Guardian Raises Questions about Past IEA Forecasts of World Oil; New IEA Forecast is Out - With a Lower Forecast

Yesterday's Guardian raised questions about whether oil reserves published in the past by the IEA have been inflated.

Key oil figures were distorted by US pressure, says whistleblower

The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

The article makes several other points, including that the US has been encouraging understatement, and that the new 2009 forecast released today may still be overstated.

The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.

The allegations raise serious questions about the accuracy of the organisation's latest World Energy Outlook on oil demand and supply to be published tomorrow – which is used by the British and many other governments to help guide their wider energy and climate change policies.

One wonders whether similar pressures are put on the US Energy Information Administration. The article also talks about the possibility that we are "already in the 'peak oil' zone":

A second senior IEA source, who has now left but was also unwilling to give his name, said a key rule at the organisation was that it was "imperative not to anger the Americans" but the fact was that there was not as much oil in the world as had been admitted. "We have [already] entered the 'peak oil' zone. I think that the situation is really bad," he added.

Today, the IEA released its new World Energy Outlook 2009. The Oil Drum staff will be writing posts about it in coming days and weeks. This is a key graph from the press release packet, indicating the IEA is now seeing things through somewhat less rosy glasses, but still views world oil supply with more optimism than we would:

The new report also indicates that non OPEC production is peaking, with this statement:

"As conventional oil production in countries not belonging to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) peaks around 2010, most of the increase in output would need to come from OPEC countries, which hold the bulk of remaining recoverable conventional oil resources."

same at the EIA:

“There are many compelling arguments regarding the increased difficulty in reaching oil reserves which may well result in a future view of historical production that looks sort of like a bell curve. And, it is quite plausible that the peak of that curve is around now.”

Stephen Harvey, Director of the Oil and Gas Office at EIA, who supervises the Petroleum Division and the Reserves & Production Division

In one report, the IEA says we need to spend 1 trillion dollars to reduce the effects of CO2 emissions. In another, it bemoans falling investment of 100 billion a year in the oil patch. In another, they predict oil will be $100/bbl in 2020. But they say we need to invest a trillion more to produce oil, but we aren't.

Obviously, they don't even read their own material or think. If investment is short, the oil won't be produced, so oil won't be $100/bbl in 2020 but many times higher. If 100 to 150 billion dollars is diverted elsewhere every year to fund greenie projects, that is even less money to continue producing oil. Meanwhile all those third world economies on the brink on 'not being able to afford oil' are already history, so sending them solar cells isn't going to help. OR sending them electric cars they can't afford, or have to power to run.

It's amazing how big a pretzel the EIA is - so convoluted in thinking it can't produce consistent materials.

It's turned into a political machine.

IEA is by definition a political machine. A watchdog trying to influence energy politics. That is one of it's purposes.

As for their scenarios, they are not trying to predict the future.

They are playing scenarios. Different thing.

They make different scenarios, under different circumstances.

Then they assume that the politicians and the market will select the one with least amount of economic pain.

Then they calculate trajectories based on current trends and compare to the assumed reference (or optimal) scenarios.

From these rise the aforementioned differences.

Of course they will not all play out at the same time.

That's just the point of scenarios:

IF you choose A and X develops, you may have to pay B

IF however you choose B and Y developd, you may have to pay C


Contingencies is what it's all about.

Not to say they can't be wrong and aren't. Anything about future is inherently false.

It's just a matter of how much and whether 'by design' (intent) or from 'human error' (not knowing).

In the case of IEA, it's probably a bit of both, especially if the whistleblower news are true.

Anything about future is inherently false.

I would say instead that anything about the future has varying degrees of uncertainty.

You make you're argument like like Donald Rumsfeld would.

You said it , buddy.
This is yet one more example of the reason I remain philosophically a conservative-once a job is left up to the govt, it is all too easy for the agency responsible for a given job to be captured , nuetered and carried around like one of those little accessory doggies in Paris Hiltons purse.

The USGS HAD TO ADMIT SOME TIME AGO THAT THEY SIMPLY MADE UP OUT OF THIN AIR thier fff production projections , simply aping the lead of the economists.

Of course those in the liberal camp have FAITH and don't need rational or accurate figures , so long as they come down as HOLY WRIT from thier favorite diety-Uncle Sam.The figures and speeches need not be any more reality based than any Sunday school lesson in geology.

And those at the other end of the spectrum are perfectly willing to accept such figures SO LONG as they are used to BACK UP the sermons of THIER ministers-the cornucopian economists.The right wingers who might actually be in a position to ask questions won't-thier livelihood depends upon the continuation of the status quo.

Neither side need be told a coherent story-the public at large is as easily lead around by its collective nose as any little flock of snake handlers in the back woods of Arkansaw.

In a non corporate non socialist world with a small government the public might just have enough attention span available to focus on real issues occasionally and reporters might just have few enough opportunities to write big stories that they would do a little dogging on thier own in such affairs.Maybe the occasional true warnings coming from serious researchers wouldn't be lost in the noise.

Maybe I just need to get over it and accept reality and take my soma like a good citizen.

It is simply appalling how few people are capable of thinking rationally about more than one or two subjects with which they happen to be well acquainted.

Greenish, Dave-I expect you guys will see this.I have come around to your pov as far as posting what I actually think about religions IN THIS FORUM.But we should still be as diplomatic as possible in others if course.

The facts are becoming increasingly clear and I am beginning to think that maybe Memmel has a better gut feel for the situation than anybody else here-I have been reluctant to stick my neck out and personally predict (such a prediction would be a wagon my part in terms of science but founded on insight in terms of history and crowd psychology) a fast collapse of oil production in the near future as the result of my own wishful thinking-I need to get some more things accomplished and if possible put aside a few more bucks before tshtf and wishful thinking affects me as well as others.But after reading lots of history and tone of serious literature I must say that it looks as if the wheel of history is fixing to roll right over our toes again -and we never see it coming, collectively.

I am reminded of a pungent saying often expressed here in the hills when someone is guilty of niave wishful thinking-wish in one hand, xxxx (defecate) in the other and see which one gets full quicker.

I think we will be remembering hundred dollar oil fondly as part of the good old days within two or three years.

All this talk of demand destruction is nothing more than hot air in terms of demand versus likely future production but it is a useful new tune that might serve to keep the cows quiet for a little while longer.

Refugees from the old USSR often mention reading the controlled press in that country not for what was said but what was not said or for what might be inadvertly mentioned.

As I see it the recent piece in the SA will be read by those with serious reading and thiinking skills in this same fashion-not as a picture of the glorious visions of our fearless leaders but as a damning indictment of thier fears of the end of the oil and coal age.

So maybe the editors there are doing the best they can-if they want to keep thier jobs, that is.There are one heck of a lot of ads in that magazine and if it loses them .....


Well, they had to get their projections from somewhere, and having worked for companies which drilled oil wells in most of the areas which they think their future production is going to come from, I had to conclude that they were talking about some different planet than I was familiar with.

Definitely not this planet.

Thanks for the insight. Can you be a bit more specific about what you have seen versus what the official reports show? We here all highly value those with real world knowledge of facts on the ground, and we appreciate any further info you can share.

They produced a wonderful study indicating that 25% of the world's oil reserves were in the arctic. As it happens, I worked for a company that ran a drilling fleet of 26 vessels in the Canadian Arctic Ocean for a decade or so. We also drilled a lot of wells in the MacKenzie Delta, and ran seismic surveys off the coast of Greenland. Some people I knew also got involved in Russian oil exploration, which was mostly an exercise in fighting Russian bureaucracy.

While we found a lot of interesting things, we didn't find any commercial amounts of oil. It's drastically different from the Gulf of Mexico, which is what I assume the USGS is comparing it to. There's oil, but not enough to justify the costs.

There's lots of natural gas, some tar sands, and some huge diamond deposits (now, that's what any geologist with a fully functional crystal ball would have gone after had they only known). But not much oil.

Thanks much. Diamonds! Very interesting. Perhaps this pushes peak diamonds back a few years?? ;)

We are going to disagree about some things, but this kind of first-hand info is very valuable and interesting. As the ice melts up there, I imagine there are on-going exploration attempts. Do you know if these have found anything more promising?

Canada is now one of the worlds largest producers of diamonds, and peak diamonds is not going to be a problem in the foreseeable future. And the Inuit of Northern Canada would like to thank all the newlyweds for their money, it's so much easier to drive a 400-ton truck in a diamond mine than to spear seals for a living.

As the ice melts up there, no more oil has formed. It is still pretty bad.

However, people are buying up port facilities on the Arctic Ocean. They're anticipating shippers will start to shortcut across the Arctic Ocean between Western Europe, Eastern Asia, and Northern Canada.

A German cargo ship did a traverse of the Northeast Passage north of Russia this summer. Look for more of that to happen in future. (If the arctic ice pack continues to break up.)

Perhaps this pushes peak diamonds back a few years?? ;)

But the real question is, do diamonds burn more cleanly than coal? ;-)

Haven't you heard? Diamonds are forever :)

Eternalene $4,555/ gallon.

The USGS HAD TO ADMIT SOME TIME AGO THAT THEY SIMPLY MADE UP OUT OF THIN AIR thier fff production projections , simply aping the lead of the economists.

Actually Mac they did not pull the numbers out of thin air. They guessed at what percentage the US economy would grow, and at what percentage the World economy would grow, then they guessed at what demand would be in such an economy. Then that is the number they predicted would be produced. They figured that production would automatically increase to meet demand.

Well hell, that is what they had done for decades, why should they change now? After all every economist knows that supply always rises to meet demand.

Ron P.


You are technically correct as usual.

But my comment is perfectly accurate nevertheless and in the proper spirit of the subject at hand it's


I've been dropping the odd email to a local gentleman who gives daily/nightly economic updates/opinions on all forms of media (also has his own weekend radio-show in MS). He's always taken the time to reply.

I received this response yesterday from him on the above story (link was at Chris Martenson's site)...

"There are many conspiracy theories surrounding the imminent decline in the oil supply – yet petrol keeps reappearing, week after week!
In Iraq, for example, there are immense untapped reserves which will soon be exploited.
Still, one can never be complacent. Our CPRS/ETS is a much bigger threat to energy supply in the short to medium term, as one or two of Vic’s brown coal plants could easily go broke.
All the best, ..."

So I guess as long as the US treads water, all will be well. Few seem to believe otherwise. And seeing is believing, right?

Regards, Matt B
Two teenagers now, and still worried for them!

After all every economist knows that supply always rises to meet demand.

Henry Farrel over at Crookedtimber had a wonderful quote about that. He says it was from the SciFi writers Fred Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth:
"The Conservationists were fair game, those wild eyed zealots who pretended modern civilization was in some way “plundering” our planet. Preposterous stuff. Science is always a step ahead of the failure of natural resources. After all, when real meat got scarce, we had soyaburgers ready. When oil ran low, technology developed the pedicab."
I love that part about inventing the pedicab!

So much of economics is based on false ideas. More black swans are waiting. Unfortunately nobody will accept the idea of PO until it is too late.

"Demand creates it's own supply". That's brilliant! It should be good for one of those "Nobel" prizes in Economics! All of the world's problems, solved forever!!

Let's see, I think I'll start off by "demanding" a million dollars. OK, let's see the supply! Where is it? Oh, maybe I need to look the same place where the IEA and EIA found their "supplies"? Or maybe that snazzy "replicator" thingy I saw on "Star Trek"?

A variant on OFMs Hill Billy wisdom.
Put demand in one hand and Sh#t in the other and see which one fills up first.

Just for fun..

Let's assume world economic growth continues/resumes until by 2040, a planet of 9 billion people consumes the same oil per capita as Europe does now:

1 million barrels/day per 30 million people (roughly)

= 300 million barrels/day.

If everyone had US consumption levels, that figure would be 600 million barrels/day.

Now, in order to believe that those figures were possible, you'd have to be a really highly trained economist..

We must be careful in who we deem "blamable".
I keep seeing disturbing posts on the blogs, that needs to calm down a bit.
Most are removed, from the boards, but I have NO DOUBT the sentiments of the writer, remain.

Blaming Government, MOSSAD, USGS, CIA, MI-6, or "Big media" or any other "agencies" is childish at best, and definitely dangerous . We -MUST NOT- speak vague AND aggressive, words towards whole groups of people that may, or may not, be responsible for some part.

NOTHING is stopping any of us from going on a "gorilla marketing campaign", with a few $1 cans of spray paint, used with zeal, in highly visible places reading "Google peak oil".

The reason that people DON’T know about this, is because NO ONE has yet told them.
And if we did, we failed to make them understand the severity.

People ARE speaking out, and have been!
Jimmy carter addresses America regarding peak oil:
Matt Simmons on Bloomberg:
T. Boone Pickens on CNBC Discussing Peak Oil:
I could offer a heck of a lot more examples...

There is a reason, that we, who believe in peak oil are considered a "fringe group".
We have simply failed, to make our argument quickly explainable.
And when we do, many of us sound like VERY cynical, conspiracy-theorists.

That is not the fault of any government, media, or any other entity.
It is ours.

Just watched the Carter video, then read the first dozen comments. Strewth! Is PO even *worth* explaining to my fellow Joes and Janes?

Regards, Matt B

One should never read youtube comments. It's better to remain ignorant abut that underclass.

Hi Blue,

Interesting. I'm all for responsibility, and, at the same time want to ask "Who's the 'we'?"

I'd like to share an example.

I spent a huge amount of time working to bring a peak oil speaker here. In addition, Robert Hirsch spoke here a year ago in the Spring, to an audience of local government and non-profit leaders.

Two weeks ago, a local radio host interviewed a local City Council member about how fantastic it is that the City will spend more than 10 million dollars to remodel the local airline terminal.

The radio host had himself interviewed none other than Jeffrey Brown, at length.

The City Council person had not only heard Robert Hirsch speak, but had engaged in conversation followed by several email exchanges with yours truly, who supplied beautiful, simple arguments, along with gorgeous references, and a kind and calm demeanor, if I do say so myself.

Nevertheless, it was as though none of these things had happened at all.

The facts of "peak" simply get put somewhere - I don't know where. In an inaccessible corner of the minds of people such as these two.

I tried my very best.

It's like nothing.

The "us" and "we" Im talking about is everyone here. I think we all have good intentions. We all want to save lives. We all DEEPLY want to prevent human suffering.

Peak oil is a terrible concept.
We know something, that is not mainstream. A terrible responsibility is upon us.

I am as frustrated, upset, angry, sad, and motivated, as anyone else here. My point is only that we need to focus. We need to be productive. We are all afraid, if not terrified, with regards to what will happen to our lives. let alone, the lives of those around us.

I understand this is a good place to vent. Everyone here understands what we face, to some degree. We know a lot of people are going to suffer, a lot more, are going to die. When I read the more hateful/hurtful/arrogant comments, I know those words will only serve to increase misunderstanding, division, hate, and distraction.

We need to save the world. It wont be easy, but...
We are smart people, this should only be a modest goal.

I tried my very best.

It's like nothing.

It's much worse than that the forces for BAU are working harder than ever!

I sent this letter in angry protest of a 100 million dollar proposed project to place a major hotel franchise with garage, restaurant and business complex to promote my sleepy beach town as a quasi Disney Land destination. I have removed the addresses and the names of the addressees.

Dear Mayor , Vice Mayor and respected Comissioners of the city of...

I recently had the opportunity to watch the entire taped Johnson Street RFP Developer Interviews, To be frank, as a resident of our town I was quite dismayed and discouraged by the direction the city of ... seems to be taking with the proposed development of the beach front property at Johnson Street.

What I find particularly disappointing is that you, our leaders, seem to show almost no understanding of the predicaments and dilemmas that we as a society are facing.

To wit, our current economic problems and what underlies them.

Either that, or you have chosen to ignore reality. By reality I refer to fundamental laws of nature based on physics, chemistry and biology as describe by the language of mathematics and studied in systems analysis.

We are currently at the boundary of various tipping points the consequences of which can only adequately be studied and explained by chaos theory, non linear dynamics and an in depth understanding of multiple synergistic feedback loops.

It seems to me that you all have a firm belief in the return of business as usual i.e. economic recovery and continued economic growth. This I'm afraid is either the consequence of profound ignorance or a delusional denial of the abundantly available empirical evidence to the contrary. Hopefully it is not due to a blind adherence to an agenda based on the fact that your salaries depend on the maintenance of the status quo.

Forgive me if I sound a bit harsh, it is not my intention to denigrate your characters, however I believe we are on the wrong path. I do not of course, expect you to take my word on any of this.

If I may, I would strongly urge you to take the time to read, at least this one recent post, on "The Oil Drum". Please do a bit of background checking to find out who these people are and why they are saying these things:

Dr. Albert Bartlett's "Laws of Sustainability"

What you are proposing to do on the beach is a blatant misallocation of resources that could be applied in more rational and productive ways. I would hope that you at least think deeply about these issues.


Fred Magyar

I'd pick significantly different wording on two points:
1. You tell a politician that (s)he has "almost no understanding" of something;
2. You mention Peak Oil... "please do a bit of research..."

First of all, politicians understand everything. If they wanted to be told they were wrong, they'd have chosen a different line of work. So I'd start off by agreeing with them, with a hitch:

"Your idea for this hotel megaproject is great, but a bit premature. With the economic recovery as precarious as it is, we need to focus on increasing the resilience of our town during hard economic times, and work on the megaproject in a decade or so when our economic foundation is stronger."

or some such drivel. For politicians, everything's got to look positive: they're doing such a great job under trying circumstances. At this point, it would be wise to have a number of tangible good ideas that even a politican could understand, that might be workable instead of the megaproject. What these are will depend on the characteristics particular to your sleepy beach town. A central venue for a local farmers' market? Some community resource centre-or-other? Or maybe they just need to fix something now while they can (my city really needs to upgrade its storm-runoff vs. sewage system for instance). Show that whatever you propose instead of the hotel megaproject (a) builds resilience during hard economic times, (b) benefits the community, and (c) is good for business (say it's good for business no matter what the idea), whereas the megaproject is (a') too dependent on the macroeconomy, (b') only benefits a handful of developers, and (c') is too financially risky. Tangible ideas that might win votes are easier to understand than Big Ideas like...

...Peak Oil. There's the second point I'd like to address. Like natural selection, regulating the internet, the Big Bang, electoral system reform, and even climate change, PO is a Big Idea which, like it or not, mobilizes people's defenses against having to accept new information and possibly change one's mind. If they've heard of it before (most Big Ideas aren't as mainstream as climate change) they've likely already created preconceptions about it. For them, PO might be the domain of lunatic end-of-worlders or granola-crunching Luddites, for instance.

The challenge is to craft the letter without mentioning the Big Idea, but leading the politician in that general direction, in baby steps. Too strong a push, and they'll resist and won't budge. Even the "please do a bit of background checking" part... politicians know it all already. They've got people to check facts for them. Being on the "boundary of various tipping points," while true, is the last thing a politician wants to hear. And "synergistic feedback loops"?!? They won't understand. They'll just understand the small ideas, and voters' grievances: high gas prices, yadda yadda. Node 5925 can be pretty heavy reading and needs to be fork-and-knifed into more manageable chunks if you intend to goad a politician into trying a piece.

Good on you to have written that letter -- now if only I get off my tusch and do the same thing...

Hi Mac,

Greenish, Dave-I expect you guys will see this.I have come around to your pov as far as posting what I actually think about religions IN THIS FORUM.

It seems a few of the faithful have decided to evangelize on TOD whenever a few of us try to analyze underlying causes for our collective inablility to react rationally to clear warning signs. So, it is probably counter productive to provide them a platform. It's pointless to attempt useful debate when quotes from the supernatual world are offered as evidence.

You said it , buddy.
This is yet one more example of the reason I remain philosophically a conservative-once a job is left up to the govt, it is all too easy for the agency responsible for a given job to be captured , nuetered and carried around like one of those little accessory doggies in Paris Hiltons purse.

And do you know why so-called "liberals" remain philosophically "liberal?"

We fully expect the government to F things UBAR, but, we know that the alternative - supposedly "free" markets - will do it even worse.



I am basically in complete agreement with youalthough sometimes in my opinion is it govt that can make the greater mess of things.

My vision of conservatism is liberterian , small business, small government, self reliant.

A small government might not be able to provide benefits on such a scale as Medicare for present day consumers (my parents, me soon) at the expense of my nieces and nephews but niether could it support a standing military industrial complex .

It could not subsidize General Motors nor could it create a financial bubble by createing monstrosities such as Fanny and Freddy.

It could support education and a good piblic health service-and I have it on the authority of several good doctors that if the choice between a healthy long happy life is between getting some exercise and eating right OR thier services and Medicare , living right to start with is a hands down winner.

A truly conservative elected govt would not allow a corporation to have an immortal life, or a person to accumulate a fortune so vast that he controls entire communities and industries as medevial property.

This is because a conservative realizes that whatever has happened in the past will happen again-and that while his chance of becoming an overlord is slim indeed , his chance of becoming an underling is great.

With this single concept in mind, combined with democracy, of avoiding becoming an underling-a serf-conservatism in the true liberterian sense is a coherent way of thinking.

Of course the capitalists have by hoodwinking the more conservative little people beem able to establish themselves as our masters just about as well as the communists in the old USSR or any king of old.

Of course a good exposition of this philosophy is beyond my ability to condense it to a few words.

What we need is a truly well educated populace that is ENGAGED in day to day affairs of public life to make sure nobody or group is able, individually or collectively, to gain control over the people.

Certainly there are some things that need to be the province of govt,and the govyt must be large enough and powerful enough to take care of those things.

But the govt looks after itself first-just like the king.

Every single person I know who works for the govt-and I know quite a few-is paid better than his counterpart in private life in relation to his responsibility.Every single one has a better retirement account and a better health care plan.Every single one is less likely to lose his job.
We hear a lot abouit public servants but I have been among them and they are like the rest of us-out to get as much as possible with as little effort as possible, with some notable exceptions of course, such as the occasional teacher who puts in long hours.

And just about every politician of every stripe is ready , willing, and eager to sell his vote to provide somebody a benefit today at everyone elses enpense tomorrow.

The environmentally conscious thinkers on this site may for the most part have arrived at thier conclusions by a far different route but we are headed towards the same goals in many respects-a scaled down world where the real interests of the common man are the yardstick by which policy is debated and implemented.

The writing of Jefferson are a good introduction to these thoughts. For a quick peak at something more modern , and coming from someone in a position to know, try Dwight Eisenhowers speech about the military industrial complex.

tegir: all those third world economies on the brink on ´not being able to afford oil´are already history

What exactly do you mean by this? Please explain, because it definitely sounds like you think helping third world countries is not worth the effort.

It would be a nice start if the global north would just stop its centuries-long habit of raping the global south. About twenty five thousand dollars a minute flows from subsaharan Africa to northern creditors--much more than the north send there as "aid" (mostly in ag products being dumped there to prop up crop prices).

A lot of schools, family planning, health care...could be paid for with those funds.

Most in the developed world are unaware of this ongoing piracy of the south by the developed world and so patronizingly assume that all their problems are self inflicted and without the great white hope they will wither. People of course tend to choose views of reality that put themselves in the best light and others in the worst, so this delusion will likely continue no matter how far from reality it strays.

For the record it is precisely those third world countries that would probably benefit the most from technologies such as solar because they do not yet have the energy expectations of the first world and would be better able to adapt what to them would be an upgrade in available energy.

A few panels and batteries with some LED lighting a small 12 volt refrigerator and a cell phone charger,a radio, a solar hot water heater and a solar oven and they don't have to burn fuel such as coal or trees and they have light, heat, refrigeration and communication. To them this is progress!

It would be nice if we could also convince them not to use this electricity to run commercial tv's that effectively entice people into the madness of a consumer society.

The most important things the developed world can do for the un- is:

1) to stop ripping them off, undermining their governments and economies (see "Confession of an Economic Hit Man") and invading them,

and 2) to offer cautionary warnings that they would be ill-served to follow us down our high-consumption, low-satisfaction path.

I agree whole heartedly.Having caught the tail end of the life lived by the real old timers here such as AIRDALE I can distinctly remember the old women in my family cracking jokes about convenience food-such being a DEAD chicken.Murdering and disembowelling the chicken was gererally my job once I was old enough to be trusted with the 22.

Even a very modest amount of electric power can be a real game changer-My Granny used to sew far into the night in the winter time once she got electric lights-and she owned one of the first electric sewing machines, a very heavy duty commercial model.Old Pa made axe and hammer handles while she sewed and one our our nieghbors made chairs as a regular thing.They earned very little per hour but as this was extra money-marginal money- above and beyond living expenses it went a long way ,enabling them to purchase more land and better equipment.

I just read a piece a few days ago somewhere that indicates a television is worth as much as several years schooling in lowering birth rates among poor third world women-apparently they emulate thier soap opera heros.

And just about the first thing third world families get after they have an electric light is a tv-even sooner than a refrigerator.And even a small pv panel and a couple of cheap batteries will run a small tv for hours easily.

Fwiw-I recently ran a down and dirty experiment by insulating all but the cooking surface of a very small wood stove-one I made to use once upon a time as a portable warmer when working outside.

Anybody who needs to cook with wood or any solid biofuel in short supply could make one easily, or hire it made cheaply.Insulating it cut the amount of fuel needed by about half.

If anyone is interested I can post the details.

Ah, the joys of farm life.

I can remember the first time my father said to me, "Son, how would you like a nice chicken for dinner? Here's the ax, there's the chicken."

However, killing a chicken didn't upset me since I had always hated chickens since one knocked me down and pecked me in the head when I was very, very young.

Ah, the joys of farm life.

I can hear our rooster hollering to be let out of the coop right now. Thirteen hens and a rooster keep us in eggs and when we culled the roosters we got to begin with we had 9 of the tenderest young chickens in the freezer. Next spring we will begin a new cycle with letting a broody hen hatch out the next generation of layers. Making a farm on 2 acres is an exercise in space utilization. My wife has been an organic gardener professionally for a decade and a half, so we are pretty much beyond the experimental stage, but the dome greenhouse, giving us a 12 month growing season does present some new challenges along with broccoli in December and fresh greens all winter long. Looks like pigs and goats next year and I'll be building a cold-storage room in the basement this winter.

In making my living helping people stay safe with their woodstoves and chimneys I have some ready listeners to talk to about peak oil, which I do whenever I detect an opening.

OFM you should email me about the chimney you mentioned some time ago that you want to put up...

I sincerely pity all of the millions of young boys who are growing up without ever having once been treated to the experience of actually seeing a chicken run around with its head cut off. They are surely living deprived lives.

Yes, those of us who have had to patiently wait for our chicken dinner while our decapitated meal ran around and around and around in circles realize that it doesn't take a lot of brains to be a chicken. You begin to realize that there's a fundamental difference between us and our food - we're a lot smarter than our food. Most of us.

Here's a Wikipedia article on Mike the Headless Chicken, who survived for 18 months after his head was chopped off:

Mike was reportedly an extremely happy chicken, proving that you don't need brains to be happy, and managed to gain a lot of weight, in general showing a lot of similarity to the people I see in fast-food restaurants.

They still celebrate Mike's brainless life in Fruita, Colorado with the annual Run Like a Headless Chicken Race, among other things.

Mike the Headless Chicken Festival is the third weekend in May. Mark it on your calendar.

Ah I can see it in my minds eye just as clearly as though it were happening today.

My grandmother(I called her Mammy and my grandfather I called Pappy) as we all did then.

She had a very nice henhouse and lots of chickens. It was like she really enjoyed putting some cracked corn in her ever present apron and walking out in the yard. She would call the chickens...CHICK CHICK CHICK...and they came running as she sprinkled the corn on the ground.

She would eye a nice fryer and grab it real fast. Walk away a bit and grab its head. Give it a fast twist of her wrists and the head would depart. Throw it on the ground til it stopped flopping around.
Scald it with boiling water and pluck the feathers right then and there. It came out perfect.

In an hour she would have it cut up and frying for dinner (noon day meal--the biggest meal of the day).Make some gravy and left over biscuits from breakfast.Potatoes and green beans or Great Northern white beans.

Some damn good eating. I would grab a cutoff leg..find the tendon that actuated the claws and go out behind one of my uncles. Put the claws up behind his ear and jerk the tendon.

Course I got cussed out but all the others laying about on the porch got a good laugh.

Another favorite was playing with a hog bladder. You can make some real disgusting sounds with a hog bladder by holding the output side after blowing it up and letting the air escape in just the right manner. Also good to hit girl cousins in the head with.

I can also post details, like OFM , on best uses of a hog bladder. But who can get holt of one these dayse?

Airdale-fresh hen eggs right outen the hen...good country cured ham and Martha White biscuits.
Now back to OIL,OIL and more OIL.OFM always gets me started on something.

Ah, OldFarmerMac, Airdale and the boys ... the hillbilly backbone of TOD :¬)

On another subject, I see that this report is creating waves on forums and blogs all over the net. PO is suddenly on a lot of people's radars.

If you care to post an address I will send you a nice big one in a styrofoam box filled with dry ice sometime in December.

But I doubt if the girls will find it funny at thier current ages, although you and I might-men's sense of humor tends to hold up better about this sort of thing.

If anybody here wants to post them some place I other than here I can supply them with a large set of digital photos with running commentary when we butcher next month, but my computer skills are poor so I would just email them or mail the flash drive out of the camera.

I'm too old to be bothered learning much more about computers, excepting running diagnostics for machinery which I actually need to do occasionally.Poorly, I must add, but after a while I generally get the job done.

I'd be interested in seeing those details on the insulated stove. If you have any ideas about making it a quick disconnect that would also be useful--meaning it's one stove that does the heating but during certain times could be girded up for efficient cooking.

BTY, I had to take the chickens out at the first real snowfall since we did most of the flock at once. Me, an axe, and a stump. You'd be amazed at how well a chicken with half a brain stem can ambulate!


If it's any consolation, the fires of hell won't be oil burners!

Jw drop me an email at

Shot a rooster yesterday with a 22.

Plus no need for a grid.
I think that is a big benefit of solar or on site wind.
For that matter wireless everything comm wise as well.

Exactely! India has just such a program. They simply sell a solar cell and a led lamp. For the rural indians this means they no longer need to buy oil which is a very expensive commodity for them. In some case, this allow them to work at night or study.

When we get to 2020 and oil production is still no higher than 83 mbpd, then they will make up something like - "We have just not fully developed the oil fields yet......"
As long as the general public believes that there is more oil to be found, they will not panic. Peak Panic in 2013!

The 2/3 of the total needed in new finds is utterly absurd.
We have not even found 1/3 more since 40 years ago.
I guess we will have to start importing oil from another planet :)


where did you get this statement from?

I was wondering why TOD hadn't published a full article on this story. What a scam the whole system is. In trying to avoid panic buying, what they have done in effect is to virtually guarantee a death spiral as hardly any investment has gone into alternatives. The graph showing oil production in 2030 from fields yet to be found is so out of touch with reality that the authors were possibly high on HOPIUM.
The IEA is a disgrace and so are world governments, they have blood on their hands for condemning billions to an early death. This is quite possibly the biggest Crime against humanity ever.

Peak oil genocide.

How extraordinary it is that still our dear leaders think not to trust us with information. On the other hand perhaps they are correct; I look around in my daily real life and find myself an eccentric for pondering these numbers. The IEA says "we're fudging the numbers cos they told us to," and not a peep outside we band of brothers, we eccentric few.

They put the IEA story on the front page page of the Guardian hard-copy paper today.

The story is also lead in Slate today. They posted the link:


The story is also published in French newspapers and online, with the left-leaning "Le Monde" presenting a direct translation of the Guardian whistle blower stories while the ring-leaning "Le Figaro" gloss quickly over it and present the official AIE scenario...but still mentioned that the era of cheap oil is over.
So, there will be some excitement for a few days.. then French will turn back to more serious matters like whether the soccer team will qualify for the World Cup :)

A friend of mine who only reads insurance industry news e-mailed me about the Guardian story, so that seems to be getting into conventional channels, too.


"Energy body rejects whistleblower allegations of oil cover up"

"I don't see why that would be in the U.S. interest. I don't see the logical chain of that allegation," Jones told CNN.


"After the Recession, Will the World Face an Energy Crisis?",8599,1937160,00.html

rejects whistleblower allegations

(Sarkinol warning)

Oh okay then. Thanks CNN. That clears it up.

I have 3 words for these people: Bear. F***ing. Stearns.

I remember it so well the CEO of BSs on CNBC telling everyone there was no problem, then the next day it was gone.

As Bill Hicks would say;

"I bet he pushes his balls round in a wheelbarrow"

JP, don't you just love the in depth reporting on CNN? They get stuff wired into them and they blurt it out as if it were absolute truth, without any investigation on their part whatsoever. Then they go back to their story of the day, which is a heinous murder, a baloon hoax, a love triangle, or some other sophamoric inane dribble.

Completely No News is what it really stands for.

"We're the ones that are out there warning that the oil and gas is running out in the most authoritative manner. But we don't see it happening as quickly as some of the peak oil theorists," Richard Jones, deputy executive director of the IEA, told CNN.

So what's the difference between a "peak oil theorist" and someone who is warning that oil and gas is running out in an "authoritative manner?"

It was discussed (briefly) on CNBC today.

It was also reported on NPR:

Note that The Oil Drum is the first site on the list of "related news from other sources" section!

There is also an oil shock series running in the Washington Post.The only part I have read is the section on production .It is low key and it represents a few things as facts that are not but it also does give credit to people such as Matt Simmons and imo is an adequate and reasonably even handed introduction to peak oil for those first encountering the subject-certainly anyone who has junoir high school level critical reading skills will glean enough from it to realize that peak oil is real, that it is not far off it not here now, and that it may indeed be a present day reality.

Of course the sheep will interpret it as nothing to get alarmed about-just a few more heretics trying to subvert the Church of Prosperity and Perpetual Growth.

Who needs to live modestly and morally and wait to die in order to get to Heaven when it is under construction ( possibly temporarily delayed due to a little problem in the bookkeeping dept ) right here, right now, right before our very eyes?

Ps I hope to be able to claim the authorship of this new name for our national religion-it doesn't get a hit at Google.

Thanks for mentioning the WP series. Here's the link to the fifth installment which has further links to the rest.

"Ps I hope to be able to claim the authorship of this new name for our national religion-it doesn't get a hit at Google."
Don't forget to get the domain name, I was tempted to get it but am leaving it to you.

The crux of the discussion is private and/or technical opinions versus public pronouncements. I have referred to this as the "Generally Assume the Opposite Rule," i.e., when a government official or energy company spokesman talks about energy, one can generally assume that the truth is the opposite of what is being said. (I actually borrowed this from "Atlas Shrugged," when Ayn Rand said that the truth could be discerned from assuming that the opposite of what the headlines said was the actual truth, i.e., "Government Official: Economic Recovery is at Hand," means "Things Are Continuing to go to Hell.")

David Shields noticed the same phenomenon with Pemex regarding Mexican oil production, i.e., the public projections made by the company differed from internal projections.

But we can rely on CEO's and Chairmen of the boards of large international oil companies to tell us the truth can't we? Well, maybe not:


The Royal Dutch/Shell Group's oil production in Oman has been declining for years, belying the company's optimistic reports and raising doubts about a vital question in the Middle East: whether new technology can extend the life of huge but mature oil fields.

Internal company documents and technical papers show that the Yibal field, Oman's largest, began to decline rapidly in 1997. Yet Sir Philip Watts, Shell's former chairman, said in an upbeat public report in 2000 that ''major advances in drilling'' were enabling the company ''to extract more from such mature fields.'' The internal Shell documents suggest that the figure for proven oil reserves in Oman was mistakenly increased in 2000, resulting in a 40 percent overstatement.

I don't know why anyone is shocked by this. Even with good intentions, reliable information about a process as large and diverse as oil production in the entire world would be hard to come by.

The information clearinghouses are telling 'the people' what they think the people want to hear.

This means the best source for information will likely become CERA. Here one can see the 'Niewe Spin'; what is taking place is not a production constraint, rather the erosion of demand. 'Peak Oil' means peak oil demand:

Peak Oil Demand in the Developed World: It's Here
September 29, 2009


As the world moves from recession to growth, oil demand will grow once again. However, all of the demand lost in the developed world (countries in the OECD) is unlikely to return, even over the long term, and 2005 could be the peak year of OECD oil demand. The long-term demand outlook has dimmed under ongoing demographic and socioeconomic changes (such as the aging of OECD populations), improved transportation efficiency, and encroachment by substitutes such as biofuels and natural gas.

An OECD demand peak’s significance includes potentially less long-term upward pressure on crude prices. OECD oil demand represents 54 percent of world demand in 2009. Although that share has been trending down for years, if it has peaked, this will help counteract the expected rapid demand growth in the developing world. Such a peak does not eliminate the potential for higher oil prices in the future, but could help to diminish such pressures.

OECD economies less susceptible to oil price shocks. As the oil intensity of OECD economies declines, economic growth will be more insulated from the impact of oil price swings. It will likely take larger price spikes to inflict the same damage to the economy as would otherwise be the case.

The potential for increased energy “resilience.” Less OECD oil demand could also prevent the rate of dependency on imported oil from increasing. Developed countries may therefore be able to withstand physical oil supply disruptions more readily.

Increased potential for rationalization of the OECD refining sector. Without steady long-term demand growth, refining overcapacity in the United States, Europe, and Japan will ultimately lead to the shutdown of less competitive refining asset

Hard to know where to start with this ...

and in the FT

The International Energy Agency warned today that the world’s use of fossil fuels will have to peak by 2020 if it is to escape a dangerous spike in global temperatures.

Fatih Birol said ...We need a deal in Copenhagen...

The IEA brushed off as groundless an article in the Guardian newspaper....

Fatih Birol of the IEA answers questions which must be submitted up until midday GMT on Thursday

The International Energy Agency warned today that the world’s use of fossil fuels will have to peak by 2020 if it is to escape a dangerous spike in global temperatures.

Good news! We've been saved from global warming!

And, always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the right side of life

For life is quite absurd
And death's the final word
You must always face the curtain with a bow
Forget about your sin
Give the audience a grin
Enjoy it, it's your last chance of the hour

So, always look on the bright side of death
Just before you draw your terminal breath

Monty Python, The life of Brian.

There's lucky, then there's lucky. Having TEOTWAWKI cover yer arse on yer lies 'bout Peak Crud Flow is about as lucky as it gets. In a yer-gonna-die sort of way, but still...


Peak oil genocide? now that everybody knows, what does the chess board look like? We know the defense department has known for a long time, and we hear obama is about to deploy another 40,000 troop to afgan. beginning to think ol' Jay Hansen knows what he's talking about. Interesting times.

What is equally interesting is that most of the "authorities" in the evnvironmental community have been using the exact same logic: Things are bad and will get to be much worse in the future but we cannot say that because we need to give people hope". How irresponsible is that? No transparency and no trust. Just continue to mislead .

here is the link at reddit for the top voted article.

If you have a reddit account, I think voting it up would be useful.

BTW, the ShareThis pop up window kind of gets in the way near the add a comment section.

actually, there's a bunch of them submitted to different subreddits (some of them mine...), so if you're going to go upvote, upvote 'em all.

All very good but the one thing that continues to irritate me is how some PO proponents shoot themselves in the foot right up front and give the opposition all the ammo need to denounce them. With respect to the first paragraph above the world is not on the verge of "running out of oil." Ghawar Field will still be producing oil in the year 2100...not debatable. It might only be producing a few 100 bopd but it will be producing. If the whistleblower actually used that phrase then he'll be immediately, and correctly shot down. The world is not running out of oil. But we are quickly reaching the phase (if not already there) where we cannot sustain the production rates enjoyed in the past. Hyperbole ruins any argument. We use their hyperboles to mock the cornucopians...and rightfully so.

The anti-PO supporters will jump up and readily show that the world is not "running out of oil". And the whole discussion of production rates will be ignored...once again. The public will never understand even the simplest technological analysis of resource production. They only understand simple phrases, such as "running out".

We are not going to win the argument with the general public on the technical field. It will be won with simple perceptions. We have to discipline ourselves to be very careful with our language. The opposition will make great use of every mis-spoken word regarding PO and they will continue to win the perception battle IMHO.

I agree about specific and accurate language, but we ARE running out of oil. We have since we started producing the first barrel. I know, I know, semantics :)

Which is why I think that with a technical audience, we should use just actual reserve, production and related numbers. Everything else is just pop-sci bound to be misunderstood.

But as this discussion is of interest to not only the technical audience and a big chunk of TOD commentators, not to mention journalists, are not technical and certainly not from the inner halls of the oil industry, these things will continue to be misrepresented and misunderstood.

However, I believe what it boils down to is this:

One either does one's own due diligence after which it hits. Or not.

No amount of hand-waving or even number-crunching can really permanently convince another.

I know, I've tried this on several occasions with a full barrage of statistics, graphs, probabilities and different scenarios and what if contingencies. And to a rational, technical and analytical audience, with plenty of skill to digest the data.

They may agree with my argument for a while, but the effect wears off in couple of days or at most, couple of weeks.

Only if they immerse themselves in the data, really understand the issues, does it really hit them.

And let's face it, 99% don't have the time, the discipline, the required skills or most importantly the interest to do it.

So we get what we have a heterogeneous bunch of believers who use the terms and language differently.

Sam -- You just proved my point. If you're waiting for the general public to tackle due diligence then you can stop waiting. Ain't never going to happen. And no, we are not running out of oil. There are hundreds of billions of barrels of oil out there that can be produced. But we all appreciate that most of that oil will be too expensive to produce. But the public will never hear that second part of the statement: they will hear and see absolute proof that there are all those billions of bbls of oil out there and you will lose the argument before you utter a second word. The PO deniers keep it simple: there is a huge amount of unproduced oil out there. And they can provide undeniable proof that this oil exists...because it does. Thus they win and we lose. By the time you start explaining extraction costs and flow rates the public will have switched channels to "American Idol."

I am not talking about what we think at TOD. The collective opinion at TOD is worthless to the general public IMHO. We know the real story. We can't change the course of events. The only possible meaningful course can be set by the politicians. And the politicians will follow the lead of the general public even if they believe that consensus is wrong IMHO. Even those few politicians who do stand up and tell the cold hard truth won't be heard for long...they soon be voted out of office.

I think the error in perception is that if we wave our arms in the air and inform the general public that they will,

a. Listen
b. Act
c. Understand
d. None of the above

After these relatively few years I've come to accept the fact that my role is to nonchalantly point out the small amount of smoke getting bigger in the far corner of the theatre and quietly make my way to the exit. Meet you in the parking lot of post-oil society.

My impression of the general public is that they do LISTEN if the political ledership and NGO:s talk about the problem, ACT when the government initiate CO2 taxes and the municipialities start investing and I often stumble over people that UNDERSTAND.

One example is that the web forums for ordinary home owners are full of people discussing the pros and cons of pellet stoves, wood stoves, solar collectors, ground versus air source heat pumps and brag about the size of their heat accumulator tanks. Those who exchange drawings on how to convert an old unused oil tank to a non preassurized heat accumulator is at the end of the normal curve but they are trend setters.

My impression of the general public is that they do LISTEN if the political ledership and NGO:s talk about the problem, ACT when the government initiate CO2 taxes and the municipialities start investing and I often stumble over people that UNDERSTAND.

I only wish WE had your public. Then there would be cause for hope.

Well, RM ... some people get it and some people don't. The consensus is a long way off, but the momentum has shifted to a large degree to understanding peak oil. I think the establishment does itself a disservice by underestimating the public ability to grasp the consequences. It sells short people's appetite for challenges and willingness to adapt.

Of course, you are absolutely right, there is no danger of running out of oil, and this fact gives everyone a bit of breathing room if prompt steps are taken. There is a future, but not a spendthrift, wasteful future. We are running out of CHEAP oil, if we haven't run out of it already.

Unfortunately, prices are set at the margin and the shifting balance of pricing power away from customers toward producers gives the margin the added leverage to set the prices high enough to strangle commerce. All those feedback loops are reaching around to stifle production further. One would think management is aware of the hazards and is acting accordingly.

Then again, perhaps not ...

Obviously, some 'adjustments' will be made to align the reports of agencies toward reality. That process seems to be taking place.

At the same time the credibility gap widens to where the entire establishment is in danger of falling in. It would be interesting if just one agency head or reporting organization could ... tell the truth. It would be refreshing.

From CNN:

Peak oil theorists argue that the world is rapidly running out of oil. A report released by The UK Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security warned in 2008 that a "peak in cheap, easily available oil production" was likely by 2013.

Jeremy Leggett, CEO of Solar Century and a member of the taskforce, told CNN that the allegations from within the IEA were particularly worrying, but not surprising.

"I increasingly think there are parallels between [the oil industry] and what we now know of the banking culture," Leggett told CNN. "It's the systematic, cultural burial of risk. Investment bankers did it with complex derivatives. And I very firmly believe that the oil and gas industry culturally does the same thing with the depletion of reserves."

Yeah, after having posted I figured out as much :)

It really comes back down to winning the argument. Simplicity rules over complexity there.

And PO does not have a rock star - yet. That might the change the balance of odds.

You mean someone like Al Gore?

We should let Matt Simmons and Richard Heinburg fight it out in the ring of death. The one who walks out is then strong enough to be our leader.

Take me to your bleeder!

Of course, over on Fantasy Island we have the "debate" between Daniel Yergin, Michael Lynch and Peter Huber.

Yergin--We might hit an oil production plateau toward the middle of the 21st Century.

Lynch--We might hit an oil production plateau at some point in the 22nd Century.

Huber--An oil production plateau is a theoretical possibility, but out total energy consumption will increase forever.

Unfortunately, I still think that these guys are considered more mainstream that the Peak Oilers.

Well, why not?

For all our dislike of distortion of scientific facts Al Gore did help drive a point home. And for rhetoric I give him high marks, but then again I'm outside US and I view the whole issue with less emotion about his character.

IMHO, it really boils down to this:

1) In science and love of truth we go by facts, testing, falsification and brutal honesty. Only truth matters.

2) In public opinion we go by any trick playable, emotional rhetoric, call to higher power mixed with a modest sprinkling of facts and attached expert names. Only the majority of the public opinion matters - truth be damned.

Now, I'd like to think I'm in camp 1. Not because I'm good at it (I'm not), but because I *believe* it's how things should be done.

However, for those who think that the truth is already settled and what remains is convincing the audience at large as fast as possible, camp 2 might be more appropriate.

And camp 2 knows how to leverage rock stars.

Personally I don't give it much of a chance to happen that people can be convinced in a very short time. There are just too many coordinated and well-financed entities within the interest of whom it is perhaps not to let the cat out of the bag. So any PR fight there is a steep uphill battle.

I'd rather study the facts and convince myself, understand the probabilities and plan accordingly.

This is the same argument by assertion outlined elsewhere in this thread. As long as we have better, stronger rhetorical arguers than the other side it might work.

I agree about specific and accurate language, but we ARE running out of oil. We have since we started producing the first barrel. I know, I know, semantics :)

Which is why I think that with a technical audience, we should use just actual reserve, production and related numbers. Everything else is just pop-sci bound to be misunderstood.

So general misunderstandings abound, regardless of perceptions used. Even Colin Campbell tried this with his beer glass example, but I'm not sure it really convince many (maybe it did).

This discussion is of interest to not only the technical audience and a big chunk of TOD commentators, not to mention journalists, are not technical and certainly not from the inner halls of the oil industry, these things will continue to be misrepresented and misunderstood.

However, I believe what it boils down to is this:

One either does one's own due diligence after which it hits. Or not.

No amount of hand-waving or even number-crunching can really permanently convince another.

I know, I've tried this on several occasions with a full barrage of statistics, graphs, probabilities and different scenarios and what if contingencies. And to a rational, technical and analytical audience, with plenty of skill to digest the data.

They may agree with my argument for a while, but the effect wears off in couple of days or at most, couple of weeks.

Only if they immerse themselves in the data, really understand the issues, does it really hit them.

And let's face it, 99% don't have the time, the discipline, the required skills or most importantly the interest to do it.

The non-technical audience doesn't believe it even for 15 minutes, because "It would be all over the newspapers if it was true". I have found no solid argument for them either, unless they do their own research as well.

So we get what we have a heterogeneous bunch of believers who use the terms and language differently.

I don't think anyone will raise a fuss about the inaccurate language used, beyond the usual cavalcade of deniers; as I expected most of the news coverage is dedicated to revisions in the demand forecasts = signals for investors = BAU = $$$$$, same as last year - remember when it seemed like people would just absolutely soil their trousers over the prospect of 6.7% declines? Yeah right. Very much doubt this will lead anywhere after the obligatory week of op eds and blog posts. What are they going to do, subpoena Birol and company? That in of itself would panic markets. What the whistlers are saying is that it is paramount above all not to upset this apple cart. I'd be very surprised if the White House steps in all bent out of shape over this, they are steady apple carters all the way if you haven't noticed yet.

I beg to differ. The world began to run out of oil in 1859 when Drake drilled that first well. The only way we cannot be running out of petroleum is for there to be some natural process that is generating new oil at a rate above the current extraction rate of over 85 million barrels per day. Since such a natural process does not exist we must be "running out of oil." Up until the present time we have generally increased the amount extracted per unit time has given the impression that we are not running out. There will come a time probably within a century when the cost of extraction will be higher than anyone will be willing or able to pay. At that time we will stop "running out of oil"

1858 in Petrolia, ON!!! Not 1859 with Drake. Geez, and here you guys are lamenting on dissementation of accurate data. See, not even the apparent experts are immune to accepting information as fact whether it is correct or not.,_Ontario

I have read 4th-century Chinese are credited with being the first in the world to have drilled for oil. Using bamboo poles in an elaborate drilling apparatus, the ancient Chinese were able to extract oil from depths of over 800 feet.
Johnny come latelys :-)

Sure, but 'Canton' is actually just an early name for 'Canada'.

Or if you live in Vancouver,"Canada" is a precursor to Canton. Wonderful play on words gents! We are very much part of the Pacific Rim here with an incredible mix of races and cultures.

But my initial rant concerns the US predilection for being No.1 by decree. You see, Superbowl winners are not merely NFL Champions, but self proclaimed "World Champions". At least the NBA has refrained from calling their champions world champions after the US got their hat handed to them in a couple of actual basketball world championships. And to twist the nationalism just a little farther, the first football was taught to Americans by Canadians (but it was called Rugby back then), basketball invented by a Canadian. Okay, end of flag waving...

I am pointing to the larger point of a collective belief system that is the underlying cause. I believe Orwell coined it "Group Speak". I know many fine upstanding and humble Americans as my wife is one and I lived in FLA for 10 years. Whether a victim of their own success or the propagation of the early cowboy attitude, there is a certain amount of hubris that accompanies the "can do" attitude that gets projected onto the national character. It is this attitude that attracts many well educated and talented Canadians to live and work in the U.S. It is what makes Alberta somewhat unique in the rest of the country. It is also this same national character component that causes the "ugly American" behavior in other countries. This is not a myth, I've seen it and I've also seen other Americans cringe while witnessing the same event - it's not pretty folks.

To get to the point, the misconception we make when proselytizing is we are speaking to an open and rational mind. That is true for the 5%, but we are really contending against a belief system. And, we all know belief systems change or die rather hard. Furthermore, if we take a moment of self reflection we may find that we are engaged in a duel of belief systems. Yours is logic, reason, truth defined by empirical and quantifiable evidence, and their system is whatever; but the two are not wholly compatible. Nor will one convince the other of the entirety of the facts without a complete "fdisk" of their mind and belief systems - hence, the methodology of fascist dictators and cults.

Even if I looked out the window and saw numerous naked bottoms ascending to heaven would I believe in the Rapture - or would I really care. So I am as guilty as the MSM talking heads for not believing in the plain facts before me. In conclusion TODers, informing those within our reach is noble cause but we will only be affective if we find a language and consequence that matters to the other's belief system. i.e. "Folks, the Rapture will be called off due to the high EROI required for ascension and there are no more resources available that can make it possible."


I hate to sound defeatist but all the outreach, is a waste of effort that will only lead to frustration. People should follow WT's EELP or my plan of getting out of Dodge and establishing a homestead. I consider these realistic courses of action; anything else is just wishful thinking.

I have a copy of Peaking of World Oil Production: Impacts, Mitigation and Risk Management, the Hirsch report. It is dated February, 2005. So, what has happened after almost five years? Nothing. Here was a logical, well laid out report that died.

Consider the Dot Com bubble: anyone with an ounce of brains could see that paying for stock from a company with no profit on its horizon is a bad bet. Yet, people did exactly that.

The same thing was true of the Housing bubble; you didn't have to have an advanced degree to figure out houses were over-priced years ago much less last year. But, buy houses they did.

Society will not call for change until reality bits them in the ass. Then, people will demand that "they do something!" Of course it will be too late. Could outreach have obviated this? I don't believe so.

I've seen this same pattern in the chemical industry where a safety issue is involved but absolute correction "costs too much." Instead the suits pissed around the edges to avoid legal culpability but the safety issue still lurked in the background.

A few people understand the ramifications of what is coming and have a chance to weather the storm. The rest are going down with the ship


"EELP"? Is that a typo, or did Jeff expand his advice somewhat?

Never understood all the attention heaped on this. No doubt the exact same advice was laid out in an old copy of Mother Earth News, if not earlier. Or Hirsch. You could suss that a transition in the transportation sector would take 10 years minimum simply from a cursory analysis of auto sales. His report is mostly noteworthy for its high profile, and as a reference for a supply side solution to contracting petroleum supply.

Emergency ELP

Oh...OK. I just thought you had developed a studder.


Hurry economise localise produce.

(Commie BA%^&rd) - so said the republicans.

Emergency ELP

Is that anything like Emergency ESD?

That's the big red button on the wall next to the door that you hit as you run, screaming, out of the control room when things go out of control in a major way.

For the newbies, ESD = Emergency Shut Down.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going - really, really fast. Otherwise they might end up in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at the friendly local trauma ward.

I've seen people jump a six-foot fence without stopping when the going got tough.

Maybe Emergency LSD is our best option at this point?

Does LSD keep? Seems like melting walls would go well with your final meal, if it came to that. Might make the Oilwatch Monthly more fun to read, too. Wow, trails man...spare capacity, far out!

ESD, got it. Now, when did people start saying "scram" in the sense of "get lost"? It also means "reactor scramble," of course.

SCRAM apparently meant, "Safety Cut Rope Axe Man".

Fermi gathered the group together and explained the emergency shutdown plan:

“Insert the control rod into the pile, unlatch the winch lock and reinsert the vertical cadmium back into the pile as quickly as possible. If I yell the word ‘scram,’ the axeman will cut the rope and let the heavy weight pull the poison cadmium rod into the pile by gravity. If all this fails to shut down the reaction, I will make the dump-the-bucket-signal and all three buckets of liquid cadmium will be poured into the pile and we will all exit the facility. Are there any questions?”

Enrico Fermi was asked, “Sir, just what does ‘SCRAM’ mean?” Fermi’s reply was, “Safety Cut Rope Axe Man.”


The original reactor SCRAM system apparently was Norman Hilberry. When they fired up the reactor, they didn't explain the details to poor Norman, they just handed him a fireman's axe and told him, "if the safety rods fail to operate, cut that manila rope."

He later said, "I don't believe I have ever felt quite as foolish as I did then." Norman didn't find out he was "Mr. Scram" until some years later after he asked why everyone called him that.

The workers later replaced Norman with an emergency shutdown button labeled "SCRAM" since they would immediately be scramming (running) from the premises as soon the button was hit.

That's right - had forgotten that story. Think I read it in one of Fenyman's tomes.

Maybe peak oil is nature's way of doing a SCRAM on a runaway civilization.

Recessions seem to me like the world undergoing a price discovery process, where we figure out what things are really worth. No doubt this has been rigorously formulated by someone - Adam Smith probably. But it makes a potent image to look at someone selling corn dogs in a run down mall and think "you're of chimerical economic value!" Don't say that to a food vendor though, unless you like loogies in your batter...

I think there is value in continued outreach. If you convince just one person or family to prepare for coming collapse, that is one more ally you have when the jails, prisons, cities and the elderly and disabled empty into the countryside.

In 2008 in the U.S. there are 2,310,984 people in jail or prison.

In 2008 it is estimated in the U.S. 50,157,328 people live in rural areas while 253,902,396 live in urban areas.

Almost 2 million people in the U.S. live in nursing homes.

Almost 9 million people in the U.S. reside in assisted living quarters.

One thing I've noticed about TOD contributors is they ALL care about people, and the majority understand the coming crisis can't be stopped. It will happen, we just are not sure when and how bad it will be. We have no choice but to prepare now and convince others to do the same. You will need a large group of people to protect your food, clothing, livestock, and tools 24/7. What percentage of wandering people will choose to lay down and die rather than steal (or murder) to stay alive, 10%, 15%?

A self-sufficient lifestyle is just the beginning. The ability to kill people who threaten your survival and turn away people who you can't feed and shelter will decide whether you survive. Every family that is self-sufficient is one less threat to you and one more family that can take in a few boarders, further reducing the number of people you will have to deal with.

I say we should all continue to spread the word. Not because there is much hope of changing policy, but because it is in our own self-interest to help our fellow man/woman.


I've been involved with the survival/preps game a long time; witness my two key posts. Interestingly, I was going to put up a post on the DB today of some books that might help people get ready - but it didn't rain today so I'm working outside. I also have an article I'm submitting to Survivalblog about the five families in my boondocks area and how we are prepared.

The central problem is that people have to come to this on their own. Yes, you can try to point stuff out but what it requires is, essentially, a renunciation of everything they believe in. If they are lucky and work at it, they eventually come out the other-side with acceptance of a new reality.

I'm not really interested in getting into discussions about killing people. However, it is something that is part of a new reality. For people who are quisy(sp) about this I'd suggest reading some collapse fiction and putting themselves into the character's place and decide what they'd do. There's Rawles' Patriots and two by Tom Sherry that were e-books but may not be available, Shatter and Dark Winter.



I look forward to seeing your reading list, as I'm sure others are also.


I'm not really interested in getting into discussions about killing people. However, it is something that is part of a new reality.

As a certified rescue diver I learned long ago that you need to save yourself before you can save anyone else.

Sometimes that means letting go and letting the other person drown!

Re: good books, I just finished reading "Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why" by Laurence Gonzales. Excellent read highly recommend!

In 2008 in the U.S. there are 2,310,984 people in jail or prison.

I saw an article about privately run prisons yesterday. These guys are pushing local governments to build prisons so they can profit by running them. The phrase that is used "If you build it (a prison), they (prisoners) will come".

What a way to run a country!

Better make some room in those hellholes-the truly evil are those who won't pay their last nickel to insurance co. grifters-hang em high

Hi Todd,
When I lived in London we always knew when someone had been run down at a zebra crossing because then the council would put grip strips down on the aproaches. No one ever seemed to think it was a good idea to grip strip all zebra crossings though.

Were looking at the same lack of foresight just on a grander scale.

Also, councils are not allowed to put in speed control cameras on a stretch of road before a speeding car has already caused a
serious , preferably fatal accident on that stretch.

Rockman – I disagree. And point of fact, I will use your logic to validate my assertion.

As you rightly point out... PO proponents aren’t getting anywhere because their arguments are technical and not simple. Ergo the public fails to react.

Case in point: witness the reception received from the Hirsch Report in technical circles = a seminal, landmark analysis vs. the reception given by the general public = yawn... are the MTV awards on yet?

Indeed, if PO proponents want to make an impact, then it is imperative to switch tactics and engage with the running out pronouncement – a tactic that could not be employed until the simple (50% of conventional supply gone) and technical (verified world peak production) and temporal (rate of use) could be ascertained.

What remains then, is the need for a medium (universal standard) and means (universal free access) of promulgation of said tactic.

The universal free access is of course the internet. The universal standard, however, is the Empty/Full gauge.

Using these standards:
- convince the public that the Earth maintains a gauge for oil;
- that it presently sits at the ½ way mark;
- that x amount of years remain before we burn through the best estimate of what remains;
- repeat ad nauseam.

Such a stratagem will effectively turn the table on the cornucopian cheerleaders of this world because the onus of technical explanations as to why we are not running out will be placed on their shoulders instead of ours and more importantly.. impossible to counter.

Excellent work've proved my case better than I ever could. This what Joe Six Pack just heard you say: our oil gauge says we're half full. Outstanding he says. He never worries about running out of gas until he's down close to "E". You don't seem to understand: Joe Six Pack doesn't know what "ad nauseam" or "temporal" or "promulgation" or "onus' mean. Most of us on TOD do but we're not the critical audience. In fact, I would offer that 80% of the American public would have stopped reading your message when they got to "assertion".

Who would have thought that El would turn out to be the biggest cornucopian cheerleader on TOD: Yahoo!!! The tank is half full...we have as much oil left as we've used. And those TOD idiots said we were running out of oil.

I could not agree more strongly-as a matter of fact I posted some alternative language examples a couple of days ago showing how we can get away from the technical language.

It's not just Joe whose eyes glaze over-its the teachers, lawyers, bankers, social workers, -everybody almost, except the small handfull of technically literate engineers, etc.

second law? entropy? These words might as well be Gaelic or Chinese.

Water runs downhill until can run no farther and it never ever runs back up the hill unless you put some work into making it go uphill.

Now Joe can understand that- if he has not yet downed his daily six pack.

If you can tear him away from the electronic home altar of the Church of Prosperity and Perpetual Growth* long enough.

*Aka the boob tube.

mac -- I feel we've grown close over these past few months so I'll tell you a secret...don't tell anyone at TOD...please. One of the ways we geologists keep employed is that we make up names for things. If I tell a client he should try to target the thalweg he has to hire another geologist to tell him what the heck I just said. Thus you can see how focused we must be when it comes to technical terminology. A little ashamed to admit it but I've actually made up a term or two just because the folks I was presenting to wouldn't know the difference. Thus when I tell Joe Six Pack (or a banker) that I projected the permeability distribution in the reservoir by pre-stsck modeling the variations in the far offset of the 3d seismic data set they naturally think I know what I'm talking. BTW -- what I just said: I made an educated guess because I don't really have the data to calculate the right answer.

Remember..our little secret.

Just yesterday I was coming to the conclusion that I had acheived PO awarness and might spend less time reading TOD. Now today the subject seems to be projected much further in to the public domain.
I think what needs to be done is change to Peak Oil Solutions.

While I agree that Joe 6pack will run back into the burning, collapsing store or bar because the beer is now free, I think there is a small but increasing percentage of the public that will start to get the hint. I'm sure I'll be accused of being too optomistic but the engineer in me really wants to believe that we can solve any problem if we work hard enough.

To this point there was an article/PR piece about Joule Biotechnology and it'ds process to make gasoline (or deisel) essentially out of thin air. It may be just hype, but if it works it could be a game changer. Or at least a few % of the game.

I'm not too swift at this computer stuff and making links but this is the site:

moose -- I think you're correct: there has been a small movement towards understand (or at least listening to the conversation) by Joe Six Pack. But I'm rather confident when BAU for him becomes threatened he'll become the Queen of Denial once again. Combine that with the absolute certainty that very few politicians will throw facts into the face of such denials and we'll develop a situation that I believe we're starting to see in England with regards to global warming. Early on the folks over there seemed to embrace the concerns being thrown out. Their politicians even agreed with the EU to start scaling down their coal burning activities. And then ...Poof! The N Sea went into serious decline and their alternative energy sources, such as NG, became endangered. Now I get a strong sense that the public attitude is shifting. Given the choice between saving the low areas or doing without electricity/heating they now appear to be moving towards throwing the environment under the bus. Sort of like the old line about not finding atheists in foxholes. Our citizens are all for (fill in the blank) until you offer them the cost to their lifestyles. I feel many who are developing some optimism about common sense taking hold in the US will be blindsided when this reversal of public attitude hits the fan. Just the view of someone who's immersed in the world of J6P daily.

Which appears to be evidence of my contention that when the energy fuel supplies start to run low they will say burn it, burn it all. Considerations for the larger environment will be thrown under the bus.

Rockman, you’ve obviously missed my point. CCPO and Mac on the other hand – got it.

My response was about outlining a new strategy. Here. At TOD. Where my audience are TODers – not Joe Six Packs. As such, I tend to use my entire vocabulary (grammar notwithstanding).

And I’ll disagree with you once more, as I believe that people do not begin to worry about running out of fuel when they are close to ‘E’. They begin to worry about it when they reach ½ because –as any astronaut will tell you– you must retain enough fuel to return the distance you’ve travelled.

As for your cornucopian slant... with a global usage rate of 30GB bbl per year and 1 Trillion bbl of C+C left... I’m sure you can do the math as good as I.

No obviously missed my point. You responded to my comments which dealt with how we tend to confuse J6P with our poor choices of words. I'll be glad to chat with you about the TOD audience all day long but that wasn't my topic.

As far as new strategy (I assume you mean getting the public (i.e. J6P) to view PO correctly, have at it. But if you truly think J6P really starts worrying about running out of gas when the needle hits the half way mark you and I exist in two very different J6P worlds.

My cornupoian slant???? You're the one who's telling J6P we have as much oil left to use as we've already used. Yahoo...BAU. Talk about cornucopians. I gather you've not read many of my posts. I'm probably one of the biggest doomers on TOD since, not the least of it, I do this for a living and very well understand where we are on the PO curve.

I can do math pretty good. So your numbers say there will have zero oil produced on the planet in the year 2042. Well, there you go again. Any idiot cornucopian or member of the IEA can readily show what a foolish statement that is. Ghawar alone will still be producing oil 100 years from today. Probably not enough to fuel a couple of transatlantic flights but will still producing.

And I’ll disagree with you once more, as I believe that people do not begin to worry about running out of fuel when they are close to ‘E’. They begin to worry about it when they reach ½ because –as any astronaut will tell you– you must retain enough fuel to return the distance you’ve travelled.

I happen to be a scuba diver, so I'd like to suggest the analogy of looking at your air pressure gauge. When I have half my air left I'm more than half way through my dive plan. All divers plan their dives with a cushion,you never know when you might need it for some unforeseen contingency and I'm not even talking a decompression dive, so you have to plan to come back to the surface long before you actually run out of air, ...well, most surviving divers do ;-)

I'm with ROCKMAN. I start worrying about my fuel when the empty light first turns on. That is because I usually drive in the city and each trip is about 5-10 miles passing half a dozen gas stations. I did get a surprise one winter when two stations I stopped at were out of gas. I did keep the tank full for about a month after that.

J6P, who has never lived without gasoline, is convinced it will be reasonably available until after his death. AND, because he has seen technology advance at a ridiculous pace (to wit the cellphone and computer) there is no way it is reasonable to expect him to begin to imagine that civilization will collapse on something as "isolated" (in his mind) as gasoline unavailability.

We'll just have to agree to disagree FM. I'm glad you're a safe diver. My brother use to be in the Coast Guard reserve and long ago he told most of the diver rescues he was involved with resulted from folks pushing their reserve too far.

I get your astronaut analogy but unfortunately most of the J6P's I've run across can't even spell astronaut let alone understand a point of no return. Try driving down a Texas highway after 2 AM and you'll see what I mean.

- that x amount of years remain before we burn through the best estimate of what remains;

There is the rub. To calculate "x" you need some good technical analysis. Yet, you don't think that needs to be one, instead you suggest that we just continue to make strong assertions.

Well, that is the Argument by Assertion fallacy.
Of course this may work, but you forget the other side can do this just as well. And they have more windbags and are more full of hot-air so they may just outlast our assertions.

That's not what he/she is saying. He/she is saying the public doesn't want to know, and won't understand, the analysis, so don't bother; just give them the summary.


Yes Hubble – guilty as charged... to a degree. And the reason why I say so is because, that is the strategy currently being employed against the PO community.

As outlined in my response to Rockman, I proffer that we set the gauge at ½ or 1 Trillion bbl of C+C (+- 300GB bbl) against a usage rate of 30GB bbl per year.

I think this to be the most logical starting point. It is the easiest to defend + it will make the greatest impact.

Something I keep saying: We need to understand that these people think differently than we do. Their mental model is that consumption of oil or any other finite resource can just keep going up and up and up UNTIL WE RUN OUT. That is then the peak, and then we fall off a cliff - unless something else has by then come along, which they all have blind faith will happen.

We know this to be an utterly false model, reality is not that way. But, mistaken as it is, that is what they are thinking. Thus, when we talk about "peak oil", they really do think we are saying that we are running out of oil entirely, right now. They know this not to be true, so they thus dismiss us.

Sometimes I wonder if it would be better not to even use the words "peak oil" at all. Maybe talk about how "depletion is starting to exceed discoveries" instead. That doesn't fit their mental model, but is confounding data that might actually cause them to start to consider that their mental model is incorrect.

Excellent point WNC. I think you captured the essence of the problem far better then my ramblings. Not to keep on picking on my buddy El but I imagine we both know that if we tell the public there is a trillion bbls of oil left their eyes will glaze over with the clear understanding and joy that there will be enough oil for them to finish their lives out with more energy resources then they'll know what to do with. And I'm not just talking about the welder that lives on the south side of town. I know more then a few well educated and intellegent folks who haven't a clue about PO. And as long as they can keep their beamers full of gas (at any price) they won't see a problem.

As far as the "PO" not being a positive conversation starter with the public I wonder if the most expedient approach is to mask it some form of monetary metric. J6P doesn't know a trillion bbls of oil from 83 million bopd. But he knows how to count what's in his wallet. But the problem I see there is when we hit a cheap gasoline price period. J6P would take that as a very clear sign that there is no problem. What to do...what to do?

I agree with both of you.

Peak Oil => Obviously oil hasn't run out => discredited
GlobalWarming => Warm autumn => discredited

Sometimes we forget that we don't think like other people. For example, I had to go look up what J6P meant.

What do you mean "we" WEB? I tried to think like you once and I got a bad headache. Since then I keep my thoughts simple (I am a geologist after all)and leave the complex to you and others at TOD.

And I'm not just talking about the welder that lives on the south side of town.

I'd just like to politely remind you that I know/have known many tradespeople who's grasp of reality and raw mental capacity far exceeds your average BMW driver (typically mortgaged to the max.) Been there, done both, but still consider my early years as [electrician / lineman / welder / carpenter / heavy equipment operator] far more satisfying than contracting big business software.

You catch more flies with sugar than {crap}.

The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves.

The allegations raise serious questions about the accuracy of the organisation's latest World Energy Outlook on oil demand and supply to be published tomorrow – which is used by the British and many other governments to help guide their wider energy and climate change policies.

You posted while I was typing mine. That article is getting a lot of play, as well it should.

Is anyone who follows TOD really surprised? The main thing is that this is close to MSM coverage of Peak Oil as a fact. The last rag that publishes the truth will be WSJ, who prefer to pander to Wall Street's BAU obsessions.

I saw it posted on Seeking Alpha this morning. (

The story has already rolled off the front page (less than 15 minutes of exposure).

Eyeballing the table up top, it looks like the IEA is expecting 50-55 mmbpd of new conventional oil fields to be developed in the next 20 years. That means about 5-6 new Saudi Arabias coming on stream. On top of that, they're expecting tar sand production to increase to about 5 mmbpd. Those numbers seem highly optimistic to me, or more to the point, downright improbable.

The 5 million bpd of oil sands production in 20 years is feasible, given $300 to $400 billion in new investment. That is actually might happen given the current trends, since the oil is definitely there, albeit expensive, it's just a matter of spending the money to get it out.

However, the 50-55 million bpd of conventional production is problematic, since I don't think the reserves are actually there to support it. Even if they are, it would require a minimum of $3 trillion in new capital investment, most of it in countries which are distinctly hostile to venture capitalism, and I don't see that happening.

Time to invest in a new bicycle, it may be your only transportation option.

Small boats might come in handy too as the water rises.

Personally when tshtf I hope to build a wood gasifier and run an old 4by 4 Ford truck I have already set aside on wood-the truck is rugged enough to use any road a horse drawn wagon can use.It should suffice for a monthly trip to the city-I'll probably hook on a hay wagon and take about twenty or thirty nieghbors at ten miles per hour or so.

It'll be a lot of fun and profitable too-I expect I can get a pound of butter out of one rider and an hour or twos labor out of another, etc.

Given the fact that it won't be used very much I can probably keep it running for as long as I will need it.

I'm not particularly in need of a small boat since I'm nearly a mile above sea level here, and if the water rises, the mountaintops are nearly a mile above me.

I'm more concerned that the glaciers will come rumbling down the valley again and wipe out the local stores. Then, where would I get my supplies from?

Especially sushi. I could live without oil, but how could I live without sushi?

On the other hand, if the oceans came flooding across the Rocky Mountains, I could catch my own tuna and make my own sushi. With global warming, growing my own rice wouldn't be that hard, either.

Time to try Trout Sushi!

OFM: Good plan. There will be far, far more of that sort of improvisation going on than a lot of people here realize. That is one of the few reasons why I continue to hang on to that hope that we might merely decline and not crash.

Gee, the US government encouraged the IEA to LIE to the entire world about fossil fuels in order to maintain its imperial status. I am surprised... NOT!

And this is all supposed to end politely, peacefully, with a Star Trek utopian future of unlimited renewable energy for all? I suggest you think again.

Thats what bugs me about cornucopian solutions to peak oil - that a system which is shown to be dishonest and that will start to disintegrate economically once the implications of the end of fossil fuels kicks in will somehow 'magically' produce unlimited renewable energy sources that inexplicably aren't already being used. I keep asking and asking and the question never gets answered: as we are economically screwed when peakoil really starts to bite, where does the capital and resource come from to start transforming *everything* we take for granted? The question remains unanswered! I suspect its just a lazy case of deus ex machina

Yes-you get the same story about manufacturing employment magically returning to the USA as high oil prices bite.

The problem with jeering about 'Unlimited Renewable Energy Supplies', is that it seems to be jeering at RE, which is already a very successful battle cry out there. 'Unlimited', I agree.. but that doesn't mean that RE is bogus, even if it won't run those 65" plasmas for very long, a bit of Limited RE will be awfully useful for many necessities.

Where does the capital come from? If you're not already putting some precious tin into this problem by digging deep somehow, I don't have anything to offer you. (I'm not waiting for Fed'l programs to do the job for us..)

-- 'Ask not what your country can do for you...'

-- 'Ask not what your country can do for you...'

Ask what your country can do TO you.

"Peak Money" is the real problem.

Kjell Aleklett's comments:

I am not surprised that some within the IEA have leaked this news. Rather, it is astonishing that this has not become known earlier.

he adds that:

"After meeting with the Swedish delegate I have, at various times, communicated my view that Guy Caruso (who was then responsible for the EIA and its prognoses) was one of the world’s most dangerous people."

There are some huge implications of Kjell Aleklett's paper:

Reserve Driven Forecasts for Oil, Gas & Coal and Limits in Carbon Dioxide Emisssions. Peak oil, peak gas, peak coal and peak CO2

Other than the probability that a lot of people will need to find means of getting to work and heating their houses other than burning fossil fuels, the implication is that global climate change is a non-starter. The world's temperature will not increase significantly because there are not enough fossil fuels to make it happen.

CO2 emissions from burning oil and gas are lower than what all the IPCC scenarios predict, and emissions from coal are much lower than the majority of the scenarios.

IPCC emission scenarios for the time frame 2020 to 2100 should in the future not be used for climate change predictions.

In other words, it's a self-solving problem and will go away on its own, at which point we can start worrying about freezing in the dark. Unfortunately, the Eurocrats, Al Gore, and fellow mind guards will never accept that because they've got too much invested in panicking people over the wrong problem.

You seem to be deeply un- or mis-informed about the realities of GW.

About half of the CO2 emissions produced since the beginning of the industrial revolution have been absorbed by the oceans. Even if we stopped all new emissions, the oceans would then start releasing this vast store. ANY further CO2 we add to the mix simply exacerbates an already pretty hopeless situation. As Rock likes to say, there is still a whole lot of oil (and even more coal and NG) to burn. If we plunge forward in mining and burning every bit of coal and develop the tar sands, our doom is absolutely and surely sealed. If we ONLY had light sweet crude to worry about, perhaps it would perhaps be, as you said, something of a self-solving problem. But this is not, of course, the case.

The sad fact is that we need to reduce ff use much faster than the depletion curves you mention. The sadder fact is that we really needed to start this 30-40 years ago.

I'm not sure if you have just overlooked this, or knowingly wish to misinform people about this here. If the former, please read more at, if the latter, best wishes on that karma.

About half of the CO2 emissions produced since the beginning of the industrial revolution have been absorbed by the oceans. Even if we stopped all new emissions, the oceans would then start releasing this vast store.

The first sentence is correct. The second one is wrong. The rest will gradually be absorbed by the ocean at a gradually decreasing rate. If we stopped emissions peak CO2 would happen immediately. Temperature would still keep rising (concentration would only very slowly decline), because of the slow warmup of the oceans. Currently (I'm doing this from memory, I might be off by 10-20%) the anthropogenic forcing (CO2 minus aerosols plus other greenhouse gases) is about 1.7watts per square meter. About 2/3rds of this maintains the temperature higher than what it would have been if he didn't mess up the atmosphere. The other third is heat the oceans are absorbing, and which is heating water. But the ocean would still keep absorbing some of the excess CO2, not adding to the problem.

But, we are all saved. Someone has identified a negative feedback!
Antarctica Glacier Retreat Creates New Carbon Dioxide Store; Has Beneficial Impact On Climate Change
If right that is less than one part in a thousand of current emissions. But at least the sign is right, it will slightly reduce climate sensitivity.

Coal is a far, far more serious contributor to global warming than oil & gas. To the degree that it is the most readily available substitute, waning oil supply should equate to greater demand for coal.

In this regard, peak oil appears to be a negative for atmospheric carbon reduction.

That is why I believe a fast(ish) crash is the best hope for humanity.

Well, not quite.

It is true that declining FF supplies will reduce CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, even declining rates of combustion still add to the load that has already been placed in the atmosphere. There is a lot of GCC that has already been "baked into the cake", and it is looking like this part of it has been seriously underestimated by the IPCC.

Of particular concern is the melting of arctic methane hydrates and their release into the atmosphere. People were worrying that we might reach a tipping point in a few decades and cause this to happen; the terrible news is shaping up to be that that tipping point might already be past tense, and it is already happening.

Add to this the possibility that we are not looking at a 100% anthropogenic phenomenon, but that there might be natural forces at work as well - forces that won't go away simply because we stop burning FFs.

The bottom line is that GCC is going to proceed no matter what we do at this point. How much CO2 we add through hydrocarbon combustion might make a difference as to degree, but does not change the fact that it is happening.

Thus, we still need to be thinking seriously about how to cope with the consequences of GCC, and starting to act.

And an even bigger whistle blower exposing the LIE THAT EMPOWERED ALL OTHER LIES SINCE.

"John Farmer, Dean of Rutger Universities' School of Law and former Attorney General of New Jersey, was responsible for drafting the original flawed 9/11 report."

"Farmer states...“at some level of the government, at some point in time…there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened... I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The [Norad air defense] tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years. This is not spin.”

You're not trying to hijack this thread off to Cuba, are you?

ok i'll read the link... but... i just HAD to reply...

see... geo w bush came into office to lower taxes for the "haves and have mores" and gut everything else... i.e., "no child left behind"... then went on vacation...

he chided the staffer with the "bin laden determined..." report...

that's why he looked sooooo confused in the classroom after card gave him the news...

just lucky for "w" to have EVERY friggin breathin' neocon on earth - in his administration - starting with dick "iraq is the prize" cheyney and don rumsfeld who never met a war he couldn't start...

they was wet-dreaming a march into bahgdad ever since poppy pulled out 10 years earlier... just needed another pearl harbor...

BACK TO THE TOPIC... "w" was courtin' the taliban in the months prior to 9/11 to let unocal build the pipeline... and voila... courts decided the pipeline would not go to bridas under contract... because... the taliban... were no more... no afghan govt.... no contract... goodbye brida... hello unocal... a.k.a. karzai...

but... i'm a pragmatist... how can you keep up a covert operation that big under wraps... somebody would have had to have talked...

but there you have it... 9/11 couldn't have any more convenient than a whore in a whorehouse...

haven't posted since jul '08... sorry... got distracted by the global economic meltdown... have been wondering when the PO discussion would resurface...

My personal theory is that some people within the FedGov didn't so much CAUSE 9/11 to happen, as to ALLOW it to happen. They also underestimated the terrorists, and didn't imagine that they could end up pulling it off to the extent that they did. Those in the know probably mistakenly thought that only a single airliner was going to be hijacked, and they probably never imagined that the WTC towers could actually be brought down. Maybe they even thought that they would be able to stop the plane before it hit, but got their timing wrong; or maybe they just thought they were going to hijack a plane and take it to the Middle East, or blow it up mid-air. I can't believe that Rumsfeld would have been in the Pentagon that morning if he knew that it was going to be a target - or Cheney in the White House, for that matter.

No, it wasn't some master plan that went off without a hitch, but rather something that got screwed up very badly, and thus needed considerable covering up. But I suspect some people in high places DID know something in advance, and that needed to be covered up too.

IMHO, the biggest problem with most conspiracy theorists is that they always massively underestimate the capacity for unintentioned screw ups amongst those they suspect.

IMHO, the biggest problem with most conspiracy theorists is that they always massively underestimate the capacity for unintentioned screw ups amongst those they suspect.

That would take all the fun out of conspiracy theories.
And what should people longing for a sinister force to blame do?
They could be forced to face their own shortcommings.

Cheney was in the bomb shelter underneath the White House controlling NORAD's response. The Secretary of the Treasury testified, under oath, before Congress, that Cheney repeatedly vetoed requests from others to send up interceptors after the airliner headed towards Washington. That's a matter of public record.

Do "...field yet to be discovered" also include those we might find on Mars? If yes, then perhaps peak oil will not happen.

Seriously don't joke - the posting idiots at PeakOilDebunked have suggested off-planet resource collection as one solution to mitigate peak oil. I think they have watched wayyy too much sci fi

Hm. If more fuel is brought to earth to burn, then the crisis will be Peak Oxygen, as once you burn all that fuel, the oxygen will now be bound to it, right?

Then we just have NASA tell us to reroute an oxygen rich comet, repeat many times, and than our solar system will have two Venuses! Whee!

...Saying we are Venusian sounds so much more sophisticated than Earthling, in my view.

Oh, and if we screw up comet reentry, than no more worries on overpopulation.
But, all this just needs to be argued as ERORI. Point out just how much energy is needed for non-terrestrial collection, and maybe the fantasy of it will stop there?

The IEA fiddling the figures is not news, we've seen it for years now. We've even seen that there is a tension within the IEA, with little bits of truth creeping out, buried on page 236 of some report.

No. the news is where the tension is coming from: the US.

We now know who is trying to fiddle the figures upwards, and that its generally not accepted within the IEA. We've had word of that before, but this puts a name and a tracable trail on who is preventing publication of the truth.

Now is the time for reporters to focus on that chain, Watergate style.

>Now is the time for reporters to focus on that chain, Watergate style.


Unfortunately that pretty much has died since the Murdochs and others took over the news landscape - if I put it bluntly.

Where do you get hard hitting, analytical, deep-investigative journalism these days?

Maybe somebody in France and Germany still do it, but it's pretty dead in the English language landscape that I see.

Except for books and those usually come 2-5 years after the fact to matter any more.

Now here's a chance for a young and aspiring journalist to make a name for herself. I wish some of them were reading this thread though :)

Where do you get hard hitting, analytical, deep-investigative journalism these days?

Al Jazeera?

It's interesting how you can pick up a feed from AJ from many places, including high in the Himalayas, and their international coverage is actually quite good. Much better than Fox, for instance.

Third-world countries are not particularly encumbered by copyright concerns, and they have a lot of time to figure out the technical details of picking signals off satellites. Al Jazeera makes it easy for them. There must be a couple of billion people globally who know enough English to watch AJ or the BBC.

Even if you don't agree with people it's important to know what they are thinking. Especially if you don't agree with them.

The timing of this leak couldn't be worse.

Anyone that has a vested interest in maintainig fossil fuel usage and lobbying against any change at copenhagen is going to decry this as another (well timed) scam to limit C02. Then you'll see a fermented public all frothy at the thought of more supression of their lifestyle.

It's all going to get so ugly.


This is exactly the kind of thing I said needed to happen when Aniya was urging us to petition the Prez to appoint a NAS comission to study Peak Oil. I have said that a credible challenge to the accuracy of IEA/EIA forecasts needs to be made. Regardless of the language used, the point is that, the whistle-blower is alleging that overly optimistic forecasts of future production are being produced at the behest of US based interests. The publication of this allegation in The Guardian and the propagation of this story around the world should make more people question the forecasts and maybe take a closer look at the data and it's sources.

That raises the question as to whether we as a community here at TOD are ready for what happens when more people become aware of the facts. Many things could result, including Black Swan events but, good stuff could result as well. I wish I had a crystal ball but, I don't and we're all just going to have to watch as events unfold. We all have to hope that whatever contingencies we have planned will be worthwhile.

On my part, it's time to drive my 16 year old, 25mpg Japanese econo-box down to my customs broker and pick up my next 1kW of solar panels.

Alan from the islands


I have read your comments with greart interest as you bring a different and sometimes unique perspective to the con versation.

You are obviously highly intelligent-intelligent enough to realize that a badly overpopulated island is a very bad place to be when tshtf.

I suppose you love your home and that is explaination enough as to your making long term investments there.

I have "right of abode" in the UK so it's the only other country that presents no obstacles to resettling that I am aware of. However, "a badly overpopulated island is a very bad place to be when tshtf."

So my options are:

1) A badly overpopulated island less than 10 degrees south of the 60th parallel that depends on the thermohaline circulation to moderate it's climate and is a highly developed country with a high dependence on energy for their way of life.

2) A smaller badly overpopulated island 18 degrees north of the equator that is a lot less developed with a population trying in earnest to live the lifestyles of our much more affluent neighbors in North America that we see on television every day.

3) Some other country where I may not be welcome, may not speak the language or may be just as bad or worse when tshtf.

A few years ago I thought Singapore was a model for development of small island states and that Lee Kuan Yew was something of a genius but, Peak Oil puts the sustainability of that model in question. Now there's a picture of a bad place to be when tshtf!

Alan from the islands

You are probably welcome in Sweden if you are welcome on Iceland.

Our new policy of essentially free imigration for people to work in Sweden has so far held thru the financial crisis.

You are probably welcome in Sweden if you are welcome on Iceland.

Why would I be welcome on Iceland? Is that you new nickname for the UK if the THC stops? Surely you knew that I was referring to the UK as the "badly overpopulated island less than 10 degrees south of the 60th parallel"?

Unless Jamaica goes the way of Haiti, I'll try and survive on my winter-less tropical island as long as I can, at least as long as my dad is alive.

Alan from the islands

Hi Alan,

This is exactly the kind of thing I said needed to happen when Aniya was urging us to petition the Prez to appoint a NAS comission to study Peak Oil.

The petition is still open

Yup still open and 663 signatures after almost 6 months. If you take a look at my comment in the comments section of the key post promoting the petition, you will get some of my thinking on it. I'll try and summarize by saying that my point is that as long as publicly funded organizations charged with coming up with market intelligence are "cooking the books", no useful policy responses can be expected from the governments that fund them (or anybody else who relies on them for market intelligence). Hence my belief that these agencies need to be challenged on their work and that the challenges get as much "air play" as possible.

Alan from the islands

Hi Alan,

Well, you're right about the number of signatures.

re: "Hence my belief that these agencies need to be challenged on their work"

By "agencies," you mean the EIA and IEA, right?

Q: What is the most effective way to challenge them, do you think?

re: "the challenges get as much "air play" as possible."

Q: What is the most effective way to bring the challenges to "air"?

'By "agencies," you mean the EIA and IEA, right?'

Of course!

Q: What is the most effective way to challenge them, do you think?

A: I think this whistle-blower story is a pretty good start. A few more stories like this will sow the seeds of doubt about the usefulness of the EIA/IEA forecasts in the minds of more and more people. As reality diverges from their forecasts, as it is likely to do, it will become easier to challenge their work. The problem is, the more reality diverges from their forecasts, the closer we get to the cliff.

Q: What is the most effective way to bring the challenges to "air"?

A: This story got quite a bit of play

Edit: Case in point: One day later and this story has hows up on and, two sites I have been visiting for at least a couple of years before I discovered TOD. If I had not heard about Peak Oil before now, it sure as hell would have appeared on my radar over the past few days!

Alan from the islands

Coincidentally (or not), the Global Energy Systems group at Uppsala University (Aleklett, Höök et al) put this out yesterday: The Peak of the Oil Age - analyzing the world oil production Reference Scenario in World Energy Outlook 2008 (PDF!)

By adding crude oil from fields in production, fields yet to be developed, fields yet to be found and additional EOR we get a projection of future crude oil production indicating that the peak of world oil production is probably occurring now. In WEO 2008, the IEA obtains a very different picture using the same data. Can we explain this difference in outlook? We have shown that the IEA‟s estimates for future production from fields currently in production are acceptable. We have also accepted their estimates for the volumes of oil in fields yet to be developed and yet to be discovered. Finally, we accept their estimate for additions from EOR as being realistic. The difference thus lies in one parameter only and that is the depletion rates of remaining recoverable resources (dδt). The future production that IEA proposes assumes unrealistically high dδt-values.

(p. 17)

I am surprised I have seen so little mention of this paper. There are 28 pages of calculations and considerations regarding the future production projected by the IEA, something to finally hang my hat on. I don't trust the IEA, nor should I; but I do have some faith in the numbers presented here, especially after so much demonstrated reasoning.

The Uppsala world oil outlook 2008 yields a undulating and gentle descent to a production level of around 75 Mb/d by 2030.

It's out on ABC News and CNBC with the sinful and dirty word "Peak Oil" in the title!

Also, for Spanish readers it's in Cenit-del-Petroleo and Crisis Energetica

the ABC news article states ...

"The peak oil theory -- that supply has reached or will soon reach a high point and then fall -- has long been confined to the fringes of informed opinion within the industry."

Is TOD "fringes of informed opinion within the industry." ??

The way that I have put it is that Peak Oiler types are generally considered to be akin to space alien cultists.

As noted up the thread, I think that Yergin, Lynch and Huber are widely considered to be more in the mainstream:

I find the parallels between the banking crisis and peak oil both striking and depressing.

There were plenty of warnings about the mortgage mess, but they were ignored or derided in the mainstream press.

An this point, I think the script is written. The bridge is out, Wall Street has the shades pulled on the club car, and the gambling shall continue until the engine drops into the chasm.

Unlike the banking crisis, there can be no bail out, because you can't print energy.

Hopefully this Guardian article will encourage a few more people to consider that if the books are cooked then the question is by how much.

Of course if this is true this pretty much means that the EIA is cooking numbers that have already been heavily altered by the oil producing nations themselves. Your not dealing with a single lie but a chain of liars.

The EIA has gotten away with some reporting policies that would not be allowed even in other US government reporting agencies. For example, they make unspecified corrections to the weekly inventory numbers that include correcting prior weeks’ errors – usually without even mentioning that fact when releasing their report.

However their inaccurate weekly report may be nothing compared to their world oil lookout. For example, we all know about the decline of Cantarell and Mexico’s output in general. Then why does the EIA short term outlook basically expect Mexico to keep producing about the same amount in the fourth quarter and 2010? Also their short term outlook expects worldwide fourth quarter oil output to exactly equal demand. How convenient?

If that were not bad enough, I suspect major oil traders and the top Wall Street firms to start (if they are not doing so already) buying oil by the tanker and keeping it offshore to avoid the scrutiny of holding a futures position. I expect that we will find US oil inventories, frequently stated as being bloated and excessive based upon ‘demand destruction’, to fall – and keep ‘unexpectedly’ falling.

Hi Charles,

I'm curious.

re: "The EIA has gotten away with some reporting policies that would not be allowed even in other US government reporting agencies."

How do you suppose this happens and how do you think it can be remedied (if remedy is possible)?

re: "buying oil by the tanker and keeping it offshore"

It seems there might be practical problems with this. One is that it can't be all that difficult to "scrutinize" - look for and find, a tanker offshore, given that tankers require personnel and etc. I mean, there are physical limits and communication that's required.

And then, you have the holding costs. And the greater uncertainty that comes with trying to secure the physical quantity. Plus, insurance.

Or, how do you see it?

The EIA has issued a number of statements from its chief spokesperson over the years that it will not formally note errors in prior week’s amounts, mainly because the monthly report is intended to be the more accurate report. Also the EIA specifically notes in explanations to its detailed weekly report that:

Several factors may introduce error into the weekly data. First, the data are preliminary, which means companies may have revisions that are incorporated into the monthly reports. Data timing from companies can also create variations. While one company may report a cargo of imports during a given week, the increase in inventories associated with that cargo may not be registered on the receiving company’s records until the following week. This timing issue would result in over-stated product supplied the first week, followed by an understatement in the second week when the stock increase was recorded. Last, limited time exists in a weekly process for EIA data review, which can lead to misreported data entering the weekly results.

So it appears their explanation for issuing a sloppy weekly report is that they can’t be expected to do any better. Maybe not, but it would be nice if they revised the prior week as they went along – instead of leaving one to assume the changes occurred in the current week.

Also I am not saying that offshore oil will be hidden from sight, although perhaps partly so for those tankers that still transverse the seas with their cargo. But due to new regulations imposing large penalties for ‘manipulating’ oil prices on US futures exchanges, it may become more economical (to avoid possible penalties) to store real oil offshore than to accumulate it through commodity purchases. Therefore the EIA will be missing those offshore barrels in its weekly report.

Well,simple story really. Follow the money, as usual. Huge profits = huge lies: we have seen this so many times in the financial sector. The fossil fuel sector is very much the financial`s sibling. Family ties in every sens of the word. Expect the worse ! Memmel, your reasonings are spot on, IMHO. I have the suspicion that more and more guys on TOD concur. Those who crusade against you have either vested interests or are just plain afraid you might be right.Time will tell soon !

Well I don't know if I'm right obviously its a much harder problem if the numbers are corrupt. What are you going to graph if everything is suspect ? I'm working on this problem and making progress. What I won't do is graph a bunch of corrupt fraudulent numbers its a waste of time. GIGO.

However I continue to see nothing that proves me wrong.

What strikes me always is that major events (especially in the last 10 years) seemed unthinkable to most “experts” just a few weeks before they happened. On the other hand, there is ALWAYS a cumuli of facts and circumstantial evidence that point straight to these very events. Human "factors" such as ignorance, incompetence, corruption, red hot greed and very often pure stupidity go a long way to explain how things went after the events happened. Complexity in all it's glory.

How are you going to factor in that delta ? :-)

Yes, I saw the Guardian story and I also read the release of "Field-by-Field Analysis of Oil Production (WEO 2008)" off the IEA homepage I thought that chapter had some good information in it, and seems like a credible effort to make some sense of the data at hand. I esp liked the comparisons of deepwater, small field, etc.

So they come up with an avg post peak (580 fields) decline rate of 5.1%, and extrapolate to an overall world post peak rate of 6.7%. See table 10.12 of the PDF. The confusing thing for me is that the report best I can tell never comes up with any estimated decline rate, period, not just post peak, which would really be the heart of the matter.

It is doubly confusing to say, right above that table, "Were the rate applied to 2007 crude oil production, the annual loss of output would be 4.7 mb/d." As if the entire volume of conventional production were post peak. Or maybe I'm misreading what they're saying, I wouldn't think they'd say it that way if they were really trying to play down the numbers.

Conforming to the IEA's sorry record of inconsistency, they maintained their outlook for a global peak in 2030, but now suggest that Non-OPEC peaks next year. They must be using the same calculator as the FED and Treasury to gauge whether all the debt can be paid back--because there's no chance that 60% of global supply can peak in 2010, with a final peak 20 years from now.


Well noted Gregor. They're so preoccupied with spinning a yarn to get people to feel secure with the far off idea of the year 2030, they forgot their basic math skills.

That year, 2030 keeps coming up in different articles about peak oil. It seems like there are two basic camps; the peak oil happened between 05-08 camp and the one that claims it will occur around 2030. It's astounding how there can be such a chasm of 22-25 years between the two camps with relatively few years cited between them.

I suppose if you are peak oil savvy, you are in camp one or close to that time period, and if you're in camp two, then you're really fixated on conjuring up a magical world of massive pockets of oil to be discovered.

The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

Hahaha that's funny! Those silly oil speculators will say anything to make a buck. Too bad the market went down today. I guess somedays the fish aint biting.

I know you are fishing and that I shouldn't bite, but:

- why are IEA "silly oil speculators"?
- why do you think they are not speaking the truth (as they see it)?
- Why do you think the spot price should react to probabilistic events on a 2-7yr futures curve?

How do we know the "whistleblowers" are really working for the IEA if they won't leave their names? And since the cat's now out of the bag, why hasn't the "panic buying" started? Isn't that the reason why the information was "supposedly" kept secret? Or was the "panic buying" only supposed to occur 2-7 years from now? lol

You see, when you use a little logic, the story really doesn't make any sense. There's an old saying we should all remember "don't believe everything you read in the papers".

You see, when you use a little logic, the story really doesn't make any sense.

I love it when someone starts to quote from the Chewbacca defense almost exactly, with all the non-sequitors attached.

"Does that make sense? Ladies and gentlemen, I am not making any sense! None of this makes sense!"

"when you use a little logic, the story really doesn't make any sense"

How so? Where is your logic? Panic buying is an aside from the main point that one of probably many figures are made up and distorted. Do you actually think that if joe public understood the full implications of running out of oil then there wouldn't be more people preparing for the future. Where are you getting your 'special' information from that noone else has the exclusive rights to see? - if this is your version of logic then you are a clown. If you look at the facts and take even a moment to think about it you can see there is a problem

Do you actually think that if joe public understood the full implications of running out of oil then there wouldn't be more people preparing for the future.

So the "whistleblowers" are actually doing the public a big favor? Sort of like the nut that posed as the Chamber of Commerce in support of cap & trade? That sounds about right.

It's a good thing Joe public doesn't believe the hype.

So the "whistleblowers" are actually doing the public a big favor?

Nah of course not, much better to leave the public in the dark - that really makes sense. Nice one conservationist youve solved the problem: simply ignore it!

One wonders whether similar pressures are put on the US Energy Information Administration.

Who wonders? No one. About this we can be sure.

That's obvious: Each time a new US president is elected the EIA's leaders are exchanged as well. This sort of exchanges only happen with political organizations, not with scientific institutions.