Drumbeat: April 18, 2010

What are you up to Mr. Woolsey - confrontation or cooperation?

"We can move quickly to strike a major blow at oil and OPEC's dominance if we'll adopt a portfolio approach and stop allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good. We can get a long way using existing vehicles, existing technology and affordable natural gas. As other improvements become practical-like charging your electric car from solar panels on your roof-they can be adopted. In the meantime, we need Theodore Roosevelt's attitude. He decided to improve competition by taking on Standard Oil's cartel and breaking it into 30 parts. President (Barack) Obama, meet your cartel. It's called OPEC."

And this is dangerous thinking. It could result in retaliation. It could impact the fundamentals - rather adversely. It would definitely inhibit investments required - and in abundance - in the sector. This is real catastrophe.

The coming famine: risks and solutions for global food security

Peak oil has already happened in the United States, in Australia, Britain and in 49 out of 65 of the world’s oil producing regions. Yet 51 million new cars continue to hit the world’s roads every year.

Just as farmers have little control over who snatches their land, water and other assets, they have little control over who takes their fuel. By 2040 dwindling reserves of fossil oil may well be reserved for the military and everyone else will have to get by as they can, including food producers.

Oil security fosters action on Iran

MANY observers were puzzled when President Barack Obama announced this month his support for expanded offshore oil drilling. Was he trying to win over Republican swing votes for a climate bill? Head off the inevitable anger over summer petrol prices? Perhaps. But here's another possibility: the move could have been intended to bolster international support for sanctions on Iran. At least that's what events from the nuclear summit last week suggest.

Obama apparently convinced Chinese President Hu Jintao to pursue sanctions as a means of dissuading Iran from developing its nuclear program. He reportedly indicated the US would help China make up any shortfall in oil imports resulting from Iranian retaliation for any Chinese support for sanctions. China is concerned about its growing reliance on crude imports and possible disruptions in the global oil markets. So Obama's offshore-drilling embrace may have been intended to signal that he is doing everything possible to avoid this.

Najib denies Iran gasoline cut

Malaysian premier Najib Razak has denied reports that the country's national oil company has cut gasoline supplies to Iran.

Petronas has been one of a few non-Chinese oil companies providing gasoline to Iran, the world's fifth-largest crude oil exporter.

Nonfiction review: 'Eaarth,' by Bill McKibben

McKibben is an eloquent advocate for deep emissions cuts to slow global warming, but making that case is not the purpose of his latest book. Instead, he aims to alert us that on a planet we have altered so profoundly that it deserves a new name ("Eaarth"), we need to shift our lives in light of new realities.

The book surveys the evidence for climate-driven impacts on the planet's major features, challenges the notion that we can grow our way out of this predicament and celebrates locally based, decentralized approaches that McKibben believes can supply food and comfort on our newly volatile home.

Bill McKibben on Cochabamba, Congress and Eaarth

Look, the planet that we live on now is different, and in fundamental ways, from the one that we were born onto. The atmosphere holds about 5 percent more water vapor than it did 40 years ago. That’s an incredible change in one of the basic physical parameters of the planet, and it explains all those deluges and downpours. The ocean is 30 percent more acidic, as it absorbs all that carbon from the atmosphere.

NASA said that we’ve just come through the warmest January, February, March on record, that 2010 is going to be the warmest year that we’ve ever seen.

Samir Doshi -- 'We can realize the impossible'

Advocates of the sustainability movement envision a future where our global society evolves toward a culture of environmental protection, social equity, democratic participation and representation, and an economy that is predicated on the Earth as the source of capital instead of just another resource.

Unfortunately, many do not see a worldwide transition toward a sustainable and desirable future without a catastrophic event that awakens people to transition past the current direction of the status quo. The thought being that unless we are on the brink of a collapse, our society as a whole will not act, as our priorities lie elsewhere.

Bangladesh to sign nuclear plant deal with Russia

DHAKA — Bangladesh will sign a deal with Russia to build two nuclear power plants at a cost of at least three billion dollars in the electricity-starved Asian nation, Dhaka's atomic energy chief said Sunday.

PM to focus energy crisis,market access during Pak-EU summit

ISLAMABAD (APP) - In pursuance of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani’s directive a two-day Energy Summit (April 19-20) opens here on Monday to finalize a concrete roadmap to tide over existing energy crisis. The summit would be joined by all provincial Chief Ministers, Provincial Power Ministers, Minister for Petroleum, Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and other relevant Cabinet members, say a press release.

The summit’s proposed framework is built around serious deliberations on need for power generation and capacity additions in thermal, hydro, renewable and solar sectors.

The Dirty Underside of Lula's Clean Energy Revolution

Brazil's biofueled paradise is looking more and more like a carbon-spewing wasteland.

Ecuadorean threat to oil giants

The Ecuadorean government has threatened to take over foreign oil concessions if the companies resist growing state control of the industry.

President Rafael Correa said every day millions of dollars were going to oil companies that should go to the state.

The government has been pressing the companies to give up concessions that give them a share of oil field profits and accept service contracts instead.

Gas cartel to vote on supply cuts

Leading gas-producing nations meet in Algeria tomorrow to vote on cutting supplies in order to double the price of natural gas.

No scope for OPEC to curb oil prices

ORAN, Algeria (Reuters) - Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil said on Saturday he believed OPEC could do nothing at this stage to restrain rising oil prices, despite concerns the high cost of energy could hurt the economic recovery.

"I do not see really what OPEC can do to have any impact on the prices at this stage because the increase in prices is not led by the lack of supply, but it is really led by the economic recovery," Khelil told a news conference.

"We have ample supply. The stocks are very high," he said in the Algerian city of Oran, which on Monday is hosting a meeting of some of the world's biggest gas exporters.

Rising Fuel Prices Could Chill Summer Vacation Plans

That old familiar feeling is back: pain at the pump.

In recent weeks, the price of gasoline has been rising to nearly $3 a gallon in many parts of the country -- the highest level since the financial crisis hit in the fall of 2008. One year ago, the nationwide price was just over $2.

This would seem to be an unlikely time for such big price hikes, given that oil supplies have been abundant this year. In fact, with the summer driving season still weeks away and millions of unemployed Americans at home rather than driving to work, this should be a period of low gasoline prices.

But retail gas prices are being driven up by the growing belief that global consumption of oil will rise significantly this year. Today's thirst for oil is "expectations-driven," says Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize, a book about the history of the oil industry.

U.A.E. to Raise Gasoline Prices, Move to Market Rate

(Bloomberg) -- The United Arab Emirates will raise gasoline prices by 11 percent from April 21 as part of efforts to more closely align them with market rates, Emirates News Agency said.

Venezuela Secures $20 Billion Loan From China, Chavez Says

(Bloomberg) -- Venezuela secured a $20 billion loan from China and agreed to form a joint venture to pump crude oil from a block in the Orinoco Belt, President Hugo Chavez said as he promised to meet the Asian country’s energy needs.

Chavez said the $20 billion financing from China is separate from a $12 billion bilateral investment fund, without providing details. Venezuela currently sends China 460,000 barrels a day of crude oil to repay an $8 billion loan that finances infrastructure projects in the South American country.

Persian Gulf Tanker Rates Rise on Anticipated Stronger Demand

(Bloomberg) -- The cost of delivering Middle East crude to Asia, the world’s busiest route for supertankers, gained for the first time in four days as owners anticipated strengthening demand.

Charter rates for very large crude carriers, or VLCCs, on the industry benchmark Saudi Arabia-to-Japan route climbed 0.2 percent to 96.89 Worldscale points. Returns from the voyage added $5 to $56,849 a day.

Want peace? Solve the energy crisis!

Peak oil, which is inevitable because global oil supplies are finite, will usher in an era of much higher gasoline prices and economic dislocation. Even worse, peak oil could propel us toward "non-solutions" like reckless drilling for oil in fragile, irreplaceable natural environments or tapping Canadian oil sands — which would be catastrophic given the energy requirements and carbon footprint associated with exploiting that resource.

The frightening prospect of peak oil should motivate us to quickly become "energy independent" by developing public transit, bicycle-friendly communities, smart-growth plans to minimize sprawl and highly efficient alternatively fueled vehicles. Lack of action is setting us up to become full participants in an intense international scramble for dwindling oil supplies — a recipe for economic collapse, international conflict and more oil wars.

Electric vehicle converter has connections to go far

Almost overnight, three partners who co-founded Alte, a fleet vehicle electric conversion company, have gone from a small shop in Plymouth, where they were tinkering with battery cells, to an 185,000-square-foot headquarters and manufacturing site.

While Alte is one of many companies jumping into the electric vehicle industry, it has quickly attracted the support and backing of well-connected automotive industry veterans and politicians.

In search for efficiency, hydrogen is not lost

Hydrogen energy was defeated by a mountain of obstacles -- the fear of explosion by the highly flammable gas, the difficulty of carrying the fuel in large, heavy tanks in the vehicle, and the lack of a refueling network. Automakers turned to biofuels, electricity or the gas-electric hybrid.

But hydrogen, it turns out, never was completely out of the race. Now Israeli scientists and entrepreneurs claim to have brought hydrogen energy a step closer by putting it in much smaller, lighter containers.

Rather than using metal or composite cylinders of compressed gas that look like bulky scuba gear, hydrogen is packed into glass filaments which, once out of the lab, will be only slightly thicker than a human hair.

Ferry port move may be end of the line for Stranraer

Transport campaigners have warned that the rail line which links Stranraer to Glasgow could face closure in under three years due to rising costs and the loss of direct ferry connections to Ireland next year.

Decision on massive B.C. hydro project could be near

The province is about to announce a decision on the decades-old proposal to build a massive hydroelectric-generating dam, known as Site C, in northeastern B.C., says Energy Minister Blair Lekstrom.

Lekstrom won't say exactly when the government plans to announce the decision, but suggests it will be soon because the province has promised to deliver a decision in spring 2010.

Hawaii's green efforts not cheap, but will pay off, advocates say

A 10-megawatt solar power project that would have boosted the amount of renewable energy on Kaua'i isn't moving ahead at this time.

The reason? The Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative wouldn't agree to pay what the developer wanted for the electricity.

The stalled project provides a glimpse into a not-so-often discussed portion of green energy as the state drives toward adoption of sustainable power projects: Going green could translate into higher electricity prices in the short run for Hawai'i residents.

Plugging in to a leaner, cleaner energy future

Half a block from the Mexican border, a giant warehouse uses sunlight to keep frozen food, well, frozen.

The $25 million warehouse, known as ICE II, has solar panels on the roof, super-thick foam walls and LED lighting to keep the temperature at around 0 degrees. It can store nearly three times as much frozen food as ICE I, its 11-year-old sister warehouse a mile and a half away, but it uses half as much electricity.

New building concept saves 70% Electricity

Living in a detached villa is a desirable lifestyle in the UAE, but it currently comes with a high cost in energy, which is bad news for the environment and the finances of the building occupant. ‘With the use of PAC technology, electricity consumption can be decreased by 60-70%’ stated Abdul Rahman Al Bluwi, BENA’s Managing Director. Precast Aerated Concrete (PAC) is a fully automated technology that has been proven effective and utilised in Europe since 1923. PAC has more than ten times the thermal insulation of conventional concrete of equal thickness. Its superior insulating system significantly decreases the need for electrical consumption which is expected to triple in Abu Dhabi by the year 2030 according to a recent report by Allroya News.

Earth Day: Four books that can inspire

Once a year, people all over the world gather to celebrate Earth's beauty and provisions and rekindle their commitment to the hard, patient work of building societies that respect, enhance and restore the natural world.

But the weeks leading up to and following Earth Day on Thursday can also be a time of reflection and research into the ecological challenges we face in the 21st century and the steps we can take to remedy them.

Following are four recently published books I recommend for getting those Earth-saving juices flowing:

After 40 years of Earth Day, what has been accomplished?

Vermont population
1970: 444,732
2010: 621,760, a 40 percent increase

The Great Unleashing Is Coming To Carrboro

The launch of Transition Carrboro-Chapel Hill, a group comprised of volunteers seeking to build community resilience in the face of challenges such as climate change and peak oil, will be celebrated during a ceremony called the Great Unleashing.

Is this the end of migration?

Climate change is affecting bird behaviour at a staggering rate. Some 20 billion have already changed their flight plans.

U.S. seeks climate ideas after Copenhagen fell short

OSLO--The United States is asking for ideas about how to tackle global warming without raising expectations of breakthroughs in 2010 ahead of climate talks among the world's top emitters on Sunday in Washington.

A document obtained by Reuters on Friday listing U.S. questions to delegates from 16 other major economies shows the two-day talks will focus on the fate of U.N. climate talks, the non-binding Copenhagen Accord, and the Kyoto Protocol.

Why cleaner air could speed global warming

Aerosol pollution, which is now on the downswing, has helped keep the planet cool by blocking sunlight. Tackling another pollutant, soot, might buy Earth some time.

Perhaps this is better for a Campfire page, but yesterday I was scrolling through the Drumbeat and thought it would be interesting to hear why people chose the usernames they did here at TOD.

I'll start it off.


I used to study aquatic insects and always thought dragonflies were the most interesting. They are primitive yet highly complex for insects; structurally and behaviorally. I have also always liked the old Naturalists' drawings of insects and some of the best are of dragonflies.

The 41 was my age when I started reading TOD.

I think my username speaks for itself, it needs no explanation. However I have since wished that I had just used my real name. I really don't see a need for names that keep your identity anonymous. I think it all started in the heyday of CB radio when everyone had a “handle”.

A joke, circa the 1970s: Someone invented a computer that could talk to people according to their IQs.

A man approached who had an IQ of 150. The computer started talking to the man about Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Then a man approached with an IQ of 100. The computer started discussing sports, politics and religion.

Then a man approached with an IQ of 85. The computer asked: "Hey there good buddy, what’s your handle?"

Ron Patterson

I'm a Deadhead, and neither Sugar Magnolia nor Dark Star felt right for my name.


While many handles do speak for themselves, I am also curious about the stories behind the various contributors. "x" comes to mind.

What does Debbie Cook mean?

I use to go by "practical" which I chose because at the time I thought TOD discussions were too esoteric. However as time passed and I gained a little confidence commenting, I wanted something that did not scream attitude or personality.

Also I got high speed Internet and had to change my email address to log in or some such if I recall correctly.

I wanted to be defined by ideas. And I didn't want my handle associated with where I live, world view or attitude about stuff.

I wanted short, different and memorable.

What better handle than "x". It generally means sign here if you agree. It can also mean unknown which is what I wanted to remain.

As it is anyone who can put two and two together would not have that much trouble figuring out my real name from my comments. Fortunately, I doubt anyone cares.

It is the shortest handle possible. And it was available. I am also "z" but I do not use it very much.

I think using your real name is a bad idea unless you want speaking engagements, are trying to sell your work or are in politics.

There are crazy people out there. If you spout unpopular ideas, it takes just one of them to make your life miserable by threats or worse. And many of my ideas are unpopular. Using your real name makes it too easy for nut cases.


My handle is simple, it's just my name. Google "Antoinetta III" (in quotes) if you want more info on who I am, what I do, etc.

You will even find some Oil Drum links there!

Antoinetta III

No, that's not me.

Antoinetta III

Ah...I had the spelling of your name wrong. You live in SF. Have you heard of Pomplamoose?

My handle is fairly straightforward.

I have been fooling around with computers since the late 70's. My first VAX account name was sgage. My email address has always been sgage@something-or-other. Whenever I need to "register" for a forum or suchlike, I always try to use sgage. If I have to, I add a number or something. Nice and short, and just one less thing to remember.

Oh, btw, my name is Steve Gage.

My name was chosen pure cowardice. I had plans to, and still may, create a "start-up" business in connected with IT. Since IT people, and thus IT financiers, do web-searches compulsively I didn't want any chance of my name or known screen-name coming up with suggestions that I think BAU may not be possible in the near future. (I think almost all people "spin" their views to align with powerful people they hope to gain favours from, this story just makes it open and explicit in that I was thinking about it consciously in advance.) So I switched to another tab in my web-browser and chose the first long-ish word my eyes fixated on as a user name. I've never had anything to do with embryos, nor was I thinking about being "embryonic in my knowledge of PO" at the time. It's purely a random name.

(I use a different, consistent screen-name on virtually every other site.)

Initials. Used to use a different name but wanted something more neutral sounding.

(I use a different, consistent screen-name on virtually every other site.)

There is something about this site which draws out comments one would not want attached to their official bio. I think the broad acceptance here that semi-anonymity is legitimate contributes a lot to the remarkable aspects of the place.

You hit the nail right on the head.

I think it is the diversity of opinion (when expressed thoughtfully) that makes this site unique and wonderful. And I think that the mix of some being anonymous and some not is actually a good thing.

I worked for the US Fortune 500 technology company Xerox Corp for all my working life (except for the first six months) as a multi skilled Technical Consultant - I was called a 'specialist' by my managers, actually I am a 'generalist'.

My job was to fix difficult problems on the company's flagship product, the complex $500,000 high speed laser printer, iGen3 - the buck stopped with me from the East Coast of the US, East to India and all countries in between, after 33 years of that I was a fully qualified 'Xeroid'.

Since reading TOD I have discovered I have an INTJ personality type, I think there are several of us here!


Despite that everyone might think "Rockman" refers to my being a geologist it doesn't. It a referrence to my stubborness. If you don't believe just ask my wife.

Mine is simply peak oil with a southern twang, perk earl, even though I grew up in and live in California and have no southern accent. Just seemed kind of fun.

Thought, perhaps, you played guitar as a hobby.

Last year I found a copy of Danchin's "Earl Hooker, Blues Master" on Ebay, I think I had just finished it when I first saw a post by Perk Earl, and that was the first connection I made, gee I wonder if he named himself after...nahhh, of course not, its a peak oil site.

Funny that your personality and profession are such a close match. I guess that means I'm wishy-washy and just go with the flow ... wait, that hit a little too close to home!

I was a Customer Engineer (Field Service Engineer) for Applied Materials for 12 years. In 2000 I was promoted to CE 3.

Customer Engineer 3 2000

I liked amateur photography as a kid, and also wanted to indicate what part of the US I lived in, so appended my phone number area code.

I have tried to consistently use it in all internet activities, as then it is easy to self-research using google and such. It is also really easy to tell new friends, that if they ever want to get back in touch, just google 'mrflash818'

No where near as interesting a name choice as many, but I am probably in the 'good buddy' joke range :)

Mine is a nick name for my ex-wife.


straight sexual preference

OOPS, to much information.

This guy is 94 so he has to be sincere.


I never really meant to post on this login, I just set it up so that I could keep track of what I'd already read.

Then I started posting and now it seems just too much trouble to change it.

My real name's Dan, so at least my handle is more distinctive ^^

Back in the days, I had such good eyesight that I could see microscopic protozoa with my bare eyes, even their nuclei in big, living ones swimming in thin walled tubes. Santa Lucia is the patron saint of eyesight and at the time I was doing Zoology in the river Santa Lucía, in a South American country. I saw a bug, less than a millimeter long creeping on some wet stone, caught it, and I baptized it M. santaluciae. That's why.
Many years before another zoologist had described some Protozoa in the guts of a water snail, he had some doubts about them. Pity he had to fix and dye them to study these microscopic ciliates.
I could see them alive, and some were Red and some not!
Easy peasy. So thanks to the saint with the pretty eyes on the gold plate.

I chose Road Warrior because those films are still the best portrayal of the post-peak Dark Ages that I’ve seen. I even look a little like Mad Max, with my leather outfit, shotgun and mutt sidekick. I haven’t added assless chaps to my wardrobe yet, but that may come later.

My handle comes from my interest in Astrology.. Native is the term used to describe you and the present birth you have:

Middle English, from Old French natif, from Latin ntvus, from ntus, past participle of nsc, to be born; see gen- in Indo-European roots

My handle comes from my interest in Astrology..

Then the name would fit better if you dropped the 't'. ;-)

Ron P.

Tsk. Shouldn't make fun of people's religion.

Unless it's got something to do with a chewy nougat center of infinitely malleable resources.

It is easy to discount astrology, especially based on the treatment it gets in newspapers and other media. One of the authors I follow summed it up really well:

"It is never a question of belief; the only scientific attitude one can take on any subject is whether it is true. The law of gravitation worked as efficiently before Newton as after him. The cosmos would be fairly chaotic if its laws could not operate without the sanction of human belief."

Same goes for Astrology, the million dollar question really is "is it true".

Ron, you will agree that the word Naive would very well have been used to describe the readers of this site just a few years ago :-). Some would use it even today :-)

You are fighting a losing battle Native. A sparrow perched on your roof at birth would have many times the gravitational effect of a planet in the sky. Or a fat person, verses a skinny person, in the bed above you in the hospital would have several thousand times the gravitational effect on your body as a planet in the in the sky above. Also, though stars hold their position from one year to the other, planets do not. Using the gravitational effect of planets to explain astrology is absurd.

Astrology is superstition, nothing more, nothing less.

However I must admit I have a horseshoe over my door. I don't believe that silly nonsense for one minute. It's just that I have heard it will bring you good luck whether you believe it or not. ;-)

Ron P.

Is your horseshoe facing open side up?

Mine is........it is suppose to catch and hold good luck that way ;)

I will try anything if there is a possible upside with no down side;)


After years of reading your hard-nosed posts, I must say that, "I have a horseshoe over my door", is perhaps the most startling revelation I've yet read on TOD! Guess I'll have to re-evaluate my respect for your data driven analyses... ;-)

No real story involved, but that might represent a class of others as well.

I had been reading for awhile and becoming fond of the forum and comments; I don't post anywhere else in the world, period. The first several names I tried were taken. Moreover, at the time it seemed like there was a hint of purposeful idiosyncratic opacity involved with many names within the subculture, in somewhat the manner of New Yorker cartoons, so I went with that feel.

I kept it vague because that suited my feelings about blogging in general. It's a name nobody else would conceivably want, and was meant to be temporary. Yet I found myself commenting more often and feeling more at home, which was a surprise and remains one.

Well, I'm a Hydrologist by trade, hence the "Water", and my totem animal is the "Weasel"(long story there).

And then, does anybody remember back in High School or Junior High a water weasel was a rubber tube with a pen tip? Fill it up by jamming it in to a water faucet, hold your finger over the tip, or point and spray. This was before they had those "super-soaker" water guns, but same effect. And you threaded it up your sleave so you had the element of surprise.

My handle came after reading the TOD I owned a small car yrs ago when the weather got above 100 degrees guess what it started vaporlocking and started thinking that's how the population may react to Peak oil.

Dragonfly41, nice thread.


Partly, because Zadok is a character who surrounds himself with the wise (think Solomon), immerses himself in current events, and is neither afraid to get involved nor to take action.

Partly, because in real life, my job handle means I work Sundays and holidays. High Church Anglican.

Partly, because I like the Handel. Pun intended:-)

And yes, I am not shy about using my name.

Tom Henderson.

My handle ought to be pretty obvious. At the time I became active on internet blogs, I was an opponent of the Bush administration and anything they were pushing the US into. I was hoping Obama would change things enough that I could retire the moniker. But, I see we've only halfway changed, so I'm keeping it. Still hope I can retire it someday.

enemy of state, IMHO, has a rebel sounding ring to it. Keep the moniker. It would be a shame to retire it.

Speak truth to power.

enemy of the state classic. keep it.

Confederate cuz that's what I am.
An old Southern Rebel, and gentleman farmer...

Thanks for the thread comment. I really thought the editors would want to take it to the Campfire, but I knew it would be a slow Sunday and thought it would be interesting to hear folks' stories. Some people want to remain anonymous and that's fine, but we've built a little community at TOD and it's kind nice to know the people better.

I'm not shy about using my name either. It's in my bio.

Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver. If you check inside a piece of silver jewelry it will say "sterling." Other times simply 925. If it says nothing it's probably just pot metal.

I beat on (cast, form, and stamp) sterling silver to make jewelry. My wife's pretty well decked out but I don't sell much ;-)

I cast coins with my scrap in a tuffa mold. Look kind of ancient.

I always figured you were British ... like in Pound Sterling. Perchance, are you from the U.K.?

Nope, I'm in the US. I hope to visit the UK this summer though. I know some progressive Episcopalians here. Peak aware etc. Female priest and open congregation.

Zadok made me think you were an extraterrestrial "Zadok from Ork" or somewhere. :-)

I live in Western North Carolina. I tend to post observations - commentary, from a generalist, multi-disciplinary perspective - rather than techie analyses with lots of colorful charts and graphs. Also, mountaintops were usually where the observer corps were posted, as they are good vantage points from which to survey the surrounding area. Still are.

When I post comments on other sites I usually use some variation of my name or location. I felt like a change here, so since all my work tends toward putting together watershed and stormwater plans, "waterplanner" seemed to fit.

Fuser is the nickname Ernesto Guevara had before he adopted the nick name Che. It's loosely translated as "The Angry One".

I'm interested in the fate of exurb areas post peak. I grew up in suburbia but worked in very rural areas and have since set up a exurban place.

Exurbs are often neglected in the conversation concerning rural vs. urban future viability and yet there are millions in the US living on hobby farms, ranchetts, and hideaways within say 50 miles of some large urban center.

About 20 years ago I started calling myself in print "The Old Woodchuck" in honor of my old woodchuck grandfather. Oldchuck is just the short form. I use it elsewhere. It is simple and easy to remember

Well, my "real" name is obviously Todd; especially since I've had a couple of key posts with my surname too.

But, what I find interesting is how I was named "Todd." My dad's family has a lot of history behind it. Part of the family came over on the Mayflower; part appears to have been part of the Jamestown Colony; and another part is related to a French Count..way back when.

Still, why "Todd?" It goes back to my great grandmother. On her death bed she says to my folks, "Name your first son "Todd." Why? Will it turns out that some relative was Robert Todd Lincoln's law partner and this was meant to honor him

Now I have to tell you that I'm 71 and NO ONE was named "Todd" back then. I used to envy name patches that people sew onto their work clothes. There was Ralph, Joe, Sam and on and on. But there wasn't any "Todd." People always asked me if "Todd" was a nickname for Theodore. No!

In fact it wasn't until college when I met someone who at least had the last name of "Todd."

Now, 71 years later there are lots of "Todds" but not when I was growing up - I was it!


My grandfather was always called "Todd". I thought this was strange, as his name was Morris, and it wasn't his middle name either.

He explained that when he went to the circus at age six, the circus workers let him ride a pony around the ring. Apparently the best jockey of the day (1915) was named "Todd", so they all called him Todd. The name stuck for the next 89 years of his life.


If you want to be popular, just ask people to talk about themselves!

I chose Consumer because that is my relation to oil, and more broadly, my relation to the world at the moment. I am a consumer of resources. That is how I have been defined. We in the U.S. are no longer referred to as "citizens", we are now "consumers". The sad thing is that the change is probably an accurate reflection of reality.

I have a couple of names I'm considering if I ever make the changes I want to. If I get myself to a more sustainable, PO prepared life, I will celebrate by changing my user name.

Do I want to be popular? If I wanted to be popular, I certainly wouldn't be hanging out at TOD, now would I?

No, just curious on a lazy Sunday in between lawn/garden work.

Mine's fairly obvious, but I'd like to vote for the TOD'er with the most creative moniker: Joules Burn

Mine is pretty straightforward. I'm a Canadian from Toronto; Canuck is a slang term for Canadian. I am also quite left wing (even for Toronto.) I was looking for a handle that combined these facts. Pat Buchannan made an insult against Canada in 2002, referring to our country as "Soviet Canuckistan". So it made sense to me to reclaim the insult and neuter it. However, I was not alone in this thought; if I'd known how many other Canuckistanis there are out there, I would have thought up something else. Also, it's hard to remember how to spell it (I'm always putting an "a" in place of the first "i"...and it takes a while to type...next time, fewer letters.)

"pi" just came out when I started typing something random to see what the keys would say when I decided to register. It was strange. I`m not a mathematician. But I did enjoy studying calculus and geometry back in high school so maybe that`s why I liked the name when my fingers typed it and I decided to keep it. I liked that it was short.

I later found out that economic cycles can (maybe) be calculated using days which are multiplied by pi (3.1415 times 1000). (Something called a pi-cycle). I don`t know much about this. But the person who argues for this insists that the basis for his theory is that energy flows through an economic system. So maybe the circumference of a circle is important in someway for that? Energy spreading outward like a circle....as each cycle of economic expansion is made, the needs of the system increase not linearly but exponentially.

I also like the shape of the Greek letter for "pi".

Also it`s an irrational number, and people have been quite irrational about oil, I think. In general, people can`t be rational...maybe. That is why we have these environmental problems!

Dragonfly41, first, thanks for such a delightful thread. It helps to learn more about those whose comments you read, and those who may read your comments.

I am an RVer, meaning I live in a portable home. In my case it is a 5th wheel trailer pulled by a pickup truck. My wife and I have been doing it for the past 12 years on a full-time basis. I had one of the first "blogs" online in 1998 at www.twopennytravels.com. At that time it was called a "web log" complete with GPS coordinates and weather as we traveled. It is amazing how things have progressed since those times.

I wrote a couple of books about the potential calamity of another major earthquake on the New Madrid Fault, and got into the problems of trying to teach people to recognize risk and do something about it. I began trying to find ways to be more self-contained, and got into solar power and LED lighting. When my LED light supplier asked me to sell his products, I chose the name PrudentRVer, and set up a website at www.prudentrver.com to sell LEDs and teach people to save power and live frugally. About the same time I stumbled across www.TheOilDrum.com. I also found www.CalculatedRiskblog.com, www.theAutomaticEarth.blogspot.com and some other high-grade, thought-provoking commentary.

I continue to be an avid reader of all the ideas and comments posted on TOD and other sources of reasoned, contemplative thought. I see in those blogs the efforts to warn people of resource depletion and climate change as well as the same frustrations I have had in trying to warn people in Memphis and the like of the need for earthquake preparation and planning.

Wife and I are now 73 and slowing down. Less travel, but we are still full-timing, keeping our wheels on the ground and ready to roll. Now, it is a matter of being able to escape a calamity if it happens as well as continuing to seek the best environment in which to live.

So my handle is a suggestion to everyone: be far-sighted, thrifty, wise, frugal, vigilant, & wary. In other words, be prudent in your choices. Someday it will make the difference.

Sam Penny
the Prudent RVer


1. If you take 710, subtract the number of the beast, 666, add it to the year I was born, 1968, you get the year the world will end according to the Mayans, 2012.
2. Repeated application of the 80/20 rule on a planet with about 7 billion people results in about 700 people influencing 10% of everything.
3. It's "OIL" upside-down.

Upside down and backwards :)


(reverse the 7) I don't know how with a key board.

This Is how I felt when I became peak oil aware, hence the name

This Is how I felt when I became peak oil aware, hence the name

I use my real (Christian) name on this and other 'serious' boards. One web sites that are likely to degenerate into flame wars I use an anonymous moniker.

Because I sometimes post details of my personal and family life which might impact on my family if I was fully open, I keep my full name private. That way I can be more open and honest, and at least on this site I try to avoid hyperbole.

TOD handle comes from my post secondary education. I am an Environmental Technologist - don't take that as leaning towards a technocorpian attitude, it isn't. Rather I saw it as a method to enter a very stable and unlikely to disappear field of work/expertise, that being the supply of drinking water.

I can remember in '94 my Environmental Technology class professor, stating that oil was only likely to "be around" for another 50 years at most - I figured Water was a relatively 'peak resistant' field to take on as an occupation. Here's hoping.....

I use the same moniker in every forum and it dates back a dozen years or so. I was just sitting and looking for a descriptive and unique name, and came up with this one.

I found that my character and ability to think had been "freed up"# when I moved to New Orleans, so I wanted to be defined by that.

Certainly less evocative than many others, but it suits me (despite the # of letters required to type).


# I believe that the explanation for New Orleans bizarrely high level of creativity is the absence of social pressure to conform.

I don't have to spell out to TOD readers the hidden message in the article No scope for OPEC to curb oil prices, but I will any way - we must be near OPEC's production limits when they say prices are not influenced by supply.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries could in theory increase output quotas to try to cool prices but members have shown no sign of wanting to do that.

What theory would that be? As usual, OPEC can not bring itself to admit the truth about supply - but maybe about prices when they discuss $100 oil soon.

My handle may represent my current state of mind and/or the direction my life is going, but I can't be sure.

but I can't be sure.

chuckled at that.

Andre Angelantoni == aangel

Plus, back in 03 and 04 I had a camp at Burning Man in which we dressed as angels, created an Altar of Acknowledgement and asked people what acts of love, kindness or courage they had never been acknowledged for. Then we acknowledged the kind of people they were to express that in the world. I think our altar was was of the best places in all of BM because it's pretty much impossible not to have love present when acknowledgment is present.

People do some truly amazing things that we found out only because we asked. The whole camp became experts at acknowledgment and after being acknowledged some people would come back a few hours later dragging their friends and saying, "You've got to acknowledge this wonderful person!", which we promptly did for whatever act they told us. We wrote down each acknowledgment on a giant scroll, which got burned on Sunday night during the Temple Burn. The temple burn of course is to remind us all that we are just borrowing these molecules for a spell and then we give them back to the universe for who knows what purpose (if any).

The first year we acknowledged about 500 people the second year we acknowledged over 900 people. I've been thinking of going back this year to Burning Man because it's been way too long and I miss the vibe there.

This was the Temple the first year I attended at sunset, then lit up at night, then at ground level during the day:

Temple 3

Temple 2

As a fish

BTW, those are seats in the picture above. On the left are people writing out whatever they are "giving" or "releasing" to the fire or perhaps they leave behind a picture of someone they've lost. The Temple space was magical, especially on the top floor looking out over miles of desert at all the people biking to check out the next art installation or just wandering around the desert meeting people.

It was very sad watching the Temple burn, it was so beautiful, but that's the other point: to feel.

Click refresh on the Image Gallery page to see some of the wonderful art and costumes people create:

Here's an example of a trek out to an art installation:


But nighttime is truly another world:


Sunflower Cathedral

"Sunflower Cathedral"


Yes, those are giant flamethrowers with approx. 30,000 people that year in a giant circle awaiting the Man to burn. Not visible are a fire truck and men in silver high temperature flame retardant suits in case something unplanned occurs.

Ok, I've just made up my mind. I'm going back. If any TODers are interested in meeting up there, drop me a note. I'm likely to get another group of angels together but perhaps we'll be Roving Angels of Acknowledgment instead of setting up an altar.

My son is a veteran of Burning Man. Loves it. Looks too hot for this Southern Boy.

My handle was given to me in bootcamp by a ChineseAmerindian. I guess it stuck. The "G" is silent (per LittleBigMan). He claimed it had a deeper meaning that way.

Maybe you can initiate a Peak Oil Camp this year, all solar-powered!

I thought about creating a camp but making a camp is an involved endeavor that I'm not sure I want to squeeze into my calendar. Fun, but involved. I'll ask around and see if we can join another camp, like Glitter Camp, for instance. I know a lot of people in that one and they are laid back but still organized — a priceless combination in the desert.

aangel - I always had you as a chick! Sorry dude :)

had you as a chick

Talking of gender: How many females post on this site?

I get the distinct feel that most are male. While the two main contributors behind the site are female.

Why is this?

Dunno but my spouse would say that women have better things to do with their time such as hanging out with flesh and blood as opposed to pixels. Well, maybe so but this is the life that I have chosen.

Well...my wife spends plenty of time in the net at plenty of blogs, but has no interest in this kind of topic...this is too much of a downer for some folks...

Probably most of the women who read don't post, and most of the ones who post don't say.

As far as why? I dunno, I guess that in the US at least this sort of analysis is considered a "guy thing".

No worries HAcland...I'll take that as a compliment :-)

my user name derives from the " colossus" film

well I was a peasea , and mr gates better note I was a PC way before his silly ads !

PC are my initials , any forums tend to have all the derivatives taken,so.....

and yes I've been in IT for a long time now....

video warning if you can't remember the film..


My name is quite simple - full name is John Caulfield - my students tend to refer to me as 'Sir' or 'Mr C' (I let them do it because people seem to find my surname either hard to spell or pronounce!). Common mispronunciation is 'Mr Coalfield' - seems quite appropriate for this site :)


I gather that you are no relation to Holden Caulfield. ;-)

He, (Holden Caulfield), finds the hypocrisy and ugliness of the world around him almost unbearable, and through his cynicism he tries to protect himself from the pain and disappointment of the adult world.

I have found that cynicism doesn't really help.

Ron P.

Anyone who has ever read my comments knows why I chose my name.

Also it is the name of one of my all time favorite rock climbing routes at Lovers Leap in the Sierra Nevada Mts.

Always liked your nomiker.

Paulo is a family joke because I always tease my wife that I am Italian and 'agree with T on this one' (Tony Soprano)...... a German/English Paul who is as unlike T as possible in real life. It is a good laugh at the right time.

A stunning photo of the Iceland volcano here.

Another one by the same photographer here.

Wow! It looks like someone chucked The One Ring into it!

Check out this one.

He says they're getting a ton of ash. He's not expecting flights to resume any time soon.

Wow, you all. I can see where the legend of Thor originated!!

Yep, I don't think too many special effects film crews could top this.

Thor is tame. Hardly any wonder thoughts may turn instead to Ragnorok.


Hey, I think I can see what looks like my ex wife, in the lower right hand corner, getting ready to cuss me out for leaving the toilet seat up or some other equally serious transgression ;-) Disclaimer, on occasion I'd forget...

that first is one of the most amazing shots I have seen of a volcanic eruption.

I cannot believe what I read - that the flight cancellations have disrupted importation of fruits and flowers into the UK from Africa - it's really profitable to load high-bulk items like that and fly them that far?

They fly produce and flowers from South America to the US, and sell them for ridiculously cheap prices.

Flowers are light, and bring a lot of money for the weight, so I can see that being profitable. And I guess fruits and vegetables are worth it, when they're out of season in the northern hemisphere.

it's really profitable to load high-bulk items like that and fly them that far?

that's what struck me, too. We're using jets to fly water from one place on the earth to another.

(that goes largely for the passengers, too...)

We're using jets to fly water from one place on the earth to another.

Yes really.

Australia flies tanks of seawater, oxygenated & chilled & filled with live flapping fish and shrimp to Japan.

They are trucked to the "live fish markets" in Japan and sold within 24 to 48 hours of being caught in Australia. The fish are usually tropical reef fish from the Great Barrier Reef.

Because of the need for the (heavy) seawater to get the (relatively light)live fish to overseas market this must be one of the most FF intensive food sources in the world.

Which leads to another interesting point: Japan now imports a huge percentage of its food. It is my opinion that the Japanese government will keep the option of whale hunting open as a food source as Japan's food security declines with higher oil costs re imported food.

In other words, Whale hunting may be a sign of one nations concern on food security rather than a feeble attempt to preserve a historic cultural industry.

As for "Wotfigo"

About 4 years ago with increasing concern for the state of the biosphere & effects of GHG's & AGW I started reading web sites on sustainability issues. This led to overpopulation issues, overshoot & collapse & Duncan's Olduvai Theory. I started asking myself What The F Is Going On & "wotfigo" was born.

I was absolutely horrified when I read Olduvai & dismissed it as totally improbable. Why would modern civilization allow its electrical power source to fail? Won't happen.

Then I found TOD.

Which leads to another interesting point: Japan now imports a huge percentage of its food. It is my opinion that the Japanese government will keep the option of whale hunting open as a food source as Japan's food security declines with higher oil costs re imported food.

Japan's whale hunting is purely of the "ravage of the commons" variety. During the '50's, '60's and '70's it was basically organized crime taking every remnant whale population that was known of, directly or through intermediaries, in collusion with the USSR, and with no penalty ever levied.

I don't doubt that some far-thinkers in Japan may be getting nervous, but avarice and nationalism are sufficient to explain behavior which goes bar back to the upside of the Hubbert curve.

Even if whaling is conducted in the future, Japan should not be trusted to do it under treaty. Their fisheries often constitute a destructive pestilence; as methods that are banned in Japan's waters are enthusiastically pursued elsewhere. I'm not anti-Japanese, I rather like the people. But their hybrid government-corporate-yakuza acquisition entities are the mascots for the fishing tragedy of the commons.

In other words, Whale hunting may be a sign of one nations concern on food security rather than a feeble attempt to preserve a historic cultural industry.

Japan's modern whaling fleet was principally organized by Douglas MacArthur; and thus a generation of postwar Japanese remember whalemeat fondly as some of the only meat they could get. Yet without Japan's government promoting it heavily as "traditional", it probably would have largely died out by now.

The efficacy of far-seas fisheries once fuel is a lot more expensive will be lower. At present, whalemeat often commands caviar prices. It's a luxury food; for actual nutrition they'd be better off buying NZ mutton or something else cheap. It's like bluefin tuna: nobody could seriously contend that it serves a nutritional need in Japan. It's a status food, and the "endangered" label only increases the price and desirability.

As for whaling, I'm no culinary imperialist; I don't care what the heck other people eat. Rather, I care who they eat. There are a number of self-aware beings chopped up and sold as whalemeat in Japan's markets who don't belong to species in overshoot. Some of them are even whales.

I agree - Japan (and I guess China too) must be right at the top of the league table in terms of the extermination of large creatures to feed their diet (both in straight protein, but also historical and cultural terms). Their behaviour is appalling, with respect to tuna, dolphins, whales, etc. No way to get around it. And even though there are other cultures who think our eating all-beef patties and crispy bacon are pretty gross practices, it is simply not the same thing as pillaging the seas.

Oddly, Jared Diamond points to Japan as a society that succeeded - avoided collapse for thousands of years. One reason is a culture of sustainability. The country is still 70% forested, despite the insane population density, because longstanding laws and cultural attitudes protected the forests. Meat is not part of the traditional Japanese diet - except fish. I suspect this is because raising animals as food was too hard on their constrained environment.

But despite their success at home, it came at least partly via exporting the pillaging. Wood was imported from Hokkaido. And instead of raising beef or pork, they fished. We have a fishing tradition, too, but we also had a tradition of raising meat animals, and the land to do so. Something to fall back on, as it were.

Ironic that traditions that started as a path to sustainability are now leading Japan in the opposite direction, at least with respect to the seas.

One reason is a culture of sustainability.

I think it is a culture of protecting your own backyard, but raping everybody else's (including the commons). Have you seen how they hyper-package even the most basic products - a peach, or an apple, or a small slice of chocolate cake? My goodness.

Ironic that traditions that started as a path to sustainability are now leading Japan in the opposite direction, at least with respect to the seas.

Japan is definately a nation of conflicting ideals but IMO it has now become one of the planet's most unsustainable developed nations wrt PO & FF depletion.

Japan has very few resources & imports nearly all of its energy (coal, oil & uranium) and 60% of its food www.japanfs.org/en/pages/025852.html Japan cannot feed its large (128 million) & ageing population without massive food imports.

Furthermore Japan (& Taiwan) led the Asian Economic miracle. However there is now nothing that Japan makes (cars, computers & whitegoods) that cannot be made cheaper in countries like China & South Korea. Manufacturing jobs that once left the US & Europe to Japan (& Taiwan) are now leaving Japan for China et al.

Japan is in trouble, probably more so than the United States which has at least its vast food producing lands & still formidable natural reaource base to fall back on when PO hits.

I agree totally with the anti whaling sentiments expressed above. But the question remains "Why does Japan spend so much international goodwill (which it desperately needs to keep selling Made In Japan goods) in trying to maintain whale slaughter? Does it see a time in the not too distant future when it will need every calorie of food it will be able to lay its hands on?

I don't know but the question intrigues me.

When I bought a new flat screen TV couple of years ago I bought Samsung (Korean). I do not own a Japanese car & never have (bought my first car in 1964). My antiwhaling commitment steers me away from Japanese goods. There are millions of people like me.

Why does Japan keep whaling? I can't work it out!

I think it is a culture of protecting your own backyard, but raping everybody else's (including the commons).

True, but that does seem to be part of the key to success, when it comes to sustainable societies. It's also the reason Diamond says that strong central government is necessary for sustainability. Without it, everyone will be protecting their own backyards but pillaging their neighbors'.

Have you seen how they hyper-package even the most basic products - a peach, or an apple, or a small slice of chocolate cake?

Yes, it's crazy. Though those are items meant as gifts, more than everyday food. It probably wouldn't have been so bad in the old days. All that packaging would be recycled repeatedly. If you just throw it away after a single use, it's a different story.

I agree about the excessive packaging here (in Japan). It is almost a pathology. In fact I think it is one. WHen people here got industrial lifestyles, then everyone (well, 95%) of people were what only 1% had been before: "elite"---I mean a middle-class consumer lifestyle. If you didn`t have something wrapped up excessively then it wasn`t "correct". It was for poor people; you`d be found wanting. Before industrialization, wrapping up things in beautiful paper or cloths would be an act of recycling---you`d use that wrapping material again, because it would last. And only the wealthy would have that anyway.

There is a lot of "shame" in this culture---the idea that you have to measure up or you`re an idiot. Maybe that is why the suicide rate is so high---in fact I`m convinced they are linked. It is one of the more horrible things here.

As PO progresses I wonder whether things will change??

Though those are items meant as gifts, more than everyday food.

The custom seemed to me to run much deeper than just that. I remember asking if it might make sense to forgo extensively 'gift-wrapping' some items since Customs inspectors might well unwrap them anyway. They responded by pretending to pretend that they simply couldn't comprehend the question/request, with maybe a bit of an air of understanding that a gaijin might fail to realize that the very idea that anything might leave their store without extensive wrapping would be insulting.

I've been reading TOD since it started but I rarely post. I'm a retired 747 Captain and I also have a U.S. Merchant Marine Captain license. I've spent my life finding my way around the world in airplanes and boats...so "Navigator" it is. Like many of you, I use the same name on numerous forums. My interest here on TOD is due to family oil industry involvement dating back to early wildcatters in Texas and Oklahoma.

On edit: Loved the Burningman photos and story Aangel. My wife and I have been Burners since 1997. We're usually camped with the Burning Man Yacht Club. We might miss this year...but if we go, we'll look you up.

That would be great, Navigator. Hopefully our paths cross.

Ok, now that we've all joined in a Muskateers role call, let's get back to earl.

ORAN, Algeria (Reuters) - Algerian Energy Minister Chakib Khelil said on Saturday he believed OPEC could do nothing at this stage to restrain rising oil prices, despite concerns the high cost of energy could hurt the economic recovery.

"I do not see really what OPEC can do to have any impact on the prices at this stage because the increase in prices is not led by the lack of supply, but it is really led by the economic recovery," Khelil told a news conference.

Is what he's saying about there not being a lack of supply driving prices true? If so, then the only other fundamental reason for the price rising to its current 84 would be demand. Is it a case whereby increasing demand as the recovery takes place is raising the price, or is it like so many have claimed, speculation?

Afterall, many investing in stocks are doing so based on a perception of recovery.

It seems worth broaching due to the Algerian energy ministers comments.

I mentioned this further up, but to add to that, but basically OPEC is near peak supply - except for are about three unusual things also affecting 'supply'.

KSA appears to have some capacity to increase supply, but mostly of lower quality oil that is not desired by refiners (beyond the amount they currently use). Due to US and UN sanctions, Iran is ending up with some oil that can't be sold. Finally there have been at least three attempts to either hijack and/or severely damage oil tankers this last month, although it is unclear to me if there are zero, one, or two tankers currently under control of 'pirates'.

So in sum, OPEC is lying by saying that lack of supply is not driving prices.

I estimate that OPEC has about 1.5 mb/d of spare capacity, 2 mb/d at the most. However that spare capacity is dropping a little every month. If they hold current production, or close to it, their spare capacity will be down to zero by about mid 2012. Then both OPEC and non-OPEC will be in decline. Non-OPEC will start to decline in the second half of this year.

That is of course just a guess but I consider it a very educated guess.

Ron P.

So, it sounds like a good excuse he's offering up to hide the fact OPEC is producing most of what they can, short of some low quality oil refiners don't want at this point, while appreciating the higher price received for their oil. I guess OPEC is having a hard time letting go of the idea they were the swing producer. Sometime between 05-08 they lost that moniker.

If Darwinian is right about excess capacity, and I believe he is, OPEC and particulary Saudi Arabia would be making arrangements for the change in quality and the amount of oil left. Based upon what I know about KSA they are, in fact, adjusting and/or buidling new refineries for lower quality oil, developing alternative energy sources, and working over existing fields. All of these observed facts scream "peak oil" is here, and the best should be made of what is left.

On the other hand, KSA has come up with some very convincing cover stories for these developments - such as clean or green energy technology, expanding capcity, etc., that most (outside TOD, foreign sources, blogs, etc.) seem to believe.

So in sum, OPEC is lying by saying that lack of supply is not driving prices.

More accurately I think would be to call it spin. If supply is remaining constant but "demand" is increasing, then blame consumers for increasing demand and hence price. There may be a bit of justification for their point, OPEC is not deliberately cutting supply to push prices up, rather consumer demand is threatening to exceed supply.

Yes, but are they increasing supply to accomodate the increased demand? And is the lack of increased supply a choice or a function of constrained capacity? Anyway, it sounds like they are trying to claim that classic supply vs demand theory somehow does not apply to oil.

Anyway, raise the prices high enough and eventually demand will not exceed supply at that price.

If constraining additional supply is not deliberate, then they will have to admit that, at least for the time being, their ability to produce has peaked. But they won't do that because they would still like to discourage a meaningful push to find alternatives and constrain demand.

If this is spin, then it is dumbass and nonsensical spin.

China Lends Venezuela $20 Billion for Oil Venture, Chavez Says ...
Apr 18, 2010 ... Sunday April 18, 2010 ... April 19 (Bloomberg) -- China will lend Venezuela $20 billion and form a joint venture with a state ... State oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA and China National Petroleum Corp. signed a ...
www.businessweek.com/...18/china-lends-venezuela-20-billion-for-oil-vent... - 2 hours ago

This news plus the recent sale to China by Conoco of its oil sands interests for $5 billion last week is evidence of China securing oil that the US had thought was headed for the US. 450,000 b/d is presently headed to China from Venezuela form the article. Brazil has committed 150,000 b/d from recent articles on the blog. Canada is building a pipeline to send oil west to China.

It's another brick in the Great Oil Wall China is building. Inside the Wall are oil supplies and reserves unavailable to American bidding.

And the ethanol blend wall is near:


Ethanol production now runs at about 1 billion gallons per month nationally. The 12 billion gallons to be produced this year will push close to saturating the 130 billion gallons of gasoline U.S. motorists will buy this year.

The blend wall effectively kills cellulosic ethanol as well as Brazilian ethanol. Brazilian ethanol has its own sugar price production wall as well.

Oil exporters have hit a wall as Westexas often points out. And looming just ahead is the Peak Oil production wall according to the Pentagon and many posters on this site.

The United States is having walls built around liquid fuel supplies by ourselves, others and geology.

All in all the move by China is just another brick in the wall:


This news plus the recent sale to China by Conoco of its oil sands interests for $5 billion last week is evidence of China securing oil that the US had thought was headed for the US.

The U.S. political system at the Fed level is preoccupied with the battle for party dominance. It is so all consuming, that efforts to secure our energy future in a manner similar to what China is doing, are absent from the radar screen. Once oil production begins to descend from its current peak plateau, the U.S. will be so unprepared, their leaders will claim it as a big surpise. And, yes, it will be a big surprise to them because they were busy lobbing insults instead of procuring contracts, acting as obstructionists instead of enablers, because the battle for party dominance is much more important than energy security. Well, I guess that must be the case, because that's their motus opperandi.

Jeff Rubin and Stephen Leeb appeared yesterday on CNN's Your Money. MSM appearance of some key spokespeople on PO. Neither of them uttered the term Peak Oil, but strongly implied it. Is the word Peak Oil an anathema?

I believe that the term 'Peak Oil' is indeed anathema in both the dominant media outlets/networks, as well as in office and personal conversation.

Like many others here, I am very circumspect about mentioning resource depletion, limits-to-growth, over-population, pollution, changes/simplifications/downshifts in the consumerist American (U.S.) lifestyle...you get the picture.

I mentioned to my 20 year old son and 18 year-old daughter last week that their lifestyles will be different when they become my age (~25 years hence) when "gasoline will be $12 per gallon" (no analysis there, I was 'firing for effect'. No one else outside the family was present, and my wife 'shhshed' me and said that I was being ridiculous with such talk... She said that gasoline would never reach that price, and, in fact, that the price at the pump had been remarkably stable. She is very intelligent in general, but she has definite 'no go' conversation areas, and obviously fears 'unhappy talk' about the future.

Again, as many have said at one time or another on this forum, maybe her attitude leads to happiness... 'ignorance is bliss'. Also, as many have opined here, maybe the price will never get that high due to economic factors (recession, unemployment, demand destruction) and folks will never realize that peak oil was a contributing factor.

Many people I know ape the 'drill, baby, drill' mantra, the 'it's all the fault of environmentalists', 'the government strangles the FF industry with egregious taxes and regulations', etc. Many of them would likely elect Don Blankenship for Congress.

I understand the thinking by certain of the TOD staff that 'the PO debate is over' and that the site should move on, and that is their prerogative, but outside of our own bubble I think the matter is not only not decided amongst the masses, but it is not even on the radar for most.

As far as the U.S military's 'getting it', we will know the DoD 'get's it' when it commits to replacing its current Arleigh Burke DDGs (Guided-Missile Destroyers) and Ticonderoga CGs (Guided Missile 'cruisers') with nuclear-powered vessels. Currently, only aircraft carriers and subs use nuke propulsion.

A CRS report summary mentioning the oil-nuclear cost issue here:


I am a proponent of reducing U.S. military spending and our tendency towards empire...but barring that, if the U.S. decided to recapitalize its DDGs and CGs, if they choose nuclear then you will know they really 'get it' wrt PO.

Another signal would be from the airline industry: If more turboprops are fielded, and 'open rotor' Un-ducted fan-powered airliners are fielded, then we will know the airline industry and the airframe manufacturers 'get it', since there are RDT&E, maintenance, noise, speed, altitide (ceiling), and passenger perception penalties to these designs. Only more expensive jet fuel costs will trump these issues.




No, I do not work for airframe or engine Mfrs, nor naval shipyards or naval nuke power plant mfrs., nor do I own stock in them (directly anyway).

She is very intelligent in general, but she has definite 'no go' conversation areas, and obviously fears 'unhappy talk' about the future.

Again, as many have said at one time or another on this forum, maybe her attitude leads to happiness... 'ignorance is bliss'.

I tend to think the reverse - that an understanding and acceptance of Peak Oil (and the impact of it within our lifetimes) is quite a liberating experience. My wife and I make all sorts of decisions about the future - really big ones and quite minor ones - based on a view that oil will become expensive, global "economic recovery" is a chimera, and that global warming may have a significant impact on climate and therefore lifestyle.

So it's not a downer at all. And even one of our newly married nephews has refused to be tempted by seemingly cheap McMansion living in a sprawling outer suburb ... he knows that over 10-20 years it will be an expensive, long-commuting, car-based, and possibly soulless world out there ... they're looking for something much more modest nearer the city.

I salute the wisdom of you, your wife, and your nephews. May it spread amongst the population!

When I joined TOD in 2005, my desire was to buy a rural North Island doomstead and power it with MicroHydro. Since then, my thoughts on the local shape of collapse have changed. I now appreciate how the veneer of civilization in rural NZ is maintained with welfare state benefits and infrastructure gifts from the centre. Already, funding for rural road maintenance has been cut in favour of maintaining the cities. And they are tightening up the dole as well, while rural racial tensions are rising. Crime and attacks on provincial police continue to climb.

Thanks to the major contributions of hard working migrants, the city keeps getting better and better. Yes, the lack of an adequate public transit system is still an annoyance. And housing is too expensive. But, the city is still very much BAU. It is rural New Zealand that is beginning to look like Mad Max, ruled by gang warlords (Mongrel Mob). Lots of senseless violence, which is obviously hate crime/ethnic cleansing, but the media is too PC to ever call it that.

So I have come full circle, and am thinking the best plan for the next half decade is to move to Auckland and rent a flat in the very walkable CBD. BAU is doing much better in the city than the provinces. Life will also be more enjoyable with the greater cultural and economic opportunities. The elite live in the city and they will maintain their districts for as long as possible. So when I move, maybe I should change my name to JAFA*

*Just Another F---ing Aucklander

Thanks for this report from New Zealand. For years now a lot of doomers have been advocating NZ as a good bet for a PO retreat. Obviously they are going to be in a lot of trouble just like everywhere else. I still think the southern hemisphere will be a better place to be though - probably avoid most of the fallout.

"Probably avoid most of the 'fallout'."

Nice double entendre! As if energy depletion, financial collapse and social unrest weren't enough to worry about.

For years now a lot of doomers have been advocating NZ as a good bet for a PO retreat.

I think it still is, and while much of MicroHydro's commentary is spot on, it is still a great place in many ways. We cross the ditch every January to tour there for a month ... to escape the brain-frying heat of Australia, and the crazy crowding of our holiday coastlines. [Note to Northern Hemisphere travellers - avoid January in Australia, despite the temptation].

New Zealand is a first-world culture, but with a surprisingly modest third-world infrastructure, in many ways. And that is not necessarily a bad thing - despite a roughly similar history to Australia, it has remained very different indeed - it is less Americanised, less "modern", and retains some of the quality of life style of a former age. I'm not being romantic about it - there is a genuine 50s or 60s feel about the place that Australia has lost. It also has a large number of very good provincial cities and major towns - all of which can offer a good life. The bush and the big city are not the only alternatives; we have friends with 40ha just outside Whakatane - and they are pretty happy, very peak oil aware, and well on the way to a self-sufficient life.

Yet the country does face poverty, very low average wages, chronic unemployment, and less business investment than Australia, etc, and racial tensions do seem on the increase. New Zealand has to address the racial divide and inequalities - somehow, sometime.

I'd advocate NZ if for no other reason than a good flat white. Why can't you find them in the US?

Why would anyone want to spoil a double espresso with milk and sugar?! ;-)

There is a good Italian coffee shop down the street from where I live in Hollywood South Florida that serves something along those lines, but you'd never catch me drinking it. The only thing worse would be to drink decaf!

Hey, I grew up in Brazil and was weened on black coffee, no milk or sugar! Disclaimer: most Brazilians drink sugar with a little coffee and a drop of milk.

Read 'On the Beach' by Nevil Shute..I never saw the flick based on the book, so I can't vouch for that....

If that gets you in the mood, read 'Fail Safe' (I saw the movie when I was a kid but don't remember much about it...read the book first), then, for some classic black humor, watch 'Dr. Stangelove, or how I stopped Worrying and Loved the Bomb'...

"Look, no one says we're not gonna get our hair mussed...10, 20 million casualties, tops!...depending on the breaks..."

Odd. I also live in NZ and yet would not recognise it from microhydro's description - but then we carefully chose to live on the mainland (the South island) where there are few Maori/imported Pacific islanders - and very much reduced racial tensions/gang activity.

The North island will not be such a happy place post-peakoil; mind you its all relative - it will still be a lot happier than 90% of the rest of the world. Certainly it will be just fine for the JAFA's.

We will have pretty efficient border controls for entry to the mainland by 2015 I suspect - so don't all try and rush down here (particularly if your from that desert island to the west of us).


I was thinking of changing my user name to Misanthropictroll,
but after waiting at the crossing for this endless drivel train to pass I'm
now going to have to add supersaturated at the beginning.
Screw it, way too cumbersome.

Consider today an experiment in a post peak world. I now know who I would invite to live in my tribe and who I would not. Thanks.

Thanks for the idea Dragonfly; I really enjoyed it--lots of unexpected responses.

Good, I doubt our senses of humor would mesh.
Nothing personal, but I too am very fond of Dragonflies

Reed, dude, I was joking. Just curious about people usernames. Sometimes those represent something deep and introspective. Sometimes they are backhanded statements about the world. Sometimes, they really mean nothing at all.

81.83 is what oil is trading at this morning, wherever it is traded somewhere in the world where it is already Monday morning. Down 1.41

It's interesting that oil price keeps pivoting to the 80 dollar a barrel mark, going up for days, then below, but in recent months staying close to 80 like its a security blanket. Meanwhile the stock market knows no bounds, as it keeps marching upward without any security blanket level with which to adhere. Caution is thrown to the wind, unlike oil traders. That presents an interesting disconnect between the two areas of investment.

Meanwhile the stock market knows no bounds, as it keeps marching upward without any security blanket level with which to adhere

Futures are well down at the moment.

U.S. Stock Futures
Data as of 7:11am ET

S&P -25.20 / -2.09%
Level 1,183.30

Nasdaq -32.75 / -1.61%
Level 2,002.00

Dow -141.00 / -1.27%
Level 10,936.00

Tinfoil hat time!!!

The U.S. govt is suing GS because they wanted to drive oil prices down a bit and forestall a new and worse financial crash. What better way than slow down the economy and buy some time.

Thermodynamically speaking the govt is maintaining its own strength at the expense of the strength and vitality of GS----the zero sum game we`ve heard about is now here, in effect! Bankers, get off the boat!

Or is this just foolish speculation?

It is all Bullsh!t anyway.
The sooner we destroy this outdated system and sweep the detritus off the decks the better.

I'm just puzzled how GS managed to set the volcano off :-)

There was an economic demand for a volcano, so one appeared !

Best Hopes for the Invisible Hand,


McMoRan Exploration Co. Reports First-Quarter 2010 Results


In February 2010, the Davy Jones discovery well on South Marsh Island Block 230 was drilled to a total depth of 29,000 feet. As reported in January 2010, McMoRan logged 200 net feet of pay in multiple Eocene/Paleocene (Wilcox) sands in the well. In March 2010, a production liner was set and the well was temporarily abandoned until necessary equipment for the completion is available. Flow testing will be required to confirm the ultimate hydrocarbon flow rates from the well. McMoRan, working with a team of experts, has initiated studies on the design for the completion of the well and various fast track alternatives to flow test the well are being evaluated. The timing of the flow test is uncertain and subject to a number of factors, but is expected within 12 to 18 months.

I was in the throes of having come to terms with the implications of PO when I found TOD lo those 5 years past. As I saw us racing blindly toward the cliff, and my father's name was Clifton, (hence the one f) and he had many of the skills I see as necessary post decline, it was an easy decision and a simple homage. Have learned much here over the years. Thanks everybody.