always several things going on at once. Nothing can be reduced to "just one thing" like an excess of people.

And we are, right now, experiencing post peak economics. And oil has not yet reached $200 a barrel. Why Memmel, why? I too, back early last year, thought oil would reach $200 a barrel. I wuz wrong! That shocked me to the core. So I went back to the drawing board and figured out where I screwed up. I never figured on high oil prices putting people out of work, or a scarcity of oil along with high petroleum prices having such a dramatic effect on industry.

But in hindsight it is now as plain as the nose on my face. Damn! How could I have missed something so obvious? But I have learned my lesson. I will not make that mistake again.

You need to try harder Memmel. You are still making that same old mistake. Some people never learn.

Ron P.

That's two lines. However it's absurd. Of course there is an excess of people but that does not change the fact that the oil supply will get very scarce.

Eliminate 2 billion people from the planet and we don't have a peak oil problem any time soone.
Eliminate 5 billion and its pretty much a non problem. Its not by any means absurd.

And oil has not yet reached $200 a barrel. Why Memmel, why? I too, back early last year, thought oil would reach $200 a barrel. I wuz wrong! That shocked me to the core. So I went back to the drawing board and figured out where I screwed up. I never figured on high oil prices putting people out of work, or a scarcity of oil along with high petroleum prices having such a dramatic effect on industry.

Well sounds like your wrong twice. Not only where you wrong the first time but you managed to get wrong a second time. I suspect a third time is getting pretty close.

First and foremost your completely wrong about why oil did not hit 200 thats not even important what important and far more interesting is how it was driven below 40. That had absolutely nothing whatsoever to your claim of why you think your right now. T


And I'm very sorry to shout in cyberspace like this but this argument is completely bogus by any metric the economy is far weaker than it was six months ago yet the price of oil had doubled.
Your second theory and already rubbish and your third theory is well on its way to the dust bin.

If your willing to set back and look at the problem and think for a few minutes and understand why oil hit the lows it did then you will realize someone with and immense amount of money made a sure bet.

With up to 100 million barrels of oil in the hands of traders its fairly easy to guess.

Ghawar crashed.

Memmel is right on this one (in his usual over wordy way). Darwinian is wrong because he thinks that the recession in the U.S. is what drives oil prices. Dropping demand in the U.S. is offset by rising demand in China as car sales boom. Oil is an international market and if demand is rising in places like China and oil exporting countries, oil prices can rise even in a U.S. recession. The evdidence: it is happening right now.

Add in the weak dollar as another oil price supporting factor. It is no coincidence that oil fell as the dollar got stronger last year. It is hard to imagine with all the dollars sloshing around that the dollar can strengthen much. If it does that means the economy is stronger which means higher demand for oil and higher oil prices.

People will drive even in a recession with high unemployment. It may be that they drive more as they search for work or bargain shop.
How do they pay for it? Cutting back on big ticket purchases like cars.

In any case rising oil/gas prices are bailing out ethanol:


Darwinian is wrong because he thinks that the recession in the U.S. is what drives oil prices. Dropping demand in the U.S. is offset by rising demand in China as car sales boom.

x, the recession is worldwide. Industrial output and exports from Asia and Europe decreased a lot. This caused oil demand destruction which couldn't be completely offset by booming car sales. Aviation and long distance ship transport use a tremendous amount of oil/day.

memmel, the unemployment is higher with $70 oil than with $40 now, but things don't change overnight (like rising oilprices didn't cause a recession in a few months time) and because of the globalisation everything is connected as Darwinian pointed out. What hurts the economy most is when oilprices stay for some time above about $100. Then a lot of people drive less or buy a more economic car. You wrote: "with no oil people walk" and this is one of the things that happens with very high oilprices (apart from this exportation of products, especially long distance, diminishes and business and tourism travel goes down). That causes demand destruction of oil and (much) lower oilprices (unless the oilproduction and/or oilexports crashes).

I did read your post, Memmel, and I think you are putting way too much sensitivity per 1% of reduction in available oil. Looking at this week's "Summary" as set forth on Weds's Drumbeat, "Total products supplied over the last four-week period has averaged 18.3 million barrels per day, down by 6.9 percent compared to the similar period last year." So, with the reduction in consumption and all other factors, we have decreased demand some 6.9% apparently without a full blown crash - stay tuned, if may turn into one.

As to the population question, we are not going to change that anytime soon, while the amount of produced oil is going to drop, and likely is going to drop quickly, in any case. I do think that we will see the impact of the peak within a few years, in virtually any case - just like in my insurance policies, in the case of thermonuclear war, this does not apply; in that case, the impact will be delayed while things get sorted out.

I once thought naively that if we had a recession, that would give us time to catch up while we transitioned to alternatives. I was wrong there as. The reduction in meaningful investment in the most promising areas capable of oil production has shown me where I was in error. If, on the other hand, we were to begin switching a lot of activiites to natural gas, we could still transition, just not fast enough to avoid more pain.

I did read your post, Memmel, and I think you are putting way too much sensitivity per 1% of reduction in available oil. Looking at this week's "Summary" as set forth on Weds's Drumbeat, "Total products supplied over the last four-week period has averaged 18.3 million barrels per day, down by 6.9 percent compared to the similar period last year." So, with the reduction in consumption and all other factors, we have decreased demand some 6.9% apparently without a full blown crash - stay tuned, if may turn into one.

I'm not sure what the right numbers are but the relationship is highly non-linear. My basic model is what I call the bowl of jello model. The first demand cut is like jello very easy to pass through but then you hit the bowl made say of ceramic. You cannot pass through it but you put enough pressure on it and it shatters.

Now the price of oil is determined by rates with the jello bowl model which is closely related to a bubble economy when the bubble is first popped your in the jello zone as the economy pulls back from wasteful expansion. Bursting housing bubbles financial bubbles stopping and reversing expansion etc. Given we had a banking crisis which dried up credit lines across all businesses the bubble collapse briefly accelerated.

And although ignored by many we also had a hurricane which dramatically slowed oil imports into the US and resulted in shortages in the south eastern US. The oil that was supposed to supply the US for a week had for the most part already been shipped but was not offloaded because of damage to the terminals.

Also we have evidence that the Saudi's did empty storage and probably dumped some distillates also. It looks like at least 30-60 million barrels. But the oil at least was never landed. So it looks like this became part of the traders hoard. After the hurricanes the US did import a large amount of distillates I don't know where they came from.

My point is that while we where in the jello phase of demand destruction we also had a number of one time events that resulted in the just in time oil market being briefly oversupplied with a lot of this excess captured by traders.

Price of oil at this point ? I'd argue almost random demands falling the markets well supplied the financial world is in shambles everyone is bailing on the oil futures market as future demand is unknown. On the financial side we are close to a complete meltdown. This actually feedsback strongly into oil demand as letters of credit are not given and goods pile up unshipped. Also everyone cuts back on future orders etc.

Obviously the economy could not continue to contract at the same rate it was during the second half of 2008 since that was a full blown panic. Fast furious and brief. Call it unsustainable collapse.

Can it happen again ? I don't see a driving force for another fast collapse in the short term and of course we are now exiting the jello phase i.e the current economic level is much closer to our base level given our population. If you look at the great depression you will see that they also had and initial recession followed by a rebound then on into the real depression. As with us the initial fast collapse was primarily financially driven i.e it was a banking panic. Its a monetary event and most of our recessions are characterized by this sort of monetary bubble blow off. These can be remedied by financial games.

However these games just prevent further collapse they don't cause growth in and of themselves you can see a perfect example with Japan. My opinion for the US is that the continued weakening of lending requirements allowed continued expansion of the housing bubble to help pull it out of past recessions.

In any case our current situation is not about recessions but about a energy induced depression and what the price of oil will do.

Well to figure this out you need to do research into oil usage as economic conditions deteriorate we actually have perfect examples in the US rust belt. What you find is that oil usage falls to a fairly constant amount thats consistent with the infrastructure. Not exactly unsurprising we use the amount of oil we need to live.

This is the hard bowl of demand what ever you intrinsic infrastructure requirements are it becomes very difficult to reduce demand below this level. As a simple example consider a village that sells its produce in a market it has to make delivery and if the market is far enough away lets say it has to use a delivery truck to get its food to market fast enough for it to be fresh. This village is in a binary situation regarding oil usage if it does not make the delivery then it makes no money. It has no choice but to buy some diesel. Its customers can complain about the high prices but if the village does not deliver then they don't get food.

Thats extreme but in general what your dealing with are justified use cases. I.e energy needs to be used in order to complete some transaction even if it turns out to have marginal or even negative profit.

The mistake Darwinian is making is in assuming that as the economy contracts then everyone simply sets at home and quietly starves to death so the rest of the world can have cheap oil.

Thats not what really happens what happens is life goes on its just that profits become razor thin or negative. If there is a lot of debt in the system then this debt is steadily defaulted on. However the debt defaults also free up cash flow. The example I use is someone defaulting on the mortgage and credit cards and even losing their job then moving in with relatives and taking a job at a lot lower wage. This person had negative cash flow and now its positive.

Sorry for yet another long post but its worth working through the problem to get to the end.

What we find is that after the financial pullback that demand for oil tends to flatten out and no longer decline we are starting to see this in the VMT numbers. The rate of decline slows and you can even get a bit of a rebound as deferred purchases are made.

This is documented here.


Next VMT has been almost flat or declining since about 2005 yet except for about six months or so oil prices have remained high in fact the highest prices where seen after the recession started.

So barring any sort of jarring economic event we should expect prices to steadily increase this does not preclude some chain of events from resulting in oil supply briefly outstripping demand but if you look it took quite a number of different events happening at the same time for this to occur last time. I'd argue that the chances of us getting the same nexus are slim. Another financial panic would probably take out our economy. Without a financial panic its in my opinion impossible to get the real economy to contract fast enough to allow any sort of significant oversupply if the decline rate in supply is high enough.

At best if supply can actually be increased at some price point we will see the rate of increase in price moderate sometime in the future. One has to imagine that as the price of oil increases it will ring out some increase in supply or at least moderate the decline rate in production such that supply and demand can almost balance at least briefly.

So if I'm correct and we are really entering a peak oil depression then we should see the price of oil rise relentlessly as most of the demand is justified at every price point. This is the critical factor regardless of the price of oil the users of the oil will have some justifiable reason for consuming oil.

Lets take your typical American. At first he takes the family vacation by flying then as oil prices increase he decides on short trips or even driving around locally. As the price increases further he reduces to his intrinsic use level i.e driving to work. All the way through liberal use of unsecured credit cards allow him to defer the rising cost for oil. Also of course most don't believe in peak oil or they expect the price to crash like last time so they are willing to float if you will not really changing their habits as price increases. Everyone pretty much expects this to be a temporary situation just like last time.

The key point and I'll repeat it is everyone is now justifying their use case and deeming it as necessary.
As oil prices increase further the situation does change but first its a problem with repaying debt. Once the credit cards are maxed out and oil prices are even higher the the typical American will decide to default on his debt since he needs cash now for food and gasoline. To some extent he will reduce his usage but given that by defaulting on debt he has increased his cash flow significantly he again has room to justify his current oil usage.

Now a further increase in oil prices will put him in the situation of paying his mortgage debt or buying food and gasoline. Given that at this point his mortgage is probably significantly underwater and his credit rating is shot he will be forced to default on the mortgage debt. Again he may well reduce expenditures on gasoline but as before with the credit cards once he defaults on his debt his cash flow increases.

Now of course he is renting but rents are also falling as housing prices fall and people choose denser living condition rents are falling. We can assume that the banks are still overloaded with defaults so good chance that Mr American gets to live in his house rent free for six months to a year.

Landlords won't fare any better as tenets start skipping rent payments and of course pushing hard for lower rents. Rent agreements are often one year but with rental rates falling rapidly you can expect that tenets will also become aggressive in asking for lower rents.

This is actually what happened in the depression and I fully expect it to happen in the coming years people simply stop paying for housing. This is a dispersive phenomena i.e its not fast but its relentless no one will pay for housing costs. People thrown out of rentals can and will squat in abandoned houses or move in with friends etc.

Oil usage can continue to remain high as you get a tremendous increase in cash flow from devaluing your housing stock to zero. And of course you get a similar situation in commercial real estate companies will skip on the rent payment etc.

Only after all this has happened if oil prices continue to increase do you finally reach a situation where people finally start to abandon using a car because now its and issue of oil or food. Now people seriously work on alternative transportation approaches. Car pools gypsy cabs etc etc. I'd not be surprised to see NG powered unlicensed cabs become popular. Motorcycles etc etc. Effectively only at this point does third world transportation modes become prevalent. It does not mean that oil usage really drops i.e prices can continue to rise but all this does is shift transportation modes to ones that use less oil.

Your finally in a food clothing shelter economy. At some point along this relentless decline one can expect political situations to unfold at a regional level but overall all thats happened is the entire world is effectively third world. Given the surplus labor willing to work for cheap in the former wealthy countries globalization will have lost its drive as wages are finally basically flat worldwide and certainly the combination of wages and transportation costs finally make local production of goods and services cost effective vs globalization. Protectionism will also play a factor. Certainly you can expect war but wars burn a lot of oil so they only make the situation worse.

As in the depression the economy actually kept going even after housing was devalued to zero and it will this time. But until we are well past that point nothing really stops oil prices from rising. At some point once we are third world demand will flatten and the price of oil will probably only increase slowly. As the total volume of oil used declines and alternatives become viable i.e rock oil and vegetable oil reach parity in pricing and NG supplies are exploited we reach a sort of quasi equilibrium with everyone living in third world squalor. We can expect epidemics, famine and war to also result in population loss sometimes rapidly so this will work to balance supply and demand. With no first world to save the current third world countries we can expect fairly rapid population drops as these economies fail and are not helped.

We should expect at least some limited nuclear war but I don't see any sort of global MAD sense no one has anything worth taking on a large scale and no one could follow through a major nuclear strike to take resources. Nuclear weapons beyond the tactical level or a limited first strike to destroy the major cities as effectively terror weapons are not all that useful. Widespread chemical and even biological warfare seem to make more sense. The beauty of biological warfare is it can induce a rapid drop in population without a massive investment in oil. And of course it can be done covertly. Natural epidemics could readily mask the initiation of biological warfare and of course in many cases its simply a matter of introducing naturally occuring diseases early. For example countries may decide to introduce bubonic plague covertly into countries that have collapsed. I'm not suggesting that this will happen probably natural and political problems will work to steadily reduce the population but we could see countries decide this is not fast enough.

This will go until the population declines significantly below sustainable levels which might be much lower with global warming. At some point of course the population will have dropped enough that resources are both no longer strained and primarly renewable and war will die down. This could well happen fairly rapidly.

But no cheap oil all the way to the end :)

I think you are putting way too much sensitivity per 1% of reduction in available oil... down by 6.9 percent compared to the similar period last year." So, with the reduction in consumption and all other factors, we have decreased demand some 6.9% apparently without a full blown crash - stay tuned, if may turn into one.

Indeed. GDP uis down around 5%.


Scroll down for the GDP chart. Down about 7% since '04 and about 5% since beginning of '08 or so. Oil and GDP have been linked in past recessions, as discussed here many times in the past.


You are right, in the early 80s oil prices dropped dramatically. And you are wrong, that oil production dropped at that time. Quite the contrary: oil production surged! Prudhoe Bay, North Sea and Cantarell came online!

And you are wrong, that oil production dropped at that time. Quite the contrary: oil production surged! Prudhoe Bay, North Sea and Cantarell came online!

For goodness sake Euro, all you had to do was look at any record of world oil production, EIA, IEA, BP, etc. etc. and you would see that you are the one who is terribly wrong.

EIA World Oil Production (Excel spreadsheet)
World Oil Production in thousands of barrels per day.

1979 Average	62,674
1980 Average	59,558
1981 Average	56,050
1982 Average	53,454
1983 Average	53,257
1984 Average	54,499
1985 Average	53,966

Euro, just check the data. When the data is so easily available, and it is, there is no excuse for making such a gaff. There was a full 15 percent drop in oil production during those years.

Ron P.

Capacity surged not production.

My emotions were a little less mixed Ron. Didn't really explain what he thought the "PO phenomenon" was except the implication it would lead to higher prices. The more interesting comment for me was his notion that last year’s oil pricing was based more upon expectations of changes in the valuation of the dollar then any demand/supply fundamentals.

I'm also not buying the idea that NG is the way to go with futures for the next few years. He said "dump oil and switch to NG" since the oil/NG price ratio is way over historic trends. Time will tell but I'm not sure we're not heading into a 5+ year period where the old ratio rule won’t apply. Really hard to gauge but the LNG import factor seems to be growing. If the companies are really committed to keep pushing LNG capabilities there may well a period of sustained lower NG prices even as the economy recovers. Even with the big drop in shale gas drilling rig count I don’t think domestic NG rates will be falling off of a cliff anytime soon and allow imported LNG to run up very quickly…if at all.

And it still tickles me when the “experts” predict oil prices years down the road and are so accurate that they offer figures down to the penny. Same folks who predicted $50 oil when it hit $147 and $10 oil when were at $70 right now. But they can predict it will be $X.20 years down the road. Not $X.30 but $X.20. Wish my crystal ball was that good.

What I want to know: At $200 per barrel for oil what's the potential for natural gas to substitute for oil in more applications?

We obviously could convert cars to run on natural gas - albeit at some cost and loss of convenience. But given high enough gasoline prices will that happen?

It's interesting that there is not much difference between Sam's middle case and best case for the point at which the top five net oil exporters will have shipped about half of their post-2005 cumulative net oil exports--2012 for the middle case, 2014 for the best case; in other words their post-2005 cumulative net oil exports would be 50% depleted seven to nine years after peaking in 2005. The actual 2006-2008 (inclusive) data points fell between his middle and best cases.

Indonesia's post-1996 cumulative net oil exports were 50% depleted in just slightly over two years.

He also said that the rise in oil prices the last eight years... cost our economy 1.5 trillion dollars.

Anyone mind it I pat myself on the back here?

Thank you, thank you...


Although Beutel is no longer a cornucopian, he predicts peak oil in 6-8 years vs. the idea many of us have here on the oildrum that it has occurred already, in the 2005-2008 timeframe.

Any idea where he is getting the notion of 6-8 years? Or for that matter where he's getting the idea of oil dropping so much in price?

Not suggesting that I know his reasoning at all, but lately whenever I hear PO predictions in the semi-near future, they sound more like the degree of the predictor's readiness to deal with the fact of PO, not the occurence itself.

Thom Hartman was regularly ragging on Tom Friedman's ongoing prediction that the Iraq war had another 6 months before it 'turned around'.. sort of a safe distance, leaving room for adjustments, clarifications and 'new data'.. but essentially it was empty prognosticating.

All my software projects are certain to be within six months of shipping regardless.
Its a invariant :)

After 2-3 years of work sometimes I'll admit defeat and move this up to three months.

That story about two Japanese citizens arrested in Italy with 134 BILLION dollars in bearer bonds finally made the US media (Bloomberg). These guys were carrying more than double Bill Gate's net worth on their person. IMHO facts like these illustrate the disparity between the commonly accepted public view of reality (even on TOD) and actual physical reality. This disparity makes discussion of group and political action to mitigate oil depletion less credible than it would be otherwise IMO.

The bonds were non-negotiable and may have been fake. They may have been counterfeit, possibly by North Korea. At any rate this is really a bizarre story. The US has not issued bearer bonds in over 40 years and those bonds matured in 30 years. This whole story makes no sense whatsoever.

Who was Smuggling $134bn in US Bonds into Switzerland?

Sometimes a bizarre event seems to capture the madness of the times, and this news from Bloomberg fits the bill. A couple of Asians carrying Japanese passports have been arrested by Italian border police with a trunk load of non-negotiable US bearer bonds to the value of $134bn. It's not as crazy as it sounds. The Fed did actually issue bearer bonds up to the value of $500m each until the late 1960's (when electronic record keeping superseded them), and these look on initial examination like the genuine article. If they are real, they could only have come from a handful of countries with sufficient dollar reserves to have accumulated such a huge sum, notably China and Japan. If they are fakes, it would be the biggest such operation in history, and would almost certainly imply state involvement, with North Korea the prime suspect.

Ron P.

$134 billion was likely more than the outstanding (outside Social Security & Federal Reserve) long term (5+ years) national debt in the late 1960s. (Total debt, January 1968 was $358 billion but much was 90 day to 3 year notes, or held by Fed or SS).


If somehow $134 billion in matured (no more interest :-) bearer bonds were outstanding, it would have made the news (just WHO is holding it ? Colombian drug cartel, African dictators, ??). And all in one place at one time ???

I am 100% sure that this is counterfeit.


Yeah, I didn't think that there could still be anything like that much still out there.

There are still some out there, though. They are still a favorite with all manner of shady dealers. As Jack Bauer said in 24:1, "They're better than cash".

Travel tip for oildrummers: When visiting in Europe these days, carry at least $50billion in your wheelbarrow. The dollar isn't what it used to be. Those Koreans likely got in an argument because the train clerk wouldn't break a $500million note. Its no big deal.

I don't know about the rest of TOD readers, but this is how I always move my money around (mysterious Asian couriers with hidden compartments in their luggage). It's worked really well, until now.

I am open to suggestions on how I can't get the next delivery of $140 billion and a jewel-encrusted falcon statuette to my Swiss bank box. Anyone?

UPS or FedX. Works for me.

Hmm, private submarine to Sicily then zeppelin over the Alps and a precision parachute drop right onto the bank roof top. If you'd like for me to arrange this for you I can provide you with the proper coordinates of where to meet the submarine in international waters...there will of course be a small fee for these services ;-)

Let me get this straight- you are alleging a government (N Korea) conspiracy?
"...a planning and acting together secretly, especially for an unlawful or harmful purpose..."
I actually agree with your disinclination to believe in conspiracies...that's one reason I'm not 100% certain these were counterfeits...there were at least 3 different types of securities seized, of 'mind-boggling' quality if fake. Being transported by Japanese nationals. very curious. http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=15456&size=A

Being transported by Japanese nationals.

People with Japanese passports. About 1% of the population of Japan are ethnic Koreans, some with ties to the People's Republic.

A nation state can make VERY good counterfeits, given enough time and resources.

100% sure, just based on the volume.


Train can be worse for climate than plane

Alan, This might interest you:


Boy, is this article being trotted out a lot, lately.

from the article..

"[They]calculated how many passengers each train, plane, bus or car would carry in its lifetime, as well as how many kilometres it would cover."

I didn't get the impression there was a compensation to the cost of tracks and stations for the amount of Freight in Tonnes that those bits of infrastructure also supported.. and I have to wonder how the Train Station Energy was derived between the various rail systems and other complementary Transit modes that Stations frequently serve.

I'm still waiting for the Flight that will take me from the Battery to the Bronx in 40 minutes, door to door, as well.

There's just a lot that's conveniently overglossed in that report, it seems.

Trotted out, overglossed, whatever

It doesn't matter what we want to think. Trains or planes? More likely we're going to end up with neither. We can do all sorts of elaborate calculations - science answering the wrong question. Just self-deception.

It's all about the lies we tell ourselves. As humans, we are not going to overcome those. We cannot; that would be inhuman.

cfm in Gray, ME

There are lies, C, sure. But even if we've built our 'construct' on some arbitrary positions, it doesn't mean they're just ALL lies, nor that we have been condemned by these lies to collapse into complete ruin.

We'll see ruin. We're seeing some of it already, and yes, it points right to the illusions that cheap energy has helped to nurture into the giants around us.. but as much as we're partly all fools, we're partly all smart as well in varying degrees, and many, many people out of the FAR TOO MANY people that live on Earth now will figure out ways to get through, to produce or find food, and so on. I don't see our whole world covered with happy trains.. but there will still be places with them, and they'll work. Likewise cars of some sort, and probably even flight. Am I in my lifetime going to have to kiss up to some Warlord and take my place in a dirty and brutal little society just to stay alive? "I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America..

And no, it's not inhuman to unlearn the lies, even deep civilizational ones.. every now and then. It's a bit uncommon, and usually frowned upon.. but not inhuman.

Why the long face? It's a good day to die.. but I'm having a rough week, too. The deck must have just tilted a couple more degrees.


First glance:

"Infrastructure calculated over the life of the vehicle"

Wrong, VERY wrong metric for rail. Tunnels dug by Chinese coolies for Trans-Continental Railroad are still in use. I used subway dug mainly by Irish in 1897 to get to ASPO-Boston. EROEI on those two tunnels ?

Worn-out steel rails (after 50-80 years) are recycled at low energy for second use. Concrete ties about 50 years.

Now what DENSITY of use for said infrastructure ? How to allocate pax vs. freight ?

I wonder who funded this "study"

I will try to read tonight.


The construction and operation of rail mode infrastructure results in total energy requirements about twice that of operational.

quote from "study". Absolute BS ! They have buried their methodology for such absurdities deep in a PhD dissertation.

I wonder how much time I should devote to manure investigation.



It sounds like empty calories for desperate 'debunkers' ..

I remember the ones very recently about a Hummer being greener than a bike. Seriously!

Let them eat cupcakes!

Why would you doubt the obvious?

Green Hummer

I tried several times to download the dissertation. 7.4 Mb, no luck ?

If anyone does succeed, please eMail it to me at alan_drake at juno dott comm



Done - 7,616KB for 303 pages


Heh I just sent it as well

Bonus points if any of you can find the old story about the shipping container and the bearer bonds out of Asia 3-5 years ago.

Manipulation and Planet Death.

"Manipulation and Planet Death."

Great rant.

I gave a very simular one at the big family graduation gathering.

Boy am I ever the life of the party.

At least my 17yo son still likes me (in addition to loving me).

Souper, you are doing pretty well if people can even understand you when you start talking that stuff. Mostly I get glazed stares. Yeah, my teenage boys understand it. For now. School is doing its best to drill it out of them.

The moral and right thing to do. Yeah, not a fun question.

cfm in Gray, ME

I've thought about holding doomer parties once I get up to Oregon but they don't sound like a lot of fun.

Immigration and overpopulation: Liberals understand that overpopulation, while most of them remain too afraid to speak out, creates an ominous future for the United States as well as all life around the planet.

In the story detailing overpopulation Frosty Woolridge made reference to a 14 minute video by Roy Beck: “Immigration by the Numbers”.


I wasn't surprised by the information but you can literally hear the oxygen leave the room as Roy Beck illustrates the threat that our reckless immigration policies are having, particularly in CA, where immigrants are overwhelming the states ability to pay for services and infrastructure.

The thrust of Beck's argument is that if Americans are going to get a handle on the threat of overpopulation we need to solve the problem at the source: Developing Nations. We cannot relieve third world suffering by opening the floodgates to refugees seeking sanctuary in the U.S.

Gosh, I'm beginning to sound like Lou Dobbs...

IMO the tolerance of illegal immigration by the USA federal government is in no way about relieving suffering-illegal Mexicans have zero labour rights in the USA and are a strong force against private sector wages.

Brian - You're absolutely right. But current efforts toward immigration reform sound a lot like amnesty to me. Keep in mind that once those prior illegal aliens get voting rights you can be assured that stemming the flow of immigrants will be impossible. I don't know about you but I don't want my kids competing with low wage immigrants.

So, you envision your kids working in slaughterhouses and as domestic help?

wisco - If you think that immigrants are simply sweat shop fodder you need to take another look. Many of the immigrants coming to this country have high education degrees and training. What Brian was alluding to above is that "immigrants are a strong force against private sector wages".

Immigrant groups in the U.S. (particularly CA) are forming focused voting groups. Explain to me how that isn't a threat.


Joe Michaels does not sound like an Native American name, what tribe are you from? And if you are recent immigrant, why are you ranting against other recent immigrants? Racism? Is it the dark skin? Also, keep in mind that California is a Spanish name, as is San Francisco, Los Angeles, etc. Why do you think all of these cities have Spanish names? Hint: Joe Michaels ancestors did not name them.

So called "Native Americans" are newcomers to the Americas likewise, only having arrived via Beringia about 12 - 14K yrs bp. Within but a few millenia of their arrival proboscidians (mammoths & mastodonts), equids, glyptodonts, giant ground sloths, camelids (in N America), several species of bovid, large felids (lions, cheetahs, Smilodon), the giant short-faced bear... and many other taxa were driven extinct by hunting pressure & anthropogenic habitat change. The Americas during the Pleistocene and before must have been amazing, sans the ecocidal ape's perturbation. The damage is already fully accomplished. I say to hell with nationalism and national boundaries. If Mexicans & other Latino people want to come to the temperate & cold regions of the Americans I say let them. In return, I may relocate to coastal Ecuador or Coasta Rica as the shitstorm intensifies.

I have a decent bit of NA/Indian blood in me. The ancestors all had american sounding names since they were cherokee. Cherokee adopted western names and western practices rapidly. Other tribes chose not to absorb western names.

So, you can't look at the name to determine how much native american blood is in any one american.


You are correct.

Take John Ridge, a Cherokee. His real name meant something akin to,
He who goes to the mountain top.....and later The Ridge and then later just Ridge. Or so as I hear it and read it.

Mine were more or less names of trees or other forms.

Today most of the Native Americans are of mixed blood , especially the Cherokee who started intermarrying early. Yet even if you have just 1/32 you can be considered Cherokee. Must have 1/4 to sit in council. And half to be Chief.



I will risk being labeled as a racist and xenophobe in order to possibly enlighten you as to the way lots of folks here EXPERIENCE immigration.

If you hang sheet rock or paint houses or work in a slaughter house or cut grass for a living because you are not part of the educated or union or government employed elite,you have LIVED the experience of having immigrants come into your nieghborhood and take YOUR CUSTOMERS,or YOUR JOB for a LOT LESS than you you have customarily earned,competing with your nieghbors,living the nieghborhood dream of your own house and the trappings-car, tv,washerdryer,weekat the beach once a year.


There are a few exceptions of course,such as the computer programmers put out of work by shipping thier work to India.

Now of all the self serving hypocritical self serving disingenious BULLSHIT I have ever heard,nothing comes close to the crap about Americans being unwilling to do dirty work.

Every employer pays whatever is necessary to hire whatever help is necessary,and if a chicken processor is bitching about not not being able to hire enough help it is because they don't want to do the free enterprise thing they hold in such holy repute and raise the pay scale a little and improve working conditions a little and thereby steal a few workers from some other employer.

The net effect of this necesaary (w/o immigration)course of action over a period of time would be to restore a little of the wage imbalance between the haves and the have nots in this country,but the OBVIOUS TRUTH of this assertion is EVER SO CONVENIENTLY overlooked by the beneficiaries of the status quo-meaning any body insulated by training,paperwork,union, or wealth from the competition for low wage jobs.Of course if you are an employer,the savings are concentrated into your hands,and the costs are distributed across the whole tax paying country so its a big win for you.If you are a teacher,doctor,or lawyer and hire your grass cut,you win-or at least you think you are winning.

The "riffraff" breaking into your house and selling dope to your kids and running up your tax bill for police courts and jails would go straight in many ,many cases for a ten to twenty dollar an hour job.When they have nothing to lose,they take the chance on the other ten to twenty.

I know many such people and have seen this take change take place on several occasions..
Most of them wil admit that is is hard to make that much consistently while staying out of jail as a low level crook.Not many ever go straight because not many ever have the chance at a decent job.

One of the biggest reasons that I have always been a political outsider as far as parties go is that I have never been able to swallow the left's hypocrisies.One of the biggest is a continually professed concern for the working man,when most so many of the lefts policies do him so much harm.
"Let's just cry some more crocodile tears while we continue to impoverish him,while thereby creating TWO new Democratic voters" may not ever be commited to paper or E storage at the policy making levels of the party,but I would bet my last dollar they think it to themselves.Afterall,ya gotta break eggs to make omelettes .right?

Now if you're wondering,me ancestors came here astarvin and suffered much the same sort of discrimination as blacks,with the exception of slavery.Our white skins saved us from that.We built railroads by hand beside the Chinese.My paternal great grandfather always ate with a knife and his back to a wall.My grandfather ate with a knife.My cousins and I only keep our firearms handy.We feel a little safer every generation is my interpretation of this evolution of our behavior.

The world is a Darwinian place,and the answer to a plea for help is most often"whatcha done for me lately?"

Now I'm just a crabby old farmer and not to be taken seriously,except when I talk agriculture.
Furthermore if anybody thinks they have me pegged politically, I invite them to just keep an eye open and some day soon I will rip the political right a new one too,unless tptb here cut me off.
Ps My part time black farm hand eats at the family table on the days he works here.Back when we needed more help,our occasional Mexican helpers were also seated at the same table.

I tend to think of immigration in the following way:

To make people who want to migrate stay in place you must force them to. (Punishment, fines, walls, etc). The more that people want to migrate the bigger the wall, the badder the cop the more force you need to keep them out.

The nationality you are born with is rather like the caste/class you are born with. You cannot choose your parents, and very few people can choose their nationality. It seems wrong to punish or unduly reward people for their parentage.

I personally combine the previous thoughts and come to the conclusion that I want no involvement in enforcing immigration policies. Helping poorer countries improve their living standards is a better option in my books.

Also I would like a world where anyone could vote with their feet. If you dislike your current country, and have no ability to change anything and suffer consequences if you try to it seems fair that at least you can withdraw your support from that society by moving to another.

The problem with your screed is that it is focused on immigration, but immigration is a symptom, not the illness. You are describing an effect of capitalism run amok, not the cause of social ills or misery.

May as well bark at the moon unless or until you're ready, willing and able to design a new way and set to work building it. (Not saying you aren't.)

I propose small communities: that are self-reliant and largely self-sufficient; that are based on true democracy (completely egalitarian); that outlaws usury of any kind or degree; where laws are simplified and the jury of your peers determines not only guilt, but sentence; where the federal government is restricted to those powers expressly granted in the Constitution and its amendments; where state and local governments are limited to addressing those issues considered part of the Commons; where the Commons is determined to be the property of the community, and the use thereof is determined by direct vote after debate and a final bill is forged in the legislatures (state or federal, as warranted); where no special interests may provide any funding or support of any kind to any person or entity in any attemot to influence policy, at any level; where all elections are paid for out of taxes; where campaigns for any office at any level cannot begin in any way, shape or form more than two months before any election; where ANY distortion of a candidates record is a criminal offense punishable by 5 years (pick a number) in jail; where quality of life is the key determinant in any and all economic/social decisions; where corporations are businesses, not people, and profit is distributed to owners/shareholders each year en toto and taxes are paid, requiring re-investment each year; where any full-time job must pay a livable wage, period, or better yet, the economy is barter-based, steady state, and time-dollar based and only profit is taxed, except for that necessary to support the Commons.

Some of this is negotiable - particularly the economics - and some not.

I intend to help this happen by living as described with others who feel the same, paying to Ceasar what is Ceasar's when I must in the meantime. I support any group or movement moving in this direction, including, but not limited to Transition Towns, Relocalization, Post Carbon, Plan 3.0...

We can solve our social ills, Peak Everything and Climate Change by just powering down and simplifying.

But I'm just a crabby middle-aged hoping-to-soon-be a middle-aged farmer and teacher of farming/sustainable living, and not to be taken seriously, except when... well, perhaps not at all. At least, not until I've planted some seed, built a wall or two and taught somebody else a little of the little I know.

Got community?

I hope so, because as far as I can tell, that's how we do it. We build community and start living the way we want it to be until a critical mass sweeps in a new paradigm. Or 6C+ sweeps out the old one, permanent-like.



After cancer surgery I went to N. Carolina to recuperate and visit.

My wife had a job lined up for me. Cutting and hauling trees for a 'Tree Surgery' outfit. Being I had a CDL and the Mexicans couldn't get one I had the job. But I had to work same as they did, dragging limbs, hauling rope, chainsawing yet I didn't have to work climbing the trees.

What I soon discovered was that the owner was working these Mexicans workers worse than slaves were worked in the past. Yes they were paid but quite low wages. He screamed at them and treated them somewhat inhumanely.

I only worked two weeks since he tried the same on me and it didn't work. One day I repaired three large Stihl chainsaws,shapened 12 chains,changed the oil in the loggging truck I drove and polished up a rope rig of steel. He came by and said I wasn't doing enough and had to let me go.

I was happy to be let go and wanted to quit anyway. I still had stitches in my abdomen at the time. I was paid $15/hour. The others about 7 or 8. Dangerous hard nasty work but he never dirted his hands like we did and he made a fortune. I despised him for it. He was white scum IMO. He could have hired white Amurkhan boys. I was other crews that were white doing the same as us.

So in the south IMO there are those hiring illegal and semi-illegal and working them like slaves of old. Making huge amounts of money.

While Amurkhan boys were going without work. Were they lazy? Some but not all. Here in Ky most do not hire Mexicans except farmers who don't give a damn what others say. There are a huge number of Amurkhan boys needing work and not getting it. The ones I know are always greasy, work under dirty equipment, and wear garbage for clothes and live on mininum wage.

I lived far far better in my teenage years in the suburbs of St. Louis working for the then wage of $0.45 / hour. Drove decent cars and had fun. Something changed somehow. Gas was a quarter. Steak and Shake burger was $0.29 ,others cheaper.


PS. One learns to respect these workers and they respect you as well once you get down in the dirt and work alongside them. They do work hard and ask for little. I could speak a bit of Spanish and we got along well. But ...something is wrong with the picture.They need to alter their future in Mexico IMO. They need to live in a cherish their own country.

Explain to me how that isn't a threat.

Because it's not a threat, it's a demographic. Otherwise, we're all threats other than the First Nations, and since they're immigrants, too, at some point in the far distant past, guess we all should get out!

By the way, threat to what?

Part of the "tolerance" has to be the simple fact of the impossibility of making a completely impermeable barrier.

And if the barrier is permeable, and there is a difference in concentration of "ions" (say Mexicans) on the two sides, then there will be gigantic osmotic forces generated that will have to be dissipated somewhere else -- the barrier won't hold.

I don't know any good solution, but that is because I don't live in California and because I am too old to be certain of anything.

Looks like California is going to be re-attached to Mexico by default, however.

"by default", natch.

And if the barrier is permeable, and there is a difference in concentration of "ions" (say

Mexicans) on the two sides, then there will be gigantic osmotic forces generated that will

have to be dissipated somewhere else -- the barrier won't hold.

I don't know any good solution, but that is because I don't live in California and because I

am too old to be certain of anything.

If the barrier is osmotic by definition it will by it's very nature allow the flow of Mexican

Ions in one direction only until the Anti Immigration Pressure on the Californian side rises

to a level of dangerous social saturation.

Here is an adapted model of a social osmotic system. Two countries are separated by a

semi-permeable wall which can be either physical or virtual. The size of the gaps is large

enough for example to easily allow the penetration of the barrier by the smaller ecological

foot print Mexicans. The gaps in the barrier are small enough to significantly inhibit the

passage of larger resource consuming Californian's.

The left compartment representing the US develops a higher anti immigration pressure due to

the anti immigration sheath that surrounds each Californian. Since it already contains more

'Life-Sucking' particles, it expands the consumption volume of the left compartment.

The osmotic anti immigration pressure, can be measured with an anti immigration pressure

gauge. It depends on sfp = social fluidity potential, delta P = social pressure,

sigma = the ratio of the apparent anti immigration pressure to the theoretical anti

immigration pressure for the semipermeable barrier and pi = anti immigration pressure of the


Disclaimer: this is obviously not a real model it is just another of my lame attempts at making light of serious issues. The graphic is an FM original.

Social Osmosis

Unfortunately relieving it at the source will probably mean massive death if vast new energy sources are not found at costs lower than today's.

Controlling immigration is just another round of haves versus have-nots. Being a "have", as most US citizens are, I'm all for it. It'll be interesting to see what CA does when they slide into bankruptcy.

What about the possibility of sincerely trying to improve living conditions in countries of origin? One of the first places to start is with birth control euphemistically referred to as "Family planning". But the Catholic church has a stranglehold on that option...

"Controlling immigration is just another round of haves versus have-nots"...until it becomes the have-nots versus the have-nots.


Do the catholic church actually have a stranglehold in practice? My understanding (particularly for Ireland), is that catholics who aren't likely to become pregnant tend to observe and talk about the catholic churches position whilst those who are tend to quietly ignore the position. A much bigger issue is the individuals whose religious beliefs make them opposed to birth control and who control actions of lots of people (either directly or through budgets), for example the last US presidential clique or heads of semi-religious charities.

An old man on the bus last week told me that I should use the pill not condoms. His line of thinking was that I was certainly sinning and was probably doomed to hell, but that I should not lead my husband into sin.

There are at least some wing-nuts out there, and most like to sit beside me on the bus.

Perhaps, if mass transit becomes more of a way of life, people will get used to being preached at by strange people on the bus. Then when they meet similarly strange people in a more official capacity they will have developed ways of brushing off the crazies.

Perhaps, if mass transit becomes more of a way of life, people will get used to being preached at by strange people on the bus. Then when they meet similarly strange people in a more official capacity they will have developed ways of brushing off the crazies.

Well I don't know how sheltered a life you have lived but I'm sure that anyone who has lived in NYC for example and used the subway system there on a regular basis probably wouldn't bat an eyelash. As for those you call crazies they are probably more along the line of fundamentalist authoritarian religious wackos and not the true crazies...

Give me a button of wild peyote
To munch in my den at night,
That I may set my id afloat
In the country of queer delight.

So ho! it's off to the land of dreams
With never a stop or stay,
Where psychiatrists meet with fairy queens
To sing a foundelay.

Give me a flagon of mescaline
To wash o'er my mundane mind,
That I may feel like a schizophrene
Of the catatonic kind.

So hey! let in the vision of light
To banish banality,
Then will I surely catch a sight
Of the Real Reality.

Give me a chalice of lysergic
To quaff when day is done,
That I may get a perceptual kick
From my diencephalon.

So ho! let all resistance down
For a transcendental glance,
Past the superego's frosty frown
At the cosmic underpants.

Give me a pinch of psilocybin
To sprinkle in my beer,
That my psychopathic next-of-kin
May not seem quite so queer.

So hey! it's off for the visions bizarre
Past the ego boundary,
For a snort at the psychedelic bar
Of the new psychiatry.

F. W. Hanley, M.D.

US may not be the "Saudi Arabia of Coal"

From a Worldwatch Institute e-mail:

Assessment of Coal Geology, Resources, and Reserves in the Gillette Coalfield, Powder River Basin, Wyoming pdf

The Gillette coalfield, within the Powder River Basin in east-central Wyoming, is the most prolific coalfield in the United States. In 2006, production from the coalfield totaled over 431 million short tons of coal, which represented over 37 percent of the Nation’s total yearly production. The Anderson and Canyon coal beds in the Gillette coalfield contain some of the largest deposits of low-sulfur subbituminous coal in the world. . . .

Ellis and others (2002) estimated the . . . economically recoverable resource to represent about 17 percent of the original resource, or 23 bst at the then current sales price of $6.00 per ton. . . .

Most importantly, only 10.1 bst (6 percent) of the original coal resources for the six beds can be classified as reserves at the current average estimated sales price of $10.47 per ton (as of January, 2007).

(My apologies if this already appeared on TOD; it didn't appear in a search)

At a ratio of six? barrels per ton the 'reserves' at this price are understandably small. At an eroi of something equivalent to, okay, 'oil'sands what are the URR of the Cordillera? At ten bucks a barrel there are neglible reserves of oil in the US. Ten dollar coal is like $1.50 oil.

Isn't coal disgustingly cheap?

Oops - caffeine deficiency

Assessment of Coal Geology, Resources, and Reserves in the Gillette Coalfield, Powder River Basin, Wyoming

There's some discussion of this story in the June 8 DrumBeat. There may be a key post on it, too, if there hasn't been one already.

Re: "German Bogs, New Zealand Firs Offer a CO2 Free Pass"

This article further reinforces my growing belief that all these climate change/CO2 emissions negotiations are little more than the blowing of smoke designed to hide the real intent, which is to do next to nothing while at the same time claiming to be making progress.

As I understand the gist of the article, the idea here is to take credit for carbon already trapped in peak bogs and forests, thereby 'offsetting' CO2 emissions from existing fossil-fuel consumption. I guess the strategy is to claim, 'we've got this great big peak bog here, which we are not utilizing, so please give us credit so we can continue burning what we are currently burning'. The net result: little if any real reduction in CO2 emissions. It is no different than me saying that I've got a bunch of these big trees in my backyard that I'm not cutting down and burning, so therefore I am helping to curtail global warming.

I am increasingly finding this whole type exercise to be a lot of tosh, and I am having a real hard time taking any of this stuff seriously.

As with any highly visible international negotiation, the idea is to cheat and get away with as much as possible while at the same time projecting an image of cooperation and good faith.

As with any highly visible international negotiation, the idea is to cheat and get away with as much as possible while at the same time projecting an image of cooperation and good faith.


"Scientists: Global warming has already changed oceans"


"The hearing before the oceans subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee was expected to focus on how the degradation of the oceans was affecting marine businesses and coastal communities. Instead, much of the testimony focused on how the waters that cover 70 percent of the planet are already changing because of global warming."

What's TOD's general consensus on the use of NGVs? Personally, I think, while it isn't anything that resembles a solution to the energy problem, it's good for energy security (well, diversification of energy sources in general is a good idea). It doesn't seem to expensive to impliment either.

Plus now with shale gas, we have a substantial natural gas reserve at $6-$8 per thousand cubic feet. We really dodged a bullet with the shale gas.

Anybody know about any exploration for shale gas outside the US? I'd be shocked if there were no shale gas formations in other parts of the world.

Good for essential specialty transport (Buses, garbage trucks, that sort of thing), as long as some diesel units are kept either in storage or for a mixed fleet.

A major conversion a la T Boone Pickens, no. Practical problems with small vehicles make them sub-optimum for conversion and not enough natural gas long term.

A major effort to improve insulation, water heaters, etc. with the savings going to transportation is more viable.


One of my big concerns with natural gas is with the cap and trade along with more wind power much more natural gas will be used in electrical power. Interesting to watch the article about the utility scale flywheel. Hopefully better than using peaker plants. Hopefully the smart grid will do a number on peak demand.

Hopefully the shale gas plays will be able to keep a ceiling on nat gas prices in the medium term. Unfortunately LNG has actually increased volatility in the nat gas market so far, rather than reduce it.

Anybody have any info on how the restarting of that japanese nuke plant will have on LNG demand?

Dax -- huge shale reservoirs around the world similar to our plays in the US. In fact shales are the most common sedimentary rock. Some may have great NG potential and others might not. The hang up for development is usually a lack of local market. I think Shell recently took a big leasehold in apotential shale gas play in eastern Europe.

Couldn't worldwide shale gas production have a destabilizing effect on world natural gas markets? Especially for LNG?

One for Bob Shaw, I noticed this crap in yesterday's Oregonian while making coffee just now: Oregon Wastewater Treatment Plant First in the U.S. to Recycle Nutrients Into 'Green' Commercial Fertilizer | SYS-CON AUSTRALIA

PORTLAND, OREGON and VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwire) -- 06/10/09 -- Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski will join Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at the opening today of the first commercial facility in the United States to incorporate innovative new technology that recovers phosphorus and other nutrients from wastewater and recycles them into environmentally-safe premium-quality commercial fertilizer.

The new technology is located in suburban Portland at Clean Water Services' Durham Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility (Tigard, OR). Clean Water Services, a water resource management utility serving more than 500,000 customers in urban Washington County west of Portland, owns and operates the technology in an innovative public/private partnership with Ostara Nutrient Recovery Technologies Inc. of Vancouver.

Kennedy said the incorporation of the Ostara technology at the Durham plant is the kind of infrastructure solution needed in hundreds of municipalities across the United States.

"Local and state governments should take note that the win-win benefits of improved economics and reduced environmental impact achieved here can be replicated throughout the United States. This will save money for your ratepayers and also reduce the impact your wastewater treatment plants have on the waterways and the water table in and near your communities," Kennedy said.

Abrary said Clean Water Services' Durham facility is the first in the world to implement a full-scale commercial operation, where 100 percent of the wastewater stream is being treated with Ostara's nutrient recovery technology. A municipal wastewater treatment plant in Edmonton, Alberta, has been operating with the Ostara technology for more than a year, however it is not a full-scale operation like the commercial facility in Oregon to be unveiled today.

Rockin' news, eh?

So we pay our taxes & utility bills in support of this vast infrastructure of hydraulic sewage disposal systems, flush our "wastes" down the drain only to have some company employ industrial processes for separating NPK from the "waste" stream so they can sell it back to us as fertilizer? Does this not strike you as being completely insane?


We could crap into buckets and hand the results over to night soil pickup crews as was done in the past, this would be distasteful for most to countenance, also you have the issue of what to do with an apartment building full of ever-growing waste. Delivering the waste direct to the end users (pun intended) or recycling on-the-spot for use in backyard gardens etc would be much less energy-intensive, but this is an acceptable first step for municipalities.

As usual you decry the whole thing top-to-bottom start-to-finish. I'm not sanguine about humanity's long-term prospects either but applaud anything that's an improvement, however marginal, over the status quo.

Would welcome a hack that would blank out your trollish comments, too. These breast beating rants are just tedium that informs no one.

It seems so very civilized - oh, you already said that! ;-)

DOE Delivers Over $80 Million in Weatherization Funding to First Four States


Mississippi, Arizona, Oregon and Kansas, huh?

Now, a little selfishly I suppose, I'm wondering why the Coldest Northern States are so far missing from this list.. but of course, Summer is coming on sooner than Winter.. It would be reasonable to only expect a 'last-minute' dose of cash if we get anything at all.. but this is the time we need to be getting those walls and ceilings stuffed.. I just passed a contstruction dumpster full of loose-ends of fiberglass last night, torn about whether to 'grab candy from the street' like that.. and then it rained this morning. Ah well!

As long as the loose bits of insulation is not compressed and/or made dirty, it is still useful.

A 6" thick batt that dries to 5" thick has the insulation of a 5" batt.


A minor quibble, in case you aren't aware of it, climatological Summer begins on 1 June in the U.S. That's because the temperature lag between the minimum and maximum in surface solar insolation and the average temperature is less than it is in Europe. I think the notion that Summer begins at the Summer Solstice fits in with the European experience and that notion traveled to North America with the colonists. The coldest time of the year (on average) in Middle America is mid-January and the hottest time is mid-July.

E. Swanson

I keep telling my wife this.. but she's entirely 'by the book'. I say it's Summer once it's really warm and nice out. Solstice is also called 'Mid-summer' isn't it?

Bah, one more thing we can wrangle over..

I didn't get the Fiberglass, but I did score some used Glass for more Solar Heating today, as well as some of the ridiculous 'Pathway Solar Lights' that finished their initial 2-year stint.. and which I will use for a Cell-phone or TV remote, Solar Tracker, or something.. Might still take a stab at the Fill, if its there tonight.. sun might have dried it up some.

Considering that most states are getting much more weatherization money than they know what to do with it seems fair that southern states are getting more money. Agencies are scrambling to get enough contractors to do the work. Hopefully there aren't too many growing pains and the money is used wisely.

Look at the numbers in the article, though. These 15 to 20 million dollar shots are still only getting applied to maybe 5-10 thousand households..

Your point about having enough contractors is right though. Still, the Builders in Maine that I know would be very happy to jump onto a little specialty work this year. I might be retraining for it, if I can find a crew to join up with.

Of course the most important (earth-shattering, really) news doesn't get headlines.

For those with eyes to see and ears to hear:



Oh Yea?

I see your doom and raise ya

"Delayed Pandemic 6 Designation Raises Pandemic Concerns"


"However, the 2009 pandemic involves swine H1N1, and the last time swine H1N1 moved into a human population was in 1918.

The parallels between the 2009 pandemic and the 1918 pandemic are striking; Both began as a mild infection in the spring and targeted previously healthy young adults. In the fall of 1918, the virus was much more deadly, leading to the death of 20-50 million people, most of which were previously healthy young adults."

I see my first link goes to the opening page rather than the intended page.

Click on the site in the Aleutians (or about any other site in the northern hemisphere) and look at the time sequence for CH4. For most stations there is a recent spike, suggesting that tundra thaw and perhaps seabed methane hydrates are bubbling up enough to increase atmospheric levels.

This it very far from good. It marks a significant tipping point. Another feedback loop (though I prefer the term "death spiral") has kicked in. Methane released from warming tundra/seabed warms temps which causes more release, which further warms...

This, on top of this year's ice coverage falling below the '07 historic collapse has really made this a bad week.

By comparison, the monitary multiplier falling below one seem of trivial importance, maybe even uplifting!

The huge thing about this year is all the old ice is being rapidly ejected.


It look like the ice pack is now thin enough that the currents can clear the arctic ice fairly rapidly.
Once this sets up which it looks like its doing we have ice free summers for a very long time.
You can actually see the current vortex in the ice flow this year. Its impressive.

I assume this means a rapid warming of the Acrtic from here on out and your right about methane now we are looking at massive natural CO2/methane releases. I'd argue short of cessation of C02 output we are now officially along for the ride.

Turns out the problem was not anthropogenic global warming but anthropogenic triggered global warming a problem several magnitudes worse.

This, on top of this year's ice coverage falling below the '07 historic collapse has really made this a bad week.

I think it important to focus on the annual minimum as variation due to weather is high, but the overall minimum is much more a product of overall energy in the system.

That said, given last year was cool, i.e. normal, compared to '07 and still nearly met the extent minimum and set a new total ice (mass) minimum due to energy contained in the water melting from the bottom up and we are now matching '07... things don't look good.

I suspect we hit a tipping point in '05 - the first big melt - or before and are simply seeing the results now. I do, however, think methane is playing a role and had my pants crapping moment last summer when the data from permafrost and Arctic seabed were presented. It was one of those can't-prove-it-just-yet-but-boy-are-we-screwed moments.

I have asked the question but never gotten a response regarding methane *in* the water and at the water line: does it trap heat just as in the upper atmosphere? If so, the result on ice is obviously not a good one. Also, does any of the methane end up in the ice itself, and if so, is the ice more vulnerable? (My complete lack of knowledge wrt chemistry is obvious.)

The last couple days show the same moderation of the melt rate as last year, and the long-term baseline also shows a little bump at this point in the season, so there seems to be an annual effect there. I expect rate of melt to pick up again, mostly due to the thinness of the ice and melting from the bottom up.

If we don't hit a new minimum, I'm fairly sure it will be because of *unusually* cool and calm weather. I'm a little afraid it could be a standard deviation or two lower, but also won't be surprised if it's in the 500k+/- range, i.e. relatively the same as the last two summers.


Aren't we headed for an El Nino year, which should mean warmer than usual conditions most likely?

"I have asked the question but never gotten a response regarding methane *in* the water and at the water line: does it trap heat just as in the upper atmosphere? If so, the result on ice is obviously not a good one. Also, does any of the methane end up in the ice itself, and if so, is the ice more vulnerable?"

Wow, great questions that I had never thought of. I have no idea but that won't stop me form giving my WAG's ;-]

A I understand it, even interactions with other gases in the atmosphere can affect how these molecules interact with electromagnetic waves of various lengths. The interactions with water molecules would, I imagine, have an even greater effect on these properties, since everything is closer and since water molecules have a stronger electromagnetic asymmetry (I'm sure there's a more precise term) than the N2 and O2 molecules that make up most of the atmosphere.

I have even less idea about your ice question. I'll see if I can get any response from the folks over at www.realclimate.org or from some chemists I know.

{edit: OK, I asked the question over at realclimate and go the following response from Gavin:

"someone asked me a question on another site that I had not heard before:

Do greenhouse gases in water and ice have the same or similar warming effects as they do in the atmosphere?

My guess was that the very different chemistry of these mediums would significantly alter their behavior, but that’s just my very amateur guess.

[Response: You are correct. In practice, the transmission of light in water is very different from that in air. The trace elements that make most impact are things like chlorophyll or particulates, rather than any carbon species. Most IR is absorbed very close to the surface, and as you know, blue light penetrates much further in depth than reds or yellows. - gavin]"}

In general, these data seem to really be the end of any hope I, at least, had that some unknown unknown factor may come into play, reverse these trends, and save us from ourselves.

Good point about AGW as a triggering mechanism. AGW is the finger that we've been gradually and steadily pulling. Now we are seeing the clearest sparks that indicate that the gun is going of. The gun is aimed at us. There is no way to dodge this bullet. Wiki "clathrate gun" for a hint at what's coming at us.

Does anyone know with certainty that the huge drop in Norway's oil production month-on-month of 10% (1.99 mbpd April to 1.79 mbpd May) is due to natural decline instead of schedule maintenance or weather?

It seems a bit much to attribute all of this decline to normal depletion.


Cinch, it is likely a little of both. Norway does do maintenance this time of year but usually a month or two later. The record low production for Norway, before this, was June of 2007 with 1,921,000 bp/d of crude + condensate produced. Their highest since then was the very next month, July 2007, with 2,320,000 barrels of C+C. Their average since then has been about 2,200,000 bp/d of C+C.

Norway's production has dropped every year since 2001.

Ron P.

Sam's forecast for Norwegian production (crude + condensate + NGL's) & consumption:

So April was right on target with where Sam's prediction. Really wonderful that his prediction is right on target, a little scary to look at the rest of the graph. The loose more than 50% in one decade.

Linked on Drudge:

US cities may have to be bulldozed in order to survive
Dozens of US cities may have entire neighbourhoods bulldozed as part of drastic "shrink to survive" proposals being considered by the Obama administration to tackle economic decline.

In Detroit, shattered by the woes of the US car industry, there are already plans to split it into a collection of small urban centres separated from each other by countryside. "The real question is not whether these cities shrink – we're all shrinking – but whether we let it happen in a destructive or sustainable way," said Mr Kildee. "Decline is a fact of life in Flint. Resisting it is like resisting gravity. . . "

But some Flint dustcarts are collecting just one rubbish bag a week, roads are decaying, police are very understaffed and there were simply too few people to pay for services, he said. If the city didn't downsize it will eventually go bankrupt, he added.

It is interesting how Detroit plans to break up into smaller city clusters. That is kind of how I envisioned the change happening as density increases around cores and the infill areas return to farmland. The question is how usable is the soil? And what needs to be done to make it usable again?

Unlike the suburbs, most urban areas probably have the topsoil intact. Lead contamination may be fairly high in these areas, however, most crops should still be fine to grow. I don't know of any reason not to grow crops immediately (some compost may help, though).

Boone Pickens is supposed to be interviewed on a Dallas radio station at 6:20 P.M. Central Time. You can listen online at: http://www.krld.com/

The way you solve that is to take the rig count down, let the decline rates kick in, and have supply fall enough to counteract and rebalance. That’s going to happen, but it’s going to take some time. Certainly the average gas price for the year is going to be pretty ugly. As far as recovery in 2010 is concerned, the jury is still out. I talk to a lot of really smart people, and there doesn’t seem to be a consensus yet on any direction on the global economy. An economic recovery in 2010 is critical to the performance of the industry. If the economy doesn’t perform better, I’m not sure we do get a bounce in gas prices.

Pretty interesting comments from Marshall Adkins of Raymond James. It seems he thinks there is still quite a lot of demand destruction to go. Or his models are showing that demand destruction will be much higher than a decline in production due to rig count drops.

Figure 1: Future gas production based on final rig count drop

Source: Chesapeake Energy
-Click to Enlarge

Rig counts have now fallen through 700 and still dropping. This is a drop about 50 rigs further than Chesapeake was predicting. It seems to me that a serious shortfall is being setup for 2010.

Eyeballing the chart, it looks like we should expect producton to start falling within a couple of weeks. I would think watching the weekly net injections to storage will indicate when supply and demand balances favor price bulls (or put another way, when net injections are less than normal for this time of year).

EIA NG Wkly Update

atural gas in storage is now 568 Bcf, or 30.3 percent, higher than levels 1 year ago and 438 Bcf, or 21.8 percent, higher than the 5-year (2004-2008) average. The implied net injection of 106 Bcf exceeds the 5-year average injection of 91 Bcf and last year’s injection of 84 Bcf.

I read that Alister Darling (UK Finance Minister) is worrying about rising oil prices. This is from a country that until recently was a NET exporter -5 years ago it would have benefited the UK, now wee have 'spent' our precious gift of these last 25 years and have little in the way of a replacement to show for it just as the US before us...

If this is going to be the same story globally we are in a lot of trouble...


Perhaps he saw this graph from the Energy Export Databrowser:

The UK's indigenous production of energy from all sources except a piddly amount of hydro is down, down, down. Even nuclear is down. The trends are decidedly ugly.

If you review the graphs in the databrowser you'll see that this is not (yet) the case globally. You might expect to find a similar situation in Indonesia which, like the UK, recently transitioned from oil exporter to importer. A review of the data, however, shows something quite different:

Oil is not the only game in town. Large reserves of coal are helping Indonesia at the moment. The UK's coal was dug up and burned a century ago.

The UK is a very special case. I call it "the G7s canary in a coal mine" because it will be the first G7 nation to truly suffer from energy scarcity. I hope they can pay for it out of the central bank's large holdings of gold.

Oops, sold all that off in the 1990's at $300 and $400 per oz.

Well, at least they export ... financial products. But they may need to use those proceeds to pay for their large imports of ... food.

I don't think the next 10 years will be a good time to be in the UK.

-- Jon

I liked seeing the flywheel article. I've idly wished that home-sized flywheels were being made cheaply via mass production. If contained in vacuum and spinning on magnetic bearings, they'd probably compare favorably with lead-acid batteries and might have an essentially unlimited lifetime.

Seems they'd be well-matched to wind power.

As carbon-fiber tech gets better, might even be possible to make them in hard drive size as a UPS or battery in computers... with the bonus that you could balance a desktop computer on one of its corners and watch it entertainingly precess as it processes.

" . . . watch it entertainingly precess as it processes." Flawless, excellent, definitely the 'money quote' for my day. Kudos.
Barry in Spokane

My Dad and another Airman did this with a Suitcase in the Air-force in the 50's, using Gyros. Would go into a hotel and let a Bell-boy pick it up, and it wouldn't turn with him.. Or rest a corner of it on the edge of the stairs, etc..

I've been waiting to hear again about the status of Flywheels.

Personally, I've been eager to play with storing small-wind with a Compressed Refrigerant, so my fridge and freezer would just have a ready supply of it, and it would open a valve on the Thermostats signal instead of running a compressor. This might be a direct Windpowered compressor, just for simplicity of parts, or an electric compressor that gets the WindTurbines power in a dynamic split with the regular electrical setup, battery or grid-tie.

Sounds like a fun project. How about propane as the refrigerant?

From time to time, I like to offer examples of how our firm helps clients reduce their electricity demand and improve their work environment. This is a picture of the main service bay of a local motorcycle dealership prior to our lighting retrofit:

Originally, there were seven 2-lamp F96T12 fixtures, sixty-two 1-lamp F96T12s, ten 2-lamp F34T12s and one 4-lamp F34T12; total draw: 7,072-watts. Light levels averaged about 45 FC or 485 lux.

We removed all of these fixtures and replaced them with thirty-two 4-lamp F32T8 8 ft. tandem and eight 2-lamp F32T8 industrials. The new load is now 3,400-watts, a 52 per cent reduction. Light levels above the technician's work benches and service pads is now averaging 65 FC or 700 lux. By reducing the number of rows from eight to four and concentrating more of the light where it is needed (and correspondingly less above the centre isle where vehicles are simply moved in and out), the technicians can now perform their work more comfortably.

The total reduction in lighting load at this facility is 17.0 kW, and the cost of this "new capacity" is perhaps one-third that of a conventional coal-fired power plant.


How long wil it take to the shop owner to recover his investment?

The payback in this case is just under seven months and the upgrade generates significant net postive cash flow from day one, as the customer's 20 per cent co-pay will be repaid over twenty-four months, interest free, on their utility bill. The ten-year NPV, at current electricity rates, is in the mid five figures (5 per cent cash discount).

The improvements in light quality often result in increased employee productivity and higher sales and, depending on the size of the job, cashflow increases by several hundreds of dollars a month (a big plus given how many small businesses are struggling in today's economy). The customer also gets a brand new lighting system with a full five year warranty on the ballasts and two years on the lamps -- if a lamp or ballast should fail within their respective warranty periods, it will be replaced at no cost, no questions asked.


Holy shit unless I'm mistaken thats Happy Trails Motorcycle shop in Fayetteville Arkansas owned by Joe Stevens.


If I'm right tell him Mike Emmel said hi :)

Well, not quite. This dealership is located in metro Halifax, Nova Scotia. Very nice folks and a top drawer reputation within the industry, from all reports. It's certainly been a pleasure working with them on this assignment.


Wow I wish I had a pic that shop looks almost exactly the same as one I spent years in.

Maybe cool maybe not I'm not decided :)

On a related note... in the process of upgrading this facility, I discovered there's a separately metered long-term storage building illuminated by twenty-one F96T12 fixtures. Each fixture draws about 138-watts, for a combined load of 2,900-watts. The row of fixtures on the left is about 50 cm above the highest crate and virtually all of the light is wasted. The same is partly true of the row on the right.

We're proposing these fixtures be replaced by ten 4-lamp 8 ft. tandem industrials, two per row, centred over the isle and recessed into the concrete beams so that they're protected from forklift damage. The new load will drop to 1,080-watts, a 1.8 kW or 63 per cent reduction in demand. Usable light should remain about the same or come in perhaps slightly higher.

The kicker is that this building is seldom accessed (and then only in relatively short bursts), but the lights are left burning all day (the switches are inconveniently located quite some distance from the roll-up door), and sometimes several days at a time because staff forget to turn them off. We'll be installing an occupancy sensor so that the lights automatically turn on when activity is detected and off five minutes after its not. For this area, energy usage (kWh) should fall by 95 per cent or more.

I repeat this often, but I see so much needless waste in my line of work that I'm convinced we could easily cut our electrical requirements by 20 or 30 per cent and be no worse for it. There's tremendous potential for us to do better with less if we put our minds to it.


Hello TODers,

Have you hugged your bag of NPKS today?

Analysts taking a geopolitical view

.."We take into consideration all the factors that are not necessarily vital in the short-term, but very important if you're taking a long-view in the market."

The NBF team's June report is an exhaustive examination of the world of agriculture - increased commodity prices, water shortages, declining growth in crop yields and a world population growing by about 70 million annually - all areas from which investors could benefit...

[47 page PDF Warning: POT's Q2 Market Analysis Report]

Rising Population and Improving Diets Are Driving Food
Consumption Growth

World population is growing by approximately 75 million people per year, more than 200,000 each day...

With this growth comes the challenge of producing more food from a
declining per-capita agricultural land base. Meeting this challenge can be achieved only by replenishing soil nutrients removed by crops and maintaining desired soil fertility levels through proper fertilization.
As usual, this PDF is chock-full of graphs & charts, with much discussion.

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

Re: Mortgage defaults


Actor Stephen Baldwin's foreclosed home in the suburbs north of New York City will be publicly auctioned.

Baldwin paid $515,000 for the 1.4-acre home in Rockland County in 1997. In 2006, he tried unsuccessfully to sell it.

County filings show Baldwin and his wife Kennya defaulted on more than $824,000 in payments to mortgage holder Bankers Trust Co.

The auction is set for June 24.

So, you think Stephen Baldwin is just an idiot with his finances, that his brothers are too tight to help out, or that he's just taking advantage of the situation? If guys like this are walking away, does that portend badly for the industry as a whole?


And possibly David Carradine hung himself due to financial problems?

One wonders what is happening to the ordinary person that isn't headlined? Or reported widely? Is it happening more than we are aware of?

Or are we coping with the crisis and its just the 'elite' who can't handle it?


Suicide was ruled out in Carradine's case.


It is stated in this article that it was not a suicide.