DrumBeat: July 10, 2009

Oil Settles Below $60, Biggest Weekly Fall Since January

(Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell, heading for its biggest weekly decline since January, on concern the global recession will curb energy consumption and as a stronger dollar reduced demand for commodities.

Oil has plunged 10 percent this week on speculation fuel use in the U.S., the biggest energy-using nation, will drop. The greenback has risen 0.8 percent against most major currencies since the beginning of the month.

“Prices surged higher on green shoots of an economic revival, but a deeper look shows that the situation is still poor,” said Michael Fitzpatrick, a vice president for energy at MF Global Ltd. in New York. “It’s hard to make a case for a revival of demand anytime soon.”

Top companies: Most profitable

Oil firms are the biggest money makers.

Why There Should Be More Oil Speculation, Not Less

We need more — not fewer — oil traders. After a roller-coaster ride that has sent oil prices from a record high of $147 per barrel last July to below $35 in December and back to around $60, there has been a clamor to clamp down on speculators — those investors who trade oil but don't ultimately supply it or use it, the way airlines do for instance. The economic disruption caused by oil's volatility has been so vexing that the Obama Administration believes it can stabilize prices by regulating speculators out of the market. It can't.

Venezuela's Chavez: Oil Price Decline Isn't Alarming

CARACAS -(Dow Jones)- President Hugo Chavez said he was unconcerned by the recent drop in the price of oil.

"I don't think that the decline last week is something to worry about," Chavez told a press conference Friday. "There are no threats in sight," he added.

Peak Oil Investing

Think back to July of 2008, oil was over $140/barrel and a lot of talk on “Peak Oil” (the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached) was floating around. By late December a hard hitting recession (depression?) and a strengthening dollar drove prices under $35/barrel. Suddenly there was very little peak oil talk. Today oil is around $60/barrel - and dropping. It is time to again visit peak oil thinking.

Price of Oil No Measure of Inflation

Green shoots are withering on the vine, fuel supplies are rising, crude oil supply far outstrips motorist demand, tankers at sea act as floating storage, and the technicals look dismal.

For now, that's what matters -- peak oil be damned.

Chevron shares fall following warning of second quarter weakness

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Chevron Corp. slid on Friday a day after the company warned of weak second-quarter results, hurt by lower refining margins in the U.S. and foreign currency losses.

Going too slow on high-speed rail

Canada is at a critical juncture. The recession has left hundreds of factories sitting empty and hundreds of thousands of workers sitting at home, not knowing what future lies ahead for their families. Added to this, the major issue before the recession hit -- the environment -- has not just gone away because we are not talking as much about it. Every day, we are exhausting our oil reserves, and the impact of an oil economy is slowly, but persistently, making our planet inhospitable.

But one project can at once lift our recessed economy and propel us forward into the economy of tomorrow: a multi-modal intercity high-speed rail network.

Will Oil Help Or Hinder the Recovery? (interview with Dan Yergin)

What’s been the biggest ramification of the oil bubble on the U.S. economy?

"I think it’s been the impact it had on Detroit. It wasn’t Lehman Brothers that killed GM and Chrysler, it was what happened at the gas pump in late 2007 and into 2008. It totally killed the demand for the profitable SUV’s they were making. On the flip side, the collapse of prices has essentially been a tax break for people."

What did the steep drop in price do to oil production?

"We’re in a period of the long aftershock from the rapid collapse. What that’s meant to projects, is that many that had been given the go ahead have been delayed or shut down. Our estimate is that of the 15 million barrels of new net capacity that was supposed to come online between 2008 and 2014, over half of it is at risk of not happening."

Oil below $60 as traders eye company results

VIENNA – Oil prices slid well below $60 a barrel Friday as investors braced for company earnings reports next week that will provide clues on the strength of crude demand.

While global appetite for crude over the next few months remains unclear, expectations are that it will increase by next year, with the International Energy agency predicting a 1.7 percent rebound in demand by next year.

Benchmark crude for August delivery was down $1.58 at $58.83 a barrel by afternoon European electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, the contract rose 27 cents to settle at $60.41.

Ruble Drops Most Since February as Oil Slumps, Deficit Widens

(Bloomberg) -- The ruble weakened the most since February as oil prices slumped, Russia cut interest rates and the budget deficit widened as the country slips into its first recession in a decade.

The currency depreciated as much as 3.1 percent to 32.7649 per dollar, extending losses in the worst week since January. The 30-stock Micex Index dropped for the fourth day this week.

Platts Survey: June OPEC Oil Output Rose to 28.47 Million Barrels Per Day

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increased crude oil production by 80,000 barrels per day (b/d) to 28.47 million b/d in June, according to a just-released Platts survey of OPEC members, oil industry officials and analysts. This is an increase from 28.39 million b/d in May.

Production from the 11 OPEC members bound by quotas, not including Iraq, climbed by 50,000 b/d to 26.04 million b/d in June from 25.99 million b/d in May, the survey showed.

Dated Brent Oil Shipments Set to Fall 27% in August

(Bloomberg) -- Daily shipments of the four North Sea crude grades that determine the price of Dated Brent, the benchmark for almost two-thirds of the world’s oil, will sink 27 percent next month as fields are idled for maintenance.

Combined loadings of Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk crude will decline to 1.03 million barrels a day, down from 1.406 million barrels a day in July, according to Bloomberg calculations from schedules released today and yesterday.

Iraq Needs $50 Billion of Investments in Oil Industry

(Bloomberg) -- Iraq, holder of the world’s third- largest crude oil reserves, needs more than $50 billion of investments in the country’s petroleum industry in the next five to six years, Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani said.

The country plans to increase its crude oil production to 6 million barrels a day by the end of 2015, from the current 2.4 million barrels, the minister said in Tokyo today. Iraq also aims to almost triple its refining capacity to 1.5 million barrels a day by 2017 from 540,000 barrels at present.

If at First You Don't Succeed, Try Alberta's Plan

Canadian drilling activity is flagging due not only to the recessionary impact on oil and gas demand, but also due to weak producers' cash flows and restricted access to investment capital to help fund new exploration and development programs. The traditional seasonal downturn at breakup this year was worse than at any time since before 2000. The Canadian land drilling rig count, as measured by Baker Hughes at June 26th, stands at 147 active rigs. This represents somewhere around 18% of the available rig fleet.

Chevron May Delay Brazil Oil Projects on High Cost, Valor Says

(Bloomberg) -- Chevron Corp. may delay the development of a Brazilian offshore field to 2011 from 2010 because the cost of equipment and services has not fallen in line with oil prices, Valor Economico newspaper said.

IEA Says Recession May Not Affect Spending on Renewable Energy

(Bloomberg) -- The global financial crisis may not affect investment in renewable energy projects this year as countries strive to cut emissions of pollutants and reach a new climate-change agreement, the International Energy Agency said.

“Global investments in renewables won’t be severely affected,” Francois Nguyen, senior policy adviser, electricity markets at IEA, said at a conference in Singapore today, citing preliminary findings from a report. “Over the long run, there’s significant potential for investment in renewables.”

Storing Nuclear Waste Above Ground May Be Most Viable Solution

(Bloomberg) -- Storing nuclear waste above ground at atomic power plants for as long as six decades may be the best temporary solution in the U.S. for the dangerous refuse, university researchers say.

Leaving spent fuel on the site after the stations close may be the most viable and “safe, short-term option,” University of Michigan researcher Rodney Ewing and Princeton University’s Frank von Hippel wrote in Science. In the longer term, the U.S. will need several geological dumps, von Hippel said in yesterday’s report.

Coal mine threat to Glacier draws United Nations attention

A United Nations delegation will travel to Glacier National Park and the North Fork to see for itself the threats of mining and coal bed methane development could have on the Park.

EU Emission Permits Head for Biggest Weekly Gain in a Month

(Bloomberg) -- European Union carbon dioxide permits headed for their biggest weekly gain in more than a month as German power advanced and nations agreed to tackle climate change caused by heat-trapping gases.

EU carbon allowances for December rose as much as 1.5 percent to 14 euros ($19.47) a metric ton on London’s European Climate Exchange, the highest intraday price since June 8. They were at 13.91 euros as of 9:55 a.m. local time, taking their weekly gain to 7.4 percent. That would be the biggest jump since the week ended May 22.

Saudi investment in oil and gas surges in first half of 2009

Saudi Arabia awarded nearly $21 billion (Dh77bn) in oil and gas deals in the first half of 2009, more than 20 times the value of hydrocarbon contracts in the final few months of 2008, a key Saudi bank said.

The surge was apparently a result of a decision by the state operator Saudi Aramco to re-tender key hydrocarbon projects that were to be awarded last year to take advantage of a steep decline in construction costs, the Saudi American Bank Group (Samba) said in its July economic bulletin.

No time to panic

Trading restrictions or price controls create artificial demand for oil. Brown is also calling for spending on green measures. Economist Jeff Rubin sees gas at $2 a litre in Canada by 2012, which will serve as a stronger driver of green technology than any declaration of government. So Brown wants to hold down the price of oil while instituting green measures? This will succeed only in driving up government deficits while dirtying the environment that government spending was intended to clean.

With controls on petroleum prices, where will the incentive to create alternative sources of energy come from? When trading or price controls are lifted and oil skyrockets to its market level, what of the economy then? One benefit of a recession (yes, there are some) is the elimination from the economy of inefficient practices and industries, while simultaneously forcing entrepreneurs to innovate, and to gravitate to sound sectors. Innovation will not come to the energy sector so long as there is cheap oil. And so long as there is cheap oil, the environment will not be cleaner, despite all the government spending in the world. So let the marketplace work.

Oil rises, snaps six-day slide on gasoline buying

"I think what's happened is that reality has come back into the picture," oil historian and analyst Daniel Yergin told Reuters in an interview.

"What we've seen the last week or two is a recognition that this is going to be a longer road and a more difficult recovery. I guess we'd say that supply and demand have walked back into the stage again."

India: Shortage of kerosene forced people to purchase kerosene in black rate in Jagatsinghpur

The kerosene is becoming inaccessible for the thousands of people in remote areas of Jagatsinghpur district as unscrupulous traders have struck a deal with civil supply officials, tuning the system into full fledged racket. The people of remote are purchasing kerosene at the rate of Rs 30 to 40 per liter due to acute shortage of kerosene during power crisis.

Rural and urban areas of Jagatsinghpur district continued to reel under the worst ever power crisis in recent times of five to eight hours which also resulted acute shortage of kerosene. Poverty stricken people are purchasing the kerosene in black rate during power crisis. It is matter of regret that neither district administration not civil supply department has increased the quota of kerosene especially load shielding period in which consumers are purchasing kerosene at the rate of Rs 30 to Rs 40 per liter. Locals have alleged that major portion of the kerosene allotted for BPL families has found its way to the open market.

India peak power deficit to widen 12.6 pct in 09/10

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's peak power deficit is expected to widen in the current fiscal year to 12.6 percent from 11.9 percent in the 2008/09 fiscal year that ended in March, junior power minister Bharatsinh Solanki said on Friday.

Indonesia: Tobacco farmers to suffer due to kerosene shortage

Thousands of tobacco farmers on Lombok Island, West Nusa Tenggara, are facing the prospect of losing their harvest this year because kerosene required for processing their crop has not yet arrived.

The Li of Bolivia's land

Bolivia idles at a crossroads. The country has an unprecedented opportunity to use its newfound lithium deposits to bring itself out of poverty and in part save the planet from climate change. The trouble is, Bolivia can't fully do so without the help of foreign firms.

North Sea Oil: Norway’s Pumping, Britain’s Lagging

On the UK side, the big majors have reduced their exposure to the North Sea over the last decade or so as the basin has matured. They’ve been succeeded by a wave of independents, lured by low-cost licenses and other government incentives.

These players have been floored by the credit crisis. Strapped for cash, they’ve struggled to finance exploration. Many have deferred projects. A couple have gone bust. UK investment in the North Sea fell 20% between 2005 and 2008, despite the red-hot oil price.

On the Norwegian side, things are much rosier. “There’s a state drive to encourage exploration,” says Graham Sadler, head of Deloite’s Petroleum Services Group. “Half the recent wells in Norway have been drilled by StatoilHydro.” Norway’s national champion, Statoil is still 62% government-owned.

Official producer prices in biggest drop since 2001

LONDON (AFP) – The price of goods leaving factories fell in June at the fastest 12-month rate for almost eight years as oil prices slumped, official data showed Friday.

Producer prices sank 1.2 percent in June compared with the level 12 months earlier, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said in a statement.

That was the sharpest decline in annual terms since December 2001, and compared with market expectations of a 0.8-percent drop.

IEA sees global oil demand bouncing back in 2010

LONDON (Reuters) – Global oil demand will rebound 1.7 percent next year, led by rising consumption in emerging economies as the developed world recovers from recession, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.

But the IEA, adviser to 28 industrialized economies, still predicted demand would shrink this year and said the need for OPEC oil would be limited.

It forecast world oil consumption next year would reach 85.2 million barrels per day (bpd), up from 83.8 million this year. The demand outlook for this year was "effectively unchanged" -- down 2.9 percent, or 2.5 million bpd compared with last year.

Bank: Chevron could approve $39B Aussie gas project

Chevron Corp. and its partners may approve next month development of the $39 billion Gorgon liquefied natural gas venture in Western Australia, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said.

“Industry discussion suggests to us this could occur by late August,” JPMorgan analysts led by Sydney-based Alistair Reid said in a research note dated Thursday. The venture has signed fuel-supply agreements with Japanese utilities Tokyo Gas Co., Osaka Gas Co., and Chubu Electric Power Co. Inc.

Shell says U.S. oil refiners need more CO2 permits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Major oil company Royal Dutch Shell urged the U.S. Senate on Wednesday to give oil refiners a bigger share of free pollution permits under a cap-and-trade plan to fight global warming than the House of Representatives provided in its climate change legislation.

U.S. oil refineries received only 2 percent of the allowances, or pollution permits, in the House bill passed last month, even though they account for much more of the total carbon dioxide emissions produced by the United States.

Betting big - and small - on electric cars

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The cars of the future will run on electricity, most major automakers agree on that. What they don't agree on is how soon drivers will be ready to fully embrace electric power and how aggressively to push electric cars.

Nissan, General Motors and Ford's electric car strategies show just how differently they view America's readiness to get behind the wheel of purely electric cars.

South Africa: Dwindling Gas Supplies a Challenge for PetroSA

Johannesburg — With natural gas reserves insufficient to keep its gas-to-liquids refinery running beyond next year, national oil and gas company PetroSA is looking out for more gas.

PetroSA must secure additional gas for its Mossel Bay refinery amid falling indigenous gas production. According to the company, its offshore gas reserves will reach the end of their plateau by 2011.

The new normal could be a lot more frugal

As an example, it's entirely possible that the automobile culture, which once dominated us, will never return and that people will be comfortable with smaller cars and rented cars and, most directly, with public transportation.

And, of course, no better way exists to reduce climate change than to reduce our spending on toys.

Americans value science, but not all of it: survey

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Many Americans still value the nation's scientific achievements, but unlike most scientists, they often pick and choose which scientific findings they agree with, especially in the areas of climate change and evolution, according to a survey released on Thursday.

The survey found nearly 9 in 10 scientists accept the idea of evolution by natural selection, but just a third of the public does. And while 84 percent of scientists say the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, less than half of the public agrees with that.

(More scientists support nuclear power than non-scientists as well. The Pew report is here. You might want to take their science quiz first.)

Book Review - A Presidential Energy Policy

Peak Oil has been a topic of interest since the infamous M. King Hubbert predicted when both the U.S and the world would see peak oil. Yet, there are still millions of people in denial, says Michael C. Ruppert and these people need to “get angry” so they can move to the step of acceptance that we’re running out of oil. Do I foresee a 12 step program for oil addiction coming our way? This is just the beginning of what Ruppert writes about in his new book, A Presidential Energy Policy: Twenty-five Points Addressing the Siamese Twins of Energy and Money. Just in case you’re unclear, this book was written for President Obama to help guide him in making energy decisions on behalf of the country.

G8 pledges $20 billion in farm aid to poor nations

L'AQUILA, Italy (Reuters) – G8 leaders pledged $20 billion in farm aid to help poor nations feed themselves, surpassing expectations on the final day of a summit that has yielded little progress on climate change and trade.

The United States used the meeting of world leaders to push for a shift toward farm aid from food aid and will make $3.5 billion available to the 3-year program. But African nations reminded the rich of the need to honor past commitments.

Sustenance & sustainability

An hour south, an Opunake community garden was kickstarted by members of the town's Sustainability Group. The 20-strong group came together last year after word-of-mouth talk about a farmers' market and other related projects.

"The interest was out there and no doubt it was fuelled with concern for the planet and peak oil issues," says member Peter Clement, an Opunake High School teacher.

Their first project was an edible garden on land owned by the high school. Planting began last October and over summer, tons of seasonal veg including artichokes, tomatoes, lettuce, capsicums and beans were harvested. As in the Marfell garden, helpers share the tasty rewards.

Alastair Parvin re-imagines a section of the M1 as a self-sufficient farming system

Although to most of us they are invisible, we are all dependent on a few highly-complex, energy-intensive systems which ensure the continuous supply of food to cities. The increasing concentration of those systems and the first effects of global peak oil production will mean we can no longer afford to take them for granted. Rather than settle for the price-hikes inherent in the ‘local production’ solution, Server speculates upon whether we can redefine what is actually meant by the term ‘local’.

The project takes a section of the M1 motorway in the Midlands and investigates its redesign as a self-sufficient farming system; a belt of knowledge-intensive agriculture, producing no waste and consuming minimal external resources. Based on existing processes, prices and capacities, it begins with the production of biodiesel from algae, and the residual biomass which is used as a cattle feedstock. These become the generators for a more complex choreography of mutually-supportive programmes.

Transition Towns: Contested Spaces and the Debate between the 'Local' and the 'Global'

The trend towards depoliticised discourses is moving rapidly across the world and is serving to deepen a growing conservatism and/or a return to a more traditional way of life. These discourses usually come with a mandate that advocates change via methods of non-confrontation, sometimes referred to as mediation.Here social advocates seek to avoid all forms of politics and political dissent. Instead, they focus on community based solutions to social change. The new social movement called Transition Towns is one such movement using this framework and it is gaining immense popularity in Australia. There are now roughly twenty Transition Towns across the nation.

Solar panel makers ready for a boom

Solar panel makers from California to China are gearing up to capture a slice of the growing U. S. market for utility-scale solar power plants, but just a handful of players are expected to snap up most of the business.

Credit Suisse, UBS, BNP Paribas to help finance cutting of rainforests for palm oil, say NGOs

Swiss banks, Credit Suisse and UBS, together with the French BNP Paribas, are helping Singapore-listed Golden Agri-Resources raise up to 280 million Swiss francs ($258 million) to finance conversion of large areas of rainforest in New Guinea and Borneo for oil palm plantations, reports the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), a group that campaigns on behalf of forest people in Southeast Asia.

The deal would finance expansion of plantations operated by Sinar Mas, a subsidiary of Golden Agri-Resources. A recent report from Greenpeace Indonesia says that Sinar Mas plans to convert up to 2.8 million hectares of forest for new plantations in the Indonesian provinces of Kalimantan and Papua.

Eastern Aral Sea has shrunk by 80% since 2006: ESA

PARIS (AFP) – The eastern lobe of the disaster-struck Aral Sea seems to have shrunk by four-fifths in just three years, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Friday.

Obama's healthcare, climate goals hit speed bumps

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama suffered a double-barreled setback in Congress on Thursday when members of his own party moved to apply the brakes on his top legislative priorities, healthcare and climate change.

Cool-Planet Goal Shared by Large Polluters, Insurers

(Bloomberg) -- Insurers in the U.S., Germany and Switzerland say a pledge announced yesterday at a meeting of the world’s biggest polluters to limit global temperatures is essential to controlling the cost of protecting property.

Munich Re, the biggest reinsurer, and Zurich Financial Services AG back the target set by the European Union, the U.S. and 15 more nations to hold the planet to within 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) of pre-industrial times.

A modest step

SCEPTICS could refer to an old joke about a music lover who would do anything to play the violin—except practice. The countries that emit 80% of the world’s heat-trapping gases, gathered at the Group of Eight (G8) meeting in the earthquake-stricken city of L’Aquila, in Italy, agreed on a goal this week. But they failed to say how they intended to achieve it.

Despite Obama's pledge, G-8 makes little headway on global warming

Addressing leaders of the world's most important economies early Thursday, President Obama wasted no time in proclaiming a new day for U.S. policy on climate change.

"I know that in the past, the United States has sometimes fallen short of meeting our responsibilities," he said. "So let me be clear: Those days are over."

But by the end of the day, when the Group of 8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, wrapped up its deliberations on climate, Obama found himself stymied by many of the same roadblocks that plagued previous efforts to tackle global warming.

Differences between rich, poor on global warming are laid bare

L'AQUILA, Italy — The chasm between rich and poor on how to address climate change burst into the open at the G-8 summit Thursday, showing how difficult it will be to persuade the world to make lifestyle and economic sacrifices needed to save the planet from global warming.

Leanan, the science quiz link just goes to a gif image. I think this is the link you want: http://pewresearch.org/sciencequiz/

Thanks. Fixed it.

I found that quiz and its results very depressing. Those were really easy questions. I would bet most of us TODers got all of the questions right. But only 10% of Americans got all 12 questions right.

And the demographics weren't that encouraging, either. Young adults know less than any other age group except the over-65s.

But only 10% of Americans got all 12 questions right.

Leanan, you are making some assumptions in that statement. Actually, the 10% that got all 12 right are people like myself. I am British living in Germany.
I suspect that 0% of Americans got all 12 right ;-)

EDIT: I take it all back, the demographics are from the telephone survey.

Hey now, hold on right there.....I am in the US, south florida to be exact, and I just took the quiz and got all 12 correct........Does that make me smart??? Is that why I went and spent all that money to get a PhD ?????? Wooo Hooooo.

Well I got all 12 right even though I am over 65, have only a high school education, (plus a few years of technical schools), was born in a sharecroppers shack and grew up on a rural Alabama cotton farm.

I think there is something more at play here rather than only demographics. The question most got right was the one about what prevents heart attacks. The question most missed was a true false, "Electrons are smaller than atoms". The results correct replies were less than 50%. Less than pure chance.

If you just watched TV all day you would soon gather that aspirin helps prevent heart attacks. The word "atom" is often used as a metaphor for something very tiny but the word "electron" is seldom, if ever, used in that regard.

It is the TV culture that is to blame...or perhaps something more sublime.

Ron P.

I'm 62 and I got all of them right. I put down "some college" but I also have a lifelong technical career behind me. Still, I think I could have gotten all 12 right when I was in high school. I sent it to my adult kids who all have one or more degrees from major universities. It will be interesting to see how they do. None of their degrees are science related.

When you were in high school three of the questions could not have existed. :)

I got all 12 right too, but my score was 11 because one of the questions was wrong.

Antibacterials kill bacteria.
Antivirals kill virii.
Antibiotics may kill bacteria AND virii.

The plural of virus is viruses, not "virii." And how can anything "kill" a macromolecular complex if it isn't even alive?

The word "kill" is often used figuratively (e.g. "bill killed in Senate") but yes! "virii" is not proper Latin. The Internet thanks you for picking on it.

The word "kill" is often used figuratively (e.g. "bill killed in Senate")

Maybe antibiotics will kill bills also.
The point is that antibiotic means: against life (micro-organisms) and a virus doesn't live.

By that logic, biowarfare can't include viruses, either.

Hey, look what patent I found:

BU-4641V, an antibacterial antiviral and antitumor antibiotic.
European Patent Application EP0560149

Antibiotics may kill bacteria AND virii.

Name and references Please:

Written by bmcnett:
Antibacterials kill bacteria.
Antibiotics may kill bacteria AND virii.

The true/false question, "Antibiotics will kill viruses as well as bacteria," tests whether you understand the definition of "antibiotics." If you answered "true," you were wrong. By definition antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses. That an antibiotic may kill some viruses does not alter the correct answer.

This American answered all 12 questions correctly.

By definition antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses.

Antibiotics are there in two forms: bacteriostatica and bactericide. The bactericide antibiotica kill bacteria, the others prevent their division. Of course, ultimately with the same result.

E.O Wilson grew up in rural Alabama. He said the backwoods areas of Alabama were in large part responsible for his becoming a naturalist.

You're in good company.

If people watched "Nova" every week, they would certainly have gotten all of the questions right.

I'm 70, watched(threw it out 8 yrs ago) no TV for many years, lots of technical training schools but no college except for inhouse core curricula and SoftWare Engineering at my previous employer(IBM).

I was born in a house with a midwife in attendance, never paid attention in grade and high school(skipped a lot). IQ tested at 150(if it matters).I am a Kentucky Red Neck. An electronics technician,field engineer,a staff level programmer,mainframe consultant, blacksmith, banjo picker , farmer and now retired and lay pretty much on my ass and do exactly what I want ,when I want.

I got all 12 correct and they were astoundingly simple questions. The planet question was solved by process of elimination.But I thought I heard it before. Taking tests is an art form, or so I believe. Yet this one required zero artwork

And I spend too much time on TOD.


You are officially the man!

Daniel Achstatter

Nah,,,I believe every TODer who has a serious bone in his body should and likely will get all 12 right.

Airdale-the banjo picking I cherish,the rest was just killing time

Wooo Hooooo, I just skewed the results by doing this from Yuwrop and got all 12 correct but had to guess about the "no longer a planet", knew that one had recently been reclassified as a "something" but since can't remember the order had a guess and got it right:-)
I don't have a PhD but employ a few:-)
Will try this on my primary school kid tonight.

I got 12 right but then missed the ones about my age and sex.

All the surveys I have taken think I'm a 98 year old Tibetan woman making $100K.

And I am a 100-year old man, living in Afghanistan if they ask for a country, and in Schenectady if they ask for a zip code (12345). My profession varies, from agriculture to art to finance.

Honestly, I see no reason to give them any real info about me for free.

My long lost brother!!!

I too discovered where zip code 12345 really is in much the same way. Afghanistan is usually one of the first in the pulldown list. The ones that really annoy me are the websites that force you to register and then want to send you a confirmation email that you must respond to before you can use the site.

Some sites let you enter a birth year in freeform text instead of with a pulldown. I tried entering dates like 1860, but for some reason they wouldn't accept that. Nor would they accept 2030. But some will accept something like 2008.

Art Vandelay of Vandelay Industries (importer/exporter)

that's always a good one for a survey or anything where you don't want to use a real name

For these kinds of registrations:


If a "Company" field needs to be filled in:

"North American Veeblefetzer" (The imaginary corporate conglomerate in Mad Magazine satires.)

in Schenectady if they ask for a zip code (12345).

Aahhh, thank you for clearing up a longstanding puzzle I've had. Yahoo news would sometimes display news from Schenectady for me. Obviously it must be when I happen to be logged into my yahoo account, and I must have entered the 12345 fake zip code for that account.

"Will try this on my primary school kid tonight." my 11 year old got all 12, the 9 year old got 8 and they're both down as 65+

I'm an American and got all 12 right. The amazing, shameful thing is that 90% couldn't. It is not as if these are questions that would stump Nobel prize winners. The thought that kept running through my mind as a saw these questions was "Well, DUH!!!" These were all items that have been in the news within the last few years. Mere attentiveness to the news would have been sufficient to acquire the knowledge to answer these questions, one would not even had to have taken a single college-level science course.

American has become a nation of dummies, and is rapidly becoming the world's laughing stock. This does not bode well at all for our future.

Indeed this was a knowledge quiz, not a science test.

Indeed this was a knowledge quiz, not a science test.

That's right. And even there, it's a joke. But I know people who are much more knowledgeable than me in other areas who might have missed a couple.

I was amused the other night to see my wife topped by her (our) 3 year old grandson. We were watching TV at my son's in-laws, and the word orca was used. My wife asks, what's an orca? My grandson chimes in, it's a whale.

Not a science quiz and even less a science IQ test. Bad results not only in the U.S. but everywhere in the world. Most people are not interested in facts. Shocking though is the result of the climate question.

don't feel like going back and double-checking but I suspect a lot of people missed that one because on the toob they hear "See-Oh-Two" and in the quiz I think they saw a much longer, scary word like carbon dioxide. They don't realize they are the same thing.

This could have been called a current news or discovery channel quiz. It required nothing but remembering what was heard seen in the media.
I do agree with Airdale that the art of taking tests is as important to the outcome as the knowledge required and that IQ testing is at best a crude instrument and probably a mismeasure (Gould).

One other thing.........anyone commenting on this test will be a 12/12er because no one on this site would be able to put their ego back together for at least a couple hours if they botched even one question!

Well, if it makes everyone feel better (or more smug, as the case may be), I botched question #6, so I only had eleven out of twelve correct; consequently, I'll be wearing this attractive and highly visible cap for the remainder of today [points to orange traffic cone on head].


And we know for sure you are no dunce.. yet that hat looks quite fetching on you!

..Like these guys!

'When a (Science)Problem comes along..'


Thanks, Bob. I keep it handy my desk, 'cause ya never know when it will be pressed into service.

Devo provided backup on this song, which I recall was a pretty big hit from Montréal club days.

See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0ImnOLzVBc


Devo gets too much negative press for the Whip It video. It's like Bobby McFarin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy", both are an anomalous pop hit in an otherwise intelligent collection of music. Devo had songs like "The Corporate Anthem" long before many were aware of the rise of corporatacry, or the dumbing down of the masses with "Freedom of Choice". You have to really listen to their lyrics to get a sense of the deeper intelligence.

Also, they put on a good live show! Saw them in 1979 when they had a thing called "Devo Vision", the precursor to music videos.

Worse than that the dummies are damn proud of themselves...

It's not like we're stupid and trying like hell to become more educated - nope, it appears to me that most people are just fine with BAU regarding their education and basic level of understanding of how the world works.

We celebrate ignorance here like a badge of honor.

I also seem to remember reading an article somewhere that suggested people don't know as much about most things as they THINK they know. So we're either ignorant and proud of it or relatively ignorant while thinking we're pretty damn smart. Yep - sounds like a recipe for disaster to me...

We celebrate ignorance here like a badge of honor.

I'm not sure I follow you. Who amongst us considers their ignorance a source of pride? The reality is not all of us are blessed with high IQs or speak seven languages. Some of us are also prone to make seemingly poor choices (e.g., I know a number of otherwise "bright" people who abuse alcohol, do drugs or are involved in abusive relationships); others may be "smart", but completely devoid of any moral fibre. Don't get me wrong, I would be pleased if my auto mechanic were a devote of JS Mills, but Chilton will do just fine. :-)


It may be different in Halifax, but here in the US, there's a definite hostility toward intellectuals. How did Rush Limbaugh put it? People who are "educated beyond their intelligence."

Well, I like intelligent people, even if I can't understand half of what they say, but the arrogance and egotism that often comes along for the ride can be a tad hard to swallow.


It's not just that (though that can be part of it).

Exhibit A - the election and re-election of George W. Bush. Now, I don't think he's quite as dim as he's often made out to be, but that man is ignorant (despite his education), and doesn't care that he's ignorant. And that's what people liked about him. He was "one of us," a "guy you could have a beer with." While Gore and Kerry were snooty Ivy Leaguers. Never mind that Bush is as much an Ivy Leaguer as anyone, with degrees from Yale and Harvard. You would not believe the number of Bush supporters I have encountered who insist that Bush got his degree from the University of Texas.

I've worked with nuclear engineers who design and operate CANDU reactors and electrician's helpers who move heavy spools of cable with fork lifts. Switch their roles for a day and see how things work out (ever notice how many frigg'n leavers and nobs are on those damn things?). My point is that I'm not so quick to judge others, particularly by my interpretation of what constitutes "intelligence".


That's pretty funny Leanan - the GWB story was exactly what came to mind as I wrote my reply to WNC.

Trust me - I like (love) beer as much as the next person and especially like to have one with interesting company - but W did not seem like someone you'd have the least bit interesting conversation with over a beer.

So I'd love the President to be someone you could have a beer with... BUT I'd also like him to be well read, have a somewhat open mind, and most importantly understand that most issues on the planet today are not black and white where you can take one ideology and completely discount the views (or in the case of GWB - the FACTS) of others who knew vastly more about a given subject.

I'd be willing to bet that if you asked those who voted for Bush what quality of his was most important to them it would be exactly that though - that he was the Decider and everything was either right (Republican, christians, America) or wrong (Democrat, terrists, liberals). And never mind getting all scientific about climate change or WMDs or trade policy or or etc. - we don't care about no facts as long as our President is a tough guy.

That to me is symptomatic of an extremely ignorant society. I think it even goes beyond ignorant - I'm not sure what the correct descriptor would be. Ignorant seems to imply that people are uninformed or unaware of things - more of a passive condition due to environmental or socioeconomic factors. But I don't see that as the case here. This is more a form of laziness - in the US I would say that the majority of people could seek out other viewpoints and evaluate them honestly (thru the internet, libraries etc.) but I don't get the impression that many do that. Their lack of complete information on issues is actively sought out by refusing to consider arguments or data contrary to their viewpoint.

And just as you point out, "intellectuals" (the definition of which I think ultimately expanded to include anyone that might think for themselves regarding issues of American exceptionalism) have been lumped in as part of the "liberal elite" - and painted with the extremely broad brush as being anti-American, unpatriotic, (fill in the blank)

[George W. Bush] was "one of us," a "guy you could have a beer with."

On a lighter note, whenever I think of Americans and beer (ha! like they'd know the real stuff), this is what comes to mind:



With regard to the Dover trial Rev Ray Mummert said "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of the culture"

With regard to the Dover trial ...

For those who are not familiar with the Dover trial check it out here:
Judgment Day, Intelligent Design on Trial

It is a two hour video in ten minute segments so you can watch it piecemeal. It will be two of the most entertaining hours you ever sat through.

Ron P.

But it gets worse.
Here in Detroit, folks try to KILL you if'n you're trying to get an edumacation.

IMO shootings like this are not random events but planned terrorism by the drug/gang lords similar to tribal terrorism practised in Africa.

Americans are notorious for being anti-intellectual. I find it very difficult to have serious discussions with people on issues that matter. Additionally I have done some reading on gifted education and this is taken as fact. Just look at how well sports are funded when compared to academics.


I don't think the general populace rejects intelligence, as such; I think it's more a fear that they, individually, will be judged inferior or deficient by others -- that they won't "measure up" in a society that prides itself on its competitive spirit and that is compelled to dissect, catalogue and quantify everything. But the larger question for me is what defines "intelligence"?


Thanks for your response Paul. You have a good point about Americans and their competitive spirit. I have the same question as you regarding intelligence. I know people who have very high IQs but don't do anything but sit behind a computer or work in lab without interacting with too many people. Is that success? If it makes you happy I guess it is. My personal experience has been that intelligence is wasted without motivation and discipline. There is also something psychologists call "Executive functioning" that is very helpful but missing in a lot of people with high IQs. Most people refer to it as common sense. I grew up being admired by my teachers for my ability but laughed at by peers for my naivete and a tendency to not pay attention to my surroundings. I think this comes from having an intuitive mind and being able to understand abstract concepts. I worked to develop social skills but it has been a very long road and I made some bad choices over the years. The end result is that I have done less than I could have.

I have seen successful people and they have motivation, discipline, and common sense. If one has intelligence in addition to this they can go very far in life. But this is a rare combination and requires very attentive and supportive parenting that most children do not get. This is my present challenge, to be a good parent. Things have changed somewhat from when I grew up, and being academically gifted is not the social handicap it used to be. But I still maintain that children with the ability to understand abstract concepts and learn very quickly are not developed the way they should be. If a person learns twice as fast as the average student what is to be done? Unfortunately most of the money in schools go to struggling students at the expense of the smart ones. Is this wise?

A student that coasts through easy classes does not develop study habits that are necessary for advanced studies. Smart kids are actually at risk of losing interest and developing dependencies on drugs and alcohol. I speak from experience, so please don't doubt me on this.

IQ is a bell curve and the average is 100. A standard deviation is about 15 points and it takes two to be considered gifted in most states. That works out to be 130, which seems surprisingly low. I have read that ideally the IQ of a child does not exceed 145 or so, because after this it becomes difficult to relate to your peers and can cause social issues. In a lot of cases kids that exceed that threshold are thought to be autistic. To me this is a tragedy. These kids need a lot more attention and adult interaction and in a lot of cases don't get it.

This may a long response but at least now you know where I am coming from.


(edited for grammer)

I have read that ideally the IQ of a child does not exceed 145 or so...

An IQ above the mean is just as dysfunctional as the equivalent value below it.

I appreciate everything you said, Clint, and thank you for sharing it. There's much to reflect upon in this.


Thanks Paul. Luckily my son is doing very well, but it has really required a lot of thought and vigilence. I just really feel for the kids who aren't so fortunate.



I was going to reply to Leanan's remarks about the anti-intellectualism as I've been noticing this trend for years and I am still puzzled. Maybe it's a blow-back against the scientist-priests of the nuclear and space race age? But your post on a more personal topic is closer to my experience. I was raised in a blue collar family and had to struggle with my parents and brothers only because I was "smart". It's only been recently in my later 40's where they have finally accepted that I might be on to something, and so they actually listen once in a while.

My father is quite bright but spent a career as a fireman where smarts are only a nail poking out of the board that must get hammered down. This comes from the long standing management culture where the boss has to appear smarter than the subordinates. This has been a constant source of frustration for me since there have been times where I can run figurative circles around my managers and they only feel threatened. That's too bad because my intent is to strengthen the team or collective output.

Maybe we come across some smarts honestly as my great-grand-father came to the U.S. and Canada with Marconi as his assistant for the first trans-Atlantic wireless communications. He also turned Marconi down for the N. American franchise because he didn't like a few of his colleagues. This leads into one of my pet peeves in this day and age, which I call "faux intelligence". Those that fancy themselves learned or intelligent because they've learned a few tricks or key words, but really only have window dressing on the edifice of the mind.

"Smart" gets quotes because I do a lot of stupid things. i.e. me and money, or maybe its just my detachment to the real living and spiritual value. But I genuinely appreciate the simple or elegant solution to a problem as much as a complex one. Whether farmer with hay bale wire, or engineer with second order differential, they are both good. (Of course, to truly appreciate innovative genius with duct tape, one must check out the Red Green Show).

I've had to reply on occasion when someone says, "You're making me look stupid.", with "No, you're doing quite well on your own."

Sorry Clint, long reply to an original long post.

No apologies necessary, I enjoyed reading your post. It's a pleasure to meet someone with a similar experience to mine, and it seems we're the same age too. I'm also glad that someone else is interested in the same questions that I have spent so much time researching. Forgive me if I ramble but I think I know a few things on this subject.

Managers have to deal with people and personalities, as well as knowing job functions. The qualities required for a good manager are sometimes in opposition to the qualities of a gifted individual. I know I have trouble with multi-tasking, but this is an essential skill for a manager. I become very focused on tasks and don't like to be distracted in the midst of figuring out a problem. Good managers also make quick decisions based on their experience and don't hesitate over lack of data or beat themselves up if they make a mistake. Self-confidence is another key requirement. Gifted people if not properly guided become painfully aware of shortcomings and this can affect their confidence.

A good leader also relates well to his followers. There is a saying that to be a good leader you must first be a good follower. I know there are a lot of smart people where I work that really prefer not to have to deal with too many people. One thing I have learned is that skill with people is considered more valuable than technical ability. It amazes that so many people who have so much intelligence have so little regard for others. To be egotistical and demean others for their shortcomings simply shows a lack of maturity and wisdom. And it only aggravates the stereotype that another poster mentioned.

An exploration of the roots of anti-intellectualism in America is something I would be interested in studying, but I can make some good guesses. A lot of it has to do with the things I mentioned above. American attitudes also value optimism and action, not pessimism and careful study. Throughout our history we have valued leaders, captains of industry, pioneers, financiers, ect... I was in Germany before they switched currencies and saw Karl Gauss on one of their bills. Some scientists can get respect here but just look at what is happening with climate change now. This is yet another example of anti-intellectualism; the scientific community has not been successful in convincing the general population. I saw a survey in the paper today that had the number of people who thought global warming was a serious problem at less than 10%!!

I am afraid this site has an uphill battle to convince people, but there are some very smart and motivated people here who understand the things I speak of. There is always hope for the future. Pessimism is in my nature and it may also be the same for anyone else who understands the scale of the problems we face. But we will get no followers with pessimism, especially here in America.

It isn't that our children are dumb. Its the teachers that are dumb.

They 'dumbdown' our children with their folly called 'teaching'.

My daughter is a teacher and has a degree in Instructional Technology. Yet I will state that my daughter is not very intelligent. She is book smart but that means very little. She is very crafty and knows how to play the system.

My son was educated to be dumb by his lower grade school teachers, the New Math and the Open Classroom concept whereby children spend the classroom time wandering around doing exactly as they please while the teacher does her nails.

I finally had to teach my son his arithmetic tables by flash cards.
Duhhhh 5 x 3 = ?

Now he is a CPA and has a Masters in Accountancy yet is pretty slow on
his feet still. I had to do his tax returns even while he was doing his upper grad work!!!

Then it all can't be blamed on the school system for the culture likes them dumb and therefore tries to make them dumb...dumb consumers.

I mean come on...kids who try to act like they are vampires? Really.
My granddaughter for instance at 14. Please.Enough with the black makeup already.


The Vampire kids are just trying to fit into the role of Multinational Corps..

Sure, it's a little impressionistic, but nowhere near as dark.

I also seem to remember reading an article somewhere that suggested people don't know as much about most things as they THINK they know. So we're either ignorant and proud of it or relatively ignorant while thinking we're pretty damn smart. Yep - sounds like a recipe for disaster to me...

There is this, which is similar.

I think it was actually part of a bigger story in that famous scientific journal - Readers Digest :)

But it may have been based on the article you linked to - thanks for posting that...

WNC wrote: "The amazing, shameful thing is that 90% couldn't."

And a third got only half or fewer right!

And yes, no real conceptual questions. Just facts.

No wonder half of the general public does not "believe" in AGW?CC.

Aren't a disturbingly large portion of the US pop unsure about whether the moon rotates around the earth or the earth around the moon?

No wonder half ... voted for Obama? Or is that somehow different? The above mention that a child should not have an IQ over 145, does the same thing hold true that a child should not have an IQ of less than 55? Is the liberal elite a black guy with his hat on sideways who can’t speak English but can apparently be a fire fighter? … you know the ones Cosby is trying to address. What about the intellectual who doesn’t know which is the working end of a screw driver? (I know one of those but he is a nice guy) Why did someone above edit for grammar?

It goes on and on with all sorts of prejudices whether one realizes it or not. And TOD is not immune. That's OK because this is better than most.

I believe part of the problem is "On the internet, no one knows you are a dog." Here you can call people "stupid" etc. and take your ego trip without a worry. Do you suppose this is part of the reason the politicians have no respect for the people outside their part of the country? Is the internet good or bad? Are people more honest on the internet?

Now that was a good scream.

The internet at one time was good.

That is over. Commercialism won the net. We lost.

There are a few good corners left. This is one. Most is utter worthless tripe and crime and of course hard core in your face porn. That's the biggest seller.

Todays Drudge Report had a extremely valuable photo of Obama man staring fixedly at a 16 year olds ass as she walked up the steps behind him. Surely the man realized that there were cameras on him? That was stupid. Even little GWB would not have been caught like that.

Was this not Italy? Paparazzi capital of the world?
The image is priceless.This will cost him some points dearly for sure. I understand he is now at -5....strongly approve minus strongly disapprove.



Please. Don't believe everything you read on Drudge. Obama was not checking out that girl's rear. It's clear from the video that he was not staring at anyone:



I did not read anything on Drudge. I just looked at the photo which was at the top. I also did not watch a video.

I saw what everyone else saw who brought up Drudge to check for latebreaking news and caught the photo.

I took it for what it was worth.As I am sure all those who saw the same as I did came to the same conclusion.


I took it for what it was worth.As I am sure all those who saw the same as I did came to the same conclusion.

I doubt it.

I think most Americans these days distrust photos (and even video). You show someone a photo, and the first question is always, "Is it Photoshopped?" Even photos that are indubitably real get the Photoshop accusation. Nobody believes photos any more. And even video...since YouTube, everyone's gotten into video editing, and they understand how easy it is to create illusions.

You said that image was "valuable." I don't think so. I don't think anyone will even remember it in a month.

In any case, I would prefer if you not post this kind of thing here. Same goes for leftwing nuttery, like that theory that Palin's youngest child was really her daughter's. Leave it to political sites like DKos and Free Republic. Politics is not off-topic here, and you're certainly welcome to criticize Obama's policies. But TOD is not the place for unsupported partisan attacks.

I will quote a conservative columnist (Cal Thomas ?) who had the best description of Obama's persona I have yet read.

"He has the political intelligence of Bill Clinton and the steely self control of Vladamir Putin."

He will need every bit of both in the months and years to come.


Believe me, I did not intend any prejudice. I said that I read somewhere someone else expressed an opinion that ideally a child's IQ would be below 145. And the context this was said in was that a child with an IQ above that would require special attention to prevent problems from developing, just as in the case of a child with a low IQ requiring special attention. This is just being realistic.

The one size fits all system we have does a great disservice to those outside the norm. Other countries have systems where differences in ability are acknowledged and accomodated. Here it is simply unthinkable to separate children by ability and charges of elitism invariably surface when it is done.

Why do we require all children to learn algebra? Is this a necessary life skill? Is it going to make the child successful to set him up for failure if he has poor abstract reasoning skills? Perhaps he has other skills he is very good with. I have good abstract reasoning skills but am envious of people who have a great deal of confidence. In many cases they are more successful than I despite my IQ.

I think there is a difference between having a prejudice and being realistic about differences in ability.

To answer your question I edited for grammer because I am compulsive and hate to make mistakes. It is really not value-added in most cases but we all have our shortcomings.

I think the internet is a great tool for sharing ideas and opinions. I really enjoy getting other perspectives such as yours and learn what I can from them. I also just like to share what I have learned. I agree that calling someone else "stupid" is wrong. It is simply uncouth and unwise.

Kind regards,


"No wonder half ... voted for Obama?"

then the voters got a lot smarter in 8 short yrs.

Good point.

The larger applicability to politics is not the partisan, that can clearly be played either way. But that if people are ignorant (or willfully defiant) of the basics of science or even critical thinking, they can be easily swayed by lies, slogans and misrepresentations. Of course this has as much to do with basic intellectual honesty as anything else.

A more controversial point--when people are willing to believe lies about people being raised from the dead on the third day...they are more likely to believe lies about Iraq having something to do with 9/11...

Lynford wrote, "No wonder half ... voted for Obama? Or is that somehow different?"

Presumably this was intended as a rhetorical question, but I'll answer it anyway.

It is different than understanding of GW/CC because this requires some basic understanding of basic science, at least, whereas political decisions do not. Did this obvious distinction somehow escape you? Also, polls show that the more educated, and the more educated in the relevant sciences people are, the more they understand GW.

Your so correct WNC. My son taught science in Jr.High, from the late 70s to the late 80s and threw in the towel. Liquidated all his assets, bought his own sail boat, and has been cruising the South Pacific since.

We were discussing this just last year when he was back for a visit, and I mentioned, he would be even more frustrated today, than when he left, Why? He asked. I answered with one word "texting".

For most here, Television, would have been a good answer, for why most of the younger generations missed most, but today, it's "texting" That's all my neighbors kids do all day long and into the night. I asked his youngest girl, why she was so enthused with "texting", wouldn't it be just as easy to call her girlfriend on the phone and "talk", her answer was, "it's more fun" ????????????

Edited: Thanks to Websters New World Dictionary, for correcting the spelling errors.

Second editing: Looks like my Dictionary is out of date. It doesn't list the word "texting"

And not to forget the 'sexting' as well.

Airdale-hey Jody, check this shot!

Well, that was interesting, but I wonder if it was really a 'Science Test' or a Science-in-the-News Test. Got all 12.. and being one of the 10%, so that means I got 120%! WooHoo!

Would I know anything about Stem Cells if I had a Masters in Engineering or a Doctorate in Particle Physics, unless it were a detail that is currently part of the 'science buzz'? It really was somewhat about arcana, not that there's anything wrong with that.

I wasn't totally sure with the Antibiotics answer.. glad my life didn't depend on it.

It would be interesting to see a test that was also built around perception, testing and analysis, or of forming a hypothesis- instead of just reciting established truths.

It's a good thing for Speedy that there wasn't a question about how many Americans might be said to be Scientifically Literate, eh?



Took the quiz. (Too elementary to accurately measure scientific knowledge)

I was however marked wrong on the following question:

3. Which of the following may cause a Tsunami?

I chose: An earthquake under the ocean.

Gee Whiz! I guess it's probably a warm ocean current or that school of fish.


With the same answer, I was marked right!

me too

That is the right answer. I chose it, and got marked correct.

You can get question by question results on your results page (see the menu at left).

My guess is you accidentally clicked the wrong answer.

You're probably right.

Interesting results from the Pew research was:

Nearly all scientists (97%) say humans and other living things have evolved over time – 87% say evolution is due to natural processes, such as natural selection. The dominant position among scientists – that living things have evolved due to natural processes – is shared by only about third (32%) of the public.

I've had personal experience with that fact. Had dinner with some friends and acquaintances the other night and when the topic got around to climate change there seemed to be an inverse correlation between knowledge and optimism. The less the person knew the higher their optimism. But I think I ruined the party when I (gasp!) mentioned that besides climate change there was that little issue about seven billion people (soon to be 9 billion) on a planet that might sustainably support 10% of those numbers. All of sudden there was this sense of the air being sucked out of the room.

Finally in retort somebody says: "Yeah but I think aliens will step in just in time." I immediately started laughing when I heard this. I thought it was a great joke told with impeccable timing but after a few moments I realized that they were serious...


People choose to not know.
I think it is a psychological defense mechanism..........ignorance is bliss.

Finally in retort somebody says: "Yeah but I think aliens will step in just in time." I immediately started laughing when I heard this. I thought it was a great joke told with impeccable timing but after a few moments I realized that they were serious...

Yeah, that's crazy. Everyone knows the Rapture will take place before then.

I got 12 correct too. I was worried about how difficult the questions might be before I clicked on the link, but it turned out they were ridiculously easy. Hard to believe so many people missed them.

I was hoping there would be at least one hard one, one that would make me think a little.

People just don't like to have the mood of the conversation ruined. It seems to me that only a small percentage of people can deal with these issues without becoming despondent. They just don't like to think about it. If you want to be popular you have to crack jokes and make people laugh.

I have learned that people will always blow off issues like this with cracks like "The world is going to end in 2012 anyway." And quote Nostradamus or some such nonsense. And these are engineers!

I said the other day at lunch, (and I didn't really start the conversation, but my views are well-known and it was started with someone trying to get a rise out of me regarding climate change), that my view is really more pessimistic because the world won't end but our problems will just get worse. And we will still be here trying to deal with them.

You really can't expect people to do anything other than to try and lighten things up or change the subject at that point. Changing a person's worldview is really not an easy thing to accomplish. Most people just want things to continue the way they are, despite how unlikely that is. I think progress is being made in small steps but it really takes a lot of patience. And you always want to reassure people that there are solutions, throwing up your hands and saying we're all doomed will get you marginalized very quickly.


Well, Dmitry Orlov presented this in The Slope of Dysfunction:

Although we have absolutely zero data on which to base this assumption, we must assume that oil production throughout the rest of the universe has not peaked yet. Further, we must assume that interstellar vessels will deliver this oil to Earth in a timely manner, making up for any planetary production shortfall before Earth's economy collapses.

Tsunamis can be caused by sediment slides down the continental slope, too. There are cracks hundreds of kilometers long parallel to the edge of the continental shelf off the Carolina coast. If these gave way the resulting tsunamis would devastate the coasts of Africa & America. No earthquake need be involved.

Ya but that is not what caused the one in the Indian ocean a few years ago in late December. It was an earthquake off Indonesia and in the news 24/7 for days. That is the type of info this quiz was after, not science. It is almost like trivial pursuit.

Yep, the 2004 tsunami that killed ~230K people was triggered by an undersea earthquake, the second most powerful quake ever recorded. Ironically, the energy released by that quake was less than that released by a Soviet thermonuclear weapon detonated in 1961. In 1998, however, a tsunami caused by a sediment slump killed 2,200 people along the north shore of Papau New Guinea.

The important thing about that question wasn't what the correct answer was, it was that none of the others could even potentially cause a Tsunami.

Of the potential correct answers to that particular question it was also likely to be the best known due to recent news coverage.

Yeah, I found the questions really easy, however, I once roomed with a girl who asked me if ducks fly and didn't know who the VP of the US was at that time. I know that I am not smart enough to figure out what the fabric of the universe is made of -- pretty pathetic that just about everyone is more stupid and ignorant than me.

The question about Antibiotics is misleading - although I didnt "overthink" it and got it "correct".

Technically there are antibiotics that can kill Virus's although they are usually refered to as antivirals - they are still technically antibiotics. I think they were aiming for the laymans understanding.

Worse yet - the people taking the quiz are the web savvy who stumbled across it - not a nice random cross section of the community. My technically challenged mother for example is less likley to find this quiz than the proverbial room full of monkeys getting shakespear on a typewriter. Which means that the results of the quiz are generally from the more technically proficient end of the spectrum.

Idiocracy anyone?

The results are not from this Internet quiz. They are from a separate poll.

Do you think if we surveyed on the topic of Micheal Jackson that most TODers would score below average? I think I would.

I certainly hope so. Kudos to Speaker Pelosi:

Pelosi says no to Jackson tribute

There was a plastic surgeon who was very respected. Very sharp.

One day he was called to the worst case he had ever seen.

A woman high on pot and cocaine had ridden a horse into a freight train that was traveling at 80 MPH.

The surgeon was sucessful and said this; "All I had to work with was the ass of the horse and some of the woman's hair to resurrect the face. I did a good job I think for now that woman is the Speaker of the US House of Representatives of.

A farmers joke.


The difference is that absolutely nothing about Michael Jackson is of any importance whatsoever.

How do you define "life"? Are viruses "alive" or aren't they? If they aren't alive then antibiotics ("against life") or anything else can't "kill" them. Antiviral medications may keep viruses from replicating, is all.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Look up kill in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Kill might refer to:
Kill, to cause the death of an organism, or the act of doing so.
The verb form may also be a general-use metaphor, synonymous with "to terminate" or "to finish"

Kill, to cause the death of an organism, or the act of doing so.

But viruses aren't organisms. They're macromolecular assemblages comprised of a nucleic acid (RNA or DNA) surrounded by a protein capsid. Whether they are "alive" or not depends on how you define "life." Most definitions involve a metabolic component. Viruses don't metabolize. A sealed jar full of viral particles may set on a shelf for years without doing anything, yet remain infective to a host cell. Even when undergoing replication in a host cell it's the cell that's metabolizing, not the viral components or completed viral assemblages. Antiviral medications don't "kill," as in "to terminate" or "to finish," the viral particle. All they do is interfere with viral replication. My point is that the question is bogus on the grounds that if a virus isn't alive then neither antivirals, antibiotics, or anything else, can kill them.

The verb form may also be a general-use metaphor, synonymous with "to terminate" or "to finish"

You don't seem to want to give it up, do you.

Absolutely; The congress "terminated" (killed) the program.

The patron "finished" (killed) the beer.

give it up; none of us here, are counting. -:)

About 25 (arghh) yrs ago in undergrad, I was trying to help a band major with addition and subtraction of fractions in what was labeled 'Math 001'. How TH he got out of an Iowa High school w/o that stunned me.

I have a better one.
A guy I flew with in the Navy had an Electrical Engineering degree from Temple(so he said anyway). He didn't even know Ohm's Law!!
I thought he was kidding but he wasn't.
Needless to say I lost any respect I might have had for Temple University.

Interesting that many wood cabinet shops in the US Midwest have switched to using metric (millimeters) for all their measurements.
Seems that all the new employees are incapable of adding and subtracting fractions and also reading fraction from a ruler accurately. Going to millimeters eliminated fractions and dramatically decreased losses from errors in measurement and adding and subtracting measurements.

Millimeters are fractions too: 1mm = 1/1000m. The metric system is good for a lot of reasons, including error reduction.

The best thing about the metric system is that is consistent with the base ten number system which makes perfect sense.
We should have completely adopted it back in the 70s-80s when there was a push on to do so.

My white ducks are too fat to fly. Wild mallards along the river fly. So do ducks fly or not?

As I walk our two dogs (German Shepherd rescues) through our otherwise serene - or is that obscene - piece of South Florida suburbia I often hear a faint rustle from behind, turn around, only to see a VERY LARGE Muscovy Duck in full flight coming at me (us) at about eye level.

Duck and cover. The dogs go nutz.



Muscovies are cool. They're the only domesticated duck not derived from the mallard. My ducks are white Pekins. I wouldn't mind getting a couple muscovies. Maybe next year...

I know, it's so depressing. The only thing worse is Krugman's mewling for more and more stimulus.


You fail, sorry :(


It's depressing so few know anything about ... anything.

If it's about knowing what Krugman is writing in the NYT, I'm not worried about missing it.

I get hives looking at that paper.. I think it's haunted.

I'm an idiot. I only got 8 right.

If you really want to separate the science nerds from the merely glib solve this one:

The world burns the fossil fuel equivalent of appx 7.0 x 10 to the 12th kg of petroleum per year. Assume that this petroleum is combusted in the form of Octane (C8H18).

How much CO2 is produced annually? (hint: begin by writing a balanced equation)

Part 2

If the atmosphere currently contains 3 x 10 to the 15 kg of CO2(equivalent to 387 ppm) at the current rate of combustion how long would it take to reach 450 ppm*?

*Dr. Jim Hansen's drop dead number.


Give up? Answer: 22.6 years*; but if we have a robust economic recovery we could shave a month or two off of that.

* formula is standard combustion rxn [2 C8H18(g) + 25 O2(g) producing 16 CO2(g) + 18HOH (g)]

after that it's just conversions...


Assuming the complete combustion of octane:

2C8H18 + 25O2 -> 16CO2 + 18H2O

molecular weight of octane: 114.23 g/mol = .11423 kg/mol
molecular weight of CO2: 44.01 g/mol = .04401 kg/mol

7.0 x 1012 kg/yr / .11423 kg/mol = 6.128 x 1013 mol/yr of octane consumed.

(6.128 x 1013 mol/yr) * 16/2 = 4.902 x 1014 mol/yr of fossil CO2 produced.

4.902 x 1014 mol/yr * .04401 kg/mol = 2.2 x 1013 kg/yr of fossil CO2 produced.

Part 2

3 x 1015 kg / .04401 kg/mol = 6.817 x 1016 mol of CO2 in atmosphere

Total number of molecules in atmosphere: 6.817 x 1016 mol / .000387 = 1.761 x 1020 mol.

Assuming the water produced from the complete combustion of octane rains out of the atmosphere, the ocean & biosphere absorb 50% of the emitted fossil CO2 and there is sufficient oxygen for the reaction, for every 25 O2 removed from the atmosphere, 16/2 CO2 are added.

X / (1.761 x 1020 mol - 25X + 8X) = .000450

X = 7.8643 x 1016 mol of CO2 needs to accumulate in the atmosphere.

(7.8643 x 1016 mol - 6.817 x 1016 mol) / ((4.902 x 1014 mol/yr) * .5 (uptake by ocean & biosphere)) = 42.73 yr = 40 yr

Since the historical trend has been an exponential increase in the amount of fossil carbon dumped into the atmosphere, assuming the present rate will be constant in the future may overestimate the time. On the other hand, peak oil may cause a reduction in the emission of fossil carbon.


Nice presentation...however I made no assumptions of CO2 absorption into the Seas and biosphere. That is an area of huge controversy that for a lot of ecologists is terrifying in it's implications.

How much CO2 can the biosphere and Seas absorb and still support life as we know it? You have opened the proverbial can of worms:

Although the natural absorption of CO2 by the world's oceans helps mitigate the climatic effects of anthropogenic emissions of CO2, it is believed that the resulting decrease in pH will have negative consequences, primarily for oceanic calcifying organisms. These use the calcite or aragonite polymorphs of calcium carbonate to construct cell coverings or skeletons. Calcifiers span the food chain from autotrophs to heterotrophs and include organisms such as coccolithophores, corals, foraminifera, echinoderms, crustaceans and molluscs.

Under normal conditions, calcite and aragonite are stable in surface waters since the carbonate ion is at supersaturating concentrations. However, as ocean pH falls, so does the concentration of this ion, and when carbonate becomes undersaturated, structures made of calcium carbonate are vulnerable to dissolution.

Should we eat seafood now why it's still here? Will it make sense to plant trees in poisonous soils?

Here is a realistic preview of The Road we would likely encounter.

It's too bad that the the Hollywood studios saw fit to pull John Hillcoats' interpretation of Cormac McCarthy's novel (it was supposed to be released last Novemeber) out of the realm of scientific probability to the science fiction zombie hordes multi-plex popcorn event that will be released in October of this year.

The general public can deal with the unlikely prospect of a nuclear holocaust or a meteor event easier than the undeniable prospect of death by Carbon.


Written by joemichaels:
Here is a realistic preview of The Road we would likely encounter.

After reading the plot summary at IMDB and looking at a few production stills, the catastrophe in the movie is too abrupt to be characteristic of anthropic climate change. ACC is likely to play out gradually over generations with each new generation's perception of the environmental degradation being based on the state of the environment during their childhood. They will not understand how much degradation occurred before they were born. The gradual degradation of the environment makes it difficult for the average human to understand or believe.

Peak oil will be a more immediate problem than anthropic climate change.

Hey Ya'all,

Yergin was just on Bloombut (Bloomberg radio) and said the peak oilist's are full of baloney. We have " run out of oil at least 5 times" in the last 30 years, so do'nt worry, be happy. That they "refuse to take into account the benefits of modern technology".....WTF ???

What a waste of good air......

Yeah, the technofairy will come along with monkeys flying out of her backside. Actually with the benefits of modern technology, she ought to be able to get gorillas instead.

It's too bad there's such a high Methane/CO2 ratio coming out of his mouth.. very rough on the atmosphere, given the amount he's encouraged to speak.

Well, isn't he right? We haven't run out of oil -- the world is "swimming" in Diesel oil according to something posted yesterday.

But I think we of the peakist mentality have in fact taken technology into account. Bicycles are very good. And apparently, people are satisfied with movies, TV, internet and telephone as substitutes for airplane travel --which is getting to be such "last century" technology.

No, his statement is a strawman. Peak oilists have not said that the world would run out of oil between 1979 and 2009. Peak oil is about the rate of production reaching a maximum and declining, long before reaching the last drop.

But Yergin says it with authority

your link authority

The research, by Don Moore of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, shows that we prefer advice from a confident source, even to the point that we are willing to forgive a poor track record

certainly squares with my professional as well personal experience.

People want doctors who are confident, even if they are completely full of shit. In general,they distrust doctors who go look things up -- although there is that group who are impressed when I check something out on the Internet and give them a handout.

Well, we are all confident that Yergin is full of crap, but that doesn't seem to count for very much..

I suppose it is bad form for me to insert that despite 'controversy' about whether Peak Oil is a crock of baked sh]t or something that took place ten years ago (making it too late to do anything other than go back to sleep) is is indisputable that the price of oil has trended upward since 1999.

Consequently, at some inflection point oil will be considered too valuable to be used as a 'recreational' input, such as a general motor fuel.

Its greatest and best use would be to create polymers and new chemicals, perhaps propel fire trucks or ambulances. I think about this in the context of the Bruce Vandersteen's article on energy investing. I suspect one reason for the increased volatility is the swings between concepts; use for fun (where cheap oil has been the given for decades) and use as an industrial feedstock with too much value added long term potential to allow it to be simply wasted/burned up.

That to me suggests a slower price rise with a sharp leap from that point; a stair- step kind of thing ... when? I can't tell right away but soon ...

What Yergin is representing is the current viewpoint that oil is still to be wasted as that is all it is good for and consequently is cheap. Cheap oil ='s oil good only for wasting. This isn't even good economics and is self- immolating.

Regarding the DB toplink: "North Sea Oil: Norway’s Pumping, Britain’s Lagging"
..These players have been floored by the credit crisis. Strapped for cash, they’ve struggled to finance exploration. Many have deferred projects. A couple have gone bust.
I suggest they, and the other global producers, all get together to Webb/Pomerene hoard recovered-[S]ulfur to get a higher S-price/ton to provide an immediate and huge boost to their cash flow. No debt-funding and interest payments required--what more of an incentive do they need?

They are just basically giving away the yellow egg-yolk and trying to make a living off the shrinking, depleting egg-white. Or expending lots of energy killing some prey, but only eating the hide, hoofs, and horns, then leaving the meat and the nutritious, soft ribcage & belly organs for some other scavengers. Makes no sense to me..

Based on EIA data, Norway, since peaking in 2001, has shown a lower crude oil production decline rate than the UK, which peaked in 1999. Norway's observed crude production decline rate since 2001 has been -5.6%/year, versus -6.8%/year for the UK. At these rates of decline, Norway's crude production would fall by half in about 13 years, versus about 11 years for the UK. We are saved!

In any case, the UK is an interesting net export case history, since they have a very compact net export history--25 years of net oil exports from 1981 to 2005, inclusive. The EIA shows cumulative total liquids net exports over this time period of 6.3 Gb. In 1999, the UK was a major net oil exporter, (net) exporting 1.2 mbpd, with production of 3.0 mbpd and consumption of 1.8 mbpd (all total liquids). As of the end of 1999--their all time record high annual net export rate--care to guess how much of the 6.3 Gb had been (net) exported?

At the end of 1999, the UK had shipped 5.1 Gb. So, at their all time production peak, and at their all time peak net export rate, they only had 19% of their cumulative remaining net exports left, having already shipped 81%. Two years later, at the end of 2001, they were 90% depleted.

In terms of post-peak cumulative net oil exports, in just two years the UK had shipped 48% of post-1999 cumulative net oil exports (two years after Indonesia's final production peak in 1996, they had shipped 44% of post-1996 cumulative net oil exports).

I think that the rapid UK net exports decline rate is due to peaking with depletion in excess of 70% of URR - not the 50% myth normally claimed by peak oil theory.

Use the Energy Export data browser http://mazamascience.com/OilExport/ to see the shape of each country's production curve - if it peaked at 50% URR the area under the line pre-peak will equal the area under the line post-peak, rotate the image of total production about the peak to get some idea of what is actually happening to the post peak flow rates, in the case of the UK production is way below the line!

The use of new technologies likely caused a higher flow rate at peak and a much sharper decline than we might have expected, and because it is in expensive-to-operate-in seawater I expect there will be quite a sharp final cutoff of production - there won't be any low cost nodding donkeys pulling out oily brine for years and years.

If modern technologies have caused all regions to peak at >50% URR this doesn't bode well for the amount left to deliver at a profit on the post peak downslope.

With USA in a recession, rural Mexico feels the pain

PACULA, Mexico — Not long ago, this remote Mexican mountain town was in the middle of a construction boom — as families proudly built their American-style dream homes, using cash sent home by relatives working in the USA.

Work on those houses has stopped, leaving shiny steel rebar jutting awkwardly out of concrete walls all over this town of 4,500. Meanwhile, residents have been forced to cut back on staples such as rice and corn. Eggs, meat and milk are now out of reach for many families.

"Thank God, we haven't had anyone die of hunger yet," says Jesus Tello, 63, a farmer. "But things are getting harder and harder. People are living on beans."

"Before people started going to the United States, this town had straw houses and no cars," she says. "The economy of Pacula depends on those dollars."

Reading that made me think again of jitney service as a possible post-peak occupation. Even just a few miles from where I live there are houses up in the hills of the Chehalem valley where people might be hard pressed to deal with fuel shortages, being reliant on gas stations that might be too remote from a jobber to justify shipments if rationing were in effect.

How this would play out would vary greatly from locale to locale, also the effect of said rationing systems: a whole spectrum of variables, but in case perhaps it would be worthwhile to have a bus that you could put to service in such a situation, even if it turns out your customer base would be 50 miles from where you live. Presumably you could sleep in the thing near work while your family holds down the fort at home.

This would make an intriguing article or website. I can envision an interactive map with variables that would let you see the effects of a breakdown in the fuel distribution system; have no idea how to implement such a thing, unfortunately, and would require collating a lot of info on where fuel terminals are etc. I've done a bit of investigating into what you can do with AFVs, with a CNG car you're basically limited to 200 miles range unless said car is bi-fuel, and info on refueling stations is readily available, so you can form an idea of how far an AFV will get you on the highway.

Another approach would be to have a big flatbed truck with a series of tanks bolted to it, and be your own on-the-spot retailer. Both ideas are strictly verboten under current CDL codes, natch. Jobbers could always step in with their own delivery vehicles as well, I suppose.

I think that the key to any public transport system is going to be the set up of a network of transfer nodes. We don't have a letter carrier pick up a letter at your mailbox and transport it all of the way to its destination. It goes to a local post office, and then to a regional sorting facility, and then maybe to another regional sorting facility, and then to another post office, and finally is delivered by carrier to the final destination. We are going to have to transport people the same way. People can walk or bike or drive an NEV or take a taxi or jitney to their neighborhood transfer point, then take a shuttle van or bus or streetcar/tram to an area transfer point, and so on up the chain until they reach a main metropolitan depot, where they could embark upon an inter-city train. Long trips may require several transfers at cities along the way.

We have to be thinking in terms of multiple modes and multiple nodes; that is the only way that will work.

We also need to give some careful thought to those transfer nodes. If they are not under a roof and climate controlled, with good comfortable seating, clean functional restrooms, clean floors and walls, and - most important of all - a law enforcement presence to assure security, then they simply won't be used. People will resort to other, less energy efficient and more costly but also safer and less uncomfortable alternatives.

Establishing these transfer nodes could be a wonderful opportunity to strengthen local neighborhoods and metropolitan communities. These could be multi-use facilities. They could include meeting rooms for community groups and activities. They could be used as polling places for elections. There should certainly be bulletin boards and information kiosks. There could also be some partnership with some enterprising individuals to provide them with a natural and desirable business location. Each of these nodes could be an ideal place for some type of food service, ranging from the vendor selling hot dogs from a cart up to a small cafeteria or restaurant. These transit nodes have also always been good business locations for news stands, shoe-shine people, and convenience stores. I could see local farmers/market gardener markets setting up here as well, if adequate space were provided for them; maybe flea markets or arts & crafts fairs could set up on the days that the foodstuffs were not on sale. The possibilities are so extensive, and such nodes could become true focal points to draw the people in each neighborhood closer together.

We MUST be thinking along these lines.

Thanks for the reply WNC. Your list of musts for a transit node would be great but, just to relate how things are locally, in the last few years there have been scattered assaults on travelers disembarking the MAX Light Rail over in Gresham Oregon; this a quite populous satellite town of Portland that doesn't have a noticeably high crime rate, but gang members like to ride the rails and terrorize people. Police were put on board to maintain order in the aftermath of that, but there's little they can do to watch over passengers after they leave the stations. As with so many other issues this will likely require more community cooperation as budget revenues fall.

I had in mind people out in the hinterlands; many began to resort to vanpooling during the price run up last year, and I notice that employers can obtain Federal tax credits for setting up such a system. Even in its absence people can resort to van pooling simply to pool their money. I had an ad hoc MT system in mind with my post, you could obtain a 15 to 29 passenger bus for <$20k and use it as a charter vehicle in the interim; when peak oil strikes you have a readymade alternative to lack of fuel, or excessive prices. Whether nodal meeting places would make more sense than dedicated stops for each passenger (ala school buses) would be dependent on the local, I'd think. Again, such a system could be as flexible as the ridership demanded.

Of course you'll be paying the same fuel prices as everyone else, how much would passengers be able to bear? This is something I'd like to see analyzed in greater depth. It could be developed with muni government as part of a disaster preparedness program - beats resorting to school buses. And bets are it makes more sense as a post-peak line of work than, say, blacksmithing.

Exxon results hint at B.C. gas bonanza
The first results from Exxon Mobil Corp.'s (XOM-N65.22-0.75-1.14%) exploration of the large Horn River natural gas field in British Columbia suggest there could be even more gas in the area than previously predicted.


Geographically, the Exxon development looks to be very close to the tar sands. I would think that its development would likely significantly put off the chance of gas shortages for tar sands production.

Fort Nelson is in the northeast corner of BC and at the approximately same latitude as Ft. Mac. Out city is the nearest major(?) airport. It's damn cold up there in the winter and the local provincial bird is the mosquito. I've found that the farther north you go, the bigger and meaner the mosquitoes get.

There is not an NG pipeline between northern BC and Alberta. The line goes north-south to the U.S. border so we can sell (er, give away) the gas to the Yanks. We really wanted the current administration to re-open NAFTA so we could put this little NG gem on the table.

Lord help us, water is next...

U.S Trade deficit decreases, led by Petro products.
U.S Trade Deficit graph

Unless we can figure out how to produce stuff that other nations want to buy, the balance must eventually fall all of the way to zero. We won't be able to afford to buy imports much longer, because the rest of the world is becoming uninterested in accepting worthless slips of green paper in exchange for valuable goods.

Of course, a big part of those exports is oil. We have been talking about "energy independence" for thirty plus years now. Many people have been saying it is impossible and will never happen. They are wrong. It is indeed possible and will indeed happen, much sooner than they ever imagined. It just won't happen in the way that they intended, and it will happen in a way that is much more painful than anyone imagined.

Except for a trickle still flowing in from Canada, I anticipate that the US will have to be doing without any imported oil from the 2020s onward. Very few people (and none in the ranks of government, I fear) have given any thought to what that will be like, and what we are going to have to do to cope with that eventuality. I believe that, even at this late date, it is still possible for the US to make the adjustments necessary to survive - just. Forget aboout "prosperity", though. On total oil supply in the range of maybe 4-8 bbl/d (or less, and falling), that is not going to provide the basis for any kind of "prosperity".

Isn't that why "we" are in the Middle East -- to keep the oil flowing?

If you can't make it, you have to take it.

What is going to have to happen and I hope its not delayed too long is that we are simply going to have to quit destroying our last remaining resources. The renewable ones.

I am speaking of trees and also mountain tops and the biodiversity of our animal life.

Soon we will be reaching or already have , tipping points in all of these.

There will be nothing left to restart future lives with. Nothing.
Once more the logging trucks are rolling around here. Once more millions of trees are being decimated in Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky to feed pulp mils and lumber mills.

In southern Missoure whole valleys reek with the visible smoke of burning wood just to create BBQ charcoal for suburbanites pretending to be caveman and cook raw meat outside.

Though it sound dastardly I wish it would stop tomorrow. I don't care about the consequences..If you are not already along with your plans then your dead anyway eventually.

The remaining remnant needs something to live on. Right now woods and animal life are about the last resource one could count on in very bad times. We have already witnessed the die offs of much of nature. Now the renewables may become unrenewable soon. Even oak trees need a seed to reproduce.

Rant off.


Latest report from Statistics Canada advises that Alberta's unemployment rate is now 6.8%. http://ctv2.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090710.wjobs0710/b...

What's really killing Alberta is the low price for natural gas. Conventional oil can make money at $20/barrel, but the NG just keeps flooding the market.

The last two EIA weekly reports had NG injections into storage below average -- I am guessing that signifies a trend which was predicted in a post by Jon Freise.

LINK To Graph

I really don't know what to think about the North American NG market except that it is as insane as the stock market. I own mineral rights in the Medicine River field of central Alberta where we are pumping oil, and yesterday got a letter from a company who want to drill for NG in an adjacent quarter-section on a pooled basis.

I read in the news that drilling is shutting down in Alberta and yet everyone still seems mad about NG and coal-bed methane. Don't they read the news? Or do they know something I don't? While I believe in Peak Oil, I don't consider that we have hit Peak NG just yet. I would be interested in reading other TODers thoughts on Peak NG, yes or no.

The shale guys say we have centuries of NG, while Matt Simmons is concerned that NG supplies in North America will fall below demand as soon as the winter of 2010-2011. I suspect that Matt is more correct than the shale guys, but time will tell.

Hi WT, if the shale guys are looking for funding or are in well paid jobs then they probably need to keep spouting the mantra of continual growth otherwise they are out of a job.

“Exxon Unveils Big Canadian Natural Gas Field”


“Exxon is interested in all these projects because the amount of gas trapped in shales is enormous. The company estimates there are one quadrillion cubic feet of shale gas world-wide, equal to about a decade's worth of global natural-gas demand, though not all of that is currently recoverable”

exxon believes there is half the gas in place worldwide as what t boone pickens thinks is recoverable in the usa.

I think there is lots of available natural gas, but infrastructure and price are a problem.

If in retrospect today turns out to be a peak in natural gas production, it will be because of the financial situation, which is ultimately the result of oil production not growing.

Without oil growth there is not economic growth.

Without economic growth, there are huge debt defaults.

Huge debt defaults lead to financial problems of banks and others, and cut back in lending.

With less lending, businesses cut back, since they cannot finance new projects. People are also less able to buy houses and cars.

This reduces demand for natural gas, and holds price low.

Lower natural gas prices result in a reduction in natural gas supply, from what we identify as the demand side, but is really a secondary reaction to lack of growth in oil supply. Finances are what telegraph happenings in one sector (oil) to other sectors.

Somewhere was that review of the work by Doug Reynolds on the USSR crash. He did the granger causality test and found that the oil crash -> economic crash -> coal crash.

US industrial gas use is way down. And so is electrical power usage. Despite the low prices.

One wonders whether peak oil leads to peak everything, because of the financial linkage.

I know that after the big oil price crash (which seemed to be at least partly related to loss of credit), I found that pretty much all of the prices of fuels had dropped, even uranium. Many of the producers/miners had debt, and couldn't pay it back with the lower prices. So they quickly found ways to cut their losses--stop drilling new natural gas wells, stop opening new uranium mines, sell off assets if possible.

See The Impact of the Credit Crunch on Energy Markets - Oct. 4, 2008


Impact of the Credit Crunch on Energy Markets - Where are We Now/ - December 1, 2008

I don't know, but call me stupid. Doesn't it make sense that what we need is a form of good 'ol Texas Railroad Commission production and price control for NG production in N. America? Whether the shale plays are enormous, (from Gail and WT, I believe they are), or whatever their extraction rates, we need market stabilization and quasi production control. This current system isn't working and is counter-productive.

NG could very well form the basis of our energy systems and pricing over the next two to three decades, but it won't be effective if it moves up and down with commodity market forces and weather patterns. There has to be a baseline so the necessary infrastructure and manpower can be built and maintained. Furthermore, we need a consistent NG price to facilitate renewable energy systems.

If only I was the benevolent dictator for a day...

Hi Dale I don't know if you are holding mineral rights in a shallow gas or multi zone deep well area but the analysis of a Canadian Gas producer I own some shares of PEYTO showed some analysis that with the NEW Alberta royalty schemes for natty gas good thru 2011 that they could generate up to a 20% ROI on their deep multi zone wells with prices as low as $2.50 an mcf. The new royalty scheme started in April so I think that has re-invigorated the drilling a bit in Alberta.

Interesting. I didn't know the NG producers could make money that low. We have a bit of a gas cap on our well but of course it won't be drawn off until the oil is done with.

The implied net injection of 75 Bcf fell short of both the 5-year average injection of 90 Bcf and last year’s injection of 89 Bcf. Natural gas in storage is now 601 Bcf or 27 percent higher than year ago levels and 452 Bcf or 19 percent higher than the 5-year (2004-2008) average. At 2,796 Bcf, working gas stocks are at the second-highest level for any week in July since 1994.

Thanks! Reduced drilling is finally starting to show. And this lower injection (less surplus left after consumption) is with mild weather and the recession cutting the economy.


No, thank you. The Baker Hughes NG rig count is at 672 in today's report (down 16 from the last week).

Energy Futures Databrowser

I've recently become fascinated with energy futures as a reflection of current expectations. From recent news articles it seems like this topic is a hot one. To better understand energy futures and to study them as a proxy for our society's group-think energy awareness I have built an Energy Futures Databrowser. This databrowser allows one to peruse futures chains as they existed at different dates in the past.

This historical review of future predictions shows several things right off the bat:

  1. for the last month we've been in a steep and steepening contango
  2. for the last month we've had lots of volatility
  3. even long-dated futures are subject to volatility due to the latest 'news flash'

I only started assembling this data at the end of May so you can't go back very far. But the data are updated every day and I am hopeful that this kind of review will tell an increasingly interesting story as the months go by.

My personal interest in this data is as a scientist/historian trying to understand mass perception and changes in attitudes. If long dated futures rise quickly in the face of falling front month prices then I will know that at least traders have come to accept future shortages of oil.

No doubt this tool could also educate those wishing to trade energy futures. The obvious strategy would be to bet on volatility (economic, geopolitical, etc.) and buy long-dated futures when current events drive the entire chain down; sell them well before their due-date when current events drive the entire chain up; repeat ad pecuniam.

Happy Exploring!

-- Jon

Full disclosure -- I do not own or trade energy futures or stocks.

Russian President Medvedev Shows Off Sample Coin of New ‘World Currency’ at G-8 Bloomberg Story here)

Well then, time to update the ol' Rapture Index...

Maybe China will buy in...

China Fails to Attract Enough Buyers in Bill Sales

(Bloomberg) -- China failed to attract enough bidders in a government debt sale for a second time this week on speculation record bank lending will spark inflation in the world’s third-largest economy.

The Ministry of Finance sold 25.1 billion yuan ($3.7 billion) in bills of the 35 billion yuan it had sought, according to statements on the Web site of Chinabond, the nation’s biggest debt-clearing house. The government fell short of its target in a bond sale for the first time in almost six years on July 8.

California also failing to find buyers for its new IOU currency (Bloomberg story here).

Denninger had a lot to say about that.

SEC Destroys California

We need to get the late night talk show hosts to do a repeat of Johnny Carson's Toilet Paper Shortage Hoax. If people are short of toilet paper, there might actually be a demand for these California IOUs.

If I were to get hold of a gold coin, I'd show him what a sample of the real "new world currency" is going to look like. When our experiment in fiat currencies finally ends in total failure, we'll be going back to what has always worked in the past.

we'll be going back to what has always worked in the past.

Gold backed currency didn't work, it failed in the 1970s. The reason we went FIAT is because there isn't enough gold in the world to represent all the world's debt, let alone grow it exponentially.

Our FIAT currencies will eventually fail, they all do, but the world's population, economy and debt will have to shrink massively for gold to be in everybodys pockets again - perhaps that's what FIAT failure mode will be?

The proposed move away from the US$ as reserve seems to be gathering pace amongst creditor nations - if it happens it will be very serious for the USA, but solve a lot of other nation's problems.

IMO, there is enough gold. The trick will be adjusting to gold at $10,000, $100,000 or $1,000,000 per ounce. I have no idea the right number.

IMO, there is enough gold.

I'm afraid the world's bankers wouldn't agree with you. There wasn't enough gold in the 1970s - or the WORLD's banking system wouldn't have left the gold standard - to make things much worse, there is vastly more debt now thanks to FIAT currency and to the wonders of fractional reserve lending it permits, at leverage up to 50 or even 80 to 1.

Gold isn't worth $1,000,000 an ounce it's worth is what it costs to mine - it is just a rare commodity with next to no physical use that there isn't an alternate for - it is typically dug out of one hole in the ground then placed in another hole in the gropund. Speaking personally, gold has almost no value as I hardly consume any of it, I can easily live without it. It's not suitable as money as my local supermarket wouldn't accept it in payment as its not legal tender.

Gold is just like dollar bills, both represent value only because people agree that they have it - without that agreement there is no value. If you want something that is going to retain its value over time think what things you can't live without and that everybody will always agree on - there are other useful things, besides gold, that meet the criteria for money.

"Gold backed currency didn't work, it failed in the 1970s. The reason we went FIAT is because there isn't enough gold in the world to represent all the world's debt, let alone grow it exponentially."

So was it gold-backed currency that failed, or the world's ability to control debt?

Any monetary system that permits the charging of interest on debt must have growth - it is an 'as designed' part of the system.

However, if the expanding money supply is backed by gold (which is essentially a hardly-growing physical amount) eventually you run out of gold for that purpose (which is why usuary is banned in many societies, they learned their lessons long ago!)

I think if you had been holding lots of $ notes (receipts for a certain amount of deposited gold)and suddenly had all your gold stolen you would say it was the currency that failed - even gold backed currency fails if the PTB are crooks.

Your point about traditional societies that used gold banned usury makes my point that the currency could have survived if we didn't try to use if to support a system based on debt and limitless growth. The system failed the currency (and is now failing the living earth) before the currency failed.

The problem with a "hard" currency that is limited in supply is that it becomes the most valuable thing to hold and eventually will be hoarded into very concentrated large amounts to the enormous detriment of the masses. That is the whole idea behind time decay currency.
Barter will never allow this circumstance and on a very small scale, local that is, I will argue that a simple accounting system of IOUs will work best of all.
The reason I say this is because all the economic participants "know where each other live". Any dead beat welsher will be quickly excluded and collections are easy when you can find the perpetrator.
Large complex societies have a problem of obfuscation and anonymity that allows for fraud and theft if a trust based system of exchange is used.
I think that if money becomes the most valuable thing than you have the biggest problem of all. That is the most likely argument behind an expanding money supply.

I like the idea of decaying currency, perhaps something radioactive with a shortish half-life?

Gold has NEVER been in EVERYBODY'S pockets, and never will be. Gold standards have managed to work just fine in spite of the fact that most people rarely, if ever, actually get their hands on any gold. Gold is actually used only to intermediate the large-value transactions. Its main use is as a standard of value. Ordinary people have traditionally made due with silver, or some trade goods (like salt, from which our word "salary" comes). As long as the values of these are set relative to gold, they will work quite well for intermediating everyday transactions.

You are right, a relatively fixed money supply of gold cannot "keep up" with an exponential rate of growth of debt. Some people see that fact as a very good thing in gold's favor.

I've been using my oil royalties to buy physical gold and silver as a long-term store of value. Physical gold doesn't pay interest but it doesn't have to. A good blog about gold is www.goldseek.com for FAQs and news about bullion.

Precious metals are a confidence game in the sense that they have no or very little intrinsic value of utility. They have history on their side though.....
They also have all the attributes to be used as PHYSICAL money but they must circulate to be used as physical money.
If paper receipts are used for convenience sake then the same age old problems of fraud will always surface.
If you guys haven't already researched the history of gold as money then do it.
The gold smiths of the days of yore started issuing paper receipts for the deposits of gold they received from people that wanted a safe place to store their gold.
These were the first "banks" in the functional sense.
Well, guess what the smiths figured out?
They could issue way more paper than the amount of gold in the safe because no one would ever come and take possession of the gold.
They charged interest on the loans and paid NO interest on the gold. Hence the birth of the swindle known as fractional reserve banking.
So if it doesn't physically change hands in the economy it is simply not being used as money.

People here often speculate to what extent our elected representatives are aware of PO and the seriousness of this current economic mess. Many of us find hard to believe they could be as clueless as they appear; I've sometimes felt more or less sure that they're just feigning ignorance (and perhaps eventually coming up with some Bidenesque "nobody saw it coming").

Well, now the Finnish media report that our foreign minister Alexander Stubb has bought a new, presumably rather ostentatious, house and taken a 745,000 euro mortgage on it. He's basically a very educated man with excellent contacts in the EU inner circle and beyond. So I figure I, as well as many others, keep underestimating their cluelessness.

OTOH, perhaps he knows things we don't. That's even scarier!

I'm off to a local beer festival. Let's eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

Many of us find hard to believe they could be as clueless as they appear; I've sometimes felt more or less sure that they're just feigning ignorance

I used to think that, too. Until I saw the science quiz results.

Gardening 101.

Today was a very good day to harvest potatoes. That is if you planted them early enough.

The sign was Aquarius. A dry sign and good to harvest potatoes..you want them dry. And the moon is no longer full.

Also picked some okra,peppers, cucumbers and a bucket of blackberries for wine and jelly.

If you want fall potatoes then plant them when the sign is in the feet. Like this Sunday. or next month perhaps.

Also the soil was very dry and that is also a good time to harvest.
Placed in the barn to cure in the shade.
A dozen or so potatoes were starting to send out new growth so that will be my picks for the fall crop. I already have an intermediate crop in the ground as well.

I brought 10 lbs of Cobbler variety and nary a one broke ground. A total waste and IMO the garden suppliers are gouging and cheating the customers. Not a single shoot. Planted early spring.

But every one of those I saved from last year came up proper and I now have a half wheelbarrow of prime Pontiac Reds. Boil these with some of your new cabbage and you have Food of the Gods. Better with some cornbread of course. And buttermilk.

Perfect time to pull hardneck garlic. A bit later and the stem will break off and then you gotta dig it out. Scatter the seed heads around the edges of your garden too.

Airdale-also this is the time to NOT allow any weeds or grass to head out in your garden(meaning form a seed head) this will save you lots of work next season if you do not let grass or weed seeds fall on your garden soil. Also I find that tilling in a dry time just wastes your soil moisture. Hand pulling is the way to go. Get down on your knees and in the dirt like God wants you to and pull those suckers out. Too dry here to hoe and hoeing also deletes the moisture under the surface.

Just saying..........

Well, I'll be harvesting my potatoes in September, but that's the way it goes here in New Hampshire ;-)

Here it's time to get a last round of carrots planted, and green beans - I plant them between my garlic rows, and by the time the beans are starting to get crowded, it's time to pull the garlic. I plant salad greens all season long.

But you're right about getting down on hands and knees to get the job done. We've had really cool and wet weather the past month or so, and you couldn't really get in the garden much. Playing catch-up now...

My season is later as well.

Trying two stacks of tire potatoes.
First year of any sort of po's for me.
One stack has eyes from an old grocery bag of red po's.
The other stack are red po buttons from a mail order outfit.
The grocery po's are kicking the mail order po's butts.
Threw the second tire on the grocery po's last weekend.
Throwing more soil into it this weekend.
At this rate, it looks like one tire per month.

random tire potato link

Taters are fun to grow, and oh so tasty when home grown. I'm doing 4 different varieties this year. I dig a trench with my trusty azada and pile up the soil on either side. Toss in the seed potatoes, and slowly fill it in as they grow - each node throws off taters. What you're doing with the tires (we used to do it with hay bales) can be very effective, too. We used to call it a "potato reactor". :-)

I tried growing potatoes in tires, however, it didn't work out so well. I think the black rubber makes the soil temps higher and the potatoes don't care much for that in the mid-summer heat. If you are in a climate that has low temps during the summer, I think it would be a good idea. Anyway, don't try and harvest them too early, they grow the most during the last two months before the stalks die back.

I was weeding myself yesterday, Airdale. Definitely hand pulling time and since I use all raised beds, the soil is not compacted and weeds tend to come out easily anyway. But the heat is on in South Texas so most of the garden is now dormant, too hot to really continue growing. The exceptions are the tomatoes and cucumbers. I'll get my second planting started in September, to harvest in November/December.

[deleted - was supposed to be a reply to airdale, which it now is.]

It's been so wet here in the northeast that the local farmers don't have much to sell. The last couple of weeks at the farmer's market, there's been almost no produce. No vegetables at all. For fruit, there was only raspberries, cherries, currants, and last year's apples. I wondered if it was financial issues, but it seems to be the weather. A lot of vegetable plots are under water. Literally, not figuratively. It's orchard country here, and the vegetables tend to be planted the low areas, which typically get flooded in spring but then dry out. They haven't dried out this year.

Yes, it's pretty bad. In my garden, I didn't lose many plants, but they just went on hold. Best hopes for tomatoes this year!

The farmer's market here opens tomorrow. All we have at this time to sell are herbs, which my son will be vending. Potatos aren't quite ready to dig yet. The rules are getting more & more strict at the farmer's market. My son made tarragon vinegar to sell but they won't let him. Won't let my wife sell live aloe vera plants either. Can't sell eggs. Have been thinking of selling along the road & skipping the market. Will be awhile yet before chilis & tomatos are ripe, which are the real $$ makers.

What is the reason for the restrictions?

They sell all kinds of stuff here. Several restaurants sell prepared food. I've bought vinegars, breads, potted herbs, organic eggs and chicken, artisanal cheeses, and free range beef, as well as fruits and vegetables.

Liability primarily. No nursery license to sell potted plants. Can't sell processed foods unless they were prepared in an inspected & approved kitchen. They're clamping down. My son attended the pre-season venders' meeting & came home with a stack of regulations. Guy from the state was there warning about the consequences of reg violations. Sounded like he was trying to scare venders off. It seems to me like selling homegrown food is intentionally being driven into the underground economy.

Yeah, I can believe that. It's an increasing problem.

When I was a teen, we used to bake cookies and make jellies as fund raisers for various school clubs. We weren't allowed to sell them unless they were made in a state health-inspected kitchen. So we used the school's home ec kitchen, or used the kitchen at the local 4H Club, Elks' Club, etc. If your state or county extension service has a kitchen, they may let you use it free if you're a resident.

I think that the recent crackdown has been inspired by the Chinese melamine scandal. How can the US insist that Chinese authorities regulate their food industry if we don't do the same, line of reasoning. If someone came down with Salmonella food poisoning from eggs they purchased from me at the farmers' market, even tho they failed to cook the eggs properly, both me & the market could be sued. It's all leading to paranoia: If I'm going to sell produce I'd better do it surreptitiously & anonymously.

That's weird - where I am there are vendors selling not only veggies, but eggs, meat, and even homemade sausages (the guy said his wife makes it in their kitchen). Whatever the rules really are here, nobody is enforcing. Yet....

I have bought free range eggs, vinegar, honey, a variety of prepared sauces & garnishes, organic milk & meat, fish, cheeses and more at the farmer's market here.

They currently have a grant that gives $50 in tokens for $25 in food stamps to encourage low income people to shop there.

Best Hopes for more variety @ Farmer & Fisher Markets and fewer lawyers & regulations,


USGS Stream Gage maps give a nice overview of wet/dry conditions around the country; the wet NE sticks out, as does the very dry south Texas region.

Wisconsin is dry north of Madison, sandy soils here require a lot of irrigation.

Link up top: Eastern Aral Sea has shrunk by 80% since 2006: ESA

Water was diverted to grow cotton and now the cotton fields have salted up and are producing no more, less in some cases, than they did before the rivers were drained for irrigation.

The same thing is happening all over the world. Lake Chad in West Africa has suffered the same fate. Once the size of New Jersey is now a dried up mud hole about one twentieth its former size. Both the Aral Sea and Lake Chad once fed hundreds of thousands with their fish. Now the Aral Sea is too salty for fish. The area around the Aral Sea, once a fertile area with thousands of orchards and a huge population is now largely a sterile salt flat. The small towns that remain must have all their fresh water hauled in by truck.

Other pictures of the remains of the Aral Sea

I could write a book on other such places around the world. The carrying capacity of the earth is shrinking fast but the population is still growing. The earth's population is growing at about 70 million per year but her carrying capacity is shrinking much faster than that. And we are already deep into overshoot.

The only thing possibly worse than peak oil would be no peak oil.

Ron P.

Since the planet entered the interpluvial most lakes have been shrinking. The Great Salt Lake is a sorry remnant of Lake Bonneville, for instance. Lakes Winnipeg & Winnipegosis are meager relicts of proglacial Lake Agassiz. On the other hand, 12K yrs bp Lake Victoria was completely dry (making the cichlid radiation all that much more astounding). Human activity has merely accelerated the demise of Lake Chad & the Aral Sea. They were on their way out in any case. Lakes - with the exception of rift lakes, perhaps - are ephemeral features of the landscape.

Couldn't agree with you more re: carrying capacity & overshoot.

Lakes are formed by either glaciers or by continental drift action such as rifting or other seismic activity. All lakes eventually silt up or evaporate into salt beds as new lakes are formed. Both are very slow processes that usually takes many thousands of years. The Great Lakes, Lake Chad and the Aral Sea would have all...eventually...suffered this same fate.

Non glacerial lakes disappear at about the same rate as they are formed. This is far too slow a process to witness in one lifetime, or several lifetimes. Yet in only about half of my lifetime I have witnessed Lake Chad and the Aral Sea almost completely disappear. Other great bodies of water are also undergoing a similar process or are becoming so polluted that they breed mostly jellyfish.

Knowing that in many thousands of years the Aral sea would have eventually dried up anyway in no way makes me feel any better. The Aral sea was destroyed because they needed the water to grow cotton. Now the Aral Sea is gone and they are producing no more cotton then before. It is nothing but a damn waste and a damn shame.

Ron P.

Very good point Ron,
If people just can understand time scales, we could really start to universally acknowledge these problems. But since for a significant fraction of the population history only started 6000 years ago, I am afraid we will never convince everyone.

Other great bodies of water are also undergoing a similar process or are becoming so polluted that they breed mostly jellyfish.

To which bodies of water do you refer here? The only thing that came to mind is the fisheries of the Black Sea collapsing because a ctenophore called Mnemiopsis was accidentally introduced, ate all the fish larvae, and replaced all that fish biomass. But that was like 20 years ago?

Just in my life time, I've watched Walker Lake (left over from Lake Lahontan, that filled the western basin with Lake Bonneville filling the east) go from a vibrant fishery, to a polluted and increasly toxic mess.

I would not trust CERA to accurately estimate the amount of oil in a full quart can.

Does anyone have a link to a list of oil producing countries with peak dates for those known to have peaked?

A lot of the data is here: http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/5544

but not quite in the format I'm looking for.

I'm asking because I will happily put such a list together if it doesn't exist, but I don't want to replicate work that's been done already.

There's this (2nd chart), based on data up through 2006.

There's this (2nd chart), based on data up through 2006.

A good one. Result: the same amount of major oil producing countries growing and declining. In 2008: a lot of them on plateau production.

Theres some interesting graphs here


and also



A paper presented by A.M. Samsam Bakhtiari
at the International Oil Conference
(Copenhagen, Denmark --- December 10, 2003)

There is also a list on wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_oil#Peak_oil_for_individual_nations all dates have references and look about right to me.

Hope thats helpful.

Mish on Oil, and Peak Oil... (my emphasis added)

Technically and Fundamentally Oil Looks Weak

...Oil is subject to peak oil concerns, increasing demand from China, and speculative pressures. As such, in isolation, the price of oil is a poor measure for inflation regardless of what ones view of inflation and deflation is.

For traders, the technicals and the fundamentals both look weak.

Green shoots are withering on the vine, fuel supplies are rising, Crude oil supply far outstrips motorist demand, tankers at sea act as floating storage, and the technicals look awful. For now, that is what matters. Peak oil be damned.


Sounds about right.

Accidentally posted this in yesterday's DB too:

Editorial: Get that high-speed rail killer out of state budget

Innocently or not, a poison pill for California's high-speed rail project has been slipped into the state budget. Lawmakers have to remove it before a budget is signed into law, or else the project approved by voters will suffer a possibly irreversible setback. At a minimum, it's likely to cost the Bay Area more than $1 billion in federal stimulus dollars expected for the project.

A couple days ago, I spoke of a fellow Haligonian, Dave Carroll, and his sad tale of woe with respect to United Airlines. Well, four days after its launch, his youtube video has garnered worldwide media attention and generated, as at 23h25 AST today, more than 1.6 million hits (way to go, Dave!). Dave has posted a brief update at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ay7hFIYQFnw which confirms this man is a first class act.

The original video can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YGc4zOqozo


Watched it yesterday when it was 1.44 million views. Now there is democracy in action. Pretty good tune too! The airline employees (women) got me thinking though. Their portrayal wasn't too far off the mark whether it's United Airlines or Air Canada. Really, what can you expect from people working in a dying industry? Moral has got to be in the dumps.

I would suggest you give your flight attendant a hug today, but that would most certainly get you booted off the plane. What have we become?

I've only flown United once, from Halifax to Toronto, then onward to San Diego, returning via Pittsburgh. The first leg of the return trip arrived late and the crew identified the wrong connecting gate (I guess it had changed, but this information wasn't relayed on to us). As I'm running toward what I thought was the correct gate, I hear my name being paged to report to another gate at the opposite end of the terminal. At this point, I'm busting ass with two heavy laptop cases in tow and arrive just as the doors are being closed. So, I'm thinking, if I just made it in the nick of time, what about my luggage?

Sure enough, I land in Toronto and no luggage. It's after midnight and there's one United employee at the baggage counter. I explain that I'm staying overnight at a hotel and have no sundries. She agrees to provide a kit, but it's locked in an administrative office that's in another terminal and I'd have to wait until she's processed everyone else before she can retrieve it. It's another two hours before I jump a cab to my hotel and by the time I check in my room it's 03h00 in the morning -- three hours later, I have to be back at the airport to catch my return flight to Halifax.

Oh, there was an in-flight movie, but they didn't have any head phones. They showed it anyway because some passengers pack their own, so here I am trying to lipread Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt in Cheaper by the Dozen (in hindsight, the lack of audio could only enhance the film). I won't even bother to describe the food.